Actions

Work Header

with a bang (stunted plants can bloom)

Work Text:

“nope,” yoongi says, squeezing the phone between his ear and shoulder as he balances on top of a wobbly chair and wipes at the fingerprints high up on his kitchen window. “i’m not coming.”

“why does it sound like seokjin’s laughing?” taehyung asks. yoongi stops his vigorous wiping. there’s a short silence. “are you cleaning the entire apartment again because you’re stressed and procrastinating your assignments?”

“no,” yoongi says, and sways a little bit on the unsteady chair. “i’m spring cleaning.”

“it’s september, hyung.” taehyung sighs a little bit. “see, you have to come out tonight.”

“already did that at the age of sixteen,” yoongi deadpans, and stares at the numerous new fingerprints he just left on the window.

“not the coming out i meant, but i’m very proud of you and i know it wasn’t easy for you and i’m glad you’re in a safer environment now. how come you’re always cleaning, but whenever i come over the place is a mess?”

“because i can’t fucking clean.” yoongi tosses the wipe somewhere in the sink, not even bothering with the new stains on the glass, and gets off the shaky chair. “yeah, fine, i’m stressed. but coming to a party for dance people where i barely know anyone is not going to make me less stressed.”

“you know me and jimin and hoseok,” taehyung says, defensive, “it’s not just for dance people. i’m not a dance person. there will be other people you know.”

“pass,” yoongi says, switching the phone to his right ear as he walks into his cramped living room.

“also,” taehyung says, sounding like an over-zealous salesman at this point, “me and jimin’s new roommate will be there! you have to meet him. that’s a reason to come if any.”

“that means nothing to me. you live with him. i’m going to meet him sooner or later, anyway.”

“yeah, sooner,” taehyung says, “because you’re coming to the party. seriously, yoongi. i just want what’s best for you. hang out with us. get drunk. i’ll even wingman for you. when’s the last time you got laid?”

“now it’s a hard pass,” yoongi says, scrunching up his nose. taehyung sighs heartily. there’s some background noise, like wind, and someone talking, but it’s hard to make anything of it. doesn’t sound like jimin, though. yoongi wonders distantly if it’s the new roommate. he’s about to ask what his name is, when taehyung speaks again.

“i’ve got to go,” he says, “see you at the party. please come!”

with that, the line goes dead.

“ugh,” yoongi says to no one. honestly, he doesn’t mind going out and meeting friends, it’s just that it’s going to be mostly dance majors and yoongi doesn’t know any dance majors besides hoseok and jimin. and jimin and taehyung are going to stick together the whole night and forget about the rest of the world as soon as someone plays their song, a title that seems to apply to most songs ever made.

hoseok is going to be talking to and dancing with at least five different groups of people, he’ll somehow end up leaving with a sixth totally random group, and then text the group chat the next morning asking if anyone knows how to get to gangnam from some absurd small town somewhere in southern south korea and if he had his pants on when he left the club.

so, yoongi’s not exactly thrilled. it’s going to be him, at some point of the evening, drinking alone, surrounded by strangers who all dance better than him. he flops back down on the sofa he left half an hour ago to clean all his windows and half an hour before that to scrub at the stain on the bathroom floor that hasn’t come out for two years. he just felt like it might, today. it didn’t.

he looks at the handwritten notes scattered across the table and the balled up pieces of paper on the floor and his laptop with three unfinished versions of the same track open in tabs.

“ugh,” he says again, with a different feeling, now.

 

/

 

yoongi [5:21]
fine i’ll come

tae [5:22]
YEESSSSSSSSSSSS
i knew id sway u
i should be a telemarketer
or a politician

yoongi [5:23]
it wasnt so much you as it was the utter feeling of defeat and complete lack of inspiration and motivation

tae [5:24]
damn
im sure u will feel inspired after tonight
its going to be fun i promise

yoongi [5:24]
hmh

tae [5:25]
dress hot ;)
theres goin to be lots of hot dancer ppl
and i cant wingman for u if u look like u died 5 days ago

yoongi [5:26]
im always hot

tae [5:26]
:/

yoongi [5:27]
fuck you

tae [5:27]
u know what ive thought abt this and i think u and i could def boink once
just once tho and only if u dont find anyone tonight

yoongi [5:28]
oh my god
ill be there at 8 just stop talking to me

 

/

 

the party is held at a club downtown, a popular place for college parties and student gatherings because the shots are cheap. yoongi feels like he had his share of parties in his first and second year. he’s in his last year, now, and watching drunk freshmen do dumb shit has gotten old. or maybe he’s the one who’s gotten too old to party.

the last time he went out he ended up just sitting on the sidewalk in front of the club for the entire latter half of the night, comforting a random crying freshman who’d just caught her boyfriend cheating on her. yoongi might’ve given her the entire passionate men are trash speech. then he might’ve taken out his pocketknife and meticulously taken apart the boyfriend’s bike when she’d singled it out from the row of bikes at the bicycle stand, leaving all the parts there, just. disassembled. taehyung would probably call that chaotic good.

he arrives at ten past eight, hands his id to the bouncer who barely glances at it before gesturing him in. yoongi hovers.

“you barely looked at it,” he says, “can you at least pretend you need more time to ascertain it’s me in the photo?”

the bouncer stares at him with a stony face.

“it’s you,” he says.

“this photo was taken almost six years ago,” yoongi insists, “come on, haven’t i changed at least a little bit? my hair’s different.”

“face is the same,” the bouncer grunts.

that’s extremely demoralizing. yoongi just sighs and grudgingly takes his id back, gives the bouncer one last look that says fight me behind the dumpsters while his size and nonexistent fighting experience say please snap me like a twig.

he saunters in, and immediately doesn’t know what he’s doing here. one side of the club is playing a mellow pop song, the other one is blasting edm, and the beats mix in the middle chaotically, creating a potential headache. the place is not packed yet, but it’s still a lot of people and yoongi knows none of them. it’s giving his anxiety anxiety.

he can’t see his friends anywhere, so he makes the only sensible decision he can make in this situation: get drinking. he sits at the bar and sips at a whiskey cola, letting his eyes skim aimlessly over the people on the dance floor. you can tell they are mostly dancers, he supposes.

someone’s shouting his name over the music. yoongi’s about to turn, but can’t, because suddenly there are three bodies draped across his back.

“he came,” jimin’s saying, like yoongi isn’t right there, “i can’t believe it.”

“you’re late,” taehyung remarks, “were you picking a fight with the bouncer again?”

“i do not look the exact same as i did when i was eighteen,” yoongi says, a bit choked because they’re pressing his chest to the bar counter, “they could at least humor me.”

“you’ve got a babyface,” hoseok laughs, and tries to fucking pinch his cheek like he’s looking to lose a hand, “nothing wrong with that. embrace it.”

after he’s bitten hoseok’s finger and they’ve gotten off of him, he looks around over his shoulder, but they don’t have anyone with them.

“your roommate is not here?”

“he’s going to be here,” taehyung waves a hand, and takes the stool on yoongi’s left, “he got held up by something or other. he’s pretty busy already at this point of the semester, he takes a million classes and somehow juggles a job at the flower shop close to campus, too. but i’m sure you’re going to like him. he’s great. he has a great sense of humor and he's super nice.”

“high praise,” yoongi comments.

"and he likes all the video games i like,” taehyung goes on, “the other night, we stayed up until six playing overwatch. he’s lived with us only for a few days, but i know he’s the one.”

"the one?” yoongi quirks an eyebrow. when taehyung talks about people, it can be really hard to deduce whether he’s actually in love with them, or if he’s just excited about a new friend.

“the roommate of destiny, the one that will complete our household,” taehyung says, a hand over his heart. “the geckos like him.”

“ah, the gecko test,” yoongi says, amused. “well. he sounds nice.”

hoseok starts ordering shots, and yoongi doesn’t remember until later that he still doesn’t know the roommate’s name. the topic changes, unfortunately to yoongi’s sex life.

“hmm, you look hot, that’s good,” taehyung evaluates with his chin in the v of his index finger and thumb, looking yoongi up and down. “are those the jeans that make your ass look nice?”

“they are,” hoseok confirms from yoongi’s other side. when in doubt, or when making a last minute decision to attend a party full of hot dancer people, dress all black, yoongi concluded. he’s wearing a leather jacket over a t-shirt tucked into his ripped jeans, silver on his ears and around his neck. he looks alright. so maybe the jeans were intentional. sue him. he throws back the soju shot that hoseok pushes in front of him.

“can you stop talking about my ass? it’s a nice ass. best ass in our friend group, no need to discuss.”

“that’s just not true,” jimin says, perking up from where he was slouching against taehyung’s shoulder.

“ass-off, ass-off,” hoseok chants.

“this was supposed to be about getting yoongi laid,” taehyung complains.

“no it wasn’t,” yoongi glares, “it has never been about that. it’s about distracting myself from the fact that i’m stuck with my project before i break my entire apartment cleaning.”

“what’s a better distraction than a nice boink?”

“i agree with tae,” hoseok says, “you could let out a little steam.”

“luckily, your wingman’s here.” taehyung drapes an arm over his shoulders, and yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes. “just pick whoever you want here, and i’ll make it happen.”

“except for me, i’m off-limits,” jimin says.

“i’m not,” hoseok says, waggling his eyebrows.

“never again, hobi,” yoongi says dryly, and hoseok just laughs, downs the rest of his drink.

"i just want to help,” taehyung says, “honestly. so if anyone catches your eye… tell me, and i’ll wingman the shit out of it.”

yoongi sighs.

“thanks for the uncomfortable level of involvement, guys, but i can pick people up by myself if i want,” he says in a tone that he hopes radiates conclusion, “so please don’t try to help me. i’m serious. please. don’t help.”

thankfully, they seem to accept it. mostly.

they sit around a table with their drinks, and people hoseok and jimin and sometimes taehyung know stop by from time to time to chat. yoongi makes small talk, and when he gives a laugh at something a guy whose name he didn’t catch says, he can see taehyung shift in his peripheral, eyes sharply and intensely fixed on yoongi. when yoongi looks, he raises his eyebrow, subtly tilts his head towards the guy. he’s leaning forward like he’s ready to pounce on them and hook them up at the first sign of interest from yoongi. it’s a bit disconcerting, to be honest.

yoongi raises his glass to his lips, gives his head a small shake.

he already thought about it before coming here, about maybe taking someone home or going home with someone. he does need distraction. needs to unwind a little and clear his mind from the track he’s been stuck with for half a century.

and sure, there are some hot guys here, and although it’s not exactly a gay club, these college parties make it a point to be all-inclusive and lgbt-friendly, and yoongi’s already been hit on by a couple of guys - apparently he emits some sort of a gay aura - but no one’s… catching his eye, like taehyung said. lots of hands have been shoved at yoongi to shake, hot dancer arms, but he’s feeling it less and less.

if he’s not going home with anyone tonight, he’s just going to drink and join hoseok’s personal cheering squad made up of jimin and taehyung, when hoseok gets dragged away to the edm side of the club for a dance battle. he watches hoseok wipe the floor with some guys, and feels so proud he almost sheds a tear. it doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know a lot of dance majors because he knows the best ones. he tells this to jimin, cranes his neck to shout it into his ear, and jimin grins with the power of a thousand suns.

“i love it when you’re drunk,” he shouts over the music, “you just say all the fond shit you’re thinking.”

“i’m always saying fond shit,” yoongi says, feeling the odd need to get defensive, and then one kim taehyung latches onto his side, squeezing the air out of him.

“none of the guys here deserve you, yoongi,” he half-slurs into his jacket. “you deserve the best, only the nicest, hottest, meatiest - prime beef - fuck, i’m so hungry -”

“i’m sure they sell snacks here,” yoongi says, patting at taehyung’s arm, and gesturing at jimin to gather his roommate because he’s pretty sure taehyung’s crying.

taehyung sniffles about wanting to eat steak until he suddenly perks up five seconds later, starts bouncing up and down and taking jimin with him, yelling about the song that came on, steak completely forgotten, and it’s exactly how taehyung is drunk. it’s a rollercoaster, one-eighty after another.

and although it hasn’t been a bad time, they arrive at that point in the evening where it starts going just like yoongi had predicted. he last saw jimin and taehyung reenacting moves from dirty dancing on the dance floor, and he’s not sure hoseok’s even on the venue anymore. he has a feeling he’d make himself seen and definitely heard if he was here.

he navigates to the bathroom to splash some water on his face and strip off his leather jacket because he’s fucking hot. he gives himself a once-over in the mirror, drags a hand through the dark brown hair that’s doing some mysterious, unfathomable wavy thing today. he feels buzzed as opposed to piss drunk, which is a damn shame. he digs his phone out, texts namjoon.

yoongi [10:49]
you guys coming to this party thing for dance ppl?

namjoon [10:50]
nah seokjins got the cold

yoongi [10:50]
what r u his mom

namjoon [10:50]
no, his boyfriend
we’re just cuddling watching ghibli films

yoongi [10:51]
gross

namjoon [10:51]
whatever you say
hows the party

yoongi [10:52]
ok
everyone ditched me might leave soon

namjoon [10:52]
do you need a ride

yoongi [10:53]
whats it to you you dont even have a license

namjoon [10:53]
walk then asshole

yoongi [10:54]
have fun cuddling with ur boyfriend and being in love like a fuckin loser

namjoon [10:54]
thanks i will
be safe

yoongi sighs a little. now he’s having unwanted thoughts about having someone to cuddle and watch ghibli films with. he certainly won’t find that here tonight. he pockets his phone, gives himself one last look before leaving the bathroom, jacket draped over his arm.

he’s going to get one more whiskey cola to drink while looking for jimin and taehyung to tell them he’s going home. he didn’t even meet their fucking roommate; wonders if he got here at all. someone orders a gin and tonic next to him, and for one reason or another, it makes yoongi glance to his left. then he does a double-take, and his jaw actually goes a little slack.

maybe he’s drunk. maybe it’s the way the light hits him. it doesn’t matter, because yoongi’s having an entire holy shit moment either way. the guy standing next to him is beautiful. right now, at least through this soft alcohol-induced filter, he looks like a damn angel; the soft slopes and angles his face is made up of, the big eyes, the shape of his lips. his thin, white shirt looks luminous in the lights and adds to the illusion of him being somewhat otherworldly. looks nice, the way it stretches across his shoulders, sleeves rolled up to his elbows, baring his forearms. hot dancer arms, yoongi’s brain goes, even though he has no idea if the guy even is a dancer.

yoongi’s eyes briefly, totally non-creepily trail down his body, and that’s… not… his legs remind yoongi more closely of the devil himself. and yoongi’s not saying he’s got like, goat hooves. what he’s saying is he’s fucking hot.

but it’s his voice, yoongi realizes as the guy asks the bartender to add ice to his drink, that sounds vaguely familiar. it’s the sort of voice easy to distinguish, a unique lilt to it, soft and pleasant. where have i heard it.

the guy must feel him staring, because he turns to yoongi. they lock eyes, and yoongi thinks - it’s not just the lights, or the fact that he’s tipsy, it can’t be. he really is that fucking beautiful. the guy keeps looking at him, and yoongi blurts:

“do i know you?”

the beautiful guy blinks, parts his lips.

“is that a pickup line?” he asks, tilting his head slightly, maybe vaguely amused. “it’s not very original.”

of course yoongi doesn’t fucking know him, he would one hundred percent remember him. yoongi stares at the slightest curl of his mouth, before remembering to take his eyes off. he licks his lips.

“no, i - was genuinely wondering.”

the guy gives him a long look, catches his bottom lip between his teeth briefly. his eyes flick down yoongi’s chest, then back up to his face, leave yoongi feeling very warm.

“so you’re not trying to pick me up?” the guy asks, slowly turning the glass on the counter. “just to clear that up.”

did you want me to? yoongi almost returns, but that would make him sound like a douche.

“if i was trying to pick you up, i wouldn’t start with ‘do i know you’,” he says instead, clicking his fingernails against his glass, “that’s just inadequate.”

the guy bites back a smile, tips his chin up. “then how would you start? hypothetically.”

“hypothetically,” yoongi hums, angles himself towards the guy. he looks at him for a moment, purses his lips, like he’s considering. like he’s calm and collected and doesn’t get flustered around pretty guys who flirt with him. “i’d tell you you’re the most attractive person at this club. probably stutter a bit because you’re, like, intimidatingly good-looking.” yoongi licks his lips, flicks his tongue in his mouth, pokes it into the inside of his cheek. the guy watches him, something a bit intense in his eyes. “i’d ask you how you are. if you’re here with anyone. i’d tell you my name, and ask for yours. then i’d tell you i’d really like to buy you a drink.”

“hmm,” the guy hums. his eyes crinkle a little at the corners. they look like they’re shining. yoongi is pretty sure they are. like, creating their own light like little stars. “you know what, i think i’d let you buy me a drink. too bad it’s only hypothetical.”

“too bad,” yoongi agrees. they look at each other for a while, and the tension makes yoongi’s skin tingle, makes it feel like a challenge. the guy bites his bottom lip.

“my name is jungkook,” he says, “and i’m going to not-hypothetically ask you to buy me my next drink.”

a smile tugs at the corner of yoongi’s mouth.

“that works for me. my name is yoongi.”

 

/

 

yoongi is not sure where they are, because he didn’t catch the address jungkook told the cab driver, and because jungkook’s hand was on his thigh and yoongi was concentrating all his energy into keeping his hands to himself.

it’s an apartment building somewhere in seoul and that’s good enough for yoongi right now. it’s an apartment building with an elevator in which yoongi pins jungkook to the wall and kisses him hard until the doors ding open on whatever floor.

they didn’t just jump right into a cab immediately after yoongi bought him a drink, of course. jungkook wanted to return the favor, and they bought a round per each, and they talked; yoongi thinks it’s the most he’s ever talked with someone he’s intending to hook up with. he can’t claim to remember everything they talked about - they established they’d both been ditched by their friends, at least - because while he liked talking to jungkook, it was very clear where this was going, what they both wanted, here. they ended up in the corner of the dance floor, after yoongi asked, are you a dancer? and jungkook decided to show rather than tell. yoongi is pretty sure he got an answer to that and a few other questions including how jungkook’s hands feel on his ass and how his tongue feels in his mouth.

the “your place or mine” question was quickly decided when yoongi remembered he’d been stress-cleaning just before the club.

“my place looks like a nuclear site,” he told jungkook outside the club, “i just cleaned.”

jungkook stared at him for a few seconds, like he was trying to comprehend the sentence.

“that makes no sense,” he said while yoongi rattled the name of the club to the taxi company on the phone.

“it’s a thing,” yoongi said, and wasn’t sure why he was explaining his weird behavior patterns to a guy he just met, who he was about to sleep with, but he was certainly doing that. “i clean when i’m stressed out and it does more harm than good. it’s just me taking things out of their places and leaving them around and using the wrong detergents.”

jungkook just hummed, unfazed, said,

“i’m pretty good at cleaning. i could help.”

“is that what you want to do tonight?” yoongi quirked an eyebrow. “clean my apartment? i mean, we can do that if you absolutely want…”

jungkook grinned wide, and it made yoongi feel warm in a different way, in a way that would be slightly worrying if he had time to worry right then. he didn’t, because then jungkook was shifting closer, his fingers were curling on yoongi’s waist, and he was looking at yoongi with an exciting and thoroughly alluring kind of glint in his eyes.

“no, that’s not what i want to do tonight. i have roommates, but they’ll be out till late?”

that sounded perfectly good enough.

now yoongi’s got his back pressed against the inside of jungkook’s front door, jungkook is kissing him hotly and wetly and eagerly, and he’s sort of trying to get yoongi out of his jacket while simultaneously pinning him to the door. yoongi hums low into his mouth, pushes against him to prompt him to move backwards, drops his jacket just somewhere in the hallway.

they stumble across the dark room; yoongi gets his hands under jungkook’s sheer shirt, and jesus, he feels nice, hard muscles under his palms, an unexpectedly slim waist. he drags his nails across jungkook’s abs, yanks him close when his back hits a flat surface that could be a wall or another door, and jungkook makes a noise that goes straight down his spine, rolls his hips against yoongi’s. his fucking thighs have been making things hard for yoongi all night - “things” covering a broad assembly of mental functions like thinking straight, but also referring to his dick - and now he’s got one of those thighs shoved between yoongi’s and yoongi’s not sure if it’s because it’s been ages since he got laid and has all sorts of pent up energy or because jungkook’s maybe, definitely the hottest guy he’s ever touched, but he’s about to explode.

“fuck,” he chokes as jungkook tugs at his hair, and yoongi tilts his head to allow jungkook to bite and suck at his neck. oh, fuck.

“my room might be a bit messy, i just recently moved in,” jungkook mumbles against his skin, the sounds telling yoongi he’s fumbling for the door handle while trying not to interrupt what he’s doing to yoongi’s neck.

“you, huh,” yoongi pants, “you just moved?”

a connection is made somewhere in the back of his distracted brain. his eyes snap open. for a good moment, he stares at the living room over jungkook’s shoulder, the furniture slowly taking shape in the darkness. his thought process over the next ten seconds is something like:

no way. it can’t be -> it is. oh my fucking -> oh shit his thigh fuck it feels good he’s so fucking hot -> god it really is. -> does it really matter would it be a big deal if we just -> i’m going to kill taehyung and then jimin and then myself

“motherfucker,” yoongi rasps. jungkook goes still. he pulls back, gives yoongi a slightly startled, puzzled look. yoongi knocks his head back against the wall. “not you. the -” he gestures weakly at the room. he feels like laughing and crying at the same time. “the gecko tank.”

he’s not making a whole lot of sense and jungkook blinks at him accordingly. yoongi just can’t believe he didn’t recognize jimin and taehyung’s apartment sooner. it’s not like it’s a generic-looking apartment. there’s a fucking gecko tank, for starters. either he’s way drunker than he thought or just too fucking turned on to process anything past jungkook and his mouth and his thighs. it’s probably the second one.

he forces himself to look at jungkook, who looks confused, who’s still so fucking beautiful, who’s jimin and taehyung’s new roommate.

“you’re jimin and taehyung’s roommate.”

jungkook blinks. his kiss-swollen lips part.

“you know them?”

“they… yeah. oh, fuck.” yoongi drags a hand through his hair. “they’re my friends. they were supposed to introduce us tonight. they’re the friends who ditched me.”

“they’re the friends who ditched me,” jungkook says. “oh.”

they stare at each other, their chests still heaving slightly. jungkook’s palm is propped against the wall above yoongi’s shoulder.

“so this…” jungkook starts. yoongi licks his lips, swallows. fuck, he wants to; his body is burning with the desire to just grab jungkook, touch him, kiss him, get him out of his clothes, finish what they started. he wants him, so, so badly.

but he can’t hook up with the guy he’s going to be seeing frequently, who’s probably going to be an integral part of their friend group because taehyung thinks it’s destiny. jimin and taehyung were excited about him, excited for everyone to meet him, and yoongi can’t ruin all that for the sake of one night with him.

“yeah,” he says, grazes his teeth over his bottom lip, “we shouldn’t.”

he sees jungkook swallow. yoongi curls his fingers into the wall to not immediately act against his own words. fucking christ. when taehyung was telling yoongi about him… yoongi’s not sure how he pictured him, but it wasn’t anything close to this.

“you’re right,” jungkook says, lets his hand slide off the wall. “yeah, that… would make things weird in the future.”

like it’s not already weird, yoongi thinks, but doesn’t say anything, just nods.

“i’m just gonna go,” he says, while really not wanting to go. he pushes himself off the wall, takes a step, but jungkook’s fingers close around his wrist.

“wait,” he says, and if he were to ask yoongi to sleep with him after all, yoongi’s not all that certain he could walk away. he’s weak, okay, and turned on, and jungkook is very attractive. jungkook seems to hesitate with his words. “you could, um. stay over. i mean, it’s -” he pauses to pat at his pockets for his phone, and checks the time. “past two a.m. and you’re drunk. and. um.”

he bites at his lip lightly, and his eyes shift downwards on yoongi’s body. yoongi follows them, and, oh. yeah, he’s super hard in his jeans. this is not awkward at all.

well, so’s jungkook, so at least he’s not alone. their eyes meet, and it’s a weird five seconds. jungkook is flushed, sort of bothered, but determinedly staring yoongi down.

“okay,” yoongi says weakly, “i’ll stay. i’ll just… sleep on the couch.”

jungkook nods, drops his wrist.

“do you, um. need the bathroom?”

“yeah,” yoongi says, resigned, knowing he could as well be saying, hey, so i’m gonna go jerk off to you in your bathroom since we can’t have sex. “i could take a shower.”

jungkook sucks in a breath, nods.

“i can give you a towel and a change of clothes.”

“i can just ransack jimin and tae’s closet,” yoongi says, but jungkook’s already in his bedroom. he just stands there for a few seconds, not sure what to do, until he just goes into the bathroom, clicks the lights on, squints at the sudden brightness for a while. he’s greeted with his own reflection in the mirror above the sink. he looks the same way jungkook does; dishevelled and flushed, fucked up hair, swollen lips, a couple of purplish-blue bruises blooming on his neck. 

he sees jungkook come up behind him.

“here.” he hands yoongi a neat, soft pile of clothes and a towel.

“thanks,” yoongi murmurs, and jungkook hovers in the doorway for a moment, looks like he wants to say something; but doesn’t, only steps out and closes the door behind him. yoongi releases a breath.

yoongi decides that this is jimin and taehyung’s fault for leaving out the fact that their new roommate is the most attractive human being on earth. maybe then this wouldn’t have fucking happened. but no, they couldn’t even tell yoongi his fucking name, and now he’s about to jerk off in their shower while a beautiful, attractive guy who was into yoongi for some reason is right there in the other room. maybe also jerking off. oh, jesus fucking christ. this is definitely the most embarrassing night anyone has ever had in the entire history of humankind.

he briefly considers turning the water cold and waiting it out, then decides literally nothing matters at this point and he might as well just get it over with. he does think about jungkook and imagine his hands instead of his own but he thinks he’s allowed to just this once. he doesn’t take long to come. fucking ridiculous, he thinks as he rinses off everything that got on the shower wall.

he feels significantly sober when he finishes, dries himself off with jungkook’s towel. stares at the pile of clothes. the boxer briefs. this feels like a very strange order to do things in. he doesn’t really know jungkook, didn’t quite sleep with him, but now he’s wearing his clothes.

the boxer briefs are a bit loose on his hips and thighs. the rest of the clothes, the grey sweats and the white t-shirt with some sort of a pink bunny character on it, are a bit big, too. he stares at the bunny shirt in the mirror. wonders if jungkook purposely gave him this one. it probably looks cute on him. the clothes smell nice.

he exits the bathroom, doesn’t see jungkook. he sighs a little, gets a glass of water from the kitchen, then stalks over to the gecko tank across the room. sits down cross-legged on the carpet in front of it. the carpet is another thing that makes it fucking unbelievable yoongi didn’t realize where he is. it was a housewarming gift from hoseok two years ago and the ugliest thing he’s ever seen, which makes it kind of cool.

“hey,” he says, “michelangelo. leonardo. donatello. raffaello.”

he can actually tell the geckos apart. that’s how many fucking times he’s seen them on his instagram and twitter feeds. he can hear the water start running in the bathroom.

“i’m having a weird fucking night,” he tells the geckos, staring at the tank soullessly. “you ever accidentally banged your friend’s roommate? no? neither have i.”

he decides he might as well open up to the lizards. they might even provide him with valuable advice, who knows. taehyung keeps saying they possess great intelligence.

“i almost kept quiet when i realized he’s their roommate, you know. even now i sort of wish i had. sort of. does that make me selfish? i don’t know. i don’t think i could’ve gone through with it in good conscience. this is the right thing to do, right? it’s just… do you think this will actually make things more awkward? like, what if we needed to get it out of our systems? stop looking at me like that, leonardo, okay, i’m not trying to find a justification for banging him. i’m just. worried that it won’t matter that we didn’t go through with it and the damage is already done. what if i can’t stop thinking about it? then it’s either going to be fucking awkward every time i see him, or we’ll avoid each other and fuck up this entire group because we can’t be in the same room with each other. what then?”

the geckos crawl around uncaring and unaffected. raffaello trips over donatello’s tail.

“good talk,” yoongi says.

the water stops running, and another moment later the door opens. feet pad closer, and yoongi’s not looking, but he can tell jungkook crouches down beside him.

“were you talking to the geckos?” he asks. yoongi licks his lips.

“they are good listeners.” he turns his head to jungkook. he’s squatting almost a meter from him, arms folded on top of his knees, and he - looks different, but also not. fresh and soft from the shower, messy, damp hair, clad in a white tee and blue pajama pants. yoongi feels an entirely different kind of attraction to him, and looks away. “tae named them after the artists, not the ninja turtles.”

“i know,” jungkook says, “it’s literally the first thing he told me when i was moving in.”

“yeah, he gets really offended when people mix it up.”

it’s not an awkward silence, per se. it just feels awkward looking at jungkook. yoongi feels like he can’t do that without jungkook immediately seeing all his thoughts on his face. thoughts like, this was a mistake. i should’ve just left.

“sorry about the shirt,” jungkook says, a bit sheepishly, “i tried to find something else -”

“it’s fine,” yoongi says, glancing at him, “it’s cute. don’t worry.”

jungkook looks a bit wide-eyed, prettily flushed. then he smiles lopsidedly, and yoongi’s heart beats fast. why is jungkook still doing this to him, he’s not looking hot at a club and grinding on yoongi on a dance floor.

“i actually had heard your voice before,” yoongi says, “on the phone, when tae called me.”

jungkook hums.

“so it wasn’t a pickup line. okay, i believe you.”

“told you,” yoongi says, and stares at the soft curve of jungkook’s smile.

yoongi really wants to kiss him. he doesn’t.

 

/

 

yoongi wakes up, and his immediate reaction is to go back to sleep. a mild headache pulses at his temples, and the room is too fucking bright with sunlight. the mattress and the blanket are soft, and yoongi rolls over, intent on falling back asleep. his legs bump into something, and his eyes snap open.

not more than five inches from him is jungkook, soundly asleep, breathing steadily with his face half buried into the pillow, facing yoongi. yoongi’s heart skips several beats. he stares, for a while, barely breathing, hand clutching the sheet between them.

okay. calm the fuck down. last night… they didn’t have sex. yoongi took a shower, stayed over because he was drunk and it was late. they talked some. they just talked. he was going to sleep on the couch. then what the fuck is he doing in jungkook’s bed.

he breathes in and out deeply a couple of times. ah. jungkook said, if you don’t want jimin and taehyung to know, you could sleep in my room and sneak out before they wake up. that had felt like a good idea at the time. right now, it feels less than as jungkook makes a soft, sleepy sound into the pillow and shifts closer to yoongi, and yoongi takes a slightly shaky breath, rolls away carefully to not wake jungkook up. he gets up quietly, and his head spins a little bit.

he locates his phone on the nightstand. it’s eight a.m.; if jimin and taehyung came home last night, they should be sleeping. there’s a bunch of messages from the two of them, namjoon, and the group chat. yoongi’s going to look at them later. he worries his lip, glances back at jungkook’s sleeping form on the bed. it’s not… an asshole thing to do to just leave, right? it’s what they agreed yoongi would do. it’s not like they slept together, like this is going to be anything. yoongi feels a pang of something uncomfortable, and determinedly ignores it.

he’s just going to leave. he can say something to jungkook when they next meet. he’s not sure what, but. something. his own clothes are still in the bathroom; he’s going to take them with him and return jungkook’s discreetly the next time he comes around. he realizes he probably should’ve asked for his phone number. well, he can’t do that now.

he slips out the door. the apartment is dim; looks like jimin and taehyung aren’t awake. he starts walking towards the bathroom next to the hall, keeping his step light.

as he’s passing the kitchen, the lights blink on suddenly. yoongi freezes, stares at jimin who clicked on the kitchen light, and taehyung, who’s sitting at the table with his fingers interlaced under his chin.

“good morning,” taehyung says.

“um,” yoongi says. he gets a weirdly intense flashback to that one time he snuck out after curfew when he was eleven and came back to find his disappointed parents up waiting for him. “this isn’t what it looks like.”

“uh-huh,” jimin says, raising an eyebrow and casting a pointed look at yoongi. “it’s early in the morning, you came out of jungkookie’s room wearing his clothes, and there are hickeys on your neck. i’m sure you just held hands and discussed the last book you read. seriously, yoongi?”

“fucking hell,” yoongi says wearily, raking a hand through his tangled hair. “okay, listen -”

“sit your ass down, young man,” taehyung says, pointing at the seat across from him. yoongi stares at him blankly.

“i’m two years older than you.”

“sit your ass down, young man, hyung,” taehyung says. yoongi groans. he walks into the kitchen reluctantly, flops down in the chair. he should clear misunderstandings and explain he didn’t really sleep with jungkook.

“the shirt suits you,” jimin smirks, leaning his ass against the kitchen counter.

“shut up,” yoongi mumbles. “have you even slept? what the hell.”

“don’t change the subject,” taehyung says. “we found your jacket in the hallway when we came home, and suddenly it made sense why you and jungkook texted us saying you’re going home almost at the exact same time. are you sneaking out on him?”

“jesus, i - no,” yoongi says, rubbing his hands down his face. “i didn’t sleep with him.”

“it’s fine,” jimin says, “you’re two adults capable of making your own decisions, you can do whatever you want as long as -”

“i didn’t sleep with him,” yoongi says again, feels heat rising to his face, “we - were going to… but then i realized he’s your roommate, so we… didn’t.”

taehyung and jimin look at him for a while. yoongi would like to bail, now. on all levels except physical, he’s already miles from this apartment.

“oh,” taehyung says, shares a look with jimin. tentatively, “you know, if you guys want to have a thing, you can. we support you.”

“no, it’s - there’s no thing.” yoongi licks his lips. “it was just a one time thing. we agreed on that. nothing happened, nothing will happen. end of story.”

taehyung frowns a little. they look a bit uncertain, but yoongi gets up before they can say anything.

“i have to go home. i’ll - come back later to return his clothes. you can tell him that.”

isn’t that going to be fun. yeah, yoongi feels a little bit like he’s running away, but what else can he do. he also feels like the epitome of a fashion disaster, walking down the street in a leather jacket, a bunny shirt, and too-big sweats - and just a disaster, with the way he can’t wipe the image of jungkook from his mind.

 

/

 

messages from last night: a huge fucking mess. yoongi scrolls through them when he gets home and swallows two painkillers for his hangover, collapses into bed still wearing jungkook’s clothes.

there’s namjoon asking if he got home safely, then worrying about him when he didn’t answer, then threatening to call the cops, then most likely falling asleep because the messages stop there (thanks for that). (yoongi does feel bad for making him worry, and texts him an apology, saying he’ll talk to him later.)

there’s jimin and taehyung calling him old for leaving, a video of jimin dancing shirtless, and several misspelled variations of the phrase “pizzerias open 24/7”, before taehyung realized he’s not typing in the google search bar.

in the group chat, there’s a poll started by jimin on who has the best ass in the group. the people who were awake all voted for themselves. hoseok voted for seokjin’s mom. seokjin changed his vote to everyone in the world except for hoseok. jimin asking where hoseok is, and hoseok saying it’s under investigation and that he’d get back to them in four to five hours.

yoongi throws his phone onto the bed next to him, lets out a hearty groan into his pillow just to get it out of his system. why the fuck did he even go out. nothing good ever comes out of going out with taehyung, jimin and hoseok.

he rolls onto his back, swallows. thinks about jungkook, probably still sleeping in his bed. thinks about what was said in the club, in the cab, in the corridors of his building. the way they danced, the way jungkook pressed him to the wall next to his bedroom door. the way they agreed nothing would happen, anymore.

it was always supposed to be a one night stand, anyway. wasn’t it. fuck. yoongi doesn’t know what he was hoping for. sure, he was fucking attracted to jungkook - was, is, was - and jungkook… was feeling it back, obviously, but yoongi has no doubt he’ll just move on. they’ll just move on. yoongi will just move on once he can stop fucking thinking about it. a one night stand has never affected him like this before; and he didn’t even sleep with jungkook. ugh.

at least he hasn’t thought about his songwriting demo project for a while. goal achieved, he guesses. fucking hurray.

it’s probably for the best if he doesn’t see jungkook for a while. he probably won’t mind if yoongi takes some time to return his clothes.

his phone buzzes several times in a row, and yoongi reaches for it blindly.

hobi [9:54]
so im in some fishing village on the east coast
im getting a ride home from this nice fisherman and his daughter
shes making me a friendship bracelet

jimin [9:55]
thats cool
but the Most Over The Top Shit Pulled During A Night Out Award goes to yoongi

“oh, my god,” yoongi mumbles.

yoongi [9:56]
shuyt up jimin

jimin [9:56]
he banged our new roommate

yoongi [9:56]
oh my god i di6

yoongi drops his phone on his face. cursing, he scrambles to sit up and get a hold of the device.

hobi [9:57]
holy shitrj hdhnfbdb
did u know he was their roommate when u banged him

yoongi [9:58]
I DIDNT BANG HIM
no one banged anyone shut th fuck up

tae [9:58]
well they almost banged
wouldve banged
but apparently “theres no thing”

yoongi [9:59]
nothing happened and nothing is happening can we move past this please

he fights the irrational urge to ask jimin and taehyung if jungkook has woken up yet. it’s not like he’s going to do anything with that information.

hobi [10:00]
sure we can
but u guys gotta interact knowing that u find each other bangable
how far did u go

yoongi [10:01]
im not telling you shit

hobi [10:01]
did u touch his dick

yoongi [10:02]
i will gut you like a fish

hobi [10:02]
bc im on a truck full of fish?
nice one

yoongi [10:03]
thanks

 

/

 

namjoon  [1:12]
so
you met jimin and taes roommate last night

yoongi [1:15]
…...yeah

namjoon [1:15]
met him real good

yoongi [1:16]
oh my god
im glad youre all getting a laugh out of this
but this is fucking embarrassing so can you not

namjoon [1:17]
ok ok
just
what are the odds of you picking up a guy and him turning out to be jimin and taes roommate

yoongi [1:18]
youre the math major you tell me

namjoon [1:19]
well its actually not super unlikely seeing as you were both gonna be at the party, hes hot, and, one could say, your type

yoongi [1:20]
my
type
wait youve met him?

namjoon [1:20]
briefly
i stopped by the day he was moving in

yoongi [1:21]
WHY did no one think to tell me his fuckign name

namjoon [1:21]
so whats you guys’ deal

yoongi [1:22]
theres no deal
look it was supposed to be a hookup but we never got that far and currently we’re nothing. maybe friends in the future
so let it go

namjoon [1:23]
okay then
if youre sure

yoongi [1:24]
why wouldnt i be sure
its gonna be awkward for a while but then we’ll forget about it
it would be worse if we’d actually slept together
right?

namjoon [1:25]
right

 

/

 

the plan was to avoid seeing jungkook for a while - a week, two weeks, a fucking month, however long until yoongi’s sure he can look at him and not be immediately reminded of how he pinned yoongi to the wall and the noises he made - but only two days later, taehyung texts the group chat, inviting everyone over the following friday.

tae [5:21]
we can have a movie night
or a game night
everyone can finally meet jungkook properly
and not only meet his lips and his dick

it was unrealistic to hope they’d let it go so easily, yoongi supposes, staring at the texts blankly and considering using his songwriting demo project as an excuse to not come.

tae [5:22]
and yoongi i know ur project isnt due for another 2 weeks so dont even think abt using that as an excuse

yoongi rolls his eyes. i wasn’t, he lies. friday would actually mark a week from… the incident, and maybe that would be good enough. maybe.

to be entirely honest, yoongi is not sure if he’s more scared that things will be unbearably awkward, or that he’ll find himself, still, irrevocably attracted to jungkook.

seokjin [5:23]
no monopoly
or uno

taehyung [5:23]
weak

seokjin [5:24]
can you fucking blame me for not wanting to engage in a full blown war that lasts for 3 weeks and has my own bf not talking to me bc he kept landing on my property and lost all his money to me

namjoon [5:25]
capitalism is evil and a tool for the rich to control and oppress the weak and underprivileged

seokjin [5:25]
shoulda tried not being poor babe

[namjoon is typing…]

 

/

 

yoongi mentally prepares for friday - by actively not thinking about it and occupying himself with the songwriting demo project and other assignments. jungkook’s clothes are washed and folded in his shoulder bag, and after yoongi caught himself regretting that they now smell like his fabric softener instead of jungkook’s, he banished the clothes from his mind, too.

it’s all going great. the project is kicking him in the ass and he ruined his curtains trying to fucking iron them for no reason and it’s all he could ask for in his current situation. and then his fucking subconsciousness has to go and ruin it by giving him the fucking dream just before friday.

it’s more like a recollection of sounds and tastes and touches. everything he’d been trying to forget. yoongi wakes up, thinking, jesus christ, are you fucking kidding me. he could pretend it wasn’t about jungkook - it was abstract enough, the faces blurry enough - but that would simply be lying to himself.

so it’s with a vivid memory of the way jungkook moaned into his mouth that he goes to jimin, taehyung, and jungkook’s on friday evening, sort of prepared to just fucking die.

everyone’s already there by the time he arrives. it’s namjoon who opens the door for him, holding a beer bottle and looking sort of weary, probably because his boyfriend and taehyung are fighting over which movie to watch over on the couch, and it looks like they’ve been at it for a while. yoongi quirks an eyebrow by way of greeting, and namjoon raises his beer bottle in return.

“it will probably be another fifteen to twenty-three minutes until the part where we actually watch a movie,” he says, “there’s beer in the fridge.”

yoongi sheds his jacket and kicks off his boots, leaves his bag leaning against the wall between the living room and the kitchen. seokjin and taehyung are loud, but he can still hear jimin and hoseok’s voices from the bedroom, the door wide open. the other bedroom door is ajar. the light’s on. yoongi feels an uncomfortable tingle in his stomach; feels slightly nauseous. realizes he’s actually fucking nervous.

he worries his bottom lip, decides that this doesn’t have to be a big deal, they don’t even have to really talk or spend time with each other. they don’t have to immediately be friends. they just have to get along and not make things weird for everyone else. he steps into the kitchen, goes for the beer, because that sounds pretty good right now. he shuts the fridge door, and hears,

“hey.”

when the bottle slips from his fingers, it could be because the sudden voice startled him, or it could be because it’s that specific fucking voice that belongs to that specific person, or it could just be a coincidence. in any case, the bottle meets the floor with a loud crash, and shatters into a thousand pieces, beer pooling at yoongi’s feet and canalling the cracks between the floorboards. actually, there’s no way mere gravity did that kind of damage, so yoongi must’ve sort of slammed it to the floor. he curses, jumps back before his socks can get wet.

“oh, shit,” jungkook says, and hurries forward to where yoongi is already crouching down to pick up shards of glass. “are you okay?”

“i’m…” yoongi raises his head to find jungkook looking at him, and for a second he forgets they’re hunching over a pool of glass and beer. fuck me, then , yoongi thinks, because he’d been hoping it was his drunken mind glorifying things and making jungkook out to be more perfect than he really is, but here yoongi is, not drunk, and here jungkook is, still just as fucking attractive. it doesn’t make any sense. jungkook is still waiting, his eyebrows rising ever so slightly, and yoongi chokes, “fine.” then he clears his throat. “i’m fine.”

jungkook licks his lips.

“good. um.” he casts his eyes down, starts to pick up shards. “i didn’t mean to startle you.”

“you didn’t - it just slipped. not your fault. you don’t have to help me, really -”

“i’ll help.” jungkook looks up again. yoongi’s mind sort of blanks. “you did say you aren’t good at cleaning.”

“oh,” yoongi says a bit faintly, “you remember that?”

he didn’t think jungkook would - he didn’t remember himself until now. and, well. it’s an indication that jungkook remembers everything else, too. this is just terrific.

jungkook bites his bottom lip.

“i do,” he says, and quickly averts his eyes, gets up, palm full of glass. “i’ll get a floor cloth.”

no one else walks into the kitchen as they clean up, get rid of the shards of glass and wipe the floor down. no one heard the bottle break; that’s how loud their friends are. all of it takes less than ten minutes, and before long they’ve run out of things to do with their hands, and are just standing in the kitchen with an obvious strain in the air between them. what the fuck now, yoongi thinks, do i introduce myself all over to this guy i’ve already grinded with?

jungkook is wearing light blue, ripped jeans, different from that night - stop thinking about that night, honestly - and a white shirt with sleeves to mid-forearms. yoongi swallows drily. he remembers jungkook’s clothes in his bag.

“we should… start fresh, shouldn’t we?” jungkook says with a short, sheepish laugh, scratching at the side of his neck. yoongi sucks in a breath.

“right,” he agrees, and sticks his hand out. “min yoongi.”

“jeon jungkook,” jungkook says, and takes his hand with a small smile on his face. “nice to meet you.”

“i promise not to hit on you anymore,” yoongi says because apparently brain to mouth filter machine broke and he’d like it if someone could just fucking shoot him already.

jungkook lets out a small, quiet laugh. “well. same here.”

“where the fuck are you,” taehyung yells in the living room, “movie’s starting.”

“you making out?” hoseok yells. “again?”

yoongi is suddenly aware he’s still holding jungkook’s hand. he lets it go like it’s something seething hot.

“i was going to…” jungkook says, and gestures vaguely at the fridge yoongi is standing in front of.

“ah.” yoongi steps out of the way, then just - hovers, not sure if he should just go into the living room. he feels fucking hot in his clothes, the loose grey sweater and torn jeans.

“do you want one?” jungkook asks, and yoongi turns. finds a beer bottle held at him, jungkook leaning down before the open fridge door and looking up at yoongi expectantly. yoongi reaches for it automatically.

“thanks.”

“don’t drop it, this time,” jungkook says with a smile in his voice, and yoongi feels his heart do something weird.

it’s unbearably awkward: confirmed. yoongi is still irrevocably attracted to him: also confirmed.

 

/

 

“why are we in my bathroom,” taehyung asks with blank confusion on his face. he points hesitantly at the door behind yoongi’s back. “the movie -”

“tell me something unattractive about him,” yoongi says intensely. taehyung gives him a long look.

“what.”

“something that makes him less attractive,” yoongi presses, increasingly desperate, “right now. tell me he’s rude to stray cats or listens to country music really loud.”

taehyung’s face gradually shifts from confused to smug as realization dawns on him. yoongi clenches his jaw and stares him down until he crosses his arms, tilts his head and looks up in consideration.

“well,” he says, ”sometimes when he’s in his thoughts and he’s got food in one hand and something inedible in the other, he tries to eat the inedible thing.”

“that’s cute, what the fuck.” yoongi twists his face like he’s in physical pain. taehyung nods.

“it’s very cute, actually.”

“that’s the opposite of what you were supposed to do,” yoongi complains, letting the back of his head connect with the door.

“so let me get this straight,” taehyung says, not even trying to hide the fact that he’s sadistically enjoying yoongi’s agony, “you don’t just want to bang him, you also think he’s cute? sounds -”

“bad, i know,” yoongi says.

“i was going to say it sounds like you want to date him,” taehyung says, and yoongi can tell he’s frowning even though he can’t see him. “which is not a problem, you know? just because he’s our roommate -”

“it one hundred percent is a problem.” yoongi detaches his head from the door and glares at taehyung. “it was supposed to be a hookup. just because he was into me drunk at a club doesn’t mean he wants to date me. it doesn’t even mean he’s in any way attracted to me when we’re not drunk at a club. so i need to be less attracted to him at this second so i can try being friends with him.”

taehyung purses his lips.

“he likes to come out of his room in the morning wrapped in his blanket like a burrito, and sometimes he falls asleep at the kitchen table like that.”

“stop telling me cute shit,” yoongi hisses.

“he’s got a bunch of plants in his room, and sometimes he sings to them.”

fuck you,” yoongi snaps, “i jerked off in your shower.”

he has time to see taehyung adopt a horrified expression, before spinning around and yanking the door open.

“you guys always pee together?” seokjin asks, amused, when yoongi stomps back into the living room and flops back down in the corner of the couch he occupied before deciding it was time to stage an intervention for himself and dragging taehyung into the bathroom with him.

“yeah, so what,” he grumbles. jungkook is sat in the armchair to yoongi’s right. he may or may not be looking at yoongi. yoongi pulls his feet up on the couch, hugs his knees, leans his chin on top of them and tries to make at least some kind of an attempt to figure out what the movie’s about.

 

/

 

he raps his knuckles against the cracked door a couple of times.

“come in,” a voice calls, and yoongi pushes the door open, steps through the doorway. jungkook, sitting on his bed, lowers his phone, looks up at yoongi. there are sheets of paper laid out all over the bed, notebooks spread open.

“sorry,” yoongi says, hovering, “you’re in the middle of something -”

“no, it’s okay,” jungkook says, sliding off the bed, wiping his hands on his jeans - stains on his fingers, yoongi notes, lead? “it’s nothing urgent.”

“i’m about to leave, so.” yoongi holds out a plastic bag, inside which are jungkook’s clothes. “thanks for… letting me borrow them. i washed them - my fabric softener doesn’t smell as good as yours, though."

note to self: learn how to shut the fuck up sometime soon. yoongi is beginning to notice he does this thing a lot where he opens his mouth at inconvenient times and some shit comes out. he needs to fire the gremlin in charge of his brain as soon as possible.

jungkook takes the clothes with a small smile and a thanks, and maybe it got a little less awkward as the hours passed, but now yoongi feels his insides churning again. it’s probably to do with the fact that they are alone in jungkook’s room. jungkook goes to set the bag on his desk, and yoongi - should probably leave, but doesn’t. it’s the second time he’s in jungkook's room, but he didn’t really have much time to pay attention that first time. he now notices: empty cardboard boxes inside one another in the corner, an iron man alarm clock, at least five succulents lined up on the windowsill. did taehyung say he works at a flower shop? was that a dream?

what he finds himself fixating on, though, are the papers and notebooks on the bed. they’re sketches, he realizes, good, at that, on first glance and from this angle at least. exteriors of buildings yoongi maybe knows; portraits half-hidden under other pictures.

“i thought you were a dancer,” he says before he can think about about it and come to the conclusion that it’s not something he should say because now they are both thinking about the club and that night. he bites on his tongue, forces himself to meet jungkook’s eyes.

“dance is my minor,” jungkook says, bites his bottom lip. his skin looks warm and flushed. “i major in art.”

“oh,” yoongi only says, suddenly acutely aware that he still doesn’t know jungkook but knows how his body feels against yoongi’s and how he kisses, and decides he needs to leave immediately. “i should get going.”

“right,” jungkook says, wrapping his arms around himself. “goodnight, then?”

“goodnight,” yoongi says, flashing him a quick smile before hightailing it out of there. sadly, it’s not that different from how he fled the scene the morning after.

“yoongi-hyung,” jungkook calls after him when he’s halfway across the living room. yoongi turns. jungkook’s leaning against the doorframe, the light spilling from behind him making him look like something mere mortals are not supposed to look directly at or they’ll get their eyes burned out of their heads. “it was really nice to meet you? um. properly.”

“you too,” yoongi agrees, and almost trips over a shoe in the hallway. note to self: also learn how to stop running away.

taehyung’s hawk eyes follow him from the kitchen.

“he practices dance moves while making food in the kitchen,” he sing-songs, and yoongi considers not throwing a shoe at him, he really does, for like two seconds. then he throws a shoe at him, and taehyung makes a high-pitched noise, ducks under the kitchen table. the shoe knocks a bottle of dishwashing liquid into the sink.

“that’s gucci, you bitch,” taehyung calls, but yoongi’s already out of the door.

 

/

 

unknown [4:42]
hi, this is jungkook!
i hope this isn't too weird, but are you busy right now?

yoongi stares at the messages for about three minutes straight before remembering jungkook can fucking see that he’s read them.

yoongi [4:45]
hey
just working on a project for a class
why?

unknown [4:46]
uh well i'm actually in the neighborhood and i thought i’d ask if i could stop by
again, if it's not too weird
but if you're busy i don't want to bother you!

well. it’s a little bit weird. yoongi stands with a pot of coffee in his hand and wonders how jungkook knows where he lives or how he got his number. well, the answer to both of those is most likely jimin and taehyung.

it’s been almost a week since the movie night and since they last saw each other - five days to be exact. yoongi thinks about telling him it’s a bad time and he’s busy - it’s not a lie, technically, since he really is working on the project. the idea of being alone with jungkook is… mildly horrifying. but: he’d have to fucking get over this eventually, right?

yoongi [4:48]
you're not bothering me
i could use a break
text me when youre here, i’ll buzz you in

in less than ten minutes, there’s a knock on his door. yoongi sets his coffee mug on some handwritten, coffee ring-stained notes next to his laptop, and goes to open the door, his heart beating a little bit weird, a little bit skittish.

“hey,” he says to jungkook and… a cactus, about the size of yoongi’s hand, sitting in a red pot. “nice cactus?”

“it’s for you,” jungkook says, holds the plant out to yoongi. “um. if you want it?”

yoongi takes the bizarre and unexpected gift, and invites jungkook in.

“it’s from my work,” jungkook explains, zipping down his jacket. “i was going to bring it home, but i’ve already got a bunch of plants there, so i asked jimin and taehyung if you’d potentially like a cactus?”

“ah, tae said you work at a flower shop,” yoongi says, and the fact that he didn’t dream that up at least feels like a small victory. he blinks down at the cactus in his hands. “it looks, um…”

“like a dick, yeah,” jungkook says. yoongi looks up at him, and he shrugs. “no one was going to buy it, because the shop’s full of prettier, non-phallic ones, so i saved it from a lonely death.”

“i was going to say it looks pretty.”

“oh.” they look at each other for a moment. jungkook starts laughing first, the corners of his mouth twitching before giving way to a grin, his eyes crinkling at the corners, his shoulders shaking, and yoongi joins in just a moment later, just holding the dick cactus and laughing.

“i can’t believe you brought me a dick-shaped cactus,” he muses, moving things around on the coffee table to make room for the plant.

“well,” jungkook says, “i felt like i should do something unexpected, you know?”

yoongi snorts. “good call.”

jungkook really… keeps taking him by surprise. yoongi hasn’t decided if that’s a good or a bad thing yet. good for making things less awkward, yes. for yoongi’s feelings of attraction and other unneeded shit, not so much.

they drink coffee out of mismatched mugs on the couch and jungkook tells him how to take care of cacti. yoongi learns that he works at the flower shop because taking care of plants soothes him. he also learns that when jungkook gets into a topic, he talks a lot and so fast he sometimes stumbles over his words, and yoongi finds his heart swelling in a way that doesn’t remind him of the club, but instead reminds him of the small hours of that night, after they’d showered and were just sitting in front of the gecko tank, talking.

jungkook asks about him, about his major (music production), if he works (not at the moment), favorite foods (korean barbeque), favorite music (he can appreciate every kind of music but has a special place in his heart for hip hop). jungkook’s trying to get to know him, yoongi realizes hazily somewhere in the middle of telling him about the last gig he went to (an underground rapper called sin-t); actually know him.

he shouldn’t be the only one who’s making an effort to be friends. yoongi can be friends.

jungkook eyes the notes and the laptop still opened on an unfinished track curiously.

“this is the project you’re working on?”

yoongi scrunches up his face.

“the project that’s been kicking my ass for three weeks straight, yeah. i’ve been armwrestling with this track for a while, and i just can’t get it to sound right.”

“i’d love to hear it?” jungkook glances up at him, wide-eyed, and backtracks, “i mean, you don’t have to show me, if you’re not comfortable, i just. really love music, and you being in music production is super cool to me.”

“i, um…” yoongi, sort of caught off guard and flustered, is not sure what to say. jungkook reads into his hesitance.

“it’s okay,” he says before yoongi can really say anything with substance, “i shouldn’t have, um, pried.”

“it’s fine.” yoongi scratches at his neck. “it’s just… very unfinished.”

jungkook gives a small smile.

“i hope you find what it’s missing,” he says, sets his mug on the table, and gets up. “i should go. i’ll see you around?”

“sure,” yoongi nods, and walks him to the door, watches him pull on the timberlands and the bomber jacket.

“thank you for the coffee,” jungkook turns to say.

“thank you for the penis plant,” yoongi says, and can actually physically feel jungkook’s grin getting engraved into the backs of his eyelids. he closes the door, leans his back against it for a moment, and just thinks: huh.

 

/

 

yoongi is not going to google search what to do when a guy you almost banged brings you a penis-shaped plant - but he does text namjoon.

yoongi [7:23]
[image attached]

namjoon [7:25]
since when are you into gardening

yoongi [7:25]
jungkook gave it to me

namjoon [7:26]
it looks uh

yoongi [7:26]
like a dick yeah
he said no one wanted to buy it bc it looks like a dick so he saved it from the shop
like he stopped by just to give me this dick plant
namjoon what does this mean

namjoon [7:27]
hmm
idk hyung he saw a cactus that looked like a dick and thought of you

yoongi [7:28]
oh shut up

namjoon [7:28]
jin told me to tell you it means he either still wants to sleep with you or he thinks youre a dick

yoongi [7:29]
tell jin it was me who drank his expensive herbal tea by accident and it tasted like shit and id do it again

 

/

 

“i mean, it’s ironic,” yoongi says, handing hoseok a can of coke and nudging at his foot with his own until he makes room on the couch. “isn’t it? i almost sleep with him, and then he brings me a dick-shaped plant.”

“uh-huh,” hoseok says with mild disinterest, browsing through netflix on the tv, searching for the crime series they’ve been marathoning the past weekends. “listen, when are you gonna shut up about the damn plant? if you think there might be a hidden meaning, just ask him.”

yoongi scoffs.

“i’m not going to phone him up and be like, ‘hey, so what did you mean by that dick cactus you gave me?’ i know he didn’t mean anything by it. i’m just saying it’s ironic.”

“yeah, and i agree with you. i still think you should talk to him.”

“why?”

“because,” hoseok sighs exasperatedly, “he’s all you talk about. you’ve clearly got some unresolved thing going on here. you give each other dick cacti and all you talk about is each other. i was at jimin, tae and kook’s earlier this week and kook kept asking me about you, jesus fucking christ, guys, you know you could just talk directly to each other instead of using other people like it’s a game of telephone?” yoongi opens his mouth, but hoseok holds his palm at him. “and no, i’m not going to tell you what he asked me, because we’re all twenty-something adults here and you can ask him yourself. are we going to watch this cop drama or not?”

yoongi stares at him. “yes.”

“good,” hoseok scoffs, turning back to the tv, “‘cause i wanna know what happens to that cop who got addicted to heroin.”

“he probably does some heroin,” yoongi says distractedly, half-focusing on the episode as his gaze keeps falling on the cactus on the table.

“probably,” hoseok says.

 

/

 

yoongi [2:16]
[image attached]
this guy started blooming

jungkook [3:48]
congratulations you didnt kill a cactus

yoongi [3:49]
thanks! this is a milestone for me
do you think i should get into botany

jungkook [3:50]
i mean sure
i can see you definitely have potential

yoongi [3:50]
thats what i thought

jungkook [3:51]
you could come visit the flower shop first
see if its your thing
im working this evening

yoongi [3:52]
yeah i might have some time

“you might have some time? are you kidding me? as if you’re doing anything tonight.”

yoongi glares at namjoon, who sets his coffee down and flops into the seat across from him.

“don’t read my texts,” he complains, but it doesn’t have any real bite. he sets his phone face-down next to his half-empty americano. namjoon snorts.

“you asked me to distract you from your project, but it seems to me like you’re plenty distracted already,” he muses. “so you’re doing it, after all?”

“doing what?”

“going for it? having a thing? it’s a date, right?” namjoon gestures at his phone with his spoon. “the flower shop?”

yoongi frowns.

“it’s not a date. why would it - it’s a friend thing. we’re trying to be friends.” he stares at the black depths of the coffee clasped between his hands. “he’s trying to be friends with me. i should try, too.”

namjoon hums.

“you still wanna fuck him?”

yoongi, in the process of gulping down some coffee, almost chokes. he kicks namjoon in the shin under the table.

“what the hell?”

“it’s a valid question.” namjoon shrugs. “you still like him?”

yoongi works his jaw, and stares at namjoon until namjoon quirks his eyebrow.

“i like him,” yoongi says, and it comes out a bit tight and robotic. “i like him in a different way. as in, he’s nice. funny. seems like a good friend. he brought me a plant, for fuck’s sake.”

“you do still want to fuck him,” namjoon observes, and yoongi groans, drops his face into his hands.

“look. it’s not like he’s suddenly not hot anymore. he’s hot, okay? but that… isn’t going to happen anymore. now he’s… jimin and tae’s roommate. he’s everyone’s friend and i’m not thinking about him like that anymore. i’m not.” namjoon doesn’t look convinced. yoongi throws a crumpled napkin in his general direction. it misses him by approximately twenty meters. “i don’t hook up with my friends, no matter how hot they are.”

“you hooked up with hobi,” namjoon points out. yoongi rolls his eyes.

“barely. that was a million years ago, and… hoseok’s hoseok. it wasn’t awkward, it was just funny and kind of sad that it even happened.”

namjoon snorts.

“you’re right, though,” he says, “he is nice. i saw him on campus the other day. i think he’d just finished dance practice? i was waiting for tae to get out of acting class and he kept me company. we talked about art for like an hour.”

“yeah, i know he’s an art major,” yoongi says distractedly, and thumbs at the edge of his cup.

they’ve texted a bit since jungkook unexpectedly dropped the cactus off at his place. or maybe more than a bit. first about the cactus. yoongi asking, how often do i water it, again? even though he may or may not remember jungkook’s instructions perfectly. then about other things. their friends. music. art. jungkook complained to him about his mean art history professor the other day. it felt really friend-like. it’s still sort of weird, but yoongi’s pretty sure it’s just him who’s making it weird in his head. jungkook seems to be fine, which probably means he’s forgotten all about it already. yoongi should be thinking that’s great but instead it’s giving him complicated mixed feelings.

yoongi rubs at his temples.

“i’m pretty sure i just need to get laid. bang someone who isn’t him. get it out of my system.”

“sure, that’ll solve all your problems.”

yoongi raises his head.

“are you aware you’ve become like, ten times more sarcastic since you started dating seokjin?”

“and he’s started quoting kafka,” namjoon says, “we’re a good influence on each other like that.”

 

/

 

when yoongi sets foot into the flower shop that evening, he immediately feels sort of out of place in his leather jacket and ripped jeans, even though flower shops don’t have a dress code the last he checked. it’s just that the place is so… pretty. delicate, somehow, with soft, earthy colors. it’s a small place, at least from the outside; the inside of it is filled with more plants than yoongi would’ve thought possible, lining the walls and the narrow pathways, hanging from the ceiling. it’s a tidal wave of floral scents, a bit overwhelming but not unpleasant.

“hello, can i help you find something?”

yoongi cranes his neck in an attempt to find the source of the voice, until his gaze lands on a short woman, maybe close to her sixties, behind a row of irises.

“i’m actually looking for, um, jungkook?” yoongi scratches behind his ear.

“ah, the prettiest flower of them all,” the woman says with a charming smile, “don’t you agree?”

“he. huh? uh. sure. yes.” get a grip, min.

the woman points to the back of the room.

“you’ll find him in the other room, through there.”

“thank you,” yoongi mumbles, and swiftly navigates across the room, sort of disappointed but not surprised at himself. he goes through the doorway, and is met with more plants, all green houseplants of some sort. he bites his lip, travels further in. finally sees jungkook; sees his back, black shirt, the strings of the shop-green apron tied around his waist, cascading down his lower back, and - yoongi stops checking him the fuck out. seriously. get a fucking grip. jungkook, working, hasn’t noticed him, and yoongi walks closer, realizes he’s… singing.

so quietly yoongi only hears him because it’s otherwise silent. but he’s singing, and it sounds fucking nice. his voice is soft, velvety, a unique, airy quality to it that strikes something inside yoongi because he hasn’t quite heard anything like it before - and he’s heard lots of voices during his years as a music production major slash music enthusiast. makes him stop, and just listen, for a while, his heart beating out an irregular, fast-paced rhythm.

taehyung said he sings to his plants sometimes. taehyung warned him. oh, hell.

yoongi becomes aware of just how fucking creepy it is to just stand here behind some houseplants and watch him, so he closes the remaining distance, says,

“hey.”

“oh.” jungkook turns to him, wide-eyed, a blue watering can in his hand. smiles, looks genuinely happy. yoongi picks up a seedling for no fucking reason. “i didn’t hear you coming, sorry. i’m glad you, ah, had time.”

“sure.” yoongi nods. he rolls the pot in his hands. “you sing to the plants?”

“you heard.” jungkook gives a soft laugh and looks down at the row of seedlings. “of course you did. um, sometimes? you know how they say plants grow faster if you talk to them? well. i like to sing to them.”

“you have a nice voice,” yoongi says out of all the fucking things he could’ve said. jungkook looks up at him, something unreadable in his eyes, and yoongi drops his eyes to the plant in his hands. “do you take vocal classes, too?”

“i do,” jungkook says, “i take lots of classes. i try to do a million things at once. it’s always been a problem.”

“if you can balance everything out, i don’t see why you should limit yourself. you have interest and passion for lots of things. that’s great.”

when yoongi looks up, jungkook is looking at him, worrying his bottom lip.

“are you thinking of growing mint?” he asks. yoongi blinks.

“what?”

jungkook smiles, lip still caught between his teeth. “mint. the plant you’re holding.”

“oh. sure. why not. i like mint.” he sets the pot down, anyway. “i’m barely keeping the dick cactus alive, you know.”

jungkook laughs, short and high. it makes the corner of yoongi’s mouth quirk.

“you’re doing fine,” jungkook murmurs. “it looked totally healthy in the picture. have you named it, yet?”

“it needs a name?”

“god, obviously.”

“it does look like a dick,” yoongi shrugs. “think i should name it tae?”

“yeah, not bad.” jungkook tilts his head, bites back a smile. he seems to consider for a moment, fingers tapping against the watering can. “listen, i’m… getting off in about fifteen minutes, if you want to go… grab a coffee or something, or just go home together? i mean. not home together. just. go the same way. walk, in the same direction, and then go to our separate apartments.”

it’s almost funny; it would be funny if jungkook wasn’t currently flushed red and if yoongi’s face wasn’t burning.

“yeah,” he says quickly, “yeah, that - sounds good. i’ll let you finish your shift, and i’ll be outside.”

yoongi nods a goodbye to the owner on his way out. he takes in a lungful of fresh night air which isn’t all that fresh considering he’s located fairly deep in the city. that wasn’t so bad. that wasn’t… that was bad. it was a downhill from the moment yoongi stepped into the room and found himself checking out jungkook’s backside.

the thing is that… they are becoming friends. they are talking and hanging out and getting to know each other and yoongi really likes him. taehyung wasn’t exaggerating when he was hyping him up. but as their friendship is developing, the other feelings just aren’t going away. they aren’t getting replaced by strictly platonic feelings. instead they are just growing, along with everything else, like jungkook planted a seed inside of him the night they met. the plant he gave yoongi seems even more ironic now.

yoongi leans his back against the wall of the flower shop and watches with mild disinterest as a dog pisses on a lamppost across the street. wonders if it was ever just physical. if he was already falling into something deeper at the club.

the bells on the door tinkle as jungkook comes out, brushing the hair off his forehead. the apron replaced by a light hooded jacket. he smiles when he sees yoongi, and yoongi thinks this is probably the best he’s ever looked. a bit sweaty, a bit tired, but loose, relaxed, happy. a smudge of dirt on his cheek. he looks so entirely human, in a way that contrasts with all those times yoongi has thought he looks ethereal. and he’s still just as beautiful. that’s just the thing. yoongi smiles back… he thinks. wets his dry lips, says,

“coffee?”

 

/

 

they get coffee from the first café they come across. yoongi points out the dirt on his cheek. almost wipes it off for him, but jungkook hurries up and into the bathroom before he can do something so stupid.

“how’s your track coming along?” jungkook inquires in between bites of his carrot cake.

“i organized my sock drawer yesterday,” yoongi says dryly, “so there’s your answer.”

“i wish i could help,” jungkook muses, “what are you stuck on, exactly?”

“something’s missing,” yoongi tells him, “i’ve altered it, changed the parts around, tried different samples, but every version sounds incomplete. if i don’t figure it out by the deadline, i’ll just have to submit the one i hate the least. i hate doing that. submitting work i’m not one hundred percent happy with.”

jungkook hums. “i’m a perfectionist, too. i used to beat myself up pretty badly when things didn’t go as planned. i’m trying to learn out of it. learn that i can’t be perfect at everything every time and that the point is to just try, do your best, then try again.”

yoongi studies him for a moment, warming his fingertips against the coffee cup.

“you're a freshman, right? how do you already sound so wise in your freshman year. i was a mess.”

“that’s implying you’re not a mess anymore,” jungkook muses, and yoongi snorts so loudly and suddenly that he almost spits coffee everywhere.

“yeah, i can see why everyone likes you,” he half-jokes, and thinks, staring at jungkook’s wide, bunny-toothed grin, that he’s really saying something slightly different.

 

/

 

yoongi [1:13]
remembre when we hooked up like 3 yers ago

hobi [1:14]
is this a booty call

yoongi [1:14]
no u absolute duck
do u remeber

hobi [1:15]
tf yoongi are u drunk
dont u have class tomorrow
yes i remember it was the saddest handjob of my life and actually u couldnt pay me to reenact it so if this is a booty call u can just give up right now
why are u trying to pay me for sex yoongi

yoongi [1:17]
shit the fuck up im not
i change my mind this isnt abt anything goodnight hoseoj

hobi [1:18]
this is abt jungkook isnt it

yoongi [1:18]
no
whos jungkook

hobi [1:19]
listen i wish i could help but u shouldnt compare these situations bc theyre so different
1. u didnt even hook up w him in the end
2. u didnt have feelings for me

yoongi [1:22]
i dont have feelig ns

hobi [1:23]
sure, u didnt when u almost banged bc u didnt know each other then
but now?
i think it was never gonna be just a hookup for u guys
if he wasnt jimin and taes roommate ud be dating now
pls drink some water and get some rest hyung



/

 

the next afternoon, jungkook appears at his door with a sprout. whether it’s the same one yoongi was fiddling with at the flower shop, he can’t tell because it’s a fucking sprout.

“mint,” jungkook says with a lopsided smile, and offers the potted plant to him. “since you’re doing so well with the cactus, you might like a little bit more challenge. and it needs a friend, anyway.”

sing for the plants, is what yoongi means to ask as jungkook finds a spot for the mint on the kitchen table. somehow, it comes out as,

“sing for me.”

jungkook’s fingers on the pot go still. he turns to look at yoongi, who’s holding his breath. his heart hammering against his ribcage.

“i mean. the track,” he says, “i’d like to try… adding your voice. if you’re fine with it.”

jungkook blinks, opens and closes his mouth.

“i… you want my voice? you’ve barely heard me singing -”

“your voice has that dream-like feeling to it i’m looking for,” yoongi says. his face feels hot, but he forces himself to look jungkook in the eye and articulate clearly, calmly. “it wouldn’t be singing any real lyrics - a couple of words at most - and just harmonizing. but if you’re not comfortable doing it - i mean, i know this is sudden -”

“i can do it,” jungkook says, and almost looks like he’s surprised himself.

“you can?” jungkook nods, and yoongi finally releases a breath. “thank you. thanks, this - this might save me, you know.”

jungkook lets out a laugh, some of the tension in his shoulders seemingly easing.

“that’s a bit dramatic. i’m just - happy if i can help.”

“i’ll show you the track.”

they crowd yoongi’s couch, yoongi plays him all the versions of the track. jungkook listens intently, eyes closed, fingertips pressing on the headphones over his ears. yoongi watches him with his heart thudding frantically. he realizes how much he wants jungkook to like the song. they’ve known each other for about a month, it’s mostly been an awkward encounter after the other, but still jungkook’s approval means a lot to him.

jungkook plays all of them twice, and it’s all silent in the apartment, just the occasional patter of feet in the corridor and the barely audible music from the headphones. finally he lowers them around his neck, turns to yoongi, a smile playing on his lips. something playing on his face, that yoongi can’t describe.

“you make beautiful music,” jungkook says, “it’s sort of not what i was expecting from you? style-wise. not that i really know what i was expecting - but it’s still very… you.”

“thank you,” yoongi hears himself say. jungkook turns back to the laptop, and reaches to glide his finger on the touchpad.

“i like all of them, but i like the second one the best. okay if i try some harmonies to it?”

they must spend hours on it - the shadows grow longer and suddenly the scenery from the window is void of sunlight. yoongi writes up some words, and jungkook sings, and it’s almost unbelievable how much the track improves simply by adding jungkook’s voice to it.

“this will work,” yoongi says, raking a hand through his hair, “this will sound good. oh, my god. you’re like an angel.”

jungkook laughs - giggles, really, with the back of his hand covering his mouth, pink cheeks, and yoongi’s heart rate would probably have something to say about that if he wasn’t so overwhelmingly relieved right now.

“i kinda have to hurry with this,” yoongi says, “are you free on friday? i could book the studio and we could record the vocals.”

“yeah - yeah, sure.”

“thank you so much, honestly.” yoongi sinks back on the couch, angles his upper body to jungkook. “how can i repay you for this?”

“you don’t have to repay me,” jungkook starts to say, but yoongi holds an index finger a couple of inches from his face.

“let me at least buy you dinner.”

jungkook parts his lips. for a moment yoongi thinks he’s going to say no; but then he looks away, either at the laptop or the yellow coffee mug or the cactus, and smiles.

“i like lamb skewers,” he says, and yoongi curls his fingers against his thighs, says,

“lamb skewers it is.”

 

/

 

friday comes, and with it an itch that could be excitement or nervousness or both. the studio at the music department is like a second home. yoongi gets everything ready, then rolls around the room in the swivel chair, then checks out taehyung’s latest lizard updates on social media - he’s making them tiny ninja turtles costumes for halloween; yoongi likes the picture on instagram because it’s kind of cute and taehyung is doing a really good job with the costumes - then texts namjoon.

yoongi [3:52]
hey

namjoon [3:53]
whats wrong
are you at the studio?
youre recording with kook today right?
did sth happen?
need me to call the ambulance?

yoongi [3:54]
all i did was say hey

namjoon [3:55]
the last time you texted me a plain “hey” you had a fork stuck to your thigh and were bleeding to death on your kitchen floor

yoongi [3:55]
ok fair

namjoon [3:56]
is your life/someone elses life in immediate danger?

yoongi [3:56]
no
maybe
im nervous

namjoon [3:57]
oh for fucks sake yoongi
i thought you were dying but youre just nervous bc your crush is about to sing for you

yoongi [3:58]
hes not my crush

namjoon [3:58]
sorry i meant
*the guy you were initially attracted to sexually but are now discovering its not just physical

yoongi [3:59]
you kno what fuck you
blocked forever

namjoon [3:59]
jin says suck his dick

the door opens, and yoongi comes very close to reflexively slam dunking his phone to the floor.

“hey,” jungkook says, “i wasn’t sure if i should knock, but, um. i’m here.”

“yeah, no, come in. i’ve got everything set up, so we can start as soon as you’re ready.”

jungkook closes the door behind him; yoongi attempts to take him in quickly and subtly and ends up staring. he’s got a duffel bag slung over a shoulder; he’s in a casual getup, sweats, a black print tee, unzipped hoodie and a black beanie. he looks comfy, effortlessly good.

“sorry, i just finished dance practice,” jungkook grimaces, crosses the floor to set his bag on the bench by the wall, “i look sorta terrible.”

“yeah, terrible,” yoongi mumbles, turning back to the computer, “can’t even look at you.”

when he glances to his right, jungkook has gravitated close, hand propped against the desk and peeking at the screen over yoongi’s shoulder, a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. yoongi feels sort of faint. he can smell his bodywash or deodorant, whichever, and hazily tries to put his finger on the scent. mango, maybe. maybe satsuma.

“you can step into the booth if you’re ready,” he says.

fuck namjoon, yoongi thinks as jungkook secures the headphones over his ears on the other side of the glass, fuck seokjin and hoseok, too. he probably needs better friends, when he thinks about it.

“hyung?” comes jungkook’s voice in yoongi’s headphones. yoongi clicks his mic on.

“yeah?”

“i’m kind of nervous, to be honest,” jungkook says with a breathy laugh that fills yoongi’s ears completely, fills him, and it feels like he’s so close. the last time was when - don’t fucking think about that, jesus. “i mean, you’re putting your trust in me, and i want to do good -”

“you will. jungkook.” they lock eyes. “don’t be nervous. i’m not pressuring you - but i know you’re going to do good, because guess what? you’re good. you’re better than good and i owe you at least twenty skewers for this.”

jungkook grins, and it makes 1. yoongi smile back and 2. his heart beat faster.

“make that twenty-five.”

yoongi shakes his head. “you want to negotiate about this now? also, you can eat twenty-five skewers in one sitting?”

“i’m a man of many talents,” jungkook says.

then he sings, and yoongi has to take one pad off his ear because it’s so much, sort of. it’s his own fault, partly, for writing the song like that. jungkook sings with a lot of emotion in his voice, and yoongi clenches his jaw as he listens, eyes fixed somewhere on the control table.

they do five takes, mainly because jungkook is not entirely satisfied - they had the conversation about perfectionism, and yoongi thinks this is an instance where jungkook is slipping back to his old habits despite trying to learn out of it.

“- yoongi?”

“that was good,” yoongi says, slips both pads over his ears again, “that was perfect. that was - that’s it. that’s the song.”

his sincerity seems to convince jungkook, who lets out a breath - again, it feels like he’s so close, the hairs on yoongi’s nape standing up - and smiles, a pretty pink on his cheeks.

“i’m going to take you up on that dinner later tonight.”

good god, the way yoongi’s chest feels like there’s a fire inside. smoke filling up his lungs, snaking up his throat and slipping past his lips.

he’s glad there’s a glass separating them. he would kiss jungkook, were they in the same room.

 

/

 

in the end, yoongi panics and invites namjoon and seokjin out for the skewers with them. he knows they talked about it like it would be just the two of them, though technically it was never specified - but it shouldn’t matter, right? they are friends, after all, the more the merrier or what the fuck ever, and yoongi’s still paying for jungkook’s food. and it really would seem like it doesn’t matter - jungkook seems fine with it, engulfed in conversation about photography with namjoon - were it not for the way seokjin’s been pointedly staring at him over the tabletop for a good five minutes now.

“yoongi and i are going to the bathroom,” he announces suddenly. namjoon and jungkook stop talking. yoongi fixes him with an intense glare.

“no we’re not,” he says.

“yes we are,” seokjin says and could be subtler in his kicking yoongi in the shin because he does it a little too hard and yoongi nearly doubles over.

“fine, we are,” he says through gritted teeth.

“we’re big on pissing together in this friend group,” he hears namjoon say to jungkook as he grudgingly clambers up and after seokjin.

“i think i’ll pass,” jungkook replies.

“what’d you kick me so hard for,” yoongi complains once they are in the bathroom, leaning against the weird orange-y wall and rubbing his denim-covered shin. “this is going to bruise.”

“want to tell me what we’re doing here?” seokjin asks, crossing his arms and standing in front of him. to random people seeing this, it probably looks like he’s getting jumped by a tall, broad guy in a bathroom.

“you dragged me in here.”

“not the bathroom,” seokjin rolls his eyes, “why are we invading your date?”

“it’s not a date.” someone comes out of one of the cubicles, and yoongi adopts his best wide-eyed, innocent look. “help, i’m being threatened.”

“oh, fuck off, yoongi,” seokjin groans, and relaxes his posture. he turns to the guy who’s sort of hovering and eyeing them uncertainly. “we’re friends. no need to call the police.”

“right,” the guy mumbles.

“aren’t you going to wash your hands?” seokjin asks, and the guy freezes with his hand on the doorknob.

“gross, dude, you’re in a restaurant. you should wash your hands,” yoongi says. the guy gives them sort of a bewildered look and quickly slinks out of the door.

“that was just disgusting,” seokjin says, turning back to yoongi.

“it was,” yoongi agrees.

“you were going to come with just jungkook, but panicked at the last minute and invited us, didn’t you?” seokjin doesn’t really give him a chance to answer. “the hell are you doing, yoongi?”

“i don’t know,” yoongi says, pained. “it’s - being alone with him - i thought i could do it, but it’s… weird. i feel weird.”

“you feel weird,” seokjin repeats, and looks thoroughly unimpressed. “you sound like you’ve never had a crush before and are figuring out the human emotion called love.”

yoongi groans quietly.

“this is why i talk to namjoon about these things, and not you. you’re mean.”

“i’m not mean. i’m just calling you out on your bullshit. talk to him. tell him how you feel before you do something stupid like try to fuck the feelings away.”

“you’re now policing who i can fuck?” yoongi snaps a bit harshly. “after i’ve told him how i feel and he’s turned me down, am i then good to fuck whoever i want?”

“come on, yoongi -” seokjin starts, eyebrows knitting together, and yoongi knows, distantly, that it’s not what he was saying at all, but he’s not governed by logic, right now. he pushes past seokjin before he can finish his sentence, shoves the door open. he strides back to their table while taking deep breaths and trying to calm the irrational anger boiling inside him. he’s not angry at seokjin, who just happened to be standing in the way, and attracted yoongi’s burst of anger like tall objects do to lightning. at the core, he’s angry at himself and no one else.

he sees jungkook, leaning forward on his seat to talk to namjoon, his eyes big and animated, and decides he can’t do this. maybe some other day. right now, he can’t do this.

“something came up,” he says once he’s standing by the table. he collects his jacket from the seat, mechanically digs his wallet out of the pocket. “sorry. i have to go. we can have a retake another time.”

he takes out a bunch of bills and sets them on the table. he can feel both of them staring at him.

“is everything okay?” jungkook asks hesitantly. yoongi looks up, meets his eyes. he looks genuinely worried and confused. yoongi’s heart and head hurt.

“yeah, it’s fine. i just remembered a deadline.” he produces a tight smile, and shrugs his jacket on. namjoon is frowning at him; he saw through yoongi immediately, knows he doesn’t have a deadline, but is not calling him out.

“sorry,” he says quietly, directed at jungkook, “thank you again, for the vocals. eat as much as you want. i’ll catch up with you later.”

note to self (urgent): FUCKING LEARN HOW TO STOP RUNNING AWAY.

 

/

 

yoongi makes a bad decision. he makes those from time to time. keeps things interesting. it would get awfully boring, having his life together like an actual functional, emotionally stable human being.

this particular decision is exceptionally bad, even for him, and he is acutely aware of this the entire time he’s carrying through with it.

“you seem angry,” the guy huffs into his ear, his hands on yoongi’s waist too careful and too tight and just wrong in ways yoongi can’t pinpoint, “i like that.”

yoongi, with his eyes squeezed shut, eyebrows drawn together, decides he’d rather not hear him talk.

“shut up. shut up and just fuck me.”

he feels like shit afterwards. he’s not sure how he was expecting to feel, but there’s none of the sense of satisfaction that usually follows a night of unwinding through meaningless sex. he gets home in the early morning, takes an hour long shower, eats half a piece of toast, and slips into a coma as soon as his face makes contact with a pillow.

when he wakes up, it’s already getting dark out. he fumbles for his phone, disoriented and not knowing what day or year it is, only to find his phone is dead. gradually, he registers the sound that probably pulled him from his slumber in the first place: someone’s knocking on his door, the sharp sound of knuckles on wood echoing through the apartment not unlike gunshots.

yoongi drags himself up, his head spinning a little bit, shuffles barefoot to the door. doesn’t think to check the peephole first because he’s not awake enough.

“oh,” jungkook says, his fist hovering in the air. yoongi blinks at him, and when his brain finally catches up, he nearly shuts the door in his face.

he - yoongi - looks bad, like he woke up two seconds ago because he did, his hair an ungodly mess on his head, stretched out t-shirt he wears to bed and pajama bottoms he’s had since he was sixteen, whereas jungkook looks good like he always does, and that’s a bit much for yoongi to handle right now.

“sorry, did i - wake you? i just came by unannounced, someone let me in, a lady with a poodle -”

“it’s okay.” his voice sounds rough. he steps aside, holds the door open. “come in.”

jungkook steps past the threshold.

“i just… wanted to check in on you?” yoongi looks at him blankly, sort of still in the middle of processing that jungkook’s here, and jungkook licks his lips, shifts his weight from one foot to the other. “you haven’t answered your phone in almost twenty-four hours. the others said you haven’t replied to them, either. and i mean - that’s fine, you don’t have to be always available, but since you left in a hurry yesterday… i just… worried. i guess.”

he says the last part quietly, his gaze falling a bit short of yoongi’s eyes.

“oh,” yoongi breathes. drags a hand through his tangled hair. “i’m sorry. i didn’t realize it had been that long. i didn’t mean to worry you.”

jungkook stares at the region around yoongi’s neck and shoulder a bit long, and yoongi’s heart drops to his stomach when he realizes. he’s got marks on his neck from last night. bruises, he cursed at them in the shower. he stares at jungkook, unblinking, unbreathing, and it feels like an eternity before jungkook rips his eyes away from his neck and meets his eyes - in reality it’s probably barely five seconds.

yoongi knows how it looks; it looks like he lied in order to go bang someone - which is exactly what happened, isn’t it. it may not have been the reason he left early, but technicalities aside, it’s what happened, and jungkook was worried about him, and yoongi is a complete fucking asshole.

yoongi is not sure what the look on his face means, if it means anything - he’s sure he’s imagining things that aren’t there into his eyes.

“it’s okay. i’m just glad you’re, you know. alive.” jungkook gives a smile. he averts his eyes before yoongi can determine whether the smile reaches them. he’s not taking off his outerwear, yoongi notes. wonders if he was ever going to stay for long, if the marks on his neck changed something. jungkook reaches into his bag; pulls out something tiny and green and alive.

“i brought something for you,” he says softly, and takes the couple of steps between them. yoongi holds out his hands automatically; jungkook places in them a tiny little plant, not much larger than his thumb, a sprout with a bunch of unbloomed yellowish flowers. “it’s a primrose. she’s a special one because she was left really stunted and i didn’t think she was going to make it. i like to think it was because i sang to her that she pulled through.” jungkook looks up at him and smiles. he gets so gentle sometimes. gentle everywhere, his smile, the look in his eyes, his voice, his hands still partly overlapping with yoongi’s.

yoongi realizes: i’m falling in love with him.

“she’s just starting,” jungkook says quietly, “please take good care of her.”

after jungkook leaves, yoongi stands there holding the primrose for a long time. he feels a prickle in his eyes, and wipes the back of his hand over his lids, frustrated. what the fuck is he crying about. it’s his own fucking mess. it’s his own fault jungkook is too fucking good for him.

he sets all three of his plants on the coffee table in a neat row. then he brings his dead cellphone back to life, and feels exponentially worse after seeing the messages and missed calls from jungkook. the others, too, especially namjoon wanting to know what happened at the restaurant. everyone asking if he’s okay, even though it’s not the weirdest thing for him to have quiet days where he doesn’t really contact anyone. he lets them know there’s no need to pronounce him dead in the group chat.

there’s also a bunch of messages from seokjin.

seokjin [1:08]
yoongi
about what happened at the restaurant
that wasnt what i was saying but im sorry if it came out that way, and i may have been a little too harsh

seokjin [1:10]
i was honestly just trying to help because youre my friend and i love you
sorry i meddled

seokjin [3:02]
are you alive?
please let someone know

yoongi [6:18]
i know
sorry i drank your expensive herbal tea that time

seokjin [6:19]
its okay
it tasted so bad

yoongi [6:20]
it really did

seokjin [6:20]
can i come over?
i can bring peanut butter brownies

yoongi [6:21]
did you make them yourself

seokjin [6:21]
of course
im not a fraud

yoongi [6:22]
then yes you may

seokjin comes over with a massive tupperware box full of brownies. yoongi, wrapped in a huge grey cardigan that he’s pretty sure belongs to one of his friends, makes grabby hands for the box.

“i take back everything i’ve ever said about wanting to trade you for that nice barista at that café on campus.”

seokjin holds it out of his reach.

“you’ve said that?”

“it was namjoon. namjoon said that. i’ve never said anything bad about you in my life. i think you’re an integral and indispensable part of this friend group.”

“that’s what i thought,” seokjin snorts.

he also brought ice cream to eat with the brownies and yoongi’s never loved a man more in his entire life. they sit on the couch and put on a romcom neither of them really concentrates on.

“your garden is growing,” seokjin notes, pointing his spoon at the plants on the table. yoongi draws his knees to his chest.

“jungkook brought me the primrose today,” he murmurs, and looks at the tiny plant with some kind of misplaced affection. seokjin is quiet for a moment.

“he was really worried,” he says then, “after you left the restaurant. he thought he did something wrong.” yoongi whips his head around. seokjin’s already looking at him like he knows exactly what he’s thinking. “i told him it wasn’t because of him. that you were stressed out because of other things.”

“i slept with someone,” yoongi says, because seokjin already knows. and yoongi knows he won’t judge, he does know despite snapping at him in the restaurant bathroom.

“did it make you feel better?” seokjin inquires.

“no.” yoongi leans his cheek on top of his knee and picks at the worn hem of the cardigan. “i’m falling in love with him and it feels terrible.”

“that’s falling in love, for you,” seokjin states, “welcome to the club.”

yoongi breathes out heavily in a semblance of a laugh.

“i’m an asshole,” he says.

“you’re a bit emotionally stunted at times,” seokjin says with a smile, “but you’ve never been an asshole, yoongi.”

“stunted,” yoongi mumbles, “like the primrose.”

“sure,” seokjin says, and definitely has no idea what yoongi is talking about. “you just gotta - wait. is this my cardigan?”

“you can’t have it back,” yoongi says, pulling away from seokjin’s probing hands, “no! i’m emotionally stunted and falling in love!”

“those aren’t valid reasons for sick leave,” seokjin grunts, “i want my damn cardigan.”

 

/

 

think about how this looks to jungkook, seokjin said, he has no idea you have feelings for him. how could he? you’re now sleeping with other people after almost sleeping with him, and that’s what he thinks he was ever going to be to you. talk to him.

right, yoongi agreed, and then didn’t talk to jungkook that day or the next or the day after that, and jungkook didn’t text him either. in his defense, he lost track of time, having his hands and his head full with the track he edited and submitted, and then let play and replay under the excuse that jungkook said his singing helps the plants grow strong. yoongi knows, realistically, that it probably has to do with carbon dioxide or something and so playing a recorded voice doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s beside the point.

after some hesitation, he sends the finished track to jungkook. hesitates over what the accompanying words should be; sounds good, doesn’t it? i’m sort of in love with you. he doesn’t write anything and just sends the file. jungkook doesn’t text him back that day, or the next day.

“you really are tiny, huh,” yoongi mumbles, crouched down at the coffee table, caressing the leaves carefully with his fingertip. he feels terribly attached to the plant and might know exactly why. might be channeling some of the feelings he has for jungkook into taking care of the plant. maybe he’s trying to prove some kind of a point. that stunted plants can bloom, too.

halloween shouldn’t come as a surprise because it’s literally on the same day every fucking year. still, he wakes up on the thirty-first to a reminder from jimin and taehyung to dress up for the halloween party at their place, another yearly occurrence, thinking, where the fuck did the past few days go, and realizing he’s going to have to go to the party and see jungkook there and he still hasn’t talked to him.

there seems to have been some discord when it comes to planning outfits, because jimin, taehyung and hoseok are in a full-blown argument about it when yoongi arrives.

“we were all supposed to be sexy ghostbusters,” hoseok whines, “now i look stupid.”

now you look stupid?” seokjin asks, like he isn’t the least qualified person in the room to make that comment in his… yoongi’s not sure what he’s wearing, but he’s sure it’ll come up at some point.

“no, we changed that when i decided to make ninja turtle costumes for the geckos,” insists taehyung, who’s trying to arrange his geckos neatly into jimin’s hands to get a picture. they are wearing little tortoise shells and carefully made color-coded face masks. it’s fucking adorable. “you know we have to match the geckos.”

“who are you, the woman from kill bill?” yoongi asks taehyung.

“no, you uncultured swine,” taehyung narrows his eyes, “i’m april o’neil, from the ninja turtles. i’m wearing a red wig, not blonde, come on.”

“and you’re… the killer from friday the thirteenth?” yoongi turns to jimin, who has a hockey mask pushed up his forehead, and who’s struggling with his hands full of geckos.

“you know what?” jimin says. “i might as well be. i wanted to be a sexy ghostbuster. no one even knows these characters from the ninja turtles.”

“everyone knows april o’neil and casey jones,” taehyung scoffs, “hobi was supposed to be master splinter.”

“you wanted me to be a stick-wielding sewer rat,” hoseok frowns, “there’s no way i can make that sexy.”

“why does it have to be sexy,” yoongi asks incredulously.

“ask me what i am,” seokjin says loudly to no one in particular.

“what are you, seokjin?” hoseok asks obediently.

“a sandwitch,” seokjin says, then waits with his lips trembling with the effort not to laugh. when no one says anything, he gestures first to his body, which is sandwiched between two giant pieces of toast, then to his witch hat. “sand witch. get it?”

“and you are?” hoseok asks namjoon, who’s standing next to seokjin and looking rather dead on his feet.

“dating a fucking moron,” namjoon says wearily.

“say it,” seokjin prompts, bumping into namjoon with his sandwich body. “say it, namjoon.”

namjoon looks like his soul has left this mortal coil ages ago.

“a cereal killer,” he says tonelessly. seokjin looks excited enough for the both of them, turning to the rest of the room and beaming.

“get -”

“yes, we get it,” they reply in a choir. namjoon’s wearing a carton modelled after a box of honey nut cheerios with holes for his arms and head.

“i have trouble moving through doorways and performing basic tasks,” he says.

“we’ve known that for years, namjoon,” jimin says.

“he didn’t give you a real knife?” yoongi asks, referring to the foam knife in namjoon’s hand.

“he knows i’d stab him to death with it,” namjoon replies calmly.

“i’m pretty sure there’s a joke there to be made about the honey nut,” hoseok muses.

“just kill me,” namjoon says, and tries to bury his face in his hands, but the box is in the way, so he just sort of flails around uselessly. honestly, it’s kind of sad to watch.

“and what are you supposed to be?” taehyung migrates to yoongi, ignoring the way jimin, still holding the geckos, glares after him. he scrutinizes yoongi’s appearance with his arms crossed over the tight yellow overalls that show just enough cleavage to make people slightly uncomfortable. yoongi points up at the cat ears he’s wearing. taehyung doesn’t look impressed. “you put on cat ears, hyung. that’s underwhelming. are you at least also wearing a tail?”

taehyung goes to straight up grab yoongi’s ass. yoongi jumps, then worms out of taehyung’s reach.

“no, i’m not wearing a fucking tail, stop it.”

“that’s okay, there’s one in me and jimin’s bedroom, i can get it for you.”

“why do you have -” yoongi cuts himself off, and stares at taehyung blankly. “never mind. don’t tell me. and don’t get it. if you try to put a tail on me, i’m walking out of here.”

“where’s jungkook?” he picks up someone asking. he had sort of automatically scanned the room for jungkook immediately upon walking in, until the chaos taking place occupied his mind. but jungkook really isn’t here.

“he’s going to be a little late,” taehyung says, “you know, as always. he’s got another halloween thing with his dance class, the traitor.”

“the last time jungkook was late, yoongi ended up nearly banging him,” hoseok quips, “try not to do that this time, yoongi.”

“oh, my god,” yoongi mumbles, and slinks into the kitchen to put some alcohol into his system. he finds a bowl of punch, thinks, perfect, because it tastes like it’s about eighty percent pure vodka.

the party’s slowly getting started; when jimin and taehyung threw the first one three years ago, there were so many people not everyone could fit into the apartment, and there were people just hanging out in the corridor. they admitted they got a little too ambitious after receiving a bunch of complaints about noise and someone allegedly riding the elevator down naked, and it’s become more and more a thing just for them, the core group, since then.

the playlist is the happy, poppy kind of halloween music instead of, like, creepy horror movie soundtracks, they’re in the middle of a variation of king’s cup, and yoongi’s working his way towards satisfyingly buzzed by the time jungkook comes. someone whistles, and yoongi looks up at the door at the sound of it closing.

“how was the other party, cheater,” taehyung calls over the music.

“it was okay,” jungkook says, then snickers at the offended sound taehyung makes while taking off his combat boots. “i stole a bottle of gin and like an entire plastic bag of jelly beans?”

“you’re forgiven,” taehyung decides.

jungkook walks into the living room, carrying the gin in one hand and the bag of jelly beans in the other, and yoongi’s mouth goes a bit dry.

he had briefly wondered what jungkook was going to dress up as, had sort of worried about something like this happening, then decided to just drink and cross that bridge when he came to it. well, he’s at that fucking bridge, and jungkook is -

“you’re a sexy policeman?” he blurts. jungkook’s eyes land on him, and stay on him, and everyone in the room has gone quiet. jungkook’s eyes flick to the cat ears; he parts his lips, and then hoseok makes a noise that sounds like he’s choking.

“i... think he’s just a regular policeman, yoongi,” he says, and then he starts laughing.

yoongi’s face is currently on fire, and he can’t seem to remember how to look away from jungkook, who’s staring back, his eyes wide and cheeks dusted with pink.

“i lost,” yoongi mumbles, throws his card into the pile, downs his drink, and gets up, blood pooling in his legs and causing black spots to dance in his vision.

“you can’t lose at this game,” jimin remarks. yoongi begs to differ.

 

/

 

“what is this, the shame corner?”

“that’s exactly what it is.” yoongi gestures vaguely at his immediate surroundings. it’s jimin and taehyung’s bedroom. he’s got himself a nice little corner by the window, he’s sitting on the floor with punch in the biggest cup - it’s more like a carafe, really - he could find in the kitchen, browsing through a photo album taehyung left out, dedicated to horrific party snapshots dating back to three years ago, patiently removing the most incriminating ones of himself. there’s a black cat tail hanging off the headboard. shame corner is accurate. “tell me that wasn’t the most embarrassing thing anyone’s ever done. i dare you.”

namjoon waddles closer a bit awkwardly. his cereal box looks a little beat up from squeezing through doorways.

“nah, you’re correct. if someone had taken a picture of your face, it would’ve made the highlight spot in the clown book. who is it, this time?”

yoongi flips to the first page, where there’s a single photo attached below a doodle of a crown and the title, clown of the moment.

“it’s jimin, hanging out of the window at hobi’s birthday party after his ass got stuck.”

“yeah, this is more embarrassing than that.” namjoon plops down on the floor with yoongi, folding his limbs inside the costume, so that it’s just his head poking out of a giant honey nut cheerios box. he watches yoongi detach a photo that involves a cowboy hat and a mechanical bull and neatly set it into the small pile next to him. “i think that counts as spoliation of evidence.”

“i am merely relocating them for a while. until i put into action my plan to fake my death and move countries. then it’s whatever.” yoongi holds out his drink for namjoon to sip through the straw.

“i can’t even fucking drink by myself,” namjoon sighs. yoongi snorts.

“why did you agree to wear that, then,” he asks.

“because i love him and i want to make him happy,” namjoon replies easily. “you know how he gets on halloween. the places he can go with the costumes and the puns. it’s like christmas for him.”

“you guys are so functional and healthy and compatible,” yoongi sighs, “tone it down, honestly. or share.”

“actually,” namjoon says, his tone getting very soft, “we haven’t told anyone else yet, but. when i’m done with college, we’re thinking of getting married.”

“holy shit.” yoongi blinks. “that’s great. that’s - incredible. woah.”

“yeah,” namjoon gives a quick laugh and smiles with his dimples. “i mean, we’re still just talking about it, but… yeah.”

“i’d hug you, but i’d be essentially just hugging the box,” yoongi says.

“let’s do an awkward box hug,” namjoon prompts and sticks his arms out of the arm holes. yoongi shuffles forward and hugs the box, while namjoon’s fingertips barely brush at his shoulders. it’s very awkward and nice.

“i’m happy for you,” yoongi says sincerely.

“thank you,” namjoon hums, and yoongi can hear his smile. he settles back against the wall, and shakes his head.

“you guys are in such a different place with your life. i can’t even ask the guy i like on a date without first acting out a comprehensive guide of things you should not do.”

“you’ll get there,” namjoon promises. “not hiding from him would be a good start.”

“yeah, i’ll do my time first,” yoongi says, flipping to a random page of the clown book. “i sentenced myself to twenty-five minutes of shame corner.” he stops mid-flip, and does a double-take on a photo. “the hell? was it hobi who rode the elevator down naked?”

“oh, yeah, it was a dare,” namjoon says, “he’s on all the security footage. he was banned from the building for like three months.”

“huh,” yoongi mumbles.

“i’ll leave you to your shame corner,” namjoon says, getting up and making a slightly unsteady turn for the door.

“go nut in your honey, cheerio,” yoongi says.

“you should be in the shame corner,” namjoon turns to hiss. “that’s how people have been saying goodbye to me all night. i fucking hate this.”

yoongi snorts to himself, turns his gaze back down at the photo album. there are no photos of jungkook yet. there probably will be after tonight. he hears namjoon apologize to someone in the doorway; then jungkook says, it’s okay, i didn’t spill any, and he freezes.

“are you looking for yoongi?” namjoon asks.

“i… yeah, i am.”

yoongi stuffs the photos into his back pocket, aware that namjoon’s stalling and giving him time to prepare mentally, and gets up. namjoon glances back at him once he steps out of the corner, and jungkook, behind his shoulder, meets yoongi’s eyes.

“seems you found him,” namjoon says, turning back to jungkook after apparently finding a confirmation on yoongi’s face. he pats jungkook’s shoulder a bit awkwardly. “be good, kids. do you know where seokjin is?”

“in the bathroom,” jungkook says, “he’s patching up taehyung. he got stabbed by a gecko.”

namjoon just looks at him for a while. then he decides not to ask further questions, and just leaves. based on experience, it’s probably exactly what it sounds like.

yoongi is left with jungkook in the doorway and his sweating palms. jungkook sets his drink by the drawer outside the door, then steps in, all careful and somewhat tense in his movements, and yoongi’s not sure if it’s because yoongi made things awkward again, or if he’s nervous; yoongi’s not entirely sure what jungkook has to be nervous about, though. yoongi keeps proving himself to be a fucking mess, not someone to be nervous around.

“hey,” jungkook says, softly.

“hey.” yoongi leans his back against the closet right behind him, wraps his arms around himself loosely. he’s mentally caught somewhere between fight and flight as jungkook walks closer; stop running away, a voice in the back of his head says. it sounds vaguely like himself. also vaguely like the guy who sells vacuum cleaners on the shopping channel at four a.m. for some reason.

yoongi knows he was supposed to talk to him, but god, there could not be a worse timing. firstly, they’ve been drinking. secondly, his mind very much blanks when he looks at jungkook.

yoongi still firmly believes he can’t be blamed for messing up earlier. okay, so it’s not a sexy costume in that it’s not a parody of the original thing, but that makes it sexier, like, actually, dangerously sexy instead of ridiculous-sexy. it’s a uniform, first of all, those are already attractive, and the fact that it’s a uniform on jungkook is just an overkill at this point. mostly it’s his arms. it’s more arm than yoongi’s ever seen on him, the sleeves short and hugging his biceps closely. it’s also the way the belt accentuates his waist and his thighs, and the way the uniform is tight across his chest, and also the way his hair parts on his forehead. it’s just all of him, basically, it’s just him, and being this gone for someone is getting exhausting.

yoongi is painfully aware he’s one hundred percent transparent, too. he’s been flushed since jungkook walked in, and it’s not like it’s ever been a secret that he finds jungkook hot. he made it pretty clear the night they met, and just in case anyone was wondering, hmm, is yoongi still attracted to jungkook, wonder no more! less than an hour ago he called him sexy in front of all their friends!

monaco, yoongi thinks, monaco sounds nice. he could move to monaco, once he’s gotten his passport renewed.

“i was looking for you,” jungkook says, and yoongi already knew that, but doesn’t say anything, just bites his tongue and watches jungkook approach slowly. “i wanted to tell you… i listened to the song. i’m sorry i didn’t, um. have a chance to reply. but it was beautiful. you made me sound good.”

“don’t need me for that,” yoongi says. his voice sounds a bit hoarse. “you already sound good.”

jungkook is close. yoongi keeps his eyes on him even though he can feel his face burning up. he’s not entirely sure what jungkook is doing here, what the look in his eyes means, why it feels like he’s after something specific. jungkook leans a shoulder on the closet beside yoongi.

“i haven’t seen you in a while,” he says quietly, “missed you, i think.”

“missed you too,” yoongi manages, increasingly confused and close to gay panic. the tip of jungkook’s tongue darts out, wets his bottom lip.

“sexy policeman, hyung?” he says it with a smile ghosting on his lips; but there’s something heavy and intense in his eyes that makes yoongi think it’s a loaded question, a loaded smile. he swallows dryly.

“in my defence,” he says, “that uniform looks way too tight on you.”

“yeah, well. it’s from last year, and i’ve gained muscle since then.”

“uh-huh,” yoongi says weakly, convinced jungkook is trying to fucking kill him. he could at least have the decency to be quick about it. jungkook catches his bottom lip between his teeth.

“i like the cat ears.” jungkook detaches his shoulder from the closet door, and leans closer, reaches up to touch an ear, and although yoongi can’t even feel it, a shiver runs down his spine. “it’s cute. you look good.”

yoongi’s heart is beating very fast.

jungkook moves. suddenly he’s trapping yoongi against the closet, hands on either side of his head. yoongi’s breath catches in his throat, and then jungkook leans in, in, until his chest touches yoongi’s chest, and his lips touch yoongi’s lips.

what, what the fuck -

jungkook’s lips are soft against his, and yoongi closes his eyes, kisses him back automatically. jungkook’s knee is between his legs, his entire body pressed against yoongi’s. yoongi is pretty sure his hands come up to jungkook’s chest - his mind swims a little, and he lets jungkook pry his lips apart with his own, his tongue sliding across yoongi’s bottom lip. he tastes like the horrible punch, alcohol and orange juice.

that’s what he thinks he was ever going to be to you.

“what,” yoongi mumbles against his lips, fingers pressing down above his collarbones, “what are you doing?”

jungkook pulls away, enough to look at him.

“i,” jungkook presses his teeth into his bottom lip. he blinks slowly, like he’s just taking yoongi into focus. “i thought you’d still want to. have sex.”

it’s - not what he wants, at all, or it is, but that’s not all , not nearly. it hurts, it starts from his chest below his ribs and spreads, like a - like a damn plant growing, like a prickly cactus, or stinging nettles.

“no, i - kook -” at his hesitation, something a bit frantic settles on jungkook’s face.

“shit,” he whispers, “sorry, i’m so sorry. please, just - forget about this.”

“jungkook -” before yoongi can get a sentence out, jungkook has pulled away, and then he’s gone, out of the room, leaving only the remnants of his body heat all over yoongi.

"fuck, fuck fuck,” he says to no one, knocking his head back against the closet. then, i need to go after him. run towards instead of away.

the people in the living room are oblivious to everything that just took place.

“why would you give the geckos knives,” namjoon is screaming, “why would you weaponize your lizards? how is that not a terrible idea in every conceivable way?"

“for accuracy, namjoon,” taehyung says exasperatedly, “they weren’t even real knives, they were plastic - i didn’t know they’d be so sharp or that they'd learn to use them -”

jungkook’s boots are gone. yoongi doesn’t stop to think, just pulls on his shoes and grabs the first jacket he sees that resembles his own - it’s not his own, he establishes in the corridor, it’s too big and looks like a thrift store bomber jacket from the nineties. he shrugs it on nonetheless as he speed walks to the elevator; the light is on, jungkook’s riding it down, and yoongi curses, takes a deep breath, before heading for the stairs. it’s eight floors. it’s not that bad.

it is that bad. he has to stop between the third and fourth floor, hands on his knees and feeling like he’s going to throw up. note to self: do some cardio or something. he’s half dead by the time he reaches the bottom floor, shoves the front door open. cool night air hits his face; the sky is dark and muddy, and the only light is from the streetlights, storefronts farther away. he jogs through the courtyard, to the street strewn with dead leaves. he looks around; sees no sign of jungkook, nothing to indicate which way he went. an unease settles into the pit of his stomach, nausea and mild panic. jungkook is somewhere on the streets, drunk and alone.

there’s a group of people coming down the street towards him, loud, drunk students in costumes. yoongi goes to them.

“have you seen a cop?” he asks, trying to catch his breath. “a guy, dressed as a cop? this tall? uh, attractive?” jesus fucking hell, as if jungkook’s most identifying characteristic at the moment wasn’t the police uniform. he grimaces, gestures uselessly with his hand again. “...a cop?”

“wow, a kitty,” a girl coos, “cute.”

“i think i’ve seen like ten people dressed as cops tonight,” one of the guys says. yoongi grits his teeth.

“did you see one, coming this way, just a moment ago?” he presses.

“i saw a cop,” a girl dressed as tinkerbell pipes in, “at the intersection. don’t know which way he went.”

yoongi breathes out.

“thanks,” he tells tinkerbell, ignores the first girl who asks him to come with them. then he runs. the intersection is not far, and chances are he might see jungkook from there. someone catcalls him, and yoongi doesn’t even bother flipping them off this time.

a comprehensive guide, honestly. step twenty-nine: make him think you don’t want him, at all.

he could’ve let that happen, he could’ve - if that’s what jungkook wants, they could’ve just slept together, kept it casual, he’s done it before with hoseok - but hoseok was right, this is different in every way, and he can’t. he can’t when he’s falling in love or maybe already past the falling stage and it wouldn’t be fair to anyone, not to himself and not to jungkook either, and yoongi needs to find him, tell him - that he does want him but he wants all of him and even if jungkook doesn’t reciprocate, he should know.

“oh my god,” he mumbles to himself once he reaches the intersection, tasting blood in his mouth.

“hyung?”

yoongi turns; finds himself looking at jungkook, not more than two meters from him. he’s looking at yoongi like he’s the last thing he expected to see here at this street corner, which -

“do you think i wouldn’t come after you? you -” yoongi stares at him, chest heaving as he pants. “you’re not even wearing a jacket, what the fuck -”

“are you… are you okay?” jungkook takes a hesitant step forward. he looks slightly alarmed.

“no, i think i’m about to pass out,” yoongi admits. “how did you get so far so fast.”

“long legs? i -” jungkook looks helpless. “why are you here?”

“are you kidding me?” yoongi grumbles. he begins to strip off the oversized nineties thrift shop jacket. “you just left, kook, and it’s dark and cold and you’re drunk, and where were you even going?”

“i was going to come back,” jungkook says defensively, wide eyes following yoongi’s movements as he shucks the jacket and steps closer, the tips of their shoes knocking together.

“put this on,” yoongi mumbles, already reaching up to wrap the jacket around his shoulders. jungkook breathes in unevenly, and for a moment yoongi thinks he’s going to pull away, but he stays still.

“i’m not cold,” he starts to say.

“just wear it, jungkook,” yoongi says, quietly, but jungkook drops further protests immediately. yoongi doesn’t let go of the jacket even when it’s draped over his shoulders. stares at his fists clutching the lapels, brow furrowed like he’s angry. swallows down the burning feeling in his throat, the stinging nettles pushing upwards and choking him, and focuses on the rise and fall of jungkook’s chest under his fists.

“i’m sorry,” jungkook whispers, almost too quiet to hear, “i’m sorry, i shouldn’t have assumed you still wanted - just because you did that time -”

they’re too drunk for this, yoongi acknowledges. decides it’s time to sober up. he lifts his head.

“come with me,” he says, hand falling to jungkook’s wrist, giving a gentle tug.

yoongi takes him to a diner a couple of blocks down the street. it’s still quiet, the drunk people hunting for fast food wouldn’t be stumbling in for another couple of hours. they take a corner table, and yoongi coaxes jungkook into telling him he likes banana milkshakes, then orders him that along with some fries and two large sodas.

“i was supposed to make up for that time at the skewer place, wasn’t i,” yoongi says, “a crappy diner at one a.m. is not really what i had in mind.”

coaxes a small smile out of him, too. he watches jungkook as they wait for their food to come, sitting across from him with his shoulders slouching slightly, playing with the sleeves that come up to his fingertips. yoongi’s pretty sure the jacket belongs to namjoon, now that he looks at it in proper lighting. jungkook looks soft and tired and sad and still like the most beautiful thing yoongi’s ever seen. it’s cheesy. it’s also the truth. yoongi’s got himself in some deep shit.

jungkook slumps bonelessly against the table, lets his head fall into his arms.

“wanna know something?” he asks, a bit muffled. “that night at the club. i’ve never done anything like that before. taken someone i just met home.”

“okay,” yoongi says slowly. jungkook lifts his head enough to peek at him over his sleeves.

“you weren’t only hot,” he says, “you were nice. and funny. and kind.”

“and you’re drunk,” yoongi says quietly, reaches to tug at a strand falling into his eyes. jungkook just shakes his head, looks at yoongi under his eyelashes.

“hyung,” he says. their food arrives before he can continue that thought, and yoongi practically shoves the milkshake and the fries at him.

“eat, okay? eat before we talk. i need us sober.”

this is not how he planned he would do this, in a crappy diner at one in the morning. not that he really planned at all. jungkook drinks the milkshake with both of his hands wrapped around it, fingertips peeking out of the sleeves. yoongi drinks the soda just to have something to do, doesn’t even taste anything besides cold. he has no idea how people do this. put themselves out there, lay their hearts bare. even now, he’s terrified of getting hurt, even though he doesn’t like admitting it. jungkook would let him down gently, if he had to, yoongi knows he would, because that’s what he is: gentle. but it wouldn’t matter, because there’s no gentleness in this thing of stinging nettles inside yoongi, and he’d be left with the plants around his apartment to remind him, either way.

there’s something lamentably hilarious about this. he’s about to do the cliché romcom grand finale confession scene with a guy who’s way too good for him in every way, and he’s wearing fucking cat ears. yoongi coughs out a sudden, humorless laugh. jungkook looks up at him, wide, pretty eyes. yoongi sighs, and just says it.

“i like you.” it rolls off his tongue surprisingly easily, and it sounds like he’s apologizing. “i more than like you. i think i fell in love with you. i’m sorry.” now he’s actually apologizing. he bites his lips, stubbornly keeps looking at jungkook, because he should look him in the eye when he says this - while trying not to read into his expressions, and just focusing on not stumbling on his words. he curls his fingers on the checkered tablecloth. “that’s why i stopped you, in the bedroom. i can’t do the casual thing. i want more. i want you, i want everything with you. i want to date you, and - it’s okay if you don’t want that. i’m not expecting you to feel the same way. i just thought you should know. that there hasn’t been a second i haven’t wanted you.”

jungkook slams the milkshake onto the table so hard it creates a resounding, hollow thud.

“thank god,” he says loudly. yoongi blinks.

“wh-”

jungkook springs to his feet, the oversized jacket sliding off one shoulder. before yoongi can process what’s happening, he’s all but climbing over the table, bending over the width of it. then his fist is in yoongi’s shirt front, yanking him forward.

“oh,” yoongi mumbles against his lips. it’s not a great kiss, exactly, their mouths mushed together awkwardly, yoongi halfway off the seat, held up by his slightly shaky arms and jungkook’s grip on his shirt, and he’s pretty sure he has his fingers in a pile of ketchup - but -

“i don’t want the casual thing either,” jungkook breathes quickly, separating enough to look yoongi in the eye. his eyes are big and sincere and sort of breathtaking.

“but you - tonight -”

“i thought that was what you wanted.” jungkook worries his bottom lip, his eyebrows knitting together in a slightly pained expression. “i thought if that was the only way i could have you, then i’d take it. i thought it’d be better than not having you at all. but it wouldn’t have been better, it - would’ve just hurt more.”

“you -” yoongi swallows. “you want -”

“want you too,” jungkook murmurs, “want you entirely. want to - go on dates with you, raise plants with you -”

yoongi kisses him again. he’s distantly aware this must look ridiculous; the table between them, and jungkook’s definitely getting ketchup on his cheek because yoongi is holding his face; but he couldn’t give less of a fuck.

“listen, this is very awkward for me,” says the weary employer standing by their table, “but you guys are getting ketchup, like, literally everywhere, so please… could you stop making out on the food. i’m on minimum wage.”

as they are leaving, and yoongi pulls out his wallet to pay, something falls out of his pocket. jungkook bends down to pick it up, examines the photo in his hand wordlessly, and then looks up at yoongi.

“why do you carry a picture of yourself in a cowboy hat riding a mechanical bull in your pocket?”

“i hand it out to people i meet, like a business card,” yoongi says, slapping a couple of extra bills on the table to say, sorry for making out on the food, not even caring that his initial intention was to keep jungkook from seeing the pictures.

“it’s good photography,” jungkook muses as they walk out, “it looks like whoever took it captured the moment right before you broke fifteen bones.”

“how frail do you think i am? i only broke one,” yoongi says, his fingers tangling in jungkook’s jacket sleeve. “can i hold your hand?”

the dimple that appears on his cheek is a tiny shadow in the dim streetlights. jungkook slides his fingers into the spaces between yoongi’s, and squeezes tightly. yoongi feels sort of lightheaded, windswept, like he rushed into happiness, and holds onto jungkook’s hand like he’s holding on for his life.

 

/

 

jungkook pulls him close in the elevator, and yoongi loops his arms around his waist inside the jacket. warm, he thinks when jungkook’s arms envelop him, when jungkook’s soft mouth brushes against his.

“been here before,” jungkook murmurs, means the time they kissed in the elevator the night they met.

“this is better,” yoongi whispers, means something like, i like kissing you as a boyfriend rather than a one night stand.

there’s the ding that announces they’ve arrived, the doors sliding open, and someone saying,

“oh, my god.”

yoongi pulls away from jungkook just in time to barely catch his own cellphone that comes flying at his chest. he looks up to find his whole entire friend group, which at the moment consists of two obscure ninja turtles characters, a sexy ghostbuster, a sandwich, and a box of honey nut cheerios, standing outside the elevator, their reactions and facial expressions ranging from sort of fondly exasperated to really fucking pissed off.

“you guys finally decided to bone,” hoseok says, throwing his head back, “thank fucking god. now you can leave me out of your sexually tense drama.”

“are you fucking kidding me?” taehyung screeches. he’s also the one who threw the phone. “we were about to go out as a search party to look for you. neither of you took your damn phones with you. we thought you’d been taken by the mafia or the men in black.” he adds, in the same cranky tone: “i’m super happy for you.”

“don’t say ‘we’ when you’re the only one who thought that,” jimin says.

“is that blood on my jacket?” namjoon stares at the ketchup-stained jacket on jungkook. then he looks up at them, and asks, completely seriously, “did you kill someone?”

“your career,” yoongi says, and reaches behind jungkook to punch at the buttons repeatedly. “close, dammit.”

“i’m in college, i don’t have a career,” namjoon says.

“i guess you could say you guys... started with a bang,” seokjin says as the elevator doors begin to mercifully slide shut. “get it? because when they met, they almost -”

yoongi doesn’t catch the rest, because then the doors are closed and they are on their way down again, and jungkook’s laughing into his hair, and yoongi’s grinning, and sure, he’s looking forward to finally actually banging, maybe sometime soon, whenever jungkook wants, it doesn’t matter; but he’s also looking forward to things he didn’t dare to consider before, but now feels giddily, indescribably happy thinking about; mornings and evenings and nights with jungkook, jungkook filling his apartment with plants and his presence, dates yoongi may already have half-planned in his head. he hopes jungkook likes cuddling and ghibli films.

he starts by pushing the stop button in the elevator, and stealing a moment, just them and whoever’s in charge of the security cameras here.

 

/

 

“jungkook! jungkook, come here.” yoongi catches jungkook by the shirt sleeve as he’s walking past. jungkook mumbles about almost dropping his croissant - he’s not holding a croissant but yoongi knows it’s a vine reference, thank you, you miss a vine reference once and everyone thinks you’re a gremlin who hasn’t had any exposure to popular culture for the past decade - but gets down where yoongi’s squatting by the coffee table.

“ah,” jungkook says, and yoongi can hear his smile as it spreads on his face, “she’s finally blooming.”

“i knew we’d pull through,” yoongi murmurs to the primrose, touches a fingertip to the small yellow flower in a semblance of a high-five.

“we?” jungkook inquires. yoongi just gives his head a small shake, decides to keep his internal flora metaphors to himself for now. he feels jungkook’s fingers in his hair. “you did a good job growing her.”

when yoongi turns, jungkook closes the distance between them, fits their mouths together so gently yoongi’s chest aches with how full it is, but it’s okay because instead of stinging nettles it’s roses blooming fully, or - something else without thorns - what the fuck ever, that’s enough flower metaphors. what he’s saying is that he’s happy.

“not in front of the kids,” yoongi mumbles when jungkook goes to deepen the kiss. feels jungkook’s mouth curl into a grin, and seems like he’s happy, too.

 

/

 

yoongi [7:13]
what r u up to

namjoon [7:14]
not much, studying
when seokjin gets off work we’re going out for dinner
why?

yoongi [7:15]
ask me

namjoon [7:15]
ask you what

yoongi [7:15]
what im doing

namjoon [7:16]
what...are you doing

yoongi [7:16]
im cuddling and watching ghibli films with my boyfriend

namjoon [7:17]
ok?
are you…..bragging?

yoongi [7:17]
we’re in love

namjoon [7:17]
im happy for you?

yoongi [7:18]
goodnight

namjoon [7:18]
goodnight?