Namjoon didn’t remember Seokjin saying that his cousin was this hot. How old? Nineteen? Started college last semester and didn’t like the dorms? He didn’t look as young as nineteen until he turned around and blinked at Namjoon with a pair of huge, round eyes, the stick of a lollipop hanging out of his lips as his cheeks hollowed around it. When he popped it out of his mouth it gleamed a little in the kitchen light. “Looking for Seokjin?” he asked softly.
“He around?” Namjoon asked. “I’ve got his sheet music.”
“Are you our songwriter?” The kid hopped off his seat and swaggered over with his hands in the pockets of his overlarge pants, lollipop back in his mouth.
“You’re in the band?” Namjoon said.
“Bass,” the kid said, vowels a little weird around the lollipop. “And vocals. I’m Jungkook, by the way. I just moved in.”
“Nice to meet you,” Namjoon said, handing over the sheet music. Jungkook flipped through the stack till he got to the bass part and hummed approvingly.
“This is going to be one of our more experimental pieces, I can already tell.”
“I don’t actually know what sound you guys usually go for,” Namjoon said, anxious. “Seokjin’s description didn’t make much sense. I just got the name. 4am Swiss Rolls. Wrote something about, like, difficulties with functional relationships through a computer screen.”
“We’ll make something awesome out of it,” Jungkook murmured. “I’ll go get Jin.”
He handed the sheet music back and wandered off down the hallway towards the bedrooms. Namjoon had only been over a couple times, once for a big party and the second time for a pleasant evening drinking with Seokjin and friends, talking about writing rock music for their band. The place looked distinctly cleaner than he remembered, which was odd knowing that someone just moved in. Not to mention the whole indie rock band that used this as their headquarters, equipment set up in the garage and cars parked on the street like husbands forced to the couch to make room for a dog on the bed.
Dirty, half-melted snow clung to the window ledge outside, but the living room was warm and bright. Woven blankets draped over the couch and artwork hung on the walls. Namjoon still felt like he was intruding, in the door two minutes and already overstaying his welcome.
He’d only been friends with Seokjin for a little while. They’d known each other briefly when Namjoon was a freshman and Seokjin was about to graduate. That had been two years ago, and Namjoon was about to graduate early and join Seokjin in the real world, hopefully successful enough to have a small rented house too.
He must have seen Jungkook around the music department this year but hadn’t remembered him, oblivious as he was. Seokjin said Jungkook played trumpet when Namjoon asked him about 4am Swiss Rolls instrumentation. He’d been paid well to write one song without trumpet and wrote this one for kicks, also without trumpet, hoping Jin would pay again. Then it turned out that Yoongi and Hoseok, another senior and a junior, were in this band and wanted more of his music. Then Jimin, the top percussionist from the school’s symphony, came up to him with something along the lines of “dude, that was such a weird piece. Please write us more.”
Shortly afterwards there’d been an evening with vodka and sangria at Jin’s house, just him, Hoseok, and Yoongi, though he’d been told that Taehyung, the lead in last year’s opera, was their manager. Jimin had a dance rehearsal, though he would have been there otherwise. Seokjin, Yoongi, and Hoseok got out their instruments and played Namjoon’s song for him in the garage, though it sounded very weird without their bass player, main singer, or percussionist. Hoseok and Seokjin were on guitar, Jin singing backup vocals and Hoseok filling in the main vocals and struggling through the range. Yoongi snickered in the back as he played the keyboard and Namjoon leaned drunkenly on the wall and asked how musicians this talented could make a band this bad.
They’d adopted Namjoon after that, came up to talk to him in the cafeteria and suggested melodies for the songs he was composing for them, and he still hadn’t met the manager or the main vocalist. But here was the vocalist at least, leaning on the door of Seokjin’s room down the hallway with his lollipop dangling from his fingers. He seemed a little more distant than the rest of the tight-knit group, less ready to reach out and pretend Namjoon was one of them. It felt a little more real.
“Namjoon,” Seokjin said, stepping out of his room in a casual suit, grinning. “Hey, sorry. I’ve gotta go meet with my agent here soon. I have an audition with a designer today. Um…” He pulled out his wallet and handed Namjoon a hundred dollars in cash. “Am I going to get change or is that enough?” Namjoon quickly calculated the hours spent on this song in his head, around nine in total.
“I’ll take the last ten as tip.”
“Low tip,” Seokjin said.
“Wanna give me more?”
“Will you take a drink instead?” Seokjin said. In the background, Namjoon heard the clink of Jungkook taking some bottles down from the cabinet.
Forty minutes and two drinks later, Seokjin left to see his agent but was replaced by Yoongi and Hoseok, both on their knees around the coffee table, excitedly making edits to Namjoon’s sheet music with a fearless sharpie that made Namjoon itch with nervousness. “Great melody,” Yoongi said. “Fuck this is good. Jungkook, look at this baseline.”
“Saw it already,” Jungkook said from the kitchen island, eyes glued to his phone. He held his lollipop in his fingers like a cigarette, though it must have been a new one, fully solid and big again after a full hour in Jungkook’s mouth. Maybe he was trying to kick a smoking habit.
“Okay, grouchy,” Yoongi snickered. “Aren’t you supposed to be at lacrosse practice?”
“Fuck,” Jungkook muttered, and abruptly shot off his chair and down the hallway. Hoseok snickered and put Namjoon’s drink back on the table, an inch lower in the glass than it had been a minute ago. Namjoon tilted his head to the side and contemplated it, wondering if this meant they were friends yet. Something slammed into the wall on the other side of the living room, followed by some muted bangs and sliding and Jungkook swearing loudly.
When he rushed out a few minutes later, he was missing the lollipop, missing the overlarge shirt and baggy pants. Namjoon only got a glimpse of him on the way past, of the Under Armour hugging his small shoulders and strong calves under his shorts, a big bag hanging off his toned arms and hair loose and soft without his hat. He seemed suddenly a completely different person, someone both small and young, more committed to his life than the apathetic frat boy aura he’d been giving off. He yanked his coat onto one arm and nearly ate dirt as he tripped over the doorframe on his way out.
He was a different person again an hour or so later when he came back to entirety of 4am Swiss Rolls minus Seokjin playing king’s cup with Namjoon in the living room. Taehyung proved to be a lightweight and was lying all the way across Namjoon’s lap like they’d known each other for months. Jungkook glanced at them with narrowed eyes, sweaty and flushed, steps thumping tiredly. For fifteen minutes, the drunks had to suffer without the bathroom as Jungkook showered. The last Namjoon saw of him that evening was him dragging a very heavy backpack into his room with his hair wet and spiky around his ears, a lollipop back in his mouth.
As usual, Namjoon ate lunch alone with composition paper spread out across a whole table for four as he tried not to drip barbeque sauce from his cafeteria-quality chicken wings onto his homework. Taehyung and Jimin both pulled chairs out and plopped right down in seats beside him.
“What do you get,” Jimin said, leaning in with a hand poised in front of him and a smile forcing his eyes nearly shut, “when you cross a—hey, stop it Tae, let me say it,” he said, giggling and shoving his lilac hair off his forehead. Namjoon could see all the way down his bro tank. “What do you get when you cross Jin with a moist growing environment?”
“Jin-ger,” Jimin giggled. “Get it? Because he’s a root vegetable?”
Namjoon figured that was the official sign that Jimin and Taehyung had accepted him into the band. “That’s terrible.” he said. “Jin would love it.”
Taehyung punched Jimin’s shoulder, doubling over in laughter. “You didn’t think that was good?” Jimin asked. Taehyung squawked, his head in his hands and cackling. The group of primly dressed, bespectacled girls at the table next to them all glanced over and then went back to their conversation.
Jimin pouted. “Hey, Seokjin says you’re smart.”
“I am,” Namjoon said.
“Jungkook’s in a math class right now and he’s really struggling. Are you a math person?”
Namjoon shrugged. “Yeah, I can do math.”
“Good! Me too! I’ve been trying to tutor him for a while now, but I’m an absolutely terrible teacher. I always get frustrated and he’s stubborn and doesn’t pay attention. What a brat.” He tutted affectionately. “You might be more useful.”
Namjoon hummed, tapping his pencil against his lip and staring down at the rough composition that he hoped might become his capstone, the one he was already behind on. He wasn’t entirely sure Jungkook liked him. He wasn’t sure they wanted him around more than he already was. “Will he pay me?”
“Jungkook? Probably not. He’s completely broke. Seokjin probably will though.”
Before Namjoon gave Jungkook his first tutoring session, the boys all pulled him out to the garage. They opened the door to the street and sat around in the chilly late-winter afternoon with coats dangling from their elbows or hung over one shoulder like they had an image to keep.
Jungkook came behind them quietly, snickering at something Jimin said with his nose crinkled up. He stepped up on stage and thumbed idly at his bass guitar, drawing Namjoon’s eyes. His coat hung around him. He’d taken a tank that was already too large for him and sliced it up a little further so the sleeves hung halfway down his sides and threatened to slip off his thin shoulders. Namjoon thought he saw a glitter of silver on one of his pecks when he bent forward.
Seokjin and Hoseok took spots on either side of him with guitars hanging from their straps. Jimin sat in a big plastic box around the drum set with earphones in, drumsticks rattling against the snare with concert band exercises built for marches. He stared at the ceiling as he played, lips moving as he sang to himself. Taehyung sprawled in an old armchair in the corner with his iPad. Yoongi played minuet in G with some weird synth tone on the oldest, dustiest, clunkiest keyboard Namjoon had ever seen.
“So, we’ve made some adjustments to the song since you last heard it,” Jin said into his mic, voice reverberating distantly. “Like, Yoongi changed up the counter melody and stuff. I think Jungkook added some flair to the vocal line here and there. I don’t remember if he changed the lyrics.”
Jungkook looked up from where he stood towards the back of the stage, absently strumming his bass, and shook his head.
“So no lyric changes.”
Namjoon nodded. “Cool. Let’s hear it.”
When Namjoon learned that three of the top instrumentalists in their school’s music program had put a band together with some promising freshman and the school’s best alumni violinist, being Seokjin, he’d honestly expected something prog rock-y, something rhythmic and dramatic, overdone, too-rehearsed. And not that that’s bad, but he’d built his songs for them with a higher level of difficulty than maybe was warranted for a garage band, something with more technical flair and opportunity to show off. He still wasn’t sure what he was expecting. Upon seeing the outfits they practiced in, he’d worried for a moment that maybe they thought they were pop punk, piercings and black band t-shirts, dyed hair and painted nails, too much silver jewelry.
When Jungkook finally stepped to the front of the stage and practically rested his mouth on the mic, Namjoon was still thinking something along the lines of a cover band, putting a more classical music twist on traditional songs. It seemed a little odd that it was the new kid, the nineteen-year-old, the freshman strumming two beats of lead-in. 4am Swiss Rolls dove into the intro with a chill kind of ease, just a team of professionals operating their fifth limbs.
They’d dumbed his piece down. Some of his tricks were missing. They weren’t hard and heavy, not full of noise, not angry or whiny or crazy. It wasn’t a virtuoso showcase the way Namjoon had left it open to be. They sounded closer to Two Door Cinema Club than anything else he could think of, but deeper, a little more Coldplay, a few of Namjoon’s more complicated runs and rhythms. These were indie boys through and through, but Jungkook's voice-even with the changes, the tone more pleading, nothing could have suited Namjoon’s vision more.
His voice rang so high and soft. His looked even smaller with his hands on the mic, shoulders hunched in, muscles bulging as they squished against each other and Jungkook looked Namjoon dead in the eye as he crooned his own lyrics back at him, something generic about wasting the days of youth with far more authentic longing and desperation than Namjoon would have ever been able to infuse them with.
Namjoon realized he’d been staring dead into Jungkook’s eyes for half the song. He looked away, self-conscious, the sole audience member in front of a band lost in the notes, chemistry like a solid block around the stage with Namjoon awkwardly on the outskirts. He wrapped his arms stiffly around himself and closed his eyes for a moment, hearing the surreal tilt of something he’d composed in a cheap online composition site brought to life of auditory technicolor.
When they finished, Jungkook sank back into himself, no longer the charismatic lead singer. He stared at the floor and fingered out a different song, bobbing along to a tune in his head. The rest of the band relaxed back from their instruments and breathed, themselves again.
“Wow,” Namjoon said after a moment of letting the last notes breathe. “Can I write you some more songs?”
The whole band lit up at once.
Jungkook had a lollipop stuck in the corner of his mouth as he worked through an equation, following Namjoon’s step-by-step instructions. His long forearm lay close to Namjoon’s, thick with muscle and veins so prominent Namjoon could imagine them pulsing as he wrote.
Jimin hung over Jungkook’s shoulders, which surprised Namjoon. He’d taken Jungkook for the masculine type, the type to resist snuggling, but he leaned his head against Jimin’s cheek. If Namjoon wasn’t so sure Jimin was flirting with that girl in their composition class, he would have thought they were together. But Namjoon had gotten pretty bad at picking up on things. Across the room, Hoseok sat half on Yoongi’s lap, rubbing his face against Yoongi’s hair like a happy cat and pressing kisses against the crown of his head. No one seemed surprised. Namjoon hadn’t expected that particular match.
That lollipop. The inside of Jungkook’s cheek was probably soft with sugar, his lips sweet. They opened in a small ‘o’ as Jungkook dragged the lollipop, blue and wet, out just a bit between his pink lips before pushing it back in and making it a little bulge in his cheek.
“Is this right?”
“Huh?” Namjoon looked down, searching for whatever it was he was supposed to be looking at. The sound of something frying burst up from behind them. Seokjin yelped in surprise. Namjoon blinked, hoping no one had noticed him staring hungrily at the band’s little brother. “That’s, um, oh, that’s right. You’re picking this up really quickly. Are you sure you’re not good at math?”
He shrugged. “I’m okay. I just don’t pay attention. Got another problem for me?”
“Yeah. Without the guide this time.”
“One more with the guide.”
Hoseok handed out vodka tonics, asking to check Jungkook’s ID before giving it to him and then cackling at Jungkook’s scowl. Jungkook drank quickly like someone unused to drinking, draining his glass over the course of three more perfect equations. “You’re done now,” Namjoon said when his pencil lines began to get sloppy. Jungkook leaned back in his seat looking pleased, knees spread wide, and Namjoon couldn’t help the once-over, his gaze raking obviously over Jungkook’s body.
Taehyung tossed a PlayStation controller onto Jungkook’s lap. He swayed up from his seat, over to the couch, and settled right down onto his cousin’s lap like he did this every night. Seokjin’s arms cinched around Jungkook’s waist like a belt, shrinking his figure from his baggy shirt.
Namjoon finished his drink, trying not to stare. He felt like the hired hand at the edge of a family’s comfortable evening, someone brought in with a promise of payment and his creepy desire to see a certain pretty face again. “I should go home,” he said to Yoongi, who was closest. “I need to work and I didn’t bring my backpack.”
A cold hand closed on his neck. “Stay.” He nearly jumped. Hoseok leaned close over his shoulder, grinning. “I’ll get you another drink. Talk to us. You’re graduating early this semester, right?” He talked over his shoulder as he walked to the kitchen. “What do you plan on doing next?”
“Staying here actually,” Namjoon said. He settled uneasily into his seat again. “I’ve got a good internship at a studio in town. They’re looking to hire me. I’ll be here another year or two.”
“Oh good,” Yoongi said. “I was worried we didn’t have enough time left to really get to know you.”
Namjoon looked at him in surprise. “Thanks, I guess.” Yoongi smiled sweetly, a pleased little look that didn’t fit the cold demeanor he displayed in class, the takes-no-shit scowl and curt dismissal of classmates he considered beneath him.
Hoseok did a weird little dance as he mixed the drinks, stepping back and forth and humming, hands still steady.
“What’s in this?” Namjoon asked as Hoseok handed him a drink.
“Oh, you’ll like it.”
Namjoon took a sip and got a wash of fruit and sugar across his tongue. After a moment of swallowing around the tartness, he blinked down at it. He’d expected something he’d need to choke down, a whiskey drink, something sharp and bitter and not the half-off cocktail he’d had on girl’s night down at the bar last Thursday. “Did you put any alcohol in this at all?”
Hoseok stood there with his hands on his hips and a bright smile that could have been either been an angel’s or a devil’s. “Oh, a bit.”
“It’s awesome.” Namjoon drank the whole thing and asked for another.
Namjoon woke to dawn sunlight gleaming through a glass of water and straight into his face. He sat up, registered drunken dizziness, and gulped the glass down. The room was empty, one lava lamp left on by the window, one candle flickering way down in its glass on one of the bookshelves. The sunlight glinted off so many glass cylinders, beer bottles and tumblers, candles and decorative bowls.
Namjoon remembered an increasingly enjoyable, increasingly loud conversation with Hoseok and Yoongi, remembered an evening awash with conversation and laughter, so many friendly faces, the absent, rhythmic drum of Jimin’s distracted hands against his leg and Hoseok strumming folk songs on an acoustic guitar.
He also remembered Jungkook falling asleep on Seokjin’s lap and being dragged across both Jimin and Tae too, limp and snuggly with alcohol. Namjoon lay back and struggled to wrap his mind around it, all that softness wrapped up in a masculinity so easy it felt constructed.
He woke again around mid-morning with Jungkook shaking his shoulder. “Coffee?”
“I’m leaving it here,” Jungkook said. He blinked slowly and sat up. Jungkook didn’t have a lollipop this morning, just a bleary expression and a t-shirt so long it covered his boxers in the front. He set a gently steaming mug of coffee on the table and stumbled away.
Seokjin appeared with a blinding smile. “You feeling okay?”
Namjoon took stock. Head felt a little sour, body slightly queasy. “Yeah, pretty good actually. What time is it?”
“Want me to drive you to class?”
Jimin and Taehyung had both stayed the night too. Seokjin drove all three of them, and Jungkook, right to the front of the music building and let them off in front like a whole family kicked off at the steps of their elementary school. Namjoon hated for it to be over. Taehyung leaned on Jimin, bent over and looking like death. Jungkook gave them a wave and strode off on the other direction as they climbed walked in together. “Lunch at 12:30?” Jimin asked him before they separated.
“Yeah,” Namjoon said, grinning. “Sure. Thanks.”
“You’re gonna be our producer?” Jungkook asked softly after a couple weeks of sitting silently next to him at lunch and a few evenings watching him give suggestions from the peanut gallery of Taehyung’s garage armchair. Jungkook’s words gritted out over the guitar pick between his teeth, probably more angry-sounding than they were meant. He picked a quiet melody on the bare, unplugged strings as he talked, fingers moving by themselves.
Namjoon blinked. He hadn’t been thinking of himself as part of the band yet, just a guy with some new friends and some fun ideas that took cash to bring out. “Yeah. Yeah, I guess.”
Jungkook nodded towards Yoongi behind his keyboard, pretending to tune every key to Hoseok’s hooting laughter. “We’ve already got a producer, you know.”
Namjoon nodded, a little abashed. “He’s good. We took a class together for that. He writes great songs. You prefer his music?”
“Oh. No. Sorry. Didn’t mean…” he sighed, staring at the ground, fingers still going on the strings. “No, I like your songs.” He glanced back at Namjoon and then down again. Jimin started up a thunderous drum solo in his box and turned the garage into a booming, reverberating cavern until he mellowed out into a jazzy syncopated rhythm. Hoseok whipped a clarinet out of the mess of mic stands and amps and began to improvise. Yoongi struggled for the key for a moment, a dissonant clinking of notes like a cat sitting down around middle C in the middle of a song, and then picked it up and joined in to play chords.
“This is nice,” Namjoon said. Jungkook hummed, head bobbing. His outfit matched his bass, clean lines of black and white and the glint of silver in his ears and on his wrists. Was it odd for Namjoon to notice these small things?
“Get up there,” Taehyung said, striding up and patting Jungkook’s ass. Jungkook grunted in annoyance, then jerked out of Taehyung’s touch to the back of his neck with a glare over his shoulder, more the inaccessible and cold personality Namjoon had originally expected out of him. Jungkook strode over to the stage anyway and plugged his bass in to begin a bizarre-sounding walking electric bass line.
“Can you do something with this?” Yoongi yelled to Namjoon over the noise.
“Something Jazzy? I’ll try. Indie electric jazz could be cool.”
Yoongi grinned his toothy smile and picked up a solo bit to give Hoseok a break.
“That’ll be an easier gig to book, honestly,” Taehyung muttered from beside him. “No one wants a casual band around here, especially not one playing originals, but jazz might be easier to market. At least the bar likes us.”
“You guys looking to do this after you graduate?” Namjoon asked.
“Hell yeah,” Taehyung said.
“We’ll need a full album before too long,” Jungkook said softly, meeting Namjoon’s eyes for once. “You’ll help, right?”
“Of course,” Namjoon said. Never mind his capstone. Never mind the orchestra piece he’d started yesterday. If Jungkook wanted an album, he’d get an album.
A few more weeks and three new songs later, Namjoon made the usual long, long walk from school housing to Seokjin’s house half a mile into town on the opposite side of campus. The walk had only got warmer and warmer as spring approached. All throughout college, he’d ignored loneliness until its occasional absence made it harder to bear, and the weather couldn’t keep him away from new friends. He had his own key to Seokjin’s now. Yoongi had a beer waiting for him. “I’ve got something new for you,” Namjoon said, pulling sheet music out of his backpack.
“Again?” Yoongi said.
“Just had another good idea,” Namjoon said. For the first few weeks, he pumped out pieces in desperation to not be irrelevant or forgotten, but the process had begun to change now, habit instead of need. His heart had stopped pounding every time Jungkook walked into the room, but he hadn’t gotten his eyes to stop following yet.
Yoongi looked over the new piece with a nod. “Awesome. Already looks like a much better success than the electric jazz piece. You’re really going to make us that album, aren’t you.” Hoseok climbed onto the back of the couch behind Yoongi, legs on both sides of him and arms around his neck. He’d dyed Yoongi’s hair blue a few days ago and couldn’t keep his fingers out of it.
Jungkook walked in the door chewing on his thumbnail, glanced at the group around the living room, and passed quietly into the back hallway.
“He’s so quiet around you,” Yoongi muttered.
Namjoon watched him disappear into his room. “Did I do something?”
“He’s usually shy with people he’s just met,” Yoongi said.
“It’s been a month or more,” Hoseok said.
Yoongi hummed low in his throat, throwing Namjoon a knowing look and small smile. “Don’t worry. He likes you. He’s just shier than he lets on.”
Namjoon heard Jimin and Taehyung somewhere in the back of the house, singing and laughing. Seokjin would be at work right now. It was warm enough today that they’d thrown the windows of the house open.
Namjoon suspected Seokjin had set his house up to encourage all his younger scholarly friends to get their work done. Desks sat in strategic points all around the room. The kitchen island was always clear except for an old coffee can filled with pencils and pens. He’d stocked a few cheap bookshelves from target with all his old notes, textbooks, and novels, and put plants, coffee, and tea on top of them. They worked together as much as they drank together. Even with all the extra work, Namjoon was ahead on his capstone. He’d adopted a spot to the left of the window seat, Jungkook’s favorite spot to perch.
Hoseok played his acoustic guitar on the couch. Taehyung and Jimin sang a Spanish lullaby. Jungkook emerged shirtless from the shower and slapped his math notebook down on the table beside Namjoon. “I have a test tomorrow,” he said.
Namjoon got a little bit of a shock whenever Jungkook spoke to him, because he didn’t often, but here he was with wet hair and damp, flushed skin, water still beaded at his hairline and body as smooth and hairless as a model’s. Namjoon supposed he shouldn’t be surprised by the silver barbells through both nipples considering the collection Jungkook had in his ears. He’d seen them already on several occasions from across the room, or by an accidental glance into Jungkook’s loose clothes. There they were a foot away from Namjoon’s eyes, flashing dully, nipples hardening in the chillier air of the living room. Jungkook gave him the slightest edge of a smirk and Namjoon felt himself blush like a school girl.
He had a lollipop again. He seemed to always have a lollipop. Could someone get addicted to lollipops? A month and a half later and it hadn’t stopped driving him crazy. Even with the lollipop, the soft voice, the small shoulders, Jungkook found a way to be physically intimidating, slouching and taking up space, barely paying attention, blinking slowly at Namjoon like he was bored.
Fifteen minutes into tutoring, Jimin slid on his socks down the hallway and emerged in the living room with his arms spread like a showman. “Behold!” he yelled. The room turned. Jimin stood by the door to the kitchen wearing a red crop top and a pair of black jeans so full of giant holes that they may as well have been fishnets. “My next stage outfit. I finished it last night.”
Jungkook whistled. Taehyung immediately reached out and stuck a finger through one of the holes straining across Jimin’s thick thigh. “Holy shit. You’re going to get us so many fangirls.”
“4am Swiss Rolls isn’t a punk band,” Yoongi grumbled, eyes glued to Jimin’s abs. “Doesn’t really fit…”
“We need fangirls,” Hoseok said. “And we agreed at the beginning of this that our style isn’t going to be cohesive. Let Jimin do what he wants. I mean, I perform in my pajamas sometimes.”
“Your pajamas are athletic wear.”
“I’ve also performed in a dance leotard, so…”
“You’re going to need to shave off your body hair,” Taehyung said to Jimin, brushing his fingers across the hair poking out of Jimin’s thigh-holes.
Jimin looked down at his legs. Namjoon could see the fuzz darkening the jean holes all the way down his legs. “Hm. Yeah, you’re right. This could be a lot sexier.”
“Kind of gross,” Taehyung said. Jimin swiped at him.
“Shaving sounds like it sucks through,” Jimin said.
“You’re going to need to get your happy trail too,” Taehyung said, slapping his bare stomach.
“You could wax,” Jungkook said suddenly. “I hate body hair. I wax all the time.”
Namjoon felt that like a bucket of cold water down his back.
Yoongi snorted. “You’re just too young to grow any. You’ll give it up eventually.”
Jungkook turned all the way around in his seat, scowling. “Explains a lot though,” Yoongi continued. “I was wondering why you never have armpit hair. Figured you might just be a late bloomer.”
“I’m fucking nineteen,” Jungkook growled.
Yoongi had already turned back to Jimin. “I think you should stay hairy. Some people like that.”
“Yeah, people would like that if he looked like a bear,” Taehyung said. “But he looks like Prince Charming. Hey, let’s try it out. Jungkook, got any waxing strips?”
Jungkook stood. Jimin paled.
Ten minutes later, Jungkook had wrestled Jimin’s pants off his legs and had him pinned down, muscles straining beautifully to hold him against the ground. Everyone leaned around in a tight circle as Taehyung smeared hot wax on one small section of Jimin’s leg and prepared the strip. “I don’t like this!” Jimin wailed. “It’s gonna hurt!”
“It’s not that bad, you big baby,” Jungkook muttered. “It’s only a little patch.” Jimin knocked Jungkook’s lollipop out of his mouth and Namjoon, cringing, watched it roll under the couch and hoped it wouldn’t look too much like a hairball when it came out again, if it ever did.
“You don’t feel pain! You wouldn’t know!” Jimin yelled.
Taehyung giggled. “Kook’s actually really sensitive though. He’s just a big, strong boy, unlike you.”
Jimin kicked him.
Seokjin came home just as Taehyung ripped the wax strip off. Jimin jumped a little, and then lay perfectly still as if waiting. “Hey, that wasn’t that bad.” He sat up.
“What is going on?” Seokjin said, leaning over the edge of the group.
“We’re waxing my legs,” Jimin said, rubbing the bare spot with tentative fingers. “The whole things. Both of them. Right now.”
Everyone roared with laughter. They all got a turn, ripping hair off his legs, out from under his arms, then his chest and stomach as he squealed and giggled. Apparently Namjoon ripped especially carelessly. “It’s a good thing,” Jimin said through gritted teeth, rubbing the red patch on his thigh. “Like ripping off a Band-aid. Just gets it done. Tae goes just a little bit slowly and it fucking burns so bad.”
“Now you gotta let me wax your balls,” Taehyung said with an evil smirk.
“No. Hell no,” Jimin said. “Drawing the line.”
“You really don’t want to do that,” Jungkook agreed. He’d pulled Jimin’s crop top on over his bare chest, which was somehow worse. “That fucking hurts.”
Jimin lay there in his tiny briefs, waving his bare legs behind him. “Balls are still hairy, but guys, I feel really pretty.”
Yoongi started peeling his pants off. “Do me.”
So Namjoon ended up yanking all the hair off Yoongi’s skinny legs while he screeched and hung onto Hoseok. An audience of band members stood in the background and yelled “Pull! Pull! Pull!” Seokjin made drinks for everyone.
Again that night, Namjoon slept on the couch, and Seokjin drove him to school the next morning, Jungkook in the seat beside him, still blearily sleepy and leaning on Namjoon’s shoulder like he didn’t realize. Namjoon spent the rest of the day with an awful airy hopefulness bubbling up to make him smile in the middle of class, walking down the hallway, just staring out the window and grinning like an idiot.
“What instrument do you play?” Jungkook asked when the silence had begun to feel like choking smoke between them, the only two people standing off to the side as everyone else pitched in to try and help fix Jimin’s collapsed drum set.
“Piano, like Yoongi,” Namjoon said, “started young on that one. Played trombone in middle school, French horn, cello, and bass in high school, guitar casually, accordion one particularly inane summer. Picked up violin in college, as well as some basic clarinet and saxophone.”
He turned to the side to see Jungkook staring at him with his eyes bugging out, hands completely still on his bass strings. “I’m not very good at anything but piano. Like seriously. I can’t make my fingers pick up anything else. I wanted to be a music educator, but I don’t think that’s going to work, so I picked up mixing and producing, and was much better at that than anything else. Composition is my strong suit anyway.”
Jungkook nodded silently. He’d tried to leave the house in just a t-shirt earlier, even though the early spring day’s tentative warmth had faded completely to a frosty, windy chill as soon as the sun set. Jimin and Seokjin had wrestled one of Seokjin’s overlarge pink hoodies over Jungkook’s head. It changed him, sank him under himself a little. Namjoon had begun to see it, the way Jungkook let go around friends and really got loud. He never said much about himself, but could make one funny noise and everyone in the group shut up to watch his next comedy routine. He seemed to like nothing more than making people laugh, but shut that down when Namjoon was around. Tonight he chewed on his fingertips and stood back.
The conversation seemed to be over though, and Namjoon felt bumbling, like he’d bragged too much. Really, that had been the short answer to the question, the humble one, where he left out all the stuff about being naturally good at memorizing fingerings and scales, at learning the basics, but too clumsy to really break the barrier from basics to proficiency without years of hard work, how he loved trying out new instruments too much to stick to them long enough to get good at them. And yet, he stood there like a buffoon while Jungkook looked off into the distance like he didn’t care.
“I play bass and trumpet,” Jungkook finally said. “Little bit of piano. That’s it,” a small, self-deprecating laugh.
“You’re really good at both of those first two, I hear,” Namjoon said. “You sing well. Personally, I think I’d rather be great at a couple instruments than passable on a bunch of them. No one wants to listen to passable players, but I’d listen to you play bass all day.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook said with the first real sunny smile of the afternoon. “Thanks.”
And the smile didn’t leave, sticking around on the corners of his lips and popping up at a moment’s notice for the rest of the evening. Namjoon found himself echoing the smiles, maybe a little undeservingly proud like he’d caused it. He’d made that happen. That one was for him.
Late one evening as spring warmth began to stretch into nighttime too, Yoongi brought the four oldest of the group together for an absinthe party at Seokjin’s. They all arrived dressed in semi-formal shirts and slacks, hair done carefully. Seokjin was definitely wearing a full face of makeup, though it was a little hard to tell in the candlelit living room.
“You look like a professor,” Hoseok said gleefully as Namjoon walked in, and then adopted a servile posture on his knees with his hands raised. “Please sir, extra credit on the test, sir.”
“Save the roleplay for later, babe,” Yoongi said as Namjoon put his whole backpack in Hoseok’s waiting hands and nearly tipped him off the couch. Yoongi had carefully arranged all the bulbous absinthe glasses and other accoutrements artfully around the central green bottle like they were waiting for a photoshoot.
“It’s like this,” Yoongi said, balancing a sugar cube on a special silver slotted spoon over the crystal glass. “You dribble absinthe over it.” He poured some of the green liquor over the sugar. “To get it covered in alcohol. Yeah. And then,” he pulled a lighter out of his pocket. “Then you set it on fire.”
Hoseok and Seokjin both yelped and jumped back as the sugar cube went up in flames and bubbled, melting into the absinthe. “Then you just wash it in with water,” Yoongi said, carefully dripping water from a solo cup over the sugar to knock it in. So much for fancy.
“Wait, you’re watering it down?” Namjoon said.
“You have to,” Yoongi said. “Otherwise its repulsive. That’s why the sugar is necessary. Hoseok, you first.”
Hoseok raised it cautiously to his lips, got a small sip, and nearly gagged. Yoongi snickered, the posh look of his velvet jacket a little ironic.
They passed it around. Seokjin had a lot to say about some dumb photographer that refused to get his best angles, but interrupted himself with some wild yelling as he tried to rub the absinthe taste out of his mouth with his shirtsleeve. Namjoon was plenty prepared by the time he raised it to his lips, took a long sip, and washed his whole mouth with the strong taste of licorice. “Hm,” he said, staring down into the glass. “I kind of like that.”
“You can have it,” Yoongi said, laughing. “I think it’s disgusting.”
“This was your idea!” Seokjin said.
“I’ll go mix up some g&t’s,” Hoseok sighed.
When the rest of the group had finished half a gin and tonic each and Namjoon had dared a few more sips of his absinthe, the conversation turned to a discussion of their music teachers, who was good and who was an asshole. As Seokjin started bragging about the vocal coach’s favor to Jungkook, the door opened and Jungkook himself stumbled through, eyes half-closed, t-shirt collar stretched out, missing both the hat and the hoody he’d worn when he left the house hours earlier.
“Speak of the devil, welcome home, Kook. Good night?” Seokjin said.
Jungkook grunted and lurched into the kitchen for a glass of water. Seokjin pursed his lips. “I was just telling them that I met up with Mrs. Staten and she said you’ve been doing really well in vocal lessons.” Jungkook held up a casual peace sign and dumped water down his chin. He stood there wiping it off his face as Seokjin shrugged at them, looking worried. “Are you sure you’re having a good night?”
“S’fine. Went out with Tae and Jimin. They were flirting with some chick, but apparently, I’m too young and too gay, so I got sent home. Whatever.”
“Or too drunk,” Yoongi muttered as Jungkook tried to set his glass on the edge of the sink and it clattered loudly down with the rest of the unwashed dishes. Jungkook wobbled towards his room, but stopped and reconsidered halfway around the kitchen island, then tottered forward and threw himself across the men on the couch. His head settled on Seokjin’s lap. His ass landed, butt up, on Namjoon’s. Across the table, Hoseok and Yoongi gave Namjoon identical smirks.
That ass was wearing leather pants. Leather pants and a t-shirt so thin Namjoon swore he could see through it. The faux pockets on his small butt put barely a line in the little curves and his shirt rode up over a tiny waist, thinness accentuated by the tight pants, the way his shirt fell easily towards his ribs.
Namjoon carefully put his absinthe down on the side table out of range of Jungkook’s Timbs and pulled Jungkook’s shirt back up. It stayed for only a moment, slipping down with every heavy breath.
“You okay, dear?” Seokjin said, petting Jungkook’s hair, who groaned again and snuggled closer. “This was supposed to be just for the old men of the group.”
“It’s okay,” Yoongi said quickly. “We’re always happy to have him.”
“Already got kicked out of one group for being too young.”
“Christ. You’re nineteen. You’re barely younger than any of us,” Namjoon said, and Jungkook glanced momentarily back at him.
“I think it’s more that I’m a freshman.” He wiggled and his spiny hips rocked painfully against Namjoon’s thigh, who sucked in a breath and tried to steady him, one hand on his back, the other on his thick, firm thigh.
The world got suddenly sharper through the alcoholic daze. Namjoon just barely squeezed down, palm full of warm, firm flesh with little enough give to be muscle instead of fat, but relaxed and soft through the leather. No one else seemed to notice. Namjoon pulled Jungkook’s shirt up over his waist again, just to give himself something to do.
“I’ll talk to them later,” Seokjin was saying, rubbing circles between Jungkook’s strong shoulders, his other hand carding through his hair. “They shouldn’t have sent you home alone like this.”
“Thanks, Dad. I can do it though. They’ll feel sorry when they’re not wasted and fighting over a girl.”
“Was she worth fighting over?” Hoseok asked. Namjoon, still having trouble tracking the conversation, tugged Jungkook shirt up again as he turned his head the other way to look at Hoseok.
“Hell yeah. Fucking gorgeous and really smart. Kept egging them on. She knows what she’s doing.”
Namjoon took his eyes off Jungkook’s ass long enough to look up and meet Yoongi’s eyes, who gave him a slow smile and one raised eyebrow. Namjoon pulled Jungkook’s shirt up again.
And that became the cycle for the next thirty minutes, tune into the conversation and say a few words, tune out. Tug Jungkook’s shirt higher, wince in pain as he fidgeted and his hip bones stab down. Namjoon wondered if there’d be bruises on his thigh tomorrow, exactly the same distance apart as Jungkook’s narrow hips. Jungkook kept erratically jumping into the conversation too, largely too soft and mumbled to be understood but commanding the careful attention of every man in the room.
Namjoon fiddled with the hem of Jungkook’s shirt, unsure if fighting this losing battle just made it more obvious that he was trying to distract himself. “Oh give it up,” Seokjin laughed and tugged Jungkook’s shirt all the way up his back, baring a gorgeous plane of muscles under soft tan skin. Jungkook whined in protest. Namjoon gave Seokjin a suffering look and Seokjin’s mouth popped open a little. He giggled, eyes wide. “Sorry, sorry.” He turned his eyes proudly back on Jungkook. “Yeah, look at that. I remember when he was, like, five and tiny. Look at him now.” He rubbed Jungkook’s bare skin. “I’m so proud. You’re almost as hot as me.”
“Isn’t that weird? You’re cousins,” Hoseok said.
“We hype each other up all the time. We’re gym buddies. It’s fine. Doesn’t have to be sexual.”
“Ew,” Jungkook said.
“Can be though,” Yoongi said. “Damn. Namjoon, pet him for me.”
“He likes back rubs,” Seokjin said. Namjoon prayed for self-control.
It lasted two minutes before Namjoon couldn’t help himself. Jungkook’s warm skin felt like velvet under Namjoon’s hand. He looked up to make sure he hadn’t crossed any boundaries that his protective friends might be looking out for, but Yoongi lay between Hoseok’s legs, sprawled across his chest with his third cocktail of the night hanging mostly empty from his fingers. Hoseok sang to him in a nasally, reedy voice, kissing his forehead and playing with his blue hair. Seokjin had tipped his head back against the couch, and no one watched as Namjoon reverently pet up and down, back and forth across Jungkook’s strong back and slender waist.
He caught Jungkook staring blearily back at him, blinking under his lashes. They locked eyes and Namjoon felt Jungkook’s lungs fill quickly, then freeze, tense against Namjoon’s gentle hand. He stroked back down, slowly across the thinnest part of him, and Jungkook’s face tensed. The muscles under Namjoon’s hand tightened. He grunted and pressed his face against Seokjin’s leg.
“Careful. He’s really ticklish,” Seokjin said.
“I’ll be careful,” Namjoon said. “Don’t want him to stab me with his hips again.”
“They’re sharp little bastards,” Seokjin agreed.
The skin right above Jungkook’s belt was especially tantalizing, just the barest dip in the middle over his spine, just the softest suggestion of dimples in his lower back, soft hills and valleys under Namjoon’s fingers. He could run his hand back and forth there forever, slowly taking it in as Jungkook tensed and held so, so perfectly still.
Something else between Jungkook’s hips pressed against Namjoon’s thigh. He froze, hand right in the middle of Jungkook’s back. Jungkook didn’t seem to notice, face completely lax and squished against Seokjin’s thigh like he was asleep, only the crease between his eyebrows giving away any tension. Maybe he was too drunk to process what his body was doing. Namjoon waited a moment, then experimentally traced the same path and felt the small pressure on his thigh kick just a little. Jungkook was getting hard against him.
He stopped. He left his hand further up on his back and held it still. Jungkook was too drunk for this. The room had too many people in it. Namjoon couldn’t trust his own dick to stay soft.
“Do you guys want to hear how we met?” Hoseok said.
“Of course,” Seokjin said.
“Uh, yeah. Sure,” Namjoon muttered.
“I was walking through the music building my freshman year,” Hoseok began lowly, voice entrancing in the warm, cozy dark of the living room, “and I heard someone playing Yiruma’s ‘The River Flows In You’ and I was so fucking disappointed that I had to hear that goddamn song in fucking college, especially played so soullessly. Like, no mood or anything. It was being played completely straight, so I burst into the practice room to tell whoever it was to either do it right or fucking stop—”
“I hate this story,” Yoongi groaned, sudden and loud.
“And it was Yoongi, just playing it—”
“I expected better from you,” Namjoon said to Yoongi, who let out a long wail, muffled in Hoseok’s chest.
“Just playing it and staring out the window like he was warming up or didn’t notice what he was doing, and as soon as I slammed the door open he screamed. Like actually screamed, stared at his hands like they were traitors, and then hid under the piano begging me never to tell anyone.”
“I’m so ashamed. I can never get it out of my fingers,” Yoongi said.
Jungkook wiggled just a little, a tiny shift of his hips as if asking for Namjoon to continue petting. It rocked two sharp points into Namjoon’s thigh and one dull pressure between them. Namjoon ignored him.
“So that was my first impression of him, and I had a class with him that semester. You can imagine how surprised I was to see him acting so fucking dignified and self-important in class.”
“I hate you,” Yoongi grumbled.
Jungkook wiggled his hips again, eyes open just a little to stare back over his shoulder at Namjoon, who patted his thigh and kept his hand still. Jungkook huffed and pressed his face against Seokjin’s leg again.
“And then I found he was the best concert pianist in the school and was very disappointed in the school.”
“Hey, not nice.”
“Until you learned the piano part from ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ for me later that year and I changed my mind.”
“And that’s when we put together the Swiss Rolls,” Seokjin told Namjoon. “We moved Jungkook up here early when he graduated high school so he could be our main singer.” He had tugged Jungkook’s shirt down a little to rub his shoulders, fingers in his hair again.
“You spoil him,” Namjoon said softly.
Seokjin looked down with a fond smile. “Yeah, we do.” Jungkook let out the softest grunt of protest, barely voiced, and fell asleep on Seokjin’s leg.
After a long silence, Yoongi murmured something low under his breath and Hoseok smirked. “What?” Namjoon and Seokjin said at once.
“Nothing,” Yoongi said, but his eyes were on Namjoon again, tracing up from Jungkook’s ass on his lap, Namjoon’s hand carefully on the back of his leather-clad thigh.
They had to nearly carry him to bed an hour later, and Namjoon was the one tipping Jungkook’s sleepy head back to pour water into his mouth and make him wake up enough to drink, one hand on the back of his neck, thumb steadying on his jaw. Jungkook took it from him and finished it, then immediately started tugging his pants off before he remembered to put the cup down and dropped it, water slicking that thin shirt to the front of his washboard abs.
Namjoon left the room with his head spinning.
He slept on the couch again that night, something he did at least twice a week now, but lay awake a long time considering the licorice taste on his lips, the numb feeling of his hands as they missed leather and muscle.
The weather warmed further, graduation approaching with the April showers and blooming flowers. Namjoon sat in front of an open window in the music building and scribbled on composition paper as usual. This used to be his only pastime, sitting alone, trying to see through his smudged glasses, and writing music that no one ever played. In his first two years, it had paid to be a loner, but last semester had begun to feel wasted, like he’d gone through college and missed something important.
Finals would be there soon. Seokjin had invited him to live on their couch for a while until he accumulated enough paychecks from his job at the studio to rent his own place. He’d never cared less about his future, but had never been happier about it.
Down the practice hallway, Yoongi and Hoseok were working on a piano-clarinet duet. He’d recognize Hoseok’s warm tone anywhere. Past a couple more pianos and the high notes of at least three opera singers, Namjoon heard a trumpet stop suddenly, the bright, full tone that had been cutting boldly through the noise for the past two hours. Namjoon waited with his pencil over the paper, wondering.
Sure enough, Jungkook stepped out of a practice room with a trumpet case in hand, plastic pen sticking out of the corner of his mouth. Holes gaped open in his light-wash jeans. He seemed to stall a little, eyes flicking across Namjoon’s face and down to his phone as if he intended to walk right past him like he didn’t notice Namjoon there. But he stuttered to a stop at his table, no shyness in his squared shoulders and the cocky little nod of greeting.
“Yeah. Your tone is incredible, by the way.”
Jungkook glanced down at his trumpet case and grinned. “Thanks.”
“I’m going to write a trumpet part into the next song I make for you guys.”
Jungkook scratched the back of his neck and took a deep breath. “Yeah. Thanks.” He leaned over the table to look at Namjoon’s notes. “You don’t do all of that on a computer?”
“I usually do. I’ve kind of gotten in the habit of doing it by hand though. It’s meditative, helps my eyes, and gets me out of the studio. Certainly takes longer and I usually have to heavily edit once I get it on a computer to print. Some things are easier to think about freehanded.”
Jungkook hummed, close to Namjoon’s ear now. He stuck the pen back between his lips, nibbling cutely at the mutilated end. “Coming over today?”
“Yeah,” Namjoon murmured, feeling too close. “I want to show all of you this rough draft.”
“Like you wouldn’t have come over anyway,” Jungkook said. “You’re ours now.” He tapped Namjoon under the chin and then backed off fast, hovering a couple feet away and looking off to the left as his cheeks turned red. Namjoon’s head buzzed with the print of Jungkook’s fingers on his skin.
“Yeah, I really am, aren’t I,” he said. Jungkook nodded with a little smile.
“Well, yeah. See you at dinner.”
“See you then.”
He watched Jungkook disappear down the hallway with a little perk in his step.
“I’ve never seen Jungkook take this long to open up to anyone,” Seokjin said a few days later in the empty living room. Jungkook had yet to get back from practice. “I’m worried. Is he, like, hostile to you?”
Namjoon shook his head. “He ignores me or he doesn’t. He talked to me in the music building a few days ago. Just seems shy.”
Jungkook also sat with a damn lollipop between his teeth and watched Namjoon from across the room whenever he was over. He wore ripped up clothes and shirts with smaller and smaller sleeves as the weather warmed. He lay in the window seat like a lazy cat, barbell prints visible under his shirt and just close enough for Namjoon to reach out and touch while he worked, though Namjoon never did. Jungkook walked out of his room in the mornings wearing barely anything and made Namjoon’s morning coffee. He stayed up late in the living room when Namjoon was over, doing his own work a couple desks away or falling asleep close by, still with one of those ever-present lollipops that must be rotting his teeth.
“I’m worried he doesn’t like you and I can’t figure it out.”
“No,” Namjoon said, shaking his head, “That isn’t the reason.”
It was more his own uncertainty. Jungkook’s shyness kept him from feeling he was free to get close, to make Jungkook uncomfortable by starting conversations. He hoped it was enough to write love songs for Jungkook to sing, to compliment his voice and get close and soft during their increasingly unusual tutoring sessions, to let Jungkook fall onto his lap when he was drunk and rub his back when he sat close. Jungkook accepted all of these with a sigh, melting out of his stiff, masculine bravado and into the sweet mannerisms of someone who loved being babied, but never opened up, never invited Namjoon closer. They still had time. He didn’t want to push.
It was the others who did all the pushing, Yoongi with his growled innuendos and significant glares at both of them, Jimin with his increasingly poorly veiled questions about their sexual relations, Hoseok with the way he organized the room to get Jungkook and Namjoon close to each other at every opportunity. Taehyung seemed just as oblivious as Seokjin.
When the entirety of 4am Swiss Rolls had gathered in the living room that evening, Namjoon spread a more complete draft of his latest piece out on the table. As usual, Hoseok had crowded Namjoon next to Jungkook, who lounged lazily at the end of the couch with his shorts riding high up his hairless legs. He had his lollipop between his teeth, working it slowly between his molars as he watched the conversation.
“I adjusted the melody,” Namjon said, “made the bridge a trumpet solo and moved the baseline to the keyboard while the second guitar does rhythm and the first is counter melody. The percussion has been cut down to something really basic in this section.”
“Aw, man,” Jimin said as Yoongi murmured “Oh, I like that.”
“So, let’s talk the chorus. I’m not sure about this chord progression. I tried getting weird with it but I don’t know if it sounds good enough to warrant the experimentation and since it’s your sound, I wanted to leave it up to you.”
Yoongi had a small electric piano mat that he could roll out on the table and play sickly sounding notes across only a couple octaves as they hovered around. Namjoon was fairly sure it was a toy made for kids. Yoongi tried out the chord progression. “Yeah, that’s weird. Let’s try some other stuff.”
The disagreements began. Jimin liked Namjoon’s bit. Hoseok liked Yoongi’s first alternate option. Yoongi preferred his second. Seokjin wanted them to try out something else. Taehyung very much wanted them to listen to the details of a gig he’d booked them in four weeks and no one wanted to hear it. Jungkook sat at the end of the couch chewing on a lollipop that never seemed to get the slightest bit smaller, head tipped back against the cushions.
Namjoon turned to Jungkook to ask which chord progression he preferred and completely lost track of where he was going. “Where are you getting all those lollipops, why isn’t it getting any smaller, and why haven’t your teeth rotted out of your head yet?”
Yoongi snorted out loud. Jimin started to say something and Hoseok shushed him. They all fell quiet and the palpable feeling of baited breath filled the room. Jungkook gave a tentative look around like he wanted someone else to answer, and then pulled the lollipop, wet, shiny, and whole, out of his mouth. “I don’t have any lollipops. I just have this thing,” he said quietly, and for the first time, Namjoon noticed that it was far too uniform in color to be sugar, far too matte, just a little bit too small on its plastic stem. “It’s silicon. I chew on everything without noticing, unless I’m half asleep, so I have this to stop me from destroying everything I own.”
Yoongi popped in. “He has an intense oral fixation and needs to keep his mouth full with a chew toy like a dog.” Namjoon felt his body grow hot, his whole perception of who Jungkook was as a person tilting on its axis as he realized Jungkook’s lollipop had no pretense of innocence at all.
Jungkook flushed as red as Namjoon felt, lollipop held in soft fingers a foot from his face like he wanted to put it back in his mouth but didn’t think he should. Namjoon focused on his mouth, that strong trumpet embouchure and small lips, the muscles in his cheeks, the way his tongue flicked into view and his teeth ground together nervously.
“You okay?” Yoongi snickered at Namjoon, who hadn’t moved in several seconds. Jungkook glanced quickly at him and then back down to the coffee table, eyes even rounder than usual.
“Just didn’t know that was a thing,” Namjoon said quickly. “Why a lollipop? Why not a rubber pencil or, I don’t know, something else?”
“He says it’s better for his teeth if he sucks and doesn’t chew,” Jimin said brightly, “but it’s really because he likes to tease.”
Jungkook tossed his silicon lollipop on the table with a scowl. “The dentist suggested it,” he said, arms crossed over his chest. “What do you want from me?”
“So chords,” Yoongi said, graciously, moving the conversation away from Jungkook’s oral fixation. “I’m going to play through them again.” He played some options. Everyone reworded their opinion. “Jungkook, which one do you want?”
“The original until we can get out into the garage and figure it out as a team,” Jungkook said, slightly muffled. Namjoon turned to him and saw he had a pen in his mouth already. Taehyung giggled. Jungkook tossed that on the table too and stared moodily out the window.
“I like Yoongi’s second option,” Taehyung said.
“Me too,” Seokjin said.
“Okay, we’re going with my second option,” Yoongi said, and scribbled that onto Namjoon’s notes in pen. Namjoon sighed. Yoongi moved on.
As Yoongi slowly moved through this process, which Namjoon rarely had any comment on, Jungkook began to chew on his fingers instead. They sat there for a long hour as the other band members bitched and argued through the piece until Namjoon heard a little gasp of pain and turned to see Jungkook staring unhappily at his now bleeding cuticle before shoving it between his legs and frowning.
Without thinking, Namjoon picked Jungkook’s lollipop off the table and tapped it against Jungkook’s lip. A hush fell over the room. Jungkook slowly, obediently opened his mouth, and took it delicately between his teeth and the little curl of his red tongue, quickly sucking it deeper as his cheeks reddened and he curled up tighter in his seat. “Don’t hurt yourself,” Namjoon said, voice unintentionally low, and Jungkook nodded slowly, eyes adorably wide.
Across the room, Taehyung snickered and breathed “You smooth motherfucker.”
After that, Jungkook claimed Namjoon as his sixth massage chair, nuzzling up against him just like he nuzzled against Hoseok or Jimin for head scratches. The masculine, carefree young man came back on stage, showed up in the corners of the apartment when he sat around on his phone or went out to meet with his lacrosse friends, but seemed to vanish into sly glances and strategic lounging around Namjoon.
He noticed the oral fixation all the time now, when Jungkook wasn’t half asleep, his mouth worked around whatever he’d shoved in there, or he chewed at his cheeks, sucked his lips into his mouth, bit gently at his hands. The lollipop made much more sense. Namjoon began to see bite marks all over the house, on the removable showerhead, on every pen, on every remote and PS4 controller. No wonder he’d become such a good trumpet player where his mouth would be so important.
Within a couple weeks, Namjoon graduated with Yoongi. Hoseok bitched at them throughout the entire week that they were leaving him behind. “We’ll both be here for a while,” Yoongi said, “I’m fucking living with you next semester. Calm down.”
At the restaurant afterwards, Jungkook sat silently beside Namjoon in his suit, the end of his rolled-up commencement program chewed into a pulp. Meeting Namjoon’s parents put him in a dazed, nervous silence for the whole afternoon.
That evening, after a four-hour jam session with drinks and commiseration in the garage, Namjoon spent his first night on Seokjin’s couch. He woke to coffee from Jungkook and breakfast from Seokjin, Jungkook waking up in window seat, half asleep and shirtless, sweatpants low on his hips. Namjoon drank his coffee and enjoyed the view. It didn’t take long for Jungkook to catch him looking, and returned a little happy smile.
“Wanna hear me practice?” he murmured.
“Not trumpet,” Jungkook said, “not this early. Guitar? I’ve been getting better.”
Seokjin left for work and passed them in the living room, Jungkook singing Namjoon’s love song back to him, playing Seokjin’s acoustic guitar, just rich notes spinning from the strings and Jungkook’s soft voice.
On a sleepy Saturday morning, Namjoon woke with the sour taste of last night’s beer still in his mouth and sat up in time to see Seokjin throwing open the windows to the balmy morning air, and then rushing out the door to work. Looking out onto the grassy lawn with flowers still budding on the bushes, he wished that Seokjin and Jungkook had a third room for him to move into permanently, that he could experience this house every morning for a year, the leaves in autumn and winter lighting up the room with the bright white reflection off snow in the yard. Jungkook padded around the airy room, watering the plants, throwing away beer cans.
He wore a long, white shirt, underwear invisible like he was wearing nothing underneath. “Sorry about coffee,” he said, voice rough and soft. “Just got up.”
“We should go back to bed,” Namjoon said. “We were all up till three last night.”
Jungkook shrugged. “I’ll nap later.”
They brushed their teeth together in the bathroom, staring in the mirror where their reflections threw different details into relief than what he’d noticed in the living room, the way Jungkook’s shirt hung off his nipple piercings and draped down flat over a body so toned and small that it vanished into the folds.
Namjoon made toast in the kitchen, bumping shoulders as Jungkook pawed through the cabinet and discovered that they were out of cereal. He blinked at the milk with his swollen eyes, hair still mussed from the bed, and then sighed in defeat and put it away. “Can you make me some toast too please?”
“Of course,” Namjoon said.
Jungkook lounged in the recliner with his plate of toast on his lap, blinking groggily at the open window and chewing slowly. He nodded off slowly in the seat, toast slipping off his lap.
Red caught Namjoon’s eye. Under the scrunched-up t-shirt, Jungkook wore tiny, cherry-red briefs.
Namjoon’s sleepy mind didn’t question whether or not it was appropriate to stare. The small strip of cloth stretched tightly across those sharp hips, the pull of muscle from his toned butt, cloth smooth and clinging to the uneven bulge in the front. No dark, curly hair clung to the inside of his spread thighs, and Namjoon remembered the waxing strips. Jungkook had told Jimin that waxing his balls would really hurt. Of course he’d know. Nothing hid the thick veins leading up from his waist and down into his legs, and Namjoon felt more heat than just what was coming in the open windows.
Namjoon realized he was about to drool down his front and turned his gaze back to the book in his hands, one of Seokjin’s romance novels that he’d grabbed at random because of the nice teal spine color.
Across the room, Jungkook snored softly as Namjoon stole glances. The softness of the sunlight turned brighter as mid-morning stretched into late morning. Jungkook stretched out and scratched his belly absently, shirt riding up above his navel. He opened his eyes slowly, mouth perfectly still, fixation only forgotten when he was too sleepy to deal with it.
Namjoon focused on his book, not wanting to make Jungkook uncomfortable. The formless drivel of the plot progression felt like it might put him to sleep and did barely enough to distract him as Jungkook rolled out of his chair and settled on the couch next to Namjoon with a PS4 controller, legs still spread wide like he hadn’t noticed how tiny and tight his little briefs were.
Jungkook flicked through Netflix for a few minutes, sighing in boredom. “Bob’s Burgers works,” Namjoon said. He ran his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, nothing out of the ordinary, and Jungkook leaned back into his hand. The theme song started. Namjoon went back to his book.
“I’ve seen this episode before,” Jungkook murmured a couple minutes in.
“Change it if you want to.” Namjoon heard the dull clack of teeth on plastic and knew without looking that Jungkook was chewing on one wide arm of the controller, which had to be horribly unsatisfying.
Seokjin’s romance novel was getting steamy early, the Scottish heroine already thrown into the hay of a barn out on the moor, her family’s farm-hand over her, pulling out his massive throbbing meat. Namjoon tried not to laugh out loud and draw attention to the filth that he was reading. This author sure loved to draw out the dick-shriveling, soul-deadening descriptions of the guy’s junk.
Beside him, Jungkook made a small noise. He realized he’d started tugging Jungkook’s hair instead of stroking it. “Sorry,” he murmured, taking his hand away.
“It’s okay,” Jungkook murmured. “Don’t stop.”
Did he mean keep pulling? Namjoon tentatively tugged the back of Jungkook’s hair, and he drifted unconsciously closer, eyes closing. The show played at an almost inaudible volume in the background as Namjoon went back to the poorly written descriptions of thrusting that passed for porn. He skimmed. Now the heroine’s dress was torn off, her lady parts exposed willingly to his stake-like manhood. He grabbed her curly red hair and pulled her head back, mouthing at her neck like a—Namjoon battled a snicker down. Like an overexcited sheep dog. Why did Seokjin even own this shit?
The clacking against the remote had stopped. Again, Namjoon released his pull on Jungkook hair and moved to the back of his neck, just a light touch. He skimmed to the bottom of the page through some very generic “oh fuck me like an animal you monster” dialogue and lots of grunting, and flipped the page to a graphic description of the slide of his dick inside her sopping vagina, naturally hairless for some reason.
Jungkook’s legs closed suddenly, pulled up against his chest. Namjoon got one glance of Jungkook pulling his shirt suddenly down over the vibrant red briefs and glanced slyly up. Jungkook’s eyes were glued to Namjoon’s book, his cheeks flushed, mouth open, remote forgotten on the couch beside them.
And it really wasn’t fair, the way Jungkook leaned into his hands the way he’d been leaning into them for weeks, the ‘o’ of his little mouth, the clothes. They’d been circling each other for months now, and here they were, reading smut together on the couch wearing pajamas alone on a Saturday morning. Namjoon took his hand off Jungkook’s neck so fast he lurched sideways. Jungkook’s eyes snapped up, glassy and wide.
“You—” he gasped, “you’re reading—”
Namjoon pushed Jungkook’s legs off the couch, pulled his shirt up his chest, Jungkook’s hardening cock now in full view. He did nothing to hide himself, just stared up at Namjoon’s face with just the edges of two fingers in his mouth. “Now, what about this trash has you so hot and bothered?” Namjoon teased, snapping the book closed and holding it up.
“Not that,” Jungkook said, stammering and panicked, “You’re reading smut right beside me, and I—” Namjoon slid the closest hand casually across Jungkook’s hardening cock. Jungkook stiffened as if shocked, hands slapping onto Namjoon’s arms and thighs jerking up to tighten around his fingers and hold him still. Namjoon froze.
There was still a possibility that he’d misread, that all of Jungkook’s cuddles and staring, all his posing in barely-there clothing and staring and popping his lollipop in and out of his mouth hadn’t been for Namjoon. The room charged with implication, the snap of a thread pulled taut for so many weeks between them, the will-they won’t-they that Namjoon thought he’d been toeing since the night Jungkook’s rocked his hard-on down against Namjoon’s thigh in the middle of a crowded living room. For a tense moment, Jungkook held him still.
But he clung. For several seconds, nothing happened, just Jungkook’s strong grip holding Namjoon’s big hand against him, staring down between his legs like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Slowly, carefully, Namjoon curled his fingers just a little against Jungkook’s balls and watched his whole body roll in response. His dick swelled quickly against Namjoon’s left hand. Namjoon’s right hand, further away and currently absolutely irrelevant, dropped the book. He didn’t even realize.
Jungkook made frantic, cut-off moans that seemed to hang on the walls in the low room. His feet scrambled on the carpet as he started to grind. Namjoon watched in shock as Jungkook’s hand slid, shaking, down Namjoon’s arm, and his fingers locked through Namjoon’s, forcing it lower, harder, the heel right over the head of a cock small enough to fit under Namjoon’s hand, to stretch his briefs out without too much stress, a soft, burning pressure against Namjoon’s palm that made him wonder if this was still real, if he wasn’t hallucinating, that this was really better than everything he’d imagined.
They should have closed the window. It was too late now. Jungkook moved like he’d forgotten where he was, the desperation of months in his hips. Namjoon bent his fingers again, cupping him better. The softer parts of him squished gently against Namjoon’s fingertips and Jungkook tossed his head back with a deep groan. He shook against Namjoon’s arm, full-bodied shudders as he worked himself down with little grunts like he wanted to speak.
“Been thinking about this for that long, huh?” Namjoon said finally, and the moment swooped through his words and broke into exciting pieces, their attraction now stated and somehow both more real and mundane and full of new possibility.
“Fuck,” Jungkook whimpered, breathy and lost already. “This isn’t really how I wanted to start things with you.”
Namjoon tensed. “Want to stop?”
“No,” Jungkook gasped, “too fucking late. No way. Don’t stop.”
“I’m not doing anything,” Namjoon laughed a little, though he wished he was. He’d be achingly hard in minutes at this rate. “You should get on my lap,” Namjoon murmured, “if you want something to grind on.”
Jungkook’s straddled him, thighs thick and wide over his hips. He started slow and unsure, red briefs straining and tight against Namjoon’s thin boxers, almost nothing really. It only took him a moment to bear down and pick up rhythm, gripping Namjoon’s shoulders and shoving heat against heat to steal Namjoon’s breath and send an ache of pleasure through him.
That was a face Namjoon had been waiting to see, the clenched eyebrows and open lips, eyelashes fluttering like the faces he made when he sang into the mic, but better. Breath came difficult and hot.
Of course, Jungkook would take control, demand that Namjoon hold his hips just right and sit perfectly still. After all the times he’d seen Jungkook squirm into someone’s lap and put their hand on his head, after feeling those sharp hipbones dig into his thighs while he wiggled drunkenly on his lap for more back rubs.
Speaking of. Namjoon’s hands slid around behind his hips and over that delightful line over his beltline, but lower down now, fingertips slipping just below the elastic band. Pure satisfaction had him tipping his head back and moaning, the little dips of Jungkook’s back dimples, the hardness of his muscles as he rocked his hips.
Jungkook yanked his own shirt up his chest, gasping when it caught on his nipples. He shoved it into his mouth, those pretty pink lips disappearing behind the thin t-shirt. Namjoon could almost feel his eyes bugging as Jungkook pushed his chest forward, steered Namjoon’s head with irresistible strength till Namjoon’s lips met the hard metal of his nipple piercing. “Yeah,” Jungkook muttered around the shirt. “Pleathe. Fug, Nabjoon.”
Namjoon, head spinning, sucked on the little bud in his mouth, clattered the jewelry against his teeth and pulled softly, experimentally, testing how much Jungkook could take. Jungkook squealed and collapsed forward, pushing Namjoon breathlessly back into the couch—Seokjin’s couch. Namjoon imagined the reaction Seokjin would have if he came back right now and chuckled against Jungkook’s nipple. Jungkook’s hips jerks frantically. He’d lost his rhythm completely. Namjoon sacrificed one of the hands on Jungkook’s lower back to reach up and flick the other barbell, just light touches that jerked and rattled it, and Jungkook wailed.
Namjoon remembered the open window. “Baby, shh,” he tried to say, and it came out muffled with his mouth full, too soft under Jungkook’s keening. Namjoon let go of the barbell and reached up to tap Jungkook’s lips over his t-shirt and tell him to quiet down.
Immediately, Jungkook dropped the t-shirt and slurped Namjoon’s fingers between his lips. He let go of all his strength at once, falling hard. Namjoon backed off and came up for air. The suction around Namjoon’s fingers intensified, deepened. Surprised, Namjoon pulled back and trailed his eyes from Jungkook’s full mouth and spread lips to the wet spot on the hem of his falling t-shirt, to his clenching, flexing abs, and then down to the wide wet spot darkening the front of his red briefs.
Even with his mouth stuffed, Jungkook moaned, rattling around Namjoon’s fingers as he panted. His hips sped up erratically, length hard and hot against Namjoon’s through the unbearable clinging of his boxers. “Wow. Fuck. Kook?”
Namjoon moaned reverently, uncomfortably turned on and not getting enough, but unwilling to change it and ask for more. “You’ve been driving me crazy for months, baby. Do you do all that on purpose?”
Jungkook nodded frantically, tongue compressing against Namjoon’s fingers and fluttering, pressing up between them and making Namjoon’s breath come short. He gripped Namjoon’s shoulders hard enough to hurt and kept rolling like a dancer against him, thighs flexing. “The one night on the couch with the absinthe. You got hard against my leg. Did you notice?”
Jungkook’s eyes popped open, but he didn’t stop sucking, just groaned and shook his head ever so slightly, looking mortified, which was pretty comical with spit sliding down his chin and his hard cock stretching the fabric of briefs so small they may as well have been panties.
“All the—oh fuck—the lying around with your damn lollipop? The jeans with holes? Were those on purpose?”
Jungkook nodded this time, sinking down further on his thick thighs. He steered Namjoon’s mouth back to his chest. Stop talking. Do some work.
The boxers clung uncomfortably to Namjoon’s crotch, friction delicious but unsteady. He left it alone and concentrated on flicking Jungkook’s barbell with his tongue, fucking his fingers deep into Jungkook’s little mouth. He bit, a sharp pain against Namjoon’s knuckle that shocked through the rest of his body. Jungkook’s hands trembled against the back of his head, guitar-string callouses scratching against his skin.
Jungkook jerked in Namjoon’s lap, gasping harshly around Namjoon’s wet fingers. Those hips worked shakily against Namjoon’s lap. Namjoon reeled, maybe from lack of enough air with his face smashed right up to Jungkook’s chest, maybe because Jungkook had a way of feeling so small against him, so closed in and tight against his chest, struggling desperately in a way Namjoon would never imagined him capable of. Cool, quiet Jungkook panting and writhing like he might explode.
“There you go,” Namjoon breathed against Jungkook’s chest. He inched his hands slowly into the back of those cherry red shorts, getting a handful of firm, round muscle, just a little bit of squish back by his thigh. Jungkook kicked forward against him and back into his hand.
“Please,” Jungkook gurgled, pulling back to suckle on the tips of his fingers, voice so breathy and still somehow shy.
Namjoon bit gently at the barbell, slid the hand on his ass in and down to rub gently over the smooth skin to his hole, let Jungkook suck his fingers far enough down his throat that Namjoon’s hand crushed against his face. “C’mon,” Namjoon said, tugging him closer. He pressed with the palm on his ass, the fingers against his hole to steady the little circles of his hips. “I know you’re close.”
Jungkook throbbed hard against him and tried to jerk back. Namjoon didn’t let him, holding him hot, heavy, and tight as he shook and struggled. “Cum, baby,” he breathed. Jungkook let out a broken sigh, and Namjoon leaned back just in time to look down and see cum pearl and swell out of the threads in Jungkook’s briefs, darkening and spreading in a large wet stain.
“Fuck,” Namjoon murmured, holding Jungkook steady as he tapped the wet spot at the end of the hard line. “Look at you.”
Jungkook let him look for only a moment, thighs trembling against him as Namjoon played gently. Then he climbed awkwardly and hurriedly off Namjoon’s lap, banging against his legs against the table and using Namjoon as support, all the grace and poise he usually carried himself with gone to the glazed look in his eyes.
“Ow, fuck,” Namjoon said as Jungkook planted a sharp elbow in the middle of his leg.
“Sorry,” Jungkook said, already on his knees, already yanking unsteadily at Namjoon’s boxers. “Gimme…Joon!”
Confused, Namjoon helped him pull the boxers down far enough to free his embarrassingly wet cock, already dripping with precum. Sucking dick had never struck Namjoon as something to get excited about. Eyes glassy, Jungkook lunged forward, mouth first, tongue out, and wrapped his lips around the very tip of Namjoon’s cock. He jumped. “Kook, hold on a second,” he gasped. Jungkook let out a small whine and backed off with precum stringing from his lips.
Namjoon shuffled his hips closer to the edge of the couch, still a little breathless. At a distance, it was easy to see Jungkook as himself again, as the guy who lay in the windowsill, who made him coffee in the morning and played guitar to himself. Bob’s Burgers played softly in the background, now visible over Jungkook’s head. While he fumbled for the remote to turn it off, Jungkook swallowed him down deep with a happy groan.
The oral fixation. Of course. Jungkook sucked dick like a kitten with a bottle. He sagged against Namjoon’s legs, lips stretched and red, moaning and whimpering like it was twice at good for him as was for Namjoon.
Jungkook's mouth went suction tight, wet and hot, his fingers curling and scratching against Namjoon’s hips, hair sticking to his forehead and spit dripping down his chin as Namjoon sat there and tried not to choke him. He’d imagined Jungkook between his legs so many times, lips round like he was sucking on candy. “What’s Seokjin going to think?” Namjoon said.
“He’ll be mad about the couch,” Jungkook breathed, and Namjoon had to laugh until he moaned, dick stuck in a wet vacuum that didn’t let up for more than a second for air. Jungkook’s eyebrows scrunched. His hips kicked. Overwhelmed, vibrating moans tore through his throat like he was getting twice as much out of this as Namjoon.
“So beautiful,” Namjoon murmured, because he couldn’t think of any other way to say thanks without being weird, to express the awe and shock of having Jungkook on his knees with his eyes shut and that talented mouth using him as his lollipop. “I’m gonna cum so fast.”
“Don’t—” Jungkook said, and cut himself off by filling his mouth and groaning happily like he’d just sunk into a hot bath, mouth wide open and working.
“If you don’t want me cum,” Namjoon said, already squirming on couch as the searing ache of pleasure tightened everything in him, “then you’d better let me rest.”
“Mm-mm” vibrated against Namjoon’s dick and he gasped.
“Kook, fuck, how are you fucking real?” he gasped. Jungkook gripped his hips as an answer. “I’m gonna die. You’re sucking my soul out.”
Jungkook pulled off to the tip for a moment, the head of Namjoon’s dick still between his lips as he glared up at him. “If you make me laugh I’ll fucking choke.”
Jungkook didn’t seem to care about Namjoon’s pleasure, didn’t glance up through his eyelashes to watch Namjoon’s reaction or put on any sort of pace, didn’t try to get deep enough to be uncomfortable, just worked with a fury and never let up, getting all the satisfaction from the feeling of Namjoon’s dick in his mouth. “Gonna cum.”
“Suit yourself, but you’re paying for it,” Jungkook slurred before shoving himself all the way to Namjoon’s skin and swallowing around him. Namjoon had a moment to grab his shoulder to warm him, to lock up and revel in the moment on the edge, before he tipped over and felt hot cum flood the inside of Jungkook’s mouth around him.
For a moment, Namjoon thought he might be let down gently as Jungkook slowed and became careful, licked politely at the underside of his cock and swallowed all the white down, going back to get what he’d smeared lower down, and Namjoon lay back, let the aftershocks rip through him one after another, and prepared for it to be over.
Jungkook didn’t stop. As the stimulation turned from delicious to painful, Namjoon arched against the couch and jerked back. Jungkook followed, eyes half closed and far away as he kept suckling softly, stimulation harsh and wonderful. Namjoon thrashed and whimpered, thinking Jungkook might at any moment take the hint and back off, but didn't want him to, was so glad he didn't.
“Kook, ‘m done, oh fuck, Kook—” He gripped Jungkook's jaw, who slowed and looked up at him, waiting. Namjoon grit his teeth and held him there. Jungkook’s eyes drifted closed, strong cheeks working to accommodate Namjoon’s dick as it struggled to soften. Tears dripped down Jungkook’s cheeks, cum down his chin, but he tipped his head against Namjoon’s thigh and kept sucking sweetly till Namjoon thought he might be ripped in half.
They stayed like that for a long time, Jungkook sucking mindlessly, Namjoon delirious against the couch cushions, heaving for breath and blinking slowly at Jungkook’s sweaty hair, the stretch of his lips. The pleasure turned the corner from wonderful torture to wildly good, an intense sort of burn that he wanted to push away and needed to build. For what must have been more than a half hour, they sat together silently, all panting breath and the slick sounds of a wet mouth on a wet cock. Namjoon stared at the ceiling when the sight of Jungkook’s round features working mercilessly on him became too much, but couldn’t stay there long, not with something so pretty between his legs, begging to be seen.
Eventually, and it took a very long time, Namjoon shuddered through a painfully intense second orgasm and sobbed as Jungkook swallowed that down and sucked harder, mewling softly in need.
Namjoon speared two fingers between Jungkook’s lips beside his oversensitive cock and pushed backwards. Jungkook went, eyes still closed, body still barely supporting itself, red, chapped lips wrapped back against Namjoon’s overworked fingers and sucking hard.
He moaned desperately again, mouth persistent but lips trembling, hands limp in his lap, and Namjoon gaped. He tried to pull back and Jungkook followed with a distressed whine. Namjoon sat there, fingers in Jungkook’s mouth, exhausted, dizzy, and quite a bit lost. He looked around for the silicon lollipop and didn’t see it. The fingers would have to do.
Eventually, Jungkook slowed, taking more time to back up and swallow, lips looser and teeth more careless, tongue barely moving. He cracked open his eyes for just a moment, and shut them again.
“You okay?” Namjoon breathed. The living room waited.
“Mm,” Jungkook groaned finally, small and broken.
“Can you—are you—um…are you sure you’re okay?”
Jungkook huffed and moved, trusting Namjoon’s hand to move with him, crawling blindly onto the couch with clumsy legs that must be sore and stiff by now. He made sure to keep Namjoon’s fingers in his mouth as he lay down and dragged Namjoon down behind him with a clear demand. Spoon me.
“Okay,” Namjoon said and kissed the back of his neck. “Can you pull the sheets up first?”
Namjoon sighed. With the fiery heat fading, all his sweat had begun to cool in the breeze through the open window. He lifted his fingers up and Jungkook bit down, moaning in protest as he followed, sitting up. “Now that you’re up, can you grab the sheet?”
Jungkook let the fingers leave his mouth for just a moment to glare balefully down at him, then grabbed them back between his teeth and dragged the sheets onto both of them.
Namjoon shoved an arm under Jungkook’s head and breathed against his shoulder until he fell asleep and let Namjoon’s fingers finally drop from his lips. He couldn’t sleep for a while, heart still pounding, head still slowly sinking back into itself. Jungkook lay sweaty and limp in front of him, stinking of sex, cum probably uncomfortably dried in his underwear, and they’d never even been on a date. Namjoon laughed against the little hairs at the back of Jungkook’s neck and went to sleep.
Seokjin arrived that evening to his two houseguests asleep on his own couch, both damp and curled tightly against each other. After making a few furious exclamations under his breath, he sighed, said “fucking finally,” and started making them dinner.
“Shower, both of you,” he said when they sat up in confusion after radio started to play. “Everyone else will be here in fifteen minutes.”
They were in there for the next hour, and emerged to leftovers ready on the counter and everyone in the room whooping and hollering. Jungkook just snorted and grabbed his dinner, but made the whole meal a little more difficult by shoving his legs into Namjoon’s lap and leaning on his shoulder, not caring if he dropped rice between their arms or lost a green bean into the sleeve of Namjoon’s shirt.
“You little shit,” Namjoon said.
“Suck it up,” Jungkook croaked in a voice rough as sandpaper. Taehyung burst into giggles.
“Don’t laugh about that,” Yoongi said. “We’ve got a gig in two days and he needs his voice.”
“Sorry,” Namjoon said.
“I did it to myself,” Jungkook muttered. “Not your fault.”
“You’re coming to the gig, right?” Hoseok said, nudging Namjoon still rubbery legs with a toe.
“Yeah, sure. Always.”
“We’ll get you a backstage pass. We’ll say you’re another manager.”
Manager sounded nice. He tipped his head against Jungkook’s and watched the other boys flit around the room with their usual high energy shenanigans, though Yoongi sat still across from him with a pleased expression. “Welcome to the family,” he growled. “Not that you weren’t already a part of it, but we’ve been waiting to see how this worked out. Jungkook called dibs on you early.”
Jungkook threw Namjoon’s head off as he sat up with a small, indignant noise. “Never called dibs,” he said.
“Well, you didn’t exactly call dibs, but Seokjin said towards the beginning that Namjoon might be fun to fuck.” Seokjin squawked indignantly from the kitchen. Yoongi turned to Namjoon again. “And Kook got so alarmed and unhappy about it but wouldn’t say why, so we decided he had dibs.” Jungkook settled back down looking embarrassed. Namjoon chuckled and kissed the top of his head.
“Gross,” Yoongi said. “You know, we were worried that you wouldn’t come back for a while. You seemed so distant, but we all wanted to keep you around even before Kook freaked out.”
And to think Namjoon had started the year thinking he’d have nothing to miss when he graduated. He wouldn’t have to either, could keep spending his days here with the best people. To think he’d almost left them alone. “I almost didn’t come back actually,” Namjoon said. “You’re all intimidatingly close, I guess. Don’t know why we haven’t been friends before now, but yeah. Couldn’t stay away.” He squeezed Jungkook’s leg.
“Stayed for me?” Jungkook said after a moment.
“Yeah, for you,” Namjoon said, and Jungkook buried his face between Namjoon’s shoulder and the couch and for a while.
Summer passed. Namjoon had long since moved into Jungkook’s room. In the fall, they recorded an album of Namjoon’s songs in his studio. They sold out their t-shirts and booked a concert at a private venue, which also sold out.
Sometimes Namjoon spent afternoons on the floor of Jungkook’s practice room listening to his trumpet, and evenings out in the garage with Tae, listening to 4am Swiss Rolls sing his heart back to him. “Let’s go on tour this summer,” Taehyung said. “We’ll have a new album by then, right?”
Namjoon had Jungkook’s head in his lap, Jungkook’s lips wrapped around the tip of his fingers, the edge of a new melody tinkling away in the back of his brain to the sound of Seokjin fiddling with his guitar and cars passing in the street outside. “Definitely,” he said, thinking he might know what it meant to have a muse.