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Fake Sugar

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There’s a stuffy, bourgeois air about the place that Namjoon would despise, Jin ponders as he takes a dainty sip of his overpriced gin and tonic.  

Jimin isn't here yet. Of course Jimin isn't here yet. Of course Jimin, who is 15 minutes early to everything, would choose tonight of all nights to run late, leaving Jin sitting by himself at an uncomfortably lavish cocktail bar, surrounded by business cards gilded with gold, hair gel that costs more than his watch, and rich dudes who think they can buy everything including him by the looks he's drawing. He checks his phone and re-reads the last message he got from Jimin before he decided to drop off the face of the Earth.  

 

Jimin: On my way 

 

40 minutes ago. 

He feels the crawling prickle of eyes on him as he shoves his phone back into his pocket, wondering what exactly the fuck this place is. All he knows is that the second he stepped through this door, he picked up on an undeniably predatory vibe in the place that is at striking odds with the convivial laughter, the gentle tinkling of fine glassware, the soft classical piano music filtering through the stuffy, perfumed air. 

Namjoon would hate this place, Jin can't help but think again as he snaps a surreptitious photo of a man wearing real-life monocle to send to the group chat. Jimin should hate this place honestly, though his would be a primarily aesthetically-based hatred. Pleather pants would never fly in a place like this, so Jin honestly can't even fathom the motivation behind Jimin asking him here. 

Glancing around the room, Jin sees one or two other guys who are young and good looking, but the majority of them seem to be at least 20 years older, well-dressed and openly leering. The only women here are young, perfectly primped and polished, not one of them over 25. The men with whom they're speaking are several noticeable hotness leagues below them, and the women's screaming laughter is so forced that Jin wonders if it actually hurts. 

Five more minutes, he tells himself. If Jimin’s beautiful ass is not planted in the seat next to him in five more minutes, he's out of here.  

A greasy, greying man in an expensive looking silk robe and ascot licks his dry, wrinkled lips as he holds Jin's gaze, and nope, make that two more minutes. 

But of course, just as Jin has determined to leave, he feels a tentative, shaky tap on his shoulder, and it's such a light touch that he wonders briefly if he imagined it. He turns around, fully prepared to glare, but when he is met with giant, terrified eyes and pretty pink lips slightly parted over too-big front teeth, his glare softens into a more neutral expression.  

“Um. Hello,” the guy says, just a little bit too loud over the quiet murmur of the room. The woman next to them shifts to glance disdainfully at them.  

“Hi…” Jin replies, and he can't help that it sounds like a question.  

The man in front of him swallows hard. “How are you?” 

“I'm... good, how are you?” Jin responds politely, if a little confused.

“Oh, I'm good. How are you?” It takes a second to register, but when it does, Jin sees the guy visibly cringe at himself. "Shit."

“Still… good,” Jin says slowly, unable to conceal his amusement. 

“Sorry. Can I sit there?” He points at the empty stool next to Jin.  

“Sure.” 

The guy looks relieved as he scrambles into the seat next to Jin. “Thanks.” He shoots a nervous look over his shoulder then fixes his gaze on his lap. “Do you… do you want a drink?” 

“Oh. Thanks, but I'm set for now.” 

The guy's eyes dart to the mostly full drink in Jin's hand, and he mutters, "Shit. Sorry." 

Jin's eyebrows quirk in confusion. "It's... fine. Thanks for the offer, though." The guy just nods, nervously biting his lower lip, and Jin feels a gentle tug in his chest, almost protective. which is ridiculous given the fact that this guy is clearly (badly) trying to pick him up. But there's just something very vulnerable and endearing about the set of his shoulders and the way that his eyes stay glued to the shiny mahogany bar.  

“I'm just…" the guy mumbles, "I've never done this before so I don't really know how it works." 

Jin quirks an eyebrow. Never picked someone up? He does look young. “Look I appreciate it, but I was just about to leave, so-" 

“No! Please, wait." He finally tears his gaze away from the bar and stares up at Jin, eyes desperate. "I know... I know I'm young, but I'm like mega loaded, like richer than all these old guys for sure. Look!” He tugs his wallet out of his pocket and digs around frantically for a second before slapping a massive wad of bills on the table. It’s easily a thousand dollars. 

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Jin asks with dismay, jerking his head to the left then to the right as if someone is going to snatch the cash right off the table. “What is that for?” 

“It’s… for you. Is it not… enough?” he asks, looking crestfallen.  

“Enough for… oh.” It dawns on him. Everything about the place screams it. “Oh sweetie. For sex?” 

He almost falls off his chair as he gapes at Jin in fear. “What! No!” His eyes scan Jin’s face as he almost seems to reconsider. “I mean like… not... exactly." He pauses then to take several deep breaths, obviously distraught, and Jin actually has to lean in to hear the rest. "I just wanted to see if you were-" he glances abruptly over one shoulder, then over the other, as if he's being watched, "-interested." 

"Interested in... sex." Jin pushes, three seconds from dumping his very expensive drink on the guy. 

"NO. Just. In. An... arrangement," the guy manages, with great effort. And as hard as Jin tries to feel the victim here, this guy looks 10 times more victimized than Jin feels.

“An arrangement...” Jin says skeptically. 

"Yes, an arrangement," he sighs in relief, like he thinks Jin must him understand now.  

"Like... what? You want me to clean your house? Bake you a cake? You're gonna have to be more specific." 

“Like I could be... your sugar daddy…?” He says it so quietly that Jin can barely make it out.  

“You want to be… my daddy.” Jin can’t help himself. He breaks out into hysterical giggles.  

“Y.. your SUGAR… dad- fuck.” The kid looks like he’s about to cry, and Jin feels bad, but he absolutely cannot contain his loud, squeaking laughter. “I knew it, I knew this would happen, SHIT they were right, oh my god I’m going to throw up.” 

He really does look ill, potentially on the edge of an anxiety attack. Instantly Jin’s urge to cackle cruelly is overwhelmed by his sense of immense pity.  

“Hey, it’s ok. I’m sorry I-“ 

“I’m such an idiot oh my god I’m such a fucking idiot." 

“Oh, okay. Shit. Okay hold on, it's okay, hey let’s just, let’s get some water, yeah?” Jin motions to the bartender for some water.  

“I'm sorry, I don’t even want to do this! I didn't even want to come! The guys at work were making fun of me because I’m so-" hic "-so awkward and they said I couldn’t even pick somebody up if I was paying them so they made me come here and were putting bets on me and I saw you and you just have a really kind face, but they were they were right I can’t even- I’m just so awkward and gay and oh god I’m going to die alone I’m going to-“ 

Jin rests a reassuring hand on his shoulder and accepts the glass of water from the bartender, pressing it into the guy’s hands. “Hey, it’s okay, just have some water.”  

The guy accepts the glass silently, chewing intently his lip as he just stares wildly back at Jin. When he makes no move to drink, Jin gently tips the glass up towards his lips, and he reluctantly takes a sip.   

Jin sighs hard, massaging his forehead with his hand. “Park. Fucking. Jimin.” 

“No, I’m… I'm Jungkook.” 

Jin swallows a rogue giggle. “Jungkook. Are your friends here now?” 

Jungkook cringes but nods, his wide eyes looking very glassy indeed. “They're behind me, over in that corner.” 

Sure enough, there are a few expensively dressed and rowdy young men in the corner, jostling for a better view of what's happening at the bar. 

“Okay, Jungkook, listen to me,” Jin says, leaning closer so that to the outside party it would look like they're flirting. “In no timeline, on no plane of existence would I ever agree to be your sugar baby, but I do know what it's like to be awkward and gay, so I will give you a kiss on the cheek and walk away without dumping my drink on your lap like I would do for just about anyone else who propositioned me.” 

Jungkook sniffs a little, staring down at his lap. “Thank you. I'm really sorry." 

Jin is on the verge of standing up and leaving, but something about Jungkook keeps him anchored in his seat. "How old are you anyway?”  

“24.” He looks downright morose about the fact. 

Jin rolls his eyes. “Come on, awkward or not, you’re still young, hot, and rich. You’re a catch. You don’t need a sugar baby.” 

Jungkooks eyes are like saucers as he stares at Jin. “I.. thanks.. I'm not.. you are...” 

“Why are you doing this, anyway?" Jin scoffs, gesturing to the bar around them. "Trying to get a sugar baby?” 

The kid takes a deep breath and another sip of water, his bottom lip pouting just the slightest bit. “It’s kind of like... a status symbol at work, I guess. You get to flaunt your money, screw hot people, and be completely emotionally detached. It’s the ultimate ‘you’ve made it.’” 

“Where the fuck do you work?”  

“Hedge fund.” 

Jin scoffs viciously, since Namjoon can't be there to do it himself. “Well that explains it. Explains them.” He nods to the group of men in the corner, who are now making lewd gestures at a group of nearby girls.  

“Yeah… they’re pretty gross," Jungkook agrees easily. "But I want them to like me. I kinda need them to like me. And I'm the only openly gay one in the office even though I know they suck each other's dicks at fantasy football, so of course I already get shit for that.” He slumps forward onto the bar. “God I don’t want to do this.” 

Jin purses his lips. “Well, uh. Hey, I really do feel for you, man. Best of luck,” he says, rising from his seat, sympathetic but ready to be done with this weirdness. 

“Wait!” Jungkook begs, clutching onto his sleeve. “Are you sure you don’t… you know…” 

Jin very gently, very purposefully peels Jungkook's fingers from his shirt. “Pretty sure I don't want to spend my valuable spare time as your on-call sex toy for a monthly stipend.” He turns to go.  

“Wait!" Jungkook calls after him again, the word laced with desperation. "What if it was just pretend??” 

Jin raises his eyebrows incredulously. “You want to be my pretend sugar daddy?” 

“Yes! We don't actually have to like have sex or go on real dates or anything. Easiest money you'll ever make.” 

Jin bites his lip, appraising Jungkook with careful eyes. “Dude, why me? Just find someone who actually wants a sugar daddy.” 

“Because I’m scared! And I like you. You’re nice. I stopped wanting to barf like 2 minutes ago.” He tucks his head then and adds, “Also you’re like the hottest person I've ever met." 

The corner of Jin's mouth quirks, and he sets down his drink. Praise gives him a better buzz than alcohol anyway.  “You think so?” 

Jungkooks nods eagerly, eyes exhibiting a cautious hope. “I'd like win the Sugar Baby Olympics." Jin laughs mildly, but Jungkook's brows furrow slightly. "I'm not kidding, that's a real thing. Like a beauty pageant meets jello-wrestling death match." 

Jin tilts his head in disbelief. "What the fuck is your life?" 

"Believe me, if I'd had any idea what I was signing up for in Business School, I would have dropped out to become a goat farmer." Jungkook looks up at him shyly, and he looks remarkably young, even in his impeccably tailored shirt. "So what do you say?" 

The warning bells in Jin's head sound a hell of a lot like Kim Namjoon. “Look. I’m flattered but I really don’t have time for-“ 

“I'll make it worth your time," Jungkook interrupts him, sensing an opening. "We'll barely even have to hang out. Name your price.” 

“…. Huh?” 

“Name your price. Whatever you want, it's yours. Here, take this to start,” Jungkook shoves the giant wad of bills in his hand.  

Jin's eyes bulge as he shoves the bills right back at Jungkook. “The fuck? That’s… that’s too much. That’s way too much.” 

“Then what do you want?”  

"You're serious?" Jin asks him, an incredulous tilt to his head. "You really want to do this?" 

Jungkook nods eagerly. "I'll do anything. What are your terms?" 

Jin thinks hard, mostly just stunned that this is actually happening, but something does come to mind, something that's been concerning him for a while. “Uh… buy my groceries?” 

“That’s it?” Jungkook deflates, almost looking a little disappointed.  

“If you knew anything about me, you'd know that was a steeper price than you could ever imagine. Take it or leave it.” 

“Deal,” Jungkook says, looking like he just won the lottery.  

"Great. I go shopping twice a week, and I do buy organic. I also just need you to not make any judgments about me based on the amount of wine and hotdogs I buy." 

"Okay," Jungkook says, eyes wider than they were before. 

"Now what are your terms?" 

"My... My terms. Oh. Right my terms. I usually have work functions a couple of times a month... if you would maybe come to those..." 

Jin clicks his tongue and gently grabs Jungkook's shoulders. “Jungkook. Come on. Tell me what you want." 

"I guess," Jungkook pauses momentarily to inhale a deep bracing breath, "I would just want you to come to my work events and laugh at my jokes and don't correct people if they imply that we're doing it."  

"Having sex, you mean," Jin clarifies gently, and Jungkook's eyes go the widest they've gone yet. If his face was any redder, Jin would insist on taking him to the hospital.  

Jungkook clears his throat, obviously trying to play off the strangled, choked sound as a casual cough. "Yes. Doing... sex." 

Jin purposefully bites the inside of his cheek hard, desperately fighting the urge to pinch Jungkook's cheek and coo. "Okay. And?" 

"Uh, and... send me hot selfies." It's only a fraction of a moment before his eyes bug comically at his own words. "I mean, not for me! To... to show them as proof." 

"Okay," Jin agrees easily. "Hot selfies, can do. And?" 

"And maybe... if it's not too much trouble... one kiss? In front of them? At some point?" He mumbles the words so low that Jin has to strain to hear them.  

"One kiss. No problem." Jin leans forward, catching a whiff of Jungkook's fresh, almost floral cologne. He's close enough to see the devastatingly charming beauty mark right under his bottom lip. "Right now?" 

"WHAT?" He jerks backwards in panic, covering his lips and muffling the sound. "No, not... I'm not ready now!" 

"Okay, well just give me the word, Captain." Jin leans back with a satisfied smile. "So. What else do we need to do to officially be done with what has been the strangest conversation of my young life?" 

"Uh.... you could tell me your name? Maybe." 

Jin scoffs dramatically, affecting a look of offense. "Jesus, Jungkook. Deal's off." 

"What??" He looks utterly terrified, and Jin actually feels instantly bad for his shitty joke. "Wait, I'm sorry! Does that like... cross some sort of line? Like touching a stripper? I didn't mean t-" 

"I'm kidding, I'm kidding," Jin assures him, patting Jungkook on the shoulder reassuringly. "God you're easy. My name is Jin." 

Jungkook actually slumps a bit in relief. "Oh. Jin. Good. Good name. Good name for a good.... face,” he ends lamely. 

Jin bites back a fond smile. "So. Is that all?" 

Jungkook considers very seriously for a moment. "Yes, that's all. I guess that's a deal?" 

Jin reaches forward to extend his hand, which Jungkook tentatively takes. His hand is big and soft and remarkably sweaty. "That's a deal." 

"Wow," Jungkook marvels, a dopey disbelieving smile creeping onto his face. "I'm a dad." 

"Nope, that's not even a little bit what this means," Jin says as sighs heavily though his nose, peeking around Jungkook to get a glance at his friends, who all look away comically fast when they see him. He rolls his eyes and tugs Jungkook to his feet by the front of his shirt, taking a special pleasure in knowing that he’s wrinkling the extravagantly expensive fabric. He yanks him a little closer so that their chests are almost flush.  

"Oh," Jungkook mutters, face absolutely aflame. 

“Here’s what's gonna happen," Jin tells him confidently. "I’m going to rotate us so that those little bastards can see my ass. I’ve got a great ass. You’re going to grab my great ass, and I’m gonna melt properly in your arms, maybe tilt my head back and moan a little. I want you to be prepared for that. It’s kind of deadly. Then you’re gonna walk me out of here, throw a smug look over your shoulder like you’re about to give me the dicking of a lifetime, and then we are going straight to that 24 hour grocery store down the street. Got it?”  

He whispers the last bit straight into Jungkook's ear, and Jungkook shudders in response. “Got it.” 

“And Jungkook?” Jin adds, pulling Jungkook’s hands around to grasp his butt. 

“Yeah?” he gulps. 

“I am never… calling you daddy.” 

 

 


 

 

 

After Jungkook’s boner has mostly subsided, they make their dramatic exit, though Jungkook's smug look back at his friends is more of a frightened grimace. 

“Did you see the looks on their faces??” Jungkook exclaims, punching the air like a 6-year-old playing Power Rangers. “They never thought I would-…  I mean, I guess I technically didn't, but…” 

“You did great, sweetie," Jin tells him with a doting pat on his head. Jungkook swerves out of the way, smoothing his hair and smiling shyly. "Successfully fake propositioned your first fake sugar baby. The first of many, I'm sure.” Jin scoffs. “God you have a weird job." 

“It's okay, I'm going to retire at like 30 and buy a baseball team," Jungkook tells him happily, and Jin is pleased to see the relaxed set of his shoulders now that they're out of that place.

“Are those guys actually your friends?” Jin asks, scowling a little disdainfully over his shoulder, back towards the bar.  

“No, I hate them. That's why I need to win,” Jungkook declares, and his eyes darken with the intensity of his determination. “They're actually my subordinates but they’re all older than me and really bitter about it.” 

Jin shoots him a skeptical look. “You some kind of genius or something?” 

He shrugs, hands jammed casually into his pockets. “Or something. I improved on a really lucrative risk/reward formula for my senior thesis.” 

“Damn…” Jin mumbles as they stroll up to the entrance of the grocery store, which is not nearly as deserted as Jin had thought it would be at 11pm on a Friday. 

“What do you do?” Jungkook asks politely.  

Jin takes a deep, satisfied breath as they step through the automatic doors, the cold blast of air from inside hitting his face, along with the delightful scent of fresh bread from the bakery.  

“I eat.” 

He grabs a cart and floats forward on a cloud of air, hopping his feet up onto the cart and rolling directly towards the bakery section, as is always his first inclination. He hears Jungkook shuffling behind him to catch up. "What?" 

Jin ignores him, promptly loading three loaves of French bread into his cart.  

"Hey, what do you mean you eat?" 

Jin takes a deep whiff of the bread, sighing contentedly. "I'm a competitive eater." 

"Whoa! Really?" 

Jin beams proudly. "Two-time qualifier, one time runner-up at the National Hot Dog Eating contest." 

"You can make money doing that?" Jungkook asks, staring at Jin with fascination and admiration.  

"If you're really good, kind of. I actually work a million other little jobs to pay the bills, but now that I have a pre-pubescent fake sugar daddy, I can cut back on how many shifts I have to work and train full time. So be a dear and go grab another cart and 17 packs of hotdogs." Jungkook moves quickly to obey, but Jin grabs his arm to stop him, smiling in realization, then satisfaction. "You know what? Make those Kosher." 

As they stroll up and down each and every isle of the store at an excruciatingly slow pace, Jungkook seems fascinated rather than dismayed by the amount of food in Jin's carts.  

"This is honestly the coolest way any sugar baby has ever spent money," he marvels as Jin loads several heads of cabbage into the cart.  

"Even the off-season gets expensive," Jin tells him, trying not to preen too obviously. "You have to keep yourself in good condition, jaw muscles active, stomach expanded, all that good stuff. Which honestly, I don’t mind. I love to eat." 

When they make it to the meat section, Jin finds himself eyeing some of those expensive, delicious, marbled cuts that he usually saves for birthdays and celebrations. He cuts a look at Jungkook, who just continues to stare at him without concern, large eyes blinking at him benignly. Jin cautiously reaches a hand forward, grabs one of the packets of meat, trying not to be staggered at the price tag, then cuts another glance at Jungkook, who smiles a little.  

Encouraged, he quickly plops the package into his already overflowing cart, then feeling lucky, reaches up tentatively once more, fingertips stopping just short of the plastic-wrapped tray. Another anxious glance at Jungkook, who gives him a little nod, and he quickly tosses, one, two, three more packages of meat into the cart.  

"This is fun," Jungkook says.  

"You're telling me." 

At the checkout line, Jungkook proudly presents his sleek black card to the slack-jawed cashier as the total tops $700.  

"I'll have a car come pick you up and bring you back to your place with all of this," Jungkook says, whipping out his phone, "Babe," he adds with an impish smile.  

Jin rolls his eyes as he loads several bags onto his arms. "You're loving this a little too much for someone who not 2 hours ago said 'doing sex' unironically." 

Jungkook pouts, scuffing his shoe against the floor. "Just trying to get into my Daddy headspace." 

Jin tilts his head, blinking slowly in disbelief. "Go home. Go ruminate on the fact that you got a boner at the mere suggestion of touching my ass.” 

Jungkook almost looks a little proud as he swaggers backwards a few steps. "I'll call you?" 

"Hey hotshot," Jin calls after him just as Jungkook spins around to walk away properly. "Good luck calling me without my fucking number." 

Jungkook stares at him blankly for a moment before he's stumbling over his own feet back towards Jin.  

 

 


 

 

 

"Nope," Jin scolds, smacking Jimin's grasping hand away with a wooden spoon. "Cake batter is for friends. Namjoon, come lick the beater." 

Namjoon skips up happily as Jimin groans. "I said I was sorry. How much longer are you gonna punish me?" 

"Until you tell me the truth." 

Namjoon daintily licks the beater, face spasming in disgust as he chucks the beater into the metal mixing bowl. He looks like he's swallowing a gag. "This is repulsive." He glances around the kitchen, eyes landing on a white container. He swallows another gag. "Did you use mayonnaise instead of Crisco?" 

"I am a culinary disaster, which you knew well before you put that shit in your mouth," Jin snaps before rounding on Jimin again. 

"I DID tell you the truth!" Jimin insists desperately. "I really did get mugged! I couldn't text you because they stole my phone! Look at my wounds!" He yanks aside his shirt and points to the bruises on his neck and chest.  

"Those are hickeys, you sweaty ballsack. You left me to fend for myself in the middle of a den of wrinkly, impotent wolves!" 

Jimin elbows Namjoon out of the way, grasping at Jin's sleeve. "I'm sorryyyyyy. In my defense, I did make it to the bar, I just... did not make it inside the bar." 

Jin gapes at him. "Did you have dumpster sex behind the building?" 

Jimin releases his sleeve, slinging his arm away. "Don't call it that. We were by a dumpster, not in a dumpster. There is a difference.

"I just want to remind you that this is not the first time that you've been late to something because of dumpster sex," Namjoon says thickly as he tentatively picks up the beater again. 

"Stop calling it that!" 

"What was this place anyway?" Namjoon continues, twirling the beater to a fresh side and taking another tentative lick. He gags fully this time.  

"It was some hoity toity bar where sugar babies go to meet sugar daddies," Jin says distastefully.  

"Ew," Namjoon shudders, and Jin can't tell if it's a reaction to the batter or the news.  

"'Ew' what?!" Jimin exclaims, puffing up his chest defiantly.  

"'Ew' old rich dudes capitalizing on socioeconomic disparities to take advantage of young hot people who would be massively out of their league otherwise." 

"Hey, I have met some quality people at that bar," Jimin defends himself, surreptitiously reaching for a beater. Jin smacks his hand away.  

"What, like dumpster dude?" Jin scoffs, picking up the bowl to pour his batter into a shallow cake pan.  

"Don't make me regret sharing my life experiences with you," Jimin says, his small, rectangular eyebrows knit. "And that guy was the best lay of my life, thank you. I can't believe I lost my phone and thus his number." He looks genuinely bothered for a moment before he shifts his gaze to Jin. "Anyway, did you meet anybody?" 

"You know, you're a real pain in the ass," Jin groans, shifting the cake pan to spread the batter as evenly as the large, disconcerting chunks will allow. "I told you I did not want to meet anybody. I'm taking a break from men. Focusing on my career. I hear some of the big brands are actually considering sponsorship this year for competitive eaters, and you know how big of a deal that is for them to even consider. No distractions. No men." 

"The problem isn't men in general," Jimin tells him, folding his hands primly in front of him. "The problem is the men you date. Where did you meet that last loser again?”  

“Excuse you. At the Met Gala,” Jin answers coolly.  

Jimin snorted. “Where he snuck in through the kitchen to stalk Lady Gaga and was forcibly removed and arrested. He lost you that job.” 

“He was the only person that night to appreciate my fucking cream puffs!" 

"Your cream puffs are awful," Jimin informs him with a fake, sympathetic smile. 

"Which just goes to show how much he cared," JIn says primly, wiping his hands gracelessly on his pants.  

“He opened up three credit cards and a signed a mortgage under your name.” 

“What can I say? He had great taste in both baked goods and stolen identities." 

“Whatever," Jimin rolls his eyes, but then he cocks his head curiously. "Hold on. You didn't actually answer the question. Did you meet anybody?" 

Namjoon chokes on a chunk of batter, which he continues to eat despite his mild look of disgust. "Haven't you been listening to him? Of course he didn't meet anyone. Jin would never-" 

Jimin shushes him abruptly, picking up on the tense atmosphere, the stiffness of Jin's shoulders as he hunches over the cake pan. "He did. You did! He did he fucking did!" He hops gleefully from foot to foot, grasping onto Jin's sleeve once more, cheering. "I knew you would, you sly, beautiful bastard! What's he like?" 

Jin shakes him off again, huffing as he turns back to his cake batter. "Shut up. I didn't meet somebody meet somebody, I just... met somebody." 

"What does that even meaaaan?" Jimin says, throwing himself back dramatically on the countertop and mashing his elbow into a stick of butter. "You either met somebody or you didn't. Who is he?" 

Jin sighs in exasperation, sliding the cake pan moodily away. "A 24-year-old probable virgin who can't say the word 'sex' without blushing and who promised to buy my groceries if I would pretend sugar baby so his work friends think he's cool." 

Jimin straightens up, the giant clump of butter still clinging to his shirt. "Well that's not what I had in mind." He sounds obviously disappointed. 

Namjoon scrapes the mostly empty batter bowl with one finger. "Groceries? Just groceries?" 

Jin shrugs. "He already dropped like $700 in one trip." 

"Seriously?" Namjoon balks. "Only you could do that kind of damage at the fucking grocery store." 

"Is he cute?" Jimin asks, trying to steer the conversation back.  

Jin shrugs again. "I guess. In a terrified Girl Scout trying to sell cookies to her scary elderly neighbor sort of way." 

“Well you are terrifying and elderly,” Jimin allows before tugging his phone out of his extremely tight back pocket. "So do you like him like him?" 

"That's not what this is about," Jin says, exasperated. "This is about funding my training and having more time to prepare for nationals because I don't have to work a bunch of shitty jobs to afford it. Okay? This is going to be a turning point. I'm not letting shitty relationships hinder my personal growth and ambitions. Not anymore." 

Namjoon beams, almost letting the bowl slip from his hands in shock. "That's excellent, Jin. Very mature and self-aware of you." 

"I mean, you're definitely gonna bang," Jimin informs him simply, peeking moodily into the empty batter bowl.  

"You're sure about this?" Namjoon asks cautiously then, setting down the bowl on the countertop. "I'm all here for you being able to fund your training, but you know how I hate what money does to power dynamics." 

"Yes I do," Jin replies dutifully. "But believe me. He is nothing to worry about, he's harmless. And if he does become something to worry about, I'll drop him. Easy as that. 

"I wanna Google him," Jimin cuts in gleefully. "What's his name?"  

"Jeon Jungkook?" Jin says casually, like he just happened to remember it.  

"Jeon. Jung. Kook," Jimin says slowly as he punches the letters into his phone. "Holy shit you're definitely gonna bang. I am... I'm not seeing this Girl Scout of whom you speak." 

"What? Let me see," Jin insists far too quickly, wiping his hands on his apron and grabbing Jimin's phone.  

It looks like a magazine photoshoot. "Hottest Bachelors of 2017," the article claims in bold letters across the top of the page. Jin scrolls down to the picture, where Jungkook is posing on a chair, legs sprawled casually, thick thighs straining against his trousers. His hair is combed up off his forehead, dark eyebrows slashing down harshly on his otherwise smooth face. His gaze is slightly unsettling to Jin, who has only ever really seen those eyes in full saucer-state. 

"This is him, right?" Jimin asks, resting his chin on Jin's shoulder. 

"I... think so?"  

"Damn," Jimin breathes. "Does he have any friends?" 

Jin abruptly turns off the screen and shoves the phone back into Jimin's hands. "You've made your dumpster. Now lie in it." 

 

 


 

 

 

Unknown: hey  

Unknown: it's me 

Unknown: ur daddy. 

 

Me: dad? 

Me: oh my god it's been... twenty years? 

Me: how did you get this number? 

 

Kid: ha 

Kid: wait what 

 

Me: i haven't seen you since you walked out on mom  

Me: how was prison you sick son of a bitch 

 

Kid: whoa wait 

Kid: um this is jungkook 

Kid: shit i'm sorry... i didn't..... 

Kid: um. 

Kid: this is jungkook from the bar 

 

Me: LMAO 

Me: I know.  

Me: that was pretty good though right 

Me: using my real-life childhood trauma for my own personal amusement? 

Me: Classic 

 

Kid: holy. shit. you dick

Kid: I'm leaving 

 

Me: noooo don't be the second dad to abandon me

 

Kid: what is wrong with you   

  

Me: maybe you should not talk that way to your employee   

Me: I could unionize   

  

Kid: are you on drugs   

  

Me: it's medicinal    

Me: what do you want anyway?   

Me: you need a nude or something?   

  

Kid: no!    

Kid: I mean. maybe.    

Kid:  i  just need something to show my coworkers because they're getting suspicious that we haven't hung out   

Kid: it doesn't have to have your dick in it   

  

Me: you can just tell me you want to see my dick, it's fine   

Me: here   

Me: [ img ]   

        [ img ]   

        [ img ]   

  

Kid: um   

Kid: thank you   

Kid: uh you look really nice   

Kid:  so  does your.... erect penis   

Kid: you sent that really fast   

Kid: are you.... right  now ....   

  

Me: pump those brakes kiddo   

  

Kid: pumped.   

Kid: um hey so I have a work function this wknd    

Kid: it’s a lame formal dinner   

Kid: can you make it?  saturday  @ 8   

  

Me: sure   

Me: should I wear a suit?   

  

Kid:  yes  but probably not one of your suits   

Kid: no offense   

  

Me: um some taken   

  

Kid: I'm supposed to be lavishing you with luxury gifts, remember?   

Kid: I don't want them to know that all I've bought you so far is 150 packs of kosher hotdogs   

  

Me: .... fair   

  

Kid: go pick something out at  armani  and I'll send my card information ahead to them   

  

Me: come on. Do I look like an  armani  kind of  guy   

  

Kid:  d&g ?   

  

Me: wow money really doesn't buy you taste does it   

  

Kid: rude   

Kid: fine. tom ford?   

  

Me: better   

  

Kid: you're such a snob for a peasant   

Kid: I'm a little hard    

 

Chapter Text

Jin smoothes his hands reverently over the garment bag in front of him, the contents of which undoubtedly cost more than everything in the rest of his closet combined. Multiplied by 12. 

He's catered enough luxury events to know a beautiful fucking suit when he sees one, and this is a beautiful fucking suit. Tux, technically, as Jin had discovered at the fitting. The fabric of the jacket is a deep blue, a subtle dotted print with a clean black lapel, and the fit? Well even the tailor had seemed lost for words with the final product, the way the fabric hung from Jin's broad shoulders and nipped in trimly at his waist.  

He takes his time getting ready, going meticulously through his skincare routine, combing his dark hair back, smooth and chic.  

Fuck he looks good. Definitely sugar baby material.  

The car is scheduled to arrive for him at 7:30, and Jin decides he can afford one drink before he goes, to settle himself. 

He's almost nervous. He has been since Jimin showed him those pictures from the photoshoot, since he got a glimpse of who Jungkook is most of the time. And he’s doing his best not to be intimidated, but on paper, Jungkook is fucking intimidating. The articles scattered across the web paint a fearsome picture of him. Multi-millionaire at 24, marathon runner, graduate of the number one business school in the country, and – they all seem to agree- objectively hot. It’s a lot to handle. And no matter how many times Namjoon has assured him that Jungkook's no better than him, that they’re on equal footing in this partnership, it's hard not to feel insecure in the face of it all. 

And so he's cautiously but enthusiastically sipping red wine out of a straw, holding the mug at a safe distance from his extravagantly expensive clothing, when his phone buzzes gently against the countertop.  

 

Kid: out front 

 

Jin hastily sucks down the rest of his wine, spitting out the straw in the vague direction of the sink and grabbing his keys from the front table. He flies out the door and down the stairs, pausing at the entrance of his apartment building to collect himself so that it doesn't look like he's just sprinted down three flights of stairs in a tux, and after a few deep breaths, he pushes open the heavy metal door.  

He finds Jungkook leaning against a sleek black car, looking much more like he did in that magazine than he did in the bar where they first met. Chic, expensive, beautiful in a dark blue suit of a slightly different pattern and cut than Jin's. 

There is one striking difference, however, between photoshoot Jungkook and the Jungkook standing in front of him. This Jungkook's eyes are completely devoid of smolder.  Instead, they're huge, blank, terrified, familiar, and Jin feels his nerves settle at the sight. It's just the kid, the same kid who texted him about Iron Man getting boners while in the super suit last night. 

Jin lets the door slam behind him and slowly descends the steps, making a conscious effort to keep his gaze as casual a possible.  

"Hey." 

"How...dy," Jungkook breathes, pressing himself even close to the car and slipping on the shiny surface, his skin squelching loudly against the slick metal. 

The corner of Jin's mouth quirks in a ghost of a smile. "You ready?"  

"Huh?" Jungkook asks flatly, pointing a finger at himself in a silent inquiry. His eyes are a million miles away.   

Jin quirks his head quizzically. "Yes. You, Jungkook. Are you ready?" 

"Ready for..." Jungkook trails off in another unasked question, eyes affixed to Jin though frighteningly unfocused. 

Jin's brows furrow abruptly. "Unh-uh! Nope!"  he reaches forward to clap his hands loudly in front of Jungkook's face, which seems to startle him out of his trance, at least slightly. "None of that today, Junior. I know I'm a lot to handle right now, but I need you here with me." 

Jungkook visibly and with much effort pulls himself out of his haze, looking sufficiently abashed. "Sorry." 

"Let's try that again," Jin says, clearing his throat and assuming a more relaxed pose, as if he has just walked up for the first time. "Are you ready?" 

"Yes," Jungkook nods affirmatively and with purposeful gusto.  

"Good! Come on," Jin tells him with a smile and makes for the car door. 

Jungkook nearly dislocates his shoulder as he scrambles to open the car door for Jin, who chuckles and makes to ruffle his hair, but Jungkook stops his hand just short, gripping his wrist with surprising strength.   

"Don't!" Jungkook gasps, flinging Jin's hand away. "What kind of sugar daddy gets his hair ruffled?" 

"The kind who still drinks flavored milk," Jin shoots back at him, sticking out his tongue like a child.  

"Banana milk is God's perfect bourbon chaser, snob," Jungkook claims indignantly.  

"Snob??" Jin splutters in disbelief, bringing his hands defensively to his hips. "That's pretty rich coming from the guy who told me not to eat 'peasant food' for 24 hours before the event." 

"Sodium makes you bloat..." Jungkook mumbles moodily, but once he looks up to find the tense set of Jin's mouth and his bugged eyes, he backtracks abruptly. "Not.... YOU," he clarifies with great haste. "Like, normal humans. I'm sure you don't.... retain water." 

"Smooth." Jin rolls his eyes and then settles himself in the car. A few moments later, Jungkook is seated beside him on the luxurious backseat, and the door slams shut behind him. The driver rolls up the partition.  

"So what do you think?" Jin asks, spreading his arms and gesturing down at his suit. He can't believe he's actually having to ask for validation when he looks like this. "How do I look?" 

Jungkook looks determinedly out the window as he answers lightly but with badly-disguised nerves, “Adequate." 

Jin scoffs, offended. "The tailor actually cried tears of joy at a lifetime's work fulfilled when he saw this ass in these pants, and all I get is as 'adequate?'" 

Jungkook spares him a peek before he turns his reddened face back towards the window. "Perfectly fine." 

“Jungkook, tell me I look good.” 

“You look good,” Jungkook confirms sheepishly, burying his mouth in his hands and slouching down slightly in his seat.  

"150 packs of hotdogs good?" 

Jungkook screws up his mouth in a pained effort not to smile. "Please don't make me laugh when I'm about to throw up." 

Jin coos softly and scoots a little closer to Jungkook, resting a hand on his shoulder and ignoring the way that Jungkook twitches violently under his touch. "Hey, come on. It'll be fine. All you've got to do is play it cold and stoic, and I'll hang off you and make vaguely sexual breathy sounds instead of speaking human words. Piece of cake. Walk in the park." 

Jungkook's shoulders relax a little bit. "You think so?" 

"Of course. I've watched enough Bond movies to know my role." Jin reaches over to gently pat his knee, and Jungkook startles tremendously away from Jin. "Oh come on," Jin elbows him. "Look, you're gonna have to be able to look at me without blushing if you're gonna sell this thing." 

"I'll do it when I have to do it," Jungkook pouts, crossing his arms like a huffy pre-schooler. "I just don't want to right now." 

"Don't want to, or can't?" 

Jungkook shoots him a brief but piercing glare. "I can do it! Just... later." 

"Come on, just look at me." 

"Don't want to." 

"Jungkook. Just for a second?" Jin says softly to him, orienting his body towards Jungkook as the car crawls along the crowded street.  

"Fine," Jungkook huffs and rolls his eyes, turning to face Jin and leaning forward determinedly into his space. Jin can feel the air whoosh around him with the intrusion, and when he finds Jungkook's eyes, they're sparkling with a chill-inducing resolve, dark and intense, brows knit. His gaze is hard and unrelenting, and to anyone else, it'd probably be pretty fucking convincing. But as Jin leans forward, tilts his head just slightly so that their faces are so close that he can feel Jungkook's breath on his skin, he watches Jungkook's eyes waiver just slightly, so slightly that Jin would have missed it if he had not been specifically looking for it. 

Jin tilts his head the other way, making sure that his breath ghosts against Jungkook's mouth when he whispers, "Good boy." 

Jungkook's eyes harden properly then, sparking, a little crease appearing between his eyebrows as he pushes Jin away, breaking the spell. "Shut up. See? I'm fine." 

Jin sits back, gaze still lingering on Jungkook's striking profile as he gazes once more out the window. He brings his hand up to his mouth, considering him intently. Jungkook is nervous again, back to his mild-mannered self, but Jin's thoughts linger on that brief, intriguing flash of fire. 

They're quiet for the rest of the ride, the only sound in the car the intermittent, muted blast of horns, but Jin continues to occasionally stroke his lip as he steals brief little looks at Jungkook as he stares out the window and plays with his hands. 

"We're here," Jungkook tells him after a few minutes, checking his phone before he tucks it into his pocket. "You ready?" 

Jin takes a deep breath, scooting over and pressing himself to Jungkook's side as he reaches for the door handle. "Are you ready?" 

Jungkook takes a deep, calming breath then looks back at Jin, their faces consequently very close. "Absolutely fucking not." 

He makes to go, but Jin lays a hand on his arm lightly. "Hey." 

Jungkook turns back with a quizzical look. "Huh?" 

"You're smarter, kinder, hotter, and more successful than them. Don't let them make you feel small. Okay?" 

Jungkook's ears flush a deep red, and he bites his bottom lip to contain a blooming smile. He nods.  

Jin squeezes his arm reassuringly. "Let's go." 

The first floor of the restaurant looks warm and bustling through the tall glass windows, but they enter through a special side door that takes them up a flight of stairs to a much more elegant second floor, where they check their coats. The gentle din of conversation and clinking glassware greet them as they walk through the ornate doorway.  

They pause there to take in the room, and Jin reaches over to intertwine his fingers with Jungkook's. His hand, much like the first time Jin touched it, is excessively sweaty, but Jin gives it a kind little squeeze regardless. 

There are several a dozen or so round tables scattered around the room, but for the moment people seem to be gathered in small groups, drinking and conversing as servers buzz from cluster to cluster with shiny silver trays filled with undoubtedly lavish h'orderves.

“We got this,” Jin assures him kindly as heads start to turn in their direction. It's just one or two sets of curious eyes at first, but then an entire group is looking at them, which prompts the group next to them to swivel their heads in the same direction.  

“Uh. Hey, why is everybody staring?” Jungkook asks, voice tight with worry. “Is it because we're… um...” 

Jungkook doesn't have to finish the sentence for Jin to know what he's implying. Jin himself gets the same rush of uncertainty and mild fear every time he shows any kind of affection to a man in public, a hypersensitivity to judging eyes and venomous whispers. He doesn’t want Jungkook to feel that uncertainty, not now, not as he feels Jungkook's grip loosen like he's going to let go of Jin's hand. Jin just squeezes it tighter, holding it there. 

And so he musters a scoff. “Jungkook. Have you seen us together?” 

“Huh?” 

"Look," Jin motions over to a mirrored wall where their reflection is visible. There are a few seconds of pause as Jungkook cranes his head to get a better look. "How do we look?"

“Oh,” Jungkook mutters, mouth hanging open just slightly as he trains his eyes on their reflection. "We look... good.” 

“We look incredible,” Jin amends gently, because individually, they look good. But together? They look powerful. Something about them is complementary, cohesive, and the overall effect certainly has impact. Jin can almost convince himself that it really is the real reason for the countless pairs of eyes burning a hole into them right now. Jungkook grips his hand a bit more securely, and Jin gives it another gentle squeeze. “Come on.” 

"Jeon!" They hear only a moments later and they turn to see an obnoxiously eager face waving them over towards a small group of people. 

"Here we go," Jungkook mutters, tightening his grip on Jin’s hand. 

They approach a group of four, and Jin’s expression hardens as he recognizes two of the guys from the bar.  

“Hey guys,” Jungkook says stiffly as they join the group. Hanging off of the arms of the two vaguely familiar men are two beautiful and clearly bored-looking women whose faces brighten immensely when they see Jungkook. 

“Jungkook!” one of the women gushes, reaching for his arm and squeezing gently. “You made it!” 

“And who is this?” the other woman prompts kindly, elbowing Jungkook teasingly as she smiles up at Jin. 

"Yeah who's this? Your brother?” the man next to her scoffs smugly. Jin instantly dislikes him. There's an unctuous smile plastered to his shining face, his brown hair slicked back and greasy. 

Jungkook clears his throat, voice cracking as he says, “This is my… Jin. 

“Your Jin?” the other guy smirks, elbowing his friend. He then proceeds to give Jin a very obvious up-and-down glance, and yeah, Jin can tell that he probably sucks dick at fantasy football.  

Jin bats his eyelashes and presses his body into Jungkook's side in the most unplatonic way. "All his." Then he leans down to press a feather-light kiss behind Jungkook's ear, where the skin is soft and warm. He feels the hand in his grip go slack, and as he pulls away, he can tell that Jungkook has momentarily stopped breathing.  

The two men, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Jin mentally deems them, look thoroughly disappointed at that. He's sure Jungkook told him their real names at some point, but Jin refuses to acknowledge them. 

"I honestly can't believe you're here with this dork," Rosencrantz says to Jin, punching Jungkook lightly on the shoulder. Jin watches Jungkook's jaw tense as he forces a painful-looking smile. "We thought he was going to cream his pants just talking to you the other night."  

Jin's spine stiffens visibly, but Jungkook just huffs a mild laugh and says, "Can you blame me? Look at him." 

"I was probably more nervous than he was," Jin says sweetly, pressing himself even closer into Jungkook's warm, solid side.  

The women coo fondly as Dumb and Dumber roll their eyes.   

“You guys are precious," one of the women says, the one wearing a pink dress and standing next to Rosencrantz. 

Rosencrantz works one of the muscles in his jaw, eyeing Jin skeptically, then seems to remember the woman on his arm, who he does not bother to introduce. "Get me a drink." 

"What do you want?" she asks mildly, but Jin detects a flicker of annoyance cross her face.  

"A vodka martini," he sighs in exasperation. "It's always a vodka martini. How is that so hard to remember?" 

She mumbles a quiet apology, gently pushing past them to head towards the bar. 

Rosencrantz rolls his eyes at her back before turning back to them. "God she's slow. I'm about at my limit."

"Might be time to trade up for a new model," Guildenstern suggests, and Jin locks eyes with the other woman whose mouth is pursed tight as the two men chuckle unkindly. 

Jin grinds his teeth together to keep himself from saying something. Instead he leans into Jungkook and whispers into his ear, "Babe, do you want a drink?" 

To his credit, Jungkook doesn't blush or stutter. He just lowers his arm to Jin's waist and gives him an affectionate squeeze. "Scotch?" 

"Of course. I'll be right back." 

Jin follows the escape route that he'd seen Rosencrantz's date take, navigating his way through the loitering groups of conversing men in suits and smiling girls hanging from their arms. He locates the woman easily enough, her pink dress contrasting with the dark wood of the bar.  

She turns her head slightly when he sidles up beside her, looking relieved when she sees who it is. "God, I thought it was him coming to check up on me. Like I can't order a fucking drink myself." 

Jin smiles sympathetically. “Meanwhile I actually can’t order a drink myself. I'm literally about to google ‘fanciest scotch.’” 

The woman smiles kindly at that, her eyes crinkling pleasantly. If she was beautiful before, she's stunning now, her presence big and warm now that she's escaped her date. And Jin hates him a little more.

She turns to catch the attention of the bartender, who attentively makes his way over to them. "What Glenfiddich do you have?" 

"We have the 40 year old single malt," the bartender replies, pulling a bottle from under the bar. "Specifically requested for the event." 

"Perfect," she smiles. "We’ll have three doubles, neat. And a vodka martini, please." 

“Any preference on the vodka?” 

“Yes please. The worst you have,” she smiles, unblinking even at the bartender's strange look. Jin raises his eyebrows with an amused smile as she turns back to him and extends her hand. "I'm Hani, by the way." 

"Jin," he repeats, taking her hand and shaking it firmly. "Thanks for that. I’m lost when it comes to this shit. Where did you learn to drink scotch?"  

"Law school," she says with a wry smile. "I graduate in May, and then I'm out of here. Can't wait to start sending assholes like him-" she jerks her head in the vague direction of her date, "-to prison."  

"I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that he probably deserves that." 

She laughs bitterly. "Sure does. What he lacks in brains, he also lacks in basic moral decency and willingness to comply with federal law. He's not the worst one, though, so I guess I lucked out." 

The bartender returns with three short glasses filled with a pretty, amber liquid, and Jin scoots one of the glasses towards the Hani first before he takes his own and raises it in her direction. "May he be one brief, unpleasant blemish on an otherwise charmed life." 

"I'll drink to that," she smiles, clinking glasses with him, and they both take a small sip. "Honestly it's not usually so bad. But you're the one who really lucked out with Jungkook. He's too good for this place. All the girls are just gaga for him." 

"I noticed,” Jin says with a fond smile. “He said he's going to retire at 30 and buy a baseball team." 

She laughs delightedly at that. "Sounds about right. You know, the guys are always really awful to him, teasing him about finding someone. I was kind of hoping he would hold out and resist peer pressure but... I like you.” She pauses. “I haven't seen you around. Is he your first..." She trails off with clear implication. 

"Ha. Yeah. He's my first." 

"Well, I hope it works out for you two. I mean, as much as these types of things can work out, I guess." 

"Thanks," Jin says with a genuine smile. "You should get that drink to him before it gets too warm." 

She scoffs. "He wouldn't know the difference. I've been ordering him Popov for months now, and the dickhole thinks he's drinking Belvedere." 

 

 

When the two of them make their way back to the group, Rosencrantz moodily accepts his drink, and Jin glares daggers at the man as some of the cheap vodka sloshes onto Hani's dress. 

It's a snap decision, but it feel like the right thing to do, the natural thing to do, when Jin leans down to press a gentle kiss to Jungkook's lips as he hands him the drink. It's casual and affectionate, and best of all, it doesn't give Jungkook a chance to panic. Jungkook's lips are small and soft and parted mildly in surprise, but he takes it in stride, pressing back with just the right amount of pressure and winding his free arm around Jin's waist, tilting his head to a more comfortable position. 

"What was that for?" Jungkook asks evenly when he pulls back, and he's actually kind of a decent actor, only his eyes betraying his shock.  

"I just appreciate you," he replies, and it's the truth. Jungkook smiles at him, his toothy grin making him look far too young in his expensive suit. "What did I miss?" 

"Nothing," Jungkook says resolutely, with a stern look at Rosencrantz, who smirks into his cheap martini.  

"Jungkook?" they hear from behind them, and rather than turning to face the source of the voice, Jin's eyes find Jungkook instead. He looks like he's seen a ghost.  

"Lee?" Jungkook responds softly, and he does not seem remotely pleased to see him.  

A tall, moderately good-looking man strolls up to them, and Jin can already tell he doesn't like him based on the cockiness of his posture as he extends a hand to Jungkook. When Jungkook accepts it, he can see by the strain of their hands that both of them are probably squeezing with every ounce of strength they can muster. 

"I'd heard you were working here now," Lee tells him with a crooked grin. "High-risk investing is a small world." 

"Not really," Jungkook says tightly, his striking eyebrows knit in concern. "What are you doing here?" 

"Oh, they didn't tell you? I'm thinking about coming on board," Lee says, sticking his hands in his pockets and puffing out his chest. "They made me a great offer." 

"Coming on board... as what?" And the tension is visible in Jungkook's shoulders.  

"Director of Trade," Lee looks infuriatingly smug as he says it, and Rosencrantz stifles a laugh. 

"I'm the Director of Trade," Jungkook says simply, and Jin notices his fist is balled and white-knuckled. He gently takes Jungkook's hand, unfolding his fingers and entwining their hands again.  Jungkook spares Jin a harried glance before his eyes are back on the man in front of him.  

"Oh! Boys," interrupts an plump older man in an ill-fitting but expensive suit as he joins their group. "So glad you've already met. I was just about to introduce you. Or re-introduce you, I suppose." 

“Sir, I'm confused," Jungkook says, and his nails are unconsciously digging into Jin's hand now. 

"I know this is all very sudden, but when Lee expressed interest, we had to move quick. I'm thinking about bringing Lee here on board as Co-Director," the older man tells him with a pleased smile. "I figured you two would get along, especially when I saw that you had graduated from the same college." 

Jungkook's jaw clenches tight. "Sir, can I talk to you for a moment?" 

Lee raises his hands as if in surrender. "No worries, I'll excuse myself. I'll be over at the bar if you need me, sir. I'll grab you another bourbon, eh?"  

"See you in a minute, son," the old man assures him, and Lee shoots him a sickeningly ingratiating smile before he backs away towards the bar. Once they're alone, he continues. "Now before you start, Jungkook, you know you've been overloaded lately." 

"Nothing I can't handle," Jungkook insists, a tinge of desperation in his voice. 

"Look," he replies carefully, clasping his hands gently together. "It's nothing personal. He's highly qualified, and well, to be frank, we aren't meeting the mark lately with our numbers. The Board is starting to demand more. We need all the help we can get." 

Jungkook takes a deep breath through his nose, and Jin can tell that he's biting the inside of his cheek. "Yes, sir." 

The old man claps a fat hand on Jungkook's shoulder. "If it makes you feel better, you have full managing and firing power during his probationary period. We need you to be on board with this, Jeon. Are you with us? “ 

"Yes sir," Jungkook repeats soullessly. 

"That's a good man!" He chuckles, then he shouts over his shoulder, "Now, about that bourbon!" 

As he shuffles off in the direction of the bar, the two of them are left standing there as the room buzzes around them. Jin doesn't know quite what to say. But he sees Lee peeking smugly at them from the bar, and he doesn't want Jungkook anywhere within his line of sight.  

"Hey, I saw a balcony over there," Jin tells him softly, moving his body so that his back effectively blocks Lee's view of Jungkook, who is having a hard time disguising his distress. "You want to get some air?" 

Jungkook nods stiffly, letting Jin lead him over to the double doors and out onto the balcony.

It's a chilly night, and everyone else seems to be content in the warm indoors. They can see their breath as they clutch their room-temperature drinks in cold hands. But they're alone, and it's quiet.  

"I'm fine," Jungkook answers before Jin has the chance to even ask the question, but Jin can see the glass tumbler shaking almost imperceptibly in his hands.  

"I know, I know," Jin assures him, not wanting to panic him further, and he takes a sip of his scotch just to have something to do. It burns on his tongue, but he forces himself to swallow it. He'd never gone to law school. "So... that guy. The tall one." 

"Who?" Jungkook asks unconvincingly, nose upturned as he averts his gaze.  

He clicks his tongue in mild exasperation. "You know who, Jungkook. What's going on there?" 

Jungkook takes a sizable swig of his own drink, then lowers the glass and starts fidgeting with it. "Nothing. We were in the same program at college, that's all." 

"That's all?" Jin prompts him gently, and Jungkook crinkles his nose.  

"I guess we were kind of rivals. Both top of our class and always competing for everything. We were also the only two people in the program that... played for the same team." 

"What like... Ultimate Frisby?" Jin questions, and Jungkook eyes him strangely. 

"Gays, Jin. We were the only gays.” He pauses to take a small sip of scotch, raising the glass to his lips and freezing just before it makes it there. "But yes, also Ultimate Frisby." 

"Oh. Shit," Jin says, leaning close now and lowering his voice, despite the fact that there is clearly no one to overhear them on the empty balcony. "Did you guys... like..." 

"No!" Jungkook insists loudly, eyes wide. "God no. I would never." But his right eye twitches strangely.  

"Look buddy, I was definitely picking up on some vibes there," Jin informs him sympathetically.   

Jungkook sighs. "I mean I guess we... flirted. Kind of. It was one of those really tense Draco/Harry rivalry things that everybody thinks is sexy, but honestly it just sucked. I think he knew I was kind of into him, me being a closeted baby gay and him being the only gay I knew at the time, and I think he got a real kick out of taunting me about it. It never went beyond that."

"Oh. That's shitty." 

"He's shitty," Jungkook confirms with a humorless chuckle. 

"I did get those vibes." Jin turns to him and pats him tenderly on the shoulder. "I'm sorry things are gonna be bad at work for a while." 

"It's fine," Jungkook says, though Jin can see the pout in his lower lip.  "If he gets really out of line, I'll sack him." 

Jin nods, and for a while they just look out on sprawling sea of lights in the city below in silence.

"You still good with this whole thing? With us?" Jin asks him quietly, concerned. "We can call it off if it's going to make things too complicated.” 

Jungkook scoffs. "And have him think you dumped me? Hell no." 

"Okay. If you change your mind, no hard feelings." 

"No, it's... It'll be good, I think," Jungkook decides. 

Jin pats his hand reassuringly, then glances back inside where people have started to seat themselves at the round tables. "Looks like everyone's about to start eating. You want to go back in and grab a seat?" 

Jungkook just nods, taking a deep, bracing breath before following Jin back through the french doors and into the warmth. 

 

 

The seating chart must be arranged by department, because he and Jungkook have the pleasure of being seated with not only Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, but also their newest potential addition to the department, who looks incredibly smug as he takes a seat next to Jin.  

"So Lee," Guildenstern starts in mere moments after they've been seated. "What was Jeon like in college?" 

"Yeah come on, give us some dirt," Rosencrantz adds, leaning forward eagerly. "Was he an even bigger dork back then? Or is this a more recent development?"

Lee's chuckle is extremely self-satisfied. "You know, not much has changed." And Jin despises the way they're talking about Jungkook like he's not sitting right across the table from them. "Except now he's not pretending to be straight anymore, thank god. Talk about painful." 

The three men all laugh uproariously as Jungkook ducks his head with a forced smile. Jin sees red.  

"Hey, so are you all directors?" Jin interjects loudly then, loud enough that they can all hear him over their snorting laughter. Jungkook's head whips up in his direction, confusion rolling off of him in waves, because he knows that Jin knows they're not. 

"Huh?" Rosencrantz asks, smile fading slowly from his face.  

"Your positions here," Jin adds with a sickly sweet smile. "Are you all directors like Jungkook?" 

The two men across the table sober up comically fast, displeasure tugging down at the corners of their mouths. 

"Uh. No," Guildenstern says tightly, leaning back in his chair.  

"Ahh," Jin breathes in apparent understanding. "So you're like... higher than a director then?" 

There are a few moments of silence during which the only sound is the one that Hani makes when she tries to pass off stifled laugh as a weird sneeze. 

"No," Guildenstern repeats through gritted teeth, hand twitching against the table.  "We're traders."

"Oh. So Jungkook's like, your boss?" Jin continues relentlessly with feigned ignorance. He doesn't wait for a response that time before he continues. "Wow, that's amazing. And he's so young too." He turns to Jungkook, reaching out to gently run his fingers through his hair. "That's so amazing, babe."

Rosencrantz pulls out his phone in an attempt to look busy, but Guildenstern is currently glaring a hole in Jin's forehead.  

"Amazing," Lee agrees unexpectedly from next to him, but when Jin glances over, it's clear that his attention is on Jin, not Jungkook. Jin's stomach crawls as Lee then he reaches back and leisurely rests his arm along the back of Jin's chair, 

"Ah! Food!" Hani declares loudly as a means of changing the subject as servers start to gather around the table with trays. "Thank God. Food is here. Let's eat the food." 

Jin scoots his chair violently towards Jungkook, Lee's arm swinging away as the movement jars him. He's almost startled when he feels a hand on his leg, truly thinks it's Lee for a moment, but when he looks over, Jungkook is smiling softly at him. The hand on his leg squeezes gently. 

And then there is food.  

Jin knows food. Jin regularly consumes food in massive quantities, but this. Jin couldn't dream of a spread like this. They don't even sell most of this shit in grocery stores. The truly shameful thing, Jin thinks, is that nobody is touching it. Jungkook's coworkers just continue to sip their drinks, laugh raucously as they chat, and most of their dates are picking unhappily at greenery. Hani sits across from him, apparently fully prepared to chow down on a cut of lamb, but a disgusted look from Rosencrantz has her sourly setting down her fork.  

"What is up with these people?" Jin whispers in mild horror to Jungkook. "Is eating like, some sign of weakness?" 

"Anything that makes you look remotely human is a sign of weakness," Jungkook whispers right back. He nods to Rosencrantz. "That asshole once held his bladder for so long in a meeting that when we were finally done he pissed himself in his car. I only know because he accidentally answered my facetime mid-stream." 

"Well I, for one, am a mere weak mortal who is about to go ham on that beef wellington. You might want to close your eyes for this." 

"No way," Jungkook says, resting his head on his hands and gazing fondly at Jin. "I want to see you in action." 

He does seem to attract the attention of most of the table as he gradually gets into his stride. Whether they're impressed or mildly disgusted, it's hard to say, but Jin doesn’t care. He's in his happy place, never more thrilled than when his mouth is full to bursting with delicious food.

"Wow," Jungkook marvels, poking one of Jin's very full cheeks. "Amazing." 

"You feeding him okay, Jeon?" Lee asks smugly from beside him. "Looks like maybe he's not getting what he needs." 

Jin takes the opportunity to cough powerfully, spraying Lee with specks of masticated foie gras. 

"Sorry," he lies, cheeks still bursting, though he somehow manages a very unsympathetic smile. Jungkook's body shakes with badly suppressed laughter, and Lee splutters with indignant rage. 

 

 

There's barely any talk of business throughout the night. Everyone seems to be much more interested in talking about things, either the things that they have acquired, the things that they are going to acquire. The only other subject they really touch on is people, though the way they talk about people, Jin realizes, is very much the same way they talk about things. They speak in terms of possession, acquisition, mergers. He briefly wonders if that's the way that Jungkook talks about him, when he's not there. But as he looks over at Jungkook, who is gleefully heaping his own portions onto Jin's plate, he thinks he probably doesn't. 

"Hey, do you want to get out of here?" Jin asks him suggestively near the end of the night as things are winding down, just loud enough for the people in their group to hear them.  

Jungkook's spine is ramrod-straight as he nods eagerly then announces to the table, "Uh, hey. I think we're gonna head out." Then more quietly to Jin he says, "I'll go grab the coats. Meet me over there?" Jin nods as Jungkook turns back to the table and says with badly disguised excitement at the prospect of leaving, "See you guys Monday." He then excuses himself from the table and starts to make his way over towards the coat check.  

"Well. It was lovely to meet you," Jin says to the table, though he directs both the comment primarily at Hani, who waves pleasantly back. Then he, too, excuses himself, fixing Lee with one last cold look before heading in the general direction of the coat check.  

Halfway there, however, he feels a hand on his arm. 

"Hey hey hey, what's the rush?" Lee asks smugly, hand lingering on Jin's arm for an uncomfortably long time. "I feel like we didn't get to talk all night." 

"Why would we talk?" Jin asks flatly, brushing Lee's hand off of him.  

"Jeon and I are old friends, you know," he replies, tucking his hands in his pocket and tilting his head cockily at Jin. "We could be friends, too." 

Jin grimaces visibly. "No thanks.” And he moves to leave again. Lee steps in front of him, and Jin's jaw flexes as he eyes him incredulously. “Please move.” 

Lee actually laughs at that. "Look, I don’t know what Jeon told you, but-" 

"He didn't have to tell me anything. I’m an autonomous human being capable of recognizing assholes all on my own," Jin informs him coolly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I can't wait to sit on my boyfriend's massive cock," he says without missing a beat, brushing past Lee before he has the chance to embarrass himself further.  

He strides straight to the coat check without looking back, but the exchange has his heart racing and his blood pumping. Jungkook stands in front of the counter with both of their coats in hand.  

"The attendant's gone but these are ours, ri-" Jungkook breaks off abruptly. "Whoa, are you okay?" he asks him, and Jin guesses that his own eyes might look a little wild.  

"Me? Great. Never better. What? Why? Did someone say something?" Jin asks as he gratefully accepts his own coat but remains very much in Jungkook's space, backing him up against the counter without even realizing he's doing it.   

"You just seem... very... riled," Jungkook struggles hands coming to rest on the counter behind him as Jin corners him there.

"Sorry," he says, realizing how close he is and backing up slightly. Jungkook just shrugs and goes to put his coat on, but Jin stops him. "Here, let me." He grabs the coat and unfolds it, reaching behind Jungkook to tug it up his arms. He can still feel Lee's eyes on them, and so his hands linger on Jungkook's chest as he smoothes the collar down.  

Jungkook peaks around him briefly. “He’s watching us.” 

“I know,” Jin tells him, reaching up to cup Jungkook's cheek tenderly.  

"Um. Hey. Jin?" Jungkook asks quietly with a little worry line between his eyebrows, and the façade is already crumbling a little now that there's no immediate audience.  

"Yeah?" 

"You kissed me earlier." 

Jin pouts his lip out a little as he needlessly continues to adjust the collar of Jungkook's coat. "Oh. Yeah. Sorry. I thought that would be okay." 

"It was! Of course it was. Just..." Jungkook hesitates.  

"Just what?" 

"In our deal... I said one kiss. Was that the only one?" And it must have taken everything he possessed to ask that question, because his hands are balled and trembling almost imperceptibly at his sides. Jin reaches down to take his hands, which relax a little in his grip as he brings them up over his shoulders and takes a small, brave step closer.  

"Why? Do you want another?" 

Jungkook nods silently, eyes round and fixed on Jin. Specifically on Jin's lips. Lee is watching as Jin slowly rotates them so that it's his own back against the counter and so that it looks like Jungkook is pinning him there. But it's Jin's hands that are tugging him close so that his hard chest presses firmly against Jin's. 

"Then take it." 

Jungkook's eyes dart from his lips to his eyes, obviously trying to gauge the intent behind the statement. Whatever he finds there in his gaze though must be enough, because a second later, he's reaching forward to run his fingers through Jin's hair, nails scraping his scalp. Jin only just catches that minute flash of fire before Jungkook leans forward to press his lips to Jin's.  

It's different than before, the implication of the kiss. This screams want, the way their lips slide together, the way their mouths part against each other hungrily without preamble. Jungkook breathes a pleased sigh, and it's a delightful, eager sound. Jin's teeth graze at his lip and Jungkook groans a little at that, pressing forward to close any remaining space between them. It's deliciously indecent for a public place, even if the coat check is slightly more isolated in comparison to the rest of the restaurant.  

At this point, Jin absolutely expects Jungkook to go pliant, to revert to the awkward, fumbling boy he met in that bar. What he does not expect is fire, and metallic, glinting hardness. Jungkook's hand tightens in his hair, tugging his head to the side so that he can lick deeper into Jin's mouth. Jin's back digs into the hard corner of the counter, bending back over the surface a little as Jungkook surges forward. It’s Jin's turn to bite back a groan now as he melts under Jungkook's hands and his mouth and his warm, solid body. 

He's a little caught off-guard, but not so much that he can't enjoy it. Oh, he's enjoying himself just fine, probably a little bit too much as his scrambling hands find purchase in that expensive jacket, then in the back pockets of those expensive pants. He grips firmly at Jungkook's ass and greedily swallows the deep, soft sound that results.  

Jin heaves himself back to reality and dislodges his lips from Jungkook's, breaths harsh as he leans over to mutter in his ear, "This is fun, but I'm pretty sure that asshole is getting about as much out of it as we are." 

Jungkook pulls away, lips swollen and slick with spit before he chances a brief glance over his shoulder to confirm that yes, he is.  

"Ew." 

"Seconded," Jin mumbles, reluctantly releasing his grip on Jungkook's ass. "You wanna get out of here for real now?" 

"Yes please," Jungkook confirms, stumbling back a few steps in his effort to untangle himself from Jin.  

 

 

The slamming of the car door ushers in a particularly stark silence in the lavish cab of the car as they both sit swollen-lipped, still breathing harder than normal.  

"Well that was..." Jungkook breaks the silence after a minute, adjusting his pants as inconspicuously as he is able.  

"Worth the hotdogs?" 

Jungkook looks at him strangely for a moment before breaking out into soft giggles, and Jin can't help but laugh along with him. 

"Worth every fucking hotdog." Jungkook gives an exultant laugh as he throws himself back against the seat, and Jin’s heart gives a very real squeeze. “I can't believe Lee saw us.” 

“Sure did.” Jin laughs as he remembers, “Oh, and also I told him you have a massive dick.” 

Jungkook scoffs, though the stunning, toothy grin remains. "He already knew that. He was a total urinal creep.” 

Jin raises an eyebrow, eyes darting down Jungkook's body to check out the crotch situation. “Good to know.” 

"Hey Jin?" Jungkook says, sounding a little more insecure now.  

"Yeah?" 

"I think that this whole thing was, you know.... less bad than it would have been if I was by myself." 

Jin elbows him playfully. "Are you trying to thank me?" 

Jungkook looks flustered again as he squirms away. "Shut up." 

"Well, you're welcome, " Jin says graciously, reaching over to pinch his cheek. "Now what do you say to a quick celebratory trip to Trader Joe's?" 

"I'm tired,” Jungkook groans, slumping in his seat and pouting like a kid being dragged to Home Depot on a Saturday. 

"I'll let you watch me eat a chocolate-covered banana." 

"Sold." 

 

Chapter Text

As Jin steps into his apartment, he groans first because of the immense weight of the bags of groceries loaded into his arms, but then he groans once more for an entirely different reason.  

"What in God's name are you doing here?"  

Jimin's head perks up from where he lays on the couch, and Namjoon startles himself awake with a particularly loud snore.  

"Jin!" Jimin greets him enthusiastically. "You're home!" 

"That key is for emergencies," Jin tells him sternly as he sets the bags of groceries down on the countertop.  

"This is definitely an emergency," Jimin assures him, pushing himself into a seated position. "Did you see my dumpster man at your fancy dinner?" 

"Uh, I don't think so," Jin says as he starts to unload items from the bags. "Though it's kind of hard to tell from that sketch you gave me. Which was just a stick figure with a very large penis." 

Jimin huffs through his nose then launches himself back down onto the couch. "Guess it was a long shot." 

"So hey, how did it go?" Namjoon asks as he wipes a bit of drool from his chin.  

Jin shrugs, feeling the back of his neck heat up as his train of thought wanders back to the coat check. "The food was pretty good." 

Jimin clicks his tongue, unsatisfied, and sits right back up. "And?" He prompts impatiently.  

"And I made a friend," Jin says evasively, folding up the paper bags as he empties them. 

"And??" Jimin demands, eyes wide with exasperation.  

"And I may have made mortal enemies of some powerful men who control a huge portion of our nation's finances." 

"AND??" Jimin almost yells, leaning forward now. 

"Whoa!" Namjoon interrupts, looking immensely concerned. "Nope, hold on, I would like to revisit that last one." 

Jimin pouts and reclines on the couch again. "Well hurry. I need other juicy details." 

"What did you do?" Namjoon asks Jin, worry creasing his brow as he gets up to join him in the kitchen.  

"Nothing really," Jin downplays it, scooting a bag towards Namjoon for him to unload. "His co-workers are dicks and so I may have gotten a little... spicy." He pauses then adds primly, "As I do." 

"Spicy how?" 

"Just, you know, took a couple of swipes at their fragile masculinity. Nothing they didn't deserve. But they were being really mean to Jungkook. What was I supposed to do?" 

Jimin's head peeks up at them from the couch again, eyes mischievous. "OhhhhhHHHhhh so it was about Jungkooooook." 

Jin fixes him with a stern look. "Don’t make it a thing. He's just a nice kid, that’s all." 

"I'll BET he is," Jimin taunts him from the couch, waggling his eyebrows. Jin just rolls his eyes and launches a crumpled-up grocery bag at Jimin's head. It falls woefully short. 

"You guys want smoothies?" Jin asks as a means of distraction as he gathers a few ingredients from the remaining bags of groceries. "I want a smoothie." 

Namjoon eyes the selected ingredients skeptically. "Is that a truffle?" 

Jin ruffles at his judgement. "Yes, Namjoon. I can afford nice things now." 

"I know it's just... in a smoothie?" 

Jin rolls his eyes again, utterly unconcerned, as he starts chopping up the truffle and mutters, "Peasant." 

Namjoon just sighs benignly and grabs a strawberry from the carton. "Hey Jin?" 

"Hmm?" 

"Just be careful. You know how these kinds of guys can be, especially when their masculinity is threatened. It's nothing to fuck around with. Money and power and all that shit." 

Jin's hands still momentarily, knife resting on the truffle as his eyes flit up to Namjoon's face.  

"What?" Namjoon asks him when he doesn't respond.  

Jin shrugs. "I guess they kind of reminded me of my dad." 

Namjoon gives him a sad, understanding smile. "Like I said." 

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Jin grumbles, turning back to his work and scooping bits of truffle into the blender. 

Namjoon mildly takes a bite of the strawberry, fidgeting with the stem as he chews. "And you're sure Jungkook's not like that, too?" 

The mild anxiety in his gut melts away as he smiles fondly, remembering Jungkook's look of wide-eyed wonderment as Jin had successfully crammed half of the food on his plate into one mouthful.  

"Pretty damn sure."  

"Oh?" Jimin pipes up from the couch as he stares at Jin, launching himself over the arm and stumbling forward into the kitchen to inspect Jin's face. "Oh, what's this? Do you actually..." 

The smile slides off of Jin's face as he chucks a few bananas into the blender. "Shut up." 

Jimin tilts his head, eyes sparkling with glee. "You actually li-" 

Jin turns on the blender abruptly, smiling fakely at Jimin's perturbed expression at being cut off by the roaring mechanical sound.  

When the sound dies down, Jimin tries again. "You actually-" 

The loud, grinding noise fills the kitchen again, and Jimin pouts, crossing his arms moodily and tapping his foot as he waits for Jin to finish.  

This time, when the kitchen falls silent again, Jimin waits as Jin stares mildly at him, finger perched on the button.  

"You-" 

Jimin throws up his arms in exasperation as his words are swallowed once more by the deafening grinding of the blender, and when the kitchen falls quiet again, he huffs loudly in resignation. Jin takes his eyes off of him only long enough to pour the smoothie out into a cup, the sickly brownish mixture making an unpleasant plopping noise as he does. He sniffs it gingerly, cringing in disdain, then he grabs a colorful straw and tosses it in, pushing the drink across the kitchen island to Jimin.

"Here you go," he says, voice sickly saccharine.  

"I-" 

"Drink." 

Jimin's eyes flit nervously between the smoothie and Jin's face before he tentatively reaches forward to pick up the cup. He pauses, straw to his mouth, and Jin nods. Jimin takes a small sip, and for a moment he looks fine, then his face crumples comically as the taste fully registers.  

"Good?" Jin asks him casually, keeping his face blank of the immense satisfaction he feels as Jimin gags.  

Jimin, upon sensing Jin's mood, nods mildly and burps.  

"Finish it," Jin tells him with an edge of steel to his voice, and Namjoon's eyebrows shoot up as he observes silently.  

Jimin shudders before raising the straw to his mouth once more, face screwing up as he drinks. Jin smiles sweetly the whole time, maintaining eye contact as he does. When the straw makes an empty slurping sound, Jin reaches out to take the cup from Jimin, who looks slightly ill but markedly less smug that a few minutes ago.  

"And what do you say?" Jin prompts him as he reaches forward to pat Jimin's hair patronizingly.  

Jimin swallows another gag.  

"Thank you." 

Namjoon sighs and grabs another strawberry. "You two have the weirdest fucking dynamic."

 

 


 

 

 

Kid: I have a proposition for you 

 

Me: I have been propositioned by you before and I'm not looking to experience that again 

Me: that was awkward as shit  

 

Kid: why am I paying you to cyberbully me 

 

Me: beats me. 

Me: so what's this proposition 

 

Kid: well obviously people need to think this is real and that we're going on all kinds of expensive sexy dates right?  

 

Me: just… tell them we are going on all kinds of expensive sexy dates 

 

Kid: they're still skeptical, they think u just pitied me for a day. 

 

Me: that's not true 

 

Kid: thank you 

 

Me: I'm pitying you for the foreseeable future. 

Me: hah sick burn 

Me: jungkook? 

Me: …that was mean and untrue and I’m sorry 

Me: jungkook u there 

Me: am I fired  

 

Kid: sorry I'm here, I was just tearing a phonebook in half with my bare hands 

Kid: anyway 

Kid: we could go on several different dates 

Kid: or we could go on one superdate 

Kid: all I need are the proof pics so it's no difference to me 

 

Me: what is a superdate? 

 

Kid: well i know ur busy training 

Kid: so we would go on like 5 dates in 1 day so we can take pictures at each date to make people think we spend more time together than we do 

 

Me: oh 

Me: that doesn't sound super, that sounds stressful 

Me:  wait are you trying to get out of spending money on me 

 

Kid: No! We will be spending exactly the same amount of money as we otherwise would 

Kid: I'm trying to be... efficient.  it's why I'm so good at my job 

Kid: u down? 

 

Me: fine 

Me: how should I dress 

 

Kid: no offense but.... 

 

Me: stop saying no offense when you are clearly about to insult my peasant garb again 

 

 


 

 

 

 

It is wrong in the eyes of God to be awake at 4:40 on a Saturday morning, Jin thinks as he rubs his freezing arms with his hands out front of his apartment. There is not even one hint of sun on the horizon, and it is, for all intents and purposes, sleepytime.  

But for some reason, Jungkook had insisted that phase one of Superdate commence at precisely 4:30am, and so here he is, freezing his ass off. In his motherfucking peasant garb.  

He growls quietly to himself when the black car rolls slowly up to the curve, fully ready to snap, but the second Jungkook's head pops out of the sunroof, hair sleep-ruffled, eyes swollen, coffee-bearing hands thrust enthusiastically into the air, Jin's heart gives an obnoxious and very inconvenient clench that promptly curtails any impending crabiness.  

"You're the definition of 15 minutes late with Starbucks," Jin says by way of greeting as he catapults himself into the warmth of the car. The driver closes the partition and slowly pulls back on the road, headed to god-knows-where.  

"I thought you would at least be waiting inside like a normal person," Jungkook grunts, taking a sip of his own coffee.  

"You sounded very fucking serious about beginning at exactly 4:30!" Jin claims, looking affronted. "You specifically mentioned consequences." 

"Jin, I sent a meme that said 'there will be consequences' with a tiny fluffy cat lunging benignly at the camera. Do you not understand meme culture?" 

"Not really, no." 

"Hmm. Generational gap I guess," Jungkook mutters into his plastic lid, and Jin spitefully bops his cup upwards, making him dribble coffee all over his chin. Jungkook splutters indignantly as he hurriedly brushes drops of coffee from his undoubtedly extravagantly expensive shirt.  

 "5 years is not a generation, dipshit."  

 "At least I'm not a middle-aged man calling a 24-year old 'daddy.'" 

 "Neither am I. Dipshit."  

 Jungkook just heaves a satisfied sigh, settling back into the seat of the car and tucking his coffee between his thighs. "Whatever you say, babe."  

 Jin stares incredulously. "Wow, if we could go back to the stuttering, blushing maiden who worshiped and adored me, that'd be great."   

"Too late. I know you. I'm not afraid of you. I don't even want to barf anymore." 

"I liked you better before, " Jin tells him, eyeing him with affected disdain. "Anyway what are we doing today?" 

"It's a 6-phase superdate," Jungkook says, tossing a crisp, stapled itinerary at him.  

 

Itinerary:  Superdate  

 

Phase 1:

5:47am: Beach Sunrise 

(romantic af at least one photo of  jin  being lame and posing for a pic that makes it look like he's grabbing the sun with his fingers) 

 

Phase 2:

8:00am:  B runch 

(pic of  jin   tenderly wiping Hollandaise sauce off my mouth, another pic of  jin  stuffing the restaurant's largest sausage in his mouth) 

 

Phase 3:

10:30am: Amusement Park 

(pic of us wearing cute matching headbands, pic of  me doing bunny ears on  jin   as he barfs  in the trashcan after  eating churro and going  on the Death Swirl) 

 

Phase 4:

4:00pm: Luxury Goods Shopping 

(pic of  jin  sipping champagne and  gazing adoringly at me while  dripping in  gucci ) 

 

Phase 5:

7:00pm: Rooftop Dinner 

(mostly  jin  putting things in his mouth again, one romantic photo of us looking  hot  and rich as fuck. Give h im   something (?) diamond-covered   in his champagne . as tae  for advice) 

 

Phase 6:

9:00pm: Movie Night ( at my place)

(cuddle photos, maybe one kiss, cop a feel ? ) 

 

There's a panicked gasp, and suddenly Jungkook snatches the paper out of his hands.  

"Shit, don't look!" He mumbles, frantically searching the backseat for something. He finds it a second later, shoving it into Jin's hands with a suitably abashed expression. "That one was my copy." 

Jin looks down at the new itinerary and notices that all of the notes in parentheses are absent.  He promptly rolls up the paper into a tube and thwaps Jungkook on the head with it, gritting his teeth as he scolds, "Cop a feel? Really? You've already gotten TWO kisses and a half-chub out of this deal, kid. Don't get greedy." 

Jungkook recoils, looking affronted. "Excuse you, this is all for them. For show. Do you think I want to kiss you?" 

"Yes I do," Jin says matter-of-factly. "I'm a great kisser. And extremely beautiful." 

"Yeah, well, me too!" Jungkook shoots back indignantly.  

Jin shrugs. "I'll give you one of the two." 

Jungkook gasps.  "How dare you, I am BOTH." 

"Okay," Jin says in a placating tone, his appeasing smile plainly fake.  

Jungkook bristles in his seat. "I am." 

Jin just settles back in his seat, shutting his eyes with a content sigh as the car rumbles along. 

"Jin, wait," Jungkook caves after just a second, and the worry is evident in his tone. "Which one am I?" A frantic tug on his sleeve. "Jin, which one?" 

 


 

 

 

Phase 1: Beach 

 

“Who wears Gucci to the beach?” Jin shouts over the changing room door, waves crashing in the background as he pulls on a collared shirt.  

“Rich people don’t stop being rich at the beach, Jin,” Jungkook shouts back. “Suck it up. We're not going swimming or anything, we’re just taking a fucking picture.” 

“Fine,” Jin pouts, swinging the door open and smoothing his new clothes, a fitted button-up shirt with embroidered details at the collar and a pair of straight-legged grey plaid trousers. “How's this?” 

Jungkook appraises him carefully, eyes lingering on Jin's chest for a moment before he tears his gaze away.  

“Less peasant-y. It'll do. Okay come on, Petra's already set up the shot, and the sun is about to rise. Chop chop.” 

"Who the fuck is Petra?" 

"She's the photographer for the beach photos. We can't just take selfies everywhere. I'm rich, Jin," Jungkook answers flatly, checking his phone. "Petra's great, though. She did Blue Ivy's baby pics." 

They stomp across the beach towards the water, feet making squeaking noises upon impact as they dig into the fine sand. There is just the barest hint of sun on the flat horizon, and Jungkook grabs his hand to urge him faster. Jin's hand grasps back reflexively, realizing it's not as sweaty as usual as a pleasant warmth skating over the surface of his body.  

“Come on, we’re gonna miss it!” Jungkook insists, and then they’re running together hand-in-hand through the squeaking, shifting sand. Jin throws his head back in laughter as he’s dragged forcibly along. 

They make it to the shore just as the sun starts to peek up over the water in earnest, and a figure waves them over.  

“Hurry, lovebirds,” a thickly accented voice urges them in the dim light, and this must be Petra. “At home, we have already milked and butchered the goats by now.” 

She positions them with their backs to the sun and squats down behind the camera. Jin glances briefly at Jungkook who has suddenly gone very stiff, then slides his arm around his waist.  

“Oh come now, don't act like you don't know each other," Petra urges them. "You're in love! These are your engagement photos! Act like it!” 

“Our what?” Jin hisses quietly in Jungkook’s ear. 

“Excuse me if I was not about to spill my guts about how my elderly sugar baby is fucking fake,” Jungkook mumbles through his teeth such are clenched tight in an unnatural smile.  

Jin pinches his side, and Jungkook tries to squirm away.  

“What's wrong, sweetheart? Come here,” Jin says intently, yanking him close so that the front of Jungkook's body presses up against his side. 

“How about a kiss!” Petra shouts over the roar of the waves.  

Jungkook’s eyes widen in fear, and he leans back. And back. And back. So far back that gravity takes over, and he flails to catch his balance, ass meeting sand moments later. Jin can’t suppress his squeaking laughter as Jungkook brushes off his hands and Petra gives them a confused look. 

“Um. We're… waiting 'til marriage!” Jungkook shouts in explanation over the sound of the crashing waves.  

Jin extends a hand and helps tug Jungkook to his feet.  

“You know we already made out in an extremely public place, right?” He mutters into his ear, the sound of it almost swallowed by the persistent sea breeze. 

“It's… different,” Jungkook claims, fingers flying up to cup his ears, which judging by their general redness, must be extremely warm.  

“How?" Jin teases him, pulling him close to his side and looking into his eyes as he hears Petra snapping away trying to capture the moment.  

Jungkook goes redder if that's even possible, but there's that curious steel in his gaze again as he looks back at Jin. “Just… different.” 

“Hey. Jungkook. Look at me," Jin says, satisfied when Jungkook does just that, much more easily than last time. "Look. I know what you want," Jin tells him, bringing his hand up to cup Jungkook's cheek.  

“You… do?” Jungkook asks, expression a perfect fusion of terror and anticipation.  

“Yep. And I'm going to give it to you.” 

Jungkook’s eyebrows twitch in confusion as he leans into Jin's touch. “Really?” 

Jin nods, tilting his head very slightly to the right. “We're gonna give you something to mark off that itinerary of yours, babe. Close your eyes.” 

Jungkook’s eyes flutter shut without hesitation and Jin steps back, glancing behind him to where the sun is now rising higher in the sky. He poses accordingly.

“Okay. Open,” Jin commands. 

Jungkook's eyes blink open, and his look shifts from one of hope to one of confusion to one of absolute annoyance.  

“I fucking hate you.” 

“How is it, Petra?” Jin asks with a dorky smile, pointer finger and thumb extended like he's holding the sun. “Did I get it?” 

“Not even close, dumb beautiful man," she replies, accent thick. 

“Perfect.” 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Phase Two: Brunch 

 

“This isn't even brunch,” Jin whines, pulling on another shirt in the back of the car as Jungkook averts his gaze with artfully affected disinterest. “It's eight in the morning. This is straight up breakfast.” 

“Brunch is a feeling, not a time, Jin.” Jungkook assures him. “Plus, it'd be sad to drink booze at breakfast. But when you drink at brunch it's just fun and carefree.” 

Jin sighs. "Fine, I'll give you that one, but only because I would prefer to be a little drunk for whatever the fuck it is you have planned today.” 

But for all his whining, Jin is pleasantly surprised when they pull up to the restaurant, a new trendy brunch place on the south side of town that always seems to have a line winding out of the door and down the sidewalk. He's tried to get a reservation at this place every Saturday for the last few months.  

“Okay. Wow,” Jin marvels add they step inside and he gets a gander at the magnificently plated dishes at the various tables around them. 

“I did good right?” Jungkook looks magnificently pleased with himself. 

Jin eyes him suspiciously. "Did you know I wanted to come here?” 

"Hmm?" Jungkook asks a bit too casually. “Me? I had no clue. I guess I'm just excellent at anticipating your wants and needs.” 

“Right this way, Mr. Jeon,” the host says with a shy glance at the two as he turns to lead them back to their table. 

They follow him through the restaurant to the very back of the building where a circular table is situated near a huge window with a stunning city view.  

“Oh,” Jin remarks as the host sets down 6 menus on the table. “It's just the two of us, we don't need-“ 

“Jin!” 

Jin's stomach sinks as he turns to see an excited Jimin and an embarrassed looking Namjoon waving from across the room. 

“You didn't," Jin groans to Jungkook.  

“Look, part of being a cool couple is having other cool couple friends. We both happen to have very attractive friends.” 

“Jin, isn't this place amazing?” Jimin gushes as he approaches. “I told your daddy you'd love it.” 

Jin shoots a knowing glare at Jungkook who smiles sheepishly, then he wheels back around on his friends. 

“You," Jin jabs his finger towards Jimin, “are dead to me. And if anybody,” he wags his finger at all three of them now, “calls this Cabbage Patch Kid my daddy one more time, I'm going to call the police.” 

"He's a little cranky today. The little guy didn't get enough sleep last night,” Jungkook stage whispers to the others, and Jimin smiles delightedly before a deadly look from Jin has him sobering up abruptly.  

Jin takes a deep calming breath, plopping down into a seat and burying his face moodily in the expensive gold-gilded menu. 

“I’m so sorry,” Namjoon says, slipping into a seat across from him. “Jimin found his work number on the internet. I figured it was better to come supervise than to leave him to his own devices.” 

“Who else is coming?” Jimin asks as he takes the seat on the other wide of Jungkook. He waggles his eyebrows. “Work friends?” 

“God no,” Jungkook laughs. “Real friends. Yoongi and Taehyung.” 

“Yoongi?” Jimin asks, tapping his chin in pensive thought. “Yoongi. Why does that sound so familiar?” 

“Oh, there he is!” Jungkook waves at the approaching figure, a short, slight man with sharp eyes and a soft-looking sweater. 

“Guys, this is Min Yoongi." 

“Oh!” Jimin exclaims, snapping his fingers like he's had a revelation. “Min Yoongi! That's it! I fucked Min Yoongi outside the bar that night!” 

"You mean in a dumpster," Jin adds petulantly. 

Silence. 

“You fucked Yoongi in a dumpster?” Jungkook demands, looking positively elated.  

Yoongi, who has just lowered himself down into his seat almost slips off of it, and Namjoon catches him deftly by the elbow, steadying him. 

“He sure as fuck did not!” Yoongi says as he positions himself back on the chair. 

“Nah, it wasn't him," Jimin confirms, looking a little disappointed. "But his name was definitely Min Yoongi. How weird is that? Believe me, it was the fuck of a lifetime.” Jimin peeks curiously around Yoongi and Namjoon then, towards the door.  

Jungkook claps a hand on Yoongi's shoulder. "Yoongi, this is Jimin, who you may or may not have fucked inside a dumpster." 

"I didn't," Yoongi says, sounding incredibly put-upon. Namjoon shoots him a sympathetic look.  

Jungkook ignores him, soldiering on. "Like I said, you may or may not have." 

“Wait. No fucking way," Jimin interrupts, eyes wide as he points a small finger at the entrance to the restaurant. "That's him! Min Yoongi!” 

A handsome man in collared silk shirt and a pair of loose slacks makes his way towards their table, looking vaguely confused as he seems to notice everyone staring at him. 

“That's… Taehyung,” Jungkook says, tilting his head in confusion. 

When Taehyung reaches the table, his eyes land on Jimin, and his jaw drops.  “Namjoon?” his deep voice cracking on the second half of the word. “Kim Namjoon?” 

Namjoon's head jerks towards Taehyung, a reflex to hearing his own name, and his eyebrows crumple in confusion as he looks at Jimin, then back at the man who is staring at Jimin with a confused but clearly pleased smile. 

Namjoon's eyes glaze over in a sad, resigned understanding. His forehead hits the table with a rattling clink of vibrating glassware. 

“Hey, what the fuck is going on?” Yoongi asks nervously. 

“Jimin. Did you give my name as your own to a stranger with whom you had anonymous and disgusting public dumpster sex?” Namjoon demands, distress evident in his eyes. 

“Okay, well before you get too worked up here,” Jimin says dismissively, “Just keep in mind that you're the one who said I should be more careful about giving my name and social security number to strangers.” 

“What, so you gave him my name instead? And... wait You gave him my social security number?” Namjoon asks, looking enraged now. “Why?!” 

Jimin shrugs. “Deep cover.” 

Yoongi reaches over and smacks the back of Taehyung’s head sharply. “How could you sully my name like this?”  

Taehyung has the decency to look abashed. “I guess I just… really look up to you and, you know, wanted to feel, if only for a moment, what it’s like to be you…”  

It's almost convincing until his eyes dart up briefly to gauge Yoongi's reaction. Yoongi just reaches over and smacks the back of his head lightly again. “Next time you do something gross and illegal, use your own goddamn name.” 

“Well it appears some introductions are in order,” Jungkook says cheerfully, clearly deriving too much joy from the situation. "Park Jimin, meet Kim Taehyung. You may know each other from the mutual defiling that took place in a unspecified proximity to a dumpster.”  

Taehyung slips into the chair next to Jimin with a sultry wink. "5 feet, give or take." 

“Real Yoongi, meet real Namjoon. You two didn't actually bang, but if you want my input, I think it’d be real hot if you did.” 

Namjoon and Yoongi meet each other's eyes briefly before erupting in a fierce mutual blush. 

“Can we all agree to vote both of them out of this brunch?” Yoongi asks with a beleaguered sigh, nodding to Jimin and Taehyung, who are currently undressing each other with their eyes.  

“Vetoed, I need them for this photo,” Jungkook says. "They're the hottest ones besides Jin." 

"They're about to give each other handies under the table," Namjoon cringes, scooting his chair away. 

“Why do you get veto power?” Yoongi pouts, slinking down in his seat. "You're a toddler." 

“Because I'm the richest. Now,” he says clapping his hands together and motioning towards the waitstaff, “Let's get Bellini fucked, boys.” 

 The server is at his elbow in a matter of seconds. “Yes sir?” 

“14 Bellinis, please. And what do you have in the way of obscenely large sausages?” 

 

 


 

 

 

Phase Three: Amusement Park 

 

“Awww, we look like a little family,” Jungkook coos, a tipsy slur to his voice as he flicks through the brunch photos on his phone. They're on their wait to the amusement park, the interstate flying by outside the window.  

Jin scoffs as looks at the $90 white tee in his hands, plucking off the tag with disdain. “How do we look remotely like a family?” 

“Sometimes a family is 4 gay dads, a gay grandpa, and their hot successful gay son who supports them all financially and emotionally.” He turns to Jin. “Guess which one you are.” 

Jin raises an eyebrow, making a point of flexing as he shrugs off the polo over his head. Jungkook averts his eyes delicately and buries his nose in his itinerary.  

“You know, for someone who talks about how old I am all the time, you sure want to bang me pretty bad.” 

"You're so full of yourself," Jungkook mumbles, a red flush creeping up his neck. 

"I am. I highly recommend it," Jin says easily, slipping on the white tee. He leans forward to boop Jungkook's nose. "People are wildly attracted to confidence." 

Jungkook jerks his head away, eyebrows drawn up indignantly in the middle. "Yeah, well. Not me." 

"You realize that I was in fact present that time you told me I was the hottest person you'd ever met," Jin tells him, running his fingers through his hair as he checks himself out in the reflection of the window. "I was there for that conversation." 

"That was before I got to know you." Jungkook pouts before glancing out the window and brightening up. "We're here," he says, conveniently changing the subject. "Come on, we have to ride the Death Swirl before the line gets too long." 

"I will not be riding anything with the words 'death' or 'swirl' in the name, thank you," Jin informs him as the car crawls to a stop in the parking lot. "Unless Idris Elba's dick is named Death Swirl. Then I stand corrected." Jungkook scowls as Jin continues, "Anyway, we are here to take photographs and eat some lard-heavy foods and nothing more." 

"Come onnnnn..." Jungkook begs, hands grasping at his sleeve and tugging petulantly. "Just one Death Swirl?" 

"You Death Swirl, I'll hold your purse. I inherited the purse holder gene from my father." 

"I want to do it together. Pleaseeee?" Jungkook tugs at his sleeve again, eyes wide and sad and sparkling with magic.  "I never get to play. I'm always working now." 

"Jungkook. I don't want to."  Jungkook quivers his bottom lip with great purpose. "Jungkook, stop that." 

"Stop what?" He asks, pouting his lip now.  

"That," Jin says, voice laced with very real annoyance now. Pushy Jungkook is not cute. 

"If it's not going to work, I'm sure you won't mind if I don't stop." 

Jin rolls his eyes, and he feels himself actually getting irritated now. "Look. I'm not being dramatic when I say that I'm not going on a fucking death machine, and there's nothing that you could do to change my mind." 

"150 packs of hotdogs says you change your mind," Jungkook says smugly, stepping out of the car as his driver opens the door.  

Jin follows suit, eyeing him strangely. He grasps Jungkook's elbow lightly, just enough to get his attention, then he furrows his brows as Jungkook turns to look at him. 

“You do know... I don't have to do everything you tell me to do just because you pay me, right?" 

Jungkook's eyebrows shoot up, and his eyes are still big but in a different way. He abruptly lets go of Jin's sleeve, the fabric slipping through his fingers. 

 "What? Of... yeah. Of course." He looks truly abashed, hands falling limply to his side. "Sorry. " 

"It's... fine," Jin assures him quickly, noting his distress, waving a dismissive hand. "Now come on. You can watch me make the funnel cake vendor cry." 

Jungkook's face relaxes into a goofy smile as he allows himself to be tugged along, tripping over his own feet as he trots along behind Jin.  

 

 

 


 

 

 

Phase 4: Shopping 

 

"Jin," Jungkook says, waving his hands in front of Jin's face. "Hey. JIn?" 

"Sorry," Jin says, snapping himself out of a stupor with moderate success. His readjusts his grip on the bags in his hands.  "Can you please run that by me again? How much currency I am holding in my hands in Gucci form? 

"$15,000?" 

Jin just stands stiffly, his arms extended unnaturally at his sides as he holds the bags away from his body. "Okay." 

"Why are you standing like that?" 

"LIke what?" Jin asks casually, though he can feel the strangeness of his posture in his aching muscles.  

"Like that. Like you're holding a bag of rotting garbage in each hand. I hate it," Jungkook says with a dainty grimace. "Stop it." 

"I can't stop it. I can't move, I can't touch them. If I touch them I’m going to ruin them. Jungkook, I cannot have that on my conscience. I cannot ruin the monetary equivalent of the entire GDP of a small nation.” 

Jungkook rolls his eyes. “Do you even know what GDP means? Because that’s not remotely true.” 

“Jungkook I could not care less! Just take them away! My back is starting to hurt.” 

Jungkook sighs and motions for his driver to take the bags. 

"Drama queen," Jungkook mutters, then claps his hands together. “Ok, are you ready for Burberry?” 

“There's MORE?” Jin demands in disbelief as the driver relieves him of the bags and stows them in the trunk of the car.  

“Remember Peasant Jin? That man is dead. He's nothing to you anymore. Forget him."

 

 


 

 

 

 

Phase 5: Dinner 

 

"I'll just have the Chef Salad, please," Jin says, handing his menu back to the server. Jungkook quirks an eyebrow.  

"Anything else?" She asks as she reaches over to refill Jungkook's water glass. As she does, the ice in the pitcher comes surging forward, tumbling into the glass with a large splash. She looks up, horrified, as Jungkook brushes a few drops of water from his shirt.  

"I'm so sorry!" She apologizes, eyes large and panicked. It's an incredibly upscale place, a lavish and chic rooftop restaurant with an incredible nighttime view. Jin can only imagine the kind of clientele she's used to. "Here-" She sops up a bit of the water from the table with a cloth from her apron. "I'm so, so sorry, sir."

"It's okay," Jungkook assures her kindly. "Really. Please don't worry about it."

She gives him a grateful smile and straightens up, damp cloth in hand. "I'll get those orders in for you."

"Thank you," Jungkook tells her, not sparing another glance down at his water-splattered shirt as he smiles at her. He's always incredibly kind to customer service workers, Jin has noted throughout the day. He can't imagine anyone else at his workplace doing the same. 

"Just a salad, huh?" Jungkook asks him once she's left.  

"Even I get full," Jin tells him, rubbing his stomach. "I ate like 4 funnel cakes." 

"I just kind of figured you lacked the ability to get full." 

"God no," Jin laughs. "Sometimes I get so full I want to die. I'm always absolutely miserable after nationals." 

"How do you even get a job like that? Competitive eating? Like, how do you even make money?" 

"Prize money from competitions mostly, which is why you have to be really good to do it professionally." 

"And you're really good?" 

Jin shoots him a cocky grin. "The best." 

Jungkook sighs, resting his chin on his hands as he gazes at Jin. "You have the coolest job in the world."  

"You think so?" 

"Of course," Jungkook assures him with unbridled enthusiasm, and Jin laughs wryly. "Why wouldn't I?" 

Jin's smile fades as he fidgets with his silverware, eyes affixed to the table. "A lot of people feel differently." 

Jungkook furrows his eyebrows in confusion. "Why?" 

"I mean, they think it's silly obviously. Which, I guess it is," Jin shrugs, remembering too many fruitless conversations with his exes. "They don't see why it's such a big deal to me, why I train for it and stuff. Say there's no point to it." 

Jungkook rolls his eyes. "No point? The point is to be the best, right? How is that any different from like, professional football? The point is to win." 

Jin regards him carefully. "You don't think it's stupid? Even though I'm not like... contributing anything to society?" 

"No way," Jungkook tells him, looking very nearly offended at the idea. "I mean when you think about it, what do I contribute to society? I move money around all day so rich people can get richer. What's the point of that? I think what you do is much cooler. Like, it's televised too right? Because people love to watch you. I'd say that's contributing something." 

"Yeah?" Jin asks, a fond warmth blooming beneath his ribs and up to his throat, which feels tight.  

"For sure," Jungkook confirms with a big, toothy grin. "That's the dream, isn't it? Making people happy while doing something that you love?" 

"I guess it is," Jin smiles as the server comes back to the table with two champagne flutes. She sets them down silently with a smile and turns back towards the kitchen.  

Jungkook picks up his glass and raises it slightly towards Jin. "To living the dream?" 

Jin smiles as he lifts his own glass to clink gently with Jungkook's. "To living the dre-" He breaks off as he spots something glittering in his champagne. "What is this?" 

"I thought it was romantic to put a diamond ring in your date's champagne." Jungkook looks abruptly concerned. "Is that not romantic?" 

"It is," Jin confirms as he brings the glass closer to his face to inspect it. "However this is a diamond-encrusted cock ring." 

Jungkook balks, the color draining from his face. "It's.... what?" 

Jin swirls the glass, the ring clinking gently inside. "A cock ring." 

"But I asked Tae to arrange... I told... him..." 

"Yeah..." Jin says sympathetically, and Jimin and Taehyung suddenly make a lot of sense, because that's absolutely something that Jimin would do.  

Jungkook's entire body is frozen in pure, unadulterated horror. "I... I would never..." 

"Of course you wouldn't." 

It's silent for a few moments as Jin sets down the glass and folds his hands in his lap. Jungkook just sits there, apparently recovering. 

"I'm going to shove that thing down Kim Taehyung's throat," Jungkook mutters between clenched teeth before taking a large sip of champagne.  

"Yeah you could do that. You could definitely do that. That could work," Jin sneaks a peek down at his glass again as he seriously considers what he's about to say. "Or hey... Here's a wild hypothetical. Feel free to ignore. But what if I... kept it." 

A mouthful of champagne dribbles freely from Jungkook's slack mouth. 

 

  


 

 

 

 

Phase 6: Movie Night 

 

“If all we need is the photos, then why do we actually have to watch a movie?” Jin grumbles, rocking back on his heels to appreciate the intricate crown molding in the hallway. Jungkook’s building is nauseatingly nice. 

“Because I already rented the damn movie and it's due tomorrow and I’m not wasting 4 dollars,” Jungkook says as he turns the key and pushes open the door. 

“You realize you’re gross rich, right? You threw a thousand dollars at me the first time we met. You just bought two cars worth of clothing for me.” 

Jungkook shoots him a distracted but disdainful look as he enters the apartment and tosses his bags on the bench in the front hall.  

“I have to be responsible with my money in order to have the luxury of being irresponsible with my money, okay? Come on, it’ll be fun.”  

Jin sighs, taking in the clean lines and white walls of Jungkook’s very expensive apartment as he does. “It’s late. We've been going all day. I’m tired, and I still have to cross the damn city to get back home." 

“You can stay over tonight,” Jungkook says casually as he kicks off his shoes and proceeds to dig through one of the shopping bags. Jin tenses a bit at that, and Jungkook must sense his reluctance because he turns to him and clicks his tongue in disgust. “Not like that. This place has three guest rooms you know. Like I’d even want to…” Jungkook mutters unconvincingly.  

Jin kindly foregoes the opportunity to mock him. “I don’t have any of my stuff with me." 

“We literally just bought you an entire new luxury wardrobe,” Jungkook says, nudging one of the bags gruffly. “Oh, speaking of.”  

He rummages in the bag, searching for something in particular, eyes brightening almost suspiciously when he finds what he's looking. He pulls out something silky and blue and tosses it at Jin. 

“What’s this?” Jin asks suspiciously, unbundling the fabric. It’s a pair of short, baby blue, luxuriously silky sleep shorts. "I didn't buy this." 

“It's your outfit for movie night,” Jungkook says casually, and even though he’s turned his entire body away to pretend to busy himself with the other bags, Jin can see the blush on the back of his neck. 

“Where's the rest of it?” he asks dryly. 

“I'm sorry, am I supposed to show my co-workers photos of us sleeping in separate beds in head-to-toe flannel?” Jungkook snaps, looking embarrassed. 

Jin shrugs. “Fine.”

And he shrugs off his jacket, tossing it to the couch before grabbing the bottom of his shirt to pull it over his head. 

“Whoa!” Jungkook exclaims, spinning around to avert his gaze as Jin strips off his shirt. “What are you doing?” 

“You’re gonna see it anyway,” Jin says with a small but satisfied smirk. “What’s the big deal?”  

“I wasn’t… ready,” Jungkook mumbles, still facing away and fidgeting with his fingers. 

“Well then you’re definitely not ready for my bare dick so don’t turn around,” Jin says in a sing-song voice, despite the fact that he is currently still very clothed on his bottom half.  What he doesn’t expect is the very subtle, almost unnoticeable tilt of Jungkook’s head craning back towards him. Trying to score a peek, he realizes.  

“Liar,” Jungkook murmurs.  

“Perv,” Jin mumbles back, fighting a smile. 

The shorts really are nice, Jin will admit, once he’s cut Jungkook a break and retreated to the bathroom to slip them on. And he looks good. He was built for luxury, it seems, as his hotness has taken a sharp upturn in the last few weeks. There’s just one problem. 

“Where is my dick supposed to go in these?” Jin shouts as he exits the bathroom, days clothes in hand. He stops short when he sees Jungkook, casually checking his phone by the couch, already changed for bed.  

There’s no way around the fact that Jungkook is hot. He’s wearing a pair of expensive looking black joggers and nothing else. And Jin doesn’t know why he wasn’t expecting it, why he expected the body beneath the crisp, expensive suits to match the scared, boyish eyes or the delicate petal lips that are usually pursed anxiously. But he wasn’t expecting tight, subtle definition and rolling expanses of velvety golden skin, and so he’s scrambling to hide his shock.  

Jungkook shrugs in response to his question, the flush actually spreading in gentle splotches down his chest in response to the question. Or maybe in response to the shorts themselves. “Where does it normally go?” 

“I dunno,” Jin says wiggling his hips inconspicuously. “It just feels different without underwear.” 

Jungkook's eyebrows shoot up in shock, fingers stilling on his phone screen. “You're not wearing underwear.” 

It’s a statement, not a question. 

“It looked bunchy,” Jin says haughtily. "Don't worry about it. I'll manage," he grumbles, wiggling his hips again to try to locate optimal dick placement.  

Jungkook just nods, biting very hard on his lower lip as he tosses his phone on the couch.  

“Excuse me for a moment." He hurriedly shuffles out of the room, and a moment later, Jin hears a door close, then a muffled yell, like perhaps someone is screaming into a pillow. Then there are footsteps, and a door opening, and then Jungkook is back in front of him. "Great. Where were we? Movie?" 

Jin settles himself on the couch as Jungkook heads to the kitchen, clunking around as he apparently grabs some items. He emerges a few minutes later with a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a bowl of popcorn on a tray. 

Jin gladly accepts the wine that Jungkook hands to him. “Wow, you even have grown-up wine glasses. I’m impressed.” 

“This place came furnished, decorated, and stocked,” Jungkook admits a little sheepishly. “Before this, I drank $400 wine out of red solo cups." 

“Of course you did.” 

Jungkook dims the lights before he settles down on the far side of the couch, scooting as far away from Jin as possible and clutching the popcorn bowl like a drowning man clutching a life preserver. He switches on the television with the remote, then curls his feet up underneath him. With his face illuminated by the light of the television, his hair fluffy and unstyled, body curled up and vulnerable looking, Jin can’t help but smile affectionately. He clears his throat reflexively in an effort to disperse the ticklish warmth that fills his chest, but unfortunately this prompts Jungkook to look right at him, catching him mid-gawk. 

“What?” Jungkook asks, defensive with a tinge of insecurity. 

Jin feels his face warm as he scrambles for words. “Are we going to take pictures or what?” 

“Oh.” Jungkook says, deflating slightly. “Later.” 

But about five minutes in, it’s clear that neither of them are watching the film, a shitty martial arts film that promised more action than it delivered. 

“Hey,” Jungkook says tentatively, and it’s clear from his tone that this was what has actually been on his mind for the last few minutes. “About today and the death swirl thing.” 

Jin waves his hands dismissively. “Oh. Don't worry about it. Already forgotten.” 

“I just. I would never try to... pressure you to do anything because I’m paying you. Really, I swear. I’m just, I’m really stubborn and not used to taking no for an answer. I wasn’t even thinking. I’m sorry.” 

“It's fine, I promise. It's just.. sometimes when there's money involved, people might feel obligated to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do." He shrugs, fiddling with the fringe of a throw pillow. "Just something to keep in mind."

"Yeah, that's... Yeah. Sorry." He tucks his head in shame. 

"Jungkook. You're a good guy," Jin says, reaching over and squeezing his arm reassuringly. "I know you didn't mean it that way, and I don't feel obligated to do anything. I just don't want you to turn into an asshole like those guys at work, doing whatever the hell they want because they think they own the world and everyone in it." 

Jungkook laughs humorlessly. "I don't want that either.” He chews his lip for a moment. “Hey, if I'm ever doing that again, tell me, okay? Just tell me I'm doing the asshole thing." 

“Of course,” Jin assures him with a kind smile, turning back to the TV. He cringes as one of the actors flings himself dramatically to the floor when his opponent lands the mildest of hits. “Hey, no offense but this movie is really boring, and I’m probably going to fall asleep. Can we just take the pictures so I can crash?” 

“Ah. Yeah sure,” Jungkook says cautiously, setting down the popcorn and grabbing his phone before turning to Jin. “How do you want to do this?”  

Jin responds by rolling his eyes and climbing unabashedly across the couch and into Jungkook's lap. He feels the body beneath him stiffen in surprise.  

“Come on,” Jin says, wrapping one arm around Jungkook’s neck and using the other one to reach up and tilt Jungkook's face towards his. The thighs beneath him are very warm and solid, and Jin dismisses a risky, fleeting thought. “Make it look good.” 

The eye contact that he makes with Jungkook then is not strictly called for, but the thrill that twists pleasantly in his gut is well worth it. Jungkook's eyes are dark, brows furrowed in a way that would look angry if Jin didn’t know better.  

"Okay." Jungkook casually lifts Jin's entire body with one arm to reposition him on his lap, and Jin has to try very hard not to look affected by that, tries to pass off his noise of surprise as one of indignation.

The first few pictures are mild enough. Jin leans his head back on Jungkook's shoulder as they pose cutely and smile for the camera. The photos are nice, and it could have ended there.  

But then Jungkook winds his arm around Jin's waist, splaying out his fingers on the skin, and Jin's smile falters as he goes very, very still.  

They catch each other's eyes, weighted and awkward. Jin looks away, wiggling to adjust his posture and to try and play it off, to try to seem casual and unchanged. But Jungkook's sharp intake of breath reminds him that squirming in his lap is probably not the most polite thing to do, given their states of half-dress.  

Jin feels the accelerating rise and fall of Jungkook's solid chest beneath him, that hot skin pressed against the skin of his back, and the air around them swims with something. Jin tries to keep the casual smile on his face as Jungkook snaps another photo, but his stomach roils with anticipation. 

The next time Jungkook snaps a picture, neither of them are smiling.  

 It's so easy to turn his head and press his lips gently to Jungkook’s pulse point, and abruptly everything is very still as Jungkook stops breathing altogether. His hand tightens around Jin's waist, skin on skin. 

“Picture,” Jin reminds him gently, lips dragging along the soft skin of his neck as he does. 

Jungkook starts breathing again long enough to take the picture, and Jin hears the sound of the electronic shutter. Jungkook pulls back momentarily, and Jin is concerned he’s about to call it quits, but instead he turns to face him. The proximity makes the air go thick and still.

His eyes search Jin’s face then, and he looks hesitant.  

“Am I… doing that asshole thing again? Or can I… f- for the photo…” His eyes dart down to Jin’s lips, and it’s clear what he’s asking. 

Jin nods, tilting his head and leaning in so that he can feel Jungkook's breath hit his lips in warm little puffs of air. “For the photo,” Jin confirms. 

A breath later, his lips are pressed tenderly against Jungkook’s.  

That's all it is for a moment. Warm lips on warm lips and bodies flush. Jin hears the shutter go off as he would expect.  

And then somebody moves. Jin thinks that surely it couldn’t have been him, but suddenly that doesn't matter because both of them are in it now, lips moving gently, almost timidly, against each other, Jungkook’s camera-wielding arm slowly sinking as Jin cautiously parts his lips and licks lightly into his mouth. 

He waits for Jungkook to freeze again, waits for him to pull away shyly, but for the second time he’s wrong, because Jungkook's hand is big and sure on his waist, and his lips part willingly, tongue darting out to meet Jin's. Jin sighs in relief and maybe something else as that hand drags up the bare skin of his body to tangle in his hair, pulling him closer so that their mouths can slot together properly. 

“Camera,” Jin mumbles shakily against his lips, a flimsy pretense to keep doing what they’re doing, but Jungkook's hand obediently shoots back up and Jin hears the shutter sound of Jungkook's phone once more.  

And the pretense is getting flimsier by the second, as Jin shifts and rotates body so that he can properly straddle Jungkook's thick thighs, so that he can wind his arms around his neck and kiss him deeper, fingers tangled tightly in his hair to keep him close. Jin pulls back then so that his face hovers just above Jungkook’s, so that they're just breathing harshly into each other's mouths, and if he presses his hips down, well that was just a happy accident.  

The distant click of a shutter spurs him on, because oh yeah, they’re doing this for a reason. He’s allowed to be doing this. 

He feels Jungkook’s hand slowly creep up underneath the silky fabric of those shorts, blunt nails scratching at the skin there, and Jin’s exhale is a whine.  

And it's that whine that snaps them out of it, because that's not going to show on film. He pulls back curiously, wanting badly to see Jungkook’s face when he’s like this, sure and decisive and confident, and when he does he’s not disappointed. Jungkook's eyebrows are still knit together as he stares up at Jin with unadulterated want, his chest is heaving. He brings the phone close and positions it so that only Jin is in the frame, keeping the other hand right where it is on the skin of Jin’s thigh. 

“Can I...?” he asks vaguely, and the gruffness of his voice now sends a trickle of need dripping down Jin’s spine. “... Of you? You look…” he trails off.  

“Yeah.” 

Jungkook snaps the photo without hesitation, staring at the result for a few seconds. He thinks that Jungkook may swear softly under his breath then, but the whooshing of his heartbeat in his ears prevents him from hearing properly. 

“Got the shot?” Jin asks as lightly as he's able, sitting back on his heels a little. 

“I think we should take a couple more for safety,” Jungkook says, reaching up to drag Jin back down, eyes on his lips. 

Jin, however, noting that Jungkook’s phone has since clattered to the couch, just laughs and playfully swats his hand away. 

“I think you can work with what you've got.” He plops down on the couch next to Jungkook, close enough so that the sides of their bodies are still pressed together. They sit there for a second as their heavy breathing slowly returns to normal. Jin isn't sure quite how to recover from this, what to say.  

"You’re a hell of an actor, kid,” is what he ultimately decides on, and he recognizes the confusion on Jungkook's face as he hears those words.  

“Huh?” 

“That was some pretty believable shit." 

“Oh. Yeah,” Jungkook fumbles, and he really is a good actor, because Jin almost believes the cocky smile that follows. “I mean I’m kind of amazing at everything so. You shouldn't be surprised. “ 

"Yeah, yeah." 

Jungkook picks up his phone from the couch and starts scrolling through pictures as the sounds of combat continue to squawk from the television.  

"God damn," he mutters, quirking an eyebrow.  

"Huh?" Jin asks, but he knows what. He's sneaking a peek out of the corner of his eye.  

"We look good," Jungkook tells him, pausing on one photo in particular. Judging from Jin's expression in the picture, it may have been mid-whine. "Maybe we should leak a sex tape. You know. Deep cover." 

Jin rolls his eyes. And scoffs. "Deep cover, my ass. You're not allowed to hang out with Jimin. And we do not need to make a sex tape." 

“I mean. It wouldn't hurt, like-" 

“Sweetie, I’m not having sex with you on tape for money,” Jin says kindly, patting his knee. 

“You could do it for free…” 

“Jungkook.” 

“Fine," Jungkook pouts, then resumes swiping through the photos. His ears remain a vibrant red. 

They sit in silence for a few minutes before Jin speaks the thought that had been nagging at him since his heart a strange thing earlier. “Hey, Kook?” 

“Huh?" Jungkook asks distractedly, eyes glued to the screen of his phone.  

“I'm a good actor, too.”  

Jungkook's fingers still abruptly, and he jerks his head up to look at Jin. He looks confused. “I… ” 

“I'm just saying," Jin interrupts him carefully, taking a brief pause. "No matter how chill I seem about this whole thing... If it ever starts to get too real or too weird or too complicated, the deal's off, okay? This needs to not be weird or complicated." 

Jungkook looks a little abashed for some reason as he quickly presses a button on his phone that prompts the screen to fade to black. “Of course.” 

“You didn't like... do anything,” Jin assures him, sensing his concern. “I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. I have to focus on my own stuff, which means no distractions. I..." He pauses. "Sometimes I get too wrapped up in things and people and I forget about me. And I can't do that anymore. I’ve had too many distractions." 

“Of course. Totally understood.” Jungkook smiles, but Jin can tell he's taken the wind out of his sails. "No distractions." 

As he slips into bed later that night and pulls the silky, luxurious sheets up around his chin, his chest is tight with guilt. Because the only reason that Jin has sworn off dating is that he has sworn off unsupportive assholes who have done nothing but hold him back. Jungkook is very clearly not an asshole. Jungkook is good and kind and supportive. So there should be no issue.  

But there's something frighteningly big about him, something that Jin feels like he could get lost in if he let himself. It's a different kind of lost than he's been before, different than when he's been wrapped up in relationships but ultimately unattached. Ready to cut ties when jerks prove themselves to be jerks. Small men. This kind of lost is infinitely more terrifying.  

Something about this, for the second time this week, reminds him of his father. He clenches his jaw and gropes blindly for the phone on the nightstand, squinting his eyes as he pulls up his messaging app. 

 

 

 

 

Me: love you mom. 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Jin breathes heavily as he trudges up the stairs with the utmost care, arms laden with enough designer goods to feed a small country. He's only marginally less uncomfortable with the idea of it all than he was yesterday, arms still extended strangely like he's afraid to touch the bags. When he enters his hall, he freezes as he sees a pathetic, curled-up figure sitting outside his apartment door.  

"Jimin?" 

Jimin jerks his head up, face somber and bottom lip pouting prominently.  

"You moved the key." 

"Yes I did.” 

If Jin didn't think it was possible for Jimin to pout his lip further, he was wrong. "You left me out in the cold. How could you do this to me? I could have died out here." 

"You have your own home," Jin sighs as he approaches the door and digs his keys out of his pocket. "Is it an emergency?" 

"Probably," Jimin says mournfully, following Jin inside as he pushes open the door. He glides inside expressionlessly and flops face-first onto the couch. Jin closes the door with a sigh and walks over to poke Jimin in the butt with his foot.  

Jimin just groans.  

"What is wrong with you?" Jin takes a closer look at him and sees that he's wearing the same clothes he wore to brunch yesterday. "Oh my god did you walk-of-shame your ass straight to my house?" 

"My dreams are shattered," Jimin moans into the couch cushion, which muffles the sound.  

With a bit of effort, Jin rolls Jimin over with his foot so that he can see his face. "What happened?" 

Jimin sighs. "Well. After brunch Taehyung asked me back to his place. You know, to fuck."  

He pauses like he's awaiting Jin's confirmation of understanding. Jin clicks his tongue impatiently. "Wow, you don't say." 

"Yeah, like we were vibing so well after we hooked up in the restaurant bathroom, so of course I was down. Like, why should you be the only one with a hot sugar daddy? So we leave the restaurant and we get to this shitty, SHITTY apartment building. Jin, I mean it was almost as bad as this place.” He spares Jin's apartment a disdainful glance. “And so I ask him, 'where are we?' And he -" Jimin breaks off to swallow a sob. "Jin, he said 'My place.'" He pauses for effect.  

Jin just blinks at him.  

"Jin, he's like us. He's fucking poor. He's an underpaid marketing intern with a Gucci habit who went to the bar looking for a DADDY, not a Baby." 

"Okay?" 

"What? You didn't assume he was weird rich?" Jimin demands, forehead creasing. "He looked so expensive." 

"Jimin, I hate to tell you this, but I was also wearing the monetary equivalent of 1250 packs of hot dogs on my body," Jin tells him gently, sitting down and patting Jimin sympathetically on the rear. "And I'm poor as shit." 

"You really are," Jimin sniffs mournfully.  "Jin this is a disaster! His dick is so good! I like hi-" He catches himself. “-his dick so much! But 'like' doesn't pay the bills!"

"So what happened? Did you let him down easy or-" 

"We fucked for 16 hours," Jimin tells him morosely. "Speaking of which, do you have like a Powerade or something? My electrolytes are sapped." 

Jin stares at him for a moment before his raises his foot to press it against Jimin's thigh and roll him forcibly back onto his stomach.  

"Hey!" Jimin protests, pushing himself back up onto his elbows. "You have no room to judge me." 

"What do you mean?" Jin asks with a sigh. "Of course, I do." 

"You sure about that? Jungkook called Tae at like midnight last night, and the first 3 minutes of the call was just him screaming into a pillow." Jin goes very still, and Jimin smirks, pushing himself up onto his elbows. "So, you're really telling me that nothing happened?" 

Jin can feel his body flush in an admission of guilt. He ignores it.  "Yep, that's what I'm telling you." 

Jimin appraises him for a moment before letting his head fall forward on the couch once more. "What a waste. If I had a young hot rich dude who was totally enamored with me, you can bet we'd be married on a yacht in the Turks and Caicos by now." 

Jin rolls his eyes. "So, what are you going to do about Taehyung?" 

"Keep fucking, I guess." 

"You sure? Just fucking?" Jin asks skeptically. "You were like, obsessed with finding him. Seems like you kind of like him." 

"I like his dick. That's all," Jimin mumbles unconvincingly. His phone buzzes in his back pocket and he reaches limply around to grab it. His face brightens as he looks at the screen. "Oh. Shit." 

"What?" Jin asks unenthusiastically.  

"Check the group chat." 

Jin tugs his phone out of his pocket and navigates to their chat where Namjoon has sent him a link from Major League Eating.  

"Oh. Shit," Jin echoes him as he scrolls through the linked article. "So they were serious about sponsors?" 

"I guess so," Jimin says as he too reads through. "I figured it was a rumor, but it looks like they're actually looking to sponsor competitors, not just the contest itself." 

"Holy shit. That's... big. Coke is listed on here as a potential sponsor." Jin looks up at Jimin, and both of their eyes are wide. "This could be like... a thing." 

Jimin sits up very suddenly. "We can do this." 

"Do what?" Jin asks warily. 

"Get you that sponsorship. Like, I'm sure winning is part of it, but look at this face," he says as he launches himself off the couch to pinch at Jin's cheek. "We're gonna market the fuck out of you." 

"What do you mean?" Jin asks, swatting his hand away.  

"You'll see," Jimin shouts over his shoulder, because he's already halfway to the door. "Gotta go make shit happen." 

"Jimin, I-" He's cut off by the slamming of the front door. 

 


 

 

 

"Please push me down the stairs," Jin begs, gasping for breath as he clutches desperately to the railing at the top of the endless stairs of death. Several passers-by give him a strange look as they continue their Saturday stroll through the park. "Please, for the love of God." 

Jimin taps his chin in contemplation. "I'm not saying no, like, I'm game. But at least tell me why." 

"If I break all my bones, I don't have to exercise anymore." 

"Stop being such a baby," Jimin tell him, seated comfortably atop a stone bench and eating an ice cream cone, camera poised in his other hand. Taehyung sits alongside him, holding two ice cream cones himself, one Jin's reward for when this is all over. "Do you know how much pathetic whining I'm already gonna have to edit out of this? You have like two seconds of usable footage." 

"You're gonna have to remind me again why we're doing this," Jin gasps, clutching his side. "My brain is sore." 

"Because we are building your brand," Jimin informs him primly. 

"Why the fuck do I need a brand?" Jin demands, futilely swiping at the never-ending stream of sweat pouring from his hairline. "I'm not a damn car company." 

"Explain, Tae," Jimin elbows him gently. 

"I think you have an opportunity here to become somewhat of a cult sensation, so you need to take advantage of the fact that sponsors are even considering backing competitive eaters," Taehyung pipes up. "And if we're going to sell them, we need to change the way people see competitive eating." 

"What do you mean?" Jin presses as he conspicuously eyes the melting ice cream in Taehyung's hand with a mingled despair and longing.  

"I mean that to a lot of people, and to a lot of companies aka sponsors, competitive eating encompasses so many of the things people hate about modern society. Gluttony. Dangerous overconsumption. Unhealthy eating. Obesity." 

"Gee thanks." 

"No, what I'm saying is, you can change that," Taehyung insists. "People don't know how that you actually have to be in really great shape to be the best eater. They don't know that you have have to train, do cardio, keep a strict diet, practice technique. And they certainly don’t think of that face-" he motions to Jin's face with a vague ice cream-covered hand, "- when they think of competitive eating. You could change the game. And since you're severely lacking in funds, we're starting with Youtube." 

Jimin coos and smiles fondly at Taehyung, reaching out to pinch one of Taehyung's cheeks. "He's literally the expert Jin. You're getting free marketing advice from a real life professional right now, so how about if you don't want to start paying for it, you get that sweet ass to work? Chop chop. And hey, don't make that dumb 'I want to die' face this time up, okay? The camera does not love that." 

Jin groans and starts trudging down the stairs again, harrumphing all the while. Truth be told, he's in pretty excellent shape, but Jimin's made him run through his normal routine about 2 ½ times already (for the sake of The Shot). Add to this the facts that he's an hour overdue for lunch and that Taehyung and Jimin have been making obnoxious sex eyes at each other all day, and he's about to reach his breaking point. Which is unfortunate, because usually when he is not being screamed at, directed, and produced from every angle, he uses the peaceful monotony of his exercise routine to ponder the big things in life. Life. Death. The unquestionably transparent excuse he used to justify making out with Jungkook in his apartment last weekend. 

Actually, he really doesn't want to think about that one, so maybe, he thinks as Jimin hollers at him to take off his shirt from the top of the long outdoor stairway, that's for the best. 

But life, it seems, is unwilling to let Jin dwell in his own willful avoidance of the topic, because as he trots down the stairs, a figure looms into view at the bottom landing. A statuesque, well-dressed figure who, it becomes increasingly clearer the closer he gets, is none other than Jeon Jungkook.  

Jin stamps out the little seeds of anxiety threatening to bloom in his gut and continues down the dozen or so steps it takes for them to meet in the middle.  

"Hey," Jungkook says, and he looks and smells roughly 20 times better than Jin does right now. Lovely.  

"Hi," Jin responds lamely, taking a tiny step back to make sure he's out of Jungkook's sniff radius. "What are you doing here?" 

"I'm on my way back from a lunch meeting," Jungkook explains, glancing over Jin's shoulder toward Jimin and Taehyung.  

"And you decided to take the scenic route? Through the park? Instead of having your driver take you home?" Jin asks with a small, amused smile.  

Jungkook's eyes dark back to him and widen minutely. "…Yep."

Behind him, Jin hears the sounds of pattering, irregular footsteps, and he turns to see Jimin and Taehyung making their way down the steps toward them.  

"Kook!" Taehyung shouts once they're in shouting distance. "Wow, how weird! I was totally not expecting to see you here! At all!" The pair reaches them after a few short moments. "Fate is such a strange and powerful thing, don't you think?" 

"Amazing," Jimin confirms unconvincingly with a wink at Jin, whose accumulated annoyance from the day is about to manifest in murder. "We're just here training with Jin and trying to sell him to Coke," he explains to Jungkook, smacking Jin's bare sweaty arm like he's a piece of meat. 

Jungkook's eyes widen and he whips his head around to make sure no one is watching them. "You’re trying to sell Jin coke?” 

“TO Coke," Taehyung corrects him with a small eye roll. "As in Coca Cola. Jesus Jungkook, we're not your shitty cocaine sniffing work buds." 

"We're trying to get them to sponsor him, so we’re marketing him like an athlete," Jimin continues, motioning to the very sweaty Jin. "Pretty convincing, eh?” 

Jungkook's gaze skates across the surface of his exposed skin. "Not bad," he allows with apparent reluctance, the almost unnoticeable pout of his bottom lip giving him away.  

"Well, we're just about done here," Taehyung pipes up enthusiastically. "And, ahh shoot! I totally forgot, me and Jimin have somewhere to be." 

"I thought you guys needed like a ton more footage," Jin says with drawn brows.  

Jimin chuckles delightedly. "Oh Jin, don't be ridiculous, we got the shot like an hour ago." 

Jin tilts his head, nostrils flaring. "Park Jimin if I could lift my arms right now, they would be wrapped around your neck in a very real chokehold." 

Jimin retreats up a few of the steps, dragging Taehyung with him. "As hot as that sounds, I see that we've crossed the line from hangry to hungricidal." 

"Jin, I could, uh, take you to lunch," Jungkook offers, situating himself a bit between Jin and the other two.  

Jin quirks a brow. "You just came from lunch." 

Jungkook's eyebrows disappear under his fringe. "That... I did." 

He seems utterly paralyzed, but luckily Jimin swoops in with the save. "You know they never eat at those business lunches, Jinnie." 

Jungkook unfreezes and his eyebrows reappear. "Oh. Yep- that's... I'm starving. Famished." 

Jin regards him with suspicious eyes before his growling stomach crumbles his resolve.   

"Come on," he sighs to Jungkook, reaching forward to tug away his backpack from Jimin. "You're buying." 

"Duh," Jungkook scoffs harshly, but he looks overwhelmingly pleased.  

 


 

 

 

It's not until after they've already gone back to Jin's apartment to change and are walking the streets downtown once more that something strikes Jin as strange.  

"Wait, what day is it?" Jin asks abruptly, confused as to why Jungkook is dressed for work.  

"Saturday," Jungkook tells him, looking mildly concerned. "Why?" 

"Why did you have a business lunch on a Saturday?" 

Jungkook reaches up to massage his temple and crinkles his nose. "Lee's making shit a lot harder. We're constantly trying to one-up each other, which... was probably the real point of bringing him in now that I think about it. But it means I can't miss a single opportunity. Even Saturdays." He pauses, chewing at his lip for a moment. "I think they're looking for an excuse to fire me." 

"Fire you?" Jin demands, perplexed. "The wunderkind? How could they possibly want to fire you?" 

Jungkook shrugs, and there's an insecure slant to his shoulders that isn't usually there when he talks about work stuff. "The numbers they're demanding are unrealistic. And I don't just mean difficult to attain, I mean mathematically impossible. I think they're hoping Lee can do what I can't." 

"I don't get it," Jin says, scuffing his shoes against the cement as he walks. "You are all ludicrously rich. Your clients are all ludicrously rich. Why do you all need to be even more ludicrously rich?" 

Jungkook just shrugs and tucks his head against the wind. "I dunno. Honestly I don't even know what they do with all that money. After a certain level, what's even the point?  I mean, my boss? He makes a billion dollars a year. He'd never going to spend it all. He couldn't if he tried." 

Jin takes in his hunched figure as they stroll past a bustling store entrance. "How long 'til you've got enough for a baseball team?" 

Jungkook laughs at that. "A while." 

"Guess you'll have to hang in there for a bit longer, then." 

"Guess so," Jungkook agrees, but he doesn't look particularly excited at the prospect.  

They come to a stop outside of a familiar looking storefront, and Jin looks up at the restaurant's sign in horror. Jungkook holds the door open for him expectantly. 

"Shit. Jungkook, I can't." 

"What?" Jungkook asks, head bobbing back in confusion. "I thought you would love this place. You love all-you-can-eat." 

"I do but-" 

A grumpy looking woman bumps into him, shooting a glare over her shoulder as she strolls through the open door. Jungkook gives her an apologetic smile the turns to Jin and jerks his head in the direction of the doorway.

"Come on. We're in the way." 

"I-" 

"Come ON Jin," Jungkook huffs, grabbing his hand and pulling him inside.  

Jin does his best to look small behind Jungkook as they wait to be seated, and Jungkook shoots him an inquisitive look. "What's with you?" 

"Jungkook, there are some things you don't know about me," Jin starts, clutching to Jungkook's jacket, eyes darting around the room.  

"What do you mean?" Jungkook asks, ducking his head and looking a little more serious now.  

"There are some places... I can't go..." 

Jungkook's head jerks around as he surveys the room. "Is this place like a mob front or something? Shit, are you in trouble, Jin?" 

"Look I'll explain later, let's just-" 

"YOU." 

Jin cringes as a familiar-looking man in a restaurant uniform stalks towards them with all the fury of a wronged cat. The assorted metallic pins on his vest clang together menacingly as he raises an accusatory finger at Jin. 

"Oh god," Jin groans into Jungkook's shoulder. 

"I thought we made it perfectly clear that you weren't welcome here," the man says, quieter now, probably trying not to draw the attention of the other customers. 

"Excuse me," Jungkook says earnestly, placing himself more firmly in front of Jin. "Is there a problem?" 

"Yes, I'm afraid there is," the man says, straightening himself up and composing his features into a haughty expression. "I'm going to have to ask him to leave." 

Jungkook's spine goes rigid. "Look we don't want trouble. If this is a turf thing, I'm in with the Gambino family. You know Joe? Ask Joe about me." 

The man just stares at him with a blank, vaguely repulsed look.  

"Jungkook, I told you, let's just go," Jin mutters, trying to tug Jungkook back towards the door.  

"Not until I know why this man is refusing you service," Jungkook says, voice laced with determination. He turns back to the guy then. "Is it because he's poor? Gay? Uneducated? Obnoxiously loud? Because he puts mayonnaise on his fries? Because he still doesn't know his left from his right? Because he-" 

"Thank you Jungkook," Jin cuts him off with a stern, significant glance. 

"This man," the man starts pointing an accusatory finger at Jin, "has been banned from not only this restaurant but all of its sister locations." He points to a wall behind him labeled Wall of Shame, and sure enough, there's Jin's BBQ-sauce smeared face staring right down at them "We are not a charity, we are a business. We cannot sustain customers like him. So I'm going to have to ask the both of you to leave." 

Jungkook blusters comically, chest puffing up. "Do you know who I am?" 

"Sir, to be frank, I could care less," the man says with tired eyes.  

"Ok Frank. Well do you see this?" Jungkook whips out his wallet and slides out his black credit card. "Do you know how much money you just lost?" 

"Well it's a flat-rate fee of $12.99 per customer. So…" He counts in his fingers with a caustically sarcastic expression. “$25.98. Plus tax." 

Jungkook rolls his eyes like he hasn't heard, tucking the card back into his wallet. "Can you believe this, Jin? We're out of here." He turns back to the man with a ludicrously superior look. "Big mistake. BIG." 

"Oh my God" Jin groans at Jungkook, tugging him more forcefully towards the exit.  

"HUGE!" Jungkook shouts back at the man, struggling against Jin's iron grip.  

Jin only releases his arm when they stumble clumsily outside onto the sidewalk, limbs catching on each other.  

"What? I could have taken him," Jungkook insists, straightening his clothes forcefully. 

"You really did that," Jin says in shocked disbelief. "You really Pretty Woman-ed that, huh?" 

Jungkook glares at him. "What was I supposed to do, Jin? I needed to shame him." 

"Yeah he seemed real torn up about it." 

Jungkook huffs in disbelief. "This is the thanks I get for coming to your defense." Jin just shakes his head in continued disbelief as Jungkook sighs, then extends his arms and drops them to his sides. "So what now? Since you're apparently banned from every fucking restaurant in the city?" 

"Am not," Jin pouts, scuffing the sidewalk with his shoe. "Look. We tried. Let's just go home and-" 

"Jin!" a high voice interrupts him, and they both turn to see Hani enthusiastically waving them down across the street. Rosencrantz, Jin notes with disdain, stands right beside her, and he grabs her arm harshly as soon as the word has left her mouth.  

"Mother… fuckers," Jungkook curses quietly as he waves back. There seems to be a small group of others behind Hani. "They're still with the client. They told me I could leave because they were done for the day." 

"What are you going to do?" Jin asks as the entire group turns to face them now.  

Jungkook smiles stiffly back at them. "Shit. I'm really sorry, but I need to go deal with this. I know this was unplanned, so don’t feel like you have to come. Let me call my driver to come-" 

He breaks off abruptly as he feels Jin's fingers intertwine with his, glancing up with large eyes as Jin smiles affectionately down at him.  

"Let's go," Jin tells him simply.  

Jungkook's fingers, initially tense, relax into Jin's firm grip as his eyes sparkle with mingled hope and disbelief.  

"Really?" 

"Of course," Jin answers, pulling him gently towards the crosswalk so that they can cross the street and meet up with the others. He only realizes how tender it sounds when Jungkook simply allows himself to be tugged in embarrassed silence. So he clears his throat and adds, "Because as soon as we're done here, we can head to this quaint little bakery where they serve this disgustingly extravagant 24 karat gold cake that I had my eye on for weeks." 

Jungkook huffs a half-hearted chuckle and follows Jin over to the crosswalk, then across the street to where the group of people continues to stare at them with varying levels of disdain. On one end of the spectrum is Hani, who greets the two of them with a small smile and kind, crinkling eyes. On the other is Lee, who looks not only immensely displeased but also slightly nervous.  

"Hello again, sir," Jungkook greets the oldest man in the bunch, the client Jin figures.  

“Jungkook!” the man greets him with a smile and a hearty lap on the back. “Lee said you weren’t going to be able to join us for drinks.” 

Jungkook smiles tightly as Lee, out of sight of the client, rolls his eyes in annoyance. “Ah I must have just missed the drink memo,” Jungkook says lightly. “But no, I’m actually free right now.” 

"Perfect!” the man claps his hands together in delight as Rosencrantz hisses harshly into Hani's ear behind him. “I’d be delighted if you joined. You and…” he motions to Jin. 

“Jin,” Jungkook provides for him, and Jin reaches his hand forward to shake his hand. 

“Jin,” the man repeats slowly, the smile fading just slightly. “Have we met?” 

Jin laughs kindly but feels a bubble of anxiety in his gut. “I don’t think we’ve run much in the same circles until now, sir. But its a pleasure to meet you.” 

“Roland,” the man introduces himself as he lets go of his hand, though his curious gaze lingers on Jin's face. “Well!” he starts, finally tearing his eyes away and gesturing towards the building with a smile. “Shall we?” 

“Absolutely," Lee says, clapping a hand on Roland's shoulder.  

But Roland merely acknowledges him with a tight smile before turning back to Jungkook. “So we never got to finish that discussion about junk bonds.” 

They make their way inside a high-end old fashioned bar, where the dim light of the fixtures above glows softly in the reflection of the polished hardwood floors. Roland leads them over to a low table surrounded by maroon leather chairs and couches in the corner of the room.  

As they go to sit down, Hani excuses herself to use the restroom, cutting her eyes sharply a Rosencrantz when she's sure nobody except Jin can see.  

"Drinks!" Roland says as he settles back into one of the leather chairs. "I know your boss is partial to bourbon, but what do you say to a nice gin?" 

"Excellent taste, sir," Lee tells him unctiously. "Jungkook, can you-" 

"I'll go get them," Jin offers quickly with a significant squeeze to Jungkook's leg. He's not going to let them edge him out again. "You boys should stay here and talk business." 

"Ahh, he's a keeper, Jungkook," Roland tells him slyly with a booming laugh.  

Jungkook just gives Jin a grateful smile and says all too convincingly, "Tell me about it." 

Jin smiles graciously as he backs away, then turns to weave through expensive tables and expensive people to make his way to the gleaming mahogany bar. It's only when he gets there that he realizes that he is woefully unqualified to order high-quality alcohol for 4 discerning businessmen and a law student.  

He's once more in the process of googling "fanciest gin" when he feels a gentle disturbance in the air over his shoulder.  

"The Hedrick's is a solid choice," Hani says over his shoulder, a lovely smile in her voice. 

“You’re an angel,” Jin breathes as she takes the stool beside him and signals to the bartender.  

“I'm aware,” she says with a dramatic hair flip, then she turns to the bartender. "Six Hendrick's on the rocks, a splash of tonic and a peel of grapefruit." 

"If I wasn't extremely gay I think I would be very much in love with you," Jin tells her sincerely, chest feeling 10 times less tight now that the drinks have been ordered. "You saved my ass. Seems like you saved Jungkook's ass, too, back there."

"Ahh well," she says mischievously, "Somebody's got to keep an eye out of you boys. You're both far too kind for this world."

“So, they were trying to lose Jungkook, huh?” Jin asks with a careful look back at their group. "After their lunch today?" 

“Big time,” she rolls her eyes. “I’m never going to hear the end of it for flagging you guys down." 

"Hey," Jin says gently, reaching out to lightly touch her arm. "Thank you for doing that. Really. I know that probably got you into some major shit." 

Hani clicks her tongue in annoyance. "Yeah well I’m not just gonna sit there and watch them fuck over the only decent one among them. I’m tired of seeing shitty people win." 

"Is it going to be bad? With him?" He jerks his head back towards Rosencrantz. "He didn’t look too happy." 

"I’ll just play it off like I’m an idiot and didn't know exactly what I was doing. It's easier to play dumb than willfully disobedient." 

Jin regards her carefully as she stands there, sharp eyes, elegant neck, and long graceful fingers wrapped around a black card with nondescript name that Jin can't remember no many how many times someone tells him. "They have no clue how smart you are, do they?" 

She laughs delightedly. "God no. They have an overwhelming tendency to underestimate anyone who isn't just like them. Me. You. Him,” she says gesturing to Jungkook. "They’re also spitting mad that this investor prefers dealing with Jungkook. He's not dumb though. He knows Jungkook is the best." 

"Is he?" Jin knows he is, but for some reason he just likes to hear it. "The best?"

"Of course, he is. You need one of two things to get into a top-tier school. Brains, or a library wing with you last name on it. Unfortunately for those dumbasses over there, the second option only takes you so far at a certain point. Sooner or later, degree or no degree, people figure out you're a fucking dumbass." 

They both look back at their group as they await the drinks. Jin pauses, debating whether or not he should say what he wants to say.

"Jungkook seems to think he's going to get fired. Apparently, he hasn't been meeting certain expectations." 

Her smile is dark as her gaze remains fixed on their group.  "Yeah, well remember what I said about those idiots and federal regulations? I'm guessing Jungkook's a bit behind because he's the only one playing by the rules. It's hard to come out ahead when everyone else is fucking cheating, no matter how good you are."  

Jin's limbs prickle in excitement or fear, or something like it. "I can't believe that people actually do this stuff." 

Hani reaches over to pinch Jin's cheek good-naturedly.  "Aw, sweetie. You ain't seen nothing yet." 

"God the world is shit," Jin reflects as the bartender returns with their drinks on a small tray for them to carry back.  

"Sure is," Hani agrees before turning back to the bartender to pass him Rosencrantz's card and ask sweetly, "Excuse me, do you have any bitters?" The bartender nods. "Great, can you please add some to that one right there?" 

The bartender adds a few dashes, looking back up to her for confirmation.  

"A little more," she prompts him, and he adds a couple of more dashes. "A little moooore," she says, and this time she just reaches out her hand to cover his and tips the bottle forward so that the Bitters gushes out and into the gin. Jin gags as he imagines the taste. "Thank you, darling." And she slips a $20 into his front shirt pocket.  

Jin quirks an eyebrow at her.  

"The world is shit, Jin," she repeats his words with a gleam in her eye, the tray in hand. "So it's important to take pleasure in the little things." 

They return to the table, leach holding three drinks, balanced carefully, and Jin watches amusedly as Hani takes special care to situate the slightly darker drink in front of Rosencrantz, who does not bother to thank her. She smiles and reaches an arm around his shoulders to stroke at his bicep, looking deceptively and impressively unrepulsed by him.  

Jin settles in the booth next to Jungkook, who has an easy smile on his face as he converses with Roland. 

It's about 30 seconds before Hani's mischief manifests itself in the form of Rosencrantz spraying Lee with an entire mouthful of the bitters and gin mixture. Everyone in their group and a few patrons at nearby tables turn to look at them as Rosencrantz covers his mouth, eyes wide at what he's just done. Lee splutters, squinting to protect his eyes from the dripping alcohol as Hani hides a giggle in a supposedly horrified gasp.  

Roland lets out another booming laugh, leaning over to slap Rosencrantz on the back. "Careful there, son. Never learned how to drink properly?" 

"No I-" Rosencrantz chokes out before he coughs again, trying not to gag at the taste.  

"Lee, go get yourself cleaned up and take this one with you," Roland says dismissively. Rosencrantz looks in wide-eyed apology at Lee before scrambling to his feet. Lee follows him, shoving him forward slightly towards the restroom. Rosencrantz spares a look back only to glare at Hani, who just sits there doing an outstanding impression of innocence incarnate. 

Once they're gone, Roland's eyes fall on Jin again, curious. 

"So Jin," he begins. "Is that short for something?" 

Jin falls still, heartbeat accelerating as he looks down at the table and answers. "Uh, yes. Seokjin." 

Roland's eyes flash in recognition, and he leans forward as he smiles and points at Jin. "That's it. You're a Kim." 

Jin goes rigid, and the only movement he registers besides the pulsing beat of blood in his throat is Jungkook's firm grip on his knee.  

"Uh..." Jin begins, but he's interrupted.  

"Representative Kim's son, right?" Roland says excitedly. "I knew you looked familiar. You look exactly like your father." 

It's true, but Jin hates every time he has to hear it. He clears his throat and digs his fingernails into his thighs. "You know him?" 

"I know you, too! We went to your house for a dinner once- god- must have been twenty years ago. You wouldn't remember me, but I was your father's number one campaign contributor, before, well..." He trails off, but then he brightens up. "He's a great man. An example to us all."

"Mmm," Jin says noncommittally, and he can feel Jungkook's concerned gaze on his face.  

"I was sorry to see..." Roland starts before glancing around at Hani and Jungkook. He seems to think better of it. "Well. Suffice it to say the system really failed us on that one." 

"Mmm," Jin grunts again, clenching his shaking hands into fists.  

"R-Roland, speaking of systematic failures," Hani cuts in, voice sounding just this side of desperate. "Can you believe what the Reserve did to the federal interest rates last term?" 

It effectively steers the conversation back to a safer place, and things have almost settled back into normalcy by the time Rosencrantz and Lee return, grumpy and vaguely damp. But Jin can still feel eyes heavy on him as he tucks himself away in his shell for the remainder of the evening. He's sure that it's all of them, at some point, but Jungkook's gaze rests the heaviest on his skin. It reeks of concern and curiosity, and Jin can't abide it.  

"Hey," he whispers in Jungkook's ear, ignoring the way that Jungkook leans into the proximity. "I think I'm gonna go. I'm not feeling great." 

"Oh!" Jungkook says quickly, straightening up and groping for his phone. "We can leave, just a-" 

"No," Jin cuts him off in a low voice so that the others can't here. He nods back at them. "Stay. Don't let them win, okay?" Jungkook looks like he's about to argue, but Jin cuts him off with a severe look. "I'm fine." 

"Okay," Jungkook agrees reluctantly, and Jin feels guilty at how disappointed he looks. "I'll text for a car. It'll be out front in a few minutes." 

Jin nods and makes to get up but Jungkook pulls him back down gently, leans forward, and tilts his head to connect his lips with Jin's. Jungkook's hand cups his face so tenderly as he presses forward, a comforting, reassuring pressure, and then he pulls back to carefully survey Jin's face.  

And for some reason of all the kisses they've had, it's this one, this sweet chaste thing, that staggers him completely. He sits there, staring back at Jungkook whose eyes seem to be swirling with something, screaming with it, but it's impossible to know just what.  

"Take care of yourself, okay?" Jungkook tells him with a palpable weight to the words.  

"Ditto," Jin mumbles back, and it's only a noise of disgust from Rosencrantz that has him jerking away, breaking the eye contact.  

Jin scrambles to his feet, saying his perfunctory, polite goodbyes, and then the next thing he knows, he's out on the street in front of the restaurant, gulping in big breaths of cool nighttime air. Sure enough, the driver is there within minutes, waving familiarily to Jin before he opens the back door.  

In the back seat of the car, Jin's phone buzzes in his pocket.  

 

Kid: shit I'm sorry  

Kid: are you okay? 

 

Me: i'm fine. 

Me: i'm on my way back now.  

 

Kid: are you sure you're okay? 

Kid: god i'm really sorry about him, he never knew when to shut up 

Kid: it was obvious you didn't want to talk about it

 

Me: jungkook, that's not the first time something like that has happened. believe me.  

Me: my dad wasn't a low-profile guy 

Me: now go back to your dinner 

Me: those assholes are definitely trying to edge you out 

 

Kid: I know.  

Kid: I'll text you later? 

 

Me: yeah 

 

Kid:  hey... thanks for coming.  

Kid: really. you didn't have to

 

Me: whatever

Me: you owe me 1 cake

Kid: butt

Kid: get home safe

 

 


 

 

When Jin opens his door the next morning, there's an immaculately wrapped gold-gilded cake box perched on his welcome mat.  

 

 


 

 

Daddy: hey 

Daddy: are you free for a work function this wknd 

Daddy: it's during the day 

 

Me:  Did you change your name to daddy in my fucking phone 

 

Daddy: i didn't.  

Daddy: jimin did.  

Daddy: deep cover 

 

Me: literally stop hanging out with Jimin 

 

Daddy: no. 

Kid: how about this weekend? 

Kid: saturday 

 

Me: ah I actually have a thing saturday  

 

Kid: oh. 

Kid: like a date? 

 

Me: if you call 21 wieners down my throat a date then yeah 

 

Kid: oh. 

Kid:  is it like... 21 dudes 

Kid: or one dude… with… 

 

Me: it's an eating contest jungkook 

 

Kook: oh! 

Kook: cool.  

 

Me: if it's important I can skip it 

Me: I'm already qualified for Nationals 

 

Kook: what? no way! 

Kook: I'll be fine on my own 

 

Me: you sure?  

 

Kook: yeah. it's very low-key. not mandatory 

Kook: don't even need you there 

Kook: kick ass, okay? 

 


 

 

Jin does, in fact, kick ass. He shatters his record of 21 hotdogs in three minutes and cements his place in Nationals with flair and style. As he emerges from backstage, he's inundated with little party poppers of confetti and affectionate slaps from his friends. Among them, shockingly, Jungkook, who by all accounts is supposed to be somewhere else. 

Jimin greets him with a flying hug, wrapping his small frame around Jin.  

“That was amazing!” Jimin says as he pulls back. “I've never seen you that in the zone before!”  

“I've been training. What are you guys doing here?” Jin asks Taehyung and Jungkook, though it's obvious where the question is directed. 

“The lunch was a bust," Jungkook shrugs it off, looking embarrassed. "Plus how could I miss the opportunity to take a photo with my nationally-renowned sugar baby after he's crammed 21 wieners into his mouth?" 

“Twenty-three,” Jin corrects him with a badly suppressed smile. 

“Twenty-three,” Jungkook agrees shyly, and Jimin gags beside him.  

“You want me to get a picture of you two?” Namjoon offers kindly as he elbows Jimin sharply in the ribs.  

“Huh?” Jungkook asks distractedly, and Jin is reasonably sure that Jungkook is staring at his mouth. 

“Jungkook. The photograph that you literally skipped an important work lunch to take,” Namjoon says with the slightest tinge of exasperation. 

“Oh that, yes.” 

Jungkook sidles up shyly and tucks his arm around Jin's waist, pulling him close. Jin squirms a little as he feels the gaze of the rest of their friends, who look very much like proud mothers seeing off their daughter on her wedding day. 

Namjoon coos as he snaps the picture.  

“Well! Tae and I are going to take a trip back to the place it all began. Anybody else want to join?" Jimin asks them cheerfully, linking his arm with Taehyung's. 

“Wait.. That shitty bar? Why are you going back there?" Jungkook asks, looking slightly crestfallen.  

“Why do you think?” Taehyung asks, quirking an eyebrow. “To continue our never-ending hunt for sugar daddies.” 

“Yeah, not all of us were lucky enough to snag a cute fake one.” Jimin adds. 

“Oh,” Jungkook says, bottom lip pouting slightly in confusion. “I thought you guys were…” he trails off. 

“Fucking?” Jimin asks with an amused smile. “Of course we are. But he's still got a Gucci habit to support, and I've got student loans to pay off." 

"I was gonna say 'dating and in love' but..." Jungkook trails off moodily.  

"Aw, my sweet, filthy-rich summer child. We're too poor for love," Jimin teases, playfully pinching Jungkook's cheek. "Anyway, we'll see you later. He smacks Taehyung's ass, and they watch as the two of them retreat down the street. 

"Gotta head to work," Namjoon tells them. "You guys can feel free to drop by though. I promise our place is sugar-daddy free. Well. Exept you, Kook." Namjoon ruffles his hair as he starts to back away. "Congrats again, Jin! 

Once they're gone, it seems that all the ease in the air has gone with them, and an awkward silence falls over them.  

"Soooooo," Jungkook says, swinging his arms forward and back in a gesture of forced casualness. "Uh. You wanna like. Go grab dinner?" 

Jin stares blankly at him. "Jungkook. I just ate 23 hotdogs." 

"Riiiiight. Right," Jungkook says, continuing to swing his arms, though his eyes widen slightly. "Right right right. Uh, well. I got my photo, so I guess I can just let you get home." 

"We could take a walk," Jin suggests innocently. "Helps with digestion. Maybe get a drink after." 

"Oh! Yeah okay," Jungkook agrees quickly.  

"One of the guys had some mini bottles backstage," Jin says deviously as he pats a lumpy pocket in his backpack. "You wanna drink while we walk?" 

"Isn't that illegal?" 

Jin scoffs. "Didn't think you'd be such a square. Not with the shit that goes down at your work." 

Jungkook just stares a bit as he processes that, tilting his head like a confused puppy. "Wait, what do you mean?" 

"Huh?" Jin asks, concerned now that he's said something he shouldn't have.  

"What goes down at work?" Jungkook tries to clarify.  

Jin waves off the comment with a stiff laugh. "Nothing. Just. Something Hani said . About the guys doing shady shit." 

"Oh," is all Jungkook says in acknowledgement, and Jin is immediately worried that he's offended him.  

"Not... you. By the way. She didn't say anything like that about you." 

Jungkook just nods as they continue to walk in silence. 

"You okay?" Jin asks after a few moments.  

"Yeah," Jungkook confirms, visibly shaking off whatever fog had settled over him and shooting Jin a small smile. "Just... You know I would never-" 

"Of course I do," Jin interrupts him, elbowing him playfully. "You’re a damn Eagle Scout. So why don't we nix the open container violation and head to an actual bar?"

Jungkook looks over at him with cautious eyes. "You sure? Don't want to disrupt your digestion." 

"We can walk to the bar. Namjoon's starting his shift in a bit if you wanna get free drinks." 

"You know who you're offering free drinks to, right?" Jungkook snorts, and Jin is glad to see he's looking more relaxed now. "I could buy that bar and get us free drinks all day every day." 

"Yeah yeah." 

They walk in silence for a few minutes before Jungkook pipes up again. "So. First place. Not bad." 

Jin laughs happily and tucks his head a bit. "I'm not going for runner-up at Nationals this year. Not when sponsors are actually looking. Typically sponsors have shied away from competitive eating, but I guess they're looking for something new." 

"Oh, is that what Jimin was talking about at the park?" Jungkook asks.

"Yeah, apparently some companies like Coke and Gatorade are looking. They've sponsored the contests before, like, bought ads and banners and stuff, but they’ve never sponsored individual competitors. You know, just paying them to train and maybe using them for smaller ad campaigns and stuff." Jin shrugs as they turn a corner onto a busier street.  

“Jin, that's awesome!" 

"It's not... anything yet," Jin dismisses him sheepishly. "I think they're still not sold on the idea of sponsoring a competitive eater." 

"If anyone could sell them on it, you could," Jungkook assure him eagerly, eyes wide and very genuine, and something in Jin's chest squeezes tight. Jungkook reaches forward then and gently pinches one of his cheeks, wiggling the skin back and forth. "I mean look at this face." 

"We'll see," Jin says, batting Jungkook's hand away with an affectionate smile. "I have to win first." 

"What do you have to win?"  

"The National hotdog eating contest," Jin replies, feeling a little flutter of nerves at the thought. "All these smaller local contests, they're to qualify for a spot in nationals." 

"When are those?"  

"Like three months away," Jin laughs in worried disbelief as that realization sinks in. "Wow, three months. I really have to start buckling down with the training." 

"Do you need anything?" Jungkook asks. "Besides groceries, I mean." 

"I'm fine," Jin assures him. "I only have to work a few catering gigs a week now that you're paying for groceries. I have way more time to train than I used to." 

"Why don't you let me just pay for your rent so you don't have to work?" Jungkook asks with a click of his tongue, and does he actually sound annoyed? "You should be focusing on training and on courting companies." 

"No. Way." 

"Oh come on. I've seen your building. What's the rent for that place? Can't be more than $1,000 tops which is chump change in this city. I probably spend that much each month on, I dunno, collectible Spongebob memorabilia." 

Jin eyes him strangely as the come to a stop at an intersection, waiting for the 'walk' sign to flash. "That concerns me." 

"The point is, it's nothing to me, and it's a lot to you," Jungkook insists. "The guys at work spend way more on their sugar babies. Kyle drops like 5k a month." 

"I dunno..." Jin says reluctantly. "That makes it seem a little too..." 

"What? Real?" Jungkook finishes for him, and Jin can't read his expression as he says it.  

Jin shoots him an apologetic look. "Sorry." 

"It's fine," Jungkook assures him, and his eyes are genuine, entreating almost. "Really. But I mean... you know I don’t expect anything, right? It could just be like. A pre-sponsorship sponsorship. Me investing in your future. I'm good at choosing lucrative investments." 

Jin sighs, rubbing the back of his neck. "Let me think about it." 

"Okay," Jungkook says with smiling eyes and a cautious, toothy grin.  

By the time they swing open the door to the bar 15 minutes later, Jin is luckily feeling much less like vomiting, his body having started to digest. The place is busy, unsurprising on a Friday night, but Namjoon still sees them enter, waving them over from behind the copper top bar.  

Jin makes his way over, snagging two miraculously unclaimed stools near the end of the bar. As Jungkook slips onto the stool beside him, Namjoon meets them with 4 shot glasses and a bottle of vodka.  

"Good man," Jin sighs to Namjoon, settling in before turning to Jungkook whose eyes are wide as he watches Namjoon expertly fill the shot glasses. "It takes a lot to get me drunk on a normal day. Add 23 hotdogs to the equation and it's almost impossible." And without further ado, he throws back two of the shots.  

Jungkook seems to be staring at him in wonder. "You're a terrifying human." 

Jin makes a refreshed sound, slamming the glasses back on the bar and wiping his mouth. "Thank you." 

"What can I get for you, Jungkook?" Namjoon asks as Jin pulls the other two shot glasses towards himself. 

"Just a beer," Jungkook says, still staring at Jin with his mouth slightly agape. "Whatever kind." 

"Our most extravagantly expensive beer, coming up," Namjoon says with a charming, dimpled grin, rapping his knuckles on the bar before slinging a bar towel over his shoulder and turning away.  

Jin leans back and lets the alcohol trickle, slow and thick, through his veins. His head tilts back as he stretches out his tired body and revels in the feeling of relaxation, after having been on edge all day. When he comes back to Earth, leans forward and opens his eyes, he senses a spot of stillness to his right, in the otherwise buzzing bar. When he turns, he sees Jungkook- for just a fraction of a moment- staring slightly open-mouthed and befuddled in his direction.  

"What?" 

"Nothing," Jungkook says hurriedly, tucking his hands in his lap. "You were just really cool today." 

"Really?" Jin asks in mild surprise. "Most people think it's kind of gross." 

"Screw them. It's amazing," Jungkook gushes now, leaning forward in cautious excitement. "How did you even do that? It was like a snake unhinging its jaw or some shit I mean do you even have a gag reflex?" 

"Nope," Jin answers primly, and he doesn't miss the way the smile slides off his face.  

"What?" Jungkook looks a little struck.  

"I don't have a gag reflex," Jin confirms. "I trained myself to not have one." 

"You can... do that?" Jungkook asks, voice cracking halfway through.  

"You can train your body to do a lot of things," Jin says with a smile, and Jungkook's jaw is hanging slack once more. Namjoon returns with a foaming draft beer in hand, pushing it towards Jungkook as he gets a good look at his face.  

"Did you break him, Jin?" Namjoon asks mildly, waving a hand in front of Jungkook, who seems to snap out of it a bit.  

"He's fine," Jin assure him.  

"I'm fine," Jungkook echoes, sounding less much less certain.  

Jin sighs and pushes himself up off the barstool, eyeing Jungkook carefully as his mouth remains slack. "Hey Namjoon, keep an eye on him? I've got to pee." 

"Jin, I'm a grownup," Jungkook says petulantly.  

"Oh. Right. Sure." Then as he walks away, he mouths silently to Namjoon over his head, "KEEP AN EYE ON HIM." 

Unfortunately, on his way back from the bathroom, he's runs into Namjoon's boss, an old friend and a talented talker, who insists on giving Jin a full rundown of all of the gossip he's missed since the last time he was in. So it's about half an hour before Jin finally makes his way back into the main room, locating Jungkook's back right where he left him.  

But as he approaches, he watches as Jungkook sways. While seated. 

"Are you okay?" Jin asks, tilting his head and leaning close to get a proper look at Jungkook's face. "You look... fucked up." 

"Jin! You're back" Jungkook gurgles happily, eyes crescents.  

"Jungkook. Are you okay?" Jin repeats, grabbing a hold of his shoulders.  

"Me? I'm pood," Jungkook assures him, but the way he moves his mouth too much when he talks is a dead giveaway that he's not. "Oh wait, I starded to say perfeck but then I said good." 

Jin peeks into his glass of beer, which seems to be at the same level it was when he left. "What did you do?" He asks accusingly.  

"I hadda drink." 

"What drink?" 

"I askt Namjoon to give me something strong," Jungkook explains carefully, obviously focusing very hard on moving his mouth. "It was from an ornge juice boddle." 

"Kim Namjoon!" Jin shouts over the crowd, and Namjoon sheepishly makes his way over behind the bar.   

"What's up, buddy?" 

"Did you give him your bathtub moonshine?" 

Namjoon's eyes are wide as he adjusts something under the bar. "Of course not. That would be illegal." 

"You fucking did." 

"Ohhhhh no," Jungkook despairs, running his hands wildly through his hair. "Oh no, I broke the law." 

"Kook. It's ok, just... chill," Jin assures Jungkook before turning to Namjoon. "Jimin's deviance is rubbing of on you," Jin hisses at Namjoon. "Next thing you know you'll be having dumpster sex with people you barely know." 

Namjoon opens his mouth in shock, eyes wide as his ears flush red.  

Jin's nose crinkles in disgust. "You did not." 

"You should... get him home," Namjoon replies evasively. "I swear I didn't know it was going to hit him like that. He's got to be an extreme lightweight." 

Jungkook clings to his sleeve, almost sliding off the bar stool.  

"I swear Jin, I swear I didn't wanna break the law I didn'd even wanna drink on the street and I don’t, I don't do bad thigs at work, and I can't go to jail, Jin! They don't have protein powder in jail I will deflate ligga sad birthday balloon." 

"You're not going to jail, Jungkook," Jin assures him. "You're going home." 

Jungkook's expression crumples. "No!" 

"Yes," Jin insists, heaving Jungkook's arm over his shoulder and half-carrying him towards the door. 

"No I... I wanna stay out wifth you." 

"Well you should have thought about that before you consumed medical grade alcohol." 

“Are we going to your house?” Jungkook asks hopefully, holding onto Jin’s arm like a clingy toddler. 

“I’m taking you to your house. Now come on.” He starts to tug him forward. 

“Holdon, hold on. Hold. On.” Jungkook pulls away weakly. "I godda go to the bathroom." 

Jin regards him skeptically, shifting Jungkook's weight as his arm starts to ache. "I don't believe you." 

"I godda go," Jungkook insists, large eyes sparkling with innocence.  

"Fine," Jin says, helping him back towards the restroom. They struggle, tripping over their own feet and each other's feet several times before they finally make it to the door of the single-room bathroom. "Are you.. Good?" Jin asks. 

Jungkook yanks his arm away moodily, momentum sending him bouncing into the doorframe. "'M fine. I can do it myself." And with that, he shuffles inside and shuts the door much harder than is necessary.  

Jin takes the opportunity to call an Uber, fidgeting nervously with his phone as he waits, half convinced that Jungkook will find a way to drown himself in the toilet. 

But he emerges a suspiciously short time later, looking very proud of himself.  

"See?" 

"Yeah, real impressive," Jin scoffs. "Now come on. Let's go wait out front for the Uber." 

Jungkook giggles at something, nose scrunching delightedly.  

"What are you laughing at?" Jin asks in exasperation.  

Jungkook swallows his giggle and assumes a comically bad mask of seriousness. “Tell you later." 

“That bodes well,” jin mutters flatly. 

They stumble their way through the bar, tripping comically all the way. A flicker of movement in the alleyway catches their attention, and Jungkook swings his head heavily in that direction.  

"Yoongi???" 

Jin follows Jungkook's eyeline, and sure enough, there's Yoongi leaning against the wall of the alley. His eyes go very wide when they spot him, and rather than saying anything, he simply turns on heel and shuffles down the alleyway past the big, rusty dumpster and into the darkness.  

"What the fuck?" Jin groans under Jungkook's weight. But that's a concern for another day, he realizes as Jungkook starts to get heavier and heavier. 

Eventually, they make it to the curb out front, where Jungkook plops down unceremoniously. Jin lowers himself down next to him, and Jungkook latches onto his arm the moment he does.  

"Jin can I pleaaaaaae come over to your house?" Jungkook asks, snuggling into Jin's jacket.  

"No, you have your own house," Jin tells him kindly, reaching over to pat his head. "A very nice house." 

"Iss too big," Jungkook pouts. "I wanna go to yours." 

"Jungkook..." 

"Iss less big when you're there," Jungkook tells him with a sigh, relaxing into his side even more. "Much bedder." 

Jin pauses for a moment, swallowing a dangerous sentiment, hand hovering above Jungkook's head before he gives in and affectionately stokes his hair. Luckily, the Uber pulls up at that moment, sparing him from having to respond. He heaves Jungkook to his feet, opening the car door and helping him climb inside.  

As the car begins moving, Jungkook starts chuckling again, and Jin clicks his tongue in annoyance.  

"Jungkook will you please tell me what the fuck you're laughing about?" 

"We ca-" A stifled giggle. "We can't go to my house." 

"Why... not?" Jin asks fearfully.  

Jungkook collapses into his chest in a new fit of giggles, so Jin grabs him by the shoulders and gives him a little shake.  

"Jungkook. Why can't we go to your house?" 

Jungkook leans in towards Jin's ear, lips accidentally brushing his neck when the car swerves. He braces himself on Jin's thighs and whispers into his ear. 

"I flushed my keys down the toilet." 

And then he's an inconsolable pile of giggles and warmth sprawled across Jin's chest once more. 

"Excuse me?" Jin demands.  

"At- at the bar I flushed 'em," Jungkook explains after he takes a moment to sober up. "Knew you were gonna make me go home." 

Jin clicks his tongue, trying very hard not to let his anger be softened by the way that Jungkook's eyes are crinkling adorably in gleeful laughter. He leans up to speak to the driver then. "I'm so sorry, we need to change the destination."  

"Noooo, are you mad?" Jungkook asks, clutching at Jin's sleeve.  

"Yes," Jin replies, though it lacks bite. He digs out his phone to text Namjoon who, depending on the state of the toilet, may or may not already be aware of the issue.  

"Don' be mad," Jungkook pouts, leaning his head forward between Jin's face and his phone. "I jus' wanted to hang out more." 

By the time they pull up to Jin's building, Jungkook's giggle fit has finally died down to a manageable level, though his eyes are still damp and red. He clings to Jin, who leads him carefully into the building.  

Jungkook collapses onto the couch with a satisfied groan.  

"Good couch," he says, patting the cushion adoringly.  

Jin makes his way into the kitchen, pouring a big glass of water and grabbing a pack of crackers before he heads back into the living room. He launches the crackers at Jungkook's head, receiving very little reaction.  

"Hey, sit up," he says, sitting down on the couch near Jungkook's legs and smacking his ass.  

Jungkook just groans, so he sets the water down on the table and tries again. 

"Sit. UP," Jin insists, rolling him over with great effort and tugging him into a seated position, Jungkook groaning all the while. He grabs the glass of water again and presses it to Jungkook's slack lips. "Drink." 

Jungkook obeys, though his eyes are still closed. He's about halfway through the glass of water when his eyes flutter open and find Jin's face. Abruptly, his lips go slack again and the water dribbles out of his mouth as he stares wide-eyed at Jin.  

"Shit," Jin swears, pulling the glass away and brushing the water off of Jungkook's shirt. 

Jungkook doesn't seem concerned in the slightest as he lets Jin fuss over him, though his already alcohol-flushed face flushes deeper. "You're so beautiful." 

Jin clicks his tongue in mild embarrassment. "Shut up. You're saying that because you’re drunk." 

“No, no that's not true cuz I’m not always drunk," Jungkook protests, eyes fixed on Jin's lips now. "But you're always so beautiful.” 

“Eat some goddamn crackers," Jin says as a means of distraction, fumbling with the packet. Jungkook just opens his mouth expectantly. Jin scoffs skeptically but still grabs a cracker, which he brings up to Jungkook's mouth. "Spoiled brat." 

"You should let me spoil you too," Jungkook says around a mouth full of cracker. "I want to. I like it."

"Eat," Jin says more forcefully then, shoving the packet of crackers into Jungkook's hands. Jungkook sighs mournfully. "Why the fuck did you drink that moonshine?" 

"I hadda shut them up," Jungkook replies simply, filter seemingly obliterated by alcohol.  

“Shut who up?” 

“Budderflies.” Jungkook sighs as he pats his tummy cutely. 

Jin feels his face flush warm as he stares open-mouthed at Jungkook, who has just opened his mouth for another cracked, utterly unconcerned. Jin pops a cracker into his mouth then reaches for the remote. He switches on the TV, hoping to distract Jungkook from whatever trajectory his train of thought has taken. They sit there for a few minutes, blankly watching the TV as Jungkook snacks groggily on a few more crackers.  

“Hey. Hey Jin can I ask you something?” 

“I would strongly advise against it in your current state.” 

“Sounds ligga yes to me,” Jungkook says in a high sing-song voice. “Hey Jin, would you date me?” 

Jin freezes in shock, carefully keeping his eyes trained on the TV. "Are you asking me out or is that a hypothetical?” 

“Hi-pith… The second one.” 

Jin heaves a sigh. “I wouldn't date anyone.” 

"No I know I know. You're a strong independent woman. You have to win. I want you to win." His brows furrow and he pumps his fist in determination. "But like... If you were dating people. Would you date me?" 

"Why?" Jin asks carefully, not wanting to touch that question. He's not sure of the answer.  

Jungkook's face falls in a way that would be comical if it was not so genuine. "Everybody at work says I wouldn't stand a chance with you if I wasn't paying you." 

"Well they're shitheads," Jin tells him with certainty, finally turning to look at Jungkook. He's staring back at Jin with entreating eyes and crumbs on his lips. Jin almost reaches forward to brush them off, but he realizes now probably wouldn't be the ideal time to do it.  

"Would you?" Jungkook repeats, licking his lips, and the crumbs are gone but he's still looking just as vulnerable.  

Jin sighs, turning back to the television. "I don't know, Jungkook." 

Jungkook's broad shoulders slump forward and down almost imperceptibly. "Oh." 

"It's... it's not you. It's just hard to think about dating anyone," Jin assures him.  

Jungkook nods slowly, and Jin thinks the conversation is over until he says, "Is that because you only dated assholes?" 

Jin feels his body tense at that, then manages to laugh with a practiced nonchalance. "How do you know I dated assholes?" 

"Jimin told me." 

"You really need to stop hanging out with Jimin." 

Jungkook curls into his side like an overgrown cat and starts tracing absentminded circles on his thigh. "Why did you date people like that?" 

Jin takes a deep, shuddering breath as he pointedly ignores the butterfly-light touches on his thigh. "Jungkook..." 

“You're so nice and pretty. The best in the world.” 

“Jungkook.” 

“You could ‘av anyone if you wanded. Ryan Reynolds. Obama. The Pope.” 

“Jung. Kook.” 

“Seok. Jin," he replies steadily, holding his gaze now. “Why?” 

Jin has to look away then, feeling a bit like he's lost. "I dunno."

"Jimin said they used to take advantage of you. Like… of your.. heart.” 

“Did he now?” 

Jungkook nods 

"Jimin needs to keep his mouth shut," Jin murmurs with gritted teeth, but he has a feeling Jungkook isn't about to let this go. "I like to take care of people, and they knew that and they used it. So I decided to just take care of myself for a little bit." 

Jungkook sighs, tossing the crackers onto the table and taking another sip of water before setting that down, too. "I hate men." 

Jin laughs very genuinely at that. "So do I." 

"Jimin, he also said... you only dated asshole cuz you were afraid you would like someone for real." Jungkook swivels his head towards Jin, and his eyes are wide and searching.  "Is that true?  

Jin grits his teeth and looks down at Jungkook, who looks utterly gone. And there's no way he'll remember this tomorrow.  “Maybe," he says gruffly. 

Jungkook nods slowly in apparent understanding. His eyes linger on Jin's for a moment, and the gaze they share is warm and weighted, until Jungkook abruptly breaks the stare and looks down at his lap.

“Well you don't have to be afraid of anything, okay? I’m here. I’ll protect you.” Jungkook lays down with his head in Jin's lap and curls up into a little ball. "So no more dating assholes, okay?" 

"I'll try," Jin assures him, grabbing a blanket from the back of the couch and spreading it over Jungkook.  

"I mean it," Jungkook mumbles thickly, and it's clear that he's on the edge of sleep. "I'll fight them." 

"Okay, Kook." 

"Hey! Hey, you know what made me mad?" Jungkook asks as he tugs the blanket up over his neck. "When you said you would skip your competition for me. Don't... Don't do that. Okay?" 

"Okay," Jin promises him fondly.  

"You hafta win okay?" Jungkook entreats him, fingers squeezing the flesh above Jin's knee as the weight of his head becomes gradually heavier.  

"Okay," Jin repeats with a soft smile.  

"Don't you worry," he assures Jin as he nuzzles into his thigh. "I'll take care of you now." 

"I can take care of myself, Kook," Jin chuckles, carding his hands through Jungkook's silky hair now.  

Jungkook groans, and Jin worries that maybe he's sick or something. Instead, however, he just grunts, "You're stupid." 

"What?" Jin asks incredulously.  

"You're stupid," Jungkook slurs. "You gotta let people take care of you, too sometimes. I'll do it for now," Jungkook says, patting his leg in sloppy reassurance. "'Til you find someone better." 

Jin's throat contracts and something small and traitorous prickles behind his eyes as his fingers still in Jungkook's hair.  

"Jungkook," he says softly, but he receives no response except deep, even breathing.  

He means to go to bed, he really does. But instead he finds himself sitting there, stroking Jungkook's hair until everything goes dark and he wakes up 6 hours later to a window full of sunshine, a crick in his neck, and a lap full of sheepish, bed-headed wunderkind.  

Chapter Text

 

 

The city sleeps peacefully as he blinks his eyes open just in time to feel Jungkook stirring weakly in his lap. Jin watches him as he peeks cautiously though barely-opened eyes, squinting against the light. As he realizes his surroundings, his eyes find Jin.  

"Hi," Jungkook croaks groggily up at him, head still on Jin's lap and limbs still curled up into his body. His face is a shiny and swollen and a little red, and the scent of stale alcohol envelops him completely. So it's a little concerning that despite all of this, he's still the most beautiful boy Jin's ever seen.  

"How do you feel?" Jin asks by way of greeting, resisting the urge to reach down and run his fingers through Jungkook's slightly greasy hair, just as he'd done for the better part of an hour last night.  

"Fine," Jungkook says quietly, unmoving.  

Jin nods down at him, curling his hand into a fist to keep his fingers from moving to swipe the stray strand of hair from Jungkook's forehead. "You want me to get up and make breakfast, then?" 

"No," Jungkook quickly insists, eyes widening almost imperceptibly. "I mean. I do feel a little bad actually. Can we just stay here a little bit longer?" 

"Headache?" Jin asks with an accommodating smile, and Jungkook nods enthusiastically. "You can stay, but I need to either stand up or lay down. My neck is killing me from sleeping like this." 

"You could just-" He breaks off, looking distinctly embarrassed.  

"Just what?" Jin prompts him gently, giving in, fingers uncurling to thread gently through Jungkook's hair. 

As Jungkook opens his mouth to answer, there's a jarring series of knocks at the door, and both of them jump as if they've been caught. Jungkook actually rolls off of the couch in his blind panic.  

Jin manages a stiff chuckle as he nervously smoothes his hair and steps over Jungkook's groaning form to shuffle towards the door, which he swings open to reveal a smiling Namjoon.  

"I come bearing gifts," Namjoon says cheerily, jangling a set of keys in a plastic Ziploc baggie.  "I would wash them," he adds as he tosses them in Jungkook's general direction. They hit the floor with an unpleasant clatter, and Jungkook grimaces. 

"What did I do last night?" Jungkook asks, squinting his eyes in pain, and whether it's from the vague excruciating memories of last night or from a headache, Jin's not sure.  

"You very proudly informed me that you flushed your keys down a toilet at the bar," Jin tells him as he goes to start the coffee machine in the kitchen.  

"Ew. Shit. Sorry," he cringes in response. "Did I do anything else dumb?" 

Jin's stomach gives a worryingly pleasant swoop. "Nah. You're a sweet drunk. You just came home, ate some crackers, and passed out on the couch." 

"I'm really sorry, Jungkook," Namjoon says, hanging his head slightly in shame. "I've never seen anyone have that kind of reaction to The 'Shine." 

"I'm a lightweight," Jungkook admits, taking a small sip of coffee. "Weird, I know, considering this tank of a bod, but-" Jin rolls his eyes “-I really should have known better. I'm sorry about your toilet, Namjoon." 

"Well, there was no permanent damage, so no harm done," Namjoon assures him kindly. "You were really cute, I promise. You both were." 

Jungkook raises his eyebrows. "Was Jin drunk, too?" 

"No, no," Namjoon answers, and eyes Jin slyly. "He was just. Very concerned last night. Took real good care of you." 

"He was?" Jungkook asks with ill-disguised hope.  

Jin turns around, back to the counter, and rests his hands on the surface as he glares at Namjoon. "Speaking of last night," Jin starts, and he already tastes blood. "We saw Yoongi." 

Any remnant of a smile slides abruptly from Namjoon's face. "Oh?" 

"In the alley outside the bar.  By the dumpster. Why would he have been out there, you think?" 

Namjoon turns up his nose a little, crossing his arms defensively. "Well I’m sure I wouldn't know a thing about that.” 

"Is that right?" Jin asks, cocking his head to one side and smirking at the 'oh shit' that's so evident in Namjoon's eyes.  

"Yep," Namjoon shoots back at him, standing his ground. "That's right." 

"You sure?" Jin persists. 

"Positive," Namjoon challenges him, meeting his gaze boldly. 

"Uh... should I go?" Jungkook asks concernedly as he pushes himself to his feet. "I'm gonna go." 

"You don't have to go anywhere, Kook," Jin tells him, crossing his arms right back at Namjoon. "This is how we talk about our feelings sometimes."

Jungkook reaches into his back pocket for his phone and checks the time. "Actually. Shit. Sorry, I do have to go. I need to go into the office today." 

"On a Sunday?" Jin asks with raised brows, cringing at the disappointment in his own voice.  

"Yeah, I've got some stuff I need to look into," he says, fingers flying lightly across his phone screen. "My driver will be here in a few, so I'll wait for him downstairs." He gives Namjoon one last grimace and waves tightly. "Sorry again." 

"No worries, bud," Namjoon assures him, assuming a relaxed stance once more.  

"Oh and I'll tell Yoongi you said hey," Jungkook adds quickly, biting back a smile as he slips out of sight into the front hallway, and Namjoon balks as Jin huffs proudly at Jungkook's retreating back.  

Jin follows him, sticking out his tongue as he does, and he reaches the front hall just as Jungkook shrugs on his jacket. Jungkook looks up at him shyly as he sees him approaching.  

"Hey, thanks for taking care of me. You didn't have to. I know I was a pain in the ass." 

"You weren't so bad," Jin assures him, reaching out to open the front door for him. "Pretty cute actually." 

Jungkook's ears are tinged red as he ducks his head, clearly pleased. "Shut up." 

"Don't work too hard, ok?" Jin says with genuine concern. 

Jungkook smiles softly and his sleep-swollen eyes arch into happy little crescents. "See ya." 

"Hey," Jin catches his arm lightly just as he turns to go, and Jungkook looks back at him with wide, curious eyes.  

"Huh?" Jungkook asks, eyes almost a little fearful for some reason. 

"You..." He feels his body flush hot in mild embarrassment. "Thank you, too. For last night." 

Jungkook's eyebrows shoot up, and his mouth pops open. "What?? I thought we didn't..." 

"Oh! God. No we didn't do anything like that. Sorry," Jin hurriedly assures him. "You just... You're a good guy. That's all." 

Jungkook quirks his head a little quizzically, gears clearly whirring in his head as he struggles to recall the events of the night before.  

"That's terrifyingly vague," Jungkook ultimately decides, but the corner of his mouth quirks up in a small but undeniable smile.  "But... thanks." Jin just nods tightly, suddenly self-conscious, so Jungkook continues, "I'll text you later?" 

"Okay," Jin agrees with a gentle smile, and the corner of Jungkook's mouth quirks again before he ducks his head and walks out into the hall.  

The moment Jin shuts the door, Namjoon lets out a gleeful hoot, clapping his hands and bending over in laughter.  

Jin grabs a pillow from the couch as he passes and launches it at his head. "You are not forgiven! You are never, ever forgiven!" 

Namjoon staggers a little from the force of the pillow, but he's still smiling. "What happened? You've gotta tell me." 

"Nothing happened," Jin pouts. "I would never do anything with anyone when they were in that state." 

"I don't mean physically," Namjoon says, wide dimpled smile finally fading slightly.  

Jin chooses to ignore the question, making himself busy by straightening the kitchen. "You know, I thought at least you would support me taking a break from relationships." 

"I support you ditching toxic relationships that divert you from your own personal goals," Namjoon clarifies. "Healthy relationships don't do that. And you and that kid? Wholesome as shit." 

"Nobody asked," Jin pouts, heading back over to the coffee maker to pour himself a cup.  

"God you're gone for him," Namjoon says, shaking his head in disbelief. "You guys were nauseatingly cute." 

"Speaking of nauseating..." Jin starts, pouring a second cup of coffee for Namjoon. "Dumpsters." 

"Stop making shitty segways back to Yoongi," Namjoon bristles, moodily accepting a cup of coffee from Jin.  

"So you admit it?" 

"Admit what?" he maintains with pretended ignorance, then he snaps his fingers like he's just remembered something. “Oh! I forgot. I edited that footage that Jimin and Taehyung took the other day as well as some from the competition and it looks pretty awesome. Can I post it?” 

“I guess,” Jin shrugs. “I still don’t know what you guys expect to come of it.” 

“Hey. Bieber got his start on Youtube,” Namjoon informs him seriously. “This gives you a chance to market yourself to them. To prove that you are marketable.” 

Jin just shrugs. “Doesn’t mean anyone is ever even gonna see it.” 

“Jimin said he's going to work some magic.” 

Jin's chest clenches anxiously. “Why does that scare me?" 

“Because you’re a God-fearing man, Jin.” 

Jin's phone buzzes on the table in the living room, and he looks at it quizzically before padding across the carpet to snag it off the hard wood surface.  

He recognizes the number.  

"Who is it?" Namjoon asks from the kitchen, perhaps noting the tenseness of Jin's shoulders, or maybe the way that the blood has drained from his face.  

Jin taps 'decline' and tosses it back on the couch.  

"Nobody." 

Namjoon has gone very still, appraising him carefully. "Jin, was that your dad?" Jin tucks his head and shuffles back to the kitchen, picking up his coffee again. "I thought he had stopped calling." 

"He had," Jin says quietly. "I haven't heard from him since right after he got out like a year ago." 

Namjoon approaches him cautiously, arm twitching like he wants to reach out and put a hand on Jin's shoulder. "So... why is he calling again now?" 

"I dunno," Jin mutters calmly, taking a small sip of coffee, but his stomach roils anxiously. "But he can eat shit." 

 

 


 

 

 

“I need to make it known that I am morally opposed to this.” 

Jungkook rolls his eyes, hands tight on the wheel as the speed down the interstate, away from the city. "Look. I don’t like golf any more than you do. I know that it's environmentally disruptive and wasteful, and it only reinforces existing harmful racial and gendered stratification within the workforce. I get it. Yoongi tells me every time I go." 

“All of that is very well and good, but Jungkook,” Jin adds, flipping down the car mirror to gaze morosely at his own reflection. “The fucking hats.” 

“I did not make you wear that hat!” Jungkook exclaims gesturing to Jin. “You chose that on your own. Nobody even wears those kinds of hats anymore.” 

“I hate it.” 

“Then take it off.” 

 Jin looks slightly affronted. “No.” 

“Literally why not?” Jungkook demands in exasperation as he carefully changes lanes. 

“I have to do this. I have to prove this to myself," Jin says heatedly, trying to emulate Jungkook's usual brand of steely determination. "I am hotter than this hat is ugly. I can make anything look good.” 

“What if I just told you that your hotness far outstrips the ugliness of that repulsive hat?" 

"You can try," Jin says as he sticks his nose haughtily in the air.  

"Your hotness far outstrips the ugliness of that repulsive hat," Jungkook assures him kindly.  

Jin pouts, gesturing over at Jungkook's lap. “Yeah right. You don’t even have a boner right now.” 

“I don’t always have a boner around you, Jin!” Jungkook exclaims defensively as he awkwardly tries to shield his lap with one arm while he keeps the other hand on the wheel.  

Jin just sighs. “Yes you do.” 

“I do not!” 

“Sure, Jan.” 

Jungkook spares him an impressed side glance. “Hey, you did a meme.” 

“Yeah, I found this website for hip parents that explains meme culture in more relatable terms. I learned a lot. For example,” Jin clears his throat in preparation. “Right in front of MY salad?"

Jungkook’s nostrils flare as he bites back an obvious smile, faces flushing as he sobers himself quickly. “The inflection was weird." 

“Why is your face red?” 

Jungkook shifts uncomfortably, eyes fixed intently on the road. “I dunno. I'm probably just embarrassed for you."

Jin peeks back over at Jungkook’s crotch. “Oh! Did that work? Are you aroused by memes?” 

“No!” Jungkook exclaims in horror, shielding his crotch from view once more. “And that hat looks terrible on you.” 

Jin gasps and reels back like he's been slapped. “I knew it, you snake.” He whisks the hat off of his own head and tossed it in the back seat. “I still can't believe you're dragging me golfing.” 

“You don’t even have to play! You just have to sit there and clap politely for me as I annihilate these old white men at their own game.” 

“Isn't this supposed to be a friendly game? For fun ?” 

“I’m sorry, do you know me?” Jungkook asks incredulously. “There is nothing fun about losing. And there will be nothing friendly about this. I will leave that field bloody and victorious or I won't leave at all. You can leave my corpse for the duckies.” 

“Do you hear yourself sometimes?” 

“I swear this is college all over again.” Jungkook persists, ignoring him. “Lee took everything from me back then. My captain spot on the Ultimate Frisbee team… my original research topic for my senior thesis. He even stole my beard.” 

“Beard as in… “ 

“The lesbian who pretended to be my girlfriend so I could join a frat," Jungkook says like he's ruminating in years-old anguish. "After that, I had to find a real live straight girl to make out with publicly at parties." 

Jin heaves a great sigh, wiggling his feet and watching the silly tassles flop. "Look. This isn't college anymore. You're a wildly successful adult human who totally grew into his nose and who makes more in a week than most people do in a year.” 

“He's got everything I have and more,” Jungkook pouts, unconsciously accelerating.  

“Not everything, dummy,” Jin reminds him, fluttering his eyelashes.  

Jungkook shoots him a skeptical look. “What?” 

“Me, you jerk!” Jin exclaims, gazing into the mirror and carefully applying a dewy coat of lip balm. He then reaches back into the back seat and grabs the hideous, discarded hat. He shoves it on his head with new determination. “The hottest fake sugar baby on the planet." 

"Whatever," Jungkook mumbles as he smiles shyly, eyes on the road as the shifting his body to look out the scenery gradually blooms greener the further they drive from the city. 

Everything is green, artificially so, by the time they pull up to the parking lot of the country club, nary a pigeon or a rat in sight. The lot is lined with shiny, expensive cars, and a group of ostentatiously dressed men shuffle slowly towards the doors of the sprawling white marble clubhouse.  

Jungkook parks towards the back of the parking lot, then he curses under his breath as he glares out at something through the windshield.   

“Dickwad,” Jungkook mutters through clenched teeth as his knuckles go white on the steering wheel.  

Sure enough, when Jin turns to look, there’s Lee standing outside of his car and pretending to look at his phone. But Jin can tell that he's just seen them pull up and is stealing occasional glances at them. 

Jin has a terrible idea. 

“Hey Jungkookie,” he starts, dragging his finger down the chest of a very startled Jungkook. “We're early, right? We have some time until you have to be there?" 

“Uh... Yes?” Jungkook replies uncertainly. 

“Don’t freak out, okay?” Jin unbuckles his seatbelt and leans forward to press a lingering kiss to his neck.  

“What… are you doing?” Jungkook asks, suddenly very tense. His heartbeat races at his pulse point where Jin’s lips linger.  

“I’m giving my sugar daddy a very public blowjob.” 

“What?” Jungkook’s voice cracks and he crosses his hands over his lap. 

“Calm your tits, not a real one. Is he still watching?” Jin asks against his neck, making a concerted effort not to be affected by how good Jungkook smells. Under the spice of his cologne, there's an essence of something dark and sweet. 

“Yes,” Jungkook says stiffly and warily. 

“Good. Grab me by the hair.” 

“What?” Jungkook asks, eyes huge.  

“Grab me by the hair and push my head down to your crotch.” 

“Uh…” And Jin can read the concern on his face. 

“Jungkook. It’s fine. Do it.” 

Jungkook nods and reaches up to thread his fingers through Jin's hair. His grip tightens, then without hesitation he yanks Jin down behind the dashboard and out of sight to anyone looking inside. Jin can’t contain a little startled noise. 

“Shit! Sorry, are you okay?” Jungkook asks, worry creasing his brow as he immediately releases Jin's hair. 

“Yeah, fine,” Jin assures him, swallowing a looming wave of arousal as he focuses on Jungkook's belt rather than the clothed dick that is currently inches from his face. “Just surprised.” 

Jungkook nods and takes a deep breath, leaning back in his seat. “So now what?” 

Jin shrugs and adjusts his posture so that he’s looking up at Jungkook rather than forward at Jungkook Jr. “Make some sex faces.” 

“I can't just…” he starts to protest, but then Jin loses his balance, pitching forward, and in the process accidentally brushes the front of Jungkook's slacks with his nose. Jungkook breaks off abruptly with a choked noise, eyebrows drawn. 

Jin quirks an eyebrow. “Yeah like that.” 

“Shut up,” Jungkook spits, taking another deep breath through his nose. “I hate this. Oh my God I hate this.” 

“Do you?” Jin asks, nodding down to his crotch where a slight bulge now disrupts the smooth fabric.  

“So much,” Jungkook confirms, swallowing hard as he looks down at Jin.  

“So you don’t always get boners around me huh?” Jin jabs playfully, eyes finding the growing bulge in Jungkook's slacks.  

“What am I supposed to do? Your face is right by my dick, and your stupid lips are…” he groans and his head falls back against the headrest.  

“You’re doing great,” Jin assured him, patting his thick thigh, the fabric stretched taut. “Very believable.” 

“When is it over? Can it be over?” 

“If you want Lee thinking you only last 45 seconds, sure.” He pauses. “Actually, given my stupidly hot lips and my lack of gag reflex, that seems pretty realistic so maybe I'll just-“ 

He makes to straighten up, but then he feels a hand right in his hair forcing him back down. He gasps at the tingling pain in his scalp. 

“S-sorry,” Jungkook mutters, looking a mixture of embarrassed and intrigued as his eyes scan Jin’s face, but his grip doesn’t loosen. If anything his fingers tighten experimentally, and Jin feels his lips part ever so slightly around a ghost of a groan. "I just didn't want him to... Sorry."

Jin clears his throat, trying to play off the noise and hoping that the warmth in his cheeks isn't manifesting in a visible blush. “Brat,” he mumbles, then he winces, the strange bend of his spine finally getting to him. “Shit, my back hurts. How much longer is he going to fuckin' creep?” 

Jungkook reluctantly tears his eyes away from Jin and peeks out the windshield. “Oh. Um. He’s gone.” 

Jin groans and pushes himself up, using Jungkook’s thighs to brace himself (for safety, of course). There is still a dusty red flush to Jungkook’s face as he covers his crotch once more. 

“Do you need to like... take care of that?” 

“I’m not masturbating in the parking lot, Jin," Jungkook spits, taking deep breaths through his nose and looking pointedly away from Jin. "It'll go down on its own." 

"Okay, okay," Jin raises his hands in surrender, eyes darting down to Jungkook's pants again. 

"Stop looking at it!" Jungkook snaps. "It's not going to go away if you keep looking at it." 

"Okay!" Jin snaps right back, flinging himself back on the seat. Jungkook sighs and tips his head back on the seat, closing his eyes and breathing deeply.  

And Jin really can't help himself. His eyes wander.

“I CAN FEEL YOU LOOKING AT IT YOU ASS."

 

 


 

 

 

Jin spends most of the game trailing miserably behind Jungkook and his co-workers, clapping politely with Hani and a few of the other plus-ones. 

“This is so boring,” Jin mutters through his teeth to Hani. “Why are they making us watch this? Why do we need to be here?” 

“Probably some kind of power move.” Hani says, dabbing at the sweat on her brow. “Proving their toy is willing to march into hell with them or some shit.” 

“Well I hate it.” 

She looks over at him, sweaty and pouty in his very expensive, very ugly clothes. He had ditched the hat back on hole 4. "Do you want me to pretend to faint so we can go back to the clubhouse?”  

“I mean if you w-" 

Before he can even finish his thought, Hani has already swooned theatrically and tipped herself face-first on the grass. A couple of the women around them gasp and squeak in concern,  rushing forward to tend to her. Jin looks up to see Rosencrantz glance over, roll his eyes, then glance away.  

Jungkook, however, comes jogging forward, peeling off his golf gloves as he kneels beside her and rolls her over.  

"Shit, Hani, are you-" 

She cracks one eye open at him, then upon seeing who it is, winks and shuts her eyes again. Jungkook's shoulders instantly slump in relief. 

"Have... mercy," Hani hisses though her teeth, eyes still closed, and Jungkook laughs in disbelief. He heaves a big, burdened sigh. 

“Hey guys,” he shouts over his shoulder to the group of men behind him. “We should get her inside, so I’m going to send her and Jin back with one of the carts.” 

With that, Jungkook scoops her up in his arms bridal-style, and she sighs contentedly as she throws her arms around his neck and flops her head on his chest. He carries her over to the golf cart, motioning for Jin to follow him.  

“You could have just asked,” Jungkook mumbles lowly to them when they’re out of earshot of the others.   

“And appear as uncaring and disloyal to our lords and masters?” Hani asks dramatically, throwing back her head so that it hangs in the crook of Jungkook’s elbow. “Never.” 

“Fair,” Jungkook mumbles as he sets Hani down gentle in the passenger seat of the golf cart. “I’ll meet you at the bar when we're done?” 

Jin shoots him a grateful smile then leans forward to peck him gently on the lips. It's disconcerting how normal it feels to do it, and how good.  "Thank you, babe." 

"You're welcome, babe," Jungkook echoes smugly, and Hani squeals in delight. They both look at her.  

"Sorry," she says, covering her mouth in embarrassment. "Sorry. As you were." 

 

 


 

 

 

“Thank God,” Hani breathes as she flips down onto a bar stool in the sparsely occupied clubhouse bar. She digs into her cleavage and pulls out a stack of slightly damp flashcards. “I’ve got finals in a week.” 

"Want me to quiz you?" Jin offers, and she beams at him.  

"God," she scoffs, "You and Jungkook really are just..." She trails off.  

"What?" 

"Good," she finishes, smiling kindly at him. "Just good." She pauses another beat and then regards him with a gaze that seems both pleased and concerned. "And good together." 

A small, warm ball of happiness blooms in his gut.  

Jin spends the next hour and a half sipping mimosas and grossly mispronouncing legal terms as he quizzes Hani for her property law class. 

When he feels a pressure on his arm, a hand, he's fully assumes that it's Jungkook. But as Hani's eyes flick up to the space above his shoulder and darken perceptibly, he knows that it's not. He turns to see Lee gently grasping at the material of his shirt. He clears his throat and swivels the bar stool so that the material slips through Lee's fingers.  

“I love this shirt,” he says to Jin, taking the stool on the other side of him.  

"Jungkook has great taste," Jin replies, unamused as he takes a sip of his wine.  

"Clearly," Lee agrees, tone implying something more as he takes the bar seat beside Jin, who could not suppress his eye roll if he tried. But he doesn't try. “You,” he says pointing to Hani. "Everyone is back so why don’t you go do your job?” 

Jin bristles instantly, but Hani lays a calming hand on his arm. “I should get back to him.” 

"What do you want?" Jin asks shortly as Hani gets up from her seat and flips a subtle bird at Lee's back.  

Lee sighs theatrically. "Wow, big question." He pauses as he pretends to think. "So many things. Looser trade regulations, an entire floor on Madison Ave-" 

"Cut the shit," Jin says, voice sharp as he sets down his glass.  

Lee smiles into his drink. " Jungkook's job for one." 

"Why?" Jin asks, turning to look at him finally. "There have got to be other jobs out there. Better ones. Why his?" 

"I thought it was obvious." Lee smirks, cocking his head to one side. "Why do you think I'm over here talking to you right now? I like taking things that are his.” 

Jin doesn’t bother to mask the ugliness of his ensuing scoff. “Flattering.” 

“I mean, don't get me wrong,” Lee tells him with a crooked smirk and a quirked brow. He gestures at Jin, dragging his hands up and down for emphasis. “I get it. You’re… something. But let's just say your current keeper sweetens the deal immensely." 

“Why the hell are you telling me this??” Jin asks in complete astonishment.  

“Because you're not an idiot. You’ll recognize a business opportunity when you see one. I'll give you double whatever allowance he gives you.” 

Jin can’t contain his derisive laugh. “Jesus you’re delusional. What is it with you guys and thinking they can buy everything you want?” Jin slides off the stool so that he's very much in Lee's space looking down on him. Lee’s eyes sparkle up mischievously at him, amused if anything. “I’m not for sale.” 

Lee laughs rudely at that. “Oh I’m not looking to buy. You're hot, but you're not long-term material. Consider it more of a rental.” 

Jin gapes openly at him. “Is that supposed to make me want to hit you less? Because it's not working.” 

“Testy, testy," Lee says, standing up now too and forcing Jin to take a step back. “Look, here's my card. So when you get bored of Jeon jizzing his pants every time you touch him, give me a call. I think we could have fun." 

Jin hesitates for a moment before accepting the card. 

Lee look very, immensely pleased, up until the moment that Jin rips it in half, several times. 

“Thanks. I'll be in touch,” Jin assured him with the biggest, fakest smile he can muster as he sprinkles the fragments in Lee’s undoubtedly expensive drink. 

Lee's careful, cool façade finally seems to crack a little at that, and he sets down his ruined drink down with a loud clank against the bar.  “You know, I wouldn't piss off powerful men if I were you,” and there is acid in the warning.  

“Thank you. I'll keep that in mind when I see one,” Jin says patronizingly. 

“Keep poking the bear, baby,” Lee warns him, every syllable dripping with vitriol as he takes a step forward into Jin’s space. Jin stands resolutely still, gaze unwavering even as the proximity passes the point of comfort. “See what happens.” 

Jin just glares silently as the door to the bar swings open and Jungkook's group enters loudly, as they seem to have a tendency to do. It’s only then that Lee backs off, taking a few steps back and visibly relaxing his expression.  

“See you around Seokjin,” he says lightly as he throws a wad of cash on the bar and casually starts to back away. “Oh, and hey! Good luck with Coke.” 

It's an icy stone in his stomach, skin erupting in prickling goosebumps as he watches Lee turn and meet the group halfway. Jungkook's eyes find him, and Jin wonders what Jungkook must see in his face to make his brow crease like that in concern. He excuses himself politely from the rest of the group and hurriedly makes his way over to Jin.  

“Hey," Jungkook says, expression somber with worry. 

"Hey," Jin returns distractedly, warily watching Lee's back.  

"What did he do?” Jungkook asks immediately, reaching out to give Jin's arm a reassuring squeeze.  

“Nothing," Jin tells him quickly, smiling tightly and tilting his body slightly away from Jungkook. “He’s just talking shit like usual." He pauses, clearing his throat. "Hey... You didn’t tell anybody about like, what I do or like nationals or sponsor shit, right?" 

"No," Jungkook replies slowly, and Jin feels eyes on his face. "Of course not. Why?" 

"No reason." 

But Jungkook's brow does not relax into a relieved expression like Jin had hoped it might. "Jin if he's-"  

JIn interrupts him with a forced laugh. "Look. Don't worry about me, just get back over there before he edges you out again. I’m just going to the bathroom real quick." 

"Jin-" 

"I'll be right back," Jin assures him, shoe catching on the hard floor and stumbling a bit. His feet catch him, and he tucks his head, walking out the doors and into the hall.  

The bathroom is carelessly opulent, all white marble and gold fixtures. Jin gives the bathroom attendant a stiff smile before retreating into the stall and slamming the door shut behind him, and the lock slams shut so loudly that it echoes startlingly against the hard surfaces. Jin flips the toilet seat shut and slings himself down on top of it, burying his head in his hands and breathing hard through his nose.  

An eerie soft jazz trickles down through the speakers, and Jin hears the attendant tapping his foot in a badly syncopated reproduction of the beat.  

He breathes in again, then out. 

"Shit." 

 

 


 

 

 

 

"So hey, what's it like to have a real life movie villain nemesis angling for your ultimate destruction?" Jimin asks lightly, bags in hand,  as crosses the threshold of Namjoon's apartment.  

Jin halts abruptly in his tracks, the brown paper bags swinging with forward momentum. His eyes find Namjoon, and he tilts his head. "Really Joon?" 

Namjoon raises his hands in proclaimed innocence. "Look, he has a 6th sense for gossip.  If you don't want Jimin to know something, you have to be very specific in your instructions to me, because keeping things from him takes an astronomical amount of effort." 

Jimin's spine goes rigid as Jin finally shuts the door behind him and sets down the bags on the counter. "Hey, why can't I know things?" 

"Because you're sleeping with Jungkook's good friend and I don't want Jungkook to know." 

"So is he!" Jimin insists with a petulant pout on his lips, pointing at Namjoon, who pretends he hasn't heard. "I can keep my mouth shut." 

"You gave him my social security number upon first meeting, after a frenzied dumpster quickie," Namjoon reminds him mildly.  

"During actually," Jimin mutters. "It was a thing" 

"What?"  

"So Jin, tell us about your mortal enemy," Jimin says, undeterred. "Is he cute?" 

"Stop scouting for sugar daddies," Namjoon grunts as he flops himself down onto the couch.  

"Never." 

"Can't we just eat like a normal family?" Jin asks, unpacking plastic containers from the paper bags. "I don't want to talk about it." 

"Jin, we should probably at least talk about it a little bit," Namjoon says reluctantly. "I mean, it seems like this guy could really fuck you over it he wanted to." 

"What's he gonna do?" Jin asks, unpacking utensils and sauce packets from the paper bags now.  

"Use his influence to sway their decision about sponsoring you. Bring to their attention that you are receiving money for companionship. Shit that could really screw your chances with any major company." 

Jin rolls his eyes, but a mild fear bubbles up in his gut. "For all anybody can prove, Jungkook and I are dating. Just dating like normal people. No reason to suspect anything different.” 

"Are you sure about that?" Namjoon asks, and Jin is slightly disconcerted by the serious set of his brows. Jin just turns away and silently busies himself organizing the containers in front of him. “Where there's money, there's a paper trail.” 

"You're still going to keep seeing him, right?" Jimin pushes, shuffling up to Jin to snatch one of the boxes and a plastic utensil set from his hands. "I like Jungkook so much better than all of your exes combined." 

"I'm not seeing him," Jin says stiffly, brushing past Jimin to set down another of the containers in front of Namjoon. "I'm working for him." 

Namjoon shoots him a significant look.  

"With him," Jin corrects in a cursory breath, but Namjoon looks satisfied.  

Jimin groans as he flings himself down on the couch next to Namjoon. "Sure. Okay. Fine. Are you going to keep working with Jungkook?" 

"Why wouldn't I?" Jin asks, settling into an adjacent armchair with his food. "It's good money and easy work. It's freed up a ton of time to train." 

"Look. I like Jungkook as much as the next guy, but Jin, you remember the whole reason you're not dating right?" Namjoon asks delicately around a mouthful of noodles.  

"So I could focus on my career," Jin replies warily, even as he senses the trap. "And on me." 

"Right," Namjoon confirms softly. "So just... make sure you're taking care of those things. Of your career. And you." 

"Yeah," Jin agrees vaguely.  

"And I still think you should tell Jungkook," Namjoon adds, more insistent now. "He would put a stop to it." 

Jin scoffs. "Yeah right." 

"He would, Jin," Jimin agrees, and his tone is much more serious now than it had been. "He really cares about you." 

Jin swallows hard and sets town his food, untouched. "I know." 

"You know what would fix all of this?" Jimin adds quietly after a moment. "Get your head out of your slightly-above-average ass and date him for real." 

"Not an option," Jin replies dryly. 

"You know, that 'focusing on your career' stuff is only going to fly so far with this one, Jin," Namjoon says softly. "He would do nothing but encourage and support you unlike those other asswipes you've dated. I think you know that." 

Jin doesn't dignify the statement with a response, just leans back in his seat and turns his nose up in the air.  

"So maybe it's something else?" Namjoon adds inquisitively.  

"Maybe the two of you need to butt out of my business and focus on your own shit," Jin snaps. "Like, oh hey Jimin, how's that no-strings bullshit going with Tae? Heard from Jungkook your last Netflix and chill was pretty heavy on the Netflix." 

Jimin actually flushes and tucks into his food to avoid eye contact. Namjoon laughs and shoves gently at Jimin's shoulder. 

"And Joon," Jin continues relentlessly, and Namjoon's face goes instantly stern. "Heard you and a certain someone got chased out of a back alley by an angry grocer.”  

“I dropped my contact lens and he was behind me helping me look for it."

“He was inside of you.” 

“Well that seems unlikely,” Namjoon scoffs lightly, though his cheeks are dusted a soft red. 

“So that’s it? That’s all I’m getting?” Jin asks, and his jaw clenches. 

“That’s all you’re getting.” 

“Jimin?” Jin tries then. “Anything to say?” 

“No,” Jimin grumbles to the floor, posture small and hunched. 

Jin huffs and moodily grabs the remote and switches on HGTV.  Namjoon looks like he's going to object for a moment, but a deadly look from Jin silences him instantly.  

They’re five minutes into an episode of House Hunters when Jin hears a tiny sniff, which he writes off as a runny nose. But then he hears it again, hears it followed by a little squeak, and when he looks over to investigate the source, he sees Jimin hiding his mouth with one hand, eyes shiny with tears. 

“Jimin?” Jin asks quietly then, scrambling immediately to sit next to Jimin on the couch. “Oh, shit, Jimin, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be such a jerk.” 

Namjoon's scooting closer too, to comfort Jimin from the other side.  

“Do you want me to kill him Jimin? Do you want me to kill Jin?” Namjoon asks softly, stroking Jimin's hair. “I’ll kill him” 

“I’ll gladly die,” Jin adds, putting an arm around Jimin's narrow shoulders. As much as they bicker, the moment that Park Jimin gets sad, both he and Namjoon go full protective parent mode. “I’m really sorry, Jimin, it’s none of my business.” 

“I'm not crying about that.” Jimin says wetly. He's not crying now, though his face is still damp. “It's about Tae.” 

“I will literally kill him, Jimin," Namjoon coos tilting Jimin's head towards him so that it's resting on his shoulder. “I’ll do it.” 

“He didn’t do anything,” Jimin sniffs. “I’m just an idiot.” 

“No, you’re perfect wonderful and faultless,” Jin assures him gently. "So who do we murder?” 

“Stop trying to murder everyone,” Jimin chuckles thickly. “It's nobody's fault. We were just... lying there in bed the other night and we were talking about our potential sugar daddies like always and… I dunno, my chest just got so tight and I felt like I was going to cry or barf something stupid, and I realized I was jealous.” 

“Well what’s wrong with that, Jiminie? It means you like him," Namjoon says softly, reaching up to dry Jimin's face with his sleeve. 

Jimin sniffs delicately again. “What’s wrong is that he’s made it clear he's not going to stop seeing those other guys, which is fine. It is.” He seems to be trying to convince himself more so than the others. “We both need the money. I just need to get over it." 

""Maybe he feels the same way," Jin pushes gently. "Have you talked to him about it?"

Jimin glares at him. "Yeah right, and have him think I'm needy and break it off? No fuckin' thanks." 

"Well maybe you could-" 

"It's fine, Jin," Jimin tells him, forcefully wiping his face. "I don't want to talk about it. There are more important things to focus on right now. For one, I've got a lead on Coke." 

"You... wait what? Really?" Jin asks, surprised.  

"One of Tae's former classmates is interning with the marketing department at Coke and he knows a guy who knows a much more important guy. I'm trying to set up a lunch meeting or something, but he's kind of big shit. Really hard to get in touch with." 

Jin eyes are wide by the time he finishes. "Holy shit. That's... Wow, Jimin." 

"Yes well. I'm very good," Jimin says boldly, sniffing slightly as he takes a small bite of noodles.   

Jin leans in and rests his head on Jimin's shoulder, and Namjoon does the same on the other side.  

"Yes, you are," Jin assures him, wrapping his arms around him as he snuggles into Jimin's shoulder.  

Jimin squirms uncomfortably between them, arms squished as he awkwardly holds his food container.  

"Ugh..." Jimin protests halfheartedly, but Namjoon just takes the container from his hands, sets it on the table, and wraps around him like a giant, gangly koala. "You guys are so embarrassing." 

But he snuggles into their embrace happily, and they sit there cuddling contentedly as the TV blares on. 

Nobody moves for several minutes, until the buzzing of Jin's phone jars them out of their peace. Jin groans and digs moodily into his back pocket, half-squishing Jimin in the process. His heart gives a fearful pang as he sees his mother's number on the screen. She never calls this late.  

"Uh, shit. Sorry," Jin says, hurriedly untangling himself from the cuddle pile as he taps accept on his phone and heads down the hall into Namjoon's spare room. "Hey, Mom." 

"Hi, honey," she says, but her voice sounds unnaturally tight.  

"Is everything okay?" He asks, trying to sound calm, though he feels anything but.  

"Um." The line is silent for a few moments, and there's some shuffling on the other side of the phone, like she's moving or adjusting it against her face. "Your dad's here." 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"I'll fuckin' kill him," Namjoon growls with uncharacteristic menace, and Jimin snorts derisively.  

"Jesus Christ, are you on 'roids or something today? Simmer,” Jimin says in exasperation, his eyes still rimmed pink. "Jin. What are you going to do?"  

"What the fuck else would I do? Leave her there with him?" Jin spits back at him, offended that Jimin would think there was another option. "I'm calling an Uber and going over there. He's not allowed to..." Jin trails off, anger scrambling his thoughts. "He can’t be there.”  

"An Uber?" Jimin questions him, stepping away from Namjoon to eye Jin with obnoxious skepticism. "Seriously? For a 2-hour drive upstate?"  

"Well, how else am I supposed to get there?" Jin demands, rounding on Jimin as he slings his bag over his shoulder.  

"Jin," Jimin says softly, reaching forward to press a gentle, calming hand to Jin's arm. "Call Jungkook."  

“What?” He clears throat as his pitch abruptly climbs an octave. "No."  

“He'll send a driver at the drop of a hat. You know he will.”   

Jin jerks his arm away from Jimin, swiping his phone screen to pull up the Uber app. “It's late. He's busy. He probably wouldn't pick up."  

“For you?” Namjoon sighs in exasperation. “Of course he would.”  

Jin bites down on the inside of his lower lip, rolling between his teeth as he glances impatiently down at the clock on his phone. It’s already 11:00pm. He's wasted five minutes.    

“Fine.”   

His heart pounds in his throat as he taps Jungkook’s name in his contacts list. He’s terrified that he won't pick up, and he's terrified that he will. Jimin and Namjoon lean back against the couch as they wait with matching expressions of concern.   

They don't wait long, because once he presses the call button, three rings is all it takes.   

“Hey,” comes Jungkook’s voice, already laced with worry. Phone calls aren't typical with them, especially not at this hour. “Jin?”   

“Hey,” Jin greets him, running his hand through his hair nervously. “Sorry it's late.”   

“Don’t worry about it,” Jungkook assures him. “I'm still up. Everything okay?"  

“Um…" Jin starts, tugging at the roots of his hair now as he spins around anxiously. "Kind of. Is there any way you could send a car for me? To drive me a couple of counties over? It'd be like a 4 hour round trip."  

“Of course,” Jungkook answers instantly, and Jin's mouth pops slightly open as he's taken aback by the absolute ease with which he responded. “Right now?”   

“Yeah, sorry. If possible. It's… kind of urgent.”   

“Are you sure everything's okay?” Jungkook asks again, and Jin hears the gentle rustle of papers in the background. That crazy bastard is probably still at work.  

“Yeah, just. Family stuff, you know," Jin responds vaguely, and he hears more movement on the other side of the phone.    

“I’ll call for a driver now," Jungkook assures him, and his distracted tone tells Jin that he's probably already on it. "They should be there in about 15.”   

Jin breathes a small sigh of relief. "Okay. God. Fuck. Thank you, Kook. I owe you one. Really."  

“It's nothing," and the way Jungkook says it isn't just a humble denial. He almost sounds distressed, like he badly wants to do more. "Go get ready, okay?”   

“Okay."  

When Jin disconnects the call, the tight, suffocating mass in his chest has relented, just very, very slightly, and the grip on his phone goes so slack that he barely catches it again to keep it from clattering to the floor.  

“Told you,” Namjoon gloats, both smug and affectionate.   

 


 

 

 
The night air bites bitterly at his nose and cheek as he waits on the sidewalk below his apartment. It's been 20 minutes already, and a quick survey of the area confirms that there's no sign of a car on the deserted street. But just as he is about to call Jungkook, he sees headlights flash around the corner as a car turns onto his street, blinding him briefly as shields his eyes.   

But when his vision adjusts and the vehicle nears, he doesn't see the somber, conservative black car with a somber, conservative uniformed man in the driver's seat that he had expected. It's a sleek silver thing, flashy and expensive, and the man in the driver's seat is young and handsome, the streetlights reflecting brightly in his wide, searching eyes.  

Jin's stomach gives an ambiguous lurch, and it feels like the ground has reached up and swallowed his feet, rooting him in place. His heart thunders gently in his chest as Jungkook squints through the windshield, scanning the poorly lit area. His eyes settle on Jin after a moment, and he waves with a nervous smile.   

It's with great effort that Jin forces his heavy feet to propel him in the direction of Jungook's car, and he's already mortified. He doesn't want anyone anywhere near this, least of all Jungkook. But all the same, a tiny kernel of comfort nestles deep and warm in heart as he reaches for the door handle, pulls it open, and lowers himself into the car.  

“Nobody picked up at the agency when I called,” Jungkook explains quickly, wide eyes glued to Jin's face as he does. “I think maybe they’re closed.”   

“Oh,” Jin replies, nodding dumbly. “Right. It... it's late.”   

“Is this okay?” Jungkook asks, hand perched on the gear shift. “I can just let you drive yourself if you don’t want me to come.”   

Jin chuckles humorlessly. “I never learned how to drive.”   

“Ah,” Jungkook nods, hand fidgeting on the shiny plastic. “Sorry.”   

“Why are you apologizing?” Jin pouts, pulling his sleeves low over his hands. “I feel like shit for dragging you out this late.”   

“I want to help,” Jungkook assures him, eyes sharp on Jin's face. “I feel better helping.”   

Now is really not the time for butterflies, but the problem is that Jungkook looks like he actually means it, like he wants to be here, spending his Friday night driving Jin upstate to deal with a family crisis. "Shit. Okay. Uh. Head for the interstate, I guess."  

Jungkook silently nods, checking the mostly deserted street before pulling out onto the road.   

It's unnervingly quiet as they make their way through the maze of narrow streets. Jungkook's expensive car runs smooth and silent over the surface of the road, and Jungkook himself hasn’t uttered so much as one word since they started driving.    

“Aren't you going to ask what happened?” Jin inquires after a few minutes of all-encompassing silence.    

“Mom always said it was rude to ask people about family issues," Jungkook replies quietly. "She said if someone wants to talk about it, they'll bring it up." Jin exhales an amused little sniff, and Jungkook's large eyes briefly flash in his direction.  “Do you... want me to ask?” Jungkook prompts him.    

Jin settles back in his seat and checks his phone. “My dad showed up at my mom’s house when we wouldn’t take his calls. He won't leave until I come talk to him." 

Jungkook's hands tighten on the steering wheel with the low squeak of skin against plastic. “Is your mom okay?”    

“She said she's fine. Said he’s calm and rational,” Jin assures him, though worry roils like acid in his gut. “I don’t think he would be dumb enough to do anything that would put him back in prison. Even if she’s the one who sent him there.” There's a pause, and the tenseness in Jungkook's shoulders is telling.  "I assume you’ve Googled him by now.”   

Jungkook shifts uncomfortably in his seat. “Sorry,” he mumbles in a quiet admission of guilt.    

“It's fine,” Jin assures him, turning his head to gaze out the window where the streetlights and windows of faraway buildings flit by as bright little streaks in the night, but he can't suppress the embarrassment that prickles hot over his skin. “He was a fucking congressman. It's public record. Bribery, embezzlement, fraud, and domestic assault. Not to mention the sexual harassment cases they settled out of court. It was big news for a while."  

“How long has he been out of prison?” Jungkook asks, voice unnaturally bright and casual.  

“About a year.” Jin tells him as he stares determinedly outside at the dizzying blurs of light. “But I haven’t seen him since 2003. I stopped going to visit him in jail when he dragged my mom's name through the mud at the trial."

Jin pauses, looking over to see Jungkook chewing on his lip, showing obvious restraint. “It's a long drive. You know, if you want to talk about it.”   

Jin shrugs shortly, crossing his arms and wrapping them around his waist. “Nothing to talk about. The internet can probably tell you more about it than I could. I was 11 when shit went bad, I hardly got the whole picture."  

"You could just give me your picture," Jungkook tells him, chancing a sideways glance before turning back to the road. “That’s the only one I really care about."  

Jin is glad that his ensuing flush is obscured by the darkness as he hunches his back and leans his chin into the palm of his hand. "I have a feeling you'll get a pretty clear idea soon enough." 

The quiet relapses with resounding weight as Jungkook goes back to driving and Jin goes back to brooding. And time passes like that for a while, but it passes strangely, in inconsistent little bursts. One moment, he looks up at the dashboard clock, expecting half an hour to have passed, but it's only been five minutes. The next time he checks, it feels it's been only a minute, but Jungkook is already exiting the highway for Jin's particular little suburb. He startles slightly, heart kicking up as he realizes that he has much less time than he thought he did.  

Jungkook clears his throat a moment later. "Hey, just so I know what's off limits... Are you out to your parents?”    

"Mom's known since I was 17. I don't know if my father knows, but I could give a shit," Jin responds, straightening his spine and stretching out his shoulders.  "I’d rather them not know... about the sugar baby thing, though. If that’s okay.”   

“Of course,” Jungkook assures him as the car cruises through a modest suburban neighborhood.  There's a cold, metallic lump stirring up the bile in Jin's stomach as his surroundings become gradually more familiar.

“It's uh, that one up there. On the corner.”   

As they approach the little brick house, Jin sees a shadowy figure sitting on the bench swing in the front garden. The flare of a burning orange speck moving in the vague direction of a mouth tells him exactly who it is.    

“Do you want me to stay here?” Jungkook asks quietly as the car comes to a stop and Jin unbuckles his seat belt.    

Jin takes a deep breath, wishing desperately that it had sounded steadier than it did. “I might ask you to sit with my mom. If that's okay."  

Jungkook nods eagerly. “Whatever you need.”   

Jin's fingers ache as he flexes his hands which have apparently been balled into fists for much of the ride, and he opens the door to step into the chilly night.    

The scene looks much the same as it did when he was a teenager, complete with his mother smoking a cigarette quietly, legs drawn up beneath her on the wooden swing, the paint of which is now chipped and flaking. She’s seen their car pull up, of course, has turned to watch them approach as she pulls her thin, black cotton robe tighter around her.   

Despite the obvious stress lines in her face, she looks as elegant as ever, all willowy limbs and finely cut features. She still sits with that easy poise she developed back during their days in the public eye, back when she was expected to sit by his side, quiet and lovely, an adoring statue. She takes a long drag of her cigarette as they approach, flicking the ashes and smiling up tightly at them. The light from the front porch illuminates the side of her face, throwing into sharp relief the jagged vertical scar running through the outside of her eyebrow and down her cheekbone.   

“He’s inside.”   

Jin leans down to press a tender kiss to her forehead, and her smile relaxes a bit as she leans into it.    

“Are you okay?” he asks softly, straightening up.   

“Me? I’m fine, sweetie. I’m sorry I even called, but he said he wasn’t leaving until you came."

“Stop apologizing for him," Jin insists, forcing the corners of his mouth upwards in what he hopes is a gentle, fond smile. "Though you could have called the cops, you know. This isn’t his house.”   

She sighs, smoothing her hair with her free hand. “I don’t want that again. It’s easier this way.”   

Jin hears the grass crunch quietly behind him, and he whirls around, suddenly remembering that they're not alone. “Oh, uh. Mom, this is Jungkook.” Jin tells her, suddenly apprehensive for a different reason.   

“Hello, Jungkook,” she says kindly, but her eyes flick over to Jin curiously as she does.  

“It’s nice to meet you,” Jungkook’s greets her, unquestionably bashful as he steps forward.

“He drove me up,” Jin says by way of answering the unspoken question in her gaze. "From the city."  

“That was kind of you,” she tells Jungkook, and the corner of her mouth twitches up knowingly as her eyes dart back and forth between them. She takes another long drag of her cigarette.   

“It's nothing. Really,” Jungkook’s insists, folding his hands in front of his body, and Jin watches his mother appraise him with an amused twinkle in her eye. 

Jin clears his throat then, and his mother's eyes shift back to him. "Kook, would you... stay out here with her? While I go inside?"  

“You sure you’re okay going in alone?” Jungkook asks, the obvious concern lacing his voice.  

“Of course," he promises them with a taxing smile, and then without another word, he turns with pretended assurance to stroll into the house. 

It’s strange, being so wary and on-guard as he steps into his home, the home they made together long after he was gone. He had never been a part of this place. They'd fought to keep him out any trace of him, no pictures, no campaign signs, certainly no whiskey. And yet here he is, sitting at their kitchen table like it's his.   

“Hello son.”    

It's disconcerting how little his father has changed in 15 years, how similar he looks to the man that Jin remembers. Still short and well-groomed and broad, still dressed to the nines as he always was. Jin almost wonders how he manages to afford such luxuries post-prison, almost wonders what he's been up to. But then he remembers that he really doesn't fucking care.  

“You couldn’t take a hint?” Jin asks, pausing at the arching doorway to the kitchen, refusing to take another step forward.    

His father laughs a big booming laugh at that, slapping his hand against the table in utter amusement. “Look at you, grew up and got a backbone after all." He motions to the chair next to him.. "Come on, have a seat next to your dad."  

“I'll stand, thanks," He pauses, tapping his foot expectantly. This strange, jovial attitude is one he only ever saw from afar, the version of his father reserved for donors and higher-ranking politicians. To be on the receiving end of it for once unsettles him immensely, makes his skin crawl. "Well. You wanted to see me, and now you have. So can you please leave so my mother can come back inside her house?”   

“I never made her leave,” his father tells him, sobering up slightly. “She did that on her own.”   

“Can’t imagine why she wouldn’t to want to be alone in a house with you. Maybe something to do with the last time that happened.”   

The smile vanishes from his face, leaving no hint that it was ever there. “I'm hoping we can put the past behind us, Jin. I didn’t come here to talk about that."   

"Clearly. Or else you would have come back crawling on your knees. So why did you come here?” Jin asks with forced bravado, feeling much less brave than he sounds.    

“Why wouldn’t I want to see my son after so long? You stopped coming to visit."    

“I had better ways to spend my weekends than driving 3 hours upstate to have awkward conversations with my shitty dad in prison," Jin says boldly, his temper making the words come smooth. "You never cared about seeing me before. So why are you really here?"  

His father signs, folding his hands on the table. "I missed my family, Jin."   

Jin's scoff is vicious, and his legs positively tingle with anger-induced adrenaline. "Well your family didn't miss you. And I think you damn well know that." He pauses, chewing his lip as he eyes his father, unblinking. "How did you even know I was still in town?"   

“I got a call from an old friend of mine. He said he had seen you at a work function.”    

Jin's stomach twists painfully as he remembers the conversation at the bar with Jungkook's client. “Okay. And?”    

"And what? I just want to talk. I couldn’t believe it when Roland told me he’d seen you." 

'Look, can you get to the point?" Jin spits, shifting his weight impatiently.   

"There's no point, Jin, this is a conversation. Is that so hard to believe?"   

"Yes. So drop the bullshit and tell me why you called me up, out of the blue, when your friend told you he saw me at a work function."   

His father frowns, drumming his fingers on the table. "Well. Actually, I was thinking of pursing public office again, but it's been tough getting support because of-"  

"Your multiple felonies and violent disposition?" Jin provides helpfully.    

His father's jaw tightens perceptibly, the first sign of a crack in his weirdly pleasant demeanor.  "Yes," he mutters, the sound strangled. "So, I thought we may be able to help each other out."  

"There it is," Jin smiles wryly, strangely satisfied. His chest feels like it's splitting in two, the victory he feels for being right tugging in one direction and hopeless self pity puling in the other. Part of him, a tiny, pathetic little part that's been there since he was 11, was hoping that this was real. "You're here for something."  

And although the rest of his father's face appears apologetic and relaxed, his eyes are trained on Jin, unblinking and narrowed. "I just think that we have the potential to leave a family legacy, you in the private sphere and me in the public. I had no clue you were working in finance, so when I found out I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to work together, like I used to with Roland."  

Jin furrows his brow, arms crossed defensively across his chest. "And?" His father opens his mouth like maybe he's going to continue, but then he drops his gaze and shifts nervously. And it clicks. "Holy shit. You're here for a check." He can't contain the harsh, derisive laugh that rips from his throat.    

"Jin..."  

"You didn't give a shit about me until you thought that I could be useful to you. You really-" He laughs again in disbelief, but his throat tightens painfully, preventing him from continuing for a moment. "You really only came back to try and take even more from us."  

"Jin," his father says warningly. "I came here, because I thought that maybe we had more in common than I thought. That we might be able to help each other."  

"Well I'm happy to report that we still have absolutely nothing in common," Jin tells him, eyes welling traitorously. "So you can stop pretending to care."   

"What are you talking about? Just come sit down, and we can talk this out."   

"Get out."   

His father chews roughly on his lip, and it may have been a while, but Jin remembers the telltale signs of his rising temper.    

“I came here to try and be civil, Jin. You at least owe me that.”   

Jin stares at him with his mouth agape in utter disbelief, hands shaking in clenched fists at his sides. "You honestly think I owe you something? After everything you did to our family?" He steps forward into the kitchen only so that he can lean his hands on the table to get face-level with his father. "We don’t. Need you," he spits, and something in his chest roars victoriously when his father's face flinches, expression dangerously dark now. "And we certainly don't fucking want you. So why don’t you get out of our goddamn house and go crawling back to Wall Street to beg for change on your hands and knees like you fucking deserve." 

His father stands up with such force that the chair tips back and clatters hard against the kitchen tile, spinning around and slamming into the wall as the sound reverberates throughout the house. He takes a few menacing steps forward, and suddenly Jin is nine again, cowering backstage at a campaign rally as his father berates him ruthlessly for not smiling enough on state.   

“You cannot talk to me like that,” he says through gritted teeth, snarling face inches from Jin's. "I'm still your father."  

"Bullshit you are," Jin hisses as the thing in his chest explodes in anger.  

The front door bursts open, slamming against the wall as heavy footsteps approach. An out-of-breath Jungkook appears behind him moments later. "Is everything okay? We heard crashing.”   

His father immediately relaxes his posture, expression fading quickly to one much milder.   

“Everything’s fine, I tripped over a chair,” his dad assures Jungkook with a tight, unconvincing smile as he motions to the overturned chair. His eyes appraise Jungkook carefully, and his smile shifts into something much more natural and much more predatory. “Jin, who's this?"  

"Nobody," Jin replies venomously, refusing to remove his gaze from his father.  

"Hold on," his father demands, and Jin can see the wheels in his mind turning as he looks at Jungkook. He also sees the moment it clicks, and heart sinks rapidly. "Jeon Jungkook."  

The name sits heavily atop the thick silence of the room as they stand there, Jungkook shooting Jin an anxious look.  

"Yes," Jungkook reluctantly replies, immediately guarded.   

"Well. What a pleasure.”   

“I'm sorry, have we met?” Jungkook asks, not sounding particularly sorry.   

“Oh no, no, not at all." His father sounds downright pleased now, and the anger simmers hot in Jin's gut. "You're just well-known among men who know things. Some of my old colleagues have probably come to you for campaign donations." His eyes dart between the two of them. "What are you doing here with my son?”    

“I... drove him up from the city," Jungkook replies vaguely, shooting Jin a nervous look.   

His father’s eyes continue to flit back and forth, perhaps catching the glance they share, and then he laughs heartily as a look of satisfied understanding relaxes across his face.   

“So that’s how it is." His father's expression melts into one of smug judgement, and this is the man that Jin remembers. "Well that explains how my son ended up at the same function as Roland Hill. You don’t work in the industry. You just found yourself a meal ticket who does."  

“I’m his boyfriend,” Jungkook says evenly, and Jin’s chest twists in pleasant terror.  "Not his meal ticket."   

“Okay,” his father chuckles derisively, like he doesn’t believe a word of it. “So much for that backbone, huh?"  

"Shut. Up," Jin seethes, but his father has tasted blood in the water, swaggering towards them with his hands in his pockets.   

"You know," he addresses Jungkook, "I guess it makes sense that the only way he could get to the top was on his knees in front of someone powerful." He turns to Jin, then, eyes triumphant. " I guess you’re even more like your mom than I thought.”   

Jin snaps and lurches forward to shove his father hard in the chest, his anger finally bursting forth as he feels strong hands pulling his arms behind him and securing them in an iron grip. His father stumbles backwards a few feet, his shoulder colliding hard with the pantry door. His eyes snap up to Jin's face, wild now, and after he catches his breath, he straightens his suit jacket huffily.    

“Don't you say ONE fucking word about her," Jin rages, struggling against Jungkook's grip. The tingling rush in his veins screams fight. "Not ONE fucking word! Get OUT!"   

"I don't have to do-“  

"You need to go," Jungkook says, deadly quiet, but the implied threat looms large in the small kitchen.    

"And what are you going to do about it?" his father sneers nastily, and Jungkook's fingers twitch around Jin's arms.  

"If you're still here in 60 seconds, I'm calling the police," Jungkook tells him, voice steady despite the great effort that he's expending to restrain Jin. "You're trespassing. Which is a bad idea considering you're probably still on probation, 

His father chuckles. "Send me back to prison and I'll take him with me. He assaulted me, I'll press charges." 

"Even if you had any real grounds for it, I'd get him a better lawyer than you could ever fucking dream," Jungkook responds, voice dark as his grip slackens around Jin's arms. Jin jerks himself away but does not make any moves otherwise. "Leave."   

For a moment, his father looks like he might refuse, his face a blotchy red as he clenches his fists, but when Jungkook pointedly takes a look at his watch to check the time, he deflates slightly.   

"This isn't how I wanted this to go, Seokjin," his father breathes, disappointment lining his face as he makes his way to the door.  Jungkook tugs Jin back to let him pass.    

"No shit," Jin spits, taking another aggressive step forward as Jungkook firms grips the back of his shirt and pulls him back again.   

His father disappears into the front hall, and a second later, the opening and slamming of a door echo through the house. The silence settles in a thick, heavy layer over the kitchen interrupted only by Jin's ragged breaths and the tick of the clock on the wall.   

"Can you... make sure he doesn't bother mom?" Jin asks, blankly staring at the empty space he last saw his father's back, eyes unfocused.   

Jungkook strides out of the kitchen towards the front of the house, and Jin waits with bated breath as Jungkook presumably peeks out the front window to check.    

"I think it's fine," Jungkook's voice echoes from the other room, "He walked right past her and got in his car. He's driving away now."  

"Okay," Jin nods, still staring at the same empty space, absolutely unable to bring his eyes back into focus until he hears the front door swing open and suddenly the space is no longer empty.   

His mother strides in, clutching around her a suit jacket far too expensive for her budget and far too large for her frame, and Jin instantly recognizes it as Jungkook's. In just a few steps, she's close enough to wrap her arms around Jin, hugging him tight as he resists the urge to unravel. Because something about this reminds him of another time she'd hugged him tight, when her arms had been a bit weaker around him and the smell of iron had tinged her fresh floral scent. 

"Are you okay?" she asks a she pulls back to inspect his face and body for any signs of harm. "We heard something crashing, and we were worried-"  

"He just kicked a chair over," Jin interrupts her in what he hopes is a reassuring tone. "I'm fine. He calmed down when Jungkook came in.” 

"That’s a shame. I almost hoped I would need to put those shooting lessons to use,” says darkly, pulling away and making her way towards one of the kitchen cabinets. She opens it and pulls out a bottle of gin. "What did he want?" 

"A campaign donor," Jin says as he plops into a seat around the kitchen table.   

"A what? Why?" his mother demands, pouring gin into three glass tumblers and screwing the cap back on.   

"One of Jungkook's clients saw me at a work function," Jin tells her, gratefully accepting the glass of clear liquid that his mother hands him and pointedly ignoring Jungkook's searching gaze. "So he assumed that I was the filthy rich wunderkind and that I might have been of use to him for the first time in in my life." 

"Oh, sweetheart. Don't be so hard on yourself, you've been plenty useful to him," his mother assures him with a teasing smile and a gentle squeeze to the shoulder. "He used to rave about what an excellent little tax break you were."  

Jin exhales a weak laugh, turning his head to press a quick kiss to his mother's hand where it lingers on his shoulder. This is how they cope, with bleak humor. 

Jungkook mutters his thanks to Jin's mom when she wordlessly hands him a glass. He doesn't take a sip, just fidgets with the brim of the glass instead. "I'm really sorry, Jin," he apologizes quietly. "If it wasn't for me, he never even would have known you were-”  

"You know, you both need to stop apologizing for him," Jin interrupts him, staring hard at the table as he does. "The only person who ever needs to apologize for this situation is the one who never will." Jin drains the glass in one long gulp, relishing the way that it burns and prickles at his throat on the way down. "Do you want me to stay tonight, mom? I can send Jungkook back now and find a different way back tomorrow."  

"I'd prefer it if neither of you went back this late," she tells them, taking a small sip of gin, gesturing at the clock with her pointer finger as she does. The short hand dips down just below the two. "I can make up your old bed for you both if you'd like."  

"I'm sure Jungkook needs to get back," Jin says, waving off her suggestion.  

"No, it's fine," Jungkook assures him, tugging his phone out of his back pocket. "I can stay."  Jin watches his fingers fly on his phone, and he feels his own face heat up with affection or embarrassment or something as he considers how many meetings Jungkook is currently in the process of rescheduling. 

"Are you sure?"  

Jungkook drags his eyes away from his screen, mouth parted very slightly over his large front teeth as he looks at Jin. "Of course," he responds immediately, like it isn't even a question.   

His mother smiles and drains her glass, setting it in the sink and shuffling over to give Jin a kiss on the crown of his head. "You two sit tight. I'll go grab some sheets."  

When she's gone, she takes the conversation with her, leaving the air in the room empty, stretched thin. They sit in relative silence, listening to the rustling and bumping sounds as she readies the room for them. At one point, Jungkook slides his untouched glass across the table to Jin, who accepts it with a grateful nod and throws it back not a moment later. He inhales deeply, letting his head loll back as he feels the alcohol percolate through his veins, settling heavy in his limbs. When he feels Jungkook's inquiring eyes lingering on him, he buries his face in his glass, bringing it reflexively to his lips before he realizes that it's already empty.  

He's startled by his mother's voice from the doorway as she peeks her head into the room. "It's all ready, and there are some new toothbrushes in the bathroom. Jin, I think you have some old t-shirts and things in your top drawer if you want to change."  

"Thanks, mom," Jin says with a forced smile that seems to sap the energy from his very bones.   

"Yes, thank you, Ms. Kim," Jungkook echoes, his stilted manners echoing those of a child spending the night at a friend's house. 

His mom just nods kindly and walks forward to press another kiss to Jin's head. "I love you, you know," she says quietly, and of course he knows. She tells him twice as often as she needs to, like a constant apology. 

"Love you more," Jin replies, reaching out to squeeze her hand. "Good night." 

"Sleep well, you two," she tells them, and a small, knowing smile tugs at the corner of her mouth as she backs out of the room. 

 Jin waits until she has disappeared around the corner before he gets to his feet, picking up their glasses and carrying them over the sink. "Come on."  

He leads Jungkook down the hall to the basement door, ducking his head under the low ceiling as they descend the stairs.   

"Your room is in the basement? Why? It looked like there were plenty of rooms up there," Jungkook observes from behind him, a mild, teasing amusement evident in his voice.  

“Basements are cool,” Jin retorts ducking his head as the ceiling starts to slope low.  

“Okay, so were you a stoner growing your own stuff, or did you just need a place to put your freezer for human body storage?” 

"Shut up," Jin snaps, though it lacks venom. In truth, he craves the light banter, an he wonders if Jungkook has realized it's his preferred method of deflection, the surest way to get him talking. "I went through a brief emo phase around the time I started refusing to go to visitations with my dad upstate. This was my den."  

"Your what?" Jungkook asks, just as they come into view of the downstairs area. Jin glances back just in time to watch the look of understanding pass over his face.   

"My den."  

Jungkook's mouth falls open with a small pop as his eyes adjust to the surrounding darkness. "It looks like a Hot Topic busted the ultimate nut in here.” 

Posters with dark figures litter the walls, the only light in the room emanating from the string lights hung overhead with sporadically working bulbs, as well as the red-bulbed lamp on the bedside table.   

"I don't get it," Jungkook marvels, mouth still hanging open as he takes in the entire room. "Your apartment is so bright and cheerful. Not even one studded belt. Not even one Warped Tour poster." He looks utterly delighted, and Jin can't tell if he's playing it up for his sake or not. "Jin, did you have an emo swoop? Did you wear ladies jeans? Fuck, Jin, Jin, did you take gross selfies with you emo girlfriend who also later turned out to be gay?"  

Jin huffs a short laugh and points up to a photograph of two figures, one a very young Jin, and the other a young girl with heavy eye makeup and bright pink streaks in her hair.   

"Oh... my..." Jungkook starts, leaning forward to get a proper look at the photograph.   

"Jia. She's married and living in New Jersey now with her lovely wife." 

"Your hair was so poofy," Jungkook notes with wonder. "Wait, did you have an eyebrow piercing?"  

"My mom despised it," Jin confirms with a nostalgic smile. He remembers being so mad at the time, but now it's just kind of funny. "You can still see the scar a little bit here." He points up at his right eyebrow, and he's almost forgotten that he's two drinks deep until Jungkook is leaning forward and breaching the imaginary barrier of socially acceptable distance between humans. Jungkook's face is so close, and there's that stupid heady smell of his again, wafting into Jin's own personal air supply, and he doesn't realize he's leaning back until the world is tilting upwards and there are strong hands digging almost painfully into his upper arms.   

"Whoa, you okay?" Jungkook asks, pulling him upright. He doesn't release his grip on Jin's arms, and the proximity is almost as bad as before.  

"Yeah, sorry. Just. Tired," he lies, but when Jungkook quirks a disbelieving eyebrow, he adds, "And maybe the gin just kicked in a little."  

Jungkook nods and unfurls his fingers from around Jin's biceps. The skin there feels almost cold without the heat of Jungkook's hands.   

They get ready for bed in silence, brushing their teeth with cheap, brand new tooth brushes. Jin tosses him an old concert t-shirt from his drawer, one black and ratty and soft from wear. He drops his gaze quickly to the floor as Jungkook starts unbuttoning his work shirt beside the bed, and he can't help but wonder what 15-year-old Jin would think if he could have seen this beautiful gay man undressing himself in his poster-papered den.  

"Um..."  

When he looks back up, Jungkook is wearing just a pair of tight, black boxer briefs, pattered with a luxury logo, and a shirt that is far too small. It hugs his pecs and biceps in an almost strangle-like hold, the hem of the shirt hovering several inches above his hipbones and exposing his smooth midriff. Three pale, distorted fabric faces stretch tightly across his chest.   

Jin would burst out laughing if the arousal curling in his gut was not currently smothering any hint of humor in the situation.   

"I think I got one of your girlfriend's old shirts," Jungkook observes, looking down at his own body with a small frown.  

"It was mine," Jin's voice cracks, and he clears his throat. "I uh. I wore my clothes tight back then. Not to mention I was kind of a late bloomer in the shoulders department." 

Jungkook nods, trying to cross his arms self-consciously in front of his body, but the shirt severely limits his range of motion. "I think I'm going to tear it if I move my arms." 

That 15-year-old emo twink inside of Jin swallows the subsequent wave of arousal he feels as he imagines Jungkook hulk-busting out of one of his shirts. "We can just... go without," he suggests lightly. They've done shirtless before, he convinces himself. Not in the same bed, but what does that matter? The potential for a little skin on skin? No big deal.   

"Okay," Jungkook shrugs, before pulling the shirt over his head, struggling a bit to slide the fabric back over his biceps. He gets it about halfway up his chest before he stops, arms trapped above his head. "Um. I'm stuck."  

Jin snorts a quiet laugh and makes his way over to Jungkook. "Arms straight up."  

Jungkook complies, and Jin grabs the fabric, slowly peeling it over Jungkook's muscled chest, then shoulders, then arms. His head pops out, hair ruffled and face flushed from the effort, or maybe from the proximity, because neither of them have taken a step back. It would be the polite thing to do, Jin thinks. But the second drink seems to have finally kicked in, because Jin feels no shame in letting his eyes linger on Jungkook's torso. When his gaze finally finds its way back to Jungkook's face, he meets his eyes, squinted and curious and dark. There's no self-consciousness in Jungkook's stance now as he runs a hand through his hair curiously, gauging Jin's reaction as his muscles flex taut.  

Jin steps back only to grab the bottom of his own shirt and pull it over his head. He knows he's not as defined as Jungkook, but he's always liked the build of his body, the way his skin stretches smoothly across his broad chest and shoulders and the way his waist nips in trimly above his hips. He drapes his own shirt over an old swivel chair, disappointed when Jungkook just turns away red-faced and reaches down to fling back the comforter.  

“Do you sleep on the right side or the left side?” Jungkook asks him, adjusting the elastic band on his underwear. Jin sees just the smallest peek of forbidden skin. 

“Right."

“Oh. Me too.”  

“Wanna rock paper scissors for it?” Jin asks lightly, going to kneel on the bed. 

“Nah, you can have it,” Jungkook’s concedes, making his way to the left side of the bed instead. “Cuz like. Old or something.” 

“That was weak,” Jin observes, collapsing gracelessly into bed, and his exhaustion hits him all at once as he groans lightly into the clean linen of his pillow. Then there’s the dull click of the light switch as his vision goes dark, and moments later the bed dips lightly beside him.  

It's only then, when it's silent and dark and still, that he feels the weight of the night creep back onto his chest, sinking its claws deep into his lungs. He swallows thickly as he positions himself onto his side, facing Jungkook, whose silhouette is illuminated only by the glow of a greenish nightlight plugged into his wall. There's a glint in the darkness where Jin supposes his eyes must be, and based on the position, it's clear that he's looking right at Jin.   

"Hey. Stupid question," Jungkook breaches the darkness moments later. "Are you okay?" 

"I will see your stupid question and I will raise you a stupid answer," Jin responds in what he hopes is a playful tone. "I'm fine." Even as he says it, his chest squeezes traitorously, throat tight. Under the guise of getting comfortable, he wiggles slightly closer to Jungkook. He curls up into a small ball on his side, tucking his hands up under his chin  

"Okay," Jungkook says quietly. He shifts slightly in the bed, and the tops of his thighs press up against Jin's shin where his legs are curled against his body, caging him in a safe, reassuring way. Jin finds himself relaxing into the touch, wiggling himself even closer, pretense forgone. He ends up with his tucked hands pressed to Jungkook's chest and the crown of his head tucked under Jungkook's chin. The usual chill of the basement is tempered by the alcohol in his veins and the warm body pressed up against his.   

He's slightly less mortified than he had thought he would be at the end of all of this, but he can't help but wonder how all of this must look to Jungkook, this night, his family. It's hard to say, because he’s been so careful about not overstepping. Sure, he knows Jin's dad's rap sheet, and he know that he's an asshole, but everybody knows that. And Jungkook isn't everybody. Jungkook had lied to his dad for him unprompted, had defended him, had physically interfered when things went bad. If it wasn't for Jungkook, this night could have been a whole lot worse. 

There are a few moments of silence during which clearly neither of them are asleep, and Jin keeps psyching himself up to say something, to at least try and explain. Finally he manages to swallow down the lump of fear and embarrassment that has lodged itself in his throat, and he breathes a deep, bracing breath.  

“She embarrassed him at a campaign event,” Jin mumbles into his hands.   

“Huh?” Jungkook murmurs in mild, sleepy confusion, chest contracting slightly when he makes the sound. 

"The scar on her face," he clarifies, feeling Jungkook's breathing still beneath his hands now. "She made a harmless joke about his golf form to some potential donors at a campaign fundraiser, and when they got home, he was drunk and mad and he threw his glass tumbler of whiskey at her head.”   

“He... what?” Jungkook asks weakly, raising his head slightly from the pillow to get a better look at Jin, who just tucks his face more securely into Jungkook's chest.   

“It sounds stupid to say with something that awful, but medically it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Just a concussion and a lot of blood mostly. But the cuts weren’t clean, so they scarred pretty bad.” 

"That was the domestic assault charge?" Jungkook inquires as he settles his head back down, but Jin can still feel his heartbeat thundering away beneath his hands.  

"Yeah," Jin confirms. "He'd never hurt her like that before, but honestly it was just a matter of time with him. You saw his temper. We were terrified of him a long time before that. He had treated her like shit for years, he lied, he manipulated her, controlled her, cheated on her, and people just told her to suck it up and work on her marriage. When he did that though, she knew we needed to get out of that house.” 

"So she left him?"   

"Yeah. After he did it, he stormed out drunk, so she cleaned herself up the best she could, called her sister to pick us up, grabbed me, and left."  

"She didn't call 911?" Jungkook asks softly into the crown of Jin's head, and suddenly there's warm hand on his waist, pressing reassuring strokes into the bare skin there. Jin suppresses a shiver.   

"I think she was just trying not to panic me. But I was 11, like, I was old enough to call bullshit on the cover story of a midnight adventure to visit my aunt. And her face... she couldn't hide that. " He pauses, swallowing a lump in his throat as he remembers her soft white sweater, peeking out from under a large parka obviously meant to obscure the obvious crimson stain beneath. "Anyway, she went straight to the police station to report him and drop off all the documents she had grabbed from their safe. I think they were already investigating him, but she brought them evidence of corruption, bribery, fraud, all kinds of shit. She just... walked in with her face busted to hell, soaked in blood, and told them what he'd done. Gave them all the proof they needed to convict him. I think they sent her straight to the hospital after that.” 

Jungkook's other hand snakes under Jin's waist, and he pulls him close, curled in a little ball against Jungkook's torso as he squeezes him tight. "That's kind of fuckin' badass." 

Jin nods, feeling a tear prickle at the edge of his eye. "Yeah. I didn’t realize it then, though. I was just mad for staying with him as long as she did. I mean, he made her drop out of law school to focus on campaigns, forced her on shitty diets before photoshoots, cut her off from her family, even kept her from seeing me as punishment sometimes. And I was just so mad at her for doing nothing about it, like, I felt like I was watching her shrink away to nothing. But she loved him so much." He knows he’s working himself up now, but it feels so good to finally say it out loud. "She loved him so much that even after everything he did to her over the years, it took 19 stitches to get her to leave. My mom. The smartest, strongest person I know. 19 fucking stitches. That’s terrifying, I never want to-“   

His throat finally becomes too tight to talk, exhaling a wet sob through his nose. He tries to pull away from Jungkook to spare him the mess of snot and tears, but Jungkook just holds him there firmly, hands locking behind his back, around his waist. Jin's too exhausted to hold back his tears anymore and too uninhibited by alcohol to care.  

When he regains control, Jin purses his lips, sniffing hard as a warm tear rolls down his nose. "I never want to let anyone to have that kind of power over me." Jungkook nods slowly as Jin reaches up to wipe at his nose and burrow deeper into his chest. Gradually, enveloped completely in Jungkook's warmth, calmed by his deep, steady breathing, Jin's own breathing evens out as his body and mind start to relax again. “Now’s the part where Namjoon tells me not to let one bad experience color my entire view on relationships and Jimin tells me to give love a chance or I’ll die miserable and alone,” Jin informs him primly. “So go ahead.” 

Jungkook just shrugs. “My aunt never dated or got married, and she’s the happiest person I know, has a ton of other things going for her. It doesn’t have to be something you want.” 

Jin purses his lips, biting the inside of his cheek. “I do want it, though.” And he makes the fatal mistake of looking up at Jungkook as he says it. In the limited light, he catches the glint of Jungkook’s eyes on his face, sees the dark shadow of his brow. 

“Then you’ll find someone who will be good to you,” Jungkook utters into the small space between them, and Jin presses unconsciously closer. "You just have to let them." 

The heartbeat beneath Jin's palms kicks up a notch as he says it, and Jin feels his own heart respond in a similar fashion. Jungkook's breaths come slightly harder, minty and warm against Jin's face. It's probably not right, even thinking about wanting this after the night he's had, but Jungkook's hands are very warm and strong where they're splayed on his waist, his thigh very solid against the skin of his shin.  

“What if they fuck me over?” Jin asks evenly, feeling the now-cold tears cling to his eyelashes.  

"What if they don’t?” Jungkook counters, heartbeat thrumming away now under Jin's hands. Jin wonders if Jungkook can feel his heartbeat, too. “Look, the whole time I’ve know you, you’ve been taking assholes down a peg left and right when they step out of line. Lee. The guys at work. Your dad. If I had to bet on anyone to recognize a bad situation and get themselves out, it’d be you.” Jin's stomach gives a pleasant little flip at that, and he allows himself few moments to stare at the fine, dimly lit features of Jungkook's face. But Junkook seems to take his lack of response as something else. "Fuck, I dunno, Jin. I'm sorry, I'm way out of my depth. I really don't know the right answer here."

As he says it, Jin feels the moment start to unravel. Jungkook goes to unwind his arms from around his waist, and Jin's heart gives a panicked jolt, his hands flying down to secure Jungkook's hands just where they are.  

"No, you don't have to-" Jin starts to say, sniffing lightly as he contemplates his next words. "We could ..." He breaks off, dropping his gaze to Jungkook's lips, where are just a shade of a shadow deeper than the rest of his face in the darkness.   

Jin uncurls his body so that he can slot one of his legs in between Jungkook's, then he buries it in the crook of Jungkook's neck, listening as Jungkook exhales a soft, melodic breath at the contact.   

"Jin, what..." he starts cautiously, body tense where Jin touches him. "What do you want me to do?"  

And Jin knows that it's not right or fair what he wants, but he also just wants so badly, every molecule in his body feels like it's reaching for Jungkook.   

"Just..." he trails off, pushing his body forward so that his cock drags against Jungkook's thigh. Jungkook inhales sharply, and the hands lingering on Jin's waist squeezes tight.   

"Fuck. Wait," Jungkook says softly, his voice higher than usual.   

"Why?" Jin, pouts into the skin of his neck, lips brushing up against the pulse point there. Jungkook's hand twitches on his waist.  

"I really don't want you to regret anything.”  

"I wouldn’t. I know what I'm doing, I'm not drunk," Jin maintains, rolling his hips forward against Jungkook's thigh and sighing into his neck. "Just barely tipsy and a little sad."  

"That's doesn't sound any better."

Jin nips gently at Jungkook's neck, enjoying the subsequent hiss he feels against his hair. "Please, I just want to…” Jin mumbles vaguely into the warm, damp skin, tugging gently but purposefully on Jungkook’s hair to expose more of his neck. "Just for tonight."  

Jungkook exhales a shaky laugh. "Yeah. That's the problem."  

Jin pulls back then, breaking the surface as the cool air comes crashing back down on him. "Oh." There are a litany of emotions and thoughts and arguments swirling turbulently over Jungkook's tense face.   

"Would it make you feel better?"  

"Kook, you don't have to-" Jin starts, but then the air whooshes from his lungs as he's rolled smoothly onto his back with Jungkook pressing down on top of him. He's half-hard.  

"Would it?"  

Jin doesn't say anything, because the answer is yes. He wants so badly to be close to someone right now, wants to feel wanted, wants to fuck until he forgets what he's sad about. But yes is not an option when Jungkook is tentatively extending one gentle hand towards Jin's face, the movement stuttered momentarily as he seems to reconsider. Not when Jungkook steels himself and reaches out to tenderly cup Jin's cheek, his thumb swiping at the remnants of his tears.   

Whatever Jungkook sees in his face seems to be answer enough, though, because he gives Jin one tiny, brief nod before leaning down and pressing their lips together.   

Jin thinks, momentarily, about pulling away, about telling Jungkook he's right, about rolling over and pretending to be asleep until he finally is. But then Jungkook's warm lips part against his, and he spreads Jin's legs, positioning his body in between them so that his cock drags up the full length of Jin's, and Jin is gone.   

He groans into Jungkook's mouth, bucking upwards as he chases more contact. Jungkook's hands find his hips, and Jin's afraid that he's going to push him down, tell him to go slow. But instead Jungkook indulges him, tugs him up to help him find that gratifying pressure and friction.

"What do you want?" Jungkook asks against his lips as his fingernails dig into the flesh of his outer thighs.   

"Whatever... Whatever you..." Jin pants out, "I can suck you off."  

Jungkook's hips jerk forward then, which Jin takes as affirmation, but Jungkook's grip tightens on his hips to hold him in place. "Can we just..." He lifts one hand to run his fingers through Jin's hair, noses brushing as he rolls his hips down, the head of his clothed cock catching on the underside of Jin's.   

"Ah-" Jin moans, throwing his head to the side, and Jungkook's mouth finds the exposed skin of his neck instantly, pressing soft, ticklish kisses to every inch he can find and making Jin arch against him. "Yes, please."  

It's oddly fitting that Jin finds himself in this position, partially clothed and desperately rutting against Jungkook in his teenage bedroom, especially since this was the only kind of action that this bed ever saw. But somehow, it's exactly what he needs, Jungkook so warm and solid above him as he drags their bodies together.  

Jungkook leaves a wet trail of open-mouthed kisses up his neck before finding Jin's lips again. He catches him mid-gasp, sliding their lips together as he licks hotly into his mouth, angling his head so that he can kiss Jin deeper. And maybe he's imagining it, but Jin feels a sort of determination in his kisses, like somehow this is all for Jin. Like if Jungkook tries hard enough, maybe he can kiss away any lingering badness from this shitty night. It gives him pause. 

“Hey, are you sure you want-” Jin starts, but Jungkook silences him with a rough kiss, with a slow purposeful drag of his firm cock against Jin's.  

“Yes, I fucking I want,” Jungkook mumbles when he pulls back long enough to form words. He voice glints steel, and his eyes catch the barely-there light, flashing in the darkness.  

Jin twitches against him, grasping blindly at the elastic waistband of Jungkook's underwear, tugging at them desperately as they catch on Jungkook's hard cock, and Jungkook maneuvers his way out of them helpfully, shimmying them down his legs before finding Jin's lips again. Jin grunts in dissatisfaction that he finds himself still partially clothed, shoving down his own boxers, and his cock twitches when his bare length finally drags against Jungkook's, leaving a wet trail of precum.   

Jungkook's hips stutter against him, mouth falling open in a quiet moan. He pulls back just far enough to look at Jin's face, his own brow furrowed as he does. A few strands of hair cling to his forehead with sweat, and his eyes search Jin's face even as his hips roll forward once more, cocks sliding messily together.   

It's good, really very good, but it's just on the wrong side of not enough. Jin wiggles beneath Jungkook who seems to mistake the movement for sloppy, frenzied thrashing and holds Jin's hips down hard.   

"No, can I... on top?" Jin manages, watching Jungkook's eyes widen slightly as he nods.   

In one swift motion, Jin is whisked off his back and planted astride Jungkook's hips, which jerk up as his cock slides under the soft skin of Jin's balls. Jungkook's hands remain planted on his sides, dragging him forward, and Jin leans forward into the motion to plant his forearms on either side of Jungkook's head. He rests his forehead against Jungkook's as he ruts forward, and a few long moments with an increased pace have them getting kind of sloppy, some of their thrusts meeting hip or stomach instead of sliding home.   

Jin reaches down to align their cocks, to press them together in the grip of his right hand, where his thumb slides up against his own length as his fingers wrap about halfway around Jungkook's. He feels Jungkook shudder under his touch, breathing harsh and labored beneath him. The faint, eerie green light catches the surface of his face and body in the most astounding way, making him appear almost artificially flawless.

Precum leaks freely from Jungkook’s slit, and Jin actually marvels at just how wet he is, how it’s actually making the slide easier. It's still a bit dry, and Jin thinks he might have some decade-old lube around here somewhere, but that doesn't seem like a risk particularly worth taking, not that Jin would want to stop long enough to find it. He's not sure he'd stop for much of anything, too caught up in the way that Jungkook bites down on his lip when Jin swipes his thumb over his slit, the way the muscles on his torso tense when his hips buck up into Jin's touch, the low, soft sounds he makes as he carefully, almost cautiously, watches Jin above him.   

Jin picks up his pace, but he struggles to maintain a steady rhythm while properly grasping both of them. Jungkook seems to sense his struggle, pushing Jin back upright before pulling himself into a seated position beneath him, Jin's legs wrapped around his waist. Jungkook lays a hand on top of Jin's to slow his movements, and when Jin reluctantly relents, Jungkook takes the opportunity to wrap his hand around him entirely.  

Jin's hands fall back to brace himself on Jungkook's lower thighs which flex beneath him as Jin fucks up into his hand. Jin knows he's not going to last long like this, not now that he’s being touched properly, not with the way Jungkook is looking at him.  

"Fuck, I'm close," Jin mutters, hips thrusting up to meet the movement of Jungkook's hand, chasing the pleasure that builds in his gut, twisting tight like a hot coil. Jungkook tugs him forward again so that they're face to face as he continues to jerk him off, then he leans forward to press a gentle kiss to his lips, unsuitably tender for the situation. When he pulls back, there's something in his expression that resonates, something unspeakably soft and absolutely forbidden. And Jin's hips buck up one last time before the coil snaps, his body tensing taut as he cums hard over Jungkook's hand, his cock, his stomach. Jungkook's hand continues to jerk him through it, as the tingling heat floods his body and makes him weightless.  

As Jungkook's hand slows and eventually stops, Jin sags forward into the warm body beneath him, cock still weakly twitching through the aftershocks. It’s a few seconds before he starts to return to minimum functionality, but once he does, he clumsily reaches down and runs one open palm up and over the head of Jungkook's cock, spreading his own cum over the length of it. Jin watches the muscles in his torso tense as Jin works his cock, the slide ludicrously easy now. He watches Jungkook's gaze flick down to his Jin’s hand then back up to his face.  

"Kook," Jin murmurs brokenly, head resting on his shoulder and face tilted up towards his. And it's almost instant, Jungkook's hips snapping forward as he cums with a strangled moan, panting into Jin's shoulder. Jin strokes him through it, fascinated by the way his face screws up in pleasure, small bow-shaped lips parted and eyebrows drawn upwards.  

It's easy enough to stay like that for a few moments, resting their heads on each other's shoulders as they breathe harshly together, Jungkook occasionally twitching beneath him. Eventually Jin gathers the strength to straighten up, the backs of his thighs slipping against Jungkook's skin, and with a sigh, Jungkook follows suit. He looks so soft like this, so vulnerable, and Jin quashes the ugly guilt threatening to sprout in his chest.  

"Fuck," Jungkook says simply, chest heaving and shining lightly with sweat. 

"Yeah," Jin agrees vaguely, swiping his thumb lightly over Jungkook's lower lip. Jungkook's eyebrows furrow, eyes scanning Jin's face cautiously.   

"Can I kiss you?" Jungkook asks softly, and the uncertainty in his voice tugs at Jin's heart. It seems almost ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that Jin's cum is currently cooling on Jungkook's stomach, that he would feel the need to ask.  

Jin just leans forward, carding his fingers through Jungkook's hair as he tilts his head and leans forward to meet Jungkook's lips in a gentle kiss. Jungkook sighs into it, parting his lips around Jin's plush bottom lip. His hands find Jin's thighs again, squeezing the muscle and dragging his blunt nails down the skin there, and Jin knows that if he lets this go on, they might work their way back up to Round 2.   

So he reluctantly pulls away. But as he does, he's able to see Jungkook's eyes remain closed just a moment too long, lips swollen and parted. His eyes flutter open, gaze settling on Jin's face with what feels like a tangible weight.  

"God, I love kissing you," he mutters, and the sincerity in his voice as he says it makes it sound like he’s talking about something more than kissing. 

"We should shower," Jin laughs stiffly, looking down at the utter mess they've made. He reaches over to grab the concert tee that Jungkook had discarded and uses to it wipe up the majority of their cum, which coats much of their laps, thighs, and stomachs.  

They shower quickly and separately in the adjoining basement bathroom, and when Jungkook walks out in his boxer-briefs, toweling his hair dry, Jin pretends that he's already asleep, curled up into one corner of the bed, as close to the edge as possible. He's starting to feel small and sad again, wanting badly to be held. But he already feels guilty for how much he's asked of Jungkook tonight. 

The lights click off again, and he feels the weight settling on the bed next to him for the second time that night. There are a few minutes of silence, but then there's a quiet rustling, and he feels warm arms wrap around his waist, tugging him back into a broad chest. Jungkook molds around his body, nuzzling Jin's hair with his nose.   

"It's still tonight until we wake up, okay?" Jungkook mumbles into his hair. Jin feels a pair of soft lips press a kiss to the base of his neck, and he nods.  

As tired as he is, as completely as this night has drained him, an obnoxious, errant fear continues to tug him gently back from the edge of sleep. It's a two-sided fear, inherently contradictory. He's scared of getting what he wants, and he's scared of not getting it. It's a messy, tangled line of thinking that he tucks away in a little box in the back of his mind, one that he'll open again tomorrow.   

"Jungkook?" Jin says softly into the darkness.   

There's an extra beat of silence that tells him that Jungkook might have been asleep, or close. "Yeah?"  

Jin swallows hard, twisting his body so that they're face to face, legs tangling together under the sheets.   

I'm sorry is on the edge of his lips, but he knows that's not what Jungkook wants to hear when they're still pretending. So he leans forward and finds Jungkook's lips, presses a soft, lingering kiss there as Jungkook sleepily kisses him back. He pulls away after only a moment, but he doesn't go far, resting his forehead against Jungkook's.   

"Nothing. I just really love kissing you, too."  

  

Chapter Text

"Rise and shine, Dashboard Confessional.” 

Jin squints in pain, groaning and rolling onto his stomach to pull a pillow over the back of his head as the overhead light switches mercilessly on. Moments later, his entire body is being smushed by a very warm, very solid object.  

"I've been up for ages," the object tells him brightly as it shifts slightly on top of him. "Already went for a run, made breakfast for your mom, had a Skype meeting with a foreign investor, and googled popular emo bands so that I could be an informed bully.” 

"What time is it?" Jin croaks into the pillow as Jungkook rolls off his back and onto the bed beside him. 

"7 a.m." 

"Oh fuck off,” Jin groans. “I’m going back to sleep. We went to bed like four hours ago.” 

"Yeah, well, you'd better get up before your mom comes in to get you," Jungkook warns. "It smells like sex in here." 

Jin startles fully awake, sitting bolt upright as Jungkook snickers at him.  

"Shit." 

"Yeah, shit," Jungkook tells him, rolling his eyes before he drops his gaze to the bed. “There is a veritable cornucopia of bodily fluids in your childhood bed. I think we got almost everything covered except for blood and piss.” 

Jin grimaces, rubbing his forehead and twisting lightly at the waist to stretch his back. “Well, there’s always next time.” 

Jungkook cocks his head, eyes narrowed curiously as a wry smile pulls at his lips. “Is there?” 

Jin tucks his head quickly, pretending to do a neck stretch to avoid Junkook's questioning gaze. "Shut up. You seem very... chill,” he observes, dodging the question with expert evasion. 

Jungkook just shrugs, picking at a stray thread on the bedspread. "I am chill." If only Jin had missed the audible swallow and the undeniable hope in his eyes, he might just believe him. “Are you chill?” Jungkook follows up, tilting his head as he observes Jin curiously.  

“Of course,” Jin tells him evenly, carefully monitoring Jungkook's face as he does. “Shit happens.” 

Jungkook nods shortly, and the curve of his mouth reads a shade bitter. "Shit happens.”  

Something about it gives new life to the wriggling, squirming guilt in Jin’s gut, and he sighs, rubbing his temples in frustration. “Uh. Fuck. That sounded bad. I really didn’t mean it like that,” Jin assures him quickly, and his hand twitches to reach out and touch before he ultimately thinks better of it. “Honestly, you made everything about last night so much better. So much better. I never should have asked it of you.” 

Jungkook’s fidgeting stills as he fixes his full attention on Jin. “You didn’t,” he tells him quietly. “You never ask anybody for anything. So somebody’s got to do something.” 

Jin feels the heat gather in his ears as he struggles to maintain eye contact. “Well. Thanks."

Jungkook smiles shyly, cheeks dusted a lovely pink. “You’re welcome. And you know what? There’s honestly no way I would have rather popped my third base cherry.” 

Jin’s eyes bug incredibly as he gawks, drawing up the blankets to cover his bare chest. “I'm sorry, what?” 

“Not bad for my first time ever touching or seeing another man’s penis, huh?” The room goes very quiet as Jin gapes openly at him, but after a second, Jungkook’s expression of naive innocence morphs into an impish cackle. He flops backward onto the bed, clutching his stomach in laughter.

“What?” Jin asks blankly, heart pounding anxiously in his throat.  

“Oh my god, chill out, I’m just kidding,” Jungkook manages from his reclined position on the bed. “Jimin told me you really thought I was a virgin when we met. I’m just fucking with you.” 

Jin gropes for the nearest pillow and swings it down on Jungkook with as much force as he can muster. 

“Ow!” Jungkook yelps, throwing his hands up over his face protectively.  

“You really made me think that your first dabble beyond second base was a weird, angsty hand job! I felt so bad!” 

“Fuck off, it wasn't weird. It was hot. And awkward people can get ass too, Jin,” Jungkook informs him with a valiant attempt at somberness. “I hope you’ve learned something here today.” 

“You little-” He breaks off as he brings down the pillow again, but this time, Jungkook catches it and yanks with immense strength, tugging Jin's whole body forward. He ends up sprawled across Jungkook in only his underwear, face inches from his. Jungkook is so warm and solid beneath him, and something sharp and needy twists in stomach. “You’re the worst.” 

“Yeah,” Jungkook agrees in amusement, though his eyes dart down to Jin’s lips as he does. And fuck, Jin hopes this is not going to become a thing, losing control of his hormones like he’s 17 and getting inappropriate boners in class. God he wants to kiss him. 

“Jin!” his mother’s voice comes from the top of the basement stairs, and he starts slightly on top of Jungkook but doesn’t move otherwise. “Come eat this beautiful goddamn breakfast. And before you ask, don't worry, I had nothing to do with the cooking process.” 

“Fine,” Jin shouts back, placing his hands on Jungkook’s chest to push himself into an upright position. But he doesn’t move, instead just hovering over Jungkook, looking down at him. 

“Well? Aren’t you going?” Jungkook asks him softly, one pillow-bearing hand resting on the bed over his head and the other splayed out beside him. Jin sees his fingers twitch.  

"Just... let me sleep," he pouts as he cuddles himself into Jungkook’s chest instead, closing his eyes and scrambling for an excuse. “Your mortal sized food portions would never satisfy me, anyway." 

“Jin I swear to god!” His mother’s voice comes again just moments later. “There are forty-two goddamn pancakes in my kitchen. Get your ass up here and eat them!” 

Jin has the decency to flush as Jungkook fixes him with an obnoxiously self-righteous look and says, “You should really have more faith in me.” Jin just glares and sticks his tongue out at him. He hopes it's enough to mask the very obvious affection that he feels like he's projecting in thick, uncontrollable waves. “Now come on," Jungkook tells him, slapping his ass playfully as he rolls them to the side. Jin tips gently off of him, and Jungkook gets to his feet to head for the stairs. "I need to fix your mom’s router before we leave.” 

Jin stares incredulously at his retreating back for only a moment before he flops back onto the bed. And not even the crusted smear of cum on the pillowcase against his cheek can deter his soft, unobserved smile.  

 


 

 

 "Oh, absolutelnot," Jimin snaps, snatching the tie out of Jin's hand so hard that the fabric whips back against Jin's hand with a sharp smack. “I said ‘marketable.’ I did not say full fucking hetero. Tae, come here and help him out. Tell him what we're trying to say with this outfit." 

Taehyung happily springs up from where he's laying back on Jin's bed and trots over to the closet. "Hot," he replies simply, rifling through Jin's tie hanger.  

Jimin slaps his hand away, clearly annoyed. "No. We're trying to say 'I am a talented, dedicated professional of ambiguous sexuality who would look great holding a Coke on a billboard.” 

"I wanna be hot," Jin argues petulantly, pouting as he rubs the red spot on his hand where the fabric had whipped him.  

"Fine, you can be fucking hot," Jimin concedes with a beleaguered sigh. His face looks pinched, eyes not quite as wide and bright as they usually are. "But honestly Jin, you need to be more than hot for this lunch meeting. When I say this guy is important, I mean Jungkook-level important. He's the head of the entire marketing department for Coke. He doesn't usually take these kinds of meetings. This is what he has an entire department for. Departments within departments.” 

Jin raises his eyebrows, pout fading abruptly. "What the fuck?  How did you manage that?" 

"I’m amazing," Jimin says vaguely, gently running his fingers over the two ties that Taehyung has extended towards him before tugging decisively on one, a pretty pale blue with embroidered flowers. 

"Jesus, Jimin," he marvels, staring at him in wonder. "I owe you one." 

"Once you've made it big, you can thank me by hiring me as your manager.” 

Jin scoffs, more embarrassed by the prospect of success than anything else. “Yeah, we’ll see.” 

Jimin just shrugs and quirks an adorable, boxy eyebrow. “Or I mean, you can suck my dick.” 

Jin fixes him with an intentionally dead-eyed stare. “I'm not sucking your dick.” 

"Why not?” Jimin frowns. “I sucked your dick once." 

Jin groans and rolls his eyes so hard that it hurts. "You did not. You ate a Funyun off my dick on a dare." 

"You did what?" Taehyung asks Jimin, voice unnaturally high as his eyes dart between the two of them.  

“I ate a Funyun off his dick,” Jimin responds easily, watching as Taehyung’s expression darkens into a sullen pout. “Why, does that upset you?” Jimin inquires, obviously torn between being annoyed and amused. 

“No,” Taehyung bluffs, crossing his arms.  

“Are you jealous?” Jimin follows up, eyes narrowing curiously.  

“Of you and Jin?” Taehyung scoffs bitterly. “Why would I be? We’re not even exclusive.” 

“Exactly. Which was your decision. So why does your face look like that?” Jimin prods, kneeling on the bed next to him and gently poking his cheek.

Taehyung swats him away and pastes an unconvincing look of indifference on his face before answering. “Just because! I dunno, you’ve never offered to eat anything off of my dick.” 

Jimin stares at him blankly, pursing his lips in disappointment. “Really? That’s what you’re going with?”  

Jin quietly grabs his shoes and his wallet and sidles inconspicuously towards the door, reaching for the handle as Jimin huffs an annoyed sigh at the lack of response. He manages to slip through the open door and shut it silently behind him just as Jimin explodes.  

“You know what? Fine! Go get some fucking Bugles and I will eat them off of your dick.” 

An outraged scoff from Taehyung, muffled through the wood. “Is that supposed to be a dig at my girth?” 

“Oh my god. You are absolutely driving me up a wall.” 

“You’re driving ME up a wall.” 

“Me? How am I-?” Jimin growls in frustration. “Jesus, Tae, you make me so-”  

“So WHAT?” 

And then there’s a surprised gasp and the unmistakable sounds of kissing, and Jin is down the hall and out of the apartment in 10 seconds flat. 

 


 

 

The fortunate thing about having pretended to be a sugar baby for the past few months is that Jin now has some experience attending lavish events in exclusive spaces with expensive people, meaning that he is a hell of a lot less intimidated by this place than he would have been otherwise. The restaurant is spacious in a city where space is at a premium, high vaulted ceilings and real hardwood floors and servers buzzing around inconspicuously in matching, immaculate uniforms. Jin takes a deep breath and puffs out his chest, pretending, as he often does in these sorts of places, that he belongs here.  

The hostess leads him away from the main dining area and most of the foot traffic, off to a side room with fewer tables and an excellent view of the city street outside. As they approach, the back of a man with a sharply tailored suit and sleek, recently-trimmed chestnut brown hair looms into view. Said man must hear their footsteps, because he turns then, and Jin is greeted with a young face and a blinding, heart-shaped smile. His gut unclenches minutely as he releases a breath he didn't realize he was holding. Guys with smiles like that can't be all bad.  

He stands to greet them and extends a friendly hand to Jin. "Seokjin?" he asks as Jin takes his hand and shakes it firmly.  

"You can just call me Jin," Jin confirms stiffly, hoping that his hand isn’t as sweaty as he fears it is. "It’s great to meet you, Mr. Jung.” 

The man laughs delightedly as he releases Jin's hand. "God. Please. Just Hoseok is fine. I think we're about the same age." He gestures politely to the table.  

Jin nods, moving to the other side of the table to take a seat across from Hoseok. He glances down at the multitude of eating utensils paid out around his plate and willfully quashes a bubble of anxiety. At the last dinner, Jungkook had taught him which forks were for what. He can do this. 

"I've been looking forward to meeting with you,” Hoseok says, and strangely it seems like he means it. “Your publicist Mr. Park was very,” he smiles fondly and looks down at his hands, “excited for us to meet." 

Jin cringes slightly. "I'm sorry about that. Jimin's... passionate." 

Hoseok laughs pleasantly, his handsome face splitting into a goofy teeth-bearing grin. "You know, I think it says something if you have people who feel that passionately about you. And don't worry, it was kind of charming," he adds with a small smile. "I have to say, I wasn't sold on you at first. Competitive eating has never really struck us as something remotely marketable. But Jimin showed me some of your training videos- which were extremely well done, by the way- and you know what? I could see it." 

"See what?" Jin asks hesitantly, holding his breath.  

"You. With Coke," Hoseok tells him happily. "You work hard, you look good, and you make people happy just by letting them watch you eat. Jimin also sent me some market research and found that you already have a small following and play a role in influencing eating trends in certain communities. People want to eat what you eat. I think they could also want to drink what you drink. Namely, Coke.” 

"You... think so?" Jin asks shyly. He knows he has a small online following among fans of professional eating, has seen small articles and internet forums dedicated to his career.  

"I think that in order for marketing campaigns to be effective, you have to step out of the box, be ahead of every trend. I think you could be the start of a great trend." 

Jin's chest clenches tight, but pleasantly this time. "Really?" 

"It's not a sure thing," Hoseok cautions him. "You really do need to win at Nationals so that you can enter your contract with Coke riding the high of that national televised stage. And of course you have to be mildly vetted just to make sure there are no glaring red flags. But you have my support. And honestly, my support goes a long way." 

"Wow,” Jin marvels, head swimming in an effort to absorb all of this. “I... You’re serious?” 

Hoseok chuckles amusedly, folding elegant hands on the table in front of him. “I’m serious. We could do a lot with you." 

“Sorry, I’m just... I’m having a really hard time wrapping my mind around this,” Jin responds blearily, but then something nasty tugs down heavily on his elation. “Oh. wait." 

“Something wrong?” Hoseok asks, the corners of his mouth in a slight downturn.  

“Uh. I hope not,” he hesitates, swallowing the thick lump in his throat as he summons his courage. “Just in case it changes anything, I’m gay. And I’m not quiet about it,” Jin tells him, impressed with how even his voice is.  

Hoseok’s resulting smile is a little sad. “Well, that works out, because neither am I. So if anyone’s got a problem with it, they can come complain directly to my flaming gay ass.” 

Jin laughs in gleeful disbelief, eyes prickling as he does. “Jesus. I really can’t believe this.” 

“You’ve really got something about you, Jin,” Hoseok tells him with genuine, smiling eyes. “Give yourself a little more credit.” 

“I-”  

The loud clattering of glass behind him makes him jump, abruptly cutting off the rest of his sentence, and he turns to see three menus propped up on the table, covering the faces of the people behind them. Only their fingers are visible. One set of fingers, he notes, is very small and very familiar.  

Jin turns back to Hoseok, trying to keep his face relaxed as he does. His eye twitches. "I'm so sorry, would you excuse me for a moment?" 

"Of course" Hoseok assures him looking concerned. “Everything okay?” 

"Oh! Everything is perfect, no need to worry!" Jin assures him, scrambling to his feet. "I'll be right back." 

Hoseok nods with a kind smile.  

The table in question is about 30 feet from theirs. As he approaches, he watches as a pair of wide eyes peek up over the edge of one of the menus, eyes that bulge impossibly wider as they see him coming then disappear behind the menu once more. Jin's gut gives an uncomfortable lurch, because those eyes are familiar, too.  

Jin reaches the table and taps his foot expectantly. The menu being clutched by the small, delicate fingers slowly lowers to reveal an apparently surprised Jimin.  

"Jin?" Jimin asks in badly feigned surprise. "It was THIS restaurant? What are the ODD-" 

"Save it," Jin hisses under his breath, looking expectantly at the other two menus. He gets a peek of those wide, wide eyes again, and then the menu is gone and there is Jungkook, looking tellingly abashed. Taehyung appears on his other side of Jimin with a guilty smile. "I expected this of you two," Jin says, pointing to Jimin and Taehyung. "But et tu Brute?" He directs this towards Jungkook, who squirms uncomfortably.  

"They just asked me to get us a table at this place," Jungkook mumbles, clearly ashamed. "I swear I didn't know what it was for until we were already here." 

"What's he like?" Jimin asks, craning his head around Jin to try and get a better look. "I only talked to him via email, and I can't see him because your giant melon head is in the way. How wrinkly is he?" 

Jin reluctantly takes pity on him and steps to the side to allow him a clear look. Jimin's jaw drops.  

"What the fuck," he exclaims, sounding somehow outraged. "He's hot. I assumed he was old as shit, not... that." 

"Wait, let me see," Taehyung insists, half-standing to get a better view. His mouth drops, too. "I...  Shit. Oh shit.  Jin, is that Jung Hoseok?" 

"Uh... yeah. Do you know him?" 

Taehyung sits back down, looking a bit shaken. "He was the TA in my freshman marketing course in Columbia. Which explains how Bogum gave us the hookup I guess. Holy shit. He's..." 

"Hot," Jimin repeats, running his fingers through his hair a few times to smooth it down.  

"Well I was going to say, the fucking Director of Marketing for Coke. But yeah. That too," Taehyung says blankly, and Jin watches as Jimin cuts his eyes slightly in Taehyung's direction. "This was like 7 years ago because I fucked around for so long in college but still. Wow." 

"Great. Hey,” Jin says lightly but with obvious urgency, “So can you guys fucking leave so that Hoseok doesn’t find out what an absolute shitshow my life and friends truly are?” 

Suddenly Jimin's eyes go very wide as they peer over Jin's shoulder. "Incoming." 

"What?" Jin asks dumbly, spinning on heel to see Hoseok already halfway to their table.  He spins back around to Jimin, doing his utmost to commit homicide with his gaze. “Behave.” 

"Sorry to interrupt," comes Hoseok’s voice from behind him. And then he’s there, eyes flickering over Jin's seated friends. He does the briefest double take at something, before turning right back to Jin. "The server was taking orders for appetizers and I wanted to see what you wanted." He looks back to the table, eyes lingering on Jimin, then on Taehyung. "Are these friends of yours?" 

"Uh, yeah," Jin confirms, uneasy as Jimin leans forward to rest his head on his hands and blink up at Hoseok flirtatiously. "This is Jungkook, that's Taehyung, and this is Jimin. You two have already spoken." 

"Jimin," Hoseok says, obviously pleased, pointing a finger lightly at him. "Nice to finally meet you.” 

"Great to put a face to the name,” Jimin agrees with a sultry smile, and Taehyung's gaze flits uneasily between the two of them. Jin huffs in annoyance, finding Jungkook's eyes. He looks both thoroughly sorry and thoroughly uncomfortable.  

"Well, do you want to join us?" Hoseok asks them, cocking his hip to the side and putting his hands in his pocket. Jimin's gaze drops to where the fabric of his suit pants pulls tight across his crotch.  

"Oh. Sorry, we actually have to-" Jungkook starts apologetically, but he’s interrupted. 

"We'd love to," Taehyung says suddenly, demeanor brightening perceptibly as he reaches out to shake Hoseok's hand over the table. "You probably don't remember me, but you were a TA in my intro to marketing class back at Columbia." 

"Was I?" Hoseok asks, eyebrows arching up in utter delight. "Well then of course you have to join us. I promise not to talk too much business. Jin and I were just about done, anyway, and we can hammer out the details later. Just a second.” Hoseok turns and approaches the server who is patiently waiting for them at the table, and he mutters a few words to her. She nods accommodatingly and a few moments later, three additional chairs appear at Hoseok and Jin's table.  

"You're dead to me," Jin hisses at Jimin.  

"Somehow that gets less and less effective every time you say it," Jimin informs him coolly, checking his reflection in the empty wine glass in front of him. He grins in apparent satisfaction at what he sees.  

They settle into their new combined table, Jin taking his old place across from Hoseok, Jungkook right next to him, Jimin next to Hoseok, and Taehyung at the end of the table by Jimin.  

"I have to say," Hoseok says after they've ordered several small plates for the table, turning to Jimin. He leans his head on his hand in a casual, flirtatious manner as he rotates to face Jimin fully. "You did a hell of a job selling me on him. What agency do you work with?" 

"Oh, I’m not with an agency. I'm a full-time manny, actually," Jimin clarifies. "Just an interested friend of Jin's. Tae here was the brains, though. He helped me with the market research, and the training videos were all his idea. I’m just the asshole who won’t take no for an answer," Jimin tells him as he looks across the table at Taehyung. "Oh, Tae, you have," he breaks off as he reaches across the table to tenderly brush a breadcrumb from Taehyung's bottom lip. "There." 

"Sounds like you two make a good team," Hoseok says pleasantly, though his eyes darken perceptibly as he observes the pair. 

Taehyung's deep tan skin flushes a dusty red as he self-consciously brushes at his own lip once Jimin's hand has retreated. Hoseok’s eyebrows draw together slightly as he looks at them, though he continues to smile. Jimin seems to realize how intimate the gesture must have appeared, and he tucks the offending hand securely beneath the table. Jin and Jungkook catch each other's eyes and share an amused smile.   

"Well,” Hoseok continues, undeterred, “I was just telling Jin here that as long as everything goes well, I have a good feeling about a sponsorship." 

"You should come to his big competition in July. See him in action," Jimin suggests, crossing his legs and leaning back in his chair in that cocky way that always makes Jin roll his eyes. "You can sit with us.” 

"I'd love to," Hoseok assures him, leaning forward. "We should meet before then too," he says carefully. "Talk out some specifics about Jin's potential contract." 

Jimin looks him over carefully, eyes resting on his watch, then his shoes, then his tie clip. "I think that would be a great idea." 

"Taehyung," Hoseok adds, and Taehyung actually startles slightly. Jin's never seen him act anything even slightly resembling shy, so it's a strange sight. "You should come, too. I'd love to pick your brain. Keep the dream team together. 

"Okay," Taehyung agrees quickly, eyes wide as he glances over at Jimin, whose smile dims a watt or two, probably imperceptible to anyone who hasn't known him for 10 years, like Jin has.  

Jimin is as bubbly as he always is throughout lunch, but Jin watches him carefully, sees how he settles back in his seat, arms crossed, gently biting the inside of his cheek sometimes when Hoseok and Taehyung speak. During their overlapping time at school, it seems as though they never had direct contact, but it becomes abundantly clear that Taehyung had harbored a schoolboy crush of roughly gigantic proportions. 

"You were the kid who set all the frogs free from the bio lab!" Hoseok says, snapping his fingers in realization, and Taehyung's eyes crinkle delightedly at the memory. "I thought it was a biblical plague or some shit, seeing 300 frogs crossing in front of Lerner Hall." 

"Ah, yeah. I fucked around a lot," Taehyung admits bashfully. "I'm paying for it now, though. I'm still doing an unpaid internship, and look at you." 

Hoseok waves him off kindly. "My uncle knew some people, too. I had connections, you know. It wasn't all me." 

"Still," Taehyung maintains, eyes large and adoring."It's amazing to be that successful at such a young age. You and Jungkook both." 

"Oh?" Hoseok asks, turning to Jungkook then. "Where do work?" 

Jungkook sits up a bit straighter in his seat, surprised at having been addressed. "Uh, Brown and Epstein. It's a hedge fund. Most people outside of the finance community haven't heard of it." 

Hoseok raises his eyebrows, leaning back a bit, suddenly guarded. "Brown and Epstein. I know someone else who works there." 

Jin's spine goes rigid, and he sees Jungkook go very still next to him. "Really?" Jungkook asks evenly.  

"Lee Miller," Hoseok says, eyes narrowing, and Jin's fork slips gracelessly from his grip. He glances over at Jungkook, wondering if his stomach has just dropped the same way that Jin's has. "You know him?" 

Jungkook scoffs in unfettered disdain. "Yeah, I know him.” He clenches his jaw, straightening out his spine and flexing his shoulders. “Friend of yours?” 

Hoseok's pleasant features arrange themselves in a vicious scoff. "Look, no offense to you or the rest of your firm, but that guy's a fucking jackass, and judging by your face you think so, too." Jungkook’s Big Strong Alpha posture collapses as he lets slip a surprised, relieved giggle, and Jin slumps forward as the tension seeps from his body. "He keeps sniffing around my office like I owe him a favor just because his grandpa put in a good word for me with this job. But luckily I'm too high up for him to touch me now. My assistant has started screening his calls." 

"Thank god," Jin breathes, and Hoseok tilts his head quizzically. "Uh. It’s just... he's not my biggest fan. I was afraid..." He doesn't finish that sentence, because he feel's Jungkook's intense, curious gaze burning a hole in the side of his head. "Anyway, it's good to know we're not the only ones who feel that way." 

"You know, he actually just started calling me again last week," Hoseok says, sitting back in his chair again and folding his hands in his lap. "That wouldn't have anything to do with you, would it?" 

Jin smiles sheepishly, ignoring the lasers boring into the side of his face via Jungkook's eyes. "He really doesn't like me." 

"That sounds like an excellent character reference to me," Hoseok tells him with a charming wink, and Jimin and Taehyung sigh in tandem and lean their cheeks on their hands as they stare in adoration. Hoseok glances curiously between the two of them upon seeing their near-perfect synchronization. "So are you two together?" 

"What? No!" they shout in tandem, shooting each other vaguely betrayed looks.  

"Single and ready to mingle," Jimin confirms, consciously turning his body away from Taehyung.  

"The only ball-and-chain I have is in my sex dungeon," Taehyung seconds enthusiastically, looking around the table to see how the joke landed. He deflates when Hoseok just gives him a vague, confused smile. "I was.... kidding, I don't have a sex dungeon." 

"Yes, you do," Jimin mumbles moodily, then looking up at Hoseok with wide eyes, he quickly adds, "Not that I would know." 

Jin just barely succeeds in swallowing an enormous groan. "Oh golly you know, just... look at the time. I had no idea it was this late," he says, folding his napkin and placing it daintily on the table in front of him. "I think I had better get going." 

"I'll come with you," Jungkook tells him, tone just on the edge of too eager, and for what seems like the millionth time, Jin is painfully endeared.  

Jin just nods and turns to the rest of the table. "Hoseok, thanks again agreeing to meet me. I really can't tell you how much it means." 

"It means a lot to us, too," Hoseok tells him kindly. "I think you have a great future with Coke. Here's my card if you have questions in the meantime." He hands Jin a card, then reaches into his expensive leather wallet to grab another. He extends it to Jungkook, who looks momentarily confused as to why. "Just in case we need to have a conversation about our mutual friend.” 

Jungkook eagerly accepts the card and pulls one out of his own wallet to hand to Hoseok. "Of course. Thank you." 

They wave their goodbyes, Jin silently mouthing 'behave' to Taehyung and Jimin once Hoseok has turned his back. Jimin flips him a subtle bird with his less visible hand as he leans forward to rest his chin on both knuckles to talk to Hoseok.  

As they stroll out of the restaurant side by side, Jin’s initial relief at having escaped the meeting returns full force as he realizes that he’s about to be alone with Jungkook for the first time since Jungkook dropped him off at his apartment, both of them wearing the same clothes as the night before at his mom's house. 

“Hey, can we talk?” Jungkook asks once they’re out on the street. He punches a short message into his phone before meeting Jin’s eyes again. “I can give you a ride home.” 

Jin nods even as his stomach twists in terror. Jungkook’s going to want to talk about it, he realizes.  And it’s going to change everything. His heart rate skyrockets as he tries to scramble for a way out of this.  

Jungkook glances up and down the street before locking his eyes on something He points a ways down the road. “Driver’s here.” 

The slamming of the door behind them creates a barrier of absolute silence, leaving the sounds and smells of the city outside. It’s just them in here, as Jungkook rolls up the partition separating them and the driver. Jin feels the full, substantial weight of Jungkook’s gaze on his face.  

“I think we just need to like... figure this whole thing out,” Jungkook starts, looking uncomfortable as he orients his body towards Jin. 

“Figure what out?” Jin interrupts before Jungkook can continue, voice strained as he teeters on the edge of panic. “Things are great.” 

Jungkook regards him strangely, eyebrows drawn in confusion. ”Things are not great, Jin. And look, I really don’t want to try and force anything, but if we don’t do something now, I'm worried we never will.” 

Jin feels like the air’s been sucked out of his chest as he scrambles to divert. “I... I dunno, I’m just a big fan of. You know. Letting things happen. Organically.” 

Jungkook sighs. “I mean, usually I am, too. But you saw them in there. They’re going to start turning against each other if we don’t do something.” 

Jin quirks his head, heartbeat thudding in his ears. “I’m sorry, who?” 

Jungkook regards him strangely, eyes going adorably asymmetrical. “Jimin and Tae, obviously.” 

The blood rushes back to Jin’s face at an alarming rate, making his head buzz. “Obviously??” Jin demands, delivering an ineffective punch to Jungkook’s muscular arm. “What in the every-loving hell was obvious about what you just said? Why the fuck would you word it like that?” 

“Word it like... what?” Jungkook asks innocently, rubbing his own arm tenderly.    

“Like,” Jin hesitates. “I dunno. Like you were going to say something about us.” 

Jin watches the realization dawn over his eyes, his mouth forming a small 'o' shape. “What did you think I was going to say about us?” 

Jin’s gaze darts away from Jungkook’s lips, back to his eyes. “Just... that... we needed to figure things out.” 

Jungkook cocks his head curiously, eyes squinting like he’s trying to work out a particularly challenging math problem. “So there's something to figure out?” 

Jin’s face warms palpably, but he succeeds in maintaining eye contact. “Maybe.” 

The car jostles them slightly then, and Jin’s not sure if it’s intentional but Jungkook is suddenly much closer than he was a moment ago. “Should we do that, then?” 

“No.” And Jin’s treacherous eyes dart down to Jungkook’s lips again.  

Jungkook eyebrows draw down as he follows Jin’s gaze. “Why not?” 

Jin feels an embarrassing bubble of emotion in his throat. “Because I like things the way they are.” 

Jungkook laughs softly at that. “I don’t think things would change all that much.” 

“Jungkook, everything could change,” Jin says soberly, watching Jungkook’s smile slowly fade to nothing. “And not in a good way. I’m not...” His throat is too tight for him to finish his thought. Ready, he wants to say.

Jungkook just watches him for a few moments before swallowing anxiously. “Something’s got to change eventually.” 

Jin bites his lip, trying not to look too affected by the thought. “I know. Just, not yet.” 

He watches Jungkook nod slowly before he says, “Okay. Not yet.” Jin smiles, exhaling a relieved sigh as Jungkook continues to stare at him pensively, lips pouted in thought. “Hey just for, you know, clarity... Does our status quo include hand jobs?” 

Jin laughs, and fuck, he wants to kiss him. “Probably shouldn’t.” 

“Fuuuck.” Jungkook groans, leaning back and rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands.  

“Fuck,” Jin agrees, stamping out the tendrils of arousal curling at the edges of his gut.  

“So...” Jungkook forges on bravely as the car climbs slowly closer towards Jin’s apartment. “Jimin and Tae, eh?” 

“Yeah, they’re fuckin’ idiots.” 

Jungkook rolls his eyes, fighting a smile. “Yeah, can you imagine being that willfully obtuse about something that’s right in front of your face?” he quips in false wonder. “Being absolutely perfect for someone and refusing to do anything about it?” 

 Jin catches his eye, registers the clearly teasing tone, and laughs. “Can't even fathom it.” 

“Idiots,” Jungkook sighs with a fond half-smile, eyes still fixed on Jin.  

“Idiots.” 

 


  

 

Me: Hey, do you still have those pics of us from movie night?  

  

Kook: of course. why? 

  

Me: Could you send me a few?  

  

Kook: [img]  

Kook: [img]  

Kook: [img]  

  

Me: Thanks 

  

Kook: why do you need them?  

  

Me: I don't NEED them, I just wanted to see them   

  

Kook: ..... are you gonna jerk off to them  

  

Me: What the FUCK 

Me: NO 

  

Kook: sure okay  

Kook: well here are some of my jerk off faves  

Kook: [img]  

Kook: [img]  

  

Me: I am NOT jerking off to them 

  

Kook: oh yeah?  

Kook: send me a picture of your flaccid dick with today's newspaper so i know it's current  

  

Me: Jungkook i'm not sending you a picture of my flaccid dick 

Me: And who the fuck gets the newspaper anymore  

  

Kook: i'm about 85% sure that you do 

 

Me: yeah well!  

Me: only because joon keeps renewing my subscription and paying for it without asking me 

 

Kook: knew it 

Kook: anyway have a nice nut  

Kook: night* 

Kook: …....... nut** 

Kook: Jin hey 

Kook: Jin did you get what I did there 

Kook: ...................... Jin u there 

Kook: Jin come back please 

Kook: jin it’s an emergency 

 

Me: what’s wrong? 

 

Kook: first of all thank you for responding in my hour of need 

Kook: that means a lot 

Kook: second, and please don’t let this next thing detract from the gravity of my gratitude 

Kook: but i left my sock at your house 

 

Me:: … If that’s the emergency I swear to god jungkook 

 

Kook: but I need it 

 

Me: you need it.  

 

Kook: I NEED it.  

 

Me: For what 

 

Kook: For PIECE OF MIND jin, that sock cost more than your rent

Kook: can I come get it 

 

Me: what, right now?? 

Me: at 3am?? 

 

Kook:   :( 

 

Me: you are the biggest pain in my ass 

 

Kook: well I could be ;) 

 

Me: are you fucking drunk 

 

Kook: yes 

Kook: was that not obvious throughout this whole convo 

Kook: it’s not my fault, I had to go get drinks with a client 

Kook: u know I'm a lightweight 

Kook: Pleaaaaaaase jin 

 

Me: jesus christ just... 

Me: text me when you’re here.  

 

Kook: I am here 

 

Me: you’re joking. Have you been out front of my apartment this entire time?? 

 

Kook: im cold please let me in 

 

Me: it’s 75 degrees outside 

 

Kook: now that I've known the warmth of your bed the rest of the world is a frozen tundra 

 

Me: good night 

 

Kook: wait! no I was gonna throw pebbles at your window but all I've found on the ground are used condoms and what looks like a human molar 

Kook: jin u really have to let me get you a better apartment  

Kook: whose tooth is this 

Kook: whatever I'm keeping it 

 

Me: Look. I'm letting you up, but only so that you can find your goddamn sock and leave 

Me: okay? 

 

Kook: hurry up i think a rat is making eyes at me 

 

 

Jin rests his head against the wall, finger hovering over the buzzer before he so gently bangs his forehead against the plaster then mashes his thumb down hard on the button.  

It’s absolutely unfair how good Jungkook looks, standing in Jin’s doorway at 3am, drunk off his ass. His work shirt is unbuttoned and slightly askew, his hair mussed up and pushed back from his forehead, eyebrows thick and slanted downwards as he regards Jin.  

They stand there for a moment, Jin’s hand just resting on the open door. “You know I have no clue where your goddamn sock is.” 

Jungkook just nods, expression falling softly but noticeably as he shuffles forward slowly towards Jin, and he doesn't stop until his nose collides with Jin’s shoulder. Jin stands there unmoving as Jungkook just presses up against him, face buried in his chest. He hears a sniff. 

“Jungkook?”  

Jungkook doesn’t respond, just presses harder into Jin’s shoulder, and it’s not until Jin sees his shoulders start to shake that he understands. 

“Kook, what the fuck? Are you okay?” 

“I’m fine,” comes Jungkook’s thick, muffled voice against his shirt.  

“What happened?” Jin asks, winding his hands around Jungkook’s narrow waist.  

“Nothing,” Jungkook bluffs badly. 

“Jungkook,” he urges him quietly. “Come on.” 

Jungkook squirms in his arms for a moment before he heaves an exhausted sigh. “I’m gonna lose my job,” he mumbles quietly, and he sounds very young as he does. For a minute he looks like other 24-year-old kids, kids who don’t have the weight of the world on their shoulders.  

Jin clicks his tongue in disbelief. “You’re not going to lose your job.” 

Jungkook pulls back then to glare at him, but the effect is somewhat lessened by his puffy, shining eyes. “I really fucking am.” 

Jin chews the inside of his lip anxiously. “What happened?” he repeats now that he’s meeting his gaze. 

“Don’t want to talk about it,” Jungkook mumbles, tucking his head again to rest his forehead against Jin’s shoulder. “Can we go to sleep?” 

Jin smiles softly, squeezing Jungkook tight and snaking his hand up to comb through the hairs above his neck. “What about your damn sock?”  

“Tomorrow,” Jungkook grunts as he slowly starts to push forward against him, walking Jin backwards into the apartment. Jin just lets him do it for a few steps before he reaches down to grab his hand and tug him properly towards the bedroom.   

Jungkook doesn’t let go to allow him to climb back into bed unencumbered, but rather just leans forward hard then flops on top of him, curling around Jin’s body like a cat. Jin lays there underneath him, wide awake, enjoying the pleasant weight on his chest.  

“Jungkook,” he mumbles after a while, lightly jostling the body on top of him. “Hey, I know you’re not asleep.” 

“Yes, I am,” comes his unconvincing reply. 

“You’re a shit actor.” 

Jungkook looks up at him with tired, forlorn eyes. “You said I was good.” 

“Yeah well. You can fool other people maybe. Not me.” 

Jungkook’s eyes are hooded and sleepy as he carefully regards Jin. “I know,” he says thickly, like his tongue is heavy in his mouth. “Never could.” 

Jin traces gently patterns into the skin of Jungkook’s lower back where his shirt has ridden up, choosing not to respond.  

“Hey, I’m sorry I came here. I don’t know why I did,” Jungkook mumbles, and there are a few beats of silence followed by a heavy, defeated exhale. “Yeah, I do.” 

“You should go to sleep,” Jin tells him gently but pointedly, holding him a bit tighter. 

“I know that you don’t want me to say it,” Jungkook says quietly, resting his chin on Jin’s chest and fixing him with a bleary but determined gaze. “But you know, right?”

"Sleep, Jungkook.”

Jungkook’s expression of unguarded disappointment is a hard thing to stomach. “Sorry,” he utters quietly, fingers curling into Jin’s shirt. “Hey, just one more thing and then I promise to go to sleep.” 

Jin sighs, readjusting his arms around Jungkook. “Go ahead.” 

Jungkook hesitates for a moment, face deadly serious. “You did jerk it to those photos of us, right?” 

“Yes, you creep,” Jin yawns, repositioning his head on the pillow to try and hide his flush, as if the darkness wasn't already doing just that. “Twice. Happy?” 

Jungkook sighs gently into his chest, cheek mashed up adorably against it as his eyes flutter shut.  “Almost.” 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

“So are we going to talk about this morning?” Jimin asks him from Namjoon’s bed, kicking his feet gleefully behind him as he props up his chin on his fists.  

“You know what?” Jin replies lightly but with a deadly glare as he fixes his hair in the mirror of Namjoon’s vanity. “Yeah. We should talk about this morning. Let’s talk about how you somehow managed to make a copy of my apartment key without my knowledge.” 

“I told you it was either this or you sync me to your Fitbit. I refuse to let you be one of those city people who rots in their apartment for a year before anyone finds them,” Jimin tells him matter-of-factly. “I told Namjoon the exact same thing.” 

Jin turns to Namjoon, who is carefully browsing his closet. “You’re telling me you gave him a key to your apartment?” 

Namjoon spins wordlessly and reaches down to ruck up the sleeve of his shirt, revealing a small, grey watch-like band around his wrist. “Of course not.” 

“You know he can GPS track you on that thing, right?” Jin informs him bitterly.  

“What?” Namjoon asks, voice cracking on the word.  

“Anyway,” Jimin persists, not remotely phased by Namjoon’s look of horror. “I walked in on you and Jungkook asleep in your bed, fully cuddled. So you gonna give us the dirty details or not?” 

“There are no dirty details to give!” Jin snaps. “We didn’t even kiss. He was just really upset so he came over and flopped on top of me so I held him gently until he fell asleep.” 

Namjoon drops the shirt he was holding as Jimin gapes at Jin. “Wow, that’s so much worse,” Jimin notes in awe. 

“Jin, you’re...  actually in love with that kid,” Namjoon tells him matter-of-factly.  

“God, for the last time, no, I am-” 

He’s interrupted by a loud smack and seconds later, he feels a tingling sting on his cheek. He looks up to see Namjoon standing over him, hand extended, angry eyes fixed intently on him.  

Jin marvels up at him, the words stuck in his throat for a few seconds as his face continues to tingle. “Did you just... slap me?” 

Namjoon roars in frustration, dimples still somehow, miraculously on full display. “Well somebody had to do it! I guarantee everyone else has been wanting to smack the shit out of the both of you for the past four fucking months! You are being,” he starts, eyes wild as he tugs at his own hair, “the most willful fucking idiots, and I’m DONE.” 

“Damn, Joonie,” Jimin swears, staring in wonder as he bites his bottom lip. “I’m... aroused. Hit him again.” 

Namjoon rounds on him. “Don’t try me, you’re next.” 

“Oh. No. Please,” Jimin deadpans, rolling over to his side to lay seductively and stare up at Namjoon. “Anything but that.” 

Namjoon growls again and turns back to Jin. “Look, I get that you have hang-ups, I DO, but there’s a point where it stops being about that. This is fucking self-sabotage! And you know what! It’s not cute anymore. That kid has feelings too! And you’re fucking with them! So either get the fuck over it or tell him you’re in love with him, you fucking dick!” 

“I-…" Jin utters, rubbing his cheek. “I just can’t believe you actually slapped me.” 

A delicate dusting of pink paints Namjoon’s round cheeks as he shifts his weight uncertainly. ”It’s... explicitly listed in our friendship contract. If you’re being a full-on DEFCON 1 idiot, I have permission to physically slap you out of it.” 

“I know, I just...” Jin continues to marvel. “I didn’t think you had it in you. To hit anyone. For any reason.” 

“What? Why? I can-” Namjoon breaks off, flustered now. “I’ll have you know I...” he ducks his head and drops his volume, “I... spanked... Yoongi once. Right on the...” 

“Say the curse word, Joonie,” Jimin encourages him kindly.  

“...bum.” 

“You just dropped like 10 f-bombs but you really couldn’t say ass.” 

“Whatever,” Namjoon deflects, shaking his head like he is physically trying to shed his fierce blush as he turns to address Jin again. “Just... think long and hard about what I’ve said.” 

“Oh, I’ll be thinking long and hard about what just happened for a very long time,” Jimin assures him, and his words are almost a purr. “Long. And. Hard.” 

Namjoon fixes him with a disgusted look and turns back to his closet. “Now both of you shut up about your self-created drama for a moment and help me pick a goddamn shirt for my date with Yoongi.” 

“You’re doing on a date with Yoongi?” Jin asks, still rubbing absently at his cheek.  

Namjoon suppresses another groan but refrains from slapping him again. “I literally asked you two over to help me get ready. Were you not listening at all?” 

“Shit. Sorry, Joon,” Jin apologizes, feeling properly abashed now. “Guess I’ve been getting a little wrapped up in my own shit.” 

“Yeah, sorry, Joon,” Jimin echoes him, coming up behind Namjoon and winding his arms around his waist. “Tell us all about your date.” 

“Well,” Namjoon starts quietly, biting down on a shy smile. “We’re going bowling.” 

“Ew,” Jin and Jimin groan in unison, turning away in disinterest.  

“Hey!” Namjoon says defensively. “It’s cute!” 

“Whatever happened to fucking in public places?” Jimin asks, flopping back on the bed.  

“Are you kidding me?” Namjoon demands, “That shit was exhausting. The whole no strings thing? Exhausting. Looking over our shoulders every second during sex? Constantly being prepped for anal? Exhausting. Like, one day at the Met, we were about to do it in the bathrooms, and we just... looked at each other, said fuck it, and decided to look at the art instead. And you know what? It was really nice! Not all of us crave drama and intrigue, you weirdos, and I, for one, am looking forward to having sex on a bed. In missionary.” 

“Aw, that’s... sweet,” Jimin allows. “Boring, but sweet. And totally you.” 

“Thank you,” Namjoon says, apparently appeased, but then his face scrunches up in mild confusion, “I think.” 

“Hey, before you leave, don’t you think you should slap Jin again? Just to make sure he’s gotten the message?” Jimin asks innocently, eyes darting between the two. “I mean, he kind of deserves it. He’s been a very bad boy.” 

Jin rolls his eyes. ”Jimin, he doesn’t want to-” 

SMACK 

"He really does," Namjoon confirms easily, lowering his hand as Jimin swoons.

 

 


 

 

 

Kook

 

 

Kook: hey how do you feel about bora bora 

 

Me: in like... a 'colonialism and all its evils' kind of way 

Me: or in like a vacation way 

 

Kook: well. vacation way 

Kook: … but I'll... google the other stuff 

Kook: the company is attending a conference down in bora bora in a couple of weeks 

 

Me: the fuck, who just has a conference in bora bora  

Me: they used to hold my uncle's HR conference in a deserted school building 

 

Kook: rich people, remember 

Kook: anyway I know nationals are coming up so it's fine if you can't make it  

Kook: but it's gonna be pretty swaggy 

 

Me: for the sole reason that you used that word to describe it 

Me: I am not going  

 

Kook: swaggy as in 'the swag bags include nintendo switches and luxury goods’ 

 

Me: I am going* 

Me: just call me the swagmaster 

 

Kook: jesus I can’t believe i ever thought you were cute 

 

Me: you still think I'm cute 

 

Kook: yeah RIGHT 

 

Me: hold please

 

 

 

Jimin  

 

 

Me: Hey you're with jungkook right now right

Me: what's he doing right now 

 

Jimin: he’s squirming on the floor clutching his phone to his chest and squealing 

Jimin: why 

 

Me: no reason 

Me: thx 

 

 

 

Kook 

 

 

Me: yeah jimin says otherwise 

 

Kook: park jimin is a notorious liar 

Kook: the other day he told me he fucked sir Ian mckellen 

 

Me: oh. yeah, he did that. 

 

Kook: WHAt 

 

Me: he fucked gandalf 

 

Kook: I can’t tell if you’re messing with me or not 

 

Me: that’s the goal 

 

Kook: anyway can you go? 

Kook: it’s the 19th to the 25th 

 

Me: let me check my calendar  

Me: oh wait I forgot  

Me: I always have time for swag 

 

Kook: this is my nightmare 

 

 

 

 

Jimin 

 

 

Me: hey how about now? 

Me: what’s he doing? 

 

Jimin: What are you saying to him?? 

Jimin:  i think he’s getting hard 

 

 


 

 

 

Jin is knee-deep in a thick carpeting of discarded clothes, completely immersed in the packing process when he hears his phone buzz insistently from somewhere in the room. He digs frantically through the clothes for a few minutes before finding it tucked in a shoe.

 

 

Jimin

 

Jimin: dude you’re trending 

Jimin: go look 

 

Me: what?? 

Me: why??? 

 

Jimin: coke just tweeted about the national hotdog eating contest, just some vague promotional shit 

Jimin: but someone (me) linked your training vid in a reply 

Jimin: and someone (hoseok) liked/responded and made it the top reply 

Jimin: you know the video where you deep-throated that foot-long wiener? That one 

 

Me: Holyyyy shit dude that’s a lot of views 

Me: wait … have you been hanging out with hoseok? 

 

Jimin: if by hanging you mean riding that dick? 

Jimin: I am ashamed to say no I have not.  

Jimin: YET 

Jimin: but if by hanging you mean socializing in the same room? 

Jimin: yes.  

 

Me: what about tae have you been hanging with tae 

Me: in either of those contexts? 

 

Jimin: I mean im still riding his dick! 

 

Me: what about the socializing in the same room bit 

 

Jimin: lately we really only talk to conspire about you and Jungkook or talk dirty

 

Me: jimin. please talk to him. I’m reasonably sure he’s a bit in love with you 

 

Jimin: look. It got messy, ok? I think I just have to let it go 

Jimin: try this thing with hoseok. 

Jimin: it’s fine 

Jimin: tae and I aren’t even that good together 

 

Me: that’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever said and I was there for your Barney in Jurassic Park pitch 

 

Jimin: he doesn’t have fucking genitals Jin!! dna extraction is the only way to ensure the survival of his species! 

 

 


 

 

 

“Come on, we’re late!” Jungkook huffs as they unload their bags from the car at the airport. It’s 5:40 A.M., and the air still smells like night, the darkness soft around them.  

“You made me change twice and also repack my entire suitcase!” 

"Because you wore cargo shorts, tube socks, and a tropical shirt, much like I thought you might," Jungkook says accusingly as he gently shoulders Jin out of the way to yank his overstuffed suitcase out of the car with one hand. Jin briefly hits the pause button on his flustered panic to allow himself to be sufficiently impressed by the veins straining on Jungkook’s arms. "My company and the other companies attending the conference basically booked up the whole first-class cabin for this flight so the façade starts now. I need you to get into character. How about you repeat after me. ‘I’m a young stylish sexpot who thirsts for Jeon Jungkook’s body day and night.’” 

Jin’s heel catches on the wheel of his suitcase, and he stumbles. “How about you kiss my ass?” 

Jungkook glares at him for a moment before his eyes focus on something over Jin’s shoulder. In the span of a second, his eyes meet Jin’s again, and he reaches up to curl a hand around the back of his neck and drag him down for a kiss. It’s a slow, lazy morning kiss, Jungkook’s lips moving languidly but deeply against his, and Jin feels his defiance die in his throat. 

Jungkook pulls back after a moment, checking over Jin’s shoulder again. “Oops. Thought I saw somebody from work. Sorry.” He doesn’t look particularly sorry at all.   

“You little...” Jin starts, moodily tugging up the handle of his suitcase so he can roll it towards the building.  

“Oh,” Jungkook calls from behind him as he catches up, “Just so you know, I had to book your ticket after I had already booked mine, so we're not sitting together on the first flight. Don't miss me too much." 

"Yeah! Well, good," Jin bluffs loudly as the airport doors open in front of them. "You think i want you staring hungrily at my dick the whole time? No thanks." 

Jungkook scoffs indignantly. "And you think I want to sit and listen to your eating noises, dumb jokes, and stupid Buffy theories for hours on end?" 

Jin comes to an abrupt halt, his suitcase running up against his heels. “Don't bring Buffy into this, you ingrate.  

Jungkook looks back at him as he pauses too, raising his hands in surrender. “Sorry. I'm sorry, that was too far.” 

“That crossed a line,” Jin says seriously, shoulders relaxing but still looking positively affronted.  

“It did, it crossed a line. I'm sorry.” 

 

 


 

 

 

“Oh thank god,” Jin sighs as he finds his seat on the plane at the very back of the first-class section. His seat partner smiles up at him. “I was fully convinced I was going to be next to you-know-who,” he hisses down at Hani with a surreptitious look around the cabin. “Where’s your what’s-his-face?” 

“He’s catching a later flight,” Hani informs him with palpable distaste. “Said he had some last-minute errands to run before he goes. He’s just a little errand-boy for Lee now, I swear." 

Something clicks in Jin’s mind then, and he eyes her strangely. “Wait. Hold on. What the fuck are you doing here? You graduated. Why are you still with that asshole?” 

“Oh,” she says quietly, looking down to fidget with the buckle of her seat belt. “I got an unpaid internship, so I still can’t afford shit without him.” 

“Fuck,” Jin curses, brows creasing in concern. ”For how long?” 

“Like... six months?” 

“Hani,” Jin says sternly then, turning to face her in his seat. “You cannot stay with him for another six months.” 

She shrugs. “I’m sure he’ll dump me before then anyway.” When Jin starts to say something, she waves him off, and ducks her head, obviously trying not to look upset. “Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out.” 

“Look, talk to Jungkook. Maybe he can-” 

“Jin, it’s fine,” she says quietly but with clear finality. “I’ll figure it out. For now, let’s just milk these suckers for all they’re worth. Okay?” She cringes slightly at Jin’s quirked eyebrow. “Except for Jungkook. Obviously.” 

“You know what?” Jin says primly, gently tugging the menu out of the pocket on the seat in front of him, “He made some extremely distasteful comments about Buffy this morning. Champagne and caviar are on him.” 

 

 


 

 

 

Between the website and the conference brochure, Jin had fully expected the resort to be stunning, but seeing it 2-D and actually experiencing it are two very different things. 

The resort includes a series of quaint but high-quality over-water bungalows, connected by boardwalks to each other and to the shore, where white sand meets pure turquoise sea. The horizon stretches long and flat behind them, where blue meets blue. Most of the facility is on land, including the elaborate pool facilities, restaurants, and lobby, and upon check-in they are given a glossy information packet as well as access to a personal concierge and guide, who leads them back to their room.  

The suite itself screams minimalist luxury. High ceilings and light, hardwood floors maintain the open, beachy vibe, but the sleek furniture and luxury electronics remind Jin that this place probably costs more per night than his rent does per month. A full kitchen (fully stocked) stands off to the right side, while the main living area is sunken several feet lower, connected by wide stairs. On the other side, French doors open to the bedroom, where a king-sized bed sits, large and imposing.  

“Right through here is the bed and the Jacuzzi bath,” the concierge instructs with a perfect customer service smile. “And of course we were able to accommodate your special requests.” 

As they make their way into the bedroom, Jin warily eyes the gigantic red-wrapped basket on the bed. 

“What... special requests?” Jungkook asks carefully. 

There's an obvious undercurrent of mortification to the concierge’s otherwise unchanged smile. “Uh. Well. The lovebird package.” He gestures to the basket. “Your personal assistants Mr. Kim and Mr. Park were very clear. It should all be there. I... personally gathered everything on the list myself.” 

Jungkook nods stiffly, but his ears are burning the most vivid red that Jin has ever seen them burn, whether from anger or from embarrassment, Jin doesn’t know. “Great, thank you.” He reaches into his pocket, pulls out some bills, and shoves them blindly into the concierge’s grateful hand. He bows slightly and scurries away, the door clicking quietly shut behind him.  

They both stare silently at the basket on the bed for a few moments.  

“Maybe it’s not that bad,” Jin suggests lightly. Jungkook lifts his leg up to kick it gently, and something inside immediately buzzes to life, making them both jump and stumble backwards as the sound of vibrations fill the room.  

“Oh my god,” Jungkook laments, burying his face in his hands. All that Jin can see of him are his ears, which remain impossibly red. 

“I’ll uh. I’ll get it,” Jin volunteers bravely, reaching forward to rip the paper off the basket. And yeah, it’s that bad. Whatever’s vibrating seems to be buried deep towards the bottom, because Jin pulls out several long strands of condoms, three containers of flavored lube, 4 cock rings, a pair of nipple clamps, a butt plug, a set of expensive looking red lingerie, a bottle of throat numbing spray, and a nasty-looking flail before he locates the source of the buzzing, a small, inconspicuous bullet vibrator buried towards the bottom of the basket. “There!” he says triumphantly.  

Jungkook nods, large eyes darting from object to object on the bed, then to the vibrator and lingerie clutched in Jin’s hands. “Good. Thanks. We can just...” He doesn’t finish the thought but just lunges forward to start piling everything up in the basket again. He impatiently snatches the last two items from Jins hands, grabs the basket, and tosses the entire thing rather roughly in the closet, closing the doors forcefully behind it.  

Jin just barely resists the overwhelming urge to laugh. “What, you’re not gonna bar the doors with a chair?” 

“Shut up,” Jungkook glares at him, straightening up and doing his best to look huffy. “We should get ready for the welcome banquet.” 

“Ugh.” Jin flops on the bed, groaning. “How many of these things do we have to go to?” 

“I mean, there’s only this one banquet, but we’ll probably be eating dinner with work people the other nights. Then there’s a big party the last night.” 

“And all your work assholes are gonna be there?” Jin asks.  

“All of them and more,” Jungkook says dully. “We’re supposed to network with other firms and investors and consultants. All kinds of people show up. It’s gonna be a fucking bloodbath.” 

Jin groans. “How do you do this every day? It’s exhausting.” 

There’s a dip on the bed next to him, and he looks over to see Jungkook flop onto his back. “It is.”  

They lay there in silence for a few minutes as the waves crash gently into the shore outside their window. Jin turns his head to glance over at Jungkook, who is staring at the ceiling, looking well and truly exhausted. For a moment he’s thrown back in time to that terrible bar where they first met, back when he had so strongly felt that unexpected urge to protect a young, panicking stranger. He reaches over and rests a gentle hand on Jungkook’s arm.  

“We’ve got this,” he assures him quietly, dragging his fingertips across the smooth skin of Jungkook’s forearm before he squeezes reassuringly.  

Jungkook turns his head to meet Jin’s gaze, and his eyes sparkle in the most magnificent way when he smiles softly and nods. 

 

 


 

 

 

The night is extraordinarily balmy, but there’s a biting edge of salt to the dense air as waves crash, one after the other, onto the shore of the moonlight-drenched beach. As he and Jungkook walk slowly down the torch-lined boardwalk, the lights and sounds of the banquet loom up ahead on a raised pavilion.  

Jin steals a brief glance at Jungkook. And this time, when he feels the tingling burst of nervous excitement in his gut that he has been so prone to feeling lately, he smiles. Jungkook’s profile is at once soft and striking, illuminated by the diffuse, muted light that bounces off of the sea behind him, and the breeze tousles his hair gently. The softness stands at great odds with the determined set of his jaw and the stiffness of his shoulders.  

It’s easy and natural to snake an arm around Jungkook’s waist. Jin feels him tense at first, sees him glance down at the ground before relaxing into the touch.  

The scattered clinking of glasses and the lively din above both mingle with the sounds of the shore as they approach, and the pavilion itself is filled from end to end with deceptively high-end tropical shirts and soft, fleshy untanned legs.  

Jin gestures violently at the shirts, regarding Jungkook with an expression of outrage. “You bastard! I can’t believe you made me leave my tropical shirts at home. I would have fit in perfectly!” 

The ghost of a smirk on Jungkook’s lips as he turns to face Jin is much more attractive than it should be. “You couldn’t if you tried,” Jungkook tells him, leaning forward to press a quick kiss to Jin’s barely parted lips. Jin’s stomach does light, pleasant somersaults beneath his ribs.  

And as they climb the stairs to join the crowd above, Jin feels Jungkook’s statement ring true for the thousandth time. He doesn’t fit in. But for perhaps the first time, as he clutches Jungkook’s slightly sweaty hand, he feels very viscerally that neither does Jungkook. The place reminds him again of that bar, of the sleazy old men, the young women shrieking in forced, painful laughter, the unfettered sense of entitlement. There’s no suspension of disbelief here, no pretending that these men can’t buy unlimited access to anything their hearts desire. Power, sex, friends, everything’s for sale. Jungkook’s never had to buy any of those things.  

Initially, Jin finds comfort in the number of faces that he doesn’t recognize. No Rosencrantz, no Roland, no Lee fucking Miller. But the longer he’s around these strangers, the more in them he recognizes and the less unfamiliar they are. In new faces, he sees Rosencrantz’s cruel smirk and Roland’s empty smile and Lee’s duplicitous whispers. He sees men so similar that Jin almost doesn’t realize it when he’s looking at the real thing.  

“Hello boys,” Lee greets them, looking suspiciously pleased to see them.  

“Lee,” Jungkook stiffly returns his greeting. Jin just blinks at him and narrows his gaze. 

“Quite a place, isn’t it?” he asks, gesturing at the striking nighttime scene around them.  

“It’s lovely,” Jin agrees coolly, reaching over to brush a stray hair behind Jungkook’s ear. “Though I don’t know what you can get done here that you can’t in a boardroom.” 

“Lots of things, I think,” Lee assures him, eyes glinting. “Trips like this give you a chance to loosen up. Relax. Build relationships. Not to mention, you get to see people you might not otherwise get to see, which is always a pleasure.” He smirks at Jin as he shoves one hand in his pocket, the other carefully holding a glass of amber liquid. “I’ve already met quite a few interesting new people tonight.” 

“Well we’d hate to keep you from them,” Jin insists with badly affected humbleness, eager to have him gone. 

“Oh, I’ll get back to them in a bit,” Lee assures him, looking far too smug for Jin’s tastes. He does his best to ignore the cold, wriggling something that snakes its way through his gut. “For now, I want to spend a bit of time with my old buddy Jungkook. You know, while I still can.” 

“He’s not going anywhere,” Jin scoffs viciously.  

Lee just smiles bigger, chuckling as he does. “You know, when you’re all testy like this I really struggle to see the family resemblance.” 

A hot trickle of shame and suspicion sears down Jin’s spine as he quirks his head. “Excuse me?” 

“Well, your father, of course. Such a pleasant man,” Lee replies evenly, though he looks like he’s only barely repressing his glee. The words knock Jin slightly off balance, and he actually feels Jungkook’s hand on his lower back steadying him. “He’s over there with Roland talking business right now, but I had the opportunity to speak to him earlier.” 

Sounds go mute in one of Jin’s ears as the other rings at an obnoxious frequency as his eyes find the broad, familiar back of his father. “Is that so?” 

“Great guy,” Lee continues, eyes affixed intensely to Jin’s face. “And we have a lot in common.”  

“Yeah, I’ll bet you do,” Jungkook snarls beside him, and Jin actually has to tug him back by the shirt as he takes a step forward towards Lee.  

Lee tsks his tongue in obnoxious condescension as his gaze lands on Jungkook now. “No need to get testy, Jeon. We’re all professionals here. Of various kinds.” His cold eyes flick back to Jin now. “Aren’t we?” 

Jin’s fingers find purchase in Jungkook’s shirt as he lunges forward again. “Jungkook,” Jin mutters through gritted teeth, heart thudding in his throat and anxiety twisting tight in his chest. “Remember where you are.” 

Sure enough, Jungkook and Lee’s boss turns away briefly from his conversation to shoot the two of them a friendly wave, which Jungkook returns with a mechanical smile.  

Unfortunately, the gesture seems to catch the attention of someone else, and Jin turns to meet his father’s eyes across the crowd. His breath catches in his throat as his father just nods his head at him, cruel eyes above a cold smile, and turns back to his conversation.  

“Ahh,” Lee groans happily as he stretches his arms. “I have a great feeling about this week. Don’t you?” 

“Absolutely,” Jin says with alarming composure. “If you’ll excuse me, I just. I forgot something back at the room.” 

“I’ll come with you,” Jungkook assures him eagerly, twining his fingers with Jin’s.  

“No, no,” Jin assures him, as he watches Jungkook’s boss start to make his way through the crowd towards them. He yanks his hand from Jungkook’s grasp. “You stay. Talk business. I’ll be fine.” Even as he says it, the toe of his shoe catches between the wooden boards of the deck, and he stumbles slightly.  

“Jin...” Junkook starts, but Jin waves his hands dismissively.  

“Just. Stay.” 

Jin wheels around and makes his way down the stairs they had only just ascended, funneling his effort into regulating his breathing, which threatens with increasing likelihood to run away from him. Part of him, the selfish part, wishes that Jungkook would come after him, hold him tight, assure him that everything is ok.  

His heart leaps when he hears quick footfalls on the wooden pathway behind him, but when he turns, he sees Hani jogging with outrageous poise in 6-inch heels towards him. Her face is creased in concern.  

“Hey,” she says, reaching out to squeeze his shoulder. “What’s up? I saw you for like a second, then it looked like you’d seen a ghost and you hurried off.” 

“Don’t worry about it,” Jin tries, but Hani forcefully links her arm with his and starts walking them back towards the suites with purpose. 

“Oh shut up. That doesn’t work with me,” she says affectionately, rubbing his arm. “What do you say we steal a bottle of booze from the bar and go hide in your room?” 

 

 


 

 

 

“I can’t believe she just gave you an entire bottle of Patrón ” Jin marvels as Hani starts slicing limes in the kitchen of his and Jungkook’s suite.  

“I have a way with the ladies,” she says lightly, with a pleased smile.  

“You have a way with everybody.” 

She just shrugs, plopping the limes on a plate and grabbing a salt shaker from the cabinet before heading over to plop down on the couch with Jin. He’s already (over)poured two shots of tequila in wine glasses, the closest thing to shot glasses he could find.  

She knows most of the story, it turns out. She’s overheard tidbits here and there from Lee and from Rosencrantz, has seen a lot of it herself. She’s heard them talk in hushed whispers about edging out Jungkook, even heard a mention of Coke at one point. But when he tells her about his dad, it’s clear that it’s all new information.  

“He what?” she asks, empty wine glass plopping lightly onto the couch. “I mean, Jesus, yeah, I got skeevy vibes off of him when the boys talked to him tonight, but what the fuck? And now he’s here? Are you okay?” 

“Yeah,” Jin replies confidently, with more confidence than he actually possesses. “I’m fine. I mean, obviously it’s not ideal to be stuck on an island with him for a week, but. I’m fine.” 

She nods slowly, reaching out to squeeze his knee in friendly reassurance. “You know I’ll keep my eyes and ears out for you, right?” 

Jin smiles, and the action carries immense fondness. “I know. Thank you.” 

“Of course,” she assures him. “Plus, you’ve got Jungkook. And look, I know that you guys have got an arrangement just like the rest of us, but it honestly seems like it’s so much more than that for you two, you know? More than just sex and money.” 

Jin squirms a little before turning to pour them another shot. “Yeah.” 

She observes him quietly for a few moments as she extends her wine glass to allow him to pour the re-fill, then she rolls her eyes exaggeratedly. “Jesus, Jin. Come on. You know I know, right?” 

Jin looks at her with wild eyes, accidentally dripping tequila on his expensive slacks in the process. “Huh?” 

“He told me.” she reveals with sparkling, smiling eyes. “After you left that night we went out for drinks with Roland. That you two were just pretending.” 

“Oh,” Jin says, flushing hotly. “Yeah. We are.” 

“You sure about that?” she asks gently, resting her head against the couch as she regards him.  

Jin chooses not to respond, instead tipping the wine glass back to his mouth and cringing as the tequila hits his tongue.  

She laughs quietly though her nose. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” 

“I-” 

He’s interrupted when the door swings open and hits the wall with such astounding force that Jin would be very surprised if it didn’t leave a mark. Jungkook half-tumbles inside, and his eyes dart around the room for a few seconds before settling on Jin.   

“What- Jungkook, what are you doing back already?” Jin demands, setting down his glass on the table. “It’s been like twenty minutes. You should still be out there.” 

“Uh,” Jungkook looks mildly uncomfortable as his eyes dart back and forth between him and Hani.  

“She knows,” Jin assures him quietly. “About my dad and everything.” 

“Ah. Good,” Jungkook says, kicking off his dress shoes at the door as he heads into the bedroom. Jin hears him rustling around in there, meeting eyes with Hani and shrugging as the sounds get louder. Moments later, Jungkook emerges with Jin’s empty suitcase clutched in his hand. “Do you want me to pack for you?” 

“Pack? What?” Jin asks, pushing himself up off of the couch to meet Jungkook in the bedroom. “Why are we packing?” 

Jungkook’s eyebrows quirk downwards in confusion. “We’re leaving.” 

“Jungkook, we’re not leaving,” Jin responds disbelievingly, tilting his head. “This is work. You’re here for work.” 

“Yeah, well, I’m not going to be the reason you spend a week trapped on an island with him, so. Please pack.” He turns his broad back to Jin, slightly hunched as he starts haphazardly throwing objects into the suitcase. 

“Uh, I’m gonna... head back to the banquet,” Hani’s quiet voice comes from the main room. “Let me know if I can do anything, okay?” 

“Thanks, Hani,” Jin tells her with a smile, watching her wave before slipping out the front door. He turns his attention back to Jungkook. “Hey, just like. Stop for a second.” 

Jungkook spares him an over-the-shoulder eyeroll as he continues to grab objects and clothing at random and stuff the back in the suitcase.  

“Jungkook. I’m fucking serious. Stop,” Jin commands him, lunging forward to grab Jungkook’s arm, which stills. He looks back at Jin with large eyes. “You’re not leaving, and neither am I.” 

Jungkooks heaves a purposeful huff, trying to wrench his arm from the tight grasp. “Jin-“ 

“Listen to me,” he insists evenly, easily meeting Jungkook’s determined gaze. “I am fine, and I don’t want to leave. It’s sweet of you to offer, but I would like to stay.” 

“Why would you want to stay?” Jungkook asks incredulously. “After everything he did?” 

“Yeah, he's done a lot of shit,” Jin nods and continues. “He kept me from doing things I wanted to do for a long time. But I’m on a beautiful island with a couple of my favorite people, and I’m fine. I want to stay.” Jungkook looks hopelessly conflicted. “He doesn’t get to decide where I can and can’t go. Okay?” 

Jungkook sighs heavily, plopping down onto the bed. He chews the left side of his bottom lip as he carefully regards Jin. “I don’t like this,” he replies simply. 

“Neither do I,” Jin assures him. “But I’m done letting bad people dictate my life. And I’m sure as hell not going to let them start dictating yours, either.” He swallows hard, standing up straight. “So we're staying.” 

The room relaxes around them as Jungkook’s shoulder slump and he sinks down onto the bed. “Okay.” He manages a semblance of a smile as he blinks up at Jin. “But please promise me you’ll tell me if it gets to be too much.” 

“I will,” Jin assures him. “As long as you do, too.” 

Jungkook nods slowly, gazing up at Jin with dark eyes and an unreadable expression. Jin stares right back until Jungkook looks away with pink ears, grasping for the half-packed bag on the bed beside him. “Ah, shit-“ he grasps at the bag as it slips as if in slow-motion to the floor, the strap slipping through Jungkook's fingers. It hits the ground with a soft thump. 

Followed by a buzz. A quiet, familiar, sustained buzzing noise. Jungkook whips his head around to stare at Jin in utter mortification as he realizes what it is.  

Jin quirks an eyebrow. “Interesting packing priorities.” 

“Please leave me to die.” 

 

 


 

 

 

Though the universe is apparently intently set upon forcing him to share a single bed with Jeon Jungkook, Jin at least counts his lucky stars that it’s a California King. When he curls up on the very edge in full fetal position, the space between them almost makes it feel like he’s not even sharing a bed with the one person in the world he most desperately wants to bone.  

When he wakes the next morning, there’s no Jungkook, though there is a little hastily-scrawled note on the nightstand telling him that Jungkook will be back from meetings around 4 and that Jin can put anything he’d like on the room tab.  

So after a leisurely Prime Rib breakfast, Jin orders a champagne picnic on the beach and spends most of the morning getting giggly champagne-tipsy in the sun and listening to Hani whine about Rosencrantz’s weird sex habits.

They’re on the way up the boardwalk back towards the rooms, Jin doubled over in laughter and blindly clutching Hani’s arm for support, when she abruptly stops walking and clears her throat, suddenly sober. He drags his head up to see the reason for her sudden change in demeanor, and he’s met with the sight he least wants to see.  

“Hi, son,” his father greets him with infuriating nonchalance. He’s flanked by Roland and Lee, looking like overpriced lackeys.    

“Hello,” Jin manages stiffly, straightening up as he sees Hani do the same in his periphery.  

“I was just telling Roland how I regretted not getting a chance to speak with you last night. You disappeared."

Jin bites the inside of his cheek. “Yeah sorry, I got pretty fucking nauseated for some reason."

“Well, I hope you’re feeling better today,” his father tells him, eyes a stern warning. “Say, we were about to head out to dinner. Why don’t you join us?” 

The insistent thud of Jin’s heart in his throat makes it feel strange to swallow. “I actually have dinner plans with Jungkook.” 

“Well bring him, of course,” his dad insists.  

“Sir, but we said-” Lee immediately protests, leaning forward to hiss in his ear, and Jin’s blood boils. He’ll really do anything to edge Jungkook out. “I just mean, our reservation is for three people. They may not be able to change it on such short notice.” 

Jin’s father turns to him, narrowing his eyes and tilting his head at the defiance, and Jin almost feels sorry for Lee in that moment. He knows how deep that stare cuts. “The more the merrier, Lee. The reservation shouldn’t be an issue. I’d love to see someone say no to us.” He chuckles, clapping a hand on Roland’s shoulder. “So, what do you say, Jin?” 

He’s impressed with his own ability to suppress his overwhelming urge to snap 'fuck no.’ Instead, he manages a smile, gritting his teeth as he responds, “That sounds lovely.” 

He sees Hani’s head whip around to stare at him, and he can imagine her mouth hanging open as she does. 

“Perfect. 7pm at the Shoreline,” his father confirms with a cocky smile, tucking his hands to his pocket. “It’s a restaurant in town. I’ll send a car for you at-” 

Jin smiles, squinting his eyes. “We’ll take our own.” 

A muscle in his father’s jaw twitches as he forces a stiff smile. “Great." 

“Perfect,” Jin agrees, holding his intense gaze. “We’ll see you there.” 

 

 

“We’ll WHAT?” Jungkook demands, voice squeaking like he’s been unexpectedly called upon in first period Algebra. He stands in the doorway of the bedroom wearing a gobsmacked expression.

“We’ll meet them there at 7:30,” Jin repeats evenly, tossing a pair of black slacks at Jungkook’s head. The legs flap over his face, and he peeks out from between them.  

The panic in Jungkook’s eyes fades, dulled by confusion as he cocks his head. “You said 7.” 

“They can wait.” 

Jungkook groans, whipping the slacks off of his head. “Jin, why did you say yes? Why would you willingly agree to spend more time with him?" 

“Easy. They were planning to meet without you again.” 

Jungkook gawks incredulously at him. “Jin who fucking cares-” 

“I fucking care!” Jin snaps, rounding on Jungkook. “You’re not losing your job, okay?” 

The room falls so quiet that Jin can hear the crashing of the waves outside for the first time. Jungkook regards him for a few moments, looking terribly conflicted. “I...” 

Jin clears his throat before Jungkook can continue. He turns his back and snaps,“Get dressed.” 

Jungkook huffs petulantly, lips thin as he snatches a shirt from the bed and retreats to the bathroom to get dressed.  

He’s still a bit cross with him an hour and a half later when time step out onto the rooftop terrace of the restaurant, the area lit by several strings of lights and the last few rays of the sinking sun.  

“Guess they were able to change the reservation,” Jin mutters to Jungkook as they approach. A small table with 5 chairs, three currently occupied, sits at the very center of the otherwise empty terrace.  

Jungkook scoffs. “They never had a reservation, Jin. They just walk into a place, and poof, a magically unoccupied rooftop terrace appears within minutes.” 

The only upside of the situation is that Lee is clearly upset to see them, and he is doing an unthinkably bad job at hiding it. As they approach, he rolls his eyes and petulantly crosses his arms like a toddler on the edge of a tantrum. 

“So glad you could join us, Jungkook,” Roland greets him with a firm handshake. “Sorry you almost missed the memo again.” 

“Yeah,” Jungkook chuckles lightly. “Seems like that keeps happening.” 

“No hard feelings, Jeon,” Lee says with obvious hard feelings, reaching up to shake Jungkook’s hand. Jin watches the veins of Jungkook’s right arm bulge as he squeezes. “Just seems like you’re never in the right place at the right time.” 

“Seems like it,” Jungkook replies quietly, releasing his hand and taking a seat next to Jin.  

“Well, I’m glad we could all make it,” Jin’s dad smiles charmingly. “And to thank you all for being such willing guides to my understanding of economic policy as I prepare for my campaign-” Jin barely chokes down his disbelieving scoff “-dinner’s on me tonight.” 

The server appears quietly over Jin’s shoulder just s he has an astonishingly good idea. He leans over to Jungkook and whispers, “Hey, how much does a lobster cost?”  

Jungkook shrugs and turns his head to whisper back, “Here? Like forty bucks probably.” 

“Can I get you two something to drink?” the server asks them with a polite smile.  

“Just a water, please,” Jungkook replies.  

“Six lobsters,” Jin follows immediately as he shoots her a blinding grin.  

He feels five pairs of confused eyes on him, then hears an amused chuckle from Roland. “Oh, no lobster for me, Seokjin, Thank y-” 

“Six lobsters, for me,” Jin repeats to the server, ignoring Roland. “To start.” The server nods, wide-eyed, as she reaches down to grab his menu. As he hands it to her, he adds, “Oh, and water, please. Sparking.” She nods once ore, curtly and backs away slowly, like she’s afraid to turn her back. He regards the other men, who stare at him with varying expressions of incredulity. “Ah, sorry. I just wanted to get a head start. Would hate to hold anyone up later you know?” 

“How considerate,” his father manages as he takes a long sip of whiskey.  

It’s the first sip of many. 

Jin has never felt quite so simultaneously adored and despised as he tucks into lobster number 10. On his right, Jungkook’s reverent gaze rarely waivers, not even to attempt to shovel his food into his mouth with any kind of accuracy. He jabs several spoonfuls of soup into the side of his face, completely missing his mouth as he watches Jin with rapt attention.  

On the other side of the table, however, the mood is decidedly different. Jin’s father grips his fork so tight that his knuckles go white with the effort. Roland and Lee make attempts at conversation, at business, but Jin’s father can’t seem to peel his eyes away from Jin. At this point, it’s a clearly ridiculous situation, but 10 lobsters is still a feasible feat in the world of normal humans. Jin, however, is not a normal human. So he smiles a big-cheeked smile at his father and motions to the server for five more. 

There's an uncomfortable laugh from the other side of the table. “Well look at him go!” Roland notes, smiling but with clear unease in his eyes. “You still hungry?” 

“Starving,” Jin confirms easily, with a fake smile. “Got to make up for all those missed family dinners, don’t I, Dad?” 

His father attempts unsuccessfully to turn his thin-lipped grimace into a smile. “Of course, son.” 

“Your boy is... really something,” Roland says, just the thinnest edge of distaste to his voice.  

“Yeah, he is,” two different voices come from opposite sides of the table, in diametrically different tones. Jungkook and Jin’s father stare awkwardly at each other for a moment before looking away, and Jin very narrowly avoids choking on a particularly large chunk of tail meat.

By lobster 20, a vein in his father’s forehead has appeared, and Jin’s not sure if he’s imagining it, but he thinks he sees it throb once. At this point, like at many points during his competition, eating has ceased to be fun or pleasant. However, the satisfaction he draws from his father’s ire and Jungkook’s borderline worshiping gaze is more than enough to keep him going.  

It’s been an hour now. The rest of them have just finished up their entrées and are in the process of ordering dessert.  

“I’ll have the tiramisu,” Lee tells the server as all eyes at the table turn to Jin.  

“And for you, sir?” the wary server asks as she reaches down to clear away the remains of the last eight lobsters. He’s up to 26 now. 

“I think another 4 should do it,” he says kindly, then he chuckles and pats his belly. “I’m almost starting to get full.” That’s untrue. He’s so full he’s dying. He would love nothing more than to go hurl up a few hundred dollars' worth of lobster off the edge of the roof, but he’s on a mission.  

By the time Jin tosses his napkin on the table, sighing in what he hopes appears to be contentment but is actually mild misery, all eyes are on him once more.  

“Wow,” Jin says, pushing his plate away with a smile. “What a great dinner.” 

“The check, sir,” the server says quietly, extending her shaking hand forward to hand him the black folded booklet.  

And as sick as Jin feels, it’s nothing in comparison to how absolutely ill his father looks as he cracks open the booklet and blanches at the numbers he sees.  

Jin cocks his head, hoping his smile doesn’t appear as obviously self-satisfied as it is as he says, “Thanks, dad.” His father grimaces a lame attempt at a smile as he digs for his wallet, hands shaking with rage. “You’re the best.”  

 

 

Jungkook positively vibrates with excitement as they make their way through the parking lot back to the car. He can still feel his father’s eyes on his back.  

“You are not playing this cool,” Jin hisses through the side of his mouth as elbows him lightly.  

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jungkook apologizes, taking a deep, calming breath. “That was just... amazing? It was amazing.” He looks up at Jin and in the process stumbles over a pothole in the asphalt. “Have I ever told you you’re amazing? I swear, the look on your dad’s face...” he remembers fondly.  

Jin can’t contain a smile at the memory of it. “I honestly have no clue what he thought he was going to get out of inviting us, but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t it.” 

“Jin, I mean... It was brilliant. It was poetic. He came to this conference begging for money, and instead he dropped at least a solid grand on lobster. It was fucking... inspired. Not to mention they didn’t get to talk business at all! They were too busy watching you.” 

“I do what I can for the cause,” he says, struggling around a butter-flavored burp. “Now can we please hurry home? We got lucky with that last burp but I can't say with any kind of certainty that we will be so lucky again."

On the ride home, he feels Jungkook's eyes on his face from time to time. 

"What?" he snaps, catching Jungkook mid-glance. 

"Nothing," Jungkook shrugs nonchalantly, turning to look out the window instead. 

"Jungkook. What?" Jin presses. 

"Nothing," he repeats shyly, burying his chin in the palm of his hand, which he props up on the armrest. 

"If you don't tell me I'm going to barf in this car right now."

Jungkook whips his head around to stare at him with a look of mild disgust. "You wouldn't."

"I'm so close," Jin promises him, pressing a bracing hand to his belly. 

"God, fine," Jungkook concedes rapidly. "I guess I was just thinking how much better everything is with you."

Jin's stomach heaves. Roiling, unrelenting butterflies and $1200 worth of lobster are not a great combination. "Yeah, you're gonna want to pull over right now."

 

 


 

 

 

Jungkook is gone again when he wakes up the next morning, but there is a lobster omelet waiting for him under a silver tray in the dining area, along with a teasing note from Jungkook who clearly found himself hilarious. Jin covers up the omelet with distaste, trying not to vomit at the smell of lobster. 

He spends much of the day inside the room as he continues to digest, watching pay per view movies and straight porn. For the laughs.  

But at 2pm, he’s shaken from an almost-nap when the door to their suite swings open and Jungkook strides in, positively fuming.  

“Uhh... hi?” Jin greets him uncertainly, propping himself up on his elbows on the couch. “Thought you weren’t going to be back until five.” 

“Yeah. No, I’m done,” Jungkook says simply, loosening his tie and tossing his phone onto the entry table. 

“Done? What do you mean done?” 

“This conference is a joke,” he says bitterly, kicking off his shoes and striding across the room to join Jin on the couch. “They’re fuckin' thieves. They’re telling us how to break the law without actually breaking the law. I can’t sit there and listen to it anymore.” He pauses, glancing down at his hands. “God, look at me, I’m shaking I’m so mad.” 

“I mean, don’t you have to go?” Jin asks, curling up to give Jungkook more room on the couch. “It's work, isn’t it?” 

“The rest of today’s sessions are optional. So I’m opting out.” He scoffs bitterly. “Though they have a session about how to work around campaign finance laws that your father and Lee seemed particularly interested in.” 

Jin nods slowly, chewing his lower lip in thought. “On the upside, now that my dad’s found what he wants in Lee and Roland and visa versa, maybe they’ll all leave us alone.” 

Jungkook’s ensuing stare is far too full of pity and appeasement for Jin’s liking. “Yeah, maybe.”  He holds his stare for a new moments before settling back into the couch and glancing at the television. There’s a pregnant pause. “Uh, hey Jin?” he asks lightly, his ears flushing a violent red. 

“Yeah?” 

“Why are you watching this blonde lady in heels get railed by an old dude in the back of a Hummer?” 

“Oh,” Jin realizes, turning back to the TV. “I dunno, it was either this or Marley and Me. The selections not great.” 

“Huh,” Jungkook says, tilting his head to get a better look. “Is that what all vaginas look like?” 

Jin clicks his tongue. “I had sex with one girl. 12 years ago. Under the covers. In the pitch black. And I never did it again,” he says as he tilts his head to try and find the same angle that Jungkook's apparently found. “It is absolutely adorable that you think I would know.” 

 

 


 

 

 

Jin has gotten so used to waking up alone in a large bed and a luxurious sunlight filled room that he awakes utterly confused when he rolls over lazily in bed and comes in contact with an object. A large, warm object. 

He opens his eyes. 

“Good morning.” 

Realizing their proximity, he braces his forearms on Jungkook’s chest to push himself up and put some space between them. “Good morning,” Jin responds in a sleep-crackled voice. “What are you doing here? I thought you had meetings.” 

“I am doing... exactly what I want to do. For once,” Jungkook replies quietly, eyes puffy but smiling. “Hey, do you want to have a spa day?” 

“Really?” Jin asks brightly. Truth be told, the resort is nice, but he was getting quite bored without Jungkook. 

“Yeah,” he confirms with a toothy grin. “Call Hani. I’ll treat her, too.” 

Hani’s at their door in minutes, looking fresh and casual as she throws her arms around Jungkook. “You little angel,” she coos, reaching up to cup his cheeks. Jin notes Jungkook’s fierce flush and shy smile. “Thank you and bless you. As you can probably guess, my lovely date did not splurge for the spa package.” 

“I figured,” Jungkook says, shaking her off with pleased embarrassment.  

“Come on, we have a throuple's massage at 11,” Jin tells them as he grabs his sunglasses from the outside table.  

It’s a lovely day. When he’s with Hani and Jungkook, it’s almost too easy to forget that this island is also currently playing host to a few of his very least favorite people.  

They're all in the process of getting pedicures when a familiar but unexpected figure enters the room.  

“Petra?” 

Sure enough, when she turns her head, Jin can see that it is in fact her. She smiles curiously and turns to greet them. “Hello, lovebirds.” Her accent is as charming and ambiguous as ever. 

“What are you doing here?” Jin asks her, straightening up in his seat as he does. 

She points at Jungkook. “His company hired me to come take pictures for final night. For their...” She struggles for the word momentarily before her eyes light up in realization, “Ah, for their propaganda films.” 

“You mean the promotional videos,” Jungkook clarifies in amusement.  

“Same thing,” she shrugs, and her eyes wander over to Hani then. “Friend of yours?” 

“Oh,” Jin realizes abruptly. “Yeah, this is Hani. She just graduated from law school. We uh. We met at a work event.” 

“Ah, you work with the ugly men?” Petra asks, putting a hand on her hip and raking her eyes down Hani’s form. Oh. 

“I just sleep with one for rent,” Hani replies boldly, settling back in her chair and straightening her neck regally.  

“Rent only?” Petra asks, shaking her head. “Men like that, woman like you, he should thank his gods daily and buy you island.” 

Next to him, Jungkook’s face is alight in shocked glee as his eyes dart between the two of them.  

Hani seems extremely pleased and almost embarrassed, which on her, is a strange and stunning look. She chuckles. “Wish he thought that way.” 

“Perhaps you will find someone who does,” Petra says lightly, the corner of her mouth quirking. “I will see you at banquet tomorrow night?” 

“I hope so,” Hani says smoothly, tilting her head to the side as she shoots Petra a small smile, eyes smoldering.  

“Bye, Petra,” Jungkook pipes up as she waves and makes her way out of the spa. Their eyes all follow her form, waiting until the door swings shut to turn to each other, eyes wide.  

“You beautiful, charming son of a bitch,” Jin utters, staring at Hani in disbelief. 

 

 


 

 

 

They spend the final full day of their trip in the clouds.  

At 6am, Jungkook had lured him out of bed with coffee and a pastry, and the next thing he knew, they were halfway up a mountain.  

“Whyyyyyyyyyyy,” Jin groans, falling dramatically to his knees into the soft, padded earth. “Are you taking me out here to kill me? Is it because I bought 15 pounds of filet mignon last shopping trip? Was it those truffles? The whole roasted pig?” 

Jungkook grabs his hand, dragging him back to his feet. “Shut up. You know I’d pay for rent and allowance too if you’d let me, dumbass,” he says, twining his fingers with Jin’s to keep tugging him forward. “No, I just want to make sure you get your fill of the island before you leave. All you’ve seen is the inside of that resort.” 

“It’s a lovely resort,” Jin huffs, reluctantly allowing himself to be led up the steep path. His hair sticks to his neck, and he swats petulantly at a bug. “A blessed place. Let’s go back.” 

“It was built by a French colonist in 1969,” Jungkook informs him primly.  

Jin pauses, looking at Jungkook curiously. “You googled.”  

“I did,” he says, obviously pleased with himself.  

Jin sighs and gazes longingly back down the path before turning to Jungkook with a look of defeat. “Fine. Onward.”  

Jungkook sings lightly under his breath as they trek up the increasingly steep mountain, apparently never phased, voice light and steady as ever. It's a lovely, clear voice, high and airy, and Jin very nearly finds himself sufficiently distracted from the burning in his legs as they hit a difficult incline.

“Oh! Look! ” Jungkook says suddenly after about another hour or so of uphill hiking. He’s about twenty feet ahead of Jin when he points ahead and takes off at a light jog.  Jin refuses to move any faster than he already is, so it’s another minute until he catches up with Jungkook. And as grouchy as he wants to be, he can’t manage it. Not in front of a view like this.  

“Holy shit,” Jin mutters as he reaches Jungkook’s side. From the peak of the mountain, the rest of the island sprawls out beneath them, bits of it obscured by fluffy, white clouds. The sea, however, is completely unobscured, the bright turquoise of the shallows shifting abruptly to a deeper blue where the ocean wall drops off. Just in the distance, they can see the little dotting of over-water bungalows of the resort.  

“Not bad, huh?” Jungkook asks, smiling eagerly at him.  

“Not bad,” Jin allows, sinking down to sit on the cool grass and rest his legs. “If only we had-” 

He’s interrupted by the loud zipping noise of Jungkook’s backpack. “Food?” 

Jin is immensely concerned by the tornado of butterflies in his gut as their fingers brush when Jungkook passes him a sandwich. "Thanks." He tears his eyes away from the landscape only long enough to unwrap his sandwich and pull out his water bottle. "Jesus, this really is something," Jin admits as he looks out over the ocean once more. "I guess I see why people hike."

"Don't knock it 'til you try it," Jungkook says cheerfully as he pulls another four sandwiches from his bag and places them beside Jin. "So. I did good, didn't I?"

"Yeah, well," Jin scoffs as he tries to recover a bit of his cool. "The day isn't over yet. We still have to drag our asses all the way back down this mountain.” 

“Do we?” Jungkook asks, looking very smug as he takes a small bite of his own sandwich. In the distance, there’s a deep, chopping sort of sound, and then a small dot in the air rounds the side of another mountain. A helicopter.  

Jungkook smiles toothily at him, eyes squinting into perfect crescents, and there goes the final brick in the wall in his chest. As Jin feels the whole damn thing tumble down, he admits it, silently, to no one but himself. He's gone.

 

 


 

 

 

“Where the hell have you been?” Hani hisses at them, getting to her feet as they approach the door to their room several hours later.

Concern prickles the hairs of Jin’s neck. “We were just.. Hiking. Why?” 

“Let’s talk inside,” she says shortly, motioning for Jungkook to open the door to their suite. When he does, they hurriedly follow him inside, and Hani shuts the door behind them.  

“What is it?” Jin asks, trying to keep the panic from his voice. 

“I uh...” she starts, pacing in the kitchen. “I found out what they were planning. Lee and the guys. And your dad.” 

Jin’s heartbeat feels like it quakes his whole body as he waits for her in still silence. “And?” 

“Oh, Jin, I’m so sorry,” she apologizes, looking so genuinely upset. “I found a rough draft of the article on his phone.” She swipes through a few screens on her own phone before tentatively passing it to him. “It hasn’t gone live yet, but they’ve been emailing the publication about it.” 

Jin glances down at the phone and sees what looks to be the rough draft of a news article, as well as some pictures of his own face. ‘How this Competitive Eating Superstar Supports his Supersized Habits.’ 

Jin doesn’t have to read any further to know what it’s about. He nods slowly, dropping the phone on the couch. Jungkook scrambles to pick it up.  

“They’ve got... a lot, Jin,” Hani tells him seriously. “They’ve got photos of you two, they’ve got an interview with your dad, they’ve got interviews with Jungkook’s co-workers. They even managed to get some of your financial records, Jungkook, showing where you bought things for him. I have no clue how they got their hands on those. But the implications are clear." She pauses. "That he’s been having sex for sponsorship.” 

Jungkook’s eyes are wide as rapidly scan the screen, right to left to right to left again. “Bullshit.” He looks up at Hani then, knuckles white around the phone. “This is bullshit. Right? There’s no way this is going to get published,” Jungkook says skeptically. “No offense, Jin, but this publication writes about celebrities. A trashy tabloid. They’re not going to publish an article about a competitive eater.” 

“It’s a scandal, Jungkook. A scandal involving you, the city’s most eligible bachelor, and an ex-congressman's son who has recently been trending on Twitter.” She turns to look at Jin now, who is looking at nothing. “From what I saw, the story is definitely going live in a few days.” She hesitates, features arranged sympathetically as she continues to stare at Jin. “I don’t think this is good for sponsors, Jin.” 

“Great,” Jin says bitterly, nodding as he heads to the door to slip on his shoes. “That’s just-" He breaks off, his throat very tight as he crouches down to tie his shoes, tucking his head.  

Jungkook has gone slightly pale, handing the phone back to Hani and cautiously approaching Jin. “Fuck. Jin... I-” he breaks off, apparently at a loss for words. “I’m so sorry.” 

Jin just shrugs and sniffs as inconspicuously as he can. “Probably wasn’t going to happen with Coke anyway.” 

"Don't say that," Jungkook tells him, clicking his tongue skeptically. His hand finds Jin's shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly. "This would never have happened if I-" 

“Doesn’t matter,” Jin says quietly, ducking his head as he shrugs out from beneath Jungkook’s touch. “I’m gonna go for a walk. 

“Do you want me to come wi-” 

"No," Jin tells him, and he doesn't mean for it to sound as cold as it does. The look of hurt in Jungkook’s eyes does a lot for helping him relax his tone. "Don't worry, I'll be back for the party." 

Jungkook draws his eyebrows together, glaring at him mildly. "Jin, fuck the party That's not what I'm worried about, can we-" 

The click of the door shutting cuts off the rest of that sentence, and Jin shoves his hands in his jacket pockets, taking a deep breath of salty air.  

“I’ll fix this, Jin!” he hears from the other side of the door, the words nearly swallowed by the sounds of the sea as he sets off down the boardwalk to the beach.  

 And much as he wants to believe that, he already knows he's lost. He only wonders how much. 

 

 

Chapter Text

So, he walks. 

The breeze rolling in from the sea is warm, heavy with salt, as the bottom of the sun begins to dip below the horizon. Jin’s not panicking. He thought he would panic. He keeps waiting for himself to panic. Instead, he's overcome by a sense of melancholic calm as he strolls down the shadowy shore, his feet squeaking in fine sand. Acceptance must be what he’s feeling, but he’s a little concerned with how quickly he’s embraced the worst-case scenario, how unwilling he seems to be to fight it. Maybe it’s the tiredness that’s sunk deep into his bones, not the kind of tired a good night’s sleep would cure. He’s not exactly sure what would cure this kind of tired.  

Once he’s a suitable distance away from the resort and from humans and especially from Jungkook, he plops down unceremoniously into the sand, the packed surface harder than he had anticipate. Jin digs into his pocket and grabs his phone, sniffing hard and wiping his nose as he scrolls down through his contact information until he finds what he's looking for. After a moment's hesitation, he taps the word Mom and brings the phone to his ear. 

It rings and it rings, and just as he's convinced himself that she's not going to pick up, he hears a soft "Hey sweetie." 

"Hey mom," he says, voice thick as he digs his feet into the sand. "How are you?" 

His mom sighs on the other side of the line. "Fine, I guess. You aunt is being a bitch again, but what's new?" 

"Mom!" 

"What? It's true!" She assures him. "She keeps talking about her brat of daughter like the sun shines out of her ass." 

"You know you do the exact same thing to her, about me.” 

"Yes, but you're actually great," she tells him without an ounce of shame. 

"I’m not that great,” he confesses, feeling a twisting regret in his stomach. He doesn't feel like a good son. 

"What about you?" She asks then, "Trip going okay?" 

Jin bites his bottom lip, slightly concerned his voice might crack. "Of course. I’m in paradise. Just wanted to hear your voice." 

"Well now you’ve heard it. So get back to paradise. Oh!" She suddenly remembers, "Wait, have you heard from Coke?" 

Jin swallows hard and clears his throat, shifting on the hard sand. "Not yet." 

"Well, of course they'll want you," she assures him, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. "How could they not?" 

"I’m not so sure," Jin admits quietly, grip tightening on this phone. It’s the perfect opportunity to warn her, to give her a heads up of some of the things she might be reading about him in the next few days, but his throat sticks stubbornly shut as he tries to continue.  

"Sweetie, you’ve got to have more confidence. You’re amazing," his mom assures after a moment. "I'm proud of you." 

"Mom, don't-" 

"No, I know, I’m your mom and I don’t count. But listen," she insists, and Jin has no choice. It’s not often they talk like this, in specifics. The vague sentiment of love is always there, but whenever it gets more specific than that, both of them tend to shy away. "I’m so proud of you. You've been up against a lot since day one, we both have. But you never let it stop you from doing exactly what you want to do, even if it wasn’t the safe option. You took a chance. And look how it’s paid off.” 

"Mom..." he croaks out, throat impossibly tight as his eyes burn with shame. 

"You’ve done such amazing things. I wish I could be strong like you.” The end of the sentence sounds choked, and she sniffs quickly. You are, Jin want to argue, but he seems fully incapable of speech as she continues. “So, you deserve this. Let yourself be excited.” Jin’s throat is so tight that he can barely breath, much less speak. So he doesn’t. Luckily she fills the silence for them. “Plus, I can’t wait to shove it in your aunt's face," she says with a watery cackle.

"I love you, mom," Jin tells her once her laughter has subsided. 

"Love you too, sweetie. So much. See you at Nationals?" 

Jin nods, even though he knows she can't see him. "See you at Nationals." 

After he hangs up, he sits there in the night-blue sand, watching the waves roll up quietly onto the shoreline and lets himself cry for a few minutes. He doesn’t see a way out of this.  

He could release his own statement, say what he had with Jungkook was real. But it would still be his word against theirs. Against his dad’s. Against the words of several very rich very powerful men. Even if people did believe him, it wouldn’t be enough. The damage would be done. Sponsors don’t like drama. 

If he did deny everything, denied that he was paid for the arrangement, he wonders what Jungkook would say. He thinks back to when they first, what Jungkook had wanted of him. It wasn’t a boyfriend. It was a status symbol. He didn’t pay Jin for real.  

Even amid all the murkiness and uncertainty, one thing is abundantly clear. They can’t keep this up. Continuing as they are will only confirm suspicions, especially with the nature of their interactions at Jungkook's work events. Everybody at his workplace would be able to corroborate the news story, of course. That was the whole point of their arrangement. It might be a little late in that sense, but at least he can do damage control.  

He groans, shaking his hands and wiping his eyes on his shoulder. “Suck it up,” he mutters to himself, sniffing hard.  

For now, he reasons, they're on this beautiful island, in the lap of luxury, for one more night. He may never be anywhere like this ever again. So he will go to this damn party, and he will enjoy it.  

When he tentatively cracks open the door to their suite, he fully expects Jungkook to be there and to bombard him with questions or apologies or solutions. What he finds instead is an empty room. He steps inside, tossing his phone on the couch as he stoops to read a note on the table in Jungkook's handwriting.  

 

Had to pop into town for a bit. I'll be back before the party. Don't worry! We'll fix it. 

 

Jin just sighs and pours himself one glass of wine, then another glass of wine to clutch in his other hand, then he flops back onto the couch in a defeated heap. At some point he simply sheds his clothes and grabs one of the fluffy white robes from the bedroom before flinging himself once again onto the couch.  

It's here he stays for the next hour and a half, until he hears the door click open and Jungkook's shuffling footsteps in the entryway.  

"Jin?" He calls to the room not immediately noticing Jin there on the couch.  Jin, four glasses of wine deep and extremely demotivated, does not make to move or answer. "Jin?" He sounds a bit more frantic this time.  

Jin groans from the couch, trying to sit up and sloshing wine all over himself in the process. Jungkook jumps at the sound as he finally takes notice.  

"Jesus!" He says, bringing a hand to his chest. "You scared me. I thought you were…” He trails off, hesitant.

"A sexy ghost?" Jin provides for him with a hiccup, hands swiping uselessly at the red stain on the white robe.  

"Gone," Jungkook finishes quietly as he approaches, setting down a high-quality paper bag on the table. 

"Nope. Still here, still queer," Jin tells him, setting his wine glass down carefully on the table. It takes him several tries.  

Jungkook helpfully pushes the wine glass away from the precarious edge of the table. "Hey, listen, I know I said we didn’t need to go to this party, but-” 

"Excuse me, I am going to this party! You think I'm gonna spend this last night in paradise in my room? Fuck no, I'll never be anywhere this nice ever again." 

Jungkook hesitates. “Uh. Good. It’s just, I think I might have a solution. And we need to go to this party for it to work.” 

His words tug Jin briefly out of his happy place, sobering him like he’s been pulled underwater. “I don’t want to talk about that.” 

“But we have to do something,” Jungkook argues, leaning forward in his enthusiasm. “Like, now.” 

“I said don’t want to talk about it,” Jin says more forcefully, pushing down the terrible raking anxiety that claws up his chest. It’s stupid. He knows he’s going to need to face this, just, not now. Jungkook’s eyes dart down to Jin’s hands, which are curled into claws on his thighs, nails digging into his flesh. “There’s nothing we can do, so I don’t want to talk about it.” 

“I… okay,” Jungkook allows, perhaps noting how close Jin is to breaking down completely. “That’s fine. We won’t talk about it.” 

“Okay,” Jin says, relaxing a bit into the couch behind him. “Good.” 

Jungkook eyes him carefully.  “But Jin, I’m gonna do something.” 

“Do whatever you’d like,” Jin says primly, crossing his legs.  

“It’s going to affect you.” 

“Yeah, well, shit can’t get worse than it already is,” Jin tells him lightly, taking a large sip of wine. “So fuck it all. Do what you want.” 

Jungkook observes him carefully for a few moments. “You’re sure you don’t want to know.” 

“Positive," Jin tells him, settling back into the soft couch and nuzzling against it as he enjoys the fuzziness around his thoughts and the heaviness of his limbs. “Nothing matters! I have no control over my destiny! What happens, happens.” 

“Jin-” 

"Now, dress me!" 

"What?" Jungkook scoffs, though he looks slightly concerned. "Are you serious?" 

"Crystal," Jin confirms, then he pauses. "Wait, did you ask me if I was clear?" 

"No..." Jungkook says, concern obvious in his tone as he eyes the bottle of wine.  

"Oh," Jin remarks, scrunching up his face in careful thought. "Did you ask me if I was drunk?" 

"No." He quirks an eyebrow. "Are you?" 

"Yes," Jin admits without hesitation, sprawling back on the couch in a way he knows is slightly suggestive. "Which is why I need you to dress me." 

Jungkook’s eyes are dark as he looks at Jin, whose robe has ridden up around his thigh. “Fine.” 

Jin's not quite sure why he's building it up like this in his mind. Why he's allowing himself to lean into Jungkook's touch as gentle hands run a brush through his hair, steadying Jin's head tenderly. He certainly doesn't know why he's allowing himself to lean forward and stare unabashedly at his face as Jungkook slowly pushes his robe down from his shoulders and slips his arms into a shirt, fingers skimming lightly over his torso as he does up the buttons. He can tell that Jungkook probably feels his gaze heavy on his face, but he’s very pointedly ignoring it as he focuses his attention on readying Jin.  

“Things are pretty fucked, aren’t they?” 

Jungkook’s fingers still around Jin’s ankle as he rolls on a sock. “Yeah. I guess they’re pretty fucked.” 

Jin abruptly draws back his leg, dragging Jungkook’s hands and consequently his entire body with him. Jungkook lurches forward with the force of the tug, arms planted on either side of Jin, who sprawls out beneath him, trying to look alluring. “Do you want to fuck them a little worse?" 

Jungkook hovers over him for a moment, lips parted and eyes dark, before scrambling backwards, standing up and gluing his hands to his sides. “You can finish getting dressed.” 

The wine dulls the burn on the mild rejection, heat flushing to his face. “Like I’d fuck you anyway,” Jin mutters under his breath, knowing how ridiculous he sounds even without Jungkook’s judgmental quirked brow.  

“We’re leaving in ten.” 

 

 


 

 

 

 

For better or for worse, Jin has sobered slightly by the time they reach the ballroom, the back wall of which is a series of floor-to-ceiling windows that are open to the temperate night beyond. On a raised stage in the corner, there’s a live band playing soft jazz. It should be relaxing, the sea breeze, the easy listening, the free booze, but given the context, the atmosphere is slightly eerie, almost unsettling.  

“If I see them here, I can’t guarantee I won’t throat punch them,” Jungkook mutters in his ear as they survey the room.  

“Is that your big plan?” Jin asks, grabbing a glass of champagne from the tray of a passing waiter. “Throat punching? Because I’ve got to say, I like it, but I don’t know what it'd do for our PR.” 

Jungkook heaves a disappointed sigh as he looks around the room. "Fine. I won’t punch anyone.” 

“You sure about that?” 

And it looks like it pains him, but Jungkook nods. “Yes.” 

“I can’t promise the same,” comes a voice from behind them, and Jin turns to see Hani, looking resplendent as always, even in an unimaginably tacky tropical print dress. “How are you guys holding up?” 

“Me? I’m juuust fine,” Jin assures her, going to take another large swig of champagne. Jungkook snatches it from his hands before the rim of the glass reaches his lips.  

Hani eyes him strangely. “Are you drunk?” 

“Crystal,” Jin confirms with a charming smile and an overzealous wink. She rolls her eyes.  

“So it’s going to be that kind of night.” 

“Hey, Hani,” Jungkook says quietly, reaching out to gently touch her arm. “I might need a favor later. Oh, and have you seen Petra?” 

She nods, pointing vaguely at the other end of the expansive room. “She’s busy with the ‘ugly men.’” 

“Cool,” Jungkook says distractedly, craning his head. The posture accentuates the sharpness of his jawline, and Jin finds himself licking his lips and leaning forward slightly.  

“Well,” Hani says significantly, eyes darting between the two of them, “I’ve got to go pretend I don’t want to vomit at the sight of my date. I’ll leave you two to it?” 

“Thanks, Hani,” Jungkook tells her, tugging Jin over to one of the round tables to sit. The world tilts on an axis for a moment before it rights itself as Jin plops gracelessly into the seat. Jungkook reaches to the center of the table to grab a basket of covered dinner rolls, plopping the entire thing in front of Jin unceremoniously. “Eat.” 

“I’m not that drunk,” Jin tells him but grabs a roll nonetheless.  

“I’d prefer you were sober for this,” Jungkook tells him, eyes darting round the room as he does.  

Jin tilts his head, observing the subtle downturn to Jungkook’s mouth, his drawn brows, his clenched fists. “Are you sure you’re not going to fight someone?” 

Jungkook’s wide eyes find his. “What? Of course, I’m sure. I have self control, Jin."

They sit there, nibbling on dinner rolls, Jungkook kindly waving away the servers that stoop down to offer Jin more champagne. The room gradually continues to fill, and several couples have taken to the dance floor to sway softly to the gentle jazz. Jin and Jungkook watch them, perhaps a bit stiffer than usual, Jin very conscious of the space between them. But then they see movement at the double-door entrance, and Lee strolls in shoulder-to-shoulder with Rosencrantz. There’s an unpleasant contraction in Jin’s gut, like his body is physically trying to curl in on itself. He stuffs an entire bread roll in his mouth and glares, chewing quickly as he dusts off his hands and jumps to his feet.  

“What are you doing?” Jungkook asks, eyes wide as Jin takes his hand and pulls him out of his chair. 

We are dancing,” Jin informs him, tugging him towards the dance floor where couples are swaying slowly to the music. 

A tiny crease appears between Jungkook’s brows as he drags his eyes up from Jin’s hand to his face. “But we're…” He whips his head around to take in the surrounding couples, and Jin knows which anxious little gears are turning in his mind. 

“We’re what, Kook? Men?” 

Jungkook nods slowly, looking slightly ashamed that he’d even had the thought. 

“Well, believe it or not,” Jin says, putting his hand on Jungkook’s waist and grabbing his hand with the other, “heterosexual couples do not have a monopoly on dancing. And I, for one, am going to do whatever the fuck I want to do tonight.” 

Jungkook hesitates before snaking his arm around Jin's waist and stepping closer, though not close enough for Jin, who yanks him the rest of the way forward so that their noses almost touch. He can feel eyes on them, and his ears burn a little the way they always do when he does something brave, holds a man's hand in public or casually comes out to a stranger, but the proximity is worth it as he and Jungkook sway in unison to the music. 

And Jungkook settles into the rhythm of things remarkably well, as he has a tendency to do. Hesitant at first, sometimes needs a push, but then he takes to it like he’s been doing it his whole life. It feels like he’s been dancing with Jin his whole life, that he's been gripping him with strong, sure hands, holding him close, staring calmly and sweetly into his eyes without even the slightest sense of hesitance. 

Something about it, about his sure, intense gaze, flusters Jin immensely, his stomach flipping lightly in his gut. 

"Hey. Why are you looking at me like that?" Jin asks suspiciously, subconsciously pulling him closer as the song plays on, all soaring and romantic trumpet and sweet tinkling piano. 

"Like what?" Jungkook asks, steady gaze never flickering for a moment. 

"Like you're in love with me." 

Jungkook's gaze is surprisingly steady, the only movement of his eyes is down at Jin's lips, then back up to his eyes. "Acting. Remember?” 

Jin tilts his head to regard him more closely, their faces inches apart.“ I don't think you're supposed to fall in love with the sugar baby," Jin says, tilting his head closer all the while. "I think that's where things go bad." 

"Good thing it's just pretend then," Jungkook says, pushing Jin away slightly to spin him outwards. A moment later, Jin is spinning back in towards him, and his face is closer than it was before. 

“Good thing. Fake you is kind of fucked.” 

Rather than leaning away, Jungkook just kind of tilts his head, like he's considering kissing him. Jin starts forward for a moment, like he's expecting a kiss, and Jungkook smiles good-naturedly. "Fake you is looking a little shaky, too.” 

They dance like that for a while, pressed flush, held tight in place by the thickness of the air that envelops them, a kind of barrier between them and the rest of the room.  

"You know, if you’re not careful, these guys are going to start getting the wrong idea," Jin tells him eventually. He hates it even as he says it. "What was it you told me that first night at the bar? Fucking hot people with no emotional attachment?" 

"Something like that," Jungkook admits distastefully, eyes unwavering on Jin's face.  

"So, doesn't this go against the whole plan?" 

Jungkook smiles nervously, and now they’ve stopped swaying. "Nah. I guess the plan just changed.” 

Jin swallows hard, and he's sure the sound of it is audible over the gently swelling music.  

“What does that mean?” 

Jungkook regards him carefully for a moment, biting his lower lip. "Jin, do you trust me?" 

"What? Why?" 

"Do you?" 

Jin considers for a moment, but the answer is disconcertingly obvious. "Yeah." 

“Don't freak out okay?” Jungkook says, feet stilling as he put pulls away slightly. “We needed to act fast, and we needed witnesses. Don't worry, it’s not real.” 

"What..." Jin starts, but he stops abruptly when Jungkook reaches into his pocket and slowly sinks down onto one knee in front of him. A couple of shocked gasps go up around him as the music plays on like nothing world-upending is happening. “What are you doing?” 

Jungkook flips open a small black leather box with surprisingly steady hands. Inside is a simple but stunning gold ring. "Fixing it.” 

As hard as Jin tries to make sense of the situation in front of him, there are only squiggly lines and static in his mind. 

"I..." Jin starts, and he very genuinely does not know what the next words out of his mouth were going to be, but they’re nowhere to be found, evaporated into the air around them, air that is filled with other words, soft whispers and shocked exclamations. 

“Let me take care of you,” Jungkook asks earnestly, quiet enough that only Jin can hear, and Jin’s chest is so, so full that he can hardly expand his chest to breathe. “Just this once. Just until things blow over. You’re free to go without question whenever you want.” 

Jin only grapes for a moment, and he's honestly not even sure what his answer is before it comes out of his mouth. “Okay.” 

“Okay,” Jungkook mumbles with a crooked smile, springing to his feet to slide the ring onto Jin’s finger. Jin feels this happening, but he can’t look away from Jungkook, who cups the side of his face, dragging him in for a kiss. The hoots and hollers around them only escalate. And Jin feels so many things in the moment, but the main thing is fond. Overwhelmingly fond of this dumb, wonderful kid who just did a dumb, wonderful thing.  

Suddenly there is a weight on his back and Hani is screeching in his ear as she clings to him like an incredibly gangly koala. 

“I got the whole thing on video!” she half-yells, pressing a slippery kiss to Jin’s cheek, and he vaguely realizes he must be lipstick marked now, but he still can’t look away from Jungkook, who is looking back at him with a guarded kind of hope. “You perfect, beautiful boys, oh my god.” 

She hops down from Jin’s back, reaching forward to grab his hand in excitement. 

“Hey Hani,” Jungkook says, tearing his eyes away from Jin for a moment. “Go post that on Instagram? Like ASAP? And if you can get anyone else to do the same-” 

“Already on it,” she assures him, fingers flying on her phone. “You know, I know the girl who does engagement announcements in the New York Times. You want me to give her a call? Try and get you in for tomorrow’s paper?” 

“Please,” Jungkook says with pleading eyes. 

He looks at Jungkook, who looks back. There’s not a trace of regret in his eyes, even as a group of his co-workers snicker and shake their heads from a corner. Jin whips his head around, eyes searching for a tall figure. He finds Lee, paused in conversation, glare boring into the back of Jungkook’s head. His knuckles are white around the whiskey tumbler in his hand, and his expressions is contorted in rage. Jin shudders, turning away abruptly.  

“Let me get a picture of the happy couple!” Petra says, eyes twinkling with knowledge. She’s believed that they were engaged for months. If she really wanted to, she could throw some uncomfortable questions their way, but as she gently tugs Hani aside and raises her camera to capture the two of them, her smile says she won’t. 

“Hey. Let’s go,” a gruff voice says from behind Hani, and then there’s another hand on her arm, a thicker one. 

Hani turns to regard Rosencrantz with thinly veiled disdain. “I want to say congratulations.” 

“You just did. I’m ready to leave, so come on.” He pulls her arm, which she wrenches away.  

“No.” 

“Excuse me?” Rosencrantz asks, clearly stunned at the display of resistance. 

“I want to stay here with my friends,” Hani says bravely, taking half a step back from him. “You can go. I’ll be there soon.” 

“You-“ 

Jin is standing in front of her before he can finish his sentence. “She’ll be there in a few minutes. We won’t keep her long.” 

“This has nothing to do with you, so why don’t you keep your dirty mouth shut.” Rosencrantz snaps at him, taking a step forward, very much in his space.  

“His what?” Jungkook shouts, suddenly right beside Jin. 

Rosencrantz leers unpleasantly, his artificially white teeth shining ominously in the dim light. “His dirty... whore... mouth.” 

Jin glances around to see if they’ve attracted an audience, which they have. The music still plays on, but several of the nearest tables are watching with rapt attention. When he looks back, he sees a muscle in Jungkook’s jaw twitch. 

“Apologize,” Jungkook grits out, hands balled at his sides. 

“No,” Rosencrantz smirks, leaning even closer. “Just because you put a ring on it doesn’t change what he is. And it sure as hell doesn’t make him love you, Jeon. Everybody knows that if the money was gone, he would be, too. You don’t have anybody fooled. God, I really can’t believe you fell for the whore.” Then, he pauses, considering. “Actually, you know what. It’s you, so I can believe it, you little pus-“ 

He's silenced by a resounding crack, which Jin will realize later, was his nose, and Hani is standing over him as he’s sprawled back on the floor. She cradles her fist, which must be smarting from the impact with his hard face. 

“A dirty whore, huh?” she screams, lunging for him again. Petra catches her arms and pulls her back, but it does nothing to silence her. “Is that what I am, too? How about the pathetic fucker who has to pay the whore for sex? How about the sad little jackoff who would be a complete fucking loser without his daddy's money? How about that?”  

“You crazy bitch!” Rosencrantz splutters from the ground, clutching his bleeding nose. 

“Hey,” Petra snaps at him, eyes flashing as Hani lunges again. When it’s clear that she’s not getting anywhere in Petra’s vice-like grip, Hani does the next best thing, spits at him instead  “Calm down, dear,” Petra says quietly into her ear, arms still wrapped around her. 

“No!” she yells, kicking out at him since she can’t reach with her hands. “Do you know what he's put me through? Do you know the shit he’s done?  And he has the nerve,” she huffs, eyes murderous, “to call us dirty? To walk around like he's better than us? Well, I’ve got news for you, sweetie. You’re paying me. Because someone like me would never give you the goddamn time of day if you weren't, you fucking garbage."

Rosencrantz gapes at her, opens and shuts his mouth several times before he manages,”Yeah? Well. I’m not paying you anymore. You’re out,” Rosencrantz says from the ground, wiping his face angrily. “You’re done. Good luck paying for shit now. Consider yourself evicted. Enjoy life on the streets, slut,” he says with a bitter smile, teeth a menacing red. He must have bitten his lip with the force of the punch. 

"Fine," Hani says haughtily, shaking her hair out of her face. “Anything’s better than sucking your gross dick again."

Petra speaks up, grip still tight on Hani. “No need to worry about any of that, darling.” 

Hani's body goes relaxed as she twists around to glance back at Petra. “Huh?” 

“I’ll take care of you,” Petra assures her kindly, releasing one hand to smooth Hani's wild hair. “If you’d like.” 

“Excuse me, who the fuck are you?” Rosencrantz asks, getting to his feet slowly to glower at the two of them. 

Petra releases Hani now, stepping between the two of them, straightening herself up to her full height. She can’t be taller than 5’5” but she seems immensely big as she glares up at him.  

“You. Do not ever speak to me,” she says coldly, taking a step closer so that he has to take a step back. “I could buy you twice, little man.” 

Rosencrantz gapes in silence as Hani looks on with stars in her eyes. 

“I’ve never been attracted to a woman, but this is the closest I’ve been,” Jungkook whispers in Jin’s ear, his eyes darting back and forth between Petra and Rosencrantz. 

“Now come, dear,” Petra says, reaching for Hani without breaking eye contact with Rosencrantz, who looks a little dumbstruck, pupils trembling as he struggles to hold her gaze. “We’ll get your stuff from ugly man’s room and get you a new room for tonight.” 

Hani glances over at Jin and Jungkook, face mostly blank in shock, but there’s a little smile tugging at the side of her mouth. “O...kay.” She waves to them dreamily as Petra takes her hand and leads her away with a gentle smile. Even in her shock, however, she manages one last half-hearted lunge at Rosencrantz. Petra’s grip on her hand tightens as she rolls her eyes affectionately.  

Rosencrantz stumbles off in the opposite direction, clutching his nose. Lee, upon seeing his approach, rolls his eyes and turns away from him in disgust.

“What the fuck is in the air tonight?” Jungkook mumbles quietly, taking Jin by the elbow. “Hey, why don’t you head back to the room before anything else happens? I have to make a few calls and then I’ll be right there.” 

"Hani’s not in trouble, is she?” Jin asks quickly, watching her retreating figure.  

Jungkook shakes his head minutely. “I have a feeling she’s got too much shit on him for him to even consider pressing charges. I don’t think she would have done it otherwise.” 

“Okay,” Jin says reluctantly, glancing around the room. There are still too many pairs of eyes on them, and suddenly going back to the room seems like an excellent idea. “You’ll be back to the room soon?” 

“As soon as humanly possible,” Jungkook assures him, already pulling his phone out from his pocket. Just as he goes to turn away, Jin catches his sleeve. Jungkook pauses, looking back at him with wide, curious eyes as Jin leans in and presses a gentle, purposeful kiss to his cheek. If anything, Jungkook’s eyes go wider, his ears going a violent red.  

As Jin exits the ballroom into the lobby, the adrenaline that has kept him going for the last 30 minutes rapidly disappears, and his legs go weak. So instead of heading straight up to the room, he makes an abrupt left towards the seating area in the lobby, sinking down into one of the large high-backed armchairs and burying his head in his hands.  

“What the fuck?” he murmurs to the empty room, to the ceiling-to-floor wall of glass revealing the sparkling night beyond. He observes the ring on his finger quietly, watching the smooth gold catch the diffuse light of the chandelier above. He sits for several minutes there trying to calm himself and muster the energy to make it back to the room. 

The sound of the ballroom door clattering open has him shrinking up in the armchair, which is faced away from the door, hiding him from sight.  

“That was a new low for you,” Jungkook mutters with barely-contained rage. “What did he ever do to you?” 

“Well,” Lee’s calm voice echoes behind him, “He chose you.” There’s a moment of stunned silence. "Not that he was of any sort of consequence. Just pissed me off. 

"You’re really fucked up, you know that? Truly fucked up.” 

“Oh, you just don’t know how to have fun, Jeon. You never did,” Lee teases, and suddenly there’s a slapping sound and a laugh, like someone has just smacked a hand away.  

“This is somebody’s life,” Jungkook spits angrily, further away now. “This is serious. You’re acting like this is a game.” 

“Jeon, when you’re as rich as us, everything’s a game. Nothing is serious,” Lee tells him lightly. “We’re gods. Untouchable. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you ditch that sloppy, boring plaything of yours, the sooner we can start having real fun.” 

"I-" Jungkook starts to say, then stops abruptly. "What are you talking about?” 

“You and me, Jungkook,” Lee says smoothly, and there are slow, steady footsteps. “Haven’t I done enough to get your attention?” 

For a few moments, all Jin can hear is his heartbeat pounding inconveniently loud in his hears, and he’s almost afraid he’s missed it.  

“There’s no you and me, Lee,” Jungkook says finally, and there’s an edge of pity to his voice. “There never has been.” 

“Don't be stupid. There’s always been a you and me,” Lee tells him, and he sounds infuriatingly cocky. Jin seethes. “You think I didn’t know about your little crush in college? Well, this is your chance. The only one you’re every going to get.” 

Jungkook scoffs powerfully. "What the fuck are you saying? You and I are the closest thing to arch-nemeses that a 21st century person can get. You hate me. And I despise you."

"I like view our relationship as... a passionate one. Why do you think I like riling you so much?" Lee reasons, undeterred. "No, we'll be good together, Jeon."

Jin can visualize with striking clarity the look of utter incredulity on Jungkook's face. "Lee, I literally just asked that man to marry me. I love him.” 

He knows Jungkook is just saying it to sell their story, but his chest positively aches at the words. 

Lee clears his throat. “So you’re really choosing him over me?” 

“It’s… not even a choice,” Jungkook tells him, sounding completely bewildered.  

“You know he doesn’t love you, right? You’re throwing everything away for someone who doesn’t love you.” 

“Yeah, I know.” 

Jin fidgets in the ensuing silence, feeling the awkwardness in the air even from his removed position. 

When Lee speaks again, his voice is more formal, perhaps to hide the underlying embarrassment. “You’re going to regret this, Jeon. You may have saved his career but there’s jack shit you can do to save yours. Especially after that stupid little display in there. You’re finished.” 

Heavy footsteps fall one after the other against the slick tile, then the ballroom door opens and closes again, and he hears Jungkook breathing slowly and deeply, perhaps trying to calm himself.  

A few moments later Jin hears, “Hoseok?” A pause. “You saw the video already? God fuckin’ bless Hani. With the night she’s had, too.” Jin hears footsteps, and Jungkook’s voice gets quieter and quieter as he makes his way to the hotel exit. “Yeah, I’m about to call them to give them a statement.” 

When he hears the automatic doors slide open, Jin slumps in the chair, peeking out from behind the high back before scrambling away to the elevator and up to the room.  

 

 


 

 

 

The water scalds the skin of his back as Jin scrubs his face, scrubs every inch of himself raw trying to drag his brain back into the land of the sober. And when he steps out of the shower, he does feel both incredibly sober and incredibly aware. He dons the fluffy white robe again, sits on the couch next to the empty wine bottle from earlier. He waits like that.  

It’s twenty-three minutes before he hears the doorknob turn, and Jungkook comes strolling in the room, phone sandwiched between his cheek and his shoulder.  

“Of course, I buy him nice things,” Jungkook assures the person on the other side of the line in his most ingratiating voice. “He’s the love of my life. How could I not buy him everything his heart desires?” 

There are a few seconds of silence as he nods to himself, slipping off his shoes in the entryway. He laughs then, unnaturally high, obviously forced.  

“Yeah, today was just kind of the icing on the cake. We’ve actually been unofficially engaged since March. I’ll send you the pictures from our engagement shoot a few months ago. You know Petra, right?” 

There’s another pause as Jungkook stands there, a hand on his hip, nodding.  

“Yeah, she’s a good friend of ours. She was one of the first to know about the engagement. I’ve spoken to her, and she might even give you a quote for the article.” 

Jungkook catches Jin’s eyes then, his gaze changing as his eyes dart down to the wide expanse of skin where Jin’s robe gapes open. 

“Yep, I’ll send it all over to you tomorrow. Thanks, Annie.” 

When he hangs up the phone, Jin rises from his place on the couch and takes a few tentative steps towards him.  

“I think...” Jungkook starts quietly, forgoing the pleasantries as he pockets his phone. He’s still in work mode. “I think we're ok. We’ve got an engagement announcement in the New York Times and two other articles coming out this week stating we’ve actually been engaged since March. Petra’s on board. My lawyer’s already in contact with the other publication about a libel suit if they so much as think about publishing the original article. Hoseok’s also pushing the vetting process forward just in case the original article drops anyway. But I think since we were able to get ahead of it and since we have Hoseok on our side, we would be fine with Coke even if it did.” 

Jin nods dumbly, taking a few more careful steps forward, moving like he’s being pulled.  

“We just...” Jungkook continues softly in the silence, looking away as Jin approaches him. “We just have to pretend for a while.” A wry smile. “We should be good at that.” 

”What-” Jin starts as he takes in Jungkook flushed face and fidgeting hands, but he’s lost for words again for the second time that night. "Why did you..." 

Jungkook’s chest continues to visibly rise and fall as his eyebrows crumple in confusion. "Why did I what, Jin? Try and fix the mess I got you into? Try to save your career that I almost single-handedly ruined?" He looks less nervous now, almost angry. "Are you kidding me?  My stupid pride versus your entire life? That's not even a fucking choi-” 

The last word dies in the air between them as Jin surges forward and crushes his lips against Jungkook's, backing him into the door with the momentum of it. Jungkook stands shocked for only a moment before he's twining his hand in Jin's hair, tilting his head to slot their mouth together more completely and licking into his mouth. Jin lets out a little gasp as the fingers tug at his hair and pull him even closer so that their chests and hips are flush. 

Jungkook’s body is so solid against him, and as Jin runs his hands down the surface of his back, he feels the muscles flex and tense beneath his fingers. He digs his nails in hard to the flesh there, and his dick throbs when as Jungkook positively growls, sinking his teeth into Jin’s lower lip and tugging at it gently. 

Jin presses him further into the door, prying Jungkook's legs open with a knee and pressing up just so slightly into his crotch, enjoying the way that his mouth goes slack against Jin's. Jungkook exhales shakily against his lips, eyes fluttering open to look at Jin, who looks right back. Jin presses up a bit harder, and Jungkook's head falls back against the door with a dull thud, a breathy little sigh on his lips. He leans forward to bury his face in Jungkook's exposed neck as he drags Jungkook's hips forward, feeling the outline of his stiffening cock through his pants grinding against Jin's thigh, and with his nose pressed to the warm skin of Jungkook's throat, he can feel the vibrations of the deep, velvety moan as it leaves his mouth. 

“Shit,” Jungkook utters to no one in particular as Jin reaches over to start unbuttoning Jungkook's shirt, pressing open mouthed kisses to his neck.  “Are we…” He trails off as jin's lips go still against his throat. 

“What?” Jin mumbles, lips moving against his neck, and Jungkook shudders at the featherlight touch. 

Jungkook breathes heavily for a few moments, hesitating. “Doing this?” 

Jin gets the feeling that it’s not the thing he really wanted to say. Jin pulls back and looks him in the eye, subtly rolling his leg up into Jungkook’s crotch again as he does. Jungkooks eyelids flutter lightly as his jaw falls slightly open. 

“If you want to.” 

Jungkook musters enough control over himself to manage a scoff.  

“Of course I-," He pauses, clenching his jaw and running his hand down the side of Jin's face to cup tenderly at his jaw. “Of course, I want to. Do you?” 

Jin swallows thickly and nods. “Please.” 

Jungkook’s eyes widen slightly, then he’s nodding too, just nodding in acknowledgment though his expression betrays his lingering disbelief. Jin smiles and reaches up to cup at Jungkook's face too, smoothing his thumb lightly over the thin scar on his cheek. Jungkook stops the senseless nodding at his touch.  

“Please?" Jin repeats intently, and Jungkook just nods more vigorously, hands coming up to rest on each side of Jin's face. He leans his forehead against Jin’s as he breathes raggedly against his mouth. The fingers on Jin’s face tremble lightly as they brush tenderly over the skin there, so he reaches up to steady Jungkook’s hand. Reaches down to hook a finger in his belt loop. Tugs.  

Jungkook stumbles forward, a surprised gasp on his lips as he allows himself to be pulled. His hands slip reluctantly from Jin’s face when Jin breaks eye contact and turns to lead him towards the bedroom.  The engagement ring on his finger sits strangely against Jin’s flesh, his other finger still tangled in Jungkook’s belt loop as he strides forward with exaggerated confidence, as terrified as he is eager. 

“Are you okay?” Jin asks, hands clutching at Jungkook’s waist as he backs him towards the bed. There is uncertainty in the lines of Jungkook’s face, and it makes him young and vulnerable. 

“Yeah,” Jungkook assures him, determination knitting his brow even as he trembles lightly beneath Jin’s hands. Jin gives him one last push, tipping them both back onto the bed as Jin catches himself on his hands to hover above Jungkook, whose breath comes in shaky waves now. Jin reaches down to gently cup his cheek for a moment before dragging his fingers back to thread through his hair. 

When he dips back down to press their lips together, he can sense Jungkook’s hesitance in the way his lips move just a millisecond behind Jin’s, in his hovering hands and distracted squirming. After a few frustrating moments of trying to coax him out of it with increasingly deeper, wetter kisses and subtle little grinding movements, Jin sits up, straddling Jungkook’s hips as he easily drops the robe, completely naked underneath. His eyes never leave Jungkook’s face as he tosses the robe aside, and he loves what he sees in his expression.  

A little crease appears on Jungkook’s forehead as he draws his brows, eyes skimming the entirety of Jin’s body. He reaches up to touch, tentative at first as he drags his hand up Jin’s torso. Jin shudders, goosebumps erupting on his skin as Jungkook’s fingers reach his nipples, swiping purposefully over them and sending a pleasant little tingle of electricity down to his groin. He bucks down against Jungkook, whose hands falls to rest on Jin’s bare hips, his grip more certain as he gazes up at him.  

Jin chokes on a moan, and embarrassing sound, as Jungkook’s fingers curl into his flesh, rolling his hips up into Jin in the same motion. A hot flush spreads unevenly across his chest as he stares down at Jungkook through hooded eyes, and the fingers clutch harder at the meat of his ass, the short nails digging blunt marks into Jin’s skin. And the uncertainty is gone. The wide, insecure light in Jungkook’s eyes fades to an intense kind of darkness, brow casting a shadow and pupils dilating big and black as he looks up at Jin, flushed and naked and biting back a throaty whimper.    

Jungkook rolls out from underneath Jin, gets to his feet, calmly starts stripping himself of his clothes, first his tie, then his crisp white button-down, then- god- his pants. And soon enough he’s standing over Jin completely naked, shadows thrown across the dips and divots of his musculature, a light sparking sheen on his chest. Jin squirms on the bed, beckoning him desperately back down. Jungkook obliges, leaning down to hover over him, and Jin’s back arches off the bed as Jungkook presses hot, wet kisses into his skin, down his neck, his chest, his torso. He scrapes his teeth against the soft skin of Jin’s hipbone, fingers kneading into the muscle of his thighs. When there’s a pause, Jin looks down and catches Jungkook’s eyes, arousal surging in his gut at the feeling of being watched like this.  

“What do you want?” Jungkook asks, voice husky as he nuzzles Jin’s inner thigh with his nose then gentle nips at the skin there. He drags his tongue wetly over the bite, then higher, and higher, and then he’s licking a hot stripe up Jin’s cock. He pulls back to look up at Jin. 

“Your mouth,” Jin replies shamelessly, bucking his hips up towards Jungkook's face. Jungkook nods as Jin tangles his hand in a head of very soft hair, directing Jungkook’s mouth to where he wants it most. Obligingly, eagerly, Jungkook takes the tip of Jin’s cock in his mouth and sucks gently, tongue swiping over the slit.  

“Can I...” Jin starts vaguely, before tightening his grip in Jungkook’s hair and pulling, trying to make the implication clear. Jungkook doesn’t remove his mouth from Jin’s length as he nods, the movement bobbing his mouth up and down on the head of his cock. Jin moans softly and tugs Jungkook’s head back up off of him, watching in wonder as a string of precum and spit stretches from his lips. Jungkook dives back down eagerly, wrapping both of his arms around Jin’s thighs and lifting his hips off the bed so that he can more effectively fuck Jin’s cock into his mouth. Jin’s fingers fall slack in his hair in surprise, hand slipping onto the bed to scramble for purchase as Jungkook manhandles him, keeping his own head still as he repeatedly yanks Jin’s hips upward, cock sliding between his spit-slick lips. And something about it has Jin feeling more wanted than he’s ever felt. Something about Jungkook so single-mindedly focused on making him feel good, it ignites that burning coil of heat in his stomach, and he feels himself dribble more precum into Jungkook’s mouth as his ass is yanked completely up off of the bed, knees hooked over Jungkook’s broad shoulders.  

He could easily cum like this, almost does, in fact, when Jungkook eagerly laps up the precum, working his head over the sensitive ridge on the underside of his cock. But then, Jungkook tugs his legs apart to better position his head between Jin’s thighs, and Jin feels his hole clench in hopeful anticipation. He reaches down gently to uncurl one of Jungkook’s arms from underneath his ass, sees the confusion in his eyes, then the understanding, as he slowly guides Jungkook’s hand down, one finger dragging over his balls, then lower, across his hole. He feels himself clench again against the pad of Jungkook’s finger.  

He watches Jungkook lick his tongue over his lower lip as he gazes up at Jin, delicate lips swollen red. “You want me to fuck you?” Jungkook drags his finger up and down across Jin’s hole a few times before circling the rim and pressing just the very tip of his finger inside.  

Jin nods, hair dragging against the pillow as his fingers curl into the sheets at his sides as he tries to press himself down against the finger. “I really want you to fuck me.” 

There’s another wet kiss to his thigh, and then Jungkook’s warmth is gone, bed creaking as he pushes himself up. Jin watches him appreciatively as he walks over to the closet, wrenching it open and digging through the little basket there, his tight, tan backside on full display. After a few moments of shuffling around, he turns around and strides back to the bed, sizable cock bobbing with the movement. Jin’s gut gives an excited tug, because he’d almost forgotten how big he was.  

The bed dips as Jungkook settles himself back between Jin’s thighs, face even with his cock once more, but Jin tugs him up so that they’re nose to nose, locks his arms around him to keep him there. 

“Stay here?” Jin asks quietly, and Jungkook nods, large eyes fixed on Jin’s face as he feels blindly for the small bottle and flicks open the cap. Jin watches him warm the lube on his fingers before reaching down to gently trace a slick finger around Jin’s rim, spreading the lube around his hole before slowly pushing in. Jin’s mouth falls open, and Jungkook’s lips are instantly there against his in a dirty, deep kiss as he presses in all the way to the third knuckle. Jungkook groans into his mouth as Jin presses down against his finger, so he does it again. This time when he does, he feels Jungkook’s slick cock on his thigh, desperate for friction.  

Jin’s partners have always fingered him like it was a means to an end. To stretch him quickly and efficiently to prepare him for the Big Show. So it’s foreign and strange to him, at least at first, the way that Jungkook watches him so intently as he slowly fingers him open, watches every little twitch of his body, every little quirk of his brow, drinks up every soft gasp. Like he wants to take Jin apart, disassemble him completely and figure out how he works, before carefully, tenderly putting him back together. Like he just wants to make him feel good and doesn’t care how he does it, doesn’t care if Jin comes before he’s gotten his dick into him. There’s no rush.  

When there are three fingers sliding in and out of him with little resistance, Jungkook presses one final kiss to his lips and slides behind him on the bed, spooning him, his hard length dragging a trail of precum down Jin’s ass. Jin pushes back into it, burying his head in the pillow. He hears the plasticy crumple of a wrapper and a soft little groan from Jungkook as he presumably drags his hands down his cock to position the condom. Then there’s a tender kiss pressed to the back of his neck as every inch of the front of Jungkook’s body presses perfectly into the back of his, his cock sliding purposefully, almost teasingly, between Jin’s cheeks a few times before catching on his hole.  

When Jungkook pushes the tip of his cock into him, there’s a stuttered little breath against Jin’s ear as blunt fingernails dig hard into the skin of his hip. Jin presses back against him, taking Jungkook an inch or so deeper, and the nails on his hips might break skin.  

“Fuck,” Jungkook breathes into the back of his neck. He hitches up Jin’s leg, resting the back of his knee in the crook of his elbow, as he presses further in, about halfway now. Jin’s head falls back against his shoulder, back arching as he’s stretched open just like he wants. Jin reaches back with his free hand, the one that’s not bracing him on his side against the bed, and tugs Jungkook’s hips forward the rest of the way so that his front is flush with Jin’s ass. They groan in tandem as he bottoms out.  

The room is quiet except for their ragged breaths as Jungkook falls still, letting Jin work his hips back in little circles to adjust to the stretch. He gropes his hand back to clutch at Jungkook’s ass, fingers digging into the flesh as he pulls him forward to meet Jin’s backwards movement.  

“Come on,” Jin urges him, resting his head sideways on the pillow for a moment.  

Jungkook’s hand tightens around the back of his knee, hefting his leg higher into the air to better spread Jin out. Then he pulls back, cock sliding out of Jin slightly before he rolls his hips smoothly forward. Jin whimpers, feeling so full and so absolutely immersed in Jungkook, whose frame drapes heavily around him, limbs and skin and scent. He hears Jungkook sigh softly into his hair as he thrusts forward in earnest now, hips meeting the skin of Jin’s ass with a loud smack. Jin’s arms almost collapse out from under him as he struggles to keep himself upright. After a few thrusts, he just gives up, shoulder to the bed now as he leans back against Jungkook’s chest, enjoying just letting him pound into him.  

When Jin’s chin starts to loll against his chest, there are fingers in his hair, tugging his head back up and exposing his neck. He arches back into Jungkook as he feels teeth and lips on the tender skin of his neck.  

“Ahh-” Jin moans, the noise punctuated noticeably as he’s jostled forward with the force of Jungkook’s thrust. 

“Fuck,” Jungkook murmurs breathily into his ear, breath heavy on Jin’s neck as his hips stutter slightly. “Can we...” he breaks off with a slow, purposeful thrust before he pauses, obviously collecting himself. “Can I see you?” 

Jin nods frantically, slowly pulling away from Jungkook, hole clenching around nothing when Jungkook slips out of him. Without hesitation, Jin turns around and presses Jungkook back into the bed on his back, clambering on top of him and positioning his cock back at his hole. He gazes down at Jungkook as he slowly sinks back down on his cock, and fuck he’s glad he gets to see this. Jungkook has never looked so beautiful, thick brows drawn in concentration, hair tousled, small petal lips bitten red. There’s a fine sheen of sweat on him that almost makes him glow as he fills Jin up again, hands tight on Jin’s hips.  

Jin rides him slow and smooth, bracing himself on Jungkook's chest. His fingers curl when they final get the angle just right, nails leaving little white crescents in his tan skin. Jungkook’s hands rest on his hips, thumbs occasionally rubbing reassuring little circles into his hipbones. When Jin throws his head back, riding him harder, he feels hands trailing up his chest, then back down his torso to his thighs, all over, and when he looks down, Jungkook’s attention is rapt on his face. Jin’s hips slow as he stares right back at him, the tenderness of it all glowing warm, bubbling inside his chest.  

Jungkook sits up then, one arm behind him bracing himself on the bed, the other coming up to cup Jin’s cheek with the gentlest ghost of a touch. Jin leans forward, tilts his head, and kisses him softly, almost tentatively, but it still feels like he’s stealing the air right from Jin's lungs. Something about it has Jungkook moaning unguardedly into his mouth, lips parting eagerly around Jin’s.  

It's the kiss that works them up most, that has Jin chasing the barely out-of-reach feeling of perfection as he fucks himself down onto Jungkook’s cock, lips sliding together messily. His fingers tangle in Jungkook’s hair, pulling, angling his mouth exactly where it needs to be.  

A moment later, Jungkook’s hand is on him, around his dick, slowly jerking him off in time to the movement of Jin’s hips, giving him something fuck up into. Fire builds hot in his belly as he whines against Jungkook’s lips.  

“Fuck,” he pants out, reaching out to brace a hand on Jungkook’s sturdy shoulder. “Gonna cum.” 

Jungkook nods, thrusting up into him evenly as his eyes hover on Jin’s lips. For a moment it looks like he wants to say something, but instead, he chases Jin’s mouth again, pressing their lips together hard as his grip tightens around Jin’s cock.  

A needy sound comes from somewhere in the back of Jin’s throat as he releases his tether to reality, floating away in the tingling warmth that floods his body as Jungkook holds him close and swallows his little noises with gentle kisses. He vaguely feels Jungkook’s movements go slightly irregular, and then there’s one final long, drawn-out thrust, and Jungkook is gasping against his lips, fingers almost painfully tight around Jin’s waist as he comes, dragging Jin back down to earth with his desperate, grounding touch. 

He’s stopped moving by the time Jin’s high has faded, slumping down over Jungkook’s frame and breathing hard. Jungkook’s grip slackens against his skin, featherlight again as he traces soothing shapes into Jin’s sides with his fingertips. Jin draws his arms closer around Jungkook, hugging him tight and burying his slightly damp face in Jungkook’s slightly damp shoulder.  

They sit there for a few moments before Jungkook shifts under him gently. “Hey, let me get the condom off real quick?” 

Jin just grunts in what he hopes will be understood as a ‘fuck no,’ clinging tighter to Jungkook, who he feels stifle a chuckle.  

“It’s gonna leak all over me,” Jungkook whines, but he presses another kiss to Jin’s shoulder nonetheless. “Just one second, I swear.” 

Jin sighs, relenting as he slowly pulls off of Jungkook, stifling another gasp as he does.  True to his word, Jungkook quickly removes the condom, chucks it in the bin, grabs a towel, and returns to wipe the both of them down.  

“You okay?” he asks lightly as he gently drags the towel across Jin’s stomach, where some of his own cum drips.  

“Never better,” Jin assures him with a small smile.  

“Good,” Jungkook nods, though his voice clings tight around the words. He tosses the dirty towel in the corner of the room, then takes his place on the bed beside Jin. They lay there face to face, not touching, about a foot of empty bed between them. Jin’s the first to bridge the space between them, drapes a tentative arm around Jungkook’s waist.  

Jungkook’s eyes are intent on his face, hands curled up safely beneath his chin. It makes Jin wonder a bit. 

“So. That was a long time coming,” Jin murmurs, trying to scoot closer to Jungkook, who just nods. "We should probably talk, shouldn’t we?”  

Something like fear flashes in Jungkook’s eyes before he snuggles forward to bury his face in Jin’s shoulder. “Tomorrow,” he mumbles against his skin. “’M tired.” 

“Okay,” Jin agrees reluctantly, wrapping his arms around Jungkook and pulling him close. His chest is full to bursting with excitement and love and affection, and he doesn’t know if he can wait until tomorrow. But Jungkook doesn’t ask much. He never does. So Jin just sighs as he gently strokes the velvety skin around Jungkook’s shoulder blade with his thumb.  

“Hey,” Jungkook says quietly, tugging a blanket over them. “You know everything’s going to be fine, right? We fixed it.” 

“You fixed it,” Jin corrects him, bringing a hand up to drag his fingers across Jungkook’s thick eyebrow, down the bridge of his nose, across his cheekbone. He watches Jungkook’s eyelids flutter shut under his gentle touch. “Thank you. You didn’t have to.” 

Jungkook just grunts softly, lips barely moving as he mumbles, “Yes I did.” He snuggles into his pillow, hands still tucked up beneath his chin. “It’s you. ‘f course, I had to.” 

Jin swallows hard, squeezing Jungkook affectionately. “We will talk tomorrow, right?” Jin waits for a response, but there’s no answer. Whether Jungkook has actually fallen asleep or is just pretending, he doesn’t know. So he just pulls Jungkook closer into his chest, pressing a kiss into his hair as he tenderly strokes the soft skin of his back in absentminded, swirling patterns. Jin’s fingers still momentarily when he thinks he hears a small, satisfied sigh, and then there is a warm hand on his waist. He smiles. 

 

 


 

 

 

But it’s not tomorrow yet when they’re jolted awake by the loud, insistent ringing of Jungkook’s phone. Jungkook whips his head up, nearly head-butting Jin as he does, and gropes blindly for his phone on the bedside table. Realizing it’s still in his pant pocket, he half-dives off the bed to grab it from his pocket. He squints at the screen. 

“Shit!” Jungkook exclaims, scrambling out of bed, still completely naked. Even in his hazy half-consciousness, Jin spares a few seconds to admire the view. “Hello?” Jungkook answers, voice still thick with sleep.  

Jin strains his ears, but he can only hear the echo of a vague, shapeless voice through the receiver.  

“You did?” Jungkook asks, his voice cracking in surprise on the second word. “No, that’s... that’s perfect. It’s just, the timing and everything. A lot of shit happened tonight. But No, I’m glad you found it. Jesus, seriously good work. You know where to send it, right?” There are a few seconds of pause. “Yeah. The address is in my contacts. Make sure not to do it on the work computer, okay? Do it from my house, from my personal computer.” 

Jin sits up a little straighter, immediately on guard at the seriousness in Jungkook’s voice.  

“She wants to meet tomorrow?” Jungkook continues, checking the time on his phone. “I don’t think I can make it back by then. Our flight doesn’t leave until 4pm tomorrow here.” He runs his hand through his hair. “Is there a redeye?” Jungkook pauses, looking around the room wildly. “Yeah, book it. I’ll be there.” 

He hangs up the phone, wheeling around to face Jin, eyes wild.  

“Are you leaving?” Jin asks, voice scratchy as he squints at Jungkook from bed.  

“Uh. Yeah,” Jungkook says sheepishly, fidgeting with his phone before pulling some boxers on. “Sorry. It’s... important. That was my assistant.” 

“What’s going on?” 

“I can't talk about it. Legally,” Jungkook carefully tells him. “For now.” 

“Are you in trouble?” Jin questions him, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. 

“I don't think so. At least, I hope I won't be,” Jungkook replies uncertainly. “But don’t worry. It has nothing to do with you.” 

“That absolutely doesn’t mean I’m not going to worry,” Jin says quietly, reaching out to take Jungkook’s hand. After a moment’s hesitation, Jungkook’s fingers close around his. 

“Shit, I need to leave like, now,” Jungkook tells him reluctantly as he checks his phone again. “I’m catching an earlier flight out. I’m really sorry.” 

“It’s okay,” Jin tells him, mustering a smile. “We can talk later.” 

Jungkook smiles uneasily and squeezes his hand before bustling off to start gathering his belongings.  

“Is there anything I can do?” Jin asks as he plops back down onto the bed, tucking his legs up beneath him.  

“Uh, I don’t think so,” Jungkook tells him as he haphazardly tosses some shirts into his suitcase. "Just make sure you wear that ring from now until nationals, and maybe make some social media posts about the engagement. You may get some calls for interviews, but don’t agree to anything unless it’s coming directly from either Hoseok or me.” 

Jin just nods from the bed, slipping a large t-shirt over his head. “Well, if anything changes and I can do something, I’m here. Just say the word.” 

Jungkook nods with a tight, rushed smile as he continues to pack and dress. Jin reclines on the bed and watches him, stomach fluttering in uncertainty even as his eyelids grow heavy with exhaustion. 

When he blinks, Jungkook is still half-dressed and half-packed, but when he opens his eyes once more, Jungkook is quietly shaking him awake.  

“Hey, I’m leaving,” he says softly as Jin stretches his limbs like a cat. “A car is coming to take you to the airport at 2, okay?” 

“Okay,” Jin echoes, sitting up on the bed and wrapping his arms around Jungkook to pull him between his legs. “Text me when you get there?” 

“I will,” Jungkook promises. He hesitates for a few moments as Jin holds him. “Hey, I’m probably going to be a bit unavailable when we get back, just so you know. While I resolve all this shit.” 

“That’s okay,” Jin assures him. “I’ll be here when everything is settled.” 

Jungkook pulls back, eyeing him analytically. “Will you?” 

Jin nods, and Jungkook’s resulting smile is a little more natural. He still looks uncertain though, uncertain in the same way the he had looked in Jin’s bedroom that night, unsure of their newly forged boundaries. He stares at Jin for a few moments, eyes darting down to Jin’s lips before licking his own. Clearing his throat, he turns to leave, but Jin catches his hand.  

“Jungkook?” Jin asks quietly, fingers curling around his waist.  

“Yeah?” Jungkook responds quickly, looking terrified. Jin swallows the fear in his own throat, feels it drag its slimy fingers down his esophagus as he does. He shakes it off, manages to keep his head above water.  

“Kiss me?” 

The question sits lightly on the thick air between them as Jungkook continues to look at him, eyes unwavering  A stupid question after everything they’ve done, just as silly as it was last time Jungkook had asked it in Jin’s childhood bed. And yet, Jungkook blinks, and when he reopens his eyes, they’re shining slightly, and he’s biting his bottom lip hard. 

“Okay,” he says thickly as Jin reaches forward to cup his face, running his thumb over Jungkook’s pouty lower lip.  

He leans forward to press their lips together, Jungkook’s small and soft beneath his. He keeps it light, gentle and chaste as he hooks an arm around Jungkook’s neck to stroke at the short little hairs there. He pulls back only to lean forward again and press one last sweet kiss to Jungkook’s lips.  

“I-” Jungkook starts, breaking off as he stares at Jin. “Bye,” he decides quickly, ducking his head and turning on heel.  

Jin barely has time to respond with a hurried “Bye!” before Jungkook has grabbed his bag and hastily launched himself through the door. 

 

 


 

  

 

There’s a self-admitted bounce to Jin’s step as he exits the elevator into the lobby to check out. Things are... okay. Good, even. His career is back on track, he got laid last night, and he and Jungkook are well on their way to considering possibly talking briefly about their feelings in extremely vague terms.  

As he rounds the corner after he’s checked out, he feels his short-lived euphoria burn up inside of him, replaced with fiery indignation. His body’s automatic reaction to seeing his father.  

His feet shuffle to an abrupt halt, and he almost considers turning on heel and heading back upstairs. But he’s tired of letting this man dictate any of his decisions. So he musters his courage, and he continues on, strolling right past him. He’s almost to the door when he hears a voice.  

“Jin!” 

Taking a deep breath, he slows his walk and eventually stops, turning to see his father jogging after him. He’s slightly out of breath by the time he reaches Jin, the harsh natural sunlight of the place highlighting every wrinkle on his face. Making him look old.  

“I was hoping I’d catch you before you left,” his father tells him. “I hear congratulations are in order.” 

Jin bites down hard on the inside of his cheek. “I wouldn’t hold my breath for an invitation."

His father considers him carefully. “You know, I know you won’t believe me, Jin, but I’m happy it worked out this way. I got what I wanted, and you got what you wanted. It was really the best solution.” 

Jin gapes at him. “You... you sold me out to that newspaper. You said terrible things about me and about Jungkook. You almost ruined my life.” 

“Yes. Well,” his father allows without a visible ounce of shame. “That was Lee’s deal, the only way he’d fund my campaign. It wasn’t my choice, you know.” 

“You didn’t have to agree to it!” Jin explodes, taking a step closer. “I’m your fucking son.” 

“Jin,” his father starts, massaging his temples with his hands, expensive rings glittering on his fingers. “You really have no clue how selfish you sound, do you?” 

“I'm sorry, what?” Jin spits indignantly, fire stirring in his belly once more.  

“We’re family, Jin. All of this could have been avoided if you and your little keeper would have just been a little more willing to help. It would have been good for the both of us. So in all honesty, you brought this on yourself,” his father tells him seriously, and Jin is too shocked to respond. “But now that I did my part for Lee and got my money, and now that you found a way to ruin his stupid little plans, we’re all happy. So why don’t you start being a little less ungrateful?” 

Jin stares at him, mouth hanging open as his backpack strap slips down his arm. He makes no move to adjust it. “There’s really no salvaging any part of you, huh?” 

Jin’s father sighs heavily, the action laden with tangible disappointment. “I don’t know what you want me to say.” 

Jin shakes his head. “Nothing. No, this is good, I think,” he reasons, more to himself than to anyone else. “I think I’m good. I think I’m done with you forever.” 

He watches his father’s jaw flex as he grinds his teeth. “If that’s how you feel.” 

“Yeah. It is,” Jin says, confused as he feels a smile tug at his lips. He looks up and claps a hand on his dad’s shoulder. “Fuck you.” 

With that, he turns away, hefting his bag up onto his shoulder as he heads for the waiting car. And the tiny little part of him that had been holding onto hope that one day his father would apologize or come around or change, is snuffed out for good. He breathes a giant lungful of fresh, ocean air, his chest light and full in a way it hasn’t been in a long time.  

 

 


 

 

 

For once, it’s Jin that shows up at Jimin’s door unannounced at 2am, rather than the other way around.  

“The fuck?” Jimin asks as he peeks out of his door at Jin before opening it to allow him entry. “Am I dreaming?” 

“I love Jungkook,” Jin says, slinging his bags on the floor and turning around to face Jimin with mussed hair and wild eyes.  

“Yeah, no shit,” Jimin says, kicking his bag aside as he makes his way to the couch, blanket slung around his shoulders. “Did you just get back?” 

“Uh. Yeah, I haven’t been home yet. I just had to tell you.” Jin pauses. “Oh and don’t freak out, but we’re no longer fake dating.” 

“Thank god,” Jimin breathes, plopping down onto the couch cushions. “It’s about time.” 

“We’re fake engaged.” 

“I hate you guys.” 

“Long story, but Hoseok will fill you in, I’m sure.” Jin also collapses on the couch, slinging his legs over Jimin’s lap. “How’s that going by the way? Any change in a week?” 

“Well I’m not riding his dick,” Jimin sighs, yawning massively. “But I did suck it.” 

Jin nods, looking impressed. “And how does Taehyung feel about that?” 

Jimin picks violently at a loose string on his blanket. “What do I care?” 

“I mean, a lot. You definitely care a lot.” 

Jimin sighs, burying the lower half of his face in the blanket. “He doesn’t love it,” Jimin admits, his voice muffled by fabric. “But that’s only because he has a big stupid crush on Hoseok.” He scowls at nothing. ”Fucking dick.” 

“What about your big stupid crush on Hoseok?” Jin asks, tugging a throw blanket from the back of Jimin’s couch. “How is that any different?” 

Jimin closes his eyes, snuggling down into the couch. “I’m tired. Stop talking.” 

“Fine,” Jin says, wrapping the blanket tighter around him and resting his head on the armrest. “Goodnight jackass.” 

“’Night dumbfuck.” 

They’re quiet for a few moments as they both presumably settle into sleep. But from the silent darkness, Jin hears Jimin’s voice murmur, “Hey dumbfuck?” 

“Yes, jackass?” 

“Spoon me?” 

“Obviously.” 

 

 


 

 

 

To Jungkook's credit, Jin does hear from him at least once a day. Usually just a quick, “Hey how are you” text that lights up his phone in the wee hours of the morning when he’s deep asleep.  

“I don’t think he’s been home in days,” Yoongi tells him when he’s hanging out on Namjoon’s couch a week after the trip. 

It’s also the night before Nationals, a fact that Jin is currently choosing to ignore.  

“I dropped off some food on his doorstep, and it was still there when I went back a few days later,” Yoongi continues, stuffing a handful of popcorn into his mouth. 

“What the fuck is he doing?” Jin asks, whipping out his phone to skim though his scant messages from Jungkook over the last week. 

“Work shit, I guess,” Yoongi shrugs, turning his attention back to the television. “Though I’ve never seen him quite like this.” 

Jin screws up his face as he glares at his phone, at his last unread message to Jungkook. 

“So did you two like, work it out?” Namjoon asks casually, offering the bowl of popcorn to Jin.

“Yeah! I think so,” Jin says, reaching in with both hands to scoop out a giant pile of popcorn. 

“I don’t believe you,” Namjoon challenges him, looking longingly at the half-empty bowl of popcorn.  

“What do you mean you don’t believe me? I was very clear.” 

“No you weren’t. He thinks you’re going to dump him,” Yoongi tells him, tugging the popcorn bowl away to shelter it between him and Namjoon.  

“What?” Jin asks in shock. “Why? We fucked!” 

“He thinks you were just pity fucking him as a thank you.” 

“What!” Jin demands, heart pounding in his chest, “But I even asked him to kiss me!” 

“You... asked him to kiss you,” Namjoon repeats, face skeptical as he regards Jin. 

“Yes!” Jin confirms emphatically. “After we fucked!” 

“So let me get this straight. Even though you two have messed around before, no strings attached... and even though you made no verbal clarification that this time was any different... somehow, asking him to kiss you is supposed to relay to him... that you love him.” 

“Yes!” Jin repeats, looking desperately between Yoongi and Namjoon. As he takes in their unamused expressions, a sense of dread envelops him and pulls his body back into the couch where he slumps. “Shit.” Jin stares at the wall for a few moments, remembering Jungkook’s fearful expression and reluctance to talk. “In my defense, I did want to talk. We just didn’t get a chance before he left.” 

“Well I would recommend talking sooner rather than later,” Yoongi tells him.  

As he says it, Jin’s phone lights up with a text message.  

 

Kook: See you tomorrow! I’ll be in the stands cheering  

Kook: Kick ass! 

 

Jin exhales a relieved sigh, clutching the phone to his chest.  

“I will,” Jin assures them. “Tomorrow. After the contest. I’ll tell him then.” 

“You’d better,” Namjoon tells him in his most intimidating voice, curling nonthreateningly into Yoongi’s side. He raises his large palm in a weak imitation of a looming slap. “Or else you might meet this guy again.” 

 

  


 

 

 

The morning of the contest, the very air seems to crowd him with a heavy, uneasy hyperclarity, a constant obnoxious buzz.  Time moves too fast, and yet he’s unpleasantly aware of every millisecond of it as the contest draws closer. He had texted Jungkook back that morning, asked him where he would be, if he would have some time to hang afterwards, but he hasn’t heard back. He’s trying not to worry. 

The National Hotdog Eating Contest is a nationally televised event, and as such, Jin is currently having his nose forcefully powdered backstage by a fidgety Jimin.  

“You do realize I will have the full-blown Meat Sweats in less than an hour, thus rendering all of your powder completely useless right?” 

“We’ll have about 5 minutes before you start stuffing your face to make the people fall in love,” Jimin tells him, stepping back, powderpuff clutched in his hand. “We will be using each and every one of those 300 seconds.” 

 An insistent buzzing in Jimin’s front pocket has him rolling his eyes, sliding the powder puff from his hand as he reaches forward to tug the phone out of his pocket. As his eyes scan the screen, they go wide, exposing more of his whites. His jaw drops briefly before he snaps it shut again, eyes fixating on Jin’s face.  

“Um. Okay, you look great,” Jimin says distractedly, packing up his stuff in an apparent hurry. “Totally ready to go. So I'll just take all of this stuff, and I’ll hold your bag for you, and OH, let me just grab that phone-” he quickly snatches Jin’s phone from his hand.  

“Hey!” Jin protests, grabbing unsuccessfully for the device, “I was waiting on a text from Jungkook.” 

“Oh!” Jimin says quickly, “I’m sure he’s fine! Uh. Let’s just-” he breaks off, darting to the other side of the greenroom, switching off the television there before her turns to Jin with an artifically bright smile. “No distractions, you know?” 

“Why are you being weird?” Jin asks suspiciously. “Give me my fucking phone back.” 

“Not until after you’ve won,” Jimin says, though he adamantly refuses to meet Jin’s eyes. “Um,so. I’d better get out there.” He goes to leave, then he’s back in Jin’s face, bracing his hands on Jin’s knees. “No distractions. No TV. This is your time. Kick ass. I love you. And I mean it. NO distractions. Okay?” 

Jin eyes him strangely as he slips out the room, pocketing Jin’s phone as he does. It doesn’t sit well with Jin, whose stomach already roils and aches with anxiety. He gets to his feet, peeking out of the door to make sure that Jimin is out of sight, before he sneaks over to the television and switches it on.  

A fluffy morning news show plays, where two anchors are currently watching and applauding a dog do flips. Jin’s eyes scan the scrolling text at the bottom. It takes him a few minutes to see it.  

“TOP EXECUTIVES AT LOCAL HEDGE FUND ARRESTED FOR FRAUD.” 

Jin’s legs go numb, fingers shaking as he switches the TV to a news channel, one that focuses more on hard news.  

“-reaking news, several executives at Epstein and Brown, one of the nation’s top hedge funds, have been arrested this morning.” 

The news footage cuts to the outside of Jungkook’s building where police lights flash. Jin’s hearing goes wonky as he gapes at the screen, his heart beating disconcertingly fast in his chest, his throat, his ears. He shakes his head, trying to tune back in.  

“-ames yet, but CNN sources say that the company's Director of Trade was arrested earlier today. According to the company’s website, Jungkook Jeon has been with the firm since 2015. The executives, Jeon included, have been accused of misrepresenting the company’s value to boost profit, mis-allocating funds, and violating federal trade regulations. No word yet from the company itself, but we will be tracking this story as it develops.” 

An ugly prickling feeling crawls over every inch of his skin, limbs hollow and tingling as he stumbles away from the television. He gropes in his pocket for his phone before remembering that Jimin stole it. Probably for this very reason.  

“Fuck,” he mumbles, running his shaking hands through his hair. “Fucking fuck.” 

Jungkook is in jail. Jungkook may be in jail for a very long time, just like his father was. His father belonged in jail. Jungkook doesn't. Lee put him there. Lee did this. Lee belongs in jail. How does Jin un-do this? He can do something. What can he do? 

He glances at the clock. It’s less than 30 minutes until the live broadcast starts. If he leaves now, there‘s no doubt that he’s going to miss it.  

He’s already out the door before he can reconsider.  

Backstage at the contest is a series of trailers, wires, mics, equipment, and staff spread haphazardly across shut-down city streets. Jin weaves carelessly in and out of them as he makes his way towards a main street, any main street. He’ll catch a cab to the nearest precinct, he’ll tell them he needs to make a statement. Surely he’s heard something or seen something useful in his time with Jungkook. 

The guilt weighs heavy on his chest, making it hard to breath as he sets off at a half-jog now. When Jin had been in trouble, Jungkook had been willing to give up everything to fix it. As he rounds the corner, Jin resolves that he’s willing to do the same.   

“Jin?” 

And even though he's absolutely convinced that he’s imagined it, Jungkook’s voice, his automatic reflex has him whipping his head around regardless. He stares at him for a solid three seconds before he collapses into an unsteady squat right in the middle of the sidewalk.  

“Jin?” Jungkook’s voice sounds very far away as Jin buries his head between his knees, limbs sapped completely of their strength. ”Shit, Jin are you okay?” 

There are hands on him a moment later, steadying his shoulders, and when Jin looks up, sure enough he sees Jungkook’s concerned face looking down at him. He stares for a second before he musters every bit of strength left to punch Jungkook as hard as he can in the arm.  

“Am I okay?” Jin yells, weakly reaching up to punch him again. “Me?” 

“Ouch! Um. Yes?” Jungkook answers uncertainly, rubbing his arm gingerly.  

“Am I okay?” Jin repeats, swallowing a sob. “You just got fucking arrested!” 

Jungkook quirks his head. “Uh. No, I didn’t.” 

Jin clicks his tongue in exasperation. “I just saw it on the news. It was your name!" 

A look of understanding dawns on Jungkook’s face. “Jesus Ch- The FBI hasn't even released names yet, just positions.” 

“Huh?” Jin asks, very confused now.  

“Lee got arrested, not me. I haven’t been the Director of Trade since Wednesday, Jin. They told me to quit before the raid. The media must not have gotten the memo. Probably just googled. Badly."

“Lee got arrested?” Jin asks as the feeling slowly returns to his legs. People brush around them on the busy sidewalk.  

“Lee, my boss, their little henchmen, all of them,” Jungkook tells him with a little, satisfied smile. “That whole place is done for. That’s where I’ve been this week. I took everything I had to the feds, all the sketchy shit they’ve been doing to make those numbers. Apparently the FBI had been investigating anyway.” 

“You...” Jin starts, but Jungkook cuts him off.  

“Look, we can talk about this later. Where the hell were you going?” Jungkook asks, helping Jin to his feet. He struggles. “I was just headed to the stands to meet your mom.” 

“I... was going to get you,” Jin replies simply, still not fully comprehending the situation. “Jimin took my phone so I was just. Going to find you and fix it. Or something.” 

Jungkook stares at him like he’s trying to work something out. “The contest starts in twenty minutes.” 

Jin stares back at him, and when he blinks he realizes his eyes are wet. “Yeah.” 

And Jin is surprised to see that Jungkook actually looks angry. “Jin, what the fuck? This is... everything to you. How could you-” 

“It’s not everything,” Jin clarifies quietly, reaching out to twine his fingers with Jungkook’s. Both of their palms are sweaty this time. Jungkook looks down at their joined hands, then up at Jin. “Not even close.” 

“Huh?” Jungkook tilts his head like a puppy trying to understand.

“Just... Later," Jin deflects, trying to calm himself enough to allow his brain to shift back into competition mode. "But to clarify, everything is... okay?"

“Everything’s fine,” Jungkook assures him with a kind smile and a gentle squeeze of his hand. “Couldn’t be better.” 

Jin clears his throat, swiping at his eyes and wishing that Jimin had left the powderpuff behind. “Shit. I should go. They've probably got a million poor assistants out looking for me. But you'll be here when I’m done?” 

“Nowhere on the planet I’d rather be,” Jungkook promises with a soft, lopsided smile.  

Jin nods, taking a very deep breath and composing himself as best he can. Jungkook is safe, he’s here, and in an hour or two, he'll be Jin’s.  

“Good. Now watch me kick some ass.” 

 

 


 

 

 

It comes down to who wants it more, Jin thinks. His main competitor, the only one who really stands a chance of beating him, is a tall Midwestern boy who clearly wants it, badly. But Jin needs it. After everything they’ve been through, after everything that Jimin and Namjoon and Taehyung and Jungkook and Hoseok and Yoongi have done for him, losing isn’t an option. So he clears his mind of everything that isn’t shoveling hotdogs hand-to-mouth, tunes out the crowd around him, forgets about the stress of the day, and he eats.  

It’s a painful ten minutes, jaw aching, throat sore, stomach uncomfortably full, but the time goes by mercifully fast, the timer racing towards zero before he can even realize it’s happening. And when the buzzer goes off and Jin looks around, he sees the number 75 staring down at him from his scoreboard. If Jin’s not mistaken, that’s a new world record.  

The crowd is wild, raucous. He’d known he was a favorite among the fans, knows that a large portion of the audience was rooting for him, but there’s a small section of the crowd, his section, that is absolutely riotous. There’s Jimin standing up on his chair and beating his chest like King Kong, Yoongi and Namjoon jumping up and down clutching each other, Hani launching hotdog after hotdog into the air like confetti much to the disdain of those around her, Hoseok holding onto Jimin’s legs as he claps politely, Taehyung beside him with his finger glued to the trigger of a bullhorn. And there’s Jungkook, whose calm, beaming smile is loudest of all. He’s holding hands with Jin’s mother, who has completed her elegant outfit with a ridiculous plastic hotdog-topped baseball cap. 

And Jin's heart is so full.  

 

 


 

 

 

There is a torturous hour of interviews and awards and general wrapping up before they let him go. He’s worried they’ll all have left by the time he’s finished, but surprisingly, when he emerges from backstage into the crowded street, he’s greeted by a chorus of familiar cheers. 

As his friends all go to rush him, Jimin immediately inserts himself between them and Jin, waving his arms protectively.  

“Hey! Everyone, back off. For the next 24 hours you do not want to squeeze, crowd, or shock him in any way.  He’s currently got 75 hot dogs pressing on his internal organs, and they can vacate the premises at any time. Believe me, I know.” 

“You’re never going to let me live down,” Jin mumbles, pushing past him to give his mom a gentle hug regardless.  

“I knew you could do it, baby,” she says, reaching up to cup his cheek. “You’re going to look so good on a billboard.” 

Jin shakes his head modestly. “It’s still not a sure thing, mom.” 

“Actually,” comes Hoseok’s voice from the back of the group. Jimin and Yoongi move aside to let him though, and he passes his phone to Jin. “As of half an hour ago, it is.” 

Jin’s eyes scan the email carefully, but he doesn’t really feel like he’s absorbing any of the words.  

“I pushed through your vetting last week, and as long as you won today, they said you were good to sign.” Hoseok beams at him, clapping a hand on his shoulder. “Commercials, billboards, boxes, even a Christmas campaign. I’ve got the contract in my car.” 

Hani squeals and claps, lunging forward to give Jin a vice-like hug. His stomach gives a huge, noisy lurch, and he swallows loudly. She carefully removes her arms and steps back, hands in the air.  

“Wow, Jimin wasn’t kidding, was he?” she asks cautiously, stepping out of the apparent splash zone. Jin shakes his head, waiting for his stomach to settle again.  

“How about we celebrate?” Namjoon asks the entire group, clapping Jin on the back. “Free drinks at the bar for everyone.” 

Honestly, Jin wants nothing more than to go home, lie down, and digest for the next 48 hours. But as he looks around at his friends faces, at his mom’s face, he smiles. “Sounds perfect.” 

“I can fit five in my car,” Hoseok announces happily to the group, eyeing Jimin and Taehyung hopefully. 

“Shotgun!” Jimin and Taehyung yell simultaneously, meeting each other’s eyes in a brief but fierce glare not a moment later.  

“Joon and I can take the rest,” Yoongi says, digging his keys out of his pocket.  

“Actually, you guys go ahead,” Jin tells him, latching onto Jungkook’s wrist. “We’ll catch up.” 

“We will?” Jungkook asks, voice cracking as he whips his head around to stare at Jin.  

“Yes. We will,” Jin confirms, sliding his hand down to twine his fingers with Jungkook’s.  

Jimin raises his eyebrows as the group stares at the two of them, and then he’s shepherding everyone except Jungkook and Jin towards the exit. 

“Move along, people,” Jimin tells them, tugging a reluctant Hani away. “Just months of emotional and sexual tension culminating in a single moment. Nothing to see here.” 

Jin flushes deeply, swallowing down the nerves that creep and crawl up his throat from his stomach.  

“So uh,” Jungkook asks casually, eyes darting around the street. Possibly looking for escape. “What is this about?” 

“We’re gonna talk,” Jin insists, tugging him over beside the wall of a building where they are slightly less in the way.  

“Oh, we can do that later,” Jungkook tells him nervously.  

“Last time we said that, we barely spoke for a week and I thought you would go to prison for the next decade without us having figured any of this shit out. So no. We can’t.” 

Jungkook sighs, scuffing his shoe on the sidewalk. “Fine.” 

“Why don’t you want to talk?” 

“Because... I’m scared of what you’ll say,” Jungkook mumbles, unable or unwilling to meet Jin’s eyes. 

This isn’t at all how Jin wanted to do it. He feels so disgusting right now, ugly and sweaty and wrong, but he’s not missing out again. And he knows he needs to take the first step. He’s been pushing Jungkook away for so long that Jungkook is going to respect those boundaries until Jin tears them down first.  

“Well, you shouldn’t be,” Jin starts gruffly, psyching himself up as he takes a tiny step forward towards Jungkook. “Because I like you.” 

Jungkook’s eyes are wide and unblinking. “Uh. What?”  

“I like you. A lot.” he repeats, trying to keep the quiver out of his voice as panic floods his body, a tingling warmth trying to persuade his limbs to run. He suppresses the panic, cringing as he feels a surge of bravery. “God, you know what? Fuck that. I love you.” 

The murmur of the crowded street fades into the air around them, dwarfed by the words as Jungkook regards him carefully, like he’s still got his guard up. 

“You love me?”  

“Yeah,” Jin confirms simply, snaking his arms around Jungkook’s waist and pulling him close. Jungkook’s breathing is rapid against his neck. “I really fucking do.” 

“Are you sure?” Jungkook mumbles into his shoulder. His voice is so small and uncertain when he says it that Jin hates himself for a moment. 

He nods, trying to control the racing of his heart. “What was it that you said last week? Everything is better with you. Coke or no Coke, money or no money, everything is so much better.” Jin pulls back to lean his forehead against Jungkook’s, and he takes a deep, bracing breath. It’s getting easier to say. “I love you. And I’m sorry I was an idiot.” 

“That’s ok,” Jungkook assures him, a smile creeping onto his face. “I’m the dumbass who fell in love with an idiot. I knew what I was getting myself into.” 

The city slowly comes to life around them once more as they smile at each other, cracking the occasional giggle at the utter ridiculousness of the situation.

“So," Jin ventures quietly, completely uncertain about this part, confidence waning now. "What do we do now?"

“Well. I guess we just... be together?” Jungkook suggests, a gleeful twinkle in his eye. “I don’t think all that much will change, honestly. You know, except, we’re actually going to bang all the time instead of just pretending to bang.” 

“Nice. Oh, and you can’t buy my groceries anymore," Jin adds, putting his foot down. “Especially now that you’re out of a job. Hell, maybe I’ll buy your groceries now,” Jin says, pulling Jungkook even closer so that their bodies are flush. “I’m about to come into some money, you know.” 

“Aw babe. That’s sweet,” Jungkook tells him, eyes sparkling gleefully. “But you do know that I have like $100 million in the bank, right?” 

Jungkook just barely keeps Jin from eating floor when his knees give out. 

 

 


 

 

 

“We have gathered here today,” Jimin says loudly over the general din of the dining room. Everyone hushes quickly when he starts to speak. “To celebrate the termination of the engagement of one Jeon Jungkook and Kim Seokjin.” 

All eight voices in the room cheer, Namjoon clinking his fork against his glass. Jimin holds out his hand expectantly to Jin, who smiles fondly as he slips the ring from his finger and passes it over to him. They all watch as Jimin slips in back into the original box and shuts it with a triumphant snap. The table cheers again, but Jungkook is noticeably silent beside him. Jin gives him a small smile and reaches under the table to take his hand. Jungkook meets his eyes and smiles, gripping Jin’s hand a bit tighter.  

“Although the drama of these last few months of fake wedding planning, interviews, social media manipulation, and elaborately staged candid photos was admittedly entertaining for a time,” Jimin continues loudly, “I think we can all agree that we are sick of the world revolving around these two fuckers who are now just normal, uninteresting, real-life dating squares and are not special in the slightest.” 

Normally, Jin would probably launch something at Jimin for the implication that he was not special, but after the year he’s had, his shoulders sag with relief instead. 

“With the final release of this statement,” Jimin waves his phone where an email is pulled up, “to the press, confirming that the two are no longer engaged but are still, in fact, dating, this entire ordeal will be behind us. So,” he continues, picking up his champagne flute, “Let’s raise a glass. To the dumbest motherfuckers alive. How they actually ended up together, with all of their inherent dumbassery and lack of communication skills, is completely beyond me. But, here we are. To Jin and Jungkook.” 

“To Jin and Jungkook,” seven voices echo around the table. Glasses clink together cheerfully for a few moments before silence falls as they all sip.  

“So, speaking of the world not revolving around Jungkook and Jin anymore,” Namjoon says, wrapping an arm around Yoongi and fixing him with a tender smile. “Yoongi and I have an announcement to make.” 

“Ooh, let me guess,” Jimin says, gingerly setting down his glass of champagne. “You spanked him again.” 

Yoongi whips his head around to Namjoon, eyes huge and accusing. 

“Uh. No,” Namjoon says stiffly, pointedly ignoring Yoongi’s piercing gaze. “We-” 

“-kissed on the mouth in public,” Taehyung supplies, leaning forward eagerly.  

“What? We... still do that,” Namjoon says uncertainly, glancing to Yoongi now, who is still glaring. “Don’t we?” 

“No,” Jimin replies simply. “Oh! You tried ribbed condoms!” 

“No!” Namjoon says in true exasperation, burying his head in his hands before straightening up abruptly. “I mean. Well. Yes. Those were a game changer, actually. But that’s not the announcement!” 

“You know what?” Yoongi says, turning his glare on the rest of the table now. “Don’t tell them.” 

“What? No!” Taehyung scrambles, leaning further forward now. “I want to know.” 

“No, no,” Yoongi says, turning up his nose now and draping a thin arm around Namjoon. “Clearly we’re too boring for you guys. So don’t worry about it.” 

“I’m sorrrry,” Jimin pouts, looking devastated. “We do really want to know. We’ll shut up.” 

Yoongi sighs. “Fine. So Joon and I are-” 

“-changing accountants?” 

Namjoon stands abruptly, scooting his chair back as he lunges for Taehyung. Yoongi holds him back.  

“Oof, and he’s back,” Jimin purrs from his seat, looking extremely pleased as the reaction he’s evoked as he observes Namjoon, whose face is contorted in fury. “Let him go, Yoongi. I can take it.” 

“You guys are so weird,” Yoongi mumbles as he forcefully maneuvers Namjoon back into his seat.  

“You are,” Taehyung shoots back, briefly meeting Jimin's eyes and almost cracking a smile before they both look away, embarrassed. 

“So this is still a thing?” Jin asks, nodding to Jimin and Taehyung, who are seated at opposite ends of the table. “You two not directly speaking? While still managing to fuck? With near-violent vigor?” 

“Mind your own business,” Jimin huffs, taking a large sip of champagne. “Everything’s fine.” 

Taehyung chuckles bitterly from his end of the table. “Imagine that.” 

Jimin immediately bristles, turning to face Taehyung. “Imagine what, Tae?” 

“Nothing,” Taehyung says primly, staring at the nails of his left hand. “Just you shutting people out because you don’t want to talk about something uncomfortable.” 

Jimin musters an ugly, indignant scoff, and Hoseok’s eyebrows shoot up into his fringe beside him, like he knows what’s coming. “You know, that’s pretty fucking rich, coming from you of all people.” 

“What is that supposed to-” 

“Excuse me! This is a nice fucking family dinner!” Hani interrupts them, slamming down her fork as her intense gaze flits between Jimin and Jin. “Okay? We are celebrating these two dumbasses living happily ever after, and me getting a new job, and those two-” she motions to Yoongi and Namjoon “- doing... whatever it is that they do, so knock it off!” 

A hushed silence falls over the table as they all tuck into their salads, slightly shame-faced. They eat like that for a few moments before someone’s voice breaks the spell of quiet. 

“You’re just bitter that I sucked his dick first,” Jimin mumbles into his salad. 

“Jimin!” Hoseok snaps at him with a glare, turning to Taehyung, but he’s already sprung to his feet, slamming back his chair and stalking angrily from the room. Jin hears his own bedroom door slam shut, and Hoseok flinches. “Shit. Sorry. I should probably... go take care of that. Please go ahead and eat without us,” Hoseok says quietly, dabbing his mouth with a napkin and placing it gently on the table. He stands up and turns to face Jimin, hands on his hips. “Well? Come on.” 

“Me? What does this have to do with me? It’s not my fault he’s jealous. What do I care? I don’t,” Jimin maintains, crossing his arms petulantly. Hoseok just cocks his head, staring Jimin down until he sighs and relents. “Fine.” He tosses down his napkin on the table and scoots back his chair, following grudgingly along behind Hoseok.  

“Why can’t any of us just like, resolve our shit in private?” Jungkook groans, taking another sip of his drink.  

“Well, I mean. We do,” Namjoon says primly, with a fond little glance at Yoongi. Jin rolls his eyes.  

“How long do you think they're going to be at this?” Hani asks, glancing down the hallway in the general direction where the three of them had disappeared.  

“If they’re finally talking shit out?” Jin asks, mentally calculating, “Could be hours. If they’re fucking? Days.” 

Hani raises her eyebrows, nodding as she reaches for the champagne. “Hope you have more booze, then.” 

“So how’s Petra?” Jungkook asks politely as Hani refills her glass.  

She smiles affectionately, tucking her hair behind her ear. “She’s good. Off in Japan right now for a photo shoot. But I finally got all my shit moved into her place like, last month?” 

“That’s great, Hani,” Jungkook tells her, eyes adorable crescents as he reaches forward to pat her hand. “I’m happy for you two.” 

“It’s pretty great,” she confirms before she jumps, leaning forward. “It’s weird, you know. I think she actually likes me.” 

Jin rolls his eyes. “She’s head-over-heels for you, Hani. She bought you an island.” 

Hani looks very pleased with herself, smoothing her shirt. “Yes. Well.” A moment later her eyes bug from her head, and she slams her fists on the table. “Oh! Did you see that Kyle’s trial is coming up?” 

“Who the fuck is Kyle?” Jin asks, the name leaving a foul taste behind in his mouth.  

Hani looks concerned as she sets down her glass. “Jin. The asshole I punched in the face for you. The jerk who treated me like shit for months. The little underling who plotted with Lee to bring down Jungkook. Kyle.” 

“Oh!” Jin realizes, eyes lighting up in recognition. “Rosencrantz.” 

“What?” Hani and Jungkook ask, eyeing Jin skeptically.  

“Nothing,” Jin assures them. He cringes. “No wonder I could never remember his name.” 

“Anyway,” Hani continues, undeterred, “They’re calling me as a witness. The DA seems pretty confident in her case with everything I have on him and Lee. Can’t wait until he hears some of the recordings I have. I saw they were calling you as a witness too, Kook?” 

“Yep,” Jungkook says lightly, and Jungkook gives him a reassuring squeeze on the knee. Jin knows he’s more nervous than he lets on, eager to be done with everything. “I was the whistleblower, after all. They called me for both Kyle and Lee, so. That’ll be interesting.” 

“May they both rot in hell,” Jin says, raising a glass which Hani enthusiastically clinks. Jungkook smiles gently beside him, probably still swallowing down some nerves.  

As Jin dishes up the extensive array of take-out food that they had ordered, everything from Curry to Lo Mein to Pizza, he feels Jungkook’s eyes following his actions carefully.  

He sighs heavily, turning to look at Jungkook. “What?” 

Jungkook raises his eyebrows as he glances at Jin’s heaping plate. “Don’t you have a commercial shoot tomorrow for Coke?” 

“Yes. And?” Jin asks, turning to face Jungkook completely.  

“That just... looks like a lot of sodium. And you probably... shouldn’t...” 

“Shouldn’t what?” Jin prompts gently, daring him to say it.  

“Shouldn’t...” Jungkook continues uncertainly, desperately trying to read the right answer in Jin’s eyes, “...worry.... because of course you don’t... bloat? You beautiful superhuman?” 

“Exactly right,” Jin says, leaning forward to press a quick peck to Jungkook’s relieved smile. His ears flush a pleased pink, and Hani reaches across the table to coo and tweak his ear.  

“Look at you, still blushing like a virgin, even after all the mutual defiling,” she teases him as he swats her hand away.  

Namjoon cranes his head to try and look down the hallway.  “It’s really quiet in there. That’s not normal for them. Do you think they’re dead?” he asks, leaning back in his chair to look down the hall.  

Jin sighs, tossing his napkin on the table and getting to his feet. “I’ll go check on them.” 

It really is eerily quiet as he makes his way down the hall. He’s almost positive that they aren’t having sex, because he’s heard Taehyung and Jimin having sex, and so he knows that if they were getting it on, everyone on the floor would know.  

He tentatively approaches the door, knocking gently. “Jimin?” he calls softly, pressing his ear to the door. 

There are a few seconds of pause. “Yeah?” Jimin’s voice comes from the other side of the door, quiet.  

“Can I come in?” 

“Yeah. Sure,” Jimin answers, surprisingly accommodating given the mood that he was in when he had left. “If you want to.” 

Jin opens the door.  Peeks inside. Stares. Sighs. Closes the door. 

He returns to the table with impressive control of his expression, sitting down without a word and grabbing a piece of pizza. He stuffs the entire things into his mouth as he ignores the four sets of eyes affixed on his face.  

“Well. Are they okay?” Namjoon asks, freezing with his pizza halfway between the plate and his mouth.  

“They worked it out,” Jin manages to say primly around the massive bite of pizza. 

“They’re not...” Namjoon trails off suggestively.  

“They worked. It out,” Jin repeats significantly, already reaching for a second piece. 

“They’re having sex?” 

Jin nods. 

“All of them?” 

Another nod.  

Namjoon’s eyebrows crumple in genuine confusion. “But, it's so quiet. They’re never quiet. You’re sure?” 

“Positive. Hoseok seems to be mediating successfully. With his dick,” Jin says, shuddering lightly. “I’ve never seen such heart eyes in the middle of such a disgusting sex act.” 

"Oh? Not even when you gave Jungkook the world’s angstiest hand job in your teenage emo cave instead of just, you know, telling him you loved him?” Hani asks lightly, eyes large an innocent as Jungkook dribbles a mouthful of champagne onto himself.  

“I hate this family.” 

 

 


 

 

 

When Jungkook left his old workplace, he’d also decided to leave a lot of his old things behind. Some of his suits, a couple of cars, a few people, and his old apartment. He’d put it on the market and purchased something more moderate on the trendy south side of the city. 

Jin likes his new place better. It’s less stark and white, less empty for sure. It’s filled to the brim with things Jungkook had chosen himself, things they’d chosen together.

Jungkook cuddles into Jin’s chest as they sit on a sofa they’d picked out from the Ikea where they’d almost been kicked out for too much canoodling. It’s a cheap thing, comparatively, but Jungkook has scaled back immensely in the past few months. He tells Jin it’s because he has to be careful now that he’s looking for a job, now that he’s living off his savings, but Jin knows that Jungkook has enough saved to last him a lifetime. He thinks that maybe Jungkook feels guilty, for his living the life he used to live, for whatever part he played at work. 

“I like the couch,” Jin notes, pulling Jungkook closer into his chest as he does. “It’s squishy.” 

“Too squishy,” Jungkook disagrees, poking it moodily. “You almost fucked me into the crack yesterday.” 

“You should have let me,” Jin maintains, reaching back to stick his hand between the place where the seat cushions meet the back of the couch. “It’s huge. Could be fuckin’ Narnia in there. We don’t know.” 

“You’re so weird.” 

“Yeah. Do you love me anyway?” Jin asks him, making ridiculous kissy lips at him and leaning close.  

Jungkook pretends to cringe, the illusion shattered by an errant giggle as he leans away from Jin. "Tragically.” 

Jin chuckles and relents in his attack, instead draping himself across Jungkook’s chest. He feels a hand thread through his hair, tenderly playing with the soft locks as they sit there. He thinks back to the dinner, to Jungkook’s quiet smile as they’d retired the engagement ring to its old box.  

"So,” Jin starts, snuggling closer into Jungkook’s chest. “That dinner was something.” 

He feels Jungkook nod, though his fingers go still in Jin’s hair. “Wouldn’t expect anything less from our friends.” 

Jin hums affirmatively, reaching down to fidget with the edge of Jungkook’s shirt. “Are you... good with everything?” he asks quietly, chancing a glance up at Jungkook who meets his gaze. “With us?” 

Jungkook’s brows draw downward in confusion. “Of course,” he affirms quickly, his voice high. “Why wouldn’t I be?” 

Jin shrugs. “You seemed a little quiet when I took the ring off,” he notes, trying to keep his tone light and observational.  

“Oh.” Jungkook flushes, but he doesn’t look away. “I guess.” 

Jin braces himself on Jungkook’s chest so that their faces are eye level. “Any particular reason why?” 

Jungkook finally averts his gaze, shifting slightly beneath Jin. “Not really. I just...” he trails off, reaching up to nervously scratch his nose.  

“Just what?” 

Jungkook meets his eyes again. “I liked the ring.” 

Jin smiles gently, poking him in the side. “You liked the ring.” 

Jungkook jerks away from his prodding fingers, fighting a smile now. His ears are a brilliant red now. “On you,” he admits finally. “I liked the ring on you.” 

Jin’s chest clenches pleasantly in the way that only Jungkook can make it do. He smiles softly, reaching up to stroke Jungkook’s cheek gently.  “I liked the ring, too.” Jungkook’s smile fades to something gentler, more affectionate.  

“Yeah?” Jungkook asks quietly, petal lips parting around a shy, toothy grin.  

“Maybe I can wear it again someday,” Jin says casually, and Jungkook’s grin is unbearably bright now, eyes lovely crescents. “You know. If you’re lucky,” Jin continues haughtily, trying to keep his face stony as he turns his face away. Jungkook swiftly lands a sweet kiss on his cheek, and Jin cracks within seconds.  

He leans in to press a quick kiss to Jungkook’s neck, relishing the way that Jungkook tilts his head to expose his neck further and the way groans in disappointment when Jin laughs and pulls away.  

“Really? Again?” Jin demands as Jungkook makes grabby hands for him. “We just fucked this morning.” 

“I’m young and virile, you wouldn’t understand,” Jungkook groans, tugging Jin onto his lap and subtly rolling his hips up into the undersides of his thighs.  

“Oh, I wouldn’t?” Jin asks, swinging his leg over Jungkook’s lap to straddle him as he winds his arms around his neck. He leans down to press a lingering kiss to Jungkook’s lips, which part easily under his. Jin tilts his head to deepen the kiss, running his tongue along Jungkook’s lower lip. He pulls back. “Guess I’ll just go to bed then.”  

“Nooo,” Jungkook whines adorably, arms locking around Jin’s waist and holding him there. “I wanna fuck.” 

Jin rolls his eyes. “Wow. The absolute height of romance, you are.” 

“Romance?” Jungkook demands, looking indignant. “You want romance? I’ll give you fuckin’ romance. I’ll romance you so hard you feel it for weeks.” 

“You’re so aggressive.” Jin rolls his eyes, pretending that he’s not settling himself deeper on Jungkook's lap so that he can drag their crotches together.

“When it comes to my love for you? You bet your sweet ass I am,” Jungkook says, slapping Jin’s ass lightly and trying to shift him off of his lap.  “Hop up for a second. I want to get something. God I'm gonna woo you so hard.” 

As Jin rolls onto the couch, Jungkook stands up and darts away, leaping unnecessarily over the coffee table and around the corner, down the hall towards his bedroom. Jin hears him rummaging around for a few long moments before he reappears, one hand behind his back.  

“What do you have?” Jin asks suspiciously, drawing his legs up on the couch to assume a defensive position.  

Jungkook pauses, cocking his head. “Stop looking so scared.” 

“I am scared. You have your imp face on. I know to be scared when you have your imp face on.” 

“I do not!” Jungkook insists, bringing his hand out from behind his back and uncurling his fingers from around a small object. A box. “I’m being romantic.” 

Jin’s eyes bulge, fixating on the box -a ring box now that he sees it closer- and he swears his heart stops completely before it resumes its rhythm at double pace. “What the fuck are you doing?” 

“Kim Seokjin...” Jungkook starts as he advances on him, gaze steady and determined on Jin’s face.  

“No. Nuh uh.” Jin says, curling up into a tighter ball on the couch. “We just got out of that mess!” 

“Kimberly. Seokjin. Jinbert.” He continues, undeterred as he comes to a stop in front of Jin. He lowers himself to one knee.  

“’Someday’ does not mean ‘next week,’ Jungkook!” 

“Will you make me the happiest man alive?” He flips open the box. Jin snorts as the diamond-encrusted cock ring sparkles up at him. “Will you allow me to ride your beautiful dick until I cry?” 

“Oh, baby,” Jin says, his adrenaline spike fading abruptly as his body senses that the danger has passed. "My love. My life." He leans in close to cup Jungkook’s cheek as large eyes still sparkle up impishly up at Jin. “I am going to throttle you.” 

“Sexy.” 

“Literally stop hanging out with Jimin.” 

“No!”