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(hot) stack-destroyer

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"i hate this job."

"you do not, you little brat." seokjin flicks his forehead, "stop complaining."

jungkook frowns, "but i have a reason to complain."

"no, you don't. you were literally broke a month ago- and now look at you! you have enough money to refill your car every week, all by yourself." seokjin pats his head fondly, "wah, i'm so proud of you."

jungkook rolls his eyes, "whatever. why are you even here?"

"i came to see my favourite dongsaeng, of course."

jungkook gives him an unimpressed look.

seokjin sighs in defeat, "i don't need to tell you everything i do."

"okay." jungkook replies cheerily, "but just so you know- namjoonie hyung hasn't come to work today." he nods at the bookstore across, "see? usually he stands at the entrance."

seokjin splutters.

"jimin hyung went to the bookstore this morning for something, and he said that the bookstore staff were having an awful time without namjoon hyung."

seokjin scowls, face beet red, "i will be going now, jeon jungkook. get back to work."

"sure." jungkook says agreeably, "treat me to dinner this evening."

"this brat." seojin mutters, albeit a little fondly, "well- i'm going to go now."

"you should. i didn't know chefs have such long breaks." he grins evilly, "make some special food for namjoon hyung while you're at it. he's sick, you know." and seokjin huffs, shoving him and walking away, nose in the air.

jungkook laughs to himself, going back to folding the set of shirts that some customer must have messed up.

to be fair, it definitely wasn't a bad job. it pays him well, and even though it can be tiring and annoying, he has a pretty good time everyday. working in a mall is a lot different than what he expected it to be. for example:

1. he has friends who work in other stores.

being the antisocial, shy person he is, he barely expected to make friends in the store he works in, let alone people from other stores. also, with the mall being so huge, he's impressed that he managed to actually meet other people.

2. he's actually pretty good at talking to customers.

he might be shy, but he's fucking good at marketing (he should be, that was one out of two of his majors), and according to his manager, his face attracts a lot of people, which is a good thing.

3. on the negative side, it might be a mall, but people still come to a rack and feel the need to mess up the clothes and then leave them there without buying them.

okay, jungkook is a fair person, he totally understands the customers- and he used to do it, too. but some people literally knock over the entire stack of clothes. that is at least seven articles of clothing. would it kill them to pick up just one shirt, look at it and then leave it however they want? no, they have to mess up all seven.

in fact, jungkook never would have imagined himself working in a clothing store, of all places. he'd been really into music and art growing up (still is), so it would make more sense that he worked in a music shop or an art supplies store, like his friend, jimin (who also works in the mall).

however, what he has come to realise, is that the one store where he could truly put all his marketing skills to use is a clothing store. he doesn't use the 'flattering customers' method. instead, he lets them to their own thing, doesn't follow them around. keeps an eye on what they seem to prefer (a little weird, but hey, it works) and mentally come up with what they might like. and when they ask for help, bam, he has the perfect outfit.

jungkook is modest, but he will admit that he is kind of a genius.

"um, excuse me?"

jungkook turns around to see a girl, maybe seventeen, and she's holding up a flowery top and frowning heavily.

he plasters his work-smile onto his face, "hello, how can i help you?"

"um, does this come in any other colour?"

"no." jungkook says as apologetically as possible, "that's the only kind in it's style, no other colours."

"pink?" the girls presses, and jungkook tries not to roll his eyes.

"no other colours." he repeats, face hurting from smiling.

"not even light blue?"

light blue is considered an 'other colour', he wants to say, but of course, he doesn't. "sorry, ma'am." he says instead, "we only have this piece in white."

the girl drops the shirt back into the rack, "this is h&m. isn't it supposed to have, like, a lot of different styles?"

"it does." jungkook tries to remain pleasant, "in fact, i can show you some other stuff you might like. you wanted something pink?"

"yeah." the girl tosses her hair, holding up another shirt, "does this come in pink?"

jungkook sighs and shakes his head, wincing when she drops it carelessly back onto the counter and wondering which one of the staff would have to fold it up.

"well?" the girls demands, "you said you had some stuff in pink? how long do i just stand here and wait for you to get it?"

yup, sometimes jungkook really hates his job.

***

"taetae hyung, can you please fold that?" jungkook begs.

the mall is closed for the day, and of course, they all have to stay back and clear up the store.

"i thought working in h&m just involved standing there and looking pretty!" taehyung complains, "i thought that's why they only hire hot people!"

"and what, the hot people attract the customers and the ugly ones sweep the floor?" nayeon demands, broom in hand.

"we can't really talk." sooyoung points out, "we're all hot, right? there's no one ugly."

"there is." jungkook points to himself.

"don't be stupid." taehyung admonishes, "you're pretty as fuck."

"besides, you're really good at sales." sooyoung compliments, "it would be even better if you stopped standing there and actually helped me fold these clothes."

jungkook hurries to help her.

"i'm starving." taehyung groans, "jungkookie, what's your dinner plan?"

"not sure. seokjin hyung said he's gonna treat me to dinner. wanna come?"

"sure!"

"also, i'm gonna go see namjoon hyung." jungkook adds as an afterthought, "i know it's late, but he's been sick all week."

"hey, great idea." taehyung nods, "i'll come for that, too."

nayeon kicks taehyung in the shin and holds up her broom, "can you get to work?"

he does

***

in the end, five of them go to see namjoon.

him, taehyung, seokjin, their friend park jimin from the art supplies store, and their other friend jung hoseok, who works at the kids' disney store because he's great with kids and is such a good dancer that he uses his cool moves to easily attracts customers.

"how do i look?" seokjin asks before they get out of the car.

he is met with four pairs of blinking eyes.

"same as usual." hoseok replies kindly, at the same time taehyung says, "like you haven't slept for days."

seokjin groans.

"don't worry, hyung!" jungkook pats his shoulder encouragingly, "you're worldwide handsome! besides, namjoon hyung is sick- he must look ten times worse."

jungkook is right.

namjoon looks terrible. his eyes are red and puffy and his skin is pale and he looks like he's been run over by a bus.

and yet, seokjin still looks at him like he is the best thing he's ever seen.

"seokjin hyung's got a thing for namjoon hyung, right?" jimin asks jungkook quietly.

"isn't it obvious?" jungkook replies, as seokjin busies himself in namjoon's kitchen, making soup or stew or whatever it is that he makes for sick people.

jimin, taehyung and hoseok exchange a glance.

"yeah." they say in chorus, and jungkook laughs.

half an hour later, namjoon is cuddled up in bed with hot soup, and the rest of them are sitting around him, telling him about their day.

"oh, yeah." namjoon says, his voice stuffy from his cold, "jungkookie, could you do me a favour tomorrow?"

according to jungkook, namjoon is the coolest hyung ever. jungkook literally decided to join h&m because he wanted to work in the same mall as kim namjoon. (he would go as far as to working in the bookstore with kim namjoon, but unfortunately, he has no interest in books). namjoon is smart and really nice, and he says he's not that strong, but he still manages to break everything he touches, which is some awesome superpower-like strength. and he loves music, just like jungkook.

jeon jungkook idolises him.

so, of course, his only reply is, "anything."

seokjin laughs, "would that be your reply if i asked you to do me a favour?"

"no." jungkook says, "namjoon hyung is cool, that's why."

this makes namjoon smile, despite his condition, "thanks, kook. so, i'll text you the name of a book, okay? i need you to go buy it from the bookstore tomorrow."

jungkook stares at him, bewildered, "you want me to buy a book?"

"yeah."

"from the store you work at?"

"yes."

"and bring it to you?"

"mmhmm."

"you want to buy you a book from your own bookstore?"

"that is correct." namjoon confirms, "also, it's not my store. i just work there."

"it might as well be yours." jimin says tiredly, "they were a mess without you today. a lady came asking for a birthday gift for a sixteen-year-old, and jackson hyung was so busy trying to impress customers with acrobatics that he misheard 'sixteen' as 'six' and gave her a barney book."

"what." namjoon blinks.

"then, when the lady tried to correct him, he started talking about how barney is underappreciated."

"barney is a creep." seokjin interjects, "he is an insult to the colour pink."

"jackson is an idiot." namjoon groans, "he's not supposed to do acrobatics in the bookstore. where did he find space? why did he find space? why can't he listen? why did that lady have to come today, of all days? why does he work in a bookstore instead of the gym?"

"don't exert yourself, joon-ah." seokjin admonishes.

"wait, hyung- why do you need a book?" taehyung asks.

"hm?" he looks up, "oh, its my ex-college professor's birthday. he taught us music production. one of the best teachers i've had in my life. he motivated me to continue music production and writing even now. so a group of us who were really inspired by him, you know, maybe fifteen of us, decided to surprise him next week."

"aw, that's nice." hoseok says, "so you need a gift?"

"mmhm. will you get it for me, kook?"

"sure, hyung." jungkook promises, "now don't talk so much. you'll get even more sick."

"okay, so listen to this." hoseok leans forward, "the most savage kid came to the store today-"

and it goes on like that, and in these moments, jungkook is glad he joined this job.

***

"that guy has messed up four stacks in ten minutes." jungkook whispers to taehyung furiously, "why can't he just pick up one damn shirt, why does he mess up the whole stack?"

"beats me." taehyung grumbles, "look, he's onto the fifth stack now. wanna go tell him that one stack is just seven of the same exact clothes, or should i?"

"i'll do it." jungkook says, "that other customer- the girl from yesterday who wanted pink clothes- is back. i can't deal with her again."

"gotcha."

jungkook walks over to the stack-destroyer, "hello, sir." he says, with his work-smile, "do you need anything?"

the man is a little shorter than jungkook, with broad shoulders and black hair and an all-black outfit that makes him look a tiny bit intimidating. he's got three piercings on each ear, and cat eyes that look really nice, except for the fact that he looks like he'd like to kill a bitch at the moment.

still, he's pretty hot.

unfortunately, jungkook does not mingle with stack-destroyers. no, absolutely not. he can tolerate someone picking up one article of clothing and messing it up, yes, but people who don't have the brain to realise that the entire stack of clothes is just a repeat of the same clothes, and then decide to mess up the entire thing-

-no, jungkook will not associate with those.

"um." stack-destroyer gives jungkook a bored look, "do you work here?"

"uh, yeah." jungkook resists the urge to point at his uniform and name tag, like, what the fuck was wrong with this guy.

"well, i didn't really ask for your help, so."

wait, what?

jungkook gapes, because is this guy for real?

"well." he tries to keep his voice cheerful, "i noticed that you seemed to have some trouble." he gestures at five destroyed stacks of clothing that he will have to rearrange soon.

the guy shrugs, "maybe. didn't ask you for help though." he thinks over his words, "uh, not to be rude, i guess."

he guesses?

"hm." jungkook clears his throat, "well, what are you looking for? i can find the exact thing you might need." and thereby stop you from messing up ten more stacks of clothes which i have perfectly arranged.

the man sighs, "listen, kid, i don't plan my shit, okay? i just go with the flow. i'll go through some more stuff and let you know if i need anything."

jungkook nods despondently and walks back to the counter, and together, he and nayeon watch the man mess up three other stacks.

"they're the same clothes!" nayeon hisses, "he's checked three shirts in that same stack- someone tell him it's all the same!"

"he basically told me to get the fuck out, like i don't work here or something." jungkook scowls.

"guys." jung eunbi flicks their foreheads, "don't be bitchy, and don't stare."

"i'm not the bitchy one." jungkook mutters, but he stops staring and busies himself with rearranging, anyway.

after some time, he hears someone call out, "uh-kid? staff? sir?" and looks up to see the stack-destroyer in front of him, arms crossed.

"yes?" jungkook asks.

"so, now i might need your help."

oh, now he needs help. now that he's probably messed up half the store.

"right." jungkook says in his chirpy, professional 'i-love-this-job' voice, "so... who are you shopping for?"

the man raises an eyebrow, "why do you need to know that?"

really? really? "because i need to advise you on suitable clothing, sir." jungkook says patiently, "okay, are you shopping for a man or woman, child or adult- give me something."

"oh. right." stack-destroyer nods, "um... i'm shopping for a man. may be in his late fifties, early sixties."

"your father?"

"no." the man gives him a look, "why?"

"i'm just trying to help, jesus christ!" jungkook takes a deep breath. do not lose your cool, do not, do not, "okay, and so far you have been looking for shirts?"

"yeah."

"um... what else does this man usually wear?"

"uh." stack destroyer drops is expressionless gaze to a more thoughtful one, "hm. i don't know. he does go to a lot of formal events and seminars and stuff."

"have you tried finding a tie instead of a shirt, then?" jungkook asks, "you could buy him a set of ties for different occasions."

stack destroyer looks mildly impressed, "i didn't think of that."

clearly, jungkook thinks, or you wouldn't have destroyed the entire store.

"well, i can show you to the-"

"nah, i got it." and the man actually waves him off, the nerve, "thanks for your help, jungkook-ssi."

"how-"

"-your name-tag." stack-destroyer says pointedly, and jungkook turns beet red, and how dare this guy just casually say something and make jungkook seem like the stupid one when he himself literally hasn't realised that one stack is a repeat of the same clothes?!

"you alright?" sooyoung asks, fanning him, "you look a little upset."

"i am fine." jungkook says in a detached voice, "completely and utterly fine."

***

"your stack destroyer is back." hoseok says, nodding towards the customer.

"he's not mine." jungkook mutters, "and what are you even doing here?"

"it's my break." hoseok shrugs, "anyway- you did say, i quote, 'i hate it when hot people are assholes'."

"so?" jungkook sticks his nose in the air, "you should hate it, too."

"you did call him hot, though."

"so?"

"and it's been what, two weeks since he came? and you still remember his face."

"three weeks." jungkook corrects, "and of course i remember. because i spent two and a half hours after my shift cleaning."

"okay, jungkookie." hoseok says in a sing-song voice, "whatever you say. i'm going back to disney."

"that sounds hilarious when you say it like that, not gonna lie."

"better than seokjin hyung when he says, 'i'm going back to wang's', admit it."

jungkook laughs, "that's true. he could say 'the kitchen' instead of 'wang's'."

"matter of convenience, i suppose." hoseok shrugs, "do you think being a chef is easier than being a sales employee? he never has to talk to customers."

"he could poison people." jungkook agrees cheerfully.

"hi, hoseok-ssi." sooyoung says, giving him a bright smile, "how's it going?"

"alright." hoseok replies, checking his watch, "i'm late, so i'd better get going."

"ah." she says, "me, too. that customer seems a little annoyed." she nods towards stack-destroyer.

"hm." hoseok smirks, "maybe you should let jungkookie handle that one."

""would you?" sooyoung asks hopefully.

"of course he will!" hoseok shoves him in stack-destroyer's direction, which jungkook resents because the customer had made it pretty clear that he likes to 'go with the flow' and 'didn't want unnecessary help'.

"oh, it's you." stack-destroyer says, "jungkook, right?"

"yes." he fidgets awkwardly, "um, what did your father think about those ties?"

"wasn't for my father." the man reminds him, "but it was a good idea. the guy liked it. thanks."

stack-destroyer seems to be in a more amicable mood today. he's not wearing full-black either, but he still looks slightly intimidating. or maybe that's just jungkook.

"well." jungkook clears his throat, "that's great. no problem. i'll just- uh-" he gestures vaguely, "be around. y'know. if you need something."

"sure."

and jungkook steps back, and the man is back to destroying the stacks, really living up to his name.

"oh my god." sooyoung whispers, as she watches the hot customer mess up stack after stack in the name of 'looking for clothes', "oh my god. what the fuck?"

"i know." jungkook swallows, "we'll be here all night with those."

sooyoung lets out a tiny wail, "go stop him, kookie."

"me? why me?"

"because you're cute!"

"you're cuter! noona is the cutest!"

"okay, what is going on here?" eunbi asks, startling the other two, "are you flirting? is this a thing?"

jungkook blinks, "oh- eunbi, you're the cutest. really. you can stop him."

"stop who? what's going- oh my god." her gaze lands on stack-destroyer, "oh, no. we'll be here all night finishing that. jungkookie, you've got the best ass. go stop him."

"we're ass-less." sooyoung agrees, and jungkook has never seen her be so happy about it.

"that's not even true." he frowns, but they both shove him in the direction of the hot stack destroyer.

"be professional!" eunbi whisper-shouts.

"be cool!" sooyoung adds, and he groans.

"um, excuse me." jungkook says, and stack destroyer looks up from where he is pulling multiple shirts out of the same stack. jungkook cringes.

"yeah?"

"uh... just wanted to let you know that.." he gestures at the stacks of clothes, "every stack is just seven of the same article of clothing. there's no mix-and-match. we organise them very well."

hot guy raises his eyebrow, and fuck, it's attractive, "and you are telling me this because...?"

jungkook wonders if there's a way to say this without sounding like a complete asshole, so he settles for, "uh, i noticed that you spent a lot of time going through stacks of clothes. i thought i could just let you know, so you could save some time?"

"oh" stack destroyer looks surprised, "well, okay. thanks, i guess."

he guesses? again? can't he be completely thankful, for once?

stack destroyer wanders away, and jungkook lets out a frustrated breath.

"what's up with you?" taehyung materialises behind him.

"why is he so hot?" jungkook demands, and then pauses, backtracking. no, no, no, "i meant- why is he so infuriating. that's what i meant."

"sure." taehyung grins, "hot people can be infuriating, y'know."

jungkook nods vigorously, "they can be. hot people can infuriate you with their permanent bitch face and inability to thank people and strange tendency to mess up stacks."

"true." taehyung seems to be fighting a laugh, "or they could just be infuriating because they're hot."

"no." jungkook refutes, "it's not because of that."

"i mean, jungkookie- i understand that it pisses you off when he ruins the folding. it pisses me off, too, but-

"it's annoying as fuck, ask sooyoung and eunbi and nayeon-"

"-but, it's not much different from literally every other customer." taehyung continues smoothly, as if jungkook hadn't even spoken, "customers do that. you're supposed to be used to it by now."

"hyung, no! most customer just mess up singular articles of clothing! even two clothes are okay sometimes! who messes up the entire stack?"

"that's true." taehyung admits, "but the guy from yesterday did that, too."

jungkook blinks, "which guy?"

"see- you don't even remember! and he was pretty obnoxious. and he was only from yesterday." taehyung side-eyes him, "you remembered this stack-ruining guy for weeks, and he wasn't even the worst we've had."

by now, jungkooks is unable to say anything else. he just scowls, and taehyung's grin grows wider.

"you think he's hot."

"we've established that."

"you're probably more annoyed that you find him attractive than you are at the fact that he messes up our shit."

"that's not true."

"you just want to suck his dick. in the back of the fancy sports car he probably has."

"taehyung, no!" jungkook whines, "besides, i don't suck people's dicks unless they take me out first and treat me all nicely. this guy seems rich as fuck- did you see that rolex?- but who gives a shit about that? why can't he just be nicer and ask me to dinner?" then he pauses, "oh."

"ohhhhh." taehyung drags it out, "does jungkookie have a crush?"

"i haven't even talked to him more than, like, twice."

"love at first sight."

"i wanted to punch him at first sight." jungkook corrects, "and besides, being completely honest, i can't ever see myself with someone who messes up stacks."

"whatever." taehyung rolls his eyes, "wait till the hyungs hear about this."

jungkook watches hot stack-destroyer as he picks up yet another shirt.

taehyung cackles.

***

stack-destroyer begins to come quite often.

on the third visit, he buys a dress for his mother, and jungkook curses, because he's a fucking family guy, and he cannot handle how much he loves guys who love their mom, and they even have a short conversation-

-and on the fourth visit he buys more ties, "they're for my father this time." he tells jungkook, and then they have another conversation.

and on the fifth visit, he doesn't buy anything, just comes and messes up stacks and goes, as if that's why he came in the first place.

on the sixth visit, they end up talking. for real this time, and jungkook realises that he really enjoys talking to stack-destroyer, likes the way his deep, soothing voice sounds when he says 'jungkook-ssi'.

on the seventh visit, jungkook sees the hot guy laugh for the first time. a real laugh, and he's left a little breathless, because he never thought he would find a laugh attractive.

and on the eight visit, jungkook admits to himself that he's pretty attracted to this guy. the guy bought striped pink socks for his baby cousin, and he hasn't even messed up many stacks lately, but then-

- then, on the ninth visit, the stack-destroyer messes up more stacks and jungkook really can't handle it anymore.

"excuse me, sir." jungkook says pleasantly, because he is still too shy to ask for hot stack-destroyer's name, "can you please stop messing up the stacks?"

"uh." the man looks at him, 'i'm sorry, what?"

"i've told you before, right? that every stack is just the same clothes in a pile."

"i believe you have, yes."

"so if you want to see one, you can just pick up one." jungkook explains, like he's talking to a toddler, "you don't have to go through everything."

"i went to target the other day." hot customer says, "and their stacks were all mixed up."

jungkook bristles. he can hear a dramatic gasp that is most definitely sooyoung's and a horrified exclamation that is eunbi, and he hears taehyung scoff and he can practically feel nayeon's glare.

"excuse me, sir, this is not target." jungkook says, and okay, maybe he's a bit un-chill, but who can blame him, "this is h&m. it's different. this store is only for clothes. this is on a totally different level from target. do you not see us," he gestures at himself and the other four, "working like fucking crazy? do you really think that we would allow a mix-and-matched stack?" the very idea of a mixed stack is horrifying, and here is this guy, and he has the nerve to compare them to target?

okay, to be fair, he does like target.

but how dare he compare his- jeon jungkook's- organisation skills to that of target's?

"okay, chill, i just-" hot guy begins, and jungkook's jaw drops.

"chill? chill? do you not understand- listen here, we spend hours slogging away to set up perfect- perfect, un-mis-matched- stacks of clothes, are you trying to say that we have stacked these wrong?"

"no, no, that's not what i-"

"well then, you better stop ruining the stacks. pick up one shirt and look at it, and if you need help, fucking ask, because if you mess up one more stack of clothes, i will use the shirt to strangle you. are we clear?"

by the end of this rant, jungkook realises that he is shouting at his customer.

oh, dear.

sooyoung is covering her mouth to keep herself from laughing. taehyung has already given up. nayeon is flat-out gaping at them like she's never seen anything more shocking in her life. and eunbi looks torn between amused and horrified.

luckily, hot stack destroyer is currently the only customer in the shop. so jungkook hadn't scared anyone else away.

he hopes.

"well." hot stack destroyer says finally, shaking himself- and the rest of them- out of their reverie, "i'm. um. sorry for ruining your stacks. and comparing you to target."

"hey, no hate." taehyung calls weakly, "we love target."

"right." hot stack-destroyer says, "right."

"um, so." eunbi picks up a shirt from the stack that the customer had knocked over, "will you be buying this?"

sometimes jungkook really hates his job.

***

one of the pros of having best friends who work in the same mall as you is that it's never difficult to meet up for food.

however, it is extremely easy to get bored of the mall's food court if you eat lunch there nearly every day.

"it was crazy, i should've got it on video." taehyung says, still gasping for air, "kook went off, and you should've seen the customer's face!"

"i can't believe you exploded at a customer." jimin says with something akin to awe, "i wish i could do that."

"no, you don't." seokjin and namjoon chorus. namjoon beams at seokjin, who flushes bright red and down his entire glass of water in one gulp.

taehyung snorts.

"but i hope you didn't upset the customer too much." hoseok frowns, "he's been coming pretty often. do people even need that many clothes?"

"and he came for every occasion." taehyung adds, "birthdays for his cousins, parents, aunts, uncles, for his own events, he would just come for no reason- damn, if he stops coming we're gonna be broke."

jungkook scowls, "well. it's not my fault."

"never said it was." taehyung says, "anyway, it was annoying, having to fold so many clothes."

"yeah." jimin mutters, "not like it's your job or anything."

"our job is not clothes folding!" jungkook gasps, offended, "it's marketing and sales!"

"we know." the rest of them chorus boredly.

"bet it's easy being a chef." hoseok says under his breath.

"hey, don't say that." namjoon scolds, "chefs have it twice as hard. cooking is way more responsibility than customer service. if one customer doesn't like the food, then it could ruin the reputation of a whole branch. it takes a lot of skill and hard work to be a chef."

seokjin looks like he might die.

jungkook rolls his eyes, "whatever."

"question is- will we see stack-ruiner again or not?" taehyung says.

jungkook frowns a little.

okay, the stack-destroying was annoying as hell. but jungkook had developed a sort of crush on the hot customer guy. he was good-looking and he didn't seem to care what others thought of him. he always did his own thing, and jungkook was strangely attracted by that.

and he'd seemed intimidating at first (he still gave off that vibe) but as his visits grew more frequent, jungkook had realised that he was a pretty chill guy. when he'd bought ties for his father, they got into a conversation about boring office parties they'd had to attend in their childhood. when he came for a gift for his mom, they'd gotten side-tracked and ended up laughing at a story about jungkook's mom's last birthday party.

hot stack-destroyer didn't smile often. sometimes he even came wearing a mask that covered half his face and a cap that covered the other half, and jungkook was impressed that he could even see where he was going.

but when he did smile, jungkook could feel his heart flutter.

hot customer guy could be blunt and rude and deadpan really often, but jungkook had gotten kind of fond of that, too. and somehow, the guy always seemed to soften when he talked to jungkook.

jungkook hadn't even managed to get the guy's name. they'd talked quite often and he came to the store all the time, but jungkook still called him 'sir' because, well, the guy was a customer. but jungkook really wants to know his name. and wants the guy to ask him to dinner, maybe. and wants him to be more than a customer.

and if hot stack-destroyer doesn't come back anymore (even though it might be jungkook's fault), well.

jungkook would be pretty sad.

"hey." seokjin says softly, "what's with the sad face?"

jungkook bites his lips, "i don't want the hot stack-destroyer to not come back."

"the hot stack destroyer?" jimin practically coos, "kookie, you are such a cute baby, oh my god-"

"-i like it when he comes." jungkook regards seokjin with wide eyes, "even if he messes up stacks. i don't even know his name."

"aww, jungkookie." seokjin squeezes his arms, "don't worry, i'm sure he'll come back."

"and he's actually really nice, even if he was an asshole at first." jungkook murmurs sadly, "and i like talking to him."

"he'll come back." hoseok says.

"and- and i'd apologise if he came back."

"kook, don't sweat." namjoon says warmly, "he'll come back. trust us."

"how do you know?"

"oh, jungkookie, you really are oblivious, aren't you?" taehyung chuckles fondly, "i doubt it was ever the clothes he was really coming for in the first place. surely you have better presents to get your three-year-old cousin than striped pink socks?"

"what do you mean?"

"jungkook, let me tell you- he comes into the store looking ready to kill people until he sees you." taehyung smiles, "and i haven't heard him talk so gently- or talk at all- to any of us, even when we ask if he needs something. you know, the day with the socks, sooyoung asked him if he needed help, and he said no. then he found you and asked you for help like two minutes after."

"maybe he just likes my taste." jungkook says reproachfully.

"or." hoseok grins, "maybe he just likes you."

***

after nearly one week, hot stack-destroyer comes back to the store to buy a t-shirt for his nephew.

he doesn't seem the slightest bit upset at jungkook, and even laughs when jungkook apologises for shouting at him.

"hey, it's okay, really." he says kindly, "i'd be pissed too. i wouldn't have even lasted these many weeks."

"it's not about anything else, you know." jungkook says in a rush, "it was only about the stacks."

stack-destroyer gazes at him, "what was only about the stacks?"

"me. shouting at you. i wasn't really pissed at you, it's just... all of these clothes are a bitch to clean up, and you always mess up more stacks than half our customers put together." wow, jungkook should really stop talking.

but he gets an apologetic smile in return, "i'm sorry."

"no, no, no- it's not-"

"it's okay." he looks jungkook in the eye, and fuck, this guy's eyes are beautiful, "it's really okay. i'm glad to know you weren't pissed at me personally, though."

"yeah." jungkook says softly, "it really wasn't- i like it when you come."

and stack-destroyer smiles. a small, genuine smile that makes jungkook's heart flutter.

"me, too." he says, "come help me find a t-shirt for my nephew."

jungkook does.

***

on exactly his eleventh visit to the store, hot stack-destroyer asks jungkook out.

"um... what kind of shirts do you really like?" he asks jungkook first, and the employee frowns in confusion.

"what kind of shirts do i like? um, white ones, usually, that all i have in my wardrobe, but- wait. shirts i like to wear, or shirts i'd recommend to other people?"

"shirts you like to see other people in." hot stack-destroyer clarifies.

"oh." jungkook flushes, "well, usually it depends on the person's face."

"forget the face." the man leans forward seriously, "what kind of shirt do you think makes people look good?"

"trying to impress someone?" jungkook jokes, but the idea of stack-destroyer trying to look cool and handsome for someone who is not him stings a little, makes him want to cry. he swallows.

stack-destroyer shrugs, "maybe. just- picture your ideal type. and tell me which shirt would look the best on him."

jungkook steps out from behind the counter and tries not to show how much this hurts. he tries not to think of hot stack-destroyer on a date with a faceless person, tries not to think about him kissing someone else. they're not even together, for fuck's sake. they've only seen each other a total of eleven times. (not that jungkook is counting) and really, jungkook is probably not this guy's type, and he's too shy to even ask for the guy's fucking name-

- "my ideal type?" he repeats, voice cracking a little, and stack-destroyer nods.

and jungkook looks at him, and then turns away, busies himself choosing clothes.

you're my ideal type, he thinks.

and he's never seen stack-destroyer wear anything besides black, grey and navy blue, so he pulls out a dark red shirt. he's always though stack-destroyer would look wonderful in red, the dramatic hue against the man's white skin. jungkook thinks the man would look so good in this shirt, and he wishes he could see him in it, wishes this wasn't for some other date with some other person.

"this?" stack-destroyer picks it up and smiles, "it's nice. think i'll look alright in it, though?"

jungkook nods. because you're my ideal type. i thought of you. you'll look so handsome.

"well, i'll be wearing this for sure, then." stack-destroyer says, "let's bill it. i trust you."

there's no other customers, so sooyoung, who's supposed to be at the counter, is, well. not there.

"i'll do it." jungkook says, a little quietly, stepping behind the counter to ring in the purchase, "your date coming up soon?"

"yes. no. maybe." stack-destroyer says, "i really hope so."

jungkook doesn't question, instead asks, "you think she- he-"

"-he-"

"-you think he likes red?"

"i would suppose so." stack-destroyer leans over and pushed a strand of hair out of jungkook's eyes, "you have beautiful hair- but you have beautiful eyes, too. it'd be a shame if i couldn't see them."

jungkook's breath hitches, and his cheeks colour with pink, "i- what?"

"so... i was hoping to take my date out for dinner friday night." stack-destroyer says, pulling away, "what do you think? something simple, but kind of elegant. and then maybe a walk by the river afterwards. he's mentioned liking that type of thing."

jungkook blinks in response. yoongi continues.

"i really like him. i've liked him for months, but i was a bit rude at first. i just thought he was really cute, and i didn't know how to talk to him." stack-destroyer continues, "but as we started talking more, i think i really fell for him. like, proper."

jungkook still doesn't speak. he can't get his hopes up- but it does sound like-

"-he's absolutely adorable, with a bunny smile, and the sweetest laugh, and he's really kind, but a bit of a spitfire, too. a neat freak, which i discovered the hard way-"

jungkook draws in a breath. oh my god.

"i want to be able to talk to him properly, just the two of us. and i'd like to treat him well and spoil him a bit. i've wanted to do that for ages."

"oh." jungkook says softly.

hot stack-destroyer leans forward, "but after all this, he's still really shy, which i think is so cute. he hasn't even asked me my name yet."

jungkook swallows, "what's your name?"

the man smiles. a breathtaking, genuine, gummy smile. his cat-like eyes are filled with affection, and even though he is a few centimetres shorter than jungkook himself, he is broader, and just more, and jungkook wants to be taken care of by him. just. wants him.

"min yoongi." the man says.

and finally, hot stack-destroyer has a name, and jungkook never knew he could find a name so attractive.

"min yoongi." he repeats shyly, and he's never seen hot stack-destroyer's- yoongi's- face light up like that before.

"so, jeon jungkook." hot sta- yoongi- taps his name-tag teasingly, "will you go on a date with me?"

jungkook breaks into a smile, too- a bunny one, as yoongi had put it- and giggles happily, "yes, i will."

and then yoongi cups jungkook's face in his hands and leans across the counter and kisses him.

and it is fucking amazing.

their mouths move together perfectly, and damn, yoongi is good with his tongue, and when they break away, they just rub their noses together a little and take a breath, and then they're kissing again.

he ignores nayeon's shriek and taehyung's cheers and sooyoungs squeals and eunbi's splutters.

because then, they pull away from each other, and yoongi intertwines his fingers with jungkook's.

"so.. i'll give you my number. and.. i'll pick you up on friday evening?"

jungkook squeezes his hand, "yeah."

they stay like that, just taking each other in. then, yoongi leans in and gives him a soft peck on the forehead, moves his elbow a little, knocking over a few clothes next to them.

yoongi eyes the pile of clothes on the floor, and then looks at jungkook, waiting to see how the employee will react.

jungkook giggles. loves the way yoongi seems to treasure jungkook's smile. pushes away any other clothes that could bother them.

and then leans in to kiss yoongi again.