“Mommy, why can’t I do that?”
The older woman—a delicately pretty lady, with wispy brown hair and laugh lines crinkling in the corners of her eyes—stood by the kitchen counter. She flicked her gaze to Jimin—little five year old Jimin, legs spread out before him in the middle of the tiny but comfortable living room—before giving him a soft smile. She flicked her wrist softly, pale wand in between her fingers, making Jimin release a loud giggle when the plates and cutleries started floating out of the dark armoire beside the counter.
“That’s so cool,” Jimin gushed out in complete wonder, eyes wide as he scrambled up and almost ran face first into the dining table, unwavering gaze fixed on the plates and cutleries gently setting themselves on the table top, “Mommy, that’s so cool.”
“Is it, baby,” she whispered softly, waving her wand in a wavy stroke, and Jimin breathed out in excitement again when the pot from the stovetop floated slowly in the air, towards the center of the table.
“It is,” Jimin responded seriously, little fingers gripping on the table’s edge as he stood on his tiptoes to watch everything that was happening on the table, “I wish I could do that, too.”
Jimin puffed his cheeks out in envy, eyeing the wand in his mother’s hands curiously. She was special, she’d say whenever Jimin asked her why she could do that and not him. But, she’d continue as she tucked a stray lock of brown hair behind his ears, that doesn’t make you any less special, baby. Jimin never really understood what she meant, but he’d always trusted his mother. With eyes still on the hovering pot, he was about to say something else when someone suddenly knocked on their front door.
“I’ll get it!” Jimin shrieked excitedly, pushing himself away from the table and missing the look of panic flitting across his mother’s features. They didn’t get many visitors.
Jimin ignored her, stumbling down the hall and stopping in front of the door. Underneath the door and through the gap, he could see the shadows of feet shuffling about in the cold. He laced his fingers together in front of him, tilting his head to the side as he stared up at the door.
“Who is it?” He called out softly, and the shuffling of the shadows stopped. Another knock rapped on the door. Jimin puffed his cheeks, faintly aware of his mother frantically traversing down the halls to reach him. “Who is it?”
“...delivery,” a deep voice rumbled outside, and Jimin frowned, not entirely sure if he should open it or not.
Hands suddenly clamped down on his shoulders, and he gasped softly in surprise. He turned around to see his mother standing behind him, rigid and tense, her beautiful brown eyes clouded with panic. She quickly steered him away from the door and up the stairs wordlessly. Jimin was smart—he knew when he was supposed to be quiet, and this was it.
His mother quickly made a beeline for her own room, hurriedly pulling Jimin in with her and locking the door behind them with a soft click. Her hands were still gripping Jimin’s tiny little hand, and he watched as she looked around, fear evident in her pretty face. Jimin didn’t like that expression.
“Mommy,” Jimin whispered up at her, and she visibly jumped at his soft voice, “what’s wrong?”
She looked at him—fearful, worried, distraught, and sad—before she pulled him towards the large white wardrobe in her room. She pushed him inside just as they heard the front door downstairs slamming open. Jimin instinctively gripped her hand back.
“Mommy, someone’s in the house,” he whispered shakily, and he could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He didn’t open the door for anyone and nor did his mommy. She’d told him it would just be him and her for dinner—no one else was supposed to be there in the house with them. The tears clouded his vision, and he let them fall when he blinked.
“I know, sweetie, I know. Now hush, and listen to mommy,” she knelt down to his eye-level, gently settling him inside. She blindly reached inside the cabinet, her face still contorted with barely masked fear. Her eyes lit up when she found whatever it was, and Jimin watched in confusion as she pulled out an old white box. She placed it in Jimin’s hand, and he frowned when his mother started crying. “Jimin, my baby, you know mommy loves you, right?”
“I-I love you, too, mommy, but what’s happening? I’m scared,” he whispered, breath hitching with a sob when a door slammed downstairs. His mommy pressed her lips together, and his eyes widened when he saw tears fall from her sad eyes. He reached a hand out, but his mother shook her head gently, placing his hand back around the box.
“It’s nothing, Jimin, mommy’s here, you don’t have to be scared. Now, we’re going to play a game, alright?” Jimin flinched when he heard something like glass shattering downstairs, followed by heavy footsteps thudding up the stairs. He bit his lip, fear starting to crawl into his insides. “I want you to close your eyes, and think of a happy place. Think of mommy, think of the times when we went to the park and built little snow people versions of ourselves. D-do you remember those times, baby? How happy we were?”
Jimin sobbed softly, still not understanding the exact situation but he knew something was wrong. He nodded his head, closing his eyes tightly as he tried to do what his mother was telling him to do. He felt his mother caress his cheek softly, sweetly.
“Now, baby, I want you to—oh god,” she hiccuped, glancing away as a sob wracked her body. Jimin’s eyes shot open, and he cried harder when he saw his mommy crying, he wanted nothing more than to reach up and hug her, but before he could even stand up, she was looking back at him. “W-when mommy says angel, I want you to reach into the box and touch whatever is inside, alright, baby? Close your eyes, sweetie, please.”
“M-mommy, I’m scared—”
“I know, baby, I know, but you trust mommy, don’t you? J-just close your eyes, Jimin—that’s it, very good—keep them closed, okay? It’ll be over soon,” she whispered, and he scrunched his nose a little when something bright and white gradually grew behind his closed eyelids. It felt a little cold, the light. He sniffled loudly, shivering when he felt his mommy open the box in his hands.
“I love you, Jimin, don’t ever forget that, my little angel,” she whispered brokenly, lifting his hand and placing it over what was in the box. Just as his fingers touched something like soft fabric, his mommy whispered a word—
Jimin felt the something in his hands lurch all of a sudden, a cold sensation creeping into his mind—like long, spindly fingers raking on the surface of his brain, his stomach, his skin, everything—and then—
—and then, nothing.
He opened his eyes, confused and nauseous and disoriented to find himself hidden in a pile of bushes, the snow under him seeping into his thin baby blue shorts and yellow socks. He stood up, frowning at the unfamiliar baby shoe in his hand before placing it down on the ground. He crawled out of the bushes, knees and palms smarting a little from the cold snow.
In front of the bushes and standing alone just across the paved road was a cozy little red brick building, with a golden plaque on the gate that Jimin still can’t read. He’s just five, but he can see the letters O, R, P, A, N, G. He doesn’t know how to read yet, but he can recognize letters. He’s smart—someone once told him so (who was that someone? He’s not sure, really). He approached the building slowly, tottering on his steps in the cold wet snow, before knocking on the big door softly. A few breaths passed, and the green door pushed open inwards. A girl—not more than ten, at best—stood under the doorway, looking at him curiously. She was clad in a creamy white nightgown with a slightly ratty but comfortable looking sweater.
“...a-are you alright?” She asked, crouching down and cautiously reaching her hands out. When Jimin didn’t flinch away, she gently wrapped her thin fingers around his thin wrists. “Where are you from?”
Jimin blinked at her, mulling the question in his head. He frowned at his feet—his socks were soaked through by the snow, and his toes were wet and icky and super cold. He frowned even more. “I don’t know.”
The girl’s grip around his wrist tightened by a fraction, but it didn’t hurt. Jimin looked up at her. She sighed discreetly before standing up and gently pulling him inside. “It’s cold out there, come in for a moment and sit by the fire.”
Jimin nodded, wet socks squelching a little on the wooden floorboards. He shivered at the sudden warmth that enveloped him, and he glanced briefly at the door closing behind him. The girl stood beside him, his wrist in her warm hand as she guided him towards a plush orange settee by the fireplace. She moved to make the fire burning in the fireplace bigger, warmer.
“Sora, it’s the middle of the night. What are you doing up?”
Jimin, and the girl—Sora—looked up to the staircase by the corner of the living room. An elderly woman with snow white hair descended the steps, a shawl wrapped around her bony shoulders. Sora poked at the growing fire one more time before moving over to Jimin’s side, patting his cheek affectionately before she looked up at the old woman still standing by the staircase.
“I found him outside, says he doesn’t know where he’s from,” Sora explained lightly, a barely there hint of confusion marking her words.
The old woman eventually reached Jimin, and she reached down to cup his chin with two bony, gnarled fingers. Jimin looked up at her—she had kind eyes, laugh lines all along the corners of her eyes that reminded Jimin of someone—someone who was very important to him but—
“Where do you live, child?” The old woman looked at him expectantly, her fingers warm and comforting around his face. “Where is your mother?”
Jimin blinked at her. Mother?
“...I can’t remember.”
Jimin closed his eyes, one hand wrapped around the microphone and the other around the stand in front of him. The saxophonist behind him gradually faded out his notes, and a round of soft applause followed. He opened his eyes, eyelids fluttering open before he smiled warmly at his audience. He pushed himself off the stool, bowing one last time with a sweet smile on his face before heading for the bar counter situated near the back of the pub.
“Good job again, kiddo,” Hoseok, the bartender, said amiably as he leaned one elbow on the countertop, sliding a glass of iced tea Jimin’s way, “here’s your drink. On the house.”
Jimin smiled at him, fingers wrapping around the glass. Hoseok slid away just as another customer approached the bar, and Jimin relaxed in his seat, looking around quietly as his thumb traced patterns on the condensation forming on the clear, cold glass. People milled about in the bar, the next performer preparing to go up the stage. To his right, Hoseok was happily chatting away with some customers, and to his left, the audience was stirring with conversation. Jimin sighed as he brought the straw of his glass to his lips.
Sure, he had friends—Hoseok, Sora, the other kids at the orphanage he’d grown up with—but ever since he could remember, something was just...missing. He never really felt complete. Ever. He’s not sad about it, he knows. He’s just confused—a little lost, so to speak, because there have been times when he’d found himself crying without even knowing why. Sora had once jokingly mentioned how maybe he was going crazy, and they had both just laughed it off. Jimin, however, during the times when he’d feel that same familiar twinge of loneliness in his chest, he figured maybe it was the case; maybe Sora was right.
No grown man dreamt of floating plates and cutleries, and blue baby shoes that transported you into other places. It was...nonsense, was what it was. All of it.
Jimin sipped once, twice from the glass in his hands before pushing it away from himself slightly. He stood up, tipped his head in a form of goodbye at Hoseok before heading for the backdoor of the bar. He grabbed his coat hanging from a hook, slipped it on carefully, and pushed the door open as he fixed his coat collars.
Jimin has discovered that working in a bar—be it as a singer or the occasional waiter and bartender—had allowed him to become a part of fist fights more often than he would like to be. Breaking them up was usually his role, though there has been instances where he’d gotten hurt, too, but those were rare (and frankly, not his favorite because as Hoseok had once said, “we’re lovers, Jimin, not fighters”). This time, however, as he stepped out through the backdoor, he groaned inwardly at the sight that awaited his tired eyes.
Two men were caught in a scuffle. One of them was considerably larger than the other one—a lean, pale thing of a man, probably in his mid-twenties, with tousled black hair that blended greatly with his dark clothes. Jimin rolled his eyes in exasperation, already folding his sleeves up a little, preparing himself mentally and physically to stop the fight. He started walking towards the two men, the larger one throwing a wobbly punch in the direction of the other’s face. He missed by a long shot to which Jimin was grateful because honestly, he was tired and was not in the mood to drag anybody to the hospital.
Jimin cleared his throat, trying to make his steps really loud so that they’d pay attention to him. “Alright, alright, gentlemen, knock it off—”
The larger man swung his fist again, making the other duck away swiftly, but from the smaller man’s coat came something black and small and easy to miss skittering out, bouncing and skidding across the slightly damp concrete. Jimin’s head shot up to look at the thing—a dark, wooden stick, with one end considerably thicker than the other pointy end, resembling a handle of sorts. Jimin frowned at it in confusion.
A loud thwack followed by a deep throaty yelp caught Jimin’s attention again, and he looked up to see the smaller man sprawled on the ground, one big hand cupping his jaw and rubbing it. The larger man—visibly intoxicated with alcohol—towered over him menacingly, sneering and even going so far as spitting in the other man’s general direction. Jimin saw the larger man’s mouth moving, but only caught a few words, and frankly, he still didn’t understand what the hell the man said.
“...not a fucking Auror anymore, Min. Fuck off.”
With that, the larger man turned away, ignoring Jimin altogether and striding out of the bar’s back alley. Jimin stayed rooted to his spot, hands hanging in the air awkwardly as his eyes flickered quickly between the retreating back of the stocky man, and the sprawled figure of the smaller guy. His lips were busted open, Jimin noticed, a thin trickle of blood dripping down his chin. With a start, Jimin practically slid over to him, kneeling down next to him and letting his hands hover above him, not exactly sure where he could touch. The man was groaning softly in pain, eyes shut tight and face cast downwards.
“A-are you alright? You’re bleeding!” Jimin whispered a little too loudly, obviously panicking. Yes, he was used to seeing bar fights, but Hoseok had always been the one to interfere when violence was involved, has always been there to apply first aid on whoever needed it. Jimin was just the bar singer who volunteered to sweep away the glass shards from the aftermath so that no one would step on them, or call the local authorities needed if someone required the hospital (or the police, but that really rarely happened).
“Of course I’m not fucking alright, damn it. Fuck off,” the man grumbled, using his right arm and blindly swiping at Jimin’s general direction to push him away.
Jimin frowned, lips pursing into a thin line as he exhaled through his nose. The man’s lips were still bleeding, and there was an ugly purple and yellow color beginning to bloom on the otherwise smooth skin of his jaw. “You should get that checked.”
“You should maybe shut the fuck up,” the man groused in annoyance, finally looking at Jimin sharply before carefully hauling himself up, soft grunts of effort released under his breath.
Jimin remained kneeling, looking up at the man who just wiped away the blood on his lower lip and chin with the back of his hand. He fixed his coat collars, dug his hands into his pockets, before turning around and leaving Jimin much like how the larger man earlier had left. Jimin just continued staring, listening to the loud yet soft clacks of the man’s shoes hitting the damp pavement of the bar’s back alley.
As the man turned around a corner, Jimin suddenly remembered the funny looking stick. He turned around, swiping blindly for it. When his fingers wrapped around the smooth surface of the weird object, he turned back to the direction the man had taken.
“You left something! Excuse me...” Jimin trailed off as the man was nowhere in sight, sighing and looking down at the stick held delicately between his fingers. He tilted his head in disappointment when he saw the pointy end of it almost broken in half, some kind of silvery strand—kind of like bowstrings—encased in the wood barely holding it together. He pouted, sighing again.
“He might come back for this...I’ll try to fix it before he does.”
Two days later, Jimin was just getting off the stage from one of his daily performances when he spotted a familiar man sitting all by his lonesome at the farthest end of the bar. Hoseok was throwing the man curious glances, and Jimin quirked an eyebrow in amusement at the obvious internal debate that Hoseok was having—should he engage him in small talk, or should he not? Hoseok seemed to have come to a decision just as Jimin looked at the familiar man again, recognition finally dawning on him. It was the man with the wooden stick who had gotten out of a scuffle with a busted lip and a slightly bruised jaw to show for it two days later.
Jimin pushed his way gently through the crowd, a little bit wary of the frown and generally sour vibe the man was giving off. When he reached the bar, he quietly sat down three seats away from him. Hoseok sauntered over to him, throwing the black haired man a quick worried glance before reaching over to ruffle Jimin’s brown hair.
“Good job again, kiddo, you’re really good at this singing thing,” Hoseok trilled proudly, beaming at him as he pulled his hand back to continue wiping the countertop mindlessly.
“Thanks, hyung,” Jimin whispered back, a little shyly since he really still wasn’t used to the praises despite having practically grown up as the bar’s resident singer.
“Hm, want a drink?” Hoseok asked, stepping back a little and motioning to the multitudes of bottles racked up delicately on the dark cabinet behind him.
Jimin shook his head, letting out a soft smile before gesturing at the other far end of the bar. “No thanks, but that lady over there seems like she needs one.”
Hoseok quickly hurried over to the said woman, leaving Jimin and the black haired man alone in their corner. Jimin fidgeted in his seat awkwardly, suddenly aware of the wooden stick in his coat pocket awkwardly poking him in the rib. He carefully took it out, eyeing the pretty neat job he did with some adhesive strips to keep the stick together. He placed it on the bar top, the stick emitting a soft thunk when it hit the wooden top. With as much grace as he could muster (which, frankly, wasn’t much if him almost tipping off his stool was anything to go by), Jimin stretched his arm out and slid the stick towards the other man.
“You, uhm,” Jimin started, flinching a little when the man glanced at him after the stick rolled over to him successfully, “ you left this last time, uhm, behind the bar—at the alley? Two days ago.”
The man grunted softly, reaching his left hand out and sliding the stick closer towards himself (Jimin noticed how big his hand was—looked nice and pretty, if he was going to be honest). “...the fuck happened to it?”
Jimin shrugged, eyes flicking up every few second or so to watch the man’s face for any sign of emotion other than the seemingly eternal annoyance it held. “I think it, uhm, broke when it skittered out of your coat. I don’t know, I just. Found it like that. Thought I’d fix it up a little if you ever came looking for it.”
“...hm,” the man started carefully, lowly, as he licked his lips and glanced at Jimin through his peripheral vision, “I appreciate the thought.”
Jimin felt relief wash through his limbs, and he sighed softly, a small smile curving his lips upwards. The man noticed his change in demeanor, and Jimin was sure he almost smiled as well. Almost.
“It’s just a stick, though,” the man continued with an eyebrow raised up curiously, but Jimin noticed how he held the stick in such a way that made it seem so precious and priceless, as if it was an old friend who’s been with him through thick and thin—Jimin caught himself thinking. Why would he compare a stick to an old friend? Jimin glanced at it again, and there was a muffled sort of voice at the back of his head, nagging and unrelenting.
Jimin shrugged again, tapping his fingertips softly against the wooden countertop of the bar. He felt the man’s piercing gaze on him. “Honestly, I don’t know. It just seemed important. Funny, I know,” he laughed breathily, awkwardly, his laughter trailing off when the man didn’t say anything.
A beat passed before Jimin noticed the man finally slip the stick into his coat. He reached for the glass in front of him, lifting it close to his lips and lazily swirling the liquid inside. “The bartender’s right, you know,” he mumbled quietly, tipping the glass to his lips and chugging down the last dregs of the clear, yellowish liquid before pushing himself up off his stool, “you’re good—at singing, I mean.”
Jimin felt himself flush, something warm and flighty creeping into his veins and making his heart do all kinds of weird, unusual, and unfamiliar things. The man quietly slid the stool back into its original position before picking up the emerald green and silver scarf on the backrest of the stool. He wrapped it around his neck loosely before shoving his hands in the outer pockets of his black coat. He tipped his head towards Jimin in a sort of goodbye gesture, before striding out of the bar and out of the door, leaving no trace behind as if he hadn’t even been there in the beginning.
Jimin figured that was the last of the aloof man he would ever see. There was something about the way he held himself—slightly aloof, a tiny bit detached, a little guarded—that made Jimin think of him as a vagabond, a drifter, a lone soul. It wasn’t rare, anyway. A lot of travelers came and went to the city, looking for things but never seeming to find them. Jimin wondered if he had been like that at some point—has he always been from this city?—but hard as he might try, he couldn’t remember anything beyond the orphanage.
Three days later, however, Jimin was sitting on the stool at the center of the stage, crooning out melodious lovesick words into his microphone when his eyes fluttered open, gaze drifting to the bar. He almost missed a note as his brown eyes settled curiously on the familiar broad set of shoulders lounging by the bar, alone and comfortingly familiar. Despite himself, Jimin felt a smile curve his lips up involuntarily as he sang. As soon as he finished his set, he quickly bowed to his usual audience, momentarily basking in the praise and applause before picking his way over to the lone man at the corner of the bar.
“Hey,” Jimin greeted a little breathlessly, his cheeks flushed from—well, he wasn’t exactly sure, really. His face felt oddly warm. The man turned his head towards him to acknowledge his presence, and Jimin let himself fall on the stool two seats away from him. “Didn’t think I’d see you here again.”
The man hummed under his breath as he nursed another glass in his hands. Jimin wondered if he was a lightweight. It’s the second time he’s seen him, but Jimin never sees more than one glass in front of him. “That makes two of us, kid.”
Jimin huffed a little on reflex, crossing his arms on the countertop and frowning a little at the man. “I’m not a kid. I’m twenty three years old, if you must know.”
“I didn’t need to know, really, but congratulations,” he mumbled drily, casting a sideways glance at Jimin. Jimin would have been offended, but the telltale sign of a smile, albeit small and very faint, was visible on the corners of his lips. The man continued, finally turning a little bit more to face Jimin. “So, you work here, not-a-kid?”
Jimin snorted under his breath at the bad joke, catching himself before he made another unattractive noise. The man just continued watching him lazily, glass hovering near his face. “Yeah, ever since I turned eighteen. Uhm, I don’t mean to come off as nosy, but—are you from around here? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before until that fight in the alley.”
The man tipped the glass towards his lips, gulped once, and placed the glass back on the table. He glanced at Jimin once before leaning his elbow on the table, chin resting on his palm. “I just moved into the city a few weeks ago, figured a change would be nice. Work is—was a little constricting, at times.”
“Where do you—uhh—did you work?” Jimin found himself leaning in a little closer, enraptured by the man’s lazy drawl, the laid back yet confident way in which he carried himself.
At this, the man laughed a little—breathy, a bit tired, but amused, nonetheless. He straightened up, running one hand through his dark locks. “You wouldn’t know even if I told you.”
Jimin hummed in thought before nodding his head sagely, smiling a bit. He fiddled with his fingers on his lap. “Fair enough.”
A comfortable silence washed over them after that, the voice of the next performer permeating the inside of the cozy bar. Jimin turned to watch, a bunny-toothed kid from the province with a cool, soothing voice. He was easily one of the bar favorites, right next to Jimin.
“I like your voice better,” the man said quietly, voice close to a whisper.
Jimin wasn’t sure if he was meant to hear it or not, but his emotions always did step ahead of him. His cheeks flushed with the praise, and his head whipped around to look at the man sitting beside him. Jimin’s insides warmed up as the man’s words tumbled around in his head.
“R-really?” The man nodded nonchalantly, and Jimin found himself smiling so wide, his cheeks hurting from the force of it. He cupped his own face, feeling how warm they were. He glanced away briefly, feeling shy all of a sudden. “Th-thank you.”
The man smiled at his reaction, and Jimin noted how his usual grumpiness and sour vibe wasn’t present. Jimin felt nice and warm when he chanced upon the smile. His breath hitched for a quick second.
Before he could say anything further, the man pushed himself off the stool, not bothering to drink the last few drops of his drink. Jimin blinked at him, and the man shrugged, sliding his hands into his coat pockets.
“See you around, not-a-kid.”
Jimin nodded dumbly, watching as the man stepped out of the bar and into the night.
The man didn’t come back for a week.
Jimin felt a little bummed out. He didn’t even know the man’s name. Just when he thought he was finally going to make another friend, the man just decided to disappear like smoke into thin air. The day passed by like a sad, grey blur. The moment he finished with his set, Jimin shrugged on his coat and excused himself. He didn’t feel like dawdling around, really.
The orphanage was just four blocks away from the bar he worked in. Braving the cold autumn air, he pulled up his coat collars and trudged through the late night crowd. The white noise of people milling around him, cars honking, heels clicking against the pavement—they were enough to make him forget about his rather bland day (sad day, if he let himself be a little bit more dramatic). He sighed as he turned right around the second block.
His breath caught in his throat when he heard voices arguing from a nearby alleyway, though. Stopping in his tracks, Jimin pressed himself up against the wall, suddenly feeling an unexplainable urge to listen. He’s not entirely sure why, but maybe the familiarity of one of the voices was a factor.
“And you didn’t think of obliviating the kid when he gave you back your wand? All taped up like some kind of muggle school project?” This voice was soft, but not as soft as Jimin’s. It had a slightly authoritative, older quality to it—and by the sounds of it, whoever it was was angry—and Jimin momentarily allowed himself to think that he wouldn’t ever want to be on the receiving end of that tone.
“Jin-hyung, calm the fuck down, he doesn’t know shit.” A lazy drawl to his voice, a slight lisp. Kind of has a drunken slur. Deep and raspy. Jimin knows that voice.
“Well, excuse me for not being able to calm the fuck down, you idiot. This kind of negligence is what got you suspended until further notice in the first place! Do you really not care for your job? You’ve always wanted to be an Auror but you’re always so, so...careless!”
“That time—it wasn’t negligence and you know that better than anyone else. Now fix my wand, it feels weird seeing it taped up like this.”
“...I know you, even if you think I don’t. He’s a muggle, Yoongi. Stop it.”
An irritated click of the tongue followed. “I’m not doing anything.”
A sigh. “What am I going to do with you?”
“Nothing. Do something to my wand, though. It’s fucking broken.”
Another sigh, deeper and more tired. A few beats of silence punctuated by clothes rustling. “Reparo.”
Out of the corner of Jimin’s eyes, something white and quick flashed from the alleyway to his right. Jimin jumped a bit in surprise. He heard footsteps echoing from the alleyway, and Jimin quickly moved, walking faster and quicker than before. When he was at least two meters away from the alleyway, a hand clamped down around his forearm. He almost shrieked in surprise, but instead ended up choking on cold air when he inhaled a little too quickly and sharply.
With his free arm, he managed to rub the tears forming on the corners of his eyes. He looked up, and gasped softly. It was the man, the black haired man he thought he was never going to see ever again. Jimin wanted to say how nice it was to see him again, ask him what he was doing in these parts of the city, did he live here, where has he been, but instead—
“What’s your name?” Jimin blurted out, a demanding tone seeping into his words, and as quickly as he blurted it out, warmth flushed onto his cheeks. “I-I mean, uh—sorry,” he followed up quickly, straightening up a little.
The man only quirked up an eyebrow at him, an amused smile stretching his lips up subtly. Jimin stared at the smile for a moment, breathless and completely entranced by it. He blinked out of his thoughts when he felt the warm grip around his forearm loosening.
“I’m Yoongi,” the man said quietly, smiling softly as he slid his hands into his pockets (was that a habit? Jimin noticed that he always did that), “and I’m assuming your name isn’t not-a-kid.”
Jimin pressed his lips together softly, before letting out a breathy laugh. He felt an unexplainable wave of relief wash over him. He folded his hands behind his back gently, smiling up at Yoongi.
“I’m Jimin. It’s nice to see you again, Yoongi-ssi.”
Yoongi glanced down a bit, a smile on his face. “Call me hyung.”
Jimin opened the backdoor quietly, carefully hanging his coat up on the rack. He brushed a hand through his hair, frowning at the light snow that had melted and made his hair all damp and weird, but he brushed the thought away as he walked further into the bar to help Hoseok tend drinks. It was one of his rare days off as a bar singer, and he was pleasantly surprised to see Yoongi sitting in his usual seat looking completely bored and uninterested as Hoseok prattled on about his life.
“—and then he dumped me! Can you believe it—me? Jung Hoseok?” Hoseok was almost yelling, visibly taking a deep breath to continue talking but Jimin’s hand on his shoulder stopped him (surprised him, really—poor guy, he’s always been so jittery).
“Hey, hyung, I’ll take it from here,” Jimin said, giggling a bit at the affronted look on his hyung’s face.
“I—you scared me, man,” he complained, leaning away a bit and nodding his head, “but okay, enjoy your shift—my back hurts and I need to sit down.”
Hoseok grinned at Yoongi before walking away, leaving Jimin alone at the rather empty bar. It was still pretty early, their regulars usually coming in at half past five, just around the time work ends. Jimin was carefully tying the bartender’s apron behind his back when Yoongi tapped the countertop.
“Hey, what does a man have to do to get a drink here?” There was an amused smile on his face, and Jimin rolled his eyes before setting himself to work.
He placed an empty glass in front of Yoongi, hand on his hip and head cocked to the side. “What’ll it be?”
Yoongi’s smile widened, a teasing glint in his eyes as he propped his elbow up on the edge of the bar, chin resting on his palm. “Butterbeer.”
Jimin frowned. He drinks, of course—a lot, especially with Sora—but he has never heard of a drink called butterbeer, and if there ever was, it just sounded downright nasty. Butter? In beer? He was just about to say something but then Yoongi chuckled under his breath, and Jimin flushed in embarrassment as he was sure he must have made a face.
“I’m messing with you, Jimin—I’ll have some tea, if you have that?”
Jimin felts his own lips curl up into a pout, but he could feel the smile threatening to bloom on his face. There was just something about Yoongi’s smile that was heartwarming and contagious, and even if he didn’t get the joke or whatever that damn butterbeer was, he still felt like he was in on a little secret.
For the rest of the afternoon and evening, Jimin tended to the bar, initiating small talk with some of their regulars and just trying not to spill anything. Hoseok eventually came back, energized and back to his completely bright self to help Jimin with the drinks. The night dragged on, and Jimin would find his own gaze drifting away to find Yoongi when there was a lull during the night, and Yoongi would always be looking at him with that small soft smile just for him.
“Someone’s got a crush,” Hoseok had whispered in passing after he caught Jimin staring at Yoongi.
Jimin ducked his head, kicking Hoseok’s foot and huffing indignantly. “I do not.”
“Didn’t say it was you,” Hoseok mused, grin stretching his lips wide, “but if the shoe fits.”
Jimin groaned, slapping Hoseok’s forearm with a rag and complaining about annoying co-workers. When Hoseok stepped away from him to escape his assault, Jimin let himself chance another glimpse at Yoongi, and he felt his heart skip a beat at seeing Yoongi smiling fondly at him, chin on his palm and looking completely at ease.
Jimin looked away when someone called his attention, but he couldn’t do the same to the blush seemingly becoming permanent on the apples of his cheeks.
(Jimin was a bit sad that he never got to talk to Yoongi that day as the night turned busier, but when they closed up shop for the day, he saw a paper resting on top of Yoongi’s chair. He picked it up, and he couldn’t even deny it when Hoseok teased him about his big smile.
Thanks for the tea, but butterbeer is better. -Y )
After that, it was as if Jimin’s life had turned into a puzzle, and slowly but surely everything just started falling into place.
Jimin couldn’t even explain how it happened but soon, Yoongi’s face wasn’t just another face in the audience. His black hair wasn’t just that random familiar spot in the crowd, anymore. The seat next to Yoongi’s officially became Jimin’s (not the cold one three seats away, nor the slightly rickety one two seats away—but the sturdy one right next to it). Hoseok stopped feeling nervous around the scary-looking aloof regular, and it warmed Jimin’s heart a little to see Hoseok finally horsing around with Yoongi (although Yoongi was always scowling and frowning at Hoseok’s crude yet admittedly funny jokes. Hours later, however, Yoongi would casually say that Hoseok was funny, and Jimin would only smile teasingly).
Jimin wasn’t entirely sure when it happened, but Yoongi easily became one of the people he looked forward to seeing, and if Jimin was going to be extremely honest, Yoongi might already be at the top spot already (sorry, Hoseok).
Jimin wasn’t entirely sure either when Yoongi had started acting like a protective bodyguard around him. All his life, Jimin had navigated the city streets all by himself. He knew them like the back of his hand, he knew them so well to the point that even the dark corners of the shadiest alleyways soothed him if even a little.
Still, Yoongi wordlessly appointed himself as Jimin’s bodyguard of sorts, taking it upon himself to walk Jimin up until the orphanage’s doorway, where Jimin had once mentioned he still lived in. Yoongi had walked him home enough times already that one day, Sora referred to Yoongi as Jimin’s boyfriend. Jimin had blushed so deeply, stuttering helplessly that Sora finally caught on with her own mistake, taking back her words with an amused chuckle (“Is he your suitor, then? ”, “Noona, shut up! ”).
Jimin wasn’t entirely sure when their friendship—if he could call it that, and he really wanted to call it that—had blossomed as such, but he would be an idiot to complain, really.
He liked it. A lot.
Still, whereas Yoongi already knew Jimin like they’ve known each other for years and not just a mere one month, Jimin knew close to nothing about Yoongi. He knew his name (“Mean Yoongi? ”, “Shut it, kid, before I hit you.”), he knew that Yoongi was two years older than him, that he was protective like hell, and that Yoongi was currently on a break from his job (Yoongi still wouldn’t tell him exactly what it was he did, but Jimin had pestered him enough times that Yoongi finally relented by telling him that he was like an investigator, but not really. Jimin filed this information away in his mind like a safely guarded treasure).
Jimin liked Yoongi. A lot. If Yoongi wasn’t comfortable enough yet to disclose any more information that what he already has, Jimin was fine with that. All in all, he was just really glad to have a friend like Yoongi. He liked him. A lot.
On the day that everything changed, Jimin didn’t have any clue, or warning, or even some kind of a hint for the day had started like any other day—a dreary, chilly winter morning of January. He slipped into his coat, pushed up his collar so that it framed his cheeks and warded off the cold, before stepping out of the orphanage like usual. He trudged through the cold winds, huffing under his breath as the cold harsh winter wind bit and nipped at his skin. When he arrived at the bar, it was already semi-bustling with life. Hoseok was tending to the drinks, that bunny-toothed kid was blinking owlishly at all the liquor behind Hoseok as he waited for more people to fill up the pub. It was a fairly normal day.
The hours passed by in a blur, Jimin weaving around the bar interior tending to the customers when he wasn’t up on the stage. Yoongi wasn’t in the bar, and a month ago Jimin would’ve been worried but by now, he was well aware of the older man’s tendency to just up and go like smoke. Still, by the time Jimin was supposed to go home, Yoongi would always be there, waiting to walk him home (they’d always take the longer way back, and neither one of them has said anything about it—not that they would anytime soon).
When closing time came and Jimin stepped out of the bar, he frowned a little. Yoongi wasn’t in his usual waiting spot, which was weird because no matter what, Yoongi always told him beforehand whether he’d walk him home or not. Jimin fiddled with the buttons on his coat for a bit, jumping a little when Hoseok tapped him on the shoulder. Behind them, the bar was already closed and dark.
“Going home?” Hoseok asked, tilting his head to the side a bit.
Jimin hummed under his breath as he pulled his coat closer around himself. “Hm, yeah. I’m just waiting for Yoongi-hyung.”
Hoseok suddenly grinned at him, wiggling his eyebrows conspiratorially. Jimin rolled his eyes. He knew where this was going. Hoseok shifted his weight from one foot to the other, elbowing Jimin obnoxiously and snickering like he’d found the juiciest, richest piece of fruit. “Oooh, waiting for Yoongi-hyung, eh?”
“Yes, hyung—stop it,” Jimin whined, pushing Hoseok away as he giggled breathlessly. He could feel his cheeks flush in embarrassment.
Hoseok, Sora, and even some of the regulars at the bar always made teasing remarks regarding Jimin and Yoongi. It wasn’t like that, though, unfortunately. Sure, Yoongi was a hell of a lot attractive, and his personality was nice, too, but it really wasn’t like that. It really wasn’t, but the idea still made Jimin blush profusely whenever the teasing ensued (and if he was going to be honest, he wasn’t completely averse to the idea of their assumptions becoming true).
“Oh, you’re so adorable, Jimin, if Yoongi-hyung still hasn’t entertained the idea, it’s probably because he’s blind or something,” Hoseok breathed out, laughing as he ran his hand through his hair. He waved goodbye at Jimin, bundled up cozily in his own brown coat. As he reached the end of the block, Hoseok turned around to look at Jimin. “Oh yeah. Jimin, there’s some construction going on near the orphanage, I think? What’s that?”
Jimin shrugged, breathing heavily against the palms of his hands. He was so cold, and if Yoongi wasn’t going to pop up in the next minute, he was leaving. “Is there? I didn’t notice.”
Hoseok shrugged again before finally leaving. Jimin waited for a few more minutes before finally huffing under his breath, starting to walk back home. Well, he was a grown man—heck, he and Sora were the orphanage’s current caretakers—he can walk home by himself without Yoongi. Still, he missed the older man’s warmth and lazy way of telling stories (funnily enough, none of the stories ever seemed to be about himself—they were always about his work colleague Seokjin, or schoolmate Taehyung who loved animals too much—Jimin liked the stories, so he never complained).
The wind picking up tore him away from his own thoughts, and he glanced back up to see where he was going. Two blocks away from the orphanage, he finally saw the construction work Hoseok had mentioned. The site was fairly new, with the beams and frames still visible. He stopped for a moment, cringing a little as he imagined the workers slaving away in the dead of winter.
When he looked up higher, a cold rush shuddered up his spine as he noticed a metal beam sitting precariously near the edge of the unfinished building, like it hadn’t been stacked properly (and shouldn’t they have been tied together or something? Keep them all in one safe pile?) He frowned—that wasn’t safe. What if it fell? What if one of the kids at the orphanage—or anyone, really!—was outside and the beam fell?
Huffing under his breath, he turned his head around a little, trying to find anyone who would seem like they would be in charge of the site. He knew it was late, but surely someone was still around? Jimin just couldn’t find it in himself to leave such a poorly handled construction site with an accident waiting to happen.
Just when he was about to step away from the site to look further, a disconcerting loud creak suddenly groaned from above, rooting him to his spot with dread. Cold sweat broke out on his skin, and he looked up just as one of the metal beams he’d frowned at earlier tipped over the edge—falling down towards him.
Jimin didn’t know what to do. He was probably going to die. He was definitely going to die. He couldn’t even scream, fear freezing his insides, his limbs. In a few seconds, he was just going to be a splatter on the cobbled stone path. In a few seconds, he’d cease to exist, and in a few minutes people would come flocking to see his mangled body—oh, dear. What a bad way to go—
“Arresto Momentum! ”
Jimin’s eyes widened when the falling beam considerably slowed down, almost like it was featherweight, like it was underwater. He blinked in confusion, wondering if he was still asleep. Was he dreaming? Did he die already? But then, who was that? The person who yelled... something?
Jimin jumped in surprise, whipping his head around to see Yoongi standing by the corner he himself had just come from, chest heaving as if he had just run a marathon. His right arm was outstretched, and in his hand was a stick. A dark brown, familiar-looking stick. Jimin blinked at him.
“I said, move, Jimin! The beam’s too fucking heavy,” Yoongi gritted out, and Jimin snapped to his senses, quickly running to reach Yoongi’s side. As soon as his small hands closed around the fabric of Yoongi’s coat, the older man dropped his hand, followed by the loud sound of the beam crashing onto the floor. Jimin yelped as he felt the tremors under his feet, fingers tightening around Yoongi’s coat.
“H-hey, you alright?” Yoongi used his free hand to gently grip Jimin by the shoulders, pushing him back a bit to see his face. His other hand—the one holding the stick—remained hovering behind Jimin just shy of the small of his back.
Jimin looked at him, eyes wide. “You—what happened? The m-metal beam—i-it stopped, and you—the stick—hyung, w-what happened? Did you d-do that?”
Jimin watched as Yoongi’s face contorted into a pained expression. He pushed Jimin farther away, but Jimin shook his head frantically, fingers gripping tightly onto whatever he could hold.
Somehow, some way, something about the situation was intimately familiar. His heart pounded painfully in his chest. Whatever Yoongi was going to say, whatever the reason he pushed Jimin away, Jimin didn’t want it. Whatever was going to happen, he doesn’t know, but there was still that loud nagging voice in his head saying that he didn’t want this to happen— again, his heart supplied unhelpfully, and Jimin bit his lip, wondering when exactly something bizarre like this had happened. He was pretty sure he’d never been left behind, or forgotten, but...was that even true?
“Don’t push me away,” Jimin whispered sadly, speaking over the voices in his head and frowning at Yoongi.
Yoongi glanced away, quickly slipping the dark brown stick in his right hand back into his coat. He swallowed thickly. “Jimin, let go. I...you need to forget. You shouldn’t have seen that—what I just did.”
“I didn’t—I-I mean, I won’t tell! I-I don’t want to forget you, hyung, please I don’t want to forget.” Again.
Yoongi finally looked back at him, a sort of alarmed yet curious glint to his eyes. Jimin was breathing heavily, his small hands keeping a vice grip on the lapels of Yoongi’s dark peacoat. He felt ridiculous.
Here he was, clinging to Yoongi like there was no tomorrow. He was scared and in shock after literally escaping a grisly death, but all he could think about at that moment was that he didn’t want to forget again. It didn’t make sense. Not entirely, but there was just something so familiar and redundant to everything that was happening.
Jimin inhaled sharply, feeling the telltale signs of oncoming tears, his nose smarting in that weird way when he was about to cry. Yoongi seemed to sense his distress because he finally sighed, letting himself wrap an arm around Jimin’s waist. His words were gentle, voice soft and soothing, and Jimin involuntarily relaxed in his hold, a shaky breath escaping his lips as warmth radiated from the older man.
“...alright, but I need to show you something, and you’ve got to promise that you won’t freak out—or tell anybody else. Is that clear?”
Jimin nodded without missing a beat.
Jimin knew the city like the back of his hand, but he was honestly surprised when Yoongi led him to a street he barely knew. It was dark, making him grip a little tighter on Yoongi’s hand wrapped around his. Yoongi squeezed his hand back in assurance, a tiny display of comfort that Jimin was thankful for.
The hidden street led to the outskirts of the city and onto a path that led into a little forest. Overgrown weed and wildflowers sprouted everywhere, the light of the moon and stars illuminating their path. Yoongi kept on walking until they reached a little clearing. There was a fallen log in the center, and Yoongi let go of Jimin’s hand to gently push him towards it.
“How’d you find this place?” Jimin asked softly, carefully sitting on the log as Yoongi pulled out the dark brown stick from within his coat again. Jimin eyed it a little curiously.
“Had too much time when I was on break from the ministry—my work, I mean. I ended up walking around,” Yoongi answered simply, watching Jimin with a thoughtful gaze in his eyes. He lifted his hand up slowly—the one with the stick—and Jimin watched in silence. Yoongi parted his lips, unfamiliar words slipping out of them. “Expecto Patronum.”
Jimin gasped as something white and silvery blue streamed out of the stick’s pointy end. It shimmered softly, a translucent silver puff of smoke gently buzzing in the air before it flowed away, dancing in the wind a bit. It slowly reached Jimin, going around him in lazy circles. Jimin clenched his fists on his lap, not entirely sure if he could touch it, but a soothing kind of warmth emanated from the white dancing mist. He watched unblinkingly as the puff of silvery smoke gradually took the shape of something. When Jimin finally recognized what it was, a soft breathy giggle of wonder escaped his lips.
“I-it’s a fox! Hyung, it’s a fox!” Jimin cooed in pure awe, hands itching to touch it. As if it could read his mind, the silvery translucent fox surged forward, surprising Jimin and making him yelp, but the silvery fox just rubbed its head against his cheeks, making Jimin laugh in surprise. “Oh! Hyung, w-what is it?”
“It’s my Patronus,” Yoongi mumbled, sounding tired yet relieved as he sat down on the other end of the log. Jimin watched him heave a sigh, a hand running through his black hair. The fox—his Patronus—circled Jimin one more time before nudging its way onto his lap. Yoongi sighed again, glancing at the fox as it curled up contentedly on Jimin’s lap. “It’s...something that protects me.”
“...bad things—listen, Jimin, I’m going to be honest—you’re not supposed to know these things, I’m not supposed to fucking show them to you. W-when you saw my wand some time ago, I really was supposed to do something about it—a-about you, but you seemed clueless enough at the time so I just let it slide, but tonight,” Yoongi trailed off, sighing deeply again. He glanced up at Jimin, his eyes filled with longing and sadness. “I need to make you forget.”
“Please don’t,” Jimin mumbled back, hand hovering above the fox on his lap. Yoongi pulled back his Patronus, the silvery fox melting away into thin air, and Jimin already missed the warmth on his lap. “Not again.”
“I,” Jimin started, licking his lips and looking away, at anything, “I’m not sure why, but a-all of these—y-your... magic, the wand—they’re all familiar to me. I-I don’t know how, and I d-don’t know why, but...I feel like I’ve seen it somewhere.”
Yoongi eyed him warily, all traces of sadness gone. He sat up straight, tilting his head in thought. “Jimin, you’ve never told me about your parents...”
“That’s because I can’t remember them. I’m not sure if I ever saw them,” Jimin answered, frowning a little, “is that important?”
Yoongi bit his lip, before shaking his head, finally putting his wand away. “...no. No, I just...thought of something.”
“...are you going to make me forget? About all of these?”
Yoongi remained quiet for a few agonizing seconds. Jimin twisted his hands together, gut clenching uncomfortably. He didn’t want to forget. It wasn’t a nice feeling—not remembering anything. Finally, Yoongi breathed out a sigh. “I won’t. Just...promise me. All of these will remain between us.”
At this, Jimin smiled, the tension in his body leaving as he nodded his head. He scooted closer to Yoongi, nudging their shoulders together. “I promise, hyung.”
(“Yoongi-hyung, it’s a little dark here...” Jimin whispered, scooting closer and practically draping himself all over Yoongi.
Yoongi tried shaking him off, but when Jimin didn’t budge, he sighed. “Hold on.”
“Oh! What’re you going to do?” Jimin asked, resting his chin on Yoongi’s shoulder as the older man pulled out his wand.
A soft white light glowed at the end of the wand, and Yoongi pulled it a little closer to them, the light hitting his face in all the right places, making him look softer and warmer. Jimin looked up at him, quiet and contemplative. He felt his breath hitch in his throat as Yoongi smiled softly at him, his free arm pulling Jimin closer so they could huddle in their shared warmth.
Jimin felt his heart skip a beat.
Jimin’s routine after the metal beam incident drastically changed. Closing up the bar for the day didn’t immediately mean that Yoongi was going to walk him home directly. After the incident, they’d always make a little detour, stopping at the little clearing at the outskirt of the city, sitting on that fallen log, and Jimin just basking in Yoongi’s presence.
Ever since Yoongi admitted that he was a wizard (“I’m from the Slytherin house,”, “You slither in a house? ”, “...forget I said anything,”), the older man had become more open and trusting with Jimin. Not that he wasn’t before, but Yoongi seemed more carefree, letting himself talk about things regarding himself, and not just about his friends Seokjin or Taehyung. He’d even show Jimin some magic if he was feeling a bit generous.
Whenever Yoongi talked, Jimin would be so quiet, eyes wide and bright as he drank in all of Yoongi’s tales—violent whomping trees, dark forbidden forests, moving staircases, love potions with a mouthful of a name, flying brooms, a golden ball-thing—he’d drink them all in like a thirsty man in a dry desert, and as he went home and snuggled up under his sheets, there was always that nagging feeling underneath his skin, beneath all his thoughts; he’d heard these stories already.
Somewhere, sometime—someone as gentle and kind and warm as Yoongi had already told Jimin these amazing stories.
But he can’t seem to remember who, where, and when.
Jimin touched the paper stuck on the door of the bar, frowning a little at the words. Closed (I caught the flu, I’m dying! Be back in a few days!) –J. Hoseok, it read. Hoseok did look a little under the weather the previous night.
Jimin let out a puff of breath, snuggling into his coat and silently wishing Hoseok well. He leaned against the door, suddenly realizing that aside from his job at the bar and the occasional mothering he did at the orphanage, he didn’t have anything else to do. He bit his lip, staring at the toes of his shoes as he scuffed the ground with them mindlessly when somebody suddenly flicked him on the forehead.
“Hey!” Jimin’s head shot up, glaring at whoever had the audacity to be an annoying little shit. His glare softened considerably when he saw that it was Yoongi, smirking at him with his hand still hovering in the air near Jimin’s face. Jimin scrunched his nose. “Rude.”
“Are you free?” Yoongi shot back instead, finally pulling his hand back and shoving them into his pockets, a small smile spreading on his face, “bar’s closed.”
Jimin hummed under his breath before shrugging his shoulders, leaning forward and softly punching Yoongi on the arm. “Yeah, I’m free,” he chirped, grinning at Yoongi as they started walking away from the bar, “but what is this, Min Yoongi? Are you asking me out on a date?”
Yoongi glanced at him, that same small, secretive smile still on his face. “Hm, what if I am?”
Jimin’s smile stuttered a little, before he regained composure and rolled his eyes, laughter escaping from his lips. “You’re so ridiculous,” he breathed out, slapping Yoongi’s arm before looping an arm around it, his chest pressing against the bend of Yoongi’s elbow, “so where are we going?”
“Anywhere you want,” Yoongi mumbled, leading Jimin down the street.
Jimin huddled closer, enjoying Yoongi’s warmth that seeped through the fabric of their coats. There was always something about Yoongi’s warmth and presence that he truly enjoyed, that made him feel safe and very much at home.
“I haven’t had lunch yet,” Jimin suggested carefully as they continued walking down the street, his eyes scanning the shops scattered around them.
“Let’s go eat, then,” Yoongi agreed, pulling him into a quaint little breakfast nook two blocks away from the bar.
Lunch with Yoongi was fairly normal, Jimin noted, and exactly like their little nightly adventures at the clearing at the edge of the city, but there was one tiny minor difference—one which Jimin couldn’t ignore or deny.
Yoongi stared at him more, smiling softly whenever Jimin talked (or so much as breathed, really). There was an instance when Yoongi suddenly leaned over to gently wipe a crumb away from Jimin’s cheek, making Jimin stutter and lose his train of thought. Safe to say, Jimin blushed deeper than the red of a fire truck engine.
Another difference was their conversation—it didn’t revolve around the bar, or Yoongi’s magic, or Jimin’s job as a bar singer—they shared stories about each other. Significant little things that made them who they were, what made them tick, what made them them. They shared more personal stories, too—ones that gave them both insight to how they really were as a person, and Jimin liked it. It was a nice, refreshing change from, well, everything.
He really, really liked it.
Time passed by without Jimin noticing, and he quirked an eyebrow as Yoongi straightened up in his seat suddenly, looking concerned as he glanced at the watch on his wrist. “Do you want to go now?”
“Go where?” Jimin asked, tilting his head in confusion.
“Home, silly,” Yoongi breathed out, laughing softly as he shook his head, “we’ve been here for almost five hours. Did you enjoy hanging out with me so much you lost track of time?”
Jimin looked up at the clock, and true enough it was almost nearing sunset. He could feel his cheeks flush in embarrassment, and he grumbled under his breath as he pushed out his chair and waddled after Yoongi, who kindly led the way out. When Yoongi wasn’t looking, Jimin let himself smile a bit.
Outside, the sun was setting and taking its warmth along with it. Jimin shivered in his coat and scarf. Wordlessly, Yoongi looped an arm around his waist and pulled him closer. Jimin didn’t say anything, just let himself sidle up to his side, ducking his head into his scarf and hiding the giddy smile on his face.
Too fast for Jimin’s liking, he could already see the orphanage looming up in the distance. Yoongi had asked him once why he was still staying with a bunch of kids when he was perfectly capable and allowed to leave already, but Jimin wasn’t one for drastic unnecessary changes. He liked the familiarity of the orphanage, the security and home it provided. When he said that he liked the old cozy building and the never ending chaos of the kids, Yoongi had just nodded his head and didn’t ask any further, an understanding smile blossoming on his face. Jimin liked that about him, how understanding he could be about the simplest things.
When they finally reached the gate, Jimin stepped away begrudgingly from Yoongi’s hold. He whirled around to face the older man. “Thank you for today. I don’t know if that was a date, or you’re just being a nice hyung, but—”
“It was a date—I mean, I’d like for it to be a date,” Yoongi cut in a whisper, cheeks tinged red from the cold. Maybe. Jimin would like to think otherwise, but he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself, the warm feeling already growing so big in his chest. Yoongi smiled softly at him. “Is that okay?”
Jimin bit his lip for a few breaths before nodding happily, a smile bunching his cheeks up and turning his eyes into cute crescents. Yoongi suddenly leaned in, one hand resting on Jimin’s hip as he planted a kiss on the swell of his soft, warm cheek. Jimin’s eyes widened.
Yoongi smiled at him as he pulled away, a hand coming up to comb through his own hair and resting on the back of his nape, palm rubbing against the skin. A shy smile curved his lips up, making another wave of warmth explode in Jimin’s chest. “See you tomorrow?”
Jimin nodded blankly, before feeling a frown settle on his face. Something felt incomplete and—he huffed shortly, before deciding to just go for it. He grabbed Yoongi by his coat, pulled him closer, and kissed him on the cheek as well. Yoongi yelped at getting jostled, and Jimin involuntarily giggled against his skin. He pulled away, cheeky smile on his face as Yoongi stared at him in surprise. “See you tomorrow, hyung. The date was fun.”
(“So,” Sora drawled lazily, sitting up on the couch as Jimin walked into the threshold, a skip in his steps, “is he your boyfriend now?”
Jimin groaned as he closed the door behind him, cheeks still aflame from the sudden displays of affection a few moments prior. He looked at Sora, feeling a denial coming up before he sighed, shrugging his shoulders. He carefully slipped off his coat after, hanging it on the rack and trying to hide his shy yet happy smile by pressing his face against his coat, but to no avail. Anybody could easily tell how his face looked like at the moment, and somehow, he really couldn’t bring himself to care anymore.
“I hope he will be,” he whispered, voice muffled by the thick fabric of his brown coat.
Sora hummed happily, lying back down on the sofa and putting her legs up against the backrest. “I hope so, too, Jimin-ah.”)
Yoongi easily mended himself into Jimin’s life. He’d always be at the bar, nursing only one glass of whatever drink he fancied that day. His eyes would always be trained on Jimin even while Hoseok was talking to him, making Jimin blush as he either sang up on the stage, or bustled about the busy organized chaos of Hoseok’s bar. He’d still walk Jimin home, but whereas their hands only brushed against each other before, Yoongi would always take Jimin’s hand in his, gentle and soft yet firm. Jimin would lace their fingers together wordlessly, and Yoongi would shoot him a smile as the older man sidled up closer to him.
So really, when they fell, it wasn’t an explosive affair. There weren’t any fireworks, there wasn’t any drama, and there weren’t any prolonged issues. It wasn’t even like magic, with its bright lights and loud words and complicated wand gestures and confusing wrist flicks.
When they fell, it was natural, like it was something they’d always been destined to do.
“Jimin, I have news,” Yoongi huffed out as he jogged into their little clearing one chilly night.
Jimin was already on the log, lying on his back and watching the stars dotting the sky. He sat up to smile at Yoongi, and he could see the way the older man relaxed at the sight of him. Butterflies erupted in his stomach at the thought, and he quickly busied himself with making space for Yoongi on the log so that maybe, Yoongi wouldn’t notice exactly how flustered he was just from seeing him smile and walk up to him.
“What’s the news?” Jimin asked softly, resting his head on Yoongi’s shoulder when the older man was finally sitting down beside him. He grabbed Yoongi’s hand—so much bigger than his—and intertwined their fingers, his thumb brushing across the man’s skin.
“They’re lifting my suspension at work,” Yoongi informed him, turning to face him slightly. Jimin looked at his face carefully. With his free hand, he cupped Yoongi’s cold cheek, frowning a little as he gently rubbed the skin to warm it up. Yoongi smiled at the touch, leaning into his hand. “I can go back starting next week.”
Jimin’s frown melted away as he smiled up at Yoongi. “I’m so happy for you, hyung! You’re always grumbling about how unfair the suspension was, so I’m glad it’s over.” He squeezed Yoongi’s hand gently, his smile turning soft and sweet when Yoongi squeezed back.
“But,” Yoongi mumbled quietly, untangling their hands so that he could take Jimin’s into his, playing with his fingers mindlessly, “I won’t be able to see you as much, have to keep up with all the shit I missed.”
Jimin shook his head a little, leaning into Yoongi’s hold, his eyes trained on the gentle way Yoongi’s thumb caressed his fingertips. “It’s going to be okay, hyung, we’ll be okay. I’ll always be here, you have nothing to worry about.”
Yoongi sighed softly, pressing a kiss on the top of his head in reply. They stayed curled up together, Jimin eventually lifting his legs up onto Yoongi’s lap, curling into him closer. Yoongi indulged him like he always does, pulling him into a more comfortable perch and kissing his temple.
“Thank you, love,” Yoongi whispered, lips brushing against Jimin’s skin as he talked, “I’ll come back and take you out on dates as much as you want when I’ve finally caught up with work, alright?”
Jimin hummed, tucking his head under Yoongi’s chin and wrapping his arms tightly around his waist. “I’ll be here.”
“Love you, angel,” Yoongi mumbled softly, and Jimin stiffened.
It was so, so quiet. The wind suddenly died down, the stars seemingly watching their shared moment. Yoongi’s hand on the small of his back was warm, Yoongi’s hand resting on the dip between his hip and thigh was warm, Yoongi’s soft lips pressing against his temple were warm.
Love you, he had said, and for a moment—just a brief moment—Jimin felt like crying.
He surged up, small hands scrabbling for purchase on the soft material of Yoongi’s sweater. A surprised grunt came from Yoongi’s lips, but Jimin suddenly kissing him rendered that grunt inaudible.
Jimin could feel Yoongi’s fingers on him tightening, gripping him firmly, and suddenly he was kissing back. All that time, they’d always shared chaste kisses on the cheeks, forehead, temple (and Yoongi’s favorite—kissing the back of Jimin’s hand). They’d kiss each other on the lips, sometimes, but it had always remained as a simple press. Sweet, fleeting, but warm.
This time, however, with Jimin practically on Yoongi’s lap, hands all over each other and the night giving them a sense of privacy, there seemed to be a new kind of urgency, of desperation, of want.
Jimin felt Yoongi move his lips in a nibbling sort of motion, an involuntary whine getting pulled out of him by Yoongi. He pressed closer, throwing one leg over so that he was properly straddling Yoongi, wanting nothing more than to get as physically close as possible to the older man holding him. Yoongi tilted his head, lips biting down gently on Jimin’s plump ones, and Jimin gladly but shyly parted his lips open, moaning softly when he felt Yoongi’s warm tongue slide into his.
The kiss was wet, that much Jimin can tell. It was wet, and unfamiliar, and a bit strange—he’s got a tongue in his mouth that’s not his!—but he would be lying if he said it didn’t feel good, because it did. It felt really good, the way he could feel Yoongi’s tongue curling around his own, against the roof of his mouth, feel his warm breath ghosting across his cheeks. It was strangely arousing and something he was growing to like, feeling and tasting Yoongi in a completely different manner.
The moment ended as fast as it began (or did it? Jimin wasn’t really sure, nor was he counting—he was too busy trying to keep up with the way Yoongi gently sucked on his tongue, on his lip, with the way he pressed soft quick kisses when he tried to catch his breath). Yoongi pulled away, his left hand cupped around Jimin’s jaw, and his right hand resting near the swell of Jimin’s ass. He ran a thumb across the swell of Jimin’s plump lower lip, laughing softly when the younger fluttered his eyes open.
“Hey, you,” Yoongi whispered, voice strangely raspy and deep.
Jimin blinked slowly, lazily, as he continued staring at Yoongi in bliss. His lips, feeling red and raw, were parted open as he panted softly from the kiss. His mouth felt thick and heavy from whatever they just did, and his heart felt like it was going to burst out of his chest and dance around in the air like Yoongi’s Patronus fox does sometimes.
When he finally went down from his high and noticed Yoongi smiling fondly at him, he felt his face grow warm with embarrassment. He whined, falling forward and hiding his face in the crook of Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi just laughed, happy and giddy, as he pulled Jimin closer, tilting his head to the side to press featherlight kisses on whatever he could reach of Jimin.
“I’m guessing you liked the kiss?” Yoongi asked softly, hand rubbing up and down his back.
Jimin loved it, if he was going to be honest, but he was already too embarrassed as it was, so he just nodded his head, rubbing his warm face against the soft material of Yoongi’s sweater. Yoongi hummed in response, resting his chin on the top of his head and swaying him softly.
“We’ll kiss lots more when I get back from work, okay, baby?”
Jimin felt like his cheeks were going to rip into two from how hard he was smiling. He wordlessly nodded before pulling back slightly, giving himself enough space to plant a quick kiss on Yoongi’s lips. Before Yoongi could react, he hid his face again, giggling when Yoongi groaned about how cute and precious he was being.
Jimin hasn’t seen Yoongi in three weeks, and he wanted to say that he was being very mature and reasonable about it, but the truth was: he really hated those three empty weeks.
For days, he’d find himself glancing at Yoongi’s seat whenever he sat up on the stool on the stage, fingers wrapped around his microphone. Even though he was busy crooning out words of love, hitting the right notes and pitch much to his audience’s content, his heart was somewhere else with Yoongi, who was doing only God knew what. Some kind of magic, definitely.
Which led to another reason why Jimin hated those three silent weeks. He had no idea if Yoongi was alright.
After a lot of begging and prodding that first night they really kissed, Yoongi had finally explained what his job was. Basically, he was sort of like wizard police; a wizard investigator, to be more specific. He’d be there when there was trouble brewing in the wizarding world along with his partner Seokjin, and they’d basically do whatever investigators did. Jimin didn’t really get it much but at the time, all he could see was the sparkle in Yoongi’s eyes, and how he really seemed to love his job. That was enough for Jimin.
Until now. All Jimin could feel was worry because if Yoongi was out there on the job, then he was definitely nowhere near safe. He had no way of contacting Yoongi, no way of knowing if his boyfriend was safe or not. All Jimin could do was sing in the bar to pass the time, assist Hoseok with the drinks to forget about the empty seat at the far end of the counter, or help around the loud orphanage to keep the voices in his head quiet.
It had already been three weeks, and Jimin was worried.
So when he stepped outside the bar feeling gloomy and lonely at having to walk home all alone by himself again, he really wasn’t to blame when he legitimately shrieked upon seeing the man standing under the lamp post, emerald green and silver scarf wrapped around his pretty smiling face.
Jimin practically ran across the street, throwing himself into Yoongi’s arms and not minding the loud huff of breath he let out at the impact. He wrapped his arms around the older man’s neck, pulling him in for the tightest hug he could give. He didn’t even realize he was crying until Yoongi was pushing him away, worriedly cupping his face and wiping his tears away with his thumbs.
“Jiminnie, are you hurt? Baby, w-what’s wrong, why are you crying?”
Jimin shook his head, sniffling and sobbing as he let his hands drop to Yoongi’s hips, fingers curling around the fabric of his coat. He looked up at Yoongi, breathing in a sigh of relief despite sniffling so hard. Yoongi looked okay, he looked the same, and if anything, he looked happier. Jimin felt relief and happiness flood his insides, warmth rushing through him.
“I-I just missed you, is all,” Jimin whispered, scrunching his nose when Yoongi cooed in response. Yoongi leaned in, pressing kisses on his cheeks, his eyelids, the tip of his nose. Jimin leaned into his touches, humming softly at each peck. “I-I didn’t have any means of contacting you, s-so I didn’t know i-if you were okay or not. I just—I missed you, Yoongi-hyung.”
Yoongi gently pulled him in for a hug, arms wrapping around his neck. Jimin snuggled closer, face pressed against Yoongi’s scarf. It was warm, and it smelled just like him much to Jimin’s joy. “I missed you, too, Jiminnie—god, you have no idea how much I rushed everything, Seokjin almost popped a vein at seeing me work like a madman.”
Jimin giggled at this, wrapping his own arms around Yoongi’s waist. He had missed this—the easy, homey feeling Yoongi always gave him. “Is that so?”
“Yep,” Yoongi quipped, swaying them softly where they stood.
Jimin followed in his movement, smiling at how odd they must look—swaying together, big smiles on their faces, cheeks flushed. They must look so dumb, and completely in love. “How was work?”
Yoongi hummed. “A bitch. It was a complete bitch, baby, but well—I love my job despite having to work with meddling assholes, but enough about me—how did you spend your three weeks?”
As they walked back home, their hands and fingers laced together, Jimin finally let his worries go as he talked about anything and everything under the sun. He basked in Yoongi’s presence, in his smile, in his warmth, and when Yoongi kissed him goodnight, Jimin whispered a soft, “I love you”. Yoongi’s answering smile—all gums and teeth and crinkled eyes—was enough to give Jimin the sweetest dreams and the warmest feelings to make up for the shittiest three weeks ever.
It was on a lazy Sunday at the bar—bright and sunny and cheery—when the doors opened, letting a large man into the bar’s reprieve away from the chill of the afternoon. Jimin heard the doors open, but didn’t bother looking up from his task of aggressively wiping at a persistent stain on the smooth wooden top of the bar counter. He mumbled out a soft and lilting, “welcome!”, but kept his eyes trained on the rag in his hands.
A couple of heavy footsteps came closer, and then a husky voice. “Muggle, yeah?”
Jimin quickly looked up from wiping the bar counter with his rag, blinking owlishly at the man who had just entered the bar and was now standing in front of him. He had a dark peacoat on, a blue and bronze scarf hanging from his neck loosely. He was squinting rather suspiciously at Jimin as if he was trying to figure out who he was. Instinctively, Jimin backed away a bit, rag left forgotten on the bar top.
The man grunted, glancing around briefly before looking at Jimin again. “You know what a muggle is?”
Jimin frowned, suddenly realizing that the man—with his stocky build and large frame—seemed oddly familiar. Not even finding it in himself to smoothen away the frown on his face, he narrowed his eyes at the man. “Muggle? Is that, uhm, a drink? I’m afraid I don’t know what it is, sir, but maybe Hoseok-hyu—”
“Never mind, muggle,” he cut off, an eerily satisfied smile blooming on his angular face, “I’ve heard enough. Have a good day.”
Jimin was completely astounded and confused. He watched as the man tipped his hat in a seeming display of respect before sauntering out of the bar’s double doors, leaving Jimin alone with his thoughts. His heart was pounding in his chest, his nerves suddenly on high alert. Nothing of his conversation with the man made any shred of semblance to him, but there had been something familiar. About the way he looked, the way he seemed to carry himself. When he had walked out of the doors, Jimin had noticed his gait—a kind of lumbering, dragging sort of walk—and that was when it hit Jimin.
“The man. T-the, uhm, the one Yoongi-hyung was fighting that day in the alley,” he whispered to himself, frowning even harder as he replayed over and over in his head the conversation he’d just had.
For the rest of the day, Jimin kept replaying it in his head like a broken record. He’d gotten at least four orders wrong, and had it not been for him being something close of a local town sweetheart, he would have gotten so much shit for his inability to focus. Thankfully enough, Hoseok had been understanding about it all, and the older man let him off early with a thoughtful, “get it together, Jiminnie, alright”.
Jimin quickly went outside as soon as he could, desperate for some fresh air. He sat down by the backdoor, crouching and hugging his knees to his chest. When he heard someone walking closer, he quickly looked up, somehow afraid that it could be the same man from earlier in the day. He easily relaxed when he saw that it was Yoongi. Mustering up some bit of false bravado, he quickly tried to put on an easy smile but Yoongi saw through him.
Yoongi crouched down next to him, an arm already wrapping around his shoulders, lips pressing against his temple. “Hey, you alright? Hoseok told me you were back here.”
“I’m fine,” he whispered, and he knew Yoongi didn’t believe him—hell, he didn’t even believe himself. He sounded far from fine.
“...do you want to talk about it, baby?” Yoongi asked instead, keeping his lips pressed softly against Jimin’s temple, the motion of it moving against his skin soothing and grounding.
“Can we—can we go to our secret place, hyung? L-let’s talk there, please.”
Yoongi easily hauled him up, pulling away only to reach a hand out and card his fingers through Jimin’s soft hair. “Anything you want, Jiminnie.”
The moment they sat on the log, it was as if a dam had burst inside Jimin. He couldn’t stop talking, his hands flying everywhere as he rambled on and on about how he felt so unsafe and nervous around the man who had called him a—buggle? Muggle?—and then proceeded to look at Jimin like he wasn’t even a person. He could vaguely see Yoongi trying to talk in the middle of his rambling, but he was too tense to stop, too nervous to breathe because he felt like he would just forget it all and then he would never be able to tell Yoongi anymore.
Yoongi relented, anyway, letting Jimin talk, and by the time he was done ranting, cheeks flushed and chest heaving, Yoongi was as quiet as could be.
“He said muggle—you’re sure about this, Jiminnie?” Yoongi asked, eyes boring into Jimin’s. His hands reached forward, pulling Jimin close until he stood between the older man’s open legs.
Yoongi rubbed his hands up and down Jimin’s arms before curling them around his waist. Jimin cupped the sides of his neck gently, feeling his own heartbeat thud faster in his chest. “Yeah, I’m sure, hyung.”
“...I see,” Yoongi breathed, pressing his face against Jimin’s stomach and tugging him closer.
“What do you mean, hyung,” Jimin asked, pulling Yoongi’s face up until the older’s chin was pressed on his belly, “is muggle—is it bad?”
Yoongi looked at him, quiet and unmoving. He blinked slowly once, before a smile curved his lips up gently. It didn’t reach his eyes, and it was rather sad. It worried Jimin to no end, but before he could speak on it, Yoongi was standing up and cupping his cheeks.
“Don’t worry about it,” he whispered, leaning in close and kissing him soundly on the lips, “you’re safe, angel.”
Jimin pressed his lips together when Yoongi pulled him into a hug. Something niggled at the back of his mind, something important and crucial, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember. He curled in closer to Yoongi, small hands fisting the older man’s coat, and he nodded.
“I trust you, hyung,” he whispered, soft and vulnerable. In his arms, Yoongi tensed, but Jimin paid it no mind.
Somewhere deep in his heart, Jimin knew this was the calm before the storm. What kind of storm, he really didn’t want to know.
A week passed since the whole muggle incident occurred.
Jimin was beginning to think he worried for no reason. Maybe the big scary man had just been on something weird. Intoxicated, probably. Now that Jimin thought about it, it was definitely some kind of elaborate prank, and a wave of embarrassment flushed through him as he remembered how much he freaked out about it to Yoongi. His boyfriend probably found it so funny, and was just being a kind and gentlemanly boyfriend by humoring him.
“Ugh, I’m so stupid and paranoid,” he lowly whined, wiping a glass as he stayed at the far end of the bar, Hoseok manning the counter by himself mostly, and that other bunny-toothed young singer up at the stage, “hyung probably thinks I’m a train wreck.”
He huffed, wiping the glass in his hand roughly before putting it back up on the shelf. As he turned around to help Hoseok, his eyes fell on a broad shouldered man sitting down on Yoongi’s usual seat.
He was handsome in an unreachable kind of way, Jimin noted, like an actor. Or a rich individual from an influential family—he had that kind of vibe. Jimin glanced at Hoseok, but the other man was busy, so Jimin took it upon himself to see to the broad shouldered guest.
“Welcome,” he started with a smile, watching as the man fiddled with a gold and scarlet scarf hanging primly from his shoulders, “what can I get for you?”
The man looked at him, surprise coloring his face before something like recognition flickered across his features. He sat up straighter, tilting his head a bit to the side. A sad smile curved his lips up, eerily similar to the smile Yoongi had when Jimin had freaked out a week ago.
“Park Jimin, correct?” He asked, voice properly toned and words enunciated clearly. He really gave off the vibes of money, poise, and class.
“Uh,” Jimin mumbled, fiddling with his apron and stepping back a bit, “do I know you, sir?”
“No, but I know enou—”
The door of the bar suddenly slammed open, the nearby clients jolting in surprise. Jimin’s head shot up to look at the guest, and confusion mixed with happiness and relief and a certain kind of warmth flooded him as he watched Yoongi step inside. He was panting slightly, black hair wild and green-and-silver scarf askew. When Jimin waved at him from the bar, Yoongi’s eyes widened in response. The older snaked through the bar easily, eyes narrowing on the broad shouldered stranger.
“What the fuck,” Yoongi breathed out, hand clamping down on the stranger’s shoulder and roughly turning him around, “hyung, I told you not to meddle.”
Jimin involuntarily made a distressed sound at the back of his throat as he watched Yoongi and the stranger interact. Yoongi threw him an apologetic smile before pulling the tall stranger off his seat.
Jimin stepped closer, eyebrows furrowing in concern. “Hyung—”
“Let’s talk out back,” Yoongi muttered to the stranger, cutting Jimin off and completely giving him zero attention.
Jimin didn’t take it personally, of course. He could read the atmosphere, see the desperation, the urgency in Yoongi’s posture and eyes. He watched them stand up and walk across the bar, the tall stranger smiling sadly at him one last time before he completely slipped out of the door with Yoongi at his heels.
Jimin sat by the curb in front of the bar after his work hours, bundled up in a thick coat as he waited for his boyfriend. The bar was still alive, music and laughter blaring from inside, while outside in the city, a light drizzle poured and made everything wet and somber.
When Jimin had stepped out into the back alley after work, Yoongi hadn’t been there, but he wasn’t too worried. His mind was still occupied by the tall stranger and his sad smile, and how Yoongi had come in looking ready to fight for something. He knew that Yoongi knew he needed answers, so when Yoongi hadn’t been waiting for him like usual, he decided to wait up front.
True enough, Yoongi came around the corner a block away. Jimin smiled, waving at him before he stood up and jogged to meet him halfway.
“Hyung,” Jimin breathed out, giggling when Yoongi made a face at his damp hair and face.
“You know, you could’ve just waited inside where it’s dry,” Yoongi commented wryly, pulling off his scarf and wrapping it around Jimin’s head like a hood, “you’ll get sick.”
Jimin smiled cheekily, wrapping his arms around Yoongi’s and sticking his tongue out. “You’ll take care of me, anyway, I’m not worried.”
“A brat, I tell you,” Yoongi complained, starting to walk in the opposite direction of the orphanage.
Jimin hummed, noticing their route and looking at Yoongi. “Where are we going?”
“My place, if that’s alright with you,” he said simply, and Jimin let out a soft, “oh”, before he blushed and tightened his hold on Yoongi’s arm.
“Sure,” he said, voice soft and shy.
“I just,” Yoongi started after a few steps, “I’m, uhm, going on a work thing tomorrow afternoon, don’t know how long it’ll take me so I figured that, uh, I’d spend some time with you before I leave.”
Jimin’s heart clenched at Yoongi’s notice, and he briefly remembered the three weeks they’d been apart. He really didn’t want to be clingy, but he supposed it was normal considering they’ve just started dating. He huffed out, nodding his head determinedly before pulling Yoongi to a stop. Yoongi made a soft sound of protest, looking at him curiously.
“I’ll miss you, but I trust you to come back safe to me,” Jimin whispered, his words and voice coming out soft and sweet that even he was surprised at himself, “so don’t worry, and go do your best at work tomorrow, okay, hyung?”
Yoongi’s eyes were glistening under the light of the lamp post, his tousled black hair looking flat under the assault of the light drizzle. His cheeks and nose were flushed from how cold and humid it was, but the unexplainable intensity in his eyes was beautiful.
He leaned in, pulling Jimin for a tight hug. “I love you, Jimin.”
Jimin’s breath hitched, and it took him a few heart beats to snake his arms around Yoongi’s shoulder, face pressing on the side of his head. “I love you, too, Yoongi-hyung.”
Yoongi’s place was a single bedroom apartment in a quiet part of the city. Jimin had been to his place a handful of times, but Yoongi generally didn’t like hanging out in it as much. Still, Jimin, like all the other times he’d been there, was still oddly saddened by how lonely his boyfriend’s place seemed.
It was almost bare, just a dark brown suitcase sitting in one corner, and some clothes messily strewn on the dresser. The curtains were drawn, the lamp post outside barely illuminating the inside. Jimin busied himself with removing his shoes at the entryway as Yoongi stepped inside, heading to the kitchen to get something to drink.
“You want beer?” he asked, and Jimin hummed in response, carefully placing his shoes in a neat row (and fixing Yoongi’s), before stepping inside and heading for the small two-seater couch.
Yoongi came back, coat forgotten by the small dining table, and he sat down next to Jimin, giving him the can of beer in his hand. They did a small toast, Jimin smiling, and sat in the silence of the room. There was something oddly lonely hanging heavily in the air, and Jimin could practically feel it clawing at him. He took another swig, placing his can down and facing Yoongi. The older man had an unreadable expression on his face, eyes cast downwards and shoulders drooping.
“Hyung,” he started, small hands reaching forward to take the can out of Yoongi’s tight grasp and replacing it with his own hands, “what’s wrong?”
Yoongi exhaled sharply, looking away and taking a deep breath before he pulled Jimin’s hands up to his lips. He pressed a soft kiss on his fingers, smiling at the involuntary blush that bloomed on the apples of Jimin’s cheeks. “Nothing, baby, nothing’s wrong.”
Jimin frowned, knew Yoongi wasn’t telling him everything, but he didn’t want to push. He sighed, scooting closer and practically draping his legs all over Yoongi’s lap. “Who was the man earlier? At the bar.”
“A friend from work,” he answered simply, still playing with Jimin’s fingers.
“How does he know me?”
Yoongi smiled, that same sad smile he had days ago. “How can I not tell them about you,” he said, leaning in close with a hand on the small of Jimin’s back, gently laying him down on the couch and hovering over his smaller body, “how can I not tell the world about my beautiful angel?”
Jimin could feel himself blush harder, a whine building in his throat as he managed to pull his hands up to his face and hide. He bit his lip, whine escaping him when Yoongi only chuckled at his reaction.
“My gorgeous, shy angel,” Yoongi continued, resting his weight on his elbow next to Jimin’s head and brushing his lips on the back of Jimin’s hands, “so, so good to me, I don’t deserve you.”
Jimin pulled down his hands, glaring weakly at Yoongi. “Don’t say that.”
“That you don’t deserve me,” Jimin mumbled, reaching up to lock his fingers around Yoongi’s neck, ignoring how hot his own face felt, “that’s stupid—you deserve me just as much as I deserve you, you don’t get to decide who’s worthy of me.”
Yoongi’s eyes widened a fraction, before a big smile brightened his face—all gums and teeth and crinkled eyes. He laughed, leaning down and pressing a kiss on the tip of Jimin’s nose. “See? An angel. I really don’t deserve you.”
Jimin rolled his eyes, a smile on his face as he craned his neck up a bit. “Just kiss me, hyung.”
The room was dark, and that heavy air of finality still hung thickly in the air, but Jimin ignored it. He ignored it in favor of Yoongi’s lips on his, warm and wet and soft. He ignored it in favor of Yoongi’s hands roaming across his body, mapping his skin and sending jolts of pleasure all over him. He ignored it in favor of Yoongi carrying him to the bed, cold yet soft beneath his skin. He couldn’t think about it, anyway, not when Yoongi was a firm and welcome weight between his legs, not when he felt so hot and good and content. He didn’t mind the sense of false security, not when all he could think of, feel, taste, and hear was Yoongi, Yoongi, Yoongi.
He probably should have, but he didn’t—not when Yoongi was curled up around him, strong hands and long fingers painting gentle strokes against his skin.
Jimin woke up slowly, gradually. He could hear the birds chirping outside the window, felt the chill from the heavy rain last night seeping into the room. He shivered, and felt a smile curl his lips up when a pair of strong and warm arms wrapped tighter around him. He cracked his eyes open, vision blurry and eventually focusing on a pale expanse of skin, of a firm broad chest that made his cheeks warm up.
He glanced up, heart skipping when he saw Yoongi already wide awake, eyes full of adoration as he watched Jimin wake up. “Good morning, angel.”
“G’morning, hyung,” Jimin flushed at how used his voice sounded, raspy from sleep and God knew what else.
As if sensing where his thoughts were going, Yoongi smirked, pulling Jimin closer and quirking an eyebrow. “Penny for your thoughts?”
“Shut up,” Jimin laughed, hitting Yoongi’s bare chest with a curled fist.
Yoongi smiled, but didn’t say anything else. Jimin curled in closer, cheek pressed against warm skin, their bare legs tangled underneath the sheets. His lower back and upper thighs had a dull ache, but he still felt good. Blissful, even. He was starting to think that all of his previous worries were for naught, a result of him being a bit too paranoid at times. He turned his head slightly, pressing soft kisses on Yoongi’s skin, before he sat up.
“Well, I have work in a bit,” Jimin began, pulling the sheet up to his chest with a petulant pout when Yoongi eyed him hungrily, “and you do, too, mister.”
Something briefly flashed in Yoongi’s eyes, worry or something, before a playful expression came over his face and Jimin brushed off his initial concern. “Can’t we skip? We should skip, baby, I kind of want to do something else.”
“Oh, my God, no,” Jimin giggled, yelping when Yoongi grabbed him by the hips to wrestle him underneath his body again, “stop, hyung, that tickles!”
The bed creaked under their movements, Yoongi grinning happily as he assaulted Jimin’s side with his fingers, the younger boy laughing breathlessly beneath his boyfriend. The room was starting to brighten up, cars and people outside beginning to wake up. When a tear rolled down Jimin’s cheek from laughing too much, Yoongi finally relented, sitting between Jimin’s legs and looking down at him lovingly.
“You know I love you, right?” he said, softly with an underlying hint of desperation.
“Of course, hyung,” Jimin breathed out, reaching up and tracing his fingers all across his Yoongi’s face, seemingly memorizing his features. The little mole on his cheek, his thin but plump lips, the way his jawline jutted out in a certain kind of way—Jimin wordlessly traced featherlight touches across his skin, smiling softly up at him. “I know you love me.”
“And I know you love me, too, angel,” Yoongi whispered, pressing a kiss on Jimin’s wandering fingertips when it reached it his lips.
They begin to move when they hear more people outside, and it’s a quiet affair as they put their clothes back on after a quick shared shower. Jimin ended up borrowing Yoongi’s clothes, and one of his green and silver scarves. When he stepped back into his shoes, he turned around to see Yoongi wiping a hand across his eyes roughly.
“Sorry, something in my eye,” Yoongi mumbled, gesturing Jimin out of the door with a wave of his free hand.
Jimin nodded, a pout on his lips. He stepped out, fixing the scarf around his neck. He heard Yoongi mumble something from behind him, a sudden flash of bright light, and he tensed up, about to turn around, when—
“Jimin, you’re late!”
Jimin hurried into the bar, taking off his scarf and coat and hanging it on the rack behind the bar. Hoseok had both of his hands on his hips, cocking up an eyebrow at the younger before shaking his head and clicking his tongue under his breath.
“You’re like, two hours late, kiddo, hurry up,” Hoseok called out, and Jimin mumbled a quick apology before he reached for his apron.
He carefully tied it around his waist, looking down and frowning—much like he’d been doing ever since he found himself in the corridor of an unfamiliar apartment. His eyes fell on the clothes he was wearing. They weren’t his, or at least, he doesn’t think they are. He doesn’t remember ever owning them. He glanced up at the unfamiliar green and silver scarf, and the dark peacoat he had been wearing. They weren’t his, he was sure of it.
He sighed, shaking his head and hoping that the lightheadedness he was feeling would soon be gone. He hoped the same would happen to the heavy, crushing feeling in his heart. He felt like he was forgetting something, something important.
Did he leave the orphanage with a stove on? If he did, hopefully Sora would find it soon. Or, wait—did he forget to cook breakfast for the kids? He sighed again, feeling utterly disoriented. Not to mention, very nervous because of the dull ache in his lower back and thighs. What the hell did he do the previous night?
Jimin closed his eyes, one hand wrapped around the microphone and the other around the stand in front of him. The saxophonist behind him gradually faded out his notes, and a round of soft applause followed. He opened his eyes, eyelids fluttering open before he smiled warmly at his audience. He sniffled, realizing he’d been crying halfway into his performance. He pushed himself off the stool, waving away the worried glances from his audience before bowing one last time with a sweet smile on his face. He easily headed for the bar counter where Hoseok stood with a worried glance at his face.
“You okay, kiddo? That was something,” he said casually as he leaned one elbow on the countertop, sliding a glass of tea Jimin’s way, “here’s your drink. On the house.”
Jimin smiled at him, fingers wrapping around the glass. Hoseok slid away just as another customer approached the bar, and Jimin relaxed in his seat, looking around. His gaze fell on a specific chair in the bar, right at the end of it. He stared, eyebrows furrowing as his thumb traced patterns on the condensation forming on his glass. Jimin sighed heavily, looking away as he brought the glass to his lips.
Sure, he had friends, he was kind of content—Hoseok, Sora, the other kids at the orphanage he’d grown up with—but ever since that night where everything had been a complete blank, something was just...missing. He’d never really felt complete, but somehow, it was noticeable now more than ever. He was sad, that much was certain, and he was confused—a little lost, so to speak, because there have been times lately when he’d found himself crying without even knowing why. Sora had once jokingly mentioned how maybe he was going crazy, and they had both just laughed it off. Jimin, however, felt a similar twinge of loneliness in his chest every night, especially when he was going home from work. He felt incomplete, like he’d lost a limb. He figured maybe Sora was right. He was probably going crazy—
—because every night, he’d dream of the same black-haired man, with the prettiest smiles, the warmest hands, the sweetest kisses, and the gentlest touches. He’d never met that man, at least, that was what he thought so. It was...nonsense, was what it was. All of it.
Jimin sipped once, twice from the glass in his hands before pushing it away from himself slightly. He stood up, tipped his head in a form of goodbye at Hoseok before heading for the backdoor of the bar. He grabbed the dark peacoat and green and silver scarf hanging from a hook, slipped it on carefully, and pushed the door open as he fixed his coat collars.
September was a chilly month, and he shivered in his clothes as he pushed his hands into his coat pockets. Honestly, he was tired. His chest clenched in pain again as he looked at the lamp post across the bar, like he was waiting for something to happen. He’d gone to the doctor (cost him a hefty sum, too), worried that he was sick, maybe, or coming up with something, but the results had indicated that he was healthy, no problems at all.
He stared at the lamp post for far longer than he should have, before he shook his head and started walking back home. It was quiet save for the muffled sounds coming from the houses around him, and the distant noise of the busy streets farther in the city. He sighed, noticing that it was all he’s been doing lately, when something silvery white caught his sight from the corner of his eye.
Jimin whipped his head around, eyes wide as he noticed a street he’s not entirely familiar with. It was squeezed between two buildings, easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it. He thought he knew the city like the back of his hand, but he was honestly surprised to have himself proven wrong. Looking around like he was going to do something he wasn’t supposed to, he hurriedly crossed to the hidden street, heart beating wildly in his chest.
It felt like he’d been walking for ages when he finally realized that the street—more like a forest path now, really—was leading to the outskirts of the city, overgrown weed and wildflowers surrounding him on all sides. He hunched in on himself, realizing that maybe this was a super bad idea, until he heard a voice.
He froze in his tracks, eyes wide as he listened carefully. His heart pounded in his chest, palms sweating and suddenly, the green and silver scarf wrapped snugly around his neck felt suffocating.
“Hey, little guy,” the familiar voice said, somewhere far off in front of him, somewhere deep in the trees, but the voice carried clearly across the air, “Jimin loved you a lot.”
Jimin swallowed thickly, inching closer as he gripped one end of the scarf in his hand. His head felt like it was splitting open, and he couldn’t hear himself think over the loud pounding in his ears, over the rush of his blood.
“I miss him so fucking much,” the voice continued—deep, raspy, but soft and gentle at the same time—and it, he, sounded so sad, so lost and torn, just like how Jimin had been feeling all these months, “I had no choice.”
Jimin took a deep breath as he reached a clearing. He couldn’t see much in the dark, but he braced himself anyway as he let himself emerge onto it, eyes wide as he took in the scene—the man in front of him.
The man sat on a fallen log in the middle of the clearing, legs spread and elbows on his knees as he hunched over to talk to some kind of silvery white mist thing. It’s a fox, Jimin’s mind supplies rather lamely. The man has tousled black hair, a dark green sweater, black pants, and pale skin—and everything about him was so intimately familiar—
Oh, Jimin thought, the man in my dreams.
Jimin shifted in his spot, leaves crunching under his heel, and the man’s head suddenly shot up. His eyes widened at the sight of Jimin, mouth parting open in visible shock. He stood up, alert and fast, with one hand seemingly reaching out to Jimin before stopping halfway.
He didn’t say anything, just stared at Jimin with wide eyes and something akin to anticipation.
The silvery white thing—fox—dissolved into thin air between his legs, and Jimin stared at where it had been. “The...the fox, uhm…”
“What are you doing here,” the man said, expression guarded yet sad when Jimin looked up at him.
“I, uh,” he began, clearing his throat as his head throbbed again, “I followed it, that white thing, I think, and, uhm—s-sorry, my head just hurts so much…”
The man moved to step closer, but seemed to think better of it again. He moved to the side, gesturing at the log. “You want to, uh, sit down?”
“No, I,” Jimin stuttered, scrunching his eyes shut and crouching down with his his hands on his head, moaning as he felt like it was splitting open, “I—you—”
“You should sit—”
“H-hyung,” Jimin breathed out, looking up suddenly, eyes wild and cheeks flushed as he looked at the man—no, at Yoongi-hyung —and saw tears blur his own vision, “you—Y-Yoongi-hyung…?”
Yoongi’s eyes widened even more if that was possible, a gasp escaping his lips, before he rushed forward, kneeling down next to Jimin and pulling him in for a crushing hug. A sob escaped Jimin, and it was as if all the heaviness on his shoulders these past lost months crashed down away from him, leaving him in a rush of tears and breathless sobs. His small hands scrabbled for purchase, fingers curling into the fabric of Yoongi’s sweater, face pressed against the older’s neck as he slumped down in his hold, crying his heart out.
“H-hyung, I thought—wh-why did I forget you? I-I’m sorry, h-hyung, I was so—h-hyuuung,” he sobbed, broken and scared as he curled in closer, fingers hurting but afraid to let go, to lose Yoongi again.
“Shhh, hyung’s sorry, baby, h-hyung’s sorry,” Yoongi gasped out, and Jimin realized then that Yoongi was crying as well, his shoulders shaking as he held him close, “hyung had no choice, I had to, I—fuck, I’m s-so sorry, angel.”
They sat there, crying and holding each other tightly. Eventually, Jimin calmed down, humming brokenly under his breath as Yoongi ran his fingers through his hair. He pulled away a bit, looking up at Yoongi wordlessly. He craned his neck up, and Yoongi leaned down to press a soft kiss on his lips.
“I missed you,” Yoongi murmured, lips moving against his, and Jimin whimpered, “so much, baby.”
“I think I missed you, too,” Jimin reached up to run his fingers on Yoongi’s wet cheek, “I d-dreamed about you every night, and I unknowingly waited for you everyday to w-walk me home from work.”
Yoongi shut his eyes, taking a deep breath before he stood up, pulling Jimin along with him. They sat on the log, Jimin on Yoongi’s lap, their hands laced together and Jimin’s head resting on Yoongi’s shoulder.
“Your parents,” Yoongi started, and Jimin frowned, completely not expecting his words, “they were in an accident—a wizard targeting muggles some years ago—and the mom you grew up with was an auror designated on that case, she took you in from the scene of the crime despite knowing that it was breaching wizarding secrecy.”
“The ministry caught wind of it, of course, and they tracked down your mother,” he continued, squeezing Jimin’s hands gently, “I don’t know how you got here, maybe a portkey, or something, but—it’s a huge thing in our community, what happened to your muggle family and your mother. The ministry caught her in the end, with you out of the picture.”
“I don’t—what are you saying,” he whispered, panic settling in his heart again, “hyung?”
“What I mean is, the two of us, we can’t end well, I’m already in hot waters for breaking the secrecy before, and the ministry almost found out about us once, and—and I had to make you forget,” Yoongi whispered, moving his hands so that they rested on Jimin’s hips, a pained expression on his face, “I don’t even know how you broke the spell.”
Jimin looked at him, lips curling into a pout before he shook his head. He cupped Yoongi’s face, tilting his head up and smiling hopefully at him. “Does it matter?”
“I don’t care,” he said firmly, catching Yoongi off guard, “about some stupid secrecy, the ministry, or whatever. They don’t matter—not when I have you, and not when you have me, hyung.”
Yoongi looked up at him, the stars reflected in his glistening eyes. He swallowed visibly, before huffing in resignation. His fingers tightened around Jimin’s hips, and he smiled. A bit worried, but nonetheless genuinely happy, and relieved. “A brat, I tell you.”
Jimin grinned, sniffling before leaning in to kiss Yoongi’s lips soundly. “We made it work before, didn’t we?”
“We did,” Yoongi sighed, one hand cupping the back of Jimin’s head to pull him in closer, “and we’ll make it work again, angel. I’ll even blackmail Jin-hyung into helping me keep you.”
Jimin laughed into the kiss, wrapping his arms around his neck and scooting closer, thighs pressing in around Yoongi. “Jin-hyung?”
“A friend from work,” Yoongi murmured, his hands running all across Jimin’s small back.
Recognition sparked in Jimin’s mind, and he smiled. “Ah, so that was your Jin-hyung? Are all wizards supposed to be handsome?”
Yoongi snorted, pulling away and smiling at Jimin. He reached up, cupping Jimin’s soft cheek tenderly. Jimin could only blush, eyes wide as he grew shy under the intensity of Yoongi’s stare. The older man only smiled, one arm wrapping around Jimin’s waist, firm and secure.
“Jimin-ah,” he said softly, eyes unwavering and smile never leaving his face.
“I love you.”
Jimin bit his lip, humming and leaning in to close the distance between them, lips meeting halfway. All his life, he’d never really felt complete. He’d always felt like he was just floating, waiting for something big to happen. All his life, he’d always felt lost—but not anymore, not when the only magic in life he needed was Yoongi, not when he’s in Yoongi’s arms for good, and not when all he can think of, feel, taste, and hear is Yoongi, Yoongi, Yoongi.
For once in his life, he finally felt complete.
“I love you, too, Yoongi-hyung.”