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You Make My Heart Do Triple Toe Loops

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There’s a special kind of dexterity to figure skating that very few people understand and even fewer ever manage to master.  Nobody pays a great deal of attention to the skill and artistry behind the sport until they step onto the ice themselves for the very first time, all newborn-Bambi and flailing limbs, wide splits and grazed hands. Everyone is quick to judge the skaters behind television screens when they trip and stumble on technical moves that are supposed to be easy, which is what they say when they’re folded into a couch snacking on Pop Tarts late at night tutting over the scores. They maintain this mindset right up until that very first moment where their skates touch that slippery surface, when they finally decide to visit the ice rink in the city, because it can’t be that difficult, surely. Right? The Olympians make it look so easy, ethereal, enticing. The way they move is mesmerising, the fluid and fantastic routines they exhibit utterly begging to be recreated.

Jungkook is lucky enough to witness these moments firsthand. Circling the rink with an almost languid boredom, the only way Jungkook can find significant entertainment during his shifts sometimes is by secretly judging all the fated hopefuls stepping out onto the ice and promptly clinging to the wall for dear life when they realise they no longer know how to use their feet. Jungkook helps the ones who fall, takes crying children to first aid stands, makes awkward conversation with all the pretty girls that try and flirt and skates around backwards partly to show off and partly because he likes the practise. It’s not like this is an overly difficult job. Jungkook knows he’s luckier than most, to be able to say he works at an ice rink rather than some fast food joint or convenience store. That isn’t to say just anyone can work here—Jungkook hasn’t worked his ass off for four years to not have at least a small victory such as this to show for it.

The fact of the matter is, though, that Jungkook didn’t start skating until he was sixteen, so figure skating mastery will always remain just slightly out of reach. Up until then he’d blindly mimicked the attitude of his peers, the ones that thought ice skating was too girly, who believed all figure skaters were feminine flamboyant pretty-boys and nothing more. Looking back now, Jungkook knows it’s ridiculous, but he was a teenage kid easily influenced by other teenage kids and it wasn’t until someone sat him through one of the Grand Prix Finals that he actually learned to appreciate the enchantment and detail and honest-to-god hard fucking work behind figure skating in all its magnificent glory. By this point, he was far beyond the cut-off for ever being able to pursue anything competitive, body already in the process of a transformation he wasn’t able to adapt. Instead, now, he has this—four shifts a week at the ice rink, attempting spins or jumps when it’s closed to the public and begging Seokjin, the owner’s son, to give him tips and tricks to improve his performance whenever he can.

(Seokjin acts like Jungkook’s a nuisance, but he’s pretty sure his hyung has a secret soft spot for him that he’d never admit. It’s probably the reason he gets away with so much messing around sometimes. Jungkook tries not to get too smug about this.)

There’s a variety of types of people that enter the ice rink that Jungkook has learned to categorise with practised ease. There are the confident ones, people who have tackled the ice before and know how to handle it. They’re the people who Jungkook sees on a more regular basis, who have coaches and their own skates and smile at Jungkook with a comfortable familiarity even if they don’t ever engage in conversation. Then there are the terrified, children and teenagers and adults alike who rent skates and scream loudly and make it very clear they’ve never done this before and probably won’t do it again anytime soon. There are also the boring ones, people who have maybe been on the ice a few times but aren’t the best, people who leave no impression for Jungkook to linger on or gain any enjoyment from.

The last category, though—the last is his favourite. The determined newbies. Jungkook can recognise the look in their eyes anywhere. They’re the ones who’ve always believed skating is something that can perhaps come naturally to them, or that misjudge the power of frozen water clashed against cold silver metal. They buckle up their rented skates and wobble ineptly to the edge, heads held high and socks too thin, toes twitching uncomfortably in the solid shoes. With a questionable confidence they take calculated steps onto the ice and promptly realise that human feet were never designed to balance on blades, even especially so on surfaces you can slide on. They slip and squeal and grab onto the closest thing they can and flush bright red in embarrassment when Jungkook glides over with a poorly hidden smirk and asks them if they need any assistance. “This is harder than I thought it would be,” they always say, and Jungkook always laughs and replies, “I think you’ll find most things end up being that way.”

Tonight, Jungkook thinks, will be no different. It never has been in the past. Tuesday nights are always the most popular—tickets are cheaper than they are on the weekends and it attracts the older teenage crowd, especially students that want something fun to do but don’t particularly want to pay for it. He’s witnessed countless first dates and sixth dates and maybe even thirty-third dates because cheap ice skating is sort of suited to all dates, really. Jungkook thinks so, anyway, but maybe he’s a little biased in the way he’s sort-of-maybe in love with the ice.

Is that weird? Seokjin would probably tell him that’s weird. Seokjin sometimes works the floor with him or the shop or hands out rental skates and is the only person stopping Jungkook from trying to run a break dancing competition in the middle of the rink to some Girls’ Generation hit from 2010. He’s most of Jungkook’s impulse control. He’s also meant to be Jungkook’s boss. Or, like, part-boss. The boss when the actual owner or manager or whatever isn’t in and Jungkook can’t find any more Band-Aids and needs to ask someone and Jesus Christ, Jungkook-ah, how many times do I have to tell you how to do your own fucking job?

Seokjin loves him, though.

(For the most part.)

That’s not important here, though. What’s important here is Jungkook proving that yes, he does do his job, actually, Seokjin, thanks for all the faith you have in me that’s totally deserving and you should feel guilty for ever doubting me, ever. So tonight, as is done every Tuesday at seven pm, Jungkook opens the rink like always (his job) and makes sure everyone starts skating in the right direction so nobody collides like dumbasses and makes Jungkook’s life infinitely more difficult (also his job). He watches the regulars sweep past without a care and the bored trip a little into motion and the terrified yell and laugh and flop ungracefully onto the ground in small heaps (and some maybe larger). He watches for the ones that entertain him, those select few precious individuals mere seconds away from the wide-eyed realisation that oh my god I’ve been so very very wrong this entire time and now I can’t feel my knees and Jungkook is patient because he has a long night ahead of him and he’d probably combust if he wasn’t, but he also soon finds he doesn’t really need to be.

Because tonight, as if the gods want Jungkook to have a notably interesting shift for once, there they are.

The first fated hopefuls of the evening.

There are two of them, both male, one short and one taller, balancing precariously on the skates but attempting to walk like they’ve done it before and already know how it feels. Jungkook flips around to skate backwards so he can keep the boys in his peripheral as he spins around the ice, narrowly avoiding a small child using one of the assisting frames to guide her feet. The taller one has dark hair, long legs and broad shoulders, the kind of handsome face Jungkook suspects he would find in magazines. The shorter one is cute in a way Jungkook feels he can’t quite accurately describe, cheeks soft with dyed blond hair he has the indescribable urge to touch just to see if it’s as fluffy as it looks. His lips are plump, he finds himself noticing absently as he whizzes past them again. He tries not to think too much about that.

The tall one inches onto the ice first, chin up and arms outstretched unnaturally, until his feet sweep apart without his permission and his hands are waving and his eyes have gone from determined to panicked and Jungkook can clearly see him regretting every decision he’s ever made in his life leading up to this moment. In mere seconds, he’s flat on his ass right there by the entrance, pouting and banging his fists against the floor in a petulant show of fake childish impertinence. His friend does a very good job of giggling on the sidelines, still having not entered the rink himself, before he seems to manage to calm down and compose himself, that earlier expression of certainty and fortitude melding back into his eyes.

He takes a step out onto the rink with his tongue poking unconsciously out between his teeth.

Jungkook watches. Waits. Prepares himself for that intrepidity to vanish, for the wobbling of his legs and the shaking of his hands and his pretty blond head to hit the ice in a way that hopefully isn’t too serious. He expects it. Anticipates it.

What he doesn’t anticipate is the initial hesitation and then the immediate overcoming. He doesn’t anticipate the boy smiling widely and adjusting his posture only slightly, taking off around the rink in a way that isn’t graceful or fluid in the slightest but still leaves Jungkook thoroughly and unbelievably impressed. The boy stops by his taller friend again just as Jungkook flies past and hears “—totally not fair, I can’t believe you’ve never done this before—” and wants to put that fluffy blond boy into a headlock until he explains what witch cast a spell on him for him to be able to skate so well on his very first try. The first time Jungkook had touched the ice he hadn’t been able to let go of the wall for at least an hour and even then he’d ended up falling to the ground anyway as soon as he’d stepped away from the support.

To say the least, Jungkook is distracted for most of the night. The two boys stay until closing, right on ten o’clock when Jungkook is ushering people out of the rink so they can start cleaning the ice. Their faces are flushed and hands red, fingertips still in the process of relearning how to fill with blood, stiff from the way the taller one had clung dramatically to the shorter boy for the entire three hours struggling to find his feet. They leave with windswept smiles and Jungkook briefly wonders if maybe it was a date.

As he does usually when things in his life aren’t going the way he wants them to, Jungkook complains to Seokjin while they organise skates and sweep the floors. “It’s just not fair,” he whines, picking up a stray candy wrapper and throwing it mindlessly in the direction of the bin. It misses the opening and flutters to the floor. “I spent weeks learning to balance and actually move forward three feet without collapsing to the ground and I swear to god, Jin, this guy didn’t even need to touch the wall. He has to be fake. I’m 100% convinced he’s an android.”

Seokjin sighs deeply, shaking his head with a roll of his eyes. “Some people just catch onto things faster than the rest of us, Jungkook, there’s no need to be jealous. In the end, you’re the one learning to do a double Salchow and he’s the one all wibbly-wobbly. Also, that’s hyung to you, disrespectful fuck. Go pick that up.” Jungkook whines again but does as he’s told, grumbling something that sounds vaguely like “bossy boots” under his breath that Seokjin chooses to ignore for the sake of his health.

“I’m still mad,” Jungkook insists as they do the final checks and get ready to leave. Technically Jungkook doesn’t have to stay this long, since Seokjin really is capable of closing the venue by himself, but in all honestly Jungkook likes to take the time to stay behind and help, especially on the nights when Seokjin is feeling generous enough to let Jungkook spend an extra fifteen minutes on the rink practising what little he can.

Sometimes people ask Jungkook why he bothers trying to learn to learn so many technical skills like Axels and double toe loops when he never plans on using them in competition. It does take up a huge portion of his time, especially on top of his degree at university. Something that crosses Jungkook’s mind a lot, though, especially more recently, is that he figures he would be quite content working at the ice rink forever. He learns the jumps and tricks and spins because he wants to, because it gives him immense satisfaction, even if he can’t afford a coach or any lessons. He loves Seokjin and Namjoon and Hoseok, his closest friends and favourite selection of employees working at the rink. The pay isn’t terrible and even though he still lives at home, he thinks if he picked up a few more shifts and maybe convinced one of his hyungs to take him in, he’d be comfortable enough out in the big wide world. Maybe Namjoon could help him produce some music, and he could write songs about the beauty of the ice and the way it makes him feel and he could choreograph a routine to his own stunning melody.

To say the least, Jungkook is happy. He’s happy at work and happy with the way things are going for him right now. Which is why it’s so annoying to feel this kick of envy in his chest over something so small and dumb when he knows realistically that it’s ridiculous. He just can’t help but feel a little inadequate, a little bit like all his hard work means nothing when a boy can sail in like this and stomp down his confidence with such an unintentional ease simply by knowing vaguely how to skate better than Jungkook did when he had first begun meddling in the ways of the ice.

“Jungkook, seriously,” Seokjin chides as he locks the door behind them upon their exit. Jungkook has his arms crossed across his chest, pout set firmly on his lips the way it has been for the past hour since those two boys left behind the ghosts of contented smiles on the empty rink. “Don’t be angry. They’ve probably just come in once for a laugh and won’t be back. Chin up, or I won’t let you have the rink Thursday night.”

Jungkook perks up at this, a newfound twinkle glimmering in his eyes. “You mean if I stop moping, I’m allowed to have some time on the rink Thursday?” He didn’t get a chance tonight. Seokjin wasn’t in the mood and Jungkook knows better than to push him when he claims he has shit to be doing at home. Alongside being the son of the owner of the rink, Seokjin is completing an acting degree, so he’s constantly preparing for auditions and learning lines. Recently some companies have expressed an interest in having him model for them, so his mind has been preoccupied—to put it bluntly, he hasn’t had much patience to let Jungkook run free on the ice after closing and essentially give him coaching from the sidelines at no cost when his head is so full of important life decisions and casting call backs. Jungkook gets it, but he’d be lying if he said his feet weren’t aching to spin carelessly on the ice again without the fear of clashing into another group of people flailing uselessly in his path.

“Oh, my god,” Seokjin groans, face falling into his hands. “You are insufferable. Yes, fuck, fine,” he concedes, whacking Jungkook lightly on the shoulder. “You can have the rink Thursday, just, please, for the love of god, stop looking at me like some kicked puppy. They probably won’t come back—stop overthinking it, you big baby.”

Jungkook grins. “Thank you, hyung! You’re the best~” he sings, throwing his arms around Seokjin’s shoulders and clinging to him in a hug that’s awkward because they’re still walking but not awkward because it’s them. Seokjin shakes him off with a “yeah, yeah” and acts like he doesn’t love that boy to pieces and would do absolutely anything to make him happy. He’s just too goddamn endearing for his own good.

Seokjin is probably right, though, Jungkook reflects later. The boys won’t come back and Jungkook won’t have to seethe in pointless mundane jealously over nothing and he can go back to enjoying skating the way he always has. He’ll be over it in a few days—he’s just making something out of nothing. It really isn’t that big of a deal.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Seokjin, it turns out, is wrong. Well—to be fair, he’s right for a bit. Jungkook doesn’t see that infuriatingly naturally talented blond boy for three weeks, which is about the point Jungkook has almost completely forgotten him. He’s used to having hissy fits over small instances like these and usually gets over them reasonably quickly. This case is almost identical to any of the others, until suddenly Jungkook is doing a double take when he opens the rink on another Tuesday night to see that head of blond hair bent over another pair of rental skates, biting down on his bottom lip in concentration as he tightens the straps.

“Namjoon,” Jungkook hisses, gliding as quickly as he can over to the older boy also working the floor tonight. “Namjoon, you won’t believe this.”

Namjoon raises a single eyebrow. “What is it this time?”

“That little blond fucker is back. Minus his tall handsome friend,” Jungkook hastens to explain, glaring subtly over at the short boy stepping back out onto the ice for the first time in three weeks and taking off, still clearly unstable but vexatiously sure of himself. Jungkook has the devilish urge to push him over.

“Ah, the source of your demise. You know there’s heaps of people skating super adeptly around you right now, yeah? Like, better than him. Easily better than him. So much better than him it’s confusing why you care so much,” Namjoon chastises, circling around Jungkook a few times just because he knows it annoys the younger. Jungkook is too caught up in his frustration to pay it the usual attention, hardly even putting in the effort to wave him off as he bites down on his tongue and tries not to scream.

“It’s not about how good he is,” Jungkook insists, cutting Namjoon off with a “Shush!” when he opens his mouth to refute him. “What I mean is that it’s the fact that he’s not bad when he hasn’t skated before. It’s insulting.”

“You get worked up over the silliest things,” Namjoon tuts, picking up his pace and separating himself from Jungkook to situate himself on the opposite side of the rink, calling a “Cheer up, buttercup!” over his shoulder as he goes. Jungkook sighs to himself, hoping that at least tonight maybe there will be a few more newbies he can laugh at that fall to the ground the way this blond guy was meant to so maybe he can forget about it and move on with his life.

Unluckily for Jungkook, not even the usual new hopeless skaters are enough to distract him. He finds his eyes following the blond boy more often than not, analysing his technique and admiring his physique. There’s something about him that’s different, but Jungkook can’t quite figure it out. He has headphones in and looks immensely focused, circling the rink again and again on his own for the entire three hours, lost in a different world on the ice. Despite his complaints, Jungkook can’t deny that he relates to that especially. No matter the level of skill one holds, Jungkook thinks it’s easy to become swept up in the twist and flow of skating and forget the outside world. That resounds with him on nights when he can close his eyes and float across the ice in a combination of twirls and graceful limbs. When he can jump up onto the idea of flying somewhere and allow himself to become a victim to the sensations. He relishes in the feeling of the cold biting into his skin, the rush of air in his face pushing his fringe out of his eyes, turning his nose pink and lips blue. He moves in spread eagles and backwards turns until he’s out of breath and high on the feeling letting go.

After everyone has gone home and the ice is clear and Jungkook is left replaying an image of the blond boy with his eyes closed and his neck thrown back in his brain, Seokjin leans against the wall surrounding the rink and smiles. “Go on, then,” he encourages, inclining his head towards the lone boy standing in the middle of the rink. “Fifteen minutes. Show me the double Salchow you’ve been working on.”

Jungkook’s face brightens exponentially so without his permission, already giddy on the idea of showing off, just a little bit. He wastes no time in picking up the pace and swirling around the edges, fingertips grazing the wall, booping Seokjin’s nose as he flies past. This part is easy, this part is fun. Losing himself in the music of skidding blades and an artificial breeze. Twisting his body in a way he’s not able to when the room is full, Jungkook feels like a swan in that millisecond of a moment before running on water. He feels the ripples of the river, the quivering of his free leg as he spins and lets himself get dizzy in the afterglow. His arms raise like wings, preparing himself for an impact that never comes, trapped eternally in that brief flash of hesitance that happens right before the breaking of the epilimnion. It’s that rush of air, the adrenaline that comes with the almost-but-not-quite. Jungkook spins, and spins, and gets faster and faster and faster still and leaps from the inside edge of one foot into the air and pulls everything tight together to make the rotations. Hovering above the ice, time stands still and runs at double speed simultaneously. Jungkook reflects on the possibility of this as he lands without much grace but doesn’t fall, free leg waving wildly and knee bending only slightly in a somewhat concerning direction, but he recovers, hands trembling, lungs constricted and gasping out of breath. Jungkook beams, falling back into the familiar rhythm of left and right. Seokjin claps across the rink, cheering with the power of a packed Olympic stadium.

“Wow, Jungkook-ah!” he yells, voice round and awed, unable to resist the splitting of his lips into a wide and generous smile. “Is that the first time you’ve landed it?”

Jungkook is throwing himself at Seokjin in a heartbeat, arms around his shoulders, squeezing him close. “Yes!” he shouts, swaying from side to side in his excitement. “I always end up touching down when I land! I was a little bit unstable and my hand placement was sloppy but I think if I—”

“Ah, Jungkook,” Seokjin cuts off, stepping back to pinch the younger’s cheeks. “Stop being so critical of yourself. You looked amazing. Keep practising and the rest will come. Go on, now. Give it another go.” He lightly pushes Jungkook back out into the rink, encouraging him with a nod and a shooing movement of his hands.

Jungkook smiles. He takes off with a fluttering of his feathers and transforms into an effervescent swan once more.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

The boy is back after a fortnight and again the following week, ostensibly addicted to the ice in a way Jungkook can’t blame him for. His improvement, however, is only marginal—Jungkook tries not to be too pleased by this, but his satisfaction is incontestable. Hoseok scolds him the second Tuesday night in a row.

“How would you feel if someone vehemently wished for your failure back when you had just started skating?” he asks, tapping his fingers against the surface of the countertop, the pair of them minding the rental handouts waiting for someone new to approach and ask for the wrong size because for some reason nobody can ever get it right. Soon, Jungkook will be strapping on his black lace-up skates and joining Seokjin on the rink, but until then, the next fifteen minutes has Hoseok forced to put up with Jungkook’s complaints over the same blond amateur that has haunted him for going on two months now.

Jungkook pretends to consider the question, fingertip on his chin and eyebrows furrowed. “I’d probably cry,” he decides, grinning sheepishly at the elder and giggling when he sighs deeply and shakes his head.

“Exactly! You’re being an ass. Let the boy skate.” Hoseok moves away to help someone approaching the desk. Jungkook stands and twiddles his thumbs and searches distractedly for a certain someone again, convincing himself that isn’t the initial reason why his eyes began to stray towards the rink in curiosity. He likes watching people skate, okay? If the blonde boy happens to be there, then, well, that’s just the way it is.

Hoseok finishes with the girl getting skates and follows Jungkook’s eyes, smirking when he realises what (or more specifically, who) Jungkook is looking for. “You have an obsession,” he states, his tone offering no room for argument. Jungkook’s face flushes red, turning away from the rink in a haste, caught red-handed.

“Do not!” he insists, but his eyes give him away. “I’m just waiting to see if he falls over,” he excuses after another moment, sounding fake and dishonest even to his own ears. Hoseok snickers. Jungkook ignores him for the remaining ten minutes plagued with his teasing company.

Denial is a form of self-preservation, so Jungkook chooses not to linger on thoughts of why he’s particularly drawn to the new skater. He tells himself it’s because he’s annoyed, frustrated, searching for points of weakness in order to counteract his irrational jealousy. He knows these thoughts taste like lies on the tip of his tongue, eyes lingering on pretty lips and toned thighs, but he allows himself to believe them anyway. It’s easier like this, bathing in an ocean of casual dismissal that’s as calm and lucid as the quiescent sea. He can sink his head under the water and listen to nothing but the white noise flooding his ears, blocking out the questions, the wonderings, the inevitable what-ifs. He can let the ocean swallow him in tiny rippling waves, surface smoothing out to a fragile, crystalline barrier of serenity and peace.

All seas have storms, though, and eventually Jungkook will need to come up for air.

After the ten minutes have passed, Jungkook is all too eager to escape Hoseok’s side, skipping out onto the ice with the familiarity of coming home. He falls into a steady pace, flipping forwards and backwards, slowing down beside groups clinging to the side lines and creating comfortable conversation in gentle laughs and anecdotes. Contrary to popular belief, Jungkook is actually very shy—he can generally only approach large groups because the attention can be taken off of him that way, and he’ll only talk to people one-on-one if they need help or if they call out to him first. He has made a compromise with his stuttering heart for the sake of accommodating to his workplace, but there are still ways around communication he never hesitates to take, shortcuts and cutting corners, using bright smiles as a replacement for confident hellos.

In other words, Jungkook is always searching for ways to avoid confronting others—but maybe in this instance, all Jungkook was really looking for was an excuse, because the second the blond boy falls over for the first time ever he is by his side in an instant, pulled towards him as if by force of gravity, the cautious moon to the bright yellow star. It’s as if Jungkook has been waiting for the exact right moment, a justification for striking up some semblance of discussion, even if it’s only to ask if he’s okay, or maybe even demand an explanation for why he can skate so well.

(Or his name.)

(Knowing his name would be nice.)

“Are you alright, there?” Jungkook asks, holding out a hand as he skids to a stop in front of the boy, customer service face plastered on because it’s good at playing the part of a mask. “That looked like some fall.”

The blond boy is blushing and accepts Jungkook’s outstretched hand, averting his eyes and brushing the ice off his ass as he stands. Jungkook tries not to follow the movement of his hands through fluttering eyelashes. “That’s the first time I’ve fallen over,” he admits, as if Jungkook isn’t acutely aware of this fact, as if Jungkook wouldn’t have maybe tried to speak to him a hell of a lot sooner if he had fallen over several weeks ago. “I was beginning to think maybe I’d gotten lucky and never would.”

“Haven’t been on the ice much?” Jungkook asks, just to keep him there and also maybe to get some answers. “Don’t worry, we all have our moments. As long as you aren’t hurt?” He phrases it like a question, genuinely concerned for the other man’s wellbeing and safety, because even if he’s annoyed the shit out of him for weeks he wouldn’t want him to be seriously injured.

“No, no, I’m fine,” the boy waves off, silencing Jungkook’s concern. “I’m a bit new to the ice skating thing, yeah,” he adds, replying to Jungkook’s initial enquiry. “I’ve done a lot of roller blading in the past and I’m also a dancer, so I’ve been kind of drawn to it recently. It’s really fun—I’ve been coming more often, actually.”

Jungkook nods. I know. I watch you. He doesn’t say that. He doesn’t particularly fancy having a restraining order filed against him, but at least the boy’s reply finally gives him some peace of mind. Roller blading. Of course. It’s different to ice skating in a multitude of ways, but the patterns are still the same, the weight of your body distributed similarly enough that it makes sense you can connect the two. The dancing, too—it explains why Jungkook hasn’t been able to take his eyes off of him, why the way that he holds himself has seemed so significantly different to the cluttered mess of the other bodies surrounding the rink. It feels like a heavy weight has been lifted off of his shoulders. This boy isn’t a freak of nature after all—he’s just had a little prior preparation, a little extra practise. Jungkook immediately feels less bitter towards him, but unfortunately this bitterness is instead replaced with a sudden sense of nervousness, unwelcome and all-consuming, reminding him that this boy is very pretty and Jungkook is blunderingly bad at talking to pretty boys.

He had a different motivation before, alright? He’d been blinded by jealousy, jumping at an opportunity, fuelled by a need to wrangle the newbie until he gave away all of his skating secrets. All at once, Jungkook is hit by this terrifying tsunami of anxiety, because now that he’s got his secrets he doesn’t know where to look. “I’ve noticed,” he says, dumbly, after far too long. “I mean—I’ve, uh, I work here a lot. I’ve seen you a couple of times. You know how it is.” Cue the nervous laughter. Jungkook wishes he had never been born.

It’s easier to flirt a little with the girls because he’s not especially attracted to them—it’s all a fake front to keep them coming back and Seokjin encourages it, because Jungkook is young and attainable, because good looks bring in good money. An act is far easier than reality. Jungkook was angry and upset and marched over with fake confidence in the guise of helping out and now that the boy has recovered from his fall he notices Jungkook’s panicked eyes. Allows a small and frightening smirk to take over his lips. Tilts his head like he’s practised it. “You’ve noticed?” he asks oh-so-innocently, like Jungkook hadn’t just told him exactly that. “The staff here are just so nice. I guess I couldn’t stay away.” His voice sounds and tastes like melted honey in the space between them. This isn’t fair. Jungkook has used up his confidence points for the day.

“Right,” he says stupidly. “I mean, yeah, good, that’s good, right on,” he corrects, which is somehow worse. “I’m Jungkook.” And isn’t that just the icing on the cake.

The boy laughs like a wind chime and smiles like diamonds. “Jimin,” he introduces. Jungkook repeats it, repeats it, repeats it, over and over in his head until it doesn’t sound like a word anymore. Jimin. Blond hair and soft cheeks and is probably going to be the reason for Jungkook’s early retirement, honestly.

“Well,” Jungkook says loudly, unable to handle any more of this, clasping his hands together with a tight smile, “it’s really great to meet you. I better, uh, go and, like, do my job. Or something. Sorry. Yeah. Glad you’re not hurt. Please come back.” He flees the scene with waves of pure cringe shooting up and down his entire being. He resists the urge to groan and collapse to the floor in a heap, keenly aware of his inconvenient surroundings, because he’s pretty sure Jimin might still be looking at him and he’s also pretty sure he’s still meant to be working. He settles on biting the inside of his cheeks and berating himself in his head until his shift is over, avoiding Jimin’s eyes and pretending to be busy with literally every single other person on the rink. When faced with a pair of almost equally anxiety-inducing paths, Jungkook will always embrace the lesser of the two evils, so tonight he becomes the picture-perfect socialite that he hasn’t been in what feels like years, chatting animatedly with the bustling crowd in a way he’s not able to do when he feels like he has a choice.

Anything to forget what a fool he’s just made of himself in front of Jimin.

Seokjin teases him about it later, because of course he has to. “You’ve been whining about him all this time and now he looks at you once and you’re gone for him,” he taunts, resulting in Jungkook losing concentration during a spin and falling out of it messily, only barely managing to remain upright as he glares at his hyung on the other side of the ice.

“It’s not like that!” he defends, sounding suspiciously like a broken record. “He’s just sweet, is all.”

“And cute,” Seokjin reminds him unhelpfully, raising an eyebrow. “You can’t forget that he also happens to be very cute.”

“Shut the fuck up,” Jungkook snaps, entirely because he has no other way to respond to that. It’s extraordinarily true. Jungkook isn’t able to deny it even if he wanted to. “I’m quitting,” he threatens next, a pitiful attempt at biting back.

Seokjin only laughs. “Don’t get my hopes up. You’re full of empty promises.”

It takes Jungkook a few seconds to get the joke, but his “Hey!” of indignation can probably be heard all throughout the centre and echoing into the street.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jungkook tells himself he isn’t searching for Jimin the following Tuesday night but any of the staff there could tell you he absolutely is (even most likely himself). He isn’t disappointed—Jimin waddles out onto the rink a little later than usual but arrives nonetheless, black beanie on his head with a pompom attached at the top. Jungkook resists the very large urge to coo and skate over immediately to bop it, no matter how desperate that desire may be.

Instead, he stops to consider how he should proceed. He hasn’t thought of any witty conversation starters. Unless Jimin falls over again, Jungkook really has no reason to talk to him at all. Does he even need a reason? Can he just talk to Jimin because he feels like it? Would Jimin think that was weird? Jungkook’s palms begin to sweat. Oh my god, I should have prepared better for this, he thinks loudly, panicked thoughts taking over his head, increasing in volume the closer Jimin gets to him. He’s going to have to come up with something. Jimin’s going to say hi any minute and Jungkook will be too shocked and anxious to respond and then Jimin will ignore him forever oh god I’m gonna ruin everything he’s getting closer oh fuck here he is—

Jimin smiles at Jungkook, tight lipped and devastatingly detached, then proceeds to skate right past him without saying a word.

Jungkook feels like the breath has been knocked out of him. What? This is not the scenario he had briefly anticipated. Jungkook suddenly wishes he had been forced to face the awkwardness of not knowing what to say if that meant Jimin would come back and say at least a soft hello. The boy is already halfway across the rink, headphones in and movements lax and smooth, lost in the push and pull of the skates. Jungkook wonders if he has done something wrong, if there’s maybe a look in his eyes that seems hostile or unkind, or if he had said something in the previous week to set Jimin off, but even after going through their conversation over and over again in his head he fails to come up with anything.

This results in Jungkook becoming overwhelmed with anxiety for a majority of the rest of his shift. It isn’t until the last few minutes of the night that Jimin saves him from his misery, but that just means Jungkook is washed over with another new wave of anxiety for a totally different reason as Jimin falls into line next to him, hands behind his back and headphones removed. “You look a little down this evening. Something on your mind?” he asks, like they’ve had more than one conversation in the past, like maybe they’re actually friends. Jungkook’s heart is racing at double the speed between his lungs.

“No, no, nothing, it’s all good here, fantastic,” he says offhandedly, totally the opposite of the chill he was going for. Maybe he would have been better off never communicating with Jimin at all. Maybe God was actually giving him a second chance earlier in the night when Jimin had supposedly ignored him, providing him with the opportunity to clock out early and run for the hills. Change his name and move to Japan. Start a new life where he isn’t so awkward and unable to formulate normal people words.

“That’s great to hear,” Jimin says kindly, eyes sparkling. “You looked a little scattered earlier so I didn’t want to disrupt you or anything. I hope it’s okay for me to, you know, come over and say hello and that.”

It’s totally okay! You can do whatever you want! Talk to me forever! “That’s fine! One hundred percent cool. Say hello every week. Or not! If you don’t feel like it.” Jungkook winces. Jimin giggles.

“You’re cute,” he says, confident in the way Jungkook wishes he could be, leaning into him slightly to bump his shoulder but hurriedly moving away again after only half a second, as though he’s still somewhat hesitant in case he’s overstepped a boundary.

“Ah—um,” Jungkook says intelligently, face burning red, vision a little blurred as he panics down to his very core. “Sweet. I think I heard Seokjin calling me, don’t hurt yourself, talk soon, bye!” Jungkook runs away, again, because he can’t handle the pressure of straightforward compliments. He squeezes his eyes shut in shame for a moment as he desperately hopes Jimin hasn’t taken offence, because the truth is Jungkook simply doesn’t know what to do. He’s always been tremendously dismal at this sort of thing and that clearly hasn’t changed.

Trying to stay at least partially true to his word, Jungkook heads over to Seokjin. “Hyung,” he whines, feeling babyish and small, “I’m a failure of a human being.”

Seokjin raises an eyebrow, intrigued and hiding concern. “’Hyung’? You must be serious. What’s up?”

“Jimin called me cute and I freaked out and ran away,” Jungkook admits with a pout, refusing to turn around and look back at where he knows Jimin still is, directly across from the pair of them on the rink, most likely feeling dejected and forgotten and it’s all Jungkook’s fault.

“Calling you cute already? Haven’t you only just met?” Seokjin questions, disregarding Jungkook’s dilemma for the sake of his own curiosity. Jungkook groans, twirling around unmindfully and almost taking Seokjin out on the spot.

“Yeah, but,” Jungkook struggles, waving around his arms in an obscure gesture, almost taking Seokjin out again but failing to even notice, “he’s just confident! I dunno. He probably didn’t even mean it like that,” Jungkook realises suddenly, face falling, ceasing the wild flapping of his arms. “I was just being awkward and he was responding accordingly. Oh my god. I made such a big deal out of nothing. He must think I’m a freak.”

“I dunno, Jungkook,” Seokjin says airily, eyeing the other end of the ice. “He’s staring at you right now in what looks like fond amusement. “

“Don’t look at him!” Jungkook hisses, whacking Seokjin’s arm, refraining himself from following his eyes just to see what fond amusement looks like. “He’ll know we’re talking about him.”

“Too late~” Seokjin sings, lowering his head in a casual short bow that sends Jungkook’s insides reeling, effectively succeeding in increasing his panic and raising the volume of the alarm bells going off in his head. “He’s already seen me.” Jungkook thinks he might be sick. Does Seokjin seriously have to make everything worse? Jungkook should have just come up with some other excuse to flee the scene, maybe something about needing to use the bathroom, or helping another skater that looked like they were struggling, preferably as far away from Jimin as possible. Anything would be better than this, Seokjin’s evil cheery smile and sabotaging ways, having the nerve to let one of his eyelids squeeze shut in a mocking wink. Jungkook wonders how bad the consequences would be if he were to kick Seokjin’s skates right out from underneath him, weighing up the pros and cons in his head. The fear of the prospect of getting fired wins out, so Jungkook settles for a heavy glare instead, one that promises more to come at a later time and more appropriate setting.

Now that Jimin surely Knows, though, Jungkook can’t bring himself to continue ignoring him, eyes disobeying his desire to stay hidden as he glances back over at the short boy he’d gutlessly run away from only moments prior. Jimin is already staring directly at him, both of their bodies in motion as they circulate the rink, which makes it a little awkward to hold any significant eye contact but they manage it somehow, Jimin’s irises sparkling, Jungkook wanting to crawl into a hole and die. At least he doesn’t appear to be angry. If anything, Seokjin is completely spot on about the fond amusement thing. He giggles into his hand and tilts his head, sticking out his tongue and throwing up a peace sign. Jungkook sends one back before realising how ridiculous it is, blushing and rapidly turning his head away, the colour red blending deeper into his cheeks. He notices a boy who’s fallen over nearby and welcomes the distraction, escaping both Seokjin and Jimin as he skates to his aid, pretending he doesn’t feel the two pairs of eyes still boring into his spine.

When Jungkook is closing up the rink only minutes later, Jimin slides right up to him with a teasing smile before he leaves. “Going to wish me a good night?” he asks, biting his lip, hands behind his back again in what appears to be a signature gesture as his eyes glimmer mischievously. 

Jungkook tries not to choke on his own spit. “Oh, of course, yeah, good night! Get home safe and—sleep well. And stuff. And see you next week?” He hates how hopeful he sounds, lilting his voice up at the end like a question, like he’s hesitant to imply Jimin will return yet again. Thankfully, though, Jimin giggles.

“I look forward to it. Good night, Jungkook,” he says softly, blinking at him in silence for a moment longer than necessary before making his exit. Jungkook stands frozen to the spot, feeling as though a sort of spell has been cast over him through nothing but the power of Jimin’s eyes.

I look forward to it.

Jungkook thinks Jimin might just kill him.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jimin is back the following Tuesday, and the next one, and the next one after that. Jungkook is equally bad at making conversation every single time, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep Jimin away, who appears to take extraordinary pleasure in making Jungkook stutter and flush. It’s not hard for him, either—Jungkook’s pretty sure he spends most of his time with Jimin in a weird constant state of flushed cheeks and stuttering syllables. He has no idea why Jimin seems to tolerate it as much as he does, unless he finds it endearing, which just makes Jungkook even more flustered than he already is.

Seriously, though, Jungkook thinks Jimin surely has to be growing tired of the—

 

“Ah, Jungkook, you’re such a pretty skater! I wish I could be as talented as you~”

“Oh, this girl looks like she needs a Band-Aid. I’ll be right back.”

 

—and the—

 

“Your skin is very beautiful, Jungkook, I’m so jealous!”

“Right! Totally. Can give you my skincare routine, or something. Maybe. Okay, I think it’s game time for the night!”

 

—and especially the—

 

“Are you blushing? Cute!”

“Sweet. I have to go.”

 

…Yeah. Jungkook’s communication skills, particularly in the flirting category, are exceptionally lacking. This is flirting, though, right? Jimin is flirting with him, isn’t he? Jungkook isn’t quite sure at this point, because Jimin is extremely confident, and appears to be this open and unfiltered with everyone he meets. He’s included Seokjin in a conversation before and told him he was definitely handsome enough to be a model, to which Seokjin had laughed easily and replied that he already was. He’s told Hoseok he likes the sound of his voice and said Namjoon has very lovely eyes. It’s hard for Jungkook to know where they stand, and even harder because Jungkook hasn’t reciprocated anything. At all. Ever. He just panics or runs away or changes the topic at every compliment, which Jungkook assumes must be extremely discouraging, but Jimin is relentless.

Which Jungkook is grateful for, because Jimin’s compliments make his entire week, but he worries that each and every one will be the last. That Jimin will finally grow tired of his one-sided affections and give up. That they’ll go back to being strangers who smile at one another in recognition but never speak, that Jimin will turn into one of the regulars Jungkook sees so often but doesn’t know. That’s his biggest fear, but he doesn’t know how to prevent it from becoming the reality.

It’s Hoseok who eventually points out the obvious to him.

“You could, dare I say, compliment him back,” he suggests on the third Tuesday since Jimin called Jungkook cute for the first time. He’s done it a few times since then, but it never loses its effect. Jungkook adores it, but really wishes he could respond in a way that isn’t a panicked hand gesture or a pathetic-sounding whine.

Jungkook shakes his head in a frenzy. “Dude,” he whispers, eyes wide and alarmed, as if Hoseok has just suggested something so absolutely ludicrous it shouldn’t even be given a second thought. “I most definitely cannot do that.”

“Why not?” Hoseok shrugs like it’s easy. Jungkook glares at him.

“I still struggle to even look him in the eye! How am I supposed to tell him I think he looks celestial?”

 “’Celestial’?” Hoseok questions, raising an eyebrow. “Seems like a word you’ve thought about a lot.” Jungkook slaps him across the back of the head.

Regardless of the infuriating way Hoseok teases, he does think about it. Even if he simply manages some tiny semblance of a response, anything affectionate enough to be considering flirting back, maybe Jimin will get the message and become reassured that Jungkook wants him to continue doing…whatever it is that he’s doing. Telling him he’s pretty? Jungkook scoffs at how pitiful that is to admit. That he wants Jimin to keep calling him pretty and making him blush even if it embarrasses him to no end because it makes his stomach flip and heart flutter in a way he never wants to end. He feels like a fourteen-year-old kid with a three-week-old crush but he can’t help it. Jimin is kind and hard-working and has the most beautiful smile and Jungkook has a hard time keeping a level head around someone as bewitching as he is. 

On yet another Tuesday night, Jungkook begins his shift determined to at least make the effort of flirting back. If what they’re doing is flirting, that is—all he knows is that he wants to return whatever it is that Jimin is giving him in the hopes of making sure he continues giving it. He won’t run away, he won’t panic, he won’t make an excuse and slither off into the non-existent sunset. He repeats this to himself over and over as he awaits Jimin’s arrival, planning out potential responses and compliments of his own. He doesn’t want to sound too rehearsed, but he’s pretty sure if he doesn’t have at least something small to guide him he’ll freeze up on the spot and become one with the ice, which would be even more embarrassing than spluttering out a reply to begin with.

Jungkook has almost entirely convinced himself he’s ready when Jimin turns up, but there’s one small problem that sends him spiralling all the way back to stage one.

Jimin doesn’t turn up alone.

It’s not the tall man from the first visit, a person Jungkook had nearly forgotten about considering that he hasn’t returned since. No, instead it’s someone else—a man the same height as Jimin, hair black as midnight, skin pale with a black surgical mask over his mouth. His eyes are scrunched up in happy lines and Jimin is laughing, which gives Jungkook the very clear impression that Jimin has said something to make him smile. They enter the rink together and the new boy is apparently able to hold his own, because while he lacks the competence of Jimin’s skating he doesn’t fall too far behind. He doesn’t rely on the wall for support (or Jimin’s hand), which Jungkook thinks is an achievement in itself unless he isn’t new to the hobby.

Regardless of if he’s a new skater or old, Jungkook wants to throw himself off the end of the Earth when he sees them together. Of course, they could just be friends. That’s actually a very probable possibility. He just—can’t help but wonder. If Jimin’s smiling at him the same way he would smile at Jungkook, if there’s something different in the expression that distinguishes the two. Something that says “I’m smiling at this person because I like them” in comparison to “I’m smiling at this person because they’re my friend.” Is there even a difference? Jungkook would ask Seokjin about it but he’s alone on the floor right now with no-one to turn to for guidance. This is the issue with him constantly relying on his hyungs to lead the way for him—sometimes he has to do things alone. Things like solving mysteries for himself and growing up.

Luckily, Jungkook doesn’t have to brave making the first move, as Jimin takes the liberty upon himself to approach first, unfortunately with the new unfamiliar face in tow. Jungkook tries to make himself appear welcoming and sweet but it’s hard when he can’t help but view this guy as a threat. How immature. Ridiculous, he scolds himself, but that doesn’t alter the way he feels.

“Hello again, Jungkook!” Jimin greets, cheery and bright, somehow managing to translate a skip in his step to his skates on the ice. “This is my friend, Yoongi. He’s skated a bit before so I thought I’d bring him along tonight.”

“It’s nice to meet you,” Yoongi greets, bowing respectfully and smiling in a soft sort of way that makes him difficult to dislike. Besides, the use of the word ‘friend’ doesn’t go unnoticed to Jungkook’s ears, but he tries not to let his hopes get too high, remaining wary, just in case.

“Nice to meet you too,” Jungkook responds, reflecting him exactly, finding it difficult to proceed. “What about your other friend? The tall one?” he asks idiotically next, because in all honesty he’s been curious about him since the first night but never knew how to bring it up, and now seems like as good a time as any. He can more or less piece together why he hasn’t returned, if the way he tripped like a new-born animal on the rink is anything to go by, but he still feels the need to ask.

“Who, Taehyung?” Jimin clarifies, raising an eyebrow. “From the first time?” Jungkook blushes and nods. “Aww, you remember, that’s adorable. I don’t think the ice was for him, to be honest. He could hardly move forward a few metres without cutting off the circulation to my fingers.” Jungkook hardly hears the end of what he says, because all his brain is focused on is that’s your opening. ‘Adorable’. This is his moment, his time to say something, anything, Yoongi be damned. He’s going to open his mouth and say—

“Ah—that’s, that’s a shame. I like the ice.”

Jungkook feels like his single last brain cell is dancing in the back of his head to 7th Element by Vitas. He’s chickened out again, of course he has. His blood seethes with a frustration directed entirely at himself, because he promised himself he would. He has to! He has to, especially with Yoongi here, because he feels the overwhelming need to prove himself. He knows he’s shy. He knows he’s terrible with words and making conversation and makes himself look like a fool in front of boys he likes but he wants to overcome that so badly. If he’s not careful, someone more confident than he is is going to swoop right in and scoop Jimin up and he’ll have completely lost his chance.

Jimin giggles. Yoongi looks upon him fondly with a smile and Jungkook tries to prevent his fists from clenching. “I know you do, silly,” he teases, sticking out his tongue in a playful gesture. “No need to reiterate.”

“Sorry!” Jungkook yelps on impulse, but then winces at how rude he sounds. “I’m really sorry, h—can I call you hyung? Is that okay?” he blurts, trying and failing miserably to apologise again, but both Jimin and Yoongi are laughing and now Jungkook doesn’t know what else he can do besides stand there blushing.

“You want to call me hyung? That’s so cute. And you don’t need to apologise, Jungkook-ah, I’m only messing with you,” Jimin reassures, smiling brightly in a way that’s almost blinding. “I’d be very happy for you to call me hyung,” he adds, and Jungkook swears he sees a faint blush highlighting his cheeks, a rarity Jungkook is often not privileged enough to witness. His eyes are caught on the colour, a rose flush against warm skin, and he resist the very strong urge to reach out and stroke it.

“Okay,” Jungkook whispers, but he doesn’t know why. “Thank you, hyung.”

Jimin brings both of his hands up to his mouth, squealing in delight. “You’re so cute, Jungkook-ah!” Jungkook thinks if they had been on a more balanced and stable surface, the older boy would be jumping up and down on the spot. Instead he settles on a half-bounce, enthusiastic all the same, adapted to the circumstances.

There the compliment is again, though, so apparently, destiny is on his side tonight. This is it for real this time, Jungkook thinks, taking in a deep breath that he hopes isn’t too noticeable. He’s not going to chicken out, he can’t. He’s made the commitment. He’s had his trial run, had his time to back away, but fate wants him to respond this evening so he’s going to suck it up and face his fears and say something, please, for the love of god, Jungkook, don’t mess this up.

“Y-you’re, you’re one to uh, talk,” he stutters, no louder than an exhale, so embarrassingly quiet that he squeezes his eyes tightly together and wishes loudly that he’d never spoken at all. Is that seriously the best he can do? This is a disaster. He wants to run away so badly but now that he’s come this far he can’t get his skates to move.

“What was that, Jungkook-ah?” Jimin asks innocently, and Jungkook can’t tell if he wants him to repeat it because he genuinely didn’t hear him the first time or if he’s just teasing him again.

Either way, Jungkook thinks he hasn’t got anything more to lose, so what the hell. “I said, ‘You’re one to talk.’ About being cute,” he elucidates, a little louder this time but still just as shaky, just as nervous. He isn’t able to make eye contact with either of the boys in front of him so he lets his eyes flitter around the rink instead, jittery and unfocused. His hands are folded in front of him like he doesn’t know what to do with them. He can practically feel his face burning off.

“Oh, my god,” comes a voice that isn’t Jimin’s—the exclamation comes from Yoongi, rather. “You really are as cute as Jimin said you were.” He says it like a gasp, something scandalous and awe-inducing. Jungkook looks up, startled, mouth opening and closing around empty air because he doesn’t know how to respond, to see Jimin hitting Yoongi harshly on the back of his head with an open palm.

“Shut the fuck up!” he hisses, grinding his teeth. “You’re going to make him—”

Jungkook knows exactly what Jimin’s going to say, because apparently Jimin is fully aware of Jungkook’s tactic whenever everything becomes too much and his poor heart doesn’t know how to handle it. He’s done it enough times for the pattern to be clear, that Jungkook hasn’t got a clue how to behave like a normal person under pressure, and he feels absolutely awful as he squeaks out “Someone needs help it was really great meeting you see you next week hyung bye!” and dashes away like there’s a wolf on his tail.

He’d tried so hard, so hard to deal with his racing heartbeat and the abundance in usage of the word ‘cute’. There’s just only so much he can take in one go and he needs to recollect himself before he bursts, and while he knows it’s pathetic of him to have run away like that yet again he can’t help but feel a little bit proud of himself. He’d done it! Perhaps it wasn’t as eloquent as he would have liked, but he’d done it all the same, and while he knows it’s less than baby steps it’s better than nothing, even if he did come out sounding like a startled echidna. Was it enough, though? Jungkook hopes it was enough. It wasn’t exactly a direct compliment but it carried the implication of one, so surely Jimin’s gotten the message. Jungkook crosses his fingers and wishes upon the stars above the centre that by some miracle, Jimin understands him.

As the night wears on, Jungkook catches Jimin staring at him more than once, and he wonders if maybe he should skate over again and say hello. He’s calmed back down again after thirty minutes of recovery, briefly gushing to Hoseok about his achievement as he joins him on the floor. He’s scared, though, because he doesn’t know what to say, as Jimin is still with Yoongi and Jungkook is notoriously bad at communicating with strangers, as evident in his excessive floundering around Jimin for the past several weeks. While a lot of that floundering has to do with the fact that he thinks Jimin is his definition of a perfect human being, the point still stands.

Sadly, Jungkook doesn’t work up the courage to approach the pair again, but Jimin smiles at him as he goes. It’s not quite the same as a goodbye, but Jungkook’s heart still fills with warmth regardless, picturing sparkling eyes and rosy cheeks even long after he has gone.

Jungkook is disappointed, mostly in himself, that he didn’t get to talk to Jimin for at least a little longer. There’s always next week, though, a new addition to his routine that he has come to rely on and look forward to—his short but memorable conversations with Jimin that he thinks about on loop until they stumble upon the opportunity to speak again. It may have only been a few weeks, but Jungkook is no stranger to this feeling in his chest. Despite his shyness, he welcomes it warmly, with open arms and an open heart, because, hey—life is short.

Life is short, Jimin is a part of his, and while Jungkook spends most of their time together tripping on air, he wants to chase this feeling until he flies.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jimin is attempting to skate backwards.

This is the first thing Jungkook notices, the clumsy sway to Jimin’s hips as he bites on his tongue and glances over his shoulder, arms spread out and waving unpredictably. Jungkook watches him with gratification as the boy slowly creeps his way around a quarter of the rink, unskilled and inexperienced, until his legs finally give out from underneath him and he trips to the floor with a high-pitched squeal, a sound so preciously enrapturing Jungkook can’t help his soft smile or the catching of his breath around a wavering inhale. He finds himself back in a similar position to one he held many weeks prior, standing above Jimin with an outstretched hand and a mocking raised eyebrow.

“Pursuing tricks above your skill level a bit too soon, are we?” he jokes, ignoring his fluttering heart as Jimin graciously takes his hand with a wince and pulls himself up off of the ice. “Are you okay?”

“Why is it that you’re always so much more relaxed when you fall into your job description?” Jimin grumbles, a tiny pout on his lips as he fixes his hair to the best of his ability without any mirrors to guide him. “I’m fine, though. I was going too slow to do any real damage.”

“What does that mean?” Jungkook asks hesitantly, suddenly retreating back into his shell of shyness he uses to protect himself from messing up.

Jimin’s eyes widen, finger shooting up to point at Jungkook accusatorily as he hops a little bit on the spot. “That’s what I mean! You’re so comfortable behind the face of an employee, but as soon as anything falls outside of that you get all shy and flustered and run away.”

“Oh,” Jungkook mutters, feeling self-conscious. “I’m sorry.”

“No! Oh my god, don’t apologise,” Jimin babbles, reaching forward to grab both of Jungkook’s hands in his in what Jungkook assumes is meant to be a reassuring gesture. “I just mean it’s weird to see such different sides of you.”

Jungkook lets his hands be held but can’t seem to look away from his feet. “Do you like my employee side better?” he murmurs insecurely, because that would be understandable. Employee Jungkook is enthusiastic and excited and always happy to help, regardless of the way he really feels. Then there’s Jungkook with his friends, like Namjoon or Seokjin or Hoseok, who is a real brat because he’s comfortable being himself around them, similar to employee Jungkook but infinitely more honest. Now, Jungkook with Jimin—Jungkook can see how he may not necessarily be considered desirable when he can hardly spit out two recognizable words in a row.

Despite his fears, Jimin squeezes Jungkook’s hands more securely in warm consolation. “Absolutely not. Don’t think that. It’s just interesting, is all. I promise.” The sincerity in his words encourages Jungkook to lift his head and meet his eyes, but he can only handle the intensity of the moment for a few seconds before he drops again, instead letting his gaze fall upon the space between them where their hands are still joined. Jungkook takes a sudden interest in Jimin’s fingers, noticing a key feature about them he hadn’t picked up on before.

“Your hands are so small,” he gasps without thinking, knowing it’s a subject change if he ever saw one, but he can hardly dwell upon their previous conversation at all now that he’s become aware of this crucial detail. “So tiny, what the fuck. My hands swallow yours.” Jungkook thinks the shock of the revelation is the only thing fuelling his speech because he cannot think of any other possible reason why he suddenly has the nerve to say these sorts of things. He knows in seconds the adrenaline of the moment is going to wear off and he’ll be back behind his safety net, but for now he can do nothing but play with Jimin’s hands in awe and coo at the size.

“Shut up!” Jimin whines, moving to pull away but Jungkook stops him, firm fingers on his wrists keeping him in place. “I can’t help the size of my hands!”

“No, no, they’re just so cute,” Jungkook blabbers, face heating up, but one fleeting look up at Jimin affirms that his cheeks are much the same, the colour of taffy on his tongue. “This is adorable.” Jimin’s nails are perfectly manicured, tiny silver rings curled around his tiny chubby fingers, and Jungkook just wants to wrap him right up and hold him forever.

After a brief beat of prolonged silence, Jungkook braves peeking up at Jimin again to investigate the cause of the delayed response, to find that Jimin is looking at him curiously now, tongue wetting his lips as he revels in the heat of Jungkook’s skin against his own. “I swear, you are so full of surprises. You amaze me more and more with every passing week.” Reverence bleeds into his words and Jungkook stumbles around the profound veracity of his revelation, the way he speaks like Jungkook is an enigma he’s not afraid to admit he wants to solve. It’s dizzying and addictive, but Jungkook doesn’t know what to do with it, so he replies to the abrupt exhibition of vulnerability in the only way he knows how—with calculated avoidance.

“Oh. Um. Do you want me to help you with the skating backwards thing?”

Jimin laughs in understanding, accepting Jungkook’s hidden plea for change, because he figures pushing Jungkook will never get him anywhere when it only ever results in Jungkook seeking escape. He’s happy to move on if it means Jungkook will remain by his side for a while longer. “That would be great. You make it look so easy,” he sighs, mellifluous and pleasant like a soft pillowcase tossed upon familiar bedsheets. Jungkook practically melts at the sound of his warm voice, itching to find a way to shake it off before he turns into a hot puddle on the ice beneath him.

As if to reaffirm Jimin’s observation (and to maybe gain some time to recollect himself), Jungkook takes it upon himself to circle around a stationary Jimin a few times before spinning out backwards to loop rapidly around the rink in an act of showing off, narrowly avoiding the other skaters in a deliberate proximity with a talent that suggests hours of intense practise. By the time he’s arrived back by Jimin’s side the older boy is shaking his head in enamoured amazement, tutting at the younger’s cocky antics. “Wow, maybe I don’t want your help anymore if you’re going to behave like that.”

Jungkook immediately regrets being alive, face falling as he stutters out indecipherable apologies, to which Jimin laughs with loud enthusiasm. “You are too cute. One scolding statement from me has you so eager to please.” Jungkook’s mouth falls open and shuts again, like a stupid gaping clown at a loss for words. “But it’s okay, Jungkook-ah. I’ll be nice today and let you teach me how to skate backwards, alright?”

To say that Jungkook literally has no idea what to do in this situation would be a monumental understatement. His brain is operating at a negative capacity as all higher functioning switches off and all he’s left with is a loud ringing in his ears. He doesn’t know what he’s meant to do. He’s never been faced with a devilish creature like Jimin before. Luckily, Jimin takes it upon himself to spin around and grab Jungkook’s hand for support to begin skating, which kicks Jungkook right back into employee-mode as he stammers out tips and instructions to ease Jimin’s way. They make a great deal of progress even in the limited timeframe they have, as Hoseok sidles over after half an hour to remind Jungkook his job isn’t to be a personal coach, so Jungkook is forced to let go and leave Jimin to his own devices for the rest of the night.

Even though Jungkook is no longer by his side, he watches Jimin carefully for a majority of the evening, keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself and continues following Jungkook’s advice. When the announcement is being made for everyone to exit the rink Jungkook finds himself disappointed, wishing Jimin had even just fifteen minutes more to work on his new skill.

“Do you only come on Tuesday nights?” Jungkook asks as he’s leaving, Jimin on one side of the wall and Jungkook leaning on the other.

Jimin shrugs. “Yeah. It’s heaps less expensive on Tuesdays. I’ve been considering coming another day anyway because I really love skating but I just don’t know if it’s worth it for the price.” Jungkook understands this immensely, as he too has struggled with entry costs in the past. Ice skating isn’t cheap—anyone who works at the rink or has been there before can tell you that much.

However, there is a potential solution. “Have you considered our membership options?” Jungkook asks, cringing at the tone of his own voice and the way it screams I work here and have memorized how to say this.

Jimin blinks shyly, shaking his head. Shy is an interesting look on Jimin, Jungkook thinks. It’s incredibly cute, but Jungkook finds that even though Jimin can embarrass him to no end, he prefers his confident side better. “I hadn’t really thought about that, actually. Can you—can you tell me more about it?”

Jungkook is ecstatic to be able to spend a few extra precious moments with Jimin before the night ends, so he enthusiastically leads him to the front desk to discuss his choices, going through the list of membership cards and what each of them entail. Jimin seems interested, hanging off of Jungkook’s every word, which is a nice change for once but brings out a lot of Jungkook’s self-consciousness, with the way Jimin is looking at him intensely and nodding at all the right points.

“I think this one would probably be best,” Jungkook suggests, pointing to one of the cheaper selections. “You get unlimited entry during the week and the only downfall is you can’t come in on weekends. Plus, it comes with a five percent discount at the shop, which is always nice.”

Jimin glances down to where Jungkook’s finger is touching the brochure and nods. “It’s probably time for me to buy my own skates anyway,” he agrees, before his expression transforms into a subtle smirk as he rests his chin on his open palm against the desk where his elbow is placed. “What other days do you work, Jungkook-ah?”

Jungkook isn’t expecting that, almost completely forgetting he works any other days at all when Jimin isn’t present. “Um, Thursday and Friday nights. I do Saturday mornings and afternoons as well.” He wonders where Jimin is going with this, but a small part of him can already begin to guess.

Jimin beams. “I’ll take that membership option, then. Thursdays and Fridays work great for me.”

Jungkook blinks, and that’s that. Jimin has somehow found a way to weave himself further into Jungkook’s life within a matter of minutes and Jungkook can’t think of a single reason to complain, besides the fact that Jimin makes his shifts difficult in a way he can’t describe; how he becomes so easily distracted by the arch of Jimin’s spine or the cut of his jaw. He struggles to take his eyes off him even when he has to, but surprisingly, he finds he’s beginning to become more accepting of that.

Because, well, it’s Jimin.

Jungkook figures he’s worth it.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

“You don’t want to jump too high, hyung. It’s called a bunny hop for a reason. You’ll fall over and hurt yourself.”

“I’ve been doing this for ten minutes, Jungkook-ah! Why can’t I jump any higher?” Jimin whines, lips settling into a pout as he crosses his arms over his chest. Jungkook sighs, rolling his eyes and shaking his head in disapproval.

Jimin has been frequenting the rink three times a week for a couple of weeks now and Seokjin has allowed Jungkook fifteen minutes of one-on-one time with Jimin each night, which Jungkook thinks is very generous. As Hoseok had said the first time, Jungkook’s job isn’t to be a private coach—he’s not even qualified for that, anyway. Seokjin is lenient and kind, however, so he lets Jungkook have some leeway while he pretends not to notice and adds an extra employee on the floor for the fifteen minutes Jungkook has to himself (and Jimin). Jungkook has tried to thank him, but Seokjin insists he has no idea what Jungkook’s talking about, so Jungkook smiles and plays along and now he’s standing here trying to teach Jimin how to bunny hop.

“You’ve only just learned how to skate backwards without falling over. You insisted you didn’t want to do crossovers tonight because they ‘looked boring’. You’re hardly ready for jumps at all. So yes, you’re not allowed to jump any higher,” Jungkook asserts, exasperated and repeated for what feels like the fiftieth time. Jimin is still pouting, which usually results in Jungkook crumbling immediately, but he draws a line when it comes to delicate things like this. Figure skating has the potential to be really dangerous when it’s rushed and Jungkook doesn’t want Jimin to hurt himself.

“You’re no fun,” Jimin complains, attempting to hop again, this time with a little less force so he lands more stably on the wet surface. He appears shocked that it’s worked better than the previous attempts for a moment, before a pink flush finds its way to his face when he realises the cause.

“See?” Jungkook points out. “It’s a lot easier to handle when you start small. People spend hundreds of hours perfecting this sort of thing, you know.”

“Yeah and I only get fifteen minutes with you a night. Maybe that’s the problem.” Jungkook gasps at the hidden accusation in Jimin’s tone—the way he sounds almost smug, a heavy implication behind his words.

“Are you for real?” Jungkook gasps as Jimin bursts into tiny adorable giggles. “Do you know how much people pay for private coaching? I’m basically giving it to you for free!”

“Are you even a coach, though?” Jimin retorts, biting his lip. Jungkook feels himself retreating into panicked territory as his eyes follow the sinful shift of Jimin’s teeth but he forces himself to hold out for a little longer before he cracks.

“I’m coaching you, aren’t I?” he asks, proud of the way his voice doesn’t shake. “If you don’t want me anymore then I guess I can leave you alone…” he threatens, all fake confidence muddled in amongst fake bravery. It does the job, though, because something in Jimin’s eyes darkens that has Jungkook’s lips parting and palms beginning to sweat.

“You wouldn’t.” It’s a short sentiment, but it is one that puts Jungkook back in his place, lowering his eyes and biting his tongue. God, how does Jimin do that? He’s a short unpredictable ball of pure adorable energy but he still manages to make Jungkook feel so small sometimes. He doesn’t understand it.

He also doesn’t understand why he likes it so much.

“Jungkook-ah.” Jungkook is startled out of his shame to see Seokjin floating towards him, which sends him into a brief panic as he worries he’s overspent his time with Jimin, but a quick glance down at his phone indicates he still has a minute left if he wants it. He hums in acknowledgement, hoping his cheeks aren’t spray painted too obviously in a shade of pink, wondering what Seokjin could possibly have to say. He never interrupts Jungkook when he’s with Jimin, because that would be accepting that it’s happening, a fact he seems determined to blissfully pretend to ignore. “I have some extra paperwork to do here tonight if you wanna stay an extra twenty minutes to practise? I’ll be out the back, so I’m trusting you out on the rink alone, if that’s alright with you.”

Jungkook hears the hidden meaning behind his words. I’ll be out the back, so if someone who isn’t an employee happens to linger, I’ll be none the wiser. He beams. “That would be great! Thank you so much, hyung. I’ll have to show you the double toe loop I’ve been working on sometime soon.”

“Ah, Jungkookie,” Seokjin scolds, tutting and shaking his head. “You haven’t gotten the double Salchow perfected yet! Stop being so impatient.”

“I got bored of the double Salchow, though,” Jungkook pouts, sticking out his tongue. “I wanted to try something different.”

Seokjin sighs deeply and turns to skate away, still shaking his head. “I cannot believe you. You’re going to break something and I am not driving you to the hospital.”

“Yes, you will!”

“I most definitely will, now shut the fuck up and get back to work, brat,” he mutters, leaving the two boys alone once again, Jungkook still smiling brightly on the high of teasing Seokjin and Jimin pondering, silent and curious. Jungkook turns to him, eyes sparkling, expression faltering somewhat as he takes in the look on Jimin’s face, the depth of it causing him to shiver.

“So different,” Jimin murmurs, which Jungkook chooses to ignore. “Why is it that he’s scolding you for the exact same thing you’re scolding me for? You’re a hypocrite,” he adds, raising his voice to be heard better above the sound of the rink. Outdated hits from three summers ago are playing over the speakers, gravely and hard-to-make-out lyrics displayed proudly upon a big screen overhanging the ice. It makes a sad backing track to their conversation—Jungkook makes a mental note to pester Seokjin about finally changing their playlist so he isn’t forced to listen to the same overplayed beats every shift that are gradually sending him into insanity.

“Do as I say, not as I do,” Jungkook shrugs, biting his own lip this time, head still wrapped up in the ‘Jungkook with Seokjin’ version of himself that hasn’t quite had the chance to transform back into ‘Jungkook with Jimin’.

“My, my,” Jimin tuts, courageously slipping a little closer to lessen the space between them. “You are very bizarre this evening, aren’t you? I think I want to learn some more about this double toe loop you speak of.”

Jungkook chokes. “Okay,” he squeaks, caving in on himself. “You should, um. Stay back after. Maybe. If you want.”

Jimin laughs. “There he is. My Jungkook-ah, right?”

“Time’s up!” Jungkook yelps, far more loudly than he needs to. “Keep practising, don’t jump too high, catch up with me later!” Classic Jungkook move. Jungkook’s quite honestly surprised he lasted so long to begin with.

It feels like hours before Jungkook has Jimin alone with him and the ice, but eventually the floor is clearing and Jimin is hanging behind by the entrance to the rink, standing awkwardly by himself as people stare at him failing to make his retreat like the rest of them. The music stops and the screen shuts down, until only the pair of them are left, Jungkook standing confidently in the middle of the ice and Jimin hesitating on the peripheral, out of place but intrigued, drawn to the sudden quiet of the centre. Jungkook smiles.

“I’m just gonna practise some jumps for a bit if that’s okay?” he asks, softer than he would usually, but it’s intimidating without any background noise. There’s only the sound of his blades against the ice, their hushed breaths undetectable to one another but audible to their own ears, the occasional car horn or siren filtering in from the outside. It reminds them that there’s a world out there, that life is moving on differently for other people walking on flat soles and flat feet unbeknownst to the biting manufactured cold nipping at the bare skin of the two boys on the inside.

Jimin nods like voicing his affirmation will somehow shatter the ice beneath Jungkook’s feet, but Jungkook takes it in stride and begins anyway. He lets his eyes fall closed for a brief moment as he gains momentum, finding solace in the silence and the slicing of his edges against the ice, throwing out his arms and twisting into a spin that is as spontaneous as it is sloppy but Jungkook just wants to follow his instincts, wants his feet and body to carry him where they may outside of his boundary of control. He ignores Jimin hovering by the edge of the rink, knowing that paying him any amount of attention will result in him collapsing out of rhythm, so he clears his mind and trusts his instincts and flies up off the backwards outside edge of his right skate with the assistance of his left toe pick, spinning into action, but unfortunately, he under-rotates and lands too early, touching down onto the ice and tripping over his feet. He recovers, palms numb and sore, and it’s only after a few long seconds when the ringing in his ears has stopped that he hears Jimin calling out to him, hurriedly making his way over, emanating concern.

“Jungkook-ah, are you alright?” he asks worriedly, taking both of Jungkook’s hands in his to inspect the invisible damage. Jungkook tries not to let his eyes linger on the size difference between their palms.

“I’m fine, it’s not that bad, don’t worry, hyung,” Jungkook waves off, but Jimin is persistent, carefully trailing his fingers across the sore spots as if to make absolutely sure Jungkook is telling the truth. Jungkook huffs and rolls his eyes in false bravado, because in all honesty the fact that Jimin seems to care so much is giving him heart palpitations. Jimin’s fingers are so soft and up this close, with the way his head is titled downwards, Jimin’s hair smells like lavender. Now that the distance between them has been cut down to almost nothing, Jungkook can also hear Jimin’s steady breaths let out between wet lips, and all of this sensation combined is sending Jungkook’s brain into overdrive.

Jimin finally finishes his unnecessary scrutinizing of the non-existent injury, but he doesn’t let go straight away, rubbing a thumb absently across the top of one of Jungkook’s hands. “What happened there? With the jump, I mean,” he asks, blinking curiously up at Jungkook with that goddamn tilted head of his that drives Jungkook wild. Jungkook breathes in deeply through his nose, struggling profusely to keep his cool.

“I didn’t jump high enough and under-rotated,” he explains, looking down at his feet to escape the heat of Jimin’s gaze, “so I kept spinning even though I didn’t have enough time to make the landing.”

Jimin hums in acknowledgement. “And how long had you been skating before you started learning figure skating jumps?”

Jungkook thinks about this for a moment. “Three years, maybe? I was sixteen when I started—I bought the cheapest membership after a few months and was here at least four times a week. I learnt almost everything by myself up until that point—crossovers, backwards skating, basic spins—through YouTube videos and web forums. It was so hard but I couldn’t afford a coach. Eventually Seokjin-hyung started helping me out for a few minutes each time I visited and I started to learn the easier jumps like single toe loops and flips. So yeah, three years,” Jungkook concludes, face heating up once he realises how long he’s spoken for. “That’s when I started learning the first jump.”

Jimin is giving him that curious sort of look again that makes him nervous. “That’s the most you’ve ever said to me all at once,” he points out, corner of his lip quirking up. Jungkook splutters a little bit, unsure of quite how to respond, hands suddenly uncomfortable resting in Jimin’s palms. Somehow Jimin seems to get the message, because he gently drops Jungkook’s hands from his and shuffles away, eyes disappearing slightly as he smiles like the sun and wobbles a bit on his skates. “You should focus on that Salchow jump, Jungkook-ah! Didn’t Seokjin-ssi tell you to work on that rather than try a new one?”

Jungkook lets out a shaky breath of relief and smiles to disguise his quivering lips, sincerely hoping Jimin hasn’t picked up on too much of his anxiety. He appreciates Jimin’s change of topic regardless of how much he’s truly discovered about Jungkook’s feelings and hopes that he can breathe a little easier now that there’s distance between them again. “Don’t make suggestions about things you know nothing about, hyung,” Jungkook says, attempting a threatening confidence, but he’s fairly sure his voice breaks in the middle of the sentence which spoils the whole thing.

“I think you should seriously consider following suggestions from your hyungs before you actually hurt yourself, Jungkook,” Jimin quips back, tone challenging Jungkook’s own. Jungkook immediately surrenders because how could he not, when Jimin is looking at him like that and radiating a boldness Jungkook fails to possess himself. A shiver runs down his spine as he tentatively glances up at Jimin through his eyelashes and nods.

“…I’ll work on the double Salchow,” he submits, and Jimin’s answering beaming smile is blinding.

“Good boy! I can’t wait to see it~” Jungkook thinks he blacks out for a moment, blood rushing out of his brain and knocking the wind out of him. Jimin sounds so innocent but his words have a connotation that sounds anything but that and Jungkook doesn’t know what to make of it. There’s a huge possibility that Jimin means nothing by it at all, but Jungkook can’t deny there’s something about their dynamic that suggests quite the contrary, something in Jimin’s eyes sometimes that removes the word innocent from his vocabulary.

Jungkook knows he doesn’t have to do what Jimin says. He knows he doesn’t have to collapse and cave in at the very first warning in response to his disobedience, because he doesn’t need to be obedient towards anyone. He doesn’t know what type of game they’re playing. He’s never played a game like this before.

If there’s one thing Jungkook does know, however, it’s that he doesn’t ever want it to end.

Jungkook takes off around the ice and leaves his uncertain feelings behind in amongst frosted cheeks and a pretty smile. He lets the swan within him bloom again as he does the wind up into the double Salchow, a dance that feels more familiar than the unpractised one he had performed before. He leaps in exactly the way he needs to, a perfect departure that sets up a perfect landing, and Jungkook gasps in surprise when he maintains his pace, free leg beautifully placed and body stable despite the force of the jump.

Jimin bursts into applause and cheers almost instantly. “Jungkook-ah, that was amazing!” Jungkook is breathing heavily but manages to turn with a smile and give Jimin a thumbs up. “Can you do it again?”

“I can try,” he says, even though his success feels like a complete fluke, because if Jimin wants to see him jump again he’s going to damn well make the effort. He goes through the motions, more determined than ever, and after a minute or so of physically and mentally preparing himself he attempts it again, fingers crossed and heart and soul completely thrown into it. He manages to land it again but not as well, a little bit careless and a little bit awkward, but Jimin claps again all the same, because for someone who can hardly get both feet off the ground at the same time, managing two rotations in the air and not falling over is an achievement in itself.

“Wow~” Jimin exhales, whistling low and long. “You should teach me to do that, Jungkook-ah!”

Jungkook scoffs, rolling his eyes as he makes his way back over to the blond boy in the middle of the rink. “Shouldn’t you learn how to do bunny hops and crossovers first?”

Jimin pouts, eyes sparkling and a tad mischievous, a look Jungkook has quickly come to recognise never truly leaves his irises. “Okay, teach me those, then,” he demands, somewhat impatiently, but Jungkook is beginning to realise that he’s far too whipped for him to honestly even be a little mad about it.

Is this where Jungkook has finally arrived? Complete acceptance? There’s something about having Jimin here, alone with him and giggling on the ice that makes everything clearer. Like he’s been covered in a fog that can only be cleared by Jimin’s laugh. It’s comfortable and saccharine and easy and Jungkook sweeps himself up in it in a way he’s never done before. Because although he may be shy and terrible with his words and always runs away, Jimin is still standing here before him with a smile on his face and Jungkook’s heart held right there in his hands.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to do, hyung,” is what he ends up saying, coming out like an annoyed whine, but Jimin only smiles and ushers Jungkook forward and attempts to jump up off the ice using both feet again.

While Jungkook may not be getting paid for this, perhaps Jimin’s smile when Jungkook takes his hand to help is payment enough.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Being regularly left alone with Jungkook, much to Jungkook’s surprise and slight horror, has somehow made Jimin just that little bit more daring, a reality Jungkook has always thought he’d never have to face. He’s always known Jimin could do more, could stand a little closer to him or spend a little while longer staring at his lips. He’s always broken the moment a split second before it becomes something tangible and Jungkook has always been left standing there wondering if this feeling in his veins is relief or something like disappointment.

Now, though, Jimin has been fuelled by Jungkook’s regular invitation for him to remain at the rink after hours to practise together, as if before he had been brooding in some deep fear that perhaps, even after everything, Jungkook truly just doesn’t know how to say no. That he’s been playing along this whole time because he’s an employee that doesn’t want to draw any attention. That Jimin is just another flirtatious customer Jungkook goes home and complains about.

But Jimin gets closer. Jimin isn’t afraid to hold Jungkook’s hand for longer than he needs to. Jimin compliments Jungkook more frequently than ever.

Jungkook’s been having some trouble breathing these days.

Late one night working on crossovers, Jimin tells Jungkook he has nice thighs. “They’re really big, Jungkook-ah,” he says, taking the liberty to reach out and knead at the thickness of one of them. “You must be very strong.”

“I-I am, I think,” Jungkook manages, breathy and caught off guard, because this is usually the point where Jimin pulls away. When he’s had his half a second to make Jungkook blush before he laughs and delicately draws his fingers back. Except now there’s no audience to witness their discussion so Jimin’s hand lingers, brushes up on the inner seam of Jungkook’s thigh, causes him to hitch in a barely-there breath. Jungkook knows Jimin would pull away the second he asked him to. He’s looking at him now, dark but cautious, waiting for the signal that says he’s gone too far. It must be difficult for him—Jungkook knows he must look uncomfortable, but it’s not like that. Jimin’s gotten better at reading Jungkook’s signs. Jungkook wants Jimin’s hand to trail a little higher but instead it’s painstakingly pulled away.

“Could you carry me?” he asks offhandedly, as though he didn’t just have a solid feel of Jungkook’s inner thigh. Jungkook’s head is spinning.

“Oh, um, p-probably,” he says, not really thinking. Jimin is small enough. He’s sure he could manage.

“Maybe you should carry me sometime. Just to see,” Jimin continues, not quite looking at Jungkook, voice playing on casual but Jungkook briefly speculates that he sounds kind of nervous. Maybe if Jungkook was less focused on trying to stop his dick from getting hard he would see that for the suggestion it really is. Instead, he’s preoccupied with getting his mouth to work, so he misses his chance.

“Uh-huh,” he says intelligently, “great idea. Did you want to try some more crossovers?”

Jungkook thinks about that interaction for days. He thinks about what would’ve happened if he had just put his hand over the top of Jimin’s and dragged it over his crotch; if he was the confident one for once, putting Jimin in his place. He wonders if Jimin would have scolded him for it, said something about him being naughty, or if instead he would have only smirked and rubbed the heel of his palm down over the bulge in Jungkook’s pants. Jungkook shivers when he imagines it, how Jimin’s hands would feel on him in all the places he wants him most. He feels too guilty to touch himself even after the fantasies have done their run through his head, because he knows he’d never be able to look Jimin in the eyes again once he’d had his name on his lips when he came. Instead he’s been living on cold showers and wet dreams and a hope that someday soon he conjures up the courage to do something about getting the things he wants when they’re right there in front of him willing to be taken.

It’s not just late at night, though. Jimin takes it upon himself to be more dangerously suggestive in the middle Jungkook’s shifts as well, which is terribly inconvenient, but at the same time Jungkook doesn’t want him to stop. Just because they have time alone now apparently doesn’t mean Jimin stops talking to him as much during Jungkook’s actual working hours—he still chats to Jungkook whenever he gets the chance, which extends to flirting, too. A lot of the time Jungkook gets embarrassed, because this is his job and people are everywhere and he’s pretty sure Hoseok has taken one too many photos of Jimin’s hands on his zoomed in from the skate rental desk but it’s never enough for Jungkook to ask Jimin to let him go. Jungkook laps all of his affection up like he’s thirsty for it, even if this doesn’t translate well into the way he reacts, which is most of the time some variation of an excuse that he has to go away and fulfil a variety of working responsibilities he’s forgotten about right up until the second Jimin has a hand on his shoulder sliding precariously closer to where his collarbones lay under his shirt.

It’s gradual, the way that Jimin wears Jungkook down. He climbs up right inside of his space until Jungkook panics but Jimin knows exactly when to back off, knows exactly what buttons to press just right so that Jungkook is liquid putty in his hands. Whether he’s bending over to stretch out his back or telling Jungkook he’d look good with green-coloured contacts Jungkook always ends up looking like someone’s ruined him without even touching his bare skin.

Jimin does touch his bare skin, though. It begins with his hands, then his wrists, and slowly extends up to his neck. He’ll rest his hand on the space where Jungkook’s throat meets his collarbone when they’re standing next to one another and Jimin has formulated some wild reason he has to lean on Jungkook for support. Jungkook feels heat and tingles and all those other amazing fuzzy feelings left behind on every inch of skin Jimin touches. It’s suffocating sometimes, but Jungkook would gladly give up the air if it meant Jimin would stand a little closer to him.

Jimin’s confidence increases to a god-tier point on a Thursday evening at eight pm a couple weeks into their new late night arrangement. Something about Jimin tonight screams impatience, because he seems so on edge, jittery, unable to focus. He won’t stop moving, eyes darting around the rink, hands shoved into pockets then pulled out of them again.

“Are you alright?” Jungkook asks finally, because he doesn’t know how much longer he can go on wondering like this.

Jimin freezes, seemingly startled by the question. “What? Yeah, no, I’m fine, I’ve just”—he lets out a breath of frustration, blowing his hair up off his forehead for a second before it floats back down—“been thinking. A bit.

“About what?” Jungkook can’t help but ask. He bites his tongue but doesn’t take it back.

“Admittedly?” Jimin says, raising an eyebrow. “You.”

Jungkook is at a loss for words. “Oh,” he settles on eventually, which isn’t the best choice but he figures it’ll do for now. “Why do I have you jumping around like this all of a sudden?” Jungkook suddenly realises that’s actually one of the absolute worst things he could say but unfortunately, he’s said it now and the question is out in the open for Jimin to do with it what he will.

Jimin looks at him like he’s crazy. “Are you kidding me, Jungkook-ah?” he scoffs, shaking his head. “It’s been months, I’m—my god. Just, you.” To say the least, Jungkook is pretty lost.

“Just…me?” he says quietly, unsure of himself and bewildered as to what Jimin means by all of this. Jimin sighs deeply, sliding forward on his skates to take one of his hands.

“Sometimes, I wonder if I…” he begins, running his fingertips over the soft skin on Jungkook’s inner wrist. “…I wonder.” The sentence sounds unfinished but Jimin closes his mouth. Jungkook is acutely aware of the way he’s still touching him. His heart is hammering in his chest and he wants to slow it down but it feels like he can hardly breathe.

Jimin is used to Jungkook’s alarmed silence and takes it as an opportunity to move closer and speak again. “Do you know how beautiful you are, Jungkook-ah?” He says it sincerely, full of promise, different to the light-hearted joking banter of their usual exchanges when it comes to sentiments like this. Jungkook tries to think about the fact that they’re literally surrounded by what must be at least a hundred people but he can’t even see that far or hear anything besides his own heartbeat—his vision has zeroed in on Jimin’s face and everything else around it is a faded, whited out blur.

Jungkook opens his mouth to speak but the only sound that comes out is a gasp and suddenly, Jungkook is terrified. Jimin has never gone this far before. While it’s not unwanted, Jungkook isn’t used to it, and he feels like he’s about to explode but luckily, Jimin can always read his mind. He lowers his voice, purposefully soft and steady as he whispers, “Do you need to go, now?” like he’s living right up there inside Jungkook’s head.

Jungkook feels bad as he hurriedly nods, wishing he could speak, wishing he could say something, anything to Jimin to reassure him. He looks almost defeated at the way Jungkook is trembling, probably trembling like he doesn’t want to be touched, and that nearly destroys Jungkook inside. He wishes he were more normal, more used to this sort of thing, because Jimin deserves someone who can easily return his affections with the same enthusiasm Jimin exhibits himself.

“Can I just…” he trails off, bringing his thumb up to Jungkook’s lips. “Can I try something first?” Jungkook doesn’t know where Jimin is going with this but he nods, because above everything else, he trusts him. “Open, then,” he commands, muted but sure, and it takes Jungkook a moment to realise that Jimin wants him to open his fucking mouth.

He does, and Jimin’s thumb comes to lay down on Jungkook’s bottom lip, not intrusively, but in a way that’s very hard to ignore. Jungkook doesn’t know what the point of Jimin doing this is until a choked-up sound comes out of his throat and his tongue is sticking out a little bit to lick at the finger by his teeth. It’s weird but it feels instinctive. Suddenly, Jungkook wants nothing more than to kiss him. He feels Jimin’s thumb on his mouth and wishes it was Jimin’s lips instead, the tender, beautiful things that they are, pink and pretty and perfectly ready to taste Jungkook’s tongue. After that thought crosses his mind, he immediately thinks about what it would be like to have another part of Jimin pushing at his own lips instead. God, this is heading into deadly territory. Jimin is right here in front of him and Jungkook feels something in his pants twitch because he suddenly can’t stop thinking about falling to his knees and sucking hard on Jimin’s cock. He wonders if it would be heavy and heady and warm on his tongue, if Jimin would even let him have it—if he’d just hold the back of Jungkook’s head and make him sit there on the ice with his mouth hanging open and Jimin’s cock sitting on his lips waiting to be told it’s okay to take what he wants. Oh, fuck, that would be hot, Jungkook thinks, and Jungkook wants it. Jungkook wishes he could ask for it. Jungkook wonders if Jimin would make him beg.

Just as Jungkook is about to pull Jimin’s entire thumb into his mouth to suck on it in case Jimin somehow hasn’t gotten the message, Jimin pulls his thumb away completely. “Good boy,” he says, and a shiver runs down Jungkook’s spine. Jimin clears his throat. “That’s good. I just wanted to check.”

“Check what?” Jungkook whispers, because he can’t for the life of him figure out what that experiment has just achieved besides showcasing the fact that Jimin can have Jungkook feeling like he’s absolutely ravaged with barely even a single touch.

Oh.

Maybe that is the point.

“I think Seokjin-ssi is calling you,” Jimin deflects, moving completely out of Jungkook’s space to allow him to breathe. Seokjin isn’t calling him. Jungkook knows Seokjin isn’t calling him. “You should go check what he wants.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook says anyway, dazed and confused and wanting, “yeah, I’ll go do that.”

Jimin smiles. Jungkook wishes he was brave enough to step forward and kiss that smile right off of his mouth.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jungkook wonders what he must’ve done right in one of his past lives to be deserving of someone like Seokjin. He’s allowing Jungkook to have the rink to himself after the end of almost every shift now, and he’s even finally started to accept Jimin’s presence and give both boys occasional advice and coaching where they need it when he has the time. Jungkook feels like his entire life revolves around the rink—he’s passing all his classes well enough, but regardless of this fact, whenever he’s not working he’s thinking about being at work again. Mainly, he’s thinking about Jimin.

He knows there’s something weighted developing even deeper between the pair of them. Jimin has become even more indiscreet since the thumb-on-his-lip incident, casually slipping his hand around Jungkook’s waist every once in a while, or murmuring something suggestive into his ear about the arch of Jungkook’s lower back down over his thighs. Jungkook reciprocates his affections as best he can, because lord knows they’re welcome advances, but Jungkook is sometimes a frightened hedgehog at best and he’s trying, okay? Even if all he can accomplish is the occasional “Ah—I really—I want—your laugh is n-nice, hyung,” or “Your hair looks r-really. Um. Pretty. Like this,” it’s apparently enough for Jimin to continue showering him in buckets of compliments and disguised risqué comments about his body that leave his cheeks red and dick half-hard 

Jungkook feels the sexual tension like a living, prospering thing dancing in the space between them. Jimin has mentioned his love of dance before—it’s a lifelong passion of his that he claims he could never live without. “I started ice skating as a way to extend my art, you know?” he’d said, late one night out the front of the centre when neither of them had wanted to go home quite yet. “I already knew how to roller blade and I’d seen some figure skating clips on YouTube that just blew my mind. I thought—if I can do something similar in my dance studio, why not try taking it to the ice? I wanted to challenge myself. I think it’s safe to say it’s definitely been worth it.” Jungkook wonders if Jimin feels the same twists and flips of heat that he feels every time they touch one another. If the way he can dance has been translated into their desire, if he sees it like a physical manifestation the way that Jungkook does when they’ve been alone for too long.

Sometimes Jungkook wonders if he’s misreading things. There is still the possibility that Jimin is just teasing him because of the way Jungkook reacts, all embarrassed and unsure of himself, but Jungkook doubts it more with every passing day. It all feels too raw and real and electrifying to be nothing more than teasing anymore. Surely Jimin would have grown tired of it by now if that was the case; instead, if anything, he’s increasing the frequency of which their interactions fall over the line of friendship and dangle excitedly in the territory of something else. It thrills Jungkook, but he also fears it, because he still runs away sometimes. He still chokes up and doesn’t know how to react.

How is Jimin supposed to interpret that besides as a potential rejection?

Jungkook doesn’t understand Jimin’s perseverance, because he knows he must be the most infuriating person to flirt with when most of the flirting on his end is awkward laughs and subject changes. Usually Jimin still backs off after it drags on just that little bit too long, when Jungkook’s reached the point of feeling like he’s going to pass out, but tonight—

Tonight—

It’s Tuesday. Jungkook doesn’t know whether or not this is ironic or simply a striking coincidence. They’ve been floating around one another for months, through stuttered conversation and late-night coaching sessions. Jungkook’s now working on his double flip and Jimin’s fluidity on the ice has become truly enchanting and beautiful, a marvel in the flesh Jungkook cannot believe is interested in his own terrifically shy self. Sometimes Jungkook thinks he’s dreaming and he’s forced to pinch hard at the skin around his wrist just to make sure he’s really awake and Jimin is actually looking at him like that, pupils blown and gaze hot, sensual enough that Jungkook thinks it should be reserved for moments of privacy between them, but Jimin is shameless.

Jimin is shameless, and it’s not like tonight is much different from any other Tuesday they’ve shared together before, but there’s something different about him. The week before it was the jumpiness, the apparent anxiety, the inability to stand still. Tonight, Jimin seems determined to get precisely what he wants and he doesn’t want to ask for it. He enters the rink with his head held high and shoulders thrown back and he skates like he has a point to prove.

Jungkook doesn’t talk to him at first because he’s quite frankly too flabbergasted to pinpoint the right words. Jimin is spinning in the middle of the rink, face flushed, sweat running down his temples. He’s been skating at full speed for about fifteen minutes now, weaving through the crowd in a way he wouldn’t have been able to do months ago, and it seems he’s pulled out every trick in the book that he’s learnt over the course of their time together. All the times Jungkook has informed him about hand placements or facial expressions or how skaters get performance points in competitions—Jimin is bringing all of it out at once and Jungkook doesn’t know why. Nowadays their nights have generally become more relaxed, a bit more comfortable, because the real work can come out later when they’re alone with the entire rink to themselves and no distractions to steal their attention away from the task at hand except for each other. Jungkook can’t quite figure it out. He wants to approach him and maybe ask but he doesn’t want to interrupt his focus, how he’s turning the ice into something he owns.

He also is having a great time staring at the way his ass looks in the tight jeans he’s wearing, but that’s hardly important, he thinks.

It ends up being Jimin who glides over to him half an hour later, hair a little damp and chest heaving. “Where have you been, Jungkook-ah?” he greets, still airy and out of breath. “I’ve missed you.” Jungkook swears he’s pouting, which juxtaposed against his sweaty neck and overall look of being a little fucked out is driving Jungkook wild. How can someone be cute but so incredibly hot at the same time? Jungkook swears Jimin has a duality he will never be able to understand, so beautifully innocent and sweet but at the same time exuding sin like the devil in disguise.

“Missed me?” Jungkook retorts, holding back a scoff. “You’ve been here for forty-five minutes.”

And I haven’t seen you since Friday,” Jimin reminds him, pout now out in full force. “That’s way too many hours I haven’t been able to hold your hand.”

Jungkook’s vision blurs out of focus and he blinks away the sudden lack of sight as best he can despite Jimin’s forwardness, which he should surely be used to by now. “I—um, work here. And stuff.” It’s a pretty pathetic deflection, but when has Jungkook ever been good at deflections when it comes to Jimin?

“And stuff,” Jimin repeats flatly, unconvinced. “Maybe you just didn’t want to see me.”

“No!” Jungkook blurts instantly, immediately biting his tongue to prevent himself saying something stupid like “I want to see you every day for the rest of my life.” Instead he takes half a second to shove that statement to the very back of his brain and comes up with, “You just looked really focused. I didn’t want to disturb you.”

“Ah, Jungkook-ah,” Jimin sighs, slipping closer. “Conversations with you are never a disturbance. I was just trying to impress you.” Jungkook holds back a choking sound. “Did it work?”

“Um,” Jungkook says as Jimin grabs his hand, intertwining their fingers.

“It’s your turn to impress me now,” Jimin continues, as if he hadn’t asked a question at all. Maybe Jungkook’s wide eyes are an answer enough and Jimin surely knows how good he looks always, even when he’s not putting in the effort. Jungkook thinks Jimin has outdone himself a bit this time, with the tight jeans and the faux-leather jacket and the little speckles of glitter eyeshadow that are almost invisible covering his eyelids. However, Jungkook can’t say he has room to complain when he gets to see Jimin looking this good up close.

“What?” he replies, because his head is too full of Jimin’s everything to think about what he’s just said.

“Do a spin for me!” Jimin clarifies, pulling his hand away (much to Jungkook’s disappointment) to gesture excitedly to the centre of the rink. “You always look so good when you do spins.”

“I don’t know…” Jungkook hesitates, because he actually is meant to be working and doing skating spins for Jimin does not fall under his job description. But Jimin is looking at him right now like he’s some sort of figure skating god and Jungkook is so weak for him his hesitance doesn’t last long at all. “Okay, just one,” he gives in, after not even five seconds of deliberation. Jimin squeals in excitement and Jungkook resists the urge to coo.

He starts by building up speed and winding in and out between the clumps of people scattered throughout the rink, praying nobody decides to take a step in front of him at the exact wrong moment to send him tumbling. Luckily, no such disaster occurs, and Jungkook manages to fly in to the middle of the rink and sink into a sit spin, flashing colours flickering by his eyes like pressing fast-forward on a film and setting it to the highest speed. He lets his peripheral vision take over, until everything is nothing more than a constant blur of a rainbow that never starts or ends and Jungkook is wrapped up safely inside of it where nothing can hurt him. He gradually pulls himself up into a standing position, hands gathered tightly to his chest as he somehow spins faster and faster and faster until he can’t take it anymore, kicking out a leg to slow him down and pressing play on the movie so everything’s back to normal-speed and the rainbow is gone.

Jungkook flips around when he doesn’t see or hear Jimin straight away, scanning the room until he sees him across from where he first started, holding something black and rectangular and awfully familiar in one of his tiny hands. “That was amazing, Jungkook-ah!” Jimin praises, smiling widely. “You take my breath away every time. This flew out of your pocket, though.” It’s Jungkook’s phone. Jungkook’s eyes zero in on it, searching for any damage as terror builds up in his gut. “It’s fine!” Jimin reassures, recognising the devastated look that’s beginning to form on the younger’s face as he skates over to retrieve his possession. “No scratches or anything. Lucky.”

Jungkook has reached Jimin now and holds out his hand to take his phone back, but to his surprise Jimin pulls the device further away from him. Jungkook raises an eyebrow in question, reaching forward to take it from Jimin’s hand himself, but the elder simply bites his lip and moves further away again, blinking innocently up at Jungkook through his eyelashes. “Oh, do you seriously wanna play it like this?” Jungkook scoffs. “I’m taller than you with longer arms. I wouldn’t start something.”

“Hmm, while that make be true,” Jimin acknowledges, Jungkook’s phone still grasped firmly in his hand, “we’re also on skates.”

Just like that, Jimin is darting away with a pleased giggle, and Jungkook is shouting and chasing after him like they’re schoolkids on a playground. It goes on for a minute or so, twisting through the mobs of people, causing a slight ruckus, but Jimin makes Jungkook forget he’s supposed to be an employee. They end up at one end of the rink, Jimin’s back to the wall but not touching it, Jungkook standing before him waiting for a moment of weakness so he can swoop in and take what’s rightfully his.

“You could just tackle me,” Jimin points out, startling Jungkook, “but you won’t.”

“What does that mean?” Jungkook asks, forgetting about his phone for a second as he ponders Jimin’s sense of assurance.

Jimin shrugs. “Touching me. You hesitate. You always let me touch you but you never reciprocate.”

For some reason Jungkook feels like he needs to apologise but he doesn’t know how. “Come on,” Jimin whispers, and Jungkook feels something between them shift. “Come and get it.”

Jimin wraps his arm around his own back so that Jungkook would need to reach behind him to retrieve it. “Jimin,” Jungkook whispers, terrified to the tiniest degree. He comes closer and Jimin doesn’t move back, letting the distance between them lessen as much as it needs to. Jungkook gulps, hand hovering, unsure of how to proceed.

“Come on,” Jimin repeats, more forcefully this time. “It’s right here. Take it.”

Jungkook reaches behind Jimin’s back and finds his phone resting in Jimin’s hand right above his ass. Jungkook grabs it, but Jimin doesn’t let go—if anything he squeezes it tighter, keeping it in place. Jungkook purses his lips and tugs, but Jimin tugs back so that Jungkook is pulled even closer to him. They’re almost chest to chest at this point and Jungkook briefly entertains the thought that this is extremely unprofessional of him but he can’t linger on that for long when Jimin’s lips are so close to his. “Jimin,” he says again, almost like a warning.

“Jungkook,” Jimin imitates, “come on.”

“I don’t know what you want.” It rings false like a lie.

“Are you sure?” Jimin grabs the front of Jungkook’s shirt with his free hand and yanks him forward so there’s virtually no space between them. “How about now?”

“M-my phone,” Jungkook stutters, “hyung, please.”

“This isn’t about the phone,” Jimin says, almost like a snap, and Jungkook recoils, the tone he’s used heightening his anxiety and sending his heart reeling. Jungkook can’t do this. Jungkook is going to die.

“Hyung,” he chokes.

“Jungkook, just take it.”

“Hyung!”

Something in the way Jungkook yelps must bring Jimin back to earth because he blinks a few times, collecting himself, finally noticing the way Jungkook is trembling. “Oh,” he says softly, grip loosening on the phone behind his back. Jungkook snatches it up but he doesn’t step away, despite the way his blood is rushing in his ears. He wants to run. He wants Jimin to wrap his arms around him and hold him close. He wants to cry.

More than anything, he wants Jimin to kiss him.

He doesn’t understand himself. He loves the way Jimin takes control, loves the way he’s so pushy and firm and slips into that deep commanding voice on those rare occasions that sends quivers down Jungkook’s spine. At the same time those exact same things also scare him, because he’s so shy and inexperienced and isn’t accustomed to boys likes Jimin in his life. Jungkook hates himself so much sometimes because he can’t just let himself enjoy it—he has to ruin everything by majorly freaking out and disappearing to the hills to escape. Why can’t he just let himself go? Instead he has to be standing here with his eyes squeezed shut counting his breaths so he doesn’t pass out.

“I’m gonna—I’ve gotta—you—I’m—” Jungkook feels like he’s broken, unable to spit out a fully formed sentence, a record that doesn’t know how to play the right song. Jimin’s proximity is making his head spin but he doesn’t want to move away, still eager to share Jimin’s body heat.

“You’ve gotta go. I know.” Jimin sounds defeated but also guilty, as though he realises he’s overstepped.

“Jimin, no, I—” Jungkook tries again, because he doesn’t want Jimin to feel bad. He wants Jimin to know that he wants it, too. God, how he wants it. “Hyung.” He breathes in deep, forcing himself to clear his cluttered mind, determined to do at least this much. “I’m trying,” is what he manages to whisper, voice quiet and shaking but Jimin still catches his admission. “I can do this.” He doesn’t know if the last part is for Jimin or himself, but before he can second guess himself he leans forward to kiss Jimin sloppily on the forehead with what little courage he can muster and then he’s off, darting out of the rink, barely managing to tell Seokjin he needs a moment before he’s slipping covers on his blades and bursting into the locker rooms. He throws himself at one of the benches, yanking off his skates to be more comfortable and dropping his head into his hands. Fuck, why is this so hard? Jimin is doing the absolute most to display his clear attraction and Jungkook is feeding him breadcrumbs in return. What an ass.

As Jungkook is taking steadying breaths to calm himself he hears the locker room door swing open and shut, lock clicking into place, footsteps bouncing loudly off the walls in what Jungkook recognises as the sound of covered blades on a solid floor. Jungkook assumes that it’s Seokjin, which is why he’s shocked into looking up when Jimin says, “I’m probably not allowed in here, am I?”

Jungkook doesn’t know what else to do besides shake his head, but he doesn’t tell Jimin to leave. Jimin takes this as a good sign, carefully stepping further into the room with his hands awkwardly held in front of him. “I’m really sorry,” he continues, looking down at his own feet. “I just—I don’t know what to do.” Jungkook stays quiet. “Can I sit?” Jungkook nods.

Jimin flops down next to him, thighs centimetres apart but not touching. Jungkook can feel Jimin’s body heat but Jimin has purposely put distance between them, clearly worried about earlier. “Jungkook,” Jimin whispers, voice cracking. “Do I make you uncomfortable?”

Jungkook wants to shake his head but he feels like that wouldn’t be enough, so instead he pushes past his fear and opens his mouth to say, “No! You don’t. Hyung, you don’t.” He thinks it’s the type of important reassurance one needs to repeat, just to be sure. Jimin nods slightly, bending over to start unlacing his skates.

“I just never know with you,” he mumbles, sighing deeply. “You seem to want me around, but you always freeze up when I compliment you or touch you for too long. I mean, you’ve been getting better, but god. I feel like I’m harassing you.”

“You aren’t!” Jungkook promises, because that’s the absolute last thing he wants Jimin to think. “I’m just bad at responding. Like super super bad. It’s a serious problem.”

“It is,” Jimin agrees, but something in his voice is lighter, more confident, less like he feels like Jungkook is about to ban him from the centre forever. “So you do like it when I touch you?”

The atmosphere of the room changes. Jungkook is suddenly very aware that they’re the only ones in here and the door is locked. “Yes,” Jungkook whispers, but it’s difficult to force the word out. One of Jimin’s hands is lightly placed on the inside of Jungkook’s knee 

“Do you like it when I compliment you?” he asks next, hand creeping a little bit higher to rub at his inner thigh. Jungkook’s hands are squeezed into fists in his lap and he’s having trouble forming coherent thoughts.

“Yes,” he whispers again, even as his face heats up.

“You don’t show it very well.” Jungkook doesn’t say anything. His eyes are zeroed in on where Jimin’s hand is kneading into his thigh. “You do have really nice thighs, though. Strong. Firm. Good for a few things, don’t you think?”

He sounds so put together, so sure of himself, while Jungkook is sitting here crumbling apart at the seams. Jungkook loves it. God, he loves it so much. He’s pretty sure he’s going to die in here for all the right reasons. Jimin is so, so close to him and even though Jungkook is so, so incredibly nervous he can’t help but sense the anticipation lingering in the air, waiting for the right moment to turn into opportunity. “Like what?” Jungkook encourages. Jimin’s hand creeps higher. Jungkook feels his blood beginning to rush south.

“Depends,” Jimin murmurs, like they’re having a conversation about what restaurant they should eat at for dinner. “What kind of things do you want me to say?”

“What you’re thinking.” Jungkook honestly doesn’t know if he can take that but regardless, he still wants it. He wants to know exactly what’s going on inside Jimin’s head.

“Hmm,” Jimin hums, “I’m not too sure you’re ready to hear what’s on my mind. Are you alright with this?”

“Alright with what?” At this stage Jungkook seriously needs the clarification because he cannot come up with a single intelligent thought right now and it’s preventing him from contributing at all to this conversation. Well—that and the fact that Jimin always finds a way to make him tongue-tied anyway.

“This.” Jimin squeezes Jungkook’s thigh a little harder as his hand settles almost as high up as it can go. Any further and he’ll be touching Jungkook’s cock. Jungkook feels his entire body shiver as he nods. “That’s good. I’m glad.”

“Hyung,” Jungkook whines, but he doesn’t know what for. He has so many endorphins flowing through his bloodstream he thinks it’s making him a tiny bit delusional.

“You’re being very good, Jungkook-ah. I’m really proud of you for being honest with me.” Holy shit, I’m going to fucking die. Jimin’s words shouldn’t excite him but that doesn’t change the fact that they do. Jungkook swallows down another whine, gulping loudly. “Do you have any idea how crazy you make me?” he continues, a little rougher with the movements of his fingers on Jungkook’s thigh but Jungkook doesn’t mind one bit. “I swear, you drive me wild. I can barely keep my hands off you, you’re so fucking hot. Patience with you has been worth it but god, there’s only so many times I can jerk off picturing you on your knees for me.”

“Hyung, oh my god,” Jungkook gasps, “you’ve gotta stop—I’m—you’re making me—”

“Am I making you hard, Jungkookie?” Jimin interrupts, the new nickname spilling naturally out of his mouth, filling Jungkook’s heart to the brim. Jungkook nods shyly, because he really is getting hard, even if it’s embarrassing to become turned on so quickly from just a few words and some thigh rubbing. “Cute,” Jimin coos, which should be off-putting but it isn’t. “I should probably go, though. We’ve been in here a while.”

“You can’t do that!” Jungkook refuses, like a child who hasn’t gotten his way, but he’s beyond the point of caring. He’s so desperate for Jimin right now he’ll do anything. “You can’t say that shit then fucking leave, holy fuck.”

“Ohhhh, someone’s upset. What do you want then, baby? You’ve gotta tell me.” Jungkook practically mewls at the pet name, but he’s unable to voice what he wants, which is Jimin’s hand on his dick. He opens his mouth but he just can’t get out the words, because even after all this he’s still as shy and awkward as ever. “Hmm, a shame. I guess I’ll just have to—”

Jungkook doesn’t let him finish, some inhuman sound coming out of his lips as he grabs Jimin’s hand before he can pull it away. He figures if he can’t voice his desires he’ll just have to suck it up and show him, so he hitches Jimin’s hand towards him and pushes it down directly over his clothed dick. Jungkook whimpers instinctively, thrusting up his hips into the touch and squeezing his eyes closed as he moans slightly and applies more pressure to give some semblance of relief to his rapidly hardening cock.

“Oh, holy shit,” Jimin says breathily, leaving his hand in place as Jungkook lets go to scramble for the bench beneath him and the fabric at Jimin’s shoulder. “Oh, fuck. Fuck.” Jimin takes it upon himself to squeeze Jungkook’s bulge again and Jungkook’s legs twitch, pleasure shooting up his spine. Jimin plays with him like that for a minute, Jungkook’s gasps and whimpers echoing loudly in the otherwise silent room, until Jungkook gets needy for something else, wanting Jimin closer to him.

“Please,” Jungkook begs, tugging on Jimin’s shirt. “Hyung, please.” It sounds almost like a half-muted wail, where Jungkook is worried about being too loud but still can’t completely hold himself back. Jungkook has no idea what’s he’s begging for. He just wants more.

Jimin is whispering “Fuck” to himself one more time and then suddenly he’s kissing him.

It isn’t sweet or romantic or fragile in the slightest. Jungkook is instantly moaning and opening up his mouth, eager to taste Jimin’s tongue, but Jimin teases him, sucking on his lower lip and tugging on it slightly with his teeth. The hand that isn’t currently on Jungkook’s crotch finds its way to his jaw instead, holding his head firmly in place so Jungkook couldn’t move even if he wanted to. Jimin controls him completely, with everything he has, kissing Jungkook like he owns him. Jungkook gives and gives and gives because he wants Jimin to take, he wants Jimin to take everything. Jungkook thinks Jimin could hold him down, grip his wrists tightly behind his back and suck on his neck, because even if Jungkook is stronger than him he knows he would submit completely if Jimin asked him to. He’s waiting for Jimin to ask him to.

Jungkook registers hazily that Jimin has changed his grip on his jaw so that his thumb is right at the corner of Jungkook’s mouth, pressing into the skin there so that it’s almost part of the kiss itself. Jungkook takes this as an invitation, remembering his own desire mere days earlier to have Jimin’s thumb pressed between his teeth, so he takes it upon himself to break the kiss and tilt his head so that Jimin’s thumb slips right into his mouth. He groans around it, sucks it in deep, lets his tongue swirl around the pad of it like he’s hungry for it. Jimin tastes like sweat and salt, which should be a turn off but it’s not, so Jungkook takes him in deeper past the knuckle. He loses himself completely in the motions, almost forgetting about Jimin’s other hand on him when he’s so preoccupied with this.

“Fuck, I wish you could see yourself,” Jimin says huskily, eyes unable to tear themselves away from where he can see his own thumb pressing in past Jungkook’s lips, the wetness of it making his mouth water. “You are something else.”

Jungkook squirms, then Jimin’s thumb is abruptly taken out of his mouth, but Jungkook doesn’t even have time to whine in complaint before Jimin’s mouth is all over his again, this time rewarding him with his tongue. Jungkook sucks on it like he did with the thumb, holding it in his own mouth like he wants to keep it there, but then Jimin is taking control again and kissing the soul right out of Jungkook’s chest. There is a lack of oxygen making its way to Jungkook’s brain but he doesn’t care, can’t find it in him to care when Jimin is taking him apart like this. Jimin’s kiss has ruined every other kiss for Jungkook for the rest of his entire life. He feels himself falling apart on the inside, lungs collapsing around empty air, worn down to nothing but the way his heart is beating rapidly in his chest. Every other irrelevant sensation is seeping out of him like molten lava, scalding hot and dangerous to touch, and Jimin squeezes him a little tighter and he loses himself a little more.

Jimin’s tongue moves down to his neck and Jungkook’s eyes fly open as he gasps, a hint of teeth on his skin, careful but suggestive. He feels his cock throb painfully but he doesn’t know what to do about it because Jimin’s hand is still working him and his lips are still on his neck and Jungkook is so sensitive he’s almost convulsing. “Jimin, please,” he begs, just as Jimin is licking at a spot under his jaw that has him seeing stars. “Hnnghh, o-oh, hyung.” Jungkook tugs at Jimin’s shirt some more, but instead of replying, Jimin flips himself over so that he’s literally straddling Jungkook’s lap and Jungkook thinks he’s going to pass out.

“That’s better, don’t you think?” Jimin smirks, but Jungkook doesn’t reply, too busy thrusting up into nothing because Jimin’s taken his hand away from the front of his jeans and has looped both his arms around Jungkook’s neck instead. Jungkook whimpers something unintelligible, needing friction to keep him sane, wishing vehemently that Jimin would put his hand back exactly where he needs him—or even better, if he’d slip his fingers inside and wrap himself around Jungkook without all these inconvenient layers of fabric in the way. “Shhhh, baby,” Jimin coos, pushing the hair up off of Jungkook’s forehead to get a better look at his eyes. Both boys’ pupils are blown, black with desire, mouths hanging open and expressions blissed out. “Let me take care of you.”

Jimin throws him a cheeky obnoxious wink and thrusts down sensually into Jungkook’s lap. Jungkook’s hands scramble for purchase and end up gripping Jimin’s ass, encouraging him to grind down faster, using him for leverage to thrust back. Jimin throws his head back with a groan, chasing the pleasure that comes with the friction between their bodies, and Jungkook can’t help but lean in and take his turn in kissing Jimin’s neck.

The sound Jimin makes when Jungkook licks him with his tongue is animalistic, so Jungkook attaches his lips to his pulse point and sucks, revelling in the way it makes Jimin’s entire body quake with want. He thinks he would be quite content to kiss Jimin like this forever if he got to hear all his breathy gasps and moans, the kinds of sounds that are usually silenced when Jimin’s mouth is muffled by Jungkook’s own. Like this, Jungkook can hear every last hitch of breath and tiny whimper. It’s incredibly arousing, to know that Jungkook is the reason behind Jimin falling apart, that Jungkook is the one who has Jimin flailing wildly in his lap unable to control the shuddering of his hips. Jungkook doesn’t know how he managed to get so lucky—a pretty boy like Jimin, he could probably get anyone.

But he chose Jungkook.

And now Jimin’s reaching behind himself, grabbing Jungkook’s hands and encouraging them under the waistband of Jimin’s jeans. Jungkook splutters, fingertips grazing bare skin, and he looks up into Jimin’s eyes to see him licking his lips, eyelids half-shut. Jimin slows his thrusting, almost as if he’s realised he’s been getting too carried away, and trails his fingers down Jungkook’s built chest. “Hmm, hot,” he breathes, running his thumb and forefinger over a nipple. Jungkook jerks, unused to the sensation, jaw dropping open as Jimin does it again. Jimin smirks. “Oh, really hot,” he corrects, then he’s pinching a nipple between his fingers and Jungkook is fighting for breath, twitching away from the foreign feeling but simultaneously pushing himself further into it, because while it’s weirdly painful it’s also maddeningly good and Jungkook wants Jimin to do it again. Jungkook doesn’t need to voice his need, because Jimin is already moving to the other one and twisting it through the fabric. Jungkook’s hold on Jimin tightens, the soft flesh of his ass so smooth under his hands, and Jimin’s mouth is at his throat again, kitten licking at the skin in a gentle sort of way, the juxtaposition of that against the harshness of the fingers pinching at his nipples giving him whiplash.

Jimin’s hands leave Jungkook’s chest, running them down to smooth out over his abdomen, slipping his fingers under his shirt to indulge himself in the heat of his skin. “You’ve been hiding a lot from me, Jungkook-ah,” he scolds, tugging at his earlobe with his teeth, sending Jungkook into a wave of shivers.

“S-sorry,” he huffs, like an instinct, disliking the way Jimin tells him off. He wants to be good for Jimin. He doesn’t want Jimin to have a single negative thought about him at all. While he knows Jimin is only teasing, he still hates the tone, hates the way it makes his stomach drop on impulse. It’s dizzying, that Jimin can have him reacting so viscerally like this with only a few words.

“So cute,” Jimin mumbles, catching Jungkook’s lips with his own again. He’s halted his thrusting to focus on the kiss, softer than the rest of them, tender in a way that makes Jungkook squirm. He’s still as hard as a rock and undeniably horny, so while the sweetness is lovely and all he really wants Jimin to get back to business and touch his dick. He ardently opens Jimin’s mouth up with his own again, tongue exploring the inside with a frantic urgency, but Jimin only giggles into his lips, pulling away. “Someone’s a little eager, then?”

“Please,” Jungkook begs, pulling Jimin’s hands out from under his shirt and guiding them down to his zipper. “Please,” he repeats, high-pitched and intoxicated, “want you so bad.”

Jimin stops laughing, breaking off into a moan as he tugs deliriously at Jungkook’s zipper, reaching inside Jungkook’s boxers to finally hold him fully in his fist. “Sure, baby,” he whispers, sliding his hand up and down Jungkook’s shaft at a pace that isn’t necessarily slow but also isn’t quite enough to send Jungkook closer to the edge. “Whatever baby wants.” Jungkook whines, then suddenly Jimin is spitting into his palm and the slide of his hand becomes abruptly wetter, slicker, more pleasurable than Jungkook ever thought possible.

It’s not like Jungkook’s never been touched like this before. He’s had his decent share of Tinder dates and Friday night hook-ups, names barely exchanged before their hands were on one another in elevators and tongues were pushed inside one another’s mouths. It is the first time it’s been this intense, though, what with Jimin talking to him like this and holding him in place and giving him everything he hasn’t realised he’s been in need of for so long. It’s only Jimin’s hand and a little spit, but Jungkook thinks it’s already some of the best sex he’s ever had. Jimin climbs inside of his mouth again and Jungkook wants to touch him, too, but he can’t get a good hand on him and Jimin seems too invested in Jungkook’s pleasure to even care about his own, thrusting unconcernedly down onto Jungkook’s thigh now without much rhythm.

Jimin runs his thumb over the slit on the head of Jungkook’s cock and Jungkook keens, pulling his mouth away from Jimin’s to tuck his face into his neck instead, whimpering into his skin. Jimin pants heavily into his ear as pre-come wells at the tip of Jungkook’s cock, spilling out onto Jimin’s hand to join the slipperiness of his spit. “Fuck, you’re so wet,” Jimin breathes as Jungkook’s cock dribbles again without his permission, Jungkook’s face flushing red in embarrassment as he mumbles undecipherable complaints into Jimin’s neck. “Don’t be like that, baby,” Jimin hushes, pulling him back by the hair to kiss his nose. “It’s really fuckin’ hot.”

“Unghhh, fuck,” Jungkook mutters as Jimin’s fingers run over one of the veins on the underside of his dick, but it’s also a response to Jimin’s compliment, because even after everything, Jungkook still loses his mind every time Jimin says a nice thing about him. He craves it, the praise rolling off of Jimin’s tongue like a sweet wine in his mouth. It pleases him in a way he struggles to describe, besides that he just wants to be good for him, good to him, make him satisfied beyond compare so that he gives Jungkook exactly what he wants for behaving so well.

“You really do like it when I say that, don’t you?” Jungkook nods, because if his affirmation makes Jimin tell him more pretty things he thinks it’s definitely worth the slight humiliation of it. “When I say you’re hot? When I say you’re the prettiest boy my eyes have ever seen? When I say you’re doing well?”

“Jimin, ah,” Jungkook gasps, dick twitching very obviously in Jimin’s hand, “faster.”

Jimin tuts. “I’ll go at the pace I want,” he corrects, dragging his right hand slowly down Jungkook’s throbbing heat while his left tangles itself in Jungkook’s hair, tugging his head in any direction he chooses while he occasionally leans down to suck at Jungkook’s jaw. “I decide when I want you to come.”

“Please, Jimin,” Jungkook gasps, remembering their place. “We’ve been in here for ages.”

Jimin pretends to think about it for a moment as he licks his way down Jungkook’s neck to mouth at the space where his throat meets his shoulder, that spot he always places his hand when he wants to lean on Jungkook and bring them closer together. Jungkook’s hands are gripping at Jimin’s waist like his life depends on it, thumbs rubbing absently over the hem of his shirt. “This time, I’ll go easy on you,” Jimin finally decides, increasing the pace at which his hand fists Jungkook’s hard cock, pulling away briefly to add more spit to the already messy hand job. More pre-come spurts out of the head so Jimin takes that too, spreads everything all over, the wet slapping sounds screaming vulgar and dirty into the room around them. “I wonder how quickly I can make you come,” he wonders next, tilting his head. “You’re already so desperate for me. You’re going to make such a mess of yourself.”

“So fast, hyung, please, I wanna come so bad,” Jungkook wails, hips gyrating into Jimin’s hand, chasing his release. “If you keep going like this I’m gonna come.”

“But we can’t have it getting everywhere, now can we?” Jimin points out, biting his lip. “I may have to swallow it all down so you don’t dirty yourself. You’ve gotta go back out to work, baby."

The reminder sends Jungkook reeling, and somehow remembering that there’s over a hundred people skating outside the locked door doesn’t terrify him. Rather, he finds himself shuddering with excitement, thinking about how easy it would be for someone to knock on the door and find them like this, Jimin straddling Jungkook’s lap, his hard cock wet and leaking in his hand. “S-swallow?” he repeats, because it’s taken a moment for Jimin’s words to fully process in his head, where all his higher functioning systems are running at half speed, and thinking for too long about anything feels the same as trying to run through quicksand. It’s just slow and frustrating and hauls Jungkook further down into his own muddy headspace where nothing else exists except Jimin’s mouth and his hands.

Jimin chuckles into Jungkook’s skin. “Mhmm,” he hums, twisting his hand just so, causing Jungkook to hitch in a breath. “If I think you deserve it.”

“I’ll do anything,” Jungkook promises instantly, so high on pleasure he can’t control the words coming out of his own mouth. “I’ll do anything, please, hurry.”

“I think I like you a lot like this,” Jimin muses, quickening the movements of his hand because it’s beginning to really dawn on him how little time they have, how soon Seokjin is going to come knocking on the door demanding Jungkook please sort his shit and get back to work. “All shameless and babbling for me. If you can keep quiet enough, I’ll let you come in my mouth, okay?” Jungkook presses his lips together, nodding wildly, baring his neck so that Jimin gets the hint and puts his mouth back on his skin. Jungkook resists every urge within him demanding that he moan, or whimper, or beg, because he really wants to be rewarded by Jimin. He’s been unknowingly waiting so long for this and now that it’s here he doesn’t want to ruin it. He wants it to be perfect, he wants Jimin to be caught on thoughts of him for weeks. He wants to make sure Jimin never looks in the direction of another man because Jungkook has enraptured him so completely he becomes blind to a universe outside of him. Jungkook wants to be wanted despite his shyness, despite his inability to express his attraction, despite being the human definition of a social failure. With Jimin here squirming in his lap he feels like he actually could be worth something beautiful and he wants to hold that feeling in his heart forever, braided in with daisy chains and soft lullabies after midnight.

Jimin squeezes deliciously around the head of Jungkook’s cock and his sudden moment of fluffy warmth is abruptly taken back over by lust. He feels Jimin’s forceful jagged thrusting against his thigh, timed perfectly to the thrusting of his own hand, and his eyes roll into the back of his head as he lets himself drown in the idea that Jimin can’t control himself because of him. This lasts another minute or so, wet lips on every inch of his skin, encouraging words rasped into his ear. Every time Jimin tugs his hair he holds back a fervent mewl, feels something in his chest tighten, and he knows if Jimin continues like this he won’t last much longer. He wants to warn him of such, but doesn’t want to make a sound, so he hopes the way his body shudders in Jimin’s hold is warning enough, providing Jimin with the chance to make up his mind.

Jimin does indeed notice, feels it in the way Jungkook thickens in his hand, the way his legs shake beneath him, and smirks, licking his lips. He halts all movement, staring at Jungkook’s face until the younger opens his eyes and parts his lips, gazing heavily into Jimin’s eyes with a pout when he realises he’s not going to keep going. Jimin maintains eye contact as he slowly slides out of Jungkook’s lap and onto the floor, sinking to his knees, resting his head on Jungkook’s thigh and blinking up at him with such fake innocence. His hand comes forward to lazily stroke Jungkook a few more times, chuckling as the boy struggles to keep himself together, fists at his sides, eyebrows furrowed tensely like he’s forcing himself to hold back. “I think you’ve been good enough to get my mouth, Jungkook-ah,” Jimin praises, shuffling closer, adjusting Jungkook’s pants so that his cock is more easily accessed by Jimin’s mouth. “Be a good boy and let me hear your pretty whimpers when you come.”

Just like that, Jimin is pulling the head of Jungkook’s cock towards his mouth and licking at the hot flesh, sucking on the tip and moaning around the intrusion. Jungkook does whimper, quietly but still audible, opening his eyes and glancing down at Jimin’s mouth on him so that he can ingrain it into his memory to reflect back on later when he wants to have a hand on himself and needs the mental imagery. Jimin is sinfully erotic, sinking down further on Jungkook’s cock, rolling his tongue around messily like he doesn’t care if Jungkook is getting pleasure out of it, like he’s just doing this for himself because he wants to taste Jungkook on his tongue. Jimin makes a pleased sound as he licks at more spurting pre-come, right hand fondling Jungkook’s balls, left hand massaging his thigh. Jungkook thinks it must taste absolutely disgusting but Jimin acts like he wants nothing more than to lap it up completely, to hold it inside his mouth and let it sit there until he feels the desire to swallow it down and start again.

“Jimin,” Jungkook chokes, Jimin’s fingers grazing his perineum, soft fingers pinching his muscular thigh. Jimin’s head bobs, tongue running along a vein that loops around the side of his cock, hollowing his cheeks then pulling back and paying close attention to the head where he’s the most sensitive. Jimin hums in acknowledgement, not bothering to respond, too focused on the task at hand to want to pull away. At one particularly hard suck and a light squeezing of one of Jungkook’s balls Jungkook feels it, the familiar coiling sensation at the bottom of his gut, the one that warns him he’s close to finishing. He doesn’t want it to end so soon, because he knows coming means Jimin will stop licking and touching him like this, but at the same time he wants to grab the back of Jimin’s head and thrust madly into his mouth until Jimin is forced to sit there on his knees and swallow the come that spurts down his throat, his eyes watering, jaw aching.

But Jungkook doesn’t really want that. What he wants is Jimin to keep sucking him slowly, easing him into orgasm at the relaxed sort of pace that Jungkook doesn’t have the patience to control when he’s alone, when he’s got nothing but his hand and the porn blasting into his earphones to keep him company. Jimin knows they don’t have much longer, though, and he sucks a little harder, bobs a little faster, unfurls Jungkook’s orgasm right out from within him and brings it tremoring to the surface. “Hy-u-ung,” Jungkook stutters brokenly, heat rapidly building, the ability to articulate words correctly spiralling from the forefront of his mind as he tries to hold himself back. “Hyung, c-close, I’m—I’m gonna—I’m—”

He breaks off just as Jimin sinks down as far as he can go, presses a thumb directly against his perineum and sucks hard—and Jungkook is gone. Jungkook bites down on his bottom lip, lets out a mangled, fragmented sob, and feels himself shuddering into orgasm, as if it’s been drawn out from the very depths of him and smacked him hard across the face. His eyes roll back as his hips stutter out of his control and the quaking sensations surge through him for what feels like forever, like the longest orgasm he’s ever had, Jimin milking more and more out of him even after Jungkook feels like he’s totally spent. His vision blacks out, loses every feeling in his body that isn’t attached to his dick, as Jimin carefully and diligently works him through it until he’s soft in his mouth and quivering with oversensitivity.

“O-oh,” Jungkook gasps, opening his eyes and curling over himself, “oh, s-stop, too much, hyung, ah—ah!” Jimin gives him one last suck just for good measure before pulling off, licking his lips sensually, eyes watering and throat aching but happily satisfied. He’s still achingly hard in his own pants, painfully so, but looking up at Jungkook’s completely blissed out expression makes it worth it.

Jimin stands up slowly, stretches out his sore knees with a crack and tucks Jungkook back into his pants, pulling up his zipper and patting him down affectionately once done. “Happy, Jungkookie?” he asks cheerfully, ruffling his hair and smiling fondly down to where he’s still seated on the bench.

Jungkook looks up at him with wide, awe-stricken eyes and nods at him. “What about you, hyung?” he asks, pointedly staring at where Jimin is still visibly very aroused. “It doesn’t seem fair for it to just be me.” The younger is pouting, apparently forgetting his shyness in the haze of his afterglow, and Jimin wishes he had a longer window of opportunity to spend with Jungkook like this but unfortunately the clock ticking above their heads has other ideas.

“You need to head back out, Jungkook,” Jimin reminds him, bending down to press a soft and innocent kiss to his lips. Jungkook makes a startled sound, not expecting it, which causes Jimin to giggle. “Don’t you worry your pretty little heart about it. Run along, my little star. I’ll take care of this myself in the bathroom.”

“Are you—are you sure?” Jungkook questions, gulping, faces still inches apart. He leans up to kiss him again like he can’t get enough of it but Jimin sighs sadly and pulls away, taking a few calculated steps back because he knows if he indulges himself for any longer they’ll be in here for another half an hour or more and he really doesn’t want to get Jungkook fired.

“I’m sure, Jungkookie. I’ll be back out soon. Drink some water and work hard, okay?” he says sweetly, bending over to grab his skates. He starts to walk towards the toilet stalls, but after taking a few steps appears to hesitate, glancing back at Jungkook over his shoulder. “I really enjoyed that,” he adds, almost shyly. “I hope I made you feel good.” Before Jungkook has the brainpower to open his mouth to reply with some variation of “Are you fucking kidding me?” Jimin is already slipping around the corner, leaving Jungkook sitting alone in the empty locker rooms after quite possibly one of the best experiences of his life.

Jungkook frowns, bending down to grab his skates, mind still wrapped up in the suddenness of it all and what it means. He carefully laces up his skates with trembling hands and wonders where this leaves them.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jungkook, quite understandably, expects something to change between them after the locker room fiasco.  It’s all he thinks about, even when nothing happens once the pair of them are left alone later in the night to practise their spins and steps. Jimin kisses him on the cheek in farewell but that’s all, which Jungkook agonises over all day Wednesday and continues to do so right into the afternoon on Thursday as well. He doesn’t know if he expected Jimin to say something, anything to acknowledge what happened between the pair of them, because it felt so monumental, but Jimin gives him nothing except that soft touch of his lips to the side of his face and he’s left feeling bewildered and unsure. By the time it’s Thursday night, Jungkook hasn’t achieved anything besides going over the endless scenarios in his head of how the evening could play out and he’s honestly nervous as all hell. He’s antsy behind one of the registers, gnawing on his lips and peeling back so much skin he begins to bleed. He hastily presses a tissue to his mouth but not quickly enough for Namjoon not to notice from where he’s fixing stock nearby.

Namjoon frowns. “Are you alright, Jungkook?”

Jungkook waves him off. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, it’s nothing, just a blood lip.” Namjoon raises his eyebrows, unconvinced as he abandons his post and approaches Jungkook at the desk.

“You’ve been standing here jumping around like a frightened rabbit for ages, Jungkook-ah,” Namjoon accuses, tapping his fingers on the countertop. “Is something wrong?”

The word No is at the tip of Jungkook’s tongue but once he catches the concerned look in Namjoon’s eyes he allows himself to swallow it down, shoulders dropping and sighing deeply. “It’s just…” he trails off, wondering how much he’s willing to reveal. “There were…developments, with Jimin and I,” he mumbles, tapping his toes together nervously and twiddling his fingers together.

Namjoon visibly perks up, face brightening as he breaks into a smile. “Really? That’s great, Jungkook-ah!” he congratulates, squeezing Jungkook’s shoulder in friendly encouragement. “What kind of developments?”

Jungkook feels his face heat up as he stares at his own feet, remembering exactly what sort of ‘developments’ took place and not planning on sharing these with Namjoon at any point in the near future. “Uh, we kissed?” he settles on instead, deciding this is innocent enough.

The sound that comes out of Namjoon’s mouth is similar to a squeal, high-pitched and excited and somewhat painful to Jungkook’s ears. “What? When? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“It was only Tuesday!” Jungkook insists, hating the attention, because the more he thinks about the kiss the more he thinks about all the rest of it and then he remembers that Jimin could be here any minute and starts to freak out again. “Tonight is the first time I’ll be seeing him since…yeah,” he mumbles, providing a reason for his anxious behaviour, and Namjoon squeals loudly again.

“Oh, my god,” he gushes, ruffling Jungkook’s hair and jumping up and down like a child that’s been told they’re going to Disneyland. “Our Jungkookie’s all grown up and gotten himself a boyfriend.”

“He’s not my boyfriend!” Jungkook squeaks defensively, face resembling a tomato to a startling degree. “We haven’t talked about any of that!”

“Figures,” Namjoon scoffs, shaking his head. He sighs deeply then, blinking up at the ceiling as though reminiscing on a long-forgotten dream. “Ah, young love,” he continues, breaking out of his reverie and stepping away to go back to his work as he smirks to himself. “How innocently it develops.” If only you knew, Jungkook thinks, but he keeps this to himself.

“You’re only three years older than me,” Jungkook complains, but he’s used to being babied by his hyungs so he’s not really upset. Before he has the chance to whine some more, however, his eyes flit to the entrance of the centre and his heart stops once he realises a certain someone has just stepped through the door.

Jimin looks ethereal, as always, tussling his hair with one hand like he’s at the start of a goddamn music video. Celestial, Jungkook remembers describing him once, many moons ago, and that descriptor hasn’t changed in the slightest. Jungkook can’t take his eyes off of him, completely captivated, watching him like it’s an out of body experience as the elder scans the rink with a perceptive gaze, licking his lips as he does so. He doesn’t seem to find what he’s looking for, head spinning around to the skate rental desk instead, then he turns one final time and looks Jungkook dead-on with his mouth half parted and eyelashes fluttering. His face brightens, smile taking over his lips as his eyes turn into little crescent moons with crinkles at the corners, skipping forward to join Jungkook in the shop, which is around the point Jungkook realises holy shit I’m not ready for this why did he have to see me but it’s too late to hide. Jimin is already here, bulky bag hanging off of one shoulder, an angel in the flesh right before Jungkook’s eyes 

“Jungkookie!” he greets, galloping over to lean against the desk, titling his head sweetly in that trademark way of his that has Jungkook so endeared. “Did you miss me?”

Jungkook knows Jimin is teasing, but he can’t help but be honest because it’s true, without a semblance of a doubt—he’s missed Jimin something terrible and it’s only been forty-eight hours. “Yeah,” he replies quietly, nervously, and the bright playful look on Jimin’s face softens marginally as he takes in his seriousness.

“Cute,” Jimin whispers, as quiet as an exhale, then he appears to plaster that jaunty mask back on his face as he claps his hands once together and winks jokingly with his tongue pressed between his teeth. “How long are you in here for, Jungkook-ah? I want to skate with you~”

And Jungkook—

Jungkook honestly doesn’t know what he should have expected. Maybe for Jimin to mention their moment of intimacy that occurred mere days prior, maybe to be greeted with a kiss on the cheek or a warm hug. Instead he acts like he always has, like he’s still courting Jungkook, throwing around light teasing and meaningless jibes made exclusively to send him into a flush. Jungkook waits for it, the confirmation that Tuesday night really did happen, but it never comes. Namjoon tells Jungkook he has to man the register at the shop for another half an hour and Jimin is pouting and blowing him a kiss and telling him he’ll meet him out on the floor.

Then Jimin is gone. Jungkook feels like the air has been sucked right out of his chest, like some horrid thing has sunk right down into his bones. “I don’t understand,” he says, to nobody at all, but it catches Namjoon’s attention regardless.

“Understand what?” he asks, only half paying attention, busy sorting out some t-shirts on one of the racks.

“I expected things to be different,” Jungkook admits, and maybe it’s just because Namjoon doesn’t know the full extent of what they’ve done. Maybe it’s because Namjoon doesn’t know that Jungkook has moaned Jimin’s name into an empty room, has had Jimin wriggling in his lap, his hands and mouth all over his body and Jimin’s filthy words whispered darkly into his ears.

Because Namjoon only shrugs and says, “Do you want them to be?”

The question pulls Jungkook short. Does he want them to be? He isn’t entirely sure—he just wants to know where they stand, what Jimin expects from him next, how he’s supposed to proceed from this point onwards. He wants Jimin to kiss him again but he doesn’t know how to ask for it. He knows the alternative is taking the initiative to kiss Jimin himself, but even after already sighing into Jimin’s mouth he can’t bring himself to imagine being that forward. Hesitance chimes incessantly in every corner of his skull and he can’t shake the feeling that perhaps Jimin doesn’t want anything to change at all.

What if Jimin only wants Jungkook when they’re alone in a big room when all the doors are locked? What if Jungkook is only a convenience, someone who just happens to be there, weak to Jimin’s charms like every other sane person in a six-mile vicinity? What if Jimin regrets it and never wants it to happen again?

His worries feel irrational but he can’t help the way his gut twists uncomfortably in the bottom of his stomach. Finishing the next half an hour is torture, fastening on a fake smile and selling thick socks and kneepads to strangers that don’t matter. All he can think about is Jimin, out there turning the ice into an art form, his own marvellous museum Jungkook thinks one should have to pay to have the privilege of visiting. As soon as the time is up he’s rushing out the back to lace up his skates, taking over whoever the irrelevant person is that’s manning the floor and pushing himself out onto the ice. For the first time in a long while, the ice isn’t comforting. It feels thin, feeble, merely three inches thick and seconds away from shattering into shards at his feet. He thinks his heart is heavy enough to bring the entire rink crashing down, so that they all collapse into an ocean of his tenebrous emotions, forced to paddle violently in order to survive. Jungkook already feels anchored to the bottom, chains around both of his ankles preventing him from floating to the surface, and it takes everything he has within him to pretend he’s been cut loose so that he can smile and hop forward and twirl buoyantly out of the dark.

Jimin finds him easily, like a magnet drawn to something big and awkward and excessively taking up space. “There you are, Jungkookie!” he greets, as if Jungkook is the one person Jimin has been waiting for his entire life. “Can you teach me another spin today? The ones you do are so lovely.”

Jungkook blinks, breaks, brings a tiny smile to the corner of his lips. He wants to ask Jimin what his deal is, if there’s ever going to be any more progress in their relationship, if Jimin can just step forward one more time and hug him tightly and never let him go, pepper kisses all over his face and giggle into his mouth—

Jungkook chuckles and says, “Of course, hyung. Anything for you."

It goes on like this. Jungkook waits for something to change, for Jimin to laugh and tell him it’s all just one big joke and ask if he wants to head to one of the back rooms. He waits for Jimin to ease his anxieties, to lean forward and hold his hand like it actually means something this time but Jimin is as elusive as the dark side of the moon, not referencing the events of Tuesday night even once for the entirety of Jungkook’s shift. Even late into the evening, when they’re finally alone, Jimin giggles like a child and tells Jungkook pretty things and acts like he’s forgotten the taste of Jungkook’s mouth completely. Jungkook doesn’t get it. Jimin’s mouth has been the only flavour on the tip of his tongue since his lips had had the privilege of touching it. Does Jimin not feel the same?

Jungkook catches something occasionally at the edge of his peripheral, though. A heady stare, something weighted and meaningful. Jimin gets this look in his eyes like he’s waiting for the wind to turn. The radiance of his skin dulls down to something sombre, calculating, a finger on his lips and eyebrows drawn together. It’s always gone as quickly as it arrives, as soon as Jungkook’s turned his head to glance in Jimin’s direction, then the boy flips back into jumping joy and Jungkook’s left wondering if it’s all a figment of his imagination.

Jungkook just wishes it was easy. He wishes he could grab Jimin by both of his hands and ask if he feels the same way he does. If he gets butterflies in his stomach and stars in his eyes. He wants to kiss Jimin because he can, without worrying how Jimin will react, without worrying about all the ways in which it could go wrong. He goes home that night with cold lips and feels like a toy that’s been discarded. It’s as if all these months have been nothing but a game to Jimin where Jungkook is the prize. Jungkook wonders if this is it—if that one fated moment with Jimin is all he’ll ever have, because the game is finished and Jungkook’s run out of turns.

Why would Jimin come back, though? If it really is all over, it doesn’t make sense for Jimin to come frolicking right back into Jungkook’s life like nothing ever happened at all. Unless he regrets it, but even after everything that’s happened tonight Jungkook can’t bear for that to be the case. He hopes Jimin doesn’t regret it. He hopes Jimin just can’t find the right words to say.

Jungkook can relate to that, at least. He crosses his fingers in his sleep and dreams longingly for Jimin’s touch, even if he can only have it for one more time.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Two weeks pass. Jimin remains as constant in Jungkook’s life as he always has been, stopping by three times a week and staying late into the night. Jungkook still catches those sideways looks, the anticipation that hangs between them for half a second before Jimin breaks it and acts like he didn’t feel that split moment of tension that drew them together, even if it was only briefly. Jungkook begins to get restless, because he’s waited a very long time and now that he’s had a taste of what being with Jimin is like he wants it back, ASAP. He feels dumb practising his double flip when Jimin is right there, cheering him on and clapping his hands; when Jimin has touched him and climbed inside of him and taken him apart from the inside. He feels dumb because they’re alone and they’ve connected before in a way Jungkook wants to repeat but nothing’s happened and it makes Jungkook want to cry, a lot of the time, but then that makes him feel small. Cry? Over a boy? How pathetic. Jungkook doesn’t cry over something as silly and insignificant as a boy.

Admittedly, though, it’s Jimin—Jimin, with a smile like a thousand fireflies and a laugh like the chorus of the suns. With his immense kindness and care and the way he makes Jungkook feel like he means something important, like he has a significant part to play in this whirlwind of a world where nothing is certain and everything is black and white and shades of grey. Jimin turns the world into flashing colour. He’s fireworks and rollercoasters and summer days and he’s not just a boy. He’s not insignificant or silly or someone that doesn’t matter. 

Jimin matters an awful lot and Jungkook wants to feel like he matters again, too.

He wonders if it’s his own built up sexual frustration that causes it. It’s been two weeks and Jungkook has masturbated more times that he’s willing to admit. They’ve just finished their fifteen minutes of practise and are busy packing up their things but Jungkook is sick of the silence. He’s sick of pretending it didn’t happen, sick of acting like they’re just friends who flirt all the time and have had their tongues in one another’s mouths. Jungkook isn’t confident, he really isn’t. He still responds to Jimin’s compliments with stutters and aversions and is never the first one to hold his hand. He stays quiet, simmers, hopes and hopes and hopes that Jimin is brave enough to take every single chance even though he can’t be sure Jungkook will react in the way that he wants.

It’s time. It’s really time. Jungkook stares at Jimin packing away his skates, neck sweaty, face flushed, and thinks he’s still the most beautiful creature he’s ever seen. He doesn’t care if Jimin wants it to be a one off. He doesn’t care if Jimin’s waiting for their history to pass and their lives to move on. Jungkook can’t do this anymore. Jungkook can’t lie awake at night wondering where he went wrong, wishing upon every star in the sky that Jimin will find his way back to him. He knows it’s only been fourteen days but it feels like a century when he likes someone this much.

If he ruins everything then at least he can say he went down saving his own heart. Jungkook’s hardly ever been brave before even once in his entire life but’s he’s getting kind of tired of feeling like a coward, so he reaches out. He reaches out and grabs a fistful of Jimin’s shirt.

Jimin makes a startled sort of sound, twisting around to figure out what Jungkook’s game is. “Jungkook?” he asks curiously, suddenly realising Jungkook’s proximity, frown drawing his eyebrows together in concern. “What’s up?”

Jungkook huffs a little in frustration, squeezing his eyes shut, adjusting his hands so that he’s holding on tightly to the fabric on Jimin’s chest. “I—” he tries, but he chokes up, feeling his entire body shaking with nerves, because even though he’s making himself have the courage to do this it doesn’t change the fact that he’s fucking terrified.

“Jungkook?” Jimin presses, because he’s worried something’s wrong, can’t decipher the emotion fixed firmly to Jungkook’s face. He looks to be in pain, but Jimin doesn’t know from what. Had he hurt himself out on the rink? Jimin shuffles through their evening and cannot for the life of him remember a single incident that could possibly be causing Jungkook discomfort.

Jungkook shakes his head stiffly, opening his eyes in an attempt to fight his own fear, but he can’t bring himself to look anywhere besides where his hands are fisted into Jimin’s shirt. “No,” he says decisively, “not that.”

“Not what?”

“Don’t call me that,” he says meekly, beginning to fade, but he knows he needs to do this. If Jimin pushes him away, laughs awkwardly and says he never meant for Jungkook to get attached, even after everything, he may be heartbroken but he’ll be able to say he tried.

Jimin appears to hesitate. “…Jungkookie?” he whispers, and Jungkook wishes he was strong enough to look at his face but he figures the fact that he’s even doing this to begin with is good enough so he remains staring at his own hands. Takes in a deep, shuddering breath. Prevents himself from closing his eyes again even though he wants to.

“Not that, either,” he says, close to tears for a reason he can’t place. He fears rejection. He fears destroying it all. He fears everything and still, he prevails. “The other thing. Please. Hyung.” It’s his final plea—he’s thrown all that he has right there on the table. He’s stripped himself bare and shown Jimin every last inch of himself that he’s fought to hide. He hopes Jimin knows what he means this time because he can’t go on for much longer when he feels like his knees are about to buckle from beneath him.

Jimin is quiet for a second and all Jungkook can think is god, this is it. I’ve ruined everything. Jimin breathes in shakily, loud, and Jungkook waits for rejection. Waits to have his heart spat right back out at him in disgust. But then—

“Baby,” Jimin sighs, like he’s waited his entire life to say it, like it’s been sitting eagerly at the tip of his tongue waiting to free itself into the world and drip sugared like syrup into Jungkook’s ears. “Did I get it right this time?”

Jungkook lets out a half-sob and raises his head, looks steadily into Jimin’s eyes and loses himself there. “Yes,” he whimpers, brokenly but sure, then he’s yanking Jimin forward by the front of his shirt and kissing him like the world is ending and he has only seconds left before his life blinks out and the curtains slam shut. He moans into it and it feels like coming home, the way Jimin envelops him in every way that there is, his arms wrapping securely around Jungkook’s neck, his heart completely swallowing Jungkook’s own. Jungkook lets himself be taken over, lets Jimin consume him wholly and entirely, because two weeks of radio silence is deafening and Jungkook wants to finally feel again.

“I wasn’t sure,” Jimin gasps against his lips, walking them backwards until Jungkook hits the wall to the rink and is pressed right up against it. “When I came back Thursday, I—”

“You pretended,” Jungkook accuses, still hurt and a little broken, still needing more time to piece himself back together. “You pretended it didn’t happen, you acted like it was nothing, you fucker—”

“I didn’t,” Jimin swears, shaking his head and sinking down to suck at Jungkook’s neck. “Baby, I didn’t, I promise, it wasn’t like that—”

“Then make it up to me,” Jungkook interrupts again, daring and desperate to make up for the time they’ve lost. “I’ve needed you so bad, hyung, please.”

Jungkook feels Jimin shiver, his hands running up and down Jungkook’s spine, touching every inch of him like he’s afraid he’ll disappear if he doesn’t. “Yeah,” he chokes out, “yeah, baby, I’m so sorry,” he says, pulling away to look at him, expression sincere and riddled with guilt.

“You can explain later,” Jungkook says, missing the feeling of Jimin’s lips on his. “Kiss me again.”

Jimin chuckles into Jungkook’s mouth but fulfils his request, kissing him fiercely with everything he has, breathing heavily through his nose because he doesn’t want to come up for air. They break away for half a second, but when they come back together there’s a significantly larger amount of tongue, Jungkook forcing his own past Jimin’s lips and demanding entry. Jimin indulges him, everything hot and wet and sloppy, mouths wide open and slick with spit. Eventually, though, Jimin takes back the control that’s always admittedly been his, biting down lightly on Jungkook’s bottom lip and tugging, just enough to feel but not enough to hurt. Jungkook whines as Jimin slows the kissing, encouraging Jungkook to loosen his grip on Jimin’s shirt as he makes his way down Jungkook’s neck with pleased sighs.

“What do you want, Jungkookie?” Jimin asks, lazily licking over his Adam’s apple and nipping at it playfully, sending Jungkook into another wave of shudders. “You’ve been so good. I’ll give you anything.”

For a reason unknown to Jungkook, he doesn’t like the way that sounds, not here, not right now. Maybe if it was a different time, under different conditions, when Jungkook’s in a different kind of headspace that makes him crave that sort of thing. Instead he finds himself shaking his head, whining weakly into Jimin’s ear. “Hnghh, n-no,” he pants, but hastily grips Jimin closer to him when the elder immediately reacts to the word with pulling away. “Tell me what you want. I want to give you what you want. Jimin, please.” If it wasn’t for his arousal Jungkook knows he wouldn’t be saying these things, but for now he lets himself be unfiltered and free with the blood rushing out of his brain leaving him lightheaded and content.

Jimin appears to choke, not expecting Jungkook’s honesty, but he quickly recollects himself in order to respond, mouthing happily at Jungkook’s collarbone. “Then I want you to get the lube and condoms out of my bag, baby,” he whispers huskily, bringing his lips back up to Jungkook’s mouth to give him a soft peck there.

“L-lube?” Jungkook stutters, feeling himself beginning to freak out only slightly, because that is not something he counted on Jimin being in possession of. “Condoms?”

Jimin pulls back to look Jungkook in his eyes, because this part’s important. “If that’s what you want,” Jimin says seriously, making sure Jungkook sees him, really sees him, and that he understands. Jimin doesn’t want Jungkook to do anything he doesn’t want to do. That’s the absolute last thing Jimin would ever want.

Jungkook nods his head enthusiastically, because while he may be freaking out a bit he’s also incredibly excited, anticipation whirling in his gut. “I want it. I’ll get them,” he agrees, waiting for Jimin to let him go in order for him to do so.

“Good boy,” Jimin praises, and that sentiment alone has Jungkook racing to the bag in order to retrieve what they need because lord knows he’s ready to hear it again. He fumbles a bit with the zipper, finding it incredibly hot that Jimin doesn’t guide him—that Jimin only waits and watches, expects him to find the items himself like a good boy and complete the instructions he’s been given without having to ask for help. Jungkook is proud of himself when he finally has the lube and a condom in his possession, not bothering to zip the bag back up as he races back to Jimin to pick up where they left off.

“Thank you,” Jimin says, deep and rumbling, taking the items carefully out of Jungkook’s hands. “Now go sit down for me.”

Jungkook thinks it’s almost embarrassing, the way that he complies in a rush without even taking a second to consider it. He’s throwing himself down on the bench and looking up at Jimin with wide expectant eyes waiting for his next set of instructions, impatience surging through his veins. Jimin smiles fondly, assessing Jungkook’s position with a powerful gaze, stepping forward slowly to part Jungkook’s knees and stand between them. At this angle, he can look at Jungkook right down his nose, the younger craning his neck to catch Jimin’s stare. The imbalance hangs heavy between them, Jungkook’s willingness to submit and Jimin’s drive to devour, but a message is sent across the chasm connecting their eyes and they both know that this is okay. A tiny nod, a silent affirmation. Jimin tilts Jungkook’s chin up towards him and makes him wait, watches as Jungkook’s mouth drops half-open as he whines for Jimin’s touch. Jimin breaths steadily into Jungkook’s mouth, has him craving it, before connecting their lips hotly in the all-absorbing sort of way that leaves Jungkook wondering if this is what heaven feels like; Jimin’s lips on his, tongue tracing his teeth, choosing when the pair of them break away for air.

It’s a little bit awkward with the height difference but they manage, tongues tangling and Jimin’s grip firm on Jungkook’s jaw. His other hand twists itself into Jungkook’s hair, soft and fluffy at his fingertips, and Jimin sighs into the kiss, pleased to finally have Jungkook beneath his hands like this again. The angle begins to get uncomfortable, though, so Jimin pulls away to blink down at Jungkook and simply memorise him for a moment. The way his chest heaves, eyes glimmering with ardour—the way he chases Jimin’s mouth like he can’t bear to be apart from it. Jimin thinks Jungkook is a beauty that needs to be admired. He’s a creation Jimin’s endlessly thankful he has the ability to touch. He traces Jungkook’s bottom lip with the tip of a finger and basks in the softness of the flesh there.

With a steadiness Jimin is surprised he’s able to emit, Jimin climbs into Jungkook’s lap to straddle him, a picture-perfect image of their position from two weeks prior. He leans in as though to kiss Jungkook again, but stops just before they make contact, leaving Jungkook squirming with his hands gripping tightly onto Jimin’s thighs. “I think,” Jimin whispers against Jungkook’s lips, shivering as they brush together, “I want you to finger me open. Is that something you want, Jungkookie?”

Is that something he wants? Jungkook nearly laughs. “Yes, hyung, please, I want it,” Jungkook blabbers, already imagining how tightly Jimin will squeeze around his fingers, how incredible that would feel around his cock. “Hyung, please let me.”

“You’re so vocal,” Jimin teases, leaning back to undo his zipper. “Do you really want your fingers inside of me that badly?” Jungkook nods, beyond the point of feeling ashamed. Jimin’s got him locked up in a headspace he doesn’t want to crawl out of and it’s delightful in all the best ways.

Jimin hums, climbing off of Jungkook’s lap for a moment to discard himself of his pants, unabashed as his semi-hard cock springs free, then soon enough he’s smoothly sliding himself back onto Jungkook’s thighs. Jungkook gasps at the sudden exposure to Jimin’s bare skin, hairlessness suggesting he waxes it and malleable under his hands. It should be weird, Jimin sitting naked from the waist down on top of a still fully clothed Jungkook, but Jungkook figures once arousal sets in not a lot of things feel so weird anymore. All he can think about is getting his hands on Jimin in whatever way that he can, so the more flesh on display, the better.

“Be gentle with me,” Jimin whispers, pressing the bottle of lube into Jungkook’s hand determinedly as he fists his own cock lazily with the other. “It’s been a while.”

The thought that Jimin hasn’t had anyone else inside of him for what could potentially be since they started seeing one another sends Jungkook’s heart swelling even if it’s not explicitly romantic. It makes this feel more intimate, less like Jungkook just happens to be there and more like Jimin wants him to be there. “I will,” Jungkook promises, reaching behind Jimin to knead at his ass a bit before proceeding, wanting to drag this out. He’s acutely aware that Jimin still has a hand on himself between them, back of his fingers brushing Jungkook’s abdomen with every stroke. It makes Jungkook shiver as he attaches his lips to Jimin’s neck, biting down carefully, not harsh enough to leave a mark. He wants to leave marks all over Jimin—wants Jimin to leave marks all over him, too—but he doesn’t feel comfortable asking in this snapshot of a moment, so he lets it sit in the back of his mind for now. Later he may have the courage to bring it up, but in the meantime he brings Jimin’s mouth back to his and trails a hand down the crack between Jimin’s ass cheeks, pressing lightly against his rim with the pad of one of his fingers.

“A-ahh,” Jimin shudders, breathing in sharply against Jungkook’s mouth. Jungkook smiles, continuing to touch him delicately, but Jimin quickly grows impatient, bucking back into Jungkook’s hand. “Jungkook, lube, c’mon,” he demands, letting go of his hold on himself to reach back and push Jungkook harder against him. Jungkook wants to bite back, some tiny part of him that craves being a bit of a brat like he always is with most of his hyungs, but the way Jimin looks at him always leaves the words left silenced. Jimin is different to the others—or more like Jungkook is different with Jimin than he is with anyone else. It isn’t a bad thing, or a fake thing. It isn’t a front he puts on. He just gains immense pleasure from satisfying Jimin, from doing exactly as he says and being ordered to do it. He loves the way Jimin’s eyes light up when he’s done the right thing, even if it’s not sexual at all, as simple as perfecting a jump or nailing a spin. Jimin will clap and congratulate him and ask him to do it again and Jungkook will do anything to keep that smile on his face forever, so he does.

Jungkook pulls both his hands in front of him to pour lube over his fingers, hoping the way he’s shaking isn’t too obvious. Jimin’s kissing his neck, which doesn’t make it any easier, but he manages after a few awkward seconds and brings his hand back to Jimin’s hole again. It’s not the most ideal position, since Jungkook can’t see what he’s doing and his arm can only reach so far, but Jungkook thinks it’s perfect like this. Jimin above him like this is a sight he’s honoured to have and he’s not about to waste it by asking Jimin to get on his hands and knees. Demands like that don’t belong in Jungkook’s mouth, he thinks. He can see Jimin’s everything this way, every shift in his expression, every twitch of his lips, and Jungkook doesn’t want to replace that with anything.

He carefully presses one finger into Jimin’s body, the squelching sound it makes obnoxiously loud in the quiet of the centre. Jimin makes a high-pitched keening noise, squirming in Jungkook’s lap as he leans down to bite on his shoulder, swivelling his hips. “Okay?” Jungkook asks, pressing it a little deeper. God, he’s so tight. Jungkook knows that’s to be expected, knows that’s exactly how the body is supposed to work, but it still makes him feel hot all over, dick twitching painfully in his own jeans. He’s suddenly reminded of his own arousal, the way his cock is pressed up against his zipper straining for release, and he can’t help the way his hips thrust up a little, moaning as Jimin’s hand brushes against him in their proximity.

“Mhmm, go deeper,” Jimin says, wrapping his arms around Jungkook’s neck again to balance himself, “and stop trying to get off on me,” he adds, hitting Jungkook lightly on the chest. “I can feel you trying to be sneaky about it.”

“S-sorry,” Jungkook says, halting his hips and following Jimin’s command, pushing his finger in as deep as it can go. Jimin is still for a moment, allowing himself time to get used to it, but once he starts to make tiny rocking movements against Jungkook’s finger Jungkook takes that as a sign to start moving. He presses his finger in and out, slowly at first, but once Jimin is making these little “Ah, ah” sounds he takes the initiative to move at a faster pace. Jimin isn’t even touching his own cock now, face buried into Jungkook’s throat, clinging to him as he occasionally opens his mouth to lick at Jungkook’s skin. Jungkook can’t honestly believe this is actually happening. He cannot for the life of him figure out how his life has led to this moment, his finger up the ass of an angel in his lap after hours at his workplace.

“Another, Jungkookie, I need another,” Jimin demands, and it’s almost comical, the lightning speed at which Jungkook is pulling out his finger to lube up a second in order to fulfil the request. Jimin whines at the loss, but it’s short lived as Jungkook scrambles to press both his fingers back inside of him with as much care as he can muster in his lust-hazed state.

While the angle may be off, Jungkook’s good with his hands, and it may take a few tries but he finds Jimin’s prostate and massages his fingers against it gently, familiar with the motions. “B-baby, oh, fuck, yes, there,” Jimin whimpers, throwing his head back and tightening his fingers into Jungkook’s shirt. “Fucking do that again.”

Jungkook complies, fingers rotating in and out, occasionally brushing against Jimin’s prostate in a way that is pleasurable but not too overwhelming, so that Jimin’s left sitting on Jungkook’s hand feeling like he’s right at the edge when he isn’t. Jungkook can’t stop staring at him, his plump lips and gorgeous eyes and everything about him as a whole. He is utterly mesmerised, his own mouth parted and eyes wide open, like he’s somehow able to take in more of Jimin’s beauty this way, like the larger he makes the parts of himself that can see the easier Jimin will be to memorise.

“So good, baby, Jungkookie, so good,” Jimin rasps, sending waves of arousal down to Jungkook’s cock, and it takes everything within Jungkook not to press himself up against Jimin’s heat, even though he feels like soon his hips are going to have a mind of their own if he doesn’t get relief soon. He’s reigning in every ounce of self-control he’s got, focusing completely on Jimin’s pleasure and Jimin’s pleasure alone. He knows his own will come. He knows, without a single doubt, that Jimin will take care of him. He always does.

Soon, Jungkook is pressing a third finger deep inside of Jimin, perhaps a bit too soon with the way he struggles around the constriction of it all but they’re both getting impatient and Jimin doesn’t complain. Jungkook stretches him as best he can with the way they’re sitting, free hand clasping Jimin’s upper thigh in support, and Jimin kisses him sloppily again, fingers subtly slipping down Jungkook’s chest to pinch at one of his nipples through his shirt.

“O-oh,” Jungkook pants, having forgotten how that feels, fingers twitching sharply in surprise and jamming right up against Jimin’s prostate. Jimin’s hips jump, but other than that he gives no indication that he’s uncomfortable so Jungkook takes this as a good sign.

“I love how sensitive you are,” Jimin admits, pulling back to watch where his fingers are teasing Jungkook at his chest. Jungkook’s movements inside of him slow down as he becomes overwhelmed with sensation, but Jimin doesn’t mind, secretly liking simply having Jungkook inside of him like this, so distracted by Jimin’s conduct he struggles to think.

“Hyung, hnnnngh,” Jungkook moans, shivering at the touch. “Hurts.”

“Want me to stop?” Jimin asks nonchalantly, like he doesn’t have three fingers in his ass.

Jungkook is shaking his head, face screwed up in what could be interpreted as discomfort but Jimin knows better. “No, no, good, hurts so good, please.” Jungkook has never heard his voice ringing at such a high pitch before. He also doesn’t think he’s ever sounded this desperate, this achingly hard for someone. He shifts on the bench, straining to keep still, hoping Jimin shows him mercy soon and allows him to unzip his pants.

Jimin seems content to tease Jungkook for a few more minutes, licking into his mouth and twirling his fingers over his nipples while he rocks back onto Jungkook’s hand. Eventually, though, he does want something bigger, because Jungkook’s fingers are no longer enough. He wants to sit himself right down onto Jungkook’s lap and give the younger boy the ride of his life. Without much warning, Jimin is taking his hands away from Jungkook’s chest and yanking at his zipper, encouraging Jungkook to lift his hips as he pulls down both the jeans and his underwear at once. The bitter air hits Jungkook’s cock and has him hissing through his teeth, twitching uncomfortably where he sits, hips stuttering up into nothing now that the constraints of his clothing are gone.

“Don’t worry, baby,” Jimin whispers, putting a hand on him and jerking him slowly, “I’ll warm this up for you, okay?”

The lube is cold but the slickness makes up for it, the delicious slide of Jimin’s fingers sending his eyes rolling into the back of his head. His own fingers have been pulled out from within Jimin without his conscious awareness of doing so, both his hands now firmly holding Jimin’s ass instead. Jimin doesn’t mind that he’s twitching around nothing, his hole fluttering with the need to be filled, because he has Jungkook’s beautiful cock right here and he knows he’s going to be getting his fair share of it soon.

“Do you want to be in me, baby?” Jimin asks, even though he knows Jungkook is past the point of being able to think, just because he likes making the boy stutter and whine and blabber profusely about how much he craves it. “Do you want me to sit on your pretty cock and keep it nice and hot for you?”

In any other situation, Jungkook would laugh. The words alone, taken out of context, are arguably ridiculous. The context, though, makes all the difference—Jungkook is hard and turned on and so one hundred percent absolutely in support of whatever Jimin has to say that his dirty talk makes Jungkook groan, cock jerking, pre-come oozing at the head. He’s been hard for what feels like eternities, trapped inside of his clothing unable to achieve release. Jimin strokes him wonderfully, biting at his lower lip, smirking into the kiss, knowing exactly the kind of effect he’s having on the younger. “Good boys answer questions when they’re asked them,” Jimin whispers, just to have some fun, because having Jungkook like this is a blessing he’s going to take advantage of for as long as he can. He knows if Jungkook was seriously not okay with anything he’d make that clear, like he always has in the past by running away, but right now he doesn’t look like he’s planning on going anywhere.

“Yes, hyung, please!” Jungkook whines, finally finding his words, choking around a sob. “God!”

“Hmm, do you think that you deserve it?”

“Oh, holy shit. Holy shit,” Jungkook gasps, struggling to keep up. “Please, hyung, I’ve been good, I opened you up so well, didn’t I? I did, right? Please, hyung, Jimin, please please please—”

Jimin kisses him to calm him down, patting his head affectionately in an effort to help him settle. “Shhhh, baby, it’s okay, you did, you did,” he reassures, reaching over for the condom beside them, sending Jungkook’s heart lurching in excitement. “I’m only teasing. You’ve done so well for me.”

“Thank you,” Jungkook breathes, head tossing back as tears form in his eyes. “Wanna be s’good for you.”

“You are, baby. Promise.” Jimin asserts his statement with a fond kiss to his nose, eyes crinkling in the corners as he smiles. “I’m gonna put this on now, okay?”

Jungkook nods in response, glancing down as Jimin tears open the condom wrapper and slides it over Jungkook’s cock, applying more lube in order to make the slide of it into Jimin’s body easier for the elder. Jimin fists his cock for a few more seconds, then he’s shifting up on his knees and hovering over it, ready to guide it into himself when he decides to. He makes Jungkook wait, watches as he whimpers, holding himself back from jerking up into Jimin’s tight heat. Jimin takes pity on him soon enough, though, so he carefully sinks down onto Jungkook’s cock until he’s pressed flush right against him, Jungkook’s cock secured deep inside of his body all the way to the hilt.

Both of them moan at the same time, a feeling of completeness washing over both of their bodies as they relish in the new sensation. Jimin stills, allowing himself time to adjust, breathing heavily into Jungkook’s neck and shuddering around the intrusion. “So full,” he whispers, tears brimming at his eyes. “Fuck, Jungkookie, you fill me so good.”

“Can I move?” Jungkook asks, because he thinks he’s going to actually die soon if he doesn’t. Jimin laughs, which surprises Jungkook, because he doesn’t think the desperation of his dick is that great of a laughing matter.

“Don’t you dare even think about moving, sweetheart,” Jimin threatens sweetly, yanking on Jungkook’s hair to force his head up, craning it towards the ceiling so that Jimin can mouth at his pulse point on his neck. “You sit nice and still for me and take what I give you, okay?”

Jungkook doesn’t answer. Jungkook doesn’t need to answer. Jimin starts rolling his hips in these sensual little dips that leave Jungkook breathless, mind blanking out so that all he can even process is the way Jimin’s hole clenches so perfectly around his cock, even better than he’d imagined. Jimin is panting into his ear, probably speaking words, probably praising him and complimenting him and giving him all that he has like he always so selflessly does but Jungkook can’t hear anything except the obscene sound of their bodies slapping together, echoing across the ice and filling up the room and god, this is a public place. This is Jungkook’s workplace and he’s got his cock up Jimin’s ass.

He should be freaking out about this fact, but he figures the freaking out part will come later. Right now, the reminder of the ice behind him does nothing but cause him to reflect on how he’d come to be here. Sixteen years old, building a home at the rink and teaching himself crossovers late on Tuesday nights with the occasional free milkshake from Namjoon at the store. He remembers Seokjin encouraging him to come back, to keep practising, because even if things are difficult when you start them they always get easier the more that you try. Jungkook thinks his relationship with Jimin is a bit like that. Difficult for him to understand, something that requires a touch of extra work and a lot of his attention.  He knows it must be the same for Jimin, who’s persevered over the months even when it must’ve surely seemed pointless in the beginning when Jungkook could hardly say hello. It’s been a journey for the both of them and tested them both in different ways—Jungkook thinks it’s fitting for this to be happening here, by the ice, cold hands on bare skin and mouths hot with the taste of one another. This is where everything began.

Jungkook hopes that this is where everything will continue to grow.

Jimin begins to get more enthusiastic with his bouncing, snapping Jungkook out of his nostalgia as he clenches particularly hard around him. Jungkook is so tempted to meet Jimin’s thrusts with thrusts of his own, to buck back up into him and push as deep as he can go, but Jimin seems insistent to call all the shots and take exactly what he wants from Jungkook without giving him the option to fully participate.

Jungkook does participate, though. He kisses a line down Jimin’s neck, whimpers into his ear, begs for Jimin to rock faster.  The only thing he doesn’t do is move, because he wants Jimin to be proud of him and he wants to be rewarded. His hands run up and down Jimin’s arms then move to where his thighs are working diligently, convinced they surely must be aching. “Are you—are you n-not, t-tired, hyung?” Jungkook stutters, using up what little brain power he’s capable of exuding at this precise moment.

“I have dancer’s thighs, baby,” Jimin reassures, reiterating this by bucking even faster. “I’ll take care of everything.” Jimin’s cock bounces between them, whacking up against Jimin’s stomach with every thrust, and it looks so red and full and hot that Jungkook just wants to take a hold of it in his hand and pump him to completion. He doesn’t, though, waiting for Jimin to ask like he knows he surely will, and he knows it will be less of a request and more of an insistence and he already can’t wait for the words to break free from Jimin’s lips.

It takes a few more minutes, Jimin slowing down to roll his hips in tiny circles so he can hold off his orgasm, but eventually the need for release becomes too much and Jimin is hungry for Jungkook’s hands on him. “Jungkook, touch me,” he orders, reaching for the lube to spill it into Jungkook’s hands. “I want you to make me come.”

“Am I making you feel good?” Jungkook asks quietly, watching the lube drip down his fingers in minor fascination before he’s snapping out of it and finally, finally touching Jimin’s cock, needing the confidence booster during this vulnerable moment in the middle of sex. He’s terrified that his cock isn’t enough, that Jimin’s asking him to jerk him off because Jungkook isn’t hitting him deep enough, oh god what if I’m not good enough—

“So fuckin’ good, baby,” Jimin promises, easing Jungkook’s anxieties, allowing the breath to sweep right back to him. “Cock so good in me. Wanna sit on your cock for hours.” Now wouldn’t that be lovely, Jungkook thinks, imagining it for a moment as he glides his hand up and down Jimin’s length, slick and wet and wicked. He could have Jimin sitting on his cock all day, sat in front of the television, straps holding Jungkook down while Jimin takes what he wants when he wants it, not moving for hours or rocking frantically in his lap for several minutes whenever he so chooses. Jimin would come as many times as he wants, over and over again, prostate overstimulated and sore and satisfied, while Jungkook would be forced to wait, forced to hold it in and only come once Jimin decides to allow him to. It would be so agonising and so good. Jungkook fists Jimin a little faster to the thought, so caught up on the idea of Jimin coming multiple times in a day he’d almost forgotten he’s still never seen Jimin come at all.

He’s determined to change that.

Keeping his own hips still, he puts everything he has into the movement of his hand, thumb flicking over the sensitive slit at the top and pouring more lube onto Jimin’s leaking cock whenever it starts to get a little dry. Jimin seems to like it messy, staring down lustfully at where the lube drips onto Jungkook’s jeans and the bottom of his shirt, and Jungkook knows neither of them are going to last much longer. He himself is barely hanging on, the breath knocking out of him every single time Jimin decides to impale himself on Jungkook’s dick, and if the sounds Jimin is making are anything to go by the elder is close to reaching his end, too.

“Baby, fuck,” Jimin huffs, leaning forward to press their foreheads together. “Fuck, I’m gonna come so hard.”

“You’re fucking me s’good,” Jungkook sobs, only realising now that he’s crying, the overwhelming pleasure completely taking over his every sense so that he can hardly stand it. “Lemme come, please, hyung, m’gonna—please—”

“Such a good boy,” Jimin murmurs, so close to the edge he feels like he’s dangling off of it. “Waiting for permission, holding it in just like good boys should.”

“Fuck, fuck, fuck that’s so hot,” Jungkook can’t help but splutter, head spinning and gut coiling in pleasure. “Say it again, again, hyung, please.”

“You’re so good, Jungkookie. Make me come, baby. Make me come and I’ll let you come too.” Jungkook starts thrusting wildly, pushing his cock up deep into Jimin because he can no longer help himself, allowing Jimin’s cock to slip messily in and out of his hand as he uses his other one for leverage on Jimin’s hip and positively pounds him. Jungkook thinks he could probably hold Jimin up and fuck him against a wall, have Jimin whisper all the angles he wants Jungkook to hit and all the other surfaces he wants Jungkook to fuck him on. Jimin cries out, a high-pitched keening noise that sounds like music to Jungkook’s ears, and then he’s coming all over Jungkook’s fist and his shirt and his legs are trembling so badly Jungkook wonders how he hasn’t collapsed yet.

Jungkook thought too soon, because as soon as Jimin has come down from his apparent mind blowing orgasm he’s falling against Jungkook’s body and mumbling, “Keep going, Jungkook-ah. I want you to keep going until you come.”

Jungkook sees stars as he continues to thrust deeply into the elder, so close to orgasm he can feel it curling within him, waiting for the exact right moment to strike. If he focuses carefully, he can hear Jimin’s tiny breathy moans in his ears caused by the overstimulation, body absolutely convulsing in Jungkook’s lap, and those beautiful sounds are what finally tip him over the edge, sending him spiralling into an orgasm that’s even more powerful than the last.

The world slows down so abruptly Jungkook feels like he’s been dipped into rapidly hardening amber. He can’t see anything, feel anything, hear anything that isn’t related to the orgasm unfurling out of his gut. He’s vaguely aware that he’s probably crying, sobbing into Jimin’s chest and whimpering during the aftershocks. The entire thing feels like it goes on for centuries. Like the sky’s lit up with a thousand stars and Jungkook can see every last one in acute detail, pouring over him in a meteor shower that never seems to end, the night cascading from above in shimmering waterfalls that are brighter than the sun and more beautiful than the moon. Jungkook feels so good he’s almost certain he must be dreaming.

It does come to an end, though, and soon enough Jungkook is blinking his eyes open and staring dazedly up at Jimin’s face as he feels his cock softening inside of the older boy still seated in his lap. Jimin looks unmistakeably fucked, lips bright red and eyes a little hazy, forehead sweaty and blond hair resembling a bird’s nest on his head. Jungkook is sure he must look much the same, if not worse. “Back with me, baby?” Jimin asks, pushing the sweaty hair off of Jungkook’s forehead and smiling tenderly at him from above.

“Yeah,” Jungkook manages after a moment, still in recovery, still not quite believing that his dick is currently parked right there inside Jimin’s ass. It’s all a bit embarrassing now, once the arousal has worn off and Jungkook has the time to reflect on his own behaviour. His cheeks heat up and he hurriedly turns away from Jimin to hide his face in his hands. “Oh my god,” he groans, ignoring Jimin’s delighted giggle. “I can’t believe that just happened.”

You can’t?” Jimin scoffs, slowly easing himself off of Jungkook’s cock so that it slips free and flops down sadly towards the floor. “Try being me.”

Jungkook is suddenly reminded of what caused all of this in the first place, leaning back to slap Jimin’s chest playfully. “What happened? You literally touched my dick and then acted like we hadn’t even kissed yet—”

“Do you wanna go out sometime?”

“—which is super misleading—wait, what?” Jungkook chokes, vision blurring as his brain processes the words that have just come out of Jimin’s mouth.

“Do you want to go out with me sometime?” Jimin clarifies, enunciating each word, like Jungkook totally didn’t completely hear and understand him the first time and isn’t majorly freaking out about it.

“Like—like a date?” he squeaks, in the manliest of ways, but he’s been on such a wild emotional rollercoaster today he’s surprised he’s even managing to speak at all. Is Jimin for real? He can’t just spring this sort of shit on him! Jungkook is confused and still all brain-addled from his orgasm and isn’t ready for actual human conversation yet, let alone respond to being asked out on a date. By the guy he’s just had sex with for the first time, no less.

Jimin rolls his eyes exasperatingly. “No, like two straight bros who just engaged in homosexual intercourse for lol’s—yes, I mean like a date, you egg!” He smacks Jungkook hard on the chest. “Are you serious?”

“Are you serious?”

“Are you kidding me? Of course I’m serious! I just had your dick up my ass!” Jimin yells, pouting and appearing very put out as he huffs angrily in Jungkook’s lap.

“Well, I mean, as I was saying before, you literally acted like it never even—”

“I was waiting for you to ask me out!” Jimin explains, folding his arms across his chest, blushing furiously and glaring at some unknown location on the floor. “I thought my mouth on your dick would be a good enough indication but you didn’t even try anything when I saw you again Thursday.”

…Huh?

The world stops turning for a moment as Jungkook’s mouth opens and closes a few times like a dumb goldfish, completely caught off guard. It takes him a second or two to figure out how to respond, studying Jimin’s pouty lips and petulant expression and wondering how this happened. “B-but—you—you know I’m shy!” Jungkook blurts, eyes wide, and he really has no idea what’s going on right now. He’s so shocked that this is the reasoning behind Jimin’s elusive behaviour that he doesn’t know what else to say.

Jimin huffs, suddenly sheepish, playing with the cotton of Jungkook’s shirt in front of him. “I was sort of hoping that what happened would give you some courage, you know?” he mumbles, biting down on his lip. “I’ve been putting a lot out for so long, I just kind of…really wanted to be asked out by you.”

Guilt floods Jungkook’s conscience, unwelcome and justified. He’s never felt so incredibly useless, because it’s undeniably true—Jimin has been the catalyst of their relationship, calling all the shots and encouraging all the progress, but if one takes a moment to step back and reflect upon it, they may see that it can be interpreted as being one-sided. Just like when you’re always the one sending the first text message and it feels like the other person doesn’t care about you enough to make the same effort. Is that how Jimin has felt? Jungkook almost wants to be sick. “I’m sorry,” he mutters, unable to look Jimin in the eyes. “You make me so—you make me so—”

But the truth is, Jungkook doesn’t know how to find the right words. He never knows the right words to say around Jimin. He thinks there aren’t enough words in the English language to describe what Jimin does to him, not enough synonyms for beautiful to describe what Jungkook thinks every time he sees Jimin smile. How is he supposed to express himself when his entire body shuts down when Jimin looks at him? When he finishes a jump and turns around to catch that look on Jimin’s face, awed and happy and pure. When he’s teaching Jimin something new and Jimin’s biting his lip in concentration, focusing on Jungkook so completely he almost forgets how to speak.

You make me so—

There isn’t any one word Jungkook can settle on so he leaves it unfinished. He hopes Jimin can figure the rest out on his own. “I thought you didn’t want me,” he admits instead, because somehow that’s easier. “I thought maybe the whole thing was fake, that maybe you were just like this with everyone, and that I was just dumb and convenient and there and now that you’d had me once you didn’t want me anymore.” It’s devastatingly honest but less daunting now that his fears have been denied, now that Jimin has already confessed that he wants Jungkook in the exact same way Jungkook wants him. A date. Not just fucking around in locker rooms and disguising themselves as friends once the lights are on. An actual, proper, I-want-to-hold-your-hand-in-public-and-say-disgustingly-romantic-things-to-you date. Jungkook feels a little giddy.

“Oh, no, baby,” Jimin sighs, leaning forward to press a fierce kiss to the top of Jungkook’s head. “No no no, not like that, never like that. I was just nervous.”

“Nervous?” For some reason, Jungkook’s always had this idea in his head that Jimin doesn’t ever feel nerves.

Jimin nods, a teasing smile on his lips. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you don’t send out very clear signals.” Jungkook blushes and hides his face in his hands again. “Hey, don’t be like that. I was just so unsure. You consented to everything but I’m always so scared I’m forcing you into things you don’t want to do because you’re such a petrified mouse sometimes that doesn’t know how to say no.” Jungkook can’t argue with that, chuckling a little into his hands as he pulls them away from his eyes. “I know you run away when it gets to be too much for you, and when you didn’t run away in the locker room I assumed that meant it was fine, but I still doubted. Which was why I decided to wait for you to do something on Thursday rather than have it come from me again.”

“I guess since you’ve always been so confident I just expected it from you,” Jungkook confesses. “I’m comfortable with you making those sorts of decisions. I—didn’t think I’d have to make them. I relied on your confidence a lot.”

“Well, just because I’m confident doesn’t mean I can’t get anxious. I guess I’m good at hiding it.” Jimin beams then, bopping Jungkook on the nose to let him know everything’s okay. “It’s all worked out now, though, hasn’t it?”

Jungkook groans. “God, we’ve been dumb, haven’t we?”

Jimin laughs. “Hmm, maybe just a little bit.” He cocks his head. “So that’s a yes to the date then?” There’s a mischievous glint in his eye. Jungkook wishes he could pull out a camera to capture that look on his face forever, satisfied and teasing and willing to give Jungkook the world. Jungkook figures if he can’t solidify it forever in a photograph he can at least make sure Jimin looks at him like this again and again and again so that he never forgets the way it makes him feel.

“Yes!” Jungkook confirms, as if it wasn’t obvious enough already. “Yes, oh my god.”

“Good.” Jimin lets the word hang in the air, allowing Jungkook a moment to remember how it sounded in Jimin’s mouth mere minutes prior. And then, “This sweet soppy romantic moment is over now, right? Because I still don’t have my pants on and I think my dick is about to freeze.”

Jungkook laughs loudly and helps Jimin up. Try as they might, they can’t get themselves to look all that presentable, especially with ejaculate drying on Jungkook’s clothes very obviously on the front of his body. Jungkook whines a bit about it, but Jimin reminds him that he’s lucky Jimin let him come at all, and that shuts him up very quickly. He knows it’s only a joke but he can’t help but smile. The lights all look just that little bit brighter in the glimmering afterglow of their discussion and Jungkook’s mouth tastes like Jimin and sweet vanilla.

On their way out of the centre, Jimin offers him his hand. Jungkook takes it, holds it tightly, and never wants to let him go.

 

 

✧・゚: *

 

 

Jungkook never thought he’d ever discover anything that’s as beautiful as the ice. He’s spent the last several years of his life dedicating himself to the art of skating, spending countless hours in the cold swinging to the music of his blades slicing on sleet learning all there is to know about the secrets of the rink. He has spun and twisted and leaped into every dance and poured his heart into every song. Every time he’s ever felt like giving up, the ice glints enticingly up at him and reminds him what it is to feel accomplishment, reminds him exactly why he fell in love with the ice in the first place—the way it moves him, carries him, brings him to a twisted sort of escape. He’s content to make a home on the ice forever. He’s content to twirl endlessly into spin after spin after spin until the ice is all he knows and all he’ll ever understand.

If there’s one beauty in this world that comes close to compare, though, Jungkook thinks it must be Jimin. He’s tumbled his way into Jungkook’s life with a calculated recklessness that Jungkook still hasn’t quite figured out. He’s pushed all of Jungkook’s buttons, crawled up deep inside of him where Jungkook has never had anyone before, and showed him that there can be immense beauty in people, too, even when Jungkook thinks there can’t be. Jungkook can skate with a new purpose, now, one where he’s not only spinning for himself but spinning for Jimin, too. Jimin’s progress no longer shoots envy like poison through his bloodstream. It just makes him proud, a smile on his face he can’t shake every time Jimin perfects something new and demands Jungkook stop to watch him perform his new trick.

The ice used to resemble a place to hide and now it’s a sanctuary where both he and Jimin can thrive. Jungkook is still shy, stuttering out questions and sweating around complicated answers. Jimin is still just as dauntless, showering Jungkook in compliments and pleased with the way he can make him blush, but at least now they’re finally sure of one another’s intentions. Jimin knows with complete certainty that everything he has to say is welcome as long as Jungkook doesn’t say otherwise, and Jungkook knows Jimin is utterly dedicated to him in every way, more than just a game or someone fun Jimin only keeps around to mess with.

“Taehyung and Yoongi are especially glad we finally sorted our shit,” Jimin tells him, days after their shared admissions by the ice. “I never shut up about you. It was driving them crazy.”

Jungkook laughs, understanding Jimin’s position. “I’m the same with my hyungs here. Hoseok-hyung literally thanked the gods when I told him the good news.” This makes Jimin giggle, a loud echo across the empty rink, and Jungkook has the strong urge to pinch his cheeks together. Ever since they finally came together Jungkook’s been having a seriously hard time keeping his hands off of him. They haven’t gone on their date yet, Jimin insisting he wants to make it a surprise, but Jungkook thinks all the hours they’ve spent alone together late into the night can nearly count as dates. It’s a pleasant thought, that their relationship has been secretly developing all this time just waiting for the perfect moment to spring to life. Jungkook is excited and he knows that whatever Jimin plans for them he’ll love to no end, because as long as it’s Jimin, Jungkook thinks he would have fun watching wet paint dry. With Jimin by his side, all the colours are sharper. The sun burns a little warmer into his skin. Everything is good and nothing is painful and Jungkook has never been this happy before.

Seokjin wanders out from the back room tonight, which is immensely unusual, because Jungkook is so used to he and Jimin being alone he often forgets Seokjin is there at all. Jungkook thinks back to their fornications from days earlier, suddenly very appreciative that Seokjin hadn’t decided to make an appearance on that particular night instead. However, his relief is short lived as he catches the slightly horrified look on Seokjin’s face as the elder approaches the pair of them messing around on the rink. “So I think it’s important I let you both know that we do actually have security cameras in here,” he greets, wincing, no beating around the bush and getting straight to the point. Jungkook takes a while to understand Seokjin’s implication, and it appears Jimin is much the same, because both of them gasp in sync.

“Oh, no,” Jimin says at the exact same time Jungkook begs, “Please don’t fire me.”

Seokjin sighs, running a hand through his hair. “I’ve deleted the footage, but I swear to fucking god, Jungkook,” he warns, pointing a finger, liquid threat swimming in his eyes. Jungkook gulps. “You’re lucky I love you so much, because for some godforsaken reason I’m letting it go, but if I catch you fucking one another on this rink one more time I will not hesitate to be the cause of your unemployment.”

Jungkook nods hurriedly, back straight and a little bit terrified. “That’s understandable. I’m so sorry.” From the corner of his eye, he suddenly catches Jimin snickering. He whips around on the spot to confirm it, because he cannot understand what is funny about this, to catch the elder giggling into both of his hands in a bad attempt to muffle the sounds. “Jimin, what the fuck?”

“I’m so sorry,” he gasps, still struggling to hold back. “I don’t know why I’m laughing, this is just so ridiculous.”

“Maybe for you!” Jungkook yelps, face bright red. “You’re not the one who works here!”

“I will admit,” Seokjin bumps in, a faint smile forming on his lips that he can’t erase, “if I wasn’t one of your employers I’d probably be laughing my ass off, too.”

“Shut the fuck up, both of you,” Jungkook whines, hiding his face in his hands. “This is so embarrassing. I want to forget this ever happened.”

“Hey, you’re not the only one. I’m just glad it was video only.”

“Don’t tell me you watched it!” Jungkook shouts, because if Seokjin has seen his dick up Jimin’s ass it really is all over for him. He’ll change his name and move to Japan and start developing a machine to erase people’s memories so he can wipe Seokjin’s mind of that image forever.

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “No, I didn’t watch it, brat. I wiped the whole thing as soon as Jimin over here took his pants off.” Jimin, at least, has the decency to blush. “Don’t you both have more important things to be working on besides sex, anyway?” Seokjin scolds next, crossing his arms. “I’m guessing you haven’t nailed that double flip yet, Jungkook, if you’re too busy sticking your dick into things.”

“Oh my god,” Jungkook chokes, finding it difficult to swallow around his own saliva. “I’m gonna pretend you didn’t say that. No, I haven’t nailed the double flip. I’m working on it.” He hopes that this is enough for them to divert the direction of this conversation because if he has to discuss sex with Seokjin for even a moment longer he thinks he’ll probably die.

It is enough, apparently, because Seokjin tsks and shakes his head but Jungkook knows it’s very put on with the way his lips are twitching up at the corners. “All good things take time, I guess. You’ll get there with practise. Which reminds me, I’ve been meaning to ask,” he says, face lighting up in recognition, “have you guys ever considered doing a routine together?”

“What?” Jungkook says dumbly, because he’s never thought about it at all.

“I mean, just for fun. It’d be good for improving your performance skills. You could show me and the guys if you wanted. Cute, right?”

“A routine?” Jimin squeaks excitedly, hopping up and down on the spot. “I could choreograph us a program, Jungkook-ah!”

Jungkook laughs, knowing he’s going to say yes from the way Jimin is acting alone. How could he say no when Jimin is looking at him like that, all hopeful and bright and filled with elation? “You, choreograph? I’m the one with the years of skating experience behind me, hyung,” he points out, just to tease. This has become easier for him—talking to Jimin like he’s an equal, not some otherworldly ethereal being here to consume Jungkook’s soul and take his spirit with him to heaven. Even if he still chokes up in almost every conversation, it’s safe to say he’s improved a lot, which is a lot better than he could say for the version of himself that existed months ago. Oh, how far he’s come. He’s proud of himself, and he knows Jimin is proud of him, too.

“Yeah, but I’m the dancer,” Jimin argues, sticking out his tongue. “You should teach me to do a triple toe loop before I plan it, Jungkookie! It would look so pretty in our routine~”

“Jimin! I can’t even do a triple toe loop!” he chastises, Seokjin’s laugh ringing merrily in the background. “I swear, you’re going to be the death of me.”

Jimin slides closer on his skates, grabbing both of Jungkook’s hands in his and kissing him lightly on the cheek. “You’re so easy to rile up. Our program is going to look beautiful without it, I promise.” Jungkook’s face flushes red as he stares at his toes and feels his heart fill up so beautifully he thinks it might overflow and spread his love for Jimin all over the ice at their feet. It would be fitting, he thinks. Both of his loves blurring together in the same place, until one is utterly undistinguishable from the other and he can no longer tell the two of them apart. He looks at the ice and he looks at Jimin and he thinks, this is it.

This is all I’ll ever need.

While it’s true that Jungkook may never completely master the art of figure skating, standing here with the ghost of Jimin’s lips on his cheek and his heart in his hands he thinks that having the privilege of sharing the ice with Jimin is definitely more than enough.