They need a lead singer, preferably one that plays the guitar, but at this point of their search for one, they aren’t being particularly picky about it, as long as that person could sing decently, it is honestly enough for them.
But that in itself was resulting an impossible task.
“How many fucking auditions have we had already?” Yoongi groans, as yet another terribly out of pitch guy walked out of Namjoon’s garage with a promise of a call that he was never going to get.
Namjoon sighs, “the third one—” he pauses for a second to look at the time on his phone “—from this past hour, in total it’s been like— I don’t know, man, like nine assholes.”
Yoongi sighs too, standing up from the shitty plastic chair Namjoon had set up as their ‘auditions chairs’ as he had called them, to look more professional or whatever the hell he had said. So much for that when the only people that came to the auditions were shitty music majors from freshman year that sounded like strangled pigs.
“Well, this is obviously not going to work, so I’m gonna call it a day,” Yoongi declares, walking towards the door that leads to Namjoon’s kitchen.
“But, dude, we— we have like two or three more guys that are coming today,” Namjoon says matter of factly as he looks down at the notebook that’s resting on the table in front of him.
Yoongi rolls his eyes. “And I’m more than sure that you are a hundred percent capable of dealing with them by yourself.”
“You are such an ass,” Namjoon sighs just as someone knocks on the door.
“Well, you are what you eat. Good luck!”
And with that Yoongi is gone and it’s up to Namjoon to deal with the last two painful auditions.
(Spoiler, everyone sucks.)
“I can’t believe you just left me there to suffer by myself,” Namjoon groans, throwing himself on the living room couch next to Yoongi who’s mindlessly scrolling on his phone with one hand, the other on his mouth as he continues biting on his nails, chapped black nail polish becoming more chapped by the second.
He's nervous and stressed, they both are.
“It was your idea to have the auditions, not mine,” Yoongi reminds him.
“What else are we supposed to do? The presentation is next Friday and we don’t even have one single candidate, and you’re also part of the band, so don’t try to pull that bullshit on me,” Namjoon says with almost a pout.
“Well, if Tae hadn’t left to become a supermodel—” Yoongi begins to say, but before he can finish, Namjoon is cutting him off.
“Hey, don’t say that, you know it’s always been his dream. The band was just a hobby for him, he has always been doing us a favor, you know that,” Namjoon nags him, staring at him with a frown.
He looks quite cute like this, despite his bad habit of biting his nails and low temperament, Yoongi is still cute when he frowns like this, black eyeliner smudged in the corner of his eyes, his cute button nose that's adorned by a silver nose ring, his tiny heavily pierced ears that are being half covered by his blonde messy hair.
When Yoongi finally puts his phone down and looks at him with a pout, he’s even cuter.
“I know, I know it’s just— how are we going to find someone as good as Tae that also plays the guitar and learns our songs in less than a week?” Yoongi asks with a pleading look.
Namjoon sighs. This is their first serious performance as a band, in an actual concert venue and not in some shitty bar or someone else’s basement or garage.
And it just happened that two weeks prior to that their temporal singer and guitarist signed a contract to go overseas to become a training model.
As if luck wasn’t already on their side, everyone that came to their auditions sucked on a level that neither of them thought possible.
“I have no idea,” Namjoon deadpans.
“It is Wednesday, my dudes!” Hoseok, the owner of the unmistakable high-pitched voice, all but screams as he approaches Namjoon and Yoongi at the cafeteria table.
“Do you want me to scream like a chicken being choked now? Is that what you want? Because I will do it,” Yoongi says as Hoseok sits down next to Namjoon who’s across from Yoongi.
“No, you don’t need to take my vine references so seriously, please don’t scream like a choked up chicken,” Hoseok says with a wary tone.
Hoseok is a music major like them as well, he’s an amazing singer and plays a shit ton of instruments too, but sadly for all of them, he’s more interested in teaching music than performing it live.
Yoongi sighs, going back to typing furiously on his laptop, Namjoon is no more different, highlighting some notes in his notebook with an intensity that has Hoseok fearing he might break the paper.
They both look like crap, hunched over on themselves with deep eye bags under their eyes, Hoseok is also pretty sure they are both wearing the same clothes they were wearing yesterday.
“Yo, guys, but for real, why the long faces?” Hoseok asks with mischievousness.
The dead glare Yoongi gives him makes a shiver run down his spine, he would have regretted asking them if it wasn’t for the good news that he was about to give them.
“Oh, no reason much, dude, just here writing an email to the venue to cancel our slot on the show because, and I don’t know if you remember, but, oh! shit right, we don’t have a lead singer,” Yoongi spits the last part with disdain.
Hoseok thinks that they have suffered enough already these past two weeks, so he should just give them the news already, that and maybe Namjoon might actually break his notebook with his bare hands any moment now.
“Well, stop the fuck now because I have some news for you, guys!” He smiles with his signature heart-shaped grin, trying to close Yoongi’s laptop with his hand, but failing when Yoongi just pushes it open with both of his.
“If it’s not the news that Taehyung somehow magically came back to save our asses, then I don’t wanna hear it.” Yoongi grunts, still typing away.
Hoseok huffs, Namjoon still hasn’t even said a word.
“Then you don’t wanna hear about Taehyung’s friend, this guy he knew from high school that could sing like a God. He has been trying to contact him since he left, he managed to find his social media last night, and so it happens that this guy is actually majoring in singing right here in this same campus and also plays the guitar and is the first in all of his classes. But I guess you guys aren’t interested in that then,” Hoseok says, standing up as both Namjoon and Yoongi look like their eyes are about to pop out of their sockets.
“Sit the the fuck down before you get smacked the fuck down,” Namjoon finally speaks up, looking at him with crazy eyes. Hoseok is still smiling.
From the way Hoseok had described him, both Namjoon and Yoongi were expecting someone a bit more arrogant, maybe a bit full of himself, they were expecting ripped jeans and a sleeveless shirts and a bad attitude.
“I don’t know, hyung, Taehyung literally just gave me his number and said he had found his high school friend and that he might be able to help you guys out. I literally have no idea how he looks or how he plays, but from what Taehyung told me, the kid’s pretty good,” was all the vague information Hoseok had given them.
What they found instead was black jeans paired with a black hoodie and a pair of huge doe eyes staring at them expectantly.
This guy… Jeon Jungkook, Hoseok had said, was nothing like they had imagined, his posture exuded confidence, but they could see how nervous and anxious he was, holding onto his guitar case with one hand and gripping tightly onto the strap of his bag that was across his chest with the other, his foot tapping restlessly on the floor.
“Hey, Jeon Jungkook, right?” Namjoon speaks with a gentle voice.
“Uh— yeah, that’s me— you guys are Taehyung hyung’s friends, right?” Jungkook asks, standing rigid at the entrance of Namjoon’s garage.
Namjoon smiles at the use of the honorific despite Taehyung not even being here, he nods, guiding Jungkook with his hand to walk inside towards the microphone stand that's in front of Yoongi’s drum set.
Jungkook does so, bowing slightly to them.
“We are. I’m Min Yoongi and this is Kim Namjoon,” Yoongi introduces them.
“And together we are Route 43 and we are always on the lookout for lead singers because, apparently, no one likes to stick around for too long,” Yoongi snorts at that which brings a smile to Namjoon’s face.
It seems to make Jungkook laugh as well as he tries to cover his mouth to try and disguise his smile.
“Well, enough with the introductions, Hoseok-ah told us Taehyung recommended you to us, which has to mean you are somehow more or less good,” Yoongi says crossing his arms over the small table Namjoon had set in front of them, short sleeves allowing the tattoos he has on his forearms to show.
Jungkook smiles at that. “I’m alright, I guess, I always try to practice hard.”
“For how long have you been singing?” Namjoon asks him.
Jungkook hums, frowning in thought— Namjoon thinks it’s cute and wonders if Yoongi thinks the same.
“All my life, I think? There’s this video of me singing Bohemian Raspberry when I was like three years old, so— but, like, professionally maybe, like— almost six years?” The way he says it sounds more like a question than an affirmation.
Namjoon by now is just trying not to laugh at the way Yoongi is trying to hold back a smile and act professional and cool. He knows Yoongi well enough to know that he also likes this kid, in comparison to the self-centered assholes that have come to the auditions, Jungkook is simply endearing and cute, but he hasn’t even sung or played yet, so—
“And for how long have you been playing the guitar?” Yoongi asks then, looking a bit constipated by the way he’s trying to hold back a smile.
“Eleven years,” Jungkook says without missing a beat.
“Wow, that’s a long time, for how young you are, I mean,” Namjoon points out.
Jungkook smiles then, all full with big teeth; he has really cute big teeth that compliment his big shiny eyes and prominent pierced ears— Namjoon notices he has them stretched like his own.
“I’m not that young, I have been playing since I was eight,” Jungkook reasons.
“So you are nineteen, right?” Yoongi declares more than he asks him.
“Twenty next month,” Jungkook nods.
“Well, I’m 25 and Joonie is 22, 23 next month as well, so— you’re young,” Yoongi says with a shrug.
A silence falls between them then, Jungkook’s ears slowly changing shades and turning a light shade of pink, eyes bigger than before.
“Uh— s—sorry, I didn't mean to be disrespectful or anything,” Jungkook apologizes lowly, a slight blush creeping up his cheeks now, and Namjoon feels like punching Yoongi right then and there; the kid is basically dying on his spot in front of the mic, almost fidgeting.
“Oh, no, what— don’t apologize, dude, it’s alright, I was just pointing out— whatever, just— what are you gonna play for us?” Yoongi says in a rush, trying to change the subject. Which, thankfully, seems to work (more or less.)
“Uh— I was thinking The City, by The 1975— maybe? I just memorized it last night, so— I know many songs, if you guys want me to play something different— ” Jungkook says calmly but still a bit shyly, dropping his bag on the floor and taking out his guitar from the case.
“Yeah, you can play that, that’s alright— fancy guitar though” Namjoon points out.
“Oh— yeah, I— it’s used, though, and very old,” Jungkook says, trying to be humble about it.
He smiles fondly at it, like it has more emotional value than anything else. It’s old and very used but in decent enough state, a few scratches here and there that Jungkook has carefully covered up with some stickers.
“That’s a Gibson Les Paul studio in alpine white, right?” Namjoon asks with a knowing grin.
“Yeah—” Jungkook says as he bends down to plug the guitar into the speaker, carefully tuning the guitar slightly and adjusting the volume.
“Can I ask why this specific Les Paul?” Namjoon says, fully smiling as Yoongi is still trying to conceal his chuckles behind his hand.
“I, uh—” Jungkook stands up, tapping into the mic to check if its on, he laughs into it— it comes out airy and metallic.
“Because it’s the guitar Frank Iero used to use.”
Yoongi fully chuckles then, shaking his head. “amazing,” he says lowly.
And Namjoon wonders yet again how Taehyung manages to always meet such weird and cool people.
At this point, they were both a bit scared that after liking the kid’s personality this much, he would end up being a flop like the rest of the people that have come and go into this garage during this last week, or, worst, that his cute and shy self would shine through when he played, kinda like how Hoseok is during live presentations.
But once Jungkook begins to sing, they don’t even have time to think about what they were worried about in the first place two weeks ago when they drove Taehyung to the airport.
Yoongi is shocked to realize that Jungkook even plays the song better than the original, and his singing, well— he makes a mental note to call Taehyung later and thank him for finding this prodigy kid for them.
And, besides his undeniable talent, his stage presence is also something else. Before, when he was talking to them, he had been stuttering and blushing like crazy, but once he hit the first note, he became someone else entirely. he definitely has the stage presence of a lead singer, Yoongi decides.
When the song finishes, Namjoon has to hold back the urge to run towards him and cry on his shoulder from relief.
A beat of silence passes by, Jungkook is panting slightly, eyes big and expectantly waiting for an answer.
“Well, did I meet your expectations?” he asks with a shy smile.
Namjoon and Yoongi share a look; Yoongi nods without saying a single word and Namjoon understands so he turns towards Jungkook then, smile big on his face.
“How long do you think it will take you to learn our entire setlist that consists of three songs, starting from right now until Friday night as your deadline?”
Jungkook smiles so big that Namjoon almost runs towards him, almost.