"Open your eyes, sweetheart."
"Come on, cutie. Wake up!"
Jung Jungwoo's eyes flicker open slowly, the lighting too damn bright, the two voices talking to him so familiar...
It feels like he's just closed his eyes for a nap.
"Up, up, honey. You've been asleep way too long, we got work to do!"
That's definitely his grandmother. She's the only one to greet him in the mornings thus so.
Wait. His grandmother...? She passed almost 10 years ago...Woah.
Jungwoo sits up immediately, now completely wide awake. He's on a white narrow bed - the softest bedding ever - that is situated in a field of big, lush pink and white peonies...a field that seems to have no ending and no beginning.
He knows them only because they are his husband's favorite flowers. He's bought Jimin a bouquet of peonies every Friday after their marriage.
Speaking of Jimin...
"He's not here, dear."
Jungwoo jerks back as a small bead of light appears in front of him. He watches in rapt attention as it grows bigger and bigger, momentarily blinding him.
When he opens his eyes again, he is staring at the sweet, gently lined face of his grandmother.
Jungwoo hops off the bed and hugs her small form within his big one.
Jungwoo lets his grandmother lead him back to the bed and they sit, side by side as she takes his hand in hers.
"Halmeoni, are you visiting my dream?"
She smiles at him, a bit sadly, her eyes conveying a message loud and clear: if only.
"Honey...this isn't a dream. I wish it was."
"What? Why...where am I?"
"You've been dead for 2 years, dear!"
Jungwoo's eyes widen as his mind grapples with how matter-of-factly his grandmother has just spoken that statement. Feeling another strong presence, he quickly turns around to his other side, where another old auntie is now sitting. He's never meet this one. But she looks...familiar.
"Ohhh, you are a handsome one. My Jiminie chose well."
"Jimin...? Are you...are you Jimin's grandmother?"
"I am!" she cackles and Jungkook can't help the smile that springs to his lips, enchanted by her boisterous humor.
Then his grandmother's earlier words hit home and he gasps.
"2 years? Dead?"
"We've been waiting for you to wake up."
"What...how can I even sleep that long?"
"When a person dies, their souls go into a limbo state of paralysis. Time is different in Heaven, it's only been a few moments here, but on Earth, it's been two years already."
"I've...I've been away from Jimin that long?"
"Indeed. Jungwoo-ah, you died heroically." His grandmother's hold tightens on his hand. "You saved that toddler from getting run over - but sacrificed yourself."
There is only one worry on Jungwoo's mind and he voices it quickly.
"How is Jimin? Is he...ok?"
Jimin's grandmother takes hold of his other hand and shakes her head sadly.
"Let me show you..." She swipes her hand in front of them and a hazy fog appears promptly...growing until the haze fades and images, like a VCR movie, form.
Jungwoo gasps as he sees his beloved...
Park Jimin lets himself into his apartment and bends down to scratch his fluffy, white, one year old poodle Miri.
"Hi, sweetheart. You're always waiting for appa, aren't you?" Dropping his bag on the side table, he pushes the door close behind him before scooping up his precious bundle.
Jimin's feet are on fire. After 8+ hours running after 2nd graders, he is ready to just collapse on his couch, put his feet up and watch a bit of TV before knocking out. But first, he has to feed his baby.
Putting Miri down, he follows as she prances into the kitchen and then stands patiently by her bowl with her tongue lolling out of one corner of her mouth. Jimin coos cutely at her as he pops open a can of wet food and empties it into her little heart-shaped tin bowl on the floor. As she digs into it, Jimin turns around and plops down on his kitchen chair. He reaches up to scratch the back of his neck and his eyes catch on a photo on his fridge.
Jung Jungwoo. Jimin's late husband. He was tall and lanky, his black hair cropped close on the sides and spiky on top. He had a huge smile on his face in the photo, his graduation hat in his hand. Jimin remembers having taken the photo of his love right on graduation day. A year later, they had married. They'd started their plans to be together forever. And exactly one year after their marriage, when the honeymoon period had still been fire, Jungwoo had been swept away from Jimin.
Jungwoo had been walking to the bus stop, on his way home from work when a kid had wandered into the middle of the busy road and in saving the child, Jungwoo had lost his life. Jimin had died internally with his husband that day.
Two long years had passed and he still hasn't moved on. Couldn't. Wouldn't ever. In Jimin's life, there is only one person he'd given his heart to and now, now he has nothing left to give to anyone else. Except Miri.
A small whimper breaks him out of his reverie. Jimin looks down as Miri places her two front paws on his legs, begging for attention.
"Ahhh, there's my sweet baby." Jimin picks her up and walks out of the kitchen, a familiar sense of sadness trailing along behind him.
Jungwoo's cheek ticks and his lower jaw clenches tightly as the images fade.
"He's sad. He's so sad and lonely."
He hears Jimin's grandmother beside him as the visual fades.
"It's been two years...shouldn't he have found someone else by now?" Jungwoo whispers past the awful lump in his throat.
"You know the answer to that. You know Jimin best out of anyone. He's the type who doesn't fall in love easily, if at all. He's too much like you in that aspect...One time is all he will have the heart for, but that one time will last forever. He will never love anyone again...which means he is doomed to be alone for the rest of this lifetime."
Jungwoo's eyes sparkle with tears. He knows. He knows how much Jimin loves him...he knows how much he loves him back...and he knows...Jimin is stubborn enough to never take his ring off and live an empty shell forever, if need be.
"What...what...why are you here? Is there a reason for all this?" Jungwoo spits out, his feelings a mess as everything hits him.
"There is." His grandmother reaches over and lifts his face to hers, wiping at the lone tear that escapes down his cheek.
"We want..." Jimin's grandmother starts speaking slowly, unsure how to approach the subject, but needing to ask.
"I want Jimin to be happy. I need him to not be sad...my heart can't take it. He's my baby. But he's never going to let go of you. He's set to not let anyone else into his heart." She turns to look at Jungwoo's profile.
"Jungwoo-ah...You know him better than anyone. Help us find someone to love him, help us help him to let go. I know it's asking for a lot but I need your help...I can't stand seeing him so...incomplete..."
Jungwoo swallows, his brows furrowing in confusion. "How can I do that?"
"Do you know someone who may be suitable for Jimin? Nice, kind, loving, can help him forget? Obviously, we can't change the future, but your grandmother holds some power here and she's allowed to manipulate situations here and there as long as it doesn't harm anyone. She can cause their paths to meet often so something can begin..."
"I sent a few angels down to help him smile a bit...but they were all fleeting and Jimin never even looked at them twice." His grandmother chuckles softly. "He's so stubborn...he is just like me sometimes."
Jungwoo's mind churns. Are these grandmothers for real? He loves Jimin. No one can ever love Jimin the way he does. And now they want him to find someone else for Jimin to move forward with? What kind of fucked up logic…
Then he sobers up and reality hits him. He’s dead. He’s gone. He may love Jimin all he wants, but they will never be together again until Jimin’s demise. The reality is, the love of his life is going to live a sad, long, solitary life because he won’t let go. He realizes that Jimin being alone hurts him more than Jimin being happy with another.
"I...I have a better idea. Let me truly help."
Both grandmothers look at him, surprised at his quick agreement.
"You're both right. I do know him the most. I know him better than anyone ever will. Let me really help - send me back to Earth under disguise. It will be my mission to make him fall in love again."
Both elder ladies stare at him in silence for a few tense moments.
Jimin's grandmother is the first to speak.
"You...you really would do that?"
"Yes. I want him to move on. Most importantly, I want Jimin to be happy. If I can't be that person to make him so, I want to help find him someone to do so."
The tears fall from both grandmother's eyes and they hug the young male, pleased that they are getting more than they had even hoped for. Jungwoo truly does love Jiminie.
"Ok, so for this to work, he's going to need a whole new identity. Name, face, body; he's got to be unrecognizable to Park Jimin."
Jungwoo stares at the fairy talking. The grandmothers had brought him into a white room, much like those one sees in psych wards, to be honest, except that there are plush seating everywhere and windows on the walls. Like a business room for the Gods and Goddesses. Something like that.
The fairy, Yoongi, is his grandmother's favorite. He has mint colored hair, black sturdy glasses and he's small, dressed in a long, flowy white tunic. He's also floating, legs crossed under him, and trying to talk the elder ladies out of this "crazily expected plan" as he had so gingerly put it when he'd heard of it a few minutes ago.
It seems he's finally conceded as he starts explaining what Jungwoo needs to do.
"That’s fine, dear. That's all doable."
Jungwoo see’s Yoongi roll his eyes at the elders before throwing daggers his direction. The fairy finally lands on his feet to sit down normally at the table and the ladies follow suit, his grandmother beckoning him over as well.
"Alright. So. We'll start with a name-"
All eyes turn to Jimin's grandmother.
She blushes and giggles behind her small, lined hands.
"That's the name of my first love. No one ever knew in the family." She offers and cackles along with Jungkook's own grandmother who is all in agreement, questioning her about her past now.
Yoongi rolls his eyes again but offers no comments. "No more Jung Jungwoo. You will now be Jeon Jungkook. While these two birdies are busy reminiscing, we'll find you a human form."
Jungwoo leans back as Yoongi floats over and swipes in front of him...much like a normal human would an ipad. Even the screen/visual he is staring at is the same.
Yoongi swipes through bodies and Jungkook hones in on one. It is almost opposite from his current one...this one is strong with broad shoulders, long legs, big hands, a nice tall height, and a thick beautiful head of dark brown hair. The visage is handsome and youthful, not intimidatingly gorgeous, but there is something very warm and inviting about the expressions, the features. A nose that's a tad big, lips a shade too thin, and a toothy smile that wraps it all up in a wholesome package. He decides this one looks like a Jeon Jungkook.
Jungwoo himself is skinny, average height, short, buzz-cropped hair, very normal looking, very...average. Jungwoo always wonders how he was able to win over Park Jimin, a male God of the Earthlings.
"So. That one, eh?"
Yoongi pushes the image off the hazy, visual screen with a hard swipe, directed at Jungwoo, and he feels a tingling sensation before he looks down and realizes that he now owns the body. And the face.
"Ohhhh...oh my god."
He turns around as the elder ladies stop conversing and direct their gazes at him - at Jungkook.
"You remind me so much of the Jungkook of my youth," Jimin's grandmother whispers, clasping her hands together at her chest.
Jungkook smiles at her tenderly before turning back to Yoongi, who'd started clearing his throat.
"Now. Another thing...do you know someone that may possibly be a good fit for Park Jimin? He can't be too damn familiar, that's added work I don't got time for. List me names and I'll check if they're available." Yoongi says testily.
Jungwoo thinks. He says the first name that comes to mind. His co-worker Kim Namjoon?
Yoongi closes his eyes and opens them in a flash, shaking his head.
Seokjin? Before he can even say the name, Yoongi is already shaking his head.
Ummm...he racks his mind. He doesn't know many single dudes...barely any who he'd deem worthy of Jimin's love and affections.
"Kim Taehyung. He owns the exotic car garage down the street. He's nice, has met Jimin a few times and Jimin doesn't seem averse to him. He used to be our neighbor before he moved out to his own house and Jimin used to bring him leftover kimbap once in a while," Jungwoo murmurs softly.
Yoongi gets to work, seemingly in agreement.
"I just accessed Taehyung's memory and found where we can inject your presence. He studied and graduated from a very reputable college in America and that's where he will know you from."
"But I don't know English-"
"You will now. Look, I don't half ass this stuff, kid. Give me a little credit here." Yoongi snaps his fingers in annoyance.
"Ok, this is perfect," the mint haired fairy continues, eyes closed. "You will be Kim Taehyung's younger friend JK and you will be visiting and working for him. Since Taehyung is the CEO of Exotic Motors, you will assist him in the mechanical department, which will be the major you graduated from in America..."
As Yoongi talks, he is also busy drafting up and throwing images into a kaleidoscopic collage Jungwoo can only assume is Kim Taehyung's memory. And true enough, Yoongi is also muttering in perfect English and Jungwoo has understood everything.
Jungwoo sighs softly, deep in thought, his soul aching. He has no beating heart, but that doesn't mean he has no feelings.
He recalls Jimin's face as he'd cuddled Miri to his chest - the sad, hollow eyes, the broken heart so obvious, clear as day. It pains him to see his beautiful Jiminie like this...Jimin who was always so full of life and so pent up with love, he always had more than enough to share...it pains him so much to see that Jimin would remain like this for the rest of his life. No one to shower with love, no one for him to shower with love... no one to bask in the glow that is his alone. Jimin is warmth that no amount of coldness can get to, he is both sunset and sunrise, a force of affection so strong, no one can remain unaffected. Jungwoo wants that Jimin to live on; he wants Jimin to be happy. It’s going to be painful, but he has to help his love close the book on him and open up a new one.
Jungwoo catches his reflection against a window on the wall. He looks nothing like his prior self. Jungwoo had been a bit older than Jimin at 32, the latter just 27. He'd been an engineer with a lanky body, cropped black hair and seasoned face. He had been decent looking, but in a more serious way. Now he is staring at a much younger, 26 year old, boyish countenance with brown hair, bangs in his face, toothy grin, toned muscular body. He may be in a different body, but his soul remains the same.
Jungwoo breaks out of his quiet musings to stare at Yoongi.
"You have 30 days. Think you can do it?"
"Make sure Jimin doesn't recognize you."
"Of course. I don't think anyone has to worry about that, I look like a complete 180 from Jung Jungwoo."
Yoongi smirked. "Are you ready to play the most important role of your life?"
Jungwoo nods solemnly. Come hell or high water, he is going to make Jimin fall in love with someone else.
Jimin is walking past Exotic Motors, on his way to pick up something to eat, when someone steps out of the building and almost bumps into him.
Jimin looks up at the the bright, big smile of Kim Taehyung.
"Hyung, " he answers softly with a smile of his own.
"Where are you headed to?"
"Ah, just somewhere to grab a bite to eat."
"Oh, then please join us!"
Jimin cocks his head. "Us?"
"Yes, my dongsaeng from America is helping me out until I find a permanent replacement for the head of my mechanics department."
As Taehyung turns around to his dongsaeng, Jimin's line of vision naturally follows, curious. He peers over Taehyung's shoulder and comes face to face with a tall, brown haired, doe-eyed individual.
"JK, this is Park Jimin, a friend of mine. Jimin, this is Jeon Jungkook. But we call him JK for short."
Jimin watches as Jungkook smiles and winks at him before tilting his head down in a polite bow. Jimin is a bit shocked that this person is such close friends with Taehyung. They look like polar opposites. Taehyung wears glasses, slacks and ties and button up shirts. This one... is broad shouldered and dressed in classic Timbs, faded, ripped blue jeans, a white tee and an olive cargo jacket with a dark cap flipped backwards over his head. His ears are also pierced, a stud on the left lobe and a small hoop on the other. Huh.
"Nice to meet you, Jimin-hyung. I heard Taehyung-hyung inviting you to join us for lunch. Please do!" he speaks and Jimin blinks. His voice is soft with a slight huskiness to it and Jimin is suddenly appalled at himself for noticing. Taehyung beams and nods.
In the face of their gentle insistence, Jimin couldn't say no.
Jungkook watches as Jimin excuses himself to go to the restroom. His eyes follow the small form, encased in a light blue button up tucked into black slacks, and as he walks off, the sunlight glints prettily off his blonde locks. A sense of melancholy stirs within him.
As they'd sat across from one another the last 10 minutes, Jungkook had found that he'd had to stop himself numerous times from reaching over to clasp Jimin's small little hands in his. There is a telltale, deep sadness in Jimin's eyes that Jungkook has never seen before. And the beautiful smile that he remembers would forever grace Jimin's lips doesn't make an appearance. Even when he does smile, it's small and never, not once, do they reach his eyes. And those eyes that used to sparkle brighter than the night sky have become so...empty. For the first time ever, Jungkook finds himself wishing that Jimin hadn't loved him so much that losing him meant losing a part of himself as well.
Fighting his memories, Jungkook clears his throat.
"Hyung, is this the one you've had a crush on?" he turns to Tae just in time to catch him choking on his drink.
"Yah. Don't say that out loud!" Tae wipes his mouth with a napkin.
"Why don't you just ask him out?"
"It's not that simple. Jimin is still in...mourning. He's a gentle soul and I'm biding my time."
"But hyung, you told me his husband died like 2 years ago."
"Jungkookie, just like love, people react to death differently. Some fall in love fast, some take a while. Some get over love fast, other's take years and years. And for some, the memories take root and don't ever leave. Jimin seems to be of the latter, but I think, with time and patience, he will become the second. He loved his husband more than I'd ever seen anyone love anyone. It's going to be a process for him."
Jungkook looks down at his coffee. Oh, how he knows how true that statement is. Jimin is someone who throws his all into everything he does, his passions, and that includes love. Even when they'd had disagreements, Jimin would always be the first to apologize, even if he had been right. Jimin hates it if he knows people are upset with him. He realizes now that this is going to be harder then he had anticipated.
Three days later, Jungkook enters his room in Tae's condo and throws his body backwards onto his bed.
Jungkook finds that he really really likes Taehyung. He is a bit sad that as Jungwoo, they had never been friends because their paths hadn't crossed much. Tae is smart but tactful, firm but approachable. His business is thriving because he's very eloquent in his business deals and meetings. Everyone likes the man. Jungkook couldn't have picked a better living soul to love Jiminie.
"How's it going so far, brat?"
The voice jerks Jungkook's eyes open and he sits up quickly, staring in the direction of the balcony, where a sudden gust of freezing wind is sweeping in. Yoongi is perched on the gate, staring at him from outside, the beige curtains flapping frantically in the wind.
"Hyung, it's cold. Come in and close the damn doors."
Yoongi sails in and snaps his fingers, the balcony doors immediately clicking shut.
"And no, haven't seen Jimin since the first day and Taehyung-hyung is really having me work my butt off!"
"He's got faith in you. However, 27 days to go, kid. Get crackin'. If you fail, we both look bad."
"I'm not gonna fail, hyung. I need you to have a little faith."
Four days and Jimin still finds himself thinking about that new guy Taehyung has working for him. Jimin's not entirely sure why the boy sticks out in his mind...but he does.
He's just pulled out his kimchi jjigae from the microwave when his doorbell dings. Placing the hot bowl on the counter, Jimin hurries to the door, wiping his hands on a wet towel.
He's met with a huge bouquet of pink peonies as soon as he swings open the door.
"Flowers for Park Jimin. Please sign."
Jimin, surprised, quickly signs and thanks the delivery guy before carrying the beautiful red roses inside.
He plucks out the note card and flips it open.
"For Jimin, these flowers are incomparable to your beauty. -T"
Jimin smiles softly. He pads into the kitchen on his bare feet, mystified, yet feeling somewhat a little lighter. He has no clue who T could be, but this is a sweet gesture....reminds him of Jungwoo.
The next day, Jimin walks into Exotic Motors and asks the secretary for Kim Taehyung. The secretary, Lee Sikyung knows Jimin is a friend so she calls up to Taehyung's office and, receiving no answer, she points Jimin downstairs into the repair shop where the CEO may possibly be. Jimin thanks her and reaches into the plastic bag he is carrying, pulling out a small bundle wrapped in foil. He hands it to her, telling her to enjoy before making his way to the elevators. He's made more than enough beef kimbap for the week and had thought to drop some off for the hard-working Taehyung and his staff, something he's done so before in the past.
SiKyung smiles happily with the food clutched to her chest, watching Jimin as he walks away. She can't figure out how dainty and graceful Park Jimin is for a male. His blonde hair bounces softly with each step, his body lithe and trim, even in an oversized beige sweater and skinny ripped blue jeans. He is stunningly beautiful and an absolute sweetheart as well, putting many people to shame. SiKyung, still smiling, shakes her head. Some people have all the luck.
"...Ok. Twist the wrench to the left. All the way until it tightens," Jungkook murmurs to the new worker who is standing under the hood of the Tesla with him as they tighten some screws on the engine.
Jungkook has always been a hands-on person. Even when he was Jungwoo and working in the engineering field, he preferred to go outdoors for assignments.
Jungkook pokes his head to the side of lifted hood, knowing who the sweet voice belonged to immediately.
"Oh! JK-ssi!" Jimin's eyes widen. He watches, frozen, as Jeon Jungkook says something to his staff before making his way over to Jimin, wiping his oil-stained hands on a gray cloth.
Jimin's eyes, of their own volition, take him in. Unlike the other workers who had their jumpers zipped all the way up, JK's is only zipped halfway, having tied the upper half of the jumper around his waist. His upper body remains covered only in a thin white tee shirt, the short sleeves rolled up to his shoulders, revealing sculpted biceps. His cap is present again, still on backwards. He looks more like he is about to perform at some at some hip hop dance show...or even a Chippendale's special. At that thought, Jimin feels his cheeks flush.
Wow. That's new.
"I...uh, I was told Taehyung-hyung may be down here?" Jimin squeaks out, not liking how Jeon Jungkook's presence is affecting him. It's confusing the heck out of him and he does not have the time to process that right now.
Jungkook stops directly in front of Jimin and smiles.
Oh god, too close, Jimin thinks. He lifts his eyes up at the taller male. There is a small grease mark on his right cheekbone and Jimin suddenly finds his fingers itching to reach out and wipe it off. He internally flinches and closes his empty hand into a fist, as if to stop himself.
"He just left to a meeting about 10 minutes before you arrived. Is there something I can help you with?"
Jimin gulps. "Oh...uh, I'm...I-I just brought him some food. I made a lot so I thought I'd share-"
Jimin's mouth drops open in surprise. "What...? How did you-"
"I have a good nose, I can smell how delicious they are," Jungkook rushes to cover his misstep. Yoongi-hyung will have his head later.
Jimin suddenly smiles shyly up at him and Jungkook freezes. It's a similar smile, one that turns his beautiful eyes into crescent shapes and brings out the apples of his cheeks. This smile is a lot closer to the ones he's used to. Jungkook makes a quick mental note to remind himself to remind Taehyung to compliment Jimin more often. Jimin loves compliments, even though they make him blush and turn red. Like right now.
"Umm...I can give them to him when he comes back?" Jungkook manages to choke out in what he prays is a relatively normal tone, trying to distract himself from the beauty that is Park Jimin, a beauty it seems he would never get over.
"Oh. Ok. I packed them separately so you can distribute them amongst the crew as well," Jimin says shyly, handing over the bag. "They're honestly not the best but-"
"Ahhh, nonsense. They're the best." His eyes meet Jimin's surprised ones before he realizes what he'd said. "I mean, I'm sure they are, they smell awesome."
Their fingers brush and Jimin almost snatches his hand back. It feels almost like he's just been scalded with hot metal.
"Ok...well, I'll see myself out," Jimin stammers before he turns around and quickly escapes.
Jungkook watches him walk away, a sudden familiar memory flooding him...one of where Jimin had so lovingly visited him at work with food...and he'd locked the door to his office and an hour later, when Jimin had left, more than just his hunger for food had been satiated. The urge to chase him down and kiss those pretty plump lips and pink cheeks is almost unbearable.
There is such a softness about Park Jimin that's just so damn alluring to him. Physically, Jimin has danced all his life and is very trim and fit but emotionally, he is nurturing and calming and just very, very...soft.
With a deep sigh, Jungkook turns around and notices a few of the men watching Jimin as well.
Clearing his throat loudly, he gives them all a hard stare, signaling them to stop drooling and get back to work.
Jimin lays down in his bed and turns his head to stare at the stars outside from his wide open balcony doors. Tonight he'd received another beautiful bouquet of roses.
It's been a long time since anyone bought him flowers and Jimin couldn't lie to himself that he isn't pleased or even a bit intrigued. His thoughts drift and as he stares out into the unknown, he wonders if Jungwoo is thinking of him, wherever he may be...if Jungwoo misses him too.
Beside him, Miri whimpers and nuzzles her snout into his chest, almost as if she senses Jimin's sadness. With a soft smile, he cuddles her closer. As he reaches out to adjust his comforter, his phone screen lights up as a text message comes in.
> Hi Jimin. Are you asleep?
Jimin smiled softly, knowing Taehyung is texting to thank him for the kimbap earlier.
>Hi hyung, not yet.
>Thank you for the kimbap. They were delicious, as always.
>You're welcome. I always think of you when I make too many!
>Ahhh, really? I feel special.
>As you should, hyung. You’ve been a good friend.
> Jimin-ssi... I’d like to ask you a question and I’d like to do it now before I lose my courage.
Jimin's eyebrows shoot up. He sits up in bed, hoping everything is okay with Taehyung.
>Of course. You can ask me anything, hyung.
> If you are ok, I’d like to take you out on a date. Whenever you would like, wherever you want to go.
Jimin's eyes widen as he reads the text. Kim Taehyung wants to date him? His friend Taehyung-hyung? Jimin thinks about it. Could he? He's rejected every guy who'd asked him out...but Taehyung-hyung?
>Hyung...did u send me roses?
Jimin is floored. He's never thought...well. If it was anyone else, Jimin wouldn't even hesitate to say no. But suddenly he remembers the feeling flooding him earlier when he was around JK and decides, maybe he did need to get out after all. Taehyung is a good friend. If things don’t work out, or if he doesn't feel anything, he figures he can get out and still retain the friendship, right?
Jungkook turns around from looking out his balcony window when a quick knock raps at his door. Before he can say come in, his door is flung open and Taehyung is standing there, shock all over his face.
"Hyung...?" Jungkook starts towards his friend when Tae catapults from the doorway and embraces Jungkook in a huge hug. Surprised, Jungkook can only pat his back awkwardly.
"JK...he said...he said ok."
"What? Hyung what's going-"
"Your flowers idea was brilliant. Jimin-ssi said ok to a date with me! With ME!"
"Hyung! That's...that's awesome!" Jungkook forcefully pushes the horrible sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach away and plasters a bright smile on his face. "I told you it would work."
"Ok, yes, you did. But ok, now what do I do?" Taehyung starts pacing. "What do I wear? Where should we go?" He runs back to Jungkook and grabs his arms. "You have to help me, JK!"
Jungkook looks at his friend, hoping the slight sadness in his heart would be hidden by the overwhelming happiness in his eyes. "Don't you worry, hyung. I am here to help you."
Jungkook looks at his watch. 8:15pm. Taehyung and Jimin had dinner plans for 7pm. They should be almost done now, right?
Opening the door to his balcony, he steps outside and plops down on the cushioned bench, staring up at the night sky. It’s a pretty cold evening, but he’s enjoying the nip in the air, the goosebumps on his flesh...he's enjoying as much as he can of the precious little time he has left amongst the living.
"Is your frown any indication of your mood that your husband is out on a date with your friend?"
Jungkook doesn't have to bother to look to his right. Instead, he closes his eyes and even then, Yoongi's glow is hard to miss.
"Hyung. Have you ever been in love?"
Yoongi startles. He'd not been expecting that.
"I honestly don't think so..."
"Then you may be one of the lucky ones."
"Well, I don't know about that." Yoongi floats over to sit beside Jungkook on the bench. "Would you prefer having not known what love is? Not ever loving Park Jimin?"
JK's eyes snap open. Would he? Not ever knowing what it felt like to see Jimin grace him with a smile every morning, prepare them breakfast, kiss him goodbye before he left for work and then kiss him hello when he returned...being able to wake up in the middle of the night to feel Jimin's face pressed into his neck as he slept half on top of him…
Jungkook decides he is wrong. He realizes he'd never give any of that up, even if he had known he was going to lose it all in the end.
"I see from your expression that you've changed your mind." Yoongi smirks, a tender look in his eyes.
"Can you tell if they are having a good time, hyung?" Jungkook whispers, almost dreading the answer, yet hoping for a positive yes.
"I can't. I'm not here for them, I'm only here for you."
Jungkook sighs and looks down, spreading his hands open in front of him, letting himself feel the breeze chill through the crevice of his fingers. He studies his knuckles, the veins on his hands. Jimin had loved them. There were many evenings after they had eaten dinner and cleaned up and were just relaxing in front of their TV or a lit fireplace during colder months when Jimin would take his hands into his own little ones and trace each vein lovingly, almost subconsciously as he talked about his day. Jungkook would listen, trying hard to pay attention to both his lover's voice and the feel of his fingers tracing over his skin. In the end, he would usually lose to the skin on skin sensation and pull the smaller one into their room (sometimes not even making it there) where the grace of the quiet night would be broken with soft moans, whispered endearments and fevered touches.
Everything reminds him of Jimin.
"Yah, get your head out of the gutter. Remember, we are here for Jimin's future, not your past."
Jungkook grunts at Yoongi, not bothering to look up. Fisting his hands, he stands up and wanders back inside, intending to find and drink whatever liquor Taehyung has in the kitchen until he can sleep without dreams of Jimin.
"So I take it from that big smile that everything went good last night?"
Taehyung looks up and grins as JK enters his office, plopping down onto one of the leather chairs in front of him as if it is his office.
"It was great. Not anywhere near what I wanted, but I think I'm making progress since he agreed to another date this Friday."
Jungkook nods and plasters a fake smile on. He's happy. Really. Kim Taehyung will love Jimin and Jimin would learn to love him back and he won't be alone anymore. Focus on that, he tells himself.
"Don't forget to bring him more flowers - also chocolates. Can't ever go wrong with chocolate." Jungkook stands up and adjusts the sleeves of the jumper tied around his waist.
"Ahhh, I didn't even think about that! My friend, what would I do without you!?" Taehyung gets up and walks towards Jungkook, his arms outstretched for a hug.
"JK, you know you don't have to wear this jumper uniform, right? Your job as mechanical engineer supervisor is pretty much to to sit in the office, monitor the mechanical engineering aspect of things and supervise." Taehyung grins.
Jungkook chuckles. "Hyung, you know I am a hands-on guy. I'd feel useless in the office, no matter how nice it's set up."
Jungkook pats his friend's back and smiles again before leaving, making his way to the door.
"Hyung, make sure the chocolates have some kind of nuts in them. He'll like those most."
Taehyung nodded at JK's advice. It isn't until the door had closed and the elevator bells dinged that Taehyung realizes what was said. How did JK know Jimin's preference?
Saturday morning comes and Jungkook is back in the garage by himself, working on another car. Taehyung had been exuberantly happy the evening before so Jungkook had taken that as an indication that things were progressing well. His plan seems to be working. Too well? He quickly pushes that thought out if his mind. He should be hoping for too well, indeed. One and a half weeks were done for.
The door to the garage swings open and footsteps echo inside. Jungkook is laying on a rolling creeper underneath the bottom of a jacked-up new Porsche, trying to adjust the oil filter. It's almost 10am, so he figures it's most likely Taehyung, swinging back to drop off some imported parts now that his meeting is over.
"Hyung. Bring me a size 10 socket wrench, will ya? They're all marked at the corner in case you don't know," he hollers out blindly from underneath the Porsche.
He hears the footsteps falter, then turn away momentarily before coming back towards him. In a moment, the wrench he'd asked for is thrusting forward and Jungkook gratefully takes it, mumbling a quick thank you before taking a few minutes to tighten the last socket. When he's satisfied with the results, he leverages himself out from under the car, a smile on his face, ready to tell Taehyung he is a life-saver.
Instead, his eyes fall on the beautifully sweet, smiling face of Park Jimin. He's hunched down next to the car, dressed in a pale blue oversized sweater and white jeans, his blond hair a glowing halo in the sunlight. Jungkook sits up on the creeper, placing the wrench down beside him. In this position, they are at the same face level.
"Jungkook - uhh, JK-ssi."
"Ahhh, Jimin...Hyung. You can call me Jungkook if you feel more comfortable with that." Jungkook recovers from his surprise and gives a sheepish smile.
"Thanks for the wrench," he murmurs, suddenly feeling shy, something he hasn't felt since junior high. Maybe because it's the first time they've been alone...and there just doesn't seem to be enough space between them. He pulls the towel draped across his lap off and then looks back up, only to find Jimin's eyes focused on his face. It's ridiculous, but Jungkook almost feels like Jimin's gaze is a little too intense, as if he is searching for something...
He clears his throat and pastes on a bright smile. "Are you here to see Taehyung-hyung? He's due back any minute."
Jimin keeps the eye contact for another moment before he blinks and looks elsewhere. Placing his hands on his knees, he pushes himself up into a standing position. "Yes. I'm just stopping by to say hi before picking up Miri from the groomers."
"Miri?" Jungkook pulls himself up as well, wiping his hands on the red cloth attached to his jumper.
"Yes, my little poodle. She's one year old."
Jungkook watches the transformation from calm to jubilant skate across Jimin's features as a huge smile breaks out.
"She must be cute."
"Oh! Yes! She's the prettiest...I can show you!"
And before Jungkook can say anything else, Jimin is already pulling out his cellphone, swiping through his photo gallery to find his favorite ones.
Jungkook folds his arms across his chest, unable to help the grin that overcomes his own face as he leans over to look at the photos. Miri is absolutely precious. Like her owner.
"What does her tag say?" Jungkook asks as a blurry photo of Miri's happy face passes by. He happens to catch a silver locket on a yellow collar around her neck.
"Her name. Jung Miri."
Jungkook turned his head to face Jimin, surprised at the information.
Jimin giggles softly.
"My husband was a Jung. He passed away 2 years ago and he was actually the one who'd always wanted a dog. A year later, when I'd seen Miri as a puppy, I just knew she's supposed to be mine. So...even though he's not here any longer, I named her for him..." Jimin smiles gently, his eyes raising up to meet Jungkook's.
"Silly, isn't it?"
Jungkook can only stare back, lost in the beauty of Jimin's eyes, feeling as if whatever heart he possesses is in his throat. It takes everything he has to not scream out that he's here, living and breathing and dying to take Jimin in his arms again. He wants to say "No, not silly at all because I know how soft your heart is and how much you love me and how much I love you and your tendency to name things you love after people you love..."
Somehow, they'd edged closer to one another, Jimin's tiny hands, holding his phone in front of him, grazing the front of Jungkook's white-tee. Their eyes are locked on one another's, neither unwilling or unable to break the spell.
Somewhere outside in the distance, a horn honks and Jimin blinks and snaps out of it, turning around in a flash to move away. He trips over his feet in his haste and starts to fall...only to feel a pair of strong arms envelope him, saving him, bringing him back.
Jimin gasps, the front of his body flushed along Jungkook's, his arms captured against his strong, broad chest, their faces mere inches apart.
Jungkook silently thanks his fast reflexes; Jimin had almost face planted on the cold cement ground. However, that thankfulness is short-lived because now Park Jimin is wrapped inside his arms, his face tilted up, his plump lips parted in surprise. A nostalgic feeling blooms inside Jungkook as his eyes rove gently over the soft planes of the man in his arms.
He is so tempted to tilt his head down and capture those lush lips between his own...drop his hands down to that backside he loves so much and push their bodies even closer together-
The elevator dings.
Both of them spring apart, Jungkook bending down to gather up his tools and Jimin walking briskly, almost running away from him.
"...Ok, that's perfectly fine. You can have them emailed to me. You have my email address, correct? Awesome, talk to you later then." Taehyung walks out of the elevator, on his cell, wrapping up his latest deal. He is in a good mood, everything going accordingly. He finally looks up and sees both Jimin and Jungkook at opposite walls, doing their own things.
Jimin sees him tuck his cell away and, smiling tentatively, walks towards him.
"Hyung, " he said softly.
"Ahh, Jiminie. How are you? Are you ok? Too cold? Your cheeks are red...you definitely should wear thicker clothes!"
Jimin flushes even harder, knowing full well the redness is from heat, not cold. "I'm fine, I was just bringing you some soup. I left it over there by the door. I-I have to head out to pick up Miri so I'll leave you to your work."
"I'll walk you out." Taehyung follows Jimin out and as he passes by Jungkook, he turns and gives his friend a wink.
Jungkook nods back. When they disappear, he puffs his cheeks and blows the air out. Boy, is Yoongi going to kill him.
Jimin plops down on his couch and pats his lap, waiting for Miri to jump on. She does so quickly, nuzzling her wet nose against Jimin's neck before burrowing down into his lap and closing her eyes.
Giggling softly, Jimin ruffles her ears. He sighs and looks straight across to the blank TV in front of him.
Since Jungwoo's death, Jimin has not felt an inkling of desire for anyone. But what happened with Jungkook earlier...that was definitely desire. It had licked a flame up Jimin's spine and he had burned, suddenly wanting something he hadn't felt in a long time. The way Jungkook had looked at him - as if he was the only person in the world - had frozen him immobile. There is something in his presence, his gaze, that draws Jimin to him, makes him want to wrap his own arms around him and lift his face up and give in to the temptation.
Jimin shakes his head. Is he crazy? He's just decided to open up options with Taehyung, although not seriously, and here he is, thinking about another man - Taehyung's friend, no less. Ugh.
Speaking of Taehyung, Jimin has already decided that their next date would be their last. He only wants to be friends - he has no other feelings for Taehyung so it's unfair to drag it longer. Jimin wonders why he can't fall for him. Taehyung is such a handsome man, sweet, smart, very considerate.
He's pretty much perfect.
But he doesn't make Jimin's heart race, Jimin doesn't find himself thinking of Tae at odd times...unlike someone else.
"Miri-ah. What's wrong with me, hmmm?" He kisses his dog and Miri lets out a little gruff as if answering back. Jimin giggles. He looks for his phone to check the time. In perfect tandem, his screen lights up as a text message comes through. Jimin picks it up and swipes it to read.
>Jiminie, are we still on for the date tomorrow?
>Would it be ok if we made it a double date? JK would like to tag along with a date.
Jimin's eyes widen. His heart just dropped and he’s not even going to wonder why...
Well of course JK isn't single, he is a handsome, young man. He probably has hordes of dates at his feet. Jimin is just looking too much into their meeting earlier.
>That's fine. I look forward to it. Have a good night, hyung.
>You too, can't wait to see you tomorrow evening :)
Jimin clicks off his phone and tosses it on the coffee table. Picking up Miri, he buries his face into the dog's neck and sighs.
Jungkook runs his hands through his hair, positioning it to the side as he checks himself out in the mirror. Hmm. He likes what he sees. His soul has gotten used to the new body and Jungkook finds he loves it. If he is honest with himself, he feels a lot more comfortable in this body than his old one...one he had been so insecure about, worried about, drilled to the ground with smoking and stress.
Jungkook now, is a bit of Jungwoo, true, but more Jungkook; taking care of himself, really digging into his passions and he now even spends time at the gym whenever he can, even though he knows it's temporary. The younger body still is able to inspire him to do what he wishes he had made time for when he was still alive.
Rubbing a dab of gel in his hands, he swipes his hair back to reveal some forehead. Perfect.
"Well well. Look who is looking so grown!"
The halo of minty light glowing by the corner of the room alerts Jungkook to the fairy's presence before he's even heard his voice.
"I can't believe you are making me go on a date, hyung."
"I need you to snap out of the danger zone you're treading upon, kid." Yoongi does not need to elaborate on what danger zone meant. Jungkook is fully aware of it and he knows he's toeing it.
"Who am I going out with?" Jungkook sighs, looking at himself in the mirror, taking in his tight black jeans, with a rip at the left knee and a chunky-knit ivory turtleneck sweater. He needs something else... he picks up his black leather jacket, draped behind the armchair, and slips it on. Perfect.
"Her name is Kang Suji, also from America. I'm going to erase her memory of you afterwards so don't get too attached."
Jungkook makes a 'really, hyung?' face at Yoongi before rolling his eyes. Yoongi had decided that Jungkook needed to have a love interest to take Jimin's attention off him and after feeling all the electricity in the air yesterday, Jungkook couldn't necessarily disagree. It's getting really dangerous - his feelings for Jimin keeps trying to consume him, almost getting in the way of his plans. What he couldn't figure out is that it almost seems like Jimin is reciprocating...which is impossible, right?
The doorbell rings.
"JK, your date is here!" He hears Taehyung holler from the hallway a short minute later.
Jungkook avoids the warning glare Yoongi shoots him, making his way to get out of the bedroom.
"Wow, JK, your friend did good on the hook-up. Your blind date is beautiful," Taehyung remarks as he meets his friend in the hallway.
Jungkook gives what he hopes is an excited smile and follows Taehyung out to the living room.
Well, Taehyung isn't incorrect. Standing in the center of the room is a tall, pretty girl, curly brown hair, sexy red mini-dress, 4-inch heels. Her face is heavily made up, lips red, eyes lined, cheeks pink. Absolutely not his type had he even been remotely straight, so Jungkook isn't too worried.
After greeting her, he turns to Taehyung and raises his eyebrows as if to ask where Jimin is.
"Let's go. Jimin will meet us at the restaurant."
Jimin steps out of his taxi and waves the old man off with a smile before turning to the restaurant. He looks at his reflection bouncing off the dark tinted windows of the closed shop next door and smooths his hands down his legs.
He isn't sure why (actually he didn't want to dwell on the reason why) but he took extra care with his appearance tonight, even though he had opted for a more softer look. Dressed in skinny, dark blue jeans and a white button top, layered with an oversized thick, knit scarf and white cardigan, Jimin hopes he isn't under-dressed since the restaurant seems to look a bit on the high-end side. With one last glance at his wavy hair, which he had parted in the middle, Jimin breathes out a sigh and makes his way inside.
Since Jungkook is seated facing the door, he sees Jimin first and he has to remind himself to breathe. The man is just gorgeous. And Jungkook notices that as Jimin walks towards their table, quite a few other patrons turn to look at him as well. A fierce possessiveness arises in Jungkook and he hurries to squelch it down as Taehyung rises to meet Jimin halfway.
"Hi, guys, sorry I'm late!" Jimin breathes out softly, settling across from Jungkook. He reaches up to pull off his scarf and Jungkook's eyes zero in on the expanse of skin revealed by his shirt. A part of his brain shut down at the sight of Jimin's pale chest and neck, his beautiful collarbones, teasing and taunting, reminding him of all the times he used to kiss and leave bite marks-
Jungkook looks up quickly, hoping no one had caught him in his own world. Jimin is staring at him intently. Obviously his hope had been futile. "Jimin-hyung," he greets in return.
Yoongi hyung's words echo in his head and he turns on his brightest, flirtiest smile, turning to introduce his date and Jimin. Time for the international playboy to emerge.
As their food arrives and everyone takes to eating, Jimin can't help himself from watching across him as Jungkook piles on food after food onto his date's plate - even though she hardly looks at the food, much less eat anything; just sipped her wine and snuggle into Jungkook's side. There is a restlessness, a hollow achy feeling in the pit of his stomach and he doesn't like it. Jimin sips from his own wine glass and watches as, again, Jungkook picks up his chopsticks and arranges it in his hands to prepare for another dipping into the beef stirfry.
His gaze hones in on the long, elegant fingers, nails trim and short. Jungkook's hands are big, veined and sturdy-
"Are you enjoying your dinner?"
Jimin almost chokes on his wine as Taehyung slides his arm behind his back and rests his hand on Jimin's shoulder. God, what is he doing? Looking and thinking of another while he is on a date with another...Jimin feels a wave of shame wash over him. What kind of horrible person is he turning into?
"Yes," Jimin brightens up with a smile and picks up some noodles with his chopstick and then places it gently in Taehyung's bowl. Taehyung beams and blushes, his smile shining from ear to ear as he pulls Jimin closer to his side.
They both miss the sudden sharp stare directed at them from directly across Jimin.
It's a week later and Jimin still hasn't told Taehyung that he wants to just be friends. He has been finding excuses to not go on dates, but he hasn't yet voiced the real one. He's also quite afraid of losing the friendship entirely. Things were bound to get awkward and awkwardness usually meant space and time and distance. Oh, why did he have to agree on a first date. Jimin sighs, his dilemma starting to give him a headache.
Miri's little yelps brings him out of his musings. They are outside, braving the chill for a walk. He's dressed Miri cutely in her little green sweater vest with the argyle print and he'd bundled himself up in a bulky cream sweater, long beige coat, ivory scarf and light blue jeans. He'd forgotten his beanie. Jungwoo used to get so upset at him when he’d forget his hat and earmuffs in cold weather like this.
Soon, Seoul will be covered in snow...probably within the next month. Jimin used to love the snow. The cold meant hot coffee or tea or chocolate, fireplaces and lots of cuddling. Since Jungwoo's passing, Jimin has started to loathe winter. He is alone and his home is always cold. Just like the inside of his heart...frozen for eternity because he has no love left to give anyone.
So lost is he in his thoughts, he doesn't realize that Miri has tugged the loop of her leash completely free from his wrist while he'd adjusted his scarf. It isn't until Jimin hears barking from far away that he looks up and realizes that Miri is out in the middle of the street, trying to lap up someone's dropped ice cream cone.
Jimin's eyes widen and his insides turn to ice as he starts running towards his pet. The light across the street has just turned yellow, which meant opposite traffic, where Miri is, is about to get the green light.
Jimin starts screaming when the first truck starts moving. No...No...NO! He's too far...too far to reach Miri in time-
Jimin stops dead in his running as he sees through tear-filled eyes, a tall male form shoot out from the coffee shop across the way and into the street, snatching up Miri mere seconds before traffic comes barreling down, horns honking and brake lights flashing.
Jimin snatches his hands to his chest and bends over as he falls to his knees, tears streaking down his cheeks. It was so close - too close! Flashbacks of his husband's death streaks through his mind and he starts gasping for air.
"Hey, hey, you're okay," a soft, masculine voice rings through his ears as a presence kneels beside him and strong arms encompass him in comfort. Jimin squeezes his eyes shut and hiccups a broken sob against the warmth of the broad chest, allowing the stranger to hug him. He follows the soothing voice as he orders Jimin to breathe slowly and count to ten. He feels the rough, wet lapping of Miri's tongue against his cheek and Jimin shudders, cracking open his wet eyes. Tilting his head up, he sniffles and tries to thank the stranger...only to drop his jaw in shock when he recognizes Jeon Jungkook.
Jungkook watches Jimin sniffle cutely before their eyes meet and Jimin's tear-filled ones widen in surprise.
"Jungkook..." he hears Jimin's whisper as his eyes fill up with more tears and before he can smile back in reassurance, Jimin has thrown his little form flat against his own and looped his arms tightly around Jungkook's shoulders. Jungkook clasps his free arm around Jimin's waist to keep their balance, his other arm holding on to a warm Miri, tongue lolling out, oblivious to the turmoil of emotions in the humans.
"Jungkook..!! I can't be-believe you- I...I can't -" Jimin tucks his head under Jungkook's chin and promptly stops babbling since he is unable to form a coherent thought, his breathing pumping rapidly.
"Shhh, it's ok, calm down, you're going to make yourself sick, Jiminie. Miri is fine and you're fine," Jungkook whispers softly into Jimin's hair and rubs his hand up and down Jimin's back in a gentle scratching motion, offering as much comfort as he can. As Jimin's shuddering slows down, Jungkook pats his upper shoulder and murmurs softly that they need to get off the cold sidewalk before they all get sick.
He stands up and Jimin clings on unsteadily, one hand in a death-grip on the back of Jungkook's long black peacoat, the other hand clutching tightly unto the lapel in front, his face still pressed against Jungkook's chest. Jungkook doesn't question anything, just moves them swiftly down the walk, back towards Jimin's apartment complex, two tiny, precious bundles in his arms.
"I'm sorry I cried all over your nice jacket," Jimin places a cup of hot coffee on the table in front of Jungkook as he peels his jacket off.
Jungkook smiles and waves off the apology before picking up the drink and letting it warm his hands.
Jimin settles down on his sofa across from Jungkook before picking up his own cup of tea.
They'd made it back to Jimin's apartment ten minutes ago and while Jungkook had sat down in the livingroom to play with Miri, Jimin had taken off his outerwear and prepared them something to drink while gathering himself up at the same time. Half of him was beyond embarrassed that he had not only cried and burrowed himself into Jungkook, but had also refused to let the man go the entire walk home. Granted, it had only been a block, but it still heats his cheeks to think about it.
He'd forgotten the feelings of warmth, comfort, and the ease of depending on someone else and being in Jungkook's embrace had reawakened all memories he had long ago buried. It's unsettling, yet not unwelcome. He is at a loss on how to control his current state of emotions.
Jimin places his tea back down onto the table. He curls his legs up on the couch and rests his crossed arms on the knees.
"I'm sorry you had to see me break down like that. I..ummm, I lost my husband similarly to-"
Jimin slowly brings his eyes up to Jungkook's as he interrupted.
"You don't owe me any explanations. It was a scary situation. Anyone would have freaked. You did fine for someone who has experienced something similar."
Jimin finds himself drowning in the brown eyes, so full of warmth and compassion and...understanding. How can he feel so connected to someone who is more stranger than friend?
At that moment, Miri decides to pounce up onto the couch where Jungkook is and wiggle her way into his lap. She then places her two front paws on his chest and rises up, bringing her nose up to his face for a kiss.
Jimin watches with a gentle smile as Jungkook puts his mug down and cups both hands around the dog's head, cooing at her softly.
As Jungkook plays with Miri, Jimin takes the opportunity to watch him from under hooded eyes...admiring how broad he looks in his chunky gray knit sweater with the sleeves pulled up to reveal his veiny forearms. There is no cap today so his windswept bangs scatter across his forehead, softening his already youthful visage. He laughs at Miri's cute antics and his nose crinkles, matching the corners of his eyes. It reminds Jimin of someone else...
Miri continues pawing and rubbing her face against Jungkook's chest and Jimin feels a little pang of envy. He realizes that he wants to do that; lay his head on that chest and feel those long fingers sift through his hair. Well, he did lay on it earlier, but he'd been too stressed to enjoy it.
Jimin's cheeks bloom and he blinks, completely in dismay at where his thoughts had headed.
"Were you on your way to work?" he asks Jungkook.
Jungkook looks up from playing with the dog. "Yeah. I was grabbing coffee and while waiting in line, I saw this little brat outside and thought she looked familiar...and then I saw her head into the street and I came running out of the coffee shop."
"Just in time too," Jimin finished softly. "Thank you," he says, looking Jungkook directly in the eyes.
Jungkook smiles softly and they share a soft moment, eyes on one another, feelings too raw to define.
Miri barks at the sudden lack of attention and Jungkook grins at her greediness, reaching back down to scratch her behind the ears.
"You're so greedy for attention, hmm? Just like your-" Jungkook's voice drops off, catching himself from finishing with the word 'owner.' It would definitely make Jimin suspicious.
"I should head back before Taehyung-hyung starts calling," he stands up and starts towards the door, reaching one arm above his head to scratch the back of his neck.
"Your coat..." Jimin unfolds himself from his seat and picks up Jungkook's peacoat from where he'd left it on the armrest. He follows Jungkook to the door, instinctively opening up the outerwear.
Jungkook immediately turns and slips his arms inside the sleeves before turning around again and Jimin automatically reaches out and smooths his small palms down the lapels. Their eyes meet and something warm, sweet and achingly familiar unfurls inside Jimin, causing his small fingers to curl against the fabric.
"Thanks for the coffee." Jungkook clears his throat and steps back as Jimin folds his arms across his chest and gives him a nod and a small smile.
"Thank you again for...everything," Jimin says softly.
“Hyung. It’s just you and Miri living here?”
“Mm hmm. It’s just been us for some time.” Jimin has a faraway look in his eyes.
“That’s...that’s not good, hyung.” Jungkook swallows and broaches the subject carefully.
“No one should be alone too long. Not only because it isn’t healthy, but because we can get too used to emptiness, too used to not sharing. As humans, we need that, we need more than just daily meaningless interactions, we need love and care and attention.” He sees that he has Jimin’s rapt attention and he forges on, mindful not to step on buried timebombs.
“I know it can be hard to move on...but sometimes we have to trust that the universe knows what’s best for us, that in order for us to move forward, sometimes we have to take a few steps backwards. And that's absolutely okay because the trick to living life is to just keep moving, no matter which direction. A stone will gather moss if it doesn’t roll.”
Jimin’s eyes widen softly at the quote. It sounds so much like something his sentimental Jungwoo would say that he stands arrested, as he stares at the handsome young man in his doorway. There is a strong connection to this stranger who seems to have the ability to touch Jimin’s mind and heart in ways no one else has been able to do for 2 long lonely years.
Leaving all caution to the wind, Jimin propels himself into Jungkook’s chest, allowing tears to surface as he wraps his arms tightly around the sturdy younger man in solemn gratitude.
No one has stepped up and given him the truth, reminded him to live and breathe in a long time and Jimin is overwhelmingly thankful suddenly.
Jungkook is surprised at the emotional upheaval, but he doesn’t deny Jimin the chance to draw comfort from him, wrapping an arm around the elder’s shoulders and rubbing his back softly in scratching motions with the other.
It isn’t until Miri starts yapping at their heels that they break apart.
“Don’t cry anymore, Park Jimin." Jungkook chucks the pretty male under his chin. "I know that you know that he just wants you to be happy.”
With one last comforting wink, Jungkook walks off down the corridor and Jimin pushes his door close, feeling peaceful for the first time in 2 years, his chin where Jungkook had touched him flushed in warmth.
"Yah, kid. What were you thinking? You can't die twice in one lifetime, oh my god." Yoongi is unable to stop the exasperation from showing on his face and voice. His patience with the kid is thoroughly being tested. He could kill the old birdies for putting him in charge of the youth.
"Hyung, I couldn't let Miri get hurt!" Jungkook mumbles out from his bed where he had face-planted into just two seconds before Yoongi had emerged. He buries his face into the pillows, hoping the fairy would complete his lecture quickly.
"You just wiped out that boundary we established between you and Park Jimin, little fool."
"I know, I know! It wasn't on purpose." Jungkook flips over and stares at the ceiling, his thoughts a whirling mess.
"You know what you have to do with your remaining two weeks, right?" Yoongi floats over and sits on the bed beside Jungkook.
Jungkook doesn't answer. He knows. He knows he has to push himself away and push Taehyung-hyung and Jimin closer together.
He is stuck in a limbo, this place between his love for Jimin and his wish for Jimin to find love and keep moving on.
Jimin hurriedly texts Taehyung a ‘travel well!’ text and slips his phone into his jacket pocket again before picking up his book.
Taehyung is headed out on an impromptu trip to meet with a distributor in Berlin and he’d texted Jimin good-bye and to remember to eat.
Two days ago, a day after Jungkook had saved Miri, Jimin had sat Taehyung down and explained to him that he hadn’t wanted to drag Taehyung along for nothing. He’d expressed his feelings, saying he only wants to be friends and Taehyung had taken it exceedingly well.
Jimin’s mind is occupied with something, someone else. He can't put his finger on anything just yet, but he is just so irrevocably drawn to Jeon Jungkook. There's something there, something tangible in Jungkook that awakens the passion inside him again, stirs the feelings he's long buried and though scary, Jimin also wants to reach for it with both hands.
Speaking of hands, Jimin looks down at his own, holding the book in his lap, bare. After the other night, with Jungkook's words ringing in his ears, he had pulled off his wedding band...kissed it and tucked it into his jewelry box. He'd been prepared to feel a sense of loss, an emptiness, a looming of guilt...instead, he'd felt...nothing. Just a tranquil sense of solemnity. No loss, no gain, just peace.
He looks up from his seat on the bus as the doors open and more people pile in.
A purse brushes his shoulder and Jimin looks up at the person. The lady apologizes and reaches out to grip the handrail above Jimin's head as the bus starts forward. Jimin nods in acknowledgement and as he is about to lower his eyes back to the book in his lap, it catches on her slightly round belly. Immediately tucking his book into his bag, Jimin gets up and kindly motions for her to sit. She gratefully thanks him and he takes her place, hands reaching out to grip at the handrail.
The bus jerks a bit as it travels over a few potholes and Jimin stumbles into the broad back directly behind him. Turning around quickly, he starts to apologize only to pause as his eyes meet familiar brown ones.
Jimin can’t stop the smile spreading over his face. It’s only been a few days but it feels like it’s been so long since he’s seen the younger.
As the bus makes another stop, the passengers next to Jimin vacate and Jungkook immediately slides over, gripping onto the rail next to him.
Jimin’s eyes hone in on the stronger, bigger hand and he inwardly swallows. He loves hands and Jungkook owns such a nice pair.
“What are you doing on the bus, hyung?”
Jimin raises his eyes quickly to Jungkook’s.
“I'm...I'm coming home from visiting a student's family in the village.”
“Ahh. That’s right. Joonie-hyung mentioned you're a teacher. You like your job?”
“Absolutely,” comes the soft reply.
Jungkook smiles at the tender, beaming expression on Jimin’s face. He knows his husband loves his job. He loves children. He's heard about it all the time in the past. This is the smile he wants to see on Jimin’s face forever. Especially after he is gone, again.
“What about you? Why are you on here?”
“Ahh, Taehyung asked me to drop off some parts to a delivery factory in the village. Just on my way back. Since he’s gone for a few days, I have to take over deliveries. I'm letting him use and abuse me, free of charge.”
In the midst of their laughing spell, Jimin takes one hand off the rail to adjust the book bag’s strap falling off his shoulder. The bus chooses that exact moment to hit another pothole, more forcefully this time, and Jimin stumbles forward into Jungkook's chest in surprise, the top of his head colliding with the other’s jaw.
He rights himself as much as he possibly can and immediately reaches up, cupping Jungkook's jaw in his little hand and peering up, as if to check for bruising, much like he would his children.
Jungkook keeps a hand around Jimin's waist to keep his standing balance as the bus traverses over another few rough patches. It's impossible not to spot the concern evident in the shorter male's expression as he tries to check on him.
"Are you ok? Gosh, I'm so sorry!" Jimin murmurs, rubbing his thumb over Jungkook's jawline, as if to wipe away the pain he is imagining.
Jungkook can only stare at his pretty husband, completely enraptured all over again. He's so in love with Jimin, he wants to cry at the unfairness of his life.
"Jimin." Jungkook softly grasps the small wrist in his big hand, stilling them both completely. He watches as Jimin stares up at him with his big eyes, pink-dusted cheeks and open, plump, pretty lips.
They're so close their chests are touching and all Jungkook would have to do is tilt his head down and their lips would meet.
"Stop 33 coming up."
The announcement over the bus loudspeaker breaks their gazes and as the other passengers get up, they both get jostled around.
This is Jimin's stop and he steps away, finally, as the bus brakes and people start piling out and in.
"I- I'll see you later, Jungkook."
Jungkook keeps his eyes trained on the other, unable to stop the slight sense of happiness blooming in his chest as, at the last step off the bus, Jimin turns his head back one more time to look at him over his shoulder...as if he, too, doesn't want to separate.
"Mmm-hmm. Do you guys see what I mean now?"
Up in the high heavens, Min Yoongi frowns as he and the old birdies watch the bus scene unfold before them.
"He's falling in love all over again. And what makes it worse is that Park Jimin is as well," he continues, turning around to look at the face of the two ladies.
However, instead of the the frowns and disapproving looks, he is met with smiles from ear to ear.
"I knew he could do it."
"And I knew my Jiminie's heart would recognize the other half of his heart, no matter what packaging it comes in!"
Yoongi's mouth drops open.
"Excuse me, ladies?" He almost stomps his feet in exasperation. This was not the plan.
Da Som, Jungkook's grandmother cackles in mirth as Jimin's grandmother Eunbi smiles. Yoongi's eyes narrow.
"Ok, what's really going on here? You two look too happy for a situation gone wrong."
"Well..." Da Som begins.
"Da Som made a little bet with Mother Destiny..." Eunbi continues.
"Bet? With Mother Destiny? Please, make some sense!"
Da Som chuckles as she settles down into the white couch in the white room with the many windows. Eunbi joins her, leaving Yoongi in front of them, mouth set in a grim line, knowing he has been played, but wanting to know how.
"We were playing a round of cards with Mother Destiny and we started talking about grandkids and she saw how sad we became when we talked about our love lives and how both our grandkids seemed to be following our path of unfulfilled love lives."
"I reminisced," Eunbi continues the story. "That even if my own Jungkook from my youth was to come back to me somehow, I would recognize his heart right away."
"...And Mother Destiny had scoffed a bit at that, she doesn't have much faith in love...so she said, 'You're telling me that if I put your dead grandson Jungwoo's soul into another body and deliver him to Park Jimin, he'd somehow know it was Jungwoo still?'" When imitating the latter's voice, DaSom had lowered her voice dramatically, and beside her, Eunbi cackles cutely in mirth.
Yoongi, floating in front of them, his legs crossed under him, can only stare agape at their antics.
"So...you guys went through with the plan and had me act as a barrier between them to test their emotions with one another? That's...it's sick! That's not nice! You're playing with their emotions! What happens when Jungkook has to come back up here? Are we breaking Jimin's heart a second time? What-"
Yoongi freezes as Jimin's grandmother stands up, her smiles gone.
"I am not playing with my grandson's emotions. Don't paint me in that light. Neither of us are," she swings her arm back indicating Da Som as well.
"Well then, what do you call it? The deal was to make Jimin fall in love with someone else-"
"Oh, but my dear, dear Yoongi, Jeon Jungkook is someone else. He's a different body, a different form, a different person entirely, he just possesses Jungwoo's soul and memories. We made a deal with Mother Destiny. If, against all odds, if Jimin falls in love with Jungkook, Jungkook will be allowed to live out his life on earth, with Jimin."
Yoongi is flabbergasted. In all his hundred years of being a fairy of the Heaven's, he's never heard of this possibility. Mother Destiny is the Goddess of the Heavens...so she must be really close to the old birdies to grant such a wish.
"So...what happens now?" he asks tentatively, almost afraid to know...yet in too deep not to inquire.
"Let nature run its course...the ball is in Jimin's court now."
Jimin hunkers down on the balls of his feet to watch Jungkook as he lays on his back, half on the ground, the other half under the bathroom sink cabinet as he twists the last pipe screw into place.
Jimin finds his eyes tracing the length of the specimen in front of him, laid out like a buffet, all long limbs, muscular thighs, small waist and bulging biceps. He clears his throat to hide the loud sigh he had just subconsciously emitted.
Miri paddles into the bathroom and pushes her snout into Jungkook's ribcage before placing her paws on his chest (a chest Jimin wants to place his hands on as well) and rising up to sniff the air.
Jimin giggles cutely at the sight.
The past three days, Jungkook has been coming over, popping up at odd times, mostly close to dinner, and the three had somehow formed a little bond, an orderly familiarity and comfortability that usually only comes with time. Jimin thinks Jungkook is only showing up regularly out of loneliness since his roommate and best friend Taehyung is out of town.
Last night, before Jungkook had left Jimin's apartment, he had commented on how Jimin's bathroom sink doesn't drain properly and Jimin had offhandedly answered that he'd bought a new set of pipes, just isn't confident in installing it himself...and today, Jungkook had shown up to have dinner with them with a tool bag, intent on helping Jimin solve that drain issue.
If this was some cartoon or anime, Jimin would've swooned.
As he sits there on his hunches watching the impressive display of arm muscles as Jungkook works, he realizes how very much he has missed having someone to communicate with, to care for, to love. He realizes how very much Jungkook had been right. Humans weren't put on earth to grieve and remember, they were put here to love and cherish and be loved.
He's falling for the younger man.
He doesn't understand why...Jeon Jungkook is so different physically from Jung Jungwoo. Yet oddly enough, they possess so many of the same characteristics.
Kind, caring, sweet, funny, all the cliches. Yet there is a quiet intuitiveness about the younger man that just calls out to Jimin, a sense of wrong from right, a lilting quality of joy in everyday things that is hard to come by. Is it possible to be enamored, to have a crush on someone at this age? he wonders.
Jimin had been so sure that after Jungwoo, there wouldn't be anyone else for him...yet, here Jeon Jungkook is, making his heart pitter-patter even harder than he had imagined possible...possibly even harder than Jungwoo had ever.
Jungkook's presence makes his heart feel alive and giddy, like the youth of young love in a field of lilies. He can't help his smiles when he sees the younger, can't help the grins, can't help feeling his heart almost leap out of his chest. The tingles of loneliness that follow Jimin around completely dissipate around Jungkook.
"Ok, Jimin, this should be good."
Jimin blinks a few times, realizing he’s been daydreaming the whole while. Smiling sheepishly, he stands up and reaches a hand down to help Jungkook up as well.
Jungkook straightens and bends down to rub a drop of water stain off the newly installed faucet before turning the spigot to test the water flow.
Jimin opens his mouth in awe. It works! He finally has his new sink-
The faucet set topples over and Jimin realizes too late that Jungkook hadn't yet bolted down the unit completely and water squirts out everywhere in a pressurized spray, drenching them, a yelping Miri running out of the bathroom.
He crouches, quickly reaching back down into the cupboard and hits the emergency water stop. Straightening again, his clothes, hair, face drenched in water, he faces an equally wet Jungkook and they stare at one another with big, wide eyes.
A chunk of wet hair flops over Jungkook's forehead and Jimin bursts into laughter, breaking the suspense of the moment. Jungkook follows suit, grinning at his own folly.
Jimin steps forward and reaches up to innocently push back the clump of damp bangs and the air instantly changes as their eyes catch on each other.
His hands drop to the wide shoulders, realizing that Jungkook's white t-shirt is wet and clinging on to every muscle, every pec, every contour. His eyes lower to the enticing mole beneath the younger's lower lip - a mole Jimin has no business thinking about but has been for an indecent amount of time. He wants to touch it so bad, maybe kiss it, lick it...
Jimin freezes as he realizes he has just risen on tiptoes and pressed his lips to the mole, acting out on his impure thoughts.
The strong shoulders his hands are resting on tense up for a second and Jimin raises his eyes to Jungkook's, panicked, ready to apologize for his behavior.
However, before he can get a word out, Jungkook's arms are around his waist, pressing their bodies upon one another as his head dips downwards, slotting their mouths together.
Jimin's lips open of their own accord, his hands sliding around Jungkook's neck, sliding into his damp hair, feeding off the other as he presses his body even further into Jungkook's, wanting to feel every ripple, every muscle, every inch of skin.
He gives a breathy moan as Jungkook sips on his lower lip, his big hands sliding under Jimin's sweater, splaying them on the curve of his back.
The tension that has always been between them escalates and bursts into a firework of stars as Jimin's skin burn where Jungkook touches him.
Wanting to touch skin as well, Jimin breaks their kiss and pulls back to raise up the hem of the other's wet tee and Jungkook inches back with just enough space to allow so, ensnaring Jimin's lips again immediately after the tee shirt flies over his head, as if unable to bear being apart from the smaller male.
Jungkook pulls Jimin's wet sweater off, leaving them both bare chested and panting for breath. They reach for each other at the same time, lips, chest, legs colliding. He hoists Jimin into his arms, causing the other to moan hotly into his mouth as he immediately wraps his arms and legs around Jungkook, refusing to break the kiss.
In Jimin's bedroom, Jungkook lets the smaller male down and presses their foreheads together, trying to get a grip on his hormones.
Jimin has other thoughts, already unbuckling Jungkook's belt and pulling at the damp jeans. He lowers to his knees to do so and Jungkook makes the mistake of looking down.
It's an image he will never forget, his love, on his knees, ready to worship him, pleasure him...
He almost blacks out when he feels Jimin's small hands around his thick cock, pumping slightly, squeezing tightly. Stars explode behind his eyelids when he feels Jimin's plump lips pucker a sweet kiss to the tip of his length before enveloping it into hot, heavy warmth.
"Jimin..." he groans out, carding his hands through the damp blonde tendrils, keeping his eyes closed because seeing the vision in front of him will make him combust.
"Baby...stop...I can't..." Jungkook backs away gently, almost coming at the soft 'plop' of his cock leaving Jimin's mouth and he bends down immediately to capture those pink lips, pulling him up at the same time.
They discard their wet jeans in record time and Jungkook watches as Jimin lays back in bed, his body flushed in a shy blush though his eyes are hot, hungry, glossy.
He leans down and kisses Jimin's nose, watching his lashes flutter close, a ghost of a shiver sluicing down his pale arms.
"Hey, we don't have to-" he starts.
"No! I...I want to...please. I don't...I haven't … since...you know...and I want you. You. I want to-"
"Shhh, sweetheart, shhh," Jungkook shushes the precious, stammering man in front of him, endeared and in love with all his heart. No one would ever have the capability to render him to mush like his husband.
It is on the tip of his tongue to whisper out 'I love you' because not only will that calm Jimin, he wants to see the sweet, shy smile those words never fail to evoke and he selfishly wants to hear the words returned.
Instead, he holds back and kisses Jimin again. His lips have always been one of Jungkook's major weaknesses and kissing them again feels better than anything in his life. He traces a hot path down the pale throat and to the sensitive nipples he knows Jimin possesses.
He sucks on one and smiles at the indrawn breath, scrapes his teeth softly over the hardened bud and relaxes into the high pitched mewl he gets in return, Jimin's hips bucking up into his own.
This is a body he has chartered hundreds of times, yet each time feels like new, a trail he is always eager to embark upon at any and all opportunity.
Jimin hands him a bottle of lube from the dresser drawer with a shy murmur of hoping it's not expired, causing Jungkook to chuckle softly. Jimin is intent on softening his heart until he's a lump of melted goo tonight, it seems.
He leans down and allows Jimin to cup his face in his tiny hands as he peppers kisses across his face with his puffy lips. Jungkook hears the catch in his sigh as he brushes his fingers over Jimin's opening, rubbing and rimming with his fingertip until he feels the muscles relax.
He's so hard he can probably explode with a stroke, but he misses this, misses Jimin and he refuses to rush the pleasure.
He feels Jimin bite softly at his shoulder as his finger dips in and out, shuddering at how tight he is. He coats another finger and inserts that as well, listening to Jimin's breathless sighs for signs of uncomfortability.
At the third finger, Jimin is thrashing under him, scratching his back, moaning, begging for Jungkook's cock, pleading for fulfillment, his eyes squeezed shut, his lips parted, uttering soft, sweet encouraging sounds that drive Jungkook's lust.
Kneeling between Jimin's sprawled legs, Jungkook aligns his cock and murmurs out for Jimin to open his eyes and look at him, Jimin complying at once. Jungkook sees the stars in his dazed eyes, a milkyway of lust and desire and he pushes his hard length in slowly...all the way until he bottoms out and Jimin's eyes close of their own accord as his lips fall open at the sensation.
"You ok, baby?"
"Mmmm...move, Jungkook...please move..."
Jungkook almost smiles at the panting, demanding tone, but obeys, moving experimentally until Jimin is comfortable.
"So good, baby...you're so tight, so hot...I'm not...going to...last..."
Jimin moans and pulls his knees up, granting Jungkook easier access, his stretched body desiring more.
Jungkook pounds away, angling just the way Jimin loves and knows he's done it when Jimin's eyes pop open and he lets out a guttural sound of pleasure.
He pulls one of Jimin's hands off his bicep and places it on his own hard cock, murmuring encouragements for him to stroke himself. And within seconds, Jimin is shooting all over himself and his hands, triggering Jungkook to his release as well.
He collapses on top of Jimin and lets the smaller male envelope him in a sticky, sweaty hug before turning them to their sides and placing a soft kiss in his hair.
Jungkook closes his eyes, imagines hearing a sweet, soft ‘I love you, Jungkook’ before he knocks out, contentment seeping out of every pore.
Jungkook stirs. Dawn light is just filtering in through the window blinds of his room. It's been an hour and he feels all kinds of stupid for sneaking out of Jimin's arms, his room, his home to come back to the emptiness that is his for the time being.
He flips onto his back and stares at the ceiling.
His self control with Park Jimin has always been non-existent, he didn't know why he had thought he would be able to control it when he had offered to do this mission.
He's going to kill his husband when he leaves. Again. He wants to cry, rail, shake his fists at the heavens for the unjust of everything.
He had ONE job. One. To make Jimin fall in love with someone else. Well, half of that plan had worked.
Jungkook squeezes his eyes shut. He's dead.
"Well, well, well."
"Yoongi-hyung. I've screwed up."
"That seems to be a pattern since we started this mission."
"The grandmas are going to kill me."
"Technically they can't...you're already dead."
"What do I do now, hyung?"
"Did Jimin fall in love?"
"Yes. He said he loved me."
"Well, then our mission is complete."
Jungkook's eyes snap open and he sits up at his grandmother's voice.
She's floating beside Jimin's grandmother and Yoongi and they're all gathered at the foot of his bed, smiles on their faces (except Yoongi-hyung, he never smiles) instead of the disappointed frowns he had been expecting.
"What...Why are you all here? I'm getting punished, aren't I?" Jungkook pulls the sheet up over his naked torso, away from the eyes of the ladies for propriety's sake.
"Here," Yoongi throws him a black tank top and he pulls it on quickly, gratefully.
"On the contrary..." both grandmothers settle on either side of him, huge smiles on their faces, Yoongi grumbling about how he wishes to just be a rock if he ever makes it to reincarnation.
"So you're telling me...that because I'm not me, but someone else, even though I am still me, I am allowed to stay on earth? To live and breathe and love Jimin freely? Again?"
Jungkook needs to be absolutely sure because he can't believe it.
Da Som grins.
"Yes. But also because Mother Destiny owes me a tiny little favor...not to mention Jungwoo died heroically so it's only fair to give him a second chance at life."
Eunbi joins her.
"You just can't tell Jimin about anything."
"Well... not like he'd believe me, but...wow." Jungkook stretches his neck, overwhelmed, but happy. He can stay. He can continue loving Jimin.
Jimin...his amazing Jiminie who would manage to fall in love with him all over again, even in a different person, even given a chance to move on.
Jimin yawns and starts to flip over, already knowing the space beside him would be empty. He'd woken up briefly earlier and the space had been cold so he knew Jungkook had left. He'd fallen back asleep thinking maybe it was for the better...
However, his back slams into a hard form and he freezes. Before he can comprehend what is going on, a pair of strong arms engulf him and pulls him on top of a strong, bare torso.
"Jungkook?" he whispers breathlessly, peering at the face before him from under his messy blonde bangs.
Jungkook's eyes are closed, but a smile is lingering around his lips.
"I...I thought you left...?"
Jimin tentatively lays his forearms on the bare chest underneath him. There should be an air of uncomfortability around, maybe nerves and odd tension...but he experiences nothing of the sort. Just a warm, calming contentment.
He brushes a fingertip against the mole underneath Jungkook's lower lip, only to giggle as Jungkook playfully tries to bite at it.
Jimin lays his head down on Jungkook's chest and listens to the steady, quiet heartbeat. This man is helping him live again. He's giving back all Jimin had lost and he is thankful. He knows, with Jungkook, he can be happy again.
"We're going to have to tell Taehyung about us. It's going to hurt him-"
"I agree. But just so you know, Taehyungie and I had decided to keep our relationship strictly as friends only a couple days ago."
That's news to Jungkook. His eyes pop open and he tilts an inquiring head down to meet Jimin's soft gaze.
"I think...since I've met you...I've always known you were special. But even had you not come into my life, I wouldn't have been able to love Taehyung hyung the way he deserves. It could never go beyond friendship for he and I."
"I'm very glad to hear that," Jungkook tightens his arms around Jimin and smiles softly as the smaller male cuddles into him.
Jimin steeps his tea bag in his big yellow mug, dipping it up and down in the steaming hot water. It’s bright morning now, Sunday, and he is being lazy, still dressed in his rubber duckie printed pajamas, big fluffy slippers on his feet. It's 9:30 am and he has just left the bed.
Beside him, Miri hops along, her tongue dangling out, a twinkle in both her eyes.
Jimin reaches for the fridge to get some milk and his eyes catch on the photo of Jungwoo, taped on the surface.
His fingers trace over the face he'd loved before he slowly untacks it. He gets this funny sense of joy, feeling like Jungwoo is still with him, even though he is gone, gone for 2 years. Bringing the photo to his lips, he kisses it softly once, a tender see you again, before pressing it over his heart and closing his eyes, letting Jungwoo know that he's happy again, finally.
"You okay, babe?"
Jimin startles slightly at the voice and whirls around to see Jeon Jungkook standing at the threshold, gray sweatpants slung low over his hips, chest bare, hair tousled but eyes...his eyes are full of care, concern, love.
Jimin nods and smiles softly, opening his arms, moving forward to embrace the other man.
As Jungkook envelopes him in a giant hug, Jimin is struck again with the odd sensation of familiarity, of home, of a warmth that reminds him of his past.
It's impossible, he knows, but he can't help thinking that Jeon Jungkook was maybe sent to him to love and to return his love by Jungwoo.
Jimin giggles loudly as Jungkook nuzzles into his neck, his dark, fluffy hair brushing up and tickling his nose.
They’re lying on the couch, Jimin on the bottom, Jungkook half on top of him as they play fight for the remote control, Miri running around and yipping from the floor.
Jungkook’s fingers dig into his ribs to tickle and Jimin screams out in mirth, caving in and dropping the controller onto the ground.
Grinning in triumphant victory, Jungkook levels himself off his husband and presses a hard kiss onto Jimin’s cheek before picking up the remote and turning to the tv.
Winding down from the exertion, Jimin lowers his hands and pats the space on the seat beside him for Miri, still yelping from the bottom, her eyes sparkling.
Instead of listening though, Miri turns and prances over to where Jungkook is sitting on the rug, Indian style, and hops into his lap, waving her nose in his face for a kiss.
“Traitor!” Jimin hisses out lovingly, his eyes softening as Jungkook bends down and plants one on the wet snout before turning back to channel surfing.
It’s been 3 years since Jungkook entered his life and he is so very thankful still.
Tonight, they are going to have dinner with Taehyung and his boyfriend Hoseok.
Tae had been very understanding of the progression of their relationship, even mentioning how he understands why Jimin fell for Jungkook, seeing how similar the younger is to the deceased. He also completely values Jungkook’s abilities with his company, deciding to make Jungkook the chief engineer of Exotic Motors instead of hiring from outside.
This means that Jungkook works close to home so he either runs home for lunch (or a quickie if we’re being honest here) or they meet somewhere for lunch (Jimin’s preference since there are less chances of him going back to work with messed up hair).
Jimin had been grateful to not lose out on the beautiful friendship with Taehyung, even managing to introduce him to the new PE teacher a year ago...who ultimately managed to become his boyfriend.
He often thinks about how lucky he has been in life...to not only have one soulmate but two. They’d gotten married last year and though his love for Jungkook sometimes scares him, having loved and lost before, he still tries his hardest not to dwell on the negatives.
It’s even scarier for him to admit that somehow, his emotions for Jungkook have gone deeper than he had ever thought possible, surpassing even what he’d felt for Jungwoo. Although at times, he swears he sees Jungwoo in Jungkook’s habits. Bringing him bouquets of peonies randomly, chucking him under the chin constantly, teasing him until he’s almost mad just so he can wipe the pout away with a kiss...
Jimin jerks out of his reverie to see his husband’s face over his own, curiosity burning in the depths of the dark eyes.
“Yes?” Jimin reaches up and cups the cute face in his hands, rubbing his thumb over the slight dented scar on his cheek from a work-related injury last year.
“Thought I lost you for a moment there.”
Jimin grins and pulls him down for a long, savory kiss.
“You’ll never lose me, darling. If anything, I’ll find you, always.”