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I Bloom (Just For You)

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Sometimes Jungkook comes back from a show so worked up he feels like he’s going to cry. It’s the nature of the thing, the adrenaline, performing, the crowd cheering, the fans reaching out for them. Jungkook is there to be sexy, to dance, to sing, to make people scream, and it’s hard to come down from that. Literally.

Now, at least, they have their own rooms in the hotels where they stay. Jungkook doesn’t have to worry about the other members hearing him when he shoves his jeans down over his hips and jerks himself off, braced against the wall, forehead pressed to his arm as his breath comes fast. He doesn’t even know what he thinks about in those moments. Everything blurs together. He imagines those hands reaching out and touching him. He imagines dancing with someone instead of in front of them. He imagines bodies: naked, sweat and skin, someone whispering: yes, yes, yes.

 

*

They finally have a conversation about it once, sort of, as a group. Namjoon pronounces the dorms a “judgment-free zone,” but says they should probably avoid doing anything too risky while out on tour, where there are more cameras and reporters. Jin looks like he’s going to throw up. Yoongi is impassive, as usual. Hoseok looks like he’s trying not to laugh.

Jimin and Taehyung catch each other’s gaze, and Jimin sticks his tongue into his cheek, his eyes bright. Taehyung flushes, and Jungkook feels hot. He knows they’ve fooled around. Taehyung told Jungkook that Jimin was insatiable, that they’d once had a contest to see how many times they could make each other come and both passed out after five.

When did they even have time to do this? Jungkook is lucky if he has time to shower before he falls asleep on his feet.

Jungkook strokes himself off that night thinking about it, trying not to think about it, imagining Jimin’s mouth and Taehyung’s fingers, wondering if he could get some kind of award for jerking off because he’s so goddamn good at it.

 

*

 

Porn is weird and Jungkook doesn’t really like it, but there aren’t a lot of choices when you’re busy all the time and have no privacy and are never far from the staff and managers that shuttle you from one obligation to another. Jungkook’s only alone time is often late at night, huddled over his computer, earphones in, flicking through links, making faces at how gross so much of it is. More often than not, he finds himself closing his eyes, listening to the fake moans and imagining the way Jimin dances, the slow, sensual movement of his body.

Jungkook isn’t even sure thinking about Jimin is gay, because Jimin’s so pretty. Those lips and the way his tongue flicks over them, unconsciously sometimes — it’s a lot to take. Jimin’s a total shameless thirst trap on stage, but Jungkook thinks he’s hottest when he’s not even trying, when he’s laughing so hard he falls over, or on his phone, distracted, his lips parted, his eyes wide.

Yoongi’s pretty too, as much as he tries not to be, his features delicate and soft, and Jungkook thinks about his hands, narrow fingers, piano-playing hands. He thinks about the way Yoongi raps, and the low, flat cadence of his voice, and how he would sound if he was telling Jungkook what to do, bored but not, not really.

He thinks about Namjoon, even though it’s weird, even though Namjoon is like his brother or sometimes his dad or his teacher, even though he looks up to Namjoon like he’s never looked up to anybody else. But Namjoon has this quiet sort of power around him that’s...hot. It’s hot. It would be hot. Under the right circumstances. If Jungkook was under him, maybe. He catches Namjoon looking at him sometimes and he knows he could make Namjoon fall apart. That thought makes Jungkook sweat.

Hoseok is — well. Like Jimin, it’s never hard to imagine what Hoseok would be like in bed because of the way he dances. There’s an openness about Hoseok that’s kind of appealing, too, like Jungkook could ask him anything and he’d tell him and never make fun of him for it. Jungkook has a lot of questions that he wants to ask Hoseok. He has a lot of questions he wants to ask literally anyone who can answer them. Fuck.

And then there’s Jin. Jin is...such a weirdo about sex. Even though he makes a big deal about how hot he is, he’s completely freaked out whenever someone actually finds him hot. Jungkook will never forget that time they pranked him on his birthday by putting that girl in his bed. Jin looked like he was going to pass out and die. Admittedly, it was messed up, but if something like that had happened to Taehyung, he would’ve probably politely asked the girl what was going on and then escorted her out. Jin reacted like he’d seen the face of Satan.

The thing about Jin, though, is that he’s probably actually had sex more than any of the rest of them. Not just because he’s the oldest, but because he’s got that face, those shoulders and his totally non-threatening funny guy thing going on, and girls just...flock to him. Namjoon joked once that Jin was like the Batman of hook-ups. You never saw him appear or disappear with a girl, and afterwards you’d never know if it had happened in the first place, only that something in the air felt different, like justice had been done.

Jungkook could use a little more of that finesse. He’s fine talking to fans at a meet-and-greet - he can be the professional, the polite, goofy, cute one, but get him in a room with a girl he has to talk to one-on-one and he is a hot mess. In this way he envies Taehyung, who never seems to struggle to talk to anyone. He meets up with other idols at their concerts and has them taking selfies and cracking up in minutes. Girls and guys alike hand Tae phone numbers like they’re train tickets and he’s the conductor - without thinking, just the price of admission to the V show. Everybody trusts him. Everyone loves him.

Jungkook knows, objectively, that Taehyung is handsome, but the hottest thing about him is how easy he is with himself. How content. He can wear a leopard-print floor-length coat to the airport without blinking, leap into the room during a V-live after a bath in his robe and a snapback, take a random bus from the airport in a foreign country because he feels like it and never freak out, even when he gets lost.

Taehyung is also hot because he and Jimin mess around and he doesn’t give a fuck what anyone thinks about it. He’s not going to run and tell the press because he’s not an idiot, and because that would affect more than just him, but Taehyung gets what he wants and he never has to beg for it. Jungkook envies that something fierce.

When interviewers ask that fateful question, the Which member would you date if they were a girl? one, Jungkook can never choose. Not because the idea freaks him out, because it doesn’t. If Jungkook were to date anyone right now, it’d probably be one of his bros. They’re the obvious choice in this life where they’re so exposed and so sequestered, constantly pushed in front of crowds and cameras but never allowed to touch. He knows them the best and he loves them the most.

But part of Jungkook always wonders: Would they want to date me? The kid they saw go through his awkward skinny shy stage, who they’ve seen cry and bleed and fall and get up again, over and over and over? What’s sexy about any of that? Isn’t Jungkook sexy onstage because all they see is the perfect, made-up version of him, the idol, costumed, dancing, flawless?

Dating the other members would probably be safe, but the safest thing is to be alone.

Except for how it doesn’t feel so safe anymore.

 

*

 

In Malta, Jungkook sits with Jimin on the bow of the boat with the night heavy and dark around them, Jimin’s feet on the bars next to him, Jimin laughing into the wind. They play music from Jimin’s phone and Jimin nearly drops it over the side. Jungkook laughs so hard his ribs hurt for days.

Jungkook looks out at the ocean, the water lapping at the sides of the boat. He looks at Jimin, the way his jaw curves and the moonlight reflects off his eyes. There are so many songs about nights like this , Jungkook thinks. He feels stupid for thinking it, but the thought clings to him, holds on.

Jimin is a love song. It’s an undeniable fact. He is a boy you write songs about.

Somewhere nearby a cameraman is telling them they have to go back to the hotel, and Jimin’s shivering. Jungkook takes his hands and rubs them to keep them warm.

“I want to stay here forever,” Jimin says, and Jungkook doesn’t say anything, just holds Jimin’s hands. He doesn’t let go, even when they’re off the boat, walking back to their hotel under the cover of the inky sky studded with stars, fingers still entwined.

 

*

 

“What’s it like?” Jungkook asks Taehyung.

They’re lying next to each other in bed in their crazy stone house in Malta. Vacations and travel make Jungkook bold. Something about the rooms being different, the play of light and shadow across the walls. He wants to film it. He wants to take a picture of Taehyung like this, lying on his side in his adorable Tata pajamas, his hair messy and his eyes heavy with sleep. There is a part of Jungkook that always wants to take Taehyung’s picture.

“Hmm?” Taehyung asks.

He’s still a bit turned around from traveling, and it’s late. Jungkook is most coherent around 2 am, but Tae is fading.

“With Jimin,” Jungkook says. “What’s it like?”

Taehyung tilts his head to one side. His face is unreadable in the darkness.

“You could find out, you know,” Taehyung says. “Jimin would never say no to you.”

That wasn’t what Jungkook meant. Not really.

“No, I mean…” Jungkook takes in a breath. “What’s it like to be with someone like that?”

“You mean what is sex like?” Taehyung says. “Or, like, specifically what it’s like with Jimin?”

“I don’t know. Either. Both,” Jungkook says, frustrated.

Taehyung pauses. There’s a rustling as he shifts under the covers.

“It’s different with Jimin,” Taehyung says. “Other people...I don’t know. Mostly when I’ve hooked up with people it’s just been fun. I’m lucky. It’s never been bad. But with Jimin, it’s...it’s different with someone you love.”

“How?” Jungkook asks.

Taehyung sighs.

“We just...we know what each other wants,” Taehyung says. “We talk about stuff before we do it. We have a good time but it’s also more than that.”

Jungkook feels his breath catch.

Taehyung reaches out and grasps Jungkook’s hand under the covers. His palm is a bit sweaty, but it feels good.

“It’s not bad to wait, you know,” Taehyung says. “Especially with us being...the way we are. Sometimes I think Jin and Yoongi-hyung have the right idea. No strings. Not until we’re out of the spotlight.”

“With you and Jimin,” Jungkook says. “There are strings?”

Taehyung is quiet.

“I don’t know,” he says. “I...can’t imagine ever being apart from him. Like, for any long period of time. It’s not about the sex, really. Even if we didn’t have sex, I’d still want to see Jiminie all the time.”

Jungkook tries to imagine a future where he’s not constantly around the other members. The last time that was true, he was thirteen years old. Nearly eight years ago now, and he was a little kid. Sometimes Jungkook still feels like a kid, but then he remembers that he left home for the big city when he was in middle school to join a band. That’s not exactly a little kid thing to do.

“I know what you mean,” Jungkook whispers.

Taehyung clutches his hand more tightly.

 

*

 

On Jungkook’s birthday, Jungkook drapes himself over Namjoon’s lanky frame, peppering his face with kisses. Namjoon shoves him off, laughing.

“Control yourself, Jungkook-ah,” Namjoon says. “They just did my makeup, you know.”

“I can’t control myself around you,” Jungkook says, totally deadpan. “You’re too beautiful, Rapmonie-hyung.”

Namjoon gets pink, his hand fluttering in front of his face in the way it always does when he’s truly embarrassed. Jungkook backs off, not wanting Namjoon to actually explode. He collapses onto the couch across from him, sprawling with his legs wide and spilling over the sides.

“You ready for this tour?” Namjoon asks.

Jungkook shrugs. “I think so? I mean, it’s going to be awesome to be on tour after not doing shows for so long. But also our schedules are kind of brutal, so I just hope I can keep up.”

“You’ll be fine,” Namjoon says, his lips curving up. “You’re young and vibrant.”

“Dude, you are like...barely three years older than me,” Jungkook says. “You’re young too.”

“Am I, though?” Namjoon says, leaning back in his chair. He does look older, then. Tired.

“Yeah you are, hyung,” Jungkook says. “Lots of time to make your fortune and fall in love.”

He doesn’t know why he says it, but Namjoon’s reaction is immediate and strong. His eyes get wide and sad, and he leans forward as if he wants to reach out. He stops himself just in time.

“Jungkookie?” Namjoon says. “Are you...are you okay?”

“Uh, I’m fine.”

Namjoon purses his lips, but he doesn’t say anything.

“You know you can...you can fall in love now, right?” Namjoon says. “I mean...not that you have to or anything, but--”

“How am I going to do that, hyung?” Jungkook says. “When is there time for falling in love?”

Namjoon looks away. There’s a flush high in his cheeks, and he takes his time answering the question Jungkook meant to be rhetorical.

“There are a lot of ways to fall in love, you know,” Namjoon says. “It’s not always with people.”

Jungkook glances up, confused.

“Like, you can fall in love with music,” Namjoon says. “Places. Animals. The ocean. You can fall in love every day if you want to.”

Jungkook feels the way he always does around Namjoon, like he somehow contains all the answers to the questions Jungkook doesn’t even know how to ask yet.

“I...I guess that’s true,” Jungkook says.

They don’t say anything for a long moment, and Namjoon clears his throat.

“You can fall in love with your band,” Namjoon says, so soft that Jungkook thinks he hallucinated it, but when he looks up, Namjoon is looking back at him, his eyes wide and clear.

 

*

 

Backstage at their first American show, Jungkook watches Jin talk to one of the backup dancers. He’s tall and slender, and he leans into Jin’s space like Jin has somehow shifted his center of gravity. Jin smiles at him and the dancer gets red. Jin touches his arm and Jungkook’s afraid the dancer might faint.

“Him, huh?” Jungkook says when the dancer leaves and Jin’s sitting at the vanity fixing his collar.

Jin glances over at him. “What?”

“The dancer,” Jungkook says. “Do you even know his name?”

“Yeah,” Jin says, raising his eyebrows. “It’s Gabe. What--are you okay?”

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, becoming very interested in buttoning the one million buttons of his flimsy white shirt.

“Probably not,” Jin says, even though Jungkook didn’t say anything. “I don’t really do repeats. It gets kind of messy.”

It takes Jungkook a minute to realize what Jin’s saying. Jungkook was kind of joking. He didn’t even know Jin was into guys.

“You afraid they’re going to catch feelings and then they’ll stalk you, hyung?” Jungkook asks. “Because you’re too worldwide handsome?”

Jin makes a comical face at him, widening his eyes and pouting, but when he speaks, he turns away and his voice gets quiet.

“Maybe,” Jin says. “Who says they’re the only person who might catch feelings?”

Jin’s answer knocks the breath out of Jungkook.

“Really?” Jungkook says. “You seem--”

“Like an asshole?” Jin asks, lifting his chin. “Is that what you were going to say?”

“Like you have everything under control,” Jungkook says. “That’s what I was going to say.”

Jin takes in an uneven breath.

“How would that even be possible,” Jin asks. “How much do we control about this life?”

 

*

 

In Chicago, Jungkook and Hoseok go to dinner at a restaurant at the top of the world. They drink too much and get giggly and Hoseok feeds Jungkook the best lobster he’s ever had in his life, pressing his fingers to Jungkook’s lips in a way that makes him tingle all over.

“Should we order six more?” Hoseok says. “In honor of Jin-hyung?”

Jungkook snorts. Sometimes he wonders if Jin actually knows that the food they eat isn’t free, that they pay for everything eventually. He eats like he thinks he’ll never eat again once BTS breaks up.

“I think I’m good,” Jungkook says, and Hoseok smiles at him in that way that lights up the whole room.

“You are good, Kookie,” Hoseok says. “You know that, right?”

It’s a sudden shift in tone, but Hoseok is like that. Always a bit of a wild card.

“I’m all right,” Jungkook says.

“No, I mean...you’re good,” Hoseok says. “You’re a good man. A good friend. A good musician.”

“Are you alright, hyung?” Jungkook jokes. “How much of that wine did you have?”

“I might be drunk but I’m still right,” Hoseok says. “Sometimes I think you don’t know how good you are, and that makes me sad. You work too hard to think anything different.”

Jungkook swallows.

“You’re good too, Hobi-ah,” Jungkook says.

“Oh, I know,” Hoseok says, and Jungkook laughs.

Hoseok looks at Jungkook like he’s evaluating him, and Jungkook feels his heartbeat stutter.

“Are you doing what you need to do?” Hoseok says. “You know. To feel good?”

Jungkook’s breath gets short.

Hyung, ” he hisses, and Hoseok cups his chin, an affectionate gesture.

“I know it’s not easy,” Hoseok says. “But it’s okay to ask for it when you need it.”

“When I need what ?” Jungkook says. His voice cracks.

“For people to help you feel good,” Hoseok says. “It’s okay to ask for that.”

 

*

 

When they leave the stage after playing Citi Field, they’re all pretty wound up, but it’s Jimin who seems the most wrecked. His face is red from crying, and he looks like he’s struggling to stay upright. But when they walk down the hallway, Jimin says: “How’re you feeling, Kookie?” like that’s what matters, like Jimin didn’t cry onstage for the last ten minutes of the show.


Jungkook doesn’t think.

He presses Jimin into a wall in their dressing room and kisses him, hard, feeling Jimin inhale and wrap his hand in Jungkook’s shirt.

When they pull back to breathe, Jimin searches Jungkook’s face with his eyes, his brow furrowed. He looks nervous, like he’s afraid Jungkook is going to push him away. Jungkook and Jimin are alike this way. They’re never sure where they stand.

“It’s okay,” Jungkook says, and Jimin’s shoulders come down from around his ears. Jungkook takes his hand and rubs between Jimin’s thumb and forefinger where he always holds tension, and Jimin exhales.

So many ways to be alone. So many ways to fall in love.

Here, in this dressing room in New York, halfway around the world and so far from home, Jungkook feels his pulse race.

“Is this because it’s almost my birthday?” Jimin asks, his voice wavering like he’s trying to make a joke.

“No,” Jungkook says, and Jimin doesn’t question it.

Jungkook wants to tell Jimin how hard it is to watch him cry, how he wanted to hug him on stage but there was no space or time to do it. How there is never enough space and time for him to hug Jimin the way he wants to.

But Jungkook doesn’t know how to say that, not yet. Instead he kisses the tips of his fingers, watches the way Jimin bites his lip, and hears him sigh.

“Oh, hey,” Taehyung’s voice floats in from behind them, and they break apart.

Jungkook has a moment of panic, thinking about what Taehyung said about Jimin, how his face had softened and flushed. But when he sees how Taehyung is looking at him, he can tell his fears were unfounded.

Taehyung looks hungry. Jimin is still breathing hard, and Jungkook watches the heated look that passes between them.

“Is this happening?” Taehyung says.

Jimin licks his lips. Jungkook doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but it’s clear Jimin does.

“Only if Jungkook wants it,” Jimin says. “Kookie, do you want…”

He trails off, gesturing between the three of them, and the reality of the situation crashes into him like a wave lifted high by a hurricane.

“I…” Jungkook says, but the words get caught in his throat.

“We won’t do anything you don’t want,” Jimin says. “Ever.”

“No, never,” Taehyung says. “And we can stop any time you want. Whenever.”

Jungkook feels like he’s been plunged into a too-hot bath. He takes in a shaky breath.

“God,” Jungkook whispers.

“I think that’s a yes,” Taehyung says, and takes Jungkook’s hand and pulls.

 

*

 

In Malta, right before the boat pulled into shore, Jimin leaned into Jungkook and kissed him: brief, soft, quickly over.

It wasn’t the first time. When they were trainees, they used to fall asleep together and wake up tangled in each other’s arms. Some mornings Jimin would press a soft kiss to Jungkook’s lips, or his cheek, or just above his eyebrow, and Jungkook didn’t mind, really, because it felt nice to have someone to be close to when everyone he loved felt so far away.

They got older, though, and Jimin kissed him less.

Jungkook felt the ghost of Jimin’s mouth against his. He thought about what Taehyung had said, about how it’s different when you love someone, and he knew that’s why this felt different than all those times years ago. Jungkook loves Jimin. He loves him, and he loves Taehyung, and he loves Hoseok, and he loves Yoongi, and he loves Namjoon, and he even loves stupid Batman Jin.

There are a lot of ways to fall in love, Namjoon had said.

Jungkook thinks he may know every single one. At the very least, he knows six.

 

*

 

Fuck, ” Jungkook curses.

He doesn’t even know what’s happening, only that there are lips hot at his throat, a hand trailing over his stomach. He’s naked and twisted up in the sheets of this hotel room bed, sweating, breathless, so turned on it hurts.

“Okay?” Jimin says. He keeps asking. He asked when they took off Jungkook’s shirt, when Jimin kissed him until his lips felt bruised, when Taehyung pressed Jungkook into the wall and slid down to his knees. Okay okay okay, Jungkook thinks, because everything is okay, everything is amazing, everything is. It is.

“Kookie?” Jimin asks again, and Jungkook wraps one hand around Jimin’s waist and pulls him down until they’re flush against each other. Jimin huffs out a breath, and Jungkook can hear Taehyung laughing in the background, then closer when Taehyung tumbles onto the bed next to him and presses into his side.

“I think he wants it, Jiminie,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook nods so vigorously that Taehyung starts giggling again.

“You know what we talked about,” Jimin says, his voice taking on a bit of a whine. “Enthusiastic consent, always--”

“I wish I’d never bought you that book about sex positivity,” Taehyung says, and then they’re kissing over Jungkook’s head, and it’s so hot. It’s so hot. Hotter than Jungkook imagined it would be, and he imagined it in a way so detailed it was a little like a spicy romance novel.

“Fuck,” Jungkook says again, and they break apart. Jimin licks Jungkook’s ear, tracing its shape, and who knew that would feel so good? How would Jungkook know that? How can Jungkook learn literally everything there is to know about sex and learn it right now this very instant?

“I think I wanted this,” Jungkook exhales, “for a very long time.”

“Oh, Kookie,” Jimin says. “I promise you that however long you’ve wanted this, we’ve wanted it longer.”

Jungkook finds this hard to believe, and he scrunches up his face in a way that makes Jimin giggle and pinch his cheek.

“That makes us sound creepy,” Taehyung says. “Jimin’s trying to say that you’ve been hot for a long time, and also clearly sexually frustrated, and we wanted to help you out.”

“Just a friendly orgasm or two,” Jimin says. “Between bros.”

“I thought,” Jungkook says, trying not to shiver when Jimin lets a hand slip down between Jungkook’s thighs, skimming over his erection but barely touching him, “that you guys knew how to get up to five.”

Jimin’s hand freezes, and when Jungkook’s eyes flutter open, he sees that Jimin is shooting Taehyung a death glare.

“I can’t believe you told him that,” Jimin says.

Taehyung shrugs. “I was proud of us!”

“Hey, so,” Jungkook says, “this is awesome, but could we, like--”

“Get back to the sex?” Taehyung says. His voice is deep and so close to Jungkook’s ear. “You’re super-ready for the fucking, huh, baby?”

Jungkook nearly chokes on his own breath. “I don’t know if--”

“He doesn’t mean that,” Jimin says. “He just means--”

“I mean whatever you want it to mean,” Taehyung murmurs, his hand light on Jungkook’s nipple, then replaced with his tongue. Jungkook arches up and cries out.

“Good, his mouth is busy,” Jimin says. “Tell us what you want, Kookie.”

“What-whatever,” Jungkook says.

“No, no, we don’t do that,” Jimin says. “You have to tell us. What do you think about?”

Jungkook’s brain is suddenly overcome with every dirty fantasy he’s ever had. It makes him shake, and Taehyung stops tonguing and biting at his nipples long enough to dig his bony chin into Jungkook’s chest and look up at him through his eyelashes, curious.

“I--I don’t know,” Jungkook says, and Jimin pinches his side, making him yelp.

“Dude, you know,” Jimin says. “Come on, like every single one of us doesn’t have vivid jerk-off fantasies. We never have time to date!”

“Did you all know that Jin-hyung messes around with guys?” Jungkook says, hoping that maybe this diversion will take the focus off the fact that he once thought about fucking Jimin’s mouth while they were eating burgers in some restaurant in LA and Jimin stuffed the whole damn thing into his mouth at once.

“Yeah, of course,” Taehyung says, taking the bait. “Hot guys, too. Dancers.”

“That always seemed like too close to home to me,” Jimin says. “Isn’t it kind of risky?”

“Bro,” Taehyung says, gesturing between them. “You can’t get any closer to home than this.”

Jimin flushes. “Okay, point.”

“How does everyone know about these things and I don’t?” Jungkook complains.

“Do you remember that girl Namjoon banged on the Wings tour?” Jimin says. “She was so out of his league it was crazy.”

“What, nobody is out of Rapmonie’s league,” Taehyung says, indignant. “Take that back!”

“I literally know nothing,” Jungkook says.

“If you spent less time in your room watching porn, you would know all about this stuff,” Jimin says, and Jungkook goes so red he thinks he might turn into a strawberry.

“How do you—you know what, don’t answer that,” Jungkook says, and Jimin giggles.

“We used to share a wall, you know,” Jimin says. “I know exactly what you sound like when you—“

“I’d spend less time watching porn if you’d help me get off,” Jungkook snaps, and Jimin laughs, loud and airy, and finally—finally grips his dick.

“Oh God,” Jungkook says, all jokes gone, and then Taehyung kisses him, messy and wet, all tongue and teeth, and Jimin is stroking him, slow, fast, slow, fast, and okay, yes, this is better. This is better than doing this alone.

“What do you think about?” Jimin says, and Jungkook can’t think about anything right now but the feel of Jimin’s palm against his dick, Taehyung pressing into his side as he tugs a hand through Jungkook’s hair. Taehyung is hard, and he thrusts against his hip, and it’s—

“I think about...I don’t know, everything,” Jungkook manages. “I want...I want to know what I want. You know? I think about you and your mouth and Taehyungie’s hands and I think about Yoongi-hyung talking dirty to me, and Hobi’s hip thrusts, and what Namjoon would—“

“Holy shit, Kookie,” Taehyung whispers.

“Jin’s probably good at going down on girls, right?” Jungkook babbles. He doesn’t even know what he’s saying anymore. “That’s why they like him so much?”

“I’m good at going down on girls,” Taehyung says, irrelevantly, and Jimin uses his free hand to flick him in the forehead.

“Shit,” Jungkook says. “I’m close. I’m—“

Taehyung leans down and bites Jungkook’s nipple, again, then murmurs, “You’re what’s tasty in Busan, baby.”

“I swear, Tae,” Jimin says. “You are so—“

“So close,” Jungkook gasps, and they both turn their attention back to him.

“Let’s see if you can break our record,” Jimin whispers in Jungkook’s ear, and every part of Jungkook’s world goes hazy, sparkly white.

 

*

 

Jungkook fucks up his heel in London, and it’s Yoongi who sits with him when the doctors come. Jungkook’s crying, not because of the pain but because he feels like an idiot. How could he hurt himself this way? He’s probably not going to be able to perform, and the fans will be so disappointed. They’ve never even been to the UK before. He feels like such a failure.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, clasping Jungkook’s hand. “It’s going to be okay.”

There’s something about Yoongi’s steady, soft voice that makes Jungkook believe him. Yoongi has never lied to Jungkook, ever.

“I fucked up, hyung,” Jungkook whispers, and Yoongi says, “Accidents happen. You’re going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”

“I want to be able to dance,” Jungkook says, and Yoongi draws his fingers over Jungkook’s palm, tickling his skin and making Jungkook shiver.

“You will, Kookie,” Yoongi says. “Maybe not tonight, but this isn’t forever. Nothing is forever.”

The way he says it makes Jungkook ache. Yoongi does this to Jungkook often. He doesn't mean to, but Jungkook knows that Yoongi has been through it. He knows that Yoongi has been sad in a way that Jungkook has never been sad, and it’s made him harder and deeper and stronger than Jungkook will probably ever be. Sometimes he feels it when Yoongi says things like this, like he knows.

Jungkook curls up in Yoongi’s arms, and Yoongi lets him, even though Yoongi is small and narrow and Jungkook is big and broad. Yoongi stays with him as the doctors look over his foot, stays with him when they lift him up onto a table so they can give him stitches, stays with him after, when the doctors are gone and Jungkook is crying again, the tears tracing paths down his cheeks to his chin, where Yoongi wipes them away.

 

*

 

At the show that night, Jungkook looks out at the crowd of sparkling lights and swallows down more tears. They cheer for him even though he can’t stand, can’t go and greet them, can’t dance for them.

They love him anyway.

The members visit him in turn, sometimes by themselves, sometimes together, clustering close, patting him on the shoulder, singing to him, hugging him, dancing in front of him, making faces so he’ll smile.

He wants to pour his whole heart onto the stage, give them all the love back that they’ve given him.

When the show’s almost over and they say their messages to the fans, he chokes up, the tears returning.

As always, Namjoon steps in and says something sweet and perfect about how it’s not his fault, but this is Jungkook’s fault, and he has to deal with it.

But when Jungkook looks up and sees Taehyung making his way over to him with a wide grin on his face, watches as Jimin kneels down in front of Jungkook and presses a cool hand to the back of his neck, looking up at him with a soft look in his eyes, Yoongi mouthing it’s not forever, Jin crossing his eyes and sticking out his tongue, Hoseok mock-pouting, Namjoon’s quiet finger heart aimed in his direction -- Jungkook thinks: I don’t have to deal with it alone.