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Jungkook slowly opens his eyes and squints against the sunlight. It wraps his skin in a comforting warmth like a childhood blanket, a quiet sigh escaping him at the feeling. The soft touch of silk bedsheets around his ankles feel like a caress and he closes his eyes again to feel the sweet warmth of the sun on his face. The distant sound of waves crashing against the shore and the cries of seagulls almost lull him back to sleep. He breathes in the salty tang of the sea breeze coming in from the open window, a smile blooming on his face.

He listens to the beautiful sounds of nature, trying to delay getting out of bed, or if this is a dream, he wants to stay in it a bit longer.

“Hey, baby.” A familiar voice sounds from beside him. He feels an arm snake around his middle and the warmth of a body beside his own.

“Jimin?” He replies, not fully registering anything. He’s only mildly surprised that Jimin is featured in another one of his dreams. It happens. His head is a weird place. Usually, his dreams with Jimin involve lots of hate sex though. Arguing in front of the cameras, then fucking backstage when they are left alone. Or the kitchen table when everyone’s asleep. Rough enough to leave bruises. They are never this soft.

“Yes, baby.” Jimin rasps in reply, kissing him on the chest. His voice sounds used.

“Hmm.” Jungkook replies, still in dreamland. He pulls Jimin closer to himself without giving it much thought. Might as well roll with the dream. If he’s honest with himself, it feels kind of good.

Jimin scoots even closer to him and nuzzles his chest.

“Am I dreaming?” Jungkook murmurs when the ‘dream’ keeps going, time moving slowly like dripping honey. He opens his eyes to stare at the ceiling, his consciousness starting to come back to him in small waves.

“No.” Jimin laughs softly beside him. He presses another kiss to Jungkook’s chest. His kisses feel so real. Too real. “You are mine. And I’m yours.” Jimin whispers against his skin.

Jimin continues brushing his lips everywhere he can reach and the sensation is starting to make Jungkook aroused. Before it gets too heated though, Jimin stops, cuddling back into Jungkook’s side. “I love you.” He says with a happy sigh.

Jungkook listens to the sound of Jimin’s breathing and the waves. He closes his eyes again, thinking this has got to be a dream. He’s torn between wanting to wake up and seeing how the dream plays out.

Jimin is still clutching his waist tightly and makes a soft sound of contentment by his side. Jungkook looks out the window to see a bright blue sky and the sun shining through. He closes his eyes to focus on the sounds around him again. Seagulls, waves, Jimin.

He opens his eyes again. But, the dream continues.

Jungkook can feel his breathing get quicker, anxiety coursing through his veins now. He pinches himself on the thigh.

Again.

And again. And again.   

It doesn’t do anything.

He’s not waking up.

“Jimin…is this real?” Jungkook finally asks. His eyes roam around the room, trying to make out details. If this was a dream, could he make out this many details? He can see the texture of the curtains moving with the breeze. He can see his own bare body when he looks down. He pinches himself again, for good measure.

“Jungkookie…” Jimin sits up suddenly, the warmth of his body disappearing, leaving Jungkook cold even with the warm breeze coming through the windows. Jungkook looks over to him. Jimin looks scared, his eyes are wide and he stares at him like he’s about to disappear. “Baby, are you…are you having t-trouble with your memory again?” Jimin reaches out to push his hair back, inspecting his face more closely.  

“Why do you sound like you like me?” Jungkook whispers in disbelief. The Jimin in front of him looks at him with only affection, no hint of contempt and anger that’s so often directed at Jungkook.

Jimin ignores his question, eyebrows pulling together further. “What year is it?”

“Um…2018?” Jungkook replies, starting to sit up on the bed. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

Jimin runs his hand through Jungkook’s hair. The gesture is oddly comforting, coming from him. “It’s…it’s 2028.”

“What? Are you joking?” Jungkook almost falls off the bed, trying to get away, anxiety turning into full-blown panic. Last thing he remembers is Jimin’s back, disappearing through the door of his room, in their shared dorm. Performing on stage at one of their concerts, the day before that. Jimin hating him. In 2018. This has got to be a dream. A very, very lucid one.

“No, I’m n-not. I…Do you remember the a-accident?”

Jungkook turns back to face Jimin and really looks at him. He has aged, there are tiny lines around his eyes and he looks older, more mature. He looks completely sincere, not at all like he’s lying. And if he was lying, how exactly could he look older? “What accident?”

Jimin plays with the sheets, refusing to make eye contact. Jungkook watches his shoulders visibly tense before he murmurs, “What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Uh, you and the hyungs watching Deadpool or something? You called me over to watch with you? Um, a day after a concert in I think in…Newark.” Words pour out of him in a rush. “What accident?” He asks Jimin again, he almost wants to shake him. How did he end up here? In this room? Didn’t Jimin hate him? What’s going on? Why did they wake up in the same bed together?  

“Sit down, baby.” Jimin tries to reach out for him, looking more and more concerned.

“Why do you keep calling me that?” Jungkook stares at Jimin, whose hand drops back down to clutch the sheets around him tightly.  

“Because…we are…um…married.” Jimin says very slowly, he looks up at Jungkook, as if asking for permission, before reaching over to take Jungkook’s left hand in his own and raises it up to Jungkook’s eye level. A simple gold band sits on his left ring finger and he looks over to see an identical one on Jimin’s hand. They glint mockingly in the sunlight.  

“Married? We? Us?” Jungkook points between them incredulously. “What? How? I swear to god Jimin, if this is a fucking prank, you will regret it.” Jungkook backs away from the bed to put some clothes on, suddenly overly aware of how naked he is. The sweet whisper of a good dream is wiped completely. This is apparently now Jungkook’s reality and he’s slowly starting to realize he might not wake up any time soon.

“Jungkook, don’t leave. Please.” Jimin’s voice is filled with worry, more than Jungkook’s ever heard from him in the years he’s known Jimin. Jungkook turns away from Jimin to put on the first pair of jeans he finds on the floor.

“Why do you care?” Jungkook bites back over his shoulder. He almost regrets it when he sees Jimin flinch, as if Jungkook struck him physically.

“Because I love you.” Jimin whispers. The words send a stab of something painful through Jungkook’s chest and he doesn’t question what that something is. “Please, just…let me explain. Let me make some breakfast?”

Jungkook pulls on a white t-shirt. He sighs, trying to breathe in and out to fight off the incoming panic attack. It doesn’t work very well. He needs answers. Everything feels so real. Maybe he needs to play along to eventually wake up? “Fine.” He rubs a weary hand down his face.  

Jimin scrambles to get up and almost falls off the bed in his haste, as if any delay will change Jungkook’s mind. He stands up, completely bare and seems unbothered by his nakedness. Jungkook watches, fascinated, as Jimin looks around him in search for clothes.

Jimin turns around so that his back is facing him. Jungkook’s eyes involuntarily travel down to zoom in on Jimin’s ass when he bends over to retrieve some boxers from where they are carelessly thrown to the floor. His back muscles ripple as he pulls on a shirt that’s too big on his frame. In this dream, Jimin has aged like fine wine, Jungkook curses himself. If this is a dream, then his imagination is wild. He finally clears his throat and looks away, cheeks red with embarrassment.

“Where are we?” Jungkook gingerly looks around the room, walking slowly until he comes over to an open door leading out into a private balcony. It’s quite large, just a little bit smaller than what would be considered a full terrace. There are two lounge chairs placed side by side, facing the turquoise blue waters glimmering under the bright sunlight. There’s a backyard underneath the balcony with an infinity pool, surrounded by neatly clipped, green grass. They are nestled on a cliff, while the waves hit the rocks underneath.

“Capri. Italy.” Jimin replies. Jungkook hears his pattering footsteps come closer to stand right beside him. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees Jimin’s hand hover in hesitation before he places it tentatively on Jungkook’s arm. Jungkook turns his head to stare at the hand and Jimin moves it away quickly. “It’s…um.” He clears his throat. “Our h-honeymoon.” He manages to say but his voice breaks at the end.

“Honey—” Jungkook scoffs in disbelief. “Jimin, you better explain everything. Fast.”

Jimin clears his throat and steps away from him. Jungkook sees his eyes shine with unshed tears right before he turns away, wiping at them. “I will, I promise. Come down for breakfast.” He pauses at the bedroom door and looks up at Jungkook with wide, pleading eyes. “P-please.”

Jungkook nods and watches Jimin turn his back again. The thought sparks a memory of him doing the same in Bangtan’s dorm. He tries to prod this memory further, but it sends a stabbing pain through his temples so sharp, he has to stop thinking about it.

He shakes his head and looks back out the beautiful scenery. Apparently it’s 2028 now. He goes back into the bedroom, surveying his surroundings more carefully, eyes zooming in on the bed, clearly slept in, sheets almost entirely kicked off. He looks away and goes into the attached bathroom.

Jungkook looks at his reflection in the mirror, gasping at what he sees. He’s never been able to see his own reflection in his dreams. It’s always been distorted. You can’t see your own reflection in your dreams, can you?  

But it’s him looking back in the mirror.

Definitely him. But older.

Jungkook can see himself clear as day, wide eyes looking back at him. He leans closer, he can see every little detail, a tiny freckle here, a mole there. His pores even. He reaches out to touch the mirror, feeling the coolness on his fingertips before taking them away.

He sighs shakily, gripping the edge of the marble counter until his knuckles turn white. The more time that passes, the more it’s starting to sink in that this is his reality.

He splashes cold water on his face but he’s still here. He doesn’t wake up. It’s not a dream.

Jungkook brushes his teeth quickly and makes his way down the stairs, where the delicious smells of cinnamon and sugar and freshly brewed coffee are coming from.

“Jimin?” He calls out.

“In the kitchen!” Jimin calls back.

Jungkook looks around the rooms briefly as he navigates his way to the kitchen. The living room is filled with pristine, white furniture and a large window allows view out to the pool and beyond that, the sea. White curtains billow with the soft breeze coming from the open window.

The kitchen is quite small in comparison to the rest of the house, and all white save for the blue accents on the backsplash. He sees Jimin pile French toast on a plate and bring it over to a small table out on the balcony. He turns around and notices Jungkook standing by the door.

“Um, I thought you’d like to sit out on the balcony. You um, uh.” Jungkook sees him gulp and look down at his now empty hands. “You’ve always liked the s-sea.” Jimin’s voice breaks at the end.

He turns his back to Jungkook and fiddles with the cupboards in the kitchen. Jungkook watches his movements, not knowing what to do with himself. He sees Jimin’s hands shake around the mug right before he drops it, sending pieces of glass flying around the kitchen floor.

“Sorry!” He squeaks out, before kneeling to pick up the pieces of broken glass. “I’m usually not this clumsy.” He mumbles to himself.

Jungkook finally kneels beside him to help. “Jimin…”

“Yes?” He answers but he doesn’t look at Jungkook.

“Are you okay?” Jungkook asks.

Jimin nods his head but turns his face away. “Y-yes.” He starts moving quicker.

“Slow down. You’ll hurt—” Jungkook tries to warn.

Jimin flinches back and then raises his hand to watch the blood drip down on the cut.

“I tried to tell you. Come here.” Jungkook reaches out for his hand.

Instead of letting Jungkook inspect the cut, Jimin stands up abruptly, leaving Jungkook looking up at him in confusion.

“This hurts less than…never mind.” Jimin mumbles, before rushing out of the kitchen.

Jungkook looks on helplessly, unsure if he should follow Jimin or not. He runs a rough hand through his hair in frustration and sighs heavily. He kneels back down to carefully pick up the rest of the pieces of broken glass and throws them in the trash wrapped in some paper towel. He sweeps the floor with a hand broom he finds under the sink for any smaller pieces of glass and then throws that in the bin as well.

Jimin comes back as he’s toweling his hands dry and wordlessly opens the same cupboard again to take out another mug. Jungkook watches him pour coffee, hovering behind him, unsure of how he’s supposed to act around a Jimin who he’s apparently married to.

“Have a seat.” Jimin gestures to the table and chair on the small balcony. Jungkook sits down, leaving the other lone chair across from him for Jimin, who places a cup of coffee beside his plate.

“Uh, thanks.” He mumbles, taking a sip. It’s exactly how he likes it, with the exact amount of cream and sugar.

“I didn’t have the ingredients to make any Korean food. I know you prefer it. I’m sorry.” Jimin mumbles again, taking a sip from his own cup.

“It’s okay.” Jungkook shrugs. He stabs a piece of French toast with his fork and moves it over to his plate. He takes a huge bite and almost immediately, flavours explode on his tongue. No way this could be dream. He tastes everything so clearly. He can feel the food in his mouth.

“This is soooo good!” Jungkook can’t help but moan around his mouthful.

Jimin smiles at him softly. It looks fragile, as if one wrong word from Jungkook could break him. “Eat up, then, t-there’s a lot more.”

Jungkook nods and grabs more French toast off the plate placed in between them. He looks up at Jimin when he doesn’t hear the other man speak for a long time.

He hasn’t touched anything on the table. He sips his coffee and looks out to the blue sea. He’s tanned, Jungkook notices. His hair is finally free of dye, his natural black, and it ruffles with the wind softly. Jungkook almost wants to reach out to touch it but he sees Jimin look down at his own hand and turn the gold wedding band with his thumb. It jolts Jungkook, bringing him crashing down to what appears to be reality.

“So…accident?” He asks, slowing down his eating. He puts down the fork and takes a large gulp of his coffee.

Jimin nods, looking back at him. “It was in 2020. You and me, uh, we were going on a d-date. For our first anniversary.” He gulps and looks down. “I was driving; I had finally gotten my driver’s license. You would always make fun of me for not having one.” Jimin smiles wistfully. He watches Jungkook, perhaps looking for a reaction but Jungkook is only able to look on blankly. He did always make fun of Jimin for not being able to drive, but quite condescendingly and the rest of what Jimin’s saying might as well be a fairytale. It’s odd to him that Jimin would remember Jungkook making fun of him so fondly.

“Right, um. I was driving. I got distracted. We were talking.” Jimin continues but his smile turns into a frown. “You were smiling so much. And at me, of all people. I was so happy. I just…I wanted you to keep smiling.” He gulps.

Jungkook watches him intently, searching his face for something, to see if he’s lying. He comes up empty. “What happened next?” He finally asks, as softly as he can manage at seeing the broken expression on his face. He and Jimin might not get along but he’s not a total dick.

“There was a truck coming from the other side of the road, the driver fell asleep on the wheel. I was able to swerve in time to avoid it but, we crashed into a tree. The truck driver drove off. I just…I looked beside me and you…” Jimin stops.

Jungkook waits patiently, disconnected, not recalling any of what Jimin is describing.

“You were bleeding and a-and, you weren’t waking up.” Tears slip down Jimin’s cheeks. He takes a deep, shuddering breath before he continues on. “And I…I couldn’t keep awake. I woke up in the hospital the next day. Barely a scratch on me. I asked where you were and they took me to you.”

Jungkook looks on helplessly as Jimin tries to stop his sobs. “You were in a coma for six m-months.”

Jungkook reels back in shock. “Six months?”

“Yeah.” Jimin sniffs and then coughs. “When you woke up, the doctors said you had memory loss due to brain damage and your ability to form new memories might be affected. You are able to form new memories but…you have episodes like this one where you regress back. They didn’t know if you would ever recover fully.”

“I guess I haven’t recovered then, huh…” Jungkook murmurs bitterly, even though he’s still not quite sure he believes any of this.  

Jimin looks up at him and puts his hand on top of Jungkook’s on the small table. “This hasn’t happened in a long time. You are doing a lot better than before.” He squeezes Jungkook’s hand before letting go. “Jungkook I…”

Jungkook watches Jimin open and close his mouth, as if to say something but no words come out.

Jimin suddenly gets up from his chair and kneels down on the tiled floor by Jungkook’s feet, head lowered.

“What are you doing?” Jungkook asks, eyebrows pulled together. He tries to back away but the back of his chair hits the balcony’s railing.

“Jungkook, I’m, I’m so sorry.” Jimin sobs, gripping Jungkook’s knees, head down, almost like he’s bowing down to him. “This is all my fault. I did this.” He hiccups. “I’m so sorry. I…It should’ve been me.” His shoulders shake with the force of his cries.

“Hey, hey.” Jungkook grabs him by the elbow, pulling him up to his feet. “Look, I might not remember much,” Or at all, he thinks but doesn’t say it. “But, it doesn’t sound like it was your fault at all. It’s that damn truck driver. You did everything you could.”

Jimin smiles sadly. “You always say that…” He sniffs and wipes his tears away harshly.

“Well, I mean it.” Jungkook says, and he does. He barely knows anything right now. He has no clue what’s going on, everything seems completely foreign to him.

But as much as Jimin hated him, Jungkook knows he would never hurt him. It’s not in him to hurt anybody. And this Jimin…he doesn’t hate Jungkook. He just keeps looking at him with the same adoration on his face that leaves Jungkook confused and wanting answers.

Jimin sits back down on the chair opposite Jungkook, more composed now. He wraps his hands around his cup of coffee. “You’ve been keeping a journal to help you remember. After the accident. It should be in your bag upstairs. I’ll…I’ll give you some space so you can read it over.”

Jimin gets up but Jungkook stops him with a hand around his wrist. “Wait, Jimin. What about everyone? What happened to them?”

“Bangtan?” At Jungkook’s nod, he continues. “We all semi-retired. We get together quite often though and do concerts now and then.”

Jungkook is unsure about how to feel about that. His head is stuck in 2018, where they are still performing, making music. He’s nowhere near being ready to let that go just yet. At least they still perform though. He lowers his hand from Jimin’s wrist. “What about my family?”

Jimin nods. “They are all doing well, living in Korea. We went to visit them two weeks ago. Um, you can call them, if you wanted. Your phone is upstairs. I’ll stay down h-here, so you can have some privacy.” He gets up and gathers the dishes in his hands before taking them into the kitchen sink.

Jimin comes back out to the balcony and stands playing with his hands by the door. He looks like he wants to say something but he just sighs instead. “Right, um. I’ll be here.” He goes back in and Jungkook hears water running.

He takes that as a cue to make his way back up the stairs to the bedroom he woke up in. He looks at his side of the bed and sees a black bag by the bedside table, hastily thrown to the floor. He sits on the bed and takes the bag on his lap, rummaging through the contents. It doesn’t take long to find his journal. His journal. He remembers this. He flips open the cover to find that yes! This is the one he’s started in 2018. Day of the Newark concert.  

 

September 19, 2018.

I made a lot of mistakes during the dance break. I just have to work harder. Hyung has been calling me non-stop. He just won’t leave me alone. And Jimin…I’m just…I’m so tired. I don’t know what I did to make him hate me. But he does. I feel like it just gets worse every day. I don’t know what to do. Tae tries to get us to watch stuff together. Hoseok-hyung even tricked us into practicing together, just the two of us, a week ago. That pissed Jimin off. I’m talking, bad. Real Bad. Their attempts never work anyway. As the days pass by, we grow more distant. I don’t want it to put a strain on the group.

 

Jungkook bounces in his seat. He definitely remembers writing this! Maybe he’s starting to remember? Or maybe he’ll wake up somehow. He doesn’t know what to think. Everything feels real. He hears the distant sound of the sea. Birds chirping. He feels the weight of the journal in his hands. He can taste the spice of the cinnamon, the lingering taste of sugar on his lips and the slight bitterness of the coffee.

He flips over a couple more pages and lands on another date.

 

September 30, 2018.

I finally answered hyung’s calls today. He says to investigate again. No surprise there. But, I don’t want to. I told him so. I’m done chasing monsters. I just want to have peace for once. I’m done being a hunter. Fuck the family business. Fuck the monsters.

 

This one… Jungkook remembers. He doesn’t remember the phone call in its entirety but, he does remember being upset at Junghyun for calling him about something. He remembers something about a hunt, a case maybe, but the memory is frayed at the edges, almost lost. He also remembers not wanting to hunt anymore. The more he tries to recall the conversation with Junghyun, the more it feels like the memory is slipping through his fingers like sand. He continues reading the same entry to fight off the headache in his temples.

 

Fuck Jimin too, while I’m at it. He’s been criticizing my dancing. He pointed out my mistakes in front of everyone. It was fucking embarrassing. The hyungs sent him to my room later that night in the hopes that we would make up. Hah! Jokes on you, hyungs, Jimin still fucking hates me. It’s all because he was forced to pretend like he loved me and doted on me on camera. It was supposed to be our dynamic. That’s my theory anyway. The day the management stopped forcing the act, giving us more freedom, he celebrated by going out to a club with his other idol friends. He snuck back into the dorm at 3 in the morning, reeking of alcohol and sex. I was getting some water in the kitchen when he passed by. He didn’t even notice me there. I never told him and I didn’t tell the hyungs either.  

Jimin looks at me, but he never sees me.

 

Jungkook coughs and looks around the room as if someone’s there and can read his mind to access his deepest thoughts. He remembers writing this too. How the hell did they get from that…to this moment where they are married and on their fucking honeymoon? He skims over a couple of pages. He’s still not sure if this is a very realistic dream. Or maybe it’s a hallucination? Hallucination this elaborate? He shakes off that thought quickly, it sounds stupid even to himself.

 

January 1, 2019.

Something really…and I mean really, weird happened last night. I mean, I know I have some dreams about this stuff but like, they are just fantasies that I know will never happen in reality. Anyway, me and Jimin…we fucked? It happened really fast. We were celebrating the new year in Jimin’s room with everyone. There was a lot of alcohol. Like, a LOT. Hyungs left first. Me, Tae and Jimin hung out for a bit. Jimin ignored me as usual. Tae was trying to get us to talk, or do something, I don’t know. He got really annoyed with us at some point and left. I remember continuing to drink and Jimin was too. Next thing I know, I have a hand wrapped around Jimin’s dick and he’s moaning. It was the hottest sound I’ve ever heard in my life. He went down on me. Felt amazing. Since no one will see this…I can admit that it was the best I ever had. It’s pathetic. He probably won’t even remember. I don’t know if I should hate him even more after this. It just left me feeling so damn confused.

 

This entry…Jungkook definitely does not remember. It’s his handwriting without a doubt though. He wrote this? He wrote this. The next one is a while later and a lot shorter.

 

January 17, 2019.

After ignoring me for two fucking weeks, Mr. Park finally decides to talk to me. He said to forget everything that happened between us. I don’t know why I feel like shit. I don’t know why I expected anything different from him.

 

Jungkook sighs heavily. This is starting to give him a headache. Information overload. While he does not remember writing this, he can imagine the feeling quite well. Jimin always made him feel confused, well before this entry. Jungkook just never sat down and thought about exactly why. Why Jimin sparked so many different emotions in him. Why Jimin hated him and Jungkook could never truly hate him back. He tries to push down the sudden rush of feelings.  

But then he remembers Jimin sitting in front of him at the table on the balcony. Looking at him like Jungkook is the most amazing person he’s ever seen. Jungkook reads a couple more entries, similar in tone to the last one before deciding to close the journal.

He needs a fucking break.

He makes his way back downstairs to find Jimin sitting out in the balcony, knees drawn up to his chest. He looks so tiny like that. Jungkook tries to reconcile the image of Jimin who’s strong and who has so much hate for Jungkook to this one—the one who makes him French toast and cries about how sorry he is.

He can’t.

“Jimin.” He calls out.

Jimin turns around. He doesn’t chastise him for not calling him hyung. He always used to. Jungkook, ashamedly, will admit that he used to do it just to get a reaction out of him…sometimes. Only sometimes? At least it was better than getting ignored. “Hey. Did you remember anything?”

Jungkook scratches his head. “A little. But back from 2018.”

Jimin breathes out. “Oh. Um, I see. Are you hungry? I can make something quick.”

“No, it’s okay.” Jungkook shifts from one foot to the other. “Can we go out? I feel kind of…suffocated?” He chuckles awkwardly.

“Sure. Whatever you want.” Jimin nods and gets up. “We can go for a walk to the town centre? There are nice cafes and shops there, maybe we can grab some coffee and pastries.”

Jungkook nods. “Okay.”

“Jungkookie…”

Jungkook sucks in a breath. His Jimin never called him that affectionately in private before. Sure, he would do it in front of cameras, but after a certain point, it started to leave a bad taste in Jungkook’s mouth. How fake he sounded. Jungkook could see it in his eyes how much he hated having to pretend. Pretend to like Jungkook. How Jimin would sneer and wouldn’t even really talk to him when there were no cameras. It’s so strange to hear his name like that coming from Jimin’s lips, sincerely, when there’s no one but the two of them. “Y-yes?” He manages to utter.

“I know you don’t remember but…I...” Jimin moves closer to him and grabs Jungkook’s hands in his smaller ones. “I love you.”

“Um.” Jungkook stares at him awkwardly, not able to say the words back.

Jimin smiles. But his eyes look sad. Jungkook feels a twinge of guilt for making him look that way even though the last Jimin he remembers hated his guts and for that reason, Jungkook shouldn’t care.

“Sorry, Kookie.” Jimin whispers, moving away. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to push you.”

“It’s fine.” Jungkook replies, although his mind is in a state of chaos. It’s not fine. He follows Jimin through the house, they put their shoes on in the entrance and Jimin lets him out, before locking the door behind them.

They walk side by side through the narrow streets. Jimin sticks close, their arms brush, making Jungkook cough in embarrassment. But he doesn’t move away. He doesn’t question why. He should. He really should.

Jungkook stops in his tracks. A glaring realization dawning on him.

Finally, it feels like some of the fog in his brain lifts. He can think clearly for two seconds. The cobwebs clear and the wheels in his brain start to turn.

Jimin walks a few more steps before turning around to look back at Jungkook in confusion when he doesn’t follow.

“What’s wrong?”

“I need you to do something.” Jungkook moves closer to Jimin. He can’t believe he hasn’t thought about this before. He takes out his necklace from where it’s hiding behind his white t-shirt. He unclasps it and holds it in his hand. The pendant is a small, pure silver dagger, with an iron handle and sigils are engraved onto the surface so that he doesn’t have to draw blood. It was given to him by his mother when he was finally allowed to go on hunts at age 12. She always used to say it would protect him.

“Hold this for me.”

Jimin looks more and more confused. But is this really Jimin? Jungkook should’ve fucking thought about this before. He feels so stupid. If his family saw him like this, they would be ashamed. They would be embarrassed that Jungkook even calls himself a hunter. This is the first thing he should’ve done when he fucking woke up next to Jimin of all people. Or when he cried over Jungkook and said sorry.

“Today!” Jungkook growls.

“O-okay.” Jimin, or the Jimin lookalike jumps a little before tentatively reaching out his hand to grab the necklace. He clutches the pendant in his hand tightly, looking up at Jungkook.

Jungkook watches his face closely, but there’s nothing. Absolutely nothing but confusion. He doesn’t flinch. He doesn’t drop it. The flesh of his palm doesn’t sizzle. He just holds it tightly in his hand like Jungkook told him to. So, not a shape-shifter then. Silver doesn’t affect him. If he was a ghost, he would’ve disappeared when he touched the iron handle. Fine.

“Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio—” Jungkook starts chanting the familiar incantation, foreign words flowing from his tongue with no difficulty. He wishes there was holy water. He doesn’t notice the strange looks passersby give him. Jungkook grabs Jimin by the arms and doesn’t let him move, glaring into his eyes, waiting for them to turn black. He finishes the entire incantation and Jimin is still standing there, staring at him like he grew three-heads, and looking a whole lot scared.

“You’re not a demon…” Jungkook whispers, looking off to the side. He tries to think of all the other possibilities but comes up with a big fat pile of nothing.

“D-demon…” Jimin looks up at him. “Jungkook…I think we should get you to a d-doctor. Let’s go back to Korea. I’ll book our flights right—”

“Just, stop.” Jungkook holds his arms tighter when Jimin tries to back away.

“You’re h-hurting me.” Jimin whispers, looking scared.

Jungkook shakes him a little. “Who. Are. You? Fucking tell me!” He shouts.

Jimin flinches back. “It’s me! It’s just me. Jimin.”

Jungkook glares at him, searching his face before he finally lets go. Jimin takes a deep breath, rubbing his arms. Jungkook almost feels bad. Almost. This seems like Jimin. Albeit a nicer version. Maybe he was dropped into an alternate universe? He’s heard whispers from other hunters that some rogue angels would do it just to fuck with humans. Could that be the case?

But Jungkook doesn’t know any angels, nor has he ever even seen or hunted one before.

“I need to talk to my brother. Now.” He finally spits out.

“Okay, okay.” Jimin nods furiously. “Alright. Here.” He takes his phone out of his pocket and his fingers tap the screen a few times before handing it over to Jungkook.

“No.” Jungkook pushes Jimin’s hand away. “I’ll call from my own phone, thanks.” He snaps before walking a few steps away and takes his phone out of his pocket, still keeping an eye on Jimin like a hawk. It’s a new model, something he hasn’t seen back in 2018 so it takes him an embarrassing moment to figure out how to unlock it.

The wallpaper is a picture of him and Jimin. Jimin is pressing a kiss to his cheek and he sees himself smile like he’s the happiest fucking man on Earth.

His brother picks up on the fourth ring, his face coming into view on the phone screen. “Hey, bro.” He smiles.

“Hyung?” Jungkook whispers, looking off to the side to check on Jimin. He’s still there.

“What are you calling me for during your honeymoon?” Junghyun chuckles. “Go back to Jimin, you idiot.”

Jungkook panics even more. “I just…I woke up this morning next to Jimin, I don’t remember anything. Tell me what year it is, I—”

Junghyun’s tone changes immediately, he too, looks worried, like Jimin. “Slow down, kid. Did you tell Jimin?”

“I…am I in an alternate universe? How did this happen?” Jungkook continues. He feels himself quickly spiraling.

“Jungkook. The year is 2028. And no, you’re not in some other universe, Jesus. You still have the necklace mom gave you right?”

“Yeah, I tested Jimin, he’s clean.”

“You tested—okay, don’t freak him out like that. He doesn’t know. You don’t hunt anymore.” Junghyun says very calmly.

“I don’t hunt anymore? You are okay with me not hunting? Wait, this is real? I’m…I’m really married to Jimin?” Jungkook babbles, words pouring out of his mouth too fast.

“Yes. And yes, you really are married to Jimin.” Junghyun says. His familiar face and voice brings a calm over him. That’s his brother. That much he knows. His brother who is okay with Jungkook not hunting anymore, apparently.

“Okay.” Jungkook sighs, coming down from his panicked state slowly. “You’re really okay, with me not hunting?” He asks quietly.

“Yes, Jungkook, especially after your accident.” He pauses for a breath. “Did Jimin tell you about it?”

“Yeah, he did.”

“I know you’re freaking out, and that’s completely normal. But, I promise it will pass.” Junghyun says. “This only happened twice before. And both times, your memories fully came back.”

“Really?” Jungkook asks his brother hopefully.

“Yes, really. Do me a favour Jungkook, just try to keep calm, alright? Hang out with Jimin. Maybe go down to the beach. Try to take your mind off things.”

Jungkook sighs. “I can…I can do that.”

“Good. It’s going to be okay.” Junghyun reassures. “I’m going to go now, alright? You can call me again if you like. You can call Mom too. She’s retired now.”  

“She is?” Jungkook asks. Relief washes over him in waves. He always hated the fact that his parents would go out on hunts, risking their lives for people who have no fucking clue that monsters are even real. Mom didn’t stop even when it killed Dad. At least she doesn’t hunt anymore. Jungkook breathes out a sigh of relief. “And you…hyung, are you still a hunter?”

“I do it now and then, but not as much. I have a family too.” He pauses for a second. “Mom sold the house and moved to a smaller place by the marina in Busan. You can call her too.” He says again. “She’ll answer but we just wanted to give you and Jimin some space.”

“R-right. Of course. Because honeymoon.” Jungkook looks over to Jimin, who’s now talking to a child. He’s smiling at the kid, who can’t be more than five, kneeled down to his height.

“Read your journals. You’ll remember eventually.” Junghyun says and hangs up, the screen goes black.

Jungkook pockets his phone and slowly makes his way over to Jimin where he’s waving at the kid, who runs off with a football in his hand.

“Are you alright?” He asks as he stands up.

Jungkook stares at Jimin and runs a hand through his hair. He closes his eyes for a moment and sighs deeply. Jimin is still looking at him, but he doesn’t look as scared, just concerned. “I’m sorry. About how, I…how I just acted.”

“It’s okay.” The corners of Jimin’s mouth come up into a tentative, barely-there smile. He looks a little relieved. “Jungkookie…I’m always here for you.”

Jungkook breaks eye contact, unsure of how to feel about that one. He coughs into his fist. “T-thanks.”

They continue walking side by side through the narrow streets. Jungkook looks around him to try to take in all the sights. There are shops on both sides, some small boutiques, others selling trinkets and souvenirs. They walk for a while in companionable silence, until they get to a small square.

“Piazza Umberto I.” Jimin explains to him. There are some cafes with outdoor seating, surrounding the square. They go up a flight up stairs, Jungkook following Jimin, who seems to know the town, or at the very least, he seems like he’s been here before, which Jungkook appreciates. He’s still reeling from the shock that he’s in Italy. Ten years later.

They stop in front of a church, ‘Chiesa di Santo Stefano’, Jungkook manages to read on a sign. He follows Jimin inside, looking around briefly before he loses interest. He’s never been one for too much sightseeing.

Instead, Jungkook watches Jimin look around, mouth opening in a look of awe, his eyes looking like they are sparkling.

Jungkook looks away.

They leave the church, Jimin explaining the history behind it and Jungkook listening and looking at the way Jimin’s face lights up and the way his hands move animatedly.

Jimin never directed these looks at him before. Might as well enjoy it.

Jimin suggests that they stop at a small bistro after hearing Jungkook’s stomach growl loudly. Jungkook feels hunger claw at his stomach, tired from walking and the emotional exhaustion of this morning. It feels like he was plucked from 2018, and dropped into the future suddenly, yet, he’s been told that he’s been an accident which left his memory with perhaps too many holes to be able to patch up.

The sun’s already starting to set, and Jungkook can’t believe how much time they spent walking.

They walk back to Piazza Umberto I, to where there are restaurants, cafes and bistros.

Jimin walks towards one and starts reading the menu, Jungkook following him. “They have lots of options to choose from…”

“Sure, let’s eat here.” Jungkook agrees quickly.

The restaurant slash bar has small tables outside, with soft lights hanging down all around them. He looks at Jimin, who’s eyeing the menu with mild disinterest. If anyone should be hungry, it’s Jimin. He didn’t even have breakfast.

“Hey, you’re not…dieting again, are you?” Jungkook asks tentatively. He pours himself some water and takes a sip. Jimin is about to answer but a heavily tattoed waiter comes over to jot down their orders. Jungkook is briefly distracted by the full sleeves, the lines of ink on the waiter’s skinny arms not making a complete picture, yet somehow sparking a sense of recollection. He tilts his head to look up at the waiter, but he’s already gone. Sudden images of an abandoned warehouse assault his mind in flashes but disappear too quickly to decipher. Jungkook’s head throbs and he tries desperately to shake it off, squeezing his eyes shut. Weird. Everything is fucking weird.

“Jungkook?”

“Yes? I’m fine. Sorry, I’m just really hungry.” It’s at least a half-truth so he doesn’t feel too bad about it. He focuses back on Jimin, trying to put the weirdness aside. Jungkook remembers him dieting on and off for years, from before debut to years after. “Dieting?” He prompts again.

Jimin shakes his head. “No. I don’t do that anymore.”

“Good.”

Jimin clears his throat. They sit in a semi-awkward silence until another waiter brings their food out. Jungkook doesn’t see the waiter with the skinny arms and tattoos again, even though he looks around in search for him. Jimin does eat, although not much.

“I’m just not hungry.” He explains when Jungkook questions.

The food is artfully presented, five courses with accompanying wines. Jungkook savours every bite, almost moaning at how delicious everything is. He starts to slowly forget the weird morning, even though his head is still swimming with unanswered questions.

“So, you and me?” Jungkook finally asks the question that’s been burning at the tip of his tongue.

Jimin actually blushes. His cheeks turn a rosy pink and he hastily takes a sip of his wine. Jungkook is fascinated. Jimin is blushing because of him? What a concept.

“Um, yes.” Jimin nods, dabbing a napkin on his mouth.

Jungkook raises an eyebrow. “Care to elaborate?”

“What did you want to know?” Jimin asks, he leans on his elbows, leaning closer towards Jungkook, giving all his undivided attention to him.

Jungkook, not used to the attention, looks away awkwardly. He wasn’t expecting the effect Jimin looking at him closely would have, simply because Jimin never bothered to. When he did look at Jungkook, it was always a fleeting glance, as if Jungkook wasn’t interesting enough for Jimin to spare a full look. But now, Jimin gives him his full attention.

Jungkook shifts in his seat. “Uh…how? We didn’t exactly get along in 2018.”

Jimin’s face falls a little. “I’m sorry.”

Jungkook furrows his brows. Not really an answer. “Why?”

Jimin bites his lips, drawing Jungkook’s attention there involuntarily. “I’m sorry for treating you the way I did.” He confesses quietly, now playing with the wine glass beside him.

Jungkook sucks in a breath. “You’re…sorry?” He asks, unable to believe that Jimin is saying this to him. It’s just an apology, maybe Jungkook shouldn’t care so much about it but…he’s always wanted, no, needed, to hear this from Jimin.

“Yes, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I…I always treated you badly, when you deserved the world.” Jimin’s voice breaks again, he looks away, out to the Piazza.

Jungkook looks down at his hands. Without his permission, his body starts to feel elated. It’s finally happened. Jimin acknowledged it and he said sorry. “Huh…”

“I know it’s not enough. I’ll always, I’ll a-always say sorry and I know I can’t change the past.” Jimin continues. “But, I will treat you the way you deserve, always. I love you so, so much.” He reaches out a hand to hold Jungkook’s before lifting it to his mouth and pressing a light kiss to the inside of his wrist.

Jungkook’s ears burn, he almost snatches his hand away, embarrassed. He looks around them to see if anyone’s watching them, if anyone’s casting them disgusted looks, but no one is. No one cares.

He breathes out in relief.

Jimin lets go of his hand but continues looking at him with sparkling eyes, like he can’t believe Jungkook is there, like he can’t get enough of looking at Jungkook. It makes Jungkook feel confused, even more confused than how Jimin normally makes him feel.

They share a tasty last course of panna cotta together. Jimin takes two tiny bites before leaving the rest to Jungkook. He devours it and orders a second one before finally patting his stomach, the delicious meal easing the worry in his mind, and helping him forget the weird images until there’s no hint of anxiety left, only happiness.

Jimin smiles at him.

He smiles at him like Jungkook is the only person in the world.

Jungkook’s cheeks redden and he looks down at his hands. Will he be able to get used to this? To Jimin looking at him like that? How did Jimin go from hating him to loving him like this? Jungkook still can’t believe it.

They walk back home together, the silence between them less charged with tension and more companionable after their shared meal and the day they spent together.  

When they get home, Jimin excuses himself to the bathroom and Jungkook hears the shower start. He doesn’t think about Jimin’s wet body, or water running down the lines of his muscles because that’s…something he shouldn’t do. This Jimin clearly has feelings for him, but Jungkook’s mind is still stuck on the Jimin that wouldn’t cast him a second glance.

Jimin comes out of the shower with a towel wrapped around his waist and puts on his clothes, back to Jungkook. When he’s dressed, he turns to face him. “Hey, um, I…I know you don’t remember anything past 2018. I don’t want to make things uncomfortable for you. So um, I’ll go sleep in the guest room.” Jimin rushes out, leaving Jungkook alone in the huge master bedroom.

Jungkook takes a quick shower himself, brushing his teeth before throwing himself on the bed in his boxers. He turns his body so that his head’s smooshed in Jimin’s pillow. He would know that scent anywhere.

He clutches the pillow, the only familiar thing tethering him to reality. Grounding him somehow.

He wants to read more entries from his journal. But he finds himself unable to keep his eyes open.

The gentle, still-familiar scent of Jimin slowly lulls him to sleep. Maybe when he wakes up, he’ll be back in his own bed, in a dorm with his hyungs in the year that he last remembers.

 

 

“You can play idol all you want, but it won’t change the fact that you are a hunter. You’ll always be a hunter.” Junghyun growls, slamming the door behind him.

Jungkook wakes up with a start, the sun burning his face. It’s hot, his back is soaking with sweat and the sheets are tangled around his feet. He’s shaking a little from the intensity of his dream. It feels more like a memory but the more he tries to think about it, the harder it gets to recall.  

He finally sits up and looks around him.

He’s in the same place. He’s in the same villa. Same bed he woke up next to Jimin in. Just yesterday.  

So it really wasn’t a dream.

Jungkook still doesn’t remember anything.

He takes a cold shower to cool his overheated body down. Once he’s dressed, his feet carry him to the kitchen, where he sees Jimin standing by the stove.

“Good morning.” He calls out tentatively, almost expecting Jimin to grunt out an obligatory reply like he used to in their dorm. But that’s not what happens.

Jimin turns around to beam at him, his smile brighter than the sun itself. It leaves Jungkook reeling, unsure of how to feel when the only memories he does have indicate that Jimin has never smiled at Jungkook like that before.

He takes one look at Jungkook and his entire face falls. “You don’t r-remember.”

“No.” Jungkook shakes his head. “I’m sorry.” He whispers, and he doesn’t know why.

“Don’t say sorry.” Jimin whispers. “I’m the one who should be sorry.”

Jungkook moves closer to Jimin. “How about we both stop saying sorry.”

Jimin looks up at him and smiles again, nodding. This smile is a lot less bright, tinged with sadness. Jungkook doesn’t want to see it. He turns away.

He hears Jimin clear his throat. “Right. Um, so, still no Korean food. Sorry. I just fried some eggs and made some bacon.”

This time, Jungkook helps Jimin set the table, carrying the plates to the table out in the balcony. He goes back in to the kitchen and pours their coffees. He hands the black one to Jimin and takes the cream and sugar one for himself.

Jimin thanks him and Jungkook sits down across from him.

“Would you like to go to the beach today?” Jimin asks. He picks at his food, not eating nearly as much as he should.

“Sure.” Jungkook stuffs some bacon into his mouth. “But I want to read my journal for a bit first.”

“Okay. That’s a good idea.”

They eat the rest of the meal in silence. Jungkook offers to do the dishes and Jimin thanks him before excusing himself into the living room.

Jungkook puts the last plate away and dries his hands with a towel. He peeks into the living room to see Jimin watching a Juventus vs Inter Milan match. He’s curled up in a ball on the couch in front of the TV, looking small. Too small.

Jungkook gulps and backs away, hurrying up the stairs and into the master bedroom. He takes out his journal from his bag and goes to sit out in the balcony, on one of the lounge chairs. It’s almost uncomfortably warm outside but it feels like the walls are closing in on him in the inside of the house.

He opens the journal again. He never wrote regularly, only when he had a lot to vent or when he was able to stay awake long enough to do so. He skips the pages he’s already read and stops on February 14.

 

February 14, 2019.

I don’t know why I feel so awful. Why it feels like my heart is being crushed. Why I feel like screaming when I see Jimin. Or maybe I know. Maybe it’s because he still hates me, despite it. Despite sleeping together. It meant nothing to him. And it meant too much to me without me even realizing it. He went out to get laid again. He does that a lot. Fuck. I just want to go back to…back to being able to ignore him. He will never see me. I need to get that through my fucking head.

 

Jungkook flinches at his own tone of voice. Is this when he started thinking of Jimin this way? When he could no longer ignore the voice in his head that said, “you don’t really hate Jimin. Maybe you just hate the fact that he can’t stand the sight of you”.

He turns the page. The next entry is dated over a month later.

 

March 23, 2019.

We are preparing for a comeback again. I love the song Joonie-hyung wrote. It’s amazing. I’m working on making my own songs again. Yoongi-hyung has been helping me too. I can’t wait to go back on stage. It’s been too long.

 

It’s short. Okay. Jungkook flips through the journal, skimming through short entries like the one he just read. They are usually a few sentences, summarizing how his day was. There are a lot of missing days. According to Jimin, he started really writing down stuff after the accident. Except, he only knows that the accident was in 2020. These entries are from a year before that. Before he can read stuff from 2020 though, he needs context.

There’s no mention of monsters or going on hunts either. So maybe it’s just like Junghyun said…Jungkook is no longer a hunter. There’s no mention of why Junghyun called him after the concert. Jungkook makes a mental note to ask his brother about that. It’s nagging at him in the back of his mind.

For now, he reads quietly. The sound of waves and seagulls once again becoming a comforting background noise.

 

May 5, 2019.

I haven’t written anything in months. Haven’t had the time. This comeback has been crazy. Shit has been crazy. Me and Jimin…we are actually starting to get along? We’ve been talking more and more. We have a lot more in common than we might’ve realized. He doesn’t seem to hate me as much anymore. He even smiles at me sometimes.

 

Jungkook reads on. Reading it in his own handwriting is a whole lot different than someone else telling him how it happened. He still hasn’t felt any jolt of memory but then again, he woke up and looked at himself in the mirror and still felt a disconnect. An older version of himself that he also doesn’t remember. He’s still trying to piece the puzzle of ten years he’s missing together.

 

June 19, 2019.

After practice today, Jimin pulled me aside apologized to me? He said that it was ‘long overdue’, and how sorry he was for the way he’s been acting. He said it was because of our debut days and how the management forced us into tiny boxes of roles that we had to follow. Like I initially thought. We hugged. for the first time. I…I sure hope that no living soul finds this journal because what I’m about to write is fucking embarrassing. But…my heart felt so full. Like it was about to burst out of my chest.

 

Jungkook clears his throat, embarrassed at his own wording. Until last night, he couldn’t even imagine Jimin apologizing to him. His Jimin from 2018 and the one he’s on a honeymoon with are worlds apart. He flips to another page and continues on. The next entry has a detailed drawing of a rose. He remembers occasionally doodling in his journal, but he doesn’t remember drawing this one. He reads on.

 

September 1, 2019.

I can’t believe today happened. Jimin doesn’t hate me? He never hated me? He…he likes me. Fuck, I sound like a teenage girl with a crush. Fuck me. I…I can’t believe it. He got me a gift. For my birthday. And he also got me a single red rose. Who knew he was so fucking romantic? I’ve been pinching myself to make sure this wasn’t all a dream. And then! he asked if he could kiss me. I said yes. His lips felt so soft and he held my jaw like I was…like I actually mattered. Jesus fucking Christ, I better hide this journal really well. If one of the hyungs finds this, I’ll never live it down.

 

Jungkook finally looks up from the journal, out to the pristine waters. The sun has gone down from its highest point, indicating that it’s probably late afternoon. He stands up and stretches, bones creaking. He must be getting old.

He turns back to the bedroom from the balcony, placing his journal safely back in his bag and goes down the stairs.

The TV is still on. Jimin is still curled up on the couch, but when Jungkook comes closer, he can hear Jimin’s soft snores. Before he realizes what he’s doing, Jungkook moves closer and kneels down beside Jimin. His hand moves on its own accord and reaches out to brush Jimin’s hair back. The strands feel silky in his hand, so unlike his Jimin, whose hair was constantly fried from all the bleaching and dyeing.

Jimin slowly starts opening his eyes and Jungkook flinches away, as if burned.

“Hey.” Jimin mumbles sleepily.

Jungkook stands up and clears his throat. “Hey.”

“Are you hungry?” Jimin asks, as he sits up on the couch.

“You always ask me that.” Jungkook smiles despite himself. Despite his situation. “And yes, very much so.”

Jimin smiles at him. It looks more natural, easy. “I’ll see what we have in the kitchen.”

Jungkook follows Jimin back to the kitchen like a puppy. The need to be close to him overpowers his initial wariness about the lack of memories. At least Jimin is a familiar presence. If Jungkook stands close enough, he gets a whiff of his scent, clinging onto his hair and clothes, which apparently hasn’t changed in all these years. Jungkook never thought it could bring him comfort the way it does now. He’s always liked Jimin’s scent, objectively, despite having a rocky relationship with him. Jimin wasn’t exactly affectionate before either but Jungkook is finding it easy to get along with Jimin now, like they never missed a step.

“I can make some pasta. There’s some sauce left from a couple days ago…” Jimin trails off, bringing Jungkook’s attention back.

“Sounds good. Can I do anything to help?” Jungkook asks.

Jimin laughs. The sound is almost musical, like tinkling bells. Jungkook’s heard it many times before, usually it would be Jimin laughing with Taehyung, or giggling over a video with Hoseok, trying to help Namjoon with new choreography. He would always laugh with someone else. Never with Jungkook. The corners of Jungkook’s mouth turn up involuntarily in response. “No, the last time you ‘helped’ you almost burned down the kitchen.”

Jungkook doesn’t remember that either. But he raises his hands in surrender and backs away. It’s totally worth it to hear that laugh again. It fills him with a sense of accomplishment and giddiness at having made Jimin laugh.

So, this is how it feels to make Jimin laugh…

“Go sit down.”

Jungkook does so. Jimin joins him a while later, handing him a bowl of pasta and asks if he wants some wine with his meal.

Jungkook nods and Jimin pours him a glass.

“Hey, Jimin?”

“Hmm.”

“How long are we here for?”

“Um, another three weeks. Is that…is that alright?” He asks, eyebrows pulled together in worry.

“Yeah, yes. Of course. I was just wondering, that’s all.” He goes back to his food. He never knew it but fuck him, Jimin’s quite the chef.

“How are you this good at cooking?” He asks around a mouthful of pasta, going back to the kitchen for seconds.

“One of us has to do it.” Jimin smiles at him again and it makes Jungkook feel warm from head to toe, even though he desperately tries to push down the feeling.

They eat in comfortable silence for a while. Jungkook sips his wine. Usually, he’s not a fan, but this one is fruity and rich at the same time, leaving a pleasant taste in his mouth that leaves him wanting more. So, he pours himself another glass.

“Jimin?” He pauses, playing with the stem of the wine glass.

“Yes?” Jimin sips his wine and licks his lips, before training his eyes on Jungkook.

“Did you really hate me?” Jungkook asks and holds his breath. He’s been holding back on asking this question for a very long time. For years. It’s almost cathartic when he finally lets it out. He watches Jimin’s face intently, trying to commit his expression to memory.

Jimin looks down. He looks almost ashamed. “I…no. Never. I wanted to. So badly. But you made it so hard.”

Jungkook’s heart beat quickens. “So…did you pretend to hate me? Why?”

“I couldn’t stand looking at you. Not being able to have you. Just…I think I hated myself.” Jimin sighs.

Jungkook inhales sharply at that. Brain going into overdrive, rethinking his interactions and conversations with Jimin. His heart pounds loudly, like it’s about to jump out of his chest. He tries to remember if he ever noticed this. But he comes up empty, memories either too foggy or nonexistent.  

Jungkook wants to ask him questions. So many more, but Jimin’s expression shuts down before he can do so.

Jungkook assigns himself to dish duty again and as he’s washing their plates, he stares at Jimin’s back in contemplation. He’s still stuck in 2018 mentally, where Jimin hates him and he, in return, has conflicting feelings surrounding Jimin. But Jimin never hated him? He’s wanted Jungkook, in his own words. He’s still trying to untangle all of this information, along with his own feelings.

He just never let himself think about the what ifs with Jimin. He tried, he tried so damn hard to get it through his own thick head that Jimin clearly hated him, he could never see Jungkook the way Jungkook wanted him to. Now, it’s so easy to fall into step with a Jimin he doesn’t remember marrying. He’s easy to talk to, easy to like.

He shakes his head to dispel those thoughts.

“Let’s go to the beach.” Jungkook says after he’s done.

“Alright.”

They change into their swimsuits, Jungkook in the master bedroom, and Jimin in the attached bathroom. Jungkook is grateful for Jimin’s thoughtfulness. He doesn’t feel quite comfortable undressing in front of this Jimin just yet, especially with the knowledge that they are married and have been a couple for years. They slept together, they have a history that Jungkook’s still largely clueless about.

Jimin also packs some towels for them. It’s a long walk, it takes them around twenty minutes to get halfway, where they stop at a café for some iced coffee. Jungkook doesn’t ask why they are not driving; he can guess why. They walk close to each other, arms brushing like before. He’s still trying to convince himself that Jimin doesn’t hate him. Jimin said it himself, he doesn’t hate him. He tries to remember that.

Jimin’s presence beside him is comforting. Something familiar to hang onto when he’s stuck in a future he doesn’t remember.

Jungkook freezes mid-step when he sees her.

Her clothes are torn; her face looks a sickly gray, with dirt covering most of her skin. “Help…”

A sense of recollection hits him, not unlike the one with the waiter.

His feet move on their own accord, wanting to get closer and look.

He blinks and she’s gone.

Jungkook stays frozen in place, in the middle of the road, heart rate skyrocketing.

“Are you alright?” Jimin asks, walking back to where Jungkook’s standing and looks up at him in concern.

Jungkook gulps. Maybe he hasn’t recovered fully from this accident. He tries his best to shake it off. “Y-yeah. I thought I saw someone I know. It’s n-nothing.”

Jimin doesn’t look convinced. “Jungkook, maybe it’s a good idea to go back to Korea…”

“I’m fine, promise.” Jungkook has lost count of how many times Jimin’s said that.

“Okay…but you’ll tell me if something’s bothering you, right?”

“I will.” Jungkook nods.

Jimin looks at him intently for a long moment, as if trying to decide if he should prod further. What he sees on Jungkook’s face must appease him so he finally nods.

They continue on their way. Jungkook’s legs shake for a while, threatening to buckle underneath him. He breathes in and out until the feeling subsides. He focuses back on his surroundings until he starts to feel normal again.

Another twenty minutes of walking, and they finally arrive at a small beach with rocks lining up one side and pristine white sand. Jungkook looks out to the water, it’s a clear, serene turquoise blue, slight ripples around the surface but the weather is too calm for waves. He looks around to see some people packing up and leaving, since it’s late afternoon, edging into evening now. Although the sun has gone down considerably, the weather is still hot and humid.

Jungkook takes off his shirt as Jimin lays down towels on the sand for them. Jimin moves to do the same but he plops down on the towel right after, looking tired. He looks up at Jungkook with a smile. “It’s just the walk. You go on.” He nods towards the water.

Jungkook complies, dropping his shirt and running into the water, feeling like a little kid again. The water is a cool relief from the relentless heat and he dives in. He floats on his back, lazily looking up at the remnants of the sun and tastes the salt of the water on his tongue. He plays by himself for a little while, before making his way back to where Jimin is lying down.

“Having fun?” Jimin asks with a soft smile, looking at him over his sunglasses.

“Yeah.” Jungkook smiles, surprisingly relaxed now, the woman from earlier almost completely forgotten. He drops down beside Jimin and lays down, trying to soak up as much of the remaining sunlight as he can. For once, he doesn’t have to care that he’ll get tanned. He doesn’t have to hurry up. He doesn’t have a camera pressed to his face every second. He closes his eyes with a satisfied sigh.

About half an hour later, when it gets hot being under the sun again, Jimin also decides to go into the water with him. But he’s a big baby about it.

Jimin pouts, only knee deep into the water. Jungkook refuses to admit that he looks cute like that. “It’s cold.”

Jungkook splashes him.

“Yah!” Jimin splashes back.

Oh, it’s on.

Jimin giggles, trying to move away from him but unable to run fast enough in the waist-deep water. Jungkook finds himself laughing freely, chasing after Jimin and splashing him.

After a while, they race back to their towels, panting at the effort.

Jungkook opens his eyes and look over to his side, to Jimin. He’s looking at him.

“What?” Jungkook asks with a smile.

“Nothing.” Jimin shrugs. “I’m glad you’re here with me.”  

Jungkook feels the corners of his mouth turn up. “I’m…I’m kind of glad too.” He hears himself say.

Jimin’s smile widens.

They don’t talk much after that.

The walk through the town, back to the villa is long and tiring. Jungkook is ready to collapse by the time they walk through the front door. He throws himself on the couch with a hand over his eyes.

The couch dips and he feels the warmth of Jimin’s body beside him.

Jungkook looks up to find him staring. Jimin looks away quickly, cheeks pink.

“Um, you should go to bed upstairs before you fall asleep here. This couch is really uncomfortable.” Jimin mumbles.

“Hmm.” Jungkook says. He feels Jimin’s warm body closer to his own and slits his eyes open. It’s sending him further into semi-unconsciousness.

“Come on. Up you get.” Jimin helps him up, helping him all the way to the master bedroom with a firm grip around his waist, Jungkook’s arm around his shoulders. Jimin sets him down on the bed gently. Jungkook is falling asleep fast but he feels Jimin’s thumb brush his cheek, his hand cradling Jungkook’s jaw tenderly.

He’s almost fast asleep when he hears Jimin. “I love you.”

 

 

A week passes by in the same fashion. Jimin prepares breakfast, they eat together out in the balcony and Jungkook does the dishes. Jungkook goes upstairs to read his journal entries, piecing together more and more of his past. They go on walks around town, one day trying pastries from a tiny bakery around the corner. Another day, they are walking to a different beach, soaking up the warm sun and playing together in the water. It should get boring, but it doesn’t. Jungkook is starting to find that he doesn’t want the days to ever end. He’s enjoying being with Jimin. He doesn’t see the woman with the tattered clothes. He decides that it must’ve been his imagination.

Jimin doesn’t push him to do anything, even though in Jimin’s mind, this is their honeymoon. He doesn’t push Jungkook’s boundaries. He doesn’t touch Jungkook other than innocent touches on his hands or his back. When Jungkook lies down alone on the master bedroom at night, staring at the ceiling, just thinking, he kind of wishes Jimin would touch him more. Just a little. He’s dreamt of it before but he kind of wants to feel it for real.

Today, he decides to call Tae and the hyungs. He’s been told by Jimin that they’ve all retired but that’s all he knows. He hasn’t gotten to the parts in his journal that talks about that.

He dials everyone and sadly…no one answers. Jungkook thinks that’s only a little bit strange. It might be the time difference, he decides. Or the fact that his hyungs tend to be flakey at times anyway. He makes a mental note to call them again when he gets the chance to.

Yet again, he finds himself out on the balcony upstairs. Today, the waves foam white and crash against the shore, wind blowing harshly. He looks back to the journal resting on his lap. It’s thick, leather bound, he doesn’t remember writing in this one. He opens the first page.

July 21, 2020.

Jimin and I are going back to Busan today, to my parents’ house. I don’t know if hyung will be there. He’s the only one who I told. He didn’t even blink an eye. He said he knew it all along. The asshole. I’ve been scared to tell Mom and hyung…about me, about being together with Jimin. I don’t think I could trade Jimin for anything. Being able to wake up next to him every day is more than I could’ve ever dreamed of. He makes me so happy. I would’ve never thought if someone told me a year ago, that I would be kissing him. Loving him.

I’m so lucky.

 

He holds his breath before letting it out harshly.

July 21, 2020 part 2?

Jimin is sleeping next to me. In my childhood bedroom. I wanted to write this down, in case I forget. I don’t want to forget. Please…don’t let me forget. My family supports us…I still can’t believe I’m this lucky. They didn’t look at me in disgust. They didn’t kick us out. My mom just put more chicken on my plate and hyung talked with Jimin over baseball and beers…I couldn’t believe it. Maybe I didn’t give my family enough credit.

 

Jungkook sighs shakily. He came out to his family, brought a boy, Jimin, home and they accepted it? They accepted him. He can’t believe he’s forgotten. The thought settles like a heavy weight on his chest, souring his mood.

 

After dinner, me and Jimin went up to my room. We made love right here at home. It should be boring but with Jimin, it never is. I’m only a little bit embarrassed that Jimin saw that I still have Iron Man bedsheets.

Why do I never get tired of being with Jimin? I hope I never do.

I…I want to ask him to marry me. Someday. There’s nowhere I’d rather be, than this very moment.

 

Jungkook shuts the journal quickly, face warming against his will. He can’t believe how sappy he’s gotten. Make love? What the hell is this, a Nicholas Sparks novel? He coughs in embarrassment and looks out to the cliffs surrounding the sea.

He places the journal back in his bag and goes down the stairs to find Jimin. Jungkook looks through the guest rooms, the living room and the kitchen and eventually finds Jimin in the backyard. His knees are drawn up to his chest as he watches the pool. His eyes look far away and he doesn’t hear Jungkook until he sits down on the chair beside him.

“Jimin, I’m sorry.” Jungkook says quietly.

“What for?” Jimin asks, looks back at him, confused.  

“This is supposed to be our honeymoon. Yet, I’m…well, like this.” Jungkook gestures to himself, chuckling self-deprecatingly. It’s been eating at him, a little. It’s easy to be selfish with his missing memories, but this must be even harder on Jimin, who remembers everything. To Jimin, Jungkook is his husband. Instead of a proper honeymoon, they are sleeping on separate beds, Jungkook awkward around him, even more awkward when Jimin touches him so lovingly.

Jimin reaches out a hand to squeeze Jungkook’s own. “Hey, none of that. I love you no matter what. I’m so happy you’re here with me. You have no idea. I don’t expect anything from you, Jungkookie.” He says it so sincerely, Jungkook feels even worse. For not remembering. For letting Jimin down.

But he’s grateful all the same.  

They stay out in the backyard for a long time. Jungkook steals glances at Jimin, who sometimes catches his eye and smiles at him. His eyes curve into crescents. Jungkook sucks in a breath. This particular smile was never directed at him before either.

But now it is.

Jungkook quickly stands up and goes into the kitchen to reheat some leftovers from their now-favourite bistro. As he’s putting the food in bowls, he’s hit with flashes of tattooed arms but they are too fast and they disappear from his mind too quickly. He shakes his head, gripping the counter tightly. It’s because of the accident.  

Shaken, he brings the food out to the backyard, where Jimin is sitting. He hands a bowl over to him and takes one for himself, pouring some wine for both of them. They clink their glasses together. Chatting with Jimin about everything and nothing once again eases the worries in his mind. It’s a lot easier, conversation a lot less stilted between them now.

This time, Jimin says he’ll wash the dishes. Jungkook is only able to sit out in the backyard for a minute before following Jimin into the kitchen.

He hovers, unsure for a moment and then he slowly goes to stand behind Jimin.

Jungkook doesn’t think about it before putting his arms around Jimin’s waist, holding him tightly. He allows himself to bury his face in Jimin’s neck, the familiar scent washing over him, comforting him.

“Oh!” Jimin jumps in his arms, surprised.

He loosens his arms when he feels Jimin shift. Jimin turns around to face him and lifts a hand to cradle his cheek. “Hey, are you okay?”

Jungkook wraps a hand around the one on his cheek and nods mutely. He looks into Jimin’s eyes, observing his face. He was never allowed to do that before either, back when Jimin hated him. Jimin himself didn’t really look at him before either, let alone the way he’s looking now, full of gentle concern and love. Jungkook finds that he’s getting used to this…fast.  

“Can I kiss you?” Jungkook murmurs, only a little bit surprised at himself. There were times where he’d catch himself staring at Jimin’s lips when he licked them. The times he has dreamt that Jimin would push him against the wall and kiss him. He’s read about kissing Jimin in his journal too, way too many times. He can’t remember anything. But, he wants to feel for himself what it’s actually like.

He’s shaken by the realization that he can actually kiss Jimin now. Because Jimin loves him.

“Yes.” Jimin whispers back. They both move closer to each other and Jimin’s eyes flutter closed.

Jungkook watches the way Jimin’s lashes rest on his cheeks. The way his mouth looks so pink and plump. He feels the way Jimin’s hands clutch his shirt tightly, as if afraid to let him go.

When their lips meet, Jungkook sighs, letting himself feel all the things he’s been suppressing. All the confusing feelings melt away when he feels Jimin’s lips move against his own. He almost wishes he was allowed to do this sooner.

When they part, Jimin keeps his eyes closed, sighing softly, their foreheads resting against each other’s. Jungkook can’t stop staring at him.

Jungkook leans down one more time, unable to stop himself and brushes his lips against Jimin’s in a gentle kiss.

When they break apart again, Jungkook sighs. “Jimin…I still don’t remember.” Jungkook confesses with a whisper. “But I think…I think I like you. Maybe I always have. A little.” He looks down, away from Jimin, too embarrassed to look back at Jimin after his confession. A small part of him expects Jimin to push him away, look at him in disgust, with hate. Jungkook still thinks he might wake up to Jimin hating him.

But he doesn’t.

“Jungkookie…” Jimin whispers his name reverently and his voice shakes again. Jungkook feels the wetness of his cheeks before he locks eyes with Jimin and sees his tears.

“Don’t cry. Why are you crying?” Jungkook wipes away Jimin’s tears with his thumbs. He kisses them away as they slide down Jimin’s cheeks.

“I love you so much.” Jimin whispers against his lips.

Jungkook finds that he can’t quite say it back. Not yet. In his mind, only a short while ago, his and Jimin’s relationship was strained at best. It doesn’t feel wrong to kiss Jimin though. It feels good and right. Jungkook just can’t articulate the emotions his head is swimming in. There are too many memories he’s still missing but he lets himself get carried away in the moment.

Jimin seems to understand anyway without Jungkook having to say anything. “I know you don’t remember, and it’s okay.” Jimin steps away a little to look up at him with wide, sincere eyes. “It is.”

Jungkook drops his hands from Jimin’s cheeks and sighs. “Jimin…what if I never remember?”

Jimin squeezes his waist tighter, reassuring him, grounding him. “Then, we’ll make new memories together.”

 

The following morning, Jungkook wakes up feeling cold, he blindly pats the other side of the bed, as if expecting Jimin to be there. He doesn’t know why he thinks Jimin would be beside him. While Jungkook feels closer to him than ever before, he hasn’t worked up to asking Jimin to sleep beside him yet. He’s still surprised at how easy it is to get used to being with Jimin. How easy it is to fall into step with him, as if they always got along. It’s too easy to like him.  

After a hearty breakfast that once again Jimin has whipped up, Jungkook does the dishes, following the routine that they seemed to have fallen into.

They chat together over coffee out in the balcony, looking out to the sea. Jungkook is feeling a bit tired from their walks for the past week, so he suggests that they try out the pool in the backyard today, instead of walking to the beach like they’ve been doing.

They lounge lazily beside the pool, and go in for a dip when it gets too hot. It’s lazy and perfect, Jungkook thinks. It’s everything he’s wanted when he was an idol. For time to slow down a little, just like this. To get a break from being in the public eye for a moment. He misses the stage though, so fucking much. But he puts that aside to focus on the present. He looks over to Jimin, who’s flipping through a book, his tan giving his skin a healthy, golden glow. Jimin looks lean and fit, his cheeks flushed from the heat of the sun. His thighs are still thick and muscular. Jungkook watches a lone droplet of water slip down the golden skin of his chest, fascinated. Images of Jimin naked flash through his mind, from Jungkook’s first morning here.

Jungkook shifts in his seat and looks away, before he can do something embarrassing like get hard in front of Jimin.

After a couple of hours by the pool, they eat a simple lunch of sandwiches together quietly. Jungkook pats his stomach, full and content and feeling sleepy. Things are finally starting to fall in to place, Jungkook thinks.

“I’m going to go take a nap.” He excuses himself to the master bedroom and curls up, falling asleep right as his head hits the pillow.

When he finally opens his eyes with a lazy yawn, it’s evening, the bedroom is completely dark. He sits up, hand moving blindly to turn on the light on the nightstand. The room illuminates softly and Jungkook barely manages to suppress the yell of horror at the sight before him.

There’s a teenage boy by the foot of the bed, barely alive.

His clothes are largely torn, his face pale and caked with grime and blood. He looks like he’s about to keel over and die any second. His face looks oddly familiar. Jungkook can’t place where he’s seen him.

“Help…me…” He whimpers, voice shaking painfully.  

Jungkook, wide awake now, slips off the bed, and starts walking slowly towards the boy.

“Who are you?” Jungkook asks softly, moving slowly as to not startle the boy.

“Help…” The boy mumbles, face contorted in pain.

“Who are you?” Jungkook asks more forcefully, he’s close enough to grip him by the arm...

“H…elp me please…”

“Jungkook?”

Jungkook whips his head to the door to see Jimin, looking at him in concern. “Who are you talking to?”

“Can’t you see—” Jungkook points to where the boy was standing.

He’s gone.

“See what?” Jimin asks, walking closer to him. “Are you feeling okay?”

Jungkook sighs shakily. What is happening? First the woman, now this kid. “Y-yeah.” He lies.

“Are you sure? Jimin asks, coming closer to stand beside him, a hand comes to hold him by his arm gently and he feels Jimin’s thumb rub circles.

“Yes. I’m okay. I thought I saw someone. Must’ve been a bad dream.” He chuckles lightly. It wasn’t a dream. No way. Jungkook saw the kid with his own two eyes. He hopes Jimin will drop it though. He doesn’t know how to explain this to him.

His answer seems to appease Jimin, who nods. “I’ll make you some chamomile tea, it will help soothe your nerves.”

Jungkook murmurs his thanks and watches Jimin walk out of the room. He collapses on the bed, clutching his head in his hands. The throbbing in his temples signal an incoming migraine.

He finally goes down to the living room after he’s somewhat composed himself, where Jimin is sitting on the couch with two mugs of steaming tea in front of him on the coffee table, slow music playing on the TV in the background.

“Come sit.” Jimin smiles, patting the cushion beside him.

Jungkook plops down, head hitting the back cushion. He feels Jimin place a hand on his thigh, squeezing lightly in reassurance.

Jungkook sits back up and Jimin hands him one of the mugs. His hand stays on Jungkook’s thigh, a warm weight. “Here.”

“Thanks.” He takes the offered mug and takes a sip of the hot liquid; it warms its way down, the scent earthy and calming. He puts the mug back down on the coffee table, moving a tiny bit closer to Jimin. His presence is warm and grounding.

“You feeling okay?” Jimin asks, hand moving to his back to rub gentle circles there.

“Yeah, I think so.” Jungkook cracks his neck and stretches as much as he can, without having Jimin move his hand away. His joints protest loudly.

“Be careful with your joints.” Jimin murmurs, before starting to rub his neck. Jungkook almost purrs like a cat at the sensation, nudging his head closer to Jimin’s hand.

“Hmm.” He drops his head on Jimin’s shoulder who continues his ministrations on Jungkook’s neck.

“How about I run you a bath and then give you a massage?” Jimin suggests.

Jungkook’s eyes fly open. “A massage? Um, really?” He coughs, imagining Jimin’s hands all over his body. He sits back up, away from Jimin’s shoulder and takes the mug back from the coffee table to cover up his suddenly reddening face.  

“Yeah. You seem really tense.” Jimin says gently, searching Jungkook’s face.

“R-right. Um, yeah, why not, if you don’t mind I mean. If that’s okay, and you know, uh, not too much trouble I…” Jungkook stutters, rambling on and on. He curses himself mentally. Why is he tripping over his words at Jimin’s mere suggestion?

Jimin laughs lightly. He seems fond, rather than mocking. “You’re so cute.” He pinches Jungkook’s cheek playfully, before planting a light kiss there.

Jungkook is pretty sure his face is as red as a tomato now. He coughs and gulps down more of the tea to hide his blush.

Jimin pats his thigh with another laugh and stands up. “I’ll go get the bath ready. You finish your tea. I’ll call you up.”

Jungkook absentmindedly watches the TV, not understanding a word of the drama playing out. He sips the now lukewarm liquid, feeling some more of the tension ease off his shoulders.

“Jungkook! It’s ready!” He hears Jimin’s voice call out from upstairs. He takes the mugs and rinses them out in the kitchen sink quickly and then makes his way over to the master bedroom upstairs.

He goes into the ensuite bathroom to find Jimin sitting on the edge of the tub, stirring the pinkish, bubbly water. There are candles lit all around the tub, casting a soft, warm glow on Jimin’s handsome face.

“Take off your clothes.” Jimin says without looking at him.

Jungkook blushes a cherry red, almost taking Jimin’s words out of context before he realizes that Jimin means it for the bath.

“Um…” He scratches his head in embarrassment.

Jimin’s face shutters for a split second, before seemingly remembering Jungkook’s lack of memories. “Right, um. I’ll be in the bedroom if you need me.”

Jungkook feels bad for making him feel that way but, he’s still not quite used to the whole husbands thing. He undresses and gingerly steps into the huge bathtub, sighing at the pleasantly hot water, and the sweet aroma from the bath bomb Jimin must’ve thrown in. It’s his favourite.  

He plays with the bubbles and stirs the pink water around for a little bit, noticing pink rose petals scattered among the water. He closes his eyes with a sigh, resting his head against the tub and finally feeling his muscles start to uncoil.  

He stays in the bathtub for a long time, only stepping out when the water turns cold.

Jungkook wraps a towel around his waist and goes into the bedroom, where Jimin’s lounging on the bed with the same book from earlier in his hand. He’s too pleasantly relaxed to feel self-conscious about being only in a towel around Jimin.

Jimin looks up when Jungkook enters, putting away the book he was reading on the bedside table and sits up. “How was the bath?”

“Great, thank you.” Jungkook finds that he really means it. He towels his hair roughly, grabbing some of the strands and notices how long it’s gotten. He makes a mental note to get a haircut when they get back to Korea.

“Lie down.” Jimin says, standing up and going over to rummage through his bag. He pulls out a bottle and brings it over to the bed.

Jungkook complies and lies face down on the bed, feeling relaxed and pleasantly warm after his bath, his eyes closing involuntarily at the softness of the bed. The unease from seeing that boy is finally starting to leave his mind.

Jungkook hears Jimin climb up on the bed beside him, and the sound of a cap opening. He hears Jimin rub his hands together, sinking further into the bed in anticipation of Jimin’s hands on his bare skin.

“Oh!” He gasps in surprise, when Jimin finally touches him. Jimin’s hands move confidently and knead his tense muscles firmly, his hands slick with the oil. He clearly seems to know Jungkook’s body intimately, touching all the right places, with just the right amount of varying pressure. The massage oil smells like lavender with a hint of bergamot, Jimin must also know that those are his favourite scents too. And Jimin’s hands…

Pure magic.

“Does that feel good?” Jimin asks gently, as he continues to move his hands expertly all over Jungkook’s back, and up to his neck, where he’s the most tense, rubbing in the same way he did on the couch a little earlier.

“Yes!” Jungkook cries out suddenly, when Jimin kneads a particularly sore spot, untying the knot there perfectly. “H-how are you so good?”

Jimin doesn’t answer but continues massaging Jungkook expertly, moving his hands down to Jungkook’s lower back to where his dimples are. His hands brush the top of his ass. If Jimin moved his hands just a little lower and pushed the towel aside, he would be able to knead Jungkook’s cheeks, or put his plush mouth there…

Jungkook almost tells him to go lower but he resists the urge, a sudden spike of arousal punching him in the gut. He tries to push it down but…

Jimin’s hands feel too good. Jungkook has to bite his lips almost hard enough to draw blood, to keep the embarrassing noises from escaping his mouth.

“I’ll do your thighs now?” Jimin asks from somewhere behind him, sounding unsure.

“Y-yeah.” Jungkook murmurs and gulps, mind off and away already, in a very dirty place. Embarrassingly, Jungkook can feel himself start to get hard against the bed. His body is screaming at him to do something, rut against the sheets, anything. He can feel everything, Jimin’s hands slick with the massage oil, the softness of the sheets, and the contrasting, almost harsh texture of the towel flimsily wrapped around him. His eyes squeeze closed and he sighs quietly. Jimin’s hands leave his body for a moment.

Before Jungkook can mourn the loss of Jimin’s hands, they grip his thigh, kneading and stroking the tension away from his muscles. Jimin doesn’t hesitate, his hands are confident yet gentle on Jungkook’s skin. Jungkook feels hot, skin burning everywhere Jimin touches.

When Jimin grips his upper thigh tightly, going all the way up to where his ass meets his leg, Jungkook’s eyes roll to the back of his head at the sensation, dick jumping against the towel. He has to exert a great amount of self-control to not push up against Jimin’s hands, or ask him to touch him where Jungkook desperately wants him to. His mouth falls open, a moan escaping his mouth before he can stop it. But, he’s too far gone to be embarrassed.

Jimin continues as if he didn’t hear Jungkook. His body moves slightly with Jimin’s movements, making his dick rub lightly against the towel. He wants to rut harder, just a little harder…

He imagines Jimin biting his plump bottom lip in concentration behind him, pictures him turning Jungkook around suddenly. Throwing the towel aside with a flick of his wrist and grabbing Jungkook just as confidently as he was massaging him.

Jimin, naked, kissing Jungkook’s chest that first morning.

Or Jimin going down on him, wrapping his plump, red lips around Jungkook, just like he read in his journal.

Jungkook is ready to come against the sheets, untouched.

“S-stop.” He manages to mumble through the haze of arousal, when it’s the last thing he wants. He wants Jimin to touch him everywhere. He wants Jimin.

“You’re hard.” Jimin says matter-of-factly but he complies, taking his hands off of Jungkook.

Jungkook sputters, eyes flying open. “N-no.” He lies, mumbling against the pillow, not daring to turn around. Jimin will clearly see just how hard he is.

“It’s fine, Jungkook. Don’t be embarrassed.” Jimin says softly. It’s quiet for a long moment, tension thick in the air. “I’ll g-go.”

The protest is at the tip of his tongue but Jimin is too quick. He moves off the bed and rushes out the door, closing it softly behind him.

Jungkook finally turns so that he’s now lying on his back, opening his eyes to stare at the ceiling. He can still feel the phantom touch of Jimin’s hands all over his body.

He can’t hold back anymore and wraps a hand around himself, gripping firmly, just the way he likes it. He can’t stop the groan escaping his mouth.  

Images of Jimin naked, underneath him flash through his mind, he moves his hand faster, moaning loudly. He doesn’t have it in himself to be embarrassed that Jimin might hear what he’s doing. He almost wants Jimin to hear him. He wants Jimin right here, touching him in places Jungkook only saw in his dreams before.

It’s that thought that sends him to a point of no return. He’s coming in his hand, harder than he has in a very long time. Embarrassingly quick.

He pants heavily, staring at the ceiling for several long moments, trying to catch his breath. He wipes his hand on the towel.

Jungkook feels so pliant, so relaxed, he doesn’t bother to get up to put on clothes. He slides under the sheets, the silk feeling heavenly against his bare skin. He closes his eyes, the distant sound of the sea lulling him to sleep.

 

Jungkook wakes up gasping for breath.

He squeezes his eyes closed, trying to fight off the remnants of a nightmare. It’s the feeling of a nightmare, rather than images he can remember.

When he’s calmed down a little, he opens his eyes slowly.

It’s the boy again. He’s wobbling on his feet.  

He whimpers, looking even worse than before. His eyes have sunken in, skin a dull gray. His eyes are red-rimmed and look at Jungkook blankly.  

Jungkook can only stare on, unable to will his limbs to move. An overwhelming sense of familiarity washes over him.

I know him.

He’s assaulted by fleeting images. A warehouse. The boy. And the woman. They flash by too fast, leaving Jungkook dizzy and nauseous.

“Who are you?” Jungkook manages to gasp out. He grips his hair, squeezing his eyes shut. Warehouse. Blood. Dirt. Tattoos. He cries out at the stabbing in his temples.

The door flies open. “Good morning!” Jimin chirps, smiling at Jungkook widely. His expression shifts to one of concern immediately when he sees the way Jungkook is clutching his head.  

Jungkook looks back to the spot where the boy was standing.

Hee’s gone again.

“Fuck!” Jungkook curses.

“Jungkookie…what’s going on?” Jimin steps into the bedroom, and perches himself on the bed beside Jungkook. “Are you alright?”

“Nothing. It’s nothing.” Jungkook sighs, unable to look into Jimin’s eyes. He doesn’t know. He remembers Junghyun saying. Jimin doesn’t know Jungkook is a hunter. Was a hunter.

“I think you need to see a doctor—” Jimin starts.

“No, no need.” Jungkook smiles at him, hoping it looks reassuring. “I’m fine, I promise. I’ve just been having nightmares. That’s all.”

“The accident?” Jimin asks, turning his body so that he’s facing Jungkook fully.

“Y-yeah.” He lies again. “I still don’t remember anything else though.” Jungkook tacks on for good measure. He’s going off of what he read in his journal the day before.  

Jimin nods in understanding. “If you don’t feel good, we can always cut this trip short.”

“I’m really okay.” He tries to convince Jimin.

Jimin sighs and finally relents. “Alright, if you say so.”

Jungkook smiles again. It feels shaky to himself but Jimin doesn’t seem to notice.

“I just came to call you down to breakfast.” Jimin explains, now standing up.

“I’ll be there in a minute.” Jungkook watches Jimin nod before walking out of the room.

He sighs in relief. Jimin didn’t suspect anything. He reaches over to the bedside table and takes his phone and presses ‘call’ on his hyung’s number.

Junghyun picks up on the third ring this time. “Jungkook?”

“Yeah, it’s me.”

“What’s up?”

“Hyung, I think…I’m dealing with a ghost. Maybe two. There might be a case here.” Jungkook whispers, eyeing the door in case Jimin comes back. A ghost. A restless spirit. That seems to be the only plausible explanation as to why he keeps seeing this boy with the gray face and bloody clothes. Or a spirit that’s attached itself to an object, maybe, something Jungkook is unknowingly carrying?

“What ghost?” His voice sounds hard. “You don’t hunt anymore, Jungkook. There’s no case for you. Just drop it.”

Jungkook raises his eyebrows in surprise even though his brother can’t see it. “You, of all people, are telling me not to hunt? Really?”

“Yes.” Junghyun sighs. “Look, if you are able to get out of hunting, you take that chance and you run with it. You got what you always wanted. To not be a hunter anymore.”

Jungkook furrows his brows, remembering what he wanted to ask since he’s read the entry on September 30. “Hyung, why did you keep calling me on September 2018? What did you want me to investigate?” He asks suddenly.

“What are you talking about?” Junghyun sounds dismissive.

“September 30, 2018, why were you calling me? I read it in my journal but it doesn’t go into details and I can’t remember.” He admits. He remembers calling Junghyun back, but he can’t remember the exact conversation. Jungkook’s gut tells him it’s important. He needs to know what Junghyun said.  

“It’s been years, Jungkook, I don’t remember either.” Junghyun replies dismissively.

Jungkook grits his teeth in frustration. “It was about a hunt. You kept calling me about it. I think we argued?” He prods.

“I don’t remember.” Junghyun’s voice leaves no room for an argument. “Drop it, Jungkook. Aren’t you supposed to be enjoying your honeymoon?”

Jungkook almost throws his phone across the room in frustration. This isn’t like his hyung at all. What am I missing? “Hyung—”

“Bye, Jungkook.”

He can’t remember anything. He can’t even remember the last conversation he had with his brother in 2018.

He throws on some boxers and reaches into the bag to take out his journal. He skims through entry after entry but there’s nothing about any cases at all. Has he really not hunted since 2018?

No matter.

If there’s a case here, Jungkook will figure it out. He’ll put the ghost to rest and move on with his life.  

By the looks of it, the ghost of the boy is haunting the villa. He can’t quite explain seeing the woman though. Maybe he’s carrying a haunted object and she’s tethered to that? But, he hasn’t seen that woman since that day. It’s kind of an interesting coincidence that both the woman he saw and the boy that keeps appearing are both Korean though. He shakes off that thought too. It’s a touristy place. It’s nothing…

Jungkook grabs the bag off the floor and searches it for his trusty EMF meter. He eyes the door again, in case Jimin decides to show up. He powers up the old machine and starts walking around the room for any signs of an activity.

He throws open the doors of the closet, standing on his tiptoes to make sure he gets to search every corner, every nook and cranny.

He goes into the balcony and then into the bathroom. He tiptoes around the house, searching everywhere he can reach, listening for Jimin’s moments to make sure he won’t see it.

There’s no movement on the EMF meter, no cold spots. Nothing interrupting the electronics. Absolutely no sign of a ghost.

Nothing.

He sighs, throwing the EMF meter back into his bag. Maybe, he’s overthinking this. Maybe, Junghyun is right. Maybe there’s no case here. Maybe, he’s just having nightmares because of the accident like Jimin said.

He’s shaky on his legs as he goes downstairs to the kitchen.

It’s become routine now, eating out in the balcony with Jimin. The food he makes is delicious and the coffee even better.

Jimin smiles at him and Jungkook feels the tension start to melt away. He absentmindedly kisses Jimin’s cheek as he passes by, not thinking much of it. Somehow, the action feels natural.  

When Jimin sits across from him and smiles so widely that his eyes disappear, Jungkook decides that it’s definitely worth it, just to be able to see the expression Jimin’s face. Seeing that smile directed at him is still shocking, still sends him reeling. It’s taking some time to get used to it.

The weather is overcast, the clouds are a dark grey and thunder roars in the distance.

Jimin pouts. “Too bad the weather is like this today. I guess we have no choice but to stay in.”

Jungkook nods in agreement. He finds it hard to remember the nightmare he had and the image of the boy fades away to a back corner of his mind.  

On a whim, he leans over the table to capture Jimin’s lips in a kiss that seems to surprise Jimin. His mouth opens before responding to Jungkook in earnest.  

A warm gust of wind hits them and rain drops start to fall in increasing speed.

“Shit.” He and Jimin gather the dishes quickly, retreating inside just in time to close the doors before rain starts pouring.  

He takes care of the dishes as usual and then goes over to the living room to join Jimin, who’s lounging on the sofa.

Jungkook sits down close beside him and then pulls Jimin with an arm around his shoulders. He closes his eyes and breathes in Jimin’s scent, pressing a kiss to his hair.

Jimin wriggles closer to him as well, and wraps an arm around his waist with a content sigh.

“Jungkookie…are you starting to remember?” Jimin asks gently, breaking the comfortable silence.

Jungkook sighs. “No. I still can’t remember.” He admits. Jungkook looks up at the ceiling. He opens his mouth and then closes it again. He wants to confide in Jimin. He wants to tell him everything, about the woman with the tattered clothes and the boy with the pained expression. About hunting. But he bites his tongue. Jimin doesn’t know. He doesn’t want to throw Jimin into this world. He doesn’t want to worry Jimin needlessly either.

“It’s going to be okay.” Jimin reassures, looking up at him before leaning close for a kiss. It’s soft and leaves Jungkook warm all over, easing his worries more than he could’ve expected.

They laze around the couch for probably hours. Jungkook dozes off at some point, only waking up to the sound of explosions on TV. Rain continues hitting the now closed windows and the thunder still hasn’t given up.  

He hears Jimin snoring beside him and closes his eyes.

“Help…”

His eyes fly open and there he is again. The boy.

“Are you a ghost?” He asks even though he doesn’t know why he’s asking. It’s not like a ghost is going to tell him the truth.

Surprisingly, the boy shakes his head.

Jungkook gasps for breath when the same images start to assault his head again, relentlessly pouring in. Warehouse. Tattoos. Hands tied.

“No, no, no.” He chants, gripping his head tight and swaying back and forth.

“Jungkook, Jungkook! Hey!” Jimin shakes him, holding his arms.

“Jimin!” Jungkook cries out in pain, clutching his hair. The images slow down to reveal a tattooed face with glowing blue eyes.

The waiter with the tattoos?

No. Can’t be.

Jungkook finally manages to open his eyes again. The boy is gone.

Jimin moves off the couch and cradles Jungkook’s head, helping him lie down fully on the couch.

“Are you having nightmares again, Jungkook?”

Jungkook considers lying but looks up at Jimin’s hard expression and decides against it. “I…they are not nightmares. I don’t think. I mean. I’m seeing this boy, Jimin.”

“What boy?” Jimin asks, eyebrows pulled together in confusion.

“I don’t…I d-don’t know!” Jungkook snaps. “I don’t know! I don’t remember anything!” He yells. Jimin doesn’t deserve it but Jungkook’s had enough of this. Of not remembering. He doesn’t want to see the boy. He just wants to remember damn it!

“It’s okay—” Jimin starts.

Jungkook interrupts immediately. “No—it’s not fucking okay. You,” He sits up and points at Jimin’s chest. “Last I remember; you couldn’t stand the sight of me.” He sneers. “I’ve been, fuck, living in this reality I still can’t understand! We are fucking married!” He laughs incredulously.  

“Jungkookie…” Jimin whispers, looking hurt.

“You didn’t even used to call me by my name! You used to say, ‘yah’. You wouldn’t even look at me.” Jungkook continues yelling angrily, spit flying. “Don’t. Just fucking don’t.”

“Jungkook, please.” Jimin pleads, trying to hold him by his arm. He’s crying again. Jungkook can’t do this.

“I need, fuck, I need space.” Jungkook shakes him off. He moves through the large house quickly and stops to shove his feet into his shoes by the front door.

“D-don’t leave. Please.” Jimin begs.

“Just…just let me be.” Jungkook whispers over his shoulder and slams the door behind him.

Jungkook is met with a surprisingly chilly weather outside, his flimsy t-shirt not doing anything to protect him from the wind and the sporadic rain. He hugs himself to preserve body heat.

He needs to go to that restaurant and see the waiter. There’s something there, Jungkook is sure. The waiter with the skinny arms and the tattoos might have answers. Jungkook feels recognition but when he tries to recall the image he saw earlier; it starts slipping through his fingers.

Jungkook walks and walks and walks some more. He gets lost in alleyways along the way, not being able to navigate the foreign city at all in the dark. Somehow, he manages to arrive at the Piazza, looking around him for that bistro him and Jimin ate together at.

He walks with purposeful steps to the entrance. It’s still open and a uniformed hostess greets him with a polite smile.

Jungkook doesn’t speak Italian. He still struggles with speaking English, although he can understand it fine. He tries to explain the tattooed waiter as best as he can, gesturing his arms, making drawing gestures.

The hostess shakes her head. Jungkook catches only a few words but he understands clear as day.

“No one like that has ever worked here.” She says, looking apologetic.  

Jungkook turns around, starting to walk the way he came from. A sob makes its way out of his mouth before he can stop it.

“I’m losing it. I’m fucking losing it.” He whispers to himself, before shutting his eyes, releasing a shaky breath as tears start to roll down his cheeks. He sniffles quietly, trying to observe his surroundings through blurry eyes to piece together the route, to try and get back to the villa. To Jimin.

He’s shaking because of the cold, clothes completely soaked through because of the rain, when he enters through the front door of the villa after what seems like hours.

Jimin rushes beside him immediately. “Jungkook! Where have you been? You’re freezing!”

Jungkook can only sob in response.

He feels numb as Jimin wraps something around him, maybe a blanket or a towel, helping him up the stairs and into the master bathroom. He sits Jungkook down on the edge of the tub and starts filling it, steam filling the bathroom. Jimin rubs his shoulders, as Jungkook sits on the edge of the tub in silence, looking blankly at the grey tiles on the floor.

“You’re okay. You’re okay.” Jimin murmurs, kissing his hair. He undresses him gently, and helps him get into the tub full of hot water.

Jungkook breathes out, can’t make eye contact with Jimin at all. He never wanted Jimin to see him like this. He’s not ready to look at Jimin and see that the look of adoration on his face that Jungkook’s gotten used to fade away and turn to one of hate, or worse, indifference.

Jimin washes his back. His gentle motions make a strangled noise crawl up Jungkook’s throat. He sobs quietly, unable to hold back anymore.

“Baby…” Jimin murmurs, hugging him from behind, seemingly not caring that his clothes are getting wet. He kisses Jungkook’s head and cheeks, caressing his face with his smaller hands. “You’re okay.”

Jungkook lets Jimin wrap him up in towels and lead him back in to the bedroom, sitting him down on the bed. He even dresses him and towel dries his hair. He helps Jungkook lie down and brings the light covers up to his chest, tucking him in. He doesn’t leave, and instead, sits at the foot of the bed, rubbing circles on Jungkook’s ankle.

Jugnkook curls up into a ball. “Jimin…”

“Yes?”

“C-can you stay with me?” He sounds pathetic to his own ears. Is this what he’s become?

“Of course.”

Jungkook doesn’t know how to ask Jimin to hug him but Jimin seems to understand what he needs anyway. He grabs Jungkook’s waist from behind, warm body enveloping Jungkook in a gentle embrace. He murmurs sweet reassurances and kisses behind Jungkook’s ear.

Jimin’s warmth, his familiar scent and the way his hot breath hits Jungkook is starting to gently calm him down, sleep coming over him fast.

“Thank you…” He mumbles through his sleepy haze, finally succumbing to dreamless sleep.

 

 

The following morning, Jungkook wakes up to feeling nice and toasty warmth all around him. And for the first time in days, he hasn’t had a nightmare. Jimin’s arms are still wrapped around him loosely, Jungkook’s back to his chest, quietly snoring.

Jungkook feels a lot calmer, not having had a nightmare and at having woken up next to Jimin, surprisingly. He tries to move Jimin’s arm very gingerly, so he doesn’t disturb his rest.

When Jungkook manages to sit up, Jimin starts stirring beside him. Jungkook watches his eyes slowly flutter open, and blink up at him hazily. “Jungkookie…how are you feeling?”

“Much better.” He says, and finds that the words are actually true. He feels more energetic and less like he’s losing it. His breakdown yesterday feels almost like a lifetime ago. Jungkook tries to recall what made him so upset, just what did he see? He can’t remember.

Jimin smiles, looking relieved. He sits up too and moves closer to pull Jungkook in a warm hug.

Jungkook closes his eyes. Jimin’s touch feels almost healing, and very comforting. It’s warm so he pulls Jimin closer too, clutching his shirt tightly and…

Jungkook had seen Jimin hug the other members, cling to them. In turn, he’d see members seek Jimin out specifically to hug him, to be comforted by him when they were stressed out. Jimin never did that for Jungkook. They didn’t even hug before, unless they were forced to, on camera. Jungkook never realized how good it feels to be hugged by him, until this moment. He didn’t realize how much he craved it either, before now.

Jimin kisses his shoulder lightly, just a press of his lips, Jungkook can feel it through his t-shirt. He clings to Jimin tighter.

When his stomach growls loudly, Jungkook reluctantly breaks away with a sheepish grin.

“That’s my cue to make breakfast.” Jimin laughs softly and then smiles fondly at him.

Jungkook blushes a deep red but nods anyway.

He slowly gets up from the bed and stretches with a groan. He throws on some clothes he finds in the closet and goes out to the balcony. It’s become his favourite place in the large villa.

Yesterday’s weather has completely disappeared, leaving its space for a warm, sunny day. It’s picturesque; the sea looks serene, inviting. Seagulls are calling and the breeze is soft and sweet.

Jungkook sighs to himself. Smiles softly.

He jogs down the stairs, following the delicious smells that only Jimin seems to be able to cook up.

“I made some pancakes today.” He smiles at Jungkook.

“Thank you.” Jungkook smiles back easily. It’s tentative, but he kisses Jimin on the cheek, which turns a lovely rosy colour. Jungkook smiles to himself and wordlessly sets the table, as Jimin finishes up by the stove. He pours their coffees and brings them out to the balcony and waits for Jimin. His breakdown yesterday almost completely forgotten. The boy…

Jungkook shakes his head. No. He won’t think about that. There’s no ghost here. No case either, according to Junghyun.

“I wanted to make you some Korean food, but I just can’t find ingredients out here in the island…” Jimin pouts. He takes a pancake for himself and douses it in syrup.

“Don’t worry. I love everything you make.” Jungkook says sincerely.

“I know you hate me for asking but…how are you feeling, Jungkook?” Jimin asks, biting his bottom lip.

Jungkook sighs, brushing a hand through his hair. “I’m fine, pretty sure. I don’t know what happened yesterday.” He furrows his brows. The EMF indicated no signs of a spirit in the house. His brother might be right then. Maybe Jungkook is still clinging onto being a hunter, refusing to let go of that part of his life.

Jimin nods. It’s silent between them for several moments, Jungkook is lost in his head until Jimin speaks up again. “Hey, what do you say we go see the Blue Grotto today? I think it will be good for you.”

“Blue Grotto?”

“Yeah. The tides are supposed to be low so we can see it today. Only if you want to.” Jimin hastily adds at the end, always thinking of Jungkook’s comfort.

Jungkook doesn’t even have to think. “Yes.”

Jungkook’s head feels a little fuzzy still, from his episode yesterday. He pushes it to the back of his mind. They walk to Marina Grande from the villa, arms brushing and smiling at each other.

Jimin purchases tickets for them at the port, while Jungkook sticks close to him, inhaling his scent and even absentmindedly brushing a kiss on Jimin’s hair. It seems to make Jimin happy, he directs that smile at Jungkook again. The one where his eyes turn to crescents and he glows.

Jungkook can’t help but feel good and accomplished at putting that expression on Jimin’s face.

Apparently, Jimin’s hired a private, traditional gozzo for them, so they are alone, as the boat rocks along the shore. He pulls Jimin close to himself, Jimin almost ending up in his lap. Jungkook doesn’t want to be away from him.

He can’t believe how long he’s managed stay away from Jimin. It’s like a dam has broken, flooding Jungkook with all the feelings for Jimin he’s managed to suppress for years, the excuse being that Jimin hates him. Jungkook has tried hating him back before, but it’s never worked. Now, he has the permission to have feelings for Jimin, to actually like him. Jimin no longer looks at him in loathing.

The boat rocks gently around the island, going all around it, going into the smaller coves. The water is clear and blue, some rocks along the otherwise sandy sea floor. The boat comes to a stop at Faraglioni, a smaller island, where they are told they can swim around for a while.

Jungkook follows Jimin’s lead and they throw their shirts off, giggling quietly before diving into the cool water.

Jungkook comes up for a breath and is greeted with the sight of Jimin smiling at him fondly, hair wet around his face. He pulls Jimin closer and this time, he doesn’t hesitate when he kisses him. Feeling Jimin’s smile against his lips makes him smile too hard, and soon they are just smiling against each other’s mouths.

Jungkook breaks away with an easy laugh, almost surprised at how happy he is. He kisses Jimin’s cheek, down to the side of his neck, his skin has a salty tang from the water. He feels Jimin wrap his arms around his neck, sighing softly in his ear.

“I love you, Jungkookie.” Jimin whispers in his ears.

Jungkook feels his ears turn red, still unable to say it.

Jimin doesn’t seem to mind though. He kisses Jungkook gently again. And again.

Jungkook is reluctant to leave the water and let go of Jimin but they are called back up to the boat to continue the tour.

The boat gently sways until they arrive at the entrance to the Blue Grotto. Jimin gets them tickets, and they board a smaller row boat, again just the two of them. They have to lie flat on the boat as they enter the low cavern and when they rise back up, Jungkook’s breath hitches at the sight.

The water glows, sunlight shines through the seawater, casting it a surreal, glowing blue.

“Wow.” Jungkook murmurs at the sight, not wanting to disturb the quiet and the peace.

Jimin moves closer to him, clutching him tightly, as if he too, can’t bear to be away. Jungkook looks down at Jimin, to observe his awed expression. Jungkook can’t seem to stop staring at him, now that he has permission. Now that he knows Jimin doesn’t hate him, and won’t look at him like he can’t stand him. He can’t help but pull him into another, gentle kiss.

They stare out to the glowing water, arms tight around each other’s.

By the time the boat tour ends, Jungkook is exhausted and hungry. They go into a restaurant by the marina.

Jungkook sits across from Jimin, looking at him, still amazed at how much their relationship seems to have changed. Yet, Jungkook feels like they’ve been a couple forever, somehow, despite still not remembering the past.

He picks a citrus fruit risotto for his first course, and steals bites from Jimin’s sea truffle pasta, moaning at the complex combination of flavours. The waiter suggests a sublime bottle of wine to pair with their meal, which they keep pouring between them until there isn’t even a drop left.

For the main course, Jungkook decides on the sesame crusted tuna, while Jimin chances for the catch of the day.

He eats a healthy amount this time, Jungkook notices. He looks up at Jungkook, the look of adoration and love on his face same as the first day Jungkook woke up here, yet it sparks a different emotion in him.

Happiness, and not distrust.

It’s Jungkook who reaches out to place his hand on Jimin’s this time.

They slowly sip the Grappa the waiter brings by to finish off their meal, as they look out to the calm sea. The light around the restaurant casts an almost surreal glow on Jimin’s face.

They start walking back to the villa, Jungkook surprising himself by holding Jimin’s hand tightly all the way home. It seems to please Jimin, who smiles up at him again. He’s been smiling so much at him today. It’s…

It’s nice.

When Jimin unlocks the doors and lets him in, Jungkook finds himself reluctant to part with him, clinging onto his hand, not letting go.

He isn’t sure how to vocalize it though, so he just continues holding onto him, hoping Jimin understands him without him saying the words, like he’s been doing a lot.

Sure enough, Jimin laughs easily, pulling him to the living room and they sit on the couch, facing each other.

“So…did you like it?” Jimin asks him, resting his elbow on the back of the couch, holding his cheek with a hand, smiling at Jungkook.

“Yeah.” Jungkook coughs, suddenly shy at having Jimin’s attention on him like this. “Yes, I did. Thank you, Jimin.” It comes across as perhaps too polite so he looks away, ears burning.

“You’re so cute…” Jimin whispers fondly. He reaches out a hand to touch Jungkook’s cheek, cradling it in his hand tenderly, thumb rubbing soothing circles at his skin, which gets even hotter under Jimin’s touch.

Jungkook closes his eyes, allowing himself to get lost in his touch. The space between them feels like they are oceans apart, so Jungkook scoots closer to him on the couch.

He doesn’t realize that they are both leaning in until their noses touch. Their eyes closed, breathing against each other’s mouths. The tension between them skyrockets suddenly, almost taking Jungkook’s breath away.

It isn’t the first time they kissed, but when their lips meet, it still sends a burst of excitement through Jungkook’s body. Jimin’s mouth feels even better than he imagined during the rare nights he allowed himself to even entertain the idea, usually when he was drunk or too tired to fight off the want. He would always push it away before he could get too carried away though, Jimin’s indifference to him has always been a sobering reality.

Jimin scoots even closer to him until there’s no space left between them. He breaks the kiss for a moment to clamber up Jungkook’s lap. Jungkook grips his thick thighs without thinking about it and groans at how muscular and strong they feel underneath his hands.

They’d feel even better wrapped around his waist as he fucks into Jimin.

That thought causes his hips to rut up against Jimin, who makes the hottest sound Jungkook’s ever heard in his life. He breaks the kiss and pants against Jungkook’s ear, before licking his way down the side of his neck, biting and sucking the heated skin.

“J-Jimin!” Jungkook rasps when Jimin brushes his fingers on Jungkook’s nipples through his shirt lightly. It almost feels accidental but one look at Jimin tells him otherwise, he smirks down at Jungkook knowingly before licking his lips.

Jimin looks ready to devour him.

Jungkook pulls him down by the back of his neck and crushes their mouths together in a hungry kiss, the softness and the gentleness of their earlier kisses are gone, replaced by burning need. Jimin responds in earnest and Jungkook’s head spins.

Jungkook breaks the kiss, the need to breathe too overwhelming to ignore. They pant against each other’s mouths, sound too loud in the otherwise quiet room. He bites Jimin’s plump bottom lip before releasing it and kissing his neck, where his scent is the strongest. He groans.

Jimin pulls his hair and pushes their mouths together again. His hips buck up for friction, feeling himself start to get hard at having Jimin on top of him like this.

When Jimin slides down off his lap and kneels between his legs, Jungkook hears himself moan, rock hard now.

Jimin’s mouth feels even better on him than he ever dared to imagine or even read in his journal entries. It doesn’t take too long before he’s barely able to warn Jimin and he’s coming, harder than ever.

Jungkook feels light and sleepy now but he wants to take care of Jimin too, make him feel good like he’s made Jungkook feel good.

Jimin smiles easily. “It’s okay, baby. Today’s about you.”

Jungkook lets Jimin lead him upstairs to the master bedroom. Once more, Jungkook finds that he doesn’t have to explain, he doesn’t have to say anything for Jimin to understand. He cuddles Jimin from behind and falls fast asleep. 

Jungkook! WAKE UP!

Jungkook grits his teeth in frustration. There’s only one reason why he would call this late at night. He knows what the call is about but he resigns himself to picking it up anyway. Delaying it won’t help the inevitable. “What?”

He can almost hear Junghyun roll his eyes. “Not a very nice way to greet your older brother.”

Jungkook sighs heavily, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “What do you want?”

“You still have your gear, right?” He asks, straight to the point, unconcerned about hearing Jungkook’s unfriendly tone.

Jungkook feels his hackles rise as if on cue, the mental fog from the tiring day clearing almost immediately. “What for?”

“You need to take care of something for us. For Mom.” He emphasizes Mom in a way he knows will bring guilt into Jungkook. Mom who worked hard by herself to let you live your dream. The Mom who continues to hunt, while you don’t. The Mom who lost Dad but still continues to fight.

It works, despite being very familiar with Junghyun’s strategy. Jungkook feels guilt rise up his chest, until it settles heavily around his heart like a vise, squeezing tight. “I said I was done. You know I’m done.” He whispers into the receiver. He eyes the door in case anyone walks in and hears the conversation.

“It’s very simple, no need to make a big deal out of it. You remember how to hunt, right?” Junghyun says condescendingly.

Jungkook growls. “I didn’t magically forget everything. Of course I fucking remember.”  

“Then act like it.” Junghyun bites back, not missing a beat. “I sent you an email with everything you need to know. Don’t fuck it up.”

Anger burns white hot through him before he takes a deep breath and tries to calm down. “Why can’t you do it? Getting rusty?” He smirks even though his brother can’t see it, he wants a reaction out of his otherwise stoic brother.

Junghyun sounds unbothered. “I’m still in Jeju working a case. Shifter. Everyone has their hands full over there.”

“It’s gonna have to wait. Besides, I’m banned from going out alone at night no thanks to you. I just gained my going out privileges again after that stunt.”

Junghyun sighs, weary. “You’ll figure out a way, I’m sure.” A pause. “It’s what Dad would’ve wanted.”

Fuck. Jungkook grips the phone tightly, he hates hearing the same shit over and over again. But, without fail, it works on him and Junghyun knows it. “I’ll…I’ll do it, just…not tonight. Tomorrow.”

“Good.” Junghyun doesn’t wait for an answer and hangs up.

It’s been easy to pretend to be normal. Too easy, Jungkook now realizes. He took what little time he had away from his family for granted. He was getting used to living a semi-normal life. Away from them.

He’s not responding!

Jungkook wakes up gasping for breath. Again. He’s lost count of how many times he’s done that in the past couple of weeks. The days are starting to blur together, along with the nightmares he’s been having. Now, there are voices too. Familiar, but too far away to decipher.

But, that was a memory.

Jungkook knows that for a fact.  

It was…two nights before he woke up here, next to Jimin. The argument with his brother was definitely because of hunting.

Jungkook looks over to Jimin’s side to see him still breathing deeply, still sleeping. When he tries to get up, he’s hit with the same images again.

Arms full of tattoos. Abandoned warehouse. A boy, hanging from the ceiling, hands tightly bound, barely alive.

Glowing blue eyes.

Jungkook, wake up!

Jungkook looks over to Jimin to see him still fast asleep. Who the hell was that?

“Don’t get caught. Those sick sons of bitches put you in la-la land and feed on you until there’s nothing left.”

“They don’t grant wishes?”

“Fuck no.” Junghyun laughs. “They trap you in your greatest desire. You think your wishes have been granted but it’s not real. Pretty fucked up.”

Djinn.

Jungkook gasps and gets up on shaky legs, staggering away from the bed. He grips the wall tightly and tries to right himself.

He was hunting a djinn on September 2018. That’s what his brother kept calling him about.  

A djinn.

Jungkook pushes off the wall, head dizzy with the sudden influx of memories that just won’t stop, now that he’s finally put the last piece of the puzzle in its rightful place. He allows himself to finally see. And not ignore everything that’s wrong.  

He eyes the bed, where Jimin is starting to stir. He’s not real.

None of it is.

Jungkook gasps for air, trying to fight down the rising panic in his chest.

“Jungkookie?” Jimin mumbles sleepily from the bed, rubbing his eyes.

He looks so damn real.

“S-stay away from me.” Jungkook stumbles away. He needs to get far away from this house. This villa. Away from Jimin.

Damn it, Jungkook! WAKE UP!  

Jungkook feels so damn stupid. There were signs all along that he conveniently ignored. Was he that desperate for this fantasy world to be real?

When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Dad always used to say.

The way he and Jimin magically made up, the way Jimin seemed to know all of Jungkook’s favourite things, his family not being hunters anymore.

All of his wishes, seemingly granted. He was so desperate, so fucking desperate, that he believed everything when he should’ve questioned more.

Jungkook stumbles through the three-story villa in a daze, grabbing the railing when he’s walking down the stairs. The hairs on the back of his neck stand up when he hears Jimin following him down the steps.

It’s not fucking Jimin. No. “S-stay a-away.”

Jungkook squeezes his eyes closed, pain stabbing through every part of his body. The villa gives away for a split second, to reveal a dark and dingy warehouse before the image cuts back to the hallucination.  

He goes outside and finds himself at the edge of the cliff, the same one he used to see out of the master bedroom balcony.

None of this is real.

Jungkook feels a sob climb up his chest and escaping his mouth before he can stop it. The once-blue sea looks dangerous, waves slapping against the rocks violently, foaming white.

There’s only one way to wake up from a djinn’s hallucination.

Jungkook knows what he has to do. He stares at the waves underneath, slapping the cliff, white bubbles rising.

“Jungkookie. Don’t do this, please.” Jimin cries from somewhere behind him, making Jungkook whip his head around. Jimin starts to come closer, eyes shiny with tears. His lip wobbles as he stares at Jungkook.

Jungkook searches his face but he looks so damn real. He felt real too.

“You are not real.” Jungkook whispers. He repeats it in his head. He keeps repeating, afraid that he’ll forget this if he slips for even a second.

Jimin comes closer and closer, until he can cradle Jungkook’s face in his palms tenderly. Jungkook should stop him but he doesn’t. “You could stay here with me.”

Jungkook is starting to shake his head, trying to get away from the impostor when his Mom appears behind Jimin. “Hey honey.”

“Mom?” Jungkook can’t help but whisper. She’s not real. She’s not real.

“Oh, Jungkookie.” She smiles kindly. “You are so happy here…”

“We don’t hunt anymore. No one gets hurt.” Junghyun smiles easily from beside her, appearing suddenly. “All you have to do is stay.”

Jungkook shakes his head. “You’re not real. None of this is real. I’m going back.”

“How are you going to do that?” Junghyun asks, eyebrow raised.

There’s only one way to wake up from a dream.

Jungkook looks at his family one more time before tearing his gaze away. The water looks dark and cold underneath. His legs shake with fright and uncertainty. If this doesn’t work then…

He might never wake up…

“There’s only one way.” He whispers, squeezing his eyes closed.

Jungkook lets himself fall off the cliff.