Jimin lifts his hand up from the crumpled paper as he glazes his eyes over the scrawny letters he wrote.
It’s the second day of September, and he had been successful enough to not think about a certain man for almost a month now, if it wasn’t for his damn calendar reminding him of:
“The first miracle of September :)”
He should’ve deleted that notice. Then maybe yesterday could’ve gone without him catapulting himself to that familiar state of frustration and anxiety. It was good that he deleted Jungkook’s number, but it didn’t help that he got it memorized.
Jimin clutches the paper and tears it to pieces - with less vigor than the previous ones before that. Papers scattered around him, some on a pile, with different words peering at him, mocking him for his failed attempts at trying to write something - anything - to try and sort himself out.
But no matter what he did, he still wants to see Jungkook.
He wants to hear his voice.
He wants to feel his skin.
Jimin wants Jungkook back.
He leans back on the wooden chair with a heavy heart, an unsettling burden blossoming from the pits of his stomach that grows up towards his throat, pricking his eyes. Jimin feels like crying. But he can’t cry anymore. He had been devoid of any emotion since the day Jungkook walked away, with a large bag hanging by his hips, eyes glaring at him with hurt and anger.
“We never happened. We did not happen”
Those were the last words that escaped Jungkook’s lips the last night they shared together - with the early pour of sunshines spilling against his back, shadows looming over his face. Jimin inhales sharply, eyes nailed outside his window but blind to the orange glow of the after sunset.
An eternity passes by as the spark from outside blurs into darkness. The streets outside deprived of any lamps, loneliness creeping from all around Jimin. He stands up, hands wondering over as they search for his room’s fairy lights. he watches as they kindled slowly, drapes along his bed’s headboard where Jungkook’s white t-shirt hang.
Jimin’s eyes got stuck for a moment, before he looks around and realizes the array of things Jungkook left behind.
And that little box delivered to their flat the morning of their breakup.
It still lies where Jimin left it on that very day - on top of the drawers, waiting for Jungkook to come back home, in a pretty silver package of some sort.
Will Jungkook come back and ask for his shirt? His cap? The box that he never knew was delivered?
Maybe not. After all, it had already been a month and Jungkook never stepped inside their small apartment again.
And Jimin never saw him again after that anyway.
Jimin fights the urge to throw himself on the bed and sleep the rest of the night away, like he did the whole day yesterday. He at least, needs to eat something, less he wants to wake up randomly in the middle of the night (again) and stare up at the ceiling in the hours of 2 and 7, hurting himself over and over with the questions he’ll never get answers for. So he drags himself across the room, rummages through their (his) cupboards, and opens a packet of ramen.
The water on the pot started to drain itself as Jimin found it hard to stand up from the floor. He decided earlier to gather Jungkook’s things in one bag and call Jin to bring them back to the younger, but as he folds Jungkook’s shirt neatly, he couldn’t help but catch a whiff of his scent and Jimin just breaks down, slumps on the floor, eyes wet with uncontrollable tears.
He’s back at square one again.
Jimin ends up curling into a ball by the edge of the bed, his knees pressed to his chest as he stares at the displayed mementos of Jungkook’s presence in the same room.
He can hear Jungkook’s voice at the back of his head, can see his smile as he closes his eyes.
“One day, I’ll marry you okay?”
“We’ll be together forever.”
“I’ll just be here.”
“You fucking liar,” Jimin whispers, defeated, voice cracking as he glowers at the shirts and the bracelets and the cap. “You said you’ll never leave me,” He feels his nails digging into his arms but he can’t do anything but to hold himself tighter. “Jeon Jungkook… you promised me... you… you stupid, stupid…”
Jimin pounces on his head, the base of his palm resting on the side of his forehead. There’s a gurgle of hiccups coming from his throat that he still tries so hard to control, the spinning of the room not helping in anyway.
He wants to see Jungkook.
But Jungkook doesn’t want to see him.
And that’s the most painful part.
Taehyung pockets his phone and runs his hand over Jimin’s hair in an attempt to soothe the latter. “Ah Jiminie,” He murmurs, “I hate to see you like this.”
He looks around again, stands up, and starts to pick the pieces of paper lying on the small room. Taehyung plucks them senselessly, a tad annoyed at himself that he can’t do anything else for his best friend, a whole vexed about Jungkook disappearing without reason.
Why does Jungkook have to leave everything behind without telling them anything? Or even just explain something - anything - to Jimin? They had been together for almost four years now, they even helped him and Jin get together. Every year had been better for Jimin and Jungkook, and they always had that intensity whenever they look at each other. And the past months before Jungkook departed, Taehyung didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
So what could possibly been going on in Jungkook’s head? And what did he tell Jimin that Jimin doesn’t even want to hear his name?
Taehyung fights the urge to punch something as he bends over to collect another piece of paper, but this time, the words engraved on it caught his attention.
Why won’t the pain go away?”
Taehyung shakes his head, gaping back at his best friend still asleep on the cold floor. Was Jimin trying to write a letter to someone who just vanished from the face of the earth?
Was Jimin torturing himself with the same bullshit again?
Taehyung starts to uncrumple the rest of the papers, and he reads them with a thorn lunged between his chest.
“Jungkook-ah, it’s been a month - where are you?
What did I do wrong?
Was I not enough?
It was a good four years…
Or was it not?
“Jungkook-ah, did you get tired of me?”
“Jungkook-ah, I’d rather you tell me…
Because it still hurts so much.”
“Jungkook-ah, I remembered yesterday was your birthday.
I’m not used to not buying you cake…”
“Jungkook-ah, did I not treat you right?”
“Jungkook - Please come home. I can’t do this anymore.”
Taehyung looks up to meet Jin’s eyes, his vision blurry. “Jin-hyung,” he mumbles, pushing the stash of papers from his hand to the older. “I didn’t notice you coming in, I -”
“What are these - oh.”
Taehyung did his best to fake a smile, but his shaking hand gives him away as he points at Jimin. “Hyung…” His voice is quavering. “I can’t see him like this again.”
Jin immediately pulls him to his chest, hugging him as tight as he can. “Taehyung-ah, it’s okay. We’ll figure this out. Hyung’s here.”
Taehyung did not answer as he tries his best to not whimper. It’s painful. To see one of the most important people in his life fall into pieces. Jimin had been his strength, and now he feels so weak that he can’t be the same for him.
Jin holds him closer, tucking him under his chin as he reassures him everything will make sense in the end, and Taehyung tries his best to believe him as he glances over Jimin’s puffy face - swollen from crying.
“What the fuck happened?” Yoongi greets the moment Jin opens the door to let him in. He’s still dressed in his black long sleeves and pants, paler than how Jin remembers him to be.
“You haven’t gone to the house yet?”
“I did, dropped my bags then texted you since you’re not home.” Yoongi is now walking briskly, but quiet enough that his socks barely made any sound. He walks straight for the only bedroom in the flat, eyes catching sight of an open ramen packet that was left alone by the sink. “It’s a bigass house, and I see no one so I asked - but I did not expect -”
Jin finally catches up to him and they are both greeted by the view of Taehyung and Jimin sleeping side by side, both faces swollen and red.
“- this.” Yoongi finishes, turning his body to face Jin again. “What the fuck happened?”
Jin opens his mouth to say something but it ends with a heavy sigh. “I wish I know.”
Jin had just finished moving both Taehyung and Jimin out of the floor and unto the bed when he heard a smash from the living room.
He steps out in a half-panic, stepping over Yoongi’s cellphone. “What the hell Yoongi?” Jin picks the phone up and sees its screen is still intact, but the case is all crashed.
Yoongi has his eyes closed but he slowly opens them as looks up at the ceiling, his hands in firm fists as he purses his lips. Jin sighs again, for how many times that night he isn’t sure, it’s draining him little by little, so he makes his way towards one of the couch and sinks into it uncomfortably.
There’s silence. For a good few minutes there’s silence, and Jin catches himself dozing off until Yoongi calls out to him.
“ -in-hyung…” Jin slaps his face softly, attention focusing on Yoongi’s words that came off as a slur at first. “...-tect Jimin…”
“What?” Jin asks, voice hoarse.
“Why can’t I protect Jimin?” Jin hauls himself to sit up right, at least to a position where he can see Yoongi with both his elbows against his thighs, chin over clasped hands, nibbling down on his bottom lip. “I promised him I’ll protect him. After his parents died, I promised him I’ll do everything I can to protect him - and I gave him to the wrong guy.”
“It isn’t like that ‘Gi.”
“Then what hyung? Please explain it to me because this whole shit is so fucked up - Jungkook told me he planned to propose to Jimin once I get back - but now that I am back -”
Yoongi covers his face with the palms of his hands, running through it again and again until they settle back to his lap. “A whole month. And I’m not even there for him.”
“It isn’t your fault Yoongi.”
“Damn right because it’s Jungkook’s fault.”
Hoseok sees Yoongi wrapped in a cocoon on the bottom bunk bed. It’s already almost two in the afternoon and yet the curtains inside the room remained untouched, the persistent late sun poking through whatever sliver it can, sparing the room with some specs of light.
Hoseok closes the door gently, calling Yoongi’s name as he sets down a take-out box of their supposed lunch. “Yoongi,” He repeats, climbing on the bed and resting his cheek upon the top of the cocoon, feeling Yoongi’s heat inside. “Do you want to talk about it?”
They stay like that for awhile, with Hoseok’s arm over the giant roll of blanket. Until Yoongi shifts and peers over the top of the cocoon, “No.”
Hoseok still gives him a small smile. “Then do you want to at least cuddle?”
Jimin can feel the sun rays on his face, irritating his skin with the sudden heat. He opens his eyes slowly, still dizzy as the view of the room’s windows starts to makes sense. He lifts his arm over his eyes, his brain slowly adjusting to his current situation. In the darkness of his closed eyelids, he attempts to not think of anything.
But he remembers Jungkook’s good morning and he gives up trying to feel okay.
Jimin barely registers the voice before he lifts his arm and peers at Taehyung. “Tae? Why - How’d you get in?”
Taehyung visibly freezes as he hangs his head, eyes stealing away from Jimin’s. “Jin-hyung is preparing the table.”
Let’s not talk about it now.
Jimin stares at him for a brief moment before nodding. He lets Taehyung walk off and close the door before he flumps back to the bed, where he most definitely didn’t remember falling asleep on. He’s been with Taehyung long enough to know the younger doesn’t want to talk about it for the time being.
And he can make a probable guess as to how they got in.
“Jungkook gave you back the flat’s key, right?”
Taehyung fights the urge to choke at the sudden question. Jimin had just walked to the table with last night’s pajamas, hair in disarray and eyes still swollen. Jin is back at the little kitchen, but close enough that he races to the counter with a pan full of half-fried eggs.
“Yes.” Jin answers, reaching for a table rag and putting the pan down. “Since we’re already on the topic, can we talk about it?”
“Can we at least have breakfast?” Taehyung interjects as he still tries to push the food down his throat. “Jiminie, if you don’t want to talk about it, it’s okay.”
“It’s his birthday yesterday.”
Taehyung sighs. “While having breakfast then. I get it.”
Jimin pats Taehyung’s head and gives him a small smile. “Thanks. For being here.”
“Did you know you left your gas stove on?”
“Now I do.”
Jimin takes the seat across from Jin and Taehyung, fingers still fidgeting as he looks down. “It’s been a month yeah, but yesterday is just... I don’t really know… it feels like going back to square one.”
Jin serves Jimin and Taehyung with plates full of fried eggs before he takes his own seat beside Taehyung. “We understand Jimin, we’re just here okay?”
Jimin cracks another smile, “Thanks.” He’s still preoccupied with things inside his head, as he mindlessly tries to fork his food. “Do you - do you happen to know where he is?”
Taehyung and Jin exchange glances, “We - we haven’t been really in contact with him. His phone is out of service, he deleted his sns - I’m sorry Jimin.”
“He really wanted to get rid of me that much, huh?”
“I’m sorry. It’s just… it feels like four years had been wasted.”
“You made good memories together, those aren’t waste.”
“I wish I’ll at least know why he just upped and left.” Jimin says, eyes still cast on the tile counter. “So I can have answers you know? So I don’t have to think of things and make up unsure answers.”
Taehyung did not say anything, but he reaches his hand out to cups Jimin’s. Jimin finally looks up, sees Taehyung’s and Jin’s hurt faces. “I’m sorry you had to see me like this.”
“We’re just here Jiminie, you don’t have to apologize.”
Jimin tries to give them another smile, but he fails miserably. “Do you - do you think he ever loved me?”
Yoongi opens his mobile and reads a series of texts from Namjoon. The latter had been in America for a private business and he had not been in contact with them for almost two months now. Hoseok is out buying their dinner, and although Yoongi feels guilty that he still hasn’t told anything to his boyfriend, he decides to push the thoughts back and asks Namjoon if he knows anything about the whole situation.
“I’ll be calling hyung.” Yoongi reads, closing his phone again and tossing it not too far away as he stretches his arms over the small bed, trying to find comfort but fails to do so with the image of Jimin sleeping on the cold floor, dried tears on his face.
The phone rings shortly after, and Yoongi sighs into it. “You know something don’t you? That fucker had never not replied to me.”
“Stop calling him ‘fucker’ hyung.”
“Fine then, that scumbag is dead when I see him.”
Namjoon breathes out, tired. “He has his reasons.”
“I do too. When I kill him.”
“Yoongi-hyung, can we talk about this after you’ve settled down your anger?”
“Fuck you Joon, you’re not here to see Jimin all messed up.”
Namjoon stops, agreeing silently. “I can’t give you any reason why Kook did it, okay? Hyung, I am not in the position to say anything.”
There’s a bristle as Yoongi sits up, the back of his head against the cold wall behind. “I don’t want him back with Jimin.”
“But what if Jimin wants him back?”
“Then Jimin is an idiot.”
“Anyone who’s in love is.”
“Fuck that shit.”
“It’ll be worth it if they end up together, hyung.”
Yoongi holds the phone against his ear, listening to the silence on the other line as well. “Do you honestly believe they will get back after this?”
“I know you do too hyung.”
“Come back here, look at Jimin, and then you tell me if anything’s worth it seeing him like that.”
Namjoon looks out at the night sky and then to the skyscrapers below him. He’s a world away from helping whatever chaos Jungkook made, and he can’t help but blame himself for not noticing it sooner. He shouldn’t have left without forcing Jungkook to tell him whatever was bugging him for the past weeks before his flight to America. The boy was disgruntled, frustrated at whatever he was thinking, and Namjoon trusted him enough to wait for whenever Jungkook will be ready to tell him whatever it was about.
But he never thought Jungkook would mess up this bad. And if it wasn’t for Taehyung and Jin telling him about what happened last night, he would have never learned anything. Jimin is just like that. He isn’t someone who wants anyone to worry about him. Because he believes it’s his job - to make everyone feel better. And Jimin is good at it. Namjoon always felt like the world isn’t fair enough that there isn’t someone who’s like Jimin, to make Jimin feel better.
He glances over the last message Jimin sent him. Even with what he’s going through, Jimin still didn’t want to worry him, and Namjoon feels shit because of it.
Jimin deserves better. Jimin shouldn’t have been going through this.
Jungkook closes his phone, fighting the urge to throw it away as he rakes his hair back in frustration.
Early this year, Jungkook had tested positive for blood cancer and he did all he can to make the last month he had with Jimin worth it.
When that little piece of paper arrived, Jungkook had already decided that he won’t let Jimin go through hell, fighting for him against the inevitable reality of death. And although it was very selfish, Jungkook wanted to remember Jimin smiling like he use to. Remember him with his giggle and genuine laughter. He figured, (although it was dumb now that he thinks of it) that hurting Jimin and forcing everyone to hate him as well, is the best route he can take to help Jimin move on fast with his life after his passing.
Jungkook had ran off to somewhere he isn’t familiar with. Spending his days with regret and worry - often crying himself to sleep whenever he remembers Jimin’s face the night he told him those cruel words. Jungkook could’ve handled it better, but he wasn’t sure if he’ll be able to hold his ground if Jimin did anything after what he said. In hindsight, Jungkook was glad Jimin didn’t move a muscle, too preoccupied with the whats of Jungkook’s behavior.
It didn’t help ease the pain though.
As Jungkook hurdles himself in the corner of the small room he’s renting, his mind wanders to a tiny spec of hope that that piece of letter he received months before - was actually not meant for him.
Who could’ve thought he isn’t the only Jeon Jungkook in the whole of Seoul?
He can still hear Namjoon’s faint plea of at least talking things out with Jimin now that they know all this mess could’ve been just one mistake.
“But what if it was actually me? Then I’d let him down again.” Jungkook argues, trying his best to patiently wait for the second test’s results, clutching the phone in his hand, ready for any reasonable argument Namjoon can always come up with.
“But what if you’re actually not terminally ill and you’re letting all of this get in the way of you and Jimin?”
Fuck Namjoon and his valid points. Jungkook sighs, eyes cast upon the rising sun by the horizon. He hasn’t slept for almost three nights now. “Just a few more days hyung. I’ll know in just a few more days - just, hyung,” Jungkook fights the urge to sob, trying his best to not worry Namjoon any more than he probably is. “Please take care of him.”
“Everyone’s doing that.” Namjoon answers, voice still filled with concern, now with a hint of agitation. “You do know everyone hates you now, right?”
Jungkook nods before remembering Namjoon won’t be able to see him. “Yeah.” he weakly replies, finally letting his back slide on the wall, falling with a dull thump on the bare floor.
“Are you okay there?”
Jungkook lies on his back, eyes stale on the old ceiling, “No.”
Another four days has passed by with Jungkook at the tip of his toes. At the end of the fourth, he found himself in the hospital clinic, playing with the hem of his shirt as he tries to bury whatever nerves that keep on gnawing at him, turning his stomach over.
“Jeon Jungkook?” A man in white lab coat calls out, closing the door behind him. Jungkook barely registers his existence before the doctor finally walks over and sits in front of him.
“Yes?” Jungkook manages, hands still shaking by his lap.
The doctor has a whole set of papers firmly stuck with his clipboard as his eyes switches from Jungkook to the papers, then back again. Every glance from the doctor made Jungkook want to puke with nervousness until the man on the other side of the table sets down the clip.
“I don’t know what you’re fidgeting about when you’re a healthy, 24-year-old man.”
“Healthy?” Jungkook chokes, hands finally stopping their shaking.
The doctor gives Jungkook a raised brow before plucking some papers on the clipboard and passing them over to him. “You’re perfectly healthy, Mr. Jeon.”
Jungkook walks home with a skip to his step and a string plucked in his heart.
Home. It could be anywhere as long as Jimin is there and Jungkook will still call it home. For now, it’s a small flat in a rickety building, with water line problems and thin walls.
And that’s their paradise.
He’s going home.
Jungkook wanted to hate everything - for wasting a month without Jimin, for hurting Jimin, for not telling anything to Jimin - but he just can’t. The only thing in Jungkook’s mind is being able to see Jimin’s face again, all the bullshit can come after.
Jungkook runs through the staircase, taking two steps at a time. He strides and rushes to their door, just to be held back by whatever reason he doesn’t know.
Behind this door is Jimin.
The man he loves.
The same man he hurt.
Does he deserve to be here?
Is Jimin at home? Will Jimin punch his face? Slap him? Kick his shin? Turn him away? Jungkook deserves a beating for going away and coming back just like this. But he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to handle it if Jimin asks him to go away.
How will he be able to make it up to Jimin?
Jungkook looks at his hand and closes them to fists, thinking of how he’ll explain everything to Jimin - but he fails to think of anything, he doesn’t even know how to start. So he remains standing there, heart in his throat, his head pounding.
Until the door suddenly opens with a loud creak and Jungkook jerks his head unwittingly to see Jimin holding a plastic of garbage, looking up at him with wide, shocked eyes.
Before he can say anything more Jimin’s already holding onto him, hugging him by the neck and Jungkook bends down a little to press their bodies together even further.
“...Kookie.” Jimin whispers, voice heavy with strain as he tries to choke back his tears.
Jungkook is pretty much in the same state as he buries his nose in the crook of Jimin’s neck, tears running wet on his cheeks.
Jungkook lets the tears flow out, as he sobs against Jimin’s skin, murmuring I’m sorry over and over, and over again. And if he has to spend his forever muttering those two words again and again to at least make Jimin’s pain less, Jungkook will.
Jimin finally lets go to cup Jungkook’s face, scanning his mess of features as he tries to pat away the tears with the sleeve of his long shirt. Jungkook coughs a little chuckle, before stooping down and pressing his lips against Jimin’s.
This - Jungkook thinks as he feels the warmth of Jimin’s lips against him after what felt like an eon - is home.
Jungkook nuzzles against Jimin’s hair as he reminds him another string of I love yous . Jimin’s head is resting on his arms, the older’s back pressed against Jungkook’s chest in a comfortable, familiar fondness both of them missed.
Jimin is humming a song of some kind, and Jungkook’s content enough to just hear his voice and feel the vibration of his body.
“Marry me.” Jungkook blurts, still half in a daze.
Jimin suddenly stops his humming, looks over his shoulder and turns around. Now facing Jungkook, Jimin pushes some strands of the younger’s bangs away so he can marvel his eyes. “What did you say?”
Jungkook bites the bottom of his lips and clears his throat. He’s still in a daze, but he knows full well what he’s saying. And it suddenly made his throat dry. “Marry me.” He repeats, eyes not leaving Jimin’s.
It was a ready answer, and Jungkook feels like crying again - but he finds himself smiling, sure that he isn’t deserving of whatever Jimin’s doing, but ultimately deciding that he’ll do whatever he can to be deserving of it. For now, he pushes himself towards Jimin and kisses his forehead.
“I need a ring though.” Jimin jokes, kissing Jungkook’s cheek in return.
“All right, wait here.” Jungkook says, jumping up from their small bed as he hears Jimin half-shouts a confused what?
Jungkook looks around and finds all of his things at a far corner of the room. Jimin must’ve been planning on throwing them away and he doesn’t blame him, but the fact that they are still here after a whole month is enough proof that Jimin just couldn’t.
If what the site told him was right, then they should’ve delivered it long before, and knowing Jimin, he will keep it without knowing what it really was.
Jungkook rummages through the plastic bag with one thing in mind:
That silver and blue box.
“Ah,” Jungkook smirks, “found it.”
“Jungkook-ah?” Jimin calls from the bed, and Jungkook tries his best to hide the parcel as he practically runs over back to Jimin, kneeling with both his knees on the floor, reaching up to where Jimin is sitting by the edge of the bed.
Jungkook gingerly shows Jimin the box and the older lets out a soft: “Oh.”
Jungkook’s hands are shaking as he unwraps it, the brittle brush of the metallic wrapper the only sound against the silence.
Jungkook pulls out a ring engraved with small, black diamonds on both edge and ebony wood wrapped in the middle.
“I thought the wood in the center is cool.” Jungkook explains, hearing a faint It is from the other. They both smile, Jungkook reaching for Jimin’s hand and inserting the ring gently on the ring finger. “Can you say it again?”
“That you will marry me.” Jungkook looks up at Jimin, both of them still smiling, blush across their faces.
“I will marry you, Jeon Jungkook.”
“Even after what I did?”
“You were being stupid. There’s nothing new in that.”
“I love you.”
“Oh my god.”
Jimin scoots down, kissing Jungkook’s nose and looking at his finger, stroking the smooth surface of the ebony. “I love you Jeon Jungkook.”
Jungkook caresses Jimin’s face, still noticing the swollen circles under and over his eyes and kisses them lightly. “I love you, Park Jimin.”
They both smile again, humming together at a point, until Jimin looks Jungkook in the eyes again. “You know Yoongi-hyung is planning to murder you, right?”
Jungkook groans. “Yeah.”
And they both laugh.