Jungkook's pretty sure he was meant to have left this bullshit behind in high school. It’s all bad high school movie cliches, anyway- university isn't meant to be cliques and hopeless crushes and staring wistfully across the cafeteria. For one, they don't really have a cafeteria here, just a bunch of different cafes surrounding one main seating area, and he's not sure two people count as a clique. The hopeless crush, though? That's still there.
See, the problem is Kim Namjoon. It's always been Kim Namjoon, because Jungkook had a crush on him in first year, when the other boy had a really unfortunate perm and mumbled and wore shirts that were three sizes too big. This year, though? This year, the problem is Kim Namjoon and Min Yoongi.
See, Yoongi apparently discovered his aesthetic during the semester break, and decided that Namjoon would be discovering his aesthetic too. Which means that the two dorky assholes who sit in the back of Jungkook's Philosophy of Language class are now the two hot goth assholes who sit in the back of Jungkook's Philosophy of Language class. Jungkook had already had too many emotions when Namjoon wore visor shades and basketball shorts. How is he meant to deal with Namjoon now? Now he has pink hair and wears black mesh and leather pants, now he wears eyeliner and flouncy white shirts with harnesses, now Jungkook knows that not only does Namjoon own a black leather corset, but that he wears it casually around campus?
The answer, of course, is that he doesn't deal with Namjoon. He watches as Yoongi and Namjoon walk into the classroom holding hands- they look amazing. They look like sexy witches. Maybe Namjoon cursed him, and that's why Jungkook can't think about anything other than his shredded jeans- more hole than denim, fishnets layered underneath that peek through. His shirt is sleek, some kind of shiny grey fabric that clings to him like a second skin, a deep scoop neck revealing almost his entire chest- it's clearly a girl's cut, meant to dip and show cleavage, and on Namjoon it sits close, revealing entirely too much soft looking tan skin for Jungkook's peace of mind. Then, there's the choker. Or, no, it's not a choker. That's a collar. It's thick, black leather- maybe three centimetres thick- with letters strung through the front that read 'MOONCHILD', and Jungkook desperately wants to know what that means. He's not going to ask, though. That would require actually talking to Namjoon, and he can't do that. He couldn't talk to awkward perm-jock Namjoon, he definitely can't talk to hot goth Namjoon. Especially not with Yoongi hanging over his shoulders, glaring at anyone who even looks their way. Yoongi is meant to be small- Jungkook remembers last semester. He's short. He’s always been short. Except, he's got his arm around Namjoon's shoulders, and it looks easy, he's not reaching up. Jungkook's eyes dart down, and- yeah. Okay. He can't talk to Yoongi either, even if he weren't actively repelling company. Jungkook can't talk to hot people. See, Yoongi is wearing heavy platform boots that go up to his knees, all buckles and metal pentagrams and shiny patent leather. They're adding about fifteen centimetres to his height, and he's not even wobbling as he walks. He's wearing bright red pants, a shredded tee-shirt that's less artful rip, and more 'only just not shirtless', and Jungkook's pretty sure he just saw a nipple- a pierced nipple, and that makes his mouth go dry all on its own. Thankfully, he's also wearing a jacket that's more spiked studs than leather, covered in patches and pins- he looks like a particularly punk rock hedgehog. But sexy. Sexy punk rock hedgehog. That's not a thing people say, he thinks desperately, as Yoongi brushes his white hair out of his eyes and pulls Namjoon to a seat, where he throws his legs across Namjoon's lap and crosses his arms, staring at the rest of the class like he's challenging them to say something.
All this, in the first twenty seconds of his eight o'clock class. It's asking a bit much of a man.
Still, everything’s fine, Jungkook is dealing with his crush by wailing into Taehyung's pillow and playing a lot of water polo to get his repression out in a healthy way, and then, then their professor decides that instead of an essay, this semester's final grade will be based on a group project.
And their professor decides to pick their groups at random, pulling names from a hat as he stands in front of the projector, mumbling through hangul like he doesn’t know half the students.
And then, Jungkook gets partnered with Namjoon and Yoongi.
He's thinking about literally tunneling into the earth and living his life as a kind of subterranean mole man when Namjoon vaults over the row dividing them and comes to sit next to him.
"Hi! Jeon Jungkook?"
Jungkook nods silently. He knows his eyes are doing that weird super-wide thing they do when he's scared, but he can't stop it. Namjoon is wearing a skirt today, red plaid over more black fishnets, and his thighs are intensely distracting. There are some blue-ish purple bruises peeking past the hem of the mini-skirt, and Jungkook can’t help thinking about how they must have happened.
"I'm Namjoon, this is Yoongi," he jerks a thumb over his shoulder, to where Yoongi is picking his way through the seats to join them. "We've not met before, have we?"
Jungkook shakes his head.
"Well, it's nice to meet you," Namjoon forges on, but the friendly smile on his face is starting to droop a little, and Jungkook has to do something.
Now. He needs to do something now.
"...It's nice to meet you too," he manages to mumble, and Namjoon's smile brightens again, just in time for Yoongi to join them.
"Jeon, right?" Yoongi says slowly, settling into the seat behind Namjoon, "Let's figure this out, huh? We're going to need to meet up a couple of times a week, so let's compare schedules."
A few times a week? Every week? For the next ten weeks?
Jungkook squeaks, and pulls up his timetable on his laptop. Namjoon leans over one shoulder, and his hair brushes Jungkook's cheek. He smells like hairspray and burnt sugar, and Jungkook freezes in his seat. On his other side, Yoongi leans over too, and Jungkook is suddenly very aware that he pressed between the hot goths he's been staring at. Yoongi smells kind of powdery and clean, like baby powder, or fresh laundry, and it's strange how unexpected that is. Like somehow he thought that if you were tough and sexy, you didn't do laundry.
"Ah," Namjoon says, and reaches forward to tap at Jungkook's screen- his nails are painted, glittery green and black- "There. Tuesday evening, seven o'clock. And Friday morning- eight o'clock. That works for you, right, hyung?"
"Mm, I can rush from basketball," Yoongi nods, and his earring chain brushes Jungkook's shoulder. "This works for you, Jeon?"
"Sure," Jungkook says, "You can, uh, you can call me Jungkook. If you want?"
"Jungkook-ah," Yoongi says lazily, "We’re your hyungs, then. We'll see you. Start thinking about the topic, okay?"
They stand up together, and Namjoon shoots Jungkook a kind smile, obviously sensing his bewilderment.
"We'll see you then, Jungkook!" Namjoon calls, and Yoongi links their arms together, pulling Namjoon towards the door.
It's not like Jungkook doesn't know what he looks like. He dyed his hair a bright cherry red earlier in the semester, but he swims too much and it's faded to a kind of pale, strawberry pink. He likes soft clothes, things a little oversized so he can retreat inside his hoodie if Taehyung asks him about 'that big goth you're in love with', and he's got a face that lends itself towards softness, even though he goes to the gym six times a week. He likes cute things, he likes being around cute things, and he's around himself all day, so he might as well be a cute thing, right? So he looks harmless, and he's okay with that, even if it means several well meaning older girls hang around the door of the study room the first few times he meets up with Yoongi and Namjoon, ready to rescue the poor pastel baby if the mean goths start bullying him. Which is ridiculous, because Jungkook could break them both with a single arm- Yoongi is wan and pale in a Byronic hero kind of way, like he's going to admit he has 'the consumption' and cough dramatically into a handkerchief. Namjoon is a little more physically intimidating, but, Jungkook finds out quickly, he also has the kind of gentle soul that is usually reserved for Disney princesses. In the past month, Jungkook has helped Namjoon drive four lost dogs to the vet, rescue three grounded birds, and met his collection of friendly stray cats. So Jungkook would be fine. He doesn't need Daehyun to hang around and stare at Yoongi accusatively while they try to discuss semantic construction. After a few awkward meetings, Jungkook is pretty sure that nothing would happen anyway- Yoongi and Namjoon are unfailingly, unceasingly, lovely people. Yoongi's a little prickly, but as soon as he realises that Jungkook genuinely enjoys Namjoon's company, and isn't making fun of him, he calms down and starts letting his own friendly side out. It's strange, because they're still really hot and dressed really elaborately, but Jungkook's brain isn't stuck on that anymore. Now, when Namjoon walks into their study room wearing a red velvet blouse under a corset with lace panelling, Jungkook's first thought isn't 'oh god please step on me' - or, well, it is, but it passes much faster- and instead, he goes 'but I thought hyung said he hated that corset because it cuts into his waist'. Which is... weird. But kind of nice. Namjoon isn't an unapproachable figure, anymore. He and Yoongi even sit near Jungkook in class now, rather than hiding in the back corner where nobody else sits. It's... Jungkook isn't sure if nice is the right word. Yoongi likes to hang all over the people he likes, sitting Namjoon on his lap, putting an arm around Jungkook’s shoulders to stroke him lightly. Namjoon says things, sometimes, that make Jungkook’s imagination light up- “You’re cute today, Kookie,” he says, shaking his head as he takes the seat next to him, “you should be careful, you look like a cupcake. If you’re not aware, someone might try to eat you.”- but, well. It's good. Jungkook shakes his head as he takes a seat in the study room, flicking on the lights and plugging in his laptop, connecting it to the big whiteboard. He takes a moment to pull up their study notes, and thinks.
He’s waiting for two people he absolutely adores, but in a far more real way than the way he’d crushed on Namjoon last year. Jungkook shouldn't be surprised by how Namjoon and Yoongi change, now that they're real people, rather than distant figures, though, he guesses. It’s the difference between a celebrity crush, and a crush on a friend. He liked them before for their looks, for their witty answers in class. Now, he likes them because Namjoon makes a weird face when his socks bunch up in his giant boots, because he’s overcome with emotion if Jungkook brings him any kind of sweet treat, because Yoongi’s sense of humour is even better when you’re on the inside of his little clique, because his hands are sure and steady applying Namjoon’s eyeliner, because when he cares, he cares in so many small, oblique, off centre ways, like carrying Jungkook’s favourite protein bars in his bag, like carrying Namjoon’s lactaid even though Yoongi doesn’t have lactose intolerance, like remembering Jungkook doesn’t like it when people touch his neck, like avoiding using the word ‘literally’ to mean figuratively because Namjoon is too hung up on seeming like a cool and laid back linguist to admit it bothers him.
They’re good people, Jungkook thinks absently, rapping his fingers on the desk. He’s glad he knows them. That should be enough, right? That he knows them? That they’re friends? Yoongi and Namjoon are so obviously together, he shouldn’t try and get in the way of that.
"You wouldn't believe this idiot," Yoongi calls from the doorway, and Jungkook spins in his chair. Yoongi is holding the door open for Namjoon, who is on crutches, a bulky brace on his knee, looking very displeased. It's not quite a pout, but it's closer than Jungkook usually sees, and he looks all cute and ruffled in a big black hoodie and basketball shorts, limping into the study room. He's soft and touchable, no make up, no big spiky jewellery, just a hoodie advertising AGUST D and floppy pink hair. Behind him, Yoongi is smirking, strolling along in his usual goth finery, all black leather pants and patched vest, eyeliner smudgy and perfect.
"Hyung, come on. Let me have my pride in front of Kookie, at least," Namjoon whines, moving across the floor on the crutches with perfect precision, as if he's used to them. "I know it was dumb."
"But Jungkook doesn't," Yoongi says, with a kind of glee that makes Jungkook relax. If Namjoon was actually hurt badly, Yoongi wouldn't look nearly so happy, although he does bring a stool over so Namjoon can prop his injured leg up.
"It's okay, Joon-ah," he says, patting Namjoon's head, "you're still cute, at least. Right, Jungkook?"
Jungkook looks at Namjoon, who has folded his arms, chin jutting out stubbornly as Yoongi pushes at his cheeks playfully.
"Yeah, hyung, he's still cute."
Namjoon flushes, going a little pink, and Jungkook feels his own face go red as they stare at each other, unsure.
"He fell down the stairs, because he had his pants around his knees as he was climbing them, because he couldn't figure out how to get his new bondage pants off without help," Yoongi says helpfully, "and cracked his kneecap."
"Hyung!" Namjoon wails, and Jungkook laughs- he can't help it. "Jungkook! I thought you were on my side, here!"
Yoongi slides over to Jungkook and hugs him from behind as he laughs, and Jungkook freezes. Yoongi is cold, far cooler than Jungkook runs, and he smells nice, like he just showered.
"Sorry, Joon, but this kid knows better than to side with the losing team," Yoongi teases, pulling Jungkook in and pressing a kiss to his temple. "Maybe you should get injured less, and Jungkook would appreciate you more."
"I would like it if you stopped getting hurt," Jungkook agrees thoughtfully, putting a finger to his lip like he's mulling the idea over, and Namjoon actually pouts at them.
"This is bullying. You're trying to bully me, because I can't fight you right now."
"You can't fight Jungkook ever," Yoongi says, rolling his eyes. "He could probably bench press you."
"What do you weigh, hyung?" Jungkook asks, and Namjoon blinks.
"Uh, sixty eight?"
"Yeah, I could do that," Jungkook nods, and Namjoon's eyes go really wide.
"I'd say we should test it, but I don't want Namjoon to hurt himself even more," Yoongi says, "I weigh a little less, though, we can try me first."
There's something wicked about the light in Yoongi's eyes, the tilt of his mouth as Jungkook nods and stands up, but he can't quite place what it is. It's not mean, it's not mocking, there's something in his face when he looks at Jungkook that's inviting him to share the joke, and Jungkook shrugs, lying down on the carpet on his back.
"You need to take off your vest though, hyung, I don't want to hurt my hands," he says, and Yoongi throws the denim at Namjoon, who is staring at them blankly, so much so that the vest actually gets him right in the face.
"So how do we do this?" Yoongi asks, putting his hands on his hips, and Jungkook lifts his arms, getting into the right position for a press. He's done this before, at parties- Taehyung really likes showing off how strong he is, to the point Jungkook isn't even surprising when he'll turn up, a trail of doubtful drunk students behind him, grinning, at every event- so he directs Yoongi easily.
"Okay, arms crossed over your chest like a mummy, hold your body as tense as you can, and now lean back, and I'll-"
Yoongi tilts back slowly over Jungkook, and he catches the older man easily, propping him up over his chest. He's not heavy- fifty something kilograms, maybe sixty with the boots- and Jungkook presses him up easily as Namjoon stares, open mouthed.
He does a set of six, and sets Yoongi back on his feet.
Everyone's quiet for a moment, and Jungkook is aware that both Namjoon and Yoongi are looking at him intently, eyes dark, something almost desperate in their eyes. His hands leave Yoongi’s back slowly, tingling from the touch, and it feels like something’s broken. Some kind of barrier is gone, and Jungkook isn’t sure if he wants it back or not.
“Jungkook,” Yoongi says quietly, voice serious, eyes intense, “are you interested in men?”
“Do you like boys?” Yoongi asks again, and Jungkook feels himself flush a little as he stands up, brushing off the backs of his jeans- pastel pink stains like anything, and the library carpet isn’t exactly famed for its cleanliness.
“We’re asking,” Namjoon says slowly, deliberately, “because we’ve been flirting with you for over a month and a half, now, and if you want us to stop, we will.”
“We?” Jungkook asks weakly, and Namjoon nods. Jungkook looks over at Yoongi, who prowls over to Namjoon, accepting his vest back and sliding it on. He slips behind Namjoon, catching him in a back hug, and Namjoon leans back into his touch, balanced carefully on his stool.
“Yeah, Jungkook-ah. We.”
“Together? Both of you?”
They nod, and Yoongi presses a little closer to Namjoon, pressing a kiss to his bare cheek- no makeup today, either- without breaking eye contact with Jungkook.
“And you’ve both…” he trails off, and looks down at his shoes, “...with me?”
“Honestly, I don’t know how much clearer we could be,” Namjoon says frankly, leaning on one elbow, “I wanted to just say something, but hyung said we should be gentle with you.”
Gentle with him? Jungkook swallows hard, and looks back up at them. Yoongi looks smug, and Namjoon looks a little worried, and he doesn’t like either of those looks. They both look like they think they have intimidated him. That he’s overwhelmed. ...And yeah, maybe he’s not at his best, because the two hottest men he’s ever met have just invited him for a threesome, but he’s no blushing virgin, either.
(Taehyung took care of that)
“If anything,” he says slowly, and they both focus on him immediately, “I think I’ll need to be gentle with you. I didn’t realise you two were so delicate.”
Namjoon flushes immediately, ears going red, while Yoongi’s makeup hides his reaction a little better. Still, the smirk is reduced, and Jungkook paces over to them, hands in his hoodie pocket. He comes to a stop just in front of Namjoon, inside his reach, and swallows. This isn’t exactly an easy thing, but hey. He’s spent too long not doing things because they aren’t difficult.
“I like some boys,” he says, and Namjoon smiles a little, just a twitch of his lips, “and I like you two, too.”
“Yeah?” Namjoon asks, and Jungkook nods furiously, all courage draining away.
“You don’t have to be embarrassed,” Yoongi says, sliding out from behind Namjoon and standing just next to them, so they form a kind of ‘C’ shape, “it’s not embarrassing.”
Jungkook lifts his chin a little bit, looking Yoongi in the eyes, summoning his best Taehyung-after-four-drinks impression, all confidence and bright smile.
“So, who’s going to kiss me first?”
Yoongi pushes Namjoon off his stool in a clatter of crutches and steps forward.
“Oh no, Joon-ah’s busy-”
“Yoongi-hyung! Help me up! This isn’t fair! Jungkook, don’t listen to him-”
“I guess I’ll have to do it,” Yoongi says smoothly, stepping up and putting his hands on Jungkook’s waist.
“You’re evil, hyung,” Namjoon pouts from the floor, and Jungkook laughs. “This better not be a preview of what it’s always going to be like.”
“Shh, Joon-ah,” Yoongi says, leaning in towards Jungkook, “I’m being seductive.”
“You’re being the worst hyung,” Namjoon grumbles, awkwardly pulling himself up, and Jungkook leans back from Yoongi.
“Are you okay?”
“No, I’m injured, and I’m betrayed-”
“Would a kiss make it better?” Jungkook asks impishly, stepping back and out of Yoongi’s reach.
“...You know, I think it would,” Namjoon says, grinning, and Yoongi’s jaw drops in outrage.
Jungkook slips over to Namjoon, grabbing him by the waist to give him some extra support, and he blushes a little, resting his hands on Jungkook’s shoulders. It’s weird, Jungkook thinks absently. This seems pretty high school movie, too- the shy, cute boy hooking up with the hot bad boy rebel- except that Namjoon cries over crab documentaries, Yoongi is afraid of spiders, and Jungkook is pretty sure he’s going to be the one calling all the shots.
Movies are overrated.