When Kim Namjoon shows up for their second date, Jeongguk is filled with a strange mixture of dismay and fondness that he’s not sure what to do with.
The thing is: their first date was also the first time they met.
The other thing is: Kim Namjoon is handing him a bouquet of flowers.
They’re fancy flowers. Jeongguk doesn’t know what they’re called, but they’re pink and full and really lovely, and he knows without a single doubt that they’re the same shade as his face at the moment.
“Hi,” Jeongguk says almost blankly. He blinks and takes the flowers. “Hyung. Hi.” This is so much. This is just very very extremely much. Not just the flowers, but the picnic basket he’s holding, the nice black button down and tight pants, the hair swept aside from his face with effortless purpose.
Namjoon looks... well, he looks incredible. Jeongguk already knew he was handsome—seriously handsome—from their first date, and before that from the photos Hoseok and Taehyung showed him. It feels a little superficial, but that’s definitely what tipped the scales as he weighed the pros and cons of giving in to letting them set him up with Namjoon after months of hounding.
(It is not, however, the reason he agreed to the second date. But more on that later.)
“Hi.” Namjoon’s smile is. Okay, it’s incredible.
Jeongguk looks down at himself. He’s dressed about how he was Sunday, for their first date, in a t-shirt and jeans. Sunday he wore a black shirt and black jeans, but today he’s wearing yellow, and tucked into a light pair of jeans. “Um,” he says, looking down at himself and then at Namjoon. “I should change.”
“No!” Namjoon exclaims, “You look great.” It’s entirely earnest.
Jeongguk manages to shake himself to waking and finally step out of the doorway of his apartment. “You do too,” he says, trying to avoid eye contact as he shuts the door so Namjoon doesn’t see his face flame. He’s being haunted by the realization that on top of being handsome and an incredibly nice person, Namjoon is also sexy. And he brought Jeongguk flowers. Jeongguk doesn’t stand a chance.
“Do you mind walking?” Namjoon asks him. “We aren’t going far.”
“Not at all.”
Outside is nice. It’s an overcast day, but in the just-cooling part of summer the silver stretch of sky is welcome, and the breeze that ruffles their hair is just the right kind of warm.
“It’s such a beautiful day,” Namjoon says, smiling into the breeze. He holds his picnic basket in the crook of his elbow, which Jeongguk can’t imagine is very comfortable. But with the other hand Namjoon reaches for his, which puts everything else out of his mind with alarming speed.
It’s not that Jeongguk hasn’t held hands with people before. It’s not even really that he’s against holding hands on the second date. It’s—the ease Namjoon’s carrying himself with, bringing Jeongguk flowers, telling him he looks good, smiling sweetly at him, holding his hand.
“You didn’t have to do all this,” Jeongguk says after several failed attempts at starting the same sentence, mostly in his head but a couple, embarrassingly, out loud.
Namjoon’s voice is audibly pained when he says, “Yes, I did.”
Jeongguk groans to himself, heating with shame. He presses the back of the hand with the flowers in it to his cheek. “No, really. That... Sunday was at least as much my fault as yours.”
“I’m not willing to hash this out right now,” Namjoon says, squeezing his hand and giving him a little smile. Jeongguk hears him—it’s him saying don’t worry about it but trying to put it on himself. He really is too nice for his own good.
“Okay,” Jeongguk says. He holds the flowers closer, still unbearably warm with the idea that this handsome guy went to all this trouble for him on their second date.
It gets worse when they get where they’re going.
Namjoon brings them to a park, to the edge of a pond. They walk along it, away from the pavilions and tables, away from the little gaggle of preschool girls having tea and the high school age boy and girl awkwardly flirting.
All at once things feel very private; they’re under a thick canopy of trees, wind rustling the leaves. The sun is peeking through the clouds, just for a bit, and the ground Namjoon spreads his picnic blanket on is dappled with it.
“Is this okay?” Namjoon asks as Jeongguk leans back and stretches his legs out. His flowers are set neatly beside him.
“This is great.” Jeongguk smiles up at him, and he takes the cue to sit, cross-legged.
Then Namjoon opens his picnic basket, and once again Jeongguk is blown away, that same mixture of dismayed and endeared.
He has brought so much food, insulated to be kept warm and cold respectively. It looks like he’s even brought ice cream.
“Oh my god,” Jeongguk says.
“What?” Namjoon asks in alarm. “Are you allergic to something?”
Jeongguk huffs in disbelief. “No, this is just a lot of food.”
“I owe you,” Namjoon says, sounding a little desperate to be agreed with.
And Jeongguk gets where he’s coming from. Namjoon’s been so lovely. He obviously put a lot of thought into this date. The sun is starting to go down, golden light jumping off the water, a warm breeze blowing on them. Tons of food, an extra blanket, dessert. A bluetooth speaker he plays music softly on.
He gets it. But he thinks Namjoon is doing a lot to make up for their first date, and that he probably doesn’t realize how much all of it is very romance-coded. This isn’t casual dating material. Jeongguk feels entirely like he’s being wooed.
Namjoon doesn’t seem to realize this, and yeah—he gets it. Namjoon feels like he has a lot to make up for, because what happened on their first date was pretty humiliating.
It happened like this: Hoseok and Taehyung had been on Jeongguk’s back for all of months to let them set him up with their friend. Kim Namjoon. Very handsome, smart, good listener, long legs, extremely caring, big dick.
(“How do you know that?” Taehyung asked, frowning at Hoseok, who shrugged like it happens.
“I am indifferent to that piece of information,” Jeongguk told them. “Small dick rights.”)
They cornered him one day, with receipts on how long it’d been since he’d gone on a date. First of all he was embarrassed by that, and second of all he was dismayed by their dedication. But ultimately, though they presumably get pretty freaky in bed, Taehyung and Hoseok are good people, and he figured anyone they wanted him to go out with this bad must be, too. So he agreed.
Namjoon was lovely. He was friendly enough to make Jeongguk feel comfortable and even handsomer than he’d been led to believe. He had a lot to say but he listened well, asked the kind of questions that Jeongguk has always wished people would ask him and questions he never considered being asked.
He was good, he was interesting, he was kind, and truth be told Jeongguk was already at the beginning of being enamored. He was a little annoyed that Hoseok and Taehyung were certainly going to hold this over his head if he and Namjoon kept going out, but he’d already decided that Namjoon was worth it.
Their dinner came to a close slowly, and by that time Jeongguk was entirely ready to ask Namjoon for dessert—the food kind—until the bill came.
He can’t really remember how they came to the realization that neither of them had money on them. He thinks he may have blocked out the memory. All he knows is that his card was in the pocket of his leather jacket, which was lying over the back of his couch at home, and he had almost no cash on him.
Namjoon was quick to assure him he would take care of it, and Jeongguk had the zinging kind of relief that comes with uncomfortable adrenaline. Then Namjoon was patting himself down with alarming urgency, and the panic was back.
There was a lot of under the breath swearing and even more mortified apologizing (“I am so, so sorry,” said Namjoon, and apologized many times over even after Jeongguk said “No, this is my fault too, I’m sorry.”), and then Namjoon insisted that he would go home and get his wallet.
“I live really nearby,” he said. “I can be back in twenty minutes or so, quicker if I book it.”
As much as Jeongguk didn’t want to sit at their table alone for twenty minutes, he had to admit Namjoon’s idea was the best they had; he lived far enough it would take him closer to forty minutes to be back. So Namjoon went, apologizing again and wrinkling his nose at Jeongguk, which was actually a bit of a comfort.
And Jeongguk waited.
The twenty minutes passed like hours. He almost pulled out his phone to text Hoseok and Taehyung, but he figured they would be suspicious about what was going on.
Ten more minutes passed, then fifteen. The server came by to check on him and awkwardly he said, “Oh, I’m just waiting on my date, he went home to get his wallet. I’m collateral.” It was a joke, but it fell flat, and with a sinking feeling Jeongguk realized it was because of the words he and my date together. So he sat there feeling a little miserable, a lot embarrassed, not wanting dessert anymore.
Forty minutes passed before he gave in. He didn’t have Namjoon’s number, which sucked, but he was almost thankful to have no excuse not to text Hoseok and Taehyung. He wanted to see a familiar face.
Jeongguk didn’t try to think about where Namjoon was, because dealing with his embarrassment would be much more difficult when he came to the conclusion that he’d been ditched. Hoseok and Taehyung showed up in confusion, and the fury that drew Hoseok’s face when he saw him sitting alone was frankly terrifying.
“What happened?” he asked, already pulling his card out of his wallet.
Jeongguk mumbled his explanation. Hoseok looked more confused on hearing it, but promised he would call Namjoon after Jeongguk was home.
They left the restaurant. Jeongguk was tired and ready to go home. It was Sunday. He had to work the next day. He wanted to go straight to bed.
Then right as they got outside Namjoon came, half jogging and half walking, long limbs moving in a tight rhythm.
He saw Hoseok and Taehyung and full-body cringed, which—yeah, Jeongguk understood that. He would rather never ever tell Hoseok and Taehyung what happened, too.
“Fuck, fuck,” he swore, not even bothering to keep it under his breath now. He hardly looked at Hoseok and Taehyung, just straight at Jeongguk. “I’m so, so sorry. I was on my way back and I ran into a woman who was hysterical because she couldn’t find her son and—yeah, I’m so sorry, I—” he cut off, glancing at Hoseok and Taehyung. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
Jeongguk glanced at Hoseok, who shrugged. The shrug was a hear him out if you want to, I can’t make you. Hoseok knew Namjoon. He would hear him out. “Yeah, okay,” he said.
He followed Namjoon a little way down the street, just out of earshot. He held his arms a little protectively around his body, which lit up the pained look on Namjoon’s face.
“I’m seriously so, so sorry,” Namjoon said immediately. He didn’t even bother trying to convince Jeongguk that his story was true. He looked at him pleadingly.
“Hey, no harm, no foul,” Jeongguk said. He wasn’t really sure what he was saying. He just kind of wanted to go home. He was embarrassed, and still warm with it. “Was on both of us. I didn’t... I promise I didn’t forget my card on purpose.”
Namjoon gave him a crooked little smile. “I know you didn’t. I didn’t either. Please let’s... please let me try again.”
“Try again?” Jeongguk blinked.
“Just think about it. I’ll give you my number. Text me if you’re up for it. If not, I’ll leave you alone.” Namjoon looked hopeful, and Jeongguk—Jeongguk wasn’t sure what he thought. He hadn’t expected Namjoon to want to go out again. He doesn’t deal well with embarrassment, so he tends to assume others don’t, either. But Namjoon clearly wanted to make this better, for both of them.
So Jeongguk took his number, accepted his very fervent apology, apologized again himself, and said goodbye.
Namjoon walked off with a wave to Hoseok and Taehyung, who waved back while looking curiously after him. Jeongguk rejoined them, and Hoseok said, “Well?”
“Are you going to see him again?” Taehyung asked expectantly.
Jeongguk gave a long sigh. “He really helped a lady find her kid, didn’t he?”
Hoseok shook his head with a little smile. “There’s no one else in the world I would believe with that story.”
Jeongguk looked after Namjoon’s retreating figure. As if he felt him watching, Namjoon turned around to give him a shy, apologetic little smile and wave. Jeongguk waved back, thinking about the number in his phone, and he sighed again. “Yeah,” he said, feeling a little incredulous. “I will.”
Now he’s embarrassed in a different way, in the warm, sweet way that comes with being spoiled. And he is being spoiled. He’s being romanced, for god’s sake.
The sun is lower in the sky, and the world is dimming into golden hour, so the streetlights around come on, and then so do the string lights strung along the edge of the pond.
“This is,” Jeongguk begins, but he doesn’t finish, because the end of his sentence is ‘very romantic’ and there’s an irrational part of him that thinks Namjoon might startle if he realizes how romantic all this is.
Namjoon doesn’t notice his awkward trailing, though; he says eagerly, “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I love the lights. Are you hungry?”
Jeongguk is always hungry, but now the time is nearing eight, and it’s been hours since he’s had anything to eat, so his stomach answers loudly on his behalf.
Namjoon laughs. “Okay.” And he starts to open his containers of food.
“This is so much food,” Jeongguk says in something like disbelief, accepting a bowl and allowing Namjoon to begin filling it.
“I didn’t make it,” Namjoon assures him. “Sorry if that’s disappointing, but I promise you wouldn’t want that.”
Jeongguk cracks a smile. “I’ll accept the assurance. It smells amazing.” They both settle back to eat, and Namjoon begins to ask Jeongguk about his week.
Jeongguk is not all that good at the question-asking, getting-to-know-each-other part of dating. That’s a big part of why it had been so long since he’d been on a date. The last few times he found it awkward, not very enjoyable. It’s been a while since getting to know someone has excited him.
He knows, or has an inkling at least, that Namjoon is going to excite him. He thinks he got the idea of it on their first date—or, knows he did, otherwise he wouldn’t have agreed to this one.
And Namjoon is good at this, good at it in a special way that means he’s still a little awkward, but in a comforting way. He’s a little awkward, and a lot lovely, and he remembers everything Jeongguk already told him and asks questions about them. He’s graceful when Jeongguk tries to turn the conversation to him but doesn’t quite know how, and he speaks so easily that the questions come, more naturally now.
The music playing softly in the background isn’t distracting until it is—until they’re finished eating and the beat is suddenly more sensual, and the sun is nearly down, and nearly everyone around has gone. Jeongguk jerks his head to look at Namjoon, who just looks back with his eyebrows raised, asking silently if everything’s okay.
Jeongguk nearly laughs out loud, but he just presses his lips together and nods when Namjoon offers the ice cream, having brought all Jeongguk’s favorite toppings, presumably having been advised by his friends, which is really sweet. He can hardly believe Namjoon, but at the same time he’s not at all surprised. He’s probably the only person Jeongguk would believe this from. Namjoon has no idea how romantic this date has been.
It’s much chillier now in the dimmer world. Jeongguk shivers at the combination of the breeze and the ice cream.
“Oh, you’re cold,” Namjoon says. He unfolds his extra blanket, scoots a little closer, and drapes it over both of their shoulders.
Jeongguk feels like he is going to combust. Namjoon’s arm is pressed to his. He can feel the heat of his body. This is so much—almost too much—but so good.
And, yeah. Jeongguk is going to want to go out with him again. That, and he wants a kiss.
They finish their ice cream. Then Jeongguk leans back on his hands and smiles at Namjoon, and tells him finally, “Kim Namjoon-ssi, this has been the most romantic date I’ve ever been on.”
That’s when it comes home. Faces lit dim yellow by the string lights, music playing in the background, flowers— Namjoon’s mouth opens just slightly.
And then it starts to rain.
The first raindrop hits Jeongguk’s face and he laughs out loud without meaning to.
“Oh my god,” Namjoon exclaims. “I didn’t check the forecast, oh my god. I’m so sorry.” He hurries to pack the picnic basket and stash his speaker inside.
“This is not your fault,” Jeongguk says. He grins and stands up, then holds out his hand for Namjoon.
Namjoon frowns up at him from a funny crouch, starting to gather up the blanket. “What?”
Jeongguk’s smile grows. “Dance with me.”
Namjoon’s face goes red. The raindrops get bigger. “Dance?”
Namjoon looks embarrassed but pleased as he takes one of Jeongguk’s hands, puts the other on his shoulder. His hair is already sticking to his face. He follows Jeongguk’s lead, grinning as they dance.
Jeongguk twirls him, and Namjoon laughs as he pulls him back in. He doesn’t stop laughing, clutching at both of Jeongguk’s shoulders. Jeongguk grins and holds him around his waist.
“This was way too much, ” Namjoon yells over the sound of the rain. It’s pouring now. Their hair is soaked, shirts sticking to their skin, but neither of them can stop laughing. The deep belly-laugh against him just makes Jeongguk laugh harder.
“This was so much,” Jeongguk agrees. “You didn’t know.”
“I didn’t mean to.” Namjoon is blushing furiously, looking sheepish.
Jeongguk’s chest shakes with laughter. Namjoon is so close to him now, they’re nearly chest to chest. “Kiss me.”
Namjoon falters. “Really?”
“Are you kidding? This has been the most romantic date of my life.” Jeongguk can feel his eyes shining fondly as he looks at Namjoon.
Namjoon laughs softly again. “Kissing in the rain is very romantic.”
“Can’t miss this opportunity,” Jeongguk agrees.
“You’re so beautiful,” Namjoon says, and moves his hands to Jeongguk’s face, “in every way.”
Jeongguk huffs, still smiling so big. “Shut up.” He tilts his face up.
Namjoon meets him, presses their lips together gently. Neither of them can stop smiling for the first moment of the kiss, sweet with the tense kind of hesitation that comes with knowing something will be very good.
Then Jeongguk’s mouth opens under Namjoon’s and they slide together, wet, with fat raindrops bursting between them, soaking them to the skin. Namjoon is a slow, attentive kisser. When Jeongguk gets a peek of his face, his brow is furrowed so cutely in concentration, he can’t help but huff a little laugh.
Namjoon gives a little breath of protest and follows his mouth, kissing intently with strokes of his tongue so slow and purposeful that it sends a shiver up Jeongguk’s neck. He sucks lightly at Jeongguk’s lower lip, and he groans, just barely a small enough sound to get swallowed up by the rain.
Namjoon pulls back. Jeongguk blinks the rain out of his eyes to look at him. “Don’t stop now,” he breathes. “We were going so strong.”
He’ll admit kissing in the rain has been more of a hindrance than anything, and pretty soon he’s going to be uncomfortable in his soaking wet clothes, but for now he just grins at Namjoon’s little incredulous huff.
Namjoon dips his head, and his nose brushes Jeongguk’s neck. “Can I?”
“Oh, god yeah,” Jeongguk breathes, and Namjoon presses his mouth to his neck. He kisses soft and open-mouthed, lips dragging over his skin, and Jeongguk tilts his head without realizing it. He tangles his fingers in Namjoon’s wet hair. “I’m,” he begins, “okay—” he pulls Namjoon back up to press their mouths together.
“I want to see you again,” Namjoon says against his mouth.
“Yeah, yeah,” Jeongguk agrees, breathless. He’s still got an arm around Namjoon’s waist, and he pulls back just enough to see him. Rain is dripping down both their faces. “Shit,” he says, “let’s get out of here. Come on.” He pulls back, catching Namjoon’s hand. Then he gives him a little smile. “This time I live near. You can come over and get dry.”
Namjoon stalls, eyebrows raised and eyes wide. “Oh?”
“Not like that,” Jeongguk laughs and gives him a little smack to the chest. “I will make you tea, though.”
“Okay,” Namjoon grins. They start on their way back to Jeongguk’s apartment, a blanket held over both their heads, completely soaked. “I guess I’ve done worse things than plan a really overzealous second date, huh?”
Jeongguk shakes his head. His hair is a mess and he can feel how flushed he is, but he’s really never had a better time on a second date. “Yeah, you got lucky,” he teases.
Namjoon laughs and steals a kiss. “I can live with that.”