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Poetry for the Little Things

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Jeon Jungkook can be associated with a camera—the heavy device hanging around his neck all day, eyes wandering around the school campus looking for a subject to capture. At the same interval, the photography major can be seen with his jolly friend known as Hoseok—a social butterfly who landed on a white, innocent flower: a literature student named Yoongi, also known as his roommate.  His reputation precedes him, despite being a student he keeps on getting random photography jobs that sometimes pay too little or too well. There’s no in between.

     He’s willing to give all that up—except Hoseok, of course—just to get involved with Park Jimin, the cute literature student who’s been the subject of his eyes two tables away in the library.

     Jungkook and libraries—two separate realms that shouldn’t be linked to one another—and yet, Jungkook was here for Jimin, not for the damn books.

Speaking of Jimin, his nose is stuck on another classic novel written by a novelist whose name doesn’t ring any bell. Anyone can tell that Jimin’s head is focused on the fictional world the novel has got to offer. Jungkook watches Jimin’s concentrated stance, liking the view and the slimming possibility of being caught red-handed. Sometimes, Jimin wouldn’t move for an hour straight, too absorbed by the book he reads and Jungkook took advantage of it to the fullest, watching the literature student from afar with contentment.

Jungkook would get greedy, of course. There are days when he’s tempted to snap a picture, fingers itching to reach for his camera. He would resist the urge, letting countless opportunities pass away like how Jimin would make his way out of the library after a good read, much to Jungkook’s reluctance.

“You know, staring at him won’t do any good,” Jungkook almost drops a loud cuss when Taehyung suddenly whispers in his ear. He works as a student assistant in the library and he’s a good friend of Hoseok, that’s all Jungkook knows about the boy. “Just go and talk to him, really.”

“I thought talking to students isn’t included in the job description,” said Jungkook.

“Grumpy,” Taehyung snorts. “You’re here to read, not to ogle at Jimin.”

“He’s a great read,” Jungkook shrugs. “Besides you know that I’m not a reader.”

“I know, so beat it Jeon. This is the library, not a museum,” Taehyung shoos him away accompanied with the classic hand gesture.

“Grumpy,” Jungkook mirrors Taehyung’s word with a teasing grin. “You’re still working despite the exams coming up?”

“Exams can’t pay a concert ticket,” Taehyung stacks the books other students have left behind. “Besides, I can have the whole library for a whole night if I want to study. The librarian gave me a spare key. I heard from Hoseok that you guys have some exhibition coming up.”

“Yeah,” Jungkook sighs. “Hoseok already decided on a theme.”

“And you’re in a slump?” Taehyung inquires.

The photography student stole a glance at Jimin before answering. “Let’s just say that the circumstances aren’t in my favor.”

Taehyung seems to get the drift. “Oh.”

“Taehyungie!”

A familiar voice called Taehyung, it was Jimin’s. He’s holding the book that keeps him busy since the last hour. A wide smile etched on his face—so that novel is a good read, huh?—Jimin must’ve forgotten that he’s in the library for his voice was rather loud but luckily, the librarian is gone. There were only two people in the library aside from him: Taehyung and Jimin. However, Jimin’s smile falters when he saw Jungkook.

Taehyung gazes at Jungkook with a worried expression, and he only replied with a small smile. He stands up and waves a small goodbye to Taehyung. Before he made his exit to the library, Jungkook stares at Jimin who’s too quick to avoid his eyes. He left the place as pessimistic thoughts began swarming his brain.

If there’s one predicament on being Jeon Jungkook, it’s the fact that Jimin reacts way differently around him. There are times where Jimin would look at him like he’s someone out of his league: a hopeless gaze—which is ridiculous because all Jimin needs to do is reciprocate his damn feelings back.

Sometimes, Jimin looks sad or he doesn’t look at all.

That’s why he was more than willing to give it all up—because being Jeon Jungkook puts him into a disadvantage, the statement tastes bitter against his tongue.

Each step to the dormitory feels heavy, energy leaving his toned body with each effort he exerted. At this point, all Jungkook needs was his bed and pillows—moreover, his precious sleep.

Yoongi yells at him as soon as he made it to their shared room, giving Jungkook a chorus and disco of scattered shoes on the rack but he’s clearly not listening. His roommate stopped midway the lecture when he saw Jungkook’s desolate features. Yoongi wasted no time to grab his phone on the coffee table—damn it, Jungkook realizes. Not again!

“Alright, spill it kid. I have to finish printing those pictures,” Hoseok stared at Jungkook worriedly, contrasting the urgency his voice held.

“Jimin is being Jimin again,” Taehyung replies, eating a big spoonful of Yoongi’s chocolate ice cream that earned a glare from the owner. “I trust you guys won’t tell him that I called him a dumbbell.”

“I don’t get it. You guys don’t have much of an interaction,” Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Yet Jimin is acting like you broke his heart or something.”

“You can’t bother people like this whenever I feel down, hyung,” Jungkook mumbles stubbornly. “Everybody has their cold days. It’ll pass.”

“No, this is the last time. I have to talk to Jimin. He can’t let this whole charade going on, whatever that is.”

“Yoongi hyung!” Jungkook protested. “Don’t make things as awkward as it is!”

“Jungkook’s right,” Hoseok says as he eyes Yoongi. “Besides, you have your own assignment to worry about.”

“Damn, I forgot!” Yoongi exclaims, retreating to his room. He carries a laptop bag and set everything up in the living room. “Fuck Namjoon and literature.”

Taehyung chuckled. “Did you just diss Professor Namjoon and your major?”

“Stop playing innocent,” Jungkook manages to feel a little better by teasing Taehyung. “You’ve had your own share of pent-up complaints, too.”

Yoongi continue to rant, not minding the two boys. “We’re supposed to post a stanza on Twitter under a specific hashtag while tagging Professor Namjoon for two straight weeks. I have to apologize in advance for the high quality poetic content you’ll see later on.”

Hoseok reached to Yoongi, kissing his forehead. “Sweep me off my feet with your work, babe. As much as I’d like to stay, I have to develop those photos. You better start with your project, Jungkook.”

He gave Hoseok a thumbs-up despite not having a single idea on where to start. Jungkook lies through his teeth. He already has a plan on mind and it’s on the verge of getting trashed—because it involves Jimin’s participation. Damn his greed for getting what he wants.

Jungkook lays on his bed, evident with the comfortable smile on his features. Taehyung left his room an hour ago after narrating his Jimin experience, which left him wishing that Jimin could talk to him freely like Taehyung. The wishful thinking is supposed to drive Jungkook all sentimental but recalling all the hours he could freely watch Jimin in his natural and unguarded self was enough to drive the bad thoughts away—momentarily.

He grabs the phone on his bedside table and scrolls to his Twitter feed. He follows five people in total: two professors and three students—including Jimin.

He saw consecutive tweets of selfies from Professor Kim Seokjin, his photography teacher. Jungkook acknowledges that the man is indeed blessed by the Heavens but the #WorldwideHandsome tempts him for countless times to unfollow but figured out he’d do it after graduation.

Taehyung tweets a picture of his dog filled with violet heart emojis along with the #Yeontan.

Hoseok tweets a stolen picture of Yoongi and Taehyung replied whipped.

Jimin, as usual, doesn’t tweet much.

He hasn’t heard from Professor Namjoon.

So in conclusion, it was normal per se.

Jungkook isn’t a social media enthusiast but he got a good number of followers despite not tweeting anything—the sorcery.

He locked his phone and drifted into a deep slumber.

He didn’t hear the phone vibrating against the table, his screen lighting up as a notification pops up from the only Twitter account that matters to him.


 

 

     “Good morning. We have a surprise quiz today. Take out your notebook.”

     Whines filled the room as soon as Professor Seokjin dropped the bomb. He’s always been a top banana in the shock department.

Jungkook takes out his notebook, silently praying that he can at least attain a passing score. Hoseok, on the other hand, looks collected and calm. He can see the anger Professor Seokjin is trying to hide. Who dared mess up Mr. Kim’s morning? They’re the unwilling victims of his wrath, someone take responsibility!

     “Don’t even think of cheating your way on getting a high score,” the professor warns with a warm motherly smile. “I’ll get back at you on the exhibition next month. Trust me; it’s not going to be pretty in your records.”

     The warning was more than enough to put the whole class in their best examination behavior.

     Jungkook crinks his strained neck as soon as the bell rings. Professor Seokjin skims through the notebooks with a small smile when he left the room, Hoseok trailing him from behind.

     “Damn,” Hoseok cusses as soon as they’re a good distance away. “I don’t know the answers at all!”

     Jungkook shoots him a confused stare. “I thought you know all the answers.”

     Hoseok only laughs.

     In a distance, he can see Yoongi and Jimin making their way to their direction. Jungkook hits Hoseok rather hard, leaving the other yelp in pain.

     “What’s the matter with—oh,” Hoseok grins as soon as he saw the two incoming literature majors. “This is so much fun.”

     “Hoseok!” Yoongi shouted loudly despite his small figure and the close talking distance. Jimin follows behind like a meek lamb. “Professor Namjoon gave us a surprise quiz.”

     “Well, Professor Seokjin did a number on us, too,” replies Jungkook.

     Jimin looks at him and grins, catching Jungkook off guard. “The two Kims must’ve argued on something childish again.”

     “That confirms my theory,” Yoongi licks his lips. “This is downright injustice.”

     “Cool down, babe,” Hoseok chuckles. “Don’t be a theorist. All you need is an iced americano.”

     “Why don’t we all go to the coffee shop, then?” Yoongi suggested.

     “I don’t drink coffee,” Jimin and Jungkook say simultaneously, staring at one another but Jimin was the first to break the session. The younger hides the distress he feels.

     Hoseok gave Jungkook a teasing look before holding Yoongi’s hand. “Suit yourselves, then. I’ll be stealing Yoongi for a bit. Enjoy each other’s company.”

     Jungkook watched their figure on the hallway getting small as they walk further from where he stands, suddenly regretting his honest outburst about coffee. He would endure the bitter taste for all that he cares. As much as Jungkook wanted to be with Jimin, if it means sharing an awkward atmosphere, he would rather distance himself away. If there’s one thing that Jungkook wanted in the whole wide world, it was Jimin’s smile.

     And Jungkook is willing to do anything to make Jimin happy.

     Even if it means sacrificing his own.

     “I’m sorry, hyung,” Jungkook muster a friendly smile. “Something came up.”

     It was all lies. He’s aware that Jimin knows, he’s not dumb enough to buy such dense propaganda. The older’s face fell into disappointment, as if he’s expecting something from Jungkook. It was too late for the younger to amend the situation because Jimin replied.

     “You can say directly to me that you’re not available to keep me company, just to let you know,” it was meant to sound like a joke but Jimin gave Jungkook an offended stare, making the younger regret twice in one day.

     Jungkook wasn’t able to defend himself because Jimin walked away, leaving him speechless.

     He ends up skipping the rest of his classes as he runs back to his room, tossing his shoes aside and buried his face into his favorite pillow, just in time for his tears to cascade.

Jungkook wonders why Jimin looks at him like he’s the last thing he wanted to see—like he’s the one driving Jimin sad.

Soon enough sleep catches on him—forgetting his messed-up day, indulging on a peaceful illusion away from the upcoming exhibition and Jimin.

“What the fuck did you do this time?”

Jungkook stirs from his sleep as he hears Yoongi’s angry voice outside his room. He was about to answer his roommate but he heard another voice retorting that sounds so calm, collected, familiar—Jimin.

“That’s none of your business, Yoongi.”

“This is partially my business,” Yoongi hisses. “Because I’m getting involved even though I don’t want to.”

“Let’s talk some other time,” Jimin replied, feigning sarcasm. “Clear your head a little, then we’ll talk. See you later.”

Jungkook hears Jimin’s footsteps and the sound of closing the door. Yoongi cusses for a good minute before retreating back to his room, based on the loud bang of the door. He pretends not to hear everything and seeks for his phone instead. After fishing it out of his slacks’ pocket, he placed it on the bedside table before changing into his comfortable clothes: a white, oversized shirt and basketball shorts—nothing out of the ordinary.

The younger opened the Twitter app, scrolling for tweets that don’t interest him until he sees one that changed his mood for today.

Jimin tweeted.

Park fucking Jimin remembered that he has a Twitter account and he finally tweeted last night.  Jungkook saw Yoongi’s reply under said tweet. His roommate’s words from last night flashed on his mind like a subway. Jimin tweeted because his project requires him to but that’s the last thing Jungkook was concerned of—the stanza of the poem beguiles him the most.

Jungkook’s expertise isn’t written pieces of art, it was photography. Yet Jungkook doesn’t need to be a genius to realize that Jimin dedicated a whole verse to someone—a man.

His mood quickly changed from 100 to 0. Jungkook coolly admits, he’s a little jealous right now. Just the thought of Jimin writing the poem with a man in his mind was enough to drive Jungkook more jealous.

As much as he wanted to retreat to his dreams, it wasn’t even dark outside yet. It’s too early to go to sleep again.

The clock in his phone displayed 11:30 am, reminding him that he didn’t eat his lunch yet. He’s not in the mood to go out and was about to call delivery when someone knocked his bedroom door.

“Jungkook?” Yoongi calls out. “You want to eat lunch?”

“I was about to call for a Chinese takeout,” Jungkook replies.

“Someone was kind enough to give you ramen at this hour,” the older says.

Jungkook went out of his room and Yoongi was right. A big bowl of unopened ramen lies on the coffee table, waiting to be eaten.

Jungkook thinks of someone who could’ve bought him ramen. Not Taehyung—he’s been saving up for a local concert of a band he keeps track of (but Jungkook don’t). Not Hoseok—he spoils Yoongi with his riches. And definitely not Yoongi—that hyung buys lamb skewers whenever he feels like treating Jungkook.

So who could’ve given him ramen?

“Jungkook,” Yoongi calls him twice this day, snapping out his reverie. “If you’re not going to eat, then I will. I have afternoon classes. Spare me with your moping snippet.”

He eventually laughs at Yoongi’s antics, as he gets a smaller bowl to eat the ramen in portions. As he chews the noodles, Jungkook’s mind wanders about the poem. All of the possible interpretations that the poem offers only fuel his jealousy. After a second helping, he decided to ask Yoongi who is quietly eats his food.

“Hyung, is there some sort of poem interpretation?”

“Literary analysis,” Yoongi corrects him. “There are a few approaches that I’m aware of.”

“I’m curious about Jimin hyung’s poem.”

Yoongi chocked on his ramen. Jungkook passed a glass of water to him, immediately gulping the cool liquid in one go.

“You should’ve told me at a proper timing,” Yoongi was still coughing. “If we’re going to have this kind of talk, we need a pen and a paper.”

With that agenda in mind, both boys ate in silence. As soon as the dirty dishes were deposited on the sink, Yoongi sat cross-legged on the floor with a pen and paper on the coffee table while Jungkook sits on the couch, facing Yoongi. Jungkook let the older borrow his phone, displaying a screenshot of Jimin’s tweet.

“The first line,” Yoongi began. “There are two plausible interpretations: someone was watching Jimin with that kind of expression or it’s the other way around: Jimin was watching someone with the same expression.

Staring at you like a headline is a bit tricky to explain. Headlines are usually the important and the eye-catching part of the newspaper. Basically, you can say that Jimin is staring at someone because of their striking features or that person was important to him in one way or another. Then again, it can be the other way around because the perspective isn’t defined.

The third line is an irony. So good to be true as reality is a neat way of stating that truth is stranger than fiction. The final line simply says that the man can do things well, defying gravity was an exaggeration. Do you understand?”

Jungkook nods, despite having additional questions. He realizes once again that he wasn’t cut out to understand literature. How could Yoongi derive such analysis from a stanza of poem? Literatures students must be pure geniuses.

“I have to go to class,” Yoongi grabs his bag with a noncommittal stare. “Don’t get holed up in here and attend your classes!”

He retorted. “I’m free for the rest of the afternoon.”

“Then you better get your ass moving on that exhibit project of yours. Hoseok will beat you like what he did last year,” Yoongi wears his shoes and went out of their shared space.

Jungkook used to be motivated whenever Yoongi cheers for him instead of Hoseok but the thoughts of Jimin writing a fucking stanza for some other man riles his jealousy to the highest peak. He gets competitive over Hoseok on every single thing that allows competition but he’s not in the mood. He heaves a cuss as he gather his camera, moping won’t do him any good.

However when Jungkook opened the door, he didn’t expect Jimin leaning on the railings of the dormitory. The older clearly don’t give two fucks that Jungkook lives on the fourth floor; the height didn’t faze him at all. He can feel his fingers slowly working on his camera. As the lens aimed directly at Jimin, he looked through them just in time Jungkook presses the button.

He already let go of the camera, let it hang around his neck while fixing a gaze at Jimin, expecting the older to look away but he didn’t.

Jimin stares at Jungkook still—like he’s the only one he sees, like he’s important— staring at him like a headline.

His eyes were filled with intensity that Jungkook can’t grasp, much less describe it. The atmosphere was tight with tension, but it wasn’t awkward. Jimin feels it as much as Jungkook does; nevertheless both are cowards for not taking the risk.

But Jungkook had enough.

He’s tired of the push and pull. Maybe it was right to be a tad bit greedy all along.

“Hyung,” he musters the courage to ask the magic question. “Will you be my muse?"

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook isn’t accustomed to be brave under realistic circumstances such as microwaves and party poppers—to name a few. He can handle amusement scares and horror films—basically any hideous fictional monsters Hollywood got to offer. That’s why he prefers the stupid revolting movies than actual comedy—being stupid is annoying but it has its humorous perks. But it’s not the main point as of now.

Nervous was an understatement, Jungkook is scared—because Jimin is silently keeping his eyes on him after he asked the magic question.

He’s scared of the probability of making the situation much more awkward than it is and at the same line, Jungkook hopes for a miniscule chance for it to happen eventually. What a foolish thought, screams Jungkook’s mind. He’s a fool, so it can’t be helped to think that way.

He was about to take his words back, label the question as a failed attempt of coming up with an icebreaker (which is downright absurd because both of them knows that it wasn’t a conversation starter at all) when Jimin speaks with his usual high-pitched voice, his messy black hair making him look extra cute—which is obviously a bad sign for Jungkook’s weak heart for adorable things, especially someone named Park Jimin.

“Before addressing your question, I have to apologize for my rude behavior earlier,” the older attempts to remain a stoic composure but his guilty face say otherwise. Jimin doesn’t realize that he has a transparent face—perfect for portraits. “You were trying to be considerate of me. I’m sorry for misinterpreting your actions.”

Jungkook stares at Jimin, taking in everything he said. For the record, Jimin never speaks to him in statements—he belatedly points out.

The younger reached at his arm, pinching himself awake under the assumption that everything was a dream—which is a fantastic dream, by the way. The older laughed at Jungkook’s antics, finally confirming that it wasn’t what he thinks it is—it was reality and he wasn’t sleeping.

“Does that mean you’re considering my question?” Jungkook asks in disbelief. This can’t be happening right now…is it?

“If I’m forgiven, that is,” Jimin smiles, and Jungkook’s hands were automatically glued to his camera again. He has to capture the older’s crescent eyes and his smile that could rival the twinkle of the brightest stars the universe got. “Besides, I would be stupid if I disincline to acquiesce to your request. Being your muse is an honor.”

Jungkook blushed a little at the last statement.

“There was nothing to be sorry about,” Jungkook gawks, hiding the obvious fondness on his cheeks.

He added, “Actually, it was stupid of me not to keep you company and I sincerely apologize for my mistake.”

Jungkook bows, a formal one at that.

The older was fast enough to grab his shoulders in an effort to stop his action but Jungkook raised his head to see Jimin staring at him within a nearer distance.

For a moment, Jungkook understood why the older tries his best to distance himself away from him—Jimin looks like he’s having a hard time restraining himself and Jungkook wasn’t helping at all. He disregarded the thought nevertheless—must be seeing things.

“You don’t have to do that,” the older breaks the silence, the atmosphere between them getting thick once again. Jungkook took the liberty to straighten his posture as Jimin removes his hands on the younger’s broad shoulders. “We’re both at fault, really. How about accompanying me to the mall for a quick bite?”

Good thing Jimin was quick enough to save the conversation.

And Jungkook got free ice cream at the end of the day.

But Jimin didn’t upload a single stanza on Twitter that night, making the younger feels like he won against the man the older pertains with his poetry.


 

     “You’re in a good mood today,” a familiar voice greets that is bound to be ignored by Jungkook on several occupied occasions—for instance, his current activity.

     It was a rare sight to see Taehyung out and about, especially on the university grounds and specifically lurking in their building. Usually he’s busy sorting out books in the library.

He was as tall as Jungkook, making Yoongi looks like a high school student whenever the three happens to wind up in the same place by pure coincidence.

(There was this one incident that Yoongi was interrogated by the police for being out and about after the minor curfew hours. The older almost lose his cool right in front of the authorities; almost rants that he’s on the senior year of university already—and he’s not fucking short.)

Taehyung’s mullet hair reminds people of autumn with its rich brown locks. Moreover, he looks so handsome that no one can resist his charm.

     But Jungkook begs to differ as the rough draft of Jimin’s face on his sketchbook clearly accentuates what he fully means.

Speaking of the devil, he was busy on sketching Jimin’s face (he looks so adorable when he bought the ice cream yesterday and getting thorn between chocolate and green tea flavor) while leaning to the classroom wall, facing the hallway. He’s too occupied with his work to the point that he didn’t even look at Taehyung who sports a beautiful boxy grin—but Jimin’s smile is more beautiful, of course.

     “What are you doing here?” Yoongi closes the book he was reading after Taehyung approaches him. Jungkook didn’t even notice that the older was reading silently beside him like a sneaky bastard—he was that busy. “This is the Arts Department.”

     “I know. If it weren’t the right department, I wouldn’t be here,” Taehyung deadpans. “I’ll cut right to the chase. I need your help.”

     “On what matter exactly?” Jungkook retorts, still concentrating on his drawing.

     “We have this fashion show and we’re in dire need of photographers.”

     Jungkook’s attention was caught upon hearing the last word.

     “When is the event?” Yoongi looks at Taehyung with curiosity.

     “An hour from now,” said Taehyung.

     Jungkook’s pencil snapped into two. He really needs to put his strength into appropriate use.

     “Did something happen?” The younger hastily closed his sketchbook for good measure after hearing the predicament.

     “The fashion show is a mess. The photography team that the teachers hired bailed out on the last minute,” Taehyung’s calm demeanor was replaced by an annoyed expression. “I know that it’s really on a short notice but I hope you’re not busy, Jungkook-ah.”

     “I’m not,” he replies. “But I need Hoseok’s help. I assume that the fashion show is huge.”

     “I met Hoseok on the way here, and he’s willing to lend a hand.”

     “Let’s go. We don’t have much time,” Jungkook hastily shoved his sketchbook inside his bag.

     “That’s settled, then. I’m happy for you,” Yoongi mustered a lazy smile.

     Taehyung grins. “Hyung, I need your cooperation on this favor I’m about to ask and you can’t deny your handsome dongsaeng on this one.”

     “I don’t know how to use a camera, Taehyung-ah,” Yoongi deadpans.

     “But you know how to walk,” he retorts rather sarcastically. “Please be my model. Jimin said yes, too.”

     Jungkook’s heartbeat went a little faster than usual as soon as he heard Jimin’s name.

 

     Kim Taehyung had every point taken when he said that the fashion show was a mess. The chairs weren’t arranged; people bustle in and out of the place; the catwalk wasn’t even given much thought; there were so much left to do yet so little time. Yoongi patted Taehyung’s shoulders rather forceful for the younger to yelp in pain as if the scenario right in front of weren’t painful enough to bear. It served as a form of wake up call to him. He directly took both boys to the backstage. It was cramped with too many people, tons of unfamiliar fashion majors being noisy and busy with their models. On the right corner of the room, Jungkook saw the familiar mop of Hoseok’s hair and the reflection of Jimin in the mirror. He was still wearing his uniform but he looks different—good different.

     To the make-up artist who gave Jimin the melting look, Jungkook willingly oblige to pay his next month’s rent to express his fucking gratitude. He knew that makeup could enhance a person’s face but Jimin looks completely different—quite enough to motivate him on dragging Jimin out of the crowded place and kiss him senseless.

     It took a toll to reach the two. When they do, Yoongi quickly situated himself right to Hoseok’s side and he gave the older a forehead kiss. Jungkook isn’t aware of the true nature of their relationship but he leaves it for future interrogation.

     It’s an insult to have other thoughts when a proper Jimin meal is served right directly at him after all.

     “Guys, I have to go,” Taehyung rushes to leave us behind as a professor called for his assistance. What a tough day for him.

     “Woah,” exclaims Yoongi as he gets a good look at Jimin. “You look entirely different. Are you really my short friend?”

     “Shut the fuck up,” Jimin cusses but Jungkook can see that he preens to the compliment. “I’m taller than you, prick. I want this thing to be over as soon as possible.”

     Reality check: Jimin is indeed taller by a mere centimeter to Yoongi but he’s still short. Don’t tell him that.

     “Shall we take a commemoration picture?” Jungkook suggested.

     Hoseok wiggled his eyebrows, earning a glare from him.

     Jimin pondered about the younger’s suggestion. “That’s the nicest thing I’ve heard today.”

     “Don’t move then,” Jungkook’s camera is directed towards the mirror, the illumination from the makeshift bulbs highlighting his main subject—his muse. Jimin’s eyes are glued to the mirror but he looks at Jungkook like he’s waiting for the younger’s compliments on his makeup.

     Click.

     Jungkook checks the photo with a wide smile, and he might have said his thoughts a little louder.

     “Beautiful,” his voice was raspy and proud. It was too late to take the compliment back; his friends’ eyes were glued on him and wide with shock.

     Before Yoongi and Hoseok could tease him deliberately, Jimin stands up and drags Jungkook out of the place. It took a lot of walking until they reached a room full of mirrors, just like a dance studio. Jungkook knows models have as much of a dependency in mirrors like dancers do. The place was icy cold; apparently someone forgot to turn the air conditioner off. It was dark and empty.

His thoughts were discarded when Jimin pinned him in one of the mirrors as he winces when his back touched the cold surface. The older tilts his head up to get a good look at the younger. It feels right—the timing, the moment, Jimin.

He gawks back at Jimin meekly, clueless of the reasoning behind his actions.

“Why…” Jimin trails off, his voice breathy and sentimental much to Jungkook’s compilation of curiosities for today. He attempts to say something but he remained quiet. He looks cute just like that, and Jungkook’s hand attempts to reach for his camera but brushed the idea off his head.

“I was just admiring the picture,” Jungkook says rather casually, testing the waters out as he hopes that he’s on the same page with Jimin. “Your picture.”

Jimin replies exasperatedly, “Beautiful gets thrown around much that it’s kind of tiring to even read it.”

What a sad mindset, Jungkook ponders.

“But you are beautiful,” Jungkook emphasizes his point, no matter how random the conversation sounds. “So beautiful that an ordinary photographer couldn’t believe you’re mi—my muse.”

Jimin finally preens at the compliment, attempts to conceal his smile by leaning his forehead against Jungkook’s chest—the loud thump of his heart increasing in volume.

“You really mean it?” The older whispers softly, rivaling the low hum of the air conditioner. “That I’m beautiful?”

“You have to be beautiful to be my muse,” Jungkook wanted to hug Jimin so bad but his hands stopped in the air, hesitation winning in his system. “Do the math, hyung.”

     The shorter male giggles just in time his funky ringtone pierced the fluffy atmosphere. Jungkook finds himself getting mad at the person who dared call Jimin’s cellphone. He fishes out said technological innovation in his pocket only to decline the call.

     “It’s Taehyung,” Jimin holds the younger’s hand and he lets out a mysterious smile when he saw his small hand being protected by Jungkook’s big ones. “We better go back to that crowded place or else he’ll get both our asses.”

Jungkook will get Jimin’s ass before Taehyung does.

He’s working on it.

 

Click.

Click.

The place is getting packed with people as Jungkook continues to capture the current situation through his camera. He spots his professor Kim Seokjin sitting comfortably on the swivel chairs the student must’ve managed to borrow, his view facing directly in front of the catwalk. Beside him situates another professor that Jungkook knows too well. The literature instructor Kim Namjoon gave a stink glare to Seokjin before skimming the criteria for the fashion show. Jungkook hears Hoseok’s indignant sigh as soon as he saw the two professors.

“As much as I want to avoid those two time bombs, we’ll need their pictures,” his friend grumbles.

“I’ll take care of it,” Jungkook pats Hoseok’s shoulders. “Snap some photos at the backstage.”

The two parted ways, and Jungkook finds himself standing across the table as he watches the bickering scene unfolding right in front of him.

Professor Seokjin and Namjoon looks like they’re ready to kill each other.

“Excuse me,” he cleared his throat. Seokjin and Namjoon looked at him with questioning gazes. Jungkook waves his camera a little. “Documentation.”

Kim Seokjin was a tall broad-shouldered man—he was all that Jungkook aspires to be excluding his overflowing adoration for his face. The professor knows how to carry himself in various fashion styles, probably the reason why the fashion department got him as the judge for today’s event. As soon as he realizes Jungkook’s face, Professor Seokjin beamed a smile that reminds him of friendly neighbors and lazy afternoons.

“How come you’re here?” the professor asked with amusement. “Don’t tell me they dragged you in this place, too.”

Namjoon snorted. He was much taller than Seokjin and the thick-rimmed glasses gave him a smart look. The sleeves of his dress shirt is rolled up to his elbows is enough to make every student believe everything he’ll say despite the void accuracy of the information. The professor can literally work as a model with his body proportions. Jungkook has a gut feeling that Seokjin competes with Namjoon because the literature professor is always known for his brave fashion triumphs. His deep dimples remind Jungkook of childhood happiness and meadow runs.

“Don’t change the story, Jin—I mean Seokjin-ah. Let your student do his job. I can’t really imagine how the third years can handle your cranky personality,” Namjoon retorted.

“Shut up and smile at the camera, Joon,” Seokjin pulled the literature teacher while sporting a sweet grin. Despite the confusion the situation (and the nickname) got to offer, Jungkook took two consecutive pictures. He quickly passed his gratitude and left the two professors to settle their bickering session that Jungkook smoothly interrupts.

Despite the venue getting filled up, the student staffs still busy finalizing everything for the fashion show. Jungkook’s camera captured their passion for making the event a huge success. He’ll definitely use the photo for the exhibition next month.

Jungkook picked a good photography location for the models later on. Hoseok showed up minutes later with an accomplished expression and glossy lips. It wasn’t a difficult equation to figure out what his friend did while he’s away.

Jungkook rolled his eyes, “Seriously?”

“Yoongi hyung was nervous, so I had to calm him down.”

“I’m sure there are many appropriate ways of easing his nerves besides kissing.”

“Humor me, Jungkook. At least we’re not sneaking out like what you guys did.”

Before he could even defend himself, the fashion show commences. There were less talking and the models revealed themselves in no time. Hoseok took full responsibility for the videography and the event ended successfully. Jungkook’s mind is full of Jimin wearing a rose dress shirt that exposed his collar bones way too much and those bleached jeans that cling tight into the elder’s legs, highlighting his glorious thighs—the mental image was enough to satisfy his nightly hormonal needs. Taehyung treats them all to dinner, stayed behind for a few drinks and called it a night.

Jimin only smiled at him but both boys never talked.


 

Jungkook scans the photos he took today as soon as his tired back hits the soft mattress after a nice bath. He estimated around 300 photos, excluding the backstage photos and Jimin. The photography major has decided on a theme, focusing mainly on portraits. This was his third exhibition, the event being held annually. Being a third year university student is hard at this time, with the first semester coming to an end—deadlines and finals driving the body into stress and the mind into insanity. The exams are coming up next week, and he hasn’t studied a single lesson.

Good thing that today happens to be a Friday, Jungkook muses.

Jungkook conjures up a study plan while he transfers the fashion show photos to his laptop. He was arranging his subjects from difficult to easy when his phone vibrated against the bedside table—a change of priorities is at hand.

Reaching the phone in its current placement was an easy task. Jungkook’s eyes went saucers when he saw a Twitter notification with Jimin’s name on it.

Holy shit. What the fuck did just Jimin tweeted on the bird app?

     It was enough to drive Jungkook jealous once again—diminishing the fluffy ice cream memory. Honestly, he’s on the mood to do things to Jimin that involves dry orgasms and overstimulation—nothing too extreme. A growing erection can be felt against the fabric of his pajamas and Jungkook hated the fact that he’s a man with kinks while his hand takes care of his horny business. It was easy to imagine Jimin begging for his long, fat cock to split him into two, his thighs blooming with hickeys—his small, pink hole clenching against Jungkook’s long fingers as the older ruts against them while broken moans of his name and his pleas for cock lingers in the air—

     Jungkook chokes a moan as he cums with his hand, the image still vivid on his mind. Guilt rushes into his system as soon as he’s coherent enough to be back into his senses. He cleans himself up once again, throws the soiled pajamas into the laundry basket and changed into another pair of pajamas, this time designed with pink rabbits—reminding Jungkook his twisted horny persona just earlier.

     He went to bed, study plan no longer his main priority for tonight, while reading Jimin’s tweet for one last time, jealousy bubbling up once again. He got two pictures of the elder for the exhibition—four more to go. Jungkook prays that night for his restraints to withstand Park Jimin and pass all of his exams.

Cheeks against the pillow, he can feel his tears flowing as he comes up with a stupid idea that’s both beneficial for him and Jimin—it’s so stupid to the point that Yoongi would bash Jungkook’s head directly to the dormitory’s walls if he knew. Sleep takes over him easily, considering his blissful masturbation session earlier. In his dreams, Jimin was deep-throating him.

Jungkook wakes up the next day with morning erection and sheets that needs replacing. He groaned at the current situation, realizing how immature it is to have a wet dream because his last nocturnal emission was high school. Stuffing his sheets into the laundry basket after replacing them along with his second pair of pajamas, he takes a bath after his hands did its morning hormonal activity.

Sporting a black shirt and sweatpants, he went out of his room and walked to the kitchen. His hair was dripping wet but he’s too thirsty to worry about it. Getting an empty glass and filling it with water from the refrigerator; he almost spit the substance as soon as he saw Jimin in the flesh pouring cereals in Jungkook’s favorite bowl.

“What are you doing here?” the younger asks, regaining his composure.

“Good morning to you, too,” Jimin deadpans. “Yoongi said he informed you beforehand that I’ll be studying with him the whole weekend. You forgot?”

What the actual fuck? He can’t recall Yoongi ever saying that Jimin will be staying all weekend with them—unless the older’s wink last night at dinner has something to do with it.

Jungkook’s grim fate was sealed. Yoongi plotted this!

His prayers, apparently, aren’t heard. Jungkook feels that this weekend is going to be a lot longer than expected.

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook likes to study alone, a one-way ticket of understanding his lessons by heart. He strictly sticks to his study plan, prefers his notes clean and organized. The margins of books and photocopies are full of annotations usually written in black ink for highlighters are distracting—

But not as distracting as Park Jimin pouting while reading a thick book right now.

After the morning encounter, Jungkook avoided Jimin for a couple of hours with a valid excuse of doing his laundry on the fifth floor. It was dark despite the morning sun spilling its hot and joyous rays. The room reminds Jungkook of a laundry shop, only darker than usual. Memories from last night only tortured him up until the last cycle of the washing machine and to the dryers. He kept his head down when he returned to his room, not even greeting Yoongi—the schemer.

Jungkook was sitting on the floor, his half of the coffee table full of compiled photocopies and a few technological books that needs more than casual skimming. Jimin sits across him with his notebook placed on the table’s other half, contrasting the pile the younger have. Yoongi lies on their long couch while reading his book, trying not to fall asleep on the quiet atmosphere of the room.

Everything went smoothly, up until the present predicament that is.

He can’t take his eyes off the older naturally but the pout got him enthralled, flooding his mind with millions of ways to enjoy that plump orange lips—fuck the exams two days from now, he’s busy with his top priority.

Keeping the camera on him at all times was a wise choice, the younger proudly reflects on.

Click.

Three more pictures for the exhibition, let’s take some more.

He snaps a picture, and then some more—now Jungkook knows why dragons tend to be greedy with their treasures. Park Jimin is shining brightly at his golden hour and he wanted to keep it to himself selfishly. Deeming the amount of pictures enough to justify his smitten state, he puts the camera away and tries to focus on his stack of photocopies left unstudied.

“Are we supposed to study Shakespeare’s sonnets, too?” Yoongi asks; eyes still glued to the identical book that Jimin has. Jungkook tries not to eavesdrop to the conversation but his attention to his sheets is already lost (read: again) because of someone. “That jerk has been with us four years in a row already. He’s a sight for sore eyes.”

“We haven’t discussed that one and please leave my dear William alone,” replied Jimin still sporting the pout that further tests Jungkook’s resolve, not sparing the other a single glance. “Moreover, it wouldn’t do any harm to at least familiarize them, given how Professor Namjoon likes to surprise his poor students.”

     Yoongi slammed the book hard. “I’m not a study bug like you. It’s sad that we’re studying first thing in the morning.”

     It was indeed a sunny Saturday morning, suitable for park strolls and ice cream parlors, maybe children blowing bubbles—the man had a point but still—he’s a fucking schemer, Jungkook muses.

     “It’s the first semester of our last year in university. Hang in there, buddy.”

     It was a soulless encouragement rather than a motivation. Jungkook frowned at the older’s statement because it reminds him of how little the time he has to confess his feelings—much less understand everything that is Park Jimin.

     Yoongi scoffed, “Do you know that I’m getting borderline scared on your unfazed concentration on that hellish book?”

     “Just read your damn copy please,” Jimin replies exasperatedly.

     Scowling over at his friend, Yoongi jumped over the couch while intentionally kicking Jimin’s back making the latter turn to him with shock and pain written on his face only to be replaced with annoyance.

     “That’s it. I’m going over at Hoseok’s. I can’t handle peer pressure.”

     Before Yoongi closed the door behind him, he sent a little grin at Jungkook’s direction—the sly bastard. That was a part of his plan!

     “That’s about time for him to be riled up,” Jimin chuckles, making the younger completely lost the last bit of concentration he had. “What’s your studying progress so far?”

The older looks at him, snapping him out of his threatening thoughts dedicated to his roommate.

     “Not even half,” the younger heaves a tired sigh, decides to resign to his fate. “At this rate, I’ll never be able to get a passing score.”

     “If you keep on sticking to your current strategy, that is. You’re hopeless.”

     Jungkook tears his gaze away from the sheet only to meet Jimin’s eyes fixated on him, worry and amusement written on his features. He wonders about the older’s mind, wants to reveal the colorful thoughts behind his transparent yet guarded stance but he wouldn’t go that far. He’s contented to be shrouded with the enigma if that’s what it takes to be with Jimin—really, everything’s fine with him as long as the older is involved.

     “What do you suggest I do?” he asks skeptically.

     “The professor gave you pointers?”

     Jungkook nodded.

     “Burn them, you won’t need it. Instead, read the chapters you’ve discussed this semester. Don’t skip anything. Make your own summary after reading and make a table out of it. You can list the important things in bullet form, if you want.”

     Getting a study tip from Jimin is an honor (it’s fucking romantic, don’t laugh) but his stacked books and photocopies mockingly remind him that the elder’s suggestion is impractical.

     “How can I poss—“

     “You can do it,” Jimin’s voice was soft as a morning cloud with assurance as the silver lining laced to calm Jungkook’s worries. “You’ll get a passing score if you do it my way. Want to bet on it?”

     The younger raised his brow, contemplating. Bets were always the most persuasive way for him to try new (crazy) things. “What do I get if I win?”

     “Anything you want, baby.”

     Jungkook takes a mental note on the pet name, letting it pass for now with a faint amused smile formed on his lips. Anything he wants, huh? He’d selfishly spend a day with his favorite hyung if he ever wins the bet, disregarding the fact that his test results is at stake.

“If I lose, what’s in it for you?” He asks after several minutes of contemplation.

     “Spend one whole day with me after the exam,” the older replies casually, not expecting the answer to be identical as what he had in mind. “I trust your alcohol tolerate is high?”

     It’s a win-win situation, Jungkook realizes. He can flunk his tests just to prove his point but imagining Jimin’s proud smile as his results are out is more than enough to motivate the younger to work extra harder this semester.

     So he agrees.

     Jimin spends the next hours studying, and so did Jungkook. He was able to study peacefully with full tank of motivation for two days whilst envisioning Jimin’s winning face and romantic scenarios with zero chance of happening. Additionally, there were no Twitter notifications and stanzas that drive Jungkook jealous. He’ll never admit to Jimin that his study tip was useful—he feels like he’s confidently lose the bet but it’s the least of his concerns because Jimin, Jimin, Jimin.

     And Jungkook finds himself waiting at the school’s front gate thirty minutes before seven in the evening when after he saw the scores he got from all of his exams because Park Jimin fucking won their bet—as he predicted.


 

     “You’re a handsome sight for sore eyes,” Taehyung hands Jungkook his beer with a casual grin, shock still written on the latter’s face upon seeing a familiar face behind the counter. “Can you stop staring at me like you’ve seen a ghost? I’m getting goosebumps here.”

     Jimin who sits beside Jungkook chuckles, taking a large gulp of on his own bottle of beer, “I told you he’ll be surprised big time.”

     Jungkook is in a small pub near the university as per Jimin’s request since he won their bet—it’s been a grand total of six days since then. He followed the older’s tip and got the minimum of five mistakes. Seokjin was impressed with his test results, not to mention that the professor hinted a positive change in his grades and encouraged him to keep up with the good work. His past academic performance wasn’t poor but his exams usually hit only the passing score, nothing more and nothing less. It was a nice glow up for his transcript of records.

     He was in a celebratory mood, body craving for a bottle of cold beer. Only he hasn’t expected Kim Taehyung (read: the library boy) to work at the pub.

     “Anything more shocking you wanted to tell me?” Jungkook incredulously asked, taking the beer from Taehyung and emptying the bottle in one straight shot.

     “My salary here is tripled than the library job. Moreover, I like the atmosphere of the place—free drinks for the staff and good music. I’ve got no complaints, really.”

     Taehyung was right. The pub exudes a quaint feel, nothing grand yet so elegant. The place reminds Jungkook of the bars he saw only in old movies—like those cowboy films his father usually binges during the holidays. He makes a mental note to introduce the place to him next time.

Music plays through the speakers, not too loud for the ears—at the time, Shallow was playing with its acoustic glory. Furthermore, it wasn’t packed with people because university students would rather spend after-exam celebrations at clubs. It was more than enough for Jungkook to relax; the soothing atmosphere calms his heart but still picks up in pace because he’s with Jimin.

     “You’ll really like the pub, I knew it!” Jimin chirps as Taehyung passed him another bottle of beer and take a swig like no tomorrow. “What do you usually do after the exams?”

     “Taking pictures,” Jungkook’s hand wanders to his camera once again, remembering Seokjin’s evaluation on his photos earlier—with his sideline comment on Jungkook being a whipped wimp—and points the lens to Jimin, making the elder smile goofily at the device.

     Click.

     Only two more pictures left to take.

     Jungkook frowns at the thought.

     “What else, Jungkookie?”

     “Sketching and painting. I’m good at it but it’s not my best skill.”

     “Nonsense,” Jimin gave him a sultry stare—fuck. “Not everyone’s born with skillful fingers like you. Damn, I would pay anything for those fingers to paint me.”

     The beer wasn’t making Jungkook drunk (yet), but the presence of alcohol drives him a tad shameless than usual. He sends a smirk to the elder, “I accept payments of any form.”

     “Before you guys get drunk, at least have a proper meal first,” Taehyung interrupts as he breaks the tension slowly forming, placing a big plate of chicken with a saucer full of chocolate syrup. The unusual combination made Jungkook’s brows rise.

     “What? You don’t like chocolate?” Taehyung inquires. “There’s strawberry and maple syrup, too.”

     “Chocolate is fine, thank you Taetae,” Jimin gave a quick smile, dipping the chicken into the syrup and taking a bite. With an appreciative glint on his eyes, Taehyung opens ten bottles of beers for the two before making his way to another customer.

     “How the fuck did he get accepted here?” Jungkook remarked rather harshly as he’s already down with his fourth beer for the night.

     “Try it before criticizing your friend, idiot,” the older is clearly influenced by the alcohol as he starts to get comfortable with Jungkook, no more filters and tactful bullshits. “It’s good, not top five kind of good but justifiable.”

     Jungkook shakes his head no, stubbornness persistently winning in him.

Determination shimmered on Jimin’s eyes as took the initiative to dip the chicken wings into the chocolate and stretched his hand; just enough for the sweet meat to touch the younger’s lips.

     “Open up, baby,” said older coos in his sweet tipsy voice, letting slip the pet name again. “I’m not getting any younger here.”

     The younger relents, the salty taste of chicken combined with the chocolaty flavor isn’t weird at all as he further chews. He might like the unusual partnership more than he expected. Jimin looks at him like he’d won the lottery, a proud grin flashing on his face with his soft cheeks highly emphasized.

At this point, he’s not fidgety around the older anymore even though his heart beats out of control—intensified with beer, cholesterol, and sugar. He feels comfortable—drinking with the love of his life in the pub and eating weird dishes: The level of domesticity that Jungkook gladly signs up for.

“So cute, like a bunny,” Jimin giggles as if the younger was an adorable baby whilst gulping down a new bottle of beer again.

Jungkook takes a swig of his own drink, chuckling at the older’s statement. He’s really a whipped wimp just like his professor said.

Ten bottles of beers wasn’t enough for both of them and Jimin started ordering the good stuff—a bottle of tequila. Taehyung takes out lemons and salt; leans closer to Jungkook and whispers good luck before going back to his work. His mind was too hazy to understand what his friend meant since he’s been drinking about six bottles of beer.

Jimin was getting touchy after seven bottles of beer, craves skinship after his two shots of tequila. His hand somehow found the way to Jungkook’s waist, the younger can’t recall when the older scooted closer to him and started drumming his fingers on his skin, following a cheerful pop song currently playing in the pub. Jimin noses his neck, leaving light kisses first before playfully biting the flesh.

Taehyung smirked at the open display of intimacy, but Jungkook was too busy enjoying the moment in his tipsy state.

     It was silent between them for a while, basking to the peaceful lull of the place and low hum of music until Jimin decided it was too quiet for him.

     “When was the last time you got laid?”

     “That’s a terrible icebreaker.”

     “Says the man who asked me to be his muse right away,” the older scoffed.

     “Fair point but yours is still terrible.”

     “So answer my terrible question, photographer.”

     Jungkook hums as he tries to remember, “Last summer.”

     “Putting those sinfully skillful fingers into work? You’ve been a busy boy.”

     Jimin sure do has a thing for his long fingers—Jungkook already imagines the lewd things he would do with the older.

     “There was a party in this house by the lake. Some girl started grinding on me, did anal sex with her for the first` time and parted ways. Fin.”

     “You usually fuck home base?” Jimin’s eyes sparkles with interest that somehow drives the younger annoyed because.

     “I don’t usually fuck girls, hyung,” Jungkook rolled his eyes as he binges on leftover chocolate syrup. “How about you?”

     “What about me?”

     “Last time you got laid.”

     “Too personal and gross for a baby like you,” the older shrugs as he takes another shot. “Besides I’m too drunk to even remember them.”

     “I believe you listened thoroughly to my personal summer smut experience. Compensation is in order. Humor me with a story, literature boy.”

     Jimin slides him the glass, “Do the honor of drinking the last shot.”

     Before Jungkook touches the glass, it was stolen by Taehyung who finishes it in one straight shot. Both boys gave perplexed stares at the new presence. Taehyung shrugs as he leaned closer to the counter.

     “My work here is done,” he simply says. “Don’t you want to go back to your rooms while the both of you can still walk?”

     “Jimin hyung owes me a story,” Jungkook pouts.

     “Just crash to his dorm tonight,” Taehyung rolls his eyes. “This place is about to close anyways and you’ve had enough booze for tonight.”

     “Too weird that I totally agree with you, Taetae,” Jimin attempts to stand up but ends up wobbling. Good thing Jungkook catches his arm.

     “You’re hopeless, hyung.”

     “Shut up, bunny.”


 

     “Are you sure you can manage to reach your room without getting injured?”

     Jimin only grins, contrasting Jungkook’s worried face. He can handle his liquor well, although it’s already kicking in only he wasn’t in a worse state, nothing like the elder who can’t walk straight and trips even on the flattest of pavements (he witnessed a lot of alcohol-induced clumsiness enough to drive him into fits of laughter).

     “Why don’t you come with me, then?”

     Jungkook wasn’t able to respond because Jimin dragged him to the elevator. The small confinement and the older’s drunken state triggered Jungkook’s fantasies. The lustful frenzy in his mind almost made him fuck Jimin on the spot. Almost.

     Too bad the elevator doors ping open. Jungkook belatedly realizes how short elevator trips can be given that Jimin mumbled earlier that he lives on third floor.

     The familiar click of the door being unlocked echoed in the brightly lighted hallway of the dormitory. Jimin wasted no time to toss his shoes on the rack, popped the buttons of his uniform and crashed his face straight to bed as soon as he entered his room. Jungkook gawks at the scene, making his entrance with careful steps.

     There weren’t many things in Jimin’s room except for the big shelf full of books facing Jimin’s bed; a dining table where his laptop and bluetooth speaker are situated and a mini-refrigerator. The bed is a different story though with two bolster pillows and eight Line character-inspired pillows.

     “I’ll go now. See you around,” Jungkook says softly, it sounds like wishful thinking than a promise.

     Jimin turned around, his back hitting the mattress as he faces the younger. “I’ll compensate your summer story, wait for it.”

     He nods and closed the door behind him as fast as possible—

     Because Jimin looks at Jungkook like he’s desperate to be fucked by him.

     The older lived at the dormitory located on the other side of the university which is too far away from Jungkook’s building—so it’s his first time being in Jimin’s room. He took a long walk of shame, trying to erase his erotic thoughts.

     Jungkook maybe thinks of fucking Jimin every now and then but he won’t do it under the influence of alcohol no matter what. He won’t take advantage of the older’s drunken state for his own fucked up pleasure, wouldn’t stoop so low for the sake of his cock. Jimin deserves warm embrace, pepper kisses, making love—slow and deep, not cheap drunk sex.

     The shared room was silent when he arrived, no sign of Yoongi.

     He plumps on his bed, too lazy to take his uniform off and drifts to sleep.


 

     Jungkook wakes up with a hangover, coupled with a terrible headache.

     The sun illuminated the yellow walls of his room; the color would cheer Jungkook only if his head isn’t killing him. He made his way out of the bright room, seeking a drink and medicine. The kitchen smells like spam and eggs but food was the last thing in Jungkook’s mind. He has to quench his thirst first.

     “You look terrible,” Hoseok commented with disgust written on his features, turns out he was the one cooking. Jungkook doesn’t pay any heed to his friend being in their room on a Saturday morning and proceeds to drink the first thing he saw in their refrigerator—which is a bottle of Sprite. It’s refreshing but he’s still dizzy. He ends up leaning at the kitchen counter, his face against the wooden surface.

     “What the fuck happened to you?” Yoongi’s voice was louder than usual. It was as if he seen a ghost in the kitchen.

     “Calm down, hyung. I have the worst hangover in history,” Jungkook takes the last swig of the carbonated drink, his hands massaging his head with hope of relieving the pain.

     “Have some aspirins, will you?” His roommate handed him the medicine with a glass of cold water and Jungkook took them almost immediately.

     “Spill what happened last night,” Yoongi interrogated.

     “What are you talking about?”

     “You have hickeys on your fucking neck!” He exclaimed.

Jungkook’s hand wandered on the spot where Jimin kissed him, recalling the memory last night. The sensations were imprinted on his skin, it was almost he felt the older’s lips lingering at the patch of skin.

     “Who gave you those marks?” Hoseok grins.

     “Can we talk about this when I don’t have a drilling headache?” Jungkook deadpans.

     “Fine,” Yoongi grumbles as he takes out his phone. “But Jimin tweeted last night, in case you didn’t know. I took the liberty of taking screenshots, that’s how much I love you.”

     Jungkook openly gags, erupting Hoseok into a fit of laughter. He received the phone from Yoongi who regrets his open declaration of affection to him. Jungkook proceeds to read the tweet from the screenshot.

     Jungkook can’t suppress his fond smile, a feeling of warmth and affection forming inside his heart. Jimin’s previous tweets drives him jealous, borderline mad that the older wasn’t his—a loop of misery that Jimin was interested in someone else and the regrets that eat him alive for not being brave to admit his feelings for the older, to name a few. The same man who breaks him is the same man that fixes him—it was a scary concept, not to mention that the older wasn’t aware of the power he have over Jungkook.

     Jimin kept his word last night.

     ‘I’ll compensate your summer story, wait for it.’

     It turns out that Jungkook doesn’t need to wait long.

     The realization that he only needs two more pictures lowkey reminds him of the little time he has with Jimin as his muse. It burns at the pit of his stomach, but he decides not to think too hard about it.

     For now, he feels like he won against the man the older pertains to his previous tweets as he proudly wears the marks Jimin gave him last night.

     Losing in a bet, as Jungkook realizes, wasn’t so bad at all.

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook likes to stay home on a windy Sunday. He would be stuck in his room sorting out the pictures he took with his camera on his laptop, creating folders as he indicates the date and purpose on them. Opening the photoshop program, he likes to experiment with his photos (the success rate is 98%, the remaining solely dedicated for memes). He doesn’t have his own printer, so he makes sure to arrange everything into place before venturing his way to the university and print the photos himself.

     Only he (and Yoongi) wasn’t expecting to have a visitor today.

     Taehyung waves at his roommate who took the liberty of opening the door. The visitor was well-dressed, considering the bleached ripped jeans and the plain black shirt. Jungkook was wearing a crumpled old shirt with cartoon pyjamas while Yoongi was in his Kumamon onesie—a clear indication that both boys doesn’t have any plans of going anywhere.

     “You’re a sight for sore eyes,” Yoongi says to a smiling Taehyung, the latter immediately making himself comfortable on the couch. “Why did you come here?”

     “There’s a music festival going on tonight at Twilight Kingdom and I got free tickets,” Taehyung waves golden tickets in the air which reminds Jungkook of a popular movie. “And you’re going with me because a nice person like me deserves your company.”

     “What makes you think we’ll be persuaded to go to Twilight Kingdom located two cities away from here?” Yoongi retorted. “I don’t mind my free day being robbed but Jungkook’s busy on a Sunday.”

     “I got Hoseok and Jimin on my team as soon as Twilight Kingdom was involved, not to mention the Kim Professors,” says Taehyung with a smirk. “They were too enthusiastic to go.”

     Jungkook hated that Taehyung got him wrapped around his fingers, knows him like the back of his hand. He heard Yoongi groan in obvious defeat as he pops a few buttons of his onesie exposing his milky chest and proceeds to the bathroom.

     “I have to schedule an intervention for Hoseok’s fixation on free stuffs,” Jungkook grumbles, grabbing a ticket out of Taehyung’s hand. “Wait, the music festival is three hours from now.”

     Taehyung clapped his hands like a captain of a soccer team, “Get moving, slowpokes.”

     Jungkook felt the immediate need of reconsidering his friendship with Taehyung as he changed into the first article of clothing he could find in his closet.

     “What took you so long?” Seokjin whines as soon as he spots the three making their way to the parking lot. Jungkook feels awkward meeting the professor outside of classes as he comfortably leans on his car, a white SUV that can cater five people.

     Namjoon was on his side, his expression unreadable behind his sunglasses. The photography professor’s Hawaiian shirt contrast Namjoon’s plain grey tee but both of them wear identical brown shorts.

     They look like a couple, Jungkook mulled over. He ignored the weird thought.

     Hoseok beamed his sunshine smile as soon as he spotted Yoongi, happiness evident in his features when he saw familiar faces. Being with your professors weren’t the nicest feeling in the world—considering the awkwardness, being in the best of all behaviors, and the established teacher-student tension to name a few.

     “Sorry,” Taehyung sheepishly grins as he points at the new arrivals. “These two took longer than I expected.”

     “This is awkward,” Yoongi openly confesses as Hoseok quickly slings an arm on his shoulders. Namjoon laughed at his student’s honesty. “For the record, I didn’t imagine hanging out with professors on a weekend, specifically Sunday.”

     “Don’t you dare call us professor outside the classroom,” Seokjin aims to intimidate Yoongi but to no avail, his smile was too friendly to scare someone. “We’re your hyungs. Our age gap is between five to six years so it’s fine.”

     “Seokjin hyung, Namjoon hyung. Kind of a nice ring to it,” Taehyung tries out with a grin, earning an approving thumbs-up from the photography professor.

     “Where’s Jimin?” Jungkook asked. Someone has to pop in the question and everyone was too kind to let him do it, considering the teasing looks he got from his friends with Seokjin and Namjoon joining in.

     Looks like Taehyung has been telling tales of some sort before he was invited. Jungkook was positively sure he’d reconsider Taehyung and their friendship one of these days.

     A black and ridiculously expensive motorcycle arrived before anyone could answer the question. Jungkook wasn’t attentive of brands—unless it’s about cameras—but anyone can easily conclude how pricy the ride was as soon as they’ve laid their eyes on it.

     The motorcycle was the last thing on Jungkook’s mind because his eyes are fixated on the rider wearing Gucci from head to toe, contrasting his yellow shirt tucked in with the first pants he saw. His hair was messy and he looks like he’d woken up in the middle of a nap, still processing everything that’s happening around him—except that his eyes only see no one but Jungkook alone.

     The tension was always there as Jungkook was concerned but today was different. Maybe because it’s the first time he saw Jimin after they got drunk? Honestly, their drinking session helped him a lot—it made talking to Jimin relatively easier but he wasn’t sure if the older was on the same page with him. The hickeys were barely recognizable and as much as Jungkook was proud of them, he didn’t want to jeopardize his blooming connection with his hyung.

     “Jimin’s here,” Hoseok says, pointing the obvious as he breaks the tension and Jungkook’s reverie. “I believe we’re behind on schedule, yes?”

     “Too behind,” Taehyung shoots a glare at Jimin who mouthed a quick apology. “Get in the car, friends and hyungs.”

     Jungkook was about to go in when Taehyung stops him.

     “The motorcycle’s is all yours,” he winked, handling him two violet tickets. “Jimin is already okay with it.”

     He clearly doesn’t have a say on it, seeing that everything’s decided beforehand. Jungkook seriously need to cut off his connection with Taehyung and wipe that stupid grin off his face as he gets in the car.

     Both boys waited for the vehicle to make its exit on the dormitory parking lot when Jimin passed him the motorcycle keys, catching the younger off guard.

     “I don’t have a license,” the older confessed, his voice stern like someone has stepped on his pride. “And Taehyung said you have one.”

     Jungkook laughed, “So that’s what he meant. It’s kind of funny that you own a mean of transportation without a license.”

     “My father thought it was a funny joke to buy his son a motorcycle without giving a damn that I can’t drive without a license,” Jimin’s face was serious. He looks like he was trying to burn the memory while maintaining the composure he needed.

     “I’m sorry,” Jungkook said sincerely, his guilt quickly judging him for laughing earlier. “I’m not that kind of person but you can sell it whenever you’re short on cash. I know a place.”

     Jimin laughs at his joke, a clear sound of amusement as the back of his hand covers the beautiful smile on his face, “That’s a good idea but you have to drive us to Twilight Kingdom first.”

     It took an hour to arrive at the place. Jungkook enjoyed Jimin’s small arms wrapped around his waist, the older’s body pressed against his back throughout the whole drive. He spotted the white car near the gates of Twilight Kingdom. The younger parked the motorcycle beside Seokjin’s SUV, taking advantage of the empty parking space.

     The rest of the gang was nowhere to be found. Figures.

     Twilight Kingdom was known for its entertainment reputation: a combination of a stage and an amusement park. It reminds Jungkook of Disneyland, only smaller (also mascot-free) and a drive away from the dormitory. He’s only been here once, as he vividly remembers Hoseok winning some random raffle and decided to tag him along. That was two years ago. The place haven’t changed one bit since then.

     There were so many people on a Sunday—office workers, fangirls with their colorful slogans, a group of students with heavy backpacks—probably from camp? It was bright, crowded, boisterous, and picturesque. Good thing Jungkook bought his camera, he being ready as he usually is.

     Jimin, on the other hand, stares at the place with awe. His plump lips breaks into a wide, boyish smile that made him look like a child trapped in an adult’s body. Everything fascinated him—and they’re not even inside yet.

     Jungkook noticed his hyung’s reaction almost immediately. He’s borderline crazy to think that someone like Jimin hasn’t even took a step at an amusement park. But he looks like he’d never been in one, furthermore proven by his authentic reaction.

     “You haven’t been in an amusement park before?” he decides to ask, mulling over his hunch.

     “No,” Jimin shyly confesses and then frowned as soon as he’s deep in thoughts.

     Jungkook’s first thought was to hug the older, but that was out of context—and the latter would be uncomfortable with the idea. So he dismissed it.

     He took out the violet tickets as he finally understands the significance of the item. Taehyung plotted this. It looks like he’ll stick for a while in Jungkook’s small friendship circle. “So this is your first time?”

     His hyung nodded.

     “Today is your lucky day,” Jungkook wave the tickets on Jimin’s face with a grin. “Let’s claim our free tokens and have some fun of our own.”

 

     “I thought you said that claw machines are always rigged?” Jimin inquires after winning his fifth rabbit plushy, eyes dripping with happiness as he receives his price. Jungkook was glued to his side, carrying his own winnings of eight rabbits from the same machine.

     “They always are, baby boy,” Jungkook surprised himself on how natural the pet name rolled out of his tongue, panics for a solid second but it seems that Jimin didn’t mind based on the smile he gave away. “But only the losers say that.”

     After exchanging their violet tickets for tokens, Jimin went to the claw machine to try his luck. He told Jungkook that he’s been always curious about it, since the stories he read suggested that it was a fun thing to waste money on a rigged machine. The younger watches Jimin with fascination as he let himself go with the words, picks up mannerisms like the older moves his hands a lot and speaks a little fast when he’s excited. He’s naturally cute just like that, being himself. Jungkook might keep him in his pocket one of these days.

     “Let’s go,” Jimin drags Jungkook away from the machine after inserting a token on the machine. The cheerful song playing loudly, waiting for the player’s move.

     “Why did you do that?” Jungkook was curious.

     “Just trying random people’s luck,” the older sports a sheepish grin. “I hope someone wins the rabbit and be happy tonight.”

     They stopped in front of a hotdog stall and Jimin ends up buying almost everything because he was too hungry, good thing Jungkook talked him out of it. With a bun of hotdog respectively, they munch on the greasy food as they stroll.

     A giant merry-go-round caught Jimin’s eyes, hinting Jungkook that he wants to ride the funny looking horse and who was he to deny his baby boy? The older was laughing still when the younger dragged him to the Horror House. It took a light brush from a zombie to send Jimin into full scaredy-cat mode. He ends up clinging to Jungkook after that, just like the younger intends him to. The teacup ride sends Jimin into a fit of giggles and Jungkook got them all recorded on his camera.

     The last ride for the night was the ferris wheel, both boys basking in the quiet shared atmosphere. Jimin sits across Jungkook, his head cocked to the side as he enjoys the nightscape view from above. The older looks peaceful, content, and happy—and Jungkook’s heart swells at the sight.

     He took out his camera, took his time to watch Jimin from the viewfinder.

     Click.

     Jungkook’s eyes began to water after he took the picture. He mulled over the stupid idea he has after he guiltily jerked off with Jimin in his thoughts—after six pictures, he’d call the muse thing off. As of now, he has five pictures of the older.

     Yet he can’t capture the last photo. He doesn’t have the guts to do so. Because Jungkook wants to keep the chase a little longer—Jimin being his muse was only the thing that binds Jungkook with him. He’s foolishly hoping that the older might reciprocate his feelings along the way, but he knows better—it won’t happen.  Jungkook knows what it’s like to be with Jimin—either way, he’ll lose him so why not torture himself at the earliest time?

     His thoughts started to stray on the “man” his hyung has been referring to his stanzas—Jimin wants him, not a photography major who creepily stares at him in the library because he couldn’t gather his courage to approach him.

     Jimin deserves a brave man, with the fortitude to show him off to the world—a man who have the guts to catch the stars and go to the moon with Jimin, the same person who doesn’t have any qualms about his feelings and confidently dedicates his love to the older—and he would cherish all of Jimin’s flaws and perfections, love him whole.

     And it wasn’t Jungkook.

     “Tell me,” hearing the older’s worried voice, Jungkook’s reverie was instantly resolved. Jimin wields supremacy over the younger, knows how to make him focus on what’s really important—or who. “I know there’s something you want to say.”

     “Nothing,” he flashed Jimin a small smile, hoping that Jimin won’t read too much of the situation. “I don’t want to spoil your fun.”

     “You already did though. I don’t mind.”

     Jungkook frowned at the response.

     “How can you tell that I have something to tell you?” he inquires.

     “That was a tentative question,” Jimin confesses. “You caved in, grabbed the bait and got caught just like the naïve fish. The poor creature struggled to escape but it’s useless. At the last minute, the fish regretted biting into the attractive lure. Wishing to change their decision, but it’s too late. It was always too late. It’s like you’re trapped into a dark void with slim possibilities of ever coming back. So you spend the rest of your days thinking of the one little mistake that’s responsible of your shortcomings. At the end of the day, you have no one to blame but yourself.”

     It wasn’t about Jungkook’s question or a fish anymore. There was something in Jimin’s answer for it felt personal, like he was speaking his heart out—entrusted Jungkook a part of him. There was a mutual understanding between them, an unspoken bond deeper than the muse-photographer relationship. They see their naked souls within the back of their eyes without an ounce of pretences as they exchange gazes.

     And at that moment, Jungkook realizes that Jimin understood.

     The rest of the ride was silent after that.

     Jungkook finds himself driving Jimin back to the dormitory an hour later and walks him into his room. The older kissed the younger’s cheek shyly after he thanked him and closes the door behind him. He sweeps his hair and sinks to the tiled floor, fresh tears streaking his face.

     He can’t let go of Jimin at this point, his cowardice burning his insides. Jungkook feels the urge to run away from the place. And he did just that. The younger never looked back; his sturdy feet ran from Jimin’s place back to his room. It’s going to be the last time; he needs to stay away from the older because his love for Jimin has gone deeper that he had ever anticipated—and it was too late.

     It was always too late.

     His phone lights up at the familiar Twitter notification. Jungkook reads the tweet, another verse that Jimin shared on the bird app.

     Jungkook laughs exasperatedly as the new batch of tears streamed on his face. It all took a single stanza to sum up what he truly wants and what he did instead—four lines of his sheer stupidity. Literature students are truly geniuses for always finding the right words to express something so complicated.


 

     “So how was the Twilight Kingdom date?” Hoseok nudges Jungkook’s shoulders, surprising him. The question was left hanging in the air as he goes on with printing the photos for the exhibition, trying not to look at Jimin’s face.

     The printer silenced to a stop after the printing was done. Jungkook took his time to finally appreciate his work. Jimin was beyond stunning—he was beautiful. A smile crept up his face when he saw the picture of Jimin at the bar. He looks like an overgrown kid living a happy, innocent life. The next photo changes his mood as the familiar features of the ferris wheel and Jimin met his eyes. With a frown, he passed them to Hoseok who watched his every move.

     “What the hell is going on?” His friend interrogated further with his eyes narrowed. Hoseok is usually sharp to notice trivial things, including Jungkook’s stupid tendencies. “You’re back with your old self. Did something happen last night?”

     “That’s a good thing, isn’t it?” Jungkook pats Hoseok’s shoulders lightly. There was no point of lying to the guy. He never believes in them anyway. “I’ll stop acting like I matter to anyone in particular.”

     “The exhibition passes are already here,” he gave Jungkook two black tickets before heaving an indignant sigh. “I don’t know what’s going on inside your head but I’m not dumb. You’re about to do something stupid. With you intentionally lacking one photo, I won’t interrogate anymore. Let me slip one advice, don’t do something you’ll regret later on.”

     Hoseok walked away, leaving Jungkook with his messy thoughts. The printers was empty, no one to interrupt him. He stayed there for a few minutes before barging out of the place. Thoughts were getting too loud, Jungkook doesn’t like it. As he walks the hallway with no destination in mind, Professor Seokjin spotted him and lets him go four hours later after accomplishing his assigned tasks for the exhibition on Friday.

     Dragging his tired body to the dormitory, Jungkook passes at Jimin’s dormitory, contemplating on giving the ticket to him and ending their muse-photographer relationship for good or letting Yoongi do all the labor for him. The second option is appealing but knowing his roommate’s personality, he won’t cooperate that easily.

     That’s why he’s here standing stupidly right in front of Jimin’s door—and listening to the moans that Jimin makes while someone was clearly fucking him inside his room.

     Jungkook wasn’t thinking straight after that. He recalled kicking the door with brutal force that it almost knocked down—but it didn’t. A man picking up his expensive boxers along with his suit and ran his way out of the place after sparing Jungkook a glare. Jimin was quick enough to cover his naked body with the blanket as if trying to regain his bearings, his face a mix of shock upon Jungkook’s presence and regret that the younger saw him in such state.

     “It’s not what you think it is,” the older breaks the silence between them.

     “Here are the passes for the exhibition on Friday,” Jungkook tried to sound casual as he tossed the tickets on the floor, not even sparing a single look at Jimin. “Thank you for being my muse and I’m sorry about the door. I hope you and your man can make it on Friday.”

     He turned his heel to leave the place. He hears Jimin’s rushed footsteps. Jungkook knew that the older can catch up on him if he wants to but he kept his distance instead. The door was slammed a little harder, hoping to ease the fire of his anger with no such luck.

     Jungkook felt so many emotions at once to the point that he’s having a sensory overload. He wants to snap the neck of the fucker who dared claiming his baby boy. At the same interval, he’ll remind Jimin that he belongs only to Jungkook as his hand spanks the older’s asscheeks, teeth marks on his chest and thighs, edging the older to the point that he’ll cry and beg for Jungkook’s cock to wreck him. He wants to break Jimin apart, fuck him into overstimulation. He wants Jimin’s body to remember every slide of Jungkook’s cock inside his tight hole ramming his prostate. No one will ever fuck Jimin like Jungkook does—jealousy.

     All the days Jungkook spends with Jimin replays on his mind like a last song syndrome, each shared memories burning like fuel further feeding the fire. It was like catching a lover fooling around with a stranger, risking everything for a single night of carnal covetousness—betrayed.

     Jungkook was given all the time in the world to confess his feelings to Jimin—enough seconds to gaze at the crescents of his eyes, enough minutes to compliment the older on how kind of a soul he is, enough hours to listen to Jimin’s voice as he talks excitedly but he didn’t even say anything, let out a single clue—regrets.

     Yoongi’s face contorts into worry as soon as he entered their rented abode, striding straight to his room. At the familiar shade of yellow on his wall, his defenses shattered. Jungkook throws himself into the mattress, crying like the fool that he is. He sinks his face on his pillow, letting the tears fall from his eyes. Jungkook heard his bedroom door open with a soft creak. He sat up and wiped the tears out of his blurry eyes to see a disheveled Jimin in his sweatpants and an oversized sweater standing awkwardly at the foot of his bed.

     “Why are you here?” Jungkook’s voice was angry, almost condemning.

     “I owe you a story,” the older simply says, avoiding the younger’s piercing gaze.

     “Jimin,” Jungkook growled, dropping honorifics. “Get out.”

     “But can you hear me out fir—“

     “I said, get out!”

     Jimin spared him a last look before heading out of his room, closing the door behind him. Perhaps it was better to leave things the way they are, as if they’re back on square one—being strangers. Only scarred and terribly wounded. Jungkook knows that he doesn’t have the moral fiber to leave thing unsettled—his upbringing taught him how to forgive and mend, not reproach and break.

     Jungkook knew that Jimin was still outside as he hears a few kitchen tools being used as he talks to Yoongi, his voice sounds broken with a few sniffles in between. Hoseok’s advice was resonating inside his head, gnawing his conscience for being rude to the elder with don’t do something you’ll regret later on repeating like a mantra.

     He strips out of his clothes as he wears a pair of pajamas adorned with yellow puppies. The mirror reflects Jungkook’s miserable state—his eyes bloodshot from excessive crying, hair a messy state. He tried to pinpoint his exact feelings at the moment—he was mad still but it was more on himself than Jimin, more to the man with ridiculously expensive boxers than Jimin.

     Jungkook wasn’t mad at Jimin, not even one bit. However, he snapped at him.

     The trip to the kitchen was shorter as Jungkook was driven with his need to settle things with Jimin, clean up his stupidity earlier but the older was nowhere to be seen. Yoongi was leaning on the kitchen counter, eyes clearly done with Jungkook. He holds a thermal bowl as he eats instant ramen. Beside him lays another untouched bowl on the counter waiting to be eaten but food was the least of Jungkook’s concern.

     “Where’s Jimin hyung?”

     “He’s asleep in my room,” Yoongi replies, putting the bowl down. “You better eat the ramen while it’s still hot. Although I have to warn you that it tastes pretty weird, I don’t know how Jimin manages to fuck up every food that he makes. He’s truly sorry on whatever happened between you. I can tell that much even though he didn’t even tell me what’s the hell is going on.”

     Jungkook’s eyes darts to the door of the room then to Yoongi, silently asking for permission. His roommate mouthed something that goes like you don’t need to ask my permission fucker and Jungkook flashes a grateful smile.

     Each step feels heavy as he made his way to Yoongi’s room. At this point, he doesn’t care if the older reciprocates his feelings or not. Jungkook will fucking confess to Jimin, be frank and honest not just to himself but to the man he loves.

     It’s about time to expose the root that nurtured the whole mess after all.

Chapter Text

Park Jimin is associated with a book at the wee age of five—the thick hardbound cover weigh heavy as his small hands flipped it with utter care as he reads the title of the book, enunciating each syllable on his own without any prior knowledge whatsoever: “Eight Types of Love You Will Experience in this Lifetime.” It took him about ten minutes to read it, but the accomplished grin on his face was the only thing that matters. There were types of love? Jimin didn’t know that. With burning curiosity, he started reading the contents of the book. Teachers like to shower him with compliments as they knew that he was a fast learner with tons of vocabularies up his sleeve. Compliments sound kind and good, so he keeps on reading to hear more.

     Jimin was halfway through the book when the maid drags him out of the family library, complaining how spoiled and uncooperative brat he was. She also said something that sounded like profanities but his mind lingers on the new word he learned on the book. It was storge—filial love.

     As the maid grumpily prepares him for a party as Jimin heard, his mind ponders at the new word. He wasn’t a stranger to the concept of family love for he reads a lot of children stories, each with a beautiful mother and hardworking father—but who and where was Jimin’s mother?

     The child found it strange that he didn’t have a mother. He asked the maid once on the subject of his mother’s whereabouts when he was four. The maid thoroughly expounded that the woman died after she gave birth to him. In turn, the child spent an entire day blaming his existence for her death. On the other hand, his father is a hardworking man. He’s the only family that Jimin have.

     Wine glass, tuxedo, weird large dresses—the young Jimin watched each business aristocrats go on with their careful and subdued conversations, listen to the laughs that sounded outlandish because it’s too restricted and meekly gawks back at people who looks at him with apathetically. He doesn’t understand the stares and no one was kind enough to explain it to him. Perhaps his teachers know what it meant. Grow-ups are intelligent—they have the answer to every question and the air of reliability with them.

     Their house was always crowded at night but there’s no trace of it in the morning. Jimin believed that these people only appear at night because they’re too petrified of the sun—poor entities. He even coined a name specifically dedicated to them: night partisans.

     Five-year-old Jimin have an enigmatic vivid mind to keep him entertained throughout the night, so he stood at a corner while watching the scene unfold.

     It was only when the sun has set and the ebony skies approaches that Jimin sees his father emerging from the creepy maroon room called “executive office” by the maids. He only sees his father at times like this. On regular days, even a single word can’t be heard from the man. He doesn’t even spare one single glance at Jimin, making him feel a little sad.

     His father was a very tall man that he has to tilt his head just to see his face. There was always a smile on his face but it didn’t reach his stoic eyes. He immediately spots where Jimin was and he would hold his small hand, introducing him to a few of the night partisans and emphasized how important they are. After that, his father leaves him behind as he holds his own wine glass and engages in those quiet cautious talks.

     Out of nowhere, a well-dressed kid made his way to Jimin’s father. The man lifted the kid up with a smile that looks foreign to Jimin’s eyes because he had never seen it before. For the first time in his life, he felt jealousy and insecurity. He jerked his eyes away and silently made his way to the library.

     It was at that very night that Jimin realizes what he lacked—it was the love from his father—storge. He retrieved a red marker on the table in the library and draws a line in the middle of the word, crossing it out.


 

     Jimin was ten years old when he finally understands how dysfunctional his family dynamics were. His father is emotionally distant to him, prefers to focus his energy on expanding his business rather than investing his love to his only son.

     There are a few tales that his father used to be a bundle of kindness and affection and only changed when his wife died after she gave birth to Jimin. According to the same account, his father had a low self-esteem and it was his mother who encouraged the man to try new things outside his comfort zone. It fell into a codependent relationship, his father getting obsessed and on edge whenever some random man approaches his wife. When the woman died, his father almost lost it. Good thing that he decided to concentrate on his company instead.

     Jimin was the one who made his father grow out of his mania—the obsessive love towards his mother. Clearly, the man didn’t appreciate it to the point that he even forgot he have a son.

     He closed the book, suppressing his tears and focused on studying instead.

     Jimin was desperate at this point, he holds on to this miniscule ray of hope that he’ll get all the acknowledgment his father has deprived him all these years if he works hard. He was enrolled in the finest schools. He joined all the school contests he can get his hands on and he was Spelling Bee champion four years in a row. At his young age, he was an achiever. However, it wasn’t enough to earn a word of praise out of his father. So Jimin works harder than anyone else.

     On his way to school, Jimin sees children around his age happily playing and running around with a laugh on their faces as their car passed the amusement park. He admits that he feels jealous every single time his eyes witnessed the scene. With a dry smile, he buries the memory on his mind. He will have all the time in the world to play after he earns the recognition he seeks from his father.

     And Jimin didn’t notice that he spent an entire childhood chasing the storge his father never gave him.


 

     The bottle of beer feels cold and damp against Jimin’s small hands. It was his high school graduation today and his father didn’t attend the event—not that he expects him to. The self-centered billionaire prioritized his grand venture of importing parts for automobiles than his eighteen year old son surviving high school with the highest honor. After receiving his awards and dumping them in the family car, he walks around searching for a quiet place with alcohol. That’s how he ends up drinking alone at the pub near Seoul State University. He was wearing his uniform still and the bartender was hesitant to give him a beer but as soon as Jimin placed his graduation cap on the counter, he finally got his hands on the booze.

     He was on his third bottle when a man sat beside him. Jimin stole a glance to see that the stranger was shorter than him. They were around the same age, considering his youthful features. His skin was pale and his black eyes were staring back at Jimin with curiosity. The man was also wearing his uniform, a white shirt with a black necktie—a clear contrast to Jimin’s yellow shirt and red checkered tie. He’s probably from Seoul National High School.

     “Are you done evaluating me?” the stranger speaks with his deep voice, catching Jimin off guard. He was grinning.

     Jimin looks away quickly. “I’m sorry for creeping you out.”

     “Chill, dude,” he took a swig of his own beer. “I’ve had my own share of being creepy. I didn’t expect to meet a Northbridge student in this pub and I end up checking you out—without malicious thoughts, of course.”

     “Spare me with your stereotypical claims,” Jimin chuckled. “I’m none of those things except being wealthy—I’m not bragging.”

     “Busted,” the man laughed. “If you won’t mind me asking, how rich are you?”

     “As rich as nine zeroes.”

     The stranger choked on his beer. “You’re a billionaire?”

     “Not me. My father is. I don’t own any of his money.”

     “But still. You’re his son,” he rolled his eyes. “It’s a privilege to talk to you.”

     “Privilege how?” Jimin inquires with a curious brow arched.

     “It’s not a daily occurrence to meet a billionaire’s son, you know.”

     Jimin can’t stop his laugh, “You’re a real charmer. I trust that you have a name.”

     “Min Yoongi,” the man introduced himself.

     “Park Jimin.”

     As he shakes Yoongi’s pale hand, he realized that he has made a friend that night. His mind remembers the term he had last read thirteen years ago at their house library, the concept feels foreign to him as he spent eighteen years on different social gatherings and business parties to find at least a person he can love platonically without physical attraction—philia. Both boys didn’t realize that it was the prologue of a blooming friendship.

     After another round of beer, Jimin and Yoongi separated ways after exchanging phone numbers. It was at that moment that Jimin decided to live his life to the fullest—not chasing after the storge his father will never bestow to him, away from the socialites who think they’re superior because they have billions in their pockets and their eyes that knows nothing but to condemn every fiber of his being. Jimin doesn’t need to ask permission from his father, the man only provided his needs not concern.

     For the first in his life, he felt free and honest—all of the standards he created for himself no longer bound him as he accepts and forgive his flaws—an act of self-love, the philautia deprivation responsible for making his life miserable. It took eighteen long years for Jimin to be happy.

     Two months passed away like hours as Jimin finds himself with anticipation and nervousness as his first day of college unfolds. Finding his homeroom wasn’t difficult and as he enters the premises, he almost shouted with joy when he saw Yoongi sitting near the window with a wide grin. Who could’ve thought that Yoongi also took Literature? And in the same school? His college life is going to be a fun one.

 

     Jimin was nineteen and a university sophomore when Yoongi introduced Jung Hoseok to him. He tried not to tease his friend about it, decided to ignore the obvious blush on his cheeks. Hoseok majors in photography and a year younger than them. Jimin was more than curious on how Yoongi met the freshman—and on a different major at that.

     “I want to invite both of you to our exhibition,” Hoseok shyly extended a black ticket to Jimin after giving Yoongi one. He expressed his gratitude and watched his friend exchange small goodbyes with the younger before leaving.

     “Interesting,” Jimin sports a teasing grin at Yoongi while nudging his arm with his elbow. “Free ticket for an exhibition? Romantic.”

     “The final exam for the first semester is killing me!” Yoongi complains. “I don’t have time for whatever you’re thinking as of the moment. This is only the second year but I want to give up badly.”

     “Stop being dramatic for once and study hard.”

     “Easy for you to say because you’re a monster at studying.”

     It was an unbreakable habit, Jimin points out.

     “You have a black exhibition ticket for motivation. I could use one of those.”

     “Hoseok isn’t a romantic pursuit!”

     “Humor me.”

     A week later, Jimin finds himself as the third wheel between Hoseok and Yoongi but he doesn’t mind it. In fact, he was more than willing to leave the pair alone if it weren’t for Yoongi’s strong grip on his arm. He gave Hoseok an apologetic stare only to be responded by an understanding smile. It was almost enough as a motivation to yank his arm out of his friend’s hold. Almost.

     Despite being born with a silver spoon, it was Jimin’s first time at an exhibition. He remembered his spoiled high school classmate bragging the luxurious setting of the exhibition she attended as her point only emphasizes the elegant chandelier and none of the artworks was mentioned in her tale. What he sees is nothing grand compared to his classmate’s claims but at least he was better at art appreciation than her. The venue is a big spacious room; the bright lights making it appear larger than its actual size. It was full of various photographs—from portraits to aerial shots.

     A picture holds a thousand words, Jimin smiled at the image of a calico cat being adorably cute. He was in the middle of mentally appreciating the rest of photos when Yoongi nudges his arm hard.

     “My roommate is here,” his friend gawks in disbelief. Hoseok separates himself from the two to approach a man taller than him, the possibility of both males being friends heightened based on the bright smile on their respective faces. The stranger looks cute as he smiles, reminding him of a bunny. His face is a clear contrast of his muscular physique—matching Jimin’s ideals.

     Good thing that Yoongi is roommates with him.

     Wait a minute.

     Yoongi!

     “You have a roommate?” Jimin exclaimed as he narrowed his eyes at his friend. “And I don’t know him? You’ve been keeping things from me.”

     And a fine specimen on top of that.

     “He just moved in yesterday,” Yoongi defends, his eyes bore an annoyed look at him. “We’re busy and I have no time to talk about him.”

     “Did you at least catch his name?” His curiosity was getting out of hand but Yoongi was more than glad to supply him the information he needs.

     “His name is Jeon Jungkook.”

     A reliable name, Jimin muses. He watched Jungkook getting dragged away from Hoseok as a professor holds his arm for dear life. With Hoseok glued back to Yoongi’s side, the exhibition went well as the younger ends up being the winner in their year. He suppressed a grin as he his friend blushing after Hoseok stole a peck from him. Yoongi have a lot of explaining to do.

     That night, he stalked Jungkook on Twitter. Hitting follow is a piece of cake but decided against it. Considering his billionaire father, he can do a background check at the snap of his finger but it’s even worse than following Jungkook on the bird app. He concludes that he might’ve a crush on the younger, only a tad admiration—nothing too grand.

     In his slumber, he dreams of watching the first snow with Jungkook.

     Jimin was a blushing mess the following morning.

 

     It took a year for Jimin to finally meet Jungkook face-to-face. He spent the three hundred and sixty five days admiring the younger through Yoongi’s stories as his friend teases him about his giant crush. The meeting was more of a hilarious experience rather than romantic.

     Hoseok generously treated them rounds of beer at his uncle’s bar after he won the top prize on the exhibition twice in a row. At some point, the younger was destined to win because he used Yoongi as his muse for his pictures. Jimin ponders at the thought of being a muse with a specific photographer in mind. It wasn’t much of a coincidence that Jungkook was going to hang out with them that night, considering the intertwined fates of Yoongi and Hoseok. He wasn’t complaining, not at all.

     “His name is Jimin. Park Jimin,” Yoongi’s words kept on slurring after three rounds of beer as he repeats the same statement for the third time. Jungkook only laughs at his friend’s antics, his face flushed red with alcohol.

     “You already know Jungkook?” Hoseok wasn’t holding his liquor as well and he keeps on kissing Yoongi’s cheeks sloppily with a plastered grin solely dedicated for drunkards.

     It took five bottles to knock both boys out, leaving their fates to Jimin and Jungkook’s hands. The journey back to dormitory wasn’t easy as Yoongi kept on clinging on Jimin’s shoulders and Hoseok kept on making weird noises as Jungkook helps him out. The younger took full responsibility for both drunkards as soon as they made it to their building. Jimin watched Yoongi tripping on the lobby as he brings Jungkook down with him. The simple carelessness of his friend drives him into fits of laughter.

     The night ended with Jimin bidding his farewell as soon as the younger disappeared from his sight and the latter following him on Twitter. Unbeknownst to him, the interaction served as the first and last before his life spirals out of control.


 

     Senior university year is supposed to be bittersweet with the last school year directed to stressed students and reluctant professors that won’t let them go easily. Academically speaking, Jimin doesn’t have any problems. In fact, he’s one of those exceptional individuals who’ll graduate with flying colors. Three years in university was a huge breather away from his wealthy and lonely life—speaking of the fucking devil.

     Jimin’s father was terminally ill. The doctor said he only have a year, the cancer cells already subjugated his healthy body. Without the man’s direct supervision, the company was doing well. However, he was a business genius. Risking all of his accomplishments isn’t an appealing idea, especially if entrusted on the wrong person. So he decided to leave his company empire to his one and only son under one condition: He has to drop out of Seoul State University.

     Why the fuck would Jimin let the man walk all over him again? He realized that he was indeed his father’s son, a part of his blood runs through his veins. A vase catches his attention; he’s been in the executive office with the family lawyer for an hour. After listening to his father’s terms, his hands made contact to the vase. Devoid of hesitance, he throws the fragile thing across the room. The lawyer was lucky enough to shield himself from the shards.

     “What makes you think I care about my father’s equities?” Jimin’s voice was full of scorn. “I don’t give two shits about his business ventures. He must’ve got a better persuasion if he wanted me to keep his money safe.”

     The lawyer clears his throat, “CEO Park figures out you’d say that. Last year, he arranged you to the son of Choi Si Hyun, his trusted business partner. You get to finish your studies in Seoul States University in exchange of your cooperation with the agreed matrimony. You will meet Mr. Choi’s son anytime today.”

     Jimin ignored the fact that his father knew that he was gay. All that matters is that he used the information on his advantage for the sake of his business. It was a way to secure his rights on the company, should something bad to happen on his future husband and Jimin ends up owning his spouse’s share—the fucking audacity. Nothing matters to his father but his business—not even his own son. Jimin already got too many receipts to back up his claim.

     With strong conviction on his voice, he speaks, “If he has the fucking time to set me up in an arranged marriage, he should’ve left his company under Si Hyun’s custody. Why did he choose me of all people? How did his neglected son won against the shareholders?”

     “He has zero reliance to his business partner. Moreover, you’re his only family,” the lawyer replies indifferently. “The only one he trusts the most—made of his flesh and blood.”

     Jimin laughed. It was full of sarcasm as he looks at the lawyer with piercing eyes. “It took him twenty-one years to admit that he has a son? Did a frail body and cancer cells made him realize at the final year of his life that family is important more than anything in the world? Did he really think I’d fall for his crap and waste my entire adulthood under his command?”

     The lawyer only gapes at him with a blank stare.

     “Alright, I’ll abide to his condition,” his hand made contact with another vase as he tossed it unswervingly to the concrete wall. “Two can play this game. Send him my warmest message wishing for his fast recovery.”

     Jimin made his way out of the maroon interiors of the executive office, slamming the door loudly behind him. He was still the same kid desperate of his father’s love, the bitter reality eating him whole.

     He finds himself standing in front of Yoongi and Jungkook’s room after two hours of taxi ride from his infernal residence. Behind the door were two people who made his three years wonderful—Yoongi giving him true friendship without monetary returns and falling in love with Jungkook even though Jimin already knows his feelings aren’t reciprocated. A lone tear started to fall and he wipes it foolishly. With a sad smile, he walked away from the place.

     Jimin went back to his dormitory room only to see a familiar face he will never forget—the same kid who made his father smile when he was five and stole storge from him: Choi Elliot.


 

     “I feel sorry for Jungkook,” Taehyung glances at the library door with a sad face. “You don’t have to be that obvious about denying your feelings for him. That sour mood earlier was rude.”

     In the middle of his chaotic life, he met Kim Taehyung a month ago. He was more than willing to lend a helping hand in acquiring a book placed too high for Jimin’s reach. Later on he found out that Taehyung was a friend of Hoseok, turns out that they already have a mutual friend before they even knew one another. Aside from Yoongi, Taehyung knew almost everything that’s happening.

     “I’m doing it for his well-being,” Jimin buries his nails on the cover of the novel he was reading a while ago.

     Hearing his reply, Taehyung scoffs. “Coming from the same person who made Jungkook uncomfortable enough to walk out of the library—you’re clearly not doing your job well.”

     “You of all people know how far Elliot would go if he knows about Jungkook.”

     Taehyung was the son of the owner of a news and entertainment conglomerate, the direct rival of the Choi. Unlike Jimin, his family doesn’t have the dysfunctional dynamics and he grew up without getting spoiled—making him work hard to earn his own money. Elliot, on the other hand, was the total opposite of Taehyung. He’ll do everything to get what he wants to satisfy his spoiled ego—be it in the cleanest or dirtiest way possible.

     “I know,” Taehyung bitterly admits. “I can see it in Jungkook’s eyes that he likes you. Heck, he might be in love with you. You’re robbing your own happiness once again, Jiminie.”

     Jungkook likes him? Preposterous.

     “But Elliot will—“

     “He will know about Jungkook, in one or another. What matters the most is the present. It’s up to you on how you’ll spend the time on your hands. At least give a shot at love before you get married against your will.”

     Jimin ponders at Taehyung’s words. As much as he hate to admit it, his friend was right. Might as well enjoy his already fucked up life before the rusty wedding bell rings, the thought screams wholesome sarcasm.

     Taking out a piece of scratched paper, he wrote a whole Jungkook appreciation verse. Good thing his professor comes up with valuable ideas regarding his literature projects—thank you, Namjoon.


 

“What the fuck did you do this time?” Yoongi was fuming mad as Jimin placed the bowl of ramen he ordered as his edible form of apology for being rude to Jungkook earlier. It was only the spur of the moment; he can’t help but be angry of the younger being overly considerate to him.

Jungkook’s agape was the last thing his messy life needs.

“That’s none of your business, Yoongi,” he replies to his friend, trying to keep his calm composure.

“This is partially my business,” Yoongi hisses back. “Because I’m getting involved even though I don’t want to.”

He was caught off guard by the statement, face contorting with confusion.

“Let’s talk some other time. Clear your head a little, then we’ll talk. See you later.”

Jimin waited for his friend but didn’t get to talk with Yoongi at all as he only winked at him as soon as he’s out of his room. What he didn’t expect was Jungkook getting out of the place minutes after in the middle of his lovesick gaze.

Adolescence was inequitable and Jungkook is the mere evidence of it—the younger keeps on getting finer for Jimin’s heart to handle. A few inches was added to his previously tall height and he kept on gaining muscles whereas maintaining his adorable face. Aside from his physique, he was an embodiment of manners and kindness. It was like the first time all over again, Jimin was in love. He tried to keep it casual whilst resisting the urge not to kiss the younger when their faces were inches apart.

Jungkook asking him to be his muse was the last straw.

Fuck Elliot and his father.

He won’t jeopardize his happiness.


 

One of the many things Jimin hated as he grows up was the camera and the people using the device for their own warped imagery of others. He openly gags at his father’s interview on national television, finding his façade fake and disgusting. The goody-two-shoes on-screen persona of his father clenches his stomach enough to make him puke—the truth vomiting itself out. He’s no stranger with compliments, as well. It was his only comfort as a child, taking in every sweet word and getting the sugar rush that motivated him to go on. It filled the small gaps of his heart seeking for love but not enough to make Jimin feel whole.

However, Jungkook taking his pictures and calling him beautiful with a raspy voice is a completely different story—and a big turn on, too.

For the record, he never had erotic thoughts about Jungkook despite the probability of the younger being a sex god. Who could’ve thought that Jimin have a praise kink all along? Those sinfully long fingers aren’t helping, either.

He almost begs Jungkook to fuck him, luckily Taehyung called him.

It took three years for Jimin’s love to escalate into eros. He writes another Jungkook verse with a grin, trying hard not to be explicit with his words.

The day ended with Jimin jerking off using Jungkook’s visuals and sticky white cum staining his favorite shirt.


 

Still high and euphoric with his Twilight Kingdom experience with Jungkook, there was a wide smile plastered on Jimin’s face and a pink blush on his cheeks. His mood turned sour as he met Elliot’s hard gaze, not expecting his presence inside his room.

“Where were you?” the tall figure looms over him, his voice booms with anger and authority. Elliot’s eyes caught the bag containing all the rabbit plushies that he won but the male didn’t comment on them.

Jimin wasn’t fazed at all as he fights fire with fire, “It’s none of your fucking business. Don’t act like we’re a married couple.”

“What was his name once again? Jeon Jungkook?” Elliot enunciates the name with careful comportment, fueling Jimin’s rage.

“Name your terms,” was his immediate reply.

Elliot chuckles, “You’re really Uncle Park’s son.”

Jimin grabbed the collar of Elliot’s shirt, not giving a single shit on the expensive fabric as he clenched the material hard.

“I’ll tell you my terms,” the other male gives in. “Sleep with me or else I will send my men to Jungkook. You know it’s not an empty threat.”

His hand snaked around Elliot’s neck, making the latter choke on his tight hold.

“You wouldn’t dare,” Jimin spat, his jaw clenching. “And I won’t let you.”

“Don’t make me, Park. I want you and I will kill anyone in the way just to get my hands on you,” Elliot smirks, his eyes flashing with carnal desire and bloodlust. “Do you want to see Jungkook’s cold and lifeless body at your doorstep? Yoongi’s decapitated head? Taehyung’s eyes carved out of his sockets? Hoseok’s ripped mouth? Say the name on the top of your head, darling. Choose.”

Jimin’s bravado was completely broken as his eyes welled up with tears, his hand losing its strength. If words have the capacity to kill, Choi Elliot already died with multiple stabs on his corpse for his voice was filled with sharp daggers as he speaks.

“The nine circles of hell are reserved for dysfunctional people like you.”

“See you there, darling.”

Elliot made his way towards Jimin and forced his tongue inside, claiming him. Against his will, Jimin responded to the kisses with the strong conviction of protecting his beloved friends and Jungkook. The man wasn’t gentle at all as he fucks Jimin raw without prepping and lubrication; each drag of Elliot’s cock sends pain on the dry walls of his ass. Jimin’s vision was blurry from his tears; his voice strained into hiccups and painful moans contrasting Elliot’s satisfied sounds. The pain was beyond Jimin’s tolerance as he ends up losing consciousness in the middle of Elliot’s torture.

He regains his senses after passing out all day; it was dark when Jimin looked out of his window. The room smells like sex and cigarettes, the combination making him drag his sore nudity to the bathroom sink and puke. He let the tap open, washing out the vomit into the drain with the aftertaste lingering still on his tongue.

Jimin looked in the mirror to see his wrecked state, a pale face staring back at him. He feels dirty and disgusted of his own body—unworthy of any love, the kind of person who doesn’t deserve the likes of Jungkook. Without breaking eye contact to the mirror, he spent the next minutes crying over his hopeless state. The thought of someone saving him is absurd but Jimin holds on to it, feeling like he’s back to his ten-year-old self once again.

When he went out of the bathroom, Elliot was sitting on the foot of his bed with a small plastic bag on his large hand.

“Did you feel lonely when I was away, darling?”

Jimin bites back his mordant remark, opting not to respond.

“I bought painkillers, condoms and lube. It seems that I was too rough last night.”

“I didn’t know that the devil’s spawn is capable of human emotions.”

The man only laughed at his statement, “You better moan if you want me to be gentle tonight. Be a good boy or else I’ll fuck you dry.”

Elliot was in the middle of prepping Jimin when Jungkook barged in. Everything happened in a blur and soon it was only both of them in his room with the other man temporarily out of the equation. The younger’s eyes scream anger as he deliberately avoid Jimin’s gaze. His nakedness was concealed with the blanket as his hands grasps on them tightly, mustering the courage break the deafening silence between them and explain everything to Jungkook.

     “It’s not what you think it is.”

     “Here are the passes for the exhibition on Friday. Thank you for being my muse and I’m sorry about the door. I hope you and your man can make it on Friday.”

     Jungkook didn’t even look at him as he repeats the sixth day of the week twice in a row. Before Jimin could reply, the younger exited the room. Wrapping the blanket around his body, he winces at his every movement as he tries to get off the bed. The familiar hue of the black exhibition tickets lays untouched on the floor before Jimin bends as slow as possible to pick it up. Placing them on the table, Jimin paced the room looking for the painkillers. Taking two of the damn medication to alleviate his aching torment, he quickly cleaned himself and puts on his clothes. With a firm conviction, Jimin made his way to Jungkook and Yoongi’s shared room.

 

     “I’m going to kill that worthless piece of shit.”

     That was one of the many rants of Yoongi after Jimin told him about Elliot. His friend was raving mad and too willing to stab another human being—until he remembers the cons of being a convicted criminal behind bars.

     Jimin borrowed Yoongi’s kitchen tools to make instant ramen. His body is still excruciating in pain but he has to make an apology offering to Jungkook even though he’s been kicked out of his room.

     “I’ve never seen Jungkook lose his cool like that,” Yoongi confesses as Jimin cooks. “Hearing the story was enough to make my blood boil. Witnessing is entirely a different thing—I would’ve thrown kicks and punches. You were lucky that Jungkook arrived on time.”

     “For a moment back there, I feel happy to see that Jungkook was mad beyond recognition. Call me bat shit crazy but I appreciate your angry responses because it means that you love me.”

     Yoongi gave him an offended stare. “Of course, I love you Jimin. You’re my friend and soulmate. I would kill and die for you.”

     Jimin laughed as his friend’s antics. Yoongi looks like an adorable grumpy cat.

     “How about…” the younger’s name hangs on the tip of his tongue.

     “Jungkook will talk to you if he’s ready. I know it’s not my business to pry but I think you should confess your feelings to him. The timing is crap and everything but it’s about time for you guys to talk things over.”

     The medicine began to work. Jimin fails to suppress his yawn.

     “I’ll take it over from here. You should rest.”

     He felt Yoongi’s strong arms carrying him to bed, the soft mattress against his back and the powdery smell of the blanket as sleep consumes him.

     For a brief moment that Jimin falls out of his slumber, he felt someone occupy the empty side of the bed; face nuzzled on the juncture of his neck and drapes an arm around his torso. The faint smell of soft floral made him feel safe—like the time he pinned Jungkook on the mirror and leaned his body closer to him. Jimin hears a soft muffled voice but he can’t make the words out as he falls back into sleep.

     In his dreams, he saw his five-year-old self with the red marker crossing out storge. Jimin took it out of the kid’s hold, skipping straight to the last page of the book. His younger self watched him with curious eyes as he scribbles on the paper.

     “What are you writing?” the innocent child asks.

     “The love you will experience in your lifetime,” Jimin replies with a grin as he kneeled down to match his height with his juvenile version as he proudly shows off the letter he wrote.

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook is a simple man. He finds pleasure in the smallest things like a cold glass of water after a scorching day; staying in the blanket fort when the weather isn’t friendly for his usual park strolls; cancelled classes as the unexpected blessings that they are, school festivals that aims to foster social relationships (the thrill of ditching the event never gets old); landing on photography jobs that gives free food; Christmas dinner with his family and—

     Waking up on a Tuesday at two in the afternoon with a sleeping Jimin on his arms.

     The older must’ve moved in between his sleep, he remembered pressing against Jimin’s back as he hugs him while whispering low murmurs of I’m sorry before he fell asleep. When Jungkook wakes up, Jimin was leaning his head close to his chest with an arm draped around his waist. The domesticity of the position made his cheeks flush a rich hue of pink.

     This is probably the first and last he would be close with the older after confessing his feelings. Jungkook was rude enough to disturb Jimin’s quality time with his “boyfriend”—the quoted word sending embers of jealousy in his burning system. In his nineteen years of a lifetime, that was the brash of all the stupid decisions he made. The dread on his face was inevitable as the slow burn of yesterday’s events gnaws him alive. His gaze falls back on Jimin’s peaceful form—he doesn’t deserve an angel like him at all. Still, his arms remained on the older for he was a greedy man who wants more than the share he deserved. Jimin is the picturesque scenery that fuels Jungkook’s insatiable desire.

     He felt his puppy pajamas getting a little tight.

     Getting a boner first thing in the afternoon was the least of Jungkook’s priorities. With careful movements, he peeled himself away from Jimin. After tucking in the older with a light kiss on his forehead, he went to the kitchen and rummaged through their cabinet looking for an unopened box of pancake mix. He grimaces at the small sink full of two dirty plates—Hoseok must’ve crashed in their room again.

     It was Jungkook’s first time in his life to make pancakes—nothing could go wrong if he sticks to the recipe, right?

     He was in the middle of pouring maple syrup on his king pancake masterpiece when he hears careful steps coming out of Yoongi’s bedroom. With a quick glance, he saw Jimin making his way to the kitchen—limping. Jungkook felt the familiar bubble of rage as he continue to watch the older’s effort as he winces when his bottom made contact to the wooden stool across the kitchen counter.

     “What did he do to you?” Jungkook asked, failing to suppress his emotions.

     Jimin jolted at the intensity of his voice, apologetic eyes gawking back at his angry ones. He heaved a sigh in an attempt to calm his nerves before setting the plate of pancake on the counter.

     “I’m sorry for yesterday,” Jungkook’s gaze softens along with his voice. “I didn’t mean to barge in the middle of the business with your boyfriend. Moreover, I shouted at you rudely. My face is probably the last thing you wanted to see. Sincerely, I apologize for my actions.”

     “I was thankful that you did it. Believe me, being sorry is the last thing you should feel right now,” the older took a bite of the food, trying to be casual. “For the record, Choi Elliot isn’t my boyfriend.”

     Still, Jungkook persisted in the midst of the relief he felt upon hearing the last statement. “You don’t need to be considerate. It was my mis—“

     Jimin cuts him off with a loud thud,    clenched fist against the wooden surface as he snapped, “Elliot—my alleged boyfriend—forced me to have sex with him after threatening me to kill my friends—to kill you. Hearing your apology is like justifying his actions, that it was okay for him to do that—to rape me and slaughter the innocent. Tell me honestly, what did you feel when you saw him hovering over me? Touching erogenous parts of my body? Hyung being pliant and cooperative to his lustful ministrations against his fucking will? Tell me, Jungkook-ah.”

     “You don’t want to know,” he growls as Jimin provoked him effectively, making him lean closer to the counter with his face a cold distance away from the older. His thoughts were getting dark of all the blasphemies Elliot deserved with his eyes seeing red. They were both angry and frustrated—not a good combination to talk things through. Jimin’s eyes were flashing with his temper as his hands started to hug his own frame. Jungkook’s eyes soften with the vulnerable sight with the urge of protecting the older.

     “You’re disgusted with me, at least I know that much. I’m no less than those paid whores in brothels that will spread their legs for money. Good thing I don’t have a pimp. I’m not even sure if I’m ought to be spoiled by your kindness after you witnessed the entire ordeal, baby.”

     Every word (with the exception of the pet name) that the older utter was ridiculous. Jungkook crushed his lips on Jimin’s plump ones, tasting the sweet maple syrup against his tongue—marking their first kiss. It shocked Jimin to begin with, but responded soon after as he moves his lips against Jungkook. The kiss was chaste and innocent, reminding Jungkook of lazy afternoons after an unexpected summer rain. He felt Jimin’s smile, and they savored the moment for their heart’s content—the platonic intimacy driving the butterflies zealous into their stomachs.

     Jungkook breaks off the kiss as he holds Jimin’s cheeks, his fingers caressing the skin softly, “I thought of all the bad things I can do to Elliot—but you’re not disgusting, never in my mind have I thought of you that way. My pretty Jimin deserve the world—all the gardens and rainbows; compliments and praises. You’re too good for me that I’m not worthy to stay by your side.”

     Jimin preens at his words, only to contort into a frown as he heard the last statement smoothly rolling off his tongue. “I don’t want the world. I want your kindness. I want your loving gaze on me. I want the smile that makes your eyes crinkle in happiness. I want to fall asleep on your embrace and wake up with you at any time of the day. You have to be on my side.”

     The older paused, heaving an exhilarating breath while looking at Jungkook square in the eyes, “I love you.”

     This can’t be real…right? Jimin with his swollen lips and adorable bed hair is fucking confessing to him—furthermore, loves him. It was supposed to be his job but why did Jimin beat him up to it? Jungkook’s mind was full of questions and his mouth was working before he even knew it.

     “W-what did you just say?” Jungkook gapes at the older as he slowly takes in everything that he heard, his brain short-circuiting due to information overload. His thumb lays motionless on the latter’s crimson cheeks, waiting for a sign that he wasn’t imagining every single word that Jimin said. “Y-you love me?”

     Before Jimin could answer, the door burst open revealing a disheveled Taehyung.

     “Jungkook, there’s something I have to te—oh.”

     Jungkook palmed his face in disbelief as he groans exasperatedly followed by a set of curses along with whispers you got to be fucking kidding me in quick succession. Reconsidering his friendship with Taehyung is in order. Of all the possible timings he has to do his sneaky business, why in the middle of confirming Jimin’s confession?

     Taehyung, in retrospect, smirks at the scene he accidentally interrupted. It took a while for Jimin to turn his head and focusing his full attention to his friend, grimacing at every small movement he makes with his body that doesn’t go unnoticed by Taehyung’s hawk eyes, etching a frown on his handsome face.

     “It better be important—that ‘something’ you’re pertaining,” Jungkook responded, his voice clearly done with his friend’s antics. “I’m seriously considering our friendship.”

     “Stop being dramatic,” Taehyung steals a bite of Jimin’s pancake, earning a glare from Jungkook. “Besides, I was supposed to tell you that Professor Seokjin has been searching for you the whole morning. Hoseok covered for you even though he’s a terrible liar. That’s not the main reason I’m here though.”

     “You have five seconds to get yourself out the door.”

     “I’m here for the fashion show photos,” his friend gives in. “I trust that you already printed them out.”

     “Let me get them in my room,” Jungkook steals a glance at Jimin who smiles back at him as soon as their eyes met, making Taehyung shoot a teasing grin at him—it was supposed to vex him but he’s too happy to be annoyed easily.

     As soon as he reached his room and closed the door behind him, he hears Taehyung asking loudly about Jimin’s condition and the rest of the words were gibberish. The older deliberately avoided his inquiry about the aforementioned topic earlier; maybe he wasn’t ready to tell him yet. In a way, Jungkook understands Jimin’s hesitance on giving out the answers to his question. Forcing his hyung to abide to his curious wishes was the last thing on his mind. There must be a reason. After all, it’s difficult to disclose matters that could inflict worry to your loved ones.

     His hand made contact to the roughness of the brown envelope containing the fashion show photos. Jungkook set his thoughts aside for the meantime, the determination to kick Taehyung out of his room brewing on the top of his list.

     Both boys were feasting on the last piece of pancake when Jungkook went out of the room, bringing the item with him. He passed it on to Taehyung without further ado as he pushes the man out of the door easily considering the stark difference in their strength.

     “Your enthusiasm on kicking him out knows no bounds,” says Jimin amusingly as he made it back to the kitchen after Taehyung left. Jungkook only snorts as he wipes the counter clean.

     “He was worst than a cockblocker for breaking the momentum of our conversation. What I did was bare minimum. Taehyung was lucky enough I kept our friendship afloat,” Jungkook sets the empty plate on the kitchen sink and letting the water wash the remnants of food whilst he squeezes the sponge with dishwashing liquid, making a rich lather. He got his back turned on Jimin as he works so he can’t see the expression the older makes but more or less, he’s grinning.

     “I would do everything to be domestic like this every day. That is, if you don’t mind cooking on a daily basis,” His hyung’s voice was distant and wishful, as if he’ll be gone somewhere at the end of the day—the possibility driving Jungkook’s mind frantic.

     On the other hand, Jungkook would also do anything—be it a sacrifice to the gods or selling his soul to the devil—to live the remainder of his life being domestic with Jimin.

     “You’re lucky enough I didn’t burn the pancake despite my first time making it,” he chuckled. “I can’t stare too long though, the little holes on the batter while it cooks terrifies me.”

     “You’ve worked hard for today, baby,” Jungkook felt his ears flush red at the pet name, the towel on his hand froze on the plate he’s wiping dry. “You don’t mind me calling you baby, right?”

     “As long as you don’t mind me dropping honorifics on you,” he teases.

     “Brat,” Jimin was pouting—he knows the man like the back of his hand.

     “I thought it was baby?”           

     “Humor me, you disrespectful punk.”

     Jungkook placed the clean dishes on the rack before facing the older, a sudden rush of bravery coursing through his system as he enunciates his response.

     “I love you, Jimin hyung.”

     “It’s not a funny joke, Jungkook.”

     Talk about a proper timing to confess his feelings. It was supposed to be a romantic gesture! He fought the urge not to roll his eyes but he did anyway, “It wasn’t supposed to be funny. Two years of loving you involve lots of tears, wishful thinking and a firm faith especially when you give me the cold shoulder. I spent nights thinking and bawling my eyes out because of you—does that sound like a joke to you? Are my feelings that cheap? You’re offending me, Jimin.”

     “You love me since the day we met?” Jimin countered with a question as he looks surprised—more like taken aback with his revelation and enlightened at the same interval, the lack of honorifics clearly ignored.

     “Your laugh reminds me of home—spirits high, serene, and saccharine. I almost ditched Hoseok and Yoongi hyung in the lobby. I knew right away that I had to make you my muse. Then, as if fate was playing mind games with me, I didn’t see you much after that. You were upset with me for no apparent reason whenever we ended up in the same place. I was too afraid to man up and ask you—no, I thought it was better to keep my distance because my presence makes you feel uneasy.”

     “I was stupid,” Jimin cuts in. The older made an effort to stand, his movements slow and gentle as he walks towards Jungkook’s figure leaning on the sink as he ends up standing beside him. “I was too desperate to protect you. Taehyung made me realize that I was hurting you. I’m sorry.”

     Jungkook blindly reached for Jimin, his big hand landing on the older’s small one. He intertwined their fingers, heat contrasting the coldness of his skin. “These past few days have been working in my favor—you were my muse, we spent time together, have decent conversations. Half of the things I imagined happened in real life, it was too good to be true. As the days before the exhibition passed by, I was scared to let go of the only thing that binds us together: the muse-photographer affiliation.”

     “I figured out when we were on the ferris wheel after you took the fifth picture. Yoongi always complain that Hoseok exceeds the required six photos for the exhibition.”

     “You were keeping count as well?” It was Jungkook’s turn to be surprised.

     “Except the first stanza, I tweeted on the same day you took every photo.”

     Speaking of the devil, “Whoever you pertain to your poem, it drives me jealous for the first two stanzas.”

     Jimin erupted into a boisterous laugh, breaking Jungkook’s serious stupor.

     “It was about you, silly. Haven’t you read the replies at all? Yoongi and Taehyung were too eager to expose me. Moreover, Hoseok and the professors joined in after the Twilight Kingdom affair.”

     The older was laughing still; the crystal-clear sound resonates in Jungkook’s ear as he connects everything that happened in the past days that involved his photos and Jimin’s poem. His mind works like a detective, gathering clues and securing them with pushpins on the walls of his memories—and realized that he was indeed overanalyzing things. He can already hear Yoongi’s laugh and Hoseok’s cackle at the back of his head.

     Jungkook and literature doesn’t go together—as well as Jungkook and poems. It was the terrible mishmash, worst imaginable. He wasn’t cut out to interpret double-blade words that bleed the faintest of hearts. Who could’ve thought that half of his tears were created by his own stupidity? His free hand massaged his forehead to regain his bearings—too much enlightenment for Jungkook to handle.

     “I can’t believe I’m jealous over myself all along,” he reels the foolishness in, the entirety of his being too embarrassed to even look at Jimin—who’s probably finds the situation entirely hilarious—as he keep his eyes on the ground.

     “I like to tease you even more but do you have extra painkillers? My body is still sore.”

     Jungkook gave the older a worried glance before peeling his hand away from Jimin’s hold and reaching over the shelf for the medicine. He opens the refrigerator to fill the empty glass with cold water when his eyes dart on the familiar thermal bowl of ramen—and remembers Yoongi’s forewarning on it. Retrieving the food, he sets it on the counter before attending the older.

     “As much as I like to know how your body ended up battered with pain and who the hell Elliot is, it’s your own story to tell. I don’t want you to feel like you’re obligated to tell me,” Jungkook offered an assuring smile to Jimin as he passed over the drug with the glass of water.

     “I dragged my aching ass here last night to tell you everything,” Jimin wipes his wet philtrum with the back of his hand after he drinks the painkiller. “Only I didn’t expect to confess my feelings out.”

     “It was supposed to be romantic and sappy,” Jungkook whines, his face full of regret as Jimin chuckles while a pair of crescents looks at him lovingly. What did he do in his past life to deserve this fluff?

     “Domestic conversations are the best—nothing too extreme.”

     Jungkook grabbed a spoon and dips the utensil into the bowl of the untouched edible, “Let me eat this ramen first. All the confessions and revelations got me hungry.”

     Jimin’s face was filled with panic. It was too late when the older warned him. Jungkook chews on the undercooked noodles with the broth tasting like it’s made up mostly of water. Heaven knows he tried to keep a civil expression—damn his genes for bestowing a face that doesn’t lie. Now he knows Yoongi wasn’t exaggerating last night. He dumped the monster food to the sink as he thinks of ways to get rid of it for good.

     “You don’t mind me ordering pizza at this hour, hyung? Do you like pineapples on them or no?”

     “It’s still Tuesday afternoon, Jungkook-ah.”

     “Hawaiian it is then. Excellent choice.”

 

     “I didn’t sign up for this shit,” Yoongi openly gags as he caught Jungkook kissing Jimin’s hair as they cuddle on the sofa. It was around six o’ clock when his pale roommate came back, his body and limbs tired of complying requirements, chasing professors—and a Chinese takeout on hand. “And please dispose that empty box of pizza. Cleanliness is a must in this household.”

     “Don’t vent out your frustration on us,” Jimin stands up as he cleans the coffee table and discarded the box, his movements still temperate but he wasn’t wincing at every action—the medicine was serving its purpose. “Ask Hoseok to be your boyfriend already. I feel sorry for your single ass.”

     “Coming from the same person who likes Jungkook for three years and only made a move at his senior year,” Yoongi snorts. “Don’t preach like you’re any better than me, fucker.”

     Jimin looked at his friend with a scandalized stare after being exposed. What is Jungkook supposed to do with the information?

     “Three years, huh?” he tried to keep it casual but his mischievous eyes gave away. “You owe me a story, baby boy.”

     “Traitor,” Jimin grumbles with cheeks aflame at the endearment—cute.

     “The whole squad needs to see this,” announced Yoongi, hands getting busy on his phone.

     Jungkook gave his roommate a perplexed stare. “What squad?”


 

     “Let me guess, Jungkook confessed first?”

     “No. Taehyung said it was Jimin. I’m hella proud of my student.”

     “Shut up, Joon. Jungkook have the guts, too.”

     “Only he wasn’t brave enough to do that?”

     “Fair point, Yoongi.”

     “Pay up, Hoseok. You owe me five bucks.”

     “For the third time Taehyung, a confession doesn’t count.”

     It took a glare from Jungkook for both males to stop in the middle of their bickering session only to resume seconds later. Yoongi was fast enough to answer the door as soon as a knock was heard as his roommate welcomes Seokjin and Namjoon in their humble dormitory space. As for Hoseok and Taehyung, they arrived merely ten minutes ago. He was ready to kick them out of the place, if it weren’t for the shopping bag of snacks they’ve bought—his ultimate weakness. So he lets them in, internally hating the fact that he’s easily bribed with free items.

     Jungkook watches the natural interaction among his friends and the professors with a smile as look after he feels Jimin scooting closer to him on the sofa; the older’s head on his broad shoulders, hands intertwined. It feels like they’re the parents who keep an eye on their hyperactive kids—the domesticity of the analogy warms his cheeks.

     “Given that Jungkook and Jimin ended up in the lovey-dovey category, I think this call for a celebration. Tequila? Vodka?” Taehyung inquires; holding two bottles firmly on one hand while the other blindly reaching out for snacks only to retrieve a bottle of red wine.

     “We’re supposed to be role models and shit but vodka is too tempting,” Namjoon was already at the kitchen rummaging for glasses as soon as the drink was exposed. “Seriously, you’ve got too many mugs for two people living in this unit.”

     “They were a gift from a friend and you’re searching in the wrong cabinet,” Yoongi slanders, looking so done with the professor as he points where the glasses are. Eventually, he went to the kitchen to help Namjoon out after heaving an indignant sigh.

     Seokjin and Hoseok unpack the remaining bags, sorting unhealthy snacks on the coffee table. Most of the brands were familiar but there were a few weird ones—Hoseok’s grin was the only explanation Jungkook needs. The professor took out ingredients for spaghetti and Taehyung was fast enough to acknowledge the item while lowkey asking for Seokjin to cook them, even forcing the professor into a pinky promise after the man said yes.

     Five minutes later, they were on a drinking session. Tons of questions were thrown around, mostly about Jungkook and Jimin—their first meeting and impressions; what they like about one another; confirming on who confessed first, among others. The conversation became boisterous when Yoongi started spilling revelations on Jungkook’s jealousy streak and Taehyung exposing Jimin and his sappy poems. The squad openly gags when Jimin pulled him into a sloppy kiss.

     There were also few hilarious experiences drive the seven into fits of laughter like Taehyung getting off the wrong stop; Hoseok’s cheerful laugh in the middle of his sleep that scared the shit out of his classmates at camp; Yoongi getting a plate for himself at a funeral service, thinking that he was already at the venue of a friend’s birthday party; Namjoon talking casually to the dean of the Art Department on his first day on the job; Seokjin receiving a confession at the public restroom; and Jungkook singing on the top of his lungs on the first time he got drunk. They were having a hard time recovering from the humorous exchanges as their eyes produce tears from laughing too hard.

     It was after six tequila shots that Taehyung (note: drunk) played Por Una Cabeza on his phone after he connects the device to Jungkook’s bluetooth speaker and dragging Seokjin (read: face beet red with too much alcohol) with him to dance tango. Thankfully, Jungkook was conscious enough to push the coffee table away to widen the space for dancing.

     With a lopsided smile, Jimin pulled him to the makeshift dance floor as he starts off an easy rhythm with his hips. The older sticks close to the younger’s body and playfully grinds on him as the sultry dance matches with the music. He nibbles the older’s ears lightly as a breathy laugh escaped his throat.

     “How do you make it so sexy?” Jungkook whispers.

     A sexy giggle was heard from Jimin, “Priorities.”

     On the side, Yoongi and Hoseok dances like they’re the best comedian duos in the industry with their funny movements highlighting the performance. In his drunken stupor, Namjoon documents the whole thing.

     Then everything was a blur after that.

     Jungkook wakes up with a terrible headache with Taehyung lying on his stomach and Yoongi hugging his thigh like his life depended on it—

     And Jimin watches him with amusement while munching on his spaghetti—domestic.


 

     “Welcome to the exhibit—oh.”

     Shock is an understatement, Jungkook was scared beyond his wits he heard the familiar voice of Taehyung, their eyes meeting almost immediately and finger pointed at each other upon recognition. The man was stationed by the door, verifying tickets. He wasn’t looking forward to see him, much less to the place he least expects Taehyung to lurk in—the element of surprise.

     “I swear to god I’ll end our friendship if you keep on emerging like this.”

     “Seokjin hyung is generous with the salary, I can’t resist.”

     Of course, it has to do with the fucking pay. All the damn time.

     Taehyung was back in his employee mode, “Now hand me over that ticket to be verified.”

     “You’re not coming with us, Taehyungie?” Jimin inquires.

     “I wouldn’t want to be the third wheel in a double-date,” Taehyung grins as he writes some kind of weird characters on the black ticket, eyes dripping in tease.

     “Get a boyfriend already,” Hoseok rolled his eyes.

     “You could use your own advice,” Jungkook chided, making the rest laugh.

     “Shut up,” Hoseok makes a face.

     “Enjoy the exhibition, brats,” were Taehyung’s parting words as they went in.

 

     “The budget department went all out with the money this year.”

     “They fucking snapped.”

     Jungkook and Hoseok laid their eyes upon the venue of the exhibition, mouth agape and astonished faces brightly illuminated by the lights installed by professionals on the field. Everything looks sophisticated from the interior down to the placement of photos, each detail taken in careful consideration to transform a plain audio-visual room into a low-cost, efficient art gallery. The visuals of the place took their breath away to the point that they forgotten their respective companions—who are currently suppressing their laugh at their smitten state.

     “Judge me all you want. I’m too happy to care,” Jungkook turned to Yoongi and Jimin, the small pair talking to each other under their breath while throwing knowing glances to him and his friend.

     “Don’t mind those two geezers, let’s go!” Hoseok literally skips.

     “What the fuck did you just say?” Yoongi sneered.

     It was three days after their confession and the unplanned celebration since Jungkook was with Jimin. After a heavy breakfast with the squad, the older persisted to go back to his own room. Initially, he was against the idea (so is Taehyung and Yoongi) and it ended up Jimin giving his phone number to Jungkook after the three of them reached a mutual understanding, letting him go. All the days were filled with phone calls as both boys talk about casual things after fulfilling their school responsibilities—and Yoongi’s constant teasing.

     The mere sight of Jimin coming over with Hoseok to fetch Jungkook and Yoongi for the exhibition was an episode full of shy conversations, knowing glances and interlocked fingers—leaving their friends openly gagging but still happy nonetheless.

     Jungkook finds himself getting dragged by Jimin on every corner of the room as his eyes sparkle with fascination at the photos. There were so many depictions of faces in the exhibition, abiding to the theme of the exhibition which happens to be love.  When Seokjin informed the class a month ago, he finds himself thinking of ways to at least comply with it as a requirement. His body leads him to the library after his classes have ended, watching Jimin getting busy with a novel as an idea comes in mind.

     Who could’ve thought that the idea involved Jimin as his muse?

     “Storge,” Jimin whispers, voice almost inaudible, his eyes fixated on a picture of a kid and a man in his early thirties holding hands with a bright smile on their faces. There was also a picture of a mother breastfeeding her infant with a contented and loving gaze upon her bundle of happiness.

     Jungkook knows nothing of Jimin’s past or his family but he can figure out almost immediately as the sad features of his hyung became prominent the longer he stares at those pictures. His hand finds the older’s small one, interlacing their fingers as soon as Jungkook felt the familiar heat on his hold. Jimin looks up to him, still in his melancholy trance. It feels like they’ve reached an unspoken understanding, judging by the way Jimin’s hand tightens against his own as a small smile reached his face. And just like that, they proceed to see more pictures until the familiar photographs reached Jungkook’s eyes—and Jimin stopped on his tracks, gaping at them with astonishment.

     “I-is that me?” the older stutters, shock coursing through his system.

     “That’s how I see you all the time—pretty, angelic, kind,” Jungkook fights back the blush creeping on his cheeks. “A camera can’t rival how pretty you are in my eyes, those angelic features that make you charming and the kindness you shower to people around you.”

     “Jungkook-ah,” tears began welling up in Jimin’s eyes when he kneeled by one knee, hands still interlaced with the older and a bunny smile on his face. At the time, people crowded at them, watching the scene unfold. In his peripheral vision, he can see his friends with a loving smile on their faces.

     “Two years ago, I met you in this exhibition. In this same room, I was smitten by your smile. I feel the luckiest man alive from the moment I caught your name. Baby, you had me when I heard your angelic laugh. We’ve been having our ups and downs since then but this time, you’d spend them with me. Your problems will become mine, your worries also mine, your fears and doubts—because I am you and you are me. We are going to face them together, hand in hand—a team. Park Jimin, I love you the most in this world. Will you be my boyfriend?”

     All that Jungkook could see at the moment was the man he loves the most, streaks of tears on his soft cheeks as he gives him the most devoted gaze he’d ever seen in his life. His heartbeat was fast and deafeningly loud as he waits for the answer.

     It all happened too fast. People were clapping and cheering, it was too much at once. Then Jungkook felt the familiar pillowy lips against his own, arms wrapped around his neck as he holds Jimin in place while kissing him back. In the midst of the boisterous noise, Jungkook hears Jimin saying yes in the middle of their kiss. He didn’t notice that he was crying too, not until they separated to catch their breath and Jimin’s thumb was wiping the tears.

     “Fucking finally!” Yoongi ran to them and locked them in a tight hug, followed by Hoseok and Taehyung. Seokjin also joined and Namjoon lifted them all like they weigh nothing. They stayed like that, reeling the high of the heartfelt moment until Hoseok complained that he can’t breathe. They broke into laughter as they separated, and it all took a knowing look from Seokjin for the second group hug to happen, this time no one is dying on lack of oxygen.

     The exhibition ended with Hoseok and Jungkook tying in the first place. The squad crashed at their room once again, Yoongi pinching the bridge of his nose when he saw the scattered shoes by the door. Seokjin cooked spaghetti, keeping his promise to Taehyung a few days back. Eating dinner with the people you love have always been proven to increase your appetite, Jungkook only laughs when they keep on asking for seconds only for Seokjin to drop the bomb that they’ve eaten all the spaghetti already. They decided to watch Hereditary on Jungkook’s laptop after that, the horror movie scaring his friends as they shriek in the middle of the night while Namjoon sternly reminds them of the time. 

     Jimin hiding his face on his chest whenever there’s a gore scene on screen wells up Jungkook’s heart for he was a simple man who finds happiness on the smallest of things—most especially if Park Jimin is involved. Domestic.

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook is the happiest man alive. The pillow felt soft and dreamy against his cheeks, traces of sleep still lingering on his doe orbs. The yellow walls reflect the sunlight spilling inside the room; the blinding brightness hurts his eyes. There was a peaceful lull on the building and the low hum of the air conditioner. It was a perfect morning for the first day of semester break.

     His attention was directed to the hand on his waist, a familiar small frame hugging him with his hushed breaths fanning his skin. Jungkook lovingly smiled at his boyfriend, fighting the urge to pinch his chubby cheeks and kiss the other awake. He can’t resist Jimin’s plump lips—seriously, who can?

     His phone was vibrating against the table, creating the annoying sound for Jungkook’s ears to handle first thing in the morning. After planting a kiss on Jimin’s forehead, he got up and stashed his phone in his camera bag. He went of his room only to witness his roommate kissing the hell out of Hoseok as his friend balances himself with all the photography equipment he carried with him.

     “Good morning,” greets sleepy Jungkook with a grin, a cup of cold banana milk in hand. It wasn’t the first time that he caught his friends—and he have seen worse than torrid kisses as he shoves the memory on the back of his mind. “Ain’t you both a lovely sight for sore eyes?”

     “I can’t believe you’re not even awake at this hour,” Hoseok deadpanned. “We have another school festival photography work. It’s a big school this time, sparingly walking distance away from here. Move your ass to the bathroom already.”

     “You didn’t tell me about the job. Not my fault,” Jungkook replied with a yawn.

     “Of course,” Hoseok rolled his eyes at realization, his palm against his face. “You don’t read your messages like a normal person.”

     Jimin comes out of his room soon after, his small eyes squinting at the brightness. The older looks like he’s trying to figure out why there are three people in his sight as soon as he wakes up. In his sleepy state, Jungkook can clearly see the hickeys he left last night. He felt his lips smirking at the sight. They were extra touchy, the thick sexual tension that gravitates both of them into lustful ministrations. It was after Jimin told Jungkook everything about Elliot and the arranged marriage. It drove Jungkook raving mad and Jimin kissed him to keep his emotions at bay along with dirty promises driven by love, lust, jealousy and possessiveness—with couple of handjobs to do the trick.

     It’s been a grand total of three days—Jimin being his boyfriend and his hyung has been staying over ever since. They spent their time talking, knowing each other even more—both males were similar yet different in so many ways with Jimin as extroverted but funny on several occasions and Jungkook being introverted but an absolute crackhead.

     The older listens to him as he narrates his childhood memories, almost all of them being associated to his parents. Jimin was laughing as the stories gets hilarious but Jungkook noticed the flash of envy in his boyfriend’s eyes, the sadness lingering in those orbs. He’s always been keen on the small details and it took time to connect the dots altogether for Jungkook to conclude that Jimin’s family history is problematic. It was beyond his boyfriend jurisdiction to ask for it was too personal so Jungkook decided to set the matter aside. He was willing to wait for Jimin to disclose his personal information with him, open up his heart a little—baby steps.

     “Oh,” Hoseok smirks to Jungkook after he sees Jimin and his glorious marks. “At least I know why you haven’t read my texts at all. I’m beyond proud, dude.”

     “You don’t know what I had to put up last night,” Yoongi whined—he fucking whined. “Now I can’t even look at my best friend. I can still hear the moans; sometimes they haunt me in the middle of my dreams.”

     Jimin snatched Jungkook’s banana milk as he chugs it down, his eyes determined to make a comeback. “And I can’t erase the memory of you giving Hoseok a lap dance when you were drunk. We’re fucking even now.”

     “Park Jimin, it was supposed to be our secret!” Yoongi was as red as a tomato, his face mortified. Hoseok was quick enough to snap a picture to commemorate the scandalized moment. Jungkook laughed his heart throughout the entire ordeal.

     “It was?” Jimin fake gasped. “I’m so sorry, sweetie.”

     Before Yoongi could have his revenge, the door snapped open to reveal a fuming Taehyung. He was sweaty and trying to catch his breath. A pair of accusing eyes was directed to him and Hoseok. It was going to be a long morning.

     Taehyung pointed a condemning finger to both boys as his voice booms in anger. “Why didn’t you tell me that you have jobs in Northbridge High School?”

     Jungkook swore he saw Jimin flinch upon hearing the school. The atmosphere of the place quickly shifted. His friends were all staring at his boyfriend worriedly. First, it was Jimin’s family and now Northbridge? He feels insultingly left out as he realizes that he doesn’t even know half of Park Jimin, his own fucking boyfriend. Upset was an understatement, he feels livid towards Jimin and their friends—call it petty but Jungkook was perfectly offended.

     “Northbridge is the most expensive school in Seoul, right?” he bites back the pessimistic emotion bubbling up. Jimin’s face hardens at the question, eyes prying away from him but his small hand reached his, seeking support. Jungkook intertwines their hands in no time.

     “It is, Jungkookie,” Yoongi answered with the nickname. His roommate resorts to them if he’s nervous or explaining the situation was too much. He found himself sorry for having awful thoughts earlier. The man turns to Hoseok with a frown. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

     “I was about to,” Hoseok isn’t the best liar in town as his expression speaks up for him. “Taehyung beats me up to it.”

     “Is Northbridge a bad place or something?” he asked.

     “It was my alma mater,” Jimin replies, looking guilty. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.”

     “I figured out as much,” Jungkook admitted, surprising Jimin as his eyes snapped back to the younger. The smaller male looks so cute, he can’t help but chuckle at the beauty of it. “I don’t live under a rock, Jimin. No one wears a Gucci ensemble from head to toe in Twilight Kingdom. You don’t live in a cheap dormitory, either. Arrange marriages aren’t a normal family routine. I know you’re rich, baby boy. I’m not dumb to ignore the clues.”

     “I thought you told him already?” Taehyung pierced his eyes at Jimin, demanding explanation.

     “Told you he’d know, dumbass,” Yoongi rolled his eyes, shifting his gaze to Jungkook. “To answer your earlier ignored question, you ever heard the rumors?”

     Of course Jungkook did. Northbridge High School was an institution of the elites, a prestigious place of learning solely dedicated to the rich. The education system was authoritarian and restricted from teaching to addressing punishments. It was a school full of controversies starting from tax evasion to inhumane disciplinary actions. It was rare for normal citizens to ever set foot inside the campus, yet Hoseok managed to land a photography job for both of them—fishy, very fishy.

     “Someone must’ve pulled some strings,” Jimin speaks as if he read Jungkook’s mind. His hold tightens on the cup as he realizes something. “It has to be Elliot. His father is one of the school boards.”

     “But how did he know—“

     “Background check, my dear Hoseok,” Taehyung interjected. “It’s a little dirty hobby the rich people indulge with, except Jiminie here of course.”

     “What is that fucker even planning to do?” Yoongi hisses.

     “Simple. All he wanted is to get me back,” Jimin casually replies. “The bastard won’t back down without a fight.”

     Jungkook’s hold on his boyfriend’s hand tightens at the statement, face already darkening into rage with his voice growling deep, “As if I’ll allow the bastard to touch you after what he did.”

     “Possessive. I like that,” Taehyung grins. “But back to the main point, what are we going to do?”

     “Go to Northbridge and do our job.”

     “Hoseok, sweetie—that’s not what I mea—“

     “He’s right,” Jungkook chided. “We’re fucking professionals.”   

     “Sometimes I hate how dedicated you guys are,” Taehyung pinches the bridge of his nose, an action also mirrored by Yoongi.

     “Northbridge school festivals aren’t normal. Don’t drink or eat anything they give to you. Don’t talk to them as much as possible. Stick together, got that?” Jimin warns as he passed on concern looks to him and Hoseok. He can tell that his boyfriend doesn’t want him to go as the older’s hand was clinging tightly against his own, strength burning against his skin.

     Jungkook felt the need to kiss Jimin, so he did. Savoring the sweet banana milk and the softness of Jimin’s lips, he was lost in the moment. It was his way of assuring the smaller male that he will come back to him, safe and sound. He doesn’t want to let go, want to relish the kiss a little bit more. However, they both break off the kiss, chasing breaths as they share spellbound stares.

     Just like that, Jimin lets go of Jungkook’s hand.

     Hoseok helped him pack his equipments, not a word shared between them. He can feel that his friend was worried but for Hoseok to pull off a suggestion like that despite the grimness of the situation, he must’ve thought of an idea.

     “Jungkookie,” Hoseok zips the last bag, his back facing him. “How about we expose them for good? Confirm the rumors once and for all?”

     It caught him off guard. “That’s a brilliant idea but it’s fucking dangerous.”

     “I know. Yoongi said Jimin validated the rumors to him. Taehyung also did since Northbridge used to be his school, too.”

     “Taehyung went there too?” At this point, Jungkook wasn’t surprised as he remembers his friend’s reaction upon knowing their job.

     “Yes. He suffered for three years in that place but I don’t think Jimin went through the same thing.”

     “How can you be so confident about that?”

     “Your boyfriend is a genius. Northbridge attach importance to intelligent people. They treat him like royalty but looking at Jimin’s reaction earlier, he went through something within the years he’s enrolled in that place. We’re basically risking our lives here, just by exposing them. Are you still on the ride?”

     “What do you take me for? Of course I am.”

     Hoseok turned to face Jungkook, void of his confident bravado and engulfed him into a bone-crushing hug. It felt like it was the last time he’ll hang out with his friend, the possibility scared him so much that he reciprocated the gesture with the same force.

     It wasn’t only Hoseok who was worried, Taehyung tried his best to cheer Jungkook up but it came out like he was trying to calm himself down instead. On the other hand, Yoongi patted his shoulder, leaning closer to his ear as he whispers fighting with his usual tone.

     Breakfast never felt gloomy with the five of them eating without even sparing a single word at each other, respective minds occupied with their own worries.

     Before he left, Jimin promised to tell him everything.

     Jungkook vowed he’ll come back.


 

     Jungkook isn’t a fan of social events. He would rather collect sanction points than participate in acquaintance parties, sleep for the whole day than attend those cringing gatherings that requires a signature for your attendance—besides, he doesn’t participate in almost half of the events, with the special exception of the exhibition (because Seokjin will slit his throat if he’s ever skip).

     For the record, he loves school festivals in his high school days. It was crowded, in a way, but not too suffocating for him. There were always games and he was awfully good at them—maybe that’s why he’s comfortable in such occasion. College semester breaks were always aligned with school festivals and photography jobs from middle to high school campuses came pouring in—

     Speaking of the devil.

     He hugs his camera bag closer to his body as the steel gate of Northbridge High School opens. Jungkook have seen the place from an outsider’s perspective, mistaking it as a factory. He can’t blame himself for thinking so. Aside from the gate and the steel walls separating the place from the rest of the civilization, there was a trail of heavy black smoke coming up from inside. Normal high school buildings aren’t supposed to contribute to air pollution—on an important note, the government doesn’t address the problem, either. Jungkook knows he’s not the only one who thinks that something was definitely off as Hoseok looked at him knowingly.

     Behind the steel gate was a wide lobby, the interiors in monotonous gray. In the middle of room, there was a huge reception desk. At the back, there were two brown doors. He heard Hoseok mutters oak along with a faint beat, only he can’t pinpoint the source of the sound. A huge masked man welcomes them, asking for their purpose and identification. Good thing Taehyung quickly prepared fake IDs with him as soon as he knew where they were going. The man gave them curt directions as he points the door to his left.

     With heavy footsteps, Jungkook don’t know what to expect at all as he twists the knob open. The faint beat he heard earlier became deafeningly loud as the blinding neon lights made his eyes squint. It was a fucking nightclub—and his worst fears were realized.

     “Hoseok, let’s get out of her—“

     Hoseok stared at him in horror, shouting that someone was behind him as Jungkook felt the soft fabric of the handkerchief against his nose, chloroform itching him closer to the state of unconsciousness. He watched as Hoseok resisted until a man in a business suit knocked him into oblivion.

     Then it all became black.

 

     It was too bright when Jungkook regains his senses. His arms and legs were numb, rendered immobile with thick ropes tied around his body. The marble floor feels cold against his cheeks. He tried to get up as he struggles to escape his bonds—to no fucking avail. It was around his fourth attempt that he heard a laugh—masculine, mocking, malevolent.

     “Resign to your fate, Jungkook-ssi.”

     His voice was deep as the trench but weak, as if life has taken its toll. It was authoritative, polished to make people act upon orders efficiently. Jungkook hears footsteps approaching and gibberish words. A shadow looms over his restrained figure but the lights behind him were too bright for Jungkook to make out his face.

     “I never knew that old geezer was protective of his pretty son but you…”

     A strong kick straight to the stomach knocked the air out of Jungkook’s body, rending him into muted groans. He wasn’t physically weak and can put up a fight only if he wasn’t tied up. It’s fucking unfair since the beginning, putting him into a grim disadvantage.

     “The audacity of you to disturb the quality time with my darling, you’re nothing but a lowlife commoner who’s too weak to defend himself.”

     Another strong kick went straight to his stomach. Jungkook felt like throwing up the cereals he had for breakfast. At least the shadow has an identity now, the name burning inside his mind—Elliot.

     “I’ve done my research about you, Jeon Jungkook.”

     A foot is crushing his throat, his breathing labored and struggling. Jungkook kept his groans silent, his face contorting in pain but never letting out strangled noises. He wasn’t resigning to this man, not once in his life will he do that.

     “You love cameras, right?”

     More footsteps. More shadows looming over him. Sounds of opened zippers.

     “How about…” He pauses. “We send a little memento to Jimin? What do you say?”

     The bright lights started to flash as the shutter sounds were almost deafening—Jungkook was surrounded by cameras, he belatedly realized. He can’t make out those shadows, but he knew what they were planning to do. Hedonistic groans filled the room, itching closer and closer to release.

     “I see you’re the quiet one. I like that. We’re going to use your mouth over and over again, Jungkook-ssi.”

     Then he felt someone gripping his hair tight, a cock with pre-cum on the tip against his lips. There were hands everywhere—on his face, his neck, his chest, his legs—each ministration makes him feel more and more disgusted. He kept his fists closed tight but still someone rubs their cock, craving for the friction against his prominent bones, chasing his orgasms. Tongues lapping all over him and teeth biting every inch of skin, the combination of both stripping away Jungkook the dignity he has.

     The shadows—men—were getting frustrated to Jungkook and his stubborn, strong will. Someone punched his stomach, making him open his mouth in pain. A throbbing shaft slipped into Jungkook’s mouth, tasting the salty pre-cum against his tongue. The hand on his hair gripped tighter as he maneuvers Jungkook’s head to meet his thrusts. It was filthy, sickening and heathen—tears escaped his eyes, losing all hope, resigning to his fate.

     The camera flash hurts Jungkook’s eyes, almost drove him into fits of vomit. At this point, he can’t remember how many cocks he had inside his mouth or taste anything else but cum. The grip on his hair wasn’t tight this time, the sound of moans and curses fleeting on Jungkook’s ears. His mind concentrates on his promise to Jimin. And damn, he was going to keep it not because his lover was going to tell him everything but because Jimin was his home—his sanctuary, his safe haven, his sanity. He will come back to him no matter what.

     In the middle of the torture, Jungkook loses his consciousness once again. When he wakes up, his jaw was killing him and he felt like he was going to lose his scalp. The room was dark and the ropes were gone only to be replaced by a sordid stickiness all over his body, the smell of cum dominating his senses. He vomited this time, letting out everything. In his weaken state, he managed to twist his body sideways and throw up. Jungkook stands up shakily, blindly finding his way out when someone opened the door from outside, shrieking at his presence. He can’t help but smile with relief as he hears the familiar sound.

     “H-hoseok,” Jungkook’s voice was hoarse. Speaking felt like a chore.

     “Jungkook!” He felt his hand on Hoseok’s shoulder as his friend helps him.

     They slowly stepped out of the room; the incandescent light was too heavy for Jungkook’s vision. He turned to Hoseok to see his clothes tore into shreds; bruises blotched on his other arm and all over his body; a black eye and a wound on his head that needs immediate care. They were both beaten black and blue, too pathetic to even defend themselves or fight back but they were too desperate to escape Northbridge and get the hell out of the place.

     Hoseok opened the first door they both saw and it leads them back to the nightclub, tons of students still in their uniforms were making out and dancing. They did not pay any heed to the two males slowly making their way out as they continue doing their own thing. To think that this was Jimin’s alma mater—how did he survive in this institution?

     They were back to the lobby once again. The huge masked man bids them farewell like he normally do, not even reacting to their beaten up state. A foreign and expensive car was waiting for both boys as soon as the gate snapped close behind their back, Hoseok’s face contorts into panic as a man in executive suit approaches them. He looks like he was in his mid-forties, the tired bags under his eyes proving his years of hard work. Jungkook’s eyes pierced at the man, making him stop on his tracks.

     “I don’t mean any harm,” the man assures them with his kind voice but Jungkook wasn’t in his best condition to trust anyone today. “Keeping both of you safe is my priority.”

     “Who are you?” Hoseok asked, gathering his courage together.

     “I’m the Park’s family lawyer, Lee Sejin. The CEO sent me in his stead.”

     Jungkook chuckles gutturally as soon as he heard the familiar last name, “I really need to see Jimin now.”

     Sejin’s features soften when the name escaped his lips, “I don’t want to give the young master a heart attack now so can we leave this place already? You need immediate medical attention.”

     “You don’t mind if I sleep, right?” he grinned as his eyes closed, his body completely drained.

     “Jungkook!”


 

     The birds were chirping merrily when Jungkook wakes up. Ever since he moved to Seoul, he never heard of the sound. It was good to be welcomed by a familiar ring for he almost panicked after all the horrid memories flashed on his mind like a subway. The mattress against his back was different than usual—blue and soft, reminding him of Jimin. He could use a kiss from the older right now.

     “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a friendly voice suddenly speaks when Jungkook attempted to get out of the comfy bed. “Your body can’t handle it, believe me.”

     His eyes searched for the owner to see Namjoon giving him a comforting smile. Questions immediately lined up on his thoughts, a variation of what, who, where, when and why.

     “Where am I, hyung?” his voice was raspy still. It was hardly audible.

     “Busan.”

     So that’s why he heard the birds chirping.

     Jungkook jolted as he remembers his friend as he sits up, ignoring the evident pain that followed. “Hoseok! Is he—“

     “Calm down, he’s asleep in his room. Don’t worry about our friends because they’re on their way here with Seokjin trying his hardest not to violate traffic rules. It’s best not to move much considering the bandages and neck brace,” Namjoon stops him before he can stir an inch out of the bed.

     His hyung fixed the smallest crinkle of the blanket, still with the smile on his face but Jungkook can see Namjoon’s bloodshot eyes. He always looked up to the professor, admired him from afar even. There was an air around the man that breathes respect and role model. Even though he’s never been involved with Namjoon in his classes, it didn’t stop Jungkook to idolize the professor. Seeing him like this, pretending to be strong in front of a student not even under his wing breaks his heart.

     “Hyung,” Jungkook managed to croak a giggle in his attempt to cheer Namjoon up. “Please don’t be sad.”

     “These stupid tears, really,” the professor turned his head away, trying to hide his tears but Jungkook already saw them. The man losses it as he speaks his thoughts to him. “At first, I was confused when Taehyung told me to catch the earliest train going to Busan when I told him I was still at Daegu. As soon as I arrived to the station, a man was waiting for me. He said that he was a family lawyer of the Park household. Sejin told me everything—you and Hoseok coming out of Northbridge looking like on the verge of death, the family doctors immediately attending the two of you as soon as possible and Jimin’s father deciding the two of you to be safely transferred to his villa. Seeing both of you like this, I can’t help but—“

     “We’re alive,” Jungkook interjects. “Maybe a little bit injured, but alive.

     “You are and Hoseok, too,” the professor replies with a dimpled smile but passed a worried glance to him. “Sejin gave me a brief summary of Northbridge and I understand if you don’t want to talk about it.”

     “They didn’t stick it up my ass but they abused my mouth. It’s still a pain to move my jaw while speaking,” the memory burns in rich crimson flames, reducing his bearings into gray ashes. Jungkook sounded casual as he shares the information to Namjoon, but deep inside him he was panicking.

     What if Jimin finds him disgusting? What if—

     “I know that face. Jimin won’t react that way,” Namjoon snaps out his reverie. “He loves you too much to even hate you.”

     “How can you be so su—“

     “I’m his professor and he writes about you all the time. Photographers call it muse—and it works the same way in literature. Jimin has been crafting his skills with you in mind for years. It takes a lot of passion to keep writing—and love to keep writing about that person. It’s always been you who triggers him to be at his best, Jeon Jungkook.”

     Before Jungkook could mull over Namjoon’s words, the door was slammed open with a disheveled Jimin, his anxious gaze replaced by relief as soon as he saw him. He heard another door opens at a distance but he didn’t pay any heed to the sound because Jimin took big strides towards the bed, cups his cheeks with his small hands and kisses him.

     “I-I shouldn’t have allowed y-you to g-go,” Jimin broke down into tears as he speaks in between kisses, voice stuttering and his eyes full of Jungkook. “I k-knew it w-was dangerous b-but—“

     “Baby boy,” Jungkook cups Jimin’s face, his hand surprisingly fine as he wipes the tears dry. “It’s not your fault—no one in this room is at fault except me. Don’t you find me disgusting?”

     “No, I don’t find you disgusting, baby,” Jimin replied as he sniffles. “What happened in Northbridge doesn’t make you less of a man. You made me feel that way as your eyes were full of me after I told you about Elliot and what he did. I kept on thinking that I’m disgusting and not deserving to be with you but I was proven wrong. I didn’t have the dignity to face you and yet you accepted me. I was broken and yet you embraced me completely. You are my person, Jungkook. So don’t you fucking dare take my feelings cheaply because I am not planning on letting you go—not today, not ever, not in this lifetime—do you understand?”

     Jimin engulfed him into an embrace after his voice raised into several tones, his satoori coming out every now and then as he snapped at Jungkook, arms automatically wrapped around the older’s smaller frame. He can see Namjoon smiling like a proud parent as he watches the scene unfold. Caressing Jimin’s locks soothes his nerves; all the pessimistic thoughts are off his mind. His boyfriend is really good with words, knows exactly what to say to keep him grounded. It was creepy; the capacity of Jimin’s power over Jungkook but Namjoon’s word proves his powerful impact in the older’s life—they were each other’s strength and weakness. Jimin was his cara mia and with the way his boyfriend relaxes at his embrace, he can tell that the older felt the same too.

     The rest of the squad barged in the room soon after with Seokjin immediately resting his big frame on Namjoon’s, the other male offering a supporting embrace when his professor almost lost it as soon as he saw his bedridden state. Jungkook was so used to see Seokjin being happy and playful. Witnessing his professor breaking down right in front of him pierced daggers on his heart, the friendly neighbors and lazy afternoons on his smile nowhere to be seen. Taehyung wasn’t doing well, either. His eyes were already bloodshot from the moment he made it in Jungkook’s room. He was sniffling loudly and he lost it when Jungkook smiled at him. Yoongi looks paler than usual, his equally bloodshot eyes fixated on Jungkook as he silently cries.

     It made him feel guilty that he was the one who made them sad but with Seokjin, Namjoon, Taehyung and Yoongi making their way on his bed as they hug him with careful consideration of his injuries while brushing off his whispers of apologies remind him that they’ve reach the level of friendship where they look out for each other like family, finding belongingness and consolation with each other.

     A knock from the door disrupts the moment. They turned their eyes to see Sejin.

     “CEO Park wants to see you, young master.”

     Jimin’s figure turned rigid.

     “If he’ll torment Jimin once again, I swear to God I’ll—“

     “Trust me, he won’t,” Sejin cuts off Taehyung with a cheerful voice.

     Jungkook pinches Jimin’s cheeks, diverting his attention to him. He spoke to the older with his softest voice. It was barely inaudible but Jimin heard him loud and clear. “Go.”

     Without further questions, Jimin separates himself from Jungkook and went out of the room with Sejin following him from behind.

     Taehyung gave him one angry look, his mouth moving on its own by stringing out a single question, “Why did you let Jimin go to see his father?”

     “Because he’ll finally tell Jimin,” Jungkook simply replies.

     “Tell him what?” Yoongi raised a curious brow.

     Seokjin and Namjoon shared questioning looks as soon as they heard his answer. Taehyung gaped at him in bewilderment and Yoongi kept on looking at him like he’s bonkers. It has been a long day for him—heck, he’s not even sure if it’s still the same day he went to Northbridge or not. He does know one thing for sure. Everything won’t be the same once Jimin knows.