Ever since the very first day Jeongguk sat beside Yoongi in Advanced Calculus in high school, three years later, Jeongguk realizes that this is the only time he's seen Yoongi cry.
He didn't cry when he landed badly when a player in the opposing team accidentally bumped into him during the third quarter of the first basketball game of the season during Jeongguk's sophomore year. He didn't cry when the doctor told him that no, he wasn't allowed to play anymore for the rest of the year to expect full recovery from his injury, a concussion and a broken arm. He didn't cry when his dog, Mali, died of heat stroke. Of all the devastating things Yoongi had to go through, Jeongguk notes that this is the only time he sees tears in the boy's cheeks.
Now he's crying, too.
"You could still accept your seat at SAA. It's not too late," says Yoongi. More tears brim Jeongguk's eyes. Yoongi was really crying.
"Hyung," Taehyung intervenes. His nose is red and his eyes are glassy. Jeongguk looks around and everybody's on the brink of crying, too. Hoseok's turned his back from them, head pointed at the ceiling as an attempt to keep himself from actually crying.
"I told Yoongi not to cry because I'd start crying too. You should listen to your elders sometimes, Yoongs," Seokjin says, his voice shaky as he tries to lighten the mood. They look like some Hollywood movie, Jeongguk thinks. They're standing infront of the Departure gates, huddled around each other, trying to hold their tears, saying their goodbyes. Jeongguk is leaving, and he wasn't going to come back for four years. Maybe he'll visit once or twice, but it's college—he's going to be broke, how will he be able to afford it? No one expects that much from him, but still, it's the thought that counts. Maybe he'll score a paid-internship, or become lucky enough to get a job and save up enough money for a plane ticket, the hope is there. The hope that lies somewhere in the surface that always runs deeper than its supposed to, the hope that clarifies actual fact that he's not really completely going away.
Four years will go by fast, right?
"He's really grown up now. I feel like we've actually raised him," Namjoon says, deep in thought, eyes shiny. He has a faraway look in his features, something that screams pride and fondness. He's so proud of their little Jeongguk.
"I can't believe his over-achiever ass. I'm so proud of him," Hoseok joins.
"You know I actually don't mean it when I call you annoying, right? I'm just saying, I'm going to be your senior in SAA—I even applied as TA for Advanced Art History. Didn't I tell you this two days ago? You can still change your mind," Yoongi grumbles.
"Hyung," Jeongguk's voice breaks in the middle as he dives to embrace Yoongi.
He's sobbing now—and it doesnt take two beats for Yoongi to also start crying. And then theres arms around them and theyre in an awkward group hug with Jeongguk and Yoongi in the middle. Jeongguk's parents are watching on the side, Mrs. Jeon dabbing at her eyes beside her other son. Jeongguk catches his older brother's eyes and he really feels like he's in some very dramatic, Grammy-nominated movie made in America. They hug for a long time, milking the minutes that they're together. They stay like that until people start giving them weird looks, until it starts getting too hot and clammy.
They reluctantly break apart, wiping at their tears and sniffing their noses. And not even thirty seconds later, a mop of blonde hair is sprinting across the airport and then he's slamming into Jeongguk. He doesn't have to look, he doesn't have to confirm. He already knows.
"I thought—I thought you already left! I was so scared—and—and. I was scared—Fuck, I'm so sorry I-I should've waken up earlier. I overslept and then I called you! You weren't answering your phone anymore so I thought—I thought you were already on the plane but—,"
"Jimin. Jimin. Hey, you're okay, hyung, I'm right here, My plane isn't leaving in twenty minutes," Jimin is full-on crying, fat tears rolling down his cheeks, wetting Jeongguk's sweater. He's mumbling muffled, incoherent sentences that only Jeongguk understands as he deciphers "Sorry," "Waken-up earlier," "Overslept," "Already on the plane,"
Some of his friends turn their backs on them, some dabbing on their eyes, trying not to cry anymore. Enough of that, the moment's over. They were fine, alright. They were already beginning to accept that Jeongguk was actually leaving after their little group hug. Like they just got reality checked. But then Jimin comes, a little late, but here he is. They're back to square one.
The pair always had been a special duo in their little group, always inseparable. It was almost always unusual when they're seen without the other. They always say that they're too annoying, clingy, co-dependent, always following the other around, always doing what the other is doing, always doing things together, acting like they're each other's limbs. But then when they've gotten into an argument or a little fight over something mundane, needing to distance themselves from each other, each one of them always try to bring them back together. To prompt them to reconcile, because they, too, can't handle even the thought of them being apart. Co-dependent.
Whatever it is, it's always them that somehow ends up together.
So here Jimin is, sobbing into Jeongguk's chest, in the middle of the goddamn airport, like their life is a damn movie. And for the actual dramatic effect, Jimin had to really run towards Jeongguk, thinking he was gone before he even said goodbye. It takes a few minutes for Jimin to calm down. And when he does, his mouth's running twenty miles per minute and Jeongguk has to hold his face in his palms like he's a precious gem and tell him sweetly and softly to calm down, because he's not leaving in about fifteen or ten minutes. Jimin does, eventually, but he's hiccuping. Jimin pulls away from Jeongguk and Jeongguk doesn't have the heart to tell him that he can stay in his arms for as long as he wants when Jimin looks so determined to say what he wants to say. Without being in Jeongguk's embrace.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't say sorry earlier. I'm sorry I was being way too dramatic that I didn't even realize you were already leaving. I'm sorry I said the words I said, I'm sorry I yelled at you. I'm sorry I fought with you, I'm sorry I didn't spend your last week here with you, I'm sorry, baby, I'm so, so sorry," Jimin explains, eyes going glassy again and he wipes his cheeks before his tears even land on them.
"I'm sorry I didn't come to you. I'm sorry I didn't let you explain—I'm—Please forgive me Jeongguk. Please. Please, I'll make it up to you, I'm going to call you every single day when you get there. I'm going to send you good morning and good night texts, I'm going to sing you to sleep. I'm going to try and help you with your homework—" Jimin has to cut himself off because he's crying again, and he has so much to say. Jeongguk's only biting at his bottom lip, tears slowly rolling down his cheeks as he watches Jimin.
"I've already forgiven you, hyung," Jeongguk whispers, stepping forward and taking him in his arms again.
Their friends and Jeongguk's family stand on the side as they silently cry together, Jimin pinching Jeongguk's side for "thinking of leaving your favorite hyung without even saying goodbye,"
"I already forgave you for everything. I'm sorry too. For yelling back at you, for the same reasons why you're sorry. Do you forgive me, hyung?"
"Of course, dummy. I just wish I could've made it easier for us. I wish I shouldn't have wasted my time being mad at you,"
"Me too. I wish I could've called or texted you at all. I'm really sorry, hyung,"
"So are we good now? Can't you go to SAA instead? You can still change your mind,"
"Hyung, we talked about this,"
And then Jimin's silent for a moment, his eyes staring at the floor.
"Promise me we'll FaceTime a lot? Promise you'll update me what's going on, promise me to eat your meals on time—"
"I promise. I promise we'll FaceTime a lot. Promise i'll update you what's going on. Promise i'm going to eat my meals on time. Promise i'm going to always try my best in class. Promise i'm not going to let people walk all over me. We've done this before, hyung. I promise. I promise that I promise," Jeongguk punctuates his promises by kissing Jimin on the forehead.
"I'll really kick you in the nuts when you break any one of those promises. I mean it," Jimin says, burying his face in Jeongguk's chest.
"I'll miss you a lot," Jeongguk says into his hair.
Four years later.
He's positive he's red as a tomato.
He heaves a deep breath, staring at the cobblestone pavement as he waits. He can hear hasty shuffling before the door swings open to reveal an embarrassed Namjoon and his girlfriend right behind him, a very evident blush high on her face.
"Sorry you had to see that. Come on in," He says, scratching the back of his head, biting on his bottom lip.
"T-that's fine, I should've knocked first," Jimin says, looking up to meet their eyes, then back at his shoes, too embarrassed.
"I'm gonna get us something to drink," Iris announces while Jimin quietly removes his shoes at the door, leaving him with Namjoon.
It was just an impulsive decision, really. Jimin was on his way to his apartment when he thought about visiting Namjoon and Taehyung in their shared penthouse.
He's not supposed to come until later tonight to prepare with the rest of them for a party.
He's always welcome—that's not a problem, no. He has the security code and the spare key, and its basically his second house. They're their own little family. What's unexpected is just that Iris--Namjoon and Seokjin's girlfriend--sometimes visit. It's always unprecedented because one, it's not like Iris texts all of them just to notify that she's coming over--She doesn't need to do that--and two, she's a full-time artist who travels around the world, not having particular day-offs or a specific schedule.
Like Jimin, the house is her second home. And just like Jimin, she's welcomed to the friend group warmly.
Out of all of them, Taehyung and Namjoon's penthouse is where most of the action happens. They throw parties, kickbacks, celebrations, Movie Marathon Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, name it. They always have an excuse to use the luxurious 5,000 square ft. house in the heart of Seoul, Gangnam. And it's fine, really, because their celebrations are pretty tame from the outside: the music is always on a moderate level to avoid disturbance, there's a well-ventilated smoking area that abides by the rules of the neighborhood, and they keep to themselves. What happens in the penthouse stays in the penthouse.
It all began when Taehyung first bought the infrastructure. At first, it was only so that Taehyung has a house to go home to after his international business trips. His job as a fashion designer and model requires him to travel internationally and he wished to live in a house close enough to the city for him to be able to drive to the airport, but far enough so that it suits his preferred living style: away from the chaotic mass of work, life, hustle, and bustle. Namjoon, his step-brother, agrees to support him with his decision because he needs a living space closer to Seoul University as he studies for his Master's Degree in Music Production.
Then, on one fine day, Taehyung invites everyone over for a small dinner to celebrate his promotion to Senior Designer. Over a few bottles of wine later, they jokingly mention that they should meet up more often, missing the older days back in high-school and college where they would have movie nights, camping trips, road trips, and sleepovers. They find themselves cramped up in Yoongi and Hoseok's cozy two-story apartment for chicken and beer a week later with Yoongi complaining that he has to clean up after everybody. He texts the groupchat a few hours later saying to just have the parties at Namjoon and Taehyung's to save himself from the manual labor of general cleaning, along with a long message that his back hurts so much from all the cleaning he did.
Hoseok later tells everybody it's because Yoongi took it raw on their kitchen counter, with Taehyung complaining that he missed out on all the fun.
On some nights, Seokjin and Namjoon have to kick out Senior Designer Kim Taehyung out of the penthouse--despite it being his'-- because Iris was having a tough day and is on her way. On some nights, it's Taehyung dragging them out the door because he was going to dive into "designer-mode" and was going to refuse every possible distraction that ever came to existence.
Or sometimes he just wants me-time, tired of Namjoon's distant murmur about electronic musicianship and all things music production, of Seokjin's loud ruckus in the kitchen, his insistent yelling for them to try whatever pastry or gourmet he concocted, or Iris' sleep-inducing classical music that's on loop 24/7 whenever she's over.
Every now and then someone comes over randomly just because they can't hold onto their impulsive tendencies. Or because Taehyung calls them over to try his designs on as a human mannequin or help him carry something that came into the mail.
Nothing is ever really surprising anymore.
So when Jimin walks in and sees Namjoon's head between Iris' legs, both of them sprawled out on the couch as Iris gasps out an erotic "Fuck, Joon," he shouldn't be as embarrassed as he is now; All of them are pretty comfortable with each other to already know which positions Taehyung liked his guts arranged to, or what goes on in Yoongi and Hoseok's bedroom, or what Seokjin and Iris' similar kinks were. Nothing was new anymore.
Jimin shouldn't be so red in the face because he's walked in on Hoseok's cock shoved down Taehyung's throat as Taehyung takes Yoongi from behind one too many times already.
It's not that serious, really.
"Taehyung's still sleeping upstairs, if you came for him," Namjoon pulls Jimin out of his daze. Jimin drops his bags on the floor beside the table, dropping himself onto the couch Namjoon and Iris were currently laying on. He's eternally grateful they still had clothes on, at least.
"Sorry for that, really. It's just been a long time since—," Jimin turns even redder when Namjoon begins, quickly cutting him off.
"No! I completely understand, Joonie! W-we don't have to talk about it anymore." Jimin watches Namjoon's facial expressions carefully as he takes a seat in one of the armchairs. Namjoon nods and then silence falls over them. Jimin clears his throat.
"I saw him today, hyung,"
"Who?" Namjoon frowns, not quite catching up.
"You know who," Jimin says, biting on his bottom lip.
"I didn't really expect to run into him. I thought I was going to see him later tonight. I was so surprised I had to ask him if he was really Jeongguk. He was on his morning jog and then he saw me. Says he misses everyone," He adds, leaving out the part where he directly tells Jimin that he "missed him. A lot."
"Oh! Yeah. His flight got delayed and he was supposed to come back yesterday. Texted me at 4 AM saying he barely landed," Namjoon explains. Jimin knits his fingers together, a frown slowly making its way to his face.
"He texts you?"
"He doesn't text you?" Namjoon asks him, grabbing his phone off the coffee table to check the time. Not anymore.
"What are you guys talking about?" Iris asks as she places a tray of mugs of coffee in the coffee table. There's still a blush on her face but Jimin's positive it's not because she's still embarrassed.
"Jeongguk," Namjoon murmurs, tucking his phone into the pocket of his sweatpants.
"The guy you guys talk about sometimes? Isn't he the one we're celebrating tonight? You guys always FaceTime him when I'm not here so I never really knew what he looked like," She inquires, comfortably situating herself on Namjoon's lap.
"That's the one," Namjoon says, reaching over to grab the only glass of water. Iris smirks.
"So the one that has 'twinkly doe eyes', the one that's 'so good at painting and drawing and all art things related'. The one who 'sings so well' The one who's 'such a good dancer'. The one who's 'always so handsome and cute'. The one who has the 'funniest sense of humor'. The one who's—"
"Iris, I get it, I get it. I really do," Jimin responds, burying his face in his hands. He's glad they're not talking about what he walked in on, but he's not glad they're talking about his not-so-subtle crush on a certain Jeon Jeongguk. It seems that people listen to him attentively when he openly expresses his admiration over the younger boy. Maybe the years has really gotten to him.
It's dumb, he thinks. Having only realized he has a crush on the boy. It's dumb that he always feels like a teenage girl every damn time he thinks about him. Not just a boy—a star-studded, model student, straight-A, multi-talented heartthrob. A boy from their friend group, at that. Who wouldn't adore him? It's not just a simple "I really like him because he's such an amazing boy"--he knows he's always adored the boy from the beginning, he just didn't realize sooner it wasn't very platonic anymore. The kind of crush that's like "I want to own a house with him, grow old with him, have playful banter with him as we decide who's going to cook and who's going to wash the dishes," The kind of crush that earns you teasing remarks from everyone because you've been zoning out for a few minutes now, a dreamy smile on your face with your head in the palm of your hands.
Sure he's had crushes before, but he wasn't as serious about it. He wasn't as infatuated. He didn't think of spending the rest of his life with them. Unlike how he is with Jeongguk. And he initially thought that if he let it be, it'll go away eventually. Like every other attraction he's felt before. Yet, it only seems to grow stronger every time they mention his name, never forgetting to add how much they miss the boy's presence. You'll never be able to count how many times they've told him during FaceTime to "hurry up with the course and come back as soon as he can because Jiminie misses him,"
"Doesn't he have that infamous Alpha body everybody talks about? Taehyung finally showed me his Instagram account yesterday. He was talking about how you'll be so floored when you guys finally meet again. What do they do in American art classes? Paint with dumbbells?" Iris says, nonchalantly running her fingers through Namjoon's hair.
Jimin swallows. He doesn't check social media very often but he never misses to keep up to date on what was going on on the other side of the world, ever since their connection began to fade until it was as only dry as liking each other's Instagram pics.
What happened to promises? I'm so going to kick him in the nuts tonight.
"You mean the man of Jimin's wet dreams?"
"Don't remind me," he groans, earning him a laugh from the couple.
"I forgot how handsome he is. American soil did him so good," Jimin grumbles.
"It didn't help that he was just wearing gray sweatpants. I mean he was on a jog, of course--duh. You know those evil little pants that give you dick outlines? Yeah, that. I just got out of practice, I didn't even give a shit about how I looked like anymore. Not at this ungodly hour. Anyway--he's like a completely new person now! I mean, it's not surprising, 'cuz we always Facetime him and stuff. But it's different in person. He got even bigger hyung. Where did my little Jeonggukie go?" He continues on, rubbing at his eyes as if it's gonna erase the memory. Namjoon and Iris share a look that Jimin misses.
"He's so hot, I swear I could've sucked him off right then and there. If I wasn't so shocked to see him. I mean--we were gonna see each other later tonight anyway. But I look like shit right now. He probably didn't even notice it was me." Maybe it's because he's fucking tired out of his mind because of the all-nighter he pulled, or maybe because he's still shell-shocked about meeting the boy so soon that's making his mouth run faster than usual, all filters turned off.
"Whoa, whoa, what's this about?" Yoongi's voice, gravelly and rough, startles Jimin. He looks up from his monologue, meeting Yoongi's disgusted gaze.
"Don't look at me like you don't shove your tongue up Taehyung's ass every chance you get!" Jimin accuses, diving for a pillow on the floor and aiming it at him. He misses.
"What about him shoving his tongue up my ass?" Taehyung asks loudly as he steps down the stairs, footsteps equally loud. He's never been a quiet one, anyway.
"Why the hell are you guys talking about rimming this early in the morning, you goons?" Hoseok says right behind him.
Jimin watches as Seokjin comes following behind them, disbelief painting his face.
"Is that everybody? Did you guys have a pre-game sleepover and I wasn't invited?" Jimin asks, betrayal evident in his voice.
"We're just talking about Jimin's crush," Iris declares, hiding a giggle behind her hand as they ignore Jimin's question.
"It's not a crush!" He exclaims, bothered, and there's a chorus of sighs.