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Late Nights With You

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“Bye, bunny!” Chulsoo yelled as his mom dragged him out of the daycare.

 

Soobin smiled and waved at the little boy in return before shutting the door and walking toward the front desk where his boss, Minji, was sitting. She was a fairly nice older woman who was less of a boss type of figure and more of a mom type even though she had no children of her own. He leaned over the counter. “Minji-ssi.”

 

She looked up from a piece of paper that she was filling out. “Yes?”

 

“Chulsoo was the last of the bunch to leave. Did you want me to stay and help clean up or…?” Soobin trailed off, waiting for an answer.

 

Minji shook her head. “No, no. It’s okay. I’ll clean it up on my own. Thanks though.”

 

Soobin bit the inside of his cheek, not sure about if he should just say “Okay" and leave her to it or if he should stay and help her clean up. He ended up asking, “Are you sure? I don’t have to be home until later and-”

 

“I’m sure, Soobin.” She cut him off and smiled kindly, setting down the pen she was holding.

 

Something seemed off about her. Soobin could sense it. Minji was usually more, well, happy. Especially in the daycare since it was always full of children and the pictures that they drew and colored filled up the walls from top to bottom.

 

Soobin bit his lip and sucked in some air before asking, “Minji-ssi, I hope you don’t mind me asking this, but, is everything alright?”

 

Her smile immediately faded and her face dropped. “I suppose that I should just tell you then,” she sighed. “This is going to be the last week that Toddler Town will be open.”

 

Soobin opened his mouth to speak, but Minji spoke first. “Now, before you say anything about it let me finish.”

 

He nodded as a sign for her to continue.

 

“Not enough people are coming here anymore. Not since the Early Bird Daycare center opened up. Because they open up earlier it allows parents to drop off their kids there before they go to work so business there has been great and business here has been slowly going downhill. Honestly, I’m not surprised. It’s been going downhill for the past few months since less and less kids have been dropped off here and it’s not like we can force people to bring their kids here.” Minji took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes. “I have to close the place, Soobin. Correction, I am closing the place. It’s just not making enough money as it used to and there isn’t enough money to keep it open either. So, here.” She opened a drawer and took out a white envelope with Soobin’s name on it, placing it on the counter. “This is yours. It’s your last paycheck. Everyone got their last paycheck today so you don’t need to come in for the rest of the week since you won’t be getting paid for it and since nobody else will be planning on coming. I’m sorry for the late notice, by the way. I should have told everyone beforehand, that way they could have started job searching earlier.”

 

Soobin grabbed the envelope and just held it in his hand, not knowing what to say. He loved working here and hearing all of this was kind of heartbreaking. He knew how much Minji loved Toddler Town as well and how giving it up was probably an extremely hard thing for her to be doing. He knew that they would both miss the kids and playing with them and even cheering them up after a crying session.

 

“I’ve already let all of the parents know so I’m assuming that most of them won’t be dropping their kids off here since they’re going to need them to get adjusted to another daycare.”

 

“But Minji-ssi-”

 

“It’s okay, Soobin. I’m okay. Besides, it was time that this place closed up.”

 

He silently nodded, looking at the ground.

 

“Don’t be upset, alright?”

 

He nodded again.

 

“That will be all then. You can go home now.”

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

On his way home Soobin thought about everything that had just happened. Minji loved Toddler Town and her heart was probably breaking over having to close it. If he had known he would have tried to help out and advertise the place more to attract more business, but now he just had to go and find a new job elsewhere. Soobin had gotten over the shock a while ago and was now slowly walking as he wondered about what he should do now. Where would he get a new job? He didn’t know about any place that was currently hiring so what was he supposed to do now? Soobin continued walking and sulking when and an idea came to mind. Maybe Kai or Yeonjun would know of a place! He quickly took out his phone and opened up their group chat (that was named by Yeonjun) to send them a text.

 

 

merMAID to be friends forever

 

5:48 PM

Toddler Town is closing so do either of you know any places that are hiring?

 

 

He didn’t have to wait very long for an answer.

 

 

5:49 PM

Ning: Yeah, actually.

Why r u asking though?

R things not going well at Toddler Town?

 

5:49 PM

Junnie: I bet he got fired.

 

5:49 PM

For your information, no I did not get fired.

Why would you even think that?

Toddler Town is closing so I need a new job.

And before either of you ask why it’s closing it’s just closing because of business.

 

5:50 PM

Ning: Sorry to hear about that, hyung.

I know how much you liked working there.

 

5:50 PM

Junnie: diddo

 

5:50 PM

It’s okay.

My boss said that was time anyway.

 

5:50 PM

Ning: So, ur in need of a job then?

 

5:50 PM

That’s why I asked.

 

5:50 PM

Ning: Lucky you cuz I know just the place!

Now, how do you feel about getting into the food business?

 

5:51 PM

Junnie: Soobin and food?

No way!

He wouldn’t be able to resist his urge to eat it.

 

5:51 PM

I’m just going to let that go this time.

Kai, please tell me more.

Is it fast food?

 

5:51 PM

Ning: It’s a diner.

Are diners considered as fast food?

 

5:51 PM

I’m not sure, but I’ll take what I can get so the food business is okay.

 

5:51 PM

Junnie: OH!

R u talking about that one diner?

Ur friends work there, right?

 

5:52 PM

You have other friends besides us?

I’m hurt, Ning.

I thought we were the only ones.

And why haven’t I ever heard about these other friends?

 

5:52 PM

Ning: Yep. I’m talking about that one diner.

Also, of course I have other friends.

Don’t think that ur special or anything, Binnie.

And I didn’t think that it was that important about you know about my other friends.

They’re just people.

 

5:52 PM

Junnie: I love that place!

The food is soooooooooooo good.

We should go there again soon.

 

5:52 PM

Okay, okay!

Information on the diner now, please!

 

5:52 PM

Ning: The place is called Crown Diner and it’s run by some guy in college named Jin, I think.

His other college friends help him out there too and my friends Beomgyu and Taehyun work there.

Taehyun, shortie w/ brown hair, and big eyes and Beomgyu, slightly taller than Tae and he has reddish-brown hair, kind of looks like a mushroom from the back.

Anyway, they’re currently hiring and could really use the help.

Go there and you’ll probably be able to talk to Jin right away and get the job.

I’ll send you the address.

Good luck, hyung!

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

Soobin had followed the address that Kai had given him and he now stood outside of the Crown Diner. It wasn’t a small building, but it wasn’t very big either. The wallpaper on the outside was a nice shade of yellow and the place all in all had a nice vintage look to it. The diner was charming in a way. It had its own sort of look and beauty to it that made it different from other places. Soobin walked inside, a bell ringing as he did so, and walked up to the front desk where a boy with brown hair and big eyes was wiping down the counter.

 

“Um, excuse me,” he sheepishly said, “Are you, perhaps, Taehyun?”

 

The other boy looked up from his chore. “Who’s asking?”

 

“Oh, right. Um, I’m not really sure if he’s told you about me, but I’m Kai’s friend, Soobin.”

 

“In that case, I’m Kang Taehyun.” He smiled. “Nice to meet you, Soobin.” He held out a hand for Soobin to take.

 

Soobin shook hands with the other boy. “Nice to meet you too.” They let go and Taehyun went back to cleaning.

 

“So what brings you here?” he asked.

 

“I’m actually looking for a job. Kai told me to come here since you guys are hiring.”

 

“Oh, great! We need the help. I’ll get Seokjin hyung and you can take a seat if you want. I’ll be right back.” Taehyun went through a door to the back, most likely the kitchen. Soobin decided to sit in a booth and wait, but a booth probably wasn’t the best place to sit because a few seconds later a guy with light brown hair walked over.

 

“Welcome to Crown Diner, may I take your order?” His voice was a deep as the ocean.

 

“Um, I’m actually waiting for someone.”

 

“You waiting for a date?” The boy playfully asked with a wink and wiggled his eyebrows.

 

“Uh-”

 

“Leave the poor high schooler alone, Taehyung.” Someone called out as they came out the door that Taehyun went through only a few minutes ago.

 

“A Taehyun and a Taehyung?” Soobin had accidentally thought out loud.

 

The boy - Taehyung - smiled at Soobin. “Yep. You know little Taetae? He’s great, right? A real cutie if you ask me.”

 

Taehyun bursted through the door, his face red from embarrassment. “Nobody asked you! And I told you not to call me that, hyung.” He glared at Taehyung and then looked at Soobin. “Anyway, Seokjin can see you now Soobin.” Soobin stood up and followed Taehyun through the kitchen and to a door near the back. “You’ll get the job, don’t worry.” Taehyun knocked twice before opening the door, gesturing for Soobin to enter. Soobin went into the office and there was a guy - Seokjin - with black hair, broad shoulders, and a cold look on his face, sitting at a desk. He gave off this scary and intimidating vibe. Soobin bowed and sat down in the chair across from Seokjin.

 

“Can you cook?” Seokjin questioned, leaning onto his desk.

 

“Yes?” Soobin said it like a question instead of a statement and added on, “Sir?” He wasn’t quite sure on how he should talk to Seokjin or what to call him.

 

Seokjin chuckled, “There’s no need for that. Anyway, you meet all of the qualifications so you’re hired then. Just go into the kitchen and tell Yoongi that you’re the new chef. Oh, and uh, Yoongi is the super short guy who resembles a cat. Come in tomorrow and we can talk about your schedule then.” He smiled at the younger boy before Soobin got up and left Seokjin’s office to go and find Yoongi.

 

All of the qualifications? Seokjin had asked Soobin one question and then gave him the job like it was nothing. It’s whatever though. Who knew that getting a job would be this easy? He walked into the kitchen. The kitchen was full of noise. Clanking pots and pans, running water and there were some bubbles floating around in the air and steam rising from the food being cooked on the stove. Soobin could easily get used to this.

 



🍡🍲🍡

 

 

After meeting with Yoongi and receiving a chefs uniform Soobin was about to go back to the dining area when the door suddenly opened and whacked him right smack dab on the forehead. “Oh my god, I am so, so sorry,” Somebody apologized. Soobin noticed that whoever it was spoke with dialect. “Are you okay?” A hand was placed on his forehead. “Is your vision blurry? Do you need an ice pack or something? Oh my god, do you have a concussion? Did I give you a concussion? Are the lights hurting your eyes at all?”

 

Soobin shook his head even though his vision was slightly blurry, attempting to stand up, but failing. “Could you- could you just help me up, please?”

 

The hand left his forehead. “Of course.” Hands then tugged at Soobin’s arms and the other person helped him to his feet.

 

“Thanks.”

 

“No problem. I’m really sorry, again.”

 

“It-it’s okay, really.”

 

“I really think that you should sit down for a bit.” Just as they said that Soobin’s vision blurred even more and he grabbed the other person’s shoulders to stay standing.

 

“Are you-”

 

“Yeah, I need to sit down.”

 

The person helped lead Soobin out the door and to a booth to sit down and then sat down across from him before quickly standing up and sliding out of the booth. “Um, I’m gonna go and get you an ice pack, okay? Stay here.”

 

Soobin laid his head on the table. It hurt. He closed his eyes and then something hit the table with a clunk.

 

“Okay, I’m back. I guess we don’t have any ice packs, but I just took a chunk of ice from the freezer and put it in a bag so I hope that’s okay.”

 

He sat up and grabbed the fake ice pack and placed it on his head.

 

“It might leave a bruise so I’ll go grab the first aid kit and bandage it up as well and uh, if you need anything else then just let me know.” The person left again leaving Soobin with a wrapped up chunk of ice on his head. All he had wanted was to come here for a job and he did get the job, but he also got hit with a door.

 

“Alright, so there are bandaids, but I don’t think you’ll need those since you don’t have any cuts and you’re not bleed- oh my god, are you bleeding? You’re not bleeding, are you?” They move the fake ice pack and set it on the table, putting their hands on Soobin’s face an pull him closer so that they can examine him. The boy was pretty, Soobin noticed. He had these captivating dark brown eyes and his skin was so clear. How could one’s skin even be that clear? Soobin subconsciously moved his face closer to the others. He was really pretty. Soobin couldn’t believe the sight that was standing before him. His hair was pretty too. It was a nice brown, well, more of a red and brownish type of color, but-

 

Reddish-brown hair.

 

Soobin realized who it was. “Beomgyu?”

 

The other boy paused for a second. “That’s me. Do I know you?” he asked.

 

“I’m Soobin. Kai’s friend.”

 

“No way,” Beomgyu mumbled, more to himself than to Soobin. “Kai is going to kill me if he finds out that I’m the reason you have this huge bump on your head. He really looks up to you, you know and if he finds out that I hurt you then I’m dead.”

 

“I won’t tell him it was you. I’ll just say that I ran into a door. That’s believable, right?”

 

Beomgyu giggled. He legit giggled and it might have been the cutest thing that Soobin had ever heard. “It’s believable. If you tell him that then you’ll really be saving me. I owe you one.”

 

“No, no-”

 

“Yeah, why not? Let me take you out for lunch or something. I go to a private school actually, but I can sneak out.” He grinned. “I have my ways after all.”

 

“Lunch…” Soobin tossed the idea around and decided that having lunch with your friend’s friend wouldn’t hurt. “Lunch sounds good.”

 

“Great.” Beomgyu smiled. “Let’s meet here during lunch tomorrow, shall we?”

 

He smiled in return. “We shall.” Then they stayed like that for a little while, smiling and looking into each other’s eyes like nothing else around them mattered until someone decided to come over and see what was going on.

 

“Geez, Beomgyu!” They said it way louder than necessary. “What did you do to him?”

 

Beomgyu's hands slipped off of Soobin’s face and he turned around with a pout. “It was an accident, Jungkook hyung! He hit his face on the door.”

 

“So you hit him with the door?”

 

“Don’t talk to me.”

 

“Aw, come on, Beomie.” Jungkook ruffled up his hair. “Don’t be like that.”

 

“Oh, look,” Beomgyu deadpanned, “Someone in your section is ready to order. Guess you better get going now.” And he turned back to Soobin. “Sorry about him. All of the hyungs here are annoying,” he said as he bandaged up Soobin’s head. “Anyway, it looks like you’re all good to go now and I’m sorry again.”

 

“Don’t fret over it. It’s just a small bump.” Soobin grabbed his bag and stood up. “I think I can manage.”

 

“Wow,” Beomgyu breathed out, looking up at him with big eyes. “You’re tall. I see why Kai calls you an extra long baguette now.”

 

“He what now?”

 

Beomgyu averted his eyes and acted as though he didn’t hear Soobin. “So, um, see you tomorrow then.” He rushed into the kitchen before quickly popping his head back out. “You can take the ice pack, by the way. Also, I’m paying tomorrow so don’t bring your wallet.” Then he disappeared behind the door again.

 

As Soobin left he felt himself strangely happy for some reason. He had a bump on his forehead and a bandage wrapped around it, probably making him look dumb to others, but he was happy for he had a cute lunch date to look forward to tomorrow.

Chapter Text

“Hyung, you aren’t eating lunch with us today?” Kai asked as he saw Soobin start walking the opposite direction that the cafeteria was in.

 

“Um-” Soobin faltered. What was he supposed to say? It would be fine if he just told Kai and Yeonjun, right? It wasn’t like it was a big deal to go out and eat lunch with a friend. Not that he was really friends with Beomgyu though. More like acquaintances at this point, maybe not even that. Soobin found himself saying, “I’m going to Crown Diner to talk to Seokjin about my schedule. I’ll grab something there though so don’t worry about me. Plus, it’s Friday. I’ll treat you guys to something this weekend, okay?”

 

“YES!” Yeonjun cheered, pumping his fists in the air as he sang, “Binnie’s gonna buy us food, Binnie’s gonna buy us food.”

 

“Okay,” Kai said and him and Yeonjun started walking to the cafeteria. As Soobin started walking away Kai turned around and yelled, “I’m happy you got the job, by the way!” He turned around and flashed the younger boy a smile before walking out the front doors of the school. Soobin unlocked his bike from the bike rack and hopped on it. Lunch was about forty-five minutes long and it took about ten minutes just to get to the diner from the school’s location and depending on how long Beomgyu took to get there the average time that they would have to eat lunch together would be thirty minutes at the most.

 

He soon reached the diner and parked his bike near the side of the building and walked inside, seating himself in a booth. Beomgyu wasn’t anywhere to be seen yet, so Soobin assumed that he was still on his way. He was looking around the place when he spotted Taehyung and another boy staring at him and whispering to each other. They made eye contact with Soobin and Taehyung smiled and waved, grabbing the other boy’s arm and pulling him over to the booth Soobin was sitting at.

 

“You waiting for someone?” Taehyung asked, a playful tone in his voice.

 

“Yeah,” Soobin replied and bit the inside of his cheek. He felt awkward.

 

“Is it Beomgyu that you’re waiting for?” The boy with brown hair standing next to Taehyung asked. His voice sounded familiar. He must have been the Jungkook guy who was teasing Beomgyu yesterday.

 

“Yeah,” he said again.

 

They slid into the seat across from Soobin. “Are you guys on a date?” Taehyung leaned onto the table, his head in both of his hands, cupping his face.

 

“I wouldn’t call it one?” But it came out like a question, making the two boys across from him raise their eyebrows at him. “We just met yesterday and this get together is his way of apologizing to me for hitting me with the door yesterday,” Soobin explained, fidgeting with his hands underneath the table. Their facial expressions didn’t change as they shared a look and then looked back at Soobin who cleared his throat and was trying to look at anything that wasn't Jungkook or Taehyung. “Anyway, um, aren’t you guys in college? Shouldn’t you be at school right now?”

 

“We’re sick,” they replied in unison.

 

“That’s what we told our professors anyway,” Jungkook added. “The two of us are roommates so it only makes sense that we might get sick at the same time.”

 

Soobin awkwardly nodded. “Right…”

 

The door to the diner opened and the bell rang making both Jungkook and Taehyung stand up and yell, “CHESTNUT!” Which got some looks from the other people who were trying to have a peaceful lunch. Soobin ducked his head so that people wouldn’t look at him, but the other boys instead. Beomgyu made his way over to the booth and pulled Jungkook and Taehyung out of the booth so that he could sit there himself.

 

“What are you two idiots doing to Soobin?” Beomgyu crossed his arms and glared at them.

 

“Hey,” Taehyung flicked Beomgyu’s forehead and Beomgyu stuck his tounge out in response to the flick. “Don’t disrespect your hyungs like that.”

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook agreed. “With our seniority here we could easily get you fired.” He smirked and the look on Beomgyu’s face dropped.

 

“You wouldn’t.”

 

“We would.”

 

“Unless-” Taehyung smiled, an evil glint in his eye, “-you apologize to us.” The three of them had a one minute stare down until Beomgyu finally sighed, giving in to the older boys.

 

“Sorry, hyungs.” He hung his head low, a pout on his face.

 

“It’s cool. Enjoy your lunch then, Beomgyu.” Taehyung ruffled his hair and Jungkook did the same before they went to the kitchen.

 

Seeing that they were gone, Beomgyu looked up at Soobin and smiled this extremely radiant smile that could light up a whole room and maybe even a whole city if the power went out. “Sorry about that.” He picked up a menu. “Did you order yet?”

 

Soobin didn’t say anything, still too stunned by the boy’s smile that made him feel some type of way.

 

“Soobin hyung?”

 

He snapped out of his daze.

 

“It’s okay if I call you hyung, right? I’m just assuming that you’re older than me since Kai calls you hyung. I can call you something else if you would prefer-”

 

“Hyung is fine.” Soobin cut him off.

 

“Okay. Cool. So did you order yet?”

 

“Um, no, not yet. Since you work here though what would you suggest? I’ve never eaten here before.”

 

“I would just go with the lunch box. It’s my go to choice.”

 

“Then I’ll do the same.”

 

“I’ll go tell Yoongi hyung. Be right back.” Beomgyu took the menus and went into the kitchen.

 

While Soobin waited he heard whispering coming from the booth behind him. He turned around, pretending that he was just cracking his back and peeked over the seat. He saw two boys wearing his school uniform with sunglasses and black bucket hats. Soobin squinted as he looked at the hat that the boy closest to him was wearing. The initials Y.J. were on the back of it. Soobin would know that hat with those initials from anywhere and so he reached over and pulled the hat off of the boy’s head.

 

“Hey! My-” Yeonjun froze as he made eye contact with Soobin. “Oh, heyyyyyyy, Soobin. What a coincidence or should I say-” He grinned.

 

“Don’t say it. Please, please, don’t say it,” Kai pleaded.

 

Kitty-incidence?"

 

Kai sighed, “I think I legit just went deaf after hearing something as bad as that.”

 

Soobin cringed, ignoring the horrible, horrible thing that Yeonjun had just said. “What are you two doing here?”

 

Kai took off his hat and glasses. “We were just… curious.”

 

“Exactly.” Yeonjun nodded. “We were wondering what you were up to and it was my super duper great idea to dress up like this and follow you here like spies which was really smart on my behalf because now Kai and I know that you and Beomgyu are on a date.”

 

“We aren’t on a date,” Soobin hissed, slightly blushing at this point. Why did everyone assume that they were on a date? “He hit me with a door and this is his way of making it up to me, okay?"

 

Yeonjun bursted out laughing. “He-” He gasped for air. “He fucking-” He couldn’t even say it because he was laughing his lungs out.

 

“He hit you with a door?” Kai asked.

 

Oh, right. Soobin wasn’t supposed to tell Kai about the door hitting. “No, um, I meant that I ran into the door when he was opening it.” That didn’t make it any better, did it?

 

“So that’s why you’re wearing your hair different today!” Kai realized. “I knew something was off! You usually part it and show some forehead, but today you came to school looking like a coconut head! You’re hiding the bruise.”

 

The still laughing Yeonjun was only fueled on to laugh harder and louder by the ‘coconut head’ comment that Kai had just made. The door to the kitchen opened and Yeonjun shut up real fast, taking his hat from Soobin and putting it back on along with his sunglasses, Kai doing the same.

 

Beomgyu set down a lunch box in front of Soobin. “There you go. Freshly made by the one and only Min Yoongi. He’s great.”

 

Being back in the presence of the younger boy Soobin forgot all about Kai and Yeonjun. “So you look up to him then?” he asked Beomgyu as he ripped his chopsticks apart.

 

“Yeah. I really, really do.” He smiled just from thinking about it. “Both him and Taehyung hyung are from Daegu, which is my home town, so in a way I feel closer to them because of that. We can all relate in similar ways and it’s nice. Especially when I get homesick.”

 

“You don’t live with your parents then?” Soobin stuffed some rice into his mouth.

 

Beomgyu shook his head. “I live with Yoongi hyung in an apartment close to my school and his university.” His phone went off. “Oh, um, excuse me while I just check this.” He took out his phone, tapped on it a few times, and then showed Soobin what he was looking at. It was a text message from Kai saying: So you hit Soobin hyung with a door? >:(

 

“I’m assuming that you told him then?” Beomgyu guessed as he put his phone back in his pocket.

 

“I, uh-”

 

Beomgyu leaned over the table and whispered in Soobin’s ear, “Don’t worry. I already know that your other friend and Kai are here. I saw them come in.” Soobin was one hundred and one percent sure that his face was red from the feeling of Beomgyu’s breath on his ear and neck. “I have to go, but we should talk later.” He backed away and pulled out a pen from his bag and started writing on a napkin, folding it as soon as he finished and handing it to Soobin. “I’m busy after school until six, but after that I’m free. Call or text me whenever you get the chance.” And with that Beomgyu grabbed his bag, swung it over his shoulder, and left.

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

Soobin biked to Crown Diner as soon as the final bell rang. It was his first shift tonight and he couldn’t wait to start his training as a chef. He loved working with children, but if he was being honest, it had always been his dream to become a chef. His mom’s cooking was his inspiration. It was what got him into cooking and wanting to make people happy by making them some food. Soobin slowed down as he approached the diner. He went inside and greeted Seokjin and Yoongi before changing into his uniform and putting the chefs hat on.

 

“Alright, kid. Let’s get started,” Yoongi said, and so Soobin’s first cooking lesson began. He learned the basics in the kitchen first and showed Yoongi the basic skills that he already knew along with kitchen sanitization and how to properly load the dishwasher and stack the clean ones. After about two hours of working, Soobin noticed how empty the diner was.

 

“It’s not very busy tonight,” Soobin pointed out while he cut up some carrots for the soup that Yoongi was showing him how to make.

 

Yoongi simply replied with, “Friday nights are usually busier, but I suppose that tonight is different.” At this point, Soobin figured out that the older boy was not much of a talker and tended to stay quiet.

 

“So, Beomgyu isn’t working tonight?” Soobin asked in a nonchalant fashion, but Yoongi suspected that something was up anyway.

 

“Nope, but he works until eleven tomorrow night. I could put you on the same shift as him from now on so that you can work with someone closer to your age.”

 

“But isn’t Seokjin-ssi in charge of that?”

 

Yoongi shrugged, “He doesn’t need to know. I don’t think that he would notice, anyway. So, same shifts as Beomgyu or no?”

 

“It’s, um, up to you, Yoongi-ssi.”

 

“I’ll take that as a yes then. And you can call me hyung. In fact, feel free to call anyone of us hyung. We’re all family here.”

 

Soobin nodded. “I’ll be sure to keep that in mind, Yoon-” He stopped himself. “I mean, hyung.”

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

It was currently nine thirty and Soobin had been staring at the napkin with Beomgyu’s number on it for the last twenty. Should he call him or should he not? What if Beomgyu had been waiting for his phone to go off since six? Probably not, but what if? Soobin didn’t want to sound weird over the phone either. Technology always made his voice sound different from what it actually was and what if Beomgyu thought that he sounded weird? He didn’t want to sound weird. Why was he even fretting over a boy that he just met? Soobin groaned and stuffed his face into his pillow. If he couldn’t decide then maybe someone else could decide for him.

 

 

merMAID to be friends forever

 

9:33 PM

Strawberry milk or chocolate milk?

 

9:33 PM

Junnie: CHOCOLATE MILK FOR THE WIN!!!!

 

9:33 PM

Ning: AGREED!

Why r u asking?

R u gonna get us some chocolate milk now??

 

9:33 PM

No.

But thanks for the help.

 

 

Chocolate milk. That meant that Soobin was going to have to call Beomgyu now. He opened his messaging app and hit the NEW button to send a new message and typed in Beomgyu’s phone number.

 

 

Beomgyu

 

9:37 PM

Hey.

It’s Soobin.

Sorry for texting you so late.

 

 

Soobin turned his phone off after sending the message to Beomgyu and shoved it under his pillow, waiting for his phone to vibrate, which it did only a minute later.

 

 

9:38 PM

Beomgyu: Hey.

For a while I thought that you weren’t going to contact me at all.

But I’m glad that you did.

Is it okay if I call you?

 

9:38 PM

Yeah.

 

 

His phone rang and he swiped the answer button right away.

 

“Hyung,” Beomgyu chirped. “What are your thoughts on aliens?”


Soobin smiled at the question. This boy was just so random, but he didn't mind.

Chapter Text

 Soobin yawned again, crossing his arms on the table and laying his head on them. It’s not his fault that he was so tired. If anything, it was all Beomgyu’s. He just kept on talking and talking away about anything that came to his mind. He would talk about one thing and then bounce off of that topic to another and then another and another and so on. Soobin was okay with it though. He actually found himself growing quite fond of Beomgyu’s habit of talking a lot. Especially with his dialect. Sometimes while Beomgyu would be talking he would talk in this low voice with his dialect and Soobin found it super attractive. Not that he was attracted to Beomgyu or anything. He just finds the younger boy to be sort of (really) good looking and in addition to that he had a nice voice too so he could probably listen to the boy talk for hours which is basically what had happened the night before.

 

“And in conclusion, that’s why I think it’s weird that some vegetarians eat fish, but no other animals,” Beomgyu finished off his whole ten minute speech about pesco-vegetarians (a branch of vegetarianism).

 

Soobin had laughed at the younger boy who responded at his reaction with, “HEY! I’m being serious. This an actual thing that I think about sometimes. Like, they don’t eat dead things or whatever, right? But, some of them eat fish. And they obviously don’t eat the fish alive.” He paused as he came to a realization. “I mean, I hope that they don’t eat the fish alive. That would be horrible. But, anyway, they just don’t eat any meat, right? Yet some still eat fish and unless I’m getting this wrong, fish is a type of meat.”

 

“I think you’re overthinking this, Beomgyu.”

 

“Ah, am I, perhaps, boring you, hyung? I tend to talk a lot and I bore people sometimes when I don’t try to so if I am then just let me-”

 

“Anything you say is interesting,” Soobin blurted, his face warming up as he mumbled, “Besides, how could anyone ever get bored of you?”

 

“Sorry, but what was the last thing that you said? I couldn’t hear you very well.”

 

Soobin felt like his face was on fire now and he was so happy that this wasn’t an in-person conversation otherwise he would have died by now if Beomgyu saw him in his current state. “It was nothing.”

 

“Well, then, moving on, do you ever think about how tanning beds are basically human toasters?”

 

He was sucked back into reality when Yeonjun threw a napkin at him from across the table. The trio was at Crown Diner for lunch because Soobin had said that he would treat Yeonjun and Kai to lunch the day before since he had gone somewhere else for lunch and although they had followed him to see what he was up to Soobin was nice enough to treat them to lunch anyway.

 

Soobin sent a glare in the older boy’s direction. “Excuse me, but what the hell was that for?”

 

“You’ve been zoning out for the past few minutes and when Kai and I said your name you weren’t responding,” Yeonjun explained. “So what were you thinking about, Binnie?”

 

“Yeah, Binnie,” Kai chimed in from next to him. “What were you thinking about, hm? Were you thinking about-”

 

Soobin put his hand over the younger boy’s mouth. “Don’t say it. I know what you’re going to say so don’t say it. I literally met Him two days ago and you two idiots and the guys that work here keep making these assumptions and frankly, it’s annoying!”

 

Kai pushed Soobin’s hand away and smiled, scrunching up his nose. “I’m just saying that you two would be pretty cute together. Beo-”

 

“Don’t say it!”

 

Kai rolled his eyes. “Right. I won’t say His name then, but He is my friend after all and so are you, so I’m totally rooting for you guys.”

 

Soobin lightly pushed the younger boy and moved further from him, scooting closer to the edge of his seat. “Aish, you’re annoying.”

 

“You love us, Binnie. You can’t even deny it.” Yeonjun made different heart shapes with his hands, sending them in Soobin’s direction. “We’re your best friends. What would you be without us?”

 

“I’d be better off, that’s what.”

 

“You little-”

 

Taehyun was suddenly standing there with two plates of food in his hands. A shorter boy with pink hair was standing behind him with a plate of food as well, except there was an amused look on his face unlike Taehyun’s.

 

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Taehyun said, an unimpressed look on his face as he looked from Soobin to Kai to Yeonjun.

 

The shorter, pink-haired boy nudged him and with a smile, he muttered, “Customer service, Taehyun. You have to smile.”

 

Taehyun sighed, “Yeah, yeah. I know all of that already, Jimin hyung. It’s just different when I’m serving my friends.” He placed one plate on the table by Yeonjun and the other by Kai.

 

“Do you want us to leave you a tip or not?” Kai asked as the pink-haired boy - Jimin - set down the plate of food he was holding in front of Soobin and left as Yoongi called him back into the kitchen.

 

“Why are you asking that if you’re not planning on leaving a tip at all?” Taehyun questioned and Kai shut up after that. “Anyway, enjoy, and Soobin hyung?”

 

Soobin looked up from his meal. “Yes?”

 

“You’re working later tonight, right?”

 

“I believe so? I’ll double-check the schedule that Yoongi hyung sent me. Why are you asking though?”

 

Taehyun smiled at that. “Beomgyu was wondering.”

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

“Hyung!” Beomgyu beamed as Soobin entered the diner. He walked over to Soobin, a little bounce in each step and poked him. “Well, don’t you look all fancy in your chef uniform?”

 

At first, he didn’t react because all that he could think of was earlier when Taehyun had told him that ‘Beomgyu was wondering.’ Soobin could already feel himself growing warmer. “Uh, thanks.”

 

“Beomgyu, Soobin!” Yoongi called for them from the kitchen. Beomgyu grabbed ahold of Soobin’s arm and pulled him along as he made his way to the kitchen and for a few seconds Soobin was wondering what they might look like to some of the customers. A tiny teenager dragging along a giant teenager. Beomgyu let go as soon as they were in the kitchen. “There might be a thunderstorm later so you guys don’t have to stay as late as you’re supposed to. I don’t want you guys to get stuck in the rain.”

 

“Okay,” they said in unison and then Beomgyu went back out to the dining area because Taehyung called him over for something. For most of the night after that Soobin stayed in the kitchen cooking and learning how to cook new foods while Beomgyu stayed in the dining area, taking orders and serving the customers. It started to rain around nine and from that point, it only started to rain harder. By ten, it was pouring outside and most of the customers had gone home. The only people that were left was this young looking couple and a party of four sitting in a booth and the only workers that were left was Soobin, Beomgyu, Yoongi, Taehyung, and Seokjin.

 

“Taehyung and I are heading out.” Seokjin walked out of his office as he was putting on his coat. “This idiot here rode his bike even though I texted him about the weather before his shift started.”

 

“Not surprising,” Yoongi said. “It’s Taehyung, after all.”

 

Taehyung came out of Seokjin’s office, an offended look on his face with a pout on his lips. “What is that supposed to mean?”

 

Seokjin and Yoongi shared a look before they both replied, “Nothing.”

 

“I know it’s not nothing, you jerks.” Taehyung stuck out his tongue and pulled his hood up. “Let’s go now, hyung. I have to stay at your place tonight because Kook invited Jimin to our dorm and you know what that means.” He made a weird clicking noise.

 

Yoongi raised an eyebrow at the brown-haired boy. “Is that supposed to be code for-”

 

“Yes.” Taehyung quickly glanced at Beomgyu and Soobin. “Yes, it is, but there are children present.”

 

Seokjin laughed at that. “Please. You’re calling them children when you act like you’re five ninety-nine percent of the time?”

 

“I don’t act like I’m five!”

 

“You do.” Yoongi agreed. “Anyway, you two should get going before the rain gets worse.”

 

“Will do. See you tomorrow then. Don’t forget to lock up. Both the back door and the front.” With that Seokjin and Taehyung left with a wave and went out the back door.

 

Beomgyu started to ask, “So Jimin hyung and Jungkook hyung are-”

 

Yoongi cut him off with a nod. “Yep.”

 

“YES!” Beomgyu yelled before his hands flew to his mouth to cover them up. “Sorry. I just- that just means that I won my bet with Taehyun. I knew something was up with those two, but Taehyun didn’t think so and who was right? Me! That’s who was right.”

 

“Wait until I tell them about your guys bet.” Yoongi grinned.

 

He gasped, “Hyung, no! Jungkook hyung will literally fight me!”

 

“Then I guess you better start training.” Just then Yoongi’s phone rang. “Excuse me for a moment.”

 

As soon as Yoongi walked out of the kitchen, Beomgyu turned to face Soobin, a mischevious glint in his eyes. “Let’s make a bet.”

 

“A bet?” Soobin questioned and the younger boy nodded. “It depends on what we’re betting on then.”

 

“Taehyung hyung and Jin hyung.”

 

“What about them?”

 

“Isn’t it obvious?”

 

“No?”

 

Beomgyu rolled his eyes as he grabbed Soobin’s shoulders and looked him in the eyes. “They totally like each other.”

 

“They do?”

 

“So, here’s the plan-”

 

“Plan? What plan?”

 

“The plan. You talk to Jin hyung more and I’ll talk to Taehyung hyung more. If they like each other, I win and you have to come with me to the arcade. If they don’t like each other then you win and I’ll have to take you out for lunch or something.”

 

“I don’t know, Beomgyu…”

 

“Come on.” Beomgyu smiled and sang, “It’ll be fun.”

 

“Fun for you maybe.”

 

“Just think about it, okay?” Beomgyu then walked back out to the dining area to clean up the booth that the party of four had left a few minutes ago, leaving Soobin to think about the bet. Honestly, it wasn’t a bad bet. He could totally win because the likely hood of Seokjin and Taehyung liking each other was so very low. They seemed like brothers to Soobin, but after all, Yoongi did say that everyone here was like a family. A bet wouldn’t hurt though. What’s the worst that could happen?

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

He shut the door as fast as lightning.

 

That was the worst thing that could have happened. What the hell did Soobin just witness? He was so in shock that he bumped right into Beomgyu, almost making him drop a plate that still had food on it. Beomgyu rubbed his forehead. “Geez, watch where you’re going, you giant rabbit.” Soobin didn’t respond, making him have to look up at Soobin, his eyebrows furrowing as concern for the older boy flooded his previous thoughts. “Hey, are you feeling okay? You look kind of pale.” Beomgyu set the plate aside and placed a hand on Soobin’s forehead, getting on his tiptoes and moving closer to examine him. “Should I tell Jin hyung that you need to go home because you’re sick? It’s Sunday too, you should be at home relaxing.”

 

Soobin shook his head. “No… I’m fine. Also, if you’re so worried about it being Sunday then why aren’t you at home relaxing, hm?”

 

“Because I’m only here today filling in for Taehyun. He had some school thing to take care of or whatever,” Beomgyu explained. “So, tell me, are you feeling okay? You’re not sick or anything?” He moved even closer, making Soobin back up against a table.

 

“I just, um-”

 

“Soobin,” Taehyung said, averting his eyes so that he didn’t have to look at Soobin. “Seokjin hyung needs to talk to you in his office.”

 

“Are you in trouble?” Beomgyu whispered.

 

“Uh, I’ll talk to you after.” Soobin slowly made his way past Taehyung and into Seokjin’s office. He immediately bowed when he entered. “Seokjin hyung, I’m so, so, so, so, sorry, sir. I really didn’t mean to enter like that, but I knocked twice and usually it’s okay to enter after knocking twice. I didn’t realize that you had some… company.”

 

“No, no, no. That’s not it at all. If anything I’m the one who should be sorry,” Seokjin apologized. “Both Taehyung and I. You weren’t supposed to see that.” He looked down at his desk. “No one was. It was unprofessional and I’m sorry. Just, please don’t say anything to anyone. We’re trying to keep it low key.”

 

Soobin nodded. “I understand. Will that be all then?”

 

“Hm, well, it’s a nice Sunday afternoon. You and Beomgyu can have the rest of the day off. You’re high schoolers. You shouldn’t be working all weekend.”

 

 

🍡🍲🍡

 

 

“No fucking way!” Beomgyu yelled over the phone. “So I won the bet then?”

 

Soobin sighed. “You won and I lost in more ways than one.”

 

“Your poor virgin eyes,” Beomgyu laughed.

 

“I only saw them kissing! It was... heated kissing, but nothing more than that!”

 

“Hyung, I won which means that you have to take me to the arcade. How about Friday? Is Friday okay? Since we’re both off.”

 

Soobin smiled to himself as he rolled over on his bed. “Friday it is then.”

 

“Sleep well then, hyung. Good night.”

 

“Good night.”