Chapter 1: Baby, it's cold outside
Yoongi was comfortably curled up on the soft velvety cushions of his sofa, wrapped in his favourite plush blanket, reading a Poirot novel. On the table beside him was a half empty glass of merlot, the same colour as his hair, and a mostly finished plate of cheese and crackers. It was the perfect Boxing Day evening.
He’d almost convinced himself of the guilt of none of than the butler when he was startled away from the scene by a log falling in the fireplace. He looked up from the book to see that the fire was dwindling away, and he had another four chapters left.
Well, that just wouldn’t do.
With some groaning not exactly befitting his age, he stood and ambled his way to the basket beside the fireplace where he kept the spare logs. Opening the basket provided a plot twist he hadn’t seen coming.
This time the sound that left his lips verged on the petulant whine of a five year old. Yoongi could go from grandpa to baby in the span of seconds. Especially when unexpected walking was involved.
The spare logs were kept underneath the house, where they’d hopefully remained dry in the almost blizzard that had occurred earlier in the day.
The disgruntled man trudged over to the entryway cupboard and pulled out his coat, gum boots, a scarf and gloves. If he was going outside, he would be suitably dressed. If there was something Yoongi hated more than unnecessary movement, it was being cold.
“Alright Yoongi, let’s do this quickly. The faster you get the wood, the sooner you find out if Mrs Cunningham really was out of town on the night of the murder” he muttered to himself out loud, “and for heaven’s sake DO NOT slip”.
Sighing deeply, he swung his front door open. He carefully made his way down the steps, making sure to grip the hand rail tightly as he went.
Thankfully it had stopped actually snowing a few hours previously, but the temperature was cool enough that the snow had settled into a considerable blanket across the neighbourhood. He didn’t stop to observe the magical scene however; he was a man on a mission.
He stalked towards the back of the space beneath the house, eyes zeroing in on his target; a large hamper, which sat atop a thick blanket which supposedly stopped the damp from reaching inside.
He was reaching down into the hamper when he first heard it. A soft whimper. So soft that on a normal night he wouldn’t have heard it above the traffic. However, the deluge of snow meant there were less cars on the road and the night was still and near silent. He paused in his task to listen and heard it again. From the sounds of it, it was coming from pathway beside the house that connected his street with the one behind.
Now, Yoongi wasn’t fond of being in the cold but he wasn’t heartless. He closed the lid of the log hamper, dusted his gloves of the excess splinters and walked out from underneath the house. He rounded the corner and made his way to the path. It was completely dark out, but thankfully the path was lit by streetlamps. In the orangey light of the lamps Yoongi could make out a small lump on the ground about halfway up the lane. He furrowed his eyebrows, surely that wasn’t a person. He had been expecting a stray dog or lost kitten, but the size of the figure looked more human than anything. As he squinted his eyes trying to see better, the noise sounded out again. A whimper and then a clear word – “help”.
“Shit”, Yoongi cursed before jogging in the direction of the figure. If he’d stopped to think about it maybe he would’ve been more careful. Sought help before approaching, or called an ambulance. He’d heard about gangs using people’s natural saviour instinct to lure them into traps that ended violently. However, this thought did not occur to him as he hastened towards the person on the floor. All he could think was how cold it was and that this person must be seriously helpless to be on the floor in this weather.
When he reached the figure he squatted down and put a hand on, what he could now make-out as, blanket swaddled person.
“Hey, are you hurt?” said Yoongi, jostling the person a little to make sure they were conscious.
There was no coherent reply, only another whimper.
Yoongi took the initiative to pull back the blanket to see if he could identify any obvious injuries. What he found was a young man, probably similar in age or younger than him, who was completely naked.
His eyes bulged, “what the fuck, how are you not frozen to death”.
Then it clicked. If Yoongi didn’t move the boy, he probably would die. He wrapped the blanket back around the boy. Then, fuelled by what he can only assume in retrospect was a rush of adrenaline as he was not a strong man, he lifted him into his arms. He was stone cold, probably not far from hypothermia.
Shit shit shit.
Yoongi straightened up and rushed back towards the house. He needed to get the boy warm and quickly.
Once in the house he made to bundle the boy up in the blanket he’d previously been cocooned in himself. First he removed the blanket that he’d found him in, knowing that it would only serve as a barrier between the boy and the warmth of the dry cover. As he pulled the snow-dampened blanket from the boy he was met with a surprise; a long calico stripy cat’s tail. The fuck?
Calm Yoongi, calm. He’s a hybrid, so what? That’s not that uncommon. You need to calm the fuck down man. Now.
Yoongi stared at the form until a little whine snapped him from his panic. Right, he still needed to stop the boy from freezing to death, hybrid or not.
He wrapped him in the blanket and then pulled the extra throw from the back of the sofa and placed it over him as well. He pushed the sofa closer to the fire, accidentally knocking the coffee table in the process and spilling red wine on the carpet. “Ah, crap!”
Then he did the only other thing he could think of; he ran a bath. He made it warm but not hot, knowing that to the hybrids freezing skin anything above 30 degrees was going to feel like it burnt. He did however leave room to top it up with more hot water when the boy had adjusted.
When finished he ran to back to the lounge room. It seemed that he had lost consciousness. Yoongi checked to ensure he was still breathing, and when he felt warm poofs of air against his hand he sighed in relief and lifted the hybrid again, carrying him to the bathroom.
“I’m going to put you in the bath now, it’ll warm you up” he said to the boy in his arms.
He pondered trying to wake him, but decided that his first priority should be increasing his temperature. He removed the blankets and gently lowered the hybrid into the water. He half expected that this would jolt the boy awake, but his eyes remained closed.
Yoongi considered calling an ambulance at this moment, but ultimately knew that being a hybrid with no discernible owner meant they’d unlikely take him but instead would refer him to the pound.
He bristled with anger at the thought. Hybrids were closer to human than they were their animal counterparts. Their treatment as pets to be owned and discarded rather than beings to be cared for was disgusting. Even so, if he’d found an actual cat he’d treat it with more dignity than the government deemed fit for hybrids.
Yoongi knelt beside the bath and reached to check the boy’s temperature. He felt warmer than before, but was still covered in goosebumps. His experience with heating people who were at risk of hypothermia was slim (let’s call it nill) but he decided that he was probably safe to increase the temperature of the water now that the boy’s skin had reasonable time to adjust. He turned on the hot water tap, making sure that the stream wasn’t directly hitting the hybrid.
He was frustrated that the water wasn’t heating fast but then figured that the hybrid’s body was likely working like a giant ice cube to slow the process. He decided that he’d fill the tub and perhaps release half the water and refill later if he thought it necessary.
Staring at the towel rack in frustration at the situation gave him an idea. He ran to the linen closet, chose his fluffiest towel and then went to his room to find a spare pair of pyjamas. Once he’d chosen his blue plaid flannelettes, some bed socks and a beanie for good measure, he took the collection to the tumble dryer to warm up. His mother had done the same thing on particularly cold winter’s mornings when he was a child.
He then ran back to the bathroom to ensure that the hybrid hadn’t drowned in the bath water while unconscious. His fears were for nothing however, since he returned to a pair of wide, dazed brown eyes staring at him.
Until this moment Yoongi hadn’t really taken in the boy’s appearance in a way other than clinically. His blonde hair was wet and dirty, and his smooth skin still had a blue-ish twinge but he realised that the hybrid could only be described as adorable. His chocolate eyes were more akin to those of a puppy than a kitten, large and expression-filled, his pink lips were plump and his cheeks were full, giving him the appearance of someone much younger. His tail was curled protectively around his waist and his cat ears were pricked to attention.
“Master?” the hybrid said in a questioning tone, head tilting to one side. His voice was soft and airy.
“No no no, I’m just Yoongi” he rushed out, “I found you outside kitten, in the snow”.
The hybrid looked thoroughly confused, mouthing “snow” as he frowned down at his own hands.
Tiny, thought Yoongi.
“I’m going to check your temperature okay? You lost a lot of body heat out there”
As if the mention of it reminded the poor thing, the hybrid shivered. “Cold” he said, still to his hands.
Yoongi approached the bath and placed a hand on the boy’s forehead. He was better, but still a long way off warm. Yoongi checked the water and clicked his tongue. No wonder; it was barely lukewarm. He found the plug and let the water drain to halfway, before turning the hot tap back on.
“Lay down kitten, you’ll heat up better if you’re completely in the water”.
The hybrid did as he was told with no questions, lowering his upper body back into the bathwater, letting out a sigh of relief as the hot water caressed his skin.
“I’m going to go and heat some soup for you, stay right here okay?”
There was no answer, and Yoongi was hesitant to leave the boy alone. He didn’t seem particularly with it, however he thought that putting some hot food in the hybrid’s stomach would likely help along the warming process a good deal.
He dashed to the kitchen and pulled out the leftovers of the soup he’d had with his dinner that night. He poured it into a saucepan and placed it on the stove. He also grabbed a bread roll, quickly buttering it and placing it and a side plate on a tray.
On his return to the bathroom he stopped by the tumble dryer and removed the towel and clothes.
“Okay, I think we’d best get you out now” he said as he walked into the room. Followed swiftly by, “ah” as he realised the hybrid had fallen back asleep.
“Right” he said to himself, “now what?”
He approached the tub again, draping the towel across his knees as he squatted down.
“Kitten” he said to get the hybrids attention; acutely aware that he still didn’t know the boy’s name, “we need to get you out and dry you off, wake up now”.
The boy stirred, eyes barely peaking open, “huh?”
“You’re getting out now, can you stand?” Yoongi asked gently.
The hybrid slowly sat up, blinking blearily at his surroundings. No he could not, Yoongi decided.
“Okay, I’m going to lift you” Yoongi said, throwing the towel over his shoulder and reaching for underneath the boy’s armpits. He hoisted him upwards and hauled him over the lip of the bath. He then one-armedly steadied him while wrapping the towel around his form, before guiding him to sit on the lid of the toilet.
He rubbed at the towelled sides and then pulled the hair-dyer out from a drawer beside the sink. Wet hair wouldn’t do right now. He dried the hybrids hair, being careful around his cat ears which were twitching as the boy himself sat with his eyes closed and a soft purr emanating from his throat. The warm air was seemingly appreciated.
When he’d finished he addressed the hybrid again, “Okay, I’ve left some clothes here” he waited for the kitten to open his eyes and then pointed to the pyjamas on the counter, “put them on and then I’ve got some food for you out there”.
The hybrid looked at the clothes and nodded sleepily. Yoongi took this as understanding and left to go and check on the soup.
He was carefully scooping the food into a bowl when the boy wandered out into the living space. He looked like a child had dressed him. The pyjama top was held together by only three of the buttons, which had been put in the wrong buttonholes. The beanie was inside out, and from the weird way the fabric was bunching at his front, the trousers were likely on backwards. The boy’s tail had been stuffed down one of the pant legs and was wiggling to escape. The socks were nowhere to be seen.
How could he get is so wrong?
Let it go Yoongi, he’s dressed, that’s all that matters.
His fingers twitched, his perfectionist personality demanding that the buttons be righted for the sake of all humanity.
“This is almost ready, you can go sit on the sofa while I dish up”.
The boy ambled over to couch, his movements restricted by the pyjama bottoms.
Yoongi placed the bowl of soup onto the tray with the bread, grabbed a spoon from the drawer and then carried it over to the coffee table beside the sofa. He dragged it as close to the boy as possible.
The boy peered down at the food with a curious look on his face.
“It’s uh, just leftovers from my dinner but hopefully it’ll help you warm up” said Yoongi.
“Fish?” the kitten questioned.
“Uhhh no, it’s a kimchi base with pork”
The hybrid looked up at him confused, “human food”
“Yes” Yoongi said, not comprehending the problem.
“Not for me?” The boy said pointing at the dish to clarify.
“No, it is” Yoongi said, “I’m sorry it’s all I have. You just need to get something in your stomach. It’ll warm you from the inside”.
This seemed to appease the hybrid, who leant over, stuck his face in the bowl and lapped at it. He flung back into the seat, spluttering, eyes crinkled up in discomfort and red soup dripping from his nose.
Yoongi tried not to laugh, but the way the hybrid had started rubbing at his tongue to try and remove the soup was endearingly comical.
The boy looked over at him, pouting with watery eyes, “you tricked me”.
Yoongi’s eyes widened, “No no no, sorry! It really is for you! You just looked so cute with the soup on your nose. Here…” he said, reaching for a tissue from the coffee table, leaning closer to the boy and dabbing the liquid off of his face, “all better”.
The boy’s eyes followed Yoongi’s movements, and he went adorably cross-eyed when the tissue met his nose. He then looked at the soup again suspiciously.
“Seriously, it was probably just a little hot still from the stove” Yoongi said grabbing the spoon and taking a mouthful of the stuff himself to show it was safe, “see, it’s good”.
He handed the boy the spoon and watched as he took tentative mouthfuls. He looked like he’d never used a spoon and Yoongi wondered idly if that was the case. He’d heard of people who treated their hybrids like actual pets rather than companions. That would explain the lapping and also the ineptitude at dressing. Yoongi decided that was a conversation for another time however. He still didn’t even know the boy’s name.
“I’m Yoongi by the way” he said, smiling.
“Hello Yoongi” said the boy, cheeks now prettily flushed from the fire, Yoongi noted happily.
When the hybrid didn’t automatically offer it, Yoongi asked, “And what’s your name?”
“Oh, I’m Jimin” he said pointing at his neck and then squeaking in confusion when he didn’t find anything there. He stood up suddenly and started looking around himself as if he’d lost something.
“Woah there, what’s up?” said Yoongi, standing up automatically in response.
“My collar” said Jimin, turning to Yoongi with a trembling lip.
Yoongi grimaced. It was looking increasingly like Jimin was not a lost kitten but rather an abandoned one.
“You didn’t have one when I found you kitten” he said softly, placing a reassuring hand on his arm.
“No collar?” Jimin asked incredulously, “but, my owners they…” he trailed off. “They’ll find me somehow right?”
Yoongi didn’t know what to say. He wanted to assure the cat that he’d see his owners again but he also didn’t want to lie. He also wasn’t exactly of the opinion that his owners deserved to have him back anyway, or that people should ‘own’ hybrids in general.
“I’m sure everything will work out” he said instead, giving a gentle squeeze and guiding the boy to sit back down on the sofa.
“I’ll go get some bedding for you and then I think you should get some sleep. Things will seem better in the morning”.
With that he made his way back to the linen closet and pulled out a spare quilt and pillow. He also ducked into the bathroom and found the abandoned bed socks.
When he returned the kitten was licking the soup bowl clean. He smiled at the sight, and then cleared his throat, lifting the bedding to show that the cat should lie down. Jimin placed the bowl on the coffee table and then curled up on the couch. Yoongi placed the pillow at one end then covered the boys form with the quilt.
“You forgot the socks, best to keep your toes warm so they don’t fall off”
Jimin’s eyes bulged dramatically and he quickly shot his feet out of the covers towards Yoongi, who chuckled softly. He knelt in front of the kitten and carefully pulled the fluffy socks on for him. He saw Jimin wriggle his toes experimentally before drawing them back under the covers.
Yoongi took the tray back to the kitchen and then paused at the light switch of the room, “lights on or off?” he asked.
“Off please” said Jimin from where he was snuggled under the blankets, “Goodnight mast- uh, Yoongi”.
“Night Jimin-ah” he said, flicking the switch off and walking to his bedroom.
As he lay in bed trying to sleep his mind was going a hundred miles a minute, and for once not because he was trying to figure out who-dunnit in his latest novel.
Chapter 2: Learning the Ropes
Thank you for all the love I recieved on the first chapter, I hope you enjoy chapter two! I'd love for you to let me know your thoughts in a comment.
I had lots of fun writing Jimin learning all the new things. Isn't he a cutie :3
Jimin woke up with his face pressed into a squishy cushion, facing the back of the sofa. He let out a long yawn as he stretched his aching limbs. He’d had a strange dream where he’d been separated from his owners and found by a human who’d made him eat weird food. He’d been very cold and very confused.
Lying cosily beneath layers of blankets, he was grateful that he was safe and warm now.
He closed his eyes and peacefully drifted back to sleep.
Yoongi had never been a morning person. His job as an architect meant he worked long hours, often continuing at home late into the night. He wasn’t unhappy. No, it was his passion and he happily sunk much of his own time into his job, but his friends frequently told him he was overworking himself.
This nocturnal activity, together with his 9-5 office hours, meant that he often functioned on very little sleep. Meaning that the hours between waking and arriving at work were dedicated to drinking coffee and avoiding conversation at all cost.
He was on holiday until the New Year but his body apparently didn’t get the memo, since he kept waking up at 6.30 am on the dot; the usual time his alarm would sound. He grumbled into his pillow and seriously considered rolling over and trying to fall back asleep, but then he remembered.
He had an adorable and seemingly homeless cat hybrid sleeping on his couch.
The thought was enough to get him to swing his legs out of bed and tiptoe into the lounge room to check on the kitten.
The hybrid seemed to be sound asleep, if his regular intake of breath and popping noises were anything to go by. His tail had made its way out of the pyjama pants in the night, and was swishing lazily down the side of the sofa. The sweet sight made Yoongi smile to himself.
Once he was assured that Jimin was alright he left the lounge for the kitchen. He decided that now he was up he might as well start breakfast. He filled the coffee machine, flicked the switch and pulled a mug from the cupboard. He’d have food as well but first, coffee.
After his first mug, Yoongi refilled and then went about preparing some food. He cut up some mango, strawberries, banana and apple, before pouring some cereal in a bowl and topping it with milk. He took his breakfast to the other side of the counter where he had a few stools. His unit was small and didn’t have room for a dining table so he made do with a makeshift breakfast bar and the coffee table.
As he ate he considered the situation and found he was at a loss of what to do next. He decided to text Namjoon. Yoongi wasn’t an idiot by any means, but sometimes he got paralysed by situations and he needed his best friend’s logical advice to help him figure out his next step.
Yoongi: I need your younger and wiser brain
Yoongi: Wake up
Namjoon: So help me God Hyung, if this is about whether the disgruntled gardener with a large gambling debt and a murderous glint in his eye seems suspicious in the death of his boss by hedge-clippers, I’m going to take away your library card!
Yoongi: How very dare you!
Yoongi: Agatha Christie would never write something so sloppy.
Yoongi: It’s looking to be the butler who’s being blackmailed by an old school chum.
Namjoon: … I’m going back to sleep.
Yoongi: No, wait!
Yoongi: It’s something else I promise
Yoongi: I found a cat hybrid out in the snow yesterday when I went down to get more logs for the fire. He was freezing so I brought him inside, ran him a bath and fed him etc. He’s asleep on the couch now, but I don’t know what to do now.
Namjoon: That is… not what I was expecting.
Namjoon: He’s a stray?
Yoongi: Well, he keeps talking about his ‘owners’ but he doesn’t have a collar. I’m thinking maybe he was abandoned.
Namjoon: Hmm, yeah it’s the time of year for it. Lots of people get new pets for Christmas and then decide to get rid of the older ones.
Yoongi: People disgust me.
Namjoon: People, what a bunch of bastards.
Yoongi: But for real, I have no idea what to do now. He seems to think his owners will come looking for him, and I don’t have the heart to tell him… All I know is that I don’t want to take him to the pound.
Namjoon: Yeah. Well, I don’t know a lot about hybrids myself… but Jin’s cousin actually has one. I could get him to text them and see if they know of a better way to re-home hybrids.
Yoongi: Alright, thanks man. In the mean time…
Namjoon: You want me to come over.
Yoongi: Please? It was okay last night because he was mostly unconscious, but now… He seems like the chatty type and he’ll probably have lots of questions I can’t answer. You know how I am with people.
Namjoon: You know Hyung, I thought you might be able to connect with him well…
Yoongi: I know where this is going Kim Namjoon and I implore you for the sake of our friendship to not finish that thought
Namjoon: What’s that Lil Meow Meow? Kitty angry?
Yoongi: I will murder you in your sleep.
Namjoon: Making coffee and then heading over.
Yoongi: I hope you choke.
Namjoon: See you soon <3
Just as Yoongi let out a scoff and put his phone down on the counter, he heard a loud squeak. He turned to see Jimin peaking over the back of the sofa with wide panicked eyes. When Yoongi looked his way he let out another squeak and ducked down out of view.
“Master!” came a desperate call, “Master! There’s someone in the house!”
Jimin squealed and ran from the sofa towards the bedrooms, “Help! He knows my name!”
Yoongi let out a soft chuckle, stood from this place at the counter and followed the hybrid out of the room. He didn’t have to go far to catch up. Jimin was standing in the middle of the hallway looking incredibly confused, “this isn’t my master’s house” he muttered.
“No, it’s not” Yoongi said gently.
The hybrid turned and looked at him as if he was trying to figure something out.
“Do you remember me?” asked Yoongi.
Jimin tilted his head with a small frown before tentatively nodding, “You’re the man from my dream”.
Yoongi laughs at that, though not unkindly. “It wasn’t a dream kitten… Come have some breakfast yeah?”
Another nod from the hybrid and the two make their way to the kitchen.
“What would you like? There’s fruit, cereal, toast, eggs, I think I have pancake mix somewhere in the cupboard…”
“Um, I don’t really know what those things are…” said Jimin looking shy.
Jimin’s comment about ‘human food’ the previous night came to mind. Yoongi had a troubling thought but he pushed it to the back of his mind for now.
“Right, uh” he points to his two bowls in explanation “fruit and cereal”.
Jimin’s face lights up, “oooh yes the mushy milk bowl, I like that! I’ll have that when you’re done please”.
Yoongi shakes his head as he makes his way to cupboard to take out a bowl and the cereal box, “I’ll get you your own”.
Jimin all but squealed with excitement, his ears were perked up and he was bouncing on the balls of his feet.
Well, he’s easy to please at least.
However, when Yoongi placed the bowl on the counter and gestured for Jimin to sit, the hybrids face fell. Yoongi turned to get a spoon from the drawer and laid it next to the bowl but Jimin was still standing, looking unsure.
“You can sit down Jimin-ah” he said as he rounded the counter and took his own seat.
The hybrid did as he said and slowly reached for the spoon. He poked at the bowl with interest and then scooped a heaped spoonful into his mouth. His cheeks bulged adorably and his brow was furrowed in confusion as he began to crunch loudly with his mouth open.
Yoongi glanced at the hybrid and bit his lip trying to hold in a laugh, it was obvious that this was Jimin’s first time eating cereal that hadn’t gone soggy.
“So, what do you usually eat at home?” Yoongi asked.
Jimin swallowed loudly, “I don’t really know what it is, it comes in a purple tin. And sometimes my masters would give me their plate when they were done with it”.
Yoongi’s fears had been confirmed. Hybrid food. Tinned, low quality meat and veg. They really treated him like an actual cat. He made a conscious effort not to let his anger show.
“and you eat at the table?”
“Yes… after my masters have eaten”
Yoongi nodded with a smile “but uh… not with cutlery?”
Yoongi picked up his spoon from the table, “spoons, chopsticks, forks?” he clarifies softly.
The hybrid’s face burned and he looked down at the table with his ears flattened against his head, giving a barely perceptible shake of his head.
Yoongi felt bad for embarrassing the boy, “It’s not a problem. You’ll get better with practice”.
At this Jimin peaked up at him, “Will I be staying here while I wait for my owners to find me?”
“Look Jimin, I think that maybe…” he started, but he couldn’t break it to the boy that he didn’t think anyone is looking for him, “I’m going to have another cup of coffee. You want one?”
“Okay!” the hybrid replied, ears pricking at the idea of trying something else new.
Yoongi made his way to the machine and poured the hybrid a cup, “try it like this first, but I’ll add some milk and sugar if it’s too bitter okay?”
He handed the cup to Jimin and watched as the hybrid took a sip and promptly scrunched his face up in distaste, “I think there’s something wrong with it”.
Laughing, Yoongi took the cup back and adds the milk and sugar, “It takes getting used to I suppose”.
Rounding the counter again, he returned the mug. Jimin had another taste, and this time the reaction was less extreme.
Jimin nodded, but Yoongi noticed that he put the cup down and didn’t move to touch it again.
Coffee’s a no then.
Yoongi’s phone dinged telling him he’d received an email which reminded him that Namjoon was on his way over, “My friend was thinking about coming over. He wants to meet you, if that’s okay?”’
The hybrid nodded enthusiastically, “I LOVE meeting new people!” he beamed.
“Alright good, well he’s still going to be a little while. How about you take a shower and I’ll get you a change of clothes?”
“Ok!” Jimin chirped as he scampered off in the direction of the bathroom. Before Yoongi could stand to clear the bowls Jimin popped his head back around the corner, “can you leave my bowl out? I want to cereal to go nice and soft”.
Yoongi smiled at that. Most people try and eat their cereal before it goes soggy.
He washed up his bowls and the coffee cups before making his way to the bedroom to fetch the clothes. He figured comfort was the way to go, so he grabbed a pair of sweatpants and a soft grey t-shirt.
Yoongi heard the bathroom door open as he was pulling socks and underwear out of his top drawer.
“I think your shower is broken, it was really cold” came Jimin’s voice, teeth chattering.
The elder turned from his chest of drawers to see Jimin standing in his doorway, completely naked, suds still visible in his hair and shivering violently.
“Jimin! Where’s your towel!?”
“You said you were going to get me new clothes” the hybrid stated as if that explained everything, “Do I have to put them on myself again? It was really hard yesterday”.
Yoongi sighed, “Go get your towel and wrap yourself in it, I’ll meet you in the bathroom. I need to finish rinsing your hair and then I’ll help you with the clothes”
“Ok” chirped Jimin before turning and skipping from the room.
Shaking his head, Yoongi followed the boy wondering what he’d gotten himself into.
He found Jimin sitting on the toilet seat, happily humming a little tune.
“If you sit down with your back against the tub and lean your head back I’ll rinse the shampoo from your hair”, said Yoongi gesturing to the space in front of the bath.
Jimin sat obediently and Yoongi used the shower head to get rid of all the suds. Jimin’s hair felt stiff and Yoongi had a sneaking suspicion that the hybrid had used the bar of soap rather than the shampoo.
“Sorry for not going over how to use the shower with you before, I sort of assumed…”
The boy’s cheeks tinged pink as he realised this was another human thing that he didn’t know how to do, “I’ve never had a shower before. My owners usually bathe and dress me” he mumbled.
Yoongi scoffed angrily and put the showerhead back with more force than really required. He found it disgusting the lack of autonomy Jimin’s owners had given him.
“I’m sorry” Jimin whispers, lip threatening to wobble.
“It’s not you I’m mad at Jimin-ah” he said, “I just don’t think its right that your owners treated you like you aren’t capable of anything. You’re just as capable as any other human. In fact your senses are better than ours, so if anything you’re probably better than us at a lot of things!”
“You’re a weird human” Jimin said, considering Yoongi carefully “I like you”.
Yoongi laughed as he pulled a fresh towel from the rack and began carefully drying the hybrid’s hair “yeah?”
“Yeah. You treat me nicely, even if you make me do tricky things, and you smell good”
“I… I smell good?” Yoongi asked, bewildered.
“Yep” replied the hybrid
“What do I smell like?”
“I don’t know, warm and sweet? It’s hard to explain”
Yoongi hummed in response, and pulled the hairdryer from the drawer.
“After this I’ll show you how to put the clothes on, but I want you to try it yourself, okay?”
Jimin agreed distractedly, more focused on the hairdryer which he was eyeing in anticipation. It seemed the device had left a big impact on the hybrid.
Once Jimin’s hair was all dry, Yoongi picked up the t-shirt from the counter, bunching it in his hands so that it would be easy for the hybrid to put his head through. He handed it to the boy so he could do it himself.
“Okay, and now put your arms up inside and get them through the armholes”
Jimin got one of his arms stuck inside the t-shirt and Yoongi had to intervene, but for his first time it wasn’t bad.
“Alright, with the underwear and trackpants, you have to step into them and then pull them up” said Yoongi, miming out the action. “Argh, I forgot to cut a hole for your tail! I’ll do it once you’re dressed okay?”
“Okay” replied Jimin as he went to stand up.
“Wait wait, I’ll leave first”
Jimin cocked his head, confused, “Why?”
“Usually people don’t see other people naked”
“Oh… why?” questioned the hybrid innocently.
“Um” Yoongi didn’t really know how to word it, “that’s just how it is. People tend to like their privacy”
“Oh, okay then”
Yoongi left, closing the door behind him. He made his way to the lounge and had no sooner sat down than there was a knock at the door. Grumbling at the need to get up again so soon, he went to the door let his friend inside.
“Yo” greeted Namjoon as he walked into the unit, “Sorry I’m a bit late, Jin made scrambled eggs and I wasn’t going to pass them up”.
“S’fine, we’ve been busy” replied Yoongi with a wave of his hand.
“Where is he then?” asked Namjoon.
Before Yoongi could reply, Jimin came rushing into the room excitedly yelling, “Yoongi! I did it! I did it!” When he noticed Namjoon he broke into a beaming smile, “Oh, Hello!”
“Hi there, I’m Namjoon” he said, strolling towards Jimin with his hand held out to shake.
Jimin looked down at the hand and then to Yoongi who nodded in approval. The hybrid then ducked his head down and rubbed his cheek against Namjoon’s hand. “You smell nice too, like my owner’s car” he said once he’d stood back up.
Namjoon, to his credit, simply laughed and uttered a polite “thank you, I think”. Yoongi considered explaining to Jimin about handshakes and that people don’t normally comment on other people’s smells but he decided against it. He didn’t want to make the hybrid feel bad or overload him with new information.
“I’m gonna fetch some drinks, you two sit down” said Yoongi
“Woah, what happened here bro?” said Namjoon as he went to sit down, gesturing at the large wine stain on the floor.
“Ah crap, I forgot I knocked that over last night” replied Yoongi before running to the kitchen to grab spray and a towel to soak it.
When Jimin joined Namjoon on the couch he sat right up next to him and gazed up at him with a cute smile. Namjoon wouldn’t usually hesitate to tell someone to get out of his personal space, but this kid was just too adorable, so he simply smiled back.
“You don’t look like Yoongi” said Jimin, happily examining Namjoon’s face.
“Uhh, no. Is that… is that okay?” said Namjoon, confused at the random comment.
“Do you look like your mum or your dad?”
“My dad, I suppose”
“Yoongi has got a more delicate look. He’s pretty huh?”
Namjoon laughed at that, “Pretty. You hear that Hyung? Jimin-ah thinks you’re pretty” he called to his friend.
“What?” Yoongi said as he came into the room with a dishcloth thrown over his shoulder, cleaning spray under his arm pit and a tray of drinks.
“I said you’re pretty, so you must take after your mum” said Jimin.
Yoongi saw Namjoon laughing into his hand and took the opportunity to whip him with the dish cloth after placing the tray on the table, “shut up you” he gritted out menacingly.
Jimin’s eyes widened, “Yoongi, you shouldn’t hit your brother!”
“My what now?” replied looking thoroughly confused.
“He called you bro” the hybrid said, pointing at Namjoon, “I thought…”
Both Yoongi and Namjoon laughed, realising what Jimin meant, “We’re not brothers, it’s just slang” said Yoongi.
“Sorry to confuse you Jimin-ah, oh how old are you? I just assumed you’re younger…” said Namjoon.
“Alright, I’m your Hyung then”
Jimin’s eyes widened again, it looked like they were brimming with tears, “I can call you Hyung?”
Namjoon looked panicked at the idea of potentially causing the hybrid to cry, “If you want. There there, it’s okay” he said awkwardly patting Jimin on the shoulder and looking at Yoongi for help. The elder simply shrugged as if to say, ‘you’re on your own man’.
“I’ve never had a Hyung before” sniffed Jimin, “This is just like TV”.
Namjoon broke into the fondest smile, “Well, I’m honoured to be your first”
“Technically, that would be me” said Yoongi, drawing a gasp from Jimin.
“You’re my Hyung too!?”
Yoongi nodded and the hybrid squealed in happiness, “It’s not a big deal Jimin-ah” he said rubbing at his neck.
“It’s a big deal to me” Jimin pouted, “I’ve never had friends before and now I have two!”
“You don’t have people you hang out with?” asked Namjoon.
“No. I mean, my owners had people over sometimes, but they didn’t really talk to me. Sometimes they’d stroke my head which was nice, but that’s it”.
Namjoon looked as uncomfortable as Yoongi felt. It sounded like Jimin barely left the house. The hybrid seemed oblivious to the sombre mood that had fallen between the two men. He simply began chattering about a show he’d watched about a group of friends at school and how he’d been jealous of all the fun they had.
“School looks so exciting! Did you have the best time?”
Yoongi thought back to all the times some stupid popular jock mocked him for being a nerd, the late nights trying to wrap his head around algebra, the unrequited longing after the class president and seemingly endless exams. It wasn’t exactly what he’d considered a good time.
However, Jimin’s comment made him think about how grateful he was that he’d received an education, been given the opportunity to go and meet people his age and make friends, been able to graduate and study further for a job he was passionate about. School might’ve felt like hell sometimes, but he felt so sorry for Jimin that he hadn’t been allowed to go.
“Uh, yeah it was alright” he said, not knowing how much to say. Thankfully, Jimin didn’t need much input from him or Namjoon to keep the conversation flowing.
“Is it true that they make you climb a big rope in the gym?” he said, hands clasped together, eyes huge and practically sparkling.
Namjoon scoffed at this, “Yes and that was several sessions of hellish torture that I never want to repeat”.
Jimin looked at him in bewilderment, “It looks like so much fun! I’m a great climber” he says, puffing his chest out.
This gave Yoongi an idea, “Hey, maybe we could go to a climbing wall, or a gymnasium some time”.
Namjoon looked at him with eyebrows raised, no doubt remembering all the times the younger had complained about being made to do any sort of strenuous physical activity.
“Like, go outside?” Jimin said hesitantly.
“Yeah” Yoongi said, smiling at the hybrid. “You don’t have to stay at home all the time Jimin-ah”
“But home is safe” said Jimin firmly, “and I wouldn’t know how to do anything. I’m not clever enough”.
“I’d be with you” he dismissed, “and besides that’s rubbish, I told you before you’re more than capable”.
Both Namjoon and Jimin were looking at him intently; the former with a look Yoongi could only place as fond pride. While Jimin was squirming, as if he was excited but hesitant to accept it.
“Hyung’s right” chimed in Namjoon, switching his focus to the hybrid, “It’s understandable to be nervous, but you deserve to experience things. You’ll be just fine, and I’m sure Hyung’ll hold your hand if you ask him nicely” said the man, winking at Yoongi.
Yoongi rolled his eyes at his friend, but then gave a reassuring smile to Jimin.
“Okay, Hyungs” Jimin said with a shy smile, obviously relishing using the word.
Yoongi cleared his throat, and slapped his own thighs standing up, “Hey Joon, can you help me with something in the kitchen for a moment? Jimin-ah, feel free to watch TV or whatever; make yourself comfortable”.
Namjoon followed Yoongi into the kitchen, so they could talk about the situation privately. Yoongi was still unsure about what to do in the long-term but he was even more convinced that Jimin had no place in the waiting cells of the pound, perhaps never going to a home and being put down.
Before he could open his mouth to say anything to Namjoon however, the younger started, “I like him. He’ll be good for you”.
“Huh? This isn’t about me Joon-ah, we need to think about what to do about Jimin. Did you hear anything from Jin’s cousin?”
Namjoon hummed as if in thought, “I’m just saying Hyung, if he gets you out of the house and away from your work laptop then that’s a good thing. You know me and Jin worry about you. Hybrid’s are meant to be companions. Jimin could be perfect for you”
“I’m morally against owning another person Namjoon”
“You don’t have to own him-“
“Hybrids need licenses, I know enough to know that”
“Joon, drop it”.
The younger heaved a sigh but nodded in reluctant assent, “We’re still waiting to hear from Hoseok. I’ll let you know when he texts back”.
There was a tense silence in the room. Yoongi knew that Namjoon meant well, but he didn’t care for his friends meddling. He was perfectly happy living alone and he wished they’d respect that. He felt bad for snapping at the younger though.
“Hey, uh, I’m gonna make sandwiches for lunch. You want to stay?”
Namjoon nodded and patted Yoongi on the back as if to say, “We’re cool”, before heading to the lounge to keep the hybrid company.
While he was slicing the tomatoes he heard Jimin’s tinkling laughter at something happening on the screen, and unconsciously smiled to himself.
Chapter 3: To The Tail-ors
That evening once Namjoon has left and after a quick dinner of beans on toast – “sorry Jimin-ah, I need to go grocery shopping” – while they’re getting ready to go to sleep, Yoongi proposes a plan for the next day.
“I think we should go to the shopping centre to grab a better bed for you. We can set it up in my office” suggested the architect.
Jimin paused in his fidgeting with the blankets on the sofa, “why?”
“You’ll get a crick in your neck if you keep sleeping on the sofa. Besides, wouldn’t you like a little more privacy?” said Yoongi, pointing at the fact that the office has a door.
“I don’t mind Hyung, I don’t want you to spend the money when my owners could find me soon”.
“Jimin-ah, it’s fine. I should have something for guests anyway” he replied, purposefully ignoring the fact that the last time he’d had a guest that needed a spare bed was when he was in high school and it was Joon sleeping over at his parent’s house.
This seemed to satisfy the kitten however, as he nodded and snuggled down happily into his makeshift bed.
“I’m going to stay up a bit in bed with a cup of tea, want one? Or warm milk?”
Jimin shot straight up, eyes the size of saucers and Yoongi swore he could see hearts in them “Milk?”
Yoongi chuckled, “Alright, you stay there I’ll bring it in a mo”.
He pottered off to the kitchen, made himself an earl grey while he microwaved a mug of milk for the hybrid. He grabbed the biscuit barrel down from the cupboard and pulled out a few Nice biscuits – his favourite – and put them on a plate, with the mug on a tray.
Carrying the tray out to the lounge room, Yoongi heard Jimin humming a tune under his breath.
“You do that a lot when you’re happy” he said as he placed the tray down.
“Hum” said Yoongi, and hummed a little tune himself for demonstration.
“Oh” Jimin said, and Yoongi was sure he saw a little pink grace the hybrid’s cheeks, “my owner is a singer, she’s always singing around the house. I suppose I picked it up too. I’m terrible though, like a strangled cat!” The hybrid let out a harsh laugh at his last comment, and Yoongi wondered who had made that insensitive comment for the boy to retain.
“Well, I think you sound nice” replied Yoongi honestly, “your voice is sweet”.
The hybrid didn’t reply, but there was no doubt about the pretty blush on the cat’s cheeks now.
“Anyway” said Yoongi, clearing his throat, “This is for you” he gestured to the tray. “Have you dunked biscuits before?”
Jimin shook his head, and his tongue flicked out to swipe along his bottom lip in anticipation.
“Just pick it up with your fingers, dip it in the milk and hold for a second or so, then pop it in your mouth. You’ll like it, it goes soft”.
Jimin was practically vibrating with excitement by now and Yoongi held in a coo at the boy’s enthusiasm for the simplest of things. “I’ll leave the lamp on, but you can turn it off before you sleep okay?”
“Uhuh” replied Jimin distractedly, now leaning over the tray.
Once Yoongi had comfortably settled himself in bed he realised he’d left his tea in the kitchen. He groaned loudly at the inconvenience.
“Hyung! Are you okay? I’m coming in!” he heard from the lounge room before Jimin was forcing his door open and barrelling inside, milk and bits of wet biscuit stuck on his face. It shouldn’t have been endearing. This was a grown man with food on his face, but the look of sheer panic on Jimin’s face at the idea that something bad had happened to Yoongi paired with the milk moustache was just too much. Yoongi blamed it on the eyes, so goddamn big and sparkly.
“Yes Jimin-ah, Hyung is sorry. Nothing’s wrong, I just forgot my tea in the kitchen” he said propping himself up on his elbows.
“Oh… good” said Jimin, visibly relaxing before turning and exclaiming brightly, “I’ll get it!”
Yoongi was torn between the idea of following the hybrid to make sure he didn’t drop the mug and leaning back and having the drink brought to him without having to get out of the warm covers. His natural lazy tendencies won out and he decided to trust Jimin.
The hybrid returned with the mug carefully in hand, inching forward one foot in front of the other, his eyes plastered to the mug to make sure that he didn’t spill a drop. He made it to Yoongi’s bedside table successfully. Once the drink was safely on a coaster, the hybrid did a little happy dance that ended with a pirouette.
“A singer and a ballerino, you’re a talented kitty”
Rather than blush shyly again, Jimin outright laughed at this comment, “Don’t be silly Hyung” he said before walking back out of the bedroom and saying goodnight over his shoulder.
Yoongi smiled and took the tea from the side, taking a long pull from it. It was approaching lukewarm now and needed to be drunk quickly.
With his other hand he picked up his phone and opened the internet browser. He wanted to look at places they could go tomorrow to get Jimin some clothes that accommodated for his tail. They’d cut a hole in his pyjama pants and the joggers that he’d leant him earlier, but some proper clothes would be better.
He typed “Hybrid Clothes Seoul” into the search bar and scrolled through the results. He spent a good hour looking over the websites of shops dedicated to selling hybrid clothes and felt an uncomfortable knot slowly growing in his stomach.
Some of the places were borderline, but some were downright creepy. It was obvious that the websites were catered towards owners rather than hybrids themselves. This assumed lack of autonomy paired with comments like “wouldn’t your pretty little thing look delicious sprawled out in this” made him angrily click away.
They’d just have to think of something else. He wasn’t going to subject Jimin to going to a place that thought of him like that.
He quickly finished his neglected and now stone cold tea, flicked off the bedside lamp and snuggled down into the covers. It took a while for him to sleep, with angry thoughts buzzing around his head and a renewed determination for Jimin to go to a home that treated him properly.
The next morning Yoongi wakes suddenly to the sound of loud clanging and a surprised squeak coming from the kitchen.
“Naughty pans, you’re going to wake up Yoongi Hyung” he heard Jimin muttering as he groggily stumbled out of his room.
“Too late” he croaked, scratching the back of his head and rubbing his tummy subconsciously.
“Oh Hyung!” Jimin said turning in surprise with a guilty look, “I was going to make you breakfast, but I didn’t remember where you kept the bowls and then these all fell out…”
“S’alright Jimin-ah, how about you sit and Hyung makes us something?”
At this Jimin pouted, exaggerated and adorable.
“I’ll show you where things are another time okay? I just… not in the morning. Mornings are… hard” he grumbled, trying his best to sound friendly as he flicked the switch on the coffee machine he’d filled the night before.
“Okay” said Jimin, slinking towards the breakfast bar and taking a seat, “I just want to be helpful”.
“I know kitten, I promise I’ll teach you some stuff”
Jimin was quiet for a moment and then said in a tiny voice, “Hyung, have you heard of pinky promises?”
Yoongi wanted to laugh at the idea of anyone not knowing pinky promises, they were the highest form of trust in the playground. However, the thought that Jimin had never experienced this childhood rite of passage was sobering enough to stop him.
“Yes” he said, knowing where this was going.
“I… I saw it on a show once. Maybe you could pinky promise me?” he asked, ears pricking up and tail swishing hopefully.
With the coffee machine gurgling behind him and bread placed in the toaster, Yoongi made his way over to Jimin and held out his pinky with a smile.
Jimin squealed excitedly and linked their pinkies, and normally Yoongi would’ve snapped at anyone making those sorts of noises in the morning, especially so close to him when he hadn’t even had a sip of coffee yet. However, it seemed that it didn’t bother him so much if it was Jimin.
“I Min Yoongi, pinky promise you…” he trailed off not knowing Jimin’s family name.
“Park” Jimin supplied
“I Min Yoongi, pinky promise you Park Jimin, that when I am not dying of coffee deprivation I will show you around the kitchen and teach you some basics”.
Park Jimin’s smile is maybe the prettiest thing Min Yoongi has ever seen. He’s quite sure he’d make a million more pinky promises if it meant he kept on getting to see it.
They ate breakfast together and Jimin discovered that he loves marmalade. Yoongi added it to the grocery list he’s been forming in his head. When they’ve finished and Yoongi was washing the dishes, he told Jimin to go into his closet and pick out another set of clothes.
“We’ll get you some of your own today, but for now you’ll want to wear clean ones to go out. Grab anything, I’m not particularly attached to my clothes”.
While Jimin chose his clothes Yoongi hopped into the shower. As he shampooed his hair he remembered that he still needed to show Jimin how the shower worked and which products to use. It wouldn’t do for the hybrid to be using soap in his hair again. He wondered if there was special shampoo that Jimin should be using for his cat ears and tail and made another mental note to check in the store.
Yoongi stepped out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, and headed for his room. He found an explosion of clothes with Jimin sitting at the epicentre, rubbing one t-shirt against his face and then another.
The hybrid turns around and smiles brightly as if he hasn’t wreaked havoc in Yoongi’s room, “Oh hi Hyung!”
Yoongi simply quirked his eyebrow and Jimin took the hint, sort of, “I’m just trying to decide which of your t-shirts is the softest. I think it’s this one” he says holding up a promotional t-shirt for a beer company that he was given while at university that he now sometimes wears to bed. “But I haven’t checked them all yet…” he says gesturing to a small pile of presumably un-checked t-shirts.
Yoongi decided for his own sanity to just ignore the situation unfolding before him. He bent down and picked up one of the tested and discarded t-shirts from the floor and a pair of jeans that were flung over his desk.
“Jimin-ah, throw me some boxers. Top drawer” he asked.
The hybrid stood and pulled open the drawer, “black, black or black?” said Jimin with a playful smile. Yoongi thinks that it’s probably the first time he’s heard Jimin use sarcasm.
“Very funny, cat” he said as the hybrid throws a pair at him.
He turns and heads back to the bathroom to get changed. When he’d just finished pulling his shirt on over his head there was a knock on the door.
Jimin was wearing the grey shirt from earlier and a pair of soft black joggers. Admittedly expensive but Yoongi held his tongue, he had said to take anything.
“You want me to cut holes? Give me a minute I’m just going to dry my hair” Yoongi turned away from the door and grabbed the hairdryer and brush from the drawer. He was plugging the device in when he sensed Jimin’s presence still behind him. He turned to see Jimin fidgeting on the spot as he eyed the hair dryer.
“You’re… you’re going to use that?” he said nodding towards the hairdryer.
His brow furrowed, yes he was going to dry his hair… Then the memory of Jimin sitting on the toilet seat, eyes closed and purring as Yoongi ran his fingers through his hair as the hot air dried it, came to him.
Yoongi laughed a little to himself, “Jimin-ah, your hair is dry”.
“I know Hyung, but… it’s so nice” said Jimin mumbling to the floor shyly, “warm and…” he trailed off with a blush.
Yoongi let out a sigh, “C’mere then” he says, lightly kicking the toilet to let Jimin know he should sit there.
The boy looked up from the tiles to look at Yoongi with ‘that look’, the wide puppy-dog eye look that Yoongi was ironically coming to associate with the cat hybrid. It was a mix of awe and a million pretty pleases with cherries on top. It worked like a trick and made Yoongi’s heart feel like it had been drizzled in honey.
So that was how Yoongi found himself stroking Jimin’s bone dry hair back as he used the hairdryer to warm the hybrid’s scalp and cat ears, while his own wet hair dripped down his back. The irony of the situation was not lost on him, but the relaxed purr the hybrid was letting out was enough for Yoongi to dismiss it. He continued massaging the hybrids head for a good 5 minutes before he turns the hairdryer off, “Alright Jimin-ah, you’re going to get a dry scalp if I keep doing this”.
Jimin opens his eyes but he seems groggy, “Hm?” he asked with a jut of his chin.
“Times up, thank you for coming to Salon Yoongi, but we’re closing now so that the owner can do his own hair” he said pointing to his wet strands.
Jimin lazily smiled up at Yoongi, “You’re funny”
“Alright, up you get sleepy head” Yoongi replied, grabbing Jimin under the armpits and heaving his deadweight upwards. He staggered on his feet as the hybrid continued to provide no assistance.
“C’mon Jimin a little help!” he grunted.
“Hyuuuung, I don’t wanna move” the kitten whined.
“Please kitten, I’m just going to dry my hair and then we can go”
The hybrids tail swished behind him and he seemed to be thinking something through, “When we go out, can we get some of that frozen milk?”
Frozen milk? What in the wor- OH he means… “Ice-cream?”
“Yes! Ice cream!” cried Jimin, seemingly waking up at the idea of the sweet treat.
“Uh, it’s like -2 degrees outside, but sure”
“You are a literal child”
“I’m 23 and I love ice cream!” the hybrid exclaimed, continuing his happy dance from earlier, “well… I think I will!”
After Yoongi had finally successfully dried his hair, grabbed a beanie, cut tail holes in Jimin’s clothes for him and had a second cup of coffee, they were out the door and on the way to the shopping centre.
In the car on the way Yoongi asked Jimin how he was feeling and if he’s ever been to a shopping mall before.
“I went to the grocery store once on the way back from the vet with my owner. Did you know you can buy WHOLE fish at the shops Hyung?”
Jimin said that he was a little bit nervous to go where so many people are, but mostly excited. “I’ve seen ‘The Mall’ in so many movies Hyung. Like Mean Girls, have you seen Mean Girls? It’s totally fetch Hyung. You should watch it”
Yoongi thinks that Jimin is maybe more nervous than he admits by the way his words/minute has increased at least tenfold.
When they arrive, Yoongi parked on the top floor and had to drag Jimin away from the edge of the car park where he’d fearlessly flung himself over the balustrade and was enthusiastically talking about the view. Yoongi, who had been to this shopping centre at least fifty times, had never noticed the view from the top of the multi-storey, but happily admitted that yes it was pretty - a sprawling cityscape.
With promises of going on a mountain hike that gave an even more impressive view, the two entered the automatic doors of the mall.
As soon as they did, Jimin’s demeanour changed. He looked impossibly small standing next to Yoongi, even though he was practically the same height. He was closing in on himself, seemingly overwhelmed by the sheer number of people.
“People are staring Hyung” he whispered as they move through the crowd.
The architect surveyed the area and saw that a few people were stopping to look at the hybrid. He took his beanie off and offered it to Jimin, “will this make you more comfortable, we can put your tail back in your joggers for now too. Up to you, but just know that you don’t need to be ashamed”.
Jimin looked at his Hyung and then gave a small nod as he reached for the hat. Yoongi gestured for them to stop in a little nook and he helped the hybrid remove his tail from the hole they’d made and instead put it down the pant leg.
“Just for now” Jimin said
“Take all the time you like Jimin-ah” replied Yoongi with an easy smile.
“and Hyung… could we maybe try what Namjoon Hyung suggested yesterday?”
Yoongi looked confused, he couldn’t remember Namjoon mentioning anything.
“H-he said, you might hold my hand if I was scared?”
Without further ado, Yoongi took the hybrid’s hand in his own, gave it a squeeze and then led him back into the crowd.
“I’m thinking a sportswear store might be good, you seem to like sweatpants” said Yoongi, guiding Jimin along to a well known brand.
Once inside the store they started looking at the pants. Jimin found a dark green pair that he liked and came to show Yoongi, “Hyung, I like these but they don’t have a tail hole. I thought we were going to look at hybrid clothes”.
“The hybrid clothes stores weren’t any good. I thought you could just pick out whatever and then we’ll take them to the tailors to have a tail hole put in professionally. Saves me doing it at home with the kitchen scissors and then it won’t fray”.
“Oh, I didn’t know they have a special store just for putting tails in clothes, that’s clever!”
“No no, they make all sorts of clothes modifications. Not just tail holes”
“But then why are they called tailors?”
Yoongi broke into giggles while Jimin pouted at him, “Mean, you shouldn’t laugh at me!” he said with a little stamp of his foot.
“I’m s-sorry J-jimin-ah, i-it’s just t-too funny” laughed the elder, gaining stares from the store people.
“Yooooongi” whined the hybrid, “now people are looking” he said his face rapidly turning scarlet.
“Sorry Kitten” he said, reaching for Jimin’s hand and giving it a squeeze while biting his lip to stop any further laughter, “let’s look for one more pair and then look somewhere else for shirts since you’re not feeling it here”.
Once outside the store Jimin was once again plastered to Yoongi’s side, holding onto his hand as if his life depended on it. Yoongi took them to H&M this time, “You seem to like soft stuff, and they’ll have a heap of jumpers in here. I reckon you’ll be a jumper type of guy”.
Jimin was indeed, a jumper type of guy.
There were a number of times that Yoongi had to subtly remind the younger that he shouldn’t rub his face on the clothes in the store, and they end up buying 5 different jumpers because Jimin couldn’t choose and Yoongi was far too endeared. They grabbed some pyjamas, underwear and socks from the same store.
Once out of the store they headed to the tailors, get Jimin measured, left the bottoms with the lady to work her magic and then head to the department store to look at possible beds for Jimin. There were a number of options, but Jimin settled on a futon as it would be easier to pack away each morning.
They grabbed spare pillows, pillow cases and sheets. Jimin chose everything in a sunshiney yellow colour that Yoongi never would’ve chosen for himself but found fits Jimin’s personality perfectly.
Yoongi stopped to consider getting an extra set of sheets for himself but decided against it. When he went to find Jimin to tell him that they’re leaving, he found him smiling down at a black and white kitten plushie and poking it’s cheeks.
He cleared his throat to get the boy’s attention and Jimin’s head snapped up, “we going?” he asks.
“Yep, that way” he pointed towards the registers, and as he went past the display of the toys a little kitten plush toy might have found its way into the cart.
When they get home Yoongi’s phone pinged with a text message.
Jin: Yoongle Boongles
Yoongi: Hello bane of my existence
Jin: You don’t want to hear about what my cousin had to say then? Oh what a pity…
Yoongi: Most beautiful of Hyungs, what a pleasure to hear from you.
Jin: Okay, so Hoseok said that he’d be more than glad to meet up with you and have a chat about what he knows. I’m an excellent person, so I invited him over for dinner tomorrow, so I’ll see you and little Jiminie there.
Yoongi: Hyung you haven’t even met Jimin yet, how are you already calling him nicknames
Jin: I know enough through Joon to know he suits Jiminie and that I will adore him.
Jin: Be there by 5pm and bring some snacks, last time you turned up empty handed. I raised you better.
Yoongi: I met you literally 2 years ago.
Jin: Petulant child, this is what I get for sacrificing my life to raise you on my back
Yoongi: Bye Hyung.
Yoongi: and thanks
“Hey Jimin-ah” he called into the apartment, where Jimin had disappeared as soon as they arrived.
The hybrid came out wearing a huge grin, arms thrown wide to show off his new outfit as he did a little spin. He looked adorably soft in his sweatpants and oversized jumper, tails swishing freely from behind.
“Perfect” said Yoongi.
Jimin thanked him and then asked what he was calling about.
“Jin has heard back from his cousin, the one with the hybrid. They’re going around for dinner tomorrow and Jin has invited us to go so we can meet them. What do you think?”
“Really?” he screeched jumping a little and clapping his hands together, “that’s great!”
“I thought you might be nervous?”
“Nope, it’s not the same as the big crowd today”
Yoongi felt proud and slightly jealous of how easy Jimin found it to talk to people. Extroverts always impressed him with their effortless social skills, “I think you’re brave. You’ve had a big change and you’re still so chill about meeting people. So much better than me and I’ve had 25 years of practise!”
“Huh?” said Jimin, bewildered by his hyung’s declaration, “You’re great at talking to people”.
Yoongi scoffed loudly.
“Well, you talk to me well” retorted Jimin.
“I’m usually a social mess, you’re not getting an accurate picture”.
Jimin looked startled, “What’s different about me then Hyung?”
“I don’t know… you’re… comfortable. Like you aren’t expecting a specific version of me. I don’t feel the need to put on some front with you, I can just be myself. It’s the same with Joon but that’s because I’ve known him forever. And Jin was too aggressively affectionate for me to ever escape becoming his best friend”.
Yoongi had been addressing this speech to his feet, avoiding eye contact was one of his nervous tics. When he looked up he saw Jimin positively preening, “I make you comfortable?” he said proudly.
“Hard to be intimidated by a ball of fluff I suppose” said Yoongi deflecting by lightening the mood.
Jimin huffed in response and Yoongi laughed.
“Are you comfortable? I mean, I know you miss your owners, but is there anything else I could be doing to help you settle?”
“Well, for now…”
Jimin silently thinks for a while, “I’m happy Hyung”, but his face and tone suggested he was holding something back. Yoongi wondered what, but decided not to press. Jimin would tell him in time he was sure.
“Okay good. Well, tomorrow hopefully we’ll get some more information on what to do next okay”.
“Ooh I’m so excited. Which jumper should I wear?” he all but screamed before running to the shopping bags.
“Woah woah woah” said Yoongi, stopping him before he delved too far and found the soft toy. He wanted to surprise the hybrid with it later.
Jimin stopped in his tracks and look inquisitively at the elder.
“Let’s run you a bath before you try on all your new clothes hey?”
They went to the bathroom and Yoongi showed the hybrid how to run the bath, which of the products are for hair and which are for washing the body. Then he left the hybrid to soak while he set up Jimin’s new bed.
When he’s put the last blanket on the bed with a flourish he heard the bathroom door open. He quickly placed the cat toy in its place of honour in the middle of the pillows and then headed out to meet Jimin, pulling the door to.
Jimin had changed into his pyjamas and was ruffling his wet hair with a towel in the hallway, “I’ve decided I’ll try on my new clothes tomorrow. I’m tired now” as if to prove his point he let out a yawn.
“Alright, well I’ll dry your hair for you if you like and then we can order in? I still need to do the groceries”
“Sorry Hyung, I’ve taken up your whole day”
“Don’t apologise Jimin-ah, it was my pleasure”
They went through the same routine of Yoongi drying the hybrid’s hair and the boy slowly drifting into a sleep-like state as he purrs. Yoongi was staunchly ‘for’ giving Jimin his independence by teaching him how to do things, but this was one task that he was perhaps subconsciously holding onto for himself.
Yoongi let Jimin choose the food, which ended up being pizza, “I’ve seen this on TV sooooo many times. It looks delicious. Wait a minute!! You didn’t get me ice cream at the shops!”
Which is how they ended up ordering a carton of Ben and Jerry’s for dessert in addition to the cheesy feast.
They spent the evening curled up separately on the couch, Yoongi reading his novel and Jimin watching TV.
Once the pizza had diminished and Jimin had devoured 2/3 of the tub by himself, the boy began to fidget while watching his show. It was a bad reality program that followed a farmer in pursuit of a wife. A group of slick city women would go and live on the farm for a few weeks and were slowly eliminated. Yoongi thought the show was misogynistic and ridiculous, but Jimin seemed to be enjoying it.
Well, he had been. But Yoongi started getting distracted from his reading by Jimin’s deep sighs, wiggling legs, and tutting tongue.
“What’s up Jimin-ah” he asked, pointedly putting his book in his lap.
“Oh… nothing” he said, face snapping back to the TV as if he hadn’t been staring at Yoongi previously.
“Nup, not gonna get out of this one that easily. Tell me what’s on your mind”.
“I just… What are you reading?” he asked, all innocent eyes.
“It’s an Agatha Christie novel. She is, well was, a well known murder mystery author”
“Murder?” Jimin looked horrified.
“It’s all made up. Like, have you seen the show Law and Order on TV?”
“Yes, it looks gross”
“Well, it’s kind of like that, but much much better”.
“So it’s about dead people”
“More about who killed them. You follow along as the detective works it out, and all of her detectives are odd and funny in their own way. My favourite is Poirot. I like trying to guess before the murderer is revealed, but Christie is renowned for catching people by surprise. I’ve guessed maybe half of the ones I’ve read correctly” explained Yoongi, excitement in his tone.
“You make it sound interesting” replied Jimin, happy to see Yoongi so animated.
“You can borrow one of my others if you want. This ones from the library, but I have a small collection of my favourites”.
Jimin flushed bright red, and muttered “Uh… no that’s okay”.
Of course, Jimin wasn’t allowed to go to school. He can’t read. Yoongi felt stupid and his heart thumped weirdly at the sight of Jimin looking embarrassed.
“How about I read one to you?”
“You’re reading Hyung, I don’t want to interrupt. You’ve spent so much time on me today” Jimin said, but Yoongi didn’t miss the way his ears are perked up with interest and maybe hope.
He smiles, “I’ll grab my favourite one and we’ll read it together okay?”.
Yoongi stood and went to the bookshelf to remove his copy of Murder on the Orient Express. Jimin shuffled a little bit closer and rested his temple against the back of the sofa, listening to the gravelly comforting voice of his Hyung sharing his favourite story with him.
Chapter 4: A Sensible Dinner
The next morning the cat plushie was sitting on the breakfast bar next to Jimin as he swung his legs waiting for Yoongi to serve the scrambled eggs he was cooking. He’d squealed loudly when he found it on his bed last night and then run to brush his cheek against Yoongi’s.
This had caused the elder to make a high pitched noise of his own. Jimin had been too busy spinning around with the toy hugged to his chest to notice the pink that had made its way into Yoongi’s cheeks.
“Yoongles would like some breakfast too please Hyung”.
Yoongi choked on air and spun around to look at the hybrid, spluttering, “who?”
“Yoongles” repeated Jimin brightly, pointing at the plushie.
“He’s named after me?” said Yoongi in a pitch higher than he recognised from his own voice.
“Yep” said Jimin, “he caught my attention because he looks like you, so I thought he should have your name”.
“Like me?” Yoongi tried to say, but all that was audible was a series of squeaky noises.
“Are you okay Hyung?” said Jimin, suddenly looking alarmed, “you sound like a balloon”.
“I’m fine” he said tightly, turning around to see that the eggs were browning and hurriedly removing them from the heat.
Safely facing away from the hybrid Yoongi continued, “I think… I think that maybe the name Yoongles is a bit-
Vomit-inducing. Embarassing. Would-rather-fling-myself-from-the-balcony-than-let-Namjoon-hear-it.
-cutesy” he decided on, “If the plushie looks like me, shouldn’t he have a more serious name?”
Jimin looks genuinely confused, “serious?”
“Yeah, I’m a serious guy. Introspective. Pensive. Broodful even”
“I would’ve said sweet” Jimin pauses, eyes looking up in thought, “and squishy” he says nodding to himself like he picked the perfect word.
“Squishy” Yoongi whispers to himself.
“Hyung, I think the eggs are gonna get cold”
“Right. Right.” He said busying himself finding plates, “squishy?” he repeated under his breath shaking his head as pulled toast from the toaster and scooped the eggs on top.
After breakfast Yoongi decided that he really did have to go food shopping. He gave Jimin the choice of coming with him or staying behind.
“I went out yesterday Hyung” said Jimin, “are you sure I’m allowed out again so soon?”
Yoongi decided that he needed to sit down and have a serious talk with Jimin about his rights. Starting with freedom of movement.
“Jimin, let’s sit for a minute I want to talk to you about something important”.
Worry flashed in the hybrid’s eyes, like he thought he’d said something wrong by questioning the elder. Yoongi wanted to punch whoever had made Jimin think he wasn’t allowed to govern himself and have his own opinion.
“You’re not in trouble Jimin-ah, I just want to talk about your rights”.
“My rights? Like… like the right to remain silent?”
Yoongi laughed. Sometimes it was just so obvious that most of Jimin’s life experience came from TV. Which in itself wasn’t funny, but he sure came out with some cute things sometimes.
“Kind of. More like things you’re allowed to do no matter what anyone else says”.
“Okay…” Jimin says hesitantly as he sat beside him on the couch, and Yoongi was sure he didn’t really get it.
“You can come and go as you please Jimin-ah” he said gently, “I don’t decide where you can go, you do”.
Jimin was fidgeting with the end of his tail looking thoughtful, “But… what about if you think I should stay inside because it’s cold outside and I might get sick?”
“We have enough coats, hats and scarves in the house that you’ll be safe in the weather”.
“Alright… but… what if we have something on the next day and you think I’ll get tired if I go out two days in a row?”
Yoongi wondered if Jimin was listing excuses Jimin’s previous owners had given him as to why he couldn’t go out. “That’s up to you to decide, not me”
“But you know better than me” Jimin said adamantly.
“No I don’t”.
The hybrid scrunched his face in frustration; nose wrinkled adorably, “You do Hyung! You’re human, you have more experience!”
“Just because I’m not a hybrid doesn’t mean I know better than you. I might make suggestions to you based on my experience, but the final decision is always yours. You know yourself best and I trust you to make decisions for yourself”.
At this a look crossed Jimin’s face that Yoongi couldn’t place. He thought the hybrid was going to argue back but instead he just whispered, “I trust you too Hyung”.
The words he’d intended to say died in his throat, replaced with a weird fluttery feeling in his stomach. He was happy that Jimin trusted him, but in one way that was the problem. Jimin had spent his life blindly trusting the decisions of others over his own.
He reached for the kitten’s hand, placing his atop it in a subconscious act of reassurance, “I’ll work hard to make sure I deserve that trust and to help you learn to trust in yourself too”.
The action made the kitten release his tail and it waved behind him slowly, “Things are just so much more complicated here Hyung. My brain hurts”. His brow was furrowed and his pout pronounced, but he turned his hand in Yoongi’s grip and entwined their fingers.
Yoongi hadn’t thought from this perspective. He hadn’t really considered that it might be overwhelming for Jimin to make decisions by himself. He thought he was being kind by giving him more independence but with the hybrid sitting next to him looking so upset, he realised he’d been expecting a lot.
“I’m sorry Jimin-ah. I wasn’t thinking about how you were coping”.
Jimin was quiet for a moment, eyes fixed on their joined hands. “I like choosing food and going out and dressing myself and stuff” he says slowly, “it makes me feel good. Like, good about myself”
“Accomplished” Yoongi interjected, and Jimin’s eyes snapped up to him in question, “that’s the word for the feeling of a job well done”.
“Right” the hybrid smiled, liking that Yoongi was getting what he was saying, “I feel accomplished. I’m happy you’re teaching me this stuff. It’s just that sometimes it’s a little bit too much. I’m sorry Hyung for not being able to keep up but-“
“No no Jimin-ah, please don’t apologise, you’ve been doing so well. I’ve been throwing all this stuff at you without supporting you properly. I didn’t learn this all at once. I learnt it gradually over years with my parents helping me and I’ve been expecting you to do it straight away. That was unfair. I just really wanted you to know that I think you’re capable of so much more than you’ve been led to believe until now”.
Jimin flushed brightly and averted his eyes, shyly pleased at the praise. He squeezed Yoongi’s hand instead of replying and it drew the architect’s attention. It had been a long time since he’d held someone’s hand he realised; not exactly being in the habit of hand-holding with Namjoon or Jin. The feeling of the pretty hybrid’s small hand in his own was nice.
It was probably a good minute before Yoongi realised neither of them had said anything. His eyes had been locked on his own thumb slowly stroking over the back of Jimin’s hand. He looked up at find the boy looking at him curiously. He quickly withdrew his hand, clearing his throat.
“Uh anyway, if you want to come food shopping with me you can, but if you’d rather stay here and rest before tonight then that’s fine too” he said, standing up and walking towards the kitchen to grab his shopping bags.
He missed the disappointed look on Jimin’s face. The hybrid stayed quiet until Yoongi emerged again putting his wallet in his back pocket and searching for his keys.
“I think I’ll stay here Hyung”.
“Okay” said Yoongi, distractedly walking around the room, eyebrows furrowed as he wondered where he could’ve left the damn things. He eventually found them poking out between the side of the sofa and the cushion “gotcha!”
When he finally returned his gaze to Jimin, the hybrid had curled up on his side of the sofa, eyes closed.
“Anything you want me to grab while I’m out?”
Jimin shook his head without opening his eyes, full cheek squishing against the couch.
“Right, well… I won’t be too long”.
“Bye Hyung” Jimin mumbled into the soft fabric.
When Yoongi returned later he had, amongst his usual staples, a large whole snapper that he doesn’t know how to prepare, very expensive peach shampoo designed for the fur of hybrids, and a large jar of marmalade.
He found Jimin in the same spot as he left him, but now splayed out on his tummy, one arm hanging off the edge of the couch while the other is curled up around his head. Once he checks that his torso is in fact rising and falling and the hybrid didn’t suffocate in his face down position, Yoongi pulls out his phone and sneakily takes a photo. He doesn’t exactly know why, but the hybrid looks so peaceful that he feels like he has to capture it.
Once he’s unpacked all the bags, leaving the pretzels, chips and dips that he got for Jin on the counter and placing the fish in the fridge and deciding that he’d question the elder about a recipe later, he goes to wake Jimin.
It’s about 1pm and he planned to get to his friends place for about 3pm. They both needed showers and it takes a good 20 minutes to get there, half an hour if the traffic is bad.
Yoongi walked over to the lounge and placed a hand on Jimin’s head, scratching at his scalp gently and softly calling his name, “Jimin-ah, time to wake up”.
The hybrid stirred but didn’t wake, his ears twitched at the attention, and his tail flicked behind him. With his hand in Jimin’s hair, Yoongi realised how soft it was. He paused, attention on how Jimin’s ears never really stopped moving, even in his sleep. He wondered if they were as soft. He lightly grazed one with a finger, stopping when Jimin quietly mewled at the gesture.
The hybrid’s tail flopped from one side of his body to the other and a groggy voice croaked, “Master?”
Yoongi felt bad, “No Jimin-ah, it’s just me”.
“Oh… you touched my ear, so I thought…” he trailed off, rolling onto his back and blinking his eyes open.
He felt too embarrassed to admit he’d been investigating the fluffiness of the hybrid’s fur, “Hmm, just trying not to scare you awake, sorry. I’m going to jump in the shower now, give you time to wake up. Then it’s your turn okay? We’ve gotta leave in a little over an hour”.
They ended up reaching Namjoon and Jin’s at quarter past three. His Hyung tapped at his watch, playing at huffiness when they entered the apartment before patting him on the back fondly and pushing him towards the kitchen, “veggies need slicing, chop chop!”
Yoongi felt bad leaving Jimin to deal with the elder alone, but when hesitated, making to introduce the pair, Jin only gave him a stare that said ‘if you do not leave right now, I will put you in the soup’ so he hightailed it out of there.
Jimin eyed the exchange warily.
From everything Yoongi had said, Jin was a soft and loving person, but now he felt intimidated. That was until the man turned back to him with the sweetest smile on his absurdly handsome face, “and you must be our little Jiminie, I’ve been dying to meet you”.
He pulled the hybrid into a warm hug and Jimin felt his whole body relax into the gesture. It felt like it had been years since he’d been given such affection. He was used to his owners doting on him daily, but living with Yoongi was entirely different. He liked Yoongi, but he missed this.
Jimin tried to make his mouth greet the elder, but his throat was too busy purring loudly for any words to be formed.
Jin let out a squeaky laugh, “I thought so” he said afterwards. Just what he thought he didn’t clarify, but he did shower Jimin in compliments about how pretty he was and how cutely his eyes crinkled when he thanked him for said praise.
Eventually he was led, hand in hand, to the lounge room where Namjoon was sat absorbed in a documentary.
“Joon, Jiminie is here so turn that off. I’m sure he doesn’t want to listen to Mr Cox talk about atoms”.
Jimin didn’t know who Mr Cox was but he also didn’t want to inconvenience his new friend, “No! I love atoms!” he exclaimed.
The couple met eyes and dissolved into fond laughter at the comment.
“Alright Jimin-ah” said Namjoon, dimples on display.
“I do” he pouted, not liking being the butt of a joke.
“Okay scientist kitty, I’m going back to the kitchen. You stay here and relax with Joon-ah. I’ll get the grumpy one to bring you a drink in a minute”.
Jimin sat down on the couch across from the chair Namjoon is lounging in, pulling his legs up and resting his head on his knees. He wants to sulk but he’s too curious, “who’s the grumpy one?” he asked.
Namjoon let out another barking laugh at this and Jimin frowned, pout intensifying.
“Sorry Jimin-ah, I’m not making fun of you. It’s just, you’re really cute you know?”
Jimin didn’t understand. He was used to being called cute, but it was usually accompanied by cooing, not laughter.
“Jin meant Yoongi-Hyung”.
“Oh” this revelation surprised the hybrid “but Hyung isn’t grumpy!” he said earnestly.
Jimin saw Namjoon suppress another chuckle and was at least grateful that his Hyung wasn’t outright laughing at him. It didn’t make him feel any less out of the loop though. Determined to prove his point he continued, “he’s always teaching me new things, and making me yummy food, and telling me how capable I am. Yesterday he even bought me a cute little kitten plushie! I named him Y-“
“Jimin!” cried Yoongi walking into the room with a glass of milk in hand, “He named it Jimin, after HIMSELF. Cos he’s a cat, you know?”
Jimin’s expression fell and he began shaking his head, opening his mouth as if he was about to correct Yoongi.
“RIGHT Jimin” said Yoongi again. The hybrid closed his mouth and looked at his Hyung. He saw a desperate kind of plea in his eye.
“Oh, um… Yes. I named it after myself. I’m a cat” he said stiffly, pointing at his ears to further his point. He then glanced at Yoongi to see if he’d done a good job.
The elder gave a tight nod of his head, held the glass of milk out to him and then walked back into the kitchen.
“That was… weird” said Namjoon slowly, eyebrows raised, “but I’m going to decide to ignore it”.
“Point is” said Jimin, turning back around in his chair and taking a big gulp of milk before placing the glass on a coaster, “that Hyung isn’t grumpy at all. He’s the nicest”.
“Jimin, I’d like to enlighten you my friend. You are receiving preferential treatment. Hyung is a prickly little cactus. The only reason he’s even friends with me is because I’ve been around so long he’d be confused if I wasn’t here.”
“Nuh-uh, he told ME that you make him comfortable. He loves you”
Namjoon choked on something, which was confusing to Jimin because he hadn’t been drinking anything.
“H-he said he loves me?” he said, still spluttering.
“Well, no. But I can tell. Like in Pride and Prejudice and Mr Darcy is all reserved and he doesn’t have many friends but he has Mr Bingley and he doesn’t ever say he loves him but he totally does.”
“Hyung is Mr Darcy?” Namjoon says with an amused expression.
Jimin nods eagerly, happy his friend is following, “and you’re Mr Bingley. Jin can be Jane because he’s so beautiful”.
“He’ll love you for that” says Namjoon with a grin, “But who will be Elizabeth?” there’s a mischievous glint in the elder’s eye Jimin doesn’t understand.
“I don’t think Hyung has a girlfriend” he replies.
“No, he wouldn’t” he says cryptically, “So you like Jane Austen?”
Jimin is finding it hard to keep up with the speed of Namjoon’s conversation, “I don’t think I’ve met her. Is she Hyung’s friend?”
Namjoon laughed at him again, “No, Jane Austen is the author of Pride and Prejudice”.
“Oh, I didn’t know it was a book” mumbled the hybrid, flushing, “It’s one of my master’s favourite movies, so I’ve watched it a lot”.
“Makes sense” says the elder smiling at him softly, “sorry Jimin-ah, I’m being mean. Hey, have you seen Sense and Sensibility?”
The kitten tentatively shook his head. He’d seen a lot of things he didn’t actually know the name of because his owners just played them while he was around, but he wasn’t in the mood to explain that.
“If you like P&P you’ll love it. Wanna watch?”
The idea made Jimin practically vibrate in excitement. He leapt towards Namjoon in a movement that could only be described as a pounce, eyes wide with enthusiasm. “Oh yes please Hyung!” he cried, forgetting his previous embarrassment and frustration.
The elder chuckled, but it felt fonder than the others, less teasing, so Jimin decided not to let it upset him, especially as the man had reached a hand out to pat his head, “Alright, gimme a sec, I’ll find Jin’s boxset”.
By the time Hoseok and his hybrid arrive, Jimin is sniffling about Edward Ferrars not visiting the sisters like he promised to.
“Oh Edward” Jin said clasping his hand to his heart as he made his way from the kitchen to greet his cousin, “Don’t worry Jiminie, it all works out in the end”. He ruffled the kitten’s hair and then went to open the door.
“Thanks for getting this Joon by the way” he added to his boyfriend.
“You’re welcome!” called Namjoon in a sing song voice.
Jimin turned to the elder and gravely whispered, “Joonie Hyung, I don’t think Jin Hyung meant that”.
Namjoon could only grin in reply before Jin was bringing the guests into the lounge.
There were two brown haired men standing beside Jin, smiling at him as he told them to make themselves at home. The taller of the two was clearly the hybrid, if the floppy puppy ears and eagerly wagging tail are anything to go by. He was incredibly handsome. Jimin thought he wouldn’t look out of place dressed up in finery and making house calls in the movie that was still playing in the background.
He was intimidating for all of 2 minutes until he eagerly searched the room for the kitten hybrid and upon spotting Jimin his face lit up so brilliantly that Jimin instinctively beamed back at him.
“Taehyung, this is Jimin” said Jin when he noticed the two grinning at each other. Jimin waved with a sweater paw and Taehyung cooed loudly in response, deep voice turned whiney, “Hobi, he’s sooo cute!” before rushing to plop down beside Jimin on the couch. The puppy started excitedly chattering and Jimin looked happily overwhelmed, making his best effort to keep up.
The puppy hybrid’s companion giggled, outright giggled, at the spectacle. He hid his heart-shaped smile behind a hand and apologised to a confused looking Namjoon as he took a seat, Jin muttering about having to return to the kitchen before leaving his boyfriend and cousin.
“Tae’s just been so excited to meet the little kitten, I’m sorry if he’s a bit hyper”.
“Fine by me” said Namjoon with a dismissive wave of his hand, “I think we can pause this now though”. He picked up the remote and interrupted Marianne gushing to her sister about Willoughby, leaving her with an amusingly unflattering facial expression.
“Anyway, I’m Hoseok but my friends call me Hobi, nice to meet you. Jin tells me we’re same age friends!” said the man, with a sunshiney smile.
“Oh sweet man, Jiminie is our Dongsaeng and the guy he’s staying with at the moment is our Hyung, Yoongi” replies Namjoon.
“Noted. Tae is-“
“the same age!!” screeched Taehyung from across the room, holding the kitten’s mochi-like cheeks in his hands and squeezing lovingly, “Oh Jiminie, we’re meant to be! Soulmates!”
“Babe, make sure he can breathe” reprimanded Hoseok with all the authority of a petal.
Jimin giggled in the puppy’s hold and raised a thumb to show he was okay. They’d curled up so closely together that it was hard to tell where one started and the other began.
“Babe?” Namjoon questioned with a quirk of the eyebrow.
“Yeah, Tae and I have been together for aboouuuut 3 years now I think”.
“Oh wow, longer than Jin and I” surprise evident on his face, after all he’d never heard mention of Jin’s cousin dating and Jin’s family weren’t exactly the type to not talk.
“Yeah, uh, my parents are kind of dicks about it so if you’re wondering how Auntie hasn’t mentioned it to you by now that’d be why”
“Ah. Sorry dude”
“No biggie, he more than makes up for it” said Hoseok lovingly looking at the hybrid as sat with his arm around Jimin who was resting his head on the puppy’s shoulder, both giggling at something on the screen of Taehyung’s phone.
Namjoon nodded, feeling a little awkward, but Hobi doesn’t let the mood linger for long, “so Yoongi-ssi wants to find another home for Jimin?”
“Well,” says Namjoon, checking that Jimin wasn’t listening to their conversation and lowering his voice, “Jimin is under the impression that his owners are looking for him but Hyung thinks that Jimin was purposefully abandoned rather than lost”.
“Right, and he doesn’t want to let him stay at his place?”
“Hyung is… stubborn. He doesn’t like the idea of ‘owning’ another person. He can’t seem to get past that”.
“I don’t own Tae” said Hoseok looking affronted.
“He’s licensed though?”
“He’s… yeah he’s licensed”
“That’s what I mean. To him it doesn’t matter that he wouldn’t treat Jimin like he owned him, under the law he’d be listed as his owner”.
Hoseok nodded thoughtfully, “Yeah I get that, it’s uncomfy to think of it like that but should he deny Jimin a safe and happy home based on his own discomfort? Risking sending him to live somewhere he could be mistreated when he’s capable of letting him stay sounds selfish to me”.
Namjoon shrugged, “I’m with you man, I hope he sees that he’s being a stubborn git before it’s too late. Jimin seems happy with him and I know for sure that Hyung’s happier with Jimin around and it’s only been a few days”.
“I’m interested to meet him, he’s helping Jin-Hyung?”
“Yeah, safer than me apparently” Namjoon said with a chuckle, “I earn my keep by doing the dishes instead”.
“Neither Tae or I are great in the kitchen either, it’ll be nice to have a home cooked meal for once”
“Hey! I made you toast this morning!” called Taehyung who had apparently at least been half listening.
The couple exchanged a series of cutesy hand gestures before turning back to their respective companions.
Namjoon watched the pair interestedly, curious “how’d you guys meet, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“We have the best meet cute actually, so thanks for asking! I teach dance at this studio downtown” started Hoseok.
Taehyung used to live with a middle aged couple who couldn’t have kids naturally. They adopted him when he was quite young and treated him like a son.
“Eomma signed up for classes as a way for her and Tae to keep fit and spend time together. She didn’t expect him to fall head over heels for the hot instructor”.
“Pah!” interrupted Taehyung, extricating himself from Jimin and moving to sit on top of his boyfriend, “I think you mean that you didn’t expect to be distracted by the hottest piece of ass to ever grace the studio”.
“But I’ve never been to Hoseokies studio” said Jin innocently, walking through the lounge with a large pot in hand before placing it on the dining table, “foods up”.
Taehyung laughed loudly, clinging to Hoseok’s neck for support, “I like him! Hobi, why haven’t we visited your cousin before, he’s funny!”
Hoseok went red at the comment, looking like he wanted to pinch his boyfriend for calling him out, but before he could reply, Jin answered instead.
“Because our mothers are fools” he said, sending a warm smile to his cousin, which was returned appreciatively.
“World’s best Japchae coming through. Everyone make way for the king of the kitchen” came Yoongi’s smug voice, obliviously cutting through the emotional air, as he entered the room carrying a tray of various dishes.
He paused before making to the table, sensing that he perhaps interrupted something but ever the blunt one continued “sheesh, what happened in here?”
Jin rolled his eyes, walked to him and took the tray, placing it beside the pot of Jjigae, “Hoseok this is the friend I was telling you about. Yoongi-yah meet my cousin”.
The dancer rose from his position on the couch, gently pushing Taehyung so that he slid off his lap to sit beside him. He walked to Yoongi and held out a hand, “Nice to meet you Yoongi-ssi. I hear from Namjoon that you’re my Hyung”.
“Just Hyungs fine then. And…” Yoongi gestured towards Taehyung evidently not sure how to address him.
“Yes, this is my boyfriend Taehyung. Him and Jiminie are already the best of friends so it seems like you’ll be seeing a lot of us!” the sunshiney boy laughed.
Yoongi’s eyebrows had lifted at the word boyfriend, but he made no actual comment on the term, “I see. Well nice to meet you Taehyung then” he said offering the hybrid a stiff nod.
Socialising with new people had never been Yoongi’s strength. He always managed to come of aloof when he really was simply awkward.
“Hyung, Tae Tae was showing me funny cat videos on Youtube! There was one that looked just like you!” said Jimin, leaning over the back of the couch and bouncing on his knees in enthusiasm.
Yoongi’s pale face immediately flushed a deep crimson and he hid it in his hands while Jin and Namjoon cackled at the hybrid’s comment. Jimin looked two and fro between his hosts and Yoongi confused about the explosive reaction.
“It did though” he mumbled to himself with a pout.
“S-sorry Jimin-ah” stuttered Jin trying to get his laughter under control and simultaneously leading the group to sit at the table, “we weren’t laughing at you kitten, it’s just, you’re not the first to liken Hyung to a cat”.
“Oh?” asked Jimin, ears pricking in curiosity.
“One of his last clients had a daughter, about 5 or 6 years old, and-“
“Stop!” shouted Yoongi, voice muffled by his hands, “stop!”
“Nooooo, I need to hear this too” cried Taehyung, placing his chin on his hands and listening eagerly as his tail rapidly wagged behind him.
“Yoongi-yah made a few house calls for them and ended up meeting the kid. Seems she took an instant liking to him, followed him around calling him Little Meow Meow and it stuck with the client”.
“That freaking child” exploded Yoongi, “her father told my boss and now the whole damn firm won’t stop calling me it”.
The table erupted with laughter, except for Jimin who was looking at Yoongi inquisitively, “Hyung, you think being a cat is a bad thing?”
The architect immediately snapped his eyes to the hybrid, “No Jimin-ah, of course not. It’s just…” he struggled with how to explain the embarrassment of such a cutesy nickname in such a macho industry.
“While at work your Hyung probably just wants to be known for his work rather than his cute looks” said Hoseok, winking at Yoongi when the elder mouthed a thank you for saving him.
“Exactly” he affirmed.
Jimin bit his lip thoughtfully but nodded anyway, shifting his gaze to the table. Yoongi, watching him intently, saw the exact moment the kitten realised that in front of his were a pair of chopsticks. At Yoongi’s place the kitten had been getting by with mostly spoons and forks so far. They hadn’t moved to chopstick training yet. He didn’t want to embarrass him by getting cutlery just for him, but neither did he intend to watch Jimin struggle.
“Uh, I’m actually going to grab a fork for myself, anyone else want one?” said Yoongi standing from his seat. He decided this was his best cover for bringing the utensil for Jimin as well.
“Yes please Hyung!” said the hybrid brightly, obviously grateful for his Yoongi’s attentiveness.
“A fork?” questioned Namjoon
“Yeah, just seems… better” said Yoongi turning to leave so he didn’t have to make further explanations.
“I’ll have one too please” called Taehyung, and the elder wondered if he too had noticed Jimin’s unease and was being a good friend. If so, then he was thankful. Jimin deserved friends.
He soon returned with the utensils and the rest of the meal went without a hitch. The group conversed easily, like they’d been meeting for dinners every week. Yoongi decided that Hoseok seemed like a cool guy and he and Taehyung were a cute couple. A little sickening perhaps with the way that the hybrid would sometimes feed Hoseok pieces of food and make happy noises when the elder received them, but cute nonetheless.
They didn’t get round to discussing the actual purpose for the visit until rather late into the meal. It was Jimin who brought it up.
“So Hobi-Hyung, do you think you’d know the best way for me to get in touch with my owners?”
Hoseok looked a little stricken at the question but answered anyway, “Uhhh, I’m not sure to be honest. What I was going to suggest was this Facebook group that we’re a part of. It’s for hybrid’s and their families in the local area”.
“Right” chimed in Taehyung, “we could make a post with your picture saying that we’ve found you and if anyone knows your owners then could they contact us”.
“But what about if you don’t find your owners Jiminie?” asked Jin, shooting a meaningful look towards Yoongi which he noticed but ignored.
“I… well I’m not sure really” he said glumly, “you think I might not?”
“I think you need to prepare yourself for the worst case scenario just in case” said Jin gently, reaching for the hybrid’s hand and giving it a squeeze.
“Do people organise adoptions on the page?” asked Yoongi, looking at Hoseok.
The dancer frowned a little, “Not really, but the group is full of nice people who would probably be able to find Jiminie a loving home if need be. Forgive me though Yoongi-ssi, but why wouldn’t Jimin-ah stay with you?”
Yoongi, who had taken a sip of his water, promptly choked at the comment. He spluttered while Namjoon patted him on the back in a half-hearted attempt at helping his friend.
“With me?” he finally managed to say in a squeaky voice, between coughs.
“Yeah” said Taehyung, “If Jiminie can’t find his owners then doesn’t it make sense that he stays with you. He’s staying with you comfortably now isn’t he?”
“They make a point Hyung” added Namjoon.
Yoongi felt like he was being ganged up on and he didn’t know what to say. He kicked Namjoon under the table and then peeked at Jimin only to find the hybrid watching him thoughtfully.
“It’s not that Jimin-ah couldn’t stay…” he started carefully, “it’s that he’ll need to get a new license. If police see him out and about without one then they’ll take him to the pound”.
“Getting a license would be the same for you as it would be any other new family” said Hoseok.
Yoongi noticed that the dancer was purposefully not using the word owner and wondered if Namjoon had been talking with him earlier about Yoongi behind his back.
There was a tense silence after that comment and Yoongi nervously rubbed at the back of his neck.
“Anyway” Jin said, “you can make the post about Jiminie and see where that takes you. You might be worrying over nothing”. Yoongi reminded himself to thank Jin for saving him later.
That put an end to the discussion, and the group began collecting the plates into piles to make it easier for Namjoon to take to the kitchen.
The rest of them moved back to the lounge, patting their bellies and thanking the cooks for a good meal.
“Let’s finish this movie shall we?” suggested Jin, picking up the remote control and releasing Marianne from her wretched fate.
Jin settled down on one end of the sofa, Taehyung and Jimin cuddled together on the other, while Yoongi and Hoseok took an armchair each.
As the movie continued it became clear that Taehyung and Jimin weren’t particularly paying attention but were rather whispering to each other, thick as thieves. Yoongi was finding it hard to believe that they’d only met today, but really he shouldn’t have been surprised, Jimin had already proved to be a socially adept and confident person. The ying to his yang.
When it had finally been revealed that Edward Ferrars was secretly engaged Yoongi looked up to see that Jimin had moved from his place with Taehyung and was now standing in front of him, looking nervous.
He didn’t have much time to consider why before Jimin was dropping onto his lap and nuzzling into his shoulder. His whole body stiffened, “Jimin, what are you doing?”
“I thought that maybe…” he trailed off but was stirred to action again when Taehyung cleared his throat obnoxiously.
“Maybe you’d like to stroke my ears?” he finished shyly, moving his head back just enough to peak up at his Hyung to gauge his reaction.
A million and one thoughts flew through Yoongi’s brain at once, but he didn’t voice any of them. Rather, he stood abruptly causing Jimin to fall to the side, “I’m going to make popcorn” he announced to the room before stalking out of the room.
When he returned with his snack he found that Taehyung had stolen his seat and had Jimin wrapped up in a tight hug. As Yoongi took the vacant spot on the couch the puppy hybrid looked up and glared at him before refocusing on his friend, whispering quiet words for only the kitten to hear.
Namjoon returned from the kitchen to watch the remainder of the movie with them. This time it was Jin who was distracted, whispering back and forth with his boyfriend. It was an uncomfortable end to an otherwise nice night.
As the credits were rolling and Hoseok was stretching and saying that it was probably time for them to make a move, Jin pulled Yoongi aside to the kitchen.
“What was that before you fool?” he asked heatedly.
“What was what?”
“You know what I mean Min Yoongi, when you ran away to hide in here Tae practically had to hold Jiminie together to stop him having a meltdown, he felt so bad”.
“Jimin is used to being treated like a pet, I refuse to do that”.
“You’re a doofus. You mean well, but man you are a doofus” said Jin smacking Yoongi on the side of the head.
“Jimin is a hybrid Hyung. You are right to be upset at his owners for treating him as something lesser when we all know he’s as capable as you or me, but you don’t get to make him feel bad for showing his kitten nature”.
“I didn’t mean to make him feel bad”
“You’re still a doofus. Jiminie is part cat Hyung, he likes affection. He shows that to his loved ones by snuggling. He’s probably touch starved at your place! Did you see him with Taehyung? Him wanting to be stroked doesn’t mean he was trying to be your pet, it just shows that he likes you”.
“I… I hadn’t thought of it like that” said Yoongi.
“Of course you hadn’t. So what you’re going to do is take that sweet little kitty home, maybe apologise, although knowing you I guess you won’t, and give him all the affection he wants and deserves. If I find out you’re being a jerk I won’t hesitate to bring him here and look after him myself and as much as you’re acting like you want Jimin re-homed we all know you’re lying to yourself and that Jimin belongs with you”.
Yoongi looked at his Hyung, shell-shocked. Jin didn’t wait around for a reply, but simply walked out of the kitchen, leaving Yoongi no choice but to follow him.
Back in the lounge Taehyung was rubbing his nose against Jimin’s in goodbye. When he saw Yoongi he rounded on him, “You! You need to get Jimin a phone so that I can text with him”.
“Taaae” Jimin whined at his friend, “sorry Hyung he-“
“No he’s right. We can go tomorrow” said Yoongi
Taehyung looked triumphant and Jimin looked like he wanted to say something else but Jin interrupted by pulling him in for a squishy hug goodbye.
They all said their farewells and then finally it was just Yoongi and Jimin in the car home. Yoongi loved seeing his friends, but his social battery needed re-charging, especially with the addition of two new faces tonight.
They didn’t talk in the car and Yoongi was worried that Jimin was angry at him, but when they got home and Jimin stood fidgeting in the lounge room instead of plopping himself down comfortably like usual, Yoongi realised he was feeling embarrassed.
“Jimin-ah” he began, and the hybrid’s eyes snapped to his. He gulped, feeling nervous at the confrontation and so gave himself an out, “I’m going to get us drinks, you should sit”.
He saw Jimin deflate a little at the words but the kitten made his way to sit down regardless.
When Yoongi returned with a mug of warm milk for Jimin and a tea for himself he sat down on the couch and took a deep breath.
Why the hell are you so nervous, it’s just an apology!
“Jimin-ah” he started again, this time Jimin’s eyes remained fixed on his drink.
“Will you sit with me while I read?” was not what he had intended to say but was what came out.
The hybrid looked up at him confused and Yoongi flushed, “I mean, I’ll continue with what we started last night if you’re interested. A-and I thought we could…” he struggled with the words to explain.
Actions! Actions are better than words!
Yoongi pulled his legs up, crossing them on the couch, placed a cushion in his lap. He picked up the book from the arm of the sofa where he’d left it open to the page they’d reached last night, and then looked at Jimin and patted the cushion almost sheepishly.
Jimin’s eyes widened in realisation, before he shyly scooted towards the elder and carefully laid his head in Yoongi’s lap. Yoongi’s hand instinctively went to Jimin’s hair, and he stroked as he continued reading the story, lulling the hybrid to sleep with the tender attention and his soothing voice.
Jimin didn’t know how much time had passed but the next thing he knew he was being placed in his bed and Yoongi was whispering, “Sweet dreams kitten” on his way out the door.
Chapter 5: A Very Egg-citing New Year.
I really struggled to write this chapter and I don't like it as much as the previous ones... hopefully you do! haha
I did however have a lot of fun making instagrams for the characters. Check out my twitter: Violetfics1 for more :)
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments, it really makes my day! :D
The next morning Yoongi woke to the smell of coffee brewing. With eyes closed, his nose twitched at the earthy aroma. He purposefully took a deep lungful before snapping his eyes open.
Why could he smell coffee?
He rushed to the kitchen, only managing to get one slipper on in the rush. His sleep shirt had dropped off one shoulder and his hair stuck up on the side that he slept.
“What?” he croaked out as he stumbles into the room.
He was greeted with the sight of a pyjama-clad Jimin sitting on the counter next to the coffee machine, staring it down and swinging his legs impatiently. At Yoongi’s abrupt arrival and greeting he squeaked in surprise.
“Oh, good morning Hyung! You scared me!”
“S’happening?” slurred the elder, sleep swollen eyes searching for any sign of catastrophe.
“I’m making you coffee! I watched you do it yesterday. It’s not that hard actually” the hybrid said proudly, “but the machine is sooooo slow”.
“People don’t usually sit watching it drip” said Yoongi through a yawn, ruffling his hair.
“I was going to try and make that egg thingy but I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the fire”
Jimin pointed to the gas stove and Yoongi repressed a smile before noticing the bowl and egg carton on the counter. He hesitantly moved towards it and peered in. There was a gloopy mess of egg white, yolk and shell. Jimin was seemingly yet to master the art of cracking an egg. Ignoring that factor, which Yoongi could filter out with a sieve, it was an okay start to scrambled eggs.
“Did you put anything else in it yet?” said the elder, reaching for the salt and pepper instinctively.
“No, I didn’t know there was anything else to add”.
“Right, if you hop off of the bench and look in that draw” said Yoongi, indicating with his hand, “you’ll find a metal sieve, it’s got a long handle and is like a round metal baskety thing”. He gesticulated with his hands as he paused by the fridge in his search for the shredded cheese and milk. It was a struggle explaining something he took as common knowledge to someone with absolutely nil cooking experience.
“This?” said Jimin, raising a whisk.
“No, it’s uhh…” he grabbed the items out from the fridge and put them on the counter, “I’ll show you”.
He came to stand beside the kitten and rummaged in the draw a little until he found what he was looking for, “this” he said with a kind smile, handing it to Jimin before moving back towards the ingredients and beckoning him over.
“So, we’ll pour the mixture through this to get rid of the egg shell, and then add some milk and cheese. You can add all sorts but we’ll keep it simple for now” Yoongi explained while grabbing a new bowl and guiding Jimin’s hand to hold the sieve over it.
Jimin gave a short determined nod before picking up the egg bowl and a little shakily but ultimately successfully transferring the liquid between bowls.
“I did it!” he exclaimed, looking excitedly at Yoongi for affirmation.
The elder smiled fondly and took the sieve from the hybrid, placing it in the sink to clean later, “You did Jimin-ah, now open the cheese packet” he said pointing, “and put in a little handful”.
Jimin reached inside and took a handful of cheese, sprinkling it into the bowl of raw egg. Yoongi hadn’t allowed for the fact that Jimin’s hands were apparently the size of a child’s.
“Uhh, maybe another” he said.
The hybrid carefully continued following the instructions, vibrating with excitement when Yoongi nodded in silent praise when he poured the dash of milk into the bowl without spilling any.
“I’ll show you how to turn on the stove, but you have to promise that you won’t use it while I’m not home just while you’re learning, okay? It’s a safety thing”.
Jimin nodded solemnly, as if promising his life or firstborn over. Yoongi was endeared, but was glad that the hybrid was taking it seriously as he quite preferred his unit to not be on fire.
Yoongi guided the hybrid through the rest of the process until they had a simple but tasty looking breakfast in front of them.
“You try it first” said Jimin with eyes sparkling in anticipation.
Yoongi obediently lifted a forkful of the eggs to his mouth. Jimin was subconsciously leaning toward him in his chair, eagerly awaiting his reaction. The architect’s mouth twitched in amusement and he decided to play a little with the younger.
“I don’t know if I can do it. It’s kind of weird eating with you staring me down like that” teased Yoongi, dropping the fork from his mouth.
“Yoooooongiiii” whined the hybrid, plush lips sticking out in an exaggerated pout that drew Yoongi’s eyes. The thought that followed the sight made his cheeks burn and he was instantly on the back foot.
So much for him being the tease.
He sheepishly tasted the eggs, shifting under the hybrids expectant stare.
“They’re good” he mumbled unconvincingly.
The hybrid’s face dropped, “you don’t like them”.
The eggs were fine. The eggs were not the problem. He was, however, not going to explain to the innocent cat in front of him that vision of his plump lips combined with the whine of his name had made him think of inappropriate things; especially as the thought had come completely out of left field. Until now, Yoongi hadn’t seen Jimin as anything other than a person, and soon after a friend, in need. The idea of sexualising an innocent gesture from the hybrid seemed horribly wrong somehow.
“No, they’re good” assured Yoongi, but he wasn’t meeting Jimin’s eye. Of course the hybrid would misunderstand.
“I’m not hungry” Jimin said sulkily, suddenly pushing his plate away from him and retreating to his little bedroom.
Yoongi sighed, resting his chin in his hand as he glumly finished his breakfast. Jimin had been so excited about his first cooking experience and he had ruined it by being a thirsty idiot. He needed to make it up to the kitten somehow.
His eyes rested on Jimin’s plate, eggs getting cold, and was struck with an idea. He grabbed his phone, opened the camera and snapped a picture of the meal. Yoongi had never been one for posting photos of his food on social media. In fact he’d openly mocked Jin for it on numerous occasions, but he knew that Jimin would appreciate it.
He uploaded it to his severely neglected Instagram and it wasn’t long until his friends were commenting.
HobiHobi and TaeTae95 were presumably Hoseok and Taehyung. He wondered how they managed to find the post so quickly since as far as he was aware they weren’t ‘following’ him.
“Creepers” he muttered before standing and walking to the microwave with Jimin’s plate in his hand. The eggs wouldn’t be as nice re-heated, but it was better than them being cold.
He warmed up the food, placed it on a tray with a cup of coffee that was mostly milk, and made his way to the hybrid’s door, knocking gently.
“Go away” came Jimin’s muffled voice, “… please”. The hybrid wasn’t one to forget his manners even if he was upset.
“Jimin-ah, I want to show you something. Please open the door”.
“I’m sad and I don’t want to talk right now”
“I think this will make you feel better”
There was a pause and then a rustling of sheets on the other side of the door, indicating that Jimin was getting out of bed.
The door was opened a crack and Jimin’s face was pressed up against the gap curiously.
“Hey” said Yoongi when he met Jimin’s heartbreakingly swollen eyes. He must’ve been crying.
“Can I come in?”
The hybrid hesitated but then gave a little nod and opened the door completely for Yoongi to enter.
“I don’t want that” said Jimin when he noticed the tray in Yoongi’s hands.
“Ok” replied the elder, “but can I put it down next to the bed while I show you something?”
Yoongi placed the tray beside the bed and then sat down, patting the space beside him for Jimin to sit down. When he did, Yoongi handed him his phone, open to the post.
Jimin looked at it blankly, “this is a picture of the eggs”.
Yoongi chuckled, of course Jimin wouldn’t recognise Instagram.
“Yeah, I posted it on my Instagram account. It’s this website where you can post pictures for your friends to see. Namjoon, Jin and Taehyung have all commented on it. Want me to read it to you?”
Jimin looked up at him in alarm, “Why?”
“It’ll make sense when I read it to you. Can I?”
The hybrid fiddled with the sleeves of his pyjama shirt, glancing at the image on the screen, “… okay”.
Yoongi read his caption and the comments. He also showed Jimin how many likes the post had received. As he read, Jimin’s face slowly morphed into a shy smile.
“Thanks Hyung” he said quietly, “but if you liked the food, why did you act all weird?”
Yoongi’s stomach swooped at the question, he really did not want to explain what he’d been thinking.
“I was thinking about something unrelated. I know that sounds fake but it’s true. I pinky promise. I just really don’t want to explain… it’s embarrassing”.
Jimin immediately stuck his pinky out to accept the promise and Yoongi linked them together.
“Okay Hyung” said the hybrid softly, gently shaking their pinkies up and down, “I’ll try the breakfast now I think”.
Yoongi grinned, happy Jimin didn’t press the issue, and turned to pick the tray up from where it had been placed on the floor. He handed it to Jimin, who balanced it neatly on his lap and tentatively picked up the fork to poke at the eggs.
“Jimin-ah, it’s seriously good. Just try it” said Yoongi, reaching out to ruffle the younger’s hair.
“Right” nodded Jimin, looking determined, “I can do this”.
He scooped up a forkful and took a bite.
“Oh my god” he said through the mouthful of eggs, “it is delicious! Hyung I’m in charge of eggs from now on”.
Yoongi could only laugh at the dramatic change in mood and agreed to hand over breakfast duty to the hybrid.
Jimin cleared his plate and the two returned to the kitchen to do the dishes together.
As Yoongi was scrubbing the frypan, he broached the topic of buying Jimin his own phone. He was once again met with resistance.
“You’ve spent enough money on me” said Jimin firmly, eyes not leaving the plate he was drying.
“The money isn’t a problem Jimin-ah, and it would be worth it anyway. You could keep in touch with the others, and when I go back to work it would be nice to be able to check in with you”.
Jimin was silent for a long moment, continuing to rub at the plate with the tea towel even though it was most definitely dry by then.
Then in his smallest voice he said, “Hyung… Tae would want to text me. I don’t want him to know I can’t read”.
Yoongi felt his heart drop, he hadn’t considered that.
“Jimin-ah, I’m not saying that you have to tell Taehyung because that’s totally up to you, but please know that you don’t need to be ashamed”.
“But it’s embarrassing”.
“Taehyung would understand” replied Yoongi, taking the now-clean frypan out of the sink and putting it on the draining board.
“Probably, but it’s still embarrassing”.
“Have you considered taking a course?”
“A class to learn how to read. They have them at the local college specifically for adults. We could look at them together on my laptop later if you want?”
Jimin’s eyes were back to shining and his ears were pricked in interest, “really?” he asked.
“Yep, I’ve seen ads for them on the train”.
“That would be so cool!” exclaimed the hybrid brightly before a shadow of realisation fell over his face and his ears drooped, “But… what if my owner’s don’t want me to?”
“Do you want to?” countered the elder.
Jimin’s tail flicked behind him anxiously, “yes” he admitted in a small voice, as if he was trying to make sure his owners couldn’t hear him.
“Then shouldn’t that be enough?” asked Yoongi
Jimin seemed to consider this, a range of emotions showing on his expressive albeit tiny face. Yoongi was frustrated that Jimin thought that his owners had the right to control what he was allowed to learn. However, he was also glad that the hybrid was actually seriously considering the idea; the Jimin of a few days ago wouldn’t have gone against his owners for anything.
“I think…” started the kitten, playing with his tail thoughtfully, “that it’s okay”. His brown eyes moved up to meet the elders and Yoongi couldn’t help the proud grin that spread across his face.
“Great, I’ll grab my laptop when we’re finished here”.
They settled on the couch and spent the next hour and a bit looking at the college website together and signing Jimin up for a beginner’s course. The class was every Wednesday night and campus was within walking distance from Yoongi’s unit.
When they finally pressed ‘send’ button on the application Jimin clapped his hands together in excitement.
The fact that anyone could deny the hybrid what he wanted was incomprehensible to Yoongi.
“We can walk there tomorrow and have a look around campus if you want? Nothing will be open since it is still holidays, but it might be good to familiarise yourself with the area”.
Jimin promptly agreed to the plans, wondering aloud if it would look like the ones he’d seen on TV and then suggesting that they should watch some drama on Netlfix as “research”.
Yoongi simply handed the younger the TV remote, resigned to his fate.
As Jimin flicked through the app looking for what he wanted to watch Yoongi realised it was New Year’s Eve and they had absolutely no plans. It wasn’t like he usually made a big deal out of the holiday anyway, preferring to stay in out of the cold, but he thought that Jimin might want to do something.
“By the way, is there anything you wanted to do tonight for New Years Eve?” he asked.
“Oh is that today!?” exclaimed the boy, “aren’t you going to a party?”
Yoongi actually snorted, “A party? What in the world would give you that idea?”
“My owners go to one every year”
Yoongi should’ve known better than to ask for clarification in matters involving Jimin’s owners as it only made him angry, but he couldn’t help himself, “and what do you usually do?”
“I’d watch the fireworks on TV, they’re so pretty”.
Alone. As he’s suspected. He oftend spent holidays alone but that was a personal choice, not a fate forced on him by lack of personal freedom. Yoongi was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to take Jimin out to see the biggest and prettiest fireworks display he could find.
“We’ll go and see them for real then!” he exclaimed uncharacteristically loudly, pulling his laptop towards him to search for local displays.
“No no, it’s okay!” declared Jimin, shaking his hand at the laptop in an effort to stop the elder, “I’m happy to watch them on the TV. There’s always a lot of people right? I don’t think I’d like that. It’ll just be nice to be home with you instead of being alone”.
“You’re sure?” asked Yoongi, looking directly into the hybrid’s warm eyes to check his sincerity.
Jimin nodded, “uh-huh” and when Yoongi moved his laptop back to the coffee table he plopped back on the couch again in relief at having convinced his Hyung so quickly.
“Well, sometime in the new year we’ll go see some okay? And tonight I’ll cook us something special” said Yoongi, remembering the snapper in the fridge and the instructions Jin had explained to him while they cooked the other night. Luckily the fish was de-scaled already which saved him that skin-crawling job. The rest of the process seemed easy enough for someone as experienced as him.
Jimin was EXCITED.
Yoongi had remembered what he’d said about the big fish at the supermarket and was now in the process of preparing it for dinner.
His mouth was watering at the thought.
He felt so spoilt being able to try all these new delicious foods but Yoongi reminded him that he wasn’t actually doing anything special; that this is how he should have been eating all along.
Jimin found it hard when Yoongi said things that made him think that perhaps his owners didn’t always treat him right. He loved them. They were all he’d ever known. They’d bought him from a breeder when he was very young and he hardly had any memories from before.
He’d always thought they took very good care of him. He was always groomed and fed. With Yoongi, however, he was learning that although that was okay treatment for a pet, he deserved a lot more than that.
He’d started wondering what to say to his owners about it all when he went home. Would they let him continue dressing himself, eating real food and going out when he wanted? Yoongi’s voice always popped into his head telling him that they didn’t get to decide that for him. It was so confusing.
The fact that next week he’d be attending a real college and learning to read and write was almost unfathomable to him. He’d always watched shows on TV where the characters went to school longingly. He wanted to be able to go and make friends and learn things. He didn’t understand why so often the characters were complaining about their homework. He would’ve given his right arm to attend and now his dream was belatedly coming true thanks to Yoongi.
It seemed like his mind always came back to Yoongi. How the elder treated him so softly, taught him things patiently, adamantly explained his rights, remembered things just so he could treat him later, encouraged him to try new things… there seemed to be an ever-growing list of things to be grateful to Yoongi for.
Jimin was glad that he hadn’t had to explain to Yoongi that the only thing this temporary home was lacking in was physical affection. The debacle at Jin and Namjoon’s had been embarrassing, but it seemed that Jimin’s reaction, or perhaps the intervention of one of his other Hyungs, had spurred Yoongi into initiating the skinship he so longed for.
When he’d confided in Taehyung, the puppy hybrid had assured him that if he went for it he wouldn’t be rejected, but he’d been wrong. At the time he’d felt humiliated, but the warm embrace of his new friend had helped a lot. And when later that night Yoongi had offered his lap for the kitten to lay on and begun softly stroking his ears as he read from his favourite book, Jimin knew everything would be okay.
“Jimin-ah, can you pass me a spatula? You know the flippy thing you used when cooking the eggs?” Yoongi’s low voice cut through Jimin’s thoughts.
Jimin hopped off the stool he’d been perched on and retrieved the utensil for him, peering into the oven tray as he did. The sauce that Yoongi had used on the fish was caramelising and sticking to the baking paper. Yoongi, who had put a thick headband on to keep the hair out of his eyes and the food, used the spatula to gently separate the snapper from the paper. Jimin’s heart had done a thing when he’d first noticed. Even if it was only for food hygiene, the elder looked good in it.
“Probably only needs five more minutes” said the architect, using a tea towel as a protective glove as he returned it to the oven, “Rice is ready in the cooker, I’m just gonna steam the veg and then we’re done. Want to pick something to watch?”
Jimin play saluted and made his way to the lounge buzzing with excitement. When he’d pointed the fish out to his owner all that time ago he’d never expected to actually be able to try some. And never in his wildest imaginings had someone cooked one specifically for him because he’d mentioned it in passing. He was feeling very… loved? He wasn’t sure if that was the right term for his Hyung, but that was the feeling.
Eating dinner was a casual affair. The boys settled with trays on their laps and watched TV.
The fish was so much better than Jimin could have even imagined.
His experience with fish was mostly limited to that of the canned variety, having once in a blue moon been given more quality leftovers. The experience of the soft meat flaking on his fork and practically melting in his mouth was out of this world, and he wasn’t shy in making enthusiastic noises to show his appreciation.
He didn’t notice the blush that was gracing his Hyung’s face, but it was definitely there.
Later when it was approaching midnight they’d settled together with Jimin listening to Yoongi read in his new position resting his head in the elder’s lap. Yoongi was just about to start a new chapter when the hybrid spoke up, “Hyung, we should make New Year’s resolutions”.
Yoongi groaned, “Please no, there’s no point. People make them and then immediately break them the next day”.
Jimin shifted his position so that he was looking directly up at the elder with a forced pout, “but I’ve never had someone to make resolutions with before” he whined. He was laying it on thick, but he knew he could get away with it.
Since when had he become so spoiled?
The architect let out a loud sigh and Jimin felt a hand start stroking through his hair. He closed his eyes and purred quietly at the sensation. “Fine” he heard from above.
“Yay!” he shouted.
“You go first, I need a minute to think of something bullshitty enough”
The younger harrumphed but didn’t rise to the bait, “I have three.” He said raising three fingers and pointing at each as he explained, “Number one: start learning to read. Number two: learn to cook that fish dish. Number three: make new friends”.
Yoongi smiled at the simple wants of the kitten, “Alright, mine is to teach you to cook that fish dish”.
“Nuh-uh, that’s cheating, you’ve got to pick your own Hyung” said Jimin wagging his finger.
“Uuuuuum, I guess I could sleep more”.
“You have trouble sleeping?” asked Jimin in surprise. He’d hadn’t noticed the elder seeming tired. Had he been so unobservant?
“I just often work late, you haven’t seen work Yoongi yet, he’s a different beast to the incredibly laid back soul you see before you now” replied the elder, threading his hands behind his head for effect.
“Oh! Well I’m great at sleeping! Maybe I can help!”
As soon as he said it he regretted it.
“What I mean is, when my owners couldn’t sleep they’d cuddle up with me and it helped” he rushed to add, cheeks flaming at the accidental innuendo as he shifted back to face the TV instead of up at his Hyung.
Park Jimin was an innocent kitty but he knew what humans did when they slept together. He experienced heats after all, even if alone.
Staring purposefully away he missed that yet again Yoongi had developed a pretty pink blush, “Usually I’ve not got much trouble once I hit the pillow, it’s just getting there that’s the problem. Namjoon would say I’m chained to my desk”.
“Okay, well then that’s a good New Year’s resolution” said Jimin in an exaggerated cheery voice, trying to move on from the awkward moment, “Work less, sleep more! I’ll enforce a strict bedtime!”
The moment was saved thankfully by Yoongi’s phone making a loud ping. Jimin sat up and Yoongi went to get it.
“It’s Jin Hyung sending a selfie with Joon, they’re at a family gathering” he said after a moment, “Come here, we’ll send one back”. Jimin moved in close to his Hyung and they snapped a couple of pictures. Yoongi chose the one where Jimin looked the prettiest and he looked the silliest, put a New Years filter on it and attached it to a new message.
He sent it to Jin as well as Hoseok. It was only moments before he received an enthusiastic reply heavy in emojis from his Hyung’s cousin, inviting them over to “chill” the next day. Yoongi wondered idly how much alcohol the boy had consumed and whether he’d regret the decision later when he was nursing a hangover, but that wasn’t Yoongi’s problem and he knew that Jimin would love to spend more time with Taehyung.
He fired back a response in the affirmative after checking with the kitten that it was okay if they went over after their campus tour.
The rest of the night was uneventful. They welcomed the New Year peacefully watching the fireworks together on the TV with cups of chamomile tea. Perhaps for young people it sounded boring, but it was exactly Yoongi’s kind of celebration. They didn’t stay up much past midnight, sleepily bidding each other goodnight.
Yoongi was so contently tired in fact that he didn’t even stay up obsessing over the weird thoughts he’d had regarding the hybrid that day. That was a freak out for another occasion.
Chapter 6: Facebook Friends
Sorry it's been so long! I've been feeling a bit off but I'm back now!
I've also started writing a threadfic on Twitter about a Summer Music Camp Yoonmin with Badboy!Jimin and Camp Counsellor!Yoongi. Check it out if you're interested :) @violetfics1
I hope you enjoy this chapter!
“So, this is it”
They’re standing outside the brick archway that leads into the local community college where Jimin will be taking his classes.
Jimin had been animatedly chattering all the way on the short walk from their house, but as Yoongi gestured to the entrance the hybrid fell silent, standing stock still.
He stayed that way for a while, staring with an intensity that Yoongi hadn’t seen on the boy’s face before. It was hard to guess what he was thinking. Yoongi knew he was excited to attend the school because the hybrid had literally not shut up about it all morning, and he figured that he was nervous too. His face didn’t look nervous though. Rather, he looked like he was entering battle.
Yoongi reached down to where Jimin’s fingers were sticking out of the sleave of his coat and slipped his hand into the younger’s, squeezing gently.
This snapped the hybrid out of whatever he was thinking. He turned, sending a blinding smile at the elder as if nothing had happened, “Let’s go” he said, eyes crinkling.
They walked through the archway with fingers intertwined. Exploring the campus didn’t take long as it wasn’t big; just one central building with a few smaller offshoots. There was a nice courtyard where Yoongi could imagine Jimin waiting, warm drink in hand, for his class to start. There was also a small row of shops that included a post-office, a café and a copy-shop.
Everything was, as expected, closed. That hadn’t been the point anyway. Just seeing the campus would make it seem more real for Jimin and going there with Yoongi first when there wasn’t a crowd would hopefully make future visits less daunting.
“My work isn’t actually far from here either, so if you ever really need me I can get here pretty quickly from there or home”.
Jimin looked at Yoongi with a grateful smile, “Thanks Hyung. I think I’ll be fine though”.
Yoongi hummed in assent, “I’m just being…” he paused.
What was he being? A concerned boyfriend? No. An overprotective owner? Big no.
“… A nervous ninny, I know you’ll be fine really”. He cringed at the lame comment. What was wrong with him lately? Thankfully Jimin didn’t seem fazed. In fact, he was looking at Yoongi, chocolate eyes melting with warmth.
“You know?” he asked timidly.
“I know” confirmed Yoongi with another squeeze of the hybrid’s little hand.
The little grin that made its way onto Jimin’s face at his Hyung’s confidence in him stayed there as they walked in silence through the rest of the campus.
When they eventually arrive at Hoseok and Taehyung’s apartment, the couple were sweating like crazy.
“Do we want to know what you were doing?” Yoongi asked with raised eyebrows.
“Get your mind out of the gutter Hyung” chastised Taehyung, before pushing him aside to get at the kitten.
“JIMINIE!” he cried, pulling his new friend into a tight hug.
The kitten giggled and threw his arms around Taehyung, nuzzling into the hug. “Hey Tae Tae” he greeted.
“I just unlocked Fire by BTS on Just Dance” informed Hoseok.
“WE unlocked it” corrected Taehyung, walking to the lounge with an arm around Jimin’s shoulders.
“Sorry I forgot Tae’s very important contribution of yelling at me to move faster and dancing off to the side. Yes of course, we unlocked it”.
“Anymore sarcasm from you bucko and you’ll be sleeping out here tonight” said Tae wagging a finger at his boyfriend, a teasing smile on his face.
“Jiminie, if we leave now we might avoid having to choose sides” said Yoongi gesturing at the door with his head playfully.
“Oh I’m on Tae’s side, cheering on your friends is very important” he said, nodding seriously.
“Cuuuuuute” cried Hoseok and Taehyung at the same time, running to Jimin and mobbing him with hugs.
Jimin looked like the cat that got the cream, enjoying his cuddles and attention. Yoongi stood to the side watching fondly before Jimin reached out with a grabby hand for the man to join to the cuddle pile.
Yoongi looked a little unsure, but ultimately couldn’t resist the adorableness that was Jimin reaching out for him. He threw an arm around each of Hoseok and Taehyung’s shoulders and rested his chin on top of Jimin’s head.
A soft purring could be heard.
The group stayed like that for a good minute before Hoseok coughed, “Not gonna lie, my back kind of hurts”.
Yoongi laughed and moved back so they could all disconnect. He wasn’t in the habit of hugging his friends, so he felt a little awkward still. Taehyung and Hoseok however had seemingly already moved on, the puppy hybrid talking to his boyfriend at lightning speed. Something about cameras and profiles.
Rubbing at his neck, subconsciously trying to calm himself, Yoongi watched Jimin. The hybrid looked a little dazed and Yoongi wondered if he was tired from their day already. He grabbed the kitten’s hand and led him to sit on the lounge and then asked Hobi to show him the kitchen so he could get him a glass of water.
“Gah, I’m such a bad host! Sorry Hyung, right this way” he said, pressing his phone into Taehyung’s hand. The way the puppy hybrid scampered off towards Jimin was suspicious but Yoongi focused on the task at hand.
Hobi delayed his errand significantly by prattling on about his high scores in Just Dance as he begun pulling various snacks from the cupboard.
He’d also insisted that Yoongi and Jimin show him their moves while they were there. Professional interest he called it.
When Yoongi finally returned with the kitten’s drink, Jimin and Taehyung were nowhere to be found.
He placed the glass down on the coffee table with a sigh and plodded back to Hoseok.
“They’ve disappeared” he said, “what’s the deal?”
“They have?” asked Hoseok, looking genuinely confused. Dumping the rest of a packet of Doritos into a bowl, he walked out of the kitchen and called his boyfriend’s name.
A muffled response came from further within the apartment, “Just a minute!”
Yoongi and Hoseok waited in the lounge, chatting idly and nibbling on the snacks. It wasn’t for another 20 minutes that the hybrids returned to the room and when they did Yoongi’s breath caught in his throat.
They’d done something to Jimin.
His eyes look bigger and his hair… his hair was curly, in that way people would do it in the 80’s.
Yoongi stood as the kitten and puppy duo entered the room, staring with his mouth agape.
“You’ve broken Hyung” said Hoseok with a giggle.
Jimin fiddled with the ends of his oversized jumper, giving himself sweater paws, “What do you think Hyung? Tae said he would make me pretty, but I don’t know?” he said, unsure of himself and worried by Yoongi’s dramatic reaction.
“Prettier. You’re already pretty Jiminie” corrected Taehyung beside him as Yoongi continued to stare in silence, “you can pick your jaw off the floor now”. The puppy hybrid was smirking at Yoongi smugly, as if he’d succeeded in some mission unknown to the others.
The architect cleared his throat and he moved closer to the kitten to inspect him, “you’re wearing make-up” he said as he got closer, “and jewellery?” He prodded at an earring hanging from Jimin’s ear.
“Just clip-ons” the kitten clarified hurriedly. “Tae says I can borrow them to see if I want to get my ears pierced for real. What do you think Hyung?” he asked again, smoky eye-shadow and kohl making his anxious eyes all the more expressive.
Yoongi raked his eyes over the hybrids face in awe, “beautiful” he subconsciously whispered.
Jimin blushed a bright pink and averted his eyes, “thanks Hyung”.
When Yoongi realised what he’d said he coughed awkwardly and turned his attention to Taehyung, “what’s with the dress ups?”
“We’re going to take some pictures to post on Facebook with our advert about Jimin being lost. I thought it would be fun to go all out. If we can’t find Jiminie’s owners then having a cute picture will help find him a new family”.
“Any picture of Jimin would be cute” hit back Yoongi reflexively, turning Jimin’s cheeks an even darker hue.
Rosy like a peach.
Yoongi ignored the weird intrusive thought, trying to read the look on Taehyung’s face at his response.
“Agreed, but since someone is insisting he can’t stay with them, I thought it would be better for him to be putting his best foot forward”.
Before Yoongi can open his mouth to make another retort, Jimin is stepping forward and grabbing his hand, leading them to sit down.
“It’s not a big deal Hyung, just some fun” he reassured, looking at Yoongi with curiosity, not really understanding his reaction but wanting to calm him.
Yoongi huffed as he’s guided to the couch, but quietly apologised to the kitten. The idea of other people finding Jimin’s picture cute and offering him a home because of it was making him feel funny.
I just don’t want him to go to a shallow home. He needs to be loved for more than looking cute.
Taehyung moves to sit next to Jimin looking very satisfied with himself. The air had turned a little awkward and Hoseok loudly talked to try and cover it.
“So the group I was telling you about is cool. Membership is vetted to make sure that there aren’t any people in there who shouldn’t be. Once there was an issue with someone who tried to tell a hamster hybrid that they were going against nature by getting braces, but they removed him almost immediately”.
As he chatted, Taehyung was tapping away on Hoseok’s phone.
“Cool story bro” he said, “but it’s picture time. Jiminie, I think the black wall in the foyer will make a good background, loads of natural light too!”
The quartet all take the lift down to the foyer of the apartment block to have a mini photo-shoot. Taehyung called out different poses for Jimin to try and the kitten got into the excitement of it all, bouncing around cutely.
Yoongi stood to the side not knowing what to do with hands, suddenly feeling very fidgety. He and Hoseok hadn’t really needed to come down with the pair.
As he stood watching Jimin flash peace signs and other cute gestures at Taehyung’s instruction he found himself grinning. The kitten was at complete ease in front of the camera, having fun being silly, eyes crinkling endearingly. It was unadulterated happiness. He wasn’t worrying about what his owners would think of the get-up, or his newfound independence. He was simply laughing with a new friend.
Joy looked good on him, beautified him more than any makeup or accessories that he could apply.
Yoongi felt a jab to his ribs and was jolted out of his mind. Hoseok had elbowed him and was now smiling at him meaningfully, “cute huh?” the younger commented.
The architect grumbled noncommittally but his expression had given him away.
“You’re set on him leaving?”
“Our opinions on the matter differ too much for us to understand each other” replied Yoongi coolly.
“No, I get your point. I just think you need to accept that someone will own Jimin under your definition of ownership. It’d be better that he was in a home where he was guaranteed respect, the best way for you to ensure that is by providing it yourself”.
Yoongi was silent and Hoseok didn’t wait for a reply. Walking towards the others he spoke up, “Alright surely you’ve got the shot now, us two oldies are hungry”
By the time Yoongi and Jimin were saying their farewells at the door they’d eaten their body weight in snack food, danced (under protest and enthusiastically respectively) multiple songs on Just Dance, watched a compilation of funny cat videos and finally, posted the ad on Facebook.
Both of them are tense on the way home. Yoongi, mulling over Hoseok’s words and Jimin nervously wondering if his owners will find the post or if another family will see him and want to meet.
Taehyung had promised to keep them updated on any interaction with the post.
All they could do now was wait.
The next day Yoongi went back to work and they quickly fall into a routine. Yoongi wakes up at 6am, makes a vat of coffee and eats cereal alone at the breakfast bar. As he’s leaving for the day at 7am, Jimin shuffles out of his room in his pyjama’s rubbing at his eyes and yawning through a wish of a good day.
Jimin spends his days variably. Often times he visits Taehyung, who works from home as a painter and lets him sit in his studio while he paints.
When he’s not with Taehyung, he’s more than likely on the couch watching a drama or doing his homework. Sometimes he’ll venture out alone to the park or a cafe, beanie crammed on his head to draw less attention.
In the evening when Yoongi returns the pair will chat in the kitchen about their days as they prepare dinner; Yoongi teaching Jimin some basic skills and delegating tasks such as vegetable peeling or marinating.
After dinner they do the dishes together, one washing and one drying. Yoongi will then retreat to his home office for a few hours to continue work before being dragged out by Jimin to start their night-time routine.
They wash their faces, clean their teeth, pull on pyjamas and then laze on the couch together as Yoongi reads aloud another chapter of Murder on the Orient Express. When they eventually finish that, they move on to the ABC Murders.
The only variation to this routine is on Wednesdays, when Jimin is at night school.
On these days, Yoongi would return home to an empty house and prepare dinner alone. After he’d finished cooking he’d leave it warming, pull on his coat and walk to the campus to meet Jimin so he could accompany him home.
The first class had been nerve wracking, but Jimin quickly found that the teacher was incredibly friendly and the classroom was a safe space where he could be free of judgement for his lack of literacy skills.
He was a quick learner and impressed his peers, but mostly this was due to his utter commitment to the task. Yoongi discovered that he wasn’t the only one with an overactive work ethic in the house. When he spent his hours in the office working, Jimin would spend his time studying.
On their walk home after his second class Jimin had delightedly relayed the news to Yoongi that he’d made a new friend; a bunny hybrid who had similarly been denied the opportunity to go to school.
Now he endlessly chattered about the boy; about his rapid progress in class, his cute toothy smile, his obnoxiously adorable laugh, his penchant for snacking, his prowess in every game known to man, his obsession with anime, the list went on.
Yoongi wondered if the kitten might have a little crush on his friend. It was sweet. Jimin hadn’t had the opportunity to make friends growing up so Yoongi was glad that his social circle was now growing.
After three weeks of this, and no contact from his owners, Jimin is feeling a little dejected. He’s finally relented to Yoongi buying him a phone and in one of his visits to Taehyung had quietly admitted his secret, detailing his attendance at night school to rectify the issue, before swapping numbers and promising endless snapchats and facetimes.
It was a relief to Jimin to finally share this with Taehyung because now he didn’t have to hold back on telling him all about his study and newest friend Jungkook.
“I was your newest friend” said Taehyung with a cute pout when Jimin first brought him up.
“Yeah but now you’re my best friend” Jimin had replied, and Taehyung had been so overcome with emotion that he’d simply held onto the kitten and wailed like a banshee. Hoseok actually rushed into the room, pants halfway down his legs as he’d been on the toilet, causing Jimin to squeal about propriety and Taehyung to change his crying to hysterical laughter.
After they’d settled down, Taehyung was finally able to form words again, “What about Yoongi Hyung?”
“Hyung?” Jimin questioned.
“Yeah, If I’m your BFFLATAL best friend for life and the after-life, then what’s Hyung?”
“Uhhhhhh, my other best friend?”
“Denied. BFFLATAL rights are restricted to mes only”
“Think about it. Anyway! I’m totally up for meeting this little bunny boy, when can we catch up?”
Jimin didn’t really know what Taehyung was insinuating, but didn’t ponder it for long as he got swept up in discussing potential plans for introducing his friends.
Had he ever been this happy?
“Jimin-ah, trust me. You’re going to do great. I saw you with Tae, you’re a natural”.
Hoseok was stroking through Jimin’s hair calmingly as they stood outside of his dance studio. The elder had asked Jimin to come for a lesson to see what he thought after witnessing his skills in Just Dance.
“At Just Dance, that’s not real dancing Hyung. What if I look silly and everyone laughs at me?”
“One, sometimes dance is about being okay with looking silly. Two, trust my professional opinion that you have great natural potential. Three, if people laugh then I’ll stare them down with my pupil flickering glare to end all glares”.
At the last Hoseok gave a demonstration, wrinkling his nose and shifting his eyes side to side in an expression that instilled more hilarity than fear. It had Jimin breaking into raucous laughter and eased his anxiety.
When they finally entered they found a few students milling around already and Jimin instantly wished that Taehyung could be there with him instead of meeting with a commission client.
Park Jimin, you can do this. He heard a voice in his head that sounded suspiciously like Yoongi Hyung encouraging him.
And it was true. It wasn’t like he was one to shy away from social interaction. If anything, he was discovering that he was a people person. He was just feeling out of sorts because he knew he’d soon have to dance in front of these people and that was something that was usually restricted to alone time when he could let lose without prying eyes.
Just Dance was just a game. This was different no matter what Hobi Hyung said.
He was ready to turn around and bail, but then he heard a familiar cackle.
Turning on the spot his eyes locked on source of the sound.
A tall brown-haired boy turned from where he was laughing with an unfamiliar woman, large eyes bulging in surprise.
“I knew I recognised that laugh, you sound like a hyena hybrid not a bunny” said Jimin, walking over and bowing to Jungkook’s companion and smiling sunnily, “Hi, I’m Park Jimin”.
The girl snorted, “He’s not wrong” she said to Jungkook before returning the bow to Jimin as Jungkook flicked at her side in retaliation, “Hwasa. Nice to meet you”.
“Noona is your age Hyung”.
“Oh yay! That’s my second same age friend!” replied Jimin scrunching his little fists in joy and shaking them in excitement.
“Holy crap, he’s adorable” commented Hwasa, deadpan.
“Yeah, you don’t really get used to it. You’ll need a detox from the sweetness overload after this”.
“Hey!” cried Jimin pouting his lips dramatically.
“Oh god it gets worse. He’s attacking my heart. What are these strange feelings I’m feeling?”
“They call it ‘affection’ it’s dangerous in large doses I’d recommend you taking a step back Noona”
Jimin harrumphed, crossing his arms and stamping his foot, “stop being mean kookie!”
“When you stop being so cute Hyung” said Jungkook, reaching out to pinch Jimin’s cheeks.
The kitten hybrid slapped his hand away, blushed like a maniac and then announced that he was going to see the teacher before zipping off to find Hoseok. Jungkook called after him saying he was just teasing, but Jimin needed time to calm his flaming cheeks before returning.
“Sup with you kitty cat?” Hoseok said to Jimin when the hybrid forcefully attached himself to the dancer’s side in a hug.
“My friend is teasing me” he sulked into Hoseok’s side.
“You’ve made a friend and had a fight already?” exclaimed the teacher, trying to pull back from the hug to see Jimin’s face. To which Jimin responded by holding his Hyung tighter.
“No, it’s just Jungkook. My friend from night school I was telling you and Tae about”.
“Oh, that’s a nice coincidence!”
Jimin grumbled something that Hoseok couldn’t catch but he suspected it was disagreement at the use of the word nice. He chuckled, stroking his hand up and down the kitten’s back fondly, “Jimin-ah, don’t you think you’re over-reacting just a little bit?”
“I’m embarrassed” he whined, ears flattening on his head.
“You’re just extra sensitive because you’re worried about the class. C’mon, I’m gonna get started so you gotta let go”.
Jimin eventually pulled away still looking self-conscious.
“There we go. You’re going to be awesome” said Hoseok warmly, “now go back and play nice”
The kitten walked away from his Hyung and joined the group of students. Jungkook looked sheepish and approached Jimin carefully, “Sorry Hyung”.
Jimin nodded to let Jungkook know they were good, but stayed quiet waiting for Hoseok to start the class.
The cold shoulder didn’t last long. Hoseok quickly had them swaying happily to a beat, telling them to “feel” the music before he teaches them some moves.
“If you don’t understand the emotion of a song, you’re not going to convey it’s feeling with your body. Let the song wash over you and tell you how to move”.
Jimin giggled at the way Jungkook was exaggeratedly moving his hips to the music and all was well in the world again.