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Boys, Interrupted

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Have you ever been blue?

Maybe everything around him was, indeed, blurring at the edges but Jungkook knew it was the tears forming in his eyes. Or maybe the fact that he was intoxicated. He didn’t care. He only wanted to fall asleep. Just for a few hours or maybe just forever. He didn’t care.

The last thing he remembered was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, shovelling white pills down his throat.

He didn’t understand why this light was so blinding. If it was heaven then it looked hella different to what he’d imagined. These people around him didn’t seem like angels, even if they were all dressed in white. An angel wouldn’t push him forcefully back into the bed he was lying on, feeding some damn tube down his throat and making him want to vomit.

Two pairs of hands pinned him down by the wrists and another pried open his jaw, forcing him to open his mouth even wider. It was like something was crawling inside his stomach. He coughed, feeling tears dribble down his cheeks, eyes burning.

Someone rolled his head to the side and he choked. Why did he have to be awake for this? What was happening? Then he was sober again and everything morphed into pain. For the first time since he came to, he felt the disgust and so he closed his eyes once more so that he couldn’t see what was going on above him.

If he could, he would have covered his ears so as not to hear those pathetic sounds he was making as he threw up the entire contents of his stomach in front of this collection of doctors and nurses or whoever they were supposed to be.

“Okay. His blood pressure is stable,” came a woman’s voice.

“Why didn’t you let me die?” Jungkook whispered, voice so hoarse that it didn’t sound like him at all. “I wanted to fucking die.”

“I know, but my job is to keep you alive, kid,” a man – probably a doctor – called out from somewhere in this whitewashed room.

Jungkook turned his head away from the hustle and bustle, gazing out of his hospital room window. Beside the bed, a transparent substance was making its way down a drip and through the needle inserted into the back of his hand. The beeping of the apparatus was starting to drive him insane, but the gazes of his parents were even worse.

“I want to go home!” Jungkook screamed at them.

“You can’t,” his mother said.

“I don’t care! These sounds are driving me crazy! I hate this place!” he kept screeching, reaching for the catheter in his hand and trying to rip it out before a nurse stopped him.

He tried swinging his legs, hoping to catch some delicate flesh and inflict pain but his ankles were stapled to the bed by another set of strong, iron-like fingers. There was a sudden sting in his upper arm and warmth started to spread beneath his skin.

And then he was drifting off to sleep.

 

One Week Later

 

They examined him in every possible way. They checked his weight, his height, his blood pressure, asked about any illnesses he’d acquired before his admission and which medications he either currently or used to take. He felt like a lab rat. An abandoned lab rat. His mother had left two hours previous but not before she’d informed her son that he was going to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital for a while. She didn’t say what ‘a while’ was, whether it was a week, a month or a year. She even cried a bit, muttering something about not being able to look after him on her own, but Jungkook didn’t believe her. He wanted to know how that asshole was going to treat her. The guy had lived with them for several months and now he had practically the whole house all to himself.

Damn dickhead, is what Jungkook thought of him. He’d dated his mother for only a year but he acted like he’d been her husband for decades and Jungkook was almost positive that he was cheating on her.

He wasn’t quite sure whether he felt concern for his mother dealing with that jerk alone or anger that he was being kicked out of his own home so some random stranger could take over. Maybe both.

Struck by a sudden burst of anger, he kicked the door in front of him. A few seconds later, it banged open and he saw the face of a surprised man, finally realising how much noise he must have made.

“I’m sorry,” he murmured, suddenly feeling guilty.

“You’re Jeon Jungkook, right?” the man asked, and Jungkook nodded. “I’m Dr Kim Namjoon, but you can call me Namjoon. Come on in.”

The doctor’s office looked comfortable but it was small and the furniture was ageing and old-fashioned. Jungkook sat on the leather chair he was ushered towards, eyeing the place with distaste.

“I will be your therapist during your stay here. I’m a psychiatrist but also the chief of this unit,” Namjoon introduced himself kindly, crossing his legs from where he sat in the chair opposite his newest patient.

Looking at all the diplomas and certifications that decorated the walls, Jungkook could tell that the guy was pretty experienced in this field.

“Okay …” he huffed, not really sure what he was expecting.

“I want you to know that you can feel comfortable here,” Namjoon continued. “Nothing that is said here will ever leave these walls. Our conversations will remain between you and me. Now, is there anything specific that you wanted to ask?”

“When did you come up with the idea that I want to talk?” Jungkook countered, nonchalantly, propping his legs on a spare chair and crossing his ankles.

“Why don’t you want to?”

“I just don’t,” he sighed and Namjoon nodded calmly, leaning back a little.

“Then I’ll ask you a question and you can decide if you want to answer it,” he said, still smiling. “What’s the colour of the sky?”

“What?”

He must have been joking. No one was that stupid.

“It’s easy, right? So what is it?”

“Blue.”

“So can we agree that simple questions are easy enough?”

“I don’t think I have a choice,” Jungkook snapped.

“What makes you think that?”

“Because …” Jungkook paused, unsure whether he really wanted to answer this question. “I would turn out to be a pretty rude asshole. I’m almost certain you’ve already noted some negative things about me in that little notebook of yours.”

He pointed at the pages sitting on Namjoon’s lap.

“I’m just writing a few scribbles so I can remember everything for our next session. They are for my eyes only,” he explained, clearly understanding that it was making Jungkook uncomfortable. “But now you’ve piqued my interest. What makes you think that you don’t have a choice?”

“People are always telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. It’s frustrating.”

“Do you always do what they say should be done?”

“Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. But if I don’t, it drives me crazy.”

“Why? What do you feel when you don’t?”

“I …” Jungkook took a deep breath. Just thinking of all his past experiences was giving him a killer headache. “I want to do what others tell me to because otherwise they’ll grow to hate me. And it’s only me. Other people are allowed to do whatever they want and refuse the stuff they don’t want but when it comes to me, they can’t accept it.”

“Has anyone ever told you that they hate you?”

“Not directly. But I’m not stupid. I notice these things,” Jungkook answered, tone laced with irritation, before his lips stretched in a sarcastic smirk. “It’s funny, actually. I’ve started to make a game out of it. I give myself a year for every relationship I get into.”

“Is that one of the reasons why you overdosed?” Namjoon asked him carefully, voice still calm, and Jungkook felt something heavy settling in the pit of his stomach.

“I just wanted to fall asleep.”

“I see … but Jungkook, mixing multiple medications with alcohol will do more than make you fall asleep. It’s dangerous and it can kill you.”

Jungkook withdrew his legs from the chair, shuffling uncomfortably in his seat as he tried to resist the urge to scream at the man sitting before him.

“People make my life hard,” he gritted out, working hard to keep his voice level and calm. “They don’t get me at all and they’re always demanding things. Anyone would be tired of being treated like that. I’m not crazy.”

“I never said you were,” Namjoon reasoned.

“I’m sorry. Can we finish this?” Jungkook asked after the silence stretched longer than he was comfortable with, rubbing the back of his neck. “Please? I’m just not in the mood.”

“See?”

“What?”

“You know how to say ‘no’. You asked if we could stop the session and that’s okay. It’s not that you have to agree to everything that you feel uncomfortable with,” Namjoon said, but Jungkook knew it wasn’t the same.

This guy was a therapist. Everything was so much easier for people like him.

When Jungkook was directed to his new living arrangements, he was met with two unfamiliar guys who – he assumed – were his new roommates. They’d probably already had their individual sessions because they hadn’t been present when Jungkook had dipped in to drop off his suitcase.

“Hi,” he greeted awkwardly when one of the guys looked up at him with heavy-lidded eyes.

“Hi. Are you the new one?”

“Yeah. I’m Jungkook.”

“I’m Yoongi,” he grunted, reaching out his hand. Jungkook extended his own fingers but before he could wrap them around the offering, Yoongi clenched his hand into a fist. “Not like that, kiddo. Irish bomb.”

Their fists collided.

“Bomb? Where?” the second guy suddenly shouted, leaping up from his bed. “Is it the North Koreans?”

,, Jin, have some manners.'' Yoongi whined and lied back on his bed. ,, It’s Jin by the way. I don’t know what kind of idiot  thought it will be good idea to make us roommates. He's so loud and I can't take morning naps because of him.''

“What’s up with him?” Jungkook whispered, watching as Jin ran to the window, muttering something about soldiers attacking them.

“Hebephrenic schizophrenia,” Yoongi sighed.

The hair on the back of Jungkook’s neck stood up and he noticed Jin’s gaze on him, staring with a weird smile plastered on his face.

“Hi,” he tried, a little nervously.

“Do you have fudges?” Jin blurted, completely out of the blue.

“Why would I have fudges?” Jungkook questioned, retreating a couple of steps when Jin approached.

“Why not? Everybody here knows I like fudges.”

“I didn’t know,” Jungkook murmured, dodging past Jin when the boy tried to lean in closer.

“Your loss,” he sang melodiously, trailing after Jungkook and sitting down beside him on the bed. “Will you pay me? I have a lot of debts and my wife used to tell me that I need to find a job if I want to eat fudge.”

“A job?”

“I worked a job. The ramen was spicy,” Jin babbled, not making the slightest bit of sense. “Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon?”

“No,” Jungkook answered and Jin laughed.

“They didn’t call me later. They called me Jin. They didn’t call you? It’s really nice talking with you, Jungkook. My wife went out with a dog when she heard about it.”

“I …”

“Leave the poor boy alone,” Yoongi intervened. “You don’t have a wife, dude.”

“Did we get a divorce?”

“No. You never had a wife.”

“That’s a really good observation. Thanks for reminding me,” Jin chirped.

The three of them lapsed into a long silence that was finally broken when the Jin stood up and approached Yoongi’s bed.

“Yoongi, do you want me to make you a sandwich?” he giggled, waving his arms around as though performing some kind of incantation. “Poof! And you’re a sandwich.”

Yoongi ignored him.

“Check,” a sudden voice interrupted and a nurse appeared at the door, shuffling over to Jin as the boy tried to gain Yoongi’s attention by swatting playfully at his arm. “Okay, okay, time to take your meds, handsome. You seem a little too excited today.”

“Hear that?” Jin said proudly to Jungkook as the woman took his hand. “Everyone calls me ‘handsome’ here. Why? Because it was my order.”

“Of course,” the nurse appeased, patiently waiting for his cooperation.

“I’m leaving. We’re going to have sex,” he whispered, winking at Jungkook.

“Not true,” the nurse diffused and Jungkook could hear Jin’s giggles even after the door had closed behind them.

“What am I even doing here?”

Yoongi snorted, rolling over onto his side and opening one eye, glaring at Jungkook. “You think you’re the only one whose normal?”

“I’m not meant to be here. My family just wanted to get rid of me.”

“Nice one,” Yoongi laughed like it was the best joke he’d ever heard. “And I accidentally almost killed myself. Twice. Gee, I wonder how that happened.”

He grabbed hold of his quilt and covered himself completely from view, adding the words “have a nice day, bunny” before turning over, signalling that the conversation had come to an end.

Jungkook lay back on his bed but sleep didn’t come to him nearly as easily as it appeared to for Yoongi who seemed to have slipped away in just a few seconds. He wondered why his new roommate was always so tired.

Giving up on rest, Jungkook started unpacking his things in silence, wary of not waking Yoongi. But as soon as he noticed a lack of headphones in any of his pockets, it drove him to breaking point.

“What the fuck?” he screamed, kicking the case with all his might before dropping to his knees and turfing all his clothes out onto the floor.

“I’ve got the same question, dude. What the actual fuck?” Yoongi grunted.

“Why is she such a bitch? She took my headphones! I can’t listen to music without headphones! Where’s my phone?”

“You can’t use your phone without permission,” Yoongi yawned. “They take them away along with all the sharp stuff.”

“What’s going on?” came a voice in the doorway and Jungkook looked up to see Namjoon standing there with a couple of nurses at his side.

“Give me back my phone.”

“It’s locked away at the moment,” Namjoon explained, regarding Jungkook like he thought he was about to explode. “You can use it during your free time and give it back to us afterwards.”

“I need my Mp3 player! Tell my mother to bring it! I need to listen to music,” Jungkook fumed, tension oozing from his every pore.

“Okay,” Namjoon soothed. “Calm down. Everything is fine. You will get it back, okay?”

“Okay.”

“You can go to the common room if you want,” one of the nurses added and Jungkook followed her like the obedient little puppy they wanted him to be.

He didn’t know why he was always getting so angry. At first, he thought that his mother did things to purposefully drive him up the wall, but now that he was sitting on a couch outside, he realised that maybe it was just him after all.

There were a few people in the room alongside him, only men seeing as they didn’t mix the genders in psychiatric units. A couple of boys were sitting to his left and they looked about his age but he couldn’t bring himself to speak to them.

But then they turned to him, “Hi. How are you?”

“Shitty,” he responded at once.

“What’s your name, boy who feels shitty?”

Jungkook chuckled and introduced himself. The patient’s name was Taehyung.

“I’m home, sweethearts!” someone shouted happily and Jungkook glanced across the room to see who was making such a dramatic entrance.

Two nurses were leading a young man through the door, releasing their grip on his arms when he asked them to. If he was a patient then Jungkook never would have guessed. The guy was blonde and looked like he’d just returned from a party.

A silvery leather jacket, perfectly styled hair and, when he moved closer, Jungkook even noticed that his eyes were framed with makeup. His lips stretched in a smile and he brushed his hand down the side of Taehyung’s face.

“Hey, Tae,  did you have any wet dreams about me?”

“You wish,” Taehyung countered, flinching back slightly.

“I know you all missed me,” the new arrival shouted to the entire room.

It was remarkable how much attention he drew. Everybody was looking at him and he seemed to be loving it. A nurse approached him and he raised his arms in greeting, grin widening.

“Hi, Hana!” he called, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’ve only been gone a week and look at you. You got even hotter.”

“Stop it, Jimin.”

“You know I’d never lie to you.”

“I know,” Nurse Hana answered him, reaching for the prepared medication on the trolley at her side.

Jimin leaned back against the wall, watching her with a smirk. “Are you blushing because you suddenly got all shy?”

“I’m blushing because this is inappropriate.”

“Inappropriate …” Jimin muttered, biting down on his bottom lip. “I like that word.”

“Jimin, go to your room,” Namjoon ordered, seemingly appearing from nowhere.

“Doc! Long time, no see!”

“Because you ran away for a week.”

“Anyway … I feel too good to waste my time in one of those tiny little rooms. Unless I have good company,” Jimin grinned, straddling one of the chairs positioned in front of Taehyung and Jungkook.

“Be a good boy, okay?” Namjoon conceded and Jimin winked seductively.

“I’m always a good boy. Love you doc!”

He even sent out a flying kiss before Namjoon left the room and Jungkook suddenly felt that intense gaze burning into his face. Up close, he could see that Jimin was astoundingly beautiful. His skin was flawless, his lips had a nice full shape and his cheekbones were so distinct. And it seemed that he was perfectly aware of it.

His confidence was almost intimidating.

“And who is this? I would have thought I’d remember such a pretty face,” he asked, observing Jungkook with a crooked eyebrow. “Are you new?”  

“Yeah,” was all Jungkook was capable of saying, especially when Jimin suddenly approached and hugged him without any warning.

He could smell the sharp and yet sweet scent of his cologne.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Jimin. And you, sweetie?”

“Jungkook,” he squeezed out, slightly breathless and still taken aback at the sudden display of physical affection but Jimin only smiled and reached up to fix his baseball cap.

“You’re really cute, Jungkook. And this cap makes you even cuter.”

Jungkook had forgotten he was even wearing it.

“Make yourself comfortable, honey. If you don’t feel so good then come to me and I’ll make you feel all better,” Jimin hinted suggestively before he was off and roaming, transferring from person to person and striking up a conversation with each of them.

“Does he compliment everybody like that?” Jungkook whispered to Taehyung. “Why is he so super nice?”

“He’s got his stage.”

“Stage?”

“You’ll understand everything soon enough.”

“How do I look?” Jimin crowed to a larger group of patients. “I had a really nice time in Jeju.”

He shrugged off his jacket to expose his muscled arms, revealing a nicely shaped body beneath black clothing. It was obvious that his dedication to staying in shape kept him working out on a regular basis.

“You was in Jeju? That’s hella far away.”

“I can go wherever I want. You know me. I could take a trip to the US if I felt like it.”

“But how would you talk to people?”

“I’m damn good with languages. I could learn the basics in just a few days. But they’d understand me even if I spoke gibberish. When you forget words, you just have to use your charm.”

Jungkook stopped listening and returned to his room, dead set on taking a nap. He was woken merely two hours later by a nurse who insisted that it was time for his group therapy session. He sat there, listening, but he didn’t say much. He was new and nobody took any notice of him.

When Taehyung took his turn, Jungkook really started to wonder what had led him to be a patient at this hospital. But during the boy’s testimony, it became more than crystal clear.

“So what was the reason that you locked yourself in the bathroom?”

“There was a visitation,” Taehyung mumbled, glaring down at his feet.

“Did it make you nervous?”

“Sure thing.”

“Why?”

“My sister came.”

“Isn’t that good?”

“No.”

“How come?”

“She wanted to kill me.” Taehyung’s voice was starting to shake.

“Why do you think that?”

“She wants to destroy me. She once tried to gas me to death. She turned on the oven and left me in the house.”

“But you told us before that she was just making cookies for the family.”

“That was her excuse. She’s clever. Like an assassin,” Taehyung answered, as though it was obvious and Jungkook truly felt sorry for him because he really seemed to believe it.

“Bitch!” some other man in the group shouted out.

“Let’s not use such words,” therapist chastised calmly.

“Bitch! Fucking bitch!”

“Okay, Hoseok. You can go back to your room now and rest.”

“Fine,” the noisy patient agreed and left the room without any hesitation.

An hour and a half in and Jungkook was truly starting to feel the effects of exhaustion, even if he’d already slept. Feeling like a zombie, he shuffled out into the corridor and waited in the long line of patients to take his medication, noticing Jimin sitting on a nearby chair.

He leaned his head back against the wall, stretching out his legs like he was sunbathing. A male nurse stopped by and looked down at him.

“Why do you keep sitting around inside with sunglasses on?”

“Because I look fucking cool,” Jimin snapped and he sounded different than before. His voice wasn’t nearly as sweet. “You got a problem with that?”

“It’s against the rules.”

“I fuck your rules!” Jimin suddenly exploded, rising from his chair and pointing his finger straight at the nurse’s chest. “But not you! I don’t fuck stupid jerks!”

“Watch your mouth!”

“Let me be,” another nurse interrupted, stepping between the two of them in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

“I hate it when he speaks to me like that.”

“Are you really going to argue with one of our patients?”

“Yeah! She’s right. Are you? Didn’t you go to school?” Jimin mocked maliciously, taking a step closer before the second nurse pulled him away from any further attempts at confrontation. “Did they not teach you anything or were you just born stupid? You work in this place and you don’t even know how to treat us? Why haven’t they kicked you out yet?”

“Okay, calm down, Jimin …”

It's like he couldn't stop talking. 

“How can you employ such an idiot? Do I pay my taxes just to get this shitty kind of healthcare? I would sack him on the spot if I was in charge of this hospital. You’d already be scrubbing toilets!”

“Sit down, please.”

“Don’t tell me what to do!” Jimin kept shouting even as the nurse tried to get him to sit back down. He ripped off his sunglasses and glared at his enemy’s retreating back. “I want to talk with the principal!”

Jungkook could hear his screaming even as he was handed his pills on a plate. He supposed he could only hope those little white nuggets could take away even a sliver of the internal pain and emptiness he felt with every breath. He’d had a headache since morning and it was only getting worse with the ruckus Jimin was making.

“Hey! Let go of me! I said let go of me!” the boy kept screaming, and now there were medics holding him down. “Why? Why? Because you’re scared I’ll tell him about all your shortcomings and you’ll lose your jobs? You’d better be careful! I could really harm your careers with just a few words! Let go!”

“He’s been off his medication for a week. No wonder he’s so aggressive,” Jungkook heard one of the nurses muttering.

He turned away from the scene and headed to his room, wondering why he suddenly felt so dizzy. Removing his cap and boots, he laid back against his blankets and before he knew what was happening, he was opening his eyes again and it was dark.

There were voices outside in the corridor.

“They will find you,” he heard Yoongi whispering.

“What?” Jungkook grumbled, almost paralysed with sleep. He could only just see the outline of a body as somebody ducked behind Yoongi’s bed. “What’s going on?”

Before he could say anything else, somebody lunged for him and slapped their hands over his mouth. If he was capable of screaming, he would have shrieked the entire place down but the whisper in his ear silenced him.

“Shh … I need to hide. They want to lock me in this damn room.”

The voice was familiar. Jungkook reached up and grabbed the figure’s wrists, knowing he was stronger and therefore not at all surprised when he pried those hands from his face with ease. Blinking in the darkness, the shadowy shape of Jimin came into view crouching beside him.

There were footsteps outside. The door clicked and Jimin grabbed for Jungkook’s quilt, slithering under it.

“Are you fucking serious?” he hissed, feeling the intruder wriggling about near his legs.

“Shut up,” he heard Yoongi hiss from the adjacent bed. “Pretend you’re asleep.”

The light from the corridor attacked Jungkook’s eyes and he groaned in protest, calling out to the faceless figure in the doorway, “Stop it. I can’t stand the light.”  

He tugged the blankets right the way up to his chin, successfully concealing the fact that there was a second body in his bed.

“I could have sworn he went in there.”

“I can’t see anybody. Keep searching.”

The door closed and darkness returned but nobody moved, listening to the voice and the footsteps gradually getting quieter and quieter until they vanished altogether. Jungkook could feel Jimin crawling up the bed towards the pillow and suddenly the blankets were being tossed to the floor and the boy was straddling him.

“Thanks, sweetie,” he whispered, leaning down until they were so close that Jungkook could feel the breath on his face. “I never would have thought that I could top you so fast.”

“Let go of me,” Jungkook growled, shoving Jimin off the bed and retrieving his blankets.

On the other side of the room, Jin started giggling, “Is someone having sex right now?”

“You’re giving me naughty ideas, Jinnie,” Jimin teased as he straightened up, dusting himself off.

“You’d better go before they find you,” Yoongi grunted, already halfway back into the land of the dead.

“It was really nice being in your bed, Jungkook. Sweet dreams,” was all Jungkook heard before Jimin slipped out of their room with all the stealth and elegance of a cat.  

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook, I’ve sent you what you asked for. Take care.

Mom.

 

He stared down at the small piece of paper and the box in his lap. Had she really just sent him his Mp3 player and earphones along with that pathetic little message like she lived thousands of miles away when she could have driven over here and given it to him in person? Was this how it was going to be from now on?

“Are you coming?” Yoongi grunted, heading towards the door.

“Wait a second.”

“Whatever. You know the way,” came the exhausted reply, pulling a disorientated Jin out of the room with him.

Jungkook slipped the Mp3 player into the pocket of his jeans and pulled on a baggy, black shirt. He followed his roommates and immediately saw Taehyung poking his head through another door on the corridor.

“Hi?” Jungkook queried, but Taehyung just kept staring at a fixed point somewhere behind him.

Jungkook turned around and saw Jimin walking down the hallway towards them. There was the slamming of a door behind him and he looked in surprise at the spot where Tae had been standing just a few seconds ago.

Seeing Jimin was almost upon him, Jungkook turned away. That guy was the last person he felt comfortable with at this moment. Last night had been such an unexpected experience and he still couldn’t quite believe that someone could really be that shameless.

But what happened next was nothing other than confusing. Jimin didn’t greet him like he’d expected him to and so he slowed his pace, waiting for the confrontation. Why would Jimin ignore him? He hated it when people ignored him.

But Jimin’s sole attention was on Taehyung’s door as he stopped in front of it and knocked.

“Tae, I’ve got candies,” he said, resting a hand against the wall and leaning into it in a pose Jungkook assumed was meant to be seductive.

Only then did he realise he was just standing there, watching Jimin, and it must have looked pretty awkward so he kept walking.

“Go away! All of you!” he heard Taehyung shouting from within his room.

“But I’ve got something you like,” Jimin cooed, his tone warm and inviting.

“Is he still there?”

Jungkook stopped, glanced over his shoulder and met Jimin’s eye. There was something devilish in the smirk on that boy’s angelic face, and he didn’t like it.

“Yeah. So what?”

Before any more words were uttered, Taehyung’s door opened and a hand reached out to pull Jimin inside.

“Why did you knock when he was still there?” Jungkook heard through the wooden barrier and moved closer, suddenly intrigued.

“Why bother?”

And now he was angry. It was his first week in this place and he was already being treated like an outcast? He slammed his palm against the door, relishing in the loud smack that echoed through the corridor.

“I can hear you, dickheads!” he screamed, unable to contain his fury. “You think you can treat me like shit and close the door right in front of me? Fuck all of you!”

It was easier to display the anger when he couldn’t see their faces. It felt like his old methods to getting rid of all the negative energy swarming inside him. He used to scream in an empty room whenever he felt shitty, shrieking everything he was thinking and what he was afraid to say to people in his fear of being rejected.

The difference was that, this time, both the subjects of his rage could hear him.

The door opened and Jimin appeared on the threshold, glancing Jungkook up and down with an enigmatic expression on his face.

“What are you looking at? Come in.”

Bewildered, Jungkook stepped inside, instantly noticing the way Taehyung retreated to the wall and glared at Jimin like he was the biggest traitor in the world.

“Why did you let him in? Do you want him to end us all?”

“Because he thinks you rejected him?” Jimin answered calmly.

“I don’t …” was all Jungkook managed to get out, eyes wide open.

How did Jimin know what he felt and what he was afraid of? Was he really that easy to read?

“You almost made someone come and catch us in the act. Are you a spy?” Taehyung asked but Jimin rested a hand on his arm, gently pushing him back to sit on the bed.

“Wait …” he told him before turning to Jungkook. “I know how it works in your case. It must be really tiring to be looking for signs of rejection all the time. But you almost caused a lot of trouble. Last time they caught us, everyone was banned from visiting other patients’ rooms for almost a year.”

“He will betray us. He might have innocent Bambi eyes but those are the worst. My sister seemed innocent, too, and look where I ended up because of her. He’ll tell Namjoon! He’ll betray us!”

“It’s only in your fucking head!” Jimin shouted unexpectedly, piercing Taehyung with the anger in his gaze. “He just needs to know the rules.”

He took a step towards Jungkook and pulled one of those small plastic bags out of his pocket, giving it a shake. From the rattling, Jungkook assumed that those were pills he could see inside.

“We don’t waste our candies,” Jimin explained, his voice low and serious. “When you don’t want to sleep for hours and you need to be clean, you give it to someone who needs it. No hiding it under the pillow or the bed. It’s too obvious. When you want to take something, you come to this room and make your order.”

“Order?”

“You must give us a week in advance. Someone will collect it for you and then you’ll get your equipment for the next seven days. It would be too suspicious to come to someone’s room every day.”

“I don’t want any meds …”

“Another rule,” Jimin continued, completely ignoring Jungkook’s words. “You use passwords instead of illegal words.”

“And you die if you betray your companion,” Taehyung added, rising from his seat on the bed.

“Chill out, Tae,” Jimin sighed, pushing him away. “He’s not your sister. He doesn’t want to kill you.”

“Don’t mention that root of evil.”

“What are the illegal words?” Jungkook inquired, trying to sound like he understood when he really didn’t. “Meds? And what else?”

“Also anything related to alcohol, drugs, sex and everything you wouldn’t be allowed to get from personnel. Nurse Hana and Mr Pumpkin are the only checked folks. They can be your gate-keepers.”

“You’ll regret telling him this. He’ll use it against us …”

“Oh, shut the fuck up, Kim Taehyung!” Jimin shouted. “Just take the pills that I gave you so you can stop panicking.”

“Are you telling me I’m overreacting?” Taehyung asked, his tone lathered with tension, and Jungkook noticed that his lower lip was quivering. “What side are you on?”

Jimin opened the door and jerked his head towards Jungkook, gesturing for the kid to follow him out into the hallway.

“Let’s go. He’ll be a burden for a few days,” Jimin whispered, closing the door behind them and leaving Taehyung inside.

He leant his back against the wall and gave a deep sigh, tilting his head and exposing his Adam’s apple. Today he was wearing a black choker and white T-Shirt under a blue leather jacket. He seemed to always be dressed like a model at a photoshoot and, as well as looking good, he certainly knew about to be charismatic.

“You know a lot about … things here,” Jungkook said slowly, feeling the insecurity within him grow.

“I’m a walking guidebook, baby,” Jimin smirked as he disappeared off down the corridor, but Jungkook was relieved to have escaped any more suggestive comments.

He felt trapped. It reminded him of being bullied at school. A group of guys were invading his comfort zone, surrounding him and pulling him close, demanding money. That was when he’d decided to take judo training so he could kick their asses.

When he finally made it to the art therapy room, he took a seat beside Yoongi. It felt safer to be close to someone he already knew and Taehyung hated him now so there was nobody else who would accept him.

As everybody gathered at the table, the therapist told them what she wanted them to do and Jungkook put in his headphones, allowing the music from his Mp3 player to fill up his head. He preferred the songs on his phone but that was prohibited.

He started drawing, just like they wanted him to, the mood of whichever song came up on his playlist matching the theme of his art.

 

And every time my heart beats

Match your step with me again

So that I don’t wander anymore

 

All of a sudden, the music only filtered through his right ear and he flinched, turning to whoever had sat down beside him. Jimin was perched on the stool there, Jungkook’s second headphone already buried in his ear.

“Give it back,” he ordered even though his mind was telling him to just wrench it out and tell him to fuck off.

“Why? It’s a good song.”

Jungkook removed his other earphone and threw it on the desk, cutting off the music as he continued to draw. Jimin watched him for a while and then moved to another table when he realised he wasn’t going to be getting another response.

Jungkook only looked up when he sat down in front of Hoseok, saying something and laughing. Unsure what that made him feel, Jungkook focused back on his doodling until the therapist asked everybody to sit in a circle so they could share their opinions.

“What did you draw, Jin?” the therapist asked, looking closely at the scribbles on the paper in Jin’s lap.

“The orbit around my house.”

“Where’s your house?”

“When I build a house, my wife will move in there.”

“Who’s your wife?” the women asked patiently even if her face was saying it was bullshit and she’d heard this same information a million times.

Jin shrugged, “Just a girl with big tits. A hoe. Big-titted hoe. She was that.”

Every patient burst out laughing and Jin did the same, clearly very proud of himself. His laugh sounded like the squeak of wipers on glass and it only made Jungkook’s hilarity grow.

“Guys, remember? We don’t laugh at each other,” the therapist warned.

“They laughed because my joke was funny,” Jin said, glaring at the woman, clearly offended. “I’m the joker of this house.”

“I see. Fine …” she responded, moving her gaze onto the next person. “Jungkook?”

“Why me?” he murmured under his breath, glaring down at his lap.

“We go in order.”

The pressure was too much. It had always been problematic when he’d refused to follow the expectations of a group. Just like in school. It always got him in trouble. He turned over the paper, showing his work.

“It’s really beautiful, Jungkook,” the therapist praised him. “You’re gifted.”

“Do you like landscapes?” Hoseok asked and Jungkook nodded in response.

“So what emotions did you want to portray in this picture?” the therapist continued.

“I just drew what I wanted.”

“It was your first thought to draw the meadows and the sun?”

“Yeah.”

“What things do you associate with meadows and the sun, guys?” the woman asked the rest of the group.

“You want to calm down,” somebody answered after a long silence and Jungkook looked up at Jimin who was staring at him so intensely that it was almost unnerving. “You want silence, harmony, happiness. Isn’t it what was lacking in your life?”

“Probably,” was all Jungkook managed to say, overwhelming at how right Jimin was.

“Yeah. You want the negative shit in your head to go away,” Yoongi added.

It was the first time Jungkook had ever heard him speak during a class. It seemed that his drawing was something he could really relate to. When Jungkook finally looked away from Yoongi, he found his gaze connecting with Jimin’s once more.

“And what did you draw, Jimin? I don’t see any paper in your hands. Where’s your work?” the therapist asked and finally Jungkook was released from that uncomfortable staring battle.

“I’m making this class more pleasant with my presence,” he answered with a grin, raking his hair back from his forehead.

“Okay, guy. Jimin came back after a week’s break so he’s adapting to our rules again.”

“Bullshit,” Yoongi muttered, crossing his arms with a sarcastic smirk.

“What did you say?”

“He does what he fucking wants while we had to draw like some fucking pre-schoolers. I wasn’t even in the mood to come here but I did. I even drew some shit,” Yoongi complained, tossing his drawing to the floor as he glared at Jimin. “Draw a fucking picture like the rest of us or get your ass out of here.”

“Yoongi, it’s the therapist’s decision who can leave.”

“Unfortunately,” Yoongi grumbled, rising from his chair. “That why I’m going back to my room to sleep. Let me know when everyone’s going to be treated equally.”

Jungkook had to admit that Yoongi was hella sassy but he couldn’t deny that the guy was right. He would have joined him in protest but it would be too much for him to handle if the others, including the therapist, opposed.

He kept quiet until lunch came around when he sat at a table with his roommates and felt the most overwhelming discomfort when Yoongi said that Taehyung had closed himself in his room and refused to come out to eat because he believed it would be poisoned.

Jungkook wondered if it was his fault for entering his room without permission.

“You shouldn’t take the peas,” Yoongi was saying to Hoseok as the other guy joined them at the table and counted the little green balls on his plate twice before he bit into his steak.

“Okay, I’m done.” He seemed relieved.

“Do you always count things?” Jungkook asked.

He felt sorry for him. It must be so tiring.

“I feel I need to do this when there are many things around me,” Hoseok explained. “Okay, I finished.”

He stood up from the chair and tucked it beneath the table several times before he finally left. And speaking of habits, Jungkook took another portion of noodles as he wondered whether the meds had raised his appetite or if he was just having another one of those periods where he needed to stuff himself with food.

“You don’t like rice cakes?” he asked Yoongi, noticing the extra food on the older boy’s plate. “Can I take it?”

“Yup,” Yoongi approved and looked up. “Geez, he’s such an annoying bitch when he’s on his highs.”

Jungkook followed his gaze and saw Jimin through the window on the concrete outside. It seemed like he was showing off some dance moves to a couple of patients from the women’s unit. A girl gave him a bottle of juice and patted his head as he sat next to her.

“Why is he such an attention seeker?” Jungkook asked. “Taehyung said he’s got some stage but I’ve seen him getting really angry as well.”

“Yeah, because that’s how it works when you’re bipolar.”

Jungkook turned from the window to stare at Yoongi, “He’s got bipolar disorder?”

“That’s what I think based on my own observations but he’s never said it himself. He’s actually never said anything to anyone about his life. He only brags where he went when everytime he escapes from the unit.”

“He acted like …” Jungkook began but petered off, afraid of how his words would sound. “He’s always flirting with people.”

“Oh, yeah. His typical shit. I guess he thinks everybody wants him and loves him when his self-esteem goes higher. Hopefully he’ll come back to himself after taking his meds.”

For the rest of the day, for whatever reason, Jungkook couldn’t stop thinking about Yoongi’s words. He almost felt this obsession to solve the mystery that was Jimin’s life as he tossed and turned in bed that night before finally standing up.

It was very dark so he used the light from his Mp3.

“Where are you going?” he heard Jin’s sleepy voice from across the room.

“To pee,” he lied.”

“Can I go with you?”

“What? No … Sleep.”

“Fine.”

Jungkook slipped out and closed the door behind him. He could see the head nurse through the office window and waited until she stepped out to do her regular checks. She would eventually notice that Jungkook wasn’t in his room but he didn’t care.

There was still some time to steal the keys and infiltrate the archive room but he waited until 11pm came and the nurse let herself into the first room on the corridor. Then he tiptoed into the office, completely silent, and took the key from the hanger. He knew he’d remember what number it was.

He hid it in the pocket of his sweatpants and glided swiftly to the other side of the corridor so the nurse wouldn’t notice his presence. But then she turned and started walking in Jungkook’s direction.

“Fuck,” he whispered, pressing himself further into the wall.

The woman was only a few metres away but then she buried her nose in a magazine. Jungkook hurried down the stairs and opened the archive room door as quietly as he possibly could. He turned on the lights and started searching through the files, muttering under his breath.

He could easily find his own under the date he first came to the hospital. He opened the folder and skimmed through the words until he came to the information he deemed the most important.

Patient has mood swings. Parents report suicidal ideation and one suicide attempt. Serious problems with adaptation in society. The way Patient describes his life suggests a chronic feeling of emptiness. First day at hospital, Patient kicked the therapist’s door. His anger is disproportionate to the situation he’s in.

“This dickhead,” Jungkook swore, glaring at Namjoon’s signature at the bottom of the document.

Another note fluttered out and he caught it, scanning the words scrawled across the paper.

Reported sexual contact with his teacher as a minor.

“You don’t miss anything,” he whispered to himself, slotting the files back into the folder. The summary was what finally gave him the diagnosis.

Suspected Borderline Disorder. For further observation.

For a second, Jungkook froze, just staring at that note. He couldn’t believe they’d found the reason he’d been feeling this way for so long. He started searching for other files that he was also interested in. But Park Jimin’s wasn’t anywhere in the locker for 2015. He kept looking, delving into the earlier years but it wasn’t in 2014 or 2016 either.

And then he saw it: a tatty old folder from 2010. He was two years younger than Jungkook and was born in Busan, too. He had been diagnosed almost six years ago with depression and anxiety until the delusions came and he was given the name ‘bipolar disorder’.

Steps approached the door and Jungkook panicked, hurriedly stuffing the folder back in its case. He switched off the lamp, wishing he could read more of Jimin’s file but this particular excursion had been far too nerve-wracking to begin with.

He opened the door and edged a few feet forwards but the arm that suddenly threw itself across his vision, planting its hand into the wall, had him screeching to a halt, eyes wide.

The hand slowly slid down the plaster and that was when Jimin stepped out of the gloom.

“What did you do?”

Jungkook gulped. Jimin was the last person he’d expected to see here.

“What?”

“Whose files did you read, huh?” Jimin hissed, seizing the material of Jungkook’s T-Shirt. “Answer me, fucker!”

“Mine.”

“Then why did you ask Yoongi about me? Why the fuck are you meddling in someone else’s business?”

“Because I was interested in you!” Jungkook shouted before he could stop himself.

He could see Jimin’s eyes sparkling, even in the darkness, widening in surprise.  

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook wasn’t quite sure what Jimin’s expression meant. It was cold and dripping with fury, but now there was also the slightest hint of fear.

“Nobody knows much about you,” Jungkook said slowly, nervously, breathing a silent sigh of relief when Jimin let go of him and pushed him away.

“If nobody knows much about me it’s because it should stay like that,” he said with ice in his voice, taking a step back like he wanted nothing more than to distance himself from the boy in front of him.

“Why?”

“Why do you want to know more?” Jimin shot back in irritation.

And Jungkook wished he could answer. But he couldn’t. It was a common occurrence for him: not knowing why he did certain things. He only knew, in the moment, when something had to be done and then he would do it.

“So you won’t tell me?” Jimin hissed. “Okay …”

“What are you doing?” Jungkook cried, stumbling after Jimin as he stormed into the archive room, panic flaring in his chest.

“Hey! What’s going on?” somebody shouted from the end of the corridor, sounding alarmingly similar to one of the nurses, and it only made Jungkook even more nervous.

“Stop it! Let’s go! Somebody’s here,” Jungkook whispered frantically, grabbing Jimin’s wrist only to be shoved away again as his reckless companion starts opening all the lockers in the room.

He turned on the lights, clearly searching for something and the sound of footsteps behind the door were getting louder. Jungkook couldn’t bear the growing tension, shuffling from foot to foot as he watched Jimin’s fingers rifling through the papers in a drawer.

It was terrifying. The boy opened the folder that Jungkook had been pouring over just a few moments ago. He wanted to pry it from those steady hands but Jimin stepped out of his reach and turned away so he could scan the words without interruption.

“So you fucked your teacher? Interesting.”

“Shut up!”

“You spiked the wheels of your step-father’s car? Seriously …”

“He’s not my step-father! Give it back!”

“You’ve read about me so I’m reading about you. Then we’ll be even,” Jimin shot over his shoulder, his voice slightly shaky. “I won’t let anybody laugh at me.”

“Nobody is laughing at you, you fucked up jerk!” Jungkook shouted and before he realised, his fist was colliding with Jimin’s face.

His victim swayed and stumbled, losing his balance and dropping the folder to the floor. It was suddenly very silent and Jungkook could do nothing but watch as Jimin straightened up, his fingers brushing the spot where the knuckles had struck him.

“I’m fucked up? Look at yourself! Nobody likes you because you’re a moody asshole!” he roared, hand still clamped to his face and it was only then that Jungkook noticed the blood flowing from his nostrils.

The realisation of what he’d just done twisted his stomach into knots.

“Oh my God … I’m sorry, but you started it first.”

“What’s going on here?” the nurse cried as she finally entered the room.

Jungkook could feel his heart in his throat as he turned around and saw that the corridor suddenly seemed to have gotten very crowded. Patients had ducked out of their rooms to see what the cause of all the noise was and nurses were trying to shepherd them back into bed.

“Tell them to shut up!” Jimin screeched, crouching on the floor with his hands plastered oer his ears.

“Who?” Jungkook asked, wondering if he meant the crying patient out in the corridor or something else, but then it grew silent and the only sound was Jimin’s sobbing.

“Call Namjoon,” one of the nurses ordered somebody behind her.

“They won’t shut up!” Jimin was still shouting as tears trickled down his cheeks. “Leave me alone!”

Jungkook lowered himself to his knees, regarding the boy before him with confusion. His head kept snapping from side to side as though he were frantically trying to find something and Jungkook thought about offering a comforting touch but was afraid of Jimin’s reaction.

“Jimin …” he said slowly, wincing as the boy’s crying faltered for a split second so he could take a shuddering breath. “That’s it. Breathe.”

He flinched as Jimin’s hand shot out and fastened around his wrist but it wasn’t aggressive. It was more like an act of desperation. Like he needed the comfort and his only option was Jungkook.

His teary eyes stopped on the figure before him and there was no sign of that cold, hateful look that had dominated his face mere minutes previously. Jimin was vulnerable and scared and Jungkook felt an overwhelming sense of responsibility.

“Please, tell them to leave me alone. They keep laughing at me,” he whimpered and for a second, Jungkook thought about reaching out to caress his face. That was how innocent Jimin looked in this moment.

“Nothing is happening,” he soothed softly, slowly resting his hand against Jimin’s arm.

“Really? Nobody’s talking?”

“No. Just me.”

“But I heard them.”

“Then listen to my voice,” Jungkook told him. “Does that help?”

Their gazes held each other and Jungkook watched as Jimin’s expression slowly relaxed and the fear in his eyes dwindled. When he seemed to finally come back to himself, he glanced up and his eyes widened, fixed on something near the door.

Jungkook turned around and saw Namjoon just standing there, apparently not wanting to approach in case he caused any more upset.

“Come on,” he said as he approached very cautiously. “You need to rest, Jimin-ssi.”

“Yeah,” Jimin whispered, unfolding his legs and using them to push up from the floor, still gripping Jungkook’s hand like a lifeline.

“Yeah? I won’t force you. Just go and rest, okay?” Namjoon continued, calm as always.

“Okay. I think I’m tired.” Jimin mumbled, relinquish his hold on Jungkook’s hand and reaching to touch his forehead.

“Sure thing. It’s 2am,” Namjoon answered as he led his patient to the door.

A nurse took him under the arm, her expression turning worried when she noticed the blood on his face. It was only a small stream but it must have hurt and suddenly, Jungkook felt incredibly guilty.

No, he actually felt like a piece of shit. Like a trash. He’d just hurt someone. It was such a sudden feeling of horror that it was almost painful for him.

“Let’s talk, Jungkook,” came Namjoon’s voice before his elbow was seized and he was steered into the therapist’s office.

It was a solid minute before Namjoon said something, leaning across his desk and fixing his glasses.

“I must say that you two are really lucky that I had my shift today rather than Nurse Kim. I’m actually the only person here who tries to discuss problems instead of pumping patients with medication. If somebody else had been on duty, you would already be in the isolation room. I hope you appreciate that.”

“Okay,” Jungkook nodded, unsure how to respond. “Thanks? I guess.”

“So next time, when you have conflicts with other patients, tell me about it during our individual sessions, okay?”

“It’s not that I have conflict with Jimin,” Jungkook admitted after a few beats of silent reflection. “He mocked me and I wanted revenge.”

“Revenge?” Namjoon repeated, arching his eyebrows. He let out a sigh and rubbed his eyes, head shaking with exhaustion and exasperation. “Well … Firstly, what were you even doing in the archive room? Do you realise that I’ll have to inform the principal about it?”

Jungkook looked down at his hands. There really wasn’t much to explain. It wasn’t like he didn’t know sneaking around after dark was prohibited but he’d done it anyway. There wasn’t a chance he was going to confess that his reason behind it all was wanting to find out more about Jimin.

“It was a reflex,” he whispered shamefully.

“But you should have asked if you wanted to know more about your state.”

“Yeah,” was all Jungkook said, staring blankly out of the window.

The sky behind the window was starting to brighten from that deep, dark shade of blue. It wasn’t even night and yet it was already dawn. Namjoon seemed to notice what his patient was so interested in.

“I guess I won’t be getting any more out of you right now. Go back to bed and get some rest. I need my sleep, too.”

And Jungkook did. It wasn’t like he was tired but he felt the need to just lie in his bed.  

When he slipped into his room, Yoongi grumbled something about Jungkook waking everybody up and causing such a scene. He was clearly very unhappy and keen to do some scolding but he gave up the opportunity in favour of finally going back to sleep when he realised that Jungkook wasn’t going to do any talking.

He only managed to get three or four hours of fitful slumber but Jungkook didn’t feel the negative effects of exhaustion like he thought he would. He was lacking energy as always but that was it.

The worst thing was that he couldn’t stop thinking about Jimin and so, after he’d scoffed down his breakfast, he headed straight for the nurse’s office. The lady, Hana, the only that Jimin usually flirted with was standing outside and he hoped to be able to procure some information from her.

“Hi … Is Jimin alright?” he asked tentatively.

She looked at him, then glanced over her shoulder at two other nurses and then returned her attention to Jungkook, giving him the strong inclination that something bad had happened to Jimin.

“I’m sorry but I can’t provide much information.”

“I’m okay asking if he’s alright,” Jungkook snapped, slightly colder than he’d intended.

“No need to worry. Really,” she assured him and Jungkook rolled his eyes before he left, frustration oozing from every pore.

After group therapy ended at 12 o’clock, he took some time to wander around the hospital grounds. He found a yard framed with a couple of trees and sat down on a bench, listening to the music from his Mp3.

He’d had nothing but the same few songs for the past three days but he couldn’t download anymore because he was only allowed his phone once a week for two hours. He sighed, staring blankly at the brick wall in front of him before he got to his feet, reading the words he scrawled there a few days previously.

I want to be myself. I want to be myself. I want to be myself. I want to be myself. How I wish I could be myself.

He’d written that when he’d been spiralling in a fit of despair and there wasn’t anyone around for him to scream at. But the surprise came when he realised that somebody had etched something beneath his little message.

Then be yourself. Before you become a prisoner of your own life.

Jungkook brushed his fingers against the black letters on the white brickwork. The handwriting was neat, pretty, and the words made Jungkook smile but at the same time, it ignited a strong sensation of sadness in his gut.

Was this place the prison or was it his mind?

 

********************

 

When dinner break came, Jungkook joined Hoseok at a table, noticing the guy’s hands were bandaged up for the third time that week. He’d probably suffered another compulsive attack and washed his hands until they bled.

“Here,” he mumbled, transferring some meat onto Hoseok’s plate when he realised the man was struggling by himself. “Don’t tire yourself out and use a spoon.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Hoseok sighed in defeat.

“Vegetables. Vegetables and fruits. Very healthy,” came a voice behind them and Jungkook turned around to see Jin sitting cross-legged in front of the vending machine.

“Jin, why don’t you sit with us?” he called out.

He didn’t really know why he was inviting him over but he liked his company. Even if he was talking nonsense most of the time.

“I didn’t see you. Where were you?” Jin babbled as he scooped up his tray and sat down beside Jungkook.

“Umm … Here?”

Jin kept staring at him disbelief, as though he’d never heard such a ridiculous lie in his life,

“Bastard. You’re playing hide and seek with me?”

“What were you doing there alone in the corner?”

“I was creating a cookbook.”

“What?” Hoseok smirked. “Were you writing something?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s all in my mind,” Jin chastised, pointing at his head. “It works like a USB cable. Everybody will be able to connect with my mind to read my recipes.”

“What will you call your book so I know how to find it?” Jungkook asked, somehow managing a smile.

Hoseok gawped at him in surprise and Jungkook knew that the guy didn’t understand Jin’s way of thinking as well as he did, but Jin was his roommate and he had just grown accustomed to talking to him.

“Eat Jin. You can search it soon.”

At least today, Jungkook was able to make decent conversation with him. His “word salad”, was usually the factor that made such a thing impossible, and Jungkook was glad of the company. It was strangely silent without Jimin to liven things up but he couldn’t figure out why.

His mood changed for the worse when he saw Yoongi entering the dining room. It was partly his fault that Jimin was most likely locked up in isolation right now. If he hadn’t told him that Jungkook asked about his case then he wouldn’t have caught him in the archive room and gotten so angry.

“What’s up?” Yoongi asked as he sat down at the table and Jungkook skipped the small talk, deciding instead to skip straight to his most burning question.

“Why did you tell Jimin that I asked about him?”

Yoongi frowned, “You think I’m some gossiping girl? He asked himself.”

“What?”

“Duh,” Yoongi answered, sounding irritated. “He asked me if you said something nice about him. It was kind of weird but nothing in this place is exactly normal.”

“You’re probably another of his victims,” Hoseok said with a laugh.

“Sex! Sex!” Jin shouted, clapping his hands.

“Shush,” Yoongi silenced him, grabbing his hand so he couldn’t make any more noise, prompting Jin to stick out his tongue.

“Why does he always mention his wife or say something about sex?” Jungkook whispered to Hoseok.

“He was going to get married but the bitch cheated on him. He probably caught her. Poor guy. Sometimes he mentions things from his past.”

“And why did you say I’m Jimin’s victim?”

Hoseok and Yoongi exchanged a meaningful look, smirks playing across their lips.

“He always has a fling with someone. Last time it was this tattooed guy. I don’t remember his name because he was here for a short time but just a few days after he got here, he and Jimin were making out in a corner.”

“I’m not even gay,” Jungkook frowned.

“Neither is Jimin,” Hoseok giggled.

“Yeah. He’s a hoe for everyone,” Yoongi chimed in. “Girl or boy. It doesn’t matter to him.”

Jungkook glared down at his plate in an attempt to hide the anger in his eyes. If he wasn’t so terrified of conflict then he would have pointed out that what they were saying was mean, but he just finished his meal and sidled back to his room.

Jimin didn’t show up at group therapy or at dinner for the next few days. It wasn’t until the beginning of the following week that Nurse Hana approached Jungkook.

“Hi,” she said and he glanced up, surprised.

“Hi?”

“I’m sorry that I couldn’t tell you anything about Jimin before. There were too many other nurses around.”

“Oh … That’s okay,” Jungkook answered, pulling his headphones from his ears and waiting for further information.

“He was under observation because of the auditory hallucinations he suffered that night in the archive room. He’s taking his medication so he should be fine soon. He’ll be coming back to group therapy this week.”

“Is he angry … with me?” Jungkook inquired shyly. “I hit him, you know.”

“I don’t know … He’s barely spoken to me. He spends a lot of time sleeping.”

“Oh …” Jungkook whispered. “Where is he now?”

“He’s eating lunch. We wanted him to get his food beyond the usual hours when there’s no crowd. That’s what’s best for him right now.”

“Thanks,” Jungkook said, standing up from the sofa.

He headed straight for the dining room and his eyes immediately honed in on the only occupant sitting at a table in the corner. He took a few steps forwards, hesitating slightly, but then Jimin looked up and their gazes met and he found himself drawn towards him.

He was dressed in a loose, light blue shirt and jeans. He didn’t have any makeup on but his skin still somehow managed to look silky smooth. He fixed his blonde hair that he seemed to have washed seeing as it didn’t form that perfect wave that it did before thanks to the use of hairspray and gel.

And he looked strangely innocent. Actually, it felt like Jungkook was meeting a completely different person.

“Hi. So … Are you …” he started, but he didn’t know how to finish.

It was weird. He’d already had his words ready in his mind but now he couldn’t bring himself to say them. He still felt guilty.

“What’s up?” he finally settled on.

“Fine,” Jimin answered, sipping on his tea.

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Listen …” Jungkook continued, lowering himself into the chair in front of him. “I didn’t mean anything bad the other night when I read your file. And I’m sorry for hitting you.”

He guessed that honesty was the best policy but Jimin’s expression didn’t change and he still looked just as indifferent as before. And a little tired … and maybe even sad.

“Let’s not talk about it,” he dismissed, putting down his spoon.

He’d only finished half of his soup.

“Are you okay now?”

“I don’t know,” came the blunt reply but before Jungkook could inquire anything else, Jimin was clambering out of his chair. “I’m sorry but I don’t feel like talking.”

“Okay,” Jungkook murmured, almost to himself as he was left alone in the dining room.

There was a pressure settling on top of his chest, an awful feeling that devoured him from the inside out every time he thought somebody was angry with him. It was torture. If he could, he would do anything to ensure that nobody ever felt any negative feelings towards him.

He knew it was impossible just to make everybody like him but it would be better if nobody hated him. He knew that he’d fucked up and invaded Jimin’s privacy but the guy seemed to get under his skin and he couldn’t get rid of those intrusive thoughts in his head.

For the next few days, he sought Jimin out, hoping to be able to start up another conversation. It became his obsession to sort things out between them. He went out in the yard but the only people he saw were a few girls from the women’s unit sitting on the benches.

He wondered why Jimin never seemed to be anywhere.

Taking a free spot on a bench, he noticed that another line had been added on that white wall in front of him. He moved closer and read his own words once more.

I want to be myself. I want to be myself. I want to be myself. I want to be myself. How I wish I could be myself.

Then there was the answer he’d seen a few days previously.

Then be yourself. Before you become a prisoner of your own life.

And then the response he’d given:

What if I already am?

That same person with the same neat, pretty handwriting had replied just below:

Maybe there’s something that keeps you inside that’s more important that freedom right now?

Jungkook wanted to write another response. He didn’t know why he felt so inspired during his most melancholic moods but all that he knew was that he wanted to write another response. As soon as possible.

He went to the hospital library that he wouldn’t have even known existed if Yoongi had mentioned it, and borrowed a few poetry books. He sat down at one of the many tables confined within the maze of shelves and started to read.

 

I will strive for love that will never come

The love that is too perfect for imperfect humans

Worn out, overused, alleged word

Something that will never come

 

He didn’t even stop to think about writing on that page with the felt tip pen in his hand.

 

Fools will still hope and go deaf

But it will never come

Love is eternal for death lovers

Time turns them into dust

The end of the road never comes

So greatly frozen in time

Leaving the question: What if?

 

It was an impulse. He just felt like he needed to add something for himself.

After a while of blankly staring at his own words, he sensed someone’s presence behind him. It was a sudden sensation. He hadn’t heard anyone approach. It was more like he felt them standing there and when he turned around, he saw Jimin.

“How romantic. I wouldn’t have thought that Jeon Jungkook likes poetry,” he said as he perched on the desk in front of his new companion.

His subtle eye makeup had returned and he was wearing a matching set of clothes that underlined every attractive attribute of his body.

“And I wouldn’t have thought I’d meet you here,” Jungkook countered, almost smiling.

“Did you want to?” Jimin posed, as if he could read Jungkook’s mind.

“What are you actually doing here?”

“Talking to you,” Jimin answered, chewing on his lower lip and Jungkook couldn’t stop himself from smirking this time.

“Sassy answer.”

“The real answer. Isn’t that what I’m doing now?”

“Seriously …” Jungkook exhaled, knowing he’d lost the argument.

Jimin leaned closer, lowering his voice, “I actually came here to borrow some erotic stories. Since my body got used to the new meds, my appetite has grown almost as much as my sex drive.”

Jungkook was speechless. The boldness of the words struck him dumb but it had obviously been intentional because Jimin grinned and reached out to tap Jungkook’s chin, effectively closing his mouth from its gaping hole of surprise.

“See ya, Jungkookie,” he cooed before he was gone.

And Jungkook just sat there, wondering if  he had really just called him ‘Jungkookie’.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     It was really early morning but Jungkook had no intention of sleeping and he had another whole hour before breakfast was served. He rolled off his bed, his body not heavy in the slightest and feeling, frankly, quite revived.

Sometimes these meds were waking him up in the middle of the night but at least he didn’t have nearly as many negative thoughts swirling around his head as he used to. Delving into the depths of his cupboard, he pulled out a towel and a fresh set of clothes before heading for the door, determined not to wake his roommates.

It was silent in the corridor outside when he passed by the nursing room, noticing that Hana was slumped in a chair in front of the TV, fast asleep.

He felt far more comfortable taking a shower when the bathroom was empty and he allowed himself to relax beneath the faucet of hot water that pounded against his shoulders. But just as he stepped out of the closet and reached for the locker he’d stored his clothes in, the door opened.

Flinching, he moved on instinct, slipping behind the lockers and hurriedly pulling the T-Shirt over his exposed torso. Somebody else’s garments were dangling from a hanger in front of the shower cabins.

It would have been so easy for him to just leave the bathroom through the closest door but something stopped him. And that something was the simple fact that the person in that shower hadn’t bothered to draw the curtain.

Jimin was standing there, right in the open, combing his hands through his sodden hair. He slowly slid out of his boxers and Jungkook froze, telling himself that it was completely normal for somebody to be naked in the shower but … damn …

His dripping figure looked so alluring. And the way he flexed it, tilting his head and opening his mouth had Jungkook’s dick getting harder in his sweatpants. His hand slowly wandered south, seeing how Jimin was washing himself in the open cabin, all soaked up.

His body was slim but so deliciously muscular and when he turned to face the wall, Jungkook couldn’t help but stroke his dick. The firm shape Jimin’s ass was so perfectly round and Jungkook had a full erection in moments from just that sight alone.

He held in a moan, biting the inside of his cheek when Jimin rotated once more and he caught sight of the boy’s closed eyes and slightly parted lips. The water streamed over his face, trickling down the belly that was just as finely sculpted as his arms.

His abdominal muscles became even more prominent as Jimin started to scrub the soap from his bare chest and Jungkook had no choice but to tug down his sweatpants and caress his very hard and very reddish dick.

And then Jimin did something that Jungkook would never have expected.

He bit his lip and started moving his hand up and down his cock, moaning and increasing his pace. Jungkook tried to match his speed, imagining that it was hand caressing Jimin’s shaft. He would gladly stroke it, suck it and then fuck that amazing ass because in that moment, he wanted to pound Jimin until it hurt.

He leant against the wall, focusing on the sounds that slipped between Jimin’s lips, but when he heard a hand colliding with wet flesh and a bout of heavy breathing, he couldn’t help but imagine himself with Jimin in that shower.

He tried to stay quiet, aggressively pumping himself and when he stole a quick glance, he saw that Jimin’s hands were moving like crazy. His head tipped back against the wall and he let out a whine.

“Fuck …” Jungkook whispered, watching as Jimin’s whole body seemed to tremble.

There was another particularly loud moan and then Jimin’s voice appeared to stick in his throat. The frequency of his breathing increased, his chest and shoulders heaving with exertion and Jungkook clenched his hand around his dick.

Jimin swept his hair back from his face and Jungkook could see the satisfied smirk on his face after coming but he kept watching, gaping at those muscular legs and that gorgeous ass as he gradually got closer and closer to the edge himself.

The orgasm hit and his legs went numb, sending him sagging to the floor as he clapped a hand over his mouth to smother his whimper of pleasure. The water from the shower shut off and he scrambled to his feet, pulling up his sweatpants after wiping himself down with a paper towel.  

He peeped out from behind the wall, his heart beating in his throat, to see Jimin just drying his hair. He couldn’t leave now. He’d be caught for sure. He needed for him to leave first, and he was relieved when Jimin didn’t take much time to dry himself off.

He left the bathroom dressed only in boxers with a towel folded over his arm and Jungkook let out the sigh he hadn’t realised he’d been keeping inside, carefully counting the retreating footsteps in the corridor outside until he heard a door close.

When he finally emerged, he headed straight to his room, wondering if Yoongi and Jin were already awake.

“You can’t stuff yourself with that this early in the morning. There’s something called breakfast, dude,” Yoongi was saying, standing in front of Jin with his arms folded, watching the older boy scoffing jelly beans.

It was a very comical sight: a fully grown man lying on his stomach in bed, kicking his legs like a five-year-old.

“I see you woke up fast,” Jungkook pointed out, his voice slightly constricted.

“Is that why you’ve got this banana smile?”

Jungkook choked, “W-What?”

“I’ve got banana flavour,” Jin sang. “And cherry. Cherry and strawberry. Berry, berry and strawberry.”

“Let’s go to breakfast,” Yoongi sighed, clapping Jungkook on the shoulder.

“Jin, let’s go,” Jungkook tried to beckon Jin over but his roommate was resolutely refusing to leave his bed.

“Apple. Do you know this joke about an apple?”

“No.”

“What reads and lives in an apple?”

“I have no idea,” Jungkook answered, quickly realising that Yoongi had already left.

“A bookworm!” Jin cackled, rolling about on his bed, and Jungkook just had to smile.

He took Jin’s hand and pulled him up from the bed, gently shepherding him through the door and out into the corridor.

“Come on. You haven’t eaten since yesterday.”

Jin fell into step beside him, obedient as a puppy, his head resting against Jungkook’s shoulder as they walked.

“Hyung, you’re so caring.”

“It’s actually the opposite and you’re the hyung,” Jungkook laughed. “But I can see you need some babysitting.”

His smile froze, however, the minute he saw Jimin in the canteen. It wasn’t anything unexpected but it felt strange seeing him so soon after … that moment in the bathroom. A sudden warmth blossomed in his stomach and he stopped walking.

“Jimin!” Jin cried, letting go of Jungkook’s arm and practically skipping over to where the smaller guy was.

“Hi,” Jimin greeted him with a smile, glancing over at Jungkook who reached up to scratch the back of his head, feeling immeasurably nervous.

“I wanted to go on an almond diet, you know?” Jin babbled, causing Jimin to raise his eyebrows in surprise. “But I won’t.”

“And why is that?”

“Because it’s just nuts!” Jin laughed, scuttling off to grab his food.

Jimin’s flirtatious gaze settled on Jungkook for a few moments before they both turned to the booth and took a plate each.

“I didn’t know you were so caring to our baby Jin,” Jimin said, smirking slightly.

“I’m not his nanny,” Jungkook shrugged indifferently, turfing a slice of bread onto his plate and avoiding eye contact at all costs. “Sometimes he just needs to get his shit together.”

“Anyway, it’s really manly,” Jimin continued, his voice slightly lower this time. “You can take care of things. I would feel in good hands.”  

Jungkook almost gagged on his own tongue but Jimin just grinned and popped a spoon in his mouth.

“Bon appétit,” he winked before swanning off towards the nearest table.

“So pretentious,” Jungkook growled under his breath, joining Jimin at the table but making sure he sat next to Yoongi instead.

 

******************************

 

Jungkook kept wondering if Jimin heard him that morning in the bathroom. It would be naïve to assume that the sounds he’d made hadn’t been suspicious and the worst part of it was that Jimin was clearly using his weakness to continue whatever twisted game he was playing. Because there was no other explanation for his behaviour.

Jungkook was watching TV in the common room with Yoongi and Hoseok when Jimin showed up, positioning himself right in front of the screen and staring down at the fuzzy pixels.

“What are you watching, sweethearts?” he asked, stretching his arms over his head.

Jungkook could see his abs as his shirt lifted up slightly and he knew it was a purposeful movement, Jimin wanted to put himself on display, and that was why Jungkook returned his attention to the TV screen, determined to pretend that guy wasn’t even there.

“Some shitty reality show but it’s funny,” Yoongi supplied and Jimin turned in their direction, his gaze immediately honing in on Jungkook.

He was wearing a tight black turtleneck and jeans that underlined his muscled thighs, and the corner of his lips quirked ever so slightly. He flopped down on one of the neighbouring couches, crossing his legs and leaning back into the cushions.

It was late evening so when the nurse passed by, she suggested that they should start heading to bed, and Hoseok took the advice, leaving an empty spot for Jimin to occupy. Jungkook could feel the warmth of his body pressed up against him.

“I can’t believe he jumped in the pool,” Yoongi chuckled, and Jungkook could feel Jimin’s hand subtly brushing up against his leg. “What a dumbass.”

“Should we turn the volume up a bit?” Jimin asked, leaning across Jungkook to reach for the remote, and that was when his fingers closed around his victim’s thigh.

“Just change the fucking volume!” Jungkook snapped, surprising even himself.

He snatched the remote from the table and tossed it into Jimin’s lap, ignoring the smirk that stretched across the blonde boy’s face.

“Jungkook, be quiet. There are patients already sleeping,” the nurse scolded him. “You should go to bed, too.”

“We wanted to watch TV. It’s still almost an hour until 10pm,” Yoongi defended, knowing that Jungkook would be too timid to say anything for himself.

Even if he was irritable and couldn’t control his temper, he was terrified of conflict. And so he wondered why it was different with Jimin. He could shout at him without fearing the consequential aftermath. Maybe it was because he never seemed to shake that smug little smirk from his face.

Jungkook didn’t even need to look to know that Jimin had propped his elbow on the arm of the couch, cupping his chin in his hand and staring at the boy beside him. Everything inside Jungkook’s stomach seemed to twist. He hadn’t expected anyone would be able to look that gorgeous in this crappy light.

Their eyes met and he swallowed thickly, sensing something in the gaze that seemed to be boring into his body. There was a kind of intimacy that made him almost uncomfortable, especially seeing as Yoongi was still beside them.

For the next two minutes, Jungkook tried to keep his eyes off Jimin. He actually felt like his neck stiffened, unable to turn in any direction.

“This is actually funny,” Jimin giggled at something on the TV screen and Jungkook pushed aside the idea that he actually sounded cute.

When the commercial break came, Yoongi gave a sigh and pushed himself up from the couch, “I’ll probably fall asleep before it even starts again so … bye, kids.”

“Okay,” was all Jungkook said, slightly taken aback by his own response.

Normally, he would follow his roommate to bed – anything to avoid Jimin – but now he actually wanted to stay. His companion shifted on the couch, his knee brushing against Jungkook’s thigh, and he felt warmth blossoming over his crotch.

The thought that they were alone left him strangely excited. He turned his head and flinched when he realised just how close Jimin was sitting. His eyes were sparkling intensely and he watched the corners of those luscious lips turning up.

“You stayed,” he purred, caressing Jungkook’s knee through the rip in his denim.

It was a warm and gentle touch and Jungkook was completely paralysed, waiting for whatever was going to happen next. Jimin leaned in closer, his breath tickling the boy’s ear.

“How difficult is it?” he whispered.

“What?” Jungkook rasped out, Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat.

“Pretending that you don’t want me?” he heard his captor murmur as Jimin’s lips brushed against his earlobe. “Jerking off when you could do something far more exciting?”

Jungkook’s heart leapt up into his throat. He tried to turn his head, wanting to look this insanely confident man in the eye, but he hesitated when he realised just how close their lips would be.

“Did you …?”

“Did I know that you watched me taking a shower? Yeah. And I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I enjoyed knowing you were watching me. Knowing that you were getting hard because of me made me hard, too.”

“Fuck you …” Jungkook hissed, feeling all that excitement give way to anger.

He went to stand up but Jimin seized his wrist, pulling him back down onto the cushions at his side, “I know. I get it, honey. You want to fuck me.”

“No. Fuck off,” Jungkook growled back, wrenching his hand away. “Stop playing games, you asshole. You’re sick.”

“Yes, I am. So are you and all of these people here. We’re not here for no reason,” Jimin breathed, glancing towards the nursing room to check that they weren’t about to be interrupted.

He leaned in, caging Jungkook in his arms and forcing him backwards until he was almost lying against the couch cushions. He couldn’t believe how far things were going and he couldn’t even do anything about it because somebody might hear them.

Jimin’s chest settled on top of his, his eyes darkening and, no matter how badly Jungkook did not want this to happen, he couldn’t deny the fact that he was aroused by this view.

“It amazes me how much you’re fighting it. I may feel like everybody wants me when I’m having my highs but I can notice the obvious,” Jimin teased, lowering his face towards Jungkook’s ear and nibbling slowly. “You’re so obvious, Jungkook.”

“I’m not into guys,” Jungkook exhaled, trying to deepen his breathing as Jimin sat astride him.

He knew he felt his boner through his jeans because that smile was back. Again.

“Yeah? But your body says something different,” he whispered, slowly beginning to move his hips and Jungkook groaned, instinctively reaching to grab those muscled thighs either side of his body.

And then Jimin stood up.

“See ya, Jungkookie,” he giggled, licking his lips.

Jungkook propped himself up on his elbows, staring at the closed door in pure disbelief. He was not about to let Jimin tease him yet again.

Heading for his own room, he glanced over his shoulder and waited until the nurse was facing the other way before he changed directions and slipped into Jimin’s living quarters. He didn’t care if the guy had a roommate.

But it was only Jimin inside and that was all that mattered.

Jungkook strode forwards, not allowing his prey to have time to turn around before their bodies collided painfully and Jimin let out a little gasp of shock, the breath knocked right out of his lungs.

Jungkook slammed their lips together, fastening his fingers around Jimin’s wrists and pinning them against the closet behind him. They both moaned into each other’s mouths, tongues rubbing together, and hips bucking outwards.

Pulling away when he felt Jimin’s leg against his crotch, Jungkook opened his eyes to see that smirk. It was always there, no matter what he did.

Their bodies continued rubbing against each other, increasing in aggression, and Jungkook slapped his hand over Jimin’s mouth when it looked like he was about to speak, knowing it was going to be something provocative.  

Jimin knocked the offender away, refusing to take his eyes off Jungkook even for a second as he freed his mouth from that fleshy prison.

“What is it, Jungkook?” he breathed with that lower voice Jungkook knew drove him crazy. “Are my words really that dangerous to you? Are you afraid to go too far?”

Was that a challenge? He was obviously testing his limits but what if it was Jungkook who was doing the testing.

I will go too far.

He grabbed the nearest chair and wedged it under the doorknob, effectively sealing them both inside this room. There wasn’t much time before the nurse’s check so they wouldn’t have long, and he could see the split second of surprise in Jimin’s eyes before that smile was back.

Jungkook reached out and seized his belt, using it to pull him closer before he started battling with the buckle. Jimin looked him up and down, breathing heavily, and as soon as he opened his lips, Jungkook was kissing him again. He tried pulling off Jimin’s clothes but they were too tight, refusing to slip over Jimin’s blonde hair.

“Take it off,” he growled, seeing the amusement staring him in the face. “I said take it fucking off!”

“Wow. Always so aggressive,” Jimin mused, tearing off his black turtleneck to expose his muscled torso as Jungkook started unzipping his jeans.

“Shut your mouth. You wanted this,” he panted, running his hands over the hardened skin in front of him before he dropped to his knees, pulling Jimin’s jeans from his legs with one swift tug.

“Me? You came here first …” Jimin murmured but he stopped when Jungkook’s hand moved to the bulge in his boxers. “Oh … I like that.”

“Is it what you wanted?” Jungkook asked through the bites he was administering to Jimin’s stomach.

“Maybe.”

Jungkook straightened up, leaning forwards until their foreheads touched as he clenched his fingers around Jimin’s crotch, squeezing until he heard the moan he’d been waiting for. Partly with pain, partly with pleasure.

“Maybe I’ll fuck you so hard that you won’t be able to walk for weeks,” Jungkook teased, staring into Jimin’s eyes. He could see how his pupils were dilated and hungry, craving more.

“Do this, Jungkook,” he said, voice shaking, cupping his hands on Jungkook’s ass and pulling him closer. “Ruin me.”

Jungkook could feel the peck of his lips on his own while he whispered those words, and it was too much. He turned Jimin around and pushed him up against the window. The street outside was perfectly illuminated and somebody from the second floor could so easily notice them even if the lighting wasn’t too strong.  

“I’d bet you’d like to have an audience, fucker,” Jungkook hissed, pulling down his own jeans and boxers.

His dick was already hard as a rock when he started rubbing it between Jimin’s buttocks.

“You think I’ve never fucked in front of others?” Jimin countered, still as calm as could be, clearly enjoying the whole experience. “You underestimate me.”

Jungkook slapped his ass hard enough that he was forced to bend over and from then on, he wasted no time. He spread Jimin’s cheeks and thrust his dick inside, relishing in the moan of pain he procured.

“Does it hurt, bitch?” he whispered, pushing even harder.

“Yeah, you’re so mean,” Jimin gasped as Jungkook grabbed his wrists and twisted them behind his back.

Anger seemed to envelop him and he bit down on his victim’s neck so hard that he tasted blood. If Jimin was enjoying this so much then he might as well drag him from this room, throw him to the corridor floor and fuck him senseless in front of the whole unit like the cheap whore he was.

But even Jungkook knew that would be too much. Even if Jimin was really so fucked up that he would enjoy something like that, Jungkook was still in his right mind and nobody in their right mind would do something so stupid.   

Seizing Jimin by the shoulders, he turned him around so they could look at each other, face to face. It only took a few pumps before Jimin’s half-hard dick stood to full attention and Jungkook slipped his hands beneath those toned thighs, hoisting Jimin up so he was forced to wrap his legs around Jungkook’s waist.

And now Jungkook knew what it felt like to smirk as their cocks rubbed together.

“Oh, fuck,” he cursed, sucking on Jimin’s neck before he moved his mouth up to bite down on his earlobe.

He could smell the peach shower gel and it only spurred him to move his hips faster, remembering the events of that morning in the bathroom. He fisted in his hands in Jimin’s fluffy blonde hair and their foreheads collided a little as he attacked those juicy lips with an aggressive kiss.

“Harder, harder, baby boy …” Jimin moaned, probably turned on by the wetness between his thighs as Jungkook came.

He reached down, allowing his fingers to find that hardened length and Jungkook grabbed his arms, forcing him down onto his knees

“Eat it.” he ordered and Jimin took his dick in his hands, closing his juicy lips around it. “Does it taste good, you little fucker?”  

“Yeah,” Jimin moaned, kissing Jungkook's abdomen and caressing his butt. “I’ve wanted to suck your dick from the moment you came here. I'm glad you finally let it happen.”

Something changed in Jungkook at the sound of those words. He pulled him up and looked into the eyes that were wholeheartedly darkened and sparkling. He couldn't guess what kind of feeling it was but it was so intense.

He moved his hand to Jimin's cheek and then grabbed his chin, kissing him passionately. Jimin returned the kiss, clinging to his body and clenching his fingers in his hair. When their lips parted for a second, Jimin took Jungkook's dick and kept rubbing it in his small hands. 

“Baby …” Sweet words came from Jungkook's mouth when their foreheads touched.

He felt a shiver running down his whole body when Jimin stroked it harder and wetted his fingers with Jungkook's cum. He licked them, giving Jungkook a voluptuous look.

“Now repay,” Jungkook murmured after taking a solid couple of breaths after his orgasm.

He pushed Jimin to the point that he had to lie on his bed. Jungkook rested his hands on Jimin's abs, causing him to tilt his head with bliss. He took his dick in his mouth, staring slowly but firmly. 

“Yes …” Jimin whined.

Jungkook went deeper, seeing a lot of his saliva on Jimin's hard dick. He didn't let himself start choking and went even deeper and harder. Jimin's body flinched and the muscles of his belly tensed.

Jungkook made it more even intense by stroking his swollen balls by hand. Jimin twisted his whole body, fisting his hands in Jungkook's hair as his cum exploded in Jungkook's mouth. 

“Fuck …” he whined with excitement.

“You taste so good,” Jungkook said, caressing Jimin's rim. He knew he had control over him now that he’d just come and it made him so excited. “I’ll fucking eat you. I swear.”

“Do it,” Jimin moaned, moving closer and touching Jungkook's dick. 

He kissed Jimin's butt cheek tenderly and slid one finger inside him. Jimin’s breath hitched in is throat, entire body shaking. That's when Jungkook suddenly realised that he’d never planned on going any further, and even if he had, he wouldn’t do it like this.

When did he become so gentle? Jimin had been teasing him all this time. What if that was only a game and Jungkook started developing feelings? He remembered Yoongi and Hoseok's admission that Jimin used to look for lovers that were usually the newest patients. He wasn't going to be one of many. He moved away from bed, slapping Jimin's leg.

“That’s it,” he said with heavy voice. “Don’t expect any more.”

“That’s it? That’s all you’ve got?”

“Yeah. For you.” Jungkook gritted out with a forced smile, tugging his jeans back up. “I’m not going to give you the satisfaction.”

Jimin levered himself into a sitting position on the bed, combing his fringe back and grimacing ever so slightly. Even if he was disappointed, he was hiding it smoothly. And fuck, he still looked so hot just draped over the bed with his beautiful, naked body on full display.

“You’ll come back for more,” he said, biting down on his lower lip. “I guarantee.”

“It will be you. Not me. I guarantee,” Jungkook countered in a teasing tone, determined to play the same game.

He opened the door, not allowing himself to look back in case he felt an overwhelming urge to push Jimin back onto the bed and finish what he’d started. If this wasn’t a game he was enjoying so much then he wouldn’t bother to wait.

But this was a game and, deep down, Jungkook knew that he’d already lost. He lost the moment he stopped thinking about taking his anger out on Jimin and decided to fuck him, touching him tenderly and simply wanting to make love to him.  

 

******************

 

He didn’t even wonder why it was so exciting that Jimin kept stealing glances at him during group therapy because he already understood. That boy was so annoying because he was so alluring. He hated it because he loved it. It was as simple as that.

“So I feel that there’s somebody else who wants to poison me,” Taehyung finished.

“Thank you for sharing it with us,” the therapist said and Jungkook smiled at Taehyung, relieved when the gesture was returned because at least it meant that he no longer believed Jungkook was trying to kill him.

“I’m sorry, Jungkook. I’m always suspicious when new people come to our hospital.”

“That’s okay.”

“I actually think that you’re a nice guy. We had a nice talk on your first day, remember?” Taehyung said and Jungkook could have sworn that Jimin snorted slightly to express his doubts.

“Yeah, I remember,” Jungkook answered back. “You’re doing well, dude.”

The therapist thanked Taehyung for his testimony and then turned to the next patient.

“Jimin, is there something that’s upset you?” she asked and Jungkook fixated his gaze on the boy who shuffled in his chair.

“Actually, yes,” he admitted after rather a long silence, causing Jungkook’s heart to beat even faster.

What was Jimin going to say?

“You can share it with us.”

“Come on …” Jimin laughed unexpectedly, folding his hands behind his head. “Always so formal. Just go with the flow. When you say it like that, I don’t feel like talking.”

“You don’t have to.”

“What?” Jimin monotoned, straightening up in his chair. “But I want to.”

“Then go on. Tell us,” the therapist coaxed with an encouraging smile. “I can tell that there’s something you want to share.”

“Wow. You really are a good therapist.”

Some of the patients threw back their heads, laughing like it was the best joke they’d ever heard and Jimin apparently enjoyed it because he livened up even more, rubbing his hands together as though he couldn’t wait to share his thoughts.

“So … I wanted to say that I really hate it when people deny what they feel and think, you know?” he started and Jungkook glanced down at his lap. “I know a lot about this kind of shit. Defense mechanisms. Classic negation by showing hostility. Why do people actually do it? It’s so childish. Life’s too short.”

“Okay …” the therapist nodded, noting something down on her page. “Have you experienced something like this before?”

And then Jungkook looked up at precisely the wrong moment because his eyes met Jimin’s as though they were magnetically drawn to each other.

“I thought he was into me, too,” Jimin whispered weakly.

“Oh my God! Again?” Yoongi shouted and only then did Jungkook understand what Jimin was saying, bolts of electricity reverberating down his spine at the thought.

“Wow. Who is he?” Taehyung piped up.

“It could be a him or a her. You know I can have both,” Jimin answered matter-of-factly, but his smirk didn’t reach his eyes.

Jungkook was wondering if he was trying to suggest to everybody mind their own business or if he really just wanted to spill every detail. Either way, Jungkook was left sitting rigidly in his chair, hands clenched in his jeans.

“Guys, do I need to show you point number two from our contract?” the therapist spoke up, gesturing towards a large poster on the wall behind her. “No judging in a group.”

“I’m only curious,” Taehyung mumbled, sounding slightly dejected.

“Maybe next week. I don’t know,” Jin suddenly spoke up, staring at a fixed point on the ground before his head snapped up to stare at the therapist. “Why do you want to know?”

“We’re talking about rules in this group, Jin,” she explained once more, snapping her fingers to draw his attention back to present time.

“I know,” Jin muttered under his breath, clearly not really paying attention to anything that was going on around him.

He didn’t seem to be in a good mood this morning.

“I have a question,” Yoongi probed and the therapist nodded, gesturing for him to continue. “I’m sorry, Jimin, but why do you involve yourself with these jerks? You said you wanted to be in a healthy relationship, remember? You said that you wanted to fall in love with one person for the rest of your life.”

Jungkook stared in disbelief. He would have never expected that something like that would be Park Jimin’s goal. Maybe he knew him even less than he thought he did. Or maybe he was just impossible to understand.

“I’m trying,” Jimin shot back. “It’s just that I haven’t actually been in love yet. Until now.”

Everything in Jungkook’s stomach turned upside down and he took a deep breath, feeling his palms starting to gather sweat. Had Jimin really just …?

“I’m done,” Yoongi sighed, fixing his baseball cap and sliding down in his chair.

“Jimin, what do you think you need to achieve this goal of yours?” the therapist asked. “You said before that you’re trying your hardest.”

Jimin seemed serious, analysing the answer in his mind before he spoke. It was the first time Jungkook had ever seen him like this: without his suggestive comments and flirtatious actions.

“I am. I can give my whole heart,” he said. “But I need this person to give something back.”

“See? That’s the problem. If they don’t give it to you then that’s not something that can continue.”

“Or …” Jungkook began but petered into silence as everybody turned to look at him. “I mean … Some people aren’t good at that sort of thing.”

“What do you mean?” Jimin raised his eyebrows.

“Not showing things to others may also mean some … difficulty. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. Some people need to time to figure such things out.”

Jungkook had no idea why he was so nervous but the silence in the room sure was one of the most uncomfortable things he’d ever experienced.

“Good point, Jungkook,” the therapist praised at last, glancing down at her watch. “We’ll continue this during our next meeting, okay?”

Jungkook joined the stream of patients trickling out of the room but by the time he reached the canteen, he was alone. Jin had been called to the psychiatrist’s office and Yoongi went to his room, saying that he didn’t have an appetite.

It wasn’t until Jungkook finished eating that he noticed Jimin sitting at another table by himself but he walked away.

“Why are you suddenly being nice to me?” Jimin called, chasing him out into the yard.

“I’m not,” Jungkook shot back.

“You knew I was talking about you,” Jimin said and, for once, his expression was 100% serious. It was like he was a completely different person.

“I didn’t know that you even cared,” Jungkook whispered, avoiding eye contact and stuffing his hands in his pockets.

He could see Jimin’s eyes up close now that he was standing right in front of him. It was like they’d changed colour, morphing into a beautiful amber when the weak rays of sunlight illuminated the building in front of them.

“You were very harsh last night,” Jimin murmured. “I won’t let you treat me that way.”

“Well, you kind of provoked me.”

“What did I do?”

Jungkook wished he didn’t ask those kinds of questions. It always felt like he was toying with him, acting innocent and unaware when he knew just how devilish he was being.

“Come on. You’re always playing these games with me.”

“What games?”

“Geez,” Jungkook growled in frustration, turning to leave before Jimin grabbed his hand.

“No. Tell me what you mean.”

Jungkook let out a sigh, maybe of anger, maybe of exhaustion, and finally conceded into looking Jimin in the eye.

“You enjoy pulling my strings. You can’t resist doing it, can you? You sneaky jerk …”

Jimin kept staring at him and Jungkook couldn’t guess what he was thinking. He swallowed thickly as his companion leaned closer, pressing his hand against the wall right beside Jungkook’s head.

“No, I can’t resist you,” he said and now his voice had changed. It sounded intimate and tense. “All I did was try to get closer to you because I wanted you … Really fucking badly. You acted all hard-to-get and I felt like you were challenging me.”

Jimin was alarmingly close now and, for the briefest of moments, Jungkook thought of kissing him.

“Maybe I was,” he answered, not breaking the most intense staring contest he’d ever been a part of.

Their lips were only millimetres apart. It was blindingly obvious and Jungkook couldn’t deny it any longer: he wanted Jimin. He was completely smitten.

His hair falling over his forehead, his smile, his smooth shining skin, his full pink lips and sparkling eyes that were always expressing so many emotions. He wanted it all. And now that he’d already touched him and tasted him, he wanted even more.

“Oh yeah? You wanted me to chase after you?” Jimin whispered, the surprise on his face dawning into excitement. Now their foreheads were touching. “You’ve got to admit that it’s fun.”

Jungkook’s hands reached out to take Jimin’s waist, trailing down to his hips. Fuck, the warmth of his body. The breath on his face. The heaving shoulders. When they touched, it felt like there was some kind of electrical charge between them.

Their lips met and at first, it was slow, but then the kiss got even deeper and Jungkook didn’t know what was happening to his body. It felt as though it was melting beneath Jimin’s touch.

“Fuck …” he whispered, opening his eyes. “Yeah. I like it.”

“You do?” Jimin asked, caressing Jungkook’s temple and fixing his messy hair.

Jungkook pulled him closer, concealing the both of them behind a tree, his heart beating faster when his fingers brushed against Jimin’s cheek. And then his thick, warm lips. And then something very unexpected happened.

He hugged Jimin.

And Jimin returned it, rubbing his hand up and down the broad back. Jungkook felt like he was high and the intensity of his feelings hit him so hard that it was scary. He searched for Jimin’s hands and linked their fingers, pulling back to leave just enough room to kiss.

“Let’s go on a date,” he breathed, grinning when Jimin let out a tinkly little laugh.

It was crazy. He had no idea when he’d started to love that sound.

“Where?”

“I don’t care. Let’s just go on a date,” Jungkook repeated, excitement growing as Jimin’s fingers nudged the underside of his chin.

“I haven’t gotten used to you being so sweet yet,” he laughed, covering his mouth when Jungkook leaned in to kiss his neck.

Their hands remained entwined as they started walking, completely out in the open, exposed for all to see. A young patient sitting on a nearby bench glanced at them for the briefest moment but then returned to staring off into space.

They ducked behind the building and Jimin pushed Jungkook’s back up against the brickwork.

“Mm …” he hummed, pecking repeated little kisses on Jungkook’s lips until it turned into one, deep and slow snog.

Jungkook felt those warm hands wandering beneath his shirt, feeling the outline of his ribs and muscles. It was too much. He grabbed hold and led them lower but Jimin just smiled and retreated a step or two.

“Just admit that you’re crazy about me,” he said, chewing on his lip.

“Jimin, you shouldn’t tease me like you did before. I may hurt you,” Jungkook said before he could stop himself, not even sure where the words had come from.

“Oh … Jungkook’s getting dangerous.”

“I mean it,” Jungkook ground out. “When I feel like I’m losing control then I can get really mad. I do these stupid things and then the guilt that follows just kills me. That time … I wanted to really hurt you. When you read my file. And.. actually, every time you tease me.”

“Shh … You don’t have to explain. It’s okay,” Jimin whispered, pressing his finger against Jungkook’s lips to silence him. “You may not believe me but I hate it when someone crosses my comfort zone, too.”

“So you just do it to others instead?” Jungkook asked, tone turning playful.

“It’s not like that,” Jimin sighed as they sat down together on a bench, fingers tangled together. “When I’m excited, I really feel this need to flirt with others. It’s fucking cool to ooze with that kind of confidence. But it’s especially exciting when I do it with you.”

Jungkook felt the most immense relief. They could finally talk openly. No games, no teasing. He had told Jimin how he really felt and Jimin had done the same in return. He was grateful.

“What? Why me?”

“You’re incredibly cute and you seem innocent,” Jimin grinned, reaching out to stroke Jungkook’s hair.

And Jungkook suddenly felt guilty. He had no idea what kind of a person he was. He wondered if Jimin would still like him if he knew about all the shitty things he’d done in the past.

“I’m not. Believe me,” he said grimly, glaring at the ground. “All my teachers say I’m the root of evil. Even my mother turned her back on me.”

Jimin took a good look at him, his hand moving from his hair to his neck.

“To me, you are innocent. I think you act like a bad guy because you’re actually a good person. Does that make sense to you? Emotions ruin you, right?”

Jungkook smiled weakly. Nothing had ever felt more accurate than that final sentence. Was Jimin really someone who could understand him?

“People around me used to say that I’m fucked up,” Jungkook confessed and Jimin smirked.

“Welcome to the club, babe.”

His tone was bitter-sweet and Jungkook wished he could comfort him when he saw that smile beginning to fade. He looped his arm around those smaller shoulders and leaned their heads together, wanting to transfer his feelings through touch.

They kissed again, slowly but firmly, and Jungkook could feel that smile return beneath his lips.

“Isn’t it your birthday tomorrow?” Jimin whispered.

“You remembered?”

“I’ve seen a date of your birth in your documents. And I have a good visual memory,” Jimin smirked, rubbing their noses together. “That’s why I remembered your pretty face right away. So … What kind of present do you want?”

“So kinky …”

“No. I’m serious,” Jimin laughed. “I was thinking about a trip.”

“Trip? But how?”

“The guys prepared you a cake for tomorrow. After the party, we can escape. And then we can go on a real date.”  

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so overwhelming. The feeling of Jimin’s moist lips pillowed on his own, hearing them peck sweetly, always reaching for more. Jungkook could have kissed him until the end of the universe. He was hungry for this boy that, for a second, he thought he’d gone mad.

He didn’t know when this sudden wave of affection had appeared but since yesterday, his mind could only think of Jimin. No. It's for sure earlier than yesterday..

He caressed his hair and touched their foreheads together, breathing heavily at the sight of Jimin's smile. He felt like he was high.

“You really missed me a lot,” Jimin said with that low, sultry voice.

It was such a turn on for Jungkook because it felt like the words were for him and him alone. Like some kind of secret only he was allowed to hear.

“Hmm …” he murmured, kissing hungrily Jimin’s neck.

“It was only a few hours and Jungkook’s already so thirsty. Who would have thought?”

“You … brat,” Jungkook whispered, pressing Jimin harder into the corridor wall.

But all it took was one look at those expressively beautiful eyes as Jimin’s tongue emerged to lick his lips, and Jungkook was too weak to fight him. If anything, the teasing was like a trigger that had him wanting more.

Who knows how long they stood there, kissing in the middle of a corridor but as soon as Jungkook locked his eyes on Jimin that morning, they couldn’t keep their hands off each other.

“You really keep surprising me, Jungkookie,” Jimin whispered, moving his hands up his partner’s hips to pull him closer so their lower bodies were pressed flush against each other.

Jungkook’s finger danced across Jimin’s lower lip, noticing how his eyes grew with sudden lust.

“We really need to finish what we’ve started in my room,” came the suggestive whisper.

“Totally,” Jungkook exhaled, too caught up in the moment to bother with playing those little games.

He knew that things were different between them when he was awoken by soft kisses to his lips and cheeks. It was the sweetest welcome he’d ever received. When he opened his eyes this morning, he saw Jimin next to him and there was nothing else he needed.

The boy had slipped out of his room, completely oblivious to Yoongi and Jin’s sleeping bodies, and crawled into Jungkook’s bed.

“Good morning,” Jimin whispered, smiling.

He never would have thought that this boy beside him could have been so tender. Maybe that was why he kept wreaking havoc in Jungkook’s mind. In a good but mind-blowing way. Sexy and provocative and yet sweet and tender all at the same time.

It was a dangerous mix that sending him falling into love at the speed of light. But Jungkook stopped giving a single fuck. At least, for now.

“What is it?” he asked, grinning sleepily, not caring if he looked like an idiot.

He propped himself up on his elbows, opening his mouth to speak again only to have Jimin’s finger against his lips.

“Shh …” he whispered, glancing over at the other two occupants, still fast asleep.

He took Jungkook’s hand and led him out of the room, only stopping when they were completely concealed from the view of any nurses, and that was when Jimin leaned in so they could kiss. Properly kiss.

“Happy birthday,” he breathed. “I wanted to give you a kiss as a present. I was going to wait and then take you somewhere after breakfast to do this but I just couldn’t.”

Jungkook lay his hands on Jimin’s arms, grinning giddily.

Then he grabbed that beautiful body and shoved him up against the wall, something he knew had become his signature move by now. He wanted to drown Jimin in his arms so that he would never be able to slip away, but it didn’t look like he was planning to anyway.

Jungkook loved taking this kind of control, attacking with rapid kisses that were reciprocated with exactly the same level of passion. That’s how they’d ended up in this place. But they had to part ways when nurses started to check the rooms for the morning role call.

“Be prepared for very pleasant things today,” Jimin whispered in Jungkook’s ear as they said their temporary goodbye.

The curiosity peaked but when he saw the small cake being carried into the canteen, he knew what was coming for him. The cook put it in front of him and before he realised what was happening, most of the other patients had gathered around his table.

They sang Happy Birthday and then he felt multiple hands clapping him on the back, the shoulders or the head. Sometimes all three.

“Happy birthday!” Hoseok shouted, throwing his arms around Jungkook and ruffling his hair affectionately.

Jin grabbed his face and kissed his cheek, rather aggressively, “I love you, hyung!”

“Okay, okay …” Jungkook chuckled, pulling away only for Jin to seize him by the upper arms and give him a shake.

“I love you, my bro!”

“Me, too, but calm down,” Jungkook soothed him, wiping the saliva off his face.

“And he’s younger than you. He’s not your hyung, dumbass,” Taehyung added after he’d given Jungkook his own embrace.

“No. He turned nineteen and I’m ten.”

“What the fuck?” Hoseok giggled.

“Considering what he keeps saying, I believe he really is ten,” Yoongi added with a smirk, giving Jungkook a high-five in his own way of expressing birthday wishes.

“Okay, leave Kookie alone. He hasn’t even blown out the candles yet,” Taehyung interrupted and everybody fell silent obediently.

“Make a wish, sweetheart,” Jungkook heard Jimin and turned his head at once, honing in on the boy that emerged through the crowd, reaching out to push the cake towards the birthday boy.

I want everything to go great, Jungkook thought. It was simple but it was also the first thing that came into his mind. He took a deep breath and extinguished all the candles in one blow. After a round of clapping, most of the patients went back to their respective tables but Jimin remained.

“Give me your hand,” he said.

“Why?”

“Just do it,” Jimin laughed, rolling his eyes as Jungkook conceded with a scowl. “Now close your eyes.”

So he did.

“Now open,” he was instructed and he pried his lids apart, spotting the small box Jimin had placed in his palm.

He opened it up and saw a brand new Mp3 player.

“You bought me a present?”

“It has a lot of new songs on it so you won’t have to listen to the same stuff over and over again.”

“But … When?” Jungkook asked. “We just … Oh.”

He fell silent when he saw the meaningful look on Jimin’s face.

“Yesterday wasn’t when I realised I like you,” he said, glancing down, cheeks slightly pink. Jimin got shy! “That day after you approached me in the canteen and apologised, I was going to tell you that I liked you by giving you this.”

Jungkook’s pulse sped up, a million butterflies buffering about inside his stomach. Fuck, Jimin was so cute. And he hadn’t realised he was so kind as well.

“Thanks,” he whispered, not sure how to act or what to say.

But when Jimin looked up and their gazes met, Jungkook lassoed him by the waist and pulled him closer, pressing their lips together without allowing himself time to think. When he heard something behind him, he pulled away and turned to glance over his shoulder.

“What the heck?” Hoseok was shouting, his face twisted into an expression somewhere between shock and amusement.

“Well, I won’t lie,” Yoongi muttered, unbothered. “I did see that coming.”

Jungkook felt Jimin’s hand around his waist, “So … Since Jungkookie’s nineteen now, I can officially make out with him.”

“What do you mean?” Taehyung asked, eyes widened and bug-like.

“And what does it look like, Hyungie?” Jimin asked, demonstrating by linking their fingers together.

Jungkook found his shamelessness both cool and incredibly attractive.

“Gross,” Taehyung cringed before turning his full attention the birthday cake. “Can we eat it now? Ahjumma!”

“What is it?” the cook called, appearing from the kitchen. “Oh, right. I’ll slice it for you boys.”

When they all had their chocolaty segments and were munching satisfyingly, Namjoon walked in, his eyebrows shooting up in surprise at the sight that lay before him.

“I thought that something was happening but it seems like somebody’s having a birthday.”

“It’s Jungkookie’s!” Jimin crowd proudly.

“Really? Happy birthday, Jungkook. May all your dreams come true,” Namjoon greeted, reaching out to shake Jungkook’s hand. “Good for you actually because you’re all going out with your group therapist to Pizza Hut.”

“What? So unexpected,” Jimin said with a devilish smile, shovelling the last few crumbs of cake into his mouth.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t know.”

“Um … No?”

Namjoon smirked in disbelief.

“Wasn’t it mentioned during your group therapy?”

“Yeah. Apparently not everybody listened,” Yoongi supplied.

“I guess I was focused on something else,” Jimin defended, giving Jungkook a flirtatious wink, but when Namjoon was gone, he leaned in close so only his boyfriend could hear, “Somebody else.”

He smiled, caressing Jungkook’s knee. He could feel the warmth of his touch on his skin as the fingers wandered inside the holes in his ripped jeans.

“I can’t really remember either,” Jungkook dared to whisper as he leaned in to peck his neck. “I only remember some hot, blonde guy watching me.”

“Really? I remember a tall, handsome guy watching me. Dark hair, pretty doe eyes,” Jimin teased, feigning confusion. “Do you know him?”

“Please,” Yoongi interrupted before Jungkook had time to answer. “I don’t want to throw up.”

“Go, go …” Hoseok said with pretend annoyance, pushing Jungkook out of his chair.

 

**************

 

The place was comfy. It wasn’t one of those typical big restaurants, just a small one, but after all, the hospital was located on the edge of town, close to the forest.

The therapy group were taken down the street, walking for only a couple of minutes before they reached their destination. Jungkook stopped at the counter and looked up at the menu plastered on the wall above the heads of the cashiers.

“Welcome to Pizza Hut,” the woman with the apron said, bowing low.

“Hello, Hajin. What a warm welcome,” Jimin said unexpectedly, glancing at her name tag.

Jin giggled and everybody glanced at him questioningly.

“Pizza Hut? Sounds better as Pizza Slut!” he shouted and Jungkook clenched his lips together, hoping to hold in his laugh. He was not successful.

“Jin, don’t,” the therapist warned, laying her hand on his arm like she was afraid he might demolish everything around him.

The cashier seemed uncomfortable with the situation because she glanced down at her shoes and nervously reached up to fix her hairnet.

“Um … What would you like to order?”

“Guys, choose what kind of pizza you want,” the therapist spoke to the group at large.

“Well, I’d love to eat one with pepperoni but, unfortunately, I don’t have any money,” Yoongi spat, voice dripping with sarcasm.

“It comes from the hospital’s budget. Come on, you don’t need to pay. We’ll order three big pizza so you’ll each get two pieces.”

Most of the patients shared, only a few stating that they preferred the less popular types, all except for Jin who demanded a Frutti di Mare pizza.

“It’s the most expensive. Choose something else,” the nurse told him.

“You said that we can choose!”

“Hyung, how about a Margherita?” Jungkook piped up, trying to steer Jin away from the edge.

“It’s a name. Not pizza.”

“It’s a pizza …”

“Jin, you like fries. How about that?” the therapist cut in, stroking his arm gently.

“Yes.”

“Good.”

But then there was another person who couldn’t decide what to choose.

“Okay, I’d like Hawaiian pizza,” Jimin concluded, leaning against the counter. “And what’s the most popular drink here?”

The cashier looked at him in surprise, “Um … Pepsi?”

“Really?” Jimin giggled, combing his fringe out of his eyes. “Okay. Give me some cola.”

“Oh …” the woman mumbled, clearly very taken aback with Jimin’s looks and behaviour.

“I’m joking. But I want cola anyway,” Jimin stated, and Jungkook could swear he saw him wink at her.

He started forwards, unable to resist the urge to express his anger, but then he bumped into Jin.

“Pizza Slut!” he screamed, loudly enough that everybody in the restaurant turned to look at him. “Pizza Slut! We will touch your butt!”

“And lick your coco-nut!” Hoseok joined in.

“You perverts …” Taehyung chuckled, clapping them both on the back.

“We’re in Pizza Slut,” Jin repeated, giggling to himself as his eyes settled on the cashier. “Are you slut?”

The girl stopped noting their orders on her slip of paper and turned a deep shade of magenta.

“Okay, that’s enough,” the therapist snapped, marching over to Jin and Hoseok. “Apologise.”

“It’s a game,” Jin said, laughing. “She should add another rhyme.”

“Come on. Sit down.”

When the therapist took Jin to a table, it got a little calmer and Jimin turned to the counter.

“Oh, no, I need 1000 won to get cola and an extra package …” he frowned, pointing up at the board with the mentioned discount. “Life is unfair, don’t you think?”

“I’m sorry,” the cashier said, shrugging, but Jimin leaned closer, staring at her with a smirk curling his lips.

“No. It’s not your fault. But you seem like a very kind person, you know? I knew it the moment you started serving us.”

The girl smiled shyly and bowed again, “Thank you.”

“And my friends will be very disappointed if I don’t get them free cola and fries. And … it’s been such a long time since I ate some fries. They’re the best in this place …”

“I know, right?”

“So how’s it going to be?”

“You can take more cola to one cup.”

“Thanks. You’re amazing. And how about …”

“Jimin, let’s go. Everybody’s already sitting down,” Jungkook interrupted, fastening a grip on his elbow and trying to pull him away from the counter.

“Wait …”

“Just get over here,” Jungkook hissed, irritation lathering every syllable.

Jimin looked up at him and then seemed to realise there was something wrong. He sidled over to the table and sat down without any further protest.

“Are you upset because of that girl?” he asked when Jungkook remained silent, staring absently out of the window.

“No.”

“Then what’s that tongue thing for?”

Jungkook turned his head in surprise, finally realising that he’d been poking his tongue into the side of his cheek.

“So what? It’s my habit.”

“When you’re angry,” Jimin pointed out, leaning his head against Jungkook’s shoulder. “Come on, babe. I only did it so all of you would get to eat more.”

Jungkook didn’t believe him.

“Nobody asked for more food,” he growled, getting up from his chair and drawing attention from two other patients.

He marched across the restaurant to flop down on another couch but Jimin just followed him.

“Come on,” he said, gesturing back towards the table and the nurses who sat there. “They’d rather choke than spend any more money on us. And we need cash for our trip.”

At that, Jungkook conceded to look him in the eye, “Jiminie …”

“Jiminie?”

Jungkook almost flinched at the reaction, suddenly losing every ounce of confidence he’d managed to gather. He only realised at that moment that he’d almost lost it just because Jimin had been harmlessly flirting with the cashier.

“You … don’t like it?” he stuttered but Jimin just smiled widely and reached up to comb his fingers through his hair.

“Hell, yeah. It’s cute. Nobody’s ever called me a name like that,” he said, transferring his hand to Jungkook’s knee. “But what’s actually going on?”

“Let’s not run away.”

The moment the words were out of his mouth, Jimin’s back straightened, his hand retracted and his smile disappeared as he looked away.

“But I want to do all these great things with you outside of that place,” he snapped sharply. “Do you realise how long I’ve been here?”

“I know, but …”

“If you won’t go then I’m sorry but I’m not going to stay in this fucking hospital. I thought that you wanted to spend time with me.”

“I did … I do …”

“Fine. Whatever,” Jimin muttered, not even glancing at Jungkook as he got up and returned to the table just as the waitress brought them their pizzas.

Jungkook needed a moment to process what had just happened. Had Jimin really rejected him? Not only had he flirted with some random bitch but now he was giving out ultimatums? Jungkook wouldn’t mind running away from the hospital – there was some part of him that actually wanted to – but he was scared.

If Jimin spoke to everybody like he’d spoken to that girl then it was going to drive him crazy. If he left him in the middle of their journey or got tired of him, he wouldn’t be able to bear it.

He gulped and took a deep breath before dragging himself back to the table and sitting instead with Jin, Hoseok and Taehyung. He looked down at the pizza but had absolutely no desire to eat a single mouthful. He’d lost his whole appetite.

“It’s getting cold. Eat your slices,” Taehyung ordered, holding up the slab of crust and holding it out to Jungkook who took a tiny bite and nodded, forcing a smile.

His hands clenched into fists every time he looked at Jimin. He was sitting at a different table. On his fucking birthday! In the same day that he’d been kissing him with such tenderness and affection.

The feeling that settled in his gut was similar to a bucket of ice cold water being thrown in his face. Sudden, unexpected and shocking.

A little fight right beside him interrupted his little internal monologue.

“Hey! Don’t touch my fries!” Jin warned Hoseok who’d just started removing the potato slices from the box, arranging them in a row on his napkin.

“I’m only counting how many you have.”

“Don’t touch my food!” Jin shouted again, grabbing Hoseok’s hands and wrenching them away.

Jungkook glanced around. It was too loud for the therapist or the nurses to hear the confrontation but he was too tired to intervene himself.

And then he saw a familiar face and everything in his stomach suddenly twisted into an excruciatingly painful knot of dread. He immediately turned in a different direction, trying to hide his face from the man standing in line at the counter.

As long as he kept silent, he would remain unnoticed, but it was impossible not to draw attention when he was beside Jin and Hoseok.

“Jin, please! I need to count them!”

“Do you realise how much money I’m spending on food for my EatJin broadcast?!”

“Jin, stop screaming,” Jungkook ordered through gritted teeth, peering cautiously over at the aged man in the big trench coat.

“I didn’t order fries so you could waste them on stupid counting. I’m taking them to my room to run my vblog.”

“Jin …” Jungkook threatened, giving Jin the filthiest glare he could before returning his attention to … “Fuck.”

It would make it far too obvious that he was running away if he stood up now, but it was too late. They only actually looked at each other for about two seconds but that was all that was needed. The man had recognised him.

“It’s really you,” he heard and he only bowed shortly, refusing to say a word.

Beside him, Jin covered his bag of fries protectively and glared up at the stranger, “And who are you? Came to steal my fries too?”

The man narrowed his eyes, not even looking at Jin as he spoke with a bitter smile, “So this is where you ended up … Good to know.”

“Sir, what do you mean?” Taehyung piped up.

“I’m not talking to you,” the man growled, and that was what finally made Jungkook look at him.

It was an angry gaze. The amount of disrespect in his tone as he spoke to his friend had made him furious. Even if he felt guilty for what he’d done to this person in the past, that didn’t give him the right to talk to Taehyung like that.

“So, Jungkook, I guess we’re even now,” he continued, advancing a couple of steps. “You ruined my life and now yours is ruined, too.”

He’d only just had time to finish his sentence before Jimin came out of nowhere, arms crossed over his chest and eyes narrowed in a clear warning.

“Dude. Back off.”

“And who the fuck are you?” the man spluttered, clenching his jaw.

“His boyfriend,” Jimin declared, raising his eyebrows and shortening the distance between them. “Do you mind? I don’t like the way you’re talking to him.”

“Oh … So you’re not only a home-wrecker but also a fucking pervert?” the man practically screamed, a creepy smile spreading over his face as he pointed his finger right at Jungkook. “I hope you rot in this madhouse.”

“Okay, I see you’re too dumb to understand warnings,” Jimin hissed, stepping in front of Jungkook. “I’m count go three. One …”

“Shut up, faggot!” the man shouted, planting his hands in Jimin’s chest and giving him a shove.

Jungkook was on his feet in less than a second, already prepared for his clenched fist to meet that guy’s jaw, but Taehyung got there first.

“Stop standing over me, asshole!” he screamed, sounding completely panicked as he lunged out of his chair and punched the intruder in the back.

“Hey! Stop it!” the nurse shouted, grabbing Taehyung by both his arms in an attempt to restrain him from doing any more damage.

“He’s a spy!” Taehyung accused, eyes wide and finger pointing at his victim’s chest, looking a little bit like a kid who’d just been caught fighting in the playground.

“He’s not.”

“He acts like one!”

“We’re sorry. You startled our patient,” the therapist appeased as the man straightened up with a grimace, fixing his coat.

“You’re all fucking insane,” he spat, jabbing his finger at Jungkook and then at the others around the table.

Jimin took a threatening step forward but the therapist put an arm in his chest, preventing him from advancing.

“Oh … We’re insane. Then you should watch your fucking mouth,” he warned instead.

“Sir, please,” the therapist tried, turning to the man. “You should go.”

“We’re insane!” Hoseok mimicked in the same tone of voice as the guy turned on his heel and marched towards the door.

“You want some fries, bitch?!” Jin screeched, hurling his box of fries after the man’s retreating figure.

“Enough!” the therapist shouted, losing patience and seizing Jin’s wrist.

Jungkook hunched over, still sitting down, clasping fistfuls of his hair and trying to swallow his heart as it seemed to leap right up into his throat. It felt like everything inside of him was boiling and the overlapping voices all around him were only winding him up.

He wasn’t sure if he was angry or if he was sad or scared or … Maybe it was all of them.

“Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up, all of you!” he roared, leaping up from his seat so violently that everybody flinched.

“It’s supposed to be my day! I mean …” His voice cracked and he felt tears spilling onto his cheeks, an animalistic growl bubbling up from his throat before he pounded the table with his fist.

Everybody was staring at him now, including the other guests at the restaurant, but Jungkook couldn’t stop himself now.

“It’s fucking one day in a year and it’s always fucked up!” he kept screaming, pointing at Jimin in his fury.

If he was standing any closer then he probably would have punched him for the way he’d been treated before.

“My boyfriend flirts with some bitch right in front of me and then he rejects me! And to make shit worse, the guy who I didn’t ever want to see again turns up right in front of me! Of all the fucking places! Of all the fucking times …”

“Jungkook, everything will be alright,” the nurse tried to calm him.

“Oh, really?” Jungkook shrieked, spitting out a maniacal laugh and shaking his head. “Don’t bullshit me, Hana!”

The words kept flowing from his mouth and he couldn’t stop. He just couldn’t stop.

“Should I mention last year when my mother’s sidekick got drunk and he almost crashed our car? Or two years ago when I had exams and I failed them and then some assholes beat the shit out of me on the way home? My birthday sucks every year so don’t tell me that everything will be alright!”

“Jungkook …” Jimin moved closer, reaching out his hand but Jungkook swatted it away.

“Don’t fucking touch me! I’m so done with your push and pull game! Don’t act nice now!”

A security guard appeared in front of them, asking what was happening but Jungkook wasn’t planning on giving any explanations. And as soon as he saw the concern in Jimin’s eyes – the real concern – he sat back down on the couch and burst into tears.

Everything inside was hurting and he could barely take a breath.

“Easy, easy, boy,” the therapist soothed, sitting beside him and rubbing his back gently.

“I’m sorry, but you need to leave or I’ll have to escort him,” the security guard warned.

“I apologise for causing all this trouble. Just give me a minute to call a car for us and then we’re out.”

“No. You need to leave now. You’re scaring the customers. Wait outside for your car.”

Jungkook followed the group outside, keeping his gaze fixed on his feet, feeling completely numb. The hospital car arrived a few minutes later, the therapist explaining that it was much easier and much safer than walking.

Jungkook virtually collapsed into his seat, staring blankly out the window at the world passing by. It only felt like a second before he was being told to get off again.

As all the other patients split off to go into their rooms, Jungkook felt Jimin’s gaze burning into his back but he ignored it, barging into his room and throwing himself on the bed. Jin was sitting across the room, sipping on a straw, and Jungkook covered his ears in an attempt to block him out.

“You need to drink my cola,” Jin stated after a few moments of silence.

“This is all your fault! You never shut up! Fuck off!” Jungkook shouted back, throwing his pillow at him.

“Whoa! What’s going on?” Yoongi cried as he appeared in the doorway, taking in the sight of Jin staring at the puddle of spilled cola on the floor. “Jungkook, get your shit together.”

Jungkook rolled off his bed, unable to take it anymore.

“Says who? Someone who sleeps for a whole fucking day?” he bellowed at Yoongi. “Fucking grandpa! Leave me alone!”

He grabbed the doorknob and stormed from the door, almost colliding with Namjoon in the corridor.

“Oh, what a great opportunity. I was just coming to see you,” the doctor said cheerily, leading him to his office where Jungkook sat down on the familiar brown leather chair.

“Namjoon, I really don’t feel like talking.”

“Then we can just stay quiet.”

Jungkook covered his face with his hands. He was too tired to cry and too calm to scream. Namjoon was probably the only person in the world he wasn’t mad at right now.

“Can we try something?”

“What?”

“Close your eyes and try to imagine that you’re back in the situation which made you so angry during your trip,” Namjoon instructed.

“You want to kill me?”

“No. Just trust me here. Imagine I’m next to you and I’m supporting you. Where am I in that restaurant?”

Jungkook stared at him for the longest time before he finally closed his eyes, “On a couch next to me.”

“What’s happening?”

“This man’s shouting at me,” he started slowly and from then on, it was easy to tell the rest of the story, even the part about Jimin ignoring him.

“And …” he continued, remembering his boyfriend’s murderous gaze when that man had insulted him. “He tried to protect me.”

“Who?”

“Jimin,” Jungkook supplied, opening his eyes again. “But I’m still so angry with him …”

“Because of that cashier?”

“Yeah … Why the fuck did she get his attention when she’s just a nobody? Does that mean he can do that with anyone?”

“Jungkook …” Namjoon sighed. “What is your relationship with Jimin?”

“He called me his boyfriend …” Jungkook responded, spiralling deep into his thoughts as he remembered that scene in the restaurant.

When he saw the surprise on Namjoon’s face, he knew he shouldn’t have said anything.

“Namjoon, I’m tired. Can I go back to my room?” he cut in, wanting to end the conversation.

For a minute – maybe two – they said nothing. And then Namjoon finally gave in.

“Get some rest but we will continue this tomorrow. Remember. Your individual session’s at ten o’clock.”

Jungkook only nodded, leaving the office in silence. These leaps in his mood were so tiring. Just a few minutes ago, he’d wanted to hit everybody and break everything and now he felt like he was about to collapse.

He stopped in front of his bedroom door, hesitating slightly, but then somebody grabbed him around the waist and he was being pulled backwards. Whipping around, he recognised Jimin’s face in front of him and immediately felt that anger returning full-force.

“Let’s go,” Jimin whispered, taking his hand.

“Fuck off,” Jungkook snarled back at him.

“Jungkook, we need to talk,” Jimin tried again, glancing around for any sign of eavesdroppers.

He dragged him to an empty art therapy room but Jungkook yanked his hand back before they could cross the threshold. If it wasn’t for his curiosity about what Jimin wanted to tell him, he would have walked away right there and then.

He still felt the resentment, stronger than anything else. Jimin closed the door and took his hand again, holding on tight.

“Why are you so angry?” he asked and his voice was soft but all Jungkook could remember were those flirty smiles directed at that damn cashier.

And Jimin’s tendencies to have hook-ups with anyone who walked through the door were stuck in his mind. Even the thought of Jimin  being with someone else made his blood boil.

“I’m not in the mood …”

When Jimin approached, Jungkook tried to push him away again but then they were embracing and everything went numb. Their chests collided and Jimin’s hands were clenched in the shirt over his back.

“Don’t touch me! I hate you!”

“No, you don’t!” Jimin called out over the shouting, tightening his grip.

Jungkook exhaled heavily, tears oozing down his cheeks. The smell of Jimin’s skin and the feel of his sweater against his chin were soothing him.  

“Please stop being like this,” he heard the shaky voice in his ear. “I’m here for you.”

He sounded almost desperate, on the verge of tears even, and Jungkook stopped fighting. He stopped and he returned the hug with everything he had and, just like that, all those negative feelings he had for Jimin dissipated like tendrils of mist.

“Jimin …” he whispered, leaning into the touch of his boyfriend.

“Go on. Cry. It’s okay, baby.”

When the tears had finally dried up and Jungkook could see again, he pulled back so he could take a good look at the face before him. Jimin’s eyes were watery and reddened but it was the pain in his expression that had Jungkook’s heart aching.

He leaned in for a kiss, feeling Jimin’s first tear dribble against his skin. Their foreheads touched and they just stayed like that with their eyes closed and their arms around each other. Jimin’s hand cupped the back of Jungkook’s head and they kissed again.

“I’m so sorry, Jungkookie. That dickhead ruined your birthday.”

Jungkook reached for his hand and pulled him down onto the couch in front of the window so they could sit side by side, taking comfort in each other’s touch.

“I’ll be fine,” he murmured.

“But you aren’t now …” Jimin said weakly, taking both of Jungkook’s hands in his own. “How can I make it up to you? I didn’t want to hurt your feelings. I always do that with sellers when I buy things. It didn’t mean anything.”

Jungkook finally turned his head and looked him in the eye, “I know you weren’t interested in her but …”

“What is it, Jungkook?” Jimin pushed, leaning closer.

The tenderness was back and it made Jungkook do something he didn’t think he was going to do. He pulled Jimin in and kissed him, hard.

There was no response right away, the recipient probably surprised with the sudden display of affection, but then Jimin rested his hands on Jungkook’s arms and opened his mouth wider so their tongues could explore foreign territory.

Jungkook pressed their lips together with even more fervency, tangling his fingers in Jimin’s hair. It was such a needy kiss and Jimin must have felt it, too, because it was gentle when he pulled away.

“I didn’t know … I wouldn’t think,” he said, almost shyly.

“What?” Jungkook asked, smiling a little.

“I’m sorry. I was angry with you. When I’m angry, I don’t really talk to anyone while I calm down.”

“I see …” Jungkook sighed. “But I hate it when someone ignores me.”

“I didn’t … I’m really sorry, Kook,” Jimin whispered, squeezing his thigh. “Now I see how mean I was.”

“Sometimes I seriously want to punch you.”

Jimin laughed at that, taking Jungkook’s face in both his hands and planting a soft kiss on his forehead. They lapsed into a silence that lasted several moments, fingers still entwined.

“What did you do to that man to make him almost bite you to death?” Jimin started carefully.

“Long story.”

“I’ll listen,” he insisted and now Jungkook was sure that he had his full attention.

“I thought you were leaving …” he said, his anxiety overwhelming him. “I mean … I thought that’s what you wanted.”

“How could I leave without you? No. I’ll wait until when you’re ready,” Jimin murmured, stroking his chin lovingly. “But don’t make me wait too long. Besides … You seem upset. And, you know, after connecting the dots really easily, I assume that guy in the restaurant must have been the husband of the teacher that …”

He was so smart.

“Yes. You’re right. This bitch … My teacher was checking me out in class and then some of these guys were like, ‘hey, Jungkook, she’s got the hots on you. You should take the opportunity’. So I did.”

“And?”

“And I got good grades after I slept with her,” Jungkook admitted, lowering his voice shamefully. “Nothing really to be proud of.”

“Did you like her?” Jimin surprised him with the sudden question and he noticed the boy’s eyes wandering in all directions, as though he was nervous to hear the answer.

“Why would I?”

For Jungkook, it was obvious that he’d never had any deep feelings for that woman. These days, he would say that the whole experience had been an impulse. And it hadn’t been the first time.

“If you slept with her then you must have at least been attracted to her,” Jimin continued. “Or I’m wrong? Was she hot?”

“Yeah. It was exciting at first but I got bored after the third time.”

Something changed in Jimin’s eyes. They just … lost their spark.

“Third time?”

“I told you, I’m not that innocent,” Jungkook admitted, chewing on his guilt.

“And I already told you what I think of that. You’re always cute to me.”

“Are you disappointed?” Jungkook breathed out, raising his head, not realising how close Jimin was until their noses almost collided.

They both jumped back, breathing a little harder due to the sudden closeness.

“No. I’m the last person who’d judge you for something like that. The only thing I could be upset about is really something else.”

“Huh?”

“Was it only casual sex or was it romance?”

“I never had feelings for her,” Jungkook said immediately, sure as anything. “But I guess she thought it was romance. She wanted to meet up and fuck even after her husband found out. But by then the whole school knew.”

“Oh my God …”

“She was fired and ended up in jail for having sex with a minor,” Jungkook gulped. “I had to move to another school, but they found out there as well and I was bullied. Every time I think about it, I feel like shit.”

“Jungkook-ah …” Jimin whispered, caressing his neck. “Don’t blame yourself. Look ahead. It’s not like she didn’t know there would be consequences. She paid the bigger price because she was an adult but you suffered, too. Everything will be okay, baby.”

Jungkook glanced up at him, relieved that the gentle touches on his skin never stopped.

“You’re so pretty.”

“Pretty?”

“Okay. Beautiful,” Jungkook admitted, unable to stop himself even if he was aware that ogling Jimin like this made him feel a little uneasy.

“I mean … I’m not even wearing any makeup.”

“And still looking so good,” Jungkook murmured, resting his hand against Jimin’s cheek, feeling his soft skin.

“Stop,” he giggled, swatting at his chest.

Why was that sound so adorable?

“I can’t.”

As soon as Jungkook said those words, his lips were on Jimin’s. He slipped his hands under his shirt, feeling the muscles on his belly. He ghosted kisses over his neck, listening to Jimin’s pleasured mutterings.

“Like I said. You really do surprise me every day.”

“I surprise myself, too,” Jungkook panted, rubbing Jimin’s lower lip.

“Why are you suddenly so sweet? I wish I could know.”

Jungkook wished he could know as well. Was it because of his disorder? He suddenly felt so horny but there was also this overwhelming wave of affection washing over his entire body. Maybe his feelings for Jimin were stronger than he’d first thought.

“Just admit that you’re crazy about me,” his boyfriend teased, almost like he was reading his mind. Again.

Jungkook glanced down, smiling shyly. It’s not that he wanted to deny it but he didn’t want to say it out loud. Jimin leaned even closer, playing with his hair.

“Jungkookie …”

“Yeah?”

“I think I need to say it. To be honest …” he started chewing his lip. “When I first saw you, I knew that you had to be mine.”

Jungkook swallowed thickly, “So you planned all of this? I knew it. Sneaky …”

“No. I was actually afraid that you really didn’t like me,” Jimin confessed, his expression suddenly very serious. “But when I noticed you getting shy after my advances … and when you came to my room, I wondered if there was a chance that you felt something for me, too. And I thought that I would just use every method I knew to make you fall for me. I’ve never tried so hard for someone so I guess it must be something special between us.”

Jungkook’s heart skipped a beat, Jimin’s gaze following his every move when he once again leaned in closer. They took a moment to just stare at each other and Jungkook could feel how badly Jimin wanted to kiss him. His eyes were on his lips and his whole body was facing him.

It started slowly at first but then increased in passion, their tongues duelling inside their mouths. Jimin clung to Jungkook, wrapping his arms around his neck, biting down on his lip and drawing back every so slightly.

Jungkook lifted him onto his lap with ease, returning that warm smile he saw.

“This is a good moment.”

“What?” Jimin whispered, eyebrows creasing ever so slightly.

“Grab whatever you need and let’s go. We’re leaving this damn place.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“Are you Sunmi?” Jungkook asked, stopping in front of a young woman sitting on a bench between the trees in the hospital grounds.

She took a fair amount of time to look him up and down, the corners of her lips quirking in a condescending smirk.

“Maybe,” she said, propping her elbow on the armrest and cupping her chin in her hand as she scrutinised him much like a tiger would its unsuspecting meal.

She looked unlike most patients, healthy and well-groomed. Her nails were painted red, a collection of bracelets linked around her wrists, she had on a full face of make-up and her hair was long, dark and shiny.

He supposed that explained why she looked so confident. She knew she was beautiful, but Jungkook didn’t have time to stop and feed his desire to flirt with her.  

“I need to know for sure. I have business with a girl whose name is Sunmi,” he said, resolutely keeping his expression serious, prompting her to smile even wider.

“Interesting, because I’m waiting for a guy whose name is Jungkook.”

“That’s right,” Jungkook nodded, sitting down on the bench beside her. He fumbled in his pocket before retrieving a plastic bag filled with all the pills he hadn’t taken over the past few weeks. “How much money can you give me for these?”

“Quite bold to ask just like that. What if I wasn’t the person you were looking for?”

“Well, if you told anyone, I’d deny having any meds at all,” he answered without hesitation, smiling back.

Sunmi uncrossed her arms from her chest and, after a moment’s consideration, she pulled out her purse, snatched the bag of medication and stuffed it inside.

“Here,” she said, handing Jungkook the banknotes and gesturing for him to hide them in his pocket before they were caught. “Are you going to have fun outside the hospital?”

She didn’t get a response but she nodded anyway.

“Good idea. It would be a waste of time for a handsome boy like you to stay in this shitty place.”

“Thanks for the cash, Sunmi,” Jungkook dismissed, getting to his feet.

“Anytime, Sweetie.”

He set off towards the hospital building at a speedy walk, gladly checking off the first point on his list of things to do. He and Jimin had planned their escape in the greatest of detail. It had to be spontaneous and they were certain it would be simplest to slip away during their little trip to the restaurant with the other patients.

But then Jungkook had realised it maybe wouldn’t be as easy as they’d first thought, maybe even impossible, if they left without any money or official documents. Not to mention their phones.

And so this was the list they’d scribbled down:

  1. Try to collect as much medication as possible over the course of two weeks. I’ll do the same. I know a group of girls from the female unit who can give us money for them.
  2. Nurse Hana’s night shift overlaps with our janitor’s (Mr Pumpkin, duh) on Mondays. Hana will give us access to the shelf with our IDs and phones. I’ll take care of that so don’t worry.
  3. The camera won’t catch you if you leave your room and turn right. You need to head downstairs and go underground. I’ll be waiting at 11pm. I know the way out from there.
  4. The door to the side gate will be open from 11pm to 11:30pm so we need to be fast if we want to catch the night bus to Seoul at 11:45pm.
  5. When we’re in Seoul, we can book any hotel room. There are a few so … carpe diem. And after that, we can do whatever we fucking want.

 

Jungkook couldn’t wait to reach that last bullet point at the end of this upcoming week. It was already Saturday and the patients were allowed some free time in the art therapy room.

Someone was playing the piano. It’d been audible from the moment Jungkook had stepped out into the corridor and as soon as he walked through the door, he saw Jimin twirling in the middle of the room with a dramatic flourish.

He was clearly dancing freestyle but the strength of his dedication left him looking as though he were in some sort of trance. Even if Jungkook sensed Taehyung waving at him from the corner of the room, he couldn’t move his eyes from that body, unable to even blink.

The piano stopped playing and it was only then that Jungkook realised it had been Yoongi tinkering on the keys so beautifully like that. Jimin spun in the direction of the door and his signature smile spread across his lips as he spotted Jungkook.

“Hey, baby,” he called, gliding forwards and pulling him in by the waist. “How are things going?”

He knew all too well what Jimin meant by that.

“I’ve got them,” he whispered in his ear, under the pretence of a hug that wasn’t really a pretence at all.

Jimin smacked his butt in congratulations, “I knew it. My cunning little fox …”

“Stop,” Jungkook laughed, grabbing Jimin’s hand before the boy leaned closer and closer until his lips were brushing Jungkook’s neck.

“No? Then who?” Jimin teased sweetly, showering his companion with little pecks. “My sweet bunny?”

“Jimin-ah …”

Jungkook knew that his boyfriend had been in one of his highs for the last few days and it was making him clingy but he didn’t know how to respond to the sudden wave of constant affection. He wasn’t sure he’d be able to get used to the warmth of another body pressed up against his every minute of every day.

“Come on, let’s dance,” Jimin practically sang, grabbing Jungkook’s hands and pulling him into a spin.

They could feel the gazes of the rest of the patients but Jungkook didn’t care. As long as Jimin was happy, he was happy, too, and he lowered his gaze to the floor, still dancing, still smiling.

“Do you know how attractive your shyness is? You’re so sweet,” Jimin giggled when their imaginary song finally came to an end, caressing Jungkook beneath his chin. “Ah … Why do you drive me so crazy? My sweet Kookie …”

Hoseok cleared his throat pointedly.

“I’m really sorry, but you’re not here alone. Even if you wish you were,” he interrupted, but Jungkook ignored him, laying his hand against the softness and warmth of Jimin’s cheek.

“Show me your dance skills. I’ll watch,” he said, perching on the piano stool beside Yoongi without even asking for permission.

Jimin smiled widely, “Yoongi, play something special. My boyfriend’s going to watch me.”

Yoongi frowned in response, “First, you need to pay me.”

“Come on, hyung,” Jungkook whined, wrapping his arm around his friend’s shoulders and smirking when Yoongi shook his head in disbelief.

“I need to warm up. It’s been a long time since I played,” he muttered to himself, running his fingers up and down the black and white keys. “Okay. This one will be good …”

“I feel so far away … You always come my way …” Jungkook hummed along with the melody, making sure to check with Yoongi that he had, in fact, got the song right, and got a small nod in return.

Jimin was once again lost in his own little world and Jungkook couldn’t take his eyes off him. He looked like a professional ballet dancer and he was just so into his performance. Jungkook couldn’t help but slide his phone from his jeans pocket and press the record button.

Jimin’s blonde hair wafted around his face with the intensity of his movements and he looked right into the camera, grinning broadly.

“Jungkook …”

When the song came to an end, he ended the video and resorted to watching it over and over and over again, murmuring under his breath as he relived the wondrous sculpture that was his boyfriend, “He’s perfect …”

“What?” he heard Taehyung’s voice next to him and he realised that somehow he’d managed to get himself sitting on the floor.

“What?”

“Oh my God … You didn’t even listen,” Taehyung pouted reproachfully as Jungkook looked around, catching sight of Jimin conversing with Yoongi by the piano.

“What? How could you be talking to me when Jimin-ssi was dancing? I was busy recording him,” Jungkook scoffed, not missing the way Taehyung and Hoseok exchanged expressions that clearly said, he’s lost his mind.

“Wow … What a nice coincidence that I have my phone …” he muttered to himself, too softly for anyone else to hear as he paused the video just as Jimin’s eyes connected with the camera. “Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to record it.”

 

*********************

 

Everything was ready. Jungkook had already stuffed the most important things in his backpack and when the clock hand teetered on the brink of the number 11, he silently left his bed and tiptoed towards the door.

“Where are you going?” a weary voice sounded from behind him, and he flinched.

“Jin-hyung, just go back to sleep.”

“Why?” the older boy yawned, sitting up in his bed.

“What do you mean, why? I’m going to the toilet.”

“Sure, bunny boy,” Another, low voice answered.

Jungkook cracked open the door, wincing slightly when the sudden light attacked his eyes, but before he could take another step, Yoongi was on his feet with a flashlight in his hand.

“And now tell me … When does the janitor open the gates?”

“W-What …?” Jungkook stuttered, frozen in terror and distinctly reminded of the old times he got caught by the police after breaking into a convenience store.

Yoongi laughed, short and bitter, “I’ve been in this fucking place for a while. You think I’ve never escaped? You think I don’t know stuff? Just tell me which way you and Jimin are escaping and I won’t say a word. I’ll just take my chance while I can. I don’t care where or why you two are leaving together.”

Jungkook opened his mouth to respond but felt a vice-like grip on his elbow.

“Hyung, don’t leave me,” Jin whined.

Jungkook swallowed thickly. He hadn’t expected such a scenario. The clock was ticking and he still hadn’t even left the damn room.

“Fuck … Now you? You’ll fuck everything up. Just leave me alone,” Jungkook growled, shaking Jin off his arm.

“Just lead us,” Yoongi ordered, pointing his flashlight at the floor so as not to blind his companions.

“He’s wearing his fucking pyjamas!” Jungkook hissed, jabbing his finger in Jin’s direction.

“You’ll give him your clothes later. They’re in your backpack I believe,” Yoongi pushed, totally unbothered by the irritation with which he was being glared at.

“Oh, Christ … Just be quiet and follow me.”

Jungkook opened the door, slowly and silently, and peered through just to make sure nobody was passing by in the corridor outside.

“Are we playing hide and seek?” Jin asked, far too loudly.

“No. We’re playing shut up till I won’t let you speak at all,” Jungkook shot back. “Get it?”

“Okay,” Jin nodded with all the enthusiasm of an excited child.

Jungkook seized his hand, slithering out into the corridor with Yoongi right behind them, and gestured towards the wall, trying to indicate that they had to stay close to it. The moment the camera turned in another direction, they scuttled towards the side door that led to the stairs.

“Okay. It should be open …” but before Jungkook could finish the sentence, Yoongi was already turning the knob and pattering down the stairs, using his flashlight as illumination.

The soft mumbling of voices echoed up from the underground passage and all three of them froze.

“What the fuck?” Yoongi whispered, pressing his back up against the wall.

In his mind, Jungkook was already sprinting back to his room before he was found and punished. If Jimin was here alone with someone from the personnel team, there was no way they’d be able to find an excuse for the three of them appearing so suddenly.

It would be far too obvious that they’d planned an escape.

Yoongi took a step further and Jungkook wasn’t quick enough to grab him, whispering out a harsh, “No!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me …”

At the sound of Yoongi’s voice, however, Jungkook rounded the corner and stared in stunned disbelief.

The first thing he saw was Jimin’s face, illuminated by the blue light from his phone screen. And he wasn’t alone. Taehyung and Hoseok were standing at his side, all of them gaping up at the group standing above them.

“What the hell?” Jungkook growled.

“I should say the same thing,” Jimin hissed back, anger palpable in his voice. “Why the hell did you bring them with you?”

“I didn’t. They caught me sneaking out,” Jungkook defended, turning his attention on Taehyung and Hoseok. “And what the fuck are you doing here?”

“No time for talking,” Jimin dismissed, turning around and walking on. “We need to leave in two minutes. Move.”

“Wait … Are they all coming with us?”

“Not now, Jungkook.”

Was Jimin angry with him? Why was Jimin angry with him?

Jungkook couldn’t quite believe what was happening but he followed the rest of their little party without further complaint. The underground passage was humid and dimly lit, Yoongi’s flashlight and Jimin’s phone being their only sources of illumination.

The sudden gushing sounds of water flowing through the pipes caught Jungkook’s attention, his adrenaline rising when he realised that, sooner or later, somebody was going to check the rooms and realise that six patients were missing.

Six patients. Six of them breaking out of the hospital and sprinting through the opened gates.

Jimin had said that the bus stop was 500 m away and they only had five minutes before their one and only ride was due to leave. They started running, gleeful grins stretching their facial muscles.

“This is crazy!” Hoseok shouted and Taehyung let out a whoop of delight, jumping up and down with happiness as they skidded to a stop outside the bus station.

Jungkook was panting, hopelessly out of breath, but he couldn’t help the smile of relief from plastering itself against his expression. He felt like a fish that had escaped an aquarium and found the ocean after a life time of captivity.

The silhouette of the bus was approaching from afar and they were all standing on the edge of the pavement, waiting expectedly.

“So can someone explain to me what the hell you were doing underground?” Jungkook suddenly hissed at their unexpected comrades.

“I heard you two talking about escape last week,” Taehyung supplied innocently. “I told Hoseok and we just followed Jimin.”

“Great. I assume now that the whole unit knows, huh?” Jimin shot bitterly, sending Taehyung a hostile glare.

“No way, Jimin! You know there’s only a small circle of people I trust. Hoseok is my ally. How could I not tell him? I need him during a trip. What if someone tries to poison me?”

Jimin rolled his eyes.

“We want to go to Seoul, too,” Hoseok implored.

“Do you have any money?” Jungkook asked him, not expecting a response and therefore surprised when Yoongi raised his hand.

“I do. Duh.”

“Are you going to be our sugar daddy?” Jimin asked with a smirk, linking his arm around his hyung’s skinny body.

“These are my savings. I can only lend you enough for the basic stuff. And this is not a long-term arrangement.”

“I have money for the ride to Seoul,” Taehyung whispered, showing the contents of his wallet and then quickly hiding it in his pocket once more, clearly afraid that someone was going to sneak out of the shadows and pounce on him. “I’m always prepared for emergencies. I kept it with me all week so nobody would steal it.”

“I’ve only got 1,000 won,” Hoseok admitted, glancing with concern at the approaching bus.

“Jin …?” Jimin started, before he sighed and shook his head. “I won’t even ask. So we need to buy tickets for Hoseok and Jin. Let’s split the cash.”

“Fair enough.”

Yoongi and Jungkook counted banknotes before handing them over to Jimin.

“I’m not happy with this.”

“You don’t say …” Yoongi grunted through gritted teeth. “But we’re a team now so we have to get over it.”

The bus drew to a stop in front of them and Jimin paid for all six tickets before they found their way to the very back seats and sat down. Jungkook had never made a night time journey and he had to admit that there was something exhilarating about it. Or maybe it was just the feeling of being a fugitive.

“I don’t think those two should leave the hospital,” Yoongi whispered, glancing behind him at Jin and Taehyung. “They’re totally nuts.”

Jungkook followed his gaze and saw that, indeed, Jin was breathing against the glass and drawing circles with his fingers in the cloud of fog he created, and Taehyung kept saying something about somebody jumping out from a forest to kidnap them all.

“We’re all nuts,” Jimin mumbled, lying down to comfortably cushion his head against the armrest and pulling Jungkook down to rest his head on his arm. “Get some sleep, Jungkookie. This will take a while.”

Jungkook obeyed, inhaling the pleasant scent of Jimin’s skin. Now that they were finally able to breathe easier, he noticed for the first time that Jimin was dressed in all black. A black T-Shirt, black jeans and a black leather jacket.

“I hate forests. People get raped and murdered in them every year. When will we get to the city? It feels safer being in bigger cities but narrow streets are also dangerous. Let’s not go there when we reach Seoul,” Taehyung was gibbering, his voice slowly lulling Jungkook to sleep.

It was still dark outside when the gentle kiss Jimin pressed into his forehead woke him as the bus turned into an entrance webbed with multiple stops and parked vehicles. Jungkook checked his phone screen, noting that the time was 2:14 am.

It was quite long way from the middle of nowhere that unit had been in to the capital city, but they were finally here.

“We made it,” he whispered, smile wide, as soon as he stepped off the bus and the doors closed behind him.

Jimin grinned back, reaching out to take his hand. Jungkook had never been in Seoul before and so he gaped around at the towering structures and the busy streets illuminated with dimly-glowing lamps.

“Oh …” he said, pointing at where they could see N Seoul Tower protruding from behind a clump of buildings. “I want to go there.”

“We will,” Jimin promised.

The other side of the road was dotted with coffee shops and nightclubs but their little group walked past all of them, searching for a decent hotel where they could spend the night.

It wasn’t like Jungkook and Jimin were going to waste their first few hours of freedom, but they winked at each other as an agreement when Hoseok suggested finding a place for accommodation. After all, the night was still young.

“It’s too expensive here,” Yoongi informed them, emerging from the hotel reception he’d dipped into.

Of course, it was. Jungkook wasn’t surprised. It was the centre of the capital city, for God’s sake.

He tried to search on his phone, feeling the anger spark when he remembered that his mother hadn’t paid his bill and, therefore, he didn’t have any access to internet transfer. He couldn’t even call anybody if he needed to.

“Don’t worry,” Jimin comforted him with a squeeze to his fingers. “We’ll be using my phone.”

“The next motel is pretty far away but it’s a lot cheaper,” Jungkook sighed in resignation.

“Let’s take a cab.”

“People die in cabs!” Taehyung suddenly shouted and everybody stared at him, eyes wide.

“What?”

“I won’t go with some stranger-driver in a cab.”

“Then let’s take a nap in a public sauna,” Yoongi changed the subject, indicating at a building just a few metres away. “Look, there’s one right there.”

“Good idea. It’s cheap,” Jimin agreed, sending Jungkook a knowing look. “Sweet dreams then.”

“You’re not coming with us?” Taehyung asked, watching with heartbreak in his eyes as Jimin linked his arm with Jungkook’s and rested his head on the taller boy’s shoulder.

“Sorry, but it was only ever meant to be just me and Jungkook. We can part ways now.”

“Okay,” Yoongi nodded, raising his hand in farewell as he turned towards the entrance of the sauna. “Good luck.”

“Hyung, don’t leave me!”

The sudden shout had both Jimin and Jungkook stopping in their tracks as Jin jumped on the younger boy’s back like some kind of monkey, causing him to momentary lose all sense of balance. If he wasn’t strong and athletic then he most definitely would have fallen flat on his face.

“Stop calling me ‘hyung’. It’s awkward,” he growled back, shoving Jin away from him.

Completely unfazed, the young man grabbed the material of Jungkook’s shirt and gave it a harsh tug, pointing up at a neon sign blinking on the side of a nearby building, “Look, Dirty Shrimp! Let’s go to a strip club!”

Jimin slipped his arm around Jungkook’s waist with a smirk, “I don’t think Jungkook’s interested in boobs. Right, baby?”

“I don’t want to meet my sister in one of those clubs. There are so many people in there. One of them could easily be a spy … I’m going with Yoongi-hyung,” Taehyung announced firmly, turning on his heel and marching into the sauna.

“Jin! What are you doing? Wait!” Jimin shouted, but it was too late.

Jin was already skipping up to the security guard standing vigil outside the nightclub.

“Shit …” Jungkook cursed, nervously rubbing the back of his neck as he and Jimin followed their hyung.

“Hi. You know EatJin? I’ll fry some dirty shrimps here in your area.”

“Back off,” the muscular guy grunted at him, giving him a shove that sent him stumbling several feet backwards.

“We’re sorry!” Jungkook cried, a little breathlessly, as they finally caught up and pulled Jin away from a potentially dangerous situation.  

“I can take him with me,” he heard Hoseok’s voice from behind him and turned around, surprised that his hyung had come back to join them. “I’m not going to the sauna anyway. Taehyung’s angry with me but I’m also really freaked out by all the germs. There’s no way I’m ever stepping foot in there.”

“Okay …” Jungkook sighed, and then the four of them were walking the streets of Seoul, searching for the perfect place to party their first night of freedom away.

Jimin kept close to Jungkook, arms always around his middle, constantly whispering about how he hated the idea of all of them going to the same place together.

“We don’t have to party with them,” Jungkook whispered back, laying his hand on top of Jimin’s arm. “We can change clubs later.”

Two women passed by, looking at them with questioning eyes, and Jungkook stiffened. But Jimin noticed immediately and reached up to turn his boyfriend’s face away from the intrusive glares, and they kept walking but this time without holding hands.

“Hey, this one looks nice,” Jimin finally chirped, drawing them to a stop in front of an illuminated place with a long line of aspiring guests waiting outside.

Hoseok stood quietly in the queue behind them but Jin clearly had no intentions of keeping it on the downlow as he jumped up and down to try and see what was going on at the front of the line.

“Are we going to roast this shrimp?!” he shouted and two girls in front of them turned around with irritated looks on their young faces.

“Shh …” Jungkook hissed, grabbing Jin’s hand and squeezing a little too tightly.

“Dear, God, it’s like taking a kid to the club,” Jimin giggled. “I’m not even sure if he’s old enough to drink.”

“You know, it’s getting kind of funny. I’m having a blast with this crazy hyung,” Jungkook smirked, wrapping both his arms around Jimin’s waist from behind and kissing his neck as Seokjin poked at something on the ground with his toe.

Jimin’s skin was warm and soft and when he breathed in the smell of peach shower gel, it reminded him of that incredible night when he saw him in the showers. The little pecks he was dolling out must have grown too intensive because Jimin chuckled and reached up to slide his fingers into Jungkook’s hair.

“You’re getting very … affectionate,” he said with that husky voice he knew turned Jungkook on like a light.

“It’s not my fault that my boyfriend’s such a snack,” he breathed in Jimin’s ear, discreetly licking it when he was sure nobody was watching. “I want you.”

He felt Jimin’s body tensing. Maybe it was good that they reached the front of the line at that moment because otherwise Jungkook might have gone too far. That was his problem. Whenever he started something he was into, he couldn’t seem to stop, no matter where he was.

The doorman asked them to show their IDs and stared closely at Jungkook’s.

“It’s an old ID,” he grunted, eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“It doesn’t change the fact that September 1st has passed and I’m over 18.”

“You need to upgrade your ID.”

“Like I had the time and opportunity for that,” Jungkook hissed under his breath and suddenly his whole body lurched forwards as somebody collided with his shoulder and shoved past.

The figure was darting through the door into the club before the bodyguard could stop him. And it was then that Jungkook realised it was, of course, Jin.

He made a beeline straight for the dance floor and stood right in the middle, jerking his head in various directions and jumping up and down. He looked like he was being electrified.

Jimin skidded to a stop beside Jungkook, pressing his hand up against his mouth to hide his laugh as the bodyguard stormed over to Jin and seized him by the arm.

“What the fuck, man? Show me your ID first.”

“Are you from the FBI?” Jin cackled.

“We’re sorry,” Hoseok interrupted the strange conversation, pulling Jin towards the exit. “We’ll go to a pub. Come on, Jin.”

Jungkook and Jimin concealed themselves within the throng of dancers in case Jin started insisting that he wanted to stay with his “hyung”.

“How did they think they’d ever be able to enter without an ID?” Jimin giggled, traipsing over to the bar where they ordered two beers.

It obviously wasn’t the first time Jungkook had tasted alcohol, but it was the first time he could do it legally. It was a strange sensation.

“Cheers. To you,” Jimin smiled, chinking their glasses together and taking a sip.

“To us,” Jungkook corrected him, before he did the same.

They were sitting side by side on high stools, their knees touching. Jimin propped his elbow on the counter and rested his chin in his palm. The colourful lights of the dance floor were reflecting in his blonde hair, enunciating how smooth his skin was and how his eyes were sparkling just for Jungkook.

Jungkook’s heartrate rocketed when their eyes connected.  

“So where are you going to take me on our first date?” Jimin teased him, transferring his hand to his boyfriend’s thigh under the table.

“Isn’t this our first date?” Jungkook asked, furrowing his brow in confusion when Jimin gave a sigh.

“I mean some place romantic.”

“This one is. Isn’t it?”

Jimin sent him a judging look and Jungkook laughed, knowing that he’d successfully fooled him. He caressed Jimin’s hair and stopped when his hand reached that smooth silky cheek. He shifted closer on his stool, staring right into his eyes.

“Tomorrow, I want to go to a restaurant and then kiss and cuddle on top of the N Seoul Tower. And hang a padlock up there like all those couples.” he murmured under his breath.

“Sounds great,” Jimin grinned, nuzzling his face into Jungkook’s neck.

A group of men at the bar beside them shot them a disgusted look and whispered something to each other. Feeling the rage bubbling up inside of him, Jungkook took Jimin’s hands and forced a smile.

“Let’s finish our drinks and then go dance, hm?”

Jimin nodded with a dreamy smile and as soon as the last drop of beer disappeared down his throat, he followed Jungkook onto the dance floor. They wrapped their arms around each other, pressing their bodies together and swaying softly to the music.

It was so unbelievably comforting to have Jimin in his embrace. Their foreheads touched and the smaller boy’s hands moved down to the lower parts of Jungkook’s body as their lips pressed together and their kisses deepened.

Jungkook cupped the back of his Jimin’s neck, fingernails digging in maybe a little harder than he’d intended, but Jimin didn’t complain. He felt the warmth of a hand slipping up beneath his T-Shirt and bent his knees slightly so he could pick Jimin up by the waist.

“Jimin-ah, I’m so fucking happy,” he whispered, spinning around with his boyfriend in his arms and only stopping when he felt dizzy, setting Jimin back on his feet and pecking his lips.

“Me, too. I love you.”

“What?” Jungkook choked, feeling like his stomach leapt into his throat. “Did you just …?”

Jimin laughed, brushing his fingers against Jungkook’s chin, “If you could see your face … So cute.”

They kept dancing with their arms around each other but something had changed in Jimin’s eyes. His expression was serious now and his gaze seemed fixated on Jungkook’s lips, as though he couldn’t bring himself to look away.

“Kiss me,” he ordered and Jungkook didn’t need to be asked twice.

He grabbed the collar of Jimin’s leather jacket and clenched their lips together. Jimin moaned, breathing heavily, trying to respond but unable to due to the fact that Jungkook’s mouth was attacking his own with a sudden burst of lust.

Jungkook’s hands slid from his back to his ass and now they were dangerously close, chests and thighs rubbing against each other. Jungkook’s throat emitted a sharp hiss when Jimin pulled his hair, arousal growing.

They parted for the briefest of moments so they could take a breath and then Jimin was pulling them over to the closest wall so they could comfortably make out on the side lines of the dance floor without the possibility of bumping into anybody.

“I thought that pushing against the wall was my thing,” Jungkook panted, gazing into Jimin’s eyes.

Their noses touched, lips stretched in identical grins. Jungkook felt his boyfriend’s wet kisses against his jaw, travelling down to his neck, but then they suddenly stopped.

“Why the fuck is he staring?” Jimin snarled and Jungkook turned to glance over his shoulder.

Two men at the front of the bar who’d been sending them those hateful looks before, were doing just the same but now they were whispering to each other as they did, gesturing towards the couple by the wall.

“Jimin, don’t pay attention,” Jungkook tried to divert, massaging Jimin’s sternum with his fingers but succeeding only in feeling the stiffness in that boy’s body as he remained totally focused on those men.

“No. Why the fuck’s he staring at us?” he shouted, slipping out of Jungkook’s grasp and moving forwards.

One of the men frowned and stood up from his seat, arms folded and jaw set in a challenge, “You’re asking why?”

Jungkook tried to grab Jimin’s arm. Tried to stop him from engaging in something he would later regret. But Jimin shook him off, striding right up to the bar as though he didn’t have a single fear.

“Yeah. I wanna know what your fucking problem is,” he spat, anger lacing each syllable and only increasing when the guy laughed, exchanging an amused look with his pal.

“See this faggot?” he chortled, shaking his head in disbelief. A few people in earshot turned to stare at them. “He puts his tongue in another guy’s mouth, makes everybody wanna puke and then dares to ask me why I’m looking at him.”

“What did you call me?!”

Jungkook only just managed to secure a firm enough grip on Jimin’s arms before he threw himself at the guy. His blood was boiling just as much but he was too scared that this man’s muscles would do them some real damage.

“Why? You want to fight?” the guy snorted, relishing in the mockery. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

Jimin was already too far gone and Jungkook knew him well enough by now to recognise a manic attack when it was happening.

“Actually, yes. I want to tear that stupid smirk from your disgusting, homophobic mug so you’ll finally learn that I can fuck anyone I want and it’s none of your business!”

“Stop talking, bitch,” the man spat, but it only made Jimin want to talk even more.

“Nobody interferes or judges you for fucking some random bitch in the club toilet so mind your own business and fuck off! I can make out with my man as much as I want!”

“What a psycho …”

“Fuck off,” Jungkook growled before stepping in front of Jimin and taking his face in his hands, trying to ensure that the only thing his boyfriend could see was him. “Jimin, that’s enough. Let’s go somewhere else.”

Jimin’s gaze was sharp. Dangerously sharp. It was the first time Jungkook had seen this side of him.

“Why?!” he suddenly shouted, so loud that Jungkook flinched, and darted out from behind his boyfriend. “I like tits and pussy, too! Does that mean I can stay here? Huh?”

“Oh my God, he’s insane,” Jungkook heard from behind him and tried to step into Jimin’s path, intending to block the fight he knew was inevitable at this point.

“I’m really sorry, but at the moment I prefer my boyfriend’s dick and I’m afraid that’ll probably last forever! Ups … Do you mind?!”

Jungkook pressed his lips together, desperately holding in a wildly inappropriate giggle, and burrowed into Jimin’s shoulder. When he finally looked back up at him, the guys behind them seemed to have fallen silent and Jimin’s signature smirk was back.

“Babe, it’s a waste of time for such morons. Let’s go. I need to use the toilet,” he muttered, tugging him by the hand. “Let’s go, Jimin-ssi!”

He allowed the Busan satoori to slip into words and it didn’t get the response he’d been hoping for but at least it succeeded in calming Jimin down enough to get him away from those men and their bigotry.

“Wait for me, okay?” Jungkook asked as they stopped in front of the bathroom.

“Okay, babe.”

He slid through the door and immediately went to wash his hands. He didn’t need to use the toilet itself but it had been the only excuse he could think of to get Jimin away from those idiotic homophobes. But life was ironic …

“Look at him. How full of yourself can you get? You actually look like a man whore,” he heard as soon as he left the bathroom and when it was Jimin’s voice that replied, his heart started beating very fast.

The two guys had apparently followed them and now they were standing in the corridor, cruelly trying to provoke Jimin yet again in the hopes they’d get a better reaction than the one before.

“Really? Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m taken. You should keep looking.”

“What did you say, you fucking faggot?”

As soon as those grotesque words left the bigot’s mouth, he was slammed right up against the wall, Jungkook’s hand tightening around his throat and the sound he emitted was only comparable to that of a roar.  

“One more word and I’ll crush you!”

The second guy seized his arm, cursing and trying to rip his friend free, but Jungkook shoved him away far too easily with his free hand.

“Hey! What is it? Get out! You can’t fight in our club!” an approaching security guard shouted, inserting himself between the three of them. “Get out!”

They each glared at each other, mustering up as much hate as possible to lather their gazes with.

“Okay, let’s take this outside,” the first guy challenged, massaging his bruised throat.

“Fine by me,” Jungkook hissed, following the man obediently, perfectly equipped to beat him into the ground.

“Jungkook …” Jimin started as the four of them stepped out into the cool air at the back of the club, but Jungkook ignored him.

“Apologise,” he demanded at once.

Both men chuckled, giving each other amused glances and one of them spat in Jimin’s direction before turning his eyes on Jungkook with a ‘what you gonna do about it?’ expression on his hideous face.

“That’s what I will do.”

“I’ll fucking kill you!” Jungkook screamed and the next thing he knew, his fist was making contact with a very breakable and very bleedable nose.

“Son of a bitch!” the victim roared as his friend seized Jungkook by the shoulders and pinned him against the wall.

He saw the attack coming and ducked to avoid it, slipping out of his fleshy cage and dolling out another punch to his enemy’s jaw. But luck didn’t last forever and in his first blow came in the form of a fist to his stomach, knocking him to the ground.

He would have been down and out, completely open to further assault, but Jimin stepped in, shoving his assailants away from his breathless body. Jungkook pushed himself to his feet, panting heavily. Even if he was in pain, his fury was fuelling him.

The punches he threw were blind and uncoordinated but when they hit their marks, they were nothing short of brutal. The first man fell down but the second managed to get his knuckles into Jungkook’s jaw and eyebrow.

“Jungkook, no!” he heard Jimin shouted, and that was what gave him the strength to beat his enemy into the ground.

He hadn’t trained in so many sports just to fail in a fight now. But he couldn’t stop his wave of hate, seizing the first guy by the collar as he tried to get to his feet and hitting him in the face over and over and over again.

“Let’s go … Please let’s go!”

Jimin’s voice brought him back to his senses and only then did he register the blood on his victim’s face. He felt arms around his middle and Jimin’s cheek pressed against his back.

“Please, Jungkook …”

He was shaking, and Jungkook let go at once. The second guy was still lying on the ground, gripping his stomach and groaning in pain, and Jungkook’s hands were trembling at his sides.

And he started running.

He didn’t remember how and where but he could feel Jimin’s hand in his and that was what kept him going even though his ribs were smarting and his jaw was throbbing.

They only stopped when they deemed that they were far away enough from the scene of the crime.

“Oh my God. You’re bleeding.”

Jungkook kept staring at Jimin even though his boyfriend was totally focused on his injuries. He didn’t care if he was bruised or bleeding or even dying. At least Jimin was okay.

But suddenly he was afraid of what he would think of him after seeing his beloved boyfriend beating up two guys in a dark street alleyway, and the tears were falling before he could stop them.

“I’m sorry, Jimin-ssi,” he sobbed, pitching forwards and burying his face in Jimin’s neck as the smaller boy stroked the back of his head.

“Jungkook, look at me.”

Jungkook obeyed, feeling Jimin’s hands cupping his face and seeing the concern in his eyes. All he felt was guilt.

“I’m so sorry …”

They sat down on the closest bench but it was another few minutes before Jungkook finally stopped crying and allowed Jimin to hug him properly. He said something about going to the pharmacy to buy some plasters and cream for wound healing, but Jungkook was too overwhelmed to pay attention.

“Here,” Jimin said, approaching with a small package in his hands.

Jungkook flinched almost instinctively as he felt the cream being rubbed into the wound just above his eyebrow before a plaster sealed the injury off to the outside world.

“Am I scary?”

“No, but I was scared …”

“I’m so sorry,” Jungkook cut him off, grabbing Jimin’s hand and bringing it up to his lips.

“No, Jungkook,” Jimin backtracked, shaking his head and gulping. “I wasn’t scared of you. I was afraid that they were going to hurt you and then … He wasn’t worth it. I know that you were defending me but if … If you’d killed him or something then nobody would have cared that he attacked us first. I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me.”

“I won’t let anybody say anything bad about you. If somebody hurts you, I’ll kill them,” Jungkook whispered, his heart heavy even as he spoke. “I love you.”

Jimin’s eyes widened and that sparkle was back. He smiled weakly, fingers wrapping around Jungkook’s knee and squeezing. The bus pulled up in front of them, breaking them from their respective reveries and Jungkook realised for the first time that they were sitting at a stop.

“Come on. We’ll go to that motel we mentioned before,” Jimin coaxed and Jungkook could only nod, fixating his gaze on the ground and pulling his hood up over his head so he wouldn’t have to make eye contact with the bus driver. “Sit down. I’ll buy the tickets.”

Jungkook made his way to the back of the bus and collapsed into a chair, staring blankly out of the window. When Jimin joined him, they remained silent for the rest of their way to the motel, unsure of what they should or could say.

Jungkook kept wondering if those guys were going to report them to the police. They knew his face and they’d heard Jimin say his name, and other people had been there to witness their little spat before the actual fight had begun.

It wasn’t the first time he’d been in trouble with the law but he most certainly didn’t want to fuck up now. Not when he was so happy with Jimin by his side.

They reached the motel and Jungkook sat down on the waiting room sofa, listening to Jimin addressing the receptionist.

“Are there any free rooms?”

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have any for two guests. We only have a three-person suite but it will be more expensive. You can also join to the room for five people.”

Jimin turned to Jungkook and they both shook their heads in a silent agreement.

“Or there’s a one-person room with a bigger bed, but it won’t be comfortable.”

“Okay. Room for one, please,” Jimin agreed immediately.

After paying for their stay, they both headed to the elevator and pressed the button that would take them up to the second floor. As the metal doors closed in front of them, Jimin took Jungkook in his arms, stroking his back comfortingly.

“That bigger bed sounded tempting,” he tried as a conversation starter but Jungkook stayed silent.  

He slipped his key card into the door and turned on the lights, pointing to the only bed in the centre of their new room.

“And it looks tempting, too.”

Jungkook gave a small smile, knowing that his boyfriend was trying his best to make him feel better, and he found it cute when Jimin kept glancing at him to check his reactions after every word he uttered.

“You’re finally smiling.”

Jungkook flopped down on the bed with a sigh, “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course,” Jimin said at once, crouching down in front of Jungkook and stroking his knee through the hole in his ripped jeans. By now, it seemed to have become his favourite habit.

“You said in the club … To that guy …” Jungkook began nervously. “You said something about forever … you know?”

“Ah … That. Why? You don’t like the idea?”

“I love it!” Jungkook cried, surprised by his own enthusiasm.

Jimin grinned in pleasure but then, as he noticed the way Jungkook was looking at him with such tenderness, his facial expression slowly dawned into something else. He lowered himself to his knees and shuffled forwards so he could lean in for a kiss.

There was this exciting tension when their lips parted and Jimin stood up, so close that they could feel the warmth of each other’s bodies.

“I need to take shower,” Jimin muttered, shrugging off his jacket and tossing it onto a nearby chair. “Are you coming with me?”

Jungkook raised his head, carefully scanning Jimin’s body, hands moving up to hold his hips. The blonde boy took his shirt off, exposing his muscled chest and belly, and Jungkook’s fingers found their way to the waistband of his boyfriend’s jeans.

He helped him remove them, a tingling sensation spreading throughout his whole body as he watched Jimin kicking his clothes aside and standing before him, naked save for his boxers. He was just about to pull him closer when Jimin smirked and stepped out of his reach, sauntering into the bathroom.

Jungkook made quick work of stripping off his own clothes and followed just as Jimin turned on the shower. Naked.

“You’re so easy to read, Jungkook-ssi,” he teased, stepping under the water and running his hands through his hair. “Does this remind you of something?”

“Yeah,” Jungkook murmured, gaping at the droplets gliding over Jimin’s sexy body. “Fuck … You’re so hot …”

He stepped out of his boxers and practically leapt into the cabin, attacking Jimin with a kiss so wild that their teeth almost collided. Jimin moaned and then he moaned louder when Jungkook started stroking his dick.

“This is definitely much better than taking a shower alone,” he said with a suggestive smile, pressing his forehead against his partner’s.

“Yeah, baby,” Jungkook panted back, breaths hitching when Jimin’s fingers reached his own cock.

“You must have really loved watching me shower that time, huh?”

“Y-You make me so horny, baby …” Jungkook groaned, suddenly grabbing Jimin’s chin and smashing their mouths together, tongues roaming over each other.

Jungkook pushed Jimin backwards, pressing him into the wall, and returned to the gentle caressing of his dick.

“Yeah, I can tell …” Jimin breathed, kissing Jungkook’s arm and moaning as the movements increased in speed. “Fuck … I want to come inside you. Let me take care of you, babe.”

He slipped free of his fleshy cage and stepped behind Jungkook, kissing his back and rubbing his dick against the curve of his boyfriend’s ass before slowly entering him.

“You’re so hot, Kook. Do you know how handsome you are?” he murmured with barely-concealed excitement, pushing harder.

The voice in his ear turned Jungkook on even more and he spread his legs, craving to deepen the sensation. At the same time, Jimin’s hand was moving faster and faster.

“Fuck me good,” Jungkook said weakly, almost orgasming on the spot at the sound of Jimin’s heavy breathing against his ear.

He seemed so excited by fucking Jungkook from behind. It was something new and so much more exhilarating than sex with a woman. With any other person. Jungkook thought at that moment that he won't ever enjoy making love as much as he enjoyed it with Jimin.

He’d never wanted someone as badly as he wanted that boy. Even the simple brushing of their fingers had his stomach curdling inside of him.

“What?” Jimin gasped, losing his breath as his whole body collapsed against Jungkook’s, lips caressing his neck.

It was only then that Jungkook realised he’d just come inside him. Jimin pulled out and turned his boyfriend around so that they were facing each other.

“I didn’t hear you,” he said with a smile, his beautiful face dripping and hair sopping. “You never what?”

Jungkook didn’t even noticed he’d talked aloud. He’d been too into the sensations to control what his mouth was saying in that moment and he reached out, fastening his fingers on Jimin’s chin.

“I said that I’ve never wanted someone as badly as you, Jimin. And I never will,” he whispered, kissing him as passionately as he could before the boy had time to respond.

Their bodies rubbed against each other and all it took was Jimin’s fingers dancing over his dick and Jungkook came.

As soon as their bodies and hair were dried, they lay down on the bed, side by side. They’d already dressed and now the only thing on their minds was cuddling, Jungkook with his head on Jimin’s stomach.

“How do you feel now?” he heard the hum from above, fingers carding through his hair.

“Better. Because we’re finally alone.”

“I know. Finally.”

Jungkook took Jimin’s free hand and started playing with his fingers. They lapsed into a long silence, enjoying each other’s touches.

“I wish nothing would change. If I could freeze this moment, here and now …”

“No. We have so many things to do. There are all these places I want to take you to,” Jimin whispered, propping himself up on his elbows and smiling down at the boy lying against him.

“You can watch it on the Internet,” Jungkook mumbled back, relishing in the soft tinkle of Jimin’s laughter.

“Dummy … You don’t like going out?”

Jungkook shrugged and crawled higher up the bed so that his and Jimin’s faces were only a few inches apart.

“What difference does it make where we go? We can just lie down and cuddle,” he said, pulling Jimin closer and nuzzling into his neck.

“You’re so cute, Jungkookie.”

Jungkook smiled, rolling onto his back, “Hey, let’s play questions and answers.”

“What?” Jimin asked, brow furrowed in confusion.

“I want to get to know you better,” Jungkook explained with a revival of energy in his voice at the prospect. “I want to know everything about you.”

“Whoa … Everything?”

“Everything!”

“Okay,” Jimin grinned. “So what do you want to know?”

“I’ve told you about my life before coming to the hospital. I used to live with my mother and her boyfriend. How about your family?”

“Um … There’s nothing to talk about …” Jimin murmured, expression suddenly hardening and eyes glazing. “Last time I spoke to them was four years ago. I mean, my mother and my brother, that is.”

“And your father?” Jungkook asked carefully, sensing the atmosphere.

“He moved to the US after divorcing my mother. I was ten when he left. And yours?”

“I didn’t know him. I mean … I don’t remember him. He had a heart attack when I was still a baby.”

Jimin leaned closer, running his fingers tenderly over the curve of Jungkook’s jaw, “I’m sorry, Kook. Was he still very young?”

“Yeah. But he worked really hard. My mom said he never took care of his health. Sometimes I feel like she blames him for leaving her alone with me. Yeah, always putting the blame on someone else.. If she wasn’t so disturbed, I wouldn’t have ended up in the hospital.”

“And then we never would have met,” Jimin pointed out with a sad smile.

“Oh … Right …” Jungkook sighed, staring up at the ceiling with a blank expression ironed over his facial muscles.

“Maybe some things in life aren’t coincidences. Maybe they’re meant to be like this so that good things can happen. Maybe I spent so long in that place so that I could meet you, Jungkook-ah.”

Jungkook gave him his full attention, raising his head off the pillows and turning towards his boyfriend.

“You’ve been there since you were a teenager, right?”

“I kept coming back to the hospital after every mental breakdown and then when I turned eighteen, I decided that I wanted long-term therapy but the truth is … Maybe I never wanted to be healthy.”

“What?” Jungkook balked, shuffling closer and turning onto his side so they were facing each other. “Why?”

“The hospital became my asylum. It felt more comfortable there than at home and so it was fine when I wasn’t getting any better because that meant I had a reason to stay. My mother always wanted both me and my brother to be as successful as our father. He’s running his own company up in the US. My brother studied law and she wanted me to do something similar but all I managed to do was finish high school.”

Jungkook stayed silent, watching Jimin’s lips moving, giving him all the time that he needed.

“She was always comparing the two of us. But I couldn’t be as perfect as Jihyun. I had my first mental breakdown when I was only thirteen, for God’s sake. I couldn’t function well. And they both treated me like shit. They were ashamed of me …”

Jimin’s voice broke and Jungkook reached out to stroke the lone tear from his cheek.

“People around us kept saying that I was crazy and then they stopped visiting me in the hospital. It was like I just didn’t exist anymore. Not even a fucking Christmas card … Nothing.”

“Jimin-ah …”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin whispered, taking Jungkook’s hand and pulling it against his chest. “I’ve never said that to anyone before. It’s too hard. I didn’t want you to know how pathetic my life is. I have nowhere to go.”

Something pierced Jungkook’s heart at those words and he realised for the first time just how lonely this boy was.

“Shh … It doesn’t matter. You’re great, Jimin. They have no idea how great you are. What kind of person would treat their family like that? They can fuck off. It’s their loss that they’ll never know how pretty you are when you smile.”

“But not now when I’m crying,” Jimin said, pawing at the tears on his face.

“You’re always so pretty. I love your face,” Jungkook whispered, planting a kiss on his lips and then travelling down to his neck. “And your body.”

His hands found their way beneath Jimin’s shirt, lifting it up so his lips could press up against those chiselled muscles.

“And my mind?” Jimin teased, and Jungkook was so mesmerised by the contact they were having to answer immediately.

“Even more.”

“And my heart?”

“The most.”

“Stop it,” Jimin laughed, raking his fingers through Jungkook’s hair.

“I’m serious,” Jungkook murmured, smirking suggestively as he slowly started to undo Jimin’s belt and jeans, fingering the material of his boxers.

“Hmm … Feels so good … Keep going,” Jimin encouraged him, closing his eyes as Jungkook kept kissing his stomach, palming his bulge through his underwear.

He amused himself with teasing him, steadily directing his kisses towards the lower parts of Jimin’s body, feeling the muscles tensing when he reached his groin. He was already hard.

Jungkook pulled his jeans off and then his boxes. It was ironic that just a few minutes ago they’d been dressing up only to be naked again. Jimin tore off the rest of his clothes and then helped Jungkook with his shirt.

His eyes darkened as he touched the taller boy’s chest, admiring its shape and sturdiness. It didn’t take long for him to come after Jungkook started sucking him off.

“So hot …” Jungkook murmured. “Turn on your stomach. I’ll give you a massage.”

Jimin did as he was told, his lips quirking in a smirk, and Jungkook leaned closer so he could whisper in his ear.

“And … many other pleasant things.”

“Oh, that feels nice,” Jimin groaned when Jungkook’s hands squeezed the backs of his arms. “Oh, what a relief.”

It seemed like Jimin was intentionally making his words ambiguous and Jungkook smiled, moving his grip to his boyfriend’s firm butt.

“You’re a really good massager, Jungkook,” Jimin mumbled before Jungkook was lying on top of him, rubbing his stiff dick against the older boy’s ass before entering him slowly, moving inside carefully but firmly. “Harder, baby.”

Jungkook transferred all of his weight to Jimin’s body, pressing him into the bedding and thrusting faster.

“You’re so delicious,” Jungkook panted, unable to control the urge to pound into him even harder. “Fuck … Jimin, you make me so hard.”

“Fuck me, honey. I love your dick in my ass.”

“Damn …”

He pulled Jimin closer, admiring his curves. His ass was perfectly exposed, sticking out, his back bent in anticipation.

“Harder, baby boy …” he moaned but his voice broke and Jungkook slowed his pace at once.

“Are you okay?”

“Don’t worry … Don’t stop.”

Their bodies were still trembling even ten minutes later. They lay down against the covers and fell asleep in each other’s arms.

 

*********************

 

They met up with the rest of the group in a café so they could borrow money from Yoongi. If they wanted to go on a real date then they knew they’d need more of it. Jimin kept trying to be convincing but the older boy was still hesitating.

“I’ll pay you back. Seriously …”

“I can lend you money, but not this much.”

After a much longer silence, Taehyung drew everybody’s attention by spluttering on his straw and staring down at his drink like it had just betrayed him in the worst of ways.

“This tastes strange,” he grimaced, pushing the glass towards Hoseok. “Try it.”

“It’s fine, Taehyung.”

“No. Check it out. There may be something in it.”

“There isn’t,” Jimin suddenly snapped, his gaze hard and cold.

“How can you be so sure.”

“Because it’s all in your head. I’ve been telling you that for ages.”

“No, I won’t risk it,” Taehyung stated firmly, emptying the contents of his glass onto the grass beside him.

“For fuck’s sake, Tae! It’s our money!” Jimin shouted, slamming his fist into the table.

A few people in the café glanced over at them.

“Money’s more important than my health?” Taehyung spat back, anger evident in his tone.

“It’s more important than your stupidity! Nobody’s trying to poison you!”

“Dude, you crossed a line,” Yoongi commented, shaking his head at Jimin in disapproval, but it was far too late to stop either of them.

“I can only be sure if I get food and drink from the nurses. I need to be more careful outside,” Taehyung said through gritted teeth, arms folded protectively over his chest.

“Then why the hell did you want to be with us in the first place?! If you need special care then you should have stayed in the fucking hospital!” Jimin fumed, his voice increasing in decibel.

“And you don’t? You don’t need special care? You’re not normal either.”

Jimin threw down his drink and sat back in his chair, jaw set in fury.

“You know what? I’m so done with this shit. It was only meant to be me and Jungkook. I was patient with Hoseok’s panic attacks and Jin’s weird behaviour but now I’ve had it with your bullshit.”

Jungkook tried to calm him down by reaching for his hand but Jimin pulled back, withdrawing himself from any attempts at physical contact.

“Dude, if you keep talking like this, I will seriously punch you,” Yoongi warned. “We’ve been dealing with your ups and downs for so long and now you dare to call our disorders ‘bullshit’?”

“I only mean that it’s too much,” Jimin sighed, the beginnings of guilt blossoming over his face. “Am I wrong?”

“Jimin, come on …” Hoseok murmured, but Jimin was already out of his chair.

“Okay … Have a good life,” he ground out, walking away with tears in his eyes.

And just like that, he was gone.

“Jimin,” Jungkook called, chasing after him even as Jimin kept retreating, refusing to give any reaction. “Wait!”

“Jungkook, please, I need to be alone,” Jimin hissed when his boyfriend finally caught up.

“Where are you going?”

“Just … I’ll call you.”

“Are you kidding me?!” Jungkook shouted, completely losing control, but before his fury could progress any further, a much louder scream cut through the air like a whip crack.

They both turned around to see some woman struggling with a shrieking Taehyung outside the café.

“Fuck off, freak! I’m not a spy!” she yelled, trying to pull herself from his grip.

“That bitch sent you! I knew it! Why else would you keep staring at me? I wondered why your face was so familiar! Just admit that she sent you!”

“Oh my God …” Jungkook murmured, breaking into a run.

But it was too late.

The woman lost her balance and tumbled over the curb onto the road, right into the path of an oncoming car.

Jungkook closed his eyes and turned his head away with his heart hittig his chest.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

“Guys, we have a new person starting in our group.”

That’s all Jungkook registered during the thirty-minute art therapy session, most of which was spent with him sitting in front of the window, twirling a pencil in his hand. To anyone else, it probably looked like he was just blankly staring at the trees outside but, in reality, his mind was far away.

“I’m not actually new,” somebody’s voice interrupted his thoughts and he looked up at the guy sitting at the free table.

It took him a few seconds before he realised that he’d actually never seen this guy before.

“Yes, Taemin has been a patient of ours before,” Namjoon explained.

“Okay, I think that’s enough of an introduction,” Taemin declared, clearly not liking all the attention that was fixed on him, and Namjoon gave him a pat on the back before he left.

“Alright. Make yourself comfortable.”

Jungkook couldn’t help staring at the newcomer, inspecting the unusual features of Taemin’s face. And he seemed to be very fond of dark clothes. But after a few seconds, Jungkook completely forgot about the presence of the new-not-so-new patient and all the other people around him.

 

In his mind he was still standing on that Seoul street, the crowd around him getting bigger and the woman in the middle of the road lying with her leg strangely curved at an unnatural angle. The scarlet pool beneath her head was steadily growing at a sickening rate.

That was the view Jungkook would never be able to erase from his mind.

Some random guys grabbed a trembling Taehyung in some form of citizens arrest and then too many things were happening all at once. Yoongi was trying to free his fellow patient, shouting that he was from a psychiatric hospital and there was no need to attack him.

Jungkook’s legs were weak, his eyes unable to look away from the screaming people all around him. He staggered and crashed into somebody on his left, heart in his throat and breathing bordering on hyperventilation.

Somebody was kneeling beside the woman, checking her pulse. She was alive but Jungkook still felt like throwing up, seeing her body writhing in pain on the road. She was still conscious.  

He looked around, desperately searching for Jimin. He could have sworn he’d been standing just behind him. Unable to stand there a minute longer, he broke away from the crowd and spun on the spot.

“Jimin!”

“Jungkook!” he heard and, for a second, he felt his heart lift.

But it was Hoseok who was moving in his direction.

“I can’t find Jimin …”

Hoseok scrubbed his hands over his face, sighing in pure stress, “I don’t know what to do. Somebody called an ambulance and … the police.”

“Fuck …”

His first thought was to run. To run and run and never look back, but Hoseok seemed to sense his terror because he fastened his hand around Jungkook’s wrist, restraining him.

“W-We have to help Taehyung.”

“How are we going to help him?” Jungkook growled back. “He pushed somebody under a fucking car in the middle of the street!”

Hoseok gulped, releasing Jungkook and grabbing fistfuls of his own hair, clearly spiralling into an identical chasm of panic.

“And where’s Jin-hyung?” Jungkook continued.

He was surprised that his thoughts were still so clear and his voice wasn’t shaking, unlike Hoseok who sounded like he was vibrating. He plunged back into the crowd, calling Jin’s name.

He had no idea how long it took before he spotted his hyung at the outside table of a café, staring into the abyss with a blank expression on his face.

“Hyung!” he shouted, frantically waving to Jungkook as though he were afraid of not being noticed.

“Are you alright?” Jungkook gasped breathlessly as he stumbled over, Jin reaching up to grab his hands with a grimace.

“I want to go home. Please, let’s go home. I’m scared.”

“We can’t.”

“Please, call my parents.”

“Jin …”

“I’m scared!” Jin cried, leaping out of his seat only for Jungkook to pull him against his chest in a protective embrace. “I should be with my mom and dad. We would drink tea and eat cookies. I’m scared … Are they shooting a movie? I don’t like this movie. Who did he kill? I don’t know … Hyung, you know what? I need to hide under a blanket and …”

“Jin, calm down,” Jungkook interrupted, drawing back from the hug and taking the older boy by the shoulders. “You’re an adult. You can’t hide under a blanket. Just sit here and wait.”

He decided that Jin was going to be his first priority seeing as the eldest probably didn’t even have the first idea about what was happening. He refused to admit to himself that he was really just trying to stay away from the crowd and the woman crying out in agony in the road.

Somebody shifted positions and, for a second, he caught sight of Taehyung sitting on the curb with his hands framing his head, and Jungkook didn’t know which view was worse: A half-dead woman being transferred to a stretcher as the sound of an ambulance siren pierced the air or Taehyung being manhandled into a police car.

Some man pointed at Jungkook and he felt his stomach curdle inside of him. Before he really knew what was happening, all of them – Jungkook, Yoongi, Hoseok and Jin – were being taken to the police station.

Well, almost all of them.

Jimin was gone and Jungkook couldn’t even call him because his account was blocked. Like an idiot, he hoped that his boyfriend would call him himself but he never did. He just fucking left them, blissfully unaware of how Jungkook spent almost six hours explaining to police officers how they’d all escaped from hospital..

 

And now here they were, back in their hospital.

“I keep wondering … What’s going to happen to Taehyung?” Yoongi murmured when the art therapy finally ended and they were all sitting on a couch in the common room.

“Poor guy …” Hoseok sighed wearily. “He was detained. He didn’t even know what he was doing.”

“Oh, he knew,” Yoongi spat bitterly. “He just believed it was true, and don’t call him a ‘poor guy’. What about that woman? I heard she may end up in a wheelchair for the rest of her life!”

His words sent shivers down Jungkook’s spine.

“It’s so frustrating that we don’t have any source of information,” he mumbled. “I feel like I live on a desert island.”

Since they’d come back, most of his time Jungkook had been spent aimlessly walking around the hospital or lying in bed, unsuccessfully trying to take a nap or just listening to his music from his Mp3 player.

It was late autumn and most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees, creating a tapestry of golden and red. He was glad for his ‘phone free hours’ so that he could immortalise the amazing view in front of him.

Why did he always have to be so damn sentimental? Why must he feel so many things all at the same time? He was happy that he was able to breathe this cool, refreshing air and see the beauty of nature around him, but there was a dampener on his spirits.

Like a black hole sucking all his joy from within.

“It’s been a while, Jungkook,” he heard from ahead of him and, when he raised his eyes, he saw Sunmi sitting on a nearby bench.

She smiled at him, her arms folded and legs crossed, but Jungkook didn’t return the greeting.

“What?” she laughed, eyebrows arching. “We’re pretending we don’t know each other?”

“No, of course not,” Jungkook sighed in resignation, recognising that his silence was, in fact, quite rude.

Sunmi shuffled from the centre of the bench to the left so he could sit beside her.

“Good. It would be a waste. It’s nice to have a handsome guy on my contact list.”

It was completely irrelevant but Jungkook suddenly thought about Jimin. For the first time since he’d returned to the hospital, he allowed the image of his old muse to enter his mind.

Sunmi was flirting with him with a smirk on her face, exactly the same way Jimin used to. It brought back the memories of Jungkook’s first few days in the unit when Jimin had tried to draw his attention. That seemed to be what Sunmi was doing right now.

“You know what?” Jungkook started before he just gave up and sighed in defeat. “Ugh … Whatever.”

“No,” she insisted. “If you started, then finish.”

Jungkook smiled bitterly, allowing his gaze to connect with that beautiful woman’s equally beautiful eyes, “You’re really flirty. It reminds me of something.”

“What?” she asked. “Or rather … Who? Perhaps your boyfriend?”

Jungkook flinched.  “What?”

Sunmi just laughed and reached out to lay her hand on his arm, “Come on. Everybody knows Jimin and his thing for pretty boys. I heard a few rumours about you two. The love birds … Always together …”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Jungkook interrupted harshly.

“He already found somebody else?” she asked incredulously, shaking her head in disbelief. “How silly of him.”

Something about that sentence stung Jungkook right in the chest and he found himself practically growling back at her, “I don’t think it’s any of your business.”

“Of course not. It’s just my opinion. I wouldn’t do that if I were him.”

“I’ll be going,” Jungkook muttered, getting to his feet without even glancing at the girl by his side. “Bye.”

There was still another twenty minutes of free time before another therapy session but he didn’t feel like spending it in any kind of productive way. All he wanted was to hide under a blanket and never show his face again.

He left his coat in the cloakroom and changed his footwear, feeling as if he were just moving on autopilot, and he was just heading towards Namjoon’s office to tell him that he wasn’t in the mood for a session when a sudden, familiar view in front of him had his whole stomach lurching into his throat.

Jimin was standing in the corridor, not even moving. He just kept staring at Jungkook.

It wasn’t just that the walls were grey and the lights were dim that made the whole atmosphere seem gloomy but Jimin’s whole posture gave off that exact same vibe. He didn’t look like he had the last time Jungkook had seen him. His hair was messy and his face was tired, no make-up in sight.  

“Hi,” he said flatly but Jungkook didn’t answer.

Without warning, a tidal wave of emotions hit him with the strong force and he didn’t know whether he wanted to cry or to scream.

He guessed that Jimin must have been brought back to the hospital recently, maybe even in the last few hours, but all of this was just so unexpected. He clenched his teeth and kept walking, hands balled into fists at his sides, but Jimin’s voice stopped him dead in his tracks.

Of course, he wouldn’t be able to resist. He was mad, but it was him. Jimin. His Jimin.

“Jungkook, can we talk?” the boy asked, uncertainly fixing the sweater paws that swallowed his hands.

Jungkook shrugged, turning his gaze on the grounds and refusing to look up even as Jimin pulled him into an empty room.

“Please say something.”

The silence stretched longer and louder than a silence should have to stretch and, just for a second, Jungkook felt sorry for acting so cold.

“How have you been doing?”

But that one question triggered him in a way he never would have expected. He suddenly thought of all those hours he’d spent alone, all that time Jimin hadn’t been beside him.

“You fucking left me,” he spat, the words flowing from his mouth without any kind of filter.

“I’m so sorry, Jungkookie,” Jimin gasped, taking a step forwards as though he wanted to reach out but something was clearly stopping him. “I panicked. I don’t know what I was thinking. I just … I wanted to hide and find some place to be alone. I know it was awful to just leave but I wasn’t thinking rationally. I was scared. I’m sorry.”

Jungkook knew the intensity of his gaze must be burning holes in Jimin’s heart but there were only two ways he was able to express himself: throw a fit or stay silent.

“Please say something,” Jimin repeated, a smidgen of frustration adding to his tone.

Finally cracking, Jungkook straightened his back and advanced. It was only a single step but he could tell how intimidating he looked through the fear in Jimin’s eyes.

“You think you were the only one who was scared? You ran away and left us all behind! Do you know how shitty it felt to be shipped off to a police station after watching somebody getting hit by a car?”

His breathing was getting heavier and he hadn’t even realised his hands were still clenched into fists, fingernails digging mercilessly into his palms, and when Jimin spoke next, his voice was weak.

“I know. I’m sorry. I came back for you,” he offered but Jungkook could tell he knew that nothing he said would make a difference in that moment. “I’ll go back to my room now. I haven’t felt well lately. I barely found the strength to start this conversation. I’m sorry.”

And again, something heavy and painful lay itself on top of Jungkook’s chest. He was just about to call out, to tell Jimin to wait and somehow discuss everything that had happened, but he was already gone.

He cursed under his breath, trying to find a way to release the anger he’d kept contained over the course of the entire week. It felt like everything was going wrong all at once.

When Jimin was still missing, he’d been worried that something might have happened to him but at the same time, he’d been sad and angry that his supposed boyfriend seemed to have left him for good and never come back.

And now that Jimin was here, looking pale and pasty and beyond exhausted, all Jungkook wanted to do was scream at him for not taking care of his health and at the same time hug him and comfort him.

Why did his emotions have to be so damn complicated?  

 

***

 

Jimin was back. He’d come back. That was the only thing Jungkook could think of since their eyes had met after over a week apart. It was so hard to come back down to Earth when he felt like he loved and hated Jimin at the same time.

He was probably naive idiot. He knew that now. Especially after he noticed Jimin talking with the new guy.

Most of the patients were in the common room together and Jungkook was sitting on the couch when he saw Jimin and Taemin interacting. Jimin was sitting astride a chair, his arms folded on the backrest, and Taemin was at the table beside him.

They seemed deep in conversation and Jungkook wondered if Jimin had even noticed he was here. Or maybe he was ignoring him on purpose.

“It seems like they know each other pretty well,” he grumbled on impulse, nodding at the two guys in front of him.

“Yeah,” Hoseok murmured, unbothered as he continued flicking through his newspaper.

Maybe Jungkook was reading too much into it but, from afar, it looked like Jimin was smiling at Taemin. The kind of smile that he usually only ever reserved for Jungkook.

“Seriously … Who the hell is this guy?” he growled, shuffling uncomfortably in his seat. He glanced to his right and saw Yoongi and Hoseok exchanging a look. “You know, right?”

“Jungkook …” Hoseok started.

“Tell me. And no rumours this time. Only facts.”

“He’s … One of many. Don’t bother.”

“What?” Jungkook hissed, glaring at Hoseok even though he knew it made the other uncomfortable.

“They had a thing before Taemin left the hospital,” Yoongi continued with a sigh. “He had some serious mood swings and ended up here. I guess that’s why he’s back.”

“A thing?”

“Yeah. Sorry, man. It’s exactly what you think it was. But that’s in the past so just calm down,” Yoongi tried to reassure him but it was just like adding fuel to the fire that could explode at any moment.

Jungkook tried to ignore what was going on right in front of him but his eyes kept being drawn back to the place where Jimin and ex-lover were sitting.

“He clearly doesn’t know there’s something called personal space,” he growled, poking his tongue against the inside of his mouth.

“Then why don’t you tell him to back off instead of complaining to me?” Yoongi said.

But Jungkook didn’t want to fight with Jimin. With anyone. Ever. But life was like this: No matter how hard you tried to avoid it, when you lived in this world, you had to face the consequences of your actions.

Another day came and went and, no matter how hard Jungkook tried to keep Jimin and that new guy out of his sights, it wasn’t possible. And, as if by some awful coincidence, they ended up sitting in the canteen together during lunch.

Jungkook could only stomach half of his food, something which seemed to amaze Jin.

“Hyung …” he declared. “You’re wasting good food.”

“You can finish it,” Jungkook monotoned, getting up from the table and heading over the dirty dishes rack to deposit his cup and cutlery.

“So we don’t talk now?” he heard from behind him just before Jimin stepped up to his side.

“I guess, since you’ve been ignoring me. And you don’t seem to care that much about our fight,” Jungkook answered, just so happening to notice Taemin watching him and having to contain his growing anger. He nodded in the eavesdropper’s direction with a bitter smirk, “You’ve got a comforter of your own.”

Jimin glanced over his shoulder at Taemin and then returned his attention to Jungkook, “He’s just a friend.”

“Friend,” Jungkook snorted, his tone dripping with sarcasm. “That’s what we’re calling it now then.”

Jimin raised his eyebrows, “What?”

“Come on … You wanted to run away and you did it. It didn’t matter to you if I was with you or not. You didn’t give a fuck about me. And now you’ve found another idiot who will believe your bullshit.”

He was going to walk away but Jimin grabbed his wrist.

“You really mean that?” he whispered and suddenly Jungkook was afraid to answer.

How he wished it didn’t work that way, but one word from Jimin and he was having second thoughts. One gaze and he was ready to hug him and forgive him for everything. And that was the problem.

Jimin had such a strong effect on him. So strong that sometimes Jungkook couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t. But there was still this huge fear at the back of his mind, telling him that Jimin was just using him for his own entertainment.

“Well, I guess you shouldn’t have to deal with someone as fake as me then,” Jimin said coldly as Jungkook remained silence.

It felt worse than getting punched to watch Jimin walk away. Perhaps Jungkook had been wrong. Feeling tears sparking in his eyes, he hurriedly turned away from Jimin retreating back and stormed towards the exit.

The only good thing was that his room was still empty so neither Yoongi nor Jin saw him in such a state. And that state was getting worse by the second. His whole body was shaking, tears streamed down his cheeks and he just wanted to tear his own skin off. He grabbed a pillow and punched it as hard as he could but it didn’t help.

“Fuck!” he screamed, kicking the bedpost.

He furiously swatted at the tears on his face and slammed his fist into the wardrobe door. Overwhelmed with the pain, his knees gave out and hit the ground, his knuckles already turning a purplish pink colour.

If he’d hit it any harder, his bones would probably have broken.

He didn’t know how long he sat there on the floor before moving to his bed and putting earphones in his ears. He crossed his legs beneath him and closed his eyes, listening to the melody blaring through his veins as it seemed to boil his blood even more.

The song had a rap part and he remembered how he used to freestyle rap to random tracks but, this time, he just sat and listened to the words and felt like he’d never related more.

 

I can’t tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like

And right now, there’s a steel knife in my windpipe

 

He leapt off his bed and started spewing words like he was born to, fists thumping into his chest along with the beat and eyes screwed shut to block out everything other than the music in his bones. He even changed words in original lyrics because.. it's like it was about him.

 

I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight

As long as the wrong feels right, it’s like I’m in flight

High off his love, drunk from my hate

It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love him

The more I suffer, I suffocate

And right before I’m about to drown, he resuscitates me

He fucking hates me and I love it – “Wait!”

“Where are you going?”, “I’m leaving you”, “No, you ain’t!”

“Come back!”, we’re running right back, here we go again

It’s so insane because when it’s going good, it’s going great

 

Somebody grabbed him by the shoulders and when he opened his eyes, he could see Yoongi standing in front of him.

“You’re too loud, Jungkook!” his roommate yelled as he tugged off his earphones. “You’re too loud.”

“Then get out!”

“It’s my room too!”

“I don’t give a fuck!” Jungkook screamed, snatching back the earphones and returning them to his ears.

“What is wrong with you, dude?” he could still hear Yoongi’s voice and then suddenly he was being pushed.

“Fuck off!” Jungkook warned dangerously, gripping Yoongi by the collar. “I don’t know which one of you is worse! You kept talking shit about Jimin and I started to actually believe it! Just admit that you don’t like him!”

“Yeah,” Yoongi answered honestly, removing Jungkook’s hands from his shirt. “Not really. So what?”

“You motherfucker!” Jungkook roared, raising his fist with perfectly clear intentions but Yoongi dodged too quickly.

He tried to hit him again but Yoongi blocked the punch, twisting his hand and wrapping his fingers around Jungkook’s wrist in an attempt at restraint. They both lost balance and crashed to the floor.

Only then did Yoongi stop trying to silence Jungkook and instead just watched his roommate curl up on the floor and sob. He was screaming, choking on his own grief and frustration, and it was a horrible sight.

“Is that why you wanted to ruin our relationship? It’s your fault! You made me insecure of his feelings and I pushed him away and now he’s with that stupid fucking Taemin guy! It’s your fault! Because I believed you!”

The door to their room banged open and Namjoon burst in.

“What the hell is going on here? Why are you screaming …?”

“I ruined it?” Yoongi repeated incredulously, ignoring the doctor’s entrance. “You wanted to know the truth and I told you! I always answered those stupid questions about your precious fucking Jiminie even if I didn’t want to! Get your shit together, kid! You knew how he was! We all talked about it with you! So don’t start blaming other people now!”

Jungkook was just about to stand up and punch him when Namjoon stepped between them, his facial expression dangerously calm and his voice low and challenging.

“Jungkook, don’t make me use alternative methods to calm you down.”

 

***

 

“Do you have something to get high off?”

Jungkook’s voice was so hoarse that it was barely audible but Sunmi still looked up, her eyebrows disappearing into her hairline as she regarded him with surprise.

“Nice to see you, too, Jungkook. Well, I do have a rather nice source …”

“I’m so fucking done with word games,” Jungkook cut her off harshly. “It’s so annoying. Just tell me if you’ve got some drugs or not.”

“Easy, honey,” Sunmi warned, and this time there was no hint of amusement in her tone. “I suppose I can help you seeing as you seem … desperate.”

“Whatever. Do you have it?”

“No,” she admitted. “But my friend does. Do you know that little building linked to the library?”

Jungkook nodded wordlessly.

“If you go, there’s a corridor that leads to what was once the staff room for the library workers. I have an access pass for it. Meet me there tomorrow at 11pm.”

“Okay.”

Almost the exact moment the nurses finished their scheduled room checks that evening, Jungkook slipped out and took the underground passages, knowing it was the safest route to the library without getting caught.

He knocked on the closed door but nobody responded so he knocked several more times but it was still a while before there was the sound of a deadbolt being drawn across and Sunmi appeared from the other side.  

“Shit,” she hissed. “I thought someone had come for us. Don’t scare me like that.”

“Sorry,” Jungkook sighed, trailing after her into the next passageway.

The room she led him to wasn’t that big but it was definitely abandoned. The sofa and chairs were old and moth-eaten and the shelves that lined the walls were rickety and unstable-looking, each book caked in dust.

In the middle of the dingy carpet, two people were sprawled out, smoking with a tube. The mist that wafted around them was so thick that Jungkook could barely make out their faces.

“A shisha? I didn’t know you were so old school,” he observed, still standing by the door.

“Are you mocking our amazing shisha that cost more money than you’ll ever earn in your life?” a girl with ginger hair accused him.

“How could you possibly know how much I earn, little girl?”

She glared at him, her gaze shockingly sharp considering how young she looked and how high she must be.

“Guys, chill out,” Sunmi defused, taking a seat next to her ginger-haired friend. “Hyuna, be nice to our guest. The boy’s stressed.”

“Then he should sit down and relax,” the guy with blonde hair spoke for the first time, beckoning Jungkook forward so he could pull him down onto the carpet with him. “Come on … What’s your name?”

“Jungkook.”

“I’m Hyojong.”

Jungkook stared suspiciously at the strange liquid in the vessel that was handed to him, frowning as he asked, “What the fuck is in here?”

“Something that will make you see the world a lot more colourfully.”

Jungkook brought the tube to his lips and breathed in, eyes fluttering closed as his body slowly craved more and more. Music was playing quietly in the back ground and he felt himself sinking further into a state of drugged-up euphoria.

Everything around him seemed to speed up. In the back of his mind, he knew that Hyojong and Hyuna were dancing but their bodies were a blur of smudged watercolours and he giggled, unable to stop himself from standing up to join in.

The couple started kissing, bodies rubbing up against each other and hips slowly swaying to the music and Jungkook pulled Sunmi closer, his hands trailing from her waist down to her butt. And she kissed him, slowly, deliberately, gorgeously.

Only hell knew how long they stayed like that before Jungkook realised that everybody around him looked as though they were made of plastic. He babbled something about them being baby dolls and then they were all laughing like it was the funniest thing any of them had ever heard.

“Sunmi, your legs are so long. They’re melting …” he remarked, running his hands up and down the girl’s body as they flopped clumsily down onto the carpet.

“Oh, really?” she challenged, reaching up to stroke his hair.

“Where are … Where are the others?”

He’d only just realised the two of them were now alone but, rather than actively looking for them, he chose instead to gaze up at the shapes moving and morphing together on the ceiling above him.

“Hyuna and her boyfriend? I don’t know. Probably hooking up.”

“I don’t like her,” Jungkook giggled.

“How about me? Do you like me?”

Her lips looked redder than they had just a few moments before. He wanted to touch them, uncoordinated fingers tracing the glossy ribbons.

“You’re hot.”

“You, too,” she countered and then they were kissing again.

When Jungkook finally opened his eyes, all he could see were strange little halos dotted about his vision, pulsating and shifting and too bright for his eyes to adjust to, “Wait … Fuck, these lights are weird.”

Sunmi laughed at him, moving to straddle his lap as she kissed his neck, “No. We’re just stoned.”

Something felt wrong.

“Maybe I should go …”

“And do what? Whine over your break up? Haven’t you done enough of that?”

Sunmi’s eyes were boring into his, almost like she was daring him, and he knew she was right. At least now he wasn’t feeling the pain that had been haunting him over the last few weeks.

“Yeah. You’re right.”

He reached up and slowly peeled off her blazer, staring in amazement as the flowers embroidered on the sleeves seemed to move of their own accord.

“Fucking magic,” he murmured under his breath, grinning stupidly when she giggled at him.

He raised his arms obediently when she pulled at the hem of his shirt, allowing the material to slide over his head and tousle his hair before he was doing the same with her blouse. Suddenly overcome with some kind of desperation, he spun her around and unzipped her skirt, pulling her close and imprinting bite marks into her neck.

“You seemed so innocent,” she moaned in response. “But you’re really naughty. I like it.”  

Jungkook kicked off his jeans and then made quick work of tossing aside her bra. His hand kept moving, down to finger her pussy through the fabric of her lingerie. He felt her breathing speed up and everything was spinning but it didn’t stop him from pushing Sunmi down onto the sofa.

He felt the heat of her body against his as they collided. Her legs wrapped around his waist and he pushed harder, eliciting a soft whine from her throat.

It was the first time he’d ever had sex while high and his senses were heightened but, at the same time, he felt like he was drunk. He had so much energy and yet he was tired, too.

He increased the pace of his hips and Sunmi let out another moan of pleasure.

“Keep going,” she murmured as she inhaled, clenching her fist in Jungkook’s hair and pulling his head down towards her breasts so he could start kissing them with a kind of animalistic aggression.

They switched positions, Sunmi’s ass rubbing against his thighs as he entered her for the second time. She looped her arms around his neck and started riding him, back arched and head thrown back in euphoria.

It felt like the contact of her skin on his and the scent of her perfume was stronger now. Her body shook and her moves slowed down and he knew she’d just come so he pushed her off him and flipped her over so her back was exposed.

He caressed the indentations of her spine, tracing the bony cord all the way down to her butt before his fingers buried themselves in her clit.  

“I’m going to fuck you from behind now,” he said, wrapping his hands around her thighs and pulling her close as he entered her with a hard push.

“Oh, yeah,” she smirked. “I like it, baby.”

He grabbed her waist and started fast, relishing in the sounds she made. All his anger was channelled into the moves he made and he knew he was growing rougher with her but he couldn’t bring himself to care.

Once he’d come, he leaned forwards and rested his cheek against Sunmi’s sweat-soaked back and all he could feel was numbness. He was relaxed but there was no excitement.

Maybe he wasn’t bisexual after all. Maybe he’d always enjoyed the male body from the start and he’d never realised it. Maybe all he had ever wanted and all he ever would want was Jimin. Fuck..

“I had real fun,” he heard Sunmi’s voice, distant as though underwater, as she clipped her bra back on and he only nodded, returning her kiss half-heartedly.

Her tongue traced the line of his lower lip and she laughed. Jungkook wasn’t blind. He could see she was really hot but, for some reason, all women felt like they were the same: pretty with nice bodies but just no … excitement.  

“I have to go,” he mumbled, pushing himself up off the sofa and searching for his clothes. “Before they realise I’m gone.”

“They probably already have,” Sunmi pointed out. “I bet they’re looking for you. I’m surprised they didn’t walk in on us. It’s already seven o’clock.”

He blanched, “It’s morning already?”

“Well … yeah. We fell asleep and then we had a pretty long sex session. I kind of lost count of just how long because of all the smoking, you know?”

“Fuck,” Jungkook cursed as she showed him his phone screen and the time plastered across it. “I have to go. Bye, Sunmi.”

“Bye, handsome.”

By some miracle, Jungkook managed to sneak back into the unit without any suspicious looks sent his way. He still felt a little dizzy but his state was much better than it had been a few hours ago.

But when he slipped silently into his room, he was there. Just sitting on the bed, looking as though he were waiting for someone. And who else would he be waiting for other than Jungkook?

“Jimin …” he whispered, surprised at the softness to his voice.

Jimin looked healthier than he had the last time they’d interacted and he ever had the lightest touch of make-up ghosting over his face. For some reason, Jungkook felt relieved.

“Hi,” he said cautiously, getting up from the mattress.

“Hi,” Jungkook mimicked in the same tone as he stepped forwards, not taking his eyes off the boy in front of him. He still couldn’t quite believe this was real. “What are you doing here?”

Jimin looked down at his hands, as though ashamed.

“I didn’t see you at breakfast and I thought something might have happened,” he mumbled after a rather lengthy silence and Jungkook felt his heart speed up as the gap between them decreased once more. “I was worried about you. I … I wanted to talk.”

“Oh … Okay.”

Suddenly, Jungkook had lost the ability to express himself. He hadn’t expected such a situation to befall him and, before he’d even realised what was happening, there was no space between their bodies and Jimin’s gaze was warm again.

“I mean … Why are we doing this, Jungkook? I know that I screwed up but I miss you. Fuck … Jungkook, I could live in this hospital forever so long as you’re here with me. When we were apart, I realised how much I love you …”

Jungkook gulped, wondering if his throat had somehow managed to tie itself into a knot. It felt so natural when he shuffled even closer and brought his hands up to rest them against Jimin’s shoulders.

“Jimin-ah …”

The response he got was a gentle touch to his cheek, fingers caressing the skin, and he smiled weakly.

“Can’t we work this out somehow?” Jimin whispered pleadingly. “It’s not that hard to fix. I won’t hang out with Taemin if it bothers you. I know that I gave you reasons to have doubts but I really missed …”

Before he could finish, their lips were connected. The kiss was slow and timid but also wrought with perceptible hunger. Jungkook opened his eyes and pulled back, regarding the face before him closely.

“I missed you, too.”

“Then let’s stop fighting,” Jimin said, brushing his fingers against Jungkook’s chin. “I’ll be better for you. Just please don’t be angry with me anymore.”

Jungkook felt a sudden, overwhelming sensation of guilt, the intensity of which reached a point where he was so disgusted with himself that he had to take a step back.

“Jimin …” he whispered, tears pricking his eyes.

“It’s okay, baby. We’ll be okay.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, too,” Jimin said, leaning in for another kiss but Jungkook moved away, bringing a hand up to conceal his face from view.

He walked to back of the room, head hung low as he tried to collect his thoughts, knowing that Jimin was watching him with growing concern.

“No … I can’t believe this is happening. Fuck … Why now?”

He smacked the wall with an open palm and then pressed his forehead into the cool plaster, taking a deep breath in an attempt to calm himself. He felt Jimin’s touch on his arm but he didn’t turn around.

“Jungkook-ah, what’s wrong?”

Never before had he been so afraid to answer a question. But Jimin waited for him.

“What’s going on? Tell me.”

“I slept with her,” Jungkook whispered, not daring to look up.

“What?”  

“I slept with Sunmi.” His voice was shaking. “Fuck … Seriously … I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to get stoned and stop feeling so shitty but it just … happened.”

He saw the pain in Jimin’s eyes just before the boy spun on his heel and marched towards the door. Jungkook staggered after him, reaching for his hand only for his offering to be refused.

“Jimin …”

His heart was thumping in his chest as they reached Jimin’s room and the boy finally turned to look at him, tears streaming down his flushed cheeks.

“Don’t!” he shouted. “Don’t … talk to me. Don’t follow me. Just … don’t.”

He shut the door but Jungkook was in denial, refusing to accept that their chance of happiness together had slipped away yet again. Refusing to accept that he might have just lost Jimin for good.

He grabbed the doorknob and pushed his way inside.

“Get out!” Jimin yelled.

“Firstly, you’re going to listen to me,” Jungkook demanded, not caring that Jimin’s roommate was sitting on one of the beds, staring up at them with confused amusement.

“I’ll leave you alone,” he seemed to decide as he got up.

“No …” Jimin started but Jungkook cut him off.

“Thank you. I really need to talk with Jimin.” 

“What do you want to say?” Jimin spat through gritted teeth as soon as the door closed behind his roommate, a flicker of a bitter smirk ghosting over his lips. “Is there any explanation for what you did? You fucked that chick from the girls’ unit because she forced you? Or somebody possessed you in that moment?”

“Jimin, stop it.”

“No. You stop it. Stop invading my space. Leave my room. Now.”

He pushed Jungkook back towards the door but seemed to realise that it was useless when the taller boy stood tall and firm, refusing to move, shoulders heaving, tears falling, looking like a child in his misery.

“You started this mess and n-now you’re telling me to leave?”

“Excuse me?”

Jungkook swiped at his cheek and inhaled shakily, “There was something going on with you and Taemin. You were flirting with that asshole right in front of me and hell knows what else you did with him right after we had that argument.”  

“I started spending time with him because you pushed me away. We didn’t talk for days! You didn’t even listen to me! And Taemin did!”

“Wow,” Jungkook laughed sarcastically. “Sounds like Taemin is one great fucking guy! I bet the sex was great, too.”

Jimin’s open palm collided with his cheek and it was the abrupt burning sensation that turned his anger into shock as he gawped at Jimin, hand coming up to stroke at the place that had been struck.

“Don’t you dare bring up my past to use against me. You’re the one at fault here!” Jimin shouted, pausing for breath when his voice cracked. “It’s funny really … You think of me as some cheap man whore but I couldn’t feel anything when he kissed me. For the first fucking time I wasn’t even able to make out with someone because I was thinking of you and the way you hurt me! I used to go with the flow, sure, I had many lovers but so what?”

He started forwards, fingers curling into the front of Jungkook’s shirt.

“You fucking asshole … You were so certain that I would dump you for some other guy. I never would have cheated on you! I loved you so much! But you … That’s exactly what you did.”  

Realisation hit Jungkook like a speeding train, Jimin’s words knocking the breath right out of him. He tried to touch him, hold his arms, initiate some kind of contact, “I regret it so much.”

Jimin shook his head and pulled away, stepping back and turning towards the wall.

“Please, Jimin … it’s always been you.”

“I don’t care. We’re over.”

“What? No!” Jungkook shouted, panic flaring in his gut. “I won’t let you!”

He latched onto Jimin from behind and held tight, tighter than he’d ever held anything in his life.

“What are you doing?” Jimin protested as he tried to struggle to no avail.

“I’ll do anything to make you forgive me. Just give us another chance.”

“You had your chance, Jungkook,” Jimin snapped, still struggling to break free. “And you fucked up.”

Jungkook could feel how hard he was trying not to cry and he held him harder, resting his head on his favourite person in the world’s shoulder. He was so warm and he smelled so nice. Jungkook spun him around so they were facing each other, still clinging on like his life depended on it.

“Yes! I did! Because I love you too. So fucking much,” he sobbed and once the tears had fallen and his vision wasn’t quite as blurry, he could see something in Jimin’s eyes. Something that told him Jimin didn’t want this relationship to end either. “I lost my mind. I was certain that I was just one of your short-time flings. You can have anyone with your beautiful face and your body and … Nobody ever thought that we could be something serious.”

“And you believed them over me? You didn’t trust me! Not even a little!”

“No. I was scared. That’s just what I do. I lash out when things go wrong.” 

“And that’s why I can’t forgive you. You’ve always thought so low of me and you’ve never believed my sincerity,” Jimin said weakly, trying to pull away from Jungkook only to be wrenched back again.

Their foreheads touched.

“No! No. It’s not you. It’s me, Jimin-ah,” he said, planting a swift kiss on Jimin’s lips and feeling like his heart snapped clean in two when the boy flinched. “I’m so scared of being abandoned but I never …”

The sudden shove Jimin gave him took him completely by surprise.

“Please, Jungkook. Leave me alone.”

He couldn’t stand the sight of the one person he loved more than anything in the world turning his back to him.

“I can’t. I won’t. I’ll do anything to change your mind. I won’t let Taemin steal somebody I love from me!”

He was talking too fast, seizing Jimin’s wrists in desperation. His captive tried to push him away but Jungkook’s strength kept him restrained and they both overbalanced, toppling onto the bed.

“Let go!” Jimin shouted, struggling beneath Jungkook as the younger boy landed on top of him.

“You’re mine. I’m yours. That will never change,” Jungkook gasped, pressing their lips together and kissing Jimin desperately.

“You’re insane!” Jimin panted, glaring up at him.

Jungkook had never felt more helpless and more pathetic but still he couldn’t let go. He was ready to beg on his knees if that’s what it took to get Jimin to stay.  

“But whose fault is this?” he sobbed as a fresh tidal wave of tears overflowed from his eyelids. “You seduced me. You chased after me. You fucking made me fall for you. I want to go back to those times.”

He leaned down and started kissing his neck.

“God, I missed it. I miss you, Jimin.”

Their lips met yet again and, for a second, Jungkook felt like Jimin responded to him, his mouth opening slowly as though he wanted to allow Jungkook’s tongue inside him. But then his hands were pushing up and he was crying.

“Stop …”

“Baby, don’t cry. I’m sorry,” Jungkook murmured, his voice hoarse and croaky as he stroked Jimin’s hair. “Did you miss me, too? Tell me that you still love me. I know you do. You love me.”

He rested his hand against Jimin’s chest, right over his heart.

“I can’t … I won’t. We’re over. I won’t change my mind. Don’t you get it?”

But Jungkook didn’t get it, and he showed Jimin that he didn’t get it as he grabbed him by the jaw and attacked his face, nibbling at his lips and practically devouring his tongue. Some of his tears dripped onto Jimin’s cheeks but he barely noticed.  

“Please,” he sobbed.

“Don’t ask me for anything! Leave me alone!” Jimin exploded, turfing Jungkook off of him with one big burst of strength. “I hate you! Don’t you understand? You hurt me!”

He tried to get up, tried to leave, but Jungkook’s fingers closed around his wrist, “No. Please … Please, Jimin-ah.”

“Get out of my room, Jungkook..” Jimin ordered weakly, his own tears gauging translucent tracks down his cheeks.

“I can’t, Jimin-ah … I can’t live without you.”  

He gripped Jimin’s hand tighter than tight, kissing his knuckles over and over and over again, and Jimin just kept crying. Even if he wanted to scream and hit Jungkook, there must still be a part of him that cared for the person who he had once thought was the love of his life.

So he waited until Jungkook cried himself to sleep and then he slowly slipped his fingers from the boy’s grasp and stood up from the bed. He hesitated, just for a second, and then pulled a blanket over the sleeping boy's body before he left.

When Jungkook awoke with his salted tears dried and cracked against his cheeks, the warmth he’d held in his hand was gone. The room was empty and he felt like his mind just imploded.

Scrambling off the bed, he practically staggered out into the canteen but it was empty so it couldn’t be time for lunch just yet. The art therapy room had only two patients inside and Jimin wasn’t one of them.

He kept running from place to place, searching frantically and not giving a single fuck about the looks his fellow patients sent his way, until he had to stop to catch his breath.

Slim silhouette, blonde hair, white blouse. He wasn’t facing towards him but Jungkook would recognise his Jimin anywhere. He stumbled forwards and waited for the boy to look up.

“Why did you leave me?” he whispered when Jimin’s head stayed bowed.

“Because I didn't forgive you,” Jimin answered coldly as he stood up from the bench, refusing to meet Jungkook’s eye. “I just let you sleep in my bed. That’s it.”  

“Jimin-ah …” Jungkook begged weakly and, to his surprise, Jimin actually looked at him.

But the words he spat were the complete opposite of what he wanted to hear and the pain was almost unbearable.

“That was the last time you come to my room. If it happens again, I’ll kick you out before you can even walk through the door. I’m going to my individual therapy now. Don’t follow me.”