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Iced Americano (Banana Cupcake on the House)

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Repeat customers, Jimin has decided, are the devil’s work. They think that just because they come in three times a week that they should get some kind of special discount, but if Jimin gave free coffee to everyone who came in then he’d be destitute by the end of the month. That’s not particularly something Jimin’s interested in, as he enjoys having fun things including, but not limited to food, shelter, and water.

Then again, maybe he shouldn’t generalize. Because for the past week or so, at 10A.M, like clockwork, this tall drink of water (whose name is just as pretty as his face) comes in and orders an iced americano with a pump of caramel. He then stares longingly at the display case of pastries and sandwiches, particularly at the banana cupcakes, while Jimin enters his order into the register (a fruitless task, because this is Jimin’s coffee shop and he knows how much an americano costs, so like, what the fuck is the point?).

“That’ll be $2.50.” Jimin states, as if they both haven’t done this before. That snaps Tall McHandsome out of his Daily Cupcake Longing and he starts to dig exact change out of the pocket of his jeans. He grins in embarrassment as he hands Jimin the money, and if Jimin gets goosebumps when their hands touch, well, that’s nobody’s business but his own.

“Thanks, Jimin.” He nods his head in the most polite-mama’s-boy way and steps off to the side of the counter to wait (he takes one last glance at the banana cupcakes, but Jimin pretends to not notice). He doesn’t understand why Jungkook won’t just buy a fucking cupcake. They’re cheap, and they’re delicious, and he has told him both of those things, but he still won’t bite

Nevertheless, Jimin’s got a drink to make, so he gets to work. Ice in the cup, double shot, fill with cold water, two pumps of caramel because he knows by now that Jungkook likes his drinks sweet. He tries not to steal too many glances at Jungkook while he works, but even if he just outright gawked at him, he probably wouldn’t notice. See, Jungkook has this habit of just… staring off into space. Like, completely checked out, Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home kind of thing. It’s cute, but also a little unsettling. Hauntingly beautiful, if you will.

“Iced Americano for Jungkook,” Jimin smiles sweetly as he slides the plastic cup over the raised counter. Jungkook’s brain seems to power back on and he smiles tiredly at Jimin. He looks worn out, Jimin didn’t notice before, but he’s got dark circles under his eyes and his hair is a bit greasy and he just, overall, looks like he was up all night. While Jimin’s debating on whether or not to say anything, Jungkook thanks him and fumbles with unwrapping a straw. Jimin spins the glitter-covered wheel in his brain, and the pointer lands on ‘fuck it’.

“Not that it’s any of my business, but are you alright? You look…”

“Like shit? I know,” Jungkook grins.

“No! No, not that. Just—Maybe a little tired?”

“I’ve been pulling all-nighters for the past two weeks and I guess it’s finally catching up to me.”

“Would it be out of my lane to ask why?” Jungkook chuckles and the sound wraps itself around Jimin’s heart and squeezes tight.

“College, ya know? Why do art majors need to take math? I don’t get it,” He shakes his hair out of his eyes and scrunches up his nose.

“An art major, eh? You that dark and broody type? Or more of a sunflowers and berets kind,” Jimin teases him, because if his current attire is anything to go by, he’s definitely the dark and broody type.

“Who says I can’t be both?”

“You got me there,” Jimin grins and rests his chin in the palm of his hand. “So, you’re Jungkook, an edgy sunflower artist who doesn’t sleep and desperately needs a banana cupcake.”

Jungkook laughs again, drawing an equally enthusiastic smile out of Jimin.

“Pretty much. And what about you? Who is Jimin?” Jungkook leans his elbow on the counter and takes a slow sip of his coffee.

“Hm,” Jimin taps his chin with his fingers and pretends to think. “I’m Jimin, an adorable barista who hates coffee and desperately wants you to buy a cupcake.”

“Ah,” Jungkook giggles and his eyes scrunch up real pretty like. “Trying to squeeze all the dimes out of me, I see.”

“I’m just doing my job, sir.” Jimin bats his eyelashes and bites his bottom lip innocently. Jungkook’s nose scrunches up once again, and his bunny teeth are on full display. He looks so much younger when he’s smiling, Jimin notices. 

Their sweet moment, however, is interrupted when the door to his beloved café suddenly swings open with a force he would call ‘unnecessary’. In comes a short girl, long black hair, an authoritative gait as she marches over to Jungkook’s side.

“What’s taking so long, Kookie? You have class soon, remember?” Her voice isn’t grating per se, but it’s definitely obnoxious. Then again, maybe Jimin’s a tad bit petty, because this girl is calling Jungkook ‘Kookie’ and clinging to his arm and this must be his girlfriend. Jealous is an emotion that doesn’t suit Jimin, and honestly what does he have to be jealous of in the first place? Jungkook only talks to him because he needs coffee. A classic ‘money can be exchanged for goods and services’ type situation, in which Jimin is purely there to provide Jungkook with a mid-morning caffeine boost.

“Sorry, I was just—”

“I had to remake his drink. I’m such a clutz, I dropped the first one. Spilled it everywhere.” Jimin is no stranger to taking one for the team. Add this to the list, right below the time he let Hoseok use his email to enter a contest resulting in his inbox being flooded with porn viruses (surprise, there was no contest).

“He should get it for free, then. Since it took you so long. Hm?” She purses her lips and puts her hand on her hip and looks everything like a rom-com antagonist.

“Yuna, I already paid.” And now Jungkook looks more tired than he did before, rubbing his eyes and somehow slouching down farther. And Jimin doesn’t like it one bit, so he digs into the pocket of his apron and sets $3.00 on the counter between them.

“Jimin, it’s fine, really.” Jungkook was arguing, but Yuna was already shoving the money in her purse.

“Let’s go, kookie,” She was smiling now, obviously proud of herself for some reason. “You’ve gotta show me your new dorm!” And she was giggling, but something about her isn’t sitting well with Jimin. He’s decided to shrug it off, because it’s honestly none of his business if the hot guy that he sees every morning wants to date the anti-christ.

She tugs on his elbow and leads him towards the door. Jungkook turns his head at the last second and smiles apologetically at Jimin, but Jimin doesn’t think he needs to apologize for anything. So, he smiles back, and waves, and goes back to work because there’s a queue now and what kind of business owner keeps their customers waiting?

~~***~~

If one more person asks him about his black eye, he’s going to snap. Why customers think they can ask such personal questions of someone they don’t know is beyond him. It’s like he’s is a sleeper agent and “What happened to your eye?” is the code that activates him, and now he’s just going to go completely feral and maybe throw some shit. He should just come up with a different batshit crazy story to tell each person who questions it. Like, maybe:

               “I was on the train and someone’s pet kangaroo clocked me in the eye.”

               Or perhaps:

               “When I’m not running this cute café, I’m a professional underground boxer.”

               Both of which are infinitely less embarrassing than the truth:

               “I was day-drinking on a Tuesday and accidently launched a champagne cork into my eye. No, I didn’t go to the doctor. Yes, I did cry.”

It’s too early in the morning to be sharing his life fucking story with random soccer moms.

And he’s so busy coming up with weird ass stories to explain his eye, that his sleep deprived brain totally forgot about Jungkook’s entire existence. Meaning, and this is perhaps more embarrassing than nearly blinding himself, that he’s just been staring at him for god knows how long like a weapons grade freak.

“Uh, Jimin? You alright?” Jungkook’s waving his hand in front of Jimin’s eyes.

“Oof, yeah, sorry! How embarrassing.” A nervous laugh slips past his lips, not fooling anybody. “Just tired.” His face is red. He knows it. Doesn’t even have to ask.

“That’s a pretty nasty bruise you have there.”

“Thanks. I made it myself. Iced americano and a banana cupcake, yeah?” Jungkook chuckles and shakes the hair out of his eyes, and it’s just in that moment that Jimin notices the girl standing next to him. Talk about tunnel vision.

“Two iced americanos, no cupcake,” She says and even though she’s shorter than Jimin she still somehow manages to look down her nose at him. Interesting. “He needs to watch his weight.” She smiles and it would have been sweet if she didn’t just spew sewer sludge all over his counter. In what world does Jungkook need to watch his weight?

Jimin just nods and puts in their order, occasionally trying to get Jungkook to look at him, but he’s zoning out hard, so Jimin lets it go. Yuna? Yeah, Yuna shoves some money into his hand without even looking at him, and instead of the pleasant chills he gets when Jungkook touches his hand, he feels like he got shocked. She very well might be harboring some sort of evil powers.

The next customer in line is forever trying to set Jimin up with his son (purely on the basis of Jimin and his son being the only gay men he knows), so he decides to take his order before starting on Jungkook’s drink, partly for the gag of it all, and partly because he wants Yuna to have to wait a little longer.

“Good morning, Jimin-ssi. What happened to your eye?” Mr. Kim says to Jimin, unaware that they’re his last words.

Jimin just says “Oh, you know me, always getting beat up in dark alley ways.” Because it’s always fun to mess with old people. He misses Jungkook’s concerned glance because he’s far too busy trying to put Mr. Kim’s usual order into the computer and hold a conversation. Multitasking is hard.

“That’s a shame. You should have taken me up on my offer from last week. Lucky for you, my handsome, wealthy son is starting a new self-defense class in a few weeks. If you’d like, I could tell him you’re interested? Or give you his number?” Jimin’s met this guy’s son before. He’s a total himbo, which would be nice for, like, a quick fling or whatever, but there’s no way in hell Jimin’s going to long-term anything with that fool.

“Mr. Kim, your son is so far out of my league it’s hardly funny,” Flattery, his get out of jail free card. “It’s like he’s a baseball superstar and I work at a McDonalds next to the stadium.” Jimin laughs while he starts working on the drinks. 

“Now, Jimin-ssi, you have to think higher of yourself!” And then Mr. Kim stuffs a crisp tenner in the tip jar like he always does.

He finishes up the drinks and, because Jimin is a kind, compassionate person, and because Jimin is also sort of a shit-stirrer, he grabs a banana cupcake and plates it up. He makes sure to grab the biggest one and draws a little heart on the cardboard sleeve of Jungkook’s drink.

“Two iced americanos, and a banana cupcake.” He slides the cupcake directly at Jungkook and then he waits for the explosion. Which, to Yuna’s defense, takes longer than Jimin expects. Not much longer, though.

She narrows her eyes at Jimin and speaks slowly, like she’s talking to a toddler.

“Are you stupid? Or just deaf? We didn’t order that.” Jungkook gives her a dirty look and then, when he finally meets Jimin’s eyes he bows his head with red cheeks. His long finger is tracing over the heart and Jimin’s swells in his chest.

“It’s on the house,” Jimin gestures to the cupcake. “Go on, try it. You’ve been drooling over them for ages.”

Jungkook hesitantly lifts the cupcake off the plate, eyes it warily, and then takes a massive bite out of it. Jimin grins because Jungkook has bunny teeth and his cheeks are round and maybe this whole crush thing is getting out of control.

“Good?” Jungkook nods rapidly and shoots him a thumbs up.

“It better be good, better be amazing, because this is the last time we ever come here,” Yuna interjects with her voice full of malice and her hair full of bees, probably. “Your customer service is abysmal at best and I’m pretty sure you’re, like, clinically dumb.”

“Don’t be dramatic, Yuna. It’s just a cupcake.” He takes a hefty gulp of his coffee and swirls the liquid around in the cup. “This place has the best coffee around, there’s no way I’m gonna just stop coming here. And be nice to Jimin.” Jungkook defends Jimin’s honor (and throws him a compliment that goes straight to Jimin’s heart boner) and then turns his attention back to the last crumbs of the cupcake. Jimin just smirks at Yuna and she looks like she wants to rip his head off with her teeth (something she’s probably well practiced in).

“Come on, we’re leaving.” She yanks Jungkook once again by the elbow and this time Jungkook vocally apologizes to him on his way out. Jimin wonders why Jungkook is dating a girl who’s so rude, but then again, he doesn’t really know Jungkook. Maybe he’s a huge douche bag and they’re perfect for each other. Somehow, he doubts that. Somehow, he thinks Jungkook might be the nicest person he’s ever met.

~~***~~

It’s eight thirty-three in the morning, and Jimin’s got a migraine of biblical proportions. A wonderful stabbing behind his left eye, which, by the way, he can barely see out of. White spots his vision and he’s almost thrown up on the floor, like, six times. If he was smart, he would ask Hoseok to run the shop today so he could go to the doctor and get that shot that knocks him out for twelve hours. But he’s not smart, no, he’s quite possibly the biggest, most miserable fool in the universe.

At eight forty-one there’s already a line at the register of men in suits asking for black coffee they won’t drink and women in dresses telling him they can taste the difference between 1% and 2% milk and that’s definitely not 1% milk in their latte.

And maybe he’s only holding on long enough to see Jungkook. Maybe he has a juvenile crush on some guy he barely knows, what of it? Yoongi would tell him to grow a pair and flirt with him, but Yoongi’s been lusting after Hoseok for two years and hasn’t said a goddamn thing about it, so what the fuck does he know? Besides, Jungkook has a girlfriend and probably isn’t even interested in guys and also probably thinks Jimin is ugly (he’d be wrong, but even hot guys have their flaws).

By nine o’clock, Jimin is ready for death. An hour, and he’ll get to see Jungkook, and then he can tell Hoseok to take over and he can go home and weep uncontrollably, then pass out on the floor of his bathroom. A light at the end of the tunnel.

Yoongi comes wandering out of the bathroom, followed closely by Hoseok who has the expression of someone who just got his soul sucked out via his dick and apparently Jimin is proven wrong once again. Yoongi knows everything.

“You look dead.” Hoseok asks while Yoongi wipes at his lips. Jimin shoots him a glance that goes unnoticed.

“You look like you just orgasmed half your brain cells away.”

“And you’d be right. Yoongi and I had a little talk and found out our feelings are… mutually agreeable.”

“So you’re like, what? Fuck buddies now?”

“Boyfriends, actually. Not everyone is as emotionless as you, Jimin.” Yoongi pipes in as if Jimin cares at all what he says. He was literally just wiping cum off his lips, so as far as Jimin is concerned he’s not even here.

“You’re one to talk.”

“You should leave.” Hoseok says to him as if he was Jimin’s boss or something.

“Why, so you can kick everyone out and fuck on my counters? Absolutely not.” Yoongi snorts and Hoseok rolls his eyes dramatically and if he keeps doing that, they’re going to get stuck in the back of his skull and then Yoongi will have to lead him around everywhere like a guide dog.

“You look sick. Like you might pass out.”

“Very astute observation.”

“Go home, Jiminie.” And now Hoseok was talking to him in that voice that he hates. That motherly, strict but caring tone that made Jimin do whatever he was told. It was annoying how easily he fell for the devil’s tricks.

“Fine. But do me a favor?”

“Sure, whatever you need.”

“When Jungkook shows up please make him smile. He’s been looking really run down lately, and his girlfriend is a nightmare, and he needs a good laugh. Give him a free banana cupcake. Oh! And Yoongi-hyung, please refill the syrups. And the bathroom needs to be cleaned.” Jimin scrunches up his nose at the thought of whatever mess they undoubtedly left on the floor.

“I refuse to refill the syrups. It’s sticky and I hate it.” Jimin raises his eyebrow.

“Did you, or did you not just have cum on your face?” Yoongi, for once in his life, responds to the situation appropriately with a deep scarlet blush flooding his pale cheeks.

“Leave him alone,” Hoseok coos at Yoongi and its borderline nauseating. “I’ll refill the syrups. Because you’re cute and sick and hopeless.” He pinches Jimin’s cheeks and as many times as Jimin’s tried swatting Hoseok’s hands away and been overpowered anyway, he submits to his fate.

“Alright, alright. I’m leaving now. Please do your jobs. I love you both and I love your love!” Jimin says, pulling them both into a quick hug (Yoongi protests verbally but he squeezes Jimin so tight it almost hurts).

~~***~~

“Good morning! Welcome to Minnie’s Café!”

“Ah, good morning. One iced caramel americano, please.” Maybe it’s just Hoseok’s over-active imagination, but somebody looks disappointed that a certain blonde-haired angel isn’t behind the counter (File under: Proof That Jungkook Has The Hots For Tiny Dongsaeng).

“You got it, handsome. Iced caramel americano, banana cupcake on the house.” He grins mischievously at Jungkook before punching in the order.

“Uh,” Is the eloquent response Jungkook comes up with. The poor thing looks completely bamboozled.

“Jimin told me your girlfriend is, and I quote, ‘the wicked witch of the east’. Won’t let you buy cupcakes because she’s a body-shamer. So, while Jimin is out, I’ve been tasked with making you smile. Because, and again I quote, ‘he needs a good laugh’.” It seems as if none of that actually clarified anything for Bambi Jr. over here, but Hoseok’s done all he can. The ball is in Jungkook’s court, so to speak.

Jungkook raises an eyebrow and Hoseok can see the moment the gears in his brain click into place. He scrunches up his nose and grins.

“Well, Hoseok, tell Jimin I don’t have a girlfriend,” Jungkook chuckles and glances back at the windows lining the front of the shop. Yuna is standing on the other side of the window texting someone. “Also, tell him I’m sorry for the way Yuna treated him last time. I should have said something.” 

“So… she’s not—you’re not dating her?” Oh, Hoseok loves a good plot-twist.  

“No. She’s my cousin. She’s studying to be a nutritionist and she’s convinced I’m fat.” Jungkook chuckles.

“Interesting,” Hoseok squints his eyes and leans forward on the counter. “Do you like him?”

“Who?”

“Jimin, duh. Do you think he’s hot? Would you date him?”

“I barely know him?”

“Answer the question, Jungkook.”

“Um, maybe? I mean, y-yeah, he’s cute.” Hoseok’s face splits into a smile because this conversation is a fucking gift that keeps on giving.

“Seokie, stop interrogating the customers.” Yoongi appears behind him and lightly smacks the back of his neck.

“He’s not just any customer, Yoongles. He’s Tall McHandsome!” Jungkook’s face burns red and Hoseok has to physically stop himself from pinching his cheeks.

“And? Give him his fucking cupcake and move on. The poor kid’s probably late to school or something.”

“I’m not a kid…”

“Alright, fine,” He backs away from the counter and boxes up the pastry, then with a speed he didn’t even know he had, makes Jungkook’s coffee. He slides both across the counter but pulls them back a little when Jungkook reaches for them.

“You have to say something to Jimin. Flirt with him or something. Please, he hasn’t gotten laid in so long, he’s so cranky, please,” Yoongi wraps his arms around Hoseok’s waist and drags him away from the counter with a fondly annoyed face. “You’re the only one who can save us!”

“When did you get so strong, Mr. Min?” Hoseok says once they’re in the privacy of the storage room.

“When did you get a death wish?” Yoongi retorts, clicking his tongue. “When Jimin finds out you just aired his dirty laundry out to the twink he’s in love with you’re gonna get curb stomped.”

“How unfortunate,” Hoseok grins mischievously and steps farther into Yoongi’s space. “Guess we’re just gonna have to make our last time special.”

“How special could it be? We’re surrounded by plastic straws and mops.” He runs his fingers down Hoseok’s chest, lower, lower, then loops his fingers through his belt loops and tugs their hips together.

“What’s not romantic about that? Everything in here is shaped like a dick.” He giggles and leans down to brush his lips against Yoongi’s.

“Shut up and kiss me before I change my mind.”

“Sir, yes sir.” And before either of them know it, they’re stripping their clothes off.

(On the other side of the door, a man in a track suit looks around the empty café while ringing the customer service bell on the counter to no avail.)

~~***~~

“He said what?!”  Jimin is a pacifist. He refuses to resort to violence. But Jung Hoseok is testing his fucking morals and Jimin is seconds away from skinning him alive.       

“Jimin? Jimin, okay, I know you’re mad, but I was just wing-manning! It’s my fucking job!” And now Hoseok is holding his hands up between himself and Jimin as if that could stop anything. Hoseok is a pinata and Jimin is a kid whose parents just got divorced. 

“Your job is to take orders! And make coffee! I don’t pay you to talk to hot guys about my sex life!”

“You mean your lack of a sex life?”

“Yoongi-hyung, I swear to god, I will eat your face.”

“Damn, Hobi was right. You need to get your back blown out.” Yoongi plops down on the couch next to Hoseok with a can of soda and Jimin’s cat, who promptly jumps off Yoongi’s lap and runs face-first into the sliding glass door.

“Why are you even here?” Jimin glares at Yoongi.

“Because Hoseok is here and you love me?”

Jimin lets out a groan as he falls back against the couch and slams the palms of his hands over his face. This whole ‘having a crush’ thing is getting on his nerves and he’s beginning to think he should maybe just sell his café and move to Iceland.

“What am I gonna do?” He sounds pathetic, even to his own ears. And he knows exactly what his hyungs are going to tell him. They’re gonna say something like—

“Just fucking talk to him, dude! He’s interested in you. Just talk to him and get his number, then seduce him, and then you’ll fall in love, and then he’ll dick you down so good!” Yep, that sounds about right.

“I’m sure that sounded more romantic in your head,” Yoongi chuckles, snuggling into Hoseok’s side.

“He’ll dick you down… in the rain?” Hoseok tilts his head in thought.

“Better,” Jimin rolled his eyes.

“Just flirt with him, you’re good at it. You almost got me to date you, remember?” Jimin could barely hear Yoongi from where he has his head shoved against Hoseok’s chest. Jimin sits up (a little too quick if the blood rushing from his head was any indication) and grins.

“I just wanted you for your money.”

“You gave me all the money I have, you idiot.” Yoongi deadpans and Jimin’s angry mood is all but gone.

 

~~***~~

 

Today’s outfit, courtesy of one Jung Hoseok, is something Jimin wouldn’t necessarily have picked for himself, but he’s kind of into it regardless.  Replacing his usual skinny jeans and huge sweater is, well, skinny jeans and a huge sweater. But the sweater is sexier than his usual sweaters, or at least as sexy as a huge sweater can be, all black with strategically placed holes up and down the sleeves and his pants are light-wash denim. Jimin tried telling Hoseok the deep scoop-neck of the sweater would be covered by the apron and all he got in return was a handful of sass.

               (“Then don’t wear an apron, Jimin. Show the twink your titties.”

               “Get out of my café. Leave and don’t come back.”

               “Quit being such a fucking prude.”)

 

He walks into the café at 5A.M and tiredly goes about his morning routine. Set up the espresso machine, make sure the cups are stocked, make himself a green tea latte, and slams his head into the wall a few times. He’s in the middle of bouncing around to the song blaring though the speakers and belting the words out when he accidentally knocks over a pitcher of water. He spins around to grab the towel off the front counter and his soul literally leaves his body. Just fucking dips.

“W-What are you doing here? We’re not open,” Jimin’s cheeks burn red and his heart pounds against his chest and he wishes there was a secret trap-door installed underneath him that would open up and swallow him whole.

“Uh, yeah I figured you wouldn’t be—” Jungkook smiles sheepishly and scratches at the back of his neck. “I just, uh, this is stupid, but I came to tell you I’ll be out of town for a few days. Thought, you know, I should say something. So—I didn’t want you to, uh, worry.” He has this look on his face like the embarrassment of saying all that was going to make him combust as he bounces back and forth between his feet and avoids eye contact like it’s his fucking job.

“Oh,” Jimin starts and maybe his heart is fluttering a little. “Thank you for letting me know. I would have been worried. Probably gone out looking for you or something—” Oops. That… That last part should have just stayed in his head. “—Not in a creepy way! Just an appropriate amount of concern. The… the right amount of concern a café owner should show a customer. Nothing, uh… more. I’d do it for any customer. Well, not the ones that piss me off, those customers can get fucked, but, uh, you know. Any customer I like—” Much to his chagrin, Jimin gets real chatty when he’s flustered. And getting caught by the hottest guy he’s ever seen shaking his ass to an old Shakira song was definitely enough to fluster him. “In a friendly way! I didn’t mean—I don’t like my customers like that. I’m gonna shut up now. I’m just gonna…” Jimin trails off and bites his bottom lip to keep himself from saying anything else.

Jungkook just stands there with his hands in his pockets and a smug look on his face that Jimin wants to punch and kiss at the same time (a precarious situation).

“You can keep going,” He says, obviously trying to bite back a laugh. Jimin would kill a man to get that shy, embarrassed Jungkook back. This new Jungkook is cruisin’ for a bruisin’. “It’s cute.”

“Cute?” Is what Jimin gracefully replies with.

“Yeah, you’re cute. It’s a shame you don’t like your customers like that. I’m sure there’s a few that would love to take you out.”

“I—” He drums his fingers against the counter and looks everywhere but in front of him. “I don’t think that’s true.”

“Well, I can think of at least one.” He grins and slides $3.00 across the counter. “I know you’re not technically open, but…?”

“Iced americano, banana cupcake on the house,” Jimin breathes out, thankful to be out of that wacky fucking situation. He shoves Jungkook’s money back at him and forces his flirty voice out of its cage. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll buy this one.” He smiles and gets to work.

“Thanks, Jimin.” Jungkook’s presence in the café is suddenly overwhelming, he can feel the eyes on him as he pulls the shots and has half a mind to tell him to turn around. But then when he goes to hand over Jungkook’s order, he finds his hand being pulled away from his body.

“W-What are you doing?” He ignores the way his stomach does flips, he ignores the way Jungkook’s hands are so much bigger and warmer than his, he ignores the fact that Jungkook’s thumb is rubbing circles into his palm as he pushes Jimin’s sleeve up.

“Just in case,” Jungkook mutters while he scribbles some numbers onto Jimin’s arm. “of an emergency. Or even if you’re just bored. Text me.” And with a wink and a mouth full of coffee, he backs his way out of the café, leaving Jimin standing there like a complete idiot, arm still stretched out in front of him.

 

~~***~~

 

He’s been staring at his phone for twelve minutes. Twelve minutes of ‘maybe he didn’t really want me to text him,’ poking around his brain, then ‘why would he give you his number if he didn’t want you to text, dumbass?’. A vicious cycle.

“It’s time to nut up, Park Jimin,” He says out loud to himself in a weak attempt to hype himself up. He takes a deep breath and types out a message:  

 

Jiminie: hey there xx

 

“What the fuck is wrong with you,” He sighs and deletes the words. Take two:

 

Jiminie: hi Jungkook!! it’s Jimin!!

 

He presses the heels of his palms into his eyes and groans, then pulls at the roots of his hair as his cat judges him from her spot on his desk. “Don’t look at me like that,” He grumbles at her before erasing the text once again. ‘Alright, Jimin. Third time’s a charm.’ he thinks to himself.

 

Jiminie: Hey, it’s Jimin, your favorite barista (・ω<)

              

Is it flirty enough? Is it too flirty? He wants to get across the ‘I’m interested’ vibe without being overbearing, but maybe texting while Jungkook’s out of town is overbearing in the first place? His cat’s loud meow cuts through his thoughts and before he realizes what he’s doing, the message is sent. Whatever happens next, happens. He locks his phone and chucks it down to the end of his bed.

“I don’t even care if he texts back. Literally don’t even care. Probably won’t even read it,” He rants to himself, watching his phone like a hawk regardless. An uncomfortable feeling bubbles under his skin the longer he sits there in silence.

Three hours pass, or maybe it’s more like six minutes, and his phone buzzes continuously.

“What kind of fucking psychopath responds to a text with a phone call?” He lets it ring a few times before darting face first towards it like some kind of savannah cat lunging at, uh, whatever savannah cats eat.

He flips his phone over slowly, anticipation zapping through his veins, but his almost immediately disappointed when he sees Seokjin’s shining face taking up the entirety of his screen. He declines the call with a huff and flops back on his bed.

Not ten seconds later, Seokjin calls again and Jimin has half a mind to just let it go to voicemail. He rolls his eyes and peels himself up from his bed to answer the call.

“What.”

“That’s no way to greet your favorite hyung.” Seokjin’s voice crackled through the line, and in the background Jimin heard what sounded like children being murdered. He’d be concerned if he didn’t know Seokjin was at a family reunion.

“Yoongi is my favorite hyung, actually.”

“Well, I guess you don’t want to hear the gossip I’ve got.” And Seokjin knows Jimin’s a slut for some good gossip, uses it against him all the time. And Jimin, well, Jimin has an incredibly low amount of willpower. So, he caves instantly.

“Okay, fine. You’re my favorite, love you so much. What do you know?” He switches the phone to his other ear and heads to his kitchen to feed his cat.

“Well, a little birdy told me he’s got a crush on his local barista,” He pauses for dramatic effect, though the suspense is lost on Jimin because his cat started clawing on his leg in excitement as soon as he opened the can of food. “And I thought to myself ‘hey, isn’t Jimin a barista?’ and so I asked him if it was you. And guess what, Jimin.”

Jimin gulps, having caught the second part loud and clear, and leans back against his counter. “What?”

“He said ‘Yeah! How do you know Jimin?’ and then I told him we used to date.”

“And he believed you? Damn, guess he wasn’t as smart as I thought he was.” Jimin’s sure that if Seokjin was there, standing in his kitchen, he’d see right through Jimin’s false bravado because ‘holy shit! im jimin! he likes me!’.

“Why don’t you tell him that yourself, punk.” Seokjin snarks at him and then there’s some shuffling around on the other end of the line and then there’s a familiar voice he didn’t realize he missed. “Hey, Jimin.” And Jimin can hear the smile in his voice.

“Hey, you.” Jimin smiles and sinks down to the floor.

“Small world, huh? Seokjin said you guys used to date?”

“He’s a filthy liar,” Jungkook chuckles and even with the static of the phone it’s wonderful. “He’s my friend Namjoon’s boyfriend.”

“Oh, no way! You know Namjoon too?”

“Yep! Met him in college. We dated.”

“Oh, really?” Is it possible to tell if someone’s disappointed over the phone? It sounds like Jungkook is disappointed.

“Nah, I was just messing with you,” Jimin giggles and, much like a teenage girl, twirls a piece of his hair with his free hand. “How do you know Jin hyung?”

“He’s my cousin. Sort of. Like, not biologically, but by marriage or whatever,”

“Wow. Cousins. I’m so sorry,”

“Ugh, I know. He’s soooo obnoxious,” Jimin can hear Seokjin swat at Jungkook. “Anyway. I got your text. Cute emoji. Also, true.”

“So, the truth comes out. I’m your favorite?”

“Well it certainly isn’t that Hoseok guy.” Jimin snorts and stretches his legs out in front of him.

“He’s not my favorite barista either. Don’t know why I haven’t fired him yet.” Jungkook laughs and Jimin can faintly hear some hooting and hollering in the background before what sounds like Jungkook getting up and moving somewhere quieter.

“Ooooh. You have firing power? Very sexy.”

“Shut up,” Jimin blushes and is embarrassed even though Jungkook can’t see him. “There’s nothing sexy about owning a café. It’s my own personal hell.”

“You own that place? C’mon, Jimin. That’s PEAK sexy. Doesn’t get sexier than that.” The amount of confidence Jungkook seems to have an ample amount of is making Jimin feel some type of way (Horny, probably, maybe a little in love).

“Try saying that after some random businessman dumps coffee on your brand-new shoes.” Jimin laments.

“What businessman? What’s his name? I’ll kick his ass for you.”

“You’re too sweet,” Jimin smiles fondly and then there’s a lull in conversation. “Can I confess something?” Jimin’s mouth says before his brain has a fucking second to catch up. There’s an 80% chance he’ll regret this.

“Of course,”

“It was… kinda weird today. Since you didn’t come in.”

“Awww, you miss me! I’m your favorite customer!”

“Duh,” Jimin rolls his eyes and picks at the skin around his toe. “You think I just give free stuff to everyone?”

“Cute,” more shuffling on the other end of the line, and Jimin’s brain helpfully tells him it sounds like Jungkook’s laying down somewhere. He’s probably wrong, but he hasn’t banged one out in so long, his brain is a little one-track at the moment. “Well, I’ll be back in town day after tomorrow. I’ll come to the café then, but it’ll be a little later than usual. Sound good?”

“Sounds great,” Jimin smiles and his heart is doing flips in his chest and fuck he’s got it bad.  

“I better get going before my family realizes I’m missing.”

“Good call,”

“Goodnight, Jimin. Sweet dreams.”

“G’night, Jungkook.”

The line goes dead, but Jimin stays rooted in his spot on the floor, phone pressed to his chest. He’s calm, for as long as he can be, before he lets out a squeal and wiggles his legs. He suddenly can’t wait to go to work.

~~***~~

 

The door chimes, bright and happy, and in walks a fucking runway model of a man. Tall, honey skin, shaggy brown hair. Circle lenses frame his perfectly sculpted face and honestly, everything about him looks expensive. Jimin then realizes he’s staring, and subtly pinches his arm to snap himself out of it.

“Hi, welcome to Minnie’s!” He says in his best customer service voice.

“Hey there—” He leans forward and tugs at Jimin’s nametag. “Jimin. Can I get a large latte with no foam please?”

“Sure thing.” He smiles and punches the order into the computer but is interrupted by the handsome stranger.

 “Oh, can I also get one of these banana cupcakes? I have a friend who loves these. Gushed about ‘em for hours.” And when Jimin looks up at him there’s a mischievous smile tugging at the man’s lips.

“Yeah, of course.” Jimin squints his eyes a little and turns his attention back to putting the order in. “That’ll be $6 even.”

“Oh, well that’ll never do. I heard you give out free cupcakes,” There’s that sneaky, no-good smile again. “At least, that’s what my roommate said?”

“Your roommate lied to you, sorry.” Jimin smiles apologetically, even though the whole situation is giving him the heebie-jeebies.

“What a brat, I knew there was no way the cute barista here gave him free stuff,” He’s full on grinning now, hands tucked casually in the pockets of his green pants.

“Your roommate wouldn’t happen to be named Jungkook, would they?”

“How strange, his name is Jungkook!” Jimin rolls his eyes and takes the cupcake off the order ticket.

“Alright, fine. You can have your cupcake, on the house.”

“You’re much cuter than he made you out to be.” Jimin blushes furiously and nearly chokes on his own spit at the sudden compliment.

“Uh, t-thanks!”

“Now’s the part where you say something nice about me,” He jokes, leaning down onto his elbows and looking up at Jimin through his fringe.

“Uh, You’re—You’re very handsome?”

“Thanks!” He smiles a bright, rectangular smile and shoots back upright. “You should ask Jungkook on a date.”

“$2.95, please.” Jimin ignores him, his cheeks probably so red they’re glowing.

“All he does is talk about how hot you are.”

“$2.95, please.” He insists stronger and the stranger obliges, sliding a twenty-dollar bill across the counter with a smug ‘keep the change’.

“That’ll be ready in a moment. Is your cupcake for here or to go?”

“To go.”

“Can I get a name for the order please?”

“Taehyung,” The man, Taehyung, doesn’t move from in front of the counter, instead opting to stare Jimin down.

“You can, uh, you can wait over there,” Jimin points to the pick-up area.

“I’m not gonna leave from this spot until you say you’ll ask Kookie out on a date.”

Jimin’s eyes shoot wide open and he sputters because the audacity of this guy was something fucking else. There’s a line forming behind him of at least three people.

“I’ll do no such thing!”

“Guess you’ll just have to look at me all day then.” The calmness Taehyung was radiating only aided in making Jimin mad, the whole ordeal being almost unbearable at 9A.M.

“Fine! At least scoot aside so I can serve my customers.”

“Nope!” He says, popping the ‘p’.

“You-You have to leave! You’re soliciting!”

“Nuh-uh. I paid for a drink. I’m allowed to be here.”

“Leave!”

“Ask Jungkook out.”

“No!”

“C’mon, Jimin. Do it.”

“I—Fine! Maybe! Just go!”

Taehyung grinned victoriously and left the café before Jimin even gave him his coffee. The other customers in line seemed relieved that he left, scuttling up to the counter to get in their daily dose of bullying service workers.

Jimin made a mental note to tell Jungkook his friend was nuts.

 

~~***~~

 

Today is the day. Jimin gave a lot of thought to what he’s calling The Taehyung Scenario, and came to the conclusion that he’s going to ask Jungkook on a date.  So, naturally, Jimin spills coffee on his shirt first thing in the morning. Enough to soak through his apron and into his favorite chenille sweater. His favorite white chenille sweater. And now his favorite sweater is ruined, and he hates every single person that walks through the door to his shop, and he doesn’t even know why he decided to open a coffee shop in the first place.

The first few customers he has are exceptionally rude, but nothing can top this absolute wildcard of a woman:

“The mocha is supposed to have three pumps of chocolate syrup.”

“We’ve always made it with two, ma’am.”

No, it’s made with three.”

Maybe if Hoseok, who serves as eighty percent of Jimin’s impulse control, wasn’t standing next to him he’d tell the lady that the customer is always wrong and to fuck off and that he works here, and she doesn’t. But Hoseok is leveling him with a sympathetic stare, so Jimin apologizes to the woman and remakes her drink with three pumps of chocolate for free. One day, he’s going to bite his tongue clean off.

By two in the afternoon, Jimin realizes he doesn’t know what “later than usual” means and he’s beginning to think that it was Jungkook’s way of telling him he’s not coming back at all. Irrational, considering. But it didn’t stop Jimin from spiraling. He could text Jungkook to ask, but that seems clingy and Jimin was trying real hard to be cool about this whole situation.

He busies himself with making orders and wiping already-clean counters and making new playlists. Hoseok pokes him on the nose a thousand times per hour just to see him smile, which is how Jimin figures out he’s been wearing a Bitch Face all day. How is he even going to be grumpy? He’s running his café, like he does every single day of his life, and there’s nothing wrong.

At six in the evening, Jimin is convinced the universe is out to get him. Not only has he spilled on his shirt again (something he rarely ever did), but he has to tend to a burn on his hand from the milk steamer. If someone looked at him right now, his shirt stained, his hair a fucking rat’s nest, cold damp towel pressed to his blistering hand, they would assume he’s never worked in a coffee shop before. They would especially never guess he owned it.

And finally, the piece de resistance. His Magnum Fucking Opus. He slips while mopping the floor. The treads of his converse have apparently worn down so significantly that he became a hazard to his own safety, and he lands flat on his ass with an unimpressive thud. It takes everything within him to not burst into tears on the spot. His day so far has sucked shit so badly, and now he’s sitting in a puddle of dirty mop water on the floor. He can’t even complain to Hoseok or Yoongi, because he sent them home half an hour before closing.

So, to recap, Jimin is exhausted, battered, bruised, having the worst day he’s ever had, and Jungkook never showed up. The shop’s been closed for ten minutes and he’s alone and it’s dark and an old Usher song is bumping softly through the speakers and his ability to contain his emotions just fucking disintegrates.

His eyes, against his will, begin to water and now he’s crying. He’s sitting on a wet floor crying. And since he’s already here, having a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day, he decides to just roll with it and lay down. He feels the water on the floor seep through his sweater and his jeans and get all up in his blonde hair and can’t find it within himself to care. He will lay on the floor and cry for as long as he fucking wants because he’s a grown man and nobody can tell him what to do. And make no mistake, these aren’t tears of sadness. They’re ‘why am I being so dramatic?’ tears. Simply another perk of being Jimin: he can and will cry for any reason whatsoever.

The little bell over the door dings brightly but Jimin makes no effort to move. If someone’s coming in to rob the place, well, who is he to stop them? 

“Sorry, we’re closed.” He says from his spot on the floor, which is his home now. He’s made his peace with that.

“Uh, are you okay?” Jimin could recognize that voice anywhere. Jungkook showed up after all. Unfortunate, then, that Jimin’s in the middle of throwing a fit. He wipes at his cheeks with his sweater sleeves and takes a deep breath.

“I’m actually dead, sorry. You’re talking to my ghost.”

Jungkook chuckles and sits cross-legged on the floor next to Jimin’s head.

“Why are you on the floor?”

“I slipped. Why are you here?” Jimin replies, staring intently at the ceiling.

“My train got delayed, but I still wanted to see you. Are you hurt?”

“Only thing that’s hurt here is my pride. You wanted to see me?” Jimin props himself up on his elbows and peeks up at Jungkook who, and this is very critical, looks like a whole fuckin’ snack. His dark hair is pushed away from his forehead and his cheeks are flushed pink like cotton candy. He licks his bottom lip while he picks at a loose thread on the sleeve of his black hoodie.

“I thought that was obvious,” he giggles (like, actually fucking giggles) and it’s bright and happy and settling in Jimin’s chest in a funny way. “I only come here every day.”

“And here I was thinking you just really liked my coffee,” Jimin grins, pushes himself completely upright, and makes an absurd effort to fix his hair by running his fingers through it.

“That’s part of it,” He finally looks at Jimin and something about the light reflecting off his eyes makes Jimin want to lean in and kiss him. “But mostly I just have a thing for the cute barista that owns the place.”

“Me too,” Jimin jokes, earning himself a smack on the arm and the most beautiful smile.

“I was, uh, I was gonna come in here and say something really smooth like ‘I like you a latte’ and then ask if you want to maybe have dinner with me,” He pauses and looks out the window for a minute before speaking again. “But then when I got here, and you were just laying on the floor I realized you’re probably not up for going out tonight.” He chuckled and scratched at the back of his neck.

“Cheesy pun,” Jimin snorts and subtly scoots himself ever so closer to Jungkook. “Are you asking me on a date?”

“That was the plan, yeah.”

“Well, I look like I’ve been dead for six days, but if you’re willing to be seen in public with me, then I’d love to have dinner with you.”

“Really?” Jungkook’s eyebrows shoot up and the hopeful look on his face is downright adorable.

“Yes, really.”

“Nice. Now that’s sexy.” He says as he stands up and reaches a hand out for Jimin to take.

“Not everything is sexy, Jungkook.” He rolls his eyes but smiles anyway.

“Says you.” Jungkook sticks his tongue out and intertwines his larger fingers with Jimin’s smaller ones.

“Let’s go, you weirdo. This date isn’t gonna have itself.”

              

Maybe opening the café wasn’t the worst thing he’s ever done.