Actions

Work Header

Speak Now

Work Text:

 

 

 

“Stop the wedding..!”

 

Is that my voice?

 

Oh god that is my voice!

 

Why did he shout right after running a marathon? And why does his voice have to betray and embarrass him by breaking mid sentence? 

 

Jungkook mentally curses himself for the nth time that morning. Fuck self love and all that shit. If he can, he’ll kill himself three times over with how messed up this day is going. He can’t wait to know what’ll happen next.

 

Cold sweat slides from his hairline down to the side of his head, mocking him even more. Every head are now turned to his direction, and if it’s not for his legs shaking and a thousand thoughts running through the muddle that was once his brain and oh god -- he’s sure he’s about to pass out any minute now -- he might have even find all of their expressions funny. 

 

He feels something inside his brain banging against his skull, and there it is -- he’s about to faint out of pure shame. The floor isn’t that hard anyway right? He can just maybe crack his head open and probably die -- not a big deal at all.

 

It’s not like most pair of eyes are not already on him anyway since the moment he opened the door -- which was literally five seconds ago -- but it felt like an eternity with their constant glares boring into him, hard enough to drill holes into his being. And just like in a movie, he’s sure he can actually start to hear the birds chirping in the distance, the background music skidding to a screeching noise of dead silence. 

 

Or maybe that's just the pianist stopping his playing to strain his neck and scowl at whoever interrupted his version of Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" in C major.

 

To top it all off, Jungkook’s wearing the t-shirt he slept in last night -- a thin, oversized, old white tee, matched with his faded blue jeans that’s ripped at the knees -- hauled from his dirty laundry basket, stacked there since a week ago. He didn’t even wash his face or brush his hair before he sprinted off to this damn chapel -- fucking mobile alarm clocks and their tendency to betray you just when you need them the most. 

 

Jungkook does a last nervous sweep of his hair, some curls clipping stubbornly around his fingers, before he tries his best to ignore all the scrutinizing gazes directed at him, focusing instead on the man by the aisle. Who’s cladded in all white and fairly far from where Jungkook stands. So he squints -- attempting to have a better look at the groom. God, is he even in the right chapel? Is he stopping the right wedding?

 

He didn’t imagine it like this -- he expected people to maybe punch him to his senses the moment he opens his mouth or something so he’ll have the reason to bolt and run and live the rest of his life in the forest as he waits for society to forget his misslip. Or maybe a guard by the chapel door would be nice but nope -- he got none of that. 

 

This moment in his life right here right now shouldn’t be like a cheap romcom movie but it is .

 

If only he can see who his leading man apparently is. 

 

Jungkook finally makes out the man’s state through sheer effort of squinting. The groom is frozen stiff just like him, doing nothing as his bride steps down of the altar to maybe have a better look of the wedding crasher. And when she finally does see Jungkook, she starts glaring at him as well, muttering something that’s just impossible to comprehend from where Jungkook stands. 

 

Jungkook then shifts his eyes, notices the man -- Jimin -- now looking at him with wide eyes --Is he surprised? Confused? In pain? Man he looks like he’s about to shit himself. 

 

Jungkook isn’t really sure. 

 

The groom -- Jimin -- still looks pretty though, he notes as he steps forward subconsciously to see Jimin clearly. Even with the folds on his forehead and the uncertainty in his eyes, he still manages to look graceful. Versus how Jungkook probably looks right now. Jungkook then looks at his get up and rolls his eyes at himself -- he’s sure he looks like the epitome of dumb.

 

Amidst his personal character bashing and with a steady pace of insecurity eating at his insides, Jungkook’s ears perk at a series of taps -- leather loafers hitting against the marble floor, getting louder and louder, eventually pulling him back to now -- where Jimin is running to him through the center of the chapel. 

 

Jungkook swears everything around him turns slow-mo.

 

But then Jimin snatches his hand and pulls him as he runs -- the film reel whirs into it’s normal pace, the sound of bass amplifying in Jungkook’s mind. 

 

He barely has half the mind to comprehend what’s happening -- not with Jimin holding his hand so tight it kinda hurts and his hand is so small Jungkook thinks he’ll die of cuteness. 

 

His thumb traces a circle on the skin of Jimin’s hand just because he wanted to. Jimin either didn’t feel it or ignored it, but Jungkook forgets about it easily when he hears the starting roar of commotion following them.

 

Jungkook returns his gaze in front of him -- to Jimin’s back and to their entwined hands. 

 

He bites his bottom lip and fights the urge to look back at the angry crowd from behind. 

 

Shit.

 

This is real.

 

He’s actually stealing a groom from his wedding.

 

And they say romance is dead.

 

--

 

“No.”

 

It’s a rainy Saturday with the occasional thunder and Jungkook had been busy replaying Until Dawn because he managed to convince himself that he needed to relax and he deserves a “ me time .”

 

“Me Time” however, extends to now a four-hour playthrough of random games he has installed in his PS4, his thesis paper mocking and judging him from the dinner table. Every now and then, he’d glare at it, but most of the time, he’ll hide his face away in embarrassment as if the paper can scold him any minute.

 

“Jungkook!” Taehyung’s whining again, and he decides he doesn’t like the sound of it with the atmospheric soundtrack of the game. Because his whine this time is an irritating gurgle of sorts that didn’t filter well through his phone set to loudspeaker. He can’t be bothered to look for his headset or clip it against his ear and shoulder because both of his hands are busy making the appropriate choices in the game -- too busy trying to make Chris and Ashley kiss while trying to keep them alive at the same time. Damn, why do they have to be so smart and climb a winter mountain where a friend of theirs died and call it a vacation? Jungkook can’t even be disturbed to go out on a sunny day, much less a snowy one. 

 

“Come on you brat!” Taehyung snaps when he didn’t answer, adding a Korean curse word followed by Jungkook's full name for additional emphasis. He’s really pissed off now, Jungkook can tell. His hyung’s English is unique, so when he’s starting to get irritated, it’s easily conveyed through how he slurs his n . And his n s are now slurred. Plus he actually cursed Jungkook. “It’s a literal life or death situation!”

 

But of course, Jungkook is a brat, just like what his hyung said not a minute ago, so he needs to live up to it. After all, Jeon Jungkook hates to disappoint. “Hyung, he won’t die just by marrying someone."

 

“Are you really from the States bro? Have you forgotten about Mr. White?”

 

“Mr. White?”

 

“Our chemistry teacher?”

 

“We never had a ‘Mr. White’ as a teacher.”

 

“We did.”

 

Jungkook rolls his eyes. “...Does Mr. White have cancer?”

 

“Yes! Yes that’s the one!”

 

“Hyung, Mr. White is a chemistry teacher in Breaking Bad.”

 

A static. Then Taehyung’s voice gets louder, like he has the phone closer to his mouth now. Jungkook does his best not to imagine his hyung almost eating his whole phone just to try and convey how annoying he’s being right at this moment. “That is not the point! Marrying someone you don’t love is a mistake !”

 

“Mr. White’s marriage fell apart ‘cause he started cooking meth.”

 

Jungkook can imagine Taehyung pulling on his hair as he hears a frustrated growl. “Too bad Jimin can’t cook meth so he can’t make his marriage ‘fall apart’ then! Don’t you have a conscience!?”

 

Jungkook finally pauses the game, too stressed about who he should kill -- Chris or Ashley? But if he kills one of them, then how will his OTP have a happy ending? Now he remembers why he never finished this playthrough. Fuck this game.

 

He sinks back on his couch, throws the controller somewhere, and reaches for his phone. He sets it back to handset and breathes in slowly to shout at it while imagining Taehyung’s ear close to the speaker. 

 

“I will not crash a wedding and elope with the groom! I don’t even know anyone there!”

 

“That’s the point!”

 

“Hyung! This is stupid!”

 

“Not if you’re saving a life!”

 

“He’s not gonna die!”

 

“He will!”

 

“Don’t be dramatic hyung! This is not some k-drama! And I can’t just pull some k-drama bullshit!”

 

“I thought you have the power of God and anime on your side?”

 

“I was re-enacting a meme!”

 

“Use your anime power Jungkook-sama!”

 

Jungkook sighs again, feeling defeated as he massages the bridge of his nose, all of this shouting will not take them anywhere, like the previous shouting matches they’ve had ever since they were kids. Side-glancing the scattered papers on his dining table, Jungkook evens his tone and says: “I have a paper to finish hyung.”

 

“No. You have a prince to save! Help me just this once! If I can be there at 10 am tomorrow then I would do it myself but New York is like -- far from Seoul -- like 14 hours far so I won’t be able to make it.”

 

Jungkook looks at the time on his phone and what the fuck it’s already 1 am and I’m barely a page in my thesis!

 

“Kook? You there?”

 

Mr. Kang will surely beat his ass on Monday if he goes to class without even a draft on the Different Perspectives of Classic Directors and Budgetary Constraints. 

 

“Kook? Are you even listening to me?”

 

Maybe he can fake being sick? Oh but he already did that last week.

 

“Kook.”

 

And he can’t afford to go to the nurse’s office again to ask for a medical certificate because she’ll surely be hitting on him like last time and Jungkook doesn’t want that at all. 

 

“Kook. I still have your Ironman collection.”

 

Oh no.

 

“You touch those and you’re dead.”

 

“Remember that I’m 14 hours away from you so technically I still have an abundance of time to flee before you reach me.” 

 

“I hate you.”

 

“You don’t.”

 

He doesn’t. Jungkook groans dramatically, rolling his eyes again before remembering that this is a phone call

 

“Kook, please. Just please do this one favor for me.”

 

Okay. His Taehyung-hyung is not one to say please twice in one sentence. Is it this important?

 

“Fine." Jungkook gives in, because he’s tired and he’s intrigued at the same time. “If this is a prank, I swear --”

 

“I won’t joke about something like this.”

 

The sudden gravity in Taehyung’s voice makes Jungkook question just how important this favor is that he’s witnessing his hyung being this serious . But Jungkook’s still skeptic. If this ends up as being something stupid. he'll make sure to never let Taehyung live this down. "But you owe me hyung. Big time.”

 

Taehyung scoffs, the usual flare in his voice apparent. “What can I possibly give you? You’re the heir of Jeon Group for fuck’s sake, you can have anything you want.”

 

“Well I wanted to stay in New York but where am I now?”

 

“Your parents wanted you to appreciate Korea because you’re Korean.

 

Jungkook only answers with a huff. “I appreciate it all right? I’m even calling you hyung.”

 

“You’ve been calling me hyung since you were three.”

 

“Because I’m Korean .”

 

“How’s life there by the way? Adjusting well with the Korean air?” Taehyung asks suddenly with his perfect Korean, making Jungkook scrunch his nose up, he didn’t realize they’ve been talking in English for the past minutes. 

 

“Hyung, we talk in Korean when we’re at home and mom always forces me to eat her cooking so it’s just like I’m in New York but the air is cleaner. Oh and I'm stuck eating ramen all day.”

 

“That’s nice. Bring back some Korean air when you come back here.” Taehyung cackles before his voice turns serious again. “Please save Jimin tomorrow. I’m counting on you.” 

 

Save Jimin.

 

“Why is he even having the wedding if he doesn’t want to?”

 

“It’s… not my place to say.” Something in Taehyung's voice softens.

 

Jungkook's really not used to this kind of tone when it comes to this specific hyung. Who is this Jimin guy anyway? “He can still escape now though? He still has nine hours left.” He offers, hoping to coax something more out of Taehyung.

 

“It’s not that easy Kook. Believe me I did my best to persuade him to just leave but it’s not that easy. He needs to make a decision at the spur of the moment. That way he’ll know what he really wants. He’s just that kind of person.”

 

Sounds like a dangerous person then. 

 

“When did you even have a friend who lives in Korea anyway?”

 

“Aside from you?”

 

“Yeah congrats, you have a lot of friends I know.”

 

Taehyung gives a soft chuckle. “We met when he was attending a seminar in New York -- maybe last year or so? When you were busy with your first semester. He’s a really nice guy and we got close real fast since we mostly talked in Korean.”

 

“You like him! I will tell Jin-hyung.”

 

“Jin-hyung likes him too okay? He’s been visiting us when he can. And shut up, Jin just proposed to me so fuck off.”

 

“I’m still bitter that I wasn’t there when he popped the question.”

 

“Well he tried to livestream just for you but you’re too busy playing your stupid videogames.” 

 

“They are not stupid! They’re all I have here!”

 

“Maybe if you actually act like a proper human and mingle with other humans?”

 

“No.”

 

“Proves my point. I’ll send you the address and the time of the wedding. Send me a selca of you and Jimin so I’m sure you did what I ask of you.”

 

“You’re asking for too much.”

 

“Two words. Iron. Man.”

 

“That’s literally one word -- Ironman.” Jungkook hears the sound of glass cases being opened and he momentarily curses himself for leaving his Ironman collection at his and Taehyung’s shared apartment. “Got it hyung.”

 

--

 

Jungkook trips. 

 

And because he’s the king of bad luck, he trips face first. He's sure of it -- his poor, poor nose will soon sport a bruise with the way it stings, the pain creeping up to wet his eyes. He pokes at it to make sure, and then sputters a string of curses in a harsh mix of Korean and English, only realizing then that yes, he's not alone as he catches someone crouching down to check up on him. 

 

“You okay?”

 

I just planted my face on the ground do you think I’m okay?

 

But damn, Jungkook didn’t have the heart to tell him that because Groom Jimin has a nice voice. And he’s panting.  

 

Calm down Jeon Jungkook. Now is definitely not the time to think about that. 

 

They’d been running for a century now and Jungkook just discerns they’re out of breath (not just Jimin) and amidst his kissing the ground, their hands are still laced, albeit loosely. Maybe Jimin sees Jungkook staring at their hands so he starts to detach them. Jungkook debates whether to reach for the other man’s hand back because he misses the warmth already but decides against it because why would he do that

 

“Sorry, I kinda forgot the hands thing. You good?” Jimin says sheepishly, hiding his hand inside his pocket. 

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook answers then shrugs, trying to distract himself from thinking of how pleasant Jimin's voice is as he does his best to stand up with still wobbly legs. He even makes a show by poking his nose for good measure -- It fucking hurts like hell. But he can’t tell that to Jimin and add it to his today’s embarrassment. Maybe tomorrow, but not today. Damn, all of that and not even a day has passed since he met this man. “All’s good.” 

 

If Jimin catches on the wince he unintentionally let out, he didn't comment on it. Instead, Jimin follows him and stands up too, black hair bouncing with the movement. Jungkook has the sudden urge to reach out and touch it, but of course he didn't. He figures they're not that far in height but Jimin still looks small against his frame and wow , Jimin will definitely look good, really good , in his arms. 

 

“I’m Park Jimin by the way.”

 

Oh thank god I stopped the right wedding. 

 

Groom Jimin has a really, really nice voice. And he needs to stop thinking about it. “Yeah I know.”

 

Jungkook sees a small smile playing on Jimin's lips and another wow -- those are some gorgeous lips. “Yeah but I don’t know you.

 

Jimin definitely caught him staring, because he's suddenly holding the back of his hand against his lips, hiding as he looks at the ground. 

 

Jungkook wants to pry his hands off to see shy Jimin. 

 

“Oh," he clears his throat, detaching himself from his previous thought-process as he scratches at the back of his neck just to do something. "Jungkook," his name suddenly sounds so foreign as it rolls against his tongue. "Jeon Jungkook.”

 

Thankfully, the smaller man removes his gaze from the pavement, Jungkook suffers a mini heart attack as Jimin turns at his direction before he notices that Jimin's actually looking past him, back to the direction of the chapel. “I guess we’re far enough.” And then he shifts to Jungkook again, his bashful smile back on full display and Jungkook had to remind himself to stop staring for the love of God, Jeon Jungkook . “Come to Busan with me?”

 

Jungkook chokes on imaginary spit and he pats at his chest to try and hide it. Did he hear that one right? Did he hear it at all or was he hallucinating? "Excuse me but what?”

 

Jimin chuckles, probably expecting his response as he repeats what he just said, louder, and then adds: “Geumjeong-gu to be exact.”

 

--

 

His mom taught him not to talk to strangers. So obviously to not go to someplace unknown with said stranger is a given. But Jungkook can’t exactly say no to Jimin (and he doesn't know why either), so he did what he thinks is a better option -- invite Jimin to their rest house in Busan. At least it’s his territory, and he knows people there, Jimin would think twice before killing him, hopefully. And if Jimin did end up killing him, he’ll have a pact with the devil to make his his vengeful soul fly back to New York and terrorize Taehyung for all eternity.

 

“You live in Busan too? Where?”

 

Jungkook's ears perk at the "too" part, but he decides he can use it as a conversation starter sometime later since it looks like Jimin will be staying with him for the meantime. And he can't let Jimin know he’s not really the type to start conversations because he sucks at them right? Right.

 

“Not really, we just stay there for summer vacation sometimes." Jimin only hums in reply. "Buk-gu…" Jungkook adds carefully. "...You okay going there or..?”

 

“Or?” Jimin's still not looking at him, doing his best to count the cracks on the road as Jungkook does his best to not stare at his lips, praying silently to not stutter against his will. 

 

“Or to Geumjeong-gu?”

 

Jimin subconsciously pats his bottom lip with his index finger as he shifts his eyes somewhere in front of them and Jungkook has to physically restrain himself from cooing. “I honestly don’t have any idea where I’ll stay in Geumjeong-gu if we come there. It’s just the first thing that came to mind. I just want to get away from Seoul.” Jimin seems to think about something else as he bobs his head up towards the sky. Jungkook wishes he can snap a picture of Groom Jimin just like this. “Is Buk-gu far?”

 

Jungkook gulps through another imaginary lump in his throat, almost snapping his neck off as he pretends to look at something else when Jimin suddenly trains his eyes on him, expecting an answer. Did Jimin catch him staring? Again?  

 

He digs for his phone inside his jeans and does a quick Naver search. He hasn't had the time to go visit their vacation house this past semester with all the university work, and all free holidays are expensed on his parents visiting him in Seoul. “Four hours ride by train.”

 

He expected a grimace, four hours is a long ride. But instead Jimin is smiling, Jungkook can hear it without looking at him, gawking at his phone wallpaper instead -- a fan art of chibi Ironman because it's just so interesting. “The farther the better, so -- don’t mind my intrusion?”

 

Jungkook had to slap himself for thinking of an innuendo hidden in that sentence. Jimin looks at him weird before laughing softly. 

 

Jimin’s front teeth are a bit crooked but Jungkook finds them so adorable and before his mind can travel to other things like Jimin’s cheeks and his eyes, Jungkook forces himself to start trekking for the train station, feet moving in strides with Jimin in tow. 

 

Halfway to their designated train, he notices most of the people around them looking at Jimin. Their foreheads furrowed so he looks back to see Jimin in his obviously-for-wedding-event-only white tux, a red rose now limp but still tucked neatly in his breast pocket. 

 

He looks so out of place. 

 

Jungkook stops walking and completely turns around, Jimin promptly halting as well to raise a brow at him. 

 

He presses his palm on Jimin's chest and plucks the rose out, most of the petals fall off and Jungkook frowns at this plant’s cooperation. Of course the flower would’ve been deteriorated by now with all the running they did -- he should’ve known that. He holds it between him and Jimin for a bit, and then offers it right back to the shorter man, playing with the broken stem as he did so. "You can remove your tux for a while if you want to,” he says, hopefully to try and remove Jimin’s attention from the now almost petalless flower he’s trying to give him.

 

Jimin glances at the rose and realizes what Jungkook's doing. He smiles, the kind that reaches his eyes and lifts the apples of his cheeks. He looks at the flower (if it’s even a flower at this point) and accepts the rose with one remaining petal sticking to its bud gingerly, their fingers brushing. 

 

Jungkook swears he feels electricity running through where Jimin touched him. Or maybe he’s just really jittery. "Okay," Jimin answers softly and Jungkook unabashedly watches him as he tugs his coat off, leaving him with a crisp white dress shirt that perfectly hugs his torso.

 

Jungkook gulps.

 

He shouldn’t have told Jimin to take his coat off. 

 

Was he asking for a death sentence?

 

"Let's go?" Jimin says, just enough for Jungkook to hear. 

 

"...Yeah." 

 

--

 

It’s been an hour since they stepped inside the train. 

 

Jungkook never realizes that four hours is such a long ride. He knows it is but he underestimated it. His shoulders are starting to go stiff and his back sticking to his seat every 0.05 seconds make him even more annoyed. 

 

And his ass -- Taehyung always teased him about his ass being flat but if he stays any longer sitting like this then he's sure his ass might as well disappear.

 

It's his first time riding a train to Buk-gu. His family always rent a car when they go for vacation in Korea. This train trip is a whole new experience and Jungkook is not into it . Aside from that, the occasional bumps of the people coming and going (because aisle seats are oh so great ), just makes him want to get off at the nearest station. It reminds him a lot of field trips. And he never liked field trips. There’s just too many -- people.

 

Jungkook sighs. 

 

Having a pretty guy next to him makes it bearable though. 

 

“Thanks.” 

 

Jungkook barely hears Jimin say it, too lost in his own thoughts so he mumbles a silly: “Huh?

 

Jimin moves his eyes from the window to him. “Thanks,” he repeats, louder and clearer this time. “For showing up." Jimin halts, looks at his lap, and smiles at nothing in particular. "For forcing me to be brave.”

 

Be brave. 

 

Save Jimin.

 

Taehyung's voice echoes in his head as he listens to Jimin's words. He feels guilty that he almost took it as a joke when his hyung told him about it.

 

Jimin's words hang heavy in the pit of Jungkook's stomach. Until now, he never thought of just how serious Jimin's situation was -- is. All that had happened since he met Jimin were scenes straight off a romcom movie and yet the “ why” it all started is still a mystery.

 

Why is Jimin running away?

 

Why now?

 

Jungkook knows he should’ve said something. There are a lot of things he wanted to say. But all he did was gape as Jimin turns to him with a smile, and then returning his eyes to the blur of greens and blues outside right after.

 

Good job Jeon Jungkook.

 

It takes him another hour to realize that he’s about to ditch school and basically his whole life back in Seoul. With his impending deadlines and a whole thesis paper he hasn't even started, Jungkook should be jumping off the train right about now and taking the next trip back to the capital. 

 

But Jimin is beside him, looking out the window with a spark in his eyes and a soft smile constantly plastered on his lips -- brimming with the kind of hope that persuades Jungkook into thinking that something beautiful is about to happen, and it's going to be worth it. So he better stay to witness it first hand. 

 

He looks at the scenery outside the window as well, the sky above a bright blue, few fluffy white clouds roll by. 

 

Jungkook thinks that for Jimin, leaving everything behind is the point of it all. 

 

And for him? He suddenly had a thought, for why he can’t really tell -- 

 

But he thinks that destiny wouldn't take him to this very moment without any reason.

 

--

 

Jungkook didn’t even notice that he had dozed off until he hears a particularly loud, unceremonious bang beside him and he forces his still heavy eyes to open. He sees Jimin’s head thudding against the train window. That definitely hurts, Jungkook thinks but Jimin is out like a light -- he’s dead asleep.

 

Momentarily panicked and thinking about brain damage, Jungkook cradles the smaller man’s head and slowly leads Jimin to rest his head on his shoulder. It’s fortunate that Jimin didn’t wake up because if he did Jungkook wouldn’t be able to explain why they’re in such a position. 

 

Jungkook slowly lets his shoulders sag again. Tilting his head to the side so it rests against Jimin’s. It feels nice. To feel Jimin’s even puffs of air and the weight of his head against his shoulder. Jungkook closes his eyes again. It feels nice. 

 

He honestly didn’t have any plans to even wake up before 10 am that morning. But his Ironman collection is being held hostage and he can’t bear to just do nothing. Robert Downey Jr. taught him better. He just needs to suck it up and hope he can push through wedding crashing. If he can be successful at other things with just the first attempt, then maybe stopping a wedding will not be that hard too, or so he thought. 

 

He originally planned to wake up early and put on his nice tux to blend in. Find and talk to this Park Jimin before he even goes to the chapel and then call it a day. Go back to trying to make Chris and Ashley live happily ever after. But of course, Jungkook didn’t manage to do any of that and instead woke up late with the ceremony almost half-way done.

 

So he just said fuck it and opened the chapel door. Now that he thinks back on it, Jimin’s somber expression is now burned into his mind --  the only grey within the arrays of pretentious colors. Jungkook will never forget how Jimin’s head hung low, eyes blank and bleak until he realized the surge of sunlight coming from the entrance door. Light finally reaching and catching in his eyes.

 

And then he looked at Jungkook like he’s the entire night sky.

 

Silence drown them all through the rest of the ride. The soft hum of the train accompanied by Jimin’s breathing makes Jungkook sink back on his seat. He closes his eyes and wonders if the moon will be clear in Buk-gu tonight. 

 

--

 

He wakes up to Jimin nudging his side, a soft “wake up” accompanied with a gentle smile on his face that gives Jungkook another cardiac arrest. Once they step out of the train station, Jimin whirls around in a complete circle, white loafers skidding against the cement in a twirl. He’s gawking at everything around him, smiling -- eyes disappearing into crescents that Jungkook wonders if he can actually still see pass those small slits.

 

Jungkook decides it doesn’t matter as long as Jimin keeps smiling like that.

 

“I’ve never been here.”

 

“Oh?" Jungkook keeps a distance between them so he can keep musing over Jimin's childlike wonder. "So where you’ve been?”

 

“Just in places where I should be.”

 

“Like?”

 

“Like Seoul, Geumjeong-gu, and New York.”

 

“...And?”

 

Jimin finally seems to get tired of going round and round as he catches his breath before answering: “That’s it.”

 

“That’s it?” Jungkook sounds incredulous (he does) and Jimin stifles a laughter.

 

“Strict parents.” Jimin jests.

 

Oh. He's joking now. That's good.

 

Jungkook chuckles. “I can see that. Bet they’re fuming that you’re not where they can see you right now.”

 

There’s something in Jimin’s smile that falters, and Jungkook is quick to apologize. “It’s okay,” Jimin reassures him, reaching a hand out to probably tap Jungkook's shoulder but he stops it midway. Jungkook pretends he didn’t notice. “I wanted to be free."

 

He slowly clenches his hands into fists. "I wanted this." Jimin continues, sounding more like he’s telling it to himself than anyone else. 

 

Convincing himself.

 

Jungkook stops himself from asking why -- why did Jimin want this? Why now?

 

But he bites his tongue. He can't ask that. Yet. He hasn’t earned it. For now. Maybe? Jimin still seems a little conscious around him, which is understandable. He is a stranger to Jimin as much as Jimin is a stranger to him. And Jimin is in an unfamiliar territory. So Jungkook keeps the curiosity to himself. “Jimin,” he calls out, and he finds out that the sound of Jimin’s name against his lips feels right. “You look like an angry bear.” He copies Jimin’s stance, hands turning to fists, brows furrow in determination. 

 

Jimin cackles at him in delight, clapping his hands together in a fit of laughter. “You look like you’re about to take a shit.”

 

Jungkook’s heart rate picks up at the sound of Jimin’s laughter, liking the fact that he, Jeon Jungkook, made Park Jimin laugh like that.  

 

Jimin looks best when he's laughing. So Jungkook promises himself that he’ll do his best to make Jimin smile and laugh at least while they’re together.

 

He finally tells Jimin to follow him to the rest house after a small tour around Central Park. He’s normally a fast walker but Jungkook decides to take shorter strides to match Jimin’s as the other is still too busy looking around.

 

Jungkook’s busy looking too. But not at anything in the park.

 

A moment later, he shifts his attention to his watch, turning away from Jimin and the direction of the sun to hide from it’s blinding rays. It’s two pm and the sun is steadily sinking. Jungkook thinks the weather’s nice since it isn’t too hot but it isn’t too cold either, and everything is as calm as it can be. 

 

Again, that thought crosses his mind -- maybe destiny is looking over them right now and smiling. 

 

He looks back behind him to see Jimin quite a distance away now, just like what he did in the train station - he’s twirling slowly to stare at everything. 

 

Jungkook smiles, feels an unfamiliar warmth blooming from his chest at the mere sight of Jimin looking so happy. 

 

So free.

 

“Why don’t you take pics while you’re at it?” Jungkook half-shouts. No one’s on the street beside them, no nearby stores to reprimand them about shouting, but they are still surrounded by residential houses so Jungkook walks back to where Jimin is. “There’s not much to gawk at but the lighting’s pretty.”

 

Just like you.

 

Jimin turns to him and meets him halfway. “I didn’t bring my phone with me.” He then cups one hand around his mouth as if he’s about to say a conspiracy. “Trackers and everything you know?”

 

Under this light, and at this distance, Jimin looks like an angel bathing in sunlight. 

 

And Jungkook is at awe that he didn't fully understand what Jimin just said.

 

So “Oh,” is his witty reply.

 

Thankfully, Jimin didn't seem to mind it as he puts his hand inside his pocket. Jungkook takes note of this. He does that when he’s nervous, doesn’t he? “Oh by the way, Taehyung sent you didn’t he?”

 

Jungkook nods. He just remembers his hyung again now. And if Jimin didn’t mention him, he might’ve forgotten about him altogether.

 

“He didn’t listen.” Jimin says softly but Jungkook catches it this time. “I’m glad he didn’t.” There’s fondness in his tone as he says it. A kind of sweet lisp that rolls off his tongue. Jungkook finds it endearing. “Can I borrow your phone and call Taehyung later?”

 

Jungkook waits for the hyung after Taehyung’s name but it never comes. “How old are you?”

 

“Twenty-three. You?”

 

Jungkook scratches the back of his neck. “Twenty-two.”

 

“So I’m your hyung huh.” 

 

“Guess so... hyung.

 

Jimin giggles and Jungkook swears his heart soars, begging to be ripped out of his chest to jump onto Jimin. “Sorry but since you mentioned Taehyung-hyung, I just remembered that he asked me to send him a selca of us.” 

 

Jimin holds out his hand. “Let’s take some pictures then.”

 

***

 

“I asked for a selca not an album. ” Taehyung rolls his eyes, the image straining through a grainy video call. Jimin snorts in response, unable to keep his voice down as he chortles at his friend's overdramatic sass.

 

He lets out a series of genuine laughter. 

 

Because Jimin feels genuinely happy. His chest light. His head clear.

 

It's easy to breathe. 

 

It's finally easy to breathe. 

 

He’s finally away from it all. 

 

He can think of the now whats in another day.

 

For now, he can appreciate the wooden floor and the bright lamp above him without thinking of anything else. Can concentrate on the warmth of his yellow blanket, and revel in the smell of cooking food outside his door.

 

He never had the pleasure to cherish these small things before, too busy keeping up with pretenses to waste time on the good parts of life.

 

Jimin looks at his ajar door, seeing Jungkook moving about in the kitchen. Somehow, he feels his cheeks turning hot, blooming a pale pink that he'll later blame on the warmth of the evening as he reaches out to open a window near his futon.

 

“Buk-gu is nice so we took a few pics.” Jimin argues, now whispering of sorts, suddenly too aware of how loud his laugh from a few minutes ago. Did Jungkook hear him? Did he think he's being too loud? It's good that the signal here is not that great, the video image of him blurry enough to conceal the redness of his face.

 

“A whole folder compressed to a zip file labelled ‘Jiminie & Kookie in Buk-gu’ containing what -- 73 pictures? Is definitely not a few.”

 

Jimin only grins. He knows it definitely isn't a few.

 

"'Jiminie & Kookie'" Taehyung repeats as he watches Jimin's grin fade away. Now it's time for him to be the one grinning. 

 

"It's just a folder name."

 

"You two are already that close for you to be calling him Kookie?"

 

"I don't call him Kookie…"

 

"But you want to."

 

Jimin didn't answer for a while. "Well he helped me a lot today so I really want to be good friends with him."

 

"Good friends. Yeah right. "

 

"Shut up." Jimin growls but it has no bite.

 

Taehyung can’t help but snicker. “At least you’re enjoying yourself,” he added as he rolls around on his bed from the other side of the world. “I’m glad Jiminie.”

 

“Thank you Taehyung-ah.” 

 

“Where’s Kook by the way?”

 

“Cooking dinner.” 

 

“You mean being a good husband?”

 

Jimin rolls his eyes. “Tae I just ran away from my wedding. If I hadn't I would have been the one playing the role of a husband.”

 

"You can still be a husband though, come back to America with Jungkook, we can have a double wedding ceremony!"

 

Jimin laughs. “Stop joking!”

 

“Oh but am I?” Taehyung has his signature boxy smile, and Jimin lets himself smile back. 

 

"I am glad that you told him to come stop my wedding but we just met."

 

"I'm not hearing you say you're against the idea of the two of you together."

 

Jimin chokes and he chucks the phone away from him as Taehyung's laugh echoes through the speaker.

 

“I don’t see any reason for you not to try it with Kook though," he continues as Jimin crawls to pick the phone up and immediately scans for scratches because this phone is Jungkook's and how dumb of him to forget about it.

 

“I barely knew the guy." Jimin says softly, still busy looking for damages with the phone. "I don’t even know if he likes me.”

 

“Please," Taehyung rolls his eyes so much it physically strains Jimin with just watching him. "He saved you from your cursed wedding --”

 

“‘Cause you asked him to --”

 

“Took you back to his home in Busan --”

 

“We don’t have anywhere else to go to --”

 

“Lets you borrow his clothes -- ” 

 

Jimin subtly inhales the scent of Jungkook's clothes that he's currently wearing. He remembers waking up on Jungkook’s shoulder when the train announced their stop and he discreetly leans in to take a whiff of Jungkook’s cologne. But he soon realizes it’s not a cologne. If anything, it’s just his fabric conditioner. The clothes he’s in now came from a stash in Jungkook’s room in the rest house. It doesn't smell as good as Jungkook -- but it's still his and Jimin likes the thought of being in Jungkook’s belongings. “Well it’s not like I packed a suitcase for this excapade --”

 

“And he’s now cooking for you.”

 

“...cause we’re hungry?”

 

“Jimin," Taehyung puts his index finger up in the air to keep Jimin from throwing his arguments."This guy is impatient and he doesn’t like sharing his clothes -- or anything of his possessions to be honest -- not even with me when we were living together -- and we know each other since we were three! But he goes out of his way to do all these things for you and he knows you for what -- 10 hours!?”

 

Jimin bites down on his bottom lip as he stares hard at the deep yellow sheets of the futon Jungkook personally laid out for him earlier. 

 

“He’s just being nice.” 

 

Taehyung snorts. “You sound so in denial.”

 

Jimin fake pouts. “I do not!”

 

“You do. But what do you plan after Busan though?" Taehyung thankfully lets it go and Jimin gives out a sigh in relief. "Yeah sigh all you want now cause you bet Imma go back to you and Jungkook later.” 

 

“Bold of you to assume I will answer.”

 

“Yeah you’ll just blush so hard like you’re doing right now.”

 

Jimin pouts harder.

 

Taehyung snickers. “Did you think about staying with me and Jin for a bit?”

 

“I got my passport with me and some cash enough to get me to New York.” Jimin keeps silent for a while. “But,”

 

“But that is not your only option now.” Taehyung finishes for him as Jimin lets his eyes wander off of his phone screen to Jungkook's broad back.

 

Jungkook's frying something in the pan while simultaneously cutting some vegetables by the sink. Jimin stops himself and goes back to the video call before he gets lost in staring at the younger man just to see Taehyung's smirk stretched wider. An exaggerated lewd expression painted on his face.

 

Jimin dismisses his antics, berates him for his teasing then pretends nothing happened to save himself from more harassment. “I really don’t want to leave Korea. My English isn’t even that good.”

 

“You’ll live. Kook has classes tomorrow though.” 

 

“What? Jungkook still goes to university?”

 

“Graduating, he’s in the Department of Photography and Image Media.”

 

“So what about his classes?”

 

“Why don’t you ask him?”

 

***

 

Jungkook's glad he acquired some skills from Seokjin when he was still abroad. All those nights he suffered Taehyung and his boyfriend's disgusting PDA while he was trapped with them in his shared apartment actually brought something good because he has memorized Seokjin's fried rice recipe. (Seokjin insists to call it "Only for Taehyung Fried Rice" but Seokjin is not here and Jungkook's sure as hell won't be calling it that.)

 

Of course there isn’t anything inside the rest house and the keeper only visits once a week to clean. The market is a bit far from the house but the good thing is his Yoongi-hyung still lives just a block over, and is nice enough to let him borrow ingredients from his fridge. 

 

"So that means you won't be playing later huh?" 

 

He met Yoongi last summer, when him and his family visited Korea but his parents just had to take work with them so they end up holed up in the rest house for some days. Until his laptop accepted a nearby team request for an rpg game he was currently playing that time. He spent the next few days in Yoongi's villa, playing games with him in the place's very own game room. 

 

Jungkook puts a cabbage inside his eco bag (also from Yoongi's kitchen given to him by his hyung's housekeeper) and raises a brow at the other man. "You won't even try to invite me over hyung?"

 

"I saw you with a pretty boy, I won't be choosing playing rpgs when I have that kind of beauty in my house."

 

"I call dibs hyung."

 

"Hold your horses. I just said he's pretty. Doesn't mean he's my type."

 

"And why is that? First of all, Jiminie is so pretty he can easily be anyone's type --"

 

Yoongi holds his palm out to Jungkook’s face, close enough that Jungkook gets cross-eyed. " First of all, it's obvious that you like him so why will I go after him if I want to keep the best support player I have in League?"

 

Jungkook effectively shuts up. 

 

"Just go get your eggs and whatever it is you need and cook for your pretty Jiminie before I puke seeing you like this."

 

Jungkook sneaks another glance at Jimin's room where he sees him looking out a window. His white tux and slacks are gone now, replaced with a white pullover and black sweats that are obviously too big for him -- because they are Jungkook’s and Jimin looks good in his clothes damn it. 

 

And then Jimin just has to look at him at that exact moment and Jungkook never turns his head so fast he has whiplash.

 

Cabbage.

 

He needs to focus on the cabbage.

 

--

 

"About your university…" Jimin starts, trailing off as he purposely makes his strides bigger so Jungkook wouldn't have to see his face. "Don't you have classes tomorrow?"

 

"I do." Jungkook's answer is accompanied by the tell tale clinks of glassware as he gathers them. 

 

"Then… will you be going back to Seoul tomorrow?"

 

"I scheduled myself to have the flu." 

 

Jimin turns around to see Jungkook smirking. "What?"

 

"I have a close upperclassman. He graduated last year and is now a doctor. I already asked him to prepare a medical excuse slip for me. I called him a while ago through the house phone."

 

"Oh," Jimin smiles. "Okay then."

 

Jimin distracts himself from thinking of being with Jungkook for another day.  So he starts to inspect more of the place instead. It's an oriental styled house -- a modern hanok , complete with tatami mats and Hanji Korean mulberry paper sliding doors.

 

For some reason they opted to eat at the edge of the main room, where they open the paper door to see the half moon above. The place is charming, with its own little pond filled with few water lilies and a patio overlooking a small garden scattered with wildflowers and the occasional crickets. Jungkook sheepishly says he should have been taking good care of it since he's the one in Korea but he was too busy with university to do more than check up on the place’s keeper.  

 

Jimin feels his heart swelling. He’s busy and yet he’s here with me. 

 

It’s now a bit chilly, but the night is bright, although foggy, and Jimin will definitely have a stiff neck tomorrow for looking up at the moon for the longest time now just to keep himself from staring at Jungkook and his adorable eating habits.

 

They’re on their last bites when Jungkook clears his throat. “Is this the part where I ask you why you run away from your wedding or is it too soon?”

 

Jimin tilts his head to his direction, lets his eyes wander on a stray rice near Jungkook's chin before pinching himself and blinking at the younger man for a few moments. Jungkook didn't notice this because he's still too busy munching on a piece of chicken. 

 

He looks up when Jimin still hasn't answered, his eyes big and curious. Jimin does a double take for a split second, but for all the things Jungkook has done for him, giving him a proper explanation is the least he can do.

 

But there’s only one explanation.

 

Ah, whatever. 

 

“I’m gay so…”

 

“Really?" Jungkook empties his plate, reaches for a glass of water and chugs it down. "Me too.”

 

“Oh.”

 

Jimin completely forgot just where Jungkook originally is from. This kind of confessions might come easy to him considering he lived abroad and has Taehyung for a best friend. 

 

But hey, Jungkook is gay… 

 

Jungkook is gay. 

 

Jimin can’t remove his eyes from Jungkook and he didn’t know when but Jungkook’s also looking at him, his doe eyes shining against the mist of the night. 

 

Jimin can’t look away. 

 

The tension rise to an all-time-high that it almost physically chokes Jimin. What does Jungkook mean by that? Does he mean anything by that? 

 

He wants to lean in -- so bad -- get closer to Jungkook but is that what Jungkook wanted too? 

 

Seventeen’s HIT sound blasts so loud from Jimin’s room and his stupid fight or flight mode made him practically fly back to run to where the phone is. 

 

“I’ll -- I’ll wash the dishes!” Jimin says hurriedly, looking back at Jungkook who’s already cleaning the place where they just ate at. 

 

He sees Jungkook smiling, pink faint on his cheeks -- and is he not looking at Jimin? “It’s okay hyung, I got this,” he says. “Take a rest. I’m sure you still have a lot on your mind.” And he steps out of the main room with all the dishes in one hand, into where the kitchen is, brezeely, as he closes the sliding door, effectively shutting down any idea of helping him clean the dishes out of Jimin’s head.

 

Right. There should be a lot on his mind. 

 

But right now, it’s only filled with Jungkook. 

 

--

 

Jungkook will kill Taehyung for calling at such an inconvenient time. 

 

He splashes the water into the sink with more force than necessary, not really seeing the plates but instead remembering Jimin’s shy confession and the fact that his eyes were stuck on his lips for the entirety of their dinner. 

 

The mood was perfect. The moon was bright and the night chilly, Jungkook feels even closer to Jimin with their small talk but Taehyung just has to call to tell them about a stupid YouTube video he had watched. 

 

Was Jimin planning to lean in? Or was he already leaning in? Jungkook can’t get Jimin’s lips out of his mind even if he tried. Those lips had been tempting him all day and now that he’s sure Jimin is interested in men too -- it just made it all the more tempting. 

 

He stops by Jimin’s room awhile ago to get his phone. After sending Taehyung a series of knife emojis, he sits down and pulls the blanket up to Jimin’s chin. A lot of things happened to them today, for sure Jimin was tired, but he’s trying his best to be helpful, and Jungkook finds it endearing. 

 

He steps out into the patio after cleaning a bit more inside. He cleans when his mind is filled with a lot of things, helps him reorganize, helps him be distracted a bit. 

 

He hears a familiar honking outside and he steps out to see Yoongi in his motorcycle, carrying an eco bag. “I just woke up from a nap and I saw one of your bags in the kitchen. Wouldn’t want you crying to me in the morning about failing to make breakfast for Jiminie.

 

Jungkook rolls his eyes but grabs the bag anyway.  

 

--

 

Jimin wakes up to muffled thunder and the pit-pat of rain. 

 

He opens his eyes slowly, adjusting to the dim light by the corner of the room. His blanket suddenly feels cold to the touch, so he turns, trying to find comfort and hopefully lull himself back to sleep.

 

No luck. 

 

Jimin hoist himself up and sit against the wall of the room. He has no idea what time it is because  there’s no visible wall clock anywhere and he can’t find Jungkook’s phone anywhere.

 

He stands up, starts to go towards the kitchen when he hears the rumble of an engine just outside the paper doors. 

 

He sees Jungkook on a black motorbike in the middle of the garden, shirt in patches of rain as he stands under it, eyes closed, his face up towards the dark skies. 

 

“Jungkook?”

 

Jungkook opens his eyes and looks back at Jimin. “Hey.”

 

Jimin arches his brows, hugging himself against the cold of the wind. “Did you get your phone?”

 

“Yeah, want me to grab it for you?”

 

“No, that’s okay. I just thought I lost it.”

 

Jungkook chuckles.

 

Jimin is gone. 

 

“So,” he clears his throat, it’s already drizzling, “where’d you get the bike?”

 

Jungkook pats the bike fondly. “It’s Yoongi-hyung’s, he lives just a block over, he just went home. We talked for a bit since I haven’t had the chance to visit here.” 

 

Jimin steps out to the patio, still under dry area but the raindrop’s slowly clinging to his ankles. “Yoongi?”

 

Jungkook smirks at him. “Jealous?”

 

Jimin only titters softly. “What’s the time?”

 

Jungkook shrugs his shoulders. “Dunno. Don’t really mind to be honest.” 

 

Jimin smiles. He looks up at the sky -- it’s pitch black, save for the hazy light from the moon way up. It’s fairly hidden by the clouds but it’s there. 

 

Right now, it feels like the world is on a time still. 

 

Like they’re the only ones who exist. 

 

Suddenly, Jungkook is in front of him, hands outstretched -- 

 

“Wanna go on a ride?”

 

--

 

Jimin finds it hard to trust strangers. And he never likes motorbikes. Much like riding one with a guy he just met. Not to mention the steady downpour, making everything around them slippery and dangerous. All of his senses begs him to not take Jungkook’s hand and instead go back to the warmth of his futon and just go back to sleep.

 

But something in Jungkook’s eyes made Jimin forget about reason. The chance to hold Jungkook’s hand overpowering whatever logical thought inside his head. So Jimin reaches out to him, stepping under the drizzle, raindrops hanging on the tips of their hair. He looks up at Jungkook, sees the night sky against his back, the mirth in his eyes. Jimin’s tempted, so tempted to stand on tiptoes --

 

And kiss him. 

 

And maybe Jimin might’ve done just that if Jungkook didn’t pull him to the bike and asked him to hold on tight.

 

The rain hits his face softly. Each drop like a gentle caress against his eyelids and nose and cheeks and chin. It’s cold. But Jimin didn’t mind as he huddles closer to Jungkook, seeking more of the warmth from his body, holding unto him tighter. A meager excuse to embrace him. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t seem to mind. 

 

Jungkook has a narrow waist, but his shoulders are broad and Jimin failed to notice that he had been burrowing his face against his back for most of the ride, arms snaked around Jungkook’s torso that his palms rest on his tummy. 

 

There’s a steady strum around them -- after midnight silence and the grumble of the engine against the pavement. Matched with the rhythmic pitter-patter against every surface. They didn’t talk. Didn’t try to break the magic that seem to fall over them. Because it’s comfortable like that, and being able to admire Jungkook like this, holding him this close -- is more than enough for Jimin. 

 

At least for now. 

 

He imagined this September to be the saddest month of his life. Even dreaded this very night because he thought he would be in bed with a woman he doesn’t love, stuck in a world he doesn’t want to be in. 

 

He always thought New York will be his favorite place, because there, he’s far from everything. 

 

Never once did he thought that his favorite place will be right here, pressed against Jungkook’s back, blessed by the moon and stars, under pelting rain, the smell of concrete and Jungkook’s shampoo swarming his nose. 

 

Jimin smiles against Jungkook’s neck and he feels him shiver. 

 

Jungkook smells like freedom. 

 

--

 

Jungkook kills the engine and helps Jimin off of the motorcycle, his hand firm on Jimin’s. The rain is still pouring, getting stronger by the minute. 

 

Jungkook lets himself get lost in the way Jimin’s shirt clings to his body, eyes travelling up to the wet, pale lips of the shorter man --

 

Who’s also looking at him. 

 

Jimin is here, in an unfamiliar place, with a stranger -- trusting him with everything. 

 

“You’re brave, Jimin.” Jungkook says, meeting Jimin’s eyes. You are.”

 

Jimin squints his eyes at him. “Why… all of a sudden…”

 

“Just,” Jungkook reaches out, finally touches Jimin’s cheek. The contact scorching against the cold of the rain. “I just wanted you to know that, okay?”

 

Jimin looks like he’s about to cry, but he smiles, places his hand on top of Jungkook’s, and leans in to the touch. “Okay.”

 

Jimin can’t explain how it happened but once they’re inside the gardens, into the house, he just remembered pulling Jungkook closer to him and pressing their chests flushed together. 

 

Jungkook didn’t hesitate either, catching his lips in a searing kiss that had Jimin keening, making them almost stumble as they drag themselves back to Jimin’s room, falling on the yellow futon with little care if it gets wet with the rain on their clothes and hair.

 

“...He needs to make a decision at the spur of the moment. That way he’ll know what he really wants. He’s just that kind of person.”

 

“Is this a spur of the moment thing?” Jungkook chokes, both nervous and excited at the same time.

 

“What?” Jimin manages to let out, but not detaching himself from Jungkook’s grip. 

 

“This… what we’re about to do…”

 

Jimin cups Jungkook’s face and kisses him softly. “I don’t know. All I know is I’ve been wanting this since the moment I saw you.”

 

Jungkook chuckles. “Since yesterday morning you mean?”

 

Jimin laughs. “Just shut up and kiss me.”

 

Jungkook did.

 

--

 

Jimin falls back on the futon panting heavily, Jungkook rolling to his side and collecting him into his arms. He kisses Jimin’s forehead gently, breathing still staggered as they both wait for their highs to settle.

 

“Are we being too fast?” Jimin breathes out, snuggling closer, lips brushing against Jungkook’s collar bone. 

 

“It doesn’t feel like we are.” Jungkook answers, fingers starting to play with Jimin’s hair. Can that something beautiful he thought of during their train ride be this? Maybe. Jungkook’s too busy admiring Jimin to care too much. “It feels like I was meant to find you and I finally did.” 

 

Jimin looks up and presses his thumb against the scar on Jungkook’s cheek. “Didn’t know you’re such a sap.”

 

Jungkook gazes at him too, meeting his eyes and leaning in to kiss him on the lips languidly. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.” 

 

Jimin smiles as he rakes Jungkook’s bangs away from his face. “You’re already doing that.” 

 

“Am I good at it?” Jungkook asks, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Jimin hollers and smacks his chest. “I really like you Park Jimin. Let me take care of you.”

 

Jimin’s laugher slowly fades out, settling on a tender smile. “Only if you let me take care of you too.” Jungkook pulls him closer, kisses the top of his head. “I think it’s pretty obvious but I really like you too.”

 

“Who wouldn’t?”

 

Jimin slaps his chest again and Jungkook fakes being hurt. 

 

Jungkook whispers sweet nothings to his ears and lips, all pressed with a soft kiss until Jimin falls asleep against his chest, listening to the harmony of Jungkook’s heartbeat and the falling rain. 

 

--

 

Jimin stays in Busan for another two days, playing house with Jungkook and just overall being happy until Hoseok -- his older brother’s secretary and a dear friend -- finds him on the fourth day, conveniently just after Jungkook told him he’ll come by and visit Yoongi.

 

“Hyung I don’t wanna hurt you!” Jimin’s almost ready to throw him Jungkook’s pan before he shows him Namjoon’s face on the screen of his phone.

 

“Jiminie…” 

 

Jimin lowers the frying pan on his hand guiltily, unable to look at his older brother even if he’s on the opposite side of the world. “Hyung…” He starts to blurt out. On the corner of his eyes, he can see Hoseok sighing in relief and motioning for Jimin to please let go of the pan I don’t want my face to be bashed in. 

 

“Jiminie,” he hears Namjoon say gently again. No irritation or annoyance in his tone, just pure concern and worry. “We were so worried for you.”

 

Hoseok takes this as his chance to leave, handing Jimin the phone and stepping out of the house with the pan to be far away from the conversation. 

 

“I’m sorry hyung.”

 

“Hey, I’m just glad you’re okay. I also talked to mom and dad and they’re worried too. It’s my fault that I wasn’t there for your wedding because of work and I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you. But at least you should’ve called me? Told me you didn’t really want the wedding to happen?”

 

Jimin gives him a sad smile. “You’ll just tell mom and dad. I just want to have a little taste of freedom before they force me to do what they want me to do again.”

 

“Have you told them about you yet?”

 

“No.”

 

“Why don’t you try? You know they love you as much as I do.”

 

“I don’t know hyung. Forcing me to marry someone doesn’t make it look like they care for me that much.”

 

“Have you told them you didn’t want the marriage?”

 

“...No.”

 

“See?”

 

“But that’s just because they wouldn’t listen anyway.”

 

“At least try telling it to them before you think like that?”

 

Jimin didn’t answer. It’s easier to ignore Namjoon when he’s not making sense. But his older brother almost always makes logical arguments and it frustrates Jimin to no end.

 

“Jimin,” he looks back at Namjoon, holding the phone closer to his face to show him that he’s actually listening. “You should try and talk with them. Please? For hyunggie?”

 

--

 

“Are you okay!?”

 

Jimin can hear the tell-tale of scruffles on the other line. His mother demanding for everyone’s attention and announcing Oh my god my Jiminie is alive! “Mom, I’m fine. I’m sorry I ran away.”

 

She sounds like she’s about to cry and Jimin feels guilty about it. “But why did you leave honey? I thought you liked Eunbi?”

 

“I do like her… as a friend.” Jimin wishes he could do this personally. But he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to do it then. He takes a deep breath, and hopes for the best. “Mom I’m gay.”

 

“I knew it!” Jimin almost wanted to choke out of nervousness and relief at the same time. Did he just hear his mother clearly? She isn’t mad? 

 

“Mom did you understand what I just told you?”

 

“Jiminie we had our theories but then we asked you if you want to marry Eunbi and you didn’t say no so we thought we’re wrong.”

 

“I just didn’t want to disappoint you and dad.”

 

“Hush! I shouldn’t have believed your aunty when she said silence means yes.” Amongst the relieved chorus behind his mother’s voice, Jimin lets himself smile a little. His Namjoon-hyung is right again, he should’ve just told them sooner. “You should’ve told us what you really wanted Jimin. We were so worried for you.” Her voice turns soft and gentle, only enough for Jimin to hear. “We’re really sorry to put you through that.”

 

“Mom…”

 

And then her voice picks up again. “You do know she has a brother right?”

 

“Mom it’s okay.” 

 

“What do you mean it’s okay?”

 

Jimin looks at the entrance gate and sees Jungkook walking through the garden, smiling at him fondly. Jimin stands up to greet him, motioning for him to keep quiet and Jungkook nods his head but raises his brow in curiosity. He eventually comes up to Jimin and places his palms on his waist and pulls Jimin close enough that their noses touch. “I already found someone.”