"Oh. I... I didn't know you were in here."
Seokjin looks up at Jimin from where he's sitting on the bed and Jimin feels guilt shoot through him. He knows Seokjin's had a horrible day. He knows Jimin didn't really do anything to help.
It's just that Jimin doesn't know how to help. Seokjin seemed untouchable sometimes. Seokjin seemed like if Jimin asked him if he wanted a hug, he'd say no. Jimin doesn't think he could handle that embarrassment.
"Do you feel better now?"
Seokjin stands up. "I'm fine, Jimin. Were you going to hang out in here?"
Jimin stands there and doesn't contemplate his answer for too long.
"I don't have to. I just wanted to take a break, honestly. If you're in here though, I can leave."
Seokjin doesn't smile. "It's fine, Jimin. You can stay in here. I'll get out of your way."
Seokjin moves to leave and Jimin just feels so guilty. He figured that Yoongi or Namjoon would comfort Seokjin. Someone older. Someone who spends more time with him.
"You don't have to leave. I know you had a bad day." He feels awkward saying it out loud and Seokjin is standing right in front of him and his cheeks flush as he looks down at the ground.
Feelings are stupid, he thinks miserably. I'm being so stupid.
Seokjin laughs and the sound pulls Jimin's gaze back up. Seokjin is smiling at him.
"You're cute when you're embarrassed. Are you scared of me, Jimin?"
"I'm not scared of you."
"Then why can't you meet my gaze?"
"Because you seem like you don't want me to."
Seokjin goes quiet. He walks back to where he was sitting and sits back down. Jimin doesn't follow him, still standing there awkwardly as he debates on just leaving so he can escape this misery.
Finally, Seokjin speaks up again. "I'm tired."
"You should sleep then."
Seokjin shakes his head. "No, not that kind of tired. Tired of... all of this. Working so hard. Tired of trying so hard. It's exhausting, isn't it? Aren't you exhausted, Jimin?"
Jimin is exhausted.
But Jimin also has dreams. Jimin is determined. Jimin doesn't want to give up, not yet, not when he still feels like they haven't even begun.
"We haven't even debuted yet," Seokjin keeps saying. "And I'm already this tired. I can't even imagine how tired I'll be after we do debut. Every day feels exhausting. But I feel like I'm not supposed to feel like this. I'm the oldest. I'm the caretaker. I'm supposed to support you all. But I feel so tired."
Jimin stands there and listens to Seokjin say the things the rest of them were too afraid to say out loud. Saying it out loud made it seem more final. Saying it out loud made it seem like they've admitted defeat. Saying it out loud made it seem more pathetic.
Jimin doesn't think Seokjin sounds pathetic now though.
"Can I sit down with you?"
Seokjin nods and Jimin walks over to him, sitting down next to him, their thighs not touching, but if Jimin were to lean a little more to his right, they would be. Jimin stays still though.
"I think you're doing a really good job, hyung."
Seokjin glances at him. "You do?"
"Yeah. You're really cool. Well, maybe not cool, but you're trying. And we're all really tired. The other day I cried because I missed my family so much."
Jimin nods, blushing. Seokjin has a way of pulling out his emotions tenfold. He thinks it's because Seokjin doesn't have to be here, but he is.
Jimin feels like he has to be here. Jimin feels like if he were to leave then it wouldn't matter. Seokjin is here on his own. Seokjin could do and be anything.
Seokjin is still trying though. For them all. For himself.
Jimin leans closer to Seokjin and hugs him.
Seokjin doesn't hug him back but Jimin only squeezes tighter.
He cares about Seokjin.
And he doesn't want him to think that he doesn't.
"We'll take care of you too, Seokjin-hyung. I promise."
Seokjin doesn't say anything in response.
He knows Seokjin heard him though and that's all Jimin needs.
"Hey, Jimin. Don't forget that dinner's ready."
Jimin looks up from his phone and smiles at Seokjin.
"I'll be there in a few minutes. Thanks, hyung."
Seokjin nods slowly. "Yeah. Of course."
Jimin frowns at the tone, but Seokjin's already gone.
Seokjin has been... stressed recently. They all have. They've been doing well, extremely well, and for the first time in a long time, Jimin feels excited.
What they're doing really matters. What BTS is... it could be something big. They just have to keep working. They just need to keep it up.
But they've been stressed.
He leaves for dinner a few minutes after, just like he promised Seokjin, and he comes into a more-silent-than-usual dinner atmosphere. Taehyung is staring down at his food with a blank expression and Namjoon is reading something intently on his phone while he shovels down food. Jeongguk and Yoongi are nowhere to be found. Hoseok is in the kitchen with Seokjin.
Jimin sits down and eats. Hoseok follows him. Seokjin never does.
It's when Jimin finishes eating that Seokjin finally sits down to eat. It irritates Jimin for some reason, but he still thanks them for the meal before returning to his room. He grabs his phone and texts Seokjin. He asks if he can meet him outside after he finishes. He says he wants to talk about something.
Seokjin replies with a "Sure" and a smiley face. Jimin stares down at it and frowns.
Something is off. Something seems wrong.
Jimin doesn't want to be a bad friend. Jimin wants Seokjin to feel better. Jimin wants—
He leaves first, meeting Seokjin's gaze briefly as he slips on his shoes, and there's worry in Seokjin's eyes which Jimin feels slightly bad about.
It's chilly outside but Jimin doesn't go back in to get a jacket. They shouldn't be out here long anyway.
It's another five minutes before Seokjin finally joins him.
Jimin smiles when he arrives.
"Everything okay, Jimin?"
Jimin nods. "Yeah, sorry. I'm fine. The usual stressed of course. Actually, I wanted to ask the same of you? You seem... kind of down. At first, I thought it was because you were just stressed, which yeah, obviously, but I don't know. I'm here for you. You know that, right?"
Seokjin takes him in for a few seconds before he tilts his head back and looks at the sky. It's dark out and Jimin looks up too.
"Yeah, Jimin. I'm good. I'm stressed like you said. We're getting kind of popular, huh?"
"I guess we are."
Seokjin looks at Jimin. "I'm worried when it'll all end. I'm worried that maybe we're going so fast that we'll trip over ourselves."
"Of course. I'm a poet."
Jimin rolls his eyes but smiles anyway. "Oh yeah, totally. My favorite poet. Next year, you'll be studied in all the literature classes."
"Thank you. My jokes will be studied as well."
Jimin snorts. "Okay, hyung."
Seokjin laughs at himself for several long long seconds and Jimin almost starts laughing as well but then, Seokjin reaches out and hugs Jimin tightly.
Jimin's arms wrap around him immediately and Seokjin holds on even more.
"Thank you for noticing," Seokjin says quietly.
Jimin doesn't say anything because he doesn't know what he can say, but he holds onto Seokjin just as tightly, and in the cool early winter night, Seokjin is warm.
Jimin feels himself shiver and Jimin doesn't think it's because of the cold.
When Seokjin is sick, it's a miserable time for everyone involved. Seokjin is somehow both simultaneously demanding and reclusive. He snaps at people for trying to help, but if nobody offers, he snaps at them for not.
Jimin and Yoongi are usually the ones that take care of him when he's sick.
Although, in the past couple of years, it's Jimin. It's always Jimin because Jimin always offers.
It's always Jimin because Jimin wants it to be him. Jimin wants to be the one to be there for Seokjin.
It's a bit petty, definitely stupid, and maybe a bit of a dead giveaway on Jimin's feelings, but Jimin does it anyway. He offers anyway. How could he not? It's Seokjin.
"Hey," he says quietly as he brings Seokjin soup.
"Hey, Jimin. Thanks. For this. I could do it myself, of course, but it's nice that you are."
"You say that as if you didn't nearly fall over when trying to go to go pee earlier."
"Park Jimin, why are you watching me pee?"
Jimin shoves the spoon in Seokjin's mouth as a response. Seokjin sniffs at him when he finishes swallowing.
"Very rude. Attacking me like that when I'm sick. I should get someone else to take care of me."
Jimin laughs. "I'm perfect for you and you know it."
Seokjin nods seriously. "You are. My perfect Jimin."
Jimin blushes and places the spoon against his lips again, Seokjin opening up compliantly, watching Jimin silently as he swallows.
"Really," Seokjin says after a few more sips of soup, "You're perfect for me, Jimin."
"Shut up. Eat your soup."
"You're getting your own special episode of EatJin."
Jimin holds back a laugh. "You've used that joke literally thirty times before."
Seokjin gives a weak shrug. "You still had to force yourself not to laugh though. Guess it's still funny."
Jimin continues to feed him as Seokjin makes small, flirty jokes that Jimin knows aren't serious, but still fluster him anyway.
Jimin isn't sure when he realized that Seokjin makes him feel a kind of happy that Jimin can't really find anywhere else. The kind of happy that Jimin finally admitted to himself just a few months ago was attached to the word love.
But it was the kind of love that Jimin didn't think would happen to him any time soon.
It has though.
And it comes in the shape of Kim Seokjin.
Nobody in the group officially knows, but Jimin secretly thinks Hoseok and Taehyung do just because they know him too well.
Seokjin doesn't know though. Seokjin doesn't know and Jimin doesn't think he ever will.
Feelings are stupid, he thinks as he stares at Kim Seokjin take another sip of soup. Feelings are the worst.
Except they aren't.
Jimin wonders when he'll let himself actually admit that.
Jimin doesn't reach for Seokjin when he starts crying. Jimin doesn't reach for Hoseok either. Taehyung grabs onto Jimin's hand tightly and Jimin wants to reach out, but he doesn't think that's what either one of them wants right now.
Neither one of them cry too often in front of them, neither one of them reach out like this, and Jimin sits there and listens to them say things they didn't know, say things about how they felt, what they think is best, what they want to do and what they don't want to do, and Jimin starts crying too. Taehyung's grip on him tightens and he looks around to see that they've all become emotional.
It'll get better and Jimin knows this.
Still, later on that night, Jimin sneaks into Seokjin's bed and doesn't let go for a very long time.
Seokjin doesn't let go either.
Seokjin kisses Jimin like he's precious. Jimin kisses Seokjin like he's timeless.
Jimin nods. "I'm more than okay."
"Are you sure though?"
Jimin rolls his eyes, making sure he doesn't get too irritated at his boyfriend for caring about him. It's sweet but sometimes Jimin wishes Seokjin wouldn't feel the need to clarify things so much. Jimin understands though. He does it as well. He always wants to make sure Seokjin is doing okay.
"I'm sure. You?"
"Are you sure though?" Jimin smiles as he says it and Seokjin huffs at him but doesn't reply. They don't get to have so much time to themselves like they do right now. Next week, Jimin plans to visit Paris and Seokjin plans to visit his family.
So, they enjoy the time they have together while they do. Their break won't last forever either, but Jimin's okay with that.
"Feelings are stupid," Jimin finally mutters, breaking the silence.
Seokjin laughs. "Oh? Why is that?"
"They make you... feel so much."
"I agree. Absolutely horrible."
Jimin laughs and they press together even more. Seokjin is warm. Seokjin is grand. Seokjin is just like him, but not at all, and Jimin thinks that love has shaped him more than anything ever has and could.
"I love you. You know that."
Seokjin nods and kisses his cheek. "Yeah, Jimin. I know." Jimin smiles. "I love you too. You know that."
"I know," Jimin replies softly. And then, "Thank you for taking care of me. All of us. All these years."
Seokjin laughs and Jimin's body moves with his laughter. "Oh, it was hell."
"Shut up, it wasn't that bad."
"Remember that time we had to physically restrain Jeongguk from attacking Taehyung over that video game?"
"That was years ago, Seokjin."
"And it was still the funniest thing that they've ever done. Ever."
Jimin cracks up remembering it. "It was pretty fucking funny."
"I know. Their faces. They were ready to kill. Commit murder right then and there."
Jimin laughs into Seokjin's chest. "We should have let them. Two fewer people to take care of, right?"
"I'm telling them you said that."
"Do it. I'll tell them about the sock incident."
Seokjin goes quiet. Jimin laughs harder.
"By the way, Jimin."
"Thank you for taking care of me too. You all did. It was never just me. But you especially. You took care of me. You still do."
Jimin doesn't hide his smile.
"Of course I do. I'm perfect for you, remember?"
Seokjin rolls on top of him and kisses him.
Feelings are stupid, Jimin thinks as he smiles into the kiss.
Except when they aren't.