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Of Memories, Grief, and Other Trivial Things

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Seokjin waited a few seconds before opening his eyes. The sheet was comfortable beneath him and the morning sunlight that shone over him through the blinds felt warm. He forced his lethargic feet to the bathroom, washed up and get dressed before he walked into the kitchen for breakfast. Jungkook was already eating his cereal on the small island. It was a rare occasion to see him wake up earlier than Seokjin. The younger bloomed a smile as Seokjin trod over to join him.

“Mornin’,” his husky voice told Seokjin it was not long before he woke up.

“Morning, Kookie. You should have waited for me, I could make you pancakes.”

“It’s fine. I have to leave early today.”

Seokjin hummed. It must be another job interview, he thought. He hoped it would go well this time. It wasn’t very easy to find a job for a high-school graduate and recently college drop out, his temper was just an added challenge. Seokjin ruffled the raven haired affectionately, wordlessly wishing him luck. The gesture was meant to be a friendly act, but Seokjin noticed how Jungkook’s cheeks was tinted with red and avoided his eyes every time he did it. He couldn’t help but think Jungkook might see him more than just a roommate.

They had been living in their shared apartment for nearly two years, after Jungkook was introduced to him through Jimin. Both were trying to cut their living costs so they decided to rent a shared apartment. Jungkook used to go to college, he dropped out because of financial issue, but Seokjin thought it was more like he didn’t have any will to begin with. Seokjin tried for musical actor cast auditions around the town, while taking freelance café singer jobs as he  waited for good news. 

Or at least that was what Jungkook told him.

He didn’t remember much about his past. Jungkook said he got into an accident two years ago, hit his head hard, leading to his partial amnesia. He barely got up from his bed for around six months before he could finally pick up his life again. Jungkook had been there for him all the time. It would be a lie to say he wasn’t curious as to what it was that he had forgotten, but he figured he would settle his new life first. It was very disorienting waking up after months of unconsciousness and then spent another six months barely awake. 

“Are you going anywhere today?” Jungkook asked as he took his cereal bowl to the sink.

“Yeah, a theatre company sent me a letter a few days ago, they invited me to an audition.”

“Sounds promising,” Jungkook flashed a subtle smile. “If… If anything happens, call me right away, okay?”

Seokjin paused for a second, studying the younger who avoided his eyes. “You always said that. What could possibly happen, Kookie, we don’t live in a war zone.”

“I’m just worried.”

Silence fell between them as Jungkook rested his palms at the edge of the sink, back hunched and head low. Seokjin would usually smile and tell him he will be alright, but it bothered him more than ever today. It was this feeling that something left unsaid between them, that Seokjin was not a stranger to, he felt it on occasions during their time together when Jungkook avoided his eyes, voice wavered, and eventually change the topic.

“Is there something you’re not telling me?”

“No,” Jungkook answered without delay, almost frantic. “No.”

“Okay,” Seokjin raised his hands, hopefully it would calm the younger down from whatever it was that made him all worked up. He gingerly reached for the younger’s hand, unraveling the clenched fist and intertwined their fingers. “Relax, nothing’s going to happen.” 

Jungkook wordlessly nodded, resting his head on the older’s shoulders. Sometimes the younger was so easy to read like an open book, sometimes Seokjin couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Although he supposed being overprotective over your best friend after he got into a severe accident is a given. He tried to understand.

 

***

 

A loud slap echoed in the room as Jungkook’s cheek was met with his father’s sturdy palm. It stung, he could hear the buzzing sound on his ear for a second before he grabbed the edge of the couch to hold himself from falling. 

“You are a disgrace,” his father’s thundering deep voice made his chest tightened, he dared not meet the older’s eyes, he rather fixate his gaze to the expensive marble floor below. “You have been before, but even more now. I thought you'd stop fooling around and come to your senses when you graduate, but dropping out?” his voice was calm and steady though he was clearly angry, which made it even more terrifying for Jungkook. “And as if that wasn't enough, taking in an amnesiac man?”

“I told you I love h-”

“Love isn’t going to get you through life, son. It isn’t going to bring you money. It is even worse that the person you love is a man. As if sleeping around did not embarrass me enough, now you decided to become a faggot?”

“Well guess what, that faggot is your son, whether you like it or not.”

“You walk out from that door, you’re not anymore.”

“Fine!” Jungkook snarled, throwing dagger with his eyes and stomped his way to the wooden door. He wanted to run out from there and never turn back, but he was engulfed with uncontainable rage. “At least I didn’t give up on him like you did with mom!” he turned back swiftly, words that he had been holding back for years came spitting out rapidly. “You don’t get to tell me about ‘love.’ You know nothing about it.”

They exchanged a look that harbored the same amount of hatred before Jungkook walked out, slammed the door behind him and never turned back. He wondered if his father had even the tiniest bit of regret in his heart when he left. He hoped so. He wanted to believe so. But that is a story for another day and Jungkook did not want to find out. 

Jungkook didn’t regret it. Even if there was a little disappointment and sorrow, they all vanished when he stared at Seokjin’s sleeping face, listening to the steady beeping sound in the hospital that told him Seokjin’s heart was still beating. His condition was improving along with more parts of his life was being erased. The drug induced to his veins was streaming through the wires, the more Jungkook looked at it, the more unbearable his guilt was. It was tormenting, having to bear all the responsibility and thinking of the consequences. He would have lost his mind if Seokjin hadn’t opened his eyes that day. 

The older blinked weakly, fingers twitched, and eyes stared at nothingness. Jungkook almost jumped when he saw it, he called for him and Seokjin’s eyes found him. He had never felt so content. His fingers traced the older’s face numerous times, eyes never leaving him, words of relief were repeated over and over. 

Seokjin is alive and it was all that mattered. 

Jimin lashed at him the moment he found out the reason Seokjin was healing. A look of horror replaced his initial relieved face as he snarled. “What have you done?!”

“It was the only way,” Jungkook rasped, trying not to yell at the hospital’s corridor. “You knew that.”

“But it was not your call! It’s his memories! What if he remembers and finds out you did this to him? What would you do then?”

“We’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t then.”

Jimin grunted, letting out his frustrations as squatted down, back slouching on the wall behind him. He ran a hand through his face once, processing the whole situation. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”

“You don’t have to share the burden.”

Jimin studied his face. He saw a scared boy who thought he had saved someone, but has lost his way. Jungkook has always been like that. Take a decision he thought was best, but never consider the consequences that came with it. Jimin had been there for him to take care of his mess and he will be this time too. 

“You can’t do this alone.”

Jungkook flashed him a sad, albeit thankful smile. “You’re right, I can’t.”

The older sighed, he was still angry but opted to give the raven haired a hug. 

With what little money he had in his savings, he moved away from the town, rent a cheap apartment to live with Seokjin. Away from the bad memories, away from Namjoon. Jimin helped him with the process, occasionally visit them in their new home, helping nursing Seokjin until he can get back on his feet again. They never mentioned Namjoon, nor Chungha, nor the old troupes. Their names were forbidden, forgotten.

 

***

 

“Jungkook!”

An alarmed look washed over Jungkook when he heard the call. He turned back to see a petite girl with sweet voice strodded over to him beneath the dim street light on the early evening. Jungkook didn’t stop his steps, he turned his back on her, and ignored the constant calling. But the girl was faster, she pulled Jungkook’s arm to stop him in his steps, forcing him to face her.

“It’s me, Chungha, don’t you remember?”

“What are you doing here?” he hissed, voice came out more hostile than he intended to. Chungha was flustered, tentatively releasing her grip.

“Our troupe… We’re performing in the town,” she said, unsure to why the raven haired looked furious. “Why the scary face? I-”

“Stay away from us,” Jungkook didn’t wait for her answer as he continued about his way.

“Us?” Chungha frowned, briskly followed the man, barely catching up with his fastened pace. “Do you mean Seokjin? We were worried sick about you guys, you two just disappeared and Jimin wouldn’t tell me anything. How have you been? We should meet-”

“NO!”

Chungha nearly lost her balance as Jungkook abruptly stopped. The glare he sent her made her shiver. “Jungkook?”

“Fuck off!” Jungkook warned, finger pointed directly at her face. “Don’t you dare show up in front of him, you understand? Not you, not Namjoon.”

The actress didn’t have the chance to ask why as Jungkook left her right after he said those words, leaving her dumbfounded and frozen in place. He was half running by the time he arrived at the bus station, only realising he was panting after he took a seat. He purposely took a detour before heading home in case Chungha was following him.

The pack cigarettes that had been sitting idly in the corner of his bag for a few months looked tempting in his unstable state. Seokjin had asked him to stop, partly concerned about his health, and another part he hated the smell of the smoke. Jungkook agreed, surprisingly managed to get by a few months without touching the sticks. Perhaps it was because he had nothing to be anxious about back then. Right now, however, the thoughts of Seokjin might have cross Chungha on the street drove him mad, antsy, a fraid. 

It suddenly occurred to him that Seokjin might meet Chungha if they work in the same industry. Even if they don’t, Namjoon might find him if Seokjin’s name is listed in the play’s cast. What if they meet? What if Seokjin remembers? The memory was merely suppressed, not erased, he recalled the doctor’s words. It might resurface if triggered.

He burned the stick soon after he got off the bus, inhaling the nicotine as he walked home, wishing his sins and fears would washed away along with the vague smoke he breathed like two years ago. It didn’t.

A chopping sound and a nice smell of something baked greeted him as he opened the door to his shared apartment. Seokjin, expectedly, was cooking something in the kitchen, back facing Jungkook. It was a familiar view he got used to for the past year, but even more endearing than ever now that he realised he doesn’t want to ever lose the familiar feeling.

He didn’t want to lose Seokjin. Not again.

“Hey, you’re late,” Seokjin glanced at him briefly before focusing back to his cooking. “Go wash up first, it will still take awhile before-”

Strong arms locked around his waist stopped him in his words. The younger’s warm breath fell on his nape as Jungkook buried his face in the crook of his neck. He dropped his knife to stroke the younger’s arms, turning his head to meet the raven locks. 

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, just… Just let me stay like this for awhile.”

Seokjin stared at the arms that wrapped him. Jungkook has a muscular build with veins popping in his arms and yet at times like this, he looked like but a small child to Seokjin. It was cute, Seokjin found himself smiling at the thought. “You smoked, didn’t you?”

“Sorry for the smell.”

Seokjin chuckled. He turned around, facing the younger, though still leaving the younger’s arm on his waist. He lifted a hand to prop at Jungkook’s chin, meeting his eyes. “Something’s bothering you, what is it?”

Jungkook bit his lips, hesitant. He had taken the older’s memories from him, should he take his dream too?

“I was thinking maybe you should find another job instead of a musical actor.”

Seokjin tilted his head. “All of the sudden?”

“I just didn’t want you to be exposed to the public like that.”

“Why?”

Jungkook lied, “I don’t know, it just makes me anxious.”

“You know it’s the only thing I do best,” Seokjin patted his chest, giving him a soothing smile. “I’ll be fine. Besides, being a performer has always been my dream since-” his smile faltered, then, brain failing to recollect the moment he decided his dream. “Since…” his words trailed off, his head was getting dizzy.

Since when? Why did he like performing? When did he first perform? There must be someone who inspired him to become one. But who?

“Jungkook, why did I decide to be a musical actor again?”

Seokjin frowned, squinting his eyes and trying to ignore his headache. Jungkook looked at him with wide eyes and teeth gritted. 

“Because Jimin told you you were good at performing,” he rasped, voice almost wavered. Seokjin froze, Jungkook thought for a moment he didn’t believe it. 

“Right,” Seokjin exhaled. “Right.” He turned around, focusing his eyes on the abandoned half-chopped carrot. That sounds about right. It should be. Jimin, the man with the sweetest smile who had been around Seokjin ever since he was young… Though he didn’t recall Jimin lived in the same neighborhood as he did back then. How did he meet Jimin? The carrot stayed abandoned on the cutting board as Seokjin did nothing but stared at it, lost in thought, trying to glue the pieces of his memories together that always feel like they were missing some.

Staring at the older’s back, Jungkook swallowed down a heavy lump in his throat, hoping Seokjin didn’t notice how tense he looked. How much longer can he keep the lies, he asked himself. How much further could he fabricated his story? He thought they were settled and all went well but in reality, they were walking on thin ice. It cracked a little more with every step, with every lie Jungkook posed. Seokjin was right in front of him and yet he felt so distant. There were too many boundaries between them that he was unsure whether to cross or not. Too many fears linger in his heart that stopped him from saying what he wanted to say.

He thought he could wait. There’s always tomorrow. He’d wait until Seokjin felt safe and settled. Then slowly, he would fit himself in Seokjin’s heart, perhaps then he could fill the empty room that Namjoon left. But no, he didn’t have time. He has to protect Seokjin, no matter what it costs. There should be no room for a man named Kim Namjoon in Seokjin’s mind and head, there should only be Jungkook.

That way and only then, Seokjin could live.

“I love you.”

Seokjin’s shoulder twitched visibly.

“Fuck, Seokjin, I love you,” the younger ran a hand through his raven locks. “For two fucking years, I-” he licked his lips, unable to put his feelings into words. He raised his head, staring at the back of the brown head. “You knew, didn’t you?”

“I did,” Seokjin said meekly, voice barely above a whisper. The dejected look on the younger’s face was not unexpected when their eyes met. “I did.”

“And yet you never said anything.”

Seokjin just couldn’t find it in himself to see Jungkook more than a little brother. They would have fucked a long time ago if he did. They had the chances. But he kept his distance and Jungkook didn’t push. The pent up emotions exploded in the younger, anger and hurt that manifested long ago finally came to surface , and Seokjin was washed over with guilt. 

“Why couldn’t it be me, Seokjin?” When Jungkook stepped forward, Seokjin took a step back, his back bumped on the kitchen counter. The younger slammed the counter with his two hands and caged Seokjin in between. “Why? What kind of man could win your heart? What is it that I’m lacking?” 

“Jungkook, wait-”

His next words were silenced as Jungkook sealed their mouths together, devouring the plump lips, tracing them his tongue. Seokjin’s groan was muffled, the younger didn’t leave any space for air to stream between the warm cave that was Seokjin’s mouth. He tried to push Jungkook back but Jungkook was stronger, one hand on his back pulled Seokjin closer, another clawed on his scalp, holding his head in place. His struggle was deemed pointless and he resigned as he fell limp in Jungkook’s embrace, letting the younger explored his mouth with hot tongue and nibbled on his lips with suppressed moan slipped out between them.

It was not until they both ran out of breath that Jungkook finally let him go. There was a hint of lust in his eyes before it was replaced with dismay. “I- I’m sorry,” Jungkook pulled his hands away from a flabbergasted Seokjin as he stepped back. “What have I- I’m sorry.”

Something between embarrassment and guilt made Jungkook turned red and wanted to disappear into thin air right then and there. He didn’t wait for Seokjin’s response to dart away from the kitchen, scurried into his room and slammed the door behind. In the kitchen, Seokjin stood frozen still, with swollen lips and glossy eyes that stared blankly to the direction Jungkook ran off to. 

 

***

 

“Please let me see him.”

“No,” Jungkook firmly said as he continued to pack Seokjin’s things in the hospital room. Namjoon almost considered to beg on his knees but his pride stopped him. Seokjin was discharged earlier and Jimin took him home with his boyfriend, leaving Jungkook to pack and tidy up their things to bring home. Namjoon came a few minutes too late, he walked in to find an empty room where Jungkook barely spare him a glance.

“Please, I just need a few seconds,” Namjoon reached for the younger’s arm. It was yanked before he could even touch it.

“You can’t see him.”

Namjoon’s patience ran out. He forcefully pulled the younger’s arm, forcing him to stand face to face with him. “Stop acting like you’re his guardian. You don’t tell me what I’m allowed or not allowed to do. You don’t make decisions for him.”

“Yes I do, because you’re the one who almost killed him and I’m the one who saved him,” Jungkook answered with the same amount of hostility in his voice. “You’re not meeting him unless you want him to lie on this bed again, waiting for his death. If you love him even for just a tiny bit, you’d do as I say.”

Namjoon froze, the words hurt him more than he expected. He knew it as a fact, but he never had someone told him right on his face. It made him feel like a sinner a little more than he already  did. Jungkook held his glare as Namjoon bit his lower lip, feeling slightly victorious. 

“You and Chungha or other members of his old troupe, you people are not to meet him, no matter what they fuck you do, do not come near him,” Jungkook hissed. “If you want him to live.” He grabbed the bag and slang it on his shoulders, leaving Namjoon without a second glance. 

When he arrived at Seokjin’s apartment, the older was lying on his bed, eyes open but barely blinking. Somewhere in between his long daydreams, he would close his eyes and fell asleep. He had been like that since he woke up. Doctor said it was the drug, it will take some time before he could walk around again. 

“How long do you think he’s going to be like that?” Jimin rasped, barely able to hold back his tears. 

“I hope it’s not for long,” Jungkook tried to give him a smile, though he was as afraid as Jimin. He wasn’t sure if he could stand seeing a soulless body that was Seokjin any longer. Every day when he saw the vacant eyes he question his decision. Afraid that the eyes would lose its glow forever, he wasn’t prepared to deal with the pain that comes after. 

“He’ll be alright, kid,” Yoongi often ruffled his head when he came to visit with Jimin. His stone cold eyes oddly gave Jungkook a comfort and strength to hold on just a little longer.

One day, Seokjin opened his eyes and called his name.

 

***

 

“He just won’t talk to me.”

Jimin looked at Seokjin sympathetically. The older’s gaze was fixated at the coffee he was brewing for the two of them but his mind was somewhere else, Jimin could tell.

“You could talk to him over dinner,” Jimin shrugged, glancing at the older while organizing some containers and vegetables he brought for the pair on the refrigerator. “Or breakfast.”

“He left early and came home late, I barely see him. He’s avoiding me on purpose, I know it,” Seokjin sighed, bringing the coffee over to the dining table and Jimin joined him, muttering a thanks.

“How about you, though?”

“What about me?” Seokjin arched an eyebrow.

“How do you feel? Do you like it?” Jimin failed to hide his smirk. Seokjin frowned.

“I don’t know, Jimin,” he frustratedly ran a hand through his brown locks and sighed. “I do love him as a friend, or brother, even. But I just don’t love him that way.”

“You don’t…” Jimin paused, almost stop himself,. Still, he asked in a wavering voice. “You don’t happen to like someone else, do you?”

Seokjin shrugged and shook his head. 

“Then why don’t give him a chance?” 

The older frowned, briefly picturing the future he and Jungkook would have if he follows Jimin’s words. “Wouldn’t it be meaner of me to date him without even having feelings for him?”

“Maybe you’ll fall in love along the way,” Jimin shrugged. “Yoongi didn’t even like me at first. I just kept pestering him and showing up in front of him every day despite his curses and then somewhere along the way we were dating.” 

Seokjin chuckled, “Love works in mysterious ways, huh?”

“I’m not saying you should date right away or something. Just… You know, take him to a nice restaurant, watch movies together, maybe involve some alcohols. You guys haven’t done that, have you?”

“No, I guess we haven’t,” Seokjin smiled bitterly. They barely have time to enjoy the luxury, the only thing Seokjin remembered ever since they lived together was just working their bones to pay off their bills. He supposed they could use a break. 

So when the weekend came and Jungkook locked himself in his bedroom, Seokjin knocked on his door. A muffled ‘what’ was heard beyond the door, but there was no sign that someone was going to open the door. Seokjin ushered himself in. 

“Hey,” he greeted awkwardly. Jungkook who wrapped himself under his blanket didn’t move a muscle, the crown of his head was all Seokjin could see, while the younger kept scrolling on his phone with his back facing Seokjin. “It’s Saturday, wanna go somewhere?”

“Where?” Jungkook response sounded grumpy and Seokjin almost gave up on his plan.

“I don’t know, the theater? Grab a dinner?”

Jungkook sat up and Seokjin flinched.  He gave the older a weird look, brows knitted together. Had he spoke just a few more seconds late, Seokjin would probably ran off and canceled the whole plan. “Are you asking me on a date?”

“No, I was just-”

It was hard not to blush and stutter under Jungkook’s gaze. Seokjin lost his composure for a second, trying to find something to rest his eyes on that wasn’t Jungkook. He failed, shyly meeting the younger’s eyes, heart beating faster before he knew it. “...Yes.”

The awkward silence that followed was even more suffocating. He fidgeted with the hem of his sleeves. He must have licked his lips dozens of times, but it felt even drier than before. “I mean, we- We’ve only been working and working, we never- You know, have time for ourselves, just- Enjoying the- Enjoying ourselves, we never really- But it’s okay if you don’t feel like it-”

“I’ll be ready in five.”

The words cut Seokjin off of his stutters. They stared at each other for awhile before Seokjin mumbled an okay while swiftly walked out and closed the door. He slumped against hard wood before letting the breath he has been holding out. That was more intense than he expected.

Inside, Jungkook buried his face on his palm to try to stop his blushing and repressed squealing.

The initial awkwardness that was as cold as the evening weather melted away after they walked out of the theater. Seokjin ever so excitedly talking about the play they just watched, how the plot was smoothly flow and how the actors incredibly conveyed the emotions of each character. Jungkook still couldn’t fathom what was so amusing from a play but he did find Seokjin’s enthusiasm endearing. The way his eyes widen and smile never leaving his face while he was talking about something he loves will never stop being attractive to Jungkook. He smiled fondly at the older who didn’t notice his gaze. 

They ate dinner at a street food stall, basking in the warmth of the steam from the oden. Jungkook loved it when Seokjin telling him random facts about how to eat food deliciously and proceeded to demonstrate it to feed him. He agreed on how delicious it was and smiled the way he knew Seokjin would love. 

Even after the warm dinner, they still felt cold walking in the middle of winter. The two pressed their bodies together, Seokjin’s hands in Jungkook’s, tucked warmly inside of Jungkook’s coat pocket as fog formed in every word they exchanged to each other. 

“I like winter though,” Jungkook said when Seokjin complained about how exceptionally cold that year’s winter was. 

“Why?”

“It’s the season you were born in.”

Jungkook couldn’t tell if Seokjin’s cheek was red from the cold or from blushing. 

They went home with two bottles of soju in hands and a second round of dinner consisting of ramen and kimchi. As the broth became cold, two empty bottles became abandoned, and the day came to an end, Seokjin feared his own thoughts that whispered Jimin’s words might be right after all. Because Jungkook in front of him suddenly didn’t look like the cute little brother he thought he was. Maybe it was the alcohol, he said to himself. Maybe he wasn’t in his right mind when he didn’t avert his gaze from Jungkook’s lustful stare. He didn’t pull back when fingers started to trace his cheeks, his jaw, his neck.

On some days, he reminded himself that Jungkook wasn’t a child. He was a grown man and he wanted to be looked at as one. That was why Seokjin always backed away when he felt the spark. That day, Seokjin reminded himself again that Jungkook knew what he was doing and where it would lead. But he was done avoiding.

They breathed in each other’s warmth as their foreheads were pressed against each other. Seokjin leaned against Jungkook’s palm when the younger stroke his cheek, he relented when their lips were pushed together, willingly parted his lips to give access to Jungkook to explore. He let Jungkook led their pace, hands impatiently slipped under his shirt, lifting them just enough for Jungkook to feel his bare chest. Seokjin wasn’t sure if it was him who pulled Jungkook down or Jungkook pushed him down, but the younger made sure to gently place Seokjin down onto the floor. When they separated, Jungkook’s gaze was mixed with lust and doubt.

“Are you sure?”

Seokjin wasn’t sure with himself.

 

***

 

“Something is missing,” Seokjin weakly said and Jungkook visibly flinched. “It’s like I’m forgetting something important but I can’t tell what it is. The strange thing is that I felt like I don’t want to remember. But it nudged me in the corner of my mind, wanting to be seen, and I keep avoiding it. It’s driving me crazy.”

“It’s okay not to remember,” Jungkook’s voice sounded gloomy to Seokjin for a reason he couldn’t comprehend. “You’re here now, breathing. You can start over.” The smile Jungkook showed him was bittersweet, there were affections and regrets hidden behind it and he had hoped Seokjin wouldn’t notice. He held onto the older’s hands that felt foreign but warm in his. 

“At least I got you,” the older said weakly. Seokjin’s smile was all Jungkook needed to feel alright. At least they got each other. 

The promise Jungkook made when he planted a kiss on Seokjin’s hand was the one thing he held onto, the one thing he replayed in his head over and over when things felt too hard to handle. 

“I’ll never leave you, Seokjin.”

 

***

 

Seokjin blurted out a ‘yes’ before he realised where it would lead them. Hesitations gone from the younger’s gaze, and strong arms lifted Seokjin up from the floor. As Jungkook carried Seokjin to bed, their hips slowly grinding against each other, seeking for fractions. Seokjin moaned when they finally reached the soft bed, his hands pinned above his head with the younger’s firm grip. His breath turned shaky as Jungkook left marks trailing down from his chest, to his navel, and stopped on his clavicle. 

When Jungkook pulled himself up again to meet Seokjin’s eyes, the older almost whined and begged him to continue. The fond look on the other’s eyes refrained him from doing so, because then he knew what Jungkook was trying to convey. He wasn’t just about to fuck him.

He wanted to make love to him.

Jungkook left more kisses on his lips and jaws and whispered in between, “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this moment.”

 

***

 

The first time Seokjin saw Jungkook cried was when he tried Seokjin’s cooking for the first time since they lived together. It scared him at first, as he thought his cooking was really that terrible, it made Jungkook cried. He apologized because it was all the ingredients they could afford and he couldn’t make a better dish. But Jungkook shook his head swiftly, smiled the brightest smile Seokjin had ever seen.

“No, it’s good, it’s just that… I never knew this moment would come.”

“What moment?”

“Moment when you would cook for me and we sit together for dinner like this.”

Seokjin snorted, thinking how silly of him to cry over it. “Why would you cry for that?” 

There it was again, the bittersweet smile with a hint of regret and longing behind it that Seokjin could never decipher. 

“You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this.” Jungkook replaced it with a brighter smile, yet again, wiping his tears and continued to eat. “It’s very good. Thanks, Seokjin.”

How long had he waited for this? How long have they known each other?

The questions remained unanswered in Seokjin’s head, but he tried not to dwell over it. As long as he could make Jungkook happy, it didn’t matter. “I’ll cook for you anytime, Kookie.”

 

***

 

With their clothes long abandoned on the floor, Seokjin found himself supporting his whole weight on his knees and arms. His moan was muffled by the pillow he shoved his face into as the foreign feeling of fingers scissoring inside him in a steady pace. Jungkook’s fingers felt wet and slick from the lube but it didn’t feel wrong when he inserted one more. Three fingers thrusting in and out of his hole made his member twitched, longing to be touched. He snaked a hand to stroke himself, though he never made it. Jungkook’s hand on his hip moved and nudged away his hands, taking his member in his palm. A loud moan from the older echoed in the room as Jungkook matched his stroke with his fingers thrusts.

“Turn around,” he said, almost growling, hot breath landed on Seokjin’s back made the older shuddered. “I want to look at you when I’m inside you.”

Seokjin was reluctant to reveal his blushing face, but he turned nonetheless, laying his sweaty back on the sheet. Jungkook caught his lips as soon as he did, nibbling on his lower lip just enough to add a little sting before he pulled away. He spread Seokjin’s thigh open, taking in the view for a second or two, drawing line on the older’s inner thigh, down to where his entrance was. Seokjin’s eyes never left the younger’s figure, observing as he stripped Seokjin naked with his eyes, as if to carve every inch of his body to his mind. 

When Jungkook met his eyes, it was when he slowly entered Seokjin, setting a pace in line with his hand that was stroking the older’s cock. Their eyes leaving each other’s soon after, Jungkook dived into the crook of Seokjin’s neck, and Seokjin shut his eyes, taking in the pleasure and pain that was shoved into him. Purple and crimson marks bloomed across Seokjin’s chest, until Jungkook opted to sucking and biting on the older’s nipple when there was no space left to bite on to. As his pace was getting faster, rougher, the older’s nails dug deeper on his back, his moans getting higher in pitch as Jungkook pounded into him, trails of scratches drawn on the younger’s back as Seokjin writhed below him. 

As Jungkook was reaching his climax, his thrust turned frantic, desperately trying to reach deeper inside Seokjin. It made Seokjin screamed and moaned louder than he ever had, Jungkook never felt so content when he heard his name on Seokjin’s lips when the older came. His hole clenched around Jungkook as he did, the sensation made Jungkook followed him soon after, spurting warm liquid inside the older. The gentle thrust Jungkook did to ride his orgasm was too overwhelming, too affectionate, Seokjin closed his eyes and held the younger closer, clenching around the muscular shoulders, hoping to erase the little guilt inside him and replace them with pleasures. 

“Beautiful,” the younger whispered, Seokjin shivered under his gaze. “My beautiful Seokjin.” The pain on his lower body didn’t feel so bad when Jungkook left a trail of kisses on his neck and shoulders as he slowly pull out. “I love you so much.”

Maybe Seokjin loved him too, he thought, as Jungkook cuddled him in his arms and plant a kiss on the crown of his head, as they laid down side by side. Or maybe he was too intoxicated in the tender aftercare, confused between fondness and gratitude, and mistook it for love.

He didn’t reply.

 

***

 

Love.

The moment when Seokjin realised how love feels was when he was too young to understand the pain that comes after. It was when a certain boy said to him that he liked him for the way he was. He couldn’t remember how the boy looked, but he remembered the dimple that formed on each side of his cheeks when he said so.  Not even his parents liked him for who he was.

A boy whose heart raced when with another boy instead of girls. His parents looked at him like he was an abomination and he started to think he was one. But love changed that. Love came in the form of a boy with dimples who listened to his story and dreams, who told him how shining he was on the stage.

Love blossomed unexpectedly over the years as they grew taller. One day, he’s going to tell the boy how much he meant for him. He remembered the day he mustered up his courage to confess his feelings, though the face in front of him looked like a blur of shadows, he called his name that was muted in his ear. The boy was smiling as he broke his heart with a cute girl in his arms. 

 

***

 

Seokjin woke up with a gasp and covered in sweat. The pain in his heart felt too real, he wondered if it was really a dream or a forgotten piece of memory. When he turned his head to the side, he faced a sleeping Jungkook with mouth slightly agape, showing his two front teeth. 

He smiled fondly. 

Seokjin soundlessly left the bed, but not before he planted a kiss on the younger’s forehead who barely stirred from the action. He served himself a glass of water, which he hoped would clear his mind, but failing to do so. In the darkness of their kitchen, he stilled for a moment, staring at the empty glass in his hand with only the ticking sound from the clock as his companion. 

How long has it been since he started this relationship with Jungkook? He wondered to himself. Time felt like an endless stream of water that he went along with, never turning back once and lost track of how many miles the stream had brought him to. He could have stopped, fight back the stream, and pushed Jungkook until they both fell and drown in the water, but he didn’t.

Watching Jungkook’s pained expression was something he never even want to imagine. It was better if he hurt himself and pretend he loves Jungkook as much as the other does. Jungkook was happy, Jimin was delighted, Yoongi was proud, everything went perfectly as he hoped it to be. 

Yet, why does his heart still feel as empty as ever?

There was a hole in his heart that Jungkook couldn’t fit, no matter how many times he tried to convince himself that it was reserved for Jungkook. 

Ah, shit, he needed alcohol.

The fridge was a disappointment as he sighed when he saw they ran out of soju. He had to walk to the nearest convenience store to buy some more, so he picked up his jacket and walked out. But a bottle of soju or two would not be enough to console his hazy mind and heavy heart. Seokjin’s wandering feet led him to a bar nearby before he realised. 

It was 2A.M when he looked at his watch, standing in front of the pub’s entrance, asking himself what was he even doing. Well, he supposed a glass of whiskey won’t hurt. He’ll text Jungkook later so the younger wouldn’t be worried when he woke up to an empty bed. The bar was reek of drunk middle-aged men and depressed young men when he entered, slow tempo music played in the background, adding to the melancholy atmosphere.

The bartender offered him a subtle smile when Seokjin placed his order. He wasted no time gulping his drink down when it was served, squeezing his eyes when the strong alcohol finally kicked in. He thought he was imagining things when someone called his name. 

A low, deep voice, called out to him once more, before Seokjin turned to face the stranger. The man looked dazed, if not relieved, as if he finally found someone he longed for so many years.

“It really is you,” his voice was slightly trembling, Seokjin could tell he was holding back his tears. He must be drunk.

“Uh, sorry, you got the wrong person.”

“I could never mistake someone else for you,” the man said firmly. “Seokjin.”

The said man looked at him up and down. That was his name, alright. Maybe he really was someone he knew. “Do I know you?”

The stranger stilled for a second before he scoffed. He ran a hand through his face, resting his elbows on the counter as his laugh getting louder. “Wow, they really made you forget everything, didn’t they?”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, I guess I can’t blame them, though,” he smiled a bitter smile, eyes locked on his half empty glass. “It was my fault after all.”

“I’m… I’m afraid I don’t follow.”

Seokjin didn’t understand, he really didn’t. A stranger was talking to him as if he had known him his whole life. He could hear the thumping sound of his heart, getting faster by the second, a little voice in his head telling him to run. But a part of him told him to stay. Because maybe, just maybe, this man held the missing piece he had been looking. 

“I’m sorry,” the man raised his head, finally meeting Seokjin’s eyes. “I’m sorry, that’s all I’ve ever wanted to say if I ever have the chance to see you again. I’m sorry for everything, I--”

The stranger paused, trying to hold himself together as tears started ran down on his cheeks. He buried his face in his palms, the counter was the sole thing that hold his weight so he wouldn’t drop on his knees on the ground. Seokjin was bewildered. Worried that the man would actually fall to the ground, he held his shoulders to support the shaking man.

“Are you okay? Do you want me to catch a taxi-”

His words were cut off as the man pulled him in a tight embrace, clenching on his jacket for dear life as his sobs were muffled between the crook of his neck. 

“I missed you,” the deep voice that felt all too familiar whispered in his ear. “ God, I missed you so much.”

Seokjin’s hands hovered on the man’s back, hesitant to reply the hug back. The fear he tried to ignore for the past two years suddenly resurfaced and he was too weak to run from it anymore. The whispers in his ear and the warm hug reminded him of the days he had forgotten. He knew this hug. This arms. This voice.

“I never knew how much you meant to me until I lost you,” the voice said. “Why did you never tell me? Why, Seokjin?” he pulled back, cupping Seokjin’s face in his pams with desperation in his eyes. “I would have… I would have left her for you if you only asked.”

And the wall he tried so hard to build broke down in a second.

The memories came flooding in his head, making his vision fuzzy and head dizzy. The dimples he loved, the smile he always seeked for in the audience seat, the warm hands that offered him comfort. The man in his dream whose face was a blend of shadows and blurry smile slowly came to his mind, but now he could see the face clearly.  The man he loved so much, the one person in his life that he cherished the most. 

Oh, how he missed this warmth.

“Nam… Joon?”



***

 

Jungkook woke up to an unpleasant feeling in his stomach. He stood up from his bed with a loud grunt, and the sudden urge to throw up made him gagged. With frantic motions, he ran to the bathroom and puked in the sink. 

The horror in his eyes were nothing compared to the fear he felt when he saw two pink petals tainted with blood under him.

 

-to be continued-