For as long as Seokjin can remember, he’s always dreamed of owning his own hotel one day. He surprised his family (and well, himself) when he made that dream a reality by the time he turned 27. He’d breezed through undergrad and his MBA program, and after some early savvy investing, he’d made enough to open his own boutique hotel. It wasn’t huge, wasn’t meant to compete with the chains, but it was steady, it was well-liked, and most of all, it was his .
After a modest first year, the past few months picked up with steady business and many repeat clients. He made a name for himself with the younger business tycoons, and they spread the word about his boutique hotel to their older colleagues. They favored his discretion, his personalized itineraries and service, and they appreciated his no-nonsense, no-bullshit attitude. He wasn’t here to kiss their ass, and they found it refreshing. The younger industrialists saw him as an equal: a young, up-and-coming self-starter who was leaving his mark on the world and making some serious cash along the way. The older clients saw him as a refreshing young entrepreneur, some shadow of their former, younger selves. They all tipped his staff generously and always kept him spoiled with gifts and recommendations to their peers.
Yes, it was good to be Seokjin.
Until recently. Somehow, his hotel had become frequented by businessmen and women on work trips, children in tow. He wasn’t prepared for this shift in clientele, hadn’t anticipated becoming a glorified babysitter. He always tried to hide his disdain whenever he checked in another guest dragging along their children. Thankfully, his assistant manager, Namjoon, was more patient and gracious with the younger guests, so Seokjin often left him to deal with them.
But not today. One of his favorite older patrons, Mr. Jeon, had arrived early and asked for an early check in. “I know I’m early, but I’ve got my son with me, and he’s a bit cranky,” he’d said, “think we can get into our room early?” He offered a handshake to Seokjin, a wad of bills folded into his palm.
“That won’t be necessary,” Seokjin said, waving him off. He pursed his lips and clicked around on the computer, making a show of it all. He had a room ready, but he liked the performance of making it appear like he was moving mountains to make an early check-in feasible. “Ah, I think we can make it work.” With a few exaggerated clicks and keystrokes, he looked up at Mr. Jeon with a bright smile.
“Thank you,” Mr. Jeon replied with a sigh. “Mind taking my bags? My son Jungkook will be here shortly, I’ll meet him outside with the key. I need to get going.”
“Yes, of course,” Seokjin replied. He offered a deep bow and handed the key cards to Mr. Jeon.
And now, Seokjin is waiting at the concierge counter chatting up the bellhop, Taehyung. He hadn’t offered to meet Jungkook, but he didn’t like the idea of a child roaming his property, key or no key. He wants to intercept him, find a way to keep him from making a mess somewhere.
A young man glides past the station, his long, wavy hair flouncing with each step. He’s dressed in all black, his clothes laughably oversized. He’s walking quickly, with a purpose, judging by the way he’s clenching his jaw.
“Who is that ?” Taehyung asks, pausing his tip-counting to gawk.
“No clue,” Seokjin replies. “Namjoon must have checked him in.”
“He looks expensive.” Taehyung grins, fanning himself with his cash.
“You know the rules, Tae. No dallying with the guests.” Seokjin tries to hide his smirk. He knows damn well Taehyung is the biggest flirt on staff. He’s even received positive reviews online for his “excellent service and winning smile.”
“Dallying? How old are you, Jin?” Taehyung scoffs, stuffing his money into his breast pocket.
“Older than you,” he laughs, clapping Taehyung on the back. “I need to do some work in my office. Call me if a kid shows up alone. Mr. Jeon’s son should be here soon.” He turns to leave, but pauses for a moment, a slow grin spreading across his face. “I know you’re the bellhop, Taehyung, but…” he pauses for dramatic effect, “...try not to get carried away .” He lets out a too-loud laugh, relishing in the full-body cringe working over Taehyung.
“God,” Taehyung groans, shaking his head, “I’ve heard it a thousand times, and it never gets funnier.”
“Yes, but your reaction does. Later, Tae.” Seokjin walks away, chuckling to himself. He pulls out his phone to call Namjoon, to warn him about the stray child that may appear any moment now.
“Hey Seokjin, I was just about to call,” Namjoon says, picking up mid-ring.
“Everything okay? Did you find the kid?” Seokjin asks. He enters his office, closing the door behind him. Perching on the edge of his desk, he surveys the room. No matter how many times he looks at his awards mounted on the wall, he still feels a shiver of delight. He surprised everyone when he won Young Entrepreneur of the Year last fall, beating out a tech start-up and a fashion boutique. He was an underdog, and it felt damn good to win.
“The what? No, this is about the complaints,” Namjoon says quickly.
Complaints are rare at Seokjin’s hotel. He loses sleep over how accommodating he tries to be for all of his guests. He skips meals, arrives early, stays late--anything he can think of to make people happy, to make them want to return again. It’s a matter of pride, and he’s not willing to lose even a shred of it. Not for an unhappy customer. People are easy to please. He knows this, and he’s great at pleasing his guests. He takes a deep breath and finally asks, “Complaints about what?”
“Some guests are complaining about the smell on the fifth floor.” Namjoon’s words are hurried, a little breathy, like he’s walking quickly.
“Okay, so we’ll send housekeeping--”
“--not their problem. The Choi party said it smelled like,” he lowers his voice, “ weed .”
Seokjin swallows a laugh. Okay, so not ideal, but not the end of the world. He takes a small breath. “We can handle this, Namjoon. Take a deep breath. Have you stopped by the room yet?”
There’s a knock at the door, then it opens, Namjoon poking his head in. He hangs up and steps in, his chest heaving. “Hyung, the smell is coming from Mr. Jeon’s room .”
Seokjin’s eyes widen. Didn’t take Mr. Jeon for a partier… or relaxer… or whatever or whoever would be smoking weed in the middle of the day. “Did you knock on the door? See if everything was alright?”
“I tried, I did, but no one answered. Whoever is in there is playing music, too. The Choi party complained about the noise.” Namjoon loosens his tie and takes a deep breath.
“First of all, Namjoon, calm down . This is not a national emergency. Maybe Mr. Jeon likes to, y’know, mellow out before his meetings? Or maybe it’s his son…” Seokjin’s voice trails off, his eyes widening. “Shit, his son was supposed to arrive. Do you think some kid is up there smoking up the room? Fuck!”
Namjoon gasps. “Hyung, you never say that word.”
“Please,” Seokjin scoffs, “now is not the time to analyze my cursing. I swear to God, I’m gonna kill that kid if he’s trashing the room. Let’s go.”
They go into the hallway and walk quickly to the elevator. Seokjin pats Namjoon on the back, gesturing at his tie. “Fix that, will you? And breathe, man. It’s fine.” The elevator doors open and two women step out, each one carrying tote bags nearly bursting with binders and papers.
“Ah, Ms. Choi, Ms. Shin, lovely to see you this afternoon,” Seokjin says sweetly, offering a bow.
Ms. Choi clears her throat. “Please tell me you’re addressing--”
“--on our way now,” Seokjin says cheerfully, cutting her off. “It will be a distant memory when you return. If you’re not satisfied, please see me later this evening, and we’ll upgrade you to another room.”
“Thank you,” she answers, bowing in return. She and Ms. Shin saunter away quickly, their heels clicking across the floor.
“I’m gonna kill this kid,” Seokjin mutters, holding the door open for Namjoon. They ride in silence to the fifth floor. When the doors open, they’re greeted with the faint aroma of weed and the barely-there thump of a bassline. Grinding his jaw, Seokjin takes a deep breath and walks slowly, clenching and unclenching his fist against his thigh.
“What are you going to do?” Namjoon whispers, hurrying to keep up with Seokjin’s long strides.
“Handle it like a goddamn professional,” Seokjin answers, tossing a glare over his shoulder at Namjoon. He lands at room 503 and pauses for a moment. He presses his ear to the door, listening to the dull throb of music. Inhaling, he imagines the room filled with thick smoke; the vapors spill from under the door, curling among his polished shoes. He clears his throat, cracks his neck, and knocks on the door.
No answer. He knocks again, this time louder. Namjoon nods sympathetically. “He ignored me too.”
Seokjin rolls his eyes and pounds on the door again as a final warning. No reply comes, so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the master key card. He swipes the card and opens the door, a wall of smoke enveloping him immediately. He coughs and sputters, waving his hand through the smoke. “Excuse me, Mr. Jeon?”
The music stops. “What the fuck?” A voice booms from the bathroom near the entryway.
The voice doesn’t belong to Mr. Jeon, but it’s not the voice of a child, either. Somehow, this is worse. This voice is older than a child, somehow honeyed and irritated all at once. A head pokes out of the bathroom. Large, dark doe eyes squint back at Seokjin. It’s the young man from the lobby earlier today.
For the first time ever, Seokjin wishes he was staring at a child, someone small and unimportant, someone he could boss around and scold and make fear him. Instead, he’s greeted with dark, mischievous eyes, an impossibly muscular frame, a flushed, glistening mouth, and a head full of hair that looks like it’s made for grabbing. There’s no way Seokjin will make any sort of impression on this young man.
“I said , what the fuck?” The young man asks, stepping out of the bathroom. He’s shirtless and wearing only a pair of black athletic shorts.
Seokjin doesn’t know if he’s imagined it, but he swears Namjoon let out a small gasp. Or maybe Seokjin did. Either way. Not the look of absolute authority he was going for.
“I apologize for the intrusion,” Seokjin says, his voice measured and professional. “I’m looking for Mr. Jeon.”
“You’re looking at him,” the man answers, folding his arms across his chest. His muscular, defined chest.
“I’m sorry, there must be a mistake,” Seokjin answers, shaking his head with a small, forced laugh. “Mr. Jeon is staying in this room--”
“--yes, I’m Mr. Jeon.” He blinks, then his eyes grow larger, his mouth opening in surprise. “Oh, you mean my father .” The slow, dopey way he speaks convinces Seokjin he’s high, or at least halfway there.
“Yes. Your father. Of course.” Can’t let this guy see he’s rattled. “I apologize for the intrusion,” he waits, hoping the man will supply his name, but he says nothing, “ sir , but we’ve received complaints about the noise and the smell. I’m afraid this is a drug-free property.”
“Hmm.” The man nods, looking around the room. He pokes his tongue against the side of his cheek, his eyes flickering around the room. “Any room for negotiation?” His gaze returns to Seokjin’s.
“I’m sorry, no,” he answers, shaking his head. He places his hand on his chest and purses his lips, feigning utter disappointment at delivering the news. “Perhaps you’d like a drink from the bar?”
Snorting, the man walks away toward the bed. He digs through a suitcase and pulls a shirt on. “So you broke into my room to ask me out?” His eyes are bright, piercing even in their darkness.
“What? No, I--I didn’t mean, no that’s not what I meant.” Words are impossible. What are sentences? How does one speak? This is not going according to plan. Seokjin clears his throat and holds up his hands carefully. “This is not what I meant.”
Laughter. Raucous, head-back, full-throated laughter. The young man hurries over to Seokjin and clutches his arms. “Just fucking with you, dude. I’ll keep it down and take my smoking elsewhere. Sorry, man.” He tsks and shakes his head, still laughing.
An embarrassed flush works its way up Seokjin’s neck. His ears are on fire, and he hates himself for giving away any sort of emotion in front of this guy. He takes a deep breath and turns toward the door. “If you need anything, please let me know. I apologize for the disturbance, Mr. Jeon.”
“It’s Jungkook,” he says, a smile still on his face. He holds out his hand toward Seokjin.
“Thank you, yes, nice to meet you,” Seokjin says, trying hard not to think about how well his hand fits inside of Jungkook’s, how soft and warm his palm feels pressed against his. “I’ll be going now.”
Jungkook doesn’t pull his hand away, not yet. He holds it for a second longer, locking eyes with Seokjin. “And you are?”
“Kim Seokjin,” he replies, prying his hand away from Jungkook’s grip. “Owner. Nice to meet you.”
“Still up for that drink?” Jungkook asks, brushing his hair out of his eyes. “Kinda killed this buzz,” he laughs.
“I’m still on the clock, but thank you. I think you’ll enjoy it more without me.” Seokjin bows and turns, bumping into an ever-present, ever-silent Namjoon. They stagger out of the room, pulling the door behind them.
“Jesus, you were no help,” Seokjin hisses, hurrying down the hallway.
“You looked like you had it all under control,” Namjoon whispers back. “Besides,” he laughs, “it was fun watching you turn into a bumbling idiot talking to Jungkook.”
Seokjin rubs his forehead and grimaces. “What the hell was that even?” The elevator is taking forever to arrive, and Seokjin glances over his shoulder, worried that Jungkook might join them for the ride down to the lobby.
Mercifully, finally , the doors open, and Namjoon and Seokjin step in. Jamming the close button, Seokjin ignores the faint call of Jungkook’s voice. “Shit, shit,” he mutters, his finger tapping the button repeatedly. The doors close just in time for Seokjin to see the last sliver of Jungkook’s face disappearing.
“So, uh, boss,” Namjoon says slowly, grinning too damn hard, “mind filling me in on what happened back there?”
“What? I was surprised by the amount of smoke and the not child we found back there.” Seokjin sighs and rubs his forehead. “I wonder if Mr. Jeon knows…”
“So you thought we were going to find some kid up here?”
Seokjin shrugs. “I don’t know, Joon. He said son, and I pictured one of those, y’know, tiny humans the others are always dragging along. I didn’t even consider an adult son tagging along.” He leans against the elevator door, eyes drifting upward. Yeah, no idea where the assumption came from, but he definitely looked like an idiot back there.
“So you see a grown ass, shirtless, beautiful man, and you freeze?” Namjoon laughs, shaking his head. “I’ve never seen you so rattled.”
“Shut up,” Seokjin whines, kicking his leg toward Namjoon. “It was a total out-of-body experience. Must have been a contact high.”
“Hmm, right,” Namjoon teases. The doors open and they step out, immediately coming face-to-face with Jungkook.
He’s standing at the elevator bank, panting slightly, a grin on his face. “Took the stairs,” he huffs. “Thought it would be fun to race you, especially since you didn’t hold the door for me.”
“Oh, my mistake. Didn’t see you.” Seokjin doesn’t make eye contact with Jungkook, instead opting to duck around him to go toward the front desk.
“Ah, right,” Jungkook says, unconvinced. He jogs next to Seokjin, eventually cutting him off, walking backwards. He’s cheerful and bouncy, eyes playful. “So, that drink? Which bar should I visit?”
“Namjoon will help you, Mr. Jeon--”
“-- Jungkook ,” he replies. “It’s Jungkook.”
“Jungkook,” Seokjin corrects. “Namjoon can recommend some places for you. Can’t you, Namjoon?”
“Yeah, sure, yes.” Namjoon nods and hurries over to Jungkook, turning him toward the lobby doors. “So next door you’ll find…”
Seokjin hurries away and steps into his office, locking the door behind him. Chest heaving, he closes his eyes and tries to steady his breathing. He makes a mental note to check the visitor records to see how long the Jeons will be staying. He’s rattled and lightheaded. It’s gotta be a contact high, he tells himself. Not Jungkook’s mischievous grin, his wavy dark hair, his muscular build, his easy-going charm. Nope.
Contact high and nothing else.
The early evening rush of guests checking in provides a welcome distraction for Seokjin. He and Namjoon work together like a well-oiled machine. Rarely does a guest wait for more than few minutes as they process payments, assign rooms, and send them on their way. There’s a small thrill with each check-in, and Seokjin can’t help but puff with pride when another new client checks in, telling him how another past guest recommended his hotel. It makes him proud and hungry, eager to please them and live up to the expectations shared by their peers.
The line finally disappears, and Seokjin lets out a small sigh, turning to the file cabinet behind the counter. He pretends to busy himself, flicking through folders, and calms his nerves. He loves the buzz he gets from being busy--the anticipation, the performance, the delivery. It reminds him what’s at stake: his reputation, his money. The thrill propels him forward.
Namjoon, however, hates the pressure of performing quickly and perfectly. He lets out a loud exhale and whirls around from the desk, rubbing the back of his neck. “Well that was insane. Any more arrivals this evening?”
“Don’t think so,” Seokjin murmurs. If he focuses on the folders, the feel of the cardstock bending under his fingertips, maybe Namjoon will take the hint and disappear. It doesn’t seem to work. Finally, after a beat of silence, Seokjin speaks. “So did you help Mr. Jeon find a suitable bar?” Seokjin asks, not bringing his eyes to face Namjoon.
“You mean Jungkook?” Namjoon teases, bumping elbows with Seokjin at the file cabinet.
“Jungkook, whatever. Did you help him?” Seokjin is trying so hard not to look at Namjoon, he can feel his ears growing warmer. It’s the one tell he’s never been able to squash.
Namjoon leans against the file cabinet and puts his hand on Seokjin’s, stopping his incessant rifling through the folders. “I did help him. And he’s very nice, actually. You should talk to him.”
Seokjin looks up, an exasperated expression on his face. “You know I don’t like to mingle with clientele.” He pushes the drawer shut and lets out a sigh. “It gets complicated, and you know I don’t like complicated. Give me easy, give me simple. I don’t have the energy for anything more than that.”
“Hm,” Namjoon snorts, slowly revealing a grin. “I get the sense he might be easy, hyung.”
Groaning, Seokjin swats at Namjoon. “Cut it out. And fix your tie. I’m going to get you a clip-on if you can’t manage a proper knot.” He turns back to the desk, reaching for the logbook when he comes face to face with Jungkook.
Somehow, Jungkook looks taller, impossibly handsome in a well-fitted dark suit and tie. He’s styled his hair differently; Seokjin can’t describe what’s different, but he knows there’s been a change. Jungkook approaches the desk, offering a shy smile, and he leans forward. His hands are impeccably groomed--so neat and tidy, Seokjin can’t help but notice. Skin? Flawless. Cologne? Delicious. If Seokjin had sketched his dream man, Jungkook would be him, live and in the flesh.
Blinking slowly, Seokjin finally rejoins the conscious world and clears his throat. He offers a tight, polite smile and says, “May I help you Mr. Jeon?”
“Jungkook,” he answers softly, his smile growing just a bit. “I wanted to apologize about earlier this afternoon. I hope you won’t let this affect your view of my father, and I hope you won’t, uh, hold it against me.”
The slight hitch in his voice, the hesitation as he speaks makes Seokjin’s knees wobble. Of all the things he’d guess about this man, he’d never guess he’s nervous, overly sincere, or awkward. And somehow, he’s all of those things, and it makes Seokjin feel faint.
“All in the past,” Seokjin says, trying hard to keep his voice steady. He’s dealt with worse behavior from worse guests, he wants to say, but the words don’t align in the right order. Instead, he offers a pained grin, something that surely looks like a hideous grimace instead of a warm acknowledgement.
“As you know,” Jungkook says, standing upright, “my father is important, and anything I do reflects on him, whether or not I like it. So, I’m sorry. I hope we can keep this interaction between the two of us?”
“I’m known for my discretion, Mr. Jeon,” Seokjin says quietly, a small shiver working down his spine when he sees Jungkook’s eyes light up at being called Mr. Jeon.
“Well, I appreciate it, Mr. Kim.” There’s an edge to Jungkook’s voice, a hint of teasing, and Seokjin can feel his ears inflaming again.
Loud footsteps draw their attention away from one another, both of them turning toward the hallway near the elevators. “Mr. Jeon!” Seokjin calls, offering a smile and a deep bow.
“I see you’ve met Jungkook,” he replies, hurrying over to the desk. He claps Jungkook on the back and tugs on his tie. “He cleans up well. I hope you didn’t run into him earlier when he looked like some unruly teenager.” He grins, ruffling Jungkook’s hair.
Smoothing his hair town, Jungkook laughs awkwardly. “First time meeting him, Dad. Just introduced myself.” His eyes flick over to Seokjin, pleading for him to go along.
“Yes, yes he’s just introduced himself, Mr. Jeon. Nice young man,” Seokjin says, nodding along.
“I’ll be quite busy with meetings the next couple of days. I hope you’ll help Jungkook find something productive to do around town?” Mr. Jeon turns to Seokjin, eyes wide and hopeful. “He could really learn a lot from someone like you, Seokjin. Your father must be so proud.”
Ears aflame. A lump in his throat. He nods quickly. “Yes, I hope so. I mean, I hope I make him proud. But yes, I can draw up an itinerary for Mr. Je--”
“--Jungkook,” the younger man interjects, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
“--for Jungkook,” Seokjin corrects quickly. If he could just teleport out of this situation, he’d be eternally grateful.
“Excellent.” Mr. Jeon reaches across the desk, taking Seokjin’s hand in a hearty handshake, his grip tight and unyielding. “Alright, Jungkook, let’s get going. Can’t keep our clients waiting.”
Jungkook nods awkwardly and turns to Seokjin, mouthing sorry as he’s dragged away by his father. The two men stride through the lobby. Mr. Jeon is animated, gesturing wildly back at Seokjin, Jungkook nodding along, not turning back to look.
“Well that wasn’t weird.”
“Jesus, you’re still here?” Seokjin gasps, clutching his chest. Namjoon lets out a quiet laugh, shaking his head. “Is that your thing now--just lurk silently in the background or what?”
“I had paperwork to file,” Namjoon pouts, waving a single piece of paper in the air.
Seokjin snatches it, eyeing it skeptically. “Namjoon, this says Seokjin <3 Jungkook . You’re fired.” He crumples the paper, thinks better of it, and unfolds it, then sends it through the shredder behind the desk.
“I’m not fired,” he says confidently. “You need me here or you’ll fall apart. I think you might have a little crush, hyung.”
“Nope, not me. Total ice queen here. No feelings can penetrate this ice cold heart.” Seokjin begins tidying up the counter space, placing pens back into the desk organizers, stacking and restacking the brochures on the counter.
“I’m sure you’d like something else to penetrate--”
Seokjin slams his hands on the counter, surprising Namjoon and himself. “Namjoon, I swear to God..” He doesn’t finish his sentence, just closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.
“Hey, I’m sorry, hyung,” Namjoon says quietly, approaching Seokjin from behind. He places his hand between his broad shoulders, rubbing him lightly. “I’m only joking. I just want you to be happy, maybe get laid or loosen up, or something. You always work so hard.”
“You don’t become successful if all you do is try to get laid or loosen up, Namjoon.” He’s trying to sound sure, trying to sound confident, but he knows Namjoon must hear the doubt in his voice. “I don’t need to worry about this other stuff right now. I have work, my dashing good looks, and for whatever reason, I’m stuck with you. What more could I need?” He offers a feeble smile, locking eyes with Namjoon only briefly before turning away.
“Two years is a long time…” Namjoon says, his voice gentle. “Don’t you get lonely?”
“No time for that,” Seokjin answers quickly, ducking away from Namjoon’s touch. He brushes his hair away from his forehead and takes a deep breath. “I’m heading home for a bit. I’ll be back in a couple hours.” He can’t bring himself to look at Namjoon again, can’t stand the thought of seeing that pitying look in his eyes.
Back at his apartment, Seokjin takes a quick shower, just long and hot enough to wash off the grime of the last day. It’s his busiest season, and his time at home is rare--just long enough for a shower, a change in clothes, and maybe a quick meal. He can’t remember the last time he slept in his bed. His bedroom looks like a strange museum exhibit--everything meticulously laid out, painfully untouched. In a few weeks, things will slow down, and he’ll get back into his routine at home. That’s what he tells himself.
Seokjin knows Namjoon would cover for him or assign someone else to take over the night shift, but Seokjin likes to stay busy, likes to occupy his hands and his mind. He didn’t get where he is now without some sacrifice, even if it meant he was a little shaky from the lack of sleep, or growing thinner from the lack of meals. He has just enough time to make a quick stir fry tonight though, so he busies himself in the kitchen chopping vegetables.
Two years ago, he might have been doing the same thing--preparing dinner for himself, but he wouldn’t be alone. Two years ago, he was engaged to a beautiful woman, Bora, a family friend who seemed to have been perfectly molded to become his future wife. They dated briefly through a series of arranged dates, each one painfully dull and polite. He’d proposed out of obligation; he just wanted to move on with that part of his life so he could move to the next stage, so he could finally build his dream business.
But as the wedding grew closer, he found himself waking each night in a sweaty panic, his chest clenched and heaving. He cared for his fiancee, he really did, but he knew it wasn’t love. He’d only been in love once--with his college roommate Yoongi--but it never took off, never found its footing amidst the crazy school schedules and Seokjin’s crippling fear that Yoongi might not feel the same.
When Yoongi broke the news that he’d fallen for someone else, Seokjin’s heart broke, but he knew it was for the best. He’d wished him well and focused on his grades. Then his parents introduced him to Bora, daughter of their longtime friends, and they began the awkward ritual of planned dates and forced family dinners.
All that time, though, Seokjin knew it wasn’t love, knew it didn’t come close to the electricity he felt with Yoongi, knew he’d never feel comfortable, no matter how many kisses, how many jokes he shared with Bora. He felt horribly about it, made himself sick over his realization. When he and Bora finally talked, and he revealed his true feelings, she let out a loud, boisterous laugh, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Jinnie,” she’d gasped between laughs, wiping at her cheeks, “Oh thank God , Jinnie.” When she revealed she was dreading the wedding, that she was thinking of ways to run away with her best friend, Seokjin had joined her in her laughter. They spent the rest of the night laughing until their stomachs hurt, splitting a bottle of wine meant for their anniversary, and reveling in the new freedom of having their secrets out in the open.
Of course, their families weren’t happy, but the mutual break-up saved face for each party. And when Seokjin refocused his energy in grad school, saved up and invested in some local businesses and stocks, he redeemed himself in his parents’ eyes. He felt like a new man--rising from the ashes of a break-up, new money in his pocket, his best friend Namjoon agreeing to join him at his brand new hotel. So why would he need love? Or anything more than his friendship and his business? He’d made something of himself, had done it alone, and lost nothing along the way.
And this is why Seokjin stays busy. He hates the lonely introspection, the way his mind wanders to the what if’s of life. He eats quickly, not bothering to properly plate his food, instead opting to shovel it directly from the pan into his mouth. He chugs a glass of tap water, drops his dishes in the sink, and goes to the bedroom to change. Another suit, another day.
He’s back at the hotel in no time, feeling a bit lighter, a bit more human after inhaling a quick meal and washing up. He swings by the concierge station, where Taehyung is leaning over the counter, flirting shamelessly with someone on the other end of the phone. “Taehyung, isn’t your shift over soon? Why don’t you head out? I think we’re over the rush for the evening.” Seokjin smiles, an assurance that he’s not kidding, that Taehyung can skip out of work early. A rare moment of generosity for Seokjin.
“Thanks, boss,” Taehyung says with a grin. He pulls off his nametag and locks up the station, chattering away to the voice on the other end of the phone.
Nights are quiet around the hotel, except for the occasional drunken guest stumbling back after a night of wining and dining their own clients. Seokjin admires their dedication to treating their clients well, and, admittedly, he appreciates the tips and gifts from them the next morning, each one gushing with thanks for his discretion and his understanding.
For a brief, tiny, nano-second, Seokjin wonders if Jungkook and his father have returned from dinner. It’s still early, though, and he knows Jungkook must be a good selling point for his father at these kinds of meetings--the way he radiates affability, his too-handsome face.
“Back so soon?” Namjoon calls from the front desk. He’s polishing the brass fixtures on the drawers--a sign of a slow, quiet evening. “I know you didn’t sleep in two hours, hyung.”
“No, but I showered and ate. My battery’s full again,” Seokjin says, joining him behind the counter. “Why don’t you head home, Joon? I need to work on the itinerary for Mr. Je--” he stops himself and bashfully corrects, “--Jungkook.” He clears his throat and rummages through a drawer, searching for a pen and paper.
“Seokjin, there are literally a dozen pens right in front of your face,” Namjoon says, only the faintest hint of teasing in his voice.
“Yes, right,” he murmurs, pulling a notepad out of the drawer and plucking a pen from the cup on the counter. Chewing on the end of the pen, he hums to himself, thinking. “I sent Taehyung home, you may as well go too. I got this.”
“You sure you don’t need my help with that?” Namjoon asks, so obviously teasing Seokjin now.
Seokjin scoffs. “Because you’ve been so helpful every other time.” He laughs and shakes his head. “It’s fine. It’ll keep me busy. Seriously, go,” he laughs again, poking Namjoon’s stomach with the pen.
“Alright, good luck, hyung,” Namjoon says, loosening his tie. He seems to instantly breathe clearer once the knot is loosened.
“What do you think this guy likes to do for fun anyway?” Seokjin asks, drawing spirals in the margin of the notepad.
“Why don’t you ask him yourself?” Namjoon asks, nodding toward the front door.
Jungkook is walking through the doors, his face flushed, eyes fierce. His shirt is unbuttoned, his tie gone, stuffed deep into his coat pocket, a small tail flapping out of it. He looks angry and powerful, his jawline impossibly sharp, eyebrows furrowed in deep concentration. Hot. The word Seokjin is searching for is hot. Jungkook looks hot.
“Shit,” Seokjin mutters, trying hard not to stare as Jungkook approaches, but finding it hard to resist the magnetic pull of his entrance.
“Yeah,” Namjoon exhales. “Good luck with that,” he whispers, slapping Seokjin hard on the back as he leaves the counter.
Jungkook marches over to the desk and drops his hands hard on the counter. “Can I help you--”
“I swear to God,” he interrupts through gritted teeth, “if you call me Mr. Jeon, I will punch a hole through this desk.”
“--Jungkook, can I help you?” Seokjin feels small, delirious in the weird rush of attraction and fear washing over him.
Shoulders slumping, Jungkook drops his head, letting out a long sigh. “Yes, no, I don’t know. Fuck.” He sighs again but doesn’t look up. His breathing is labored, ragged.
Seokjin doesn’t know what to say, so he does the only thing he can think of: he puts his hand on Jungkook’s, just a light, delicate touch. Jungkook looks up, his face softer now, eyes glassy with what can only be tears, his bottom lip caught between his teeth, and he shudders, the kind of pre-crying breath that’s on the edge of a total meltdown. He looks small now, impossibly delicate, as he swallows back his reaction.
And just for a moment, Seokjin feels that long-forgotten, unmistakable feeling: electricity.
If Jungkook feels the same small shock Seokjin feels at their hands touching, he doesn’t show it. He sighs again, pulling his hands away slowly, tucking them into his pockets. “I’m sorry, that was melodramatic,” he says, laughing bitterly.
“Bad night?” Seokjin offers.
“It’s just my dad. It’s always my dad.” He sighs again and looks around the lobby. “Think you can get out of here and get that drink?”
The faintest upswing in Seokjin’s chest. “I wish I could, but--”
“--right, you’re busy, I get it.” Jungkook turns to leave, but Seokjin catches them both by surprise when he yelps out after him.
Clearing his throat, Seokjin says softly, “I would love to have a drink, but I just came on shift for the night. But,” he gestures at the empty lobby, “it’s gonna be a quiet night. You could always hang out here for a bit if you don’t want to be alone.” He imagines a period at the end of his statement, but he knows his voice gives away the question mark, the hopeful ask in his voice.
A smile. A beautiful, beaming, toothy smile. Jungkook walks back to the counter and leans across it, painfully close to Seokjin. “You wanna babysit me?”
“That’s not what I meant…” Seokjin can’t seem to bring his voice above a whisper. He knows with Jungkook leaning so close that he can’t miss the bright red tips of his ears, the heavy way he swallows the lump in his throat.
“I’ll stay for awhile, at least until Dad gets back. I’m sure I’ll get an earful, and I’d rather you not see that.” Jungkook shrugs out of his coat and drapes it across his arm. “So are you chained to the desk or can you at least sit over here?” He nods toward the plush sofas.
“No, I’m not chained,” Seokjin says defensively. “I can sit for awhile. But it’s back to business if anyone shows up.” He scoops his keys and the cordless desk phone off the counter and walks to the other side of the counter. “Let’s sit,” he says, trying to sound casual, but feeling so stiff and robotic.
Jungkook flops onto a couch, his legs stretching like he’s going to put his feet on the end of the cushions, and Seokjin feels a flare of anger at the thought of his dirty shoes on the recently reupholstered cushion. Jungkook must see it because he sits up a bit straighter, crossing one leg over the other instead. “Got a bit carried away,” he laughs quietly. “So,” he says, beginning to roll up his sleeves. “You seem awfully young to own a hotel. What’s your story?”
Seokjin sits on the sofa opposite from Jungkook and fights the urge to blurt out his age. He learned awhile ago not to give away too much information. The press liked to fawn over his wunderkind status, and he knew he only had a few more years to enjoy it before the sheen wore off. “It’s a boring story, really.” He fidgets with the ring of keys in his lap, digging the jagged edges into the pads of his fingers. “Went to school, saved some money, invested early, wanted a hotel and started one.” He looks up at Jungkook, surprised to see him utterly engrossed in every word.
“Did your parents help you?” Jungkook leans forward now, elbows on his knees, hands clasped. He seems genuinely interested. The unfiltered attention unsettles Seokjin.
“I mean, yeah, I guess they cheered me on or whatever, but I did it all on my own with my own money.” Seokjin’s told this story countless times, each version with some sort of spin to please the publication or group interviewing him. Saying it simply, he realizes how unusual the story is, even if it was easy for him.
“That’s amazing,” Jungkook answers softly. He leans back against the sofa, drawing his arms behind his head, clasping his hands. “I wish I could go out on my own and do something like that. My dad’s grooming me to take over the family business.”
“You’re not interested?” Seokjin asks.
“No, but I don’t have much of a choice.” Jungkook sighs and brings his hands to his face, rubbing his palms over it. “I really fucked things up tonight,” he mumbles into his hands. “I’ll be lucky if he even lets me work in the mailroom.”
Seokjin doesn’t know how to respond. Mr. Jeon has been one of his favorite guests, and one of his longest patrons, too. He was one of the few people in his life who offered unsolicited advice that was actually useful. Seokjin admired his work ethic--the smooth way he talked to clients, how unflappable he seemed when an emergency drew him from his hotel room in the middle of the night. He can’t imagine what he must be like with Jungkook.
He clears his throat. “Do you, uh, want to talk about it?” Seokjin asks, bringing his eyes upward to meet Jungkook’s.
“No, I’ll get over it,” he answers quickly. “I just had to get out of that restaurant, away from those people , away from my dad, and I came back here without thinking about my next move…”
“Yeah, you seemed like you were on auto-pilot.” Seokjin pauses. “A very angry, auto-pilot.”
Jungkook laughs, clapping loudly, the smack echoing through the empty lobby. “I’m sorry about that. I must have looked like a goddamn caveman storming in here.”
And now Seokjin is picturing Jungkook shirtless, lifting Seokjin, tossing him over his shoulder. It’s a different kind of flush that works its way up his neck and face. He prays to whoever wherever that it’s not noticeable.
Seokjin learns there is no god when Jungkook leans forward again, eyes focused intently on his face. “You’re blushing, hyung,” Jungkook muses, a playful smile appearing.
Hyung. There’s no denying the red splashing across his face now.
Seokjin swallows and shakes his head. “Hot flash,” he lies, reaching to loosen his tie. “Are you hot? I should really check on the thermostat.” He stands, dropping his keys in a jingling clatter on the floor, turning to pick them up when Jungkook grabs his arm.
“I think we could have fun,” Jungkook says, tugging Seokjin toward him. “You look like you could use some fun, hyung.”
He’s not sure if his knees are buckling or if Jungkook’s gravitational is that strong , but Seokjin finds himself crashing onto the couch next to Jungkook, their bodies painfully close. “I have fun,” he says weakly.
“When’s the last time you had fun?” Jungkook asks. He’s grinning, eyes lit up with curiosity, his lips impossibly slick and rosy. He’s still holding Seokjin’s elbow, though his grip is featherlight, just enough to burn through Seokjin’s jacket and shirt.
“This morning counting my money,” Seokjin answers, trying hard to sound authoritative, but knowing he must sound like such a bratty asshole.
Jungkook laughs again, this time louder, raucous. He could wake the entire hotel, Seokjin thinks. “You are hilarious,” Jungkook says, shaking his head. “But really,” he says, nudging his thigh against Seokjin’s, “when’s the last time you let go and had a good time? You seem like you’re All Business All the Time.”
He’s not… wrong. “Fun” was one of those things Seokjin packed away and tucked into a dark closet of his desires to be pulled out later. He knew it would always be waiting for him, but for now, he needed to focus on the present: his work and his work only.
“I… don't know the last time I went out,” Seokjin says quietly. He looks up at the ceiling, trying hard to remember the last time he’d left work to do anything other than eat or sleep. “Namjoon always wants me to grab a drink, but we haven’t in awhile.”
“He’s the one with the adorable dimple? The one who walked me to the bar?” Jungkook nods, rubbing his chin. “He seems fun.”
“He’s horrible,” Seokjin jokes. “No fun and super ugly. You’d hate him.” He’s trying hard to sound playful, humorous, but he’s worried he sounds like a pathetic, jealous loser.
Jungkook seems to understand, turning to face Seokjin with a look of amusement. “So if he’s no fun to hang out with, what are you like?”
“Even worse. Also ugly. No fun.” Seokjin swallows the lump in his throat. His heart is pounding, and all the blood in his body seems to be rushing to his ears, his face, oh god, why is he in literal flames right now ?
With his ever-present grin, Jungkook leans closer, so close Seokjin can see a small freckle underneath his bottom lip. So close, Seokjin can smell the faint hint of alcohol on his breath mingling with his cologne. It’s a heady concoction, enough to make Seokjin’s eyes flutter closed for a moment.
“Impossible,” Jungkook whispers. “I don’t think anyone in the history of humankind has ever called you ugly.”
It sounds like a line. It is a line. The best line. It works on Seokjin, pries his eyes open, beckons him to match his gaze with Jungkook. His heart is beating so hard, he can hear his pulse thrumming in his ears, the white noise of an ocean wave swallowing him.
Suddenly, Seokjin can’t help but think of Yoongi in this moment--a nearly-forgotten memory of their first kiss, Seokjin’s first kiss ever . There had been others after him, but none like him. Seokjin had all but forgotten the feel of his lips pressed to Yoongi’s, the breathy way Yoongi seemed to inhale him, the careless twirl of his fingers in the thick mop of Seokjin’s hair. And here it is again: that memory pressing hard on the front of his mind, that impossible flutter building in his chest. Yoongi’s voice that night, the way he laughed, told Seokjin to give in to the feeling, lighten up, hyung, it’s okay to let go . The memory makes his blood run cold.
He opens his eyes, unaware that he’s closed them, afraid that he’s been hidden behind them for too long. Jungkook’s gaze is soft, fixed on him, affection evident in his eyes. “What are you thinking about, hyung?”
Impulsive behavior has never been part of Seokjin’s life. Everything is calculated, studied, planned, executed with careful precision and finesse. Everything has a plan, a neat mold it fits into, and when it doesn’t work, there's recalculation, a purpose to the failure, a way to move forward with new ideas. Seokjin is not impulsive.
Seokjin kisses Jungkook. A swift, light kiss, a chaste, barely-there, does-this-even-count-as-a-kiss? kiss.
And then Jungkook kisses Seokjin back --no mistaking it. The hard press of their lips together surprises Seokjin, rattles him awake from the fog of nostalgia, the blinding haze of present desire. It’s an unsexy kiss, too much teeth, an awkward angle, but holy shit does it seem to unlock something in Seokjin.
He pulls back, breathless, eyes wild, panting like he’s just run a marathon. Or up a flight of stairs. He’d never run a marathon. That’s a terrible comparison. He’s panting like he’s just run up a flight of stairs. Tall, broad, muscular, sexy stairs.
“What?” Jungkook asks, cocking his head to the side. He looks so satisfied , eyes gleaming, a broad grin on his face. “Did you just call me sexy?”
“I guess I did,” Seokjin says, standing quickly. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to go gouge my eyes out with these keys. Nice knowing you!” He waves frantically and scurries over to the check-in counter, ducking behind it.
He pulls himself into a small ball and rocks slightly on his heels. He can hear Jungkook approaching, and he squeezes his eyes shut. When he was a kid, he used to play hide and seek with his brother, imagining himself disappearing if he just tried hard enough. One time, his brother pretended he couldn’t find him, and Seokjin went into a panic, convinced he was invisible and would be stuck living his life as a ghost boy. It would be preferable to living in this cruel mortal world right now, he thinks.
“Hey,” Jungkook calls. Seokjin doesn’t answer. A ding. Jungkook’s found the service bell on the counter. He presses it again then taps it in rapid succession. Ding ding ding ding ding ding.
Seokjin fights the urge to stand, to grab the bell and hurl it across the room. He stays on the floor, curled into a ball, eyes closed tight.
“Did I do something wrong?” Jungkook asks. The hint of sadness in his voice makes Seokjin’s heart twinge. “I’m sorry if I misread, I thought…”
Seokjin doesn’t want him to finish that sentence. What did he think? That Seokjin was some loveless loser trying to hook up with a guest? That Seokjin was pitiful and deserving of a pity kiss? That Seokjin was an utter fool for getting drunk on memory and loneliness?
And then he feels a shadow pass over him, hands landing on his shoulders, the slight whoosh of a body crouching in front of him. He doesn’t dare open his eyes.
“Seokjin, I’m sorry if I misinterpreted something. I was picking up some pretty intense vibes back there, and I thought you wanted to kiss, and I wanted to kiss, so then when you kissed me, I was happy because I wanted to kiss you back, and then you called me sexy and well, that was--”
“Stop,” Seokjin mutters, his voice caught against his knees from where his face is pressed. “Every word is a tiny stab. Stab stab stab. You’re stabbing me.”
Jungkook laughs--a soft laugh, an endearing laugh. “I just want you to know I wanted to kiss you, and it looked like you wanted to kiss me too. It’s just a kiss. You don’t have to be--”
“--mortified? Because I am.” Seokjin lifts his head slowly, aware that he must look puffy and wrinkled from smashing his face into the fabric of his pants.
Sitting back on his butt, Jungkook relaxes on the floor. “Don’t be mortified. We’re both beautiful people--”
A groan from Seokjin.
“--and beautiful people like us can kiss whenever we want if that’s something we want.”
“Kill me,” Seokjin groans, dropping his head back on his knees.
“So no more kissing?” Jungkook says--and is that disappointment Seokjin hears?
“I didn’t say that,” Seokjin mutters.
“I’m sorry, I can’t hear you,” Jungkook says, tugging at Seokjin’s wrist. “Can you repeat that? No more kissing?”
Seokjin sits up slowly, trying hard to fight the smile tugging at his lips. “I said I didn’t say that .”
Jungkook grins. “I’m glad we cleared that up.”
They sit in silence for a moment, Jungkook grinning and shaking his feet on either side of Seokjin who’s still curled in a ball. It’s agonizing, the silence, and Seokjin fights the urge to fill it with some stupid joke that might make Jungkook rethink spending any more time on him.
“Let me take you around town tomorrow evening,” Seokjin finally says. He’s surprised by the calm, clear tone of his voice, hopes Jungkook notices how steady he seems now.
“You sure you can get away?” Jungkook asks, raising an eyebrow.
Nodding enthusiastically, Seokjin grins. “It’s fine, I know the boss.”
The faint whir of the automatic doors catches Seokjin’s attention. “Stay here,” he whispers to Jungkook before standing up. He smooths his jacket and wipes the dust off his pants, making a mental note to do a quick sweep next chance he gets.
Mr. Jeon enters, face a little red, and spots Seokjin immediately. “Seokjin,” he calls.
Seokjin nudges Jungkook with his foot and motions for him to stay on the floor. Jungkook looks up at him, nodding, his eyes wide. Seokjin steps out from behind the counter and approaches Mr. Jeon. He smiles and bows at him. “Welcome back, sir. How was your evening?”
He shakes Seokjin’s hand, his grip firm as he shakes him a bit too hard. “Fine. Did Jungkook return? I believe he came back early.” His voice is clipped, brusque.
“No sir, I don’t think so.” Seokjin steps closer, turning Mr. Jeon toward the elevator bank. He shoots a quick glance at Jungkook and nods toward the stairs. Jungkook nods in understanding. “Perhaps I missed him while I was tidying up down here? It’s been awfully quiet, and I had some things to tend to.”
“If you see him,” Mr. Jeon says before stepping into the open elevator, “do tell him to come to the room right away.”
“Will do, sir.” Seokjin nods and offers a polite, tight smile. “Enjoy the rest of your evening, sir.”
The doors close, and Seokjin whirls around quickly, relieved to see Jungkook got the hint to get a move on. If anyone can get up the stairs before the elevator reaches the fifth floor, it’s Jungkook. Walking over to the desk, Seokjin drags his hand along the counter, catching his breath for a moment.
Seokjin, man of all work and no play, has somehow managed to ask Jungkook to hang out. The pressure suddenly feels tremendous. He can’t remember the last time he went out for fun, can’t remember the last time he even had a glass of wine that wasn’t attached to some business event. The good news is that he’s got plenty of time to figure it out. He can already tell the rest of the evening will be quiet and uneventful.
The shrill ring of the phone startles him, and he gasps, quickly grabbing it. “Front desk, Seokjin speaking,” he says, trying to calm the rattle in his voice.
“Seokjin, it’s Mr. Jeon. Jungkook was in the room asleep. Thank you for keeping an eye out for him.” He sounds relieved, if not a little annoyed.
“Excellent news, sir,” Seokjin replies.
They exchange pleasantries and hang up, leaving Seokjin in the deafening silence of the lobby. He tries not to think about the empty expanse of time laid out before him. He’ll be alone all night, and morning will drag in eventually.
Leaning against the counter, he scrolls idly through his phone. He’s not sure where to take Jungkook tomorrow night. Instead, he redirects his attention and puts together an itinerary of stuff he wants to do--mostly eating. It’s been awhile since he’s had tteokbokki and kimchi pancakes. And beer. He definitely wants beer.
Jungkook looks like a healthy eater, he thinks to himself. Then again, maybe he’s one of those health nuts, the kind who sneer at fried, saucy foods or who count carbs in their beer. Eh, he’s willing to risk it, he thinks. Jungkook doesn’t have to eat, but Seokjin plans to get a good meal out of this… whatever it is he’s invited him on. So that’s it: street food and beer. Low pressure, and if it all goes to shit, he can at least go home with a full belly. Win win.
When the morning shift rolls in, Namjoon arrives, starry-eyed and cheerful, nearly giddy.
“Too much,” Seokjin groans, lifting his head off his hand. He’s been propped against his elbow for the last half hour, feeling too dead-tired to move. Namjoon buzzes about him, humming and slamming drawers, making too much noise. “Too much,” he groans again, swatting at Namjoon.
“You’re the one who wanted the night shift. This could be you--well rested and cheerful,” Namjoon teases, beginning to whistle a nonsense melody.
“I’m never cheerful,” Seokjin deadpans.
“True,” Namjoon replies. He’s moving quickly around the counter, moving papers, booting up computers. Hell, his tie is even on straight, tied in a perfect Windsor knot. “So did you figure out your plans for the day with Mr. Jeon ?”
“You mean Jungkook?”
Namjoon grins. Asshole.
“Yes,” Seokjin sighs, rubbing the heels of his hands into his eyes. He’s bleary-eyed and feeling delirious, or something close to it. “Street food and beer--”
“--good idea,” Namjoon interrupts. “Then if it sucks, you’ve at least had a good meal.” He winks and nods at Seokjin.
A flash of affection washes over Seokjin. Namjoon really does know him. “Am I that transparent?” He grins sheepishly, scratching at the back of his head.
“Yep.” Namjoon grins. “Now, if I may say, hyung, you look like dog shit. Go home and get some proper sleep. You’ll be miserable if you keep this up. I’m really worried about you.”
It’s the nicest thing Namjoon has said to him in a long time. Minus the dog shit comment. Seokjin nods reluctantly. “You’re right.” He pauses for a moment and pats his pockets for his phone and keys. “You think I should give Jungkook a call about later or…?”
Namjoon leans against the counter, arms folded. “Or you could go upstairs and talk to him face-to-face.”
“Namjoon, it’s early. He’s gotta be asleep still. I don’t even know if Mr. Jeon has left yet.” He rubs his forehead and sighs. “I’ll just call--”
“Go up there, hyung,” Namjoon says, kicking his leg at Seokjin. “I saw Mr. Jeon on my way in. He’s long gone. A morning wake-up call would be adorable. ”
Blinking, Seokjin suddenly imagines what Jungkook would look like in pajamas, bare-faced and sleepy. He can almost hear the tiny yawn he’d produce when he tries to feign that he’s awake, not at all bothered by Seokjin showing up at the ass crack of dawn to tell him he’s leaving and will see him later and do you want to exchange numbers?
“Just go ,” Namjoon says, shoving Seokjin from behind the counter. “You are getting that crazy look in your eyes. Go say bye, swap numbers or whatever, make plans, and get home and go to sleep. I think I can see wrinkles in your forehead.”
Seokjin hisses. “You’re fired.”
“Am not!” Namjoon calls.
Seokjin glances around the lobby quickly and flips him off before disappearing into an elevator.
“Hello, good morning, Jungkook. Would you like to still hang out with me this evening even though I look like a sleep-deprived troll?” Seokjin asks himself in the reflection of the elevator walls. “Or maybe you’d like to tell me to piss off and never talk to you again because who the hell knocks on a stranger’s door in the morning just to tell them they’re going home to sleep?” He leans close to the wall, his breath fogging the mirror and pinches his cheeks. Puffy. They’re so puffy and filled with all his inflated hopes and dreams. He swipes at his mouth, breathing on his hand, and grimaces. Morning breath. Not that it matters. But just in case.
The doors open and he steps off the elevator. He walks slowly toward room 503, his nerves bristling with every step. This. Is. Stupid. He turns quickly on his heels and stops when he hears the door open.
“Seokjin?” Jungkook’s voice is rough with sleep, painfully adorable in the way he seems to sputter out his name.
Cringing, Seokjin turns around, a twisted look on his face. “Jungkook, good morning. I was just…”
“Lurking outside my door?” A smirk. An early morning smirk and a cocked eyebrow. It’s too much.
“Yep. You know, just hanging out…” It’s too early to joke. But Jungkook smiles, and Seokjin feels the bundle of nerves in his chest begin to unravel a bit.
Seokjin can’t believe how good Jungkook looks--fresh-faced, no hint of sleep or pillowcase creases on his skin. His skin is dewy, his hair so fluffy and wavy. He looks so soft , and Seokjin is painfully aware of the twitch in his fingers, the desire to reach up and touch him anywhere.
“I was actually going to run down and see if I could catch you before you left for the morning. We never swapped numbers.” He leans against the open door and pulls his phone out of his pocket. “Can I get yours?”
“Sure,” Seokjin says, his brain only capable of monosyllabic words at this point. He pulls out his phone, and they swap to punch in their numbers. “Great,” he says once he has the phone back. “So I’ll text you and we can meet here.”
“Great,” Jungkook repeats. “I was just about to go for a run. Do you know of any good parks or trails?”
Seokjin laughs--an involuntary, airy laugh. “I don’t exercise,” he says, shaking his head. “But there’s a park a couple blocks north of here. Namjoon can show you on the map downstairs. He spends a lot of time outdoors.”
“Ah, Dimple Guy,” Jungkook says, a teasing smile on his lips.
“ Ugly Dimple Guy,” Seokjin corrects, feeling his ears grow warmer. “So, I was planning to take us to eat… but if you are, like, a fitness whatever --”
“--I wanna eat. For sure. The exercise offsets all the trash I eat. Drinks too?” Jungkook looks hopeful.
“Drinks too,” Seokjin confirms.
Jungkook grins. “Excellent. Well, I look forward to your text. I hope you get some rest. You look tired.” The gentle dip in his voice makes Seokjin shiver. “And if you need to cancel--”
“Nope. No canceling. I’ll be ready.” Seokjin smiles and gives a little wave. “See you in a bit.”
The morning and afternoon hours are scrubbed away and erased by the black, dreamless sleep that Seokjin falls into. He wakes refreshed, bubbling with anticipation. He showers, takes extra time in the bathroom to moisturize his face, part his hair perfectly (he’s told he has a cute forehead, and he’s confirmed that Namjoon was lying about a new wrinkle). He digs through his closet to pull out his long-forgotten non-suit clothing. He selects a pair of ripped black jeans, leather high tops, a baggy t-shirt and his favorite pink hoodie. Bora had given it to him for his birthday awhile ago, and he always remembers her fondly when he pulls on the plush sweatshirt.
When he arrives at the hotel, he’s greeted by Taehyung wolf-whistling at him, clapping eagerly. Seokjin rolls his eyes. “I already fired Namjoon today,” he jokes, “You might be next.”
“But you look so cute, hyung. I wanna squish,” Taehyung says, making grabby hands at Seokjin.
Thrashing wildly, Seokjin says, “You’ll meet your death if you do.” He swats at Taehyung and then says, kinder now, “but thanks. Been awhile since I dressed down. Forgot how much I like it.”
Taehyung walks over to him, his grin now soft, affectionate. “May I?” He reaches for a stray piece of hair that’s fallen across Seokjin’s forehead, tucking it gently back into place. “Perfect,” he sighs. “Hope you have fun tonight, hyung.”
It’s too sweet , this moment, and Seokjin can hardly stand it. “Thank you. Okay, that’s enough,” he brushes Taehyung’s hand away, his long fingers picking at the fuzz on Seokjin’s hoodie. “Stop!” he laughs.
“Okay, okay. You look great, hyung. Send me updates,” Taehyung says, resuming his spot behind the podium and luggage racks.
“Definitely not,” he says, walking away. He immediately spots Jungkook leaning against the desk, deep in conversation with Namjoon.
Sensing Seokjin’s approach, Jungkook turns, a wide grin on his face, and Seokjin feels his breath catch in his throat. Jungkook is wearing cuffed, black denim joggers, an oversized long-sleeve black shirt, and new earrings--something chunky and heavy, catching the overhead lights of the lobby. “You should’ve told me you were wearing pink. I could’ve worn mine and we’d be matching,” Jungkook says.
Seokjin tilts his head, confused. “What?”
Laughter. Jungkook’s voice lifting over Namjoon’s deep laugh, and they’re both laughing at him. It makes his ears burn and his stomach flip.
“Just teasing, hyung,” Jungkook says, his voice lowering. “You look great in pink. I’m more of an all-black kinda guy. But we complement each other well.”
“Ah, right.” Seokjin feels weird and dumb and suddenly mute, and maybe all of this was a bad idea.
“Alright, you two,” Namjoon says, clearing his throat and putting on his best Dad Voice, “have a good time tonight. No funny business. Home by eleven.”
Seokjin rolls his eyes, feeling his weirdness dissipate enough for him to speak. “Maybe while you’re here you can find your replacement, yeah?” He winks at Namjoon and pats Jungkook on the back. “Hungry?”
“Always,” Jungkook answers.
They exit together, their bodies somehow falling into synchronized steps. Seokjin tries to stare straight ahead, avoiding the laser-hot gaze of Taehyung staring them down.
“So, how was your run?” Seokjin asks, not really knowing what else to talk about. He’d rather focus on getting them to the market, food and beers in front of them, instead of awkward silence.
“Good, yeah, Namjoon sent me to a park, and I knocked out six miles and then came back to do some work. I’m ready to eat, though. This food better be worth the workout.” Jungkook grins, patting his belly, and Seokjin feels like he might melt under the heat of his stare.
“And things with your dad?” Seokjin finally chokes out.
“Let’s not,” Jungkook says, his face hardening into a frown. “Just want to have fun with you tonight.”
Seokjin nods and chews his bottom lip, decides to focus on navigating and nothing else right now. He doesn’t know what else to talk about with Jungkook. He doesn’t even know the guy. For now, food. He’ll focus on getting them food.
After a few minutes of silence, Jungkook groans, startling Seokjin. “Did I make it weird? I made it weird. That was so obnoxious of me, I’m sorry.”
To say that Seokjin found Jungkook endearing in this moment is an understatement. The empathetic relief he feels at Jungkook’s stammering fills him with delight.
“Not weird,” Seokjin says quickly. “It’s fine, really.” He smiles--a shy smile he can’t stretch any bigger, but it seems to loosen Jungkook a bit. “Let’s get some food and find something else to talk about, yeah?”
“Yeah,” Jungkook says. And for a moment, Seokjin thinks he sees the faintest pink flushing his cheeks, and he has to fight the swoon growing in his chest.
They settle into small plastic chairs at a flimsy table--one probably more suited for children--but they sit in the chairs, hunched over, slurping from their noodles.
“This is so good,” Jungkook exclaims through a mouthful of food. He puffs his breath a few times, allowing the hot noodles to cool. “I could eat another couple of cups.” He shovels in another mouthful, chewing thoughtfully. “Do you like yours, hyung?”
Hyung. The warmth that fills Seokjin is not unlike the spice filling his throat, the heat of the fresh chiles spreading through his chest. Something about the way Jungkook is hunched in his too-small chair, cheeks bulging with too-large bites, fingers deftly twirling large bundles of noodles makes Seokjin feel dizzy. He takes a long pull of his beer, letting out a refreshed ah, and smiles at Jungkook. “So good. You’ve got a good appetite.” His smile grows wider.
Jungkook leans back in his chair, stretching for a moment. He looks comically large in the tiny plastic chair. If it weren’t such a cheap little chair, Seokjin might follow the urge to crawl into Jungkook’s lap. Spreading his legs wide in the stretch, Jungkook lets out a small groan and sits up straight. “I never get to eat like this. I’m always out with my dad and our clients. Don’t know the last time I just went out for a beer with someone who wasn’t trying to get my business.”
Nodding, Seokjin says, “Yeah, I can relate.” He can’t quite match the intense eye contact of Jungkook, opting instead to stare at the tiny font on the label of his beer. He lifts it, swirling the dregs and looks up at Jungkook. “You want another?”
“Yes, please, thank you.” Jungkook reaches for his wallet, but Seokjin waves him off.
“I got this round,” he says, standing quickly.
Seokjin walks over to one of the stalls and reaches into his pocket for some cash. Things seem to be going well--the right amount of awkward, not the kind that makes Seokjin want to relocate to a frozen wasteland somewhere and change his name. He looks over his shoulder at Jungkook, surprised to find him gazing back at him. He smiles, feels his ears flush, and he turns around quickly. He wants the line to move faster, for the time he spends away from Jungkook to shrink away, but it’s a Friday, and the crowds are growing bigger. He likes the rowdy crowds of the market, appreciates the vendors shouting at passersby, the scent of kimchi and sesame oil heavy in the air.
When he first started working toward the hotel, he spent a lot of time eating out of food stalls, hoarding all his coins until he had enough to buy a proper meal. He liked the anonymity of the crowds, the comfort of eating foods that made him feel closer to home, and less like someone scraping together some kind of life all alone.
A hand on his shoulder jostles him out of the nostalgia.
Seokjin turns around quickly, breath caught in his throat when he sees Min Yoongi. Whatever color he had pooling in his ears is long gone. It’s like Seokjin has seen a ghost.
“Seokjinnie,” Yoongi says, face lighting up with a gummy smile. “I thought that was you.” He claps Seokjin on the back, shaking him a little. For once, Seokjin is glad Yoongi is not a hugger.
“H-hi, Yoongi,” Seokjin manages to say, “long time no see.” He forces a weak smile, but Yoongi doesn’t seem to notice. “What’s a guy like you doing in a place like this?” he jokes.
“My partner had to come to town for work, so I tagged along. I was hoping we would run into each other.” Yoongi chews his lip for a moment, eyebrows clenched together. He looks up and clears his throat. “Partner. Boyfriend,” he clarifies.
“Ah, well, that’s uh, great.” Seokjin doesn’t know what else to say. It’s not like he ever dated Yoongi. He opted instead to pine incessantly over him for years and not take any real action. Aside from a few cuddling and make-out sessions, they didn’t have much else between them beyond a strong friendship. Seokjin doesn’t have many regrets, but he does hate himself for never making his feelings clear, never telling Yoongi that those late-night talks, those twin-bed snuggles meant everything to him.
And now Yoongi is here, boyfriend somewhere in the vicinity, and he’s activated that regretful creature inside of Seokjin, has sent it clawing at his insides. The feeling seems overwhelming, the drag of fingernails startles him, and he realizes it’s Jungkook. Slipping his hand into Seokjin’s, Jungkook leans into his shoulder, and Jesus, is he nuzzling him right now?
“Hey babe,” Jungkook murmurs.
Babe? Seokjin is launched into orbit. Seokjin is floating away in zero gravity. Seokjin is spinning out among the stars. Seokjin is--
“Look, we’re just popping in for some take-out, but let’s get dinner sometime this week? Maybe all four of us?” Yoongi’s voice is hopeful, his eyebrows perking up with his question.
“Sounds great,” Jungkook interjects, offering a warm smile, giving Seokjin a moment to return to earth, catch his breath.
“Sure, yeah, just call me. We’ll figure something out,” Seokjin says, trying hard to ground himself in the feeling of this moment--his hand in Jungkook’s hand, his feet on the ground, his heartbeat slowing to some comfortable pace.
“Great. Nice meeting you,” Yoongi says, offering a small wave. He turns, disappearing into the crowd, and suddenly Seokjin’s knees feel like they could buckle.
Jungkook’s voice catches him. “So what was all that about? Who was that? Ex-boyfriend?”
“Not exactly,” Seokjin says softly. He can’t bring himself to turn, to face Jungkook when he’s feeling so small, so deflated. “I loved him forever ago but didn’t know what to do about it.”
Jungkook nods, surprisingly silent. “I’ve never been in love,” he says softly. He’s still got his hand intertwined with Seokjin’s, still got his head tilted onto Seokjin’s shoulder. Jungkook lets out a small sigh and lifts his head. “What’s it like?”
“Absolutely horrible,” Seokjin answers quickly. He smiles weakly and scoffs a little. “10/10 would recommend.”
Jungkook seems to sense the tension in Seokjin’s mind, and he doesn’t ask about Yoongi again. Instead, they guzzle another round of beers, both of them warming with alcohol and loosened nerves. He’s easy to talk to--playful and curious, genuinely interested in what Seokjin has to say.
When they move to another stall and huddle under its awning to protect themselves from the surprise rain, Seokjin is overcome with tenderness for Jungkook. Tenderness for this kind young man who laughs with him, offers him the last bite of a kimchi pancake, who stands a little too close to Seokjin. It feels good to laugh, to stuff himself with fried food and bubbly beer, and it feels even better to be out with someone else, to share something with someone who’s starting to feel a little less like a stranger.
“So,” Jungkook says, stabbing at a long rice cake in the cup shared between them, “you’ve got this hotel, you’re handsome, you’re single, what’s next for you?”
Seokjin frowns, running his tongue over his teeth for a moment. “Not sure. I’ve considered opening another hotel, but I don’t think I could make it work.” He sighs, his broad shoulders drooping. “I love that I have this place, I love what I’ve accomplished, but it can’t all be work, you know?” It’s starting to wear on me, and I’m lonely as hell, he wants to say. But he doesn’t.
“I know,” Jungkook says, nodding sympathetically. “I’ve watched my dad just work and work all his life, and I know he loves me and my mom, but there has to be more, right? There’s no way we’re meant to just kill ourselves working our whole lives. And for what? To provide for our family we never get to see? Doesn’t seem right.” He stuffs his mouth with tteokbokki and chews, a faint hum escaping his mouth.
Relief settles onto Seokjin. He feels lighter now, the focus of the conversation turning away from him finally. “So your dad works a lot, huh? And you work with him or…” He doesn’t want to pry, but he is curious about Jungkook, curious about the night before when he stormed back into the hotel.
“He wants me to take over the business, and soon , but I’m not cut out for it. I like graphic design, working with people to create something, but what he has in mind is closed-door meetings, trade deals, nothing with any feeling behind it.” Jungkook runs his hand through his hair, tucking his unruly curls behind his ear. The humidity of the evening has given them both some extra frizz and fluff in their hair, but Seokjin finds it so endearing on Jungkook, he doesn’t mind it. It gives him a soft, boyish look, and the contrast with his angular, manly jawline unbalances Seokjin.
“Nothing wrong with wanting to be passionate about your work,” Seokjin says tenderly. “It’s admirable to like what you do, to feel excited about it.”
The tone of his voice seems to catch Jungkook off guard. He looks up, eyes locking with Seokjin’s. His eyes seem to relax, to glimmer with something that looks like relief or understanding. “Yes, I want passion. In work, life, everything…” Jungkook says, “I just don’t know how to get out of this track my dad has for me.”
A delivery man on a motorbike passes by suddenly, splashing through a puddle. Seokjin jumps out of the way, jostling Jungkook and pressing against him. Jungkook catches him, his fingers gripping his waist for a moment before he pulls his hand away. Seokjin didn’t hate the feeling. Wants the feeling back. Doesn’t move when he probably should, chooses instead to stay nestled against Jungkook’s side. He can’t help but smile when he feels Jungkook’s arm snaking around him again, a loose hold around his waist. It makes Seokjin’s heart flutter to be so close, to feel someone pulling him closer.
“You seem passionate, hyung,” Jungkook says, his voice just barely loud enough to hear over the din of the crowds milling around the market. “But only about work. Why don’t you find it somewhere else too?”
The flutter in Seokjin’s chest erupts into something larger, something that threatens to topple him. He clears his throat and leans away, but Jungkook’s grip keeps him pulled close. “I’m not sure I know how,” Seokjin mumbles. “I was engaged--”
“--engaged!” Jungkook exclaims, pulling back to get a wider view of Seokjin’s face. “To that guy?”
“God, no,” Seokjin laughs bitterly. “Never even got further than a kiss with Yoongi. I was engaged to a woman--”
“--a woman!” Jungkook exclaims again.
Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Yes, you’ve heard of those, right?” He elbows Jungkook in the side and smiles bashfully. “After we broke that off, I focused on work, and I found I could do a lot more when I only focused on work. So I didn’t date, didn’t--”
“--have sex,” Jungkook interrupts. And he’s not wrong. Seokjin shudders at the thought of calculating his last hook-up. It’s been far too long, and he knows it will only hurt him more to pin down the exact number of months since he last got laid.
Seokjin doesn’t answer, but the flush on his face gives him away. “Right,” he says, before pursing his lips together. “So no, I don’t know the last time I hooked up with someone, the last time I went out to have fun, or anything.”
“Well,” Jungkook says, a wolfish grin appearing on his face, “I’m glad I could help with at least one of those things.” He walks his fingers up along Seokjin’s ribs, digging in for a moment to make him squirm. “I might be convinced to help with the rest of that list. I’m charitable like that.”
It’s so shameless and sexy that Seokjin can’t decide if he wants to tear into Jungkook this very second or jump in front of the next motorbike he sees.
Jungkook takes the lead and leans in, planting a deep kiss on Seokjin’s surprised mouth, his tongue eager and pushing into him. He tastes like beer and gochujang: spicy and sweet and fizzy. It’s a sexy kiss--all humid and breathy, the angle just right for Seokjin to lean into Jungkook’s chest, lift his chin for a deeper kiss. Nothing like the kiss on the couch the night before. Something else entirely, something tenacious and hot, a simmer turned raging boil.
Lightheaded, Seokjin pulls away, placing his palms flat against Jungkook’s chest. His firm chest. His distracting, firm, wide chest. Shaking his head, he laughs at himself and says, “I’m sorry. It’s just been a long time for me.”
“Don’t be sorry,” Jungkook says gently, pulling the curtain of Seokjin’s bangs out of his eyes. “Am I coming on too strong? I don’t know what it is about you, hyung. I’m kinda all over the place whenever I’m with you.”
Whenever I’m with you. All four times we’ve interacted, Seokjin thinks. But he feels it too--that same curiosity, the unmistakable pull he feels whenever he’s in Jungkook’s presence.
“It’s been two days,” Seokjin whispers, trying hard to focus on his hands pressed to Jungkook’s chest, and not the heavy dark gaze fixed on him. He imagines Jungkook’s eyes burning holes through his sweatshirt, and the feeling makes him shiver. “We don’t even really know each other.”
“True,” Jungkook concedes, reaching up to wrap his fingers around Seokjin’s wrists. “So small,” he murmurs, smiling in surprise. “But we could get to know each other.” He reaches one hand to lift Seokjin’s chin. The unmistakable blush on his face makes Seokjin’s breath catch in his throat. “I’d like to get to know you. Would that be okay?”
Swallowing the lump in his throat, Seokjin nods slowly. “Okay,” he says. “Okay.”
“Besides,” Jungkook laughs, “I think we have a double date soon, so we should probably get comfortable before then, right?” Groaning, Seokjin tries to pull his hands away, but Jungkook’s grip is strong. His smile is no longer sweet, but something darker, sexier now. He looks like he wants to eat Seokjin alive, and Seokjin’s not sure he’d try to fight him if he wanted to take a bite.
“God, how did we even get roped into this? You sure you wanna do this?” Seokjin relaxes his hands, lets them rest against the tension of Jungkook’s hands.
“Only if you want to. But I do want to. Want to see who’s living inside your head, who made you fall in love.” The sincerity of Jungkook’s eyes shocks Seokjin. “You fascinate me, hyung.”
“You gotta stop calling me that,” Seokjin whispers, feeling his resolve melt away. “You don’t know what it does to me.”
“I think I do,” Jungkook says, a wide grin on his face.
“On second thought,” Seokjin murmurs, pulling his hands from Jungkook’s grip, sliding them up his neck, “call me whatever you want.” He pulls Jungkook closer and leans in for another kiss, the press of their lips together feeling electrifying, slow-motion white heat washing over him. Seokjin lets out a small moan, too engrossed in the feeling of Jungkook’s damp, soft hair twisting under his touch to be embarrassed.
Jungkook wraps his arms around Seokjin’s waist and pulls him closer. They kiss like this for a moment, and Seokjin feels like he’s in some 90s music video--he’s glowing under string-lights, the rain is falling gently, glossy puddles are illuminated by street lamps. If he could step outside of himself and see this moment, he thinks he’d see something beautiful. He knows he’d see something beautiful--Jungkook’s hand on the small of his back, two rosy-cheeked young men, kissing quietly and tenderly, like they’ve unlocked some secret they didn’t know they were holding onto until now.
It’s enough to make Seokjin want to cry. He’s been so lonely.
“How lonely?” Jungkook whispers, his lips just barely grazing Seokjin’s neck.
“So lonely,” Seokjin replies in a whisper. He’s not even embarrassed that he can’t control his mind, that the only thing his lips can do is kiss Jungkook’s plush skin over and over.
“Do you wanna get outta here?” Jungkook asks, his voice low and breathless, face flushed.
Seokjin nods eagerly, but then frowns. “It’s really been a long time for me…”
“We don’t have to do anything at all,” Jungkook says, rubbing his hands across Seokjin’s shoulders. “So broad,” he murmurs with a smile. “Seriously, we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. But it might be nice to go somewhere warm and really relax?”
“That sounds nice,” Seokjin says smiling in return. “Really nice.”
It wasn’t until he flicked on the lights that Seokjin realized how strange his apartment must look to another person. It’s plain --no sense of decor or personality. He has a beige couch in a beige room with beige curtains. Jungkook surveys the living room and nods politely. “Did you just move in?”
Seokjin grimaces, tossing his keys on the coffee table. “Nope. Been a couple years. But I spend so much time at work…”
“How’s the bedroom?” Jungkook asks, walking past the sofa and down the short hallway. “Yo, what? Seriously?” He’s laughing, and Seokjin can already imagine what he’s looking at, and he dreads the thought of facing him. “Seokin, seriously, what is this?”
Dragging himself slowly into the room, Seokjin leans against the door frame, arms folded in defense. “I don’t know what you're talking about.”
“This!” Jungkook gestures wildly before launching himself onto the bed. “This is the biggest, pinkest bed I have ever seen. Oh my god, look at all the pillows.”
Seokjin shrugs, trying hard to fight the smile tugging at his cheeks. “My fiancee picked it out.”
“Bullshit,” Jungkook challenges, sitting up from the pile of throw pillows.
“Okay, I picked them out. I really like pink, okay? It soothes me.” It is me, he thinks, feeling the flush in his ears activate.
“Do you sleep on this every night?” Jungkook asks, waving his arms and legs like he’s making a snow angel. “It’s so comfortable. I’d never get out of bed.”
Seokjin laughs and approaches shyly, pausing at the edge of the bed. Running his fingers along the seam of the comforter, he shakes his head. “I wish I spent more time in bed. I’m always working. Usually I’m sleeping at my desk in my office or on the sofa out there.”
“Well come try it out, hyung,” Jungkook says, patting the space beside him. “It’s very comfortable, very soothing,” he teases.
It’s an image Seokjin wants to remember forever: the dark silhouette of Jungkook’s baggy clothes, his black, shining hair all fluffed and frizzed from the rain, his porcelain skin seeming to glow against the rose and mauve bed linens.
“I won’t bite,” Jungkook says in a breathy, cheesy voice that makes Seokjin snort.
Seokjin crawls up from the bottom of the bed and rests on his back next to Jungkook. He lay there, feeling stiff and awkward, unsure of what to do with his hands, so he clasps them across his stomach.
“You look like a corpse,” Jungkook jokes, poking at Seokjin’s ribcage.
He laughs, swatting at Jungkook. “I kinda feel like one.” He sighs, letting his eyes flutter closed. “But I feel like I’m coming back to life.” It’s cheesy, he knows it, but he can’t help himself. The feeling of someone so beautiful, so sweet lying next to him on his ridiculous pink, plush bed overwhelms him. It feels so strange, so wonderful to be in his bedroom with another person, even if all they do is lay there in silence. He feels content just to have the company.
But Jungkook’s fingers tracing a faint line along Seokjin’s neck into his thick hair overwhelms him further. What the hell is a guy like him doing in this bed? Touching him? Making him feel so comfortable, so desired?
Seokjin’s eyes are closed, but he can hear the smile in Jungkook’s gentle, low voice.
“Why don’t you get some sleep? You look so tired.” His hands comb through Seokjin’s hair over and over, the sensation feeling like small waves lapping against his skin.
“Don’t go,” Seokjin whispers.
He hears the rustle of the sheets, feels the shift in the mattress, and then Jungkook’s breath, warm and barely-there, against his forehead. He kisses Seokjin’s forehead and pauses, smiling against his smooth skin. “I’m not going anywhere.”
The morning sunlight spills into the bedroom, warming Seokjin and drawing him out of his sleep. He sits up, yawning loudly, and rubs his eyes. There’s no sign of Jungkook--no hint that he ever laid in the same bed as Seokjin. The emptiness of the room makes him feel instantly sad. It’s part of the reason why he doesn’t sleep in his bedroom; the big, empty feeling of the space seems to mirror his own empty feeling too perfectly.
The fragrance of coffee drifts into the room, and the scent makes Seokjin’s heart flutter. Jungkook wasn’t a dream. Seokjin climbs out of bed, legs feeling stiff in his jeans. He was so exhausted he didn’t bother changing. He shuffles out into the kitchen, but it’s empty. He tries to quell the disappointment building in his chest; what did he expect? He fell asleep. Why would Jungkook stay all night?
A large pink box on the counter catches his eye, so he walks over to it. A small note is laid on top: Morning sleepy head. I had to run to a meeting with Dad. Enjoy your breakfast. Text me. <3
Seokjin can’t help but smile at the crooked, wobbly heart scribbled in the corner of the note. He flips open the lid on the box and is greeted with a half dozen donuts, each one glistening with sugary pink glazes and bright sprinkles.
He can almost imagine Jungkook in the bakery: face pressed to the glass, fogging it slightly as he picked out the sweetest, pinkest donuts he could find. The thought warms Seokjin all over. It’s been awhile since someone thought to do something this kind for him. Is this really where he’s landed in his life? Working so hard all the time that he can’t even remember the last time he let someone do something kind for him?
He reaches for a donut and takes a large bite. Sprinkles drop onto the counter, and he licks his sticky fingers, pressing them into the stray sprinkles. The donut is impossibly sweet--straight sugar and strawberries. He spots his phone on the counter from the night before and grabs it to snap a photo. He puckers his lips, holding the donut close to his face and takes a picture. Thank you for breakfast. He sends it.
Almost immediately, Jungkook replies: morning, hyung :D
Maybe it’s the sugar or the remnants of last night’s beer, but the message makes him swoon with dizziness and excitement. Last night wasn’t a dream. There really is something brewing between them.
Humming to himself, Seokjin pours a cup of coffee and sips at it slowly as he scrolls through his phone. He’s surprised to see he doesn’t have any missed calls, not even from Namjoon; he sees a few messages but will check them later. “Ah, shit,” he mutters to himself, realizing he’s late for work, he’s beyond late. He dials Namjoon and waits.
“Morning, boss,” Namjoon answers. He sounds chipper and bright, not at all mad that Seokjin has yet to show his face at work.
“Namjoon, I’m so sorry--”
“--let me stop you right there, hyung,” Namjoon says. “As the assistant manager, I’d like to inform you that you have been placed on an indefinite leave.”
“What?” Seokjin nearly chokes on his coffee.
Namjoon laughs--his voice too loud, his mouth too close to the phone. “Kidding. But look, Seokjin, it’s clear to everyone you need to take a break. I worked out the schedule, we’ve got plenty of coverage. You should just take some time and enjoy yourself.” He pauses. “And Jungkookie.”
“Jungkookie? What are you talking about?” Seokjin sets down his mug and tries to steady himself against the counter. He hasn’t quite shaken off the sleep, and Namjoon’s not making any sense.
“Yeah, Jungkookie. That’s what you called him in your sleep last night. So I’m told.” Seokjin can picture the smug smile on Namjoon’s face.
Seokjin sighs. “And what about when he checks out and leaves? Then what do I do with all my free time? He’s scheduled to leave tomorrow.”
“So you need Jungkook to enjoy your time off?” Namjoon asks.
“No, that’s not--”
“--well, Mr. Jeon is scheduled to leave tomorrow, but Jungkookie extended his stay.” Namjoon seems to be flipping through the logbook. “So. Like I said, you’re on indefinite leave. Try to enjoy it, hyung.”
“Yeah.” There’s a fumble on the phone, and then a breathless voice. “Yeah, hyung.” Taehyung has somehow grabbed the phone from Namjoon. “We’re all worried about you, and we want you to get some rest. And get some.”
“Some what?” Seokjin asks flatly. He knows he should be grateful for the break, but the sudden change in schedule has him reeling.
Taehyung giggles. “You know, get some. ” Namjoon groans in the background, and there’s a fumbling for the phone.
“Do whatever you want with the time off, hyung, but don’t come back until we say so, okay?” Namjoon’s voice is softer, kinder now. “Seriously. Take care of yourself, Seokjin.”
The concern in Namjoon’s voice makes Seokjin’s stomach twist. He knows he’s right, that he should take a break from the hotel, focus on himself, focus on having fun or relaxing or whatever . It feels strange to imagine the emptiness of days stretching ahead of him, but he knows he should give in, let Namjoon take care of him. He spots the donuts on the counter, remembering the rush of fondness he felt for the simple act of kindness.
“Okay,” he says finally, “you’re right. I’ll take a break.”
“Have fun,” Namjoon says. “You deserve it.”
They hang up, and Seokjin eats another donut, relishing the sugar sweetness coating his tongue. He flicks through his phone again to read his messages. His breath catches in his throat when he sees a few messages from Yoongi.
hey sorry for early message
dinner tonight? we leave tomorrow.
thought we’d be here longer sorry for late notice
Seokjin had hoped he was just being polite, that maybe he didn’t want to really meet up for dinner. He knows it’s sick, maybe a little angsty, but he wants to see who Yoongi ended up with. He just wants to know he’s happy, wants to see it for himself. Seokjin knows that time has passed, but he can’t help himself. If he can make himself hurt just a little more, he might finally feel some relief, find a way to move on completely.
Then another sick feeling washes over him. Maybe Yoongi thinks the same thing. He did see Jungkook nestle up to Seokjin in the market, heard the way he called him “babe.” Maybe Yoongi wants to see what Seokjin’s up to now, and who he ended up with. Seokjin knows it’s wrong, but he’s glad Yoongi invited Jungkook too. He’s glad he can have someone handsome and outgoing alongside him, someone who radiates warmth and good humor. Surely if someone like him could be with someone like Seokjin , that means Seokjin is doing okay, better than okay. Right?
“What am I doing?” Seokjin mutters, rubbing his forehead. He’s not trying to win Yoongi over, not trying to convince him to leave his boyfriend for him. Why drag Jungkook into this? Maybe he’ll just go to dinner alone. Just sit there alone and watch Yoongi and his boyfriend be cuddly and flirty, and Seokjin will just eat his food all alone and sip his drink quietly as Yoongi and his boyfriend ignore him entirely. It’ll be fine. Everything will be fine.
Taking a deep breath, Seokjin slowly punches out his reply: dinner sounds great. Our old spot @ 8?
Yoongi replies immediately with a string of thumbs up emojis. So it’s settled. Seokjin is going on a real double date with a pretend boyfriend who’s actually a real stranger to eat with a man he’s loved for years but never did anything about and meet his boyfriend. Cool cool cool.
Seokjin attempted to collect Jungkook from the hotel lobby, but Taehyung guards the lobby doors, feet spread and planted firmly, arms folded across his chest. It’s comical how hard he’s trying to block the entry, but he looks like a toy soldier, and his boxy grin just makes him look childish and easy to topple. It makes Seokjin laugh to see how seriously he’s taking the task of keeping Seokjin from work.
“Sorry, hyung, boss says you can’t come in until your leave is over,” Taehyung says, speaking in a dramatically low voice. “Boss’s orders.”
Seokjin rolls his eyes but laughs anyway. “Whatever. Let Namjoon play boss for awhile. He’ll get tired of it.”
When the automatic doors open, Jungkook steps out: a vision in a sharp navy suit and crisp white shirt. He’s tugging off his tie, balling it up to stuff in his pocket. Seokjin swallows hard. He knows he’s ogling Jungkook; he can’t help how his eyes trace the outline of the suit and how it falls over every inch of Jungkook’s body.
“I know, I know, I’m sorry,” he groans, gesturing at his suit. “I wanted to change but our meeting ran late, and I didn’t have time.” He unbuttons his collar, exposing a splash of skin on his collarbone. “But at least I look good, right? Hyung can be proud of his arm candy.” He grins, and it’s a smile Seokjin didn’t know he could miss already. It’s been less than 24 hours since he last saw him. What is this feeling?
Seokjin nods, still feeling a bit speechless. If Yoongi had been an evil ex-lover, this is how Seokjin would want to arrive at the restaurant: arm-in-arm with a man in an expensive suit with glossy, perfectly messy hair, his eyes lit up like he can’t see anything but Seokjin. But there’s no ill-will, no ex-anything between Yoongi and Seokjin. And the excessive sexiness radiating off Jungkook makes Seokjin a bit dizzy.
“So cute!” Taehyung laughs, the loud shutter of his camera phone grabbing their attention. He holds the phone close to his face, squinting hard at the photo. “Keeping this forever,” he jokes, waving the phone at Seokjin and Jungkook.
“Delete that. You’ll break the internet with it,” Seokjin deadpans.
Jungkook laughs and points at Taehyung. “Send that to me, man.” Taehyung laughs in reply, and Jungkook turns to Seokjin. “Ready?”
“Ready,” he says, though he’s not sure if he’ll be ready to face Yoongi and his boyfriend.
They walk in silence for a few blocks, Jungkook seeming to buzz with energy while Seokjin feels his draining.
“Nervous?” Jungkook asks, nudging Seokjin’s elbow with his own.
“Yeah.” Seokjin’s voice is small, flat. “I know he’s just being nice, and he would never invite us to dinner to do anything mean, I just… I don’t know. Somehow it’s worse? Like I’d almost rather him have ulterior motives?”
“Hmm.” Jungkook nods, chewing his bottom lip. “So what happened with you two, anyway?”
“Nothing,” Seokjin sighs. “That’s the thing. We never dated, I never told him how I felt. We would occasionally kiss and cuddle, but I couldn’t bring myself to admit my feelings, and he never seemed to feel the same. So nothing. No hookups, no breakups, nothing.”
“Unrequited love, huh?” Jungkook’s pace slows. Jungkook’s fingers accidentally brushing against Seokjin’s makes Seokjin feel weightless.
“I guess you could say that.” Seokjin stops walking for a moment, and Jungkook pauses. “This is so weird that you’re with me for this, I mean we just met, but I really appreciate you coming along.” He looks down at his hands, picking nervously at his fingers. He doesn’t want to be emotional, doesn’t want to let on that he’s nervous and grateful for Jungkook’s company, but he feels like his nervous energy is going to spill out if he doesn’t let it out.
Jungkook takes his hand and holds it for a moment, thumbing at his palm. “Not weird. Happy to do it. Maybe it was supposed to happen this way. I was in the right place at the right time.”
“And you’re staying for awhile?” Seokjin asks, his voice breaking a bit.
“I’m staying,” he says softly. “Just wanted to see this where this might go. I have to go home eventually, but I wanted to spend more time with you. Is that weird?”
“Not weird,” Seokjin says, smiling a bit. Maybe weird. Maybe fast. But a welcome distraction to the daily grind of working nonstop.
“I’m just a friend joining you for dinner with your other friend. Okay?” Jungkook keeps rubbing Seokjin’s hand, and the lazy circles seem to soothe him.
Seokjin smiles wider now, lifting his eyes to meet Jungkook’s. “Okay.” He nods and swallows the lump in his throat. “Okay. You’re right. Just friends at dinner.”
And when the four men sit at the table, it feels like friendship. Almost.
When they arrived at the restaurant, Yoongi and his boyfriend were already waiting by the hostess stand. Yoongi leaned against his partner, a taller young man, his arm draped around his shoulders.
“Hey guys,” Yoongi said casually. He stood up straighter and tapped his boyfriend’s chest. “Hoseok, this is Seokjin.”
Hoseok grinned--a wide, toothy smile, eyes crinkling at the edges--and reached over for an enthusiastic handshake. “Seokjin, it’s nice to meet you. I’ve heard so much about you.”
“It’s all lies,” Seokjin deadpanned, following with a too-loud, stilted laugh.
Hoseok laughed politely then turned his attention to Jungkook. “Hi, I’m Hoseok.”
“Sorry,” Seokjin says shyly, “this is Jungkook,” he said, gesturing toward him.
“Jungkook, hey, sorry I didn’t get your name last time,” Yoongi said warmly, reaching for a handshake. “I’m Yoongi.”
“Great to meet you,” Jungkook answered, shaking his hand.
Mercifully, the waitress greeted them and guided them toward their table.
And now, they’re seated at a round table, each one in full view of the other. They order a round of beer and sip in silence for a bit. Jungkook finally breaks the ice.
“So Yoongi, Hoseok, what brings you to town?” Jungkook asks, finishing off his beer. He signals to the waitress for a refill before turning his attention back to the pair. Somehow, he must sense that Seokjin feels too awkward to speak just yet, that he can’t remember how to string words together to form a coherent question. He’s so comfortable filling silences, speaking to people.
“I’m in town for work and Yoongi tagged along,” Hoseok answers.
It’s all background noise to Seokjin. He lets his mind wander as they talk, swirling his beer bottle idly. Everyone seems so comfortable, and the conversation flows endlessly, and Seokjin wonders for a moment if he’s gone invisible. The small talk is agonizing. He doesn’t know where to jump in, what to say. He’s not in love with Yoongi, but a small part of him still hurts to think of what could have been. And then Jungkook is beside him, effervescent, effortlessly carrying the conversation, volleying between Yoongi and Hoseok.
Seokjin is grateful for his company, grateful that he’s not a third wheel, but he may as well not even be here. He can’t keep his focus on the conversation, can’t keep himself from wanting to rush out into the cool night air to gasp for breath. He doesn’t want to be here anymore. The feeling makes him itch, but he can’t do anything but nod along, fingers grazing the cold glass to keep him grounded.
“Can you guys excuse me for a second? I’ll be right back.” Jungkook stands up from the table, tossing his napkin down. He shoots a glance at Seokjin that he can’t quite read.
Seokjin clears his throat and turns his attention back to Yoongi and Hoseok. “So…”
“So he’s cute,” Hoseok says, grinning. He’s gregarious, impossibly charming and smiley. He’s perfect for Yoongi’s quiet sarcasm, his subdued personality. Seokjin can imagine how he might draw out Yoongi’s silly side, his soft, lovey-dovey side he keeps locked away. It’s both a relief and a shock to see it so clearly.
“Jungkook?” Seokjin asks.
Yoongi laughs. “Yeah, dummy. Jungkook. You two look great together. How’d you find him?”
Ears. Burning. Seokjin gulps and looks down at the table. How to answer this question? His phone buzzes in his pocket, and he pulls it out, confused to see Jungkook’s name pop up. “One sec,” Seokjin says, answering the phone. “Hello?”
“Just repeat after me,” Jungkook whispers hurriedly.
“Okay…” Seokjin says, puzzled.
“There’s a hotel emergency,” Jungkook says slowly.
“A hotel emergency?” Seokjin asks, turning to Yoongi and mouthing sorry .
“You have to leave right now,” Jungkook says.
“Right now?” Seokjin asks. Yoongi and Hoseok nod understandingly.
“Yes, now hang up, say goodbye and meet me out front.” Jungkook hangs up.
“I’ll see you in a minute,” Seokjin replies, hanging up the phone. “Guys, I’m so sorry--”
“It’s fine,” Yoongi says with a smile. “We understand. Work comes first.” Ouch.
“I’m sorry, it really is an emergency.” Seokjin stands up and fishes around in his pockets for some cash. “For the beer,” he says, dropping a few bills on the table. “I’ll text you, I guess?”
“Yeah, later,” Yoongi says. “See ya.”
It’s a quick, inelegant escape, but it gets Seokjin out the door and into the fresh air. Jungkook meets him outside the restaurant and lets out a dramatic sigh. “I’m sorry, I had to get you out of there, hyung. You looked miserable.”
Seokjin drops his head and stares at the ground. He didn’t mean to be so obvious. “I’m sorry, I got in my head, and then I couldn’t--”
“Don’t be sorry,” Jungkook says quickly, lifting Seokjin’s chin so they’re looking right in the eye. “It isn’t the right time for this, and that’s okay. They seem nice, but I don’t want to be with them. I want to be with you. Can we go somewhere else?”
“My place?” Seokjin asks, hopeful.
“Whatever you want,” Jungkook says softly.
“Can we…” Seokjin is too embarrassed to say what he wants. Instead, he pulls Jungkook closer by the lapel, “be alone?”
“Whatever you want,” Jungkook repeats. He licks his lips but seems to hesitate. The pause makes Seokjin’s heart swell.
He leans in, kissing Jungkook softly. The plush, slick feeling of Jungkook’s lips surprises him. Seokjin pushes into him harder, his lips separating slightly. Jungkook responds, kissing back, opening his mouth a bit. They share a breath, this moment, and pull apart slowly. “I want you.” He runs his fingers over the buttons on Jungkook’s jacket and stares down at them, feeling a bit too embarrassed, too needy to make eye contact again.
“Why don’t we grab some food, head to your place, and just hang out. No pressure.” Jungkook smiles shyly, watching Seokjin’s fingers moving along the front of his jacket.
Seokjin’s heart sinks. “You don’t want me?”
Jungkook laughs, loud enough to startle Seokjin, to command his eyes upward. He smiles a bit wider and places his hands on Seokjin’s hand to still his movements. “I just want you to be relaxed and comfortable, no matter what happens. I don’t want you to feel like you have to do anything or be anything you don’t want.” His eyes are so earnest, so wide and bright. “Hyung, if you think I don’t want you, then you haven’t been paying attention.”
What they planned to do: grab some beer and take out, walk home with ice cream, and sit on the couch eating and talking.
What actually happened: they stopped at a convenience store for beer, Seokjin feeling drunk on something , hands unable to resist curling around Jungkook’s arm as they bumbled through the aisles. They settled on a six pack of beer and a bag of gummy worms for Seokjin, neither of them feeling hungry for food anymore.
Back at Seokjin’s place, they settle onto the couch, Seokjin pulling his legs underneath him. Jungkook has tossed his coat aside, and his sleeves are rolled to his elbows. The wrinkles on the front of his shirt don’t seem to bother him, and somehow, this endears him more to Seokjin. He’s so effortless and relaxed in everything he does; he makes Seokjin feel a bit envious of his charm and ease.
Jungkook fishes into the bag and pulls out a gummy worm, smacking as he slurps it. “So, you wanna tell me what happened back there?” He stretches out on the couch, his feet spread on either side of Seokjin. “At dinner?” He reaches for his beer off the coffee table and takes a long pull. Seokjin tries to ignore the bob of his Adam’s apple, the long, smooth column of his neck.
Seokjin frowns, focusing his attention on picking out the right gummy worm. “I dunno. It just felt weird, and I just don’t need to be reminded of how lonely I am.”
“It seems like you’ve made up your mind that you’re destined to be lonely forever,” Jungkook says quietly. He picks at the label on his beer, peeling it back by the corner. “Sorry If I’m overstepping, it just seems like you’ve decided that’s who you are, and that’s it.”
“I do not--” Seokjin opens his mouth to protest, but shoves some gummies into his mouth. Chewing furiously, he tries to think of the right response. What is the right response? “Maybe I do,” he says quietly.
Jungkook nudges his thigh with his foot. “Why don’t you let people like you? You are so perfectly likable, hyung.” His smile is so genuine, it pains Seokjin a little to meet his gaze.
The familiar warmth of embarrassment brings a flush to Seokjin’s face. It’s not like he doesn’t know this--he knows he has friends, has family, people who care about him. Something about a stranger seeing through him somehow unravels him.
“Does it have to do with your engagement or…” Jungkook doesn’t finish his question, doesn’t know how to read the expression washing over Seokjin’s face.
“What? No. We both knew it wouldn’t work for us. I was pining after Yoongi, then I wasn’t, then we were engaged, and then we weren't. Then I was working, and that’s all I have now.” He drops his head onto the sofa, groaning into the pillow cushions. He forces a reply, but his words are swallowed into the fabric and stuffing of the sofa.
“Excuse me sir, can you repeat that? I don’t speak angst,” Jungkook teases, poking at Seokjin with his toe. He hasn’t stopped smiling, hasn’t stopped looking at Seokjin with that look, that undeniable look of warmth and fondness usually reserved for someone special.
“I guess it was easier to just focus on work and not have to deal with dating or putting myself out there. I saw what happened when I did nothing,” Seokjin says, holding out his hand, “and then I saw what happened when I did something,” he holds out his other hand. “So between Yoongi and my fiancee, I somehow moved backwards and forwards, but just canceled each one out. It seemed easier to stay in the same place,” he says, sounding a bit defeated, dropping his hands into his lap. “And now I have my hotel, a place to live, money to send to my parents. It’s enough.”
“Don’t you deserve more than enough?” Jungkook asks quietly. His eyes are focused so sharply on Seokjin’s face; they seem to burn right through him. There’s no bullshitting this guy, Seokjin thinks.
“Deserve?” Seokjin breaks his gaze and reaches for his beer. He takes a sip, wincing at the bitterness, and sets it back on the table. “I don’t know what I deserve.”
Jungkook leans forward, turning over onto his stomach to crawl closer to Seokjin. He pulls at Seokjin’s legs, pulling them out in front of him. “Hyung, Seokjin,” he says gently, fingers walking along the seam of Seokjin’s pants, “I think you deserve to feel taken care of, to feel good about yourself, to forget about work. Be selfish for once.”
The way Jungkook is looking up at Seokjin, his dark eyes wide and bright, makes his chest hurt. He cups Jungkook’s chin with both hands and thumbs at his cheeks. “You are awfully nice to a stranger. You seem awfully wise for a kid.” He smiles weakly. It doesn’t feel real--like at any moment Jungkook will change his mind and leave Seokjin alone and reeling in his empty apartment.
“I’m not a kid,” Jungkook answers, his voice low and raspy. He leans into Seokjin’s hands and presses a kiss into his palm. He pulls himself up so he’s seated upright, and he pulls Seokjin’s legs into his lap. “And you still think I’m a stranger?” He drapes his arm along the back of the couch, fingertips grazing Seokjin’s shoulder.
“You don’t even really know me…”
“Because you won’t let me,” Jungkook answers sharply. “You’ve got these walls up, I just don’t get why you can’t let them down. I don’t know how to tell you any other way that I’m interested, that I want to get to know you. What do I have to do?”
He’s right, Seokjin thinks. While he was building his hotel, he was building walls around himself. He found it easier to lose himself in work, to tell himself that he’d get to the other side eventually, and then he could focus on the other parts of life. Maybe this is it, the other side, and he’s been in it for awhile, too stubborn to see beyond the barriers he’s put up. He has no one to blame but himself.
“You’re in your head again, hyung,” Jungkook says, his voice soft now. He leans forward, tracing his finger along Seokjin’s jawline. “Let me show you how I feel so you don’t have to think so much.” He lifts Seokjin’s chin and leans in, breath hot and sweet against Seokjin’s neck. He presses a warm kiss on his jaw, just under his ear. The sensation makes Seokjin shudder.
“I’ve always, uh, been a visual learner,” Seokjin says, trying hard to make himself focus on the feeling of Jungkook’s tender touch and not his own racing heart.
“Mmhmm,” Jungkook hums, pressing kisses down Seokjin’s throat, each one feeling like a hot coal igniting. “Can you stay with me, hyung, let me know what feels good? Let me make you feel good.”
Seokjin swallows and nods, feeling his eyelids flutter shut for a moment. “All of it,” he murmurs, letting Jungkook move his head as he kisses along his neck.
Jungkook laughs, his smile pressed against Seokjin’s cheek. “You’re easy to please, that’s good news for me.” He cups Seokjin’s face in his hands and looks at him directly. “You are charming, and smart, and handsome, and hard-working,” he pauses to plant a small kiss on Seokjin’s mouth, “and the fact that you don’t have someone around to worship you 24/7 is a tragedy.”
“And you want to worship me?” Seokjin asks, fighting the urge to make a joke, to break the spell Jungkook seems to be casting over him.
“Absolutely,” Jungkook answers.
Their next kiss is cosmic--hot and dark, dizzying in how hard they’re pushing against one another, tongues mingling, breath caught between them, Seokjin’s eyelids closed tight against a sea of stars. Jungkook climbs into Seokjin’s lap, lips still pressed together in a sloppy, desperate kiss, and he settles into straddling him. Seokjin’s hands move down Jungkook’s chest, settling on his waist.
The feeling of his body against someone else’s body fills Seokjin with a heady desire, a feeling he’d almost forgotten. Jungkook’s rolling his hips down into Seokjin, and the friction makes them both hard. Their breath is ragged as Jungkook moves up and down, pressing his hips hard into Seokjin. He’s got one hand deep in Seokjin’s hair, the other gripping his shoulder.
It’s hot and heavy, and the small moan Jungkook releases sends a shiver down Seokjin’s spine. He pulls away from their kiss, chest heaving, eyes trying to focus for a moment. “Jungkook,” he gasps, “It’s been so long, I don’t--”
“Shh,” Jungkook says, pressing his finger to Seokjin’s lips. “I’m worshipping you, don’t interrupt.” His smile is dark, mischievous, and it feels like he’s pouring his energy into Seokjin with each and every kiss. Feeling brave, Seokjin flicks his tongue out, lapping at Jungkook’s finger. Jungkook raises an eyebrow and grins greedily, pressing his finger into Seokjin’s mouth. “You like that, hyung?”
“God,” Seokjin groans, surprising himself with the involuntary way he can’t help but suck at Jungkook’s finger. “You are dangerous,” he mutters, digging his fingers deep into Jungkook’s waist.
“You have no idea,” Jungkook says, pulling his finger from Seokjin’s mouth, moving in to press his own mouth down. This kiss is deeper, lustful and potent, their tongues dipping into each others’ mouths, moans exchanged between them.
Seokjin thrusts his hips up, surprising Jungkook, and he relishes the moment, proud of himself for somehow disrupting the confident way Jungkook writhes against him. “Bedroom?” He meant it to sound like a command, but it comes out like a question.
“And worship you among all those pink pillows? Absolutely,” Jungkook says, sliding off of Seokjin’s lap. He holds out his hand for Seokjin, threading their fingers together as they walk into the bedroom. “Tell me what you want, hyung,” Jungkook says. His voice is firm, but gentle, and he begins to unbutton his shirt and untuck it from his pants.
“Definitely that,” Seokjin stammers. “Keep doing that.”
Jungkook laughs loudly, shuddering as he giggles and steps out of his pants. It’s impossible how good he looks, Seokjin thinks. Cruel, almost, the way his abs are so defined, the sharp cut of his hip bones prominent. The cut of his black briefs leaves little to the imagination, and Seokjin knows that he must be utterly inflamed right now, pink from head to toe as his blush washes over him.
“Now what?” Jungkook asks. He’s not even a tiny bit embarrassed to be on display. He’s standing with his hands on his hips, feet planted like he’s ready to tackle Seokjin, and he’s beautiful--all smooth skin and lean muscle. And now he’s asking for what to do next.
“Do you need help deciding?” Jungkook asks, stepping closer.
Seokjin’s mouth is dry. No words could escape it even if he could form them. He nods, letting Jungkook step closer. He tugs at the hem of Seokjin’s sweater and pulls it up, Seokjin obeying wordlessly as Jungkook peels off his sweater.
“Seokjin, your shoulders,” Jungkook muses, running his hands along Seokjin’s bare skin. A ripple of goosebumps follows behind his fingertips.
Seokjin shivers even though every part of his body seems to be on fire, aching and smoldering. He’s conscious enough to feel Jungkook’s hands at his waist, gently pulling at the button and zipper.
“Your tiny waist, hyung,” Jungkook murmurs, pulling at the bottom of his jeans, allowing him to step out. He stands up and gives Seokjin a once-over, eyes moving slowly to trace every part of him. “You are magnificent, hyung,” he whispers, raking his fingers down his chest. “You hide it all in your baggy clothes, you know?”
“Yeah,” Seokjin manages to sputter. He closes his eyes, imagining Jungkook’s touch is leaving a trail of wildfire along his body, his senses tingling and sensitive from his touch.
“Do you want to lie down?” Jungkook asks. Seokjin nods, and together they climb onto the bed, nestling themselves among all the pillows. “How does it feel?” He asks Seokjin, brushing his bangs out of his eyes.
“Good,” Seokjin answers. “You feel good.” He turns to face Jungkook who’s settled on his side, and he reaches out, running his hands along Jungkook’s chest. “You make me feel good,” he says quietly.
“See? Isn’t this nice? Letting someone make you feel good for once?” Jungkook asks, running his hand through Seokjin’s hair, caressing the curve of his ear. He presses a kiss into Seokjin’s forehead and smiles.
“It does,” Seokjin agrees, smiling. He feels lighter now, like whatever he’d been clenching in his chest is finally starting to relax.
Jungkook props himself up on his elbow and looks down at Seokjin. “Do you want to keep going?” Seokjin nods, settling onto his back, and he pulls at Jungkook, pulling him so he’s lying on top. The weight of Jungkook’s body feels good, like it’s anchoring him to reality. Jungkook dips his head, kissing Seokjin’s collarbone, then his neck, then his ear. “I want you to feel good, hyung,” he whispers, his feathery breath sending shivers down Seokjin’s whole body.
Seokjin wraps his arms around Jungkook’s waist, pulling him closer. He’s craving more now that he can feel Jungkook’s hard against him. His own hard-on is growing, and he can feel something activate inside him that’s been dormant for too long. He lets Jungkook guide their kissing--greedy and fast, lips slick with spit, tongues lapping against one another.
When Jungkook’s palm presses against the bulge in Seokjin’s underwear, he gasps. The feeling is white-hot, electrifying. His hips buck against Jungkook’s palm, and Jungkook grins into their kiss. “Ah, feel good, hyung?” he teases, his teeth tugging at Seokjin’s bottom lip.
“Yes,” Seokjin answers, fighting back the whine building in his chest.
Jungkook reaches into Seokjin’s briefs, pulling out his cock. He’s hard already, too sensitive, but the feeling of Jungkook’s long fingers wrapped around him makes Seokjin’s voice break. The whiny, breathless way he reacts makes Jungkook grin--it’s dark and hungry, and Seokjin just gives himself over to the feeling.
Seokjin’s nails catch on Jungkook’s wrist, stopping him for a moment. “It’s been a long time,” he whispers, trying hard not to feel embarrassed, but he hasn’t quite squashed the doubt creeping up from somewhere dark inside of himself.
Jungkook kisses him gently now on the lips, one hand on his cock, the other tracing light circles on his chest. “We’ve got all night, hyung. Just let go.”
Seokjin shudders and nods, trying to calm himself, though his heart is racing. “I’m trying.”
Jungkook lets go of his cock and brings his palm to his face; he locks eyes with Seokjin and drags the flat of his tongue along his palm, leaving a slick trail of saliva. “Now you,” he says, holding his hand to Seokjin’s face.
Eyes trained on Jungkook, Seokjin laps his tongue along his palm and watches as Jungkook brings it back to his cock, gripping firmly and pumping it up and down. The sensation makes Seokjin’s toes curl, and he arches his back, moaning suddenly.
“That’s it, let me know how it feels, hyung,” Jungkook murmurs. His voice is husky and thick, bossy in a way that makes Seokjin’s eyes roll back. Jungkook pumps him harder with a tighter grip, moving agonizingly slow, and Seokjin can’t help but to thrust into his hand. “That’s it, hyung,” Jungkook says.
Seokjin lets go of the sheet he’s been clenching and threads his fingers through Jungkook’s long hair, eliciting a hum of approval from him. “So good,” Seokjin groans, lifting his hips to push deeper into Jungkook’s hot, slick palm. He manages to unclench his eyes and look down at Jungkook who’s staring back at him, doe eyes wide with amusement, his tongue poking out of his mouth as he works with all his effort to jerk him off.
Jungkook leans over, the tip of his tongue flicking out and lapping gently at the head of Seokjin’s cock. He’s so oversensitive, it sends him over the edge, and before he can warn Jungkook, he’s coming hard in his hand, his body shuddering and twitching.
“I’m sorry,” Seokjin stammers, his chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath. “You felt so good, I couldn’t last--”
“Don’t apologize,” Jungkook says, bringing his hand to his face. He inspects the glistening cum on his fingers and keeps his eyes fixed on Seokjin as he licks along his wrist, sucking at each finger slowly, licking himself clean.
It’s filthy and delicious and Seokjin just might cum again just watching Jungkook’s raw, flushed lips pucker around his fingers as he licks every last drop of Seokjin off his skin.
“I’m not done with you yet, hyung,” Jungkook finally says. He crawls back up to Seokjin and plants a deep, wet kiss on his mouth. “This was just the warm up.”
When Seokjin catches his breath, he feels something primal ignited deep inside him. His stomach feels like a pool of hot lava, his nerves tingling and sensitive. He claws at Jungkook, pulling him closer into a deep kiss, rocking his hips against him.
“Tell me what you want,” Jungkook murmurs in between kisses. He’s moving his hips in lazy, gentle circles, the friction just enough to make Seokjin feel himself growing harder again.
What he wants? To be split open, to get turned inside out, torn apart, and pieced back together again. He wants hands in his hair, hands in his mouth, sweat and salt, Jungkook’s hot mouth, the breathless whines growing louder between them, for the aching in his chest to subside, for the white-hot ember burning inside him to finally explode. He wants it all.
Instead, he says, “You.” He presses a shy kiss into Jungkook’s mouth, but Jungkook breaks the kiss.
“I think you want something else,” he says, thumbing at Seokjin’s flushed, plush lips. “There’s something you aren’t asking for.” His eyes are steady, dark and glistening, burning right through Seokjin.
He blushes, a hot wave of blood rushing into his cheeks. “I want you,” he says again, his voice a bit louder now. He clears his throat. “I want you to fuck me,” he whispers. He can imagine Namjoon’s shocked face, the way his eyes widen and his jaw drops whenever Seokjin lets out the rare f-bomb. He tries to banish the thought, tries to keep his eyes steadily locked with Jungkook’s.
Jungkook grins--a wide, toothy, devilish grin--and it makes Seokjin’s cheeks burn hotter. “You sure, hyung? We don’t have--”
“--I want to,” Seokjin interrupts, pressing a hasty kiss on Jungkook’s mouth. “Just… go slow?”
Jungkook’s smile is softer now, and he nods, pressing a flutter of kisses onto Seokjin’s face. “Of course. Do you have any lube? We should be careful and make sure you’re ready.” He sits up, the outline of his hard cock so clear in his tight black briefs. Seokjin nods, wordlessly, and gestures at the bedside table. Jungkook reaches over him and opens the drawer, fishing out the bottle. “Do you want to stay on your back?”
Seokjin nods, licking his lips. “Yes, I want to see you.” His voice sounds so pitiful, so whiny, it draws a sweet smile from Jungkook.
“Of course,” he says softly, leaning down to kiss Seokjin’s cheek. He shimmies down the bed and lays down next to Seokjin, his face level with his waist. “Tell me if it hurts or if it’s too much, okay?” The concern on his face is so endearing, it makes Seokjin want to cry. Instead, he bites his lip and nods.
The cool lube makes him hiss, and Jungkook puts his hand on Seokjin’s stomach to steady him. “I’m not pushing in yet,” he murmurs, dragging his fingertips back and forth between his ass cheeks. He circles Seokjin’s rim, pressing delicately, just working to coat him with the lube. His other hand slides up Seokjin’s stomach, fingertips reaching for a nipple, pinching lightly as he kisses Seokjin’s inner thigh.
Seokjin moans--maybe too loudly, with too much need, but he doesn’t care. His eyes roll back into his head, and he reaches one hand down to run his hands through Jungkook’s hair.
“That’s it, hyung, let me make you feel good,” he murmurs, kissing the tender underside of Seokjin’s thigh. “Can you spread for me?” Seokjin obeys, spreading his legs and letting them fall open. Jungkook presses into his rim with a bit more pressure, eyes flicking upward to see Seokjin’s reaction. “This okay?”
“Yes,” Seokjin whispers, not opening his eyes. He braces himself and inhales sharply when he feels Jungkook push a finger into him. He lets out a moan, and he can feel it working over his entire body, curling his toes and tightening around his muscles.
It’s a stretch and burn Seokjin hasn’t felt in awhile. It’s been ages since he last fingered himself, and the dildo he bought long ago is still in its box at the bottom of his nightstand. Aside from the occasional jerking off, Seokjin can’t remember the last time he felt this good, can’t remember the last time he felt this good with someone else. Jungkook is gentle and meticulous, patient as he makes Seokjin feel comfortable.
Jungkook pushes deeper, and his entire finger is inside, enveloped by Seokjin’s warm muscles. He slowly pulls in and out, stretching the delicate skin of his rim. “So tight, Jinnie, so pretty.” Jungkook’s voice is breathy and slow, all desire and awe. Jinnie. It makes Seokjin arch his back, moaning a little. “You like that?”
“No one ever calls me that,” Seokjin huffs, trying hard to concentrate on the feeling of Jungkook’s warm breath against his skin, the stretch and fullness building inside of him.
“Do you want me to stop?” Jungkook asks, slowing his probing.
“Call me whatever you want,” he replies, fingernails raking along Jungkook’s scalp.
Jungkook laughs, pressing another kiss into Seokjin’s thigh. “I’m going to add another if you’re ready. Jinnie.”
Seokjin nods, the hesitation burning off, and something more desperate, more hungry filling him. “God, yes,” he mutters.
Jungkook pulls out slowly and drizzles more lube onto Seokjin’s hole and pours it all over his hands. He wipes it along Seokjin’s rim and presses two fingertips into his rim, pushing slowly, knuckle by knuckle, pausing when he feels Seokjin tense. “Too much?”
“So good,” Seokjin replies. He tries to open his eyes, can’t quite fight the feeling of dizziness washing over him, his body no longer feeling like his own as he watches Jungkook work so carefully to make him feel good.
“Good,” Jungkook grins. He pushes his fingers all the way in and pauses, letting Seokjin release the breath he’s been holding. He pushes in and out, dragging his fingers slowly against the rim, stretching it. “You’re so tight, hyung, I can’t wait to feel my cock inside you.”
Filthy. Absolutely filthy. Seokjin loves it. “Tell me more,” he says, lifting his hips off the bed, pushing himself down onto Jungkook’s hand.
“You like that?” He’s grinning now, pumping his fingers a bit faster now. “You gonna take my cock? Let me fuck you until you forget your own name?”
“Jesus,” Seokjin groans, slowing his hips. “You kiss your mother with that filthy mouth?”
Jungkook leans forward, fingers still deep in Seokjin and kisses him roughly, all teeth and tongue. “I’ll show you filthy.” He stares at Seokjin and says gruffly, “Open your eyes, Jinnie.” He pumps hard and slow into him. “Think you can take my cock? You’re so tight, I don’t think you can handle it.”
“So disrespectful to your hyung,” Seokjin says. Something dark is unfolding in him, and he feels his body relaxing, and his self-doubt dissipating under Jungkook’s gaze. “Give me another,” he says, clenching his muscles around Jungkook’s fingers, making him gasp.
“So needy, I fucking love it,” Jungkook answers. He kisses Seokjin on the mouth again, his tongue lingering to lap along his bottom lip. He lowers himself and pulls his hand out slowly. He drizzles more lube onto his hands and scoots down. He pushes his three fingers into Seokjin, slowly, agonizingly slow, and thrusts. He licks the underside of Seokjin’s cock, eliciting a strangled moan from him. He grins up at him and turns his attention back to his fingers. He pushes in slowly then drags out quickly, pulling at the soft, tender skin of his rim. “So good, I’m gonna wreck you,” he murmurs, eyes focused on his hands disappearing and reappearing from inside Seokjin.
Twisting his fingers, he pushes a bit deeper, grazing at Seokjin’s prostate, and he laughs when Seokjin’s whines grow louder. “You ready, Jinnie?” He asks, slowing his pace.
Seokjin nods and swallows the lump in his throat. “Y-yeah,” he stammers, his voice feeling weak and breaths shallow.
Jungkook pulls out of him slowly and wipes his fingers on his own thigh. “Condoms?”
“Nightstand,” Seokjin murmurs. He feels tingly and weak with the dull sting of his stretched asshole.
Jungkook pulls off his underwear and tosses them aside, then he tears open the foil packet and rolls the condom down his long shaft. He’s thicker than Seokjin imagined, and for a moment, he feels a slight flash of panic. It’s been so long. He tries to shake the thought and instead focus on the way Jungkook is looking at him--hungry and soft, somehow delicate and ravenous all at once. “How do you want it, hyung?” he asks quietly, stroking himself. “Do you want to stay on your back?”
“Can I be on top?” Seokjin asks, surprising himself with the quickness of his answer.
“God, yes,” Jungkook answers, flopping onto his back.
Seokjin straddles him hesitantly and waits. Jungkook puts his hands on his hips and guides Seokjin as he lowers himself onto his cock, wincing when his head breaches the rim. Seokjin moves slowly, taking only a small amount at a time. “Are you in?” he asks, trying to see.
“Halfway,” Jungkook murmurs. His muscles are tense, and Seokjin can see he’s restraining himself. His grip on Seokjin’s hips is strong, and the veins in his arms are pulsing from the tension.
“God, you’re huge,” Seokjin grunts, pushing slowly to continue lowering himself.
Jungkook grins, “you can say that again, hyung.”
Seokjin rolls his eyes but can’t help but smile. He bites his lip and takes a deep breath, pushing himself down harder, slower, until he finally bottoms out. He folds forward against Jungkook’s chest, his own chest heaving as he struggles to breathe.
“You okay?” Jungkook asks, kissing his ear. His arms wrap around Seokjin’s chest, clasping him to his own. “Let’s go slow.”
Seokjin nods against him, breathing hard into his neck. He tries to relax, to give in to the slight pain, knowing it will pass sooner if he lets go of the tightness drawn inside him.
“Slow,” Jungkook whispers, kissing Seokjin’s neck. He thrusts slowly into Seokjin and continues mouthing at his neck, his tongue licking along his jaw.
Slowly, Seokjin sits up, leaning back slightly, and placing his palms on Jungkook’s lower abdomen. He rolls his hips slightly, his head dropping back as he finds a slow rhythm as Jungkook continues thrusting.
“God, you look so good, Jinnie,” Jungkook murmurs. When Seokjin looks down, he’s surprised to see Jungkook’s wide eyes staring back at him, his eyebrows furrowed in concentration as he grips his hips and thrusts slowly into him. He reaches a hand for Seokjin’s cock; he’s fully hard now, the tip of his cock slick with pre-cum. “Does this feel good?”
“Yes,” Seokjin huffs, bouncing himself a bit faster now, giving himself over to the faster pace of Jungkook’s hips driving up into him. “So good.” He feels too far away, and he wants to feel Jungkook’s mouth on his, to feel their bodies pressed into one another. He leans down, pressing his sweaty chest into Jungkooks, and they stay this way for a few minutes, breathing heavily, rocking into one another, their mouths moving across the other’s face and neck and shoulders.
They fuck slowly, their bodies rolling in sync with one another, Jungkook pushing hard into Seokjin. It’s slow and sensual, and Seokjin’s body feels like soft clay, melting under Jungkook’s touch, turning into something soft and beautiful. There’s no rush to get off--just a desire to feel good, to let this warm feeling last between them. Seokjin licks along Jungkook’s ear, sighing into his neck. His forehead glistens with sweat, and he can feel the sweat along Jungkook’s hairline.
Jungkook runs his hand through Seokjin’s hair, his hand settling on the back of his head, his other hand gripping his ass, fingernails digging into his soft flesh. “No rush,” he pants, “no rush.” He drives a bit harder, pulling out slowly, and continuing his slow thrusting. “You feel so good.” He licks along Seokjin’s neck, the slow drag of his tongue sending shivers down Seokjin’s back.
He could stay like this forever, Seokjin thinks. He could stay folded in half, clinging to Jungkook, his muscles tightening around his cock, hands threading through sweaty hair, breaths ragged and sweet, forever. The friction of their stomachs on his cock sparks the heat building in his stomach, and he knows he’s going to cum soon. “I’m close,” he whispers into Jungkook’s mouth. He kisses him, pushing his tongue deep into his mouth, moaning when Jungkook bites at him.
Jungkook thrusts harder, grazing Seokjin’s prostate, and he whimpers, feeling his body tighten. “You feel so good, hyung,” he grunts, picking up the pace of his thrusts. He wraps his arms around Seokjin and pushes himself up so he’s seated, Seokjin straddling him and wrapping his weak, exhausted legs around his waist.
Seokjin moans, dropping his head onto Jungkook’s shoulder. Jungkook’s hand reaches into Seokjin’s hair, grabbing a fistful as he lifts his head. He kisses him roughly, holding his mouth against his as he thrusts harder. Seokjin’s body is slack, limp like a doll in his arms, and he lets himself go, lets Jungkook control the pace, pushing harder and faster into him. He clings to Jungkook, fingernails digging into his skin so hard Jungkook lets out a yelp and a shudder. “Sorry,” Seokjin murmurs, kissing his shoulder.
“Don’t stop,” Jungkook demands, his pace slowing and his thrusts becoming more erratic. “I’m gonna cum, hyung,” he groans. He thrusts a few more times and finally his body shakes and his grip on Seokjin’s waist slackens. “Fuck,” he groans, his forehead dropping onto Seokjin’s shoulder. He reaches between them, gripping Seokjin’s cock, and he lifts his head, biting his bottom lip. “Are you gonna cum for me, hyung?”
Seokjin tries to lift his head, but he’s exhausted, his muscles feeling like rubber. He hisses when Jungkook’s hand tightens around him, bucking into his hand.
“Come on, Jinnie, you’re so pretty when you cum,” he says, licking at Seokjin’s lips. His hand is moving quickly, grip tight on Seokjin’s sensitive cock, and the feeling is too much. He doesn’t last long, his cum spurting into Jungkook’s hand, splattering between them. “That’s it, so pretty,” Jungkook purrs, milking the last of his orgasm. Seokjin’s moan is guttural and weak, and he digs his fingernails into Jungkook’s back as the ripples of sensation wash over him.
They fall backwards, and Seokjin pulls off of Jungkook slowly, rolling onto his back. They lay in silence for a few minutes, their breaths slowing finally. Seokjin exhales loudly. “That was--”
“Amazing,” Jungkook murmurs, rolling to face Seokjin. “You’re amazing, Jinnie.”
Seokjin drifts in and out of sleep, vaguely aware that Jungkook has been rustling beside him, wiping him with a warm towel, covering him with blankets, snuggling next to him. He wakes, finally, feeling overheated by the sun pouring through the bedroom window, and Jungkook’s body pressed against his, arm draped lazily across Seokjin’s torso. He’s like a furnace, skin flushed and warm against Seokjin’s bare skin. He likes this feeling--tangled among sheets and limbs, the room warmed by sunlight and silence.
His phone buzzes on the nightstand, and Seokjin scrambles to grab it before it wakes Jungkook. He opens it to find several messages from Yoongi. He glances at Jungkook sleeping soundly, his face burrowed into the pink pillows, breathing heavily. He’s surprised to find several messages from Yoongi. As he’s reading they pop up in quick succession.
We don’t leave for a few hours. Can we talk?
last night was weird
are u mad?
hyung, i don’t want to leave without talking
i only have an hour. i’ll be at our old cafe in 15.
Seokjin sighs, rubbing his forehead. He knows he left too abruptly the night before, and it must have been so obvious he was just trying to escape the awkward scene. He owes Yoongi an apology, at least. He looks down at Jungkook and feels his chest swell. How can he leave him?
He hesitates, unsure of how to respond to Yoongi. He wants to go, knows he should, but he doesn’t want this quiet moment to end. He types out a message declining, but deletes it.
Jungkook’s eyes flutter, and he opens them slowly, a sleepy smile on his face. “Morning, Jinnie.” The soft, mumbly way he talks makes Seokjin’s heart ache.
“Morning,” he answers, smiling down at him. Seokjin brushes the hair out of Jungkook’s face. “Did you sleep okay?”
“Mmhmm,” he answers, snuggling closer to Seokjin. “You?”
“Pretty sure I was resurrected last night,” Seokjin says with a small laugh. “I feel like a new man.”
“Good,” Jungkook says, pressing a kiss into Seokjin’s side. He scoots closer, laying his head on Seokjin’s chest. “Who’s on the phone?”
Seokjin frowns and sighs, dropping his phone into his lap. “Yoongi. He’s leaving soon and wants to talk. I feel like such an asshole about last night.”
“Go talk to him,” Jungkook says, “I’m sorry I kidnapped you last night.”
Running his hands through Jungkook’s hair, Seokjin scoffs lightly. “I was a willing hostage.” He wants to cling to this moment. It already feels like it’s slipping away, drifting off into distant memory, and he wants it to last longer. “I should go, shouldn’t I?”
“I think you both need it,” Jungkook says softly. “Can you do me a favor, though?”
“Anything,” Seokjin answers quickly.
“If this is going to change things with us, can you just let me down easy?” He pauses. “And fast?” He looks up at Seokjin, his large, doe eyes glassy and sullen. It hurts.
“Oh, you sweet, sweetheart,” Seokjin murmurs, his voice breaking. He tugs at Jungkook, pulling him up so he can wrap his arms around his neck. He kisses Jungkook desperately, his breath shaky. “Nothing will change.”
It was hard to pull himself out of bed, but Seokjin eventually slid out of bed, already feeling cold and sad to leave Jungkook behind. He showered, wincing slightly when he discovered the marks left on his body by Jungkook’s fingernails. He shivered in spite of the hot water, delighting in the remnants of a night spent together. He dressed quickly, hurrying back into the bedroom to kiss Jungkook again--deep and slow and urgent--and he hurried to the coffee shop nearby.
Seokjin pauses outside the door, heart pounding when he spots Yoongi through the window, hunched over a notebook, scribbling furiously. It’s an image he’s familiar with, an image he burned into his brain, and he loved it. He’s always loved the way Yoongi looked when he was deep in thought, scribbling lyrics and ideas for his next song. And there he is--all sunlit and busy, golden shadows splashing across his face. He’s as beautiful as ever.
Seokjin sighs. He can’t just stand here forever. He takes a deep breath, steels himself, and walks into the cafe, hovering awkwardly at the table. “Yoongi,” he murmurs, afraid that his voice might break, that something might give him away.
Yoongi holds up a finger and continues scribbling before closing his notebook. “Sorry, just had to finish this chord progression I thought of. It’s gonna be great.” He smiles. “Seokjinnie.”
His ears flush, and he returns the smile, sitting down across from Yoongi. “I’m sorry about last night,” he says quickly. “It was shitty and--”
“Yeah, what was that? Did I do something wrong?” Yoongi asks. He takes a sip from his coffee mug and stares intently at Seokjin.
“What? No. You didn’t do anything.” Seokjin hangs his head. “It’s all me.” He fidgets with his fingers and chews his lip, unable to bring himself to look at Yoongi.
“Hyung,” Yoongi says softly, placing his hand on Seokjin’s, stopping him from picking at his cuticles again. “You can talk to me. What’s going on? Are we not friends anymore?”
This makes Seokjin look up immediately. “We’re friends,” he whispers.
Yoongi’s face softens and he pulls back, wrapping his hands around his mug. “So what is it then?”
“Don’t make me say it,” Seokjin sighs. He can feel his face growing hotter, the tips of his ears burning furiously. He imagines himself bursting into flame, disappearing into smoke, vanishing from this very moment, but it’s no use. Yoongi’s gaze keeps him anchored to the present scene.
“Say it,” Yoongi says flatly. He’s unemotional, cool and unaffected. Seokjin’s seen him like this countless times; it’s his default emotion.
“How can you not know? Yoongi, I was in love with you all through school…” Seokjin’s on the verge of exasperated tears, but the confession suddenly makes him feel lighter.
Yoongi smiles, and Seokjin can’t tell if it’s pity or affection, or something else, but it makes his stomach turn to knots. “Jin-hyung,” he murmurs. He reaches his hand out again, holding his palm open for Seokjin’s hand. “That was so long ago. Are you sure?”
“I’m sure,” Seokjin whispers, putting his hand in Yoongi’s. He swallows and nods, clearing his throat. “That time has passed, and I’m not, like yearning for you, but I guess I never got over the feelings? Just sort of clung to them in my loneliness?”
“Is this what happened with Bora?” Yoongi asks.
“No, that just wasn’t what either of us needed or wanted.” Seokjin’s hand feels warm against Yoongi’s cool palm. “I just kept coming back to this idea of you and me together--”
Yoongi interrupts, surprised, “But you’ve got Jungkook now.”
“Yeah, but it’s not like that…”
“Not like that ? Are you kidding? Your chemistry is off the charts. I’ve never seen you look so… I don’t know, smitten or whatever. And the way he looks at you? Jesus, Jin, if you can’t see it, you’re blind.” Yoongi tilts his head, squinting as if trying to make out some blurry message hovering over Seokjin’s head. “You say you’re not yearning or whatever ,” he says with air quotes, “so why the weirdness? What was last night about?”
“I guess I’ve just been feeling so lonely with work? And when I look back on when I felt good and not lonely, it was with you. And I should’ve acted on it but that moment is long gone.” Seokjin pauses, chewing his lip for a moment. “And I’m not even trying to get you back because I didn’t lose you, and I’m not trying to win you over now because--”
“--because Jungkook,” Yoongi says firmly. “Jin, hyung, I don’t know what you’re clinging to, but let it go. And give in to whatever you’ve got with Jungkook. I’ve known you long enough to say this.” He pauses for dramatic effect. “But get out of your fucking head and see what’s right in front of you.” His voice is airy, like he could laugh at any second, and somehow, it relaxes Seokjin.
“You’re right,” he murmurs, nodding in agreement. “That’s how I missed out on taking a chance with you, after all.”
Yoongi smiles, his eyes squinting hard. “You never had a chance, hyung,” he laughs, “I’m out of your league.”
Seokjin can’t help but smirk back at him. “Sure,” he laughs. He sighs, shaking his head. “I think I really did love you, Yoongi,” he says gently.
“But it’s different now,” Yoongi says. “I have Hoseok.”
“Who seems wonderful by the way,” Seokjin says. And he means it. “He seems so charming and warm and perfect--”
“--for my cold, dead heart,” Yoongi jokes. He lets out a loud laugh, his gummy, wide smile still on his face. “You seem to have found a good guy, hyung. I hope you let it play out and enjoy it a bit. When’s the last time you got laid?”
The crimson blush washing over Seokjin’s face answers for him.
“You dog,” Yoongi teases. “How was it?”
“Amazing,” Seokjin answers. “He really makes me stay in the moment and feel everything.” He smiles, feeling his heart swell. “I guess I really like him.”
“He must be great if he’s willing to whisk you away from the century’s most awkward double date,” Yoongi says, downing the rest of his coffee. He sets down his mug with a laugh. “That was really the worst. I hope we can try again sometime? Now that we’ve cleared this up?”
Seokjin nods, smiling. “Yeah, I’d like that. I’m really sorry, Yoongi. I just got caught up in thinking about how things used to be with us--”
“--but now you’ve got Jungkook, and you should probably go let him know that I’m not a threat to him, even though my muscles are way bigger than his.” He pretends to flex and laughs quietly as he slips on his jacket.
Joking Yoongi is Seokjin’s favorite Yoongi. He beams. “I’ll let him know.”
Yoongi stands, pausing for a moment. His eyes are filmy with tears and he nods, biting his lip. “I’m glad you’re happy, Jin. If anyone deserves it, it’s you.” He clears his throat and laughs. “Fuck, I’m getting all cheesy. Go see your boy-toy. I need to get going.”
Seokjin stands quickly, awkwardly maneuvering around the table to hug Yoongi. He pretends to struggle but melts into Seokjin’s arms, pressing his face into his shoulder. “Thank you for everything. And I’m sorry again.”
“Don’t mention it,” Yoongi mumbles into his shoulder. “Alright,” he says, pulling away, “off you go, you big softie. I’ll text you later.”
“Later,” Seokjin says. Yoongi waves and leaves the cafe, leaving Seokjin standing at the table. He feels lighter somehow, like a weight has been lifted. If he could see into his heart, he imagines it as an empty space, something that had been filled with boxes of regrets and what-ifs, but now, it’s been cleared out. He has so much room inside of it, and he only wants to fill it with one thing: Jungkook.
“God, you’re a vision,” Seokjin sighs, leaning against the door frame.
Jungkook looks up, startled. He grins when he realizes Seokjin’s come home. He’s nestled among the pillows reading over a collection of papers scattered across the bed. He looks impossibly soft in an oversized white t-shirt, his hair fluffy and damp from a recent shower, large glasses perched on his nose. “You’re back, Jinnie,” he coos. He grins and reaches out to Seokjin. “Come here.”
Seokjin comes into the room and peels off his sweater and steps out of his jeans so he’s in his undershirt and boxers. He hurries over to the bed, sliding on top of the papers.
“No, stop!” Jungkook whines, laughing as he reaches for the papers. “I just got these from the hotel and finally got them sorted. Stop!”
Seokjin plants himself face down on the bed, arms outstretched around Jungkook’s waist, and he doesn’t budge. “You said come here,” he mumbles into the bedspread.
Jungkook laughs, pawing at Seokjin. “Let me clean up first.” He digs under Seokjin and pulls out the papers, gathering them together into a messy stack. He leans over, dropping them onto the bedside table. “You’re back.”
Seokjin rolls over, nestling his head in Jungkook’s lap. “I’m back.” He smiles, staring up at Jungkook. He closes his eyes when Jungkook’s fingers thread through his hair, combing his bangs out of his face.
“How did it go?” Jungkook asks. There’s a hint of fear in his voice, and it makes Seokjin’s heart ache ever so slightly.
“I told him my feelings, and then he told me we’re a cute couple. I couldn’t help but agree.” He opens his eyes, and he’s met with Jungkook’s smiling face hovering over his.
“So we’re a couple?” He asks, cocking an eyebrow.
“We’re whatever you want to be,” Seokjin answers. He sits up to face Jungkook, leaning forward on his hands. He kisses him softly, his eyelashes fluttering against Jungkook’s. “Whatever you want,” he murmurs, mouth still pressed against his. He pushes him onto his back, and Seokjin settles on top of Jungkook.
Wrapping his arms around Seokjin, Jungkook grins, pressing kisses all over his face. “I want to be whatever this is.”
Seokjin rolls his hips gently against Jungkook’s, and he looks down between them, then up again with a grin. “Hard, that’s for sure.”
“Hyung!” Jungkook groans.
“You said whatever this is!” Seokjin laughs. He presses his mouth against Jungkook’s, surprised when his tongue pushes in, and he kisses him deeper. He feels bolder now, somehow free of the hesitation that held him back before. All he wants is to cover Jungkook in kisses, feel his body against his own, hands roaming all over, pulling hair, tongues pressed deep in one another’s mouth.
Jungkook slides his hands under Seokjin’s shirt, raking his nails down his smooth skin, his mouth pressing hungry kisses into Seokjin, teeth tugging at his bottom lip. “I want it all,” he pants, “I want you.”
sorry the update was slow this week! super busy at school :)
I think I'm going to wrap this one up soon, but I'm dreaming up a series for this to be part of, don't worry :D
Seokjin’s eyes roll back in his head as he arches his back, pushing himself back against Jungkook’s hips. The feeling of Jungkook’s fingers tangled in his thick mop of hair has him seeing stars, breath catching as Jungkook pulls him closer, licking along his neck. “You like that, hyung?” Jungkook pants, pounding into Seokjin at a relentless pace.
“Yes, yes,” Seokjin huffs, hand stroking himself. “You feel so good,” he says, nearly breathless from the rhythm of Jungkook driving deep into him. His wrists are tired from holding up his body, and his thighs feel trembly and weak, even as he kneels on the mattress. Jungkook’s grip on his hips is firm, and each thrust and slap of his hips into Seokjin has him whimpering.
The afternoon stretched long into the evening, the two of them tangled and panting and fucking as the sun went down. It’s a test of Seokjin’s stamina, but Jungkook doesn’t seem to tire, never seems to wear out, no matter how many times they change positions, no matter how many times he collapses with orgasm. He’s hungry for Seokjin, eager to please him, make him shudder and cry out in pleasure. Seokjin’s never felt so… desired.
“Jinnie, you’re so sexy,” Jungkook huffs, his voice low and gravely. “Are you gonna cum again for me?”
Swallowing hard, Seokjin nods. His mouth is dry, and his eyes glisten with tears; he’s on the edge of another orgasm, on the brink of spilling over once again, but he’s so tired . He tries to keep upright, tries to lean back into Jungkook’s chest, but he feels rubbery and loose, like he’s nothing but soft clay.
Jungkook can sense him growing weaker, and he slows his pace, pausing for a moment. “So tired, hyung,” he murmurs, brushing the sweaty hair off Seokjin’s neck. He blows lightly, his gentle breath sending ripples of shivers down Seokjin’s spine. He kisses Seokjin’s shoulder and hugs him for a moment, his muscular arms clasped tight around Seokjin’s broad, sweaty chest. Jungkook pulls out of Seokjin slowly, the wet tip of his sheathed cock bobbing against Seokjin’s ass. “Lay down,” he whispers, pressing another kiss into his shoulder.
Seokjin obeys, falling onto his side, letting out a heavy sigh. His eyes flutter shut, and he’s dazed and flushed, lips pulling into a sleepy, lopsided grin. “You’re not done with me yet, are you?” He tries to swat at Jungkook, but Jungkook catches his hand.
“I love seeing you like this,” Jungkook murmurs, kissing Seokjin’s palm. “You’re so relaxed and blissed out,” he says before kissing down Seokjin’s arm. “You feel so good, I don’t ever want to stop.”
“Mmm,” Seokjin murmurs, nodding with his eyes closed. He loves the feeling of Jungkook’s mouth on his body, the delicate way his lips brush over his skin, like he’s being so careful not to leave a mark. “Feels good,” he murmurs. He’s far away now, voice drifting into some empty space, his nerves returning to normal, breathing calming.
Jungkook drags his lips along Seokjin’s arm, leaves a trail of kisses along his shoulders, drags his tongue up Seokjin’s neck, then nibbles at his earlobe. “God, I just wanna devour you.” He slides on top of Seokjin, rocking his hips slightly, and reaches down to pull off the condom. He tosses it in the trash can by the bed and pulls himself closer to Seokjin.
They lay like this for a quiet moment--Jungkook’s breath slowing and matching the calm pace of Seokjin’s chest as it rises and falls with each breath. Eventually, Seokjin reaches up, threading his fingers lazily into Jungkook’s hair, and he pulls him into a kiss. Their mouths are soft and warm, lips raw from an afternoon of kissing and biting, tongues sensitive.
Seokjin rolls his hips, delighting in the feeling of Jungkook’s slick cock rubbing against his own. Jungkook lets out a small whimper, and Seokjin grins, breaking the kiss. “Does hyung make you feel good, Jungkookie?”
“Always,” Jungkook replies, leaning in for another kiss. He cups his hands around Seokjin’s face, holding him for a kiss, his tongue pushing deep into his mouth.
This. This is what Seokjin has always longed for--the comfortable heat of his body pressed against another, the tender ache in his hips, greedy kisses and hands all over him. In this moment, somehow all his past loneliness feels worth it--like some great price he’s paid just to end up here now, body writhing against Jungkook, pretty words murmured between them.
It seems impossible to think they hadn’t known each other a few days ago, that Seokjin might be somewhere else, right now, probably working. He suddenly feels so overwhelmed, he thinks he might burst. Jungkook notices the shift in his expression, the sheen in his eyes.
“What’s wrong, Jinnie?” Jungkook asks, worried. He brushes his thumb under Seokjin’s eyes, wiping away the tears brimming.
Seokjin clears his throat, shaking his head quickly. “Nothing. I’m just…”
The expectant look on Jungkook’s face shatters Seokjin. Jungkook’s dark, doe-like eyes are wide, shining with his own tears, his eyebrows furrowed in concern. “Just what?” he whispers.
“Happy,” Seokjin answers, laughing as he feels tears streaming down his cheek. “I’ve waited so long for someone like you.” He laughs again and leans forward, wiping his tear-stained cheeks on Jungkook’s shoulder. “I’m being so cheesy, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry. I like cheesy.” Jungkook chuckles and kisses the top of Seokjin’s head. “I like you. ”
“So you’re leaving soon,” Seokjin says softly, tracing his fingers along the chiseled groove of Jungkook’s bicep. “And then what?”
Jungkook shrugs and smiles shyly. “Whatever you want,” he says warmly. “I can move here… I can visit often…” He brushes Seokjin’s hair away from his forehead and leans in, kissing him softly. “I didn’t go into this thinking it would be anything, I dunno, serious , but I’m in it now, Seokjin. Just tell me what you want.”
“You’d stay? For me?” Seokjin tries to hide the need in his voice, but he feels his nerves rising, a slight panic in his chest. “I couldn’t ask you—”
“--you could,” Jungkook interrupts. “And I would.”
“What about your dad…” The euphoria is wearing off, and now Seokjin can’t help but think of the cold reality awaiting them when they finally climb out of bed. “Your business.”
Jungkook laughs, shaking his head. “Not my business. It’s my dad’s. I could do something else. Just tell me what you want.”
“I’m scared,” Seokjin says, averting his eyes. He doesn’t like putting himself out there, verbalizing his hope. The crash would be too brutal.
“Me too,” Jungkook whispers, lifting Seokjin’s chin so their eyes meet. “But maybe that means it’s worth a shot? Look how good we are together.” He smiles--a big, beaming, toothy smile that makes his eyes crinkle.
Seokjin can’t help but smile in return. The hope in Jungkook’s eyes looks like enough for the both of them--like his hope alone could squash any doubts creeping into Seokjin’s mind. And isn’t that what a partner is for--to help carry and share the weight of the world?
“So good,” Seokjin agrees, giving in to the laughter bubbling in his chest. “Okay, it’s worth a shot.”
Thanks for all the love! I had fun with this one. I have some ideas bouncing around for a series. I hope to share something with you soon.
lmk if you have any requests!! :D