The day after Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year at Serendipity's. Between the Black Friday shoppers and students out of school, Jimin, Jin, and Sungwoon barely even have a chance to sit until they close. Jimin opens the bakery 3 hours earlier than normal, to accommodate the early rise shoppers. But, they love what they do, so it doesn't really feel like work at all. Jimin and Jin decided to open the bakery together, after meeting in cluinary school, and becoming best friends.
Their love and passion for pastries and sweet confections, is shown through every little detail. From the way Jin talks to his dough as he kneeds and rolls it out, to the way Jimin hand crafts each and every rose and delicate flower on his cakes and cookies. When they met, they had an instant connection. They became partners in class projects, sat with each other in each class, had lunches together, and hung out all the time outside of school. Eventually, they became roommates, and learned of each others passions and dreams of owning their own bakery.
When the opportunity arose for them to lease a shop in the heart of Gangnam Square, they waisted little time securing a small business loan and planning every detail. While Jin was much older than Jimin, they had very similar taste in style and very rarely disagreed on anything. Jimin was young, but very wise and mature beyond his years, which made the partnership easy and enjoyable.
The afternoon was drawing near, and a new crowd of shoppers would be coming in for a pick-me-up, so they quickly prepare before the rush happens. “Woonie, have you checked the mail yet, I'm expecting a letter to arrive today?” shouted Jin from the kitchen. Sungwoon was Jimin's childhood best friend, who Jimin hired as a barista and to run the front counter. “Not yet, Hyung, but as soon as I'm done making these three hot chocolates, I'll go check.” Woon responds. “Thanks Woonie! Just don't let Jimin see it.” Jin says laughing. “Don't let me see what Hyung?”
Jin looks up from his dough and see's Jimin standing in the office doorway, leaning against the frame, arms crossed, with a smirk on his face. “Oh, hey Min, I didn't know you'd be back from the bank so soon. Guess it wasn't too busy afterall, huh?” Jin says, chuckling nervously, hoping Jimin forgets what he'd said. No such luck. “Nope, wasn't busy at all Hyung. So, what am I not supposed to see?” Jimin walks towards him laughing, knowing he's trying to change the subject.
“Oh, it's nothing, just a letter I'm expecting-” “Hyung, I got the mail. You got something from the Seoul Baking Championship! Looks fancy, what is it?” Jin tries to signal for Woon to stop talking, tilting his head towards Jimin. “Oh, hey Min, you're back from the bank! Oh..... my bad Hyung” Woon says as he slouches, realizing he'd said too much. “You sure do have a big mouth Woonie, geez!” Jin exclaims. “What is going on Hyung, why did you get a letter from the Seoul Baking Championship, and why didn't you want me to know?” Jimin looks concerned, wondering if Jin was doing something behind his back, which they never do.
“Well, it was supposed to be a surprise Min, and I didn't want to say anything until I knew for sure we got in.” Jimin stands, straight faced, staring at Jin. “Got in, what, Jin?!” “Hey, that's Hyung to you! And I entered our bakery into the Seoul Baking Championship, which is being held December 20-22 in Seoul! This is the letter that tells us whether we got in or not. Please don't be mad. I knew you'd never take the chance, but Min, we could win this! The prize is 13 million ₩! Do you know what we could for this bakery with that?” Jimin's eyes get huge and he sits down on the floor in the kitchen. Imagining the possibilities of that prize money.
He looks up at Jin, and tells him to open the envelope. Slowly, Jin rips open the seal and pulls the folded paper out. He's being obnoxiously slow and Jimin lets out an agitated sigh, “Oh for fudge sake Hyung, this isn't Willy Wonka, open the damn letter already!” He laughs as Jin hurriedly opens the letter. He begins to read it allowed, “Dear Mr. Kim Seokjin, thank you for your interest in the Seoul Baking Championship. We thoroughly enjoyed the treats you sent in, and it is with great pleasure, that we inform you, Serendipity's has been chosen as a finalist.!” Jin shouts. Jimin jumps up to join an excited and jumping Jin. “Omg we actually did it! We actually freaking did it!” They stop jumping and Jin continues to read the letter.
“As a finalist, you are required to provide three dozen of each of the three treats you sent in, they must all be different, and they must all be holiday inspired. You must report to the Seoul Convention Center on December 20 to sign in and receive your badges and contest numbers. Please make sure you have all materials needed with you when you arrive, as there will be no extras provided. Accommodations and food will be your responsibility, so we suggest booking now to secure a room close to the convention center. We look forward to seeing you soon. Best regards, Jackson Wang, contest facilitator.” They both look up at each other and then to their calendar hanging on the wall. “Omg, Hyung, that is in 3 weeks! How are we going to be ready by then? Look at all those orders on the calendar, there's no way we will be able to fulfill all of those and prepare for this contest!”
Jimin starts to panic, pacing back and forth, talking to himself. Jin starts to laugh and it catches Jimin's attention. He stops and asks “What is so funny? This is serious Hyung, how are we going to pull this off?” Just then, Woon steps up to them holding a Help Wanted sign up to his face. He lowers it and smiles at Jimin. “Min, you could always hire another pastry chef, just to get through the holiday's. It doesn't have to be permanent.” “That's a great idea Jiminie, that way we could-” Jimin cuts Jin off, “Uh, excuse me, I'm not hiring a stranger to work in my, in our, bakery, that we've worked so hard to build. What if they can't keep up? Or what if they have a bad attitude? No, this is not a good idea, we should just tell them we can't do the contest.”
Jimin starts to walk back to his office, head down, hand rubbing the back of his head. “If I may, Min, I know someone who would be a perfect fit here. He graduated culinary school, around the same time you guys did, but has been working at his mother's salon. She just retired, closing her shop, so he's looking for a job. He's a very hard worker and is very organized. It's just temporary Min, what could it hurt?” Woon says softly, trying to calm Jimin down. “Have I ever given you bad advice, Min?” Jimin turns around, looks at Jin who has pleading eyes and a pouty lips, which makes Jimin roll his eyes. “Fine. But when this goes bad, don't say I didn't warn you.” Jin starts jumping up and down shouting 13 million ₩ over and over. Jimin can't help but laugh at his dorky yet cute best friend.
Jimin goes into his office and has Woon follow him to discuss this person he knows. “I'm telling you Min, you won't be disappointed. He will fit right in. Trust me.” Jimin nods, “Aye, if you say so. Go ahead, tell him to be here tomorrow morning. But if he isn't here by the time I open the doors, the deals off.” Woon nods and smiles. “So who is this person you vouch so highly for?” Woon rubs the back of his neck, and quietly answers “Oh, he's just a guy I know. I've known him my whole life practically. He's a good guy Min, just give him a chance.” Jimin sighs, but agrees. “Great, I'll call him now!” Whatever.
The next morning, Jimin is running terribly late, rushing to get to the bakery to open on time. Luckily for him, Jin arrived on time and opened. Jimin runs inside, and sees a line of people waiting for coffee and pastries. He jumps in the kitchen, throws his apron on without tying it, removing pastries from the oven that Jin had prepared, dusting them with powdered sugar, and plating them. He looks around, not seeing the guy who was supposed to start this morning. I knew it, he flaked. Thanks a lot Woon. “So, where's the new guy? I told you to have him be here when we opened. I told you this was a bad idea. He can't even show up on time for his first day, what a jo-” Woon looks at Jimin through the window behind the counter, “Um, Min, he's right over there, making scones. He was here when Jin got here this morning.” Jimin looks behind him, and sees Jin shaking his head and laughing. Then he sees, him.
Jimin was very protective of his business. They've put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this, and he didn't want anything to jeopardize it. It was literally his baby. Jimin turns back to face Woon, who is grinning from ear to ear. “My office, NOW!” Jimin says, gritting his teeth. “Sorry Min, can't, I'm super busy taking orders.” Woon says, laughing. Jimin takes a deep breath, and before he even has a chance to tie his apron, a deep sarcastic voice says “Well, at least one of us was on time this morning.... Good to see you, Jimin-ssi.” Jimin sighs, and puts his head down, squinting his eyes. This can't be happening.... Jimin thought. He ties his apron, turns back to face the new guy, and swallows the lump in his throat once he sees him, again. "Hello, Jeongguk. Nice to see you. Welcome to my, our, bakery. Once we slow down, I have some paperwork for you to sign, and some things we need to discuss." Jimin turns back around to start frosting cupcakes.
Jeon Jeongguk, a young man that Jimin met while in culinary school, who just happens to be Woon's cousin. They had sex, a lot. And it was good, very good. They made out, left hickeys on each other everywhere, grinded on each other in public places over their clothes, getting pretty intense at some points. They'd tease each others lengths sometimes when it got really heated, almost resulting in them having sex right there. They both had a bit of an exhibitionism kink. And Jimin would be lying if he said, he didn't have the fattest crush on him. But, Jimin felt he didn't take anything seriously, not even school, he joked around a lot, skipped classes, always tried to get Jimin to skip with him so they couldnhave sex, which was very tempting at times. But, if Jimin was going to pass culinary school, and one day own his own bakery, he needed to be with someone who was more responsible. Besides, he probably doesn't even bake that well. "Yes sir, Mr. Park. I'm happy to be here. You look great by the way..." Jimin grits his teeth and takes another very deep breath, before responding. "Hyung, is just fine, Jeongguk. And please, pay attention to those scones. Do you even know what you're doing?" Jin looks up at Jimin with a surprised look. Jungguk laughs, "We graduated from the same school, didn't we? I think I can manage scones. Lighten up, Hyung, I got this." He cocks his brow, lips curling up into a smirk. Ugh, that Jeon Jeongguk, is going to be the death of me! "Just, pay attention. And don't screw up any orders!" Jimin turns back around to focus on his cupcakes. "Please, just give him a chance, Min. You know you can trust me, right?" Woon said. And with that, Jimin didn't speak to him unless to call out an order. God, he looks good. Why does he have to look so good? Why couldn't he have, gotten fat or something? Jimin thinks to himself as he frosts his cupcakes, having already restarted on the same cupcake four times, unable to concentrate. This was definitely going to be challenging.
Jimin and Jeongguk go into his office. "Please, have a seat. I'll need your I.D., resident card, and a voided check. I assume you'll want direct deposit, since it's quicker?" Jeongguk stands up to take his wallet out of his back pocket. Jimin turns to face Jeongguk, his crotch embarrassingly close to Jimin's face, making him blush. Jungguk laughs, "Sorry, Hyung. . I forgot how cute you are when you blush." The younger sits back down, removing the cards from his wallet. "Can we please try and keep this as professional as possible? Let's just get through the holidays, and then you can be on your way, yeah?" Jimin takes the cards and walks over to his scanner. He can feel Jeongguk staring at him. "Stop looking at my ass, Jeongguk." The younger laughs, "How do you know I was looking at your ass? I thought we were keeping this as professional as possible, Mr. Park?" Jeongguk chuckles. Jimin sits back down, and leans over towards the younger to show him the papers he needed to sign. "You'll need to sign here and here, and initial here. If you're going to do direct deposit, I'll need a voided check. You don't have to do it, but it would just make it easier on yourself." The younger man hasn't heard a word Jimin's said, only focusing on how good the older looked. It had been three years since they last saw each other, but he would swear, Jimin just got better looking. And he smells, so good. A mixture of almond cake batter and strawberries. Jimin goes to hand the younger the pen, and their hands brush against one another. Catching each other in a gaze, making Jimin sit back in his chair, and he clears his throat. If this was going to work, Jimin had to remove all previous thoughts of the younger from his mind. This was strictly professional, Jeongguk was his employee now, not a classmate, and Jimin refused to mix business with pleasure.
"Before you leave, please make sure your station is cleaned and everything is put back where it goes. Be here for 4am. Sunday mornings are pretty busy with church goers and what not, so we'll have a lot to prepare for the day. You did well today. I'll admit, I was nervous when I realized it was you. But, as long as you work hard every day like you did today, we should have no problems. Have a good night, Jeongguk." Jimin turns back to his computer to finish logging sales and reviewing online orders for the next day. "Aren't you leaving too? It's late." the younger asks. "I still have a few things I need to get done before I can leave. I sent JinHyung home early, since I was late this morning." the older says, sighing, knowing how late he's going to be there. He had Jin's station, his station, the inventory, and the closing paperwork to do. "I'll stay and help. You want some coffee?" Jimin is surprised by the younger's kindness, and isn't sure what his motive is, but being alone with him at night probably wasn't such a good idea. "No, you can leave. You don't have to help me, I'll be fine. I appreciate the offer, but you'll need your rest for tomorrow." Jeongguk scoffs, "I'll sleep when I'm dead. Besides, I used JinHyungs station just as much as mine today. And, I'm not letting you leave here alone, this late at night. So, what do you want in your coffee?" the younger puts his apron back on and looks at Jimin as he's tying it. "I'm not paying you over time. So, there's really no point in staying." the younger laughs, "Jimin-ssi, I'm not asking you to pay me. I'm doing this because it's the decent thing to do. And because I'm a gentleman, or have you forgotten, hm?" he smiles. Jimin admits, the younger man was very romantic and genuine, when he wanted to be, when he wasn't being a complete goofball. .
"How did you do that? The little design in my latte, how did you make it so perfect?" Jimin looks down at his coffee that the younger had made them, and the cute cascading flower he'd designed with heavy cream. It was almost too pretty to drink. "Oh that, it's just something I picked up while working at Starbucks during college. Pretty neat, huh?" The younger smiles, proud of his work. "Omg, this latte, is the best one I've had, probably ever. Seriously? Woonie may have some competition." Jimin smiles and laughs, feeling the tension between them easing up. Maybe this wouldn't be such a bad set up after all. He seems to have matured quite a bit in the last three years. And, he makes an amazing latte. They finish cleaning their stations, and Jimin signs off on his last bit of paperwork for the day. They grab their coats, set the alarm, and walk outside. Jimin goes to lock the door and feels a hand on his shoulder. "It really is good to see you, Jimi- Hyung. Sorry, that'll take some getting used to." he chuckles. "It's ok, you don't have to call me Hyung. I was just, a bit overwhelmed this morning. Seeing you again, and you actually working in my bakery. I don't know, it just, threw me off a bit. It's good to see you too, Bunn. Is it ok if I still call you Bunn?" The younger smiles, and rolls his eyes, "I mean, if you insist. I never did care for that pet name, but, could be worse I guess." he smiles.
"Well, thank you for staying to help me, I don't even want to think of how long I'd be here if you hadn't. Have a good night, see you tomorrow, bright and early!" Jimin goes to walk off, "Wait, are you walking home? At this hour? Let me walk with you, I'll feel better knowing you weren't alone." Jimin smiles and accepts his offer. They walk and catch up on how their lives have been the last three years. Jimin can see how much growing the younger had done, and he feels bad for thinking so ill of him back then. But, at the time, Jimin needed to focus on school, and his future, something the younger didn't seem very interested in doing. "So then, I started shampooing at the salon for my mother, since she needed the extra help, and I kind of started to like it. I met this girl one day that came in for a color, we kind of hit it off." Jimin's smile begins to fade. No no no, Park Jimin, you don't get jealous. There's nothing for you to be jealous over. You stop that, right now. "And so then, I found out she cheated on me with the same guy, and I broke it off immediately. I haven't been with anyone since." Jimin realizes he had completely tuned out the younger while arguing with himself over silly jealousy. "I'm sorry to hear that." he says as it's the first thing that sounded appropriate, a slight grin on his face. The younger notices, and he smiles. "Really? I couldn't tell by the cheesy grin on your face." he laughs. Jimin blushes as he tries to stop smiling. They finally reach Jimin's apartment building, after what felt like an hour of walking.
"Well, this is me. Thank you for walking with me. Usually, JinHyung and I walk together, since we're roommates." The younger looks at the building, raises his eyebrows in surprise, and smiles. "Lucky JinHyung" the younger laughs. Jimin swats at his arms, "Stop that, it's nothing like that. He's basically my big brother, who I just happen to live with and own a bakery with." Jimin laughs. "I just meant, lucky he gets to wake up to a beautiful sunrise in his apartment every morning." Jimin blushes for what feels like the nth time today. Jeongguk used to always compare Jimin to a beautiful sunrise. It was the sweetest thing ever. "Have a good night Bunn. I'll see you tomorrow. Be safe walking home. I hope it's not too far?" Jimin says. "No, we're practically neighbors." he chuckles. Jimin isn't sure what he finds so funny, but he brushes it off, because it's Jeongguk. "Ok well, goodnight." Jimin goes to walk up the steps to the apartment doors, and he feels his wrist being grabbed. The younger pulls him close, and kisses him gently. The soft kiss makes Jimin feel warm all over. Those incredibly soft lips, he hadn't kissed in over three years, still took his breath away. The younger was certainly an amazing kisser. There was nothing dirty or expecting about it, it was very soft, and sensual. It felt really good. The younger gently removes his lips from the older, slowly releasing the grip on his wrist. "Goodnight, Jimin-ssi. Sleep well." the younger smiles and nods.
Jimin is taken aback when they both start walking up the steps together. "I think I can manage from here." Jimin laughs. "Oh, I'm sure you can, however, this is also my apartment building. I just moved in a few weeks ago, neighbor." The younger smirks as he walks inside, chuckling, leaving Jimin on the steps, mouth open wide, in shock at what he's just heard. It would seem, the universe has quite the sense of humor.
You've got to be kidding me......