Jimin opens his locker slowly, carefully. He looks around the room to make sure no one is watching what he’s doing. And sure enough, everyone is getting ready to shower after the grueling practice, there’s also some chatter here and there. So Jimin turns back to his locker and looks for the familiar looking envelope. It’s always the same colour, a beautiful light blue.
Jimin’s favourite colour.
His heart stutters before picking up speed in anticipation. After that awful practice, which ended with their coach yelling at Jimin ‘fucking focus!’, this is exactly what he needed. What he was secretly looking forward to all week.
Jimin isn’t sure who his secret admirer is, but he’s known for a while that it’s someone he knows, which worries him at the same time that it makes his heart flutter. What if this someone is pranking him? Doing this on purpose knowing that Jimin likes men? What if it’s someone on the swim team, just like Jimin himself? What if they are secretly laughing at Jimin, watching him read each letter carefully, and tucking them safely into his bag?
Jimin shakes those thoughts off.
The letters come at times when Jimin will be away from his stuff, as if this person knows, or he’s around Jimin enough. There’s something about the words, something so incredibly raw and real that Jimin can’t shake off the feeling that whoever this person is means everything they write 100%. And this has been going on long enough, and consistently to the point where Jimin knows it can’t possibly be a prank.
He gets one every week and it’s been nearly nine months.
Jimin has tried figuring out who it might be, since he received the first letter, but he’s still unable to pinpoint his secret admirer even after all these months. He can’t go off of the handwriting to figure out who it is, because the letters are always typed neatly on pristine, off-white paper. It seems impersonal when Jimin puts it like that, but the words on it seem very much personal and real.
One of these letters made Jimin cry once, with how sad his secret admirer sounded. He remembers the words so clearly, because he read them over and over again before he went to bed that night, unable to get them out of his mind.
I know these letters don’t mean much to you, but I love seeing you happy. It makes me happy too. You have a beautiful smile. I wish I could say that to your face, but I’m really shy and I don’t know if you can tell but I get really nervous when I talk to you. I always have.
Jiminie…sometimes I worry that you’re not going to smile anymore when you remember my letters, if you find out who I am. Because I won’t be who you want me to be.
Jimin clears his throat and tries to forget that particular letter. Last thing he needs is to cry in front of his college sports team and be the laughingstock. He already has to work extra hard, since he’s shorter and smaller than most of the people on the team. He can’t give them any reason to step over him on top of that. He has to prove himself over and over again, or at least that’s what it feels like.
“Hyung, you wanna grab dinner?” Jungkook, his roommate and childhood friend (and the subject of his love) suddenly materializes beside him, before Jimin even sees him approach, mind too far away. Jimin never expected to see him again after his family moved to Seoul, leaving Jungkook behind in Busan when Jimin was sixteen and Jungkook fourteen. But somehow, they reconnected, when Jungkook transferred to Jimin’s university. And just recently, they have decided to move in together with Namjoon-hyung, having had enough of dorm life.
Jungkook is already showered and dressed after the practice, at record speed, which is really unlike him, since he usally takes forever to shower.
Jimin smiles at him anyway, to weak for him to do anything but. “Sure, Jungkookie.”
“I’ll wait outside, don’t take too long, or I’ll leave without you.”
Jimin first makes sure Jungkook is out of sight, then he stashes the envelope more carefully in his bag, and goes to take a shower, quickly and efficiently. He doesn’t want to make Jungkook wait but he also wants to read the new letter too, as soon as possible. He gulps and decides to take a quick skim through the letter, unable to help his curiosity, before joining Jungkook outside the change rooms.
I know you probably want to know who I am, but I think it’s better that you don’t. I don’t want to disappoint you. If my letters make you smile even just a little, I think I’ve accomplished something good. I hope they do, make you smile, that is. I’ve seen you read one of them, and you smiled a little, I couldn’t help but hope it was because of what I wrote. I hope it’s because it made you happy, even in a small way.
When you smile, and your eyes curve like little crescent moons, you look even more beautiful and handsome than you usually do. When I talk to you and you give me that smile, my heart beats so fast that I get worried that you might hear it too.
I wonder if I should stop sending you these? Do you think I’m weird, admiring you like this from afar? Sending you these instead of telling you my feelings face to face?
But Jimin, I’m terrified.
If you find out who I am, I’m afraid that you won’t want me in your life anymore.
That would hurt too much. I wish I had the courage to tell you my feelings in person but I’m scared of losing you.
I wish I could be the person you’d share things with, instead of keeping them bottled inside and dealing with them alone. But I know that that’s just wishful thinking.
Jimin wants to yell, shout at him that it’s not weird, don’t stop sending me these. I look forward to every one I get. He really does. They’ve quickly become the highlight of his week. But he knows that that’s not fair to ask of whoever this is.
It’s not fair because Jimin’s heart already belongs to someone else. Someone whom Jimin wishes was the one sending him these. Someone who Jimin hopes that the J who is signing these letters might be.
But that’s not possible.
Jimin clutches the letter in his hands, breaths coming quicker suddenly.
“Jimin~ You’re taking too long!” Jungkook bursts into the change room suddenly, and Jimin scrambles to put away the letter in his hand, grimacing when the otherwise pristine paper crumbles a little. “Are you…crying?”
“No.” Jimin mumbles, but his voice breaks, giving him away. He didn’t even realize he was crying. This time, the letter sounded so sad, so painful that it cut Jimin’s heart deeply. Not for the first time, Jimin wishes he knew who this was, just so he can reassure them, give them a hug, tell them it’ll be okay. “I j-just need a second.”
Jimin understands exactly how this person feels. Only able to look at the person you love from afar, but unable to talk to them or say anything about your feelings. That’s why Jimin’s heart hurts when he looks at Jungkook sometimes. He feels both incredibly lucky to have Jungkook in his life and cursed to only be allowed to look at him and wish for more. He knows he has to move on before Jungkook catches wind of his feelings, because just having Jungkook’s friendship is more than enough for Jimin.
If he loses that because he somehow made Jungkook uncomfortable with his feelings…he wouldn’t be able to live with himself.
Thinking about that makes him want to cry, like now. But for Jungkook’s sake, he pushes the tears down, rubs at his eyes harshly. He tries to smile through the unexpected tears. “I’m sorry, I just h-had a bad day, is all.” He lies.
“We don’t have to go out, let’s just go home, we’ll put on a movie a-and I’ll cook for you!” Jungkook’s words jumble together. His eyes look wide and hopeful.
It makes Jimin want to cry harder, and fall for him harder (how that’s possible, Jimin doesn’t even know), at how considerate Jungkook is being. Normally, he’d tease Jimin endlessly for crying (even though Jungkook is the crybaby of the two) but today, he must’ve seen something in Jimin’s expression because he doesn’t make fun of him, just rubs Jimin’s back lightly as he waits for Jimin’s response.
Jimin rubs at his eyes once more and stands up, thankful for the now-empty change room, thankful that no one but Jungkook is there to witness his mini breakdown. “Okay, let’s go.”
“Yes, Jungkookie?” Jimin stops and turns to face him, waiting for him to continue.
Jungkook doesn’t say anything for a long moment, then, he steps closer and tilts Jimin’s head with a hand on his chin, before lightly brushing a stray tear away with his thumb. It’s moments like these that makes Jimin’s heart beat faster. Makes Jimin’s chest feel tight with too much emotion that he doesn’t know how to contain.
It makes Jimin hopeful, which is the worst of all.
“Don’t cry, Jimin. Please.” Jungkook says ‘please’ so quietly that Jimin thinks it might just be his imagination. He wipes another tear, so gently that Jimin barely feels the touch. His heart races, pounding against his ribcage. Jungkook looks so serious, and there’s something else in his expression that Jimin doesn’t know how to define. He sees that same expression sometimes, but he still hasn’t figured out what it is.
“Okay.” Jimin finally nods, tries his best to smile, to lighten up the mood. He brushes off Jungkook’s touch and looks around the change room in worry, but thankfully the change room is still empty. “If you buy me food, m-maybe I’ll cheer up a bit!” Jimin laughs, sound wet with tears.
Even if he’s sad now, Jungkook is wiping his tears away. It’s more than Jimin could ever wish for, more than he ever deserves.
So Jimin follows Jungkook out of the change room and he sticks a bit closer than Jungkook would probably like, but Jungkook is kind enough not to push him away. (Not that he does that anymore).
When Jimin is curled up into a ball in his bed later that night, heart both light and heavy with emotion, he chases sleep. So he thinks about Jungkook’s smile, and his laugh, and how happy he looked today as they ate dinner at their usual place earlier, instead of how much Jimin’s heart yearns for him, even after two years. It seems as if his feelings are just getting stronger as time passes, rather than weaker like Jimin has been hoping.
He’s going to cry again, isn’t he?
It’s all because of that letter.
Jimin squeezes his eyes shut, trying to disperse the dark cloud in his head.
He’s finally starting to nod off when he hears his bedroom door open a tiny bit. He turns to see who it is, even though he knows immediately that it’s Jungkook.
“What’s wrong?” Jimin squints, he can’t see much without his glasses, but he’d know Jungkook’s figure anywhere.
“Can I sleep here tonight?”
“Namjoon-hyung is snoring too loudly. I can’t sleep.” Jungkook mumbles, Jimin sees him looking down like a kid asking for permission to eat a cookie before dinner, ready to be rejected, but hopeful anyways.
“Sure.” Jimin says and lifts the covers for Jungkook. What else would he ever say to Jungkook anyway?
Jungkook patters close to the bed and lays down, leaving a respectable distance between them at first. Jimin doesn’t ask him why he doesn’t just sleep on the couch. Because he’s honest enough with himself to admit that he wants Jungkook here. He wants Jungkook all the time—enough not to question him in case he feels embarrassed and decides to leave.
Jungkook’s voice comes just as Jimin is about to nod off, so that’s the excuse Jimin gives himself as to why he doesn’t chastise Jungkook for not calling him hyung. “Hmm.”
“Were you really crying because of what you said, earlier?”
Because I’m in love with you. And it hurts more everyday. Jimin doesn’t say. “It’s nothing, Jungkookie. I just had a bad day, that’s all. After the way practice ended, I just couldn’t hold it in anymore I guess.” He keeps his back to Jungkook, can’t bear to see his sparkly, pretty doe eyes this close. Jimin doesn’t tell him about the letters, he isn’t sure why but he never gathered the courage to. He doesn’t tell him about his secret admirer. Nor does he mention his own feelings.
Jungkook doesn’t say anything for a long time so Jimin starts nodding off again, back to Jungkook, but he’s not fully asleep, so he feels Jungkook shuffle closer and knows what’s coming. Jungkook, as much as he likes to pretend otherwise, is a huge cuddler, he usually prefers Jimin to back hug him instead, on the occasions that they do share a bed, but this time, he puts an almost tentative arm around Jimin’s waist. As if he’s afraid that Jimin will push him away.
Jimin, despite it all, relaxes into his hold, revels in the way Jungkook scoots closer and buries his nose on the top of his head. He’s so warm and comforting like always. So Jimin relaxes impossibly more, indulging, and allowing himself to lean just a tiny bit back more against Jungkook’s chest.
He starts falling asleep, fast, The Jungkook Effect at work.
“Jimin, Jimin, Jiminie. I love you. So much. Don’t cry.” Jimin thinks he hears Jungkook say.
It’s wishful thinking, like always.
What Jimin doesn’t know is that Jungkook waits until he is totally asleep to whisper it again, heart also heavy.
When Jimin wakes up the following morning, Jungkook is already gone. But if Jimin closes his eyes and focuses a little harder, he can almost feel Jungkook’s warmth still surrounding him. Can still feel his arm wrapped around him.
It’s all he’ll ever have so he takes those feelings and he holds onto them with all he’s got.
“Good morning.” Namjoon greets as Jimin walks into the kitchen. Surprisingly, Jungkook is standing by the stove, at this hour to boot.
“Good morning. Is he…cooking?” Jimin asks incredulously, looking at Namjoon for an answer as he comes closer to sit at one of the bar stools. It’s only eight in the morning, which is a very unusual time for Jungkook to be awake. He usually sleeps in until at least eleven, he even made sure to take afternoon classes only this semester.
“Pancakes.” Jungkook replies, voice rough as it always is this early in the morning. His hair is ruffled beyond help and he’s bundled up in a hoodie. He looks so cute like this.
Not for the first time, Jimin wants to go up to him and wrap his arms around Jungkook’s waist and kiss him good morning. Instead, he busies himself with pouring coffee and then sitting back down beside Namjoon.
Jungkook slides a plate in front of him silently. And then one in front of Namjoon. His pancake is significantly larger than Namjoon’s though so Jimin looks up at Jungkook with a raised eyebrow.
Jungkook shrugs and clears his throat. His cheeks are red so early in the morning, must be because of standing in front of the stove. “Eat a lot.”
“Thanks.” He knows he stares just a bit too long at Jungkook, too long to be considered entirely friendly, but Jungkook looks so cuddly like this.
Namjoon rolls his eyes and makes a whipping sound, making Jimin jump slightly in his seat. He bites down on his tongue so hard that he almost draws blood. Yes, Namjoon, I know I’m whipped for Jungkookie, no need to make it so obvious.
“Did you do something?” Jimin can’t help but blurt out as he digs into his breakfast. “Something I’ll get pissed about?”
“No.” Jungkook doesn’t offer anything else, just sits down with them to eat. So it’s one of those days for Jungkook then.
Jimin looks down at the huge pancake, then back towards Jungkook. “Thank you, Jungkookie.”
It’s times like these where Jimin’s heart fills with too much hope. He thinks that maybe, just maybe, Jungkook might have feelings for him too.
He pushes the rising hope down forcibly.
Later that day, there’s another envelope in his bag. Jimin has no idea how his secret admirer manages to sneak these in. Maybe Jimin just isn’t attentive enough. Either way, he makes sure he’s alone before opening the envelope and starting to read.
I think this will be my last letter to you (or maybe second last).
As much as I want to keep writing to you, I think I’ve just been burdening you with my feelings. I want you to be happy, above all else, and I think these letters are just making you sad for my sake. I don’t want to make you upset.
That’s the last thing I want to do. It hurts my heart to see you cry, to see you sad. And if I’m the cause of it, I can’t live with myself.
One of the things I admire the most about you is how much you care. How much love you have in your heart. But, with these letters, I think I’m just making you feel bad.
But you don’t have to feel bad for me.
Loving you has made me stronger and happier than I’ve ever been. The moments I get to spend with you are the best, and I cherish each one of them. I would never trade those for anything. I’m so happy and lucky to have you in my life, and have your friendship. That’s more than enough for me.
But, I’m still in love with you, and I always will be.
Jimin almost crumbles the letter in his hand, this one is even more painful to read than the last. But he becomes determined. He practically runs to the store and gets some nice paper and a pretty envelope.
He’s going to write back this time. Hopefully, it’s not his secret admirer’s last letter. Jimin hopes his secret admirer gives him just one more, like he said he might. One more time is all Jimin needs to try and figure this out.
Just one more so he can see the letter Jimin leaves for him. So, Jimin, right before he joins swim practice, puts the letter in his locker. He’s about to step out but…
He can wait in the change room until he sees who will come in.
This is going to be a fail. His secret admirer is never going to see it. It’s such a long shot but his secret admirer is about to stop communicating with him completely, without Jimin even finding out who he is, so it’s worth it to at least try.
He makes up his mind.
He waits in the supply closet, door slightly ajar. He has a perfect view of his locker this way, so he’ll see who comes in (if anyone does).
Jungkook suddenly comes into view.
Jimin averts his gaze as he takes off his hoodie. He’s late for practice and Jimin wonders if his class ran late and that’s why.
Something makes Jimin look up.
Just in time to see Jungkook take out a light blue envelope out of his bag. Jungkook looks around, almost suspiciously, before opening Jimin’s locker. Jimin can see the exact moment he sees the letter Jimin left for him, as he seems surprised to see it. Jimin watches him grab it slowly, looking at it this way and that, as if it’s his first time seeing an envelope.
Jimin, in a moment of foolish hope, opens the supply closet door and steps out, before he can even attempt to talk himself out of it.
Jungkook jumps at the sudden noise and turns around, hiding the light blue envelope in his hand behind his back. “H-hyung.”
“It was you? All this time?” Jimin whispers, heart in his throat.
“W-what are you talking about?” Jungkook lies, quite obviously.
“The letters in the blue envelopes…” Jimin steps closer, he reaches behind Jungkook and takes the envelope from his hand. “These. Was it always you?” Jimin whispers, not daring to speak too loudly. He still can’t process it. It can’t be Jungkook, can it?
There’s no way.
There’s no way Jungkook likes him like that.
Jungkook sighs and looks down. “I didn’t want you to know.”
Jimin waits for a long moment as Jungkook seems to think about what to say. “Because I know you don’t like me like that. I just…I just wanted to get my feelings off my chest. It’s…I’m sorry.”
Jimin stops breathing. It was Jungkook. All this time. It was Jungkook who was sending him these heartfelt letters, making Jimin smile and cry (sometimes both at the same time). For nine months. And Jimin had no idea.
“Dummy.” He shakes his head. “Why didn’t you just tell me? How do you not know about my feelings for you?”
“I love you. I thought…I thought you’d be disgusted by me, if you ever found out.” Jimin confesses. He feels so light right now, as if he could float away with just a puff of air. He waited so long to say these words and now that he’s said them, he can’t even describe how incredible it feels.
“Y-you…really? You’re not, you’re not disappointed?” Jungkook whispers.
“Why would I be? You’re the one I love.” Jimin steps closer to him, hands shaky, and lightly holds Jungkook’s cheeks in his hands. Jungkook holds his hands in place.
“We are dumb, aren’t we? We wasted all this time.” Jungkook laughs a little, nose scrunching and eyes crinkling happily at the corners. This smile is the one Jimin loves most.
Okay, maybe, he loves all of Jungkook’s smiles.
When they finally kiss, it’s more magical than Jimin imagined during lonely nights, it really feels as if fireworks are going off behind them, like they are in a Disney movie. They quickly start getting carried away though, uncaring about who might walk in.
Jungkook pulls away first.
Jimin tries chasing his lips.
But Jungkook holds him place. “Not here, not like this. I waited for a long time. I can wait a bit longer. We can wait a bit longer.”
“But I don’t want to wait anymore.” Jimin can’t help but pull him down for another kiss again. But then he thinks about the possibility of people walking in, so he reluctantly pulls away and steps back away from Jungkook.
“Later. I’m not going anywhere. Not anymore. Even if you tell me to go away, I won’t.” Jungkook laughs happily and leans down to kiss him on the cheek chastely. His cheeks are the most beautiful pink and his eyes are still crinkled at the corners.
Later that night, Jimin lays panting beside Jungkook. They take a moment to catch their breaths before Jimin turns to his side to face Jungkook. He’s flushed, and he’s never looked more beautiful to Jimin.
Jimin never wants to forget this moment. So he takes Jungkook’s hands and kisses his knuckles, imprinting the moment to his mind.
When Jungkook stares back at him, he has that same expression Jimin has seen on his face before, the one that Jimin hadn’t been able decipher... His eyes are so gorgeous and sparkly, and Jimin feels himself get lost in them a little.
He’s never going to let go of Jungkook now.