Sunday mornings were Jimin's favorite.
He stretched his legs and peered out from beneath the covers at the clear morning light filtering in through the blinds on their window. His toes found Namjoon's socked feet at the bottom of the bed and burrowed against the wool. He heard the quiet snapping of static against his pajamas as he curled up once more, his nose rubbing into the small of Namjoon's back.
It'd be another hour or two before his night owl woke up. Namjoon typically worked in his studio for days at a time, a hermit amidst a forest of wires, mics, and padded soundproofing surviving off ramen and cold coffees. Once he'd laid down the bones of the project, he delved in deeper and deeper into the marrow of his vision for the album until Jimin dragged him out for a dose of vitamin D and to cram a couple vegetables down his throat before allowing him to return.
He used to get frustrated with the cycle, having a boyfriend for two weeks out of the month and an absent-minded pen pal the rest. But that passion for his craft had been one of the things that had attracted Jimin in the first place, along with the dimples and impossibly long legs. Now he kind of enjoyed the time to himself, at peace in their apartment reading and napping and decorating however he liked. And when Namjoon finally crawled out of his cave, touch starved and bursting with pent-up energy, the sex was fantastic.
Smirking, Jimin traced a small heart into the warm bare skin between Namjoon's shoulder blades. His stomach growled, protesting the long drought of food since last night's dinner, and forced him out of bed in a fluttering of sheets and sticky static. He smiled at the soft sleepy grumble at the burst of cold air and tucked the sheets back around Namjoon, patting his butt lovingly before tiptoeing from the room.
The apartment was chilly and awash in muted gray light. When Jimin shuffled around the couch, he noticed the empty pizza box on the table and rolled his eyes. One of these days, he'd stack up all the pizza boxes and ramen packets Namjoon left behind and leave them in his studio. Then, maybe he'd remember to take the trash out once in a while.
He flinched at the cold kitchen tile and hunted down his slippers from outside their bedroom before returning to get the coffee started. Outside the window above the sink, wind billowed through the tops of apartments and office buildings, causing laundry to dance on their clotheslines. The clouds were thick and heavy with an oncoming shower. A perfect day to curl up on the couch and read his book.
He'd just popped an espresso cup into the coffee maker when the doorbell rang.
Jimin's head jerked up, frowning. It was barely eight in the morning. Who the fuck would be ringing their bell that early?
He waited hopefully, turned toward the hallway, when the bell rang again.
Leaving his cup on the counter, he quickly shuffled down the hallway. Namjoon slept like the dead, so there was little concern that it would wake him up, but Jimin was eager to get this over with and carry on with his morning. He paused to step down from his slippers and into his sneakers, before leaning up on his toes to check the video camera.
The top of someone's head hovered in front of their door, black and combed neatly around the ears. The man was fidgeting, looking down at his phone. In the background stood several large cardboard boxes stacked on top of one another and wrapped in shiny yellow tape. A delivery man? He hadn't ordered anything that he knew of, but Namjoon might have bought more recording equipment or another box set of novels.
He reached for intercom button to check when the man finally looked up.
Jimin stared for a moment, long enough that the man rang the bell again, and then stood back to crack open the door warily. "Hello?"
He had to look up into the man's face. His height and the breadth of his shoulders seemed to take up most of the hallway, thickened by the baggy white hoodie and backpack slumped against his right hip. The man blinked at him from beneath his fringe, bemused, a lush lower lip frowning. "Hey."
Gripping the door tightly, Jimin hesitated. He wouldn't be fussed about giving his name to the usual delivery man -- he and Hoseok were already on a first name basis, so that was really beside the point -- but this was a little different. Hoseok was loud and bright and familiar. And human.
This man was not.
The flawless skin might have been the first clue, but that was the norm on the fashionable streets of Seoul. Then there was the impossible stillness of his body, rigid and imperturbable until he checked his phone or fidgeted, the movement oddly seamless, as though Jimin had paused a movie in the middle of a scene before pressing the play once more. All together, it was the eyes that gave him away. Dark red, the color of wine and crushed cherries, both casual and alert.
"Can I help you?" Jimin asked instead, ignoring the way his heart had picked up the pace.
"Oh, yeah. That'd be great," he said, turning around and lifting one of the boxes.
Jimin hadn't known what to expect, but it definitely wasn't for the vampire to shove one of the large boxes into his arms. He wheezed under the weight, staggering back into the entryway before planting his feet and lifting with his legs. Shock and confusion were soon replaced with indignation. He glared over the edge of the box. "What the fuck, man?"
The vampire paused with two boxes balanced on the palms of his hands like a waiter serving a five-course meal at a restaurant. Not an ounce of strain showed on his face, as though he held a napkin rather than what had to be boxes of bricks or books or something equally heavy. "Hmm? That too heavy? Sorry, I should've checked first. I forget sometimes." He glanced around at the other boxes and spotted a smaller cluster of boxes at the back. "Those aren't bad. You could grab them if the rest are too heavy."
"No, that's not..." he spluttered as the guy began rearranging the boxes and taking back the one that had nearly crushed Jimin. "Are you moving in or something?"
"Yeah. Jin." Vampire Jin smiled and tipped over in a casual bow. "You must be Jimin. Nice to meet you."
"What the actual fuck, Kim Namjoon."
Yanking his pillow from the bed, Jimin began to pummel the lump beneath the covers with extreme prejudice. Namjoon groaned, tuffs of platinum blonde hair sticking out from the top like a hairy caterpillar. A confused, garbled question gets lost in the rustle of sheets, before the head disappears back into the cocoon.
"Don't think so, babe," he grumbled and flipped the end of the covers. Namjoon's bare feet stick out, toes curling against the sudden chill. He locked his hands around Namjoon's ankles, preventing him from shrinking back beneath the covers.
"Oh, we're talking. Right now." He glanced over his shoulder as the faint muffle of shifting boxes and scraping of furniture on the floor issued below the crack in their bedroom door. "You've been hidden away in your little cave for a while, huh, hyung. Forget to mention something to me? Something potentially important, like, I don't know, a new roommate moving into the apartment?"
His caterpillar froze before Namjoon suddenly sat upright. The sheets dropped into a heap around his hips, his exposed his chest and shoulders erupting in goosebumps. He met Jimin's blistering gaze with horror, the sleepy confusion wiped clean from his expression. "Fuck."
"Fat chance," he hissed, scrubbing his hand through his hair. "Joon, what the hell?"
Namjoon licked his lips. "Oh god, I forgot." He twisted around and grabbed his phone from the night stand, fingers clumsily swiping the cracked screen. "Shit, he texted me. Like five times."
"Who texted, babe? The guy moving a billion boxes into our apartment as we speak?" Jimin folded his arms across his chest, smiling sharply.
Wincing, he rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah. I guess you met Jin." Shuffling to the end of the bed, Namjoon bit the edge of his lip and admitted, "I found someone to take the other bedroom."
"No shit, hyung."
"Look, I'm sorry. I meant to tell you. I was going to, but then you were preparing for that showcase last month, remember? You were stressed enough with that and your mom visiting and then Kook's surgery, I just thought-- I thought I'd handle finding someone to replace Minseok on the lease." Warm hands wrapped around Jimin's waist, tugging him closer. Namjoon peered up at him, rumpled and repentant, his thumbs rubbing circles into his pajama shirt.
His unholy irritation faded fast beneath the genuine guilt in Namjoon's soft gaze. He did remember.
December had been one hellish moment after the next as he'd juggled his usual instruction sessions at the studio alongside preparing for the Seoul Arts showcase with Hoseok and Jungkook. His mother had unexpectedly come to the performance and lingered over the weekend, before conveniently heading home in time for Jimin to spend a week babying post-surgery Jungkook, who'd cracked several teeth while filming for Hoseok's Youtube channel. Minseok's graduation and subsequent move to Daegu for his new job had been pushed to the back of his mind, behind dodging his mother's pointed comments about the future of the family restaurant and holding Jungkook upright while he gargled salt water.
He'd completely forgotten about finding a new roommate. When he worked through their budget, Jimin typically planned ahead for three months and then checked every now and then to make sure their automatic bills were working as expected. Between the two of them, they could only cover a couple months without a new roommate. It'd be tight, but they could do it. But it had slipped his mind in the chaos of the previous month. It was probably a miracle Namjoon had found the time to look, let alone have someone ready to move in by the beginning of February.
Heaving a sigh, Jimin began brushing his hair into some semblance of order as Namjoon dropped his forehead against his stomach. "Heads-up would have been nice," he grumbled, pointedly tugging at Namjoon's dark roots, "but thanks for taking care of that, hyung."
He hazarded a glance up, and soon the first dimpled smile of the morning arrived. "No prob, Jimin. So, he's here?"
"Yes." Jimin hesitated. He looked over his shoulder at the door again, before lowering his voice. "Did you know he's a vampire?"
He nodded. "It was like, the third thing he mentioned when he responded to the ad. Why? That's not a problem, is it?"
"No," he responded quickly, nibbling on the corner of his lip. "It's just...different, that's all. Anyway, throw some briefs on and get out here. I'm not about to move all his shit in without your help."
Over the next few weeks as he settled into the apartment and learned their routines, Jimin watched their new roommate with idle curiosity.
Kim Seokjin, "Jin" as he liked to be called, seemed to have a regular schedule, if flipped around from theirs.
The first time he had shuffled into the kitchen clad in flannel pajamas and Super Mario slippers, he poured himself a cup of coffee, poured a dash of thick red blood from a metal jug on the second shelf of the fridge like it was creamer, and slumped onto the table with his nose pressed to the rim. He spent ten minutes sleepily slurping his 'coffee', and then he'd noticed Jimin leaning by the counter and quietly eating a roll of rice, scrambled egg, and spam.
"That looks good. You should put mayonnaise or horseradish between the eggs and spam for extra flavor."
Jimin glanced down at the last hunk of his breakfast. "How did you..." When Jin tapped his nose and sniffed loudly, he gaped. "Seriously? You can smell that from across the room?"
Nodding, Jin sat up from the table and moseyed over to the coffee pot for a refill. "Mmm. At my last apartment, there was this great cafe down the street. I could open my window in the morning and know what their special for the day would be, from the smell."
That was both impressive and a little horrifying. Jimin glanced down at his loose t-shirt, where just the night before he'd tugged Namjoon until he came with his face pressed into the pillow and wiped up said come from his own abs with a wet towel, and felt suddenly, intensely self-conscious. When he fidgeted against the counter and looked up again, he spotted the smirk just barely curling Jin's lips.
Blushing furiously, Jimin devoured the rest of the roll, hastily sat his mug into the sink, and with forced calm walked back down the hall to their bathroom for a shower.
Throughout the day, Jin remained tucked into his bedroom.
Jimin had expected this. Their old roommate Minseok had taken over the living room with his laptop, books, binders full of notes and articles relating to his final thesis before graduation, leaving Jimin to either shuffle the mountain over to use a small corner or to work at the table in the kitchen with a makeshift cushion for his back. He hadn't begrudged (much) the lost space, because at the time, Minseok had seemed one critical comment away from having a breakdown. Still, he'd missed spreading over the couch with the windows open as he balanced their expense report and organized his schedule.
Now the living room was gloriously peaceful. Out of the three of them, Minseok had been the worst about clutter, even before the chaos of his final months in graduate school. Without his clothes, nicknacks, and various snacks spread around the room, the space had quickly become clean and neat again under Jimin's hands. He'd swept through the living room and purged anything they didn't want or need, dusted and vacuumed for the first time in what felt like weeks, and tidied up.
Left to his own devices, Namjoon could also create a mess, particularly as he came home every other week with a new plant to stash on the window sil. It was admittedly getting more difficult to find spots for them, but Jimin had bought a metal bench cheap from a neighbor that fit onto their balcony where they could keep some of them and prevent the apartment from becoming a jungle. The plants also got much more sunlight and fresh air, and Jimin quite liked watching little bees visit their tulips and sunflowers while he read a book on the couch.
Jin was as yet a mystery in terms of mess.
During the afternoons he was home, Jimin would work in the living room, make snacks, and inspect the subtle changes occurring in the apartment with their new roommate. A couple Mario figurines had appeared on the bookshelves next to Namjoon's bearbricks. The empty shelf below Jimin's had become home to two game consoles and a box of associated games. The thickest, fluffiest blanket Jimin had ever seen in his life had appeared thrown over the back of the couch. He touched it every now and then but hadn't found the courage to actually use it yet for the occasional nap.
He'd expected Jin to be in his room during the day as he slept.
Jimin had not expected him to leave his room at random points to fill a glass with water or use the bathroom. He'd watched him leave a couple times, towel draped over his head, dripping into the hallway as he moseyed back to his room, wondering.
Then an idea formed.
"Nothing," Jimin replied. He added the final touches on the foggy mirror and leaned back to admire his work with a grin.
"What'd you draw?" Namjoon rubbed the towel through his hair as he sidled closer, hip nudging against Jimin's. He squinted at the shape drawn into the condensation before rolling his eyes. "Seriously?"
"Just a joke, hyung," he sang, wrapping his arm around Namjoon's waist and kissing the edge of his jaw.
"Will it even last long enough for him to see if?" He asked skeptically of the image drawn on the mirror, a cartoon face with a particularly pointy grin and a familiar haircut.
He nodded and grabbed his toothbrush from the cup on the counter. They brushed their teeth, jostling for the sink and snickering when froth slipped from the corner of their mouths as they smiled. Jimin tugged the towel from his shoulders and scrunched it through his hair, wondering what he should do with his hair that day. He needed to go to the grocery store, but with no classes or meetings he couldn't be bothered to give a fuck.
"I've been thinking about using more gel," mused Namjoon as he opened a pot from their shelf. A thin layer of dust on the top plumed into the air. "Maybe try the slicked back look for a while."
The offended look on his boyfriend's face was adorable. Jimin wanted to kiss his nose. "What? You don't think I could pull it off?"
"For music videos and concerts, yes. Every day?" He snorted but softened the words with a smile. "If it's not done right, you'd look like you haven't showered in days or posing as a G-Dragon fanboy. Plus, it'd dry your scalp out and cause dandruff." Jimin took the tub from his hands and inspected the label with a sniff. "This has gone bad anyway."
"Oh." Namjoon's shoulders drooped a little as he tossed the hair gel into the bin under the sink.
"Sorry, hyung. Any reason you're thinking about it?" Jimin asked, although he suspected it had something to do with the early 2000's hiphop playlist he'd caught Namjoon watching before bed.
He shrugged. "Just want to try something new, I guess."
Jimin hummed and wrapped his arms around his waist. Propping his chin on his shoulder, he ran a hand up Namjoon's back until his fingers sunk into his blond hair. "What about a different color? Oh," he gasped gently, "or an undercut."
Namjoon leaned into the touch eagerly and stared at his reflection thoughtfully. "What color? Blue? Red?"
"Mmm...red would be sexy," he sighed, his fingers massaging lightly. "Your hair's already bleached. What if you went for a light grey or pink?"
"Pink? I don't know..."
"Why not?" Jimin watched the flush crawl up his boyfriend's neck and pressed another kiss on his shoulder. "All right. You'll look gorgeous whatever you do."
"Except with hair gel?" He shot back with a raised brow.
"Hyung, don't be mad," Jimin crooned, grinning.
It's still a bit of a shock, opening the fridge to find two steel jugs on the second shelf.
They would look like milk jugs, if not for the moist, shiny metal and a sticker label proclaiming the blood bank service, delivery company, and the type in bright blue lettering: A+. The first time he'd noticed, a shiver had run down his back and he'd felt oddly conscious of his body the rest of the day.
It was still a bit of a shock, but Jimin was getting used to it. The fact that they didn't have any glass or clear cups helped too. He wasn't sure he'd make it through a dinner together with Jin if he had to watch him sip blood like it was beer.
"Morning," murmured Jin as he stepped into the kitchen.
"Hey, hyung," Namjoon responded without glancing away from his phone.
Jimin watched the vampire wander over to the cabinet, pull out a cup, and lift one of the jugs out of the fridge. His back blocked the view, but Jimin could hear the faint sound of liquid sloshing into the bottom of the mug. Clearing his throat, he asked, "Jin hyung, I made kimchi fried rice and pajeon. Want some?"
"Yeah, thanks, Jimin."
He set about grabbing another bowl and plate from the cabinet and sat them down across from Namjoon. By the time he'd spooned out another serving and sat back down, Jin had moseyed over with his mug and dropped into the seat. Like this, it was difficult to be wary of him. Hair mussed, pajamas baggy around his elbows and hips, Jin sleepily tapped his chopsticks and began slowly shoveling rice into his mouth.
"Mmm. Really good," he murmured, meeting Jimin's gaze over the table.
"The rice. Delicious," he said again, one cheek bulging.
"Oh, thanks," Jimin replied, amused in spite of himself. He chewed a slice of pajeon for a moment before he said, "Hyung. You're into Kingdom, right?"
Jin looked up curiously. "Yeah. You too?"
With a nod, Jimin offered, "Namjoon's not into zombies, dystopian, fantasy stuff, so I'm usually on my own when I watch."
"On your own? I watch with you sometimes," piped up Namjoon, indignant.
Jimin flicked a loose green onion at him, scoffing, "Scrolling through twitter next to me or trying to get in my pants doesn't count as watching with me. Anyway, if you're not working later.... want to join?"
“Sure, what episode are you on?”
Hours later, spread across the couch as Prince Chang, covered in grit and blood, sprinted through the forest, Jimin reconsidered his offer.
He’d thought, as an actor, Jin would watch quietly and with a critical eye, maybe make a few comments about their acting or the set or the writing. Jimin had not expected to watch a professional squeeze himself into the corner of the couch and hide his face in a pillow whenever zombies jerked and growled across the screen.
“Is this really that scary to you?” he finally asked, once Namjoon had retreated to their room, grumpy and exasperated. He’d dropped everything (literally, from the crashing sound Jimin had head before he’d appeared in the hallway) when Jin had screamed bloody murder after the slaughter on the ship. “I mean, you must know the tricks of the trade, right?” You’re also a vampire, he thought bemusedly. You could probably wipe out an army of zombies on your own.
Dark red eyes peered over the top of the pillow. His pale face was cast in a ghostly blue glow from the TV. “So what? Does knowing how they mixed the makeup behind the scenes make the actual story any less terrifying?” His voice shook but managed to hold an indignant whine beneath.
“I guess.” Jimin tucked his feet under him and glanced at the vampire again over the top of his knees. “So… Aren’t zombies and vampires kind of…”
Jin narrowed his gaze. “Kind of what?”
Shifting against the cushion, Jimin hesitated. “…similar, I guess? I mean,” he hastened when Jin grew stiff. “Like, you’re kind of undead cousins, right? Distant cousins.”
For a long moment, Jin evaluated him under the fringe of his bangs before he replied, tightly, “I get that you’re ignorant about us and our way of life, but that’s degrading. I’m offended.”
His stomach immediately turned to lead.
As Jimin struggled with both regret at the question and anger at being referred to as ‘ignorant,’ Jin continued, “Since I’m older, I’ll be patient and answer. Try doing a little research on your own, though, before comparing me, my family, and my species to mindless monsters thirsting for human flesh.”
“I’m sorry,” he murmured, twisting the cuffs of his sweater in his sweaty fingers.
Jin ignored him. “We’re not impulsive or ruled by our instincts. We’re intelligent, often more than humans or other species,” he added pointedly, his gaze hardening. “We live millennia unless we’re killed, and you’d be surprised to discover that many of your exemplary texts on philosophy, anatomy, and literature were written by vampires. Don’t they teach you anything about our world? Where are all of our inflated taxes going to, if not to properly educate the children of this nation?”
He jerked his chin toward the screen with scowl. “Zombies? Just corpses driven by hunger, too stupid to watch their feet or open an unlocked door. Worse than animals. Take the greed of humanity, the stomach of a vulture, and the motor skills of a toddler, and you’ve got a zombie. Distant cousins,” he scoffed disdainfully.
“You’re right.” Jimin forced himself to sit up and meet Jin’s gaze honestly. He’d meant the question more as a joke, but he’d stepped on a landmine instead. “It was a stupid, thoughtless thing to say. I didn’t meant to insult you, Jin hyung. Sorry.”
For a long minute, his red gaze bore into Jimin, seemingly measuring his sincerity. He met the gaze head on, regret and shame writhing like snakes in his stomach.
Finally, Jin huffed. “If you get it, then it’s fine. Maybe I got riled up too fast.” He turned back to the TV and grumbled, grabbing the remote to rewind all the scenes they’d missed. “When you hear shit like that all the time, it’s easy to get angry.”
Jimin bit his lip.
It took another two episodes for the tension to ease, but eventually Jin returned to squeaking at every jump scare. Jimin started to let himself join in too, making tentative observations and growing more relaxed as the vampire replied readily, sometimes disparaging the protagonists and even laughing when Jimin inhaled beer once.
Around ten o’clock, Namjoon wandered out again and leaned his hip against the couch, slipping his hand through Jimin’s hair. He watched the show for several seconds before admitting sheepishly, “Yeah, this really isn’t my thing.”
“Tasteless,” Jin shot back.
Having already crammed his foot in it for the night, Jimin kept his mouth firmly shut on the topic of taste, only to have it wrenched open a moment later when his sweet, sensible boyfriend asked, jokingly, “So, hyung, clearly we would die in a zombie apocalypse. What about you? Who would win, vampires or zombies?”
“Hyung,” Jimin cut in quickly with an anxious glance in Jin’s direction.
“Don’t be ridiculous. Zombies aren’t real.”
“Oh, really?” Namjoon asked, curious, while Jimin stared at the vampire casually sipping from the rim of a mug. “Huh. That’s interesting.”
“Yeah. And obviously, vampires would win. I could defeat that horde with one hand behind my back.”
Jimin added, with tentative mischief, “With your eyes closed?”
Jin stared him down long enough for sweat to form at the nape of his neck before grinning sharply. “Yeah. Even then.”
The next morning, once the steam had clung to the tiles and drifted lazily amongst the towels, a new drawing was revealed on the mirror.
Jimin froze with his comb working a tangle at the back of his head, his mouth dropping.
In surprising detail, a figure sprawled across a couch in the misty fug, legs thrown comically over the back and cushions. Mouth wide open, drool forming an actual puddle on the arm, the figure wore slippers and a pair of reading glasses dangling from one hand.
A laugh forced its way out of Jimin's throat.
"You're pretty talented, huh, hyung," Jimin said when he passed the vampire in the hallway.
Jin took in the wet hair and towel slung around his shoulders. He snorted. "Yeah, I'm pretty and talented."
Rolling his tongue along the inside of his cheek, Jimin watched him close the bathroom door, his stomach flipping.
“Shouldn’t we—“ moaned Namjoon, his lips slick and clumsy, “—move to our room?”
“It’s all right, hyung had an audition tonight,” Jimin said, tossing his head back. He braced his hands on the couch arm on either side of Namjoon’s head, smiling impishly. He rolled his hips forward, thrusting against the trembling stomach below his thighs and sighing with satisfaction when his dick rubbed against Namjoon’s. “We’ve got at least two hours.”
He stared down, heat pooling in the pit of his stomach. Namjoon really was gorgeous, he thought, his heart swelling, watching his face grow slack with pleasure, with want. His gaze glided over his flushed skin, dimples flashing as he rolled his lips and moaned low in his throat. He’d already run his fingers through the crisp grey hair falling away from his forehead, the bristled sides where he’d had the undercut crested just above his ears. Jimin had been right – this look was damn good on Namjoon. Most things were, but this, yeah.
“Hey,” Namjoon murmured, a grin turning the corner of his lips. “Come down here.”
“Yeah, hyung,” Jimin crooned. He dipped down to press a few teasing kisses to his lips, taking care to suck that full lip into his mouth. Namjoon gripped his waist and drew him closer, clinging to his mouth even as Jimin drew back again.
“Here? Bedroom?” Jimin knew what he’d prefer and made the case for it by grinding down onto the hard, hot length below his sweatpants.
“Not fair,” Namjoon whined, his head lolling back as a flush swept up his neck. He whimpered when Jimin chased the blush with a lash from his tongue. “Here, here’s good.”
Jimin hummed and tucked his face beneath his jaw, prepared to plant a garden of hickeys and bruises along Namjoon’s neck, when a familiar voice suddenly chimed, “Wow! It’s getting hot out here, huh?”
Like puppets whose strings had been abruptly yanked, Jimin and Namjoon both shot up on the couch. Panting, Jimin spun around in the direction of the voice, an apology on his lips, and nearly fell to the floor. Luckily, they had a foot of height difference between them so that when Namjoon’s knees jerked up, they knocked him in the butt rather than the groin.
He hissed and planted a hand on Namjoon’s chest. “Shit.”
“Sorry! Sorry, Jimin,” he scrambled, still wiggling below him like a turtle caught on its back. Namjoon craned his neck to look over the back of the couch, wide-eyed and blushing. “And sorry, hyung! We thought – Jimin said – “
Jimin glared down at him. “You could at least take the blame if you’re going to knee me in the ass.” While Namjoon spluttered, he looked around for the vampire. “Jin hyung, I thought you said….hyung?”
The living room was empty around them. Jimin craned his neck and listened for the sound of the vampire’s impossibly quiet footsteps on the floor, wondering if he’d escaped into the kitchen after catching them mid makeout. “Hyung?” he called out into the apartment.
Namjoon tugged on the edge of his shirt. “Jimin, look.”
Jimin followed his gaze to the TV, forgotten half an hour before when Jimin had returned from the studio and found Namjoon spread across the couch half-asleep.
“Summer’s right around the corner!” Jin announced as he walked down an unfamiliar sidewalk. He waved toward the sun with a blinding smile. The sun waved back and offered a fiery thumbs-up. “Grab a delicious and icy Babam bar when the sun starts wearing you down! That sweet, smooth, nutty flavor giving you the taste of winter just when you need it!”
He opened the ice cream bar with a snap of the wrapper and took a bite from the corner with an exaggerated, blissful sigh. “With our new formula, Babam bars come in additional flavors available to our fanged friends!” Jin flashed a toothy smile as a colorful background replaced the sunny street view before offering a wink from his large, cheerful red eyes. “Grab a bar today and enjoy your eternal summer!”
With that, the commercial ended, and the station began advertising upcoming releases of prominent shows and new series. Jimin sat on his heels for a second before he cleared his throat. “Wow.”
Namjoon nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
“He…he mentioned he’d done a commercial recently, but I didn’t pay attention at the time. Did you know he was doing commercials for brands that big?”
Namjoon shook his head slowly. “No. When I talked to him about moving in, hyung said he was a B-level actor or something like that.”
“Didn’t he mention a drama too?”
“Maybe?” Namjoon looked dazed. Jimin was sure he had the same expression on his face. Not every day did you discover that your new vampire roommate, in your nice but economy style apartment, would be staring in commercials from popular brands. Jimin glanced at the clock and read 8:34pm. Prime time television no less. He’s drawn back from the realignment of all he knew about Jin the vampire when Namjoon said, bemusedly, “That ice cream looks good.”
“Seriously?” When Namjoon shrugged, he continued, “That new formula he talked about was blood. They put blood in the ice cream for their “fanged” friends.”
“So? Vampires deserve ice cream too. Not like we have to buy the kind with blood in it.” He frowned slightly, watching Jimin. “Companies make alternatives for different lifestyles all the time. What’s wrong with that?”
“O Negative isn’t exactly the same as coconut milk.”
Namjoon hesitated. “Jimin….”
That look. Sighing, he braced his arm on the couch and got off Namjoon, stretching his legs. He avoided meeting his boyfriend’s gaze and the unspoken questions for a moment before he admitted, “The blood drinking weirds me out a bit, okay? Jin hyung is fine, I don’t have a problem with him.”
“I understand.” Namjoon wrapped a warm hand around his and tugged until Jimin turned his face in his direction, his gaze still lowered. “I do, Jimin. One of my best friends in high school was a vampire. He’d bring a silver water bottle along with his lunch box every day. It took a while to get used to each other. Me to him, and him to me. Vampires and humans have a long and complicated history, most of which isn’t great. People misunderstood them for centuries.”
“I’m trying not to—“ Jimin began but stopped as the ghost of last week’s conversation drifted through his mind.
He hadn’t grown up around vampires. What few had lived in his neighborhood did so in the wealthy part of town, high and above his family’s modest restaurant and the public school he’d attended until he moved for university. They’d kept themselves apart from the community with a cold, often sneering indifference. His rare glimpses had been through opened windows on Bentleys driving through the market during the dinner rush. There’d been a few at university and mixed in with the other members of his dance classes. He’d never actually known one for longer than a five minute conversation or a group chat working on an assignment.
“I’m trying,” he said simply. If he could recognize the impulse inside of him to be scared or put off, then Jimin would work against it. Vampires were people like any other. Just going about their day, falling in love, buying groceries, getting fired – that normal search for happiness and purpose that they all shared.
He paused before snorting to himself. That thought had Namjoon written all over it.
Jimin squeezed his hand back, smiling, his heart twisting sweetly at the dimpled grin he got in return. “Jin hyung’s all right.”
“Mmm,” He nodded. “He’s your type too.”
Namjoon shot him a knowing look. "Bossy, tall, unfairly pretty." At Jimin's concerned expression, he smiled easily, "it's okay, babe. That's my type too." He licked his lips and swept his gaze down Jimin. "Admittedly, it's hard to find someone that fits all three. Best two out of three is perfectly fine with me."
This little... Jimin let out a sharp laugh, his tongue flicking against the inside of his cheek. "So it's like that, huh? Best two?" He propped his hands on his hips before nodding. "You've got a point. One point. Out of three."
Snickering, Namjoon tried to grab his arm and tug him closer. Jimin danced out of his reach and headed toward their bedroom at a clip. Fumbling footsteps echoed down the hall behind them as Namjoon chuckled, "Jimin ah, wait for me."
Pausing in the doorway, Jimin waved a hand toward the top of the door frame and snarked, "Oh, do be careful, hyung. I'd hate for you to crack your massive head open. You're so tall, after all."
It took a while for Namjoon to work his way back into Jimin's good graces, but by the time they collapsed on damp sheets, slick with sweat and panting, Jimin was just satisfied enough to stroke a finger down the bridge of Namjoon's nose and admit, "Best two of three."
"Right," sighed Namjoon, "you're bossy enough for the both of us," before yelping when Jimin pinched his nipple.
And so, Jimin worked to keep his promise.
He started with introductory websites that talked about vampire culture and society, which often dipped into a rich history of isolation and social subversion stretching centuries across human civilization. When that became dense and technical and too much for his brain and attention, he poked into a few vampire-centered web comics and famous twitter accounts run by vampire celebrities.
Though much of the inside jokes were lost on him, Jimin found himself laughing alongside an art account on twitter called the Daily Fang, in which a clumsy and socially awkward vampire navigated the small adventures of daily life. The latest post had Moon get ready in front of the mirror, only to head to work with bedhead and tissue stuck to his ear. It reminded Jimin of his running joke with Jin while also making him curious about vampire beauty routines.
So later that day, he asked.
Jin paused on the threshold of the living room, straightening his shirt and tucking the ends into his pants. “What?”
Glancing over the top of his book, Jimin opened his mouth but the question promptly stalled in his throat. The vampire was dressed unusually sharp that night in a black suit, the fabric soft and neat as a pin. The jacket drew taut across his shoulders before tapering down to cling along his thin waist, tailored with an expert touch. The shirt below was crisp and white and buttoned smartly to the collar. A single platinum hoop hung from his left ear.
Red wine eyes framed by long lashes flickered toward him. "Jimin?"
"Uh." Flushing, Jimin scrunched further into the folds of his hoodie and cleared his throat. "I found this blog online, the Daily Fang?" When Jin stiffened slightly, his gaze growing cautious, Jimin quickly continued, "They post a lot of comics, about vampire life, kind of funny quirks."
"Yeah, I follow it."
Jimin hid a small sigh of relief. If Jin followed the account, the jokes had to be harmless rather than offensive, hopefully. "There was one recently about how vampires get ready, and I was wondering...." He trailed off with a glance toward Jin's hair, combed soft and neat across his forehead.
"How I get ready for work without a reflection?" Jin finished for him, tugging the front of his jacket with a brow raised.
"Moisturizer and a brush." Jin flicked his bangs back with a toss of his head and shot him a sharp, smug smile. "Some use the video camera on their phones or ask a friend for help. Me? I wake up looking this good."
Jimin rolled his eyes. "Sure you do, Babam man."
"Oh? You saw my commercial?" Jin grinned, rocking on the balls of his feet. "What'd you think?"
"Well, it made Namjoon want ice cream after watching it. Even the blood kind."
"And you, Jimin?" He asked again, more quietly than before. The excitement in his eyes had dimmed slightly, waiting patiently and carefully for Jimin to respond.
Fidgeting slightly, Jimin flicked the corner of a page with his thumb and said casually, "You should've brought freebies home for us, hyung. That's my favorite ice cream."
"Oh? I'll remember next time."
"I'll grab some from the store on Thursday, for our drama night." He finally looked up and met Jin's gaze. His stomach flipped at the warmth and friendly relief in the vampire's expression.
"Yes, let's do that."
Weeks passed, and they'd all fallen into a rhythm.
Mornings the three of them gathered around the table, Jin still dressed from work or lounging around the apartment at night, Jimin in his workout gear and Namjoon his pajamas. They go about their day and meet up again that night, around six or seven o'clock, but now it's Jin in his Mario pajamas mussed from sleep shuffling rice into his cheeks as Jimin mercilessly mocked any recent antic from Jungkook or Hoseok at the studio that day, or Namjoon waxed poetic about recent creations, ran a couple melodies, lyrics by them, laughed along with Jin whenever Jimin got up out of his seat for a full-body reenactment.
It took a month for them to become fast friends. Time had worked its magic, slowly eroding the barriers and subconscious biases in the back of his mind, bolstered by Jimin's own hard work and Jin's friendly personality. The thick, red supplement that Jin poured into his coffee, tea, or hot chocolate was still a bit of a sticking point for him but one easily shoved to the back of his mind amidst terrible jokes and raucous laughter accompanied by thigh-slapping, the way Jin took over making the morning meal and peppered in a delicious skill with spices that had Jimin reaching for a second serving and Namjoon begging for more water.
Watching dramas after dinner continued whenever time allowed, along with an additional movie night on Fridays. Namjoon, as the one with no decision-making power over the dramas they watched during the week, wielded the most over their movie night agenda, so that by the end of whatever cerebral or romantic tragedy he'd picked that week they all ended up sprawled across the couch, Jimin and Namjoon dozing while Jin watered virtual crops on his Switch.
They'd grown comfortable, him and Namjoon and Jin the vampire. Sometimes too comfortable.
Jimin frequently caught himself tracking Jin across the room, once wary gaze now bemused, entranced at times. The day Jin had slapped on a tight pair of jeans and sauntered into the kitchen, he'd missed his mug and poured boiling hot coffee onto the counter. Namjoon had been right. Jin really was the best of three for their criteria, with "unfairly pretty" a frequent thorn in their side.
"I brushed my teeth while he was finishing up in the shower the other day," Namjoon admitted one night, staring up at the ceiling while Jimin got comfortable on his pillow. "When he stepped out, it was--unreal. Like something out of a drama, with the steam and his--his everything being wet, you know?"
Jimin swallowed thickly as the image gathered form in his mind. "Mmm?"
"I turned to look, out of reflex more than anything, and I think my brain shut down for a minute." He turned, his expression dazed. "Except my arm was still going. I stuck the toothbrush in my ear, Jimin."
"Did you wash it?" Jimin murmured absently, wondering whether the water dripping from a vampire's skin would be warm or cold.
"No idea. Can't remember."
"That's gross, babe." He kissed his cheek and ran his hands up Namjoon's chest before nestling in for sleep.
Naturally, when things were beginning to settle, the other shoe dropped.
It happened on an otherwise excellent day.
Jimin got the call to participate in a music video alongside other dancers at his studio. Easy work with a high price tag, name recognition amongst the performers and the director - for an early career professional, this opportunity was like hitting the jackpot.
After carefully and politely ending the phone call with the casting manager, he'd run around the studio with Jungkook and Hoseok whooping and hollering at the top of their lungs, before he'd picked up takeout and dashed on him to tell Namjoon and Jin.
Namjoon was working in the kitchen for once, his laptop set up by a tumbler of iced coffee. He looked up over the rim of his glasses when Jimin roared into the room like a tornado. A grin spread across his face the moment he saw him. "Jimin! Congratula--" A surprised sound was garbled in the back of his mouth as Jimin hooked his foot around the leg of his chair to tug him free of the table, dropped into his lap, and set about kissing the breath from his lungs.
Hot, bubbling joy had Jimin giggling as he tugged his jacket off and wrapped his arms around Namjoon's shoulders. Hands floundered behind his back, knocking the tumbler off the side of the table and spilling ice across the floor, before warm palms pressed into his back. Namjoon melted underneath him, moaning low in his chest and sitting back in his chair.
After thoroughly exploring his mouth, Jimin leaned back for a second to catch his breath before ducking down to graze the length of his neck with his lips and teeth.
"Wow," Namjoon panted, his hands dipping down to curl under Jimin's thighs and hoist him higher on his lap. "Been a while since I saw you this excited over work."
"Yeah, well," Jimin said, pressing a smile into his shoulder, "you know this gig will pay our bills for five months? And get some savings in?" He rolled his hips against the growing bulge in the front of Namjoon's sweatpants.
"Wait, am I turning you on or is it the thought of financial stability?" He asked his voice wavering between a throaty laugh and a moan.
"What do you think?" He murmured against the shell of his ear, grinning wickedly when he felt the shiver run down Namjoon's back.
"I'm thinking we should go to our bedroom before Jin walks in on you riding me in the kitchen."
"He might appreciate it," Jimin whispered, flicking his earlobe with his tongue.
Namjoon's hands squeezed and slid to the crease between his thighs and ass before he hissed, "Yep, yeah, we're going now. Hang on."
Jimin yelped in surprise before laughing as Namjoon teetered to his feet and lifted him further up his body. He wrapped his legs around that thin waist, pleasantly reminded that while lanky and dotted with two sweet dimples, Namjoon could and had fucked him against a wall in the past. Why hadn't they done that in a while? They'd both been working too much. Yeah, time to fix that.
"Careful, babe," he teased, rubbing himself against Namjoon's front while pressing an openmouthed kiss to the back of his neck, working to make Namjoon as wild as possible before he ripped those sweatpants off.
"Not exactly helping, Jimin," he grunted, trying to navigate around the table. "Shit--" He stumbled, his foot catching on the cord of his laptop. Jimin clutched his shoulders and let out a garbled shout as they tipped over into the fridge. Namjoon's shoulder pushed it, hard enough that it rocked backward into the wall. Bottles and tupperware inside rattled loudly as it fell back down.
"Ow," Namjoon hissed in his ear, "Fuck, that hurt."
"You okay? How bad did you get your shoulder?"
As Jimin unhooked his legs and slid to the floor, Namjoon rolled his shoulder and winced. "Just bruised, I think." He heaved a sigh when he caught sight of the mess by the table, coffee and ice spilled everywhere, his power cord dragged across the kitchen. His laptop had luckily remained on the table and seemed relatively unscathed.
"We should clean this up."
Jimin shifted on his feet, still riding the high and hard in his jeans. He glanced at the clock on the wall. "There's still two hours before Jin hyung wakes up..."
Namjoon stared at him. "It'll be sticky by then."
The corner of Jimin's mouth twitched. "Yeah. It will."
He's abruptly awoken from his post-sex nap by a scream.
Jimin lurched up from his pillow, heart pumping a mile a minute. His head spun for a moment as he braced his arms on the mattress, before he blearily looked around.
Namjoon rolled over and croaked, "What's happening? Jimin?" A mess of dried come was spread across his stomach, trailing a corner of the sheets where it'd tuck while he was asleep.
"I don't know," he muttered, turning toward the door. Beyond the room, he could hear the clinking of bottles, wrappers crackling, and another long groan of misery. His brain slowly began to grind once more as Jimin sat up, the sheets sliding off his bare back. The sounds were familiar. Something about them had alarms ringing in the back of his mind.
Bottles. Groans. Distress.
"Oh shit, the kitchen."
Horrified, he met Namjoon's wide-eyed gaze before scrambling off the bed and snatching his pants from the floor. Behind him, sheets crinkled as Namjoon fought to free his legs, cursing under his breath. Jimin tied the strings on his pants and searched for his shirt before spotting the hoodie draped over his desk chair. He crammed that over his head and hurried out of the bedroom while Namjoon tugged on his pajama pants.
Guilt sour and hot stung the back of his throat. They'd left a huge mess in the kitchen. They'd spilled coffee over the floor, probably knocked over everything in the fridge, and then put it off to nail Namjoon to the headboard. Then they fell asleep and left that chaos for Jin to find, with no warning. Shit, shit.
"Hyung, we're so sorry," he's already saying as he skirted around the doorway. "We'll clean this up right now, don'w worry--" The words promptly died in his throat.
Jin's on his knees in front of the fridge, the door knocking against his side as he held a roll of paper towels in his lap. A shaking hand shoved his hair back from his face as he stared, helplessly into the second shelf. It took half a second for Jimin to see why. His stomach plummeted.
The second shelf was covered in a thick layer of blood. The steel container had tipped over, the cap loose enough to crack open and spill the contents across the shelf. Blood continued to drip down from the edge and seep into the back of the fridge, to the open area containing cases of vegetables and takeout.
Jimin had a moment to feel both a tremor of disgust and guilt curdling in his stomach, before Namjoon finally appeared in the doorway.
"Oh shit." He pressed his fist to his mouth, brow furrowing. They shared a look thick with regret, before he took a step forward. "Hyung..."
Jin slowly turned toward them, his shoulders slumped. "What the hell?" He asked, in the meekest voice Jimin had ever heard him use.
"It was an accident!" Jimin started, wringing the end of his shirt in his hands. "We were just---I got some really good news, so we were---" He caught sight of the Jin's hurt, furious gaze and stopped. He crossed the room to grab paper towels from the cabinet, ignoring the sticky sensation as he walked over a spot of dried coffee.
Namjoon heaved a sigh and approached Jin, his expression remorseful. "Jimin's studio was requested for a music video shoot. It's a pretty big deal, so we...we celebrated when he got home."
Dark crimson eyes flickered sharply down to Namjoon's stomach, covered in a thin white t-shirt. "I got that already. What, you decided to "celebrate" by fucking up the kitchen? Tipping the fridge over?" He threw his hand toward the mess inside, his voice rising and shaking. "Contaminating half your food and ruining all of mine?"
Lowering his head, Namjoon rolled his lips inward and bowed his head.
"I picked Jimin up and lost my footing. We fell against the fridge, and I did hear somethings fall inside. I should've checked to make sure nothing had broken before...before leaving it. I'm really sorry, hyung."
"Me too," Jimin said, barely above a whisper. "Sorry, Jin hyung."
Silence, cold and damning, settled over the kitchen for a long moment as the vampire continued to watch blood drip down onto the loose bags of vegetables below before he rubbed his hands over his pale face.
"I probably left the cap loose when I went to bed this morning." His lips trembled. "Some of this is my fault too. A tiny bit," he clarified petulantly.
Sidling closer, Jimin lowered to his knees and unfurled a couple sheets of the towel. "We'll clean this up, hyung."
Jin glanced between the towel, his face, and the inside of the fridge, which resembled a murder scene in miniature. "Towels aren't enough for this. Spilled blood is a biohazard. Get a bucket and bleach."
Namjoon headed toward the sink to do just that, rubbing the back of his neck. Jimin watched him tug the bucket out from the cabinet below, the bright mood from that afternoon thoroughly dimmed. It felt petty to think like that, though, in the face of Jin's dismay.
"Can you," he paused, searching for a polite way to ask, "get another one?"
Swallowing thickly, Jin snorted. "What, you think blood banks are eager to shell out precious resources to literal blood suckers? When they're already running on a shortage most of the time?"
The vampire caught the look and let out another small sigh. "Sorry." He picked the steel jug off the shelf and peered down into the spout. "This was supposed to last me two weeks. I just opened it yesterday."
A couple drops of blood fell away from the jug and hit the floor. Jimin forced himself to look inside the fridge. He'd made the mess. The least he could do was own up to it.
"You can try to get a refill, under special circumstances," continued Jin, his frown growing darker. "I've heard from others that it takes a ridiculous amount of time for the paperwork to get through the system. In Seoul, at least." He bit his lip. "For something like this, I doubt I'd qualify, but I'll try."
Jimin startled when the bucket was lowered to the floor between them, mirky water sloshing against the sides. "Get the rubber gloves too, hyung," he said. "There should be extra pairs in the hallway closet."
He nodded and headed into the hall, the soles of his feet sticking to the tile.
Jin watched him go before he met Jimin's gaze and made a half-hearted whipping sound, his eyes not quite amused but better than they had been five minutes ago. Jimin returned the gesture with a small smirk, relieved that Jin wasn't so angry with them that he couldn't joke around.
"Could you borrow some?" He asked tentatively. "I mean, from a friend's supply?"
"Then they'd just be hungry for several days too." Jin snagged a pair of blue rubber gloves from Namjoon when he returned, wiggling his hands into the stretchy sleeves. When he noticed Jimin gnawing on the inside of his cheek, he added, "I'll check just in case."
Namjoon mumbled, "Sorry for all this, hyung."
"Words are cheap," Jin snarked, but his smile softened the blow. "Get to work. I'd clean the blood, but that bleach is frying the fuck out of my nose and none of this is my fault, so I'll be tackling the coffee stains everywhere. Be grateful I'm helping at all."
"Yes, hyung," Jimin chanted dutifully before snapping his gloves like a whip toward Jin's ass as he crawled toward the table. He no longer felt so guilty that the resulting squawk didn't draw a grin as he bent over the bucket and got to work.
Five days later, Jimin squeezed his way through the open front door, his arms weighed down with bags and smelling strongly of freshly baked bread and sugar.
The scent alone was enough to have his hard-won discipline wrestling against cravings that had long been suppressed by a careful high fruit and protein, low carb diet. The thick loaf of bread and box of croissants were not the real threat, not - the red bean bungyeoppan and chocolate-dipped strawberries sat sweet on the back of his tongue. He bit his lip, sat the bags by the kitchen table, and turned away from the temptation.
It was a cold day in hell when Jimin bought a full corner of a bakery and brought it back to their apartment. His impulse control relied heavily on whether his cheat treats were in sight and in reach. If he didn't buy them, didn't smell them, didn't even walk past that aisle in the market, then Jimin could be strong.
This. This was akin to throwing in the towel. Surrender. A hail mary pass.
This was penance.
Breathing through his mouth to avoid the heavenly smell, Jimin shuffled through the hallway and knocked on Jin's door as gently as possible. "Jin hyung?"
A second later, the door cracked open. Four finger curling around the frame were all that could be seen from the hall. "What."
"Um. On my way home, I walked past a bakery and thought I'd buy a couple things."
He heard a grunt on the other side.
Jimin bit his lip. "There's croissants, songpyeon, yakgwa. That's your favorite, right?" He shifted on his feet, trying to peer a little deeper into the dark room. When he received no reply, he sighed, "It'll be in the fridge if you change your mind."
"...not now, but thanks..." replied Jin, his voice rough and quiet. The fingers retreated and the door closed without another word.
Jimin lingered, trying to think of something else to say, an apology on the tip of his tongue for what felt like the hundredth time that week. Finally, he wandered back into the kitchen and started sorting through the treats and setting the perishable ones in the fridge. Once he'd finished, he put a handful of the strawberries in a bowl and curled up on the couch in defeat.
The week had spiraled down and fast. The first two days after the accident, Jin had seemed normal enough, if tired and a little grouchy. He'd kept drinking a mug of coffee in the morning and picking at their meals, to trick his stomach into thinking he was full, he said. Dark circles beneath his eyes and shadows in the hollows of his cheeks seemed to grow a fraction deeper every time Jimin saw him.
Then by the end of the third day, he stopped the pretense of eating food altogether. By the fourth day, Jin looked like death haunting their apartment in a pink sweater and sweatpants, leaving his room only to visit the bathroom. He'd stopped lingering after dinner to watch their dramas together. Namjoon had heard him cancel an appointment for next week over the phone.
Jin's friends, the handful he had in Seoul, hadn't been able to help.
"Yoongi's working in Hong Kong at the moment," he'd said the first morning after. "Took his supply with him. And Taehyung, well, he's got his boyfriend."
Jimin had paused in the middle of a bite of omelette. "His boyfriend? Like...to drink blood from?"
"Yeah." He'd shrugged, slumping on the table.
"I guess you can't really share that," Jimin had joked, though a second later he realized that was a bit hypocritical of him.
Jin pursed his lips thoughtfully. "In an emergency, he might be okay with it. Taehyung's a bit territorial though. I'd have to be near death, and even then he'd be real bothered by it." He'd glanced at his phone, watching his email inbox as he had since the night before, hoping for a reply from the blood bank about his temporary supply request.
With four days gone and still no reply from the agency, their vampire roommate was well and truly miserable. And it was all their fault.
Jimin bit into the strawberry and scrolled down his twitter feed without really paying attention. For most of the morning and afternoon, he'd been distracted by the guilt settling in the pit of his stomach like a stone. Enough so that Jungkook and Hoseok, still hyper and eager from their upcoming gig, had treated him to lunch and tried to cheer him up.
Namjoon had said much the same.
"I checked with Kihyun," he mentioned the night before, glancing up from his phone as he laid back on his pillow, "Apparently, his brother had to apply for a refill once last year. Took two weeks for it to arrive, and by then he'd already received his usual order."
"What'd he do in the meantime?"
"Well, his friends volunteered to give him blood." He'd fallen silent for a moment before turning on his side to meet Jimin's gaze. "Listen, Jimin. I think I'll probably do the same."
Jimin had sat up, alarmed. "What?"
"He's having a really rough time." Namjoon scooted up on the bed, his brow furrowed. "And I feel like shit watching him practically hibernate, when it's our fault he's like this. So if he doesn't hear back soon, I'm going to offer to help."
A mixture of unease, curiosity, and concern had Jimin reaching for his hand and leaning closer. "Have you ever...done that before?"
"Nope," he admitted, dimples flashing as he grinned. "But I've heard it's not a bad experience. Evidently, it's kind of hot. I thought all the stories about vampire bites were exaggerated or just bullshit from romance novels or something, but Kihyun said it's legit."
Kind of hot. Jimin had also heard the rumors, even browsed through the romance section at the bookstore and spotted a few vampire-themed novels tucked away on the shelf, bawdy covers pressed together. He'd wondered sometimes too, but it had been difficult to reconcile the distant disdain of the vampires in his neighborhood with the brooding, suspiciously beautiful stranger passionately declaring eternal love to naive, busty protagonists.
He sighed and glanced away, unsure what to think about that, until Namjoon leaned in and kissed him sweetly.
"What do you think about that, babe?" He'd pressed into his cheek, his voice gentle.
Jimin had thought about it then and continued to think about it now, halfway through his fifth strawberry. He'd done some research too, under the covers after Namjoon had gone to bed and in a private pocket of his studio while he stretched, blushing and at times laughing at some of the comments on Reddit about experiences with vampire bites. And by the time he'd made it home, unable to tempt Jin from his room even with his favorite sweets, he'd just about finished thinking about it.
As he crammed the last strawberry in his mouth, he shot off a text to Namjoon.
"Hyung, could you join us in the living room for a bit?"
JImin waited patiently until he heard a low groan, just audible through the door. He knocked again, more insistently this time, until the door cracked open and a gloomy red eye appeared in the light of the hall. "Why?" he muttered.
"We want to talk about what's going on," he paused, took a quick breath, and added, calmly, "and talk about an idea we had."
The vampire watched him from the shadows, his gaze narrowing suspiciously. "You'll keep knocking until I come, won't you."
Heaving a long, dramatic sigh, Jin rested his head against the door for a long moment, until he said, "Fine. There had better be yakgwa waiting for me, though."
Jimin bit back a smile before leading the grumpy denizen of the night into the living room. The vampire paused on the threshold, surprised, as he took in the spread of desserts on the short table by the couch along with three pint-sized glasses of chilled beer. The hard, unhappy lines around his eyes and mouth seemed to soften when he spotted Namjoon on the floor, breaking a fish-shaped bungyeoppan into pieces and squeezing the red bean paste out before eating them.
"What's all this?" Jin asked, crouching down and settling in beside Namjoon, eyeing the small mountain of thick, golden squares in the middle of the table with hunger.
"Another apology, I guess?" Jimin admitted sheepishly as he joined them. "I just thought, maybe having your favorite dessert would help a little. Comfort food and all that."
"Well, even if it can't replace blood, I'll always accept apologies in the form of sugar, so you're on the right track," Jin said magnanimously, stacking his chopsticks and grabbing the top yakgwa off the pile. He tucked it into his mouth with a moan of joy and just chewed with his eyes closed while Jimin exchanged a look with Namjoon.
Fully visible for the first time in several days, Jin was a wreck. His hair looked flat and brittle, kept out of his face by an orange headband. His skin looked even paler than before, cast grimly in shadows and wrinkles. A faint tremor was visible as he lifted another gold square to his cricked lips. Jimin knew for a fact he'd worn that same sweatshirt for the past three days, though it didn't smell terrible yet, the faint odor of dust and stagnancy clung to the air around him.
He shot Namjoon a quick nod, fisting the hems of his sleeves.
"About that, hyung," Namjoon began, pausing to take a drink from his beer. "Yakgwa's not the only thing on the table."
Jin snorted. "Clearly. Pass me that plate of tea cakes."
Flushing around the collar, Namjoon did so before he continued, "No, hyung, that's not what I meant." He waited until Jin looked up, bemused as his cheeks bulged. "We're offering to give you blood."
The vampire froze, his mouth slightly open. A light seemed to flare within crimson eyes, before his expression shuttered. He glanced between them, lingering for longer on Jimin with a frown lined with skepticism. "What?"
Namjoon slouched further against the couch and smiled. "Just until you get another delivery. And, obviously, only if you're comfortable with it," he added.
"Wait, hold on a minute." Jin waved a hand in the air, desserts forgotten as his brow furrowed. "You're offering to let me drink from you? Seriously?" He licked his lips, unsure. When Namjoon nodded with ease, he followed up with, "Do you know what you're doing? Have you shared blood with a vampire before?"
"I haven't done it myself, but I've watched before. I know what it's like, and I understand the risks."
The vampire's gaze narrowed, as though gaging his sincerity, before they turned to Jimin. "And you, Jimin ah?"
Jimin shifted slightly on his cushion, nervous under that heavy stare. "We talked about it, and I did some research. I'm game to try."
"Not sure I believe that," said Jin, his hands retreating into the pocket of his hoodie.
Jimin swallowed back the small burst of irritation at the skepticism, since it was well-earned and deserved. He'd grown a lot more at ease around Jin, worlds apart from the beginning of the month, but serving up his own blood on a platter was a bit of a leap from tentative friendship and bonding over a shared taste in supernatural dramas.
But Jimin really had done his research, learned more about what it'd be like to get bitten, read enough information and real accounts on the internet to feel reasonably sure it wasn't that big deal. A little prick on his neck of wrist, three minutes later, they'd be done. It seemed like a small sacrifice compared to the distress Jin carried around since the accident. And yes, part of his reasoning was guilt at causing it - but he'd be lying if he wasn't a little curious about how it'd feel. Some of the stories he'd read had been quite... detailed.
Resolved, Jimin sat up straighter and met Jin's gaze head on. "You've been running on empty for almost a week now, and even if it wasn't intentional, that's our fault. We want to help, hyung. I want to help."
The vampire's dubious expression wavered. He scratched his neck and fiddled with the half-eaten sweet on his plate before he finally shrugged. "Not like I'm really in the position to refuse, but it might make things kind of awkward. You know, with the effects of the bite?"
Namjoon fielded this one again, grinning wolfishly. "Only if we let it. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it. See what the hype is all about."
Jin rolled his eyes. "I guess." He turned to Jimin with one brow raised. "Jimin ah, I'm surprised you're going along with this. On Monday, you looked ready to toss some cookies after one look at the fridge. Aren't you squeamish?"
"What, you saying you're a messy eater?" Jimin joked, popping a strawberry in his mouth more to have something to do with his hands. "I'll be fine."
Concerns still seemed to linger in Jin's eyes, his crumb covered mouth frowning as he considered the offer. Finally, he sighed. "Fine. Let's do this." Pushing back from the table, he paused, his shoulders curling in, and mumbled, "Thanks."
Cute. Jimin rolled his lips in to hide a smile, endeared at the slight pout on the vampire's face. The urge to tease him briefly interrupted the rush of nerves swirling in Jimin's stomach. "That was easier than I'd thought it'd be," when Jin seemed confused, he added with a bright smile, "getting you to say 'thank you' for once. You're very welcome, hyungie~"
"Savor it now, human," he retorted, "you'll be very appreciative of me soon enough. As you should be."
Heat bloomed across his face at the reminder.
"Your usual delivery arrives next weekend, right?" asked Namjoon, already tugging his jacket from his shoulders. "How often do you need to drink until then?"
Jin considered it, before he said, "Once every two days, preferable when I wake up."
Given how often Jimin had watched the vampire tip a few splashes of blood into his drink at meals, he suspected that was still stretching the vampire's limits. He must not want to ask for too much when they've never shared with a vampire before, to keep from overwhelming them, perhaps. The consideration, despite the situation and how hungry he must be, had warmth settling in Jimin's chest.
They tugged the table across the room. On Jin's advice, Jimin and Namjoon crawled onto the couch and settled into a comfortable position. While Jin fretted with the pillows and stalled for a moment, he nudged Namjoon's thigh with his toes. Namjoon wrapped a warm hand around his ankle, thumb stroking over the knob of his joint, as a brow rose with a silent question. Still good?
Jimin hoped so. Anticipation and uncertainty battled for supremacy inside him. His heart had picked up the pace the moment they'd moved to the couch. He suspected the vampire could hear him, from the awkward way he shoved a pillow into his lap and offered his gorgeous throw blanket from the back of the couch.
"Okay, okay" chanted Jin, surveying them before scrubbing his hands on his cheeks. "Uh. Who's going tonight?"
"Both of us."
Jimin hugged the pillow against his chest, a little grateful now that he had something to hold onto. "We can alternate later, but for now, I thought...." He avoided Namjoon's knowing, amused gaze. "Well, you're making up for lost time, right?" That, and Jimin had been afraid he might chicken out if he didn't volunteer the first time. He'd always been the one aiming for the first spot for class presentations for that same reason.
Again, the vampire darted a look between them as though not sure what to make of this. "All right. Then, who's first?"
Jin stared for a long moment, before letting out a short laugh under his breath. "Man, you're really a head-first kind of guy, Jimin ah." He sidled closer and hovered a couple inches away from his knees. "It's been a while since I actually drank from someone. I might be kind of rusty."
"That's comforting. Thanks, hyung."
He huffed. "What'll it be, neck or wrist?"
Jimin fought to hide a grimace. He hadn't thought he'd be making the choice, and he didn't want to. "Which is easier?"
"You mean, less painful? Neck. More muscle, less chance I nick a bone."
Jimin glared, stiffening against the cushions.. "Are you trying to scare me out of this? I made up my mind, all right. Stop being a dick about it."
"Just being honest," muttered Jin, though he didn't deny it. "I'll have to get pretty close."
"Have it your way then. Neck, it is."
His throat felt strangely dry as the vampire closed in. A flicker of unease awoke once more in the back of his mind, like an ancient instinct for survival had been revived at the sight of crimson eyes like crushed cherries hovering above him, gleaming with the first hint of true hunger Jin had shown all night.
A shadow fell as the vampire braced his arms on the back of the couch and leaned over him. Jimin squeezed the pillow tighter before forcing himself to relax into the cushion. Unable to meet Jin's gaze, he watched the soft pink hoodie fall loosely below his chest, the collar handing open below his chin and revealing more pale skin. Blushing, Jimin realized the vampire wasn't wearing a shirt underneath and forced himself to look over his shoulder instead.
"Tilt your head, Jimin ah," whispered Jin, his voice gentle and smooth. Something about the sound washed through his body like a warm breeze. Jimin recognized the honeyed sweetness on his breath. He licked his lips and did as bid, his heart thumping loudly in his chest. "Easy. There you go."
He startled slightly when the vampire's mouth ghosted along the edge of his jaw, light and soft, barely touching his skin as he trailed down his neck and paused at the crook of his shoulder. Jin paused there, puffs of his breath drawing goosebumps along his back. "Ready?"
Jimin swallowed, his hands fisting the pillowcase. Namjoon curled his palm around his ankle and brushed his fingers in small circles, a solid and comforting presence just a couple feet away. "Okay."
"Just do it. Hurry up."
Snickering, he pressed a smile like a kiss into his shoulder. "So bossy." His left hand slipped from the couch frame and curled around his upper arm to keep him steady. "Three," he whispered. "Two." Jimin's breath hitched. "One."
Jin bit down.
A tiny prick, not unlike a shot at the pharmacy, cut through his skin. The pain was sharp, quick, and then replaced by a dull ache on his neck. After a moment waiting, bracing for something much worse, Jimin released the pillow and relaxed his shoulders. That hadn't been bad. Barely anything, really. His helix piercing had hurt worse than that.
He felt a curious tap on his ankle. Almost dizzy with relief, Jimin wiggled his toes back to let Namjoon know he was fine.
Then Jin laved over the bite with his tongue, warm and wet, sending shivers rioting down his back.
Like ink curling and descending into water, heat began to steal into his body through his chest and back, roaming and slithering along until he felt as though sparks dances at the ends of his fingers. He gasped, caught in thoughts and concerns fell away, subsumed under a wave of tingling sensation. Everything felt good and hot and sweet inside, almost too much.
He reached forward and caught the loose fabric of his hoodie, gripping and tugging to draw the vampire closer. He's hard, his dick aching in his sweatpants. The hand on his ankle falls away as he squirmed, toes curling, heels digging into the cushions. Jin's mouth was sucking mildly, kindly, and every pulse sent a bolt of heat down to his groin, as though a line of fire connected the brush of his tongue to the base of Jimin's length.
Distantly, Jimin could hear himself panting, faint moans escaping from his chest as he held on through wave after wave of simmering arousal, warm and hazy. He felt drunk, his arms and legs heavy, his head drifting back on the cushions.
Eventually, he felt the touch of cold air on his neck as Jin made one last pass with his tongue across the spot where he'd bitten and pulled back to check on him. "Jimin ah? You in there?"
Humming in his throat, Jimin pried open his heavy lids and stared up at him. He felt another curl of heat swim in the pit of his stomach at the flush on Jin's cheeks, the satiation in his crimson eyes. As Jin drew back, Jimin's arms fell back down on the pillow. He cuddled it against his chest and let his head fall to the couch cushion once more.
A hand patted his head.
"Wow," he heard as though through a bubble, the voice familiar and thick with interest. "He looks pretty out of it."
"Yeah, the first time feels pretty strong." Fingers carefully prodded his neck, inspecting the bite. Occasionally, they pressed into his skin, and an echo of arousal throbbed in his groin. "Eventually, the chemical agent in our saliva loses some of its effectiveness, but it'll always feel good."
"That's fascinating, and I want to hear more about that but later." A cough, sheepish and rough, interrupted. "Like, tomorrow later."
Jin hesitated before admitting, "I could manage with this for another couple days, but if you're willing..."
"I'm willing. Very willing. Eager, even, because that," Namjoon breathed, his voice low and rough, "was hot as hell."
"Nice," snorted Jin, followed by a rustle of closing. The cushions below Jimin's legs shifted as they changed positions nearby, before he heard a sly whisper, "I will eat well then, Namjoonie~"
Rising slowly from the blissful cloud he'd settled in, Jimin opened his eyes and turned toward the other side of the couch. Jin was again leaning over Namjoon, his face gliding along his jaw and around his ear. He settled in the same spot he'd picked for Jimin, that comfortable crook at the bend of his neck. Like this, he seemed impossibly broad, as though he could engulf Namjoon in his arms and tuck him away in the folds of his hoodie, despite the few inches between their heights.
Namjoon patted around on the seat beside until he caught Jimin's foot again. He met Jimin's gaze across the space between them, lips parted and eyes dark. He bit his lip when Jimin offered him a slow, heated smile, his grip tightening. Jimin watched a shudder run through him, the fabric of the couch crinkling under him.
Licking his lips, Namjoon glanced at the vampire's shoulder. Faint whispers were hidden in the nook below his ear as a blush crawled up his neck and cheeks. Jin's hand traced down the length of his arm and loosely gripped his elbow. Namjoon blinked quickly, glanced back and Jimin.
There's a small shift between their bodies, like two puzzle pieces fitting seamlessly together, and then after a quiet moment Namjoon's eyes rolled into the back of his head.
He'd wondered how he would feel, watching Jin bite Namjoon. Even with the most modest of accounts he'd found on the forums, sharing blood with a vampire was a sensual experience. Neither he nor Namjoon were particularly jealous or possessive. They'd run through several hits and misses on their shared preferences in bed. Drawing a third person between them had been a tally under the column labeled Maybe, with the caveat if the right person came along.
After tonight, Jimin would bet the family fortune that a new entry had been made under the hit column. If what he was witnessing on the other side of the couch was even a tenth as hot to Namjoon as it was right now to Jimin, then he thought he'd get an enthusiastic green light from his boyfriend for that upgrade.
Throaty, hushed groans were escaping Namjoon, the kind that hooked into Jimin's belly and made him want to flip him over onto his hands and knees. His face was flushed and strained, his brow furrowed as he tiled his head toward Jimin, baring his neck as though silently pleading for more. Without a pillow for added pressure, his hips were making stilted, futile jerks in search of friction against the bulge pushing against the front of his pajama pants.
Jimin squirmed in his corner of the couch, watching intently as Jin's throat slowly bobbed as he drank. It was impossible to tell whether feeding like this affected the vampire as acutely as it did them, the oversized hoodie Jin wore draping over his the tops of his thighs. But his thumb smoothed circles along the dip of Namjoon's elbow, the tops of his ears were red, and Jimin remembered the heat in his eyes after he'd pulled away from his neck.
After a few minutes, Jin pulled away from Namjoon.
The difference from ten minutes ago was stark. The dark circles and bags under his eyes had vanished, replaced by full and rosy cheeks. His hair looked distinctly glossy and much healthier, pushing against the headband rather than falling limp to the back of his neck. It reminded Jimin of those commercials in which people with dry, brittle applied face masks and peeled them off to reveal the models they'd always been on the other side of the camera filter.
Best of all, the misery that had dogged his every step had evaporated. Jin stood tall, his chin lifted, and there was a certain liveliness to him that Jimin had not recognized existed until he had fallen into a slump.
With a long, shaky sigh, Namjoon slumped bonelessly back into the couch, his face slack. "Holy shit," he mumbled, one hand sliding down onto his thigh.
"Yeah," Jimin commiserated, still hot and hard in his sweatpants.
Standing in front of them, his hand rubbing his stomach, Jin smiled. "Thank you for the meal," he sang as he stared down at them, pleased and smug.
Jimin nudged Namjoon with his foot. "Bedroom, now."
"Oh, fuck yes, please," he whined, dragging himself up into a sitting position and trying to stand on shaking legs. For a second, Namjoon was bent over his knees, one arm braced on the couch while the other hovered in front of his groin. Then, grinning at them both, he began to shuffle around the back toward the hall.
Jimin uncurled himself with what he hoped was a little more grace and paused, catching Namjoon's eye. He glanced at Jin and raised one brow in a silent question. He got a surprised but eager expression in return, before Namjoon nodded.
Tugging his sweater over his head, Jimin ran a hand through his hair and looked at Jin over his shoulder. "Want to join for some dessert, hyung?"
Jin looked stunned. His gaze darted between him and Namjoon, his lips parted, a flash of fang just visible. Then he said, as though sugar wouldn't melt in his mouth, "That line would work better if there wasn't a half a bakery display on the table back there." He pointed at said table with his thumb.
"Invitation revoked. Let's go, Joon."
"Wait, wait, that was a joke, Jimin! Don't leave hyung behind!"
The following weekend, when a heavy insulated box arrived at their front door, Jimin watched as the vampire toted it into the kitchen with a finger wrapped around the handle.
Jin sat it on the ground and wrapped his arms around it, sighing dramatically. "My supply! Thank the prince of darkness for same-day delivery!" He peaked up at Jimin, who pretended to ignore him for the spreadsheets on his laptop. "I'm no longer in danger of starvation! I think I lost ten pounds these past couple weeks."
"Oh?" Jimin hummed, pushing his glasses up his nose and adding a couple notes into his savings strategy for next month. "I hadn't realized you were so dissatisfied with your recent menu. There weren't any complaints at the time of frequent service. Guess you'll be fine without us now, so," he tapped the period key with more force than intended. "Problem solved, right?
Jin rose from the box and stepped around the table until he could lean over Jimin's back, his chin propped on his head. "Well, I wouldn't call it a problem now," he murmured, his fingers brushing the back of Jimin's neck. "More a happy accident that has lead to mutual benefits, hmm?"
"But you were so thrilled about your delivery," Jimin sighed, keeping his expression neutral even as wandering hands began to dip into the collar of his t-shirt. "I guess cold, refrigerated jugs just have more to offer you than we can. Hyung will be disappointed." He slapped one of the hands trying to burrow toward his nipple.
"That's not what I meant, Jimin. Sweet, generous Jiminie~" Jin sang his name, amusement thick in his tone. "Maybe I am feeling a little peckish."
He pointed at the box on the floor. Jin huffed.
As though on cue, the front door opened with a chime of the bell, and Namjoon called, brightly, "I'm home!"
There's a clatter of backpacks and shoes hitting the floor before he scuffed down the hall and appeared in the doorway. "Collab's almost ready to start. We got the final details hammered out today," he said, his hair windswept and messy. Namjoon leaned over the laptop to kiss Jimin, then Jin, before he noticed the box. "What's that?"
"Our replacement," Jimin replied sardonically. "Oh, wait. I guess we were the temporary substitutes, so the first string players are off the bench now. We were the placeholders while the kitchen worked on the real meal."
Namjoon's brows had risen steadily during this rant, while Jin snickered into his hair. "Well, it's easier for hyung, right?" At Jimin's disgruntled look, he added, "and it's not like he can't still have 'dessert.'"
"Namjoon, ever the voice of reason," Jin sighed, causing Jimin's bangs to shake and tickle his nose. "And it's not just for me." He leaned down to add, lips brushing against Jimin's ear, "Weren't you late for your class last week because we couldn't finish in time?"
Blushing, Jimin rolled his tongue against the inside of his cheek. "That was more your fault than mine."
"Mmm, yeah, it was," he sighed, pleased as punch, before he finally released Jimin and headed back toward his back to put his blood in the refrigerator. He slapped the sides of the box a couple times before tearing through the tape with his fingernail. "Anyway, these will take time to settle and get chilled again." Jin looked between them, his lip quirking.
"Who wants to be my evening snack?"