[INT. TRAILER - AFTERNOON]
Someone is knocking on the doorframe of Seokjin’s trailer. It’s probably Namjoon, judging from the strength of it, also judging from the fact that Yoongi never knocks, and Hoseok tends to just barge in straight after regardless of being invited in or not.
Seokjin is currently incapacitated, lying down on the bed at the end of the little metal box that is his for the shoot. His arms are spread wide, lavender face-mask relaxing or tightening or what-ever-the-fucking his pores. He hums out for Namjoon to come in, presuming that it’s him. He can’t see much through the cucumber slices over his eyes.
“Just dropping off some script revisions. I’m not staying,” Namjoon calls, still hanging back by the door frame, “some of us have to work proper hours.”
Seokjin doesn’t rise to it. Both he and Namjoon know he worked long and hard for this immense privilege of being able to lie down with gunk on his face all afternoon.
Namjoon makes a noise halfway between amused and exasperated. “Oh, they finally got you a new stunt double, by the way.”
“What?” Seokjin calls out.
Namjoon sighs audibly, and the trailer rocks a little as he climbs in. Seokjin briefly peels a cucumber from his eye just to check that his drink didn’t spill and that Namjoon isn’t in a bad mood or something. No, the producer looks just as tired as usual. In fact, he looks like he could use a break, or maybe a gin and tonic. That , Seokjin can help him with.
“Not that it’s my job to tell you, but I’ll repeat it nonetheless, they’ve hired a new stunt double for you.” Namjoon settles onto one of the couches, obviously taking the moment to shuffle through his piles of notes, all somehow attached to one giant and battered clipboard which could take a man out of action if dropped on his foot. (And it has before.)
Seokjin puts the cucumber back on his eye. Honestly, it feels pleasant at first, but after a while it’s just kind of slimy. Still, he likes the effect of it, the way interns squeak when they deliver things to his door and he’s in Diva Movie Star mode.
“I still don’t see why I can’t do my own stunts,” Seokjin says. “I’m sure I’d be just as good at falling off buildings than anyone else, if not better.”
Namjoon lets out a noise that sounds like he would very much like to push Seokjin off a building right now. “Your face alone is insured for several million, Hyung, I don’t think the executives would be on board with dangling you from a helicopter.”
“Is there a helicopter scene?” Seokjin asks, alarmed, “I don’t remember-”
“No,” Namjoon cuts him off, “But I wouldn’t put it past them to add one.”
“It would give me an opportunity to look windswept.” One of Seokjin’s cucumbers has started sliding down the side of his face. He knows it would be gross to eat it but it’s so tempting. Instead, he takes both of them off with a flourish, sitting up carefully so that no lavender face cream gets anywhere. “So has Jiminie retired?”
“Not retired,” Namjoon sighs, “he’s just moved on to - uh - shorter prospects.”
“It’s always been a shame that Park Jimin isn’t tall enough to be my stunt double,” Seokjin grins. Jimin has done well filling in for any pieces where height wasn’t really necessary, and they’ve worked together on films before. It’s just with this project it seems like every other scene requires a body double. “He’s almost pretty enough to do me justice without editing.”
Namjoon coughs, cheeks red, and Seokjin simmers smugly. They’ve never discussed Kim Namjoon’s blatant crush on Jimin aloud but everyone under the sun is aware of it.
“Well,” Namjoon shuffles with his call sheet, “the new guy could honestly give Jimin a run for his money.”
“ Really ? What’s he like?” Seokjin asks; though he isn’t actually that interested, it would be good to know if his new stunt double is as pompous a bastard as himself.
“In a word?” Namjoon takes a moment to think about it. “Cute.”
“Cuter than me?” Seokjin pouts his lips out in an awful aegyo, bringing his hands up to his face in a flower pose, careful not to cover them in the face gunk accidentally.
“Of course not,” Namjoon says in a monotone he must have caught from Yoongi, not even lifting his gaze. Seokjin’s beauty is wasted on him. “You’re Kim Seokjin, The Nation’s Son-in-Law.”
Seokjin hums, smug. “Good.” Then: “Why was cute the word you went for?” In his mind, all stunt doubles are kind of terrifying (or in Jimin's case, incredibly terrifying).
“I swung through costume earlier and met him,” Namjoon says, “He’s just very enthusiastic, big puppy-eyes, you know?”
“Is he tall enough?”
“I think so, doesn’t have your shoulders, though.”
Seokjin smiles, saccharine, takes a sip of his drink through a reusable bamboo straw. No one can dream of matching up to his shoulders.
[INT. STUDIO - EVENING]
The new stunt double does have wide puppy-eyes. That’s the first thing Seokjin notes upon being introduced to him. He also notes that the new stunt double is probably a few years younger than Seokjin, and that he is absolutely ripped.
“Seokjin-hyung, this is Jeon Jeongguk,” Hoseok says, “he’s the new stunt double.” Seokjin has no idea why Hoseok is introducing them when he should be off doing directory things. But that’s not what he’s focused on right now.
No, currently, he’s focusing on the way Jeongguk’s arms flex under his skin-tight t-shirt. One of those thermal ones that gymnasts or rock climbers use to show off their toned bodies. On his lower half he has on the baggiest pair of track pants that Seokjin has ever seen. He looks sort of ridiculous but also sort of delectable.
“Hi,” Seokjin narrows his eyes, “nice outfit.”
“Could say the same for you,” Jeongguk shoots back, grin all cheeky and impudent. Seokjin looks down. Ah, he is wearing a glorified garbage bag as a cloak, protecting his costume. He probably looks like a modern-century Dracula.
Now that is a role he could sink his teeth into.
Hoseok makes a noise - Seokjin doesn’t entirely register it or what it signifies - and then leaves without another word. He really is one of the busiest people on this set, Seokjin never finds time to hang out with him anymore.
“So,” Jeongguk says, and why is he stretching right now, why didn’t he warm up beforehand, or simply away from Seokjin’s field of vision? “I’m here to fall for you, huh.”
“What?” Seokjin asks dumbly, eyes somehow unable to tear themselves away from the line between Jeongguk’s shoulder blades.
Jeongguk leans completely down until he’s touching his toes and then walks his hands out far from his body. If Seokjin didn’t think that was impressive enough, Jeongguk throws in a couple of press ups when he’s in position, jumping up once he’s done and shaking out his limbs.
“It’s my job to like - be you when you can’t be you. Protect your face.”
“What does that even mean?” Seokjin asks. For some reason he doesn’t feel entirely in his body right now. Like he’s looking at this conversation from another angle. One close to Jeongguk’s rear, maybe.
He’s just a hot young muscle pig, with a cute bunny smile and big doe eyes. Seokjin works alongside attractive people all the time. He has made out (on screen) with some of the most beautiful women in the world. This, his new stunt double being slightly captivating, should not be an issue.
And it isn’t.
When Jeongguk stands properly again his face is all red, probably from being upside down for so long. He grins at Seokjin, and it’s kind of shy, maybe. “I look forward to working with you, Seokjin-hyung.”
“Who said you could call me hyung?” Seokjin scowls, but Jeongguk is already up and away, called over by costume for some last-minute adjustments. Seokjin watches him go reluctantly. Somehow feeling like he’s been hit by a high speed vehicle and hasn’t realised it yet.
Jeongguk’s shoulders are smaller than Seokjins, though not by much.
[INT. STUDIO - ALMOST DONE FOR THE DAY]
Hoseok, as the first assistant director, calls out all the cues for filming. He’s good at it, too. He has a nice clear voice, tone made for telling people what to do. Sometimes, after a busy week of filming, Seokjin will hear Hoseok’s voice ringing out “LAST LOOKS” before he gets into bed.
Predictably, Hoseok is a busy man, but he’s very good at his job. He works like a dream alongside Namjoon, who monitors the production and script side of things. Seokjin has barely interacted with the director herself because the whole operation is a well-oiled machine. In fact, the most complex and demanding parts of the filming for this big-budget feature are the camera-work and special effects.
Which leaves Seokjin with a lot of time to sit around and do nothing while everyone else bustles around him to set up each shot.
So while Hoseok is busy ordering everyone around, and Namjoon has his head buried in piles of paper. Seokjin has no-one to talk to but-
“What’s this?” Jeongguk asks, arm already reaching out to touch, Seokjin slaps his hand away and Jeongguk pouts.
“Don’t touch,” Seokjin scolds, then wilts a little under the kicked-puppy gaze. “I don’t know what it is, either, but one time I broke a light and said I’d pay for it-” He shudders. “I will not be making that same mistake again.”
Jeongguk flinches away, somewhat cowed but curiosity not dampened. He keeps looking at everything, all wide-eyed, asking Seokjin or anyone passing questions about the filming process. He’s not even needed for the scene, is just around to “get used to the flow of things,” according to Namjoon.
Seokjin has been trying to ignore him, focusing on the pages in his hand. But, to be honest, it is almost impossible to ignore Jeongguk. Especially when he comes up to bother you every other minute.
Over the way, Hoseok calls out a bunch of instructions to the assembled cast and crew, he repeats them for clarity, and then grins his heart-shaped grin. When he becomes an official director, he will take the world by storm. “It’s the Martini Shot, guys, so get going.” At that, there are cheers from the assembled team, Seokjin smiles in his seat, watching everyone suddenly work at double the pace, eager to get home.
Namjoon heads over to Seokjin, bends low to talk to him about the lines they’re running tomorrow. Much as Seokjin likes the director for this film, she very much just cares about the action sequences, not about the nuances of the script. Namjoon has always helped him to nail down the dialogue just perfectly.
“Hyung, what’s a Martini Shot?” Jeongguk comes up behind Seokjin to ask.
Seokjin is about to scowl at him “I still haven’t let you call me Hyung ,” when Namjoon answers instead.
“It’s the last shot of the day,” Namjoon smiles, takes his glasses off. He’s always loved all the tidbits of film vocabulary, and he especially likes educating others around them. Nerd. “The last one before we can all go home, or to the bar. So named because the next shot will be out of a glass.”
“Cool,” Jeongguk hums, bounces on his toes. For some reason Seokjin doesn’t like the way all of his attention is focused on Namjoon. He must be more of a diva than he thought. “Are you going for a drink after this?”
“No,” Namjoon rubs his nose. “I’m, uh, actually going to meet Park Jimin for dinner. You know him, right?”
Jeongguk grins slyly, “Oh, so you’re the Joonie-hyung he’s been talking about.”
Seokjin is reluctantly impressed. Namjoon’s blush hits and spreads at double the pace it usually does. Maybe it’s because it’s the new kid teasing him, or maybe it’s because of Jeongguk’s knowing, wicked gaze.
“Uh, maybe,” Namjoon hurriedly puts his glasses back on, avoiding eye contact. “Oh, I think I’m needed in Video Village, see you later, guys!” He disappears, striding on long legs through the web of people assembled on set.
Seokjin is about to break out into applause for Jeongguk’s skill at turning his hyung into a blushing mess, when Jeongguk’s gaze turns on him, next.
“How about you, Hyungie?” Jeongguk’s eyes are a mixture of cheeky and soft. All inquisitive. “Do you have someone to go home to after the Martini Shot?”
Seokjin purses his lips, looks down at his script briefly like it will tell him what to do. “Are you secretly working for the tabloids, trying to get a story?” His tone turns exaggerated, affronted.
Jeongguk laughs, and it’s nice, airy. “What would you do if I was?”
Seokjin hasn’t had many actual relationships. Not since before he was first signed, first told he could be a star. Sure, he’s had experience. A few guys here and there, ones who could keep a secret. But in his line of work it’s hard to have something real when everything around him is completely fake. Fabricated.
He’s become as successful as he is because he’s got a good reputation, has treated everyone well and not let anyone slip in through the cracks in his facade. He’s known for having scandals and rumours slide right off him, nothing to hold onto in the face of his genial charm.
For the last ten years he’s worked to get to his spot. And though it’s lonely here, sometimes. He’s proud of it, knows he can go further. And if the public wants to ruminate about when he’ll find a wife, that’s something he’ll just ignore.
“I’d tell you the truth,” Seokjin sighs, and it comes out blue, which he wasn’t going for. Jeongguk has somehow offset him already. “No one to go home to.”
Jeongguk’s face softens, and he seems somehow both pleased and sympathetic. He opens his mouth, presumably to ask more, but Seokjin is saved by Hoseok’s call. He’s summoned over to the set, put in place by a young-looking assistant with bags under their eyes.
While his hair is getting touched up, he looks back. Jeongguk is sitting on Seokjin’s chair, legs slung over the side. His head is cocked at an angle and he is staring through Seokjin. Like he started out watching him go but got distracted by a stray thought.
Seokjin tries to scowl. Jeongguk has probably gotten mud from his giant boots on his nice chair. He’s a menace. Still, as he watches Jeongguk’s legs swing absently from the arm, he can’t bring himself to be angry about it.
[EXT. MIN YOONGI’S ORBIT - DAY, PROBABLY]
Min Yoongi is a man of much knowledge. He’s the sort of person you can go to for any problem in the film industry and he will either solve it, or give you enough information to think you can do it yourself. Seokjin isn’t even sure that Yoongi has a proper job title, though if he does it is probably around set design and locations. Even if Yoongi wasn’t needed to curate the perfect bachelor pad in studio three, Seokjin thinks the executives would keep him around anyway. He’s that invaluable.
Yoongi is like some mythical cryptid of the film industry, hunt him down and provide a cold americano and he’ll tell you how to make your production a hit. Today, Seokjin finds him in amongst the camera operators, poking around at various new bits of kit.
“I have a new stunt double,” Seokjin announces. Because Yoongi doesn’t really like small talk and Seokjin is in too weak an emotional state to greet him properly. “And he is an annoying little shit.”
“Good,” Yoongi replies, he hasn’t even looked up. What is it with Seokjin’s friends and not paying full attention to him? He was voted twenty-fifth most handsome man in the world last year in GQ magazine. He’s technically hotter than Brad Pitt, yet none of his friends deign to even look at him. “He’ll keep you occupied.”
“Occupied,” Seokjin gapes. “What does that even mean?”
“It means,” Yoongi takes off his glasses and turns, giving Seokjin a look . “That the more you get paid for a picture, the more free time you seem to have.”
“So?” Seokjin replies. But it’s true, in his first film as a secondary role he had ridiculous call times, was on set when he wasn’t even needed. At one point the boom guy handed him the equipment because his arms were getting tired. These days, Seokjin doesn’t have to lift a finger. Even now there is some scared kid straight out of high school hovering anxiously in his peripheral vision, waiting for Seokjin to need something, anything. He doesn’t even go on set for preliminary blocking anymore. They get someone else to do it all for him.
“I’ve met him,” Yoongi says, and he takes Seokjin’s coffee straight out of his hands to take a sip. “He’s cute.”
“Why is everyone saying that?”
“Because he is,” Yoongi shrugs. “And he has a lot of energy.”
He does have a lot of energy.
“I just think that you guys could be good friends. Especially if you turn out a match.”
“A ma-” Seokjin pauses. He hadn’t even considered that possibility. The possibility of Jeongguk not only working on this film but every other project that Seokjin has, probably for the next twenty or so years (if they’re both that lucky). “No, I don’t think so.”
“Well,” Yoongi says - and is Seokjin’s coffee cup suddenly half empty? “Is he good at his job?”
Seokjin thinks back to the way Jeongguk vaulted through a window at full tilt earlier, muscles straining in the sunlight. He did it fluidly, without pause, laughing when he hit the crash mat below. Then Seokjin was forced to watch him do it again and again until someone called cut and Seokjin was allowed to wander off to try to forget about how his dick twitched on every jump.
“I suppose he’s good,” Seokjin admits. “But it’s all beginner's luck.”
“Is he green?” Yoongi asks, looking surprised. Seokjin understands. This is a big movie, lots of action sequences and tight little stunts that need perfecting. Hell, Seokjin himself barely has any dialogue, just does a lot of powerful walking and holding fake guns and trying to look good whilst squinting for bad guys in various dark locations. Projects like this are usually made up of only the most experienced staff, even one slip up from the schedule can set them back millions. (Now that is a comforting thought.)
But Jeongguk, despite having only joined the stunt double profession recently, seems to have the whole process nailed. The director even asked him to do a few improvisations earlier, and Jeongguk literally sailed through them, looking like he was gliding on air.
Seokjin would be worried that the editing team will find it difficult to match his strides and movements with Jeongguk’s own graceful ones, but he’s been training for months for this role. He’s the fittest he’s ever been in his life, and he’s only using it for close-up shots and the one shirtless scene he seems contractually obliged to have in every film.
(For this one, apparently the executives wanted more, but somehow Namjoon managed to convince them to let Seokjin wear a tank top or various ripped shirts for the rest of the scenes. Seokjin still doesn’t know if the change was made for his benefit or everyone else’s.)
“I just think he’s a good fit on set,” Yoongi shrugs, and hands Seokjin’s cup back to him, empty. Seokjin can’t even complain because if he does, someone will go running to get him some more, and he doesn’t want to add to anyone’s workload. “Look, Hyung, I know you. If you were actually upset about Jeongguk, then you wouldn’t say anything.”
[EXT. WAREHOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF FUCK NOWHERE - EVENING]
Jeongguk is jumping around to warm up in the cool evening air. Seokjin briefly considers offering one of his endless supply of coats or blankets to keep him warm. But he’s kind of too entranced in the shape of Jeongguk to think of doing anything else. He’s in the exact same costume as Seokjin, a ripped white shirt, half tucked in, revealing his slim torso and flashes of honey skin. Today, though, he has some padding around the shoulders and what seems like a thin exoskeleton to protect his back.
This scene is probably one of the most dangerous out of all of the ones in the movie. Jeongguk has to climb up onto the roof of the warehouse, then jump off it. Luckily he’s attached to a few wires and a harness, to be edited out in post, but Seokjin’s stomach can’t help but try to leap out his throat when he watches them rehearse it.
The fight scenes are artfully crafted so Seokjin never gets hit, just has to go through a simple choreography of throw fake punch, catch fake punch, fake fall, fake scramble away, be replaced by Jeongguk. Then, there are a few close-up shots of him climbing up the warehouse piping (safety net below and several clips in place to stop him falling anyway), and a final one of him standing on the roof, looking for an escape, and coming to the natural conclusion that he should jump off a fucking building.
A run, and then a false jump off a falsified roof (which they haven’t shot yet, saving it for the green-screens), and Jeongguk replaces him, actually doing a real jump off a real roof. Hair (a wig to match Seokjin’s) tousled in the wind, legs and arms perfectly poised like Seokjin’s wouldn’t be flapping wildly in fear. Shirt billowing up and around him, exposing a tiny tiny waist.
Seokjin looks over Hoseok’s shoulder in Video Village as they assess the last shot, and someone zooms in and slows it down until the hem of Jeongguk’s shirt rises at a snail’s pace to reveal a fine set of abs and a waist that could, no, does rival Seokjin’s in its sheer minuteness.
How can a boy be so jacked but somehow so delicate-looking?
Now, Seokjin isn’t exactly super-attracted to muscle-bros. He’s had his fair share of flings with many different men, of course. Though most of them in recent years have been as high profile as him (with as much to lose as him). Seokjin likes a bit of softness, likes to be able to hug and not feel like he’s embracing a marble statue.
As he watches Jeongguk roll artfully out of a fall and straight into a run, he absently thinks that Jeongguk would give good hugs.
One stunt that Seokjin does actually get to do is running away from an explosion. Of course, it is a controlled one, and they aren’t actually demolishing the warehouse, but he does get to recreate the whole cool routine that he’s been dreaming of doing since he was a kid and decided to go into acting.
They only really have one shot for it, because setting up again would take a lot of effort and explosives, so Seokjin has to get it perfectly right the first time, following in the exact footsteps of where Jeongguk landed and rolled.
He goes through the motions once, and then lets makeup and costume touch him up before getting into position, running as smoothly and attractively as he possibly can with a giant ball of fire rising behind him. He can feel the heat behind him, pressure against his back. It's exhilarating.
When they call cut and someone comes up to him to gently pat his sweat away with a towel, he can still feel the adrenaline coursing through him. He looks up, and Jeongguk's eyes are on him, shiny and knowing. His teeth are biting into his bottom lip, reddening the skin. Seokjin has to tear his gaze away.
Someone crudely edits together the footage for the directors and producers to look over along with the rest of the dailies before everyone heads home. Seokjin joins, if just to let Hoseok use his shoulders as a stress ball while they wait to see if the both of them got it right.
It flows smoothly even without all the special effects. Seokjin and Jeongguk work like a dream together on screen.
[EXT. STUDIO - NIGHT]
“You should be happy you’ve found your match, Hyungie, that’s hard in this business,” Taehyung says. They are waiting for their call to go to set for the one scene they have together. Seokjin can’t wait for it, Taehyung is playing a villain, not the main one, but still a really nice role.
Much nicer than the ones he’s been getting these days.
“I know,” Seokjin sighs, it’s good that he’s found Jeongguk, that their body types seem to work on screen. It means that he can be cast in more action movies, which he does want to do, fed up of the rom-com circuit as he is. “But he’s just a little shit. The other day he ate an entire bag of honey chips I was saving for after the shoot.”
“Criminal,” Taehyung drawls. He keeps fussing with his costume, like he doesn’t think they’ve done a good job with it. Which is fair. Taehyung has worked on a lot of smaller projects, has had to provide his own outfits more often than not. He knows what looks good on him, and what looks good on the screen. “But he’s nice to look at, you said.”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Yeah you did, the other day, when he was doing those pull-ups on the lighting rig and you said you couldn’t look away.”
“I was worried he’d break something,” Seokjin scoffs. “That equipment is expensive, you know?”
“Hyung,” Taehyung rolls his eyes. He somehow makes even that look beautiful. “I love you but you wouldn’t know a red-head from a blonde, stop pretending to know anything about the technical side of things.”
Seokjin purses his lips, upset. “I understood that you weren’t talking about people, there. Does that get me brownie points?”
Taehyung laughs. “You’re lucky you have your pretty face and sparkling reputation, otherwise if I were the hyungs I would have fired you already.”
“I can’t get fired,” Seokjin hums, “I’m-”
“The Nation’s Son-In-Law,” Taehyung completes for him with a sharp grin, “now shut up and run lines with me.”
[EXT. STUDIO - ANOTHER NIGHT]
“Oh, come on, surely I can haul myself through a window,” Seokjin whines.
The window isn’t even that high off the ground, they’re using a point of view shot to make it seem taller, but for some reason Seokjin is banned from even attempting the climb.
At this point it feels demeaning. Feels almost like they’re just laughing at him.
Seokjin isn’t weak , ok? He can run and jump and fall just as good as the rest of them. He’s sure that Tom Cruise doesn’t put up with this humiliation. Last year Seokjin took part in a winter sports tournament for charity and wooed the world with his sick snowboarding jumps (though his manager warned him that if he broke a bone there would be hell to pay). He's not some sort of weakling.
He spent six months training for this role, and has only managed to use the new muscles he’s discovered for about three scenes in total so far. And he’s bored . How can he possibly be bored on the set of an action movie? He literally begged for a script filled with dynamic plot and fun explosions and hunting for justice to escape all the tearful umbrella-holding scenes he’s had to do for the last ten years. Hell, it was only a few years ago that he did his last high-school drama. He is so glad to be rid of those roles.
But now he’s sitting here and watching Jeongguk get to do all the fun activities, like smashing a window and pulling himself through it. Later on, they’ll do a close up shot, and Seokjin will stand on a box and make it look like he has hauled himself up from the ground. They’ll shoot it over and over again until it matches Jeongguk’s fluid movements.
“I could totally do that,” Seokjin says, when Jeongguk returns to his side as they set up for the next angle. “It’s just a window.”
“Yeah,” Jeongguk grins, “But you’re delicate, and you need to be treasured like the flower you are.”
“Shut up,” Seokjin snaps. His ears are turning red and he knows it.
“But seriously,” Jeongguk says, adjusting the fingerless gloves on his wrist. His tattoos are hidden under industrial-strength concealer, but Seokjin can make out a shadow or two where he remembers them to be. “It’s fun doing this, like being in a playground. But I have no doubt that if I wasn’t trained in falling I’d have some proper injuries by now. I like it. Protecting you in a way.”
“That was-” Seokjin cuts himself off. “Uh.”
“Yeah that was gross.” Jeongguk scrunches his nose up, grinning. “Sorry, Hyung.”
He gets called over for places and jogs away, sending a wave to Seokjin as he goes. Something in Seokjin feels fuzzy and warm. He hopes it’s not his heart.
[EXT. THE GREAT OUTDOORS - EARLY MORNING]
“Oh, we meet again,” Jeongguk grins. “What a coincidence.”
Seokjin pulls a face. He always goes for a jog in the morning, especially when he’s out of the city, and the entire crew is away near the coast for a shoot. Unfortunately, he and Jeongguk have bumped into each other on the coastal path every morning this week.
It’s a good run, if hilly. Seokjin supposes that the path is probably too muddy and rocky for his at-risk ankles, but it’s a simple act of rebellion. He likes it.
What he doesn’t like is Jeongguk. Which he has made abundantly clear every time they’ve encountered each other whilst running.
“Stop following me,” Seokjin says. “I’m famous, you know, I could file a restraining order. This could be a huge scandal. You could be blacklisted from the industry.”
“Of course,” Jeongguk laughs. There’s a bead of sweat running down the side of his face, Seokjin has the sudden urge to lick it off. Gross. “You know people, Hyung.”
“I do,” Seokjin huffs.
“And I know you.”
“I suppose,” Seokjin admits.
Today, just like every day before, Seokjin doesn’t manage to shake Jeongguk off. Instead, their footfalls click into rhythm and they’re off together. A gilded backdrop of the hills and the sea in the golden just-dawn light.
They keep a steady pace for another mile more. Seokjin doesn’t like how Jeongguk doesn’t seem to get out of breath. Once they reach the top of the hill they pause to watch the sunrise. It’s nice. If this were one of Seokjin’s roles, he’d be professing his undying love to the other lead by now.
He turns his head to say something snarky to Jeongguk, who seems to have turned to do something similar, because their lips brush and then suddenly they’re kissing.
Lips on lips. Clumsy and unintentional at first, and then surer, more confident.
And neither of them is stopping, or even pausing. Seokjin feels his hand go automatically to Jeongguk’s delectable waist, holding him steady, holding him close. Jeongguk’s arms, in turn, wrap around Seokjin’s shoulders, so strong and flexible.
God, Jeongguk’s lips are so soft, they taste of sweat from the run and something else distinctly addicting. Seokjin sucks on his lower lip and Jeongguk moans into it, so responsive.
Seokjin lifts him up, lowers him down on the grass in a move he learnt how to do in his last rom-com. Jeongguk laughs with delight for long enough for Seokjin to miss his lips. They kiss for a long time, fast and hard and hot and getting hotter.
And then Seokjin finds himself grinding his hips, finds in turn Jeongguk’s own hard length through his basketball shorts. He shouldn’t. They’re in daylight, outside, and they shouldn’t.
“Fuck,” Seokjin whispers into Jeongguk’s mouth. “You want this?” He lets his palm work at Jeongguk’s thigh until he gets a response, feels the muscles twitch under him.
“You don’t know how much I want this, Hyung,” Jeongguk groans. His hands reach down, pull their groins together until they’re grinding, pulsing. They gasp like that for a few seconds, catching up with their bodies. Already so tangled that Seokjin can’t tell which pleasure is his and which isn’t. “Want you.”
“Me,” Seokjin’s lips have found Jeongguk’s jaw, his neck. He can’t leave marks, but he leaves kisses, wet and hot. Jeongguk's skin is salted from sweat and pinked from a delicious mix of arousal and exertion. “Want you.”
It’s all so sudden, dirty, out in the open like this where anyone could walk by, skin on grass and skin and tongue. Rutting against each other like they both need it. Maybe they do.
One of them manages to pull their cocks out, uses pre-cum to aid the slide of them together. It’s all too much and all too little and their hands wrap together, desperate and perfect and oh so unholy.
It feels like this has been in the works for a long time, that this is just the rubber band finally snapping. That Seokjin and Jeongguk could have done this anytime, anywhere, and it would have held the same heat, the same desperation.
Afterwards, Seokjin uses Jeongguk’s boxers to wipe them both up. They deposit them in a trash can on the path back to the campsite. By the time they get back the sun has risen fully and Seokjin heads to his trailer to have a pre-prepared meal. Jeongguk probably heads off to annoy Yoongi, or whatever he does when he’s not bothering Seokjin.
They don’t talk about it.
[INT. FANCY (NOT ROMANTIC) RESTAURANT - EVENING]
“Why have I taken you out for dinner?” Seokjin asks, “I hate you.”
Jeongguk laughs aloud, reaches out to steal a fry from Seokjin’s plate. His fingers are nimble, quick. He should be a pickpocket rather than a stunt person. “You don’t hate me, Hyung.”
The table in front of them is loaded with food, it could feed the entire camera crew, including the grip guys, who are somehow always hungry. Jeongguk stealing that fry feels like an insult.
“I do, too,” Seokjin says. “I despise you. I loathe you, I can’t stand the sight of you.”
“And that’s why you brought me to the fanciest American restaurant in Seoul.” Jeongguk nods along.
“Only because there’s no chance of paparazzi here,” Seokjin says to his plate. “If I was treating you like you deserve, we’d be feasting on the greasiest chicken and cheapest soju in the city.”
He can imagine it now, over the taste of his imported beer and the smooth jazz music coming through the restaurant’s speakers. A street, filled with food stalls, making the air hot and close. Soju, watered down and bitter in their throats, Jeongguk’s smile slicked by hot sauce. Plastic chairs with one leg inexplicably shorter than the others, wobbling on the pavement like a loose tooth.
Remnants of a time when he could sit in public without being mobbed by the press or the fans. Of a time when he had so little in his wallet that eating only twice a day had to do. A simpler time, not a better one. He hopes.
“I’d like that, Hyung,” Jeongguk says. And why is he smiling like that? “Let’s do that one day, if we can.”
Seokjin doesn’t know what to say to that, he just takes another bite of his burger and avoids Jeongguk’s gaze.
To be honest, he doesn’t know why he invited Jeongguk out, not least why he took him somewhere public. Jeongguk just seems to set something off in Seokjin, and he finds himself doing things around him without much explanation.
They got back to Seoul from the coast the other day, and Seokjin just sort of ended up taking Jeongguk to dinner. For no apparent reason. They’ve barely even spoken since their frenzied cliffside hook-up. Seokjin doesn’t even know if he wants to do it again, if that’s even on the table.
“Are we friends?” Seokjin asks, after a second. He regrets it almost immediately, but refuses to flinch. If there’s one thing he’s learned in his long career in film, it’s how to always look poised, even when everything is going to shit around you.
“Uh,” now it’s Jeongguk’s turn to look away. His voice is sobered, losing the confident and teasing tone he had before. “I thought we were.”
“And now?” Something in Seokjin’s throat feels sticky. He blames the American cuisine.
“Well, we kissed, didn’t we?” Among other things .
“Huh,” Seokjin looks back at his burger. It’s a lot more unappetising now. Damn Americans, can’t they just get a meal right? “I suppose we did.”
[INT. SURROUNDED BY CANDLES - DAY]
“I shouldn’t,” Seokjin sighs, “but he’s so hot.”
He shifts in the bath, grimacing as the liquid moves around him. He’s supposed to be relaxing but right now his mind is abuzz with thoughts about Jeongguk. The soft instrumental music in the background is doing nothing to calm his nerves.
He and Hoseok are lying in mud baths in one of the nicest spas in Seoul. Seokjin gets discounts if he’s spotted outside the building at least once a month, and Hoseok somehow managed to get Seokjin’s contract altered so that he is required to have spa treatment with a friend on a regular basis.
It’s funny that Hoseok is the only one of Seokjin’s friends who likes to be pampered that much. He appreciates the silence and relaxation, letting someone else take care of him for once. Jimin is occasionally up for it, but he doesn’t like the full-body scrubs, says it makes him feel naked. Which is weird considering the amount of times Seokjin has walked in on Jimin in varying states of casual undress. But he won’t judge.
“Look, Hyung, if I was being a proper first A.D., I’d tell you off for consorting with a member of the team. But as it is, I know how desperate you are to suck dick. And he’s already signed most of the non-disclosure forms, I say go for it.”
“Huh,” Seokjin lets out, sinks down further into the bath. It feels like most of his life is spent in some gunk or other, now. Trying to stop aging and stop acne and stop him from getting too stressed. “I’ll think about it.”
“Or don’t,” Hoseok shrugs, “sometimes it’s better to just not think about things.”
Seokjin thinks about that the next day whilst watching Jeongguk choreograph a hand-to-hand combat scene with the plethora of actors who are playing the bad guys. Seokjin is supposed to jump in for part of it, but only the bits they deem safe enough. He feels like a delicate old man under their eyes. Or a prim diva who couldn’t swat a fly if it was already dead.
He wants to do something to remind himself of how alive he is, how he can do what he likes.
Across from him, Jeongguk ducks and rolls and throws a man over his shoulder with ease. Seokjin wants him.
[INT. TRAILER - HUMPDAY]
“I want to suck you off,” Seokjin says.
As soon as they wrapped for the day he grabbed Jeongguk by the arm and led him through the village to Seokjin’s trailer. Now, they are standing there, door shut and blinds closed. Jeongguk looks slightly bewildered, and Seokjin is already panting.
“Uh,” Jeongguk blinks, “okay.”
“Okay?” Seokjin furrows his eyebrows. That was not exactly the response he was hoping for.
Seokjin drops to his knees, looks up at Jeongguk through his lashes.
“Whoah, Hyung,” Jeongguk’s eyes widen like he is completely surprised. Seokjin gives him a moment to register it, but Jeongguk just blinks down at him.
“Do you want a blowjob or not?” Seokjin arches one perfect eyebrow, kind of getting impatient and, honestly, somewhat embarrassed.
Jeongguk seems to load the question in his mind for a second, then nods so rapidly that Seokjin has to muffle his smile in his palm.
“Get me a pillow,” Seokjin gestures, already reaching for Jeongguk’s belt buckle. He’s pretty much salivating, can’t wait to finally do something about the pent-up tension that has been stewing in him since he met Jeongguk. (The rushed impromptu handjobs of last week notwithstanding.)
They get into place relatively quickly, Seokjin has a pillow for his knees, and Jeongguk is leaning back against the wall while Seokjin gives him a couple of experimental pumps, looking like he’s going through something. Which is understandable.
Now, Seokjin has dick-sucking lips. Which he knows from his past relationships, and several online forums, including one for middle-aged mothers. Hoseok also says it all too often when he’s in harsh director mode, “ Kim Seokjin, shut your blowjob mouth until it’s your cue ”.
So when Jeongguk looks like he is going to have a medical emergency looking at Seokjin’s lips around his cock, Seokjin completely understands.
He pulls off for a second. “Just breathe through it, I know it can be a lot to have The Nation’s Son-in-Law sucking you off.”
Jeongguk’s laugh is cut off into a high pitched whine as Seokjin starts to move. He doesn’t bother with much foreplay, no kisses to Jeongguk’s thighs or the crown of his dick or anything. Jeongguk was already hard when Seokjin pulled his pants down, and Seokjin has been wanting this for weeks now, so he just dives right in, messy and whole-hearted and good .
It’s lucky that Jeongguk’s thigh muscles are so strong, otherwise Seokjin thinks his legs might have buckled by now. The noises he makes are spectacular. All high-pitched and breathy over the slick sounds of Seokjin’s mouth. Seokjin wants to know how Jeongguk acts and sounds when he’s fucking someone, when he’s being fucked.
Another choked moan as Seokjin works up a proper pace. Jeongguk’s fingers are clutching around him for a hold, Seokjin frees up a hand and finds one of Jeongguk’s own, leading it to his own hair.
A lot of men would take that as invitation to take over, get rough and demanding, but Jeongguk just combs his fingers through Seokjin’s hair, tugging intermittently with a delicious strength.
“Hyung,” he whispers, “Seokjin, you’re so beautiful.”
Seokjin grins around the delicious weight of Jeongguk’s cock, relishing the way each movement of his tongue makes the boy whimper. He picks up the pace, careful not to do anything that might affect his vocal chords. But the general public tends to like a sexy, rough voice, anyway.
“Hyung,” Jeongguk gets out eventually, fingers tugging at Seokjin’s hair, “I’m going to- going to-”
Seokjin pulls back, lets his fist do the rest of the work, he’s about to decide whether or not to swallow, but doesn’t have time before-
Jeongguk comes with a shout, and it gets all over Seokjin’s face, mainly on his cheek and forehead, a dollop landing on his left eye so he has to shut it. How lovely.
He leans back, purses his lips. He doesn’t feel particularly hot right now, but Jeongguk is looking at him like he’s the most attractive thing in the world.
“Well,” Seokjin says, sticks out his tongue to taste a little. Jeongguk lets out a whimper and Seokjin smirks. “That certainly wasn’t the sort of facial that I’m used to.”
“Shut up,” Jeongguk groans, and pushes Seokjin down onto his back on the floor of the trailer. His hands scramble for Seokjin’s waistband, yanking it down so Seokjin’s cock pops up and hits his lower stomach, red and weeping.
Seokjin takes the opportunity to lift the hem of his own t-shirt, wiping at his face in an attempt to be able to see properly. He doesn’t have much time before Jeongguk’s hands and lips are on him, and he forgets every mortal discomfort he’s ever had in favour of the feeling of Jeongguk on him, around him.
Jeongguk seems too affected to actually attempt a proper blowjob, so he just uses his fist and - fuck - a lot of saliva to work Seokjin through it. He licks up the side of Seokjin’s cock, desperate and filthy, tongue on his own fingers. His pace is rapid, almost frantic, and it’s all Seokjin can do to cling on to his sanity for the ride.
He comes with a muffled sob, and twitches away from Jeongguk’s grip once he reaches oversensitivity. Jeongguk collapses down next to him with a laugh that’s part way through delirious and sated. They lie together for a few minutes, processing it all.
“I liked that,” Seokjin says once he’s recovered a little, chest heaving, “let’s do it again.”
[INT. HOTEL ROOM - SOMETIME]
They do it again. This time they go farther, and it’s Jeongguk holding Seokjin up against the wall for at least ten minutes of fucking. Which is all well and good, but when Seokjin feels like his hips are about to bruise, he makes them switch to a bed.
Jeongguk fucks good, fucks hard. He doesn’t take too much control, and he doesn’t let Seokjin boss him around. Seokjin decides it should become a thing. (Like it isn’t already.)
[INT. ANOTHER BED - ANOTHER TIME]
The next time and Seokjin marvels at Jeongguk’s sensitivity, the way he clenches and comes around Seokjin’s cock after just a few seconds. The way he begs to go again, and grows hard once more under Seokjin’s impressed gaze.
“Do they teach you this sort of stamina at stunt double school?” Seokjin asks, rolling his hips languidly to try to stave off his own orgasm.
“No, it’s all me,” Jeongguk pants out. The corners of his mouth are slick with drool, his tongue is pink, he looks delicious. “You like it?”
Seokjin leans down to kiss him, forgets to respond.
[CUT TO: MONTAGE OF ENTHUSIASTIC SEX SCENES]
[EXT. STUDIO, PARK JIMIN HAS ARRIVED - PRE-SUNSET]
Jimin comes down to the studios on an unsuspecting Wednesday. He claims he’s there to check up on Seokjin and Hoseok now they don’t have his guidance, and to kiss his “ little Taehyungie ” on the nose before his big scene. But everyone knows that he’s really there to see Namjoon.
Seokjin manages to snag him on a coffee break while Namjoon is running around with script revisions. He looks stressed, but he’s in his element and loving it, loving Jimin’s adoring eyes on him, too.
Seokjin drags Jimin past where Yoongi and Hoseok are, and they both emerge with giant cups of coffee. Jimin also has a scarf wrapped around him that wasn’t there before, nose red from Hoseok’s exuberant kisses.
They pass Jeongguk and Taehyung, too. Jeongguk looks like he’s helping to hype Taehyung up for his scene. Or, at least some sort of complex muscle ritual is going on. Taehyung seems to be punching Jeongguk’s abs while the younger man holds up the hem of his hoodie for better access.
Seokjin pauses to watch without even realising, only moving again once both of them notice him and Jimin, turning to wave enthusiastically. Jeongguk forgets to drop his shirt, only realising in the last second. Cute.
Seokjin snorts, leads Jimin round to behind the studio lot where they can watch the sunset. It’s Magic Hour, and Jimin’s pink hair glows in the light. Along with his white shirt and jewelry and unneeded but still fashionable sunglasses, he looks like a movie star.
They chat for a while about what Jimin’s been up to, he never really liked the stunt double life that much, has moved on to helping choreograph fights for stage shows. He says it’s relaxing, because when the actors are being shits he can make them try to do impossible moves. Seokjin empathises.
“You’ve been fucking Jeonggukkie.” Jimin grins over the lid of his coffee cup halfway through their conversation. He’s always been good at these sharp non-sequiturs, and he’s too observant for his own good.
“How can you tell?” Seokjin asks, alarmed but trying desperately not to show it. He doesn’t even consider denying it, one does not lie to Park Jimin.
Jimin shrugs, the neckline of his shirt falls down his shoulder, “Call it intuition.”
“Did Joonie tell you?”
Jimin winks. “He just said you’ve been hanging out a lot. I connected the dots.”
Seokjin snorts, “Hanging out, yeah.”
“We used to do judo together in Busan,” Jimin smiles fondly, his little hands wrapped around the cup and warming up nicely. “He’s fun to be around, isn’t he?”
“Sure.” Seokjin takes a sip of his own drink. Decaf because caffeine makes him break out and movie-star heartthrobs aren’t allowed even one spot to mar their complexion. God, he misses real coffee.
“Wait,” Jimin pauses, “you don’t actually like him, do you?”
Seokjin thinks of the sparkle in Jeongguk’s eye. His crescent smile and the way he’ll throw himself wholeheartedly into anything. The way the day before he dragged Seokjin out for a walk and looked surprised when Seokjin had to duck away and pull up his mask so as not to be recognised. Like he genuinely forgot Seokjin was famous.
“No.” Seokjin replies eventually. Jimin does not look convinced.
[INT. BED - MORNING AFTER A NIGHT BEFORE]
Seokjin likes waking up next to Jeongguk, he realises.
He likes how fluffy Jeongguk’s hair looks in the morning. Likes the way Jeongguk’s nose scrunches every now and then in his sleep. Likes Jeongguk’s grip around his torso, legs tangled like vines, tugged together.
The morning, with Jeongguk in it, feels a little brighter, a little warmer. A little more like something Seokjin could call content. If he wanted to.
It’s only once Jeongguk begins to stir that Seokjin realises that he must look his worst, face probably puffy from sleep, hair sticking up. But Jeongguk just leans up and presses a sweet kiss to his lips, snuggles back down into Seokjin’s chest, presses another kiss there above his nipple, then a teasing bite to his skin.
No words said.
Seokjin likes it. Probably too much.
They don’t talk about it.
[INT. CONFUSION, CHAOS, A PREMIERE, PROBABLY]
Seokjin’s schedule has been so thrown off for this movie that he almost completely forgets the premiere he’s supposed to be going to. His manager seems to understand, because she sends someone to sort him out. Bringing with them a stylist and make-up artist.
Seokjin feels awkward with them in his own home. He feels like he should offer them food or refreshments or something, but they pin him to a chair and don’t let him so much as move until it’s time to put on the suit and barrel out of the door into a car.
Seokjin loves premieres because behind the suave red-carpet photos, everything is just a huge, complicated mess. There is always an A-lister running late (though he supposes that he’s getting there, and he might well soon be said A-lister running late at every event), and the staff rush you through like you aren’t even supposed to enjoy it. (You definitely are not supposed to enjoy it.)
Seokjin likes to go with someone on his arm, or on the arm of someone, largely because it draws the press away from his otherwise perpetual bachelor status, and it makes it more fun for the both of them to pose for pictures together and shit-talk everyone else on the carpet.
These days Seokjin has been inviting Shin Suran, because as she’s been getting older she’s been getting less roles, less exposure, and she does love a party. She always has hilarious things to say about each journalist they pass, Seokjin is glad that Yoongi introduced them on the set of that film they all worked on a few years ago. So Far Away , was it?
They all seem to merge into one after a while.
Anyway, Suran is there and waiting, and they climb into a limousine around the corner from the theatre. Seokjin has always found it comical how unglamourous the process is. Everyone has to wait in a nearby hotel lobby while the manager of all managers coordinates them into strict groups. Three limos rotate around the block, dropping one actor off, then circling round to pick up the next with military timing. Otherwise everyone would be showing up at random, and the press wouldn’t know what to do.
Seokjin didn’t even have a big part in this project, he played the brother of the protagonist, he thinks. Still, they send him out almost as soon as he arrives, settling him and Suran into a limo and telling them sternly to behave .
Seokjin climbs out first, gets the usual calls of “ Oh, Car Door Guy, fancy another viral photo? Look over here! ” He turns, helps Suran out. She’s wearing a lovely turquoise dress that he thinks her girlfriend made.
The flashes increase.
“Baby,” she grins into the lights. “Thanks for inviting me.”
He ducks, adjusts a strand of her hair just for the tabloids to go wild about if they don’t have any other material tomorrow. “No problem Noona. Please tell your lady I love the dress.”
“It’s going to sell out tomorrow,” Suran grins, twirling. “She set up an online store.”
She’s too short for them to link arms comfortably, so they stride along together, pausing when appropriate. The flash of the cameras gives Seokjin a headache. He smiles through it like always.
“This is such a drag,” Seokjin murmurs, once they reach the end of the first line of photographers. There’s a little rest area where they can be smartened up and queue up for the next round, more actual journalists (gossip-mongers) in this set. This is a bigger premiere than he thought it would be. “Wait, this isn’t an awards night, is it?”
Suran laughs into his torso, careful not to smudge her lipstick on his shirt, “Nation’s Son-In-Law Kim Seokjin Is So Successful He Doesn’t Know What Event He’s Walking The Red Carpet For.”
“So Worldwide Successful,” Seokjin grins charmingly. “Don’t forget that I’m-”
“Worldwide Handsome, hotter than Brad Pitt,” she completes for him. He really needs to change up his material.
They once again get bumped to the front of the line for journalists. Seokjin once thought he’d never get fed up with preferential treatment, now it just feels routine. “What’s the name of the movie?” He asks in a sudden panic.
Suran discreetly turns, reads out the name for him from the posters in the background, Christ, that’s long. He doesn’t think he’ll remember that. Oh well, he can just throw a few kisses to the cameras, joke about the time he met Madonna. Worst comes to the worst he’ll announce that he and Suran are to be engaged, or something.
“Seokjin-ssi, did you enjoy this project?”
“Oh, very much. The cast was unique, just incredible to work with.”
“Who are you wearing tonight?”
“Just some Armani they dusted off from the vintage collection for me. You should hear who made Suran-noona’s, though.”
“I hear you’ve been working on something new in the past months, care to share?”
“I’m not sure what I’m allowed to reveal, but it’s certainly very different from my usual roles.” A wink, a smile. “I’m looking forward to everyone getting the chance to see it.”
He manages to escape the cameras quickly enough. A good thing about his media presence is that his publicity guys always seem to want to leave them wanting more. He never has to overshare or drop too many hints about his dating life.
They arrive into the building itself, and someone hands him his phone, confiscated in the hotel so as not to ruin the lines of his suit. He ducks away into an alcove when Suran spots her friend. His manager would be furious if she knew he was being anti-social, but he really hates events like this.
There are a fair few texts from his friends. Yoongi sends him a zoomed in photo of his face on a TV screen, twirly moustache drawn on in neon green. An artist. His manager sent him a reminder to drum up some hype about the new movie. A group chat of his old drama school buddies has blown up with various photos and headlines released, updated every second. They act like his very own fan club every time a new rumour comes around. Dissecting it with meticulous detail whether or not he’s already refuted it.
But it’s the text from Jeongguk that Seokjin feels the most temptation and dread to open.
And - fuck - it’s Jeongguk, of course. Lying in bed on tousled dark sheets. He’s shirtless, freshly showered, waistband of his underwear poking out under the covers. The angle is criminal, his bitten lips near the top, six pack on display and highlighted by the shitty flash of his phone’s camera. He is the polar opposite of where Seokjin is right now. Something about it feels very refreshing.
If someone hacked Seokjin’s phone, his career would be near over. Still, he can’t help but look at it again. For a long time, even.
JJK: what your missing
JJK: fuck off
KSJ: want to see what your missing?
JJK: [PHOTO] [PHOTO] [PHOTO] [PHOTO]
JJK: i already know. saving these for when i’m lonely later ;)
Seokjin laughs. Some of them are decent photos caught tonight. Of him in his suit with his regular sparkling smile, throwing finger hearts and kisses at the crowd. One is a slightly unfortunate shot of him pulling a face at Suran. He thought he’d gotten away with that. Evidently not. He should know by now that the cameras catch everything.
JJK: you look good on the carpet.
JJK: your hands look big around her waist
Something in Seokjin’s chest flips upside down. He doesn’t know what it is. Doesn’t want to acknowledge it. He deliberately takes a few minutes to text back, giving Jeongguk time to message again if he wants to. But he doesn’t elaborate.
KSJ: are you jealous?
Jeongguk doesn’t reply for a while, forcing Seokjin to actually go and do his job and socialise. He fumbles his way through talking to the director and potential new investors, then bows a lot to a group of giggling family members of the lead. He manages to escape back into Suran’s hold where they order martinis from the bar and shit-talk everyone passing by. The whole way through, Seokjin’s mind is elsewhere.
When Jeongguk finally sends something, Seokjin doesn’t know what to think.
JJK: do you want me to be?
Seokjin leaves as soon as he’s allowed, kisses Suran farewell on the cheek and hops in the first car he can grab at the venue exit. He doesn’t think twice about heading to Jeongguk’s address instead of his own.
Halfway there, he gets another blurry selca from Jeongguk, eyes hooded, head leaning against his pillow. His lips are pink under the flash. Seokjin misses them, wants them against his own, right now.
As if the devil heard his thoughts, a few seconds later Jeongguk sends another text.
JJK: are you actually missing me?
A breath. In. Out.
KSJ: do you want me to be?
[INT. JEONGGUK’S APARTMENT - LATE]
Seokjin kind of expects Jeongguk to pull him into a ravenous kiss when he arrives, leading to a hot sex marathon together right on Jeongguk’s hallway floor. He even psyched himself up for it in the car, checking his hair in his phone screen to make sure he looked the most dashing when Jeongguk opened the door for him.
He does get the ravenous kiss, once they’re behind closed doors, and then he gets reminded to take his shoes off. And once that’s done he goes to find Jeongguk and sees him in the kitchen, pottering around.
“Are you hungry?” Jeongguk asks, holding up several bright red plastic packs, “I have ramyeon.”
Seokjin isn’t supposed to eat instant noodles, especially not cheap, spicy ones. They make him bloated, and puff his lips out and he always regrets it in the morning. They have a schedule tomorrow, Hoseok will kill him if he ruins the scene’s continuity by having less abs, or whatever.
But Seokjin has spent the whole night smiling at people he doesn’t know or doesn’t like. He’s in a suit that probably costs far more than Jeongguk’s monthly rent. He’s tired, and hungry, and Jeongguk is smiling at him with those eyes and something in Seokjin melts a little more.
“Yeah,” he says. “I could eat.”
They make it together, then eat, side-by-side, and then wash the dishes immediately because Jeongguk only has two of everything anyway. And it feels - domestic.
Feels nice, even. Feels comforting in a way Seokjin hasn’t let himself have in a while.
After they’re done, Jeongguk smiles his crescent smile and his lips are all reddened and puffy and kissable. So Seokjin kisses him. It seems like the natural order of things.
They kiss for a long time like that, Jeongguk pressed against the kitchen counter, eventually levering himself up and onto it, Seokjin standing between his legs.
“Let’s go to bed,” Jeongguk says, after a while. His hand cards through Seokjin’s hair and is hindered by the hair gel, stiff and sticky. He laughs, Seokjin melts, “Shower, first, though.”
Seokjin thinks they’ll probably start to get frisky in the shower, or even go the whole way and have round two in the sheets. But Jeongguk just leads him into the bathroom, turns on the water with what looks like a complex system to get the right temperature.
Seokjin remembers having a bathroom like that, where you had to kick the cistern in a certain place to get it to flush properly. His apartment now has so many bathrooms he hasn’t actually used all of them. Once he got his first big role, things just started working more smoothly until nothing seemed to go wrong at all. He supposes that’s how celebrities end up forgetting how real life works.
Jeongguk turns, looks surprised that Seokjin is still in his clothes, “Come on, Hyung, I doubt that Gucci would appreciate you getting shampoo on that nice suit.”
“It’s Armani,” Seokjin replies absently, even as Jeongguk starts undoing his buttons for him. He’d left the blazer on a chair in the kitchen, now thinks he should have changed before he ran away from the premiere like the coward he is. Suran is probably still there, networking, covering for him. He feels a pang of guilt, but-
Jeongguk is really close in this small bathroom, even the harsh bulb above him does nothing to diminish his beauty. From this close he has to look up a little at Seokjin, presses a light kiss to his jaw. “You’re alright, Hyung.”
Seokjin lets Jeongguk undress him. In a very different way than every other time they’ve done it. More gentle. Less sexual. He disappears for a few seconds with the shirt and trousers, then reappears with a set of sweatpants and a big t-shirt, setting them down in favour of tugging on Seokjin’s hand.
Jeongguk gets in the shower with him, lets Seokjin lean his head against his shoulder. Lets Seokjin kiss his collarbones while Jeongguk gently lathers up his hair with shampoo. A nice light smell. Lilacs, maybe.
And then they’re done and Jeongguk is towelling them both off and Seokjin is capturing his lips in a kiss and walking them both back to Jeongguk’s bedroom. And then they collapse onto the bed together, and the sheets are so soft and Jeongguk is so soft that Seokjin finds himself falling asleep in seconds.
[INT. GYM - HORNY AND SOMETHING MORE]
Jeongguk looks good lifting weights. His expression gets all tight, concentrated. Sometimes his tongue will stick out and he won’t notice, too focused on checking his stance in the gym mirror.
Seokjin likes to watch, even when his personal trainer is around and trying to get him to deadlift or whatever. Jeongguk is a good distraction from the burn in his muscles.
When the trainer isn’t around, Jeongguk will correct Seokjin’s form for him, and his careful touches will rile Seokjin up for the rest of the day. But when he’s really lucky (or unlucky, depending on how you look at it), Jeongguk will try to teach him some judo.
A lot of judo is just learning how to fall. Which Seokjin didn’t know about. That’s why so many stunt-people have black belts, because they’ve learnt how to go down safely. It’s a cool skill to learn, and Jeongguk takes great joy in throwing Seokjin around. They’ll spend hours on the mat together, Jeongguk’s hands on Seokjin’s waist, hips, thighs, neck. The touch searing and soothing all at once.
Jeongguk makes Seokjin fall for him again and again. And each time Seokjin will end up on his back on the crash mat, breath stolen from him.
Sometimes they’ll get on treadmills side-by-side, and sprint for as long as they can together, until both of their faces are red and sore with sweat. Jeongguk always collapses onto the floor immediately after with an expression so blissed-out that Seokjin has to laugh through his pained wheezes.
Jeongguk makes Seokjin enjoy it, somehow.
He makes Seokjin enjoy a lot of things, really.
[INT. LADY KILLER MODE: ON - TWENTY-FOUR SEVEN, BABY]
The plot of the movie is so action-oriented that Seokjin could almost block out that he’s supposed to be doing it to rescue a love interest. They only have about four scenes together. None of which seem that exciting other than the fact that they make out a few times, and in one she gets to see Seokjin emerging shirtless from a body of water.
They didn’t even pull Jieun in until a few weeks before the scheduled wrap day, so Seokjin’s first shoot with her is one of his last overall.
They film for a solid week, and it goes pretty well. Seokjin only knew Jieun peripherally beforehand, she is a proper A-lister, has been for a while, where he is only just emerging onto the scene. She’s nice, the sort of genuine nice rather than on-screen nice. Which he likes. It’s always good to meet people who haven’t been soured by their long careers in the industry.
She laughs with him beforehand, and they get to know each other, going from swapping polite information about their respective drama schools to being in fake-love on camera in the space of twenty minutes.
Luckily, Seokjin has had a long time to perfect his on-screen kissing and making gooey-eyes, etcetera etcetera. Sometimes, when he’s forced to watch his movies back, he is surprised at how straight he seems.
His friends love it, lap it up. Every single rumour gets sent to him, so many that he doesn’t check them anymore. But he knows that he supposedly has a wife and four kids stowed away somewhere. And last year there was one about him and Beyoncé, somehow.
Jeongguk has to come to one of the shoot days, and he hops around the bedroom set, warming up with Jieun’s double. There’s a stunt where Seokjin has to roll both him and Jieun off the bed and under it, because of bullets or breaking glass or something. Jeongguk gives it a run-through and the sight of him splayed semi-shirtless on the bed is enough to make Seokjin cancel his evening plans.
Even after all these years it feels strange to kiss a woman. Especially strange to kiss her in front of a crew of about twenty, all stood in tense silence while he and Jieun try to create a sexy atmosphere. Still, he’s good at blocking things out.
“It’s weird,” Jeongguk says, when they have a moment together. “Watching you kiss her.”
“Watching me kiss a woman?” Seokjin grins, “It’s weird for me, too.”
“No. I meant because it’s not me, but that, too. I suppose.”
Seokjin tries not to mull that over for the rest of the day. Tries not to read into it. He is very good at not reading into things in general. That’s how he’s survived the most terrible scripts and scandals. Coasting through and pretending he can’t see tends to do the trick.
[EXT. STUDIO - DAYLIGHT]
“Ready for the Martini Shot?” Yoongi asks, walking alongside Seokjin towards the large warehouse-like building which houses the set. “Namjoon is desperate for it, I think he’s got a date with Jimin today.”
“An actual date?” Seokjin’s eyebrows raise.
They both pause while a cart passes, towing what looks like a crumpled Statue of Liberty mock-up. The lot for this production company is huge, and the budget for their movies is even larger. Seokjin thinks he could explore every building for weeks and still be surprised at the things he’d find. Maybe Jeongguk would like to join him on that adventure sometime.
“I think so,” Yoongi hums. They start walking again, faster because they’re already late, and though they’re near the end of filming Seokjin still doesn’t want to get on anyone’s bad side by delaying the day’s shoots even further. “I saw him asking Tae for fashion advice earlier.”
“I’m happy for them,” Seokjin says.
“Really?” Yoongi side-eyes him. “Because you’re using your interview voice.”
“How dare you,” Seokjin gasps. “My interview voice is only brought out for occasions when I’m being especially disingenuous.”
“Uh-huh,” Yoongi says. “Like when you’re being evasive about not being happy for your friends.”
“No, like when I’m telling your mother I’ll call her back after the steamy weekend she and I spent together.”
“Stop trying to convince people you're having an affair with my mother, we both know that was a spa retreat,” Yoongi pokes at Seokjin’s arm, pausing to appreciate the firm muscle there before continuing. “Thanks for taking her, by the way. She loved it.”
Seokjin purses his lips, looks at his feet. “Ah, it was nothing. They gave me a voucher and Hobi wasn’t free.”
Yoongi scoffs, like he knows it’s a lie, but he lets it slide. “Don’t let her know you’ve been discussing recipes with Tae’s grandma, though, she might get jealous.”
“The Nation’s Son-In-Law is loved by all parents and guardians,” Seokjin shrugs. “It’s the law of the land. Mama Min knows she doesn’t have to be jealous.”
There’s a pause just before they head in through the side door of the building. Inside, Seokjin can hear the bustling of the crew, setting up for a cafe scene, luckily with no wild stunts today.
“I am glad they’ve got their shit together,” Seokjin says. “I was being weird before, ignore me.”
“Hyung, I always do.” The corners of Yoongi’s lips are bending up into a smile, halted by his concerned gaze. “You’re okay, though, right? Not the wrong type of weird?”
Seokjin bites his tongue, truthfully, he has no idea. But that won’t fly now. Yoongi has a knack for teasing out the tears with just a few well-placed words of empathy. “Just excited to make out with Jieun in front of five cameras and twenty colleagues for the billionth time today.”
Yoongi laughs finally, eyes screwed up and gums showing. With two hands he pushes Seokjin forward towards the set and waiting crew. “Go get ‘em, tiger.”
[INT. TRAILER - OH-SHIT O’CLOCK]
“I was thinking-” Jeongguk starts, cutting himself off as he settles down onto one of Seokjin’s sofa cushions. He’s made himself right at home in the trailer. He even has a stock of banana milk in the fridge, Seokjin wonders just how Jeongguk wheedled himself into such luxuries.
“Dangerous.” Seokjin spins in his chair to face him.
“Shut up.” Jeongguk’s toes are wiggling in his socks, Seokjin is tempted to reach out to grab one. “I was thinking about going somewhere together. After this. My friend has a shack in Jeju that she’ll let us stay in for a weekend.”
“That sounds cool,” Seokjin nods, still half-focused on rifling through his script for the sides that they’ll be running tomorrow. “I’ll be super busy for a while, though. I’ll make sure to book out the time.”
“A romantic getaway,” Jeongguk sighs dreamily, but his eyes are shifting towards Seokjin even before the end of the sentence. They hold a little bit of fear, a little bit of stubbornness. There is an argument ahead.
Or a conversation. Seokjin supposes. He just doesn’t know how to go about it. Doesn’t even know where he stands.
He swallows, takes the bait because they need to clear it up sooner or later. “Ah.” He coughs, like the asshole he is, sets down the script. “About that.”
“Ah.” Jeongguk’s expression drops like a stone. He seems to curl in on himself, anticipatory. Seokjin isn’t the bad guy here, but he feels like one. “You don’t want romance, or…?”
“I just don’t think we can - should - make this more than it is.”
“So this isn’t anything to you,” Jeongguk replies, looking numb, sort of unbelieving.
“It wasn’t supposed to be something in the first place.” Seokjin says weakly.
“You aren’t denying it.”
“I can’t-” Seokjin cuts himself off. His hands have started shaking. They haven’t done that since the first time he went on stage and got paid for iit. He clasps them together, tight so Jeongguk can’t see. “I can’t be seen- my entire career rides on this.”
“Taehyung-hyung survives,” Jeongguk says, “He’s in this movie with you.”
“He’s a side-character. The only reason why they hired him was because Namjoon, Yoongi and Hoseok practically made them.”
Being openly queer in this industry is brave, at least Seokjin thinks so. But Taehyung acts like it’s necessary for him to be out. Like he couldn’t be himself with a part of him in the closet. Maybe that’s true. Seokjin certainly never sees himself on screen. But that’s the point, isn’t it. He’s an actor . He’s supposed to pretend.
A pause. “You know I’m not asking you to come out or anything.” Jeongguk says quietly. His voice is wavering but firm. “I’m just asking for you to consider something more. A relationship. I don’t mind it being secret.”
“I know,” Seokjin buries his head in his hands. There is a long moment where he tries and fails to sort his jumbled thoughts. “I’ve always put my career first. I never thought I’d ever get to the point of even considering a proper relationship. Especially not since I got- well.”
“I get it, the Nation’s Son-in-Law can’t get caught in a scandal.” Jeongguk smiles sharply, bitterly. “It’s not worth even trying to have something more.”
“I’m not saying that-” Seokjin starts, but he doesn’t know what he is saying. He stops. “Jeongguk-ah, you know you mean a lot to me.”
“I know, Hyung,” Jeongguk murmurs. “I’m not sure if you do, though.”
He stands, and it’s a hovering motion. Like now is the time for him to either leave or crawl into Seokjin’s arms and stay there, clinging. Seokjin already feels like he’s suffocating, doesn’t know what will make it worse. Jeongguk’s expression falls even further.
“Just - uh - just give me a little time to sort it out,” Seokjin asks. He tries for a smile, but it comes out a grimace. “My head hasn’t been on straight since 1992, I just need a little time.”
[EXT. A WEEK GOING BY - SLOWLY]
Seokjin gets a little time. He gets a lot of time, actually, because filming is wrapping up and he’s now only needed for the easy scenes, and a few pick-ups and cutaways that the editors have requested. As far as he’s aware, Jeongguk is around, too, brushing up on a few shots that weren’t quite perfect.
Their paths only cross for one more scene. And they do it without interacting with each other. Seokjin just watches Jeongguk fall for him. Over and over. The balcony is pretty high off the ground, but Jeongguk leaps like there’s no danger, still. Nothing to inhibit him.
Seokjin is fairly certain that the only time he tears his eyes away from Jeongguk is when the camera’s are rolling. As soon as Hoseok calls cut he is back to gazing forlornly at him. At the way he seems just a little more subdued than usual.
They see each other at the studio’s gym, too. Seokjin, now no longer required to keep up his muscles so tightly, has nonetheless found it a good way to get rid of all the tumbling thoughts in his head. Just him and the treadmill and music blasting through his earphones.
He doesn’t even notice Jeongguk has come into the room until he turns off the treadmill, winding down, and glances around to see the other man facing away, checking his form in the mirror as he does weighted squats.
Jeongguk catches his eye in the mirror for a few seconds, sends a cursory smile, then looks away. It wasn’t a mean look, nor a particularly warm one. He’s giving Seokjin time.
Just like Seokjin wanted.
It’s funny, he thought he had everything he wanted until Jeongguk came along and upended the whole thing.
[INT. TRAILER - AFTERNOON]
“Jeongguk is thinking of leaving, by the way,” Namjoon says, standing at the door to Seokjin’s trailer. It’s the day before the last day of schedule. The penultimate day, if you’re feeling fancy. Everyone is rearing to finish. Seokjin has applied yet another lavender face mask in an attempt to look somewhat decent for all the photos to be taken tomorrow.
“What?” Seokjin asks, sitting straight up. He thinks he knocks over his drink but honestly he can’t bring himself to care right now. “What did you say?”
Namjoon’s expression softens. “I passed by him talking to Yoongi about places to travel. He said he might do some stunts and stuff, you know, like base-jumping, and all that. Maybe start a blog, or vlog, or whatever.”
“Probably looking for something new. He only moved into this job this year, and on a whim, even.”
“I don’t get it,” Seokjin says, voice hollow, “was he not happy here?”
Namjoon gives him a long look. Then says slowly, “I think the problem might have been that he was too happy here.”
“Ah,” Seokjin slumps back. He feels like the wind has been knocked out of him, like his heart has stopped, all of a sudden. He has no idea what to do, but he knows he has to do it soon.
[INT. SWANKY BAR, CROWDED - EVENING]
Seokjin stews on his dilemma for a few days. It’s weird to have to figure out the plot of his own romance. He feels like he should be able to read ahead, predict what the ending will be, how the two lovers will kiss and make up and fall in love.
He’s not quite sure how this plot will work out. Not sure he’s ready to take the leap and actually affect it. But he supposes he has a time limit.
He doesn’t want Jeongguk to leave, doesn’t want to have to say goodbye. But at the same time, he can’t bear the thought of Jeongguk staying and the two of them being awkward awkward awkward working together, just like it has been for the past couple of weeks.
Logically, there’s only one thing to do, really. He knows that. All of his friends seem to know that. It’s just a matter of getting his head out of his ass and trying to communicate.
It only really all comes out because Seokjin sees Jeongguk at the wrap party, laughing with a bunch of the camera operators in the corner, and he thinks he’s beautiful and then I want to wake up next to him tomorrow, and maybe the day after that, too .
One of the execs rented out an entire venue for the night, at the top of one of Seoul’s skyscrapers. Almost everyone was invited, and there is an open bar, which either means that the execs think they all did a good job or no one is going to get paid at the end of the month. Maybe both.
Seokjin, as the lead, is surrounded by people who have had to stare at his face non-stop for the past few months. When he’s asked for a few short words, he apologises profusely to everyone, subsequently thanks them for their hard work, and tells a joke that goes down worse than his first ever made-for-TV role. He thinks Yoongi, Hoseok, and Namjoon laugh, but probably at him, not with him.
He has to spend part of the evening socialising, getting along with all of the other actors and producers lest he has to work with them again at some point. Then he grabs Taehyung by the arm and makes a beeline for the others. Somehow, despite no one being allowed to bring plus ones, Jimin is there and hanging off Namjoon’s arm. Namjoon’s own face is pink and pleased.
Seokjin is about to join the group when he realises that Jeongguk isn’t with them. He looks around, sees the glimpse of a tattooed arm disappearing out onto the balcony.
“I need to-” he cuts off when he sees everyone’s knowing gazes. Fuck them for all being so emotionally intelligent. He leaves without a word, grabs a glass of champagne as he goes and downs half of it. The bubbles mix with the butterflies in his stomach.
Jeongguk is leaning against the railing of the balcony, against the backdrop of Seoul. His head is resting on his hands and his eyes are closed. When Seokjin shuts the door behind him they open again, sending a quick glance towards him.
“Hi,” Seokjin says. Because he supposes that he should be the one to break the ice, having frozen it in the first place, and all.
“Hi,” Jeongguk straightens up a little. Seokjin is confronted with his side-profile, eye catching on the little scar on Jeongguk’s left cheek. He wants to kiss it. Has always wanted to kiss it but never quite let himself.
He’ll have to wait a little longer to do that. If he even manages to go about this right.
“So.” Seokjin stops. Has to organise his thoughts. “You gave me time.”
“I gave you time.”
“And you want to leave, maybe,” Seokjin says, and he supposes it sounds like a question, because Jeongguk answers.
“I don’t think- don’t think I could stay on with you if things ended.” Jeongguk is staring out at the horizon, the orange lights and hazy sky. “Couldn’t cope with it.”
“Why?” Seokjin asks, like the idiot he is.
Jeongguk laughs, sharp and unamused. “Surely you know, Hyung.”
Seokjin looks at his toes. He thinks he might. But neither of them have said it. The whole love thing always seemed like more of an abstract, to Seokjin. Something to act out, not to fall into.
“Look,” Seokjin says, and he doesn’t like the way his voice sounds, all weak and emotional. But he thinks that Jeongguk likes it, maybe. Likes the vulnerability. “I - uh - don’t want you to leave.”
“Okay,” Jeongguk says flatly, but Seokjin can see that he’s biting at the inside of his cheek.
“I, in fact, would like you to stay, even.”
“This is really romantic,” Jeongguk’s knuckles are turning white from gripping at the bar of the balcony.
“I’m trying, okay?” Seokjin groans, “I spend all my time spouting bullshit that other people have written. But for some reason I can’t fucking think of my own words to say about you. At least, not when you’re around.”
“Huh,” Jeongguk lets out. His grip looks even tighter. Seokjin is this close to trying to pry his fingers off to hold his hand. He supposes that’s not very romantic either.
“My brain just sort of goes blank when you’re near,” Seokjin continues, voice softer, more confessional. “I don’t know, you ignite some sort of fight or flight instinct in me.”
Jeongguk lets out a laugh, and it sounds surprisingly pleased. Something in Seokjin’s left ventricle starts moving again.
Out ahead of them, the city buzzes, it’s so alive at night. A million open windows, curtains cracked open, a crack of light seeping out into the dark. Below, the Han river curves out and away from the building. If Seokjin wasn’t so completely and utterly focused on Jeongguk right now, he'd be acknowledging the view. But at the moment there is a greater beauty to be appreciated.
“I suppose I should probably ask you on a date, now.” Seokjin pauses, “Or am I supposed to beg for forgiveness? That’s what my characters usually do.”
“And what do you want to do?” Jeongguk turns to him.
“Kiss you, honestly,” Seokjin replies. “Hold you. Save talking for later when neither of us look so good, and dozens of our colleagues aren’t in the room over.”
“Right.” Jeongguk looks around, like he’d forgotten everyone was close by. “Shall we get out of here?”
[INT. GETTING OUT OF THERE - TOGETHER]
“I just want to make something clear, it’s going to be affected by work,” Seokjin says in the elevator. “I don’t want to be out yet, and I’ve worked too hard to let it go up in flames as soon as a cute boy catches my eye.”
“You think I’m cute?” Jeongguk’s eyes crinkle up, pleased.
“You know I do,” Seokjin breathes. “But seriously, we’ve got to work together to make sure everyone’s happy. Maybe in - in the future I could. My priorities will change, but right now I want to make millions and put my name in lights, and all that.”
Ten years ago, when Seokjin first got into acting, he was told to keep his head on straight. “ You can be gay ,” his agent said, when he was first signed. “Just don’t be public about it. Or, preferably, don’t do anything about it. ”
And Seokjin wanted success, and he was going to work for it, so he did.
Work was always his priority, acting first, social life second. Romance never.
But now, looking at the smile that reaches to the corner of Jeongguk’s eyes and beyond, looking at the two of them together in the glass reflection of the elevator wall. Looking at a possible future together. Seokjin thinks that he can reorder his priorities a little.
“I’m not asking you to sacrifice anything,” Jeongguk bites his lip. He sidles closer to Seokjin until the backs of their hands are brushing. “I just want to be with you. Want you to be with me.”
Seokjin lets his pinky finger stick out, linking with Jeongguk’s own in a discrete promise. When it’s put simply like that, he knows for sure that he wants it, too.
[INT. BED - NEXT MORNING, AND MANY MORNINGS AFTER]
Seokjin loves waking up next to Jeongguk.
He loves how fluffy Jeongguk’s hair looks in the morning, growing out a little longer. More to stroke his hands through. Loves the way Jeongguk’s nose scrunches in his sleep, especially when Seokjin moves away for a second. Loves, too, Jeongguk’s vice-like grip around his torso, legs tangled together in a knot. He couldn’t escape if he wanted to.
The mornings with Jeongguk in them feel a little brighter, a little warmer. A little more like something Seokjin could call happiness. If he wanted to.