Actions

Work Header

first and last

Work Text:

Jungkook rubs a hand over his eyes, sweater pulled all the way over his hands as he hugs his knees closer to his body and traps them between the desk. The computer monitor's clock is obscured by an empty energy drink can, which he half heartedly knocks out of the way. It's 11:39am, the cursor on his open word document flashes impatiently. He's been here for over 6 hours and he doesn't feel anywhere near ready to leave. He'll be here late into the night, even trying to stay for 24 hours if he knew Hoseok or Seokjin wouldn't eventually break down the door and take him, kicking and screaming.

 

The desk is a graveyard of takeaway coffee mugs and Monster cans; there's three takeout containers piled in the corner. Did he have takeout 3 times yesterday, or has he just not cleared out the trash for nearly 4 days? Either way it's bad and the fact he can't remember is an even bigger indicator of how stressed he's getting.

 

Jungkook remembers all the time he'd pop his head around Yoongi's studio door to see a similar scene, but normally there was no takeout and the energy drinks were replaced with twice as many coffee cups, and he would feel a pang of sympathy and an itch of irritation that Yoongi had let it get this bad again. He'd always have to be a little careful about expressing the frustration, with Yoongi being old and all, but only a little . Now he sits hunched over himself in basically the same position, same studio as well. Yoongi's given Jungkook his own space in the studio with his own computer and synthesiser and even his own swivel chair; but Yoongi isn't here right now and Jungkook finds it weirdly comforting to sit at Yoongi's desk instead of his own, like somehow he could absorb his creativity and leech it from the spot.

 

It's not working. 

 

Nothing's working. And the anxiety drums through his body in vibrations, like someone is banging on the inside of his head and it tremors all the way down to his toes. Maybe it's just the caffeine that's making his heart beat so fast, maybe it's not. Maybe it's the track he's working on.

 

(It's definitely the track he's working on).

 

Jungkook takes another swig of his Monster energy drink and forces himself to look at the screen. He's managed to bring himself to type up the lyrics, hums them quietly to the guide he's created with Yoongi but avoids looking directly at the title. The lyrics are too obvious, Yoongi had said as much. He'd said it kindly, with a hand placed over Jungkook's balled fist and stroked circles into his white knuckles. Yoongi hadn't smiled but he'd given him a look that was somehow more comforting.

 

Jungkook clicks off the word document and goes back to the mixing programme and lets the audio play through the speakers. The soft hum of his own voice is pretty sounding but it's still not right. Yoongi's done a wonderful job at helping him compose it and Jungkook knows Slow Rabbit will be able to bring it all together in the end, but. 

 

It's something else. 

 

It's pretty but Jungkook doesn't think this song should be pretty at all. This feeling, what he's singing about, it's never felt pretty. The lyrics are too obvious and the melody isn't obvious enough. His mouse hovers over the little recycling bin icon; not for the first time.

 

There's a soft tap at the door and Jungkook slams the lid of his laptop shut and quickly mutes the audio. The door is left wide open, still wedged open by his rucksack; he feels incredibly stupid. Even more so he sees it's Namjoon who's poked his head around the door, looking shy and tentative. His hair is tousled and fluffy from where he's been running his hands through it, probably stressed, and Jungkook stomps out the urge to go up to him and smooth it down.

 

God, fuck. Yoongi's right, the song is way too obvious.

 

"Sorry, Kook-ah, I didn't mean to make you jump." Namjoon says.

 

Jungkook shakes his head and spins the chair around. "No, no hyung it's ok I was just..." he gestures vaguely towards the computer, "in the zone."

 

"You looked like you were thinking hard," Namjoon agrees, smiling "be careful. Don't frown as much or you'll get wrinkles and look like an old man, like Yoongi-hyung. You'll get his old man posture as well if you say hunched up like that."

 

Jungkook giggles sheepishly and exaggerates cracking his back and straightening up, rigged. Namjoon grins back and then the silence stretches between them. It's tense and Jungkook finds himself so desperate to go back to a time when it wasn't.

 

Things between him and Namjoon have been awkward, to say the least.

 

Jungkook's been working on his mixtape for over a year on and off, but the untimely events of the world and the postponed tour have left his hands feeling particularly empty. Taehyung and Yoongi were straight to work on their own respective mix tapes and everyone else seemed to have taken up other projects. Suddenly Jungkook felt like stuffing a console controller in between his hands and playing Overwatch wasn’t enough to fill the empty feeling between his fingers. It wasn't that he felt like he had to work on his mixtape, or that he didn't want too, just--just.

 

Jungkook had sworn to himself if he were to ever release a mixtape, he was going to make it personal. He felt like it owed it to himself; he's spent so much time looking forward and thinking of the Jungkook he wants to be that he doesn't think he's particularly well acquainted with the Jungkook he is. There's corners of his mind he hasn't dared look in for a very long time, and this was his chance. But that's hard and some places feel so dark that not even a highway of lights could brighten them. And he's trying and he's working hard and most importantly he's reaching out for help and not trying to do this all by himself.

 

But, he hadn't gone to Namjoon. And that had confused almost everyone.

 

He'd gone to Yoongi instead, and Yoongi knows why, and if anyone were to take a peak right now at the current track titles then they’d know why, too. Jungkook's been so incredibly secretive about a mixtape he promised will be an open version of himself, he knows, but he needs time to dull the colours a little. It's a little too vibrant, a little too telling. And Namjoon can't see all the parts of Jungkook. God, no. Not yet.

 

The silence is growing uncomfortable and Jungkook shifts in his chair under the weight of Namjoon's soft gaze. Namjoon is pretending he's not bothered by the fact Jungkook doesn't want his help; and he's not doing a very good job.

 

"Ah," Namjoon finally begins, and then shakes his head. Repositions his glasses on the bridge of his nose. "I'm actually looking for Yoongi, I'm guessing he's not here?"

 

"Sorry hyung, Yoongi-hyung is with Seokjin-hyung and some of the other PD's in meetings all day to do with Seokjin-hyung's song."

 

"Shit, yeah. I forgot about that." Namjoon taps down the side of his denim jacket-- it's half light cream and half black washed out denim, because he's just so fashionable-- and fishes his phone out of his pocket. He puffs out a sigh of relief. "For a minute there I thought I was supposed to be in the meeting as well but nope, schedule clear." Namjoon laughs awkwardly and Jungkook just nods. Namjoon is hovering and Jungkook waits patiently for what Namjoon has to say.

 

"Jungkook-ah," Namjoon finally says hesitantly, "I know you said you're happy with just Yoongi helping you with the mixtape, but if he's out today and you get stuck on anything my studio is just around the corner." Namjoon pauses and then quickly adds, "or Hoseok-ah! He's in his studio this afternoon and if Yoongi isn't around just...don't want you to feel trapped in here is all. Or, we could go on a walk if you need some air at some point, I have some leftovers in my mini fridge that we could share if you get hungry--"

 

"Hyung," Jungkook says tensely, "I really appreciate all of this but I really am okay. Thank you for your concern, though." Jungkook nods stiffly and Namjoon's mouth drops into a little “oh”. Jungkook watches Namjoon's shoulders deflate whilst he feels like the weight on his own increases. He's being short and bratty and rude and he wishes he could just pull up his swivel chair and sit Namjoon down so he can help. Let their knees bump under the table, hands finding their way into eachothers as Namjoon helps guide Jungkook around the screen-- and it's thoughts like this that remind Jungkook of why he can't let Namjoon in.

 

"Oh, okay." Namjoon retracts around the door and nods. "That's fine, Jungkook. I'll-- I'll leave you to it." Namjoon nudges Jungkook's bag out of the way and the door clicks softly behind him.

 

Jungkook slams his face into the desk and groans. Namjoon is so lovely and Jungkook is horrid. Jungkook is a shitty person who is making Namjoon feel like shit for things he has no control over. It's not Namjoon's fault that Jungkook is like this, and feels this way.

 

(It's not Namjoon's fault that Jungkook is in love with him)

 

Jungkook shakes his head. Nope, nope. He can't call it that, he can't think about it like that. Jungkook forces himself to reopen the word document and read over his lyrics again. This time even braves the title.

 

For him-- My first and last.

 

Jungkook might cry. The song doesn't sound right because it's pretty and Jungkook feels ugly. He feels ugly for feeling like this and for feeling it about Namjoon. Sweet, lovely, oblivious Namjoon who Jungkook owes so much too but can only seem to give him love in a way Namjoon doesn't want in return.

 

Jungkook gets a few more hours of work in until his stomach begins to rumble and he orders from the noodle bar down the street, which probably answers the mystery of the takeout boxes. Around 4pm his laptop pings with an email from Yoongi.

 

re: seokjin is poking me with a pen and this business dude has curry stain on his tie

 

how's it going, kook?

 

re: re: seokjin is poking me with a pen and this business dude has curry stain on his tie.

Hi hyung,

 

bad.



Jungkook pushes the noodles around their little paper box and waits for a reply, which comes through a few minutes later

 

re: seokjin is now trying to get me to play noughts and crosses. i will destroy him

 

whats up?

 

re: i have decided to pass away

 

I can't do this song hyung. i just can't. I'm thinking about just deleting it and sending all the rest over to slow rabbit min.

 

re: you think you're going to pass away? someone has obvi not been in a board meeting with JUST seokjin for over 7 hours

 

kook-ah, don't panic.

 

I think the song is important to keep in the mix tape. the tapes about you. This is a part of you. send hyung over what you've done and i'll see if i can help tweek it a little.

It's a beautiful song kook-ah. please keep it.

 

Jungkook rereads the email over again. This is a part of you. Yoongi's not wrong, it is a part of him. However much he tries to run from it, loving Namjoon is like breathing, he breathes out but he always has to breathe back in. Being in love with boys is another thing that will probably never change; even if his feelings for Namjoon do. But it's been a good, well, nearly 10 years and sadly not much has changed besides Namjoon just got hotter and Jungkook just fell harder. But it's fine! He's got it all under control. That's what this is about, taking control.

 

His laptop pings again and he expects to see another email from Yoongi but instead it's from Namjoon and his heart flutters. He hovers the cursor over his inbox, remembers there are no "read" receipts for emails and then braves opening it.

 

re: the mixtape

 

Hi Kookie

 

Just me again. I know you didn't want my help and I really hope I'm not overstepping here, but. I made this playlist of songs that reminded me of you and I thought maybe if you're struggling-- which, I'm sure you're not, you've totally got this!-- but if you are, maybe these could help.

 

just stuff that reminds me of you. sounds like you. or you'd sound good singing.

 

ahh what am I saying? Hyung is rambling. not a good email habit to pick up on, kook-ah! Do as your Namjoon-hyung says not as your hyung does!

 

But yeah. Hope this helps.



Jungkook blinks at the email. Not really sure what to think. The pang of guilt feels more like a blow. Namjoon, even in the face of Jungkook's brattiness, is still nothing but pure gold. 

 

Jungkook groans in the empty studio and throws his head back; but because he's a little sadistic at heart he still follows the link to the playlist anyways. There's a collection of songs ranging from I.U too old western rock bands Jungkook thinks he's only heard as passing pop culture references.

 

He decides not to play it yet because it all feels a little too raw, especially when the song is still open on his computer with the lyrics still mocking him. It's fine, it's all fine.

 

Instead he brings up the audio file and compresses it enough to fit into an email and sticks it into a reply to Yoongi, he leaves the title as it is. 

 

r e: i'm trying my hardest to squish my love for rapmon hyung but just like his boobs in a tight fitting top i'm worried it's gonna burst out anyways </3

 

this is where i've got too yoongi-hyung.

I haven't changed any of the lyrics yet, so it's obvi who it's about lol, but please take a listen. i tried to alter them to be less obvious, but every time i try to soften it it feels like i'm trying to blur something that can't be blurred. like you've dowsed a painting in water? and the colours run but they're still the same colours, you know? it doesn't matter what you do to it. the intention is still there. you can try and wash it away but not really.

 

ahhh that doesn't make sense! Sorry for the rambling, hyungie. Please take a listen and keep supporting me!



Jungkook tries not to over think it and sends the email. Yoongi will understand the email, he'll get what he's trying to say. He then quickly replies to Namjoon:

 

 "thank you,namjoon-hyungie. this is so lovely of you. i'm so sorry for snapping earlier. just stressed. i hope i didn't offend too much. i always appreciate you. always." Clicks send just as fast and does his best not to let himself think about it either.

 

He puts the playlist on a low and decides to try tackling some of the other song lyrics he's had feedback from other producers and does what he always does: works through the pain.

 

He sees a response from Yoongi a few minutes later but decides not to open it straight away, especially now that shifting his focus for a little while has ignited a new drive to get some of the other edits done. He gives himself an hour or so to focus on his other songs; tries to convince himself that he's not waiting on a response from Namjoon either. When the minutes drag into hours Jungkook finds himself a little concerned about why Namjoon hasn't responded to his email. He hates arguing with people, he doesn't think he's ever actually argued with Namjoon before. So the idea that he hasn't responded to Jungkook's apology is a little disheartening, especially when Namjoon seems to have always operated on the belief that forgiveness and honest discussion is the best way forward for the entire group. Maybe it's because he can somehow tell that Jungkook isn't being honest. Jungkook decides to push that notion to the back of his mind and braves opening Yoongi's email.

 

It's not the response he's expecting, to say the least. In fact, it’s not a response Jungkook feels he can handle at all. Jungkook thinks he's actually gotten a good handle on his anxiety over the past few hours but the simmer turns to a boiling point, ready to pour over, when he realises what he's done. He thinks he might throw up.

 

re: mix tape

kook-ah, did you mean to send this email to me?? if so you forgot to attach the audio file... and you're referring to me as joon-ah... haha unless this is a weird tactic to address your feelings? lol. anyways send over the file when you're ready.

 

Jungkook scrolls up with a shaky hand to check and there, blinking at him on the screen in pixelated font, is the reply he'd meant to send to Namjoon. His heart thumps so hard against his ribcage he worries it may bruise.

 

There's this icy feeling that washes over him and mixes with the nausea, almost like he's sea sick. He knows he's going to have to check and see what he's written to Namjoon but the idea makes him feel like he's going to burst. He knows what he's sent to Namjoon. Because he sent an email to somebody with the audio and that awkward description and there's only really one logical explanation. He's fucked up. He's gotten muddled with who he's responding too. He's fucked up. He's going to have to quit the band, move to a country picked via a naver random generator. He's fucked up. He might have to learn a whole new language and adapt to an entire new, randomised environment. He's really fucked up.

 

Maybe, if he doesn't check, it isn't real. Maybe there's a chance the email was never sent, Yoongi is always complaining about the wifi after all, or that Namjoon hasn't seen the email. Maybe he never will. Maybe the rift between him and Jungkook has groan so much that Namjoon has automated Jungkook's emails to go straight to his spam inbox, Jungkook never thought he'd ever pray for a day where the distance between him and Namjoon would actually grow, but anything to save him from this.

 

Jungkook decides what he doesn't know can't hurt him and decides to just shut his emails down and throw himself back into the album. He has a terrible feeling he might cry and decides to channel that feeling into the song he was writing for Army's; because if he can use his fuck up to do anything then its to feel less like wasted and ugly energy.

 

Jungkook makes a conscious decision to not check his phone either, puts it on “do not disturb'' and decides to do the same thing with his computer when he sees a follow up email pop up from Yoongi. He's probably not really in a state to be working on his mixtape right now as he just feels jumpy and jittery, his hands raising to tug at his earrings without his permission. He's fucked up so bad and all he can do it push through it.

 

Eventually the 3 monster energy drinks he'd brought in with him are empty and his water bottle runs dry; he takes that as indication to break and try and breathe through it. The clock across the room Yoongi hangs on the wall declares it's almost 10pm and he has almost 15 missed calls. Nothing from Namjoon.

 

Most of the missed calls are from Yoongi and when Jungkook toys with the idea of just ignoring him again when his phone flashes up again with Yoongi's little profile picture. Before Jungkook really registures what he's doing, the call is answered and Yoongi's deep voice emits through the empty studio.

 

"Kook-ah," he sounds stern, "where are you?"

 

"I'm..." Jungkook clutches at his phone and tries to think about what the right answer is, "I'm back home in my room."

 

"Are you lying to me?" Yoongi asks, "because you've never been particularly good at lying."

 

"No!" Jungkook's voice jumps, "I really am."

 

"So if Seok-ah went and checked your room, you'd be there?"

 

"I mean, I have my headphones on so I probably won't respond, but."

 

" Kook-ah ", Yoongi sighs, "please come home. It's getting late and you've been there hours."

 

"I am home hyung” Jungkook grumbles, tangling his fingers into his hair.

 

"I've spoken to Namjoon" Yoongi says softly. "I know."

 

"I'll talk to him when I'm home, not now." Jungkook says, panicked. "It's all good, it's fine. Don't make me talk to him now."

 

"I thought you were at home already?" Yoongi asks and there's a beat of silence. Jungkook gapes around the words in his mouth and Yoongi sighs. Jungkook can hear the rustle of car keys and what he presumes is Seokjin muttering softly in the background. "I'm not making you do anything, hyung won't do that to you. But please don't shut yourself in, Kook-ah. You've been doing so well and I'm sorry this has happened. But, maybe it was the right thing to happen. Every cloud has a silver lining and you won't know if this one does unless you come out of that damn studio and take a look."

 

Jungkook clutches the phone to his ear and wraps the drawstring of his sweats around his finger. He thinks he might have been wearing the same outfit for over 24 hours now, his hair feels a little matted when he runs his fingers through and he's reminded of how fluffy and pleasant Namjoon's had looked earlier. He wishes Namjoon was here and that he wasn't the problem, Namjoon always knows what to do.

 

"I'll be back soon, Yoongi-hyung. I just need a little more time." Jungkook doesn't specify what; but he presumes Yoongi knows he's not talking about the mixtape. Jungkook's not ready to face the music (literally).

 

Jungkook hears what he is pretty confident is Seokjin's voice in the background, asking for the phone and Yoongi shushes him. "Kook-ah," Yoongi begins, sounding like the beginning of another lecture and Jungkook's decided he's had enough.

 

"Really, hyung. I'll be back soon, just don't wait up. And I don't know what Namjoon's said but please make sure he isn't waiting up either. I'll be home soon."

 

And with that Jungkook quickly hangs up and throws the phone across the desk, it skids and smacks against the keyboard. Jungkook scrunches his eyes shut and tries to breathe through the overwhelming urge to cry. It's still there, he knows he's close to tipping point and hopes Yoongi couldn't hear the beginning of a sob that sits in the back of his throat. Yoongi hates it when Jungkook cries alone and would probably break a door down to be with him, that is if he's not already on the way to do so.

 

Jungkook shoves his headphones back over his ears, now slightly damp with sweat and tries to suck himself back into it. But he's restless now, his legs are beginning to cramp and he feels slightly gross and the alarming amount of caffeinated liquids have really started to hit him. He needs to pee and it's not really the sort of feeling he can ignore so with a sigh he finally heaves himself out of the chair and plods off to the bathroom. Unfortunately the bathrooms are situated near Namjoon's studio; but it's almost 2 am so Jungkook isn't particularly worried. But even the sight of the little wooden 'rkive' plaque sends a pang of anxiety so hard that Jungkook thinks he could be knocked over with the force of it. The room is dark and Namjoon barely ever works without a light on, one of those natural bulbs that emit a soft but persistent glow and is environmentally friendly, so it's likely he's already gone home.

 

Jungkook goes to the bathroom and does his best not to make eye contact with the mirror as he washes his hands. He looks so rough, cheeks rosy but in a way that makes him look like he's been slapped, there's bags under his eyes, an unhealthy purple which clashes with the colour in his cheek and flush that ventures all the way down his neck and past his shirt. He looks like an abandoned paint palette where all the colours have been swirled together. He looks like shit.

 

But at least things can't really get worse, it's one of those bitter-sweet comforting thoughts. Except they can and Jungkook is a fool for ever letting his guard down. As he emerges from the bathroom he walks straight past Namjoon's studio and, unfortunately, comes face to face with Namjoon as he peers through the little window at the top of his door. Jungkook stills, eyes blown wide and Namjoon lifts his gaze from what Jungkook presumes is the keypad to look out of the little window and they catch eyes. Namjoon has his jacket back on and what looks like a leather bag strap swung over his shoulder; so probably on his way out to finally go back home.

The water Jungkook had just splashed on his face has dried and feels tacky, there’s sweat on the nape of his neck. Jungkook considers pursuing his original plan and looking for a randomer, or perhaps just going with New Zealand as his new home, it seems nice there. Lots of cool scenic walks and little birds named after fuzzy fruit, Namjoon would probably love it there. On second thoughts maybe he shouldn’t move to New Zealand.

 

Namjoon’s gaze is intense, but it doesn’t give much away. Maintaining eye contact with him reminds Jungkook of when he’d open his english textbooks without really having the drive to study, there’s intent there but Jungkook can’t place it. 

 

His first instinct is still to run but the heaviness of Namjoon’s expression keeps him rooted. Namjoon’s finger drops from the keypad and rises delicately to flick the lights back on, bathing the room in soft eco-friendly light. He instead carefully opens the door, never dropping his gaze once.

 

“Come in, Kook-ah” Namjoon says, and it’s not an invite. It’s a demand. Jungkook is fucked and the feeling that comes over him is akin to what Jungkook believes grey is like; dull, numb but made of all the other little parts of vibrant colours that make you feel overwhelmed and sick and he thinks his skin is grey but he bleeds vibrant red. 

 

Jungkook wordlessly follows Namjoon into the studio, ringing the ends of his oversized t-shirt anxiously. Namjoon collapses down into a swivel chair and nods towards the sofa, Jungkook slowly sits himself down. 

 

Namjoon swings the chair around and turns the computer back on, logs in to where he’s left Jungkook’s email open-- his jumbled sentences meant for Yoongi still tormenting him. Jungkook shuffles in his seat, uncomfortable under the gaze of his own writing.

 

Namjoon then pulls the chair back up and leans forward, hands clasped.

 

“Jungkook”, he begins and Jungkook feels like a child about to be told off. It makes the ache in his heart grow, because if this wasn’t humiliating already Namjoon is going to treat this like a kid caught writing his teachers name in his workbook. Jungkook is an adult and god, he’d never expect Namjoon to accept his feelings but to reject him so clinically, when Jungkook’s been so open, not by choice, it hurts. 

 

“Jungkook,” Namjoon says again, softer this time. There’s a new wetness on his face that Jungkook realises too late is tear tracks, already crying. Jungkook cries so easily, sometimes it feels like no matter how much he tries to stay together he always eventually crumbles apart, just like now, always in front of the people he doesn’t want too. 

 

Namjoon scoots his chair forward so his hand comes to sit hesitantly on Jungkook’s shoulder and even that small touch makes him feel like he’s been set on fire. Jungkook presses the back of his hand into his eyes to try and stop the tears. “Jungkook-ah, please look at Hyung.” 

 

“I’m sorry,” Jungkook hiccups, “I really didn’t mean to send that to you, I meant to send it to Yoongi-hyung, I really didn’t mean for you to see it or, like, hear it.” Jungkook’s voice wobbles and he knows he’s crying but he does his best to look at Namjoon through the blurriness.  “I really didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable--or--or, overstep any boundaries. It’s just how I feel and- and sometimes I feel so much I had to put it somewhere and I don’t want to make you feel weird, Namjoon-hyung.” 

 

Namjoon’s hand travels up from his shoulder to come and rest on Jungkook’s jaw, like he’s cradling it. The touch is so intimate and so far out of the comfort zone Namjoon normally sets for himself, maybe Jimin or Taehyung would hold him like this but never Namjoon. His thumb runs across the side of Jungkook’s face, up to his ear and back down again. Soothing, rhythmatic. 

 

“Hey, hey. Stop that. You haven’t done any of that, Hyung’s not angry. Just,” Namjoon sighs, hesitates with his next words, “confused, Kook-ah.” Jungkook nods numbly, gaze downcast as more tears slowly fall and a few even splatter onto Namjoon’s expensive wooden table. 

 

“I haven’t listened to the song.” Namjoon finally whispers and Jungkook snaps his head back up. “It doesn’t look like something that was meant for me to hear.” 

 

There’s some irony in that, Jungkook thinks. The song, as much as Jungkook planned to twist it, to dull it down, to filter it until the ambiguous weighed out the open honesty, it was always meant for Namjoon. The Producer-nim’s could mix it up as much they like, change pronouns, whatever, the song would always have been for him. It’s like when artists restore paintings, they can change the features and paint over with oil as much as they like, but the original art is still underneath. 

 

“It was,” Jungkook finally says, breathless, “I just didn’t want you to hear it like this.”

 

“Well, I haven’t. And I won’t, ever. None of this ever has to leave this room, if you don’t want it to.” Namjoon whispers. 

 

Jungkook realises that Namjoon is giving him a choice, a rare moment of control, to decide really how much Jungkook wants to share with him. A lot of the time their lives are on display for everyone else, like fish in bowls, and Jungkook never really minds. Most of the time, he wants to share with Army how he’s feeling, how he processes things, but even then there are little times when he totally has control over what’s being shared about him. Rarely does he get a chance to process things and actually say “no”. There’s still this irony, that the mixtape is totally about Jungkook’s self expression, and Namjoon looks at him with an expression that says: are you really ready for this? 

 

Jungkook decides that perhaps the person he is, not the person he’s going to be-- manufactured, produced, changed over and over until he’s perfect-- he wants Namjoon to see the Jungkook he is right now, unfiltered and a little scared. 

“I don’t want you to play the song,” Jungkook finally decides and Namjoon nods. He spins back around, ready to delete the song, but Jungkook quickly catches his hand around Namjoon's wrist.

 

“I,” Jungkook stutters, his mouth feels so dry and the words are stuck like a ball in his mouth, he just has to work it past his lips and get it rolling, “I don’t want you to play the song. Because I-- I’d rather sing it for you.”

 

Namjoon leans back into his chair and blinks, looking a little stunned. “You don’t have to do that,” he says, “you really don’t owe me anything, Kook-ah.”

 

Jungkook still has a grip around Namjoon’s wrist and he clings to it like a lifeline, palms sweaty and clammy. He hopes Namjoon doesn’t mind. “No, I want to. You deserve to hear it.” Jungkook swallows and a few more fresh tears paint down his face, “but you deserve to hear it from me and--and just me. Before Yoongi-hyung or any of the other producers make it into something else. Whatever it’ll sound like will be brilliant because-- because it’s them, but that makes it not me anymore, and yeah. You deserve to hear it from me.”

 

Namjoon nods and slowly leans back into his chair, watching. His eyes are wide and open, ready to take in whatever Jungkook has to offer, which doesn’t feel like much. It doesn’t feel nearly enough that these few words put to a melody could even begin to describe what goes on inside Jungkook when he looks at Namjoon, but. It’ll have to do, for now, because Namjoon deserves to understand even a little bit of what’s going on. Like a lighthouse shining across a rocky sea, Namjoon deserves to at least have a slither of light shone on Jungkook’s dark secret. 

 

Maybe, though, the ocean doesn’t have to be rocky. Jungkook tries to picture the sea, clear and shimmering in a low set sunlight. Jungkook’s overwhelming feelings for Namjoon have always made him feel dangerous, wrong, but he knows that’s not what he feels when he looks at Namjoon, looking at Namjoon feels like home. It’s the most stable home he’s ever had, and feeling like that might make him think he’s a bad person but he knows, the feeling itself, is not a bad one. 

 

Jungkook loves Namjoon, and Jungkook doesn’t want to feel bad about that. 

 

Jungkook unclenches his fist, takes a steadying breath, and sinks into the music swimming in his mind. He lets the words he’s memorised flow out of him, his voice a little shaky like the lapping of the shore. Jungkook closes his eyes because for once the darkness seems a little better than what’s sitting in front of him, and sings. 

 

“If love is a muse 

then you are my everything 

my first inspiration starts and ends with you 

if i was a gardner, I’d sow you anything 

but trample it all down when it starts to bloom 

because although my feelings grow and tangle 

i understand this is a forest i walk alone

 

Jungkook considers stopping there but finds his mouth moulding over the words before his mind can catch up, continuing onwards with the song unsteadily but determinedly. 

 

i think i’d risk it all for you my darling, 

but i understand it’s not a risk you’d want to take 

so i just risk being in love with you

and wait for my heart to finally break 

 

I’d call you a role model, but that doesn’t sound right 

When it’s my heart, my love, you unwillingly own 

I’m sorry I’m in love with you, I promise it’s something I’ve tried to fight

But feels like a useless battle when I’m trying to win it all on my own

 

i think i’d risk it all for you my darling, 

but i understand it’s not a risk you’d want to take 

so i just risk being in love with you

and wait for my heart to finally break 

 

I think I’d be happy in the spaces between you,

Your arms, your thighs, 

the corners of your mind

The places you go when you’re hard to find, 

But I know you don’t need me there, and that’s okay

I’m just scared I’ll probably love you, forever, always

 

I i think i’d risk it all for you my darling, 

but i understand it’s not a risk you’d want to take 

so i just risk being in love with you

and wait for my heart to finally break 

 

Jungkook lets the final syllables hang in the air for a few moments, and braves opening his eyes. Namjoon is still there, which almost feels like a win itself, Jungkook had half expected him to run. Couldn’t have blamed him if he did. But Jungkook also knows Namjoon would never do that, so he sits and waits for the reprimanding, the rejection that is inevitable to follow.

 

Namjoon’s face is unreadable, but there’s something new in it that Jungkook can’t really process. His brow is furrowed and it looks like Namjoon might be close to crying, which is rare. Namjoon hardly ever cries. 

 

“Jungkook,” Namjoon finally says, “I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but is this song about me?”

 

Jungkook blinks at him. “Yes.”

 

“And, okay, I’m so sorry if I’m reading this wrong, but are you in love with me?”

 

Jungkook shifts in his seat. “Yes.”

 

“Okay, just wanted to clarify.” Namjoon nods and doesn’t say anything else for a moment. His face turns contemplative, but Jungkook swears he still sees tears shining in his eyes. 

 

“I’m sorry.” Jungkook whispers, trying not to cry again.

 

“I wish you’d stop saying that.”

 

“What?”

 

“That you’re sorry,” Namjoon rings out his own hands, and Jungkook realises he’s still holding onto Namjoon’s wrist. He goes to retract his hand but Namjoon is quick to catch it, tangle their fingers together. “I should be sorry.” Namjoon gulps.

 

“What, but hyung you haven’t done anything wrong. I-- I’ve just been in love with you, this entire time. Since I was, like, 15, and i’ve just been around you, and we’ve-- we’ve shared a bedroom, and changed in front of each other and I’ve been in love with you--

 

“Jungkook stop, stop it.” Namjoon pulls Jungkook across the sofa and towards him, until he’s half in Namjoon’s lap with Namjoon’s hands cradling each side of his jaw. It’s so unlike Namjoon to do such a thing that the words tangled in Jungkook’s throat die, and he just stares. 

 

“Firstly, I don’t ever want you to think like that, ever again. Loving me-- boys-- whoever, never apologize for that. You haven’t done anything wrong and it hurts me so much to make you think that I'd ever be upset or mad at you for this, or any of us would.”

 

“You haven’t--”

 

“Well, I’ve obviously done something wrong.” Namjoon smiles sadly, runs his thumb back from Jungkook’s jaw to catch the edges of his lips. “To make you think I’d be upset with you for any of that, when...” Namjoon’s thumb is caught in the middle of Jungkook’s lip and he stills, his body stiffens and the hesitation runs from the parting of his lips all the way over his shoulders, making him stiff.

 

“When I feel the same way, too.” Namjoon finally says, and the glass shatters.

 

Jungkook doesn’t think he’s heard properly, the words are too quiet and too loud at the same time. A feeling washes over him but Jungkook isn’t really sure what it is, but it scolds and sets his skin on fire. 

 

“I’m in love with you, Kook-ah.” Namjoon clarifies, just in case, “and I’ve tried so hard not to be.”

 

“But I-- you-- did you know how I feel?” Jungkook gasps because he thinks he might be drowning. 

 

“I didn’t know, no.” Namjoon bites the inside of his lip, “I know you looked up to me, and that you idolised me a little, but I never knew how deep those feelings ran, I” Namjoon takes a shaky breath, “I just never wanted to presume things. I was so scared that my feelings would get in the way of being there for you and taking care of you. Being the best hyung that you deserve”

 

“Oh.” Jungkook says softly. “What now?” 

 

“I don’t know,” Namjoon says honestly, “what do you want to happen? Because nothing has too.”

 

“I think,” Jungkook breathes through his nose, wipes the tears and snot from his face and Namjoon pulls a face, but still giggles, “I think I want to kiss you and work the rest out later.”

 

If this was a movie, Jungkook would surge forward and crash his lips against Namjoon’s, they’d kiss like time was running out and the only way to get oxygen into their lungs is to inhale each other's breath. But it isn’t and Jungkook realises they’re a drop in the ocean, they have plenty of time. The roots are in the ground and they have all the time in the world to unravel into vines and climb towards the sun. 

 

So instead Jungkook laughs awkwardly at his own words as Namjoon grins back through his own tears. He leans forward slowly, still giggling, still sniffing, there’s still snot probably smeared over his face and greasy strands of hair have escaped from his little pony tail. When their mouths are hardly an inch apart, Jungkook hesitantly presses their lips together. 

 

It tastes of salt, from their anxious tears, and Jungkook is conscious of how bad he probably smells. But he’s kissing Namjoon, and that somehow takes over and fills the corners of his mind until he feels like his entire being is just Namjoon, Namjoon, Namjoon, Namjoon. 

 

Namjoon brings his hand to cradle the back of his head and smooths his fingers down Jungkook’s neck, slowly deepening the kiss. Jungkook opens beautifully, like he’s always been waiting for Namjoon to take everything he’s got. Jungkook groans involuntarily as the sweet kiss gets even deeper, Namjoon slowly licking his way into Jungkook’s mouth. 

 

Namjoon doesn’t seem to mind and instead just swallows Jungkook's little sounds, lets his left hand drop so his fingers press into Jungkook’s sides and ghost over his hip bone, down his thighs. Tiny shivers run down Jungkook’s back and he tries to press his body into Namjoon’s fingers, deciding he likes the feeling of being held. Jungkook pulls himself fully onto Namjoon’s lap and maneuvers himself a little awkwardly, giggling into Namjoon’s mouth as he stumbles until Namjoon dips his thumb into Jungkook’s hip and his laughter collapses into breathless gasps. 

 

Jungkook continues to move with pleasure, chases Namjoon’s lips desperately when he tries to break apart to take a breath and wiggles his way into Namjoon’s lap until their chests are flush. The swell of Namjoon’s thick body pressed against his only sends the surges further to his core and he moves forward again and again, overwhelmed with the small sparks of pleasure and the taste of Namjoon’s lips until he’s suddenly startled by Namjoon carefully pressing his thigh in between Jungkook’s legs and the realisation hits him that he is, undeniably, very hard, and the erupting pleasure has come from Jungkook rutting against Namjoon’s side. 

 

Jungkook stops, embarrassed and flushed. He’d been so lost in the feeling that he hadn’t even realised he was practically, basically, humping Namjoon. Jungkook tries to shuffle away, is already stuttering out embarrassed apologies when Namjoon’s hand skids down the back of Jungkook’s neck and doesn’t stop till it rests of his lower back, slowly guiding Jungkook’s hips forward and straight into Namjoon’s thigh.

 

Jungkook gasps and he realises Namjoon hadn’t put his thigh there to stop Jungkook, but to help him, and the fire like embarrassment settles into his skin and boils into a burning need to keep chasing that feeling.

 

“Is this okay?” Namjoon says as his mouth travels down to Jungkook’s neck, sucking between the junction of his collarbones, “we don’t have to do this.”

 

“Wanna, wanna do this.” Jungkook gasps, as he hesitantly grinds forwards and oh, that was the feeling. Namjoon’s thigh is warm and soft, the glide of Jungkook’s sweatpants makes it feel like silk is wrapped around him. Jungkook realises he hadn’t put on underwear this morning, which means the sensation is heightened without the added layer of clothing, the glide is smoother. He can feel the heat of Namjoon’s body radiating underneath his groin and his dick almost jumps when it catches on the thick of Namjoon’s thigh. 

 

Jungkook feels Namjoon giggle against his neck and his tongue slowly moves its way back up his neck to suck on Jungkook’s ear and Jungkook thinks he’s melting, putty in Namjoon’’s hand to mould and to tear at as he likes. “That’s it baby, you’re so good.” Namjoon whispers, “take what you need, it’s okay. Take anything you need.” Namjoon guides him further forward and back again and Jungkook almost sobs at the sensation. 

 

It’s all so slow, like a ball of yarn unravelling and Jungkook thinks he’s slowly going mad. 

Namjoon sucks on a particularly sweet spot and Jungkook throws himself forward with a loud and choked moan, desperately grinding down. His movements speed up as Namjoon whispers into his hair, mouths at his forehead. 

 

“N-Namjoonie-hyung,” Jungkook feels the pressure building quickly and it’s slightly embarrassing how quickly he’s reaching the edge, “w-we need to slow down.” he gulps, trying to force the almost frantic pace of his hips. Namjoon eases the pressure on Jungkook’s back and starts rocking him a little slower, agonisingly slow, and Jungkook has to hold everything back not to kick start his hips again. 

 

“What is it, baby?” Namjoon hums, pulling back with a concerned expression, “do you want to stop?”

 

Jungkook bites on his bottom lip and sighs because, god no, he doesn’t but he needs to before he loses control. 

 

“Do you not feel good, baby?” Namjoon tucks a stray strand of hair behind Jungkook’s ear and Jungkook shakes his head, realises how it looks and fumbles to get the words out.

 

“No, hyungie, it does. Just. It feels too good.” Jungkook chews the inside of his cheek and presses his forehead into Namjoon’s shoulder, gasps quietly as his hard dick is jostled again. 

 

Namjoon rubs soothing circles up Jungkook’s back and it’s supposed to be comforting, but Jungkook is so sensitive it just seeps heat into his veins and travels back down his body. “What do you mean, little one?” Hm? Use your words, baby.” Namjoon almost coos as Jungkook whines again and, god, the mixture of the slight embarrassment, the terms of endearment, the praise -- Jungkook is almost worried he could just cum like this. On little notes of reassurance, Namjoon’s large hands palming his waist and the gentle rocking of his hips, it’s almost enough. So much so Jungkook has to physically hold back.

 

“I just, fuck, Namjoon,” Jungkook whines as Namjoon presses his thigh fowards a little bit, as if he’s trying to squeeze the sounds out of Jungkook, “if you keep doing that then I’ll-- I’ll, you know.”

 

“I’m not sure I do know, you’ll have to tell me.” Namjoon hums, grinning into Jungkook’s hair and Jungkook thinks he might cry as Namjoon continues to smooth his thigh up and down Jungkook’s sensitive dick. 

 

“We can stop, Hyung. I’m just-- I don’t wanna, it’s embarrassing--”

 

“Jungkook,” Namjoon says seriously, “listen to me, sweetheart.” Namjoon pulls back and looks Jungkook straight in the eye “I want you to feel good, okay? I’m doing this because I want to .” Namjoon takes a deep breath, and mumbles, “I want you to come.”

 

And, oh, those words do something to Jungkook. It’s the softness of it all, the little waver in Namjoon’s voice that reminds Jungkook that this is new to him as well. There’s no lead in this scenario, both of them just navigating each other and tracing their hands over their bodies like fingers to maps, trying to feel out the pressure points. Namjoon wants this, it’s no longer a one way street because Namjoon is here, looking into Jungkook’s eyes and clasping him like he’s something worth holding onto. 

 

Jungkook still feels embarrassed, a little small, a little too sensitive and a little too hot all over. But Namjoon wants this, and god does Jungkook want it too.

 

Hesitantly, Jungkook nods and kick starts his hips again and Namjoon gasps as if he’s the one getting off, begins rubbing circles back into Jungkook’s hip bones.

 

“There you go, that’s it.” Namjoon breathes, “you’re doing so good, Kook-ah, you deserve to feel good.”

 

Oh” Jungkook gasps as the head of his dick slides across Namjoon’s soft thighs, the inside of his sweats now sticky and wet. He rolls his hips in the small frantic motion and his finger nails dig into Namjoon’s back. Namjoon continues to coax the motion, praise slipping through his lips like they’re tiny prayers. 

 

“Namjoon,” Jungkook chokes out, warning as he feels the pleasure continue to build and knowing he’s soon going to burst. 

 

“That’s it, sweetheart, let go.” Namjoon shushes, “come for me, Jungkook-ah, be a good boy for your Hyung and come for him.”

 

And it’s like Namjoon’s flicked a switch, as his hand comes down to knead softly at Jungkook’s ass and with one more thrust of his hips the dam breaks and Jungkook comes with a gasp and a series of soft cries, building and building until it all topples over and he’s spilling into his own sweats. The feeling knocks the breath out of him and he collapses into Namjoon’s chest, fingers still digging crescents into Namjoon’s fluffy jumper. Namjoon cradles him through it, keeping a steady hold onto Jungkook’s trembling thighs whilst running his lips back over his collarbones. 

 

Jungkook feels sensitive all over, the pleasure pulsing through his body and all the way down to his toes. It’s a warm feeling, like someone’s given him a big cup of tea with honey in it, and his eyes feel heavy with sleep almost straight away. He thinks he could fall asleep like this, Namjoon’s broad chest softer than any pillow Jungkook’s ever had (not that he sleeps with pillows, anyways) and Namjoon’s wrapped around him like a blanket. He inhales Namjoon’s scent and it smells like home, it feels like home. Namjoon is home. 

 

Jungkook leans back to look at Namjoon and tries to blink the sleep out of his eyes. Namjoon laughs, eyes bright and smiling so genuinely. 

 

“Hey there sleepy head.” Namjoon giggles, “you can’t sleep here, Kook-ah. We need to get you cleaned up.”

 

“Noo,” Jungook whines, “your boobs are such a good pillow.”

 

“Wow,” Namjoon gasps, mock hurt, “you don’t love me, you just love my body.”

 

“Just wanted your squishy boobs, you’re right. This was all a clever ploy for me to touch your boobs.” Jungkook snorts, nuzzling his face deeper into Namjoon’s chest.

 

“I’m offended, hurt to be objectified in this way. All so I’d sleep with you.” Namjoon tuts.

 

“Did it work?” Jungkook grins, hoping he doesn’t sound too eager, “because you didn’t get to-- you know.”

 

“How romantic, you’ll touch my boobs and in return you may let me come.” Namjoon rolls his eyes but then shakes his head, “but really, Kook-ah. It’s okay, i don’t need anything right now.”

 

“Okay, next time?” Jungkook asks, hesitantly, terrified of breaking the spell. 

 

“Yeah, next time.” Namjoon smiles down at him and Jungkook thinks he might burst all over again. At this angle, the dim lights catch the colours in Namjoon’s brown eyes, a kaleidoscope of chocolate and hazel, speckles of tiny pieces of green that reminds Jungkook of a forest fading into autumn, the feeling that Namjoon drums through Jungkook’s veins. Jungkook’s love for Namjoon is like a season, ever changing, evolving but consistent, guaranteed no matter what hurdle is faced. 

 

“Can I sleep with you tonight?” Jungkook asks, pushing the boundaries, seeing how far they go. Namjoon nods and smiles dopely again. 

 

“Of course, Kook-ah, as long as I get to sleep on my side of the bed.”

 

Jungkook doesn’t know which side of the bed is Namjoon’s, but he’s excited to find out. Jungkook doesn’t really know how any of this is going to work, if it can work, but that’s okay. Because like an artist with a canvas, all you need is some paint, maybe a brush, and the rest will come. The colours may bleed, they may swirl and dance and mold in ways that aren’t anticipated, but it’s all art at the end. It’s all beautiful.

 

Jungkook’s love for Namjoon is beautiful, really.