“Shots, shots, shots!”
Jungkook downs the last shot with a smirk on his face, the drunk people around him clapping and encouraging him to do more. Jungkook almost does until he gags and he decides he's had enough.
“I don’t even feel anything,” he slurs smugly, trying to leave the circle, but he stumbles onto the floor instead. People pay him no mind. It’s a college party, they’re used to it. “Ah,” Jungkook groans and closes his eyes, deciding to stay on the floor because everything’s spinning.
He should’ve listened to Seokjin.
“Ah, here you are,” someone holds Jungkook’s arm and pulls him up to his feet, groaning because Jungkook isn’t helping at all.
“Thank you, my savior,” Jungkook squints his eyes until his vision isn’t blurry anymore. He lights up when he recognizes the man in front of him. “Hyung! Thank you so much!”
Namjoon doesn’t have a chance to reply before Jungkook is flinging himself in his arms. He’s so unprepared they end up on the floor again, Jungkook laughing on top of him.
“I think you’ve had enough,” Namjoon mumbles, helping Jungkook to stand. Again.
“No, I haven’t,” Jungkook pouts.
“Tomorrow’s the first day of your second year, Jungkook. You’re gonna be hungover and your day will be ruined. You said you’d do better, c’mon.”
“I’ll have a wonderful day, thank you very much. Plus, that’s what the party’s for! To celebrate new beginnings!” Jungkook shouts, pointing at the people around them.
“No, Jungkook. This is a frat house, they always throw parties.”
“And that’s why I love college so much! Go Wolves!” Jungkook shouts the last part louder and he hears people howling in response. He gives Namjoon a smug smirk. “Don’t be such a party pooper!”
“We’re the ones dealing with your drunk ass, Jungkook,” Namjoon sighs. “But whatever. Don’t complain to us tomorrow.”
“Fuck,” is the first thing Jungkook mumbles when he opens his eyes. He sees flashes of his last memories at the party; Seokjin jumping off a table and scraping his knee, Hoseok scowling in disbelief, Namjoon walking away and pretending he didn’t know them. He turns his alarm off and tries to go back to sleep again, too tired from last night to function properly.
“Jungkook-ah! Wake up!”
“Shit!” Jungkook falls off his bed, hearing Hoseok’s laughter ringing in his ears. Jungkook glares at him from the floor. Jungkook’s bed is small and he sleeps in the very edge, he falls off more times than he can count and Hoseok obviously did it on purpose.
“You should be thanking me. Say “Hobi hyung you’re the best friend and roommate I will ever have. Thank you for waking me up so I’m not withdrawn from my classes for missing the first day.” Say it.”
“What?” Jungkook mutters sleepily.
Hoseok sighs and shakes his head, wavy blonde bangs covering his eyes. Jungkook weirdly thinks he looks like a popsicle just because the top of his hair is brown and then it fades into blonde.
“Get up. I made you breakfast, it’s gonna get cold.”
Jungkook’s stomach grumbles at the mention of food, so he stands and walks to the bathroom of their shared apartment. He hears Hoseok praising him but he really doesn’t care right now. Jungkook’s throat is parched and he feels like literal death. He realizes he looks like it too.
“Ah, why did I think that was a good idea?” Jungkook whines, remembering last night’s events. He thought it’d be a great idea to let off some steam before the first day of his sophomore year, but apparently not.
Jungkook manages to shower and then apply some concealer to try to hide his dark circles. It doesn’t work at all though, he still looks dead. It sucks because Jungkook wanted to make a good first impression before he stops giving shit mid-semester. Hell, Jungkook doesn’t do his makeup if he’s not going out, and yet he still looks like shit.
“Damn, you look horrible.”
“Gee, thanks,” Jungkook swallows the painkillers with orange juice and then sits on the kitchen table to eat breakfast. He even had his outfit planned; light-washed jeans and a black t-shirt with a red flannel over it. A classic. Jungkook also never wears jeans if he’s not going out, so his efforts are now useless.
“Oh, c’mon, it’s gonna be okay,” Hoseok coos, ruffling Jungkook’s purple hair. “You look hot.”
“I’m gonna drop out,” Jungkook threatens and Hoseok laughs.
“Just get to class or you’ll be late, c’mon,” Hoseok ushers Jungkook to get up. Jungkook grabs his backpack and walks to the doorway way too slowly, so Hoseok gets tired and pushes him out of their apartment.
“At what time does your first class start?” Jungkook asks curiously, but they both know he’s stalling.
“In exactly two more hours.”
“Why were you awake so early then?”
“To make sure you didn’t miss class.”
Jungkook tried to hide his smile but he knows he fails when Hoseok squishes his cheeks. “Why aren’t you hungover?” he whines, prying Hoseok’s hands off his face.
“Because I’m not a loser like you. You got this! Good luck, Jungkookie!” Hoseok gives him a bright smile before closing the door on his face.
Jungkook sighs and rests his forehead against the door, trying to calm down but he’s too anxious. Jungkook’s shy and he gets nervous around new people. He’s not in high school anymore, most people keep to themselves, but he’s scared one of his professors is going to make him stand and do one of those cheesy introductions. High school was easier because it was smaller, everyone knew each other, and he was really popular.
Jungkook pulls his phone out to complain in the group chat before he leaves.
I don’t think I should go to school today, right?
I thought you said you were having a good day?😁
Pretty sure you said you were immune to hangovers...
I WILL have a good day!
And shut up, hyung! You were just as drunk as me. I don’t know why I’m always the one to end up hungover though!
You weren’t drunk last night, you were WASTED!
Jeon Jungkook, are you still outside?!🤬 I can hear the notifications!
Can’t text anymore, guys. Driving to school, bye!
Jungkook runs before Hoseok opens the door. He’s not planning on facing his wrath today.
Jungkook bounces his leg the whole drive to school. He’s nervous because they all used to have similar schedules, but now their schedules are totally different and Jungkook hates it. He feels like he just came to Seoul for the first time, still the same nineteen-year-old boy from Busan. Jungkook spent his last years of high school in filming clubs and his grades were good enough for him to get him into the best film university in the country. He was scared shitless at the beginning. His mother made his living arrangements and he remembers his hands were shaking when he first walked into the apartment. That changed the minute Hoseok gave him the brightest smile he had ever seen though. He also met Hoseok’s friends: Namjoon and Seokjin, and now they’re all best friends. They all get along very well even though they have different interests: Namjoon is majoring in botany, Seokjin in acting, and Hoseok in dance.
Jungkook doesn’t get lost this time—he can’t believe it has taken him a full year to do so—and arrives to class ten minutes before it starts. He avoids everyone and walks with a blank face even though his grip in his backpack is slipping because his hands are so clammy. He manages to snatch a seat in the back and then decides to play on his phone until the professor speaks up.
The professor’s voice is monotone and Jungkook knows this class is going to be hell. Film History is boring enough, but the professor’s voice is so monotone as he talks about all the tests they’ll have this semester that Jungkook nods off a couple of times. Then he remembers he has another class right after and tomorrow he’s going to meet three new professors. Why did he think it was a good idea to take five classes? As if he wasn’t struggling enough.
Jungkook’s mood gets even worse when he walks into Film Documentary class. The classroom is at the opposite end of his previous class and by the time he arrives the classroom is full. He only spots a few empty seats at the front and, honestly, Jungkook’s so frustrated he feels like crying.
Jungkook has just sat down when the guy next to him greets him. When he turns to look at him, he freezes for a moment because he’s drop-dead gorgeous. He has a black mullet and Jungkook didn’t even know people could look good in those.
“You look like you’re gonna be sick. Are you okay?”
“Uh—” Jungkook clears his throat. “I’m okay. I’ve just had a bad day I guess,” Jungkook mentally pats himself on the back for not stuttering.
“Well, I’m here to make it better,” the guy winks cheekily. “I’m Kim Taehyung. Twenty-two,” he offers Jungkook his hand, and Jungkook smiles awkwardly before shaking it.
“Uh, Jeon Jungkook. I’m twenty.”
“That makes me your hyung, then,” he smiles widely. “Sorry if I’m coming onto you too strong, it’s just you look so… Upset.”
“No, it’s okay,” Jungkook smiles. He likes that Taehyung is like this because if it were for Jungkook he wouldn’t have talked to him at all and Taehyung seems cool. “I’ll be okay though. It’s nothing too bad,” Taehyung raises his eyebrows, waiting for him to continue. “Uh, I think I’ll hate the class I was just in and the professor seems to be a dick. I don’t like sitting in the front and I’m kind of hungover,” he blurts it all out, staring at Taehyung with wide eyes.
“Man, that sucks. But you gotta try to make the most out of that class, you know? It’s gonna be harder if you get negative right away,” Jungkook shrugs in response. He already knows that. “Here’s what we can do: I’ll grab a seat for us in the back from now on, yeah?” Jungkook lights up thanks to Taehyung’s words because he knows he was never going to be that early to class. “Now tell me about your hangover. Had fun last night, eh?”
Class starts before Jungkook can reply. Jungkook likes this professor a lot. They’re actually going to be filming stuff this semester and he loves it. She says they’ll only have one grade; which will be a small documentary telling a story, using the skills they’ll learn from class, and that it must be around three to five minutes long.
When class ends, Taehyung and Jungkook stand outside to keep talking. Jungkook’s surprised that they get along so well and Taehyung seems even more excited. Taehyung tells him he’s a photography major but that he’s minoring in film, he also tells him his boyfriend and him are from Daegu and that they also just moved here for college. It gets better when they realize they both like Overwatch. Taehyung gets even more excited when Jungkook tells him he’s a streamer and things get crazy when Taehyung tells him he watches his streams all the time and that’s why he looked so familiar. Jungkook can’t blame him from not recognizing him right away, he just goes by JK on his twitch channel and he usually plays in the dark—plus he dyed his hair just the day before. Jungkook knows they’re going to be very good friends.
“Do you have more classes today?”
“I don’t,” Jungkook shakes his head.
“Do you wanna meet in the coffee shop? I told my friend I’d meet him there.”
“Uh, I have to deal with something at the office,” Jungkook grimaces. “But I’ll be done quickly. You can give me your number and I’ll meet you there?”
“Great! See you!”
Jungkook grins from ear to ear as he walks away from Taehyung. He can’t believe he made a friend that quick and such a fun one at that. Now his day isn’t bad at all.
Jungkook pulls his phone out to throw it in Namjoon’s face.
Guess what? My day is going GREAT. I even made a friend 😌
I’m happy for you, idiot.
How are your classes going?
The first one is boring but I’m excited for the second one! We’ll actually film stuff! That’s the one I made a friend in. His name is Taehyung. We’re gonna meet in the coffee shop after I’m done giving back the papers.
Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!🙏
Jungkook knows that means everything so he just chuckles and locks his phone. His deal in the office is solved pretty quickly since he already had an appointment. Then he walks to the cafe with a pleased smile on his face, surprised that his day is going so well. Namjoon had been pessimistic about the party, yet everything went well—a hangover is nothing he can't handle. His professor was an asshole, but he met Taehyung later and now he's on his way to meet him. Jungkook's surprised he met someone whom he gets along with so well, so he's going to take advantage of it.
He pushes open the door of the coffee shop, relaxing when the smell of coffee beans and warm food fills in his nostrils. He spots Taehyung easily—he's hard to miss when he's bouncing on his feet and waving his hands like a madman—and notices there's someone else sitting in the booth, but he can only make out a blonde head. His friend. Jungkook doesn't even feel nervous about meeting new people right now because he’s in such a good mood.
"C'mon, you're my best friend so I want you to meet my new friend," he hears Taehyung telling the guy and Jungkook stands awkwardly while he waits for them.
Then the guy stands and Jungkook feels like an ice bucket has been thrown over his head. He actually wishes that would've been the case.
Because there stands Park Jimin, his high school rival, the person he hates the most in the world.
Jimin seems to recognize him, too, because his plump lips fall open and his still pretty eyes blink rapidly, like he doesn't believe it's Jungkook. His ex-childhood best friend from Busan.
Jungkook feels himself getting angry, because Jimin looks even better than before and now his hair is ashy blonde and soft and his lips are too pink and, God, he's never wanted to punch anyone so badly in his life before.
Well, only Jimin. It's always been Jimin.
"Hi. I'm Jimin. Twenty-two," Jungkook's grateful Jimin broke the silence and that he's pretending he doesn't know him for the sake of Taehyung—he's sure he wouldn't like his new friend to beat the shit out of his best friend.
Because that's all he wants to do, right? Just punch him. Yeah.
"Jungkook. Twenty," he replies coldly, quickly shaking and releasing Jimin's smaller hand because it burned.
"Yay!" Taehyung claps excitedly and wraps his arms around both of the boys’ shoulders. "We're gonna have so much fun together!"
Jimin chuckles awkwardly and Jungkook glares at him, but Jimin glares back even harder. Jungkook clenches his jaw.
Namjoon was right. This is the worst day of his life.
“Let’s order something, c’mon.”
Taehyung drags Jimin and Jungkook to the cashier. Jungkook ignores Jimin as best as he can, but it’s hard when Jimin’s staring holes into his face. Jungkook just clenches his jaw and tries to act unbothered even though he feels like he’ll throw up his heart, that’s how nervous he is.
They sit in a booth once they have their orders. Taehyung sits next to Jungkook so he feels more comfortable, and Jimin sits in front of them. Jungkook doesn’t know if it’s better or worse.
“So, Jiminie here,” Taehyung nods at Jimin. “He’s a Literature major and the sweetest guy in the world. We became friends on our first day, too—and oh, he’s from Busan too!” Taehyung shakes Jungkook’s shoulder excitedly, but Jungkook feels sick.
Jungkook obviously knows that. And he also doesn’t feel surprised that Jimin is majoring in Literature. Jimin’s favorite hobby ever since he was a kid was reading. Jungkook wonders if Jimin still wants to be a teacher.
“Can you guys imagine if you bumped into each other before or something?” Taehyung laughs before sipping his iced coffee. “Crazy.”
Jungkook wants to cry.
“Yeah, I doubt it. Busan is a huge city, Taehyungie,” Jimin laughs, but Jungkook catches the warning look in his eyes. Jungkook knows him too well.
“I’m just saying,” Taehyung shrugs. “Oh, and Jungkookie is a streamer, too.”
Jimin chokes on his coffee and Taehyung widens his eyes before he stands to pat his back. Jungkook frowns. He wishes the coffee would’ve burst out of Jimin’s nose because that’d be embarrassing and he’d feel more confident. Jungkook knows he looks confident though, he’s good at pretending.
“Games. He’s on Twitch,” Taehyung clears his throat and Jimin glares at him so hard even Jungkook shudders. “He’s GOLDENJK97? I’ve told you about him.”
“Oh,” is all Jimin replies.
Jungkook’s about to snap at him until a phone starts to ring. Thankfully.
“Gimme a second,” Taehyung apologizes and answers the call. Jungkook stares at the table awkwardly, but his hand twitches every time he hears Jimin slurp his iced coffee. “Hey, babe… Yeah, I’m with Jiminie and—wait, really?! Uh, wait,” Taehyung turns to look at Jungkook. “My boyfriend works at a bowling alley and he got us free tickets for Friday. I can get you one if you like, or you can bring your friends, too,” he offers. “I’m asking now so he can get them in advance.”
Jungkook doesn't know what to do. He wants to hang out with Taehyung, and he wouldn’t feel nervous because he’d also be with his hyungs, but he doesn’t want to be around Jimin anymore. Jungkook makes the mistake of looking up and finding Jimin looking at him with an expectant expression, but he still looks uninterested. He’s even chewing on the straw now, and Jungkook hates how good his lips look.
“Uh, yeah,” Jungkook clears his throat and Jimin looks away. Jungkook turns and smiles at Taehyung. “I have three friends. Is that okay?”
“Of course! The more the merrier!” Taehyung laughs and pinches his cheek. It wasn’t hard, but Jungkook still blushes like a tomato. He doesn’t know why everyone likes to pinch his cheeks. Speaking about cheeks, he realizes Jimin’s aren’t that full anymore, but they aren’t completely gone when he smiles and he hates how cute but sexy he looks. Jungkook also hates that Jimin’s only smiled at Taehyung. He hates that he’s thinking about him right now.
Jungkook shakes his head to try to clear his mind. “Okay, then! Just text me.”
“Will do,” Taehyung winks and presses his phone closer to his ear. “My new friend said yes, babe. He’ll bring his friends, so we’ll be seven… Okay… Wait, so it’s over…? I don’t know what time it is… I forgot, hyung... Okay, I’ll be there in five. See you,” Taehyung hangs up and then turns to give Jungkook an apologetic look. “I forgot I had some errands to run today. My boyfriend’s waiting so I gotta go, but I’ll text you, okay? I’m really sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Jungkook gives Taehyung a reassuring smile, but he’s looking at Jimin, waiting for him to say he’ll leave, too, but he just arches his eyebrow. Jungkook grits his teeth. “Good luck. I’ll see you,” Jungkook finally turns to Taehyung, who ruffles his purple hair as he’s exiting the booth.
“Don’t have too much fun without me,” Taehyung mutters after he leaves a loud kiss on Jimin’s cheek.
Then he leaves.
Jimin and Jungkook turn to look at each other. Well, glare.
“Don’t you have something to do? Like, I don’t know, leaving?” Jungkook gives him a fake smile before taking a bite out of his food. He chews loudly on purpose because he remembers Jimin hates it.
Jimin’s smiles cynically but Jungkook catches his eye twitching. “No. Do you?” Jimin drags his nails over the wood of the table, making a low screeching noise that makes Jungkook shudder. Jimin knows he hates that.
Jungkook chews louder. “Nope. Not at all.”
“You can leave if my presence bothers you,” Jimin offers innocently, dragging his nails deeper into the wood.
“Why would I leave? I paid for my food and I’m not done yet,” Jungkook snarls.
“So did I.”
“Good for you.”
Jimin and Jungkook go back to their food. They don’t look up once, obviously ignoring the elephant in the room. Jungkook doesn’t feel surprised that he met Jimin again. He knew Jimin was also a student, but he hoped he wouldn’t bump into him because the university is so big. This is worse than bumping into each other though. They’ll have to hang out for Taehyung’s sake.
Jungkook’s playing with the crumbs on his plate when he hears Jimin getting up. He doesn’t look up, he just sees Jimin’s empty drink and plate, and then his lower body leaves the booth.
Jungkook only looks up when he hears the sound of the door closing.
“Fuck,” Jungkook sighs and hides his face into his hands, but they’re trembling. He can’t believe he saw Jimin again. “Whatever,” Jungkook grumbles and stands from the booth to leave.
Jungkook walks to his car with an annoyed expression on his face. He feels upset the whole drive back home, but he’s glad the apartment is empty when he walks in because he can’t pretend to be okay right now.
He goes straight into his room and falls asleep so he doesn't think about Jimin anymore.
Jungkook wakes up because of how hungry he is. He finds Hoseok on the sofa, eating some takeout as he watches TV.
“There’s food in the microwave,” Hoseok mumbles through a mouthful. Jungkook just grumbles and walks to the kitchen to get his food. He sits next to Hoseok when he’s back, but he doesn’t say anything, he just eats as he watches one of the corny dramas Hoseok likes. “Is there something wrong?”
“Nothing,” Jungkook lies.
“Don’t wanna talk about it right now, hyung,” Jungkook begs, turning to look at Hoseok with his best puppy eyes.
“Okay, not right now.”
Jungkook and Hoseok talk about everything but Jimin. Jungkook tells him about class and that he hung out with his new friend, but he doesn’t tell him about Jimin or the bowling invitation. Jungkook doesn’t know if he’ll go. He really likes Taehyung but doesn’t think he can deal with Jimin.
That plan goes to hell the next day.
Jungkook had planned to sit somewhere else, but he finds Taehyung waving at him from the back of the room and he almost cries because of how guilty he feels. Taehyung is being so nice to him and Jungkook was almost willing to throw their blooming friendship away because of Jimin. He can’t let Jimin ruin that for him.
So he lets himself enjoy his friendship with Taehyung. They talk and text throughout the whole week. They even make plans to game together—which is a big deal because Jungkook never invites someone over, Namjoon and Seokjin just walk in like it’s their house—and have coffee after class. He doesn’t see Jimin again, which is both relieving and weirdly disappointing. He guesses Jimin is avoiding him because he hates him too.
Now it's finally Friday. For some reason, Jungkook felt shy to tell his friends about the bowling invitation, but they already had plans to hang out, so one hour before they’re supposed to leave, he blurts it out.
“Do you guys wanna go bowling?” Jungkook speaks fast, way too fast, and doesn’t even look at them. He’s staring straight at the TV.
“What?” Seokjin smacks his thigh and Jungkook uses his legs to put him in a headlock in response. Jungkook and Hoseok are sitting on the couch and Namjoon and Seokjin are sitting on the floor—Jungkook doesn’t understand why—but nobody bats an eye because Seokjin and Jungkook always fight.
“This fucker is choking me with his thighs and you guys aren’t saying shit?” Seokjin mutters in disbelief and Jungkook pulls at his black hair in response.
“You’re pretty lucky if you ask me. Jungkookie’s got great thighs.”
“Hyung,” Jungkook pretends to be shy and hits Hoseok, who just rolls his eyes. “Anyways. Yes or no?”
“Why? You don’t like to go out unless you’re getting drunk, and you know what happened the last time you got drunk while bowling,” Namjoon arches his eyebrow.
“My left pinky toe still hurts sometimes,” Jungkook fakes a shudder, and Seokjin pinches his thigh so he gets off him. It works, but now they’re all staring at Jungkook with expectant eyes. “Okay so… My new friend… Tae hyung? Well, his boyfriend got us free tickets because he works there. I wanted you guys to go so I wouldn’t third-wheel and because… His best friend is so annoying! I hate him so much so I’ll need you guys to hold me back so I don’t punch his perfect face.”
“The fuck?” Hoseok asks, but Jungkook’s done.
“We’re leaving soon! So…” Jungkook rises from the couch. “I’m gonna wash up real quick, bye!”
Jungkook barely misses the pillow Namjoon throws at him and locks himself in the bathroom.
He’s gonna be okay, right? His friends will be there.
It’ll be okay.
Jungkook huffs when Jin ruffles his hair, the rest of his hyungs laughing at the youngest' annoyance. He spent the whole ride telling them about how he felt Jimin was a bad guy, that he obviously didn't like him either, and that he was a total dick to him. His hyungs know better than to just trust Jungkook's judgment—Jungkook is rather impulsive and moody—so they ignore him. They're oblivious to Jungkook's real feelings because before, Jungkook thought that what happened in Busan stayed in Busan. Apparently not. Jungkook doesn’t know if he regrets not telling them about Jimin before or not.
"Just don't be a dick to him, okay? Be the bigger person. You like Taehyung so you gotta suck it up if you want your friendship to work. Don't you want it to work?" Namjoon asks, holding the door open so his friends can come in
"I guess," Jungkook huffs, and Hoseok squishes his cheeks, gushing about him pouting but he just swats his hand away. "I'll try to work it out. I don't wanna be alone in that class.
"Woah, you're all grown up now," Namjoon grins and squeezes Jungkook's shoulder. Jungkook pushes at the blonde in response.
Taehyung is an energetic guy, so he yells when he spots them and then the seven boys click instantly—much to Jungkook's dismay. Jungkook likes Yoongi just because he’s a music major. The blue-haired man is quiet but sweet and stares at Taehyung like he hung up all the stars in the sky. Jimin doesn’t even look at Jungkook, who wishes he could say the same. Jungkook can’t take his eyes off him, watching him interact with his friends and smiling that perfect smile of his. Jimin looks ridiculously good, too, and Jungkook thinks about spilling his drink on him. Jungkook gets even more annoyed because Jimin charms his friends and he wants to scream because he always does that. It's hard not to fall for a guy like Jimin—Jungkook would know. Jimin is charming, sweet, caring, selfless, and smart, but he can also be intimidating and mean when he needs to be—Jungkook would know that too.
So he tries to ignore Jimin. As they start to play, he only checks out his ass like nine times—he counted, but it’s not his fault Jimin’s wearing the tightest pants he’s ever seen. He tries not to stare at his profile or his sharp jaw or his pretty earrings or the faint freckles on cheeks, and yup, Jungkook really hates him. Hate. That’s all.
When they're halfway through the game, it gets intense. Jimin, Taehyung, and Yoongi are in one team, and Jungkook, Hoseok, and Namjoon are in one—Jin decides to be a referee even though they don't need one because he sucks at bowling. Soon they realize Jungkook—because Jungkook is good at everything—and Jimin are their ace players. They'd managed to avoid interacting all night, but now they can't help but glare at each other when one of them scores a strike.
So then it's not just a game anymore, it's war. Just like old times.
"I think we should just let them play. They're good, I wanna see who'll win," Taehyung suggests, excited and oblivious. Yoongi sighs because everyone else can feel the tension in the room. They don't interfere though, because they think the boys are just being competitive.
And, oh, they are.
Jimin and Jungkook are both pretty athletic. They were six and eight years old when they met in a taekwondo class, and then in high school, they'd planned to join the baseball team together, which made group dynamics uncomfortable when they started hating each other. They'd always managed to get into some sort of competition even though they were in different grades—because Jungkook grew taller and broader than Jimin. Now they're back at it again.
Jungkook gets angry when Jimin's five points ahead and they're nearly done. Jimin smirks at him and Jungkook clenches his jaw so hard he worries he'll chatter his teeth.
So, out of in pulse, he sticks his foot so Jimin trips, but the older man is smarter than that, always has been. Jungkook tries to hide his foot to hide his failure but it's too late. Jimin's staring at him with fire in his eyes and Jungkook can’t hide his gulp.
"I think we should start over," Jimin smiles innocently at the other boys. "That way we'll actually know who's better."
The boys don't say anything, now fully aware of the tension but they don't know what to do.
"Why would you want to embarrass yourself like that?" Jungkook snorts, trying to pretend he's being playful.
"Nah, that's always been you, right? Well, it seems like it," Jimin smiles sweetly and Jungkook sees red because he knows exactly what Jimin's talking about.
"You fucking—" before he can start yelling in front of everybody, Hoseok rises from his seat.
"Let's get nachos and sodas, c'mon, I can't carry it all," he drags the other four men and mouths a "fix this" to Jungkook because he's his best friend and he knows him.
"Listen," Jimin snaps, walking closer to Jungkook, hoping to intimidate him, but the younger man laughs because he has to look up. "I don't understand how you became friends with Taehyung, but for some weird reason, he likes you. And he's my best friend and I don't want you to hurt him—"
"Shut up, I'm not finished."
"Then maybe you should shut up. Why would you think I'd wanna hear anything coming out of your mouth?"
"Shut up!" Jimin whisper-yells, clenching his fists, meanwhile Jungkook chuckles. He's always enjoyed riling him up. "I won't meddle in your friendship but if you end up treating him like you treated—"
"Because you're Mr. Innocent, aren't you? Can you stop fucking pretending for a second?"
"You were the one who tried to trip me," Jimin mutters through gritted teeth. "We can't ruin this for the group, just try to act fucking civil. Or is that too much to ask? You've always been immature anyway—"
"How about I fucking break—?"
"See what I'm saying? Immature and aggressive!”
"Hey!" Hoseok yells to distract the other boys from Jimin and Jungkook's argument. "I wanna play now. You guys should just sit and watch us for a while, right? You must be tired."
Jimin and Jungkook glare at each other until Hoseok clears his throat.
"Right," Jimin snaps and turns around to sit.
Jungkook gives him the middle finger.
Even though the bowling night was a mess, it doesn’t stop the seven boys from hanging out together. To Jungkook’s dismay, they all liked each other a lot, so now he has to see Jimin at least once a week. Jimin and Jungkook don’t even try to make small talk, they just compete if there is a game close by. The other five men don’t mind, thinking Jimin and Jungkook are just competitive.
They’re not completely wrong.
Jungkook handles it as best as he can though. He tries not to pay attention to Jimin or even talk to him—he obviously fails—but Taehyung doesn’t seem to mind, so Jungkook is not worried anymore. When he doesn’t have to worry about Jimin, he has a nice time. He focuses on his classes, calls his mother every day, streams so he can get money to pay for his gas, and then hangs out with his friends—and Jimin.
Jungkook tries his best not to let Jimin get to him.
Until it happens.
It happens after Jimin beats Jungkook in Dance Revolution.
Jimin and Jungkook had been dancing for what it seemed like hours and they even drew a small crowd. The best one out of three was going to be the winner. Jimin won the first round, Jungkook the second, and then Jimin won the last one.
What triggered Jungkook was the sly smirk Jimin threw at him, so he grabs his arm and drags him to the restrooms.
"What? Are you gonna kill me or something?" Jimin rolls his eyes and pops his gum obnoxiously loud. It makes Jungkook angrier. "You're such a sore loser. Why am I here? What do you want?"
"I—" Jungkook stops himself when he realizes he doesn't know why he dragged Jimin here. He just felt humiliated and angry—maybe he wanted to yell at him a little, but now that they're here, the words don't manage to come out. Because Jimin looks good under the dim light. He's wearing ripped skinny jeans, heeled boots, and a wine red shirt that exposes his smooth chest. He's wearing eyeliner and the lip balm makes his lips look smooth and plump and Jungkook doesn't know what to do. He feels sixteen again.
"Cat got your tongue?" Jimin clicks his tongue and walks towards the door. "Thought so," he raises his hand to grab the door handle, but before Jungkook can think over his actions, he spins them around and traps Jimin against the door. The older male gasps and stares at Jungkook, who's clenching his jaw with dark eyes.
"You know what I hate the most about you?" Jungkook whispers, leaning closer to Jimin and he hears his breath hitch. "The way you pretend..." Jungkook is overwhelmed by the smell of Jimin's cologne and he's momentarily distracted by his smooth neck, but he tries to get back on track. "You make everyone think you're innocent and just, a fucking angel, but you aren't any of that, right? You're bad. So bad."
He sees Jimin's chest moving faster and his hands clenching into fists, but he doesn't move. Jungkook moves his face closer, so close their noses touch but none of them pull back.
"You know what I hate the most about you?" Jimin asks, licking his lips and seeing Jungkook following his movement. A smirk grows on Jimin's face and then his confidence is back. "Your immaturity. You've always been just a fucking clueless kid. You're impulsive and downright cruel for what? You talk to me like I was the one who started all this shit when it was you," Jimin grabs the collar of Jungkook’s shirt, pulling them so close Jungkook feels dizzy. He doesn't know if he feels aroused or angry, probably both. "You're so fucking immature you can't even take responsibility for your fucking actions. Still the same shitty kid."
With that, Jungkook is pulled back to reality—and he also pulls back from Jimin's grip. He feels the same anger and humiliation he felt the first day of high school.
"Hyung!" Jungkook grabs Jimin's wrist and pulls them into the janitor’s closet, hearing Jimin giggling and feeling his hand ruffling his hair.
"What is it, Jungkook-ah?" Jimin's chubby cheeks are flushed red from the sun—they were having lunch outside until Jungkook told him he had to tell him something really important.
"Uh," Jungkook gulps nervously and feels the tips of his ears turn red. He has talked about it with his older brother before—his feelings for Jimin. In fact, he was the one who helped him figure it out, and now he finally gathered the courage to confess. He'd never felt ready until now. Now they're in the same school and Jungkook is in his first year and Jimin in the last one. But that doesn't matter to Jungkook. He just wants to be with Jimin.
"C'mon, Kook-ah, you can tell me anything," he encourages him, smiling softly.
"I like you, hyung," Jungkook blurts out, feeling relieved, but his fingers grow ice-cold when he sees Jimin's expression falling, and then he's smiling again. It was only a second, but Jungkook caught it.
"I like you too. That's why we're best friends, aren't we?" Jimin smiles, squeezing his shoulders. "We should go back there now—"
"No!" Jungkook yells, frustrated. "I-I mean like..." Jungkook’s so nervous he thinks he might faint, but he's practiced this over and over again for the last three years. He has to do it or he's afraid he might burst. "I mean I like you, like... I want to hold your hand and—"
"We already do that, Jungkook—"
"No! I-I—I have a crush on you. I have feelings for you, not as a friend... I really, really like you, hyung," he explains, feeling his hands tremble and his lips wobble when he sees Jimin's face turn pale. He waits for Jimin to talk, to say anything, but he's frozen in his spot. "Hyung... Say something please," he feels tears prickling his eyes, but he doesn't let them fall.
Please like me back, Jungkook wishes with all his heart.
"I-I love you, Jungkook. You're my best friend, my dongsaeng... Right now I can’t—you're just a kid so—"
"How am I just a kid?!" Jungkook's sadness turns into anger and Jimin's blinks rapidly at the younger's outburst. "I'm sixteen and I'm taller than you! You're only, like, one year and eleven months older than me. But is that what I've always been to you? Just a kid? I thought we were best friends... That we were on the same level but I bet you think your older friends are cooler or something, right?!"
"No, fuck you," he spits, not knowing how to deal with the humiliation, the anger, the pain. "Leave me alone."
"Get the fuck out before I punch you—"
But Jimin just walks closer, trying to calm down his best friend, and then Jungkook pushes him way harder than he intended. Jimin's back hits the door and he stumbles onto the floor like a rag doll, totally caught off guard.
Jungkook feels guilty when he sees the shocked expression on Jimin's face, but he just shakes his head and bolts out of the janitor's closet.
The next day, Jimin tries to talk to Jungkook. Jungkook pushes him and Jimin pushes him back.
That day Jungkook accidentally breaks Jimin's arm and their friendship forever.
The flashback hurts Jungkook, but strangely, he just feels calm. His head and heart hurt, which is normal when he's in the presence of his ex-best friend, his first love, the person who broke his heart for the first time.
The hate is so intense Jungkook just clenches his jaw and glares at Jimin until the older one gulps. "I’ll win at the end. You’ll see," he promises.
And just like that hot summer day four years ago, Jungkook leaves.