“You brought me to a screamo bar,” Seokjin says as soon as they step inside. Then realises the so-called ‘music’ is too loud and Namjoon can’t hear him, so he raises his voice and yells, “You brought me to a screamo bar!”
Namjoon looks back at him, eyebrows creased down. He leans in close to say, “What? Did you just say screamo?”
“Yes! You know I hate all these— all these ridiculous yelling songs! It’s bad for my eardrums! I need those for work!”
“Seokjin, this is rap! It’s an open mic night, I told you. And this rapper is actually pretty well-known, his name is Glo—”
“It’s an atrocity to the ears,” Seokjin mutters, pushing past Namjoon. “I need a drink.”
He orders the most alcoholic drink he can think of – a Long Island iced tea – and deliberately nothing for Namjoon. The bartender slides it across in front of Namjoon, and Namjoon glances away from the stage.
“Oh, thank you—”
“Nope.” Seokjin swipes it up. “Order your own. Punishment for dragging me here.”
Namjoon gives him puppy dog eyes. Under normal circumstances, they’d work – mostly because Namjoon is utterly unaware of his power, or even that he’s doing any pitiable expression at all. But Seokjin had planned to take a relaxing bath with his new glittery bath bomb and surround himself with soothing hot air, to help his throat. He’d recorded more auditions than normal today and his voice was beginning to get a bit scratchy.
But now he’s out at a bar, yelling over heavy metal.
Namjoon should be buying him all the drinks. For the next week. Who knows when Seokjin will recover from this. And no one’s smoking inside, but the smell of smoke is still strong in the air. What kind of place manages that?
Not a place Seokjin wants to be in.
He wraps his lips around the straw and takes a sip. The alcohol hits him rightaway. Nice. The bar is full – they’re probably late. Seokjin isn’t good at being on time. Especially when it’s somewhere he doesn’t want to go. There’s not really anywhere to sit. He sees an empty space at a high table and strides over.
“Hi, lovely,” he says with his best smile, “do you mind if we squeeze in here?”
“O-Oh!” The girl’s eyes are wide. “Yeah, of course! Sure!” She squishes over into her friend, pretty much on top of them. Leaving plenty of space for Seokjin to slot into and turn his back on her immediately.
Namjoon makes his way through the crowd, bumping into people and apologising every few steps. Seokjin rolls his eyes, but it’s fond.
“So?” he asks when Namjoon finally gets there. A quarter of his beer is gone, spilled on the way. Seokjin can see spatters of it down his top. He doesn’t point this out. “Where is he?”
Because that’s what they’re here for, after all. Namjoon’s ridiculous, enormous crush on a mysterious guy. As much as Seokjin has complained – and will continue to complain – the truth is, if he really didn’t want to come tonight, he wouldn’t have. But he wanted to meet this person that has Namjoon all tied up in knots. Vet him. Make sure he’s anywhere near good enough for his Namjoon.
Predictably, Namjoon blushes.
“I don’t know,” he mumbles. “I’m not just here for him!”
Seokjin gives him an unimpressed look.
“I’m not! I have another friend here. But, um… he did perform just before. When we were walking in, actually.”
Seokjin pauses. “The screamo? Namjoon, no. No, please don’t tell me you have a crush on a screamo singer.”
Namjoon blinks furiously.
“What? No! He’s a singer. And that wasn’t screamo, Seokjin, that was rap. With some singing parts! It’s very different!”
Seokjin waves his hand dismissively, taking another sip of his drink.
Namjoon continues: “And I do not have a crush on Jimin. He’s just a— friend.”
“What was that.”
“What? What was what?”
“That. That pause just before you said friend! You said ‘he’s just a pause friend’. That means he’s not a friend!”
“I didn’t pause!”
“You did pause! I heard you! And I know you have a giant crush on this guy; stop trying to hide it.”
“I don’t.” Namjoon glances around frantically. “And stop saying that so loudly! What if he hears?”
The noise level in the bar is deafening. Seokjin can’t make out any other conversations around them. He raises a slow eyebrow.
“Big crush,” he sings. “Namjoon and screamo boy, sitting in a tree, K I S S I N— woah.”
Seokjin— his brain stops. Just grinds to a complete halt. Screeching brakes and all. His gaze latches on and he can’t tear it away. Because right before him – like the sun coming out from behind clouds, like a god descending into the mortal realm – is the most perfect ass he’s ever seen. Perfect and round. His hands itch to cup it and see if it really will fit perfectly into his palms. He’s just— shocked.
Seokjin’s seen a lot of asses in his time. He’s a gay man and he’s had his periods of hermitude and his periods of sex-mania. One time he slept with three men in one night, separately, okay, so he’s seen a lot of asses. Sometimes asses that he didn’t want to see.
But this one.
This one takes the cake.
But then— the ass turns around as they’re dragged by someone in Seokjin’s direction. Seokjin blinks, blinks again. Feels a little like Namjoon, blinking like an idiot as his brain gets back on track. Not that Namjoon is an idiot. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just that Seokjin says a lot of things, many of which are dumb, and Namjoon is stuck giving him this earnestly confused look. But he doesn’t want to think about Namjoon right now, not in the vicinity of his horny butt thoughts, and— he’s coming right this way?
“Namjoon!” a voice shouts, ethereal and lovely over the din. A pink-haired boy stops in front of their table, smile like sunshine as he looks at Namjoon. “You made it!”
And dragged along somewhat unwillingly behind him is the owner of the most brilliant ass Seokjin’s ever seen. Seokjin can’t stop staring. He’s just— everything. Small, looking even smaller with his arms crossed in front of him and an annoyed pout on his face, fabric of his bomber puffed up around him. Like an angry blowfish. And his face – his skin looks better than anything Seokjin’s ever achieved. And so bread-like he wants to poke his cheeks and make a home sleeping on their softness forever.
“Who are you?” Seokjin asks after a long period of staring.
The guy stares back at him, face blank.
“Who are you?” he asks back.
Seokjin smiles. Leans forwards. “I asked you first.”
The man blinks languidly at him.
“I don’t care.”
Seokjin’s smile widens. How soon is it before you can say you’re in love? Then again, what does he care about societal norms?
“Um!” Namjoon’s voice is loud. Stressed enough that it finally makes Seokjin tear his eyes away from the absolute treat in front of him. “I need— bathroom!”
“Okay, be careful—” But Namjoon’s already pushing away from the table, hard enough to make their drinks rock, and flung himself into the crowd. Moving fast. Seokjin blinks, and looks back at the pink-haired boy. “What’d you say to him?”
Pink boy’s brow is creased in delicate distress. “I— me? I don’t know! He— he said he liked my singing.” Pink boy’s cheeks go red. He’s like something out of a Greek myth about blushing virgins. Sweet. Vaguely child-like. “And then we talked about song-writing and I said I’d love to see his poetry one time, but that’s not bad, is it?” His eyes widen. “Do you think he got offended I asked?”
“He probably just came all over himself.”
“Sorry, what was that?”
“Nothing,” Seokjin says in a louder voice. “I’m sure he’d love to show you his… poetry.”
Seokjin smiles, proud of utilising the dramatic pause himself. He gets a derisive snort for his efforts. Not from pink-haired boy. He glances over, brow cocking.
“Low hanging fruit,” the guy explains. His voice is raspy. Seokjin desperately wants to know what it sounds like without all this background noise.
“What do you mean? That was a good one.” Seokjin sniffs. “You must have poor taste.”
“I’m okay with that. Especially if good taste is liking terrible humour.”
“Then, tell me,” Seokjin purrs, propping his elbows up on the table and leaning back against it. He’s got to use everything to his advantage. “What do you like?”
“Free drinks.” His hand snakes out, plucking Seokjin’s drink from his grasp. He flicks the straw away and drinks right from the rim, head tilting back. Seokjin’s eyes helplessly fall to his throat, to where his Adam’s apple is moving. And oh shit, oh fuck, he is weak. Seokjin is a weak man and he can only take so much and this could be it – this might be his limit. The guy is taking his whole drink (which he paid good money for) but Seokjin doesn’t care. He even feels grateful that his drink ended up like this. A good cause.
He blinks and asks, “What about I get you another?”
“No.” The guy grimaces. “I don’t trust your choice in drinks.”
Pink-haired boy elbows him, hissing, “Stop being so mean! This is Namjoon’s friend.”
The guy shrugs. “Not my friend. Besides, look at him. He likes it.”
“What? No one likes that!”
Both turn to Seokjin. He shrugs.
“I think I do like it.”
“What!” The pink boy’s eyes are wide, lost.
“Insult me some more.” Seokjin leans forward, hungry. “Let’s hear it.”
The man’s eyes dip over him. Shivers crawl down Seokjin’s spine. The guy is so cold, unaffected. That squishy little face doesn’t move an inch – no appreciation, but no disdain either. Just blank.
His pink, pink lips move, and Seokjin’s eyes are locked onto him, breath held for what he’ll say.
But he simply says, “No.”
Seokjin blinks. “No?”
“No,” he repeats. “Don’t be desperate.”
Seokjin slumps, pouting.
“But I am desperate.”
“For me to insult you?”
The guy blinks languidly.
“That wasn’t a compliment.”
“What makes you think I thought it was?”
“It wasn’t an insult either, so settle down.”
“I’m going to take it as one.” Seokjin’s smile is bright. “I like you. You seem tiny and fierce and you have an amazing ass.”
There’s a choking sound but Seokjin doesn’t want to tear his eyes away to look. A change finally comes over the guy’s face and it is fascinating – his brows pull down, angry lines creasing his soft skin. But there’s also a trace of pink across his cheeks that’s making Seokjin feel like he’s flatlining. A blush! He’s blushing! Seokjin made him blush? His fierce cat-like boy, blushing?
Seokjin has no idea how he’d gotten so lucky.
“Your jokes are terrible,” the guy says flatly.
“Well, yes. Everyone knows that.” Seokjin’s eyebrows knit. “But I didn’t say one? I don’t think?”
“Um,” another voice cuts in, soft and sweet. Pink boy. “Is, um. Is Namjoon coming back?”
Seokjin straightens and looks at the time on his phone.
Groans, “Aw no. Not again.”
“What again?” Pink boy’s eyes are alarmed. “Is he okay?”
“Don’t worry about it.” Seokjin flaps his hands around. He’s almost certain Namjoon doesn’t want his little crush knowing about his unfortunate habit. “Nice meeting you! Gotta run!” And he takes off through the crowd. He’s normally better at keeping his eye on the time whenever Namjoon goes off to do something. But he’d been distracted by that amazing ass and that amazing face and that amazing everything.
He slips into the bathroom, dodging around people.
“Joon?” he calls out.
“In here,” comes the sad reply from the furthest cubicle on the left.
“Aw, baby. Are you stuck again?” Seokjin gets out his pocket tool kit. A guy at the urinal stares at him.
“Yeah.” Namjoon’s voice is miserable. “Are you alone?”
“Your screamo boy isn’t with me, no.”
“He’s not a screamo boy. And he’s not mine.”
“Okay, Joon. Sure,” Seokjin says as comfortingly as possible, because Namjoon’s in a delicate situation and he doesn’t want to make it worse.
“This time wasn’t even my fault,” he says, as Seokjin kneels down and gets to work. “The lock handle just— it broke off! It must’ve been faulty before.”
“So the person before me did the damage.”
“I didn’t even need to go to the toilet. I just needed some space.”
“I know, Joon.”
The lock clicks and Seokjin grins. He’s gotten great at picking locks and getting through jammed doors since he started living with Namjoon years ago. The door swings open and there Namjoon is, sitting in a sad slouch on the toilet.
“Aw. It wasn’t that hard to get you out this time. No pouting!”
“I don’t think I can go back out there.”
“That’s okay! Let’s duck out the back.”
With Namjoon securely behind him, Seokjin leads them out of the bar. There’s a backdoor to the smoker’s section that they can sneakily leave from. Seokjin takes one last look back at the bar for that perfect butt – no luck.
Outside in the cool air, Namjoon perks up a little.
“As bathrooms go, that wasn’t a terrible one to get stuck in,” he says. “And look! You didn’t have to spend long at the bar, after all!”
“True! But…” Seokjin sighs. “Joon, I think I’m in love. Did you see his ass? It’s just so… juicy. And perfect. Like, have you ever seen such a perfect butt?” Seokjin looks up at the stars as if they have the answers. It takes him a moment to realise Namjoon hasn’t responded. “Joon?”
Namjoon’s eyes are on the ground and he looks so sad again. Which— wasn’t he just perking up? Seokjin could’ve sworn he was feeling better. But maybe he’s going through aftershocks of being locked in a bathroom again. Seokjin can’t understand what that’s like. He’s always the one to rescue Namjoon, but he hasn’t managed to lock himself in a cubicle. It’s the Namjoon Special.
Namjoon jolts, a weird smile coming across his face. He doesn’t quite meet Seokjin’s eyes.
“Oh, yeah! His ass is just… perfect, really, huh? He’s just… perfect. So of course you’d… yeah. Um.”
“Joon, are you okay?”
“Yeah, of course I am! When am I not!”
“Um. Like a minute ago when you were locked in that bathroom. And… now? You look kinda weird.”
“No, I’m fine! Yep. Fine. Um, I was just thinking – I’ll set you up!”
Seokjin blinks. “Wait, really?”
“Yeah! Why not!” But the laugh Namjoon gives is a little weird, in the same way his smile earlier was a little weird. Seokjin nods along because he’ll take any chance to lay his eyes on that ass one more time, but he thinks – maybe he shouldn’t bring it up to Namjoon again. At least, not until Namjoon isn’t being so weird and sad anymore.
Seokjin nods to himself. It’s a great idea. It’s his idea, so of course it’s great, but it’s doubly great because it means he’ll get to see that guy again and he’s looking out for his closest friend in the world. Seokjin smiles.
“Jin! I’m coming in, please don’t be naked!” Namjoon calls out, kicking open the door with his hands covering his eyes.
Seokjin, who is scrolling through his phone with Moni resting across his chest, raises an eyebrow.
“Why do you always come into my room like that?”
Namjoon’s fingers part, one eye hesitantly peeking out. When he sees that Seokjin is fully clothed, his hands drop. He lets out a relieved sigh.
“I’ve been scarred too many times.”
Seokjin sniffs. “Excuse me? You mean blessed.”
Namjoon blinks rapidly. “No,” he says softly, “definitely not blessed.”
“Ugh, drama queen. Why are you invading my privacy?” He tosses his phone to the side, ruffling Moni’s white fur. His eyes stay closed, but his tail thumps.
“It’s a good thing! You’re going to like it.” As opposed to his words, Namjoon’s face looks stressed: eyebrows creased, lips thin.
Seokjin’s eyes narrow. “You sure about that?”
“I’ve set us up for a double date! With Jimin.”
“Oh, nice!” Seokjin says, because he doesn’t like it when Namjoon is stressed and he wants to be as supportive as possible. But, “Who’s Jimin?”
Namjoon’s brow crinkles. “Um, you know… with the pink hair? And the, um, the ass?”
“Pink boy! Yes. And the amazing ass! Do you think you can teach me how to write poetry so I can have something in preparation?”
“You want to write a poem for him?” Namjoon looks pained.
“Stop that face, I won’t be that bad. I’m good at everything! It can’t be that hard, right?”
“Everyone can write poetry, there’s no limitations to it. Except... maybe not today? I said we’d meet them in an hour.”
Seokjin shoots up. Moni goes flying, landing on his feet and scampering off.
“An hour? How am I meant to be ready in an hour?”
“Um… well, technically half an hour. Because we need time to get to the markets, so we’d need to leave—”
“Namjoon! Thin ice!” Seokjin throws off his ratty shirt. If he’s going to see amazing-ass-guy, he needs to be at his optimal handsomeness. His sweatpants have holes in them, so they have to go too. “Thank you for setting this up but half an hour, I swear—”
Namjoon yelps, covering his eyes. “Why don’t you ever give warning!”
“You’re the one in my room. That means you’ve accepted the terms of the room! Which means I can and will get naked whenever I choose!”
Namjoon stumbles blindly out, knocking into things on the way. A classic trail of destruction. Seokjin doesn’t have time to neaten any of it.
The next half hour is a blur. His wardrobe ends up thrown everywhere, even hanging from the booth he uses to record in the corner. He settles on some white linen shorts because it’s unseasonably warm today, and everyone loves a fun summery boy, and a pink shirt. Because. Well. He really likes pink.
He thinks about the absolute smoothness of ass guy’s face and spends five minutes frantically applying moisturiser to every inch of his skin and slapping on some makeup.
“Done!” he finally yells, launching himself out of the room. “Namjoon, where are— are you staring out the window?”
“Huh?” Namjoon blinks as if woken from a daze, turning around with a smile. “You look nice!”
“Why were you staring out the window, is something going on?” Seokjin comes over, nudging him out of the way. “Ooh, is someone new moving in? Is there a fight going on?”
“No, nothing’s going on. I was just… looking.”
Seokjin stares at him. “Hm. That seems worrying. Namjoon, are you in that mood where you think you’re the main character in a teen coming-of-age romcom?”
Namjoon’s cheeks go red.
“I’m not and I’ve never thought that—”
“Oookay, sure. C’mon! We can’t be late to see your pink boy!”
The markets are on once a month and Seokjin doesn’t really go to them often. They’re more a Namjoon thing. They’re set up right next to the beach, along the boardwalk. All kinds of farmer’s stalls down one end and some amusement park-like games down the other. Seokjin is bobbing on his feet, head on a swivel looking for that perfect butt.
“I said we’d meet them by the—”
“Found them!” Seokjin says, grabbing Namjoon’s wrist and tugging him along after him. He ducks and weaves through the crowd until he gets to the fountain where he’d seen the two sitting. He’d recognised him by his face this time, not his ass – character development. Seokjin’s proud of himself.
“Hello!” Seokjin chirps, drawing himself up to his full height. That’s something short people care about, right? Height? Seokjin could get away with saying he’s six foot. Actually, he has the kind of deadpan confidence where he could say he’s any height and he’d probably get away with it. Seokjin loves an outrageous lie. “Imagine seeing you here!”
The guy looks— wow. He looks cute. Even more squishable than the other night! He’s in all black, a bucket hat squished over his head and a frown on his small, pouty lips. Long sleeves despite the bright sun. Just a glimpse of pale hands, long-fingered and veiny. Mmmmh.
“You organised this,” the guy grumbles.
“Not me! Him!” He tugs Namjoon around, who had for some reason been hanging back. “Joon, say hi!”
“Hi,” Namjoon mumbles.
“Hi, Namjoon. Hi, Namjoon’s friend.”
Seokjin blinks and realises the pink boy is here. It’d been hard to see him when he couldn’t stop staring at his soulmate’s delicious cheeks. The ones on his face. Only because he’s still sitting.
“Jimin! Hi,” Namjoon says, like he hadn’t already greeted him. That’s such a Namjoon thing to do. “Hi. Um.”
“Just Jimin?” the love of Seokjin’s life asks, a tiny smirk on his lips. Voice gravelly. A nice voice, especially without the noise of the bar here.
“And Yoongi! Hey.” Namjoon’s cheeks are a little pink. “Sorry.”
“Yoongi. What a name.”
He gets a deadpan look.
“I don’t know who you are.”
Seokjin deflates. “What! But— the other night! The screamo bar!”
Yoongi’s eyebrows flicker down in confusion. “The what?”
“I’m Seokjin! Kim Seokjin.” He bows. “Please don’t forget it, or I will be sad.” He belatedly realises pink boy is also standing there and he needs to show he’s not rude. He’s caring of other people. “I’ll be sad if you forget it, too! Pink boy!”
“I’m Jimin,” Jimin says, eyes crinkling up all cute-like. Like a baby Seokjin wants to take in his arms and burp. Adorable!
“I know, but pink boy just suits you so well! Don’t you think, Joon?”
“Um, yeah. Nicknames already… um, I mean, it’s a good nickname!”
“Oh, no need to be sarcastic, we can’t all be creative poets like you.” He elbows Namjoon. “Some of us have to make our living in other ways…”
“You’re a real poet? Like, you make money off it too?” Jimin asks, bouncing on his feet. Seokjin wonders if he put him in matching pink overalls, would he look like a toddler?
Namjoon blushes. “Um, kind of. Not really! Just— um, just a hobby.” His hand comes up to ruffle his hair.
Seokjin smiles proudly. “Don’t be like that! Namjoon has won many awards for his poetry things. He even performs them!”
“Oh, wow! I’d love to see that! One day?” Pink boy suddenly looks hesitant, as if remembering last time he brought up listening to Namjoon’s poetry where he’d run away.
“Yeah!” Namjoon’s face does something weird. “Um! You and Seokjin could come to the next one. Then you’d know each other and, um, wouldn’t be… alone.”
“And Yoongi, too,” Seokjin says. “Do you like poetry?”
“I do. I’m not as good as Namjoon, though.”
“No!” Namjoon protests, as Seokjin slowly takes in this new information – Namjoon has known Yoongi for a while (and Yoongi’s ass) and hadn’t thought to tell Seokjin before this?! At least he’s making it up to him already by setting this up. Namjoon continues: “Your lyrics! You’re a genius! I can’t write anywhere near as well as you can. With the imagery? You’re so good!”
Seokjin perks up. “Lyrics?” He peers at Yoongi. That voice – woah. That voice would do amazing things recorded.
“I rap,” Yoongi says. “Sometimes.”
Seokjin’s eyes go wide. “No way,” he breathes. “When! Where! Let me see. Oh! Show me something now!”
Namjoon says, “Jin, you have heard him, he was—”
“No.” Yoongi’s face is pinched.
Seokjin droops. “What? Why not? If you don’t show me then I guess you can’t actually rap.”
Yoongi shrugs. “Why do I care if you think that?”
Seokjin droops even further. “You don’t care what I think about you?”
“Well… I’ve met you twice…”
“But we had a connection!”
“When?” His words are harsh, but there’s a tiny smile forming around the edges of his mouth. Seokjin sees it and almost hisses out loud – he’s doing this on purpose!
He can’t get away with that.
He makes his own eyes wider, unblinking. Tears start to gather.
“Back at the bar— I thought—” He sniffles. “I thought there was something there. When my eyes—” Sniffle, “—met yours—” Sniffle, sniffle, “—but— was it all a lie?”
The smirk is gone from Yoongi’s face. He looks blank. Eyes a little wide.
Perfect. Seokjin enacts stage two.
“What am I going to do with the ring I bought? The plans I’ve made? The ivory and periwinkle blue colour scheme? After I compromised on pearl because ivory would look much better with your skin tone, even though pearl looks better with mine— the sacrifices I made! What am I to tell your family?”
Namjoon’s head is in his hands. “Seokjin, please.”
“You’re joking,” Yoongi says, but his eyes are still wide. Because obviously what Seokjin’s saying is ridiculous, but he’s a consummate actor – all the emotion is there. And Yoongi has no idea what to do. “Right?” He turns to Namjoon, voice desperate. “He’s joking, right?”
“You think I’m a joke now, too?” The tears spill over, running in tracks down his face. Delicate, beautiful, as good as any drama finale.
“I— no!” Yoongi says desperately. “I don’t— what? I— what do you want? We can— um—” He looks around desperately. “What about the, um— that darts game! I’ll win you a, um, a giant Kirby! To go with your shirt!” Colour is high on Yoongi’s cheeks and he looks more animated than Seokjin’s ever seen him. “Pink!”
In an instant, Seokjin lets his character go and brightens.
“I love Kirby!” he enthuses. “Forgiven!”
Before Yoongi can take anything back, he grabs onto his hand and tugs him along, rushing to the darts game.
“Three games, please!” Seokjin chirps, smiling at the vendor. “He’s paying.” He nudges Yoongi. The vendor looks a bit strange, and Seokjin realises he still has tear tracks down his face. “Oops,” he giggles, wiping them away.
Yoongi looks like he’s not quite sure where he is and what he’s doing as he robotically hands over the money. It’s absurdly overpriced, as all these games are.
“What’s going on?” Yoongi mumbles, taking the darts he’s handed. There’s a wall of balloons he needs to pop. All the stuffed toys dangle from the roof, waiting to be freed into Seokjin’s willing arms.
“You promised to win me a Kirby, darling,” Seokjin purrs. “Off you go. Don’t go back on your word now.”
He’s supremely proud of himself. Yoongi so far has had no reaction to his usual no-fails – his face and his smile and his bright personality. But it seems like the waterworks were the key to unlocking him. Good.
Yoongi does surprisingly well at popping the balloons over the three games. Not quite well enough to win the giant Kirby he promised, but he gets a smaller Pikachu and presents it to Seokjin with reddened cheeks and a mumbled, “I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Revenge,” Seokjin says, taking the Pikachu and tucking it under his arm happily, patting its yellow little head.
“Oh wow!” That comes from an unexpected direction – Jimin. Both Namjoon and he had been hovering warily behind them this whole time, watching everything unfold. “That was amazing! Are you an actor, Seokjin? The tears! Wow.”
“Thank you, Jimin,” Seokjin says with a proud smile. “I am an actor, but a voice actor. My calling has always been to be behind the microphone, rather than in front of the camera. A face made for voice acting, one might say.”
He looks at everyone expectantly. They all blink back.
“Excuse me? Does this mean you all agree?”
“Oh no!” pink boy says earnestly, instantly becoming Seokjin’s favourite. “You’re very handsome, Seokjin! Are you sure you’re not a model?”
Seokjin preens. “I did go viral once, you know. ‘Shoulders car guy’. It was a hashtag on Twitter. Look it up.”
“He printed it out and stuck it on our fridge,” Namjoon sighs.
“Yes! One even compared me to a fridge! That was my favourite.”
Jimin looks delighted. “That’s so cool! I want to go viral on Twitter!”
“Thank you, pink boy. Maybe one day you will for being so— um… small and pink. Yoongi!” Seokjin hurriedly turns to him. “Do you think I’m even cooler now? So cool it’s hard to talk to me, because of my sheer presence and internet fame?”
Yoongi’s eyebrows are furrowed. “Revenge?” he says.
“All that was for— revenge?”
Ah. Seokjin gets it.
“Of course! What else could motivate me?”
“A lot of other things,” Namjoon says. “You’re actually very easy to cajole into doing things.” But Seokjin isn’t finished, so he ignores him.
“Revenge!” Seokjin declares, shaking his Pikachu. “You thought you could work me up by denying our connection. But I showed you! Only Kim Seokjin makes Kim Seokjin worked up.”
Slowly, one of Yoongi’s eyebrows rises.
Seokjin feels his ears heat.
“In hindsight, I could’ve worded that better,” he mutters. “Stop it! Or I’ll cry again.”
Yoongi’s face goes back to neutral. “No more tears.”
“No more denying our connection!”
Yoongi sighs, rolling his eyes. Seokjin takes this as an assent and crows, grabbing his wrist.
“Let’s ride the ferris wheel next! It’s not a game so you won’t lose!”
The line for the ferris wheel is thankfully not too long. But still long enough for Seokjin’s plans of seduction to go awry. You see, it’s a smaller ferris wheel – one meant for romantic rides staring into your partner’s eyes. There’s only two seats. And Seokjin had been firmly glued to Yoongi’s side until Namjoon says at the very wrong time, “Hey Yoongi, can you help me with a metaphor I’m working on?”
And Yoongi naturally gravitates over to Namjoon, leaving Seokjin Yoongi-less. Right when they’ve reached the front of the line.
“It’s about the moon? And the sun, but— you know, the sun always means happy, right but what if it’s not—”
“Next!” calls the vendor.
Seokjin and Jimin are next in line. Seokjin panics, whirling around.
“Um, Namjoon, do you want—”
“—what if the imagery is about suffocating instead—”
“I said next! Or get out of line.”
And, well, there’s no denying that. Seokjin gathers himself and gives the vendor a smile.
“Sorry for the delay! Yes, we’re ready.”
The vendor just grunts, then waves them over to the wheel. Seokjin glances back and sees Yoongi listening attentively to Namjoon’s metaphor imagery whatever, and is sad.
“I wonder if we’ll be able to see my apartment from the top!” Jimin says, bouncing on his toes.
Seokjin sighs and puts on a good face. They get into their cabin, sitting across from one another. Seokjin prepares himself to talk to a five-year-old but— well. Jimin surprises him. He even makes him laugh once or twice! He has a humour that Seokjin didn’t expect, which is Seokjin’s favourite kind. He’s even a little dirty, which sent Seokjin spluttering the first time Jimin made a dirty pun, looking at him slyly from beneath his lashes. Not what he’d been expecting from someone he’d deemed a toddler.
So. Maybe it isn’t all bad, but he does sneak glances at the cabin behind him. What was Namjoon thinking? He’s a very talented man in many areas, but in some areas— not so much. And maybe matchmaking is one of those areas. Seokjin could never fault Namjoon, because he’s always doing the best he can and his squishy kind heart is incapable of harm, but… well. Maybe Seokjin needs to take things into his own hands.
Or try to, at least.
Seokjin and Jimin get out of the cabin with no issues, but of course Namjoon is a different story. He stands up to open the door— and his face goes pale. He jiggles it a few times.
“Um, excuse me?” he calls out, voice high. “Sorry, but, um— I’m stuck?”
The attendant runs over and peers at it. Then slaps the cabin’s side. “We’ll get you out on the next round.” And the ferris wheel shudders and starts to move again.
“Oh no,” Namjoon mumbles, and Seokjin snorts as he watches Namjoon’s miserable face peering out between the bars. Like he’s in prison. Yoongi is slumped on his seat and doesn’t look perturbed in the slightest.
“Is he going to be okay?” Jimin asks, brow crinkled in worry. “Maybe I can try and help out when they come back down?”
“Nah, they’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure? Oh, he looks so sad, he must be so scared.”
“Don’t stress, little pink boy, he’s used to it.”
Seokjin realises that maybe Namjoon doesn’t want Jimin to know about his unfortunate ability to get stuck in any place humanly possible. He backpedals.
“Oh, um, what?”
Jimin’s brows flicker down.
“You just said he’s used to it. Used to what?”
Seokjin’s mouth moves. “Oh, you know… life! Hey! You know what would really cheer him up? Some of that hipster juice we passed on the way over!”
“We have time, let’s go!” Seokjin drags Jimin away, inwardly congratulating himself on a job well done at distraction. Seokjin taste tests all of the different drinks, finds out it’s called kombucha, finds out he hates it, realises Namjoon would probably like it, and gets a carton of the honey-flavoured one.
Then they’re back at the ferris wheel in time to see the entire thing paused as a mechanic opens the cabin for Namjoon.
“I’m glad you’re safe!” Jimin cries, throwing himself forwards in a hug. Namjoon catches him and his eyes blow wide, cheeks going red. His eyes dart to Seokjin and Seokjin very obviously looks up at the sky so he doesn’t embarrass Namjoon further.
He sidles over to Yoongi.
“So the ferris wheel technically isn’t a game,” he says, “but I still feel like you lost, which is quite a feat. Is that your talent?”
Yoongi stares at him a moment, then huffs.
“I’d forgotten about Namjoon’s habit of mmhgsjhdg—” Seokjin has slapped his hand over his mouth.
“Shh,” he whispers, leaning in close. “Jimin doesn’t know! Don’t spoil it for him.”
Yoongi’s eyes glare at him over his hand. And he’s stopped talking, but he looks so cute! All squishy and cranky. Seokjin doesn’t want to move his hand.
But then something wet touches his palm and Seokjin yelps.
Yoongi huffs a wheeze of a laugh, eyes scrunched up and cheeks bunched happily beneath. He’d licked his palm.
“I’m hungry,” Yoongi announces.
“You… that’s disgusting.” But Seokjin’s voice is full of wonder. He stares at the tiny wet patch on his hand. “I’m never washing this hand.”
“Go wash your hands.” Yoongi nudges him towards the sign to the toilets.
“Now,” Yoongi says, pointing like he’s disciplining a child and that child is Seokjin. “No dirty hands for lunch.”
“But your hands are als—” One of Yoongi’s eyebrows rises and Seokjin’s mouth snaps shut. “Fine!” he relents, and stalks off.
When he comes back – after freshening up a little, of course – the others have just settled down with food at a table. Seokjin pouts.
“Aw, you got lunch without me?”
It looks good, too – corn fritters piled high with toppings.
“No,” Yoongi says shortly, pushing a plate towards him. “Here.”
Seokjin pauses. His mouth drops open. He— what? He got food. For Seokjin? Seokjin’s squishy little man who seems annoyed at Seokjin half the time got him lunch?
“Oh,” is all Seokjin can say, blinking a few times.
Yoongi scowls. “What? Don’t look at me like that.”
“I’m not looking at you like anything,” Seokjin says, eyes wide and wet and blinking.
“That’s it, I’m taking it back—”
“No!” Seokjin flies into the seat next to Yoongi, yanking his plate of fritters back. “Don’t be rude. You can’t take back a gift.”
Yoongi doesn’t say anything, delicately taking a bite of fritter. Seokjin eats his and feels all warm and gooey inside.
They wander around a little more. Namjoon seems the most interested in everything – markets are very much his vibe. Seokjin doesn’t mind it, and will of course do anything to make Namjoon happy, but there’s only so many over-priced local honeys and hipster juices he can look at. He taste-tests everything, though, which makes Namjoon sigh and Yoongi huff a small laugh. Nice.
After a time, Yoongi takes out his phone and frowns a little at it.
“I’ve gotta get to work,” he says.
Seokjin pouts. “Aw. But you never got me the Kirby you promised!”
Yoongi sends him a droll look then turns and makes his goodbyes to the others. Seokjin’s pout hasn’t gone away. This wasn’t how it was meant to finish! So he blurts out, “I’ll walk you home?”
“What?” says Namjoon.
“Aw,” says Jimin, “that’s so sweet!”
“No,” says Yoongi.
Seokjin’s mouth opens. “No? After you failed your Kirby promise to me?” His eyes widen and the wind hits them and slowly, tears form. “I— I’m just t-trying to be k-k-kind—”
“Fine,” Yoongi snaps. His face is a little horrified. “Whatever. Please, no more tears.”
“Okay!” Seokjin chirps, throwing back his shoulders. He grabs Yoongi’s hand and drags him off. “Bye!” he calls to the other two.
There! Absolute genius. He’s very satisfied with himself. He’s now with Yoongi, Namjoon is with Jimin, and as long as Namjoon doesn’t go to the bathroom, it should all be good.
Yoongi shakes his hand out of Seokjin’s grasp, but Seokjin isn’t upset. He’d thought Yoongi would do it sooner, to be honest. They’re just outside of the market grounds now.
“So what’s this job? Rapping?”
Seokjin peers at him. “Hmm. Modeling?”
That makes Yoongi blink in shock, tilting his head to face him. “What? That’s a dumb joke.”
“How is it a joke? I was serious!”
“I am! As if no one’s asked you to model before! That’s ridiculous—”
“I walk dogs. That’s my job.”
“Oh.” Seokjin thinks about. His eyes blow wide. “Oooh. Oh!”
“Why are you saying it like that.”
“Wow!” Seokjin’s gaze is unfocused on the path ahead, just imagining Yoongi surrounded by dogs. Dogs climbing all over him, licking his squishy face. How the dogs would be overflowing with enthusiasm and love, and Yoongi’s face would still be as blank as normal but he’d scratch them in all their favourite places with such genuine care—
“Why do you look like that?” His tone turns defensive. “It’s a good job. It pays a lot.”
“No! No no no no, it’s not a bad thing! I’m just— wow. That’s so cool.”
Yoongi eyes as him, as if making sure he’s being serious. He seems to finally believe Seokjin is genuine, because he nods firmly to himself.
And then it falls silent. Seokjin strains for something to say. He’s only got this short amount of time to prove to Yoongi that he’s the love of his life. Or just date-able. He’ll settle for that.
“So, um… do you have favourites?”
“Oh c’mon, everyone has favourites.”
“Then you must have some you don’t like, right?” The words just start pouring out of Seokjin’s mouth, unbidden, and he’s stuck watching himself in horror. “Because most dogs are the best, you know, but sometimes there’s one dog where I’m like ‘can you actually truly love a dog that wakes you up all through the night with its annoying bark?’ Or like, what if it shits everywhere and refuses to learn and you’re just stuck stepping on dog poo every day? That’d wear on the soul, right? And what if it—”
“Please stop talking.”
Seokjin’s mouth snaps shut with a weird combination of embarrassment and relief.
“Right.” He refuses to look over at Yoongi. His ears are red. This is why he grew out his hair to cover the traitorous bastards.
“Silence is okay. You don’t need to fill it up all the time.”
“Of course,” Seokjin says, but he mulls over it. His walking feels strange. Stilted. He knows silence is fine in theory but also like— when has he ever been silent? Loudness is what people expect from him. Never a dull moment. He carries conversations as easy as breathing. It’s just what he does. And he feels that urge now, to fill up the silence again. Ask Yoongi more questions.
He takes a deep breath.
But does he really need to? Yoongi isn’t expecting that of him. Honestly, Yoongi doesn’t seem to expect anything of him. And… well.
Maybe that’s kind of nice?
Seokjin shuts up and they walk in silence and slowly, Seokjin’s shoulders relax. He breathes in and takes in the sounds of the street, and let’s go of that pressure he always has to talk. To entertain the person he’s with. Because Yoongi doesn’t care. And Yoongi’s presence next to him is just… nice. It’s nice, and Seokjin likes it.
Eventually, they reach an apartment building with vines arching over the doorway and Yoongi stops.
“Okay,” Yoongi says. “Bye.”
“Wait!” Seokjin blurts. “Can I get your number?”
Yoongi turns back. Seokjin can’t read the expression on his face.
Seokjin’s eyes widen. “I have a dog!” he says. “To be walked.”
“You have a dog,” Yoongi repeats dubiously.
“Yes!” Seokjin says. “His name is Moni and he is my dog and— and, um, he doesn’t really bark or shit everywhere. So. I need your number so you can walk the dog that I own.”
Yoongi stares at him for a moment. Then he imperiously holds out a hand.
“Phone,” he says.
Seokjin almost drops it in his haste to hand it over. He watches intently as Yoongi frowns down at the screen, typing. Then he hands it back.
“Bye,” he says again. No frills. Nothing extra. Just turns and disappears into the apartment block, leaving Seokjin alone.
He looks down at his phone, a little dazed from seeing that perfect ass again.
dog genius myg is the new contact added into his phone. Seokjin gets a bubbly feeling in his chest that results in a dumb grin on his face. He edits the contact and adds a 🍑 to the end. Then he locks his phone and walks off.
The first time Seokjin drops Moni off at Yoongi’s place, he gets a disgruntled look.
“Why are you still here?” Yoongi grumbles.
“I’m coming with you, of course!”
Yoongi stares at him. He has several other dogs on leashes, all excitedly meeting Moni at his feet.
“That’s not how it works.”
Yoongi stares at him some more. Seokjin stubbornly doesn’t leave. So Yoongi sighs, gathering up the leads in one hand.
“Fine,” he says. “Whatever.” As he starts walking, he gives Seokjin a look out the corner of his eyes. “I’m paranoid if I argue you’ll start crying again.”
“A very valid fear,” Seokjin reassures him. “I was planning on it. I even brought some wipes this time to help freshen up afterwards. I’m glad I didn’t need to use them.”
Yoongi sighs and silence falls between them. It’s mid-morning, but still chilly enough for Seokjin to have a lilac hoodie on, cuffs covering his hands. Yoongi has a baby pink beanie stuffed on his head and it had shocked Sekjin silent when he’d first seen him. Pink. Seokjin loves pink. And Yoongi in pink?
“So,” Yoongi says. “Moni. Your dog.”
“Yep!” Seokjin says, arms swinging happily beside himself. “My little baby, if you will. My sweet little Moni. That I own.”
“How old is he?”
Seokjin doesn’t miss a beat. “Seven! I got him when he was just a puppy and have raised him since. Look at him, isn’t he so well-mannered?” Moni is a good dog. But Seokjin doesn’t think he himself would ever be capable of training a dog. He doesn’t have that kind of patience. Namjoon does, and thank god for that, because Moni is his dog. In no way, shape or form is he Seokjin’s, but Yoongi doesn’t need to know that.
“Mm. What breed is he?”
“Shih Tzu,” Seokjin says with every ounce of misplaced confidence he has. That’s a dog breed, right? No idea what they look like, though. But Yoongi’s eyes are dark, deep wells and there’s no way Seokjin can hesitate for even a moment.
“Huh. He doesn’t look like a Shih Tzu.”
“He’s mixed.” Seokjin waves a hand. “Has a whole bunch of things in him, really.”
“What’s your favourite dog breed?”
“I don’t have one. All are my favourites.”
“Oh, come on!” Seokjin cries, then catches sight of his glittering eyes. “Hey! Are you trying to stir me up again?”
“No. Why would I do that?”
Seokjin scowls. “I don’t believe you. You are! I’ll cry. Don’t test me.”
Yoongi blanches. “No! No tears. No.”
“Good, now we’ve got that settled – favourite breed?”
Yoongi sighs. “I like poodles.”
“I like poodles.”
“No, I heard you, I’m just— what?”
Yoongi gives him a dead look. “I’m not saying it again.”
“Poodles,” Seokjin marvels, gaze fixed somewhere in the distance. “Woah.”
“What does that mean?”
“Would not have picked that for you.”
“What would you have picked?”
Seokjin observes him, up and down. Sadly from this angle, he can’t see the perfect ass he knows is just there.
“A cat,” Seokjin eventually says.
Yoongi sighs, mutters, “Why does everyone say that…”
“No reason!” Seokjin lies. “Just a vibe, maybe? Big cat person vibes.”
“Most of the stuff you say sounds like an insult.”
“You don’t look very insulted. Maybe you like it!”
“Mmh,” Yoongi says, which doesn’t particularly seem to be a yes or a no. Seokjin takes it as yes and smiles in satisfaction.
The rest of the walk is nice. Yoongi leads him to a park and they wander around. Yoongi cleans up all the poo. He tries to make Seokjin do it for Moni, but Seokjin re-enacts a dramatic enough vomiting montage to make him give up. Sometimes they talk, sometimes they don’t. Seokjin’s getting better with the silences. Less time being awkward at the start.
It’s nice. Very nice.
And the whole time, Seokjin feels the warm gooey feeling in his chest growing.
He wants to enchant Yoongi and keep him in his pocket for the rest of time.
They go on walks. Several of them. By the third one, Yoongi refuses to accept Seokjin’s money.
“It doesn’t make sense when you always tag along anyway.”
“No! Take the money. Otherwise I’m devaluing your hard work.”
But Yoongi just walks off, so Seokjin has no choice but to give up. He does insist on buying Yoongi a coffee, which he grumpily accepts. Seokjin’s beginning to learn that about him – that he loves being grumpy, even though most of the time, he isn’t actually grumpy. It’s a delicious contradiction and one Seokjin loves testing. Yoongi’s grumpy little remarks hide an incredible wealth of patience. Seokjin’s been told several times that he’s a lot to deal with – at times, overwhelming. And a part of him had been expecting Yoongi to say the same.
But he hasn’t.
Throughout all of Seokjin’s dramatic re-enactments of stories, his loud practicing of his lines or the time he got out the waterworks (to someone else while Yoongi watched, this time), Yoongi remains the same – grumpy pout on his face, but never actually grumpy. Eyes always that tiny bit amused.
Seokjin is a little obsessed.
Namjoon catches him doodling at the table one morning.
“What’re you drawing?” he asks, brow knitting tight. “Are those… threes? Why are you doodling threes?”
“Ah ha ha!” Seokjin flips the receipt over. “What? I’m not drawing anything!”
Namjoon frowns at him. “But— I just saw—”
“I’m not drawing anything,” Seokjin says again, very firmly, and Namjoon gets the point.
“Oh. Yep, okay, all right.”
So that’s when Seokjin realises he’s gotta try and progress things again. Daydreaming of Yoongi’s ass? He needs the real thing. If Yoongi is interested, of course.
So on the fifth walk (with his dog Moni that he definitely owns and has trained and takes care of) he pulls out his deadliest moves.
They’re both sitting on a bench in an enclosed dog park, watching the three dogs Yoongi has today tussle with the others. And Moni. Seokjin arranges himself to his best angles: legs crossed lazily in front of him, one elbow resting on the back of the bench, tilted towards Yoongi. He’d made sure to wear a button-up shirt, so he can have several of the buttons undone and his throat and collarbones visible. He’s cold, but pain is nothing in the face of the most perfect ass he’s seen in his life.
“So, Yoongi,” he says.
“What.” Yoongi’s eyes stay trained on the dogs.
Seokjin clears his throat.
“So, Yoongi,” he says again, and Yoongi finally glances over.
Seokjin takes a slow sip of his coffee, then swipes his tongue across his lips to catch the rest of it. Yoongi’s eyes stay unblinking on him. Seokjin has him. It’s the tongue! It always works.
“I was thinking—”
“Patricia!” Yoongi suddenly yells. “Stop that.”
Patricia is some kind of medium-sized boy dog with truly evil human parents. Or brilliant? Seokjin hasn’t decided yet. He is currently trying to hump one of the smaller, old dogs.
“Hold on,” Yoongi says, jumping up and grabbing a poo bag. Seokjin slumps, sighing as he watches Yoongi go clean up some dog poo. This isn’t how he practiced it going. Yoongi’s back after a minute, jogging over. “What were you thinking?” He squirts some hand sanitiser on his palms, rubs it in.
If nothing else, Seokjin is persistent. So he shifts a little to make sure he’s back to displaying his best angles.
“So I have this movie I’ve been wanting to see.” Seokjin pouts. “But I’m really bad at watching movies by myself. Will you watch it with me?”
“Don’t you live with Namjoon?”
“Namjoon only likes those deep artsy movies. Or—” Seokjin’s face twists in disgust. “—biographical movies. Ew. And then he just tears them apart because he somehow always knows more than the actual movie creators!”
Yoongi nods. “He does have a big brain.”
“He does. Which is why I need you!” Seokjin pauses. “Not that I don’t think you have a big brain. But obviously it’s not as big as Namjoon’s.”
“Obviously,” Yoongi echoes with a small smirk.
“I’m sure it’s big, though. But no one rivals Namjoon. You understand?”
“I get it.”
“So that’s a yes! Great! Tomorrow night?”
“Was it a yes?”
“Yoongi…” Seokjin widens his eyes. His lip trembles. “Yoongi…”
Yoongi sniffs, deliberately looking away. “You’re lucky I’m free tomorrow night.”
Seokjin punches a fist in the air. “Yeah! Yes!” Someone nearby shoots him a look and he remembers himself – he needs to be calm. Cool enough for someone like Yoongi. “I mean… yes. Tomorrow night!” He clears his throat. “6 o’clock, got it?”
“Where are you going?”
Seokjin has stood up, grabbed Moni’s lead.
“I’ve got a recording to finish up before 10!”
“But it’s 9:30…”
“Gotta be quick! See you tomorrow, Yoongi!” He flaps a hand then strides off, as quick as he can. He really is cutting it a little fine. But that’s not going to get him down –
He’s got a date!
Seokjin sets up everything perfectly. Namjoon is staying out with his parents. It was meant to just be for dinner, but Seokjin strongly convinced him that an overnight stay would be good for the family. And he’s very convincing when he needs to be.
He’s got delivery on the way. He tidied everything up. Even brushed Moni so he looks like the well-cared for, Seokjin-owned dog he is.
The doorbell buzzes.
When Yoongi gets to the door, Seokjin throws it open before he can even knock.
“Hello! You look lovely!”
Yoongi has an orange beanie pulled low over his face this time. He slips past Seokjin with a snort.
“Sure.” He takes off his shoes and aligns them neatly next to Seokjin’s.
“Wine? Beer? Water? Soju? Hipster juice? Orange juice? Milk? Wine?”
Seokjin blinks. “I don’t have any beer.”
Seokjin shifts on his feet. “Um…”
Yoongi sighs. “Whatever you have.”
“Perfect! Wine it is!”
The delivery arrives and Seokjin lays it all out, then puts on the movie. It’s his crowning achievement. You see, he’s very familiar with the concept of Netflix and chill. And he knows the worse the movie is, the more likely Yoongi will get bored and look for other options.
And oh, wouldn’t you know? There Seokjin is! In his squishy sweater that’s stretched at the neck and soft pants, ready and waiting for one Min Yoongi to crawl into his lap.
And then he’ll finally get his hands on that ass.
The movie starts. They munch on the food. Yoongi’s eyes are glued to the screen. Seokjin knows, because he keeps darting glances over at him. He doesn’t look bored just yet, but he will. Seokjin picked this movie specially. He probably just needs time to digest, right? Maybe he shouldn’t have ordered food… but it’s dinner time and he’s not skipping dinner for anything! Besides, he wouldn’t have wanted Yoongi to go hungry either!
The movie crawls on. The acting is terrible. It’s all filmed at a weird slanted angle which certainly was a choice. Not one Seokjin would make.
He sighs and shifts around. Glances at Yoongi – Yoongi’s now leaning forwards on the couch. Seokjin frowns. Kicks his legs up onto the couch between them. Tries to watch the movie again but god, what has Yoongi so enthralled?
He shifts around a little more.
“Yoongi,” he whines. “My knees hurt. Let me stretch out on your lap.”
Yoongi grunts. Seokjin isn’t really sure what that means, but he decides to try his luck anyway. He stretches out, all tentative and careful. Places his socked feet in Yoongi’s lap. Yoongi doesn’t even glance down. Seokjin grins in victory, resting them properly in Yoongi’s lap.
First contact has been made! Now it’ll be easy for things to progress further.
Seokjin waits. And waits.
He alternates between looking at the screen and Yoongi’s face. And slowly, horror dawns on him. That expression on Yoongi’s face – it’s excitement. But not about Seokjin. About the movie.
Oh my god.
Seokjin has made a huge error. He never would have expected it. Yoongi—
Seokjin’s careful plan crumples before his very eyes. Yoongi somehow defies the omniscient rules of Netflix and chill and stays glued to the movie the whole time. Seokjin gives up on trying to follow it.
When the movie finally ends, Seokjin is in a strange alienated state. Not quite in his body. Yoongi pats his feet, standing upright.
Seokjin’s feet fall to the floor.
“That was great,” Yoongi says, with the most enthusiasm Seokjin’s ever seen from him. “You have good taste, Seokjin.”
“Uh…” Seokjin gets up slowly, trying to wrap his brain around everything that’s going on. “Yeah…”
“Thanks for the invite.” Yoongi shuffles over to his shoes, stuffing his fluffy hair into his beanie. Seokjin’s fingers make grabby motions and he stuffs them into his pockets. He doesn’t need them giving away his desperation.
“Uh, anytime,” he says.
And then, “Bye!” and Yoongi is out the door. Just like that. Gone.
Seokjin stands in the middle of his apartment, alone.
“What the fuck,” he says.
When Namjoon gets home the next day, he finds Seokjin in a sad heap on the couch.
“Hey,” he says gently, coming to crouch in front of Seokjin. “What’s going on?” He pokes at Seokjin’s cheeks.
Seokjin sighs loudly. He’s completely bundled up in a blanket, only his face visible, and there’s a terrible game show on the TV. Terrible? Yoongi would probably like it.
“My plan didn’t work,” he says, voice sad. “He’ll never like me…”
“Oh.” Namjoon has a weird pause. Maybe because someone on the screen is shrieking about death traps. “Um. He does! I’m sure of it. And who wouldn’t like you? You’re Kim Seokjin.”
“I am Kim Seokjin,” Seokjin says with a sniffle. “Aren’t I? Or have I lost it?”
“You haven’t lost it.”
“How would you know? Do you still want to fuck me?”
“Jin, we both agreed that was a terrible idea many years ago.” Even this, he says gently. He’s such a gentle, big-brained person. Seokjin loves him.
“I love you,” he tells him.
“I love you, too.” Namjoon looks very solemn as he says this. Serious face, serious eyes. “And I can guarantee you are still the same Kim Seokjin who has the rest of the world wrapped around his little finger. Anyone who denies that is a fool.”
Seokjin sniffles. “Yeah, you’re right. I get a phone number every time I order coffee.”
“As you deserve.” Namjoon pats his cheeks again and smiles. “How about we go out tonight? Prove it to yourself.”
“You don’t like going out. Unless— you’re not going to drag me to that screamo bar again, are you?”
“I love you, Jin, but there really is such a big difference between the vocals and heavy guitar of screamo, and rap. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any screaming on a rap track? I don’t really know where you—”
“You are taking me to that screamo bar!”
“I’m not taking you to the screamo bar! I promise! I guarantee you it’ll be the gayest gay bar I can find and they’ll be playing Lady Gaga’s entire discography. Okay?”
“I do like Lady Gaga.”
“And I am gay.”
“I am very aware.”
“Will there be Long Island iced teas?”
“As many as you want.” Namjoon pauses. “Within reason, of course. Binge drinking really is detrimental but is rarely seen as such thanks to the glorification in media—”
“Big brain.” It’s Seokjin’s turn to pat Namjoon’s cheeks. “Okay. We’ll go to the bar and I can prove I’m still Kim Seokjin.”
“Exactly.” Namjoon nods. “Now. Did you finish up that audition for the gym that’s also a bar?”
Seokjin groans. “No…”
“Up we get! I’ll make you some tea for your voice.”
“And run through my lines with me?” He blinks guilelessly up at Namjoon.
“Only if you’re up and showered by the time the tea’s done.”
Seokjin bounces upright. “Joon! You know I can’t be ready in that time!”
“I believe in you,” Namjoon says, heading to the kitchen. Seokjin can hear the smile in his voice. Seokjin bitches and whines all the way to the bathroom.
But of course, he’s ready in time with the tea. And Namjoon smiles at him and it’s worth skipping seven stages of his getting ready routine.
“Two Long Island iced teas,” Seokjin says when they get the bartender’s attention, because he’s feeling magnanimous. Namjoon’s eyes go wide, but Seokjin just smiles smugly. He thinks Namjoon deserves it. He’s never seen Namjoon quite so motivated to make Seokjin wear the most sexed up things he could find. Like, he thinks maybe the choker and hair-pushed-off-forehead combination might be a bit much, no matter how sad Seokjin was this morning, but here he is.
They’re both drawing stares and while that does bolster Seokjin’s self-esteem, he really wants one other person to be here.
“There you are!”
Even though it sounds nothing like Yoongi, Seokjin is hopeful for a moment—
But no. It’s Jimin, pink hair falling into his eyes, beaming up at them both. Long earrings dangle down from his ears and he’s wearing a glittery bomber jacket that’s catching the lights of the bar. It looks like something JoJo Siwa would wear, which fits in perfectly with Seokjin’s perception of Jimin as a literal child.
“Jimin!” Namjoon goes to hug him, then hesitates. There’s a weird, awkward pause, until Namjoon sticks out his hand to shake. Jimin’s eyebrows flicker down, then he giggles as he shakes Namjoon’s hand.
“Strange man,” Seokjin says. “Don’t worry, Jimin, I’ll hug you!”
Namjoon lets out a weird cough and Seokjin decides to once again be magnanimous and not tease him about it.
“So Jimin, how did you—”
“Let’s get a table!” Namjoon blurts, whirling around and disappearing into the crowd. Seokjin snorts and follows after him. Namjoon really does become so much more awkward around his crushes. And this one’s bad. Seokjin learnt long ago that he takes it much slower than Seokjin would, and he’s learnt to respect that. Doesn’t mean that tonight wouldn’t be the perfect night to force them to spend a little more time together, especially since Jimin is coincidentally here.
They find a little table with a candle in the middle and nab a stool from another table.
“Jimin, you were just explaining how you ended up here too—”
“Bathroom!” Namjoon bursts out, jumping upright. He knocks the table and some of Seokjin’s cocktail goes splashing over.
“Joon!” he whines. “Not the drink!”
“I’ve gotta go to the bathroom! You both… talk! Yeah! Bye!” And then he’s off.
They both stare after him, silent.
“Is he always like that?” Jimin asks.
“Yes,” Seokjin says immediately, then pauses. “Well. Not really. Not that bad, usually. But sometimes.”
“Ah.” A pause. “So, how long have you known Namjoon?”
“About five years? Maybe six. I met him at university before I dropped out. Studying isn’t, um… not my thing.”
Um?! Since when does Seokjin ever say um? What the fuck? He doesn’t know why he feels so awkward. He’s looking peak Kim Seokjin! His forehead is showing! He doesn’t do awkward ever, but it’s like without Namjoon here, someone else needs to take up the awkward mantle.
“Oh, uh, huh.” And now Jimin is awkward too, but he’s a child so what more can Seokjin expect? “I actually really like studying. It’s how I met Joon in the first place.”
“Oh. You’re also doing PhD things?”
“Yeah, but more of a music theory focus. Not quite in Namjoon’s philosophical field.”
“That’s good, I think – one Namjoon having daily philosophical crises is enough for me to handle.”
Seokjin laughs at his own joke and it’s enough to make Jimin laugh too, but he doesn’t look very comfortable. Seokjin doesn’t know what’s going on. And he doesn’t know where Namjoon is. This awkward conversation has totally warped his sense of time so he can’t tell if it’s been ten seconds or ten minutes. He should’ve set a timer. Namjoon probably got stuck in the bathroom again. And these jeans are tight, but Seokjin always makes sure he has deep enough pockets for his toolkit.
But he doesn’t really want to leave Jimin alone. He’s worried men will descend like vultures. And Jimin is much too young and innocent with his baby-cheeks to deal with that. He must be protected! Namjoon would never forgive him if something happened to the pink-haired child he’s set his heart on.
Which— hmm. Disturbing.
“How old are you?” Seokjin asks, sudden enough to make Jimin fumble with his drink.
“Oh— um. I just turned 24.”
“I know, it’s the— the cheeks. Always makes me look like I’m a first-year.”
“Huh. Maybe when you’re 50 you can pass for 20.”
Jimin smiles, but it’s a little weak. “Maybe!”
Silence falls. Seokjin’s foot taps on the floor.
He finally asks what’s been on his mind.
“So do you think Yoongi will—”
But Jimin blurts at the same time: “Look, this isn’t going to work!”
Seokjin stills. Can only blink at Jimin in shock. He— woah. Shit. He hadn’t expected that violent of a reaction. Had he pushed too hard with Yoongi? Was the movie too much? Yoongi didn’t seem upset but— what would Seokjin know, he’d only just met him, oh god he upset him—
“I like someone else!” Jimin continues.
And that pulls Seokjin right up. His face falls.
“What, really? But—”
“I’m so sorry,” Jimin is saying, the words pouring out of his mouth. His brow is crinkled in distress and Seokjin’s terrified he’s going to cry any minute. (And vaguely, at the back of his mind is the thought – is this how Yoongi feels whenever he pretends to cry?)
“I didn’t mean to lead you on! I did try, really hard, but I just— I have to be honest!”
“That’s okay,” Seokjin says, pitching his voice as soothing as possible. Namjoon is going to be devastated, but he’ll deal with that later. Once he unlocks him from the toilet stall he’s surely stuck in. “You can’t force yourself to like someone. I know Namjoon is head-over-heels for you but I can help break it to him gently. He’s a gentleman, I promise! He won’t—”
“Don’t stress at all,” Seokjin emphasises, leaning across the table to pat Jimin comfortingly on the hand. “We’ll get through this together. And I’m sure we can still be friends? Namjoon is my first priority, of course, but he’s so emotionally intelligent, he’ll spend a month writing angsty poems then he’ll move on—”
“But I don’t want him to move on!”
Seokjin stares at him. “What.”
“Seokjin.” Jimin’s eyes are as serious as he’s ever seen them. He leans forwards. “Are you saying you don’t want to fuck me?”
Seokjin recoils. So violently he feels his dick shrivel up.
“What? Ew! Jimin! You’re a child!”
“I can’t— ew!” He flaps his hands in the air, trying to dispel the image. “No!”
“But— you said my ass was great!”
“What?” Seokjin feels like he’s fallen asleep and is off in a crazy dream where nothing connects and nothing makes sense. “Did I?” He thinks. “I really don’t think I did! Why would I say that? I don’t even know what your ass looks like!”
Now Jimin looks miffed.
“What do you mean you don’t know what my ass looks like? It’s very memorable!”
“Is it?” Seokjin wracks his brain. “Look, I’m sure it is but I honestly just— I have no idea! The more I think about it, the more sure I am that I didn’t say that. There’s only one ass I care about and it is perfect and it is not yours. Sorry.”
“I don’t— I— what? Who!”
Seokjin blinks several times. “Yoongi? Who else would I be talking about?”
“Yoongi.” Jimin’s face is blank. “You think Yoongi’s ass is great. Not mine.”
“Well— look, I’m sorry that this seems to be a sensitive topic, but I don’t like your tone when talking about Yoongi’s ass. I really can’t stand for it. It only deserves worship and adoration.”
“You like Yoongi.” Jimin’s eyes are off in the distance, somewhere past Seokjin’s head.
“Yes?” Seokjin glances behind him, but can’t see what Jimin’s looking at. “I thought I was very obvious, was it not—”
Jimin stands up, sharp enough to jolt the table. More of Seokjin’s cocktail spills over.
“I’ve gotta go,” he says. He doesn’t wait for Seokjin to say anything, just turns tail and runs.
Seokjin is left by himself at the table, his cocktail drying sticky on the table. He blinks down at it, trying to understand what the fuck is going on. Jimin thought? That Seokjin thought? His ass was great? But really? He was thinking that—
“Hey, mind if I sit here?” The guy doesn’t wait for an answer, instead sliding right into the seat Jimin had recently vacated.
“Well, I guess you’re here now,” Seokjin says, still not quite sure what’s going on.
“Has anyone told you you have the most magical eyes?” the guy says, leaning his elbow on the table and smiling at Seokjin. His teeth are so white they catch the lights.
“I get that a lot, actually. But thanks!” He stands up. “I think my friend is locked in the bathroom, though. Have a nice night!”
He pushes through the crowd, which no longer feels as fun as it did earlier. He slips into the bathroom, looks around. There’s one stall door closed.
“Joon,” he calls, tapping on the door, “what have I told you about going into stalls—”
“Who the fuck?” comes a voice that is very much not Namjoon. “Go away! What the hell!”
“Sorry!” Seokjin squeaks, running out of the bathroom before the guy comes out. Seokjin is not made for brawling! He might be tall and broad but he’s shockingly easy to lift up and toss about.
He ends up back in the bar at a complete loss. Maybe— Namjoon went into the ladies bathroom? And got stuck? That would be a very Namjoon thing to have happened. But he has his phone on him, so he should’ve been able to call Seokjin for help—
Seokjin checks his phone. One message from Namjoon: Headed home! Enjoy 😉
The fuck? Since when does Namjoon use emojis? Seokjin hadn’t even realised that Namjoon knew how to get to the emoji keyboard. And the winky face? Out of all of them? It must’ve been a mistake. There’s no way he would’ve sent that. Or his phone was stolen? But why would someone steal Namjoon’s phone and text Seokjin?
The whole night has been very confusing and Seokjin is no longer in the mood to be oggled at a bar. After all, it’s like what Namjoon always says – he doesn’t need to rely on others’ approval for his own validation. It should come from himself.
Plus, he’s not entirely convinced Namjoon isn’t currently being held hostage.
He starts pushing his way out of the bar. Then—
“Hey, sorry I’m late.”
Seokjin blinks. “Yoongi?”
“Uh…” Yoongi’s brow crinkles. “Yeah?”
“Yeah… sorry, I didn’t see Jimin’s message until way later. I actually got studio time today for once and I just kinda— are you okay?”
Seokjin tries to slow his rapid blinking.
“Yeah! Yeah, no, I’m fine, yeah.”
“You said no.”
“I also said yeah several times. And I’m fine! Because I am. Fine, that is.” He pauses. “In both meanings of the word!”
Seokjin laughs a little hysterically but Yoongi doesn’t join him. He peers closely at him.
“Mmh. Terrible pun. Where’s everyone else?”
“Mmh.” Yoongi’s eyes peer deeply into him and Seokjin feels uncomfortably seen. “You’re acting weird.”
“I—” Seokjin has no idea where to even begin. “Walk me home?”
Yoongi’s mouth opens then he pauses. Seokjin can’t read the expression on his face. Seokjin begins to feel horribly embarrassed. He shouldn’t have said anything.
Yoongi cuts him off. “Let’s go.”
Seokjin brightens up. Yoongi doesn’t see it, because he has ducked his head and bee-lined for the door. Seokjin follows him out. Stepping on to the street, Seokjin takes a deep breath. The temperature dropped quite a lot while he was at the bar and he hadn’t brought a jacket, focusing more on sexiness than practicality. The first breath of fresh air is nice. The second is freezing.
He shoves his hands in his pockets and shivers.
“Here,” Yoongi says, voice gruff. He’s holding out his jacket – it’s red, long, and looked adorably large on Yoongi earlier.
“What? No. Now you’re cold!”
“I like the cold.” He shakes the jacket. “Take it.”
“No! It won’t fit, anyway, you’re tiny!”
“I’m not that small. Put it on.”
“Nope!” Seokjin jogs off, hands still in his pockets. “Put it back on!” he calls over his shoulder. “And remember you promised to walk me home!”
“I didn’t promise anything,” he hears Yoongi grumble, but a quick glance behind shows he’s following. Seokjin smiles. His ears heat up. After a few more steps, he stops and waits for Yoongi to catch up. Yoongi has the jacket back on and a scowl on his face. “You’re stubbon,” Yoongi says.
“And you’re not?”
“Only one person can be stubborn.”
“But you like me anyway!” Seokjin trills. Then he realises what he said and how he’s accidentally said something with true, deep feeling attached to it. How it’s not actually a joke like he made out. Yoongi likes him anyway, right?
He can’t help the way his breath catches in his chest, waiting for Yoongi’s response.
“Whatever,” Yoongi mutters, and that—
Seokjin grins. That feels a victory. Yoongi gives things away in the smallest of hints. He’s saying whatever but— it’s not really as gruff as it usually is. And he’s avoiding Seokjin’s eye contact, eyes fixed on the ground. It’s almost shy, except Yoongi is Yoongi and he’s not the type to be shy.
They walk in silence.
“So,” Yoongi says after a time, and it’s strange for him to break the silence and not Seokjin. “A weird night?”
“Yeah, I don’t—” Seokjin tries to think back on all that happened, but it’s a blur. “I might need some processing time. Sorry you came here only to leave.”
“I don’t like bars.”
“But you came anyway?”
“Nothing better to do.”
“Really,” Yoongi confirms. Seokjin’s cold, but being next to Yoongi makes him all warm and bubbly inside. He shifts so they’re walking a little closer together, shoulders brushing. Yoongi doesn’t move away.
“What were you recording?” Seokjin asks. “In the studio today.”
Yoongi shrugs. “Something I worked on with Jimin. We’ve performed it live a few times and everyone eats it up, so… yeah. I’ll release it on SoundCloud or something.”
“Ooh, are you going to hand out CDs of it on the street? Your mixtape?”
“When was the last time you saw a CD?”
“Don’t worry, baby, I’d buy all the copies of your mixtape.”
“It’s not— it’s not buying.” Yoongi’s flustered voice makes Seokjin look over and he delightedly realises Yoongi’s cheeks are pink. “I don’t sell my music. I just want to share it for free, for now at least, and— and SoundCloud is good for that.”
“Well then, I’ll stream your song all day and get you to the top of whatever SoundCloud chart there is.”
“I don’t need you to— stop it.”
“Rapper Min Yoongi, top of the charts!”
“Why would I use my real name—”
“First stop, SoundClub! Then, Grammy’s!”
“Did you just say SoundClub?”
“Will you remember me when I’m famous?”
“No.” Yoongi’s voice is blunt.
“Yoongi! Your number one fan? Your first fan?”
“I already have lots of fans.”
“But none as memorable as me! Right?”
Seokjin frowns. “Right?”
“I’m scared of what you’ll do if I don’t agree with you.”
“A few fake tears can’t hurt you, Yoongi. Answer the question!”
“Yes, Seokjin,” Yoongi says, and his voice is soft. Tired, but warm. “I’ll remember you. Does that make you happy— huh?”
Seokjin has stopped walking without realising it until Yoongi stops too, turning around to raise an eyebrow at him.
“What are you doing?” he asks.
Seokjin stares at Yoongi. Blinks, takes him in. The tip of his nose is adorably red. Cheeks pale, made paler by the vivid red of his jacket. A bright spot in their otherwise dark surroundings. Seokjin likes him. He likes him a lot.
“Can I hold your hand?” Seokjin asks. His chest stills. He’s not often this forthright. It makes him feel ill.
But not this time. This time, he’s strangely confident. He doesn’t think he’s reading any of these signs wrong. And he’s got to own up to his obsessive crush sooner than later, right? There’s only so many more dog walks he can go on with Yoongi, without knowing if he can hold his hand or not.
It’s best to know, after all.
At least, Seokjin tries to think that. But Yoongi’s mouth is open and words aren’t coming out, and it’s not the quick assent he’d expected. Or the snappy rejoiner. It’s silence and oh god, he hadn’t thought about that.
“Um…” he says, trying to think of something to say. He got hacked? It was a joke? How do you take that back? After this amount of time has passed?
“I can’t do this,” Yoongi says. Seokjin searches for that hint of teasing that’s always in his eyes, that twinkle, but can’t see anything. His stomach drops. “It doesn’t feel right.”
“It’s just— I—” Yoongi’s mouth moves and again, no words come out. Then he huffs in frustration and ruffles his hair. “Fuck it. We’re almost at yours, right?”
Seokjin blinks rapidly. “I mean— yeah, but—”
“Okay. Good. See you.” And then he’s off down the street, strides rapid for someone so short.
“Yoongi?” Seokjin’s voice is lost.
Yoongi waves a hand behind himself. “Not a good idea! Bye!”
And then he’s around the corner and off, and Seokjin is stuck standing there by himself.
Seokjin’s hands are numb. He blinks, and shoves them back into his pockets. He doesn’t know how long he’s been standing there, just staring dumbly at the corner where Yoongi disappeared.
Maybe it’s not best to know.
He swallows and turns. Walks the remaining block to his apartment. His eyes glaze over the pavement and he gets up to the apartment by memory alone. As soon as he opens the door, Moni races to meet him. Seokjin sighs as he bends down and scratches Moni’s favourite part just behind his ear.
“You’ll hold my hand, won’t you?” he mumbles down at the dog. Moni flops over onto his back and Seokjin sits down completely, hands scratching all over him. Moni is in heaven, squirming around.
It takes Seokjin a while to realise the lights are on, but no one else has come to greet him.
“Joon? Where are you?” he calls out. Namjoon normally turns the lights off before he goes to bed. He’s meticulous about it, unlike Seokjin. It’s very unlike him to be in bed at this hour, too.
“In here,” comes a muffled, sad voice.
Seokjin straightens up. “Huh? Where’s here?”
“The bathroom.” Then he mumbles something else.
“What? I can’t hear you.”
“I said I’m stuck!”
Seokjin’s mouth rounds, an ohhh coming out between them. He stands up, kicking off his shoes and racing over to the bathroom. It’s not often this happens at home. The last time was months ago.
“Namjoon! Why didn’t you call me, you idiot!” He fumbles with his toolkit, crouching down in front of the lock.
“I’m an idiot.” There’s a thunk, like something heavy hitting the door.
“You’re not an idiot, don’t you dare say that! And that better not have been your head! Your brain is too big to be treated so carelessly.”
The door clicks and pops open, thunking into something.
“Hey,” Seokjin says, gentling his voice. “You okay there, buddy?”
Namjoon sniffles and Seokjin realises that this is perhaps worse than usual. He’s proven right when Namjoon shifts out of the way of the door and looks up, and Seokjin sees his eyes are red.
His heart stops.
“Joon?” He plops to the floor. “What’s wrong? What— you’re okay now! Next time, you call me, okay? No matter what!”
“You were out with Jimin. I didn’t wanna interrupt that.”
Seokjin blinks. “I don’t—”
“I’m sorry!” Namjoon bursts out in such a flurry, Seokjin rears back. “I’m sorry for feeling like this! I didn’t mean to get in the way of you two and I’m trying, but I’m— it’s hard. But I just want the best for you both! You deserve someone really amazing, Seokjin, and there’s no one more amazing than Jimin. But— I’ll get over it! You don’t even need to worry about me.” Namjoon sniffs, scrubbing at one eye. “I’ll just write some more sad poems and then I’ll be fine.”
“More sad poems?” Seokjin’s mouth drops open. “You’ve been— you’ve been writing sad poems?”
“It’s fine though!” Namjoon rushes to say, grabbing Seokjin’s hands and squeezing tight. “I’m not— I’ll be fine soon! Don’t worry about me!”
“But…” Seokjin looks around as if searching for the answers, but their apartment isn’t going to tell him anything. “I’m just so confused! Why does everyone think I’m obsessed with Jimin?”
Namjoon stills. “Because… you are?”
“When!” Seokjin shouts, throwing his hands about. “When have I said that!”
“You said it was the most perfect butt you’d ever seen?” Namjoon looks miserable when he mumbles, “Juicy…”
“Yoongi’s butt is the best butt I’ve ever seen.”
Namjoon stares at him.
Seokjin’s eyebrows raise up. “Yeah… why are you saying it like that?”
Namjoon stares at him. Seokjin stares back.
Namjoon slumps onto his back on the bathroom floor.
“I’m an idiot,” he moans.
Seokjin blinks rapidly.
“Wait, you… and Jimin? You both thought I like Jimin? Ew!”
“What do you mean ew? He’s perfect.”
He’s a baby, Seokjin wants to say, but he does know when to shut up. Sometimes.
“He did say he liked someone else…”
Namjoon sits up in a flash. “What?”
“Which in hindsight, I guess is you? Wow.”
“He said he likes me?”
“Uh… not in as many words.”
“Oh.” Namjoon sits there, staring down at his feet. His toes wiggle. “Huh,” he says and a smile comes across his face. “He might actually like me?”
“Joon… it was pretty obvious from the moment I saw you two together. He looks like he’s about to come in his pants each time you mention poetry.” Seokjin’s face twists in disgust, but Namjoon looks starry eyed.
“Wow…” he breathes. “I didn’t… really? Wow.”
“Hey.” Seokjin’s foot jabs out, getting Namjoon in the calf, who yelps. “Don’t think I’m skipping over that sad poetry bit! Kim Namjoon don’t you dare ever make yourself sad to make me happy, you hear?”
“Well,” Namjoon mumbles, “I didn’t actually make anyone happy, turns out…”
“Technicalities! The point remains the same. Don’t do that, okay? Nothing’s worth that. If you’re sad, I’m sad. Got it?”
“But I just wanted you to be happy.”
“And I want you to be happy!”
They’re at a stalemate. They both stare at each other. Seokjin’s eyes narrow.
“Um,” Namjoon eventually says. “Want to watch that game show where they all get lubed up and have to climb those stairs?”
“Yeah,” Seokjin says, latching on immediately. “I do. Get off the bathroom floor, you’re being gross.”
They head to the TV, Seokjin making a detour to his bedroom to quickly change into clothes that aren’t painted onto his body and a literal choker. He shakes out his hair and collapses on the couch beside Namjoon with a sigh.
“I was thinking,” Namjoon says, which makes Seokjin a little worried, “I’m going to ask Jimin out! And you can ask Yoongi out! We can double date!”
Seokjin sighs. “That’s so— ugh, cringe, Joon, why are you like this.”
“What? It’ll be cute!”
Seokjin blinks at the screen and doesn’t let his brain think much.
“You and Jimin can be cute. But Yoongi doesn’t like me like that.”
Namjoon goes still and even though Seokjin isn’t looking at him, he can feel it.
“What? Are you— what?”
“He’s not interested. I tried. Don’t worry about it,” Seokjin says with a smile, nudging him with his toes. “The show’s starting. Don’t ruin it.”
Namjoon’s gaze is burning into the side of his face. But Seokjin stays focused on the screen.
He can feel Namjoon worrying about it, despite what Seokjin said. But thankfully, Namjoon shuts up and Seokjin can let the ridiculous game show numb his brain.
“Keep your peace of mind like never before with P-Peace Life— ah fuck.”
Seokjin scowls down at the script on his phone. It’s just a few lines. A simple audition. Similar to the dozens he records every week. But— it’s just not working today. The accents are strange in this sentence and he just can’t get it without stumbling. Something about the p is just not co-operating.
He takes a deep breath. Tries again.
“Keep your peace of mind, like never— no, fuck, what? No pause.” He clears throat. “Peace Life Insurance,” he says. “Peace Life Insurance Peace Life Insurance Peacelifeinsurancepeace—”
“Am I interrupting something?”
Seokjin screams. Bodily throws his body away. His recording equipment goes tumbling down. His stool falls over. And Seokjin ends up sprawled across the ground.
“Oh,” says the voice again. “Um. Sorry.”
It’s Yoongi. Standing in his bedroom doorway, eyes a little wide as he stares down at the mess that is Seokjin and his recording equipment.
“It’s fine,” Seokjin says, trying to arrange himself like he means to be like this. “I’m, um. Yeah. It’s fine.”
“Let me help you—”
“No it’s fine!” Seokjin rushes to say, and he’s not sure why he’s acting like this. Yoongi looks bewildered as well. “Uh. Why are you here?”
“I— well. Namjoon let me in.”
“Namjoon’s not here. He left a while ago.”
“Yeah, no, he, uh… I bumped into him while walking the dogs. Which now I think about it, probably wasn’t a coincidence.”
“So he’s here now.”
“No, he— he left. He let me in then said something about a cafe and Jimin and— yeah. So. Here I am.”
This all sounds very suspicious. Seokjin had noticed the devious gleam in Namjoon’s eyes, but had been too involved in the storm brewing in his head to pay much attention. He should have thought about it more. Especially when Namjoon said he was going to go walk around a park. Namjoon doesn’t walk around parks. Namjoon either sits on a park bench and dreamily writes poetry, or bike rides around a park and thinks about poetry.
“Oh. Huh.” Seokjin can’t think of anything else to say. He wants to be normal. He’s hurt, but that doesn’t mean Yoongi should be suffering for it. It’s not his fault at all – Seokjin probably should’ve just been more upfront from the start but he’s just—
Well. Not very good at that. And he was blinded by the perfect ass.
“Can we talk?”
“We are talking.”
Yoongi raises his eyebrows and Seokjin cringes.
“Yeah… okay.” He pushes upright. Yoongi disappears into the living room. Seokjin straightens up his recording equipment, then straightens up himself as best as he can. He hadn’t expected to see anyone today and he’s a voice actor, so nothing else really matters. He’s still in his sleep shirt and his hair is unbrushed. He winces and pats it down as much as he can. He wishes he had time for a face mask.
Yoongi is sitting on one end of the couch. Seokjin pads over and sits on the other. There’s one space between them. Seokjin’s eyes immediately drop to the ground near Yoongi’s feet. He’s wearing socks with little rainbows on them. Gay socks. Nice.
It’s quiet. The silence that Yoongi seems to like so much and Seokjin had been coming around to. He doesn’t feel so good about it anymore.
He clears his throat.
“This isn’t a nice silence,” he complains, too loud in the quiet of the apartment. “See? Silence isn’t good all the time.”
Yoongi shifts on the couch to face him and Seokjin’s eyes unconsciously fly to meet his.
Yoongi doesn’t answer him. Instead, voice quiet and intence, he asks, “Do you like Jimin?”
“Well… yeah, but I feel like that’s the wrong answer? I mean, he’s a sweet little button and I want to bake him into a pie – but not in a Hansel and Gretel way. A, um… a normal way.”
“You want to eat him.” Yoongi’s voice is flat.
Seokjin’s nose wrinkles. “Yeah but not sexually, ew, why are you saying it like that? And why is everyone convinced I want to fuck Jimin? He’s a child!”
“24, actually,” Seokjin corrects. “I’m telling him you don’t know his age and he’ll probably never let you forget that you forgot.”
“He told me once he was voted ‘best ass on campus’.”
Seokjin’s nose wrinkles up even more.
“Ew? That feels like some kind of harrassment. And this is another thing I don’t get! Why does everyone keep talking about his butt? Your butt is right there and I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be weird after you’ve said you’re not interested, but your butt is the best butt I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of them! I mean— Yoongi, do you even realise? I just want to—” He makes grabby hands at the air. “But— um, you know, I wouldn’t. We can just be friends. Is that, um,” he looks around shiftily, suddenly realising how ridiculous his outburt was, “is that what you’re here for? To be friends?”
Yoongi is silent. Seokjin dares a glance up. Yoongi’s eyes are wide. More shocked than he’s ever seen him.
“Too far?” Seokjin cringes.
“You’re an idiot.” Then Yoongi is standing up and Seokjin thinks he’s going for the door— but he doesn’t, he’s heading to Seokjin with a scowl on his face and then he’s plopping down on Seokjin’s lap. His knees are on the couch and that— that glorious ass rests on Seokjn’s thighs. He keeps his hands at an appropriate distance, though. This could just be— a friends thing? Right? That’s what friends do? He hasn’t done it with Namjoon but maybe they’re weird friends—
“Shut up,” Yoongi says.
Seokjin looks helplessly up at him. “I— I didn’t say anything.”
“You think very loudly.”
Yoongi rolls his eyes, then comes in close. Seokjin’s eyes go so wide he’s worried they’ll water and he’ll accidentally scare Yoongi off with fake, unintentional tears.
“Can I kiss you?” he asks.
“I— what? As— as, uh… friends?”
Yoongi doesn’t blink.
“You’re so embarrassing.”
“I just— I don’t know what’s going on! I don’t deal well with stress!”
“Do you like Jimin?”
“No, oh my god, how many times do I have to say—”
“Do you like me?”
Seokjin’s face goes red. Not just his ears – his entire face. Like a flood of red.
“Well— um— well— I don’t— not like— I mean—”
“You’re an adult. Say it.” There’s that tiny smirk hovering around Yoongi’s mouth.
“You say it!”
“I like you, Kim Seokjin.”
Seokjin’s eyes blow wide.
“What? But— you didn’t want to hold my hand. You said it wasn’t a good idea!”
“It wasn’t a good idea when I thought you and Jimin had a thing going on. But you don’t. So now it is.” Yoongi’s hand comes up. “Hold my hand.” He cocks an eyebrow down at Seokjin.
“W-Why does everyone think I like Jimin…” Seokjin says weakly.
“Hold my hand.”
“Okay, fuck! Holding!” He laces his fingers together with Yoongi’s, eyebrows creased angrily, then realises what he’s done. Stops, and stares at their hands. Yoongi’s fingers are long and bony, and feel strong curled around Seokjin’s hand. It’s even nicer than he’d thought it’d be, and he’d thought about it a lot.
“Namjoon may have mentioned you were obsessed with Jimin’s ass.”
“It was my ass, I know.” Yoongi’s face gets closer. “But now you need to tell me that every day, okay?”
“Yes,” Yoongi says, so close he’s almost speaking the words against Seokjin’s lips. “Otherwise this won’t work.”
“By, um— by ‘this’, what do you—”
Much later, Namjoon comes into the apartment with his hands covering his eyes.
“I’m coming in!” he calls out very loudly, blindly kicking off his boots. He stumbles into the wall but his hands don’t leave his eyes. “Don’t be naked! Please!”
“We’re not naked,” Seokjin says.
“Oh.” Namjoon’s hands drop from his eyes. “Oh!” His face lights up when he sees them – they’re curled into each other on the couch watching bad game shows. Seokjin has a hand happily cupping Yoongi’s ass and it’s just as good as he’d dreamt. “You made up! And you’re dating now?”
“Ew!” Seokjin says loudly, uncontrollably.
Yoongi’s face wrinkles up, saying at the same time: “No, don’t be disgusting.”
“Um. What? So you’re… friends?”
“That’s very homophobic historian of you, Namjoon,” Seokjin says snootily.
Namjoon looks helplessly lost.
“Stop it,” Yoongi orders.
“Ugh, it’s just getting worse. Go brew us some apology tea to make up for telling Yoongi I liked Jimin and causing this whole mess in the first place.”
“If you’re not— and you’re not—” Namjoon’s brow is crinkled in distress. “I don’t understand.”
“You don’t need to understand.” Seokjin tightens his hold around Yoongi, and Yoongi cuddles in closer. He’s very tactile, Seokjin’s learnt. The perfect little soulmate. “Where’s my apology tea?”
“Right!” Namjoon jolts into motion. “Yes! Coming up!”
Yoongi snorts softly, but Seokjin feels it. He glances down in time to see Yoongi burying his smile in Seokjin’s collar.
“Tomorrow, we pretend we’ve broken up,” Yoongi says. “We can see how much apology tea we’ll get out of him.”
“That’s so mean. I love it.”
“Good.” Yoongi snuggles in even further. And Seokjin smiles happily to himself.