Jeongguk was confident.
The type of confidence you only get after years of doubting yourself. The fake it till you make it confidence that just fades into real confidence without you even noticing it. The confidence you have when you realize that maybe what you saw in your future was not a wife but a husband. The confidence you feel before something important that you know is probably going to make or break you.
Hiding behind the loud bass coming from his earphones were all of Jeongguk’s invading thoughts and insecurities. This was an opportunity he could not miss.
When he saw that Kim Seokjin, the famous alumni from his college who graduated from the theater program signed for at least two seasons in an upcoming Netflix project, all while being out as a gay man since his freshman year. Well, that Seokjin had just dropped out of his show to open a theater company and was looking for young actors, Jeongguk knew he had to audition no matter what.
He remembers the exact words Seokjin had said in the interview he saw on his school’s drama department Instagram. Seokjin had admitted that he felt disconnected from art, that Hollywood and big productions were a scam.
“When I saw the script from next season and my character was supposed to catch feelings for an old dude that literally screamed toxic masculinity, that’s when I knew I had to call Hobi and leave”.
Hobi was Jung Hoseok, his best friend and right-hand man. Hoseok had graduated as a fashion major just a couple of years before Jeongguk but had a completely different path ahead of himself. While still in college, Hoseok started his clothing brand.
Piece of Peace was a vegan and eco-friendly brand that had a good amount of following and was doing pretty well inside the campus.
After graduation, he got hired as a junior designer at the Japanese brand ‘Human Made’ and continued with his work with POP. With that, his following was slowly growing and he even got featured in a few small magazines.
But only when actor Kim Seokjin was spotted wearing one of his shirts, the one with a smiley face on the front and the words “even if you scream your song, this world is hard of hearing ” on the back, things changed.
POP’s Instagram account gained +500k followers overnight and the shirt Seokjin wore was sold out in minutes. Jeongguk was one of the lucky people who were able to buy it. He cherishes it too much to actually wear the shirt but he’s very proud of the purchase.
In just a few months, Hoseok’s brand was recognized as one of the biggest LGBTQ-owned vegan and eco-friendly clothing brands in the country. And when Seokjin met Hoseok in a charity gala he decided on the spot that they would be inseparable.
Together, they opened their theater company: Kore.
Seokjin as the creative director and Hoseok as the costume designer - and also a creative director but Seokjin would never say those words out loud. Their concept was to re-do classical plays in a modernized version - and by modernized they meant as queer as possible.
And for Jeongguk, a young aspiring actor who held the world in his eyes and was ready to beat up homophobes on the street for Seokjin and Hoseok, that was the perfect opportunity.
Their first production was going to be Romeo and Juliet.
Seokjin had decided that they needed to start big so why not go with Shakespeare?
In his version, Romeo and Julien, the pair of star-crossed lovers were two men, and when he told Hoseok about it, the other started to frantically ramble about some of the fabric samples he had back in his studio that would be perfect. Seokjin understood that as approval.
They held the auditions at 3 pm on a Thursday and Jeongguk was on the subway two hours earlier making sure he was not late. He held the book in his hands and read through Juliet’s lines carefully.
He decided on the role of Julien the moment he heard about it. It was a challenge. A never-done before version of a classic and Shakespeare was one of Jeongguk’s favorite authors. He knew that when Orsino fell in love with Cesario without caring nor realizing he was Viola in Twelfth Night there was more to Shakespeare than just classical literature.
He had prepared the scene where Juliet wakes up alone and decides to take her own life to be with her lover in death, you know, the one where she dies. Jeongguk never saw the appeal Romeo and Juliet had as a romance. To him, it was pretty clear the book was a tragedy.
How could they be in love in just a few days? And wasn’t Romeo in love with Rosaline like 2 days before? It didn’t make sense how people just mistook passion for love. Besides the fact that Juliet was fourteen but that’s a whole nother topic.
To Jeongguk, ever the hopeless romantic, love was a partnership, it was communication, it was finding comfort in someone - not in a feeling.
While waiting for his turn on the stage he couldn’t stop moving, his body sizzling with energy. Upon hearing his name being called, Jeongguk thought he might throw up everything he had eaten that day, but above it all, he thought it was too late to turn back now.
He stood in the middle of the stage, where there was a little ‘X' marked on the floor with tape. From there, all he could see was Hoseok’s warm smile and Seokjin’s powerful aura. He bowed and thanked them for their time.
The yellow spotlight blinded Jeongguk for a moment and a little bit of sweat gathered on his forehead. He took a deep breath and opened his mouth.
It felt like seconds. The words came out like they had a life of their own. In the end, Seokjin and Hoseok were clapping.
Jeongguk was confident. He really wanted this part. He thanked them and Seokjin announced that the results would be out next week. Jeongguk could already feel the anxiety that would accompany him for the next few days.
He was in the middle of texting Yoongi to tell him how it went when he heard a voice he hoped he would never hear again calling his name.
The smile Jeongguk was holding dropped. He slowly peeled his eyes from his phone screen, dreading to look up. That’s when he saw him. Didn’t he have black hair in college? How did he manage to look so much like a natural blond?
Park Jimin held a pretentious smile and a ballerina posture. He stood in his black skinny jeans and flowy white silk shirt looking straight out of a Renaissance painting. Jeongguk hated it.
“Jimin, what are you doing here?”. Jeongguk blurted while trying poorly to disguise his rage.
“Wow, not even a ‘how are you?’. It’s been a few years you know?” Jimin asked with a small knowing smile. He was insufferable.
“I’m just wondering what brings you here”
“I could ask you the same, Gguk”. Jeongguk hated the way the nickname sounded coming from his mouth.
“What do you think I’m doing here, Jimin?” Now he was annoyed. The conversation too long already.
“I don’t know, they could be looking for someone to clean the floors, do the heavy lifting. At this point is anybody’s guess,” Jimin says while raising one eyebrow and holding a smile that elongated his lips. Jeongguk wanted to punch the smirk out of the blond’s face.
“Ha. Very funny, Park. I’m auditioning. You?” He just wanted to get this over with so he could go back to being happy and excited about his role.
“Auditioning as well”.
“What role?” He asked and a part of him already knew and dreaded the answer.
“Julien,” Jimin says with a big smile on his face.
But before Jeongguk could say something else, Jimin’s name got called and he shouted a quick ‘break a leg, Gguk’ before turning on his heels and walking towards the stage, shoulders never dropping an inch.
Was that a new tattoo? A few letters in black ink decorated the back of his elbows and Jeongguk could only make out the word “ young ”. How cheesy.
Jeongguk hated every second of this exchange. He hated how Jimin had the power to get under his skin so easily. Hated how flawless Jimin’s skin was and how naturally he could pull off the blond hair. He hated the memories Jimin’s face brought and the insecurities that came with them. Safe to say he hated him. A lot.
The air around Jeongguk that was once filled with happiness and excitement shifted. The sparks of joy turned into something that wasn’t there before.
He was not losing a part to Jimin, not again.
When Jeongguk got into college he didn’t expect many things. He wasn’t a social butterfly but as a theater major people made assumptions about him. That he loved being on stage and being the center of attention. That he was a part of multiple drama clubs growing up. That his favorite movies were musicals and his dream was to be on Broadway.
But the reality was that he did not know what he wanted.
He did love musicals, but he was also a sci-fi and documentaries fan. He knew he was going to study something related to art, but up to the last minute he had his doubts. He questioned between film and theater and in the end, theater it was.
Deep down, he knew he had made the right choice, but the what-ifs always crept into his mind.
In his first year, he met Yoongi, a sound engineering major who had a passion for music.
Min Yoongi knew a lot about a lot of things. He knew much about music production and was great at writing his own lyrics. He had learned how to bleach his hair in the dorm bathrooms without it falling out of his head. He would even help Jeongguk from time to time with his lines. And his dream was to work in music production.
But Yoongi wasn’t good at recognizing good things in his life. He came from a family that didn’t exactly support his love of music. That’s why he chose to be an engineer after all. Because of his lack of support, he wasn’t as open to other people as one thought he might be. Except when it came to Jeongguk.
One day Yoongi’s parents had called him saying that the younger son of the Jeon family was coming to study in the same university as him, and they asked if he could show him around and help him get settled in the new city.
Yoongi didn’t think much of it. He would just meet the boy in a coffee shop, maybe give him some tips about staying away from the rugby team, and would be back to living his normal life. What he didn’t expect was to find a boy built as if he could easily tackle Yoongi to the ground with his little finger, but with eyes so big that the whole sky could fit in them.
Jeongguk was wearing black skinny jeans, a black shirt that went down to his forearms, and had a black cap hiding his face. When Yoongi first saw him, Jeongguk was pretending to look at his phone in the way people do when they are waiting for someone, and he had to hold his laugh when he looked down on himself.
There Yoongi stood with black skinny jeans, a black Fear of God shirt, and a black cap, but thank God he had his bleached hair and was the only one with a black jean jacket. Otherwise, they’d look exactly the same.
When he got closer he could see a few tattoos around the boy’s hands and arms. As he sat across from him at the table he was able to see the black jean jacket hanging in the chair behind the boy. At that moment he knew that they’d get along just fine.
It was normal for Jeongguk to sleepover. He didn’t enjoy the presence of his own roommate and Yoongi was his safe space.
Their friendship started with coffee hauls and game nights on weekends where they would mostly not talk. Except when Jeongguk asked about the campus or the documents he needed to use the art department’s facilities. Yoongi would always try his best to help.
One day, Yoongi arrived in his dorm and saw a distressed Jeongguk walking in circles. The younger's face lit up upon seeing him opening the door.
“You’re finally here,” he sighed with relief in his eyes. “Namjoon let me in”. But Yoongi’s roommate was nowhere in sight.
“‘Sup, Gguk. What are you doing here?” Yoongi asked as his eyebrows knitted together with curiosity.
“Nothing much. I had a bad day. Slept less than a couple of hours last night so I’m not that rested. My teachers are not very good at keeping me awake, you know? Then I thought about having some pizza and some beers with my friend," he added, pointing to Yoongi for emphasis.
Jeongguk was rambling. And that was never a good sign.
“And I might have forgotten about a test I have tomorrow…The one where I have to perform a song for my class and I have no idea what to do, Yoongi,” he admitted finally sitting down and putting his hands on his face.
Yoongi sat down next to him and placed his hands on the younger’s back. They stayed like that for a few minutes just so Jeongguk could calm down.
“You’re comfortable with singing right?” Jeongguk nodded. “C’mon let’s eat something and I’ll help you with the song,” encouraged a slightly less worried Yoongi.
They spent the rest of the night rehearsing Lauv’s Never Not and when Jeongguk called Yoongi after leaving his performance with only compliments from his teacher and colleagues, the older’s heart was filled with pride.
Just a few months later, it was Yoongi’s turn to need Jeongguk’s friendship.
Every semester, one of Yoongi’s favorite clothing brands, Piece of Peace, held a sale event where they’d sell the clothes from last season at low prices. The brand wanted everyone to access high fashion and as the season would change, their last collection would become impractical. So they’d sell what they could and the rest they would use as material for the new collection.
The sale was scheduled for next Thursday and Yoongi needed to be there. But he couldn’t. His internship had a lot going on at the moment and promotion was in the works for him, so he couldn’t leave early to buy clothes.
He called Jeongguk, and the younger was happy to help him.
What he wasn’t happy about was the number of people that were going to be there. Jeongguk was also a fan of the brand but he relied mostly on online shopping just so that he wouldn’t have to deal with people.
Undoubtedly, the store was filled to the brim.
Jeongguk was video calling Yoongi to show him the clothing but all they could see was a sea of busy heads rummaging through racks of clothes.
“Kid, I didn’t know there were going to be that many people. I’m sorry, you can leave now," he assured while looking at the younger’s face trying to decipher what was going through his head.
“Nah, I ain’t leaving until you get at least one shirt. I’m doing this for my best bro," Jeongguk smirked, stuffing his chest. Yoongi couldn’t hold his smile from the other side of the screen.
The next few hours were chaotic. Jeongguk had to physically pull a few shirts from people’s hands but he was doing it for his friend so it was okay - or at least that’s what he told himself.
When Yoongi arrived at his dorm, Jeongguk was lying dramatically on his couch and had a few paper bags next to him. He opened his eyes and without even moving his head shouted to Yoongi.
“That’s it, you’re never shopping outside of the web again, old man”.
It was when Jeongguk called Yoongi on a Sunday in the middle of the night because he felt as if he was disappointing his parents by choosing theater that their relationship shifted.
From then on, they were more open about their feelings and dreams. Talked about broken hearts and childhood memories. Always backing each other up.
Just as Yoongi quit his internship in the engineering company to pursue a career in music production, Jeongguk felt inspired and decided to get more involved in their school’s productions.
They relied on each other for comfort, safety, and laughter. But what they both did not consciously know, but it was no further than the truth, was that they also relied on each other for courage.
Jeongguk and Yoongi acted just like brothers, while Yoongi’s relationship with Kim Namjoon, his roommate, was more of a partnership.
Namjoon met Yoongi in their freshman year and their love for hip hop and cheap spicy ramen helped them stick together. They were a big presence in the other’s lives but each had their own separate group. Even when Jeongguk stepped in, Namjoon was quick to make him feel at home and a part of their little dorm family.
Namjoon was studying to be a lawyer. He wanted to work with family law to make sure young children around the country were never mistreated, and also to make sure that someday no one would stand in the way of him having children of his own with his partner.
And when talking about family, Namjoon couldn’t leave Jimin out of it.
Namjoon had known Park Jimin since he and his parents moved to a new neighborhood and the house next door was home to a family of four. They had two boys, one of them was a year younger than him and had round brown eyes that disappeared when he smiled, just like Namjoon’s eyes.
All through high school, they were inseparable.
Every Friday they would sleepover and talk about their dreams of moving away to chase their passions. Although both boys had different plans, they knew that they wanted to do it with each other. Namjoon went as far as taking a gap year to wait for Jimin’s graduation so they could move together.
That year Namjoon worked at a coffee/book shop and read every book he could. It was a good year for him.
Jimin always had his head in the clouds and was passionate about every art form. In high school, he was part of the dance club, drama club, classical literature club, and even had a small clandestine one that analyzed the queer subtext of classical pieces. Namjoon was a part of that one too.
Jimin dreamed of being onstage. Whether it would be acting or dancing, Namjoon knew his best friend was most comfortable in front of the spotlights and he was eager to see his friend thriving.
When they got into college, both boys always made sure to make time for each other. Jimin was usually busy with theater productions or projects, while Namjoon had his study groups and research projects. But they were always near one another.
Study dates in either of their dorms had become a norm and their documentary nights even included Yoongi from time to time.
In Jeongguk’s second year in college, Yoongi changed.
It was the week of Namjoon’s parent’s anniversary and they were having a small celebration back in their hometown and Namjoon invited Yoongi to come along.
He had also invited Jeongguk but it was more out of politeness than anything. They were close but not close as in being invited to your childhood home and he understood that.
Jeongguk remembers Yoongi telling him that Namjoon had come to university with a friend from his hometown and that the guy was also a theater major. That same friend was also coming with them on the trip and was taking his soulmate, whatever that meant.
After the trip, Yoongi was always busy on weekends. Jeongguk would invite him over to play video games, binge-watch Haikyuu!!, or attend the special screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show Jeongguk had been talking about for months. But he was never available.
One day Jeongguk decided that enough was enough and went to Yoongi’s dorm to confront him about being a bad friend.
He also took a bag of snacks just in case he wanted to watch something together.
When he got there what he found was not Yoongi, but a man, a gorgeous man with honey skin and fluffy black hair laying only in his underwear in Yoongi’s bed.
“What the fuck?” Jeongguk blurted, covering his eyes. “I’m sorry I’ll leave,” he stammered while turning towards the door. But before he could leave he hit something, actually someone. He opened his eyes and Yoongi stood there, hands holding the towel hanging on his waist looking back at him. That’s when Jeongguk met Taehyung.
Yoongi and Taehyung had met at Namjoon’s parents’ party and had hit it off right away. And by hitting off they meant sneaking out of the party to make out in the nearest bathroom. Since then, they’ve been doing just that every weekend.
Jeongguk thought that they were definitely something, yet both of them had their heads too far up their asses to see that they'd be perfect for each other. But who was he to say anything?
Kim Taehyung was also a theater major but he was two years ahead of Jeongguk.
Throughout his life, Taehyung was never sure about what he wanted. For years he thought he wanted to study marine biology because he identified with whales way too much and wanted to learn just exactly how they were able to swallow the amount of water they do and not have hiccups. He then thought he was going to be an architect because the drawing part sounded fun. He thought about majoring in fashion, film, and social studies. He even thought he was straight for a few years there, but he doesn’t like to talk about that.
One thing Kim Taehyung was sure of was Park Jimin.
They met in freshman year. Taehyung had a date with a boy from the science department, a future marine biologist nonetheless. They were going to the movies to watch something Taehyung had never heard of.
He was a little too eager for their date so he arrived early, like, more than one hour before the date early. What he did not expect was to see the boy he was meeting leaving the room hand in hand with another man. A beautiful man with lips that looked like clouds and black hair styled perfectly out of his face.
Taehyung wasn’t mad at the marine biologist guy, he just wished he would have invited him to their date too. But as he approached them to say hi, the guy panicked and left. Taehyung and Jimin just looked at each other and started to laugh.
That day, they left together and went on to buy face masks and watch Yuri on Ice! in Jimin's dorm. They haven’t left each other's side ever since.
The rest of their first year was spent by both of them bothering their school’s office so that they could be roommates. After just about 50 emails each and numerous phone calls, they could finally move in together and live their besties life.
When Jimin invited Taehyung to his hometown to attend Namjoon’s parents' anniversary party, Taehyung met a man with beautiful cat-like eyes and bleached hair looking straight out of his wettest dreams.
He stared at him from their table and waited the whole evening for an opening to talk to him but the man spent the whole night on his phone.
When Taehyung saw that the man had excused himself to the bathroom, he punched Jimin’s arm a little too roughly and almost screamed that it was his moment to shine. While making his run for it he could hear Jimin’s “ use protection ” scream and all the old people around looking at them with weird faces.
He didn’t care. Right now the only thing that mattered was the gorgeous man in the bathroom.
When he got in, the man was still in the stall and Taehyung’s hands were sweating. He quickly searched his mind for all pick-up lines he knew but it was blank. He was drying his hands on his pants when the most beautiful man he had ever seen left the bathroom stall and looked directly at him.
“Hi?” the man asked and Taehyung swooned at his velvet voice. This close he was able to see all of his details and he never wanted to look away again.
“Hey. Groom or bride’s?” Taehyung tried to be funny but wanted to facepalm so hard that his existence would be erased. But apparently, the guy thought it was a good joke and smiled.
That was something Taehyung was not prepared to see. The man’s eyes crinkled and his mouth curled up showing his gums. That was it, Taehyung would not survive past this night. He was supposed to be the confident gay but right now he had lost it all to this man.
The rest of their conversation was a blur. But Taehyung now knew the name. Min Yoongi. And it could not have fit him better.
They left the bathroom together to go grab a drink. Taehyung ordered a strawberry soju cocktail and Yoongi, whisky. They spent the next minutes bluntly flirting but none of them had the guts to invite the other to leave the party.
It wasn’t until someone bumped into Taehyung and had him spill all of his drink in Yoongi’s shirt that they had an excuse to leave. Their mouths were on each other before the bathroom door could fully close.
After the trip and all of their escapades - that were facilitated by the fact that Yoongi was staying in Namjoon’s house and Taehyung in Jimin’s and they were literally next to each other - they started texting and meeting up anytime they could.
In between classes, during said classes, on weekends - that used to be reserved for Jeongguk... it didn’t matter as long as they were together.
Yoongi made it up for Jeongguk after he found out by buying a lot of spicy noodles and watching the four seasons of Haikyu!! in one sitting.
It was after Yoongi and Taehyung got together that Jeongguk started to hear about Jimin.
He lost count of how many times a day Taehyung would talk about him or tell him about how they met. Taehyung didn’t hold back any compliments. He’d talk about how Jimin’s hair was always perfect. How he was an amazing actor and Taehyung was lucky to have him in his classes to help him and how the teachers were always gushing about him.
Jeongguk had to admit that all of the complimenting didn’t make him like this Jimin guy very much. There’s no way someone was that great.
Even Yoongi once mentioned how Jimin was an amazing actor because he had gone to one of their plays with Namjoon. And to get a compliment from Yoongi was not an easy deed.
Besides, Jimin was never around them. They’d go to parties, hang out in the dorms, go get food, and Tae or Namjoon would always say he was “busy”.
It wasn’t until Jeongguk’s third year that he would have the (dis) pleasure to actually meet Park Jimin.
The theater department held a few productions a year. They would do musicals, classical plays, modern adaptations, or even original works if you convinced enough people. This semester they were doing “ The Rocky Horror Picture Show ” and Jeongguk needed to be in it.
He had been a Frank n Furter enthusiast since he illegally downloaded and watched the movie in high school. Frank’s part was made for him and him only.
He had the mannerisms, the faces, the makeup. Everything ready to give the performance of his life at the auditions. He even asked Taehyung for help with the heels. Jeongguk hated the fact that he had to practice for 2 weeks to passably walk in the heels, but he was not giving up.
The day the cast was going to be announced Jeongguk was really nervous. They were putting up a paper in the department’s hall. Why couldn’t they just post a list online? The production team had said something about the true experience of theater or some bullshit that Jeongguk hated.
He did not enjoy the fact that he would have to walk back to the dorms if he didn’t get the part.
At noon, Jeongguk was trying to eat his lunch but he was almost throwing up with anxiety.
At one he tried to watch something to take his mind off things, but every time he started something he could only point how bad the acting was and his thoughts would go back to the play.
At three he went to the gym to try and tire himself out, but his playlist ironically shuffled to the Rocky Horror’s soundtrack, specifically “ I’m going home ” and Jeongguk almost threw his phone away.
At five, after he got back from the gym, he decided to relax by playing an ASMR video. The lady was supposed to be putting him under hibernation, with that he ended up taking a quick nap and woke up to a text from Yoongi.
‘hey kid, are the results up yet? rooting for you’ followed by the four-leaf clover emoji. He was spending too much time with Taehyung.
He shot back a ‘ not yet ’ with the coffin emoji. He had half an hour of waiting still.
He changed clothes and left his dorm. He grabbed an iced americano at the coffee shop near the hall and sat there reflecting upon his life. When it was time he took a deep breath and entered the building.
There were a few people gathered close to the paper. He recognized some faces from his classes, gave a few smiles, and made his way into the circle. His eyes quickly searched for his name but he was so nervous that it all seemed Greek.
When he found it, he followed the dotted line back to his part. In all its glory, the five letters did not read Frank n Further.
Rocky …………………………………………….. Jeon Jeongguk
You could say he was not happy about it. He was livid. How come was he not able to snatch this role? He had put everything in it. He even learned how to walk in heels for fuck’s sake. He could not have this breakdown here, in the middle of the theater building.
But before he left, he had to see which pretentious asshole had taken his place. He looked for Frank’s name and again, with bitterness this time, all hope and excitement far away from him, he followed the dotted line.
Frank n Furter …………………………………………….. Park Jimin
No fucking way. If he was mad before, right now he was furious. Not only did Jimin hijack his friend, but he had also hijacked Jeongguk’s dream role. He grabbed his phone and opened his texts.
“your boyfriend’s soulmate just stole my part ” with numerous skull emojis
“not my boyfriend”
“jimin got frank? fuck, kid, that sucks. who did you get? i’m sure you do well no matter what ”
Jeongguk rolled his eyes when he read Yoongi’s first text and he had to visually show him so he sent him the double eye emoji. And followed with.
“ got fucking rocky, bro. like i get he’s one of the main characters but i’ve wanted to play frank for so long not stand in a golden speedo for three hours ” Jeongguk texted Yoongi while walking back to his dorm.
After leaving the building some people congratulated him for being in the production, saying that he was perfect for the part and all sorts of encouraging things Jeongguk didn’t want to hear right now. When he got home his roommate was not there, thank God. At least he could cry without any judgment.
After what felt like hours under his duvet, Jeongguk heard a knock on the door and was already pissed that his roommate had forgotten the passcode again. He stood up and didn’t even bother to turn on any lights. He just unlocked the door and pushed it open, already turning back to his bed.
“Wow. Not even going to hug your friends for bringing you snacks and love?” He could hear the rustling of the plastic bags, the smile on Taehyung’s voice, and Yoongi’s laugh in the back.
“I’m sorry, kid. At least Tae will be with you in the production,” Yoongi said while making himself comfortable in Jeongguk’s bed. It was a reassuring thought but then he remembered Jimin was also going to be there and his mood dampened again.
“Oh, c’mon, Kookie. I’ll be Magenta and I’ll be with you all the time. Perhaps Jimin might even grow on you,” he offered with a mischievous smile and a wink.
The only thing in Jeongguk’s mind was: that was going to be a long semester.
The thing about theater majors was that everyone wanted something different as a career. Some people wanted to be actors, others liked it better to be behind the curtains and others wouldn’t work with theater at all.
The one thing they all had in common was that they liked to party.
The reason wasn’t important as long as there were drinks and music. Also, someone would always end up playing the Hamilton soundtrack at one point in the night. The thing is, right now, there was a reason: it was the first Rocky Horror production party. The whole cast and crew were invited, along with everyone that wanted to come.
Jeongguk hadn’t had the chance to meet Jimin yet.
The rehearsals had not started because of finals week and this party was the inauguration of the relationship between them all.
He stood next to Yoongi, Taehyung, and Namjoon sipping their drinks and swaying to the music. Park Jimin was nowhere to be found and Jeongguk was not admitting to being disappointed with that.
All night, his eyes searched for the black-haired boy, but he knew that if Jimin were to come he’d find them right away because after all, those were also his friends.
At the end of the night, he couldn’t hold it in anymore and while Yoongi dejectedly let Tae drag him to dance to the Glee version of Thriller/ Heads will Roll, Jeongguk asked Namjoon where Jimin was. And the response he got was worse than not knowing. “He’s busy,” Namjoon spat with the same practiced ease.
In the first week of production, Jimin arrived in black jeans and an orange shirt that wrote: “be a good human ” on the back. He looked pretty average.
Jeongguk would not admit that he was expecting a god of some sort. He was never that happy about being wrong, that is until he looked at his feet, Jimin was wearing Frank’s high heels.
All color left Jeongguk’s face. How could someone look so natural while wearing those?
They ended up not speaking much because everyone was busy gushing over Jimin. Taehyung eventually introduced them but it was awkward and rushed.
When rehearsals started, Jimin would only show up for his scenes. If Frank wasn’t needed, Jimin wasn’t there. Despite being part of the cast, Jimin was not in any of their social gatherings.
Every Friday they’d have a kind of happy hour at the bar near campus, and every Friday Jeongguk would wait for Jimin to show up, but he never did.
They had a lot of scenes together so eventually, he got to know the other a little bit. Taehyung was always with them, though.
Near Jimin, Jeongguk was a man of few words, he didn’t have much to say to him. He wouldn’t share his opinion about Jimin’s lack of commitment to the role or how little he was giving into the play. But, at the same time, Jeongguk felt like the only one who thought such things.
Every other cast and crew member knew only to compliment Jimin. Jeongguk even befriended Jimin’s sub hoping that he could find someone to complain to. He wasn’t that lucky.
Apparently, the man was a big Jimin fan, even added that he had watched a couple of his last projects, and was eager to see how he would put his own turn on Dr. Frank n Furter. Awesome.
In their scenes together, Jimin would always comment about Jeongguk’s work. ‘ Give him some tips ’ it’s what he always said. Maybe how his face felt a little rough or too neutral.
In the singing parts, he’d show Jeongguk the correct note by singing it himself. It was really annoying but Jeongguk didn’t have the guts or the will to say something, not when Jimin was everyone's favorite.
That’s also when Jeongguk decided that their exchanges would never be something other than “ trying to be polite but failing miserably ”. It would always end up in both of them being slightly rude and condescending towards each other without mentioning the ever-present teasing.
Jeongguk was fine with that, as long as he didn’t have to pretend to actually enjoy the other’s company.
Nearing the opening night, the director called Jeongguk and told him that he had to bleach his hair seeing as Rocky was blond. He didn’t like the idea, but he asked Yoongi for help anyway.
Both went to the pharmacy to buy everything they needed and went back to Yoongi’s dorm to bleach his hair. In the end, Jeongguk didn't look bad at all. He actually kind of liked it. But the fact that Jimin didn’t have to change his appearance at all bothered him a lot.
The show was a success. Teachers and students watched the play and the campus radio talked about all of their performances, including Jeongguk’s. He was proud of what they had done. If he had to do it again, would he choose to be Rocky? Probably not, but it was fun nonetheless.
A week after the end of the show, Jeongguk was sitting on Namjoon’s and Yoongi’s couch with the latter by his side while they watched the new episode of Attack on Titan. It was finally a weekend where both of them were free.
“I know you talked a lot of shit about this production, but I was proud of you, kid. You have that sparkle in your eyes like I can see you’re passionate about theater. You did an amazing job, Gguk. I even heard some teachers talking about your performance”.
Jeongguk knew Yoongi was only saying that to cheer on him and calm his heart, but it was good to hear it.
“Thanks, Yoongi. I knew Tae was turning you into a softie.” He joked while the older rolled his eyes. “At least I never have to work with Park Jimin again”.
The week of the results from Kim Seojin’s production had finally arrived.
Jeongguk had spent the last days dreading his existence and could only think about how Park Jimin’s smug face was so confident on the day of the audition.
Results were out that Friday and this time, they were posting it online. Jeongguk felt the same anxiety he did when buying concert tickets when he thought about checking those results.
Monday was a normal day. He woke up to his roommate, Yugyeom, singing in their shared bathroom while taking a shower. They met the year after Jeongguk’s graduation while they were both looking to rent a place but had no money to do it by themselves.
Kim Yugyeom had majored in graphic design and had a job at a marketing company near their apartment but his dream was to work with film and animation. “Bro, imagine working at the next Avengers movie? Or better, at the next Ghibli production? I’d be fucking dead and dreaming at the same time”.
Jeongguk listened to him talk about his dream every day but he never got tired. That was one of his best friends, and although Yugyeom didn’t really understand the theater world, he was very supportive of Jeongguk and was always by his side.
On Tuesday, Jeongguk decided to do laundry. He turned his speakers on and played his “time to do laundry and try not to cry ” playlist filled with Frank Ocean, Dean, and Jorja Smith. He spent the next couple of hours folding his shirts and a few of Yugyeom’s too. He was a good roommate, after all.
When Yugyeom got home he found a very distressed Jeongguk sitting on the floor next to the washing machine trying to fold one of his button-ups. He approached him slowly and took it out of his hands. “Hey, man, let’s order some Chinese, what do you think?” He murmured and Jeongguk shook his head as if getting out of a trance. The rest of the night they spent playing video games on the couch while eating spring rolls.
On Wednesday, Jeongguk woke up to a text from the production team inviting everyone for a party that Saturday. They said that the goal was for the cast and crew to mingle and get to know each other and everyone that participated in the auditions was also invited.
After reading that, Jeongguk was sure of one thing, if - god forbid - he wasn’t cast he was definitely not going to this party.
Or perhaps maybe he should, make some connections, eat free food, convince Seokjin that he was the best option for Julien. Yeah, maybe he should.
With all these thoughts in his head, Jeongguk decided to deep clean their entire apartment. This time he chose the “girl group bangers to remember your worth” playlist.
Yugyeom got home to a shirtless Jeongguk, wearing yellow plastic gloves, singing TWICE’s I Can’t Stop Me at full volume while cleaning the kitchen floor. Yugyeom walked very carefully to his room to not disturb Jeongguk’s moment.
Thursday was the peak of his anxiety.
Jeongguk was sure he wasn’t going to get casted in the production. Not even as one of the subs or like one of Romeo’s cousins. After a few hours of crying under his covers, he decided to do something productive so he took a shower, put on a face mask, and started to look for jobs.
He was in the middle of signing up for a dog walking app when his doorbell rang. When he opened his door and saw Yoongi’s face he almost cried again.
“Yugyeom texted me and said you were having a small breakdown. So I come bearing gifts,” He declared while showing his plastic bags filled with candy, snacks, and beer.
“Yoongiiii,” Jeongguk whispered-shouted while hugging him. “You didn’t have to come,” he added, holding back his tears. The older just hugged him back and patted his hair.
They spent the rest of the night drinking and watching Youtube videos of this guy making a tree for his cats. Jeongguk cried a little when he saw the cats enjoying their tree.
On Friday, Jeongguk woke up with a headache. On his bedside table was a glass of water, an Advil, and a note.
gguk, take care of yourself today. seokjin is going to need Julien at full 100% at the party tomorrow
ur best bro
Tears filled his eyes while he read Yugyeom’s messy handwriting. Fuck, why was he so emotional these days? Jeongguk took the pill and then a shower.
He ate breakfast with his computer already opened on Kore's website. The results were out at five, so he still had about six hours to kill. He then opened Youtube, searched for “easy baking videos” and found himself nervously baking cookies while listening to IU’s entire discography.
He was eating the cookies with Yugyeom on their couch when his alarm rang. The results were out in ten minutes. He grabbed his computer and went to his room. He didn’t want his roommate to see him cry again if the results were negative.
The next minutes felt like hours and all of his nails were already bitten when the clock hit five. He took the deepest breath he had ever taken and reloaded the page.
There was a new tab. He clicked it and there it was. The list that would change his life. The moment he had been waiting for.
The list was in alphabetical order. He scrolled to J. And there his name was.
In his head, the little mean voice repeated “ well, at least I'm part of the production”’. He shook those thoughts away but he still had to scroll to the side to see what was his role.
Part of him didn’t want to do it.
Call him Schrödinger for all it’s worth but he didn’t want to ruin this moment of hope. Below his name was one he remembered all too well: Kim Taehyung. He couldn’t hold his smile to think about working with Tae one more time, maybe they would get close again.
For what it felt like hours he stared at his own name without the courage to look in the text box.
But then he did. And at that moment, all of the butterflies that were trapped in his stomach opened flight.
The box read Julien Capulet.
He did it. He got the part he wanted. He hated it, but his mind went to him. Fuck it. This time, Park Jimin had lost the part to him, and not the other way around.
All these years ago he made a promise to never lose a part to him again. And he didn’t. He thought about how small he felt after the day of the audition when he was so sure all hope was lost because Jimin was auditioning for the same part as him.
He took his phone and called Yoongi.
“Kid? What's up?”
“Guess what, bitch. I’m no longer Jeon Jeongguk. From now on address me as Julien Capulet. I got the part and now Park Jimin can suck my dick”
He could hear the older laughing and he couldn’t keep his own laugh in. Yoongi spent the next minutes congratulating him and Jeongguk’s heart was swelling with pride.
“I mean it, Yoongi. I thought I was losing my part to him. When I saw him there at the audition all hope left my body”. He admitted with a little bit of sadness in his voice, but Yoongi was quick to not let it grow.
“Yah, kid. Don’t let him have that kind of power over you. You’re really good at what you do and you proved it to yourself just now. So you can finally move on and stop talking about that”.
“Yeah, yeah. I’m really excited about this project. Seokjin has been my role model since college and now I get to work with him. It feels like a dream. Hey, did you know Tae is also in the production?”
Over the line, Yoongi took a deep breath. He knew things didn’t end on a good note between them, but it seemed like there were more to it.
“No. I didn’t know”
“I’m sorry for bringing it up. I’ll shut up now”
“Nah, it's okay. I just haven’t spoken to him since I got back. What part did he get?”
“I didn’t look. Wait up”. He groaned and then scrolled to Taehyung’s name. “He got Mercutio ”.
" Romeo's friend? That's good. He always loved Mercutio. Wait, did you see who’s playing Romeo ?”
“ Shit . I completely forgot about it". He cursed while pressing ctrl+f and searching for Romeo’s name.
The last few days had been a little rough on Jeongguk and he felt a little guilty for not looking for his counterpart, but he was giving himself a break. He could be a little selfish. He found Romeo’s box and scrolled left, all the butterflies that had once left his stomach dropped dead.
Faith was getting a little too comfortable and funny with Jeongguk’s life.
“Kid? Are you still there? Who is it? Who's Romeo ?”
Jeongguk did not want to say it to the universe. He wanted it to be gone and not real.
“You’re not gonna believe it, Yoongi. Jimin ”. He snapped with disgust in his tongue.
“Yah. Why are you bringing him up again?”
“Min Yoongi, pay attention. Park Jimin is Romeo Montague ”. He blurted through rough breaths and could only hear the older’s laughs.
Jeongguk’s mind was running a thousand miles per hour. Jimin was in the play. Jimin was Romeo. Jimin was Jeongguk’s love interest. Jeongguk was supposed to love him so much he’d die for him.
But right now, love was the last reason he wanted to die for.