Yook Taesun is just an ordinary man. He works a steady job in a pretty office building, and goes on dates that his mother sets up for him. He is happy with his life.
Min Yoongi is one of the Korean film industry’s biggest stars.
He’s been acting ever since he was a young teenager, starting off as ‘younger protagonist’ or ‘neighborhood child’ in weekly dramas. Of course, his stubbornness had refused to let it end there. When he finally had managed to score the lead in a deeply thoughtful, artistic piece about a blind piano prodigy—a critically acclaimed success—it had won him the BIFF Actor of the Year award. It had cemented his place as one of the best actors in the business.
And Yoongi’s already bored of it all.
He’s bored of his face on all the magazine covers. He’s tired of variety shows praising his “unorthodox looks” and “kawaii tsundere vibe.” (He’s not even sure what the second one means, since it’s in Japanese and he’s never bothered to look it up.) He’s tired of being offered awards and certificates and honors because he’s not honored by any of it. Yoongi knows that it’s all just a show to try to get his attention, to get his sponsorships, to get a piece of his fame. He’s tired, jaded, and so, so bored.
“This one has Kim Saeron casted as the female lead.”
Yoongi’s been tuning his manager out for a while, but he’s forced to pay attention when Hoseok slaps his cheek lightly.
“Hey, this cheek is insured for like 7 billion won,” Yoongi complains, rubbing at his face roughly to try to get the red mark he knows is there to dissipate faster. Hoseok only snorts at him, and Yoongi wonders where the days back in the beginning of his career when Hoseok used to actually dote on him like a normal manager went.
“Even if I did get your face insured, it wouldn’t be worth that much,” Hoseok scoffs. “Now, like I was saying,” he continues, but Yoongi’s had enough of it.
“I’m not acting with Kim Saeron,” Yoongi interrupts harshly, ripping the script out of Hoseok’s hands and tossing it onto the steadily-growing pile of rejected screenplays on the floor. “She’s like 14, I’d feel so gross trying to act with her. Imagine if she was your sister or someone!”
Hoseok makes a face. “Don’t pull the sister card on me, I’d never let you even look at her.” He looks down at the rejected script sadly. “That probably would have been a hit, you know. She’s getting big after she did Hi! School Love On.”
Yoongi exhales loudly through his nose, which Hoseok interprets as a sign to let the topic die. He rifles through his bag before pulling out another stapled packet. Yoongi sighs internally. They do this at least twice a week, shuffling through the dozens of screenplays mailed to his P.O box. Hoseok’s always rigorous, and never allows Yoongi to skip over even the lowest-budgeted, straight-to-video films, because his philosophy is to always search for the diamond in the rough. Yoongi thinks his philosophy is horse shit.
(“You were a diamond in the rough once, you know.”
“How about this one? It has Park Shinhye,” Hoseok suggests, waving a script in front of Yoongi’s face. The actor ignores Hoseok’s waggling eyebrows and takes the script, glossing over it before tossing it to the ground with the other. No, he doesn’t feel like acting in another overplayed love story. He’s tired of pretending to be a fool in love.
Hoseok frowns, “She even called you her ideal type, you know. You could at least consider it a little longer. She’s a big star these days. She could really help you make another big hit.” And Yoongi hates that, hates the way Hoseok suggests he needs some co-star’s help in making a movie a success because Hoseok, as his manager, is supposed to be on Yoongi’s side, not suggest that Yoongi needs to team up with the latest hot actress to make himself more marketable. He’s an actor, not a prostitute.
Yoongi just wants something different.
“Am I picking movies just based off of which pretty face they cast now?” Yoongi asks sourly, crossing his arms over his chest. “What happened to me picking movies that I actually liked? Or should I give up on that and just switch over to hosting variety shows?”
Hoseok looks chagrined, but no less determined as he spreads out the stack of scripts across Yoongi’s coffee table. “Listen, I’m sorry I can’t offer you the role that you’re looking for, but it’ll come, okay? Until then, just pick the role you hate the least.”
Yoongi heaves out a sigh and leans back against his patent leather sofa, rubbing at his eyes. It’s wrong to get snappy with Hoseok; it’s not like he writes the scripts. In the end, Hoseok, just like Yoongi, is only trying to make a living, and he’s glad that for some reason, Hoseok’s stuck around for this long even though Yoongi’s well aware that he can be a brat at times. All the time.
“I’ll choose something,” Yoongi mumbles, dropping his hands from his face only after his vision’s gone thoroughly blurry. Hoseok smiles thinly, nodding once, and then gets up and heads out, his hand going to the Bluetooth headpiece that’s ever-present on his ear. Yoongi stares at Hoseok’s retreating back and wonders if it’s possible for managers to ever take vacation days.
But he’s just a little too selfish for that, since Yoongi would be lost without Hoseok.
Sometimes he wonders why he’d ever agreed to be an actor in the first place when he’s so obviously bad at interacting with other people. But then again, Yoongi thinks, when you don’t know how to be human, you should at least pretend. And that’s what acting is.
Yook Taesun works as a photojournalist for a local newspaper. Photography is his only passion in life. He’s happy with his life, he thinks, but he would be happier if he could one day make it big in the newspaper. He wants to be known, to be heard. That’s his dream.
Yoongi hates getting fan letters. He hates how girls send him perfumed pink notes, sometimes decorated with their nail polish or favorite markers or, god forbid, tears. Even back when he was a dumb teenager, Yoongi had never cared about anyone enough to send them handwritten notes and little gifts.
He wonders why the teenagers of today don’t have anything better to waste their time on.
Yoongi would have long ago abandoned opening his fan mail if Hoseok hadn’t insisted that it was only polite to acknowledge his fans. And while Yoongi may be an asshole, he isn’t a rude asshole, and so every other day at noon he slips on his sunglasses and face mask and makes the long journey from his comfy condominium in Cheongdamdong to his P.O box.
And even though he tries his best to remain discreet, he’s still surrounded by a shrieking crowd of fans the minute he exits the post office.
“Yes, yes, thank you,” Yoongi murmurs quietly, accepting a small box of chocolates from a young girl who looks so nervous that Yoongi’s scared for her blood pressure. He puts it in his jacket pocket, and then turns to bow to all the fans standing behind him.
So maybe he hates fan mail, but he can’t hate his fans. He doesn’t really understand how other famous stars go on interviews and profess their undying love towards their fans, since Yoongi really has to strong feelings about them either way. But he knows he’s supposed to be kind and gracious and lovely. That’s what’s expected of him, so that’s what Yoongi will deliver.
Acting is all about pretending to feel, after all.
“Thank you all for coming to see me,” Yoongi speaks up a bit more to address the crowd, squinting his eyes against the blinding glare of dozens of cameras. “I have to go now, but perhaps I’ll see you later, hmm?”
The words cause loud squealing to erupt from the group, and Yoongi forces his smile even wider to fight against the urge to cover his ears. He nods his head one last time in farewell before quickly slipping into the waiting taxi.
Hoseok’s grinning at him from the backseat, and Yoongi feels the sudden urge to punch him in the mouth.
“You’re always so sweet to your fangirls,” Hoseok coos, and Yoongi sits on his hands so he can’t do anything harmful with them. Hoseok pulls the stack of envelopes off of Yoongi’s lap before flipping through them carefully, not even skimming over a single letter. A plain manila envelope apparently catches his attention, and Yoongi watches as his manager peers at it in confusion.
“What’s that?” Yoongi asks, his curiosity getting the better of him. Hoseok looks at the contents of the envelope quickly.
“It’s a script sent to you from Kim Namjoon,” Hoseok replies, flipping through the packet.
Yoongi doesn’t recognize the name, and it’s a little unusual for novice producers or bargain-busters to try to get Yoongi to feature in their films. “Who is that?”
“Remember Silent Forest from last year?”
Of course Yoongi remembers it. There’s probably not a soul in Korea that hasn’t watched Silent Forest at least twice. It had taken the media world by storm, a melancholy half-horror-half-romantic piece about a depressed woman and her dead lover, and had been nominated for nearly every award there was. It quite possibly had been, Yoongi has to admit, a masterpiece.
“Kim Namjoon directed it,” Hoseok says again, narrowing his eyes as he scans through the script. Yoongi’s immediately intrigued.
“What, so he sent me a screenplay? Me personally?” Yoongi hates to say it, but he’s honestly excited. Kim Namjoon’s movie had been outside the realm of traditional blockbusters, and Yoongi had secretly envied the lead actor in it because he had gotten to do something different than boring romance-action-thriller plots assigned the rest of them.
Hoseok nods, and then Yoongi leans over and grabs the script out of his hands. He skims over the first page and introduction, and then wrinkles his nose.
”It’s called Banchan? Side dishes?” Yoongi mutters, running the pad of his finger over the embossed letters on the front of the packet. ‘Side dishes’ doesn’t sound particularly inspiring, but Yoongi has no reason to doubt Kim Namjoon yet.
He reads over the beginning lines of the script—boring as all movies are, really—and then flips straight to the end. Certain words jump out at him, ‘death’ and ‘love’ and suddenly ‘boyfriend,’ and that’s when Yoongi realizes that this movie is not a typical girl-meets-boy type of story.
“It’s about two men?” Yoongi raises his eyes to meet Hoseok’s own doubtful ones, and then he looks back down at the script to make sure he’s not misunderstanding anything.
“From what I’ve heard through the grapevine,” Hoseok begins, fidgeting a little in his seat, “Banchan is about two ordinary men discovering extraordinary love. Or something like that. I don’t know, I’ve just heard some whispers here and there.”
Yoongi doesn’t move his gaze from the script, and Hoseok gnaws on the nail of his thumb.
“A lot of actors refuse to do something like this,” Hoseok continues, watching Yoongi’s face for any sign of a reaction. “It’s still really a very touchy subject these days, you know? It probably will get more bad attention than good, honestly, so I’ll completely support you and it’s totally fine if you decide not to—”
“I want it,” Yoongi breathes, stopping Hoseok in his tracks. Yoongi clutches the script tightly in his hands and looks up at Hoseok with a growing sense of excitement. It’s something he hasn’t felt in a long time, and it scares him a little, how badly he wants to feel more of it.
“Are you sure?” Hoseok looks uncertain and sounds even more so. “Really, it’s going to be difficult. You’re going to have to act closely with another man. You should think about this some more. Also, you’re throwing Park Shinhye away for some indie film.”
“I don’t care,” Yoongi says adamantly, holding the script a little closer to him. “Don’t you see? This is perfect.”
There’s nothing Taesun hates more than the feeling of being in a rut. His life is just one big rut, really, and he hates it so much he wants to die. So when he finds an unexpected chance to escape that rut, he takes it.
Yoongi gets the role.
It’s no surprise, really, since Min Yoongi is a household name, and every director worth their salt knows that signing Yoongi onto a movie is practically a guarantee for good rating. Kim Namjoon is probably a little more desperate than most to have a good name associated with his rather risky movie, and so Yoongi glosses by the audition process with little more than a glance at the script.
The only thing that remains is to find his co-star.
Namjoon is a nice enough guy, and he’s younger than Yoongi so he doesn’t try to talk down at him like some other directors do. (Or maybe that’s because Namjoon’s still a relative newbie in the field despite his success in the past, and Yoongi’s so famous he has his face on every carton of banana milk.)
Namjoon’s willing enough to give into some of Yoongi’s demands—like no washing out the color in his scenes because his skin’s light enough and he doesn’t want to look like a ghost, dammit—but he’s adamant about having the other male lead be an unknown actor rather than someone as famous as Yoongi, because he doesn’t want his movie to be supported only by the fame of its stars.
“It needs to be heard for its story, you know?” Namjoon says, gesturing wildly. “And I think you’re the key to drawing people in, Yoongi-ssi. But can you imagine this movie with two Min Yoongis? I think people would then start to lose focus on the actual story.”
Yoongi is more than okay with that stipulation, but he’s not sure if it’s because he genuinely agrees with Namjoon or if it’s because he’s selfish and doesn’t want to share the spotlight with another popular face. It’s probably both.
Before Namjoon selects a second male lead for the movie, he introduces Yoongi to Kim Seokjin, who apparently is the writer of the screenplay. Kim Seokjin is tall, well-proportioned, and handsome enough to be an actor himself, but Yoongi can tell that he prefers to be behind the camera and not in front of it from his shy demeanor and soft voice.
It’s not Seokjin’s first screenplay, Yoongi soon discovers. He’s more than just a little shocked to find out that Seokjin was also the creative mind behind Silent Forest as well, because never would he have imagined that such a happy face was capable of thinking up such a serious script. But then again, this is the movie industry, and Yoongi knows better than others that nothing is as it seems.
Through Seokjin, Yoongi finds himself understanding the story of Banchan better. It’s a rather simple story, really, and nothing unrealistically dramatic happens to the two main characters at all.
“It’s the story of how a man named Taesun tries to find his own story to tell,” Seokjin explains, eyes flashing, “and along the way, he happens to find Sooha. Really, it’s a very simple story about love and work and family—things that all people experience. I don’t want this to be some adventurous and silly commentary about the lives of men who love other men, you know? It’s more to show that all people are only human. I think a lot of us have yet to understand that.”
When it’s put that way, Yoongi has to agree.
Seokjin is unusually prominent in all of the discussions regarding Banchan, considering that most writers of at least all the films Yoongi’s been in have been content to sit back and let others deal with the process of animating their words. Seokjin treats the script like it’s his child, regarding it with a fierce sort of pride and love, and Yoongi can appreciate that because anybody who loves something to that extent has to be invested in it. Yoongi’s always invested in all of his roles, and he’s glad to meet someone that treats their job with the same kind of fervor.
So whereas Yoongi is expecting Seokjin to attend the second wave of auditions, he’s not expecting it when Namjoon asks Yoongi to come as well.
“It’s the person who’s going to be acting by your side for the next two months, right?” Namjoon says, his wide smile dimpling his face. Yoongi has certainly worked with less friendly directors before.
“You should have a say in this too.”
And that is a new thing even for someone as experienced as Yoongi, so he nods yes and agrees to sit at the end of the judging table during auditions for the part of Taesun’s lover.
The first wave of auditions is thoroughly unimpressive. Each new actor walks in, stares a little nervously at Yoongi and Namjoon, and then reads off a few scenes from the script. They’re all jittery, too focused on getting all the words completely correct that they forget to focus on the meanings behind them. They’re uninspired and boring, Yoongi thinks bitterly, and he mentally prepares himself to work with one of these dimwits. Namjoon, though, is apparently not ready to settle, and kindly dismisses all the actors before shutting the door to the audition room.
“We can’t use any of them,” Namjoon laments, sinking down to the ground. Seokjin, still in his seat, shrugs his shoulders.
“Aren’t there more waiting to be auditioned?”
Namjoon looks tense, and Yoongi can practically read his thoughts. There aren’t many more waiting for their auditions; there might even be none left at all. There aren’t many actors at Yoongi’s level that are willing to work in such a movie with such risky themes, let alone rookie actors that are eager to jeopardize their careers before they’ve even started. Seokjin is bright-eyed and hopeful, and Yoongi finds him to be such a breath of fresh air in such a jaded industry that he can’t bring himself to say what he knows both he and Namjoon are thinking.
A sudden knocking at the door startles all three of them, and Namjoon opens the door just a sliver to see a dark-haired boy standing hunched over in the doorway, hands braced on his knees as he pants a little.
Namjoon opens the door wider, and Yoongi watches as the boy looks up and then hastily bows three times in quick succession, his waist bending the full ninety degrees every time. Yoongi can’t tell if it’s hero worship or just extra-politeness anymore. The boy’s clutching a script, and as Yoongi catches his first proper glimpse of his face he’s struck by how young the boy looks. Yoongi knows that Namjoon had put out a word for rookie actors, but this kid looks like he’s straight out of cram school, not acting school. He’s got wide, drooping eyes and a thick-lipped smile and Yoongi finds his uncommon features oddly refreshing.
“My name is Park Jimin?” The boy phrases it like a question. He seems to notice his nervous faux pas and quickly clears his throat to try to cover it up. Namjoon suppresses a smile, but Seokjin outright laughs. Park Jimin’s ears tinge red, but he continues speaking.
“I was told that you’re currently auditioning actors for the part of Sung Sooha?” Jimin asks a little more confidently, swiveling his head between Namjoon, Seokjin, and Yoongi as if he’s not sure who to focus on. Namjoon turns and shoots Yoongi a worried look, one that he can understand. Auditions had begun an hour ago, which means Jimin is late. And a late actor means late filming, which means a late premier, and Yoongi is painfully aware that having a late premier is only a small step away from having no premier.
But still, they really do need someone to fill Sooha’s role quickly, so Yoongi nods at Namjoon and watches carefully as Jimin cheerfully walks into the room.
“I’d like to read the scene where Sooha comes across his dead mother,” Jimin says, looking at Namjoon for the nod of approval. Yoongi’s by no means memorized the entire script yet, but he’s well aware of the passage Jimin wants to perform. Not many of the people that had auditioned earlier had attempted this particular scene, in which Sooha returns home and comes across the dead body of his mother in her bed. It’s ultimately the turning point for his character, and the script just reads [Sooha returns home and is shocked to see the body of his mother], and so every single auditionee had approached the scene with variations of crocodile tears and loud emotions.
That’s why Yoongi is surprised when Jimin suddenly drops to his knees, and is silent.
He doesn’t make any noises, but the wide set of his eyes and the trembling of his hands is more than enough to set the mood. Jimin reaches out slowly, eyes fixed on some horrible sight in front of him that only he can see, and the quiet hitch of his breath seems deafeningly loud in the silence of the room.
“Umma,” Jimin whispers, his face crumpling slowly as he bites at his lip. He turns his head down, and while Yoongi can’t see his face anymore, he can see teardrops hit the ground, and he’s secretly impressed because realistic fake crying is something that Yoongi has a hard time with even now.
“I shouldn’t have…” Jimin speaks, his voice wavering just enough to seem genuine, “I shouldn’t have told you about us, right?”
He smiles, then, slow and sweet and sad and Yoongi takes a moment to glance in surprise at Namjoon because no other auditionee had smiled in this scene, and Jimin’s method is unconventional enough that Yoongi can’t tell if he’s brilliant or plain crazy. Jimin reaches out carefully and then pulls back again, rubbing at his cheek.
“I should have kept quiet,” Jimin mumbles, pulling his knees up. His smile wavers, and then breaks into something terribly, terribly sad. “Maybe then you would have been alright.”
He doesn’t say anymore, doesn’t even finish the rest of the scripted lines because he’s too busy trying to keep down his sobs, gasping in deep breaths of air.
And then it’s suddenly over, and Jimin’s standing up and bowing and smiling brightly as if he hadn’t just been playing the part of an unexpectedly-orphaned boy just a few seconds ago.
“Uh, that was really all that I memorized,” Jimin laughs nervously, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I’m sorry it was so short. If you want, I’ll also improvise another section?”
Namjoon shakes his head, and Jimin suddenly looks terrified. Yoongi sighs as he prepares himself to see yet another young hopeful get rejected. Jimin had been better than most, yes, but the role of Sooha requires a little something extra, and honestly, Yoongi doesn’t know how Namjoon expects a complete newbie to be able to fill the role of the second male lead for this—
“You’re hired!” Namjoon exclaims, breaking Yoongi out of his thoughts. Yoongi gapes at him.
Jimin’s mouth falls open as well, and he clasps his hands together gleefully. “Really? Oh my gosh, thank you!”
He darts forward and pulls a pen out from his pocket, and then scribbles his name and number down on an extra copy of the script which he hands over to Namjoon. “Thank you again, really, this means everything to me! Here is my contact information, you can call me to let me know when you have dates and timings fixed! I’m really sorry, I have to leave now or my manager’s going to beat my ass, but really, thank you!”
And then Park Jimin is gone, and Yoongi still hasn’t shut his mouth. Namjoon and Seokjin are both staring at him, twin grins on their expectant faces as they wait for his opinion, and then Yoongi simply shakes his head and says, “What the fuck.”
Sung Sooha works at his mother’s family-style restaurant. He’s a good cook, and he loves his mother, and he’s happy to help her out, but he’s terribly bored with his life. He meets Taesun because he eats at the restaurant regularly. Taesun likes the side dishes. Sooha likes Taesun.
Filming starts a month later, and Yoongi and Hoseok make the long drive down from Seoul to Daegu. The streets feel familiar, and Yoongi thinks that maybe the familiarity of them must be the “homesickness” he’s often heard about. He thinks about visiting his mother, but then remembers that she’s at the vacation house on Jeju Island that Yoongi had bought for her two years ago.
“It must be nice being back here, huh?” Hoseok asks, showing off his patent sunny smile. “Maybe we can go have a night out on the town?”
Yoongi, as expected, scoffs and tells Hoseok to go alone, and then goes and locks himself in his bedroom until the first day of filming.
Yoongi always has a ritual for the first day.
He wakes up at five in the morning, just to ensure that he can take his time puttering around his Daegu condo and getting ready slowly. He always eats a cup of yogurt and tries to leave it at that, but then Hoseok always shows up at six in the morning and forces Yoongi to eat an entire pancake breakfast because according to Hoseok, pancakes can prepare a grown man for anything.
Yoongi’s grumpy just as he always is, because out of all the days of filming, the first one is always the hardest.
It’s the one where the crew is the most enthusiastic and cheerful and happy, and nothing grates on Yoongi’s nerves more than happy.
“You’re like a vampire or something, I swear you never smile,” Hoseok mutters, trying to fix Yoongi’s hair so that it looks like anything other than a bird’s nest.
“Vampires don’t sleep, not smile,” Yoongi replies, swatting his manager’s hands away from his face. “Stop messing with my hair, it doesn’t matter what it looks like because the coordis will just fix it anyway. Can we go now?”
And Hoseok knows that it’s useless to argue with Yoongi, so they arrive at the set with Yoongi’s hair in complete disarray. The coordis let out a collective sigh, but everyone in the industry is aware of Yoongi’s less-than-cheerful disposition and they’re all too afraid to comment on his appearance.
Seokjin is the only one who dares to approach Yoongi this early in the morning, and even though Yoongi doesn’t mind Seokjin’s company, his blindingly bright smile just pisses him off more.
“Isn’t it exciting?” Seokjin marvels, sitting down in the chair next to Yoongi’s. It’s marked ‘Director,’ but Namjoon is nowhere to be found yet and Yoongi has the feeling he wouldn’t mind Seokjin stealing it anyway.
“Yeah, super exciting,” Yoongi mumbles, hoping that Seokjin will be able to hear the lack of enthusiasm in his voice and get the memo to back off. He doesn’t, sadly.
“I love seeing everyone get ready to film,” Seokjin continues, looking around the set in excitement. “At first I didn’t know that there was so much that went into making a movie. It all seems so simple, but actually it’s a lot of work. Although, I guess you’d know more than I do, with all your experience and all.”
Yoongi shoots him a tired look. “Yeah. It’s a lot of work, and the first day is always the most work.”
He’s saved from having to talk more when there’s a big commotion at the coordi station, and Yoongi peers over to see that Park Jimin has finally arrived.
“Why are you all wet?” a senior coordi squeals, rubbing at Jimin’s head roughly with a towel. “Now it’ll take extra time for us to dry and style you!”
“Sorry, sorry,” Jimin mumbles, reaching up to help the coordi dry his hair. “It’s raining outside, and I didn’t have an umbrella on me.”
The coordi tuts at him, “Shouldn’t your manager take care of you better?”
That’s when Yoongi notices the sullen-looking man standing next to him, scrolling through his smartphone. He looks up and frowns, and Yoongi thinks that this must be Jimin’s manager—and somehow, he looks even younger than Jimin.
There are too many children in the film industry these days, Yoongi scoffs internally.
“Maybe if Jimin would stop running off, I could follow him around with an umbrella,” the manager remarks dryly, jabbing the corner of his clipboard into Jimin’s side. Yoongi mentally thanks god that Hoseok is far more easy-going (although maybe that’s because Yoongi can be mean enough for the both of them).
Jimin doesn’t seem to mind the rough treatment too much, though, and turns to sling a friendly arm around his manager’s neck. Yoongi vaguely thinks that Jimin would probably be good friends with Hoseok.
Yoongi doesn’t get to see Jimin anymore before he’s whisked off to hair and makeup, and the costuming coordis manage to dress him in no less than seven different outfits before he finally snaps violently enough to have one intern run off the set in tears. Hoseok shoots him a pained look, but doesn’t say anything.
Yoongi does have a bit of a reputation. He’s notoriously fussy, not easily satisfied, and he doesn’t smile much. The media thinks it’s because he’s a tortured soul, Hoseok thinks it’s because he’s secretly depressed, and only Yoongi knows that he’s the way he is because he just can’t bring himself to care. He hasn’t cared about anything in a long time, not about himself, others, his career. The only things Yoongi cares about are the characters he plays.
At least they care about other things.
Taesun only knows Sooha as the man who runs the restaurant. He’s nothing more, nothing less. It’s not until Taesun nearly gets fired from his job and storms into the restaurant after closing hours that he gets a chance to properly talk to Sooha. He’s much different than he had imagined.
Yoongi doesn’t know why he’s an actor when he hates every single part about the film industry.
He hates the multiple takes required to get the perfect shot because Yoongi’s positive he had it right the first time, regardless of what Namjoon thinks. He doesn’t like the plain-Jane actresses hired to play Taesun’s coworkers because they’re boring, fawning over Yoongi not because they enjoy his acting, but because they enjoy his face. He absolutely hates how Park Jimin loves the film industry.
They don’t shoot many scenes together, not yet, because Taesun doesn’t properly meet Sooha until after the big fiasco at the newspaper, and so Yoongi won’t get a chance to act with Jimin until a few days later.
Yoongi stays back after his own scenes to watch Jimin though, because he is a little intrigued after watching Jimin’s impressive audition.
The character of Sooha is one filled with deep regrets and sadness. He works long hours at the restaurant and goes home to take care of his ailing mother at night, and he’s torn between the pain of liking Taesun and the need to hide that fact from the world. He matches none of the cheer and enthusiasm that Yoongi’s come to associate with Jimin.
But Jimin’s a better actor than Yoongi had originally thought, and the way he seamlessly transitions is something Yoongi’s a little envious of, since Yoongi always struggles to keep his character and his own persona separate.
Yoongi doesn’t stick around for long because he needs to go and rehearse his own lines on his own, so he taps Hoseok’s shoulder to let him know that he’s leaving and then heads off to his trailer. He locks the door behind him and collapses onto the twin bed, letting out a muffled groan into his pillow to try to release some of his frustration.
Acting is always hard work, and as much as Yoongi enjoys this role, it exhausts him. Yoongi channels all of himself into playing Taesun. He’s always like this, always feels too much for his characters, always empathizes with every fiber of his being until sometimes he can’t tell who Min Yoongi is anymore. Hoseok had once advised him to try yoga but Yoongi barely has time to sleep, let alone meditate for hours.
Someone knocks on the door to his trailer, and Yoongi contemplates throwing a fit before getting up and answering it.
“Hello, Yoongi-ssi,” Jimin says cheerfully, striding into Yoongi’s trailer like it’s his own. “Just wanted to introduce myself. Isn’t it weird that we’re going to be playing lovers and we haven’t even had a proper conversation yet?”
He’s smiling innocently, and Yoongi wonders if it’s not too late to drop the movie because if there’s one thing that Yoongi absolutely hates working with, it’s too-cheerful co-stars.
“We don’t need to have a conversation,” Yoongi deadpans, shutting the door because it appears that Jimin has no intention to leave. “Only our characters do.”
Jimin pulls a face. “What kind of attitude is that? I don’t think our characters will turn out very well if we hardly know each other ourselves, right?”
“A real actor can make any character seem convincing,” Yoongi parrots the words of his old acting coach, sending Jimin a withering glare.
Jimin shrugs. “Maybe I’m not a real actor yet, then. Oh well. They say practice makes perfect, you know?”
Yoongi stares at Jimin’s enthusiastic face and thinks that he hates it.
The minute Taesun meets Sooha, he doesn’t like him. He can’t understand why anyone would give up college, his dreams, his life to run a shabby old restaurant.
The minute Sooha meets Taesun, he falls in love.
Taesun is not good at being a normal person. He’s shy and awkward and doesn’t like being around others. He’s too judgmental and talks too fast and has a nervous tic where he tugs at the hair on the back of his head. Sooha finds him utterly charming.
Apparently Yoongi is the only person in the entire world who’s not immediately smitten with Park Jimin.
In the few short weeks since filming’s started, Jimin had managed to make friends with everyone from Namjoon and Seokjin to all the coordi noonas. Yoongi had even heard the shy intern in charge of buying coffee and sandwiches gushing about “Jimin oppa” to her friends over the phone.
Even now, when they should be filming, Jimin’s off talking to the bright-haired chief cameraman off to the side, gesturing wildly with his hands as the other man laughs loudly. Yoongi squints, trying to remember his name. Tae-something.
“Alright, we’ll roll it again?” Namjoon calls out loudly, and although he’s polite enough to phrase it as a question, everyone understands that it’s really an order. Yoongi cracks his shoulders—Hoseok sends him a grossed-out look—before returning to the set, settling down at the fake restaurant booth. Jimin waves goodbye to the cameraman before following after Yoongi, taking his place by Yoongi’s side.
They’re filming the scene where Taesun finally shows off some of his favorite photographs to Sooha. It’s not emotionally difficult and Yoongi knows it’s supposed to be simple, but something about being forced to sit in such close quarters with Jimin makes it hard to focus on getting his lines right.
“Action!” Namjoon calls out, and Yoongi waits until the familiar clack of the clapperboard signals him to begin.
“I don’t normally show these to many people,” Yoongi says, instinctively dropping his voice to the lower register he’s decided to use for Taesun. “So consider yourself privileged.”
Jimin—as Sooha—snorts, wiping his hands on the small dish towel stuffed into his pocket before sitting down across from Yoongi. “Yes, yes, I’m very lucky.”
Yoongi slides over the few old prop polaroids Namjoon’s snagged from various crew members. Jimin looks over them carefully, and Yoongi catches himself staring for just a little too long at how Jimin’s tongue darts out to wet his lips.
No, not Jimin. Sooha. This is all Sooha, and Yoongi is Taesun. There’s a difference. (Although, Yoongi mentally decides that Taesun is definitely attracted to Sooha. Not Yoongi, Taesun.)
“I like this one the most,” Jimin says, pointing to a photo of who’s actually the head coordi’s grandmother. “She reminds me of my mother, a little. She’s very beautiful, you’ve done a good job in capturing that.”
Yoongi coughs a little, willing his ears to turn red because Taesun’s supposed turn shy at the praise. “Well, older people have a lot more time to become beautiful, you know?”
Jimin smiles widely, leaning forward across the table, and this time it’s all Yoongi that makes his eyes widen.
“Sometimes some people are just born beautiful, I think,” Jimin says, pinning Yoongi down with his stare, his mouth open just slightly, and suddenly Yoongi can’t remember his next lines so he blurts out, “I think you’re full of shit.”
“Cut!” a voice calls out, and Yoongi leans back and throws his arms over his head in frustration. The line was supposed to be ‘I think you’re just trying to get on my good side’ but somehow Yoongi’s potty mouth had gotten the better of him.
“I’m sorry,” Yoongi says, standing up to face Namjoon, and he’s surprised to see Seokjin sitting in the director’s chair instead.
“Actually, I liked that,” Seokjin says, smiling gently. He looks good, sitting gracefully in the chair with one long leg folded over the other, and Yoongi finds himself wondering again why Seokjin doesn’t just act himself.
“I don’t think Taesun is the type to always be so polite about everything,” Seokjin continues, waving a hand dismissively at the confused intern who’s frantically pointing at the flubbed line in the script. “If you ever feel like changing a line a bit, Yoongi-ssi, just say it and we’ll see how it works, okay? After all, I doubt a few cuss words would really impact this movie much, hmm?”
Yoongi nods dumbly, because yeah, that’s a little new to him, but he doesn’t fight it since polite writers are a blessing in the film industry.
Yoongi hears the clapperboard go off again and turns back to face Jimin. The little glint of amusement in Jimin’s eyes makes Yoongi want to jump out a window, but he grits his teeth and then continues with the script as usual.
They start by having lunch together. That turns into having dinner together. And then into Taesun simply stopping by to say hi. It’s not like he wants to like Sooha, he just can’t help himself. Sooha is captivating, and it’s been so long since anything’s captivated Taesun.
“I’m so tired,” Jimin whines, turning his head to look at Yoongi. They’re relaxing after a long day of filming, sitting with their heads tipped back as their hair gets a fresh coat of dye applied. Yoongi wants to block out Jimin, he really does, but it’s hard when the younger is sitting literally right next to him.
And even though Yoongi’s tried his absolute best to ignore Jimin whenever they aren’t in character, he realizes that for some reason Jimin’s taken a liking to him. This time, Yoongi thinks, it feels a little different than dealing with just another starstruck fan, since Jimin doesn’t fawn over Yoongi like everyone else does.
No, Jimin’s different. He always waves to Yoongi when he leaves, always compliments him after a tough scene, always hands him a thermos of ginseng tea every morning because “Taehyung’s mom says it’s good to build up your strength, and you’ve been looking a little pale, hyung” (to which Yoongi grumpily replies “no, that’s just my skin, you idiot,” but he always drinks the tea anyway).
“Then rest,” Yoongi bites out, shutting his eyes stubbornly so he doesn’t have to look at Jimin’s hurt puppy expression. He’s seen it enough, considering that Yoongi isn’t always the most polite with words.
“How am I supposed to rest? I have to go home and run lines with my manager. I should probably exercise a little too, I’ve been slacking recently.”
Yoongi opens his eyes just in time to catch Jimin raising his shirt critically, displaying a chiseled abdomen that makes Yoongi’s mouth go a little dry. (And no, that doesn’t mean he’s attracted to Jimin, definitely not. But now he’s thinking about when he was in secondary school and kissed another boy behind the sports shed for the first and last time in his life and maybe Jimin’s abs are something the 15-year-old Yoongi would have liked.)
“Shut up,” Yoongi coughs, turning his eyes back onto his phone quickly. “You’re such a gym rat, I bet. I’ve even caught you doing pushups with your manager one day.”
Jimin laughs, and it sounds so pleasant that Yoongi feels the urge to get up and leave since he hates pleasant things. “Yeah, my manager is pretty strict about staying healthy. But he’s not a fanatic or anything, he’s just making sure I don’t get too lazy.”
And Yoongi holds back a snort like that, because if Hoseok was ever to try to get Yoongi to be less lazy, Yoongi would probably take back the motorcycle he bought Hoseok on his last birthday.
“Your manager seems to be pretty strict, though,” Yoongi replies conversationally, thinking back to all the times he’s seen Jimin’s manager snapping at him or wagging a finger. “You must be patient for putting up with him.”
“Ah,” Jimin laughs again, rubbing at his arms, “really, he’s not so bad. Actually, Jungkookie and I grew up together in Busan, so we’re good friends even though he’s younger than me. When I moved to Seoul halfway through college he demanded to come with me. He’s always been the pushy type, you know?”
And no, Yoongi doesn’t know, and he can’t really see the stern Jeon Jungkook as a ‘Jungkookie’ either.
“I didn’t know that,” Yoongi says quietly, looking over to the corner of the salon where Hoseok’s gleefully antagonizing Jungkook. Jungkook looks like he’s tired of it, yes, but the more Yoongi looks the more he realizes that Jungkook doesn’t necessarily lookmean either.
A slight tap on his head prompts Yoongi to tip his head back obediently as the coordi noona starts to wash the brown dye out of his hair. Jimin’s hair’s been dyed an even deeper shade of black than it already is, and Yoongi briefly thinks that the contrast looks good against his smooth skin and bright eyes.
“He’s a good kid,” Jimin interrupts Yoongi’s thoughts quietly, smiling to himself. “Actually, he’s a good actor too. Way better than me, at least. I keep telling him to give it a shot, but he’s just so shy. I hope that being involved as my manager at least will open some more doors for him. I know he can do a lot better than be the manager to some third-rate newbie.”
And the self-deprecating tone in Jimin’s voice makes Yoongi frown, although he’s not sure why since it’s not like they’re friends or anything. Maybe Yoongi just doesn’t like hearing anyone sell themselves short.
But he never gets the chance to say anything because suddenly Seokjin appears and calls out to Jimin, who flashes Yoongi one last easy smile before gets up and leaves, his hair still wet.
The coordi starts toweling Yoongi’s hair dry, and even when the towel covers his vision he can still see Jimin’s smile plastered to the backs of his eyelids.
One day, Sooha confides to Taesun that it would be his dream to go to culinary school, and then maybe transform his simple restaurant into something great. He can’t though, since he needs to take care of his sick mother and run the restaurant and earn money and pay the bills. Taesun thinks that Sooha’s life is unfair, and wonders why it makes his own heart hurt.
Namjoon’s a man with connections, and somehow ‘connections’ means a fully-stocked buffet bar for lunch every day.
Yoongi’s not complaining of course, since he’s a fan of meat and all the side dishes available. Sometimes he wonders if Namjoon had purposely ordered only the best side dishes to be served at the filming of a movie named Banchan.
But it irks him that even though the side dishes are good, they’re all that Jimin will eat.
“Will you stop eating like a literal bird?” Yoongi asks in exasperation, watching as Jimin drops his chopsticks when he’s startled. Yoongi ignores how Jimin’s eyes go wider than normal and instead focuses on Jimin’s small plate. There’s a helping of pickled radishes and a sad stack of lettuce, and that’s it.
The thought of Jimin putting his body through so much to prepare for this role, the idea of him growing thinner and pale and sickly makes Yoongi’s heart drop into his stomach, and he doesn’t know why.
“God, you’re sad,” Yoongi mutters, immediately dumping half his serving of fried chicken onto Jimin’s plate. “There’s all this good food available and you’re eating pickled radishes? Without any rice too? Are you an alien or something?”
Jimin’s obviously flustered, his mouth opening and closing uselessly as Yoongi continues to fill his plate.
“I’m trying to diet,” Jimin says weakly, looking down at his now-full plate miserably. “This stuff really isn’t good for me.”
“You piss me off so much,” Yoongi says truthfully, ignoring the way Jimin frowns in hurt. “Seriously, how am I supposed to act next to a guy who barely eats? It’s depressing. What if you faint on set? I’d be so embarrassed.”
Yoongi wants to slap himself because he’s being meaner than he intended, but it’s better than grabbing Jimin by the shoulders and shaking him around and shouting at him to take better care of himself. Because Yoongi cares about Jimin.
Somehow, Jimin must possess some sixth sense of intuition because he catches the real meaning behind Yoongi’s words and perks up again.
“You’re so nice, hyung,” Jimin beams at him, and Yoongi narrows his eyes because it’s the first time Jimin’s called him that and he’s not sure how he’s supposed to feel about it. How do normal people deal with too-attractive, extra-cute co-stars?
“Shut up and eat,” Yoongi says, deciding that when in doubt, being rude works best. Jimin doesn’t look hurt by the words, though, and takes a bite of the chicken. Yoongi watches him for a while to make sure he finishes at least two pieces (and boy, when Jimin eats he eats).
He finishes his own meal and mumbles a quick goodbye to Jimin who’s still eating, and tries to make his voice sound as unfriendly as possible because he doesn’t want Jimin to think they’re friends or anything, since they’re not.
Yoongi meets up with Hoseok at the exit of the studios, a bit taken aback at the mischievous expression he can see on his manager’s face.
“I saw that,” Hoseok says, grinning widely. “You totally like him. Oh my god, I never thought I’d say those words before. I should journal about this.”
“Shut up,” Yoongi scowls, reaching out to punch Hoseok’s arm. “You know I hate him.”
Hoseok snorts. “Oh yeah, you hate him enough to share your food with him and tell him to eat properly. Okay.”
Yoongi gets into the car and frowns to himself, pondering over Hoseok’s words. So what if he was concerned for Jimin? If he was to be unhealthy, then that could possibly delay the filming. And that would be bad for Yoongi, so really Yoongi’s just looking out for himself.
“You can think what you want,” Yoongi says quietly, settling into the passenger seat as Hoseok fires up the engines, “but I don’t like him. I don’t like anybody.”
Hoseok doesn’t try to disagree anymore, but the teasing smile on his face still makes Yoongi angry.
“Hey Yoongi, you still like me, right?”
“I tolerate you.”
When Taesun falls in love with Sooha, it’s not like fireworks going off. It’s not like a bomb exploding. It’s quiet and soft and feels like falling into bed after a long day’s work. When Taesun thinks back about it, he realizes that maybe he was in love with Sooha all along.
They only have two weeks of filming left, but Yoongi knows that they’ll be the hardest to get through. Namjoon’s insisted on filming all of the easy scenes first, all of the scenes involving all of the characters except Yoongi’s and Jimin’s. Jimin had filmed Sooha’s mother’s death scene just a few days ago, and afterwards he had been so drained that Namjoon had given him a day off in sympathy.
Yoongi’s still the most impressed by Jimin’s acting in that scene, but he’ll never tell Jimin that.
“I’m going to head to my trailer,” Yoongi murmurs tiredly to Hoseok quietly. They’re sitting behind the director, watching as Namjoon films some of the extras.
“I’ll text you if anything comes up,” Hoseok says simply, patting Yoongi on the butt. Yoongi’s a little too exhausted to glare at him, so he decides he’ll do it later as he plods off to his trailer, rubbing at his sore neck. He steps inside his trailer, locks the door behind him, and then lets his body collapse onto the bed.
Yoongi nearly screeches in surprise as he hurries to fling Jimin off the bed, watching as the younger lands in a heap on the floor.
“What the fuck are you doing in my trailer?”
Jimin looks adorably sleepy, his hair mussed and his eyes drooping. He looks around in mild confusion before rubbing at his cheek with one hand—and internally, Yoongi tells his heart to stop beating so fast because dammit, he doesn’t need these kinds of feelings.
“I thought I was in my own trailer,” Jimin says petulantly, standing up and rubbing at his arms. Yoongi’s still half-frozen in surprise, so Jimin takes the opportunity to climb back in bed.
“Get out,” Yoongi grits, and he thinks that maybe Jimin’s gone deaf because he does the exact opposite and wraps his arms around Yoongi’s shoulders, nestling his cheek in the crook of Yoongi’s neck. The warm breath of air that slides over his collarbones makes him shiver, and Yoongi hates himself for it.
“Can I please just stay a little longer,” Jimin whines, and even though Yoongi hates whining he thinks that it’s not so bad when paired with Jimin’s flushed cheeks and pouting lips. “I’m so tired. And I don’t know where Jungkook is. And I hate being by myself in my trailer, it smells weird and it’s too cold.”
Jimin’s sleep-talking now, Yoongi realizes in dismay, since the younger’s eyes are firmly shut and his breathing’s starting to slow down. Yoongi reaches behind his neck to try to unlatch Jimin’s fingers, but he’s halted by the feeling of how warm and soft Jimin’s hands are.
“And you’re not cold at all, hyung,” Jimin slurs, and Yoongi belatedly realizes that somehow his arm’s now wrapped around Jimin’s waist. “Everyone says you are, but I know better.”
Yoongi wonders when Jimin’s stopped talking about temperature.
“You can stay for a little while, I guess,” Yoongi allows, and he’s not sure why he’s talking out loud since Jimin can’t hear him. He leans back into the pillows and feels Jimin shift with him, pressing his body closer, all hard planes and edges. Yoongi traces the soft curve of Jimin’s cheek with his eyes, thinks about the softness of his hands, and wonders how Jimin is so different from everyone else he’s met.
“I really wish you’d leave me alone,” Yoongi whispers, figuring that since Jimin won’t say anything back, it’s a good time to talk to him. “I wish you’d be like all the other people in the cast who just ignore me, because I know how to deal with that. I don’t know how to deal with you, Park Jimin. I think maybe I like you.”
The relationship between Sung Sooha and Yook Taesun is not an easy one. It’s a good one, but it’s hard. Their friends stop talking to them, customers at the restaurant sneer, and Taesun gets made fun of at work. Sooha sometimes wonders if the stress from their relationship is what made his mother drop dead.
Yoongi doesn’t speak to Jimin for four days after the ‘incident.’ He figures that if he tries hard enough, he won’t have to speak to Jimin ever again.
Taesun still needs to speak to Sooha, however, and that’s how Yoongi finds himself face to face with Jimin. And they’re naked.
“Just because this is a sex scene doesn’t mean it has to be raunchy,” Namjoon explains to them quickly, hands waving around in the air. “I really want to showcase the artistry of it all, you feel me? So we’ll capture things like silhouttes, blankets moving, stuff like that.”
Yoongi nods, shifting around from his spot where he’s cocooned in blankets. It’s not his first 19+ scene, and the fact that the opposite party is another man doesn’t change much from the actor’s perspective.
It’s Jimin’s first time doing anything even remotely naughty, though, and Yoongi had felt the absurd urge to laugh at the sight of Jimin’s eyes going comically large when he was handed the little sock to hide his dick in.
And really, Yoongi’s a little confused why they’re filming the 19+ scene before they even film any of the kiss scenes, but then he figures that he should take this as a blessing since he’s not sure if he’d be able to stay in character if he was made to kiss Jimin right now.
“So, just pretend like you’re going at it, okay?” Namjoon finishes, and Yoongi nods.
“Okay,” Jimin murmurs, quieter than usual. He’s laying down on his stomach in the middle of the large bed they’d been provided with, resting his head on top of his crossed arms. He’s nervous, Yoongi can tell, because he’s biting at his lip and his knuckles are white with tension and he doesn’t relax even when Namjoon moves back to his seat.
Yoongi allows himself to peek over his shoulder, looking at Jimin. The younger looks miserable.
“Look, Jimin,” Yoongi whispers quietly, turning to face him completely. Namjoon’s off talking with Taehyung, discussing angles for the next shot, and Yoongi knows he’s got a little extra time.
“I’m sorry for what I said,” he says quickly, ignoring the way Jimin opens his eyes wide. “I thought you were asleep, and I was just thinking out loud, and really, I didn’t mean it to go like that. I don’t know what I meant.”
Jimin nods slowly, trying to take it all in. Yoongi watches as he licks his lips.
“So, you didn’t mean what you said then. You’re… taking it back?”
And Jimin looks more hurt than he’s ever looked before, and even if Yoongi had wanted to lie to him he can’t now that Jimin’s eyes are shining and he’s clenching his hands more than ever. He hears the clack of the clapperboard signaling them to begin, and so he leans down and whispers against Jimin’s ear so the microphones won’t pick it up.
“No, I still like you.”
And then Jimin goes stiff, hiding his face in the pillows and Yoongi doesn’t know what his reaction is and the strange sensation of hot worry fills his chest. But the cameras are rolling and Yoongi can feel the warmth of the stage lights burning his shoulders so he forces himself to become Taesun and ignores the fact that this is the first time the transition’s never come easy to him.
“Hey, relax,” Yoongi coaxes, drumming his fingers against Jimin’s shoulders softly. Jimin turns to look at him, but Yoongi only sees Sooha in his eyes and knows that Jimin’s just acting. For some reason, Yoongi feels disappointed.
“I am relaxed,” Jimin huffs out, lifting himself onto his elbows to look at Yoongi.
“Oh good,” Yoongi smiles thinly, and he leans forward to press his lips against Jimin’s forehead. He tries not to think about the fact that this is the first time his lips have ever touched any part of Jimin’s skin.
Jimin’s still stiff though, stiff and unfeeling and Yoongi thinks that there’s no way he looks convincing at all, so he lets his fingers run down and trace over Jimin’s ribs, dipping into the soft hollows at his hips.
“You don’t feel very relaxed,” Yoongi remarks, and when he moves his hands around to feel across the younger’s spine he finally feels Jimin sink into his touch. His sigh is too soft for the microphones, and Yoongi’s glad that in their oh-so-public moment he has a little part of Jimin just for himself.
“I’m just a little…” Jimin bites at his lip, and Yoongi’s not sure if that’s because of the script or because of Yoongi’s thumbs rubbing circles into the soft skin of Jimin’s hip.
“—nervous,” Jimin finishes lamely, his breathing quickening a little. Yoongi grins, and maybe it’s a bit predatory but he can’t help himself because Jimin’s all spread out underneath him, all long lines and smooth skin and Yoongi thanks Namjoon with all the breath in his body for hiring that one auditionee that walked in late.
“Don’t be nervous,” Yoongi soothes, leaning down to trace Jimin’s collarbone with his lips. Yoongi knows that Jimin’s shiver isn’t scripted, and it makes him smile just a little more.
“After all,” Yoongi continues, belatedly remembering that he’s supposed to be going off the script and not just the intoxicating feeling of touching Jimin’s body, “You never need to be nervous as long as I’m around.”
Jimin looks up at Yoongi with trusting eyes, and Yoongi presses hot kisses up the side of Jimin’s neck.
“I love you,” Yoongi finishes, glad he doesn’t have to remember any more lines since the way Jimin is looking at him is making it hard to remember anything.
And Jimin doesn’t say it back since Sooha never says it to Taesun, and that’s alright because suddenly Jimin’s lips are pressed against Yoongi’s and Yoongi manages to think that he’s a terrible actor right before his mind goes blank.
They stay like that for longer that Yoongi had expected, long enough for him to map out the inside of Jimin’s mouth with his tongue and feel the way Jimin’s hands thread into his hair. It’s so long that he nearly forgets that they’re filming, and he’s surprised when Namjoon calls out “cut.”
Yoongi looks up to see Taehyung rolling the camera to the side, and Seokjin’s flashing him a thumbs up so Yoongi assumes their scene looked alright. Jimin looks downright startled at the sudden influx of attention and hurries to tuck his face against Yoongi’s shoulder, pressing his hot cheek against Yoongi’s skin.
“Hyung,” Jimin whispers quickly, and Yoongi looks down at him curiously.
Jimin looks up to meet his eyes and smiles brilliantly. “I like you too.”
It’s Sooha that finally inspires Taesun to pick up his camera and take the kind of photos he loves again. Taesun starts by taking photos of Sooha. And then he takes photos of interesting people that wander into the restaurant. And then he takes photos of interesting people around town. He gathers their stories, collects their words, and releases a book. Somehow, it’s a success.
Filming wraps up neatly. Namjoon’s pleased with the work that they’ve done, and when the film finally reaches the final stages of post-production he calls Jimin and Yoongi and tells them to be prepared to visit the Busan International Film Festival.
And yes, that’s a big step for such a small indie film, but Min Yoongi is a household name, and Kim Namjoon’s starting to become one too.
“It’s exciting, isn’t it?” Seokjin says, and even though he’s the oldest one out of all of them he’s bouncing on the tips of his toes like a little kid. Yoongi smiles, since he’s come to grow fond of Seokjin throughout the filming process, and it’s nice to see him get excited about something. He deserves is, Yoongi thinks fondly, given all the work he’s put into Banchan.
“I can’t wait,” Namjoon agrees easily, and Yoongi laughs to himself because even though his tone is confident his fingers are shaking.
“Relax, Namjoon,” Yoongi cuts in, and the only reason he’s not as jittery as the other two is because he’s been here before. (Winning BIFF Actor of the Year is enough to placate his nerves for a century, he thinks.)
“Easy for you to say.”
It’s Jimin’s voice that interrupts him, and Yoongi can’t even be mad or berate him about his manners because Jimin suddenly turns and plants a kiss on Yoongi’s cheek, and all of the negative emotions melt away.
Seokjin snickers, and Yoongi half-heartedly gives him the finger.
“You’re only calm because you’ve won an award here,” Jimin continues, and his expression is so warm and proud and fond that Yoongi’s not sure if he wants to kiss Jimin or roll his eyes.
“Maybe you’ll win one next, huh?” Yoongi teases, pinching at Jimin’s side. Jimin laughs and brushes his hand away, and Yoongi takes a moment to let himself get caught up in Jimin’s breathless smile and bright eyes.
“We should go find out seats,” Namjoon says, looking down at his watch. “You guys can go be disgustingly cute after the show, okay?”
The director pulls Jimin with him out to the rows of auditorium seats, and Yoongi’s left fuming by himself since Min Yoongi is never disgustingly cute.
“I’m glad things have worked out for you two,” Seokjin says, resting a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder.
“Me too,” Yoongi admits, watching fondly as Jimin whacks at Namjoon’s shoulder and then scurries away, hiding behind a bored-looking Jungkook. “I guess I have to thank you for writing Banchan, since without it I never would have found Jimin.”
Seokjin grins. “You don’t need to thank me. Writing it was probably the best thing I’ll ever do in my career anyway.”
Yoongi looks at Seokjin curiously, since he’d assumed that Silent Forest is probably the highlight of Seokjin’s career so far. “Really? Why is that?”
He watches as Seokjin stares out into the audience, and then follows his line of vision until he can tell that Seokjin’s looking at Namjoon, who’s already sitting in his seat.
“A similar story happened to me,” Seokjin smiles, and his entire expression softens and Yoongi wonders how he’d never noticed it before. “Well, minus the ending of course. That’s just to make it more interesting.”
That makes Yoongi laugh, and he follows Seokjin out to claim their own seats. Next to him, Jimin greets him with a toothy smile and secretly laces his fingers with Yoongi’s. Yoongi wonders how he’s managed to play a hundred characters that fall in love, and yet he’s never felt this way before.
The next hour passes in a blur, and Yoongi fidgets the entire time until before he realizes it, he’s suddenly being shoved up on stage.
“We won, we did it!” Jimin’s shouting next to him, and somehow him and Namjoon and Seokjin are all clustered around Yoongi in the center of the stage. Blood’s pounding through his ears so he can’t hear Seokjin and Namjoon make their speeches, and he barely makes out Jimin’s babble of “thank yous” and “oh my gods,” and then suddenly the sleek trophy is thrust into his arms and his mouth’s in front of the microphone.
“I don’t really know what to say,” Yoongi stammers, faced with thousands of upturned faces and flashing lights. He feels the solid warmth of Jimin at his side and steels himself. “Just, thank you, for voting Banchan as the winner. I know a lot of these topics are still taboo, but as a people, how can we get anywhere without acknowledging this?”
There’s polite applause from the audience, and Yoongi lets it die down before he continues.
“I’m sure many people didn’t expect me to take on this role,” he says quietly, narrowing his eyes as his voice still resonates throughout the hall. “Honestly, I didn’t expect it either. But I’m so, so glad I did.”
He turns and looks at Jimin who’s practically glowing with happiness, and suddenly all of Yoongi’s many awards and accolades don’t matter because he’s never been as proud of anything as he is of Jimin in this moment.
“Without Banchan,” Yoongi continues, and his eyes are only trained on Jimin because no one else in the room even matters, “I would never have met Park Jimin.”
The room erupts into noise, and there’s yelling and boos intermixed with the cheers and three security guards quickly usher them backstage, but none of it matters to Yoongi because Jimin leans in and whispers, “I love you too.”
Sung Sooha is killed in a car crash. A restaurant in town closes down. Brilliant photojournalist Yook Taesun suddenly drops off the map, and then releases two more books, titled ‘Angels in Waiting’ and ‘Never Said It Back.’
Ten years later, Yook Taesun’s found as a frequenter of a small restaurant in Seoul. He says he’s there for the side dishes.