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i carry your heart with me

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Yoongi is going to sue the school.  It had been a total of six days and the cafeteria was still out of coffee lids.  How did a cafeteria run out of lids?  How could it possibly take this long to fix?  Yoongi wasn’t sure, but he decided he’s definitely going to sue.  Or maybe just quit college.  The latter seems easier.

Yes, he could have gone to any of the cafes on or near the campus, but those cost money.  He’d have to pay with real, physical money instead of his prepaid meal plan, and honestly, the coffee wasn’t worth it.  Not yet, at any rate.  Beside, he’d grown fond of his routine, throwing three packs of sugar into a paper cup before filling it with whatever off brand coffee the school supplied. Then he’d add a little hazelnut creamer, put a lid on it all, and head off to class.

But there are no lids.  Which is how Yoongi ends up walking through the campus courtyard, heading to class at a snail’s pace to avoid spilling any coffee.  There had been coffee puddles littering the campus for days and Yoongi isn’t about to let himself be the next victim.

As he makes his way through the courtyard, his eyes catch sight of a boy lounging on one of the benches. Yoongi wasn’t usually one to notice others, but there was something about this boy that made him hard to miss.  His chubby cheeks seemed vastly out of place on his lean body, muscular arms on full display in the cut-off tank top he wore.  He’s hunched over his cell phone, hair falling to obscure some of his face.

Yoongi can’t help but stare

The gritting sound of a skateboard rolling by catches him off-guard.  He had been so caught up in trying to get a good look at the boy that he’s lost sense of his surroundings.  The skateboarder swerves around Yoongi with ease; he was never in any real danger but it’s still enough to startle him.  His body flinches away, throwing off the balance of his coffee cup.  The liquid swishes heavily in the cup, some splashing over the rim and onto his hand.  With the sudden burn, Yoongi makes a desperate attempt to save the rest of the drink.  Unfortunately, he overcompensates, sending another huge wave of coffee over the rim, drink splashing down his entire front.  A small yelp falls from his mouth when the hot liquid hits his torso.  Of course, the one time he decides to actually wear white.

Yoongi’s brain vaguely registers a high-pitched noise, something that resembles a giggle.  When he looks up from the mess now covering him, he sees the cute boy is now looking up and grinning, laughing even, at him.  And oh god, he looks so cute when he laughs, nose scrunching up and eyes turning into little crescents.  When the two make eye contact, the boy just laughs a little bit harder.  Yoongi scowls.

With as much dignity as he could manage, considering his half empty coffee cup and now-stained shirt, Yoongi stomps through the rest of the courtyard, not even sparing the boy another look, despite the laughter still hitting his ears.  It’s just because he needs to get to class, and definitely has nothing to do with the burning in his cheeks, he reasons with himself.

The rest of the walk is uneventful.  His cup is no longer full, so there’s no worry of more spills.  Yoongi even makes it to class in time to pull a sweatshirt out of his bag and over his stained shirt before anyone else could notice.

And if he maybe spends more of his lecture thinking about a cute laugh and crescent eyes than he does listening, well, that’s just Yoongi’s little secret.

-----

Yoongi can’t help the irritation that’s bubbling up inside him as he walks over to the coffee table.  It’s four days later, and there are still no lids to be seen.  How was it possible for a cafeteria to be out of lids for ten goddamn days?

The only bright side is that Yoongi doesn’t have class until later in the day, giving him the chance to sit and drink his coffee in peace, instead of the usual hurried sips as he runs across campus.

He finishes stirring the creamer in, tossing the little stirring straw in the trash before turning, only to find another person about to crash into him.  He manages to halt himself before completely the two collide completely, but the sudden stop sends his coffee splashing, a wave of it burning his hand and landing on the ground with a loud splash.

Yoongi is going to tear their head off; he’ll even use his burned hand if he has to.  His mouth opens, ready to let out a string of curses before his brain actually processes who’s standing in front of him.

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t look-“

“Jimin, we need to fucking go!” Yoongi belatedly realizes that there is more than one person standing in front of him, before the boy with orange hair is yanking the cute boy away.  He mouths one last sorry over his shoulder before turning back to his.

Yoongi watches the two until they disappear into the crowd of the cafeteria.

Jimin, Yoongi’s mind finally registers.  The same cute, chubby-cheeked boy that laughed at him the last time he spilled coffee.  Speaking of which, Yoongi’s hand still vaguely burns, feeling sticky against the cup.  He sighs heavily, making a pit stop to grab half a dozen napkins before finally returning to his table.

After cleaning his hand off and dabbing coffee out of his dark jeans (how did it even splash there?!) Yoongi burrows his head into his hands.  “Will one of you kill me, please?”

“School got you feeling down?” Namjoon muses with a grin.

“I thought you said your classes were going well this semester,” Seokjin’s voice is laced with concern and Yoongi doesn’t even need to look to know he has gone into mother mode.

Yoongi just lets his head drop from his hands to the table with a loud thunk, groaning from a mixture of pain and embarrassment.

“No questions.  Just kill me.”

-----

With the semester picking up, Yoongi slowly forgot the incidents with the cute boy.  After thirteen long days, the cafeteria had finally restocked the coffee lids, and it seemed that life was back to normal.  Yoongi drank shitty coffee in between classes, never spilling anymore.  He hadn’t seen Jimin since their second run-in, and Yoongi would be lying if he said he wasn’t disappointed.  But with papers and projects galore, there really was no time to be disappointed.  After all, he didn’t even know the kid.  He was just another cute face in the crowd.

“Hobi, can you please stop making that awful face?  I need to turn these in for a grade and don’t want that greasy smile in here,” Yoongi sighs, lowering his camera.  With an upcoming photography project due on motion, Yoongi had found himself in the dance studio with Hoseok and Jeongguk.

As it turns out, Jeongguk is a great model.  Being the youngest, he felt desperate to maintain his Cool Guy status.  He did everything Yoongi asked of him, clearly showing off in front of the camera.

Hoseok, on the other hand, is a nightmare to take pictures of.  Every time he would dance, a large grin would spread across his face.  Yoongi is amazed his camera hasn’t broken yet.

“There’s no need to be jealous of my beauty,” he says, going so far as to wink.  Yoongi gags in response.  If he keeps rolling his eyes at Hoseok, he’s certain they’ll fall out of his head.

Through the speakers, the song began to fade out, the next one blaring immediately.  Hoseok’s eyes light up with recognition, bounding over to Jeongguk so the two could dance together.  Yoongi snaps a few pictures of the two, trying his best to ignore Hoseok’s greasy smile.

“Come on, Yoongi! You know the want to join in,” Hoseok calls out to him, Jeongguk nodding in agreement.  Yoongi does his best to ignore them, continuing to take pictures until Hoseok lets out an obnoxious whine.  “Please!”

Yoongi accepts defeat, removing the camera strap from his neck and putting it safely on the ground.  He walks over to the two of them, timing it just right so that he could arrive just in time for the most important line.  With a shit-eating grin that could only rival Hoseok’s, he looks at the two younger boys and shrugs.  “Wow, fantastic baby.”

The other two let out shrieks of delight as the three began the dance of the chorus.  Yoongi keeps up with the obnoxious grin, hoping to piss Hoseok off a little bit.  Yoongi doesn’t try as hard as the other two when it comes to dancing (he’s nowhere near as good as them, why bother?) and instead puts his energy towards yelling the lyrics out.

It goes on like this for a bit.  Yoongi has more than enough photos for his project, and finds it much more enjoyable to goof around with his friends.  Even Jeongguk has dropped his too-cool-for-this act, doing a ridiculous girl group dance with Hoseok to a song that Yoongi only vaguely recognizes.

When Taeyang’s Eyes, Nose, Lips comes on, Jeongguk challenges the two elders to try and hit the high notes.  Jeongguk doesn’t even need to participate for him to be the clear winner.  The challenge dissolves away into Hoseok and Yoongi aggressively squeaking at one another, pretending that they’re hitting the right notes.

It’s after an embarrassingly off-key high note that Yoongi hears someone behind him clear their throat.  “Oh hey, Jimin,” he hears Jeongguk say.

Turning around, Yoongi’s eyes fall on the same chubby-cheeked Jimin he spilled coffee in front of.  Twice.  And now he’s caught Yoongi singing and dancing- yet another horrible embarrassment for him to witness.  An amused smirk sits on the boy’s lips.  “Hey Jeongguk.  I don’t mean to interrupt or anything, but I have this practice room booked, so…”

“Ah, sorry, kiddo.  We were just helping ol’ Yoongi here with his photography project,” Hoseok explains to the kid before turning towards Yoongi.  “Hey Yoongi, maybe you can take some pictures of-“

Yoongi’s already across the room and gathering up his camera, his cheeks absolutely on fire.  “Nope, I’m good.  Have all the pictures I need.  Sorry for interrupting your practice,” his sentences come out clipped and a little bit agitated, but it’s the only way he can keep the embarrassment out of his voice.  With one last mumbled apologize, Yoongi pushes past Jimin and hurries out of the practice room.

He doesn’t miss the cheeky grin Jimin gives him as he leaves.

He spends his walk home alternating his thoughts between how much of that embarrassing show Jimin saw and how much effort it would take to fling his entire body into the sun.

-----

If there is one thing Yoongi truly excels at, it’s avoiding.  So after the embarrassing evening in the dance studio, Yoongi retreats back in on himself and avoids everything.  To be fair, he did have two separate papers to write, which gave him a valid excuse to avoid his friends.  The only times he’d left his room in the last week were for class and to get food.

He’s eating alone in the cafeteria, tucked away in a far corner with the hopes no one would notice him, when a body plops down next to him.

“Jimin thinks you’re cute.”

“Uh. What.”  It’s not even a question, too taken aback by Hoseok’s abrupt statement to even sound confused.

“Park Jimin.  The kid from the dance studio the other night,” Hoseok clarifies, speaking around all the food he’s busy shoving into his mouth.  “Jeongguk and I were trying to apologize for the fact that you’re rude as hell but Jimin said it was okay, and then he said that he’s seen you around and thinks you’re pretty cool.  He even called you cute.  Even if you are rude as hell.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes.  “I’m not rude.  I was being polite, actually, and getting out of his way.”

“No, you were just embarrassed because a human being witnessed you expressing an emotion that wasn’t tired or pissed off.”

The statement is startlingly accurate.  Underneath his grumpy exterior, Yoongi was a good guy.  He just didn’t want anyone else to know that.

“Okay, he thinks I’m cool or cute or whatever.  So what?  I don’t even know the kid,” he grumbles, trying to derail the conversation from his embarrassment.  Hoseok didn’t know about the previous embarrassments, and Yoongi wasn’t about to let him find out.

“I can introduce you!  Or Jeongguk can.  He knows him better than I do,” Yoongi starts to protest, but Hoseok keeps talking.  “He has expressed an interest of some sort, the least you can do is meet him!  Come on, Yoongi, when was the last time you made any new friends?”

“The only reason I need new friends is to replace the current dickheads that I call friends,” Yoongi complains, trying to look as annoyed as he possibly can.

“So that’s a yes to meeting him, right?”

-----

They do end up meeting, though Hoseok isn’t the one to introduce them.

It’s a Saturday night and with both his papers and his photography project done, Yoongi decides to take Namjoon and Seokjin up on their offer to go to a party.

The house the party is being held at is just off campus.  It’s rented out by one of Namjoon’s friends, though Yoongi can’t remember who.  It’s already in full swing when Yoongi arrives, the loud thrum of bass music audible from outside.

Inside is even louder, with the strong smell of alcohol swirling amongst all the bodies.  Yoongi can’t help but crinkle his nose as it all overwhelms his senses.  He’s too sober to be alone in this kind of crowd.

The party, he reminds himself, is a chance to let go.  Relax.  Forget about the world for a while.

Yoongi shoves his way through the crowd eventually finding the kitchen.  Seokjin and Namjoon are there, Namjoon mixing a drink for his older friend.  When he spots Yoongi, he grabs another cup, throwing in a mix of alcohols.  He shoves the now filled cup into Yoongi’s hand, who accepts and drinks with no questions asked.  The drink is bitter, burning its way down his throat.  Warmth starts to creep through his body.

“You might want to slow down on that one, Yoongi.  You saw how much he just put into that,” Seokjin frowns, reaching out to pull the cup away from his mouth.

“Ah come on, Jinnie.  Let him go nuts.  We haven’t gotten Yoongi to a party in months,” Namjoon grins, swatting Seokjin’s hand away.  “What could possibly go wrong?”

“I’ll drink to that,” Yoongi smirks, raising his cup back to his mouth.

When that cup is emptied, another one takes its place.  Then another.  The world is a little bit fuzzy around the edges, his feet a little wobbly as he moves around.  There’s a blissful freedom to getting drunk.

Stumbling around the house, Yoongi decides the party is much better now that he’s drunk.  The smell of alcohol seems duller now.  The music doesn’t ring as loud in his ears.  The crowd is much less intimidating.  He even finds Hoseok dancing his way through the crowd.

He’s almost certain Hoseok convinced him to do a body shot off of Hoseok’s abs, but he lets the alcohol push that memory from his mind.

With the loud thump of bass pounding in his ears, Yoongi’s drunken feet lead him to the dance floor.  Somewhere along the way, another cup of alcohol is pushed into his hands.  Yoongi accepts it gratefully.

In the middle of the dance floor, his mind a drunken haze, Yoongi registers that he’s dancing with someone.  He doesn’t know who his back is pressed up against, or for how long.  All he really registers is a firm chest and a sweet smell of cologne.  Warmth floods his system, sweat starting to trickle down his neck.  The body behind him presses up close, grinding into him.  He finally turns to look.

His brain temporarily shuts down.

Pressing against his back is none other than Park Jimin; the same Park Jimin that he kept embarrassing himself in front of.  The same Park Jimin that Hoseok had told him thought he was cute.

Before his drunken mind can really process what it’s doing, the cup of alcohol slips from his hand.  The sticky liquid splashes all down his front, splattering all over Jimin in the process.  There’s a grumbling from all the drunken bystanders who were also hit.

The two stumble off of the dancefloor.  Yoongi keeps slurring out drunken apologies, though he’s not sure that Jimin can hear any of them.

Bits of the process black out in a haze of alcohol, but Yoongi finds himself in a bathroom, dabbing a towel over the spills on Jimin.

The alcohol made his tank top stick to his skin, and Yoongi’s lucky he’s too drunk to take notice of the abs that lie underneath.

“I’m Min Yoongi, by the way.  And I’m really sorry,” Yoongi can hear himself saying.  Everything feels like an out of body experience.

“Park Jimin,” he responds, and his voice is definitely less slurred than Yoongi’s.  “I’ve definitely seen you around.”

Of course he’s seen him around- he’s always making a fool of himself when Jimin is around.  The only response Yoongi really has is to press the towel harder against Jimin and continue mumbling apologies.  He wishes he could be one shot farther in so that his sense of shame and embarrassment could disappear.

“You’re really cute, you know,” Jimin whispers, reaching out a hand to touch Yoongi’s cheek.  Maybe he was more drunk than he let on.  Yoongi becomes aware that he’s pressing the towel into Jimin’s muscular thighs.  His vision almost blacks out.

Yoongi is glad that they ended up in the bathroom because the next thing he knows, he’s leaning over the toilet, contents of his stomach emptying themselves.  Once he finishes vomiting, he looks over at Jimin, who was staring wide eyed.

“Holy shit, are you okay?”

“I’m just going to… I’m leaving.  Goodbye,” Yoongi slurs out, before quickly rushing out of the bathroom.  His mouth burns at the taste of bile, but the embarrassment is almost worse.

He finds Seokjin somewhere along his way out, mumbles a quick explanation of why he is leaving, before rushing out of the party.  It’s a long and stumbling walk, but he makes it to his apartment.

When Yoongi collapses into his bed, humiliation washes over him.  All he can hope as he drifts off to sleep is that he never sees Park Jimin again.

-----

After too long a time of enduring nothing but shitty cafeteria coffee, Yoongi finally finds himself desperate enough to actually pay for coffee.  Bypassing the Starbucks in the center of campus, Yoongi walks the extra ten minutes to the outskirts of campus where a small bakery sits.

After getting an A on his photography, he deserves to treat himself.

Plus, Seokjin is friends with the owner so Yoongi can sometimes get coffee and treats for free.

So with his hot cup of coffee and a free slice of coffee cake, Yoongi takes a seat near the window, notebook open in front of him.

It’s serene.  The soft music and warm smell of coffee soothes him while he works.  It’s comfortable.  He doesn’t mind having to spend a bit of money for the coffee he drinks.

All is right in Yoongi’s world.

Then the bell over the door chimes and Yoongi’s inner peace goes crashing down.

Two boys walk in, and the volume in the quiet café nearly quadruples.  Their laughter echoes off of the walls,

When Yoongi finally spares a glance in their direction, it feels like a swift kick to the stomach.  Standing there is Jimin, snapback slung backwards on his head, with his orange-haired friend.

It’s been a few days since the party; while most of his drunken night is a haze, he still distinctly remembers the embarrassment, and wanting to never see Jimin ever again.  Yet there he is, standing fifteen feet or so away from where Yoongi is sitting.

He pulls the beanie closer over his head.

If he keeps his head down, hunched over his notebook, with his back to the two boys, and if he keeps the beanie pulled down over his pink hair, he can remain anonymous in this coffee shop and all he needs to do is finish his drink and snack and then slip out of the store before Jimin can-

“Yoongi!”  A voice calls out.  A glance over his shoulder proves that it is Jimin, sending an unabashed wave across the café.

Yoongi offers the faintest wave before dropping his head back down to his notebook.  The two boys in line place their orders, and Jimin comes bounding over to Yoongi’s table.

“Hi there, Yoongi.  I’m Jimin.  We met at the party the other night, in case you didn’t remember!”

“I, uh.  Yeah.  I remember,” Yoongi coughs out, turning back to his drink.

“I really didn’t think that I’d see you again, especially not this soon,” Jimin sounds so genuinely excited to be seeing Yoongi.  It’s bizarre.  He barely even knows the kid.  “I’m glad though!  I’ve seen you around so-“

“Jimin!”  The orange haired boy calls from across the café.  He clearly has no sense of an inside voice.  There’s a cup of coffee in each of his hands.  He nods his head towards the door.  “We gotta get going, bro!”

“Ah, I’m sorry.  I’ve got a class to get to…”  He hesitates, shifting back and forth on his feet.  “But I’ll, uh.  I’ll see you around, right?”

“I... Yeah.  Um, yeah.  I’ll see you around.”

Jimin beams so brightly.  He always thought that Hoseok’s smile resembled sunshine, but he’s got nothing on Jimin’s smile.  With one last overdramatic wave, Jimin bounds back over to his friend and the two head out of the store.

Yoongi lets his head drop onto the table, drink and dessert long since forgotten.

-----

When they meet in the library, Yoongi’s pretty certain that Jimin is stalking him.  He evens tells him as much when Jimin sits down at the table with him.

Jimin’s face has never gotten so red so fast.  “I am not stalking you!”  And with the tone of his voice, one would think Yoongi had just accused him of murder.  “The library is public space and I’m allowed to be here just as much-“

“Calm down, kid.  It’s a joke.  You’re fine.”

Jimin’s chest puffs out slightly but he says nothing more.  The two sit in silence, Yoongi scribbling away in a notebook while Jimin pages through a textbook.

Yoongi had come to the library because he enjoys working in silence.  He always sits near a window, giving him the option to people watch while he works.  The library is his silent sanctuary.  Silence, however, is a concept Jimin apparently never learned.  The pages of his textbook crinkle loudly with each turn, and Yoongi can hear his foot tapping endlessly under the table.  Add that to the fact that Yoongi can see him fidgeting constantly out of the corner of his eye, and it’s official.

Park Jimin is a distraction.

“If you don’t stop, I swear to god I’m going to leave.”

Jimin stills instantly.  Yoongi can feel him staring, but he doesn’t look up for his notebook.  “You sure are grumpy for being so embarrassing,” Jimin mutters under his breathe.

Yoongi huffs loudly, but continues to work.  At least his little outburst had quieted Jimin.

The silence lasts a few minutes before Jimin is fidgeting again.  His leg is bouncing and his pen is tapping lightly at the edge of his textbook.  This time, he’s not even pretending to read.  Instead, he’s staring at Yoongi, who’s still hunched over his notebook.  Jimin’s eyes are practically burning holes into his skin.

Yoongi finally gives up.  He drops his pen forcefully and looks directly at Jimin.  The sudden eye contact startles the younger into looking down.  “Is there something you want to say or are you just staring to piss me off?”

“Okay, I know I said I wasn’t stalking you but I might have asked Hoseok where I’d most likely find you and he said you hang out a lot at the library so maybe it was a little bit stalking but you just seem really cool and I wanted some way to get to know you so…”  Jimin trails off, looking a little awkward at his confession.

Yoongi shuts his notebook and stares at the boy.  He shrinks away from the stare.  “Alright,” Yoongi says simply.

“Alright?”

“Yeah, alright.  You want to get to know me.  Let’s go.  We’ll get lunch or whatever.  I’ve been working for a few hours.  I could use a break.  So why not?”

Jimin smiles so brightly at the offer, it almost makes up for the fact that Yoongi has to pay for lunch.

-----

Yoongi can’t even say he’s surprised that Tuesday when he’s walking through the courtyard to his poetry lecture and finds Jimin sitting on one of the benches there.

He looks nonchalant, stretching out on the bench as he scrolls through his phone.  He looks just like any other student that would sit and enjoy the sun.  However, the second he sees Yoongi enter the courtyard, he springs to life, bounding over to him in near leaps.

“Hiya, Yoongi!  Fancy meeting you here,” Jimin smiles, bright and sincere.

“Hello, Jimin.”  His response is curt, grip tightening on his coffee cup.

“I just got out of class and have some time to kill before my next one.  Can I walk you to your class?”

Yoongi eyes the younger wearily.  Were it anyone else, he’d reject immediately.  He’d scrunch his nose up in disinterest and walk away with no further thought.  But something about the sincerity in Jimin’s eyes prevents him from turning the younger away.  He gives a weak nod, and Jimin instantly falls into step beside him.

“I don’t have to worry about you causing any more spills, do I?”

Yoongi shoots him a glare out of his peripherals.  “That was one time, you brat.”

“Twice, actually.  Three spills if you count the time you spilled alcohol on me.”

“Hm, maybe I’ll walk to class alone instead,” Yoongi starts to walk faster, but Jimin just grabs his arm and pulls him back.

“I’m only kidding.  I still just have a hard time believing that the person I saw doing all those embarrassing things is really a grumpy old man.  I guess I’m just trying to find a way to see that side of you again,” Jimin grins, a look so sweet that Yoongi nearly gets a toothache.  Before he can even reply, Jimin has started talking again, telling Yoongi all about his early morning class.

It’s when they reach Yoongi’s lecture hall and have to part ways that Yoongi realizes Jimin had been holding on to his arm the entire walk there.

“See you later, Yoongi!” Jimin calls over his shoulder, heading back the way they had come.

He spends his lecture pretending he doesn’t feel cold where Jimin’s touch now lacks. 

-----

Yoongi’s dinnertime was sacred.  It was when he, Namjoon, Hoseok, and Seokjin would all meet and complain about their days over shitty cafeteria food.  It was a staple to his almost-daily routine.  It had been ongoing since halfway through his freshman year, when Yoongi met the then sophomore Seokjin.  The following year, their duo became a quad when Seokjin brought along Namjoon who brought along Hoseok.  It was a good dynamic.  Unless someone was busy, whether it be schoolwork or some other obligation, the four of them always met.

Four occasionally became five.  Jeongguk was good friends with Hoseok, and the rest enjoyed his company too.  Yet Jeongguk was popular and had other friends to hang out with.  His occasional visits were nice though.

Somewhere along the way, four became five became seven and Yoongi can practically feel the sanctity of his dinnertime falling apart.

Yoongi’s been poking around at his food for about ten minutes, listening to Namjoon explain how he’d broken his laptop and how really I didn’t do anything wrong, it just happened.  Seokjin is in the middle of explaining how Namjoon was definitely in the wrong (you knocked it off the table, how is that not your fault?) when suddenly a small group of boys are standing next to the table.

“Hey guys, mind if we join you tonight?” Jeongguk is asking, but it’s slightly pointless considering the three are already sitting down.  With him is Jimin and the boy Yoongi always sees hanging around with Jimin.  His obnoxious orange hair has been dyed into a soft lilac color.  “These are my friends, Jimin and Taehyung.”

Taehyung sits to Jeongguk’s right, next to Hoseok.  Jimin sits on Jeongguk’s other side, sandwiching himself right between Jeongguk and Yoongi.  The table is too small and the spacing too awkward, causing Jimin to completely invade Yoongi’s personal space.

Surprisingly, the two boys fit in well at the table.  Taehyung is loud and energetic; he’s clear competition to Hoseok when it comes to storytelling.  Jimin is nowhere near as loud as his friend, but his jokes are well-timed and his giggle seems infectious.

Yoongi feels conflicted; he had never been good at accepting changes, especially to something as sacred as his dinner time.  Yet at the same time, he finds himself enjoying the company of the three additional boys.

Taehyung is recounting the story of how he lost his swim trunks at the beach.  Everyone laughs loudly at his over the top story, filled with excessive hand gestures.  The atmosphere at their dinner table hasn’t been this lighthearted in months.

Yoongi feels happy.

Under the table, Yoongi notices how Jimin’s leg keeps brushing up against his, but he makes no point to stop it.

Maybe four becoming seven isn’t that bad.

-----

They start to meet frequently in the library.  Jimin always manages to find Yoongi tucked away in his favorite corner by the windows.

The two will work in silence until Yoongi can’t deal with Jimin’s fidgeting anymore.  When he couldn’t take any more of the softly tapping foot under the table or the clicking of the top of Jimin’s pen, he’d shut his notebook or close his laptop.  Jimin knew immediately that meant it was time to pack up.

The two would then go get food: lunch, coffee, a midnight snack.  Whatever was time appropriate.

Yoongi learns a lot about Jimin during these food runs.

He learns that he’s a freshman.  He’s a dance major, though most of schedule is filled with general education classes, much to his disappointment.  Jimin rooms with Taehyung, who he’s known since he was a kid.  The two are best friends, and Jimin spends a lot of his time with Yoongi replying to Taehyung’s text messages.

Yoongi tries his best to not let that bother him.

Jimin talks about his family.  He talks about life back in Busan, where he visits every few years.

“The beaches are beautiful, Yoongi.  I’ll have to show you them someday.”

As reluctant as he is, Yoongi starts sharing things with Jimin.  Explains that he’s a creative writing major, minoring in music.  That he’s from Daegu, though offers very little about his family. 

There’s an unspoken rule between the two of them.  They don’t acknowledge all those times that Yoongi embarrassed himself.  They pretend that Jimin hadn’t caught Yoongi spilling coffee several times.  They pretend that Yoongi didn’t drunkenly spill alcohol all over Jimin and then throw up when he complimented him.

They pretend that their friendship didn’t start until they met at the coffee shop after the party.

And if Yoongi’s honest, he likes being Jimin’s friend.

-----

He runs into Jimin one Friday afternoon as he leaves his photography class.  Literally runs into him.  Jimin looks panicked when he crashes into Yoongi, though the panic shifts to surprise when he realizes who exactly he ran into.

“Oh my god, Yoongi!  I’m sorry!  I was running late and I have a practice room booked and I wasn’t paying attention! Are you alright?”

Yoongi is more thrown off by how quickly Jimin is speaking than he was by having Jimin physically run into him.  “I’m fine, Jimin.  If you’re in a hurry, you can go.”

The other boy nods, but doesn’t leave.  He shifts back and forth on his feet, biting his lip like he wants to say more.  “You know… if you’re not busying, you could come with me?”  And Jimin isn’t making eye contact with him anymore, instead choosing to stare at Yoongi’s feet.  “I mean.  Not to dance or anything.  Just to have some company.  But I mean, if you’re busy, don’t worry about it or anything.”

“I have some papers I need to type up…”  Jimin looks absolutely crestfallen.  “So as long as you don’t mind me being on my laptop, I guess I can come.”

-----

Yoongi barely gets any work done in the dance studio.  He’s leaning against one of the walls in the small room, laptop propped in his lap, but he’s barely touched it.  It’s difficult to stay focused when he can see Jimin dancing out of the corner of his eye.  For every minute he spends staring at his laptop screen, he spends another two watching Jimin.

When Jimin finally takes a break, he flops down next to Yoongi, sweaty body sticking to the hardwood floors.

“I think I’m dying,” Jimin croaks out, pulling the bottom of his shirt up to wipe at the sweat on his face.  Yoongi forces himself to look back at his laptop because those are definitely abs, how does someone with such innocent cheeks have abs?

“Not moving is a great way to avoid dying,” Yoongi says casually, typing away at his laptop.  Now that Jimin has stopped dancing, he can properly focus on the work at hand.  Until he feels something nudge at his arm and suddenly Jimin is pushing his way under Yoongi’s elbow, resting his head in Yoongi’s lap.

“Just let me rest for like, five minutes.  Then I’ll stop dying,” Jimin mumbles, snuggling in closer as his nose bumps against Yoongi’s stomach.  Yoongi holds the arm that Jimin moved up against his chest, unsure what to do with it now that Jimin has climbed into his lap.

Gently, Yoongi lowers his hand, resting it on the top of Jimin’s head.  His hair is a little bit sweaty, but it’s soft and silky under Yoongi’s touch.  Jimin lets out a small, content sigh when Yoongi cards his fingers through the short hair.  With one hand stroking through Jimin’s hair, Yoongi returns his attention to his laptop, awkwardly trying to type with only one hand.

When he glances down a few moments later, Jimin’s breathing has steadied, mouth open slightly.  He looks peaceful, almost angelic, as he sleeps.

He lets Jimin sleep a little bit longer.

-----

After that, Yoongi gets a lot better at working while Jimin is dancing.

He also gets better at typing with one hand.

-----

He’s not sure when it became a routine thing.  Every Tuesday and Thursday, he’d walk through the courtyard, heading to his poetry lecture when Jimin would appear.  Sometimes he’d walk up behind Yoongi, other times he’d already be waiting at the courtyard bench.  The same bench he’d sat on the first time the pair saw one another.

Yoongi doesn’t talk much on their brief walks.  He’d never been one for small talk, but Jimin loves to talk.  He’d tell Yoongi all about what had happened since they last saw one another.  About how his classes were going, what his newest dance routine was like, how he did on that paper he’d turned in.  About whatever exciting news about home he received from his last phone call with his mother.  Jimin talks and talks and talks all the way to Yoongi’s lecture hall, and Yoongi just listens until he has to go to class.

Jimin always ends their little walks with a little wave, his voice soft and promising as he says, “See you later, Yoongi.”

Yoongi decides he likes listening to Jimin.

-----

The first time they hang out in Jimin’s dorm room is a few weeks into the newfound friendship.  Their friendship generally stuck to meeting at places; walking to classes together, getting food together, meeting in the library.  Beyond that, it was usually just text messages; Jimin always uses too many emojis and Yoongi relies heavily on one word responses.  So when Yoongi’s phone buzzes one Friday night, he expects nothing more than a dumb cat picture from Jimin, or maybe a link to whatever new dance he was learning.

Jimin

[8:24PM] Do you want to come hang out???

[8:26PM] Taehyung left this weekend and I’m bored :((((

[8:27PM] I would have said yes but now it seems you’re just using me

[8:27PM] I WOULD NEVER

[8:28PM] Please just come hang out with me?

[8:28PM] I’ll make you food!!!!

[8:31PM]…Where do you live?

With the promise of free food, Yoongi finds himself knocking at Jimin’s door roughly half an hour later.  It’s the same building that Yoongi lived in his freshman year, though Yoongi had been several floors higher up than Jimin.  Jimin opens the door almost immediately, greeting Yoongi with a large smile.

The inside feels familiar yet completely different.  There’s the standard of all freshmen rooms: two beds, two desks, two chairs, and two dressers.  The walls are decorated in posters of countless bands and movies.  A few pictures scatter the walls; pictures of Taehyung and Jimin with their friends, their family, each other.

“You can make yourself comfortable while I microwave this ramen.  Do you want anything to drink?  We’ve got water, some energy drinks, I could make you tea…”

“Water is fine,” Yoongi says, sitting down awkwardly on the edge of Jimin’s bed.  He’s still taking in his surroundings.  The room is a pretty stereotypical college boy room, especially with the clothes scattered across the floor, but it’s also undeniably Jimin.

Yoongi’s eyes catch on a picture on the wall right above Jimin’s pillow; a picture he must often look at as he dozes off to sleep.  It’s of Jimin and Taehyung, grinning, cheeks pressing together.  They must have been several years younger, with Taehyung’s hair a natural color and Jimin’s cheeks even chubbier.  Both boys are smiling, Jimin’s eyes scrunched up into crescents.  Yoongi can’t help the soft smile that tugs at his lips.

A bowl being shoved into his hands breaks his focus.

“So I was thinking that we could watch a movie or something?  I don’t know.  We always meet in the library or dance studio and well.  I just thought it’d be nice to actually hang out outside of the context of school.  Because I like spending time with you and want us to be, y’know… actual friends.”

“That sounds good to me,” Yoongi says fondly, before clearing his throat.  “Uh, I mean.  A movie sounds good me.  Yeah.”  He pokes his chopsticks around in his ramen, unable to look at the other boy.  It’s still too hot to eat, so he finds himself pushing the noodles around as Jimin sets up his laptop.  They end up with Jimin’s laptop propped up on a chair in front of his bed, the two sitting side by side as they lean against the wall.

It’s some action movie that Yoongi has never heard of, but Jimin is grinning too much at the screen for Yoongi to complain about it.

When their ramen has been finished, bowls haphazardly stacked on Jimin’s desk, the younger starts to shift.  He leans, ever so slightly, towards Yoongi, pressing their shoulders together.  It’s subtle and Yoongi can’t deny that the warmth radiating off of Jimin is comforting.

The movie comes to an end before Yoongi ever really understands what’s happening, but Jimin quickly hops up to put on another movie, not even consulting Yoongi.  Not that Yoongi would turn down spending more time with Jimin.

Climbing back onto the bed, Jimin wastes no time in leaning up against Yoongi, head resting on his shoulder.  While Yoongi has grown used to Jimin’s constant need for contact, it feels different.  He’s used to intertwined legs under a table or Jimin using Yoongi as a pillow during his dance studio naps.  Yet something about the fact that they’re alone in Jimin’s room, curled up on Jimin’s bed, makes the entire situation feel almost intimate.

Yoongi tries not to think about it.

Nearly half an hour into the movie, Jimin’s breathing has lulled into a steady rhythm.  His body slumps heavily against Yoongi’s side.  He’d been slowly shifting lower and lower until his head found Yoongi’s thigh, using it as a pillow.  The movie never had Yoongi’s attention to begin with, but with the soft sounds Jimin makes in his sleep and the unbelievable amount of warmth pressing into him, he can feel his own eyes growing heavy.

Yoongi isn’t sure when he tipped over or how he got onto his back, but when he wakes up, one leg is dangling off of Jimin’s bed and the other is trapped in Jimin’s death grip.  Jimin’s head is using Yoongi’s stomach as a pillow.  Soft morning light is streaming in from the window and Yoongi can’t believe they slept through the entire night like this.

It’s awkward.  He doesn’t know the rules of literally sleeping with a friend, not to mention he’s lost feeling in both of his legs.  Does he wake Jimin up?  Does he stay trapped in his death grip?  Will his legs fall off if he doesn’t move soon?  Does he try to escape and go back to his own dorm without waking up Jimin?  Would it be considered a walk of shame if he went back?

He doesn’t have to ponder long because he can feel Jimin’s grip on his leg start to loosen and his head shift on his stomach.  Jimin tilts his head, looking up at Yoongi, who does his best not to acknowledge how cute Jimin looks with heavy eyes and messy hair.

There’s a long pause.  The two just stare at one another, fully processing their situation.  Yoongi, the same Yoongi who hated contact and refused to sleep anywhere that wasn’t alone in his own bed, had spent the night.  Jimin’s grip on his leg slacks significantly, though his head seems to nuzzle closer into Yoongi’s stomach.

Jimin’s voice is hoarse when he finally speaks.  “So, wanna get breakfast?”

-----

They do get breakfast.  Yoongi borrows a clean t-shirt from Jimin to make it feel less like a walk of shame in his clothes from last night.  The shirt is soft and Jimin’s scent clings gently to the fabric.  When Jimin changes his own shirt, Yoongi pretends not to notice the lean muscles running their way down his body.

The dining hall is nearly empty.  Most students were either still asleep, exhausted from a wild Friday night, or they had left campus for the weekend.  It’s not bad.  The quiet atmosphere allows Yoongi to eat with Jimin in peace.  The silence between them isn’t awkward like Yoongi had feared it would be.  They mainly look at their plates, though the few times Yoongi gets caught glancing at Jimin are met with a soft smile around food-stuffed cheeks.

“We should do this more often,” Jimin declares around a mouthful of egg.  His eyes are still heavy with sleep, but his usual twinkle has returned.  Under the table, their legs brush against one another.

“Spend the night together or get breakfast together?”

Jimin just grins.

-----

“How come you don’t talk about your family more?” Jimin asks one Wednesday afternoon as they sit in the café on the outskirts of campus.  He had been recounting the time his brother almost caused Jimin to break his arm when the question suddenly popped up.

Yoongi takes a long sip from his coffee and pretends not to have heard the question.  It’s plausible.  Yoongi had zoned out on Jimin more than once before.

Under the table, Jimin pulls his leg away from where it’s pressed into Yoongi’s, only to forcefully knock it back.  “Yoongi.  Are you listening to me?”  He knocks their knees together again and Yoongi finally looks at Jimin in acknowledgement.  “I asked why you never talk about your family.”

“Does it matter?”

Jimin picks up on the acidity in Yoongi’s voice and shies back, even pulling his leg away from Yoongi’s.  “I didn’t know it was a sensitive subject, I’m sorry.”

“We’re just not on good terms,” Yoongi states simply, extending his leg ever so slightly to search for the warmth of Jimin’s again.

“I won’t bring it up anymore, don’t worry,” Jimin offers.  Yoongi tries to give a grateful smile.  Under the table, their legs have reconnected and Jimin resumes his story about his brother.

It’s much later, after they’ve finished their coffee and pastries and Yoongi is walking Jimin back to his dorm (despite protests that you live on the other side of campus and I’m a functional adult, you don’t need to walk me), when Yoongi brings the topic back up.

“I haven’t spoken to my family since I left for college,” Yoongi admits.  Jimin, who Yoongi knew spoke to his mother every other day if not every single day, gives a wide-eyed look.  “Though our relationship wasn’t much better in high school.  There was a lot I did that they didn’t approve of.”

Yoongi thinks of the time his mother caught him with a boy with silver hair and too many piercings outside the house.  He had snuck out and when the boy returned him home, he kissed him goodnight, unaware of his mother waiting inside.  She had screamed and cursed and then didn’t speak to him for a week.  It was the tipping point of their relationship.  Yoongi doesn’t share the story, though, just continues to stare forward.  He doesn’t need to look to see the concern etched on Jimin’s face.

“Like pursuing music and writing in college.  They both thought that was a total waste of time, that I should focus on something not completely useless,” Yoongi isn’t even really talking to Jimin, he’s just speaking aloud, eyes locked straight ahead.  “It sucked, being told that my interests weren’t worthwhile.  There were other things, too.  Our relationship wasn’t exactly healthy before I chose my major.  It just made things worse.  So we just haven’t spoken.  The decision was mutual.”

Yoongi remembers his father throwing slurs at him, how he wanted nothing to do with his own son.  His mother wasn’t much better when she realized that Yoongi kissing boys wasn’t a one-time thing.  It still hurts to think about, but he tries to keep his face calm.

“Yoongi… I never would have asked if I knew,” Jimin offers quietly.  “You didn’t have to tell me.”

“Yeah, well, I wanted to tell you.”

The conversation falls into a lull as they reach the entrance to Jimin’s dorm.  Yoongi starts to mumble out an awkward goodbye, but he’s cut off when Jimin grabs him, pulling him tightly into his arms.  Yoongi flails for a brief moment, body unsure how to react to the sudden contact, before he finds himself wrapping his arms around Jimin, reciprocating the hug.

“Don’t listen to your family, alright?  The things you enjoy aren’t useless,” Jimin’s voice is firm, yet unbelievably sincere.  “Music and writing are an important part of you, don’t let them make you think that’s useless.  You deserve success and happiness no matter what you do.  If your family can’t support that, then they don’t even deserve to speak to you.”

Yoongi can’t speak, afraid that if he opens his mouth, the few tears that are gathering in his eyes will slip out.  Instead, he just stays in Jimin’s tight grip.  It’s safe and warm in his arms; an overwhelming sense of home washes over him.  A sense of home that he never truly got from his family.

When they do finally pull apart, Yoongi can’t quite look at Jimin as he says in a quiet voice, “Thank you.”

If Jimin catches the way Yoongi’s voice cracks slightly, he doesn’t mention it.  He just nods understandingly, turning to head into the building.

He glances back over his shoulder when he reaches the door, and with the same gentle smile he always has, Jimin says a soft, “See you soon, Yoongi,” before disappearing into his building.

-----

Jimin starts frequenting Yoongi’s apartment.  Having lived in the same single apartment since the beginning of his second year, Yoongi doesn’t really see the appeal of hanging out here.  Yet Jimin loves it, voluntarily spending hours lounging on his couch, frequently even spending the night.  Yoongi claims it’s because Jimin always falls asleep on his couch and he just doesn’t feel like waking him, but the truth is that he enjoys the company.

There might even be a small drawer set aside with clothes for Jimin, not that Yoongi would ever admit it.

“You know you have your dorm, right?  With your own roommate?”  Yoongi asks one late afternoon.  He’s tucked against the arm of the couch while Jimin is sprawled across the rest, trying to push his head into Yoongi’s lap for a pillow.  Yoongi once again pushes his head away, then returns his attention to his laptop.

“I know, but Tae won’t let me take naps there; he’s too loud,” Jimin whines, trying to wiggle past Yoongi’s arm yet again.  Yoongi intentionally elbows him in the forehead.  “But at least he’s willing to cuddle with me.”

Yoongi gives him a blank stare.  “This is not cuddling.  This is you trying to use me as your pillow, which I’m not.”

Jimin peers up at him; his neck is bent awkwardly, and the side of his face presses against Yoongi’s thigh.  “Are you saying you’d prefer to actually cuddle?”

“That I- what? No.”

“Our cuddle sessions have been very one sided,” Jimin continues in a thoughtful tone, ignoring the glare Yoongi is now giving him.  “I really have been using you.  I didn’t realize that you wanted to cuddle as well.”

“Jimin, I don’t want-“

Jimin cuts him off by picking the laptop off of his lap and placing it on the coffee table.  “The only clear solution here is that we properly cuddle to make up for all the times I’ve used you,” with that, Jimin pats the spot next to him on the couch and opens his arms wide.

“You’re not going to let this go until I cuddle with you, are you?”  Jimin’s only response is his open arms wiggling more.  Yoongi runs both hands down his face with a heavy sigh.  “You’re such a brat.”

Despite himself, Yoongi shifts himself, extending his legs so he is lying next to Jimin.  The younger boy immediately curls into his side, cheek resting on Yoongi’s chest.

“This is a onetime thing, understand?”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Jimin mumbles, snuggling in closer.

“I mean it,” Yoongi warns, but there’s no truth behind his words.  Having Jimin curled up next to him is surprisingly nice.

Yoongi’s hand rests on Jimin’s hip, absentmindedly drawing shapes into the skin through his shirt.  He finds himself thinking about the night he fell asleep in Jimin’s bed.  There’s that same strange sense of intimacy creeping in on him as he listens to Jimin’s breathing start to lull.  He can’t really help it when his own eyes start to droop, sleep creeping in on him.

They wake up just in time for dinner, and Yoongi is thankful when no one comments on their mussed up hair.

-----

As it turns out, cuddling is not a onetime thing.

Yoongi is surprisingly okay with that.

-----

Yoongi’s dinner routine had comfortably readjusted to four becoming seven.  The three freshmen were all welcome additions to the table.  So when Taehyung and Jeongguk arrived at the table without Jimin, the usual routine suddenly felt wrong.

“No Jimin tonight?”  He asks casually during a lull in the conversation.

Hoseok’s head snaps in his direction.  “Did I hear that right?  Yoongi?  Min Yoongi?  Expressing concern over another human being? Have I been transported into another dimension?”  Yoongi goes to protest but Hoseok cuts him off.  “I didn’t show up to dinner for a week once and you weren’t concerned at all!”

“To be fair,” Seokjin interrupts, “you had the flu and kept spamming the group message, so we all knew where you were.”

“I could have been dying! You had no idea how sick I was!” Hoseok squawks out.

“You kept sending us selfies!”

As Seokjin and Hoseok bicker about his potential death, Namjoon finally chimes in.  “I gotta admit, it is weird seeing you two without Jimin around.”

“He’s been so busy with dance that he forgot he has a math test tomorrow so he’s pulling an all-nighter and won’t leave the room for anything,” Jeongguk explains.

Taehyung nods.  “His excuse was that all-nighters were a part of every college experience so he’s, and I quote, just living the dream.”

The rest of the table mumbles out sympathies.  They had all been there, done that.

Yoongi is the first to leave dinner, making a pit stop to make a cup of coffee first.  On top of his usual cup, he grabs another cup, making it just the way he knew Jimin liked- with too many sugars and a ton of milk.

Jimin’s dorm is significantly out of the way in terms of getting back to Yoongi’s apartment, but it’s relatively close to the dining hall.  When he finds himself outside of Jimin’s door, Yoongi is suddenly awash with embarrassment.  He pulls out a pen from his jacket, scribbling out a small note on the lid.

Good luck on your first all-nighter – Yoongi

Carefully, he places the cup on the ground in front of Jimin’s door.  His knuckles rasp loudly at the wood of the door, and then he hurries towards the stairwell.

“Hello?”  Yoongi can hear Jimin’s voice echo through the hall, but he’s already around the corner and heading down the stairs.  At least he knows Jimin opened the door.

When Yoongi finally checks his phone, hours after he returned from Jimin’s, there’s a message from Jimin.  There are no words, just a long series of heart emojis, even using the ones with different sizes and colors.

Yoongi can’t wipe the smile from his face.

-----

“Can I see your pictures?”

Yoongi looks up from his notebook, confusion evident on his face as he stares at Jimin.  “Can you what?”  He squawks out, a little louder than he should considering they’re in the library.

“Your pictures.  I know you take photography classes, and I’ve seen you with your camera a bunch of times.  I was just curious if I could see them,” Jimin says, and it’s all so casual.

“They’re personal,” Yoongi says curtly.  While Yoongi had no problem showing off his writing and his music, his photography was another story.  “I don’t really like sharing.”

Jimin looks a little bit disappointed, but he shrugs anyway, trying to keep it casual.  “Oh well.  It was worth asking.”

They both turn their attention back to their own work, but Yoongi can see that Jimin’s posture has deflated slightly.  Yoongi sighs.  “I have a… portfolio back at my apartment that I can show you,” he says finally, unable to ignore how disappointed Jimin looks in his peripherals.  “Just let me finish what I’m writing first.”

The next half hour goes by slowly.  Yoongi tries to stay focused on his writing, but it’s difficult when he can feel the excitement bubbling off of Jimin, who has given up any semblance of trying to work.  There’s also a nervousness tugging at his stomach at the thought of showing his pictures to anyone, especially to Jimin.

When he finally shuts his notebook, Jimin springs up almost immediately, more than ready to go.  The walk back to his apartment is filled with Jimin’s excited chattering, though Yoongi is still too nervous to say much. 

Jimin’s in the middle of recounting the time Taehyung made him swim in an icy cold lake during high school for a photography project when they reach Yoongi’s door.

“You can uh, make yourself comfortable while I dig my stuff out,” Yoongi says as he unlocks his door.

Jimin sits patiently on the couch while Yoongi shuffles through his things.  His portfolio is just a binder, filled with his best and his favorite photographs.  He’d recently updated the pictures in it, so it isn’t piled under too much stuff, but there is still a fair amount of papers and notebooks that need to be moved.  Binder in hand, Yoongi plops down on the couch next to Jimin, the latter almost immediately pressing his leg into Yoongi’s.

“Most of these are since I got to college, but a few are from high school.  So.  Enjoy, I guess,” Yoongi shrugs, hanging the binder over to Jimin.  It almost feels like handing over a child.

Jimin pages through the binder carefully, examining all of the pictures.  His knee knocks into Yoongi’s particularly hard, getting his attention.  “Is this you?”

And he’s pointing to one of the only self-portraits in the portfolio.  It’s from high school, back when Yoongi’s hair was black and he wore too many earrings.  His ears tinge pink as he nods that yes, that is indeed him.

“Aw, you were so cute.  What went wrong?”  Jimin snickers.  Yoongi wants to defend himself, to say that he definitely looks better than the awkward mess he used to be, but Jimin has returned his attention to the binder, paging through more pictures.

The silence is practically crushing Yoongi.  It’s so nerve-wracking to have Jimin looking through his pictures, but the fact that the usually talkative boy has gone silent stresses Yoongi even more.  Even Jimin’s leg, which he has grown used to bumping and bouncing against his own, has stilled.

They’ve gotten to more recent pictures, Jimin’s fingers skimming across a picture of himself that Yoongi had taken once when he fell asleep in the library.  When he gets to the dance pictures of Hoseok and Jeongguk, he finally speaks up.  “Wow!  These pictures are so cool!”

He flushes as the compliment.  “They’re okay.  They’re not perfect, though.”

“They don’t need to be perfect to be amazing, Yoongi,” and Jimin’s voice is so sincere that Yoongi can’t help but believe him.  The younger boy turns his attention back to the photos, eyes scrunching up as he smiles.  “Hoseok and Jeonggukkie must really love these!”

Yoongi doesn’t tell Jimin that he’s the first person, other than the photography professor, to see not just these pictures, but any of Yoongi’s portfolio.

-----

When Yoongi wakes up one Thursday morning, it’s not raining.  The sky is overcast, the world turned slightly grey, but there is no rain to be seen.  Even as he gets ready to eat breakfast before class, there’s still not rain.

He brings a hooded sweatshirt just in case.

Of course, by the time he finishes eating and steps outside to head to class, a slight mist has started to fall.  It’s nothing Yoongi can’t handle, pulling the hood of his sweatshirt snug around his head.  A little water never killed anybody.

Until he walks another ten feet or so and the sky decides to completely open up.  Figures.  Yoongi just tugs the hood a little closer to his face and picks up the pace, hoping to god that his laptop and notebooks are safe in his backpack.

It’s no surprise that Jimin isn’t on the courtyard bench when Yoongi finally makes it there, but he can’t help the little bit of disappointment that bubbles up inside of him.  Realistically, he knows that Jimin shouldn’t be out in weather like this.  Knows that he has a life that exists beyond Yoongi.  Yet Yoongi still finds himself frowning.  Jimin was a part of his routine.  His Tuesday and Thursday mornings had begun to center around his time with Jimin.  Him not being there feels wrong; it throws Yoongi’s entire routine out the window.

There isn’t really time to dwell as the rain continues to pour.  Yoongi’s through the courtyard in record time, walking as fast as he can with the hopes of escaping the rain as soon as possible.  His sweatshirt is already drenched and he can feel the rain starting to seep in through his shoes and into his socks.

The rain seems to stop at the same time a warm arm wraps around his shoulder.  “Oh Yoongi, thank god it’s you!”

Yoongi turns his head to find Jimin’s face unbelievably close.  The younger boy is pressed up against Yoongi’s side; his left hand wrapped around Yoongi’s shoulders and his right hand holding an umbrella between them.

“Jimin,” Yoongi breathes out, relishing in the heat that Jimin’s dry body is pressing into him.  “I didn’t think I was going to see you this morning.”

“I would have joined you sooner, but it’s a little difficult to tell who is who from the back when everyone has hoods up,” Jimin smiles sheepishly.  “I might have accidentally gone up to three different people before I finally found you.”

Yoongi can’t help but chuckle, thankful that for once, the embarrassment fell on someone other than himself.  He notices that Jimin’s right shoulder was starting to get wet, while Yoongi was completely protected from the rain.  Not thinking, he wrapped his arm around Jimin’s waist, pulling him in even closer and holding him there.  His body burns at the touch.  “Can’t have you getting sick because of me.  Especially with your dance showcase coming up.  You said it’s next week, right?  How’re preparations going for that?”

At the mention of the event, Jimin’s eyes completely light up.  “I can’t believe you remembered that,” he says in a soft voice.  The look he gives Yoongi stirs up a strange feeling in his stomach, before he’s launching into a full retelling of his latest dance practice.

Yoongi wants to interrupt him, to tell him that he’d never forget something Jimin had told him, but he doesn’t want to stop the younger’s talking.  He’s content to listen to Jimin.

They reach the lecture hall too soon for Yoongi’s liking.  He unwinds his arm from Jimin’s waist, Jimin removing his own arm from Yoongi’s shoulders.

“Thanks for the umbrella, kid,” Yoongi says, feeling a little awkward as he lingers in the doorway of the building.

Jimin beams at him, a little ray of sunshine on this rainy day.  “Of course.  See you later, Yoongi!”

With the warmth bubbling up inside his chest, Yoongi can almost forget that his clothes are still cold and wet.

-----

TaeTae:

[9:13pm] Have u seen Jimin today?

Yoongi squints at his phone.  He’s not sure when Taehyung got his phone and put his number in.  What’s more concerning, however, is that no, he hadn’t seen Jimin all day.  It’s Friday, the day before the big showcase.  Jimin had told Yoongi on their walk yesterday that he got a day off before the event to make sure he’d be properly rested.  Jimin had spent most of the walk whining about all the homework he’d have to work on instead of enjoying his free time, so Yoongi didn’t expect to see him today.

[9:14pm] No. Why?

TaeTae:

[9:14pm] I haven’t seen him since breakfast this morning

[9:15pm] He said he’d be in the library for his day off

[9:15pm] But I checked there and he wasn’t there so

[9:16pm] I assumed he was with u ://////

[9:16pm] He won’t answer any of my texts

[9:17pm] Can u let me know if u see him??????

[9:18pm] I’ll let you know, don’t worry

Despite his casual reply, Yoongi could feel a sense of panic bubble up inside himself.  He tacks on another text, almost as an afterthought.

[9:19pm] If you see him, let me know as well

From all the time he had spent with Jimin, he knew that the younger would never ignore Taehyung’s texts.  The two were disgustingly close, and even if it was nothing more than an emoji, Jimin replied to all of Taehyung’s messages.

If he was ignoring Taehyung, something had to be wrong.

Yoongi decides to try his luck, sending a quick “Is everything ok?” to Jimin’s phone.  Used to his almost instant replies, the fact that nearly five minutes passes with still no response just strengthens Yoongi’s panic.

Grabbing a jacket and throwing his shoes on quickly, Yoongi hurries out of his apartment, quickly heading for the library.

The building is large, there’s a chance that Taehyung just missed Jimin, Yoongi thinks to himself.  He starts in their usual spot, the corner nestled by a window.  No Jimin.  He checks their other frequent locations, though still no sight of the younger.  The rest of the library search is a panicked rush, going through each section with the hopes of finding Jimin.

When it’s clear that he’s nowhere to be found in the library, Yoongi hurries out to continue his search.

Restaurants, parties, friend’s houses.  Jimin could be anywhere.  He could be perfectly fine, out enjoying his night of freedom like any normal college freshman.  Yet Yoongi can’t help the sinking feeling growing in his chest.  Jimin didn’t respond to any of Taehyung’s texts, and he didn’t reply to Yoongi’s either.  Something had to be wrong.

He’s not sure what leads him to the dance studio.  The clock on his phone is reading almost 10:30 and there’s still been no word from Taehyung.  When he gets to the studio, it’s nearly empty.  Music blares from one of the practice rooms, and Yoongi peers in the window.

Standing in the center, drenched in sweat and looking beyond exhausted, is Jimin.  Yoongi watches as he dances the same part over and over, letting out an angry curse every time he makes a mistake.

Not wanting to startle the younger boy, Yoongi opens the door slowly, slipping inside the room.  Jimin is completely oblivious, too engrossed in his own dancing that he doesn’t see Yoongi’s reflection in the mirror.  His eyes are glazed over, looking as though his mind is a thousand miles away.  It’s after a particularly loud and angry curse that Yoongi decides to step in.  He moves across the room.  “Jimin, please stop,” he says softly, reaching out to grab the younger boy’s shoulders.

When Jimin hears the voice, when he feels the touch on his shoulder, he finally snaps out of his trance.  He blinks heavily, staring at Yoongi as if he didn’t believe he was real.  “Yoongi… what are you doing here?”

There’s a slight quiver in his voice, and it sends a pang through Yoongi’s heart.  “I could ask you the same thing, you know.  Today is supposed to be your rest day.  You aren’t supposed to exhaust yourself like this before the showcase.”

At the mention of the showcase, something seems to snap inside of Jimin.  He angrily yanks himself out of Yoongi’s grip.  “I need to keep practicing, though.  I- I’m not… I have to keep practicing.”

Jimin practically throws himself back into the choreography, stumbling only slightly, and Yoongi can see the fatigue radiating off of him.  He reaches out to grab him again but Jimin smacks his hand away, turning away from the older.  Something inside of Yoongi positively aches at the sight of Jimin destroying himself like this.

Yoongi does the only thing he can think of; he steps behind Jimin and wraps his arms as tightly around the boy as he possibly can, lifting him off of the ground to the best of his ability.  Jimin starts to struggle, trying to break out of his arms, but Yoongi just clings on even tighter, arms cinching over Jimin’s stomach.  Only when Jimin’s body goes slack does Yoongi lower him back to the ground.

Jimin turns around to face the older boy.  His cheeks are red and tears have welled up in his eyes.  All it takes is a slight sniffle and Jimin is gone, turned into nothing but a blubbering mess of tears.  Yoongi pulls him in tightly to his chest; it’s a real hug this time, as opposed to the binding grip he’d just had the boy in.  Jimin’s body is almost completely limp and Yoongi lowers the both of them gently so they’re sitting on the ground.  Jimin’s face burrows into Yoongi’s neck as he sobs.

“I’m not good enough, okay?  I- I need… I have to get better,” Jimin whimpers.

Yoongi pulls back, grabbing Jimin’s face in his hands to inspect it closely.  His thumbs wipe at all the hot tears sliding down Jimin’s cheeks.  “Who told you you’re not good enough?”

The question catches him off guard and he chokes back another cry.  “N-no one told me, I just…  I know I’m not good enough. The showcase is tomorrow and I still don’t have the choreography perfected.  I’ve practiced and practiced and...  I’m not good enough to be performing with everyone else.  Jeongguk is younger than me but he’s still so much better.  I thought… If I worked a little bit harder today…”

He starts crying again, fat tears streaking down his face.  Again, Yoongi reaches out to wipe them away.  “What does it matter if you’re not perfect?”  He keeps his voice low, hoping it’ll help soothe Jimin.  “So what if Jeongguk can follow steps better than you?  He’ll never have the same level of passion that you do.  That’s what really makes your dancing special.  You don’t need to be perfect to be amazing.”

Jimin almost immediately recognizes his own words as he looks at Yoongi, eyes wide and incredibly thankful. Yoongi wasn’t trying to recycle what Jimin had said to him not so long ago, but the words rang true.  Jimin lets out a soft sob, throwing his body into Yoongi’s arms again.  Yoongi holds him against his chest for a moment, waiting until Jimin’s breathing starts to calm before he lets go.  He spots Jimin’s water bottle across the room and gets up to grab it quickly.  The two sit in silence, the only real sound between them is Jimin’s sniffling and the occasional gulp when he’d swallow too much water.  Yoongi’s hand rests on Jimin’s back, rubbing comforting circles through the fabric of his shirt.

When Jimin has cried all the tears he can, Yoongi making sure to wipe them all away, he sighs.  “I’m sorry for keeping you out all night.  I’m sure you had better things to be doing than sitting in a dance studio with some dumb crying kid.”

One last tears makes its way down Jimin’s cheek, Yoongi reaching out to wipe it away.  He doesn’t pull his hand away, instead leaving it pressed against Jimin’s cheek.  The younger seems to lean into the touch and Yoongi starts to brush his thumb across his cheekbone.  “Making sure that you’re safe is more important than anything else I could have done tonight.”  Jimin sniffles a little before, before yawning against Yoongi’s hand.  “Hey, you brat.  I’m trying to be meaningful here!”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin mumbles, and it’s clear the exhaustion has caught up to him.  His eyes begin to droop slightly, and Yoongi can tell he’s fading fast.

Yoongi stands up, removing his hand from Jimin’s cheek and holding it out to him instead.  “Let’s get you home, alright?”

Jimin slips his hand into Yoongi’s, holding on even once he’s up and moving.  Their fingers slot together comfortably.  It’s just because he’s exhausted, Yoongi thinks to himself.  And his point is proven when they barely make it outside of the studio and Jimin stumbles, tightening his grip on Yoongi’s hand to balance himself.  He looks utterly spent, trying his best to walk next to Yoongi.  There’s no way he’ll make it back to his dorm.

The elder sighs, stepping in front of Jimin.  He crouches slightly.  “Come on, kid.  Hop on.”

Though Jimin’s eyes had begun to droop in exhaustion, they open wide at the offer.  “Yoongi, you can’t…. I don’t need you to carry me.  I’m fine.”

“Listen, you’re either going to get carried willingly now, or you’re going to get carried in a few minutes when you end up passing out from exhaustion.  I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer the first one.”

Too tired to even argue, Jimin hops up onto Yoongi’s back, arms locking around his neck and legs hooking onto his hips.  There’s a brief bit of awkward stumbling as Yoongi attempts to adjust to the new weight.  There’s also the awkwardness as he tries to figure out where to put his hands, eventually hooking them under Jimin’s upper thighs.

“If you tell anyone that I was this nice to you, I’ll kill you.”

Jimin lets out a soft chuckle as he nuzzles his face into Yoongi’s neck.  “Thank you,” he whispers, and Yoongi can feel his lips brush against his skin as he speaks.

It’s a miracle he doesn’t drop Jimin right then and there.

The walk to Jimin’s dorm is exhausting.  Yoongi doesn’t think he has exerted this much energy in years.  The only thing keeping him going is Jimin’s soft, even breathing that keeps fanning across his neck.  The boy had fallen asleep almost immediately after Yoongi had picked him up.

Thankfully, Jimin’s dorm room is only on the second floor.  The flight of stairs is a challenge, but at least it’s only one.

Yoongi finally reaches Jimin’s door and knocks carefully.  He makes sure it’s loud enough that Taehyung will hear it but not too loud that it would wake Jimin.

He can hear mumbled cursing and a large amount of shifting from the other side of the door.  The door flings open and Yoongi is greeted with the sight of Taehyung, eyes wide and purple hair disheveled.

“Jimin!” He exclaims loudly, and Yoongi can feel the boy stir in his sleep.

“Sh, shh, don’t wake him, you brat!” Yoongi snaps quietly.  “Just help me bring him in.”

Taehyung pushes the door open, ushering Yoongi in.  Jeongguk is sitting up on Taehyung’s bed, looking a little bit startled when he sees Jimin koalaed around Yoongi.  Though Yoongi can’t blame him, anyone would be confused to see Yoongi carrying someone around like this.

“Where on earth did you find him?” Taehyung asks in a much quieter voice, trying to help Yoongi get Jimin onto his own bed.  The boy’s limbs only wrap tighter around Yoongi, unwilling to release the warmth.

“He was working himself into exhaustion in the dance studio.  I don’t know how long he was in there, but he’s lucky he didn’t work himself to death.”

They finally manage to detangle Jimin’s body from Yoongi’s, lying him down on his bed.  Taehyung pulls the blankets around his friend.  Yoongi watches awkwardly from the middle of the room.  His back feels relieved to no longer be weighed down, but he can’t help miss the warmth of Jimin’s body.

“If you hadn’t found him…” Taehyung trails off.  He reaches a hand to brush against his best friend’s cheek, then turns to look at Yoongi.  “Thank you.”

Yoongi scratches at his neck awkwardly and looks to the ground.  Taehyung’s gaze is too much, making him feel unbelievably small.  “Yeah, well… Just.  Just make sure he doesn’t do it again.  I won’t always be around to babysit.”

Taehyung smiles knowingly.  “Of course, Yoongi.  Have a good night.”

Yoongi just nods his goodbye at Taehyung, nodding one at Jeongguk as well.  The youngest is still perched awkwardly on Taehyung’s bed, waving when Yoongi acknowledges him.

When Yoongi finally makes it back to his apartment, he collapses into his bed, the full exhaustion of having carried Jimin all across campus setting into his bones.

As he slips into unconsciousness, Yoongi’s body misses the feeling of Jimin’s warmth.

-----

Yoongi wakes up a text from Jimin in the middle of the night.

Thank you is all it reads.

He falls back to sleep with a smile on his lips.

-----

The dance showcase is hectic.  For previous showcases, Yoongi would meet up with Namjoon and Seokjin, the three going to quietly support Hoseok from the midst of the crowd, before taking him out for a late night meal.

Except now they don’t just have to quietly support just Hoseok, there’s Jeongguk and Jimin as well.  Taehyung joins their support team as well.

Where usually they would sit somewhere in the middle of the audience, Taehyung is adamant that they must sit in the front row.  Not only that, but he makes little nameplates for all of them to hold.

And there’s so much fucking glitter.

If Yoongi hadn’t spent all his energy rescuing Jimin last night, he would have left right then and there.

But he can’t.  So now he’s stuck, sitting front and center in the audience, with a sparkly Jimin nameplate in one hand and a sparkly Hoseok nameplate in the other.  There’s even heart stickers on them.

Taehyung, as is no real surprise, doesn’t cheer at a normal volume.  Instead, he screams loudly, even going so far as to squeal when Jeongguk appears on stage.

It’s embarrassing and Yoongi is pretty sure he never wants to go to a single dance showcase ever again.  At least not one with Taehyung.

But when Jimin finally ends up on stage, Yoongi decides right then and there that he never wants to miss one of his performances. 

Yoongi has seen him dance before.  He’s spent plenty of time hanging out in practice rooms, working on homework while Jimin dances away.  Even hanging out in Jimin’s dorm, or Yoongi’s apartment, sometimes even when a certain song will come on in public, Jimin will dance around.

But Yoongi has never seen Jimin perform.

He’s the polar opposite of the kid that Yoongi carried home last night.  Where self-doubt once sat is replaced by overwhelming confidence.  His body moves so fluidly; not only from an abundance of practice but also from the sheer passion that Jimin puts into everything he does.  It’s utterly mesmerizing that any single human being could possess as much grace as Jimin does, moving his body in perfect rhythm with the music.

It strikes Yoongi, somewhere in the midst of watching Jimin dance, that he likes Jimin. 

In such a short period of time, Jimin had wedged his way into Yoongi’s life.  He filled a vacancy that Yoongi didn’t even know existed, but he can’t imagine going back.  Can’t imagine walking to his classes alone.  Can’t imagine working in the library alone.  Can’t imagine going a day without receiving too many emojis.  Can’t imagine his daily life without Park Jimin.

It makes sense, really.  Yoongi has never been good at letting people into his life, yet Jimin slid right in like he had always belonged.  There is no pinpoint moment, no exact point in time that strikes Yoongi as when he became enamored by Jimin.  But sitting in a crowded auditorium, with Jimin absolutely shining as he dances on stage, there is no question of his feelings.  All the pieces in his mind seem to click into place and suddenly Yoongi understands why he lets Jimin interrupt his quiet work in the library or why he was willing to share his photography portfolio.  Why he spent the entire previous evening searching the campus for him.

For the first time in years, Min Yoongi has a crush.

When Jimin is offstage, Yoongi spends the next few performances mulling over his feelings.  Could they be reciprocated? 

It wasn’t completely impossible.  Yoongi had had a fair share of people express attraction towards him over the years, though very few stuck around because of his personality.  Yet Jimin put up with Yoongi in a way that no one ever had before.  He actively sought him out, chose to spend so much time with him. 

When Jimin comes back on stage for the final group performance, all other thoughts fade away.  All Yoongi knows is that he doesn’t want to lose the warmth that Jimin stirs up inside of him.

-----

When the showcase ends, there’s a rush of people milling around, many wielding flowers and other presents for participants.  The boys wait for the crowd to die down a bit before going to find their own friends.

Taehyung finds them first.  At least, he finds Jeongguk and Jimin.  The rest to catch up to them as Taehyung launches himself onto Jeongguk, long arms engulfing him as he plants a giant kiss on his cheek.

“No love for me, Tae?” Jimin’s trying to pout, but his giggle shows no true hurt behind the words.

Taehyung unwinds himself from Jeongguk and turns to his roommate.  “There is always love for you, Jiminnie!” He coos, before flinging his body at the other boy.  Jimin supports the weight, as Taehyung jumps and wraps his legs around Jimin’s waist.  He then proceeds to plant wet kisses all across Jimin’s face, loud smacking noises sounding from each kiss.  Worse than that is Jimin’s response; eyes scrunching up into familiar crescents while he giggles energetically.

Yoongi wishes he hadn’t realized his crush on Jimin.  Wishes he didn’t recognize the feeling of jealousy bubbling up inside his chest.  Wishes he could be blissfully unaware of Taehyung kissing all over Jimin’s face.  Most of all, he wishes he didn’t feel so stupid.

Of course there had to be something more between Jimin and Taehyung.  They had been friends for years; they knew one another better than anyone else did.  It all seemed to click into place.  All of Taehyung’s excessive touching.  The fact that Jimin would text Taehyung no matter what he was doing.  Taehyung always made Jimin so happy.

Besides, Yoongi is just Yoongi.  He knows he isn’t good enough for Jimin.  Jimin deserves someone who is all sunshine and smiles, like Taehyung.  Not Yoongi, all frowns and sarcasm.  How could he even think that Jimin might reciprocate his feelings?

Across the way, beyond the still ongoing display of affection, Yoongi spots Hoseok and quickly excuses himself to get his friend.

“Whoa man, are you alright?  You look like shit!” Hoseok exclaims when Yoongi reaches him through the crowd.

“Thanks, Hoseok.  I’m really glad I came out to support you tonight,” Yoongi grumbles, trying to keep any hurt out of his voice.  “I’m just… hungry.  We’re all waiting on you to go get dinner, so let’s get going, yeah?”

-----

Going to dinner doesn’t make Yoongi feel any better.  He ends up sitting next to Jimin, trying his best to avoid the little touches they usually exchange.  When Jimin attempts to press his leg against Yoongi’s, the older boy shies away, tucking his legs underneath himself instead.  Taehyung is on Jimin’s other side, arms slung around both Jimin and Jeongguk.  The jealousy hasn’t gone away and Yoongi tries his best to ignore that half of the table, instead focusing on Hoseok and Jin having a conversation about the performance on his left.

“Hey Yoongi,” a soft tap on his arm accompanies the soft voice.  Jimin keeps his voice low as he continues, making it so that no one else can hear their conversation.  “I didn’t get to actually thank you for… you know.  Last night and all.  But I really do appreciate it.  Honestly.  It was-“

“Don’t worry about it,” and Yoongi doesn’t mean to snap at Jimin, doesn’t mean for his words to come out harsh and irritated, but it can’t be undone.

Jimin looks taken aback.  “Look, I didn’t mean to inconvenience you or anything…”

“I said, don’t worry about it, okay?”  This time the irritation is more intentional.  He doesn’t want to think about last night.  About how Jimin had cried in his arms while he wiped away the tears.  How he carried Jimin for nearly fifteen minutes to get him back to his dorm.  How Jimin’s body wrapped around his so comfortably.  How his breath tickled at his neck and his lips brushed his skin.  How it meant so much more to Yoongi than it did to Jimin.

Yoongi turns abruptly back to his food, signaling to Jimin that the conversation was over.  In the corner of his eye he can see Jimin deflate slightly before turning back to Taehyung.

Yoongi curses himself internally. 

The tension seems to spread across the table.  Everyone can sense that Yoongi is sulking more than usual, while Jimin’s participation in group conversation dwindles done to almost nothing.  Not even Taehyung and Hoseok’s collective energy is enough to revive the mood at the table.

It gets to be too much, trying to stay distanced from Jimin while wanting nothing more to comfort him, and Yoongi has to excuse himself from dinner early, claiming he had forgotten an assignment that was due in the morning.  It feels almost relieving.

When Yoongi finally gets back to his apartment, flopping onto his couch so he can bury his face in his pillows, he remembers- he never even congratulated Jimin on his performance.

He’s thankful the pillow muffles his loud groan.

-----

Yoongi starts to avoid Jimin.  On Tuesday, he leaves for his class significantly earlier than usual, knowing that Jimin was still in a class of his own.  His extra time in the lecture hall gives him time to dwell on what a shitty person he is.  He spends less time in the library, instead staying locked away in his own apartment.  He even skips dinner twice, ordering takeout instead.  His usual one-word texts have dwindled to practically no response at all.

It feels wrong to cut Jimin out of his life like this, after Jimin had so carefully squeezed himself in.  But Yoongi needs to get passed this crush.  Needs to rid himself of these feelings so that he can continue to have Jimin in his life without any unrequited love.  He needs time.

He doesn’t get any because Friday afternoon, shortly after he returned from his photography class, there’s a knock on the door.  Jimin.

He greets Yoongi like he hasn’t been ignored for the past week, greets him like the last real conversation they had wasn’t when Yoongi snapped at him in the restaurant.

“You don’t mind if I hang out here for a while, do you?  I needed to get out of my room and I knew that your class ended not too long ago so I figured…” Jimin trails off as he plops down on Yoongi’s sofa.  He looks oddly small with the way his head hangs towards the ground.

“Yeah, it’s no problem.”  An uncomfortable silence falls between them.  Yoongi sits at his desk, unable to sit as close to Jimin as the couch would force.  At least he knows he’s not the only one feeling awkward as he watches Jimin look at the floor, the ceiling, anywhere but Yoongi.  Jimin startles slightly when Yoongi finally breaks the silence.  “So uh.  Why did you need to get out of your room?”

“Oh, well, Jeongguk came over, so I figured I’d let him and Tae have some alone time,” Jimin shrugs.

“But wouldn’t…” Yoongi pauses.  He doesn’t know how to state this without insinuating something Jimin might not be comfortable with.  “I mean, don’t you…  Wouldn’t you want to hang out with them?”

“Well, yeah, they’re my friends and I like hanging out with them, but they deserve to have some time alone.”

“It doesn’t… bother you at all?”

Jimin’s eyebrows furrow and he looks at Yoongi with something akin to anger.  “Why should it bother me?  Because it’s two guys, is that it?  Do you have a problem with them dating?  Is this some weird homophobia thing or something because-“

And oh.

Oh.

Yoongi suddenly feels so stupid.  “Taehyung is dating Jeongguk?”  He interrupts Jimin’s rant.  The other boy nods slowly, still looking skeptically at Yoongi.  “I thought…  Honestly, I thought there was something going on between you and Taehyung.”

“Wait, Taehyung? And me?”  Jimin sounds absolutely incredulous.  “Besides the fact that he’s been head over heels with Jeongguk since the minute he saw him, how could I date Taehyung?  God, he’s like my brother.  I’ve known him since I was a kid.  He ate bugs when he was little!  That’s gross.  He’s gross!  I cannot believe that you thought that I had something with Taehyung.”

All Yoongi can do is shrug, staring sheepishly at the ground.  It’s true, he had jumped to conclusions with Jimin and Taehyung, but it had made sense in his mind.  Jimin having feelings for Taehyung seemed more logical to him than Jimin reciprocating his own feelings.

“Yoongi…” Jimin starts, voice soft and hesitant.  “This isn’t why you’ve been avoiding me, is it?  Because you thought there was something between Taehyung and me?”

Yoongi doesn’t say anything, just continues to stare at the ground.  Maybe he can feign innocence, act like he didn’t hear what Jimin had just said.  But the younger isn’t having it; he gets up from the couch and moves to stand in front of Yoongi.

“Look, you ignored me all week.  Please don’t ignore me now.”

“I didn’t want to get in the way of whatever was going on between the two of you,” he mumbles, still speaking to the ground.

“Get in the way…”  Jimin’s voice trails off, and Yoongi feels fingers under his chin, tilting his head up so that he finally has to make eye contact with Jimin.  “How would you get in the way?”

It’s now or never.  Do or die, Yoongi thinks.  He sucks in a deep breath.

“Jimin, I like you,” Yoongi starts.  “And that alone is a rare thing, because I don’t like very many people.  But I like you a lot more than I like most people.  Like a lot more.  And I got scared because I didn’t want my feelings to ruin this friendship because honestly, Jimin, you’ve become one of the most important people in my life.  Not seeing you all week was honestly shit.  I really didn’t want to ruin what’s between us so instead I just ignored and avoided you and ruined things anyway because I’m the worst.  I’m sorry I’m such an idiot.”

Jimin’s hand falls away from Yoongi’s chin and all he can think is this is it, friendship is over, congratulations Min Yoongi, you have ruined everything.

But then Jimin swoops his head down, pressing warm lips against Yoongi’s.  It’s a little awkward, with the way that Jimin has to bend to reach Yoongi in the chair and the fact that the shock leaves him motionless.  Jimin pulls away quickly, spine straightening immediately.  His face is pink, flushed with embarrassment.  Yoongi follows after him, standing up from his seat so the two are face to face.  As Jimin starts to back away in embarrassment, Yoongi grabs him by the back of the neck, and swoops in to kiss him.

He’s overeager, and there’s an unpleasant clank of teeth against teeth.  There’s some shifting and readjusting involved, but when their lips meet again, it’s warm and soft and Yoongi can’t believe how it finally feels to be kissing Jimin.  Yoongi pulls back slightly to lean in again, pressing two, three, four light kisses to Jimin’s lips in quick succession before going in for another long kiss.

They finally pull apart, out of breath, their faces flushed.  Yoongi’s lips are left tingling from the contact.  It’s a feeling he could get used to.

“Honestly, I’ve wanted to do that since I saw you spill coffee all over yourself months ago,” Jimin confesses, a shy smile toying at his lips.

“What took so long, then?”

“Well, I called you cute one time and you almost threw up on me, so that might have put a dent in my confidence,” Jimin grins.  All Yoongi can do is roll his eyes and bring his lips back to Jimin’s.

When they kiss again, Yoongi knows there’s no place he’d rather be.

-----

On their first official date, a lunch-date to the café on the edge of campus which doesn’t feel very different from their usual hangouts, Yoongi accidentally knocks over his coffee, splashing it onto the both of them.

It feels like they’ve come oddly full circle; Jimin giggles at the mess, eyes scrunched up into crescents just like the first time he saw Yoongi.

This time, though, Jimin gets to kiss Yoongi’s scowl away.