Yoongi fucking hates bartending. He absolutely does not get paid enough. There’s always someone crying at the counter - usually to him, and he never cares - and rowdy groups with already high volumes that increase with each shot and middle aged men who day drink, which isn’t inherently a problem but Yoongi can’t help but find it a little pathetic and it’s exhausting feeling sorry for old guys with no friends and too much money. And, just like now, there’s always some newly twenty one year old with no idea what, or how much, to drink.
It takes Yoongi three fruity drinks to figure out which the baby faced boy sitting at his bar that night is. After checking his I.D three different times and asking him a wide array of questions to prove the card claiming that “Park Jimin” is twenty three is one hundred percent real, Yoongi started to fulfill his requests for complicated (and not very good) beverages.
Eventually, he got tired of mixing juices and looking for those stupid goddamn mini-umbrellas that Jungkook spilled around in one of the cabinets because “it tastes better with it” at the whims of a child who was picking names off random at the neatly made menu that Jin hung up behind Yoongi (he swore every day he was going to take it down and every day someone hid his step ladder) and set down a plain vodka (Jin also constantly told Yoongi that he couldn’t just give people random drinks because he was lazy, the point was that he make what they ordered. Yoongi always replied that it was his establishment and they could fuck off if they didn’t want to drink what he gave them).
That was his second mistake. The first was opening a bar.
“He’s, just…” the sounds slur together but Yoongi’s had so much practice deciphering drunken sob stories, he follows along easily, absently washing a glass while half-listening and watching the tables for any misconduct he could use as an excuse to kick people out, “he was so… he was so nice.“
"If he’s so nice, why are you here, alone, crying?” Yoongi doesn’t know why he’s asking. He never asks. He doesn’t give a shit.Indignant, Jimin wipes the tears that Yoongi can clearly see on his cheeks away and pouts, swearing that he is not. It’s kind of cute. Maybe that’s why he asked.
Editing, Yoongi presses, “If he’s so nice, why are you here, alone, not crying?"
"He took everything."
Yoongi’s never heard the word "everything” be said so dramatically. It makes him laugh, just a little, which only makes Jimin look more unhappy.
“He took the dog,” Jimin stage-whispers, spreading his hands out across the bar and raising an eyebrow at Yoongi, as if asking him to argue. About what, Yoongi isn’t sure.
Abruptly, Jimin throws his arms into the air and demands boisterously that Yoongi give him “another”, brandishing the glass.
“Since he took the dog,” Yoongi mutters, sarcastic, and pours the smallest shot of his lightest liquor into the cup.
From what he’s heard, Yoongi knows that Jimin just graduated school as a dance major, and apparently the boy he’d been dating for the last year and a half suddenly did a one-eighty, racked up some debt on Jimin’s credit card, stole some of his things from their shared apartment (including the dog) and told Jimin he was going to die alone.
So, Jimin decided to die alone. Drunk. In Yoongi’s bar.
“I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for me to poison you,” Yoongi explains when Jimin finishes his shot and tells Yoongi to give him as many more as it takes for him to fall asleep.
“It’s not poisoning,” Jimin argues, but Yoongi doesn’t think he’d have to give him anymore anyways. He can see the signs of sleep coming, the droopy eyes, the dip of the head. It’s only a few more minutes before Jimin’s passed out in his stool, “It’s just helping.”
Yoongi’s, clearly, given him enough help. Berating himself, a little, because he knows he needed to cut Jimin off, probably after the first drink when he started sniffling and asking Yoongi if he’d ever love again, grabbing at his wrist every time he started to pour something, Yoongi calls into the back to ask someone to come watch the front while he takes someone outside.
Hoseok eventually comes, complaining that he was in the midst of a intense game of cards with Jungkook and Yoongi, first of all, doesn’t know how intense a card game can get, and second of all, regrets hiring his friends to work for him.
“I’m taking him for a cab,” Yoongi tells him, untying the short apron from his waist and hopping over the bar (“You’re such a fucking showoff.”) to where Jimin is teetering on his stool, “Don’t do anything."
"Don’t serve anyone?” Hoseok asks innocently, taking him too seriously on purpose and Yoongi moves to hit him. Laughing, Hoseok dodges his hand and waves him away with a suggestive look and a reminder to come back soon.
Yoongi gives him a dirty look. Normally he sends Jin to help people home.
As soon as Yoongi gets Jimin, who’s worryingly light, he thinks, into the night air, the younger boy becomes fully alert. He also, immediately, shoves his hands under Yoongi’s t-shirt, seeking the warmth of his skin.
“Why?” He whines, right in Yoongi’s ear. It’s less annoying than Yoongi wants it to be, “Let me drink.”
“You’ve had enough.”
“There’s never enough,” Jimin claims, even though Yoongi is pretty sure this is the first time he’s drank in his life. True to form, Jimin clings. His fingers slide further up Yoongi’s torso until they’re pressed under his armpit, his shirt pulled all the way up. Jimin holds on tightly, to the point that Yoongi is just literally dragging him towards the curb where Namjoon is waiting with his cab.
“You’re really cute,” Jimin notices when he tries - and fails - to kiss Yoongi’s neck. With the way they’re moving, Yoongi can’t move his head enough to see the drunk boy, but he can feel how close his face is, can feel Jimin’s eyes scanning every inch of his face.
Letting go completely, too suddenly, Jimin starts to fall away from Yoongi. When Yoongi catches him and pulls him back onto his feet, Jimin cups Yoongi’s cheeks with cold hands and leans towards his lips.
Yoongi’s not sure if it’s on purpose or not, but, Jimin kisses his nose instead, sloppy and wet and it’s disgusting but he can still feel his cheeks heat up.
He should not have given this kid any drinks. He’s making a new rule. His bar is thirty and up. Maybe even fifty. If this shit goes on, he’s going to age so fast.
“Listen,” Yoongi starts, holding Jimin up outside of the open door of the cab while he giggles like it’s a game and not Yoongi trying to ship him off back home, “I know you’re probably not going to remember this tomorrow, but I have three very important things to tell you. One, don’t drink. You’re awful at it. You’re the worst, even. Two, you’re probably going to be really hungover tomorrow. Remember that feeling forever. Seriously, don’t drink anymore. Three, that guy? He’s nothing. He should be nothing to you. So, he took your money, he took your dog, he took whatever else. Alright. It happened,” Jimin seems like he’s listening and Yoongi still isn’t sure why he cares enough to say it at all, “It happened, bit it’s done. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing left, of him, or of your relationship, and that’s shit, I know, but it’s just gone. You can’t fucking waste away because some piece of shit didn’t care about you. Other people care about you. Here I am, caring about you, for no good goddamn reason. So, move on. You just have to move on. Just move on, find someone’s who’s actually nice, find someone who does care, and stick with them instead. Don’t get drunk because some asshole didn’t know a good thing when he saw one."
He can see Namjoon peering at him through the review with a look that Yoongi doesn’t like, and he shoves Jimin into the backseat a little more roughly than he should, and stays only long enough to heard Jimin stammer out the beginning of his address before going back into the bar and saying a silent goodbye to the cute, sad boy that will hopefully never enter his bar again.
Three weeks later, Jimin enters his bar again.
"I’m not serving you,” Yoongi says as soon as he walks in.
“That’s a terrible way to run a business,” Jimin teases. Yoongi already likes him better sober.
“It’s three in the afternoon and I told you to never drink again."
"I thought I wasn’t supposed to remember,” Jimin replies, but nods as if it’s fair, and adds, “I didn’t come in here for a drink, anyway.”
“Oh,” Yoongi’s not sure what to do anymore. They stand on opposite sides of the bar, silent until Jimin explains.
“I came to ask you on a date.”
Yoongi has several responses ready. One, “I don’t date.” Two, “I don’t date kids.” Three, “I don’t date kids who get drunk at my bar and cry about their shitty boyfriends and tell me I’m cute.” Four, “My entire experience with you is when you got drunk at my bar and cried about your shitty boyfriend and told me I’m cute.” Five, “You don’t want to date me.” Six, “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
What he does say is, “Why should I be your rebound?"
"You’re the one who told me to move on.”
“I didn’t mean with me.”
“Why not you? You told me to find someone who cares.”
“I’m not here to be every drunk kid’s rebound."
"What if you’re not just some rebound?”
Yoongi isn’t one to take chances. He never has been. But, he considers Jimin, and his red cheeks and his bright smile and his hopeful eyes, filled with all the young naivety and sincerity that Yoongi misses sometimes. It makes Yoongi feel forty and fifteen all at once. It’s not a bad feeling.
“Alright,” he decides, “I’ll go on a date with you.”
At least he knows Jimin won’t steal his dog.