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Love Like Oxygen

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Jungkook woke up on a lazy Saturday morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and he...couldn’t breathe. He groaned and rolled out of bed to go blow his nose, not that it helped much. His eyes were itchy and his throat felt raw; it was the middle of June and he knew he wasn’t sick. He groaned and threw on some shoes, realizing the time had finally come.

Around two months ago Jungkook had moved into a cheap apartment that sat right above a flower shop. Maybe about a week ago, he’d started waking up with horrible allergies. The flower shop below him had begun advertising new bouquets right around the same time. He could only conclude that they had a new type of flower that Jungkook was severely allergic to.

He trudged down the single flight of stairs and circled around to the shop’s entrance. He had to pause before going inside, sneezing a few times despite already taking claritin. He walked in, looking around for an employee amongst the sea of bright plants. He sniffled and walked further into the shop before he was stopped.

“Good morning! Can I help you find anything?” Jungkook turned to see a man, maybe a bit older than him, with his sleeves rolled up and dirt on his hands and a smile that could kill and-


Every word Jungkook had planned to say slipped right out his mind and he stood there, staring blankly at the worker.

“Uh, my name is Seokjin. I would shake your hand but,” Seokjin held up his dirty hands bashfully, “I just finished potting a plant and don’t want to soil you.”

That was a horrible pun. Maybe the worst pun Jungkook had ever heard. But he couldn’t stop himself from chuckling along with this Seokjin guy. His laughter was as contagious as his smile.

“So, can I help you find something, uh…” Seokjin paused, “Sorry I didn’t catch your name.”

“Jungkook. That’s. My name.” He stuttered out and tried hard not to stare at the smile Seokjin gave him.

“Well, what kind of flowers are you looking for? We have something for every occasion. Do you like lilies? You seem like a lily kind of guy.”

By the time Jungkook left the shop, he had two new potted plants and a vase of lilies. And a killer headache reminding him of the unsolved allergy crisis.




“Okay, so why don’t you just go back down and ask him? You’ve seen him once, you’re prepared now.” Taehyung commented, shoving another handful of popcorn in his mouth.

“You don’t think I already tried that? The minute I saw him again he started chatting about fertilizers for the plants I bought and I ended up spending another $20 on plant shit.” Jungkook groaned.

He really wanted to know what was causing his allergies before he needed prescription strength meds. But every time he walked in and watched Seokjin’s face light up, he didn’t have the heart to complain about his precious flowers and their damned pollen.

“I have an idea!” Taehyung screamed some ten minutes later, effectively scaring the shit out of Jungkook.

You think he’d be used to it by now. Four years of best-friendship with Taehyung, and the older still managed to get to him.

“You’re sure it’s one of the seasonal flowers right? So, just go to the florist every other day and buy a different bouquet. One of them is bound to be the culprit.” Taehyung nodded to himself vigorously, as if he’d just solved world hunger.

“Tae, that’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard.”

But come the next day, Jungkook was walking back into that flower shop, and he didn’t leave empty handed.

By the end of the week, Jungkook’s small loft was crammed with colorful flower arrangements.

“Woah, you actually listened to me?” Taehyung laughed as he stepped into the apartment. Jungkook still had sense enough to blush.

“It was a stupid idea, just like I said. Now I’m out a hundred dollars and I still haven’t found what I’m allergic to.” He frowned, flicking at the nearest flower.

“Hey, I didn’t know that lilies were seasonal.” Taehyung commented, stroking one of the white flowers.

“Oh, uh, they’re not. I them.” Jungkook mumbled, trying again to hide his blush.

But of course Taehyung noticed it. Taehyung notices everything. That little shit.



“So you’re telling me this guy just comes in every day and buys a new flower arrangement and you’re convinced he’s not some sort of sociopath?” Yoongi summarized the entire ordeal in one simple sentence. Seokjin frowned.

“Not a guy, he’s more like a kid. And he’s cute,” Seokjin slapped at Yoongi before he could start teasing, “like his mannerisms are cute, not creepy or anything. Plus, he’s actually paying for the flowers, so why should I be concerned with how much he buys.”

“Maybe because you’re wishing those flowers he buys were for you and not whatever girl he’s trying to bang.” Yoongi smirked and leaned out of reach when Seokjin moved to slap him again.

“Stop provoking him so much. One day Jinnie will seriously snap and I‘m not gonna be the one to save your skin.” Hoseok laughed while beckoning the bartender over to fill his glass.

“Is he still pining over that kid who’s become his most valued customer?” Namjoon asks as he fills their glasses.

“I’m not pining! Oh my god.” Seokjin nodded a thanks to Namjoon before downing his glass to avoid speaking again.


“I don’t get it, why don’t you just ask the kid why he needs so many flowers?” Yoongi slurred later in the night, after quite a few more drinks.

“Because I really don’t want to know about his girlfriend or whoever he’s getting them for. My poor heart wouldn’t survive.” Seokjin whined, red in the face from too many beers.

“Jinnie, you’re too old for this. Just solve the mystery so you can have closure and move on.” Hoseok said gently, always with that good-natured smile.

“He’s right, just get it over with. I’m tired of listening to you complain about it every night.” Yoongi groaned from where he was slumped on the counter.

“Namjoon, what do you think?” Seokjin mumbled, playing with his empty glass.

“I think that Hoseok is right, Yoongi is rude and that I’m going to call a cab for all of you.” He commented while cleaning up the area.

Seokjin’s pout didn’t recede for the rest of the night.




Jungkook took his daily dose of benadryl (prescription strength) before throwing on his shoes and heading down to the flower shop. If his math was correct, there were only two types of bouquets left that could be the culprit. He would settle this battle today.

What he wasn’t expecting was to walk in to the sight of an uncharacteristically sullen Seokjin. He hesitated before making his way to the counter, greeting the man with a smile as usual. Upon noticing him, Seokjin seemed to perk back up, returning the smile, but with a little more effort than usual.

“How’s my most frequent customer today? Here to buy more flowers?” Seokjin teased, but his laugh was a bit forced. Jungkook chuckled nervously.

“Yeah actually I am.” Jungkook answered bashfully, shuffling his feet a bit when Seokjin’s smile faltered.

“Let me guess, another one of the seasonal bouquets?” Seokjin asked, pulling out the flyer with all the arrangements.

“Mhm,” Jungkook nodded, scanning the flyer. He was right, there were only two he hadn’t tried yet.

“How about this one?” Jungkook asked, pointing to the brighter of the two. For some reason he felt maybe the brighter the flower, the more deadly the pollen.

Seokjin hummed and walked around the counter to go prepare the arrangement. Jungkook followed as per usual, more because he didn’t like waiting alone and not because he liked the way Seokjin’s face looked when he concentrated (he’d do this little pout with his lips and furrow his brows and it was not cute).

“So,” Seokjin started after a few minutes of silence, “who’s the lucky girl?”

Jungkook stared at him, taking a bit too long to process the words. Lucky girl. Lucky...what?

“Excuse me?” he finally sputtered, trying to fight the blush creeping up his neck.

“She must be pretty special for you to be spending so much money on these flowers.” Seokjin laughed that forced laugh again and Jungkook didn’t know what to say. But there was a slight frown on Seokjin’s face and Jungkook didn’t like it one bit. So maybe the truth would be best.

“No, no. There’s no girl. Really. No girls.” Jungkook fought not to blush when Seokjin stared at him doubtfully, raising an eyebrow.

“Okay then...who’s the lucky boy?” Seokjin asked, continuing his flower arrangement. Jungkook choked on air.

“No boy. Not that either.” He answered, fighting not to stutter.

“Then why are you buying all these flowers?” Seokjin looked at him with genuine confusion.

Jungkook started tapping his fingers nervously, looking everywhere except at Seokjin. This was it, time to tell the truth. Honestly, I live right upstairs and I started getting severe allergies and it’s from one of your new flowers but I don’t know which one so I just started buying them all to figure it out because every time I look at you I forget how to even speak and I don’t have any other excuse to see you every day.

Jungkook could feel his face heating up. Seokjin had stopped working on the flowers a while ago, waiting for his answer, watching him.

“I, uh...well you see-” Jungkook started only to be cut off.

“Jinnie!” A loud voice echoed from the front of the store, startling the two. A man approached them, looking at Jungkook curiously before addressing Seokjin.

“You left your jacket and wallet at my place last night.” He explained, holding up said jacket.

“Oh, thanks Hoseok. Just put it in the back room for me.” Seokjin smiled at the newcomer and Jungkook felt his gut twist uncomfortably.

“You should take me out for lunch as a thank you.” Hoseok called out as he walked away, laughing brightly. Seokjin just smiled and went back to finishing the bouquet.

Jungkook felt strange. Kind of like his insides wanted to implode and save him from this situation. He really should have guessed that a guy as attractive and nice as Seokjin wouldn’t be single. Now he just felt very small and very naive and very much like the 22 year old he was.

“Alright, there we go.” Seokjin clapped, finished with the flowers, effectively catching Jungkook’s focus again.

Jungkook stared at the finished flower arrangement just to have something to look at. He didn’t even realize he was frowning until Seokjin cleared his throat nervously.

“What’s the matter? Do you, um, not like it?” The older man asked, his light chuckled laced with worry.

“Ah, no, it’s beautiful like always. Thanks Seokjin.” Jungkook rushed to amend, smiling in a way he hoped was reassuring. The relief he felt when Seokjin’s eyes softened at the praise was worth it. The sound of a door closing snapped Jungkook out of his daze yet again.

“Anyways, I’ll get going now I don’t want to keep you from your date much longer.” Jungkook joked although it sounded hollow even to him. He didn’t pause to see the look of shock on Seokjin’s face.

“Wait you mean-”

“Okay, bye!” Jungkook grabbed the flowers and rushed out the shop before he had to see that Hoseok guy again.

He didn’t quite feel like returning to his flower-filled apartment just yet so he called Taehyung. If anyone knew how to throw a pity party, it would be him.




“Calm down now, this could be a good thing.” Hoseok reasoned at the bar that night, sneakily trying to push away Seokjin’s drink.

“How could this possibly be a good thing. He thinks I’m dating you.” Seokjin whined then hiccuped.

“You said that Jungkook got real fidgety and embarrassed after Hoseok came in right?” Yoongi asked dully.

Seokjin frowned at his friend but nodded nonetheless.

“Then that’s a good thing you dumbass. He’s probably been flirting with you this whole time and felt ashamed because he thinks you’re taken. Honestly, how dense can you be…” Yoongi mumbled into his half empty mug.

Seokjin stared at him blankly. He’d never considered that actually. He turned back to Hoseok.

“Maybe this was a good thing.” He smiled.

“You know what would be a good thing? If one of you dragged the short one home before he throws himself at my new busboy.” Namjoon interrupted, directing their attention to where Yoongi was practically drooling over a boy cleaning one of the tables.

“Ay Yoongi, you trying to catch flies with your mouth open like that?” Hoseok yelled a little too loud, catching the attention of everyone in the vicinity (including the busboy).

Yoongi turned bright red when the boy caught his gaze and smiled. Namjoon frowned.

“Jimin, if you know what’s good for you, keep cleaning those tables and never talk to this guy.” Namjoon warned, going back to work.

“Asshole.” Yoongi grumbled, chancing one more glance at Jimin before collapsing on the counter for a nap.

Seokjin and Hoseok exchanged a look.

“I took him home last time.” Hoseok stated firmly.

Seokjin sighed. It was gonna be a long night.




Jungkook woke up on a lazy Saturday morning. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and he...had a massive hangover. Apparently Taehyung’s idea of a pity party included a bottle of vodka to accompany the ice cream and Bring It On marathon. He got up from his place on the couch and didn’t even try to not step on Taehyung where he lay sprawled on the floor.

After washing up and taking some advil for his headache, Jungkook concluded it was about time he went home. His plants needed to be watered and whatnot, he thought wryly. He kicked Taehyung awake on his way out, his special way of saying goodbye.

The noon day sun felt good on his face and the summer breeze cleared his head. He’d have to confront Seokjin eventually. If not to explain himself, then to ask about the plants he bought at the start of this all; regardless of his personal feelings, he’d gotten quite attached to those plants and he didn’t want to just let them die. He slowed as he rounded the corner, the flower shop visible in the distance. Jungkook bit his lip and sighed. He’d go there eventually, but not today.

Jungkook scurried past the shop entrance, trying to make it to the stairs leading to the apartment without being seen. However, he wasn’t counting on Seokjin being outside the shop, watering the display plants. He froze when their eyes met and tried to think of any excuse to run away. Seokjin could probably see it in his eyes or something because before he could escape he was being grabbed by the forearm and held in place by a blinding smile.

“Hey there, I haven’t seen you in quite a while.” Seokjin laughed nervously.

“It’s only been a couple days.” Jungkook mumbled, avoiding Seokjin’s gaze.

“Well, when you’re used to seeing someone every day, even that seems kind of long.” He answered maybe a little too quickly.

“Oh...yeah, I guess so.” Jungkook took a while to reply, fighting down the blush creeping up his neck.

“Uh sorry, that was kind of awkward.” Seokjin said after a moment of silence, finally letting go of Jungkook’s arm.

“No no, it’s fine. I’m just gonna...go now.” Jungkook stepped back slowly but Seokjin was reaching out for him again.


Jungkook paused and finally looked at Seokjin, surprised to see his face was bright red. He bit his lip and took a deep breath before continuing.

“That guy, from last time. We’re not dating. He’s just a friend.” Seokjin mumbled out, somehow looking Jungkook straight in the eye.

“Oh.” He replied flatly, not really registering the words.

He watched Seokjin begin to fidget as the words slowly sunk in. Jungkook’s eyes widened and his face soon matched Seokjin’s pink shade.

“Oh.” He said again, almost choking on the sound.

“Yeah, so uh, if you really haven’t been buying those flowers for someone else, I’d really like to take you out sometime.” Seokjin smiled shyly at him.

Jungkook didn’t trust his voice at this point, nodding rapidly and hoping that was a good enough answer. Judging by the smile he received, it was more than enough.




“You never did tell me why you were buying all those flowers.” Seokjin asked one day, over his cup of coffee.

Jungkook glanced around the coffee shop before sighing. His face heated up a bit as he prepared himself for the explanation he’d been dreading since day one.

“Oh that. Um, well, you see, it’s kind of a funny story.”