“Let’s get a cat.”
Jimin looks up from his textbook on molecular genetics and fixes Yoongi with a curious look. Yoongi has the unfortunate and slightly amusing habit of saying strange things at strange times, but Jimin thinks that this has to be one of the strangest.
Yoongi looks sheepish, blushing a shade of red that looks nearly festive when paired with his pale green hair, and Jimin waits for him to keep talking.
“I was just thinking about it, not seriously or anything,” Yoongi says, and Jimin knows he’s lying because Yoongi’s always serious about things. “You know we can’t get a dog or anything because the landlord won’t allow it, but cats are small and quiet and maybe—maybe it would help to make this place feel more like home?”
Jimin’s confused, mostly because in all of his three years of knowing Yoongi he’s never shown any signs of being an animal person. He wants to protest for some reason, wants to tell Yoongi to stop and be realistic and it’s strange because Jimin’s not used to being the realistic one in this relationship. He thinks about the personalized towels he’d hung in the bathrooms, the little color coded mugs he bought for him and Yoongi to use for their morning coffee, wonders why those things don’t make their new apartment feel like home for Yoongi. Maybe Jimin’s not trying hard enough.
But Yoongi looks hopeful, excited almost like a little kid, and it’s so endearing that Jimin knows right from the start that he’ll never be able to say no to him.
“Okay,” Jimin gives in, slipping his pencil into his book and shutting it. “When do you want to go to the shelter?”
It takes Yoongi over three hours to pick out their new cat. Jimin’s not surprised, because Yoongi’s nothing if not picky, but after two hours of smelling cat food and fur Jimin’s head starts to hurt and he vaguely wonders if maybe he’s actually allergic to them.
The cat that Yoongi finally does pick out is a little unremarkable, Jimin thinks. She’s plain brown and has yellow eyes, and when Jimin reaches out to touch her she shies away. Yoongi names her Jwi, because apparently she looks more like a mouse than a cat, and Jimin just nods because even though it’s kind of a weird name, he trusts Yoongi on this. Yoongi’s always had a way with words, after all.
They stop by the nearest pet store to pick up things like litter and a bed, and Jimin has to remind Yoongi to buy a healthy mix of wet and dry food. When they return to the car, Jwi is skittish and refuses to budge from Yoongi’s lap. Jimin moves to the driver’s seat and watches as Yoongi smiles down at the cat.
Jwi was a good idea, Jimin thinks, because she makes Yoongi smile so easily.
Jimin has the same routine every day.
He wakes up at six in the morning, and he hates it because he’s really not a morning person but he can’t afford to be late to school. Yoongi’s still asleep at six, curled up next to Jimin as usual. It’s always a struggle to try to extricate himself from Yoongi’s clingy, tattoo-covered arms without waking him, but somehow Jimin manages.
He heads to the kitchen and starts the coffee maker, pours himself a cup of the weakest blend he can manage—because Jimin’s not a coffee person, as ironic as that may be—and then adds a few more grounds to the brew because he knows Yoongi will want something stronger later.
Today his routine is a little different because he has to remind himself to set out some dry food for Jwi. The cat in question is curled up under the dinner table, and Jimin decides he has a few extra minutes today so he lowers himself onto his stomach to be eye-to-eye with her.
“Hello,” he says, and immediately feels stupid because it’s not she’s going to say hello back to him.
Jwi lowers her ears and stares at him, and Jimin sighs before sitting back up. Somehow Yoongi’s managed to find the one creature on the planet that may actually be quieter than Yoongi himself. “I left food for you in the bowl, if you care at all. Please pee in the litter box and not hyung’s sneakers today.”
Admittedly, seeing Yoongi’s reaction to that had been pretty funny, but Jimin doesn’t want to have to try to figure out how to wash shoes again.
It’s nearly seven by the time Jimin heads back to the bedroom to say goodbye to Yoongi. He’s running late as usual, but Jimin never leaves before saying a quick goodbye.
Yoongi’s still in bed, cheeks flushed with sleep, and Jimin takes a moment to just look at him and just think about how beautiful Yoongi is and how lucky Jimin is to see him like this every day.
“Quit staring,” Yoongi mutters, and Jimin starts out of his thoughts and looks up to see Yoongi’s eyes cracked open. “You’re going to be late for class.”
“Worth it,” Jimin quips, leaning in to press his lips to Yoongi’s. Yoongi snakes a hand behind Jimin’s neck and tries pulling him down, but Jimin stays firm and doesn’t let it escalate any further, half because he really is running late and half because he knows Yoongi has terrible morning breath.
“I’ll see you when I get back,” Jimin says, half-breathless. Yoongi smiles up at him before burrowing back into the covers, and Jimin glances at the clock before practically sprinting outside. He’s missed the bus and will have to steal the car, but he has the feeling that Yoongi won’t mind.
Clinicals are no fun, Jimin decides. He’s tired of following around irritable doctors that see even more irritable patients that refuse to be seen if there’s a student like Jimin in the room. He knows that he’s not exactly the most experienced, but there’s no way he’s going to ever get experience if patients keep refusing him.
“Chin up,” a coworker tells him kindly, handing Jimin a stacks of charts to take a look at. “All the students have a tough time in the beginning, but it’ll get easier. Just one year left, right?”
Jimin nods with less than his usual amount of enthusiasm and then immediately feels bad so he tries to brighten up again. She’s right, after all. Med students never have it easy, and he’d known that when he’d applied. Today’s just extra bad since Jwi had woken him up in the middle of the night by peeing on his pillow. Yoongi had slept through it, not that Jimin would have woken him up anyway.
It’s late by the time he finally gets home, and even though he wants to do nothing more than sleep for eighteen hours straight his growling stomach reminds him that he should probably get some food. His instincts tell him to buy chicken from the nearest place possible, but his wallet tells him that it’s probably better to go home and just cook what they have, so Jimin trudges inside and heads straight for the kitchen.
The faint noise of the synth keyboard is sounding through the apartment and Jimin wonders if Yoongi’s in another one of his moods where he’ll hole himself up in his office for days at a time to finish his next song. He probably is, Jimin figures, so instead of bothering him Jimin gets straight to work on making a pot of soup.
“Hello there.” Jimin greets Jwi instead, since there’s no point in trying to get Yoongi’s attention at a time like this. Jwi kindly waits until Jimin’s finished chopping up all of the garlic before hopping up onto the kitchen counter and swiping it all down to the floor.
“You’re an asshole,” Jimin mutters, glaring at the cat before leaning down to scoop up the chopped cloves and wash them under the faucet. Arms suddenly wind around his waist and he jumps, dropping the garlic back onto the floor.
“That’s not a nice thing to say,” Yoongi mutters, sticking his cold nose into the short hair at the nape of Jimin’s neck. It’s annoying, but Jimin can’t help but smile as he turns to face his boyfriend.
“Tell your cat to be nicer to me then,” Jimin complains, wiping his hands off on the back of his jeans before wiping a smudge of ink off of Yoongi’s cheek. “Did you even realize she peed on my pillow this morning?”
Yoongi, to his credit, looks embarrassed, and Jimin laughs a little.
“It’s okay,” Jimin says before Yoongi can get a word in, knowing how Yoongi doesn’t like apologizing much. “You haven’t been getting much sleep lately. You should be resting as much as you can.”
“You’re too nice to me,” Yoongi admits, leaning in to press his mouth briefly against Jimin’s nose. “Now, what’s for dinner again?”
They meet at a Starbucks, as terrible as it sounds.
Jimin’s pulling triple shift behind the counter, and his apron is already stained with at least four different types of syrup because his hands are shaking so badly. Taehyung, who works with him, keeps telling him to take a break and relax a little, but Jimin doesn’t have time to relax. Jimin’s never had time to relax.
“Jimin, can you get register two for a hot minute?” Seokjin, the tall cashier at the front, calls over, and Jimin doesn’t have the heart to say no, he’s busy already, so he heads over and wipes his hands off and puts on the biggest smile he can manage.
“Hello, what can I get you?” he says, looking down at the till before looking up only to be met with startling green hair and the world’s sleepiest eyes.
“What’s the strongest coffee you brew?” Green Hair asks him, leaning his elbows onto the polished white counter between them. Jimin watches as his sleeves ride up and expose arms filled with tattoos, bright, angry colors screaming up at him.
“Uh, that would be the—”
It doesn’t matter what Jimin was going to say, because Sleepy Eyes just waves an ink-covered hand and rubs at his face. Jimin would feel a little insulted if the gesture wasn’t so oddly charming.
“Just get me that, please. And add like, six shots of espresso to it. Uh, venti also. Is there a size bigger? Can I get that? Two more shots too, please.”
Jimin’s mouth is probably open, but hey, the customer is always right so he reaches over and grabs an empty trenta cup.
“Your name?” Jimin asks, mouth quirking up in amusement.
“Min Yoongi,” the man responds, rubbing the sleeves of his sweatshirt against his face. “And actually, can you double my order?”
It takes exactly twelve minutes for Jimin to finish making Yoongi’s drink—thankfully Seokjin comes back to free him from register hell—and by the time Jimin’s done he’s not sure if he’s surprised to see that Min Yoongi has already fallen asleep at a booth tucked away in the back. Jimin gnaws on his lip before slipping out from behind the counter, both large drinks barely fitting into his hands, and heading over.
“Uh, sir?” Jimin ventures timidly, setting the cups down in front of Yoongi’s face. “Min Yoongi-ssi?”
It takes a light tap on the shoulder for Yoongi to jolt awake, and Jimin can feel his face flush all the way down to his neck as Yoongi scrutinizes him.
“Thanks,” Yoongi finally says, grabbing one of the drinks and taking a deep swag. Jimin wonders how he doesn’t burn his mouth clean off.
“Seems like you need a lot of caffeine. If I had eight shots of espresso, I’d be bouncing off the walls,” Jimin remarks casually, and then immediately feels like slapping himself because he’s not really supposed to be making small talk with the customers, especially when he’s still on shift.
Yoongi’s mouth quirks up into a crooked smile, and Jimin coughs a little because he’s so startled. Min Yoongi is stupidly attractive, he decides, and that’s just not fair.
“I have to stay up all night,” Yoongi explains, and his voice is low and by warm coffee and Jimin thinks he could listen to it for hours.
“I work as a tattoo artist during the day,” Yoongi goes on, flexing his fingers that Jimin can see are decorated with bright red and black ink, “and I work as a songwriter at all other times.”
“That’s so cool,” Jimin breathes out before he realizes it, and then his jaw falls open in horror when he feels his ears heat up. Yoongi, probably filled with more tact than Jimin will ever have, merely chuckles and takes another sip of his coffee.
“Did you make this?” he asks suddenly, popping the lid off and peering inside.
“Yeah,” Jimin says. He hopes there’s nothing wrong with it.
“It’s really sweet,” Yoongi notes, pressing the lid back on. “I kinda figured it would be. You look like the kind of person that would put extra sugar into his coffee.”
Jimin wrinkles his nose in confusion, ignoring the stare Yoongi’s giving him. “I…what?”
“Just,” Yoongi squints, mulling over his words for a moment, “very sweet.”
“You look dead as hell,” Taehyung remarks when Jimin shows up to work six minutes late. It’s the fourth time he’s been late this month, and the fifth time he’s been late ever—the first was when he accidentally sprained his ankle by slipping on ice and then limped to work anyway.
“Can we not talk about this today?” Jimin snaps, and then immediately feels bad about it because Taehyung is every bit of a wounded puppy when yelled at.
“I’m sorry, it’s just been a long day,” Jimin sighs, knotting his green apron behind his back. “I had a test in class today and it was just too hard to concentrate because Yoongi’s damn cat kept waking me up last night. I swear that thing hates me.”
“I thought you liked animals?” Taehyung asks curiously, stirring a wooden stick into what Jimin recognizes as a chai latte, extra whip.
“I do,” Jimin mumbles, immediately listening for the next order so he can start brewing. “But I guess they don’t like me back.”
“You’re just projecting,” Taehyung laughs, sliding his cup down the counter. “You’re probably just sad that you’re not the center of hyung’s attention anymore.”
Jimin scowls, and then decides to ignore Taehyung for the rest of his shift.
He gets his third C in Elementary Biophysics because Jwi rips up his homework and Jimin doesn’t have time to redo it before class. It’s his third C ever, and it sours his mood for the rest of the day.
It’s uncharacteristic for him, but he calls in sick to work that day and goes out to lunch with Seokjin instead.
“—and I never thought a cat could ruin my life like this,” Jimin rambles, angrily stuffing jajangmyeon down his throat, “but ever since Yoongi brought Jwi home, I’m always late to class and now my grades are suffering and it feels like Yoongi’s always with the cat so I can’t even tell him all of this. I can’t even sleep properly anymore, hyung.”
Seokjin, bless his heart, looks appropriately concerned, and Jimin’s glad that at least one person in the world seems to care about him.
“Having a pet is a big lifestyle change,” Seokjin says thoughtfully, and Jimin just frowns more because of course Seokjin would be level-headed about it all.
“If you’re really having a hard time adjusting, maybe you should talk to Yoongi about it? I mean, it’s just as much his cat as it is yours, maybe he could help so you’re not so stressed all the time.”
“But he’s stressed too,” Jimin says sadly, setting his spoon down. “I mean, he’s always busy between working at the parlor and writing songs. I don’t want to bog him down just because his cat likes to pee on my shoes every morning.”
“You’re too nice to him,” Seokjin scolds, and Jimin can’t help but smile as he remembers Yoongi saying something similar.
“Maybe I am,” Jimin admits, boxing up the extra set of noodles that they’d ordered earlier. “But I can’t help it.”
A quick goodbye and hug to Seokjin later and Jimin’s on his way to the tattoo parlor to deliver the noodles to Namjoon. Seokjin has to go back to work his evening shift, but he’d been worried that Namjoon wouldn’t be able to feed himself if left to his own devices to Jimin had volunteered to go drop some food off for him.
When he gets to the shop, though, he’s startled by the sight of Yoongi, casually tattooing his own thigh.
“Uh, hyung?” Jimin asks in confusion, setting the cooling Styrofoam box down on the table. “I thought you were staying home today to work on your music?”
“Oh hey, Jiminie,” Yoongi says, setting the gun down and wiping fresh ink off of his skin. Jimin peers in closer to see the outline of a pirate ship decorating Yoongi’s leg. He’s learned by now to stop questioning Yoongi’s artistic decision. “I actually finished earlier than expected, so I decided to book myself here at the shop. My client only comes in half an hour though, so I have a little time.”
“Doesn’t Jwi have her first checkup at the vet today, though?” Jimin asks, narrowing his eyes to try to remember if it was supposed to be today or tomorrow. All the days sort of blur together at this point, and he’s not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.
Yoongi’s face drains of all the color it has—which admittedly isn’t much—and Jimin sighs in resignation.
“it’s okay, hyung, I’ll do it,” Jimin says, pulling out his phone so he can google how to find the vet’s office. “I don’t have work today anyway, so I’m free.”
“You’re the best, Jimin,” Yoongi says gratefully, and when he leans in to kiss Jimin’s cheek it’s almost enough to make up for the stress that feels like it’s currently clawing its way through Jimin’s chest.
“I can’t believe I forgot about little Jwi like that,” Yoongi goes on, and Jimin turns his face down so Yoongi doesn’t have to see the jealous look on his face. It’s ridiculous, honestly, being jealous of an animal that probably can’t even see colors.
When Jimin comes home with Jwi late that night, covered in scratches, cat vomit, and no less than two bite marks, he can’t help but feel that maybe he was a bit justified in his jealousy. After all, Yoongi’s heating up a bowl of tuna for the cat, and Jimin’s left to pour hydrogen peroxide over his scratched up arm in the bathtub by himself.
Of all the times for Jimin to break down, it just had to be during his early morning shift.
He was late again that day, mostly because he had fallen asleep in the middle of his Advanced Biochemistry homework and he had to rush to finish it that morning. He’d stayed up late trying to make lunch for him and Yoongi to eat the next day, but they had run out of pepper paste and Jimin felt too guilty to wake up Yoongi to go get it so he went himself. Also Jwi had thrown up all over his backpack, but that had become such a regular occurrence at this point that Jimin almost didn’t mind.
He’d been practically asleep on his feet all morning, and it had shown. Three customers had already returned their drinks to him for being given the wrong order, and Jimin had to hastily apologize and then offer them a free giftcard so they wouldn’t complain to his manager.
“I’m so sorry,” he mumbles to customer number four, a rather innocent-looking teenage girl that’s complaining about being given a regular milk latte when she had asked for soy milk. “It won’t happen again, please let me make you a new drink.”
“It better not happen again,” the girl snaps, and Jimin’s feeling defeated enough that he doesn’t even try to stand up for himself.
By the time the next customer is standing at the register, Jimin just wants to curl up in a ball and forget about his life.
“One tall mocha, extra cream and sugar please,” a familiar voice says, and Jimin’s head snaps up to look at Yoongi, who’s eyes are peeking out at him behind his thick, woolen scarf.
“I—” Jimin starts, but suddenly out of nowhere his voice cracks and his hands are shaking and his eyes feel wet and he doesn’t know what’s happening anymore.
“Jimin,” Yoongi says, sounding startled, and Jimin can’t even look at him anymore because tears are blurring his vision.
He’s not really sure how Yoongi does it, but one minute he’s behind the register and the next he’s sitting in the corner booth, wrapped in Yoongi’s scarf and shivering even though he’s not cold.
“What’s wrong, Jiminie?” Yoongi asks, and his voice sounds so concerned that Jimin wants to run away because he hates making Yoongi worry like this.
“I’m just,” Jimin starts, wincing when his voice comes out weak and scratchy, “having a bit of a hard time lately. It’s nothing, really. I’ll get over it.”
And Yoongi’s always been good at seeing through Jimin’s bullshit, so he just pulls Jimin closer and asks him again.
“What’s actually wrong?”
And Jimin can’t lie twice, so he buries his face in Yoongi’s warm chest and mumbles something. And then, because he realizes he’s being silly, he pulls back and tries again.
“I think Jwi hates me. And I’m okay with that, really I am, but when I try to take care of her it makes me late for school and then I’m late for work and also most days I can’t sleep at night and I don’t want to bother you about it but I feel like every time I finally get to see you, you’re always with Jwi and it’s like—” Jimin stops, having lost his breath, and the look Yoongi’s giving him tells him that he doesn’t need to say any more.
“Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” Yoongi asks, large hand moving in a comforting line down Jimin’s back. “I would have helped, you know.”
“I know,” Jimin admits, leaning back down against the solid plane of Yoongi’s body. He’s supposed to be working right now, but he can’t bring himself to care. “I just felt dumb about it. After all, Jwi’s just a cat. I’m supposed to be able to take care of her.”
“I’m supposed to be able to take care of you,” Yoongi points out. “But I’m sorry I didn’t notice earlier. I guess I was just really excited to have a pet around the house that I didn’t bother thinking about how it might screw up your schedules.”
“It’s not your fault,” Jimin says, mollified. “It’s probably Jwi’s, actually, but I feel bad about blaming the cat.”
“That’s one of the best things about owning a cat, though,” Yoongi says, settling his arm heavily around Jimin’s waist. “When things don’t work out at first, we can always just blame Jwi.”
They arrive home later that morning to see that an entire roll of toilet paper has been unwound and is currently decorating their entire living room. Jwi’s sitting on top of the dining table, claws sunken into what looks like Yoongi’s songbook. Yoongi’s face goes slack in incredulity. Jimin looks at his strangely wet sneakers, and then figures he’ll blame the cat.