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There is a sour, stabbing ache somewhere above his left eyebrow, the kind of ache he only really gets when he’s had too much coffee on an empty stomach. The shrill ringing of a phone crawls unpleasantly beneath the surface of his skin. He physically swallows down the urge to rip Hoseok’s phone from the wall and chuck it out the office window, watching with joy as it plummets through the air, down three stories before crashing with a with a satisfying bang into the top of Namjoon’s shiny new Lexus.

It’s a Monday.

“Team meeting,” Namjoon’s deep, groggy voice croaks out over the top of the small sea of cubicles.

He is met with a general chorus of discontented groans that grumble up from all around the large, divided room and merge into one collective ‘No.’

“I brought donuts.”

The shift in the atmosphere is disconcerting. There is a clattering of rolling wheels and shifting papers, followed shortly by a dull thud that Yoongi recognizes as the sound of a body hitting a flimsy cubicle wall. The surface of his coffee vibrates warningly.

“Ouch, fucking watch it, Tae,” Jimin whines from nearby.

Yoongi heaves a bracing breath, pushing himself up unwillingly from his chair and watching the blur that is Taehyung as he races past the entrance of his cubicle. Yoongi, however, takes his time, meandering down the aisle in a leisurely fashion, taking the opportunity to observe the cheap, grey carpet as his feet shuffle unenthusiastically over its dull surface.

When he finally steps into the conference room, he is greeted with the backs of his co-workers as they jostle for position around the small, shaky table in the corner. Jungkook crawls out from between Hoseok’s legs, hands full of donuts, with one more trapped between his rather large front teeth for good measure.

Jimin and Taehyung have long since emerged triumphant, already settled into two chairs in the corner. Yoongi watches with disgust as Taehyung licks the donut filling from finger of an unconcerned Jimin. Yoongi rolls his eyes and plops himself down into a seat on the opposite side of the room.

“Donut?” Hoseok offers him as he approaches, far too chipper for 9:00am, as always.

Yoongi cringes at the thought of sugar in his raw stomach, and the movement causes the sharp sting in his head to flare up painfully. “No thanks.” Hoseok shrugs and takes a seat next to him. “What do you think this is all about, anyway? We haven’t had a Monday meeting since…”

“Since the last incident, I know,” Hoseok replies, his cheerful face suddenly a little grim. “Do you think they did something else?” He jerks his head towards the corner of the room, where the three youngest are giggling at something on Jungkook’s phone and apparently taking notes. 

“I feel like we would know,” Yoongi reasons, brushing out a few errant wrinkles in his pants.

Hoseok seems a little lost in his thoughts, and the frightened distance in his eyes tells Yoongi that he’s probably neck-deep in a flashback. “Yeah, we would know.”

“Okay, sit down everybody. I appreciate your team spirit, Jimin, but we’ve been over this, Taehyung is not a chair.” Namjoon takes his place at the head of the table, straightening his glasses, which Yoongi happens to know are just for show. “So you’re all probably wondering why we’re here.”

“If this is about the dumpster cat…” Taehyung pipes up from the corner.

Namjoon’s face goes a little slack. “I’m sorry, what?”

Jimin elbows him hard, and Taehyung’s mouth snaps shut with a comical click, eyes bulging. “Nothing. There’s no pregnant dumpster cat.”

Namjoon stares at them blankly, looking quite defeated, moving only to rub his temples in frustration. His glasses go a little askew. “Nope. Not today,” he finally decides, muttering it more to himself than to anyone else. He clears his throat and continues as if nothing has happened. “So I got a message from Corporate. According to them, our branch is falling a little behind, so they’re sending in someone from the corporate office to oversee us for a while.”

“What? Why?” Taehyung demands, brow furrowed. “Our sales are awesome. Jimin and I tear that shit up.”

“Yes, good, let’s explore that,” Namjoon chuckles with false enthusiasm, and Yoongi notes the change in his gaze, the increased intensity. “Why would Corporate feel the need to throw a wrench into the workings of a beautifully functioning branch? Well, I would posit that we live in a heartless currency-driven world run by bourgeois pigs who are so desperate for an extra buck they’d fuck their own-”

“Dude,” Hoseok gently reminds him, shaking his head almost imperceptibly. But Jungkook smirks and covertly raises his fist in solidarity.

Namjoon sighs heavily, his eyes still hard and his mouth a tight line. “Because they want to trim costs and increase efficiency.”

“I don’t want some old corporate geezer cramping our style,” Taehyung pouts from the corner. “What if he takes away casual Fridays? Or commando Wednesdays?”

Jimin elbows him again, hard, and Taehyung’s breath actually comes whooshing gently from between his lips. “That one’s not office-official, asshole,” Jimin hisses at him in what he apparently thinks is a quiet voice.

“Look, I know it’s not ideal,” Namjoon presses on, ignoring the exchange. “But we don’t really have a choice here. And if you want to keep your jobs, you’ll keep the oil-based personal lubricant out of it.” He directs his words to the corner of the room, where the three youngest had been whispering conspiratorially. Taehyung looks falsely affronted, hand over his chest and eyes innocent.

“What about-“ Jungkook begins to say, but Namjoon cuts him off with a growl of frustration.

“Silicone and water-based personal lubricants are similarly banned.”

“Well there goes the break-room slip-and-slide,” Taehyung mumbles discontentedly.

“What’s the point of working for a company that sells lube if we can’t even play with it?” Jimin pouts.

“Well, Jimin,” Namjoon replies calmly, but his gaze is unfocused, dead. “You are here to make money in exchange for your labor. It is called a job. Furthermore, we’ve been over this. This company sells a wide variety of personal hygiene items, including, but not limited to, a personal lubricating ointment that can be used for anything from dry skin to-”

“Buttsex,” Jungkook provides helpfully.

Namjoon takes a very deep breath and seems to physically swallow his words, keeping his face carefully neutral.

“When’s he coming?” Hoseok asks from beside Yoongi. “The corporate guy?”

Namjoon hesitates, eyes flicking guiltily away. “Today.”

“What?” Jimin demands, looking slightly panicked. Taehyung leans over to whisper in his ear, and Jimin nods fervently.

“May I please be excused?” Taehyung asks with a strange, stilted politeness that reeks of desperation.

“We’re in the middle of a goddamn meeting, Tae. Why?”

“I need to… attend to some things. Immediately,” he responds evasively, leg jiggling anxiously like he’s revving his engine, ready to bolt.

Namjoon stares at the pair of them as they do their absolute damndest to look angelic. “You know, I don’t even want to know. Go.” Taehyung mutters a quick thanks and darts out of the room in another vaguely Taehyung-shaped blur. “And hurry, he’ll be here any minute,” Namjoon shouts after him before turning back to address everyone else once more. “Okay, look guys. I’m going to need somebody to cater to his every need. Kiss his ass. Convince him that everything is great, and get him out of our hair.”

“Not it!” Hoseok jumps in, slightly too loud. “Just because I’m Human Resources doesn’t mean I’m the goddamn welcome committee. I am not paid to kiss ass.”

“You’re the office director, Namjoon. Why don’t you kiss his ass?” Jimin asks, eyes darting nervously to the door like the intruder might pop in at any moment.

“It’s a matter of principle,” Namjoon argues, turning up his nose very slightly. “I will not be a facilitator of corporate greed.”

Yoongi exhales very hard though his nose in a semblance of a laugh. “You do realize you’re like, a vital cog in the capitalist machinery that you so loathe, right?”

“And thank you for volunteering, Yoongi,” Namjoon says with a light smile, scribbling something down on the paper in front of him.

“No,” Yoongi says simply, his spine going rigid in indignation.  “I will not."

"Min....Yoongi... On-boarding Buddy," Namjoon mutters as he writes. When he's finished, he looks up at Yoongi with an innocent, dimpled smile.

"On-boarding Buddy?" Yoongi balks in disdain, "Look, I take it back. I'm sorry! You're a... victim of a rigged society. A true champion of the worker."

Namjoon chuckles. "Sorry, buddy. I'm just fucking with you," and Yoongi relaxes just slightly. "I actually chose you for this long before now."

"Me?! Why?"

"Because you two are already going to be working together on the budget and everything. It makes sense."

"I won't do it," Yoongi refuses point-blank, crossing his arms.

“If you don’t, I’m going to move your cubicle between Jimin’s and Taehyung’s again.”

Yoongi blanches, mouth falling open as he leans forward in his chair. “You’re bluffing.”

“Try me,” Namjoon declares bravely. “You can say goodbye to their isolation corner.”

“Hey, you said that was a special-super-awesome-sales-team-only corner,” Jimin protests, jumping to his feet. “What the hell?”

“It is, it is,” Namjoon assuages him with an appeasing expression, “Of course it is.”

Yoongi’s about to protest further, but the door to the meeting room bursts open, bouncing several times against the wall as a sweaty Taehyung pokes his head inside, eyes desperate.

“Jimin, Garbage is crowning!”

There’s a moment of confused silence where everyone seems to be trying to figure out exactly what they heard.

What is what?” Yoongi demands, puncturing the quiet, but Jimin has already disappeared out of the door behind Taehyung. 

“Five bucks says it’s Dumpster Cat.” Hoseok says, pushing himself wearily to his feet as Namjoon bangs his head gently against the table. “Keep up, dude. You’re a little slow today. I think we’re about to witness a live cat birth.”

“I’ve already seen two live cat births thanks to Kim Taehyung,” Yoongi says distastefully. “I’m just gonna take my smoke break.”

“Suit yourself. Do you want me to save you a kitten?”

Yoongi scoffs, pulling a disgusted and incredulous face as he slips on his jacket. “Of course I do not want you to save me a fucking kitten.”

Hoseok fixes him with an incredulous stare, and Yoongi relents.

“God, Hoseok, yes obviously save me a kitten. Shut up,” he half-whispers, exasperated. Hoseok smiles knowingly and jogs lightly from the room to catch up with the others.

The smoking patio is a small deck on the third floor. It is completely exposed to the cold, harsh wind, uncovered and so cramped that Yoongi often finds himself rubbing elbows with workers from all over the building, different companies, different offices. So when he sees a new face, hunched over the railing and looking down at the parking lot below, it’s nothing unusual. Yoongi sees new faces all the time.

The only unusual thing is that Yoongi usually doesn’t care if he ever sees those faces again, definitely does not want to see them every day for the rest of forever, or perhaps in some really inappropriate dream-type situations. But there’s a first time for everything.

It’s the kind of face you might see on billboards or buses or cereal boxes, and seeing it in real life is a little jarring and a lot weird. He’s soft, almost strangely so, his features opulent and curving but delicate, except for his eyebrows, two dark, straight slashes beneath a fine, smooth forehead.  He’s exquisitely lovely in the morning light, little golden rays criss-crossing behind his figure, looking so casually, effortlessly handsome that it’s actually kind of fucking annoying.

Yoongi clears his throat and swaggers over to the balcony, trying to look as utterly bored as possible while simultaneously putting the maximum amount of distance between them. He pulls out his lighter and a cigarette with nervous hands, cursing inwardly, because his lighter has of course chosen this very inconvenient moment to die.

“Need a light?”

Yoongi resists the urge to flee, because yep that beautiful guy is talking to him. Looking him. Reaching forward, expensive silver lighter in hand, towards him. Yoongi briefly considers turning him down, but the prospect of continuing to make a fool of himself with his own damn lighter urges him to nod, small and silent. The guy smiles and leans closer yet, flicking on the lighter with practiced ease. As soon as his cigarette has caught, Yoongi is leaning away, nodding in acknowledgement.

“Thanks,” he grunts shortly, and god damn it he sounds like a cave man.

“My pleasure,” the guy replies, pocketing his lighter and smiling in a way that has Yoongi shifting nervously and looking away. “Good thing I was here, eh? This place is deserted. I guess it’s a little early for a smoke break.”

Yoongi raises his eyebrow as flicks the ashes from the end of his cigarette, hoping that the pause he takes as he mentally prepares himself to sound casual comes across as relaxed. “There is currently a cat giving birth in a file cabinet upstairs. It wouldn’t be too early for a drink.”

“Your boss is okay with that? The uh… cat birth?” asks the guy, perfectly tailored suit sitting sinfully well on his wide shoulders. He looks frightfully out of place in this frumpy hellhole of a building, where most guys can’t even be bothered to tuck in their cheap, ill-fitting dress shirts.

Must work for that law firm on the fifth floor.

“How do you know I’m not the boss?” Yoongi demands, straightening himself up to his full height. His nose bobs proudly just above the guy’s shoulder.

The man raises his eyebrows skeptically. “You don’t seem like a boss.”

Yoongi shrugs, once again flicking the ashes off of the end of his cigarette without taking a puff. “Fair. You couldn’t pay me enough to be the boss of those assholes, anyway. Namjoon’s already going a little gray.”

Those striking, straight eyebrows curve upwards a little in surprise. “Kim Namjoon?”

“The one and only,” Yoongi confirms. He’s not surprised. Everyone in the building knows about their office. They know, and they keep their distance.

“Sounds like you all have an interesting office dynamic,” the man says with a wry smile.

Yoongi just shrugs again, stealing a glance from the corner of his eye. The guy’s looking at him kind of intensely, and it stirs his already sensitive stomach with an added dose of anxiety. He nervously shakes his hair from his eyes and tucks his head silently.

“You guys ever get any work done? You know, between litters?”

“We do okay. Obviously not good enough for those jerk-offs at corporate, but we do okay,” Yoongi replies, his voice laced with a lazy, simmering spite. He doesn’t know why he’s saying a goddamn thing about it, except that he just kind of wants this guy to keep talking to him. The man straightens up beside him.

“Oh?”

Yoongi hesitates for only a moment, taken off guard by his own loose lips. “They’re sending in a fucking baby-sitter to tell us how to do our jobs.”

“Ah, an efficiency expert?”

Yoongi glares a little at nothing in particular. “A professional wet blanket.”

“How’s that going over? In the office?”

“That bastard’s gonna have his work cut out for him.” Yoongi gives a short, satisfied laugh at the thought.

“How so?”

Yoongi considers carefully for a moment. “You know how back in school, people would always try and pull shit on substitute teachers? Tell them the wrong names and put thumbtacks on their chairs and try to get away with murder by claiming that their regular teacher usually lets them do it?”

“Yeah?” the guy prompts him, his lovely features arranged into an almost comical expression of disbelief.

“Imagine that, plus lube.”

“Lube?” the man asks, looking clearly convinced that he had heard wrongly.

“Industrial-sized containers of lube.” Yoongi makes sure to maintain intense eye contact and really emphasize the word lube, but the guy looks strangely unshaken. “I mean, it probably doesn’t hurt that we sell it and so they have pretty consistent access to the product. But I think you would be surprised how many separate and unrelated lube-based incidents it is possible to have in one workplace.”

“I daren’t even guess,” the guy says with an amused smile.

“Seven,” Yoongi informs him. “Seven independent lube incidents. All different.”

“Impressive,” he admits, and Yoongi just now notices that he’s not even smoking. “That must take some creativity.”

“You have no idea.”

“Wait, wait. Let me try,” the guy offers, not missing a beat, biting his beautiful plump lower lip in careful though. “You’ve gotta have the classic lubed doorknobs and lubed toilet seats.” He pauses for a moment, scanning Yoongi’s face before continuing. “Judging by your expression, it was you who went for a little swim courtesy of that one.”

Yoongi makes a noise of incredulous outrage.

“And I’m assuming there’s been some kind of lube wrestling incident. Another classic, both sexy and ridiculous, and extremely work inappropriate. That one’s easy, though. How about… lube in the soap dispensers. Gross and unexpected. OH. Slip and slide. Duh.”

It’s like he’s reading straight from the damn incident reports themselves, and by the time he finishes, Yoongi is looking at him like he has just seen a horse with three dicks. He is also slightly in love and rather distraught about it. “Who are you?”

“I’m Kim Seokjin,” the man introduced himself, extending his hand. Yoongi takes it hesitantly, halfway convinced that he never woke up this morning, that he’s still dreaming, that he’s not actually living this weird fucking day.

“Uh huh,” Yoongi replies vaguely and skeptically, face incredulous even as his heart gallops away at breakneck speed. Seokjin smiles at him then, and he knows he’s dreaming, floating away into the nothingness above him. But then he realizes how sweaty his hand is in Seokjin’s grip, and nope, he’s definitely awake. He wrenches his hand away abruptly.

“What’s your name?”

“Yoongi,” he responds uncertainly, appraising Seokjin through apprehensive, narrowed eyes. He’s still not really sure that any of this is real.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Yoongi.”

“Yeah, it’s definitely… a thing.”

“Anyway, don’t you feel kinda bad for this poor guy? This efficiency expert?” Seokjin continues. “Isn’t he just doing his job?”

“Eh, he probably goes around laying off innocent old grandmas and slashing vital funds from budgets and jizzing himself over his little power trip. He gets paid to have a stick up his ass.”

“Good thing you guys sell lube.”

Yoongi cracks a small smile despite himself, extinguishing his cigarette on the railing without having taken a single drag. “The point is, he probably deserves what’s coming to him.”

“Probably,” Seokjin allows with a small, wry smile. “Well, I’m actually kind of late, so I’ve got to get going. But hey, give him hell. I’ll see you around?” Seokjin’s smile is far too self-satisfied, and Yoongi’s stomach bubbles in annoyance again.

“Maybe.”  If there is a God.

Yoongi would be a little sorry to see him go, if the back view wasn’t so excellent. He cranes his head as Seokjin retreats back into the building, and Yoongi would like the shake the hand of the tailor that sculpted those pants around that ass.

His mind is still wandering when he arrives back upstairs. It’s so rare that Yoongi is even remotely interested in someone that he feels like he’s in college again. Back then, it had been Taehyung, before he’d actually gotten know Taehyung. Thank God he’d actually gotten to know Taehyung.

Just inside the door of their office, he meets Hoseok on his way out of the bathroom, wiping his hands on his pants with a sickened look on his face.

“I swear there’s still lube residue in those soap dispensers. I’m all slippery,” Hoseok grumbles, furiously rubbing his right hand against the fabric on his ass. “And right when the guy from corporate gets here, too. Fuck.”

“He’s here?” Yoongi questions, trying to peer around the corner into the conference room, from which a soft but excited buzz is emanating.

Hoseok opens his mouth to respond, but he is interrupted by Taehyung, barreling out into the hallway and grasping desperately onto the sleeves of Yoongi’s shirt. He takes a few steadying breaths before he can manage to speak. “He’s… so… hot.”

It’s that feeling he used to get when the bell rang for class and he realized he had homework the night before. When he remembered that rent was due 6 days ago. When he let his mom borrow his computer and suddenly realized that he never closed out of his porn.

He sees the look in Tae’s eyes. He guesses it was a little something like the look in his own just a few minutes ago, down on the smoking balcony.

“Really?” Hoseok asks, clearly surprised. Yoongi swallows down the vomit that he feels bubbling up in his throat. “How hot?”

“So… hot,” Taehyung emphasizes. “Not old at all. Michelangelo’s David, but with better hair and probably a bigger dick. No, definitely a bigger dick. Those pants…”

Yoongi’s seen too many bad rom-coms, been dragged to too movie nights at Jimin and Taehyung’s place to not know what happens next.

And so he emerges, every part the David 2.0 that Taehyung had described, looking even taller and broader than before with his arm slung around Jimin’s tiny shoulders. They’re laughing.

“I take back everything I said,” Hoseok mutters to Yoongi, jaw slack as he stares at the approaching pair. “I would pay good fucking money to kiss that ass.”

“I didn’t know you were into dudes,” Taehyung says quizzically.

“I didn’t either, but I would let him bend me over a desk and make a strong argument for it.”

“You’re like 2 seconds from having to file a Human Resources violation against yourself.” Taehyung informs Hoseok helpfully. “Again.”

“Worth it,” Hoseok assures him, quiet now that Seokjin and Jimin are approaching. Jimin looks positively gleeful.  Yoongi would normally take this opportunity to roll his eyes, but at the present moment, they are locked unwaveringly on Kim Seokjin, who is looking right back at him, just as smug as the movies suggest that he should be.

“This is Hoseok, our HR guy,” Jimin informs Seokjin as they come to a stop in front of where they are gathered. “An interesting choice on Namjoon’s part, if you ask me.”

“Good thing nobody asked you,” Hoseok growls, before flashing a small smile over at Seokjin.

“And this is Yoongi,” Jimin continues like he hasn’t heard him. “He’s our… entire accounting department, actually. Yoongi, this is Kim Seokjin, from Corporate.”

“Hello Kim Seokjin from Corporate,” Yoongi growls lowly, and Jimin’s eyes bug slightly in response to the venom in his voice.

“You can just call me Jin. And it’s a pleasure to see you again so soon, Yoongi.”

 “Again?” Taehyung prompts him, brows furrowed in confusion “So soon?”

“We met downstairs just now. Yoongi gave me a little run-down of the branch.”

“You what?” Taehyung demands, spinning to face Yoongi.

“This is what I get,” Yoongi mutters emotionlessly, fingers massaging gently at his temples. “The one time I speak to a person.”

“He was extremely helpful,” Jin assures them. “Very welcoming.”

Taehyung and Jimin stare at Jin blankly for a moment before Jimin speaks. “Who was?”

“Yoongi.”

“Yoongi was what?” Taehyung demands, obvious confused.

“Extremely helpful and very welcoming,” Jin reiterates.

“Who was?” Jimin repeats, and Yoongi is mentally banging his head against the file cabinet.

“Yoongi was.”

“Yoongi was what?” Jimin asks quizzically.

“I can’t tell if you guys are serious or not,” Jin admits, backing away slightly.

“That’s a skill that comes with time,” Hoseok informs him off-handedly. “But sorry, actually can we go back to the part about Yoongi being helpful and welcoming?”

“Yeah, you know,” Jin starts, eyes sparkling impishly and gloriously in the ugly florescent light, “I was kind of nervous about coming in here and inserting myself abruptly into the situation, but I think Yoongi really… lubricated this whole transition for me, prepped me well for my entrance to this branch.”

Jimin subtly elbows a snorting Taehyung subtly at the word ‘lubricated,’ and Yoongi blanches a little. Jin’s eyes are sparkling gleefully.

“What can I say? I’m a considerate guy,” Yoongi confirms, tight-lipped as he stares intently, warningly at Jin. He can feel Hoseok silently questioning him through his gaze.

“This job can be rough, you know,” Jin continues, and he sounds like he’s having way too much fun. “I usually meet a lot of resistance, have to work my way into things slowly and carefully. And I’m always worried that it won’t be a good fit, that it’ll be a painful adjustment. But thanks to Yoongi, this whole thing has been a very pleasurable experience. I think I’m going to be able to slide right in.”

Jimin and Taehyung glance back and forth between the two of them, between Jin’s charming, easy smile and Yoongi’s carefully blank expression, which very nearly succeeds in hiding his massive unease.

“This is weird. This got weird. We’re gonna go,” Taehyung tells them very clearly, tugging Jimin away. When Hoseok doesn’t move to leave, Taehyung adds, “Aren’t you coming?”

“I think I’m gonna stay and see how this plays out,” Hoseok replies slowly, gaze still trained on Jin’s face. Hoseok is appraising him very carefully, eyes squinted in consideration. “You have… quite a way with words, Seokjin.”

“You’re literally the worst HR guy ever,” Taehyung informs him as his own hand wanders down to gently cup Jimin’s butt to usher him away. They all hear a door click shut down the hall a few moments later.

“He’s joking,” Hoseok assures Jin with an oily smile. “We joke because we’re close.”

“Hoseok, come help me with these damn cats!” Namjoon’s desperate voice comes from down the hall. “I can’t find Jimin and Taehyung.”

“They just walked your way less than 10 seconds ago,” Hoseok shouts right back. “There is absolutely no way you could have missed them, unless they’re in the supply closet.” He pauses for a moment “Actually, they’re probably in the supply closet. They’ve been taking inventory of the sample stock a lot in there lately, like twice a day. Which is weird, because that’s not even their job.”

“Just get your ass in here!” Namjoon’s voice cracks mid-shout. 

“Fine,” Hoseok grumbles, face brightening a little when he turns to Yoongi. “Don’t worry, I saved you the best cat, Yoongi. Garbage’s favorite. It’s got a heart-shaped patch of white fur around its asshole and it keeps trying to smother its siblings with its body. I call her Murderer.”

“You guys are very literal with the names, aren’t you?” Jin offers quietly.

Hoseok bursts out into obviously fake laughter and slaps Jin gleefully on the back, and Yoongi rolls his eyes so hard that it hurts. Hoseok’s laughter ceases abruptly as his hand comes to rest on Seokjin’s upper arm, gripping it tightly. “Oh, you work out, don’t you?

“HOSEOK.” Namjoon’s voice reverberates down the hallway.

“FINE,” Hoseok screams so loudly that he startles Yoongi and Jin slightly, storming down the hallway after one last lingering look at Jin, leaving the two of them standing there, simmering in their strange tension.

“You. Bastard,” Yoongi spits bitterly once Hoseok is out of sight, “What the hell are you trying to do?”

“Oh come on, I was just messing around. I didn’t even tell them anything you said. No harm done.”

“No harm done??” Yoongi demands, exploding in indignation. “Not only has my reputation been permanently marred by this ‘helpful and welcoming’ bullshit, but there is no earthly way that they didn’t catch those very thinly veiled lube allusions. They have to know I warned you. I am an informant. A traitor to my own.”

Jin just smiles indulgently. “You’re cute.”

Yoongi gapes indignantly. “I am NO such thing.”

“Hey seriously though,” Jin continues like Yoongi hasn’t spoken, “I owe you for the heads-up. I adjusted my initial approach based on everything you told me, and I think it worked. I think the guys are cool.”

“I cannot believe you purposefully extracted information from me,” Yoongi pouts.

“You were pretty damn talkative on all on your own.”

Yoongi splutters in outrage, ears hot. “Only because you were so-…” He breaks off abruptly, tugging his jacket tight around himself, and Jin bites back an amused giggle, pursing his lip to keep from smiling. “I feel violated.”

“Don’t be dramatic. Look, the opportunity basically fell into my lap. You would have done the same thing.”

“I think you’re my enemy now. I’ve never had an enemy before,” Yoongi ponders aloud.

“So you’re not gonna go the ‘don’t be dramatic,’ route. Noted.”

Just then, a flustered-looking Namjoon emerges from the breakroom, scrubbing violently at a spot on his shirt.

“YOUR cat pissed on me,” he jabs an accusatory finger at Yoongi.

“I haven’t even met my cat,” Yoongi mutters defensively.

“I can’t believe those two assholes ditched me after they caused this whole mess. Do you know that cat’s been living here for a month? It looks like the isolation corner backfired. Too much privacy. I’m getting rid of their cubicles altogether.”

“If you think a lack of walls will alter their behavior at all, you clearly haven’t met them,” Yoongi tells him as he heaves a deep sigh.

“Oh, speaking of cubicles…” Namjoon starts, and Yoongi knows it’s bad news by the tightness of his voice and the way he’s avoiding eye contact.

  


 

 Yoongi sits moodily in his chair Tuesday, arms crossed, glaring hard at nothing in particular as Jungkook carefully works on removing Yoongi’s computer and phone from his old cubicle.

“Jesus Yoongi, don’t look so fucking wounded,” comes Hoseok’s voice from over his cubicle wall. Yoongi knows that if he turned his head, he would see a the top of Hoseok’s head bobbing up over the grayish padded panel. “Boo hoo, you have to move cubes to go and sit beside the most beautiful human being that has ever existed. I’m so fucking sorry.”

“He’s my sworn enemy,” Yoongi mutters. “How dare he. Nobody pulls that shit on me.”

“You’re such a baby. All he did was listen to your whiny, lust-motivated rambling, and now you've transformed into every part the enraged toddler that your size and general appearance have always suggested that you are.”

“YOU are supposed to be on MY side,” Yoongi exclaims in outrage, straightening up from his slumped position in his chair.

“I’ve always been on your side,” Hoseok assures him, “Up until now. I’m very sorry. I think I understand the Trojan War now.”

“Why is there a pillow back here?” comes Jungkook’s slightly muffed voice from where he is bent underneath Yoongi’s desk, only his backside visible. Yoongi resists the urge to give it a swift kick. “Holy shit, there’s a whole little nest. Do you sleep under here?”

Yoongi ignores him. “He’s taken you all in with his good looks and his sparkling personality and his homemade scones, but one day you will realize. And by then it’ll be too late. You’ll find me in the supply closet, drowned. In the lube.”

“People think you’re so chill, but you are like the least chill person I know. And I work in this office.”

“Fuck you.”

His new cube is in what used to be Jimin and Taehyung’s special corner, the entrance directly across from the entrance of Jin’s soon-to-be work area. If he peeks up over the edge of his wall, he can see the resident troublemakers’ new place of residence, two desks smack dab in the middle of the room, completely exposed to the rest of the office. As Yoongi suspected, they seem utterly unconcerned by this new lack of privacy. Jimin sits casually on his desk as Taehyung feeds him what seems to be cold spaghetti with his fingers.

“How long have they been a thing?”

Yoongi doesn’t turn to greet him but keeps his eyes trained on the pair in front of him. “What?”

“Jimin and Taehyung. How have they been together?”

Yoongi spares him a disgusted look. Jin’s hands are full with a box of his things. Yoongi looks away, doing his best to appear utterly bored. “What are you talking about? They’re not.”

Taehyung lifts one end of a noodle to his mouth and sets the other end between Jimin’s lips, inching closer and closer as they both nibble towards the center.

“What are YOU talking about?” Jin demands. “They’re like Lady and the Tramp over there. ‘A Thing’ if I ever saw one.”

“They’re just close. Everybody knows that.”

“Okay so what do you call that?” Jin asks, gesturing with his head to the brofest.

“Teambuilding.”

“How is this shit even allowed?” Jin wonders aloud, setting wandering over to his cube and setting his box down on the desk.

“Our HR guy is Hoseok.”

“This is the weirdest place they’ve ever sent me. And one of the sales reps at my last place made me a doll of myself with my own hair,” he mutters, only his head visible over the partial wall. “But you know what? I was taking a look at the numbers, and the sales are insanely good. I don’t know how Jimin and Taehyung do it, honestly. How is this branch not rolling in it?”

“If we knew that, you wouldn’t be here, would you?” Yoongi busies himself with a spreadsheet that he finished two days ago, but he can still feel Jin’s eyes on his face.

“Hey-uh,” Jin starts, voice suddenly unnaturally high, “I’m really sorry we got off on the wrong foot.”

Yoongi’s head jerks in Jin’s direction instinctively. “What?”

“I should have told you who I was. What I did was shady. Hilarious but shady.”

Yoongi glares hard at his computer screen, ready to neither accept nor reject the apology. “How long are you here for anyway?”

“Two months? Three months? Maybe longer. This place is kind of a mess. Depends on how fast we work.”

“Interesting. Very interesting.”

Yoongi’s eyebrows crumple in confusion, because neither of them have spoken. There is a moment of silence before Yoongi jumps in shock as he sees the two pairs of impish eyes staring back at him from over his cubicle wall.

“What the hell? Where did you guys come from?” Yoongi demands, doing his best not to sound out of breath.

“We were done with lunch,” Jimin says simply.

“So what you’re saying, Jin,” Taehyung jumps in, voice dripping with mischievousness, “is that the slower you two get shit done, the longer you’re here? Working with Yoongi?”

“Uh, yeah? I guess?” Jin confirms uncertainly, leaning against his and Yoongi’s shared wall.

“Interesting… very interesting,” Taehyung repeats, and Jimin accompanying giggle is disturbingly amused.

The blood drains from Yoongi’s face so rapidly that he actually feels it happening. “Don’t...” he manages weakly.

“Veryyyy interesting,” Jimin seconds with a vicious, serrated giggle.

Yoongi knows that the more he fights, the more likely they are to latch onto whatever idea they’re cooking up this time, to dig their heels in unrelentingly.

“Will you two just go away? Don’t you have kittens to be tending or something?” Yoongi says as calmly as he is able. They can smell fear.

“Garbage is a wonderful mother. She doesn’t need our help. Plus, we need to allow her time to bond with her children,” Taehyung informs him coolly. “Murderer is still trying to smother her siblings, though. You should really speak to her about that.”

“Is that cat, by chance, still on company premises?” Jin casually inquires.

“Whaaaaaaat?” Jimin asks with a stiff, cheesy smile, waving off Jin’s question with a dismissive hand. “Pfffft.”

“So… no?” Jin tries to clarify.

Jimin’s smile flickers for just the briefest second before it’s back, brighter than ever. “Whaaaaaaaaat?”

“That means no, right?” Jin asks, slightly more forceful this time.

“Bye,” Jimin says abruptly, ducking below the cubicle wall and disappearing from sight. Taehyung is gone just a moment later.

“What is this… this, like, heavy, foreboding feeling in my stomach?” Jin mutters, craning his head to try and get a view of their fleeing figures.

“Dread?” Yoongi supplies for him. “Oh yeah, you’ll get used to that.”