A cold day required a thick scarf wrapped around his neck a billion times, a knitted sweater his best friend bashed every time he saw it, and cotton gloves that refused to work properly with his phone. A cold day required the heat of a cup of coffee warming up his frozen fingertips, burning the tip of his tongue and warming up his tummy in a way that only hot liquid could do. A cold day required steam fogging up the glasses he only wore when he was too lazy to deal with contacts, steam that helped defrost the red tip of his nose and kept his lips from turning blue. A cold day required warmth; inside and out. Where else would he find that warmth but the quaint little coffee shop on the corner of 5th and Main, the coffee shop only five minutes walk from his small studio flat?
The small bell jingling as he opened the door, the strong scent of coffee beans and sugar hitting him full-force, was a welcoming sound. Jazz softly played through the speakers, and it was quiet. Only two other customers, both already seated with coffee cups on the tables they sat at, were there. One sat diligently reading a thick, hardcover book with gloves sitting in his lap and a jacket draped over the chair and the other was leaning over her laptop, typing away furiously with glasses almost falling off the tip of her nose.
“Good morning,” the cheery voice of the barista greeted him, drawing his attention to the orange-haired, smiley boy at the counter. “What can I get you today?”
“Morning,” he smiled, leaning in to glance at the boy’s name tag as soon as he reached the counter, “Jimin.” He grabbed his wallet from his back pocket as he ordered one of the sweetest coffees the shop offered, shoving a credit card towards the barista.
“Name?” Jimin smiled still, handing him back his card and picking up a coffee cup and a Sharpie.
“Hoseok,” he smiled back, shoving his wallet back into his pocket and watching as Jimin printed Hoseok’s name onto the cup. His handwriting was nice, much nicer than Hoseok’s would ever hope to be, even with a careful and steady hand. When his coffee was done and Hoseok went to collect it, he noticed that the neat print contained a spelling error.
“You spelled it wrong,” Hoseok pointed out.
“Oh,” Jimin turned positively red. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I promise I’ll get it right next time.”
The small coffee shop became a daily stop for Hoseok on his way to class. As the days past, he learned more about Jimin. He taught toddlers ballet and tap on the weekends and he wrinkled his nose whenever he heard something he disagreed with at all. He was studying literature as a major at the local community college and he absolutely despised the “caffeinated sugar water” (at least that’s what he called it) Hoseok got everytime he was there. Oh, and he really didn’t know how to spell Hoseok.
“This is getting ridiculous,” Hoseok laughed. “It’s as if you just want to keep me here.” He was looking down at just how off his name was spelled this time. Hyuna. It’s a girl’s name. How could Jimin possibly get it that wrong? At least, not without doing it purposely.
“You did say you wouldn’t stop coming until I got it right,” Jimin just beamed at him, not necessarily denying what Hoseok said, and that was good enough for Hoseok as butterflies swam in his gut, running into walls and each other and making an absolute mess if he were to be honest.
“Awh, does little Jiminnie have a crush on me?” Hoseok teased, glad that there was a counter in between them as Jimin sent him a positively ruthless glare. “How cute!” Jimin only pouted after that, ignoring Hoseok until he left that day. But he never denied it. And Hoseok didn’t mind that one bit. (Okay, maybe he minded Jimin ignoring him much more than just a bit, but that’s not what we were talking about.)
“Name?” Jimin joked as he grabbed a coffee cup, already beginning to write something down. Hoseok repeated his name, shaking his head at the younger’s antics.
“So, black hair?” he asked as he leaned on the counter as Jimin began to make his drink. “What gives? Thought you loved the tangerine colour.”
“Too hard to keep it looking decent,” Jimin’s nose wrinkled at the thought—Hoseok noticed, he always noticed, maybe that’s why he could tell you to what degree Jimin was disgusted by how fast his nose wrinkled after only a couple months—and his lips pursed. “Wasn’t expecting you to notice.”
“I see you every single day, Jiminnie, how wouldn’t I notice?” Hoseok asked, eyebrows raising. Jimin just glanced over at him him and shrugged. Even the quick glimpse of Jimin’s eyes on him made those annoying butterflies start going again, they seemed to follow Hoseok everywhere nowadays. Just the thought of almond shaped chocolate eyes that had a habit of becoming small crescents in utter joy, squishy cheeks that screamed for Hoseok to pinch, and the fluffy hair that made Hoseok want to run his fingers through and feel just how silky soft it would be would start them again.
“How was class yesterday?” Jimin asked, turning back to making Hoseok’s coffee. Hoseok didn’t bother hiding his smile, the simple conversation seeming so natural, so easy.
“Boring. How were the kids yesterday?” Hoseok said, cocking his head to the side in interest.
“Cute. Little Nana finally managed to do a pirouette without almost falling on her face. I felt like a proud father,” Jimin joked, slipping the cap onto the coffee cup and passing it to Hoseok. Although he was too busy imagining Jimin with little kids calling him Dad running around, little kids who were snapshots of Jimin; eye smiles, puffy cheeks, and tiny.
“That’s great,” he smiled, taking a sip of the coffee without glancing at what Jimin had written this time. He knew it was wrong, it always was.
“Not gonna check if I spelled it right this time?” Jimin pouted, and Hoseok just chuckled, shaking his head. “C’mon. I think I managed it!”
“Fine,” he smiled, bringing the cup up and turning it around to look at the neat script he had long since been able to identify as Jimin.
Will you be mine, Hoseok? (I spelled your name right, by the way.)
Safe to say, he almost dropped his coffee when his eyes scanned the words.
“So?” Jimin asked, after a few beats of silence. His puffy cheeks were painted red, and deep brown eyes staring at Hoseok hopefully.
“Finally,” Hoseok smiled, before putting down the coffee cup, leaning over the counter, and pressing his lips against Jimin’s plump ones. He also managed to knock over the cup, coffee spilling onto the counter, but neither cared one bit.
The summer heat surrounded the couple as they sat on the warm metal of the bench, each holding an ice cream cone in one hand. Their hands were clasped together as they licked the melting treat. Hoseok with vanilla, familiar, comfortable, yummy, and Jimin with some flavour he couldn’t remember the name of. It was surprisingly good, though, with a little bit of chocolate and cinnamon and strawberry and graham cracker crumbs—and was that some banana?
It didn’t take long for the two to be covered in ice cream, especially their noses and cheeks where the cones were shoved or fingers wiped over. Passersby just gave them odd glances, but what did they care; they were young and in love. Lips pressing lips, holding back giggles and enjoying the chill of the dessert under the hot summer sun.
“I love you,” Hoseok murmured against Jimin’s lips once the giggles had passed.
“I love you, too,” Jimin smiled before pulling away and grabbing Hoseok’s hand, running and dragging Hoseok with him towards Hoseok’s flat—it was closer—with a loud laugh and a smile that was brighter than the sun beating down on them.
“Happy birthday, Jiminnie,” Hoseok smiled at Jimin as he opened the door. He was holding a cake with twenty-three candles stuffed on top. The flames flicked up, swaying slightly before Jimin blew out the candles. “I got The Notebook and Chinese takeout. You good for a night in?”
“Of course,” Jimin nodded, leaning over the cake and going on his tip toes to gently kiss his boyfriend. “I’m good for anything with you. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Hoseok beamed, moving to the kitchen to grab the takeout and bringing it to the living room. Jimin was already on the sofa, blanket on top of him and saving space for Hoseok to slip into to cuddle while they eat and watch the movie. Maybe Jimin would have preferred going with a group of friends to the bar like he always did, but you know what, he could care less—he had Hoseok by his side, and that was enough. It would always be enough.
The cold wrapped around them, the two hurrying to the coffee shop where they met. The day they met. Silly, cliche, but it was all they wanted to do. Maybe Jimin had quit months ago, having taken more classes to teach at the dance studio—not just toddlers anymore, but he also taught the older kids, the more advanced kids—as well as transferring to the university for his last year, but they still visited almost daily.
“I can’t believe it’s been three years,” Hoseok laughed as the familiar jingle of the bell greeted them as the door swung open.
“Neither can I,” Jimin spoke softly, smiling up at Hoseok. His smile still got the butterflies in Hoseok’s stomach whirling, smashing into one another every five seconds. They both ordered quickly and sat on the cushioned couch, cuddling and talking softly so not to disturb the other patrons.
“I’m still as in love with you as the day I first saw you,” Hoseok said softly after they had fallen into a comfortable silence. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving you.”
“And I, you,” Jimin said, leaning in to brush his plump lips against the heart shaped lips of his lover. “There will never be a day to go by that I don’t love you.”
Hoseok awoke with a pillow to the abdomen and a much too happy twenty-three year old jumping on the bed next to him. With a groan, he grabbed the pillow, tugging it from Jimin’s grasp, and hit the younger in the leg. He couldn’t help but let out a little laugh and a large smile at Jimin’s antics.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up!” Jimin grinned, finally stopping the jumping to lean down, wobbly on the bed, and pull at Hoseok’s arm. “It’s your birthday!” Within seconds he was singing happy birthday (and while he was a good singer, somehow he managed to completely murder the song—Hoseok suspected he was doing it on purpose) and dragging Hoseok up and out of bed.
“Aish, this kid,” was all Hoseok muttered, but the large smile on his face nullified any future complaints. Especially once he was finally pulled into the kitchen, greeted by a slightly lopsided cake with ‘Happy Birthday Hoseok’ written in frosting (at least, he thought that’s what it said).
“Happy birthday, Hoseokie. I hope the cake’s alright. I made it myself,” Jimin beamed up at his boyfriend, cheeks pink and utterly kissable (which is exactly what Hoseok did: lean down and kiss both of his plump, squishy cheeks that he loved oh-so much).
“I love it,” he smiled back at the blushing boy in front of him. “But not nearly as much as I love you.” Of course, he couldn’t just leave it at that; taking the pillow he still had yet to let go of from earlier, he swung it around and whacked Jimin in the side with an innocent smile. “Whoops.
“Let’s go to Busan, right now,” Jimin said, wrapping his arms around Hoseok from behind. “It’s summer, I just graduated, and I know you have vacation time. Or you could just call in sick. Either or. Think about it? You, me, the sunset over the water at the beach.”
Hoseok, gently putting down the dish and drying his hands off on a towel, took a moment before responding. “Jimin, you know I can’t. Plus, we didn’t plan anything.”
“Does that matter? Can’t we do something fun for once?” he pouted, staring up at his boyfriend who had turned around to look him in the eyes.
“Yes, it matters. We’re adults, we have responsibilities. We can’t just run around and do whatever without consequences,” Hoseok frowned down at Jimin. “We can go in a couple weeks.”
“But I don’t want to go in a couple weeks,” Jimin says, frustrated. “I’m going, with or without you.”
“Jimin,” Hoseok says, exasperated. “Fine, go. I can’t go with you. I’m sorry.”
“So am I.”
“How’s Busan?” Hoseok asks, phone pressed between his cheek and shoulder.
“Great, I wish you were here,” Jimin said. The despair dripped in his voice, the want to have the man he loved with him. “My parents wish you could be here, too.”
“I know, baby, I know. I wish I could be with you.”
“So do I.”
“I can’t believe you,” Hoseok groaned, throwing a pillow at his now blonde boyfriend. “Did you actually just go out and dye your hair blonde because I said that you look good with lighter hair?”
“Yup!” Jimin said cheerfully. “Plus, I’ve been wanting a change. Black hair just isn’t my thing.” He caught the pillow easily before hopping onto the couch next to his boyfriend, cuddling up to his side. “Do you like it?”
“I like anything that has to do with you,” Hoseok shook his head. “But I must say, it looks a bit too good on you.” Jimin just smirked and moved to kiss his boyfriend.
“Oh no, should I change it then?” he asked innocently, about to pull back before Hoseok grabbed him, and pinned him to the couch.
“Most definitely not,” Hoseok smirked and kissed Jimin again, mumbling against his lips, “I like it too much.” Jimin only smiled into the kiss, before pushing Hoseok off and grabbing his arm, tugging him into the bedroom and pushing him onto the bed.
“Then show me how much you like it.”
Jimin’s hands traveled down Hoseok’s chest, fingers tracing odd designs lightly down the expanse of his skin. His lips attack his boyfriend’s neck, sucking marks that would certainly be there the next morning, as his hands play with the band of Hoseok’s underwear. Pulling it back and letting it snap back into place, hearing Hoseok gasp in shock and smirking.
His lips traveled up Hoseok’s neck to his ear, nibbling on it a little before hoarsely whispering, “why don’t you try topping this time?” It took exactly two seconds for Hoseok to push Jimin away (only somewhat, just so he could actually speak without Jimin’s hot breath brushing against his skin and driving him crazy) and knit his brows together.
“We’ve talked about this Jimin—”
“—years ago, and you said you’d be willing to try it—”
“—with proper preparation.”
Jimin fell back onto the bed, groaning. “Hoseok, can’t we ever try anything new? Even a new position? Those handcuffs I bought for your birthday?”
“But isn’t how we are already good enough? And god no, those things are just a bad situation waiting to happen,” Hoseok frowns at Jimin, turning on his side.
“Alright,” Jimin sighs. “You’re right. It’s nice. It’s romantic. It’s comfortable.” Then he kisses Hoseok again.
All Hoseok wanted to do was lay down after work. That’s all he would do, if Jimin could stop jumping on the bed. If Jimin could stop grabbing random pillows and whacking him with them. All Hoseok wanted to do was sleep .
“What are you doing?” he groaned, swatting away another one of Jimin’s pillow attacks. Jimin only beamed at him, successfully hitting him with the fluffy pillow on his knee.
“Pillow fight!” he laughed, before jumping and landing on his butt, leaning forward and giving Hoseok big, puppy dog eyes. “Please?”
“Just because you weren’t working or at school today doesn’t mean I’m up for playing, Jimin,” Hoseok sighed. “Can we just cuddle and relax today?”
“But we do that every day,” Jimin whined, but he laid down, finding himself wrapped up in Hoseok’s warm, familiar, comfortable embrace. “We haven’t done this in years!”
“But it’s great to do everyday,” Hoseok hummed, content. “I love you, Jiminnie.”
“Love you, too.”
“Hoseok,” Jimin smiled softly, seeing his boyfriend enter the coffee shop. “I already got your coffee.”
“Thanks, babe,” he said, kissing Jimin’s cheek before sitting down across from him. The couch was taken, so Jimin sat at a two-seater table.
“How was your day?” Jimin asked, staring down at his coffee and pursing his lips.
“It was good. Same ol’, same ol’. What about you?” Hoseok answered, bringing the cup to his lips and downing a good portion of the sweet, hot liquid.
“It was alright,” Jimin smiled. It wasn’t his usual smile; his eyes didn’t crinkle into crescents and his teeth didn’t show. His cheeks were pink, either, and there was no hint of shyness. Nothing. That was when Hoseok’s stomach dropped because he knew. “The usual.” The usual was alright, because nothing went wrong if it was the usual. Or maybe, that’s why nothing was alright.
“What’s wrong?” That was all he could ask.
“I think we should take a break.”
Hoseok wasn’t sure what he was doing there anymore. Sitting with his hands wrapped around a cup of coffee gone cold, staring at the door, just waiting. He knew that he wasn’t coming. Not this time. Not again. He knew that no matter how long he sat there, he wouldn’t hear the ring of the bell and see that blinding smile directed his way. He wouldn’t hear a rushed apology for being too late. He wouldn’t hear that soft voice saying his name and that laugh ringing out at whatever odd reply he came up with that time.
He sighed, sinking further down into the cushioned seat, bringing the cold, bitter liquid to his lips and swallowing it down with a wrinkle of his nose. He hated black coffee, but he also hated being alone. So why not pair them together in the one place that brought him more pain than any other? The place that Jimin told him goodbye because sometimes love just ain’t enough. He wasn’t enough.