Jungkook will always remember the first time he heard about the Hanahaki Syndrome. He was barely nine, dressed in a black suit and starched within an inch of his life. He was sad, uncomfortable and staring at the pale body of his aunt.
She was dressed in her favorite delicate blue dress, her cheeks a soft artificial pink, lashes long and dark as they rested against her pale cheeks. But it was all wrong.
Her face was slack. There was no smile, no laughter, no glint of mischief in her eyes as she winked at Jungkook while stealing cookies from his mother’s cabinet. The life that was usually so incredibly present in her entire being was all gone.
She had looked like a porcelain doll.
Jungkook remembers the crying. That was what stood out most in his memories from that dark rainy day. That, and the lack of flowers. The church was just one big empty room. He felt like he was being buried along with his aunt, slowly getting eaten by the darkness of the large room. It scared him.
He had seen flowers at funerals in the television and remembered how it seemed to disrupt the
grieving black with it colorfulness and its life. But the only color he saw on the day of his aunt’s funeral was black, even when he looked at the casket, there wasn’t a single flower in sight.
Jungkook loved flowers. He used to make flower crowns out of wildflowers and put them on top of his aunt’s head. He used to give her bundles of roadside flowers, and she used to put them in her most expensive vase, displaying them as if he had given her the most lavish bouquet in the whole world.
To him, his aunt was like a bright sunflower, lighting up even the rainiest of summer days, so, therefore, he could not understand why everything was so very dark.
When he had asked his mother why there had been no flowers, she had burst into tears. His father had looked sad and taken him away while his mother had cried into her brother’s shoulder.
It was like that, on a wet, dreary Saturday outside a huge church in the pouring rain that Jungkook learned that not all soulmates had a happy ending.
His parents were soulmates, just like every one of his classmates’ parents was. To Jungkook the idea that one would not naturally end up together with their soulmate had not yet occurred. It was unimaginable for the small boy. To him it was natural that he would one day grow up, meet someone and feel the static shock and warmth that meant the person he touched was his soulmate. And then, like everybody else, he would live happily ever after together with a person who was made just for him.
Jungkook’s eyes grew wide with horror as he had looked up at his dad. He couldn't believe the words that were coming out of his mouth. He couldn’t understand that his beloved aunt had died because her own soulmate hadn’t been able to love her in return.
Tears had stained his father’s face as he had told Jungkook that when your soulmate was unable to love you back, you would end up choking on flower petals that would appear in your throat. According to his dad, his much-loved aunt had fought like crazy with her soulmate in order for him to just stay with her in a platonic relationship, but he had flat out refused and left her for a job in another country. Leaving her to die slowly and alone.
He never forgot that day, and he never forgot the bouquet of deep blood red roses that were left on his grandmother’s doorstep when they returned, a messily written ‘sorry’ the only thing left on the card.
His grandmother had thrown them out wordlessly.
There were never flowers in Jungkook’s home again.
Jungkook forced his eyes open and glanced sleepily at the clock. His eyes widened as he looked at the blinking red characters, the 7:08 that were mockingly blinking back at him, instead of the planned 6:30 he had set his alarm for. A horrible realization washed over him as he realized he had overslept. On not just on any day, but the first day of class.
He jumped from the bed and stumbled to the bathroom. After the quickest and coldest shower of his life, Jungkook ran for his closet nearly stumbling over the clothes he had stupidly thrown on the floor the day before. He cursed under his breath as he got his feet twisted into a pair of stray jeans, resulting in him falling flat on his face with a loud thump, the yell escaping his lips ringing out in the small room.
He didn't even have time to hiss in pain from the bruise he was sure would bloom in all its blue and purple glory on his thigh, from where he had landed on a book. Why he had left a book on the floor, and the jeans for that matter, was something Jungkook didn’t even want to know the answer to. With a pained groan and kick at the offending jeans, he finally got up from the floor and rushed over to where his clothes were waiting, neatly folded, next to the pre-packed gym bag on the floor beside his chair.
It was only in moments like this that Jungkook applauded his slightly neurotic brain. He’d had a small meltdown the night before over what to wear. The pathetic part was it was a dance class and that he was only required to wear training clothes, so it wasn’t like anybody would be dressed to impress. But at least he knew he was ‘somewhat’ color coordinated.
He grabbed the bag on the floor and gave his small apartment one last hurried look. He needed to do the laundry and maybe do some grocery shopping. All he really had was ramen, and while he loved ramen, he had promised his mother he would eat something other than that while he lived in Seoul. With a dive for a granola bar - the only kind of breakfast he had time for - Jungkook ran out of the apartment at a speed that would have impressed his old gym teacher.
He had been lucky when he got to rent his tiny shoe-box of an apartment after he had left Busan. It usually took him fifteen minutes from the moment he left his apartment till he got to the gate of the university. So, if Jungkook had correctly calculated the time he spent getting ready, then he could make it to class in plenty of time given he managed to catch the bus.
Why Jungkook had chosen an early dance class as one of his electives, was really beyond him. He cursed at every single dance major that had the first choice over the dance classes, leaving poor photography majors like himself with the useless 8 am classes, that was no doubt filled with grumpy people, that liked being up before nine about as much as Jungkook did. Which meant none at all.
Jungkook was entirely out of breath when he finally managed to get to the bus stop - just a few minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive. He looked at his phone in surprise, seeing that it barely had been three minutes since he had left his messy apartment.
Jungkook didn’t know he could run that fast.
He decided to use the time to take a few deep breaths of air in between large bites of his granola bar. A man needed to eat - and breathe- just not at the same time, because then he would choke and that would only make the morning even more horrible.
Seoul was much like Busan, but the streets were different, and he still needed to get used to the lack of satori around him. He also needed to remind himself that he wasn’t as good as finding his way as he was back in Busan. A single week to move in and get acquainted with the new streets hadn’t been enough to settle in at all. He still had textbooks he needed to buy for crying out loud.
Also, his mother was no longer there to kick him out of bed and serve him breakfast. A simple annoying thing he hadn’t known he would miss this much. He would gladly have taken thirty minutes of nagging from his mom if it meant he wouldn’t be late like this on his first day.
The bus finally pulled up to the stop, just as Jungkook stuffed the last bit of granola bar in his mouth. He looked in wide-eyed looked in despair at the overstuffed vehicle as it rolled to a stop right in front of him.
Jungkook knew he could probably fit himself in there, but knowing himself, he would end up squeezed tightly against a bunch of strangers. And Jungkook had enough self-awareness to know that that would eventually end up as a catastrophe. He knew he would accidentally step on someone’s feet, knock over an old lady or perhaps even manage to touch a woman inappropriately by accident.
Jungkook was horrible with people. Especially in large quantities. He felt his heart speed up and his palms became sweaty as fear traveled through his veins. He swallowed dryly and tried to get his feet to move, but with no luck.
With a mortified flush of his cheeks, he turned on his heel and started running. If he just ran like his life depended on it, he could perhaps make it in time... hopefully. Or at least he would only be a little late.
As he sprinted down the busy streets, he once again thanked the universe for his small apartment. He would be forever grateful to his uncle for allowing him to rent an apartment that was in actual walking distance from his university. His original plan had always been that he would walk to school every day. Jungkook really had to make sure he never overslept ever again. He might be fit, but running this early in the morning was inhuman.
Jungkook wasn’t sure his nerves could handle this much stress on a regular basis. He swore he would find a new annoying alarm noise for his phone the minute he got back home.
He cursed himself multiple times as he rushed down the crowded streets. How was he ever supposed to make all these ‘life lasting’ friendships his parents always talked about if peoples’ first impression of him was that he was tardy, not to mention sweaty? It wasn’t like Jungkook was swimming in friends. No, to say Jungkook was bad at making friends was putting it mildly.
He was downright terrible.
He always ended up saying the wrong things at the wrong moments by accident or made people uncomfortable because he just spoke his mind without thinking, inevitability insulting them. He laughed at the wrong jokes and was silent when all others were laughing their ass off. It was like the universe has wired him all wrong and had now leaned back to enjoy the awkward chaotic mess that was his social interactions.
It was why he had hated high school so much. His whole body would seize up when he met new people, and he would stutter in his attempt to not say the wrong thing in fear of people automatically label him the ‘weird one to avoid in class’. It was no wonder he had no friends. It had become so bad that some of his classmates had started taking a long way home just to avoid being seen with him by accident and have the curse of ‘assumed association’ burned into them like a social stigma.
Not that Jungkook had ever been able to blame any of them. He knew perfectly well that he was a fucked up individual.
He was ready to fall to his knees in gratitude when the main entrance of his university came into view. If Jungkook hurried, he could still make it just before class started. He tried to avoid running into people as much as possible as he sprinted down the hallway.
Never had Jungkook been more appreciative of the many years of dance classes he had received. Fuck, it was a good thing he was flexible by now. Who cared that he had never made any of the many friends his mother had promised him when she signed him up? No, Jungkook could bend in ways very few people could, and never had he thought it could be used in order to get to class on time.
Jungkook stopped just short of the door with a deep breath, and the moment the clock struck eight, his feet stepped over the threshold. Most of the people turned around giving him curious looks. Which was no wonder as he was gasping for air and no doubt looked like a sweaty tomato-human hybrid at this point.
Jungkook tried to move as quietly to the back of the room where all the others had dropped their stuff. He really hated being the center of attention, and he felt his cheeks grow even warmer under the many stares. He also didn’t miss the disapproving look the instructor sent him. Way to make a first impression, he thought to himself.
“Well, the students that didn’t have to run all the way here, please start warming up,” the instructor said acidly. “The two of you that decided to do the warm-up beforehand can start stretching.”
Jungkook looked towards the other end of the auditorium to see an equally out-of-breath classmate look back at him with an embarrassed smile.
“Hi,” the stranger said as both he and Jungkook retreated to a corner far away from the disapproving instructor. It seemed they both agreed it was a good idea to give the annoyed man some distance. “I’m Jung Hoseok, nice to meet you,” the stranger beamed so brightly Jungkook felt like he was staring at the sun. He wasn’t used to people being this happy on a Monday morning. It was nice though.
“Jeon Jungkook,” Jungkook smiled back, bowing politely at the other man. “You were almost late as well?” Jungkook started swinging his arms in circles, moving his shoulders to get them loosened up.
“Yeah,” Hoseok answered awkwardly as he twisted his upper body from side to side, making his breath come out in small puffs. “And it’s so embarrassing. My roommate turned off my alarm as a joke, and I overslept. Thank God his soulmate dropped by and woke me up by accident.” Hoseok bent in half and touched his toes like it was nothing.
Jungkook blinked in mild admiration.
“Your roommate did what?” Jungkook asked, eyes wide, stopping mid-arm-swing. “Why would he do that?” Jungkook had heard a lot about his high school classmates’ pranks on each other, but this sounded somewhat callous.
“Because I made fun of Jimin, the roommate, and his soulmate Yoongi,” Hoseok replied hesitantly, he looked up from where his face was hidden near his knees and added in an embarrassed tone; “and I might have dyed his all of his white shirts pink on purpose.” Jungkook had been about to reach for his own feet but stopped halfway to look at Hoseok in shock. “To be fair, Jimin hadn’t done the dishes for a whole week, and he needed some motivation!” The other man defended himself. “It was getting really gross being in the kitchen,” he added before going into a perfect split, stretching his whole upper forward.
“Fu-Heck,” Jungkook muttered as he touched his toes with the tips of his fingers. “Sounds like you had it coming. How the heck does a bunch of pink shirts equal a stack dirty dishes? That’s like saying pants are the same as ramen, and nobody wants to actually wear ramen,” Jungkook eyes widened as he heard his own words and he immediately straightened his back and slapped both his hands over his mouth. This was the reason he was bad at making new friends. He always said the first thing that was on his mind and offended people without meaning too.
Hoseok was looking at him with wide eyes from where he was sitting on the floor stretching his ankles before a strangled sound escaped his lips. Soon he started giggling, almost tumbling to the side as his body shook. Jungkook let his hands fall and looked at the stranger in confusion. People never laughed when he talked like that, they usually made an excuse to run off or started yelling.
“Well, I guess I did deserve to be a little late. Fucking shit, kid, I like you already,” he laughed. “Wearing ramen as pants, now that’s a mental image worth imagining. You sound just like Tae,” he huffed with a fond smile.
“Tae?” Jungkook asked confused. He was still mildly in shock over Hoseok’s reaction. Nobody had ever found him funny before, at least not in a good way. No, people were usually laughing at him, not with him. Jungkook could do nothing more than stare in bafflement as he sank down next to Hoseok to start stretching his feet as well.
“Oh, my friend Taehyung,” Hoseok replied with a grin. “Or rather he’s Jimin’s BFF since, kindergarten or something. He always blabbers things out just like that. It ridicules, but also kinda nice,” Hoseok beamed, a bright smile planted on his face. Yet another smile. Jungkook was beginning to think that Hoseok was just one giant ray of sunshine.
Never had Jungkook met anyone that smiled so much before.
“Oh.” Was all Jungkook could say dumbfounded as he rotated his ankle absent-mindedly. “People usually just get mad at me for blurting out random things,” He muttered shyly looking at his feet.
“It takes a little more than calling me out on being unfair to piss me off,” Hoseok smiled. Again - how did this guy keep on smiling? Like it was nothing Hoseok sprung up from the floor and started stretching his shoulders again. “Hell, my other friends have said much worse things and meant them as a compliment.”
“Sounds like you have some weird friends,” Jungkook said shyly from the floor where he was still stretching his feet. He never quite knew what to do with happy people like Hoseok. He always felt bad that his shy and sometimes bad mood could get in the way of their cheerfulness.
“Yeah, I do,” Hoseok beamed proudly like it was a huge accomplishment to the friend of a bunch crazy people. “But I think we all have friends like that, don’t we?” He took a few slow steps and did a few pops with his shoulders, grinning at Jungkook as he did so.
Jungkook just glanced at his feet again. It wasn’t that Jungkook hadn’t had people he talked to home in Busan. It was just that he just never had anyone he would actively describe as a ‘friend’. The only person he had hoped to stay in contact with after leaving home, had met his soulmate just as they finished high school and Jungkook took the lack of communication over the summer to mean that there hadn’t been room for him anymore.
But Jungkook was used to it by now. He was just one of those people that didn’t matter much to others; it was only his family that really cared. That was just who he was: a background character to fill up the scenes until the real main character would enter. He had learned to live with that fact over the years.
“Jungkook?” Hoseok asked confused when Jungkook remained silent.
“I don’t have that many friends,” Jungkook said quietly, unable to look at Hoseok. It was just easier staring at his own feet than see the realization of Jungkook being a social leper on Hoseok's face. He switched ankle and started to rotate the left one instead. It wasn’t that Jungkook wanted to swim in friendships and never have a second to himself. He just desperately wanted to meet his soulmate, the one person in this world made only for him, the one person to whom Jungkook would always be the main character. Because what did some random person’s opinion matter when you had your soulmate that would never find Jungkook rude, weird or twisted in the head?
Knowing he had a soulmate somewhere in the world had been the only thing keeping him going on the bad days when he walked home alone, his classmates’ cruel laughter still ringing in his ears and loneliness had been devouring his bones, feeding the dark thoughts that had become a deep incurable ache in his chest.
“Oh,” Hoseok said pulling Jungkook out of his depressing thoughts, the older man’s voice suddenly incredibly soft. Jungkook swore he could hear a hint of pity. Shame twisted in his stomach at the tone in Hoseok’s voice. Jungkook hated how people always pitied him for being an awkward, social fuck-up.
“I just moved here a few weeks ago, and nobody I know lives here, so...” Jungkook trailed off, knowing his weak excuse sounded like the lie it was. Jungkook had nothing to add anyway. No reason to why people always left him, no explanation as to why - despite his desperate attempts at friendships - he always failed horribly and instead ended up making people avoid him.
“Well, that’s a quick fix,” Hoseok said in a cheerful voice. Jungkook looked up in surprise when he got cheeriness instead of the expected awkward pleasantries he usually got when people discovered he was a socially awkward turtle. “I can be your friend. And if you’re free after class you can come meet my other friends. You’ll fit right in, Jungkookie,” Hoseok grinned brightly, staring at Jungkook like they were actually already friends and not complete strangers.
Jungkook blinked a few times in confusion at the use of the unfamiliar nickname. Nobody had ever given him a nickname before, at least not a sweet one he could say in front of his mom. Hoseok sent him a big bright smile when Jungkook didn’t answer right way, and even if Jungkook scrutinized his face, he couldn’t find a single bit of insincerity. Jungkook was dumbfounded.
“Why?” Jungkook asked bluntly.
“’Why’ what?” Hoseok replied puzzled.
“Why do you wanna be my friend?” Jungkook tried again, he was still flabbergasted and could do nothing but stare at the brightly smiling brown-haired boy in front of him. It usually took weeks before people even wanted to talk to Jungkook, so this was unusual, and he had no clue about what
“Because I like you, Jungkookie,” Hoseok said without missing a beat. “And I know that my friends will like you too. Jin will definitely fall for those big puppy eyes,” he smiled softly, wriggling a little to loosen his muscles.
Jungkook was happy that Hoseok had taken him seriously and not just laughed at him like others had done before. But he still wasn’t sure what to think.
“I-” Jungkook started but was cut off.
“Everybody get ready,” the teacher interrupted. “You two in the corner, don’t make me keep you after class,” the teacher snapped, giving them a look that told Jungkook he was already on his teacher’s shit list.
“Yes, sir,” they both yelled before they rushed to the middle of the room to begin their lesson.
Jungkook had forgotten all about Hoseok’s promise to meet up with his friends once class ended. He was tired, sweaty and so hungry. Going by the pain he felt deep in his stomach, he was sure that his stomach was trying to eat itself from the inside or something.
And on top of that Jungkook felt a little overwhelmed. It wasn’t that he had expected to be the best in the class or anything, but Jungkook knew he was pretty decent. But here everybody was amazing. Their movements were steady and smooth, even though they had all just been shown the dance minutes before. Jungkook was a little unsure about how he was going to even keep up at this point. This was an entirely new level of dancing.
Hoseok especially had stood out. Even during the few minutes, Jungkook had been chatting with him, Jungkook had discovered that Hoseok was a pleasant person who liked to smile and laugh. Very much it seemed.
So seeing him dance had surprised Jungkook a lot.
Whenever Hoseok danced the smile disappeared in favor of a look of deep concentration and focus. Hoseok’s movements were so fluent that Jungkook almost had trouble seeing when he went from one move to another. He was breathtaking, astonishing and nobody was able to take their eyes off him the moment he started dancing. Jungkook could feel the first weak twists of a star-crush in-the-making deep in his chest.
Jungkook got really surprised when he looked up from packing his bag and saw Hoseok in front of him, the big bright smile firmly back in place. Jungkook got so startled he almost dropped his bag and fell on his ass.
“You thought I had forgotten you, right?” Hoseok asked, smile dimming a little as he looked at the shy boy before him. Jungkook couldn’t help but feel an odd twist in his stomach. It was almost as if a part of him already knew that Hoseok should always be smiling, and removing the bright smile upon his lips meant you had made a mistake.
“A bit yeah,” Jungkook answered a little self-conscious. He chose to look at his half-closed bag so he wouldn’t have to see the slight annoyance in Hoseok eyes.
“You seriously need some better friends,” Hoseok muttered softly. Jungkook suddenly felt a hand on his arm, and he looked up in surprise as a soft spark of static jumped between them. It was weak, but it still made Jungkook’s skin tingle faintly.
“Well, do you have any plans?” Hoseok inquired, frowning a little at the spark, but shrugging. It was only statics after all.
Jungkook shook his head, unable to find the right words – he didn’t want to decline in fear of making Hoseok’s smile falter again. “Good, then come with me. I'm meeting up with all my friends at the most amazing little café just around the corner. So, you’ll get to meet them all right away. Isn’t that great?” Hoseok prattled as he practically dragged the much confused Jungkook out of the door.
“Won’t they mind me crashing your plans?” Jungkook asked as he stumbled along after the bright smiling boy. He tried not to be intimidated as Hoseok yelled greetings to almost every single person they rushed past. How did he know all these people?
“Not at all,” Hoseok assured. “They’d be happy to meet you. Also when Jimin sees how good you are at dancing, he’ll be ecstatic. He has been moaning about how we’re missing some more dancers in our group for an eternity now. And with you in the group, we might be able to flip the conversation from music production, at least once in a while.”
“But I'm a photography major,” Jungkook tried to protest.
“All the better,” Hoseok said, throwing an excited smile over his shoulder. “Then you can dance with Jimin and me and take pictures of us all. Really, we’re all shit at taking pictures, so we hardly have any as a group. It’s just sad,” he kept ranting as Jungkook was dragged onto the street and towards a quaint little café on the corner of the road.
A nice little sign hung out over the street upon which ‘Scent of Café Latte’ was written in neat cursive characters. Jungkook barely had time to ponder over the honestly weird name before Hoseok pulled him through the doors and towards a group of lumpy green couches in the corner.
“Guys!” Hoseok cheered enthusiastically, “Meet Jungkook. He’s my new friend.” With a final pull, Jungkook found himself staring down at four strangers.
The first thing that came to Jungkook’s mind was that they were all ridiculously good-looking and that none of them liked having normal colored hair. The first one of Hoseok’s friends that Jungkook got a closer look at was a short ginger-haired boy with the sweetest cheeks Jungkook had ever seen.
The boy looked beautiful, and Jungkook couldn’t help but stare a little at his very nicely defined upper arms. Jungkook was unsure whether he had ever seen anyone that could make a plain white t-shirt and a pair of jeans look that hot. His skin was a lovely sun-kissed tan, and he was staring at Jungkook with his small eyes wide open. It was clear that he was dying of curiosity.
The small ginger-haired boy was glued to the side of an equally short man with soft mint hair. The mint haired didn’t seem to share his friend’s curiosity and was instead giving Jungkook a sharp, calculating glare, his slim eyes closed with how hard he was scowling. It didn’t help that he was dressed all in black and was hidden in a huge coat and looked a little like a furious, very possessive cat.
Jungkook hurriedly looked away and regarded to the two other people that Hoseok had proclaimed as his friends. They were taller than the other pair, and perhaps a little older. They also had a whole different feel to them, almost like an aura of calmness hung in the air around them. Jungkook felt just a bit of his newly acquired tenseness leave.
One of the men was giving Jungkook a soft smile, and Jungkook could only stare. Never in his life had he seen a man that handsome before. The man had large soft eyes and the plumpest lips Jungkook had ever seen on a guy. His hair was dyed the most delicate and loveliest shade of pink and combined with the huge fluffy sweater he was wearing he looked downright huggable. It was all balanced out with a toned body and a pair of broad shoulders - of which Jungkook was already deadly jealous of.
Jungkook eventually moved his eyes to the last stranger, and he visibly gulped. The tall man had bleached hair and was well-built, dressed in a smart sweater and jeans that clung to the man’s well-defined thighs like their life depends on it. His face was much more angular than any of the others, and his large eyes focused at Jungkook like he was analyzing the young boy before him. For some reason, Jungkook was reminded of the professors he had briefly seen on campus. The blond stranger had the same intelligent feel about him.
There was no mistaking the very possessive arm he had draped over the shoulders of the pink haired guy, though. Unquestionably the handsome guy’s soulmate then.
“Hello,” the pink haired guy said with a soft smile, his eyes crinkling up a bit in the corners. “Nice to meet you Jungkook-”
“Are you Hoseok’s soulmate?” The ginger-haired guy suddenly shouted loudly, and with so much eagerness he almost fell off of the couch.
“NO!” both Hoseok and Jungkook stressed at the same time before looking at each other in shock.
Jungkook could feel his cheeks heat up in embarrassment as the urge to run bubbled up in his chest. He bent his head and was ready to run off with a muttered apology when Hoseok started laughing. With a move - that Jungkook would have thought had been practiced and perfect for years, if it wasn’t for the fact that they had all just meet - Hoseok caught Jungkook around the waist before he could escape and turned him back around to face the strangers again.
“Nope, Jungkookie. No running off,” Hoseok scolded softly before shooting a sharp glare towards the ginger-haired man. “Guys, be nice,” Hoseok said, a tone of disappointment sneaking into his still cheerful voice.
“This is Jungkook, a classmate,” Hoseok huffed in the direction of the ginger-haired man. “He is new to Seoul and is currently friendless and very, very shy, so I have adopted him. Just look at his bunny teeth,” he cooed like he was talking about a sweet child and not an awkward mess of a twenty-year-old man. Jungkook kept his eyes on the floor as he felt his cheeks heat up even more.
“Oh,” was all the response the ginger-haired man could come with. Jungkook swore he could feel their eyes on him, making his skin crawl. He just wanted to run and hide.
“That was very sweet of you,” the man with pink hair said softly. Jungkook still didn’t want to look up. He didn’t know what he expected, but he didn’t want them to see his flushed cheeks. He felt oddly vulnerable, and if it hadn’t been for Hoseok’s grounding touch around his waist, he would have run off by now.
“The best thing is that he is an amazing dancer and, guess what? He’s a photography major. Just what this group needs,” Hoseok grinned. He looked over the seats again only now noticing that he was missing a friend. “Oh, where’s Tae?” He asked tilting his head to the side, eyes flickering over towards Jimin.
“Slow down, idiot,” the mint-haired man muttered. “Tae is working today so he couldn’t come. And why exactly do we need another dancer in the group?” he added, one eyebrow arched in question.
“Because none of us can stand listening to more bloody music composition bullshit from you and Namjoon,” the ginger boy snapped, slipping out of the mint-haired man’s arms. “Jin is too nice to talk about cooking school, and none of us actually want to hear Tae try to teach us the wonders of biology, so Hoseok and I just have to suffer. Having another dancer would make life bearable for the rest of us,” he scuffed giving the sour guy - who Jungkook was pretty sure was the ginger-haired man’s soulmate - a scathing glare.
“Yoongi and Jimin, will you both cut it out,” the blond man muttered. “Look at the poor boy, he hasn’t even gotten our names, and you two have practically chased him away already. Now, Jungkook, please sit down,” he clapped the empty seat next to him.
With a hard push from Hoseok, Jungkook stumbled over to the seat and sat down on the very edge of the cushions. Jungkook still couldn’t make himself look up from the floor, so he didn’t see how the pink haired man looked at him with wide, concerned eyes or how even the mint-haired man started looking slightly contrite.
“Do you want some coffee? Some food?” The pink haired man asked kindly, leaning over his blond partner to get a better look at the shy boy. “You don’t have to worry about money, our treat.”
Jungkook just shook his head.
“Now,” the pink haired man sighed with sadness. “No reason to be shy. You came straight from class, right? You must be hungry. They make divine coffee here, and you have to taste their apple and cinnamon muffins. They’re to die for,” he sighed dramatically, winking sweetly at Jungkook.
Jungkook was ready to deny any kind of offer for food when his stomach deiced to ruin his life by rumbling loudly. Jungkook didn’t know how, but he swore his cheeks just got even redder with shame. Why did the universe hate him so much?
“Dear lord, you must be starving. Did you miss breakfast or something?” The pink haired man asked worriedly, eyes flickering over Jungkook’s face.
“I overslept,” Jungkook muttered. “I didn’t have time to eat.” He had never wanted to disappear more in his entire life.
“How about a caramel macchiato?” The blonde asked, his deep voice surprisingly soft. “It’s Jin’s favorite,” he added softly, smiling at Jungkook. His eyes were surprisingly kind.
“Jimin, go get a medium caramel macchiato, a ham and cheese sandwich and an apple and cinnamon muffin,” the pink haired boy said in a voice even Jungkook knew meant that objections were prohibited. He heard some faint crumbling, and then a warm hand took his.
He looked up in shock and looked directly into the big brown eyes of the pink haired man. Even up close he seemed ridiculously perfect. Like a model or an actor. He was far too handsome to be an ordinary person. Jungkook fingers itched to take a picture, just to see if he could capture the blinding beauty in something as ordinary as a photograph.
“Hello, I'm Kim Seokjin, but you can just call me Jin.” The man said with a big soft smile that calmed Jungkook down just a little. “It’s so nice to meet you,” the older man beamed, the smile only adding to how breathtakingly pretty he was.
“Hello,” Jungkook muttered almost inaudibly. “Nice to meet you too,” he added with the echo of his mother’s scolding about being polite ringing inside his head. For some reason, Jungkook really wanted to make a good impression.
“I'm sorry about Jimin and Yoongi before. They are just horrid when they’re together, please don’t bear them any thought at all. I'm delighted that Hoseok has found a new friend,” Seokjin beamed at Jungkook.
“Hey,” the mint-haired man protested. “We weren’t-”
“Shut it, Yoongi,” Seokjin snapped, eyes flickering away from Jungkook for just a second. “You don’t get to complain. You could have been nice from the beginning, and this wouldn’t even have been an issue.” Jungkook looked in surprise as the grumpy mint-haired man muttered a sullen ‘sorry’ before he practically folded in on himself and pulled his puffy jacket closer around himself, looking a little embarrassed to be reprimanded.
“Now, Jungkookie,” Seokjin continued without a hitch. He added a small wink at the use of Hoseok’s new nickname. “I want you to meet Kim Namjoon, my soulmate,” he smiled as he leaned back and released Jungkook’s hand in favor of the one belonging to his soulmate.
Jungkook hesitantly looked over at the blond man and half expected a death glare. It was very few people that allowed strangers to casually touch their soulmate, and even if it had been Seokjin who had taken Jungkook’s hand in the first place, he knew Namjoon would adequately blame him. People usually did anyways.
But what he saw instead was a big, slightly awkward smile.
“Hello,” Namjoon said warmly. “Welcome to Seoul, Jungkook. I’m local so if you ever need some help navigating the city, let me know. If you’re from the art department many of your classes will be right next to the music building, so I can also help you find your way around campus as well,” he added with a soft smile.
Jungkook could do nothing to blink at the blonde in amazement. “I would like that very much, thank you,” he muttered in his most firm and polite voice.
“Now, the old grump disguised as a young man over there is Min Yoongi. He’s rude as hell, so only listen to half of what he is saying,” Seokjin continued with a soft smile. Jungkook was a little impressed about how the kind pink haired guy could just dish out insult after insult and somehow never seem like he meant it in a mean way.
“So, where are you from, Jungkookie?” Namjoon asked, his arm draping itself over Seokjin like it just belonged there. Jungkook startled a little at the use of Hoseok’s casual nickname.
“Busan,” Jungkook mumbled shyly, looking up to find Hoseok beaming encouragingly from the counter where he waiting for his coffee to be served.
“Oh my God, you’re from Busan?!” A voice suddenly cheered. A tall cup of coffee was placed on the table in front of Jungkook making him look up at a smiling Jimin. A sandwich almost as big as a plate and the biggest muffin Jungkook had ever seen followed a short moment later, making Jungkook’s stomach rumbled again and earning a soft smile from Seokjin.
“I am from Busan as well,” the ginger-haired man continued sitting down next to Yoongi, stuffing himself into the huge coats well and forcing the grumpy mint haired Yoongi to put his arm around
him. He smiled, and Jungkook almost dropped his sandwich when the boy’s eyes almost disappeared into his cheeks.
“And that is Park Jimin,” Seokjin added dryly. “The group's charmer and contemporary dancer. And yes, he is always like that. He also happens to be Yoongi’s soulmate, a fact that baffles us all on a daily basis,” Seokjin added teasingly.
“Don’t be mean,” Jimin pouted, leaning his head against Yoongi’s shoulder. “I just got so excited on Hoseok’s behalf. I know he is bummed out about always being the single one out,” he muttered, eyes flickering up to Hoseok as he approached.
“Sorry to say it,” Hoseok said, finally sitting down in the lone armchair in the group with his own cup of steaming coffee in his hand. “But Jungkook isn’t my type. And if he had been my soulmate do you really think I would have dragged him to meet you two losers first?” he continued with a smile, sipping his coffee cheekily.
“Of course!” Jimin said, at the same time Yoongi muttered a sullen. “No.”
“The universe is having a right out laugh pairing you two up,” Seokjin muttered looking at the soulmate pair that was now giving each other sour looks, while still holding each other close. “Now, please eat, Jungkook. I'm getting hunger pains just by looking at you. And don’t worry, I promise you; we’re not always this crazy,” he said, eyes serious but a teasing smile playing on his lips.
“Jin, don’t lie,” Namjoon grinned, pulling Seokjin closer to him and kissed his temple. “We’re always this crazy,” Namjoon said teasingly.
“Shh, Joonie,” Seokjin mock whispered, looking at his soulmate with adoration. “He’s not supposed to know that until later. Otherwise, he’ll just run off while he still can.” Seokjin winked at Jungkook, as he leaned into Namjoon. Jungkook felt himself relax a little. They were all as lovely as Hoseok.
“I don’t mind,” Jungkook found himself saying without thought. And he was surprised to realize he wasn’t. Sure, Yoongi was intimidating, but now where he was ignoring everyone around him and absentmindedly twirling strands of Jimin’s hair around his fingers while humming some - very off-tune - melody, he didn’t look that scary anymore. And Jimin was just eager, not rude or mean.
Actually, if Jungkook had to be completely honest, now that he had relaxed a little, they all seemed really nice. He could imagine himself getting to know these people.
“I'm glad,” Seokjin smiled. “Welcome to the family, Jungkookie,” he said kindly, hand coming to rest on Jungkook’s shoulder, just for a second.
Jungkook couldn’t help but smile as he sank back into the couch, taking a sip of the best damn caramel macchiato he had ever tasted. Yes, he thought, this could very well be a good thing.
It was only a few months later that Jungkook would realize just how horribly wrong he had been.