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cactus boy

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jung hoseok can't help the fact that he has an overly cheerful personality. he really can't. it's not his fault that everyone's down in the dumps, while he's puking rainbows and lollipops everywhere—it's in his dna, in his nature. he just likes being happy, and radiating that happiness onto other people.

no one really likes working in the sweltering heat in the middle of june, but here hoseok stands, watering the flowers that surround the quad. there's just something nice about flowers, how you put so much effort and care into them, and how they reward you with a beautiful sight.

it's a casual tuesday morning; the welcoming committee is introducing incoming freshman in the quad, while various clubs and activities are holding their annual showcase. namjoon and jimin are probably doing something with the art club, taehyung is handing out flyers for cypher room (or, the school's rap club), and seokjin's busy promoting his cooking class.

hoseok won't lie, he's quite popular among his peers. being the all male dance co-captain, the public relation officer of green committee, and a member of about four other clubs, hoseok will admit, people know him and like him. but it gets tiring after awhile, and hoseok likes to take breaks doing things behind the scene—which, is why he's now watering carnations instead of greeting the freshman. all the officers are okay with it—more screentime for them, more popularity.

"hoseok!" a loud voice shrieks. glancing up, he notices jackson waving his arms wildly in a panicked motion. he's wearing his football attire, a helmet by his side. "get out of the way!"

confused, hoseok tilts his head to the side, fingers clenching the hose tightly. "what do you—"

but he doesn't get to finish his sentence. a shadow looms over his face, and as hoseok tilts his head up to face the mysterious object, a football comes at his face in full force

》》

"fuck—"

when he opens his eyes, bright lights shine above him; he's in an unfamiliar place, and his head throbs like hell.

"tae, tae; he's awake!"

hoseok cracks open his eyes to see blurry figures looming over his bed. as he blinks repeatedly, he can manage to count three bodies; namjoon, taehyung, and jimin. sitting up abruptly, (which hoseok now regrets) he notices that what seems as the infirmary contains only him and a body next to him.

"the fuck happened?" hoseok grunts out with a squint of his eyes.

"you accidentally pissed o—" taehyung begins, but namjoon elbows him roughly and gives him a look.

jimin swoops in instead. "according to jackson, he was trying to demonstrate something at the quad with jinyoung, but jinyoung threw too far, so it went straight at you, and you didn't move because you were oblivious."

hoseok blinks.

"also," taehyung interjects, "when you were hit, you let go of your hose, and it basically sprayed all over a welcoming committee member. they got kinda pissy, and literally just stomped off."

he doesn't even know who the welcoming committee member is, but shit, now he feels bad.

"also!" jimin pipes in, head peeking behind namjoon and taehyung's shoulders. "you also soaked one of the freshmen by accident, and that scared him so bad, he blacked out. i think college terrifies him or something," he hums out, head nudging in the direction of the body next to him.

"what the fuck," hoseok breathes out, trying to comprehend the situation.

namjoon laughs, ruffling his hair. "don't think about it too much; just get some sleep, okay?"

the others bid him goodnight, before shuffling out one by one. hoseok contemplates between getting more sleep for his poor head, or thinking about the bizarre situation, before deciding he's better off sleeping. so hoseok closes his eyes, body wiggling back in the sheets to get comfortable.

a loud thump rings out in the air, followed by incoherent muffling. eyes flickering wide open, he tilts his head to the side, staring at a wriggling figure at the ground and an empty bed.

figures.

》》

it's not a concussion or anything, just a minor bump; hoseok's released the following day, continuing his normal routine. his friends makes fun of him, as expected, but it dies down after a few days, and everything returns back to normal.

wednesday morning, eleven am. hoseok's sitting under the tree, body splayed out on a gingham picnic blanket as he awaits his friends. it's their usual meeting place by the quad, established ever since hoseok and namjoon met seokjin freshman year. seokjin (sadly) doesn't swing by often anymore, busy with his med program, but the rest of them still linger in the area, like boring little dweebs.

earphones plugged in, eyes closed, hoseok bathes in the shade, body relaxed as he enjoys the natural sounds of college; screeching students, rapid footsteps, constant bell ringing, shuffling of papers...he exhales pleasantly, smile planted on his lips.

unfortunately, the peace doesn't last that long; something heavy presses on his arm, and it sends him sitting up abruptly, yelping. eyes flying open, hoseok's met with the sight of—holy shit.

a boy, lying in a crumpled heap across the grass in front of him, slowly picks himself up, hands dusting his light-washed jeans. he turns around, and hoseok swears that the heavens must've sent an angel down to him. mint hair, radiating under the sun, cat eyes staring at him wide with shock, pale cheeks, flushed a bright red, teeth sinking into his bottom lip—oh shit. 

a recent quiz in the college newspaper states that thirty percent of students believed in love at first sight, and half of those students experienced it. jung hoseok thinks he's become part of that percentage.

mint boy responds with a small "s-sorry", before he scrambles off, body hunched as he darts his way to the west end of the quad.

jung hoseok decides that he's going to find out who he is, and he's going to get to know this angel.

》》

"namjoon." 

"what."

"i met my soulmate."

there's a pause, before hoseok feels a varsity hoodie land on his face. "did that football give you brain damage?"

annoyed, hoseok yanks the hoodie off of his face. "it's true, i swear to god, i could feel the electricity between us," he insists with a dramatic sigh.

it's ten pm, that same wednesday; hoseok lies on his bed, eyes staring straight at the ceiling, while his roommate is working on his land report at his desk. namjoon may be full of crass remarks, but he's always a good person to confide in.

"really, now," comes the dry remark, as namjoon stops typing, swiveling in his leather chair to stare at hoseok. "do you even know him?"

"he looks cute."

"that's it?"

hoseok hesitated, before briefly describing how mint boy tripped over his arm and thus, technically talked to him.

namjoon snorts. "for fuck's sake, hoseok; one, this isn't some damn cheesy-ass fanfic or disney movie, two, falling in love with his face is pretty superficial, three, the soulmate theory is horribly flawed, and four, love at first sight doesn't exist. 

"stop being such a damn pessimist; just because you're jealous that seokjin's dating that doctor guy—"

namjoon's cheeks flood with color, as a scandalized look crosses over his face. "i am not jealous."

"sure, namjoon. whatever you say."

"look, all i'm just saying is—you're way too hellbent on dating someone you don't even know, and i know you're an optimist and all, but—i just don't want you disappointing yourself."

hoseok rolls on his side, arms clutching a pillow as he faces namjoon. cheeky grin sliding across his face, he's practically beaming at the younger male. "are you worrying for me?"

a notebook comes flying at his direction, and hoseok yelps as he dives under the blankets.

》》

hoseok's tried asking a multitude of people about the mint-haired boy, only to get the same response each time—"i've seen him around, but i don't know him."

it's frustrating how someone with that obvious of a hair color isn't known by anyone around him. hoseok's on day three of searching for mint boy, only to come up with no results.

"cheer up, hyung," taehyung mumbles, nudging his side gently. "maybe you'll meet him again, when you least expect it?" he suggests, shoulders shrugging. he's sitting against the oak tree, holding out a series of flashcards and repeating them one by one. namjoon's helping him out, a granola bar in his hand as he reads off of one of the index cards.

responding with a mopey groan, hoseok buries his face into the picnic blanket. he's been sulking for the past twenty-four hours, unwilling to communicate and interact with people.

"have you tried looking at the yearbook?" namjoon asks, before mumbling some long-winded passage about tailbones and wisdom teeth.

"everyone's portraits look like mugshots, and it was before mint boy went mint," comes a muffled groan from hoseok.

taehyung's enthusiastic chirp of "vestigial" is the only thing responding to hoseok's misery. with a small sigh, hoseok thinks about mint boy again, how his eyebrows widened in surprise, how the apples of his cheeks were dusted a pretty red, how his lips were moulded to perfection—all soft and ready to kiss. mint boy is the epitome of his ideal boyfriend, and yet—life teases him, by showing him a snippet of his (future) soulmate, before forever taking him away from his sight. hoseok wonders if it's a cue for him to take up—

"hello! guess who i brought!" a peppy voice rings out; the three boys lift up their heads, to face an orange-haired jimin with a smile brighter than the sun. a taller boy stands behind him, chewing his bottom lip nervously as he clutches his books.

silence.

the timid boy starts to edge away from them; with a huff, jimin's hand shoots out to grab his wrist, tugging him closer to the trio. "so, welcoming committee had this, 'adopt a freshie' program, and i thought—hey, why not do a good deed? (also, it gives me a higher chance of getting into WC itself, so help me out guys.) this is jeonggukkie," he breathes out, scooting behind the freshman to push him forward. "remember the small kiddo that hoseok completely terrified? this is him!"

"the one that blacked out?" taehyung cocks his head to the side, amusement flickering on his face.

red blossoms on jeongguk's face, feet shuffling in embarrassment. "it was s—"

"cute," namjoon coos. hoseok resumes his face into the picnic blanket, limbs sprawled over the whole thing. a hand nudges his shoulder, and namjoon (lowkey) hisses "seok, move. hi! i'm namjoon, majoring in architecture, and this loaf right here is hoseok, aspiring botanist. that's taehyung, and he's a chem major."

legs and arms folding together immediately, hoseok wiggles to the edge of the blanket, dragging his smushed jacket with him.

"is hyung still sulking over mint boy?" jimin sighs; to the right side of hoseok, the blanket sinks as the pair sit on it.

"i think he's giving u—"

"i am not giving up!" hoseok butts in, head snapping up. "i am going to find mint boy, and take him home with me." he declares, eyebrows furrowed. "whether it takes days, or weeks, or months—i'll find him, and ask him out."

there's blank looks on all his friends' faces, acting as if his sudden declaration of love for mint boy was a surprise. to think that he'd give up so easily! hoseok internally scoffs at how low his friends think he is.

jimin turns to jeongguk, face wincing as he rubs the back of his neck. "hoseok met this really cute guy with mint hair once, and now he's smitten over him. problem is, no one knows who he is."

"...mint?"

"why—do you know him?"

"...my welcoming committee tour guide had mint hair."

hoseok yells.

》》

"hey, hey—joohyun," he wheezes out, bending over to place his hands on his knees as he attempts to catch his breath. the bell rung a few minutes ago, and hoseok ran across campus just to meet the welcoming committee's vice president.

she turns around, eyes wide as she scrunches her face in disbelief. "hoseok? are you okay?"

"do you—" he heaves out, breathing heavily. "—happen to know a mint haired boy? part of welcoming committee?"

joohyun blinks, half her face skewered as she tries to think. "um....wait! yeah, yeah i do."

hoseok swears to god that he's going through a heart attack. "can you—"

"he resigned after the first day."

"...what."

"i don't know—" she exhales, shrugging lightly. "he got sprayed with a water hose during his first campus tour; it kind of scared him off."

hoseok stares at her with a horrified facial expression.

"shame, too. he told me that he was starting to break out of his bubble, but it was too much for him."

no no no, it can't end this fast—hoseok swears that the mint-haired angel was the cutest thing he's ever seen, and his gaydar definitely says he's gay. he's too much of a good catch to let go. "do you know who was in his group? working with him?"

joohyun blinks repeatedly, furrowing her eyebrows in deep concentration. "....i think he was working with...mark....mark tuan....you know—"

"i love you." hoseok says in seriousness, flashing her a sincere smile before scrambling off.

》》

mark tuan, fourth year statistics major, says this:

"...oh..man, i don't remember, we didn't talk that much except for committee meetings, and that time we had team bonding...he's my age, though, and i know his last name is min. you could try asking minah, but she like, has a goldfish brain so i doubt she'd remember anything..."

min isn't the most common surname, thank god, but it doesn't change the fact that there's nearly 200 males with the surname of min in the yearbook, and none of them look like the beautiful mint boy that he saw. it's kind of frustrating, and all hoseok wants to do is cry at the terrible scenario that he's been placed in.

"are you still sulking?" comes an incredulous voice, and hoseok has to grit his teeth to prevent himself from snapping at namjoon.

"i'm making more progress than you, at least."

the younger male glowers, swiveling his chair to look back at his notes. "he's still seeing that doctor guy, okay?"

"um, why didn't you make a move on him while he was single? it's seokjin. he goes on at least 8 blind dates a year."

"don't change the topic on me," namjoon huff out, scribbling furiously into his notebook. "what are you gonna do about mint boy? you're back to square one."

hoseok's head tilts to the side, staring inquisitively at the ceiling. to give up or not, that is the question—"if it's fate, i'm gonna meet him, and then i'll get to know him, and date him, and fall in love with him."

the chair turns slowly, namjoon's fingers lowering his glasses to stare at hoseok. "...isn't that kind of creepy? you two met once—"

"twice! the water hose!"

"—that one doesn't count—and you're all obsessed over him based on the fact that his face looks cute."

hoseok gapes, pushing himself upright. "are you calling me shallow?"

dumbass palm-tree boy gives him the side-eye, and hoseok swears that he's going to march over and shake the hell out of namjoon until his ugly blue-green hair falls to the ground.  "excuse me, but i don't act this way towards every cute guy i see. according to the soulmate theory by plato, humans became arrogant, and zeus split them in half, condemning them to spend our lives yearning for the other half to complete them. i have this like, unexplainable feeling with mint boy, and therefore, i want to get to know him better to confirm the fact that maybe he's the—"

"the soulmate theory is bullshit."

"um, i actually quoted this from a philosophy minor's (aka kim namjoon's)," hoseok adds passive-aggressively, "textbook, so if anything, you're usually the one full of shit." 

they huff at each other, clearly at stalemate. while namjoon is too damn chicken to hit on seokjin, hoseok doesn't even have the opportunity to hit on mint boy, and the whole predicament is just terrible for the two of two them. 

it takes a few minutes for namjoon to catch his breathing, before exhaling loudly and letting his shoulders sag. "hey, hoseok..."

"what?"

"if we both become single forever...can i just...date you?"

hoseok's eye twitches, and he proceeds to pelt namjoon with all the pillows he can find on their beds. 

》》

4:15 pm, at the courtyard on the bench with his textbook open and his phone on his lap is when he sees a flash of mint. 

mint hair, the vibrant color gleaming under the bright sun, walking across the yard and past the fountain. he stops and turns, pastel locks brushing gently in the air, sleepy eyes and pursed lips glancing towards the math building. 

hoseok yells out on excitement, and mint boy jolts up, brown orbs snapping over to hoseok; their eyes connect, and hoseok swears that electricity runs through his veins. 

unfortunately, the same loud noise that capture mint boy's interest might've also scared him; hoseok slams his book shut and scrambles after the boy in despair, watching as he walks off at a rapid pace. he barely makes it past the fountain when mint boy's already turning around the corner of the astronomy building, his bright blue souvenir jacket shining in the sunlight to reveal an array of brightly stitched colors.

hoseok is sure that mint boy is his soulmate from a previous life, even if science can't prove it, because he just feels such a strong connection to him that it can't be coincidence or a delusion—it's a sign. 

》》

there's a party at taehyung and jimin's apartment on friday night. it's not much, just loud trap music and alcohol scattered all around, but it's enough to liven up a gloomy day after a chapter test. taehyung busily curses out his organic chem professor with chungha as they angrily chug beer, while jimin makes repeated attempts to drag jeongguk out to dance.

hoseok and namjoon sit back, somberly drinking cans of beer while staring out at what could've potentially been a fun date night.

"how did it go with seokjin?" hoseok draws out slowly, arching an eyebrow. the five of them have been friends since last year, but while the two sophomores were too oblivious to notice it, hoseok knows that namjoon's been pining after seokjin for a year and a half. and yet, no progress has been made. 

"he said he already had plans—congratulatory dinner with hongbin." namjoon mumbles out glumly, taking a swig of his beer. "y'know, his new date."

"wasn't he dating someone las—"

"too boring." a pause. "see, this is why i'll never date him. m'too plain and mediocre and seokjin hyung's way too out of my lea—"

annoyed, hoseok shoves the beer can against namjoon's lips and tilts it upwards, causing him to shut up by choking and sputtering. "hey, you dumbass. it's not that you're plain, it's that you've never tried to woo him. next time he breaks up, ask him to do something with you out before he makes a group date. just intervene." 

by the time namjoon is finished dying, his cheeks are bright red and his eyes are watery, chest heaving up and down. "can't you just—give me a normal pep talk?" 

"nah," hoseok hums out, leaning against his seat. someone passed by in a purple souvenir jacket, and it reminds him of mint boy. it's kind of funny how he dresses in a flashy manner with his brightly-colored hair, and yet, no one recognizes or knows him. and yet, someone like taehyung, who's inconspicuous with his brunette locks and nice style is known by everyone. 

namjoon's voice cuts into his thoughts. "did you find mint boy yet?" 

"i saw him, but...that's it."

"discouraged?" 

"not...really. more fueled. he looked cute."

hoseok thinks back to his blank look on his face, almost resembling a deer in the headlights. he imagines mint-boy standing in the crowd, mint hair glowing under the blacklight, smile curled up on his lips as he tosses his head back and forth. and god, hoseok wishes he wasn't so far gone for a mint-haired boy with a blue souvenir jacket that he doesn't even know. he wishes he wasn't so shallow to fall in love with soft eyes and a mysterious stare, intrigued by the fact that no one knows who he is. 

it kind of sucks, but hoseok supposes that this is his punishment for falling in love with someone's looks instead of their personality: forever seeking a name he doesn't know, only able to capture a glimpse of the gentle gaze.  and maybe hoseok's really fucking whipped, because he's okay with it. just like kim namjoon, who watches his crush with a new date every few weeks—content with looking, unable to do anything more. 

》》

the cypher room is located in an abandoned classroom in the music department, taehyung's way of getting into rap despite little experience in actually rapping. it's quite popular on campus, and hoseok enjoys how a collective group of rappers get together and share their ideas. meetings are every thursday afternoon, and every other thursday is performance. every month, they host a rap battle down at the local run student cafe, with taehyung mc-ing.

namjoon and hoseok aren't cabinet members, but being friends with the vice president has perks. they get first access to the producing equipment, and hoseok's always happy to sit in the spot in the far corner, hooking his computer up to the launchpad. hoseok's barely sat on the chair when something cold comes in contact with his ass; blinking repeatedly, he subtly slides against the seat, scrambling off once he realizes how easily his butt glides against the chair. 

a souvenir jacket is folded up on the chair. 

a blue souvenir jacket with the flag of korea embroidered on the back. 

only cabinet members have the keys to the cypher room, and hoseok talks to them fairly well enough to know that none of them are into flashy jackets. and now it's not just a clue to find out who exactly this mint boy might be, but also what he does and why he has access to the cypher room when hoseok doesn't even know who he is—it's kind of exciting to know that there's more than just a cute face and dreamy sigh.

hoseok tugs the jacket away from the chair, fingers running over the silk with a low hum. he won't bring it up to the cabinet members—maybe mint boy will come back around, and maybe hoseok will finally get the chance to strike a conversation with him and get to know him and—

"stop thinking and start doing!" a feminine voice screeches, and hoseok flashes hyejin an apologetic grin. 

"are you going to write a love song?" namjoon calls out from across the room, synthesizer in his lap, cross-legged on the floor. 

"i'll write one if you write one for kim se—"

hoseok's voice is drowned out by the loud sound of his synth, a scowl gracing namjoon's face. up front, hyejin snickers, eyes diverting back to a beat-up notebook. 

the cypher room's always been a fun club, and so hoseok initiates the third war of synthesizers and launchpads, with namjoon and him trying to outsound each other out with their electronic devices. it goes on until the room is filled, and taehyung irritatedly yells at them to shut up so they can start the meeting. 

the session passes smoothly, with his fellow club members performing, while hoseok focuses on a souvenir jacket. maybe mint boy somehow snuck in, and maybe this was his favourite spot—just like hoseok. a tinge of excitement runs down his spine, because it signifies that they share this spot, a sign, a connection, a hint. 

hoseok envisions mint boy curled up against the chair, oversized beats hugging his head while he bobs up and down to a rhythm. maybe they can't come in contact physically, but maybe hoseok can leave him a message—if they share this launchpad. eyes sparkling with enthusiasm, he wiggles in his seat, excitedly searching for a particular segment.

he empties all the files back onto his computer, leaving the launchpad empty. with a low hum, hoseok uploads a 1.3 second audio clip, a sample of jieun's voice whispering "who are you?" 

and with that, he saves the software and exits, unplugging his laptop with a satisfied sigh.

》》

hoseok ditches his class to spend the day pseudo-camping outside of the classroom. 

[SMS] 
manjoon omg i can't believe you you're so extra
11:21 AM.

[SMS]
manjoon HAHAHA ME AND TAE SEE YOU STUDYING ON THE BENCH IN FRONT OF CR
2:34 PM.

[SMS] 
always hyungry tfw ur so whipped u stalk ur crush [See attachment.]
2:35 PM.

it's okay, he thinks. the pain and humiliation is worth finding out mint boy's secret identity. a sacrifice is needed for true love. 

[SMS]
mini omg you're so rmbaressing my friends asked who that creepy guy at the CR was and i had to pretend like i didn't know you
2:45 PM.  

[SMS]
hyeri there's a lab tmr for eco. : ///
3:03 PM.  

at 3:16, someone stands in front of the cypher room, anxiously knocking on the door and peering in. hoseok scrambles up from his hiding spot, trying his best to dust off his pants with one hand while fishing for the cypher room's keys with the other. earlier, he'd humiliatingly beg taehyung for the keys, proclaiming that he needed them "in the name of love". needless to say— 

[SMS]
always hyungry can i borrow 5000 ₩onhae manhi manhi??? it's in the nAME OF LOOOOoOOOoVe HAHAHA
3:17 PM.

piece of shit. 

"hey! are you looking for something?"

the stranger turns around, and a bright smile is flashed towards hoseok. stopping his footsteps, hoseok's hope and eagerness slams to the ground, crushed under the weight of disappointment.  

"are you not excited to see your hyung? it's been like, ages!" not-mint-boy-but-actually-kim-seokjin exclaims, feigning hurt as he places his hand over his heart. 

"did you...need...something?" hoseok carefully draws out. maybe it's namjoon, maybe it's him, maybe it's anything but the—

"blue souvenir jacket," seokjin starts of fluidly, and hoseok wants to cry. "my friend kind of borrowed it and left it at cypher room—i was supposed to get it yesterday, but knowing me, i forgot!" he chirps, a little too enthusiastically. "do you have the keys?"

hoseok has never felt so sad in his entire life, not even as much as that time he failed the final in biology 102 and it dropped his grade and gpa right before report cards. he dangles the keys limply from his fingers, staring dejectedly at the ground. 

oblivious to the fuming clouds above hoseok's head, seokjin swipes the keyring from his hand, sticking the brass key in the door and opening it. he comes out a few minutes later and locks the door, the same jacket that hoseok saw earlier folded neatly in his arms. 

"i didn't know you wore souvenir jackets," hoseok comments dryly, pocketing the keys. 

seokjin shrugs, a hand running over the embroidered pattern. "i don't—i just. bought it cause my ex was an olympic competitor—long jump—and i needed something that was all nationalistic and shit. my roommate embroidered the back—doesn't it look pretty?—i don't wear it anymore." he mumbles, speaking in fragments. 

the softness in his voice conveys more than just nostalgia; there's yearning and sadness lingered in between, and hoseok wonders if this was the only boy that seokjin genuinely liked in his history of dating. it makes him think of namjoon, and how it's only harder for him to make a move on seokjin. 

"well! i need to go—fridays are culinary club!" seokjin cuts in his thoughts, suddenly all cheery again. "i miss namjoon—tell him i said hi! i swear, i need to do something really quick, and i'll join my little harem again! all yours!" the older male squeaks, lips puckered as he laughs. 

"only namjoon wants you," hoseok mutters lowly, nevertheless waving half-heartedly as seokjin leaves with flying kisses. it's silent again, leaving hoseok to realize that mint boy never came. 

it's kind of. 

sad.

》》

hoseok doesn't want to seem like a loser, so he just tells them that he's not going to give up, that fate will bring them together. they all laugh and ridicule him, but namjoon seems to sense otherwise—he doesn't say anything about it, and hoseok is thankful for it. 

so maybe it's not meant to be, and maybe hoseok was just overreacting because the boy had a really cute face and felt like some angel from above. it's fine. it's just a like, not even a crush or anything—it's cool. 

"fuck—" hoseok winces, quickly pointing the hose at the ground to survey the damage done to the poor roses. he might've accidentally jetsprayed them, causing petals to tear away from its head. kneeling on the ground of the school's greenhouse, hoseok carefully lifts the plant up and makes a pathetic attempt to nurse it back into the soil, using the dirt to keep it together. 

"um—excuse me?" deep voice rings out in a hushed tone. 

"hello, yes, public officer of green committee, botanist major, protector of plants, jung hoseok here," he mutters out monotonously, forming a sad mountain of dirt around the roses to keep them from falling over. "how can i help you?"

there's a brief pause, as feet shuffle against the rocky flooring. "i, um..." the voice hesitates, feet coming to a stop.

"yes?" hoseok asks out, clearly impatient. he's usually happy to answer plant questions, but he's already in a bad mood from last friday, mint boy keeps on lingering on his mind, and he could've gone him after watering the roses but now he has to fix them and— 

"i think my cactus is dying." silence. "i kind want to save it. if—it's possible."

first of all, how the fuck do you kill a cactus, one of the easiest things to grow and adapt. hoseok inhales sharply, eyes blinking repeatedly because it pains him, as a botany major, to hear a question that stupid. with a low exhale, he turns around to see who would be dumb enough to do such a thing, and—holy fucking shit. 

hoseok's eyes travel up from beaten black high tops to denim skinny jeans to navy-and-white striped turtleneck covered in the blue souvenir jacket to pink lips to button nose to soft eyes and to mint hair—and god, god, god is hoseok happy that he damaged those roses.

because standing in front of him is none other than mint boy clutching a terra cotta pot, an ugly dying plant nestled in the soil. 

 

》》

 

"namjoon." 

"seokjin hyung, hey, it's been—awhile." 

"it's literally been five days." 

"that's still a while." 

"you're so stupid, you're lucky i love you." not in that way, namjoon thinks achingly.  

"i love you too—what's up, hyung?" 

the line goes quiet for a moment. "i broke up with my boyfriend. i feel so mellow right now, let's go out and eat; i have something important to say." 

namjoon's heart might've skipped a beat.