“ARGH! I don’t wanna study anymore! Why am I even in this program?!”
The sudden outburst from second year Mathematics & Statistics major Jeon Jungkook startled some of the other students in the library, some of whom threw him the dirtiest look.
“Pipe down, won’t you?” Kim Seokjin—4th Year Honours Statistics and Vice-President of the Math Council—whispered, looking embarrassed for the younger, bespectacled boy. “Second year isn’t that bad. You’ll get it soon.”
“Says you who has the fucking smartest boyfriend in the entire university, probably,” Jungkook snapped, pulling off his glasses in frustration.
“He’s definitely not the smartest, and are you suggesting I leeched off him?” Seokjin scoffed. “It’s not like he wrote my exams for me.”
“Whatever,” Jungkook pouted as he slammed his head down into his books. “I don’t think I can memorize another probability distribution. Not that it matters anyway. I’m not passing that damn course.”
Seokjin sipped his coffee nonchalantly as he stared at Jungkook. “Tell me. Why are you even in this program anyway? Did you even like math in high school?”
“No,” Jungkook groaned, as he slumped further into papers.
“Well…you’re certainly not very good at it,” Seokjin said bluntly. “So why math?”
“I DON’T KNOW!” Jungkook blurted, eyes wide. “I honestly don’t know!”
Seokjin sighed. “So in the end you’re one of those people,” he spoke. “You have no appreciation for this art of numbers, the poetry of proofs…nor the satisfaction of solving an arduous problem late after midnight.”
“More like finally finding the answer on Google,” Jungkook muttered under his breath.
“I’m serious,” Seokjin said firmly. “Why do you think math professors are all like ‘I would wed the numbers if I could’? There’s just something about it, man. How do you think I managed to stay single for so long? That pure pleasure from drawing the complete of proofs square or writing QED at 3 a.m.…it’s more than enough.”
“What the hell does that even mean?” Jungkook gaped, disgusted by his older friend’s descriptions.
Jungkook would never appreciate math. Never. Ever. Even if he was in this program, there was always that inner part of him that wanted to scream “nerd” and laugh at every aspiring math major who walked by. He hated that sense of elitism that they all seemed to have—Seokjin and his overachieving, go-hard boyfriend Namjoon included: so what if you can calculate a triple integral or memorize the equation for a Gamma distribution? It really shouldn’t make you any better than other people.
“Oi, did you hear me?” Seokjin’s voice came back into his mind.
“Sorry. I was trying to remember things that should be better off forgotten,” Jungkook grimaced.
“Like your midterm marks?” Seokjin snorted. “Anyways, I was saying you should try getting a tutor for your courses.”
“That’s not going to work though,” Jungkook whined, adjusting the collar of his hoody. “At this point, I don’t even know what I don’t know.”
“And that’s where the tutor comes in,” Seokjin said. “I know this guy—you may know him too actually. You know Taehyung, right? He’s in your classes.”
Jungkook snorted. “Do I know Taehyung?” Jungkook repeated mockingly. “I tried studying together with him once. Somehow, we ended up at a park somewhere at 3 a.m. eating frozen yogurt and dancing around a tree—we both failed the linear algebra assignment together after that so you might not want him to tutor me.”
“Wow, you’re practically besties,” Seokjin said, rolling his eyes. “It’s not him that I was going to suggest but he has a friend who’s really good at math. The guy’s looking for a part time job right now too so maybe he could help you out.”
“Wait, you want me to pay for this shit?” Jungkook gaped. “Hey, I’m broke, remember? Student life? We don’t all have daddies to take care of us you know?”
“Namjoon is not my daddy.”
“I was talking about your actual father but your guilty conscience seems to be off the walls today,” Jungkook snorted loudly. “You should’ve seen your face when you said that. Such a serious expression. ‘Namjoon is not my—‘‘”
“For a dude who’s supposed to be quiet you sure are talking a lot today.” Seokjin was quite flustered at this point. “So do you want my help or not?”
“Okay, okay fine,” Jungkook grumbled. “I’ll give it a shot…but do I really have to pay for it?”
Seokjin shrugged. “Maybe if he likes you enough, he’d do it for free.”
“…maybe I can pay for it with my body.”
“Jeon Jungkook, ever since you entered second year you keep making jokes like that and it doesn’t really sit well with me,” Seokjin reprimanded. “You used to be so cute and innocent…what happened?”
“This freaking school happened. And who said I was joking? Maybe I really have no alternative at this point,” Jungkook responded.
Seokjin let out another exasperated sigh. “You know what, I think I’m done listening to you for today,” he concluded as he packed up his books. “I’ll message you Jimin’s e-mail and then you can do whatever you want with it.”
Jungkook stared at Seokjin as he pulled his backpack onto his shoulders. “Wait, who’s Jimin?
“The guy who’s hopefully gonna tutor you,” Seokjin answered. “You don’t know him? Park Jimin? 3rd Year Math & Stats? He actually has quite the reputation around here.”
“No…should I?” Jungkook narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “He’s not one of those dudes, is he?”
“Jungkook, I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about 50% of the time.”
“You know, one of those arrogant nerdy pricks that you and Namjoon like to hang around for some reason.”
“He’s nothing like that at all. And we don’t hang around people like that! You just have to get to know them.”
“This is why I don’t trust you.”
“It’ll be fine,” Seokjin reassured. “Just…give it a chance. Who knows? Maybe if you’re not so focussed on just being closed away all the time, perhaps you can learn to be commutative and associative with others as well…perhaps even gain an identity.”
“You disgust me.”
“Now that’s the inverse of what I wanted to hear.”
It was already 12:50 a.m. Instead of finishing up his calculus assignment like he was supposed to, Jeon Jungkook was on Facebook, messaging Taehyung, though it was partly because he’d gotten distracted while trying to search up the solution on Google.
Taehyung: how’s anal going by the way?
Jungkook: it is absolutely painful. i can’t even go to class anymore because it hurts so much
Taehyung: hmm. sucks to suck. i warned you not to take it so early.
Jungkook: i was young and foolish. i get it.
Jungkook sighed as he stared over to his neglected analysis (or “anal”, as him and Taehyung preferred to call it) textbooks, ones that he had bought brand new from the bookstore and hadn’t opened since.
Jungkook: so u know this jimin dude?
Taehyung: ya. we were best bros in high school
Jungkook: wat about now?
Taehyung: i mean obviously still but now he’s involved in a bunch of things and i'm just trying to pass lin alg so…
Taehyung: i mean we still meet up occasionally
Jungkook’s curiosity had been piqued before he could help himself. He typed the words Park Jimin into the Facebook search bar.
Jungkook: what does he look like?
Taehyung: black hair, short. idk how to describe him. i think he pretty plain. compared to me.
Jungkook found himself groaning before he could help it. Ugh, one of those people again. After scrolling through two pages of “Park Jimin”s with black hair, Jungkook decided to give up.
Taehyung: yo, how da fuq do you do question 3? what the hell is he even trying to ask
Jungkook: LOL ur asking me
Taehyung: screw it i'm going to sleep. ill do it in the morning
Jungkook: …it’s due at 9:30
Taehyung: i said. ill do it in the morning
And then he was gone, leaving Jungkook alone to contemplate the mystery that was Park Jimin, along with the massacre that was Question 3.
The Facebook message tone rang out again, and though Jungkook had expected it be to Taehyung, it was Seokjin instead. He opened to tab to see one line of e-mail, which undoubtedly had to be Park Jimin’s.
Jungkook stared at the address for a few seconds. Ugh. Who even uses e-mail anymore?
Deciding he had nothing better to do (mostly because question three gave him a headache just to look at), he opened up a new tab and logged into his e-mail, before promptly entering the address that had been given to him.
Hmmm….how should I word this? He had never really tried to e-mail another student professionally before, nor did he know what level of formality to use when addressing this person. Was he a stick in the mud? Was he chill like Taehyung? Jungkook had no clue, and the more he thought about it, the more discouraged he got: he was actually going to try and get help from a dude whom he had never met before. Was he really this desperate?
Exhaling to release any sliver of useless pride he had left, Jungkook brought his fingers to the keyboard and typed to his best discretion:
My name is Jungkook and my friend Seokjin introduced you to me and said you could potentially tutor me.
Let me know if this is possible and when we can meet up.
Jungkook read it over. Once. Twice. After another deep sigh, he recollected himself and pressed send before he could hesitate any longer.
Deciding he had messed around long enough, he promptly turned his attention back to the dreaded question 3. Despite the dizziness he was already feeling in his brain due to the ungodly hour, he boldly picked up his pencil and decided to bullshit through the problem as best as he could.
Jungkook nearly jumped at the sudden noise amidst the quiet.
Who’s e-mailing me at this time? Jungkook wondered as he grabbed his phone to check the notification.
He certainly did not expect to see what he saw.
Re: Tutoring Help
Hey Jungkook! I would love to…
That was fast. Before he knew it, Jungkook had already unlocked his phone, eager to read the rest of the message.
Re: Tutoring Help
I would love to try and help! Any friend of Jin’s is a friend of mine!
I know it’s short notice but I’m actually quite free tomorrow if you wanted to meet up.
What times are you free tomorrow? We could discuss things over coffee if you’d like!
Jungkook scrunched his nose up in annoyance, feeling turned off by the formal grammar and perfect mail syntax and lack of spelling errors and what kind of person even signs their mail with “regards” anymore? Jungkook scoffed at himself. This was only getting more and more hopeless. Despite that, Jungkook wasn’t really in the mood to hurt the guy’s feelings (yet) seeing as Jimin was so eager to respond. He decided to go along with it for now.
Re: Re: Tutoring Help
sounds good. how about 11 at the math café? and do you have facebook or something that I can add you on to make this easier?
He barely had to wait a minute to hear the notification ping again.
Re: Re: Re: Tutoring Help
And I’m really sorry but I don’t have Facebook. The only thing I use is e-mail so you can feel free to send me any questions or messages here! I’m usually fast at replying. I apologize for any inconvenience.
I’ll see you tomorrow then, Jungkook! I’m off to bed now, have a good night!
“That loser doesn’t have Facebook?!” Jungkook couldn’t help blurt aloud for no one but himself to hear. He was really, really regretting this now. This person clearly seemed like the most stick in the mud nerd in the world. He was still using perfect punctuation in his message, went to sleep early (well, 1 a.m. but still), and evidently still used e-mail as his main form of communication.
Needing an outlet for venting (and realizing it was now past hour of proper comprehension for question three), Jungkook decided to vent in the form of a single lined message to Kim Taehyung who was probably asleep by now and would probably see the bright, uplifting message in the morning:
Jungkook: ugh. leave it to kim freaking seokjin to hook me up with the number one virgin nerd lord in the world.
Jungkook sat patiently on one of the tall chairs at the Math Café, waiting for his nerd tutor to arrive.
It was barely 10:40 a.m., but he’d decided he had nothing better to do after handing in his assignment. Plus he wanted a good excuse not to start the next one. As Jungkook casually sipped his coffee, he could sense quite a lot of dirty looks being thrown at his direction, and he knew exactly why.
If he had to be completely frank with himself, Jungkook really didn’t want to be taught by this person, and he didn’t want to have to say that aloud at any point during their meeting. So instead, he resorted making himself look as unappealing as possible. So there he was, decked out in his old rotten sneakers that had a toe poking out of the right shoe, his old black shorts that he found stuffed between the wall and his bed that hadn’t washed in god knows how long, a pair of black, thick-rimmed fake glasses and a bright, blazing red hoodie that seemed to engulf him. As a bonus, he hadn’t even bothered to take a shower nor brush his hair after he had forced himself to wake up at 7 a.m despite that he only managed to finish the assignment at 4 a.m.
In other words, he looked like a very unfashionable zombie.
And honestly, he loved it. Jungkook was truly in his “fucks-I-give-none” element now.
The minutes started ticking by, and Jungkook kept his eye on the entrance for any sign of a preppily dressed nerd lord, potentially carrying a suitcase. He could only be complete with ugly glasses and maybe even a receding hairline at this rate.
Before he knew it, it was already 11:05 a.m., and no nerd lord in sight.
Jungkook felt slightly disappointed. So nerd lord isn’t as lawful as I thought he’d be.
Jungkook’s Facebook messenger notification went off. He swiped to find out that Kim Taehyung was finally awake:
Taehyung: shit. i forgot to do the assignment.
Taehyung: and wait. who’s a virgin nerd lord?
Jungkook was about to respond when another message popped up.
Taehyung: oh. you mean jimin? ya he’s a nerd alright.
Taehyung: maybe not a virgin but definitely a nerd ._.
Jungkook snickered to himself..
Jungkook: he seem like such a by the book guy dough :o
Taehyung: he is. have fun with him. LOL.
Jungkook: thanks L (he’s late btws)
Taehyung: lmao. still? dat boi never shows up on time to anything.
Jungkook sighed. It was now 11:07 a.m., and still no nerd lord in sight. Jungkook was starting to tap his foot in impatience, contemplating if this was a good enough excuse to storm out and call it quits on this whole attempt.
However, his attention was abruptly piqued when something suddenly caught his eye.
Or rather someone.
Jungkook grabbed his phone immediately.
Jungkook: yo. dude. there's a really cute guy walking in rn. omg. were there even cute guys in math?
Taehyung: LOL. and r00d. and i'm in math, remember?
Jungkook: oh shiet. he's coming in here
Taehyung: talk to him.
Jungkook: he seems busy. he’s …dressed up all nicely.
Taehyung: white button up?
Jungkook: with a black tie.
Taehyung: L.O.L. might as well offer him your ass to him now.
Jungkook: he’s talking to people. he looking for sum1 MAYBE HE ON A DATE
Taehyung: who the fuck would go on a date at the math café
Jungkook: oh shiiiettt he getting closer. w/e I’m just gonna watch. he so out of my league lmao
Taehyung: oh kookie. no one’s out of your league. u just gotta believe
Jungkook: u don’t know what I look like rn. ._.
Taehyung: if you talk to him, i’ll give you five bucks
Jungkook: nah man, I’m gud. I’ll just be happy staring at him.
Jungkook: why the fuq is he so close now. he still talking to people. is he still looking for sum1. O.O
Taehyung: you wish he was looking for u LOL ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Taehyung: by the way. wat happened to ur tutor? no show? LOL.
Jungkook was in the middle of typing “yeah I have no clue” when he suddenly sensed the presence of someone standing by his table.
“Excuse me?” The voice was nice. Smooth yet approachable.
He looked up.
His heart nearly jumped out of his throat.
It was the guy. The guy was at his table. And he was talking to him.
If Jungkook thought the boy was “acutey” from afar, he was freaking beautiful up close. He had silky black hair that draped nicely over the porcelain skin of his forehead. His lips were plump and pretty and pink and Jungkook’s mind was already going to indecent places upon seeing them up close. And what’s more, his slanted, brown eyes were captivating as anything, soft and gentle and the way they were slightly widened in expectancy made Jungkook want to grab him right then and there. And what’s more, he was dressed completely in the style that Jungkook was totally weak for: white shirt, black tie…and the way those form-fitting black pants hugged his…
But instead of letting all the beauty overwhelm his senses and distract him completely, Jungkook suddenly became extremely aware of what he personally looked like, and immediately regretted all of his life decisions.
“Um…can I—uh, like, help you…or something?” Jungkook managed to stutter out very awkwardly.
“Are you Jeon Jungkook by any chance?” the boy smiled.
Jungkook felt his breath catch in his throat. How does he know my name? Jungkook’s brain (slightly abnormal from the lack of sleep) was spinning. Destiny, it has to be destiny, he concluded.
Jungkook coughed. “Yeah. I am.”
The boy’s smile widened. It was blinding.
His brain was running haywire. This is it. This is my reward for suffering in this program for so long. He’s gonna tell me I’m the only sin of pi over two for him. I finally get a sexy boyfriend. Yes, yes, YES—
“I’m Park Jimin, your tutor?” the boy said, still smiling. “We emailed each other last night?”
Jungkook’s smile disappeared as he suddenly lost balance and fell out of his chair in surprise. He crashed harshly to the ground—much like the reality surrounding him at that moment.
“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME YOU HAD A HOT BEST FRIEND?” Jungkook screamed immediately upon bursting into Taehyung’s room.
Taehyung groaned from his bed. “Why do I feel like—wow, you look ratchet—this has happened before in some alternate universe?”
“What does that even mean?” Jungkook blabbered. “Anyways, I totally made a fool of myself.”
“How bad could it be? It’s you after all,” Taehyung grinned.
“I fell out of my chair.”
Taehyung blinked. “How—”
“It just got exponentially worse, ok?” Jungkook sighed. “I was already tired from the three hours of sleep and then he came up to me which was already not okay and then he just throws the bomb—”
“I think you meant ‘drops the bomb’,” Taehyung mumbled.
“—and I’m lucky I didn’t die, okay? I thought my heart was going to stop. And what nerd lord? I’m sorry, but that ass alone—I’m telling you it has like…no upper bound if ya know what I’m saying.”
Taehyung glared at Jungkook. “What does that even mean? That doesn’t even make sense. His ass is a freaking parabola, of course it has an upper bound—why are you even fast tracking third year analysis—anyways, first of all, you assumed he was the nerd lord. I only told you what I honestly think of him…besides, did he agree to tutor you in the end?”
Jungkook couldn’t help but allow a slight smile to crack onto his face.
“Yea…” he said quietly. He promptly received a pillow in the face.
“Ew. Quit acting like a smitten maiden, it’s grossing me out,” Taehyung grumbled. “But now that I think about it you two should totally date. He’s like your complement: you two complete each other.”
“Ha, as if I have a chance now,” Jungkook sighed. “I’m lucky he just laughed it off. But he probably thinks I’m a loser.”
“Well, he’d find out you’re a loser eventually anyways so it’s better now than later,” Taehyung noted.
Jungkook threw his friend the dirtiest look.
“Anyways, I love how you didn’t even bother putting two and two together: he was obviously your tutor. Why else would he go up to you? You think you’re cute or something?” Taehyung snickered.
Jungkook returned the pillow back to Taehyung with an aggressive throw (but missed). “Shut up. Unlike you, I didn’t have enough sleep last night.”
“Excuses. When do math majors ever get enough sleep? When do we even get anything? We’re all here because we secretly like the pain.”
“Last time I checked I wasn’t a masochist like you.”
“Check again, brother. We all are to some extent,” Taehyung grinned. “Anyways, when are you seeing him again?”
“Friday night,” Jungkook muttered.
The sound of the doorbell caused Jungkook to jump in his place, accidentally popping his collar up too high as he tried to adjust it.
“Omg, he’s here,” Jungkook muttered to himself, as he practically scampered over to the door and whipped it open.
“H—hey t—there…I mean…uh, sup?” Jungkook sputtered smoothly the moment he caught sight of his spiffy tutor.
Park Jimin blessed Jungkook with a pretty close lipped smile.
“Your grades should be after I’m done with you,” Jimin winked, brushing past Jungkook as he stepped inside.
Jungkook blinked, clearly too slow to get the quip. “What?”
“Where should I hang my coat up, Jungkook?” Jimin asked while Jungkook fumbled with the door.
“Uh—um, I can take it,” Jungkook said quickly, trying not to stare awkwardly as Jimin peeled off his coat. To anyone else, the familiar dress shirt, black tie and tight slacks may not have been the most arousing costume to reveal underneath, but Jeon Jungkook sure as hell tried to hide his gulp as he took the coat from Jimin.
Would it weird if I suddenly just buried my face into this and—yeah, yeah it would. Never mind. Jungkook shook the thoughts out of his mind as he quickly hung the coat in the closet.
“So, where do you want me?” Jimin asked.
“My bedroom,” Jungkook blurted.
“Uh—I meant that we’d be studying i-in my room…y’know, cause there’s a desk and I-I cleared up a space f-for us,” Jungkook stuttered like the absolute value of a loser that he was. Oh my god, this speech issue needs to STOP.
“Oh okay,” Jimin nodded. “Sounds good. Lead the way.”
Jungkook nodded eagerly, and practically leapt two steps up the stairs as he took Jimin to his room. He’d spent the entire morning attempting to clean it up in order to potentially impress his evidently immaculate tutor.
Jungkook opened the door and showed Jimin to the sitting desk that he’d set up.
“You can set up here,” Jungkook gestured. “D-do you want some tea or something in the meantime?”
“It’s fine, let’s just get right to it,” Jimin smiled softly. Jungkook thought he felt his heart skip a beat when Jimin said that. He was weak. So, so weak right now.
And whether or not Jimin noticed, he did manage to say some comforting words: “Relax, I’m not here to make you feel incompetent or anything. I remember struggling insanely in my second year as well, so I’m the last person who’d make fun of you.”
“What year are you in now?” Jungkook asked as he settled down across from Jimin.
“Third,” Jimin smirked. “I’m not saying it gets better, but at this point, at least you’re used to it.”
“Wait…are you taking third year Real Analysis?”
“Yeah, why? Are you planning on taking it next year?”
“Well…things happened…and I’m actually taking the course right now…”
Jimin’s face lit up. “Actually? That means we’re in the same class! What are the chances…wait, how come I’ve never seen you before then?”
It’s because I never go to class, Jungkook thought shamefully. But he couldn’t let Jimin know. Fortunately, Jimin beat him to an excuse.
“Hmm…it’s probably because I always sit alone at the very front row, which is why I don’t see you,” Jimin noted.
“Y-yeah, that’s it,” Jungkook quickly agreed.
“Hey, we should totally sit together from now on!” Jimin blurted suddenly. “I could help you understand what the professor is saying and you…you can keep me company.”
Jungkook was speechless. It hadn’t even been ten minutes and he had already been offered a seat next to his tutor/eternal crush in lecture. For someone in the math program, that was like getting to second base…right? (At least that’s what Taehyung told him all the way in first year.)
Jimin suddenly let out a slight chuckle at Jungkook’s lack of response. “I’m sorry, you must think I’m such a loser,” he confessed awkwardlty. “The nerd that sits at the front of class. Alone. All my friends didn’t want to take the course because they thought it’d be too difficult.”
Jungkook immediately felt a surge of guilt for all the “nerd lord” comments.
“No! No way! Not at all!” Jungkook blabbered in a hurry, waving his hands everywhere. “I-I’ve always thought it was the cooler kids that sat at the front. You know, the ones that truly care and have connections with the prof and stuff.” The latter part, at least, was his genuine thought.
“If you say so,” Jimin smiled. “What about you? Why did you take the course early? You must’ve really liked second year analysis.”
“Um…well…” Jungkook shuffled uncomfortably in his place.
“It’s fine to admit you like it,” Jimin said. “I find it really interesting, personally. Even though I know it’s not exactly the easiest thing.”
“I…I was kind of pranked into taking it…”
Jungkook sighed. “One of my friends told me it would be an easy course to take a minute before course applications were due and…I believed him. I haven’t even taken the second year analysis. I’m just really lost and confused.”
Jimin appeared stunned. “You…you actually believed Analysis, an entire proof-based course, would be an easy course?”
Jungkook nodded unwillingly.
Jimin remained silent for a few more moments before he recovered enough to speak:
“Wow, Jungkook, you really are going to be a handful, aren’t you?”
Jungkook screamed, shoving his head into his papers.
“I don’t get it!” he yelled. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! We’ve already spent so much time and I just don’t understand. It’s a knot in my mind and I just—”
“Jungkook, relax—” Jimin tried as he reached out with his hands in an attempt to calm Jungkook down.
“—I knew I didn’t stand a chance. I’m totally gonna fail this course. I accept it now.”
“Jungkook, calm down….it’s only been five minutes.”
Jungkook’s head perked up. “What? Oh.” He scuffled away, looking embarrassed. “It felt a lot longer than that…”
Jimin laughed at Jungkook’s antics. “I’m sorry you felt that way,” Jimin smiled encouragingly. “I must’ve been a bad teacher then.”
Jungkook’s eyes widened. “No! No, no, no! That’s not it at all! I’m clearly just stupid, that’s all.”
“Don’t say that about yourself,” Jimin scolded. “I wouldn’t be teaching you if I knew you were hopeless.”
“But like you said, it’s only been five minutes,” Jungkook mumbled.
“Exactly, now flip back to that first lecture and let me teach you.”
Jungkook reluctantly flipped Jimin’s pages back to where they were before, trying to hide his blatant disregard for the topic.
“Don’t look so bored before you even started,” Jimin said as he hit Jungkook lightly on the shoulder. Though he didn’t want to admit it, Jungkook definitely felt a tiny shiver where his attractive teacher’s fingers had lingered.
“But…it’s such a dull topic,” Jungkook groaned, staring at the page of symbols that ought to have been familiar to him…but were not.
“Really? I don’t think so. Difficult to wrap your head around maybe, but definitely not boring,” Jimin stated.
Jungkook shuffled again. “Yeah, well…”
“I’ll do my best to persuade you by the end of all this,” Jimin grinned.
“You seem so passionate about this.”
“Well, of course,” Jimin said at once. “It’s learning how to rigorously prove why we do things the way we do: why we count the way we do, what numbers truly are, why things defined are the way they are. I mean, we only scratch the surface of it all by the end of the course but it’s still quite a beautiful concept. Just like all of math. It’s more abstract than you think. It’s like its own form of art.”
Jungkook couldn’t help but be drawn in by the genuine smile on Jimin’s face as he spoke all of these things that seemed worlds away from how Jungkook felt.
“Wow…” Jungkook uttered dumbly. “I never really thought about math that way…”
Jimin’s smile temporarily disappeared from his face as he turned to look at Jungkook.
“Really?!” Jimin seemed shocked. “Aren’t you in second year?”
Jimin tilted his head upwards in thought. “Hmm…well I guess it still hasn’t gotten too specific in second year. You still have time. Anyways, I think I’ve rambled on enough. Let’s go ahead and teach you how to prove two is an irrational number…”
Jungkook’s heart throbbed for Jimin as he diligently wrote out the proof for Jungkook, annotating verbally and in detail as he went. After seeing Jimin’s full dedication towards the field of math, Jungkook really didn’t have the heart to tell him that he didn’t feel the same way at all.
But as he continued watching Jimin scribbling out the proof, his handwriting neat and clear, each number crisp and pristine on the sheet of lined paper, Jungkook couldn’t help but become slightly intrigued. The way the tutor’s wrist was poised as he scrawled out his “there exist”s and “such that”s; the way his eyes lit up as he subtly sped up in excitement towards the end…
“There! All finished!” Jimin announced, as he drew two diagonal straight lines to signify the end of his proof. Jungkook said nothing, and merely sat there quietly, carefully observing Jimin’s vibrant and pure expression which had arose from something as mundane as demonstrating a proof.
It was obvious that Jungkook didn’t have the same amount about of passion when it came to math…
The feeling of going to a class you hadn’t been to in so long was definitely not a good one.
Despite that bothersome feeling, Jungkook’s lips couldn’t refrain from quirking upwards, knowing who was waiting for him inside.
“Hey, we should totally sit together from now on! I could help you understand what the professor is saying and you…you can keep me company.”
The words echoed repeatedly in the void that was Jungkook’s mind. He tried to hide the wide smile that was cracking onto his face by covering it up with his phone. At the same time, he also kind of needed to check the room number of the lecture hall that he hadn’t been to since the first day of class.
At long last, the doors were in sight. Jungkook practically burst inside, his eyes scanning past the tall, lanky prof and the various cliques of well-dressed Asians and bespectacled over achievers to search for his one and only target in the front row.
As he was wondering whether or not to call out, Jimin noticed him first and waved excitedly, mouthing his name. Feeling slightly embarrassed and not wanting to attract any further attention to himself, Jungkook slightly ducked as he ran over to Jimin.
“Hey, did you have any classes before this?” Jimin asked effortlessly, as if he naturally started conversations all the time (a trait that was foreign to Jungkook).
“No, this is my earliest class,” Jungkook responded stiffly as he arranged his bag below his feet. It was strange to sit in the front row—there was a surprising amount of leg space.
“Lucky~” Jimin drawled, tapping his pen on the side of his tiny desk. “I had an 8:30 this morning. I almost fell asleep.”
“You seem like the early bird type though,” Jungkook commented.
“Really?!” Jimin gaped. “What made you think that?”
“I don’t know...” Jungkook trailed off when he suddenly noticed that Jimin looked…different. Gone were the tie and button-up, to be replaced with a casual black hoodie and a pair of ripped, denim jeans. He looked like any other regular college student.
Well, an extremely cute regular college boy.
“You look different,” Jungkook opted to say.
“Hmm? From what?” Jimin asked, confused.
“From last night.” Jungkook thought he sensed a few people throw questionable looks in their direction as they heard the phrase without context.
Jimin burst into a vibrant laugh. “You didn’t really think I’d come to class in a tie and slacks, did you?”
“That was because I didn’t know what kind of student you’d be, so I wanted to show up professional,” Jimin grinned.
Jimin suddenly leaned over the chair arm separating them, ending up much closer to Jungkook than he expected. Another brilliant smile. Jungkook was going to die of a heart attack at this rate.
“I take this as I won’t have to anymore?” Jimin asked, dragging his words out deliberately. “Are you more comfortable with me like this?”
Jungkook stared blankly, having been rendered speechless. Oh my god, how am I going to deal with this? Is he flirting with me? I can’t tell. Do math people even flirt? They have to right? I mean, professors are all married so they must—
“You dropped your pen, by the way”
Jungkook blinked, only to realize that Jimin was suddenly holding a battered blue pen in his hand.
Oh. So that’s why he leaned over.
“Oh, um, thanks…” Jungkook muttered quickly, grabbing his pen and averting his eyes at once.
“Good morning everybody!” the professor called out. He let out a sigh under his breath. Phew. Saved by the prof. For once.
The professor continued speaking with his thick foreign accent. “Today we will be continuing with the definition of convergence and divergence…”
Jungkook immediately zoned out. Nope. It didn’t even matter that he told himself he’d actually try and pay attention in order impress Jimin for once—neither his heart nor mind seemed to be truly up for it. It was all gibberish, foreign gibberish to him (and some of it even looked like the written script of some language he didn’t know—what the hell was ∀n∊N ∃ x > ∞ supposed to mean?)
The professor was trying to ask questions again, something about a diverging function and Jungkook only sank further into his seat. Why did professors even bother trying sometimes? They should know after so many years of teaching that the only response they’d be getting was a long, uneasy silence.
“Jimin?” The professor called the familiar name, his eyes suddenly directed towards Jungkook’s direction.
Wait, what?! Jungkook bolted upwards from his slouched position under the professor’s eye and swiftly glanced beside him to catch Jimin just lowering his hand having just raised it.
Jungkook stared with widened eyes, almost veering away from the sudden shock.
Oh my god. The prof knows his name. He’s literally that guy.
“That’s false because even when you have two divergent functions, their product isn’t necessarily divergent as well,” Jimin answered with the most confident smile on his face. “Like (-1)n and (-1)n.”
The professor appeared flustered for a moment, but immediately restored himself with a proud smile.
“You’re going a bit ahead but that’s ok, Jimin,” the professor acknowledged. “So as Jimin said…”
But Jungkook wasn’t even listening anymore. Did he even understand a word of what Jimin just said? Not really. He could only stare at Jimin, speechless, and not even trying to bother to hide the slight smile on his face. His heart throbbed violently in his chest. He thought he had sensed it last night, when Jimin completed solving the problem, but after witnessing what he’d just seen, it was all the proof he needed.
The eloquence in which Jimin spoke his words; the confident aura that radiated when he answered the professor without batting an eyelash; the correct and overachieving solution that he’d provided; the thoroughness of the response that proved he knew what he knew; and the numbers and words that spilled out of his mouth as he spoke with that proud and knowing smile…
That was just so…so…
Jungkook gulped, trying to hold the thought back but couldn’t.
So when Jimin turned to face him, he nearly jumped in his seat, forgetting that as brilliant as Jimin was, he still couldn’t read minds.
“Pretty cool, huh?” Jimin grinned, not noticing Jungkook’s expression as his mind still appeared to be caught up in all the deductions.
Yes you are, Jungkook wanted to say.
“Yeah…totally,” Jungkook responded dumbly. “You’re so good…at this.”
For the rest of the class, Jimin intently watched the prof while Jungkook intently watched Jimin. His heart welled up every time Jimin raised his hand to answer a question. Each and every proof sounded more and more eloquent as they came from Jimin’s lips. He could see the girls in the row behind them rolling their eyes and whispering to one another as Jimin kept raising his hand over and over again but he couldn’t care less.
Jungkook caught himself smiling again before he knew it. He gazed endearingly at Jimin’s profile, who was bent over and scribbling something detailed in his notes. Jimin’s eyes had never seemed this lovely before, not without that spark of excitement within them. And his lips were prettier like this, parted in anticipation as he focussed keenly on the numbers before him.
Jungkook’s heart raced faster and faster as he kept staring dumbstruck at Jimin. As he realized something, Jungkook merely sighed to himself, leaning his hand into face as he continued gazing.
So this must be the beauty of math…
Jimin had class after analysis so Jungkook had to reluctantly part ways with him. Jungkook immediately headed to the familiar Room 441 in the math building, which was the lab where Namjoon worked. Luckily for them, the supervising professor was extremely easy-going, and apparently didn’t seem to care when (his favourite student) Namjoon let all his friends hang out in the lab. Thus, their little group would usually be found hanging out in Namjoon’s lab whenever the prof was out of office.
When Jungkook opened the door, he found the guests of the hour to be Seokjin and their friend Jung Hoseok from Math & Computer Science.
“Hey, Jungkook,” Namjoon waved from his desk. Seokjin and Hoseok didn’t seem to notice as they appeared to be in a deep debate over something.
“Hey,” Jungkook responded, slightly airily as he settled down and pulled his lunch out of his bag.
“Can you at least greet your friend?” Namjoon glared at Seokjin and Hoseok as he chomped down on an apple.
Seokjin’s eyes lit up when he saw Jungkook. “Oh my gosh, finally! A third person! Get over here.”
Jungkook scrambled over and sat next to them, slightly flustered “Why? What is it?”
“You know Dr. Pae, right?” Seokjin asked, almost urgent.
“Yeah, the one who’s popular with all the girls?” Jungkook nodded. “Why?”
“Okay, so you know how he has a girlfriend, right?” Seokjin continued. “The really attractive blonde one?”
Seokjin slammed his fist down the desk, startling everyone in the lab.
Namjoon tried negotiating between mouthfuls of apple. “Yo, dude, can you like calm dow—”
“Well this boy here—“ Seokjin paused dramatically, pointing at Hoseok. “—claims to have seen him holding hands with a brunette the other day. And guess what? Guess what? He was guiding her with his hand while she was walking over a stone path. Can you believe it? The man’s got game. Man I didn’t know that was what game theory was really about, because if I had known, I would have taken that course.”
“For the last time,” Hoseok grimaced, also placing his hand firmly on the table. “Just because he was holding hands with her, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re in a romantic relationship.”
“He was walking her over a stone path though!” Seokjin argued. “That’s so romance! Who even does that?”
“Maybe she was his sister or something. You don’t know that,” Hoseok asserted.
“Would you hold hands with your sister and guide her over a path for no apparent reason?” Seokjin snarled back, getting more and more aggressive.
“But that’s just me though!” Hoseok blurted, on the edge of his seat to fight for his argument. “I’m sure there are brothers out there who would hold hands with their sister.”
“Yeah, if you’re like weirdly close,” Seokjin frowned. “Anyways, Jungkook, we wanted to wait for you to come. What do you think? Romantic or platonic?”
Jungkook stared blankly as he took another bite of his sandwich, trying to avoid the assertive gazes from the both of them as they awaited an answer.
“Um…” Jungkook dwelled as he chewed on his sandwich. “Why don’t you ask Namjoon?”
Seokjin waved his hand dismissively. “You know how he always is. All provisos. He’s always like—“ He dropped his voice three pitches lower. “—everything is situational. We cannot place assumptions until we have more evidence. Blah blah blah—”
“I do not sound like that,” Namjoon interrupted.
“Be quiet, do your work,” Seokjin snapped. “Jungkook, just answer it. Which do you think?”
“Uhh…I agree with Namjoon,” Jungkook replied quickly.
Seokjin threw his hands up in defeat while Hoseok slammed his head on his keyboard.
“Freaking useless. All of you,” Seokjin groaned, stabbing his fork angrily into a piece of chicken. “We’ll settle this now. I can’t handle all these scandals in the math department. First Dr. Lee’s sugar daddy scandal with Dr. Choi and now Dr. Pae. That’s why you get a PhD in math: so you can gain an unbelievable amount of game. Let me market this program, please. I’ll show you what true exponential growth is. “
“Do you even hear yourself right now?” Namjoon groaned from behind his computer.
“Oi, where’s Yoongi? Call him. I need to finish this,” Seokjin commanded.
“He has class,” said Hoseok. “He’s coming in like half an hour though.”
“Darn it, I have class then,” Seokjin sighed. “It’s ok. You can ask him and I’ll ask some of my other friends.”
“Why don’t you guys sample for something that might actually be worthwhile data for once?” Namjoon asked cynically.
“Because then I’d have to do more work analyzing it,” said Hoseok. “And I ain’t about that life.”
Seokjin checked his watched, frowning to himself. “I really don’t wanna go to class…” he sighed to himself.
“Yo, we’re math kids,” Hoseok said. “None of us ever wanna go to class. But we have to.”
“Namjoon does,” Seokjin scoffed. “Always.”
“So does Jimin,” Jungkook mentioned subsconsciously, without thinking.
“Um…who’s Jimin?” Hoseok asked.
“The guy that’s tutoring him right now,” Seokjin answered. “Thanks to my brilliant suggestion, of course. Well, unless it’s not going well. What’s he like, by the way, Jungkook?”
“He’s like…um…” Jungkook struggled to find the proper words to describe his new tutor.
It suddenly struck him out of nowhere.
“He’s like…Euler’s identity.”
Namjoon dropped his chewed up apple. Hoseok spilled all of his rice while Seokjin merely stared.
“Oh my god, he thinks he’s unworldly and irrevocably beautiful,” Seokjin gaped.
“Jungkook, since when did you even know what that meant?” Namjoon asked.
Hoseok grinned. “It looks like he’s finally got a crush.”
“On Jimin though?” Seokjin gaped. “I mean his grades may be way above average but his looks…they’re a minor fraction of mine. Not even close.”
“What? Are you blind?” Jungkook blurted as he couldn’t help it.
The three others in the room exchanged confused looks (though Seokjin’s was marginally more offended).
Hoseok was the first one to break into a mocking smile. “I think you’re the one who’s blind here,” he said. “Blind for lurve~”
“Shut up!” Jungkook retorted. “I mean, I just met him so…”
“But you do seem awfully smitten already,” Namjoon noted objectively, to which Jungkook had no response.
Seokjin sighed from the side. “Well, there’s really no reason for me to prevent this from happening…for now. But you better not get distracted. He’s there to help your grades. Not…anything else.”
“Like Namjoon helped you back then?” Hoseok cackled from the side, after which he received a wad of napkins in the face, courtesy of Kim Seokjin.
“Anyways, I want to see your grades improve,” Seokjin stated firmly. “Otherwise it defeats the whole purpose of you meeting Jimin.”
Jungkook nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure they will. He’s a good teacher. He’s been very helpful.”
“I’m sure he has,” Hoseok snorted, clearly not giving up the opportunity.
“Can you not encourage him?” Seokjin scolded. “He’s clearly side-tracked enough as it is. Please don’t alter my good intentions.”
“Yeah, I’d never let him live it down,” Namjoon murmured gleefully from the side.
“Can you be quiet? It’s better than you! You just sit there all day and let them do whatever they want,” Seokjin retorted.
“But if he falls in love and gets distracted, I’m gonna’ be right and you’re going to be wrong,” Namjoon considered.
“…are you seriously contemplating the possibility of your junior’s undergraduate career being ruined just so you can be right?”
Namjoon shook his head defensively. “Of course not! Jungkook’s a smart kid…well, he’s passing everything. So I’m sure having a healthy, fun relationship with an intelligent guy wouldn’t hurt anybody. So go get him Kookie.”
“No. The only thing that he’s getting from Jimin is better grades,” Seokjin asserted firmly, seeming completely satisfied with himself.
That is, until Hoseok decided he really, truly could not resist:
“…what if he ends up getting a D instead though?”
For the first time that entire morning, Namjoon had to stand up. And that was only to hold Seokjin back from throwing a chair at Hoseok.
Jungkook crawled into bed earlier than usual that night, feeling strangely enlightened. His chest felt lighter than usual, as if just seeing Jimin for just that hour alone made it all worth it. In fact, if it hadn’t been for all that chaos in Namjoon’s lab, he might have felt completely at ease for the first time in a while.
He couldn’t help but smirk to himself as he cozied under his covers. Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t like math up until now…
Jungkook sighed, arms tucked under his head as he stared at the dark ceiling. Park Jimin. The only thought that seemed capable of occupying his mind. He wanted to witness it again: that eloquence, that beauty when Jimin solved problems.
When he could no longer resist that aching feeling in his chest, Jungkook reached over to his bedside table and grabbed his phone. His finger hovered over the mail app, almost longingly, before he touched it completely on impulse.
Jungkook straightened up to write his message.
r u free at all tomorrow? I only have one class
I could use some help
sorry if ur busy it’s fine
Unlike the first time, Jungkook couldn’t press send fast enough. His hands quivered as the email was confirmed to be sent. And hopefully, if it was anything like before…
His heart nearly dropped in his chest. His mind was ahead of his body as his fingers fumbled to open the message.
Don’t be sorry, I’d always be glad to hear from you ^^
I’m free around lunch time so is there anything you’d like to eat?
He felt like a complete loser, smiling from ear to ear all alone in his bed as he read Jimin’s message. Jungkook could hear Jimin’s encouraging tone of voice in his head, and it was more than gratifying.
And also…what was this about a date?
Jungkook’s heart did a bunch of flips and turns just speculating about what may-be-but-not-really a date with his dreamboat of a tutor.
It’s a…study date. Yeah. That’s all it is. Jungkook tried to calm himself down with the reassuring conclusion.
First thing first, he needed to answer Jimin’s question, with eloquence and tact, as Jeon Jungkook would always do when approaching a crush:
yeeeeeeee totally down.
And also correlating to Jeon Jungkook’s regular behaviour, he only realized how rash and stupid his decision was after he had executed it.
Jungkook buried his entire body beneath his blanket and kicked around violently, not realizing how dumb he sounded until now that the message was declared to be “sent”.
Down? What the hell am I? He’s not Taehyung. I can’t just say whatever I want! Oh my god. What is wrong with me.
The morbidity was too much for his partially unscathed soul as he continuing abusing his blanket and bed, slamming his fists and kicking his legs. That’s it. It was all ruined. His one chance to get a nice tutor and even potentially, with the slimmest probability, a cute boyfriend and he had to ruin all those confidence levels in a heartbeat.
Another ping sounded from his phone, momentarily pausing his rampage as he poked his head out from the bottom of the covers near his bed’s footboard (god knows how he ended up there). He immediately blazed the LCD glow directly into his eyes.
Haha. You’re cute.
I’ll see you tomorrow :3
Jungkook’s eyes widened, after which they blinked slowly in disbelief. Luckily it was dark and there was no one else in the room, because he felt himself turning as red as his hoody from that morning.
Oh my god…did he just call me…cute?
He was frozen in shook. This can’t be real. Not already. Since when did he deserve good things? If the Park Jimin thought he was cute, surely karma didn’t exist.
He countered the negatives in his head, though he did it by adding alternative negative thoughts.
Maybe he just says that to everyone. There’s no way he could think I’m cute, not already.
Jungkook swivelled around on his bed like a confused tortoise, bringing his chin back to rest on his pillows. He pursed his lips into a pout, wondering how to deal with himself. Jimin was slowly but surely corrupting his mind—not that there was much left to corrupt anyways—and this probably wasn’t the best timing. Seokjin was probably going to kill him.
Jungkook sighed to himself, finally flipping himself over into a sleeping position at last. He tucked his arms behind his head, closing his eyes and trying to put himself to sleep after what felt like a long day. Tomorrow was a different day, and sleeping it off was the only thing he could do now to calm his nerves.
When his eyes finally fluttered shut, Jungkook found himself having rather sweet dreams about Jimin that night.
By 2:30 p.m., Jungkook was already waiting in the lobby of their school library.
Despite how eagerly his heart was thumping in anticipation, he tried to maintain a casual appearance. Jungkook had pulled out brand new, unworn shirt and jeans from the closet for this occasion, and he’d already fixed his hair for the nth time that morning (despite that it was near impossible for a strand to be out of place because he’d checked at least another hundred times before he left the house). Needless to say, he wanted Jimin to be impressed for once.
Jungkook bit his lip in anxiety as he checked his watch again (he also never wore watches so the action itself seemed extremely foreign to him). Jimin was late. Again. And he couldn’t help but feel impatient about it.
Jungkook nearly dropped his phone as he heard the voice that he’d been so anxiously waiting for. His eyes lit up as he saw Jimin heading towards him with the brightest smile, black hair bouncing pleasantly as he ran.
“Sorry, I’m late!” Jimin gasped, catching his breath. “The professor kept me overtime. Did you wait long?”
Jungkook returned what he thought to be his most encouraging smile. “No! Not at all! I just got here as well,” he said convincingly.
Despite that he’d spent hours getting dressed in the morning, Jungkook still felt far from worthy of comparison to Jimin. Even though it looked like he wasn’t trying at all, Jimin had to be at the very, very least an 8 out of 10 in his glasses, bomber jacket and ripped jeans.
Jungkook held back a sigh. Their little date hadn’t even started yet and he already felt discouraged.
“So, where did you want to go?” Jimin asked.
“Nowhere in particular, as long as it’s with you,” Jungkook answered, the last part coming out a lot more honestly than he’d intended.
Fortunately, Jimin’s smiled only widened. “That’s good. I had a particular place in mind. And you look like you could use a little sweetness in your life.”
Jungkook blinked. “What’s that supposed to mean?” he frowned, blatantly confused. Is sweetness supposed to be code for something?
Jimin laughed, seeming embarrassed.
“Nothing. I just wanted to…joke around a little…”
Moments later, Jungkook found himself sitting with Jimin at a nearby desserts café, with a giant strawberry and chocolate waffle sitting in front of him, topped with insane ice cream and whipped cream quantities that could only be considered outliers.
The cringing agony arrived much too late for Jungkook. Oh my god, he was trying to tell a punny joke and I was too busy trying to analyze whether or not he was flirting with me that I didn’t even bother laughing. This is already going wrong. So. Horribly. Wrong.
But all this time, Jimin hadn’t seemed to notice. He was just pleasantly sipping on his customized hot mocha beverage that had a cute latte heart design in it, humming slightly as he flipped back and forth through the notebook he was holding in his hands.
“Um…Jimin?” Jungkook spoke up.
Jimin looked up from his pages, meeting eye contact with Jungkook as he adjusted his glasses.
“What’s wrong?” Jimin asked, mildly concerned. “Did you not like it? My friend swears it’s good.”
Jungkook gulped, trying not to let himself be distracted by the glory that was bespectacled Jimin. “You really didn’t have to buy this for me…”
Jimin dropped his notebook, reaching up to push his glasses onto his nose bridge before looking directly at Jungkook (whose heart skipped a beat with 100% certainty) as he spoke:
“We’re all poor university students,” he said rationally, with a gentle smile. “You know better than to give up free food. Now eat up before it all melts.”
It took a few moments for Jungkook to even process what Jimin was talking about—he had been distracted by glasses after all. Surprisingly and spontaneously obedient, Jungkook nodded promptl as he swiftly picked up his fork with a shaky hand and pressed through the soft cream and pastry.
“Now,” Jimin continued speaking as he leaned his pretty face into hand and looked at Jungkook through his glasses. “Should we start going through these notes or should I wait until you finish eating?”
Jungkook wanted to slam his head into the wall. His mind was clearly not in the right places, not after seeing that upward gaze that appeared much too sultry for no reason in particular.
“Feel see to fart!” he blurted. Shit. “I mean, feel free to start!” The idea of stabbing himself with the fork to end it all was slowly becoming more and more attractive.
Curtly, Jimin ignored Jungkook’s little stumble and proceeded to go through how to calculate expectations and variances of a distribution. Jungkook tried hard to listen, he really did, but he kept slipping in and out of a distracting mood. He continued staring at Jimin, the way his bangs slightly fell over the frame of his glasses as he was bent over and writing on the paper.
Jungkook sucked on his fork, eyes slightly lidded as he watched Jimin. Hmm…this waffle tastes so, so much sweeter than I expected it to…
“Do you get it, Jungkook?” Jimin asked, seemingly out of nowhere.
Jungkook tried to not choke on the whipped cream. “Hmmph, what?” he garbled unattractively.
“Do you get what the difference is between an expectation and a variance?”
Jungkook stared blankly. “Uh, well…”
Jimin shuffled uncomfortably in his chair. “If you don’t get it, Jungkook, you can just tell me,” he said. “Honestly, don’t be afraid, despite what you’ve heard about me.”
Jungkook’s attention was suddenly caught. “Hmm? What? What have I heard about you?”
Jimin smiled. He added an unexpected shrug before saying, “Well I don’t know, Jungkook. Last I heard someone thought I was a ‘nerd lord’, didn’t he?”
Jungkook froze. I’m gonna kill that lanky asshole, he thought ominously, as the mental image of Kim Taehyung’s best trolling face floated into his mind.
He laughed nervously, scratching the nape of his neck as he spoke next. “Well, that was like…before I knew you. And stuff.”
“Really?” Jimin asked, leaning forwards slightly. “Well…what’s changed since then?”
Jungkook felt like he’d been pushed into a corner, not sure how to answer this. Especially when Park Jimin was looking at him so expectantly, with a slight curve on his lips like that.
“Um....you’re…you’re actually a good teacher?” Jungkook said stiffly, trying to say anything but the things that were a bit more easily retrievable within his conscious mind.
“Oh,” Jimin pursed his lips, barely looking disappointed. He sank back into his seat, flipping quickly through his notes as Jungkook was left alone to contemplate what he had done wrong.
“Why don’t you try this problem for me?” Jimin said, pushing the notebook towards Jungkook. Jungkook took the pages hesitantly, and wondered if he was only imagining that Jimin’s tone had become slightly colder than before.
Deciding to ignore his qualms, Jungkook grabbed his pencil and kept his head down and focussed in determination. Regardless of how it would turn out with Jimin, he should probably focus on the real reason why he was there in the first place.
But much to his dismay, he found that the distractions had been too much, as always. He kept writing and erasing, scratching out answers and replacing it with others. Before long, his page was a mess, and he wasn’t any closer to the answer.
He gritted his teeth, erasing yet another line. C’mon Jungkook, focus. If you want him to not be discouraged of teaching you, you gotta try harder.
But it seemed hopeless. The overcrowded page seemed to mock him with ridicule, questioning why he was starting to confuse his variables and miswrite his numbers. It was starting to give him a headache just to look at.
He heard Jimin shuffle from across him. Oh no, he’s leaving. Crap. Why do I have to be so stupid? His eyebrows scrunched in annoyance as wrote down something that seemed to be right, but he had already seen before.
“Need help?” Jimin’s voice asked suddenly, right next to him.
Jungkook finally let out the sigh of frustration he had been holding in for so long. He turned towards the direction of Jimin’s voice.
“Yes! I’m sorry I—”
Jungkook stopped midsentence as he found that Jimin’s face was right in front of him, as Jimin was bent over his shoulder and looking intently at the problem in front of them. He leaned back slightly in an instant, though it was still close enough for him to realize how smooth and soft-looking Jimin’s poufy cheeks were.
“You’re actually on the right track, Jungkook,” said Jimin, as he gazed knowingly at Jungkook’s messy work. “Besides…”
Much to the dismay of Jungkook’s poor, soft and fragile heart, Park Jimin had to turn at that very moment so that their eyes and lips were less than centimetres away from each other.
“I’ve never seen you try that hard before…” Jimin said. It was as if his voice was coated with sugar.
Jungkook visibly gulped, not even bothering trying to hide it. He tried to lean back some more but there was no room left to go.
“You were really cute,” Jimin murmured as his smile widened. “I’ve never seen you like that before.”
It was a miracle Jeon Jungkook didn’t faint right there and then.
Hours later, Jungkook burst into the office of Kim Namjoon, door slamming loudly into the wall as its occupants jumped in their seats.
“Oh boy, here comes the storm,” Yoongi muttered, already seeming unimpressed.
But Jungkook ignored him, as headed straight over to Namjoon’s desk. With a defiant expression, he slammed onto Namjoon’s desk what appeared to be a huge pile of blank graphing paper.
“Solve this for me,” Jungkook said.
Namjoon tilted his glasses in confusion, staring at Jungkook. “What?”
“Please help me solve this…” Jungkook repeated, his voice sounding slightly dejected.
Namjoon took a second glance at the papers and realized that they weren’t actually blank. In fact, on top of the first page, there was one tiny, distinct line:
The older student removed his glasses, and blinked twice, trying to verify if he had seen correctly.
“Hyung,” Jungkook uttered spontaneously.
Namjoon looked up to see Jungkook looking quite distraught and frustrated with himself.
“Please help me calculate the expectation of love,” he spoke.
Namjoon stared at Jungkook in awe, trying to ignore the sound of Yoongi snorting from the corner as he promptly excused himself.
“Jungkook…” Namjoon muttered softly, as he placed a hand on Jungkook’s shoulder, his head bent downwards, as if in shame. “I’m so…”
“Hyung?” Jungkook panicked, slightly concerned of Namjoon’s judgment.
“I’m so…proud of you.”
Before Namjoon knew it, he felt tears welling up inside himself. He tried to keep his voice from cracking.
“R-really?” Jungkook stuttered. “But…can you solve it for me?”
Namjoon hesitated, but shook his head slowly. “I’m afraid I can’t, my boy,” he said softly. “The answer to this problem is a difficult one, and I’m certain that everyone has a different solution to it.”
“W-what does that mean?” Jungkook stuttered dramatically.
Namjoon let out a long, extraneous sigh. “I mean…it’s a problem that only you can figure out, all by yourself. And I know, it’s a difficult problem, but this one differs from the rest in that you have a lot of time to figure it out. And I know you can do it.”
“Can’t you just integrate it again? Like you do every time?” Jungkook tried.
The graduate student shook his head slowly, sadly. “I can’t. Not even the greatest supercomputer in this world can solve this for you. You just have to…study hard, and figure it out using what the skills that you’re best at.
For a moment, the two of them gazed at each other in silence, a seemingly knowing look passing between them.
“Can’t you at least give me hint?” Jungkook blurted, completely ruining the moment.
Namjoon sighed, picking up his pen and tapping it on his desk, appearing to be deep in thought.
“You’re not going to leave until I give you some kind of visible, quantitative answer, are you?” Namjoon spoke, putting his glasses back on.
Namjoon sighed again. “What a true math major you are…” He quickly scribbled something down on the page that took less than two seconds. “There. That’s the first step. Make sure you understand that part of it thoroughly before you go any farther. And I’m not going to tell you any more than that.”
Jungkook grabbed the papers excitedly, his eyes lighting up in anticipation. “Thank you so much, Namjoon hyung! I’m so glad you’re he—”
Jungkook paused as he caught sight of what was on the paper. Written in Namjoon’s neat and pristine print, there was but one simple constant to fill in Jungkook’s proposal:
E[Love] = √−1
The next morning, Jungkook sauntered up the steps towards the math café, his annoyed pout hidden underneath the rim of his oversized hoody. He’d stayed up all night trying to figure out how the hell Namjoon got that answer, and it was to no avail. He skulked himself pass by a fundraising booth, which appeared to be selling an assortment of cookies.
“Hey! Did you want to buy some cookies!” a girl called from the side, noticing his sad demeanour. “I’ll give you a special deal!”
Jungkook’s ears perked slightly. Yeah, I could use some sugar right now. He stumbled over, shoulders still slouched over, as he inquired: “How much are they?”
“1 for $2!” she announced with way too much pep for someone to have at 10:30 in the morning. “But for you, I can make it 3 for $10!”
“Okay, fine,” Jungkook mumbled, immediately pushing over a ten dollar bill. He wandered his way back up the steps, sadly munching of one of his three chocolate chunk cookies.
He found himself an empty seat at the math café and pulled out his notebooks, already starting on his second cookie. He flipped through the lessons on expectations that Jimin had gone through with him the other day, scouring through every number and variable.
I don’t get it! How the hell did he get that answer?!
It had become a recurring thought at this point, and where to even begin…again. After trying a couple more practice problems in hopes of finding any sort of similar pattern, he slammed his head into his books again, feeling the most discouraged he had ever been in his entire life.
He suddenly felt a poking in his shoulder.
“Oi, you seem even more messed up than usual,” came a really familiar voice.
Jungkook looked up to immediately greet the sight of a slightly rustled Kim Taehyung in front him, the usual easy-going smile nowhere to be seen.
“Is the statistic midterms for tomorrow stressing you out?” Taehyung asked. “Cause same.”
Jungkook shook his head, eyebrows scrunched in disdain. “Don’t even talk about that right now dude. It’s the least of my worries, right now. I haven’t even started studying for that yet.”
Taehyung nodded understandingly. “I feel ya, bro. Not to mention he gave us that assignment that’s due by tonight. Can you believe?”
“Oh, I finished that last night,” Jungkook muttered nonchalantly, munching on his cookie.
Taehyung appeared shock for a moment but quickly recuperated. “Man, you’re lucky you had time to,” he muttered. “By the way, where’d you get that cookie?”
“Oh. They’re selling it at the front.”
“Oh really? Lemme go get some. They look really good.”
Taehyung disappeared, leaving Jungkook to flip angrily through his pages. He came back minutes later, halfway through his first cookie.
“Wow, these are good,” he muttered dazedly.
“Yeah, I know right,” Jungkook agreed. “How many did you get?”
They went on in silence as Taehyung continued eating his cookies and Jungkook kept scribbling madly. A few minutes passed, before Taehyung crumpled up his empty paper bag and shoved it into his pocket.
“Yo, what are you working so hard on anyway?” Taehyung asked. “I’ve never seen you so stressed out before.”
Jungkook flipped through a few more pages before he answered Taehyung. “It’s this problem I’m working out,” he muttered passively. “I tried to get Namjoon to help me but his answer makes absolutely no sense at all and I have no idea how he got it.”
Taehyung leaned forwards in his chair, interest piqued. “Oh really? Lemme see.”
Jungkook immediately turned the page towards his friend:
E[Love] = √−1
“Whoa, that is weird,” Taehyung gaped. “How the hell did he get that? I don’t even know what that means.”
“I know right? I’ve been looking everywhere and googling everything but there’s just nothing,” said Jungkook. “And apparently this is just the first step.”
“You don’t think there’s a chance he could be wrong, do you?”
“Of course not. He’s Namjoon. Besides, he seemed even more confident than usual this time.”
Taehyung suddenly kicked his legs back and tucked his arm behind his head. “Well, I personally have no clue,” he spoke haphazardly. “Why don’t you go ask Jimin? Maybe he can help.”
Jungkook scoffed as if that was most ridiculous suggestion in the world. “I can’t ask Jimin, are you crazy? He’d probably just…laugh at me or something.”
“Don’t be stupid. Jimin wouldn’t laugh at you,” Taehyung said firmly, before adding a second thought. “Okay, maybe he would. But he’s your tutor. He’s there to help you. And I’m sure he’d try.”
Jungkook hesitated. “Tae…are you sure this a good idea?”
Taehyung nodded assertively. “Yes. With a p-value less than 0.05.”
“I don’t know…”
Taehyung suddenly leaned forwards again, his eyes glinting eagerly.
“Listen. You’re a cute, attractive boy. Most of the time,” said Taehyung. “I’m sure Jimin would solve this problem for you. In a heartbeat. I mean, it’s worth a shot and you might regret if he solves it for someone else later and not you. And besides, even if he doesn’t… that’s his loss, right? Not yours.”
Jungkook’s face couldn’t help but crack into a slight smile as he put down his pencil for the first time since last night (yes, he had gripped it firmly into bed and even onto the bus ride to get to school).
“You really think so, Tae?” Jungkook murmured, feeling both flattered and burdened at the same time.
“I know so,” Taehyung affirmed. “Now vo out there and get your answer, you foolish child.”
Jungkook gave a full-fledged smile, something he felt like he hadn’t done in a long time.
“Thanks, Tae,” he said genuinely.
“No problem,” Taehyung smiled back. “Now, what do you say you put away your notes for now and we’ll go buy more cookies to celebrate what’s going to happen with you and Jimin tonight?”
It was an understatement to say Jungkook was nervous.
He’d barely sat beneath the table for two minutes and already he felt like he was losing circulation in his foot. He couldn’t keep still, his hands shaking and eyes twitching as he tried to restrain the worst thoughts within his mind.
In a few minutes, Park Jimin would be opening the front door that Jungkook had left unlocked, make his way up the stairs and enter his room. His heart shuddered in anticipation. He had cleaned his room and himself to a tee, but he felt that it was still wasn’t sufficient (or necessary, let’s be real, but he had to try). He’d put on his newest white sweater, and his nicest, still form-fitting pair of skinny jeans. He’d laid out all his pens, pencils, notebooks and papers neatly on the studying table, colour-coordinating and arranging it to the point where it looked like it belonged on some aesthetic stationary blog. He’d even made his bed for the first time in nineteen years.
And yet still, it was the same feeling he had before writing his first year linear algebra exam. He just didn’t feel ready. Not in the least bit.
But he had no time to dally, as he suddenly heard the sound of the front door being open. Jungkook wanted to close his eyes and cover his ears. His senses seemed to be heightened as he heard every single footstep as his tutor made his way up the stairs. Closer. And closer. Now he was right in front of his room and—
The door creaked open, and Park Jimin appeared, his full form.
Was it just Jungkook or did he seem even more beautiful than normal?
Which unfortunately only made him all the more intimidating.
“Hey there,” Jimin greeted Jungkook with his signature smile. “You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” Jungkook answered frankly as Jimin settled down next to him. It wasn’t long before Jungkook kept up his habit of boring his eyes into Jimin again, wanting to inscribe every inch of him to memory just in case things didn’t work out after tonight.
“Your midterm’s tomorrow, right? Did you have any questions from last week’s material, Jungkook?” Jimin asked, attention still diverted as he pulled out his notebooks.
Jungkook’s heart thumped in his chest. This is it. This is the moment.
He took a deep breath and summed up all the courage within his body.
“A-actually,” Jungkook managed to breathe out. “I was hoping we could…um…start with something different for once?”
“Oh?” Jimin dropped his notebooks on the table. “Of course. What did you have in mind?”
“Well I…I…” Jungkook bit his tongue, avoiding Jimin’s eye contact. He was suddenly not entirely sure if he still wanted to proceed. It wasn’t too late to turn back. Not at all.
“You can tell me whatever it is you’re confused about, Jungkook,” Jimin said encouragingly. “I’ll try my best to help. And I won’t laugh at you or anything, I promise.”
And perhaps, it was just the critical amount of encouragement to spur Jungkook onwards.
“Okay, well…” Jungkook allowed himself to hesitate one last time. “I have this problem that I was hoping you — or rather we— could solve together.”
Jungkook swiftly pulled on the sheet of graph of paper before he could stop himself, and showed Jimin the equation that had been puzzling him for days already. It was unbearable, the silence that incurred as Jimin studied the equation with a strange, unfamiliar look in his eyes.
E[Love] = √−1
“I—I’m sorry if it’s too much,” Jungkook quickly interjected. “I had a friend to help with this and that was the answer he gave me so…so…”
“Wait, you had a friend do this for you?” Jimin erupted suddenly.
Jungkook stared, slightly startled as he had never heard Jimin’s tone like this before. If he hadn’t known better, he might have pinned it as anger.
“Y-yeah, is there anything wrong with that?” Jungkook replied. “I asked him to help me because I wasn’t sure and he gave me that hint, saying the answer was for myself to solve and that it was different for everyone yet after going through my notes and everything that you went through with me I still couldn’t figure it out so…so…” He paused to take a breath between his ramblings. “…I decided to come to you to figure it out.”
Jimin gazed deeply at Jungkook for a moment, as if trying to interpret his words. But when he seemed to notice that Jungkook was feeling nothing but helpless and slightly petrified, his expression softened at once.
“Alright, Jungkook,” Jimin said. “I can help you figure it out, but on the condition we do it together. Because your friend is right, there’s a different answer for everyone and I just want to make sure that your answer, um…matches with mine, in a way.”
Jungkook looked at Jimin, eyes widened in surprise. “You mean…you actually get it?”
Jimin grinned. “Of course I do. I’m your tutor. It’s my job.”
Jungkook tried to ignore the slowly increasing slope of his heart rate, as he remained focussed on Jimin’s smile.
“So Jungkook, can you rewrite that out for me?” Jimin said, his voice gentle. “Here, take my pencil.”
Jungkook reached out and took the pencil from Jimin’s hand, feeling a slight spark where their fingers touched slightly. He wrote out the first half equation out obediently, trying to be as neat as possible.
E [LOVE] =
“Okay good,” said Jimin. “Now. I want to you to factor out the E from the brackets?”
“What?” Jungkook yelped, startled. “Are you trying to troll me right now?”
“Do you want to solve this?”
“So trust me. Factor it out.”
“O-okay…” Jungkook muttered as he scribbled out the next line.
E [LOVE] = E2 [LOV]
“Now,” Jimin’s voice was getting softer, sweeter. “Write down the general structure for the linear equation below it.”
“Equals mx + b. Exactly. So go ahead.”
y = mx + b
“If you look at your equation above, there’s a two in it,” Jimin continued. “So I want you to pick out the second letter from the linear equation and place before the E in your first equation.”
Jungkook decided there wasn’t really a point in questioning Jimin any further at this point. If this ended up being one huge troll, well, no one was home so he could probably bawl really loudly for three hours and then just hide under his bed afterwards.
“Mathematicians usually like things in a certain order, and this one in particular goes in a reverse alphabetical order,” Jimin stated persuasively.
“What kind of math is this?” Jungkook couldn’t help but blurt out.
“The advanced kind. You’re almost done. All you'll have to do after is erase the brackets, it’s the last step.”
Obediently, Jungkook scribbled the last line out and threw down his pencil.
“That’s it?” Jungkook garbled angrily. “I knew it! I knew you were trolling me!”
“What are you talking about, Jungkook? I solved it for you,” Jimin answered.
“This is nothing like Namjoon’s answer!”
“Of course not. He only gave you a hint. I gave you the answer.”
“WHAT DOES IT MEAN THEN?”
“Love me too.”
Jungkook froze, wondering if he heard properly.
Jimin suddenly crawled closer to Jungkook, a smile slowly creeping onto his face again as he gazed upon Jungkook’s flustered face.
“I said,” Jimin reasserted him. “What I expect of your love, is that you should love me too.”
Jungkook’s eyes widened as they turned back to the paper.
And there it was. Written in plain text (not really).
By the time he turned back, Jimin was already, way way closer to him, as close as he could possibly be without making any actual physical contact. He was on his knees, leaning into his arms and positioned so his lips were bare millimetres away from Jungkook’s.
Jungkook could see every single long lash on Jimin’s eyes that were now half-lidded and gazing down on him in a heated gaze that made his entire body shiver. Jimin’s soft, pink lips were slightly parted, and they were so close Jungkook felt he could already taste them.
“So what do you say Jungkook?” Jimin breathed, as Jungkook could feel it on his lips. “Would you love me too?”
Jungkook could barely respond fast enough.
“Yeah…” he whispered back.
And it was hard to tell what happened next, who moved first, or why they lost their balance. But the next thing he knew, Jungkook was on his back on the floor, his body pressed tight against Jimin’s, feeling everything through their clothes as Jimin kissed him. It felt absolutely wonderful as the soft lips pulled and tugged at all the right places, rendering Jungkook’s body limp and his eyes closed. He had never experienced anything like this before, and his mind had already floating to dreamland by the time Park Jimin turned the kiss into something deeper.
Jungkook’s hand gripped tightly onto the fabric on Jimin’s jacket, not wanting to let him go as he tugged him closer, wanting to feel every sensation of Jimin’s heat. It was as if they’d restrained themselves for much too long, and now that they were given the opportunity, they were definitely going to make the best of it.
After what felt like an infinite amount of time, Jimin finally pulled back.
“So…how was that?” Jimin dared to ask, pulling a limp Jungkook back into a sitting position, as the younger boy fell into his arms.
Meanwhile, Jungkook felt like his head had just been bashed by rock. “Oh my god…” he slurred. “I can’t believe that just happened.”
“Why not?” Jimin laughed. “You confessed to me first.”
“I did?” Jungkook asked, confused.
“I’m not falling for that,” Jimin giggled, pulling Jungkook closer.
“Wait…does that mean you actually like me back?”
“…would you like me to make it more obvious?”
Jungkook seemed completely in shock. “What? Why? When? How?”
Jimin sighed happily, holding Jungkook’s hand as he led him up to sit on the edge of the bed.
“I like you. Because you’re cute. Since you fell out of your chair the first time I saw you. And I don’t know, I couldn’t help it. I can’t believe you haven’t noticed actually…I’ve been trying to flirt with you this entire time.”
Jimin spoke the words with the tenderest expression and in that moment, Jungkook knew that he was absolutely and completely screwed from this day forth. Even more so when Jimin pulled apart and took his hands, cradling them gently.
“Wait a minute…” Jungkook said. “I still don’t get what Namjoon’s answer was.”
“For what?” Jimin addressed.
“For the expectation of my love.”
Jimin smiled. “Do you know what the square root of negative one is?”
It took Jungkook a few seconds to register. When he finally did, a surge of relief combined with a slight resentment for Namjoon washed over him.
“God…he made me stay up all night just for that?” Jungkook scoffed. “That’s so mean.”
“It’s okay,” Jimin laughed. “Besides, I think you just proved him wrong, didn’t you? We just proved that it isn’t so complex at all.”
They sat in silence for a moment, simply enjoying the presence of each other’s company.
“By the way,“ Jungkook spoke suddenly. “When did you learn how to do that?”
Jungkook blushed, a pink tinge appearing on his cheek as he averted his eyes. “…you know.”
Jimin laughed gently, running his fingers through Jungkook’s hair. “I was just trying to…prove some personal theories I came up with in my free time.”
“Oh, really?” Jungkook muttered, tightening his arms around Jimin’s shoulders. “You should teach me sometime.”
“Hmm, since you’re so eager to learn…what do you think about some supplementary lessons right now?”
“Does that mean I have to pay you overtime?”
Jimin answered by flipping over and pushing Jungkook against the pillows. Jungkook felt his heart thumping wildly in anticipation, and Jimin looked down upon with eyes that glinted with desire.
“Yes please~” Jimin slurred his words as moved his hands, slowly, enticingly, and down Jungkook's body.
And when he let out a noise that he never thought himself to be capable of making, Jungkook knew he was completely done for.
“Earth to Jungkook. Hello?”
“Taehyung, stop trying to feed him. The food is literally falling out his mouth.”
Taehyung and Seokjin stared at Jungkook in concern as he gazed into the distance. He looked dazed, with a permanent, stupid smile that had been plastered on his face since he entered. They were in Namjoon’s office per usual, but for some reason Jungkook’s presence today was shifting the mood in a rather abnormal direction.
“He was just…s o good,” Jungkook uttered, still in a trance, his eyes so blank that it was getting to the point of being creepy. “It was just so…unexpected.”
Taehyung groaned loudly. “Okay, we get it. Can you shut up already? You’re literally that stereotype where everyone can tell when a nerd loses their virginity for the first time.”
"You can only lose your virginity once Taehyung..." Seokjin whispered for no one in particular to hear.
Jungkook appeared to be protesting something. “But Tae, you don’t understand. He touched my—”
“Okay, okay!” Seokjin screamed, flailing his arms wildly. “This is an academic office and all conversations and actions will be kept at a PG-13 rating, thank you very much.”
Taehyung snorted. “Tell that to Namjoon and his ‘work computer’,” he muttered.
“You know, I always have that underlying thought that someone like Jimin would be bad at doing the do and stuff,” Seokjin contemplated. “But maybe, they spend all that time indulging in numbers and equations, thinking they won’t laid, which in turn makes them think more about what it’s like to get laid. So when they put their numerous theories about the actual act of sin to practice it all ends up better than anyone would expect…”
His voice trailed off when he realized Taehyung was staring at him with narrow eyes.
“Or at least, that’s what Namjoon told me,” Seokjin sputtered to a finish.
“Oh, you non-single people need to get over yourselves,” Taehyung sighed. “You always rub your relationship statuses in us single people’s faces, whether indirectly or directly.”
“Don’t be stupid, Tae. You mean you aren’t going to support their relationship?” Seokjin asked, concernedly. “I mean, even I have to admit, they’re cute together. Not as cute as Namjoon and I of course. But still cute”
Taehyung pouted as he sank back down to his chair, not wanting to accept the obvious. “Yeah, I guess…” he sighed.
Seokjin smiled. “Good boy. Now stop teasing him and worry about yourself for now. I’m sure the honeymoon phase will fade away soon.”
Taehyung turned to look at Jungkook (who was still staring off into space) and then back to Seokjin. He couldn’t help but let a smile crack onto his face. For the first time in a while, Jungkook seemed at ease, and perhaps that was for the best. Being in their program could certainly become stressful at times, so at the very least, his friend had a worthy distraction and reliable shoulder to lean on when things got tough from here on out.
“I guess so,” Taehyung spoke. “I think they’ll be good together…”
~one and a half months later~
“YOU TWO. ARE ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE TOGETHER,” Kim Taehyung screamed, as he pointed a finger at the incriminating couple.
And there they were, sitting together, in the same seat, Jimin’s butt firmly sat on Jungkook’s lap as their arms tangled around each other. Jimin was hand-feeding Jungkook some peeled tangerines, giggling every time his fingers accidentally brushed against Jungkook’s lips (which was every. goddamn. time.)
“LOOK AT THIS,” Taehyung was still screaming at the other three people in the room. “DO YOU ALL EVEN SEE THIS?”
“Dude, you act like you’ve never been here before,” Yoongi spoke from his usual corner seat, peering over his laptop. “They’ve been like this for the past month.”
Taehyung let out a loud groan. “How am I supposed to study in here when they’re making of kissy faces right in the goddamn centre of the room? God! Who even allowed Jimin to be in here?”
Jungkook pulled away from Jimin’s hand to make a snippy comment: “Study somewhere else. Or study ahead of time. Like me.”
Taehyung glared daggers at Jungkook. “Who are you nowadays? It’s like I don’t even know you anymore,” he growled spitefully. “I should’ve known something was wrong when you got a ninety on that statistics midterm back then.”
Jungkook shrugged. “Maybe you just don’t appreciate the beauty of math yet.”
“You’ve changed, Jeon Jungkook,” Taehyung muttered ominously. “You’ve changed, just for a guy. What happened to the guy who used to hate on the math elitists with me at 4 a.m.? Now you’ve become one of them. I hope you’re pleased with yourself.”
Jungkook was extremely offended by the comment. “Hey! I am not!”
Namjoon spoke up from behind his computer. “Taehyung, don’t call him that. He’s far from it. He used to be barely passing his courses and now he’s competing with Jimin for the top spot in that analysis class. And he doesn’t brag about it at all. I’d say it’s an all-around improvement.”
“Why are you so salty about this, Tae?” Jimin asked, a grin on his face. “I thought you said you’d be happy for us.”
“Don’t call me that, you don’t deserve to call me that anymore,” Taehyung snapped through gritted teeth. “Yeah. It was great. Until you two started telling math pick-up lines in public areas.”
“Okay, drop it!” Seokjin called, from beside Taehyung. “Jimin, Jungkook, stop tonguing each other. And Taehyung, stop yelling at them and let them be.”
The three boys frowned, seemingly unsatisfied with the attempt at compromise. However, they all simultaneously muttered half-hearted “fine”s and retreated back to proper seats.
“Is everyone done midterms yet?” Seokjin asked, in an attempt to swerve the topic.
“We got an analysis midterm on Thursday,” Jimin grinned. “And I’m gonna beat Jungkook on it.”
“You wish. I’ve been preparing myself for this,” Jungkook smirked. “And I won last time.”
“You better try your hardest in order to beat me.”
“Oh, that’s so hot.”
Everyone else in the room visibly retched except for Yoongi who was making a face that suggested he couldn’t even begin to comprehend the couple’s stupidity.
“I know I say anything but…why are they like this?” Yoongi whispered to Seokjin. “Even you two weren’t like this when you started dating.”
“I know right,” Seokjin replied. “We kept everything very typical and pure.”
“Well, in public at least,” Namjoon quipped honestly, for no particular reason.
“Shut up, Kim Namjoon! I’m gonna get you into so much trouble later.”
Yoongi and Taehyung stared at them quizzically before turning away from the older couple (though their field of vision suddenly became very narrow as they tried to avoid looking at any couples in the room at all).
“Man, I think I need to get a significant other,” Taehyung sighed. “Everyone seems so happy. If not slightly messed up but…whatever.”
Yoongi shook his head. “Nah man, just focus on your work. Think about it this way: there’s no other subject that works you hard all night only to let you have eureka moments at 3 a.m. in the morning. Trust me. It’s more than enough.”
“Okay, true, but…”
At that moment, the door creaked open, and Hoseok walked past with a greeting, right in front of Taehyung. A light bulb lit up in the eccentric boy’s mind.
“Hey Hoseokkie!” Taehyung suddenly yelped gleefully.
“What?” Hoseok replied.
“You’re single. I’m single.”
“Wanna go out and make each other’s lives a little better by becoming disloyal, ungrateful bastards to everyone else?” Taehyung tried.
He received a slightly amused (though slightly flattered) scoff in return. “You gotta try harder than that, beagle,” Hoseok smirked. “I’m not an easy man.”
Taehyung frowned, pouting as he sank back into his seat. “Dammit. I thought I’d get an easy way out this time.”
“That’s what you always think. About everything,” Yoongi sighed.
“Oi oi, what’s with this mood?” Hoseok noticed. “Why do you all look like you don’t wanna talk to each other?”
“Oh nothing. Tae’s just being salty about being single again,” Jungkook mentioned casually. He had somehow ended up Jimin’s lap again and no one even bothered questioning it.
“I am not!” Taehyung defended himself. “I’m just sick of how you guys keep rubbing it in our faces!”
“Guys, why do have to be like this?” Hoseok said reasonably. “We’re all smart, intelligent yet humble students who have the galls to do a major in mathematics here at university. We should all be quietly supportive of each other at times like this, not fight. We’re certainly smart enough to know not to fight about it. Just let each other be happy. It’s not mutually exclusive: if they’re happy, you can be happy too.”
The silence drifted through the room, along with the meaning behind Hoseok’s evidently wise words. They all looked at each other, and realized the bond that they all shared: the bond of struggling, underappreciated yet simultaneously overrated math majors.
“He’s right, you know,” Namjoon mumbled.
“Of course I’m right!” Hoseok snapped. “Now, who wants to go buy some cookies with me? They’re having a sale outside the math café.”
“Jungkook and I can’t,” Jimin said. “We have class in ten minutes.”
“I’m down,” Taehyung said at once. Everyone else also promptly agreed.
“Wait…how much are they?” Namjoon asked.
“There’s a special deal going on,” Hoseok smirked. “1 for $2 and 3 for $10!”
“Oh yeah! Just like the ones Jungkook and I bought last time!” Taehyung recalled gleefully.
“And you didn’t buy any for me?” Jimin pouted.
“But we weren’t dating yet back then,” Jungkook said truthfully.
“Whoa whoa whoa wait up,” Namjoon stood up in his chair, waving his hands to stop them. “Seriously, you guys? 3 for $10?”
The six boys all paused, exchanging confused looks with one another.
“Why? What’s wrong with that?” Yoongi asked.
Namjoon let out a long, tedious groan as he facepalmed himself.
“…I only have a five dollar bill,” he muttered sadly.
Bursts of exasperation erupted throughout the room as everyone immediately and selflessly offered to pay for their friend, scolding him for worrying about just a trivial matter.
“You guys are the best,” Namjoon mumbled, his lips pressed together strangely.
“Don’t cry,” Yoongi smirked, patting Namjoon on the shoulder. “We math kids got each other.”
“Yeah. We do,” Seokjin agreed happily.
“I mean, for how smart we actually are, we’re pretty humble about it,” Taehyung admitted, a shameless grin on his face.
“We bond over the abstract language of math,” Hoseok returned the grin. “No one understands our level of wit.”
And with that, the five boys threw their arms around each other and pushed their way through the door, heading over to buy their discounted cookies.
Leaving Jimin and Jungkook alone in the room.
“So…” Jungkook uttered, twiddling his thumbs awkwardly. “We’re finally alone, huh?”
Jimin let out a tiny laugh. “Quit it. We’ve dating for over a month now. You can chill with those awkward transitions.”
“Um, okay. So…what do you wanna do for ten minutes?” Jungkook asked genuinely.
“I don’t know, I guess we could study.”
“How about…conditional probability?”
Jungkook’s heart sank in disappointment for a moment, but decided that he shouldn’t care what it was they were doing, so long as they were doing it together.
“Sure,” Jungkook agreed.
“Okay then…” Jimin paused, throwing a sly smile at Jungkook before continuing. “What’s the probability that you’d initiate a kiss on me given that we’re sitting in an empty room all alone?” His pretty eyes gazed at Jungkook through the dark bangs of his hair, the enticement barely hidden within the dark irises. And needless to say, despite that it’d already been over a month since everything had started, Jungkook’s heart still did numerous flips and turns every time Jimin said something charming or looked at him like that.
“100%,” Jungkook finally answered as he moved towards his boyfriend. It was good that everyone else was gone, because they all might’ve hurled if they’d remained to witness the cheesy scene.
But when Jungkook felt Jimin’s lips on his again, it didn’t matter. Their surroundings quickly dissolved as they were only aware of one another.
“Jungkook-ah,” Jimin whispered against Jungkook’s mouth. “You really are the sin of pi over two.”
Jungkook laughed gently, still lips mouthing against Jimin’s softer ones. “That was so basic.”
“Maybe. But you like it.”
Jimin and Jungkook lost themselves in each other’s embrace again, neglecting the seconds that were ticking by. Their chances of finding each other like this was probably less than one in a million, yet there they were, together, in other’s arms like this.
Jungkook’s body started quivering in Jimin’s arms. “Jimin, I’m getting—”
“Shhh. Just go with it. I’ll make you—”
The door suddenly slammed open, and Jimin and Jungkook pulled apart in surprise.
Jungkook’s eyes widened.
Oh my god.
It was the professor in charge.
“Namjoon! Have you seen my chalk? I was about to teach and—” the professor paused, adjusting his glasses to take in the sight before him. Though Jimin and Jungkook were indeed no longer kissing, they were struggling to maintain their balance as they were tangled up with one another on a single chair.
“Who the hell are you guys?” the professor asked simply.
Jimin turned to Jungkook in horror. “You mean…you never introduced yourself to Namjoon’s professor in charge before?” Jimin whispered through gritted teeth.
Jungkook shrugged nervously. “Well… we always come here when Namjoon says the professor is out so…”
The two of them stared at the professor blankly. The professor stared back.
“Um…professor, we can explain…” Jimin tried.
But then Jungkook suddenly leaned in the wrong direction. The leg of the office chair gave out beneath them, as the weak plastic snapped cleanly in two.
A string of profanity escaped Jungkook’s mouth as the both of them crashed to the floor. Even more so when felt Jimin’s thigh dig into his crotch in a not-very-comfortable manner as they landed.
The professor kept his horrified eyes fixed on them. And Jeon Jungkook, being Jeon Jungkook, decided the only rational thing left to say, after giving an awkward, nervous laugh, was:
"Well, professor...I guess you should forgive us since we've already fallen in love."
Without saying another word, the professor simply left his office and slammed the door shut on them.