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broiunno · 2 days ago
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License To Steal - Act VI
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License to Steal
ACT VI
Act I // Act II // Act III // Act IV // Act V //Act VI
More License to Steal!JHope here, the spin off is an alt ending to this Act. :)
DUCHESS
---summary: Min Yoongi is your new protection detail upon your return to your father's side after being sent away during a bloody gang war. Now the dust has settled, you've been called back to your old controlled life, and leaving you an unwilling participant in your family's plans. You don't know what they are but you are no longer willing to be the obedient, protected daughter. You don't really care in the least of it makes Yoongi's new assignment hell on earth- So you'll carve your own life out back home on your own terms.
-rating: 18+
-pairing: min yoongi x reader
-word count: 5.6K
-warnings: swearing, gang activities includes drug mention and the slowest of burns, organized crime, toxic af family dynamics, graphic physical abuse, BEWARE IN THIS ACT: Prescription and recreational drug use, violence, blood, graphic descriptions of torture, and murder , Yoongi is not great with jealousy.
Author's note: Welcome to Act VI. Please don't be a silent reader. I love talking to you guys and I hope you're enjoying this fic. Thank you :D Please like, comment, share, send asks, etc. It may help me crank the next act out and I need the pick me up. :D As ever @chelsea-chee is the most beautiful human and her works are all wonderful. She also brings me out of writing funks
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You weren’t sure how you were going to be able to stay in your room while your injuries healed. Jungkook was fine for company, aside from the intense sexual tension. He had ordered you food as he promised; you ate and relaxed in bed after taking the pills Yoongi had left you. After a nap that was closer to a comatose state than sleep, you found yourself being pulled into listening to Jungkook’s intense explanation of the thriving economic success of the city he was building on his mobile game. You couldn’t help the slight emptiness you felt as you finally reached down and flipped your phone over to glance at the screen. You don’t know why you bothered looking at it for anything other than the time. None of your friends from New York had reached out, and the only communication you had received on it was Yoongi. Social media was out, and you were sure you wouldn’t have responded to your old friend group even if they HAD contacted you. You had always been the first to laugh at the revolving door of people that cycled through your friend group. Now you lay in bed alone and cold at the thought that none of your friendships were built on a foundation stronger than money and parties.
You sighed as you registered the time: eight pm. You don’t know why it took you so long to notice the small red one on top of your messaging app. You didn’t know why your stomach lurched downward as you opened the message, biting on your bottom lip and wincing before releasing the flesh with a tiny gasp of pain. Jungkook’s words died in his throat as his eyes snapped to you and he reached out and snagged the pill bottle Yoongi had left. “Take more if you hurt Noona. It’s why Yoongi-hyung left them,” he said softly as he shook two out into his large palm. The worry and disapproval was evident on his face, the skin between his brows creased hard enough to show his “11”’s. His undeniably adorable expression served as a brief distraction from the cause of your distress. You glanced down at your phone, feeling your face scrunch in distaste as you let the text sink into your being.
“Fuck him, give me one more,” you said, flushing when you noticed how gravelly your voice sounded. “He’s a dick. He doesn’t care about anything but making my dad happy. He’s a fucking tool.” You held out your hand for him to drop the pills into, eyes still trained on the message. After a few moments of having your arm extended, you looked at Jungkook, snapping your fingers and sighing loudly in annoyance. The look on his face was nothing short of shocked.
“Noona, you don’t seriously believe that do you?” He scoffed and shook his head. You rolled your eyes hard and stretched your fingers wider to accent your empty palm. He hesitated before he shook out an additional pill. “You shouldn’t take three. We all have some of these in case we get hurt ya know? I’ve never taken more than two,” he said but slowly dropped them into your hand. “He’ll just take them away if you take too many,” he finished in a pouty grumble, settling back into the chair after setting the pill bottle back on the nightstand.
You rolled your eyes once more and tossed the pills into the back of your throat without a second thought, dry swallowing. “I’m aware of what I’m supposed to take. I also am aware of what I want to take. Thanks,” you snapped, not withholding the venom from bleeding into your tone. You couldn’t help but enjoy the satisfaction that rushed through you when you noticed Jungkook’s eyebrow slip up into his wavy fringe, the only sign of his initial astonishment. You knew he wouldn’t tell you no, not if Yoongi hadn’t explicitly instructed him on your medication intake. He would disapprove, but not refuse. Still, it seemed as if your tone had slithered under that irresistible skin of his. He clenched his jaw before rolling his shoulders back. Yoongi would want you to stop taking these soon anyway; it was just to get you through the ache of the first day. You weren’t deathly injured, but the dreamless sleep where the hours slipped by easily was something you were already craving. You never claimed you were celebrated for your self control. There was a reason you had gotten on so well with all the socialites and party girls in New York afterall.
You crawled back up to the top of your bed, slipping under the covers. You allowed yourself to savor the feeling of the luxurious sheets against your smooth skin. The peace only lasted a moment before a throb in your chest made your eyes close tightly as you felt the words echo in your head, hearing Yoongi’s cold voice speak them into your mind.
I’m assuming you’re alive since no one’s called me to come back. It would just be a big pain in my ass.
You knew you were a pain in the ass. You had long since accepted and embraced it, but you had maybe let yourself put stock in the idea that Yoongi viewed you as more than his boss’s daughter. You had possibly, deep down, valued the time you had shared as children. You didn’t have many interactions beyond your family and handlers when you were young. Yoongi would always be synonymous with growing up. That text reminded you just how little you meant to him as a person. You were a part of his job. Right at this moment you wondered how realistic it would really be to get away from this entire life. To run and not look back, never have to look at Yoongi’s face again and see the bored apathy that you hated so much in his expression. You weren’t sure when you started imagining his mask slipping. His actions never made much sense to you, but you would never admit that you spent almost all day when you weren’t preoccupied by sleep or Jungkook, wondering why he would have stayed with you last night. Finally, with a soft sigh, you rolled onto your side and pulled the cover higher, managing to drift off.
====================
You did try to open your eyes fully when the echoing sound of your bedroom door snapping against the wall jarred you into consciousness. The drugs were in full effect: your vision was swimming and blurred as you tried to focus on the male form storming into your room. The speed with which he walked made it impossible, but you did manage to sluggishly turn your head to the corner where Jungkook had been sitting. You were able to at least recognize he was standing, palms outstretched in an appeal of innocence. “Hyung-”
The crack of bones meeting made you struggle to sit up, but the fog of a medically-induced sleep kept your back to the mattress. You blinked owlishly as Jungkook’s groan reached your ears. “Get the fuck out. You’re so fucking incompetent, that you couldn’t understand ‘stand in the HALLWAY’?!” Yoongi’s voice made you stiffen, the quiet rage he started the sentence with crescendoing into a yell by the end. Jungkook touched his jaw and straightened his shirt before putting his hands up again in a show of humility as he made his way to the door.
“She wanted me in here hyung. Not my fault,” he said coldly, but letting out a mocking laugh as he neared the door frame, obviously not apologetic nor phased by the blow to the face. “You shouldn’t have left her like that. I wouldn’t have,” he taunted with a wave of farewell over his shoulder.
“I’ll shoot that little shit in the ankle,” Yoongi growled as he shoved his hand into his hair before spinning on you, his breath still coming in labored pants. You frowned and rolled your eyes half-heartedly before rolling away from him.
“You’re talking a lot of shit for someone who has no idea what I wanted him in here for.” The pure audacity of this man was astounding to you, “Shut the door on your way out,” you managed to slur before blindly stretching out a hand behind you to fumble for the pill bottle. Your heart was still speeding from the wake-up call that was Yoongi’s arrival. Just one more to assist you back into sleep, even though you knew it was truly not needed. As your hand found purchase on the top of the pill bottle and moved to pull it closer, a large hand enveloped yours and squeezed lightly.
“Look at me.” Yoongi’s short command was enough to make you whip your head in his direction at the sheer audacity, but your retort died in your throat as his eyes narrowed on you. “You took enough. You were sleeping so you weren’t in pain,” he pointed out and tugged on the pill bottle, but you tightened your grip milliseconds before his attempted repossession.
“You weren’t here- you don’t know. I’m just trying to not be such a pain in the ass,” you hissed, words still jilted and not really carrying the malice you had intended. The swimming slosh that was your mind steadying as he leaned over you. “Do your fucking job, Min. I’m going to do what I want unless someone who matters tells me otherwise.”
“You took more than two. You can barely open your damn eyes,” he said icily, but you took the moment he used to study your face to spin the top and shake a pill into the back of your throat. You knew you were being petty and childish, but screw him! You watched his lip lift up on one side in disdain, whether it was in regards to your pill popping or words; you couldn’t find it in you to be bothered. “You’re back to calling me Min. Heartbreaking.”
“So what? Like you give a shit? No one cares about how many of these I take anyway. Who would care?”
“Your fiance probably.”
Your sputtering was surely unattractive, and you squinted at him and shook your head. “If I’m unavailable, he will just pick another girl. I’m just trying to go to sleep and not think about this shit show. I’m alive. You established that. What else can I do for you?” You let out a huff and tried to turn away once more, willing the drug to carry you into uninterrupted sleep once more. You also tried to ignore the dip in the bed as you felt Yoongi sit on your mattress, ignoring the exasperated sigh he released.
“You’ll let Jungkook stay with you but won’t ask me to stay?” His words were light but the weight of them settled in your stomach and you begrudgingly rolled onto your back to look at him blearily.
“I’m enough of a pain in the ass just breathing- you want to add having to stay here with me?”
Yoongi blinked in confusion and passed his tongue over his lips. “That’s the second time you’ve called yourself a pain in the ass. Since when were you so self-aware?” His telltale smirk was back, the anger from finding Jungkook in the room with you instead of his assigned post in the hall had seemed to have passed. You weren’t in a forgiving mood, even if Jungkook had sauntered out, unbothered. “Besides, if you’ve been taking these like candy, I probably need to stay,” he noted with a raised eyebrow, pointing vaguely at the pill bottle.
“Let’s start off with the fact you don’t get to say who comes into my room if they are of no threat to me. That’s not your job.” You snapped, feeling your face start to burn in embarrassment as the words continued to spill out of your mouth. You would blame it on the substance swimming through your blood until the day you died. “You called ME a pain in the ass. It’s all about your job. It’s always about him,” you spat, the image of your father coming to the forefront of your mind. “I am sick of bothering you and everyone else. You were out today doing more work for him instead of staying with me. You left.” Your voice cracked and you couldn’t help but avert your eyes in pure shame as you spilled what had truly ruined your day. It hadn’t been seeing your battered face or thinking about the fact you would be sold for monetary gain and convenience. “Jungkook was here because he gives a shit.”
It was that Yoongi had left.
When his cool fingertips brushed under your chin to gently guide your face back to face him, you attempted to not meet his piercing dark gaze but failed. “I’m going to ignore the JK shit right now. I don’t want to talk about him. We’ll deal with that tomorrow. I care about you and me. I sent you that because it’s what I would have said if I was here. You normally would have said something smart ass back. I missed hearing that smart mouth of yours today,” he said gruffly, skimming a finger over your cut lip and tilting his head. “Princess, did me not being here bother you that much?”
His finger trailing on your skin had your core clenching. This was ridiculous, you chastised yourself, and turned your head away, pointing at his folded clothes in response, clearing your throat. “Just change. God only knows what you were up to all day. Those clothes are probably covered in DNA.” His answering smirk made you roll your eyes. You had hit that nail on the head.
“I had to meet Hoseok today.” You blinked as he walked over to grab his clothes, starting to shed his current set. You hadn’t heard that name in forever.
“Glad to know the beast is on a leash,” you grumbled as you sunk back into the pillows, eyes trained on Yoongi’s impromptu strip-show. He raised an eyebrow and shook his dark hair out of his eyes, tilting his head to the side as he unbuckled his belt.
“He’s holding his own leash at this point. I don’t think you remember clearly. He is just willing to sit back and watch like I am as long as it serves him,” Yoongi mused. “I’m going to shower in your bathroom. You should probably try to sleep that medicine off. I’m not giving you anymore so enjoy it,” he said, turning with a short wave, ignoring your middle finger shooting up at his back.
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Yoongi’s POV:
Yoongi knew he shouldn’t have laid a hand on Jungkook, but it was due to the crest of emotion he had been riding into the room. It was all due to news of your engagement, and as he let the hot water pelt his skin he didn’t know how he didn’t think to steel himself to the idea sooner. You were beautiful, rich... and a marriage to you would be advantageous to anyone connected in the underworld. He threaded his fingers into his hair and tugged slightly to try and relieve any of the building pressure in his skull before tilting his face up to the spray.
If you had been a touch more sober he wasn’t sure if you would forgive him for his reaction. It was an overstep to throw him out. Not as far as his job description went, if it was brought up to your father it could be easily concealed as he was protecting the impending nuptials. It was all about his overbearing control he had just smothered you with, but you had still agreed to let him stay. You hadn’t slapped his hand away immediately when he touched you. It meant something right? He would have to apologize to you tonight and then Jungkook at some point.
He turned off the water and reached out for a towel before drying off quickly. He couldn’t seem to help the anxiety he felt that you were waiting for him to join you. He knew it wasn’t smart to keep indulging himself. His plans would result in your father dead, and possibly his own demise. Would opening the vault that contained his attraction to you at this point only end up hurting you? It was likely.
He pulled on the sweatpants once more and grabbed the trash bag he had swiped out of the waste basket next to your sink that now contained his suit. He would torch it tomorrow. He shoved the bag under your sink and grabbed his gun and shirt before entering your bedroom. Yoongi couldn’t help the soft puff of breath that escaped him as he watched your figure curled in bed as he crossed the room and pulled the cover back. He couldn’t help but bite his bottom lip and chew in indecision before he laid the gun and his shirt down on the side table before he crawled in. He should have put the shirt on but he couldn’t help it. He was selfish and weak and he knew it. It was just becoming more clear to him just how weak he was.
Your quiet groan made him turn his head to you as Yoongi watched your sleepily shuffle in bed over to the newfound source of heat. Your hand trailed up his stomach to rest on his chest and he shut his eyes, savoring the heavy touch due to your sleepy state. He couldn’t help but suck in a breath, the soft definition of his abs flexing as he felt his cock twitch to life again. It was debasing, that this was how he was living out his desires but he couldn’t risk hurting you. He had to wait until he carried out his plan. Then, you wouldn’t feel a loss on the off chance you reciprocated any of his feelings. He wouldn’t risk starting anything with you but then leave you upset if he was dead.
Yoongi gently reached his arm up to lay above your head, letting his large hand rest on your head. The action earned a soft grumble and your leg hooking over his. He raised an eyebrow and smirked as he let his eyes shut. He would apologize tomorrow.
Protecting you was the only thing in this hell’s cape that mattered. He was resolute to let the blood flow in the streets until the weight on your shoulders lifted.
===== Y/N POV:
Two weeks of being stuck in this room.
You were sure you would scale the wall, taking inspiration from Rapunzel, if the bruising hadn’t resolved enough to be covered with makeup soon. The routine you had slipped into was uneventful, to say the least. Your laptop was always plugged into the wall and situated in your bed, it’s own little pillow propping it up. A steady revolving schedule of food was presented to you by whoever was staying with you. Yoongi barely left your side, even though the pair of you had slipped into a comfortable silence most days, interrupted by bickering and verbal sparring that would make a bystander wonder if they should intervene.
The overwhelming depression that had overcame you like a wave had ebbed slightly with the establishment of your schedule and Yoongi’s apathetic yet calming presence. When Yoongi did leave you, a double guard of young men you didn’t recognize stood in the hall, never once knocking on your door or disturbing you beyond when you spilled a drink and your resulting cry had the door swinging open immediately as they assessed the situation. Jungkook had not been stationed as your guard since Yoongi’s arrival in your room that first night. You’ve yet to see the hide nor hair of the beautiful young man since you watched him walk out in a haze. The irritation had festered towards Yoongi since that night; he had never even apologized for being a controlling ass. He knew it was one of your biggest issues, understandably so given your father. You felt the emotion blossoming once more in your throat as you sat in front of your mirror, winding a curl around your finger so it laid perfectly.
It was still early in the afternoon, but Yoongi had left briefly, and the same pair of guards had already introduced themselves quickly before Yoongi had stepped out with a quick promise to return before dinner. You had noticed he was tense all morning with you, jabbing at his screen with more annoyance than usual. You had teased him but he didn’t seem open to your jokes, so you had rolled your eyes and resumed your primping. You couldn’t help but to be excited that you may actually feel comfortable stepping into public for the first time in weeks.
Your ears pricked at the sound of the doorknob turning and the soft creak of the door. “You’re kind of early Min,” you said lightly as you slipped your hands into the crown of your head to lift the tresses to a semblance of volume. The dry chuckle you heard had your heart stuttering to a stop and your body tensing to the point of pain, your muscles locking.
“Duchess, you look absolutely ravishing. No wonder Yoongi won’t come play with me anymore.”
“Shouldn’t you be in a padded cell by now?” you snapped, trying to resist the urge to turn, but unable to stop the chill that shook one of your bare shoulders, and you grimaced as your eyes flicked up to meet the smiling man’s gaze in the mirror, his lithe figure hovering a few paces behind you, watching you intently. “Why the hell are you here?” His smile grew into the wide heart that had made your pupils dilate, hyper aware of the situation you found yourself in, and with whom.
“Oh, Yoongi knows I’m up here. He told me to make sure you were almost ready. He wanted to take you out to eat before you go for drinks with your lovely betrothed. He’s busy decoding the man’s entire personality from the conversation he’s having with your father,” Hoseok said blandly, waving a hand in dismissal, but not letting his eyes leave your own in the mirror. “Duchess, you don’t look happy to see me. And here I was all excited to relieve those children outside and say hello. It’s been ages.”
There had always been something that set you on edge about this man, even as teenagers. Then you had heard your father’s men discussing just how much J-Hope enjoyed the jobs he was given by your father. You had always listened as you grew up. Knew that Yoongi was prized for his ability as a teenager to disappear in a crowd and tail someone until they were alone; he could put the bullet in his target and leave without a trace.
Then there was J-Hope. The words that were thrown around the most with the older members of the family were: bloodthirsty, unhinged, hard to control. They wrote it off originally to him just having a youth’s energy, but it had never subsided. That thought had always made you standoffish. Yoongi- you would bicker with as a teen, but you went quiet when Hoseok chimed into whatever argument you had been having and quickly found an excuse to leave.
“Hoseok, we weren’t friends then- why would we be now?” you said dryly and reached for a bullet of lipstick to try and busy your hands. You also felt the need to run today, just like back then, but the way his eyes flashed made your hand pause in taking off the black top of the luxury cosmetic. “Why are you staring at me like that?!” you huffed, trying to recover as you ripped your gaze away from his and tried to refocus as you leaned into the mirror.
The coolness of his hand on your shoulder made you rip the color away from your lips and shrug your shoulder harshly.
“You thought we weren’t friends? You wound me Duchess. I always thought we were flirting,” he purred with a laugh, eyes still blazing as his grip tightened lightly on your skin.
“Just when I thought you couldn’t get anymore deranged,” you hissed and scrunched your nose before rolling your eyes. “Since you’re having those delusions, I don’t need to worry about the fact you said I was going to drinks with that tool that is buying me.” You finished with an eye roll; his appearance was disarming, but not enough to forget his apparent reason for fetching you. “I impolitely decline if I can manage without being manhandled again.”
“That’s not in the cards Duchess. You know I’m nicer than Yoongi though,” Hoseok said lightly, loosening his grip on your shoulder to let a fingertip trail in a small circle on your bare shoulder blade, the off-the-shoulder dress you had chosen now turning out to be a horrible choice as he traced an abstract pattern behind you to your neck. If it had been anyone else, you would have broken their finger. Hoseok wasn’t harmless, but he was if you endured whatever mind game he had in store, at least for Yoongi’s sake.
You hoped.
“You’re nicer huh? That’s interesting. I’m sure that’s why Yoongi had to burn the suit he wore after meeting up with you,” you grumbled and tried to resume applying the lipstick with more confidence. If you were going to have to do this whole impromptu outing thing with the lawyer, you were going to look damn good; at least to wear some sort of armor.
“I mean, of course I am. Yoongi doesn’t let you have any fun. He was complaining to me downstairs that he tried to give you pain meds and you took almost the whole thing he gave you in a few days.” He tsked his tongue and you scoffed and shrugged in dismissal. “You were in New York living the high life then have to come back to that old man. It’s a waste really,” Hoseok said, his voice bland but your eyes had risen back up to watch him carefully, trying to school your expression.
“What are you getting at J-Hope?”
“I’m J-Hope now? Fuck Duchess. It’s hot when you say it,” he joked and pulled his fingertip from your skin to dip into his charcoal grey suit pocket, producing a small bag of white powder. “I just wanted you to have a good time tonight. I know your meal will be enjoyable, we all can see how up your ass Yoongi is.” You opened your mouth to interrupt but Hoseok held up his hand, baggie tucked into his palm with his thumb. “But after dinner you may want this. It’s not a NYC club, but live a little. I know you miss it. I’ll be there, Yoongi will be there. Watching from… well afar, but not really,” he mused and shrugged with a smile.
You narrowed your eyes and pursed your lips as you studied him. “You’re just trying to start shit as usual,” you grumbled but turned to face him properly at last, turning away from the mirror and you ignored his over exaggerated exhale as he looked down at your chest.
“You deserve the world Duchess. Consider it a welcome home present and… me showing my appreciation for how well you grew up.” The purr had another round of goosebumps breaking out and you held out your palm expectantly.
“Come on. I appreciate it but I’m not doing some weird shit,” you grumbled and felt heat rise up your neck at the sound of his bright laugh, smile not leaving his face. His appearance was so at odds with the facts you knew. You honestly had the feeling a crack would appear on the surface of his cheek soon from the stretch of his lips.
“What do you take me for? I would only play with you if you trusted me, and you don’t for whatever reason. I would love nothing more than to have you in bed and run something pretty and sharp over this skin. It is so soft. Like nothing bad has ever touched it… I want to change that,” he said softly, and you felt your muscles tense again.
“No one is cutting me up over some coke,” you snapped and stood quickly, starting to move past him until his hand shot out to snag your elbow to impede your escape.
“Duchess, it’s not about that. It’s about the fact I could press too hard and cut into you, but that’s not the point. It’s the fact that you're right on the edge of danger but you trust me enough to not flay you.” The seductive tone that entered his voice made your hair stand on end. You couldn’t help the squeak that emerged as he passed his delicate nose against your hair, and you jerked violently out of his grasp.
“Give it to me and wait outside, you sick bastard,” you demanded, trying and failing to keep the shake out of your voice. His laughing response made him fold over slightly as he tossed the small bag on your vanity.
“I think I’ll stay here. I’m not Yoongi; you can’t just order me around like a dog.You’d be the one on the leash after all.” His words made you unconsciously put a hand up to your collarbone and drum out a nervous rhythm. You couldn’t help but to watch him carefully as he continued; you had some sense of self preservation. “ You’re cute, I’ll give you that. I heard you even have Jungkook risking his neck to get inside you,” he said, the seductive tease gone as he strode over to the chair and sat in it with more grace than he had any right to possess.
“Jungkook shouldn’t be risking anything. I’m not married yet. Who I decide to sleep with is my business,” you said coldly as you moved to your closet and fished for an appropriate pair of shoes to finish your outfit. The answering laugh was grating and you growled in annoyance. “Can you stop laughing at everything?”
“I can’t help it Duchess.” Hoseok studied his short but manicured nails as he crossed his legs before looking up to you once more, watching you weigh the decision of two different pairs of shoes. “Go with the ones in your left hand. I want to see if I’m right about Yoongi’s foot fetish. I bet you have pretty feet.” His suggestion was enough to have you dropping the open toed heels and start slipping on the Louboutin, crouching down to tie the fine leather of the straps that wrapped up your ankle and Hoseok tsked again. “Kink shaming is unbecoming,” he teased and you held up your middle finger.
“All I’ll think about all night is if he has a foot kink. I just want to enjoy dinner and get through whatever shit show is afterwards,” you retorted as you started on your other foot, unable to admire the beauty of the epic dance Louboutin. You had always loved nice things; at least if you were forced to go through with this sham of a marriage, you wouldn’t have to stop or have a limit imposed on you.
“You distracted me Duchess. You said that Jungkook wasn’t risking anything. You really believe that? Yoongi calls you Princess for a reason. He wants you treated like one. Then here comes cocky young Jungkook trying to debase you. You think he’s not risking it all when he’s trying to get with Yoongi’s childhood love?”
You couldn’t help the snort and eye roll. “You gave me the coke but you did the shrooms? You’re hallucinating; he never had a crush on me. We fight. We get along kind of now but as kids we fought and he was always a pain in my ass,” you grumbled as you turned your attention to your reflection in the mirror, ignoring Hoseok’s keen eyes on you as you tugged the bottom of your skirt straight.
“He is ready to start a full blown war over you. Maybe it’s not a childhood love. Maybe he loves you now,” Hoseok said, tilting his head and picking at a spotless nail. “I would believe it; he can’t sell it to anyone as a rescue mission. I’m going along with it because it’s Yoongi and I think everyone needs to be reminded of who is the real power in this outfit,” he finished with a flourishing hand.
You felt your fingertips go cold and your breath caught. This had to be a damn joke. J-Hope was screwing with you, Yoongi wasn’t that insane. He was level headed. “Why are you joking like that? Shut up, you never know if there’s a tap in here,” you said softly and tried to ignore the loud sound of his answering laugh.
“Duchess, everything tap and surveillance goes through Taehyung these days. He’s joining us for drinks tonight, but keep your hands to yourself. Yoongi won’t survive you lusting over two of the young bloods.” The lilting dismissive tone had you baring your teeth at the patronization. “I’m not fucking with you. I’d get whatever you have to say to anyone out now. Who knows who is going to make it out of this.”
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tbtssstuff · 2 days ago
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Operation: VOC || kth
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💋 Three: Infuriating
↣ Pairing: Virgin Nerd!Kim Taehyung x Popular!YN
↣ Genre: Social media au, fluff, smut, angst
↣ Summary: You were never one to back down from a bet. When your friends found out Kim Taehyung was the only male virgin on campus, they dare you to try and sleep with him by the end of the school year. What you didn’t expect was to fall for the sweet dweeb.
Tag list: @babyboytae1 @3sriracha @deagubo1s @preciouschimine @maichiverse @010op10 @titikaislit @1229pm @murderyoursoul @yabby-girl
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yoongsisbae · 2 months ago
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Your Friendly Neighborhood Superhero, RM
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Writing-prompt-s: You’re in the superhero clean-up industry: You get paid to fix what they destroy. Slowly the officials are getting suspicious about just how much collateral damage a friend of yours “accidentally” seems to cause…
m-yg93: If anyone wants to write a clumsy super strength Namjoon I would read the shit out of that.
OOO ME ME ME I WANT TO WRITE IT. As soon as I read this prompt, I got hit in the face with PLOTtm Enjoy the chaos! :D
Superhero!Namjoon x y/n with a bit of Supervillain!Taehyung x y/n and some Supersilly!Seokjin x y/n
Best friends 2 Lovers. Idiots 2 Lovers. Lovers 2 Enemies? This is a different kind of superhero story ;)
Warnings: angst, violence, rough sex, restraints, kidnapping, police brutality
Word Count: 14.8k
---
Seven shelves down, glass bottles shattered, exploded cereal boxes, food everywhere. You survey the rest of the supermarket, impressed by your best friend’s latest “rescue.” Sure, he saved eleven lives, but did he have to sacrifice the wine aisle to do it? You pout, looking down at the red liquid pooled at your feet - such a waste, but at least it wasn’t blood you had to clean up - “Ahh!” You pull an unscathed bottle of Merlot out of the wreckage.
Speaking of which, “Hey, God of Destruction, can you open this for me?”
Namjoon frowns at your nickname for him, “Are you going to pay for that?”
You narrow your eyes at him. Your friend can be annoyingly honorable at times, but it comes with the territory, you guess, with him being a superhero and all. “I’ll deduct it off the cleaning bill.”
“Do you want me to help?”
As much as you enjoy Namjoon’s company, having your clumsy friend around so many potential accidents just waiting to happen was not what you’d call an ideal situation. “We got it, Namjoon,” you wave him off dismissively, cataloging the damage.
“Shh!” your superhero friend chastises you, but your clean up crew are in their own little worlds, shifting through wreckage and hauling out broken pieces to the row of cleaning trucks you’ve brought on the scene.
“Sorry, RM,” you wink. You radio for your associates, let them know to bring the largest vacuum on the truck, “Clean up on aisle...all the aisles!”
“When do you think you’ll be done?” Namjoon asks, following you around the store as you finish your assessment, cape catching on items and bringing them crashing to the ground. You don’t flinch anymore when things like that happen, just add it to the list.
“Probably two...three tonight?” You hear an associate groan, “Hey!” You yell, “Don’t complain, you all get to leave at midnight! I’m stuck here until everything is cleared!”
“How do you clean up so fast?” Namjoon mutters, pitying the men as they mumble under their breaths, scurrying away from your death glares. Namjoon has been on the receiving end of those glares and he’s just grateful it’s not him this time.
“Well, we gotta keep up with you, don’t we?” you laugh, redirecting his question, “How do you make such a mess? There were only two gunmen! Are you sure you’re not doing this to benefit me?” You tease. You pull off your jumpsuit to your hips, tying the dirty fabric, wiping the sweat off your forehead.
Namjoon runs a hand through his hair, embarrassed, “You said two a.m.? I’ll wait for you then, what do you feel like eating tonight?”
“Oh!” Your eyes light up and you start clapping for your own genius, remembering some of the best Thai food you’ve ever eaten. “Remember that Thai place in Midtown?”
“That’s a four hour round trip!”
“Yeah, and you can fly,” you state, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
Namjoon would normally never think to use his powers for his own self interest, but for you...
“I have to go speak with the Chief of Police, it’s in that direction so...”
You beam with excitement. “Fantastic! And try not to destroy anything else, God of Destruction.” You nudge his shoulder with your own, and he shakes his head disapprovingly, but the way his lips curl upward lets you know he’s not that mad.
---
“Cmon! I’m starving.”
You’re placing the takeout boxes on your living room table when you hear the familiar shattering of glass in your kitchen. You inwardly groan.
“Yah! How many times do I have to tell you to use the metal cups? I bought them for you.”
“I know! I was just moving the others out of the way...sorry.” Namjoon whines.
“Ugh just get in here, the food is getting cold.”
‘Nothing is better than this,’ you think, watching your friend shovel in fried rice while you enjoy your noodles. Sitting on the floor and eating greasy food past midnight after working tirelessly all day doesn’t seem like everyone’s idea of a good time, but you wouldn’t trade these nights for the world.
Namjoon starts choking because he ate too fast and you can't help but laugh at him, hitting him on the back. It reminds you of when you were growing up, eating school lunch together, he’d always finish in record time and look at you with puppy dog eyes until you gave in and shared your food with him too. Back when he was still a lanky teenage boy, when his glasses made him look like a dork, not yet grown into his strong features, his frames now complimenting his sophisticated style, ripped with muscles and an intimidating aura.
To you, he’s still the same old Namjoon, now with the strength of a god and the gracefulness of a bull in a china shop. You’re feeling nostalgic, it might be because you finished that bottle of wine all by yourself. “How did it go with the Chief of Police?”
“He just took my statement, thanked me for shielding his Lieutenant...and then threatened to put me in jail again," Namjoon grumbles.
You snort, “Good luck with that,” ‘Like The Mayor would ever let that happen,’ Not when his approval rating skyrocketed through the roof ever since the day he gave ‘RM’ the keys to the city. “He should be buying you a steak dinner for the amount of shit you do for them.”
“I don’t do it for things like that.”
“Yeah yeah, I know, with great power comes great whatever, it could also come with some great steak, no one would judge you for it.”
Namjoon smiles, but his eyes stay dull, his expression somber. He sighs. You instantly feel bad, you know he’s always struggled with the weight of responsibility his powers have placed on him. He’s tried to cultivate a good relationship with this city’s law enforcement, but he’s essentially become a vigilante, and has had to endure the hate of many critics despite the love from many thankful citizens.
“Hey,” you place both hands on his face, turning him to face you. “I’m just kidding. You saved eleven people, Namjoon, eleven!” you smile, pulling off his glasses. “My superhero.” His expression softens and he smiles a cute dimpled grin you’ve grown to cherish.
You smile brightly in return, swinging your leg over his own and settling onto his lap. “I don’t have any steak to cook you, but...” You leave soft kisses against his defined jawline. “I have another way to show you my gratitude,” you lick the column of his neck, smiling at the way he shivers at your touch. He lifts a knee to move you closer to him, letting out a long breath, arms tense against his sides.
“Put your hands on me," you whisper, "stop treating me like glass, Namjoon”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” his voice lowers.
Your lips connect to his, your arms around his neck, pulling him in to deepen the kiss, “I don’t mind.”
Namjoon gently wraps his arms around you, lifting you up and carrying you to the bedroom. Like always, he’s gone before you wake up. Out saving the world again.
---
Your high school friend has always been like this, heroic. But his powers were a new development. It couldn’t happen to anyone better, you think. He always had a righteous way of living, always found a way to lift others up, even you. You were the outcast, he was the savant. An exceptional student, and exceptional person, really. Likeable to teachers, other students, not like you. Even then you wondered why he kept you around, and then everything changed.
One school night, as you and Namjoon were sitting in your favorite spot in the woods, talking about life, a star, not like anything you’ve ever seen before, shot through the sky, glowing green, falling to the earth close enough that you and him felt the impact. You and Namjoon tried to search for it, but you never did find it. And the next morning, everything was changed. Everything changed for your friend, specifically, who had always been strong, but had gotten even stronger...
Strong enough to stop a moving car from hitting a child, the metal grill warping around his body, surprising you and bystanders, as you pulled your stunned friend away. But everyone had seen, and soon, thanks to a short blurry video shot by one of those very bystanders, the world would see. Then Namjoon became more than your always reliable and upstanding friend, he became a superhero.
Your paths diverged, but you always stayed friends. You both moved to the city together, he worked odd jobs, always getting fired for too many “unexplainable absences,” and you, in another one of your brilliant ideas, started your very own superhero clean up crew, making bank of your best friend's heroic antics.
You never treated Namjoon differently, mainly because you thought it was silly. So what, he was the strongest man alive. You could still crush him in hoops. You destroyed him in football. Table tennis, it was no contest. His coordination was never that great. He was RM, a man with the strength of a hundred men, Rho, to everyone else, but to you he was just Joon, your clumsy childhood friend.
You ready yourself for another day of work, listening to the morning newscaster recall yesterday's events. You hated how the media tried to vilify your friend just to get more attention. They were calling him a beacon of chaos, you frowned. It wasn’t his fault crime was becoming worse in the city! Criminals were becoming more violent, trying to make a name for themselves now that Namjoon had taken down most of the big players, the underground power struggle had been brewing long before RM made his appearance. But no one was more powerful than Namjoon.
For now...
---
“How do you always win?” Namjoon whines.
“You got to know how to work the machine. You have to know your strength, Joonie,” You laugh, admiring the stuffed Koala you just won. Your friend begrudgingly follows behind, hands in his pockets. You shove him, he doesn’t budge. Namjoon wanted to push you back, play around with you too, but he was afraid of his own strength sometimes, especially around you, haunted by bruises he had accidentally left on your body in the very beginning of his power discovery.
Namjoon stops to take a call. “I have to go, there was a bank robbery, the chief wants me for some reason,” he says, frowning, “-says something is not adding up.”
You gasp. “Oh, ominous! I wanna go too.” You trail him as your friend finds a place to remove his jacket.
“No way,” he says, handing you his glasses. And hoodie. And shirt. And pants.
“You’re just gonna leave me here? All by myself? Who will protect me?” you whine, hugging his clothes close to you, bottom lip quivering, giving Namjoon the full guilt trip. You tug on his cape. “Please, you used to take me with you all the time! You always leave me out now, I thought we were friends...” You blink your eyes rapidly to muster up some fake tears to really get him.
“It’s different here. The city is dangerous.”
“Wouldn’t that mean I’m safer with you?”
---
You hand the bank teller your card, “It doesn’t look like you need it this time, but just so you know, I provide an excellent service-” Namjoon calls for you and you bounce over to his side.
He and the police chief are going over security footage, you watch the tape together. One second the inside of the safe looks normal, the next second, security boxes open automatically, then the screen goes black. Then money falls from shelves, then the screen goes black. The money is gone, everything cleared out.
“How are they getting in?”
“I don’t know. They’re smart. There is no evidence of a break in. It’s almost like this robber could walk through walls.”
“It looks more like they broke in from the inside,” you add.
“From the inside of the safe?! Impossible.”
“Wait! Play it one more time. There! Look, the money.”
You all watch the corner of the screen, the money moves, but it doesn’t fall right away, it seems to hover. It such a strange sight, there must be an explanation, a warp in the camera, perhaps?
“And the rest of the cameras?”
“They cut off right before the crime.” The police chief shows Namjoon a small piece of paper. “This was left inside.” The card was empty except for one letter: ‘V.’ "Know anything of it?" Namjoon shakes his head, lost at what it could mean.
“Try to find out what you can, come directly to me if you learn anything. And keep a low profile this time dammit, or I swear I’ll fucking book you. You too, Missy. Charging a goddamn arm and a leg-”
“EXCUSE ME - Yah!” Namjoon lifts you off your feet with one hand, pulling you away before you say something to get yourself arrested.
---
You’re still angry. It’s been days and the police and neither you or Namjoon have been able to find anything about this V or his mysterious methods. The Chief of Police always used RM to skirt procedures, while threatening him in the same breath, and your dutiful friend tried his best to help, because he so desperately wanted to be seen as helpful, needed by the city he wanted to protect. Too bad the city was full of assholes!
Normally your walk to work was not that eventful, sometimes you’d come across a stray dog and offer them your breakfast, other times you’d have to chastise a cat caller who got a little too friendly, most of the time you kept your headphones in, only stopping for coffee.
But today, the universe decided to throw you a curve ball. Actually, it decided to throw you a bus, barreling down the sidewalk, coming straight towards you and the crowd of pedestrians around you.
You scatter just in time to see it crash into the courthouse building. You turn to notice a familiar flash in the sky.
“There goes my weekend,” you pout, pulling out your phone to alert your cleaning crew about the new job that landed - well, crashed - right at your feet.
Suddenly a group of protestors run past you, shoving you and making you fall as they run into the courthouse with signs. Then a massive explosion occurs, rattling your insides, and everyone is running, scattering like ants, screaming and crying. You struggle to regain footing, in shock at the sudden mayhem around you.
Two strong hands lift you up out of the crowd. RM, resident superhero, saves you again. The crowd gets more chaotic, people running into you and pushing you closer to Namjoon. He’s strong and solid and protects you from the worst of it.
“RM! There was a bus and-”
“I know, stay back!” He easily lifts you away, and then turns to leave before you can stop him. You watch your friend fly into the chaos, and then another explosion from the inside of the courthouse rocks the ground.
You know he’s strong, Namjoon might even be bulletproof, but there’s no way he’s explosive proof! Namjoon is not immortal, you’ve seen him bleed, tended to his scars and bruises, there’s a price to his super strength. You’ve nursed him back to health on multiple occasions, and you’re not going to let him die now, not today, when you have a chance to save him like he’s done for you and so many others!
“Joon!” you hiss, running through the smoke. The courthouse looks like a war zone, everyone is yelling at each other, running for safety. Before you know what hit you run into another body, bouncing off them and falling to the ground.
“Mayor?!” The mayor sits on the ground next to you, he looks absolutely petrified. He shoves you away. “Ow!” you hit another solid thing, but when you look around, nothing is there.
“What do you want from me?!”
“What the fuck, I don’t want anything!” you yell, scrambling to your feet.
“Not you,” a deep voice comes from behind you, but when you turn around no one is there. What the hell?
You scream, “Who’s there!”
“Mayor! ...y/n?!” your best friend’s large body runs out of the smoke, barreling towards you. You’re not sure what the hell is going on, but you have to warn him. “Don’t come closer! We’re not alone!” You feel something moving, wind when there shouldn’t be any. You lunge forward and reach your hands out into the air, hitting solid..air?! SOLID AIR, WHAT?!
“JK I need you here now!” That deep voice is back and there’s a rush of wind and smoke that blasts you in your face. A hooded figure materializes out of nowhere. NOTHING, AND POOF HE’S THERE!
The apparition reaches for The Mayor, and then you feel your body moving...falling, decompressing, re-expanding. The ground beneath you is gone, your mind feeling a million things at once like a bad trip, and just like that, the ground is back and you're panting in air like you’ve just run a mile.
“JK, take her back!” Two hooded men stand next to you, your outstretched hand on one of them, your brain trying to piece together what just happened. But the second hooded man stumbles to the ground in response. You rush towards The Mayor, passed out on the ground, while the hooded figure catches the other, their hoods falling off in the process.
‘What the hell is happening!’ Why are two of your old classmates dressed in cloaks like they're in some kind of a cult?! And where the fuck are you?! you think, stunned into silence. You’re definitely not in the courthouse anymore, surrounded by metal and piping. Your old classmate, Jeon Jungkook, grimaces in pain, writhing on the ground, did Jungkook do this, how?! Was he...was he like Namjoon!
Two more hooded figures come out of the shadows. “We have a problem,” one says, before you’re being grabbed, eyes covered, screaming for RM who is nowhere to be found.
---
You sit, tied to a chair, blindfolded, replaying everything over and over in your mind.
Growing up with Namjoon, you should have known...you should have known that one day an obstacle might come along that Namjoon couldn’t just merely defeat with his super strength. Your best friend can punch through a wall, life is strange, but for some reason, you really thought what happened to you and Namjoon was something special.
You feel the air around you shift, alerting you that you’re not alone. “Let me go!”
“Which one are you?! Jungkook? Or Kim Tae-” Hands cover your mouth and your already thinning patience is coming to a breaking point. You’ve played nicely, you were being a good hostage, but you had no intention on being their captive forever.
While waiting to be rescued, you decided you were just going to have to rescue yourself. While you waited, you unhandcuffed one hand. Now that your captor’s hand was over your mouth, you took the opportunity to place the free cuff over his wrist, effectively handcuffing yourself to him. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was the only one you could think of. You used your free hand to pull off your blindfold as you catapulted yourself into your captor’s shocked frame.
“I knew you were Taehyung, I knew it! What the fuck?! How dare you kidnap me! How dare you! What the hell, Kim! Explain!” you berated a stunned Taehyung while you continued to slap him with your free hand.
“Stop hitting me, fuck! Let me explain! Ahh!” You wrestle on the ground with your captor until the other men rush in, trying to pull you away, but you stayed handcuffed as you continue to knock some sense into your former classmate.
“How did she get out of the ropes?!”
“Hop her the fuck out of here!”
“I can’t, not when she’s handcuffed to Tae!”
“...Jungkook? WHY THE HELL ARE YOU A TERRORIST?!”
“We’re not terrorists!”
“You’re kidnappers!”
“We don’t have time for this.”
“You sound familiar,” perhaps it was divine intervention, but the minute you narrowed in on the other man by your side, his hood unfastened, revealing his face to you as well.
“Fuck!”
“Yoongi?!”
“Someone put her blindfold back on, dammit!”
“I went to high school and primary school with all of you, you think I can’t recognize your voices?! What the hell is going on, why did you blow up the courthouse and kidnap the freaking Mayor? If you're not terrorists, what are you?” You punctuated each question with a smack to whomever stood closest to you and dared to try to restrain you.
“OKAY OKAY, I’LL EXPLAIN, STOP FIGHTING.” Taehyung screams, panting and in pain from struggling against you.
---
You sit on a beat up old couch in what looks like a safe house, still handcuffed to Taehyung. The men had tried to unhandcuff you and him, but the keys didn’t seem to work anymore. Jungkook gives you some tea which you sniff apprehensively.
“We’re not going to poison you, y/n.”
“I know that,” you jerk your handcuffed hand to your mouth, sipping the tea, pulling Tae’s hand with you, who is less than pleased by your attitude.
You decide to cut to the chase. “Why did you kidnap The Mayor?”
The men look at each other, silently exchanging words. “We had a good reason.”
“And that reason?” You wished they would just explain what’s going on! They’re good guys, at least they were good guys, from what you remembered.
You remembered Jeon Jungkook. He was in a grade lower than you, he was a top student who had been shy and always kind. He was a good kid. Taehyung was an oddball, but he was never mean to you. He could have gotten away with it, he was good looking and popular, but he never bullied you like the others.
Even Yoongi, who you remembered acted pretty standoffish, had been close with Namjoon, so you knew he was warm and soft under his hard icy exterior. He would help old ladies cross the street! You distinctly remember watching him help an old grandma with her food cart, the wheel always caught on the graveled road, he walked beside her pushing the cart for her as you walked home after school. Deep down Yoongi was good, he was a better person than you, how the hell did he get involved in this?!
“Tell her, it’s okay,” one of the men say, still hooded and hiding away from you.
“Not gonna take your hood off?” you turn around and ask.
Taehyung sighs, pulling on the chain that connected you to get your attention. “The Mayor was going to sign a bill that would have destroyed our town. Our town, y/n.”
“Wait, what?” You remembered hearing about it briefly on the news, between hit pieces posed at your friend, “The clean energy bill? How would-”
“It’s not a clean energy bill! The media calls it that, packaged it like some great initiative towards sustainable energy, but if you actually read it, y/n, you would know how horrible for the environment it is! It would give the oil and electric companies free reign to throw their toxic waste into our water supply!” Taehyung yells, upset.
“The bill gives the city more funding for solar panels, but it also lifts all the current safety regulations on traditional energy and minimizes the pollution fines that protect the surrounding ecosystems,” Yoongi adds solemnly, “The oil companies are already abusing the rules and the poorer communities surrounding the city are feeling the effects of their pollution, if this bill passes it would become a hundred times worse for them...for my parents.” Yoongi crosses his arms, clearly upset as well.
“Yeah, the city gets a few shiny new solar energy panels and our familes get to drink toxic waste!” Taehyung remarks bitterly.
“So you blow up the courthouse and kidnap The Mayor?!”
“Yes!” Taehyung barks, “We’ve followed their rules, we’ve protested, gone to city halls and tried to reason with The Mayor, but he doesn’t care! All he cares about is how much the oil companies can give him in campaign donations. Who do you think added those provisions to the bill?”
You stay silent. What should you do? What would Namjoon do? You knew The Mayor was shady, but this was too far…“Then what is your plan?” Taehyung looks past you, and the hooded man nods his head.
“We’re not going to let him go until he promises to amend the bill.”
“And also propose a new bill that protects our rivers and wildlife.” Jungkook adds hopefully.
‘So they’re not terrorists...they’re eco-terrorists. Shit...’ Your head hurts, you never really paid attention to what was going on in your hometown, ever since you and Namjoon moved to the heart of the city. Since you started your cleaning business, you were too preoccupied with your own shit to care about politics. You should have paid more attention, you felt ashamed. However, this is too extreme, this is insanity!
You sigh. “You really think you can convince The Mayor to actually do something that won’t benefit him? Everyone knows he’s a narcissist.”
“We have our methods.”
You take a deep breath and decide to address the elephant in the room, “You mean your superpowers?” The men stay silent so you continue. “You transported us here, right, Jungkook? And you…” you survey the man you’re handcuffed to, “Mr. Invisibility.”
Taehyung scoffs. “Just call me V.”
Your eyes widen and you gasp, covering your mouth with your free hand. “You’re the thief!” Taehyung smirks. “Oh my god, I get it now. You...and you!” You point to Jungkook, who must have teleported Taehyung inside. “Why?”
“We needed money to pull something like this off,” Yoongi says. “We finally decided to use our powers to take some power.” You wonder, does Yoongi have a super power too?
“Well, that’s kind of impressive. Also very illegal. I’m going to have to perform a citizen’s arrest.”
The men around you stiffen. “C’mon, it was a joke.”
“She’s best friend’s with RM.”
You turn around again, “Who are you, you know I’m going to figure it out eventually!”
Speaking of RM, you hope he got the text you sent him, hopefully he can use his connections to The Chief to find out where you are.
“We need to leave now! Don’t fucking trust her, RM could be here any second.”
“God, you guys really can’t take a fucking joke.”
“Jungkook, take The Mayor somewhere else NOW!”
Jungkook nods his head, standing up. “Jungkook, no!” Truth be told, you kind of saw their point, but this...this was too extreme. You can still hear the terrified screams of pedestrians around you when the first bomb detonated. You reach for Jungkok’s arm to stop him, and suddenly that floating feeling comes back, worse than before. You, Jungkook, and Taehyung all fall at the feet of the tied up Mayor.
Jungkook groans, you feel like throwing up, Taehyung curses. “Shit, not again, are you okay, JK?”
“Yes,” Jungkook grunts, steadying himself, “I was just not prepared for hopping both of you so soon.”
“Take him and the rest out of here, one-by-one," he adds, "I’ll deal with her.”
You moan in pain, shaking on the ground, dizzy and winded. You would definitely not recommend traveling by teleportation to anybody.
---
It wasn’t long before Namjoon broke through the safe house, smashing through the wall like it was paper.
“RM!” you yell, “Don’t come any closer!”
“What’s wrong? Why are you like that? Where’s The Mayor?” His voice booms through the empty space, you’ve never seen him so angry. If you hadn’t known Namjoon, you would have been really frightened of him. You hope Taehyung is regretting his decision now.
“Ask him if there are others,” Taehyung whispers in your ear. You probably looked pretty silly, arms covering your neck. Well, it was your free arm, covering your handcuffs, as Taehyung held the chain across your throat.
“RM, did you bring, um, back up? S-stop walking!”
Namjoon halts. “They’re on their way,” he says uneasily.
“Whatever you’re planning, just don’t hurt him, please,” you whisper.
“Who are you talking to?” your friend cocks his head to the side, studying your odd behavior.
“Or...I will...kill you.”
You feel it again, the shift in air, and you see Jungkook, appearing again, right behind Namjoon.
“RM, behind you!”
And just like that, your friend was gone. Taehyung reveals himself again, tightening the chain around your neck when you yell, you grab onto his arms. He stands stunned as you pull yourself away from him, your hands free and his hands now cuffed together.
You grab the first thing you can find as a weapon, a loose metal pipe attached to the wall, ready to defend yourself, but Taehyung is nowhere to be seen.
“I agree with you,” you yell, “but hurting people is not the answer!” That’s what Namjoon would say, at least.
A scream in the distance makes you turn, you see Namjoon, his strong arms wrapped tightly around Jungkook, both drenched from head to toe, and then they’ve disappeared again before you can call his name. You see them again, fighting, for only a split second, the water frozen to snow and ice on their bodies.
“Dammit Taehyung!” You swing at nothing, “Tell him to stop and bring RM back!”
Your best friend and Jungkook reappear in a cloud of sand, gone again in a flash, Jungkook is too fast! But your friend is too strong, and you’re more worried that he’s going to end up hurting Jungkook and himself potentially stranding him somewhere dangerous.
“We can’t have either of you stopping us, and now that you’ve seen our faces-” Taehyung’s voice moves around you, to the point where you’re not sure where he’s coming from, and then you are knocked off your feet, the wind kicked out of you. You swing the pipe around you, wincing in pain.
You hear Namjoon again, Jungkook must be back, you hear the pair fighting meters away from you. Scrambling to your feet, concentrating, hands firm around the steel pipe, you make a decision to stop Taehyung and Jungkook no matter what.
Truthfully, if it had only been you, you might have been swayed to let your old classmates go ahead with their crazy plan, but the fact of the matter is you just so happen to be in love with the goody two shoes who’s trying to stop them, and you’ll protect him with your life.
So, you swing the metal pipe into Taehyung’s side.
Taehyung reanimates on the ground, coughing up blood, “How did you see me?”
You smirk. “I didn’t, obviously. I could feel you, dummy.”
Your impressive trick doesn’t help you after all. Jungkook appears, materializing in front of you, and wraps his strong hands around you and teleports you away. The last thing you see is Taehyung disappearing again and Namjoon running towards you, so close.
---
You knock on your friend's door. You haven’t been to his apartment in a very long time, he says it’s unsafe, because someone dangerous might find out his identity and try to attack him. Well, you’ve already been attacked, so you figured it would be alright to visit him this one time.
You came straight to Namjoon. You haven’t even gone home yet, you're still in your old clothes. Your clothes are still damp, your hair is a mess, you’re bruised, blood still crusted on your skin. You just needed to see your friend, make sure he was okay, guilt plaguing you because you didn’t do more to help him. You hope he’s home, you hope he’s safe-
“Y/n!” Namjoon pulls you into a crushing hug. Really crushing hug, but you don’t mind. You fall against him, happy, and exhausted.
---
“Ow.”
“Shit, sorry!”
“No!” Namjoon tries to untangle himself from you, but you cuddle closer to him, moving your body on top of him.
“I was so worried, you were asleep for two days,” he mumbles into your hair.
“Mmm let’s go back to sleep.” You bury your head into his chest, he’s warm, so warm. He hums, arms wrapping around you loosely.
---
“Y-Yoongi?! I-I haven’t talked to him in years,” Namjoon pauses, “Do you think...they always had powers? Taehyung and Jungkook?”
“I, um, don’t know. Probably, to be able to use them well enough to rob a bank.” You stretch your arms and legs. “That brat sure knew what he was doing when he dropped me off in the middle of the fucking ocean.”
“How did you get back?”
“Ugh, long story,” you relent and give Namjoon more information when he won’t stop looking at you accusingly, “There was a, um, fishing boat. I hitched a ride. Anyways, what are you going to do about The Mayor?”
“Err The Mayor’s back, y/n,” Namjoon pulls out his phone, searching for a video. “It’s like nothing ever happened. Look.”
You watch as The Mayor stands in front of a podium and addresses the city, speaking about the bus and explosion. “A terrible unexplainable series of events,” he called them. Breaks that went out, a gas leak, everything so conveniently explained away, and then he spoke about why he won’t be signing the new energy bill after all.
“Holy fuck, those assholes did it.” Now you were really impressed. You study the video. “He looks kind of scared, don’t you think?”
Namjoon looks closer too. “See anything weird?”
“Yep.”
Behind The Mayor, every once in awhile, something shifts, it could be just the wind, or-
“We have to stop them.”
“What? Why?! Did you not just listen to what I told you, they have fucking super powers like you Joon, and well, the also have a good reason to-”
“It’s wrong, y/n! They’re hurting people. That explosion could have killed someone.”
“But it didn’t,” you huff. Thankfully, there had been no casualties and barely even any injuries.
“Why are you defending them?! They are criminals! Jungkook almost killed you, you could have drowned!” Namjoon raises his already booming voice, anger getting the better of him at the thought of something happening to you. Namjoon had to stop them!
You want to yell back, but you bite your tongue. Why can’t your best friend budge just a little in his convictions? Namjoon lived in black and white, his lifestyle making his ideals as steely as his strength. He had to, otherwise he’d second guess every action. He had faith in the system, because he served the system. But you saw the gray, you saw the way good people never found justice and how bad people kept on winning.
“It’s Yoongi, and-”
“No! Fuck - Ow!” Namjoon crushes his cell in his anger, the glass pieces piercing his skin. This is exactly what you were trying to prevent. You rush to the sink to grab paper towels to stop the bleeding.
“Okay, so let’s come up with a plan to stop them, then?” you say to soothe his nerves.
---
“So! They are all part of a beach clean up group. The next meeting is this weekend, what do you think? Want to go pick up some trash?”
“How did you find that out?” Namjoon's surprised expression makes you giggle.
“Facebook! I’m friends with them, can you believe it?” you laugh.
“Am I friends with them?” Namjoon’s eyes go wide as he checks his phone.
“Probably,” you giggle.
“Yoongi posted an event for tomorrow,” Namjoon scrolls through his phone, “A protest at City Hall.”
“I don’t have any plans, do you?” you smile.
Namjoon smiles brightly, pulling you into a hug. “Thank you, y/n.”
“For what?” you mutter, holding him close.
“For staying by my side. I know...it’s hard, to be around me,” he wants to hold you tighter, but he’s scared, it feels like there’s a million obstacles in his way, “I try hard to make things right, but,” he whispers. “I feel like I’m always ruining things.”
You look up at your friend who looks so small now, despite his towering size. “Joon, I’ll never leave you.”
He bends down to kiss you, lips pressing softly on yours. You breathe in, he smells so good, like pine, like the woods you used to explore together, reminding you of home. The same home and woods that your old classmates are trying to save. You break away from his kiss.
“I should, um, go. Big day tomorrow.”
“Wait,” his arm finds your wrist, “Stay?” The thought of you leaving now, after everything, after waking up to you for the past three days, cuddled next to him so peaceful and so beautiful, the thought of him waking up tomorrow alone again, makes Namjoon weak.
“Not tonight, Joonie.” You lay a kiss on his cheek, meant to say goodbye. But he turns his head to you, chasing after your lips.
“I’ll be gentle, I promise.”
You laugh softly, “Joon, if you want me, don’t be gentle this time.” You lean away, raising your eyebrows.
“You’ll get hurt.” You roll your eyes, turning away, reaching for the front door handle. Namjoon wraps his arm around your waist, other hand grabbing your hair, pressing you tight to him. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he says, voice low in your ear. You let a shameless moan escape you.
“Do you know what I want?” you shift against him, already feeling him hardening behind you. You look over your shoulder, up into his dark searching eyes. “I want you to stop holding back when you fuck me.” You move his hand on your waist down lower, into your pants, his fingertips grazing your center. “Please, Joon, please.”
Namjoon exhales, fist tightening in your hair. He feels your wetness on his fingers, sliding inside you, listening to your moans fill the quiet, like a sweet song. If he could listen to this melody forever, he would. He would give you anything you want, you don’t have to beg him like you do now, but your lust filled pleas make his chest tighten and his dick swell. And when you whine his name, mouth open and inviting, Namjoon wants nothing more than to make you his, over and over, your song only for his ears to hear.
He can’t control himself any longer, bending you over his couch. “Harder,” you moan. Namjoon slams his hips into yours, his sofa lurches forward, the edge of the armrest digs into your skin painfully. You hold in your voice, worried he’ll stop if you yell. The couch scratches across his floor every time he moves in and out, deep voice grunting behind you.
“Oof!” The couch tilts, the legs snap, dropping you down suddenly. You giggle as he laughs breathlessly.
---
You and Namjoon stay in the back of the assembly, listening to Taehyung address the crowd. You have to admit, your former classmate is made for the spotlight. He is so charismatic, rallying the group together with hopeful words of the future.
“Do you see anyone else you might know?” you whisper.
Namjoon nods towards the end of the stage, “Him. Do you remember?” You look over to stare at one of the most attractive men you’ve ever seen. You shake your head, unable to look away, already feeling the heat in your cheeks rising. “He was in a grade above us,” Namjoon whispers. The man looks towards your area in the crowd, giving you an even better view of him. You really can’t remember him, but whoever he is, he had the glow up of the century! “That’s Kim Seokjin.”
‘Kim Seokjin is a goddamn hottie.’ Namjoon pulls at your elbow, turning you around. “What’s wrong?” You turn to look over your shoulder shameless in your desire to look at him longer, but Namjoon pulls you closer to him.
“I think he noticed me,”
“Were you close?”
Namjoon nods, “It’s been so long, we lost touch.” He pauses, “You know, after that night, with everything that happened-”
“Well, c’mon,” you change the subject, trying to lift his mood, “Let’s grab a sign and blend in!”
The protest lasted for hours, you and Namjoon joined in with the chants to stop the illegal (and you found out, sometimes legal) dumping of waste. You actually enjoyed the protest, everyone was so nice, you could tell they really cared about helping their community.
You and Namjoon met an old lady whose husband was a fisherman, it was the only profession he knew for his whole life, and his livelihood was being threatened by the pollution. She was old, she couldn’t do much to help him, she said, but she took the bus into the city anytime she could afford to spread awareness. The way she spoke about her husband, you could tell how much she loved him, how much she wanted to make him happy. You related to her.
You and Namjoon met a group of college kids who were studying marine biology. They learned about the rising toxicity levels in the water, performed experiments of their own, and saw the results with their own eyes. They were here to save their future and the future of the marine life they loved so much. They were young and hopeful and made you miss that fading part of you.
You and Namjoon met a man who ran an animal sanctuary. He was so passionate about his work and saving the environment. He was delighted when you said you’d like to volunteer. He was a selfless man, a giving man, very much like your best friend. So you couldn’t stop smiling when they both hit it off, Namjoon finally finding another with a shared mutual affection for crabs of all species.
Each one of them had their own stories, reasons why they were protesting for a better world. It was inspiring, and you could tell Namjoon could feel their warmth too, the good energy in the crowd. It was good, until the policemen came to stop the protest.
“This is a peaceful protest.” Namjoon tried to reason with them, tried to calm the officers down, “We aren’t doing anything illegal.” He really tried, but it was Namjoon, who was arguing with the policemen, not RM, the superhero who they feared and respected; and they treated your friend like any other nuisance, with vitriol and violence.
On the other end of the crowd, people start screaming. Policemen began to use tear gas on the crowd. You and Namjoon run towards the commotion, becoming separated as you try to help the protestors. All around you people start fighting, and it’s no longer a peaceful protest anymore.
Protesters start running for safety. You protect as many people as you can, but there are rubber bullets and tear gas, so many policemen for the tiny crowd of protestors, so you run with them. You see Namjoon shielding protesters, you scream as policemen hit his back with bats, the rods breaking. Namjoon turns around with fire in his eyes, and you think your friend might actually turn on the officer, but Namjoon is too forgiving. You are not as forgiving, and you feel a special kind of satisfaction watching the policeman trip backwards, falling over another officer. You see other officers, thrown by an invisible force, and you have a sneaking suspicion who it might be.
“Yoongi!” You and Yoongi slam into each other, holding on to one another so neither of you falls. He looks at you, mouth opened wide in surprise, like he had just seen a ghost, shock etching his features, finally melting into relief.
“Come with me!” He pulls you through the crowd, down an alleyway. You run with him at full speed, glancing a look behind you, hoping to catch a glimpse of your best friend. But it's too dark, the street lights seem to turn off around you as the pair of you move.
You’re shoved into an unlocked door, both of you panting on the ground. “I have to go back,” you heave in air, winded, “I have to find my friend.”
“Y/n!”
“Joon?”
“Are you okay?” you both ask each other at the same time.
“You’re alive!” Jungkook exclaims, popping into the group, looking exhausted.
You’re ready to strangle Jungkook, turning on your heels and charging towards him. Well you try, if it weren’t for Namjoon, who lifts you like a doll in his arms. “Let me down, Joon! Where’s Taehyung?! Stop hiding, you coward!”
“Calm down!” You turn your head to see a very angry Kim Seokjin. “Why did you come here, to fight or talk?!”
‘Oh fuck,’ you think, ‘He’s even hotter when he’s mad.’ Jin smirks at you. You go limp in your friend's arms, embarrassed by the way everyone’s eyes are on you both. “Let gooo!” you whisper, self conscious, glaring at Namjoon.
Taehyung animates right in front of you. Namjoon yelps, you however, aim for his nose. Taehyung barely dodges you. Disappearing again. You turn around, grabbing for his hair.
“OW!” Taehyung’s head reanimates in your fist. Namjoon yells in horror.
“It’s getting easier to spot you, not so Mr. Invisible,” you say through clenched teeth. Taehyung grabs your hand, long slender fingers tight around your wrist.
“Y/n!? What did you do to her?!” Namjoon roars.
“Relax, she’s still there.” Jin says, massaging his temples, “Somewhere.”
You can fully see Taehyung now as he wraps himself around you.
“Oh shit, am I invi-?!” Taehyung covers your mouth.
“Y/n?!”
“Can we all stop fighting already!” Yoongi yells, annoyed.
Taehyung whispers in your ear, his hot breath back like last time, dragging you around Namjoon who looks eerily right through you. “Listen...I’m...sorry.” You stop struggling at his words, “I know what we did to you wasn’t right. And...I’m glad you’re okay. Can you blame me? Wouldn't you have done the same for him?” You look into his eyes, staring down at you with such conviction, it’s a look you’re familiar with. You know he’s just trying to protect his friends. You jerk your head away, and he moves his hand from your mouth slowly, fingers still lying irritatingly on your cheek.
“I get it, okay?” you whisper, “Don’t do it again, especially on Namjoon or you’ll regret it. I meant what I said.”
He gives you a weak smile. “You two were always close, huh?” Taehyung steers you out of the way of a frantic Namjoon. “What did you think about the protest? I was surprised, but..I’m glad you came, and saw for yourself how we’re treated.” You think about the people you met and you hope everyone is okay, you slump against Taehyung, full of regret and worry. He takes the opportunity to move you just out of Namjoon’s searching outstretched arm.
“Wait, how am I invisible too?” you whisper.
“As long as I touch you.” His hand moves from your mouth down your neck, skirting down between your breasts as he settles around your hips. “I can transfer my power to you.” This position is intimate, the way he holds you close, and even though the others can’t see either of you, you start to feel flustered by his proximity.
“Tae, bring her back. Namjoon is about to destroy the whole building.”
“Y/n!” Namjoon pulls you out of Taehyung’s grasp, hugging you close to him, his reaction not lessening the embarrassment you feel. His hold on you is too much, you wince, burying your head in his chest.
Taehyung crosses his arms, chewing on his bottom lip and glaring at Namjoon. “You know about us, but we also know you’re RM.”
“I’m n-not RM!”
“He’s not RM!”
“Seokjin can see your thoughts,” Yoongi adds.
“And you’re constantly thinking about him,” Jin looks at you knowingly and gestures to your friend.
“Jin, you’re a mind reader?!” Namjoon barks.
“I prefer the term, ‘Mind Spy.’ Sounds cooler, right? Just call me 006 Sense.”
‘Jin can read...minds? Is he reading my mind right now?’ You suddenly realize this entire time from the moment you noticed him you were thinking about how sexy he looked. ‘Oh god, stop thinking, stop thinking. Don’t think about his dick, y/n. WHY WOULD I THINK THAT?!’
Seokjin snickers, smiling at you.
Oh fuck, he definitely heard that thought. Why is it when you try not to think about something, it’s all you can think about. And you are definitely thinking about a naked Jin railing you with that same damn smirk.
“STOP LISTENING TO MY THOUGHTS.” You really thought Taehyung’s power was the most annoying, but Seokjin’s power is the absolute worst! You try not to think of either men, at least not at the same time, mortified by your spiraling thoughts. Jin cackles with laughter.
“Anyways,” Yoongi coughs. “The point is we know, so if you go to the police, we’ll let the whole world know who you are.”
“Think about what that would mean for you, your friends, your family, your girlfriend.” Jin says, looking at you.
“She’s n-not-”
Your eyes go wide, staring into Jin’s knowing eyes, thinking about all the times you fucked Namjoon and mentally cursing yourself.
“Ahh, I see, you’re just fuckbuddies,” he says, grinning, then adds. “She doesn’t like him like that, you don't have to worry,” turning to Taehyung, winking.
“I did not think that,” you glower.
Taehyung’s ears go red. “Stay out of my mind,” he mutters.
“It’s not my fault everyone’s thoughts are so loud. I’m the real victim here, having to listen to all your sex-crazed thoughts about each other, especially you,” he smirks, “dirty girl.”
Namjoon glares at Jin, jaw clenching. The men stare down each other. At times like these, when Namjoon stays so intimidatingly quiet, you wish you had the kind of power Jin possessed instead.
“I could tell you what he’s thinking, if you’d like,” Jin offers, breaking out into a smile.
The audacity this man has! You want to punch him in his smug beautiful face. Jin snickers. “You’re an asshole.”
“If I’m such an asshole why do you keep thinking about fucking me?”
Ugh, it’s not like you are purposely thinking that. It’s just damn hard not to, especially when you’re trying to stop yourself from thinking about anything really important that Jin could use against you. You cross your arms, looking away at him, deciding to just scream your thoughts as loud at possible.
“We’re leaving.” Namjoon growls, grabbing your arm and pulling you away from your thoughts.
“Don’t let him leave! He’s going to the police.”
“Joon? That’s not what you’re thinking, is it?” Why would he do that? Why would he risk his identity after what just happened? You look at him with questioning eyes.
Jungkook appears in front of you. You place yourself in between them, but Joon easily lifts your body, switching positions.
“Joon!” You hit his back, yelling, “Stop!”
“They broke into a bank, stole millions of dollars, blew up a government building, threatened The Mayor-”
“We had no other choice! Do you think we wanted to go this far? Look at what happened tonight. Regular people can’t make a difference. This is the only way, Namjoon. You use your powers to make the world a better place, right? Well, we decided, that’s what we’re going to do too. All of us.” Taehyung says.
You bite your tongue, uneasiness pooling at the pit of your stomach, wondering if that sweet old lady made it back on the bus home. Maybe Taehyung had a point. The room stays quiet. Taehyung looks over to Jin, who shakes his head no solemnly.
“Joon, you don’t need to fix everything all the time,” you say, turning to your friend, “Joon please. They’re not bad people.”
“Y/n, I’m trying to protect this city!"
“We’re trying-”
“They’re trying to protect this city too!” you yell. The men look between the two of you, surprise on their faces, Taehyung especially shocked you said exactly what he was about to say.
You sigh. Stepping away from your friend, walking over the imaginary line that divides Namjoon and Taehyung’s conflicting ideals, you’ve made a choice. You stand in the space between Yoongi and Taehyung.
“Y/n, what the hell are you doing?” You watch the way Namjoon tenses, hands in fists by his side.
“I’m joining them. If you want to have them arrested, then, I guess, you’ll have to arrest me too.”
“Why...why are you doing this?”
You bite your lip, with all eyes on you, “I don’t think you’re wrong, Joonie, but they’re not wrong either. Please, let’s just go home.” You hate the way he looks at you, so betrayed and hurt. He lowers his head, clenching his fist.
You and the men turn to Jin who stays silent and then, after a long time, nods his head.
---
Now you really wished you had Jin’s power, walking silently beside your best friend, close enough to reach out for his hand, yet you feel a thousand miles apart, worrying how cracked your friendship has become.
You turn down the street towards your apartment. “I’ll walk you to your home,” It’s the first sentence Namjoon uttered since you left the group.
“Okay,” you say softly.
The rest of your trip stays in stark bitter silence, until the key scrapes into the lock, and you open your door and finally brave a look at Namjoon. Your eyes meet, you want to tell him sorry, say anything to take away his pained frown and replace it with his dimpled smile, but you keep your thoughts in, ready to tell him goodbye instead.
You weren’t expecting for him to kiss you, pulling you into him so swiftly and slamming the door behind him so hard it shakes the frame.
He kisses you hard, knocking the wind out of you along with all your previous thoughts. You had been secretly terrified Namjoon was never going to forgive you. Your fingers dig into his scalp, pulling him closer, happy to have Namjoon back for now, welcoming all his bruising touches, limbs tangled as you both race to your bedroom.
Namjoon hovers over you, his strong hand ripping off your shirt, destroying the fabric of your skirt, tearing your panties easily. You’re not hating this new aggressive version of your friend, but you can’t help but feel uneasiness at his sudden shift in attitude, too afraid to ask him, why now?
Namjoon, usually sweet and polite, ravages your body, making you shiver with the way his eyes roam over your nakedness, dark and possessive, his tongue rolling down your skin, lips sucking marks across your chest. His large hands grab harshly at your curves, fingers pinching your nipples, hands hastily exploring every inch of your body like he’s running on borrowed time.
And then he stops, looking down at you, eyes searching yours.
“Joon?” you reach to touch his cheek and he leans into your touch. Your eyes are filled with worry and questions. Joon notices and leans down, capturing your lips in a kiss, answering you this way, with his tongue in your mouth and fingers pressing into your cunt. He swallows your moans, and when he replaces his fingers with his hard length, swallows your screams too. He races to reach his high, pulling you over his dick again and again until you’re numb from pleasure. You let him handle your body the way he likes.
You’re grateful to be needed by him again.
---
“Is it true, what Jin said? You don’t like me?”
You pull your head up, chin on Namjoon’s chest, looking at your best friend. He’s naked under you still.
“Joon, you’re my best friend,” you look away shyly, “-I do like you, but sometimes it feels like you’re not even there anymore. RM just takes over, and I can’t reach you.”
Namjoon shakes his head, his fingers fiddling with your own, “RM is who I am.”
You stay silent, even though Namjoon can’t hear your thoughts, you feel guilty, because in that moment all that comes to your mind is how much you don’t like RM.
---
You survey the wreckage. It looked like a mini hurricane ran through the building, legs stumbling over wreckage as you walk up to a very disgruntled bank teller.
“Sorry you have to see me again,” you greet, pulling out your checklist, “Care to fill me in on the details before we begin the cleanup?”
You listen to the bank teller explain what occurred dramatically, like they couldn’t believe it with their own eyes. “There was RM, right there!” “And another man, he had superpowers too!” “They fought! He beat the strongest man alive!”
You feel the blood drain from your face. Namjoon didn’t speak to you today, or the day before, and you had been too scared to rock your already shaky relationship to reach out to him first.
He should have contacted you! He should have told you! You look around the wreckage, and then you see it, across the open safe, in purple spray paint, two lines connecting into a V.
‘Well, that’s going to take awhile to clean…’
It’s four in the morning now and you're relentlessly pounding on Namjoon’s door.
“Joon! Are you in there?!” You sigh, he has to have a spare key somewhere, and if not then you’ll just-
---
Namjoon looks up from his book to see your very upset face staring down at him.
“How did you get in here?!”
“Kim Namjoon, why didn’t you answer me - you’re hurt!” He shakes you off when you rush to his side.
“Yeah, well, I was introduced to some more old classmates,” he says bitterly.
“There’s more...?” You feel sick, worried for the future, how many more people like Kim Taehyung are there?
Namjoon nods. “Do you remember Jung Hoseok? Yeah? Remember his nickname?”
“Hmm, the classroom’s sun? Because he brightened the room with his presence.”
“Well looks like he can do a lot more than that now. It’s like he controls the weather, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
You take a seat on the floor by his still broken couch, your head resting on Namjoon’s knee. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
Namjoon clenches his jaw, patting your head. “They’re dangerous. I don't want you anywhere near them.”
“I can still try to help you, Joon.”
“Would you help me or help them?!”
You glare at him. “Of course I would help you, you idiot,” you say, reaching over and smacking him on the head.
“Ow,” he winces, rubbing the spot. “I’m already in enough pain, woman!”
You jump up and hug him close to you, “Your job might be to protect the whole world, but my job is to protect you, okay?” Joon hugs you back, sighing.
“I know you said to let it go, but I can’t, I just can’t. Not now.”
You nod, ready to help him for your own selfish reasons, swallowing down your anger because wanting revenge is not very heroic and Namjoon wouldn't approve, “They had to have a reason for stealing more money, and I think I might know why-”
“Tell me later, now, just rest with me. I always feel better afterwards when you do,” Namjoon grunts, moving over to give you space.
You settle down by your friend’s side, cuddling on the couch. Both content now that you’re together again. “Remind me to fix this couch,” you mumble.
“Shhh, come closer.” You don’t believe you could get any closer to Namjoon, but you scoot your body over, paying careful attention to where he’s hurt. You’ll have to fix that too.
---
Namjoon lands in front of the oil rig on the outskirts of the city, placing you on the ground. “Whoa! Why don’t we do that more often? I give that trip five stars.”
Namjoon scoffs, smiling. “You really think they are going to try to blow this place up too?”
You nod. “I looked into it and this company has tons of fines for illegal waste dumping. Also, when we were up in the air didn’t you notice how all the street lights went dark in the surrounding area. I bet you anything the street cameras aren’t working either.” You and your caped friend walk the perimeter and sure enough Namjoon’s sharp eyes spot blinking lights under one of the oil tankers.
“Please tell me you know how to diffuse one of those things.”
“If I crush it, does that count as diffusing it?”
Jungkook appears, “I can’t let you do that, RM.”
“And I can’t let you blow up a tanker, Jungkook. What are you trying to accomplish now?”
“He’s got a point, for a group who wants to save the planet, blowing up the planet seems counterintuitive.”
Jungkook shifts awkwardly. Disappearing and then reappearing with Kim Taehyung in tow.
“RM,” he nods towards your friend, “Y/n, are you here to help or try and stop us again?”
You speak first, “We’re stopping you this time, V.”
“What's the reason this time, Taehyung?”
“Do you know how many times this company has spilled oil into the ocean? When’s the last time the media covered an oil spill? When's the last time people cared? But if there was a massive spill just outside the city, an explosion on top of that, that’s worth a camera crew, don’t you think? People might start to care again.”
“Can’t you just get your new Mayor friend to do something about this instead, why do you always have to take such drastic measures? I can’t defend you for this, Taehyung.” you yell, hoping to talk some sense into him.
Taehyung shakes his head, “Every second we waste trying to go through bureaucratic red tape the planet is closer to dying. In thirty years we might not even have any fish to save. We have to act now!”
You look between the men, each standing tall and unwavering. You reach for Namjoon’s hand, giving it an encouraging squeeze. “Sorry V, we’re not going to let you do this.”
Taehyung sighs. “I’m sorry too.”
If RM was the world's very first superhero, V was the very first super villain. Except there were multiple of him, all with the same ideals, all powerful like him...like Jung Hoseok.
Jungkook disappears and reappears with one more man. You barely recognize him, you knew him as the happy go lucky boy who always joked around and smiled brightly. He wasn’t smiling now. With tan skin and sharp jawline, lips pressed into a tight line, Jung Hoseok stands next to them, eyes full of fire.
The ground starts shaking, Namjoon grabs you and flies high into the night sky. In that moment it starts raining, hard, lightning filling the clouds, and Namjoon makes a hasty landing again, hiding you behind tall barrels before he leaves to stop Hoseok. Wind shoots out, blowing debris and boxes straight towards your friend.
“Namjoon!” you scream his name. Wooden crates explode against Namjoon’s body. Namjoon picks up a tractor, throwing it towards Hoseok. The metal rig flies through the air, stopping short of its target thanks to another strong gust of wind. You watch stunned. You’ve never seen such raw power, both men are incredible and terrifying. You never thought anyone else could match Namjoon’s strength until today.
Namjoon continues to be pummeled by machinery, the rain making things so much harder for him. You can’t take watching him get slowly beaten down, struggling against the wind and rain and Hoseok’s constant barrage. You can’t take it anymore!
A large metal shipping container flies through the air, powered by Hoseok’s wind. You scream for Namjoon to notice, but he’s fallen, slipped to the ground, already so beaten up, and the large metal object is getting closer and closer, about to hit him.
So you run towards your friend.
And you make a decision.
The shipping container stops.
Namjoon looks up at you, your body stiff and shaking with adrenaline, your arms outstretched above him, the container has stopped in mid air. You look down at your best friend and the only thing you can think to say is a weak, “Sorry.”
You wave the container away with both arms. And before Joon can question you, you wave your hand backward, sliding him far away from you, moving him to safety, so he couldn’t see you and couldn’t stop you, because you are not a superhero, you’re not like RM, you never wanted to be a hero, and you swore to Taehyung what you would do if he tried to hurt your friend again.
You lift Hoseok off the ground, the ground splits beneath you, but you bond the earth back to the way it was as quick as it happened. You were an expert in putting things back together, after all.
With a look, you throw Hoseok into the dirt hard, knocking him out. Jungkook appears in front of you and a simple lift of your hand stills him. He looks at you wide eyed as you keep him from teleporting.
“I warned you.” You can feel Taehyung behind you. Even if he remained invisible you could feel his molecules, like you could feel all the surrounding molecules. You weren’t lying to him when you told him you could feel him.
The surrounding lights turn on, blinding you. So you shatter the lights and the surrounding cameras, and you shatter the explosives, moving them away from the tanker with a concentrated glance, containing their explosions with your mind. It wasn’t easy, nothing like you’ve experienced, the combustion so fast and intense, but you managed to keep them contained, breaking your mind control with Jungkook in the process.
He teleports Hoseok away, but before he can take Taehyung you stop him again. Jungkook tries his hardest to shift, it worries you, the way his molecules bounce around, trying to break free. You can feel Joon moving closer. You can almost see him in your mind, see his shocked face. You stop him from moving any closer and you can imagine the disappointment on his face.
You feel like crying.
You look at Taehyung who looks at you in shock, limbs pressed hard to his sides, eyes full of fear. He’s scared of you.
You can’t do it. You can’t hurt him. But you don’t know how much longer you can hold three men, who are each trying desperately to break free from your powers.
The rain and wind has stopped since knocking Hoseok down, but it doesn't stop the chill that fills your bones, knowing you can never go back to the way your life used to be. You close your eyes. You can feel the stuttering breaths Namjoon takes, he’s fighting against your powers. This is what you wanted to avoid. You start to cry.
“Jungkook, take me some place far away,” Jungkook's scared doe eyes watch you, still frozen. And then you let him go, reaching out for his arm.
---
You land in sand, soft and warm, falling down. The sun feels good on your cold wet body. You steady your breathing, waiting for your head to stop spinning.
Jungkook lies next to you panting too. You’re still holding his hand, scared he’s going to leave you. You'll be alone now, really alone.
“You had powers this whole time,” Jungkook grunts, doubling over into himself when he tries to stand up.
You nod, crying, placing your free hand on Jungkook’s shoulder, concentrating on all the areas that hurt him.
In all the days you spent by Namjoon’s side, you learned a few tricks about your telekinesis, one of them being ways to heal bruises if you concentrated hard enough on his body. You do the same for Jungkook, who stands up feeling better, shocked again by your actions.
He pulls your weeping body out of the sand. And Jeon Jungkook, sweet boy turned supervillain, hugs you close and lets you cry on his shoulder.
---
You sit high on top of the oil rig, bored, moving things back together, like pieces on a chess board, with a lazy flick of your hand. Your cleaning crew had all gone and you were left to “survey the situation.” What you really did all those nights is this, move what could be savable from the piles of debris in your cleaning trucks and piece them back together. It was a simple process and you’ve gotten really quick at it.
You can feel your friend, you feel him flying towards you, landing softly behind you. You don’t turn around, continuing your cleanup, since you’re on a schedule. Namjoon sits next to you.
“You have powers?” His eyes go wide at the movement below, mouth dropping in an ‘O’ and all you can think is, ‘cute.’
“Yeah,” you smile weakly, rubbing your arms up and down, trying to massage away the phantom pain. "It happened the same night as you," you whisper, looking down at the destruction, you go back to picking up trash and throwing it into the back of your trucks with your mind, working as he watches you in shock.
Eventually, when you can’t take his staring any longer you snap. “What?!”
Namjoon grabs you into a hug, holding you tightly. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
The truth is, you hated your powers. Namjoon embraced his powers from the very beginning, and you were happy for him. But the last thing you wanted to do is run around in a cape acting like Miss Fix It. You didn’t want to help people who had always treated you horribly. “Because you're the hero, Joonie, not me.”
Namjoon lets you go, eyes sparkling. “But, you’re like me. You could help me. We could be a...team.”
This is exactly what you were afraid of. “I...don’t want that kind of life.”
“What? But you have a gift, y/n. It has to mean something that we both got it.”
You look down at the wreckage, a crime scene, taped off from the public. “Is that what you call this? A gift?”
“You power is amazing. Think about how many people we can help together!”
“And that’s what makes you a hero,” you sigh. You outstretch your hand, wishing to caress his cheek, but pull your hand back, not allowing yourself the thing you want most, because you couldn’t give Namjoon what he wanted. “I-I’m sorry, no.” You stand up, ready to leave.
Namjoon grabs your wrist, strong hand like a vice. Holding you there, you felt trapped, like an animal. So you concentrate, on his hand, his body. He gasps, locked in a prison of his own now. Body frozen. You pull your hand away delicately.
“No, Namjoon. I don't want to be like you.”
---
You unlock your cellphone, pointing the camera at your face, hoping you were right and weren’t about to make a fool of yourself.
“Okay, whichever one of you who's been controlling the cameras, meet me at the coffee shop on Main at noon tomorrow, I want to talk.”
You sip your latte, waiting. It’s an hour past noon. You guess you were wrong.
You walk down the street, letting your thoughts wander. You were so certain you were right. You sigh, 'Everything is a mess now,' a mess you can't fix, you think, turning down an alley. You notice a stray kitten, you still have a piece of leftover muffin you purchased at the coffee shop, so you bend down calling the kitten over.
“Hey kitty, look at you, so pretty!”
“Don’t let his cute look fool you, Jimin is a menace.”
You stop petting the kitty and turn around, meeting Yoongi’s eyes.
“What a coincidence meeting you here.”
Yoongi smiles, head tilting, eyes narrowing, “Not that much of a coincidence, actually.” He turns his head and looks at the shop next door, at the screens in the windows replaying advertisements. In that moment, all the screens go black.
“So I was right..you were the one controlling the cameras at the bank.”
“Sort of, I don’t control them. Not like you,” he scrutinizes you up and down, “I’m more like a tech ‘talker.’”
You go back to petting the kitty, who has his tail wrapped around your calf. “Same outcome, isn’t it?”
“What do you want, y/n?”
“You and Joon used to be close, right?” Yoongi leans against the building, nodding. “Please, convince Taehyung to stop this madness. Someone is going to die if you keep this up. Is that what you want? I know you’re a good man, Min Yoongi.”
Yoongi swallows hard, mulling over your words. “Well, you've definitely neutered him. They’ve halted their plans for now, so you don't have to worry. Actually, that's why we came here.”
He bends down, hand cupping your cheek, stunning you, “All this time we were worried about RM when we should have been worried about you, but do you know what I think? I think you’ll end up being very useful.”
The tail around your leg tightens, you look down and see scales, and before you can react fangs pierce your skin.
You fall down, numb, watching as the snake slithers away and transforms into a man. Your former classmate Park Jimin, looking lethal, watches you, pulling out a syringe from his pocket. “It’s anti-venom.” He pierces your thigh with the needle and Yoongi covers your mouth with a rag and suddenly everything goes black.
---
“You know I could destroy this entire fucking building if I wanted to.”
You’re chained in the dark. They were smarter this time, they took your phone. You lie on a bed, hands and legs restrained.
“But you won’t.”
“Won’t I?” The ground shakes, the lamp rattles and books fall from their shelves in warning.
Jin sits beside you. “Nope, you won’t.”
“You know these restraints won’t hold me.”
“But you kind of look sexy like this, all tied up and vulnerable.” Jin’s hand runs across your jaw, you decide to crush his windpipe.
“Jokes on you, because I’m into this.” He gasps, coughing when you finally let him go.
“You’re disgusting.”
“That’s not what you’re really thinking.”
You think of every possible way to disembody the man before you. Jin sighs, “I know you don’t like our methods, but y/n, I’ve been in The Mayor’s mind. I’ve been in the same room as congressmen and CEOs…it’s inhumane, how they really are…trust me," he mutters. He reaches for your restrained hand, undoing the knot and interlacing your fingers, “I just want peace.”
You’re reminded of a quote. ‘He who wants peace, must prepare for war.’ you think.
“Claudius said that.”
“Yeah, well, he also didn’t mean you should go starting wars.”
“You don’t think people aren’t already dying for their corporate greed? The war is already here.”
“Joon is going to keep trying to stop you. Even if it kills him.”
“You love him,” he says. Your head spins hearing the truth spoken so bluntly and out loud where you can’t deny it. “If you want to save his life, contain him instead of shielding him from us.”
“I can’t betray him, I’ve already lied to him so much.”
Jin sighs, rubbing his thumb over your hand. “Do you want to know what The Mayor really thinks about RM?”
---
“Try anything funny and I’ll pluck all the feathers from your body...from the inside.”
The raven on your shoulder squawks loudly.
“She won’t, actually she’s wondering if you can transform into a man with two penises,” Jin laughs beside you.
‘Ugh, I thought that one time!’ Fucking hell. Now that’s all you can think about.
“Both of you shut up.” You knock the coffee cup out of Taehyung’s hand with your mind, who glares at you. The nerve! You didn't even want to be here, you promised you'd help Taehyung under one condition, when the time came, they would use their powers to help you too.
“Yoongi says once we start, we have approximately five minutes before the police arrive this time. And even less time before y/n’s BFF shows.”
You scoff, “Don’t you think hitting the same bank three times is a little-”
“Funny,” Jin interrupts.
“I’ll give you three guesses which billionaires keep their money invested with this institution,” Taehyung says.
“Ahh. Still-”
“Alright, see you on the other side.” Taehyung grabs the back of your head, pulling you into a quick intense kiss, silencing your retorts.
You stumble backward, surprised. “What was that for?”
“Just in case something goes wrong, this is pretty risky.”
“I won’t let anything happen to you, idiot.” Taehyung smirks, going invisible. “But try and kiss me again, and I’ll get Jungkook to hop you over a volcano.”
You and Jin move to a deserted corner, you close your eyes and concentrate.
“What are you doing?”
“Feeling for anything off, I don't feel good about this.” Shit.
“What?!” You sense explosives. ‘You promised no more bombs!’ you think. “It’s not ours.” Jin looks around, spying over everyone’s thoughts, making sure no one caught on.
‘Oh no.’ You feel bombs placed inside the safe, exactly into the spot a certain pair of supervillains are about to hop into. ‘Oh fuck.’
“This seems kind of murderous, I thought we were supposed to be the bad guys?”
‘Cover me.’ Seokjin places his arms outstretched on either side of your head. You place your hands on Seokjin’s chest, palms towards the safe.
“I don’t think now's the time to feel each other up.”
“Shut up.” You concentrate, holding the energy at your fingertips. You are going to have to contain the explosions like you did before, but this time, the area you manipulate has to be even tighter to protect the pair inside the small safe.
Jin can hear the panic in his teammates' thoughts as they watch the explosions detonate in front of their eyes, like tiny black holes collapsing into themselves, the ash falls to the ground after you put your hands down.
“They’re okay. Are you okay?” Jin holds you steady.
“He’s here,” you say.
“Hey Joonie,” you whisper, standing beside your best friend.
“Y/n! Where have you been? What are you doing here?”
Jin drapes his arm over your shoulder. “We were thinking of opening a joint bank account together.” You elbow him in the ribs.
Namjoon, uncharacteristically, grabs Seokjin by the throat.
“Namjoon!” you hiss, freezing him.
“I can’t breathe,” Jin wheezes, “Not that I’m complaining.”
You separate the pair. Freezing Namjoon. Counting down the minutes until the police arrive. Because, actually, you needed the police here. So you could freeze them as well.
Because this time, the bank robbery was merely a distraction.
By now, Jungkook and Taehyung should have kidnapped the CEO of the oil company. Yoongi should be working on hacking into the company's computers, finding all their dirty little secrets. And Hoseok, well-
The corporate building falling was heard all the way from the bank.
“What have you done?” Namjoon grunts, using his strength to break your control little by little, you can feel how much power he truly had.
Namjoon was no longer holding back.
But you, after all these years spent moving concrete slabs, putting buildings back together, holding foundations from falling, have prepared your mind for this.
“Whoa.” Jin watches everything not held down starts to float. “Remind me not to piss her off again,” he says to the monkey on his shoulder, Jimin chirps back.
You walk closer to Namjoon. He grunts, movements jerky, pulling himself out from your control to be pulled back in.
“This is not you. y/n. This is..not you!” he roars. They have to have done something to you, it must have been V, you’re being controlled somehow, Namjoon has to save you!
“I don't care,” you bend down, bending Namjoon's body too. You place your forehead against his. “As long as you’re okay.” All your life you've tried to live in Namjoon's shadow, tried to parrot his ideals to make him happy. Namjoon always did the right thing, always. He used his powers selflessly and lived by a creed. You used your powers selfishly to win at claw machines, escape trouble, and make your life easier. And now, you're going to use your powers selfishly again, if only to make sure good people like Namjoon continue to do what you don't have the courage to do.
Jungkook places his hand on your shoulder. Jin and Jimin on their side of him. “Jin, before we leave, show him.” Jin walks over to your best friend, placing his hand on his head, letting the thoughts flow out of him. “So you can understand why I have to do this.” You hope he understands, you hope he forgives you.
“See you, Joonie.” You place a soft kiss on your best friend's cheek.
Namjoon bursts into your new apartment leaving a very Namjoon sized hole in your door.
‘Goddammit.’ You wave your hands, reconstructing the wood behind him. You move the cat out of your lap away. Jimin jumps on the table, hissing.
“Was it really you?”
You can’t lie to him, so you simply nod your head.
Namjoon picks up your living room chair, throwing it at the wall. You stop it before it connects, putting it back in place with a flick of your head.
“Why did you do it, why?”
“You know why.”
“This is all V’s fault, goddamn egomaniac, running for mayor. He forced you didn’t he? Tell me!” You've never seen Namjoon like this, so consumed with anger and sadness, it breaks your heart.
“He’s not so bad.” you murmur, closing your eyes, unable to face Namjoon’s sad watery eyes, “I did it to protect you.”
“NO!” Namjoon holds your head in his hands, shaking you. It hurts to see him like this, so weary and lost, eyes full of unshed tears. “I feel like I barely know who you are anymore,” he chokes. “This entire time you lied to me, for years. You know, I felt so alone sometimes. Sometimes I thought why me, I felt like everyone was counting on me. That you were-” Namjoon pauses. “But you never needed me, did you?”
“No.” you say. It didn't feel like the truth, but it didn't feel like a lie either. “Joon, what if...what if we run away. You and me?” You look pleadingly at your friend. The way he looks at you, you think to yourself he might just say yes, he might choose you the way you always chose him.
“I have to protect the city, now more than ever.”
“Of course.” You walk to your balcony. You feel Namjoon behind you. You want him to reach out to you, hug you, but you don’t know if he’ll ever touch you again. “So are you going to arrest me, then?”
Namjoon laughs bitterly, it's not like he had any proof, Taehyung and his friends made sure of that. “No, I’m not. Some hero I am.”
“You’ll always be my hero.”
Namjoon punches your glass door, shattering the glass, pieces flying in every direction. You reassemble it before the shards can hit you. Namjoon grabs you by the collar, slamming you into the glass, so hard it cracks against your spine. You easily fix that too. “You’re a murderer.”
“You saw what he would have done to you.” Seokjin had shown you the plans The Mayor had for Namjoon, the way he was plotting to experiment on your friend, turn him into a lab rat, and tear him apart if he had to so he could steal your friend's powers. He would have killed Namjoon just to release himself from V's clutches.
His fists tighten around your shirt, you could stop him if you wanted to, but you deserved it, so you let him continue. “I can’t love you, I-I can’t love a murderer.”
You kiss him and you don’t know whether it’s the last time you’ll ever feel his lips against yours, so you don't stop until he flies away.
---
“I’ll be there soon, Jin! Some of us still try to act like upstanding members of society!” You listen to Seokjin whine about how his power can’t reach through phones, and you suggest Yoongi help him, but the line mysteriously cuts out before you can finish your sentence. You sigh, pulling out your clipboard, surveying the pool.
Wait…“Where's the pool?!” You yell. Your assistant points at the pile of rubble.
“There.”
You groan, wheeling around as another larger pile across from you tumbles to the ground. “Where is he?!” you berate your poor assistant who points towards aforementioned rumbling pile.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Err well I was trying to help by moving this boulder for you, but then it...broke into pieces.” Namjoon says sheepishly.
You look towards the sky, cursing your existence. “Are you doing this to me on purpose? It seems like my cleanups have doubled since I stopped charging for my services.”
After everything that has transpired, you changed your specialty super hero clean up crew to a non-profit environmental clean up organization, but what your new profession really did was serve as the perfect front for your newfound partnership with V and his posse of super powered activists.
“It’s not like you need the money,” Joon says annoyed. He's been trying to stop the latest string of thefts targeting the homes of the city's elite for months, but you and your friend's are annoying exceptional thieves.
“Well maybe if I didn’t spend all my time cleaning up this city after you, I wouldn’t need to participate in certain extracurricular activities.”
“Yeah right, you do it because you enjoy pissing me off.”
You scoff, “If I piss you off so much then arrest me, God of Destruction.”
Namjoon narrows his eyes at you, standing in your space, towering over you. You suspect he is trying to look intimidating, but how can you be scared of him? Even now, with his hardened eyes, chest puffed out, you just find him cute. “Tell your assistant to go home.”
“GO HOME, I GOT IT FROM HERE,” you yell.
When the two of you are finally alone you turn to Namjoon, stealing a kiss. He hovers in mid air, moving just out of reach of you.
So you use your powers to lift yourself off the ground as well. Namjoon raises an eyebrow when you smirk at him, "Have you always been able to do that?"
You shrug, "Probably, now I just know how."
You survey the wreckage from above, "This is going to take me all day, even with my superpowers," you whine.
Namjoon stays hovered next to you, coughing, "Do you want me to bring you dinner?"
"Only if it's Thai food."
"Joon, I know why you did this," you chew on a dumpling, sitting inside the emptied pool with your old friend, watching the sun set together after a very long day of cleaning. Namjoon had stayed close by, to your annoyance, seeming to make more mess than really helping. "You can't stop me from going to The Mayor's gala."
"Whatever Mayor Kim is planning, you don't need to be a part of it." You can't help but laugh, you knew Namjoon couldn't stand Taehyung as Mayor. No matter how much good he was bringing to the city, Namjoon knew what went on behind the scenes, and he made it his mission to bring V, and Mayor Kim Taehyung, down.
"How about you be my date, we'll go together."
Namjoon scoffs, hands crossing on his large chest, looking you over. "I've already received an invite, Tae sure must want me there, to get you to try to convince me. What's his game?"
You frown, "That's not why I asked. But you're probably right." you stretch, full of food. "Anyways, I'd like to see you try and stop us," you yawn your threat, not really caring either way.
His pinky finger brushes against you own, Namjoon exhales a long sigh. "You know, the last time I helped the Police Chief, he asked me to follow a lead on a certain Syndicate Leader." Namjoon says, glancing over to you as you busy yourself with your food silently listening to his story.
"When I finally found him, he tried to shoot me," he pauses, waiting for you to speak, but you stay silent, and he continues, "But for some reason the gun didn't go off, no matter how many times he pulled the trigger."
"That's lucky," you hum.
"And actually, the only time his gun did work, is when he turned the gun on himself and shot his foot. I still don't know why he would do that. Do you?"
"People do odd things they normally wouldn't when backed into a corner, I guess."
"Is that so?" The pool is quiet, the night is chilly, and the way Namjoon stares at you leaves you boiling on the inside, your heart screaming for him.
"So am I going to have to ask Jin to be my date, instead?"
Namjoon bends down, stealing your breath away with a kiss. You stayed still and inhaled him, his woodsy smell was something you could never forget, one you yearned for when he wasn't around you and made you miss all the times you used to spend together when he was.
His arms stayed tight and crushing around your body, keeping you warm. His mouth still so close to yours, the soft skin of his lips grazing yours when he speaks again.
"If I catch you there, I'm not going to hold back."
And that makes you smile.
---
I swear, this always happens, enjoy this break in programming fueled by a random idea and collective Kim Namjoon thirst. I hope you enjoyed <3.
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likeastarstar · 2 months ago
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6:13 PM- Namjoon
(A/N: 5/7 NNN! Feedback is appreciated, as always!)
It had only been three weeks, but it felt like an eternity.
You could tell it was getting to Joon, tension radiating off of his body at all times. You felt bad, but this had been his idea in the first place after Jin joked that there was no way your boyfriend could resist cumming for an entire week.
"It's just a month," Joon scoffed, crossing his arms stubbornly. "I'm not some horny teenager- I'm an adult, I can do this."
Turns out he didn't, considering the moment he came home to you cooking dinner for him, he lost his shit.
You heard the door open behind you, Joon clamoring in after working all day. You could tell he was annoyed, door slamming shut dramatically behind him, loud huffing sounds as he shoved his shoes off in the entryway. The noise stopped suddenly, the sound of his footsteps ceasing as well.
"You're cooking," He said, less as a question and more of an observation. There was a strange tone to his voice that made you turn to look at him, an equally strange look on his face where he stood a few feet away from you, wide eyes staring at you.
"Y-yeah," You answered, confused as to why he was acting so strangely. "Your mom gave me a bunch of recipes to try so I figured-"
"Take your clothes off." Joon said, cutting you off.
You blanched, caught completely off guard, "Huh?"
Joon said nothing, crossing the room in seconds and reaching behind you to flick off the stove before pulling your body against his, "I said, take your clothes off."
"What about the bet-"
"Baby, screw the bet," He snapped, putting two hands on your hips and backing you into the counter, pressing the entire length of his body against yours. "Can I please fuck you?"
You said nothing, unable to speak at the moment, so instead you nodded your head vigorously, kissing him harshly. He moaned against your lips, pressing his mouth into yours as his tongue made its way into your mouth. His lips were soft against yours but everything else about the kiss was rough, desperate clashing. You liked the noises he made, demanding more from you as you rocked against him. His hands trembled slightly as they grazed your body, pushing into the soft skin under your shirt. He lifted your shirt up and off your head, smiling against your lips when he felt your hands pushing the waistband of your pants down as well. He pulled his own shirt off quickly, letting you run your hands over his tan skin, nails digging into his muscle. You liked the red marks they left behind, eyes tracking the blush tones left in your wake.
You could feel his hard cock pressing against your stomach and you gasped as he took your hips in his hands and spun you around quickly, bending you over the kitchen counter. He pushed his cock against your ass, grinding into the soft flesh crudely, "I missed touching you like this, did you miss me? If I touch your pussy right now, are you gonna be wet for me?"
"Y-Yeah, I missed you so much," You moaned, feeling his hand slide down your body, resting his palm against your lower back. His other hand dragged against your center, every part of your body buzzing as he sunk his middle finger into you. You flattened your palms against the cool countertop and turned so that your cheek pressed against the surface, able to watch Namjoon pump his hand in and out of you.
"Tell me how much," he urged, "Wanna hear how much you want me.""You're so needy," You joked, moaning when he added a finger. "I-I really missed you touching me, missed your fingers and your cock. Wanted you to fuck me so badly, I dreamt about it."
"Me too, baby." He smiled, grinning at you cockily. He leaned over your body, mouthing at your back as his fingers pumped in and out of you, rubbing at your walls. You could feel him filling you up for the first time in weeks, overly sensitive from being so touch starved. A shiver ran down your spine and you squeezed around him, feeling his fingers hook inside of you slightly, pressing against your walls. He kept up his rhythm, occasionally pulling out to spread your slick wetness through your folds and running up to your clit. "Do you want to cum around my fingers?"
You bucked your hips back, fucking yourself on his hand before shaking your head, "C-Cock- want your cock instead. Wanna cum around your cock, not fingers."
"What about both?" He mumbled frowning slightly.
"No- want you now." You urged, voice desperate.
He nodded silently and you felt his fingers pull out of you, the sound of his fly unzipping making your mouth water. You peered back at him to watch him suck his fingers into his mouth, licking at them in an obscene fashion that made your head spin. You were so focused on the lewd action you jumped slightly when you felt the head of his cock lined up at your pussy, making Joon laugh softly.
You can't tell who's more relieved when he pushes in completely in one smooth movement, loud gasps from both of you harmonizing. His cock filled you to the brim, stretching your walls as he pumped in and out of you. His skin felt hot on yours, never losing contact for too long. He goes slow, too slow for your liking so you take matters into your own hands, moving your hips back to meet his thrusts quickly. You circle your hips, throwing your ass back as you chased your own high. Namjoon stopped moving altogether, too enthralled with watching you control the pace completely.
"Holy shit," He moaned, "Keep fucking yourself on my cock, yeah- just like that."
You gasped, rocking against him faster still, "F-Fuck," You mumbled, "Feels so good."
Joon hummed in response, noticing that you were close by the way your pussy spasmed around his cock, the sway of your hips faltering for a moment so he reached forward, gripping your shoulder harshly and tugging you upright by it. You gasped, slamming your hand down on the countertop to support your weight as his other hand gripped your hip bruisingly, holding you still. You couldn't buck against him like this, reduced to rolling your hips against him as he took control, thrusting into you rapidly.
"That good?" He grunted, slamming his hips against yours. You nodded, placing your hand over his on your shoulder as the other one played with your nipple, tugging at the bud the way you liked.
Joon moaned, watching you play with your own tit and angled his hips slightly, hitting the right spot in you that made your vision white out for a moment, a loud cry falling from your lips as you came around his cock.
Namjoon held you down, sure to leave bruises as your pussy tightened, warm walls pulsing around him, triggering his own release. He came in you, muffling a low moan by pushing his face into your neck, warm heat spreading through your body. You two rocked against each other for a moment, milking your orgasms until you felt your knees give out slightly, only staying upright because of Joon's hold on you.
"Stay here for a moment," You mumbled, wrapping a hand behind you to hold him inside of you. He nodded silently, hugging you loosely as he caught his breath.
"Jin was right," Joon grumbled, kissing the back of your neck, "I can't resist you."
"Good," You smiled, humming in a pleased sort of way. "That's the way it's supposed to be."
"Don't sound so smug," Joon scoffed, flicking your side lightly. You shrugged, secretly liking how desperate he was for you.
"Oh well, there's always next year."
"I'm never doing that shit again," Joon said quickly, pulling out of you slowly. "If I ever suggest it again, you have my full permission to slap me."
"Kinky," You joked, jumping when he pinched you in retaliation.
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heartbreakmotel13 · 4 months ago
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┊͙ ˘͈ᵕ˘͈ ʀᴏᴏᴍ 𝟷𝟹𝟺𝟹𝟺𝟶 ⋆.ೃ࿔*:・ | fanclub au ot7 [oneshot]
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Summary: Classroom 134340. A classroom that was long abandoned until seven students set up a special after school club. The y/n fanclub. What started out as a creepy idolization of the charming female student turns dangerous when they decide to bring in the subject of their obsession.
Admin note: I’ve seen a lot of y/n fanclub stories but I haven’t seen a dark one yet or one where y/n finds out about the fan club. If this story gets 75 notes, I’ll post the author notes with additional information about the characters and plot, author notes here! if this story gets 150 notes, it will unlock texts of the members’ group chat found by y/n. Chatlogs
Warnings: A bunch of guys obsessed with y/n, murder planning, kidnapping, drugged member, reader gets injected once
The last year of high school. The time where students rush to get their love confession in before the harsh reality of being seperated from the one who got away settled in, the time where the slacking students suckered up to their teachers to get in the last few good grades, the time where the smart students bask in their future career after leaving this shithole, and it was the time of bidding farewell to the last crucial years of your teenage life before you settle into the big bad world. But admist the turmoil of all the unfinished business and the range of emotions from anxiety to sadness, there was one particular room that seemed to let all of it pass by, like the wind. The room where the members didn't allow themselves to be distracted by the pretty much minor things in life. An after-school club that wouldn't really stand out amongst the stuck up bitches, the trust fund babies and the geeks, goths and everything in between. The remaining school days revealed time's final authoritative iron fist - it stopped for no one, and Namjoon knew that if he and the others wanted you, he had to act now, or risk losing you forever. Whereas your smile used to be as warm as the sunset, Namjoon realized that in the last few months of this school year, your smile wasn't as calming and warm as it used to be for him, but it had turned into the eclipse. The last eclipse, collapsing until nothing but darkness would be left behind.
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We have the cunning leader — Kim Namjoon. A man who effortlessly directs the boys like a maestro conducting the orchestra. This young man is the starting point of every plan or project involving y/n, and nothing gets executed until he gives his final ok. When the group gets too rowdy (which happens often, it's all because of you), he’s the one to calm them down. His top priority is y/n’s overall well being.
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Despite Namjoon's excellent leadership skills, he isn't able to do everything on his own — by his side is Kim Seokjin. The handsome Class president of Y/N’s class, because of his privileged position, he is able to inform the others of things that happened in class, or moments where y/n goes home sick. In the club, he takes care of the administrative tasks such as finances, in his role as class president, he is in charge of making sure that y/n’s attendance sheet is impeccable and marks up her grades.
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Technology can be a pain in the ass. The printer acting up just when you need it? Say no more — Min Yoongi, the whizz kid from computer class, has the ability to fix up any technical issues. But of course, he wouldn't be accepted into the club if his only talent was fixing dusty computers. A valuable member to the fan club, he gained access to y/n's social media accounts on day 1, her phone on day 2, and he successfully installed hidden cameras throughout her home. His last contribution to the club was installing a tracking GPS system on y/n's car and phone.
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The ace of the club — the group’s ray of sunlight Jung Hoseok, the ‘best friend’ of y/n aka the spy of the group relaying information to all the other members in the club. Secrets are really never a secret with Hoseok as he feels obligated to share it with the rest, despite y/n trusting him to not tell anyone, but of course, this information stays in the club. Hoseok saw y/n first and befriended her before the other members discovered her, so it is only natural that he’s the person staying close to y/n for their sake. His parents own the local flower shop.
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With his friendly smile and puppy eyes you almost wouldn’t believe he was part of this dubious club — Park Jimin, the ‘freelancer’ always getting involved in dodgy jobs and meeting with shady people. He volunteers at the local animal shelter along with y/n, who sees him as 'that friendly kid' but doesn't pay him that much of attention, of course he sends adorable photos of their y/n playing with the stray dogs to the club's group chat.
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Running a club like this ain’t cheap. Expensive security cameras, private investigators, supplies such as notebooks and markers, buying the mansion for the 8 of them to live in... But this person has no issue spending all of this money when it's for y/n — Kim Taehyung the son of a billionaire, enjoys sending y/n expensive gifts, from jewelry to perfume to clothing and he doesn't care that he often has to pull out his wallet for this club's expenses.
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This comes as a total shock, but some people dare and bother their perfect angel — Jeon Jungkook is the youngest member of the club, in his free time this kid is off fighting in some illegal underground fight clubs and no one really asks, with the skills he learned there he effortlessly taught y/n’s bully a lesson they’d never forget. He has never lost a fight.
Time: 5:40 P.M. Location: Room 134340 November, it was a chilly grey day on a Friday evening. It was a sharp contrast with the weather of last night, the skies had changed overnight, and now an angry wind carried along the mizzling rain drops with it, beating them furiously against the large classroom windows. It was only a little before the clock would strike six o'clock, and aside from a few lit lights here and there from teachers working unpaid overtime, the school building was pretty much desolate.
Despite the bleak emptiness of the abandoned hallways, there was one room in particular which was filled with life, with a side of crushed hopes and dreams. Whereas most days this room was filled with affectionate coos and 'aww's, there was a deafening silence covering the people in the room.
“How could this happen?” The silence was broken by Namjoon's words as he tapped the top of the marker against his palm.
“Hoseok, as her 'best friend', I don’t quite understand how you didn’t know, that she’s been dating him for weeks?” Jimin eyed the other at the opposite side of the table.
“Hey! What are you trying to imply, brat?” Hoseok shot back, all the others directing their attention to the two guys bickering back and forth.
“That you’re lying!” Jimin scoffed.
“Why would I even lie about such thing? You’re not making sense, don’t embarrass yourself,” Hoseok let out a ‘hmph’ followed by a chuckle in disbelief at Jimin’s words.
“You were going to woo her away from her boyfriend in secret and not tell us about it.” Jimin accused with a pointed finger.
“I was not!” Hoseok strongly denied.
“Guys, calm down.” Namjoon coughed to get the attention back to him. "Listen, we need to do something and we need to do it fast before this guy brainwashes y/n even more. We don’t want to lose her, right?”
After the collective nods and busy murmurs, Namjoon tapped on the whiteboard behind him. “So, does everyone agree we need to kill him?”
“Yeah.” Yoongi stretched, a soft yawn leaving his lips as he did.
“Absolutely.” Taehyung agreed.
“There’s nothing else we can do. So, this has to be done.” Jimin summarized.
“We need to know this loser’s schedule before we can even think of killing him.” Namjoon popped the cap off the blue marker before he scribbled on the board, groaning when he realized it was out of ink. “Step one...” He promptly grabbed another marker before continuing. “Find out Jihoon’s schedule.”
“What next?” Namjoon asked as he looked back at the group.
“Method of killing.” Jungkook added, not looking up from the game he was playing on his phone.
“Correct. Depending on the location we choose to kill him, we need to pick the method accordingly.” Taehyung confirmed as he glanced over at Jungkook's phone before he looked back at the board.
“True.” Seokjin added. "He has a point."
“Then...” Namjoon trailed as he wrote down 'step two' in a slightly larger size than the bullet points. “Next?” He called.
“After care for Y/N. After that horrible man infiltrated her pretty head, I am afraid she’s suffering from what she thinks is love.” Jimin thought out loud.
“So, she would be pretty sad about his death.” Yoongi nodded, adjusting his cap.
“Hoseok, you will offer her a shoulder to cry on and-“
“Why does he get to have all those benefits and we have to hide? It’s unfair.” Jungkook groaned when the words ‘game over’ appeared on his screen.
“Look, it’s a fact that Hoseok knew her first, we should be thankful that he has been giving us so much information about Y/N.” Namjoon eyes went over all the members as he lightly scolded them. “You have to admit that we wouldn’t have most information about her if it wasn’t for him. So pack up your personal feelings for each other and zip it. We are here for y/n, not your silly fights.”
It was silent for a few seconds before Namjoon added the last bits of information on the board. "Let's kill this guy."
-
“I don’t know, Hobi. A lot of things have been happening and frankly, I’m creeped out.”
“I understand that, but you know how the police get around here. I am sure they’ll find a way to blame you.”
“What do you mean?” You placed the bag of corn kennels in the shopping cart.
“You know, you see it all the time, no? Girl goes to police, police doesn't believe her and-" "And then something happens to the girl, and she gets murdered, and everyone post sob stories online." You interrupted Hoseok as you leaned onto the cart. "That's exactly why I want to go to the police. How could I not when stuff goes missing in my house, and I find a hidden camera in my bathroom wall? There's some creep on the loose, Hobi." You vented before pausing at the candy aisle. "I know but..." "But what, Hobi?" You paused as you stared down at the floor. "It's almost as if you... don't believe me." You turned your back on him and kneeled down to grab the box of chocolate chip cookies. "I do believe you, y/n, it's... it's just..." "Then what is it, Hobi?" You stood again and placed the box of cookies in the cart. "What if the camera was already there before you moved in? That's a possibility too, maybe some weird couple who got off to voyeurism." He shrugged. "Maybe. But that doesn't explain my stuff missing." "You've been stressed out lately, are you sure you're not just misplacing stuff? I can help you look if you want?" You thought about Hoseok's words, it was true that you were stressed, heck, you were beyond stressed. Your parents had high expectations of you and your grades, and you knew how important it was for them for you to pass for your upcoming exams this year. "Maybe you're right, I have been stressed lately. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to lash out at you." You apologized. "No.. it's fine, really." Hoseok beamed at you before placing a few bottles of soda in the cart. "Do we have everything?" "Yeah, I think so." After you got back home, you and Hoseok set up everything for your monthly movie night, both of you have been pretty busy so you had skipped a couple of times, but now, everything was ready for the marathon movie night.
Hoseok mentioned that it would probably be a good idea to order in, and despite you insisting you would pay half, he absolutely refused and said he’d pay for both of you, so instead you told yourself that next time you’ll just get food yourself before he comes over so there’s no way he could decline the offer.
“I’ll get it,” Hoseok said as he got up from the sofa and went to the door.
Ping!
Your eyes went to Hoseok’s phone, and your gaze remained there when you spotted your name on the text notification.
Chimmy: y/n won’t find out, right?
Your eyes moved away from the screen. You were embarrassed that you violated your friend’s privacy by reading his text message, and you soon brushed it off, it must be someone else with the same name, right?
“That’ll be $17.29.” The soft voice of the delivery driver snapped you out of your thoughts.
“Here’s $20, keep the change.”
Ping!
You looked again.
RJ: I knew putting that camera in her shower was a bad idea.
You felt your whole body tense at those words. No, no this couldn’t be real. You looked back at the open hallway door but Hoseok wasn’t back yet.
You unlocked his phone and tapped on the notification box and you were redirected to this group chat, titled: y/n fanclub room 14340.
Mang: HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y/N wants to go to the police cuz of the cam and other ‘suspicious stuff’ (๏д๏)
Cooky: Dont wanna say it but
Cooky: Told you so (⌐■_■)
Koya: We need to stay calm.
Shooky: I already downloaded all the pics and vids to the hard drive so (*´﹃`)
RJ: Just distract her Hoseok, just a few more hours until it’s d-day
You flinched when you heard steps behind you and you put his phone back.
“They were pretty quick, I’m impressed!” Hoseok put the bags down on the table.
“Yeah, they were.” You turned on the TV with trembling fingers, starting the movie through Netflix.
About half an hour into the movie, you couldn’t help but want to investigate more about this strange groupchat.
“Actually, Hobi, I was wondering, could you throw out the trash for me, please? My back has been killing me...” You hoped that sounded convincing enough.
“Sure, no problem. Anything to help you out.” Hoseok got up. “I won’t take long.”He grinned before leaving the room.
Roya: Did you drug her yet?
Chimmy: We are anxiously waiting
Mang: Hold your horses Guys give me 5 more min
RJ: I can’t wait
Your palms started to sweat as you cupped each of your hands around you and your best friend’s cup before you switched them. You pushed your body back on the couch and you placed Hoseok’s phone back to where he left it. Hoseok tried to drug you yet there was a small voice in your head telling you that this must be a misunderstanding, a cruel one that is, you weren't willing to accept that your friend was capable of such thing.
“Did I miss anything?” Hoseok grinned before plopping down on the sofa.
“... oh, the movie? No, no. You didn’t miss anything.” Rather, you weren’t sure if you yourself missed anything, you were far too occupied to even care about what was happening on the screen.
“Y/N... is everything ok?” Hoseok scooted closer to you, leaning in slightly. “You look pale. Are you feeling sick? Let me get you something-“
“No, no, no, no.” You insisted, staring straight at the wall in front of you - you were far too worried that Hoseok could see the sparkle of lies in your eyes. “I’m fine. Let’s watch the movie, it’s almost finished.” You pressed further as you held in your breath, trying your hardest to not show him how nervous you felt.
Those text messages flashed in front of your eyes. Of course you were driven to ask Hoseok about it - but what if he denied? He was already not the person who you thought he was, so who says his personality won’t change a 180 degrees when he finds out you were snooping through his phone?
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrogate you.” At his apology, you turned to look at him, and you felt a wave of guilt overtake you at his saddened apology.
“No, no, you didn’t do anything wrong, Hobi.” You assured him, your eyes following his hand as he held onto the cup and lifted it. Part of you felt compelled to tell him about what you did but the other part needed the confirmation - that indeed Hoseok, your best friend, tried to drug you, so you simply sat there and watch as Hoseok murmured some words about the movie, complaining about how predictable horror movies were and that he was willing to bet that the main character would end up getting murdered.
And unfortunately, Hoseok’s words came out in a slower pace, and so did his expressive hand movements, his eyelids got heavier and he let out a few soft groans. Hoseok then let out a laugh, the kind that echoed through the room and he turned to look at you with a grin.
“Y/N... you did this, didn’t you?” Before you could respond, Hoseok grabbed onto your arm, albeit, he attempted to but his grip was too weak. “We will bring you home, soon, Y/N. That’s all I wanted.”
“Bring me...home? You tried to drug me Hoseok! Wait.. who is ‘we’, is it those people in the chatroom? What.. what is all of this?” Your voice cracked as you tried to hold back the terrified tears. "Tell me!" You jumped off the sofa, shaking as you watched Hoseok collapse on the sofa and close his eyes. “Hey, Hobi, wake up!” You shook him but there was no response.
There was something your best friend was not telling you and you knew it had to do with those people in the group chat. Hoseok’s phone was still on the table and you grabbed it, still keeping an eye on Hoseok here and there as you looked through the sent texts.
Koya: Any updates?
Chimmy: ???
RJ: You said you’d update us...
Shooky: We could call him.
No, no. They were getting suspicious. What should you do?!
Me: Yeah guys everything’s going exactly according to plan guys lolololol don’t worry about me
....
Shooky: Did you hit your head or something? You’re acting weird
Chimmy: As in weirder than usual
RJ: LMAO
Koya: Send us the pic when you’re done
Tata: I am sure she looks gorgeous when she’s asleep.
Chimmy: I can only imagine... so angelic..
Me: Yeah sure! Give me a sec!
This was probably one of the most stupidest things you have done, but after snapping a picture of yourself sleeping, you sent it to the group chat. You didn’t even bother to check what they said as you grabbed your coat, keys and phone before you dashed out of the house. About 15 minutes later you arrived at your school and headed straight to where you thought this strange club might be.
“134339....134340.” You looked up at the numbers imprinted in the glass panel above the door. This seemed to be it. You pressed down the door handle and let yourself into the dark room. With careful steps you slid your hand over the wall until you found the light switch. You squeezed your eyes shut as the bright ceiling light illuminated the classroom.
The room held nothing special and you wondered if you wandered off into the wrong classroom. It was a square shaped room. Four rows of chairs and desks, a whiteboard, a teacher's desk at the front plus wide windows that showed nothing but the dark. Aside from that, there was absolutely nada, zero, nothing. There must be some sort of error. This looked like a regular classroom and there was no sign of activities being held in here.
As you stood in the middle of the disappointing room, you started to think. Despite how mad you were at Hoseok, you were still worried about him and you couldn’t help but wonder if he got involved with the wrong crowd and that caused him to do what he did to you. Plus, you weren't sure if the drug might possibly cause some sort of damage.
It wasn’t an excuse and you still thought he was in the wrong but...
As you were deep in thoughts, your eyes spotted something that you haven't seen since you were a child. “The midnight fair? I haven’t seen that book in... forever.” It wouldn't hurt to have a peek, right? It wasn't as if there was anything better to do in here. You trailed your fingers over the row of books before pausing at the one that caught your interest. Years ago you chatted Hoseok’s ears off about how your grandparents loved reading this to you, and here it was.
“I guess this is the reading club...” You placed your finger on the top of the book and tilted it back.
“Eek!” You flinched at a sudden loud click coming from the bookcase. “What was that?” You whispered, as you looked around but stopped again at the tall bookcase. “Wait...” You held the bookcase with both hands and to your shock, it moved, no, levitated off the floor and slid to the right, revealing a hidden room.
You stepped inside and looked around in awe as you took in the details of the space you discovered. This... this sort of thing was possible? In a school? The carpet underneath your soles was thick, and far more pleasant than the thin creaky cold floors of this school. The more you glanced around the place, the more you realized that this was actual classroom 14340.
In one corner of the room was an altar, it had a small table with a variety of your personal items - a school year photo, a necklace you thought you had lost, a soap bottle and something that looked like a few strands of your hair.
On the largest wall of the room, there were multiple photos of yourself, filling every inch of the what you presumed black wall.
Your gaze stopped at the whiteboard in front of the large u shaped table.
[Project: Bring y/n home]
Hoseok will invite y/n for a movie night
Hoseok will pour sleeping aid in y/n’s drink
Y/N falls asleep and Hoseok puts her in the trunk
Hoseok sends pic of y/n in the trunk to group chat
Hoseok brings her to the new house
At the new house y/n will have a welcome home party
You tried to make sense of what you just read but no matter what, you weren’t able to connect all the dots - who was behind all of this? What did your friend have to do with this, and most importantly why was all of this happening?
You grabbed your phone, ready to call 911 but unfortunately you had no signal. "Of course," You huffed before sliding your phone back into your pocket. Seems like you had to make a call outside.
But still - What in the hell was all of this? This shit was absolutely terrifying and highly disgusting.
You had seen enough. First of all, you had to get out of here as soon as possible, and second, you had to call the police or the very least tell the principal about this.
“Y/N?”
You screamed at the sudden voice and spun around, covering your eyes with your arm when a bright flashlight was pointed at you.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Wait, that voice. That was Seokjin from your class.
“Class president..?” You looked up and felt relief wash over you, and you dashed towards him. “I’m so happy you’re here, I-“ You stopped a few feet in front of him and you couldn’t stop the tears from spilling out. The last hour was an emotional rollercoaster and you were so relieved that Seokjin was here.
“Hey, Y/N.. what’s wrong? Did you get hurt?” Seokjin placed his hands onto your shoulders.
“Seokjin," You whined as your glossy eyes met his worried eyes. "I, you won’t believe this. My best friend tried to drug me, and there’s this crazy group chat with sick people who seem to have this fanclub dedicated to me, and.. I know this sounds insane but you have to believe me..please.”
“I believe you.” Seokjin assured, almost immediately after your rambles, as he rubbed your arms which felt comforting and calmed you down. “I really do, oh, poor little lamb, what to do, what to do?” There was something about the tone in his voice that caused all your internal alarms to go off.
“Seokjin..?” A wicked grin tugged on his lips as his eyes widened, he stared right at you as his grip on you tightened.
“I...” You shrugged your shoulders to lose his grip on your shoulders and you stepped back as your eyes never left his. "What's..." You paused when you got into contact with something, or rather, someone.
“Y/N, please don’t call us crazy. We are simply boys in love, in love with you.” You turned to look at the voice and there stood a man, taller than you, and if you remember correctly, he was also a last year student in class B or C.
Not that that information was relevant right now.
“L-look, I don’t know what’s going on here, b-but I don’t feel comfortable and I’m leaving now.” With that, you rushed to the open entrance and hurried into the classroom.
However, there you saw that someone was blocking the door - the only exit out of this place, and you rushed to the window. It wasn't as if you'd get seriously hurt, this room was on the main floor, all you had to do was climb out and- "Ah!" You shouted when you felt two strong arms wrap around your waist. "No, let me go! Stop! I don't want this! Someone help me!" You yelped as you kicked around. "Help!" You screeched. "Jimin, give her something to calm down, she's obviously in a lot of distress." Seokjin ordered. "Jimin?" You looked over at the person who entered the classroom. "What are you doing here, I, Jimin, you need to help me, these guys are keeping me hostage and- ah!" You yelped at the sudden needle penetrating into your skin. "Jimin... are you part of this too?" All hope that you had of the kind boy from the animal shelter rescuing you crumbled right underneath your feet.
Whatever Jimin injected into you, worked, and you stopped resisting against the hold of Yoongi's arms as he dragged you back into the room. The bookcase was shoved back and a dim light was turned on.
“Gosh, she’s even prettier up close.” Jimin swooned.
“Can you believe Hoseok had her all for himself all this time?” Jungkook questioned.
“Why... why are you guys doing this? Please- let me go, I promise I won’t tell anyone, promised! Let me go, please, I’m scared.” You tried to pull away from the ropes that were tied around your wrists.
“We are doing this because we love you, Y/N. We did everything because of our love for you.” Namjoon smiled as he knelt down in front of you.
Everything — it finally hit you.
“The cameras at my house, those gifts, the love letters,” You paused as you tried to regulate your shaky breath. “My boyfriend, the GPS in my phone and car, that’s all you?”
“And our Jungkook here got rid of that horrible bitch that dared to bully you, but yes all of that was for you and you only, Y/N.” Seokjin patted Jungkook's head and in return Jungkook rolled his eyes before stepping away from him.
These boys, no, men, were absolutely bonkers and it started to dwell on you that they were capable of doing many things, which included hurting you if they wanted to. “No, this can’t be true. Please...” You stared at the ceiling as you tried to make sense of all that happened in the last two hours. “Please let me go home, I won’t tell a soul.”
“What do we do now, Namjoon? Should we keep her here?” One of them questioned.
“Because y/n is still dazzled by all of this, we should give her some time to get used to this, don't you think?”
“We’re here!” The voice of your friend, or well, the man who used to be your friend, hollered from the classroom. Hoseok entered along with a student you haven’t met before. How big was this twisted fan club exactly?
“Alright, we are complete now, yeah? Let’s formally introduce ourselves now.”
“What should we say? Ah- I can’t believe this day has come.”
“Please just let me go...” You whimpered, not interested in hearing their introduction.
“Kim Namjoon.”
“Kim Seokjin.”
“Min Yoongi.”
“Jung Hoseok.”
“Park Jimin.”
“Kim Taehyung.”
“Jeon Jungkook.”
They all cornered you and bowed down to you, and you could do nothing but look up at them as they hovered over your shaking figure.
“Welcome to room 14340, y/n.”
551 notes · View notes
jimlingss · 7 months ago
Text
the end.
➜ Words: 31k
➜ Genres: 50% Fluff, 50% Angst
➜ Summary: It’s been a habit of yours to vent in the form of love letters. There’s six in total. They’re kept secret, hidden in your closet. But on your 30th birthday, what you least expect is for each letter to become reality. All done by the whacky ghost of Christmas future trying to grant your birthday wish.
➜ Notes: Loosely inspired by To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
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The end is nearly here.   You spare a glance at the clock on the wall before your hands continue to sprint across the computer keyboard. It’s another late night at the office — lower back aching, eyes burning from the screen, third cup of coffee by your side. The only thing that’s keeping you sane is knowing that each minute that ticks by is a minute closer to you getting out of here.   Your wish is eventually granted when the document’s finished and you’re able to click save.   “Heading out too, Y/N?”   Your coworker’s securing her purse over her shoulder as you stand and stretch from your cubicle. “Yeah, I think so. I managed to finish the report I was working on just now.”   “They’re working us like we’re dogs,” she sighs in exasperation. “This is the fourth time this week we’ve had to stay until nine. It’s getting ridiculous. I can’t wait until next week.”   “What’s next week?”   “The Fresno branch is closing, remember?” she says, and you blink owlishly, not sure how that affects you at all. Your brain is beyond singed at this point to figure it out yourself, but she spares you when she quickly elaborates, “We’re getting a bunch of new transfers — at least that’s what I heard. But you know what that means? We get to share the work, so that’ll be a lot less work for us.”   “Oh, that makes sense.”   The older woman takes her coat with her as her wrinkled eyes sparkle. “We can dump everything to the newbies and finally relax, Y/N. Up for sneaking out for a mid-day spa retreat?”   You laugh. “Maybe. I’ll have to think about it.”   It seems like the others are finished with their work as well. By the time you’ve shut off the computer and gathered your belongings, the office is being closed up and some lights flicker off.   “Hey Y/N,” someone else calls. A group of your colleagues linger at the entrance. “You wanna go out for a drink? We’re thinking of heading down the street to Dog World for their happy hour.”   A faint smile tugs on your features, but you shake your head. “It’s alright. I’m a bit tired, so I think I’ll call it an early night, but thank you.”   Even though you looked forward to the work day being over, the trip home is even more exhausting. Luckily, the train ride is short. You keep to yourself, leaning against the windows, looking out at the night city view that whisks past in a mosaic of blurry colours. The walk to the apartment doesn’t take long either. It’s brisk and you enjoy the cool air against your cheeks.   When you finally get inside, you toss the keys onto the counter and kick off your shoes.   Usually, you’d head straight for the shower and change into comfortable pajamas. Or, if you’re hungry enough, you’d eat something quick while watching the news that would eventually fade into the background. But today is special.   Today, you beeline straight for the fridge.   You take the cake box out and set it onto the counter. You had picked it out and bought it at the grocery store earlier in the week — a vanilla funfetti cake without design but a few rainbow sprinkles on top of the white icing.   At this age, birthdays aren’t really a big deal.   You didn’t bother telling your coworkers. It’s not like you could sneak it into a casual conversation and even if you did, you didn’t want to stand there awkwardly for their congratulations. They wouldn’t sing for you either and god forbid they did. But you did get a phone call from your mom earlier, a few messages from friends living far away, and an obligatory text from your cousin.   Still, even if there’s no one physically here, you want to celebrate your birthday by yourself.   You open the kitchen drawer for candles, scrambling through elastic bands and oven mitts. But you come up empty. You search through the next drawer and a cupboard, but with little success.   On the search for candles, you head to the closet in the hall. It’s where you store your mop, vacuum and a bunch of other belongings. You’re sure you have candles somewhere in this place — and you’re not wrong. You spot a small box of them on the top shelf.   On the tips of your toes, you reach for them. You manage to snag them by the tips of your fingers. But as you swipe them down, another box that was haphazardly thrown by the corner edge comes tumbling down.   It nearly hits your head. But you dodge with a sharp inhale. The lid flips off.    And the contents are spilled across the floor.    There are six envelopes.    But they’re all different, from their colour to their time periods. There’s one with a swallow bird sticker, another in a blush pink envelope, one that’s a baby blue square envelope no doubt taken from a card store, and another has gel pen doodled hearts on the front.   They’re your old love letters. Letters that you never intended to send, but just for you to vent your feelings. They’re no less than diary entries but in the form of love letters.   And you scoff lightly with a smile, quickly coming to collect them as nostalgia hits you hard.   To the one who’s taken my heart,   I like you, so so so much. I don’t think you’ll ever know just how much. I think about you all the time and I wish you thought about me too but I know you don’t—   You stop reading when the cringe becomes too much, and you fold the letter again to slip it back in its envelope. But as much as it provides you second-hand embarrassment now, you remember those days. When you were so overwhelmed with your feelings. When the world felt so rose-coloured. When you didn’t know what to do with yourself. When you were excited to wake up every single morning in the hopes you’d see them — whoever it was at the time.   Now, the silence of your apartment seems even more deafening.    You’re alone.   You bring everything over to the small coffee table in your living room — cake, letters, a wine glass and bottle. You pour yourself an entire glass and gulp down a mouthful of the dry wine before placing a single candle in the center of the small cake.   The lighter sparks with a single flick of your thumb against the wheel. You light the tip of the candle.    In the darkness of your apartment and the street lights casting dimly through the windows, the tiny flame glows warmly against your features.   “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Y/N…” you murmur the song to yourself, singing quietly for no one else but your own ears. “Happy birthday to you.”   You take another long sip of the red wine, letting your body become warm under the intoxication. The six letters are discarded by your side — six of them — six different people who probably don’t even remember who you are, much less know that you still think of them.    And the biggest irony of all is that you’re ultimately alone. None of these six people, who you liked enough to write a letter about, are with you. You wasted it all. Your time. Your affections.   Thirty years of your life has come and gone, and you haven’t had a real, meaningful relationship.   Thirty whole years. And not a single person you can call yours.   You finally blow out the flickering candle and make your single wish.    It’s murmured through timidly parted lips, the one hope you have, a singular ache that can be summed into five words—   “I wish I wasn’t alone.”   The smoke rises. You drink, eat your cake, and spend your birthday by yourself.   Eventually, you pass out drunk on the sofa. The cake is half-eaten, wine bottle half-finished, your glass fallen by your side, empty with any remaining drops stained on your lips. The exhaustion of the day, of the entire week, washes over you and you snore, chest rising and falling, dreaming of better days and nights. You sleep so soundly that—   “Y/N.”   There’s a soft, distant call of your name through a silken, smooth voice. It reminds you of someone trying to coo an infant awake. It’s such a delicate tone. It’s nice. Soothing.   “Y/N.”   You stir as the sound becomes louder and your brows furrow for a second. You’re too crippled by exhaustion, so you ignore the noise in hopes it’ll go away and you can continue sleeping.   “Y/N.”   But thrice is enough for your lashes to flutter, for your eyes to open in slight annoyance. And the moment your pupils land on the thing in front of you, your tired yawn is broken by a bloodcurdling scream.   He— the thing— whatever it is, winces. And then the corner of its, his—, mouth curls into a sweet smile.   “Hi.”   The single syllable is spoken almost breathlessly. Faintly.   You’re shocked sober and you gawk. It’s a him. A handsome man in dark pants and a cozy brown coat, but his entire body, from the top of his head to his toes, he’s translucent. Like some kind of ghost.   The ghost-like man gazes at you.   There’s a held silence.   Then you shake your head. You shut your eyes again and sink back into the sofa. “This is a dream.”   “It’s not,” he interrupts, and your eyes shoot open again.   Oh fuck. Since when did people, ghosts, things in dreams respond to you?!    You’re not a lucid dreamer. This isn’t normal. “What are you? The ghost of my Christmas past?!” You look at him skeptically, scrambling back as if that’s enough to protect yourself.   “Not quite.” He grins, sheepish brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “I’m Seokjin. But you can just call me Jin. I’m here to grant your birthday wish.”   There’s another pause. You’re not sure you heard right. “My birthday wish?”   “Yes, siree! I heard it loud and clear and I’m here to answer your prayers! Think of me like a birthday fairy or something like….your guardian angel?”    His plump lips make the perfect ‘u’ shape and his cheeks, reminiscent of bread, puff out. When he tilts his head, some baby hairs from his black, styled hair fall in front of his forehead. At this moment, he looks more cute than handsome. But there’s no time to admire his appearance.   You’re taken off guard, speechless and blank.   The one brain cell in your brain works hard to try to understand what’s going on. But it’s starting to die from over exhaustion and your mouth ends up uttering the same thing like a broken record—    “My….birthday wish?”   “You don’t want to be alone, right?” Seokjin grins again. “I can grant that for you. I can alter your life however you want.”   Suddenly, the six envelopes fly off the table towards him and he snags them in mid-air. He looks at you shrewdly and mischievously. “You can be with any of your lovers.”   You sputter on your own spit. “They weren’t my lovers!”   “Not yet.” Jin winks. “Tonight, that changes.”   Instantaneously, you get onto your feet and step back, mortified by those words, like he’s about to do something. You’re not sure what. But one thing’s for sure— “I’m not going anywhere!”   Jin sighs with his mouth still upturned, and he dramatically pinches the bridge of his nose. “Y/N, don’t make this any harder than it needs to be.”   In a panic, you grab the first thing in reach. Your table lamp. And you point it at him. Menacingly, or at least you try to be.   Jin just looks amused. “What are you going to do with that?”   “I’ll throw it at you.”   He points. “It’s still connected to the outlet.” Shit. “And it’ll go through me anyway.”    “I-I’ll call the police on you!” you spit out frantically. “I’ll tell them there’s an intruder in my apartment!”   He quirks his head to his shoulder and crosses his arms. “How will they arrest me if you’re the only one who can see me? They’ll think you’re a nutjob.”   Your breaths pull in and out from your lungs and you take your right hand to pinch the skin of your left arm that’s still holding the lamp. It hurts.   “I already said this wasn’t a dream,” Jin pipes up as he’s watching you. He looks like he’s holding back laughter. “We already established that, remember?”   Slowly, you set the lamp down. He looks at you, expecting you to concede. But then you turn around and try to bang your head against the wall. Lightly. But enough to make an impact. Whether that’ll make your hallucination go away or you’ll be put into a coma, it doesn’t matter.    But what you’re left with is a small bruise on your forehead and Seokjin, your so-called guardian angel, still standing in the middle of your living room judging you with an incredulous expression.   He sighs. “Look, you’re just going to have to trust me. I’m the ghost of Christmas-whatever future and I’ve seen what’s in store for you.” He points at your face, right between your eyes. “I’m saving you from having to spend the rest of your pathetic life alone, so really, you should be thanking me.”   He waits — as if expecting for you to actually thank him.   Instead, you mutter to yourself. “I must’ve gone crazy.”   You wonder if this is all a hallucination or if your wine was spiked with some kind of drug.   “Yeah, well, you’re about to drive me nuts too.” Jin softly exhales and shakes his head. “Always the overthinker, aren’t you, Y/N? You can never enjoy anything without souring it for yourself but fear not! I’m here to make it all better.”   With a grin, he fans out the six envelopes and plucks one out. “This one!”    It’s satin black. Nameless. The flap still open.   Time suspends and a violent wind suddenly whips through the strands of your hair. It howls, a whirlwind storm that tears the air away from your lungs as you sharply inhale. You watch as the love letter burns in the air. The corners morph into shades of tangerine and crimson, curling and singing before the ash crumbles off and floats there. The world around you begins to transform, the apartment washing away like watercolours on an empty, white canvas. Everything whisks past in a mosaic of blurry colours, reminding you of being on a bullet train that’s darting to some place else.    “Where are you taking me?!” you shout above the noise. “What’s happening?”   “You’ll see.” Jin holds your gaze and smiles. “I’ll make any of these a reality for you.”   You want to curse him, demand answers, and escape all at once. But the only thing that comes out of your mouth is a pitched scream as the gust becomes so harsh, you can barely open your eyes. You try to cover your face with your arms, but it’s a mistake. You lose balance and fall back onto your ass.    At the same time, two things register.   One. You’re no longer in your apartment — you’re in an office.   White walls, glass everywhere, windows enormous. The clock on the wall reads ten thirty at night and the unfamiliar place is modern, sleek and pristine. It’s nothing like the office you work at which is warm toned, carpeted and cozier.   Two. Your ass hurts. It throbs with any movement.   This realization rejects both your theories. This definitely isn’t a dream, and you aren’t just hallucinating. You’re not in your small apartment anymore, tucked into the living room space.    This is all real.   Your shock and approaching meltdown are interrupted by the ghostly man who’s leaned over with eyes enlarged. “Are you alright?” You blink back at him without answer and he offers his hand out.    You take it. His translucent skin feels cool and light against yours, without much weight or any discernible texture. It’s as if at any second, he could suddenly no longer be tangible or visible to you.   You stagger back up again. “Where the hell am I?!”   Jin hums and looks around inquisitively.    Then, he shrugs. “I don’t know.”   “What do you mean ‘I don’t know?’,” you spit at him. You were just kidnapped from your own home by some magical ghost guardian who thinks he’s the funniest person in the room and he doesn’t know where he brought you?!   You’re about to give into the urge and scream. But then you hear a familiar voice coming from the other end of the room—   It’s your own.   It feels like you’re having an out-of-body experience and maybe you are because you see yourself. Dressed in a black power suit, heels clacking against the white-tiled floors, hair drawn back into a swinging ponytail. Behind you, there’s a younger girl in a pencil skirt trying to keep up with your strides.   You step back, brows furrowed, shock overtaking your frame.   You look at yourself in the suit and then to the ghostly man beside you. “W-Who the hell is that?”   Jin’s eyes glimmer and the corner of his plump lip curls. “By the looks of it, it’s you.”   “What’s that supposed to mean? How’s that me? I-I’m me.”   “You could say we’re in something like an alternate timeline, a possible option you can choose from. So technically, it is you. Another version of you. And a you that you can become, if you want.”   You barely manage to grasp onto what he’s saying, but you quickly turn back to the you in the power suit who’s so different in the way she’s dressed, the way she looks, and the way she presents herself, that it’s almost like it’s no longer you. Another version of yourself, huh?   It’s surreal.   For one, you didn’t know your ass could look so good in a power suit.   Jin must notice as well since he tries to whistle lowly and comments, “Damn, you look so good.”   You flash him a scandalized expression. “Don’t check me out.”   He laughs and puts his hands up. “Hey, it’s technically you, but also not you.”   The you in the power suit— she — doesn’t notice you. She beelines straight through your body and you stumble back with a gasp, looking down at your hands in dread. It’s translucent.   “Don’t worry,” Jin reassures. “She can’t see you and you can't do anything.”   “This isn’t permanent, right?”   He grins. “Not for you, it isn’t.”   With that assurance in mind, you follow after her, passing straight through the wall as if it wasn’t there and entering a huge office. There are two cream sofas and a mahogany coffee table taking up space by the entrance, the window at the back stretched for the entire wall, and the floor and desk are made of marble.   Boss-Y/N grabs her fur coat off the corner hanger and begins to put it on.   The younger girl presses on the bluetooth earpiece in her left ear and confirms, “The chauffeur’s waiting in the lobby, ma’am.”    “Rearrange my schedule for me, will you? I want the morning to be cleared up.”   “Right away.” The assistant scribbles furiously on her clipboard and when she’s done, she eases into a smile. “Congratulations again on your birthday, ma’am.”   She takes her Birkin onto her arm and she sighs with a soft smile. “Well, I’m not so sure I’m happy to be turning thirty.”   “That’s not old at all,” the assistant reassures.   “You don’t think my wrinkles are starting to show?”   “Not at all!”   She has a slight mischievous glint in her eyes, seemingly satisfied with the compliment. “Good. If my skin care regiment isn’t working, then I would have to start suing some folks. God knows it costs an arm and a leg.”   “I can arrange that for you,” the assistant quips and grins as she does. “Do you have any birthday plans?”   “Well, I’m just heading home first.” Her heels clip-clop against the ground as she makes her way to the door. “Then I’m going to dinner with Yoongi.”   “Yoongi?” The soft whisper escapes your lips, brows furrowing hard. There’s no way—   “It’s the first time that workaholic is taking a break from running that hedge fund of his,” she continues, and you follow after them as they stride down the office floor. “I had to fight tooth and nail for it.”   The assistant smiles, eyes sparkling with slight envy. “I’m sure your husband will appreciate it.”   Boss-Y/N returns the smile. “Hopefully.”   “I hope you have a good night, ma’am.” The assistant presses the elevator button and the door parts. “Out of all of us, you deserve it.”   The you in the suit steps inside the elevator, appreciation evident on her features. “Take it easy too.”   The doors shut and the assistant turns on her toes to get back to her desk. You’re left behind with Seokjin next to you.    The corners of his mouth are upturned, and he glances at your expression. “Looks like you became successful. Whoever this Yoongi guy is, he must’ve helped you out.”   “This is impossible,” you spit, spinning to face him straight on. “Yoongi- Yoongi was an older senior at the internship I had when I just finished college. I was like….what? Twenty two?”   “Did you date?” he asks, curious.   You scoff, quickly shaking your head. “No.” Your voice softens, “He was too intimidating for that. I just had a crush on him.”   Yoongi worked in a different department than the one you were assigned to, but you saw him enough to know he was no-nonsense and strict. He even berated another intern for a mistake one time, and you recall ducking your head and getting out of the hall fast. Not to mention, he was thirty at the time — established, experienced — and you were barely into your mid-twenties.    You felt worlds apart from him.   But you always admired his worth ethic and ambition. He was someone reliable. Loyal. Yoongi accomplished what you had envisioned for yourself, and you respected him and the way he carried himself. You still remember watching him in the background during meetings, during presentations, or when he would pass by your desk. He was an all around stand-up guy.    “You had a big enough crush on him to write a whole love letter,” Jin comments with a brow raise.   You lightly scoff. “It’s not like I was ever going to give it to him. I was just...stressed and I had to vent out my feelings. It was nothing serious.” You exhale, voice quieting. “I just really admired him.”   “Well, looks like if you had given him that letter, this would’ve been the reality. The two of you make for an ambitious couple,” Seokjin muses, looking around the modern office one more time before he holds his hand out in front of you.    You look back at him. “What?”   Jin smiles. “Well, you want to see what happens next, right?”   He’s right. You do want to see what happens. The curiosity of this adventure has long surmounted any fears. But you still hesitate lifting your arm and slipping your hand inside Seokjin’s. Eventually, when you do, you shut your eyes tightly and your body goes rigid.   You’re unaware of Seokjin’s amused smile. Not when you’re bracing yourself for another stormy wind.    But when nothing happens, you peel your eyes open and find yourself standing in a penthouse.   Immediately, a gasp pulls through your lips. If you thought the office was fancy, then this place was on a whole nother plane of existence. Marble floors and white columns. Golden curtains and rugs. Porcelain vases and display cabinets. Crystal chandeliers hanging from high ceilings.   Everything oozes of wealth, extravagance and luxury.   You lurch towards the glass windows overlooking the heart of New York. The windows take up the entire wall without a single smudge, so clean it looks like you could fall straight through. At the same time, with the penthouse being so high up, the night view of the city isn’t obstructed by the surrounding skyscrapers. You even spot the Empire State building in the distance.   The twinkling lights reflect back into your irises.    The mosaic of colours blur together — car lights, street lamps, stop lights, incandescent bulbs inside office buildings and apartment rooms. The view is absolutely breathtaking.   Slowly, you turn around, meeting Seokjin’s gaze. “This...is my place? Am I really this rich?”   His mouth is tugged, having watched your reaction. “Looks like it.”   Just then, your eyes wander, and your feet scatter over to the white marble fireplace. Above the mantle hangs a wedding picture of you and Yoongi. You can’t believe it’s you — looking past your lashes with a shy smile, dressed in a white ballgown with a translucent veil draped over your shoulders and behind your frame. And Yoongi has his arms wrapped around you. He’s clad in a tuxedo, dark hair styled, and an infectious, gummy smile stretched into his tender cheeks.   He’s as handsome as you remember him as.   “Did he really influence me to become so successful?” you murmur in wonderment, still staring up at the perfect picture. “My life...here, it’s just so different.”   The both of you seem to be such a young and successful pair. A power couple. Like all the people you read about in the magazines that you envy.    It’s a dream.   “You’d be surprised at how people influence each other,” Jin hums and you turn to him.    “Why are you doing this? What am I supposed to do with all this information?”   “Think of it as window shopping,” he says simply, “You get to choose who you want to be with. This just happens to be one of the options.”   You’re not sure if you want to believe Seokjin, but he hasn’t been wrong so far. Any of his claims, he’s proven it right in front of your eyes. “Can you really make all of this real?”   He smiles again. “If that’s what you want.”   The elevator doors part. And she emerges with a long sigh and her hair looking more disheveled. She puts her purse down and calls out— “Yoongi?”   Silence answers.   She frowns. “Must be traffic,” she mutters and walks over to her open kitchen.   You watch as the you in the power suit opens the fridge and pours herself a glass of red wine. A small smile comes onto your face as you muse that some things never change.   “Alexa. Turn on something classical,” she says and the device on the island counter whirls blue before turning on an elegant piano piece that fills the penthouse.    In the meanwhile, you continue looking around — at the ornate decorations, pictures, to marveling at how high the ceilings are and how amazing the view is. Then, both you and the alternate you turn your heads when the elevator door dings, signalling someone’s arrival.   You watch as she steps forward, eyes brightened with what you only guess is the expectation and excitement that her husband will appear. But instead, it’s the old doorman.   “Ma’am, you have a delivery.”   He hands her a bouquet of flowers and she sets down her wine glass to take them, arms becoming overwhelmed with how massive it is. It nearly covers her entire face. “Thank you.”   He bows his head and turns back into the elevator, taking his leave. The doors close.   You follow after her in awe. It’s a large bouquet of perfect red roses with fully bloomed petals, practically overflowing. It looks like something straight out of a movie and there’s at least a hundred of them.   She sets them down on the counter and plucks a black card lodged inside the bouquet.   You read over her shoulder and you’re taken aback by the single word handwritten on it—   Sorry.   You wince when she suddenly crumples the note in her hand, and she interrupts the calming classical piano piece with a wavering voice. “Alexa. Call Min Yoongi.”   It repeats, “Calling.” And then it dials.   The ringing lasts for a whole twenty seconds, long enough that the anticipation swells in the pit of your stomach but finally, it’s picked up.    A deep, husky voice comes from the other side. “Hello? Y/N?”   You turn to her and she waits in bated breath before a staggering exhale escapes her. Her arms wrap around herself, cradling her body and she steps towards the windows to look at the view. She’s shrouded in the darkness of the living room, barring the dim light coming from the kitchen which merely outlines her frame.   The you in this world is surprising. You’re wealthy, fierce, someone’s boss. But in this moment, you’re met with a much more familiar sight. Someone you recognize more as yourself.   Her voice cracks when her lips part— “Why are you not coming home?”   Yoongi sighs for an extended moment. There’s nothing but silence that follows.   “I’m sorry,” he eventually murmurs. “I can’t make it. I’m held up here. I have to finish before I get home.”   “This happens every day,” she says, louder, angrier.    “It’s not like I can change it.”   You watch yourself, the glistening in your eyes, the downturn of your lips and the furrow of your brows. She’s hurt and she whispers, “You’re barely home, Yoongi.”   “I know. I promise after this project, there'll be more time.”   “You say that every time!”   “That’s not true.”   “What about when you finished the Taiwan trip?” She turns to look at the black device on the kitchen counter, as if that could substitute for looking at him, for him being there and talking to her in person. “What about the whole shareholder meeting at the end of March?!”   Yoongi’s breathing is heard on the other line. He’s quiet. “I’m sorry.”   She crumples, placing her face within her hands, entire form trembling. “I don’t want to fight. I-I don’t want to blame you. I’m just...upset. You promised we would spend my birthday together. We made a deal. Did that mean nothing to you?”   Her voice quivers and there’s another long silence.   “I don’t know what I can do.”   “You can come home.”   Yoongi sighs. “I can’t.”   “I barely see you, Yoongi. I don’t know how much longer I can take this,” she admits in a murmur, downcast eyes staring at the floor. She comes over to the sofa and collapses down, still holding herself. “I’m so...tired. I’m so tired of having to keep up with you.”   Yoongi’s voice is gentle and he coaxes his wife, “Just wait a little longer.”   “For what? So, we can finally have kids?”   He exhales an entire breath. “Y/N, we already talked about this.”   “I want to settle down, Yoongi. I want to make a home.”   “We’re still young. We have time and business is not steady enough yet but—”   “It’ll never be steady enough!”   “Y/N.” A pause. He’s about to say something. She sits on the edge of the seat, waiting too, looking up into the kitchen with anticipation. But it never comes. “I have to go.”   “Then go.”   “I’m sorry.” Yoongi’s voice is deep, husky. “I love you.”   The call ends.   You’re at a standstill, kept quiet, having watched the scene unfold in front of you.    Jin is the first one to break the silence. “Well, looks like it’s not all roses and butterflies. I guess this is what happens when people’s visions for the future aren’t the same.”   “I spent my birthday alone again,” you murmur, looking at her. She’s sitting alone in the dark, nursing a headache on the couch as the silence of the empty penthouse becomes deafening.    What’s the point of all this wealth if you’re alone?   The corner of Jin’s mouth tugs, eyes still shimmering with hopefulness. “This doesn’t have to be the path you choose. You still have five more choices.”   Seokjin’s arm extends. He holds his hand out. You look at it and he explains, “I don’t want you to fall on your ass again.”   You scoff, but still slip your palm into his anyway.   Suddenly, in Jin’s other hand, the five other envelopes manifest and he fans them out in front of you as if asking you to pick a card for some kind of magic trick. On a whim, you choose the white envelope with a swallow bird sticker, already knowing who it is.   Jin lets go and the envelope floats away. It combusts in mid-air, edges flaming crimson and scarlet and curling inwards before the black ash crumbles off and the flecks start to trickle down. You brace yourself and the world you’re in begins to stitch apart. The form of your lonesome self on the sofa fades and the howling wind tears through your hair, whistling in your ears. It feels like you’re being lodged forward, thrown on a bullet train heading to somewhere. Fast enough that the colours and the universe itself blurs. Luckily, you aren’t knocked over this time when you’re holding onto Seokjin, but your eyes are still forced shut.   At the same time, the love letter is granted.    The present alters.   When you open your eyes, you get whiplash. You would’ve thought you returned to your apartment if not for the slight differences in layout and furniture.   Jin still holds your hand, but you let go in favour of taking a closer look at the photographs on the shelf and the walls of the modest place. There are pictures of a very familiar boy — except he’s grown to become a man. Sharp jawline and nose, but still those bright eyes and heart-shaped smile.   Seokjin comes beside you. “Who’s this?”   “Hoseok,” you exhale softly, marveling at the photographs as the nostalgia sinks into you and leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth. “He’s someone I met in college.”   Jung Hoseok was somewhere between a friend and an acquaintance. Someone older, but only by two years. You remember the first few times you saw him, you thought he was the typical frat boy — sociable, boisterous, friendly. But really, Hoseok was just a social butterfly, weaving through different groups. One night, you'd see him at a frat party and the next afternoon, you saw him at the chess club. He made everyone feel included and comfortable.    It’s no wonder you were deeply infatuated with him for a while.   The only problem was his closeness to you was the same as everyone else’s. The special treatment you received was never special.    And you were never able to go on a date with him or give him the letter you wrote on a drunken night before his graduation. But you suppose this is what your present might’ve looked like had you given him that letter.   “I didn’t know you were so adventurous.”   Jin’s nose is practically grazing the picture of you skydiving. Beside that one is a shot of you and Hoseok preparing to zipline and another of you two in the midst of bungee jumping. You study a photograph of you in front of the Eiffel Tower, one in Japan and the other of Hoseok hugging you in the Bahamas. Some of the pictures have people in them that you don’t recognize.   “I didn’t think I was either,” you murmur.   This Y/N looks more like yourself than the last. But at the same time, it’s different somehow.   For one, you can’t believe this version of yourself has been to so many places. You’ve always wanted to go, to travel this much, but you’ve never had anyone to go with. Yet, in this timeline, you’ve done so many things. You’ve had so many amazing, memorable adventures.   Jin’s brow raises at the picture of you and Hoseok kissing at the Eiffel. But then he bursts out laughing at the photograph of you looking out of your mind on a roller coaster. It’s the kind of picture that captures people right before the main descent.    “Yeah, yeah, I know I’m pretty attractive, aren’t I?” Your voice drips of sarcasm and you give him a deadpan look.   Jin’s smile stretches into his cheeks. “No, it’s cute.”   Before you can call Jin out for his blatant lie, you’re interrupted by two others.   “—so much fun! Come on, baby.”   The bedroom door opens and the noises that were muffled floods into the open living room area.    This other you looks like you, except she’s decked out in comfortable pajamas, which you envy. You wish you changed before all this happened and Jin appeared in your living room but alas, you’re stuck in your office attire of your white blouse and pencil skirt that you’ve been wearing all day.   “Don’t ‘baby’ me. I don’t want to go to a club for my birthday, Hoseok.”   Said man emerges and you consider how he’s aged well. His dark hair is styled in a way that shows a part of his forehead and his style is ever the same, jeans and a denim jacket open with a yellow shirt underneath. It’s surreal to have someone who was faded in your memory reappear in front of you again.    It reminds you of those college days, of running across campus, trying to finish assignments and study for exams while secretly pining for the boy who always waved and smiled at you as he passed by.   “But I have nothing else planned,” Hoseok whines.   She quirks her head and gives an incredulous look. “Why on earth do you think I’d want to go party at thirty.”   Hoseok laughs and takes her hands before mustering a cute pout. “You’re not that old. Come on.”   “This is stupid. It’s not like I’m twenty anymore.”   His arms lift to place on her shoulders and he gazes affectionately at her. “What would you rather be doing then?”   “I don’t know.” She softens with a soft sigh, looking back at him. “We can just stay home together. We don’t have to do much. It can be just us.”   “But that’s so boring.”   “What about tomorrow morning? We have brunch with your mom and we still have to run a bunch of errands afterwards. We can’t be nursing a hangover, Hobi.”   “We won’t drink much, and we can come home in two hours.” He hums and leans into her with glimmering irises and an infectious smile. She pouts at him and he presses his forehead to hers. “We’ll just hang out and meet new people. It’ll be nice. Promise.”   She sighs again and as if he knows she’s already given in, he laughs and moves to peck her cheek.    At the same time, Jin scoffs. “Gee, I’d love to go to a club for my birthday.”   You elbow him, having watched the cute exchange with increasing fondness. “Hey, at least they’re spending it together. And who knows? Maybe it’ll be fun.”   “Yeah, we’ll see.” Jin gives you a skeptical yet playful look and then holds out his hand.    You take it, slipping your hand into his as if you were shaking it, and instantaneously, the pair of you are transported to the so-called club. There’s no letter burning, no violent storm or wind, but you jolt from the booming music. It rattles your aged eardrums and as your surroundings materialize, you feel the floor trembling from the bass. The darkness sets in as well, but the neon pink and blue strobe lights burn to the back of your eyelids, and the odor of spilled alcohol and sweat from the thick crowd of dancing bodies slams into you.   You haven’t been to a club since your early twenties.   Jin grimaces and looks over at the bar. “I wish I had a drink! Too bad I’m a ghost!” he shouts above the music, leaning over to your ear.   Your vocal cords feel like it’s tearing as you try to scream above the thumping bass. “I thought you said you were my guardian angel!”   “Tomato tomato!” His head nods to the bar and you follow him, walking straight through the drunken bodies grinding on one another. It’s nice not having to excuse yourself and shuffle through the crowds, probably one of the few perks of being ghostly.    Once you get to the bar, it’s at least a bit quieter, enough to have conversations without needing to yell.   “Well, there’s not a better time to dance since there’s no one watching.”   You shake your head. “I’m not much of a dancer. Are you?”   Seokjin laughs, the corner of his mouth curled. “The best I can do is the worm. Want to see?”   You lift your hand, politely rejecting the offer and he grins. “It’s your loss then.”   “I’ll just trust you. I’m sure you can tear up the dance floor.”   “—and tear my left calf muscle,” he adds humorously, and you snort. Jin looks off and his eyes brighten. “Oh, looks like you’re here.”   You follow his line of sight, finding yourself in a little black dress with heels. But instead of looking hot or cute, the dress looks too small and outdated. Especially with the way you’re tugging awkwardly on the hem and darting your eyes everywhere as if you’re embarrassed.   Hoseok is in the same clothes as before and he looks around. When it seems like he won’t be able to get a seat at the bar, he snags a small standing table. “I’ll go get us a drink. Let me surprise you.”   “Okay.” She smiles and Hoseok returns it affectionately.    He leans in to peck a quick kiss on her cheek. “Happy birthday, babe.”   Hoseok leaves to the bar and she stands there, tapping her fingernails on the table. It takes a long time for him to return and she checks her phone periodically before looking around for Hoseok, unknowing to how you and Jin are beside her, technically keeping her company.    “I think you’ve been ditched,” Jin quips after ten minutes and you scoff in offence.   “No way. Hoseok’s not like that.”   You can’t help but turn over your shoulder and let your eyes search for the dark-haired male amongst the crowd. You don’t realize how comical it looks for you and this alternate you to both be beside each other with your pupils darting all over the place, looking for him.   Jin raises a brow. “It sounds like you know him well.”   “He’s just not the type,” you tell him curtly.   Eventually, after another five long minutes, Hoseok comes back and you breathe a sigh of relief, glad you weren’t wrong. You even flash Jin a look as if to say ‘see?’ but he still has an unimpressed, disbelieving expression.   As if to make matters worse, Hoseok doesn’t return with just drinks. He has new people in tow.   “Hey, babe!”   The you in the black dress is visibly taken off guard, but she still offers a polite smile. “These are...?”   “They’re new friends I made! We were just chatting at the bar. This is Maddie, Alex, Mark, Sana and Ren. They’re out celebrating since they just finished some project—”   “Psych Two Fourteen language development! Fuck yes!” One of them hollers and she winces from the noise. Two of the boys start to chant out their college slogan, but it’s so drunkenly jumbled over the pounding music that even you don’t know what they’re saying.   “Sorry, how old…”   “Just turned twenty one!” The young girl to the left giggles, holding up her cosmopolitan as her breasts nearly pop out from her red bodycon dress.   “Congratulations, by the way! It’s your birthday, right?!” One of them pipes up, swinging an arm over the other girl’s shoulder. “It’s pretty dope that you’re married and all and still out living it up!”   She cringes but nevertheless nods, downing her drink the minute it’s in her hand.   Even if no one can see you and you’re merely a spectator, even you feel awkward with this situation. And it only gets worse when Hoseok turns his back to her, caught up in conversation with the college kids and too busy chatting with them to notice how she’s left out, fiddling with her hands in her lap and once in a while, sipping on her drink quietly.   As you watch the ordeal, slightly mortified for this alternate version of yourself, you also feel Seokjin’s gaze on you. It screams of ‘who’s right, now? Huuuuh?’. But you don’t look at him.   Hoseok does, however, turn around after a few minutes. “Is everything okay?”    He’s both curious and concerned with how silent she is, and his softened, perceptive eyes search her expression. Hoseok reaches for her hand underneath the table, squeezing it and she musters a smile. “I’m fine.”    “You sure?”   “Yeah. I’m just glad you’re having fun.”   “We should dance!” one of them shouts, glancing over the group as well as her and Hoseok. The others agree immediately, downing their drinks and one by one, they scatter onto the floor.   Hoseok looks at her but she puts up her hand. “It’s fine. Go ahead.”   “Are you sure?” His brows furrow and his mouth lopsided in a small pout. “Come join me. It’ll be fun!”   She shakes her head, faint smile tugging on her lips. “I’m gonna finish my drink and someone needs to save the table too. Go ahead. You know I love watching you dance.”   With that reassurance said, Hoseok leaves and hits the dance floor where he shines the brightest. They make room for him, some hooting and hollering and he grins, letting loose. Meanwhile, the you in the black dress stands there at the table, watching Hoseok with a smile until it eventually fades away.   She’s left standing there alone. Bored. Dissociating.    It’s almost like some things never change — you and Hoseok seem to be in different dimensions, a secret distance forged and caused by the difference of your personalities.    You watch her in the loud club, carefully observing her blank expression, catching the neon pink and blue lights flashing her form for mere moments as the bass shakes the floor and four walls.    You’re not sure this is the person you want to be.   In the midst of your thoughts, Jin turns and interrupts. “What do you think?”   “What do you mean ‘what do I think’?”   “This is a potential choice you can make. Of course, you can always change your mind later. But if you want, I can make this your present right now.”   For some reason, what he says scares you and you don’t think it should.    At face value, your relationship with Hoseok is more than what you could ever ask for. It really seems like he cares and that the two of you, the two of them, love each other. Yet, there’s still a fundamental difference you can see. Even though you’ve only observed them for less than half a day, it’s enough. It’s clear.    Just like back then, you’ll never be able to keep up with Jung Hoseok.    And he might never be satisfied with what you would want.   “I don’t know how I feel about this,” you admit, meeting Seokjin’s eyes. “Hoseok’s nice and at least we’re together. But…”   “Personally, I think you can do better,” he says, looking off at Hoseok who’s still dancing his heart and soul off like he’s the star in a musical. But you have to hand it to him — he’s pretty good at it. “The guy’s permanently twenty one and he acts like he’s a bachelor. It seems like you’re the one who’s holding the relationship together all by yourself.”   You scoff, eyeing the ghostly man. “It sounds like you won’t be happy with anyone.”   He shrugs and softens. “I just want the best for you.” A second later, Jin smiles and shows off the envelopes that suddenly appear in his hand. “There’s still four more.”   He plucks a baby blue square envelope out and then holds out his hand. Your palm slips into his and he releases the envelope. The love letter burns and becomes a new reality for you to see.    The world morphs, blaring music fading first. Then the background washes away like watercolours as the strong gust of wind returns. It brushes coldly against your cheeks, making you flutter your eyes closed as it twines through your lashes and hair, preparing to show you another present with someone else.   You open your eyes.   It’s mid-afternoon. Blue skies. Sunny.   A bicycle on the path whizzes past, swiftly coasting downhill and in the moment, you’re startled, forgetting that it can’t hurt you. But still, Seokjin tugs you back and out of the way. “Be careful.”   “Thanks,” you mumble to him before taking in your new surroundings.    Every few steps, there are lampposts that line the thin road made of small stones cemented together. And what looms over you on both sides are tall townhouses, yellow, blue and pink with steeply pitched hip roofs. It looks like you’ve been plopped into a cute town from a storybook.   “Where are we?”   Jin hums, studying a stop sign at the end of the road. “Well, based on the fact that everything’s in French, I’m going to take an educated guess that we’re in France.”   Before you can flash Jin an unimpressed look for his know-it-all tone or question why the hell you’d be in France, the balcony doors above you suddenly slam open. You look up and see yourself draping a duvet over the railing to air out and catch the warm sunlight.   Both you and Seokjin have gotten accustomed to the routine and turn, passing through the wall of the townhouse to get inside. You’ve always wanted to live in France, but it was always one of those daydreams. You can’t believe in this timeline you’re actually here, that you moved so far away from home.   “Have any clue on who your lover boy is this time around?” Jin asks and you loll your head to your shoulder, humming.   “I have some clue, but you’ll just have to wait and see.”   There’s nothing on the first floor of the townhouse except for damp walls and a muddy, cement floor. But once you begin climbing the L shaped staircase, the walls fade into a seashell white and it becomes brighter, livelier, homey. It opens up to a living space of blues and yellows, sofa facing a wide-screen television, white curtains drifting in the breeze of the open window, a vase full of daffodils and daisies placed in the center of the coffee table.   But most importantly, you take notice of the degrees framed in a straight line on the wall.   In golden frames, there’s your bachelor’s degree and then three others — a bachelor, master’s and PhD, all under philosophy with one name. Kim Namjoon.    The you from this world comes out of the kitchen. She’s wearing a white, silk blouse tucked into a brown skirt and a blazer to match, hair curled and in a low, messy bun, and she’s precariously balancing a wooden tray with two steaming tea cups. You follow her down the hall.   She enters a home office — light colour scheme matching the living room, two desks facing opposite walls and the bay window open. But you don’t soak in the area for long. Not when your eyes dart onto the backside of a broad man sitting at his desk and engrossed with a textbook.   “Joon.”   He turns his head as she calls out to him, a soft smile placed on his features and the dimples in his cheek creased. He moves his arm aside and she places down the cup of tea.   “Is it earl grey?”   “The one and only,” she sing-songs with a loving smile.   “Thank you.” Namjoon sips on it and hums. “Are you going to get started on your thesis today?”   She sighs. “I really should.”   “It’s not good to procrastinate on it.”   “I know.” She pouts slightly and looks through her lashes at him. “It’s just hard to get started again after stopping for so long. I know it sounds like excuses, but the last few moves were so hectic and then I was helping you with your research— which I don’t mind. But obviously I fell behind.”   “Well, there won’t be any more distractions for a while. We’re staying here for at least a few months. Promise.”   “I know.” She goes over to her desk facing the opposite wall and places down her own cup.   Namjoon turns in his chair. “If you need any help, just ask.”   “I’ll try not to bother you too much.”   They exchange sweet smiles, and the room simmers back into a serene quietness.   Jin stands beside you at the doorway, brow cocked, and his arms crossed. His shoulders are so wide, you’re halfway into the wall. “Let me take a guess. Judging by the degrees and the whole academia thing, this guy’s your hot professor that you never had the guts to ask out because he’s married.”   You give an appalled expression. “No. You’re off the mark there, but nice try. He was my TA.”   “Hey, that was pretty close!” Jin looks impressed and you quickly shoot down the rest of his theory.   “But he wasn’t married, or at least, I don’t think he was. I met him during my fourth year in my philosophy class. He was a PhD student and I emailed him back and forth for a while for help on this paper or something until I went to his office hours.”   You remember you almost peed yourself when you first met him in person. Namjoon was so tall and so smart and those black framed glasses — god, you had it bad for a while.    “He made me feel smart for once,” you mumble as an afterthought and Jin frowns.   Without thinking much, he says, “Of course you’re smart.”   Your neck cranes over, looking at him—   “How would you start this sentence?” she turns to Namjoon and your attention is drawn away.   Namjoon uses his chair to roll over and look at her laptop screen. “What are you trying to say?”   “Something about the interlinked connection between the Paris Agreement and the cooperative nature of international states.”   He makes a noise at the back of his throat and his fingers fly across the keyboard, fixing up the document. The moment he’s done, she takes a sigh of relief. “That’s perfect. I’m so dumb. Thank you.”   Jin takes the chance to walk over to this world’s version of you, peeking over her shoulder and looking at her screen. “Look at you hard at work.”    She’s completely unaware of the ghostly man prying into her work, hands hesitating before flying back and forth on the keyboard. Only, a second later, she hits the erase button and deletes all the sentences she’s written. “God, I’m so stupid,” she mutters with a sigh.   Jin turns to you. “I never took you to be the type to want to do school work on your thirtieth birthday.”   “Honestly, me neither.”   You didn’t think you’d still be pursuing a master’s at this age and seemingly have no career of your own. While you enjoy parts of learning and academia has its merits, you were always eager to finish and graduate. You’re not sure if this version of yourself thinks differently.   She types something and then her fingertips quicken as a smile starts to stretch into her cheeks. It’s as if inspiration’s hit her and she turns around. “Namjoon. What do you think about this?”   He comes over and places one hand on the back of her chair and the other on the desk, eyes reading through the words. She waits, gazing up at him with a mix of anticipation and excitement. After a long moment, Namjoon finally says, “It sounds kind of choppy. Why don’t you move this and that around.”   “Oh. Okay.” She nods, smile falling and when he gets back to his place, she erases all of it.   Silence settles into the room again as the two of them continue. Namjoon reads, annotates and highlights his textbook as she works on her thesis, unblinking, brows furrowed, crouched over. There are no interruptions, and few words are exchanged in between. If you didn’t know any better, you would’ve thought you were in a library and not a cute townhouse somewhere in France.   Jin yawns out of boredom and you can’t blame him. But as the sun begins to set, a ringing phone call pierces through the sound of work.   She moves to pick it up and a knot forms between her brows. Namjoon turns around.   “What’s wrong?”   She pulls the phone away from her ear. “They’re speaking in French.”   Namjoon opens his hand, and she gives it to him. He answers fluently and flawlessly without a beat’s hesitation like it’s his native language and she waits patiently. Once Namjoon hangs up, he tells her, “It’s the bakery. They wanted to remind us we still have to pick up the birthday cake since they close in an hour.”   She scrambles upwards, getting to her feet. “It’s alright, I can go. You should finish what you’re working on.”   “Are you sure?” Namjoon has a hesitant expression and he stands, but she stops him with a smile.   “Of course! I’ll be back in a jiffy. You’ll edit for me while I’m gone?”   “Sure.”   “Then it’s a deal.”   She rushes out of the room, oblivious to how she runs straight through your body. You follow her into the cozy bedroom and watch as she picks something out of her suitcase that’s still unpacked. You notice the cover of the suitcase and handle are plastered with check-in baggage tags from the airport. They’re from all kinds of different places — Miami, Seoul, Rome.    You wonder for how long and just how much this version of you followed Namjoon around the world.   She leaves the townhouse within the next few minutes and Jin looks relieved to finally be doing something other than waiting around while two people bite their nails and put their heads in books. The two of you follow a few paces after her, strolling while enjoying the view.   But it quickly becomes evident that she’s lost.   “Sentier de...la Bleich,” she reads the street sign and frowns, muttering under her breath. “What the hell?”    Jin lifts his brows with a faint smile, thoroughly entertained by her plight. “Uh-oh.”   She starts to pat down her body but then curses. “Shit. I left my phone. WhyamIsodumb?” She sighs and approaches an elderly couple walking past. They look startled and she dips her head down. “Umm, excuse me. Uh, q-quelle, umm, heure est-il?”   The old man glances at his wristwatch. “Il est dix à six.”   “Merci.” She nods and starts to pick up her pace down the street. You widen your strides as well, rooting for this version of yourself. But as she turns the sharp corner, without looking or slowing down, she collides with a body. Not enough to fall down but enough for her shoulder to be roughly shoved.   “Merde!” The man shouts and as he walks off, he turns around, angrily gesturing to her. “Regardez où vous allez!”   “Sorry, I’m so sorry.” She keeps fumbling, ducking her head and at the same time, the apartment keys drop from her pocket. She sighs as she reaches down to pick them up. “God, why am I so clumsy?”   Jin slows down, watching this alternate version of you and he wonders out loud, “Why would you offer to go if you don’t know how to get there?”   You shrug. It’s not like you know what this version of yourself is thinking. But if this is supposed to be you and you know yourself best….   “Maybe I’m trying to prove a point.” You look at Jin. “Maybe I’m trying to be independent.”   You’ve always wanted to live in France. But you’re starting to wonder if this version of you did it out of her own desires or if she was just following Namjoon.   Luckily, she manages to find the bakery right as they’re flipping over the close sign. She knocks on the door and apologies when the frowning lady comes out. “I’m so sorry. I got lost. Perdue. I have a cake to pick up under the name Namjoon? Er, g-gâteau…? Kim Namjoon…?”   The lady says something in French and goes back inside. She returns with a cake box and this version of you thanks her before the door’s being shut in her face.   Still, she’s smiling widely, and you are too. You knew you could do it.   But the victory is short lived when her face visibly drains and she looks in all directions, whipping her head to the left and then to the right, reading the street signs with a deep frown.   Jin chuckles and hitches his thumb over his shoulder. “It’s this way.”   But of course, she doesn’t hear him.   “Don’t laugh at her,” you chide him.   Jin’s mouth falls open in offence. “She can’t even hear me!”   “Yeah, but it’s still mean.” You pout, internally still rooting for yourself. Come on, Y/N. You can do this. You know it. And just to manifest it, you reassure him, “She’s going to figure it out.”   But then she decides to march in the opposite direction.   Seokjin looks at you incredulously.   “I don’t know her,” you spit out as your face grows warm under the embarrassment. “That’s technically me but not me, right? And, hey, can you blame her? It’s not like you can read in French either.”   “Actually, I’ll have you know that I have a great sense of direction.” An arrogant smile perks up on Jin’s lips and he brushes past you to catch up to her. You scoff at him, narrowing your eyes into his broad backside before you’re forced to trail after him before you get lost.   Luckily, what you and this version of you lacks in a sense of direction, you make up for sheer luck and intuition. She finally gets home in one piece albeit a whole hour later after the sun’s just set.   She sets the cake box on the kitchen counter and comes into the office where Namjoon’s still reading with the desk lamp now on next to him.   “What took you so long?” he asks, expression marred with worry. “I called you.”   She steadies her hyperventilating breath and musters a smile. “I just decided to take a walk since the weather was so nice. I think I left my phone here, sorry. I won’t forget next time.”   He doesn’t catch the lie and nods. “It’s good to get the inspiration going.”   “Yeah.”   Namjoon softens. “We’ll cut the cake tonight?”   She smiles. “Sounds like a plan.”   This version of you takes off her coat, drapes it on her chair and then plops down to continue working on her thesis.    Your birthday is spent typing away and re-typing while asking for help every so often. You’re together. Without pounding music or much distraction. Merely in one another’s company. It’s domestic, familiar and warm. But…   A life of following Namjoon, moving from place to place...you’re not sure if this is it.    “Are any of these relationships good?”   He gives you an inquisitive look. “I don’t think this one is too bad, why?”   “I know. I shouldn’t complain. I’m in France and I seem to have a good relationship with Namjoon, but still.” An exhale leaves the seam of your lips and you turn your gaze to the handsome ghost, feeling apprehensive when you think you should be feeling confident. “I’m not sure if this is what I want. It doesn’t seem like I have anything of my own and I want to be independent…”   Jin hums, getting what you’re trying to say. “I can understand that. No relationship is perfect. They all have their ups and downs, some worse than others and some better than others. I don’t have any control over this.” He becomes quiet for a moment. “If anything, I wish it works out. But there’s still three windows for you to look into before you make your final choice.”   He holds out his hand where the three letters materialize, fanned out and you pluck the blush pink envelope. As routine, you release it and it floats mid-air before burning. The edges of the letter curl in the red inferno, ash dusting down and the scene of you hunched over your desk, brows knitted together, washes away.    You automatically reach for Seokjin’s hand without him needing to prompt you right as the wind starts to pick up and howl. It’s a storm that whips through your hair, colour that bleeds away. But this time, you manage to keep your eyes open and together, with Seokjin by your side, you watch as your surroundings stitch together. Every object, item, material forms one by one. From the corner wall to the leg of a table, it starts to become visible.    And what appears, what envelopes you, is so different from the townhouse in France. From the apartment you were in with Hoseok and most notably, the penthouse in New York shared with Yoongi—    It’s a world of difference.   Even Jin is shocked. All he manages is a breathless “wow.”   It’s an extremely cramped space — a pale yellow and white kitchen and living room that’s technically one room. It wouldn’t be any different from a tiny studio apartment if not for the other door off to the side. But the tiled floor seems dirty, the gray carpet is severely stained, a kitchen cabinet is broken and hanging by a single hinge, and the sofa two steps away is ripped and mangled.    There’s not much to see or marvel at.   But before you can say anything to Jin, a man comes out from the room, shivering in his black hoodie that’s covering his hair, ears and face. “Goddammit, why is it so cold?” he mutters, feet padding towards the window by the back door.   He tries to pull it down, arms straining with all his might and it squeaks horrifically in the process.   Jin winces and you flinch, ears hurting from the pitched screech. But what’s far worse is before the window can close, it becomes stuck. A tiny gap is left open, wind whistling through it and he sighs in defeat.   The man finally turns around. And in an instant, your mouth draws open, eyes pinpointed on him as he makes his way to the kitchen, walking straight through Seokjin. You can’t help but gawk.   Jin leans over. “Can I guess?”   You snort, trance shattering and your attention drawn to your ghostly companion. “Sure.”   “This guy was your enemy until you became roommates or next-door neighbours by accident. Turns out he wasn’t as awful as you thought, and you caught feelings but could never admit them.”   You scoff and eye him. “What kind of cliché nonsense is that? Jimin’s my best friend’s older brother.” Immediately, Jin’s brow cocks and a laugh bubbles out from your throat. You nudge him with your shoulder. “Okay, it’s a little bit cliché but can you blame me?”   You open your hand and gesture towards Jimin as if that's enough to explain.    Jin studies him, humming and stroking his chin. After a second, as if he’s reached a conclusion, he says, “I’m better looking.”   You roll your eyes.   But Jimin’s more than his soft, cute appearance that has impressively lasted at this age. From your memories, he’s always been charming and considerate. You knew him in high school, back when you were a teenager who dreamt of romcoms and soulmates, and he swooped in at the same time. Two years older than you are. Undeniably popular. The boy-next-door that every girl daydreamed of — and that included you. You crushed on him hard.   But he was your best friend’s older brother. Said best friend eventually grew apart from you as your paths in life differed, but Jimin was off limits at the time that you knew him. Plus…   “He never looked at me like that. He called me kiddo.”   “Ah.” Jin nods in sympathy. “The little sister zone. Even worse than the friend zone.”   The soft, gradual sound of pitter-pattering above you has Jimin cursing. He looks out the kitchen window at the dark clouds right as a droplet splashes onto his head. He looks up menacingly as if that could stop the rain. But a raindrop plops down on you too. Luckily, it goes straight through your body. For once, you’re glad you can’t feel temperature since you’re sure you’d be shivering.   Jimin goes towards the cabinet underneath the sink and takes out buckets, positioning them right where rain is leaking into the kitchen and living room and letting it drip into it instead.   Right when he’s finished, the front door squeaks. “I’m home!”   It’s you, or at least the you from this world, bundled up in a worn coat and a large scarf.   “Welcome back,” Jimin turns and smiles. “Are you hungry? I can reheat the chicken from last night.”   She doesn’t respond, too busy looking at the large buckets on the floor. “The roof’s leaking again?” she asks in complete exasperation, shoulder deflating as she starts to take off her coat.   Jimin’s smile softens. “Looks like the patchwork didn’t really help.”   “Don’t go up there. You’ll get yourself hurt. We should just get the whole thing replaced. I’m sure they have financing plans that’ll let us pay it off in a few months.”   “No, I’ll call Taemin and ask him for a favour.”   The Y/N of this world turns as she’s finished hanging her scarf on the dinky coat rack. She’s left in a warm, oversized sweater but she doesn’t look terribly cozy with the furrow of her brows that seemingly darken her under eye circles. “Is it really alright to ask him for so many favours?”   Jimin turns to the sink, brushing it off. “Yeah, don’t worry about it.”   She stares at him and then her footsteps pad against the titled ground as she goes over to wrap her arms around his waist, leaning her face into his backside. All at once, Jimin eases and he shuts his eyes before he turns around and the two of them hug, squeezing each other in the middle of their modest kitchen.   You can’t help but sigh lightly and coo at the scene. “This is so cute”   “They’re probably just hugging each other for warmth,” Jin comments and you scoff at him. He grins, unabashed at how he ruined the sweet, romantic moment.    “Jimin,” she pipes up after a second. “Is there something burning?”   “Oh yeah, the cake!”   They let go of one another and he leans down to the oven with tattered mitts, taking out the baked cake slices and putting them on the countertop.    “Happy birthday. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I didn’t know you’d come home early.” Jimin ducks his head, cheeks becoming rosy. “I still need to frost it.”   “I love it, Jimin. Thank you.”    She leans in, pecking a chaste kiss to his lips and it leaves a smile on his face.   Jimin takes out the frosting from the fridge and she stands on the opposite side of the counter, dipping her finger into the bowl for a taste. At the same time, he mixes it again with a spoon, waiting for the cakes to cool.   “I’m sorry I couldn’t get you a proper present. I was planning on getting you that bracelet you liked but it was a lot more expensive than I thought it would be…”   “It’s okay. I didn’t like it anyway.”   He looks up with a doubtful and guilty look. But she reassures him, “Promise. I don’t even remember what bracelet you’re talking about. All I wanted was to spend my birthday together and you even made me a cake. What more could I ask for?”   “A lot more.”   “Well, it’s not what I want.” She pouts and it makes Jimin smile to himself.    He frosts the cake and once it’s done, it looks sloppy and unfinished. Part of it doesn’t have any frosting since he ran out, but both you and this version of you doesn’t mind whatsoever. You can tell there’s heart in it and that’s all that matters.   “There’s something I need to tell you,” Jimin says in the midst of dinner where they’re seated on the floor and using the coffee table as a dinner table. “Don’t worry, it’s good news.”   He laughs at her surprised expression and she swallows her mouthful. “Don’t scare me like that. You made it sound so bad.”   Jimin grins. “Sorry.”   “What is it?”   He pauses, just to build the anticipation. “I have an audition lined up. They really liked the performance I sent in.”   There’s a held silence. And then the corner of her mouth lifts. “That’s...amazing!”   But you know yourself. That’s your fake voice and fake smile.   Jimin doesn’t catch on to it. “I have a really good feeling about this one. I’m going to have to practice a lot more and come up with a whole new routine.”   Jin turns to you to fill in the blanks and you tell him, “Jimin’s a contemporary dancer.”   “Oh.”    Through a beat of quiet, both you and Seokjin share an underlying understanding. After all, it’s a universal truth — the arts aren’t lucrative. And you don’t know why you didn’t connect it sooner since it clearly serves as an explanation to the current state of this timeline. Your income must not be enough to support the two of you and unexpectedly, it looks like Jimin is still pursuing dance at thirty two.    You don’t know much about dance, but you know enough to be aware of just how competitive it is. You know how often times, the older you get, the harder opportunities come by. And it’s obvious this version of yourself isn’t hopeful.   “Did the Jimin you know ever end up like...this?”   Jin looks around and you know what he means. The state of this home is bearable, but it isn’t what you ever envisioned for yourself.   You shake your head. “That’s what I’m so confused about. Last time I checked, Jimin’s still pursuing dance but he was teaching at a studio.”    You vaguely remember seeing pictures on social media and him advertising the studio, surrounded with like-minded people. It looked legitimate.   “Maybe the opportunity never came with you around.” Jin hums and then quickly adds, “no offence.”   As Jimin’s in the middle of his excited tangent, the phone suddenly rings. She reaches for it. “It’s my mom.”   “Tell her I said hi.”   “So she can ask about you the entire time and not about me?” she teases with a smile that matches his and picks up the call while she gets to her feet. “Hello?”   Her smile fades for a moment and she slips into the tiny bedroom a few steps away. But the walls are painfully thin, and her voice is crystal clear from where you’re sitting beside Jin and across from Jimin. “Wait, wait, mom, slow down. What’s wrong?”   You exchange looks with Jin and he gives you an ‘uh-oh’ expression, already smelling trouble.   There’s a pause. “Dad? Y-Yeah, I can help, of course I can help with his treatment.”   “Did something happen to your dad?” Jin asks and you frown.    “He went into surgery for his appendix about a month ago.” You wonder if that's what this is about. But it was an easy and quick procedure, and he recovered after two weeks.   Then it comes to you — your parents needed help with the finances. It was easy. So much so that it slipped your mind entirely. You just transferred them the money. But in this world….   “I’ll figure something out,” this version of you tries to stay quiet yet to no avail. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll call the hospital and take care of it. Yeah. Yep. No, no. Of course, Jimin won’t mind. It’s fine. We’d be happy to help. Okay. Talk to you soon.”   You glance at Jimin to find him with a saddened smile. He swallows hard as she leaves the room, and he pretends he wasn’t listening. “Is everything okay?”   “Yeah.” She musters a smile. “She was just wishing me a happy birthday.”   Neither of them push or reveal more about what they know. It’s swept under the rug.    The room simmers into silence as the rain patters against the windows, some leaking through the gap of the stuck window and other droplets splashing into the half-full buckets. It’s a comfortable noise, a constant rhythm of the rain.    Eventually Jimin breaks the quiet through warm conversation that she easily reciprocates.   But in the midst of it, Jin turns to you. “What are you thinking?”   “I don’t know.” You sigh, taking in your dire surroundings again. It’s not just about the money. It’s about Jimin’s circumstances too. “I always thought the most important thing was being together, but if Jimin’s in a better place without me, then I don’t want to change that.”   You wish love, romance, relationships were easy. You wish that’s all that mattered.   Your gaze meets Jin’s, and a question comes to mind—   “What if I’m not supposed to end up with any of these people? With anyone? Maybe there’s a reason why things are the way they are and none of this happened in my lifetime.”   All of a sudden, Seokjin’s expression hardens. “Are you fine with being alone then?”   “I’ve gotten on fine for thirty years.”   The ghostly man, clad in a brown coat and dark pants, goes dead silent.    You frown and call out to him. “Jin?”   “No.” He shakes his head. “You have to choose someone. If you don’t….”   “If I don’t…?”   Confusion mars your features, your lips becoming lopsided as a knot forms between your brows. Jin softs and smiles, sheepish eyes slightly crinkled. He theatrically jumps to his feet, stretching his hand out to you. On instinct, your palm slides into his and he pulls you up.   “You shouldn’t give up yet. That’s not the spirit! There’s still two more.” Seokjin’s eyes glimmer with mischief and out of thin air, two envelopes appear in his other hand. He holds it out and you hesitate, but your eyes flicker up towards Seokjin and you look at him through your lashes.   You trust him enough to take one. The stained, old envelope with gel pen doodled hearts on it.   The envelope is released and ignites as time suspends. The orange flames incinerate the papers, crumbling the sheets inside and the ash dusts down like cherry blossoms. The wind howls a breath later, brushing through your hair and caressing your cheeks. You look at you and Jimin sitting together one last time before the sight washes away right in front of your eyes.   The colour bleeds and the surroundings are wiped into a white canvas. You see the world stitch together while the only constant that remains is Jin’s hand in yours.    Walls begin to form around you, but they’re wide and the ceiling lifts. The outside darkens. You discover yourself standing in the foyer of a beautiful, spacious home. The front door is behind you and there are stairs in front. You also notice the mountain of small shoes on the shoe rack.   But your attention is drawn when the first thing you hear are childish squeaks and then stomps.   As everything solidifies, your eyes take in the sight and your mouth draws open. You step forward, hand slipping out of Jin’s as you stare at Kim Taehyung in disbelief.   You knew this letter was his. But you haven’t seen him in so long. It feels like centuries ago.    It’s surreal.   Jin raises a brow at your reaction.   “Where do you think you’re going, missy?” The older man chases after the girl and growls. She squeals as he picks her up and throws her over his shoulder. “It’s time to get dressed before the guests come over. You want to look even prettier, don’t you? Get a sparkly, princess dress on.”   A familiar voice, your voice, shouts from upstairs. “Honey!”   “Coming!” Taehyung yells back. “Just caught the munchkin!”   Jin interrupts your trance. “Care to do the introductions?”   “Y-Yeah.” You snap out of it, blinking twice. “Taehyung’s a childhood friend. He was my best friend. We met in kindergarten.” You smile to yourself while reminiscing. “Everyone thought he was a girl when he was little since he was so pretty and because of him, people called me the ugly one when we sat next to each other.”   You laugh, the nostalgia prickling at you. It’s not a bad memory. How could it be when Taehyung was your first friend. And your first crush. He was a lot of your firsts.    “He ended up moving away at the end of sixth grade and that was that.”   Taehyung was also the subject of your first love letter clumsily scribbled in gel pen. It was meant to be both a goodbye and I love you letter, one filled with doodles and hearts that you never ended up giving to him. But it had started your habit of venting through letter form.   “I facebooked him years later and turns out he became a part-time model for some company. Pretty cool, huh?”   “Did you ever reconnect?”   You shake your head. “It’s been so long. I don’t even think he’d remember me.”   Seokjin hums a long note, drawn out for so long that you turn to him with your brow cocked. He, however, has a blank expression you can’t quite decipher. You’re about to ask him what his problem is, but suddenly, the doorbell rings.   Instantaneously, a German shepherd dog sprints in. A boy with puppy eyes and shaggy hair trails after the pet, turning the corner. But before he can grab the doorknob, a voice stops him—   “Eugene!” This world’s version of you pops out from the hall upstairs, looking down into the foyer of the big home. “What did I say about opening the front door?”   The boy sighs in frustration. “Mom! I’m already ten!”   At the same time, a girl around eight years old in a floral dress comes running over. She hangs off the banisters of the stairs like a monkey and with a grin, she chimes, “Stranger danger.”   “It doesn’t matter if you’re ten or twenty,” the older woman from upstairs declares. “My house, my rules.”   The doorbell rings again, echoing throughout the house. But this time, Taehyung comes down the stairs with the three-year old girl, now in a frilly, white shirt with a pink tutu. They’re hand in hand, taking one step at a time. “I’m coming, I’m coming,” Taehyung shouts at the door.   And once it opens, the girl giggles. The dog begins to bark. The commotion grows.   On the other side is your mom whose face is bright and excited. “Oh my goodness, it’s been so long!” Immediately she comes to hug Taehyung, giving him a big squeeze. It’s been a while since you’ve seen her so happy that it makes you unintentionally smile.   “Your mom looks great,” Jin observes with his own grin as the two of you watch the scene unfold. You wonder how he knows that’s your mom.   Your dad enters after.    “Hi grandpa, grandma,” Eugene greets, and she plants a fat kiss on his cheek.   “Hello, dear.” Your mother’s barely gotten her coat off before she’s being surrounded by the kids. “My goodness, did you get even taller?”   He beams. “I think so!”   “You’ll need to drink even more milk if you want to be as tall as your father. Speaking of which, are you doing well, Taehyung? Where’s Y/N?”   The blonde man has a boxy smile, and he gestures using his head. “She’s upstairs, changing the diaper of the little one.”   “Aw, how sweet. I saw that video you sent me the other day. I can’t believe she’s already starting to talk! They grow up so quick, don’t they?” Her eyes trail to the three-year old and she practically melts. “Wendy, come give grandma a big hug!”   The toddler careens over, arms opening wide as your mother crouches down and they capture one another in a giant embrace. A second later, the girl who was hanging off the stair banister comes running over and your mom laughs. “Yuna, get in here too! Oh, there we go.”   She doesn’t forget about the dog either who’s been jumping up and down, barking its head off, pawing at their pants. Once she releases the girls, she scratches behind the dog’s ear and around it’s chin, making it howl. “I didn’t forget about you, pooch. There, we go. What a good boy.”   “You got taller the last time I saw you, didn’t you?” your dad asks Eugene, and it makes the boy grin, nodding his head. “Soon you’re going to be all the way up to my chin!”   “Dad says I might grow to be more than six feet.”   “Don’t grow up too fast,” he says with a smile. “Where’s the other two boys at?”   “They’re watching a movie,” Yuna tattles with her lips pouted.   “It’s so cold!” your mom turns around and motions your dad to enter. “Hurry, close the door!”   Their coats are hung up in the closet and as your mom continues chatting with Taehyung, your dad comes round the living room to two boys, around seven and five, ogling the television screen with their mouths hanging open practically to catch flies. But they turn their heads and scramble upwards with boxy grins.   “Grandpa!”   “Ken, Noah!” He hugs them and the former asks if he brought cookies which your dad answers with a wink and asks, “Have you been on your best behaviour?”   “Yeah!”   You’re in awe, watching the scene unfold in front of your eyes. You would’ve never thought this is what your life with Taehyung would’ve been like.    Jin grimaces as Yuna runs past with Noah. “This place feels like a puppy mill.”   That comment has you laughing. Six kids are a lot. There were toys everywhere on the floor, from dolls to lego pieces, a baby walker in the corner, a playpen in the middle of the living room, sofa worn and stained, and you spot some crayon scribbled on the wall. But even if it’s messy and there’s nothing luxurious, it’s a warm house—   A home.   Jin nudges you, taking you out of your train of thought and you follow his line of sight to the dog who’s a meter away, staring right at the two of you. Then, it starts to furiously bark.   “Woah, down, down!” Jin snaps his fingers, but it does nothing.   The dog can’t hurt you. Probably. But it was still alarming to see it baring its teeth and to have your positions exposed. Considering the both of you have been invisible this entire time, to be seen makes you feel naked.   “Shush, it’s okay.” You lift your hands, backing away. “We’re not going to hurt you.”   Nothing helps. The dog continues to bark. It comes forward.   Immediately, Jin moves, stepping in front of you and shielding you with his body.   Then your voice comes across the room— “Taehyung, calm the dog down, will you?”    This Y/N is dressed in sweatpants and a loose shirt, holding an infant in her arms who’s wide-eyed and babbling incessantly while drooling over her fist and onto her onesie. You barely recognize this version of yourself. She has some dried spit on her shoulder, vomit stains on her chest and she’s understandably gained a few pounds from the kids. You don’t miss her dark-circles or bloodshot eyes either.    At once, Taehyung clicks his tongue and tells the dog, “Hush, boy.”   It whimpers, stepping away from you and Jin, and Taehyung pets behind its ears.   Your mom comes over to the infant and coos, “Look at her! Oh my goodness, how precious. She has your eyes, dear!”   “Really?” she sighs. “I think Sunny’s looking more and more like Taehyung.”   “That’s not such a bad thing,” said man pipes up with another grin. “I’m handsome, aren’t I?”   She lightly scoffs. “Half the kids already look like you.”   In the midst of it, you don’t notice Jin sizing Taehyung up with a quirked brow, not paying any attention to the conversation in favour of scanning the man up and down with narrowed eyes.   “Are you sleeping lately?” your dad asks, concern evident in his expression.   “As much as I can with a newborn.”   Your mom softens. “Well, happy birthday, dear.”   Yuna straightens with a bright smile and repeats it. “Happy birthday, mommy!”   Wendy squeals after her. “Birthday, mommy!”   This version of you eases and smiles. “Thank you.”   Ken, the boy around seven, comes over sulking. “The TV’s broken! It’s not playing anymore.”   Taehyung comes over. “Let me take a look.”   At the same time, the you in the sweatpants notices Noah, the boy that’s about five, following your dad into the kitchen. She calls out, “Don’t give them any sweets, dad! It’ll ruin their appetite.” The infant in her arms has drool dribbling from her mouth and she lifts her shirt to wipe it away. While doing so, she glances at her husband who’s crouched over at the television with the remote in hand. “Taehyung, when are your parents coming?”   “Half an hour? They’re stuck in traffic.”    The dog starts pawing at the front door and she sighs, trying to come over to open it as Sunny starts squirming in her arms. Your mom is the only one who notices her struggle and comes over.   “Here.” She takes the infant from her and once the dog’s free in the fenced-in yard, she leans over in a low voice. “Honey, when was the last time you put a brush through your hair?”   Instantly, she puts her hand up and realizes how disheveled and knotted her hair is. Your mom sheepishly smiles and says she’ll take care of the kids. This version of you nods and ducks out in embarrassment, beelining to the bathroom.    Both you and Jin decide to follow after her, finally getting a moment of quiet away from the chaos that seems to echo throughout the rest of the house.    Jin sighs and you repress a smile at how exhausted he looks in spite of not having to do anything. “That was a lot to take in.”   “Yeah. I guess we never left our hometown.”   In this reality, it seems like Taehyung never moved away either. It seems like you always had each other. You wonder if you had sent that letter to him back then, would it have made such a huge impact on your life?   “So...is he the love of your life?”   “Who? Taehyung?” Your head whirls to Jin. “I don’t know. It’s been years.”   “I mean what about now?”   “Well, he is handsome. It’s kind of a waste he didn’t become a model in this timeline.”   Jin scoffs and lifts his nose into the air. “I’m better looking.”   You flash him an incredulous look. “You said that about Jimin too.”   “That’s because I’m better looking than most people.” The ghostly man strokes his chin and winks. But you stare at him blankly and after a beat, you bite back—   “Really? I don’t see it.”   Jin’s mouth draws open and he scoffs in offence. You burst out laughing.   “I know you think I’m handsome. Just admit it!”   “I can’t admit what’s not there,” you quip back at him. “That would be lying.”   Before you can blink, Jin’s hands suddenly stretch and he’s tickling you at your weakest points. You squirm and squeal at him, “S-Stop!” But giggles bubble past your lips and he grins, cheeks puffing out, eyes crinkled, not letting up until you’re forced to run down the hall, following the light and escaping into the bathroom where the other version of you is.   Jin chases after you but then gives up when you feign an angered expression which includes your lips twitching and threatening to pull into another smile. Still, he puts his palms up, grins and declares a temporary truce. “Fine, fine.”   You watch as this version of you gawks at the mirror and grabs a comb to tackle the tangled hair.   But not a second later, a familiar boy pops through the door, straight through Seokjin.   “Mommy, I’m hungry,” Noah complains.   “We’ll eat in a little bit.” When she’s unable to pull the comb through her hair, she slaps it on the counter in frustration and turns on the tap to try to clean off the stain on her shoulder.   “I don’t want mashies.”   “Well too bad. Beggars can’t be choosers.”   “I hate you!” the five year old screams and she closes her eyes tight for a moment, taking a deep inhale as her patience is tested. At the same time, the boy runs away.   She’s left slamming the tap closed and turning around.    She beelines towards the stairs but is stopped by Yuna who tugs on her shirt. “Mommy, Ken’s undressing my dolls again!”   “No, I’m not!” the boy defends in a pitched voice. “She’s the one who keeps using my Iron Man to be the prince!”   “Ken, stop undressing Yuna’s dolls. And Yuna, leave your younger brother’s toys alone.” The two kids pout, and she walks up the stairs to see Eugene coming out of his room. His shoulders are shrugged, feet dragging along the carpet and there’s a crumpled, collared shirt in his hand.   “Mom, do I really have to change?”   “Yes. It’s for the pictures.”   “But I don’t like it! It’s too tight on me.”   “No, it isn’t. You’ll be fine, Eugene.” She enters her room that’s ridden with toys as well and opens the closet, scrambling for a clean shirt. He trails after her. “It’s only for a few hours.”   “Ugh!”   The ten year old turns on his heel, walking away.    Jin whistles. “Damn, you never get a moment to yourself, do you?”   As if to prove his point, the doorbell goes off. Barking and more loud noises follow, and she curses, rushing into the bathroom with a wrinkle shirt she finds. In the meanwhile, Seokjin takes the chance to look at the family photos framed on the bedroom wall, viewing them with a stoic expression.    You look after him, finding a picture of you and Taehyung in the hospital with you lying in bed and Taehyung holding a newborn. The both of you look so young, you must’ve been twenty.   There are many more photographs after that and as the years seem to progress, there’s more and more kids captured with toothless smiles and bright eyes. You look over them with a soft smile.   “I didn’t know you wanted so many kids,” Jin pipes up.   That’s the thing — “I don’t.”    The Y/N of this timeline rushes out of the bathroom with her new shirt and her hair somewhat neatly tied back. But as she leaves, she nearly trips on a toy dump truck on the ground and curses. She kicks it aside and then goes downstairs where there are more greetings and calls of her name.   Jin’s eyes trail from the space that she had just occupied to you. “Do you like this world? It seems a bit hectic.”   “I don’t know what I want anymore,” you admit honestly with a sigh. “I thought the most important thing was to have someone by my side, but so many other things seem to matter too. A family, compatibility, career, stability.” Your gaze meet’s Seokjin’s. “Is it selfish if I want it all?”   The corner of his plump lips tug and he shakes his head. “Not at all. I’m here to make your wish come true.”   “Mom?”    The two of you are interrupted by Eugene who enters the room, oblivious. He sighs when he realizes she isn’t there and scatters down the stairs. You follow after him, not quite done watching this reality just yet.   Downstairs, Taehyung’s parents are mingling with yours while the kids are running amok.   Dinner is hectic as well. Noah complains about the mashed potatoes before Wendy spills her entire plate on the floor, and Sunny knocks over her bottle of milk. And when it’s time to have cake, all the children gather round with Sunny perched on your lap. They sing discordantly and Jin winces as the kids practically spit all over the birthday cake to blow out the candle.   But it’s an undeniable sweet sight when they give their handmade crafts as gifts. It’s only slightly underplayed when Ken steals Eugene’s cake much to the older’s dismay and Noah throws some in Yuna’s hair, making the girl shriek her head off and require parental intervention.   You don’t think Jin has anything against kids, but by his facial expression, you can tell that every second is making him more adverse. Watching him and his reactions makes you laugh.   But in the middle of the celebrations, Taehyung pulls his wife aside in a private nook of the house and presses a long, sweet kiss to her lips. Even if you’re a bystander and merely watching, it makes you swoon. Jin, on the other hand, merely lifts a brow.   She smiles. “What’s the matter?”   “It’s time for your birthday gift,” he says, hand tightening in hers and she grins. “Follow me.”   Unfortunately, their path is intercepted by the rascals who have long infested the house and made privacy virtually impossible. “Where’re you going?” Ken asks, hanging off the back of the couch and watching them brush past.   “It’s a secret,” Taehyung states without looking at him.   Noah jumps off the stairs. “I wanna come!”   “No. Go watch your sister.”   The five-year old pouts. “I don’t wanna.”   “Hey!” Taehyung suddenly points towards the kitchen. “Look over there!”   Instantly, all of the children’s heads whirl in the indicated direction. They fall for the distraction and Taehyung grins, stealing the opportunity to finally sneak off with his wife. It makes you smile too, and you follow after them as they make their way down the hall until he finally stops at the closet next to the laundry room.   “What is it?”   “Hold your horses, woman.”   Taehyung turns on the single bulb and they enter the crowded space, only able to close the door halfway when there’s clothing bins in the way. They’re oblivious to how you and Seokjin are standing there, intruding on the moment and watching them.   “Don’t tell me you got that necklace.”   “No.”   Suddenly, as if another idea’s come to mind, her expression lights up and her eyes widen. “No…”   It makes Taehyung grin. “What?”   The Y/N of this world gasps and lightly smacks her husband in the chest. “You did not.”   “Did I?” He laughs.    “You finally got tickets for us to go to Europe?!”   The tall man quirks his head to the side with a playful smile. “Not quite. I got something even better. Ta-da!” He leans down and drags out a long box from the bottom shelf that was hidden and buried underneath a pile of jackets. Taehyung smacks the cardboard triumphantly. “A new stroller!”   “Dude!” Jin shouts, arm stretching out in exasperation as if the other man could see or hear him. “That’s not even a gift for her!”    You grimace. And it seems like this world’s version of you does as well.   “I could do better than that,” Jin scoffs, fully offended on behalf of you and this alternative version of you who remains completely silent.   “Well, it’s the thought that counts,” you conclude with a small sigh, turning to Seokjin, intrigued by his statement. “What would you get me?”   “I don’t know, like a bouquet of tulips and a scarf. This is just pathetic.”   He shakes his head, but you’re stuck in your spot, transfixed on the ghostly man’s profile. You wonder why he said tulips specifically when he could’ve just said a bouquet of flowers.    You love tulips.   “I have to assemble it, but it’s going to be great,” Taehyung explains excitedly with an enormous, rectangular smile. “The wheels roll in all directions and the sunshade can move at three different angles.”    “Oh. That’s great.” She musters a smile. “I...love it.”   “Right? I even got it on sale. Picked it up yesterday.”   As he stands, she eyes him, fixated on the fact that he had gotten it just yesterday. “Did you forget? About my birthday?”   Colour drains from Taehyung’s face and his mouth draws open before shutting a beat later. Yet she grins and leans up to plant a kiss on his cheek. “Thank you, Tae. I appreciate it.”   He deflates in relief and encircles her waist with his arms. “I love you.”   “I love you too.”   “Y/N—” a shrill voice interrupts their intimate moment. It’s your mom. “Where’s the diapers? Sunny needs a change!”   She sticks her head out of the closet door. “Coming!”   For the rest of the night, the grandparents play with the kids and the dog until it’s everyone’s bedtime and they take their leave, wishing you a goodnight and giving last birthday wishes.   Eugene brushes his own teeth as Taehyung helps the two younger boys and this world’s version of you is in the other bathroom giving Wendy a bath. You feel tired just by watching yourself.    It could just be that you haven’t slept. God knows how long it’s been since this whole adventure started. It’s still a lot to take in but you know you have to make it through until the end. You want to.   In between the bedtime routine, Ken begs to use the iPad while Yuna refuses to go to sleep. But at ten o’clock at night, the whole house finally gets quiet. The Y/N, who’s changed into some old pajamas, hums while cradling Sunny. Said infant rests on her shoulder and sleeps away. The dog is also at the foot of the bed, sleepily blinking.   Taehyung enters their bedroom with a yawn. “Did you have a good day, birthday girl?”   “It’s as good as it’s gonna get.”   He smiles, leaning in to kiss her. It’s soft, tired and brief.   Then there’s a knock at the door and someone who’s barely three feet rubbing at her eyes incessantly with her tiny fists. “I can’t sleep,” Wendy whines, words blubbering together.   “Here, I’ll do it.” She hands Sunny off to Taehyung, but the movement has the infant squirming and a cry escaping her mouth. He tries to hush her, patting her back, but the baby’s brows furrow and she starts to cry louder.    The shrieking builds in intensity and tone as Taehyung tries to get her back to sleep, but she awakens completely, cry becoming ear-piercing. That, in turn, makes the dog get up and howl.   “Mommy!” Wendy shouts at the top of her lungs, trying to draw her attention. “Mommy!”   The temporary peace and quiet of the house is shattered. Lasting less than five minutes.   And with all the noise — the dog howling, the baby crying, Wendy screaming — the Y/N of this world starts to cry too. With her downcast eyes and her head slumped down, tears begin to slip off her cheeks and she lifts her hands to quietly sob into them. Taehyung is at once alarmed.    “Honey.” With his free arm, he tries to embrace his wife. “Is everything alright?”   “Y-Yeah. Sorry.” She lifts her face and hastily wipes her eyes with the back of her hand, clearly trying her best to hold it together. “I-I’m fine.”   She turns and reaches for Wendy’s hand. That appeases the tantruming toddler. “Come on, let’s go.”   You watch her drooping backside fade into the dark hallway until the faint outline disappears from sight. In the meanwhile, Taehyung gets the dog to quiet down and then focuses on getting Sunny back to sleep.   “What’s the verdict?” Jin pipes up suddenly, startling you. It was easy to forget that you were more than a silent spectator.   “I know this is an option but…”   “But?”   You pause, unable to find the right words but as if Seokjin knows you well after tonight, he fills in the blanks for you. “You still want a career, don’t you? Something of your own.”   You meet his eyes, uncertain. “Is that such a bad thing?”   You’re sure being a mother is fulfilling. As exhausting as it seems, you can tell Taehyung loves you, or at least her, and you can tell the kids do as well, in spite of the tantrums they throw or the ‘I hate you’s’ that they shriek. Yet — there’s still something missing.   When you look at this version of yourself, you don’t see you anymore. You see a mother of six. You see Taehyung’s wife. Your own identity has disappeared in the wake of responsibility. And you’re not sure if you can suddenly accept such a drastic change.   You don’t know if this is the reality you want to be in.   “Not at all,” Jin comforts and holds out his hand with a gentle smile. “There’s still one more.”   Like all the times before, your hand slips into Jin’s and he gives you the last envelope that materializes in his hold. Knowing what to do, you release it in front of you with a light toss and it floats mid-air as time suspends. The envelope burns, corners curling in the flames that appear, pages inside disintegrating into ashes that cascade downwards.    The wind picks up. The colours blur. It feels like you’re on a bullet train, being lodged somewhere else. In a different place, a different time, a different universe.   But as the world around you shifts, this time, your eyes remain focused on Jin’s profile.   Your gaze traces the slope of his nose, the pillowy shape of his lips, the way his brown irises catch the light of the stars. And you look at him until he turns. His eyes meet yours and they soften with a sheepish smile.    You don’t know why you didn’t notice before.    Maybe you just got used to it since it was like this from the start. Maybe you thought he was like this to everyone. But the way Seokjin gazes at you — it’s like you’re the only thing he wants to look at.   A car whizzes past.   You’re both standing next to the street. A lamppost dimly illuminates your translucent figures.   “Is something wrong?”   You break away from his tender gaze. “There’s just a lot on my mind.”   “Well...it’s almost over.” He squeezes your hand and releases it. You glance at him, but he’s looking elsewhere and as you follow his line of sight, you realize you’re right in front of your apartment.    If you didn’t know any better, you would think that you made it back to the present, your present. But then you catch yourself, this world’s version of you, getting out of a car in the open parking lot.   She’s wearing simple business attire, a pencil skirt and blouse, not that much different from what you’re wearing now.   “Care to tell me about this last lover of yours?” he asks, leaning over with a mischievous smile.   You scoff, mouth tugged upwards. This one’s no lover of yours, but Jin already knows that. He’s only teasing you at this point.   There’s only one person left. Only one person it could be.   “Jungkook. I met him at a bar a year ago. He came in with a group of guys.” A group of very attractive men that your coworkers pointed out. You still remember how lucky you felt when he slid right next to you and chatted you up. He was a smooth talker, charismatic, and you were infatuated within an hour. “He’s a semi-pro racer.”   “I didn’t know you were into bad boys.”   “He was sweet. Until he ghosted me.” You sigh lightly, not particularly bitter about it considering it’s been a while. “We went on a few dates, but he never called me back after the third one.”   At the time you wrote that love letter, you were frustrated and upset. It was a wine drunk night and you needed to vent somehow, so you did it through letter form once again. This was the first relationship where you really thought it would have a chance of working out.    You don’t know the reasoning for Jungkook never contacting you again. Maybe he just lost interest. Maybe he found someone else. But you suppose this is a world where it didn’t turn out that way.   “Well, that’s stupid of him,” Jin breaks you out of your thoughts. He says it so nonchalantly like it’s obvious. He doesn’t know just how consoling his words are to you. “His loss. Guess this is his second chance to own up.”   Before your lips can part, before you can say anything, a phone rings.   The Y/N of this world picks it out of her pocket as she makes her way into the apartment. Jin follows after her and you’re left trailing after him.   “Hey.” She smiles sweetly. “Work was fine. Are you coming home soon?”   Once she gets inside, she pushes the button for the elevator. “There’s already a cake in the fridge. We can cut it tonight.”    There’s a pause and suddenly, she bursts out laughing. “How about staying in? We don’t need to do anything fancy. I wouldn’t mind just having dinner tonight and maybe turning on a movie. I heard When Spring Meets Autumn is half-decent. I can probably download it for free.” She grins after a beat of quiet. “Oh, come on, romance movies aren’t that bad.”   She gets inside the elevator and it goes up, opening at her floor. She strides down the hall, but you and Jin are ahead of her. “Okay. I’ll see you in an hour or two then? Love you.”   As she fiddles with the keys to open the door, you walk through the walls.    It’s your apartment. Down to the empty glass on the counter.   A wave of relief and comfort washes over you. It feels like it’s been eons since you’ve been here in your own home and after seeing so many different versions of ‘home’, this place was unbeatable. Not that the penthouse in New York wasn’t gorgeous or the townhouse in France wasn’t lovely — but this place, albeit not special, it’s yours. You got it on your own, picked out the furniture on your own, pay for it on your own, and most importantly, it carries all of your memories.   You don’t know what you would do if you could never return here — to the home you built yourself.   The Y/N of this timeline throws the keys onto the counter and kicks off her shoes.   She turns on the lights and you watch her like it’s an out-of-body experience. Out of all the versions of yourself that you’ve witnessed, this one is the most strikingly similar to you. It seems like not much has changed in this reality. You still have your job, your home, all the things you worked hard for and the things you’re content with.    It’s all here.   The only difference is you’re not alone. You have someone to call your own. Someone to come home to.   As she heads for the shower to wash up, Jin plops down on the couch. His arms spread wide and he props his feet onto the coffee table.    You scoff, crossing your arms and quirking your brow at him. “Looks like someone’s gotten comfortable. You know, that’s the exact spot I was sitting when you scared me shitless and almost gave me a heart attack.”   “Yeah, because of how good looking I am, right?” Jin smirks and you roll your eyes.   “Unbelievable.”   “It’s not like she can see.”   “This is still my apartment.”   “It’s hers.”   “Well, she’s me and I’m her.”   “Technically, this is another version of you that you can choose to become,” he says with a sly smile, obviously entertained by the petty argument and managing to rile you up.   But what he says piques your interest. You realize you don’t know the real specifics to what will happen once you make your choice. “So, if I choose, I’ll end up becoming them?”   “In a sense. You’ll get their memories, and your entire life will change.”   “What happens if it turns out I hate it?”   “That’s why you have to make the decision carefully.”   Your brows furrow. “Can’t you revert it back?”   “No.” Seokjin quiets and he looks to the floor. “Once the decision is made, I’ll be gone.”   You step forward, words unable to sink into you. “What do you mean?”   He meets your eyes, murmuring, “I’m just here to grant you your wish, Y/N.”   Before any more can be said, the you of this universe comes back, filling the silence with a song on her phone. She pulls the sleeves of her hoodie up to her elbows and goes to the kitchen humming. The two of you follow, watching her taking out lettuce and potatoes from the fridge.    She struggles to get the hard spaghetti box from the high cabinet shelf.    Jin shakes his head, sighing. “You should stop keeping things out of your reach.”   “I can reach,” you argue, and she does manage to snag it, only after jumping twice. But it works. “See?”   He grins, putting his hands up.   But Jin quickly becomes exasperated by how much salt she puts into the water and freaks out when the pot almost overboils onto the stove.   “I didn’t take you for being a backseat driver, or in this case, a backseat chef,” you quip.   “Don’t you know? The most important way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” he declares, suddenly passionate. “You only eat three times a day, so it has to be right.”   His tangent makes you grin. “I didn’t know you were such a foodie.”   “You are too,” he mutters, frowning over her shoulder as she stirs the pasta. “You’re a pickier eater than I am.”   Instantly, a knot is made between your brows. “How do you know that?”   Jin does a double take and says, “I’m just assuming. Since you seem like the high maintenance type.”   You’re wholly offended by the comment, mouth hanging open as you scoff.   Jin ducks when try to smack his shoulder. “Sorry, sorry.” He laughs, smiling from ear to ear. “I didn’t mean it.”   “You so did!” But instead of being insulted, you start laughing too.   “Well maybe it’s because I’ve shown you paradise with five guys so far and you haven’t made a single choice. Sorry for assuming things because you’re so picky.” The last word is squealed out as you try to jab Seokjin’s side. He giggles and you chase him around the kitchen island.   “Didn’t you tell me to make my decision carefully?”    “I didn’t tell you to take years to decide,” he sing-songs, mocking you.   “Well, excuse me! I didn’t know you had better things to do.”   “Why are you mad at me?” Jin grins and it’s infuriating how each move you make, he mirrors you, keeping the exact same distance around the island. And when you try to run, his legs are too goddamn long for you to catch up. “You’re the slow and indecisive one.”   Your mouth drops open again. “Did you just call me slow?!”   He laughs and it takes all your efforts not to either. But you can’t help the way your lips twitch into another smile.    “You’re slow at chasing me.”   “You little shit — get back here! Jin!”   In the meanwhile, this world’s version of you is busy chopping potatoes and preparing her seasoning. She’s completely oblivious to you and Seokjin running around her and making an absolute ruckus out of the place. When she’s not making the food, she’s constantly checking the clock.   Once the food is prepared, sitting on the stove to be warmed up again, she stops tapping her foot incessantly and grabs her phone. You watch as she makes a call, but sighs after there’s no answer. So, she sits on the couch, fingers flurrying over her phone as she texts.    But as the hour passes and minutes continue to fly by, she becomes more uneased.   She starts to pace. Checking outside the window. Looking at the clock.   She calls again and this time, leaves a voice message— “Jungkook, hey. When are you coming home? The food’s all done, and I thought you’d be here by now. You’re not picking up my calls either. Is everything alright? At least give me a call back or answer my text when you hear this.”   You and Seokjin watch her and you brace yourself, wondering what’s wrong this time.   Maybe Jungkook’s ditching you in this timeline as well. Maybe you’re about to find out he’s cheating on you. Or maybe he’s just not going to show up and you’re going to spend your birthday alone like how it was supposed to be from the very start—   Your train of thought is interrupted by a ringing that pierces into the silence.    She jolts and instinctively snatches her phone, picking up the call.    “Hello?”   There’s a long pause. She furrows her brows deep enough to hurt and then instantly gets to her feet. “Oh my god. I’ll be right there!”   You and Seokjin exchange equally confused expressions as she darts to grab her coat and keys, nearly slipping on the floor in the process. You don’t know where she’s going, but Jin doesn’t wait around.    “Let’s follow her.”   You nod and the pair of you keep up until you’re sitting in the backseat of her car. The engine roars and then she’s backing out of her spot and driving down the road over the speed limit.   She glances into the rearview mirror every so often — teeth sunk into the bottom of her lip — tears making her eyes glassy. At any red stop light, her fingers tap against the steering wheel, anxious to go.   You frown when something comes into sight. You feel Seokjin stiffen beside you.   It’s the hospital.   She signals and turns into it, wheels screeching against the pavement, frantically following the signs until she parks in the lot. She doesn’t pay for parking, merely grabbing her jacket thrown in the other seat and she starts to run towards the sliding glass doors, past the parked ambulances.    You barely manage to keep up. Jin trails behind you.   When you enter, she’s sobbing at the counter. “I-I got a call. M-My fiancé— he’s hurt.”   The nurse tries to calm her down. “Can you tell me his name?”   “Jeon Jungkook.”   She’s shaking.    Fear is etched onto her features. Her eyes search the room desperately. And her knuckles are white with how they grasp onto the counter as if to anchor her weakened knees.   A younger nurse leads the way and she fervently follows her down the hall as teardrops shed down her cheeks. The nurse stops at a room with a window looking into it.    “He’s inside. You can’t go in yet.”   “W-What happened to him,” she whispers in a broken voice, staggering breaths heaving from her chest as she tries to get the words out. “Is...is he going to be okay?”    At the exact same moment, as if to answer her questions, the door opens.   “Make way!”   Jungkook is wheeled out, laying on the bed, eyes barely open and conscious. He’s in a neck brace, his lips bleeding, cuts littering his reddened face that is sure to bruise abhorrently. His left eye is swollen beyond recognition and the doctors crowd over him. But it doesn’t stop her from calling out to him.   “Jungkook!”   She chases after them as they wheel him away. “Jungkook!”   His fingertip twitches. But once they turn the corner, she slows.   “Ma’am.” A doctor comes to her. “Are you the patient’s wife?”   “I’m his fiancée,” she manages in the midst of her heavy sobs. “Wh-What happened to him?”   “He got into a motorcycle accident, but luckily his injuries aren’t too severe. He’s most likely going to recover,” he says, and she deflates in relief, a deep breath being taken as she tries to quiet her crying. “He has a concussion and we’re just sending him in for a CT scan to figure out how severe it’ll be. Is there someone you can contact? Does he have any family?”   “His parents are out of the country— but how long will it take?”   “It should be within the hour.”   She nods. “I’ll...I’ll wait for him here.”   She lugs her legs back, finding chairs built in the hall across the room and she waits for him there. Hunched over. Hands kitted together. Shaking. No one pays mind as she cries quietly into her lap. No one looks at her slumped silhouette but you and Jin, standing at the end of the hall.    She spends her birthday in the hospital.   You’ve seen so many versions of yourself today — a successful businesswoman, a traveler, a mother — but there’s something about seeing yourself broken down in a hospital, in grief for a loved one. It’s difficult for you to see yourself so torn down from an outsider’s point of view. It’s hard to watch.    But Jin seems to be more affected than you.   He’s quiet, without comment and it’s unlike him to be.   You turn to Jin, finding him visibly uncomfortable with the scene — brows furrowed deep enough to hurt, lips lopsided and eyes solemn. He stares at her for a prolonged moment.   “Are you alright?”   He jolts from your voice and tears his eyes away from the sight. “I’m fine. I just don’t like hospitals.”   You wonder if it’s because he died in one. You wonder how he died in the first place.   “Jin.”   “Hmm?”   “How...how did you die?” you ask in a hesitant murmur, uncertain if it’s a question you’re even allowed to ask. “Since you said you were a ghost and all…”   The corner of his mouth tugs, but it’s tinged with sorrow. “It was a car accident. It came out of nowhere. I didn’t have time to prepare.”   “I’m sorry.”   “No.” He shifts his gaze downwards. “I’m more sorry for the people I left behind.”   After a beat, Jin lifts his eyes to you and he says, “Don’t pick this one.”   You’re taken aback. Not once has he voiced his own opinion before — never so strongly and firmly. He’s made comments, made jokes, complained countless times, but Jin’s never told you what to do. Who to pick and choose. What path to go down into. But now, he doesn’t waver.    He is adamant. As if he’s already eliminated this one decision for you.   “Why not?”   Jin gazes into you, eyes becoming soft and tender.    “I don’t want to see you like this.”   Before you can react, before your mouth can open and the innumerable questions pressed on your mind can tumble from your lips, the same nurse from earlier approaches this world’s version of you. “Mrs. Y/N? You are Jungkook’s fiancée?” Immediately, she stands. “He’s been moved into another room.”   She enters a room in the adjacent hall.   Jungkook’s inclined upwards on the bed. Dark hair, doe eyes, tattoos wrapping up his left arm before it disappears under the sleeve of his blue hospital gown. There are scratches littering his face, a bandage on his chin and spots on his torn flesh already deepening in a purple hue.    Yet Jungkook still manages a meek smile. “Hey.”   She stares at him, expression filled with hurt and he already knows.    “He’ll be okay,” the doctor says, and she redirects his attention to him. “The concussion luckily isn’t severe, and we’ve given him some pain medication. The cuts and bruises should heal in a few weeks. I’ll leave the nurses to explain the best way to treat them.”    The doctor continues, “He’ll need to stay in the neck brace for two days since he did suffer from some whiplash. We also want to keep him in the hospital for at least twenty four hours to monitor his condition in case something goes wrong.”   “Okay.” She musters a tight-lipped smile. “Thank you so much.”   He mentions a few other things, but he and the nurses soon leave to give her and Jungkook some privacy. It’s then that a deadly silence fills the room.   She stands a meter away from the bed, staring at him. He doesn’t say a single thing. Not until she does.   “You went racing again….didn’t you?”   “I’m sorry.”   “You were supposed to be on your way home. You told me you were going home.”   “I know. It was supposed to only take an hour, but then this...happened.” Jungkook has the audacity to laugh, but then sharply inhales with the sting of his split lip.   She glares at him and slowly approaches his bedside. “It’s not funny. What if it was worse? What if you got hurt even worse, Jungkook?” Her eyes are glassy and her voice croaks. “W-What am I supposed to do then? Are you planning on leaving me like that?”   “I know.” Jungkook softens, stuck in his spot with the neck brace but he lifts out his arm. She takes his hand, still trembling and he squeezes it. “I’m sorry.”   She sits beside him and his eyes flicker over to her. The corner of Jungkook’s mouth subtly upturns. “If it helps, I would kiss you right now if I could.”   A tearful laugh pulls from her. “You look awful.”   “I feel awful.” He squeezes her hand again. “Will you still love me if all this is permanent?”   She scoffs lightly, unable to believe he can be joking around in this position. But she doesn’t argue about it. “It isn’t, but yes. I’d still love you even if you’re an absolute idiot.”   “I’m glad.” Jungkook sighs out of feigned relief. He easily turns the atmosphere lighthearted and relaxes her. “I don’t know how I’d deal if you decide to dump me. I’d be injured inside and out. Don’t think the doctor can officially diagnose it as heartbreak.”   “You should be more worried about me punching you than breaking up with you.”   “I’d tell you to do it now, but I don’t think I could take it. My neck’s not in a great place right now.” His eyes flicker down to his neck brace. “You might accidentally decapitate me. Wouldn’t want you to go to prison because of me, babe.” He smiles and adds, “Especially not on your birthday.”   She has a deadpan expression. “Thanks.”   “Man, tonight was supposed to be perfect.” Jungkook exhales. “I was supposed to slap down the prize money on the table and I even had the nicest gift for you. It’s under the bed.”   “Don’t tell me what it is.” Her eyes glaze over again, and she becomes quiet. “Give it to me when you get out.”   “Okay.” Jungkook stares at her. “The bike’s a goner. I won’t be able to fix it.”   “Good.”   There’s a pause and he repeats himself as if that could somehow make up for his mistake. “I’m sorry, Y/N. I know you don’t want to spend your birthday here.”   A tear trickles from her eye and leaves a wet trail as it rolls down her cheek. “That doesn’t matter. Just promise me. Promise me this won’t happen again, Kook,” she whispers, begging and pleading, “That you won’t go racing illegally and get yourself arrested or hurt.”   There’s a beat of silence.   “I promise.”   But she looks far from being reassured. There’s an expression on her face, one that reads of disappointment. As if she knows he’ll do it again. As if she knows the promise is meaningless. After all, no matter how much she pleads, she can’t change his personality. Jungkook is a risk-taker. He lives for adventure and the adrenaline rush. She’ll be here again. Crying. Waiting.   You watch the two of them from the window in the hall. You don’t know what to think.   This is the last one. After this, there’s no more letters to burn, no more futures to see.   You have to make your choice.    Yoongi. Hoseok. Namjoon. Jimin. Taehyung. Or Jungkook.   But you don’t know who to pick. You don’t know what the answer is. Nothing seems right to you.   These versions of your life and of yourself, they never seem to be truly content with their situation. There’s always a missing piece to the puzzle. A compromise in each that you’re not sure you’re willing to make. And maybe that’s just what life is — there’s no such thing as perfect. Maybe you just have to accept that fact and learn to cope. But why does it still feel so wrong?   There are a million maybes that have flooded your mind and overwhelmed you completely but one of them is the loudest. A truth that had lingered in the back of your mind and crept as time went on. One that you had tried to acknowledge before—   Maybe you’re not meant to be with any of them.   This scene in front of you isn’t meant to happen. Everything you’ve seen tonight was supposed to remain what-ifs and not what-is.    The way your life has actually worked out is the one that should stay.   But you have to choose….right?   That’s what Jin told you.   Jin.   “How do you know I like tulips?”   The question is finally spoken from your lips as you’re both looking onwards at the couple on the other side of the glass. The ghostly man is by your side as he has been since the very start.   “What?”   You turn to him, gaze connected to his. “You said for my birthday you’d get me a scarf and a bouquet of tulips.”   Jin’s brow lifts. “Did I?”   “You did. A normal person would’ve just said a bouquet of flowers.”   His head quirks and he smiles. “I just said whatever came to mind. I didn’t think twice about it.”   “How’d you know it was my mom before I introduced her to you?”   Jin blinks owlishly and within a second, it’s gone and he’s still smiling at you. “I thought it was obvious, wasn’t it? What’s wrong?” he asks, caught off guard by your questions.   “You knew I was a picky-eater too.” One by one, you start to connect the pieces together and the more you consider, the more fragments fall into your lap. You didn’t see it before but now that you do, it’s all you see.   It’s blaring out at you. Neon in the midst of monotone.    The puzzle was so much bigger. There were so many more questions you should’ve been asking sooner. The most important things that you should’ve known first were right in front of you. You shouldn’t have waited until now.   Seokjin’s expression is marred by genuine confusion. “Y/N?”    “How did you know my name?” you ask, eyes piercing into his. “I never told you.”   “I’m your guardian angel,” he explains, but it’s lies. All lies.   “You said you were a ghost,” you refute without blinking. “You died from a car accident.”   Seokjin diverts his eyes elsewhere, searching the floor, the walls. “I’m just here to grant your wish.” He tries to evade, but you know better. You know to press on. To keep prying—   “Why do you look at me like that?”   You won’t stop. Not until you know the truth.   “Like what?”   “Like you love me.”   The two of you stand in the middle of the hospital, noises whizzing past, doctors, patients and nurses whisking by. Everything blurs into the background into a mosaic of fuzzy colours — fluorescent lights, bodies in motion. The pandemonium has turned into white noise.   It reminds you of being on a bullet train or a space where there’s just you and him.   You look at Jin, brows knitted together, searching his expression. “Who are you?”   “I don’t know what you mean,” he murmurs, blank and impassive.    Your voice raises, becoming louder, begging to know. “Who are you?”   It can’t be a coincidence — how he knows so much about you, with the way he looks at you so affectionately.    “Why did you come to grant my wish?”   “Y/N.” Jin calls your name, firmly, louder.   But you reach out and grab him with a sudden fear that he’ll slip away from you. You grasp onto the collar of his brown coat, tightening your fists until your knuckles have turned white. You pull his face close to your own, trying to break through his expressionless facade. Trying to stop him from telling you lies upon lies.   “Who are you to me?!”   “I can’t tell you!”   “Why?!” You shake, teeth gritted, brows knotted. “Why can’t you be honest with me?!”   “Because I don’t want to see you hurt!”    The shout echoes in your eardrums. His chest rises and falls. Your own breath heaves out your lungs, tearing from your lips.    “I don’t want to see you hurt.” Seokjin swallows hard and his eyes beg you not to ask anymore. To spare him. “I don’t want you to be alone.”   You let go of him. “Then I won’t choose. I won’t choose anyone.”   At once, the world around you dissolves. The scene of you and Jungkook sitting on the hospital bed dissipates and the wind howls. It whips through your hair, caresses your cheeks, whistles around you as the colour of this universe bleeds away. It turns into a blank canvas until objects start to materialize one by one. Until you’ve returned to your apartment again.    Home. Your timeline. The place you’re supposed to be.   “No!” Seokjin reaches out instantly, wrapping his hand around your wrist as if he’s reacting with sheer reflex, as if he’s afraid he’ll disappear. “Wait! You have to choose!”   “Then tell me why!” you scream at him, standing in the same place where it all began. Where he first appeared. In the darkness of your living room. “Tell me the truth—!”   “Because I’m your husband!”   Your breath hitches. Your heart stops in your chest. It lodges inside your throat.   “This. Everything,” Jin pants, words heavy on his lips. “I’m trying to help you. To prevent this future.”   It’s hard to speak. Hard to get past the painful lump swelled at the bottom of your throat. Hard to overcome the ache throbbing in your mind and inside your chest. “What...what do you mean?”   “I die. In the future, I die and leave you alone.” He holds your gaze, no longer afraid, no longer vague. Jin gives you what you wished for — the truth. “Every relationship has something wrong with it and you know what’s wrong with ours? I die. I leave you.”   Jin scrubs a hand over his face. In the shadows of your apartment and with the dim lights of the street lamps outside, you can see his reddened eyes, his visage etched with anguish.    “You didn’t need to know that. You don’t need to worry about me either. I’ll be fine. So just choose and avoid this end.”   A drawn out silence fills the spaces between your bodies — yours now tangible and his still translucent. All of Seokjin’s words sink into your skin, swallowed by your mind, consumed by your soul.   For the first time tonight, you know what you want.   “I don’t want to choose.”   A muscle by his brow jumps. “What?”   “If this happened for a reason…” Your feet root themselves into the ground. “...if there’s a reason why I ended up with none of these people, then that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”    But the ghostly man in front of you is as stubborn as you are. He doesn’t give up either.   “I won’t let that happen.”   “You don’t get to decide that.”   “I’m giving you an out!” he shouts in frustration. You’ve never seen him so upset — so distressed and exasperated. “You don’t have feelings for me! This should be easy for you!”   “Well, it’s not! I don’t want an out!”   “Why not?!”   “Because I know you love me,” you spit out at him and your voice quivers. You inhale until your lungs feel swollen, until it feels like regret could never touch you. “And whatever memories you have of us, whatever memories I have yet to make with you, I don’t want that to be taken away just because you die.”   “It doesn’t matter.” He shakes his head, solemn, conflicted, trying not to look at you. “None of that matters. It hasn’t happened to you yet—”   “You keep asking me what I think, what I want, so listen to me!” Your vocal cords strain inside your throat, desperate for him to pay attention, to really look at you. And he does. “You’re here to grant me my wish and I choose to be with you.”   Your voice softens. Your eyes become tender.   You can’t look at him the way he looks at you. Not yet. Almost. And you don’t want a future where you won’t be able to get there.    You’ve seen six imperfect worlds, but this world you have yet to fully witness. You can’t leave it behind before you do. Whatever’s in store, it’s the way it’s supposed to be. You’ll endure it.    If not for your sake, then for his.   “Even if it means the present and future pain, I won’t change my mind.” The two of you gaze at one another and as the seconds pass, the more sure you become. “No matter what, I’ll choose you.”   Seokjin’s eyes gloss over and your own vision blurs. The colours of your world become fuzzy with your clouded eyes, but you keep them trained on his face. Tracing against the slope of his nose, the dip of his cupid’s bow, the black strands of his hair that fall in front of his forehead.   “If I married you, there’s a reason for it. So you don’t get to decide — I do.”   “I should’ve known.” Jin sighs, shaking his head. “You’re too stubborn for your own good.”   Suddenly he looks up, past the ceiling, as if he hears something.   The corner of his lips curls and he looks at you once more as his translucent skin morphs transparent and you can see straight through his body as if he’s made of glass. “June 23rd,” he says as his fingertips dim, “Two years from now is the day of the car accident.”   “Jin!”    You scream after him. He smiles softly.   You rush forward, but he goes straight through you. Fading.    “Jin! No! Please!” But your cries are futile. Your attempts of holding onto him are vain. Your hands grab onto the air as he starts to dissolve, colour washing away, just like the many worlds you had traveled to together. “Don’t go!”   Seokjin tries to reach out to you but to no avail. “Thank you.”   “Don’t leave me!”   He whispers, “I love you.”   Jin vanishes. Gone from your sight. His voice lingering for mere moments. You cry out, crumbling in the spot he stood, reaching out only for your fists to be filled of air. No one is there to help when sobs break through your chest and you weep out his name. Salt bleeds from your eyes that still hold the memory of his tender gaze but it, too, has already begun to fade.   The six love letters sit untouched on the table as if nothing had happened.   The silence of your apartment is deafening.
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You wake up the next day with swollen eyes. It’s hard to peel them open, to look around your room and face the sunlight pouring through the windows. Your head pounds, your body aches and your chest throbs.    It’s hard to get out of bed.    There’s an overwhelming urge to tug the covers over your head and try to wrap your mind around what happened the night before, about what you now know. It would be easy to go back and assume everything was a fever dream or a mere hallucination. But you know better. He already proved to you that everything was real.   The sense of normalcy at work is what keeps you sane. Morning coffee and greetings, the same projects to work on and emails to send out. It’s easier to cope when a massive part of your life hasn’t dramatically changed. It’s almost like you can pretend things are still okay, that you’re okay. At the very least, it makes you glad that you dragged yourself out of bed and went to work.   “Did you catch the game last night, Y/N?” your coworker asks, pouring herself a cup of coffee.   “I didn’t actually. I was a bit busy last night.”   You try to look for Jin.   If he came to you as a ghost from the future, that means he’s still existing here in the present. It means you can find him. The last thing you want is to waste any more time. But you never asked him for his last name. Or where he’s from, or what he does, or where he lives. He had spent the entire time focused on you. And because of that, you barely know any detail about him — the whos, whats, when, where, and whys are missing. You don’t know anything.   It makes searching for him impossible. You can’t find Seokjin. No matter how hard you try. Not when there are thousands of people with the same name across the world — but only one you’re searching for.   So, you wait. Anxiously. But patiently.    You made a promise. You told him you could endure it. And that’s how you muster the strength to continue living your life, heading down the road you had chosen. Waiting for your paths to cross.   Waiting. Waiting.   Day by day.    Until the week passes.   “Conference room meeting, everyone!” your boss reminds the floor that’s already buzzing with excitement. Some folks bolt up from their cubicles while others are already on their way.    You can’t blame them. It might only be nine in the morning on a Monday, but people in the office have been looking forward to the new transfers for a while now considering it means the workload will be shared and thus, lessened for each person. It’ll be the end to those late nights.    “Did you see?” your coworker nudges you as you both walk down the hall. “There’s a really handsome new one.”   You smile, amused. “Really?”   “Yes!” A younger girl behind you gasps, having eavesdropped. She tries her best to keep her voice down in spite of the squeals. “I have! I wonder if he’s single, god I hope so.”   “Don’t keep your hopes up. Men like that usually already have someone else who’s snatched them up,” your coworker says with a small grin, causing the girl to deflate with a pout.   Everyone’s already taken their seats by the time you get to the conference room. You manage to snag an empty chair in the middle row as the last few stranglers enter. More often than not, any new hires are brought around on an office tour and introduced to anyone important. But you suppose since there were quite a handful of new people, your boss wanted to set up an official meeting to properly introduce them to everyone. Either way, you don’t mind. It’s nice not having to work.   “As you probably all heard, it’s true. We have a few new transfers from the Fresno branch, and they’ll be joining our team. I’d like all of you to give your warmest welcome—”   Your boss’ voice drowns out as your mind wanders.   It’s not until your coworker leans over and whispers that you snap back to attention. “That’s the handsome one.”   A lineup of five enter. And your eyes immediately fall onto the man at the very end.   Black hair. Plump lips. Bright eyes.   He stands at the front of the room in a brown coat, white shirt, dark slacks.    Your breath hitches. Your heart stutters. It skips a beat. It feels like your rib cage is tightening in on itself, winding around your heart, crushing the organ, making your chest ache.    You can’t stop staring at him. Even as your eyes start to mist and your vision fogs.   The whole universe seems to blur into the back where there’s just you and him.    It’s your intense gaze that makes him turn his head to you. He feels the weight of your stare and with one mere movement, his brown eyes lock with yours across the room. And he regards you with a cordial smile. The corner of his mouth upturn, cheeks puffing out ever so slightly.    Something painful lodges inside your throat.   You’re overwhelmed with an emotion that he doesn’t yet have for you. And he might not have it for a very long time, but it doesn’t matter, not right now.   It’s him. Jin.   His name is Kim Seokjin.
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His cubicle is beside yours. It was always an empty space, a spot where you placed your spare shoes and now you quickly remove them to make space for him and his belongings. He tries to get settled, placing down framed pictures of family and a fake plant by the lamp. The IT person swings by to make sure his computer is set up and throughout the entire process….   You can’t help but stare at him through the corner of your eye.   “Is there something on my face?”   He speaks to you mid-afternoon after lunch, leaning over in his chair, almost intruding in your space. He has a genuinely curious expression, hinted with slight worry. Yet his voice is melodic. Sweet. Calm. It feels like it’s been years since you’ve heard his voice, heard it directed towards you.    It’s not until he lifts a brow that you realize you haven’t answered him and it’s been over ten second. But your mouth is dry, and you open and close it, not sure what to say.    Your brain is short-circuiting. You need to get out of your head. You need to answer his question. It’s getting more and more awkward the longer you delay it and he’s starting to give you a concerned look—   “You’re just handsome.”   Fuck.    Immediately, you shut your eyes. You inwardly cringe, cursing yourself for blurting out something so stupid. You might as well slam your head against the desk and hope the earth swallows you whole. But really, it’s his fault. Jin’s the one who drilled how handsome he is inside your head. The dork practically brainwashed you and made you this dumb.   “I’m sorry.” You open your eyes again, swallowing hard. “I didn’t mean to say that. It was really unprofessional.”   But he laughs. It’s a bubbly sound that’s stirred from inside of him.    The corner of his mouth curls in amusement and his eyes gleam with mischief. “No, it’s alright. I get my looks from my mom, so I’m sure she’d appreciate it too. Y/N, right?”   “Y-Yeah.”    Your arm trembles as it stretches out, but he doesn’t notice and shakes your hand.    His smile becomes faint. “It’s nice to meet you. I hope we can be good deskmates.”   “If you have any questions, you can ask me,” you manage to say after swallowing hard.   “Thanks. I will.”   You turn away, gluing your eyes to your computer screen. It’s nerve-racking somehow. You’re hyperaware of him and his presence. You’re not sure how to act when he knows nothing about you and you know so much more about him — about who he becomes to you, about what happens in two years.   It’s not like you can tell him. It’s not like you can confess that his future self came to you the week before and the two of you went on a whole whirlwind of an adventure. You wouldn’t even believe yourself.   You wonder if this is how he felt.   “Y/N.”   You snap out of your trance, looking up to see another colleague. “Are you coming to the meeting?”   You scramble, grabbing the appropriate files, having forgotten completely. “Yes.”   You try to shelve everything away in your mind. The knowledge and tragedy of the future is too much of a burden to bear on your own. But you’ll follow through on your promise with him. You’ll follow through with your promise on choosing him and you’ll let life take its course until that time comes.   There’s a reason after all.   You won’t force anything or push it away.   With your best efforts, you focus on your work as if it’s like any other day. And it’s the perfect distraction. It keeps you sane as you fall into the same rhythm and routine. It’s comforting.   Sometimes Jin asks you for help and you offer him a hand, but nothing more. You try not to pay too much attention to your colleagues either. They sneak by, coming to fawn over him and even the girls from the other departments ask you what you know about the man. But as of right now, you know nothing. As of right now, you are nothing to each other….   “Are you going to get the document finished today, Y/N?” someone asks, stopping by your cubicle.   You spare a glance at the clock on the wall. “I’ll be done within an hour.”   With that said, you pour your focus into your work and your hands sprint across the computer keyboard. By the time the sun’s set, the document is finished and you’re able to click save.   It’s a huge relief and you stretch from your spot, lifting your arms above your head and rolling your neck to get the kinks out. Your stomach rumbles and you sigh, muttering to yourself, “Ugh, I’m starving.”   “I am too.”   You practically jump in your seat and you twist your head to find Jin standing at his cubicle, putting his arm through the sleeve of his brown coat. You didn’t realize he was still here.   He smiles, plump lips making the perfect ‘u’ shape and his cheeks, reminiscent of bread, puff out. “Do you have any plans for tonight?”   You tear your eyes away, forcing yourself to be calm and keep the conversation casual. This was nothing more than boring small talk made between colleagues.    “Not really, do you?”   You quickly click send. The email disappears from your drafts. You shut off the computer.   “I think I’m going to grab dinner, but I don’t really know where to go.”   “There’s a nice restaurant down the street.” You stand, taking your own coat. “They’re next to the deli. They have happy hour right around now and they serve pasta if you’re into that sort of thing.”   “Yeah, that sounds great.” Jin slings his brown messenger bag across his body, eyes still on you in spite of yours plastered on the wall. “But I’m actually terrible with directions. Maybe you could join me and lead the way?”   There’s a pause. Your head whirls to him.    He quickly adds— “If you want. No pressure whatsoever. I don’t want to make it weird or anything. I just thought it would be nice to get to know each other since we’re deskmates and all...”   You blink at him. Stunned. And your mouth moves before you’ve had time to really process it.   “Sure.”   All at once, Seokjin’s nervousness melts away and a grin takes its place. His eyes glimmer. All he replies with is, “Great.”   You follow after him, and the history of the pair of you begins there. The ‘once upon a time’ is handwritten and inked into the pages of your story together. A love story with a forgotten prequel.
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Two days later, you go out for coffee. When you complain about how cold it is outside, Jin’s hand incidentally slips into yours. His hands are absolutely freezing, colder than yours are...   But you don’t tell him.
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Jin kisses you after the third date. It’s soft and sweet.   You catch him off guard when you kiss him again.
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The both of you start officially dating after two weeks. Your coworkers are dripping of jealousy and envy, but there’s nothing a few HR forms can’t fix.
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It’s after the sixth date that you invite him inside your apartment for a drink. It’s surreal to see him here again, curiously looking around for the first time even though for you, it isn’t.    But it doesn’t matter.    You don’t have to dwell when it ends with you on the mattress, his lips all over your skin, your nails dug into the planes of his broad shoulders. And during breakfast the next morning, he accidentally says I love you. He blurts it out across the small table as your cheeks are filled with sunny-side up eggs. He doesn’t know that you’ve already felt that way long before he has.
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Jin starts sleeping over regularly a month into the relationship. Not long after that, you meet his friends and he meets yours, and you’re introducing each other to your parents. They all love him — his sense of humour, his silliness, how he takes care of you; it’s all the parts that you adore.   Your mom tells you how happy she is for you.   And as nervous as you are to meet his family, they’re no different from him.   He was right in saying they would love you if he loved you.
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Later one peaceful afternoon, Jin confesses — “I was actually nervous asking you out.”
You turn to him with a small laugh, smiling from ear to ear. “I thought the infamous and ever charming Kim Seokjin doesn’t get nervous.”   “Yeah.” He’s sheepish but honest. “Guess you’re the exception.”   Another giggle bursts through you and you come over to comb your fingers through his dark hair, letting it fluff up on top of his head. Jin leans into your touch, indulging in being coddled by you. “You actually have nerves of steel to ask me out to dinner on the first day when you just got there.”   The corner of his mouth upturns. “What can I say? I’m impatient. I had to shoot my shot. But I asked someone earlier in the day if you were seeing anyone.”   “And?”   “Of course I was relieved when they said no. But I thought you would still reject me.”   You grin, putting your arms around him. You squish your cheek against his backside. “Well, I’m glad you didn’t. But why’d you want to ask me for dinner in the first place? There were so many other people.”   “You were cute,” he says. “Especially when you blurted out that I was handsome. I don’t think anyone’s said that out loud to my face before.”   You roll your eyes, and he laughs.
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Months pass with the two of you falling asleep on the sofa together, of you waking up to him making coffee in your kitchen. Kim Seokjin, the man with broad shoulders and mischievous eyes, becomes a constant in your life like it always has been since the start. It comes to a point where it’s almost as if he’s moved in — toothbrush at your place, his clothes in your laundry.   “What is this?” One night, you find him standing at the closet in the hall with a small box in hand. The lid’s fallen off and he looks inside, brows raised with an incredulous expression.    You already know what it is by a mere glance. “I used to write love letters.”   Jin’s curiosity is piqued. “Oh. Can I read them?”    “You can if you want to, but it’s not important. None of them are.”    The letters have long lost their meaning to you. The only value they have now is the fact that they began your adventure with Seokjin. All those experiences validate what you have now.   And they’re your only mementos of the forgotten prequel.   The corner of his mouth lifts as he picks up an envelope. Jin’s eyes flicker to you. “You never wrote one for me?”   You return his tender smile. “I didn’t need to.”   The pair of you slots so perfectly into one another’s lives that you don’t doubt the choice you made. Even when you’re arguing about dishes in the sink or he’s following after you, apologizing for forgetting an anniversary. Those little things that matter in the moment don’t in the months that come.
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The following year, your birthday is spent inside.    It’s nothing special. A rather mundane celebration. Small streamers, a ‘happy birthday’ banner he tacked onto the wall, and a cake for two stored in the fridge. Jin sticks one of those silly birthday hats with a pompom on the end onto your head and he makes sure to take enough pictures until you have to force him to quit harassing you. It’s as if he’s the paparazzi and you’re some star — an idea where he flirtatiously affirms with a “well, you are the light of my life.”   On that day, it’s just the two of you and the intimacy of your apartment.    Jin cooks the most delicious dinner you’ve ever had. Not because of his culinary expertise, but because he’s the one who made it. And it’s in the middle of the meal that your eyes suddenly gloss over, your vision blurs and a teardrop pooled by your bottom lashes drips down your cheek.   Jin stops talking, having been in the midst of telling you about his grocery store trip. Immediately, alarm washes over his expression and his brows furrow. “What’s wrong?”   You shake your downcast head, forcing your voice to tremble out, “I’m just...really happy.”   His chair squeaks. His footstep pads. Then you feel his arms wrap around you.   You lean into him, savouring his warmth and the coziness that he’s made out of your home. He doesn’t know that a year ago on the same day, you were alone. That he came and took you to worlds you would have never known. A year ago, you had made him a promise and he had disappeared right in your grasps. Jin is clueless — to your adventures, to your decision.   When you blow out the candle on the cake, you wish for this happiness to last.
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Jin pops the question after a year of being together.   It happens after a date night. He comes down on his knee in front of the apartment, underneath the warm glow of a street light and you brush it off as him tying his shoelaces. You’re too busy admiring the stars to realize, and it’s only when you look back at him that you find him there with a small box in his hand.   “I’m sorry for not making it more special,” he murmurs, nervousness etched on his expression. “I was supposed to ask you earlier but then the waiter came out and then at the park, that truck was being noisy, but if I don’t do it now, I don’t think I’ll ever work up the courage to do it again.”   His voice is soft. His gaze tender.    Jin looks at you as if you’re the one who hung those stars in the sky.   “Y/N, you’re the only one who can make me this nervous and afraid and I love you. So will you do me the honour of spending the rest of your life with me?”   You cry when he speaks the words. The tears slip from your eyes, spilling down your cheeks and colour drains from his face when he sees it. Jin’s entire face falls.   But then you launch forward and a peal of laughter bubbles from his throat as the both of you fall back onto the sidewalk with your arms wrapped around his shoulders.   He grins, mouth stretched from ear to ear as he looks up at the night sky at those subtly twinkling stars. “Is that a yes or no?”   You pull away from him, laughing. “Of course.”   When the pair of you kiss, you feel your smiles press against one another’s lips and when you pull away, Jin gazes at you with softened eyes.    That memory doesn’t fade. It becomes imprinted in the kaleidoscope of your irises. 
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Most who know your relationship with Jin are excited and thrilled by the news. But some are surprised at how fast it’s happening and that you’re on your way to getting married already. It makes you wonder if everything between you two is fast. Yet at the same time, it doesn’t feel fast enough.   It always feels like you’re running out of time.   You’re engaged for ten months. During that time, he officially moves in and starts looking at houses for when your lease is up. While wiggling his brows, he tells you that you’ll need a bigger bedroom and make room for the kids. But…   “Not yet.” You swallow hard, looking back at him. “Let’s wait to look.”   Jin stares at you blankly. But you don’t offer an explanation. You merely muster a smile.    “July,” you promise. “Let’s look in July.”    “Okay.”
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It’s a Spring wedding in April.   Small. Intimate. Filled with your friends and family at a garden venue right when the flowers are blooming. The weather is clear and it’s beautiful. When you walk down the aisle, Jin looks starstruck and in the middle of the opening remarks, he stutters out how pretty you are in a quiet murmur which makes you giggle. Your hand squeezes his and neither of you once let go.   Your vows make him tear up and his makes you cry.    Jin swears he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you’ll be together, in sickness and in health.
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The honeymoon is three weeks on a beach resort in the Caribbean.   The dreaded date is coming closer and closer.   “What’s wrong?” He comes up behind you, arms wrapping around your waist as you’re looking out the glass balcony doors, having been silent for the past five minutes.   It’s a rainy day. They said it was unlucky weather, but the constant pitter-patter is soothing.   You turn around, looping your arms around his neck. “I love you.”    The words are sincerely spoken, each syllable laced with warm affection. Immediately, the corner of his lips tug. You make sure Jin’s listening when you tell him— “I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.”   “Good,” he says. “I wouldn’t give you away to anyone else so easily.”
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As the days pass, you become more anxious of June 23rd.   It feels like you’re counting down to the date and only when he’s beside you, do you feel a sense of relief. Only when Jin is there does the grief and worry sewn deep inside of you wane away. But it still doesn’t stop you from holding him close — hands tangled through his, grasping at him, hugging him at night. You’re petrified of waking up to find him vanished from your arms. Or to see his skin glass-like, translucent to your eye.    You have nightmares of your hand reaching out to feel the air instead of his warmth.   Still, your decision is the same. You don’t regret choosing Seokjin and making the choice to be with him even though you’re enduring this. You wouldn’t change anything up to now.    But that doesn’t mean you’re content with letting things happen. You’ll change that day. No matter what. You won’t let Jin die. It’s a vow you swear to yourself. An oath you cross your aching heart with.   “Is something happening next week?”   He looks over your shoulder to the calendar date you’ve circled in red ink. June 23rd.   “I think we should take a vacation day off.”   “What? Why?”   “We just should.” You realize your voice is too firm, so you try to ease it. “We’ve been busy.”   “But why the 23rd?” Jin moves away, tugging the covers of the bed to crawl in. “Why not this Friday and have a long weekend?”   “No!” Your own yell echoes in your ears and Jin looks taken aback by your reaction. You shut your eyes and sigh, attempting to calm down. “It has to be the 23rd. It’s really, really important to me.”   He blinks owlishly. There’s a pause.    “Did I forget an anniversary?”   “No.” You step away, joining him in bed. “That’s not it.”   Jin has a skeptical and curious expression, but he gives in. “Okay.”    //   Seven.   Six.   Five.   The days come and go. The minute and the hour passes. Closer and closer.   You can tell Jin is worried with how silent you become, staring out the window, at the wall without saying a single word. You can barely work, barely eat and the nights are worse. They’re sleepless and you spend the entire eight hours holding onto him. It’s only when he’s asleep do you turn to mold yourself against his backside and cry into his shirt.   Sometimes you get too loud and Jin’s stirred from his sleep, waking up to ask you what’s wrong. But you can’t answer him, so he holds you close.   Four.   Three.   Two.   The stress is eating at you. You can’t swallow down your food, can’t shut your eyes for longer than a brief moment, can’t think of anything other than what might happen. There’s such little time left you have to save your husband and that thought consumes you.    It makes you throw up. It’s making your hair fall out. Sometimes you can’t breathe because of it and you feel your chest tightening painfully. You don’t know what you can do to save him. You don’t know what you’re supposed to do. But you can’t accept it. You can’t lose him.   You have yet to spend your lives together.   Jin presses his hand against your forehead, sitting on the edge of the bed next to you and smiling gently. “You’re running warm. It’s probably a fever. We’re lucky we have tomorrow off.”   You wonder if you worked yourself up into sickness. But it doesn’t matter.                           June 23rd comes.   “Y/N.”    There’s a soft, distant call of your name through a silken, smooth voice. You open your eyes to see Jin with his brows furrowed, carefully brushing away a strand of hair from your wet forehead. You’re doused in sweat and it’s made your pajama shirt stuck to your backside. At the same time, you’re shivering. No matter how many blankets are layered on top of you, it’s still cold.   Your arm reaches out and his hand slips into yours. Jin helps you sit up and lean against the headboard. He hands you a warm glass of water and you try to sip it slowly.   Jin searches your dull complexion. “Maybe we should go see a doctor—”   “No!”   The shout tears from your raw throat and his eyes widen. Immediately, your shaking hand latches onto his wrist, an iron grip has your knuckles turning white. “I’m fine. I’ll be fine. You can’t leave today. No matter what, you can’t leave.”   If it wasn’t for the severity of your tone and the frantic way the words are spat from your trembling lips, Jin would be amused and curious. Instead, you make him confused and worried.    “Why not?”   You swallow hard, eyes stinging red as your heart lodges into your throat. “I...have a bad feeling today. A really, really bad feeling.”   Jin gently smiles and gingerly reaches out to cup your cheek. “Did you have a bad dream or read my horoscope somewhere?”   “It doesn’t matter. Just promise me.” You tug him closer as he sets the half-filled glass of water on the bedside table. You make him look at you. “Promise me, Jin. If you love me, you'll stay here.”   “Okay, okay.” He sighs in defeat, all in an effort to appease you. “I promise I won’t go anywhere.”   Yet he pulls away from your hold and stands. “I’ll go make you some food.”   “Can’t you just stay here?” you beg and your gazes lock into one another’s. “Please?”   There’s a long silence held, and your desperation finally gets through to him. Jin smiles with a small huff and climbs into bed with you. He tugs the covers all the way up to your shoulders, but it’s his toasty skin that gives you the warmth that wanes away the chills. And you mold yourself to his front, clutching his shirt as his arms wrap around you.   The two of you look at one another and your gaze traces the slope of his nose, the pillowy shape of his lips, the way his brown irises catch the morning sunlight peeking through the curtains.   You wish you could capture this memory and return to it. Instead of traveling to worlds unknown, to timelines you were never supposed to know, it’s this hour that you want to savour forever.   “Jin.”   “Hmm?”   “I love you.”   He sheepishly smiles. “What’s with you today?” But he still returns your feelings and pulls you closer into his chest, keeping you close. “I love you too.”   You try to keep your eyes open. You try to keep your fists clenched onto his shirt. But his lids flutter, droop, and close; and you, too, fall asleep in the quietness of your shared bedroom.   Jin wakes up first.   He wakes up a few hours later and gently presses his hand to your forehead that’s still hot to the touch. He sighs and wipes away a tear stain left on your cheek, listening to the sound of your painful, shallow breathing. And he decides to slip away from your arms.    He climbs out of bed without you knowing. His footsteps are quiet as they pad across the floorboards into the bathroom. He’s unable to find medicine in the cabinet.    Seokjin walks across the room. He fixes his hair of its ruffled mess and quickly changes into dark pants. He takes the brown coat from the closet.    Jin looks at you one last time before he breaks his promise.   The front door shuts before you’ve awakened. Before you can stop him.   A difference of a few minutes is all it takes. It’s enough to alter your entire lives.   The cold, empty side of the bed makes you stir. You reach out unconsciously and the moment your hand feels the empty air instead of his warmth, you’re shaken awake. When you sit up, the universe is spinning and your head throbs.    You call out for him— “Jin?”   The silence of your apartment is deafening.   Sheer panic takes hold of your body and you stumble out of bed, only to trip over the sheets and crash onto the floor. Your knees burn, left wrist shoots of pain, but your teeth sink into the bottom of your lip and you pull yourself up again. “Jin?!”   Please. Please be here.   “Seokjin?!”   You look into the bathroom, into the kitchen, into the living room.   “Kim Seokjin!”   He’s gone. Vanished. You stumble out of your apartment without your shoes.   The elevator takes too long, and you’re left rushing down the stairs as the skin of your feet begin to peel. You throw yourself down the flight before the door’s whipped open, before you make it out. The blazing sun makes your vision blurry as you whip your head in all directions.   It’s then that the world sinks into you. The smells and sounds. The blaring sirens down the street.    Your breath hitches. And you stagger forward, legs carrying the rest of your body.   Traffic has completely stopped. There are people out of their cars, stopped at the sidewalks. You wonder why. Police cars. You wonder what’s happened. An ambulance. He promised.   “—over here!”   “....fell asleep at the wheel.”    “Can we get a—”   “—hit a pedestrian.”   The scream rips through your body before you can realize it’s from you. “Jin!”    Someone in a uniform blocks you, but you try to push past them. “He’s my husband! He’s my husband! Please!”    They let you go, and you scramble towards the scene with your bloodied feet. There’s someone speaking to you, but you can’t hear him. The sight is being imprinted to your eyes — Jin laying on the ground, bleeding from his head, his blood soaking the gray concrete crimson. His face is scratched and cut, skin swollen, already budding with bruises. You can barely recognize him.    “Jin!” Maybe if you call him enough times, he’ll wake up and look at you again. “Seokjin!” Maybe if you’re loud enough he can still hear you and you’ll be able to tell him you love him. After all, no matter how many times you say it, he’ll never be able to understand just how deeply you feel.   Maybe if he can hear you...he’ll come back.   “Jin!” In the blurred background, someone is trying to calm you down. They’re trying to get you to breathe, to stop wailing and sobbing, to stop fighting against them. But someone else tells them to let you ride in the ambulance and you’re able to take Jin’s hand as the stretcher goes in.   His fingers are limp in your grasps. His palm doesn’t clutch yours. You’re the one who squeezes.   A moment ago, he still looked at you with those tender eyes. That soft gaze. As if you were the only thing he wants to look at. As if you’re the one who hung the stars in the sky.   It isn’t fair. You have yet to spend your lives together.   You keep calling out to him. You keep holding his hand. Please, don’t go.   It didn’t help. Even if you knew what was going to happen. Even if you tried to savour these past two years. Even if you tried your best — you couldn’t stop it. Don’t leave me.    You couldn’t stop this inevitability.
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It came out of nowhere.   As always, he should’ve listened to you. He should’ve looked at you for a bit longer, should’ve chosen his last words to you more carefully. But what he wishes for most is for you not to be alone.   Jin’s sure you’ll be heartbroken when you find out. And he wonders what the chances are that you’ll move on from a silly guy like him with how stubborn you are.   I’m sorry.   You don’t deserve this. You don’t deserve to be alone.   In the darkness of his fleeting consciousness, Kim Seokjin pleads to whatever god is out there, to any deity, to the universe itself, to grant his dying wish. He begs them. For his wife, whom he loves more than anything, not to waste her life on him, to not be alone.   I want her to be with someone who can make her happy.   And through sheer will itself — something out there hears him; someone’s mercy is given.   When Jin feels the tickle of his lash, he opens his eyes and sees you.   On the couch. At night. Pouring yourself an entire glass of wine and gulping it down before you’re placing a single candle in the center of a small cake on the coffee table.    There are six envelopes discarded by your side.   Jin watches as the lighter sparks with a single flick of your thumb against the wheel. He smiles as you light the tip of the candle. And in the darkness of the apartment and the street lights casting dimly through the windows, he’s there when the tiny flame glows warmly against your features.   “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, dear Y/N…” you’re murmuring the song to yourself, singing quietly. “Happy birthday to you.”   You take another long sip of the red wine and when you finally blow out the flickering candle, Jin hears your wish. The words murmured through timidly parted lips, the one hope you have, a singular ache that can be summed into five words—   “I wish I wasn’t alone.”   You drink, eat the cake and Jin observes as you doze off.   He knows this is a time before he’s known you, before you’ve known him. A time where your paths have yet to intersect. This is his last wish. His last chance. He can change your future.   Even if he has to watch you be happy with every person but himself, he’ll endure it. Even if he’ll have to be there when you make your decision and you’ll never have the memories that you’ve made together, he won’t stop. He’ll set aside his own feelings. He’ll undo it all. Kim Seokjin vows he’ll do whatever it takes to make sure there will be someone there for you when he can’t be.   He materializes. Jin looks down at his hands to see them becoming translucent and he feels his feet touch the floor. Then his sights stray to you again, his eyes softening, gaze tender.    This might hurt him more than he’ll ever be able to admit, but at least he gets to meet you again.   The corner of his mouth tugs and he calls out your name—   “Y/N.”
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You hold his hand.   Jin’s laid upon the bed, hooked up to tubes and lines, machines that whir and beep every so often. He hasn’t stabilized. The doctors told you that they don’t know when he’s going to wake up. If he even will. They’ll have to wait and see. Hope for the best. But they tell you to prepare for the worst.   His family came and so did yours. Crying filled the hallway and someone tried to comfort you, but you didn't want to hear any of it.    You stay by Jin’s bedside, grasping his cold hand, watching him.   Throughout the entire night, you never leave his side. Even if your body still runs warm and your head throbs, you stay together, right where you’re supposed to be.   He’s not dead. Jin hasn’t left. Not yet. And you’ll hang onto every strand of hope until your last breath. You won’t give up on him. Not when you still have things left to say to him, things you want to do, time that you have yet to spend together.   Time. You wonder if he’s changed back time. If his consciousness is somewhere else right now.   He’s an idiot for ever thinking you’d want to be with someone else. For ever thinking you could love someone as much as you love him. No matter what happens, Jin will always be the person you choose.   You come close to him and call out, hoping he can still hear—   “Jin.” Your voice croaks and trembles. Each syllable is spoken slowly. “Jin…”   And you repeat what you told him two years ago.   “Kim Seokjin. I love you.” You squeeze his hand, leaning down as the colours of your world become fuzzy with your clouded eyes. But you keep them trained on his face. “I love you. I wouldn’t change anything about you….about me...about us.”   You still mean what you had said back then. You mean every single word.   “No matter what, I would choose you over and over again. Even if I have to sit here...even if I have to sit here and wait a lifetime. So please,” the prayer befalls your lips, “Just come back to me. Wake up. Come back.”   You cry out, crumbling in your spot, forehead reverently pressing against the edge of the bed. You tighten your hand against his as sobs break through your chest and you weep out his name. Salt bleeds from your eyes that still holds the memories you’ve made together.   And as you call out for your husband, hoping he can still hear, you feel the twitch of his finger.   Instantaneously, you jolt, lifting your head. His eyes open a tiny sliver, enough for you to see the warm, brown hue and you call his name— “Jin!”   He blinks and his head slightly turns towards the sound of your voice, heart monitor beeping faster.   “Help!” You get up. “My husband—!”   A nurse runs in from the commotion, and soon, a parade of doctors enter. You stand back as they flurry around him, someone flashing a light into his eyes. “Sir, if you can hear me, can you raise your right hand?”   It takes a minute. And slowly, shakingly, Jin lifts it.    You silence your sob behind your palm.   “Sir, you were in a car accident yesterday afternoon—”   He never died like he thought he did. He’s alive.   In the chaos, Jin’s eyes travel to you, locking into your eyes. Your sobs heave, breaking through your chest once more and the flood of teardrops paints your cheeks through saltwater.   His gaze is tender, and you know now it means ‘I love you’.    Even if it means the present and future pain, you wouldn’t change being with him.
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[Epilogue]
“Y/N.”
Jin calls your name, and you turn at the sound of his voice.
“This isn’t a dream, right?” he asks, and you laugh.
“No, it isn’t.”
He hums, still looking out the window quietly. It makes you approach, gingerly studying his profile. “What are you thinking?”
“Just wondering what would’ve happened if you really chose someone else over me.”
You scoff. “Well, it’s a good thing I didn’t.”
The corner of his mouth tugs and he turns to you. “You’re too good for all of them anyway.”
Your brow lifts at that. “What about you?”
“I barely make the cut.” He grins, eyes glimmering of mischief. “That’s why I have to work hard all the time.”
Another quiet laugh comes from you and you make your way back to the table. “Get over here. I need to blow out the candles before it gets past midnight.”
Jin smiles. “Coming.”
The road to recovery was long and difficult. Two months were spent in the hospital and you were by his side during rehabilitation. But the two of you made it.
Sometimes, it’s still hard. There are moments where you wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares of a different outcome of that day. Other days, he wakes with the fear that you’ve forgotten about him and the time you’ve spent together. And it’s during these times that you find solace when you see one another a few inches away and you find comfort in each other’s arms. 
But slowly and surely, the fears of that day, and the months leading up to it, fade.
It no longer feels like you’re running out of time. It never feels like the end is near. And as Jin reassures, you have the rest of your lives to be together. He always promises that he’ll make sure of it. 
Before you can light the candles on your cake, Seokjin stops you. 
“What are you going to wish for?”
“I don’t know,” you admit after thinking. “It doesn’t feel like I need anything anymore. Any ideas?”
“How about the previous owners call us and tell us they’re giving that house to us for free,” he quips with his cheeks puffing out from his smile and you scoff, rolling your eyes. “Or that our baby boy comes out as good looking as his father.”
“It’s going to be a girl, you know.”
Another grin spreads into his cheeks, eyes flickering down to the swell of your stomach. “I wouldn’t mind. But you should trust my intuition, sweetheart.”
You quirk your head at him. “When have I been wrong?”
“That’s true too,” Jin concedes with a softened smile and he leans in to press a kiss to your lips. It’s a brief brush, warm and loving, but long enough that you can inhale his breath and he can taste your minty lip balm that lingers even after he pulls away. Jin wraps his arms around you, molding his body against yours and propping his chin on your shoulder. He murmurs, “I love you.”
“I love you.” You lean into his embrace as a sweet smile tickles onto your lips. “Now let me light the candles.”
In the coziness of your home, the flames glow warmly against your features. The twinkle of the candlelight illuminates both you and Seokjin standing together, by each other’s side.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, my dear Y/N…” he sings noisily with a massive grin, theatrically clapping, hooting and hollering, and making you embarrassed even when it’s just the two of you. “Happy birthday to you!”
For some reason, you have an inkling it’s not necessary to make a wish. You don’t need to blow out a candle or name a desire in your head. You’ve already made your vows and promises and together, you’ve stood the test of life, death, and time. There’s nothing more you need.
But as the warmth of Jin’s voice tapers off, you shut your eyes and make your wish anyway— 
For the pair of you to be together. Until the end.
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snurtsnurt · 11 days ago
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BTS Mafia AU Fic Recs
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So. Here’s a collection of some of my favorite mafia au fics in the BTS fandom, accompanied by some fanart for each fic. If you like mafia aus and BTS, you should definitely definitely check these out, they are A M A Z I N G.
Young Spy by @jeonstudios​ - Jungkook x reader, Jungkook is the spy and he’s been caught... barely conscious, Jungkook is saved by reader, but does he realize that he’s been saved? mmmm, this story had me mesmerized from beginning to end. Sometimes I find myself still daydreaming about it, my mind just keeps on coming back to it and boyyyy its a good fic, i love it so much, you should go give it a look and shower this author in some love!!
How to Sell Sunshine by @alpacaparkaseok​ - (to be revealed) x reader, Reader is a mafia boss building herself an empire, and to do that she gathers the forces of seven members of different skillsets and backgrounds. Will they make it, or will the pressures of this world tear them down?? eeheeheeheeeeee this series is EVERYTHING, the intrigue, the badassery, the snark, and the crime, everything you could ever want in a mafia au is in here, go read it, and then go read everything else on this author’s masterlist IMMEDIATELY. do it.
Edge of Tonight by @park-jimin-isnt-real​ - Namjoon x reader, Namjoon and reader have known each other for a long while, but then reader went missing. Namjoon built himself an empire and suddenly... his team catches a glimpse of reader, jaded, dangerous, and ready to kick ass. ASKJDGEHFJHSAGDKJA THIS SERIES. This Series, ooohhhh boyyyyy, this series is Absolutely Beautiful. Not only is the Namjoon romance sweet and heartbreaking, reader’s interactions with every other member are so meaningful too, it just. feels,,, so good. GO READ IT. SHOW THE AUTHOR SOME LOVE FOR THEIR MASTERPIECE
The Web by @btsmosphere​ - Jimin x reader, Torn away from everything she’s held dear, reader is on the run and scared for her life. And yet, still, she stands up and throws herself into a web of lies and question marks. Will she find her way back to Jimin before it’s too late? ...Does she want to? I WILL NEVER STOP SPREADING MY LOVE FOR THIS SERIES, IT IS BEAUTIFUL SHOWSTOPPINGLY GORGEOUS 10/10 GOOD FIC, The Inrigue, The Build Up, The Final Confrontation!!! This author is amazing and their writing style is so cool, definitely check out their masterlist after you read THIS WHOPPER OF A FIC IN ALL ITS BEAUTY
Cry Me A River by @minniepetals​ - OT7 x reader, As the daughter of a mob boss, reader has been destined from the beginning to be a pawn. She is married off as such to Bangtan, and there she learns what love is. She also learns just how much it hurts, how easily it can be taken advantage of. 10 years later, the soft girl has grown to become something much more..... the ANGST OOOHHHH BOYYY OHHHH BOYYY, it’s. it’s heartbreaking, but it hurts SO GOOOOD NNNGHHHH. We’ve been promised a happy ending so I’m keeping my eyes out for that but so far it is deliciously agonizing to read and yet so utterly delightful. This is another amazing author, go check out everything they have to offer!
Between the Bloodshed by @agustdakasuga​ - OT7 x reader, Reader is a private doctor, and her services have been hired by quite the rowdy group of men. What she wasn’t expecting to find was a world of pain and crime... and perhaps, love? SUCH a good fic, so many feelings, so many cute lil scenes AND it’s got SEQUEL which is just as amazing. Go forth, enjoy the scrumptious, scrumptious story.
If I can never give you peace by @candlewaxandp0lar0ids​ - hybrid!Jungkook x reader, Jungkook is the hybrid of a mob boss’s daughter. That is, until she gets tired of him, and he gets forced into an illegal fighting ring. It falls upon reader to handle his fights, keep it all organized, and it falls upon reader to “get rid of him” when the mob boss wants him gone. Only, she lets Jungkook escape instead, and it’s all good. But then he comes back, and he wants to build an empire of his own. THIS. STORY. IS. SO. GOOD. I don’t really know how to describe my love for it without getting repetitive but its suuuuch an amazing enemies to lovers, such good tension and interactions and just sagdhfjfjahf it’s great, go check it out and see for yourself what a great fic it is
Here’s each individual drawing (+my lil artsy comments) if y’all wanna see them better:
Young Spy (not taken from any specific scene, but I thought this shows the general vibe of reader (also im sorry about the shoes))
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How to Sell Sunshine (you know that scene where reader is dancing with Jimin and practically asking to be shot? yeahhhhhh..... also this is lowkey the best drawing of a lady in a dress I’ve ever made??? im real proud of this one)
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Edge of Tonight (badass reader yes pleeeaaassse!! Also I’m kinda proud of that title illustration)
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The Web (I tried making her ruffled like she’s in the middle of a fight but I don’t really know how to draw bruises so a couple cuts and ruffled hair is whatcha get, k? K.)
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Cry Me A River (okay, it doesn’t specifically say reader wears a dress in the fic, but I think this is such a reader pose after the badass upgrade, you know?)
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Between the Bloodshed (I don’t?? really know? how to draw a doctor coat??? I tried but i dunno if its the right vibe... hmmmmmm)
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if I can never give you peace (the face turned out a lil too warm and doesn’t quite give off cold vibes, but y’know what? that was a tough pose to draw, so im givin myself a pat on the back)
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327 notes · View notes
btsmutimagines · 3 months ago
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muse. (m)
A/N: So, apparently sex paintings are a thing and I’d thought it would be right up Tae’s alley lmao. Sorry for sitting on this for a month but school's a bitch
Summary: Taehyung is an artist and your body is his muse.
Word Count: 4.5K
Warnings: oral (m+f recieving and giving), sex, dirty talk, fingering
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You looked through the cupboards, finding a pan, some clean plates and bowls. You checked the fridge, looking through the shelves in hopes of finding something to work with.
Is it too much to make breakfast? Maybe he would like—
“You know, you could have stayed in bed a bit longer…”
You froze as you heard his hoarse voice in your ear, his arms wrapped around you.
“T-Taehyung.”
“Mmhm.”
He nuzzled into your neck, humming in response.
Your boyfriend, Taehyung kept you long enough to make you stay the night. It was on you for not keeping track of time, the movie marathon the two of you had put you at a disadvantage. Though, you were sure he was banking on you being too interested to care.
“Muse~ You make me want to tease you when you zone out on me like that.” He cooed, the nickname he gave you always gave you butterflies when he says it.
“I was just thinking…”
“Is it conceited to think it’s about me?”
“Yes…”
“Even though I’m right?”
“Even so.”
“Then, can we go back to bed? Maybe you could dream about me instead?”
“It’s already 11, we can’t sleep in more. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” You turned around to scowl at him, immediately regretting your actions moments later.
“So, I can just eat you out for breakfast. I don’t want to miss meals, you know.” His left hand gently cupping your breast while his right hand slipped dangerously close to your cunt.
“Can’t we just eat a nice breakfast instead?” You weakly offered, his fingers playing with the folds of your cunt as his thumb expertly touched your clit. You couldn’t forget the left hand either, who now gently pinched your nipples through the shirt you wore.
“But your pussy’s the best spread I’ll ever have.”
He spoke directly in your ear, sinking two fingers into you with no warning. You couldn’t resist, enjoying the rhythmic pumping of his fingers into you as you leaned against the sink for support.
“Look at that, got no more fight left in you, honey? Or is my fingers too good to resist?”
“Don’t —ah– say it like that.”
“Your pussy is telling me a different story than those pretty lips of yours. Take a good listen.” You couldn’t deny the quick mess of your cunt he made in such a short time. He knew that you knew but you couldn’t mutter those words. One, out of embarrassment and two, it would only add to his teasing.
“What about you?”
“You’re going to have to speak more directly, muse.”
“Don’t –nng– act like you’re not –ah– hard.”
“And if I am? Going to do something about it?”
You palmed him through his boxers, is this morning wood…? He was evidently hard as you witnessed with your own eyes as you lowered the band to free his cock. You ran your finger along the vein in sheer curiosity, did he always get this hard in the mornings?
“Don’t think so hard, just touch me the way you want to.”
“O-okay.” You damned yourself for somehow being shy while he had fingers up your cunt that very moment but you sloppily spit into your hand before grabbing hold of him. You’ve become accustomed to the warmth of saliva, unmatched to the warmth of Taehyung’s body but you had to focus on him.
Your thumb ran across the slit, down the shaft with the rest of your fingers in a fluid motion. Your eyes judged his reaction, the hard bite of his lips was a good sign until he brought his lips against your neck. You moaned loudly at the sudden lick.
“Fuck, honey. Grip me harder.” You heeded his instruction, tightening your grip with each pump of his cock. His audible groans in your ears were distracting in addition to the quickening pace of his fingers.
“T-Tae!” He swiftly lifted your shirt and bra, latching his lips to your bare nipple. He suckled, knowing well how sensitive they were. You could mewl in response, wanting to keep up your own pace.
You brought your other hand to fondle his balls, remembering how much he liked that and a loud grunt reaffirming your memory.
“You don’t play fair.”
“N-neither do you.” You retorted.
“That hurts, honey. But I know much you like when I tease you when I make you a shameful little mess while you come for me over and over again. That pretty face you make just begging for more even then.”
“T-Tae…”
“Show me once more, my little muse.” As he spoke these words, you were already coming. You cursed, cried out his name as he held you up.
Though, you weren’t forgetting something. It wasn’t a graceful way to get on your knees but you wanted to catch him off guard. You took his cock into your mouth, beginning to finish him off.
You haven’t done this before you met him, learning what he liked through his words and actions. He would always praise you each time with a smile, making your heart race a little. It only made you want to please him as much as he does for you, taking the thrusts of his hips that joined your rhythm.
“Holy shit, how can your little tongue feel so good?”
“Just like that, all– all the way down.”
“Fuck, baby, you get better every time.” He praised, you noticing the twitching of his cock before he came down your throat. You took as much you could before pulling away, coughing a bit.
“Oh shit, baby, I didn’t mean to just shoot down your throat without forewarning. Are you alright?” His voice was now full of concern as you nodded your head.
“I-I’m fine.” He helped you to your feet, holding onto you as you stood.
“Okay. I’m not going to lie, it was kind of hot to watch.”
“Coughing included?”
“Maybe not that part.”
“Thought so.”
“Now, onto the next thing.”
“Which is?”
“I like my eggs scrambled.”
───✱*.。:。✱*.:。✧*.。✰*.:。✧*.。:。*.。✱ ───
You held onto Taehyung’s arm, partially to keep yourself steady while you wore heels but also you wanted to stay closer to him than usual. Every so often, you’re reminded of the world Taehyung lived in, international elites gathered in banquet halls while they drink and network.
The first event he took you to left you anxious yet impressed. Seeing Taehyung speak so many languages, some with more fluency than others but they all seemed to like him. Of course, you couldn’t imagine them not liking him, so charismatic, so…perfect.
“Muse?”
“Yes?”
“Are you alright? If you need us to go, just shoot me an ‘X’.”
“I remember, Tae. I guess I’m not used to this yet.”
“That’s alright. I don’t mind if I have to stick by you all night–“
“No! I mean– you should do what you always do, don’t let me stop you.”
“You’re not holding me back, you’re the only thing that makes these events worthwhile.” He kissed your head, continuing to guide you into the large room when many were gathered.
“Ah, Mr. Kim! Ma’am! Welcome.”
“Good evening, I take it you may know where I’m seated.”
“Right this way.” The two of you followed, being seated near a couple you’ve seen before.
“Ah, it’s Miss Y/N, yes?” The man piped up, god why didn’t he just do the dude thing where he talks to the other man in a couple while the women talked? Yes, you could admit it would be weird if he didn’t acknowledge you but you didn’t want to carry on any conversation.
“Yes…”
“You look stunning, never thought the colour champagne was easy to pull but here you are.”
“You look…um…nice as well.”
“What a tender compliment.” What does that even mean? You pondered while his attention turned to Taehyung.
“Taehyung, I didn’t realize how stylish your suit is. Is that Balmain?”
“Custom from an Italian tailor. A gift from a generous friend.”
“Generous, indeed. You look impeccable.”
“Enough with the flattery, it doesn’t make my heart flutter as much as my lady or business.”
“Straight to the point. I like it.” They started talking more about business, your interest running dry. The man’s plus one was silent, maybe she wasn’t much of a talker either. You figured it didn’t matter much if you said anything though it would be nice to not have to cling to Taehyung at every event…
“Darling?”
“Yes?”
“Is there anything you’d like to drink?”
“I’m fine, Tae.”
“Okay.” He kissed your cheek before walking off with the man.
“You’re not what I was expecting.”
“W-what?”
She suddenly spoke, her tone icy and the disdain was clear. Was that what she was thinking while you sat there?
“You’re so different than the women he’s been with before, it’s giving me whiplash.”
“Does that even matter?”
“Either your status is unmatched or he took pity on you. I’m leaning towards pity with that dress.”
“Wow, you sound pretty jealous for someone that’s already in a relationship.”
“I’m just speaking the truth. Pesky little gold diggers like you don’t deserve to be around men like my Tae–“
You didn’t realize your reflexes reacting before your hand connected with her face. It felt like time slowed after you slapped her. The thought of this woman trying to claim your boyfriend enraged you, especially when she already had someone no less. The moment of gratification from her shock was bliss until you heard a voice.
“Y/N–?” You looked to see Taehyung staring at you. He had two bottles of water in his hands and the other man already grabbed the cold woman as she began to weep.
“I-“
“Let’s go.” He mumbled, quickly whisking you out the room with onlookers gossiping. You only followed, Taehyung only stopping when the valet came around with his car.
He silently opened the door, allowing you to clumsily step in before walking into his seat. The drive was quiet, he held your hand the whole way home. You shouldn’t have found solace in that, he could sense your anxiety levels soaring and wanted to ease your mind somehow.
“I heard what she said.” He didn’t speak until he was parked at your apartment building.
“You did?”
“Yeah, I did. I almost forgot that…”
“Go on…”
“One of my old flings. She probably thought she still had something with me.”
“Oh.” He slept with her before, huh…
“Were you the one to end things?”
“Yes.” You’ve always appreciated his honesty but god, you wished he’d lie to you now.
She was right, you were so different from her. She was curvier, bustier, her hair was longer, her lips much plumper than yours. Her wardrobe was probably more elegant and classier than whatever your best dress would ever be.
He truly could have anyone he wants and here he was with you, a woman who could barely keep her emotions in check.
“Muse.”
“I’m sorry. I-I messed up your deal and embarrassed you in front of all those people.”
“I don’t care. The guy was a hustler, nothing of value to offer.”
Not like you had anything either.
“Still, I’m sorry.”
“It’ll blow over. Most people were too drunk to care and they won’t remember next time.” Would there even be a next time?
“Ah…”
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.”
“Aw, such sweet lips like yours shouldn’t be telling me lies, you know.”
“I-I’m not.”
“Are you sure?”
You swore if he asked again, you might burst into tears. All this time he’s spending on you is taking away from someone who deserves him much more than you.
“I’m just a little tired.”
“Let me walk you upstairs, then.”
“It’s alright, Tae. I’m a big girl, I can make it to the elevator just fine.”
“Then, good night my muse.”
“Night.” You got out of the car, waving to him until he was out of sight. The first mascara-filled tear hit the pavement before the flood gates of more followed.
You eventually made it to your apartment, quickly wiping off the rest of your makeup and you laid in bed, hugging the body pillow Taehyung had gotten you. He gifted you his cologne, instructing you to use it whenever you missed him. And missed him you did.
───✱*.。:。✱*.:。✧*.。✰*.:。✧*.。:。*.。✱ ───
You hadn’t seen him much since the event, luckily it meant that you didn’t have to talk about that night. But it only gave your insecurities a chance to grow with the seeds planted by that woman.
You cursed yourself for even considering what she said but if she was an example of the women that piqued his interest, you didn’t fully check out all the boxes.
“So, let me get this straight. You end up talking to one of his old flings and now you can’t stop thinking the words of some bitter bitch who can’t get over the fact she got dumped?” You decided to invite your best friend, Reina, for a girl’s date. You didn’t know when the conversation turned into this but it felt cathartic to speak on the elephant in the room.
“It’s not that. She just reminded me of how different I and Tae are, he’s well versed in so many things, travelled around the world and the farthest place I’ve been is across the country to visit my grandparents.”
“So what? You’re going to break up with him, so he can find someone else?”
“N-no…” When did you become so greedy? You don’t think you’re good enough for him but you didn’t want to let him go either.
“Then?”
“I just want to do something with him he’s never done before. Something new for us.”
“Something new, huh?” You didn’t like the glint in her eye that matched the smirk on her face.
“I don’t like that look on your face.”
“Oh, sweet Y/N, I’m trying to help. Pretty sure this is exactly what you and Taehyung need.”
Even so, you were understandably fearful of what she had in store.
She bossed you into taking a shower and dressing up in a simple dress. You were reluctant in all of this, unsure of what she had up her sleeve until you saw Taehyung standing in your apartment.
“T-Taehyung?”
“I missed you.”
“I-I did too…”
“Man, you two need a lot more work, huh? Taehyung, take her somewhere nice.”
“W-wait, where is this going?”
“Just trust me! Now, shoo.” Taehyung took your hand, the sudden kinship catching you off-guard and allowing him to lead you downstairs.
“I thought you were busy…” You sat him in his car again, him taking off somewhere.
“I was… but Reina told me you weren’t feeling well, so I came immediately.”
“That’s not exactly it…well…maybe.”
“I see. “
“A-anyways, it was so mean of her to kick out of my apartment. I was in the middle of Thor.”
“You have an unhealthy obsession with Chris Hemsworth.”
“He’s the better-looking Hemsworth.”
“He’s married with children, muse.”
“Let me have dreams, Taehyung.”
“As long as they’re about me, not him.”
“Alright, Mr. Jealous.”
“How could I be envious? I have you already, I was your first. I find that hard to top.” That word again, first. You know he was just teasing, it didn’t stop the feeling of inadequacy that stunned you back into awkward silence. He parked in an empty lot, lit by a street light but it didn’t matter much.
“Y/N?” He rarely called you by your name, reserved for moments of shock or worry, his tone pointing to worry. You hated yourself for letting some has-been tell you what you are, to make you feel all these useless emotions that just picked away at you. You were so happy before, was it just blissful ignorance?
“Just breathe.” You took a deep breath before exhaling. You were a mess.
“I’m fine.”
“You’re a bad liar. Your leg hasn’t stopped shaking since we got in the car.” A common gesture that didn’t mask your anxiousness.
“Is it about the other night?”
“If it was?”
“Tell me how you’re feeling, thinking. As much as I wish I was a mind reader, you’re pretty good at keeping some cards to your chest.”
“Would make me a good poker player.”
“Would bet on you every time. But don’t try to distract me now.” You knew getting into an enclosed space like a car where you couldn’t–of course, he locked the doors already. Can’t get your way out of this one, huh?
“It’s stupid.”
“If it’s affecting you this much, then it’s not.”
“She told me I was different than what you’ve had in the past. Then you admit you’ve… been with her before and I know… I-I sound really stupid right now, but I can’t get it out of my head. What the fuck do I have that she doesn’t? Everything we do, it’s just new to me and the same old to you. I don’t–“ You were babbling, sobbing partway through your ramble and you wanted to crawl back into bed.
He cupped your cheeks, wiping away your tears as they fell.
“I love you. That’s what you have that she doesn’t. I was her ATM and she was just an outlet for me to feed my desires. Every time I wanted her, the next day I would see a bunch of charges to my card. She snapped at me one day when I wouldn’t fly her out to some fashion show and I cut my card. That’s why I left her. I was numb, just throwing myself into parties, anything where I could feel numb with people all around.” He ruffled his hair, probably feeling frustrated with his former self. He wasn’t looking at you now, did he feel ashamed?
“Then I met you. A cute girl that paints. I still remember how I’d let you use my arm to mix colours. The sweet giggles that left your lips when I got paint in my hair.”
“I still remember how I felt when you kissed me first. Granted, you were a bit tipsy but it felt like something woke me up. I didn’t have to feel numb anymore.”
“So I like that you’re different. Because when I do anything with you, it feels different too.”
“Taehyung.”
“I’m just rambling, aren’t I?”
“Taehyung.” It was your turn to cup his cheek and make him look at you.
“Why are you crying harder than before?”
“Because your speech is beautiful, you ass.”
“Not sure if I should be insulted or flattered.”
“Take it as both.”
“Noted.”
“I’m sorry.”
“What for?”
“For not telling you sooner.”
“I’m sorry for not letting you know how I feel. Here.” He took one of your hands, placing it on his chest. With the bounding beat of his heart, you looked at his face to notice he was blushing and you could feel your face grow hot.
“Beats this much for you.”
“Alright, you’re being so cheesy.”
“Which type, gouda or cheddar?”
“God, you don’t stop, do you?”
“I want to keep you happy, so I’ll be silly, serious and sexy whenever you want.” Of course, he had to toss in sexy. He wiggled his eyebrows at you, causing you to laugh.
“There it is. The prettiest sound in the world.”
“Enough, you have more sap than a maple tree.”
“Does my syrup taste as good?”
“And…now it’s sexual.”
“It already was when I saw… is that red lace, hm?”
“I-It’s not my fault, I forgot to do laundry.”
“Mmhm, is that so?” He wasn’t waiting for an answer, leaning in to kiss you. It’s been so long–too long since you felt his soft lips against yours and you only wanted to savour the taste of him. You pouted when he pulled away, his lips meeting your neck this time.
“T-Tae.”
“Hmm?” His hot tongue left sloppy kisses, your head feeling dizzy until you heard his phone vibrate. A lot.
“Fuck. I don’t wanna.”
“Maybe it’s important.”
“So are you.”
“Pick it up, Taehyung.”
“I like that tone, you should use it more.” You shot a glare at him as he picked up the phone.
“Yeah, it’s done? I’ll come back.” He slipped his phone back in his pocket, sighing as he started the car.
“I was about to get to the good part.”
“Maybe we could continue this later…”
“I like the sound of that.” He drove you back, holding your hand as you two went back to your apartment.
“What are you doing?” He stood behind you, covering your eyes all of a sudden.
“Just go with it.” You let him lead you in, covering your own eyes as he guided you in.
“Alright, open them.” You did, seeing a blank canvas with some paint and towels carefully placed around an air mattress.
“We’re painting?”
“I thought I mix two passions, painting and having sex with you so… sex painting sounded like a good mashup to me.”
“Where did you even get this?” You turned to him, seeing him grinning mischievously. Eerily similar to Reina’s…
“Yesterday, Amazon prime is heaven-sent.”
“Have you… done this before?” You’re kind of shocked that he knew about something like this, then again he was the more adventurous of the two of you.
“I haven’t. I want to do this with you.”
“Okay…”
“I believe we were in the middle of something earlier.”
“Were we?”
“Let me give you a refresher.” He uttered before pressing his lips against yours. It felt a shock of electricity shot down your spine when he kissed you, energizing you. You let him slip off your dress while you unbuttoned his jeans, stealing kisses between.
“Holy shit.” He exclaimed as he eyed the red lingerie in more detail. You felt more exposing in it than when you’re naked but hearing him hum as his hands ran around over your body made you feel better.
“I almost don’t want to let you wear clothes, ever. So fucking pretty.”
“Pretty little thing, always weak to my touch.” It was a familiar scene, his fingers playing with your pussy. He walked you back to the wall, your back against the hard surface.
“I want a taste this time.” You were almost puzzled until he sunk to his knees, his hand gently opening your legs. You could feel his breath against your panties, the mesh between the lace barely covering your pussy.
God, his fingers touched you gently before he pushed the panties to the side. His eyes were locked on yours as he ran his tongue around your exposed pussy.
“F-fuck.”
You felt your mind go numb, the sensation of his tongue teasing around your clit. It was shameful how wet you became.
“Look at me, muse.” You didn’t think you could, to watch him slowly unravel you with slow flicks of his tongue. His lips wrapped around your clit, slightly tugging and you grew more aroused.
He seemed to pick up on it, his pace hastening and you almost wanted to cover your face due to the sound of your wetness.
“O-oh god– yes–” You buried your hands into his hair, gently tugging and he breathed against you
“That didn’t hurt, did it? I-I’m sorry.”
“Don’t apologize for it, I like it.”
“O-Oh.”
“You’re so cute. I just want to mess you up.” He slipped in two fingers with little effort, continuing to stimulate you while he spoke.
“But then again, I want to see you come all over my face. Maybe you’ll squirt all over me like last time. I can only imagine how pretty your sobs will be this time, or will I get a delicious whimper?.”
“T-Taehyung.” He talks so dirty with such ease, his voice bearing no shame while you grow bothered by his words.
“Don’t hold back on me now.” He muttered before pressing his lips against your clit once again.
It was that simple gesture that brought you to your climax, the feeling of his fingers venturing as deep inside you as they could. Those lips of his, now pressing soft kisses on your inner thigh as he slid your underwear off.
“So good for me.” He rose to his feet again, kissing behind your ear.
“It’s not fair that you’re still dressed.”
“You going to do something about it, darling?” You bit your lip, he’s really going to push you into taking the lead, huh?
You started with his shirt, pulling the soft black cotton material over his head before unbuckling his jeans.
“So how do we do this?” You slipped his pants down along with his boxers, him kicking them off for you.
“Pick a colour?” He unhooked your bra, tossing it whenever you threw his shirt.
“Um blue?”
“Good choice.” He led you over to the canvas, grabbing the blue bottle of paint and pouring it into his hands.
“Isn’t there instructions?”
“Not when it comes to art, my muse. Just follow my lead for now.” You were pretty sure he wanted to touch you more, using the paint as an excuse to ready you for the canvas but you weren’t complaining.
“Cover me in red, baby.” He handed you the paint bottle, letting you touch wherever you’d like. Your hands lingered around his chest, first, your handprints were what you’d seen before his body was more covered in the paint.
He used a towel to rub as much paint off his hands, the rest already dried. He picked up a condom on the coffee table, quickly applied it before looking at you.
“You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be.” You laid down, Taehyung climbing on top of you. He didn’t give you time to think, kissing you again while the tip of his cock teased your cunt.
You gasped in his mouth as he plunged into you, his cock slowly stretching every inch of you.
He was gentle, his hips rocking into yours as his hands held himself up over you. Your mind went numb as he continued to thrust. He kept moving positions with you, the two of you fucking every inch of the canvas.
“I love how blue looked on you, now a light shade of purple.”
“Are you getting turned on by colour theory right now?”
“Something about being able to make you cry out my name while we make art together, I guess.”
“God, why is that so hot?”
“Well, I did start with red.”
“Shut up.”
“I hope you don’t.” He thrusted harder than before, cutting off any response you had with a whine.
“Take it.”
“You– haah– might tear– the canvas.”
“A chance– nnn– to do this again, haah.”
He got on you on your stomach, fervously thrusting from behind and you couldn’t muster words. You could tell he was close, as were you but you waited for the final push.
“Shit. You good, baby?”
“Yeah…”
“Don’t fall asleep on me, sweetheart. We need to wash off the paint.”
“Sounds like round 2 to me.”
“Oh? We better get started.”
“T-Tae?” You exclaimed as Taehyung swept you off the canvas, carrying you to the bathroom eagerly.
“Prepare yourself, muse.”
482 notes · View notes
lushtans · 9 months ago
Text
BTS reaction to you begging them not to stop (m)
➳ pairing : dom!members x f!reader
➳ genre : smut, explicit.
➳ summary : BTS members reacting to you begging them not to stop during sex.
➳ rating : 18+ (nsfw)
➳ warnings : language, rough sex, spanking, unprotected sex (be safe!), vaginal fingering, oral (f! receiving), dirty talking, daddy kink.
— masterlist
➳ requests : closed.
➳ taglist : join my taglist!
Gif credits to the rightful owner :)
Kim Namjoon ;
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You writhe on the bed uncontrollably, your voice a needy whimper, “Please don’t stop–”
Namjoon smirks at you, his length sliding in and out of your pussy in an agonizingly slow pace. Listening to your pleas, he finally responds, “What should we say when we’re asking for something, babygirl?”
“Please.”
“Please what?” His tongue darts out to lick your collarbone.
“Please, Daddy.”
He hums satisfactorily, now pounding your cunt, “Such a good girl for daddy.”
Kim Seokjin ;
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You let out a shaky breathe as Jin’s tongue laps up your wet folds hungrily. He takes your left leg and places it over his broad shoulder, his mouth now ravishing your pussy.
“Oh my god! Don’t stop!” You choke out, gripping on the bedsheets for support.
He looks up from between your legs, licking your clit teasingly, “Is that so?”
“Please, Jin.” You whimper.
“I won’t stop baby, not until you’re shaking and cumming all over my face.”
Min Yoongi ;
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Pressed against the cold tile wall, you arch your back, Yoongi’s cock buried deep inside your core. You can feel that he’s already throbbing, his pace increasing with each thrust.
“Yes! Just like that!”
“You like it, huh?” He grunts.
You bite down your lip to muffle a moan, “Yes, Yoongi... Don’t stop gosh.”
A sharp slap across your ass causes you to whine, his eyes blazing, “What did you just call me?”
“Sorry, daddy. Please don’t stop.”
Jung Hoseok ;
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You bite down your lower lip, Hobi’s fingers stretching your pussy inch by inch. He leans down to kiss you hungrily, his digits moving inside you with a pace that makes you shudder.
“Does princess like that, hmm?” He nuzzles your neck.
“Yes!” You exclaim, your toes curling when he hits your g-spot. He looks at you intensely, eyeing each twitch of your face and stimulating you further.
“Please... Please don’t stop–”
“I won’t baby.” He curls his fingers, a loud gasp escaping you.
Park Jimin ;
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Jimin enters your cunt with his tongue, his low groan sending vibrations inside your core. You sigh from pleasure, he knows what he’s doing with that filthy, filthy mouth of his. Threading your fingers through his hair, you try to pull him deeper.
“Is baby that impatient?” He kisses your entrance briefly. He detaches himself from you, making you mewl.
“Why did you stop? I need you...”
“Then beg to me.” He grips on your thighs with a bruising force.
“I beg you, please. Please fuck me with your tongue.”
With a victorious smile, he dives back in your pussy.
Kim Taehyung ;
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Feeling delirious, you bury your face in his shoulder, his fingers playing with your clit as you sit on his lap. When he feels your juices drenching the teal lace of your thong, he pulls it down in a swift motion.
“Taehyung–” you gasp, your eyes fluttering close as he pushes his index and middle finger inside you.
Within a few minutes, you’re a mess writhing on top of him, his big fingers mercilessly stretching your walls.
“Don’t stop!” You whimper, his right hand squeezing your ass.
“Don’t stop what?”
“Daddy please...”
Taehyung chuckles out, kissing you roughly and biting your lower lip, “Maybe I really should stop, huh?”
“No!” You whine, making him chuckle louder.
Jeon Jungkook ;
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“Ohh, Jungkook–”
Your scream echoes through the room, his big cock filling you up inch by inch. With your body on all fours, he takes his sweet time to do cockwarming before he starts moving.
“Look at that, taking my cock like a naughty girl.” He growls, snapping his hips harder against yours, the iron grip on your ass making you moan.
Angling his hips to fuck you deeper, Jungkook spanks your ass. Mumbling incoherently, you move back to meet his thrusts halfway, eliciting a deep moan from him.
“Yeah baby, just like that.”
“Please... Please don’t stop!!”
“I do not intend to stop, baby.”
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Author’s notes :
Thank you so much for reading!! I really hope that you enjoyed it 🥰✨. Leave a like, comment and reblog if you did 🥺💕! Feedback is highly appreciated 🤧💙!
Love you all 💜💜 until next time 🤗❤️!!
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1K notes · View notes
honeytae · 6 months ago
Text
I love when you talk nurturing to me.
hello my loves, happy wednesday! welcome back to regular uploads (rip thirst week lol) and you know what that means...mega fluff. this particular piece was requested by a few different people, but it was all the same general idea: DOTING. ON. JUNGKOOK. which is just...such a dream, right? anyways, i hope you all enjoy this. thanks to my requesters who have waited SO patiently for this to be written, i hope it was worth it!!!
tags: @ahgasearmyfan, @hoseokayy, @the1921-monsters genre: fluff warnings: jungkook’s tired and kind of overworking himself :( oc takes care of him though bc duh word count: 2.6k
Jungkook hated his boots. 
Well, not all the time. Most of the time, Jungkook loved his boots. 
But right at this moment, he hated how heavy they were, weighing him down further than his already sore muscles as he trudged up the stairs to your numbered doorway. 
Huffs escaped him every other step as he gripped the railing for support, letting his head roll to the side with a close of his eyes once he’d successfully made it through the fire and ache that was his muscles right now. 
After fiddling with your stubborn lock and door handle, he sighed in relief as he entered your place, pouting a bit as he heard you clanging pots and pans in the kitchen. Glancing at his phone, he supposed it was dinner time. But he wanted nothing to do with food and everything to do with you. 
Kicking off his shoes, he slid his phone back into his pocket, rolling his shoulders back as well as his neck. The burn eased only slightly from the action. This was worse than he’d felt in a while. 
The pout stayed on his lips as he shuffled into the kitchen, pausing in the doorway for a second to watch as you stirred something over the stovetop, shifting your face over the open pot every once in a while to make sure you were doing it right. 
The action made him feel slightly less tired and all the more fond, a gentle greeting smile from you brightening his attitude almost completely before he tried to take another step toward you, calf tightening into a painful cramp as he hissed in a breath through his teeth. 
You immediately frowned in concern, taking the initiative to walk the one step to close the gap between you, wrapping your arms around him and letting out an ‘oof’ as he rested his body weight on you. 
“Hi.” Jungkook mumbled through his pout, hair hanging into his eyes and blocking his full expression from your view. 
Even without seeing the man, you could tell he wasn’t in his regular mood, heavy on his feet with nothing left to give. It irked you, seeing him like this. 
“Hi. You okay?” You wondered aloud, a question you fully knew the answer to as you sneakily reached your arm back to turn the heat down on the burner, allowing the food to rest a bit while you investigated your boyfriend’s serious lack of Jungkook. 
“Mm. Tired.” He replied flatly, shrugging a bit as his eyes drooped to stare back at you. 
Frowning as he remained uncharacteristically silent after his brief answer to your question, you tucked some of his long strands back behind his ear, sighing through your nostrils at the dark circles the action revealed to you. 
He was tired. He was so fucking tired.
Quickly making the executive decision to move the pot to a completely cold burner, you turned back around to place your hands on his chest, letting an arm slide around his back to support his slumped frame. 
The man’s face remained unmoving as you encouraged his other arm to rest around your neck, your boyfriend grunting as the motion strained his muscle but sighing nonetheless at the relief it gave him. Finally, he didn’t feel quite as heavy as when he was holding himself up.
“C’mon, baby. Let’s get you cleaned up.” You tugged at the hand of his arm resting on your shoulder gently, letting his exhausted body lean on you as you retreated down the hallway.
“Thank you.” He spoke weakly, melting into you further as you dipped your head to press a kiss to the hand resting upon your shoulder, his fingers stroking at your shirt in response. 
Leading him into the bathroom, you propped the sleepy man against the counter, popping out of the room only momentarily to grab a towel from the hallway closet, placing it beside the sink for him and walking over to the shower to play with the water temperature.
“Shower or bath?” You asked to the man behind you, hand hovering over the nozzle to adjust the setting as he let out a deep sigh. 
“Shower. I think I’d fall asleep in a bath.” He admitted sheepishly, making you chuckle a bit before nodding. 
“Shower it is, then.” 
As you switched the stream of running water from tub to shower head, the spray of the water against the tub drowned out almost every other noise, even the soft hum coming from your throat as you pulled the curtain all the way back for easy access inside. Holding your hand out to the man, you gestured for him to come to you with a fold of your fingers, Jungkook easily following your lead as he trudged over to you. 
“Hi, lovey.” You greeted him again, softer this time as you slid your hand underneath the hem of his shirt to grip the fabric. Leaning forward to catch your lips with his, he planted a soft kiss to the flesh, the action gentle and tired as he tried to relay the gratefulness he felt in this moment. Pulling back with a slight smile, you lifted your eyebrows as your boyfriend chuckled at you.
“What?” You asked, making him laugh a bit more and only increasing your confusion. 
“Every time we kiss you act like it’s the first time.” He commented, a bit of teasing in his tone as he smirked a bit back at you. 
You let out a scoff at his words, lifting the material of his shirt to trap his head in the fabric and making him let out a loud laugh at the action. The moment was the first positive sign you’d seen since he arrived home, making your heart feel content as you smiled at his hidden face beneath the cotton. Releasing his head from the shirt, you tossed the black tee to the ground, Jungkook taking the lead on his shorts as he shoved them and his underwear down his thighs. 
“It feels like the first time every time.” You said softly, stepping aside so that Jungkook could make his way into the basin.
“For me too,” he smiled, “you coming?” He referenced the running shower, an open invitation to join the man behind the curtain with pleading doe eyes. 
“Mm, I should finish dinner so that when you get out-”
“Please?” He pouted again, making you blow a breath out past your lips before caving.
“Okay. I’ll be back in a moment, you get in and start without me.” You instructed, the man grinning a bit before stepping into the tub, letting out an immediate sigh at the ease of the water pounding down on his sore back. 
Walking into your bedroom, you quickly made your way over to his drawer in your dresser, picking out another one of his black t-shirts and boxers for him to sleep in and setting them out on the bed. 
Making your way back to the bathroom with an extra towel in hand, you held back your own yawn as you stepped inside the already steamy air of the bathroom, the curtain left the slightest bit open for your expected return.
Peeling your shirt up over your head, you dropped it onto the group of Jungkook’s clothes, letting your shorts slide down your legs to join the pile before pulling the curtain back a bit more. The action revealed a very dry Jungkook, leaning against the tile wall instead of underneath the water like you’d been expecting. Scoffing at his smirk as you stepped into the shower, you gestured to his dry strands of hair, raising your eyebrows in amusement. 
“You were supposed to start without me.” You commented on the barely wet hair framing his face, the man full-on grinning at you as he pulled your body closer to his, guiding you both underneath the stream of water. 
“Now why would I do that?” He asked teasingly, giggling when you shook your head at him. 
“You’re annoying. Give me the shampoo.” You ordered, another big smile twisting at the man’s lips as he dutifully nodded, grabbing the bottle of your shampoo from behind him before you stopped him with a grasp on his wrist.
“Yours, love.” You directed him, pointing to the sweet-smelling shampoo Jungkook adored, having become his favorite shortly into staying over with you and now referred to as ‘his’ by the both of you.
“I wanna wash your hair.” He pouted, you swiping the unfavorable expression off with a kiss to his chin before reaching over to retrieve the shampoo you’d directed him to get. 
“Another time. Right now I need to get you clean and in bed.” You said authoritatively, the man raising his eyebrows in amusement as you squeezed a dollop of the shampoo onto your palm. 
“Aw, babe. I love when you talk nurturing to me.” He smirked, a chuckle exhaled out your nostrils at his words. 
“Yeah, yeah. Just shut your eyes, unless you want me to burn them with this cherry blossom shit.”
After you were done washing his hair, having to occasionally pause to direct his hands back to your hips from where they sometimes started wandering over your body throughout, you began lathering the bottle of body soap in your hands, rubbing down his arms and torso and all around his back to wash away the sweat and aches from his day. 
“Why won’t you let me touch you?” He practically whined after you moved his hand off your stomach the fourth time, letting you pick his arm up to run the water along the limb and successfully run the soap off. 
“Because I know it won’t end there. And I need to get you to bed, remember?” You tutted, placing one more kiss to his jaw before leaning over to shut the water off, setting your hand on his back to encourage him out of the shower. 
His legs didn’t budge, hand collecting your own to stubbornly guide you out ahead of him. 
“You first.” He emphasized as you remained standing in the tub, rolling your eyes with a sigh before you stepped out with the help of his hand. Reaching for one of the towels you’d gathered, you spread it out in front of your body, holding it out by the edges for the man to step into. 
“C’mon, Kookie.” You gestured with a nod of your head, your soft tone making a smile light up his face as he finally stepped out of the tub. Immediately enveloping him in the soft towel, you wrapped him in the dry fabric, hugging him as tired chuckles escaped his lips. 
“Go get dressed. I’ll be there in a minute.” You patted his butt, eliciting more giggles out of the man before he spun on his heel to leave the bathroom.
You could tell the shower had done a lot for his muscle tightness and overall attitude, the familiar smile you’d fallen in love with so long ago making a reappearance within moments of the water making contact with his skin.
Grabbing the other towel, you wrapped it around your own torso, squeezing the ends of your hair a bit, lifting and setting your feet down against the carpet to dry them before stepping out onto the tile floor. 
Shuffling into your bedroom, you whistled at the sight in front of you, a very bare Jungkook turning around to face you with the towel you’d wrapped around him bunched at his feet. 
“Hello there.” You flirted, your boyfriend scoffing as he looked down to his spread boxers, ready for him to step into. The smile remained on his face as he pulled the underwear up his legs, settling them on his hips before directing his gaze back to you.
“Hi, gorgeous.” He crooned, walking over to you with a smirk as he dropped a kiss to your temple. 
“Stop that.” You hushed, shoving his shoulder in an attempt to get him off of you from where he was latched onto your side, head down in the nook between your neck and shoulder pressing kisses to the still-wet skin.
“Oh, so you can flirt with me but I can’t flirt with you?” He raised his eyebrows, you nodding with a confirming hum as you successfully wriggled out of his hold. 
“Precisely.” You replied, slipping a large t-shirt over your torso and opening your drawer in search of proper underwear. 
“Mm. That sounds fair.” He hummed, feet padding against the floor as he exited the room, bent at the waist to ruffle the towel through his hair as he walked. 
After getting some of your regular sleep clothes on, you followed the route your boyfriend had taken moments before, squeezing the water out of your hair with the towel much like he’d done previously. 
“I love when your hair curls like that.” 
Jungkook’s eyes widened at the suddenness of your voice in the room, meeting your fond gaze through the mirror as you watched him wet a cloth underneath the running faucet. 
His dark hair was hanging in waves around his face, tendrils already half dry as they framed his cheeks. His doe eyes stared at you through the mirror, completely bypassing your comment as he turned to you, wet cloth still in hand. 
“You look really pretty.” He grinned, your head tipping in confusion as you gestured to your old ratty t-shirt; it was your classic bedtime attire and frankly, one of the ugliest outfits in existence. 
“How can you even say that right now?” You chuckled, the man mirroring your actions as his teeth beamed at you, eyes watching as you stepped forward and took the cloth from his hand, directing it back under the stream of water from the faucet. 
“I can say that all the time. You always look pretty.” He shrugged, smiling at your exhaled scoff as you waved him off. 
After squeezing the excess water from the washcloth with your hands, you twirled a strand of his hair around your finger, forming a firmer curl around your appendage and nodding once to affirm your work. 
“You’re prettiest.” You concluded with a smile, backing him up so that the backs of his tired knees hit the toilet, easily giving out and letting him land on the closed seat with a grunt. 
“You’re strongest, that’s for damn sure.” He huffed teasingly, watching you roll your eyes at him as you leaned over to grab his face wash. As you repositioned yourself in front of him to apply the foam onto his skin, his eyes poured into yours, making you hum in question at the glint in his eye. 
“C’mere.” He said simply, arms tightening around your thighs to pull you down onto his lap, your legs reflexively wrapping around his waist as he smiled in approval.
“Much better.” He squeezed your hips lovingly, wiggling his eyebrows at you to make it harder for you to focus on your application of the foam as you finally locked eyes with him. 
“Jungkook, I’m trying to take care of you.” You whined, making him stop immediately as he pursed his lips out, humming when you reflexively pressed yours to them. 
“What?” You asked, genuinely confused at the softened look in his eye. For god’s sake, you were in your ratty old college t-shirt sitting on a toilet applying sticky foam to fight his acne. What was romantic about this?
“Just love you.” He said simply, leaning forward to peck your lips again and giggling when some of the foam from his nose smeared onto your skin. 
“Love you too, you freak.”
565 notes · View notes
wwilloww · 6 months ago
Text
sh. | ot7 | chapter seven
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PAIRING ot7 x reader
RATING Explicit. 18+.
GENRE smut. fluff. angst. nonidol au. wildnerness au. roommates au. friends to lovers. SUMMARY Six months of quarantine have kept you apart. Somehow the distance sparks something new in each of you: questions, unfinished conversations, threads once chased now left cold. So when your roommate invites you to come with him to a mysterious house in the mountains with your friends, how could you even think of saying no?
WC 5.1k
WARNINGS AND TAGS reference to reader with she/her pronouns. voyeurism. jerking off. grinding. cursing. cum. cum eating. mess.
AN this is for the anon who MONTHS AGO asked if I could write more kissing scenes. I’ve been working on it, and here you go.
big smooches to @jinpanman and @calixwrites for being the best, most wonderfullest, sweetest betas ever. and to the lovely readers, thank you for being along for the ride. a version with they/them pronouns will be up tomorrow. otherwise, i hope you enjoy this chapter 💕
← || series m.list || →
©️ wwilloww do not repost, translate, or use my stories without my permission.
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CHAPTER SEVEN
Hearing Jungkook curse at himself as you leave him behind in the kitchen, you can’t help the smile that spreads like warm honey across your lips. You cover it with a hand like it’s a secret, even though there’s no one to see you. It still feels good to have something that’s yours, just yours, deliciously forbidden.
However, as you round the corner in the direction Jungkook had pointed, you feel something warm begin to slide down your leg. You gasp. Loudly.
“You okay?” Jungkook calls from behind you.
Yoongi pokes his head out from the study he’s commandeered. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing!” You say, rather too quickly. Yoongi takes one look at you. He knows you’re lying. His gaze roves over you and you quickly clench your legs together, as if that could stop the impending disaster. It doesn’t, and Jungkook’s cum slides further down your leg.
“Oh?” He cocks an eyebrow at you as Jungkook rounds the corner, looking — well, to be frank about it — wildly fuckable and even more so, recently fucked.
As Yoongi looks between the two of you you hurriedly say, “Soap! I got soap on my legs!”
“Soap?” he questions, doubt riddling his tone.
“Yup. Soap.”
“It was me,” Jungkook shrugs. “I got soap on her.”
Yoongi knows bullshit when he sees it, but there’s still a half written song waiting for him in his makeshift studio, so he rolls his eyes, mutters a quick, “And here I was thinking your enthusiasm for dishwashing was nonexistent,” and disappears back into the study.
Jungkook and you both let out a nervous chuckle once the door closes and glance at each other.
“Maybe I should—”
“Wash up first?”
“Yeah.”
“Sounds like an excellent plan,” Jungkook says. “Unless you’re ready to spill the beans?” He grins.
“That’s the problem. You already literally spilled the beans,” you say, again too quickly, because you haven’t even finished speaking before you grimace at your own innuendo.
“Ew.”
“I know. Okay.” You salute to Jungkook before walking away, grimacing at your two fouls in quick succession. It’s now your turn to curse at yourself.
You hurry to your bedroom, grateful to find it empty. You wash up, and don the largest sweater in your suitcase and some comfy pants. After a second thought and a small secret smirk, you take the pants off, along with your underwear, and redress. Not that anyone will notice, you think. It’ll just be my little secret. But then again, you hadn’t planned to be fucked once this whole trip and yet, well, it just keeps happening.
Dressed, mostly, you begin to make your way in the direction Jungkook had pointed you.
How is it that you’ve been in this house for almost a week now and still haven’t seen this part of it?
The house, built into a steep slope, seems to branch out into the very mountain itself in ways you never expected when you pulled up that first day. Immeasurably larger than you expected, room after graceful room unfolds from the hallways you wander down. Dark wooden floors reflect the late autumn light pooling from tall, narrow windows, and are cool beneath your socked feet.
As you walk, you run over what you’re going to say in your head.
Hoseok, I have been fucking Jungkook. And Jimin. And in the past, sometimes Yoongi.
No, no, that sounds all wrong. Serious and confessional — when no one has opened up the space for confession in the first place. But there’s something, on the tip of your tongue, in the hollow of your throat that you feel needs to be said to him. Maybe it’s a question.
What do you think of all of this? Do you want to fuck all of our friends? Have you ever imagined ravishing me up against a wall while all of our buddies are in the other room, cooking dinner?
No, no, no! That’s even worse. Tension simmers in your stomach. It’s like the purpose itself — the purpose of Hoseok — is hiding from you. And so you resign yourself to a truth you have relied on for many years: Hobi always knows what to say. He’ll know what to say. You take a deep breath and square up your shoulders as you continue to wander through the house.
There’s one hallway just a little darker than the others, branching off to your left. At the end of it, stands a single, tall door with a key, waiting in the lock. You have the sudden desire to see what’s inside, but something urges you: not now. I’ll have to see what all that is about later, you think. So you continue on.
And then finally, what you have been looking for appears.
A large wooden door stretches high up to the ceiling. You feel like an ant in front of it.  You shoulder the door open, expecting it to be heavy, but instead it glides open smoothly and silently to reveal the library behind it. You peek your head in.
“Hobi?”
No response. You venture further inside.
It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The large room is built directly into the mountain, the exposed granite belly of the land serving as the wall on the right. A kind of grey coolness radiates off of the stone, while on the other side of the room, bright autumn sunlight spills in like liquid gold across hardwood and mismatched rugs. It feels like two halves of the universe, stone and sun. Like a beginning and ending of a book, if that could be encapsulated by space.
Tall natural wood bookshelves are staggered throughout, creating a maze of sorts, and lights in large bubbles of glass hang down at various heights from the roof, transforming shadow into warm glow.  You wander through the stacks, tracing a finger along the spines of books, which are somehow free of dust despite assumed disuse. The space is cared for, thoughtfully. And you think you could get lost here. Happily.
From behind a massive bookshelf, the room opens up to reveal a half circle of plush chairs, a dark wooden table, and a studious figure hunched over it.  You peek out from behind the books.
“Hob — Joonie?”
He doesn’t hear you. His face is pressed in concentration, a glimmer of sweat dancing across his brow. In one hand he holds a beautiful old book, the cover traced with antique intricacies. As you begin to take a step forward, you hear Namjoon draw a long, shaky breath in.
You watch his knuckles turn white with the tension of holding the large volume. What is he doing?
All at once, he throws his head back and breathes out a name: your name.
“What—” You slap your hand over your mouth, as if you already know this is something you’re not supposed to be witnessing. And yet you can’t tear your eyes away from the scene unfolding before you.
The book drops from his hand, landing on the floor with a thud. You watch his face, his eyes closed, as if he didn’t even notice that what looked like a very expensive antique has just bounced on the hard floor. Behind the book his hand is wrapped around —
His hand is wrapped around his cock. His motherfucking gigantic cock.
His large palm strokes a leisurely path up and down the reddening and pulsing shaft, precome leaking from the tip. Sounds of pleasure spill from his lips as he rushes towards release, desperate and unperceiving of everything except for the padlock of fantasy playing behind his eyelids.
I’m not supposed to see this. You gasp, twirling back behind the bookshelf to hide yourself, but in your haste your shoulder bumps the shelf and a book falls to the floor with a loud thump.
Namjoon stutters in surprise and you can hear him fumbling in his seat, but you don’t wait to find out if he knows you’re there or not. Breath hitching in your throat, you try to sneak away as quietly as you can, but it’s not long before you hear heavy footsteps sounding behind you.
“Hello?” Namjoon calls. You pick up the pace, now running through the maze of shelves, a maze that you now curse.
Before you, a thin flight of stairs appears and with a glance behind you, you creep up them, trying to keep your steps as silent as possible.
“Hyung? Is that you?”
You curse as the stairs creak beneath your foot. You can hear him getting closer, so you sprint to the top of the stairs, arriving at a thin landing that stretches across the perimeter of the wall. This is worse, you think, as the whole landing is visible from the floor of the library. But then you spot a small stone archway and race towards it.
Breath shuddering heavily and loudly in your chest as you lean against the cold natural stone cut out of the mountain. Cheeks burning with shock, embarrassment, maybe even arousal, the coolness feels like a silver relief. This was not the strange, unnavigable interaction you had planned for the library. It surprises you, and yet —
All of those days spent cooped up in your tiny two bedroom city apartment come flooding back. The times when Namjoon emerged from his bedroom, a little sweaty (like you just saw him), a little reddened (like you just saw him), and with a little bit of a glow around him (just like you just saw him). A nervous laugh bubbles out of your throat.
Of course he had been jerking off while you lived together. You’re not prudish enough to think otherwise. But knowing about it and knowing the specifics of it are completely different things. You can’t help but imagine all those nights where you had your hand down your pants, pressing the smooth silicone tip of your vibrator to your clit, tryingtryign to keep your moans and gasps silent. But now, you imagine him on the other side of the wall. His head next to yours. His body next to yours, only separated by a couple of inches of drywall. His hand wrapped around his throbbing, leaking cock, face lit up with blue light and a screen with a body that — that looks a lot like yours.
Collect yourself! You cry internally, squeezing your eyes shut, willing the sinful images of your friend and roommate out of your mind. Carefully, you try to calm your breath and reach out for the bookshelf to steady yourself and—
thump.
Three books clatter to the floor. Loudly.
Fuck, you think. Namjoon’s steps come to a stop. And then you hear them turn in your direction.
“Hello?” He calls again. “Is someone there? Can you stop playing this game? Can you stop running away from me?”
Namjoon’s feet fall heavily on the stairs as he climbs upwards. As soon as he gets to the top of the stairs he’ll see you. You think you can make it to the other side of the landing if you move quickly and quietly. So you take off, leaving the cover of the archway, but your feet have barely left the floor when a hand reaches out and wraps tightly around your wrist and tugs you backwards.
Spinning you into the hard frame of Namjoon’s embrace.
“Hi,” you squeak, not daring to look up at him, your face burning in embarrassment.
“Hello.” Chest to chest, the bass of his voice reverberates through you. “What are you doing?”
“Hm?” Feigning innocence, you finally glance up to him, his face broad and curious.
“Running in the library? Tossing books around?” He glances down at the three books toppled to the floor.
“What? Are you going to scold me like some stern librarian?” Namjoon cocks an eyebrow and now that you’ve said it, you wish you hadn’t. The thought of a stone faced librarian Namjoon punishing you for misbehaving has blood rushing to your face. And other locals. Imagine him bending you over one of the tables, tie gripped between your teeth, your ass swatted red from a spanking with a book — What. The. Fuck. It’s too much to think of at once. You distract. “Anyways, what were you doing?”
It’s Namjoon’s turn to flush hot with shock and embarrassment. “You—you—”
“I, uh, saw.”
His eyes shoot wide and he gapes at you.
“I was studying!” He lies, his eyes widening, as if their size will prove his sincerity. It’s then that he notices that he’s still got both of your wrists in a tight grip, holding you close to his chest. He drops your hands and hurriedly steps away to pick up the fallen books.
“It’s okay!” You’re quick to reassure. “But I did, um, you, uh, well.” Out with it. “You know. You said my name.”
He freezes. With all the care in the world, he puts a book back in its place and opens his mouth to speak, but you cut him off.
You laugh nervously, trying to cut through the tension that now hangs thick as wool between the two of you. “I mean it’s not a problem, we all have fantasies, right? It’s not like you want to fuck me.”
Namjoon drops the book that he’s holding in his hands and you both duck down to grab it, knocking heads.
“Fuck!”
“Ow!”
You and Namjoon topple over, landing squarely on your bums, rubbing the sore spots where your temples collided. With a weary hand, Namjoon reaches for you, helping you stand, brushing some dust off of your sweater and—
And he doesn’t let go. As the shock of the fall dissolves like salt in water between the two of you, silence settles in instead. A coherent, knowing silence. His eyes bore into yours as his hands clutch at the sleeves of your sweater.
The words still hang in the space between you: It’s not like you want to fuck me.
He takes one of those deep breaths, the kinds that hold all the tension in the world and clumsily says: “Is it a problem if I do?”
Your eyes lock. Whereas before it felt like you were dodging each other, you’re in the same lane now. Traveling down a road at breakneck speed.
Be honest. You force yourself through the barrier of truth. Easier to do when his eyes are shining bright and knowing down at you. “I mean…. No.”
“I totally understand if you don’t want to — you know, friendship — living arrangements—”
“It’s dumb—”
“It’s definitely dumb.”
“It’s really, definitely dumb.”
“It could ruin everything—”
“Well, I mean, it hasn’t ruined things with—”
You slap a hand over your mouth.
“With who?” He’s laughing. “Who the hell did you fuck? Hobi? Saw that coming a mile away.”
Your cheeks warm. “No. No, it’s nothing.”
He gives you a look. “Nothing?” But when you look down and don’t answer, he doesn’t push. He lets the silence settle. It’s enough of an answer for him to pack it away and leave you with some semblance of dignity. The two of you are still clinging to each other, your wrists held tightly between his hands, your fingers digging into the soft plush of his cable knit sweater. But you’re not holding on for support anymore.
“It’s dumb,” you repeat, but your voice has fallen to a whisper.
“So dumb,” Namjoon breathes. When did he get this near? His face is so close to yours, his breath brushing softly against your lips, tasting of spearmint and something cinnamon-y. “But we’ve done quite a bit of staying smart, haven’t we?”
“We have.”
“Isn’t it okay, you know, if we weren’t so smart for once?”
It feels like Namjoon is standing beside you in your own mind. You are both so different in so many ways, but on this one aspect, you always find companionship. Both of you constantly stand on the precipice of a “good” decision. You both wander aimlessly through the brambles of constant reckoning, comparing, evaluating in the name of being smart. But at the end of the day, it isn’t even about being smart. It is about knowing that if you are going to step off the edge of the cliff and into a decision, that there will be something — or someone — there to catch you at the end of your fall.
So maybe it is okay, knowing that Namjoon is right there beside you. That even if he’s not there waiting at the bottom, that he’s falling right beside you.
So you nod. “Maybe it’s okay to not know. Not to have to know.” The words hardly capture the feeling.
“Yeah,” Namjoon nods eagerly, a little smile creeping across his features. “Yeah.” He runs a hand through his hair, steps a little bit closer. The speed of your heart feels a little louder in his ears. “It doesn’t have to be smart.”
“Right.”
You’re repeating yourselves at this point. But it’s because it feels like there’s a second conversation, one that’s only happening in the proximity of one another. Glances flicked across collarbones, nervous fingers tracing hairlines, feet shuffled closer together. And then, as he does, Namjoon’s brain catches up to his actions.
“But with everything with Yoongi’s proposition, well, I just—” Namjoon tapers off, searching for the perfect word. And you nod, recalling the brashness of Yoongi’s words: We should fuck. Something like this doesn’t need to be so extraneously complicated. At this point, the conversation is basically a backing track in your mind. “What if it goes horribly wrong? What if something’s missing?”
“Missing?”
“Attraction. What if someone’s not attracted to someone.”
“Oh. Are you really worried about it?”
“Yeah.”
You pull him closer to you and he seems shocked. “Well then, I think we just have to trust that if someone doesn’t want us, want all of us, that they’ll speak up about it. Before we get into this mess.”
You can see how the logic clicks into place in his mind. How his eyes brighten, and he nods. And still, there’s resistance. It’s the same resistance you can feel in your own body, but looking at it through his eyes… Well, it’s different. It’s not so overwhelming that way. “But, you,” he finally says.
“Me?”
“What if something’s missing with you?” It’s a jumbled sentence of simple grammar and vague references, but you understand. Namjoon stands at the boundary lines of you. Desire burns like pine branches lit aflame behind his eyes, and still he’s holding back, afraid of what will happen when the carefully stoked flame is set free.
“Then try it out.” You’re not sure where the confidence came from, but you barrel forward anyways. “See if it’s missing?”
“What?”
“Kiss me.”
“Uh, no.” It’s the kind of reflexive response you hear from Namjoon when he’s reminding your friends of legislation or expectation: a rule, not a want.
You correct yourself: “You can kiss me—”
“I can?” The phrase brushes over you like a whisper, his question embodied by his whole being. You are both two bundles of hesitation, teetering on the cliff before you.
“I want you to kiss me.”
“Uh—Oh.” It’s like a door swings open in his mind. Like until that second he hadn’t considered — couldn’t consider — that you would want him. It takes a second for him to catch up, his mind swirling before you.
But you’ve had enough. Enough waiting. Thought catches up in silence. Becomes monstrous in silence. So before your mind can swirl in the opposite direction, you squeeze your eyes shut, and with the grace of an eighth grader fumbling for their first kiss, reach up on your tippy toes and press your lips to Namjoon’s.
The two of you stand there like that for a second, lips smashed together. Your eyes squeezed shut, Namjoon’s peeled wide in shock.
He pulls back. “Um.”
“Hold on,” you say, diving back in towards his lips and stopping just before they meet. A breath, then: he closes the distance.
Hesitation dances on his mouth. A thousand questions, unanswered, unvoiced — which you know for a fact, if you gave him enough time and space, he would spill eagerly into the silence. But you won’t. You don’t want to see them, the questions, the punctuation, the words, build up between you.
It starts slow this time, lips exploring lips. Both of you holding back, but in a way that invites a kind of soft gentleness into the space between you. You step closer. Press your chest to his. Bring your hand to his cheek. And light bubbles between you at the connection. Like sunlight, spilling through the topmost canopy of trees and glittering gold upon weathered features. As it builds, that golden light becomes a kind of unsung magic. The seasons, transforming beneath your watch.
It grows between you, so slowly and yet so undeniably. Like watching the leaves change from the window. Waking up one morning to the first frost of the season, the crispness alivening. His hands dance at your waist and he tastes sweet as he begins to explore your mouth, unhurriedly, but no longer hesitant.
You sigh into his mouth and he chuckles, pressing you closer, like he can’t get enough of you—
He takes a step forward, pressing your back to the bookshelves. Your hand shoots out to steady your balance and in your groping, a book falls off the shelf and to the floor. For the first time, neither of you flinch. Neither of you care.
And then you both get lost. Run off the well trodden path of the forest, into something tangled and full of brambles.  His thigh slips between your legs, presses against your core. You press back, and sparks light up in your abdomen. Your mouth against his is hungry, desperate, in a way you didn’t know it could be — and he answers it with equal hunger, nipping at your lips, tracing his tongue against the roof of your mouth. One of his arms loops under your shoulder, wraps around your back, tugs him to his body like he can’t bear the idea of a single molecule of space existing between the two of you. And then he grinds his thigh into your core.
“Oh,” you gasp.
He breathes your name against your lips before claiming your lips again and the sound of it echoes of earlier: his lip caught between his teeth, his hand tugging on his cock. But this is different. He has you. Has you here. Wrapped up in his arms, tightly bound to his body, just as you should be, he can’t help but think.
The thought shudders through him like a boulder and as quickly as the burning of autumn sun had shone between the two of you, he is purposefully dimming it, untwining himself from you, stepping back. You look on, confused.
“I’m so sorry.” He pulls away, his breath quickening, and runs a hand through his hair. He laughs, a little cruelty falling into the sound of it, and you know the harsh edge is meant for no one but him. “I don’t want to do anything you don’t want to do.”
“For god's sake, Namjoon, “ you say, pushing your hair back into place, straightening your shirt. “Don’t you know what you do to me?”
He looks at you, confusion flitting across his face.
“It was, it was just—” He’s trying to make sense of it. Logic his way through whatever the hell it was that just happened between the two of you. And you want to unravel it all. Unravel the spinning thoughts in his mind. The broken damn of words and phrases and calculations you know are clouding his sight and so you step towards him, grabbing his hand.
“You don’t believe me.”
He doesn’t answer, but it’s clear enough.
“Will you let me show you?”
He nods and swallows hard.
Slowly, you guide his hand to your chest, pressing his palm to it. His fingers are stiff, but as you hold his hand there, they begin to relax.
“Don’t you feel how fast my heart is beating, just being this close to you? Nothing’s missing. Not on my part.”
Namjoon nods, but doesn’t take his gaze off of his hand. As you draw it down further, he sucks in a breath as it grazes over your breast.
“And this…” You watch his gaze, checking to make sure that everything is alright. But you have nothing to worry about. The hesitation that once dominated his expression begins to relax. Begins to become replaced by something else. Slowly, you bring his hand beneath the shirt. And then you let go.
“You can touch me, Joon.” He glances up at you. “I want you to. Nothing’s missing.” And as you say it to him, it’s like you’re saying it to yourself, too. With care, he lets his hand rest on your hip before dipping down into the apex of your thighs, beneath your pants. He slides one finger between your legs, sinking into your folds. His eyebrow twitches upwards when he finds you pantyless.
“I did this?” He sounds surprised.
You nod.
He captures your lips again and this time it’s not the warmth of late autumn you find on his skin. It’s the distinct crisp of winter. Stinging and clear and knowing. When he slips his hand out of your pants, he brings his fingers up to your lips, and pulls back far enough to whisper: “Taste.”
You open your mouth, and he slips his index and middle finger into your lips. You taste bitter and sweet and wanting. But before you can swallow, he presses his mouth to yours and drinks your essence off of your tongue, humming in a satisfaction you’ve never seen on him before.
It’s like his understanding of your desire has radicalized him.
Knowing he’s not alone in his want, he unleashes himself against you fully, if not a little clumsily. When he presses his thigh between yours again, he grinds it into you. Grins against your lips when you suck in a shaky breath. And you feel him shudder when you bring your hand down to the belt of his linen pants and trace a finger just around the opening.
“Fuck,” he hisses.
Kisses furious, skin heated, intention frozen into place — everything seems irrevocably true to the moment.
Someone calls out your name and it shatters the moment as easily as a thin layer of ice. The both of you freeze, Namjoon’s thigh still pressing into the apex of your thighs, your hand half down his pants, your lips swollen from his ministrations.
“Fuck,” Namjoon whispers and presses a finger to your mouth. “Shh, don’t let him see you.”
Your name echoes a second time off the walls of the library. It’s Jin. “Hobi is looking for you! Jungkook told me you were here!”
You groan, throwing your head back. “I’m here!”
“Okay, well hurry up! It seemed urgent! He’s in the backyard.”
You wait until you hear the library doors slam shut — why didn’t you hear them open in the first place? — before relaxing and sighing, disappointed, the moment shattered.
“Why don’t you stay for a little while?” Namjoon asks, and the unrestrained eagerness in his eye almost convinces you. But you have other things on your agenda. Other things to complete before you fuck 50% of your friends. The notion almost makes you laugh.
“I have to find Hobi. I promised..” Promised who? Him? Jungkook? Yourself. “I promised I’d talk to him by the end of the day. That’s why I came here, looking for him.”
Namjoon laughs, a full bodied, deep laugh. “Oh god. And look what you found instead. I-I’m so sorry.”
“Stop apologizing! Really. It…” You try to find the words. “It’s not a bad, um, discovery.”
You glance down at your bodies, still pressed together. Namjoon seems to notice at the same moment you do and with a cough, steps back.
“I guess so.” He grins and the tension breaks. “At least, well, at least let me walk you?”
“Yeah,” you smile back.
He turns away and begins down the walkway, as if nothing that just happened existed. Determinately, you hurry to catch up and slip an arm through his. He looks down, blinks a couple times, and his cheeks start to redden.
“Tell me if you don’t like it,” you say.
“No, no, it’s not that,” he says quickly. “I like it.”
With a gentlemanly air, he insists on helping you down the stairs. Not that you mind. Especially when the intensity of the previous moment is still reeling through your head.
You wander through the library, side by side, and somehow the massive space seems smaller after everything that’s just taken place. The bookshelves taller. The ceiling darker. The rock walls, well, rockier. Older looking. You even have to squeeze single file through the stacks of bookcases at one point. It’s as if the room itself is trying to push you two closer together.
Namjoon points out various books here and there, noting which ones were worth the philosophical indulgence, which once were more pretty escapist fantasies, and which ones he even had on his bookshelf back home. Although, you suppose, isn’t this now his home? That thought sparks the question that’s been hovering on your lips since you arrived.
“Namjoon?”
“Yeah?”
“I gotta ask—” He turns towards you, eyes scanning your face.
“Anything. Ask anything.”
He says it so earnestly, gaze set so steady on your features that, despite the inconspicuous question you suddenly feel nervous and suck in a steadying breath before you speak:
“Where did the house come from?”
He blinks as if that’s not the question he expected.
“My aunt.”
“Your aunt’s house?”
“Yeah uh — she passed away. A year ago, actually. And left me this house. I guess it belonged to some lover from long ago that then gifted it to her.” He makes a flourishing movement. “And then on to me.”
“You’re telling me you were gifted a mansion in the middle of the mountains with this library and you decided to stay in our tiny ass, smelly ass apartment?”
He blinks at you, as if the answer is obvious.
“I mean, yeah.”
“What do you mean, ‘yeah?! You could have been up here all this time, frolicking in the mountains and living well and not crammed in a tiny little apartment with me!”
“Well, that was kind of the point wasn’t it?”
“What?”
“To be with you. I didn’t want to leave.”
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mrcleanheichou · 23 days ago
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Wolves are (NOT) Scary Chapter 5
Pairing: Werewolf!BTS X Female human reader
Genre: Fluff, smut, angst
Warnings: People are being big meanies in this chapter :( and there’s a very short description of ‘medical gore’
Word count: 2,144
Summary: All Y/N wants to do is find her creativity and motivation but she finds 7 werewolves instead.
Author note: Hi guys! Welcome back to the shit show. This is the quickest I’ve ever followed up after a chapter. I put in work today and yesterday at the local coffee shop. This chapter is brought to you by sugar cookie lattes and Red Bulls with strawberry syrup and cream.
I also just want to say thank you so much for all the love this fic has been getting. You don’t know how much it means to me. I used to write years ago for a different fandom and I stopped because my insecurities about being a bad writer got too loud.
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Taglist: @dustyinkpages @thickemadame @moonlitehunter @thedarkwinterrose @momoriki @iistrangers @openup-yourmind @sinceritythatcouldntbedelivered @lovelyseokjinnie @scuzmunkie @bjoriis
~3 years ago, wolf pov~
“Why did he get to be the dog? That’s not fair!” Jungkook yells pointing at Taehyung still in wolf form laying on his back giving the maknae smug looks. He’d been telling all of them in their minds through the mate bond about how good Y/N’s tummy scratches were.
“She hasn’t met Tae before. Plus knowing you, you’d probably end up humping her leg and scaring her off.”
“That’s not true!” Jungkook shouts in outrage at Yoongi.
Namjoon sighs pinching the bridge of his nose, already getting a headache, “Hyung, stop antagonizing him.”
Yoongi just leans back in his chair chuckling. They pulled all the tables in the dining area together to brain storm what to do. All of their wolves were getting antsy over having one of their mates walking around untied. Although not rare it is unusual to have a human mate in a pack. Let alone a mate show up after years of a pack already being formed so it’s not something they were prepared for.
“I say we just tell her.” Hoseok says, “Rip off the band aid.”
“And have her run off? No way! Absolutely not!” Jin exclaims loudly.
“Well I don’t see you coming up with anything.” Hoseok growls at the oldest wolf, annoyed.
Namjoon was getting increasingly stressed because out of all of them his wolf was freaking out the most constantly telling him he needed to find her. He was getting ready to snap at all of them to be quiet and let him think when the door chime went off. He could have sworn he locked the door and flipped the open sign.
“Well hello puppies. Long time no see.” A sickly sweet voice called out causing a whole chorus of growls to be set off. The loudest being from Taehyung still in wolf form. The woman just smiles while the black cat sitting by her legs rubs it’s face with it’s paw unbothered. “Calm down guys I come here with the nicest of intentions.”
“What do you want, Witch.”  Namjoon spits out venomously.
She puts a hand to her chest in mock offense.,“Not on first name basis today? You wound me Joonie.”
Witches and werewolves are on shaky grounds with each other. There is a lot of prejudice towards werewolves  from the magical community due to them being perceived as monstrous brutes that rely solely on pure instinct. Witches were seen as stuck up and obnoxious because of their entitlement.
“You didn’t tell them I met that poor girl you were lying to today?”
“ You let Y/N talk to Yuna?!” Jimin shouted at Taehyung causing him to turn human to defend himself.
“What was I supposed to do? I’m the one who was forced to be a dog!”
“Oh my,” The witch giggled looking at her cat. “If we’re gonna be naked you might as well come out Ryujin.”  A puff of black smoke filled the room and a very naked young woman with two cat ears and a tail appeared where the small feline feline once stood. A red collar with a shiny pink crystal pendant was adorned on her neck.
“Wow Cujo, I didn’t know you were packing that much.” Ryujin purred looking Taehyung up and down. His face turning red he moved to stand behind Jimin’s chair to have some sort of modesty. He of course was naked because he rolled out of bed and transformed before getting dressed for the day. Some of guys were looking away from her, Jungkook especially who was staring at his hands in his lap as if they were the most interesting thing in the world.
“You should get used to it. You’re gonna have a woman among you now.” She said crossing her arms in front of her breasts.
“How do you know about that?” Namjoon questioned earning him an eye roll from the shape shifter.
“You seriously think we can’t see your soul bonds? Guess you can’t expect wolves to know anything. Even about themselves.”
“Now now Ryujinnie, no need to be mean.” Yuna says petting the fluffy black ears on top of her familiar’s head. “We’re not here to cause trouble. I promise. We’re here to help you with your situation.”
Yoongi scoffed and said, “How can we trust anything you say?”
“You can’t!” Yuna laughed cheerfully clasping her hands together, “But you have something that I want so I’m willing to set our differences aside. Think of it as ‘I scratch your back and you scratch mine.’”
Everyone looked at Namjoon to see what he would say. He didn’t trust Yuna as far as he could throw her, but he was curious to know what she had in mind. “Fine, I’ll hear you out. But you need to say what you want first before I consider it.”
“Oh goodie!” Yuna exclaims causing some scowls to be thrown her way. “All I want is for you to make me 200 cupcakes for my sweet Ryujinnie’s birthday party.”
“That’s it?” Jimin asks in disbelief.
“For free and I need them by Friday.”
Jungkook’s jaw drops, “That’s two days away! We’d have to bake and decorate non stop until then!”
“That’ll be expensive, we’d have to close down and use tons of ingredients!” Hoseok said looking at Jin.
“There’s seven of you, you can do it.”
“And what exactly would we get in return?” Namjoon interrupts before anyone else can start shouting.
Yuna smiled, “I happen to know two potion recipes that would help you, one that strengthens the urge to complete bonds and one that makes someone more likely to accept new information.”
“That sounds kinda rapey.” Taehyung frowns.
“No, it’s not like that at all. It doesn’t take choice away it just helps to keep the freak out to a minimum. Love potions are what you’re thinking about. I refuse to do them because they take consent away.” Yuna explains quickly. “You have no idea how many witches come to me thinking I’ll help them with their unrequited love problems. I’ve been hexxed multiple times because people can’t take no for an answer. Poor Ryujin was turned into a dog last year!”
Ryujin shivers in response, “It was the worst week of my life. I dunno how you flea bags live like that.
Namjoon sits quietly for a few minutes weighing out the pros and cons. “How long will it take you to make them?”
“I currently am low or out of everything I need. A lot of stuff isn’t shippable like green skink feet and water deer fang shavings, because they’re very expensive and you can’t count on the post office to not lose your package. So I’ll have to travel to Seoul to the main magical warehouse to get them. After that it’ll take a month for them to ferment and be ready.”
“A month? I thought things like that work as soon as you make them.” Taehyung asks.
“This isn’t Harry Potter,” Ryujin snaps. “Potions need to mature otherwise they don’t work as well.”
“Think of them like a fine wine, they get better with age.” Yuna adds.
Sighing Namjoon got up and offers his hand to Yuna, “Deal.”
Shaking the werewolf’s hand excitedly Yuna pulls a piece of paper from the bag she was carrying. “Here’s the flavors I want, I’ll be here to pick them up at 6:30 pm on friday.”
“And you better have them all ready or I’m neutering that one for ruining my birthday.” Ryujin points at a still very much exposed Taehyung who cups himself at the threat to his manhood.
~Present Day~
“YUNA!” Taehyung bursts through the glass door with enough strength to almost shatter it. “YUNA WHERE ARE YOU?!”
“Yah! Why are you yelling?” The witch calls from the back room of the herb shop.
“It’s Jungkook, he’s gone feral! Namjoon is handling him now but when we left he was having trouble. Yoongi got hurt trying to control him. ” You quickly explain.
“God damnit, I told him not to drink too much at a time!” Yuna mutters before guickly striding through the shop grabbing different herbs and shoving them in a glass jar.
“What did you give him?!” Tae shouts while following her around.
“He wanted a natural kind of pre workout so I sold him some ‘Hercules root’ mixed with a tiny amount of wolf’s bane.”
“Wolf’s bane? I thought that was poisonous to werewolves?” You ask.
“Ryujin watch the shop!” Yuna calls out before following you to the truck and getting in. “Not exactly, it just gives more power to a werewolf’s inner wolf. The more you drink at a time the more control you lose. Many weight lifting werewolves use it to help train. I explicitly told him to only drink a shot glass of it once a week!”
“Can you fix him?”
“Yes, now hurry!”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The drive to the campground is normally an hour from town, Tae made it in 20 minutes. The whole ride Yuna was in the backseat muttering words you couldn’t understand over the herbs. A flash of red came from her hands that turned them into a thick black liquid.
Pulling up you could see that thankfully they got Jungkook back under control, this time four of the guys had him pinned. He was still thrashing and roaring like a wild animal, snapping his jaws trying to bite Namjoon. Yuna jumped out of the truck and ran telling everyone to get off him. As soon as Jungkook got loose he lunged at Yuna who didn’t even flinch. When he got a few feet away from her she raised her hand to him yelling “Down!”
Chains raised up out of the ground and caught him forcing him to the ground. He was snarling and trying to get up but failed miserably, it seemed that the more he struggled the tighter the chains wrapped around him. The witch then snapped her fingers and the liquid in the jar came out of the jar and forced itself into Jungkook’s mouth and down his throat. Immediately the transformation light flashed over him.
Yuna made the chains disappear and a very confused Jungkook sat up and looked around at the aftermath. All of his pack members except for Yoongi were in human form and clearly had bruises and cuts. He could then see Yoongi in the background laying on his side shivering.
He was in a daze until Yuna slapped him across the face and made him look at her. “You idiot! I told you not to drink more than a little bit at a time!”
“I just wanted to see if it would work better if there was more.” Jungkook muttered starting to tear up while looking at the ground.
“What did he drink?” Namjoon asked.
“A special concoction for exercising that contains wolf’s bane.”
“YOU GAVE HIM WOLF’S BANE?!” Jimin roared storming towards Yuna before Jin held him back.
Yuna sighed and explains “It’s perfectly safe in small doses. I gave him specific instructions. It’s not my fault he didn’t listen.”
“You almost killed us you fucking meathead!” Jimin spits at Jungkook who was hiding his face in shame.
You looked around and no one was moving to comfort him. You start towards him when Namjoon calls your name in his ‘Alpha’s voice’ telling you to leave him. Giving him a defiant look you ignore his order and kneel down to hug your mate who buries his head in your shoulder, sobbing.
Yuna walks away from you two and kneels over Hoseok and Yoongi, whispering incantations while running her hands over his wounds. The crack of his broken bone moving back into place was loud and made everyone flinch. Soon he was back to normal, even his ripped ear was fixed.
“He’s gonna be sore for a few days, make sure he takes it easy.” Yuna tells Hoseok who nods at her before looking back at his passed out mate. She turns back and looks at the rest of the pack who were giving the youngest wolf death glares. “Please don’t be too hard on him. It was a mistake.”
She looks at Taehyung, “Lets get back to town. I’ll be taking Y/N and Jungkook with me. I need to monitor him for the next 24 hours.”
The alpha wolf just nods as he watches you and Taehyung help Jungkook up and into the backseat of the truck.
When you jump in you go to buckle his seat belt but he moves and lays his head in your lap sobbing and saying “I’m sorry” over and over again. You make quiet shushing sounds and run your hand through his hair trying to calm him down. You catch Taehyung’s gaze in the rearview mirror before he starts the engine. The hour long trip felt like it lasted a lifetime.
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strawberrytata · a month ago
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he sees you with your new s.o. after the break up ; bts
(inspired by know it all by the band camino)
seokjin
tries to avoid you but can't help looking and wondering what you saw in that person
was waiting for time to heal so he could ask you for a second chance
looks like he was beat to it
makes conversation with everyone except you two
it's like he's trying his best to make it seem like you're not there
but you are and you moved on
and you seemed so happy, he's never seen you this joyful before
and it breaks him into millions of pieces
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yoongi
doesn't even notice you're with someone before approaching you to talk
when he does realize, he's embarrassed as hell
he becomes all jealous in an instant
but knows he can't do anything about it
he walks away and maybe even leaves the place
he simply cannot stand how his emotions are working against him
he takes a moment to breath, to remember that everything is okay
but he knows nothing is fine at all
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hoseok
honestly heartbroken to see you moving on
it felt like since you left he was stuck in the same place (right where you left me starts playing)
he was waiting for you to come back to him
but now you were in someone else's arms
you looked so happy but he felt so betrayed by that happiness when he shouldn't have felt that way
it wasn't over for him
he would do anything to try and get you back
even if it meant waiting for someone else's turn to be over
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namjoon
approaches you and tries to make casual conversation
it was all to pretend that he wasn't hurting and he knew it was for the best
being there and seeing you with someone else made him realize he needed to move on
despite it hurting so much, it felt like a dagger on his heart
but he knew what mattered was seeing you happy after all that you've been through
it ended for a reason
he felt a weight off of his chest
this was a new beginning for him and he needed that
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jimin
now he wouldn't get it at all
how was he replaced so fast? like nothing happened?
he would struggle and would have to leave as well
tears would consume him as he remembered the good parts of your relationship
those highlights in his life wouldn't leave him alone
it's like he needed you in the worst kind of way
somehow knew you weren't coming back to him ever again
but there was always a flame of hope, a spark if you will of your love that lived with him
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taehyung
oh he was jealous as hell
wouldn't want to walk over to you and just like jin, he would avoid you at any costs
he would try to make you as jealous as you're making him
it would be useless, you wouldn't care and he knew you didn't care
it finally tears him apart the fact that he doesn't get to touch you, love you, have you...
now it was someone else's touch you were lingering
when he himself couldn't even imagine being with someone that wasn't you
but he would have to do it for his own sanity
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jungkook
he was so lost when he saw you walk in with them
it's like 100 realizations came in at once and he didn't know how to process any of them
he would 100% leave cus he couldn't take the pain
he wouldn't want to have a breakdown in the middle of a crowd
he saw the pity in your eyes as he walked away and it was worse
that moment of anger hit when he knew he should've done better
he could've saved the two of you, your relationship
he just simply chose not to and now he has to live with the consequences
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cinnaminsvga · a year ago
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a love that endures | Yoongi
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→ summary: 
“Oh come on! Just go say hi to him already,” Seokjin huffs. He wiggles his eyebrows, striking you with the urge to shave them off in retaliation. “I could feel your ‘God, I miss his dick’ vibes from across the room!”
“I do not emit dick thirst vibes,” you respond hotly, swatting him in the tit. You pause, considering. “Wait, but do you think he misses my p—”
“Say no more,” Seokjin interrupts, a wicked smirk gracing his lips. His gaze is fixed somewhere behind you, but you have a sinking suspicion you know why he looks like he’s won the lottery. “Speaking of the devil, look who’s coming over to say hello!”
{or alternatively: Yoongi and Y/N. Y/N and Yoongi. High school sweethearts that were never meant to last, until a reunion ten years later manages to reignite a flame that never quite burnt out.} 
→ genre: high school reunion!au, exes to lovers, fluff, humor, minor angst → warnings: shy!yoongi and shy!oc live rent free in my brain, mutual pining is poggers, hoseok and seokjin aren’t evil for once in a cinnaminsvga fic, implied smut so it’s pg-13 because i’m a wimp → words: 14.4K → a/n: SHE’S ALIVE!! this is dedicated to @himbeaux-joon​ who commissioned this piece ages ago. thank you again for requesting this because this was honestly so much fun to write. i’ve been in a bit of writing slump these past few weeks but this fic came out so easily and got way longer than expected (perhaps because it’s about yoongi and he’s always been the easiest one to write for me). enjoy!! ;o;
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The mere sight of him is enough to knock the wind out of you.
Your body freezes, the hand curled around your paper cup filled with punch tightening ever so slightly. It isn’t like you’re surprised that he came; you aren’t supposed to be. Of course, you should have expected his arrival, but you’ve been hoping all night that he might have been too busy to attend.
He isn’t even on time—it has almost been two hours since the event started and you had been filled with a false hope that perhaps he had RSVP’d and decided he couldn’t make it. 
You had seen Hoseok, his best friend from your younger days, standing outside the entrance of the ballroom before they had started letting people in. The moment Hoseok saw you, he immediately came over to sweep you into a tight hug, his infectious laughter ringing in your ears. He had greeted you happily, expressing how much he missed you since high school, but never once bringing up the elephant in the room.
It wasn’t like you were going to bring him up first. No, that would be weird on your part. Nevermind the fact that going to high school reunions was a recipe for reliving past traumas and seeing all your childhood friends either married or pregnant—you weren’t going to be that person who asked where their ex was. You refused to be the person craning their neck to spy on the entrance every two minutes, hoping to catch sight of an old familiar face.
The problem is that you are that person, and you kind of hate yourself for it. However, it is also the reason why you are probably the only person in the entire ballroom who notices his quiet arrival.
He has never liked causing commotions, which is often apparent from the way he conducts himself. He walks into the room just as a loud round of applause breaks out; an old schoolmate of yours is walking up to the podium, probably the person who had arranged the get-together in the first place. It is a perfect distraction for him as he slinks past the door, keeping near the wall so as not to be seen by anyone just yet.
(Except he has been seen—he just doesn’t know it yet.)
You do not know for how long you stare at him, just that it takes you a moment to realize you haven’t taken a breath since he stepped foot into the same space as you. You take a deep, shuddering breath, forcing your racing heartbeat to calm down. You swallow thickly, throat so unbearably dry that even drinking from your lukewarm cup of punch doesn’t seem to do anything.
But the undeniable truth is there, standing only a few meters away from you, and nothing on earth will be able to wash away the nerves flooding through your system.
After ten years of radio silence, Min Yoongi is in your orbit once again.
In the grand scheme of things, ten years wasn’t all that long. Four years in university had passed by in a blur, and the absolute chaos that ensued right after you graduated as you scrambled to secure a job and move out of your hometown had made the days seem shorter than they actually were. You had not even noticed that time was passing until you found that cream envelope waiting for you one day after work, your alma mater’s school crest painfully recognizable even after all these years.
During all that time, the world around you shifted without you noticing, and that meant people were changing too.
Yoongi is 28 now. And so are you, after many months of denial. You have not seen each other since you were both 18—both of you far too young to know about any of the things you would experience in the next ten years.
He might have grown a little taller since then, something you are sure that your brother will find amusing. His hair isn’t dyed like you remembered, as he has opted to keep it his natural dark black that you have not seen since you were both in middle school. It’s styled differently too: combed over and gelled back, with his bangs pushed back and his forehead exposed. When he turns his head to the side, a gasp spills past your lips before you can stop it.
“Is that a fucking undercut?” you mutter in shock, your eyes straining out of their sockets as you try to drink him in. Even under the dim lighting of the ballroom, his new haircut is hard to miss. No one else seems to be undergoing the same mental collapse as you, judging by how everyone’s attention is still fixated on the person speaking at the podium. How the hell is no one else losing their fucking minds to the sight of Min Yoongi with a fucking undercut? Some questions are impossible to answer, you surmise.
When you decided to attend the reunion, you had not once thought about how Yoongi would look like. Somehow, you had developed this stagnant picture of him in your head, even after all these years. To you, he will always be the boy with the stark blonde hair, the mismatched eyelids, the pouty lips, the dumpling cheeks. He is the boy who can’t wear his own contact lenses to save his life, the boy who sometimes wears his favorite leather jacket to sleep, the boy who only drinks Americanos like it was water.
Gone are those days, you realize. That image of him has been smashed to pieces, instead replaced by this dashing (and incredibly hot) man—a stranger. A stranger with unbleached (and healthy) hair, a jawline sharp enough to cut glass. He has his glasses kept away, and there is no leather jacket in sight.
But you can see him, if you look hard enough. The same spark in his eye, the same curve of his lips. You catch him smiling for a second, and his cheeks still puff up like dough. Maybe it’s just hopeless thinking, but you see him. It’s still him. To you, he will always be your 18-year-old Min Yoongi, the one who would greet you with a sweet kiss on the forehead every time you would—
Raucous applause breaks you from your train of thought, and you blink rapidly in surprise. You have to forcibly pull yourself out of your Yoongi-induced trance, clapping alongside everyone without really knowing what was going on. All of the extra noise sounds like buzzing in your ears, especially when it is drowned out by the roar of your blood rushing to your head all at once.
“Once again, I’d like to thank you all for coming tonight. We will begin the program right after dinner, so please feel free to help yourselves to the buffet! Cheers everyone!” You faintly hear your old schoolmate speak, before her voice is quickly overrun by the commotion of people walking over to the extravagant display of food. It takes a moment for the crowd of heads to disperse, so when you can finally look back to where you last saw Yoongi, he is no longer alone.
Hoseok has his arm slung around Yoongi, his infectious laughter loud enough to be heard over clinking plates and silverware. The two are as different as night and day, with Hoseok practically bouncing from excitement and Yoongi rolling his eyes from annoyance. But it is easy to see that his pout is nothing but a ruse; you can already catch the beginnings of a smile tugging at his lips.
You feel your own seams breaking, unwittingly sporting a grin of your own. It is nice to know that Yoongi hasn’t been alone all this time, that he still seems close with his old best friend. You cannot count the number of friendships that you have lost over time, and you still grieve many of them during your quiet moments. Alas, it was often never even anyone’s fault, the strains of adulthood often being the biggest deal breakers in your relationships.
That is, of course, except for one.
“Enjoying yourself? I didn’t think we’d share the same voyeuristic tendencies,” says a voice, creeping up behind you. Now, normal people would not usually expect other sane people to invade your personal space and breathe directly into your ear, but that’s just your humble opinion. What you do know is that one certain individual enjoys breaking the mold when it comes to societal norms, and it is none other than…
“Jesus fucking Christ!” You shriek, nearly sucker-punching the offending degenerate in the face. You hold back your fist from connecting with his face, but your resulting irritation remains. Whether that irritation is because you regret holding back or not will unfortunately also have to remain unanswered. “Oh God, it’s you.”
“Oh, no need for that. Most people usually call me Seokjin,” he snickers, thoroughly enjoying your flushed face. Kim Seokjin pats you on the shoulder, his trademark “pretty boy” smile still as radiant as you remembered. It does nothing to quell your urge to raise your fists again, however. “Hello, Y/N. Fancy seeing you here!”
“The feeling is not mutual,” you snort. Much like how Yoongi was with Hoseok, your derision is nothing but a rouse. As much as you want to kick Seokjin in the nuts, you also cannot ignore how much you want to hug him the slimy bastard—but you definitely will not be the first one to admit it. So like the tsundere that you are, you decide to insult him instead. “Why are you here? You’re not even from this class. Don’t you have other things to do? Or rather, people to do?”
“My heart! You wound me,” he gasps, grasping his chest as though he’d been shot. “How could you say that to your best friend in the entire world? Don’t you know how much I missed you?”
“Easy. I do it because the only other alternative would lead me straight to prison,” you shrug, but your grin betrays you.
This time, you don’t jolt away when he closes in for a hug. “And I guess I miss you too,” you say, your words slightly muffled into his chest. Like always, he sees through your prickly act because as much as you like to pretend, Kim Seokjin is kind of amazing—loose bolts and all.
“It’s nice to know that your tongue hasn’t lost its edge, though I suppose I wouldn’t be intimately knowledgeable in that area. After all, I still am very much a raging homosexual and pussy isn’t really my forte,” Seokjin guffaws, his volume causing a few nearby guests to raise their heads in alarm.
You bow at them, sheepishly apologizing on his behalf before grabbing him by the collar.
“Will you stop being embarrassing for just one second? I swear, I thought I retired from my babysitting job when I graduated high school,” you hiss, but the way his mouth curls up with mischief is answer enough. God, you missed this son of a bitch.
“Unfortunately for you, being a pest is part of my DNA,” he smirks, carefully plucking your hands off from his neck, as though your nails were not mere inches away from ripping his trachea into pieces. “Though, I am offended by your assumption that I am still the same slut that you knew. I’ve grown up a little, you know! I’m a changed man!”
“Oh, please. Don’t tell me you of all people have settled down,” you laugh, not missing the way Seokjin’s perfectly stenciled brow raises slightly.
“I know we haven’t seen each other since Christmas, but come on Y/N! You of all people should be applauding me for my improved behavior! You must have noticed how much I changed when I visited.”
“When you visited me last Christmas, you immediately insulted my taste in kitchen towels, went on Grindr to find a hookup despite my numerous pleas, and promptly desecrated my guest bedroom that no housekeeper or priest is willing to exorcise to this day,” you gag, shuddering at the memory. “And then you ate all my ice cream and proceeded to clog my toilet!”
“Um? Aren’t you forgetting that I also bought you that dress you wanted? Rude,” Seokjin retorts, not the least bit remorseful. “Well, that’s what you get for agreeing to be my best bitch for life. You know that I take pinky promises very seriously.”
Unfortunately, he does take his promises seriously. It is probably the only thing he’ll ever be serious about, as much as the man enjoys parading his depravity. “Okay, whatever. I’ll bite. Who’s the unlucky man you’ve managed to deceive into a relationship?”
“Oh, it’s someone we both used to know. I’m his plus one for tonight,” he says, supplying you with the most useless non-answer imaginable.
“Seokjin. We’re at a high school reunion. We know everyone here. That could be anyone!” you exclaim.
“Well, isn’t that fun? Then we can do a scavenger hunt!” Seokjin grins, clapping his hands together excitedly. He pulls you in front of him, forcing the two of you to survey the crowd. “Okay, hold your arm out like this—” After a few seconds of you failing to resist him, he manages to get you to unfurl your finger as if you were about to order something from the dollar menu at McDonalds. Unfortunately for you, the tall twink is stronger than he appears. “—and just keep pointing around until I tell you that you’re getting warmer!”
“Seokjin, I don’t think this is very—” you start, but Seokjin is already moving your arm for you. Like a hurricane, Kim Seokjin listens to no one but his own homewrecking whims.
“Park Chanyeol? Close, but not really. You should know that I don’t double dip with past flings,” he says, shifting you to the left. “Kim Namjoon? Now that’s a hunk of meat that I wish I’d taken a bite of, but unfortunately he’s as straight as a ruler. Pass,” he hums, continuing to move you bit by bit.
You’re both getting uncomfortably close to where Yoongi is, and Seokjin doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon. You did notice that Yoongi had come dateless to the reunion (a fact, by the way, that you did not rejoice over when you had noticed), but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s single. You have known Seokjin for more than a decade at this point, and despite your odd friendship, you are sure that he would never do anything to hurt you on purpose.
Though, that does beg the question… How far does his dick thirst really go? Maybe you’ll finally find out today.
“Warmer, getting warmer…” Seokjin inches you closer and closer to where Yoongi is standing. You feel frozen in his grasp, unsure if you wanted to know anymore. If Seokjin really is dating Yoongi, then what? It’s not like you were dating him anyway… What difference does it make if it’s Seokjin?
(It makes all the difference, but you refuse to think about it.)
“Nope, not Wonho... A little bit to the left… Bingo!” Seokjin declares, stopping your finger right on— “No, Y/N! Stop moving! You’ve gone too far to the wall! I was pointing at him.”
“H-Hoseok? You’re dating Hoseok?!” You squeak, an avalanche of relief flooding through you. You don’t even have the energy to pretend to be composed as your entire body starts untensing involuntarily, your shoulders slumping as though a weight has been lifted from you. “Why couldn’t you have just told me like a normal person? Why must everything be tortuous and dramatic when it comes to you?”
“I am a naturally insufferable and theatrical person. Sue me,” he shrugs, greatly enjoying the exhausted look on your face. “What? Were you actually scared that I was dating your sloppy seconds? What do you think I am? An asshole?”
You stare at him. “Is that a rhetorical question?”
Seokjin scoffs. “If I wanted to get roasted, I would approach two tops at a gay bar.” He pauses. “Wait, are you seriously not going to congratulate me for finally snagging a boy who has a functioning moral compass?”
“Define ‘snagging.’ Did you, like, tie him up and blackmail him to become your boyfriend like those terrible One Direction Wattpad fanfics, or—” You stop halfway, giggling at your friend’s unamused pout. “Okay, okay. Yes, Seokjin. I am very proud of you. Congrats on finally becoming an adult. Your hoe days are over.”
“Who said they were over?” He snorts. Noticing your alarm, Seokjin rolls his eyes in exasperation. “Oh, don’t give me that look! I’m not into infidelity and you know that. I just meant that I’m still a hoe with significantly fewer options.”
“How did that even happen in the first place?” you say, jabbing your thumb in Hoseok’s direction. Thankfully, the man in question is still busy talking to Yoongi, though you don’t know for how much longer. If Seokjin isn’t lying, then there’s a high chance they’re going to walk over to say hi and you’re not sure if you’re mentally prepared to go through the five stages of grief all over again.
“Believe me, I’m surprised as well. I started dating Hoseok after he asked me for help with his sister’s wedding gift. He asked me to help arrange an itinerary for her sister’s honeymoon in America,” Seokjin explains with a dreamy smile. He sighs, holding a hand up to his chest. You can physically see the heart emojis circling his head like a halo. “We hit it off from there and dare I say… Not only is he the only person who can keep up with my high maintenance lifestyle, but dear Lord, he could totally be recruited into the NDA for his astounding dick game—”
“Ever heard of TMI? Gross,” you interrupt, your face crumpling in disgust. You shove him away when his loud cackles start rattling your eardrums.
“You were scared though, right?” he says through his giggles. “When you thought that I was dating Yoongi?”
Of course Seokjin had noticed your mini-mental breakdown, judging from the shit-eating grin on his face.
“N-no,” you stutter, but your heated cheeks and averted gaze give you away. “E-either way, I wouldn’t have cared if you did!” you say. You know, like a liar.
“I bet you don’t care that Yoongi got significantly hotter in the past ten years too, huh?” Seokjin teases, snickering loudly. Under the harsh lighting of the fluorescent chandelier lights, you might have mistaken the boy in front of you for the devil instead of your best friend of almost twenty years.
“I sincerely rue the day I introduced myself to you in the third grade,” you hiss, sipping from your cup to hide your humiliation.
“Aww, you’re so cute when you’re all embarrassed,” Seokjin coos, pinching your cheeks with the gentleness of an ape. You slap his hand away, unable to think of any retort.
“Cat got your tongue? You didn’t even deny it when I accused you,” Seokjin laughs. He claps his hands jovially, acting as though he’s enjoying a show at the circus. Given your performance tonight, that statement isn’t all that far from reality.
“I don’t need to defend myself from you,” you say, puffing your cheeks indignantly. “I just… think he looks handsome. Is that illegal or something?”
“Certainly not. Though, you might want to dial down the pining a teensy bit,” he singsongs. “That’s how I found you in the first place. I sensed your pining from a mile away and came as soon as I could!”
“I wasn’t pining!” you exclaim. “I was just… admiring the plant beside him.”
“Right, sure,” Seokjin says, arching an eyebrow in challenge. You feel your hackles rising at his smug expression, your ‘Seokjin-is-about-to-ruin-your-life’ alarm ringing in your ears. “So, you wouldn’t mind if I brought you over there to say hello? After all, my boyfriend is over there and as much as I enjoy pestering you, I also want to be with him very much.”
You whistle lowly, impressed. “Wow, that’s actually kind of sweet of you.”
“Yes, I know. Kim Seokjin’s heart grew three sizes that day, yada yada yada.” Seokjin says sarcastically, but his lovesick smile ruins the effect. When he opens his mouth once more, the mirage instantly disappears. “But you would understand if you saw how much he’s packing—”
“Shut up, I didn’t ask—”
“Fine, then let’s ask the man himself! Besides, you know you’re being ridiculous, right?” Seokjin tuts, annoyed. He fixes you with a glare, making you feel like a scolded child. “It’s just Yoongi. You and I both know he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body and probably would love to see you after so long.”
You wave your hands around helplessly, almost sloshing your drink onto a nearby bystander. After muttering a meek apology at your harried classmate, you turn back to Seokjin with a defeated sigh.
You know that he’s right, and you absolutely hate him for it. “Jinnie, I’m a mess! I can hardly think with Yoongi standing meters away from me, much less if he were to stand right in front of me! I’m just going to embarrass myself,” you lament, holding your head in your hand.
“That’s true. You will definitely embarrass yourself,” Seokjin hums, nodding sagely. He shrugs his shoulders. “All the more reason we should do it. Relax, I’ll be your wingman like old times! All we have to do is remind him of all the fantastic, mind-blowing coitus you had in your youth and he’ll be a goner for sure.”
“If by goner, you mean he’ll be gone from my life permanently this time, then you’re right,” you groan. You have a half a mind to dump the remainder of your disgusting punch all over his expensive Bottega Veneta coat, though you also don’t want to spend the next three months receiving packaged turds from Seokjin in your mailbox. “Please, just let me suffer in silence for the remainder of the night, okay? Is that really too much to ask?”
“Oh come on! Just go say hi to him already,” Seokjin huffs. He wiggles his eyebrows, striking you with the urge to shave them off in retaliation. “I could feel your ‘God, I miss his dick’ vibes from across the room!”
“I do not emit dick thirst vibes,” you respond hotly, swatting him in the tit. You pause, considering. “Wait, but do you think he misses my p—”
“Say no more,” Seokjin interrupts, a wicked smirk gracing his lips. His gaze is fixed somewhere behind you, but you have a sinking suspicion you know why he looks like he’s won the lottery. “Speaking of the devil, look of who’s coming over to say hello!”
Swiveling around, you see that your intuition is right: Yoongi and Hoseok are swiftly making their way through the crowd, one of them appearing to be more enthusiastic than the other. You swallow thickly, your palms growing damp as they get closer to where the two of you stand.
"Seokjin, we gotta go!" you hiss, but your panic goes largely ignored as your best friend leaves you to envelop his lover in a dramatic embrace.
The two men exchange teary and heartfelt touches, acting as if they had been separated by years of war instead of the meager minutes they had spent apart to greet their long-time friends.
"My honeybunch! Oh, how I've missed you so much!" Seokjin cries, nuzzling his nose into Hoseok's neck. You might have mistaken him for a vampire with how aggressively he sniffs Hoseok's skin. Had Seokjin been 5% more unhinged, you do not doubt that he might have started suckling on his boyfriend like a leech.
"Oh, hyung. It's barely been an hour, but why does it feel like it has been forever?" Hoseok sighs forlornly, jaw clenching as though he's in pain. He croaks out a sob, lifting Seokjin in the air and spinning him around. "My love, let us never part again!"
You take a few steps away from them, trying to make it apparent to all the bewildered onlookers that you have nothing to do with homosexual Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
"What kind of shitty production is this? I want my money back," you murmur, fake-gagging behind the two of them. The lovesick fools pay no mind to your disgust; in fact, they seem to relish in it. Their efforts double, their theatrical kissy-smoochy sound effects causing goosebumps to form on your arms. "Seriously, I've had enough of this and I've only been forced to witness it for two seconds."
"Tell me about it," says a voice to your left. Startled, you nearly let out a shocked gasp when you realize that Yoongi had found his way by your side, his own disgusted gaze fixed on the bumbling buffoons still lost in their world. He glances at you for a second, quirking his lips into a small smile. "Hey, Y/N."
In just six words, Min Yoongi manages to make time grind to a halt. You gape at him, your brain ceasing in function. It takes you a full minute to realize that the man standing beside you is not a figment of your imagination. You had been so caught up in the absurdity of the situation that for a moment you had forgotten that Yoongi is a real person.
It's Yoongi, your first love. The person you haven't seen or spoken to in years. The man who has haunted your dreams for over a decade. He's standing right beside you, and he's smiling at you. He's here, he's hot, and he's saying hello.
Like the incredibly eloquent and profound person that you are, you reply: "Yellow!"
You had meant to say "Yoongi, hello!" like a normal person, but your brain had amalgamated your words during its rebooting process. And so, you are left standing there silently, frozen by your embarrassment. You swear you can hear a pin drop as you beg for the earth to swallow you whole.
Unfortunately for you, the floor remains painfully tangible beneath your feet, forcing you to clear your throat and expound on your mystifying exclamation. Yoongi watches you with curious eyes, patiently waiting for you to speak.
"W-what I meant to say is, uh," you stammer, your cheeks heating up to an alarming degree. "Those yellow streamers are pretty tacky, don't you think?"
Nice one. In terms of comebacks, you would personally give yourself a C for effort. (Note: C stands for "Can I please shove a fist up my ass and crabwalk the fuck out of here?")
Yoongi contemplates the tacky decorations in question, nodding in agreement. "Yeah, I guess. They pretty much look like the stuff we'd make in elementary school during Arts and Crafts." He points to your mutual friends, grimacing in annoyance. "Them, on the other hand? No child should ever come into contact with those heathens."
"You're right," you snort, shaking your head.
There is a long and awkward pause. Yoongi clears his throat, swaying from side to side while staring at his shoes. You aren't any better, twiddling your thumbs as you will your cheeks to stop flushing. Your senses are practically screaming at you to run away and hide forever, but your limbs feel disjointed from the rest of you.
It's like we're at the zoo on a date and the monkeys won't stop fucking each other, your mind unhelpfully supplies, offering you an image that will permanently make its home on the backs of your eyelids.
Desperate to break the silence, eventually you say, "Hey, Yoongi—"
Right at the same time, Yoongi says, "Hey, Y/N—"
Another pause, but this one is slightly less tense. The two of you share a nervous laugh, though yours sounds a little bit more hysterical. You motion for him to speak first.
"I, uh... wanted to say that you look great. Yeah. Like, you haven't aged a day at all. N-not to say that I don't think you've matured or..." Yoongi stumbles over his words, his voice cracking.
Instead of feeling relieved that he's just as nervous as you, his anxiety only exacerbates your own. There's a reason you have never been good at public speaking, and this is a good example of why:
"No! I get what you mean, don't worry about it," you laugh, on the verge of a mental breakdown. What the fuck is this conversation, even? "You look exactly the same too. Umm... Of course, except for the, uh, hair?"
"Oh, you mean the gray hairs?"
"No, no! Of course not! I m-meant your hair looks really hot—I mean good! It looks GOOD," you repeat, frantically emphasizing the last bit. You had instinctively panicked, your voice rising in pitch.  If your cheeks weren't flaming hot already, then they're definitely redder than Seokjin's ass after a Friday night of fun.
The apples of Yoongi's cheek match your own flustered state, though you can imagine that you’re probably at least a hundred times worse. “Well, thank you. I was actually feeling self-conscious about my hair, so hearing that from you is really… nice,” he says, brushing his hair shyly. “I’m kinda done with bright colored hair for now, so seeing my hair in its natural state is still kind of weird.”
“I seriously doubt that Y/N was talking about your hair color, Yoongi,” Hoseok interjects, magically reappearing behind you when you don’t notice. You flinch in surprise, causing him to let out a hearty chuckle at your jumpiness. It seems that today is “Let’s scare the living shit out of Y/N” day with how many people have crept up on you in just one night.
Beside him, Seokjin looks like a bomb ready to explode, his fist jammed up his mouth to keep his guffaws from slipping out. “God, this is even better than the cringe compilations I watch on Youtube,” he wheezes, wiping a stray tear.
“Don’t be so mean to them, hyung! Don’t mind him,” Hoseok says to you, bowing apologetically. He smiles cherubically at Yoongi. “See, Yoongi? I told you that Y/N is even hotter up close!”
“God, fucking kill me,” you hear Yoongi groan.
“So, have you guys caught up yet, or have you just been fumbling around each other like a couple of horny teenagers?” Seokjin snickers, narrowly avoiding your heel stomping his foot.
“We’ve only just said hello. Leave us alone, jackass,” you huff.
“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? Well, Hoseok and I can go on our merry ways if you wish—”
“Yoongi! Did you tell Y/N about your work back in Seoul? I bet she’d love to hear about it,” Hoseok interrupts smoothly, saving you from further embarrassment (courtesy of his infuriating goblin of a boyfriend.)
You blink in surprise, turning to the man in question. “You live in Seoul now? Did you move there after finishing university?” you ask.
“Well,” Yoongi starts, clearing his throat. He’s permanently pink at this point, not that you mind in the slightest. He always did have the cutest blush (and once upon a time, you used to love teasing him about it.) “I sort of dropped out of university early. Decided it wasn’t really my thing, you know?”
“Don’t sell yourself short, Yoongi. You were a fantastic student. I’m sure Y/N remembers how smart you are,” Hoseok says, winking inconspicuously at you.
You force out a laugh in response. You know perfectly well what he was trying to do; Hoseok isn’t slick in the slightest, though you do admit that you are intrigued to find out what Yoongi had done over the years.
It isn’t like you haven’t been keeping tabs on him. In your defense, it’s hard to stay away from news about Yoongi when he’s such a big deal. So what if you’ve watched a couple of his interviews and streamed all of his songs? He’s always been talented with music, and all the radio shows seem to agree. You couldn’t get away from him if you tried (and it’s not like you were trying very hard, anyway.)
Yoongi shrugs, rubbing his neck bashfully. “E-either way, I decided to tough it out, you know? Follow my dreams and all that, even if it nearly killed me.”
“And now, he’s working in a famous idol company as one of their head producers,” Hoseok finishes for him, chest puffing up in pride. He slaps his best friend on the back, not noticing that he had inadvertently caused Yoongi's spine to cave in from his strength. “Yoongi is so cool, and humble too! He’s been working behind the scenes for a bunch of big names and never got greedy for attention even though he totally deserves it.”
“Damn, so no street cred? Bit schewpid, innit? Imagine all the chicks you could’ve landed, bruv!” Seokjin says, imitating a terrible British accent. You make a move to hit him in the groin, but for once, Hoseok beats you to the punch.
“Nope! Yoongi-chi is super single, aren’t you?” Hoseok says with a sweet grin, ignoring the pained groans of his lover on the floor.
“No need to rub it in, Seok-ah,” Yoongi grumbles defensively. He coughs into his fist, grinding his foot into the floor. He throws a glance your way. “Just been… too busy, I guess.”
From the floor, Seokjin holds up a hand, grasping at Hoseok’s pant leg to hoist himself up. “What a coincidence. Y/N is super single too. In fact, her pussy is so dry that there’d be no chance for any yeast infections to develop—WAIT, DON’T HIT ME AGAIN I PROMISE I’LL BEHAVE!” Seokjin is on his knees, holding his arms up in surrender as Hoseok’s boot is about to connect with his stomach.
“I know I said I was into BDSM, but not like this!” Seokjin says, faking a sob.
“Then behave, darling,” Hoseok replies, eyes lighting dangerously. When he returns his attention to you, you and Yoongi back away instinctively. “Sorry about him. We have an… arrangement,” he says, waving his hands vaguely.
“Understood,” you both say, not understanding but also not wanting to.
Seokjin manages to straighten up eventually, his skin slightly paler than it was before. “A-as I was saying,” he exhales, still gingerly cupping his crotch. “Y/N has been single for so long, but I don’t blame her. Not after that awful disaster of a boyfriend, right? God, Sungjae fucking sucked ass, and not even in the sexy way.”
“Um, yeah…” you say hesitantly, avoiding eye contact. You can feel Hoseok’s and Yoongi’s eyes trained on you, but you’re not confident enough to know that you can keep your face neutral.
With your gaze averted, you don’t notice the way Yoongi’s posture tenses. “Is that so,” he says carefully.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Hoseok says. You can hear the genuine sadness in his tone, and you chance a peek at him. He pats your shoulder gently, giving you a soft smile. “Honestly, I feel you. I’ve definitely been there, done that. That’s why I’m grateful for Seokjin-hyung, believe it or not. He’s been really good for me.”
“Hah, I told you I’m a good person!” Seokjin says. Again, he goes ignored.
“It’s fine. It’s all water under the bridge,” you say, shrugging. You can still feel Yoongi’s persistent gaze on the side of your head like a brand. You’re kind of afraid to see what sort of expression he has despite the curiosity burning inside of you.
You are still in the middle of debating if it’s worth explaining or not (and to a lesser extent, why you feel like you need to explain yourself to anyone), everyone’s attention is caught by the onslaught of waiters bringing in a fresh batch of food to the buffet. Your stomach growls in response, and you are reminded of the fact that you haven’t eaten since breakfast in preparation for tonight’s event.
“Hold that thought, Y/N,” Hoseok says, holding up a finger. “Hyung! I saw a platter of tuna belly and I know that shit is gonna disappear in two seconds. Let’s head out!” He tugs Seokjin in a hurry, the elder’s gangly legs flying about as he trips over himself to keep up. Seokjin yelps and hollers for him to slow down, but the hangry Hoseok train stops for no one. They run off, leaving Hoseok-and-Seokjin-shaped dust clouds in their wakes.
“Wow,” Yoongi says, dumbfounded. “Did we just get ditched by our two self-proclaimed best friends in the world?”
You nod, equally dumbfounded. “I guess we did.”
He shakes his head. “Fucking traitors.”
And just like that, the conversation dies.
Without your friends acting as buffers, the pair of you return to your painfully awkward states. You rack your brain for a conversation topic, anything to keep the tension at bay. You don’t feel nearly comfortable enough to ask him about his love life, even though you want nothing more than to shake the details right out of him. For perfectly sane reasons, of course.
Lucky for you, Yoongi thinks of a solution. “Um, I guess we should go grab our food as well? I’m assuming we’ll be sitting together since our friends are... you know. Unless you don’t want to, then that’s also perfectly fine with me. I can find somewhere else to sit.”
“I’d love to sit with you,” you say, cringing at your choice of words. Love to? What are you, desperate?! your brain screeches at you, and you mentally beat yourself in the coochie.
Deep down, you know that you’re overreacting, but you can’t help acting like a blushy teenager talking to your crush when you’re around Yoongi. It’s almost as if you’ve reverted to your high school days, back when you’d both started to notice your feelings for each other and the steady flow of butterflies erupting in your stomach had felt less like a burden and more like a revelation.
After tossing your disgusting drink into a nearby bin, you and Yoongi line up behind the rest of your classmates for the buffet, the scene reminiscent of having lunch at your old high school cafeteria. You’re still mildly distracted by Yoongi’s proximity, not looking at what food you were getting and randomly scooping and hoping you don’t dislike all of them.
From the corner of your eye, you notice that Yoongi’s plate is steadily piling up, probably with enough food to feed two people. You’ve never known Yoongi to be much of a heavy eater, but you suppose that free food is still free food at the end of the day.
“So,” Yoongi says after a beat. He pulls you from your trance, and you catch the small smile on his face that tells you that he figured you had been distracted. “How is Jungkook, by the way? He graduated from university a year ago or something, right?”
You pause, your hand stilling on the metal tongs. “How did you know he graduated last year?”
He shrugs. “Well, assuming that he didn’t take any gap years, I did the math and figured he should be at the age where he’s looking for a job.” He turns to you with a sly grin. “Plus, I’m still his friend on Facebook.”
“That’s surprising,” you comment. You backtrack a little, “And I mean it’s surprising in the sense that… All his posts are reshares from dank meme pages and I thought you wouldn’t be into that.”
Yoongi laughs. “I’m not. But… it’s nice to know how things are back home, I guess.”
Do you wonder about me, too? you think, but you internally shake your head. But why would he? He doesn’t owe you anything.
“And your dad? I heard he got hip surgery last fall,” Yoongi says.
“Wait, Jungkook has been posting about our dad’s surgery on his Facebook?”
“Oh! No, not exactly.” Yoongi clears his throat, suddenly nervous. He heaps a big portion of kimchi, some of it staining his sleeve. “I… called him a few days ago, to catch up.”
You’re staring at him, and you dimly register the people lined up behind you huffing impatiently. “You… called him? You have his cell number, too?”
“No, I just… happen to still have your home telephone number memorized and hoped that you guys hadn’t moved,” he says, a little guiltily.
You’re silent for a moment, thoughtlessly scooping more bean sprouts onto your plate than any sane person would be comfortable eating. The two of you inch along the buffet display as you attempt to process his sudden confession.
On one hand, you’re slightly betrayed that your own brother hadn’t thought to mention that your ex had called him, but on the other hand, what would you have done if he did? Ask if you could say hello? The Y/N from last month probably would have laughed if she had known that Min Yoongi still cared enough to call and check on her family, much less have her landline memorized even after all these years.
He still cared.
Unbeknownst to everyone in the room, your heart skips a beat at the thought. You cradle a hand to your chest, urging your nerves to quell. Keep it together, you beg your stupid, naive heart. You can survive one night without falling in love again, can’t you?
...can you?
“I…” you stammer. You swallow thickly, desperate for something to say, anything to stop your mind from going in the wrong direction. “They miss you, you know? You have no idea how many times my parents ask if you’re coming home for Christmas, or—I don’t know.”
“Yeah, my parents are the same. They always wanna know if I’m coming home for the holidays, and they,” he hesitates, swallowing thickly, “They always ask about you, too.”
Oh.
“Oh,” you mutter lamely. Your cheeks feel like they’ve been lit on fire the moment you got here, and you haven’t even visited the bar yet.
You finally make it to the end of the long buffet table where there is a large chocolate fountain just begging for you to ravage if only your stomach wasn’t besieged by butterflies. Yoongi glances at you, his own hands too full to get any desserts, but he still pauses as if he’s waiting for you. When you make it apparent you aren’t interested in the mouthwatering cakes and pastries (a big fat lie, but you also don’t want to vomit in front of him and your hundreds of schoolmates), he raises a brow as though he’s surprised.
“What? I’m not that much of a sweet tooth,” you scoff.
“This is coming from the girl who broke into her little brother’s piggy bank to buy some ice cream from a passing street vendor?” he teases.
“That’s the old me. Now, I make enough money to buy my own sweets,” you say smugly.
He rolls his eyes. “Whatever you say.” If you didn’t know any better, you might have thought he looked endeared.
The pair of you search for Hoseok and Seokjin, only to find that the couple had somehow found a table for all of you somewhere near the back. With one last longing glance at the wondrous chocolate fountain, you walk away with Yoongi in tow. You have to push through throngs of people, a few old familiar faces stopping to say hello before they notice the precarious situation on Yoongi’s plate and let you through. You wave at them, promising to greet them later before turning to Yoongi.
“Isn’t it kind of weird to see all these people again? Not gonna lie, it’s almost hard to recognize a few of them.” You note some of the crazy hair colors and drastic fashion choices that you never thought you’d see a decade ago. An even stranger sight, however, is the occasional schoolmates with little ones attached to their hips. You recognize one of the new parents, your mouth dropping in shock.
“Wait, is that Seulgi? And is that her—”
“Her son? Jesus Christ,” Yoongi mutters, equally as bewildered as you. “Damn, I did not expect her of all people to be one of the first to have a kid. I’d always thought it’d be Sooyoung.”
You nod in agreement. You observe the little boy tug roughly at her skirt, his tiny fists making grabbing motions at the cookies on her plate. “Yeah. I always thought I’d have a kid before Seulgi, at least. What a surprise.”
You speak before you think, and it takes longer than it should have for you to realize your mistake. By then, Yoongi’s expression had already morphed into astonishment, his eyes bugging out as he chokes on his spit.
Your cheeks are burning, your mouth opening and closing as pure panic seizes you. You cannot believe that you just said that! No fucking way! Did you eat lube this morning or something? Why are words just spilling out of your mouth at an unprecedented rate?! You’re begging your brain to come up with something, anything, to control the damage, but alas your thoughts remain resolutely frozen.
If aliens were to choose to study the human race right now, they’d be sorely disappointed to find the lack of intelligent lifeforms. No complex thoughts going on over here! Not one goddamn neuron firing in this bitch!
“O-oh, well, that’s…” he trails off. He clears his throat, his jaw clenched as he awkwardly tries to feign composure. “I didn’t know you were, um, interested? Well, n-not that I think you were averse to the idea of having kids, since I remember you mentioning it when we were, um,” he pauses, struggling to find a word other than dating, or together, or in love, or not painstakingly careful around each other, like every conversation topic was a fucking minefield.
“Younger?” you supply. A safe, neutral word. Yay for you! You deserve a snack from your animal care keeper right about now.
“Right,” he nods. He looks down at his shoes, revealing his flushed neck. He’s frustratingly adorable like this, but it does nothing except distract you. “Were you, um, planning on having a kid with your ex-boyfriend? Before you broke up?”
Ex-boyfriend? Why is he bringing him up all of a sudden? You stare at him in confusion for half a second before realization strikes you. Thankfully (or unthankfully), it seems that Yoongi misunderstands the implication behind your words and has taken your little slip-up the wrong way. For once, you are so thankful that Yoongi almost failed Math during the 10th grade and never learned to put two and two together.
“Definitely not,” you bark out a laugh, but it sounds incredibly forced, even to your own ears. You stare at the plate of food in your hands, a wave of unpleasant memories washing over you. “I doubt he’d ever want kids, anyway. Seokjin used to make fun of him and call him the world’s biggest toddler.”
Yoongi winces, his brow furrowing. “How long were you together?”
“Like, two years?” You shrug. “It felt longer, to be honest. Even if we dated for so long, I could never imagine myself having a family with him,” you say.
It was almost the truth, but not quite. While your ex-boyfriend had undoubtedly been a pain in your ass, he wasn’t completely bad, especially in the beginning. You had enough self-respect that you would have ended the relationship earlier if he didn’t have any redeeming qualities. The main problem was that he had a tough act to follow, and you don’t think any man on earth would be able to live up to your lofty expectations at this point, not when you’d constantly be comparing everyone to—
Yoongi speaks up again. “Seokjin seems to really dislike him. Was he really that bad?”
“Seokjin has never really liked any of my past flings,” you admit, rolling your eyes. (You fail to mention that Yoongi has always been the only exception.) “Despite his own disgustingly high body count, I can’t say he was wrong. Sungjae was a self-centered prick who never gave me the time of day. Hell, I was almost thankful when I caught him cheating. It was the final push I needed.”
Even though it’s been so long, the pain of seeing your ex-boyfriend locking lips with a stranger he had randomly picked up from the street still throbs inside of you. It wasn’t like you were particularly sad or surprised to find out, but you’d always been a bit sensitive to people who kept secrets from you. Plus, it kinda sucked to know that they had fucked on your favorite Egyptian cotton sheets.
“Fucking bastard. If I ever saw him in person, I’d definitely kick his nuts ‘til he’s left with a concave crotch,” he seethes, eyes narrowing.
You laugh. You have to confess that the mental image is satisfying. “You don’t even know what he looks like though!”
“Doesn’t matter. I’m sure Seokjin would tell me if I asked,” he huffs. He mutters something else after, but his volume drops to a whisper and you have to step closer to properly hear him.
“What? Sorry, I missed that,” you say, but you could have sworn he said something like “I wouldn’t have done that if it were me” but you couldn’t be completely sure.
“N-nothing,” he stutters, waving off your confusion. He tacks on a smile, but you can tell that he must have been embarrassed by whatever he’d said. If it was anything like what you thought he’d said, then you could understand. It wasn’t like he was wrong, anyway.
He makes a move to rub the back of his neck, but he greatly underestimates the weight of his platter and nearly drops everything. Something deep inside of you kicks in, and your body instinctively moves to hold his plate with your free hand, saving him from a very messy situation. However, that also means that your hands are now touching each other, your fingertips grazing his knuckles.
Instead of letting him go like a normal person, your ape brain makes the first move (as per usual).
“Your hands are still cold,” you say dumbly. You had wanted to say more, like “your hands are still as cold as they were from when we were younger,” but bringing up your past together, even for something so harmless, still feels taboo. You keep your hands where they are, your eyes locked on his. It feels like you’re in the middle of a dramatic TV show while I Will Go To You by Ailee plays in the background. You can almost imagine the numerous ads for random Korean cosmetic products framing the two of you in slow motion.
Yoongi chuckles, reluctantly pulling away from you. You already miss the sensation of his skin on yours. “I guess some things never change, huh?” he says, wavering slightly. He stares at you for another moment before shaking his head, as though he’s pushing away some unwelcome thoughts. He turns away, leaving you behind to make his way to your table.
Despite the unbidden emotions bubbling up your throat and threatening to spill over, you have no choice but to follow.
At the table, Seokjin and Hoseok speak mutely with each other, though the exaggerated expressions on both their faces tell you that they had been in the middle of an argument. When Yoongi takes his place beside Hoseok, the couple pauses in their bickering to greet you.
Hoseok looks at Yoongi’s overflowing plate. “Dude. I know I teased you about being a skinny twig a while ago, but I wasn’t implying that you gorge yourself.”
Yoongi jolts in surprise before staring back at his plate. Weirdly enough, he looks just as shocked as Hoseok to find the amount of food he had gotten, as though he hadn’t even noticed.
Perhaps he was just as distracted as you had been? you think, staring at your own meager pickings. Oops, you definitely didn’t get enough food to fill your ravenous appetite.
“That’s fine. I can share with you guys,” Yoongi says.
Seokjin peers at your plate, smirking knowingly. “Oh, yes. I’m sure Y/N would love to get some of your food. It seems like the two of you either over or underestimated how much you’d eat.”
“Aww, cute!” Hoseok coos, pinching Yoongi’s cheek. “You still have the habit of getting food for her. That’s so sweet that you still remember that about her!”
You had been in the middle of taking a swig of your water, but Hoseok’s comment nearly causes it to spew out from your nose. You cough harshly, beating your chest as your nose burns, among other things.
“Hoseok!” Yoongi scolds. He hits his friend on the shoulder, but Hoseok’s giggles refuse to stop.
“Oh shit, you’re totally right! Remember all those times when either one of us was forced to third-wheel with them?” Seokjin guffaws. “Y/N always orders something gross whenever we eat out together, and Yoongi ends up having to share half of his food with her when she starts moping.”
“I did not mope!” you retort vehemently.
“You kind of did,” Yoongi mutters under his breath, but you catch him this time.
You cross your arms, scowling. “Did not!”
Yoongi covers his mouth to fake a cough, but you can tell he’s smiling from how his eyes start to crinkle.
“You guys are so cute,” Hoseok sighs, squeezing Yoongi into a hug. Yoongi paws at him weakly, but you know that he enjoys skinship too much to push his friend away.  Still, he pouts cutely, his cheeks puffing up like a pastry.
“Anyway, why were you guys arguing a while ago?” Yoongi asks, changing the subject. “Seokjin-hyung is kinda red in the face.”
“Oh, we weren’t really arguing. Hyung had gotten some wine from the bar but he forgot to get me some,” Hoseok says. He glares sharply at Seokjin. “Bastard.”
“You just said we weren’t fighting!” Seokjin whines. He stands up, raising his arms in surrender. “But fine! I’ll go get your damn wine,” he sulks, groaning when he stretches his back and a few worrisome pops resound from his joints.
“Damn, hyung. I know I told you that I hope you grow up well when we were kids, but I didn’t think you’d take it that literally,” Yoongi jokes, earning a sharp laugh from you. Yoongi glances at you then, visibly proud when he catches the wide grin on your face.
Seokjin gasps, offended. “I am not old! I’m literally a year older than you guys! And here I was, about to get you both drinks as well! It sucks to be the nice one in a friend group,” he sniffs.
“Yes, we are eternally grateful for your service,” Hoseok says sarcastically. “Oh, and remember to get some drinks for Y/N and Yoongi-chi too!” Hoseok adds, slamming his palm on Seokjin’s sore back.
Seokjin yelps, before biting his lip. “Owwie, that hurt,” he moans, winking salaciously.
As the closest person to him, you make it your right to jam your heeled foot onto his gelatinous and push away with a shout of disgust. “Leave, wench!” you snarl, but you’re unfortunately drowned out by his cackling. Even so, he does make his leave, affording your table some level of peace.
“So,” Hoseok starts, a twinkle of mischief in his eye. He cradles his chin with his hands, smiling innocuously at the two of you. “How’s it goin’? Are you both having fun?” he says, laced with meaning.
Ah, you had forgotten; peace was never an option.
Though he is undoubtedly less annoying than Seokjin, you still don’t trust the way he’s staring at you, like he’s waiting for one of you to jump into the other’s lap and recreate his favorite porn scene.
(A terrible thought to have, especially when you’d probably be as begrudging as you should be if you were swayed sufficiently.)
“It’s going fine, thank you very much,” Yoongi responds, giving his best friend a stern look.
You nod wordlessly, unable to trust yourself to keep from stammering and making your frayed nerves apparent (if they aren’t already.) You grab your glass and busy yourself with your drink to delay answering.
You don’t notice that you had taken Yoongi’s cup by accident until you’ve already gulped a third of his water, dropping it with a loud clunk. “Oh shit, sorry! I didn’t mean to drink from yours,” you say sheepishly.
Yoongi smiles at your concern. “No worries. It’s just a cup.”
“Sharing cups too? Damn, what happened while Seokjin and I were away?” Hoseok laughs. Yoongi flicks him lightly on the wrist in retaliation.
“It’s just a cup,” he repeats before turning to you. “Sorry, I think he’s a bit drunk.”
“Haven’t had a single drop of alcohol but whatever,” Hoseok says, shoveling a large piece of tuna belly into his mouth.
The sight of him eating reminds you of your own hunger, your food slightly colder now after talking to Yoongi and your friends for so long. You take a spoonful of chicken, the taste not terrible but not as good as you would like. Your face must give your disappointment away because you hear Yoongi chuckling beside you.
“Bad food again? Guess you really are the same,” Yoongi says, low enough that Hoseok wouldn’t hear. He pushes his plate towards you, carefully nudging some of his bulgogi onto yours. “This tastes kind of sweet, so I’m not really into it. But you prefer it sweeter right?”
All you can do is nod in agreement, watching as he piles your plate with his food. His sleeves, which had already been stained previously by some stray bits of kimchi, become even more saturated with sauces and oils. Now that you see it up close, his sleeves seem a bit too long for him, his palms half covered like sweater paws.  
Without thinking too hard, you place your hands over Yoongi’s wrists, his entire body freezing as he waits for what you will do. Gently, as though you’re approaching a frightened kitten, you fold his sleeves until they’re no longer dangling into his food. The gesture is more intimate than you had intended, his proximity allowing you to smell the familiar fragrance of his cologne.
Paco Rabanne, your mind reminds you. Of course.
You pull away, trying your best to appear as unfazed as possible. You clench your hands and dig your nails into your skin to keep them from trembling. “If I’m the same, you’re no better. You always used to forget to pull back your sleeves before eating.”
After a beat, Yoongi returns from his stupor, licking his lips. “My hands were cold,” he explains.
“I know.” You lick your lips too, suddenly parched despite all the water you have drunk.
A forgotten treasure trove of memories resurrects inside of you, things that you had thought had been buried too deep for you to find again. You are filled with this odd feeling, an awareness. An old wound has resurfaced, one that you thought had healed long ago.
That wound throbs, still.
It’s so strange, being with him like this. A piece of your past that has come to your present, both the same and different as you remember. He knows parts of you that no one else will, as do you with him. But those parts were only ever supposed to stay buried: memories, after all, aren’t supposed to be tangible.
And yet, here he stands: real, alive, close.
It leaves you feeling emptier than before.
The atmosphere grows somber after that, neither of you offering much to the conversation. Hoseok is more than happy to pick up the slack, filling the stark silence along with the occasional hums from Yoongi. When Seokjin returns, he makes no note of the change in mood and focuses more on eating and talking with his partner. It allows the two of you to remain deep in thought.
You are pushing your remaining bits of food around your plate when the soft instrumental music playing on the overhead speaker stops abruptly, and the sound of a microphone being tapped prompts everyone to turn to the front of the ballroom. The host of the event announces that the next part of the reunion will begin shortly and encourages all the performers to head to the sound booth to prepare. A couple of your schoolmates rise from their seats, most of whom were the students you remembered being part of choir or band.
You half-expect Yoongi to stand up as well, but he stays rooted to the spot. Apparently, Hoseok is wondering the same thing.
“Yoongi? Didn’t you say that the organizers asked you to perform some of your songs?” Hoseok questions.
“They did.”
“But?”
Yoongi brings his fingers to his teeth, biting on them anxiously. Your hand makes a move to pull them away, but you think better of it. No need to supply your friends with more teasing ammunition. “But I changed my mind last minute. I felt kind of embarrassed to be performing my own songs. I’m more of a producer, not a performer.”
“There’s nothing to be embarrassed about, Yoongi. You’re poggers, as the kids like to say,” Seokjin pipes up.
“I wouldn’t put it like that, but he’s right. A lot of people like your music and think you’re a great performer,” you assure him. “And I like your music, too,” you add shyly.
Yoongi’s hand drops from his mouth, eyes glittering with disbelief. He looks like he wants to disagree with you, but eventually decides to just smile in gratitude. “I didn’t know you listened to my music,” he says quietly.
Before you can reply, Seokjin chooses to interrupt with his migraine-inducing cackle and ruin the moment (as he is prone to do.) “Oh bitch! If you only knew how much this girl loves your music. She even buys your physical CDs AND collects your photocards.”
“I do not!” You scream, flinging a piece of bread at his head. You refuse to peek at Yoongi.
“Don’t worry, Y/N! I collect his photocards too. Wanna trade sometime? I’m missing the one when he still had mint hair,” Hoseok giggles.
“Will the two of you stop? God, it’s like you both had been planning to embarrass us as much as possible,” Yoongi exclaims, incensed.
When neither of them responds, you and Yoongi whip your heads towards them only to find two self-satisfied, smirking shitheads.
“Why watch reality shows when you can make your own?” Seokjin says in lieu of an answer, pointing finger guns. He blows you a kiss with a wink.
You clutch your chest, pretending to wince in pain. “Augh! Poison damage!”
Seokjin scoffs. “Swagever, man. You’re just mad because you’re angry,” he retorts, sticking out his tongue.
While you were occupied bickering with Seokjin, you had not seen that one of your old schoolmates had invited herself to your table. She sandwiches herself in the space between you and Yoongi, bumping you roughly enough to topple you out of your chair.
“What the fuck?” you yelp in surprise, holding onto the table to balance yourself. After straightening back into your seat, you find that your view of the world has become obscured by asscheeks the size of beachballs.
“Hi Yoongi,” she purrs seductively. Or at least, what she thinks is seductive. To you, her voice sounds like nails grating on a chalkboard.
“Hello?” Yoongi says, but it comes out sounding more like a question. It’s clear that he doesn’t remember her name, as he searches your eyes for help. You shrug unhelpfully; you deleted almost all the names of everyone that you had gone to school with right after graduation. Besides, her horrendous plastic surgery makes it even twice as hard to discern her identity.
“Hi Hyejin,” Hoseok speaks up, answering your unspoken question. Oh, right. The name does ring a bell, somewhat. You don’t recall her looking like a cartoon character before, but you suppose beauty standards are meant to be subjective. Maybe she wanted to look like a One Piece character.
Hyejin purses her lips into a tight smile but doesn’t return his greeting. She turns back to Yoongi, bending forward until her boobs are practically smooshed against his face. You wonder idly if stabbing her chest with your chopsticks would cause them to burst like a balloon, or perhaps drain like a puss-filled pimple. Both, you surmise, would be very entertaining to watch.
“It’s been a while since we’ve last seen each other, hm? I heard you’ve been very busy ever since we graduated from high school,” she says, batting her eyelashes.
“Uh, yeah? Some of us have jobs,” he says, passively dissing her. You let out a strangled laugh, causing Hyejin to aim a glare back at you. You bring your (his) cup of water to your lips, feigning innocence.
Hyejin rolls her eyes. “Right. But I meant that you’ve become a real star back in Seoul! I didn’t know you were such a musical prodigy!”
“I’m really not. I just work hard,” he shrugs. He’s visibly uncomfortable, especially since Hyejin was pretty much breathing the same air as him. Every time he leans away from her, she takes it as an invitation to come closer. He is nearly lying horizontally at this point, his back parallel with the floor.
“Humble as well as handsome? My, my. I didn’t think you’d be such a charmer,” she laughs, saccharine sweet. She twirls her dyed brown hair with her perfectly manicured acrylic nails. You rub at the goosebumps forming on your arms, cringing at the phantom sensation of her nails digging into your skin.
“Just spit it out. What the hell do you want so you can leave,” Seokjin interjects. Everything about his demeanor says calm and collected, but the way he presses his lips into a thin line says otherwise. You can sense the air dropping in temperature, despite the embers burning behind his eyes.
“I came over here to ask if Yoongi could give me his autograph, that’s all. I am his biggest fan, after all,” she sulks. She winks at him for extra measure. “And maybe his number too? I’d love to discuss your music with you sometime!”
“Oh, um. That’s—” he cuts off, hesitant to answer. He tugs at his ears nervously, exchanging subtly alarmed glances with you.
You remember that signal very distinctly; it’s a distress call that he would do whenever he needed a way out. He used to do it a lot when you were at social gatherings, especially when people would trap him in boring or awkward conversations. He never did like socializing with people outside his circle, but he was often dragged to parties by his more extroverted friends.
He might be hot as hell with his stylish clothes and jaw-dropping undercut, but he’s still awkward as hell around strangers. When the universe created him, they made sure to keep everything in balance. If they hadn’t been fair, you certainly would’ve died much earlier.
“Yoongi, don’t you have spare CDs of your music?” you quip, dragging Hyejin’s attention onto you. Her eyes narrow imperceptibly, suspicious.
“I do?” He stares at you blankly.
You resist hitting your forehead in exasperation. “Yes, Yoongi. Remember? You left a couple of them in my car.”
Yoongi’s eyes light up in understanding. “Oh, right! I left my CDs. In your car. That we drove here. Together. We came here. Together. Yes, correct.”
From your periphery, you can sense Hoseok barely holding onto his sanity after witnessing that pitiful display. Who can blame him when Yoongi’s infamously terrible acting skills are having their first appearance in over ten years? How he managed to pass Drama class is still a mystery to this day.
“Yup,” you say, popping your p.  You give Hyejin a winsome smile, your hands folded neatly on your lap. You can almost see the steam blowing out of her ears. It fills you with delicious satisfaction. “Why don’t Yoongi and I go get them so he can sign one?”
If her eyes had been made of lasers, you’d be a cauterized mess jumble of organs by now. Can’t say you would regret it either way.
“How kind of you.” She sneers. “Also, I wasn’t aware that you two were still a thing.”
“I wasn’t aware that we were required to inform you of anything,” you retort placidly. You plaster on your fakest grin. “Now, if you can please move your fat ass—I mean, if you can please move out of the way so I can go to my car...” you trail off, gesturing for her to leave.
After a few more indignant sputters on her end, she eventually makes her exit. She throws a couple of poisonous glares, but they go largely ignored by you and your friends. With her gone, you feel as though you can finally breathe fresh air again.
“Great stuff, Y/N! Congrats on winning your first bitch-off,” Seokjin chirps, back to his usual self. You roll your eyes at his antics but smile nonetheless.
“Thanks. I learned from the best.”
Yoongi clears his throat. “So, are we still gonna go?” He looks back and forth from her to you. “Just so we can pretend you actually have my albums in your car?”
“Trust me, Yoongi-chi. She does have your albums in her car.” Seokjin titters. “I wasn’t kidding about the photocard collection.”
“Ignore him. And yes, I do have your albums. I listen to them in my car from time to time,” you say, attempting nonchalance. “I’d hate to give them away to that bitch, but if it keeps her away...”
Away from you is left unsaid, but it’s heavily implied.
(No, you aren’t jealous. You’re above jealousy. It’s not like that bitch would ever have a chance with him anyway, unlike you—!
Woah there, cowgirl. Let’s stay on the right path. Don’t want your heart getting chewed up and spat back out all over again, do you?)
“I’ll just mail you a new one. Signed, if you want. You can probably sell it on eBay or whatever.” He tries to say it like a joke, but his brow is too furrowed to be convincing. (You want to kiss him there and make it go away.)
You don’t trust yourself to speak, so all you do is nod mutely. You stand up and Yoongi follows suit.
“We’ll be right back. If she comes back before then, tell her to scram,” you tell Hoseok and Seokjin. They salute you in response (well, Hoseok does. Seokjin does a very rude gesture with his fingers that is supposed to mimic something explicit. Feel free to use your imagination.)
The walk to the parking lot is a quiet one. The two of you stay side by side, his strides naturally matching your own. Unlike before, you don’t feel the need to fill the silence for once, content to just be in each other’s presence.
The hotel that your reunion is being held at is unusually unpopulated. The lobby consists of a handful of employees milling about, a few of whom look ready to fall asleep on their feet. You nod politely at the bellboy who opens the main doors for you, declining his offer to call the valet service to fetch your car.
“Just hand me my keys. I’ll look for my car in the parking lot.” It wouldn’t be hard to find, anyway. Your beat-up Toyota Corolla looks as though it’s been through three wars and then some.
It isn’t long until you find it parked close to the entrance. You unlock your car from the passenger seat, shimmying the glove compartment open to reveal your collection of CDs.
“Wow, you weren’t lying when you said you listened to my music,” Yoongi says, voice loud amidst the tranquil night. It startles you, and you accidentally knock over some of the albums onto your car floor. On top of the pile lies Yoongi’s most recent album, the one you recall he had released a couple of months ago.
Strange, how just hours ago you were listening to his music on the way to the reunion, only for the boy on the cover of the album to be just inches away from you.
“Yeah, well. You’re a pretty good artist,” you say.
“Only pretty good?” he repeats, amused.
“Don’t push it,” you snort. You grab the album on top, waving it in front of him. “This should be good enough, right?”
He plucks it from your grasp, an unreadable expression clouding his eyes. He chuckles, but there’s an edge of sadness in his tone. “Good enough,” he agrees solemnly.
His sudden quietness is different from the peaceful one before. It’s sorrowful, maybe regretful. He looks like a man stuck in grief.
“Did you know that I didn’t finish this album before releasing it?”
The question seems a little out of the blue, but you answer regardless. “No, I didn’t. They don’t sound unfinished to me.”
“The songs themselves aren’t unfinished,” he explains. He turns the album over, his finger running down the back where the tracklist is printed. “One of my songs never made it in.”
“Couldn’t you have delayed the album launch so you could complete it?”
He shakes his head. “It was actually the first song I finished out of all of them.”
“Then..?”
“It didn’t matter, at the time. I wrote it for someone specifically, but I didn’t want to put it on the album if she—they didn’t listen to it. It wouldn’t matter if the whole world heard that song because only they would understand it.”
“But now? What changed?” Fear and hope run down your spine in tandem when the question tumbles out of you. You hold your breath, and the world shifts from its axis.
But he doesn’t elaborate further.
x x x x x
You return to the hotel after acquiring both an album and some more tension. The album feels heavy in your hands, weighed down by secrets you are still too afraid to uncover. Not that Yoongi would ever willingly divulge them to you—because revealing them would make them real, and making them real would mean you would have to accept them, and accepting them would cause you to—
“They’re gone,” Yoongi announces when you reenter the ballroom. You can’t spot your table from the entranceway, but the certainty in Yoongi’s tone makes you believe him.
“No fucking way. Did those two little shits ditch us to exchange body fluids or something?”
Yoongi grimaces. “Please don’t say it like that. It’s bad enough that I was sitting close enough to Hoseok a while ago that I got accidentally footsie’d by Seokjin hyung.”
You wince, placing a pitying hand on his shoulder. “God didn’t make us his strongest soldiers.”
Yoongi tries dialing Hoseok a few times, but none of the calls connect. “Just my rotten luck,” he groans. He types angrily into his phone, worry creasing his forehead. “He was supposed to be my ride back to his place.”
“Seokjin isn’t answering his phone either,” you say apologetically. “How much do you wanna bet this is part of their evil scheme to leave us together?”
“I don’t doubt it in the slightest,” he deadpans. He sighs tiredly, rubbing his temples. “I suppose I can take a taxi there, but I also don’t know if he’ll be home to open the door for me.”
“Then why don’t you just stay with me?”
You don’t know what you’re doing.
In your head, the offer makes sense. He’s just a friend, you remind yourself. Nothing is stopping you from rekindling a friendship with him. You have purely platonic intentions. Friends help each other out.
Never mind the fact that your heart hasn’t stopped fluttering the entire night. Never mind the fact that you’ve caught yourself staring at him just as many times as you’ve caught him staring at you. Never mind the fact that you don’t want the night to end, not now not ever.
(Never mind the fact that you’ve never quite stopped loving him.)
So when he accepts, you convince yourself that offering had been the right thing to do.
(Maybe. Hopefully. You just wish your heart doesn’t end up as collateral damage.)
The drive home is short, thanks to the late hour. You had asked him if he had wanted to stay until the end of the reunion, but he had declined. “Nothing else left for me there,” he says.
You feel as though he’s hinting at something. Your grip on the steering wheel tightens. “At least I get to keep my album.”
Yoongi laughs, short and sweet.
As much as you try to fight it, sitting in the car with him brings up a lot of memories.
The two of you in the backseat as his older brother drives you to his house for dinner, backpacks filled with crumpled notes and loose pens, a promise of an intense study session for your upcoming exams ready to be broken. You remember how the sky would turn orange in the afternoon, the warm light streaming through the car window and washing Yoongi’s skin with a soft glow.
His cheeks had looked inviting, his lips even more. And you would lean over, kissing him like it was easy. Because it was easy, and you never had to think twice about it.
Your trip down memory lane doesn’t end in the car. As you walk up the steps to your childhood home, you hesitate by the door, your keys frozen over the lock. You can hear Yoongi’s soft breathing behind you, but his presence doesn’t feel as stifling as you thought it would be.
You’re far from being at ease, but you aren’t frightened either. Mostly, you’re just filled with anticipation. Of what? You aren’t sure.
“Excuse the mess. Jungkook is in the middle of moving out so there’s just stuff everywhere,” you say just as you open the door. You toe off your shoes by the entrance, kicking them off haphazardly into the pile of sneakers and boots.
You hear Yoongi huff out a laugh behind you. “Aish, that kid. Still hasn’t let go of his Timbs, huh?”
“He has also been really into chunky sneakers these days. I think he’s finalizing his transformation into Thumper,” you joke. “He’s staying at his new apartment for the weekend with my parents, so you won’t be seeing them. They’re helping him settle in.”
“Really? He didn’t mention moving when we spoke. Where is he moving to?”
“Busan. He and his best friend from college are going to start a restaurant in his hometown. Which is funny, since neither of them are the best chefs.”
Yoongi whistles. “Still, that’s impressive. I can’t remove the image from my head of when he was a kid. He was so scared of anything. He wouldn’t let go of your mom’s leg even if his life depended on it.”
He steps deeper into the house, his gaze jumping from end to end as he surveys your childhood home. You watch him, noting how right he looks standing there in the middle of your living room, like a chipped painting that has been restored.
It’s scary, how easily you’ve accepted him back into this place.
He stays rooted to the spot, the moonlight filtering through the kitchen windows and illuminating his frame. The air pulses with something magical, something dream-like, and it muddles your vision. It’s the only explanation you have for why your chest tightens when he turns to face you, with a gaze filled with sadness, mourning, yearning.
“Jungkook’s height chart is still here,” he murmurs. The small nicks on the kitchen door frame are hard to see, and other people have mistaken them for signs of wear and tear. But he knows what they are because he was there when your mother had etched the first scratch.
He looks at your ancient dining table, his hand brushing over the surface. “This too,” he says, rubbing at a large burn mark on the wood.
“Mom made sure to use placemats after that. I didn’t think a sizzling plate would burn through the table like that,” you say, giggling as you reminisce. “You know, we still use your mom’s galbi jjim recipe. We haven’t found a better one.”
“I’m sure she would love to hear that,” Yoongi smiles, but it fades just as quickly. “It’s so… strange. Being here again and seeing that nothing really changed.”
But things did change. Upstairs, in your bedroom. That night, ten years ago.
You still remember what you had said to him, when you had said it to him, how you had said it to him.
It was a sunny afternoon, the time of day when you’d be on your way home from school. The two of you had stood in your room, neither of you wanting to sit because sitting meant staying, and staying only made this harder.
There hadn’t been many tears in that moment; those were shed only after the realization had sunk in, when you’d fully understood what had happened. At the time, the decision had been as easy as breathing.
Except you had both been drowning. The clock was ticking down to the end of high school, and the inevitable wasn’t slowing down.
Yoongi wanted to chase his dreams in Seoul. You wanted to stay closer to home, with your friends and family.
You weren’t going to be the one to hold him down. You weren’t going to be that person, not when he’s destined for greater things than his hometown could offer—not even a girl who loved him would be worth staying for.
He had suggested it, first. He had been prepared for you to cry, or maybe scream, but you did none of that. Instead, you pulled him close, hugging him tighter than you ever had before. You wanted to make it last, imprint the sensation onto your brain so that his warmth might stay with you, even after he’s little more than a distant memory. You trembled, terribly so, even though the beginnings of summer crept on your skin like a brand.
It’s time to let him go, Time whispered. You refused to listen, just for another moment.
Let me have this last moment, you beg. But Time refused to listen.
“Do you know?” Yoongi had spoken into your neck, had hoped his words would stain there. “Do you know how much I love you?”
Love, not loved. “I did,” you say. You think better of it. “I do.”
When you separated, for good this time, it had left an ache deeper than you could have ever imagined.
But you were young. Young love was supposed to hurt, but it wasn’t supposed to last. “You’ll find others,” your mother had said, brushing a soothing hand through your hair as you sobbed.
Then why? Then why has it lasted this long?
It has been a question you’ve asked yourself, and you’re starting to think that the answer has always been right in front of you.
The answer is standing in front of you: real, alive, close.
“Why didn’t you ever date again?” you ask. You ask even though you know he can lie, if he wants. He can tell you anything and you would believe him.
But he wouldn’t; you know he wouldn’t.
“I was afraid of closing a door that I never meant to close in the first place,” he says. His voice crackles like static, but that might be the blood rushing to your head. He moves toward you but keeps a hand’s width away. Still too far.
He continues. “After that day, when I left,” he swallows, “after I left, I think… I think I left a piece of me with you. A-and I don’t think I ever stopped…” he cuts off, exhaling shakily.
“Stopped what?” you breathe.
“You know.” He waves his hands around helplessly. They fall heavily back down to his sides, defeated. “You know?” he repeats.
You do. Because you are the same. The old wound had never healed; it burns and it bleeds like new.
Your skull feels like it’s stuffed with cotton when you close the distance between the two of you. He circles his arms around your waist, tentative, but he relaxes when you wind your arms around his neck. Your vision is warped, so you choose to close them. You wait, with bated breath, as his warmth inched closer and closer.
The sensation of his lips on yours jolts you back to your senses. His kiss reminds you of your youth, of a love that had made you excited to start your day. Even now, your body remembers, and it rejoices.
The tenderness does not last long before it turns fervent, tongue and teeth crashing like waves against the shore. If his kisses could speak, they would tell you stories of how much he missed you, of how much he mourned the time you had both lost. They would tell you of the days when he’d almost pressed your number onto his phone, of the nights when he’d stare at the polaroids he had kept of you.
They would ask if you still love him like he still loves you.
He tastes of desperation, and you are likely to be the same. It is a desperation you haven’t tasted in years—but it doesn’t feel scary like it used to. Time no longer feels like it’s racing against you, like you had something to prove before the hour was over. This reckless abandon feels like home against your skin—it is an ache being soothed after having ripped your scabs over and over again.
It’s Yoongi.
And when he pulls you to your room, he doesn’t even need his eyes to find his way as his feet still memorize the floorboards. He struggles with the doorknob, forgetting that it always jammed, but it’s okay because you can always teach him again. You can teach him everything again.
The bed creaks under your weights and even the mattress sounds like it is sighing in relief. That sigh echoes from your lips when his hand slips under your clothes, his palm stopping over your heart.
“I won’t break it, this time,” he says. He promises. “If you let me.”
You wonder if he can feel your heart soaring, pounding against your ribs. “I think the line has long been crossed to ask for my permission.” You place your hand over where his is laid. You squeeze tight.
This time, you don’t let him go.
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likeastarstar · 3 months ago
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8:03 PM- Yoongi
(A/N: Hi! I recently hit a milestone in followers and while I'm not really a numbers person I did want to say a huge thank you to everyone who's read, liked, reblogged, sent me an ask, or followed me. I'm really thankful to everyone who likes my work! It means a lot!! Anyway back to good ole yoongi- feedback is always appreciated!)
31 Days. 744 Hours. 44640 minutes.
That's how long it had been since you had seen Yoongi. You knew the exact amount of time that had passed since you had last seen him because it was all you could think of. Doing the math in your head distracted you from how stupid all of this was.
You wiped at your face, swiping tears away before knocking on Yoongi's door, like you always did when you were feeling anything other than happy. Normally, anytime something would upset you, you'd go running to Yoongi. He'd open the door and pull you into a hug quickly, fixing any and all problems you had. That wouldn't happen this time, since the problem was you. This time, you weren't even sure he'd answer the door.
Thankfully, he did. Yoongi answered quickly, scanning your face for a moment with his usual comforting smile sliding off his face quickly. He said you name softly, tone full of sympathy and you hated it, glaring at him as if you weren't the one who knocked on his door.
He was your best friend, the only form of stability you had in your life. This was your first official fight and it was over something so stupid- over you telling him you loved him. You had said it a month ago and freaked out when he didn't say anything back. You couldn't get the shocked expression frozen on his face when you told him out of your head. Instead of asking if he was okay, instead of trying to discuss things like an adult, you ran away. He tried calling you after but you ignored him, ignoring your friends when they asked what happened. It took you a whole month to work up the courage to walk to his apartment, purposefully not bothering to text and ask if he was home. This way, there was a good chance he wasn't and you could just use it as an excuse to never try to apologize again except he was home and he was staring at you right now.
"Hey," You mumbled, staring at the center of his chest.
His shirt fit him tighter than normal- how had he gotten buffer in a month? What the hell had he been doing? You had spent the month crying in bed while he had seemingly decided to switch careers to body building.
"You're crying," He said blankly, skipping any form a greeting. You made a hissing noise and pulled your hair down from the ponytail it had been in so you could hide your face. It fell in silver and black waves, which you dyed the same shade as his a couple months ago because you felt like it, not because you wanted to match or anything... definitely not.
"No, I'm not." You lied blatantly. "Why are you home on a Saturday night? Don't you have friends?"
You knew the answer. He definitely had friends, they were your friends too. You don't know why you were being so rude, it was just coming out like word vomit at this point and it was either lash out or tell him the truth. That you loved him, that you were sorry for avoiding him, that you were being immature.
"I do, but my best friend just happens to be ignoring me," He said pointedly, "So I haven't really felt up to being very social."
"It's only been a couple days," You lied, crossing your arms stubbornly.
31 Days. 744 Hours. 44640 minutes.
"It's been a month," He corrected. "We haven't gone a month without speaking since we met each other."
You ignored him, pushing past his weirdly firm bicep and trudging into his apartment. You looked around- things seemed normal, exactly the same. One of your hair scrunchies was still on his coffee table, untouched, like an artifact from a far away time you wished you could go back to. You tapped your foot as you stared at the scrunchie, reminding yourself to stop being so dramatic.
It was only a month. It was only a word. Just a feeling- love. Tons of people fell in love with their best friends. So what if he didn't feel the same way? You could get over it. You could squish the feeling down...
Right?
Yoongi sighed, closing his door behind you and walking into his kitchen, pulling out two beers and passing one to you. You took it silently, cracking it open just to have something to do.
"I know I said I loved you," You said decisively, "But I was just confused and I'm over it. We can...You can just ignore that I ever said that."
It was a lie, but it was less scary than the truth. Because you were terrified of loving someone like Yoongi. He was perfect in every way, kind to a fault and careful with his words where you were a selfish, immature person who always seemed to be saying the wrong thing. You loved him, but there was a little voice inside of you screaming that there was no way Yoongi was in love with you. That you must've been crazy to even think you had a chance with him.
You stared at him, maintaining eye contact for so long it felt like you were paralyzed. Yoongi kept his face neutral, lips parting after a moment before he groaned and shook his head.
"Fuck it," He mumbled, closing the gap between you in two strides and kissing you. You froze for a moment before melting into the kiss, pulling him closer by his shirt and throwing an arm around his neck. You felt his hands sink down to your waist, pinning you against him. Nothing about the kiss was soft- tight, bruising holds on each other and desperate movements. His tongue slid against yours and you tipped your head to the side to deepen the kiss, wanting as much of him as you could get.
You could feel his frustration through his body, pouring over you like hot wax. Yoongi dragged a hand down to your ass and tapped twice before lifting you with ease, guiding your legs to wrap around his waist. He carried you like you weighed nothing, walking towards his bedroom with you in his arms. Seriously, when did he become so buff?
"Do you feel that?" Yoongi asked in a low voice awhile later, by which time you had lost track of time, splayed out on his bed with Yoongi on top of you.
Your eyes fluttered open, barely able to focus on anything at all. He had you exactly where you wanted to be, wrapped around him, all senses flooded with nothing else but him. You couldn't tell how long it had been since you walked into his apartment, or what time it was, what was going on outside of this bedroom- you couldn't even say that you cared. The only thing occupying your mind was how his strong hands looked on your body, your skin a stark contrast against his pale tone.
His body moved in sync with yours, like waves on a beach. "Do you feel how fast your heart is beating right now? Tell me you don't love me again, and be honest this time. Tell me you don't think we belong together." He said stubbornly, bringing up an old conversation. "Don't you feel it in your soul? Tell me you don't love me."
You shook your head stubbornly, eyes watering slightly, "D-Don't make me say it again."
"Why?" He challenged, staring down at you with a strictness in his eyes that made you feel so exposed. "Because it's not true, is it? Because you're in love with me."
You turned your head to the side, flattening the side of your cheek against his bicep for some sort of comfort because Yoongi was still the only thing that felt safe to you, even if you were scared of how much you loved him. His hand smoothed down your hair like he always did when you hugged him, letting up on the pressure for a moment.
"Yeah, I love you." You said miserably, "I think I've loved you ever since I first met you. I'm just...scared."
He caressed your face and pushed it up towards his so he could look at you better, smiling slightly, "I know. That's why I was so surprised when you actually said it a month ago. I was less surprised about the tantrum you threw afterwards though."
You squeezed your eyes shut in embarrassment and cringed, "I'm sorry. I just assumed you didn't feel the same way."
"Well I do," He said quietly, pressing his lips to your pouty ones. "Don't leave me like that again though, it hurt."
You opened your eyes and peered up at him, a watery look of pain in his eyes that made your heart ache, "I won't. I'm sorry."
He nodded slightly, blinking a couple times before shrugging. You wondered how he felt for that month, knowing he must've been as upset as you were and you felt even more stupid.
"It's okay, I just had to be patient. That's what you do when you love someone. Now stop apologizing and kiss me." He ordered, smiling down at you before pulling you back towards him to press another kiss to your lips.
masterlist.
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burningupp · a month ago
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twenty-three: the morning after
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<<< masterlist >>>
permanent taglist: @missmadwoman @jovialdelusionbouquet @sopebubbles @sugarcayls @a-noona-mous @emmmui @renhold-nightspear @halesandy @chieftoadturkeynickel @yoongisnoona @annaliesmarie99 @wholockian1 @lyra0cassiopeia @wordsaremyswords @detective-daikon @arimeikaterikaka @unicornbabylover @sunnytaes @gracefulevijlsoul @army-moa76
series taglist: @ggukkieland @leahknox @mawwnsterr @diestheticu @xxxanimangxxx @unadulteratedlyunique @secretlycrazyhummingbird @elyte @putmeinyourdeathnote @ramyagovindraj @eavarin @90s-belladonna @obsessive-illness @ownthesunshine @parkdiaries-main @lostbitvh @chimchimin-ssi @namjooningelsewhere @apolloxxivmin
Y/n still felt weird everytime she woke up next to Jimin, even if it was far from the first time she did so. She was pleasantly surprised to find that the usual shame and anxiety she felt was somewhat diminished, though. Maybe San’s advice had helped some, as embarrassing as it had been. It had definitely helped her agree to Jimin’s little deal, that’s for sure - some of the stigma she had felt towards herself had seemed to melt away once she took the first step herself. There was still a lot of work to do to be completely comfortable with her own sexuality in general, but she felt at least a little bit lighter.
The weirdest part of waking up in the BTS dorm wasn’t really that it was their dorm, or that she had slept with Jimin, or really that the other members most definitely had heard the two of them last night. Rather, it was the fact that she had somewhat of a routine for being there. She couldn’t quite figure out whether that was good or bad, but either way, her first instinct that morning was to sneakily get dressed, make seven omelets as quietly as she could, and yeet out of there as soon as physically possible.
Every single time, without fail, Jimin would manage to cling onto her body like a fucking koala. His arms would be holding her head to his chest, and his legs would be enveloping hers, so escaping the human pretzel-like situation required quite a bit of skill. Honestly, it was nerve-wracking; she was not socially comfortable enough to handle actually talking to her newfound… whatever. Fuck buddy? Though crude, it was probably the most accurate term.
After wrestling herself free as gently as possible and only almost slapping her sleeping fuck buddy thrice, she got dressed and walked out into the kitchen. It was a little later than she would have preferred to wake up to make her great escape, but it was whatever. Not like she was late for anything, she was just scared of running into anyone else.
She hummed quietly to herself as she opened the refrigerator, on the hunt for eggs, milk, and some kind of vegetable. Last time she had been creative enough to make eggs benedict, but this time she felt sluggish and gross, so a simple omelet would have to do. Shutting the doors once her arms were piled high with ingredients, she jumped about a foot in the air - someone was in the kitchen, staring at her incredulously.
Due to her unfortunate jumping, a bag of shredded cheese jumped ship and landed with a pretty impressive slap against the tiled floor. She hurried to place everything else down on the counter, pressing a hand over her heart. She did not do well with jump-scares.
Jungkook couldn’t do much other than stare. Technically, Y/n being at the dorm wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but she was still a rare sighting. Honestly, the other boys had started joking that Y/n had less of a presence in the dorm than Mildred, and thinking about it made the young boy grin to himself.
“You scared me,” Y/n finally breathed out, bending down to pick up the escaped cheese. “Seriously, what are you, a phantom?”
Though she was muttering, Jungkook could hear her clearly. She didn’t seem to mind his presence too much though, just going about her business as if he wasn’t even there. He went behind her to the refrigerator, cautiously grabbing the milk and pouring himself a glass before putting it back.
On the inside though, Y/n was dying. She felt mortified to have been caught before leaving, and didn’t exactly know the etiquette when it came to your fuck buddy’s roommates. Was she supposed to talk to him? Ask him for help to chop the paprika? Apologize for definitely being way too loud the night before?
None of the options seemed appealing, if she was honest. However, he did seem intrigued by what she was doing. He was standing a few feet away from her, quietly sipping a glass of milk (uwu) and observing her cooking. He looked intrigued enough she figured she could offer to teach him, even though it felt awkward. Rule number one of social situations you don’t know how to deal with: pretend you have all the answers.
“You wanna help? I can teach you.”
He seemed to jump a little at her voice, but nodded at her with big doe eyes. She knew full well that he was a grown-ass man, but he radiated baby energy, so she felt the urge to coo at him anyway. By-product of being the youngest for over ten years, she supposed.
“What do you want me to do?” he asked cautiously, looking at the large knife she had produced from a drawer in the now-familiar kitchen.
“Could you break 15 eggs for me, please?”
He silently nodded, and went to wash his hands. She smiled appreciatively, not everyone had the instinct of hygiene when it came to cooking. At first it was silent, but then she heard the tone signalling a bluetooth speaker turning on and turned to look at Jungkook again.
“Uh,” he started, looking awkward, “I figured we could listen to music? Quietly, of course, so we don’t wake anyone.” She nodded, and he smiled. “You can pick something if you want.”
“It’s fine, I don’t tend to listen to a lot of music. Show me some that you like.”
The boy nodded, selecting a playlist before getting started on his assigned task. For a while, all that could be heard was the music and Jungkook gently singing along. It was a very pleasant atmosphere, a lot less uncomfortable than Y/n had expected. Whenever she liked a song, she would throw a look his way and nod, and he would smile back.
He helped her whisk the eggs, mixing in the milk while she chopped the last of the vegetables. When he was done, he looked at her unsurely,  as if asking for approval. She glanced into the bowl, grinning and giving him a thumbs up. It was kind of a hard task to mess up, but he had done everything correctly, so it just felt right to praise him. (Also he looked like a four-year-old with a drawing he wanted to show his mom, and it was very cute.)
“Nicely done, thank you for the help.”
“Do you need help with anything else?”
The boy’s eyes were shining brightly in interest, and there was no way she could say no. In the end, Y/n ended up teaching Jungkook every single step in making an omelet, making sure to give a few tips that couldn’t be found on regular recipe sites online - otherwise what was the point?
By the time all seven omelets were plated, the kitchen was filled with giggles alongside the music. The two cooks for the morning were washing the dishes together, conversing lightly about absolutely nothing; it was nice. Turns out the fears Y/n had been having concerning meeting Jimin’s members had been unfounded.
“Good morn- what.”
Jungkook and Y/n whipped around at the same time, dropping a spatula into the sink. They both stared wide-eyed at a sleepy Hoseok, who seemed to be having trouble grasping the situation in front of him. No one said anything for around 30 seconds, before Jin entered the kitchen, stretching and yawning.
“Oh hey Y/n.”
She blinked at the casualty of his greeting, turning to look at Jungkook. He just shrugged, since he didn’t really have an explanation for his hyung’s nonchalant attitude. They both looked to Hoseok, who shrugged and mumbled his own greeting. Both of the newly arrived members walked to the kitchen island, grabbed their omelets, and shuffled to the couch. They each mumbled a quick ‘thank you’ on the way, and Y/n just blinked again.
Her and Jungkook looked at each other again, giggled a little, and resumed the dishes. The other members soon came out as well, stopped real quick to look confused, before mumbling a greeting and grabbing their food. Everyone but Jimin, of course, who tended to sleep in.
“Okay, that was the last of them aside from the plates,” Y/n sighed once the sink was empty of dirty dishes. “I guess I’ll get going then. Thank you for the help.”
At her words, Jungkook’s face fell slightly - he’d had a good time learning to cook, as well as getting to know the woman who apparently put up with not one, but two of his hyungs - an impressive feat, if you ask him. He had kind of hoped to become close to her too, she seemed very interesting and cool.
Seeing the look on the younger boy’s face, Y/n inwardly cursed. Damn him and his ability to look like a lost little bunny.
“You know what- nevermind. Would it be okay if I stayed for a little while? San asked me not to bother him for at least two more days, and I don’t really have anything else to do right now.”
~*~
Two hours later, Y/n was in the kitchen laughing her ass off with Jungkook, Jin and Taehyung. They were retelling various travelling escapades from over the years, and it all sounded so chaotic she was surprised they were all still alive.
“Yeah, I was pretty sure Jimin wouldn’t forgive me for stealing his neck pillow. What kind of psychopath is that attached to a neck pillow?” Taehyung giggled, and everyone else followed suit.
“Apparently me,” a sleepy voice mumbled from the entrance to the kitchen.
Immediately, Y/n regretted not leaving earlier. She really hadn’t been prepared to see Jimin in the morning, and had no idea how he would feel seeing her there either. They never really talked about it. Still, it felt very odd for him to walk into the kitchen when she was conversing with his best friends, almost like she had overstepped some invisible boundary.
Jimin didn’t know how he felt about the whole situation either. He wasn’t bothered by her presence, and that bothered him. Every time in the past that he had woken up to his hook-up still in the house, he had loathed it. It had felt like a gross invasion of privacy for some reason, but Y/n felt… natural. Like she was supposed to be there. Jimin hated his own brain.
Another thing that bothered him was Jungkook’s proximity to Y/n. He was absentmindedly playing with her hand, looking at it as she talked. Of course he knew that his dongsaeng was just naturally touchy, and way too shy to look someone he barely knew in the eyes while they talked, but he felt like the younger man was doing something he shouldn’t.
It took every ounce of self-control in Jimin’s body not to snap at Jungkook to leave her alone, and he was alarmed to hear the word “mine” bounce around his thoughts. What in the world? She was certainly not his, nor did he have any desire for her to be. Right?
“Oh shit, I stayed for a while, huh,” Y/n muttered, looking at the time on her phone. “I should really get going, food to cook and people to boss around, you know?”
“Yeah no, I get it. Take care, Y/n,” Jin said, hugging her when everyone stood up from the table.
“You too, oppa.”
Oppa? Now that one made Jimin jealous for real. Y/n was older than him; actually she was older than everyone except Yoongi and Jin. Not that he had a kink for it, but it would be nice for her to call him something so affectionate instead of just “Jimin” or “buddy”.
“Come back soon, noona!”
Jimin didn’t fare much better with that one, to be honest. Jungkook didn’t mean anything, of course, but hadn’t they just met today? What had they even talked about? Why were they close enough for him to call her noona? Not even Jimin did that!
“She’ll probably be back pretty soon.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them, and he shut his eyes tightly to brace for her death glare. The stunned silence in the kitchen told him he had really fucked up.
“One day,” Y/n sighed dreamily. “One day I will actually kick your ass.”
Then she grinned, and Jimin felt a warmth spread through his chest. It wasn’t just relief, even though he was grateful he would be able to keep his testicles intact, but it was… affection. He refused to linger on his reaction, deciding to barricade whatever had evoked that feeling in him back somewhere deep inside him.
“Make sure to invite me, please,” Taehyung quipped, also giving her a hug.
“Front row, baby,” she smirked, making everyone laugh. Then she walked up to Jimin, pressing a quick kiss to his cheek. “See ya.”
He was just standing there, not knowing what to say or do. She had never been so affectionate towards him, and his brain just short-circuited. She smirked at his reaction, waving to the room in general and left. He could feel every single one of his members staring at him, so he just decided to ignore it best he could and go about his day.
When he sat down on the couch though, Yoongi leaned over slightly.
“You’re welcome.”
126 notes · View notes
softykooky · a year ago
Text
the habits of a broken heart.
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☾ genre : soulmates au, unrequited love, art student!JK, english student!Y/N, angst, fluff, subtle enemies to lovers
☾ pairing : jeon jungkook x reader
☾ summary : jungkook and you are soulmates. so says the matching crescent moons on both your wrists. however, things are never as easy as they seem, and you are quick to learn that falling in love with someone who does not believe in love is a one-way ticket to heartbreak. 
alternatively,
“You still are, you know. Worth it.” You release a shaky breath. “But I was stupid to think that I am too.”
☾ word count: 26.3k (my biggest one yet!)
☾ author’s note: this took forever oh my gosh! i really hope you like it! it’s my first time writing such a big single piece, and trying a different style. thank you so much for your support, always! please let me know what you think ♡
The first time he had his heart broken, Jeon Jungkook had been 13 years old. He was fresh out of middle school and so ready to face his freshman year with an impressionable mind and plenty of voice cracks to earn him months worth of teasing. You see, at the age of 13, Jungkook wasn’t something to swoon over. He had yet to grow into his ears and Dr. Park assured him that his braces would be off as soon as she could get them. He was a little lanky and a bit too reticent to be considered social. So when a girl in his grade comes up to him, nervous and stuttering, and asks him to go to the heavily romanticized homecoming dance, Jungkook has already come to the conclusion that she might be his soulmate, even if he was far too young to get his mark yet. 
Her name was Mina, and Jungkook is confronted with this memory every time he visits home and his mother makes the family flip through the photo albums dating back to his high school years. He grimaces every time he sees the picture of them together. Him in a pink button-up to match her offensively ugly ruffled taffeta dress. 
Mina broke up with him three months after that picture was taken, through one of her friends no less and in front of his entire gym class. Jungkook couldn’t remember how long he cried for while he felt the pain from his first heartbreak would never go away, regardless of how much time passes. He held onto his mother and sobbed out the agony and humiliation of Mina not wanting to be his girlfriend anymore, and how he had lost his soulmate before he even knew it was her. His mother assured him that without the mark, there was no way to be sure and that there was hope. But back then, all Jungkook could think of was ways to avoid Mina the next day, especially when they sat next to each other in 3rd period biology.  
At 13 years old, Jungkook thought he would never find love again. 
He is 18 when he stands alongside his parents in a pale examination room and awaits his destiny. He’s leaving for college the next day, yet the only thing that’s making him nervous is the mark that will inevitably appear on his wrist in the next few minutes. The same one he would find on his soulmate’s, and Jungkook wonders if there is the possibility of scaring everyone away when the first thing he’ll ask on a date is: can I please see your wrist? 
To say the least, Jungkook is petrified. Because that mark on his wrist is going to serve as a constant reminder of his missing piece, and Jungkook knows he’ll always feel lacking until he finds them. It’s a crescent moon. Small and black and nestled comfortably on his skin. He knows many times the marks don’t have any correlation with the couples, but Jungkook wonders if you are an astrologist. Or an astronaut. Or just had a weird affinity for the moon. He smiles when they congratulate him and can’t stop himself from thinking that he might be in love with you already. Wherever you are. When he leaves for university, he feels less lonely when there is a crescent moon to accompany him. 
Contrary to the beliefs of his 13-year old self, Jungkook does fall in love again. Hard. This time, it was a girl with brown hair and big eyes and a smile so pretty he could see it from across a crowded room. She was a grade below him; a frazzled college freshman with no clue to where her lecture hall was, and he: a sophomore who had a compulsion of changing his major every other month. When he met her, it had been chemical engineering and three weeks before that was film composition. Her name was Yoojung, 18 years old while he was 19.
 Her soulmate mark is a single star, and even though he knows she is not his soulmate, he can’t help but to think how perfectly their marks complement each other. How they would make a perfect night sky. 
They had met at a frat party, no less, and the combination of cheap booze and bad hiphop music had made her look so incredibly gorgeous under the dim lighting. They had their first kiss in a random person’s living room, highly intoxicated and much too irresponsible and Jungkook had barely even remembered it in the morning until she showed up at his doorstep and invited herself in. Yet it wasn’t too long before he made a perfect space for Yoojung in his life.
 Each day after his physics lecture, he’d go to her dorm and they’d chat over breakfast until she had economics at 10 o’ clock. After she was done, he’d insist that they go get a greasy hamburger at the joint his friends took him to when they got high and, she’d end up dragging them both to the health food restaurant that prided themselves on only using organic. Leave it to Jungkook to find himself a vegan girlfriend. 
Sometimes though, when he looks at Yoojung, his mind drifts to his actual soulmate and a little flower named guilt blooms in his chest. But he is so young and his other half could be anywhere in the world, so Jungkook thinks there is no harm in allowing himself to indulge in a little affection. These days, it wasn’t completely abnormal for soulmates to part ways, and when Yoojung is in his arms, Jungkook likes to think that his soulmate would understand. They would want him to be happy. In the middle of synchronizing their busy student schedules and sneaking in quick kisses through cramming for finals, he had found it unnervingly easy to fall in love with her. 
Deeply and blindly in love. 
Yoojung brought him home to her family on fall breaks and the occasional winter vacation and Jungkook had melded perfectly into their dynamic. The son I never had, her father would tell him over the dinner table while her mother constantly made sure his plate was piled high. Her little sister was visibly in love with him, and would ask Yoojung where he was every time she came home from university, yet avoiding him at all costs when he was there. 
Jungkook’s own family, however, was a different story. To put it delicately, they had liked it more when he came home by himself and left her at school. It had put a strain on their relationship sure, but at the end of the day, Jungkook loved her. A simple love. 
Every day he remembers that their marks do not match. But if this is love and he feels like he is on cloud 9 with every moment they are together, Jungkook begins to doubt if the universe’s will is truly divine and successful. Maybe Yoojung was his soulmate and it did not matter what was on their wrists. 
He loved her intensely, and she did him. She was the first thing on his mind when he woke up and manifested in his dreams when he slept at night. To Jungkook, Yoojung could do no wrong. Like some sort of divine being or angel that the heavens sent just for him, and he found himself thinking maybe he wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his life beside her. 
But he would come to learn that the higher the climb...the harder the fall. 
Jungkook and Yoojung were together for the better part of 4 years before she cheated on him with a guy that she’d supposedly met a couple weeks ago. When Jungkook screams at her asking why she had been disloyal, Yoojung shows him her wrist. Her single inked star. 
“I found my soulmate, Jungkook. And I love you so much, you know I do. I didn’t know how to tell you so I…”
The rest of her words fade into white noise and all Jungkook can do is look at her and commit every detail to memory as he feels her fade farther away. Her teary and remorseful brown eyes. Her plush lips. The fan of her eyelashes and the mole on the side of her temple. He’ll never get to see her like this again. 
“I was ready to be with you, soulmate or not. I know it’s not fair but I wanted the same from you”, he whispers, falling down on the couch and burying his face in his hands. 
“Soulmates be damned, the universe was wrong. I was so hideously in love with you. How could you not at least tell me when you met him?” Jungkook feels his heart collapsing in on itself with every word of resignation. Of burgeoning acceptance. Yoojung can only mirror his desolate expression and stares down at the star on her skin.
 Jungkook wishes it were a moon. 
“Just go, Yoojung.” 
It would have hurt less if it was only a one night stand with a stranger she did not know the name of. He was in love and spineless enough to move past a one night stand. However, Yoojung had found her soulmate and fallen in love with him. Jungkook had merely acted as a placeholder for the real deal to come along and sweep her off her feet. 
This time he doesn’t cry. Just stares out the window of his living room and wonders what it would be like to disappear altogether. When the door is slammed shut, and he is left to nurse his aching soul, Jungkook apologizes in advance to the person that shares the same mark on their wrist as him. He no longer believes that soulmates exist. 
When Jungkook looks back at his 13 year old self with the innocent construct of what heartbreak feels like, he wants to laugh and maybe slap that stupid boy upside the head. Yoojung had destroyed him. Destroyed the innocent and starry-eyed person that he’s tried so hard to preserve. Destroyed his vulnerability and bright outlook on life and in their place, cultivated walls of rock and steel meant to keep everyone out and him safely tucked inside. In her wake, Yoojung left behind a shell of a man who pushed his emotions so deep he became numb and forgot what it was like to feel. 
So Jungkook does what he always does to push away the hurt. He changes his major; to art history this time. He stacks up bracelets on his wrist to forget the mark of a moon. He scrapes up his rainy day money and treats himself to the most expensive pair of Saint Laurent boots he’s ever worn. He tests the limits of the human liver, and takes advantage of the biceps and jawline he’s acquired since high school to establish a reputation. 
To his friends, Jungkook remained raucous and always down to order infinite rounds of shots until he couldn’t see straight. To those that looked even closer, Jungkook was so completely shattered he didn’t even feel it anymore. 
The second time he had his heart broken, Jungkook was 23. He promised himself he wouldn’t let it happen again. 
“For the last time, Jimin, I’m not going to give you a blowjob so you can pay for my student loans.”
You don’t know how many times you’ve had this conversation with your roommate. Most of the time, it was convenient to have a roommate whose parents were loaded and sent him monthly installments that looked more like small loans than allowances. You knew he just wanted to help. Heck, he probably would be willing to pay them off for you without the promiscuous favor, but you had made it clear to Jimin that you wouldn’t be riding off of his charity. 
“Ugh, Y/N you’re really no fun”, he sighs, falling backwards onto your twin-sized bed and feigning devastation. You reward his melodrama with a giggle, ruffling your hands through his fried hair. Jimin had a knack for changing his hair color as quickly as his mood. 
You look at the bill that’s staring back at you from your computer screen, and it feels like it’s just reached out and punched you in the face. “Hey do you think it’s a common mistake for bank tellers to add a few too many zeroes?” 
“Y/N.” 
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m rationalizing as a self-defense mechanism.” Sometimes it was annoying that your roommate had a degree in psychology. Then again, Jimin was making more money than you and your degree in English. 
You sigh deeply and look up at the ceiling in attempts to quell your tears of frustration. And also because it is a plea to whoever is up there controlling your destiny: please I’m begging you. Melt my debt away. 
You and Jimin sit in comfortable silence and he plays with the hem of your worn comforter while you scroll through the emails you have been ignoring in your inbox. You want to smash your head in at all the deadlines. Times like these, there is one thing that brings you comfort and always has since you turned 18. 
The quaint little crescent moon that sits right atop your radius. 
You had a habit of pressing your thumb against it and feeling your pulse against the mark, stupidly wondering if your soulmate’s heartbeat has synched up with your own. If he was out there somewhere, touching his mark and wondering the same about you. He was taking his sweet time, that’s for sure. Jimin sees your nervous tic and sighs again.
“You’re so hopelessly romantic it makes me want to barf, Y/N.” You scowl at his words and chuck a pillow at his unsuspecting face. 
“I don’t understand you, Jimin. Your soulmate is out there and you’re not the slightest bit curious? You don’t want to do anything extra to find them?” Jimin looks at you with a knowing smile.
“That’s exactly it, though. I know they’re my soulmate and I’ll find them when the time is right. So why worry about it? It’s better not to force anything.” His statement is followed up with a grin and his fingers reach out to pinch your cheeks. This was the dynamic of your friendship. He is easy-going and flows like a careless river. You’ve read one too many books to not vie and daydream for the moment you lock eyes with your soulmate. 
Your mom always said that you’ll know just from a look. It’s like getting hit over the head with a ray of sun, she said. Like suddenly their eyes are the only eyes you ever want to look into again. Since then, you’ve dreamt for the day you find someone with that same moon on their wrist. For now though, you had more immediate concerns more along the lines of crippling debt. 
“What do I do, Jimin? Should I be a stripper?” He laughs and the thought makes you groan. You couldn’t even walk in heels, much less try to dance or look like you didn’t have two left feet. Stripper life just wasn’t for you. 
“Hm...I could call in a few favors for you at the office. Get you an internship or secretary position.” 
“Maybe. Too much nepotism. Your father owns the office you work at”, you remind him, and his eyebrows crease further in thought. God, maybe you do have to be a stripper.
“Wait!” Jimin yelps so suddenly you almost fling the computer off your lap. 
“I think I know someone. He’s been looking for a model for his art portfolio or something, and he said he’s willing to pay.” Jimin reaches for his phone and his thumbs type up a storm while you watch from the sideline. 
“I think he mentioned it’s about a month-long project. You’d just have to be on call whenever a stroke of genius arrives.” 
“That sounds great! I’m an amazing model!” you crow, to which Jimin giggles again.
“The several candids I have in my camera roll tell a different story, Y/N.” Naturally, he receives another pillow to the face. But you follow up with a cheery kiss to his cheek as you rejoice in the new opportunity for cash flow by a celebratory dance, which looks more like a wiggle when you remain seated on your bed. 
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!”, you chirped, “I owe you one.”
“Hey...I know how you can repay me.”
 When you look towards him, his eyebrows are raised inquisitively and there’s a devilish smirk on his lips.
Jimin gets a third pillow to his face that day. 
Jungkook’s favorite type of arguments to get into is whether Neo-classicism or post-impressionism had the most impact on European art and architecture. Call him a snob, but he loves to prattle on about Degas and Caillebotte until his opponent tires or concedes out of pure exhaustion. Jungkook regards it as a battle strategy: bore your enemy so that they stop fighting. 
He’s in the middle of a heated debate with his classmate from graduate school when he receives a phone call from Park Jimin. Now, Jungkook has no idea how or when Jimin became an installment in his life, or how he’s roped his way into his inner circle. He just remembers waking up one day with a killer hangover and finding that there was a pink-haired stranger lying on his floor. When he tried to shoo him out, the stranger shoved a wad of money in his shirt pocket, muttering “just five more minutes”, and Jungkook was in no position to deny easy cash. Jungkook now considers Jimin one of his close friends. 
“What’s up, Jiminie?” He laughs into the microphone. 
“I told you not to call me that, you brat. I’m older than you.” 
“I’m taller than you.”
“My dick is bigger.”
“I-okay fine you got me there.” He hears Jimin wheeze over the line as he tries to rein himself in to say what he needs to say. 
“In all seriousness, though. I have a proposition for you.” Jimin lilts in a mischievous tone, which makes Jungkook nervous enough to get up from the café table he had been sitting at with his friend and careen to a quieter corner. 
“Shoot.”
“Okay, so you know how you were telling me about your portfolio for the gallery. The one you have to submit by the end of the season? How you needed a model on call 24/7 in case inspiration struck?” 
Jungkook wants him to spit it out because he has been searching high mountains and low valleys for someone that would be willing to be his muse for a month or two. Constantly at his beck and call so he can finish this damn portfolio and get his name out there in the art world. Maybe start debating post-impressionism with the cream of the crop. 
“I think I’ve found someone to do that for you.” Jungkook exhales in relief at his words.
“She’s my roommate and she’s super low on cash and unemployed with a bachelor’s in English literature, so she’s got time to spare.” Perfect. That way, Jungkook can call her whenever he needs to.
“That’s amazing, Jiminie. Can she meet me at the art building tomorrow at noon? We can start right away.” Jungkook breathes through the phone, a small weight coming off his shoulders now that another thing had been accomplished. One less thing he had to worry about on the journey to his goal. Jimin confirms the plans and they exchange pleasantries before Jungkook hangs up as the man on the other line starts screaming about his burning lunch on the stove. 
Jungkook catches sight of the mark on his wrist when he looks down, and quickly rearranges his bracelets so that it is once again covered to his eyes. Out of sight and out of mind. 
The gallery portfolio had been a thorn in his side. It had been months in the making and if he allows himself to reminisce, Jungkook remembers the nights he and Yoojung stayed up until dawn and talked about his blossoming interest in art. How he wanted a space of his own to display his works. Back then, she listened to him with stars in her eyes and basked in the afterglow of post-coital cuddling, promising that she would help him achieve it. 
His heart sinks at the memory of the imprint of her tresses of hair spilling on his bedspread. He burned those sheets the second she left. 
Jungkook represses his intrusive thoughts about Yoojung and wills her to get out of his head. He forces it down until it feels like he’s just dumped ice water over his heart and vomited out any semblance of emotion. He makes his way back to the cafe table with a sly smile that hides the internal ache he’s promised himself to never let anyone suspect of. 
“So what were you saying about Renoir’s Moulin de la Galette?”
The art building is situated besides a library, with a bakery flanking its left. Two years spent at the university, and you’ve never once stepped foot there. Maybe it was the daunting abstract sculpture on the front lawn or the prejudices you held against annoying art snobs on their high horses, but you often found yourself subconsciously avoiding the space in intimidation. 
“Okay, Y/N, you’re going to do this so you can pay off your loans”, you whisper under your breath, words meant for your ears and no one else’s. “And if he asks you to pose nude, you run the opposite direction.” 
It was easy to get lost in the building. For art students that know how to draw, they really took advantage of abstractionism to make the most confusing map you had ever seen in your life. Luckily, with some direction from the vapid front desk secretary and some intuition, you were able to to find room 62B. You don’t think you’ll be able to forget the number 62B if you tried, Jimin had screamed it to you so many times as you left the apartment. 
The door soundlessly opens with a nudge of your hand and you stick your head inside.
“You know when Jimin told me he found me a model, he didn’t mention her lack of punctuality.” His voice is calm and subdued with no lingering annoyance, even if his words are uncourteous. You whip around to him and the first sight you see of Jeon Jungkook is merely a tuft of brown hair behind a vast canvas. And some expensive looking leather boots that anchor his feet to the ground. 
You clear your throat and approach with an outstretched hand and the shiniest smile you can muster. 
“I’m Y/N. Jimin’s roommate. It’s nice to meet you.”
“You can call me Jungkook.”
It is when he steps out from behind the canvas that you finally understand what your mother meant when she said meeting your soulmate feels like getting hit over the head with a ray of sunshine. You can’t describe it any other way, but that’s exactly what it feels like. Like the air becomes so sweet in your lungs it turns to viscous honey. Like suddenly the person standing in front of you is Valentine, encapsulated. 
You know he feels it too, yet you don’t know why he forces himself to remain blasé, and if you hadn’t seen his widened eyes and heard the gasp from his lips you would have never suspected anything at all. Stranger courtesy is abandoned and you forcefully grab his wrist, turning it over to find his mark while pulling up your sleeve to reveal your own. 
A little black crescent moon.
Right on the pulse point.
Just like your’s. 
When you finally muster up the nerve to look into his eyes again, you wonder if it is healthy for the human heart to beat so fast and so thunderously it feels ready to jump out of your chest. Jungkook, however, still wears that same expression on his face. Flat and cold, not even a glimmer in his eyes. He stares at you disinterested and wrenches his wrist from your grasp. 
“Wait, Jungkook...aren’t you….”, you sputter through a desperate smile, “aren’t you happy?” He stays silent and trains his attention on the canvas in front of him, but you can see the conflict that swirls in his iris. 
“I’ve been looking for you for so long! And I’ve finally found you. In the art building no less, just my luck that-”
“Y/N, I don’t know what you expect from me but I’m not looking for anything right now.” 
There were no objectively ugly words. But you think the ones that have just spewed from Jungkook’s lips come pretty close. They stoke a fire in your chest.
“What do you mean? We’re soulmates”, you faltered, sinking deeper into confusion as you stare at the unaffected man in front of you, whose only concern is the conglomerate of paint on his palette. 
Jungkook sighs monotonously. Almost as if he had better things to do than be here.
“It’s only a mark on your wrist. And we just happen to have the same one. Amazing that you still think somehow one single person was made entirely just for you.” His words are bored and he doesn’t even have the decency to look you in the eye when he speaks. You think you might want to punch him if you weren’t so speechless.
“Look”, he sighs as if you were inconveniencing him, “I’m not going to sugarcoat it and tell you that I’m the one you’ve been looking for this whole time. We have the same mark, but...I’m not the guy you want.”
“B-But...I’m your soulmate. We-we’re made for each other.”
Jungkook scoffs harshly, and you want to sink into the ground. “That’s just a silly myth.” 
“So you don’t...believe in soulmates?” The words felt wrong to say when all your life, finding your soulmate felt like the ribbon at the end of the finish line. But here he was now, and you felt so small under his gaze. Like you weren’t meant to be there and standing in the same room with him was a concoction for heartbreak.
“No.”
Jungkook’s syllable pangs in your ear, and you think it might be your least favorite sound. Then you leave. And if it was hard for you to meet your soulmate - the person who you’re destined to be with - who doesn’t believe in you, then walking away from him was a different cross to bear. 
You take the bus home and ignore the glare of strangers when you burst into tears at a red light, and cry the rest of the way back. Your mother hadn’t described this. She prosed on and on about the feeling one gets after finding a soulmate but never mentioned to you how it feels when you find out they want nothing to do with you. What do you do when you realize the person you’ve been chasing for forever has been trying to run away at the same time? 
Jimin holds you together that night on your bedroom floor, while you break apart and scratch at the moon on your wrist until your skin breaks. He listens to the words you sputter; as much as he can decipher when they are drowned out by the painful sound of your sobbing. Jungkook’s beliefs bleed into your consciousness. Perhaps he is right and perhaps there is no such thing as true soulmates, and the marks are obsolete. 
However, when you fall asleep in your friend’s arms from the physical fatigue of violent crying and the sheer mental exhaustion of meeting Jeon Jungkook, your mind comes to a more painful conclusion. 
A more truthful conclusion.
Your soulmate only needed to meet you to decide that he did not want you.
Jungkook doesn’t believe in soulmates. He thinks they’re a stupid coy to give people false hope. An illusion to feign happiness and to take Yoojung away from someone she genuinely loved. Though in the hours of the night, when he is by himself and the bed feels too big for one body, Jungkook wonders if there is truly a reason why someone has an identical moon on their wrist. But he is still so broken and unhealed from the wounds Yoojung left behind.
 So instead of soulmates, he thinks about what she must be doing. If she’s eating well. If she’s moved in with her own soulmate and if they’re happy together. Jungkook is an involuntary masochist and he pays for it with every pillowcase that becomes stained with his tears. 
He sighs out an expletive after downing a shot of whiskey, relishing in the familiar burn as it slides down his throat. Alcohol doesn’t seem to be working efficiently, though. He’s only barely tipsy after years in college building tolerance, and he can still see your face each time he blinks. Like you are imprinted on the back of his eyelids. Jungkook wonders why Jimin had cancelled on the group tonight. 
There is a little devil called remorse and it stands atop his shoulder, unseen by everyone but him, and Jungkook decides he will get rid of it by calling another round of shots. From his seat in the dirty booth, he can see Min Yoongi and his soulmate practically dry humping on the dance floor. If anyone asks him if he ever gets jealous seeing soulmates happy and in love, he’ll laugh in their face and tell them he pities people like that. People that are so blinded by the system. But loneliness is a stern mistress and it makes him think of you. How lovely the moon looks on your wrist. How your hand felt so warm when it caressed against his skin. 
He tips his head back again. Vodka this time.
“Dude, are you okay?” 
To his right comes Kim Taehyung, designated driver extraordinaire, and he looks at Jungkook with friendly concern laced with amusement. Jungkook nods contentedly. 
“Soulmates are so bullshit, Tae”, he snickers, fingers tracing the rim of the shot glass and smirk on his face to mask the bitterness of both the alcohol and his heart. Taehyung spares a knowing glance, resting a hand on his friend’s shoulder with the weight of knowledge of Jungkook’s past. 
The night is young and so is he. He drinks until he can no longer taste the liquor and forgets altogether about what had happened only a couple of hours before. Until the crescent mark on his skin just looks like a shapeless black blob, and it makes him smile. He thinks he likes it better that way. 
Taehyung drops him home and personally tucks him into bed while he is still in jeans and his shirt smells like the bar. His sleep is dreamless that night. When the morning comes and his friends tease him about how he begged Taehyung not to leave, Jungkook will laugh and blame the alcohol for his foggy memory. He won’t tell them that he does remember, and that he was only grasping at any warm body to soothe his aching loneliness.
Usually when he first opens his eyes in the morning, Jungkook is thinking about the next class he has to attend and if he is late (which is usually most of the time). This morning, albeit morbidly hungover, Jungkook thinks of the apple strudels they sell at the bakery next to the art building. Mrs. Kim always gets the pastry to filling ratio just right. But when he opens the door with a jubilant smile on his face and the scent of baked goods already in his nostrils, Jungkook has a feeling apple strudels will have to wait. 
There you are. In all your messy-haired glory, huffing like a caged bull in the doorway of his apartment, fiery gaze directed completely at him and all he can think to say is:
“How do you know where I live?” Jungkook schools his face expressionless in your presence. He hopes this will discourage you, but it only makes you angrier. 
“Park Jimin”, you snarl. 
Of fucking course, it’s always Park Jimin. Jimin who drunkenly sleeps in his bedroom and now Jimin who is leaking his address to any stranger.
“Um”, Jungkook stammers and takes a step back, “what are you doing here? Didn’t I get my point through yesterday?” He can see the statement catching you off guard, and the fury in your eyes dwindles to dejection. Only for a millisecond though, before you are aiming your wrath at him once again. 
You take a deep breath. “What is wrong with you?” 
Jungkook can think of a lot of answers to that query. He opts to interpret it as a rhetorical question and keep his mouth shut. 
“You just...found your soulmate! I’m your soulmate! And you don’t even want to get to know me? At all?”, you scream exasperatedly. Jungkook catches the gaze of a middle aged lady who is not-so-discreetly staring at the two of you, and pulls you inside his apartment by your arm. If you weren’t so frustrated, you would have been flustered at the physical contact. 
“Listen. Soulmates don’t end up together all the time. I’ve told you I’m not really interested in anything right now and it’s not a priority”, he takes a breath through his passionate monologue, “and I’m sorry that that’s not something you expected, but I….don’t want a soulmate.”
Maybe...he just doesn’t want you. 
When he says them out loud to a living breathing person, Jungkook realizes how cruel it sounds. He can see it in the way your eyes have become glossy under his living room lights and the way you shrink into yourself as self-defense against his blows. He rationalizes that he’d rather tell you the truth than lie to you now, only to hurt you later. Really, he’s doing you a kindness. Right?
You turn your back to him to gather your thoughts, and wipe the tears that you refuse to let him see. The salty drops sting the raw skin of your wrist after last night, and you are brutally reminded of the current reality. His brutal honesty makes you want to abandon all hope, but you were a woman with a plan. You came here for a reason, not to just lose your temper in your soulmate’s apartment and tell him what you really thought about him.
“I have a proposition for you”, you asserted calmly, staring Jungkook in the eye as he remains unbothered. 
“Now I reckon something’s happened to you to make you lose all your faith in soulmates, so I’m not forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do.” Your eyebrows furrow when you speak focusedly.
“We don’t have to be together. That’s your will. But…”, you hesitate, pushing past the uncertainty and fear of another rejection from Jungkook, “will you let me at least try? You don’t have to promise anything. Can we just start as friends?” 
Naturally, Jungkook wants to shoot down your offer, kick you out of his apartment, and pretend like he never met anyone by the name of Y/N. Call it divine intervention but when he looks at you, pleading for any semblance of connection, he feels a tug at his heart strings. So Jungkook makes another promise to himself. He would let you “try”, whatever that entails. But there was no virtual possibility of letting you any closer than necessary. 
You both stand in contemplative silence before he lets out a resigned sigh. “On one condition”, he responds slowly, but there is already a premature grin growing on your face and you don’t think you could stop it even if you tried.
“You still have to be my model for the art portfolio.”
You agree before he even gets to take another breath. 
“Deal.” 
When you finally make your way out of Jungkook’s apartment, parting ways with an awkward number exchange and a ‘see you later’, there is a simultaneous feeling of hope and desolation. The optimism for Jungkook combines with the insecurity that perhaps you, just as you are, is not nearly enough to make someone fall in love. Especially someone who disregards their soul connection to you. 
You walk back to your apartment with a heavy heart that warms with embers of determination. Jeon Jungkook was an enigma. A Bastille fortress of self-defense mechanisms and destructive tendencies, and you know that there is unresolved pain. Call it a soulmate instinct or something, but you see it in his eyes. You see it in the way his face begs to show emotion but his mind refuses to acknowledge. 
You know Jungkook is not obligated to accept you after the dust settles, much less fall in love with you. Under the peach blossoms of the campus sidewalk, you make a promise anyway.  To yourself and to your soulmate and the silly little mark on the inside of your wrist. Even if he does not love you, you vow to help Jungkook learn to love himself.
When you are harshly woken up at 5:30 in the morning, the last person you expected to be blowing up your phone was Jeon Jungkook. If it weren’t for the pure exhaustion seeping through your bones, you would have been excited about your soulmate calling you. Alas, slumber was your soulmate now. Jungkook would have to step down. 
On the other side of the paper thin wall, Jimin is frustratedly banging from his room, your ringtone reverberating throughout the entire apartment. You pick up his call without even opening your eyes.
“Hello?” 
“Y/N I need you to come to my apartment as soon as you can.” There is no sleepiness in his voice. Just clean and cold like it always is and he has hung up before you get the chance to scold him for waking you up at this unholy hour. You’re about to give him a piece of your mind but you remember he is paying you very handsomely for your efforts, and reluctantly drag yourself out of bed to call an uber. Thank god he doesn’t live too far away otherwise you’ll stick a foot through his canvas for the transportation bill. 
The front of Jungkook’s apartment door is strangely therapeutic, and you find yourself falling asleep standing up after you’ve rung the doorbell. Either time passes too slowly when you are sleep-drunk or Jungkook moves to get the door as quickly as your grandfather does. Whatever the case, you are about to pass out on his doorstep if he doesn’t come soon.
“Y/N, why are you just standing there? The door has been open.” 
“Jungkook. Why are you making me do this so early?”, you yawn, pushing inside the apartment. 
Jungkook takes in your discombobulated appearance, and almost wants to laugh. You were still in your pajamas, and the bun on your head now looked more like a heaping blob that drooped down your temple. It was obvious that you had just rolled out of bed and he almost feels bad for disturbing your sleep, but he does not decide when his strokes of inspiration spontaneously appear. 
The living room is bombarded with Jungkook’s art supplies and stray canvases, and you take note of the clay sculpting table that blends in as furniture next to his kitchen. You plop yourself down on the stool across from Jungkook’s easel, eyes still half closed and impossibly tired.
 In this moment, Jungkook wipes the fact that you are his soulmate from his mind. He needs to do the portfolio. That is all he’s keeping you around for, and the only reason he agreed to your plan was so that you would remain his art model. 
In the silence of his makeshift art studio, Jungkook paints whatever comes to his mind, referencing your figure on the stool for the curves he can never get right without a model and need for a human presence to translate onto his canvas. You become more lucid as time goes by and the sun starts to rise from outside his window, sitting up straighter and paying more attention to his concentrated face as Jungkook pours himself into his creation. 
Looking at him in this light, you realize that he is beautiful. And not just because he’s your soulmate. Jungkook’s hair is scruffy and stubbled, undereyes sporting impressive dark circles. But the way he caresses the paintbrush and the way his body moves to the beat of the painting is poetic. He glances at you sporadically, eyes darting to and fro to capture as much as he can before the creativity burns out. He is beautiful and it makes your heart ache to know that he does not want you. In spite of the bond the universe has created. 
You wonder if in his focused hazed, he notices the new glaze across your eyes and the silent sound of your soul calling out for his. You wipe away the first dripping tear as quickly as it came. You know Jungkook sees, but does not bat an eye and you can’t tell if you’d rather prefer him to acknowledge it. 
It’s 8:00am when he puts the paintbrush down, takes a step back, and surveys his work. His eyes trail over each organic line and areas where he decided to use burnishing instead of cross hatching. It’s far from perfect, but it’s enough. 
“Okay. You’re free to go”, he announces, plucking the painting off the easel and resting it against the wall, hidden from your eyes. 
“W-What? That’s it?”, you sigh disappointedly, “you’re not even going to let me see it?” Jungkook shrugs. His detachedness makes you want to rip your hair out and sob into your pillow at the same time. You don’t understand how a person could be so unfazed. 
“S’not ready for debut. Thanks for showing up, though.” He doesn’t spare you another glance. Just goes back to cleaning his brushes and dumping out the glasses of murky paint water. You ignore the twinge of hurt in your chest and slide off the stool. 
“Okay, fine. Now it’s my turn. Would you like to go have some breakfast?”, you smile expectantly to Jungkook, who stares at you with an indifferent gaze. His first instinct is to make up a half-assed excuse to get out of this, eager to detach himself from you as much as possible and avoid any more interaction. However, he was insanely hungry, and the glimmer in your eye just looks so hopeful even Jungkook couldn’t bear to shoot you down.
He sighs with resignation. A little breakfast couldn’t hurt, and he wasn’t going with you necessarily. You were just...going to the same cafe in the same direction as him and likely sitting at the same table. Yeah, that’s it. 
“Hurry up, I’m hungry.” 
“Wait...actually?”
You blinked in shock at his lack of resistance. 
“Yes. Now come on. I know a place with really great apple strudels.”
You weren’t aware that by ‘breakfast’, Jungkook actually meant sitting in complete silence and wolfing down food like your life depends on it. You want to be grossed out when he inhales 3 apple strudels in less than 10 minutes, crumbs flaking on his shirt without a care in the world. Yet you just feel endeared. The sight makes you smile. And maybe if Jungkook did not detest you, you would have leaned over and kissed the cinnamon sugar right off his lips. 
“So….”, you sip on a sweet coffee, “Jimin told me you’re going for a masters in art history?” 
Jungkook nods halfway through a bite of his pastry. “Yup.” 
“Is it something you’re really passionate about?” you inquire, desperately wanting the conversation to delve into something that wasn’t so surface level.
“Uh huh.”
“What are some other things you’re interested in besides art?”
“Totally.” 
Jungkook is completely clueless. He only spares glances to the windows and occasional looks to his oh so precious breakfast treats. You want to slap him and be angry, but you only sigh. It shouldn’t be so hard to talk to your soulmate, yet it felt like trying to pull teeth when he was so completely disinterested in you. You wonder if this is worth it.
You look up at him from your steaming cappuccino cup and use your wildcard. 
“In my opinion, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus did little for the Italian Renaissance movement.” 
Your statement almost has Jungkook falling backwards in his chair and choking on a piece of fruit filling, eyes growing as wide as saucers when he finally processes what you just said. A flaming insult to the entire art historian community. 
“What do you know about Botticelli?”, he sneers, and you internally celebrate for this is the most emotion Jungkook has shown since meeting you. 
“I know that his work supposedly epitomizes the spirit of the Renaissance”, you swirl the coffee in your cup nonchalantly, lips curving into a knowing smirk. “But if you ask me, Bellini’s San Giobbe Altarpiece did much more to encapsulate the values of 15th century Italy.” 
Jungkook’s speechless expression is one that you want to take a snapshot of and frame it to your wall. It is glorious, and arguably more artful to you than Botticelli himself. So what, you had conveniently forgot to mention to him about the class you took junior year of college, with a professor that made you engrave the fundamentals of Italian painting in your brain. It’s so much more gratifying to see him stunned silent. 
Across the table from you, Jungkook feels a warm smile itching to display itself. Before it can appear, he disguises it as a cold smirk. He feels something akin to a butterfly at the pit of his stomach, but blames it on indigestion and the inhuman pace at which he devoured his breakfast. Yeah that must be it. There was no way he was feeling butterflies. 
He cracks his knuckles, raises his cup to gulp down a lukewarm green tea, and rests his elbows on the table separating the both of you.
“I don’t suppose you could tell me your thoughts on the influences of neo-classicism in the 18th century?” 
“No, Y/N, turn to your left a little”, Jungkook frustratedly sighs behind the camera lens.
“Your left or my left?”
He pauses. “....left.” 
To any outside eye, you and Jungkook look like two buffoons trying to take pictures on what might possibly be the windiest day of the season, under the peach blossom trees. Jungkook had called you earlier that day and stressed about how he needed mixed media in his beloved portfolio, and photographs were the next topic of interest. Though you couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just set out a fruit bowl on his windowsill and call it still life photography.
Jungkook stares down at his camera, dissatisfaction clear on his face. You almost want to apologize for your abhorrent modeling skills but hey, he was the one that chose you. 
“Hmm...try staring at that boat in the distance”, he dictates, standing beside you and aiming the lens at your side profile. You do as he asks, but don’t hear the shutter of the camera. Jungkook sighs again and leans forward, so close you could feel his warm breath hitting your skin. You hope he doesn’t notice the beet blush on your cheeks.
Jungkook’s hands meet your chin when he uses it to slightly tilt your face downwards. He positions you in the way that he wants you to pose and you finally understand why photography is considered an art. Because it’s almost as if Jungkook is molding you like clay, to get the silhouette he wants to capture with his camera lens. The day is brisk, but his skin on your’s lights you on fire. 
“Okay, that’s…..that’s perfect”, Jungkook breathes, hurriedly picking up the camera that had been hanging onto his neck by the strap and angling it. At the moment his index finger presses down on the button, there is a gust of wind that surrounds the both of you.
The breeze loosens a strand of your hair and it falls into your eyes. You let your eyes drift close for a second, smiling into the cold air that tingles on your skin. Jungkook’s breath catches in his throat and he thanks the skies for the howling wind so you wouldn’t be able to hear his thumping heartbeat. But surely it’s only because it’s cold. And absolutely nothing else. Jungkook coughs inconspicuously to snap himself out of his trance, sighing in relief when he realizes your eyes are still closed and that you hadn’t noticed his internal struggle. 
He drags you to a bridge next and makes you lay on the cold wood to which you vehemently object before you remember that he’s paying you and that you want him to fall in love with you, not dislike you more than he already does. After the bridge, Jungkook makes you kneel beside the park pond and dip your hand in the icy water and you find yourself wanting to do the same thing to his precious camera. 
Before the two of you have realized, the sun sets into the horizon and tinges the sky in a combination of purples and pinks that Jungkook himself has a hard time replicating on canvas. He aims his lens at the clouds and takes a picture that he knows won’t make it into his gallery. He just felt the need to have something to remember this day by. For no reason in particular…
A buzzing coming from your coat pocket alerts you both of the time that has passed and how the sky has considerably darkened since you began the session. When you fish your phone out, Jimin’s contact photo is staring back at you while the marimba ringtone continues playing. You put the phone on speaker.
“Hey Jiminie”, you smile and Jungkook catches a glance of it. And the discomfort in his chest is definitely, 100%, not jealousy. Not at all.
“I told you not to call me that! What is with you younger people and your disrespect for the elderly?” The corner of Jungkook’s lips twitch into a subtle smile at the similarity of your’s and his conversations with Jimin. 
“Okay, okay, grandpa. What’s up?”
“Can you come home ASAP? I may or may not have broken the stove trying to make soup.” 
The redundancy of his confession makes you sigh, as Park Jimin desecrating your shared kitchen space was not a rare occurrence by any means. 
“I’ll be right there”, you chided through the line, “please do not cook anything else before I arrive.” 
“Thanks Y/N-ie, you’re the best!” Jimin’s voice is far too cheery and you make a mental note to nag him a little extra when you get home. The phone call is ended promptly and you turn around to Jungkook, eyes widening in surprise when he has already packed up all his photography gear. The sky had turned dark and the streetlights had been turned on to illuminate the park. If you had craned your neck upwards, you would have noticed the stars that awoke again to shine down upon the city. But you didn’t. You only saw the stars that were twinkling in Jungkook’s eyes. 
“Uh”, he stammers, “I’ll walk you home. It’s late.” 
“Oh! Uh...Thanks.” Though he was still cold and indifferent, your heart jumped in elation. Perhaps this could be considered baby steps. 
The trip home is quiet, only the sounds of your tandem footsteps on pavement and the rustle of a breeze through tree leaves fill the space of silence. But the quiet is not uncomfortable. Just a bit awkward as you two try to figure out how to be around one another. Jungkook’s hands are shoved in his pockets and your fingers itch to intertwine themselves around his own. To press your soulmate marks together and feel them calling out to each other. But you and Jungkook are anything but normal soulmates. For you are already head over heels in love with him and he is adamant on not sparing you a crumb of affection. 
To your disdain, the apartment was closer than you thought and the short walk with Jungkook ended before it really even began. You could practically hear Jimin’s impatience emanating from the third story of the building. 
“So I’ll see you later?”, you smile meekly. Jungkook readjusts the strap of his camera bag before nodding. He is walking away before you turn around to enter the apartment building and even though it was something small and mundane, you wished he would have waited to see you get in safely. You make your way inside, more downcast than you had been before.
You don’t see when Jungkook turns around. You don’t feel the reassurance that washes over him when the door shuts safely behind you. 
That night, Jungkook is reminded far too much of Yoojung. When he goes to make his usual chamomile, he finds her mug at the very back of the tea cabinet. She must have forgotten it when she packed up her stuff. When he spoons in the sugar, he remembers how Yoojung drinks her tea with honey instead. And when he feels himself start to fall apart, he remembers how Yoojung is not there to keep him together. 
Jungkook pushes away his pain, abandons the lukewarm mug of tea, and opts for an early bedtime to sleep away the ache. The camera sitting on his nightstand, though, beckons him to look over the photos you both had taken that afternoon. 
In the moment, he had been dissatisfied with the pictures, always thinking there must be a better angle or a better position you could shift into. However when he looks down at his camera now, in the quiet and solemnity of his bedroom, Jungkook can’t help but to think they are absolutely perfect. 
He doesn’t know whether to credit his own artistic skill or you; for breathing life into his photographs. It’s the lines of your hands, the slope of your nose, and the stray strands of your hair that makes his pictures more human. 
The ones he ends up picking though, are not perfectly  staged and not the ones where he made you change the position of your stance for 10 minutes. No, the best pictures were the ones he took without you noticing. When you had just been enjoying the cool breeze or admiring the beauty of peach blossom season. When you point out a cool looking bird and when you stared annoyedly past the cameras lens (at him no doubt). 
Yoojung is gone from his mind for just a tiny fleeting moment. For little reason at all, Jungkook finds himself smiling. And there is only the company of the moon to see it. 
 It is ten o’ clock in the morning and Jungkook comes to a realization that in the couple weeks since he has met you, he has sighed more times than he has in the past 23 years of life. Jungkook sighs when you text him first thing in the morning about the dream you had the night before and describe it in painfully vivid details. He leaves them unanswered. Sometimes he wished you would just email him the google document instead. He sighs when you fidget in your seat when he’s trying to paint and keep focus, but you are only interested in asking him the snacks he has in his fridge or when he’s going to finish. He sighs when you and Jimin collectively trash his art studio by spamming his $1,000 camera with ugly face pictures and sword fighting with his sable paint brushes. Jungkook often has a hard time believing that both of you are in graduate school. 
Today, he sighs when you bombard into room 62B of the art building; what is supposed to be Jungkook’s completely zen and peaceful creative space. You are tiptoeing around him as you always do, scared that you’ll do something to set him off and your soulmate will disown you for good. He glances at you once, eyes quickly darting back to the sculpture he is molding on the clay table and saying nothing. 
“There’s a new cafe that just opened right across from the apple strudel place”, you gulp tensely. “I was gonna go check out the competition.” Your words seem deaf to Jungkook’s ear and he only furrows his eyebrows, fingers fussing over the mass of clay. There was just something he couldn’t get right. He didn’t know what it was. 
Jungkook pushes away the sculpture frustratedly, wipes his hands on his apron, and finally looks at you. Maybe he did need a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. That’s all it was, though. A break. He wasn’t going because you asked him to. 
“They better have blonde roast otherwise you’ll be compensating me for my time.” Jungkook is as ruthless and blunt as ever and you decide to look past it as you always do. Him agreeing to go with you was a mini success. 
“Welcome in! You’ve stopped by at the perfect time. The strawberry scones have just been taken out of the oven!” The cafe employee is far too enthusiastic for receiving minimum wage and greeting grumpy people off the streets who just want to be caffeinated. His name tag reads Jung Hoseok. 
“Oh, strawberry is my favorite”, you whisper, the statement only meant for your ears but Jungkook picks up on it anyway. He declines to tell you that strawberry is his favorite as well. Hoseok’s eyes light up when you and Jungkook approach the entrance, like he finally succeeded at luring a customer. 
The cafe isn’t anything special. A bit more modern compared to the one across the street and you think you prefer the latter because this new one doesn’t have the owner’s handsome son standing at the cash register. He may not be your soulmate, but even you had to admit Kim Seokjin was a beautiful man if there ever was one. However, this cafe is warm and has ceiling length windows that let in an obscene amount of sunlight. Jungkook makes a mental note to try some pictures here in the future. 
Jungkook’s phone buzzes in his pocket and you are already leaving him behind in the dust, walking straight to the counter and peering up at the menu deep in thought. You turn around to see that he is immersed in mysterious conversation, and take it upon yourself to order him a drink. 
“I’ll have a matcha latte. And uh…”, you decide, trailing off as you wonder what kind of drink Jungkook would enjoy. “And an iced vanilla mocha latte, extra whipped cream, extra chocolate syrup. Do you guys have rainbow sprinkles?” 
A little sugar never hurt anyone. Especially someone so often bitter like your one and only soulmate. 
When Jungkook hangs up and makes his way to the corner table where you are situated, the sight of the concoction on the table is enough to give him an instant cavity. You hide your smile behind the mug of matcha. He grumbles and sits down swiftly, sticking the straw past his lips in defiance and you can only watch expectantly. 
“Well…do you like it?” 
This is when Jungkook realizes you didn’t order this to spite him. You just had completely zero idea what he liked and disliked and chose the first thing you thought was best. As cold as he is, he doesn’t have the heart to tell you that when he drinks coffee, he likes it black. No cream, no sugar, and the darkest roast with the most caffeine to push him through those nights spent in front of a canvas or over a clay table. 
Jungkook fights to keep steady from the ambush of sugar and wills himself to swallow it down. There is sticky chocolate syrup on his hands and it feels cosmically more uncomfortable than paint. But Jungkook manages to look up at you and nod, to which you reward with a smile. 
“I knew you would like it”, you say smugly, giving yourself a mental pat on the back. “You look like you have a giant sweet tooth.” There is a mellow giggle that follows your statement. Jungkook feels a flutter at the bottom of his stomach, and convinces himself it’s only because it sounds so much like Yoojung. He catches sight of the moon on your wrist, and pushes the feeling away even farther. 
The two of you spend the rest of the midday there, tucked away in a corner of a cafe and losing track of time as you always do. Jungkook finds himself forgetting about the mountains of work he has to do to finish his art gallery portfolio, and the unfinished sculpture back at the studio that’s just not right. 
Today, he allows himself to enjoy your presence and get to know you more. Your favorite color is yellow. You had a dog named Benny when you were a child. You detest beer with a passion, but enjoy a nightly glass of pinot grigio. Jungkook barely notices when the entire cup of coffee has disappeared. Every last rainbow sprinkle.
On second thought, he feels that maybe there was something sweeter than his unexpectedly delicious iced vanilla mocha latte with extra whipped cream. Maybe that something was sitting right across from him, rambling about the fundamentals of English literature with unexplained vigor. 
Jungkook’s soul feels lighter when he goes to bed that night. And when he finally succumbs to Morpheus, his last lucid thought is of you; sun beams coming from the large cafe windows that comb through your hair. He looks at you through his mind’s eye and all he can see is the potential heartbreak you have the power to put him through. The fan of your eyelashes. The curve of your smile. The plush of your lips. All he can see is Yoojung as she crushes his soul in her bare hands. 
Yet in the midst of his internal conflict, Jungkook’s subconscious allows him to fall in love with you a little bit. Perhaps not love just yet, but affection. Like a toe dip in uncharted waters or sticking his finger in a bowl of creamy cake batter just for a taste. The walls he has built are still there, strong as ever, but perhaps a couple bricks look a bit askew. He doesn’t know, but his soul calls out to your’s through the fortress.
“Y/N I don’t know why you thought this was a good idea.”
“Oh hush, just close your eyes and point where your heart tells you to.”
In the lobby of a train station, facing a map and an ETA board is where you and Jungkook will be embarking on your next “date but not really because you don’t believe in soulmates so let’s just hang out”. It had taken a good two hours of nagging and whining on your part to convince him to abandon his portfolio for just a little bit to go an outing. Now standing here, with you excitedly bouncing next to him and a mystery destination, Jungkook feels something akin to utter regret. 
“What if I choose somewhere that’s a thousand miles away? Or just in the middle of nowhere?”, Jungkook groans, still putting up an unbothered and cold front. 
“Well then we will go somewhere that’s a thousand miles away or in the middle of nowhere”, you quipped back at him. Jungkook had a feeling he wouldn’t be able to get out of this one. 
He reluctantly places a hand over his eyes, sighing with resignation before pointing to a random spot on the map. There is a giggle that sounds to his left and Jungkook finds himself wanting to hear more. 
“Wonderful choice”, you smiled, “couldn’t have picked it better myself.” 
Jungkook peeked his eyes open one at a time, scared of seeing what his intuition has chosen for your guys’ spontaneous destination. He breathes out a sigh of relief when he sees that his fingers landed on a town on the outskirts of the city, 20 minutes away from the university. He silently thanks the universe for not sabotaging his wallet and time. 
“We’re never doing this again, Y/N”, Jungkook speaks as you are in front of him, skipping happily to the front desk to buy two train tickets. 
“Wasn’t it fun, though? The thrill?”, you chuckle at his demeanor, to which he only shakes his head vehemently. You note the newest thing you’ve just learned about Jungkook: he has an aversion to uncertainty and spontaneity. 
The train ride was as brief as it was uneventful. You spent the time rambling to Jungkook about all the quips and quirks about yourself and he only listened. Though he kept quiet, his face was free of any annoyance or indication that you were speaking too much. Jungkook only stared at you and unknowing to you, he soaked in every bit of information like a sponge. If anyone asked, he could tell them what foods you were allergic to, what colors wash you out, and what vegetables you hated the most. 
“Wow you didn’t have to pick somewhere so far away, Jungkook.” You muse as the two of you step out of the train car. So far away in fact, that if you were to crane your head up enough, you would be able to see the university from a distance. 
“Hey, you were the one who made me choose”, Jungkook spares a rare smile, “Would you rather we have shelled out our wallets to go on an 18-hour train ride?”
“Okay, fair point.”
The city was as abundant as it was big, and the both of you walked aimlessly from avenue to avenue, stopping occasionally whenever you see a dog you just can’t help but to pet or whenever Jungkook complained about his sore feet. As cold and indifferent as Jungkook made himself out to be, you’ve quickly come to realize that he’s actually a big baby. He still hasn’t let you in or even lowered his walls by a tiny centimeter, but you like to think that even agreeing to go anywhere with you could be considered significant progress.
Jungkook doesn’t notice the pounding of his heart whenever his hands graze against your’s, walking side by side so close he can feel the heat emanating through your coat. He doesn’t notice the peace he feels, just the synchronicity of his feet as he places them on the pavement. 
The fraught wind that blows straight at Jungkook’s face prompts him to look up from where his eyes were cast on the ground. He almost staggers at how strong it is, but finds himself weak in the knees for a completely different reason.
Of course.
Of all the days, of all the times, of all the people in this entire city.
Of course she had to be the one that was currently staring at him from across the intersection. 
The red light seems to go on forever. Either that or time has just spontaneously frozen, Jungkook can’t tell. But his eyes are fixed on hers and his feet bolster him to the concrete when all he wants to do is sprint the other way and forget he ever saw this ghost from the past. 
Yoojung looks as beautiful as the day she left him. 
She’s gained some weight and her cheeks have filled out, but it looks healthy on her now (Jungkook always chided her for forgetting to eat). She stares at him with a combination of shock and guilt and something he wants to overthink into affection but he won’t give himself that satisfaction anymore. She dyed her hair. Light brown looks good on her. 
She looks...happy. As happy as anyone can look when they’re rushing through thick crowds of a city, traffic horns blaring like a dilapidated symphony. 
In the heat of it all, it’s impossible for you not to notice Jungkook’s sudden change in demeanor or the way he has suddenly stopped breathing. When you follow his gaze, there is a girl on the other side of the street that shares the same starstruck expression and even from the outside looking in, you can feel the weight of something painful in his eyes. In her stature. 
When the lights turn green, the throngs of city dwellers migrate across and you stay beside Jungkook when he doesn’t move a muscle. Not even a finger twitch. But she does. And he can only fight to keep the ache away when Yoojung gets closer with every millisecond. Until she is standing right in front of him and he can smell her familiar vanilla perfume. 
“Jungkook”, she speaks, apprehension in her voice. “It’s been a while...how are you?” 
Yoojung only spares you a side glance while keeping attention on Jungkook and you only grow more curious as to who this strange woman is. 
He wants to speak so badly but his tongue remains frozen. He turns to you with flabbergast in his eyes and shakes his head to snap out of the daze of confusion. Of seeing the love of his life again. Or who he thought was the love of his life. 
“Could you give us a minute, Y/N?” 
You didn’t know why but the words that came from his lips made you feel disappointed. Perhaps you were just stupid for thinking he would introduce you. Tell her that you’re his soulmate and scream it at the top of his lungs with sheer pride. But your imagination has hurt you countless times and you had a feeling this one wouldn’t be the last. You manage a curt nod and push away the twinge in your heart. There was a boundary between you and Jungkook and today was not the day to cross it and introduce yourself as his soulmate to any random stranger. 
Once you are out of vicinity and have found solace in a bookstore 10 feet away, Jungkook allows himself to breathe in Yoojung’s presence. 
“I didn’t know if you were still in the city”, he falters, voice coming out quieter than he would have liked it to. But what was he supposed to sound like confronting the supposed love of his life. 
“I never left, Jungkook...my entire life is here.” She sighs, smiling lightly with eyes seeping with guilt. 
He scoffs. “I don’t know Yoojung, you seem to leave behind important things pretty easily.” Jungkook feels himself getting angrier and resentful by the second, and though he knows it is unfair of him, Yoojung’s mere presence brings back all the wounds he never truly healed from. 
Granted, on a concrete sidewalk next to a traffic light pole was not the best place to have a heart to heart about failed relationships. But when has the universe ever given Jungkook the best things in life. He is devastatingly cynical for someone who dedicates his career to art. 
Yoojung wears a frown on her face, but there is no vindictiveness there. Just an overwhelming sense of remorse that Jungkook communicates as pity. 
“I don’t know how else to say that I’m sorry”, she sighs, eyes falling to the ground. Jungkook wishes it would just open up and swallow him whole. 
“Then don’t say anything.” He turns to walk away.
“Wait! Jungkook can we...can’t we catch up or something? For a couple minutes?” Yoojung is visibly desperate, and her hands are outstretched as if wanting to touch him but keeping herself from overstepping the line. 
Jungkook glances through the window of the bookstore, and you are situated on a chair, already nose deep in a hefty book. He wants to smile and tease you for being such a nerd, but the weight of Yoojung’s presence makes him reinforce those walls of indifference tenfold. 
He exhales frustration and inhales temptation, looking back into Yoojung’s familiar eyes and nodding. Jungkook walks to a nearby bench and sits down with no words exchanged, looking forward coldly even when he feels her warmth next to him. A couple months ago, Jungkook would have set all his canvases on fire to feel her beside him again. Now, he’s not so sure.
“So…”, she starts, “who’s that cute girl you were with?” 
“No one.” He shoots out a little too soon with no hesitation. Yoojung gulps.
“You know Jungkook, it’s okay to find someone. I-I know I hurt you, but I’m glad if you’ve found someone who doesn’t.” Jungkook doesn’t say anything so she continues.
“I’m really happy for-”
“I never really forgave you Yoojung.” He stares blankly at the passersby and tries to ignore the ache in his bones. The one that’s been there the day she left and took a piece of his heart with her. 
“And I don’t want to blame you for my decisions but I want you to know that I push away a lot of people because of you. People that don’t deserve it.” From the corner of his eye, he can see her nod solemnly to his words and fidget with her hands in her lap. Part of him feels guilty for unloading on Yoojung. Part of him feels like maybe he deserves to. 
“What you did was really shitty. Astronomically fucking shitty. And I’ve spent the past eternity hating you and maybe I still do, but…”, Jungkook takes a deep breath, “I want to forgive you now. If not fully, then partially. I hope you can understand that.” He finally tilts his head to look at her and though the smile on her face is as beautiful as he remembers it to be, Jungkook no longer feels the longing. No longer feels the sting that he usually does when his thoughts take him back to the years they spent together. 
Jungkook doesn’t want to call it closure, not yet anyway. Sitting here on the bench, he still wants to scream and yell and tell Yoojung of all the nights he’s spent alone since she left. He still wants to drag her back and wonder if she could love him again like she used to. 
But he doesn’t. He listens when she tells him about her new job and her new apartment right by the lakeside. They share snippets of their separate lives. Just deep enough to rekindle something warm but shallow enough to not invite anything else in. 
When he walks away from the bench and into the bookstore, Jungkook stills feels the walls that he has built around himself. He is still scared of opening up and being vulnerable but the anger held for Yoojung for so long is no longer a raging fire. More so a wickering flame. 
When he spots you, though, he remembers why he built those walls in the first place. He remembers how easy it used to be for him to climb a high peak and fall to his demise. Your eyes widen when you catch sight of him, lips curling into a wide smile and clear excitement in your expression. The book in your hands is tossed aside and tunnel vision reserved for him and him only. Something blooms in his chest and he can’t remember the last time someone’s been so elated to just simply see him...aside from his dog. Jungkook reminds himself to act uncaring. If he pretends long enough, he’ll start to believe it himself. 
The train ride home feels longer than the one there. The minutes drag by and perhaps it is because of your drooping eyes or the way Jungkook is looking at you with a different tenderness than he has been before. His stare is not harsh. It’s soft and sweet, but subtle enough for you to wonder if you are just imagining it. The night has always been unforgiving and cold even in the spring, but perhaps all that’s needed to breathe some warmth, is a 15 minute train ride and a wrist with a crescent moon.
Yet every time you become more smitten with Jungkook, there is a harsh reminder that follows you everywhere like a designated storm cloud. 
Jungkook does not love you. And you are trying and you will continue to try but his eyes tell you something he is too courteous to say. You see it now as he sits across from you and admires the skyline from the window. It makes you wonder if it is soulmates he doesn’t believe in, or if it is just you that he can’t bring himself to accept. With every cold glance and wall that he puts up, you start to convince yourself that it is the latter.
“We’re here, Y/N”, Jungkook speaks quietly, interrupting your drifting thoughts. He turns around and leaves the train car with hands tucked in his coat pocket. Did you expect him to escort you out and hold your hand? Of course not. But you were tired of Jungkook being so indifferent to your existence. 
You follow him glumly out the doors that slide close after you step through. Then it zips off again and you wonder where it would have taken you if you just stayed in your seat. If Jungkook would have even noticed that you hadn’t followed him when he left. 
You sigh into the night air and wish it was winter so that your breath could be visible as a white cloud. Maybe then Jungkook would notice that you were a living being beside him. 
“Who was that girl that we met back there?”, you murmur hesitantly. Jungkook nearly chokes on air. 
“No one”, he responds curtly, effectively cutting off the conversation then and there. It makes your heart sink. She must be important and all you want to do is know every single detail about their relationship, but the look in his eyes warn you to not pry. 
You don’t think you can forget the way Jungkook looked at her from across the street. Like he had been lost this whole time and she was the North star. You saw the way his eyes twinkled in the midday sun and sparkled even more when she came closer. You wonder if you’ll ever be able to have that effect on him. 
“Hey, next time you should pick a place you and I both do not live in”, you giggle, nudging his shoulder with your own. It makes him smile and even though your heart feels heavy in your chest, Jungkook looks so beautiful when he smiles. 
The two pair of feet subconsciously carry you both to the front door of your apartment building and the scene is too familiar from the last time. You expect him to turn around and whisper a hushed goodnight under his breath, and you’ll have to watch the back of his head disappear down the street. But he doesn’t. Just stands across from you quietly and waits for you to say something. So you do. 
“Jungkook, I’m sorry if I brought up something you didn’t want to remember. I don’t really know your story but it seems you two have a lot of history.” You want to tell him how hard it is for you to be his soulmate when he is so clearly vying for the warmth of someone else. Someone who didn’t have a crescent moon on her wrist. 
“I know you’ll tell me whenever you’re ready, and if that’s never then I’ll keep waiting until forever. But I’m here if you want to talk or unload and I already know I can help because…” you fidget with your hands and look around nervously. 
“Well, because I’m your soulmate.” 
When you say it loud and explicitly, Jungkook thought the statement would have made him recoil. But it doesn’t. It just seeps through his consciousness and feels warm when he thinks about the weight of those words. You are his soulmate, regardless of if he believes in such a thing or not. You carry the same mark as he does on your wrist and somehow, by some intangible factor, the universe had decided that you were created for him and he for you. 
And when he looks at you. Really looks at you. When Jungkook processes your sincere words and how you manage to deal with his insurmountable boundaries even when you barely know him…
Jungkook has never wanted to kiss you more. 
So he does. 
Your lips taste like mint chewing gum and the ghost of words you wish to tell him but can’t. He feels you stiffen until you completely melt in his hold, and Jungkook cradles your face with both his hands, pulling you closer to him until there is no barrier between you but the clothes on your back and the emotional distance. You feel so far away even when you’re this near. Was it a trick of your imagination when you felt the moon on your wrist tingling? 
It doesn’t last as long as you would’ve liked it to. Jungkook yanks his hands from you like your skin scalded him and takes several steps back. His chest rises up and down violently when his breath comes out ragged, posture stiffening as the gravity of what just happened finally absorbs. You’re there, he knows you’re there and standing in front of him. So why is it he can only see Yoojung. Yoojung and the star on her wrist and apologies on her lips. Yoojung and the tears in her eyes when she walks away. 
You can only stare confusedly when his body goes rigid, and a sudden coldness envelops you both. 
And in the haze of post-embrace, like any two normal lovers, you catch something in his eyes that sets a heavy feeling in your stomach. Before you can confirm if it’s just a trick of the light, Jungkook is already running in the opposite direction and you can only see a shadow of sullen love that follows him. He is gone and you are standing alone, wondering how moonlight could feel so cold even on a spring night. 
You don’t get any sleep that night. Every time you close your eyes, there is only the sight of Jungkook’s disgust and regret to lull you to dreams. 
20 minutes away from your apartment, there is a boy who doesn’t sleep either. He won’t text or call to tell you that he can’t shake off the feeling of your skin on his and your breath fanning his cheek. He won’t admit to himself that tonight, when he looked at you, he felt the possibility of falling in love. He won’t tell you that the moon on his skin longs to be traced by your hands. No, he just shares those secrets with his pillow as its linen soaks up his tears. 
In the midst of it all, there is one verdict that becomes clear to him.
Jungkook wishes he had never told Jimin he needed a muse.
The next three weeks is dedicated to trying to get in touch with your soulmate. Through the whirlwinds of utter confusion and desperation, you try texting, calling, emailing, even showing up at his art studio and apartment to no avail. It seemed he had a talent for avoiding soulmates. 
It hurt, to say the least. That he left you high and dry after giving you the most intense
kiss of your life and doesn’t even have the decency to let you know he’s alive. The feeling of his lips still burns on your skin and you wonder if you are a complete fool for being so smitten with a person who, quite possibly, hasn’t spared you a single thought after that night. You just want - no you just need some clarity. 
Jungkook makes you wait another week before replying. 
It is an impossibly sunny day when you wake up. Your neck is stiff from sleeping like a contortionist and your heart aches even more than your muscles with every passing morning with radio silence from your soulmate. You want to call him and tell him you’re sorry. That you’ll forget anything ever happened. It hurts to even think about it, but for Jungkook, you would go through a little more pain so he would let you into his life. 
Outside the hall, Jimin is singing along to a familiar melody of a song you don’t know the name of and judging by the aroma that wafts through the cracks of your door, he has successfully made a pot of coffee. He has been an anchor throughout this whole thing, and sometimes you make a secret wish to the stars that Jimin had been the one with a crescent moon on his wrist instead. Perhaps that way, you wouldn’t have to go through the agony of chasing love that is constantly sprinting away from you. 
Your phone lays on the bedside table and buzzes innocently to start the morning. When you reach over and scroll through notifications routinely, there is a name there that makes your heart pang. Makes you want to throw up and celebrate at the same time. A text from Jungkook. Your fingers shake as you open it. 
I no longer need a model for the portfolio. Thank you for your involvement. Compensation will be provided promptly. 
The day you met him, you already knew that Jungkook was cold. He never dawdled around a painful truth or toed the line between bluntness and sparing feelings. Jungkook spoke his mind, collateral damage be damned. But this is a different type of cold. This one feels more like dry ice on warm skin. Like the numbing chill of a fading hope. Like winter’s first snowfall when autumn had promised you it would forever stay. 
Phone in your hand and tears threatening to drip down your cheeks, you wish you would have waited a bit more before opening his text. Perhaps that way you could have spent the rest of your morning basking in the spring sun, drinking Jimin’s inevitably bad coffee, having hope that Jeon Jungkook would grow to care for you. Perhaps if you hadn’t opened it so soon, your soulmate would still seem in reach. 
Jimin’s mug nearly drops out of his hand when the door of your bedroom is slammed open. He flings it to the side when he notices your red-rimmed eyes and the shaking hands that clutch onto a cellphone. You scream and sob at the universe, at anyone, asking why it was you that had to experience the chaos of longing. Jimin was there to hold you, as he always is, and helplessly listen to the sound of your heart breaking once again by the hands of Jungkook.
Room 62B of the art building is a place you hope to never have to visit again. Though it’s walls contain memories of you and Jungkook, and the evenings navigating his gallery portfolio along with your convoluted relationship, the wallpaper bleeds with a longing ache. A yearning pain. And if those walls could talk, you don’t think you would want them to say anything at all. They would only murmur what you are slowly accepting to be true.
Jungkook, your soulmate, wants nothing to do with you. 
When you hesitantly rap on the door with a fisted hand, the sound of him rustling from inside makes you want to run the opposite direction. It opens before you get the chance to change your mind and the sight of him nearly takes your breath away. He is beautiful as he always is, hair ruffled and mussed from undoubtedly running his hands through it compulsively. His lips are pink from biting on them and the dark circles under his eyes tells you of the dreams he has deprived himself of. 
Jungkook is painfully gorgeous and painfully not yours. 
“Y/N...I sent you a text earlier.” His voice is saccharine but the words taste so bitter. 
“I know. I read it”, you murmur, shrinking in on yourself. 
“I....Can we talk, Jungkook?” 
His eyes dart around nervously at your question, chewing on his bottom lip and tapping the toe of his shoe as if he was impatient and you were bothering him. And you have known that simply being around Jungkook hurts but the light at the end of the tunnel only continues dwindling. 
You understand why he is acting so restless when your gaze drifts past him and into the room. There is a girl perched on a stool, across from a canvas and easel that you know awfully well. You don’t recognize her but it’s only in your nature to begin comparing every aspect of yourself to this stranger. She sits on her hands and swings her legs back and forth, head in the clouds and eyes trailing the ceiling. She isn’t aware of the weight of her presence in the studio, nor the turmoil she has brought to you, who is standing just outside the door. 
The oxygen in the hallway thins and the breath you’ve been waiting to release since knocking catches in your throat. Coming here, you prepared yourself for a long and inevitably heart-wrenching talk with your soulmate. But you hadn’t prepared for the possibility that he had replaced you overnight. 
The only thought that blares through your mind is that this is your fault. For letting yourself think you were worth more to Jeon Jungkook than any other stranger. You can no longer find it in yourself to be angry at him. Just yourself. 
“You…”, you gulp down a whimper, “you replaced me.” 
Jungkook follows your vacant stare past him and sighs, realizing you had most likely deducted what this scene looked like. You would be right. Between the weeks of trying to understand what you were to him and the impending due date of the portfolio, Jungkook was sure the best way to move past this confusion was to just speed full steam ahead. That meant finding another muse. You were no longer an option.
You only stare down at the floor, but Jungkook begins speaking anyway. 
“Y/N, I…I’m sorry.” You scoff at his words, feigning anger when inside, you truly didn’t know if you could piece yourself back together this time. 
“Look, Y/N. It’s not you. It’s just that…”, he breathes deep, not knowing why it was so hard to say. “I’ve stopped believing soulmates were truly a thing a long time ago. I’m sorry.” 
It’s not the first time you’ve heard these words but it doesn’t mean they hurt any less.
“I didn’t want to initiate anything, Y/N, but you did and I let you and that was my fault to let anything start. I shouldn’t have when I knew nothing would come of it.”
It was a fault to him. It never should have happened. 
“So you just thought you would kiss me and decide that I meant nothing to you afterwards?”
“It was a mistake.” It was painful to think it but when you hear Jungkook say it, you experience a new kind of ache. A humorless chuckle bubbles past your throat.
 “I really thought you would grow to love me. Now I know it’s not your fault that I’m a complete fool. To fall head over heels for my soulmate who wishes he had never even met me. Much less share a mark.” 
You can see Jungkook’s eyes widen at your confession, but you can’t find it in yourself to care. It was the truth. He deserved to hear it. 
“You shouldn’t. You can’t.” He reaches up to pull at his hair frustratedly.
“Can’t what, Jungkook? Love you? You think I want to be in love with someone who wishes I didn’t exist?” You hate your voice for breaking, but its impossibly painful when he does nothing to deny your statement. 
“What do you want me to say, Y/N? What can I say to make this better?”
Try: I love you too.
“I don’t need you to say anything you don’t mean, Jungkook.” 
“Then shouldn’t you leave?”
Jeon Jungkook is cruel even when he doesn’t mean to be. There is oblivion in his gaze, and his question is one of genuine curiosity. But it still stabs you exactly where your heart is most tender. Yes, I should have left. 
“I guess I thought you were worth the pain, Jungkook. When you pushed me away and wanted nothing to do with me, I thought you were worth hurting for just to try a little more. Worth the uncertainty of being around you but never getting to actually be with you”, you numbly mutter, uncaring about the rivulets of tears down your face. Not like it wasn’t something he’s never seen before. There is more to come on the tip of your tongue, and Jungkook stays quiet to let you speak. There is conflict in his vision, but you don’t want to give yourself the false hope that he cares for you. 
Look where that has gotten you before. 
“You still are, you know. Worth it.” You release a shaky breath. “But I was stupid to think that I am too.”
Saying the words are revelation for you as much as it is for him. All this time, you’ve been running away from the truth in the pursuit of your soulmate. You hadn’t realized that the chase led you astray. 
“And I know that loving me is not easy. I’m…”, you force the words out so he can at least hear your turmoil by his hands. “I’m never really good enough for anyone. Why did I expect that I would be good enough for you?” 
Jungkook’s expression crumples into a frown. “Y/N, no, that’s not what I mean-”
“You don’t have to tell me what you mean, Jungkook. I meet you and the first thing you say is that you don’t believe in such a thing. I try to get close to you and all you know to do is push me away. And I try so hard to be enough but how can I when Yoojung still has your heart? So you don’t have to say it. I know what you mean.” You’ve stopped crying but the ache relents, and you can only look desperately at the boy who’s slipping from your grasp with every passing second. 
“I’m sorry.” The message is redundant.
“I can’t…” Rip off the bandaid. 
“I just can’t love you.”
The words make their way past his lips before he can stop them, and they shoot through your core ruthlessly. A sharpened dagger to soft flesh. It manifests itself in a physical pain that reverberates across your chest, and when the last strength left in you is used to stare at Jungkook through a pained and teary gaze, you are deaf to everything but those four words.
I can’t love you.
I can’t love you. 
I can’t love you. 
You’re not sure what he is sorry for at this point. If Jungkook is apologizing for not loving you, you don’t blame him. If he is sorry for entertaining the possibility, you don’t blame him. If he is sorry that you are the one with a crescent moon on your wrist, well...you don’t blame him either. All your life you cherished it like some kind of gift from the universe. Now, nursing your crumbling soul in front of Jungkook, you wish it had never appeared in the first place. 
You shake your head, tucking your lip in between your teeth to stop the sob in your chest from escaping. Through the crack of the door Jungkook hadn’t shut fully, the girl was still there, patiently sitting where you were supposed to and making herself scarce after inevitably hearing you bare your heart to a boy who had no interest in it. 
Humiliation goes hand in hand with heartbreak, and the embarrassment that comes with confessing your love and insecurity urges your feet to run home. But even you cannot deprive yourself of looking at him one more time. 
His wavy head of hair. The scar on his cheekbone that makes him look even more beautiful, if that were possible. The gloss in his dark brown eyes, and the way he looks at you through stone cold walls. You commit it to memory, however painful, before you walk out of his life. 
“Be happy, Jungkook.” 
You truly mean it. 
 The sound of your footsteps getting farther away from him is a sound Jungkook thinks he’ll remember for a long time. It almost prompts him to run after you, cradle you to his chest, and profess how sorry he is again and again until you can truly feel the sincerity. But he doesn’t. Only remains behind the self-procured walls and watches when your figure disappears down the hallway. 
Cold. Unbothered. Indifferent. That’s what he had always told himself when it came to you. But the hallway feels so lonely and the ghost of your presence feels even lonelier, and Jungkook wonders if he had been wrong. 
He walks back into the studio, permanent frown on his face and shoulders hunched over in stress. The paintbrush feels like a stranger rather than an extension of his arm, as it always does, but Jungkook begins painting anyway. Looking at the girl in front of him, he is reminded of the look on your face when you realized he had replaced you completely in the span of three weeks, without even giving you a notice. Her presence in his art studio suddenly feels entirely suffocating. 
“Mina, Get out.” 
“What?”
“Get out of my studio. I don’t need you as a model, anymore. Thanks.” His voice cut through the tension of the room, like a hot knife to butter. He recognizes it as the voice he always forces himself to use around you, and grows even more aggravated. 
The girl scoffs annoyedly, snatching her handbag from the floor and rushing out of the room. Obviously she had thought something more was to come from Jungkook’s art arrangement. He made sure to let her know that was not the case. 
There is a gnawing in his chest. Deep and subtle, but it becomes more prominent as the window view from his studio turns from blue to black. He ponders about spending the night in here, instead of going home to his bedroom where he is forced to consult with the agony of solitude. On top of everything today, Jungkook doesn’t think he can handle that. 
Every time he closes his eyes, he sees the pain in your face when he tells you that he can’t love you and he hears the shaking in your voice when you tell him the things that weighed on your soul. He thought the word “wither” was only reserved for flowers. Jungkook didn’t realize a person could wither until he saw it right in front of him. 
In truth, he didn’t know. He didn’t know if he could love you or not. And to Jungkook, that was already a feat in itself. He’s spent so many months convincing himself that his emotional fortress was impregnable. So many nights over whiskey bottles telling himself that love was only for fools and pretenders. To be uncertain about love, now, well...that’s something he is not yet ready to admit to himself. Much less admit to you. But letting you any closer was a fatal game. 
Being uncertain about love means being uncertain about getting hurt. Jungkook has a feeling he wouldn’t make it out in one piece if his heart fell into wrong hands. 
He does end up returning to his apartment that night. But the walk feels far too long and the air feels far too frigid, or perhaps is it because he can’t hear the tread of your footsteps beside him? 
Whatever the reason, tonight feels more lonely.
The stars tell him it’s because he does not like the person he’s alone with. 
Back in room 62B, there is an abandoned painting on a rickety easel. He hadn’t even had the will to wash out his paintbrush, and he’s sure he’ll pay for it the next day. Looking at the piece now, his professor would tell him that there’s too many colors. Too much contrast and nearly not enough depth in his strokes. But what was he to do when he had kicked out his new model and couldn’t get the image of your visible heartbreak out of his brain? 
A familiar wrist with a quaint crescent moon sits on the canvas, and he sure as hell didn’t use Mina as the inspiration. Jungkook reminds himself to throw out the painting tomorrow morning. 
The grease on Jimin’s skillet pan is always so hard to clean. The dish soap never truly cuts through the oil, and no matter how much you rinse it over with scalding water, it still feels soiled. On a normal day, it wouldn’t frustrate you so much. Today, a month-and-a-half after your soulmate made it clear to you that you had no place in his life, you want to throw the pan out the window and cry on the kitchen floor until it collapses with the weight of your tears. 
You settle for throwing down the sponge and making Jimin wash his own dishes.
The phone-that you usually now tend to ignore-buzzes on the counter, and you groan at your complete lack of desire to answer it. But the screen lights up with your roommate’s name and you hit the green button. 
“Y/N! How are you feeling, lovebug?” Jimin’s cheerful tone on speakerphone makes you want to cry. You can only imagine how terrible it is for him to be your roommate when all you know how to do now is mope and cry about a boy who probably hasn’t thought about you since. But he’s been holding you through all your breakdowns, and even sets up the air mattress on the floor of your bedroom when some nights are a little bit harder than most. 
“I’ve had better days”, you glare at the pan in the sink. “What’s up?’
“So I have a friend…”
“Jimin, no.” 
He sighs over the phone understandingly, but still not satisfied. “I know it’s only been a month Y/N, but it doesn’t have to be anything. He’s not looking for anything serious either. But maybe it would be good for you to take your mind off things.” 
It’s been a month. Four weeks. Roughly 31 days, and you still remember every word he said to you in the hallway of the art building. Every pause and quiver of his breath, and the way he looked so completely indifferent to your pain. Was one month enough for you to let go even after finding out Jungkook never planned to hold on in the first place?
“Look, you don’t have to decide now. I’m sorry for pushing you if you’re not ready.” His mumbling is apologetic and it makes you realize that Jimin genuinely means well. Maybe you weren’t ready to move on from Jungkook yet. Maybe you never will be. He was your damn soulmate, after all. But maybe a distraction couldn’t hurt.
“Okay.”
“Okay?”
“I’ll do it.” 
You can practically feel him smiling like an idiot over the phone. “Really?!” You sigh into the speaker and Jimin knows better to continue talking before you change your mind.
“His name is Namjoon, he works with me at the office. Super cute. Super hot. Super smart. Checks all your boxes!”, he rambles on about the nitty gritty details and though a part you is proud that you’re making the decision to move on with life, you can’t help but to realize that no one will ever be able to “check all your boxes”.
Not if they’re not Jungkook. 
“He sounds great, Jimin.” Anyone can tell your happiness is disingenuous, even through the phone. Jimin tells you that he had already planned a date (without your knowledge), and sends you on your way with a quick goodbye when his taxi arrives. The silence of the apartment after the conversation leaves you feeling even more weighted, but hopeful for the possibility of a distraction. You had a feeling you won’t be able to forget the likes of Jeon Jungkook if you tried. But, if only for a night, you were to forget the pain of loving him, you’ll take that chance. 
“What do you mean they all ‘feel the same’?” Jungkook is exasperated. He had drafted a complete version of his portfolio, working through the nights by the sweat of his brow. Now his professor was telling him that all his pieces felt the same and Jungkook thinks he might commit arson to the art studio.
Professor Sejin sighs contemplatively, taking off his glasses and throwing them on the table, all too familiar with Jungkook’s periodic art tantrums. 
“I mean that your pieces lack any variegation. The portfolio is well done and coherent, but the completed package is one-noted. It’s consistent. But too much so.”
Professor Sejin’s words make him fall back into the chair dejectedly, shoulders slumped and disappointment in his eyes at the critique of his art. Though it is hard to hear, Jungkook always welcomes productive criticism. The older man sympathizes with his downcast eyes and the visible stress on his back. 
“Look, Jungkook”, he affirms sincerely, “you just need to find some dynamic. Something to make people know that you can do more than one tone of art.” It’s obvious that the professor has a soft spot for the boy in front of him, who looks like his entire world is collapsing. The portfolio folder is handed back to him and Jungkook has the urge to burn it and not hear the word “gallery” again in the next decade. 
“I have faith in you. You’ll figure out what it is that you’re missing.” The smile on the man’s face is congenial. Genuine. And even though he has an ambitious amount of work to do, Jungkook finds the will to nod, haul himself off the office chair, and begin the trek back to his studio. 
The pinnacle of spring is approaching and the sun shines brighter with each morning. Not that he would know or care. He’s spent the last month locking himself inside, dedicating every fluid ounce of energy towards completing his project. It’s been surprisingly easier, and Jungkook finds himself finishing paintings, sketches, and sculptures with ease. Like untapped inspiration had revealed itself to him suddenly. Yet it still wasn’t enough...at least not according to Professor Sejin. 
Headphones drown out the cacophony of hustlers and bustlers with the laughter of children as accompaniment. He doesn’t allow himself to enjoy the music of the city. Not anymore. It gives him too much space to think, and Jungkook has a feeling that’s not good for anyone and definitely not good for him. 
The sight of a familiar bakery with particularly delicious apple strudels is enough to stop him in his rush, feet winding down until he is standing outside, staring at the door and wondering if he could go in without being reminded of you. Well, it might be too late for that anyhow, but further signs of protest are halted when he hears his growling stomach. 
Jungkook had morbidly underestimated your presence in the memory of his favorite cafe. You are everywhere. He sees your smiling face when he looks up at the chalkboard menu, soul vying for you to be next to him and excitedly choosing a new fru-fru drink that would undoubtedly have excessive sugar. He hears your giggles ruminating through the cafe while the other patrons only hear the music over loudspeaker. He practically feels you near, but that doesn’t matter now. It’s better this way. No one gets hurt this way. 
Jungkook plops himself at a corner table and buries his face in his hands, fingertips soothing over his pulsing eyebags and wrinkles he’s gotten from sleep deprivation. He desperately needs an espresso shot. Or five. 
“Hey…”, a voice makes him snap his head up. Jungkook recognizes the stranger as the owner’s son, who always stands guard at the cash register. The tag on his lapel reads Kim Seokjin, and Jungkook has a distant memory of you gushing over how nice Seokjin’s hair was. He had acted unbothered back then, but Jungkook would die before telling a soul that he was annoyed and jealous when you thought the cashier was cute. 
“Jungkook, right?”. He has a kind smile and a natural air of invitation. Jungkook nods. 
“I’ve seen you around a lot. Where’s that girl you always come here with?”
“I don’t see how that’s any of your business”, he nearly hisses, antsy at the mere mention of you. He instantly regrets it though. Seokjin looks like he’s been cornered with a blunt weapon, and it makes Jungkook sigh at his own asshole-ishness. 
“I’m sorry”, he mumbles, “just not a good day. At all.” 
There is a pause and hesitation before the boy speaks. “Do you...wanna talk about it?” Seokjin’s question is met with silence. 
There is a predictability about Jeon Jungkook. He doesn’t open himself up to anyone. He pretends that he doesn’t have problems so well, people start to become convinced. He avoids new connections like it’s the plague. But there is something so idiosyncratic about Kim Seokjin that makes him want to talk. Makes him want to trust a complete stranger. 
So Jungkook nods, depositing his black backpack besides him and lets himself breathe deep. 
“Her name is Y/N….”
In the lukewarm air of the café, Jungkook tells Seokjin about you. About the tiny crescent moon on your wrist that identically matches his - even unwraps his cloth to show it - and how he pushed you away hard enough to put an ocean’s worth of distance between the two of you. He tells Seokjin about Yoojung and the stars on her skin that have been plaguing him since the day she left. He tells him about that damn portfolio that refuses to be finished; one that he apparently has to start over because Professor goddamn Sejin says it's too boring. He allows himself to unload, and wow is it easier to breathe when you talk about your feelings. Jungkook reminds himself to do that more often. 
The “conversation” seems to stretch for hours (if a conversation can be considered one person unleashing all their hidden baggage on the other while they sit in silence). Jin listens intently through the entire ordeal, offering occasional nods and encouragement for him to continue. When Jungkook finally finishes with a deep breath, falling back on the chair looking completely worn out, Jin fixes him with a hot tea before speaking.
“The portfolio is important to you, Jungkook. If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. Something tells me that you’re not one to give up so easily”, he quips with a playful lilt in his voice. Jin’s genuine faith in him makes Jungkook believe in himself.
“And as for Yoojung, well, I can’t speak on your pain. You are the only one that narrates your experiences but as much as she seems like a villain in your story, perhaps she has opened a door.” Jungkook thinks his voice sounds far too wise to be coming from a guy in his 20’s.
“Would you have known how to nurse a broken heart had it not been for her? I’m sorry she did that to you, Jungkook, but..Yoojung is your past. And I see so much in your future.” 
Jungkook only stares into the abyss of his tea cup. The reflection that stares back is someone he desperately wants to learn to love. When he looks up again, there is a sad glimmer in Seokjin’s gaze. Something so despondent that he feels second-hand pain. 
Jin pulls up the sleeve of his knit sweater. On his wrist sits a faded marigold, so blanched it almost blends in with his skin and makes him wonder if it will just disappear one day. Jungkook feels his blood run cold.
“It’s been two years since she died”, he stares solemnly at his skin, “I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about her.” 
Jungkook’s thought about his soulmate mark disappearing before. Even hoped and prayed for it the days after Yoojung left. But now, when he sees it up close on Seokjin’s wrist, Jungkook doesn’t want to wish that loneliness upon anyone. 
“She was so damn...persistent”, Jin laughs, fondness dripping in every word. “Like your Y/N in that way, I suppose. She had a goal and was hell-bent on achieving it. She was so kind and strong and much more of a badass than I could ever be. I loved that about her.” There is sorrow in his voice when he uses the past tense, and Jungkook feels even worse for pouring his heart out about his very alive soulmate. 
“She was studying to be a doctor, you know? Ironic that even the best doctors couldn’t have saved her in the end.” His sentence trails off and he loses focus gazing out the window, fidgeting with the ring on his left hand with a faraway look in his eyes. 
“I don’t mean to ramble about my dead soulmate for no reason, Jungkook. And I’m in no position to tell you what you should or should not do regarding Y/N. But if I could restart this life with my soulmate, there wouldn’t be one second I would waste not at her side.” Jin’s tone is not accusatory or convicting. Just honest.
“It’s normal to be scared and apprehensive. Hell, I would be more concerned if you weren’t going into it with a shit ton of skepticism. I was terrified. Yet out of the billions of people that could’ve had my mark on their wrist, just knowing that she was that one was enough for me to love her.”
The cup of tea has long gone cold. Jungkook only manages to stare at the mahogany table, thoughts too heavy to voice aloud, so Jin continues. 
“I think I would give anything to know that such a person still exists for me. Someone out there that was chosen by an unknown, cosmic force for an unexplainable reason just for me. To see a mark that matches my own. Well…”, Jin breathes deeply, tears welling in his eyes but not falling, “I think that must be the most wonderful thing in the entire world.”
Seokjin’s words stick with him long after he has departed from the café. Long after the tea has settled in his stomach along with the weight of what a soulmate means to this stranger whose life story he has learned in the course of an evening. 
Even so, Jungkook’s not sure what he should feel. The fear of vulnerability still feels like a designated thundercloud above his head, and the thought of letting you past his walls makes Jungkook want to run the other way.
At the same time, the trepidation doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. It’s still there, and he can’t pinpoint exactly what happened but when he sees your smiling face behind his eyelids, Jungkook doesn’t feel scared. When he focuses on what you look like under sunlight, or your eyes staring at him through a camera lens, there is no fear of the broken heart you could leave him with. Just something warm. Something that feels an awful lot like...love?
 But what does Jungkook know about such things? 
He shrugs it off his shoulders, and readies himself for a night of inevitably restless sleep. He blames it on the impending due date of his beloved portfolio, but really, it is you. You and your insistence on trying every single coffee shop in the city. You and your convoluted idea of a date; letting your partner choose the location with their eyes closed. You and…
Just everything about you. 
He falls asleep well into 4am. The thin strap of cloth sits on his bedside table. Even if it is only for the night sky to see, Jungkook lets his soulmate mark breathe. 
It’s been so long since you’ve dressed up or cleaned up to go out anywhere, the reflection that stares back feels like a stranger. You’ve opted for a bold red lip, meticulously applying your makeup so that even the wing of your eyeliner was sharp enough to kill. Jimin forced you to curl your hair too, of course. The girl in the mirror looks beautiful. You know that she is beautiful.
So why is it that you can only see the face that is not enough for Jeon Jungkook? A person that he is unable to love. No, not even foundation can cover the face of longing.
“Y/N”, Jimin sing-songs, “hurry! You don’t wanna be late do you?” No, you don’t want to be late. You want to not go. Maybe retreat to your bedroom and cry the night away again. But you won’t tell him that when he is so clearly ecstatic that you’re spending a night out for the first time in months. 
The restaurant looks like it is entirely out of your budget. Well, you reckon any restaurant is out of your budget with all the debt that looms overhead and your painfully apparent unemployment. Waiting for Namjoon is less than exhilarating, and you spend the time fiddling with your bracelet that conveniently covers the crescent moon. These days, you can’t bear to look at it anymore. Your eyes are glued to the little mark, before a voice sounds from across the table.
“Sorry I’m late, traffic was insane. You must be Y/N, nice to meet you.” You weren’t sure what you expected Kim Namjoon to look like but were pleasantly surprised. Namjoon looks like he takes care of himself, neat and clean and sporting a very shiny watch that looks like 4 months’ worth of rent. 
“And you must be Namjoon. Likewise.” 
When he pulls out the chair to sit down, you can’t help but to notice the cloud on his wrist. It was smaller than yours but you had no doubt it felt just as heavy. If Namjoon felt your gaze on his skin, he did nothing to show it. 
“Hey, I know I just got here but…”, he sighs and takes a look around the room, “do you wanna get out of here? Find the cheapest and greasiest food we can?” His request makes you smile, and you grab the purse that rested on the table. 
“Namjoon, I think that’s the best idea you’ve had yet.” 
You and Namjoon manage to find a diner that wasn’t far from the fancy restaurant, and you thank the skies that you didn’t have to pay $50 for a salad tonight. Just some pocket change for quite possibly the best and oiliest hamburger you’ve ever had. 
By conversation that happens through mouthfuls of food and faces smeared with milkshake residue, you come to learn that Namjoon is an unsurprisingly nice guy. He studies poetry, but is working as a secretary at an office, hence his connection to Jimin. He loves to garden and talks about his bonsai plants to you like they’re his kids, even pulling up pictures on his phone and gazing down at them fondly. It makes you smile. He plays the piano, and likes to take long bike rides when the weather permits. 
It’s nice to have someone reciprocate your effort. It’s something you haven’t experienced in a long time, all credit to one Jeon Jungkook. Namjoon is warm in all the corners where Jungkook is cold. 
In a word, he is pretty damn perfect. And if he had a crescent moon on his wrist, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye or have a lick of doubt in the universe. He encompasses everything you want, so alike you in so many aspects it makes you wary. If Namjoon had your matching soulmate mark, you would already be in love with him. 
But he doesn’t. And that thought alone keeps you from feeling anything but platonicity. He is not Jungkook. You don’t think anyone can make you feel the way Jungkook does. You want to curse the stars for making this so. 
It’s well into the night, and you both remain planted in the diner booth, chatting and chuckling over a plate of french fries. It’s when you drift off while he’s talking about his latest attempt at focaccia that Namjoon sighs and sits back in the seat. 
“What?”, you confusedly ask after he suddenly stops speaking.
He smiles. Stays silent for a couple seconds. Then speaks. 
“So what did your soulmate do to you?”
His question catches you off guard and you can only stare at him, frown on your face and words lost on your tongue. 
“You’ve been staring into space every 5 minutes this whole night, and fidgeting with your bracelet so much I’m surprised it hasn’t fallen off”, he explains, tenderness and sympathy in his tone. 
“Every time I speak, you have this sad look in your eyes and I have a feeling you’re imagining someone else’s face, Y/N. I’ve enjoyed talking to you...a lot. But I can tell you want to be somewhere else so”, Namjoon places his elbows on the table and gazes at you endearingly, “tell me about your soulmate.” 
You stare at Namjoon through shocked eyes, glistening with the onset of tears that you manage to keep from escaping. Gosh, you were pathetic. Already wanting to cry at the mere mention of him. Or maybe the fact that someone could see through your facade. You take a deep breath. 
“His name is Jeon Jungkook.” Your voice quivers, and Namjoon continues listening intently. You are reluctant to continue because you know that once this conversation begins, there is a chance you might have to confront yourself again with the pain of loving someone who doesn’t want love. You internally apologize to Namjoon in advance, for you might cry on this first date. 
“I…I’m completely head over heels in love with him  but after everything, I’m not sure I have the slightest clue what love is. Because what sane person can fall in love with a person who has made it clear that that love wouldn’t be reciprocated from the get go?”
You fiddle with the plastic straw in your milkshake, searching for the courage to go on and tell him about every thought that you have denied yourself the satisfaction of verbalizing. 
“He loves apple strudels, you know. Eats them every time like they’re the last apple strudels he’ll ever have and he doesn’t give a damn who’s watching”, you chuckle, gaze drifting off to space. There is a fondness in your eyes as you speak, and Namjoon does not miss it. 
“He’s as punctual as the day is long. One time I was late to a photoshoot and he almost made me cry lecturing me about the importance of being on time. But now I’m never late.” 
The memory makes you, as well as Namjoon, smile. 
“He paints like his life depends on it, and he’ll get oil paint on his face without noticing and sometimes I just want to reach out and wipe it off. But I think he’d murder me on the spot.”
“How come?”, Namjoon offers his first words in the midst of your monologue. You’re not sure what to say next. 
“Well...I think Jeon Jungkook might be the coldest person I’ve ever met”, you dejectedly sigh. Reality tastes bitter even with remnants of whipped cream on your lips. 
“Every time I was around him, it felt like I was willingly breaking my own heart just for the chance to know that he was next to me. That in this entire world of billions of people, the one with the same moon on their wrist was next to me. And...I guess I didn’t really need him to love me yet”, your gaze locks onto Namjoon and you find he is already staring at you with utmost curiosity and subtle pity. 
“Jungkook alone was enough. I just wish he could have felt the same about me.” 
Perhaps the reason why the truth is so painful to speak is because people have a tendency to run from it. Then when it catches up to you, it’s a harsh trip and fall to the rocky ground. There is no cushion when you land. 
Namjoon doesn’t offer advice. Doesn’t dish his own experiences to relate to your own or even make any comments from his perspective. He just sits and listens in silence, but it doesn’t feel like he is disregarding you. No, his eyes tell you that he soaks in every word. You hope you’ll get the chance to do the same for him...if he ever decides to share his story with you. 
The two of you leave the diner with a prospective to be friends, and no plans of a future second date. You had a strong feeling that spending the entire evening talking about your unrequited soulmate love had something to do with that. Nevertheless, though Namjoon didn’t work out as a distraction, you were glad to have met him. It made you realize something.
Even if Jimin thought you were ready to move on. Even if you thought you were ready to forget. It might be a lifetime before you finally let go of that boy.
The morning reeks of rain and dew, humidity nearly clawing its way through his window and turning his apartment into a swamp. When he wakes up, it is not to his blaring alarm clock, but the uncomfortable sensation of a sweaty shirt sticking to his back. Jungkook groans, already tired of this day. It seems hopeless from the beginning. 
As much as he wanted to stay home and crank up the air conditioner so much that his landlord would come running, Professor Sejin’s voice reverberates through his eardrums.
You art is too one-noted, Jungkook.
Be better, Jungkook.
You’re talentless and will never succeed, Jungkook. 
Of course, these are not Professor Sejin’s verbatim, more so Jungkook’s own mind that twists his teacher’s constructive criticism into something else. He is a master at feeding his insecurity.
Jungkook chugs down a lukewarm cup of black coffee, and his stomach growls for something with a little more sugar and maybe a dash of rainbow colored sprinkles. He guesses he has you to thank for that. The art studio is always a daily destination, and this day is no different. Jungkook has a plan to dedicate himself to fixing his portfolio and maybe finish that clay piece he never got around to. 
The studio is too cold for his liking; Jungkook can’t remember how many times he has begged the superintendent to lower the AC. The cold he can deal with. The loneliness, however, is a different story. Jungkook is always alone. Alone when he’s in his apartment. Alone when he’s in class. Alone when he’s in the art room. These days, aloneness feels more haunting when he knows he had the option to escape it, but chose to stay. A part of him is ready to admit that it’s because of you. 
Jungkook hums a random melody that had been stuck in his head since the morning, fingers gliding over the slick sculpting clay. The days are easier now. He doesn’t think about you so much when the sun is out and there is the bustling of the busy city to distract him. The nights, however, are just as difficult as they have been. Jungkook’s last drifting thought is of you, and your face torturously carries over to each dream. Like his entire being misses you but he refuses to accept it. 
He takes a deep sigh in relief once the sculpture feels finished. Professor Sejin wanted something more dynamic, so there: his very own realist clay piece drawing inspiration from Praxiteles’ sculpture of Aphrodite. He sits back in pride, admiring his own handiwork and giving himself a mental pat on the back. It looks great. Perfect even. It looks….
It looks like you. 
Jungkook pales at the realization as the clay face stares back at him. No, this was supposed to be Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, inspired by the ancient Greek artist that sculpted her. Then why does she have your nose? Those eyes are definitely your’s and even those cheeks are identical. Jungkook hadn’t even realized that in the rhythm of his art, he got lost and accidentally sculpted your face instead. 
He walks away from the clay table and hurriedly yanks off the soiled apron around his waist, confusion swimming in every cell of his body. How had he just...made a sculpture of you? With no knowledge that he was doing it?
Jungkook leans with his back against the sink, staring down at the floor with furrowed brows and a thundering heart. With a sudden epiphany, Jungkook leaps from his position and pulls out all the canvases, printed photographs, graphite drawings, and clay pieces he’s made for the past few months. Everything he can grab in the small studio space. 
It is then that he comes to the daunting realization:
Holy shit.
Professor Sejin was right.
 Everything feels the same. His whole portfolio has one note and no dynamic or diversity because...well, because all of his pieces are of you. Not you, necessarily, but your breath has come alive on his art in some way, shape, or form. 
The multimedia painting he made two weeks ago using polystyrene sheets was supposed to mimic sunlight through a stained glass window, but Jungkook hadn’t even noticed he'd drawn the window of the café you dragged him to on its opening day. And the colors of the glass is just the twinkle of your eyes when they stare back into his. 
The photoset he spent hours taking around the city, after taking a 15 minute train ride, were just repeats of all the places you two went to that one day. The book store. The park. The streetlight where Yoojung stopped him. He hadn’t even realized he only saved the photos associated with a subconscious memory of you. 
Jungkook can’t explain it, but he feels you in every single picture. Every piece of art that his hands have manifested since you walked into his life, stupid smile on your face and that little moon on your wrist. He feels it...and call it artist’s intuition or something but perhaps that’s why Professor Sejin could feel it too. 
Even though he stopped making you his muse months ago, you are still the root of inspiration for whatever he’s produced since. And if that’s not enough to finally tell him what he needs to hear. Finally make him realize that he’s fallen in love with you without even knowing it, the universe doesn’t know what will. 
The minutes it has been since he realized your place in his life melts like slow dripping honey, feeling like an eternity when it is mere moments. Jungkook regains his focus in the haze. He knows what you mean to him now, but there was something he had to fo first. 
He swipes all his paintbrushes and palette knives to the side, sweat on his brow as he furiously rearranges his portfolio. He takes out the pictures of Mina - no one would miss them anyway - and trashes all the photos he took before he met you. He only uses the art he’s created post-Y/N and tucks them in the manila folder so rapidly, there’s paper cuts on his fingers. But he doesn’t feel them. Jungkook has only one objective. 
He snaps a picture of the new clay sculpture he’s just finished. The photo goes into the portfolio with the name ‘Aphrodite’, but Jungkook knows better about whose face that truly belongs to. Not that anyone would bat an eye. He thinks you are as beautiful as the goddess herself. 
The trip to Professor Sejin’s office is short, unsurprising though, since Jungkook sprints the whole way there. When he arrives, and the professor can only stare as he’s bent over and huffing violently trying to catch his breath, Jungkook reminds himself to spend less time at the studio and more time on the cardio. 
He throws the portfolio onto the man’s desk unceremoniously, nearly collapsing on the chair across from him and not ready to speak yet. Professor Sejin confusedly rifles through the folder quickly, too quickly, and sighs, ready to offer Jungkook yet the same critique again. 
He opens his mouth, but Jungkook cuts him off. 
“Before you say anything…”, he gulps, finally ready to admit the truth to himself. 
“I want you to know that I’ve met my soulmate, a-and there’s a reason why you feel that my portfolio is all the same. There’s a reason why you feel it’s all one-noted or that there’s no progression.” Jungkook takes a deep breath and closes his eyes, and you are there behind his lids. 
“It’s because she sowed the seeds for all of them. Everything. Those paintings and photos and sculptures are just symptoms of what I’ve been feeling this whole time after meeting her. She’s practically the artist, not me.” Professor Sejin stays silent at his monologue, gaze unreadable but eyes sharp and trained solely on Jungkook. 
“Maybe...Maybe art doesn’t need to be super variegated all the time. Maybe it’s supposed to be a cohesive unit and the pieces should string to each other. Maybe paintings should have a relationship to photos and them, to sculptures. Maybe you’re just...wrong.” 
He is exasperated and passion flows out of him through every pore. Jungkook looks expectantly at his professor, who has the open folder in his hand and still in the process of taking in his words. When the adrenaline starts to fade, he realizes that he just dissed his venerable teacher. 
“With all due respect…”, he coughs, “sir.” 
Professor Sejin lets Jungkook spend the next couple minutes in complete torturous silence so that he can finish reviewing his portfolio. The tension is cut with the sound of the man’s hands slapping together as he closes the folder. Jungkook prepares himself for a stern lecture.
However, when he looks up, there is a smile on the man’s face. There’s no malice there, or even disdain. He pulls off his glasses, sets them on the table, and sits back in the office chair, arms folded over his chest. Jungkook can feel his heart threatening to pound past his rib cage. 
“Jungkook…”, Professor Sejin declares, “I think you’ve got a contender for the gallery spot.” 
If someone had asked you what Jeon Jungkook meant to you, you would look them in the eye and tell them that he meant nothing. Because it’s easier to pretend that someone does not mean anything to you after they pretend that you do not exist. That the universe had not given you both matching marks and deemed that your souls were meant for each other. Jeon Jungkook is a stranger to you. One that you wanted so badly to love. But you’ve come to learn that no matter how hard you try; you can’t love someone who doesn’t want to love at all.
So the days trickle by as they usually do. Painstakingly slow and viscous with memories of a boy named Jeon Jungkook and the way he has hurt you enough to last a little bit over forever. 
“I understand why you don’t want to go, Y/N. But aren’t you the least bit curious? Especially after that fancy invitation in the mail?” Jimin’s query is innocent. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make your blood boil. 
“I don’t know...the thought of going to my soulmate’s grand art gallery when the last time we spoke, he told me he can’t love me, just doesn’t seem appealing Jimin”, you snark, burying your face into the bowl of cereal you are now spooning far too aggressively. 
“But...it’s been months. And he wouldn’t have sent you an invitation if he didn’t want you to come.” 
This conversation has happened too frequently since that red envelope arrived at your apartment. You cried your eyes out when you opened it, both out of pride for Jungkook and the fact that no matter what you did, the universe found a way to keep you from moving on. 
A sigh heaves through your chest, and the cereal is abandoned by your loss of appetite. “I’m not going to show up there and have him tell me again all of the reasons he can’t be with me. I barely survived it last time.” 
“But what if, Y/N?”
There is a glimmer in Jimin’s eye and he radiates so much hopefulness for you, you can’t help but to feel it too. 
“Isn’t the what if already enough? You used to tell me that Jungkook was worth anything. Isn’t he worth the risk this time too?”
You don’t have anything else to say after that because as much as you hate to admit, perhaps Jimin is right. Jungkook is worth going through anything for, even if he wants to stay as far away as possible. Call it a fluke in the postal system that the invitation to his gallery landed on your doorstep, but can you allow yourself to read between the lines and dare say that he sent it himself? Can you put yourself through such a perilous thing like optimism?
Jungkook has left you battered and broken for the past months. But you would give your heart to him to break all over again if he asked. 
To say that you did not fit in with those dawdling around the art gallery was a gross understatement. You didn’t just not fit in. Your entire presence and aura defied every expectation, and suddenly, watching the upper echelon of the city mingle with champagne and gaze critically at Jungkook’s art, makes every breath feel like an insecurity. 
The boy in question was nowhere in sight, and you now regret not dragging Jimin with you. The invitation had specifically prohibited plus one’s, and though Jimin whined to no end about his hurt feelings and emptily promised never to talk to Jungkook again, you managed to keep him home. Now, you wish you were back at the apartment with him.
The pieces were, in short, completely breathtaking (to no surprise, of course, this was Jungkook you were talking about). Though you knew he always held doubt in himself, in the short time he allowed you to be in his life, you had never once thought he was anything less than spectacular. Yet you could not allow yourself to completely enjoy them. Each brushstroke and paint color you remember from his palettes, or the filters on the photos that you helped him with, was agonizing to look at. 
You are standing in front of a canvas titled “Windowlight” when a man comes up beside you. He nurses a flute of bubbly champagne and makes no move to gain eye contact. Unknown to you, Professor Sejin knows exactly who you are. He’s seen your face in his student’s portfolio one too many times. 
“Artful use of mixed media, isn’t it?”, he mutters.
“I suppose so.” 
“He’s quite the prodigy. Have you met him yet? I’m sure he’s lurking around somewhere.” The man takes a sip from his glass, smirk on his lips hidden from your eyes that still blankly stare ahead.
“Yes. He’s a...friend.” We share a soulmate mark. He hates my guts. 
He hums a sound of affirmation and you ignore the weird feeling it leaves in your stomach; one that tells you this stranger sees right through you. 
“Ah, how rude of me. Professor Sejin. Arts director and senior advisor.” He spares you a brief glance, but you make no move to shake his hand or pretend to be courteous. You don’t have the energy for it tonight. Just being in this building, surrounded by everything Jungkook has touched, makes you want to collapse into yourself. 
“It was nice to meet you, Y/N.” He speaks nonchalantly, and you almost miss the fact that you never told him your name. Your brows crease in confusion and you are ready to turn and interrogate the stranger, but he is already walking away, gliding smoothly across the gallery. Before he gets too far, though, Sejin cranes his neck and makes eye contact. 
“Oh, and be sure to visit the one called ‘Moon’. It’s upstairs, next to the Aphrodite sculpture on the second level exhibit”, he entreats, a suspicious lilt in his voice.
“Something tells me you’ll appreciate its…sincerity.”
Honestly, you’re not sure what you expected when you came to Jungkook’s art gallery tonight. But to be approached by a stranger who already knows your name, who dubiously instructs you to seek out a mystery art piece, was not on the list of expectations. Still...Professor Sejin’s words made you curious. 
Through the night, your eyes subconsciously seek out that familiar head of fluffy brown hair and a tall gait that always seems to stick out, even in a large crowd. It was as if Jungkook versed himself in complete camouflage, so much so that you began to doubt that he was even in the building.  
The traipse through the gallery is done in silence and solitude, and you tune out the sounds of popping champagne and raucous laughter coming from the second floor, as the patrons undoubtedly banter over which piece to auction off. You hope he keeps them. You’ve never seen someone appreciate art the way that Jungkook does. 
You catch sight of a few pieces that you recognize, ones that you remember him showing you when he had finished. You always excitedly told him every single one was a masterpiece, and Jungkook only rolled his eyes and made minimal effort at hiding the blush on his cheeks. Your steps falter when you come across a set of photographs in black and white, set in consecutive frames next to each other and it feels so warm despite the lack of color. Jungkook just had that special talent when it came to photography. 
It’s the bookstore. In the city during the impromptu train ride you had coerced him to take. Your heart catches in your throat as you recognize all the other ones immediately because well...you’ve been to all those spots. A familiar pressure builds in the back of your eyes, and you swallow down a whimper of pain. 
The urge to leave becomes too strong. But not strong enough to quell the slow burn of curiosity from Professor Sejin. There is a chance that you might not run into Jungkook at all tonight with the vast space and people bumbling through the corridors. It hurts to think that you might never see him again at all, but you’ll allow yourself another indulgence. Something is calling you. 
Moon. He titled it Moon? You grip onto your wrist reflexively and run your thumb over the mark, like you did when you were younger and still had hope for soulmates. The pulsepoint there beats under your finger and lets you know how alive you are. Compels you to give into your curiosity, even if it might decimate your already crumbling heart. The stairs that lead up to the second floor are short, but the trek feels like it knocks the wind out of you, or perhaps that was just the anticipation of what was waiting for you on the other side.
You were right to be scared. Because right in the smack dab center of the circular room is where you see it, and your gasp is one that can be heard from each wall and corner. 
A painting of you. A portrait from the waist up, with oil paint and so much detail, Jungkook has even managed to line the shallow wrinkles by your eyes when you smile. You have never considered yourself beautiful in any sense but the way he has captured you on canvas starts to make you believe that you truly are. You feel Jungkook in each streak of the brushstroke where he hadn’t spread the color evenly. It is as if the painting is alive, and though you are staring at yourself, it doesn’t feel like the way it does in the mirror. Doesn’t feel like a reflection. 
No, this feels like looking through Jungkook’s eyes. It is what he sees in you, rather than what you see in yourself. And what he sees is beautiful. Through the haze of shock and confusion as to why he chose this as the centerpiece, you don’t notice the warm presence that lurks behind you. The one that has watched your every move since you walked into this building. 
“Yeah, that’s my favorite one too.” 
You whip your head around so quick it nearly gives you whiplash, but the sight of him is the nail in the coffin. Jungkook is cleaned up in a black suit, and an unfamiliar smile on his lips he rarely lets you see. A genuine one that he’s tried to hide so many times but now that it’s clear and up close, you resent him for keeping it from you. 
Jungkook is just as gorgeous as the day you lost him. 
But looking at him hurts. You don’t know why you’re even here, and why he sent the invitation, or why he was standing in front of you now and there is not a sliver of antipathy in his eyes. You don’t know why your face is plastered in the center of the gallery. Most of all, you don’t know why you are still weak in the knees for Jeon Jungkook. 
“Although, I have to say, it was a close race between this one and the pictures I made you take at the lake, when you nearly dunked me in the river because it was so cold”, he breathily laughs but you aren’t able to get through the shock just yet. If Jungkook notices your starstruck state, he doesn’t let it affect him. 
“And I definitely have to give some credit to the one I painted after you told me about your dream”, Jungkook prattles on, “where you were a mermaid who planted peaches under the sea, remember? That’s an honorable mention.” 
These memories make you want to smile but in this moment, the best you can do is try to hold yourself together when your eyes begin to warm with tears. Jungkook stays silent when you do. He notices you haven’t said a word and your gaze refuses to meet his. 
“Why are you doing this, Jungkook?”, you curse yourself when your voice cracks. “Why are you telling me these things? Haven’t you hurt me enough?” Jungkook’s smile drops off his face, and for once, you can see your own pain reflected in his eyes. 
He takes a deep breath, hands hanging limply at his side that itch to wrap themselves around yours. To feel your skin. Feel your mark. 
“I…”, he hesitates in his words, “I remember that day every night when I go to sleep, Y/N. Every time I shut my eyes, I just see your face when I told you I can’t love you, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt such aching before. Not even when she left me.” Jungkook’s voice is tinted with desperation but it just makes your walls rise higher. 
He’s lying to you. Your tongue wants to protest, but he continues. 
“I see you in everything”, Jungkook breathes out, like he is also admitting it to himself. 
“The paintbrushes I can never put down to the black coffee I force myself to drink nowadays because the ones I actually like, the ones with too much whipped cream and vanilla syrup, just reminds me of you.” His brows are knitted, and his feet vie to step closer to your quivering form. But you look like a caged animal about to bolt at any moment. 
“And when I’m reminded of you, I am reminded of…”, he gulps down the fear, “I’m reminded of how I am utterly in love with someone who deserves so much more than what I have put them through.”
The blood that runs through your veins drops to subzero temperatures, and you swear in the split millisecond that you have absorbed what he’s just said, your heart ceases its beating. The world stops turning, and the waves still for a brief moment. You can’t find any words just yet, but Jungkook can see straight through you and your stupefied expression. 
“Y-you’re lying to me, Jungkook. Stop lying.” 
“I’m not lying, please…” Jungkook knows he’s losing you by the second, but he’s promised you he would persist. He just wants you to listen. Wants you to feel how sorry he is, and how his soul screams to be next to your’s. 
“I can’t explain how it happened. Like it was an epiphany. Like someone has been screaming at me and I had been ignoring them, and that someone was my own heart.” Jungkook doesn’t stumble over his words once. He does not stutter because it is the plain white truth. 
“Stop, Jungkook.”
“It’s been knocking on the door of my chest and when I finally let it in, it just yells and shouts ‘oh my god, you’re in love’ and then I realized oh my god, i’m in love. In between painting you and convincing myself that soulmates meant nothing to me, I’ve completely and unquestionably fallen in love with you, Y/N.” 
Jungkook can’t decipher the look on your face. Something between the lines of disbelief and heartbreak, and it makes him want to split at the seams at the pain he’s put you through. How he’s convinced you you’re impossible to love. He vows to make it right again.
“Jungkook-”
“And you’re wrong, you know. You’re not hard to love. Hell, I was dead set on never loving again and you managed to make me so smitten, I can’t paint or draw a damn thing without including some aspect of you in it.” Jungkook steps back and gestures to all the canvases and photos that hang on the wall. 
“Take a look around, Y/N. It’s all you. Every piece.” Once he says it, you finally notice Every piece of art in this room can be traced to you, or a memory you two share. It’s so clear, you don’t know how you missed it before. You feel yourself in the art Jungkook has poured his soul into. Instead of making you feel elated, these words that you’ve been waiting your entire life to hear just ignites the sting. 
“Just stop. Please.” It is only a weak whisper through your lips, and he ignores it. 
“If you can’t forgive me, I get it Y/N. I can’t forgive myself either. But can you just know that you are enough. You are more than what I deserve. And I know you told me to be happy, but there is no way I can possibly do that without you.” 
When your gaze falls to the floor, you notice that his wrist is clean of any bracelets or watches. Come to think of it, this is one of the first times you are seeing it clear and in the flesh. Jungkook doesn’t tell you, but nowadays, he doesn’t allow anything to impede on the sight of the crescent moon.
When your guard is down and you are distracted, he finds the perfect time to finally reach forward and take your hand in his. His touch is gentle when it wraps around your wrist, tugging off the ribbon that circled it, and revealing the matching mark. Your pulse jumps under his fingers, and skips a beat when he runs a thumb over the moon. You are already melting with such simple contact, and you almost allow yourself to succumb. Almost.
It’s as if suddenly his skin was scalding, and you snatch your wrist from his grasp at lightning speed. The tears that have strayed down your face are wiped away as quickly as they came. The surprise on his face is missed by your eyes because before he can comprehend what is happening, you are bolting down the staircase and out the glass doors of the gallery. No, you cannot forgive him yet. What would you do if he hurt you again? You don’t think you would survive. 
You ignore the pain of seeing his art pieces as you run, now that you know you are the muse behind them all. The only noise is the sound of blood rushing in your ears, and you are oblivious to the racket of Jungkook’s shoes clapping against marble flooring as he chases after you, expertly dodging the other patrons and butlers holding trays of champagne. 
And Jungkook? Well, he is oblivious to the complete turmoil that runs through your every nerve. He only sees your back, and not the way you bite your lip painfully to keep the sobs from escaping. Not the way your pain is exhibited clear as day in the crease of your eyebrow and the wrinkle of your nose. 
The air outside is so cold it bites at your nostrils, but makes it easier to breathe. The wind calms the thundering heart in your chest.
He must be lying. There was no way he had a change of heart now, not when he was so rooted in his belief before. There is no virtual possibility, on any plane of existence, on any dimension where Jeon Jungkook has fallen in love with you. 
Right?
The hand that circles around your wrist tightly to keep you from getting any farther tells you that you are wrong. He did come after you. Jungkook’s strength forces you to stop running, but you can’t find the courage to turn around and face him just yet. But you don’t make an effort to pull away, and he takes it as progress.
“You can run if you want, Y/N. You can walk away from me and from us, but don’t doubt that I’ll always be chasing after you. For as long as it takes.” He is panting and speaking through heavy breaths, but you hear him. Loud and clear. 
“I won’t let you leave again. Not like last time.”
There is no malice. No coldness, and for the first time since you’ve met him, his words feel like warm honey instead of monotone ice. He is utterly distraught when you turn around slowly, hesitant like you’re afraid he will break your heart right then and there. 
His heart shatters at the wetness at your waterline, and the way you look up at him; completely vulnerable and scared. 
“Do you promise?” 
There is a lot of weight in your three-word question. It’s not as innocent as meets the eye, and Jungkook knows it. He feels it. When you ask him if he promises, it is an invitation back to you. You are offering him your heart, which he has already broken and bruised, and trusting him to be careful with it this time around. Jungkook already knows he loves you. And if you let him, he’ll spend the rest of his life making sure this promise remains unbroken. 
“I promise.” 
It’s a commitment. One he used to be terrified of making, but it seems so easy when it’s for you. 
And when you fly forward to wrap your arms around him, Jungkook feels like home. Like the stars twinkle a little brighter and the earth stops spinning for a mere second, just for the two of you. You feel him squeeze you closer, just as tightly, and Jungkook wants to kick himself for depriving you both of a simple thing called love. 
You are here, souls and now bodies intertwined, and Jungkook lets the pain of past hurt fall away. Pain is so miniscule when you are by his side. When you pull back, Jungkook frowns at your red-rimmed eyes, and the tears that still persist. He wipes it away oh so softly, as if you were delicate clay and he, a sculptor. 
“Please don’t cry anymore, princess, it breaks my heart. I’m so sorry.” It is the softest, most sugary tone you’ve ever heard out of him. But hearing affection from his lips makes you feel that perhaps all of this sorrow, this longing, has been worth it. He has been worth it. He always has. 
“I love you, Y/N.” Jungkook’s words are almost as beautiful as he is. 
His lips are familiar when you lean forward and kiss him. Yet they are different. This time, the hands on your waist hold you a bit more carefully, even closer if that were possible. You can feel his thudding heart as it beats against your own, learning to match rhythms with each other, and Jungkook cradles your face in his hand like you are the only artwork he has truly been proud of. 
And it’s true. All the canvases and paints and camera film seem wasted now. Nothing he ever makes will be quite as alluring as the art he holds in his arms in this moment. 
“I love you too, you goddamn idiot.”
You meant it all those months ago, and you mean it now. If Jeon Jungkook was the sun, you would gladly change your name to Icarus. If Jeon Jungkook was the moon, then you are the tides that he pushes and pulls. If Jeon Jungkook belonged to you, well...you don’t have to imagine that anymore. He is your’s, as you are his. 
Old habits die hard, but they are not immortal. They wax and wane, and remind you that in the cosmic vastness of things, you are only human. Humans whose hearts beat in tandem and souls made to complete the other. Humans with identical crescent moons, lost but now found.
Old habits die hard. But you have learned to fix those of a broken heart. 
6K notes · View notes
jinned · 10 months ago
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handsy | taehyung | m
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snippet: Then, looking into your eyes, he speaks firmly, “Before we begin, let’s establish some ground rules.”
pairing: kim taehyung x female reader
genre: smut, pwp
au: roommates, f2l
rating: explicit/18+
word count: 3.7k
warnings: there’s a deep conversation about feelings, love confessions. yuck (UNEDITED)
sexual warnings: masturbation (female receiving), mutual pining, begging, rule making, dirty talk, non penetrative sex, oral (female receiving), body worship, light foot worship, the entire thing is based off getting reader off, taehyung doesn’t get off  :(, taehyung is bossy, praise kink, taehyung calls reader babygirl, overstimulation, .001% of aftercare, moaning, hair pulling, marking, punishment kink?, dom/sub dynamics, orgasm...guilt?, daddy/baby kink (i’m so sorry)
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The frustration builds quicker than you wanted, the groans coming from your mouth grow louder each time you feel your body give up on itself. You’re too god damn horny, but your body is too tired to properly masturbate.
This is probably the fifth time now that you've attempted to get yourself off only to abandon ship seconds after. Your muscles ache and sleep calls to you. Despite this, every time you try to just sleep it off, the aching throb from your clit keeps you awake.
It takes everything in you to keep yourself from throwing a tantrum like a toddler.
The clock now reads just after three in the morning, you let out one last angered breath. It comes out louder than you intended, the grunt raising in pitch before you can even stop yourself.
Moments later, your sleep-drunk roommate opens your door, rubbing his eyes with one fist as he holds himself up with the other hand gripping the doorway.
“Are you okay or whatever?” Taehyung sighs, slight annoyance laced in his tone.
Your eyes are wide with embarrassment as Taehyung’s sleepy eyes jolt awake with alertness as he finally sees you.
You’re laying on top of your comforter completely naked with one hand still draped across your womanhood.
Taehyung shifts his body against the door frame, the moonlight now flickering down his face. The shadows of your air-guided drapes chase that light, new depths illuminating across his nose and cheekbones. You’re not sure why your brain is trying so hard to think of metaphors and similes, anything to compare Taehyung to. It would be too easy to blame it on the lack of sleep. Then again, you’ve never truly looked at him this way before and it’s killing you that you can’t read the expression on his face.
In this moment, you realize you have neither fight nor flight instincts as you lay frozen in your bed, nothing willing you to cover yourself up.
Taehyung’s tongue pokes out of his mouth, moving slowly against his bottom lip as his eyes flick frantically from your body to the wall across the room. Raising a hand to cover his mouth, he clears his throat and brushes his thumb against his bottom lip to wipe away the remnants from his tongue.
Clearing his throat once more, his shoulder relaxes against the doorframe, his eyes continue to debate where to look. “Wha-whatcha doing there?” He immediately turns away from you after speaking, facing the wall as he aggressively rubs at the nape of his neck.
“Oh...you know...just trying to sleep.”
There’s a brief silence- minus the light flapping of your curtains. That and the mental beating you’re giving yourself for trying to joke about the situation at hand. There is no hiding it. You’ve been caught red-handed.
“Y/n,” Taehyung warns.
Shutting your eyes tightly, your brain moves at hyper-speed trying to figure out what to do or say next. A million scenarios flood in and all you want is to pick the option that lets you keep your roommate and not have to live with exploding embarrassment for the rest of your life.
You’re about to open your mouth and just say the first thing that comes to mind, perhaps brutal honesty will help you out in the end when Taehyung beats you to the punch.
“Do you...do you need help?”
It takes you a moment to register what he’s said. You’re finally able to move your hand away from your cunt and you slowly sit up and lay your back against your headboard, grabbing one of your pillows and hugging it tightly to your chest.
“I guess talking about it might help. Have you ever just been so horny and tired at the same time but you’re unable to do either of those things? I’ve been struggling for hours now trying to sleep but I can’t sleep because...you know, and then when I try to do that I’m just too tired to actually do it right and-”
“No, I mean-” Taehyung cuts himself off with a sigh, quickly followed by a slow intake of air, puffing his cheeks out as he releases it and walks towards your bed. Determination and bravery are written all over his face, despite the fact that he’s still trying to respectively not look at you.
“I can help you.”
A few more moments pass before you finally understand what he’s trying to say.
“Oh...OH!” You can’t help but gasp as it finally clicks in your head exactly what he’s offering to you.
“Wouldn’t that,” you gulp, your face feeling painfully warm, “wouldn’t that make things weird? Between us?”
Taehyung’s jaw is tight, his muscles jutting forward as he looks towards your bedroom door. “It doesn’t have to be weird...if you don’t want them to be. I mean, I can honestly say I haven’t ever...you know, not thought of you in this way before.” He lets out another long puff of air, hand grasping at the back of his neck as he tries to massage the tension away.
You feel embarrassed and flattered all at once. Your roommate of three years, best friend of over ten years, has admitted to thinking of you in a sexual way.
Taehyung lets you think for a moment. But it only allows you more time to realize that you can’t feign innocence here either. There was that major crush you had on him in high school or the time you walked in on him in the shower. There’s definitely been a handful of times where he’s crept into your thoughts while you were with someone else or even times when you were alone.
There are a million things that could go wrong if you accept his offer.
Or, a million things that could go right.
“Okay,” you say bravely, “please help me.”
Turning his head slowly, Taehyung finally looks at you, his eyes roaming every inch of your body slowly. He inhales, his jaw clenching once more as his gaze falls upon your uncovered chest.
Then, looking into your eyes, he speaks firmly, “Before we begin, let’s establish some ground rules.”
Gulping slowly, you nod your head, trying not to think about the lack of friction going on below.
"Rule number one," Taehyung starts with a smile, "you will not touch me." 
"What?-"
"Nuh, uh." He interrupts you, finally taking a seat at the end of your bed. Without looking, he picks up your bare feet and places them in his lap, his hands roaming over your calves and down to your toes. The touch of his skin on yours alone is sending the signals in your body into overdrive. That mixed with the tiredness you're feeling, it's making it nearly impossible to think straight.
"I've been thinking about a night like this for a while. Respectfully, of course," he adds quickly. "I never wanted to do anything to ruin what we have. But damn, I really can't deny it. I've thought about making you cum over and over and over again so many times it was like a movie in my mind." Taehyung continues to stroke your feet and legs sensually as he speaks. It takes everything in your power not to pounce on him.
Instead, you bite your bottom lip and close your eyes, letting the deep grumble of Taehyung's voice soothe your body along with all the places he's trailing his fingers on.
“Anyways,” he says with a quirk of his eyebrow, “back to our rules.”
His domineering tone sends chills throughout your body and you try your best to ignore the white noise ringing in your ears. 
“Rule number two: you will not call me by my name.”
The urge to question him again is strong, but his stare makes you shut your mouth tightly.
He knows the question is hanging off the tip of your tongue, you know that he knows. Instead of throwing you a bone, he sits there smirking at you, sitting on his high horse while also looking like he knows the punchline to the joke you’ve been waiting to get.
Finally, he beckons you closer, his pointer finger slowly enticing you in. As soon as you’re close enough to see the dark flecks in his eyes, he leans in himself until his lips are hovering just over your ear.
“Baby gets to call me Daddy, and Daddy only.”
Admittedly, your first instinct is to laugh, the sheer shock of his words not fully settling in. But then, after a moment, you can tell just how much his words affected your body; your legs feel shakier, the core of your womanhood pulsates quicker, and you start to feel the dripping of your arousal moving down your thighs.
It only makes sense that your childhood friend, the love of your life, would also turn out to be the kinkiest person you’ve ever met.
It only makes sense.
“Okay...Daddy.”
The smugness on Taehyung’s face only increases.
“Good girl.”
“Are there any other rules...Daddy?” The word still feels odd coming out of your mouth. But it’s all worth it when you notice the growing tent in Taehyung’s sweatpants
Taehyung gets off the bed and walks closer to you, his hands behind his back. He appears so nonchalant and unbothered, almost like he’s ignoring the fact that he’s sporting the hardest erection he’s ever had in his life. 
It makes you nervous in the best of ways.
Removing one hand from behind his back, he places it on one of your knees, caressing your flesh gently before opening your legs, spreading them wide to expose your dripping cunt. He nods his head with approval, biting his bottom lip hard as his eyes sweep over your entire naked body.
It feels like the room’s temperature went up another ten degrees.
Taehyung dips his hand lower, hovering over your cunt. Each time it looks like he’s about to touch you, your vagina pulses with anticipation, only for Taehyung to deceivingly pull away at the last second.
“Please, Daddy! Please touch me! I just want to cum, I’ll do anything!”
With a slight chuckle, Taehyung humors you and dips one of his fingers down, lightly petting the tops of your folds.
The small touch makes you shiver, the small amount of juices he accumulates on his fingers captures the now cold air in the room. 
“Only because you asked so nicely.” And with that said, Taehyung's fingers glide over your folds, soaking in your slick juices. Your head falls back against your pillow and you wish you could sink in deeper; into the bed, the pillow, into him. He's murmuring something in your ears, but your mind is too focused on what's happening to your body, there's not enough mental capacity in there to comprehend words at the moment. The urge to reach out to him and feel his skin against the palm of your hand spurs deep in your chest, but not strong enough to act upon. Instead, you let your eyes flutter shut, sighing blissfully as he continues to massage and soothe your bud.
Taehyung continues a slow, sensual pace, one that you could arguably fall asleep to. It feels like every stress cell in your body slowly floats away with every stroke of his fingers.
"Just like that? Hmm?" You hear him say.
"Huh?" You manage out, your voice sounding weak and far away.
"I just didn't think you would react to me that quickly."
You open your eyes and look at him. Taehyung is propped up on one elbow, his hand cradling his jawline. His other hand continues to make brushstroke movements in between your folds. He looks at your vagina with wonder, and like he has something more to say.
But you're too tired and enjoying him too much to ask.
Moments later, Taehyung is picking up speed, beckoning your uncoming.
You don't feel ready to give up the warmth you feel with his touch, not ready to reach the top and climb back down.
Grasping onto Taehyung's shoulder, your fingernails dig into him as you bite down on your bottom lip, fighting desperately at the orgasm crashing down on you.
"There you go, baby. That's it. Come undone on my fingers." Taehyung's sweet demeanor is long gone as he watches you with sinful eyes.
A small moan leaves your lips as you let go; your legs shake vigorously underneath Taehyung's grasp and you feel the painful twist of a muscle spasm deep in your hamstrings.
Short gasps are all you can manage in response, your mind feeling more awake than before.
And in that brief pause between ministrations, your mind increases its speed tenfold.
This is your best friend you're laying in front of. The same guy you used to collect bugs with when you were younger, the same guy you were embarrassed in front of when he found out you started wearing a training bra.
And you just came in front of him.
"I'm so sorry, Taehyung!" you cry out, sitting up quickly and burying your face in your hands as you fight back hot tears from falling down your cheeks. "We can forget this ever happened!"
Taehyung is quiet behind you as you imagine yourself shrinking into a spec of nothing.
Then, tenderly, his hand is on top of yours, coaxing it away from your face. And you let him do it.
Taehyung holds your hands in his, rubbing his thumb across your knuckles before whispering, "Did I do something wrong?"
Immediately you want to scream no, but your words catch in your throat. His bottom lip is jutting out slightly and he's avoiding your eyes. And then you remember that you know him, you know him more than anyone, hell, sometimes you know him more than you know yourself. And right now, this Taehyung in front of you is just as embarrassed and emotional as you are.
"No," you say bravely, "I don't regret it at all. I'm sorry, I just-" you sigh and lean back, struggling to find the right words to say while fighting against your own embarrassment, "-I just never thought we would get to this point. And to hear you say all those things you were saying? I just don't understand. Why didn't you ever tell me? Why me to begin with?" That's when you realize where all of this insecurity is coming from. Taehyung has been with gorgeous people in the past, gorgeous, successful people. And the thought of him liking you? It must feel like a step down for him.
"It's always been you, Y/n. Ever since we first met. How could I ever for a second not want to be with you? You're my best friend, the person I go to for comfort. And because of that, I was always afraid to tell you about my feelings. Because just being in your life as your friend and your roommate, that was more than enough for me. And this doesn't have to go anywhere if you don't want it to be. I want it to go somewhere. Hell, Y/n I want to be with you. But if you don't want to be with me like that? I'll be okay."
His words swirl around your body, not quite processing into complacent thoughts. There are about a million different emotions coursing through your veins, and each one is battling to come to surface. 
It feels selfish, the position he’s put you in. Because now, it’s all on you. Your choice will determine how your relationship with Taehyung changes forever. And, let’s be real, no matter what happens after this moment, things will never be the same. The weight of that realization is pushing you down into the mattress you sit on.
On the other hand, there’s excitement, joy, happiness, relief all bundled into one giant heart floating around you. Your best friend, the person you’ve been in love with for over a century now, feels the same way you do.
Taehyung waits in front of you patiently while you figure out exactly what to say.
You’re too tired for words, too tired for thoughts, too tired for almost everything it seems. 
Well, everything, except…
You lean forward slowly, placing your weight on your hands as you close the space between you and Taehyung and place a tender kiss on his lips.
Taehyung sighs and closes his eyes, completely melting into your touch.
How could you not do the same?
All of the tiredness, all of the frustrations from before Taehyung entered your bedroom, it was all worth it to get to this moment. And you’d go through it every night for the rest of your life if it meant you got to kiss him just like this.
The kiss deepens quickly, your mouths moving with an intensity you’ve never experienced before. Without thinking, you let your body take full control, not second-guessing any natural movement. So you let your hand find its way to the nape of Taehyung’s hair, delicately pulling at the ends until his neck is forced back and a moan ripples through his throat. It was so unexpected and out of character, but you liked having this control.
It doesn’t last long. Taehyung quickly comes to his senses and knocks you onto your back, pushing you with one hand on your chest. He chuckles low and menacingly, his eyes staring deep into yours.
“What did we say about touching?” His voice is so low you swear you can feel it rumbling in your chest.
Taehyung doesn’t allow you enough time to answer. Before you can even open your mouth, his tongue is attached to your lips.
But not the lips on your face.
Your eyes immediately roll back as his tongue writes beautiful nothingness against your cunt and you desperately want to reach out and grip his hair again. By some sheer force of will, you’re able to restrain yourself and settle for gripping the sheets instead.
The tongue movements start slow, but it seems you’re not the only impatient one here. Taehyung picks up speed as he laps up your juices, his hand snaking up to insert a few digits inside you. His other hand is gripping one of your hips, his entire forearm pressing against your pelvic bone, holding you into place. His grip on you only seems to make your body want to shake more.
“You that close already, baby?” Taehyung lifts his head up for a moment, your juices glistening on his cheekbones and the tip of his nose. It seems like a sight you would only have in your dreams. It’s hard to believe this is happening in real life.
“Answer me,” he commands, but there’s a tinge of softness behind his words.
“I can’t help it.” You pant out, “Been building up all these years now. I could have came just by you touching my shoulder.”
Taehyung chuckles at this, slowly pumping his fingers in and out of you.
“You can cum whenever you want, baby. Daddy’s not going to stop you,” he says casually.
Almost...too casually.
But you don’t think twice, you’re too tired to think twice. Quiet moans slip past your lips and Taehyung takes that as his cue. His fingers move faster, scissoring inside your body as his thumb swipes against your clit.
It’s almost too easy to come undone.
White hot heat spreads throughout your body as everything around you starts to shake. Taehyung is watching you with careful eyes as you orgasm the fastest you’ve ever orgasmed in your life.
Your breathing only gets heavier as you come back from your high. But then, a blissful pain makes your thigh muscles jolt, a new wave of uncontainable cries escape you.
“Daddy said he wouldn’t stop you if you wanted to cum,” Taehyung devilishly proclaims, his fingers moving faster than ever, “but that didn’t mean Daddy was going to stop.”
Your eyes shut tight as you pull at the sheets gripped tightly in your hands, too afraid to speak because of the moans you’re currently swallowing back. Small whimpers make it out as you desperately try to focus on anything other than the torture you’re going through.
“Aw, don’t be like that, baby,” Taehyung coes, focusing almost all of his attention on your clit now. “Let it all out. Daddy wants to hear your pretty voice.”
There are no logical thoughts left in your brain. All you know is that you’re desperately exhausted and it’s taking too much of your energy to fight against the natural cries your body wants to release as this overstimulation continues.
So, you let go.
“Fuck! Daddy that feels so good! I’m gonna come again- I’m gonna- I’m gonna-”
A small scream is all you can manage as the pressure in your core finally releases. You thought your previous orgasm was intense? Nothing will ever be able to top this one.
“Damn that was fucking sexy.” Taehyung stands and wipes his face with the back of his hand. Your legs are still trembling and it feels like every muscle in your body is frozen in place. Warm liquid coats your inner thighs and drips down onto your sheets.
“Did I just…?” You ask with shock. Taehyung laughs and nods his head, walking towards your door.
“Hell yeah you did. Have you ever squirted before?”
“Only once. But it never felt as good as that did,” you whisper, but Taehyung is already out of the room. Your eyes flutter shut, sleep threatening to take over.
Taehyung returns with a towel, throwing it so it lands right beside you.
“Goodnight, babygirl,” he whispers, leaning in to kiss your forehead.
“Wait!” You call out just as he reaches the doorway. “What about you?” You point at his very obvious erection.
Taehyung waves you off casually, “We’ll have plenty more nights in the future. But for now, sleep. Don’t worry about me.” He winks. “I can take care of myself just fine. Get some sleep. Goodnight, Y/n.”
Before Taehyung even closes the door, your eyes are shut, sleep finally welcoming you into its arms.
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let me know what you think! :)
𝓂𝒶𝓈𝓉𝑒𝓇𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉
© all rights reserved. do not copy, modify, translate, or repost. Jinned 03/082/21
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movedbl0g · 4 months ago
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jungkook as boyfriend
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a/n: happy (late) birthday jungkook !!
drabble; gender neutral reader
❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀
when he‘s crushing on you:
SUPER giggly all time
would get super shy and blushy when you accidentally touch hands
also would show you new restaurants and cafes where he would also pay for your food/drinks
confessing:
i feel like he’s a real romantic there
like i can see him sitting at a campfire with his guitar and confessing through a song we wrote for you
his heart would beat so fast while singing, scared that you don’t feel the same way
is more than happy when you tell him that you feel the same way
oh and he would be so shy ang giggly all the time
dates:
like i said before he would take you to many restaurants and cafes
i can also see him setting up a picnic at the beach or at a place where you can see the skyline of the city
SUNSET DATES
he would be a real gentleman all the time and bring you small presents or flowers all the time
affection:
he would be kinda shy at first and would get all blushy and scrunch his nose at the smallest touch
he would love to give you back hugs, wrapping his arms around you and holding you close would be everything to him
but would also love to get backhugs from you
i feel like he’s more of a big spoon guy bc he just loves to have you pressed against his chest, but i also think he would enjoy being the little spoon from time to time
loves to comb through your hair when you sleep/lay on his lap
pda:
i think he wouldn’t show too much affection in public
but he‘d definitely hold hands to hold you close all the time
more discreet kind of affection like putting his hands on your sides, laying his head on your shoulders
might get a little more comfortable around friends but still wouldn’t be too touchy
kisses:
would always give you small kisses here and there, on your forehead,on your cheeks, on your shoulders, EVERYWHERE
for longer,more intensive kisses i think he would start of slow, really enjoying the moment
would then slowly get faster,biting your bottom lip to ask you for consent to deepen the kiss and would start working with his tongue
even when the kisses get more heated, he wouldn’t be to messy about it,but would still but all of his passion into the kiss
🖤masterlist
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honeytae · 4 months ago
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I get to snuggle with the birthday boy in his big boy bed.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUNGKOOK!!!! we absolutely adore you baby boy :( this is a really soft self serving piece because who doesn’t want to sleep in jungkooks childhood bedroom? right? like, my heart would burst out of complete fondness for him. i hope you all like this, i’m sorry for making jungkook’s parents only appear for like three split seconds LMAO
tags: @ahgasearmyfan, @hoseokayy, @the1921-monsters
With Jungkook’s loosened schedule, you were able to get to his parents home for the better half of the week, the man practically giddy at the thought of you finally coming home with him. You had met his parents several times before, yes, but you were yet to stay in their home. Jungkook’s childhood home.
The drive outside of Seoul was filled with Jungkook’s playlist and your familiar bickering patterns, his tattooed hand holding your own over the gear stick as he bobbed his head to the beat resounding throughout the car.
“Has anyone ever told you your voice is superb?”
“Has anyone ever told you your face is superb?”
His excited parents had come out to welcome you as soon as you pulled in, causing both of you to smile fondly as you opened your car doors, immediately greeted with a hug from one of his parents.
As it was your first time seeing the exterior of Jungkook’s home without the tainted marks in an old image, you took a moment to observe the details, grinning at the home and all the memories your boyfriend had surrounding it.
It was a quaint little house nestled between two others, pale in color yet bustling with flowers in the garden out front.
“Aw, this house is adorable.” You had cooed as you walked up the driveway, hugging his arm closer to you as he simply chuckled, his mother acknowledging you with a sweet smile of her own.
“Make yourself at home, dear.” She’d said, gesturing you into the doorway with a sparkling glint in her eye, his father chuckling as he raised your bag up in his hand.
“I’ll go drop this off in Jungkook’s room for you. We’d have you stay in the guest room, but it’s under renovation right now.” He said, his mother echoing his apology with a shake of her head as she sighed about a recent flood.
“That’s perfect. Thank you.” You smiled at them, Jungkook squeezing your shoulder before setting off for the kitchen, coming back with two glasses of water for you both to sip at.
The room was unequivocally him, from the countless Iron Man action figures to the various sketches lining the walls, obviously pinned up himself with little thumbtacks.
Over the course of the wall, the thumbtacks climbed higher and higher, indicating his growing height over time and increasing skill along with it.
“Literally nothing has changed in here since I left for Seoul.” He shyly giggled at the state of the room from behind you, making you turn back toward him with a fond smile as you reached up to squeeze his cheeks.
“It’s precious, I love it.” You eased him, the man melting into your touch with a giddy smile, turning his cheek to pucker his lips against the palm of your hand.
The room very much was the state of a fifteen year old boys room, but it was so him. Obviously the whole day to day of his life had turned upside down from what it was when he last lived in this room, this house, but Jungkook was still that fifteen-year-old boy at his core. You adored him even more for it.
“Baby.” He called for your attention, your eyes flitting to him in a widened glance.
“Nothing has changed in here.” He reiterated, chuckling slightly at your confused hum. Placing his hand on your lower back, he guided you to face the opposite side of the room, directly pointing to his twin-size bed.
Giggling a bit at the adolescent sheet pattern, you turned back to him with a beaming smile, knocking his shoulder with your forehead.
“We’ll figure it out.”
Figuring it out, as you had so simply put it, was a lot easier said than done.
Shifting your leg over a bit to escape the edge of the bed, you froze at the sound of Jungkook’s pained groan, bracing yourself against his shoulders as you moved your knee away from his crotch.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You okay?” You soothed against his neck, raising your eyebrows as you awaited an answer from the injured man.
The lack of light within the room, merely a sliver creeping in through the blinds, left you clueless to his gentle smile and overall relaxation of his face from moments prior, the feeling of his hand soothing up and down your arm easing you slightly.
“‘S fine, love.” He verbally confirmed, brushing his lips against your chin before shifting up on his pillow a few inches, now evenly level with your mouth to press all the kisses he wanted on your bottom lip.
You hummed as he pulled it into his mouth to gently suckle on, nibbling at it slightly before pulling away with a deep sigh.
“Under different circumstances, I’d have you kiss it better.”
With a scoff at his crudeness, you attempted to roll over to face away from the man, and having forgotten you were in a bed meant for a small child, quickly began your descent to the floor with a fold of your arm beneath you.
“Babe!” Jungkook reached out to catch your bicep with a strong hand latched around the muscle, rolled over himself from trying to chase you on your fall from his oh so convenient twin bed.
A soft ‘thud’ resounded through the room as your knee hit the floor, your leg bending out of reflex to catch your short-lived fall from his mattress. Jungkook, stunned above you, looked at you with scrunched brows, his piercing glinting in the moonlight streaming in from the crack in the blinds as he bit down on his bottom lip.
He couldn’t stifle the laugh born out of whatever the fuck had just happened, little giggles growing louder yet more isolated as he tried his best to muffle them into his sheets, you not faring much better splayed out on the floor below.
“Kook, this is all your fault.” You whined from the ground, trying your best to hold in your own laugh as he reached down to you, sliding his hands beneath your arms to lift you back up onto the bed beside him.
“Why is it my fault, hm?” He asked slyly, letting his hands glide down your torso to land on your hips, leaving them there as you rolled your eyes again at the man.
“Maybe because you’re making crude dick jokes in your parents house.” You said, Jungkook humming in thought before a shrug from his shoulders shifted the mattress.
“Wouldn’t that be more of a blowjob joke?” He wondered aloud, ”I mean, let’s be politically correct here.”
“Politically- Jungkook!” You exclaimed, appalled at his bluntness with his parents only rooms away and most likely within earshot of every word that came out of his mouth.
Your boyfriends giggles were all you got in response, making you smile despite your initial annoyance. His hand slid over the back of yours to grip your fingers, pulling gently to coax you closer to him in his laid down position.
“C’mere, sweet pea.” He murmured, tone softened from only moments before, the pet name making your heart thrum a bit more in your chest.
With a careful lowering of your body to the mattress, you snuggled up to him once again, this time successfully getting into a front facing spooning position with no injury on either end.
He smelled warm, like cotton and that fabric softener that he loved along with the wood tones of the cologne he’d bought himself a few months back.
His skin felt like velvet as you stroked your fingers up and down his inked arm, the dark designs a stark contrast to the way his soft flesh leaned into your touch.
“Lucky me.” You smiled blissfully, stroking the man’s hair back behind his ear to admire his features easier.
“Lucky you?” He repeated, confusion laced in his tone as he raised his pierced eyebrow at you.
“I’m the luckiest of all,” you paused for dramatics, “because I get to snuggle with the birthday boy in his big boy bed.” You cracked a smirk, snorting when his face dropped at your words.
“Shut up.” He laughed, pressing a tender kiss to the top of your head with a sigh.
“I love you, Kookie.”
“Hm, love you too, honey.”
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