Double Down - allatonceitsnotenough - 방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys (2024)

Double Down - allatonceitsnotenough - 방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys (1)


It's around 4pm every day that Jimin's oversized glasses start slinking down his nose so often, he has to keep taking them off to wipe the bridge using the bottom of his t-shirt before he settles them back on his face.

It's annoying of course but it's also a necessary evil, especially when his eyes are so tired. He's been staring at his laptop for hours now and his eyelids have started to protest, twitching angrily at the lack of moisture, his retinas burning bitterly. This is why he can't wear his contacts regularly. If he had them in now, the itching would be completely unbearable and downright painful as opposed to the mild irritation it is now.

Plucking his glasses off to set them on the table and closing his eyes for a moment, Jimin listens to the bustling café around him and pretends for a long glorious moment he doesn't have a fifteen page paper due on weather patterns in less than two days. He'd signed up for this course to fill an elective at the beginning of the semester and has regretted it every single goddamn day since considering it's had more assignments due than any of his required classes for his actual major in Applied Mathematics. He thought it would be an interesting topic that would also serve its purpose.

But it's just turned into a boring chore. A very sad, very dull, very unending chore.

Even closed, his eye twitches again and Jimin sighs before scrubbing a hand down his face, flickering his eyelids open in hopes that something major has changed in the thirty seconds he's avoided the world.

Somehow, his word document is still open with his paper still unfinished and Jimin still hates everything.

His phone buzzes beside his laptop and Jimin glances down to see Jung Hoseok's name brightening his screen with a text message. Then another. And then another.

Snorting softly, Jimin grabs the device, unlocks it and then brings it up close to his face to read the messages because without his glasses on, he can't see sh*t.

His phone buzzes again and he rolls his eyes as he reads because Hoseok is nothing if not incredibly dramatic. Even over text.

if im not at the café in four minutes

its because im dead


or in jail

Ah, yes. The good ol' death or jail text that Jimin gets at least twice a week from his best friend. He carefully taps out a reply, his thumbs occasionally brushing his nose with how close his phone is to his eyes.

The slow bus driver again?


today might be the day, jiminie

today might be the f*cking day

That what, you'll attack the poor guy? Isn't he like 80?

that's not an excuse

ill still be awesome when im 80

ill be in my damn PRIME

I actually believe that

will you please please order me a very large, very hot coffee?

it's the only thing keeping me from becoming murdery

You got it hyung

Stay safe in your seat, I'll see you soon

no promises

Chuckling softly, Jimin sets his phone down and grabs his glasses again since he really can't navigate his way through the coffee shop without them and heads over to the ordering counter. Even at 4pm, the café is usually relatively busy with college students needing their caffeine fixwhile trying to get through the mountains of assignments they all seem to be buried under together, but Jimin manages to slip in just at the perfect lull of ordering customers.

The girl behind the counter has a very high ponytail bursting out of the top of her head like a fountain and she's chomping the piece of gum in her mouth like her teeth are a compactor at a wrecking yard trying to smash a car into smithereens as she says, "Hello. What can I get you," in the flattest tone she can manage.

Jimin resists an eyeroll and orders two coffees and two of the donuts sitting in the display window because they have pink sprinkles on them and Hoseok will whine about wanting one when he gets here anyway. He might as well get ahead of the game.

The girl takes his cash and lets him know his order will be ready at the other end of the counter. Again, with all the monotone and vocal-fry she can possibly muster, already looking over his shoulder for her next customer.

Jimin gets it. She clearly hates her job. She couldn't make that any more obvious if she tried.

It's like that with a lot of businesses around here considering most employ college students who are either too tired to try and pretend to have any kind of customer service skills or simply don't care enough to even attempt to. Jimin can't even really blame any of them.

He probably should be able to relate more considering he works part time as a tech in the student library but honestly? No one ever asks him anything. Most students know how to navigate the library computers themselves and locate books they need using the interactive screens that sit at the entrance so really, Jimin mostly just scans books in and out and does his homework. He isn't even required to reshelve returned books because, according to the graduate student who interviewed him for the gig, that's for the real librarian to do.

Which is fine by Jimin. It's the easiest job in the world and requires little to no customer service.

So to tell the truth, Jimin probably wouldn't have any more enthusiasm than this barista if he had to work here either. Coffee shops filled with stressed out college kids running on coffee and whatever else seems like it could be an unpleasant place to work.

He doesn't take her attitude too seriously and simply gathers his order once it's ready at the other end of the counter and makes his way back to his table. Which happens to coincide with Hoseok tumbling through the doorway, a burst of frigid air following in his wake as the little bell over the door dings, signaling his entrance. Jimin watches in amusem*nt as Hoseok glares around the café, where not a single head has looked up from their work or conversations, before his eyes catch Jimin's.

He doesn't even smile, instead stalking right over and dropping heavily into the chair across from Jimin, dumping his backpack onto the table so hard Jimin winces at what's probably his poor laptop landing on the hard wood.

Then Hobi reaches for his coffee straight away and takes a huge gulp, not even batting an eye at what must be scalding liquid trailing down his throat.

Jimin stares at him in awe. His hyung is always strangely impressive like that.

"Hello to you too," he says, attempting a smile but knowing full well it's coming out like a grimace.

Hoseok exhales like he's breathing out fire and shakes his head. It's then that he notices the donuts sitting between them on the table and his entire body seems to soften.

"Park Jimin, you are an actual angel sent from above."

Huffing a laugh, Jimin shrugs. "I thought maybe you'd need a pick-me-up after a rough day."

"I really,reallydid," Hobi beams, scooping up one of the treats and staring at it lovingly. "I have been late to every f*cking class I had today. I woke up late, my bike had a flat tire, all of my classes ran over and every single bus I managed to get on has been the slowest ride of my life. Seriously. The universe is against me." He raises the donut up in a mock solute to Jimin. "So thank you for this. I really needed it."

Jimin nods in sympathy. He's had similar days on campus too. College is just like that sometimes. It shoves you face first into the ground and then gives you a nice swift kick in the ass while you're down. Being in his third year now, Jimin knows that all too well.

Still, he has sympathy for his poor roommate.

"You could have just headed home after your last class," Jimin says gently. "I wouldn't have minded. I'm just trying to get through this damn paper for that weather course I'm taking. I could have met you back at the apartment."

Frowning, Hoseok leans forward to prop himself by his elbows on the table, a bit of pink frosting tucked into the corner of his mouth. "Absolutely not," he says seriously. "I have not once missed our roommate coffee time and I don't plan on starting now."

Rolling his eyes fondly, Jimin adjusted his glasses once more as they once again begin sliding down his face.

Jung Hoseok is Jimin's very best friend. He's a year older but in the same year as Jimin having waited to start school for a bit to work and save up and Jimin often thinks fate introduced them that first day of both of their first semesters at college in an Intro to Statistics class. Hobi's majoring in Economics but their coursework overlaps with Applied Mathematics so they ended up in more classes together and the rest is really history.

"Okay," Hobi says, blowing out a slow, calming breath and locking his gaze on Jimin. "Christ, I'm sorry for coming in here like a hurricane. Hello my adorable roommate. How are you? How is your day going?"

Snorting, Jimin smiles down at his keyboard. "It's fine. I'm trying to divide my time between studying for my numerical analysis test and this paper but I think I've determined there aren't enough hours in the day."

"Did you ask Yoongi-hyung?" Hoseok says around a mouthful of donut. "He took that weather sh*t two years ago, I bet he still has his notes from all of it."

"Oh, um," Jimin fidgets in his seat, staring down at his fingers twisting together. "I didn't, uh. It's okay, I can figure it out."

Jimin hates asking for help and inconveniencing anyone. He can just handle it himself, he doesn't need to bother one of his friends with his problems.

"Oh please, here I'll text him," Hoseok says pulling out his phone and letting his thumb fly over the screen as he finishes off his treat. "He'll love helping you, you know how he is."

"No, hyung don't," Jimin says, waving his hand out as if to stop Hobi's movements. "It's fine seriously, I can figure it out, I've mostly already-"

"Too late," Hoseok talks right over him, looking up with a pink-teethed grin. "Text has been sent, there is no going back now."

"Aish, hyung you didn't need to do that," Jimin says, shaking his head. "I could manage-"

"Okay he says you should stop by tonight," Hoseok reads off from his phone before laying it down on the table. "And I'm obviously coming too because I want to. See? Easy. And Seokjin will probably be home too because those two are never separated so really, this works out great for me."

This is the thing about being friends with Hobi. He's always looking to help Jimin out in any way he can. He'd folded Jimin into his blooming friendship group immediately in their first year, having already met Kim Seokjin and Min Yoongi, both of whom are engineers, in another class. The four of them managed to find housing in the same apartment complexthe following semester so they now live just a few doors apart. Both Seokjin and Yoongi are in their graduate courses now and Jimin is still grateful they chose to continue their studies at the same school so he can see them just as often as before.

Hoseok likes to joke that all the math nerds end up together one way or another and Jimin is completely fine with that. He might be a little geeky but he doesn't mind it with great friends like these.

Although Hobi is actually the coolest person Jimin has ever met so he's not sure who would ever misinterpret Hoseok as being a nerd but Jimin is just happy to be included in their little friend group anyway. All of his hyungs are truly wonderful to him.

"Thank you, Hobi-hyung," Jimin mutters, a bit embarrassed and a bit pleased all at once. He's thankful for the way Hobi loudly cares for him when he gets too in his head to ask for help himself.

"Anytime," Hoseok grins. "Oh also: we need to make plans for the football game on Friday night. I have a ton of vodka left over from last week but I know you have your yoga class Saturday morning so were you thinking more of a beer night might be better? I can tell you right now, Yoongi is going to complain about wanting wine so just know we can ignore him and drink whatever we want."

Giggling, Jimin shakes his head. "But if we drink beer, we won't get any famous vodka-Hobi sing-a-long moments to any song the band plays during the game. Even if he doesn't actually know the lyrics."

"Beer it is," Hoseok nods swiftly, grabbing his phone and burying his face in it as Jimin cackles.

"Come on, you're going to rob us all of a great concert?" Jimin laughs even harder when the tips of Hobi's ears go red. "That's a real shame, hyung."

"That wasonetime," Hoseok whines as he tosses his head back and groans to the ceiling. "As the baby of our group, you should be respecting your elders, not bringing up their humiliation."

"It can't be helped hyung, I'm sorry," Jimin grins, not sorry at all. Teasing Hoseok until he's in mock outrage is one of Jimin's favorite pastimes.

"Brat," Hoseok grumbles with a sigh. "Fine. But I'm still sticking with beer. I have a reputation to uphold here, I can't be vodka drunk every weekend and killing my vibe."

"That's true," Jimin nods sagely. "Heavy is the head that wears the nerd king crown."

Hobi perks up at that, grinning big. "You're goddamn right. Just don't let Seokjin hear you say that. I can't have another argument with him about who is the true ruler of our friend group."

Still laughing, Jimin reaches for his coffee and listens intently as Hoseok lays out their plans for the weekend in a few days.

"I heard a couple of the guys in my differential equations class mention it's going to be a crazy game since we're playing one of the rivals," Hoseok is saying as Jimin takes a swig of his drink. "So we should pregame early and head over to the stadium early to get good seats in the student section."

"That sounds great," Jimin nods, a thrill already racing up his spine at the thought of Friday night already.

It's his favorite night of the week after all.

It's cliché as f*ck as a gay college boy, he's so aware of it, but he can't even care because he just.

Helovesthe football games.

The games are so exciting. Andfun. And there might be just a little bit more to it than that but the point is that Jimin just really adores them and is very much looking forward to it.

So it's rather ironic that his stomach is already fluttering in anticipation when the door to the café swings open once more and in walks the subject of exactly why Jimin loves the football games so much.

It's almost comical the way a hush falls over the café, everyone turning in awe to see three members of their college football team saunter in with their broad shoulders and tall statures, all three so handsome it's almost difficult to look directly at them. The football team is honestly famous on campus, not only for their good looks but for their almost undefeated record having been the division champions the last two years and expected to win their third overall title this year.

Their university is small but mighty with a top notch athletics division and an exceptionally good football program that's ranked nationally. And while the team is definitely incredible, it's the three individuals that just walked into the café that are the biggest draw for the students.

And one in particular for Park Jimin.

There's Kim Namjoon, a beefy senior tight end with soft eyes and a smile that plants a dimple in either of his cheeks every time no matter how big or small he grins. He's a hot topic on campus with his reputation for being unbelievably kind and smart as whip, while being openly bisexual and majoring in English literature with a minor in poetry which does not jive at all with his hunky athletic physique. There's an entire subsection of the student body that shows up to home games specifically as Namjoon's fans; you can always spot them with their hipster hats and general dismay toward everyone else around them but when Namjoon comes on the field, it's like they've been put in a trance, eyes glued to their god.

Jimin likes to think of it as the Cult of Kim Namjoon. Privately. In his own head.

Then there's Kim Taehyung. He's a third year running back with some of the top speed in the league, his long legs carrying him down the field and his big hands catching the ball with all the grace of a ballerina which is seriously quite the sight to see. And he's stunning. Not just classically handsome but truly so striking with his fathomlessly deep gaze that always looks so severe with the way his hair is always falling in his eyes. Jimin's favorite fact about Taehyung is that he's a theatre major and he's actually brilliant on stage; Jimin had been to several of his performances in support of the Arts department and he can say for certain that the man can act.

And if that duo wasn't enough to really cause mayhem on campus over their hot players, the third member currently standing in between them, and the cause of all of Jimin's internal problems if he's completely honest with himself, is the team's quarterback:

Jeon Jeongguk.

Sweet Jesus, Jimin doesn't even know where to begin with Jeon Jeongguk.

Jeongguk is a sophom*ore and the single sexiest man Park Jimin has ever seen. His big bambi eyes and his wavy black hair have been haunting Jimin's dreams on a nightly basis for the entirety of the past year. And Jimin would be far more ashamed if he didn't know more than half of the student body was also quietly lusting after this man as well. Jimin is absolutely not alone.

Because frankly, Jeon Jeongguk is a hazard to society with how f*cking gorgeous he is. His big eyes are settled above his preciously round cheeks that sit on either side of his soft pink lips that are not only accented with a tiny little mole beneath his bottom one but also twin silver hoops that sit together at the corner of his mouth. His chiseled jawline shows off the rest of his piercings that line both of his earlobes and head up to top off twice at his cartilage on the left side.

And even when all of that hardware has to be removed for games, it does nothing to taint the appeal of this man because his body alone is another story. He's ripped in all the right places, his arms sculpted like they were chiseled from stone, his broad shoulders and lean torso tapering off to this perfectly curved waist that slinks into his pants like someone hand-made him just for Jimin to ogle.

One time at the end of a game, Jimin got a glimpse of Jeongguk taking off his jersey heading into the locker room and even under those clunky shoulder pads, Jimin still managed to sneak a peek of those washboard abs that literally look fake with how perfect they are, his golden skin damp with sweat that Jimin wouldn't have minded licking off-

Thepointis that Jeongguk is very,veryhot. Too hot. Unbearably f*cking hot.

And, obviously, he's the main reason Jimin has come to love football. Because not only is Jeongguk nice to look at, he's also a phenomenal player. Even a football novice can tell that by watching a single game. He's light on his feet with quick decision-making skills and an arm that can huck that ball right into a moving target like Taehyung's hands easily and it's truly a privilege to watch him play.

It also doesn't hurt that his throwing arm is covered in colorful tattoos. It doesn't hurt one bit.

So Park Jimin can be forgiven for going a little slack-jawed at the sight of the quarterback in such close proximity to him, even with his back to Jimin, decked out in his black letter jacket, the white leather of the sleeves hiding those gorgeous arms of his, the gold lettering of his last name stitched on the back along his shoulder blades. Jimin's eyes accidentally trail down to those fitted dark jeans curving nicely around Jeongguk's ass before he's looking away, feeling warm beneath the collar of his sweatshirt.

God, Jeongguk is fine. It's not even like this is the first time Jimin has seen him this close. Oh no, he's been a Jeon Jeongguk fan since the first football game he attended last year, practically going feral at the sight of the new quarterback (him and the rest of the stadium really). But it still feels like someone knocked him in the solar plexus every time he gets an up close and personal look at him. He's just so damn pretty. It's very difficult to not get worked up about it.

Jimin knows he's staring but he can't quite help it. Not until Jeongguk begins to turn around, that is.

And then Jimin is averting his gaze, his heart leaping into his throat as he turns back to his laptop quickly. Pushing a hand through his hair anxiously, Jimin only just realizes there are another set of eyes on him and he looks up into the gaze of a smirking Jung Hoseok.

"Subtle," his hyung says softly, teasingly as he flicks his gaze over to the football players heading up to the ordering counter and back. "Should we head home so you can make a giant 'I love you Jeongguk' poster for the game Friday?"

"Shut up," Jimin whines, glaring down at the tabletop and willing his cheeks not to burst into flames since he can feel the heat creeping into them at being caught out. It's nothing new, all of his friends are very aware of Jimin's giant crush on the quarterback but that doesn't make it less embarrassing to get caught out like this.

Still, he quietly glances over to where the three teammates are now standing at the counter. Jeongguk is in the center, looking up at the sandwich board hanging above all the coffee-making utensils, his brow gently furrowed in what appears to be concentration.

God, his jawline looks amazing at this angle. Jimin can't help swooning just a little at the view.

The barista, now much livelier than she'd been when Jimin was ordering, has since spat out her gum and is now twirling one of the long pieces of her ponytail around her finger as she smiles at Jeongguk in a way that feels like it should be described as calculatingly shy, even though coy is probably the right term. Her head tilts to one side as she asks him questions Jimin can't hear and then laughs big and loud when he replies.

And, well. This is very silly considering Jimin has said exactly zero words to Jeon Jeongguk in his entire time on earth but when the quarterback grins back at the barista all cute and charming, Jimin's gut clenches.

Which is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

There is no reason for him to be jealous. So what if he has a little crush on the guy? He's certainly not alone in that with most of the school being on the same page there, and really out of all the student body, Park Jimin isn't exactly a standout for the most famous face on campus. For one, Jeongguk doesn't even know his name.

For two, Jeon Jeongguk is straight.

And besides those two very glaring issues, there are also… rumors. Unsubstantiated as far as Jimin knows but that's not saying much since he doesn't exactly run in the right circles to actually know the facts around it. But they're definitely rampant considering Jeongguk is the most popular guy in school.

Because it seems that the quarterback might have the propensity for breaking hearts. He's known for being perfectly nice, not a hint of an ego on him as far as anyone ever says but he also seems to indulge in his fame, constantly being surrounded by good-looking people. Good-lookinggirls, specifically. He's been linked to several of the cheerleaders, even multiple cheerleaders at once on an occasion or two, and a few other beautiful women that have been spotted beside him. These relationships (or situationships? Jimin is not up to date on current lingo) never seem to last long, always leaving the girls completely heartbroken while still singing Jeongguk's praises from the rooftops because even as he's letting them down, he's unbearably sweet.

From what Jimin has heard, anyway.

Now, to be fair, Jimin's third-hand knowledge of any of this comes from one of his project partners who loves to relay all the gossip about the student body to Jimin any time they meet without prompting. Which is completely fine with Jimin considering he'd never be caught dead asking for details about Jeon Jeongguk or his love life to absolutely anyone on campus.

But there's also some supporting evidence of this on Instagram. Jeongguk is constantly tagged in photos, either by his username or the hashtag #QBJK and he is indeed constantly surrounded by pretty girls. Or his teammates but there do seem to be an awful lot of pictures of Jeongguk grinning into the camera with his scrunched up nose and adorable bunny teeth out and about with a gorgeous lady either curled into his side or pressed cheek to cheek with him.

Not that Jimin stalks him or anything. The photos are always all over his feed, he can't help that. And what is it that they say? A picture is worth a thousand words?

So. Jimin thinks he's relatively on the right track.



Not that this is something he'd ever say out loud.

But maybe, in the privacy of his own head and under the cover of darkness on lonely evenings in his room, maybe Park Jimin thinks he'd like to be one of Jeon Jeongguk's girls.

Just for a night.

Just to be one of those worthy enough to be next to Jeongguk for even a short amount of time. To get to experience him like that. Jimin thinks that would be really something.

Which is very silly. Besides the fact the Jeongguk is obviously very straight, he's also on a different level entirely than Jimin will ever be. And that's okay, it's not some horrible crushing thing Jimin can't get over. He's understood school hierarchies since he was eleven sitting in his math class with his classmates sneering at him for being a kiss-up with perfect grades and he learned quickly these things don't change with age.

But it doesn't mean Jimin can't daydream regularly about things being a little different, though. Not so different that Jimin can't recognize himself of course. He actually likes himself just fine, appreciates his big brain and his love of numbers and equations and interests in mathematics. He doesn't mind his thick glasses and he thinks at certain angles, he's pretty cute with his puffy lips and brown eyes with his dark fringe falling along his forehead. That's all fine by him.

But nerd-adorable and athlete-hot are obviously two very different things and Jimin isn't stupid enough to think otherwise.


Daydreaming it is.

"You know," Hoseok says, tearing Jimin's lingering stare away from the quarterback once more. "I heard if you stare too long at something, your vision will stay permanently on that thing and then you can never look at anything else in your whole life."

That… actually doesn't sound so bad to Jimin, save for the part of being caught staring which would obviously happen if that were true, but instead he rolls his eyes. "I don't think anyone's ever said that."

"Sure they have," Hobi shrugs like the truth is completely inconsequential to him. "I'm pretty sure I've heard it said."

"Yeah by you just now," Jimin chuckles, attempting to look back at his laptop to his homework again. "You can't just make stuff up and claim it as fact."

"Why not?" Hoseok pouts, yanking a notebook out of his bag. "Someone has to."

"No they really don't."

"You're no fun, Jiminie," Hoseok sighs dramatically before he's flipping through the pages of his binder and groaning lightly. "f*ck me, why do we already have so much work to do in every goddamn class? The semester just started."

Technically, the semester is about a month in now but Jimin isn't going to correct him. "Because our professors love to make us suffer."

"They really f*cking do," Hobi laments, hanging his head. "And people wonder why college kids drink so much."

Snorting, Jimin shakes his head and navigates to his student page to check on his assignments, hoping he can make a sustainable plan to get through everything-

"Hey Hoseok-ah."

A gentle voice settles between them and Jimin glances up to look at Hoseok in confusion.

But his hyung isn't looking at him.

No, his hyung's attention is turned to the looming presence standing just at the edge of their table and Jimin turns to find Kim Namjoon there, clutching his hands around the straps of his backpack wrapped around each of his shoulders, a kind grin on his face.

Jimin is so shocked, he doesn't move a single inch, cementing into his chair for life, staring in awe at the senior.

"Oh hey Namjoon-ah," Hoseok says back with all the forced nonchalance in the world. "How are you?"

"Good, I'm good," Namjoon beams, his eyes lighting up at Hobi's response. "And you? Have you gotten started on that paper for our Contemporary Lit class?"

"Ah, not yet," Hoseok says, shaking his head. "To be totally honest, I'm a little afraid to start it? I'm way out of my depth."

Namjoon chuckles softly. "If you need any help, you can always call me. You have my number right?"

Jimin manages to come out of his stupor to see his friend seem to freeze momentarily before sitting up a little bit in his seat, fidgeting. "Uh, yeah, yeah of course."

"Great," Namjoon nods, friendly as ever before his gaze sweeps over to Jimin, his eyes flaring wide for a second. "Oh hey, sorry for interrupting. I'm Namjoon."

Jimin manages to shake himself free of his initial surprise, giving kind of a half-assed wave with a flick of his hand. "Jimin."

Namjoon somehow manages to smile even wider. "The roommate!" he says delightedly, tossing a playful little grin in Hoseok's direction. "I've heard a lot about you. All good things, I promise."

He's ribbing clearly but Jimin is honestly just too dazed to participate much, managing a forced laugh out but not saying anything else, just staring up at this tree of a man.

The tight end doesn't seem fazed by Jimin one bit, his attention already back on Hobi who's ears have once again become the color of cherry tomatoes. "So, I was-"

"Joon-hyung!" another voice calls from across the café and Namjoon glances over his shoulder.

Jimin subtly peers around him as well to find two people standing just by the exit, one in a university hoodie and the other…

The other in his letter jacket.

The rush in Jimin's veins at the sight of Jeon Jeongguk looking right in his direction has Jimin's forehead breaking out in a light sweat. He's not even looking at Jimin, at least as far as Jimin can tell he isn't but still, to have the attention of those big beautiful eyes pointed toward him has Jimin's stomach flipping.

"Let's go, yeah?" Jeongguk says and Jimin squeezes his toes in his shoes with the way goosebumps break out on his skin at the sound of that voice. He doesn't get to hear it all that often, seeing as he doesn't actually speak to Jeongguk ever, so the sound is a nice one. A welcome one.

And then the quarterback grins.

And Jimin's heart stops dead in its tracks because seriously, Jeongguk's smile is a sight to behold.

"Oh sh*t, yeah uh hang on!" Namjoon calls back, turning back with an apologetic grimace. "Sorry. I'll catch up with you later, Hob-ah. It was nice to meet you Jimin-ssi."

"Sure," Hoseok says, offering a nod and wave, Jimin following suite before Namjoon whips around and heads toward the door.

And just as he reaches his friends, Jeongguk comes back into view.

And for a split second, his eyes flicker over Namjoon's shoulder and suddenly, unexpectedly lock with Jimin's.

It hardly lasts a fraction of a second but Jimin's pulse does not care one bit, beginning to race so quick he's sure everyone in the entire café can hear his blood rushing around in his veins.

And then the quarterback is gone along with his two friends, disappearing out the door like they were never there at all.

And Jimin lets himself catch his breath.

"Did you know hyung is friends with Kim Namjoon?!"

"Did you know that Jimin has a massive crush on Jeon Jeongguk?!"

Seokjin and Yoongi are perched on the couch in their shared apartment, both knee-deep in bowls of rice clutched in their hands, both startling at the sound of the door slamming against the wall as Jimin bursts inside, Hoseok hot on his heels.

Yoongi, pausing with his chopsticks halfway to his mouth manages to straightens first, shaking his auburn hair off of his forehead with a single jerk of his head and glancing to the ceiling thoughtfully.

"I knew about the crush," he says, his brows furrowing slightly. "I did not know about the Kim Namjoon friendship."

Seokjin glares at his two friends. "I just bit my tongue."

"Sorry," Jimin grimaces as he settles into one of the chairs sitting in the living area across from the couch, his backpack dropped haphazardly to the side. "But seriously. Jung Hoseok. Is friends. With Kim Namjoon."

Managing to recover with another bite of rice, Seokjin grins over at Hobi. "Oh really now? That's a new development."

"How do you even know him?" Yoongi asks, still partially watching whatever the tv is playing like he's only half-interested in the answer anyway. "Isn't he like crazy smart with all the book things?"

"The 'book things'," Jimin snickers, exchanging a shared fond glance with Seokjin. "No one would ever know you're supposed to be some brilliant engineer with sentences like that, hyung."

Shrugging, Yoongi doesn't seem too put out, continuing to eat his food quietly.

"I'm in a lecture with him," Hoseok mutters, opening the fridge and ducking down as if trying to avoid the rest of these questions. "It's satisfying one of my electives."

Seokjin frowns. "Isn't he a senior though? And like super advanced? There's no way you were able to get into a higher level lecture without pre-reqs."

"Ah," Hoseok says, standing back up with a beer in hand. "Right, yeah. Um. It's just an intro class to contemporary literature."

Now Jimin is also confused. "But that wouldn't be a class a senior is in-"

"He's not in the class," Hoseok cuts, avoiding everyone's gaze as he huffs. "He's, um. He's the TA."

"Hoooly sh*t," Seokjin says with an incredulous laugh. "As an undergrad?!"

"Damn, brains and looks," Jimin giggles, shooting Hobi a teasing look. "And he's offering up that brilliant mind of his to help you?"

"He offered to help you?" Seokjin asks with what can only be described as a sh*t-eating grin.

"He made sure Hobi had hisphone number," Jimin replies conspiratorially with raised, knowing brows.

Even Yoongi turns to their friend who is quietly nursing his beer and not responding to Jimin's comment or bothering to look at anyone for that matter.

"Hob-ah," Seokjin says slowly. "Do you care to tell the class why that bricksh*t house of a man is giving you his contact information?"

Hobi, for his part, keeps his gaze down, clutching his beer to his chest like a shield. "No," he mutters quietly to the tiled floor.

"Wait," Yoongi says, sitting up straight, interest piqued. "Wait, are you f*cking Kim Namjoon?"

At that, Hoseok whips his head up, eyes wide and horrified. "Jesus, what? No! Of course not!"

"But you want to be," Seokjin deduces succinctly like it's fact. "You're all sweet and nervous over there, you totally want to be his lover in the night time."

"And do it all night looong," Jimin tacks on, giving a little mischievous wiggle when his oldest hyung ticks him an approving finger gun.

"That's not true!" Hobi denies, shaking his head vigorously even as his cheeks go pink. "I don't!"

"Ah come on hyung," Jimin chuckles. "You can tell us. You wouldn't be the only one with a crush on one of the football players. You know I'm as guilty as anyone. So is Seokjin. Hell, even Yoongi's got eyes for a few of them and he's in a committed relationship."

"Don't drag me into this," Yoongi says around a mouthful of food as he sets his rice bowl onto the coffee table and then leans back against the couch to close his eyes with his arms crossed over his chest, effectively exiting the conversation while still being physically present.

Jimin only laughs harder. "Seriously, it's nothing to be ashamed of! The whole university has the hots for the players. It's not a big deal."

"Ooh, except itisa big deal," Seokjin coos, all knowing once again, reading Hobi like a book. "It's not just a little crush. You like him."

"Oh and hedefinitelylikes you back," Jimin decides to say because honestly, Namjoon's eyes did linger on Hobi for a little too long today at the café. Jimin is sure of it.

"Okay first of all," Hoseok says, finally seeming to find his voice after all the back and forth. "Namjoon is nice. He's helpful and very passionate about literature."

"Passionate," Seokjin whisper-mouths with a brow waggle to Jimin who has to stifle his giggles into the palm of his hand.

"And second of all," Hobi continues, louder now as if that will drown out Seokjin's teasing before he pauses for affect and then huffs out a breath. "I will not be addressing this further because you are all assholes. Thank you for your time."

"Boooo," Jimin calls even as Hoseok makes his way over to finally sit down with the rest of them, dropping heavily into the chair beside Jimin's. "We want more details on this torrid affair."

"Listen here you little gossip queen," Hobi glares at him. "Why don't you tell us all about your morning meet-up with Daejung? That boy that goes all heart-eyes the minute you look at him?"

Jimin's playful grin falls right off of his face and he falls back in his chair with a dramatic sigh. "My math labs partner? Hoseok, be serious."

"What! He's cute, right? And he clearly likes you."

"He does not," Jimin rolls his eyes.

Actually, he doesn't really mind Daejung. The guy is perfectly nice and seems to be good with the work they have to get done so Jimin doesn't feel one way or the other about him. And he highly doubts Daejung has any kind of feeling toward him either. That's what happens with lab partners; you meet up to get work done and then go your separate ways. Hobi managed to catch the last few minutes of one of their meetings at the café a week ago and has gone on to mention him at least four times since.

"But what if he does?" Seokjin joins in, raising his brows in question. "Maybe then you can get a little, Jiminie. It's been a minute for you, hasn't it?"

"Oh my god, we are not talking about this," Jimin yelps, slapping hands to his warming cheeks. "Seriously, can we go back to teasing Hobi-hyung?"

"Jimin-ah, listen," Seokjin says, crossing one leg over the other primly and resting his laced fingers on his knee. "Sometimes, you just need to get laid. There is no shame in it. In fact, I highly recommend it. You wouldn't believe the amount of dick I'm able to get as a grad student and I can't tell you enough what a stress reducer it is."

"No one wants to hear about your nasty one-night stands, hyung," Yoongi says where he's still sitting with his eyes closed.

"Now why must they be nasty?" Seokjin pouts. "They are satisfying an itch. You're all missing out, really."

Jimin has heard this from his hyung for the past three years but truthfully, he can't ever fully get behind the idea. And though he's indulged here and there, he's not a one night stand kind of guy. He never has been.

He may have exactly one exception to that rule but since that's a literal pipe dream, he doesn't even consider it.

Or any of this really. It's been a while since he's dated anyone but so what?

"He has a point," Hobi replies thoughtfully, tossing a glance at Jimin and smiling big and terrible. "So how about it? You up for giving Daejung the ride of his life?"

"Areyouup for shooting your shot with Namjoon?" Jimin tosses back.

"Seriously, how isthisguy the only one who has managed to lock down a serious boyfriend out of all of us?" Seokjin bursts, throwing a hand out in Yoongi's direction incredulously before looking up at the ceiling in a feauxepiphany. "Oh wait, never mind. This entire conversation just answered that question for me."

Jimin locks eyes with Hobi for a millisecond.

Then they both reach for nearby pillows and huck them at their oldest hyung in unison, delighting in his squawks of protest.

where are you?

I'm coming! I'm sorry! The guy taking over my shift at the library got there late so I had to wait.

I'll be there soon!

hurry up, i have a surprise for you

Jimin really,reallyhopes the surprise from Hoseok is a cupcake. He's been craving something sweet all afternoon and he knows how good the café's chocolate cupcakes are. It sounds boring but if you had one, you'd understand.

Grinning at his phone, Jimin picks up the pace as he makes his way across campus, a little skip in his step. He decides if the surprise isn't a cupcake, he'll make sure to get one himself. Or maybe one of those cream cheese pastries. It's getting colder now with autumn truly settling in and a nice warm treat is just exactly what Jimin needs.

So when he enters the café and looks around, he's confused when he doesn't immediately spot Hobi. All of the occupied tables have more than one person at them which seems strange because Hobi should be alone…

And then he sees them.

A fiercezingraces up his spine and spider-walks itself out to every single one of his veins, his blood suddenly pumping so hard he feels dizzy.

Because there, sitting at the table with his very best friend in the whole world is Kim Namjoon.

And sitting beside Kim Namjoon is the man that haunts all of Jimin's dreams.

Jeon Jeongguk.

Seriously, Jimin's heart cannot be beating this hard in his chest, this cannot be healthy but it's not like he can stop it. His body feels a terribly cold dread all over, the realization that he has to somehow walk up to that man like this is totally normal just can't be what he has to do. He can't justgo over there, can he? Absolutely not. He can't just walk up to that gorgeous quarterback and settle into the seat across from him like that's completely fine?

Maybe he can leave. Pretend he was never here. Maybe he never made it to the café at all. Maybe he can just quietly turn on his heel and-

"Jiminie! Hey over here!"


He's going to murder Jung Hoseok.

Jimin almost trips where he'd been trying to carefully turn himself back around, closing his eyes against the onslaught of absolute panic that tries to seize his system because there is clearly no getting out of this.

With a sigh of a man going off to the gallows, Jimin turns and heads over, ignoring the fact that now all three sets of eyes are on him and pretending like they aren't burning a hole through his skin.

"Jimin-ssi," Namjoon greets him with one of his famous double-dimpled grins like they've met more than the one time. "So nice to see you again."

"Hello," Jimin says softly, touching the rim of his glasses as though he needs to adjust them on his face, a nervous tick he's developed in this exact moment with how f*cking stressed he is. He resolutely doesnotlook at Jeongguk who is now far closer to him than he's ever been and Jimin is convinced this is what it must feel like to get too close to the sun.

He's also certain he'll be going up in flames at any moment the same as if he were near the actual sun.

"So glad you could make it," Hobi beams at him overly brightly. "Namjoon here is helping me with some literature homework so I thought I'd invite them to join us. How was work?"

"It was fine," Jimin mutters, trying to figure out how he's meant to talk when his tongue feels like it weighs nineteen pounds in his mouth.

"Yeah?" Hobi asks, pressing far harder than he ever does about Jimin's boring job at the library. "Check out a lot of books for struggling students, did you?"

Jimin is trying to figure out how to angle himself to give Hobi a nice swift kick in the shin without it looking like that's exactly what he's doing as he says, "Not really. It was quiet at the library today."

He busies himself with getting his laptop out of his bag and tries as best he can to ignore all three of his tablemates still staring at him like he's anything interesting-

"Ohthat'swhy you look familiar!" Jeon Jeongguk snaps his fingers as he bursts out from across from him so suddenly, Jimin only manages not to jump a foot in the air in fright. "I was trying to figure out where I knew you from!"

It's a bad move but Jimin doesn't really have the forethought to think it through as he looks up into those soft, ocean-deep eyes and catches a smile that knocks the breath from his lungs in an instant.

"Hi by the way," Jeongguk grins at him, tilting his head just slightly like a disarming puppy as his hair falls gently into his eyes and seriously, he has to know what he's doing to Jimin's heart, doesn't he? Why is he so goddamn cute? "I'm Jeongguk."

"Oh sh*t, sorry," Namjoon says, saving Jimin from having to answer that introduction like he can somehow be normal about that right now. "I meant to say. Yeah this is Jeonggukie here, one of my closest friends."

"One of youronlyfriends," Jeongguk ribs with raised eyebrows at his fellow teammate, laughing when Namjoon glares at him.

They both turn back to Jimin expectantly.

Jimin, who still hasn't come up with a better response than to just simply point a finger at himself and say, "Jimin," like some sort of ancient caveman only just now learning his own name.

Jesus Christ, Jeongguk needs to stop smiling at him. It's way too much.

"Nice to officially meet you," Jeongguk says, his eyes sparkling as they catch the light overhead. "I'll be sure to say hi next time I see you at the library."

Jimin is one thousand percent sure he's absolutely never seen Jeongguk in the library even once. It's not like something he'd miss if Jeon Jeongguk the local celebrity walked by his desk at work. If anything, Jimin should be the one snapping his fingers and hollering about recognizing the quarterback himself.

But he doesn't say any of that. Instead he offers up a single nod and close-mouthed smile because speaking is impossible and then opens his laptop and buries his face in the screen.

Which is a great out, especially as a college kid. More often than not, folks are gathering for the sole purpose of just suffering together in silence while they individually dig their way out from under their own workload. Jeongguk also has his computer open so Jimin settles in to his chair and tries his hardest to concentrate.

Namjoon and Hoseok go back to talking about… well, Jimin isn't totally sure but it sounds terribly uninteresting so he does his best to tune them out, instead navigating around his own screen to find something he can work on. He has plenty to do, it's just the sheer effort to keep focused when Jeon Jeongguk is right there that has him suffering.

He makes it about ten minutes. Ten terribly uncomfortable minutes of trying and failing to get it together and work like he always does when he's at the coffee shop with his best friend. It's not helping that while Namjoon is doing his best to be quiet and not disturb others around him, he's so close by it doesn't even matter and Jimin catches every infinitely boring word that leaves his mouth and it's starting to grate on Jimin's nerves. Which is kind of a shame because Namjoon does have a nice soothing voice but there is nothing worse than getting caught up in someone else's conversation when you're already having problems concentrating when Jeonf*ckingJeongguk is in such close proximity to you.

Seriously, Jimin is struggling.

Another five minutes goes by and he's starting to think maybe he can just. Leave? Maybe fake an excuse and go? He really isn't going to get much done and he's certainly not going to try to have a conversation with-

"f*ckinghell, okay," Jeongguk suddenly mutters, leaning back in his chair and lifting his arms in a half-stretch, clenching his fists near his ears before landing his palm on Namjoon's shoulder. "Hyung. Listen. I love you. But I can't take this anymore. I'm going to move tables."

He glances at Jimin with a half-smile. "You wanna come with? Save yourself from a slow boredom death?"

He's already standing and Jimin panics, glancing around to Namjoon and then Hobi, wishing someone would give his answer for him.

"Uh," Jimin says, stomach swooping when Jeongguk swings his backpack over his shoulder.

It's a bad move.

He knows it is.


He scolds himself for speaking without his brain's input.

"Sweet," Jeongguk says, offering Jimin a lopsided grin, lip ring glinting under the canned lighting and takes off toward the other side of the café where an empty two top table sits.

"You'll be missing out on some good stuff here," Namjoon calls playfully, chuckling when Jeongguk shakes his head. He turns to Jimin, his smile dimming slightly. "I apologize if we were being distracting. There's just a lot to go over."

"No no, that's okay," Jimin says quickly, hurrying to gather his things. "Sorry to, uh, ditch you guys."

"No worries," Hobi says from where he has his chin resting in his hand where his elbow is propped on the table, mischief twinkling in his gaze. "You go get some work done. I'll catch up with you when we finish here."

Jimin narrows his eyes at his friend who simply winks at him and then turns back to his literature TA like nothing has happened at all and Jimin makes a mental note to absolutely not let this go later.

But for now, he moves to follow Jeongguk.

"Already this is so much better," the quarterback sighs, pushing a hand through his wavy hair in relief as Jimin settles into the seat across from him. "I seriously thought my brain was going to melt listening to hyung drone on and on about metaphors."

Chuckling softly, Jimin shrugs. "It wasn't that bad-"

"It wassobad," Jeongguk cuts in, leveling Jimin with a look. "Tell me you got anything done in the last fifteen minutes."

Jimin doesn't know why his cheeks have to feel so damn warm every time Jeongguk looks at him. He stares at his computer screen. "Well…"

He doesn't know what else to say so he looks up at Jeongguk helplessly.

The quarterback bursts out laughing. "I knew it."

"I feel kind of bad for bailing on them," Jimin confesses, glancing over to where Namjoon and Hobi practically have their heads together over the table.

"Don't," Jeongguk shakes his head, staring in the same direction. "I'm pretty sure that's what they were both hoping for."

Jimin looks back at him quizzically and, maybe, a little hopefully. "Really?"

Jeongguk raises knowing brows at Jimin and smirks lightly. "Definitely."

Jimin can't explain why that look makes him blush. "Well then maybe it's good that we moved then?"

"Absolutely," Jeongguk says, cracking his knuckles before tipping his computer screen open further. "Now I can really concentrate."

"What is it that you're working on?" Jimin asks offhandedly because isn't that the kind of thing that you ask other students? He's pretty sure it is. He's seriously winging it here, feeling like he's way out of his depth spending one on one time with Jeon Jeongguk.

At least his pulse has calmed to just a steady gallop instead of a one hundred meter dash on a loop. He'll take it at this point.

"Oh, uh," Jeongguk says awkwardly, looking down at his screen and then back up at Jimin. Then back to his screen again. "It's nothing."

"Right," Jimin nods, feeling embarrassed he thought that was an appropriate question to be asking someone he doesn't even know. "Sorry. I shouldn't have asked."

"No no, don't apologize, it's not," the quarterback starts, seeming to pause and consider his thoughts. "It's not anything secret, it's just. Well. Here."

He spins his computer around and Jimin finds himself looking at-


"Is it… Tetris?" Jimin asks softly, co*cking his head to the side in confusion. It looks an awful lot like Tetris, just… maybe like a very old version? Like the first ever version almost.

Jimin doesn't want to offend Jeongguk but he does want to laugh a little bit at the fact that the quarterback needed some peace and quiet away from their friends to focus on playing a video game (and a terribly outdated one at that) but he manages to keep his thoughts and his smile to himself.

He looks up to find Jeongguk beaming at him.

"That's right!" he says like Jimin is a toddler saying a new word for the first time and why does that make Jimin's heart flutter. "ItisTetris. It looks like it, right?"

This conversation feels very confusing so Jimin just nods slowly. "It does, yes."

"Thank you," Jeongguk says excitedly. "Tae said it didn't and I was so afraid he was right because I've been working on it for so many months now and it's like, is my perception warped? Am I seeing something that's not there?" He sighs, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm so relieved."

His thick biceps are now bulging out against the fabric of his long-sleeve white shirt and Jimin is so busy salivating over that fact that he almost doesn't realize what Jeongguk just said.

"Wait," he says, brows crawling up his forehead as he points at the computer screen. "You… you made this?"

"I did," Jeongguk replies proudly. "From scratch. It's going to eventually be my senior project next year I think but we'll see what my advisor says."

It's impressive honestly and Jimin grins at him. "That's really cool. You're a – I'm mean, what's your major in?"

Oof, that was close. Jimin almost just gave away that he knows anything about Jeongguk. He doesn't want to scare him off with revealing that he has knowledge about someone he doesn't know.

"Computer Science," Jeongguk says as he spins his computer back around to face him. "With a focus on video game development."

Jimin lets out a low whistle. "I've heard that program is no joke."

He really has. And maybe he already knew what Jeongguk's major was but not the focus part of it and besides that, it doesn't take away from the fact that he does actually find it quite impressive that this hunk of a man not only plays an intense sport but also has a difficult major. Jimin has heard being a student athlete can be a lot and Jeongguk clearly does it so well.

"Is that what you want to do eventually?" Jimin pries carefully, curious to know more. "You want to go into video gaming?"

"Developing, specifically," Jeongguk corrects gently with a smile. "I won't lie, I used to have dreams of being a gaming streamer for a living but I think I'd get bored. I'm more interested in how the game works internally, you know?"

Jimin nods even though he doesn't really get it. He plays plenty of games with his friends but he's not very good and to be honest hasn't ever once thought about the inner-coding of what he's playing.

But Jeongguk seems passionate about it. It's really adorable.

"What about you, Jimin-ssi?" Jeongguk asks with that cute little tilt of his head again. "What are you majoring in?"

"Applied Mathematics," Jimin says, trying not to wince when he says it. He knows his big glasses already give him away as a bit of a dork but throw math nerd in along with it and he knows his cover is fully blown at this point.

Not that's he's trying to hide it or anything. He just… maybe wants to lengthen this interaction. For as long as he can. And while Jeongguk has given no indicators that he might duck and run at the realization that he's not only in the presence of a true geek but actively being seen with him in public, Jimin can't quite help waiting for the blow that could be coming.

Years of high school teasing will do that to someone.

He's avoiding Jeongguk's gaze but when the quarterback makes a strangled sound, Jimin looks up to find wide eyes staring back at him.

"Seriously?" Jeongguk asks, incredulous.

Nodding, Jimin is still holding himself taught, still waiting.

"Do you just really like math?"

For some reason, that makes Jimin laugh because Jeongguk just looks so genuinely confused. "I do," he confirms, nodding his head with a smile.

"Damn." He looks a little impressed. "I mean, there is a fair share of math in Computer Science, don't get me wrong but. Wow. Math just all the time sounds terrifying."

It only serves to make Jimin laugh harder. "Terrifying?"

"Yeah," Jeongguk nods seriously though a half little grin is forming on his lips now. "I would be scared all the time in your major."

Seriously, what is happening right now? How is this gorgeous man so charming?

"Good thing you don't have to do it then, huh?" Jimin says, easing out into lightly teasing territory. "You just need to worry about your non-scary eighties Tetris game."

Jeongguk's smile drops right off his face, mouth falling open. "Eighties?! What do you mean eighties? I used all brand new programs that came out this year!"

Now Jimin is full on giggling, pressing the back of his hand over his mouth to hide how hugely he's smiling because Jeongguk looks completely horrified.

"Eighties," Jeongguk mutters again, suddenly typing furiously on his laptop. "That's the worst thing I've ever heard."

"No no, it's a charming kind of eighties," Jimin tries to reign himself in but he can't stop, his heart feeling like it's filling up to the brim at Jeongguk's cuteness. "I'm so sorry, it looks great really, ignore me. I know nothing about computers."

"But that's the point!" Jeongguk looks up frantically before diving back down to his keyboard. "It's supposed to be general user friendly and I did not plan on eighties vibes. That's so embarrassing."

"It's not," Jimin swears, trying desperately to stop laughing. "Really, it looks great. I'd totally play it."

"No you wouldn't," Jeongguk laments, still pecking at his laptop. "You probably do super high level math equations in your spare time and I just showed you my stupid little game like it was something to be proud of, it's humiliating."

Actually, Jimin does like to do math equations in his spare time but he's not about to admit it here.

"I play games too, with my friends," Jimin says honestly. "And I would absolutely play your eighties Tetris game. And I know my friends would be into it too. I swear."

Jeongguk looks up and peers warily over his screen. Jimin smiles at him. "Really?"

Jimin nods quickly. "Really."

"Really?" Jeongguk presses and Jimin lays his hand over his own heart solemnly.

"I swear it."

Jeongguk studies him for a moment longer and Jimin struggles to keep eye contact, trying and failing not to fidget under the intensity of it.

"I'm going to choose to believe you," Jeongguk says at length before one corner of his mouth, the corner with the rings, tilts upward. "But I think I need a coffee now for all the turmoil you've put me through. And a donut."

Jimin is about to offer to buy both for him in a peace offering. He knows Jeongguk is just teasing him but he does feel a little bad for stressing him out.

But Jeongguk stands too fast, reaching into his pocket to tug his wallet out and says, "Do you want anything? My treat."

And why,whydoes that make Jimin's heart lurch to the side so hard it feels like it's threatening to careen right over a cliff?

Shaking his head, Jimin hopes so much that the blush in his cheeks isn't insanely obvious. "No thank you," he says softly, busying himself with looking back to his computer.

"You sure?" Jeongguk presses, lifting his wallet in the air in gesture. "Free coffee isn't your thing?"

Jesus Christ, this boy needs to stop being so nice to Jimin or he's going to fall in love right here in the middle of this damn coffee shop like a lunatic.

He can't accept free coffee from Jeon Jeongguk. Maybe in another universe but that universe is certainly not this one.

"I'm okay, thank you though." Jimin huffs out a laugh when Jeongguk looks at him like there is no way he won't regret that decision.

"If you say so…" Jeongguk trails off purposefully as he starts walking backward, eyeing Jimin in mock suspicion before turning and truly heading off to the counter to order.

And Jimin takes the reprieve to catch his breath because he is just so far out of his depth with this, he doesn't know what to do.

He didn't realize he'd kind of always hoped Jeongguk wasn't as perfect as the rumors say. It's like when people say never meet your heroes. Jimin sort of always thought that could apply easily to crushes as well. He'd figured he could always admire from afar and never get too close to know more which seemed quite doable with how their paths have literally never crossed up until this point. He'd never really worried about it further than that.

Now he's f*cking worried.

Because Jeongguk is somehow both extremely sexy and very,verycute with a personality to boot and whoever is responsible for creating him should be scolded very seriously because now Park Jimin and his tiny, fragile, easily fluttering heart has to deal with this knowledge while simultaneously knowing he will absolutely one hundred never stand a chance with this boy.

It's downright tragic is what it is.

Still, Jimin can't pretend he isn't feeling that sweet rush in his veins from their interaction. That pleasant thrill that only comes from talking to your crush, that unique little burst of excitement that fills your belly with butterflies and makes you happy all day long. He definitely has that.

And that alone makes their entire interaction worth it, even against the stark reminder that Jimin will never have a real shot at… well,anythingwith Jeon Jeongguk.

That is, until the door swings open, the wind gushing in along with it and then a loud, "JEON JEONGGUK," is bellowed through the café.

Everyone, including Jimin, turns to look to see Kim Taehyung barreling through the doorway, grinning this huge smile at his teammate and quite literally taking a running start to make it to the counter.

Jimin thinks passively that if he were Jeongguk right now, he'd be utterly terrified to see their star running back racing toward him but he figures the other football player can handle this situation a lot better than he would.

And Jeongguk does, turning around and managing to catch Taehyung in his arms, bursting into laughter as Tae squeezes his legs and arms around his friend and shouts, "I GOT THE PART!"

"You did?!" Jeongguk cheers, swinging his friend around once, twice before setting him on his feet, still laughing. "Hyung, that's amazing! I told you that you could do it!"

"You did and I didn't believe you!" Taehyung beams, planting both his hands on Jeongguk's shoulders and giving him a good shake. "Thank you for running lines with me! You're the real MVP here!"

Jeongguk is grinning so big, his eyes crinkle lightly at the corners, his nose scrunching up adorably. "I'm so damn proud of you!"

"Me too, oppa," the barista on the other side of the counter says and both friends turn to look at her.

So does Jimin but he does so as subtly as he can manage, annoyed on their behalf that someone so rudely interrupted this cute exchange.

The grumpy girl that's often working here is smiling shyly at the boys standing in front of her register. Her hair is down today instead of the high ponytail from the last time Jimin saw her and she's biting down on her bottom lip like she hadn't meant to say anything but it had just slipped out.

Actually, she looks like she's trying to make it appear like she hadn't meant to say anything even though she absolutely did mean to. It's a very specific look. Jimin doesn't know when he'd gotten so good at reading looks but he's pretty proud of himself for this one.

"Hyejin," Taehyung greets with a smirk, releasing his grip on Jeongguk and resting his elbows on the counter to lean in a little closer. "Are you going to come cheer me on at my show like you do all of our games?"

The girl, presumably Hyejin, seems to like the attention with the way her eyes flash. "I'll bring my pom poms and everything."

She giggles girlishly when Tae and, to Jimin's horror, Jeongguk laugh at her joke. Her eyes seem to be pinned on quarterback though, even with Taehyung being the closer one.

"We have a new routine this week," Hyejin tells Jeongguk specifically, twirling a strand of hair around one of her fingers. "I hope you like it."

"That sounds great," Jeongguk smiles back with a polite nod. "I can't wait to see it."

Hyejin beams. "I'll be sure to put in some extra practice to make it perfect for you."

Tae whistles lowly. "Wow. Big promises for an already exceptionally talented cheerleader."

Hyejin again gives a little laugh, though still her gaze stays on Jeongguk. "I've definitely been practicing my flexibility skills."

And that's when Jimin decides he's just about had enough.

It was fun while it lasted. If anything, he's grateful for those fleeting moments of teasing over Jeongguk's computer game creation. But now, Jimin thinks he's worn out his welcome.

He's not upset or anything. Really, he's not. He just prefers not to watch someone else live out his dream right in front of his own eyes, thanks.

Hyejin clearly has a crush and by the looks of it, Jeongguk is very interested in that crush. And it doesn't take a whole lot of mental gymnastics to put cheerleader and quarterback together inside of a heart and stamp it with true love now does it.

And that's completely okay, of course. Jeongguk is obviously straight and deserves to date someone pretty and, uh,flexible, so that's all fine.

And Jimin's happy little bubble can burst into a shower of little push pins currently working on stabbing his heart to death and that's all fine too.

So he knows then that it's time to go.

He quietly closes his laptop, slings his backpack onto his shoulder and carefully slips out the door unnoticed.

It is f*cking cold in the stadium on Friday night and Jimin buries into his bundled scarf even further, his frozen cheeks feeling like they've been lit on fire as they attempt to heat themselves back up beneath the fabric. It's not raining thank god because Jimin's glasses can't manage to stay clear under the heavy rainfalls they sometimes get, but it is freezing out. He's wearing several layers so he really should be okay but a shiver racks his frame angrily anyway and he scoots closer to Hobi in an attempt to get some body heat moving.

"Aw, is our baby cold?" Hobi coos, wrapping an arm around Jimin's shoulder and tugging him close. "I can't believe you haven't stayed warm for the whole twenty-four hours after your cozy little afternoon date with Jeon Jeongguk."

"What- you had adatewith Jeongguk?!" Seokjin yelps, leaning around where Yoongi and his boyfriend Yijeong are bundled together not unlike Hobi and Jimin. "You didn't tell us! What?!"

"Shush," Jimin hisses, glancing around them swiftly to make sure no one heard that. They're in the student section for godsake, most of whom worship the ground Jeongguk walks on and the last thing Jimin wants to do is start some sort of horrible rumor. "We didnothave a date. We were forced to sit together at a table alone."

"Thanks to me," Hoseok beams, giving Jimin a little squeeze with the arm still wrapped tightly around his shoulders. "Was it magical?"

Jimin glances around once more before leaning in closer to his friends, all of whom curl toward him as well.

He doesn't mean to blush but he does anyway when he says, "It kind ofwasmagical actually? He's really sweet."

"Awe, Jiminie that's great," Yijeong says with all the kindness he always exudes. "And it's nice to hear the thing everyone says about him is true. I've only ever heard he's really nice."

"Okay but real talk, what is it you think he does to those girls he's broken up with?" Seokjin asks with raised brows. "Because I've never heard anyone talk so lovingly about someone who quite literally broke their heart. And it'sallof his exes. Every single one seems to still absolutely adore him."

"Real talk," Jimin says with a shrug. "He's really freaking charming. He's kind of hard not to have a soft spot for."

"But witheveryex?" Seokjin replies dubiously. "Seriously, he's dated or at least hooked up with every gorgeous girl in school. Not evenonehas something bad to say? He's got to be paying them off or something, right? No one is that great."

"I dunno," Jimin shrugs, clasping his gloved hands together to keep them warm in his lap. "But I can tell you that after talking to him? I kind of get it."

"Yeah but you're a soft touch," Seokjin says with a flick of his wrist, like Jimin's opinion can't be trusted.



Thatmightbe true but still, Jimin really does think there isn't much of a code to crack about how Jeongguk stays in such good standing with the girls he sleeps with.

The vibe the quarterback gives off is just… a good one. It's really simple. Jimin gets why the guy is well-liked.

"I'm glad you had a nice time with him," Hobi says softly so only Jimin can hear, smiling at him in that heart-shaped way he has. "When Namjoon said he was coming, I couldn't help myself. Who doesn't want to hang out with their crush, you know? Plus seeing your little red face when you saw him sitting there was totally a bonus."

"Hyung," Jimin whines though he can't help chuckling. "That's so embarrassing."

"Nah, you loved it," Hobi laughs, giving Jimin a little shake in his grasp. "Besides, you are adorable and Jeongguk seemed very pleased to be in your company. He even asked me where you went after you bailed without saying anything. I bet he thought you were cute as hell."

The thought of that alone has Jimin's stomach flipping but he rattles his head back and forth swiftly. "I don't think he thinks about guys like that. And besides, it seems like he's just genuinely a good dude. He'd have been kind to anyone he'd been forced to sit with."

"It never hurts to have pretty eye candy over a coffee and some homework though," Hoseok beams. "So you know. You're welcome."

"Yeah thanks again for the almost heart attack," Jimin giggles. "But don't think this gets you off the hook for a full rundown of how your swoon worthy little date with Kim Namjoon went. Don't think I didn't notice you purposefully waiting to come home last night until you knew I was asleep."

"I don't know what you're talking about," Hoseok replies immediately, squinting out at the field like he's suddenly very interested in the dance team currently lining up alongside the cheerleaders at the home team entrance. "He's just helping me with some schoolwork."

"Uh-huh," Jimin says with a roll of his eyes. "It certainly looked a lot more like he wanted to devour you in a single bite and you would have been happy to be his afternoon snack."

"Oh god," Yoongi mutters, tossing a glance across the bleachers where Namjoon's literature devotees huddle on the fringes of the student section, throwing disdainful looks at the rest of the drunk and rowdy crowd. "Are you going to become one ofthem?"

Hobi does turn at that, his brows furrowed in confusion as he follows Yoongi's gaze. "Who?... oh. Actually, they're pretty nice. I got to meet a few of them during one of Namjoon's office hours."

"Also, do we really think we should be throwing stones from our glass house, Yoongi-yah?" Seokjin asks with a fake, close-mouthed smile, batting his lashes at his roommate.

"Hey I might be a nerd but I'm not ameannerd," Yoongi counters, curling in closer to Yijeong defensively. "I've seen one of those lit majors spit on the ground and glare after some drunk freshman stumbled by them. I'm like eighty percent sure they also muttered some kind of witchy curse on him under their breath."

"All you're doing is making me want to hang out with them more," Seokjin shrugs. "Besides, our little Hobi faerie would fit right in with them I think." He looks back with raised brows. "Just. You know. I'd recommend staying on their good side."

"Might be a tall order if you're f*cking their leader," Jimin points out to which Hoseok gives an indignant huff.

"Oh that's true," Seokjin says with a serious nod. "If you're the chosen one, they might not take kindly to their god sleeping with a mere mortal. I mean, no offense or anything-"

"Okay, enough," Hobi snaps, glaring at each of them in what should be a menacing manner Hoseok has too sweet of a face to really pull that off. "Listen to me. It's not like that-"

He's cut off rather unceremoniously as the announcer comes over the speaker to welcome everyone to the game. The band starts to play and all the fanfare of the game begins and Jimin gives Hoseok a pat on the shoulder in sympathy as they all get to their feet to cheer because his poor hyung looks quite annoyed to not have been able to say his peace.

Although, his irritation seems to ebb away rather quickly after the away team is announced and the crowd starts to really pick up their noise as the home team thunders out onto the field.

And truthfully, Jimin would be more interested in giving Hobi sh*t for the way he'd dove off of his soap boxat the mere glimpse of Kim Namjoon in his football gear but really, Jimin is no better here.

Not when Jeon Jeongguk is jogging out onto the field in the sea of players. No, Jimin has no time for teasing when his favorite moment of the week is beginning.

God, he looks good in his uniform. Jeongguk always wears black arm sleeves for games so Jimin hardly ever gets to enjoy his tattoos beyond a few pictures on Instagram but the math major thinks it's a small price to pay for the way those thick arms accent gorgeously beneath the tight fabric. The bulge of his firm biceps as he tosses the ball all those yards is a sight to behold.

And it doesn't hurt that his fitted black and gold jersey hugs his body like a glove, tucking right into that tight little waist he has and accenting his ass in those snug pants deliciously.

Jimin is beside himself by the time Jeongguk makes his way to the middle of the field, deciding as he always does that he doesn't mind those bulky pads even when they hide so much of that beautiful body. The kit is so figure-hugging, Jimin gets plenty of eye-candy in during these games just fine.

The teams head to their respective benches and Jimin gets to watch as Jeongguk tugs his helmet off, shaking his sweaty hair out of his eyes and tossing it back like some sort of slow motion Instagram model, pushing his hands through the damp strands to keep it pushed off of his face.

And Jesus Christ if Jimin isn't drooling. This man is so goddamn hot it's un-f*cking-fair.

This is the problem with going without sexfor… well. For however long it's been for Jimin. He's lost count of the months at this point. All he knows is that it's been a while and watching that stunning quarterback all sweaty and breathtaking out there is really just a stark reminder that Jimin really needs to get laid.

Preferably by someone who looks half as good as that man out on the field.

A fantasy of course but Jimin can't pretend like he isn't thinking about downloading Grindr right now. He's not the greatest at just random hook-ups but with how intensely he reacts to simply seeing Jeon Jeongguk, Jimin thinks maybe he'd better try again. Soon.

Before this becomes a real problem.

Although, if he's being real here, he kind of already knows a one-night stand won't do him any good. It might solve a minor problem for an hour or two, but Jimin thinks his issue might run just a little deeper than that now.

Which isn't a good thing.

Because now he knows that not only is Jeongguk extremely hot, Jimin also knows now that he'snice. Andfunny. He's not sure why that changes things for him but it does. Maybe because before, he'd had an invisible barrier up. Seeing a gorgeous man and knowing a gorgeous man are two different things. And Jimin now knows enough to know that Jeongguk isn't just a pretty face which makes things so much worse. It's easy to look at a pretty face and keep it at that.

It's a whole different ball game talking to that pretty face and finding out he's completely delightful.

And that's where the problem really is. Because Jimin can'tlikeJeongguk. He can crush on him, he can find him incredibly attractive, hell he can even enjoy his company if he's ever lucky enough to get to be in it again.

But he can't go beyond that. He can't do something as dumb as catch feelings for a straight boy.

So. It's a good thing the café moment was a one-off and Jimin can go back to being completely anonymous to the quarterback. It's better this way. In fact, it's back to normal really.

Because Jeon Jeongguk will always be the star of the field and Park Jimin will always be the geek in the stands, daydreaming about how it could be if things were different.

And that is just how things are meant to be.

It becomes very obvious as the crowd thins out around them after the game has ended that Jung Hoseok is stalling.

He's done everything from disappearing to the bathroom just before the final whistle, claimed to need another beer before they head out and decided he wanted to sit and wait to avoid getting bumped into with the hordes of students filing out of the stadium around them. He'd even started asking the most benign questions about Yijeong's work at his boring office job (and it really is boring. Even Yijeong thinks so).

It's not wholly unusual for their little group to hang around the stadium for a bit after the game but this is next level interference to make sure they stay around for a little longer.

It also says something that Jimin doesn't even notice, too wrapped up in Seokjin's retelling of the way Kim Taehyung's legs look in his football pants when Hobi suddenly reappears and announces they need to start heading out.

And he's quite insistent.

Frowning, Jimin and the rest of their group follows him out through the gates. They're by no means the last ones leaving but the crowd has lessened significantly and the parking lot is noticeably emptier. Several of the cheerleaders are hanging around as well, their matching team jackets zipped up and bags slung over their shoulders as they stand around chatting to each other. Jimin vaguely wonders if they're cold but he's already feeling suddenly rushed out of the stadium and doesn't have much time to think about it when-

"Hob-ah! Hey!"

Jimin's head whips around and there, just having sauntered out of the belly of the stadium where the locker rooms are, is Kim Namjoon. He's grinning hugely, either of his cheeks indented with deep dimples and he looks unbelievably pleased to see Jung Hoseok standing here like he's been waiting for him.

It dawns on Jimin then what exactly had just gone down and he's just about to turn to his friends to either tease the hell of Hobi or scold him for playing them all into lingering just so he can run into his crush, but he doesn't have time.

Because just after that beefy tight end follows Kim Taehyung and then, more alarmingly, Jeon Jeongguk, all clad in their letter jackets, all strapped with their backpacks over their shoulders.

All so f*cking handsome.

Well. Jeongguk is undoubtably the most handsome in Jimin's eyes but still, they all look gorgeous, all freshly showered and changed out of their uniforms, which frankly is a damn shame but Jimin will also take this look just fine too.

He hears Seokjin make a choked sound behind him and Jimin turns around because he doesn't want to be caught loitering here like he's been somehow waiting for the quarterback he'd literally only met once in his whole life, and finds his three remaining friends standing like deer in headlights watching as half the football team emerges, all tall and big and beautiful.

Jimin realizes then that they need to get a move on here.

"You guys, we should go," he murmurs urgently, just starting to take a step toward the remaining three that are currently not paying any attention to him but he only gets so far when he hears it.

"Well well well. If it isn't my disappearing café date."

"We shouldgo," Jimin whisper-yells frantically, his heart leaping into his throat as he panics, hoping his insistence is clear in the way he reaches out to shove at Yoongi's shoulder because he's closest.

However, Yoongi is a traitor and a deceptively strong one at that, still looking over Jimin's shoulder as he grabs Jimin's wrist and instead spins him back around, giving him a gentle push back toward his impending doom.

Because Jeongguk is walking over now, all suave and smooth with his dark wavy hair curling around his ears, his jacket open to reveal a tight black shirt hugging his pectorals dangerously. There is a sweet flush in his cheeks. And he's looking straight at Jimin.

He'sgrinningat Jimin.

It feels so much like being a mouse caught in a trap with a cat looming overhead. Even Jeongguk's teeth seem to glint sharply beneath the stadium lights.

God, and even his teeth are pretty. Seriously, this whole man is too much for Jimin as per usual, even more so when he's beaming all of his attractive energy in Jimin's direction.

It would be lovely if Jimin didn't want the world to crack right open and swallow him whole right now because f*cking hell it really looks like he's been waiting by the team's exit just to 'casually' run into their quarterback and if that isn't completely humiliating, Jimin doesn't know what is.

But there's nowhere for him to run now. His friends have trapped him and Jeongguk has seen him and he's absolutely going to kill Jung Hoseok at his first opportunity because really this is all his fault.

Touching the rim of his glasses anxiously, Jimin wracks his brain for something to say as Jeongguk steps right up to him, still cheesing at him.

"Hello Park Jimin," he beams, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans and tilting his head to the side. "I'm glad to see you're still in the land of living and not lost to the ether after you vanished on me the other day."

It's a stupid joke but Jimin still finds himself laughing softly at it. There is something about Jeon Jeongguk that makes him feel so light and maybe a little giddy. His stomach is doing constant cartwheels under all of this attention.

He's also grateful for not being called out immediately for appearing to be hanging around for the football player.

"Hi," Jimin says, adjusting his glasses with his thumb and forefinger around the edge of one side, even though they don't need it. "I'm, uh. I'm sorry about that. At the café." He doesn't know how to explain it without sounding like a jealous weirdo so he just looks at the ground and says, "Something came up."

"You guys should come grab pizza with us!" Namjoon suddenly shouts loud enough for Jeongguk to turn around even as Jimin and his three remaining friends are frozen to the spot. "We're heading there now!"

Hobi is currently beside Namjoon, his pink cheeks practically glowing and Jimin swears if his hyung tries to deny his crush after this little scheme he'd cooked up to get them to 'run into' the players, Jimin is going to start a riot.

But he only just has time for that thought before Jeongguk is whipping back around, looking as gleeful as ever as he says, "Well. It looks like you'll have a chance to make it up to me now, huh?"

The tip of his tongue is touching the ring hugging the corner of his lip and Jimin feels very faint.

"Oh, um," Jimin mutters. "I mean. If we're not intruding on your… team time?"

He cringes at how stupid that sounded but Jeongguk simply shakes his head. "Nah. We all spend way too much time together anyway." He co*cks his head teasingly. "Besides, none of them owe me the way you do."

Jimin quirks a brow. "Oh Ioweyou, do I?"

"Yup," Jeongguk nods, rocking back on his heels. "You owe me big. And it looks like your punishment will be eating lots of pizza while having to be in my presence." He widens his eyes. "The horror."

"How ever will I survive," Jimin lobs back, his heart beating wildly in his chest. "I might have to magic myself away once again then if you're going to force such cruelty on me."

Jeongguk narrows his eyes playfully. "You better not. In fact, I'm going to make sure I don't let you out of my sight the entire evening just so you don't get a chance."

"These threats are getting out of control," Jimin says, rattling his head back and forth. "Fine. I guess I can agree to this." He looks down at his shoes, feeling his face heat when he says, "Um. Good game by the way."

"Thanks," Jeongguk replies and Jimin looks up just in time to get a full-on Jeon Smile beaming in his direction. It's a little overwhelming with how beautiful and bright it is and Jimin is getting distracted when-


It takes a moment to realize who says it because Jimin is currently far too lost in the depths of Jeongguk's eyes but he finds out quicker than he'd anticipated.

Hyejin, still dressed in her short cheer skirt and matching team jacket, is bounding over to them, slinging her arm through Jeongguk's as she arrives, turning to pout at him.

"Oppa, can we go? It's so cold out here." She exaggerates this statement with an overly dramatic shiver, clinging tightly to the quarterback like he's her only source of warmth. "I don't want to freeze."

"Uh-" Jeongguk blanches, looking at her like he's trying to catch up to her sudden appearance beside him.

And Jimin is trying desperately to think of an exit strategy here. He assumes going by the café exchange the other day that there is something going on between these two. He doesn't know what it is, though considering how beautiful they both are it probably involves sexand that's just about as far as Jimin is willing to think about it because it just makes him feel really ill.

But more to the point, he doesn't need to stick around to find out more. Jeongguk is just a nice person who was forced to make acquaintances with him out of necessity and that's that. Jimin doesn't need to know the innerworkings of Jeongguk's personal life.

He'll probably hear about it through rumors anyway soon. He doesn't need a front row seat, thanks.

There is nothing worse than watching a gorgeous man get the gorgeous girl while the quiet gay boy pines from the side. That's just the most tragic trope of all, now isn't it?

Not that Jimin is pining. Jesus Christ, he can't pine for someone he barely knows. But he does have a crush and he'd prefer not to have that little crush bubble pop right in front of his face. Again.

At least at the café, he could sneak out. This is so much more unpleasant being right f*cking here for it.

And then it gets worse.

Because Hyejin turns to Jimin suddenly.

Well. Itlookssudden. But the way a slow, somewhat unpleasant smile curves along her mouth, Jimin has a feeling it's not so much sudden as it is calculated and cold.

"Oh. Hi," Hyejin says, batting her lashes. "Sorry to interrupt. I'm Hyejin."

She doesn't sound sorry at all. Or like she feels like she was interrupting anything important.

Which. Jimin supposes she wasn't really. Not beyond the interruption of his heart pitter-pattering in his chest at Jeongguk's attention on him.

She also looks a bit annoyed at having to introduce herself to someone as unimportant as Jimin appears to be to her. Which again, is probably more fair that Jimin wants to admit.

Still, it grates on his nerves. What the hell is her problem anyway? It's not like Jimin is any kind of competition to her. Not in any way but especially not when it comes to Jeon Jeongguk.

But it's whatever.

Raising a hand to flick a simple wave, Jimin returns her fake smile. "Jimin. Nice to meet you."

"Mm," Hyejin gives as a reply, her gaze flicking down his body and back up before she smirks. "Are you with…" She flips her hand, palm down, in the direction of where the rest of Jimin's friends stand, chatting to an excited Namjoon who seems completely thrilled to be meeting more of Hobi's friends. "…them?"

Alright cool, so turns out Hyejin is not a nice person. That makes Jimin feel less badly about already disliking her. Now it doesn't have to just be about Jimin not loving the visual of her on Jeongguk's arm.

It's petty but Jimin doesn't care.

"Sure am," Jimin says, just this side of unpleasant. "Those are my hyungs."

Hyejin stares at the four of them for a moment longer before turning slowly back to Jimin. "I see."

It's then that Jeongguk clears his throat and Jimin's heart sinks.

He supposes he showed a bit of his hand during this uncomfortable little exchange with Hyejin and he's wondering if Jeongguk is either going to call him out or excuse both himself and Hyejin from the situation so they can get the hell away from Jimin and he weird energy.

Even if Hyejin is the one that started it.

Still, when Jeongguk turns to the girl on his arm, Jimin takes a tiny step back and considers once they start engaging in conversation (or lip-locking, ugh Jimin doesn't even want to picture that) he can dip without another word.

Jeongguk shifts his weight to his other foot. "Listen, Hyejin-ah-"

"So it turns out you reallyhavebeen working on your flexibility."

Kim Taehyung seems to appear out of thin air at Hyejin's other side, a sly, flirtatious grin curling his lips as he slips his hand through her arm in almost the same fashion she'd just done to Jeongguk. "You almost distracted me from my game."

Hyejin seems just as surprised by his presence as Jimin is, but she recovers quickly, turning her attention toward him instead, all traces of condescension she'd been radiating in Jimin's direction gone in favor of a lower lidded gaze and a shy smile.

She bites her lip before she says, "I told you I've been practicing."

"I could tell," Taehyung beams, laying it on thick. "I was so impressed. You were the best one on the field, I almost couldn't believe my eyes."

Giggling, Hyejin affects a bashful expression, tucking a piece of her high ponytail behind her ear. "I mean, I can't speak for the other girls but I know I want to be cheering as best as I can for you guys."

"And you were," Taehyung agrees right away and that's when Jimin realizes the running back has begun slowly pulling Hyejin away from Jeongguk, taking steps backward and bringing her along with him, keeping hold of her attention long enough for Jeongguk to free himself from her grasp. "Come on. Let me buy you a slice of pizza and you can tell me all about how you've been practicing."

Hyejin is hanging on every bit of praise Taehyung doles out, nodding as he guides her away. "Well, I always stay late after our practices, you know. Not everyone else does that. Just me. I work as hard as I can, probably harder than anyone else on the team."

"I believe it," Taehyung agrees, holding her gaze as they walk off, Hyejin launching into more about how much better she is than everyone else.

And honestly? Jimin is kind of impressed. Not by Hyejin's self-aggrandizing but by how Kim Taehyung just up and stole a girl away from who is supposedly his best friend. Just out in the open like that.

And Jeongguk didn't even put up a fight.

Jimin isn't sure if this is some kind of sick game between the teammates but when Jeongguk turns back to him with a grin, not looking put out in the least, Jimin's stomach still flips so really, what the hell does it matter to him if the football players and cheerleaders are in some dating competition with each other?

It's none of Jimin's business anyway.

"So," Jeongguk asks, raising his brows. "You ready?"

Jimin is so glad they're alone again and giddy as hell that Jeongguk still wants to spend time with him.

But he plays it cool. He can't be making all of what he's feeling too obvious.

With a put upon sigh, Jimin rolls his eyes dramatically. "Fine," he shrugs.

Snorting, Jeongguk nods toward where the rest of the group is walking off out into the parking lot. "Come on. I'm starving."

The door to Jimin's room flies open, banging against the doorstop like a gunshot and Jimin all but falls right out of his chair in shock, just managing to catch himself with his hands on the floor.

"Is Jeongguk f*cking that annoying cheerleader?"

"Jesus Christ-hyung," Jimin snaps, whipping around to glare at Kim Seokjin who has just stormed into his room without preamble. "You scared the sh*t out of me!"

Seokjin looks entirely unimpressed. "Well? Is he?"

"How should I know?" Jimin grumbles, checking his palms for rugburn. "Don't you know how to knock? I could have been changing or something."

His hyung flicks his hand out palm down toward Jimin with a roll of his eyes. "Please, you think that would deter me? You've got a nice body Jiminie, a chance to see it is one I cherish."

Jimin stares at him blankly for a moment. "Uh. I mean. I would take that as a compliment if it didn't sound so incredibly creepy."

Huffing, Seokjin drops heavily down onto Jimin's bed, flopping onto his back with his arms laying at shoulder length like he's about to be crucified. "Do you really not know if Jeongguk and that cheer chick are boning? Because I need this information and I don't know who else to ask."

"Her name is Hyejin, you know," Jimin says, shaking his head and turning back to his computer where he'd been trying to get some homework done. "And no, I don't know. I thought maybe her and that Taehyung guy were-"

"Iknow," Seokjin snaps, clearly annoyed about the situation. "That's my entire point. Is she with Tae or is she with Jeongguk? Or both? Or neither? I don't know what it's like being a football player. Is it common to share f*ck buddies or girlfriends?"

Something pings in Jimin's brain around all of that nonsense and Jimin turns to pop a brow at his friend's horizontal form. "Taeis it? Since when are you on informal terms with our star running back?"

Lurching to a sitting position dramatically on Jimin's bed, Seokjin smacks his hands to his thighs and narrows his gaze in on Jimin. "You weren't really that wrapped up in Jeongguk last night that you didn't notice, were you? Because there is no way the entire f*cking pizza joint didn't clearly see how not straight Kim Taehyung is and how nicely we were hitting it off."

Jimin tries and fails not to blush at that statement because. Well.

The truth is yes, he was very much far too wrapped up in Jeon Jeongguk last night. Because Jeon Jeongguk had stuck to his word down to the letter and not only stayed with Jimin the entire evening but made sure he'd been well-fed with pizza and milkshakes and good conversation the whole time.

They'd been sat at several long tables which had been necessary considering half the football team and most of the cheerleaders tagged along. Jeongguk also kept needing to slide by Jimin to go grab more food, lightly touching his shoulders or resting a hand on the back of his neck to move past. When Jimin offered to switch places with him, Jeongguk had waved him off, saying it was no problem.

Except it was a f*cking problem. For Park Jimin especially.

Because not only was Jeongguk consistently in his space and making his skin prickle with any and every touch no matter how subtle, the quarterback also smelled really f*cking good. Whatever cologne or body wash or shampoo he was using really suited him and damn if it wasn't intoxicating.

So to say Jimin had been a bit overwhelmed all night long would be an understatement.

Especially because shortly before Jimin would head out for the night, Jeongguk had done something truly egregious: he'd taken off his letter jacket.

For some reason, Jimin hadn't expected short sleeves. He's not sure know why, probably because it's the middle of Fall and not exactly warm outside, especially at night.

But goddamnit.

For the first time ever, Jimin had really gotten to see Jeongguk's tattoos. His colorful sleeve was in full view, only partially disappearing under the tight fabric of Jeongguk's black t-shirt where it swirled up his bicep and onto his shoulder. And yes, Jimin knows where it ends because he's tried so many times to catch a true glimpse of it but god now it was here, right in front of him and Jimin can't even let himself remember how seriously his brain short-circuited because it's too embarrassing to think about now.

But holy hell. It took everything in his power not to openly stare. He couldn't even make out what everything was for how hard he was trying to look without anyone knowing he was looking but f*cking hell, they were beautiful. Especially sitting against those bulging muscles.

Of course, it couldn't last forever but it ended much sooner than Jimin had preferred of course. It was getting late by then, to the point where Jimin was wondering if he should start gathering up his friends to head out when Jeongguk once again stood to get more food…

And ended up in a different chair with a familiar cheerleader getting ready to slide into his lap.

Jimin doesn't know how it happened. He was doing his damndest not to stare especially when Jeongguk and his tight jeaned-ass shimmied itself through the throngs of occupied chairs to get to the ordering counter, but when Jimin looked up again after feeling like it'd been a bit longer than normal, Jeongguk was at a different table in quite a compromising situation.

Jimin couldn't see his face but he could hear all the folks on that side of the pizza joint laughing uproariously, all turned toward the quarterback, all clearly having a great time. Even Hyejin had her head thrown back in a laugh where she was just about to settle onto one of Jeongguk's thick thighs, her arm slung around his pretty broad shoulders.

So that was about the time Jimin had been ready to head out, looking away instantly. He didn't want that image burned into his brain, thank you very much.

Luckily, Yoongi and Yijeong were nearby, always ready to depart gatherings sooner than anyone else so it only took a single shared look with Yoongi for them to both rise from their seats and make their way to the exit with Jimin close behind.

He knows it was probably bad form to dip the same way he'd done at the café but he'd convinced himself this was different considering they'd been at the restaurant for a few hours by then. And besides that, Jeongguk is a hot commodity. Jimin shouldn't be taking up all of his time anyway.

Even if it was a little bit wonderful to get to spend an evening with him.

Because even now, Jimin is surprised by just how lovely Jeongguk is. He kind of thought the charm of Jeongguk would ease with more time in his presence. Or that maybe he'd get bored teasing Jimin in that really cute way he has. If Jimin didn't know any better, he'd call it flirting.

But he does know better. So he can't even allow himself to think like that.

Still. It had been really interesting to watch Jeongguk make sure they'd sat together, then proceeded to tell Jimin all about the tweaks he'd made to his Tetris project and that Jimin had to see it now because it was very different thanks to Jimin's advice (which Jimin had then vehemently argued he hadn't meant to give any advice but Jeongguk waved him off in favor of asking Jimin about his major.)

So Jimin's concluded that Jeongguk is just really good at making friends. He's attentive and kind, he asks great probing questions and he makes Jimin feel like he's the only person in the world when they talk.

It's really amazing.

Not so amazing for the crush issue Jimin is having but he's going to just pretend that's not a whole thing in and of itself when he gets time to be up close and personal with Jeongguk. And Jimin isn't about to give that up for anything any chance he gets.

"I really don't know." Jimin shrugs helplessly since Seokjin is still staring at him expectantly. "Maybe Hobi knows? He and Namjoon were connected at the hip last night."

Seokjin rolls his eyes. "If he tries to deny that he is indeed into Kim Namjoon after all of that canoodling, I swear to god-"

"I am still denying it!" Hobi shouts from somewhere in the apartment and Jimin's eyes shoot to the door. "I'm never giving you any satisfaction, Kim Seokjin!"

"You are the bane of my existence Jung Hoseok!" Seokjin shoots back dramatically before his faces clears and looks back at Jimin. "Wanna go get food with us?"

"Yes," Jimin agrees with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "We can interrogate Hobi while we're at it."

"This apartment is very small, Park Jimin!" Hoseok shouts back.

Jimin shoots Seokjin an incredulous look even as his hyung sighs. "He's got like bat-hearing or some sh*t, I don't know."

Chuckling, Jimin reaches for his phone on his desk. "Try living with him. I swear he can hear-"

His words are cut off by a loud ding from Seokjin's cell at the same time that Jimin's buzzes in his hand. Frowning, he turns the screen over to see a notification about a new comment on one of his photos on Instagram.

He taps on it and watches as the screen refreshes and navigates its way to the IG app.

And then there is the photo he'd taken of his friends bundled up in the bleachers at the game last night.

And underneath that sits a new comment below the others all four of his friends had left already.

qbjk15 commented:cute ❤️

"Hooooly sh*t," Seokjin says at length, clearly staring at his own notification since he's tagged in the photo. "Did Jeongukk just…"

Jimin's heart launches itself into his throat. He can't speak.

Another notification banner from Instagram appears at the top of this screen and Jimin's thumb moves automatically to swipe it out of the way but he freezes in his movements when he sees what it says.

qbjk15 started following you!

Jimin blinks at it, reading the words over and over until the banner disappears and when it does, he swipes his notifications back down just so he can see it again.

He's quiet for so long he almost forgets Seokjin is still sitting on his bed and he just manages not to jump out of his skin when he hears his friend whisper, "What is happening right now?"

Whipping his head up, Jimin stares back into the eyes of his equally dumbfounded hyung, opening and closing his mouth as he tries and fails to reply.

"Tae just followed me on Insta," Seokjin says, his eyes as wide as saucers. "Are we like…friendswith the football team now?"

Butterflies erupt in Jimin's stomach, zooming around his insides like they're in a race with each other at the mere thought of that, dropping his gaze back to his phone.

Arethey friends?

Furrowing his brow, Jimin turns back to Seokjin. "Wait," he says. "Weren't you just bragging about flirting with Taehyung?"

His hyung looks a little panicked now.

"I don't know!" he says, like he really doesn't. "That was mostly just bravado and wishful thinking! I didn't know it was like following on Insta level of serious!"

"I mean," Jimin says as his brain shies away from believing this is happening. It does that when things are way too good to be true. "Maybe they just follow everyone they meet on campus? Some people are just like that-"

He's cut off by thundering footsteps through the short hallway of the apartment before Hobi is standing in the doorway, his face as white as a sheet like he's just spotted a ghost in their kitchen.

He slowly raises his phone, the screen lit up on the familiar notification page.

"Namjoon just followed me on IG," Hobi says, his voice hoarse like he's just been screaming even though Jimin is mostly sure he hasn't since he hadn't heard anything.

"Okay that's notasinteresting as our situations because it's obvious Namjoon wants to be your baby daddy but still it's a pattern," Seokjin says from where he's resting his forehead in the palm of his hand, clearly trying to calm down. "I think we can officially say we're friends, right? That's three of them following us."

Hobi doesn't seem to be listening, staring in distress at his phone. "What do I do? Do I follow back? Or like his pictures or something? What do Ido?"

"Jesus Christ, we can't be this uncool about making new friends," Seokjin snaps. "We have to be better. Shape up right now."

"Oh god," Hoseok looks up, his worried eyes somehow even bigger. "You think hejustwants to be friends?"

With a groan, Seokjin falls back on the bed. "We're hopeless."

To be totally honest, Jimin has kind of stopped listening. He's already following Jeongguk so he doesn't need to have a breakdown about that (the guy has twenty thousand followers so it's not like Jimin ever had to worry about it looking strange), plus he already knows he doesn't have a shot of any kind romantically with the straight quarterback. He's just happy to be friends.

Because he thinks maybe they are really friends now.

It doesn't quite take the pressure off totally but it doesn't feel as dire of a situation as it does for his other friends. So Jimin let's himself smile at his phone.

And wonders if he'll get to see Jeongguk again soon.

What Jimin doesn't expect is for that run-in to happen the very next day.

And not in a fun way either.

It's Sunday morning when Jimin rolls out of bed and finds that he has exactly one semi-clean pair of joggers left that hasn't been rotting away in his laundry basket for the last several days like the rest of his clothes. One look at a wadded up exercise shirt on top of the overflowing pile and a pair of black boxer briefs hanging haphazardly on the edge of the basket just about to fall off tells Jimin in no uncertain terms that it's got to be laundry day today. He really can't skirt it anymore.

So. To the laundromat he goes.

He manages to dig out an oversized baby blue hoodie from the back of his closet that he's ninety percent sure actually belongs to Yoongi but it still smells fresh so he'll take it, and begins the process of stuffing all of his dirty clothes into his mesh laundry bag. He steals a glance of himself in the mirror on his way out and sighs at his unwashed hair and sleepy eyes staring back at him from behind his glasses.

He can't be too fussed to look anything other than relatively presentable for the laundromat. He's usually in good company with other haggard students trying to get some schoolwork done while they wait to change out loads in both washers and dryers. Besides, if he can get there early enough, he won't have to wait for machines so he's kind of in a hurry as it is.

He tosses his laptop and a few notebooks into his backpack, grabs his headphones, hollers at Hobi about where he's going and then Jimin is clutching his laundry bag to his chest as he heads out.

The laundromat is only a few blocks away but Jimin's fingers are still bitterly cold by the time he arrives. Serves him right for not wearing more layers, he supposes. The morning sun isn't quite high enough to provide any semblance of heat so the warm air that greets him as he opens the door feels like heaven as he scurries inside.

Scanning the space to sort out exactly which machines are still open, Jimin is grateful to see only a few other people milling around the large area, glad to know he won't have any trouble finding an open washer.

What he isn't expecting is for his eyes to land on a familiar form on the opposite side of the room.

Jimin's heart freezes in his chest.

Seriously? He has to run into Jeongguk right now of all places? When Jimin hadn't even bothered to shower this morning?

He'd really been hoping he could have a cooler moment the next time he saw the quarterback. Especially since they're now Instagram mutuals, a fact Jimin still can't quite get over.

Jeongguk sits perched on top of one of the folding tables with a very thick textbook sitting open in his lap. His wavy hair is falling down messily over his forehead and into his eyes, his tongue peeking out from between his teeth as he carefully reads the page he's on, two of his fingers pushing his lip ring around absently.

And Jimin would be more ashamed of staring if in that exact moment, Jeongguk hadn't decided to lean up to stretch, arching his back and rolling his shoulders. He's wearing a white tank top beneath a gray oversized zip-up hoodie, the shirt beneath pulled so tight Jimin can see the thick definition between those overstuff pectoral muscles, topped prettily with sharp collarbones with a delicate chain laying against them.

It also doesn't help he's wearing ripped dark jeans and when did seeing someone's knees start seriously doing it for Jimin? Something has got to be wrong with him at this point because really, every inch of Jeon Jeongguk turns Jimin into a thirsty lunatic.

Swallowing thickly, Jimin is grateful the boy hasn't looked toward the entrance once since he walked in and instead clutches his laundry bag tighter to his chest as he makes his way to one of the empty washing machines that is not only as far away from Jeongguk as he can manage but also behind him to make it more likely that he won't spot Jimin as long as he doesn't do anything more than glance up.

It's not a full proof plan but Jimin really can't do much else considering he really needs his laundry done and he knows he'd only regret it if he left and came back in the afternoon when the rest of the student body will be pouring in to get their own clothes cleaned before the week begins. He really doesn't have another option here.

As quickly as he can, Jimin sorts his items and loads the machine, paying and then sitting down with his back to Jeongguk to further the likelihood of being spotted. He stuffs his headphones into his ears, props open his laptop and does his very best to disappear into the background of this very open and very public area, pretending he's doing a great job of going unseen.

And he actually makes it a good amount of time. So much so that when he dares sneak a glance behind him after at least twenty minutes, Jeongguk is gone.

Breathing a sigh of relief, Jimin sits back into his chair, pushing a hand through his somewhat tacky hair that still has product in it from yesterday and thanking his lucky stars that Jeongguk didn't see him in such a state…

His self-congratulations dies off almost immediately when a grey hoodie is suddenly in view right over his laptop screen and even before he looks up, Jimin knows what's about to happen.


With a heavy sigh, Jimin tugs on the cord of his headphones to free them from his ears and slowly raises his head to find Jeongguk looming over him, wild waves of dark hair falling down his forehead adorably, a surprised smile on his lips.

Well. So much for avoiding being seen.

"Hey Jeongguk-ssi," Jimin says, flicking his hand in some semblance of a wave. "Um. How are you?"

Jeongguk's smile only grows. "Wow. I've never seen anyone look so unhappy to see me."

Guilt squirms in Jimin's gut and he shakes his head quickly. "No no! Not unhappy," he tries, going to brush a hand through his hair self-consciously and then stopping with his hand halfway there when he realizes that will only make it look greasier. Instead, he adjusts his glasses, silently scolding himself for this new habit he's created literally just in the presence of the quarterback. "I'm just not exactly… presentable." He huffs an awkward laugh.

Ticking his head to the side, Jeongguk beams at him. "Well now that's just patently untrue."

And then, to Jimin's horror, Jeongguk drops down right into the seat beside him.

"What are you working on?"

Glancing at his laptop, Jimin debates if he really wants to tell Jeongguk all of the boring details about his weather class and decides against it. "Just a paper."

Crossing his arms over his chest, Jeongguk leans back in his chair and sighs. "That sounds nice."

Snorting, Jimin gives him an incredulous look. "Does it? I hate writing papers."

Jeongguk shrugs. "I'd just rather be doing that than this nightmare of a coding project I am supposed to have finished by tomorrow. Did you know people code for a living? Just code. Just sit at a desk all day and write line after line after line of code. Doesn't that sound terrible? As ajob."

Jimin can't help but giggle at that. "You seem very passionate about your coding hatred."

"I am," Jeongguk says with a nod. "I'm also passionate about what an awful career choice it is."

"Some people like to do the same thing over and over," Jimin tries to defend simply because watching Jeongguk shoot him a disbelieving look only makes him laugh harder. "What! It's true."

"I don't know who those people are but I don't want to meet them," Jeongguk says decidedly, somehow sinking even further into his chair and closing his eyes.

"Did all that annoyance make you sleepy?" Jimin chuckles, watching as the quarterback pointedly wiggles in his seat like he's getting even more comfortable.

"It did. Now be quiet and write your paper while I take a nap."

"You're going to nap in the laundromat?"

"I sure as hell am."

Feeling unbelievably fond, Jimin takes this rare opportunity to take in the football player without being seen, quietly admiring him. He feels so soft like this, no hint of his letter jacket or uniform in sight. Not that Jimin doesn't adore that look on him too but for some reason this feels just a little bit different. Like he's getting a glimpse into Jeongguk's real life and not just the outside view where he's the star on campus. Even his piercings look gentler when he's dress down like this, soft around the edges with his messy hair and half-zipped hoodie.

And then Jimin's eyes trail up to the boy's face.

And before he can stop himself, Jimin opens his mouth. "Hey, are you okay?"

Jeongguk's pretty eyes flicker open and Jimin's heart sinks into his stomach with regret. He shouldn't have asked. It's not his business.



Jimin cares a lot about his friends. And as far as he can tell, they've become friends.

So when he sees those familiar lines of exhaustion in Jeongguk's face, Jimin can't help but ask the question. Because those heavy bags under Jeongguk's eyes tell a story all on their own.

"Hm?" Jeongguk asks sleepily, lids hanging low from where he peers back at Jimin.

God, it takes everything in him not to lean over and brush that unruly fringe out of Jeongguk's eyes tenderly.

"It's just," Jimin tries, pausing to find his words to make them as unobtrusive as possible. "You seem a bit down."

It's close enough to the truth without feeling like he's overstepping, extending a proverbial helping hand in case Jeongguk wants to talk about anything.

It hurts his heart just a little bit when Jeongguk's eyes soften.

"I'm okay," he says quietly, a ghost of a smile on his lips. "Just. You know. Sometimes school is a lot. I'm feeling a little rundown today I think."

"Ah," Jimin nods in understanding because he knows exactly what Jeongguk is referring to. "So you decided to come to one of the most depressing places on campus?"

A startled laugh falls from Jeongguk's lips and a warm ember glows to life in Jimin's chest, completely enchanted at the sound.

"Hey I like the laundromat!" Jeongguk chuckles, his eyes sparkling. "It's quiet here, you know? I live in a house full of athletes so there's never any hint of peace."

Jimin takes a moment to listen to all the thrumming of the dryers and thewhooshingof the washers and the rattling of the heaters and every other extremely loud and constant sound in here, glancing around with a bit of a grimace on his face that only serves to make Jeongguk snort in amusem*nt.

"You know what I mean." Jeongguk shakes his head, still grinning. "Besides, the company I found here isn't too bad either." He gives Jimin a pointed smirk before closing his eyes again, resettling in his chair. "I'd say it's not too bad here at all."

Fidgeting for a moment, Jimin fixes the frame of his glasses with the tips of his fingers and tries desperately not to let the smile spread across his mouth. When he fails, he stares down into his lap.

"Well," he says at length, trying to keep himself in check. "I'm sorry it's a bit of a down day. I know what you mean about school feeling like a lot sometimes. I can't imagine how much harder it is as a student athlete either." He clears his throat and pretends he isn't burning up on the inside as he says, "You're um… you're very impressive."

Jeongguk huffs a laugh. "Says the genius math major."

"Not a genius," Jimin rolls his eyes but when he steals a glance at the quarterback he finds kind eyes on him again.

It's a bit silly to realize that Jeongguk is… just a boy. Not a god-like being with talent and popularity to spare, but just a gentle boy doing his best, trying to get through college just like the rest of them. A wave of affection crashes over Jimin at the realization, feeling a little like he's seeing Jeongguk for who he truly is: just a softhearted sweetheart.

Jimin can worry about how eternally f*cked he is in the crush department later. Right now, he just wants to sit here in wonder. To see Jeongguk for who he might really be. To feel so lucky that he might actually be real friends with this kind soul.

They're both quiet then, simply looking at each other and Jimin feels like his heart is going to beat right out of his chest.

And maybe it's a dumb gesture, one only Jimin finds comforting in moments where things feel so hard but he does it anyway.

He hands Jeongguk one of his earbuds.

Jeongguk looks down in surprise before he chuckles quietly. "Thanks," he says, accepting it and then raising it back toward Jimin teasingly, tugging at the cord. "Old school?"

Jimin ducks his head, a little embarrassed but he mostly feels pleased. "Airpods are for working out. Wired headphones are for the aesthetic."

"Good point," Jeongguk says, tossing Jimin a big grin as he pushes the bud into his ear. He leans back in his plastic chair again, crossing his arms and closing his eyes. "Wired headphones are more romantic anyway."

He doesn't open his eyes to see Jimin's reaction and the math major is grateful for it considering he knows his face has gone very red, the warmth in his cheeks feeling like it wants to spread all the way down to his toes.

Jimin starts seeing Jeongguk constantly after that.


Before it had been Jimin keeping a surreptitious eye out to see if he could catch a little glimpse of the quarterback while he was out and about on campus, to score just a quick sighting of soft doe eyes and a sharp jawline and, if he was lucky, a big smile that makes those rings in Jeongguk's lip look like their dancing.

Now, Jimin is being well f*cking fed.

He supposes this is what happens when friend groups merge. He thinks anyway. Because the next several times he goes to the café to meet Hobi, Namjoon and Jeongguk are already there, waiting with greetings and smiles. The second time it happens, Jeongguk is already setting up another table for them, waving Jimin over the minute he walks in the door.

It's also helped that Hyejin hasn't been on shift when they meet up so Jimin never has to make a mad dash to get the hell out of there when the flirting starts, which is a huge relief.

And… well. The times Jimin had happily stolen glances at the football player when he'd seen him in passing are now full-blown conversation starters because Jeongguk always spots him. Sometimes first even, already bounding over to Jimin with a grin ready before the math major has seen him.

And it's.God, it's nice. It's so nice that Jimin has done absolutely nothing to protect his mind or heart from this increasingly serious crush he's harboring. To the point where he's stopped worrying about it altogether and is simply just enjoying the new developments. Because Jeon Jeongguk might be the sweetest boy he's ever met and Jimin has decided he can handle being just friends. It's completely fine.

He can worry about things like heartbreak later. Right now, he's just happy to get to be in Jeongguk's orbit in any capacity. And he actually feels like they've becomerealfriends, not just acquaintances or friends in passing. They talk about schoolwork and projects coming up and they joke often about how clearly into each other Namjoon and Hobi are, pretending to bet on who will be brave enough to make the first move. Jeongguk even comments on a few more of Jimin's Instagram posts which never fails to make Jimin's heart flutter wildly in his chest.

And in turn, Jimin always wishes Jeongguk luck for his upcoming games, which have all been away recently to Jimin's great dismay. And the smile he gets in return for this make Jimin's entire body flush with pleasure because a Jeongguk smile is one of the best things on earth. Sometimes it's even topped off with athanks, Jiminie-hyung, because they've become familiar enough now and isn't that just the best thing that's ever happened?

Needless to say, Jimin has been floating around on cloud nine for the last two weeks at this new development in his life. So much so that he hasn't even really noticed a few major things going on.

Not until they smack him in the face one weekday evening where he sits on the floor of his own apartment.

It's their weekly apartment-friends only dinner night and they're all scattered around Jimin and Hobi's small living room area, to-go boxes of noodles and fried chicken and a smattering of sauces laid out on the coffee table between them.

"You guys."

Jimin looks up from his dinner and peers over the coffee table at his roommate, co*cking his head at the way Hobi's eyes won't meet his. "Yeah?"

Hoseok hesitates before his shoulders droop. "I need to talk to you about something."

"Oh mygod, this is it, isn't it?" Seokjin whisper-yells from where he's perched on the couch beside Yoongi, slapping a hand to his own roommate's bicep. "It's happening right now. It'shappening."

"Ow," Yoongi grumbles, not even bothering to look up from his container, digging his chopsticks around his own chicken.

Hobi takes a deep breath, staring down into the to-go boxin his hand. "I'm… thinking of joining a dating site."

The silence that follows is absolutely deafening.

And then Yoongi bursts out laughing.

High and loud and so abrupt, Jimin actually jumps, whipping around to find his hyung doubled over, practically cackling at this point, holding his food out so as not to squish it in his lap.

"Woah," Seokjin mutters, watching his roommate absolutely losing it with something akin to glee.

"Glad my life is so amusing," Hobi murmurs dejectedly into his dinner.

"It's not," Jimin says encouragingly with a shake of his head, tossing an admonishing look at his laughing friend but Yoongi appears to be far from done.

"Sweet Jesus Christ," Yoongi stammers out, dabbing the back of his hand at the corner of each of his eyes. "How?Howam I the only one of us that actually managed to get a boyfriend? Seriously. It'sembarrassingat this point, you guys."

Seokjin makes a terribly indignant squawking sound. "Hey! I'll have you know I haven't beenlookingfor a boyfriend so-"

"Until now," Yoongi giggles, waggling his brows at his friend. "Right, hyung?"

Opening and closing his mouth several times like a fish gasping for water, Seokjin huffs and tucks back into his own noodles. "Shut up. You don't know what you're talking about."

"Wait, seriously?" Hoseok asks, his embarrassment subsiding momentarily to glare at Seokjin. "You're dating someone?"

"Nope!" Yoongi yips with a huge close-mouthed grin, popping the p as obnoxiously as he can manage. "Hyung is in factnotdating someone. Even though-"

"I said shutup," Seokjin barks, glaring at his roommate when Yoongi collapses into laughter again.

"Oh so you can torment me about my love life but we can't ask about yours?" Hobi demands, setting his food down in favor of pointing a finger at Seokjin.

"Torment?! I was helping!" Seokjin says, all but yelling over Yoongi's continued cackling. Seokjin grabs a pillow and whacks Yoongi with it. "Stop laughing, what is wrong with you!"

"Who are you dating?!" Hobi hollers back, his face a little red now. "You have to tell us after how much you harass me!"

"You guys!" Jimin snaps, even as Seokjin continues to rain the pillow down against Yoongi's arm which he's trying to use to block the blows. "Geez,stop! What is happening right now!"

"Yoongi is insufferable!" Seokjin yells.

"Seokjin never lets me have peace, I'm not letting him have peace either!" Hobi shouts.

"You are all very bad at dating!" Yoongi says delightedly, now halfway over the arm of the couch as Seokjin continues his attack.

"For godsake," Jimin snips, dropping his container onto the coffee table and rolling to a standing position.

In one swift motion, he yanks the pillow out of Seokjin's hand and whacks his oldest hyung in the head with it for good measure before yanking the other pillow out from behind Yoongi's back to avoid anyone using it as a weapon and shakes them both at Seokjin.

"These aremine," Jimin bites out, taking them over to the other side of the room and dropping them as far away from his hyungs as possible while staying in the room. "They are not for beating people with."

He takes in the scene before him, all three of his friends looking frazzled and a bit red in the face for various reasons, Hobi angry, Seokjin flustered and Yoongi still completely filled to the brim with mirth.

"You all need to calmdown," Jimin demands, hands on his hips. They all open their mouths to reply and Jimin raises a hand up. "Wait no,no. I don't want to hear it from any of you. Now be quiet and eat your damn chicken before I kick you out of my house." He shoves a finger at Hoseok. "Yes including you. I don't care if you live here. I'll ship you off to Namjoon's if I have to."

"He'd better bring hyung along with him then since Taehyung lives with Namjoon," Yoongi snorts into his noodles.

Jimin prepares to lunge for Seokjin in case he decides to attack again but to his surprise, Seokjin simply sinks lower in his seat, the tips of his ears going very red.

"You…" Hobi starts, the shock evident all over his face. "You're… you're datingTae?"

Shaking his head, Seokjin sits up again, frantic. "No nono, we arenotdating." He shoots Yoongi a furious look before glancing between Hobi and Jimin and then deflates again with a sigh. "We're just. We're talking sometimes."

"DM-ing on Insta, to be exact," Yoongi grins around a mouthful. "Like daily."

Seokjin glares at his roommate. "Why are you blowing up my spot right now?!"

"Because you are completely intolerable every time one of us has a crush," Yoongi beams. "Turnabout is fair play."

"Wait so Taehyung is gay?" Jimin interrupts, not sure why he's so baffled by that notion.

Or why his heart rate has sped up exponentially.

It's stupid. Just because a friend of Jeongguk's is gay doesn't mean…

Well, it doesn't mean anything really. He'd already known Namjoon is bi. Why does Taehyung being gay or possibly gay change anything?

It shouldn't.


"I mean," Seokjin says, inspecting his nails before tossing a smirk at Jimin. "He's definitely not straight, that's for sure."

"Oh don't act all confident now when you've spent the week panicking over how to reply to every single message he's sent you," Yoongi says, laughing when Seokjin's ears darken a shade.

"I can't believe you're…" Hobi mutters, trailing off and looking entirely down. "But if you're… I really thought… god am I just that naïve to think Namjoon…?"

"No wait, stop that train of thought right now because youdefinitelythought right," Jimin implores, even as Hoseok lowers his head further. "Hobi! Come on. You can't really think Namjoon isn't into you? You should see the way he smiles at you every time we're together! And laughs and is so cute when he sees you, he literallybrightenswhen he spots you-"

"If he was interested, he would have made a move by now," Hobi cuts in, his entire demeanor melancholic.

"Maybe he's just shy! Right? He could totally just be really nervous." Jimin tries again, tossing a pleading look toward both Seokjin and Yoongi. "Help me out here?"

Seokjin just shrugs, going back to his food. "Nah, I'm good. No one is going to convince him except Namjoon himself so why waste your breath?"

Making a noise of frustration, Jimin's eyes land on Yoongi, which he regrets almost immediately.

Yoongi is simply smirking back at him.

"You know you just described exactly how Jeongguk acts around you, right?"

The retort he'd had prepped and ready promptly dies in Jimin's throat.

"Oohyeah, can we please finally talk about this?" Seokjin says, perking up where he sits. "Because I have some thoughts on the situation."

Frowning, Jimin shrugs. "There's nothing to talk about."

"That's what people say when thereissomething to talk about," Seokjin taunts, tossing a wadded up napkin at Jimin's chest. "Come on now, we can't have three crush deniers in this room, that's way too cliché."

"So you're admitting you've got a crush?" Yoongi says smugly.

Seokjin pretends not to hear him.

"Hey I'm not in denial," Jimin forces a chuckle, twirling his chopsticks around his container. "I fully admit I've got a mad crush on Jeon Jeongguk. Have you seen the man? He's f*cking gorgeous."

He's not embarrassed to admit that at this point. He'd just prefer not to entertain the entirely implausible idea that straight Jeongguk could possibly ever think of him in any other way besides friendship.

"Okay nowthisI like," Yoongi approves, leaning forward in his seat. "Finally one of you at least admits your truth."

"I don't have anything to hide," Jimin says, raising a hand up like he's preaching. "I'm totally crushing. Which is such a shame."

Yoongi's smile promptly vanishes. "Oh no."

"I mean if anyone should be upset here, it's me," Jimin tries to say lightly. "I'm the one who made friends with the straight boy of the bunch apparently."

"Oh my god you're even worse," Yoongi groans.

"How?!" Jimin laughs, shaking his head at his hyung's dramatics. "I owned mine!"

"You didn't own sh*t," Yoongi rolls his eyes. "You're just as bad as this lot." He waves a vague, tired hand between Seokjin and Hobi.

Ignoring Yoongi for a moment, Jimin looks between his other hyungs, guilt flooding his system. "I'm really sorry, by the way," he says softly. "I didn't… I didn't know all of this was going on."

"If by 'all of this', you mean pathetic pining? Because if so, you haven't been missing much of anything."

Jimin whips his head over to Yoongi and shakes a finger at him. "You shush."

"I mean, to be fair he's right," Hobi says with a gentle lift and fall of his shoulder. "There wasn't much to know."

Going by Hobi's gloomy demeanor, Jimin would beg to differ. He's been so wrapped up in his silly crush on a straight boy, he didn't even realize his roommate was Going Through ;bndk;

So instead of arguing, he drops down to Hobi's side and gives him a squeeze around the shoulders. "I'm sorry, hyung," he says gently. "I should have been more present of what's going on with you."

"You have nothing to be sorry about," Hoseok huffs a soft laugh but he leans into Jimin's touch all the same. "I'm just realizing some things, that's all."

"Still," Jimin murmurs, giving his best friend a squeeze. "I'm here now. If you want to talk about it."

Hobi nods with a ghost of a smile. "Thanks, Jiminie. Really."

"Umhello?" Seokjin snaps from the couch. "Where's my hug? I amalsogoing through a rough time here."

"Your rough time is of your own making," Yoongi says dismissively, bringing a piece of fried chicken to his mouth between his chopsticks. "No one feels sorry for you."

Seokjin leans over and plucks the chicken out from between Yoongi's chopsticks, popping it into his own mouth and giving his roommate a smug smile.

Sighing, Yoongi stares off into the distance like he's questioning all of his life choices, particularly the one where he'd agreed to be roommates with such a sh*t head.

Shaking his head, Jimin gives Hobi one last snuggle before moving to just sit closely to him, grabbing a free container and digging his chopsticks in.

"Okay but are we done talking about Jimin and the obvious fact that Jeongguk is like crazy into him?" Yoongi asks, glaring around the group. "Because I feel like he got off quite easily here."

"Oh yes yes, wait," Seokjin says, perking up a little where he sits and looking directly at Jimin. "Okay so. The other day. When we ran into Jeongguk on the quad when you were heading to work?"

"Yeah?" Jimin says at length, recalling the moment easily since it had been one of those times that it felt like Jeongguk appeared out of nowhere and Jimin had scolded himself for not honing his observation skills better. He used to be able to spot the quarterback from a mile away. He thought he'd needed to get better at watching out for him.

Seokjin looks at him very seriously. "That boy came bursting out of the computer sciences building so fast. Seriously, he shoved those double doors open with his giant football arms and ran out to make sure he 'bumped' into you."

Jimin furrows his brows in confusion. "He could have just been in a hurry-"

"Andthen," Seokjin forges on, ignoring Jimin's indignant huff. "After you said goodbye to head to the library? He walked a few paces and then turned around and looked back at you."

His hands fly out to either side of him, palms up, his eyes wide. "Like?!"

Jimin blinks at him. "Is that supposed to mean something? What am I missing here?"

Dropping his hands, Seokjin raises his brows incredulously. "Seriously?! Jimin, helooked back at you. All longingly like in a movie! Tell me you aren't this dense."

Well, Jimin hates to break it to his eldest hyung but he must be this dense because he really can't see how any of that means anything at all. Maybe Jeongguk was looking for someone. Maybe he got turned around with what class he had next. Jimin has no idea but he doubts very much it had anything to do with him.

He glances to Hobi for help but his roommate is still wallowing in self-pity so his last resort is Yoongi.

Yoongi, who is so unbearably smug.

He tries anyway. "Can you believe-"

"I sure can," Yoongi snips his sentence off right at the start, pointing his chopsticks at Seokjin. "I'm with hyung on this one. You need to get your head out of your ass, Jiminie." Then he glances back to his roommate. "And don't get any ideas. Just because I agree on this one point doesn't mean I don't think you're dumb as sh*t too."

"That means he loves us," Seokjin says, pleased as he settles back in his seat. "But listen, Jimin-ah. I'm telling you the truth because I'm not here to give you false hope over a straight boy. Which is crazy because Jeongguk is like the straightest dude I've ever seen. He'd be in a frat house if we had those here for sure."

"That's basically what that football house is," Hobi says softly, another ghost of a smile flickering along his lips. "I've been over there and seriously, it's bordering on unlivable." He pushes his chopsticks around his container, looking fond and sad all at once. "Well. Except Namjoon's room. It was very clean."

Jimin exchanges a look with both Yoongi and Seokjin because really Hobi is just being deliberately obtuse at this point. Although the look only lasts so long when both of his hyungs turn on him, raising pointed brows in return.

"But for real," Seokjin implores, just as his phone dings beside him. He scoops it up, opening it without looking at it as he finishes his sentence. "Mark my words here, okay? Jeon Jeongguk is definitely not straight and he most definitely has the hots for our little Jiminie."

Now, Jimin knows his friends are just trying to help. He knows that this little fantasy world they are living in is just that: a fantasy. But he wishes they'd stop. Because he knows what it is. And he doesn't need his heart getting any ideas about things like hope when his brain knows better. It's not good for him to have anyone encouraging his crush on straight boys. It's too dangerous.

Scrubbing a hand down his face, Jimin sighs. "Hyung, look-"

"I can prove it!" Seokjin suddenly shouts, looking up from his phone screen with wide, excited eyes. "This weekend. Friday night. I can f*cking prove it."

Even Hobi looks up at this, exchanging a confused glance with Jimin.

"How?" Jimin asks, already feeling like he's dreading the answer.

Seokjin's grin is downright evil. "We've just been invited to a party on Friday night, boys."

Yoongi leans over to look at Seokjin's phone before he too has a slow smile spreading across his lips. They both smile smugly at each other before Seokjin turns back to Jimin and Hobi.

And Jimin's stomach drops.

"A party," Seokjin says mischievously. "At the football house."

"Okay I think we've got everything sorted here."

Jimin glances over to his lab partner Daejung from where he sits behind the help desk counter in the library. He and Daejung have just finished up working on their project right before Jimin's shift and are finalizing a few details while Jimin clocks in for the afternoon.

Offering a smile, Jimin gives Daejung a nod. "I think so too. But you have my number if you get stuck anywhere and let's plan to meet next week in the lab to finish everything off."

Beaming, Daejung sets his backpack up on the counter of the desk Jimin mans while on shift and starts sliding his folders and laptop back inside. "Sounds great. Thanks Jimin-ssi. I'm glad we have everything handled."

"Me too," Jimin grins. "I'll see you later."

After zipping up his bag and throwing it over his shoulders, Daejung waves at him and then he's gone.

Turning back to the computer and the small stack of books beside his keyboard, Jimin starts the process of sorting through the return items he'll need to have alphabetized before he finishes up his shift. It's not much but it's his job and he tries to do it as best he can. It's a relatively mindless gig but he still loses himself in the mundanity all the same.

Until, that is, a shadow is suddenly looming over him.

He looks up to see elbows propped on the countertop with long fingers laced together and hanging over the desk, the sleeves of a black coat covering those forearms and Jimin follows one side up to find the face of Jeon Jeongguk smirking back at him.

Sweet lord, he's in a baseball cap. And a f*cking leather jacket.

Seriously, who wants Jimin dead because it's this kind of look that will easily put him right in the ground. His soul quietly weeps at the sight before him. Why do all the beautiful ones have to be straight?

Jeongguk's fluffy hair curls out from beneath his hat all wild and so f*cking boyfriend Jimin's heart actually aches at the sight and he has to force himself not to stare at the silver hoops at the corner of that pink mouth.

Jesus Christ. To be Jeongguk's partner would really be something, wouldn't it?

"Jeongguk-ah?" Jimin asks, forcing himself out of his ogling immediately before he gets caught but snaps a mental image of this particular look on the quarterback for his private collection. "What are you doing here?"

Jeongguk tilts his head to the side, looking purposefully confused. "What do you mean? I'm here all the time."

No,Jiminis here all the time. Jeongguk has absolutely never been here while Jimin was on shift. Not once.

The math major would have for sure noticed if he was. His eyes are trained to watch for the quarterback at all times because the sight of Jeongguk is always a feast. Even if the boy has gotten the drop on Jimin a few times on campus, there is no way he'd escape his notice here in this building. Jimin would stake his life on it.

But he doesn't say any of that because he's notthatcrazy.

"Sure," Jimin shakes his head with a smile. "How are you?"

"Is that guy your boyfriend?" Jeongguk asks, apropos of nothing.

Jimin frowns, glancing around them to find exactly no one in the vicinity near enough to make that question make any semblance of sense.


"That guy." Jeongguk tosses a thumb over his shoulder in the vague direction of the exit. "He was just here? Leaning over the desk talking to you?"

Jimin frowns even deeper before realization dawns on him. "Who… oh Daejung? No no, he's my lab partner."

"He likes you though," Jeongguk presses, leaning further onto the counter, his gaze boring into Jimin's. "You know that, right?"

It takes everything in his power not to give this sweet boy a gentle, protective smile. Seriously, if Jeongguk knew how these questions sound to a gay boy who has a big crush on him, Jimin is sure he'd tone it down. Poor guy. Jimin feels a little bad for him.

Straight boys, honestly. They have no idea how some of the things they say sound to queer ears.

"I don't know honestly," Jimin shrugs, stacking a few books on the desk to keep busy and remain nonchalant so he doesn't give himself away here. Jeongguk has been so kind to him after all. He doesn't want to scare him off now by doing something stupid like flirting with him.

Because in any other situation, Jimin might bat his lashes a little, coyly askwhy? You jealous?and giggle delightedly after making soft cheeks blush.

But it's not like that with Jeongguk. Jimin will do well to remember that.

Even if his daydreams (and overbearing hyungs) lure him into thinking otherwise.

"It's really obvious," Jeongguk says and Jimin looks up, startled to see just how serious the quarterback looks. His brown eyes have sharpened just a tick, his mouth set in a thin line.

Confused, Jimin gives a light shake of his head, trying to lighten things as he quietly laughs. "Well if that's true, he'll be disappointed in my lack of interest then."

"Oh," Jeongguk nods, a little grin curling the corner of his mouth. "Okay. Good."

What the hell?

Why good?

Jimin is just about to ask that aloud when Jeongguk's gaze finds his again, pinning him to the spot anxiously. "Wait, do you already have a boyfriend? Is that why you're not interested?"

Jesus, this conversation is giving Jimin whiplash at this point.

"…No," he replies at length, his brows furrowing. "I don't have a boyfriend."

They blink at each other for a moment before the quarterback drops his head down, turning his face into his shoulder but not quick enough that Jimin doesn't catch a grin quirking his lips.

"Ah," Jeongguk says, and even without the visual, Jimin can tell the word is said around a smile. "That's… that's good to know then."

Giggling, Jimin's confusion dims just a bit, drowned out in favor of looking at this human embodiment of cute as all f*cking hell. How is he so cute all the time. He has no idea what's even going on but all he can say right in this moment is Jeon Jeongguk is f*cking adorable.

"Okay well,anyway." Jeongguk seems to gather himself, straightening back up and giving his head a little rattle back and forth. "I am here on official business."

Ugh. Jimin is so charmed. "Ohofficialbusiness. I see."

Jeongguk's lips press together like he's trying desperately to keep a secret and Jimin's heart stutters in his chest. "Yes. Quite official."

He leans forward then, all conspiratorially and Jimin mirrors him because he's completely helpless when he comes to those big beautiful eyes.

"Officialpartybusiness to be exact," Jeongguk cheeses. "Our game isn't until Saturday this weekend so we're having a little get together on Friday night and I wanted to invite you."

Jimin suddenly can't quite swallow properly because his heart has launched itself into his throat.



He knows it doesn't mean anything that Jeongguk is personally inviting him to a party. He knows it's just the quarterback getting the word out in case the invite hadn't made it to Jimin since it's not like they run in the same circles. And they are friends now, right?

But it doesn't seem to matter to Jimin's pulse because it still begins to race all the same.

Which is even more stupid because he already knows about the party. Seokjin already told him. He really has no excuse to be this excited about an event he already knew about.

"Nice," Jimin says with a nod, trying to appear unaffected while his insides go wild. "That sounds great. I think my hyung had mentioned something about it too."

Jeongguk's gaze zeroes in on him. "Which hyung? Hoseok or Seokjin? Because I know two guys who would be absolutely thrilled if they showed but neither seems to be sure if they're coming."

"Oh then I'm definitely not telling you which one," Jimin chuckles when Jeongguk makes an indignant sounds. "I can't be giving them up too easily now can I?"

Narrowing his eyes playfully, Jeongguk huffs. "Playing hard to get are we?"

Jimin's heart thunders in his throat. Seriously. Straight boys and their dumb sentences.

"Maybe," Jimin lobs back, toeing the flirting line without crossing it. He hopes anyway.

Sighing, Jeongguk straightens, crossing his arms over his chest. "Fine," he says dramatically before tossing a hopeful grin at Jimin. "But I'll see you there, right? You'll come?"

He's not sure how to keep teasing without totally screwing himself over so Jimin just nods. "I'll be there, yeah. Is it okay if I bring one of my grad student friends and his boyfriend?"

Jeongguk's eyes widen in recognition. "Yoongi and Yijeong? Right? Namjoon's mentioned he's met them."

Always so sweet, this boy. "Those are the ones."

"Awesome, yeah of course they can come," Jeongguk replies readily. "Honestly, I say small party but there are eight of us that live there so I'm going to go ahead and assume it's going to be a bit of a rager. So all are welcome."



All are welcome.

Of course they are. Why wouldn't they be? Jimin of course isn't the only one attending this party, and he's certainly not someone special to any of the hosts at that. He knows that, of course he knows. So it's not big deal at all to hear thatall are welcome.

Ignoring the way his chest deflates, Jimin schools his features into something pleasant. He'd already been fully aware that this invite was just a courtesy and nothing more so really it's not a problem.

Not that that changes the fact that it feels like his heart is sitting like a popped balloon on the floor of his stomach.

"Sounds great," he forces out.

"Cool," Jeongguk says, slightly giddy. "That's great. I'll see you there then. And get ready because you haven't seen Night Jeongguk in action yet."

This is why Jimin can't quite give up this friendship. It's the charm that won't allow him to let it go.

Well. That and the hotness. And the cuteness. And all of the other things he adores about Jeongguk, but he digresses.

"I'll try to properly prepare myself," Jimin giggles, letting the warmth fill him up when Jeongguk grins at him.

"You better." The quarterback taps his fingers against the countertop. "Okay. I'd better get going and let you get back to work. But I'll see you at the café tomorrow? Same time as always?"

Nodding, Jimin says, "I'll be there."

And Jeongguk bestows him one last Jeon Smile before he heads out.

And Jimin wonders vaguely why Jeongguk didn't just wait to tell him about the party tomorrow afternoon when they were already set to see each other instead of showing up at the library.

But really, what the hell does it matter anyway?All are welcome, after all. He'd probably just wanted to get the word out as soon as possible.

Because again. Jimin isn't special.

Not in the way he so desperately wants to be, anyway.

Hyejin is working on Thursday afternoon.

Actually, Jimin isn't totally sure if she is working because she's not at her designated area behind the register, safely on the other side of the counter where she belongs like usual.

No no, she is at a table. At Jimin's table. In Jimin's f*cking seat.

Sitting happily across from…

Across from Jeongguk.

And Jimin feels just a little sick at the sight.

Which he's fully aware is very stupid. It's silly he even has a reaction at all by now. Truly, it's almost ridiculous at this point because he knows damn well it shouldn't matter.

It's just that he hasn't seen much of Hyejin since the night at the pizza place and he's been pretty happy with that. Not having to see the reality of it right in front of him. Not have the fact that Jeongguk is straight as an arrow shoved in his face all the time. Getting to live in his own little crush world and just enjoy being around Jeongguk without having to deal with things like the truth.

It's just unpleasant is all.Hyejinis unpleasant.

But no one has asked Jimin's opinion on it and it's not his place to say anyway.

It's just safer to stay away from it all.

Especially when he's able to.

Jeongguk's back is to him, JEON written across the shoulders of his letter jacket and Jimin gives himself a single second to enjoy it before he's going to turn around and leave. He can still do that since he hasn't been spotted. He'll just make something up later to cover for it like he has before.

No big deal.

Stealing one more glance at the table, Jimin goes to turn-

Honestly it happens so fast, he thinks maybe he'd imagined it. Maybe with all of his frustration with the situation, he'd literally created a whole moment out of nothing.

But he swears for just a millisecond, his eyes meet Hyejin's over Jeongguk's shoulder.

It's so brief, Jimin is sure he's imagining it.

And he's also certain he's definitely imagining the smirk that plays on her lips, a look of deep satisfaction in her face.

And then just like that her gaze is on Jeongguk again and Jimin blinks.

There and gone. So fast, Jimin wonders if it had even happened at all.

All the more reason to leave this place for today, he thinks. He can get his Jeongguk time in some other time but he'd very much prefer not to have to endure Hyejin's presence to get it.

Just as quickly as he'd come in, Jimin turns and slips back out of the door.

And promptly runs right into what feels like a very tall, very solid brick wall.

"Oh sh*t, sorry!" he cries as he stumbles back against the glass door, glancing up to offer an apologetic smile at the guy he'd just barreled into.

And finds himself staring into the abyss of a Kim Taehyung stare.

He's never actually met Taehyung. Not formally, anyway. They've been near each other here and there and Jimin knows Seokjin has been doing some online flirting with the running back but that's really all Jimin knows about him. He's never shown up again during the times Jeongguk is here at the café with Jimin, and he hasn't seen him on campus either.

So this should just be quick. A quick exchange of awkwardness after literally running into someone is what should be happening right now.

So why isn't Taehyung moving out of the way?

Sharp eyes are watching him, no words following that stare and Jimin tugs at the sleeves of his coat, fidgeting under the scrutiny. "Um," he mutters, looking away. "Sorry again."

"You're always disappearing," Taehyung says, his deep voice rumbling out of him, looking truly disappointed and Jimin blinks up at him in confusion.


The running back tilts his head curiously to the side in the same adorable way Jeongguk always does.

"You're coming to the party, right? Tomorrow night. With Seokjinnie-hyung?"

Jimin is so surprised by the sudden subject change, it takes him a moment to respond.

"Uh," Jimin says at length, feeling terribly out of sync with this entire conversation. "…Yes?"

Taehyung's face lights up immediately and he smacks his hands onto the tops of Jimin's shoulders as he grins. "Great!"

And just as quickly as this conversation had started, it's over. Taehyung slips around him easily and heads inside the café not sparing him another glance as he disappears inside.

Jimin is so completely unbalanced after that, he forgets entirely about Hyejin and her smirk altogether, his head instead filled with all the possibilities of what the hell any of that even meant with Kim Taehyung as he heads back to his apartment in a daze.

"I'm not saying it's a big deal, I'm just saying your boyfriend is weird."

"He's not my boyfriend," Seokjin says with zero bite behind it before he smirks. "I mean. Notyetanyway."

Jimin raises his brows in surprise. "Oh?"

Kicking a rock on the sidewalk, Seokjin smiles down at his feet and doesn't respond, his hands deep in the pockets of his coat as they navigate their way down the dark street, the only source of light the flickering street lights overhead.

They're currently heading to the football house for the party they've all been invited to and Jimin hasn't quite decided if he's excited or not. He kind of just feels like this will be one of those things he's obligated to attend but the actuality of it is going to be kind of unpleasant in the way college house parties often are.

Especially because he knows damn well all of the cheer team will be in attendance. He'd found that out from Seokjin earlier in the day and really, Jimin had almost bailed altogether.

Which he knows is stupid. It should be fine at this point, honestly. He wishes it didn't matter. He really does because he loves spending time with Jeongguk. But it's starting to feel impossible unless the setup is perfectly without interference from a certain cheer girl.

"Holy sh*t, is tonight the night our slu*tty hyung finally gets cuffed?" Yoongi asks fondly. "I never thought I'd see the day."

"You know what, I'd give you a lecture on slu*t-shaming but coming from you, I take that as a compliment," Seokjin says decisively. He bites down on his bottom lip. "But. Yeah. Tonight might be a little different."

Jimin links his arm through his hyung's and gives him a big smile. "I'm happy for you. Taehyung is a total babe. I finally got to see him up close and personal yesterday and woah is he gorgeous."

"I know," Seokjin beams before shaking his head with a laugh. "Did you really run right into him?"

Jimin cringes as he nods. "Sure did. And then he was all cryptic and strange and then he left me to wonder what the hell all that was about in the middle of the sidewalk."

"Nah, that's just Tae," Seokjin laughs. "But I have to admit I do love that he confirmed I was coming tonight. He must be dying to see me."

"It sounds more like he was confirmingJiminwas coming," Yoongi says in pretend thoughtfulness. "Hmm. I wonder why he would want to make sure of that?"

Rolling his eyes, Jimin shoots a glare at Yoongi. "So that he could be sure Seokjin would be there obviously."

"I mean he could have just asked Hobi," Yoongi shrugs, feigning indifference. "He was right inside the café. He had no real reason to stop you and make sure you were coming tonight."

"I can think of a lot of reasons, actually," Jimin huffs because he's just a little bit tired of this narrative. He loves his Yoongi-hyung very much but planting false hope in Jimin's head is just asking for a disaster.

Jeongguk is f*cking straight.

Everyone knows this.

There is no point in having these dumb conversations.

"For one, it helped curb the awkwardness of running smack into someone he doesn't really know. For two, the party is at his house so he probably wanted to get an idea of headcount. And for three-"

"For three, he wanted to let Jeongguk know his cute little crush would be coming even though he bailed on their café date," Yoongi cuts in, tossing an obnoxious smile at Jimin. "Obviously."

"Stop," Jimin whines even as Seokjin laughs. "Seriously! Jeongguk isstraight-"

"We're all straight until we're not," Seokjin sing-songs, cackling when Jimin unlinks their arms and gives him a shove to the shoulder. "What! It's true! Ask our sweet little Hobi here about his first year in college…"

Seokjin trails off, glancing behind them to find Hoseok sulking along in silence a few paces back, hands in his pockets as he shuffles along the sidewalk.

"Oh mygod," Seokjin grumbles, marching back toward his friend and slinging an arm around Hobi's neck. "What is happening right now. You look like you're heading off to the gallows to get beheaded."

"Jesus, hyung," Yoongi snorts, looking back at the both of them. "You alright, Hob-ah?"

"Mm," Hoseok replies, eyes downcast. He looks the absolute picture of misery.

"He's been like this all week," Jimin murmurs to Yoongi. "Just sad and withdrawn."

Yoongi rolls his eyes. "I'd feel more sorry for him if Namjoon wasn't literally madly in love with him. He can't really be this imperceptive, can he?"

Jimin gives Yoongi a light smack to his arm but he can't help chuckling softly at the comment since he agrees. "Still. I feel bad."

"No you don't," Yoongi snorts. "You're hoping just as much as the rest of us that Namjoon finally makes a move tonight and puts poor Hobi out of his misery."

"I mean, that too," Jimin laughs, steeling a peek back to see Seokjin murmuring encouragements to Hoseok and jostling him good-naturedly even as Hobi tries not to smile at his antics.

"Seriously," Yoongi mutters, shaking his head. "I can't watch this go on all night. Yijeong better be there by the time we arrive or I'm not staying."

"He's heading over after work?"

"Yeah, he texted a bit ago and said he was on his way. He's my only saving grace between you two and your pining. At least hyung is finally owning it now even though he had to send us through quite a rollercoaster of emotions first."

"Hey,I'mnot pining," Jimin grouses, pressing a hand to his chest.

"I'm not having this conversation with you again," Yoongi snips and Jimin grins at him.

The walk to the football house isn't long, only a few blocks over from the apartment building they live in, and Jimin can already see the house lit up with strings of lights and several groups of people lingering on the porch with red solo cups in hand already, the thumping of the base from the music playing inside vibrating the ground they're walking on. The house is big and notorious for housing the top football players every year so it really does look like a frat house with the two white columns framing the front door and the large windows sitting in two rows along the front.

Jimin's never been here before but he's certainly heard about the epic parties thrown here regularly. He hasn't ever been invited to a football party before.

He tugs at his black sweater, checking the hem is sitting flat along his fitted dark jeans, and then automatically goes to adjust his glasses when he remembers he isn't wearing them tonight. He always forgoes them in favor of contacts on nights out since he's had one too many incidences with people running into him in crowded clubs or parties and wayward hands and arms smacking him in the face. Contacts are usually the safe option on nights like these but it always makes him feel a little self-conscious.

Running a hand through his dark hair, Jimin brushes his fingers down the sides where it's parted at the middle and hopes he doesn't have any fly aways or anything out of place. He doesn't even know why he's nervous. It's just a party with some friends. No big deal.

"Quit fidgeting, you look hot as hell," Seokjin says from behind him as they head up the walkway, making Jimin blush. "Seriously. If this Jeongguk character isn't smart enough to make a move, someone else definitely will want to take you home tonight."

"Shut up," Jimin huffs half-heartedly because while he doesn't want anyone to hear this conversation especially at Jeongguk's house, he can't help feel a little appreciated at his friend's words. He runs fingers over the small hoops dangling from his ears and breathes through the anxiety swirling in his stomach, following his friends through the front door.

A wall of sound seems to hit right as they step inside, the music overpowering even as voices talking and laughing and cheering intermixtogether. The house is packed already, hordes of students crammed in either drinking or dancing, some having posted up at the two beer pong tables just inside the kitchen, others squished together on the smattering of couches scattered in what was probably supposed to be some sort of formal dining area.

It's kind of crazy to see it now. Jimin's always heard rumors of the football house and how grand and big it really is but to get to actually see it is something else. He's heard the house was everything from a local millionaire's mansion he rents out specifically to the team to an abandoned fraternity house from when the college tried and failed to bring Greek life on campus but no one really seems to know. Or care. Because it doesn't really matter why the house is there.

What matters is what a great party pad it is. At least to college kids.

Still, Jimin feels slightly overwhelmed being here now. He's been to plenty of parties of course, it's really all there is to do as an undergrad on the weekends but it's never been quite like this before. This… well. This is a cool people party, isn't it? There's the football team and the cheerleaders of course and several other athletic teams are clearly also in attendance going by the amount of letter jackets and team zip-ups Jimin can see just from glancing around. This is the kind of party most people would kill to attend.

It's hard not to feel terribly out of place.

"Let's grab drinks," Seokjin shouts into his ear and Jimin nods, wanting to stay close to his friends and not be left alone here where he really doesn't know anyone.

He curls a hand around Yoongi's forearm and follows behind the rest of his group down the long hallway leading further into the house, squeezing by those lingering along the corridor. They step into another room also filled with people although it's significantly quieter back here save for the steady bass thumping against the floorboards. There is a makeshift bar area set up along the wall where several linebackers are manning the drinks with their shirts off, yucking it up with each other as they pour alcohol and mixers into cups and flirt with all the girls that have lined up at the counter to watch the show.

"Jesus, we're never going to get through that," Seokjin grumbles, waving his hand toward the literal wall of women standing between them and the liquor. "I told you we should have brought our own beer."

Yoongi frowns. "Did you? I specifically recall you saying this place will be stocked with every kind of alcohol we could ever want so we don't need to bring anything."

Seokjin ignores him, planting hands on his hips and huffing in frustration. "What are we gonna do? I can't get through this night without a drink-"

"Christ, there you are!"

Turning, Jimin watches as Yijeong comes into the room with a relieved grin, waving at them as he snakes a hand around Yoongi's waist. "This place is too big, I was getting worried I'd never find you."

"How long have you been here?" Yoongi asks, cheeks going lightly pink under his boyfriend's attention like they always do.

"Like twenty minutes but I found a friend along the way so it was okay," Yijeong laughs before he drops a kiss to Yoongi's cheek. He turns to look back over his shoulder. "Namjoon-ah! I found them!"

There's a beat and then Namjoon is hustling in as well, seemingly frazzled as he scans the group. "Hello, hi," he says in a rush before he finds his target, his eyes flaring wide. "Hobi," he breathes, his face flushing slightly. He makes his way right up to him, looking a bit frantic. "Can I talk to you? Like, right now? I need to… just, can we talk in my room?"

Hobi, who has been practically catatonic this evening, looks so startled by the sudden appearance of Kim Namjoon, Jimin has to stifle a laugh. Really, they're in the guy'shousefor godsake. Hobi can't be that surprised.

"Please," Namjoon says, just on the verge of begging. "Just. Please."

And then he reaches for Hoseok's hand.

"Oh my god," Seokjin mutters exasperatedly beside Jimin. "This is literally ridiculous."

"Shush," Jimin whispers back, biting viciously at his bottom lip to try and keep himself in check because Seokjin is kind of right but it's still incredibly entertaining to watch. "This is romantic."

Namjoon's touch seems to bring Hobi back to life and he grips onto Namjoon's hand tightly, swaying slightly toward him.

"Sure," he says softly with a nod. "We can talk."

The smile on Namjoon's face is one of relief and he guides Hobi back out into the hallway, their fingers lacing together as they go, neither one looking back at the group they'd left behind.

And Yoongi whips around to point a finger at his boyfriend. "What did you do? You did something, didn't you? Tell me."

"Woah third degree," Yijeong laughs, grabbing Yoongi's finger and using it to pull him closer. "I didn't do anything." He wraps his arms fully around Yoongi's waist and grins at him. "I mean. Just somelightmeddling, but that's it."

"What kind of meddling?" Jimin asks, chuckling. "Because that looked more like a work of magic than anything else."

Yijeong looks awfully proud of himself, snuggling Yoongi tighter. "What can I say? I'm a magician."

"I'm just glad someone did something," Seokjin sighs happily. "I can only watch so much pining before my patience wears thin."

Yijeong's smugness turns to Seokjin in an instant, his smirk growing. "I am so happy you see it that way, Jinnie."

Blinking at him for a long moment, Seokjin narrows his eyes suspiciously. "What does that mean?"

"I think they've got beers in the kitchen by the pong tables," Yijeong says pointedly. "You should go and see." He tosses a nod at Jimin in a clear attempt to be casual and missing by a mile. "Bring Minnie with you."

Flickering his gaze between Yijeong and Yoongi, Jimin can't help giggling at the way they are both staring at him pointedly. "Yeah hyung, let's go find beers."

"Hang on," Seokjin says, standing his ground, still glaring. "What's going on?"

"I don't know," Yijeong says, mischief coloring his words. "You should go to the kitchen and see."

"Chaos maker," Yoongi mutters against Yijeong's cheek but he looks very pleased with his boyfriend.

Laughing, Yijeong grabs hold of Yoongi's hand. "Come on. There is a makeshift dance floor in one of the rooms and I think we should go checkout the DJ setup."

"Wait, what about us?" Seokjin barks as he watches his friends head to the exit of the room. "Why can't we come see the dance floor?"

"Because you have to go to thekitchen," Yoongi snaps, waving his hand toward the hallway. "Now go and we'll find you later."

Seokjin moves to follow but Jimin grabs his arm, giving him a winning smile when Seokjin turns back around. "The kitchen is the other way, hyung."

Quirking a brow at him, Seokjin studies Jimin. "Do you know something I don't or are you just going off of looks and vibes alone here?"

"I know nothing," Jimin says honestly. "But I really want to find out so we should absolutely go to the kitchen. Especially if at the very least we'll get drinks."

He can practically see the dilemma going on in Seokjin's head, if he should continue to be stubborn or if his curiosity is winning out.

The moment he decides, Jimin gives a silent fist-pump in his head at the win.

"Fine," Seokjin sighs, though his eyes are glittering because Jimin knows deep down he's curious. "Let's go to the damn kitchen."

Jimin leads the way with a hand around Seokjin's wrist just to make sure his hyung doesn't try and bail.

They find their way into the kitchen just as cheers are going off all around, the small room filled with clapping and yelling of encouragements. Jimin manages to squeeze in between a few people, pulling Seokjin along just as more excited shouting starts up.

Turns out, everyone is gathered around one of the beer pong tables where two guys Jimin doesn't know are playing against…

Against Taehyung and Jeongguk.

And by the looks of it, they are kicking ass.

Jeongguk takes another shot and sinks the ball into one of the cups and the crowd once again goes crazy. Which Jimin really can't blame them since Jeongguk is in a fitted white short-sleeved shirt and his beer pong playing arm just happens to be his football throwing arm which just happens to be covered in glorious tattoos.

He looks so f*cking good shooting a beer pong ball it's truly unfair and Jimin can't help pausing just to admire him like the rest of the crowd is doing. His wavy hair is pinned down at the sides behind his ears but it's still wild around his temples and he keeps shaking it out of his eyes in a way that has Jimin's heart stutter-stepping.

"Oh god," Seokjin murmurs breathlessly behind him and Jimin stifles a laugh because this is clearly what Yijeong had planned on. Seokjin walking in to find this gorgeous running back playing beer pong like the hunky college bro that he is.

Jimin turns to give his hyung a grin. "Aren't you so glad we listened to Yijeong?"

Seokjin's mouth opens and closes twice before he huffs a breath out through his nose. "Shut up,"' he mumbles, though his eyes are firmly on Taehyung as the boy takes his own shot and scores in one of the cups.

Laughing, Jimin turns back around to watch. He thinks maybe this is okay to do since he's not the only one ogling the players. He can hear the quiet murmurs around him of others talking about just how hot these two are, how it's making them crazy just watching them shoot ping pong balls across a table. Jimin blushes at the more lewd comments he catches and does his best not to look around at who is speaking because he knows damn well he's in the same boat here, quietly drooling over Jeon Jeongguk and his thick arms.

They watch a few more shots before Seokjin tugs on Jimin's sleeve.

"Come on. Let's at least grab beers so we don't look like we're just standing here staring at them."

That is a great point, actually and Jimin nods, turning to try and push through the crowd to get to the fridge.

Turns out, however, that's their mistake.

"Hyung! Hey! Ah hang on, boys take over for us-Hyung!"

The crowd groans almost in unison at the loss of their favorite players on the table and Jimin turns to find Taehyung pushing his way through the throngs of students toward Jimin and Seokjin.

And Jeongguk isn't far behind him.

"Seokjin-hyung!" Taehyung calls again, stepping around Jimin like he's not even there to get to Seokjin-

Though just as he's brushing past, he manages to look Jimin straight in the eye, give him a knowing smirk and then he's gone, grabbing hold of Seokjin and dragging him away.

Seriously, Taehyung is a very strange individual.

And then Jeongguk is right in front of Jimin, and the math major loses track completely of his hyung because this gorgeous quarterback is here, beaming down at him with one of those big brilliant Jeonggukie smiles and Jimin can't even think straight.

"You're here!" Jeongguk says, his words full of so much joy it's infectious. "When did you arrive? I didn't see you come in!"

Jimin can't help smiling back at him. "Just a bit ago. We had to find Yijeong and then we ran into Namjoon so it's not been long."

Jeongguk looks so giddy he's practically vibrating. Jimin vaguely wonders if he's just had a little too much to drink. "You aren't wearing your glasses."

Heat rushes to Jimin's face in an instant and he raises his hand as if to adjust his specs but when his fingers don't find the rim like usual, he just rests his palm to his cheek. "Yeah, um. I find it safer to leave them at home when going to crowded places."

He's starting to fidget a little under Jeongguk's brightness.

The quarterback gives him a playful glare. "You know, some people only look good one way or the other, with or without glasses. How is it that you look good either way?"

Blanching, Jimin stares back at Jeongguk for a beat too long before just managing to catch himself and forces a laugh to lighten his heavy feelings about this man saying he looks good. "Ah, you know. It's all about logistics."

He wants to slap himself in the forehead at what a lame response that was but Jeongguk just keeps on looking at him with so much fondness.

"Did you get a drink yet? I can show you where our secret stash is."

Grateful for the subject change, Jimin shakes his head. "Not yet. We got caught up watching your game on our way to find a beer. You guys were crushing it."

"Nah we were just passing the time until you guys got here," Jeongguk says with a shrug. "But come on, I'll show you where the alcohol is. The good stuff, not the crap we have out."

And then-

Then he reaches for Jimin's wrist.

And before Jimin can say anything else, Jeongguk is pulling him through the crowded room and back through another hallway Jimin hasn't seen yet, his grip around Jimin's wrist firm as he guides him.

And Jimin is thankful Jeongguk's back is to him because his cheeks are burning so hot, he knows they're redder than cherries right now.

They make their way back to another room that's deep in the house and out of the way, turning two more corners and then ducking beneath the stairs where a small door is firmly closed. Jeongguk releases Jimin's arm to sneak inside quick, returning with two beers and a mischievous grin on his face. He hands Jimin one of the drinks.

"See? Super hidden," Jeongguk says proudly. "And you're welcome to come back here whenever for more if you want. It's reserved for our team and whoever we give permission to."

"Thank you," Jimin says with a chuckle, twisting the cap off of his beer and taking a sip. "Should I grab one for Seokjin too or do you think he's disappeared altogether?"

"Oh yeah no, he's gone for the night," Jeongguk says with a shake of his head. "I'm pretty sure Taehyung has already lured him into his layer for the remainder of the evening."

"Ah," Jimin nods. "And I'm assuming the same for Hobi? Namjoon seemed anxious to speak with him earlier."

"Yeah him too." Jeongguk gives him a crooked smile. "So it might just be you and me tonight, if that's okay."

Jimin takes another swig of his beer to keep from having to say anything for a moment because of course he's okay with that.

"That sounds good," he manages after swallowing, his words coming out a bit scratchy. "I'm just glad it's finally happening for my friends because… well. I probably shouldn't tell you too much but it was a lot."

"If it's about the intensely dramatic pining going on then no, you don't have to tell me anything because I already know," Jeongguk commiserates with a rattle of his head and Jimin giggles.

"You've been suffering too?"

"You have no idea. The amount of times they both spent staring at their phones hoping for texts or IG messages or something was sickening."

"Absolutely ridiculous," Jimin says with a fond roll of his eyes. He glances down to his feet and tucks a hand into his pocket. "Well. At least now maybe things will get better for all of them."

He looks up when the quarterback doesn't respond right away, finding Jeongguk's gaze boring into him. He raises his brows in question but Jeongguk seems to snap out of it.

"Yeah, um, for sure," he mutters, seeming to steel himself. "Anyway. You want a tour of the house? We try and keep the party contained to the downstairs but the rest of the place is pretty cool."

Grinning, Jimin raises his beer. "You don't have to babysit me, Jeongguk-ah, but I appreciate it. I've got a drink now, I can go find Yoongi and Yijeong."

Brows furrowing, Jeongguk looks truly confused. "Absolutely not. I want to hang out with you, I invited you after all."

He looks genuinely put out by the thought of Jimin going to do something else without him and the math major swoons a little before straightening himself out.

"But all of these people are here in your house, don't you want to-"

"I want to hang out withyou."

Jeongguk is steadfast, not budging an inch and giving Jimin a glare like he'd better not continue to argue with him on this or else.

And really, what is Jimin going to do here? Keep denying himself the one thing he wants?

"Alright," Jimin says softly, fighting a smile of his own when Jeongguk nods resolutely at him. "Give me a tour then."

The smile he gets in return is absolutely precious with the way it bunches Jeongguk's nose up.

"Follow me then."

The tour is less of one in the traditional sense and more just Jeongguk meandering down the hallways and telling Jimin about how ridiculous both Taehyung and Namjoon have been over Jimin's friends, having Jimin in stitches with his stories. They stroll around the house with their beers, pausing every now and then when Jeongguk gets pulled into a group, but he always brings Jimin into the fold, introducing him around and staying by his side. The party is definitely ramping up now with even more people arriving but Jeongguk makes sure Jimin is secure at his side, never once making him feel left out or like a burden, including him in every moment of the evening.

Honestly, the night is kind of turning out pretty great, if Jimin does say so himself. He thinks he's going to feel way more secure in calling Jeongguk his friend after tonight. He doesn't think he'll feel like an imposter anymore when even thinking it because it feels so real now. He's actually friends with this boy.

It might be one of the most wonderful things that's ever happened to Jimin.

So after an hour of this comfortable evening together, someone shoutsHey Gukk-ah! Someone is upstairs f*cking in your room!Jimin doesn't really think much of it. Not even when Jeongguk turns to him with panicked eyes.

"Are youkiddingme," Jeongguk growls, the perfect picture of fury and Jimin bursts out laughing.

"That is so gross," he giggles. "Honestly, do people not have any shame?"

"Apparently not."

Pushing a hand through his hair anxiously, Jeongguk gives Jimin an imploring look. "Give me five minutes to deal with this, okay? Just five minutes."

Chuckling, Jimin shakes his head. "It's fine, Jeonggukie. Go take care of it and enjoy your party. I'm all good here."

Jeongguk's brows furrow. "No seriously. Stay right here and I'll be back after I deal with this, okay? Just wait here."

Seriously, straight boys shouldn't be nice to Jimin. It makes his heart do all kinds of acrobatics and he's so weak for Jeongguk as it is.

Still, even as a friend, it's so lovely to hear.

"Okay," he murmurs, trying not to blush. "Ah, good luck with… yeah."

Jeongguk grins. "It's the people f*cking in my bed that are going to need the luck."

Laughing, Jimin tips his head to the point. "Fair enough."

"Seriously, just five minutes, okay?" Jeongguk repeats, starting to walk backwards, his precious eyes big and round and looking almost like they're pleading with Jimin to believe him. "Five minutes."

"Got it," Jimin nods, pointing a finger toward the stairs, assuming that's where Jeongguk's bedroom is since they never actually made it up there during the 'tour'. "Now go."

With a sigh and a final smile, Jeongguk turns and disappears from view, dashing through the crowd, up the stairs and out of sight.

And Jimin takes the moment of privacy to press a hand to his chest and take a deep breath. Honestly, he's considering telling Jeongguk to just stop being so damn sweet all the time because it's messing with Jimin's heart badly but he really can't do that, now can he? Not when he's actually making a real friend.

It's masochism is what it is but Jimin is going to worry about that tomorrow because tonight, he's going to let himself have a great time.

And it's the minute that he lets himself relaxthat he spots her.

And it's like all of the air has been sucked out of the room.

He hasn't really thought about Hyejin at all this evening. Which seems a bit shortsighted now that he's seeing her in the flesh and knowing full well she'd be at this party. He really should have better prepared himself for the eventuality of seeing her.

At least it's not in the context of her hanging off of Jeongguk's arm. That's at least one saving grace, he supposes.

She's with a large group of girls that Jimin can only assume are other cheerleaders so he figures he can just quietly slink off. It should be easy enough in this big and crowded house. He maneuvers his way through the crowd into another room off to the side that's a little less loud, still plenty of people around but no one he knows.

He thinks he's safe here behind a wall and faded into the background when-

"Oh my godlook! It's Jimin-ssi!"


Turning, Jimin sees that Hyejin has apparently also made it into the room along with him, her small entourage filing in behind her. What the f*ck- did shefollowhim? "Hi Jimin-ssi!"

Wincing, Jimin watches as the rest of the cheerleaders turn to look to see who Hyejin is talking to. He doesn't know any of them but it's clear from Hyejin's glassy eyes that they've pre-gamed before showing up here.

It's unsettling.

"Oh, hi Hyejin-ssi," Jimin says politely with a bow of his head. "Great to see you-"

"You guys this is Jimin!" she shouts right over him, waving a hand in his direction and looking over her shoulder. "He's Ggukie's friend."

Ugh. Not to be a jerk but Jimin really doesn't like the way she uses Jeongguk's nickname. It sounds icky falling out of her mouth.

But he supposes it's not for him to judge.

Instead, he offers an awkward wave at the several pairs of eyes blinking at him. "Hello," he mumbles. "Nice to meet you-"

"Jimin has the biggest crush on our Ggukie," Hyejin says in a horrible raspy stage-whisper, turning to her friends like she's trying to tell a secret but also not trying at all. "Like. Thebiggest."

A stone sinks uncomfortably into Jimin's stomach.

"I don't-"

"It'ssocute," Hyejin says like he's a small puppy trying to navigate using the stairs for the first time, her smile just this side of cruel like she'd feel genuinely sorry for him if he wasn't so pathetic. "I mean. Kind of ridiculous of course but cute all the same."

"Hyejin-unnie!" one of the girls standing behind her gasps as if shocked, which would have landed if she wasn't laughing behind her hand. "Be nice!"

"What? I'm not being mean!" Hyejin chuckles in that condescending way, her words lightly slurring. "I'm just saying it's kind of funny, isn't it? For any boy to have a crush on our star? I mean I know Ggukie is a sweetheart but we all know he's notgay."

She spits the word out like it's something foul in her mouth and Jimin's blood goes cold.

"Some of usreallyknow it," another girl tosses out, causing the rest of the cheerleaders to titter and shriek in scandalized delight.

"Yeah," Hyejin says, her attempt at a sympathetic smile toward Jimin coming off as nothing more than patronizing. "We're kind of proof that he'd never be into a guy." She tilts her head and winks at Jimin. "If you know what I mean."

She clicks her tongue and raises her brows pointedly as the girls surrounding her cackle, descending upon her to give her appraising shoves and knowing glances, laughing like this is all just such fun trying to tell this nerdy math major that he'd never stand a chance with their straight quarterback since the guy has apparently f*cked more than half the cheer squad.

And it's not like Jimin didn't know all of that already. And he thinks he's stayed relatively neutral in Jeongguk's presence, never once giving his crush away. They are friends. That's it.

So he's not totally clear why Hyejin is going out of her way to make him feel miserable and humiliated in front of a bunch of people he doesn't know.

He's mostly just ashamed that it's working so well.

He hasn't even said anything, just watching as the cheerleaders jeer at him and tease him mercilessly, cooing at him like he's completely pitiful and, to his horror, Jimin feels a lump starting to form in his throat.

"I'm not…" he tries, though it's so soft his words are already being drowned out by the girls in front of him. He tugs at the hems of his sleeves, trying and failing to find his voice, his insides feeling bitterly cold. "It's not like that."

"So listen," Hyejin continues jovially, like she hadn't just torn him all the way down to nothing. "I totally get it and everything, I mean hello, Gguk issohot. But his time is going to become pretty limited from now on since. Well, he and I..." She trails off meaningfully, glancing behind her and smirking at her fellow cheerleaders who egg her on with teasing and laughter. "He just won't have much time anymore to be nice to geeks. No offense or anything! Just, you know. It's sort of like charity what he's been doing with being so nice to you. But you know he just feels sorry for you, right? Like he can't really help that he's just such a nice guy."

And later on, when he doesn't feel like he can't breathe with just how intensely the shame and embarrassment are consuming him, Jimin will think of a thousand things to say in response. He'll wish desperately that he'd snarked back a reply or committed to denying any kind of crush because really, it's not any of her business anyway (and why the hell does she care is what Jimin will really want to know since she's right: Jeongguk is straight and not interested in him in the slightest so what the f*ck does it matter to her?)

But right now, all Jimin does is nod.

"Got it," he mumbles, trying to subtly find a path to the exit of this room without having to go through this horde of women. "I'll try to stay out of your guys' way."

"Ohhoney. You've never been in my way," Hyejin laughs, high and cruel. "I just thought you should know so your little heart won't get broken, you know? I know it can't be easy to have a crush on such a sweet guy but really, you should have known better since Gguk is straight."

She gives him a satisfied smile, her eyes cold and narrowed like she knows she's made her point.

And, well. She has.

And Jimin has had about enough of it.

"Okay," he says, doing his best to move around the group. "Um. I'm gonna… go."

"Sure," Hyejin says, wiggling her fingers at him. "Enjoy the party. But I wouldn't expect to see Gguk again tonight if I were you. He's going to be pretty preoccupied the rest of the night."

Her smirk is downright inappropriate at this point but she doesn't seem to notice since the roar of laughter she gets from her girls only seems to make her more pleased with herself.

Jimin's skin crawls a little but he nods anyway, just once, just as a cutoff to this upsetting conversation and turns to leave out of the other side of the room into a different hallway even as he can feel them sneering at him, still laughing and chatting.

Maybe this is why he shouldn't come to these parties. He's completely fine with who he is but he doesn't feel the need to be treated like it's some sort of disgrace to be gay and a little dorky. So what? He'd never thought he'd had a chance with Jeongguk anyway but he really, really didn't need the rude reminder from Jeongguk's nasty… well, whatever she is to him.

"Bye, Jimin!" Hyejin says and another round of cackling begins just as Jimin manages to make his way out of the room.

He wills himself not to cry as he shoves his way through the crowd, stumbling out of the front door of the house in record time. He takes a deep inhaling breath when he manages to make it into the cool night air, gasping like he'd just run a mile and pressing a hand to his sternum in a feeble attempt to keep his heart from shattering into a million pieces.

God, it's not even like he didn't know all of that sh*t but did Hyejin really have to throw it in his face like that? In front of all of those people? He doesn't even know that girl so why had she made it her mission to humiliate him tonight?

He doesn't understand. All he knows is he just wants to go home.

Swallowing back his unshed tears, Jimin makes his way through the front gate and back down the road toward his apartment building, letting the cool breeze sink into his exposed skin and doing his best to calm his racing heart. He inhales as deeply as he can manage, trying to let it all go as he exhales but Hyejin's words linger in his head like a bad song, replaying over and over on repeat. He curls his fists tighter into his palms, pressing his nails into his skin to try and focus on something else but it's almost impossible.

So instead, he buries his hands into his pockets and picks up his pace, so ready to just be in his bed, hidden away from unkind people and hurtful words that feel like daggers to his chest-

"Hyung! Hey! Jiminie-hyung, wait up!"

Oh god.


No nono.

Jimin frantically looks around the deserted street, refusing to turn around and instead trying desperately to find a shrub he can dive into or fence he can hide behind. Hell, he'd even be willing to scale a damn tree at this point to get the hell out of view from-

"Jimin! Where are you off to? I thought I told you to stay put! I told you I'd only be five minutes!"

There is laughter in that sweet voice that Jimin adores. That voice that's only getting closer and Jimin prays anxiously to any god that might be listening to just crack this ground right open at his feet and swallow him whole because he really can't do this, he can't face Jeongguk like this, not when the mere idea of him being friends with Jeongguk was shredded to ribbons only a few short minutes ago.

Goddamnit. Jimin really should have sprinted home. Or at least rounded the next corner he needed to take a lot faster so he could at least have time to hide.

But there's nothing for it. Jeongguk is on him now, the sounds of his casual sneakers in the loose gravel of the concrete loud in the quiet of the night as he jogs his way over to Jimin, his soft laughter floating along the currents of the breeze.

And then he's there, bounding in front of Jimin like a joyful golden retriever, grinning that precious Jeonggukie smile with all of his teeth out and his eyes crinkling and Jimin wishes so much to be somewhere else right now. Somewhere Jeongguk can't see him.

"Where are you going?" Jeongguk asks cheerfully. "I promise I'm done with all the…"

He trails off as he takes in the state of Jimin, his smile fading as his brows curve worriedly. His gaze races all over Jimin's face and the math major hopes against hope that he doesn't look like he's on the verge of crying.

Though, he can't say he doesn't want to all over again with Jeongguk looking at him like that.

"Uh, hey," Jimin says, shooting for normal and missing by a mile. "Sorry I was just heading out." He pats his fingertips to his forehead in a lame attempt at a lie. "Bit of a headache so I thought it best to go before it got worse."

"Jimin…" Jeongguk breathes, that single word sounding so concerned it makes Jimin's heart ache a little.

Avoiding his gaze, Jimin tries to offer a chuckle but it just sounds wet and awful. "I'm fine really. Just this headache." He waves a hand up toward his head and then sniffs which is obviously more telling than anything but he barrels on, hoping to make this quick. "You should go back to the party, though. Really, I'm okay, it's just my head. I'll get some rest and be right as rain."

Jeongguk doesn't move, his eyes only becoming more worried the longer he stands here. "Did something happen? Are you okay?"

"Yeah yeah," Jimin tries again to say reassuringly, nodding for good measure. "I'm fine just. You know. It's this headache-"

"Hyung," Jeongguk cuts in, taking a step closer, looking so serious and so distressed it makes Jimin feel twice as awful. "Please tell me what's going on."

And Jimin knows he can't keep this up. He's not convincing anyway and he hates that it legitimately looks like it's hurting Jeongguk.

But he can't tell him the truth either.

Not the whole truth anyway.

"It's nothing really just," Jimin tries to downplay it, trying to find the right words without giving it all away. He doesn't know what Jeongguk's situation is with Hyejin and he's not sure if he should ask. If he has the right to ask.

So he keeps it vague.

"Just, you know. People saying sh*tty things is all."

Jeongguk looks outraged immediately. "Who?" he demands, his hands curling into fists, his chest puffing out. "Who said what to you?"

It's so nice how protective Jeongguk is of his friends. Jimin would hug him if he could.

But he knows that will just make everything worse, especially with what he'd just been told by a certain cheerleader.

"Oh I don't know their names," Jimin mutters, looking at his feet. It's not a total lie. He doesn't know the other cheer girls besides Hyejin anyway. "Just um. Just some rude stuff but it's really fine. Honestly."

"No it isn't," Jeongguk says, his features darkening. "What did they say, Jimin?"

"It's really not a big deal." He's trying to diffuse Jeongguk's fury but it's not working. "Just some things about how it's… you know. Like it's weird for us to be friends or whatever."

The last thing he wants to do is repeat all of the hideous things Hyejin had said, the thought alone making him cringe. And besides that, Jeongguk doesn't need to know the specifics. It's the gist of it anyway, isn't it? Hyejin doesn't think they should be friends because Jimin is nerdy and has an obvious crush and Jeongguk is popular and straight. That's basically it.

Frowning, Jeongguk looks a little less angry and more confused. "Why would it be weird for us to be friends?"

God, is he really going to keep pushing this? Jimin's stomach twists uncomfortably at the thought of saying the truth out loud.

"Well. Because." He pauses, looking down at the ground again. "Because you are you. And I'm… just me." He winces at how cryptic that sounds. "Like. It doesn't make a lot of sense, does it. For the star quarterback to be friends with…"

He sighs, pretending like a fresh wave of tears aren't prickling the corners of his eyelids.

"Please don't make me say it," he murmurs, his voice cracking even with how quietly it comes out.

He clears his throat, refusing to look upward, hoping maybe Jeongguk will take pity on him and just leave him here to be sad on his own. It would be so much easier to just be left alone to wallow-

There is suddenly warmth all around him.

Jimin's forehead settles neatly onto a firm shoulder as arms wrap around his frame and pull him in delicately, his entire front coming to rest up against a wall of muscles that are surprisingly soft when relaxed. He turns his head to keep from being all the way squished and settles his cheek against Jeongguk's collarbone, feeling a little overwhelmed. He hadn't expected a hug, not from this beefy football boy who looks like he eats weights for breakfast but he's grateful all the same and he curls his own arms around Jeongguk's waist, letting himself be held and trying desperately not to burst into tears with how emotional he feels in this moment. He's so touched by this gesture and Jimin lets himself sink into the embrace.

"I'm so sorry," the quarterback whispers into his hair, giving Jimin a light squeeze. "I'm so sorry anyone thought that was okay to say to you. That anyone would even think that. I'm so sorry, Jimin-hyung. Really. I shouldn't have left you down there. God, when I find out who said it…"

He trails off and Jimin can feel him take a deep, steadying breath like he's trying to calm himself down, his big chest pressing more firmly into Jimin's with the effort.

"It's okay," Jimin says softly, hoping the pounding of his heart isn't totally giving him away because there's no way Jeongguk can't feel it with how close they are. "Really. It's not a big deal-"

"Yes it is," Jeongguk cuts in, holding Jimin even closer. "It's not okay for anyone to speak to you like that or think it's funny to be mean to you. It's not okay and I'm so sorry it happened in my house. You shouldn't have to put up with anything like that, not ever."

The kindness of this boy only makes the lump in his throat feels even bigger but Jimin breathes through it and stays quiet, allowing the moment to take him over completely instead. He didn't know a hug from Jeon Jeongguk would be so wonderful but now that he has this knowledge, he's going to soak in every breath of it.

He lets it go on for a beat longer before he's not sure he can justify it anymore and he gently pulls back. They're quiet as they separate and Jimin feels like it should be awkward but it's not, Jeongguk's soft gaze making him feel even more comforted.

Steeling himself once more, Jimin sniffs again and glances back down the road toward the direction of his apartment building.

"Thank you," he murmurs, pulling at his sleeves to cover his cold fingers. "I should probably get home. Let you go enjoy the party-"

"Can I walk you home?"

Jimin pauses in his movements as his heart lurches in his chest, meeting Jeongguk's eyes.

There is so much hope in the quarterback's face. "Please? I want to know you made it home safe."

And maybe it's selfish.

But Jimin doesn't want to leave him right now either. For different reasons of course but that fact can stay safely locked away in Jimin's head.

"Sure," Jimin nods, giving a soft laugh. "I'd like that."

And as if Jimin's feelings could take anymore hits tonight, Jeongguk gives him a relieved smile and then reaches over and takes one his hands, ticking his head toward the road ahead. "Come on."

And Jimin can hardly speak as Jeongguk laces their fingers together and tugs Jimin along right up by his side.

Oh god.

Christ his hands are so big. And soft. They curl between Jimin's fingers like they belong there, clutching Jimin close as he guides him down the footpath, his thumb brushing over the back of Jimin's smoothly and the touch alone has Jimin's insides feeling like a fleet of tornadoes have been released and are spinning around wildly. He knows he's blushing all the way down to the roots of his hair and he's so grateful it's dark enough out here that Jeongguk won't see it.


"Are you cold?" Jeongguk asks quietly beside him.

Shaking his head, Jimin glances over at his friend, immediately looking away when he catches Jeongguk's eye.

"No, I'm okay." He swallows thickly. "Although I really should be asking you that since you're the one in short sleeves."

"I run hot," Jeongukk says proudly and Jimin has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep an inhuman noise from leaving his mouth. "I would have grabbed a coat while I was in my room but I didn't know I'd be running out into the night like I did."

Jimin winces. "I'm sorry about that. I should have stayed inside and waited for you."

"No you absolutely shouldn't have," Jeongguk says immediately, giving Jimin's hand a little tug to get him to look up. "Seriously. I'm glad you got away from whoever was being rude to you."

Jimin offers a smile, feeling a bit overheated under all of this attention. "Um, so. How did that all go? Did you kick those people out of your room?"

Jeongguk makes a smug, if not disgusted face and Jimin laughs. "I sure did. They were under mycovers, hyung. Complete strangers just freely boning in my bed. Tell me you don't find that absurd."

Giggling, Jimin nods. "Very absurd. I can't believe they'd think that was okay."

"Seriously," Jeongguk says, giving a shiver of repulsion. "Ugh. I stripped my entire bed down, including the fitted sheet around the mattress. I can't decide if I should burn it all or not, which is so sad because they're my favorite sheet set that I have."

"I think a serious bleach wash will do the trick," Jimin chuckles.

"Oh no," Jeongguk says gravely, his eyes widening. "You didn't see what I saw. Bleach will never be able to scrub the image from my brain. I'd never sleep a wink in those sheets, I'll tell you that for free."

Jimin can't help continuing to laugh, the charm of Jeongguk always making him feel so much joy. This is really what he needed after that little run-in he'd had at the party.

At least he knows Jeongguk doesn't think the things that Hyejin does. Even if he knows Jimin has a bit of a crush, Jimin can't imagine Jeongguk ever being anything other than lovely to him.

He hadn't thought about it until now but he thinks Hyejin's words were very much her own and possibly extended to the rest of her friend group but that's where it ends because he doubts very much if Jeongguk felt any of the same sentiments as the cheerleaders did, he wouldn't be here now, walking Jimin home hand in hand. It's a relief to know their friendship is something real. Even if Jeongguk's choices in who he chooses to… whatever he's doing with Hyejin, are questionable.

"Then I think burning is the best option," Jimin says with a grin, pointing with his free hand to the right. "I'm this way."

Humming in acknowledgement, Jeongguk checks both ways on the deserted street before guiding Jimin over to the other sidewalk, lifting their joined hands up slightly when they hop over the curb together and Jimin hides his smile in the opposite direction to keep Jeongguk from seeing it.

"Are you in a house or apartments?" Jeongguk asks amiably, glancing around at the mismatched buildings that line the streets around them.

"Apartment. Hobi and I live a few doors down from Seokjin and Yoongi."

"Ah. Is that how you all met then?"

"Oh no," Jimin giggles. "No, the way I met Seokjin and Yoongi was not that simple."

"Now this sounds like a good story."

So Jimin tells Jeongguk about the time he'd spilled coffee all over Yoongi at the café he was supposed to be meeting Hoseok at, which coincidentally was the same time he was also supposed to meet Hobi's new friends who were a little older. Having to sit down and act like he wasn't the reason for the large coffee stain down Yoongi's very white shirt was absolutely horrifying.

Seokjin thought it was the funniest thing that had ever happened and even with his serious face, Yoongi had managed to make Jimin not feel like a complete idiot about it but they'd both certainly given him hell for it for months after.

By the end of his retelling, Jeongguk's smile is as big as Jimin has ever seen it.

"That's how you know they're true friends," he says with a laugh. "They give you sh*t for it but still want to hang out. I swear my friends are like that too. Always giving me hell but I'd not change it for the world."

"Same," Jimin beams, slowing down in his steps because he can see his apartment building now and he just really doesn't want this night to end. "I think sometimes we can get really lucky with meeting the right people at the right time."

The quietness beside him has Jimin glancing up to find big eyes on him, tender and kind.

"I think so too," Jeongguk says softly. And for some reason that sentence feels like it holds more than Jimin can decipher.

"Um." He tries not to sigh as they wander up to the front of his building. "This is me."

They pause together, Jimin turning to stand in front of Jeongguk to properly say goodnight.

"So. Thank you." He doesn't let go of Jeongguk's hand, their fingers still tangled together and the quarterback doesn't pull away either. "For walking me home. And for being so nice to me. I'm sorry for running out like that but I think it's better for me not to be there."

"You have nothing to apologize for," Jeongguk murmurs back, like they're sharing a secret. "I'm glad you got out of there. I don't even want to go back now. It's going to make me crazy not knowing who dared say something like that to you."

Huffing a quiet laugh, Jimin shrugs. "It's not important who it was anyway. Just. Thank you, Jeongguk-ah. Thank you for being my friend."

He reaches out and pats his free hand to Jeongguk's sternum, too shy to reach for another hug but hoping his touch conveys his gratitude all the same.

"You don't need to thank me," Jeongguk says easily, looking down at the sidewalk. "I'm glad to know you've made it home safe."

Jimin smiles, kind of wishing this moment didn't have to end.

But he's not sure how to extend it any longer.

And besides that, Jeongguk should really get back to the party Jimin stole him away from.

So with a deep breath, Jimin gives the hand in his a light squeeze. "Well. Goodnight, Jeonggukie."

"Goodnight, Jimin."

And then.


Jimin isn't totally sure how it happens. Or why it happens. Or who the hell he thinks he is when it happens.

But suddenly, he's up on his toes, pressing a soft kiss to Jeongguk's cheek.

He doesn't know what possesses him to think that's an okay thing to do, the gentleness of the moment propelling him forward but before he knows it, he's just put his lips on Jeongguk's skin.

And Jimin absolutely freezes.

Oh god. What the f*ck,what the f*ck? Why did he just do that? What was hethinking?!

Humiliation crashes over Jimin, his eyes widening in panic at his own brazenness and he moves to take a quick step back. His gaze lands on Jeongguk's chest where his hand is still resting and he's just about to spill out apology after apology because he has absolutely no right to be touching him like this, tokisshim, oh god it's not okay-

But just as he goes to remove his touch entirely from the quarterback's person, Jeongguk's fingers are suddenly around his wrist, keeping his hand against that firm chest.

Their eyes meet and Jimin's breath catches in his throat.

There is something in Jeongguk's gaze he's never seen before. Something bright and fierce.

Something likewant.

Swallowing thickly, Jimin holds his stare because he can't bear to look away, his heart stutter-stepping behind his ribcage as he watches Jeongguk lean in slowly.

And then Jimin's curling his hand into the fabric of Jeongguk's shirt.

And then Jimin's eyes flutter shut at their own accord.

And Jeongguk's lips brush delicately against his.

And time itself stops completely.

Jimin holds himself so still, terrified one wrong move could end this altogether, like it may alert Jeongguk to the fact that he's here now, kissing Jimin on his doorstep and force him to realize this is a very not straight thing to be happening right now.

But he doesn't stop.

He doesn't stop at all and instead brings Jimin forward by their joined hands, wrapping Jimin's arm around his waist and bringing his other hand up to cradle Jimin's cheek, kissing him more firmly with the leverage he has and Jimin absolutelymeltsagainst him.

He loosens his grip on Jeongguk's shirt in favor of snaking it down around Jeongguk's trim waist, pressing up on his toes to get closer, to getmore. Jeongguk follows suite, leaving Jimin's arm around his waist and instead cupping Jimin's face in his big hands, his soft mouth never leaving Jimin's as he drops little kisses like raindrops onto Jimin's lips.

Christ, he can't be the only one that feels the sparks dance between every place they touch, Jimin's mouth tingling with the sensation of it and he gasps for air, overwhelmed by the feeling but Jeongguk is there to meet him, smoothing thumbs along his jawline as he sweeps his tongue into Jimin's mouth so easily, tasting him like he's been just as desperate for it as Jimin has.

Sweet lord,hashe? Has Jeon Jeongguk, the star quarterback of their college football team, been wanting math nerd Park Jimin just as badly? The thought alone sets Jimin's heart on fire and he grasps harder onto the fabric of Jeongguk's shirt at the small of his back, giving back as good as he gets as Jeongguk devours him right here in the middle of the dimly lit sidewalk-


Oh Jesus, they're still out here in the world where literally anyone could see them. Where any prying eyes could see Jeongguk kissing a boy.

That has Jimin snapping back to reality and he tugs Jeongguk back by his shirt to separate their mouths, the shock and panic and fear mixing dangerously to make his pulse sprint for a whole different reason. He's sure Jeongguk is going to come to his senses the minute they lock eyes, push Jimin away and run off screaming into the night.

But he doesn't.

"What?" Jeongguk breathes in surprise, still holding Jimin's cheeks, gaze racing all over Jimin's face. "What's wrong?"

It takes a moment to find his words because Jeongguk is still here, still holding him tenderly and Jimin doesn't even realize he's speaking until he hears himself say it.

"I didn't know you kiss boys."

And then his faceburnswith embarrassment.

Christ, did he really just say that?

What has gotten into him tonight?

Jeongguk's eyes sparkle for a moment with mirth before he tosses his head back and laughs big and bright and so, so beautiful and Jimin's heart is truly threatening escape at this point with how rapidly it's beating against his chest.

"Park Jimin, you are way too cute for your own good," Jeongguk shakes his head, still giggling, still holding Jimin's face. He grins as he leans in again, just shy of touching, his words ghosting over Jimin's waiting lips. "But just so we're clear: Ilovekissing boys. And there is one boy in particular I'm deeply interested in kissing."

Even as he blushes all the way down to his naval, Jimin still feels a smile spread across his face helplessly. Somewhere vaguely in the back of his head, he thinks maybe he should hit pause on this and ask some questions before proceeding but that thought is lost as quickly as it passes by because Jeongguk is leaning in again.

And then Jimin is being consumed anew, Jeongguk's fiery mouth capturing his once more, flames dancing between where they touch and taste each other. He giggles into it which makes Jeongguk grin in return and it's all teeth and breath and joyful bliss and Jimin reaches up to clutch at one of Jeongguk's hands where it lay against his skin.

Every thought beyond this quarterback and his kisses leave Jimin's head altogether and he lets himself just enjoy this moment, his insides absolutely singing with pleasure.

He's kissing Jeongguk.

He'skissingJeon Jeongguk!

He never even knew this was a possibility and now?

Now he can't think of anything else.

They switch placement of their hands naturally, Jimin sliding his palms up that fit stomach and those firm pectoral muscles until he's wrapping his arms around Jeongguk's neck and the quarterback follows, soothing his hands down Jimin's flanks to grip him by the hips.

And then Jeongguk is hauling him closer.

And sparks of pleasure shower down Jimin's spine as his front is pressed right up against that thick muscled frame.

The quarterback gathers him as close as he can, his hands running up and down Jimin's back so sensually Jimin can't help the wanton moan that falls from his lips. It's loud in the quiet of the night but it only seems to spur Jeongguk on, capturing Jimin's mouth over and over again in a way that has Jimin needing more more more. Jeongguk feels so good under his hands and along his lips, this man knowing exactly what he's doing with the way he moves against Jimin, bringing him in and making him feel everything. Jimin's back arches with just how good it feels to be heavily making out with this stunning quarterback he quite literally daydreams about.

It'sdivineand Jimin would really like to take this to a more private area because he'd like to do some things that would be considered indecent for a public setting and going by the way Jeongguk is touching him, Jimin is going to assume he feels similarly.

It still feels scary as it tumbles out of his mouth but Jimin says it anyway because his entire being feels like it's about to go up in flames with how badly he wants to be under this boy and he'd never forgive himself if he didn't at least ask.

So he does.

"Do you want to come upstairs?" Jimin murmurs between breaths right against Jeongguk's lips.

And the boy in his arms sucks in a sharp breath, pulling back just enough to rest his forehead against Jimin's.

He's already nodding and Jimin's heart seizes in his chest, hope and anticipation consuming him immediately before Jeongguk gives pause. He inhales and exhales quickly like he'd just completed several sprints and Jimin wants him so badly it hurts.

Jeongguk seems to steady himself. "sh*t, just, are you sure?"

"Yeah," Jimin whispers against those sweet lips. "Yeah I'm really,reallysure."

A quiet groan leaves Jeongguk's mouth followed by a huff of laughter before he's nodding. "Lead the way, then."

And Jimin does, guiding Jeongguk into his apartment building as he walks backward toward the entrance, their mouths still sealed together as they stumble through the doorway and down the hall toward the stairwell. Jimin lives on the second floor and since the elevator is broken, the stairs are the only option, though it's proving slightly difficult to get there with a hunky football player attached to his front.

The door slams behind them and Jeongguk yanks back suddenly, almost making Jimin stumble.

"f*ck, I didn't bring a condom," Jeongguk says with wide, upset eyes. "I'm…f*ck, I didn't even think-"

And it might be counterintuitive but sh*t if that doesn't send adeliciousshiver up Jimin's spine.

God, it's so sexy to hear that.

Like Jeongguk wants him.

Like he's that eager to f*ck Jimin.

It only makes Jimin's stomach flip, making him feel a little powerful.

So he leans in conspiratorially and says, "Good thing I've got my own supply, huh?"

Jeongguk's eyes flash dangerously, like he's considering taking Jimin right here in this carpeted hallway and Jimin watches with hooded eyes.

And then a slow smile spreads on Jeongguk's face as he pulls Jimin close again for a long, lingering kiss.

"Show me the way, then," he whispers against Jimin's lips.

The math major stalls for a moment before leaning back and quirking a brow. "It's one flight up."

Jeongguk flicks his gaze over to the entrance to the stairs and back to Jimin, a devilish grin taking over his face.

"Race you?"

Jimin rolls his eyes and tosses a derisive look at the quarterback. "Seriously? Isn't that a little childish-"

And then, mid-word, Jimin is turning and taking off up the stairs as fast as he can, giggling helplessly as Jeongguk chases after him with a squawk of indignance and calls for a rematch because Jimin is a cheater.

It's a little bit of a crazy thing when fantasies become a reality.

Because it's never a sure thing, right? It's never clear if it will be anywhere close to the same, never even really being a consideration because fantasies don't usually become realities, do they?

But Jimin can attest to the fact that fantasy has absolutely nothing on reality.

At least where it comes to Jeon f*cking Jeongguk.

No, reality?

Reality issomuch f*cking better.

And Jimin wishes he could explain it more clearly but really, he can barely think straight right in this moment, buried beneath his covers with Jeongguk hovering over him, the moonlight illuminating his handsome face as he settles between Jimin's trembling thighs.

Jimin had kind of thought he'd get over the initial shock of it when Jeongguk had scooped him up with his big football arms and carried him into his bedroom after they'd tumbled through the doorway together, lips locking again and again. And he was sure he'd get used to it after Jeongguk had undressed him completed before laying him down in the sheets, crawling over him while still fully clothed, dragging his mouth all along Jimin's naked skin until he was panting and whining for more.

And Jimin had been certain he'd calm down significantly after watching Jeongguk slide his shirt up over his head to reveal his sleeve of tattoos in all its glory, colors looping and swirling together beautifully along his skin and making Jimin gasp softly at the sight. Even when Jeongguk had popped open the button of his jeans and shimmied out of them along with his boxer briefs, Jimin had been sure he'd get a good look, drink it all in and then settle in for a delightful evening.

It turns out, however, that Jeon Jeongguk just isn't something you get used to. Oh no, this stunning brick of a man just gets better and better and better with every passing minute he's in Jimin's bedroom.

Now, the thing is Park Jimin is a bit of a self-admitted co*ckslu*t. He's not ashamed of it by any means, he just knows a good co*ck when he sees one and when he does, he's usually very interested in giving it extra attention. It hasn't happened in some time, most of the dicks he's delt with being average to poor depending on the situation and person it belongs to.

But he can't even think of those others now. He doesn't even know if he's even seen a dick as nice and as pretty and as shapely as this one. Jeongguk's packing the most glorious co*ck Jimin has ever seen and before he knew it, he was breathing out like a prayer, "f*ck me.Please, Jeongguk, please f*ck me."

It had been quietly frantic and downright pleading and he'd looked up to find Jeongguk's eyes on him, dark and severe, so smoldering it felt like it burned Jimin right through to his core, the warmth that had been pooling in his hips suddenly feeling lava-hot and so all-consuming.

So when a very naked, very hard, very delectable Jeon Jeongguk had crawled over him, tucked fingers under his chin, ran a thumb along his plump bottom lip and whispered, "You're so pretty when you beg for it," Jimin realized then and there that he'd never ever get used to this. Jeongguk and his beautiful body just aren't things someone can adapt to.

Jeongguk and his wicked tongue and his experienced fingers and his breath along Jimin's skin, it's not ever going to be something Jimin can deal with. No, he doesn't think he'll be able to come back from this. Especially not when Jeongguk is spreading his legs and taking him apart piece by piece until Jimin is a needy, wanton mess between the sheets, an absolute wreck as he continues to plead with this gorgeous human to f*ck him senseless.

So when Jeongguk guides Jimin's knees to his chest and finally,finallypushes inside, Jimin thinks this will be the moment. This will be the moment where he gets what he wants, gets his org*sm and can come back to his senses because he's completely gone right now, shaking with unbearable pleasure as Jeongguk circles hips.

Christ, how wrong he is.

He has hands wrapped in vice grips around Jeongguk's bulging biceps, hanging on for dear life as Jeongguk takes his time f*cking into him, slow and methodical, careful to make sure he's comfortably taking it, which he is thanks to Jeongguk's thorough fingering process that's already had Jimin squirming on the bed for what felt like hours.

Jimin slides one hand up to touch Jeongguk's neck, pausing just as that big co*ck reaches nicely inside of him and his hand flutters back to its place on the quarterback's arm.

Chuckling softly, Jeongguk smirks at him. "You can touch, you know."

Yeah, Jiminwouldtouch if he could keep his mind right for five f*cking seconds but he can't because Jeon Jeongguk is playing his body like a fiddle and Jimin is reveling in it. He gasps just as Jeongguk presses deeper inside of him and the football player looks so damn smug, Jimin knows he needs to make it known here that two can play this game.

So, gathering himself enough to manage his hands at the very least, Jimin reaches up into Jeongguk's hair, taking the opportunity to push his fingers through the soft wavy strands like he'd imagined doing so many times before. He runs into the pins just behind Jeongguk's ears and decides that just won't do, pulling them free and tossing them somewhere along the floor before burying his hands back into those silky locks.

Jeongguk looks a little wilder now, a little devastating with his hair falling into his eyes as Jimin's fingers move through it, his gaze fierce as he lets Jimin touch as he likes, huffing a soft laugh when Jimin grips a hand at the back of his head and tugs lightly.

It's fascinating to find that Jeongguk doesn't seem to talk too much in bed but he's so attentive it almost doesn't matter, his lips and his co*ck and his touch telling Jimin everything he needs to know and it's a whole experience to be on the receiving end of it, even if it makes him a little self-conscious over the fact that he can't keep himself quiet. He usually loves a little dirty talk in bed but he'll take this attention from this particular boy any day of the week.

"Please," Jimin whispers, bringing Jeongguk down by the hair to kiss him, his other hand sliding down the quarterback's backside to press a hand to his ass, urging him on. "Please give me more?"

Lingering over him, Jeongguk drags his tongue over Jimin's bottom lip so sensually, it has Jimin's toes curling, his grip tightening as another deep drag of Jeongguk's length slides along his walls exquisitely.

He should know better when Jeongguk smiles against his mouth but he's so caught up in the movement, he barely registers it, closing his eyes as breath ghosts over his lips again, reaching up for another kiss.

"You look cute when you're asking for co*ck."

When those words register in his head, Jimin's eyes fly open, goosebumps bursting out along his bare skin and heat sparking along every nerve ending in his body, from the unexpectedness or the vulgarity he can't be sure, all he knows is it sounds sinfully good in Jeongguk's soothing voice. He hadn't thought he'd get something like that tonight, not with the pace and the sweetness and the eye contact, all of which had been spectacular, but this?

This is the kind of thing Jimincravesfrom a lover.

He's about to retort, speechless from that single sentence but catching his breath when Jeongguk slips his arms down around Jimin's waist, clutches him tightly and then flips them over.

"Oh," Jimin gasps, off-balance at the sudden change in position but there are big strong hands right there to catch him, curving around his waist to steady him into position.

And then that big dick sinks further into him, the new angle something Jimin wasn't expecting and he plants his hands on Jeongguk's thick chest, fingers digging in for leverage.

"Gguk," he cries softly, his body pulled taught even as he sinks into just how full he feels, his eyes slamming closed.

"That's it, baby," Jeongguk coos, settling back onto the pillows. "There you go."


Oh Jimin likes that.

He likes that soverymuch.

Flickering his eyelids open once more, Jimin takes in the boy in his bed.

The sight before him is something Jimin thinks he's going to remember for a very long time. Jeongguk is laid out beneath him, his tattooed arm folded under his head to prop himself up, the other of his big hands gripping Jimin's hip firmly, carefully guiding him. His torso is so ripped it looks like a checkerboard from up here, muscle after muscle squared off deliciously as he works his hips. His dark, wavy hair is splayed out on the pillow, slightly damp and so dreamy where it frames his pretty eyes full of desire and heat, locked on Jimin like he's somehow the one to be looked at between them.

Jimin's fingers spasm against Jeongguk's overstuffed chest as a ripple of pleasure makes its way through him, the quarterback's gaze alone fueling the ache in Jimin's lower belly.

"Come on," Jeongguk smirks. "Let me feel you ride it, huh?"

Jesus, he's a co*cky bastard. The exact kind of co*cky bastard Jimin f*cking loves in bed.

Because of course he is. Clearly, he's trying to ruin Jimin's life. That much is clear.

So with that, Jimin starts to move.

He rises himself up on his knees and then slowly drops back down, decidedly putting on a show now that he's used to the thickness inside of him, rolling his hips back and forth, back and forth, biting his bottom lip coyly when Jeongguk moans softly beneath him.

"Knew you'd look good like this," the quarterback murmurs. "Thought about you like this so many times."

That sends another rain of pleasure along his insides and Jimin chokes out a groan, his hips twitching as he works himself faster on Jeongguk's co*ck, sweat trickling down his temples with the effort.

"Please," he whispers, curving his hands into fists against Jeongguk's chest. "I need… Jeongguk, please-"

"You're beautiful like this," Jeongguk growls, the hand on his waist soothing a thumb along his hipbone. "So f*cking beautiful, working so hard."

"Ggukplease," Jimin begs because he can only do so much, only get that co*ck so deep on his own but he needs Jeongguk to help him out here-

"Don't worry baby," Jeongguk chuckles darkly. "I just wanted to watch you for a minute. I'll give you what you want."

And then both of Jeongguk's hands are on him.

Watching them grip either side of his waist is its own sight to behold but what really has Jimin's eyes rolling back in his head is the way the man takes full control. He's completely in charge, dragging Jimin up and down his co*ck like a toy, practically keeping him suspended in the air as Jeongguk's biceps and forearms flexspectacularly. Jimin tries to hold on, tries to keep himself from moaning lewdly but any sounds he makes only seems to spur Jeongguk on, to get him to bodily guide Jimin faster, bouncing him on his co*ck even as Jimin loses momentum with how much pleasure is racing in his veins.

AndnowJimin kind of gets it. The whole exes still being on good terms with the quarterback thing.

The dick is too good. They're all trying to stay in positive standing to see if they can get another shot at riding that co*ck again.

Jimin is sure of it.

"f*ck, oh f-f*ck," Jimin gasps, trying to grab on to any part of Jeongguk and hold on but he can't get purchase on anything because he wants to touch everywhere. The feeling of Jeongguk's muscles moving beneath his touch is so hot it's got him going a little crazy.

It's even more maddening when Jeongguk moves one hand up to grip the back of Jimin's neck to bring him forward just a bit, the other still easily guiding him into a more firm bounce, the sounds of Jimin's asscheeks ricocheting off of Jeongguk's thighs loud and rhythmic even over Jimin's satisfied moans.

The new hold Jeongguk has gives him a new purchase to really make Jimin feel it, Jeongguk's co*ck driving so much deeper at this angle Jimin can't help the sob that falls from his lips. God it feels so good to be f*cked like this. Jimin hasn't had dick this good in so long.

And knowing who's dick it belongs to only makes the heat in his system turn to absolute liquid fire.

"That good for you, baby? This is what you wanted, right?" Jeongguk murmurs, a smirk on his lips at the sight of Jimin's mouth hanging open, not a sound leaving him as he lets the pleasure consume him. "Can you tell me how much you like it? Let me hear those sweet little moans again, come on."

Jimin can't speak, he can't think, he's f*cking co*ck drunk right now, the only thing keeping him tethered to reality is the view below him because there is no way in hell he's going to close his eyes. Not when Jeongguk's got a nice sheen of sweat gathering along his forehead and glistening against his chest like he'd just been lathered up with oil. No, Jimin doesn't want to miss this. He doesn't know if he's ever going to get it again and he refuses to forfeit a moment.

He feels weightless like a ragdoll, this sexy quarterback handling him like he weighs nothing and Jimin can't get enough. He feels saliva gathering in his mouth and he swears if he drools right now he wouldn't even notice, his thoughts so focused on the strokes along his walls, he can barely remember his own name.

"Deep," he manages to breathe even as he cries out on a particularly accurate thrust right against that little bundle of nerves inside of him that make his entire body light up like a Christmas tree.

Jeongguk nods in approval, giving the base of Jimin's neck a tender squeeze before threading his fingers into the strands of Jimin's hair at the back of his head and tugging just enough to make sparks shower down Jimin's backside.

"You like it deep, don't you," Jeongguk eggs him on, slowing them down a little from the quick strokes he'd been delivering to slow, easy circles, still with his grip on Jimin, still smug as ever.

It's still so good, still all-consuming but Jimin had been barreling toward an org*sm and now he's just wandering in the general direction of one, the need making him feel like he's approaching a cliff but never actually getting there.

Which. Is clearly exactly what Jeongguk wants if his teasing smile is anything to go by.

Jimin growls softly in frustration, trying to push himself back on Jeongguk's thick co*ck again, trying to find that pace they'd just had but the quarterback keeps him in place, keeps him on the edge of something without giving him enough to push him over it.

"Please," Jimin whimpers, squeezing the hand he's got gripped around Jeongguk's wrist, holding onto it for dear life and moaning outright when Jeongguk gives another pull to his hair as his hips twist upward to give Jimin just a taste of what he'd had only minutes ago. "Please."

"God, you're gorgeous," Jeongguk breathes rapturously, making another goosebump wave race out along Jimin's skin.

And then he's moving.

He sits up, pushing Jimin back just enough to keep him balanced on that dick, the hand in Jimin's hair sliding along his neck to instead grip beneath his chin.

It's almost enough to distract him from what he wants the most, almost enough to make him forget he'd just been denied release that he needs so badly but he lets Jeongguk kiss him anyway because it only means this night will last longer and Jimin is completely content with that.

So he winds his arms around Jeongguk's neck and licks into his mouth with soft little whimpering pleas and he wonders if maybe this will be how they finish. With slow work and delicate touches and a nice gentle jog to the finish line. Which is okay by Jimin because slow with Jeongguk is still steady and molten hot and he's just starting to sink into it when-

"So f*cking pretty on my co*ck."

And then he pulls out. He lifts Jimin by his hips right off of his length.

And before Jimin can complain, still gasping in surprise, Jeongguk grabs the backs of Jimin's thighs and yanks his legs out from under him.

Jimin yelps in shock, falling onto his back on the mattress with his legs spread and he's about to scramble into a more dignified position but Jeongguk is already on him, already throwing one of his thighs over a shoulder, already pushing back into him.

"f*ck, oh f*ck!" Jimin sobs, spine bowing as that co*ck once again reaches deep inside him, rubbing along his sweet spot so perfectly, Jimin has to clutch one hand to Jeongguk's big arm for dear life, the other thrown above his head to hold onto the comforter, his entire body spread for the taking because his lover doesn't give pause, his pace relentless. "J-Jeongguk!"

"Yesbaby," the quarterback grins, driving into Jimin again and again, f*cking him just the way he needs, hitting his prostate dead on as he snaps his hips forward rhythmically. "That's it."

Tears spring to Jimin's eyes with just how f*cking good it feels, his hips throwing themselves up to meet him thrust for thrust, so goddamn good Jimin feels like he might burst into flames right on the spot. The spring in his lower belly is coiling tightly and he throws his head back and moans, sobbing to the ceiling wordlessly because he can't manage to form a coherent thought right now.

He feels Jeongguk's lips on his neck and then his peaked nipple, teeth grazing the bud delicately and Jimin arches his back off the bed, crying out as Jeongguk f*cks him within an inch of his life.

"You gonna come for me, baby?" Jeongguk murmurs as he curls his tongue around one of Jimin's nipples, flicking the hardness wickedly as he pounds into Jimin, a big hand sliding between them to reach for Jimin's co*ck.

The touch makes Jimin's entire body shake, his neglected length so sensitive he can barely take it but Jeongguk's grip is firm without being too much, circling him with purpose. Jimin lifts his tear-stained face to watch, propping himself up on his elbows but the sight before him is almost too much.

He really has the most beautiful man in the world currently f*cking him and jerking him off and sucking his nipples and giving him so much pleasure it's completely overwhelming and Jimin almost can't handle it.

"Make me come," he tries to demand but it once again comes out more like a plea, his body pulled taught, so ready for release he could scream. "Please- Gguk-f*ck-"

And then Jeongguk makes eye-contact.

His dark gaze finds Jimin through his wavy hair that's fallen in his face, the tip of his tongue laving over Jimin's nipple and his hand moving quickly and his co*ck pumping in and out and this f*cking man has the audacity to smirk at him.

And Jimin tips right over the edge.

He thrashes as he comes, entire body reacting as he releases all over his stomach and Jeongguk's hand, his insides so hot he's certain he's about to burn up entirely. His entrance spasms around Jeongguk's co*ck and Jimin feels a sweaty forehead bury into his neck as Jeongguk picks up his pace, his thrusts even quicker now and Jimin does everything he can to help even as he feels entirely boneless with his own crest.

"f*ck, Jimin," Jeongguk breathes against his skin. "You feel so f*cking good,god-"

"Come for me," Jimin says, stroking a hand into Jeongguk's hair. "Come for me, f*ck me through it, come on."

And Jeongguk does, his hips stuttering out and Jimin with his secret filthy mind, wishes so badly there wasn't a condom between them. He would love to feel it all, feel Jeongguk fill him up like that but he knows better.

He knows he'll never have something like that. Not when he knows that he isn't the only partner Jeongguk has.

But he ignores that for now. He doesn't want to ruin this perfectly wonderful evening with thoughts like that. No, he doesn't let his mind wander, instead staying in the moment, enjoying the weight of this big football man as he collapses on top of him entirely with a satisfied groan.

No, Jimin doesn't let himself think about who else might be in Jeongguk's bed tomorrow night. Who else might get to see this boy like this, sexy and sweaty and sated, curling arms around Jimin and dropping a kiss just below his ear.

No Jimin isn't going to think about what's not his business.

Not tonight anyway.

No, instead those thoughts save themselves for the next morning.

The moment Jimin wakes, ugly ideas all but consume him as the reality of the situation he's just gotten himself into really settles in.

Which is the worst way to wake up. Especially when the light soreness all over his body and the warmth wrapped around him should have told the story all on its own but in a pleasant way. Not a miserable one.

No, instead Jimin comes to with dread in his stomach and anxiety replacing the pleasure that had been coursing through his veins last night.

God, he can't even turn around right now. He knows, he f*ckingknowsthe minute he sees Jeon Jeongguk all soft in the morning light it's going to hurt even more knowing Jimin isn't the only one that gets to see him like this. That Jimin isn't his only one.

It's going to fill him with longing so deep, he won't be able to breathe. He already knows it.

But he's a glutton for punishment at this point because he knows he's going to turn around anyway. Just like he always does, allowing Jeongguk into his friend group and into his heart and into his bed, Jimin is going to turn around and allow this man to ruin him all over again. And really, how much worse can it get by now?

So he fumbles for his glasses on the nightstand, slides them onto his face and takes a deep breath.

Then he carefully peeks over his shoulder.

And his heart completely melts at the sight.

Yeah. It can get so much f*cking worse it turns out.

Jeongguk's face is still slack with sleep, his chiseled jaw somehow gentler like this, his smoldering eyes hidden away for now, even his lip lings look soft. Jimin turns ever so carefully and lays down beside the football player again, gaze racing all over his handsome face, thoughts and worries swarming in his gut as he takes him in and allows himself a few moments to justache. His heart feels like it's trying to break apart in his chest but he won't let it. Not right now.

He'll do that later when he's alone.

Gathering himself, Jimin curls into Jeongguk's chest and let's himself have this moment at least. Because he already knows he's not going to be able to be anything casual with this boy. Not when the little crush he's been harboring has formed into full blown feelings, no matter how much he'd tried to deny it. Especially after last night. Especially knowing what he knows now about what an incredible lover Jeongguk is, that all of his sweetness and kindness and gorgeousness transfers easily between the sheets and now that Jimin knows that, there's no going back for him. Hecan'tgo back to being just friends with this incredible human. Not when he wants all of him like this.

Jimin has never shared and he won't be able to now, he knows that for sure. So he'll take these final moments for as long as he can.

For how thick and firm Jeongguk's entire body is with all of his muscles, he's surprisingly comfortable and cushy while asleep and Jimin cuddles closer, breathing him in. He isn't sure if he'll ever get the chance again so he takes his opportunity now, running fingers over those defined lines and smooth skin, afraid to close his eyes and miss another moment before it all has to come to an end.

But the inevitable happens anyway when after only a few minutes, Jeongguk begins to stir, though Jimin can't regret it ending too much when those pretty eyes flutter open.

He takes in Jimin with a heavy lidded gaze before a slow smile spreads over his face and Jimin tries and fails not to grin right back.

"Good morning," he whispers, patting a hand gently to Jeongguk's bare chest.

"G'morning," Jeongguk slurs back, his voice sleep-raspy and adorable as he turns onto his back and stretches his arms up over his head. "What time is it?"

"Still early," Jimin replies, going by the light coming through his shades. He lays his head down on his pillow, just watching and enjoying the way this big football player wakes up in the morning.

"Oh good," Jeongguk murmurs, peeking an eye open at Jimin before both open and he smiles gently. "You have your glasses again."

Touching the rim of them self-consciously, Jimin nods. "Oh, um. Yeah. Can't see all that well without them."

"I'm glad they serve a purpose but they are also just really f*cking cute on you."

Rolling his eyes fondly, Jimin pretends he's not blushing and tries to hide his smile, subconsciously scooting just a little closer to Jeongguk beneath the covers as the quarterback turns back to him.

He feels warm all over when Jeongguk's hand soothes along the bare skin of his lower back.

It's a little less fun when Jimin remembers what's coming though.

Maybe it would be a good idea to get up and get going. He has work later in the morning at the library so at least he has an excuse to get moving. As much as he doesn't want to, he's not sure he can avoid the inevitable much longer.

"I'd better take a shower," he says softly, turning away from Jeongguk who'd just closed his eyes once again. "I have work in a bit-"

"Nooo," Jeongguk whines, grabbing around Jimin's middle to pull him back into bed. "Don't go. You're so warm."

"I have to go work-Gguk!" Jimin laughs, squirming around even though Jeongguk's strength would pin him down easily in an instant if last night is anything to go by.

"Like it when you call me that," Jeongguk sighs, burying his face in the back of Jimin's neck and pressing a kiss there. "Call in sick and I'll make you breakfast."

"I can't," Jimin chuckles, letting himself be pulled back in even though he knows it's a bad idea. "Besides, it's game day for you."

"Yeah but we don't have to meet until midday." Sighing, Jeongguk tugs at him until Jimin is on his back with the quarterback looming over him. "Do you really have to go to work?"

God, it's so hard not to let himself get caught up in those eyes. He doesn't want it to hurt yet. Not when it's so nice to just be like this, to have all of Jeongguk's big hands and attention on him. He doesn't want it to end.

But his anxiety is already trying to swallow him whole and he knows the sooner it's over, the sooner he can start figuring out how to cope.

So he nods disappointedly. "I do."

What he isn't expecting is for Jeongguk to nod. And then hop over him on the bed, stand up on the floor and bare himself for Jimin's appreciative perusing-

And then scoop an equally naked Jimin up, out of bed and into those giant football arms.

"Ah!" Jimin yelps as his legs are settled around Jeongguk's trim waist. "What are you doing?"

"Making the best of our morning," Jeongguk beams, patting a hand to Jimin's ass patronizingly. "You said you had to shower, so. Let's go shower."

And really, Jimin should put a stop to this. He should complain and carry on about how he can do this himself thanks and Jeongguk is a menace and on and on.

But really, Jimin has no interest in doing any of that.

Not when hands are wrapped around his thighs and his arms hook helplessly around Jeongguk's neck and he's being carried off into the bathroom, no.

No, Jimin is going to indulge just a little longer.

He can worry about things like regret later.

And when later comes, when Jeongguk plants a kiss on his lips and promises to see him soon, all bambi eyes and pretty smiles as he walks backward out of Jimin's apartment doorway, Jimin manages to fish his phone out of the pocket of the jeans he'd left pooled on the floor last night and zips off a text message to his roommate because that regret starts to sink in almost as quickly as the door closes behind Jeon Jeongguk.

Jimin completely forgets that it's the Homecoming game tonight until he's walking up to the entrance of the stadium and sees the giant balloon arch welcoming them all, the black and gold lettering covered in glitter so it can't be missed, colorful tables with volunteers manning them setup all around the walkway advertising what appears to be options to donate to the university.

He doesn't even really know what Homecoming is for college sports. He remembers it in high school since it corresponded with the Homecoming dance but it doesn't mean much to him now. He's pretty sure it's mostly for alumni but since their football team is so good, it's also used to celebrate that as well. From what he's seen in the past, the night is kicked off with individual announcements of each player on the offensive starting lineup instead of the usual overall team jogging out together, each top player running onto the field separately to the cheers of the crowd where they're met with the coaches shaking their hands and giving them a plaque as a token of appreciation for playing so well all season.

It's been a tradition for years during the Homecoming game, Jimin having witnessed it every year since he's attended school here, and he remembers the fanfare being quite something with the dance team and band putting on a special halftime performance and fireworks going off at the end of the game.

It certainly feels busier here tonight, that's for sure. Seokjin is already explaining how it's all just a ploy for alumni to donate extra to the football program as Jimin sits down in the seat beside him with Hobi in tow, which it probably is but Jimin really is only half-listening.

It's not like that's the top thing on his mind right now.

Not when he's not stopped thinking about last night for the entire day.

He shifts in his seat beside Hobi and his friend curls an arm through his.

"You okay?" Hoseok murmurs in his ear. He'd been the incredible friend that he is and shown up to the library only twenty minutes after Jimin's shift had started with coffees and a worried smile. Although Jimin hadn't been able to jump in to his drama because he'd first had to interrogate Hobi over the multiple hickies he'd had all over his neck and the fact that he'd not come home last night but he still appreciated the company all the same.

And Hoseok had beamed and detailed his incredible night with his now-boyfriend Kim Namjoon who had not only confessed to having feelings but also being quite interested in locking Jung Hoseok down as his man which obviously thrilled his roommate completely and he'd spent the night with his new beau to show him just how happy he was about it

In another delightful little twist, Hobi had stumbled into Seokjin in the hallway this morning who had coincidentallyalsostayed the night at the football house, though he refuses to speak about all of his goings-on with a certain running back. Though, going by Hoseok's description, Seokjin had looked just as disheveled as Hobi was and with how bright red his ears went every time Hobi teased just a little while trying to hide a smile, Jimin would bet that things between Seokjin and Taehyung had gone just as well.


Jimin is the only one who didn't wake up this morning with a boyfriend, even though he did have a boy in his bed.

The universe can be so cruel sometimes.

So he told Hobi everything. The fight with Hyejin, the kiss with Jeongguk, the night they'd spent together, all of it. And by the end, Hoseok was wrapped around Jimin like a vine, rocking him back and forth and promising him everything would be okay and all he had to do was talk to Jeongguk about all of this because maybe he has the wrong idea entirely.

So much easier said than done, but Jimin appreciated the advice, and the hug, anyway.

"I'm okay," he says back. "Just because he isn't into anything more than casual doesn't mean I can't still appreciate him in those tight pants."

He wishes that actually sounded like fun, like he could just go back to the way things were before when he could appreciate Jeongguk's body and not have vivid flashbacks of heated skin and attentive lips. Things used to be so much easier.

"But you don't know if he is or not," Hobi presses, because he has refused to give into Jimin's sulking and is certain there's more to it than just a one-night stand. "You just have to talk to him. You are friends now, after all. A conversation would do you good."

Jimin tosses his roommate a pointed look. "Says the guy who'd announced he would be joining a dating app before he considered talking to his crush."

Hobi places a hand to the center of his chest. "WellIam an idiot. Don't be like me, Jiminie. It's not worth it."

"Hi guys!" Yijeong calls, coming down their aisle with Yoongi trailing behind him. "Sorry we're late, it's a madhouse in here."

"No kidding," Seokjin says, shaking his head. "I'm telling you, it's all bullsh*t. The university is all about getting that sweet sweet alumni money, meanwhile our tuition fees just keep going up and up-"

"Did you get laid last night?" Yoongi asks his roommate point-blank, eyes serious.

Seokjin freezes mid-sentence then immediately averts his eyes. "No."

Yoongi scoffs, tossing looks to both Hobi and Jimin for confirmation before his smirk vanishes. "Jesus. Didall of youhave sexlast night?!"

This gets Yijeong's attention, whipping around from where's he's still making his way next to Hobi. "Woah,what? You three? You guys…together?"

"Babe, please," Yoongi says with a gentle hand to Yijeong's shoulder. "Let me handle this."

Tipping his head to the point, Yijeong grabs the seat beside Hobi as Yoongi continues to loom over his three friends.

He plants his hands on his hips as he raises pointed brows. "Well?"

"What are you, a wizard?" Jimin mumbles, avoiding Yoongi's gaze as his stomach tightens because the last thing he wants to do right now is explain his situation to Yoongi only to hear that he's a moron for doing what he did less than 24 hours ago.

He already knows that. He doesn't require a reminder.

"No I'm just more observant than you," Yoongi says with an eye roll before he narrows in on Hobi. "So? Are you going to tell me-"

His words are drown out by the announcer overhead and Hoseok smirks at his friend with a shrug as everyone begins rising from their seats.

"This isn't over!" Yoongi yells at the band begins to play, shuffling over to stand beside his boyfriend with his arms crossed.

Hobi gives Jimin a knowing glance, shaking his head fondly at their hyung and Jimin feels a little better knowing he at least won't have to endure the scrutiny of Min Yoongi until after the game.

So they clap along with the music and listen to the announcer and boo good-naturedly when the away team is announced. Then they watch as the starters for their team are called out one by one, smiling and waving to the crowd as they make their way onto the field. The coaches and cheerleaders stand in receiving lines opposite each other, holding either plaques or bouquets of flowers and, to Jimin's surprise, hands one of each item off to the players as they're announced, which makes the fans laugh lightly and cheer as their favorite players clutch their accolades and hold their flowers in the most masculine way they can manage.

Namjoon and Taehyung jog out as the final two before Jeongguk is announced as their star quarterback, running out without his helmet, his wavy hair bouncing along as he makes his way to his coaches. Even from here, Jimin can see his gorgeous smile, his two front teeth so adorably prominent and Jimin forces himself to ignore the twinge in his gut.

He'd seen Jeongguk only hours ago, in his room, half-dressed and so handsome in the morning light but even now, knowing everything he knows, Jimin just can't quite enjoy this like he once did. Before, Jeongguk was just a pretty boy that was nice to look at in fitted pants. Now he's….


He's so much more.

To Jimin, he feels like so much more already.

Liketheycould be so much more.

He watches longingly as Jeongguk accepts his large bouquet and small plaque, with the colorful flowers contrasting with his heavy padding cutely. He might look silly if he was anyone else but he just looks sexy as hell like always, the perfect picture of soft and intense and Jimin's heart feels like it wants to cry because he wishes so badly to call Jeongguk his. To be his partner.

But alas.

The band begins to play again as the players wave and then head over to their respective benches and the crowd settles in their seats for the game to get started.

"Okay so," Yoongi snaps, gathering their attention again although Seokjin is still fiercely avoiding his gaze and staring out onto the field. "Which one of you is fessing up first? Because it's a long game and I-"

"Wait," Seokjin says, holding up a hand toward Yoongi with his palm facing him, frowning. "What are they doing?"

Jimin turns to look where Seokjin is looking and sees….

Well, he sees Jeongguk jogging across the field with Namjoon and Taehyung tailing him closely.

All three of them are holding their bouquets of flowers.

co*cking his head to the side, Jimin watches with interest.

"Maybe they need to get their flowers in water before the game starts," Yijeong chuckles, glaring at them when no one laughs. "What, nothing? Come on, that was funny."

The three football players pause, looking up into the student section, their eyes roving over everyone sitting there. Some folks cheer for them, clearly excited to have their stars looking up in their direction and Namjoon waves politely before smacking Jeongguk on the shoulder and murmuring something to him.

And then Jeongguk's big eyes land on Jimin.

It's like time stops completely even as the look only lasts a second but Jimin still feels frozen to the spot as the quarterback looks at him.

And then Jeongguk smiles.

And then the three of them are off again, jogging through one of the entrances from the belly of stadium and disappearing out of sight beneath the stands.

And Jimin manages to catch his breath.

"Where are they going?" Hobi murmurs, just as confused as the rest of them.

"Who cares," Yoongi says with a menacing look. "You guys are just stalling at this point which has me concerned that you all managed to totally f*ck up your chances with your crushes so I need to know-"

Yoongi is cut off yet again, though this time it's not by the announcer or the band.

It's by the student section itself.

Cheers begin to go up on the far side of the section and progressively get louder as they trickle through the crowd, students clapping and screaming and waving excitedly and Jimin cranes his neck to see what everyone is so pumped about.

"What's happening?!" Seokjin yells, going to stand up to see over everyone. "I can't see… oh. Oh mygod." He drops down immediately into his seat, his face so red he could be mistaken for a cherry tomato, and slouches down like he doesn't want to be spotted. "Oh my god, oh my god."

"What?!" Hobi asks frantically, straining to see over the crowd but not daring to stand up considering Seokjin just dove back into his seat. "What's going…"

But he doesn't need to finish that sentence. Not for anyone near them but especially not for Jimin.

The crowd is insane now, screeching and hollering and whistling as…

As their three favorite football players walk along the front of the section.

And Jeon Jeongguk is leading them.

They make their way across the section and turn to head up the stairs.

The stairs that lead straight up to where Jimin sits with his friends.

He feels like he can't move.

He feels like he can'tbreathe.

And then Jeongguk is there, making his way across the aisle, the studs of their cleats clicking along the cement, his wild hair falling into his face.

His smile so big it could rival the sun.

And Jimin vaguely notes Namjoon and Taehyung filing in behind him to get to their respective boys but Jimin can't pay too much attention to them. Not when Jeon Jeongguk is standing here with flowers in one hand.

Flowers and…

And his letter jacket in the other.

Reaching up to push at his glasses anxiously, Jimin swallows thickly as he whispers, "What are youdoing?"

He has no idea why he's whispering considering everyone in the section is looking at them now.

Jeongguk only grins bigger.

"Hold these for me?" he beams, gesturing with the flowers. "I thought they'd look better in your arms instead of on the bench."

He hands them to Jimin, nestling them neatly into his grasp before shaking out his jacket.

Then he drapes it around Jimin's shoulders.

Blood rushes up into Jimin's face so quickly, he doesn't have time to cover it, not when his hands are full and he's wrapped in this famous letter jacket, JEON burning into his back like a brand and he is so afraid to move, like it all might disappear in an instant.

Oh Christ, and then in front of god and everyone, Jeongguk leans down and presses a lingering kiss to Jimin's burning cheek.

"Keep warm in this and wait for me after the game?" he says softly, tugging the lapels of the jacket more firmly around Jimin's frame, his breath ghosting along the whorl of Jimin's ear, making him shiver. "I want to take you out for dinner. On a date. Like a proper boyfriend should."

Blinking up at him, Jimin can't quite register everything that just happened so he simply nods helplessly. "Okay," he agrees and the look he gets in return is absolutely devastating.

And then Jeongguk is tossing one more sweet look in Jimin's direction and jogging back down the concrete steps with his teammates behind him, leaving Jimin completely stunned.

The crowd roars back to life as they all pass by again, cheering and clapping and wishing them luck. Jeongguk beams, giving a silly little solute before finding Jimin's eyes again and blowing him a kiss before disappearing through the opening to get back onto the field.

And not one of Jimin's friends says anything for an uncomfortably long time.

Jimin only comes to when the three football players appear on the field again, the world coming back into focus and he looks around to find Seokjin and Hoseok both clutching their own bouquets to their chests, looking just as shocked as Jimin feels.

"Okay so like…" Yijeong breaks their silence. "Should we talk about this, or…"

Speechless, Jimin slowly looks over to his roommate, blinking rapidly as the gears turn in his head.

What the f*ck was that?

What the actualf*ckwasthat?

He clutches the flowers to his chest, careful not to crinkle them, his face burning hotter than fire with all of the eyes on him but he doesn't even care, watching the quarterback hustle back onto the field, his heart hammering into his ribcage like he's just run several miles.

"Your blushing so hard," Yoongi smirks, peering around Hobi's shoulder. "Are we just about ready to admit that that boy might just like you back?"

"I mean," Hobi says nonchalantly. "If the sexdidn't make that clear, I'm not sure some flowers, a jacket and a cheek kiss will help any."

Seokjin starts choking violently, coughing and spluttering as he thumps a fist to his chest, his flowers spasming in his hand. "You slept with him?!" he wheezes, his eyes starting to water. "What the hell, you didn't tell us?!"

"Oh really," Yoongi snaps back, glaring at his roommate. "You want to talk about not telling each other things?Really?"

But Jimin has paused in listening because Jeongguk has taken a turn on his way back to his team at the sidelines, waving off Namjoon and Taehyung in favor of making a detour.

Actually, Jeongguk is now barreling toward the cheerleaders.

Jimin's stomach drops down to his shoes as he notes the one cheer girl he actually knows, Hyejin standing in the center and shaking her pom poms more excitedly together as Jeongguk nears, her smile wide as her ponytail swooshes this way and that while she bounces on her toes.

"The f*ck is he doing with her?" Hobi grumbles and Jimin has the exact same question, his stomach souring at the sight.

He can't see Jeongguk's face, only the back of his black and gold jersey with JEON plastered along his shoulders but Jimin hopes his ire is radiating hot enough for him to feel it because what the hell? Did he really just plant a smooch on Jimin's cheek in front of the entire student body and is now, what? Going to do the same with Hyejin?

Jimin is really about ready to lose it, the huffs and shuffling of his friends beside him telling him he's not the only one when something glorious happens.

Hyejin's smile drops right off of her face.

Her giddiness seems to dissipate in an instant and Jimin can just make out Jeongguk pointing a finger at her. He shakes his head, then plants both of his hands on his hips and stares her down.

"sh*t, what is he saying because she looks like she might cry," Hobi whispers but he sounds a little pleased about it.

Jimin watches as Hyejin seems to cower slightly, dropping her gaze and nodding to the ground.

And then Jeongguk turns and races back to his team without another look at her.

"Damn," Yoongi says, finally looking less irritated and more impressed than anything else. "Well. That's good to know then."

Jimin knows he's grinning from ear-to-ear since his heart is currently doing backflips but he still asks, "What is good to know?"

Yoongi points a finger at Jeongguk jogging back to his bench. "That I don't need to worry about him yanking you around. That boy is absolutelygonefor you."

"Okay so wait," Jimin is saying, tilting his head up from where he'd rested his cheek against Jeongguk's bare sternum, balancing his chin on that thick chest. "I have questions."

"Yes I've had a crush on you for ages, yes I've been trying to boyfriend you this entire time," Jeongguk replies, cheeky as ever, laughing when Jimin swats at him. "Fine fine. Ask away, cutie."

They're currently snuggled up in Jimin's bed, buried beneath the covers both in just their sweatpants and nothing else considering neither one of them could be bothered to get more dressed than this after their most recent round of sex. They'd tumbled in here straight after the game, Jimin really having no interest in food, not after Jeongguk's little public display of affection with the flowers and the jacket and all that.

Jimin has questions. And maybe some needs that needed tending to first but now he's ready to get down to it, even when all his heart wants to do is sit on its little cloud and float on over to press happy little kisses all over Jeongguk's face.

But he can't give in yet. Not when he still needs some answers.

"I thought you were dating other people," he says bluntly, though the quarterback doesn't look startled at all.

"Nope," Jeongguk says with a shrug. "No one else. Not for a while now, actually."

Jimin chews on his bottom lip.

"It just seemed like… you know, with Hyejin-"

Tutting, Jeongguk sits up a bit in bed, bringing Jimin with him. "I'm so sorry about that, hyung. Seriously. I didn't know she was being so awful to you. Some of the team told me today about what happened at the party last night. I guess they tried to call me but I was a bit preoccupied."

He smirks at Jimin and the math major tries not to blush at the reminder of their night together.

But he won't let it deter him. Not when other things have led him to this belief.

"But there were… I don't know, there were a lot of other times that it really seemed like you two were something. And with all the rumors…"

He trails off because Jeongguk looks genuinely upset by this. "I'm sorry," Jimin hurries to say. "We don't have to talk about it if it's not-"

"No,I'mthe one who is sorry, hyung," Jeongguk cuts in, soothing fingers gently through Jimin's hair just above his ear. "I should have taken care of that a long time ago. The rumors about me with anyone are completely untrue. I haven't dated anyone since before I started college here. I don't know when it became such a common thing for people to claim they've slept with me or are currently sleeping with me, but I guess it has? It's some sort of game apparently, especially with the cheerleaders."

He shakes his head sadly. "I didn't know what to do about it. I never want to be a dick to anyone who shows interest in me because I know how awful rejection can feel. Like one time in high school when I was pretty young, I asked this boy out on a date and he made me feel like a total idiot about it. So I never want to make anyone feel that way either."

Jimin's heart gives a sad littlepingat the image of baby Jeongguk asking a boy out only to get rejected. Seriously, f*ck that guy.

"I tried to tell Hyejin on multiple occasions that I wasn't interested," Jeongguk continues. "I tried to be polite about it and do it in private but she wouldn't hear it. She'd just laugh and pretend like I was kidding even when I would try to explain that I wasn't. Then I'd hear later that she'd told everyone I asked her out. I really thought if I could just ignore it, it wouldn't hurt anyone but it ended up hurting you and I'm so sorry for that."

"It's okay," Jimin says, swirling a fingertip along Jeongguk's sternum. "It was just kind of awkward since I thought you weren't into me. Or boys in general-"

"I mean, for theformalrecord, I'm bi," Jeongguk says teasingly. "And veryverymuch into you. But go on."

Huffing in feigned annoyance, Jimin sends him a playful glare. "Well I didn't know that at the time. When I saw her in your lap, I thought for sure-"

"In my lap?" Jeongguk asks, brows furrowed. "When was she in my lap?"

Snorting, Jimin glances up at his lover incredulously. How does someone forget that? "At the pizza place? You went to get more food and when I glanced around, she had her arm around your neck, getting ready to climb onto you-"

"And I practically dove out of my seat to avoid it." Jeongguk is frowning deeply now. "You didn't see the moves I pulled to avoid that? I'd stopped by the table because my teammates were teasing me about my cozy time with you on the other side of the restaurant and when I felt her arm around me, I scrambled into the free chair next to me and then stood up. You didn't see all of that? My team was howling at my panic."

Pressing his lips together, Jimin shakes his head guiltily. "No I… looked away and left instead?"

Jeongguk's eyes look so sad. "Jimin."

"I know I know," Jimin says with a wave of his hand, burying his forehead into Jeongguk's shoulder. "I'm sorry. I was just so sure you were straight so it seemed unfair to get all jealous or question anything. I didn't want to bethatfriend."

"I wish you would have been," Jeongguk laughs, brushing a thumb along Jimin's cheek when he tosses a look up at him. "I just mean it would have given me something to work with! I had such a massive crush and I was so nervous around you all the time and I couldn't figure out if you felt the same about me. A little jealousy could have helped things along a bit. God knows I was jealous as hell watching you with that guy at the library."

Jimin snorts. "I actually just thought you were being a kind friend, asking your friend if he had a boyfriend. Just being nice."

"We are both extremely stupid," Jeongguk laments, smiling when it makes Jimin laugh. "Wanna be stupid together?"


Sobering slightly, Jeongguk strokes a hand down Jimin's naked spine. "I really am sorry about Hyejin though. If I'd have known she was going to behave like that toward you, I would have stopped being nice a long time ago. I don't know if you noticed but Tae was really trying to redirect her attention from me, especially when you were around, and even his charms weren't working."

Jimin gives him a soft smile. "I did notice. But unfortunately, so did Seokjin who was quite put out by the attention Taehyung was giving her and not him. We were both very confused."

Jeongguk scrubs a hand down his face. "Christ, I really f*cked up so many things trying not to hurt Hyejin's feelings. That's two whole relationships I could have ruined!"

Chuckling, Jimin pats Jeongguk's chest. "Relationship, huh?"

"Yes," Jeongguk says immediately, hauling Jimin up closer so he can press a kiss to his forehead. "Relationship. We are now in a relationship. We are boyfriends. If you have a problem with that, you can take it up with someone else because I'm not hearing it."

"Geez, my boyfriend is so bossy," Jimin giggles.

"And mean," Jeongguk declares. "Not to you but to Hyejin. From now on, I'm going to be mean to her so she knows it's never okay to be cruel to you."

"You don't need to be mean," Jimin says, his gaze soft. "I'm not even sure if you could pull off being mean."

"I could," Jeongguk tries to say menacingly but misses by a mile, making Jimin smile. "I was pretty mean to her at the game."

"It sounds more like you were just direct," Jimin says. Jeongguk gave him the cliff notes earlier and it really didn't sound too harsh. Maybe just embarrassing in front of the squad she'd been obviously boasting to about things that hadn't happened, but Jimin is actually pretty proud of his boyfriend for how he'd handled things. "Which is perfectly acceptable."

"If she bothers you again, you have to tell me," Jeongguk implores. "Seriously. It's not okay for her or anyone to treat you like that, okay?"

"I promise I'll tell you," Jimin says, snuggling back down onto Jeongguk's chest. "Though I think you might have staked your claim pretty clearly this evening with the stunt you pulled in the stands."

Jeongguk makes a satisfied sound. "Good," he says, soothing hands down Jimin's flanks. "Everyone needs to know. You are mine, Park Jimin."

And the sparks that sentence send down Jimin's spine have him starting round two much quicker than he'd anticipated.

As per usual, the café goes eerily quiet, all eyes on their gorgeous quarterback as he makes his way inside.

But the attention doesn't even faze Jeongguk. His eyes scan quickly over the tables and chairs until they land on Park Jimin and then-

God and then Jimin's heart is tripping all over itself at the way Jeongguk grins at him, nose scrunching and eyes crinkling preciously as he heads over straight away, skipping the line for coffee in favor of setting his backpack down on the empty seat beside Jimin.

And if it's possible, the café goes even quieter as Jeongguk says, "Hi baby," for the entire world to hear as he leans in and presses a soft kiss to Jimin's pink cheek.

Jimin's toes f*cking curl in his shoes as he blushes to the roots of his hair, but he shamelessly beams back at the quarterback because how can anyone resist that sweet smile?

"Hi," Jimin says around a grin and Jeongguk seems so pleased with that response it's ridiculous.

Seriously what has Jimin gotten himself into with this boy? It's too much being this happy all the time.

"You look so good," Jeongguk says easily, eyes flickering down Jimin's body with a smirk. "Love that jacket on you."

Adjusting Jeongguk's letter jacket he has on, Jimin can't stop his face from heating all over again. "It's a cold day."

"Hey, you don't need an excuse if you ask me," Jeongguk laughs. "I love seeing you in it no matter the weather."

Jimin tries and fails to hide his smile.

"I'm going to grab something to drink," Jeongguk says, tugging his laptop free from his bag and setting it into the space beside Jimin's. "Do you need anything? Did you get something to eat?"

"Not yet," Jimin shakes his head as he leans over slightly to reach into his back pocket. "But a coffee would be great. Here, let me grab some cash-"

"Absolutely not," Jeongguk says, standing swiftly and backing out of Jimin's reach before he can try and hand over his money. "I've got it covered."

Huffing even as his stomach swoops in delight, Jimin offers a playful glare. "That's silly, I can-"

"You can stay right there," Jeongguk says sagely, already walking backward. "I said I've got it."

"I'm older than you, you know," Jimin lobs back, still giving Jeongguk evils but the quarterback simply laughs.

"Older and somehow so much cuter. How is that fair?" Jeongguk says, smacking a hand over his left pectoral like he's been wounded and shaking his head. "Honestly, what are you doing to my heart, Park Jimin?"

And then he winks, spins on his heel and jumps in line for coffee like the happiest puppy that's ever lived.

And Jimin?

Well Jimin swoons like the smitten kitten that he is because it's impossible to not be so unbearably charmed by Jeon Jeongguk.

When Jeongguk returns to their table, he drops a large coffee in front of Jimin and then grabs the back of Jimin's chair as well as the seat and slides it all the way over so that they're sitting close enough to press their thighs together.

"There we go," Jeongguk says softly with a nod like he's quite satisfied with his work and then he tosses more brightness at Jimin. "I'm back."

"I see that," Jimin repeats with a fond roll of his eyes. "Aren't you overdoing this a little?

Jeongguk looks genuinely confused. "Overdoing what?"

And really, Jimin can't bother to press the issue.

Not when he doesn't mind his boyfriend overdoing all of this affection.

He doesn't mind it one bit.

Double Down - allatonceitsnotenough - 방탄소년단 | Bangtan Boys (2024)
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