yoonmin au— fight stories
after yoongi’s gigs, boys like to pick up fights outside the bar. angry kids that want to fight every chance they have and one boy that always ends up wounded. yoongi helps the bleeding boy that haunts his mind, and their lives somehow entangle.
• please read the tags: angst with a happy ending. violence. toxic masculinity. internalized homophobia/biphobia. mature scenes. recreational drug use.
• this is a commission out of my drafts. it’s an original idea, and the commissioner picked it up for me to finish writing it
Hot pink neon light. Purple club lights shifting into blue after flickering on Yoongi’s face.
Yoongi has to cover his eyes when he walks outside backstage and into the club’s dancefloor. The lights are flashing, and he can’t look for too long at them, or he’ll get dizzy.
Music is loud, resonating loudly on Yoongi’s chest. Yoongi walks between bodies. Some people recognize him. A man comes up to him and pats Yoongi in the back, yelling unintelligible praise. His features are difficult to discern under the blue light, but Yoongi smiles at him.
A pool of bodies around him is Yoongi’s normalcy but is not something he particularly enjoys. He’s gotten used to it because he loves performing, but sometimes it’s too much for him: the sweat, the chatter, the people. Tonight though, he doesn’t seem to mind it.
He just swims between the people, letting their dancing guide him from backstage towards the bar. Yoongi manages to see his friends huddled together in this chaotic place and makes his way towards them. He could use a drink and mindless conversation right now.
Tiredness creeps through Yoongi's body. But the audience was excited during his set, and he finally closed the show after many gigs. The adrenaline is stuck with Yoongi even now. He feels good, buzzing. He wants to stay around a bit longer, drinking with some people.
Yoongi hasn’t asked for a drink yet, because he’s deep in conversation with Namjoon and Sunwoong, two of the other rappers that perform every week, but he doesn’t need to ask for one.
“A gift from a fan,” the bartender says, catching Yoongi’s attention. A glass of whiskey.
Yoongi snorts before grabbing the drink. “A fan?”
The man gestures at the end of the bar, and Yoongi follows his gaze to find a girl with two friends. She waits for Yoongi to lift his glass in a clicking manner, and when he does, she smiles before lifting her drink too.
They share the small cheer before she turns to laugh with her friends. Yoongi doesn't look away. She’s pretty, dark hair, small frame. Yoongi has seen her before at his shows, but this is the first time she buys him a drink. Something must have pushed her tonight to make a move.
“Fangirls,” Yoongi speaks to the bartender before taking a sip.
“I heard them when you went on stage," the man says. "Girls think you have a pretty face; they like that.” Yoongi smiles to himself and glances towards them again, catching the same girl before looking at him.
She seems flustered at getting caught and puts a strand of black hair behind her ear shyly. Cute. Yoongi offers her a smile before drinking a large gulp of whiskey. He’s going to get laid tonight. “Well, I like straightforward girls.” But Yoongi doesn’t walk up to her yet.
Yoongi could walk up to the pretty girl any moment he’d want, so he waits. He turns around to listen to Namjoon and Sunwoong talk and eventually decided he needs to smoke. People smoke around him, so Yoongi could grab a cigarette if he wanted, but he decides against it.
Yoongi has to disappear for a moment. That way, the straightforward fangirl will wonders where he is. If he does that, then it's more fun when Yoongi finds her again, and she seems surprised before he says something stupid like “there you are” before taking her to his place.
Plus, it’s too stuffy inside the club; Yoongi finishes the drink and makes sure he has a cigarette and a lighter in his jeans pockets before excusing himself from the talk with Namjoon and Sunwoong, saying he'll be right back. The men just nod and ignore Yoongi walking away.
Yoongi doesn’t go for the main door because there’s probably a queue of loud, energetic people outside. He returns backstage to leave by the backdoor, where it's probably empty.
The hallway leading to the backdoor is dark except for the red neon sign indicating the door.
Yoongi lights up his cigarette before reaching the door, filling the hallway with an unusual color. The closer Yoongi walks to the door, the louder he hears yelling coming from the alley outside. Disappointed, he sighs and takes a quick drag; Yoongi didn’t want to see anyone.
Yoongi opens the door, and the only details worthy of retelling are the following: It’s raining, and some boys are fighting outside, grunting and throwing insults here and there. Yoongi doesn’t take a step out and decides to finish his smoke at the threshold of the door.
There are at least six to seven boys pushing each other around. Yoongi breathes in a long drag from his smoke and closes his eyes before exhaling, with the huffs and groans and slap of skin against the skin in the back, mingled with muffled electronic music coming from inside.
He remembers being fourteen and picking up fights behind his school. But all these kids fighting next to him must be at least eighteen to be here. Yoongi can see the bright yellow bracelet the club puts around everyone's wrist when one of the boys throws a misplaced punch.
Or maybe they are pretending to be eighteen to get inside; Yoongi has done that in the past too. Even if Yoongi calls them ‘kids,’ they don’t seem to be minors. Yoongi just says it because he thinks only immature men or kids would pick up fights behind a club, so kids it is.
Yoongi doesn’t take too much notice that it's not exactly a fight; they’re ganging up on one boy. Yoongi hadn’t noticed that before because the boy had been defending himself quite well early, punching someone who was still crouching on the ground and splashing water around them.
But now, the biggest of the kids is spitting blood onto the wet asphalt. The other four boys are kicking their victim. Yoongi tries to take a better look. He’s not short, but compared to the guys he’s fighting, he’s small, around Yoongi’s height, but smaller than the other boys.
He’s thin too. And while covering his head, he’s getting kicked on the ribs and the face. Maybe Yoongi should say something, stop them, but he flicks the ash of his smoke to the floor, and when he looks up, the boy is somehow on his feet again, punching another guy.
Yoongi is rooting for him, so he smiles when the boy manages to tackle another one. His victory is temporary; the one he punched plus another boy grab him so the bigger one- who seems to be the meanest of the sex- can punch the small boy in his face over and over under the rain.
Somehow, the kid manages to squirm out of the other’s boys’ grasp; he has strong arms, throwing someone down out of pure rage. He pushes the other guy to the ground, and when he turns around in search of the bigger one, chest heaving, and angry frown, his gaze falls on Yoongi.
His lips are open and bleeding, and the skin around his eyes is turning bruising red. Yoongi lets the cigarette burn, unable to look away. The boy is all wounded, but Yoongi thinks he’s so pretty. Yoongi gets enough time to memorize the image before the boy continues fighting.
Yoongi drops the cigarette, and the rain puts the flame out; he walks inside without looking back, yelling and huffing reaches his ears until the door closes behind him. He thinks of that furious gaze as the blood on the ground from the fight disappears between the water.
Yoongi wakes up in his studio apartment. The sunlight is filtering from the curtains and falling on his face, and the brightness is impossible to ignore. He turns around, escaping from the daylight, and his eyes fall on the girl from the whiskey, still sleeping next to him.
Her dark hair is messy, and she’s still shirtless, her back to Yoongi and her waist covered by the blankets. Yoongi lets his gaze fall on her body before looking at the ceiling. Yoongi doesn’t wake her; he stands up as silently as possible and grabs his clothes from the floor.
He rubs his face, drags himself to the kitchen -just a few meters away-, and grabs a notebook from the counter before preparing coffee and pouring a glass of water. He can see her -Naeun, if he remembers correctly- from the kitchen, hugging the pillow while sleeping.
Yoongi pulls a pen from the notebook's spiral, opens it on a blank page, and starts scribbling words. He hasn’t been in a fight in a while. He’s forgotten what it feels like to fight, but he keeps tapping his pen against the journal, thinking of the adrenaline of winning a fight.
Naeun wakes up when the coffee is ready, probably because of the scent spreading in the small place. “Hey,” she mumbles sleepily—one arm covering her chest and picking up her bra with her free hand. Yoongi looks between her and his notebook.
“There’s water or coffee. No milk.”
“I’m going to shower and leave in a while,” Yoongi tries to be subtle when asking her to go, tapping the pen on a page. She gets the hint, though, and hums while clasping her bra and putting her hair up on a disordered bun.
“Can I have some coffee before?” She smiles at Yoongi.
She’s acting sarcastic after Yoongi's not-so-subtle request of ditching. But Yoongi did prepare coffee for her. He has manners. “Yes. I make great coffee.”
Her eyes widen, and she grabs her clothes before walking towards the small kitchen. “I'll be the judge.” Yoongi grins.
Naeun sits across from Yoongi on the kitchen counter, and Yoongi walks towards the coffee machine. She glances at his notebook while Yoongi pours another mug. “What are you doing?”
Yoongi doesn’t want to tell her he’s inspired because she might get the wrong idea.
“Just checking a friend’s lyrics,” Yoongi mutters. She doesn't peek at the notebook, and Yoongi relaxes. He leaves the cup in front of her and looks at the lyrics he'd been scribbling. Yoongi was writing about wrestling against several men, about the ecstasy of a fight.
He glances up and sees Naeun. She puts her cup down and brushes a lost strand of hair behind her ear delicately. Yoongi closes the notebook. “Do you want to fuck before I leave?”
She snorts at Yoongi’s proposition but smiles. “Sure. You had to take a shower, didn’t you?”
Her back is pressed to the shower tiles as Yoongi fucks into her, hard and fast. Naeun is clasping onto his back, nails digging on his skin, leaving a mark and making it hurt good. The water hits on both of them as Yoongi kisses her lips, her neck. Hurried, uncoordinated, rough.
Under the water, thrusting up as firm as he can, Yoongi remembers the bloodied kid under the rain, just for a second, a flash on his mind -with that crazed look in his eyes. He closes his eyes and just breathes against the wet clean skin of the woman in his arms.
Yoongi thinks sex could be somewhat similar to a fistfight. The slap of skin against skin, the moans and groans, pulling hair, hard- scratching, biting, pushing, pulling. Warmth in the lower stomach, handling bodies with roughness. Fucking and fighting feel fucking good.
During the week, Yoongi goes to his job at a jewelry store; that’s where he met the club owner that got him into underground rapping. Athletes and rappers always come around for jewels here. The store has hideous light blue and purple neon lights covering every corner.
While waiting for a soccer player to choose which ring he wants, Yoongi’s memory of Friday night changes. Suddenly, in Yoongi’s head, the bloodied kid is surrounded by a blue and purple neon light. Somehow in Yoongi’s memory, he looks sadder than he was in real life.
Perhaps the kid was sad, and maybe Yoongi was able to see straight to his angry gaze. It makes him wonder.
Yoongi works on music while smoking on his break before going inside the store again. Late at night, he writes lyrics while eating leftovers at night in his apartment.
During all those moments, including when Yoongi goes to different underground rap battles around town at night to make extra cash, the image of the bloodied boy under the rain haunts him. Accompanies him and fills his head with ideas and thoughts to add whenever he raps.
Words and thoughts and rhymes, pouring around him like sprinkles of rain hitting the boy’s swollen lips, staining his paper like drops of blood on an angry face. Yoongi's freestyle turns out more violent and sexual than usual.
On Friday, Yoongi returns to the club.
He repeats his routine.
Namjoon talks about this new guy coming to rap while putting on a new shirt before performing; Yoongi listens to him as he changes his earrings. He lent an expensive pair from the jewelry store. One day he’ll have enough money to buy a chain from there.
Yoongi raps on the stage, he tries to look for a face in the audience, but all he says is the bright reflector lights on top of him; he drinks backstage; he walks outside. He covers his face when the neon lights fall on his eyes; he sees a handsome boy and sees a cute girl.
Yoongi goes to the bar; he lights up a cigarette in the dark hallway before opening the exit backdoor.
Yoongi doesn’t believe in coincidences, but it must be luck that the image that has been haunting his head for a week is outside again. He’s still bruised and bloodied.
He’s still the prettiest person Yoongi has ever seen.
Unlike last time, he's not fighting. Yoongi got here late; he already lost. Next to Yoongi, it’s him alone, sitting against the wall next to the exit door, chest heaving, legs flexed, and one arm resting on his knees.
With his free hand, the boy adds pressure to his forehead. There’s a trail of blood on his forearm, meaning his head is bleeding. He’s looking up at the night sky, and Yoongi can study his every feature while seeing his profile. Delicate bruised features and a pained frown.
His full lips and knuckles are bleeding, too; the others left him after beating the shit out of him. He's letting out small grunts. Yoongi doesn’t walk closer to him. The boy reminds him of a wild animal; he has to get close cautiously, or he’ll get bitten. “Hey. You good?”
Yoongi’s words echo in the empty alleyway at the same time he drops some ash from his cigarette on the floor. The boy snaps up his head at the question; startled, he stares at Yoongi for a long second before looking away. He doesn’t answer; he hides better between his arms.
After making eye contact, Yoongi walks closer. "Hey." He stretches his hand to help the kid stand up, but the boy doesn’t take it. He spits blood on the floor and stands up by himself. Yoongi looks at his rejected palm before closing it in a fist.
“I’m good,” the boy whispers.
Surprised, Yoongi looks up to search the boy’s face; the kid has a soft voice. Yoongi wasn't expecting it. Melodic, sweet. It fits the boy’s face, but it doesn’t fit his bloody knuckles or angry glare. But somehow, the lyrics in Yoongi’s notebook sound better to him.
“You’re bleeding,” Yoongi points out. It seems like the boy doesn’t want to chat with Yoongi. After a scoff, he walks past Yoongi, brushing his shoulder with Yoongi’s rather aggressively. Yoongi is not confused by the attitude; he’s still interested in this stranger.
“You should tell them not to hit you in the face,” Yoongi raises his voice before the kid can walk too far.
“Huh?” The boy looks over his shoulder.
“Whoever you’re fighting with next time.” It's quiet in the alleyway except for the muffled music coming from the club.
The boy is staring at Yoongi. Ash from Yoongi's cigarette falls on the ground. “You’re pretty. Those kids are ruining your pretty face with all those bruises.”
Yoongi’s words sink between them, and Yoongi feels like the compliment made the distance between them more pronounced.
The kid is speechless, but Yoongi hopes he catches Yoongi’s intention. Yoongi’s interest. “Pretty boys shouldn't be fighting, you know?" Yoongi tries smirking, not sure how to flirt with a person like this. "There are more fun things you could do."
The boy doesn't flinch.
Yoongi takes a long drag from his cigarette. “I'm Yoongi. Gloss- I rap-" he gestures at the club. "What’s your name?” Yoongi wonders, facing the boy.
The last question snaps the kid out of whatever trance he had found himself immersed in after Yoongi’s comments.
He frowns and looks away after a dry chuckle. “Why do you care, weirdo,” the kid storms out after spitting more blood onto the floor.
Yoongi falls speechless. He tried his shoot, but it didn’t turn out as he expected. After a beat, Yoongi stands alone in the alleyway, smoking.
Jimin is walking down the road faster than it’s appropriate.
On the street, people have a particular pace at which they walk. Everyone moves with a similar speed, like an unspoken rule set by everyone, and whenever someone does it more quickly, bystanders turn to see them.
Jimin is used to doing something that sets him apart from the rest; he’s used to people watching him, observing him as if he didn’t fit; he’s used to feeling strange. So he keeps walking faster, running away, and ignores people glancing his way with curious eyes.
Most of the time, Jimin prefers to blend in, trying hard to feel included; he subdues any part of him that makes him stand up, he acts like the rest -walking at their pace because that's the way people are supposed to walk in the street- but he can’t slow down right now.
He’s not escaping from someone but of empty words hanging in the air around him, and no matter how fast he walks, he can’t run away from them. Pretty.
And it came from him. It’s cold, and Jimin rubs the back of his hand over his mouth because there’s blood on his broken lip.
His forehead hurts because it’s bleeding from when Shihoo pressed Jimin’s face to the asphalt; his ribs are in pain because of a kick he got earlier, but he feels worse because of something else. Because out of all people, he had to walk outside the club one more time.
If another man would have tried to make a pass on Jimin like that, Jimin thinks he would have picked a fight with them instead of running away. Or not- Jimin likes to think he would pick a fight, but if he’s honest, he’s not sure what he would if a man flirts with him.
Right now, he didn’t know what to do.
Shihoo and his friends don’t lie when they beat Jimin up on the ground. When they laugh after Jimin stumbles down on the floor, bleeding, nor when they laugh before kicking Jimin’s face and say Jimin is all talk, but he doesn't bite.
Jimin is all talk; maybe if another man had called him pretty with that same amused tone and handsome smirk, Jimin would have ended up speechless like right now. Even if he comes up with a lot more violent scenarios in his head. Jimin ran away instead of fighting him.
Gloss was talking to him, and he is even more handsome up close than he's onstage. Jimin hates that he finds him so cool, and he hates that out of all people, out of all men, Gloss tried to flirt with him. That was flirting, Jimin can tell. Pretty face. Fun things to do.
Jimin feels so stupid. He likes watching Gloss from under the stage, but he doesn’t want a man flirting with him. Why, out of everyone, it had to be Gloss? Jimin reaches a busy street, and there are cars, and there are lots of people and lights from establishments.
He stops walking, but people are still looking at him. Maybe because of the blood on his arm, on his face, his dirty white shirt. His dirty thoughts. Jimin looks around.
He should have expected. Jimin has heard Yoongi rapping many times; Jimin goes to the club to listen to him.
More than once, Gloss gloats about men and women, about sleeping with people, about going down on men and women, about making men and women orgasm, but Jimin didn’t think- he thought it was just lyrics, that Yoongi was just boasting. Just thoughts that weren't actions.
He didn't think Gloss would call Jimin pretty.
Jimin should have expected it, but Jimin didn't want to believe Gloss was like that. Jimin starts walking again, rubs his lips again because blood continues to trail down his chin. He didn't wish to Gloss to be like that- like him.
Jimin understands he's projecting his thoughts into this stranger with whom Jimin felt a certain level of identification because of how he presents himself on stage. And a part of Jimin's shock at this stupid situation has to do with how Jimin wanted to be like Gloss.
Yoongi’s words onstage are aggressive, manly. When he growls them, Jimin feels heard. He feels like someone understands him.
Jimin likes Yoongi because he’s pretty. He’s pretty, and he’s hard; he has a soft face but a deep voice; pretty lips but dirty words. Jimin likes that.
Jimin wanted that. He looked up to that, tried to achieve that. But Yoongi seems so effortless in his manliness, his roughness, while Jimin has to try hard to be like this like Gloss is onstage.
But even then, Yoongi tried to flirt with him. He's also fake like Jimin.
Gloss had to call Jimin pretty and make Jimin feel sick and make Jimin doubt and make Jimin upset. As angry as he is when he fights.
When Jimin arrives home, his mother is sleeping while watching TV in the living room. He's glad she doesn't have to see his face right now.
Jimin searches for oxygenated water for his wounds in the closet. He knows it’s somewhere in here. He took it from the bathroom and brought it to his room when he started fighting more often, weeks ago. He opens the last drawer, hoping to find that he’d hit it here.
He fumbles with his clothes, and Instead, he finds his mother’s makeup. He remembers he stole an eyeliner from her purse, and it’s still in his room. He closes the drawer and closes the closet.
He lays on the bed before twisting around and hiding his face against his pillow.
“Jimin ah, why do you always get in fights?” His mother tries to touch his face early in the morning when they find themselves next to the other in their small and cramped kitchen.
“I’m fine,” Jimin escapes out of her grasp and pours a glass of water for himself.
He supports himself on the counter and watches his mother’s worried glance trailing across the bruises on his ribs. Jimin should have worn a shirt. She gives up and goes back to preparing something to eat. “You’re not fine, Jimin.”
Jimin is quiet. He’s not okay.
Jimin's mother notices Jimin is not going to answer; she remains quiet. She hands him a bowl of rice and whispers. “Your dad called yesterday.”
“Yeah?” Jimin pretends interest while eating. “How is he?”
“Doing good. He says he could be back for your birthday.” Jimin hums.
Jimin hasn’t seen his dad in months, but he’s used to that. “That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Spend your birthday together. The three of us."
“Yeah." It could be nice, but Jimin doesn't want to get his hopes up. They stay in silence, next to the other, in the small kitchen.
Jimin is listening to music on the bus while he goes to work, leg bouncing up and down, eyes set on the grey sky outside. He feels eyes on him when the chorus starts, and he glances up to find a boy around Jimin’s age looking at him over his shoulder. He’s cute, black hair.
The stranger's eyes widen when they lock gazes, but he offers Jimin a smile after a second. Jimin looks away as fast as he can, unable to smile back. What’s up with him these days?
Jimin stares at the grey sky, brings the song's volume higher, and sinks on his seat.
“What happened to your face, Jimin?” Jiwon asks as a greeting when she sees Jimin arriving at the establishment. She opened the PC bang already, but early in the morning, it's still empty, and she follows Jimin into the backdoor where he'll change into their ugly orange uniform.
Jimin takes off his shirt to wear his uniform, and she gasps once her eyes fall on the bruises on Jimin's ribs. “I got into a fight,” Jimin states the obvious.
“I can tell,” Jiwon murmurs and takes a step closer, brings her fingers to Jimin’s forehead. “With Shihoo again?”
“Mmh.” She’s close to him, and Jimin’s gaze falls to her neck, visible because her uniform is a size too big on her. She smells nice, like soap and perfume. Jimin doesn't like her that way, but he guesses Jiwon would be a good girlfriend. With her delicate fingers and soft words.
“Why do you still fight with him, Jimin!?” Jiwon scoffs, worried. Before Jimin can answer, she walks back to the front room, and Jimin goes after her.
“Because I’m gonna win one day,” Jimin says before logging his code on the PC, letting their boss know he’s already working.
Jiwon doesn’t reply; she just sighs, tired.
Before a group of customers -some college students- walk inside the PC bang, she squeezes Jimin’s shoulder. Jimin looks up at her. “Well, at least, bruises make you look cool, Jimin ah.” Jimin smiles, strangely pleased by the comment.
Jimin’s week goes by as usual. He sees some guys trying to flirt with Jiwon while she charges them for their time gaming. Jimin tells them to cut it out, but he doesn’t feel jealous that someone is flirting with her. He wonders what would happen if boys would flirt with him.
Jimin goes for a run at night; he works out in the morning. He thinks of Min Yoongi calling him pretty. He helps his mother with a bank problem. He walks Jiwon home after they have to stay inside the PC bang longer because of the rain. He thinks of Yoongi's smirk.
On Friday, during the night shift, Jiwon checks her phone while a group of friends yells as they play games near the establishment’s back. Jiwon is bending on the counter, her forearms on the table; Jimin glances at her body before looking away.
“Jimin ah,” Jiwon starts.
“There’s a show tonight. Do you want to go? Gloss and Runch Randa are performing.”
Jimin was going to the show even if Jiwon hadn’t asked. “Sure," he murmurs. He feels the need to add something. “But Shihoo might be there. He likes Runch Randa and goes to most of his shows.”
Jiwon looks at Jimin over her shoulder. “You won’t fight with Shihoo if I go with you."
She locks her phone and puts it down on the counter before standing up straight. Hands at her hips. “No fighting."
Jimin has to chuckle at her attempt at seeming scary. "Sure."
“I’m going to get ready at home. Can you pick me up?” She smiles at Jimin.
After giving Jimin a once-over, she bites her lip and leans in his space, threading her fingers through Jimin's hair. Jimin gulps at the proximity. “You’re changing, right?”
"I'm going to a club with this sexy orange uniform," Jimin jokes before flicking her wrist again. Jiwon rolls her eyes, and Jimin smiles. "What's wrong with my clothes?"
"You're not going to a club with what you had on earlier," she scolds.
"There's no one I want to impress."
Jimin thinks of Yoongi, stretching his hand to help him get up. "You're going with me, so you have to make yourself look good," Jiwon decides. "You don't need to impress anyone; it's fun to dress up," she says. Jimin doesn't think the same, but he promises he'll get ready.
Jimin arrives at Jiwon’s place with a loose white tank top and ripped blue jeans. Her mother lets Jimin in, tells him Jiwon is in her room.
Jiwon laughs when she sees him, though. "You get points for trying."
"God, shut up." Jimin feels self-conscious. "You're annoying."
"This is the most nightclub-appropriate shirt I own." Jimin tends to go with any shirt he owns; he doesn't bother styling them. But he's going with Jiwon, and she won't allow that. She's wearing a tight black dress, snug around her tights. The fabric is shiny, and Jimin likes it.
He likes how the fabric looks on her, and he likes the dress in general.
Jiwon throws away the black cap he was wearing, letting it drop on her bed, and then puts hair cream on her hand before styling Jimin’s hair. “That’s better.” Jimin doesn't look at himself in the mirror.
Jimin just lets her do as she wishes, gentle hands on his body, sweet feminine perfume around him, but he stills when suddenly she unbuckles his belt. “What are you doing?” Jimin is nervous.
Jiwon doesn't seem startled, so Jimin tries to relax. “Making you look good.”
She tucks his white sleeveless top inside his jeans and then buckles his belt again. Jimin glances at the mirror; he sees both of their reflections, and his gaze falls on his waist. He doesn’t say anything about his look. Jiwon turns around and searches for something on her bed.
“Can I?” She grabs an eyeliner, and Jimin isn’t sure about that. He glances at the mirror, at his pretty reflection, and he nods. Jiwon leans in, pretty as always, lips puckered while adding makeup to Jimin’s face.
“Just a little, okay?” Jimin blurts out once he closes his eyes.
He doesn't need to look at Jiwon to feel her smile. “Yeah. Of course. I’m just going to make you look badass.”
It's silly, and Jimin won't argue with the thousand voices in his head telling him he looks foolish. Jimin lets her do as she wishes because it's as he wishes to.
Jimin arrives with Jiwon at the club when it's already full. Stuffy, sweaty. Pink lights that make Jimin grimace. Purple lights that make him dizzy. They stand by the bar, and Jimin buys two beers.
“Shihoo is here,” Jiwon whispers to Jimin before receiving the beer bottle.
Jimin glances the way Jiwon gestures. Between people, Jimin can see Shihoo and his friends are there, laughing.
Jimin leans in to whisper to Jiwon. “He won't come over, so just act as if he’s not here.” From behind Jiwon’s head, Jimin glances to find Shihoo staring at him.
Shihoo tall and even from afar, he looks down at Jimin. He's smiling at something his friends are saying, and he lets his gaze trail Jimin's body. Jimin looks away quickly and focuses on the floor. Sticky, damp floor dirty with booze and people dancing on it. Jimin feels warm.
He ignores Shihoo and his friends and lets Jiwon drag him to dance until a voice announces the rap battle. Everything happens quickly after that.
Yoongi comes on the stage, handsome as always, confident, smirking. Jimin gulps when he sees him. Jiwon cheers next to him.
Today, Yoongi and Jimin are dressed similarly. Ripped blue jeans. But Yoongi's white shirt has short sleeves, and it's oversized, covering his hips. Jimin trails his eyes over his body either way, and he can’t look away the moment Yoongi introduces himself to the microphone.
Jimin doesn't look away from Yoongi's firm grip around the microphone every time he brings it to his mouth. Close to his pretty lips.
Today they're freestyling, and Yoongi says something about giving head to a guy, and a flustered Jimin sees Shihoo laughing with his friends.
Between the loud voices of men resonating on the speakers, Jiwon grabs Jimin's arm and presses her lips to his ear. She says she’s going to try to see Gloss up closer, and she hurries away.
Jimin asks for another beer, and then he walks closer to Jiwon to see Gloss closer too.
But before Jimin can reach her, he feels a body standing close to them.
“Hey, Jimin.” Jimin recognizes the voice as Inyeop, one of Shihoo’s friends. He’s shorter than Shihoo but broader. Jimin made him bleed once, hit his nose until he could see a tear trailing down his face.
Jimin wants to continue watching Yoongi, but he looks at Inyeop from the corner of his eyes. “What’s up?”
“You don’t get tired, don’t you?” He whispers to Jimin’s ear.
Jimin offers him a smile and looks back at the stage where Gloss hypes up a new rapper.
“Leave me alone.”
But before Jimin can take a step forward, he feels a firm grip around his wrist. With the same strength, Yoongi must use to hold his microphone. Jimin looks over his shoulder to find Shihoo getting on his space, his chest to Jimin's back. “You’re here with Jiwon, Park Jimin?”
Shihoo smells like sweat and deodorant. “Yeah.”
“You’re finally fucking her?” Jimin clenches his jaw and tries his best to ignore Shihoo. He told Jiwon he won't fight. “The fuck are you rolling your eyes, Jimin?”
“You imagine things, dude. I’m not rolling my eyes at you.”
“Wanna pick a fight again, Jimin? Wasn’t last time enough for you?”
“Fuck off.” Jimin clashes their shoulders together before trying to take a step away, but Shihoo grabs his wrist and pulls him close. Jimin’s heart starts beating faster.
“You like getting beat up.”
Jimin rubs his nose. “Is that why you’ve gotten all dolled up? To piss me off again?” Jimin glares at Shihoo as he spits. “I think you come here and give me that stupid look because you want me to kick your ass.”
“You spend a lot of time your day thinking about me, Shihoo?”
“Coming up with theories about me?" Jimin continues, getting on Shihoo's space. "Wondering if I think about you as much as you of me? You have a crush on me or something?” Inside, the club is hot, and Jimin glances at Shihoo's friends- these guys are all sweaty.
"You fucking-" Yoongi is rapping again. Growling.
It has happened so many times, Jimin doesn’t even register what triggers it anymore after his words. Maybe a glance, perhaps a tsk, a smirk. At this point, both Jimin and the other men would take anything as an excuse to fight.
Shihoo grabs Jimin and starts pushing him towards the exit door. Jimin doesn’t try to stop him; because Shihoo is not lying. Jimin comes to Gloss's shows to listen to him, to watch him, and he also comes because he comes to get beat up. He wants to fight and bleed.
Gloss is finishing his turn rapping by the time they reach the door.
Yoongi’s hands wrapped around his microphone is the last thing Jimin sees before he stumbles into the cold air of the night. Pink, purple and blue lights disappear after the door closes behind Jimin.
The foul scent of sweat and smoke violently mixes with the fresh air outside the club as he stumbles to the alleyway next to the bar- where they know no one will mind them-.
There’s anger. Jimin and these other men feel like punching someone, and Jimin can’t even pinpoint why.
He has no idea why Shihoo is so upset he wants to kick Jimin; he doesn't why any of Shihoo's friends want to punch him either. Jimin knows, though, why he wants to fight. Why he'll fight even if he told Jiwon he wouldn't, and even if Yoongi told him to take care of his face.
Because he's upset at his mother for being weak, at his father for being gone, at Jiwon for being so good but not what Jimin wants, at Shihoo for whispering with that sticky breath against Jimin’s neck that leaves him hot and bothered, at Yoongi for trying to flirt with him.
Jimin is upset at himself for being the way he is, and he wants to fight.
There are cars and chatter from people leaving and coming to the clubs. But no one sees Jimin as he falls to the ground after someone punches his stomach. He refuses to stay on the floor; Jimin stands up.
At first, during his earliest fights, Jimin wouldn't have the strength to push back, but he’s been in so many arguments by now, he’s back on his feet, and he gets on Shihoo’s space. Foreheads are touching while they push the other. Jimin has hit him before, weeks ago, many times.
Jimin knows Shihoo is a coward, and he doesn’t fight fair. He hits harder with his left hand, and he can kick if he wants to do it. Jimin has never been able to hit his face because he knows how to cover it. And when he’s close to losing, Shihoo scratches with his nails.
Which is something Jimin would never do.
Jimin grabs Shihoo by the waist and pushes him to the ground. They messily fall, and Shihoo circles his legs around Jimin’s neck. Before Jimin runs out of breath, he goes for Shihoo’s arm, twisting it as much as he can.
Jimin can hear the other men laughing and watching them. Taunting Shihoo because Jimin escaped his grip. Jimin feels many eyes on him—many men’s eyes, and it drives him crazy for some reason, he can’t stand it, but at the same time, he wants it. He doesn't understand it.
Jimin makes himself twist Shihoo's arm harder, and he finally opens his eyes, allowing Jimin to free himself entirely from the hold around his neck. His body hurts, but he gets on top of Shihoo. Jimin is sitting on his lower stomach, and he pins Shihoo's wrists to the ground.
The position makes Jimin's heart beat fast.
There’s something different in the Shihoo’s eyes now. It’s something akin to the look on a girl’s face when Jimin gets his hand under their panties. Jimin feels uneasy, and before he gulps, Shihoo flips him down on the ground.
Shihoo pushes Jimin’s chest to the ground and gets on top of him, straddling his hips. Jimin closes his eyes, feels the pressure against his lower body. Unlike before, this position is humiliating. Jimin’s ears are ringing, and he doesn’t hear what Shihoo whispers to his ear.
Jimin gets flipped back until he can see the moon in the sky, and Jimin closes his eyes when he gets a punch to the face. At fast as that, he lost one more time. Shihoo starts hitting him, and Jimin tries to focus on the pain. Tonight he gives up a lot faster than before.
Without thinking twice about it, he covers his face because Yoongi told him he was pretty and the bruises were ruining it. He protects himself instinctively but then pushes his hands away. Jimin does want that to be destroyed and swallowed; he doesn’t want to be pretty.
But the moment he lowers his hands and allows Shihoo to bruise his face, taste the blood on his lips, suddenly a loud, deep voice rings in Jimin’s ears. “Hey, what the fuck are you doing? Cut it out.” It’s Min Yoongi’s voice. “You fucking idiots! He’s on the ground! Let him go!”
Jimin feels more ashamed knowing he’s watching.
He worries about what Min Yoongi thinks of him. Jimin worries if Yoongi thinks he’s pretty or if Yoongi thinks he’s ugly; if he thinks Jimin is manly. Hiding his face, bleeding on the floor, Yoongi will think Jimin is weak.
One of the boys scoffs, but Inyeop elbows him and tells him that it’s one of the rappers. It’s Gloss, someone whispers. Shihoo looks at Jimin in the eyes one more time before standing up. “You’re not worth the trouble, Park Jimin.” He spits next to Jimin’s face.
Shihoo supports himself on Jimin’s chest, making Jimin wince one last time before leaving Jimin on the floor. They grumble and mutter words to Yoongi.
“You’re all adults! Fucking act like it!” Yoongi yells, and then Yoongi and Jimin are left alone in the alleyway.
Jimin stays on the floor, looking at the dark sky and the moon -all alone up there-; he waits until it’s quiet between them. Jimin waits until it’s clear there’s no one but Yoongi and Jimin in the alleyway, and only then he struggles to stand up. He feels hurt and dirty all over.
Min Yoongi is looking at him silently, giving Jimin time to compose himself, but once Jimin is on his feet, touching the fresh wounds on his face and wincing in pain, Yoongi scolds him. “Kid, what the fuck? Why weren’t you fighting back?” Jimin doesn’t have an answer for that.
Yoongi sighs and starts frantically looking for a cigarette in his pockets. “You get beat up every week.” Jimin doesn’t answer because it’s true. “I only had a drink tonight, so I can drive you home if you need. Or there’s ice inside for your face, in my dressing room.”
Jimin looks up at him, and their eyes briefly meet before Yoongi adds, “I won’t make a move on you or anything like that; you left that clear last time. That was stupid. I just wanna help. You look like shit.”
Unsure, Jimin shakes his head. “I have to look for my friend.”
Yoongi raises an eyebrow in disbelief. “You can barely stand up by yourself, dude! You need to stop bleeding first!" He snaps his neck before flicking ash from his cigarette on the ground. "I’ll look for him. Your friend.”
“Her," Jimin mumbles. "She’s- she’s in the club.”
It's difficult to wonder what's going on in Yoongi's head, but he nods, and he takes a step closer to Jimin. “Okay. We’ll look for her." He waits, and Jimin nods. "Come here, let me help you walk.” He comes close to Jimin and waits until Jimin throws an arm around his shoulder.
Yoongi securely wraps his hand around Jimin's waist to keep him up, and all of Jimin's body burns at the touch. Up close, Jimin can tell that Yoongi smells like sweat and shaving cologne. “My name is Jimin.” Yoongi smiles.
“Okay, Jimin, can I give you some ice for your face?”
Jimin presses his face to the ice with a loud splash, eyes shut.
Yoongi had filled the sink with cold water and ice, and he's now standing next to Jimin, arms crossed over his chest, in the tiny bathroom backstage. Jimin is troubled. There’s no other way to put it.
Yoongi's eyes fall on Jimin's phone; he left it next to the sink. A drop of water fell on the cracked screen. Yoongi thinks it's impossible to read anything if his screen is so fucked up.
Jimin had called his friend, but she didn't pick up, and now they're waiting for her text.
But Jimin's screen doesn't light up with any text, and all the light they have inside the bathroom is the ugly blue neon LEDs around the mirror.
Jimin pushes himself out of the cold water in a violent movement, as if he had waited until he was running out of air.
His chest rises and falls as he breathes heavily; his wet hair presses to his forehead and Yoongi remembers the first night he saw Jimin. "Press your head to the water again," Yoongi tells him. "Your face is gonna bruise ugly if not."
Jimin clenches his jaw and shakes his head.
"I'm fine," Jimin mutters and leans for the towel, but Yoongi brings a hand to Jimin's shoulder, stopping him.
"Put your face on the water, kid." Jimin looks at the hand on his shoulder before flicking Yoongi off roughly.
"I'm good." He's not, but Yoongi remains quiet.
He watches Jimin dry his face from the cold water; his cheeks are pink, and under the mirror light, Yoongi can see purple bruises starting to appear. Yoongi grabs Jimin's hand and, with his other hand, some ice cubes. He winces before pressing them to Jimin's palm.
Jimin flinches at the cold too, and finally, he looks at Yoongi with lost eyes. "Press them on your cheekbones; you're bruising already." Jimin doesn't move at all. "Over the towel, dumbass," Yoongi snarls. Jimin nods and puts the ice over the towel.
Yoongi feels calmer.
Jimin's face of discomfort worries Yoongi. He leans in, grabbing Jimin's wrist and accommodating the towel until the ice is pressed to the bruise. This close, Yoongi speaks. “You shouldn’t get into fights you can’t win, you know?” Jimin scoffs, evidently not amused by the words.
Up close, Yoongi can see how pretty Jimin's features are. His nose, his lips, his eyelids. Yoongi takes a step back and walks out of the bathroom into the small backstage. He's lucky none of the other rappers are here. “What’s up with those guys? They’re the same from before.”
The backstage has one flickering yellow lightbulb hanging from a cable as light, and Yoongi likes pushing it, so it dangles, creating a spinning shadow in the walls of the small dirty room. Jimin walks after Yoongi, white tank top dirty with blood and wet from the ice.
Yoongi plops down on the tattered black leather couch and searches for a cigarette in his back pocket. “Why do you keep getting in trouble with them? Fucked their girl or something?” Yoongi adjusts his words to get Jimin to open up.
He doesn't know how to act around Jimin.
Jimin remains close to the open bathroom door. The blue LEDs are outlining his figure. “They don’t like me.”
“Well, tell them to fuck off. Why are those kids beating your ass because they don’t like you? Goofy motherfuckers. What’s your fault that they don’t like you?”
Jimin shrugs. Yoongi takes a drag from his smoke.
Yoongi likes fights; he wouldn’t search to be in one, but once he’s fighting and feels the adrenaline, he doesn't back down. But picking up one kid is not good. Jimin looks at him before glancing at the ground. “It ain’t easy.”
Yoongi squints his eyes. He gets comfortable on the couch until his neck is on the backrest, and he faces Jimin. “What? They bully you at school?”
That seems to be the wrong question. “I’m not a kid. I finished high school already. I just returned from my military service.”
With a long drag of his cigarette, Yoongi lets the ash fall on the floor. The place is dirty and wet either way. Yoongi wants to ask Jimin more; he cherishes the information. But he has to be careful, or Jimin will think Yoongi is making a move again. Jimin continues talking.
“They were in my high school, not all of them. Shihoo was. The one who pinned me to the ground.”
“Mmh.” The sadistic one who was grinding on Jimin.
“We enrolled together too for military service. Shihoo was the one who has an issue with me.”
“Since high school?”
“I didn’t get bullied during high school," Jimin speaks slowly. "I could say the other students liked me, but he didn’t like me, never did. But he didn’t do anything about it in school. We barely talked back then. We saw each other again when we enrolled. A year ago.”
Yoongi didn’t expect Jimin to talk much, but he’s glad the kid is opening up to him. Plus, Yoongi is curious. He has been interested since he first saw him. “He told me all the reasons why he didn’t like me. He tried to pick up fights with me, but nothing happened.”
“Only some threats and pushing around." Yoongi exhales a large cloud of smoke. "Some months ago, I came to see a show because I heard a song on Soundcloud and then saw the rappers were going to perform here,” he mumbles without looking at Yoongi.
Yoongi glances at him.
It's just a supposition, but maybe Jimin can't meet his eyes because Yoongi is one of the rappers from the song, and in a way, that would explain why Jimin is talking to him instead of pushing him away like last time they met. “And Shihoo was here for the show too."
"He came up to me and said he could finally beat me up without getting a penatly.”
“He had a good reason to fight you?”
Jimin is quiet for a moment. Yoongi glances at the melting ice trailing down his temple. “Just hated my pretty face. Shihoo said it pissed him off.”
Yoongi swallows before looking up. The lightbulb Yoongi had pushed some minutes before it's finally settling. Instead of dizzying shadows, it creates a large umbra. He’s heard that before, directed to himself. He’s not surprised Jimin gets beaten up for having an angel face.
“I asked him what he wanted me to do about my fucking face, and he wanted to fight. I said yes. I wanted to fight too.”
“And you’re repeating this every weekend?”
Yoongi can’t control his laughter. “Well, that’s just plain stupid. Just fuck and get it over with.”
Jimin glares at him before letting his hand fall. The towel is dripping water on the floor. “What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re a pervert or something?”
“Don’t you think that meeting up every week to grind your hips on the floor outside a club isn’t a bit homoerotic?”
“What the fuck?” Jimin looks away. He looks like he wants to say something. Yoongi wonders if he will call Yoongi weirdo again and storm outside, but instead, Jimin faces him one more time, frowning. “We’re not gay.”
Yoongi stares at him, and he slowly realizes what’s going on.
What goes on inside Jimin's head and inside his head. Yoongi realizes why he kept thinking of Jimin's angry gaze under the rain. Yoongi saw himself from years ago in him, only that Yoongi’s confusion and anger were brief, and a new buzzing sensation soon replaced it.
Yoongi can sense that same anger in Jimin, and he has news for him. “Yeah. Nothing gay about a dude grinding on your ass instead of punching you," Yoongi smiles sympathetically. Jimin looks away after his eyes widen; he must be remembering what just happened outside.
“You saw a lot of the fight,” Jimin mutters.
“Whatever you want to call that. I wasn’t going to interrupt your intimate moment until the kid started beating you for real.” Jimin grips the towel tighter, squeezing the material and letting more drops of water ruin the floor.
Yoongi sighs; he had people who accepted him, and everything was easier because of them, so even if Yoongi has difficulty using the right words when talking, he tries to support Jimin.
Jimin opened up, but he still seems skittish around Yoongi; he’s tense and defensive.
“One time, I got into a fight I couldn’t win. Similar to these fights that you seem to like.” Jimin glances at him. ”I made a move on this person who was seeing this other guy. A rapper, from the underground battles.” Jimin hums.
“So you like flirting with people unprovoked?”
Yoongi is amused at the call-out. Jimin’s got an attitude, a backbone, Yoongi likes that. “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable, and I surely came onto you a bit too strongly because it was the wrong moment.” The words sound empty, but Yoongi means them.
Jimin looks away, though. “Okay, tell me about that fight you shouldn't have fought.”
Yoongi smiles. “The rapper came over to fight me because I had flirted with the person he liked. They weren’t dating or anything, okay? I’m no cheater.” Yoongi wants to leave a good impression.
The corner of Jimin’s lips curls just slightly, but Yoongi is attentive to his reaction, so he catches it. “The rapper just liked this person, and they had seen each other some times. But when he came to argue with me about making a move on this person, we ended up making out.”
Yoongi wonders if Namjoon would tell that anecdote like that. Jimin doesn’t seem amused, though. “I get what you’re trying to say here, but I’m not going to kiss Shihoo.”
“It’s a lot more effective than you think. Releases tension.” Yoongi's and Jimin's eyes meet at the moment.
Yoongi can’t be imagining the tension between them.
“But that’s fine, don’t kiss this Shihoo; he doesn’t deserve it. Throwing you around on the floor like that.” Jimin glances at Yoongi from the corner of his eyes, but Yoongi has no idea what’s going on in his head.
Jimin is the first to gaze away. They fall quiet, and Yoongi throws his cigarette to the floor and steps on it. Jimin lifts a finger to his bruise, presses it, and then winces a little. “Do you like fighting, Jimin?”
“Not when I lose.”
Yoongi snorts. “Don’t we all?”
Yoongi is about to say something else when someone knocks on the door loudly. Both Yoongi and Jimin startle at the sound, but Yoongi stands up and opens the door. He finds a pretty small girl waiting outside. “Uh-” Her eyes widen when she registers Yoongi’s face.
“Oh, hi.” She bows nervously. “Is Jimin-? My friend Jimin sent me a text and the guard in front and-”
“Yeah, he’s here," Yoongi interrupts her lovely ramble. Yoongi opens the door with his arm and leaves it there, making her walk under his arm to cross inside the room.
She gasps when she sees Jimin, and Yoongi glances at the interaction over his shoulder; he doesn't close the door, and the music from outside filters loudly. She stands by Jimin's side, makes Jimin look taller than he is. “Jimin ah! Your face!” Yoongi and Jimin share a glance.
Jimin and his friend start whispering, and Yoongi gives them privacy, choosing to walk outside of the backstage and lean against the hallway outside. With the door framing the pair, Yoongi sees Jimin smiling.
After a minute, Jimin leaves the towel on the couch and walks outside.
The girl bows at Yoongi repeatedly, thanking him for looking after Jimin, and Yoongi only offers her a smile, says it was no problem. Jimin is quiet next to her until Yoongi glances at him and catches him staring. Jimin doesn't look away. "Thank you for the ice."
With the music playing so loudly, Yoongi has to raise his voice. "See you around, Jimin!"
Jimin looks back at him; the red light from the exit sign at the end of the hallway paints Jimin's face like a warning that Yoongi will ignore. "Yeah," Jimin mumbles before walking away.
Namjoon and Hoseok, the new guy, are talking about the performance tonight, sharing a quick blunt before going onstage while Yoongi adds a series of rented rings to his fingers. He reaches for his drink but notices it's empty already, so he decides to sneak out to the bar.
The club is packed already, with people dancing and waiting for the performance. Yoongi makes his way through the bodies as usual, glad to be wearing a white cap that hides his face because no one seems to notice him, as he blends in with a black shirt and black jeans.
But when he reaches the bar, Yoongi takes off his cap when he sees someone by the queue. Jimin.
He looks different from last week. He has a bandaid near his eyebrow, and he's wearing an oversized black sweatshirt, which must feel confined. Yoongi walks towards him.
Yoongi stands next to him; the blue lights from the club make Jimin's bruises look darker. “Hey, kid.” Yoongi's voice startles him, and Jimin turns to see him with a glare.
“What do you want?” Not the greeting Yooongi expected, but he chuckles. Jimin is a short fuse.
"What are you doing?"
Jimin squints his eyes and gestures at the bar with his chin. "Trying to get a beer. What do you think?"
Yoongi gives Jimin a once-over. His jeans are ripped, and Yoongi can see scratches on his knees. "You’re gonna pick a fight again? With your friend?"
“No.” Jimin has to yell so Yoongi can hear him over the loud music from the club.
Yoongi leans closer to whisper. He can see blue lights flickering in Jimin's eyes. “Why are you here then? If not to fight?” Jimin seems to debate a lot about his answer, but he sighs.
He's the one to lean close now, to whisper to Yoongi's ear. “I came to see you perform.”
Yoongi plays with the ring on his pointer finger. He has seen Jimin three times, only talked twice, but he can tell that reaction is uncharacteristically shy. Yoongi smiles to himself.
“I suspected it." The loud music resonates in Yoongi's chest pleasantly. "You’re a fan, Jimin?”
“Not a fan." Jimin spits his answer as if he's offended by the title. "I just like your words.” Yoongi feels touched. That someone likes his words. "How you say them too."
Yoongi wonders how Jimin would react if he knew that Yoongi can’t stop writing songs about a pretty boy fighting and bleeding under the rain. “You’re a fan,” Yoongi says. Jimin rolls his eyes. “But even then, you called me a 'weirdo' the first time we spoke. That was brutal.”
Jimin chuckles, and someone in front of them takes a step away from the bar with a drink in their hand, so Jimin walks forward, and Yoongi goes after him. Jimin's shoulder touches Yoongi's chest. “I know it was stupid of me but did our first meeting disappoint you that much?”
Yoongi's eyes fall to Jimin's lips -purple under the blue light-. “I wouldn’t say it disappointed me. It caught me off guard,” Jimin whispers. "I didn't expect Gloss- You're not like I imagined."
“I see. How different am I to the idea of me that you have in your head?”
“Huh?” Jimin doesn't look at Yoongi too much; he takes another step forward until he can support his hand on the bar.
“I mean- Some of the things I say up there onstage are a part of me, but it’s not all of me. So how similar am I to the version you had of me in your head?”
Jimin turns to face him. He raises his eyebrow, the one that has the bandaid covering a wound. “Are you flirting with me again?”
Yoongi snorts. “No, I’m not. I told you I wouldn't." Unless Jimin wants it. "Why do you think I'm flirting?”
“Why do you suppose I think of you?”
Yoongi chuckles. "I supposed since you’re a fan."
"Not a fan."
"Specials fans get backstage passes." Jimin looks at the bar, gesturing to the bartender for a drink. Yoongi puts one hand on the counter, caging Jimin. And he sees the corner of Jimin's lips curl into a smile.
"You're not flirting?" Jimin retorts with an amused expression that Yoongi likes. That encourages Yoongi to support his elbow on the bar.
“I’m not making a move. I’m just inviting you backstage, like the last time. We can talk.”
“And why do you want me to go there?”
“What’s a worse answer? I liked talking to you last time, and I want to steal some of your thoughts for the next time I have to freestyle.”
Jimin snorts laughter. He has a pretty laugh, too, bright and so discordant to Jimin's rough demeanor. “Both are shitty answers.”
Yoongi's gaze softens as the club's flickering blue lights turn pink and paint Jimin's face. “You shouldn’t stay here, or your friends will come to kick your ass again.”
Jimin shrugs. “I’ll fight them if they want to fight.”
“I know. And the kids will beat you up again.”
“And why are you talking as if you know much about fighting?” The club music turns louder, and Yoongi moves closer.
“I did tell you I like fighting. Do you think I look like I know much about it?”
Jimin purses his lips. “You kinda do. You give that aura.” Yoongi smirks.
The bartender arrives, and he lifts an eyebrow at Yoongi, surprised to see him trying so hard to get someone. Both Yoongi and the bartender are more used to easier flings. Yoongi only nods at him and grabs the beer he had brought over for Jimin. “Can I pay for it?”
At that, Jimin's defensive mode returns at full force. Jimin looks at Yoongi and searches for cash on his back pocket -covered by his black sweatshirt-. “No, you won’t.”
“As a hyung. Not as making a move,” Yoongi says. The bartender glances at Yoongi entertained.
Jimin looks down at Yoongi’s lips and then back at the cash on his hand. He pushes the bills to his pocket after a moment. “As a hyung,” he murmurs. And if Yoongi wouldn't be paying attention, the answer would have ended up lost between the loud music.
"Get me another one."
When the bartender leaves both beer bottles on the counter, Yoongi turns to Jimin. "Backstage?" Jimin reaches for his beer and takes a long gulp, and when Yoongi thinks he's going to put it down, he continues drinking. Gulping half of the bottle in some seconds. Yoongi snorts.
"Thirsty?" Yoongi chuckles. Jimin leaves the bottle on the counter with a loud thud. Yoongi searches for the bartender and asks for two more bottles.
"I don't know if I should go backstage with you," Jimin murmurs. Yoongi looks over his shoulder to see Jimin under blue light.
Yoongi didn't expect those words, but he gulps. "That's fine," Yoongi says. "You don't have to come- I just- I want to talk to you, and I don't want you to get in a fight again." Jimin bites his lower lip -it's still swollen- "At least until your bruises get better."
"I'm just anticipating the inevitable, finding you outside bleeding," Yoongi goes on. The bartender leaves the other two bottles on the counter, and Yoongi nods at him. "Your friend is here again?"
"No- she didn't come." Yoongi hums.
"She doesn't like that you fight."
"No," Jimin mutters before finishing the rest of the beer bottle. Yoongi looks at Jimin, he wants to know more, but he can't force it.
"You don't have to come with me if you don't want. That extra beer is yours," Yoongi says. He grabs one bottle and takes a step forward.
Yoongi is barely some meters away when Jimin raises his voice. "Wait!" People try taking their spots near the bar, and Jimin leaves his empty beer bottle behind before walking after Yoongi. "Can I see you perform from close to the stage?" Yoongi smiles softly.
"Yeah. You can watch us from the staff zone; I promise it’s more thrilling back there than in front. You can even watch from the stairs and feel the stage shake," Yoongi goes. But he doesn't need to say more; Jimin is convinced. Once Yoongi walks away, Jimin comes behind him.
The backstage is as dirty as it was last time Jimin was here, but now aside from the permanent sweat smell, it stinks of weed. Hoseok and Namjoon greet Jimin when they see him walking in with Yoongi, and before they get back into their conversation, Hoseok offers Jimin a blunt.
Yoongi catches Jimin's confused reaction. First, he can see Jimin's inner debate, and before he forces himself to do something just to prove it, Yoongi scoffs. "Why do you offer him one and nothing to me?"
"You want one, hyung?" Hoseok smiles at Yoongi. Jimin glances down.
"I can roll one for you," Hoseok winks at Yoongi.
Yoongi pushes the lightbulb before plopping down on the leather couch. The light spins around the room, and Namjoon chuckles -he's high already-. "Nah, I'm good." Jimin looks at Yoongi before sitting next to him.
Jimin sits similarly to Yoongi, his legs spread and their knees and thighs touch. Jimin's ripped blue jeans and Yoongi's black ones. Yoongi's legs are way thinner than Jimin's. The lightbulb hanging from a cable continues to swing. "I'm good too," Jimin mutters.
Hoseok smiles and focuses on Namjoon again, talking in hushed whispers and loud laughter. Jimin stares at them, but his gaze falls and stays on Namjoon, eventually. Yoongi wonders if that’s the kind of man Jimin likes. That Shihoo guy is also tall and buff like Namjoon.
Yoongi goes for his beer and takes a long gulp, enjoys the cold alcohol down his throat, and then supports his neck on the backrest so he can watch Jimin more comfortably. The shadows the lightbulb creates on his face as it spins in circles. "Jimin," Yoongi calls out his name.
Jimin faces Yoongi, startled at hearing his name. Lips parted curious eyes, furrowed face. He's beautiful, and Yoongi looks away quickly. “You wanna know why they kick your ass?”
Jimin turns his full attention to Yoongi, even twisting his body Yoongi's way. “Why?”
Yoongi leans down to grab his beer again, and only once he takes another large gulp, he starts talking. “You know how to fight. But you wrestle with just force, and you want to rely too much on your physical strength." Music barely reaches backstage, so Yoongi can speak normally.
“Sure, you have strong arms, strong thighs.” Jimin squirms on the couch and spreads his legs wider. He puts the beer bottle between his thighs, keeping it tight, and Yoongi has to take another gulp of alcohol. “But there will always be someone stronger than you, bigger than you."
“Especially because you’re small for someone who fights.”
Jimin scoffs at that. “You’re small too.” Namjoon and Hoseok laugh but not at Yoongi; they're watching something on Hoseok's phone.
“But when I fight, I don't rely on physical strength.”
“Then what? You scratch?”
“Speed and agility. Go for their legs, move faster than them.”
Jimin chuckles and takes a long sip of beer. “A coward’s dance.”
“Nah, they’ll try to tell you you’re playing unfairly." Yoongi has heard that before. "But that’s cause someone moving fast pisses off big guys.”
“I think I had to see you fight to see if I agree with your fight style. So far, it just sounds girly," Jimin mumbles. Yoongi has to laugh at such stupidity. It's not hard to tell Jimin is troubled, but he shouldn't act stupid.
“Girly," Yoongi repeats. Jimin falls quiet.
Yoongi leans forward, supporting his elbows on his thighs and looking at Jimin from below. The lightbulb is starting to spin slower and slower; Hoseok laughs loudly over the faint music. “Why do you try so hard?” Jimin's eyes widen slightly. Like he's caught. Like he's afraid.
“To fight those boys even if they're more than you. To endure it. Acting all rough." Yoongi points at Jimin with his chin. "Sitting like that with your legs open. Grabbing the drink like that, saying I fight like a girl as if that’s supposed to intimidate me.”
Yoongi shrugs. "You can say I fight like a girl; I see nothing wrong about that. What's wrong with girly? With being pretty like a girl?" Yoongi murmurs, remembering what he said the first time he talked to Jimin about his pretty face. Jimin goes for his beer and drinks.
“It feels fake too. Trying so hard.” Jimin gulps as if the words sting him deeply, and he even brings a hand to his hair, pulls slightly, searching for pain before looking away from Yoongi altogether, and Yoongi worries. “Jimin. Hey, Jimin. I’ve also faked that shit before.”
Jimin looks like he's ready to storm outside, but the last words make him glance at Yoongi slowly. He stares at Namjoon and Hoseok first -busy in their own world- before whispering. “How come?”
“Because I wanted to seem manlier than I am."
"You're manly," Jimin mutters.
"The way you rap and dress-" Jimin starts, but Yoongi stops him.
"Onstage," Yoongi reminds him. "Remember what I told you earlier about the differences between who I am on stage and outside of it?" Jimin understands what Yoongi means, so he nods curtly.
"I've faked it too."
"Because I like kissing men, and for some people, that isn't very manly of me.” Jimin looks away with a clenched jaw, gripping his bottle tightly. “Because boys would pick on me, so I had to defend myself somehow, and I couldn't be 'girly.'”
“You’re talking shit.”
“People used to pick on you?” Jimin seems surprised. “Is that why you feel sympathy for me when you see others beating me up?”
Yoongi snorts. “Do people need a reason to feel empathy?”
Silence except for Namjoon's whispering to Hoseok; Jimin doesn’t argue with Yoongi.
“To answer your question. Yes, kids picked on me. Well- At school? At first. When we were little. Twelve, thirteen, maybe.”
“Just at that age?” Jimin asks; he drinks from his beer aggressively before holding it tightly with both hands.
Yoongi nods. “They stopped eventually.”
“How?” Jimin mumbles. The lightbulb is finally still.
Yoongi doesn't think there's a good way to explain it. He tries to keep his smile in check before turning to Jimin. “I have a big dick. We'd measure them in the showers. I could always say I had a bigger dick than them.”
Yoongi didn't know how Jimin was going to react, but Jimin snorts laughter and looks away. His shoulders shake, and the amusement eases the tension between them. Jimin shakes his head. “Kids are so stupid. Who fucking cares about dick size?" Jimin squirms on his seat nervously.
Yoongi doesn’t tell Jimin that his size still gives him status at the age of twenty-four because many men are stupid and behave like kids who care about that. "Boys in high school care. They care if you know how to fight and if girls like you and your size." Jimin snorts.
Jimin rubs his nose with his pointer finger before tapping the beer bottle. He's nervous. "Before I defended myself with that. I fought the kids that picked on me like I’m telling you to fight. Fast and going for the legs." Jimin clenches his jaw, but he nods.
"And then I got a girlfriend when I was fifteen. Also, an effective way to make them stop,” Jimin looks at the ceiling, bouncing his legs. He's not enjoying this conversation at all. “That’s kinda fucked up, though. How we use women for status. Use them to impress other men.”
"When I was that age, I wanted other kids to stop calling me gay, so I got a girlfriend. That didn't make me less gay, though. I mean- I like women, and I like men too," Yoongi says. "Even if I'm seeing a girl, that won't change." Jimin looks at him with a lost expression.
"I liked her, but I used her to stop other boys from picking on me. As if a girl is an achievement. I just got a girlfriend one day, and suddenly, I was a better man. More man than before.”
Jimin looks away and drinks from his beer until it's empty. “Yeah, I get that."
"As if not sleeping with a girl makes you less man,” Jimin murmurs. "Like- if a girl is interested in you and other men like her, like- you should like her too, you know? You should fuck her." Yoongi stares at Jimin for a long moment.
“Yeah, some shit like that.”
Jimin is quiet after that, and Yoongi lets their conversation sink on him before throwing himself on the couch again, staring at the ceiling. “Well, so- I've faked it too, Jimin. Boys would tease me because I’m skinny and pretty.” Yoongi and Jimin’s eyes meet.
“Guess they thought I was pretty too, not very straight of them," Yoongi chuckles before a sigh. "I fought them until I bruised, compared dick size with them, I talked about sex with them, about the bodies or older girls. I got a girlfriend when I was just a kid. Stupid stuff."
Yoongi pushes his jean-clad thigh to Jimin's leg, touching him in the most impersonal way he can. "I don't have to do that shit anymore. There's no reason to do it."
"My will won't stop me from getting beaten up."
"It will stop you from getting into stupid fights."
Jimin steals the beer from Yoongi's hand and drinks before asking. “Should get a girlfriend then?”
“I just said we shouldn’t use women for status. Do you listen to me?" Yoongi growls. "That’s fucked up. Get a girlfriend because you like her, not to prove something to other men.”
Jimin was probably making a joke, but fighting every weekend is not something to take lightly. He's getting hurt over and over. It's dangerous. “If you use women to prove something to other men, then you need to think why the fuck you’re worried what other men think of you.”
It’s quiet for a long moment; Jimin takes another gulp from Yoongi's bottle. “You like men and women.”
“Yes.” Hoseok is laughing with Namjoon far away. “Do you?” Jimin seems troubled by what Yoongi considers a simple question, but he guesses it’s not a simple question for him.
Yoongi searches for his bottle, retrieving it from between Jimin's hands. “You don’t need to know what you like. You could have liked women before and not do it anymore-“ Yoongi tries to be the most accepting he can so Jimin doesn’t feel uncomfortable. "Or have a preference."
“I don’t know what I like,” Jimin cuts him off. “I think I like women. And sometimes I don’t. And men-” Jimin doesn't finish the sentence, choosing instead of getting in Yoongi's space to steal his beer bottle and meet Yoongi's eyes up close.
“Who’s the boy?” Namjoon wonders when Jimin is some meters behind as Yoongi, Namjoon, Hoseok, and others wait to go onstage.
“A kid that likes getting in fights outside the club.”
“Pretty,” Namjoon says.
“Yeah.” Yoongi turns to see Jimin in his oversized black sweatshirt.
He's busy on his phone, white reflector from the stage making his bruises pop and making him look more vulnerable than rough. “Eyes here, Joon," Yoongi scolds. I like him.”
Namjoon snorts. “And does he like you?”
Jimin looks up, and Yoongi glances away. “I don’t know.”
Yoongi was right; watching a show from behind the stage it’s thrilling.
Staff is looking over the other rappers and checking the sound, but Jimin stands by the stairs of the stage -where Yoongi told him to wait-. He can even peek at some of the audience from here.
Jimin is used to seeing Yoongi from down there, like an unreachable person. Jimin has no interest in watching the audience; he wants to watch Yoongi. In his white cap and large bright red waterproof jacket. Jimin watches his back. Vulnerable. Yoongi looks beautiful on stage.
Sweat running down his profile, popping veins on his throat each time he spits words, hair clinging to his forehead whenever he bobs his head. Sweat. Veins. Parted hair. Sweat. Big hands. Big veiny hands. And his lips. Jimin repeats those details in his head even days later.
Jimin repeats those details when he arrives home after the show. The first time in weeks, he opens the door of his room, and he's not hurting nor bleeding, but he still presses his face to his pillow because he's feeling a different kind of heat. Sweat- on Jimin's forehead.
He tries not to think of his conversation with Yoongi, far more interested in thinking on Yoongi's throat as Jimin lowers his hand down his chest. With the lights of his room off, hiding under his blanket, hiding in the pillow. He tries not to think of Yoongi's face either.
He just thinks of his hands, his hands around the microphone and around the beer bottle. His fingers on Jimin's waist when he helped him stand up and his hand on the bar, when he got on Jimin's space -smelling of cologne and weed and sweat-. Jimin thinks of Yoongi's hands on him.
Jimin's hand wrapped around himself- Yoongi's hand wrapped around the microphone when he raps. Yoongi's lips gracing the microphone- Jimin's hands moving up and down faster and faster, breathing against the pillow. Sweat- on Yoongi's throat and Jimin's forehead. Cum in his palm.
He cleans the cum against his blanket, disgusted by it, and hides against the pillow. He stays there, a car passes by, and the white headlights put Jimin in an embarrassing spotlight and then leave- abandoning him in the darkness of his room. Both content and disappointed.
"You were with him on Saturday again?” Jiwon whisper-yells. Her hair is up on a bun, and Jimin looks at her neck. There are people playing games; the PC bang is full.
She looks at the customers and then leans closer to Jimin. “And what is he like, his personality?"
She's wearing a pretty delicate chain around her neck, and Jimin likes it. "He's a normal dude."
"Really?" She's wearing pretty earrings too, they are pink flowers. "He seems so intimidating, for some reason." Jimin wouldn't admit he finds a man intimidating, but he hums.
"He's friendly," Jimin says after a moment, though. "Introduced me to Runch Randa and that other new guy-"
"The handsome one," Jiwon whispers. Jimin doesn't know who she means, so he only nods. And then a smile spreads on her face. "You’re friends with Gloss, Jimin ah.”
"Nah," Jimin scoffs. He looks down at his palm and feels sick all of a sudden, rubbing his palm against his blue jeans even if there's no trace of anything he did in his bed and cleaned them until his skin was red.
"I'd like to be his friend," Jiwon murmurs. "He's cool."
Jimin falls quiet; he thinks of their conversation and how Yoongi saw right through him. "Just his friend, Jiwon?" Jimin wiggles his eyebrows, teasing her.
"Jimin!" Jiwon's eyes widen, and she smacks his upper arm. Jimin lifts his hand to her waist, pinching, and she laughs.
It can't be helped, and Jimin smiles too. Jimin feels somehow a little more at ease around her, knowing he doesn't have to like Jiwon.
"Don't fight again, Jimin. Look, just one week, and your bruises are healing," Jiwon points out. Jimin can feel her manicure against his skin.
The next time Jimin sees Yoongi between a sea of blue people at the club, Jimin nods at him in recognition. The show already ended, and Yoongi is full of adrenaline; he smirks once his gaze falls on Jimin and Jimin's body, and Jimin has to look away in search of his beer.
Yoongi is so handsome, and it’s still scary to Jimin, but now he feels a little warmer. Once Jimin puts his beer down, he senses a body towering over his. Jimin smells the sweet and deodorant before meeting his eyes. "And Jiwon?" Shihoo asks before reaching for Jimin's beer.
"Not with me," Jimin says. Shihoo hums before leaving Jimin's beer bottle next to him; he gives Jimin a once over, and even if the feeling is different from when Yoongi does it, Jimin still feels the heat.
"You've dressed up normal again."
Jimin glances at Shihoo. "Normal?"
"Last time you had stuff on your face," Shihoo continues, he brings a hand to Jimin's face quickly, and in a knee reaction, Jimin dodges the blow- Shihoo laughs; he was trying to frighten Jimin. The blue club lights flicker, and a girl sticks to Jimin's body to order in the bar.
"Jiwon dressed you up, didn't she? She likes doing that stuff," Shihoo laughs before grabbing Jimin's beer again. "I let her do that to me in school, but I took it off before leaving her place." Jimin looks away, and this time, he does roll his eyes. "Hey, Jimin."
"I'm acting friendly; why are you all defensive-" Shihoo takes a step closer to Jimin, and Jimin has done this way too many times before not to know where this is going, but he was not expecting another voice to reach his ears.
"Jimin, dude," it's Yoongi, walking up to him.
Yoongi lifts a hand, and Jimin puts his palm down immediately; Yoongi slaps his palm and then brings their fists together in a quick bump. If Jiwon had seen that greeting, she would get on Jimin's space and call them friends. "Hey, Hoseok brought some stuff- wanna try?"
Even before Jimin can nod, confused as to why Yoongi is offering him drugs if last week, he gave Jimin a chance to say no without feeling silly about it. Yoongi turns to Shihoo. He lifts his hand, and Shihoo also puts up his palm to receive the fist bump. "Hey," Yoongi smiles.
But he ignores Shihoo after that. "You're coming?" Yoongi turns to Jimin and points backstage.
Jimin tries not to smile when he sees Shihoo's reaction to Yoongi. "Yeah. See you, Shihoo." Yoongi barely brushes Shihoo's shoulder when he takes a step away. Jimin doesn't look back.
When they're moving between jumping bodies, Yoongi throws his arm around Jimin's shoulders, and Jimin tenses at the sudden touch, but he guesses Yoongi is still excited after his performance. "Hey, Jimin, calm down, easy; you were about to punch that fucker right there."
"I wasn't," Jimin scowls, looking away. Yoongi is so sweaty, Jimin can see a patch of sweat on his white shirt, on the armpits and chest. The line between dirty and attractive is too thin.
"You were. I got there right on time," Yoongi says.
"Are we getting high, hyung?"
"Hyung?" Yoongi chuckles, and even on top of the loud music of the club, Jimin hears it just fine. "You're acting respectfully for a change. You want to get high? That was a lie; we don't have new stuff, just the same weed as always."
"The same weed as always sounds good to me."
Yoongi stops walking all of a sudden, and Jimin stops abruptly too. The club lights flicker from blue to purple, Yoongi's loose white shirt looks neon under the lights. "You don't need to prove anything to me," Yoongi yells over the music.
"I'm not! I want to get high."
Yoongi shakes his head; he probably thinks Jimin is faking it, trying to act tough one more time, and Jimin doesn't blame him for believing that, but tonight, that's not the case. Jimin gets on Yoongi's space. "I wanna get high with you," Jimin murmurs against Yoongi's ear.
The way Yoongi's expression changes after the simple words spread an intense warmth on Jimin's chest, for a brief second, Jimin feels a power he has never felt before. Similar to what he felt when Yoongi came up to the bar last week, he can't explain it; he likes and dislikes it.
Yoongi nods, and the lights turn pink. While swimming in the sea of bodies, Yoongi gets close to Jimin. This time it's him who whispers to Jimin's ear, “am I gonna break your mouth?” Jimin doesn’t get to answer because Yoongi is already opening the door leading backstage.
The filthy room is empty, and the lightbulb flickers sadly. Jimin sits on the tattered leather couch where they’ve had their last two meetings. He gets his fingers inside a rip and feels synthetic. “What do you mean with that, weirdo?” Yoongi rolls his eyes at the word.
Yoongi closes the door behind him. Under the lonely lightbulb, Jimin can see better how the white shirt sticks to his body because of all the sweat. “Don’t get all jumpy. It means I’m going to give you the first weed you’ll ever smoke."
“Who the fuck calls it that?”
Yoongi chuckles. “The first guy that made me smoke weed called it that. He’s not Korean.”
“Makes sense." Jimin feels self-conscious when he's alone with Yoongi, and once again, he spreads his legs and sits comfortably. Yoongi called him out before, but Jimin can't help it.
When Yoongi walks further inside the dirty room, Jimin notices something he hadn't seen before. His white shirt is so thin and sweaty, Jimin can see the hint of a tattoo on Yoongi's back; he gulps. "You’re not breaking my mouth or any of that shit. I’ve been high before."
Yoongi does the same action as last week, and he pushes the dangling lightbulb, making the light spiral around the room. “Yeah? Have you had weed before?” It seems like Yoongi doesn’t believe him. He must think Jimin is trying to appear cool.
Jimin blinks. “Yeah. I’ve had.”
“Really?” Yoongi waits, unmoving, looking down at Jimin from where he stands.
Yoongi’s stare is intense, and Jimin looks away. He doesn't want Yoongi to think he's a kid or that he's inexperienced and boring. “Well, I- I had Happy brownies once," Jimin murmurs.
Yoongi laughs loudly; his smile is so broad, Jimin can see his gums. His body bends forward before he stretches, reaching for a ziplock bag inside a black backpack near the corner of the room where Hoseok sat last time. “So no joints?” Yoongi sits down at a small table.
“It’s the same as smoking a cigarette,” Yoongi murmurs and takes the weed out of a small paper bag that was inside the ziplock. Jimin tries to get a good lock of the herb, but Yoongi is already putting in a cylindrical device. "Well, it feels better, but pretend it's a smoke."
Yoongi looks at Jimin while twisting the grinder. The club music reaches the dressing room as a faraway whisper, and while they're inside here, with the spinning lightbulbs, Jimin feels alone in the world. “You’ve had happy brownies only once, Jimin?” Yoongi murmurs.
Jimin thinks Yoongi looks cool while preparing the joints. He looks effortless, with his arms flexing and his focused face. Jimin doesn't think he'd ever look like that, not even if he tries hard. But maybe it's not such a bad thing. Jimin looks away. “Yeah.”
“Tell me about it.”
Jimin's head tells him this will end in an uncomfortable conversation like last time, but perhaps that's the reason Jimin feels compelled to tell the story. Because Yoongi understands what Jimin feels and what Jimin lives like no one else does.
“I was with a girl," Jimin starts.
Yoongi is already putting the ground weed inside a rolling paper, tongue peeking out of his lips and hair falling on his forehead. Jimin feels embarrassed, but he puffs his chest out. “And she wanted to have sex while high because apparently, it feels good.”
And after a second of awkward silence, because Jimin is waiting for Yoongi's approval, for Yoongi to acknowledge Jimin's sex life with women, Yoongi only looks up and searches for Jimin's eyes, while the lightbulb spins terribly slowly. "It does. It feels good."
The last thing Jimin needed to hear was anything related to Yoongi's sex experience. Especially not after what Jimin did in his room. But Jimin brought it on himself like he always does. "Well, she bought the brownies, and we ate them at her place," Jimin rambles.
"But it had been half an hour since we ate them, and it didn’t hit- the effect. We didn't feel it, so we kept eating all the brownies there was.” Yoongi chuckles, amused. Beautiful sound to Jimin's ears. Jimin grows nervous and plays with the rips of the old couch.
”And we were making out,” Jimin whispers when Yoongi licks the rolling paper. He's at a loss of words for the brief moment Yoongi presses his tongue to the blunt, but then Jimin tries to think of the girl. “And we got bored because we weren’t feeling anything.”
“But then she told me she was starting to feel it, so I played along. I was warm, so I said yeah, I’m high." Jimin glances at Yoongi's fingers. "And we fucked.” Yoongi puts the joint in his mouth and takes a long moment to reach for a lighter before he burns the tip of the blunt.
"Then she told me she didn't feel shit, and we laughed because I didn't feel shit either; I didn’t feel particularly different after all the brownies.”
Yoongi hums and stands up. He flicks the lightbulb again, making it turn, and gives Jimin the blunt before sitting next to him.
Jimin doesn't wait long, and he goes for it, taking a long drag of the blunt. The space between them fills with smoke when he exhales, and Yoongi smiles before grabbing the joint. “I thought maybe I’m one of those people who don't feel it. There are people like that, right?”
“Yeah.” Yoongi gets comfortable on the couch, throwing one arm behind Jimin on the backrest and spreading his legs. He hands Jimin the blunt before smoking.
“Then umh- we finished, and we were just talking, but I got a text from my mom.” Jimin inhales shortly.
Yoongi smiles while taking a long drag from the blunt. When Jimin speaks, smoke escapes out of his mouth and fills the room. “She was mad because I was late, so I had to leave and to arrive on time, I called a taxi. But one of those joints rides, with two other passengers.”
“God, I hate those,” Yoongi's voice sounds lower than usual, rougher, and Jimin feels the hairs on the back of his neck rising. Yoongi hands Jimin the joint before looking away. “Smoke more.”
Jimin puts his mouth where Yoongi had put his and takes a long drag.
Yoongi is looking at him when Jimin breathes out. “They pick me up, and there’s the taxi driver. And a girl on the front seat and a girl behind with me. And I’m next to the window, it’s been what- two hours since I had the brownies? And there’s this song playing on the radio.”
“Some American rapper and his voice get all slurred, and I’m on my seat, dizzy as fuck.” Yoongi chuckles. “And I look outside, and the streetlights are like firecrackers, and I’m so fucking confused, and shit- I’m high for the first time with three people I’ll never see again.”
Yoongi takes a long drag from the joint and spreads his legs even more, his crotch impossible to ignore, but Jimin leans in to steal the blunt from his fingers and smoke more. "I got home, and like never in life- my dad is there.”
“No shit.” Yoongi is looking at Jimin's eyes.
Maybe Jimin will regret telling Yoongi all of this, but he's feeling warm already, and it's Yoongi -he won't judge-. “He doesn’t live with us. He works at a mining station, so he stays there for six to eight months and then returns home. I get home, high, and he’s there.”
“I haven’t seen him in eight months.” Yoongi laughs, amused by Jimin's story. “And there’s like leftovers chicken because my mom made dinner for him. Best fucking chicken I’ve had in my life, and I ate all of it, sucked on the bones, and I was talking and eating and talking."
There's smoke around him, and Jimin goes for the joint in Yoongi's hand. “I barely talk with my mom, never tell her anything, but suddenly words were spilling out of my mouth like crazy.”
Yoongi smiles and brings his fingers to play with Jimin's. “Like right now.”
Yoongi laughs silently. Pretty gums, pink cheeks. “I stood up, and I was like- I needed to move. I almost started working out at midnight with my parents confused as heck.” Yoongi chuckles. “I needed to get it out of my system. Puke or-”
“Did you get it out of your system?”
“Nah, I went to bed while still high. I was just like -mom, dad, I’m tired. I’m going to go to bed. They must have known and just nodded along, and I went to my room.” Yoongi turns to see Jimin facing him, and when he exhales, all Jimin sees there is smoke on his front.
“I got in my bed, and the whole room was kinda like floating; the ceiling did this weird shit that kinda vibrates.” When Jimin gestures around, he sees the lightbulb spinning.
Yoongi smiles at Jimin. “That shit has happened to me so many times. I have an advice for you."
Jimin nods, eager to hear Yoongi's words. “When that happens or when you’re so drunk you feel like your bed is spinning-" Yoongi suddenly leans down, stretching until he can wrap his hand around Jimin's calf. Jimin tenses at the touch and at the position. He looks down at Yoongi.
Yoongi lifts Jimin's leg slightly, and Jimin sits back as a heaviness settles on his chest, but Yoongi presses Jimin's feet down on the ground again, with particular strength. "You have to plant one foot on the ground while you’re still lying on your bed, like an anchor.”
Jimin laughs softly, and he doesn't know how he manages to put the blunt between his lips again. "With an anchor on the floor, you won't feel like spinning anymore," Yoongi adds. But he doesn't return to his seat right away. Instead, he trails his hand up Jimin's leg.
The touch happens as fast as it's gone, but Jimin feels it everywhere on his skin. Maybe if Jimin weren't so dizzy already, he would have reacted differently. If he would be more aware. But now, he lets Yoongi steals the joint from between Jimin's lips to smoke himself.
If Jimin weren't so dizzy, he wouldn't dare to lean close to Yoongi, getting on his space and meeting his eyes when Yoongi exhales smoke right into Jimin's face. If he were more aware, Jimin would stop talking. “I was there, in my spinning room, and I jerked off like crazy.”
Yoongi is looking at Jimin intensely and knowing he’s paying attention. Knowing he’s probably picturing Jimin on his bed, fucking his fist, only encourages Jimin to keep talking. “I don’t know if sex while high feels better but jerking off while high was fucking good.”
Yoongi smirks. And Jimin thinks of what he did in his room last week and tries to pull away from Yoongi -like a splash of clarity while the drug settles on his body- but Yoongi lifts a hand to Jimin's wrist and keeps him in place. He puts the joint on Jimin's lips. "Yeah?"
Jimin has no words anymore; he only lets his eyes fall on Yoongi, on the fingers pressing the blunt to Jimin's lips. On his face. His soft yet sharp features, his bony fingers, his jaw, his lips. His fingers are so close to Jimin's mouth. His eyes. His veins. His fingers.
His short fingernails, his bitten fingernails, his knuckles, the hair on his knuckles. His lips. Their eyes meet, and Jimin starts feeling wrong.
Yoongi stands up suddenly, dizzying Jimin. He follows him with his gaze. “I get so hot when I smoke,” Yoongi complains.
Yoongi stretches, bending to fold his arms over his head. Jimin looks at his body, thighs snug around his washed-out jeans. Jimin trails his gaze from his knees to his ass; he keeps looking up until his eyes fall on the strip of his skin, showing underneath his white shirt.
Jimin gets stupidly horny when he drinks; he should have expected the same from weed. But he keeps quiet; he said enough already; he said too much.
However, when Jimin squirms on the couch, with one leg pressed to his chest, Yoongi pulls his shirt off, and Jimin gulps.
“It’s so hot in here,” Yoongi complains before walking to the tiny bathroom and turning on the blue light from the mirror. Jimin is not registering anything Yoongi is saying or doing because his heart races fast as he memorizes the snake tattoo on Yoongi's back.
“I like your tattoo,” Jimin murmurs.
Yoongi turns around. The blue LED's from the mirror outline his figure. Thin silver chain clad around his neck, wet hands rubbing the back of his neck, black jeans low on his hips, boxer brand visible. Jimin’s cock fucking hurts. “Yeah?”
Yoongi walks towards Jimin, and Jimin's gaze falls to his flat stomach and the trail of black hair under his navel disappearing under his jeans. “I want a tattoo too,” Jimin murmurs while looking away.
Yoongi hums before hitting the lightbulb, making Jimin dizzier. “Where?”
Jimin doesn't know why he does it, maybe because he's high or horny, perhaps because Jimin wants to see more skin, but he leans forward and hands Yoongi their almost finished joint before standing up, getting rid of his black shirt, throwing it on the tattered couch.
Yoongi’s gaze falls to his abs before taking the final drag of the blunt and letting it fall to then step on it. “Here.” Jimin points at his ribs. Yoongi takes a step closer and lifts his fingers to Jimin's chest. Jimin's skin is on fire.
"A big one like the one in my back?"
The lightbulb spins and spins above them, creating shadows in Yoongi's face, and Jimin grabs Yoongi's wrist lowering his cold fingertips to his ribs. "Here. Something cool."
Yoongi smiles before tapping Jimin's ribs twice, and then he lets go. "Something manly?" he teases.
Jimin touches his skin the moment Yoongi moves away. Yoongi walks to the same table and sits down so he can grind more weed. His tattoo is visible. Jimin stands in the center of the dressing room, shirtless, warm, with the pendant light over him. "A phrase," Jimin murmurs.
“Mmh. Any idea?” Yoongi gives the grinder a couple of twists, the muscle from his arms flexing again, and Jimin brings a hand to the back of his neck, pulling at the hair on his nape slightly.
“You posted a song with other rappers on Soundcloud.” Yoongi meets Jimin's eyes.
"The one that made you come to the show?" Yoongi remembers. He opens the grinder and starts moving the weed onto rolling paper.
"Yes. That one," Jimin admits. "You guys umh- kept saying 'nevermind' and I liked that. That line about accelerating- I felt like that."
“You felt like that song?”
"Like it spoke to me."
Yoongi is looking at Jimin and the spinning light between them. Jimin nods. "You still feel like that? Like driving forward no matter what others say? No matter what you've done in the past?"
Jimin clenches his jaw. "Yeah."
Yoongi smirks before returning to roll the joints. “You should listen to that song again. You could use it."
"What do you mean?"
"That you seem like someone who minds everything a lot.”
Jimin looks away. "What others think and say. And what you've done and haven't done."
Once again, Yoongi's accusing words stab Jimin. Just like last time, they were in this room, and he pointed out how hard Jimin tried. “It’s not bad, Jimin-" Yoongi says before Jimin can react. Just like last time, calming Jimin down. "I also care about what people say a lot."
"That’s maybe why I act like I don't so much in my raps.” Jimin stares at Yoongi's profile, at his furrowed brows, his puckered lips. "And I repeat to myself on stage that I have to live just like I want to do it, not how other people tell me to, and I start to believe it."
Gloss, shirtless, licking rolling paper, sharing a blunt with Jimin- so manly and confident onstage, so violent even with his pretty face, all Jimin wanted to be. He is more similar to Jimin than Jimin ever thought. And he's also so different.
"I should put it on my skin.”
“Maybe if I see it on my body, I’ll start living by it.”
Yoongi smiles and stands up. “You should get it.”
“My mom hates tattoos,” Jimin laughs because he would be embarrassed to admit that to anyone, but the weed makes him lose inhibitions, and Yoongi won't tease him.
Yoongi only smiles while looking down. His face lights up when he smiles, and Jimin thinks he looks prettiest that way. But then his gaze is intense and cold. “We could get it in secret?”
“We?” The lightbulb's spinning decreases.
“I could take you to my tattoo artist.”
"She does a sick job, doesn't she?" Yoongi turns around to show Jimin his back, and once again, Jimin gulps when he sees the red and black snake on his back, twisting and curling over his pale skin.
"What do you say?" Yoongi takes a step closer to Jimin.
Jiwon would say Gloss and Jimin are friends. Jimin is starting to think so too, but just as he joked with Jiwon, he doesn't know if he wants to be just friends. "Sounds good," he murmurs.
"Give me your phone. I'll put in my number." Jimin nods and searches for it in his pocket.
Yoongi chuckles the moment he wraps his hand around Jimin's old phone, though. "I'm too high to type here. Your screen is so cracked, Jimin."
"That phone took some beatings with me," Jimin jokes, and Yoongi scoffs before he searches for his phone.
"You type your number."
Yoongi's phone background is just plain black, and Jimin feels curious about it, but he stays quiet. He types his number quickly and gives it back to Yoongi. "I'll call you when I get you an appointment." Jimin nods, and they stare at each other for a second too long.
This time, it's Yoongi who looks away first. He brings his hand to Jimin's nape, gives it two taps like a friend would do. "Don't let that phone get more beatings, or I'll never be able to contact you."
Jimin looks at him, at his pink cheeks. What a weird to say 'take care.'
Jimin wants to lean forward; Jimin wants to run away. But in a moment of clarity, Jimin knows he has to get away from Yoongi's touch. It settles down on him how strange it is for two men to be standing shirtless in a room, letting their fingers trail the other's skin.
Jimin takes a step back and grabs his black shirt, but before he throws it on, Yoongi grabs his belt and pulls him close. It's thrilling; it's wrong. The club's music suddenly sounds louder, as if it's invading the room, as if it forgot there are people still inside.
"You should tuck your shirt on your jeans," Yoongi says.
"Last time- when I gave you the ice. You had tucked your tank top on your jeans. You looked terrible because of the fight, and I wasn't going to compliment you after the first-night fiasco." Jimin's eyes widen.
"But it looked good," Yoongi says. "It suited you." Jimin is burning; he can hear his heartbeat on top of an electronic song. Yoongi fumbles with Jimin's belt then, and Jimin looks up to the lonely lightbulb in the room, and it's terrifyingly still- as if everything was fine.
Yoongi pulls Jimin's zipper down with one hand, and Jimin's chest rises and falls with breathing as if he would be fighting outside the club. Jimin wishes Yoongi had seen him with the eyeliner, not after bleeding on the floor. "There you go," Yoongi taps Jimin's hipbone.
Before Jimin reaches his shirt, though, he stays unmoving. Yoongi has called him pretty before, and Yoongi tells Jimin he'd look better with that look Jimin liked so many weeks ago. "Thank you," Jimin whispers.
Yoongi snaps his eyes up, startled. "Jimin?" He smiles gently.
"Thank you for the weed," Jimin mumbles, and he stretches to get his shirt and once again, he stops because of Yoongi, but this time Yoongi holds his hand. Jimin looks over his shoulder. The first thing he notices is that Yoongi had a rolled join behind his ear and not anymore.
Now he's pressing the blunt to Jimin's palm. The one Yoongi was rolling just some minutes before. “Take it home with you." Then he leans closer. Jimin can smell his cologne, hear the chain around his neck dangle and feel his lips next to his ear. “Smoke it and jerk off."
Jimin nods, eyes set on Yoongi's neck and then on the tattoo peeking behind him. Yoongi doesn’t need to say anything else; it's enough by his actions and by his words that he's making sure Jimin will think of him when touching himself. And Jimin will. Yoongi knows he will.
Jimin tries not to, even if it's futile. Impossible not to when the joint is on his bedside table. Jimin thinks of a red snake moving. Jimin's spread legs and the snake on Yoongi's back moving. Yoongi’s hands wrapped around a microphone, Yoongi's lips close to the microphone
Jimin ignores Yoongi's text. And Yoongi was expecting it, but that doesn't make it better. What happened in the dressing room, the tension, and innuendos only happened under the influence of drugs. Now that Jimin is sober, he must be panicking about it. Yoongi doesn't blame him.
Jimin is going through a lot with his sexuality and fights; Yoongi shouldn't come onto him so strong- but he was high too, and Jimin is irresistible for him.
"Hey, Yoongi, can you go back to the shop? I'm going to go buy something to eat." Yoongi's co-worker startles him.
She's interrupting Yoongi's quick cigarette break, and he gives Yoongi a pointed look before zipping her jacket. It's getting colder outside. "Sure. Can you get me something?"
"Yeah," she brushes her hair outside of the jacket. "You're still watching your phone?"
Yoongi drops his cigarette to the asphalt- he had only smoked half of it- and then steps on it. "Mmh?" He barely registers her question.
"Looking at your phone won't get that person who is making you wait reply faster," she teases with a silly smile. Yoongi scoffs, amused.
He walks inside the jewelry shop, looking away from the bright blue and pink LEDs decorating every shelf. It makes his head hurt. Yoongi glances at the women's side of the store, at the empty spot his co-worker has left. He puts his phone in his back pocket and walks towards it.
Yoongi crosses his arms over the glass counter where all the jewelry is on display. He scans his eyes through the bracelets, and then he glances at the necklaces and chains, scoffing when he sees the ones with written golden words like 'baby' or "angel" and custom-made names.
Then his eyes fall on more dainty jewelry, thin silver chains. Jimin has a delicate neck, but he would never wear something like that. Yoongi smiles to himself before tapping his fingers against the glass with the pink LED light mocking him before walking back to his station.
Yoongi is in bed when he calls Jimin. The apartment is dark, except for the streetlamps filtering through the curtains. The phone rings and rings- and just when Yoongi is about to give up, a sweet voice reaches his ears. "Hyung." Yoongi woke him up.
"Jimin," Yoongi murmurs.
"You don't want a tattoo anymore?"
Jimin is silent, and Yoongi only listens to him breathing in and out. Yoongi closes his eyes to focus on the sound. "I do."
"Oh, I thought you had changed your mind since you didn't answer my texts."
"No- I," Jimin cuts himself off.
Yoongi looks at the curtains moving slightly from where the window is ajar, and the wind pushes them. Jimin continues breathing as if he had the phone close to his face, hiding under his blankets. "Thursday is good," Jimin finally says. "I'll see you there?"
The doubt is evident in Jimin's voice, and Yoongi doesn't like it. "If you don't want to get it, it's fine. We talked about it while high if you need more time to think about it-"
"No, I want it," Jimin sputters. Yoongi looks at the ceiling; his room looks blue.
"Then why do you sound unsure?"
"It's nothing," Jimin replies. Yoongi hums; he knows Jimin is lying, but he won't get an answer unless Jimin doesn't want to give one.
"Fine. If you change your mind, we don't need to go. If you change your mind on the table, we'll leave."
Jimin snorts at Yoongi's words. "I'm not gonna chicken out, come on. It's just a small sting." That's not what Yoongi meant, but he nods.
"Okay then. See you."
Yoongi hangs up and lays on his side. He feels like wherever Jimin is sleeping, he's looking in a different direction.
Jimin's black shirt is tucked in his jeans on Thursday. Yoongi smiles when he sees him, but before he can compliment him, Jimin lifts his hand, and Yoongi offers his palm so they can slap them together and then fist bump. Yoongi had done that in front of Shihoo as a performance.
It feels weird to greet each other with a handshake when there's no audience. "It's here?" Jimin looks at the buildings around them, and Yoongi shakes his head. He walks towards an alley, and Jimin follows him.
There's a heavy grey door in the end, and Yoongi pulls it.
They have to go down a dirty staircase decorated with purple lights. "Nice," Jimin compliments. It's a little fancier than the club they frequent but still grim, so Yoongi only chuckles.
"It's higienic, don't worry about that." Jimin hums before going down the stairs.
There are posters pasted on the staircase, and Yoongi smiles when he sees one of his and Namjoon's old shows. "Yoongi," Nana stands up from a stool when she sees him. She's wearing a tank top, revealing her arm tattoos. "You're on time; what a surprise." Jimin bows at her.
"You never said which design you liked better," she scolds.
"It's his tattoo; you can show them to him. Jimin, this is Nana," Yoongi quickly introduces them. Jimin is looking at her black stud earrings, not at her eyes. Yoongi wonders if Jimin thinks she's pretty. Or hot.
Nana and Jimin start talking; she mentions how Yoongi had already explained the placement and the word, and then they move further away, so Yoongi stops hearing them. Yoongi only sits by the entrance and checks the paintings on the wall. The tattoo artists painted it.
Yoongi can differentiate the various drawing styles, and he's so distracted by the wall, he stands up to check every detail. He can hear Jimin's voice muffled in the background as he laughs, a low laughter Yoongi hadn't heard before.
"Can you guess which one is mine?"
Yoongi turns at the sudden question and finds Jungkook, the tattoo's parlor assistant, standing close to him. "Hey, kid." Jungkook smiles. "They let you doodle on the wall, already?"
"Yeah," Jungkook seems proud. His hair is up in a half bun, and it makes his eyes pop.
"Guess, hyung," Jungkook says. Yoongi gets distracted by the piercing on Jungkook's lips when he speaks, but Yoongi looks at the wall and looks for Jungkook's drawing.
"Ah, well, I don't know your drawing style. But I guess it's something cute like you." Jungkook giggles.
"Charming words won't get you a discount on your friend's tattoo," Jungkook whispers. Yoongi has to chuckle.
"Nana is turning you into a cold person," Yoongi glances at the wall while talking. "There- the flower."
"Nope," Jungkook tsks. When he shakes his head, his hair moves.
His hair reaches his shoulders, longer than last time Yoongi had seen him. "Your hair looks good."
"And you continue with the compliments!" Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest. He's buffer too.
"I don't want a discount."
Jungkook chuckles lowly. "Thank you, hyung."
Yoongi studies the wall a little longer, squinting his eyes and bending forward, pretending like he's attentive to every detail. Jungkook finds his actions amusing, judging by his smile. "There- the puppy."
"Hyung!" Jungkook offers him a thumbs up. "You got it right!"
"Now, do I get a discount?" Yoongi jokes, and Jungkook laughs more. Yoongi smiles, feeling at ease with someone who doesn't have such sharp edges.
"No! How did you know?"
"Honestly?" Jungkook nods quickly, hair bun bouncing. "You showed me a pic of your dog last time."
Jungkook deflates. "That's unfair. It's cheating."
"No. It just means you did a good job at capturing your puppy in a drawing! You know, people like getting tattoos of their pets; you can do that," Yoongi taps a finger against the doodle. He and Jungkook continue talking.
Yoongi doesn't know how long it's been, but at some point, he glances at the corner of the parlor, where Jimin is getting his tattoo. Because even if Jungkook is speaking, the buzzing sound of the tattoo gun distracts Yoongi. "Hey, I'm going to see how my friend is doing."
Jimin is shirtless; he chose one of the designs Nana had sent Yoongi earlier in the week. Nana already painted the first letters in black under his ribs. "Are you in pain, Jimin ah?" Yoongi asks once he's close enough to hear Nana and Jimin mumbling a mindless conversation.
A glare, one Yoongi has begun to grow fond of since it's what usually decors Jimin's face. "It tickles."
Yoongi snorts. "I bet it does." Yoongi trails his eyes down Jimin's face to his chest, to the hair on his armpit, since he's stretching his arm to give Nana more space.
Yoongi looks down at Jimin's stomach, he's small, but his muscles are defined -abdominals, biceps- probably because of all the fighting. He still has some bruises, even if he hasn't fought in weeks.
“A photo would last longer,” Jimin hisses suddenly. Yoongi looks up.
Jimin must be in pain because of the tattoo, and since he's trying so hard to act like it doesn't hurt, he must be pissy, but Yoongi doesn't like the tone of his voice. It's not flirty; it's accusatory with a hint of hostility.
"Whatever," Yoongi mumbles and turns around.
"Jungkook, wanna grab something to eat?" Yoongi asks loudly. Childish or petty, maybe, but he doesn't care what Jimin thinks.
"He's working!" Nana raises her voice from where she's busy with Jimin.
"Let's go for a quick smoke," Jungkook offers. Yoongi knows Jimin is watching.
Jungkook returns to the parlor after some minutes, but Yoongi stays outside; he wants the fresh air. He never knows how Jimin will react to him if pull or push. Yoongi guesses it's his fault for taking an interest in a person who doesn't even know what they want.
Jimin opened up to him, and he had even acted flirty when they got high, but Yoongi would be stupid to believe Jimin's inner struggles would disappear after a serious talk and some weed. Yoongi searches for another cigarette in his back pocket and puts it in his mouth.
He groans when he realizes Jungkook lent him a lighter, and he leaves the cigarette between his fingers. Yoongi reminds himself that he's not doing good deeds for Jimin to get in his pants, he's doing it because Jimin needs support, and Yoongi's been there. He knows.
Yoongi needs to stop thinking less about sleeping with Jimin and just help him, the same way people helped Yoongi in the past with his struggles. Maybe it's too late to tell himself not to catch feelings, but he needs to cut the crap. Whatever happened when high wasn't right.
He shouldn't let his lust get the best of him again because that'll be messy. Jimin doesn't need a pursuer, and Yoongi's already too deep to drop him; he cares about Jimin. And what's best for Jimin is not Yoongi flirting, and what's best for Yoongi is not fall deeper.
When Yoongi is calm enough to return to the tattoo parlor, he puts the cigarette behind his ear and pushes the door to find Jimin by the end of the staircase. Alone in the purple sea. "I was looking for you."
"Hey," Yoongi mumbles before closing the door behind him.
Yoongi lowers down the stairs, and Jimin comes up, meeting in the middle of the staircase. Jimin is shorter than Yoongi because of two steps. "You guys finished?"
"Yeah," Jimin murmurs. He touches over his shirt, where Nana must have covered the tattoo. "Thank you."
"She wants to talk to you," Jimin murmurs before looking at Yoongi's eyes.
"Okay, I'll be right back." Yoongi takes a step down, but Jimin wraps a hand around his wrist before he can move again. Yoongi clenches his jaw before looking at Jimin's face under the lilac light.
Jimin lowers a step too, so he can be on the same level as Yoongi, and he takes a stride forward, getting on Yoongi's space until Yoongi's back hits the poster-filled wall. Jimin hasn't let go of his wrist, and he's so close Yoongi can see his adam's apple bobbing.
He can see the stubble on his chain, and Yoongi would press his thumb to it if he could, but instead, he meets Jimin's eyes. "Jimin?" Yoongi waits for an explanation, but Jimin's actions are always unpredictable and confusing -as his state of mind-
"Is- Is he your type?"
"What?" Yoongi is confused by Jimin's question.
"You like men that dress like that?" Jimin gestures to the end of the stairs; the purple light makes Jimin's jaw look sharper. Yoongi thinks of Jungkook's black skirt and waits for a long moment. Jimin turns to see him.
"I-" Jimin wants to say something, but in the end, he keeps it to himself. Yoongi doesn't expect him to finish the idea.
"He's cool, isn't he?" Yoongi goes on. "All those manly tattoos on his arm and his girly skirt," he teases Jimin as usual, only to see Jimin's eyes widening.
"It's not my type," Yoongi adds after a second. Jimin is pressing his thumb to Yoongi's pulse, not letting go of his wrist even if they're so close. "I just like when people feel comfortable on their skin. That'll make everything they wear to look good, you know?" Jimin snorts.
Jimin shakes his head. "Then why?"
The question is unfinished, and Yoongi leans to search for Jimin's eyes. "Why what?" Jimin only bites his lower lip before chuckling.
"Nevermind," Jimin says cheekily and goes up the stairs, leaving Yoongi alone with the purple fluorescents.
Why Yoongi flirts with him if Jimin is not comfortable in his skin?
Jimin stands in front of the bathroom mirror the next day, peeling the bandage Jungkook put on his skin, revealing the tattoo underneath. The lights are off, and he stands alone in greenish darkness.
The tattoo looks good, with black ink and rough letters. Jimin feels like it represents him. Jimin starts cleaning it like Nana explained he had to do, and while seeing himself shirtless in the mirror, he thinks of Jungkook. Blue hair and short skirt, black ink, and piercings.
Jimin dries his tattoo as delicately as he can before spreading the ointment he bought from the tattoo parlor. He thinks of Nana too, and her shaved undercut, her black studs, and tattoos, and how handsome and attractive Jimin found her. So unlike Jiwon and her pink earrings.
Jimin closes his eyes, overwhelmed by his thoughts. Jealousy about Jungkook's appearance, attraction to masculinity, rejection, and want for femininity.
And on top of that, when trailing his fingers over the tattoo. Jimin thinks of Yoongi's fingers on his naked skin.
Jimin wishes he would look like Jungkook, wishes he could touch Yoongi's arm and laugh at something he said and look so good with a skirt and a piercing on his lips. Jimin hopes he'd like girls like Jiwon -feminine, pretty, small- and not women like Nana.
Jimin wants Yoongi.
Jimin wants to like Jiwon instead of wanting to be like her. The way Jimin wants Yoongi and wants to be like him too.
He looks at the mirror’s reflection, in the dark bathroom, under a green hue from the tiles—the word on his skin. Jimin wants to get in a fight.
He wants Shihoo to push him to the ground with the same aggression and violence Yoongi has onstage but that he doesn't have when talking to Jimin. He wants Inyeop to laugh at his bleeding face, with a smirk similar to Gloss's cocky demeanor that Yoongi doesn't wear backstage.
He wants to hit someone and make them bleed with his hands- so much smaller than Yoongi's-. He wants to push a much bigger man than him until he loses his balance. And he wants to open the last drawer of his closet and pick up the stolen eyeliner he hides there and use it.
When Jimin walks away, the mirror misses his reflection.
He doesn't tell Jiwon about the tattoo because she'd lose her mind. He doesn't mention it to his mother; she'd yell and call his dad. He carries the word on his ribs a secret, one more to the pile he brings with him.
On Friday, he goes to see Gloss.
Shihoo is there too, between the crowd, and Jimin is bursting with adrenaline; he knows it can be bad for the tattoo, the skin can get infected, but at the same time, he doesn't care. He wants one of Shihoo's friends to see him and come for him.
Blue lights flicker on Jimin's face, bodies press next to his as he makes his way closer to the stage. Yoongi is already up there, bomber jacket, backward cap, and hand wrapped around the microphone. Jimin wants to roll on the ground, fighting, pulling, groaning.
And when the club lights shift into purple and Yoongi starts rapping, looking down at the public, putting one foot on the stage monitor so he can bend his knee and lean closer to the audience, Jimin gulps. Bodies all around him and all he sees is Yoongi's intense gaze.
And his pretty soft lips when he moves away from the monitor speaker and growls, "Nevermind." And his pretty flushed face when he glances at the audience again, as if looking for someone. He changes the lyrics of the song Jimin has heard on Soundcloud many times before.
They haven't performed that in so long, and Jimin's heart is racing fast. One more time, he feels like Yoongi is talking to him while he raps. This time, maybe he really is.
“Never mind, it’s not easy, but engrave it onto your chest,” Yoongi changes the lyrics. Jimin swallows.
Jimin walks past Shihoo when he leaves the club. He can feel Shihoo's eyes on him as Yoongi's words resonate in the club.
He's not expecting a call from Yoongi, and Jimin doesn't reach out either, but he wants to talk to him. He likes talking to Yoongi, even if it's hard.
During the following week, Jimin continues cleaning his tattoo, and the skin around it finally stops looking red. Similarly, Jimin's bruises have started to disappear since he hasn't had fights in so long. During the following week, Jimin tries not to think of Yoongi.
He doesn't go to the club that week, and he doesn't hear from Yoongi.
But then, two Fridays later, Jiwon is scrolling on her phone at work while some boys yell at a PC while gaming, like many weeks ago. She turns to Jimin with a smile, "what are you doing tonight, Jimin ah?"
This time, when Jimin goes to pick Jiwon up at her house, his red wine tank top is already tucked inside his black jeans. And Jiwon raises an eyebrow, whistling when she sees him.
This time, Jimin tells her to do his eyeliner. Just a little, he asks again, and she hums.
Catching their reflection on the mirror of Jiwon's room, Jimin can see he still looks manly next to her petite form, his muscles visible because of the sleeveless top. That makes it easier to breathe before closing his eyes and letting her apply makeup on his face.
"Can you introduce me to Gloss?" Jiwon murmurs while Jimin asks for a beer.
"Jimin!" she whines. She's wearing a tight skirt and a top that shows a strip of her stomach.
"Is that why you're all dressed up?" Jimin asks as Yoongi weren't the reason why he's dressed up.
Jimin craves to feel that same warmth he felt on his chest when Jimin told Yoongi he wanted to get high with him; he wants to feel comfortable on his skin and look as good as Jungkook did. He wants Yoongi to look at him like he did when he pressed the joint to Jimin's palm.
Jimin doesn't see Yoongi until the performance is over. He sees Namjoon first, and Namjoon bows his way in acknowledgment; Jimin feels validated that another rapper recognizes him and greets him while ignoring other men around him; he feels warm because Namjoon is attractive.
"They're all your friends!" Jiwon yells over the music to Jimin's ear when she notices the exchange. And Jimin has to chuckle at her excited voice. Somehow, befriended the rappers make Jimin feel more secure about his masculinity.
"They're not," Jimin says. "Just Yoongi hyung."
The moment he says his name, Jimin finally sees him between the blue sea of people. And he's talking to three girls; a smirk stretches on his lips as he receives a phone and starts typing something. Jimin's heart sinks as an unpleasant feeling spreads through his body.
It only gets worse when Yoongi feels Jimin's gaze on him and turns around to catch Jimin staring across dancing bodies and flickering club lights. Unlike all the other times they've crossed paths, Yoongi doesn't come to Jimin; he just smiles, nods in a greeting, and looks away.
Jimin feels stupid.
And then Jiwon sees him. "Oh! There's Gloss!" She turns to Jimin. "Are you going to say hi?" Her eyes shine under the purple neon, making it seem so simple. Yoongi always comes to Jimin; Jimin can go to him once. But Jimin is not sure.
Jiwon glances at Yoongi, and then she wraps her thin fingers around Jimin's wrist, soft and delicate. "He's looking over here-" Jimin chuckles and feels Jiwon looking at his body up and down at his tight black jeans and the carefully tucked inside tank top. "Just a quick hello."
Unsure of what to do, Jimin focuses on the music resonating on his chest and his pulse beating fast against Jiwon's thumb, but after glancing at Yoongi one more time, he nods. "Yeah, sure." Jiwon lets go of Jimin's wrist, and they move between sweating unknown bodies.
Yoongi smiles when he sees Jimin coming over, he tells the girls to wait a minute, and he puts his hand up; Jimin offers his palm, a quick slap, and an even faster fist bump. Jimin did it last time, but now it feels so silly. However, the classic men greeting don't end there.
Jimin is startled when Yoongi presses their shoulders together and wraps his arm behind Jimin's back in a quick hug. Jimin can smell Yoongi's cologne and a hint of cigarettes, but then it's soon gone. "Didn't think I'd see you here tonight," Yoongi speaks over the music.
Before Jimin can reply, Yoongi turns to Jiwon. "Hey," he offers a charming smile. "Jimin's friend."
"Jiwon!" She introduces herself.
Yoongi points at Jimin while focusing on Jiwon. "I've made sure he doesn't get in fights, and it has worked so far." Jiwon laughs.
Yoongi is acting naturally while Jimin's heart beats so fast he can feel it coming out of his mouth; he talks with Jiwon with easy friendliness. Yoongi glances at Jimin from time to time, but he doesn't look at Jimin. But after one final smile, he looks back to the girls.
"I-" Yoongi starts with a nervous smile. His black shirt has a print on the front, and Jimin distracts himself with the squares. "I gotta go now, but I'll see you around, Jimin?" Jimin doesn't answer, and Yoongi laughs faintly. "It was nice meeting you, Jiwon."
Jiwon nods, looking between Yoongi and Jimin.
The music resonates loudly on Jimin's chest; sweat sticks to his forehead because of the stuffy club, someone hits his back as they walk through the bodies. Jimin looks away and clenches his jaw. "Hey!" A soft voice reaches his ears.
It's one of the girls that were talking to Yoongi. "Do you guys want to come with us? We're going to a party." Yoongi glances at Jimin from where he stands some steps away. Jiwon grabs Jimin's hand and squeezes.
It's a bad idea. "Sure," Jimin says. "What do you say?"
Jiwon looks at Jimin with wide eyes, but she nods after a beat. "I texted Yoongi the address already, come with him," the girl says. "Make sure he doesn't ditch us! He always does that!" Jiwon nods, and Jimin catches Yoongi stretching his neck from the corner of his eyes.
Yoongi continues stretching his neck even when they're standing outside the club. It's cold, and Jimin has his arm around Jiwon's shoulders while Yoongi finishes a cigarette and steps on it. "You wanna go to the party?"
"Were you going to ditch?" Jimin asks.
"I think it'd be fun if we go," Jimin says because he wants to be with Yoongi longer. Jiwon nods against his chest, probably because of the same reason. Yoongi looks at them before sighing.
"Okay, let's go. But I'm not going to look after you," Yoongi speaks to Jimin.
A car passes by, and the highlights fall on Yoongi's face, but it's soon driving away. Jimin can hear people chatting around them, and he scoffs. "I don't need someone to take care of me."
"Just don't start beating up people," Yoongi says.
"I agree," Jiwon murmurs.
Jimin wants to argue that he only fights with Shihoo, and if Shihoo is not there, he won't search for trouble, but Yoongi is already stopping a taxi, and Jimin has to swallow his words and get inside the car.
Yoongi and Jimin, looking opposite ways, with Jiwon in between.
Streetlights paint Jimin's face with blue spots as he looks outside the window to neon signs. On the other end, streetlights paint Yoongi's face with purple spots as he looks at different establishments. Jiwon lays her head on Jimin's shoulder, and Jimin looks down.
The party is in an expensive neighborhood, in the biggest house Jimin has ever seen. The three of them are quite shocked when they wait by the entrance. In his amused trance, Yoongi calls someone, and then the door opens for them to walk inside. Yoongi, a step ahead.
Jimin knew it was a bad idea from the moment the girl told them to come over. He knew it, yet he still came.
There are many people in the house; it smells like alcohol and faintly, somewhere, weed. No one turns to them; inside the house and in the garden, people dance and drink.
There are people in a pool outside, there's a bunch of booze in the kitchen, there's music coming loudly from a speaker, there's laughter, there's chatter, singing, Jimin feels dizzy. "We need to drink!" Jiwon states the obvious, and Jimin nods.
"Come on," he tugs at her wrist.
Jimin notices that Yoongi is not following them; he's staring at some people hanging by the couch. "Hey, hyung," Jimin calls out. "Let's go for a drink."
"Nah, I'm gonna go over there." Jimin knew it was a bad idea. "I'll see you two around. Take care." He knew it.
There's a blue drink in the kitchen counter that no one is touching, it's already prepared, and Jiwon raises her eyebrows at Jimin in interest. Jimin laughs, and they reach for the drink, pouring a full glass for each of them. After a clink, they drink as fast as they can.
Jimin drinks from the blue drink again. Jimin and Jiwon laugh in the kitchen, bodies close and people glancing at them. Jimin drinks from the blue drink. Jimin twirls Jiwon so she can show off his outfit. Jimin drinks the blue drink. Jimin and Jiwon laugh with a stranger.
Blue glasses clacking. Jimin dances with Jiwon and forgets about Yoongi. A gulp down his throat. A guy asks Jiwon to dance with him. Jimin doesn't look at the couch behind him. Blue drink. A girl talks to Jimin in the kitchen, with red lipstick and pretty eyes. Another glass.
Jimin leans closer to the girl, whispering to her ear because the trap song in the background is too loud. She brings a hand to Jimin's arm, and even if the fingers are a lot thinner than the ones he'd like to have on his skin, he smiles. But when he looks up, he sees him.
Yoongi's eyes are not on Jimin, though. Yoongi is not judging Jimin for his performative flirting with a woman he doesn't even like. Yoongi is not scolding him for trying too hard to be something he's not. Yoongi is by the staircase, kissing a man.
And Jimin feels sick.
Hidden by a shadow, Yoongi moves upstairs. Hidden by the man's bigger body, as he towers over Yoongi. The stranger is taller, buffer, manlier- and Jimin feels terrible; he feels so stupid with his silly eyeliner and tight clothes that made him flush earlier tonight.
Jimin is drunk already; he’s dizzy and light-headed. And for the brief moment Jimin sees Yoongi before he disappears, Jimin could swear he felt Yoongi's lips pressed to his skin, the same way he was pushing them to some other's man lips.
The girl next to him says something.
Jimin doesn't hear it; he turns to see her. Suddenly the white kitchen light makes Jimin's head hurt, and the blue drink doesn't taste as good as before, making Jimin's throat dry. He keeps thinking of Yoongi's smile as another man kisses him, a man that is so unlike Jimin.
"I-" Jimin offers the most charming smile he can muster. "I need to check on my friend," he says, but he's been keeping an eye on Jiwon, and she's okay- the girl nods, and after another polite nod, Jimin walks the opposite way, towards the dark staircase, heart racing fast.
Jimin stands by the end of the empty staircase; he looks up to the darkness waiting upstairs. He doesn't want to think about it, Yoongi and that man. Next to Jimin, there's a glass wall leading to the pool, and the water creates a blue hue tainting Jimin's face.
The music is loud, slurred words Jimin doesn't even register. He forces himself to look away from the stairs. His eyes fall on an open door by the end of the hallway. An even brighter light comes from there. In his drunkness, Jimin manages to drag himself to the room.
It's a bathroom, and there are six people somehow crammed inside there. The small window over the toilet is open. Someone is standing on the toilet seat, smoking a joint next to the duct, exhaling the smoke through there. It explains the faint scent of weed Jimin felt earlier.
"Hey," a girl greets Jimin from the floor. She has one leg against her chest, her skirt revealing a lot of skin.
"Hey," Jimin repeats.
Two people are sitting on the bath's ledge, and they are deep in conversation, don't even notice Jimin. And a guy stands by the sink.
The sixth person is sitting inside the bath, and they're rolling more joints. Jimin snorts before nodding at the guy by the sink when the man finally acknowledges Jimin's presence. "You're fucking hot," the girl on the floor says, and Jimin turns to see her. She's high.
Jimin gestures at the person standing on the toilet. "Can I?"
"Sure, but you have to kiss me." Jimin chuckles, and he takes a step inside the bathroom, crouching next to her until they're on the same eye level. He leans in and kisses her cheek, and she laughs. Jimin is drunk.
Jimin feels suddenly better, and after a playful raise of his eyebrows, he stands up and carefully steps deeper inside the bathroom, concerned even in his dizziness not to step on her leg. The girl standing on the toilet takes a long drag of the joint and then steps down.
But before he can reach the toilet, the man supporting himself on the sink grabs Jimin's waist. Jimin shakes the hand off and turns around with a glare to face him -Jimin catches his angry reflection in the mirror behind the stranger.- "Don't do that," the man says.
"Don't mix alcohol with weed." Jimin must be clearly drunk if the man noticed.
Jimin shrugs, "I'm good." The girl on the floor echoes how well Jimin is, probably an innuendo to his looks, and Jimin smiles to himself. The man doesn't argue, and Jimin stands on the toilet seat.
The girl who handed him the joint is looking at him as Jimin exhales the smoke through the duct. "You're Yoongi's friend," she says.
Jimin looks down at her. "Yeah." She must be one of the girls who were with Yoongi at the club. Jimin barely paid attention to them.
"Where is he?" She wonders before tapping the people on the shower ledge until they give her space to sit down. "I didn't even see you get here," she laughs.
"I don't know where he is," Jimin whispers before taking a long drag of the joint. "I don't wanna know where he is."
"Ah, you guys fought or something?"
Jimin chuckles and leans to look into the bathroom window while smoking; he wonders if the duct reaches the second floor. He wonders if Yoongi is in the bathroom from the second floor. Suppose the smell of weed reaches him through the vent.
Jimin puffs out a long cloud of smoke and wonders if Yoongi feels the scent of weed if he's kissing someone else. Not just kissing- they're doing something else; otherwise, they wouldn't have gone upstairs. Jimin thinks of Yoongi on his knees, as he has thought of more than once.
"It's my turn," one of the people sitting on the shower ledge says, and Jimin has to take a final drag before stepping down the toilet.
The smoke does reach Yoongi in the bathroom on the second floor through the vent, and he feels it even on his knees, but Jimin won't know that.
Jimin laughs when the weed hits, and he feels confused, and he swears he can see the dangling lightbulb from Yoongi's dressing room in the middle of the bathroom. He swallows the smoke from someone's lips, he falls into the bathtub with one of the girls. He laughs. He laughs.
He doesn't know how long it's been, but when the girl on the floor tells Jimin they should go outside, Jimin is in. Everything moves around him, the ceiling vibrating, and he remembers Yoongi's hand on his leg. Jimin's legs feel heavy, like anchors on the ground.
Between laughter, Jimin's arm thrown around the girl's shoulders, they reach the garden. People are in the pool, and neither the stranger nor Jimin has to say it for them to think the same. She takes off her shirt and Jimin his shoes and- "Jimin!" A voice pierces his ears.
Jimin turns around to find Jiwon. "Where were you?" She asks with worry laced in her voice. Jimin looks at her, and somehow her pretty face makes him feel bad again. As if she was at fault for the dilemmas in Jimin's head. "We've been- are you high?" Jimin's eyes are red.
"Yeah, I'm- I'm fucked," he says with a smile, and he laughs, and his stranger companion laughs too, but Jiwon is not laughing. She's also tipsy, Jimin can tell, but Jimin is a lot worse.
"Jimin," she says cautiously.
"I need to get in the pool."
"You don't need to do that."
Jimin laughs; Jiwon doesn't get it; he needs to get inside the pool. "I have to do it," he insists. "I'm fucking burning; I need to get inside the pool." More laughter. Jiwon opens her mouth, but nothing comes out of it. Jimin leans in and kisses her cheek while she's unmoving.
"Jimin," she calls out, and Jimin smiles at her before the stranger drags him to the pool muttering something about the water. "Jimin," she calls out louder, and Jimin takes off his socks. Jimin takes his shirt off. "Jimin!" he hears his name one more time, and then "Yoongi!"
But the name barely reaches his ears since Jimin is jumping into the pool. Eyes closed as the water surrounds him, and the water drowns out every sound from the outside, and all Jimin hears is the clash of his body against it. The bubbles. The pressure. The blue water.
He opens his eyes at the bottom of the pool, his back facing the floor, body still and floating, while he looks at the lights from outside. There are many bodies around him, but he doesn't know any of them. He's alone.
Alone in the blue world. Jimin drowns, drowns, he drowns.
Underwater, Jimin hears muffled chatter, a muffled name, a muffled song coming from the house, and everything sounds slower. Time decided to wait for Jimin, delaying everything to give him freedom.
But he hears a clash of a body against water on his chest, in front of him.
Bubbles around the pool. Jimin shuts his eyes forcefully, he's running out of air, and he wants to scream but when he opens his mouth, all around him is blue. He feels arms around his middle, pulling him upwards. Jimin clutches onto someone.
Yoongi had jumped on the pool too.
This time, unlike the first time Yoongi and Jimin were together, Yoongi doesn't tell Jimin to put his face back into the water. This time he understands why Jimin pushed his face in the ice until he ran out of breath and didn't want to do it again. Yoongi pulls him outside.
Jimin’s hair is sticking to his forehead, and his skin is wet. It reminds Yoongi of the first time he saw Jimin in the rain, but his angry gaze is now unfocused eyes as he catches his breath.
Someone else helped the girl who was with Jimin. Jiwon stands by the edge of the pool.
Yoongi brings a hand to Jimin's cold face, he's so pale, and his lips are purple-of course, he looks like this, he's drunk and high and couldn't swim- "I told you I wasn't going to look after you," Yoongi mutters as drops of water fall from his wet hair to Jimin's chest.
Yoongi pulls off his soaked shirt and leaves it on the ground -he didn't even take it off because Jiwon started yelling his name, saying Jimin was high, and Yoongi went after him as fast as he could-. Jimin's chest rises and falls as he takes deep breathes.
"You can't do this."
Jimin manages to look at Yoongi from where he's lying on the ground. "You get into fights and don't hit back, just take every blow; you drink and get high and jump into a pool; Jiwon was so worried- don't you see people worry about you? That was dangerous, Jimin!"
"I know it's hard! I know what you're going through, but you can't be so self-destructive, Jimin!" Yoongi scolds him. Jimin looks away from Yoongi's face, and Yoongi sighs before turning to Jiwon. She's carrying Jimin's clothes and Yoongi's jacket, her lips set in a pout.
Yoongi stands up. "Come on, you have to puke, and we need to get the hell out of here." Yoongi shakes his arms, trying to get water off them, and then he waits until Jimin had enough energy to sit up to stretch his hand and help Jimin.
But Jimin flicks his hand away.
Yoongi doesn't have time for this, but before he complains, he looks at Jimin. His eyes are glassy, and even if Yoongi has been here before -the first time he flirted with Jimin behind the club- Jimin's gaze is so different from that time. He is hurt, and Yoongi is speechless.
Jiwon hurries at them with a towel, wrapping it around Jimin's back when Jimin stands up, and Jimin doesn't lash out at Jiwon, only mutters "thank you" to her. Yoongi glances at the girl who jumped with Jimin, puking by the garden with a towel around her. What a mess.
"Your tattoo healed?" Yoongi looks at Jimin's ribs before Jimin puts on his shirt after drying. Jimin doesn't answer and hands Yoongi the towel without looking at him. Yoongi receives it.
"How are you feeling?" Jiwon whispers.
"Go puke, Jimin," Yoongi says.
Yoongi waits for Jimin and Jiwon outside the house. He holds his damp shirt in his hand and just wears his hoodie over his naked skin. He knew it was a bad idea to come to the party, but he thought it would be good for Jimin to see different people. He was so wrong.
The streets are empty since it's almost three in the morning, they have to walk to an avenue to get a taxi. Yoongi pinches the bridge of his nose. He wants to help Jimin, but he feels like this is out of his control and knowledge.
"Jimin's phone got wet," Jiwon says.
Yoongi looks over his shoulder and sees Jimin and Jiwon leaving the house. Yoongi chuckles sadly. "Your phone got one more beating, Jimin ah. I guess I can't contact you anymore." Jimin looks up to meet Yoongi's eyes. He's pale. "You're coming down?"
"I'm hungry," Jimin mumbles.
Jiwon is scrolling down her phone. "There's a fast-food chain down the road. We can get a taxi there, and Jimin can get fries, yeah?" Jiwon smiles sweetly at Jimin, and Jimin nods.
Yoongi should relax more; Jimin has Jiwon. But it doesn't seem to be enough. "Okay, let's go."
They're walking down the dark street; Yoongi is steps ahead of Jimin and Jiwon. The streetlamps guide them, and it's quiet. Neither of them says a word. Yoongi feels tired, more than tired than he's been in days, but he's also worried. Like he hasn't felt for another person ever.
Yoongi looks over his shoulder to see Jimin in his tank top, makeup ruined because he must have washed his face after puking. Yoongi should have told him he looked good earlier. Before he looks away, Jimin glances up, and their eyes meet briefly. Yoongi breaks Jimin's gaze.
Their steps against the road are the only sound until Jimin speaks. "I saw you," he says, and he stops walking. The three of them come to a halt. Yoongi thinks he can see cars somewhere far away. Jimin is looking at Yoongi.
Jimin gulps. “Leaving with someone. Upstairs.”
Jimin must be still high and drunk or any of those if he brings that up with Jiwon standing just there; Yoongi glances at her startled expression and then back at Jimin. Jimin is high, or he's so hurt he can't keep the words inside anymore. "Jimin," Yoongi warns.
He wants Jimin to talk to him, Yoongi has always craved that, but he doesn't want Jimin to do something he'll regret. Jimin’s face is full of disgust, though, and Yoongi feels a lump on his throat, remembering Jimin's unpredictable reactions to his sexuality. “You-“ Jimin starts
Yoongi takes a step closer to Jimin. “Jimin, it's not the moment," he whispers. He glances at Jiwon, and she hugs her body.
"Jimin-" Yoongi doesn't know if he should take another step forward. "Jimin, you're drunk."
"You know there’s a bunch of hot girls after you."
Yoongi sighs. "So why?"
Yoongi knows Jimin is going through a lot, but he won't let him say anything homophobic to his face. Yoongi won't forgive that. “Jimin, do not finish that question if you’re going to say something that will cost you my friendship."
"Why?" Jimin asks.
"Why him?" Jimin murmurs. "That guy tonight." Yoongi takes another step forward, looking for Jimin's eyes.
Yoongi doesn't mind saying this in front of Jiwon, and he wants Jimin to get his shit together. “Because I like guys, Jimin. You know that. What the fuck is up with you?”
Jimin looks away. “It pisses me off.” Jimin is clenching his fits and unclenching them. Yoongi doesn't know if it pisses him off because of rejection to seeing a man with a man or because Jimin is jealous.
“Why?” Yoongi gets into Jimin's space, searching for his eyes. “Why?”
“Because it pisses me off!" Jimin's hair is still damp and when he pushes Yoongi away, drops of water spill between them. "Stop getting in my space!” Yoongi stumbles two steps back. Jiwon moves back, too, hands on her mouth. And Yoongi clenches his jaw, pissed off too.
"You're always getting in my space! It's weird!"
“Jimin, you’re drunk and high, and you should shut the fuck up right now.”
“You make me so upset, Yoongi!” Jimin raises his voice and comes forward, towering over Yoongi.
“Jimin, shut up.” Yoongi grabs Jimin’s arm.
Jimin shakes Yoongi's hand away. “Don’t touch me! You keep touching me all the time!" Yoongi frowns; he's getting upset too. "Why do you keep touching me?”
“It doesn't mean shit! I’m just touching you!” Yoongi raises his voice too. Jiwon is taking another step back.
“You're lying!" Jimin bites back, and he pushes Yoongi again. "You keep touching me and flirting with me, and watching me, and telling me all that weird stuff." Jimin grabs Yoongi's shirt. "Now it doesn't mean shit?"
Yoongi wraps his hand around Jimin's wrist and tears it away.
But Jimin grabs his hoodie again with both fists. "You come and lecture me and flirt with me and with the guy from the tattoo parlor and this other guy too? Anyone else?"
Yoongi looks at his face. “Fuck you, Jimin.”
“You wish!” Jimin pushes Yoongi hard. “You want that so bad!"
Yoongi gets on Jimin’s space, pressing their foreheads together, trying to get him to back away, showing him he's stronger. “Do you know how to talk, Jimin? Or you're gonna hit me too? Just like that other guy? Want him to fuck you so bad you let him beat you to the ground?"
Jimin clenches his jaw and has that same crazed look from the day under the rain, directed at Yoongi. “Is that why you wanna pick a fight with me? Is that why you're upset? You saw me leaving with some guy, and you wanted to be him, and it pisses you off so much you'll hit me?”
Jimin hits Yoongi.
He hits him in the face, and it's too weak because Jimin's drunk maybe, because deep down, he doesn't want to hurt Yoongi. But Yoongi scoffs and laughs; he sneers at his blow, and Jimin pushes him, but Yoongi tries hard to stands still. “Fuck you, Yoongi."
Jimin pushes him again, but it's not hard, and Yoongi knows Jimin is stronger than that. Jimin lets Yoongi wrap his hands around Jimin's wrists because he's not even putting a fight. It's sad. "I'm not going to fight with you, Jimin."
"I want you to hit me," Jimin cries.
"Come on," Jimin pleads and pulls his wrists, so Yoongi is closer to him. Yoongi lets Jimin drag him until their bodies are pressed together. "Why can't you hit me?"
Yoongi scrunches his face, and he forces himself to look away. "What makes you think I'd do that?"
They're alone in the empty street, and it's quiet around them except for one sound. They're under a streetlamp. Yoongi's wet shirt is on the floor. Jimin lets himself drop down on the floor, and he cries like a child. A man and a woman look at him, and Jimin sobs.
Yoongi is glad Jiwon is with them because he doesn't know what to do when people cry; he finds it difficult to comfort people, even worse when they're sobbing how Jimin is doing now. Meanwhile, Jiwon kneels on the road, hurting her knees, and pulls Jimin into a tight hug.
Jimin accommodates in her embrace and lets her comfort him.
Looking at them, Yoongi envies her gentleness, the way she threads her fingers through Jimin's hair and whispers against his ear. He almost got in a fight with Jimin right now, and all Jimin needed was a hug.
Yoongi felt as if he knew so much already. He pretended to guide Jimin out of that harmful masculinity, but so clueless right now, Yoongi has not escaped his masculinity either. He crouches in front of them, arms stretched on his knees, and waits until Jimin stops crying.
He wanted to seem strong, unaffected by Jimin's hostile reactions; he tried to protect Jimin from his fights and self-destructiveness, as a good man would do, and he wanted to ignore his feelings, lock them down. How foolish of Yoongi to believe a man can take that much.
Yoongi stands up and grabs his damp shirt from the road. He folds it backward, so the dirty part is now inside, and he makes sure the fabric in his hands hasn't touched the asphalt, and with that, he kneels next to Jimin. Jiwon glances at him but doesn't say anything.
It's not as soft or delicate as her fingers, but Jiwon lets go of Jimin and give Yoongi enough space so he can press the shirt to Jimin's face and clean his tears and snot. But when Jimin looks at Yoongi, he starts crying harder. Yoongi's heart breaks, and he tries to pull back.
But Jimin grabs his hand and doesn't let Yoongi step back. On the contrary, he pulls him closer and buries his face on the shirt. It's not as good as a hug, but it's better than all the harsh words Yoongi spit Jimin's way every time they talked. It's as gentle as Yoongi can be.
Jimin won't meet Yoongi's eyes when he finally stops crying. Jiwon is smaller than him, but she wraps herself around his torso in a hug, and Yoongi is trying to find a taxi. "Jimin, can you go to your house like this?" He's still crossfaded and emotional. Jimin shakes his head.
"Can he go to your house, Jiwon?" Yoongi tries. Jiwon looks between Yoongi and Jimin.
"Yeah- but my parents wait up, and they will-" Jimin shakes his head, mouthing quick a series of negative words. He must be embarrassed by more people seeing him like this—yoongi sighs.
"I live alone," Yoongi says. "Is that okay, Jimin?" Jiwon turns to him because Yoongi won't look at Jimin's face. Jimin mumbles a small 'yeah.’ Yoongi types on the phone. "Jiwon, we'll drop you off first. Okay?"
"No- I'm-" Yoongi looks over his shoulder; they're holding hands.
"I'm staying with Jimin," she says as loud as she can. Yoongi meets her intense gaze, and then she looks away, nervous. "If it's okay for me to go to your place," she murmurs. Yoongi chuckles dryly.
"Yeah, it's fine."
"Can we eat?" Jimin whispers. Yoongi laughs to himself.
On the way back, Jiwon sits between them again. Jimin's window is rolled down, and his eyes are closed as the air hits his face. Jimin is still holding Yoongi's damp shirt, squeezing it with his fist. Yoongi looks out of his window too. They drive past a neon purple sign.
Yoongi's apartment is a mess, but he couldn't care less. Jimin is looking around before he sits in the kitchen and eats almost everything on Yoongi's fridge. Yoongi searches for clean clothes; his and Jimin's jeans are still damp, and Jiwon's clothes must be uncomfortable.
Jiwon changes into one of Yoongi's shirts in the bathroom while Jimin finishes eating rice leftovers. Yoongi doesn't meet his eyes as Jimin stuffs himself with food- but he leaves a glass of water in front of him and a painkiller. Jimin murmurs a thank you doesn't look at Yoongi.
When Jiwon returns, she's surprised Jimin hasn't changed into the sweatpants Yoongi gave him yet. "Jimin, your jeans are damp-" she starts and then sighs. Jimin had a breakdown and too many substances in his body. "Do you need help changing?" She asks softly before coming closer.
Jimin snaps up, he stares at Jiwon wearing Yoongi's oversized shirt, and he looks away. "I can help," Yoongi suggests.
Jiwon nods, but Jimin shakes his head and pushes the bowl of rice away before swallowing the painkiller and drowning the water. "I can do it alone."
When Jimin storms out towards the bathroom, Yoongi moves to stand next to the door. He brings a finger to his mouth, gesturing to Jiwon to keep quiet. "If he falls, we'll listen," he whispers. Jiwon understands, and she sits on Yoongi's bed, in front of the bathroom door.
They're all quiet in Yoongi's small apartment. The curtains move from where the window is open, and the only light comes from the kitchen some meters away, painting half of Jiwon's face in a white glow. They hear Jimin struggling, but there's no clash nor sob, so they don't move.
Yoongi looks at her, wearing Yoongi's shirt as only ex-girlfriends have done in the past, but the situation is very different now. Yoongi doesn't know when he felt so bad for Jimin to do all this, maybe since the first time he saw him fighting. "Yoongi oppa," Jiwon murmurs.
Yoongi can hear Jimin huffing. A small light filters from the crevice under the bathroom door. "Do you want to date Jimin?" She asks, and it seems like she has chosen her words very carefully as if she's been wondering for a long moment how to ask it—yoongi smiles.
"I care about him, but-" Yoongi sighs. "I want to if he wants to," Yoongi murmurs. He doesn't know if Jimin will listen to their whispering. "When he wants to."
Jiwon looks at Yoongi with wide eyes, and then she nods. "Thank you for taking care of us," she says.
When Jimin walks outside, he doesn't look at Yoongi's face, and Yoongi ignores his clothes on Jimin's body. "You two take the bed," Yoongi says and goes to clean the kitchen. Jiwon helps him, and by the time they finish, Jimin is sleeping on the right side of the bed.
When Jiwon is already lying next to Jimin, Yoongi leaves a glass of water on the bedside, but before he can step away, Jimin murmurs. "Hyung." Yoongi looks at him. "I'm sorry I punched you."
Yoongi wants to touch Jimin's face, but he doesn't. "It's fine, kid. I forgive you."
Jimin wakes up in Yoongi's studio apartment. It's quiet, still, early in the morning, and the sunlight filtering from the curtains falls on his face. He rubs his eyes before turning around, escaping from the brightness, and his gaze falls on Jiwon, still sleeping next to him.
Her dark hair is messy, and she’s wearing one of Yoongi's shirts -a grey one with a simple print-. Jimin looks at her, and images of last night rush to him. Jimin sits up, suddenly dizzy because of everything that happened yesterday, and he sees Yoongi on the couch, sleeping.
Mortification and shame spread through Jimin's body. He can't be here, not after all Yoongi has seen. Jimin turns to Jiwon and shakes her shoulder, trying to wake her up. "Jiwon," Jimin murmurs, hoping his voice doesn't startle Yoongi. "Jiwon!"
She frowns but opens her eyes.
"Jimin?" she seems confused. "Are you okay?"
"Jiwon," Jimin breathes out, and then he lays down on the bed again, his face squishes against the pillow just like hers. "I-" he wants to leave, but the moment he sees her face, the guilt he feels overcomes all the shame.
"I'm sorry," he murmurs. "I'm really sorry."
Jiwon brings a hand to his face. "Hey..." Jimin doesn't want to wake Yoongi up, and it's silly, but for some reason, he feels protected under the white blankets, so he pulls them up and covers both him and Jiwon. She laughs softly.
"What are you doing?" Hidden underneath the white blankets, Jimin takes a deep breath.
"I was a bad friend." Jiwon squints her eyes. "I took you to that party with me just because I wanted to be with Yoongi hyung."
"Not the first time we've dragged each other to a party."
"No, but I- I left you alone when I saw Yoongi hyung with someone else," Jimin gulps. Jiwon heard everything last night; he doesn't think he has to be careful with his words. "I left you with a stranger instead of looking after you, and I got cross-faded." Jiwon looks away.
"We were in a house full of strangers, and I didn't stay by your side. I made you worry because I did something reckless, and then I put you in danger trying to pick up a fight with Yoongi hyung- what if he had hit me too?" Jiwon won't meet his eyes. "It was 3 in the morning!"
"What were you gonna do?" Jimin sighs. "I was so fucked up you've come to Yoongi's apartment with me. He's basically a stranger too! What if he was a different kind of person and he had done something bad while we were sleeping? I've put you in so much danger, Jiwon."
"But we're okay," Jiwon tries. "Yoongi oppa helped me look for you. He got you out of the pool. And he didn't hit you, and he hasn't done anything bad. I trust him, or I would have found a different way to take you home."
"We're okay," she repeats. "You're okay."
Jimin pulls her into a hug. Jiwon makes a small whine, but she doesn't pull away. "I was worried. He was worried too when I found him and told him you had gone missing." Jimin closes his eyes, and he can smell alcohol and perfume on Jiwon's hair.
"I can't face him," Jimin adds.
She snickers softly. "Well, Gloss is out there."
"Let's go," Jimin tries. "He's sleeping."
"Jimin," her tone of voice is solemn. "The guy went through a lot of trouble for us; you can't ditch him. He's sleeping on his couch after you raided his fridge. He gave us clothes!"
"I can't face him," Jimin tries again. "Jiwon, he- I got high because I saw him with someone else, and then he got me out of the pool! I tried to fight him, and he saw me cry like that-"
"And even then, he brought us here, Jimin. He's your friend. Look after your friends."
"What is he going to think if you escape like some one-night stand?" The choice of words makes Jimin tense. He gets closer to Jiwon.
"Jiwon, I-" Jimin gulps, and he's afraid, but with the blankets hiding them in a small world, Jimin speaks. "Jiwon, sometimes I want to kiss him."
She tenses too, but she nods. "That's okay."
Jimin takes a deep breath, and he feels a lump on his throat, and he wants to cry again. "And Shihoo too, sometimes I've wanted to kiss him too."
"That's okay but don't kiss him; he's an idiot," she mumbles, and Jimin laughs dryly.
"And other men," Jimin whispers. "I don't think it would be such a bad idea to kiss other men."
Jiwon nods, and the way she looks at Jimin doesn't change. "That's okay. You can kiss whoever you want."
"And women too," Jimin adds after a beat.
"Women too," Jiwon repeats.
Jimin feels a weight off his chest, and he pulls Jiwon into another hug. He has known for so long, but it's the first time he says it out loud like this because he wanted to say it and because he's sure. Jiwon saw the tattoo yesterday; Jimin doesn't have to hide it anymore.
Jimin can't look at Yoongi in the eyes, though. It's impossible -he's shirtless, making coffee, and Jiwon changes in the bathroom while Jimin waits. Yoongi had woken up once Jimin had changed into the clothes from yesterday. He tucked his tank top inside his now dry jeans.
After everything that happened yesterday, Jimin thinks he should be the one who reaches out to Yoongi, but it's complicated. He glances up from where he's sitting on the bed and catches Yoongi looking at him from the kitchen. They look away from the other as fast as they can.
“You look good,” Yoongi murmurs all of a sudden. Jimin returns his gaze to him, surprised by the words. "Better than yesterday, but well- yesterday you were shit." Jimin snorts, and somehow he still smiles. Yoongi waits for a second. "I mean, those clothes fit you.”
Jimin looks down at his body. It's not Jungkook, but he likes it, and he likes that Yoongi likes it. "Thank you. I-" Their eyes meet across the apartment, and Jimin remembers Yoongi was with someone else yesterday, and his heart sinks. "I wanted to impress you," he admits lowly.
Yoongi's eyes widen, but before he can open his mouth, Jiwon opens the bathroom door, with her hair on a ponytail that sways from side to side. She looks at Jimin's face and smiles. "We're leaving?"
"Yeah," Jimin stands up. He's going to walk Jiwon to her house.
"You guys can stay for breakfast," Yoongi says.
Jiwon walks towards him. "I'd be embarrassed to accept more. I think we owe you a lunch, oppa." Yoongi chuckles. "Or three."
"I'm not opposed to the idea. With no drugs and no alcohol for once." Jimin looks at the floor.
When Jiwon and Jimin are about to leave, Yoongi unlocks the door for them and supports his body against it to keep it open. When Jimin walks past him, Yoongi doesn't touch him, but he follows Jimin with his gaze. "Jimin."
"Fix your phone, okay?" Jimin nods.
Jimin leaves the unopened box on the dining table. "Is that the model you wanted?" His mother asks from the kitchen. Jimin didn't really care about the model, but when he saw how expensive it was to fix his phone, he thought it would be best to get a new one.
His mother comes closer so she can check the phone. "You should have told me you wanted to get a new phone, I would have asked your father for money."
Jimin smiles faintly. "Don't worry. I had savings." She drags a chair from the dining table and sits next to him.
"I was surprised that the old phone kept working; the screen was destroyed." Jimin nods and takes the new one from the box. "Oh, it's pretty." Jimin glances at her before nodding one more time.
"The other one got soaked in water."
"You didn't take good care of it."
Jimin taps at the new unscratched screen. "I think after the first scratch it got, I just kept throwing it around and didn't worry about its state anymore." She hums before standing up. Jimin doesn't flinch when she puts her hand on his shoulder.
"Be careful with this one."
Jimin will try.
"Hey mom, I- I lost all the numbers I had on my last phone. Could you give me your and dad's number?" She nods quickly and says she'll bring her phone because she doesn't remember them. Jimin sits back on the chair, legs spread, and takes a deep breath.
Jimin doesn't have Yoongi's number, and he guesses he has to return to the club to ask for it, but he doesn't want to go there. "You could go to his house?" Jiwon suggests during their shift at the PC bang. "Knock on the door?"
"No. That'd be weird," Jimin chuckles dryly.
"Then go to his gig."
Jimin stares at the kids playing games in the establishment; the blue light from the screen paints their faces. Jimin looks away to stare at Jiwon. "It frightens me to go," he admits, and her expression darkens.
"Shihoo," Jimin murmurs.
"What about him?"
Jimin shrugs. He wouldn't have said this aloud before, but after everything Jiwon has gone through with him, Jimin allows himself to talk. "I don't want to fight with him, but I think that if I go, I will- I don't trust myself. It's better not to go."
Jimin lays on the counter and threads his fingers through his hair. "And I think it's better to- not see Yoongi for a while."
"Why? He'll get worried," Jiwon supports her head on her palms.
"He also frightens me, but for another reason entirely." Jiwon bites on her lower lip.
"He has too much power over me," Jimin murmurs to himself. "It's as if we're fighting, and he has me on a chokehold. Sometimes he presses harder." And kisses someone else. "Sometimes he lets go." And looks at Jimin tenderly. "But I feel like I have to shake him away."
Jiwon is quiet for a long moment. She puts a strand of hair behind her ear, and Jimin's eyes fall to her earrings. "Not everything is a fight, Jimin ah. Liking someone that much isn't as violent as you paint it." Jimin stares at her, and his lips curl, just a hint of a smile.
"When someone takes your breath away, it should feel good, not like a chokehold," she laughs.
Jimin's eyes widen, and he hides his face from Jiwon's gaze. "That's now what I meant- but he-" Jimin gives up trying to explain it with words. "Everything about him scares me."
"Because-" Jimin doesn't even know what it is. He looks up to see the boys playing on the PCs. "Yoongi makes me feel things about myself that scare me." Jiwon keeps quiet. "And want to do things-" Jimin sighs.
"I think I don't quite understand."
"It doesn't matter."
"Of course, it matters," Jiwon murmurs. "But I don't think I'm the person that needs to be hearing this. I think you should talk to Yoongi Oppa about those things that scare you. About that day. I think he'll understand better than anyone."
Jimin knows he will.
When Friday arrives, Jimin gets late to the club.
He tried doing his eyeliner -the way Jiwon did it before- but he didn't like the result, and it took him longer than he expected to remove it. He wanted to try doing his makeup but chose not to in the end. He looked silly.
He feels silly at the club too, and he keeps bringing his fingers to his eyelids, rubbing the skin to make sure there are no remnants of makeup visible on his face. The show is already over when Jimin got to the club, but he doesn't see Yoongi anywhere. Jimin waits.
People are dancing, and Jimin stands by the wall, blue lights flickering on his face. While everyone else moves, Jimin remains still. Until a shadow covers Jimin's face in a deeper blue. "Your boyfriend left earlier," the scent of sweat reaches Jimin even before the voice does.
Jimin turns to face Shihoo. He's standing close to Jimin, and he bends a little to be the same height as Jimin. No one pays attention to them. They're just two small figures in the corner of the club. "Who?"
"Not my boyfriend."
"But you suck him off," Shihoo replies.
Jimin clenches his jaw and looks away. Yoongi is not here. "That's why he keeps taking you backstage with him, right? You blow him before every stage?" Shihoo wonders. "Like a little-" Jimin doesn't hear what he says because the music is loud. But he sees Shihoo mouth the word.
Jimin closes his hand in a fist before leaning closer to Shihoo and smelling a faint scent of beer in his breath. "You're jealous?" Jimin asks. The music resonates loudly in Jimin's chest. "Sad he didn't ask you to do it?"
"Watch your mouth, Jimin."
"You watch your mouth."
Shihoo scoffs. "What's up with you?" He grabs Jimin's shirt from the collar- people dance and yell around them- arms in the air, drinks in the air. No one turns to see them. "You're pissing me off."
Jimin wraps his hand around Shihoo's wrist. "Let go of me."
Jimin glares at him, and Shihoo smirks, a wicked smirk that makes Jimin's skin burn. "You're gonna punch me?"
"Ah, I see. You're smarter now, don't want me to beat you up."
Jimin laughs lowly. "Yeah, I don't feel like having you grinding against me tonight."
Jimin meets Shihoo's angry eyes and pushes his hand away. "You'll have to find another jerk-off material."
It happens quickly. Jimin's breath hitches when Shihoo pushes him harder against the wall behind him, pressing their foreheads together. "What the fuck are you doing?"
No one is seeing them as the flickering blue, and purple light suffocates them. Music is loud, but Jimin can hear Shihoo gulping. "I don't want to fight with you," Jimin murmurs.
"I don't jerk off thinking about you."
Jimin laughs at the sudden clarification. "Yeah, you don't."
"I don't," Shihoo repeats, and Jimin laughs. He doesn't see anyone around them; Shihoo is so close. All he can see is his blue lips and the stubble on his chin.
"Stop laughing at me." Jimin meets Shihoo's eyes and tries to keep as calm as he can.
In the corner of the club, Jimin realizes Yoongi doesn't hold him in a chokehold; Shihoo is the one who does. "Stop it, Jimin." Jimin can't shake his head because Shihoo's hand is around his neck, but he mumbles a negative answer again.
No one is seeing them; everyone dances.
No one sees them, but Jimin's eyes are open when Shihoo presses his face to Jimin in the roughest kiss Jimin has ever received. His eyes are open, and he sees the lights from the club, flickering, changing. Lights. Jimin closes his eyes.
No one sees them; Jimin opens his mouth.
Jimin thinks of Yoongi, handsome smirk and a lightbulb spinning, arm on the backrest of the tattered leather couch telling Jimin that Shihoo doesn't deserve his kisses. He thinks of Jiwon too, pretty, under white blankets and the sunlight, telling Jimin not to kiss Shihoo.
Jimin licks inside Shihoo's mouth and moves a hand to his neck. Jimin also fought with Shihoo; he hit him and threw him to the ground, too; he kicked him and spat on his face. Jimin wanted to kiss him so bad. Jimin wants so much.
He looks at the club lights; Jimin wants so much.
This time, for the first time, Shihoo doesn't drag Jimin outside. They stay on a corner of the club, two forgotten bodies in a sea of blue people.
But when Jimin feels a palm against him, he thinks of Yoongi's back. Of the snake in Yoongi's back moving with the rest of his body.
The fleeting thought makes Jimin kiss Shihoo deeper, hungrier, needier, clashing their bodies together with violence. Just like a fistfight on a rainy night, Jimin wants more. More pulling, more hands.
When Jimin pushes Shihoo to the bathroom stalls of the club, Shihoo follows.
Just like a fistfight, the slap of skin against skin, low moans and groans every time they grind against the same spot, pulling hair, hard- scratching, biting, pushing, pulling. Warmth in the lower stomach and handling the other body with roughness. It's just like a fight.
Jimin feels dizzy when Shihoo storms out of the dirty bathroom stall. It smells terrible, even worse than Yoongi's backstage. But he feels good, his chest rising and falling as he breathes. Jimin looks at the lightbulb on the ceiling. Flickering with moths flying around it.
Jimin cleans himself while his skin burns. He tucks his shirt back inside his jeans before zipping it up.
He walks out and sees his reflection in the dirty mirror. There are remnants of makeup in his eyelids, and he thinks of Jiwon telling him not everything is a fight.
The next day, Jimin knocks on Yoongi's door. It's early in the morning, but Jimin couldn't wait longer.
He checked with Jiwon twice to make sure he got the right place, but he still feels nervous outside. What if he's waking up Yoongi? What if Yoongi is with someone?
Maybe Jimin shouldn't have come. He tried to talk himself out of it while he got ready, but then Jimin realized he would have to wait another week to try and catch Yoongi at a gig. And he would be miserable during every hour of that week.
Yoongi opens the door roughly.
He's shirtless, hair a mess, and sweatpants low on his hips. It looks like he's about to say some foul words, but his eyes fall on Jimin, and his expression changes dramatically. "Jimin."
That's all he says, and Jimin gulps. Jimin had dressed up nicely for a change.
He had gotten the eyeliner right and found a shirt with a low cut, and he was content with his mirror reflection, but standing in front of Yoongi, he's nervous. Yoongi must be with someone- just like Jimin yesterday, Yoongi must have someone over, and that's why he's startled.
Jimin has never felt so anxious. Maybe he has, but he ignored his feelings not to seem weak. Right now, he wants to run away, but before he can take a step back, Yoongi leans closer to grab his wrist. “Where are you going?" Yoongi smiles.
"I- I'm sorry for showing up like this."
“It's fine; I'm just surprised. It's been days. You tried to pick a fight with me, and all that intense shit happened that night-" Jimin gulps. "Then you disappeared and ignored me, and now you're here.”
“You-” Yoongi pinches his eyebrows. “Come here.”
There's no one in Yoongi's apartment, and Jimin calms down. "Do you want breakfast? I'm going to make coffee."
"Sure." Jimin leaves his sneakers in the front door and follows Yoongi. "I have a new phone!" Jimin announces and sits on Yoongi's kitchen counter.
"Let me see."
Jimin hands Yoongi the phone in his palm. "Oh, it's a nice model. And you have a white phone case- that's pretty." Jimin can't look at him in the eyes, but he feels Yoongi staring at him- waiting for a reaction, but there's none. "You should get a glass screen protector, too"
"In case it falls, you just take off the broken protector, and your screen will be brand new." Jimin hums.
"I'll make sure it won't break again, but I'll get the protector either way. Thank you."
"I like electronic stuff," Yoongi lets Jimin know. "Can I put my number here?"
"Yes!" Jimin answers too quickly, and he catches Yoongi's lip curling into a smile.
"Okay." He unlocks the phone; Jimin doesn't have a password. Jimin watches Yoongi, supporting himself in the kitchen counter, typing his number, and he takes a deep breath.
"Yeah?" Yoongi gives the phone back in Jimin's palm and then returns to the coffee machine. Jimin stares at the tattoo on his back -the subject of many dreams- and then he looks away.
"Can we talk?"
"We're talking," Jimin can hear Yoongi's smile in his words.
Yoongi turns to see him, and finally, their eyes meet. "You're ready to talk?" Yoongi asks. Jimin nods, but that doesn't mean enough for Yoongi. "Yeah?"
"Yes," Jimin says out loud, and Yoongi seems content. "I want to talk about that night," Jimin murmurs. "Please."
Yoongi hands Jimin a cup of coffee and crosses his arms over his chest, facing Jimin. "Okay. Let's talk."
A sip of hot coffee, and then Jimin sighs. "Thank you for looking after us that night and for pulling me out of the pool, and I'm sorry I did something so stupid."
"All of it- getting myself in danger and trying to fight with you and overall being a hassle and-"
"You weren't a bother, Jimin. I mean, yes. Anyone who is too drunk or too high is a hassle, but- I want to take care of you. It was frustrating to see you in such a bad state."
"I wish I was better with words or actions. More gentle. I just yelled at you because I was worried, but I didn't tell you I was concerned. And I wanted to comfort you, but I- I'm sorry I wasn't able to do that." Jimin puts the cup on the table and stands up suddenly.
His heart is racing fast, and Yoongi follows him with his gaze, but he looks surprised when Jimin stands in front of him, caging him against the kitchen counter. "I felt and still feel ashamed because I got crossfaded because of you, and then it was you who took care of me."
"Because of me?"
Jimin brings a hand to Yoongi’s chest. He remembers all they said when they were about to fight and takes all the courage he can muster to say, “because I- I was jealous. I was jealous you were kissing someone else. I saw you, and I didn't know what to do."
Yoongi's eyes widen a fraction, and Jimin focuses on the cold skin under his fingertips. “Because you’ve been telling me to stop faking it, faking this hyper-masculine version of me. And you said you like people who are comfortable in their skin, and I-" Jimin's throat is dry.
"I tried because you were right when you said I faked it. So I- it wasn't- I didn't look pretty, but I asked Jiwon to do my makeup, and it was just a little thing- but I tried to look better with my clothes, and I liked how I looked, and I thought you would like it too."
"But you- you kissed this other man, and he was-" Jimin chuckles dryly. "He was so manly. Big and tall, like I'm not, and even the way he stood and the way he touched you, he was something I just pretend to be, something I'll never be, and I felt so stupid," Jimin breathes.
Words fall out his lips, and he can't stop them; they fill the room. "Because you were right later that night, I wanted to be him. I was upset that it wasn't me. It hurt that it had taken me so much courage to try to be more like myself, but you preferred what I can't be."
Jimin wants to run away like he did when Yoongi first talked to him, but he stays in his place, and Yoongi presses his forehead to Jimin’s. Unlike their fight, where Yoongi had gotten in Jimin's space and yelled this time, it’s a very soft touch. "Jimin, you- you were pretty."
Jimin's breath hitches. "Don't say you didn't look pretty. I'm so sorry I didn't say it when I saw you that night because you were. You are right now. You always are. After a fight, or under neon lights, now, and that day. You're the prettiest person I've ever seen."
Jimin doesn't escape after hearing those words; he accepts the compliment because it's not something horrible. He listens to it and basks on it because he is pretty. "But you ran away when I told you, and you kept pulling me in and then pushing me away. I didn't know what to do."
"I didn't think you had accepted your feelings yet. I felt like you needed a friend, not me, flirting with you any chance I had because I couldn't get enough of you, and I wanted more than you could give." Jimin bites his lip. "I thought the best was giving you space."
Jimin hadn't accepted his feelings yet; he hadn't come to terms with them even at the party. "I wanted to let you finish your journey on your own instead of messing with your head as I was doing, you know?"
"You were messing with my head," Jimin murmurs.
"I know. I'm sorry."
Jimin smiles faintly, and Yoongi copies him. Yoongi still presses his forehead to Jimin’s.
Jimin has been in this position with many men before, the classic intimidating posture before fighting, but this is different. "I wanted to be like Jiwon for you, but I'm not."
"She's your friend and someone who supports you, and I want to support you too, but I'm-"
It takes Jimin bravery to say it, but the closeness helps him admit something he has known for so long but didn't dare to say aloud. "You're the person I want," Jimin murmurs.
Yoongi brings a hand to Jimin's neck, and he tilts Jimin's face. "I'm glad because you're also the person I want, Jimin."
Jimin smiles, but he's still insecure. "Even if I'm not comfortable in my skin yet? And I'm not like the man at the party?"
"Jimin," Yoongi murmurs.
"I like pretty boys that dress in pretty makeup and pretty clothes." Jimin's heart races fast at the words; he likes how they sound. "And yeah, I like manly men that are big and sturdy," Yoongi chuckles. "But more than that, I like pretty boys who fight, like you-" Jimin laughs.
The silly words make Jimin feel more at ease, and once their eyes meet again, Yoongi frowns. "It's okay if you're not comfortable in your skin yet. You might think like I am, but I'm not either. I want to be more gentle and soft?" Jimin stands straight at the confession.
"So, there's still a lot to deconstruct about myself, about the way I am, about how I think men should be, just like you still have a lot to deconstruct. It's not like there's a goal when we're finally rid of all this masculinity," Yoongi laughs silently, shoulders shaking.
They look at each other. "You don't have to catch up to me," Yoongi murmurs. Jimin has always looked up to Yoongi, and his words make Jimin feel lightheaded. It makes Yoongi feel more real, next to him, "We can just go together?"
Yoongi smiles, and Jimin kisses him.
With the sunlight filtering through the window and arms securely wrapped around the other. The warmth from their skin and their bodies.
It's calm and slow. It's sweet and tender. It's what Jimin was always scared of; it's what he could never admit he wanted. It's his.
Yoongi is shocked, and he's pleased. He's happy because Jimin closed the distance between them, and now that Jimin is in his arms, Yoongi doesn't want to let go. Yoongi gets lost in Jimin's soft lips are every time he opens his mouth, how small Jimin's waist is under his hands.
It's Saturday, early in the morning, after a show, and Yoongi has been in this position before, with other people, but the last thing Yoongi wants is for Jimin to leave. He wants Jimin to stay with him for as long as he can. He wants Jimin to kiss him until he's breathless.
Jimin does; every time he takes a step back to breathe, he returns and slides his lips with Yoongi's. He holds Yoongi's neck and kisses him until Yoongi's smile doesn't let them kiss anymore. "What's so funny, hyung?" Jimin asks, and his voice is so low and vulnerable.
Yoongi smiles even wider until he has to detach himself from Jimin. "No, nothing funny. I'm just happy I get to kiss you." Jimin's eyes shine under the light painting them from the kitchen window. And Yoongi has the joy to see a small smile grow on Jimin's lips.
Yoongi tries to kiss Jimin again, but Jimin moves his face before Yoongi can reach him, and Yoongi raises an eyebrow. "I- I did something yesterday," Jimin says, and he lowers his hand from Yoongi's neck to his chest.
"Some advice you gave me a while ago," Jimin shrugs.
Yoongi tries to meet Jimin's eyes. "What advice?"
After a little beat, Jimin faces Yoongi with a calm expression. "To get it over with, my beef with Shihoo. To ease the tension," Jimin explains.
Yoongi clenches his jaw once he understands the implications. "That advice."
Jimin is looking at him, expecting a reaction, but Yoongi doesn't let jealousy get the best of him. "Your first kiss, huh?" Jimin nods. "Did you like it?"
They're quiet for a second, and then Yoongi moves a hand to Jimin's hip. "It was just a kiss?"
"We did more than a kiss."
Yoongi presses his tongue to his cheek and looks towards the obscured glass window. He understands what Shihoo meant for Jimin, but it doesn't make him less jealous. "Did he use a condom?"
"What?" Yoongi turns to find him frowning. Confused.
Their eyes meet, and Yoongi looks away from Jimin's confused gaze. "Or did you use one?" Yoongi tries again.
Jimin takes a second to answer, letting Yoongi's questions sink between them. "No- there was no reason to use condoms."
"He looks like he has an infection."
"He does," Yoongi defends himself. "He doesn't seem like someone who takes-"
"What? If it was yesterday, you wouldn't know if you caught something nasty from him."
"We didn't do anything that needed condoms. We just- rubbed one out against the other."
"Your face looks stupid right now," Jimin says.
Yoongi won't argue with that. "I feel stupid." Jimin chuckles lowly and moves backward until his back hits the kitchen table, so there's a space between their bodies. "Don't kiss him ever again." Jimin looks amused.
Yoongi has no idea what he'll say, but in the end, Jimin shrugs. "Sure, as long as you don't kiss anyone else."
"Deal." Yoongi murmurs, and they fall quiet after that. Yoongi finishes drinking his coffee and walks towards the bed. He can feel Jimin's eyes on him.
"We can take it slow," Yoongi says once he sits there. Jimin scoffs and crosses his arms over his chest once he stands by the end of the bed. Yoongi's legs are open, but Jimin doesn't stand between them; he does look at them, though. "If you want."
"If I want," Jimin repeats.
"It doesn't make you or me less of a man to take things slowly." Jimin laughs again without looking at Yoongi. "I bet you think it does."
"You think it makes us girly, don't you?"
"Don't grab more than you can take." Jimin rolls his eyes.
Yoongi sighs, he doesn't know how to be clear with Jimin, but he tries, leaning over and grabbing Jimin's hand; Jimin snaps his gaze down. "Jimin, I don't want you to do things you're not ready to do." Their eyes meet. "And we don't have to do anything you're not ready to do."
“I want to take things slow, Jimin," Yoongi says after a silence. "I care about you, okay? I care about whatever shit is happening between us." At least Jimin laughs at that. "But you have to put from your part too.”
Jimin moves until he's between Yoongi's legs. “I will.”
Yoongi doesn't know how Jimin will accept what he's hiding in the back pocket of his black jeans.
They said they were taking things slowly, but texting with Jimin during the week and looking forward to Friday to see him again, had Yoongi excited. Like he hasn't felt before.
And if Yoongi likes Jimin as much as he does, it's not a bad idea to show his feelings. On the contrary, if Yoongi wants to be sentimental, maybe he should put some effort into being romantic with Jimin.
He sees Jimin drinking by the bar, waiting for him after the show.
He looks beautiful, as usual. Wearing washed-out blue jeans and a shirt tucked in. The lower part of the shirt is blue, and it fades into white for the upper part. Under the flickering club lights, his hair looks purple, and Yoongi thinks it's charming.
"Hey," Yoongi murmurs.
Yoongi slides his hand around Jimin's waist and settles it on the small of his back. He's close enough to catch Jimin looking around before relaxing against the touch. "Hey."
"Yeah." The club lights flash between purple and hot pink, and Yoongi leans closer to Jimin.
It's tricky to bring it up, but Yoongi chuckles and whispers against Jimin's ear. "I got you a gift." He doesn't see it, but he feels Jimin's smile.
"I mean, I saw it some weeks ago, and I thought of you, and now I'm allowed to give you gifts, right?"
When Yoongi takes a step back, he sees Jimin's face under the pink lights from the club, and he swears his cheeks are flushed, but Yoongi can't know for sure. "Yes, I think you can do that. What is it?" Jimin gazes down and grabs his beer. "Weed?"
Yoongi laughs. "Nah."
Jimin hums calmly, but his eyes widen when Yoongi grabs his hand and helps him open it. Yoongi takes the gift from his back pocket and presses it to Jimin's open palm softly- and Jimin's expression changes when he feels what it is. From curiousness to endearment to- shock.
"It's pretty," Jimin murmurs. He leaves his beer in Yoongi's hand and then trails his fingers over the delicate chain and then taps the daisy pendant. The pink lights flicker on his face.
"Yeah." Yoongi feels nervous, and he takes a step closer. "Do you like it?"
Jimin is quiet. Yoongi bites on his lower lip. "I saw it at work, and- they had other ones too, but I thought this one would look good on you-" Jimin doesn't answer, but he lifts the chain and circles it around his neck, trying it on and taking a minute to clasp it.
"Do you need help?" Yoongi asks.
Jimin shakes his head. "I've helped Jiwon with her necklaces a lot-" The club lights blink from purple to pink. Jimin lets go once it's secure around his neck. "How do I look?"
Yoongi smiles. "It suits you."
"Thank you. I like it."
His voice is a weak whisper, and the club music is loud. Yoongi leans closer. "Yeah?"
"I-" Jimin laughs as if he just remembered something funny, and then he bites his lower lip. "I don't know how you knew, but umh- Jiwon has flower earrings, and I've always liked them a lot."
"I've always liked how delicate chains like this look on Jiwon, too," Jimin admits while playing with the necklace. Yoongi tries to stare into his eyes, but Jimin keeps avoiding him. "I'd sometimes check her out, not sexually but because I wanted to wear stuff like that too."
Yoongi smiles to himself and leaves the beer on the bar so he can hold Jimin's hips with both hands and bring him closer. "Of course, I'd never admitted that myself," Jimin laughs lowly. "But yeah, it made me feel silly because I thought stuff like this would look bad on me."
"Why? Because it's girly?" Yoongi teases, but Jimin doesn't roll his eyes; he only nods. The song at the club resonates loudly on Yoongi's chest.
"Yeah, I rejected all that." Yoongi nods. "I thought I should like feminine women, not envy them," Jimin laughs to himself.
Yoongi understands what Jimin is saying, and a lot about him starts making more sense as he talks. "It was umh- it shocked me when I met the tattoo artist, the boy."
"Jungkook." Jimin nods.
"I like his style," Jimin admits. "I think I want something like that."
Yoongi moves to whisper against Jimin's neck. "I think you'd look good with a skirt."
"Too much," Jimin mumbles, and Yoongi nods, stepping away. "I think the daisy is a good start. Thank you for the gift." Yoongi wants to kiss Jimin so bad, but he won't in front of people.
"Let's go backstage." Jimin nods.
They don't reach the dressing room because they start kissing in the hallway leading to the exit door. Jimin's back pressed to the wall as Yoongi kisses him hungrily. Muffled music coming from far away and the exit sign over their heads.
"Those are new," Yoongi points out when he opens the door. He's talking about Jimin's pants. Black and tighter than anything Jimin would wear in the past.
"Yes." Jimin can feel Yoongi checking him out as he walks inside Yoongi's apartment, and it makes Jimin smirk.
He enjoys the sensation, as much as he had enjoyed it before when Yoongi would look at him with want, but now Jimin plays more with it, sitting on Yoongi's bed with his legs crossed. "I like it."
"Thank you." Jimin thinks Yoongi looks good, too, but he doesn't say anything.
"Where are we going?" Yoongi walks to the bathroom, and he leaves the door open, so Jimin can see him trying on earrings. Yoongi has three piercing holes on his ears, and he changes his usual small hoop earrings for one with dangling chains. It's small, and it suits him.
"To a gay club," Yoongi answers.
Jimin gulps. "Huh?"
"I mean- unless you don't want to, and we can go somewhere else since you dressed up as I told you to do," Yoongi shrugs. Jimin looks away. "But I thought it could be fun."
"It could be fun," Jimin agrees in a murmur.
"They're fun," Yoongi stares at his mirror reflection, and when he likes what he sees, he sprinkles cologne on his neck. Jimin looks at him and thinks of pressing his face to Yoongi's skin because he always smells good -even with the ever-present faint scent of cigarette on him-.
Jimin stands up and walks to the bathroom. He can see his reflection in the mirror, next to Yoongi, and he catches Yoongi's eyebrow raise in the mirror. "But you look good; you can't go looking like that," Jimin says. And then gulps.
However, Yoongi laughs. "Thank you?"
Jimin bites his lower lip. "We gotta work on those compliments, Jimin."
"Oh God," Jimin looks away, but before he knows it, Yoongi grabs his chin, holding him between his pointer finger and thumb, and he keeps him in place to lean in for a quick peck. Jimin closes his eyes.
And he opens them when he feels Yoongi smiling against his lips. "Let's go," Jimin says, lips brushing with Yoongi's, but before he can step away, Yoongi lifts his other hand to Jimin's back, just over his jeans.
"Another kiss?" Yoongi whispers.
Jimin closes the distance.
Jimin gets lost in Yoongi's cologne, in the slide of lips and the hand holding his face, and the hand on his back. Yoongi kisses him one last time before moving to Jimin's neck, and Jimin gives him space, his gaze falling on the mirror where he can see their bodies together.
Yoongi's lips against his neck. Yoongi's flat stomach and flat chest, pressing to Jimin's chest. Yoongi's arm, the muscle flexed under a tight black shirt. Jimin sees his expression in the mirror when Yoongi licks his skin, and he shuts his eyes.
Yoongi is scary and thrilling.
He makes Jimin feel things that scare him, but that also makes his skin tingle. "Okay, let's go," Jimin tries again. Yoongi stops kissing and just nods against Jimin's neck. He lets Jimin step away, but before Jimin walks out of the bathroom, Yoongi wraps him in a back hug.
"You're wearing the necklace." When Yoongi talks, his chest rumbles, and Jimin can feel it.
"Mmh. It makes me feel-" Jimin takes a long moment to say it because it's stupid, but then he chuckles. "It makes me feel pretty," he says instead of 'you make me feel pretty.'
But Yoongi seems to get it, and he kisses Jimin's nape once before stepping away. The moment he does, Jimin misses his warmth against his body, but he doesn't say anything. Doesn't want to seem clingy nor needy, even if Yoongi wouldn't mind. "I'm glad."
Jimin is glad too.
Once Jimin started using the words that define him more precisely - bisexual, pretty-, once he accepted there's a feminine side of him he likes as much as his manly side, he's been feeling better and better. But he still feels inadequate when they walk into the gay club.
The club is different from the places where Yoongi raps. Jimin sees two girls kissing as soon as they walk inside, and he has to look away and stay close to Yoongi. In a way, he feels like an impostor. As if it's not fair for him to be here because he didn't know sooner.
It also feels like too much, as if the people around him know something Jimin doesn't, and Jimin won't ever know what it is, and he'll never be like them. Like Jungkook or Nana. He feels that.
"Jimin, wanna dance, or do you wanna drink first?" Yoongi asks close to his ear.
"Drink!" Jimin speaks over the loud music.
Yoongi nods, and he moves between bodies to reach the bar. Yoongi takes distance enough, so they can't talk, but he can still check on Jimin if he looks over his shoulder. Jimin can take care of himself, but he likes the gesture.
But it's not Yoongi who has to look after Jimin; it's the other way round. Because Jimin sees a man approaching Yoongi -a big man, with the same type as the man who Yoongi kissed that night-. From some meters away, between people, Jimin watches the quick interaction.
A small impulse in the back of his head tells Jimin to come closer and put an arm around Yoongi when the man leans into Yoongi's space, but Jimin stays unmoving. Unsure what to do and confused as to what he should feel -other than jealousy spreading through his body-.
Jimin doesn't know how different the situation is to a stranger hitting on his date -when his dates were girls-, he knows Yoongi doesn't need Jimin to come over even if he looks a little pissed -or at least Jimin thinks Yoongi looks upset when the man turns to see Jimin-.
Jimin doesn't want to be confrontational, mainly because most of his confrontations with men have turned into fights in the past. But he still walks closer, moving between bodies and smiling when he supports himself on the bar next to Yoongi.
Yoongi smiles when he sees him.
Jimin tries his best to ignore the man standing next to Yoongi and instead asks what did Yoongi order. "Beer, the one you like," Yoongi answers, eyes on Jimin's face, and Jimin catches the man stepping away.
Jimin leans closer to Yoongi. "What the fuck?" Yoongi chuckles.
Jimin tries to look the way the men went, but he doesn't see him anymore, and he returns his attention to Yoongi. "What the fuck?" Jimin repeats.
"I'm just glad no one hit on you, instead." The bartender leaves two beers in front of them- "Thanks," Yoongi nods.
Yoongi hands him his beer and gestures him to walk to a corner where there are no people. "Why?"
"I don't know how I would have reacted," Yoongi explains before sipping from his beer and leaving his hand on Jimin's back. "Or worse. I don' know how you would have reacted."
"I hope you wouldn't react with a punch," Yoongi looks at Jimin with a teasing smirk.
"Hyung." The music is loud, but when they reach the wall, they're so close Jimin doesn't need to yell his answers.
"Why do you look so shocked? It was just some guy hitting on me."
Jimin takes a long gulp of his beer before pressing the back of his head to the wall. "I don't like other men hitting on you." Yoongi smiles softly and supports his elbow on the wall to look at Jimin. "I don't want other men to hit on you. I told you, you look too good."
"Nothing I can do about my pretty face, Jimin," Yoongi doesn't stop smiling, as if he's enjoying this too much.
"Mmh, your face that attracts the kind of men that make me-" Jimin stops himself from saying it out loud. The kind of men that make him insecure. But Yoongi knows.
"That makes you what?" Yoongi asks.
"Hyung," Jimin doesn't want to say it. But Yoongi sighs and takes a step closer to Jimin, so he's getting on his space while Jimin's back is pressed to the wall.
"What bothers you exactly, Jimin?" Yoongi whispers.
"I don't know."
Yoongi keeps looking at him, and he's always willing to listen, and he has experienced more than Jimin, so Jimin breathes out and tries to explain. "Manly men, and feminine men, and just the idea of what entails both of those things and-"
"Gender bothers you," Yoongi chuckles.
Jimin thinks it sounds stupid, but at the same time, he believes that's the only word that makes sense. "I mean- yeah. It bothers me that now that I'm feeling prettier," Jimin tries. "I feel like I can't be as rough as I was before."
"But you can be," Yoongi murmurs.
"Sure, but then I see guys like that- like the one hitting on you or the one who kissed you that night, and they're manly. They're not like me, so how am I supposed to act?"
"Whatever way you want to act?" Yoongi laughs. "Like- what about me? Am I like those guys?"
"You're closer to them than I am." Yoongi chuckles silently, shoulders shaking. Jimin can see people dancing behind them, but he focuses on Yoongi's smile.
"No, baby-" Jimin gulps at the pet name, but he lets it slip. "Those are things you've made up in your head."
"To those guys, I'm very far from them; that's why some of them hit on me." Jimin is still thinking about Yoongi calling him 'baby,' but he tries to pay attention.
"Okay, because manly men like feminine men, right?"
"Well, we all like cock." Jimin rolls his eyes at Yoongi.
"I'm sorry, it's a joke. Not every gay man has to like cock."
Yoongi gets close to Jimin. "Okay, I'll try to share what I think, and maybe that can help you figure out whatever is bothering you." Jimin hums. "So gender expression affects gay relationships."
“And between gay people, there’s also a stigma that comes with masculinity and femininity. And all that crap that has you losing your mind.”
Jimin nods. “In what sense?”
“Some more traditionally manly men tend to look down on more feminine men. Like you did in the past."
"They know they're gay, unlike you in the past. But just because they're gay doesn't mean they forget the gender structures they've believed all their life." Jimin pays attention to that. "So they're gay, but they're still trapped in toxic manly shit. Like you, in the past."
Yoongi looks away after Jimin doesn't answer. “Figuring out you're gay doesn't make gender easier. Even in a place like this, where we should feel safe, there’s discrimination, even between the gay community. And there are stereotypes and roles and shitty stuff,” he chuckles.
"So, yeah- I'm probably ranting because I'm pissed that some dude tried to hit on me even when I told him I'm here with my boyfriend, and he said stupid stuff," Yoongi goes on, and the label leaves Jimin's breathless. "But that shit happens with those manly men you envy."
"So, fuck that they make you insecure. You shouldn't feel insecure about them." Jimin looks into Yoongi's intense gaze. "But also, I understand that you are because just because you've defined your sexuality, it doesn't mean you've figured out everything there is about gender."
Yoongi is not rapping about sex or violence, as he does onstage. But Jimin has never seen his pretty lips say fiercer words, and Jimin has never been so drawn to him before. "I think that helps a little, hyung."
"I'm here to help, Jimin ah," Yoongi smiles at him.
"And to kiss your boyfriend, too?" Jimin murmurs.
Yoongi laughs prettily, pink cheeks under neon lights. So unlike Gloss onstage but a lot more charming in Jimin's eyes. "If he wants to."
If someone sees them kiss in the corner of the club, Jimin doesn't really mind.
Jimin lies on Yoongi's bed, eyes on the curtains moving because Yoongi never closes the windows. They came over to Yoongi's apartment after Yoongi's show because Jimin didn't want to return home. The truth is Jimin wanted to spend more time with Yoongi, but he couldn't say it.
He guesses he could tell that kind of feelings to Yoongi, but it's hard for Jimin to say romantic comments out loud. He doesn't feel too bad about it, though, because Yoongi said he also has those problems.
The only difference is that Yoongi does try to be more affectionate.
Jimin thinks he would like to be more affectionate too, but it's not easy for him. "Are you going to sleep here, Jimin?" Jimin turns towards the bathroom door. Yoongi stands there, but Jimin can't see his expression since it's so dark. There are no lights in the apartment.
Only the light from the bathroom outlines Yoongi's back but makes it harder to see Yoongi's face. "Can I?"
"Sure," Yoongi has a towel in his hands, drying his hands slowly as he watches Jimin on his bed. Yoongi leaves the towel and turns off the light from the bathroom.
With the lights off, a dark night blue settles in the apartment. But it's not cold because Yoongi climbs on the bed next to Jimin and cups Jimin's face before leaning down for a kiss. Jimin closes his eyes and slides his lips against Yoongi's as slowly as he can.
They continue to kiss, and when Yoongi detaches himself to breathe, he presses his forehead to Jimin's, but then he tsks, and Jimin frowns. "Jimin ah, do you sleep with your makeup on?" Yoongi asks suddenly. He moves a thumb to Jimin's eyelids, making Jimin close one eye.
"Yeah," Jimin murmurs.
"I think that's not a good idea," Yoongi says. Jimin sees him with one eye. "You're supposed to take it off."
"I take it off when I shower."
"I'm pretty sure that's not a good idea, Jimin," Yoongi continues. He lets go, and Jimin blinks with both eyes.
"It doesn't matter; I don't wear makeup that often either way." Yoongi gets comfortable in the bed, and Jimin follows him with his gaze.
"I've always said that you have to take care of your face," Yoongi jokes. "Remove your makeup before going to bed and all that stuff."
Jimin rolls his eyes and squirms until he stares at the ceiling, away from Yoongi. "It's not such a big deal."
"I think that getting into fights and being cruel with our skin are almost equally bad. Sure, one is more dangerous, but you get me. It's about caring for your body."
Jimin glares at Yoongi, but Yoongi is looking at the ceiling too. "Different ways of being harmful to ourselves."
"Says the man that smokes ten cigarettes in an hour," Jimin bites. Yoongi doesn't take it the wrong way, though; he just laughs.
"You're right with that one."
"If you smoke less, I'll remove my makeup before going to bed," Jimin decides, and he looks at the curtains again, moving with the wind.
Jimin tenses when he feels Yoongi's fingers against his cheeks. "Taking care of me?"
"You started," Jimin mumbles after biting his lower lip.
Yoongi stops touching Jimin's face and mumbles something about sleeping for a bit. Yoongi and Jimin are trying to say they want to take care of each other, but the conversation ended up being whatever that was. Why is it so scary for Jimin to say out loud what he feels?
Everything Yoongi makes him feel is scary. Jimin twists in bed and throws his arm around Yoongi's waist, settling in a strange hug. "Jimin? Baby?"
Jimin takes a deep breath, his heart racing at the pet name. "Hyung," Jimin murmurs against Yoongi's chest -not meeting his eyes-.
Yoongi lowers his hand to Jimin's waist, and it feels right. As good as it felt when Yoongi helped him stand up after a fight outside the bar. "I like that you look after me," Jimin admits that scary yet tingly sensation. "And I want you to take care of me more." Yoongi tenses.
Jimin feels like he caught Yoongi off guard because Yoongi, who always has something to say and argue, keeps quiet. He doesn't ask Jimin to meet his gaze, and he doesn't ask Jimin for more. He only leans close enough to leave a kiss on Jimin's head. Tender and soft.
With Yoongi, Jimin has come to notice, he doesn't pay attention to time or place. He barely pays attention to his surroundings because he's more focused on Yoongi's fingers playing with the hem of his shirt. He focuses only on lips against his ear, murmuring. On his cologne.
He lets himself get lost in a slide of lips, he whispers sweet words to Yoongi's lips when he feels brave enough -which is not often, but it's more than before-.
He doesn't need to punch or pull to feel a man's hand on his body. He doesn't need to bleed nor rage.
Jimin is happier.
Jimin is fixing his makeup in the bathroom. The blue LED lights around the mirror paint his face. The same way it had done when Jimin was bleeding after an old fight with ice on his face. "Jungkook taught me how to do this, but I haven't got it right yet," Jimin murmurs.
"Let me see," Yoongi says from the tattered leather couch. He leaves his phone aside, where Yoongi was typing lyrics ideas because he wants to pay attention when Jimin walks into the dressing room. Jimin sits on his knees, on the couch, facing Yoongi.
"It looks nice."
"It looks better on Jungkook," Jimin sighs. Before he brings a finger to his eyelids, Yoongi stops him, wrapping his hand around Jimin's wrist. Like he had done before when they fought, but this time he touches Jimin as gently as he can.
"But you just learned how to do it."
"Each time you do it, you'll practice, and then it'll be easier." The lightbulb backstage doesn't spin. It makes Jimin's skin glow- unscratched, unbruised.
Jimin frowns. "Why is applying eyeliner so difficult?"
"But it makes you look pretty," Yoongi murmurs after laughing.
Jimin meets Yoongi's gaze, and a satisfied smile grows on his lips. "It does make me prettier. That's why I like it," Jimin says. "Purple eyeshadow is better than bruises, right?" Jimin jokes, getting on Yoongi's space. Yoongi shakes his head, amused, and kisses Jimin calmly.
People dance and sweat under blue, purple, and pink lights in the club. The hallway leading backdoors is empty except for the exit neon sign. It rains outside the club, and the water cleans the blood from someone else's fight—Jimin and Yoongi share a gentle kiss backstage.
- the end -