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cloud ☁︎

Jan 26, 2022
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childhood friends to lovers AU where jimin from busan gets a penpal in daegu named min yoongi

it’s part of a regional penpal programme encouraged by the school actually. jimin initiates contact by sending one letter first, and then two, but when he never gets a reply he starts to wonder if his penpal still hasn’t memorized his alphabet at the wise old age of 8
his first letter goes along the lines of, “dear min yoongi, hello i am park jimin! i am exzited to be your new friend. first of all i like color blue and chocolate ice cream. if you see this leter tell me whats yuor favourite color amd desert is also. bye bye, have a nice day!”
his second letter: “daer min yoongi, hello again i am park jimin from busan elementary school. you never replyed my 1st leter so here is one more. ok so i have a mother a father, a baby brother who is 3 and my grandfather is a fisherman. can i ask how big is your family?”
when the 2nd letter goes unanswered yet again, jimin throws a tantrum and pouts all throughout class because how come his classmates have such nice penpals, yet he can’t even hear back from his just once? he vows never to write again! if min yoongi doesn’t wanna be friends, OK!
but 2 weeks later after he gets hurt during PE, jimin is made to sit out during sports day so he’s left to his own devices by the watch stands. he takes out a notepad and kills time by writing, painstakingly, with his left hand. this, undoubtedly, is the hardest thing he’s done.
“hel lo, min yoooogi, hi penpal pls dont i̶g̶n̶o̶r̶r̶ ignore me again becos i am sad. i have an owwie ok? i s̶p̶r̶e̶y̶ sprayned my hand so im using left today. so hard to do. are you OK? can you raed my other letterz? have a nice day. byebye! sad friend park jimin”
jimin gives up when he doesn’t hear back from after a few more days. in his 8 years of life, he has never been so brutally rejected. when he tells his harabeoji, the old man laughs and ruffles his hair. “stormier seas will come.” “okay,” says jimin, “but we’re on land!”
so it comes as a total surprise when, the next day, his eomma quietly slips into his room while jimin is doing homework and slides a pristine white envelope across his kiddy desk. jimin blinks down at it. “from your friend,” says eomma. jimin gasps and pounces on the envelope.
he gingerly opens the flap, noting how the letter smells like gummy bears, and reads: “hello, yes, my name is min yoongi. my favorite color is grey and i like to eat dalgona candy. sorry i am writing this so late, my family moved downtown. if you hate me, don’t reply, it’s OK.”
“p.s sorry about the owwie. i sprained my ankle last year. drink medicine, did your eomma kiss it yet? i hope you are not sad. bye bye! min yoongi.”
jimin decides he hates min yoongi so he doesn’t reply for two whole, gruelling days. it definitely has nothing to do with the fact that he can’t write with his right hand yet. it also has nothing to do with the fact that now that min yoongi is /real/, jimin feels shy to write.
“daer mean yoongi, i hate you— jimin tosses the paper into the bin. he reads min yoongi’s letter over & over and realizes how they spell some words differently. he decides to copy some of the boy’s spelling: “dear min yoongi, is your new house big? do you have your own room?”
“dear park jimin, good afternoon. i have a room with my hyung, and i sleep on the top bunk bed because i am lighter. our house is very big, it has an upstairs. i found a lizard egg in the closet so we are trying to hatch it. i also have a mother and father. friend, min yoongi”
over the course of the following weeks, jimin learns some basic facts about his daegu penpal: - he likes orange juice - he doesn’t like the sun - he wants a bike - he likes to play nintendogs - he is older, or at least jimin thinks so. “dear min yoongi, are you my hyung?”
“dear park jimin, how old are you? the lizard egg disappeared but i saw a tortoise at the pond near our house. eomma says we can’t bring it in, so the tortoise will stay at the pond. it’s mine now. also you like dooly right? i have an extra dooly notebook and ruler. want it?”
“dear min yoongi, i dont like dooly anymore! i like pokemon now. bulbasor and charmenderr are good. the notebook and ruler? you can give them away to the cherrity. eomma says the cherrity is good. i am 8. does your tortoise have a name yet?” your friend also, park jiminie
“dear park jimin, the tortoise is called Bulbasaur. p.s i am 10 years old. of course i am your hyung. what else would i be, your oppa? friend, yoongi”
jimin reads the afterthought note at the bottom of the paper and falls over himself, giggling. he clutches yoongi’s letter to his chest and snickers while rolling on his room’s floor. /oppa!/ what a thought! this min yoongi penpal of him is funnier than the bananas in pyjamas!
“dear yoongi hyung, you have the best jokes! today during art class we made a bookmark. so i drew my laughing face so you know what i look like when i read your letters. what does your face look like? next time i will draw you too. your friend, park jiminie”
“dear park jiminie, here is my self-portrait. i’m not as good as you at drawing. your friend, min yoongi hyung”
“dear yoongi hyung, wow yes the drawing is ugly, but its OK! so you look like Ditto uwah.ㅋㅋㅋ hyung this week i am confused. my classmate hyeorin gave me her bungeo-ppang in recess. i tried to pay her but she just gave it to me for free. she is so nice. your friend, jiminie”
“dear jiminie, Ditto? so funny ㅋㅋㅋ our halmeoni says our hyung looks like both of parents but i dont. our eomma told me once, she found me under a bridge thats why i dont look like them. why are you confused with hyeorin’s gift? is she a friend? friend, min yoongi hyung”
jimin thinks long and hard about how to reply. his eomma once told him that everyone in his classroom is his friend, but now that he’s become frequent penpals with min yoongi from daegu, he is beginning to wonder if the same definitions still apply. they’re not classmates, but+
jimin still knows more about min yoongi than he knows about the rest of his classmates. sure, he knows that yoo hyeorin is the quiet girl who sits at the front of class, but that’s it. “dear yoongi hyung, you dont understand, she’s a classmate. but you are my FRIEND. jiminie”
he posts the letter in the morning on the way to school, but immediately sends a follow-up letter that afternoon since he has many burning questions. “dear yoongi hyung, what do you want to be when you grow up? i’m going to be a firefighter and save cats. your friend, jiminie”
“dear jiminie, when i grow up i will become a pianist. our eomma makes me go to piano classes every week. fun! i will write music and play for you someday. do you like piano music? p.s i practiced writing your name with calligraphy today, so look. friend, min yoongi hyung”
jimin has been writing to his penpal on and off for two years now. after the frenzy of newfound friendship during the first few months, his and yoongi’s conversations eventually settled to an easy, fixed flow that was neither dry nor overzealous. jimin loves writing to the boy.
it’s not like they talk every week. the back and forth of their letters grow less frequent during exam season, and during holidays their families tend to want to get away from korea. jimin’s family, in particular, enjoys overseas trips, so he’s always hungry to hear from yoongi.
min yoongi is a delightful storyteller whose sharp wit and snark only seems to grow with time. jimin looks forward to his friend’s long letters about family gatherings the most—there was one about chuseok, and another about a disastrous christmas weekend that yoongi hated.
today, though, the letter that’s waiting at jimin’s study desk is short: “jiminie, Bulbasaur is dead. we’re burying him tonight. yoongi hyung.”
(in grief, jimin spends the evening in a tearful, sullen tantrum, shoulders hunched as he drags his feet all around their house. when his eomma asks what’s wrong, he bursts into tears and buries his face in her lap, unable to put a word to the thunderstorm between his ribs.)
gonna sleep for now :] should this be continued? it’ll probably last the whole week, as a short AU.
“dear sad yoongi hyung, super duper sorry about Bulbasaur. I loved Bulbasaur. I never met him but I will talk to his ghost when I go to heaven someday. eomma went to a garden yesterday and gave me seeds to grow but i think you need it more. cheer up hyung! your friend jiminie”
“dear jiminie, We buried Bulbasaur in our backyard. And then I planted your seeds in a pot. It’s funny how we can’t plant bodies because they’re dead, but we can’t bury seeds because they are alive. Is this your first gift? Thanks. What should I name it? yoongi hyung”
“Bulbasaur’s funeral was today,” says jimin the moment he slides into his seat at the dinner table. a confused silence falls. “who’s Bulbasaur, jiminie?” asks his dad. “oh sweetie, i’m so sorry,” his mom says, hugging jimin’s head to her chest. “here, have more chicken.”
the grieving period for pets varies from child to child. jimin has always felt deeply for all things in the world, so he sniffles when he asks the same thing his penpal wrote— “how come we can only bury dead things but we must plant alive things?” his parents exchange a look.
“well, that’s your cue, yeobo,” says his dad before shoving a mouthful of rice into his mouth. jimin’s mom hums, then strokes the top of his head. “you’ll understand when you’re a big boy.” “but i’m already a big boy. i’m 10, eomma!” his mother laughs. “my cheeky boy.”
jimin puffs out his cheeks stubbornly and refuses to pick up his spoon. his mother sighs and tweaks his nose between her index and forefinger knuckles. “well, it’s a matter of the words you pick. if you plant something, you expect it to grow. if you bury something, it decays.”
jimin scratches his head. “but you’re still just putting things underground?” “it’s a nuance, jimin,” his dad chimes in. “you’ll get it someday. when you’re older.” “okay.” jimin decides he will—he MUST—understand this concept by his next birthday. in the meantime, he answers:
“dear yoongi hyung who i hope isnt sad anymore, my parents taught me a new-once. if you plant something, you can expect it to grow. but if you bury it, bye bye it will rot. it’s a new-once. you can name the seeds anything, but my nickname is mimi hahaha :D your friend jimin”
the reply comes a week later: “dear jiminie (mimi?), I put them in a temporary pot. It’s name is the Mimi Pot. Since they are planted, not buried, they should grow well, right?” I am not sad anymore but I did start middle school on Monday. Here is my Mimi Pot. yoongi hyung”
dear yoongi hyung, mimi pot is cute! what is middle school like? what color is your uniform? congratulations for becoming more grown up~ i’ll be in middle school soon! 2 more years! your friend who also wants to be in middle school tomorrow, jimin”
dear jimin, I am keeping a close eye on mimi pot, but some of them didn’t grow and I realized you sent me dried marigolds? Are they marigolds?? Middle school is noisy. Everyone has a crush… do you have one? Uniform? Here is a picture from the school website. yoongi hyung”
“dear yoongi hyung, secret. you need to grow the seeds to find out! yes!! i have a crush on all the nice people in my class. i have a crush on minseo, yoojin, hana, gikwang, yeji and hyunsoo. i have crushes. i have many. the uniform looks so cool! your friend jimin”
dear mimi, how could that be? ㅋㅋㅋ in my school, people only have one crush, and they confess during recess if you give your nametags. if you have a crush on all nice people, then does that make me a crush too? don’t run out of envelopes, mimi. your laughing hyung yoongi”
dear yoongi hyung, HUH!!!!! I DON’T HAVE A CRUSH ON YOU, YOU’RE MY FRIEND!!!!!! I WOULD NEVER!!!!! your not-laughing friend jimin”
“dear jimin, ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ right yoongi hyung”
“hey jimin, I was just teasing. Are you angry with me? if you are, that’s okay. if you hate me, don’t reply. I’ll write you an apology song. this week, the Mimi pot grew an inch. Isn’t that really fast? Here’s some seeds for you, too. Plant it, maybe? worried, yoongi hyung”
that week, jimin’s parents get into a huge fight that ends up with his dad storming out and disappearing for three days. he doesn’t want to bother his eomma, whose eyes are red each time she calls him for dinner, so he can’t ask her to help him plant the seeds from yoongi.
he’s in no mood to write either, so he spends most afternoons hanging from the playground’s monkey bars with their neighbor’s son, jungkook. jungkook always has a sticky face when he eats ice cream but he’s more interested in playing catch than talking, which is what jimin needs.
“i brought you an extra towel today,” jimin says. “you slather ice cream instead of slurping.” “okay, thanks!” jungkook says, then frowns at jimin. “but at least i don’t /bite/ ice cream all weird like you, hyung. be better!” jimin gawks at jungkook’s running figure.
“hi yoongi hyung, i don’t hate you. i am sad. i want to hide under my blanky and sleep, because i am sad. i didn’t plant the seeds yet. i am too deprezed. p.s i made a new friend. his name is jungkook and he always has sticky fingers. but he can jump high and runs fast! mimi”
“dear my mimi, I’m so happy you answered my last letter! Good thing, because I dunno how to apology songs really ㅋㅋㅋ You can plant the seeds anytime. What will you name them when they grow, though? p.s Jungkook sounds like one of my classmates, Taehyung. your yoongi hyung”
“dear my mimi, p.p.s what made you sad? is someone bullying you? I’ll beat ‘em up your yoongi hyung”
For the first time in his 10 (and a half) years of life, Jimin’s heart thumps extra hard.
“to my yoongi hyung, no need to beat anyone!! unless you can punch me, because I made myself sad. i dunno why i’m sad. haha! tell me a nice joke? p.s jungkook caught a beetle and tied it to a string this afternoon. it flew around until we set it free. that was fun. your mimi”
What jimin does as his optimal solution is this: he rifles through yoongi’s past letters, pulls out the one containing his doodled self-portrait, and pins it to his dresser mirror. jimin stares and stares and wonders why he likes that doodle so much.
“to my depressed mimi, don’t be sad. eat the food you like and listen to some of your favorite songs to cheer up. who’s your favorite singer? i like epik high’s songs. p.s jungkook is cool. tell him i said hi? your yoongi hyung.”
“how do you know you have a crush on someone?” jimin asks while sucking on a popsicle the next afternoon, swinging next to jungkook at the playground. jungkook shrugs. “i don’t have crushes. i just crush.” “crush what?“ “the villains.” jimin nods, because that makes sense.
he decides to rephrase the question. “how do you know you like someone?” jungkook shrugs again. “i like you. you always wipe my mouth.” “but do you want to hug me?” jungkook gapes at him, horrified. it’s the answer jimin needs. he pushes off the swing. “my penpal says hi.”
“to yoongi hyung, what if i have a crush on you? your mimi”
Obviously, Jimin does not send THAT one.
“to my funny yoongi hyung, i am planting something new. your mimi”
“dear my mimi, Really? What kind of plant is it? Where? your yoongi hyung”
“to yoongi hyung, secret!! secret garden in a secret place. i will tell you a not-secret. my favorite singers! I really like Super Junior. i listen to them a lot, music is so good! today in class, our Teacher asked who our favorite superheroes are. Who is hyung’s? your mimi”
hey there my mimi, I like Batman. He has nice clothes, is rich and has a cool car. What about you? Today in my class, we had to write our bucket list for our future selves. I didn’t really know what to write. What do you want to do when you are 20 years old? your yoongi hyung”
“to my Batman hyung, I like jack jack from the incredibles! but did you know you are my hero, too? well my appa is my hero #1, but he doesn’t come home a lot lately because of work. when i’m 20, i want to eat cake with you. i will have more money by then. your excited mimi”
“dear my mimi, Okay. Let’s do that. Things To Do When Min Yoongi is 20: - eat cake with Jimin - go to the beach - cook pasta - drink coffee - go to a BTZ concert - go to college in Seoul - work part-time! What do you think? It feels incomplete… your clueless yoongi hyung”
“dear my Batman hyung, It’s perfect. I’ll think and write one, too! Exams are coming soon again. Talk to you soon? your favorite mimi”
“dear my best friend, ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ what makes you think you are my favorite? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ Just joking. Talk soon. Until the next letter! love, your yoongi hyung”
Jimin genuinely enjoys the grit of studying and acing exams (except for history) so he throws himself into the rigor of learning, holing up in his room until his answers correctly match the answer key printed on the back of his workbooks. He turns 11 without word from Yoongi.
Which is fine and expected. Jimin is more than used to it by now. After years of correspondence, the two of them have fallen into the unspoken understanding that there will eventually be periods of silence from each other, especially during exams. Yoongi is steady like that.
Still, that doesn’t mean Jimin isn’t looking forward to writing his old friend again as soon as possible. On the last day of his finals, just as the school lets out for the winter holidays, Jimin sends a new letter gushing about how confident he about his upcoming grades.
“dear my yoongi hyung, GUESS WHAT MY EXAMS ENDED TODAY! I can send you letters again, but maybe not for long? My family plans to visit Gangwon for skiing next week. I wish you could come!! your very happy mimi”
he waits approximately 4 days because it does take time to hear back from yoongi sometimes, but on the fifth day jimin supposes he can send another letter, just to alert his friend. “my superhero hyung, i forgot to tell you that i can’t plant the seeds since it’s winter! mimi”
two days later sees jimin rummaging through their family’s mailbox, and then giving a whoop of joy when he finds a baby blue letter addressed to him. “heya park jimin, that’s really cool. have fun at the ski resort! takes many pictures and send ‘em over. cheers, min yoongi”
jimin reads the letter twice, thrice and then rubs his eyes. he wonders why his tummy feels like it’s being squeezed. something feels odd. quickly, he writes back— “dear my yoongi hyung, hello!! how was your exams? does your family have any plans for the holidays? your mimi”
he waits for the next letter on jittery toes, but not out of joyful anticipation. for the first time since they’ve started writing each other, jimin finds himself waiting with an anxious edge. there’s a panic in him — a desperate need to read yoongi’s warm sign-off again.
so when yoongi’s letter arrives after a week, jimin quickly in rips the envelope— “what’s up Jimin, Exams went smoothly, thanks to classmates who studied with me. Fingers crossed I’ll cruise by just fine. For the holidays I’ll mostly hang out with my girlfriend. Yoongi hyung”
“dear hyung, WOW I DIDN’T KNOW YOU HAVE A GIRLFRIEND ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ THAT IS SO AMAZING ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ WOW! WHAT IS HER NAME? DID SHE CONFESS TO YOU? Tell me everything haha! park jimin”
“my penpal has a /girlfriend/,” jimin announces in disgust while hanging upside down from the monkey bars. younger kids in the playground stare at him like he’s too old for this, but he ignores it. “oh,” jungkook says. “is she nice?” “dunno.” “i don’t like girls.” “me, too.”
“Yo Jimin, Idk it happened randomly really. I’m part of a night study group and she sits at our table. Just before exams, dude, she asked to meet me outside the hall. I was nervous! Then she took out her nametag to give me. We’re dating now I guess. Her name’s Sooha. Hyung.”
“her name’s Sooha,” jimin reports at the playground, teary-eyed. jungkook stops drawing faces into the sandbox when he hears jimin sniffling. frowning, jungkook says, “let’s use FLAMES.” he writes crosses on the sand: YOONGI SOOHA “count the leftover letters,” says jungkook.
jimin counts 7. according to the rule of FLAMES, therefore, yoongi and sooha are fated to be friends, and friends only. jungkook nods solemnly. “my parents started out as friends too, then they got married.” at that, jimin flops on his butt and starts wailing on the sandbox.
Jimin decides not to reply for a few days, if only to gather his wits and come up with a proper game plan. It’s not that he doesn’t like the idea of Yoongi having a girlfriend — he’s quite THRILLED; he just needs to make sure this Sooha girl is good enough to deserve him.
a week later he writes, “Hi hyung, So is she pretty? Is she nice? Does she cook well? How many siblings does she have? Does she like ramen? Do you like her? Have you held her hand yet? What does a girl’s hand feel like? Does her hair smell nice? What about bad breath? Jiminie”
This time round, it takes an entire month for Yoongi’s answer to reach Jimin’s mailbox—the longest time he’s ever taken to reply. “Hey Jimin, Sorry, I’m a kinda busy these days lol! Joined a band as the youngest keyboardist! Yes, Sooha held my hand. We’ve kissed, too. Hyung.”
Jimin doesn’t reply, this time. He tells Jungkook he’s gotten lazy and busy, when really he just feels… replaced. It’s not the same anymore. Yoongi doesn’t send him any follow-ups letters, either. Not now, nor for the next 3 years.
🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋 —TBC. Thoughts on this update? 👁👄👁 the next one will be so fun, I promise!
>> start of AU here 👇🏻
cloud ☁︎

cloud ☁︎

childhood friends to lovers AU where jimin from busan gets a penpal in daegu named min yoongi
Jimin buries his penpal’s existence in two ways—figuratively, in the back of his mind, and literally, by shoving all of Yoongi’s letters in a box that’s now tucked away on top of Jimin’s wardrobe, collecting dust. Jimin hasn’t looked at it in ages, and he doesn’t mourn it either.
There was something his mother had not really explained back when he was younger, something that Jimin gradually learns over the years anyway—buried things are easily forgotten because they’re /hidden/, and therefore easier to neglect. Planted things confront you in full view.
“Settle down,” urges their homeroom teacher standing at the front of the classroom. The chatter amongst Jimin’s seatmates lowers to a hush. This is an announcement everyone’s been anticipating. “Now, everyone knows it’s tradition for third years to attend the graduation trip.”
Jimin exchanges a grin with his friend, then glances at his girlfriend sitting by the brightly-lit window. Jeongyeon catches his eye, then looks away. “The trip will be at Everland this year. Since you will be high school freshmen next semester, I expect good behavior.”
The class cheers. Jimin feels a huge sense of relief and excitement flood him—finally he’s leaving behind an awkward phase to embrace the TRUE joys of youth ahead! The middle school graduation trip is the highlight of any senior. It’s an open chance for hearts to fly in the air.
Jimin already has a vague itinerary forming in his mind—he will spend the day holding Jeongyeon’s hand, share some cotton candy and corndogs with her, then maybe, by sunset… he might… they might… bring their faces close and share their first kiss together. It’s a rough plan.
Jimin’s nothing if not a diligent student who likes having a structure to follow, so he’s more than a little disappointed when, on the day of their Everland trip, Jeongyeon chooses to surround herself with her own clique of friends—Nayeon, Jihyo & Dahyun—than hang out with Jimin.
“I just don’t understand girls,” he says to Jungkook, who’s not really part of the trip since he’s not graduating but he’s the homeroom teacher’s son so he gets to have Perks. Jungkook shakes his head as the two of them stand by the corndog stall, watching Jeongyeon & friends.
“I thought you didn’t like girls,” says Jungkook. “Make up your mind, hyung.” Jimin frowns. Everyone likes girls, though. It’s what boys in his class do. He pats Jungkook’s shoulder. “You have much to learn.” “Yeah, like how to steer clear of pointless drama.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. Jungkook may have started growing taller than him and is starting to lose the chubby cheeks, but his annoyingly frank personality is still the same. “You kinda suck.” “No, adults suck.” Jimin hums. “Okay, that’s true.” Jungkook pushes him. “Go get her.”
Somehow Jimin manages to wedge himself among the giggling circle of girls and grab ahold of his girlfriend’s wrist. He gently tugs her away— “Oh, Jimin-ah,” says Jeongyeon, voice pinched. “D’you wanna join the line for the safari ride?” prompts Jimin, face aglow. “Jimin-ah.”
Jimin pauses and faces her. “Yeah?” Jeongyeon swallows as she slowly pulls her hand away to fiddle with the hem of her t-shirt. “I don’t wanna…” “Oh. Okay. We can go for the T-Express, you mentioned that before, right?” “Um.” Jeongyeon looks up. “I don’t wanna date anymore.”
Jimin blinks. “Huh?” “Yeah.” Jeongyeon nods, more as though to affirm herself than to respond to Jimin. “Let’s break up!” “But it’s only been a month?” “Yeah.” “Oh.” “Mm-hmm.” Jimin frowns. “You don’t like me anymore?” Jeongyeon shrugs. “We can still be friends.”
It’s kinda sucky, but at least it’s not a terrible arrangement. Jimin decides he can live with that. “Okay.” “So… we’re cool?” asks Jeongyeon, eyes lighting up a little bit more than earlier. Jimin ignores the sinking feeling in his tummy. “Sure.” “Sweet! See ya later!”
Jeongyeon flashes him one last brilliant smile before skipping away, completely unaware of the tears welling up in Jimin’s eyes. Only when she turns and disappear from sight does Jimin drop the corndog he’s holding, and lets himself blubber. So much for his first kiss.
After the first wave of the waterworks tides over, the first rational thought the strikes Jimin is: /Jungkook can’t see me like this./ Being dumped on the graduation trip? His friend wouldn’t let him live it down. His next line of thought is: hide! He’s lost all energy by now.
So he walks about aimlessly, tuning out the screaming gaggle of kids running past him, feeling bitter over every couple attached at the hip that he passes, until he spots an empty wooden bench behind one of the lesser-visited kiddie rides. Jimin plops down and lets himself weep.
It’s not until he’s well into his cryfest that he realizes he isn’t quite as alone as he thought. Apparently there’s another wooden bench obscured by a tree next to Jimin. So just as he’s wiping his eyes, from his peripheral view he spots another face poking out to glance at him.
Jimin blinks, and meets the stranger’s gaze. The person in question is another boy, probably not that much older than him, with pale skin covered by a loose white shirt. Jimin can’t really see his face since he has shaggy bangs falling over his eyes and a mask over his mouth.
For a very long, awkward pause, they just stare at each other, two lone boys sitting on adjacent benches separated by a tree. “Hello,” Jimin finally says, because even through heartbreak he would never ignore a person. The boy tilts his head, scrutinizing him. “Are you lost?”
When he speaks, there is a low, sleepy quality that roughens his voice, like he just woke up from a nap and is biding his time until the world falls into step with his pace. There is something soothing about it. Jimin shakes his head. The boy eyes him from head to toe. “Sure?”
“Do I look lost?” Jimin asks. “I must seem pitiful.” “Not really. It’s just… the being by yourself and”—one tip of the stranger’s mouth quirks down—“the crying.” Jimin, unfortunately, finds it very difficult to lie especially when it comes to his own feelings. “I’m just sad.”
“Ah.” The boy leans back, and the tree hides his figure from view. After two seconds he leans forward again and says, “Maybe you should go find your friends. They might be looking for you.” “I said I’m not lost,” says Jimin. “Then why’re you alone?” “Well, why are YOU alone?”
White Shirt Boy cocks his head and studies Jimin again. Then he shrugs and points at one of the kiddie rides. “Chaperoning my little cousin. She’s a beast with bumper cars.” “Oh.” Jimin guesses this boy must be on a family trip. “You don’t like bumper cars?” “Makes me dizzy.”
Jimin nods, then remembers how Jeongyeon once said she loves bumper cars and wants to play with Jimin on that ride someday, and a new crushing weight threatens to squish his chest. He lets out a tiny whimper that sounds a lot like ‘hnnngh’ and rubs his eyes ‘til they go red.
“We were supposed to”—hic, hic—“eat cotton candy and… and drink from the same straw,” he blubbers to nobody in particular. Or maybe somebody in particular, this boy who seems patient enough to listen to him despite not having offered a willing ear.
When Jimin looks up again, White Shirt Boy is staring at him with slightly narrowed eyes, as if he’s viewing Jimin as a foreign specimen as seen from a lens. Jimin pouts. “Girls are hard.” Wordlessly, the boy reaches for an earbud that was hidden under his tousled mop of hair.
He extends his left hand & offers it to Jimin, who takes it curiously. As soon as he plugs the earbud into his ear, the boisterous noise of the amusement park rides & laughing crowd seems to melt away as a song with a gentle beat wraps around his senses.…
[ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SNIPPET] My heart seems to be unaware that my body can't take it Suddenly an old song you liked starts playing And memory seeps into my grasp Danger, danger I let myself cry my heart out If I try to hold the emotions in, they'll swallow me alive.
“If you cry with music, it sounds less ugly,” says White Shirt Boy noncommittally. Jimin purses his lips. He hugs his knees and buries his face to bawl louder than he would’ve allowed himself to in public. They don’t really speak for several minutes. Jimin feels no need to.
Afterwards, once the catharsis of crying soothes his chest to a calmer mood, Jimin returns the earbud and ekes out, “My girlfriend broke up with me just now.” It’s a bold move. He doesn’t know why; maybe there’s something about strangers that make them easier to open up to.
“That sucks.” White Shirt Boy takes back the earbud, and to Jimin’s surprise, he levels an expectant look at him, as though he’s waiting for an elaboration. “She was my first girlfriend.” The boy nods. “First love, huh.” At this, Jimin pauses. For some reason, he can’t agree.
“I remember when I first broke up with my girlfriend too,” says White Shirt Boy. “Took a hard hit, man.” “You loved her?” White Shirt Boy snorts. “Uh, nah.” “Then why were you so upset?” Jimin asks. “I wasted time and lost someone ‘cause I was an idiot,” is the boy’s reply.
“Another girl you liked better?” White Shirt Boy shakes his head. “My best friend.” Before Jimin can prod any further, a girl’s tinny voice calls out— “Oppaaaa!” Their gazes tear away from each other at the same time. A little girl in denim overalls is running towards them.
White Shirt Boy waves at her and stands. “Gotta go.” He tips his chin up at Jimin in farewell, then hurries forward to link hands with the little girl. “Bye.” Jimin hardly has a moment to return a hasty goodbye when he hears Jungkook calling— “Hyuuuung! Where’ve you been!”
Before Jimin can grasp what’s happening, Jungkook’s sprinting figure barrels closer until he’s pouncing on Jimin and showering him with a litany of light, playful punches. Jimin grunts and swats him away, looking over his shoulder. But the boy with the Rain Song is already gone.
🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋 thank you for staying up with me :) wanna guess what comes next update? (hint: it gets better) if you’d like to support my writing, or buy me a cappuccino, you can find my ko-fi below 🙊🥺
🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱 Feel free to listen to this playlist while reading this AU 🤓…
Jimin is 15 years old when a new neighbor moves in across the street from his and Jungkook’s homes. It’s the first time he witnesses Jungkook absolutely lose his shit. “I was like, peeking across the window right, and there’s this guy and he was in trunks and his THIGHS…wow.”
They’re walking home from the convenience store one hot summer afternoon. Jimin steals a skeptical glance at his friend and says, “What about his thighs?” “They were…” Jungkook scrunches his nose, “chonky.” “Like a cat?” “No!” Jungkook’s eyes widen. “Like chicken drumsticks.”
Jimin shoves Jungkook by the shoulder. “Get outta here! You sound like a boy with a crush. Look at your face! It’s all red!” “Jerk. I’m just saying he’s GOALS.” Jungkook sticks out a leg in front of Jimin’s ankles in an attempt to trip him. “I already have a first love, okay.”
“Heol. Who?” “IU.” Jimin snorts and squishes one of Jungkook’s cheeks. “Aigoo, is my little Kook all grown up? You don’t even know how to use deodorant yet!” “Shut up. Eomma bought me a bottle yesterday. Anyway at least I’m thriving instead of being hung up on his first love.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. Jeongyeon isn’t exactly the reason he’s been single all year, but he can’t exactly figure out why she’s /not/, either. Whenever friends ask why he won’t go out with others, the automatic response he blurts out is: “I’m waiting.” “What was she like, anyway?”
“Who?” Jimin asks, kicking aside a stray can as they turn the alley to their houses. “Your first love.” Jimin falls quiet. Jeongyeon’s face doesn’t once even flash through his mind when he shares, “Funny. Like, the kind of funny that makes you see things differently.”
“You liked her ‘cos she was funny?” Jimin scratches the back of his neck. “Humor’s important, okay. Also a sense of fun. That person had the weirdest pets—tried to raise a lizard, then claimed a tortoise called Bulbasaur.” Jungkook stares at him. “I would’ve gone for Squirtle.”
“Same.” “But do you really not have anyone you like? C’mon, hyung. They say girls are prettier in high school.” “I dunno. Maybe someday. I’m not rushing.” They reach their respective gates and say their goodbyes before parting ways. Jimin mulls over about Jungkook’s question.
His train of thought comes to an abrupt halt as soon as he walks through the front door and hears a loud thud from inside the house. Jimin’s jaw clenches. Not again. He peers out and, true to his prediction, his parents’ door is locked. Muffled raised voices emanate from within.
To say that he’s been unaware all along of how fraught his parents’ relationship has become is a lie, but his eomma and appa did manage to carry on the fairytale for Jimin and Jihyun for majority of their childhood, up until late last year when their arguments got more frequent.
Jimin toes off his shoes & closes the door quietly, tiptoeing across the living room to get to his own— “Hyung?” Jimin pauses when he finds Jihyun’s little head poking out from his own bedroom door across Jimin’s. At 10 years old, his younger brother looks too haunted, drained.
Jihyun blinks up at him, pupils dilated with fear. In a small voice, he ekes out. “Is… are they going to be okay?” Jimin’s heart sinks. “Hey.” He walks over to his brother and ruffles his hair. “Don’t worry. You eaten yet?” Jihyun shakes his head. “I’ll make you something.”
He steers Jihyun towards the shoulders into the kitchen and instructs him to take out the bread while Jimin looks through the cupboard for something to spread. When he finds it empty he decides to settle on cup ramyun. Just as he turns on the kettle, their parents open the door.
“…will come back only when you’ve calmed down,” their father’s voice rings out with a heavy finality. Jimin’s ears perk up when he hears footsteps storming over the floorboards. He and Jihyun peek out of the kitchen threshold. There’s a luggage stacked against the front door.
Next to it, their father is bent over as he pulls on some socks, then his shoes. Behind him, their mother is screaming— “You might as well say you want to leave this family and GO!” Her voice is shrill, nails on a chalkboard. Her eyes are red with rage. Jimin’s bones tremble.
Next to him, Jihyun has curled up on the floor, shoulders caved in like if he folds in on himself enough, he might successfully disappear. Hot tears burn at the back of Jimin’s eyes. He kneels next to his brother and wraps both arms around him, laying his chin on top of his head.
“Just leave. LEAVE!” their mother screeches thinly, roughhousing their dad out the door. She snatches the rest of Mr. Park’s shoes and tosses them out, too. “Don’t you fucking come back until you find a solution, asshole!” Right before their dad steps out, Jihyun cries, “Appa?”
Mr. Park glances back over his shoulder, eyes circled in shadows, mouth set in a permanently miserable frown. “Appa,” Jimin says, shoulders tense. “Sorry, boys.” Without another word, their father yanks his luggage out and slams the door. Their mother screams until he’s gone.
Jimin covers Jihyun’s ears with both hands all the way.
Later, alone in his room, Jimin sinks on the floor next to his bed, unable to cry. He’s left with a very tight, choked feeling in his chest that makes it hard to breathe. For an hour he just stares into space, then his eyes begin to wander…until they land on a box on his closet.
That box. Something jolts in Jimin’s memory. He’d forgotten about it, left it in one corner of his room for ages. What was in it, again? Frowning, Jimin musters every last ounce of will to stand. He steps on a low stool and reaches for the box, coughing when he inhales dust.
He lifts the lid gingerly, eyes widening at the piles and piles of letters he finds tucked neatly in the box. Right—these letters outline his correspondence with his once-upon-a-penpal, eons ago. He’d apparently compartmentalized them by year. Jimin flips one envelope open.
“dear my mimi, I tried skateboarding today too, but it was very scary so I stopped. My theory is that skateboarding is for older hyungs. I’m sorry you scraped your knees. Don’t be sad, ok? Hey, I’ll tell you a joke any time you need. write me before exams start! your hyung.”
Jimin hears himself let out an erratic breath, his chest earthquaking, and before he knows it he’s dripping tears all over the letter. He’s been doing a good job so far, showing Jungkook only his bright smile, handing in his homework on time, honoring his Class President duties.
(a/n: please listen to this song :] )…
But it gets heavy, sometimes. It’s a lot, coming home to a volatile family, always having to protect his little brother. He’s been the one sending and fetching Jihyun to and from school. If there was only one person he could let it out to. If only Jimin had a sounding board.
His gaze falls to the letters. It’s been years. For all he knows, Yoongi might have moved homes already. There’s no guarantee he’ll even receive or read whatever Jimin might send now. Jimin doesn’t want to risk ranting online, so. This is as good as it gets. He takes a pen.
“Dear No One, Look. It’s not like I want an easy way out. But if I could just have a peaceful evening, just one. That’d be real great. What am I saying? I’m not making any sense. It’s not like I want to die. I just want to feel less numb. Those are different things, right?”
He adds a 2nd page: “To Whoever May Read This, Sometimes I wonder if I was a bad person in my previous life to deserve the bad luck I have now. Sometimes I wonder what it might be like if I were someone else’s son, but then the guilt comes. If you read this, ignore me. Jimin.”
And lastly, a third page: “If You’re Min Yoongi and You See This, Hi. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Sorry for being away, but hey. I think I really need one of those jokes today. You promised, remember? your old friend Park Jimin.”
He folds all 3 sheets of paper & tucks them into one envelope together. And because he knows it’s a dead end, nothing but a void to scream into, Jimin has no reservations about pasting a stamp and sending the envelope to the post office the following morning. It’s futile anyway.
And he was right. For the next few days, nothing arrives from the neighborhood postman. Not that Jimin was anticipating anything (maybe he was), but there /was/ some spark of curiosity that wondered if… just if… Yoongi still cared. So far, the opposite seems to prevail.
Until one random Tuesday afternoon, when he gets home after tutoring Jungkook on his homework, Jimin finds a plain white envelope addressed to him— “It’s from that old penpal of yours,” his mother says, emerging from the kitchen. “I didn’t know you two still talked.”
Jimin feels his world literally halt. His blood seems to freeze as he stares at the harmless envelope, jaw falling open. The first thing he thinks is: damn, how /mortifying/. He’d written some pretty emo shit in his last one. Hurriedly, he snatches the letter and locks his door.
“Dear sender, Jimin? Park Jimin, right? Is this really you? I can’t believe I almost wrote swear words on a letter. But if this is really my old friend… I read your letter. What happened? Tell me. Hyung will listen to you. Tell me you’re alive. I’m glad to hear from you.
p.s i was about to write you an animal joke, but it’s… irrelephant. all ears, Min Yoongi.”
🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋 ending the update here for now :] it’s turning out to be a lot more hurt/comforty than i originally intended, hope y’all won’t hate me aaaa. dw i’ll keep angst levels to a minimum~ My ko-fi can be found here! Gimme a latte, pls?
This is the point where breathing ceases. …is what Jungkook reminds himself, nose scrunched and brows knitted close together as he stacks the last pieces on top of his 10-layer tower of cards. He’s been working on it since last night— “AAAAAH!” comes a scream from next door.
Jungkook gasps and stumbles back, startled out of concentration, and the jerky movement of his arms sends his entire precious tower of cards toppling in one fell /swoooosh/. He storms to the window closes to his neighbor’s with his most ferocious glare. “JIMIN-HYUNG, PABO!!!”
“Dear Yoongi hyung, Hi. Hello, I didn’t expect you to be still alive—“ Jimin crumples the paper and shoves it into his mouth, then spits it out in disgust. Holy shit, he’s really lost it. Gone whacko from one letter. Granted, it’s from a long-lost friend, so who can blame him?
“Dear Yoongi hyung, Hewwooooo it’s meeee and yes I’m alive hahahahaha lol!” No, thinks Jimin, cringing to himself. That just sounds way too cheerful. He doesn’t want to come across as a tryhard at their first encounter after 5 (!!!) years. No, Park Jimin is composed, collected.
“Hi Yoongi hyung, If you’ve read all the contents of what I sent: NO YOU DIDN’T. Could you… pretend I didn’t send you any of that sappy emo shit? That aside, I gotta admit I’m surprised to even get a reply from you! It’s been years. How have you been? Your friend, Park Jimin”
He reads what he wrote over and over, then scans Yoongi’s letter, before adding; “p.s haha. very funny. i laughed and cried.” Before he can overthink it, he dusts his butt off his bedroom floor and races to post the letter. Jimin fights back the expectation bubbling in him.
Because there is no guarante he’d hear back from his penpal. For all he knows, Yoongi’s reply could have been a one-off thing, a pity-triggered response to Jimin’s desperate plea for attention. So Jimin busies himself with his own things for days… until a new letter arrives.
“Hey Jimin, Dunno if I’m supposed to just shrug off the words you wrote (seriously, I got worried), but if you say so. But my offer still stands—I’ve got an extra ear for you. How am I? Trying to lie low in high school, my friend. People suck. You? p.s I’m funny! Min Yoongi.”
There’s something else inside the envelope, Jimin notices, apart from Yoongi’s letter. He turns it upside down, and out slides a single polaroid photo. His heart jolts at Yoongi’s writing behind it: “Your marigold seeds bloomed and died, so I replant the new seeds every year.”
“What’s that, hyung?” comes Jihyun’s voice next to Jimin’s ear, making him jump. Jimin turns around, clutching the picture to his chest, and grins at his younger brother. “I…just got sent flowers,” Jimin says breathlessly, pulse humming in his temples. Not literally, but still!
“Hi Yoongi hyung, Huh, I didn’t expect the marigold seeds to still be around, but they’re pretty, I guess. Good job :) Why do you want to fly under the radar? High school is a fun time! Well, most of the time. As Class President I can’t fool around too much. Your friend Jimin”
“What’re you doing?” Jungkook calls out from over the wall separating their gardens, only the top half of his face peeking out. Jimin ignores him in favor of digging into the soil, Yoongi’s gifted seeds from years ago tucked safely in his pocket. He can’t believe he forgot them!
“I said, whatchu doing!” /Thunk./ An empty plastic waterbottle bounces against Jimin’s shoulder & rolls off. Jimin clicks his tongue and frowns at Jungkook. “I’m planting seedlings!” Jungkook’s face falls. “Darn it. I thought it was for a dead body.” He hops off and disappears.
“Dear Class Prez, Ooohh, what a cool title. Who would’ve thought the little kid who couldn’t spell ‘sprained’ would end up becoming a class monitor? ;) I don’t really vibe with many people. You’re in high school too, right? You know how much everyone shows off. —yoongi hyung.”
Jimin throws his head back with a groan as he reads the letter, half mortified and half elated that Yoongi even remembers such trivial details from ages ago. It’s ridiculous how easy it is to fall back into the same easy banter and rhythm they had, only now it’s more… exciting.
“Respectable Senior Min, You bet I know how it is. I don’t let it affect me, though. Life’s already hectic enough as it is. I’ve been thinking of working part-time lately, there’s a new chicken shop the opened nearby. Hyung, do you work, too? Funky Class President Park Jimin.”
“Don’t you think ‘Class Prez’ is such a dreamy nickname?” Jimin asks as he sips the straw of his banana milk carton next to Jungkook on a bench at their community park. Jungkook throws him an odd look. He has plenty to learn, Jimin thinks. He pats Jungkook’s cheek. “Ah, youth.”
“You’re so weird, hyung, I swear,” says Jungkook, inching his face away from Jimin’s hand. A shadow of a running figure darts past them, and Jungkook’s eyes widen before he, too, gets up from the bench. “That’s my cue.” “To?” asks Jimin. “Jogging with Namjoon hyung!” “Who?!”
“Dear Funky Future Chicken Part-timer, Good luck, hope you get the job! I work part-time at a record shop near my house. They’ve got cool music—I’ll show you around if ever. By the way, exams are coming soon—“ Jimin holds his breath. Exams signal a lull in their conversations.
“—so to make things easier on both of us, and if you don’t mind, what’s your number? You have a phone now, don’t you? You don’t have to give it, of course. It’s just that texting is faster, if you’re up for that. Talk soon? Friendly Neighborhood Introvert, Yoongi-hyung.”
Jungkook is in the middle of listening to his new neighbor, Kim Namjoon, talk about the intricacies of space-time quantinum’s entanglement with artistic movements when another shriek pierces the air. Namjoon pauses. “Don’t worry,” says Jungkook. “It’s just a Jimin-hyung thing.”
“Hey Friendly Neighborhood Introvert, I don’t mind. Here. p.s if you text me during exam week there’s no guarantee I can keep myself from replying to you so please, for the sake of my grades, be good to me and DON’T. Funky class prez jimin.“
The morning of the last day of exams, Jimin gets up on jittery bones. There’s a deep-seated mix of anticipation and excitement that almost distracts him from reading the exam paper properly. Almost. He makes it through without a hitch, one leg jiggling up and down the whole time.
He keeps his phone on vibrate in his pocket during recess, one hand always free to fish it out at the first sign of buzzing. Too had his phone stays quiet all the way up ‘til the dismissal bell rings. Jimin’s stomach tightens as he realizes: /he/ doesn’t know Yoongi’s number.
So how is he supposed to let the guy know exactly when he’ll be free to take a call? Jimin berates himself for not having thought this through. Now he’s at a disadvantage. What if Yoongi never calls? True to his fears, his phone stays silent all throughout Friday evening.
Jimin assures himself it’s fine, and stays busy with fetching and helping Jihyun with homework. By bedtime he’s so mentally exhausted that he can’t even keep his eyes open after showering and towel-drying his hair. That night, he dreams of a faceless boy surrounded by marigolds.
He’s jostled awake by a series of pinging under his pillow. Jimin yawns and cracks his left eye open, one hand aimlessly groping under his pillow and blanket for his phone. There are (2) New Messages waiting. [unknown—9.15am] yo! how was exams? [unknown—9.17am] it’s me, yoongi
Jimin’s eyes widen. His legs kick up and sends him rolling out of bed, tangled in his blanket. He’s barely re-oriented himself when his phone buzzes again. [unknown—9.18am] pls tell me this is Park Jimin Jimin’s mouth curls up in a slow grin. He rubs his eyes, amazed.
[theonlymimi] Yep. that’s me ㅋㅋㅋㅋ Gnawing on his lower lip, Jimin hits send, only now marvelling at how quickly, in fact, it takes to communicate with a phone. Not even five seconds later, the ‘read’ mark on their chat appears! It senss a rare thrill singing in his nerves.
[Respected Senior Min] Okay, phew. can’t believe I survived the week without talking to u lol Jimin chews on the insides of his cheeks to keep from squeaking. [theonlymimi] do u want a trophy for that [Respected Senior Min] no. talking to u is my prize. :p breakfast yet?
[theonlymimi] i just woke up fr… exam went fine as usual HAH who’s the other bowl for [Respectable Senior Min] my hyung’s here HI JIMINmnjjsjk wtf lol ignore that my bro’s a dick Jimin lifts one eyebrow, not sure if he’s awake enough. [theonlymimi] hi brother min!
They spend the rest of the day texting back and forth, bickering over pointless things and swapping memes about current Naver trends. Jimin learns that Yoongi had once gone to an intensive Boy Scouts camp when he was 14, and is therefore quite adept at first aid and cooking.
[theonlymimi] so what’s your best dish [Respectable Senior Min] having a best dish implies having a worst i excel at all :D no but i just cook whatever i feel like [theonlymimi] what would you cook for me then [Respectable Senior Min] what’s your favorite food?
[theonlymimi] kimchi jjigae eomma makes the best 👍🏻 i’ve been trying to cook these days too but i’m just constantly burned out sooo Jimin purposely left the text dangling so that Yoongi can ask him why he’s been burned out. He put his phone down, waiting. Five minutes pass.
When more than fifteen minutes tick by without a message from Yoongi, Jimin can’t quite fight back the pout that creeps up his face. At the same time, he feels a little indginant. If Yoongi replies anytime soon, Jimin will make sure he takes twice as long to answer next time!
He knows he shouldn’t be so petty, not when he’s survived having to wait days just to hear back from his penpal before, but the ease of technologt marks a huge difference. What if Yoongi got bored of talking to him? Jimin can’t help but fret. “Why are you pacing?” asks Jihyun.
Jimin shrugs and continues walking around the house, opening random cupboards and designating different chairs with an anxious tick making him tap his foot against the floor. By the time he walks back to his room it’s been roughly a little over half an hour. He checks his phone.
(1) New Message [Respectable Senior Min] tada.
Jimin’s grip on his phone tightens as his hesrt soars and gallops at a pace that can’t be humanly possible. He hugs his phone screen, squeezing his eyes shut, before immediately typing a reply. [theonlymimi] ??!?????? HYUNG don’t tell me you cooked that no waaaay it looks nyooom
[Respectable Chef Min] no i manifested it and it appeared in the table like magic jkjk i had a little time to kill no sweat. [theonlymimi] damn?!??? when i have time to kill i literally play video games or sleep you’re so cool 👏🏻 wish i could try it [Respectable Chef Min] 🤧
If Jimin didn’t already respect his penpal, now his admiration for Yoongi has just shot straight through the roof. They text for a bit more, with Jimin goading Yoongi to try recording himself eat as a form of ASMR, until an epiphany strikes him.
[theonlymimi] you know what [Respectable Chef Min] ? [theonlymimi] i just realized we never met I feel like I’ve known you all my life, but there’s so much idk. Sometimes I wonder what you look like. I imagine you’re way taller? I’ve never even heard you voice. What’s it like?
He presses send, then zones out, his imagination drifting away to form countless fantasy scenarios of him meeting up with his long-lost friend. Yoongi gives off such a huge guy aura, kind of like Hyun Bin, or maybe Dwayne The Rock. He could be one of those really hot chefs on TV.
Jimin has fallen so far down the rabbit hole that he genuinely gasps in surprise when his phone starts vibrating in this lap. Blinking out of his reverie, he looks at the caller ID. [Respectable Chef Min is calling…] Jimin’s mouth drops. With a shaking thumb, he accepts.
He presses his phone to his ear and swallows thickly. “Hello?” “Jimin-ah.” And… hell. Hell if that isn’t the smoothest baritone trickling into the shell of Jimin’s ear, low and thick, chocolates and wine, cello at midnight. Yoongi chuckles. “This. This is how I sound like.”
🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋🌱🦋 min yoongi, ✨malewife extraordinaire✨ 💕gooood night i am nursing a headache so i will turn in now. any thoughts so far? Please consider supporting me on kofi if you are fond of my works~
Don’t forget to vibe with the playlist :]…
In the two seconds it takes for Yoongi’s words to register in Jimin’s brain, silence fills the air in the room, the static in their call marked by shallow breathing on Yoongi’s end. Then Jimin lets out the most embarrassing, strangled “hnnngh” ever, and promptly drops his phone.
It tumbles to his rug with a muted thump despite Jimin’s attempts to salvage it. Stupid butter fingers! He bends down, pulse pumping, and presses the phone to his ear again. “Wah,” Jimin says. “I can’t believe it.” Yoongi lets out another low chortle. Then the line goes dead.
Blinking in confusion, Jimin peels his phone off his cheek and stares at the screen just to make sure, but the call really has been dropped. He makes a horselike sound just as a new message pings. [Respectable Chef Min] Your satoori is thick [theonlymimi] WHY DID U DROP CALL
It takes a few minutes (of forever) for the next reply. [Respectable Chef Min] parents just got home sorry [theonlymimi] oooh okk you have a nice voice podcast worthy dj worthy 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 Jimin’s fingers hover over the keyboard, at a loss for whether he should ask for a new call.
“Hyung!” a cry comes from outside Jimin’s bedroom. He looks up from his phone when, moments later, there’s a knock on the door and Jihyun’s head peeks in, forehead creasing. “Hyung. I think eomma has a fever.” Jimin scrambles to his feet and tosses his phone aside.
It takes the rest of the evening for him and Jihyun to nurse their ailing mother from fatigue. Jimin makes porridge for them all. As a nurse at the local hospital, their mother has been taking a lot of graveyard shifts lately on top of her part-time job as a math tutor by day.
So by the time Jimin is done with the chores and looking after both family members, he is already bone-tired and ready to drop. Only after he enters his bedroom, towel-drying his hair, does he spot his phone on the bed and remember the conversation he left hanging with Yoongi.
[Respectable Chef Min—6.40pm] podcast?? dj?? ㅋㅋㅋ nah i don’t really like public speaking [Respectable Chef Min—7pm] Jimin? u good? [Respectable Chef Min—7.13pm] um good night i guess Jimin smacks his own forehead, aghast. [theonlymimi—10.25pm] hi im back sorry i got busy
[Respectable Chef Min] OK nice to know you dont hate me [theonlymimi] 🙄 our eomma has fever you must be thinking “if you hate me, dont reply” right? ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ [Respectable Chef Min] i was actually thinking my big bad voice must’ve scared you away Jimin snorts to himself.
He settles into bed and glances at the clock—10.30pm. For class, he must wake up at 6, so he swears to himself he’ll sleep by 11, tops. [theonlymimi] wanna call again? He sends the text without giving himself another second to hesitate. Jimin curls up, eyes glued to the screen.
[Respectable Chef Min is typing…] Jimin stares and stares at their chatscreen, willing for a new text to pop up. It takes a solid minute until Yoongi’s reply appears. [Respectable Chef Min] ngl im lazy to use my voice can we just text haha Jimin’s eyes narrow. Sounds fishy.
[theonlymimi] why? too scared of my satoori? lmao am i that hard to understand :( 🤭 💔💔💔🤧 [Respectable Chef Min] it’s not that ok can i be honest about something [theonlymimi] what [Respectable Chef Min] it’s a secret okay [theonlymimi] who else would i tell loooool cmon
[Respectable Chef Min] this’ll sound like an excuse but it’s social anxiety. Jimin’s eyebrows jump at the text message. Of all things, he wasn’t expected something like that. [theonlymimi] oh..? [Respectable Chef Min] yea idk i get anxious with phone calls maybe a later time?
[Jimin’s Recent Search History]
[Respectable Chef Min] i’m not joking r u still there haha [theonlymimi] yes okay hi hello okay :) i understand is texting okay? [Respectable Chef Min] that’s fine This is it. A lull in the mood. Jimin stares at the blinking text cursor on his phone, unsure what to say next.
[Respectable Chef Min] so… good night? hope i didnt make things awkward haha [theonlymimi] nooo! NOT GOOD NIGHT my turn! i have a secret too let’s make it even [Respectable Chef Min] 👀 Jimin takes a deep breath, then types— [theonlymimi] I feel sorry for our eomma.
[a/n: here is a nice song that made me blubber]…
[theonlymimi] Once upon a time there was a good young lady who fell in love with a good young man. They got married and had 2 kids, and the family’s first few years were happy. but then then the dad fell into gambling debt and left home so the eomma works two jobs for her sons
Jimin holds back a sniffle when he types, “The eldest son is very tired.” He lays his phone against his chest with a deep sigh, ignoring the sting in his eyes. A new message pings. [Respectable Chef Min] Then sleep. [theonlymimi] :(( sounds like smth kook would say :<
[Respectable Chef Min] i mean sleep before you can cry yourself into it beat the tears! :] Jimin has honestly never thought about it that way before. It’s such a refreshing perspective that he actually lets out a scoff. [theonlymimi] thanks for not faking polite niceties ig??
[Respectable Chef Min] being tired is a sign you worked hard for e.g phones at 2% can’t function at optimal speed without recharging so rest when the tiredness comes you can’t go at 2% forever The logic is so simple but so effective. Jimin likes it better than polite ‘advice’.
His phone buzzes again. [Respectable Chef Min] i’m sure the nice super eomma doesn’t want her son to fall sick next :] uhh thanks for opening up btw Jimin’s heart swells with so much affection he feels like he might scream in the middle of the night. [theonlymimi] 민들레
[Respectable Chef Min] ??? dandelion? [theonlymimi] 민, Min, because it’s your surname 들레, because it sounds close to slang ‘listen’ it’s you min-who-listens my good hyung. thank you for tonight [Mindeulle] ㅋㅋㅋ you’re a strange one then are you a marigold? october flower?
[theonlymimi] i dont rly know what that flower stands for tbh ㅋㅋㅋㅋ [Mindeulle] are you serious it’s literally your birth flower you mean you didn’t know when you send them to me? 😂 [theonlymimi] >__< [Mindeulle] “beauty & warmth of the rising sun” according to naver 👍🏻
[marigold of busan] ㅋㅋㅋ laaaaame u cant always trust naver hyung Jimin curls up on his other side, snickering at his phone. Who knew Yoongi could be so corny? He’s halfway through typing when he clocks the time at the upper corner of his phone—1.40am. What the hell.
[marigold of busan] shit we’re DEAD GOTTA GO school tmrw!!!!!!!!!!! night night? :”> Jimin swipes his phone under the pillow and swears he won’t check it until his morning alarm goes off. But when it pings again, he can’t help but reach for it— [Mindeulle] night night. :]
It becomes… a thing. A little unspoken pact between them, whereby whoever wakes up first sends the good morning text, and both try their darnedest best to keep texting despite heavy eyelids deep into the night. It’s exhilarating and new. Jimin never experienced this with his ex.
Not that he means to compare, but with Jeongyeon he’d been preoccupied with making grand gestures that everyone in his middle school thought of as ‘romantic’. Come to think of it, they never had the same conversations that he has with Yoongi, even back when they were penpals.
But that’s fine, because this must be what it’s like to have a really close hyung. Jimin, as the eldest in his family, had never really had anyone to confide in the way he does with Yoongi. It feels good, he decides, to have a close confidante. A mentor. Yes, Yoongi is a mentor.
As the days blow into weeks and autumn gets drier and cooler, so does Jimin grow more preoccupied with his phone. He gets so attached that he fails to notice Jungkook’s doe eyes peeking over the garden wall every now and then, and ignores Jungkook’s invitations to game together.
So it’s to his utter confoundment when, late one autumn afternoon, Jimin answers the doorbell and comes face to face with an unfamiliar guy. Tall, tan and lanky, he wears a pair rimless glasses over his nose. At the sight of Jimin, he gives a dimpled smile. It’s their neighbor.
“Uhhh, hi?” Jimin says, shifting from one foot to another. “Jimin-ssi, can I have a bit of your time?” asks the guy—Kim Namjoon, if Jimin remembers correctly. “He won’t give you his time!” cries an unseen, bitter voice, and Jimin rises on tiptoes to see Jungkook behind Namjoon.
“Jungkookie?!” Nose red, Jungkook throws a fierce glower (or what he must assume to be one) at Jimin, and folds his arms. Then, out loud, he says, “Someone’s tooooo busy for weekend hotteok walks now.” Jimin blinks, then flushes sheepishly. “Ah.” Namjoon pats Jungkook’s head.
“I gotta say, I’ve never tried the neighborhood hotteok,” he says, face relaxed with that ever-present smile. It’s almost scary how serene he seems. “There’s bungeo-ppang, too,” Jungkook supplies sullenly, chin still turned up. “I’d like that. Jimin-ssi, can you lead the way?”
And that’s how, half an hour later, Jimin is forced to rip his attention away from his cellphone and has to entertain Jungkook, who gradually warmed up after Jimin promised to pay for all snacks, and Namjoon, who has many questions about the neighborhood.
It’s on the walk back home when Jungkook looks at Jimin and randomly blurts, “Hyung, hyung. Are you cheating on me?” Jimin almost chokes on his bungeo-pppang. “What?!” “Do you have a new best friend?” Jungkook’s eyes go round. “Am I too young now? Can’t we still play soccer?”
“Yah,” Jimin says, aiming a kick and then moving in to hold Jungkook in a headlock. “Of course we can still play soccer, you rascal.” “But why are you always GONE and ZONED OUT and DREAAAAMY—“ “Remember my penpal from years ago?” Jungkook nods. Jimin smiles. “We reconnected.”
“Oohh, you had a penpal?” Namjoon wiggles his eyebrows. “What’s her name?” “/He/, actually,” Jimin corrects cheerfully. “Yoongi-hyung is funny and smart, and he’s from Daegu. He has a super cool voice! And he’s a cooking pro. He’s a good mentor.” Namjoon stares. “…mentor.”
Jimin nods proudly. “We’ve been talking a lot, these days.” “How long!” Jungkook presses. “Until… 2am?” Jimin shrugs. “I lose track.” “And you think he’s a mentor,” Namjoon quips. “I mean, what else?” Jimin grins. “Honestly, if he was a girl, I’d have asked him out by now!”
Jungkook tugs at the elbow of Namjoon’s sweater. “Is that what you meant by the G-word?” Jimin blinks. “Huh?” Namjoon smiles and messes up Jungkook’s hair. “In due time he’ll figure it out.” “You guys are talking in riddles, I don’t like riddles,” Jimin says sourly.
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