namjoon knows everything about yoongi’s co-workers and their mean and strict boss, hoseok. but when namjoon meets hoseok, the man turns out to be different: delicate and shy. shocked by the development, yoongi and his coworkers decide to use namjoon to soften hoseok.
• chaotic strangers to lovers. mutual pining, fluff and messy situations. namseok are shy and smitten, everyone else puts them through hell.
• this is a commission out of my au ideas, meaning it’s my original idea, and the commissioner picked it up for me to finish writing it.
the main lead
coworkers united against their boss
and the bad boss
one sided meeting
and a week went by like that
(another au where i make the boys postproduction editors)
what yoongi was wondering
but they don’t know
he’s also working
he’s tired (and it’s friday already)
and ready for the official first meeting
Taehyung and Jungkook have been arguing about something for a while, but their words have no bite. Namjoon tuned them out as soon as they started; he knew their debate was probably dumb. Yoongi joins their banter from time to time as he drives, a big smile decoring his face.
Contrary to people's (Seokjin's) belief, Namjoon isn't jealous about Yoongi forming friendships at work. At their age, it's hard to nurture friendships, and Namjoon likes knowing his best friend still manages to connect with people after finishing college. His issue is different.
If it can even be called an issue. He thinks Taehyung and Jungkook bring a new side of Yoongi that Namjoon isn't used to. A more mischievous, playful, and immature side that differs from the mature, quiet, and ultimately cool hyung Yoongi has always been in Namjoon eyes.
Their hatred for their boss is evidence of how the youngest influence Yoongi. Younger people, nowadays, are tired of working and don't respect companies. And while Namjoon comprehends it, he also knows that most of the time people must accept how life operates.
But in the end, the odd friendship between these three men isn't bad. Yoongi is still Yoongi, and he's still Namjoon's best friend, who is dragging him away from his own work responsibilities. And while Namjoon knows he has to get them done, he's grateful for the break.
Taehyung and Jungkook keep arguing when they arrive at the house party. Namjoon is paying more attention to the lovely building. It has a beautiful painting in the reception and high ceilings. A guard asks for their name before ringing the apartment owner. It's all quite fancy.
The guard explains that the elevators open directly at the apartments, and they must wait until the house owner brings them up with their code. The background argument between the three editors shifts into complaints about rich people and their useless elevators.
Once Jungkook admits that he used to live in a building with private elevators, silence settles between the group.
The elevator doors open, and the group walks inside; after they close and the elevator moves, Taehyung bursts out in whines, lamenting sleeping with the enemy.
Namjoon stays in the back of the elevator, quietly observing Taehyung and Jungkook argue as they go higher and higher. But when the elevator stops, the doors that open are the ones behind Namjoon. Startled, he turns and faces whoever is waiting for them inside the apartment.
Someone holds the wooden door open and blocks their way inside the apartment. Namjoon has to look down to meet their eyes and thinks the person is familiar. Small face and brown messy brown hair, pursed heart-shaped lips, and high cheekbones.
"Hi," they say with a soft voice.
Namjoon doesn't work in their company; he should let the rest do the greetings. He bows before looking over his shoulder, where he finds his three companions peeking from behind him.
"Hoseok ssi," Yoongi grits.
Ah, so this is their boss. That's why he was familiar.
Yoongi has shown Namjoon photos and Instagram stories while shit-talking the man. He's smaller than Namjoon imagined.
"You're blocking the way," Jungkook adds from behind Namjoon.
"Oh, sorry!" Hoseok takes a step back. "Come inside." The four men do. "Everyone is outside."
"Are you heading out right now?" Taehyung asks while removing his coat.
"Umh, no," it sounds like a lie. "I was just answering a call and heard the elevator, so I opened the door."
"Ah," Taehyung says just when someone else approaches them, calling their names.
The girl repeats that everyone is drinking at the terrace and urges them to come out once they leave their coats, shoes, and bags at the entrance. Their boss grabs his phone and begins typing, apparently still busy with something, and Yoongi leads Namjoon to the terrace.
Namjoon remembers his manners and bows at everyone, thanks whoever hands him a drink, and thanks the (drunk) owner of the house for having him. He remains by Yoongi's side, but his head is somewhere else. He keeps glancing inside the apartment, where Hoseok remains typing.
"What is he doing here?" Taehyung asks under his breath. Apparently, Namjoon wasn't the only one staring at the thin man.
"Who invited him?" Yoongi wonders, twirling his whiskey and looking around. There are twenty people on the terrace, and behind the glass doors, just one.
Hoseok has moved to a couch and hasn't stopped typing. "Do you think he's still working?" Jungkook wonders. "It's so weird seeing him outside his habitat."
Namjoon remains silent, listening to Yoongi and his office friends talking about their most hated person in the world.
When other people come up to their small group and steal Yoongi's attention, Namjoon makes up his mind. He doesn't like seeing someone alone, and he doesn't exactly belong here, so there's a logical course of action to follow.
"I'll go say hi," he says to no one.
"Hi again," the handsome stranger says, and Hoseok gulps, locking his phone and putting it face down, so no embarrassing text from Jimin interrupts. "Can I sit with you?"
"Of course." Hoseok squirms, leaving a big area for the man. Indeed, his spread legs take up a lot of space.
"So..." Hoseok starts, but without intending to, he speaks over the man who tried to talk at the same moment. They both fall quiet and gesture at the other to start chatting. After an awkward chuckle, the man goes first.
"You're not drinking," he says.
"No. I don't drink."
The man nods solemnly, and Hoseok adds, "I'm a lightweight."
"That's fine." His dimples are visible when he smiles. It's charming. "You don't have to explain. I asked because I was wondering if I should offer to get you a drink; I feel weird drinking when you're not."
"Shouldn't you tell me your name before offering me drinks?" Hoseok asks, and the man's face changes in less than a second. His jaw falls open before scrunching his nose as if embarrassed. It's adorable.
"I forgot that crucial part of human interactions."
"I don't usually start conversations with strangers."
Hoseok tilts his head and doesn't miss how the man's eyes trail his face. "Should I consider myself lucky in that case?"
His question makes the man chuckle. "The name is Kim Namjoon. I'm twenty-eight years old."
"Nice to meet you, Namjoon," Hoseok savors the name before pointing at himself. "I'm also twenty-eight. Jung Hoseok."
"I know," Namjoon replies fast.
Namjoon seems to regret his quick answer. "I'm coming off as creepy when I only wanted to sound friendly."
"Not at all," Hoseok assures him. But Hoseok not finding him creepy has to do with his handsome appearance.
"My friend Yoongi works with you. We met in college, and he tells me a lot about his work, including you."
"Your whole posture shifted right now."
It's nice knowing Namjoon is paying close attention to him, but he's still deflated. They arrived together, of course, they're friends. Hoseok was too distracted to notice. "Yoongi ssi hates me."
"Yoongi is an idiot, and I say so as his best friend."
"His team also hates me."
"Taehyung and Jungkook? Those two are bigger idiots." There's a brief pause before Namjon sighs. "Cute and fun, but I won't take their word as a judgment for a person."
"What about that drink you wanted to offer me?"
Namjoon's lopsided smirk might be addictive.
Hoseok followed Namjoon outside, stood by the edge of the terrace, and received a drink from his hands with a smile on his lips. He could feel eyes on them, but he opted to ignore them.
He can see how this moment could be shocking for everyone working at their small office.
Even their oldest workers haven't seen Hoseok in a relationship, and only a handful must have seen him smile widely like right now. He used to think kindness would take him far, but later found out he was wrong, and the world is for people that eat or get eaten.
He's always been from the latter group, but he tries hard to belong in the former. And that has sharpened his edges, perhaps. Weak edges, though, that can bend with dimples, a deep voice, and thoughtful comments.
"Why were you all by yourself? Were you working?" Namjoon asks.
"No, I was talking to a friend."
"There are a lot of people here to chat with... you didn't want to talk to them?"
Hoseok's shoulders drop before glancing around the fancy terrace. "Yoongi must have told you I'm not exactly their favorite person."
"But they invited you over."
"It must be politeness. An attempt to end on good terms and request a letter of recommendation down the line." Hoseok smiles to himself. "I'd probably do the same."
"Tough business, huh? I work at a museum." He changes topics with ease.
"Really? What do you do at a museum?"
Namjoon starts listing his responsibilities, which are much more than Hoseok expected, and during one of Hoseok's hums, Namjoon chuckles. "I'm probably boring you a lot right now."
"No! No!" Hoseok assures him, taking the chance to squeeze his bicep. "It's interesting."
Another asset to add to the long list of everything right with this man: he's buff. Hokseok only hopes the touch wasn't misplaced, but Namjoon's smile makes him think it wasn't. "I'm glad you think so. I'd ask about what to do, yet I suppose it's better if I don't."
"You're worried that if I start saying what I do, you'll agree with Yoongi and realize I'm a bad guy?"
Namjoon shakes his head. "Everyone is a bad guy in someone's story. It can't be helped. It's just the way life is."
"Do you really think so? Even the nicest person?"
"I assure you, the nicest people are the worse heartbreakers."
Hoseok laughs. "Really?"
He doesn't know how many minutes pass, or how many whispers are about them; what he knows is that he came with little expectations and will walk out with a heart filled with high hopes.
Hoseok shouldn't have been the odd one in this party filled with people he sees daily, but he's glad he was; otherwise, Namjoon wouldn't have come up to him and talked to him until now that Hoseok sees the hour and sighs. "I should get going."
"It's early," Namjoon argues.
"It's not." Hoseok is giddy from the attention.
"What am I going to do if you leave me alone?"
"Hang out with your friends?" Hoseok giggles.
"Fine." Neither of them moves a step away, but Namjoon scratches his nape and asks, "is it okay if I walk you to your taxi?"
Hoseok's bubble bursts when Namjoon stops by Yoongi to tell him he'll accompany Hoseok downstairs. Hoseok bows goodbye to everyone; hugs Haemi tightly and shortly while wishing her good luck in all her future endeavors and trying not to think of Yoongi's scary cat-like eyes.
Namjoon is a dream since the bar Hoseok knew it, but it would be terrible to find himself mixed into the personal life of someone that works under him. Yoongi and Namjoon are only good friends, but it wouldn't be a smart move on Hoseok's part, and it could end wrongly.
It pains him, but it's a wake-up call. Hoseok doesn't mix personal life with work, he doesn't treat his collaborators as friends, and he doesn't show them sides of him aside from being their boss (even though everyone from the office just saw him flirt for hours).
It pains him, but when they're downstairs, right before Namjoon gathers the courage to ask for his number, Hoseok pretends he doesn't hear and says goodbye with a quick hug and enters the taxi, sighing on his way back home, cursing his work for the thousandth time this week.
the other side
just to be clear
too much work
mood changes after meeting namjoon
problem and solution
Due to their agreement never to talk about work, Namjoon has yet to visit Yoongi's office, so he hopes he's at the right place when he reaches an old building with not so many floors.
He's helping carry boxes today, but he's always been silly when he's crushing on someone.
He might not know Hoseok that well to claim it's a crush, but he was charming enough to take a space in Namjoon's head. He keeps repeating that last interaction, the shy meeting of eyes, the short-lived hug, before entering the taxi, the (purposefully) unheard question.
Namjoon rubs the back of his hand against his forehead, cleaning his sweat. It’s sunny today, and his white shirt will cling to his skin in a matter of minutes. He wonders if there's cold water in Yoongi's office. Before he can text his friend, someone opens the building's doors.
Hoseok steps outside. As pretty and tiny as Namjoon remembers. They seem to meet one more time in the same circumstance- a door leading to the other. Quite poetic in Namjoon’s head.
Hoseok looks surprised, stopping in his tracks and jaw going slack. “Namjoon. Hi again.”
His voice is soft, but Namjoon hears it loud and clear.
Hoseok leaves the heavy doors behind him open just by an inch and tilts his head. His striped shirt sleeves are rolled up, giving him an expensive look. “What are you doing here?”
“You don’t seem happy to see me.”
Hoseok gets closer, stopping at a distance where their hands can brush with any slight movement. “I am happy to see you. Just a bit confused on top of that pleasure.”
Namjoon gulps. “Yoongi asked me to help carry delivery boxes for him since he can’t do it.”
He said someone was coming over for help but didn’t say it was you.”
Namjoon raises an eyebrow. “You still don’t seem happy to see me.”
Giggling, Hoseok shakes his head before grabbing Namjoon’s bicep. Just like the first time, it’s an exciting touch. “It’s not that.”
He lets go faster this time as if regretting the touch or getting overwhelmed by it. Namjoon hopes it was the latter. “I’m just processing the information.”
Hoseok’s shy smile is adorable; Namjoon can only mimic it. “Where are they, by the way?”
“They’re running late.”
“But should be here in any minute. Taehyung and Yoongi will help organize everything upstairs, and Jungkook will help us with the boxes.”
“The three of them offered to help?”
“I also couldn’t believe it. They’re the type to leave on time and never do more than requested.”
Namjoon waits for Hoseok to develop that idea. While Namjoon empathizes with Hoseok, he also knows Yoongi deems him a bad boss, so he should pay attention to certain statements. “Which I understand. They don’t need to stay a minute more than what their contract stipulates.”
“Indeed, they don’t.”
After a tense second, where they stare at each other, Hoseok chuckles, "I felt like you were judging me there. Waiting for me to say something bad?”
“Not something bad; I was waiting to hear the full answer and opinion. I’m getting to know you this way.”
“Unfortunately, getting to know a person includes a judgment of character.”
“That sounds scary. Am I doing good under your judgment?”
“I’d say you are,” Namjoon flirts.
Before Hoseok can answer, he gets a call. The delivery truck arrives after less than a minute after that.
Hoseok explains that they’re computers, mixers, screens, and other equipment, so Namjoon should be careful. He takes the request seriously but still wants to show off after the person in charge hands him two boxes. “You can put the third one on top.”
“Are you sure?” Hoseok asks.
The delivery guy doesn’t question Namjoon, seemingly trusting Namjoon’s strength and boosting Namjoon’s ego as he receives the third box with no problem. “Yes. It’s fine.”
Hoseok is speechless, simply staring at Namjoon. Or his arms and his back once he turns around.
“You don’t need to carry anything, Hoseok ah. I’ll tell Jungkook to come downstairs to help me with the rest.”
“Alright.” Hoseok’s voice is breathy, meaning Namjoon’s work here is accomplished. “Wait! I’ll open the door for you,” he squeaks after a pregnant second, flustered.
"The office is on the second floor, the first door on the right! No elevator, sorry"”
"That's fine." Namjoon's answer drips confidence, but once Hoseok leaves and stares at the stairs, he sighs. His assessment was correct. He always acts stupid when he's crushing on someone.
Namjoon returns downstairs with Jungkook behind him, and they carry the rest of the boxes. Before meeting Jungkook's eyes, Hoseok glances away, trying to hide his heated cheeks.
There's a reason Hoseok doesn't want the employees to see him as something other than their boss.
Bosses aren't supposed to be employees' friends. It's different when a boss orders something than when a friend asks for a favor. The lines get blurred, creating unbalanced relationships between workers and their bosses.
Hoseok keeps his boss persona different from his self.
But he can’t continue to ignore his beating heart and daydreams. Not even if Taehyung and Yoongi’s heads are peeking through the window to spy on him, and Jungkook is watching him with wide eyes. Hoseok will figure out what to do with these three, but he can’t let Namjoon go.
The third time is the charm, and Hoseok went unnoticed the first time, ruined his second chance, and now he can’t let go of the third opportunity. After another travel up and down the stairs, Jungkook doesn’t come down, but Namjoon does
“There’s nothing left?” he asks.
“Just a box,” the delivery person says. That’s Hoseok’s cue to get closer, finish signing all the papers he needs to sign, and say thanks and goodbye to the man.
When the truck disappears down the road, Namjoon hasn’t moved an inch, still standing behind Hoseok, holding a box.
“You haven’t gone upstairs,” Hoseok points out the obvious.
“I was waiting for you so we'd go together.”
He's so adorable, Hoseok could melt. “That’s sweet. We should give that to Taehyung and Yoongi.” Namjoon nods but doesn’t turn. “Thank you for helping me with the boxes.”
Hoseok doesn’t step back into the office, and Namjoon doesn’t either. “Is there something you want to say?” Hoseok asks.
It seems to bring Namjoon out of his trance, and he chuckles. “No, no. I’ll-”
Hoseok glances up and sees Jungkook’s head joining the other two.
The three editors are sticking their faces to the window to not subtly spy on Hoseok and Namjoon, fighting to get a good look at whatever is happening downstairs. And Hoseok doesn’t care. They can see him flirt, and he’ll find a way to manage how those three perceive him.
"Namjoon," Hoseok says, stopping when the box in Namjoon's hand touches him.
Hoseok could explain he pretended not to hear the question last time, his regrets and doubts, but there will be time for that. Right now, he goes directly to it. "Can I have your number?"
they need guidance
breaking the ice
two flustered men
still in his bad boss era
what actually happened (texts from yesterday)
back to present and hoseok’s bad mood
the most awaited moment
change of plans
he’s not a fan of the idea
Yoongi has continued complaining since he picked up Namjoon and walked here. "Namjoon, who organizes a gym date? It's the most unflattering place ever. Why would I want the other person to see me flushed red and sweating? You can't even talk in here! There are so many people-"
Namjoon speaks when he sees Hoseok by the entrance. "Shut up, hyung, they're here."
Luckily, Yoongi keeps quiet. Making the pair enter is easy, and introductions happen fast since only Yoongi and Jimin are strangers. Namjoon stays close to Hoseok, noticing his anxiousness.
As soon as Jimin types something into his phone, he locks it and steals all Yoongi's attention. Jimin talks in a hurry, and it looks like Yoongi's brain starts working slower, nodding and trying to tame the pink on his cheeks.
The sight brings a smile to Namjoon's face.
"Look, he's harmless," Namjoon whispers to Hoseok.
"He's already under the spell."
After a slight chuckle, Hoseok and Namjoon's eyes meet, and Namjoon closes his fist, fighting the urge to put the strand of brown hair rebelling against Hoseok's hairstyle behind his ear.
Namjoon fights the urge to touch Hoseok everywhere.
His thoughts become more innocent when Hoseok breaks into a smile. "So what's the plan?"
"Well, I was thinking we should do a short workout. Forty-five minutes top, otherwise we'll be too tired at the end to grab something to eat."
Hoseok's attentive frown is adorable.
"There are classes upstairs that we could check out. There's sparring and spinning starting in a few minutes. Or we could do my usual workout." A pause. "Not as intensely."
"What a show-off," Hoseok teases, leaning against Namjoon's chest playfully.
"What would you like?"
"I wouldn't mind just watching," Hoseok admits under his breath, but Namjoon hears it just fine. "I guess sparring isn't such a good idea. It wouldn't be fair considering our sizes."
Hoseok gestures between them, and Namjoon's thoughts head back to the not-so-innocent side.
"Spinning..." Hoseok scrunches his nose and makes up his mind. "Let's just do the less intense version of your routine."
They share a smile before Hoseok turns to Jimin. "You're doing it with us?"
"There's Pilates," Jimin points at the board with all the classes.
"I'm dragging-" a very flushed- "Yoongi ssi there. We'll meet you here once you're done!"
"Okay!" Hoseok is easily convinced. It makes Namjoon wonder if he asked Jimin to leave the two alone for most of the date. Not that Namjoon or Yoongi are complaining about that.
The hour passes by in a blink of an eye, between stolen glances through the mirror, light bantering here and there, and wandering hands and fleeting touches under the pretense of help when doing the repetition of an exercise. There's not much space for talking, but it's alright.
The dopamine one gets after working out is a good set-up for the rest of the day. Like them, Yoongi and Jimin seem to be in a good mood when they find each other at the gym's entrance. At least Jimin can't stop laughing at something Yoongi -whose face is straight- said or did.
When they catch up to them, Jimin goes on a rant about how funny Yoongi "hyung" is and how much he was suffering during the class, and that he regretted not recording him when he was whining about the poses. Hoseok is stiff around Yoongi but still smiles at the anecdote.
Namjoon knows and appreciates that Hoseok is making an effort to go out with Yoongi. He tries to make the atmosphere easier for Hoseok by saying they should get going to a nice cafe nearby, and he types the address on Yoongi's phone, so he and Jimin can lead the way.
The tiny pair walk ahead, bickering loudly about who-knows-what, and Hoseok takes a deep breath, mentally preparing for the upcoming meal with Yoongi.
Namjoon decides not to ask Hoseok anything but opts for brushing their hands together, offering a tamer form of comfort.
From the corner of his eye, he can sense Hoseok glancing between his hand and Namjoon's face. Maybe Namjoon imagines the smile stretching on his lips but what is for sure not part of his imagination is the warm feeling against his palm when Hoseok clasps their hands together.
The restaurant is closeby, but they don't let go of each other's hands. It takes them two whole blocks to overcome their shyness and start talking without addressing the clasped hands, but Namjoon squeezes to accentuate some of his words, and whenever he does, Hoseok beams.
Despite his initial wariness, Hoseok is having a good time on the date. The first hours of the day were filled with tension and fleeting touches; thanks to Jimin, Hoseok got to be alone with Namjoon even though it's a double date, and his cheeks were burning the whole time.
And if seeing Namjoon work out on a bench press with a tight black shirt wasn’t enough for Hoseok’s weak heart, they held hands afterward. And now, at the lovely café Namjoon chose for the date, the tall man sits next to Hoseok, a hand on his drink and a hand on Hoseok’s thigh.
In front of them, Yoongi digs into his chicken bowl with the intensity of a man that has worked out for hours. Jimin giggles between bites, eyes on Yoongi as if he’s the most amusing sight ever to grace Jimin. His face brightens when he remembers something. “Hoseok hyung!”
“Did you know Yoongi hyung already follows my Instagram?”
Hoseok glances at his employee and finds him poking at his vegetables. “How? That’s creepy.”
“It’s not!” Jimin whines, offended, as if Hoseok had called him creepy and not Yoongi.
“How did he find your Instagram?”
Yoongi shrugs. “I found your Instagram first and saw Jimin in your stories.”
Namjoon snorts to himself as Hoseok frowns. “Wait. Did you look for my Instagram?” Yoongi nods calmly, unaware of how he just admitted something that should be embarrassing. “Why would you do that?”
Yoongi picks a piece of meat and dips it in the sauce. “I don’t remember. Taehyung, Jungkook, and I were bored one day. Probably procrastinating or suffering about a deadline. We wanted to know more about you since you’re so closed off and mysterious, so we looked you up online.”
“I don’t know if you should be proud of that, Yoongi ssi.”
Yoongi shrugs again, unashamed. Hoseok fights the urge to ask if they had stalked his social media at work. He’d hate to know the editors were watching his Instagram stories instead of working during office hours.
Maybe Hoseok should lock his account. He changed his Twitter to private to avoid uncomfortable situations at work after a previous misunderstanding, so Instagram could go down too. Hoseok clenches his jaw and stops the spiral in his mind. This is not the time to think about work.
Luckily, Jimin’s giggles pull him out of his thoughts, but his words aren't what Hoseok would like to hear.
“I want to meet Taehyung and Jungkook.” Jimin has never shown much interest in Hoseok’s collaborators till now. This is the last conversation topic Hoseok wants to have.
Namjoon knows Hoseok doesn’t want to mix work with his personal life, and he immediately brings his hand to Hoseok’s nape and gives it a firm squeeze. It’s an attempt to soothe him, and it works wonders.
“They’re the coolest,” Yoongi says to Jimin.
“They’re loud. But nice.”
After Namjoon’s comment, it should be logical for Hoseok to comment on them too. He also knows them, but— “I can’t comment on them other than as their boss.”
“But what would you say about them?” Yoongi asks.
“I don’t think I should tell you, considering we all work together.”
“But you can tell me what you think!” Jimin interjects. “I don’t work with any of you.”
Hoseok throws Jimin a warning glare. He’s acting flirty and extra annoying because he finds Yoongi hot. Hoseok knows him. But he won’t call out his friend. Instead, he takes a deep breath.
He answers Yoongi’s question as diplomatically as possible. “I think that, like most people working with us, they’re very good at what they do. Taehyung has a lot of taste. I trust his judgment. And Jungkook is very meticulous. I trust him with projects that have many details.”
Yoongi nods solemnly. “I think you could tell them that more often.”
“Okay! That’s it!” Namjoon interjects, knowing Hoseok doesn’t want to talk about work with Yoongi outside of a work setting. He's trying to pull Hoseok out of the interaction, but Hoseok wants to listen.
“Do you think I should praise all of you more often?”
“I think that’d be good.” Yoongi licks his lips, showing his nervousness, but his voice doesn’t quiver, and the words come one after the other without faltering. “I know you praise everyone when we finish a project.”
“But encouraging words through the process are always well received. Especially when the workload is so demanding, and praise is lacking.”
Namjoon is jumpy next to him, looking between Hoseok and Yoongi. Hoseok could change topics, but he can’t ignore Yoongi’s forward comment.
It must have taken him lots of courage to say that, especially when he looks so scared of Hoseok. Indeed, Hoseok has changed into his ‘boss’ role without noticing: shifting his posture, deepening his voice tone, and putting on a bored face. He guesses he can be intimidating.
“I understand what you mean, Yoongi. But we can talk more about this at the office instead of here.”
Yoongi’s gulp is loud on the tension-filled table. “Yes, of course. Sorry. I just blurted that out since they came up in the conversation.”
“It’s okay,” Hoseok assures him.
Namjoon clears his throat to dissipate said tension. “Hoseok, you’ll have to apologize to Yoongi for bringing up matters that shouldn’t be brought up at lunch. He looks after Taehyung and Jungkook as if he had birthed them. He adores them too much and gets defensive with them.”
The fond smile stretching on Yoongi’s face changes his whole demeanor. “I mean, they help me a lot, so I naturally care for them. It’s not ‘too much’. Namjoon is just jealous of them.”
“Why is he?” Jimin joins the conversation once it’s not dangerous territory anymore.
“He’s a possessive fella.”
As Yoongi says the words, Namjoon’s hand travels from Hoseok's nape down his spine. It should be a description that puts off Hoseok, but on the contrary, it makes his skin burn.
“Are you?” Jimin asks Namjoon what Hoseok is thinking.
Namjoon’s chuckle is nervous now that the focus is on him. “I’m not possessive. I’m the right amount of protective with what’s mine.”
Jimin raises an eyebrow, disbelief written on his face, mimicking Hoseok’s thoughts.
“He’s a hypocrite,” Yoongi continues with a half-smirk.
“He gets mad at me for having office friends as if he didn’t have an office husband.”
Now that catches Hoseok’s attention. “An office husband?”
Namjoon closes his eyes as Yoongi explains. “Oh yes, he bakes muffins for Namjoon and makes him lunch, and they text all weekend.”
Hoseok remembers Namjoon mentioning something like that. A co-worker gifted him lunch on Monday. Swiftly, Hoseok supports his head on his palm, hoping to look intimidating. Not in a boss-like way, just in a… flirty way.
“Oh. Should I be worried about this work spouse, Joon?”
Hoseok leans closer. “Is there a competition after your affections that I’m unaware of?”
“No, there's not.” Namjoon has gotten rigid, but his eyes are on Hoseok's face. On his lips.
“Aw. He’s getting nervous,” Jimin points at Namjoon with his chopsticks before picking a carrot.
“I really don’t like this,” Namjoon mutters with a playful tone.
Hoseok is enjoying this a lot. He can forget the mishap with Yoongi earlier. It was nothing if this is what he gets in return. Three against one is fun.
"You guys are teaming up against me, and I'm innocent."
“If you’re not doing anything shady at your office with your co-worker, you shouldn’t feel cornered, hyung,” Jimin teases.
“I’m not doing anything bad at work.” Namjoon turns to Hoseok, meets his eyes, and says, “I swear, I’m not.” He looks desperate for Hoseok to believe him.
Hoseok has to close his fists and fight the urge to cup his face and kiss those lovely lips. Instead, he has to settle for a soft “you’re cute.”
Namjoon has the audacity to pout, and Hoseok’s heart skips a beat. “I don’t have an office husband, and I’m not possessive.”
“Then why do you hate that I have office besties?” Yoongi’s aggravating voice breaks the moment Namjoon and Hoseok are sharing.
Namjoon’s adorable answer makes up for the interruption. “Well, because I used to be hyung’s youngest friend, he has two other people to look after.”
“Aw, so you miss being your hyung’s baby?” Hoseok teases. “Is that why you’re jealous of Jungkook and Taehyung?”
“Hobah!” Namjoon complains, hiding behind his large hands, flustered.
For a change, the switch in their dynamics is fun. Going out with Namjoon is fun.
The red in his cheeks and the visible dimples are a wonder, and Hoseok can’t stop himself from smiling wide the longer he looks at him. If this results from having Yoongi tag along to his dates with Namjoon, Hoseok guesses double dates with his employee aren’t that bad.
lets get serious
a long confrontation
a sprinkle of kindness
Hoseok looks adorable waiting outside the Art Forum.
His oversized clothes make him look tinier than usual, and he glances from one side to another like a lost squirrel, searching for Namjoon between the sea of people walking in the avenue leading to the museum.
The heart-shaped smile that has won over Taehyung grows on Hoseok’s face once he spots Namjoon. They meet halfway, right at the museum’s entrance, and Namjoon wants to lean down and kiss him, but when he cranes his neck, he panics and settles for a kiss on the cheek instead.
“Really?” Hoseok giggles. When Namjoon gives him no answer aside from stepping back, Hoseok shakes his head and stands on the tip of his toes to press their lips together. It’s only a peck, and it ends before Namjoon can process that it happened. Hoseok laughs a little more.
“I brought lunch for you. I hope that’s okay.”
He’s getting pecks and food. Namjoon can’t believe his luck. “You did?” Namjoon holds the dosirak that Hoseok retrieves from his tote bag It’s small and pastel-colored “Did you prepare it?”
“Kind of.” Hoseok scowls.
“I grabbed my favorite frozen food but didn’t pick any seafood for you.”
Namjoon pets Hoseok’s head, incapable of not touching Hoseok. “That’s thoughtful.”
Hoseok only beams, pleased by his gesture. “Is there a dining hall in the museum? I need to get back to work in an hour.”
It’s too little time to share with Hoseok, but Namjoon appreciates the man taking time from his work day to visit Namjoon. “Yeah, let’s get going. There’s a café with a few tables, and usually, we have lunch there, but there are green areas behind the exposition rooms.”
“We can have a picnic there.”
Namjoon leaves his hand on the small of Hoseok’s back and guides him inside the museum. He greets the guards and receptionist and enjoys as wonder fills Hoseok’s face when he looks around the first room of the Art Forum.
Namjoon has always liked the sound his steps make against the floor, echoing. But he discovers he likes it even better with Hoseok by his side, even if Hoseok teases him after a second. “Where’s your husband?” he asks.
“Don’t call him that. Seokjin hyung is fine.”
“And I’m hiding from him because he’ll want to embarrass me in front of you.”
“Oh, but I’d love that!”
“Not today. The last date was enough embarrassment for me.” Hoseok is enjoying himself if his wide smile is anything to judge by. “He’s at the office, over there.”
Namjoon points at a faraway building once they step out of the entrance before leading Hoseok the opposite way and far from Seokjin, towards three structures. “The galleries are this way. We usually display different video and sound exhibitions in the smallest of them.”
Hoseok peeks curiously, reading the names on the banner outside. Namjoon keeps talking with his guide voice, which he rarely uses. “We rotate the painting exhibitions in the medium-sized room while the main gallery remains the same always. All kinds of national visual art.”
They stop outside the main gallery and its glass walls. They don’t enter, but Hoseok says, “you’re opening your heart to me, Joon.”
“What do you mean?”
“You said that a date in a museum is your third base. An important step into getting to know you.”
Namjoon chuckles. "Yeah."
“But we haven’t gotten to that part yet. The third base starts when I begin to appreciate and discuss the artworks with you.”
Hoseok pouts. “I’d love to do that, but-”
“I know. You brought food and have to go.” They leave the galleries behind, but Namjoon knows they’ll return.
The weather is lovely, the water fountain is working, and there’s a painting workshop in process. “Is there always something happening in the green area?”
“Oh yes. We organize all kinds of events. Ceramic and drawing workshops, outdoor cinema, even birthday parties.”
They take a seat on the grass and get to eat. Namjoon praises the cooking, but Hoseok doesn’t accept the compliment, settling for a glare. “You’ll get wrinkles if you frown that much, Hobah.”
“I’ve lowered my frowning,” Hoseok whines.
“Yeah? Thanks to your changes at work?”
“Yes. I’ve noticed it’s easier to ask for a favor when you offer a smile and comprehensive words alongside it,” Hoseok picks and bites at his food.
“I had lost faith in the whole ‘kindness takes you far’ mindset, but I think I’ve found myself drifting back to it.”
Namjoon nods. “You know, I’ve thought a lot about it. I wondered what pushed you to take on this more traditional boss role and shut away sides of your personality. Hoseok is strict and a perfectionist, but even more when he’s the boss. And as a boss, he’s less kind than Hoseok.”
“Is it okay for me to ask what toughened you up?”
There's something Namjoon has been inferring, a suspicion of a bad work experience, but he didn’t want to confront Hoseok about it. So if Hoseok doesn’t want to talk about it, Namjoon won’t press.
Hoseok takes a deep breath.
“Well, I could open my heart to you since you’ve invited me to such a special spot.” Hoseok gets distracted with his food, but after a long minute, he whispers. “A long time ago, a supervisor tried to make a move on me. Several times. When I was an intern at a big company.”
“He pestered me for months online and in the office, which is why I locked my accounts. He got close to me under the pretense of wanting a friendship. But used that friendship to his advantage, bringing personal matters into work but never overlooking that I worked under him.”
“It was a confusing dynamic. And when I had enough of saying ‘no’ and being unheard or dismissed, I went to the people in charge and said he was abusing his power to force contact. As a result, I had to go through a long process of meetings, but it was so exhausting.”
“And no one was on my side, so, in the end, I just left the company.”
As soon as he hears the words, anger pools in Namjoon’s stomach; he frowns but controls his reaction. There’s no use in repeating what Hoseok must already know. He settles for a soft. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
Hoseok’s smile is tight, void of his usual shine. “It’s been so long since it happened, it's fine now, but I guess it influenced how I choose to interact with people I work with, and it also became why I didn’t want to have someone more powerful than me in my workspace.”
“That makes sense.” Namjoon leaves a hand on Hoseok’s thigh, careful of his reaction, but Hoseok doesn’t flinch. On the contrary, he smiles at the touch.
“I wanted to keep everyone at arm’s length, not cross any limit he had crossed by blurring the meaning of ‘boss’ but—”
“My cautiousness made me a bit of a jerk.”
“I think how people process or react to bad experiences doesn’t make them jerks.” Hoseok hums in agreement but doesn’t reply, making Namjoon tilt his head in search of those eyes that swarm his thoughts. “Are you listening to me?”
“Yes. But I don’t want to keep talking about it; I want to kiss you.” Namjoon smiles and understands the conversation has to end. They'll resume it with time. “A real kiss this time, Joon.”
“What? The one from earlier wasn’t real?”
“Oh, come on! That was barely a kiss!”
There’s still a lot to learn about Hoseok, but everything Namjoon has discovered so far is something he likes. And what he doesn’t agree with, he respects. And on top of that, he desperately wants to kiss him, so finally, Namjoon leans in, closing the small distance between them.
The breeze and the sun’s rays feel nice against Namjoon’s skin, but it’s nothing compared to Hoseok’s soft lips and how they part and catch Namjoon’s lower lip into his, getting used to the other. They kiss for a long moment, moving slowly but never pulling apart.
Hoseok fists Namjoon’s sweater when they break away for air, pulling him in for more and taking whatever he wants. Namjoon thinks he has discovered a new favorite hobby.
He presses his forehead to Hoseok’s and cups his small face before a loud gasp forces them away.
Seokjin stands a few steps away, mouth open in indignation and iced coffee in one hand. “You can’t do that in the museum! It’s a public space! There are children around!”
“God.” Namjoon sighs. “You scared me! I thought it was a guard and I would get in trouble.”
“You’ll get in trouble with me for the indecency!”
Namjoon rolls his eyes, and it doesn’t take long for Hoseok to put two and two together. “You’re the spouse!”
“Oh wow, Namjoon, I didn’t know we were married.” Seokjin walks closer, intending to join and tease Namjoon.
“You’re the crush, I suppose.”
“The crush, huh?” Hoseok wiggles his eyebrows. “I’m Yoongi’s boss.”
“No, he’s the boyfriend,” Namjoon supplies just to watch Hoseok splutter while Seokjin laughs in the background. Of course, if they’re teaming up against him, he’ll attack first.
i wanted to write the ‘hates everyone but you’ trope but my way so i didnt want to make anyone a bad person and didnt want to make the backstory as important but also wanted to adress the themes i enjoy and i just ended with my longest namseok so far hehe i hope you enjoyed it!!!