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“i think they like art.”

 

“who?” jungkook looked up from his readings, marker stopping at the end of the sentence in order to give his attention to jimin.

 

jimin smiled down at his arm with a lovesick expression, eyes glowing and full of adoration, adoration for a person he never met. “my soulmate.” jimin clarifies, “i think they like art.”

 

jungkook made a sound of acknowledgment and then looked down at his textbook again. he still had to read this one chapter and notes to take before he could go home and practice a bit, “why do you think that?” jungkook asked.

 

“the words that appear on my skin are about paint and famous artists names. i googled some of them.” jimin explained. jungkook nodded not sure what to answer to jimin's observation. 

 

he hoped he didn't come over as rude or uninterested because that's not what he was… he was just unsure how to answer, what to reply. jungkook looked down on his blank skin, skin which was only covered by small scars from accidents as a child and little black moles. no words, no sentences, no poetry or embarrassing statements….

 

just skin.

 

jungkook led out a small sigh and looked away from his skin again. 

 

it's not like it mattered. it's not like it made a difference. any difference.

 

he's fine. totally fine. okay. perfect even.

 

there's a hand on his neck, gently stroking jungkook's hair. the warm touch is comforting, soothing. (jungkook wished someone would touch him all the time, someone who loves l oves him). “i’m sorry jungkookie,” jimin whispers, “it’s a bad day, huh?” jimin asks. his voice is kind, gentle. jungkook wished it weren't.

 

here's the thing. jimin is his best friend, almost older brother. they grew up together, went to the same kindergarten, same taekwondo club, same elementary, middle and high school. jungkook knows every detail about jimin, and jimin knows every detail about jungkook. jimin was there supporting jungkook when he finally realized that he didn't have a soulmate, jimin was there when jungkook broke down crying after one of their middle school classes on soulmates finally realizing that after 11 years he still didn't have a single soul message. jimin held him, whispered encouraging and promising words

 

who needs a soulmate when we have each other jungkookie. right? who says romantic love is worth more than platonic love. no matter what you'll always be my soulmate

 

and maybe back then it was okay. because jungkook was only a small eleven year old and he only cared about the secret stash of cookies at jimin's house. so who cared if he had a soulmate or not? right?

 

but life isn't kind and life isn’t fair and the older you grow the more you realize how much you long for someone else. for someone that just gets you. for someone who will hold you and take care of you. someone you can trust your heart with and be trusted back. someone who won't ever want to see you hurt or cry.

 

just sucks that jungkook isn't allowed to have that.

 

his soulmate is dead or never even existed in the first place. who knows. jungkook certainly doesn't.

 

jimin knows he struggles with it sometimes. some days it just hits differently, sometimes you walk home in the night, listen to sad music and wonder why me? what did i do? and some days jungkook doesn't care about his lack of soulmate, focusing on his career and friendships.

 

today jungkook feels like walking home in the middle of the night, the darkness consuming him, laying a protective blanket over his body, wallowing in his own misery and self-pity. it'll be like that sometimes. sometimes you're allowed to feel sorry for yourself. 

 

“it’s okay,” jungkook finally answers jimin whos still looking at him with concern. jungkook looks down at jimin's arm, always full of random sentences and statements; i have to buy another canvas before heading home. “i’m really okay.” jungkook repeats again. 

 

jungkook knows he won't be able to concentrate anymore, so he closes his workbook, puts his pens into his backpack, and grabs his phone which was charging on the other side of the table. “i'm gonna go home. don't worry jiminie-hyung.” jungkook gives jimin a smile. a sincere one.

 

“you going to the park again?” jimin asks not pushing the soulmate topic any longer. 

 

jungkook nods, “yeah so i'll probably be late.” 

 

“ramen or pizza?” jimin asks.

 

jungkook scoffs, “i make the best ramen. you just add to much water.”

 

jimin narrows his eyes at him, “that was literally once .” 

 

jungkook laughs and turns around, ready to walk out. “i’ll order pizza then!” jimin semi shouts after him. jungkook waves at jimin before pressing his body through the door and out into the open.

 

he needs to unwind.

 

***

 

being a student, while being broke, while also working is… shit. 

 

jungkook works way too much for the little money he's making and is way to broke for the amount of time he's working.

 

it's part of life he guesses. still won't stop him from criticizing the government and society. 

 

he's an art-science student with a special focus on music production. he loves what he does, truly does. loves learning about music and its form of impact, how it touches, affects and influences people. how music is one of the most vital forms of communication (universal language!), part of a group's culture, part of political activism, part of history. maybe jungkook's a nerd but he hates when people underappreciated art and culture. most people don't understand how vital music is to one's self identify, how much music contributes to our daily lives, to our relationships and moods. there is so much you can do with music and art jungkook finds it fascinating. plus he's good at it. like really, really good.

 

jungkook likes writing lyrics (even though that's probably the part he struggles with the most), he loves producing beats, he loves composing songs. but most of all he loves performing. loves singing, loves making people feel things with his voice, loves touching people’s souls and hearts.

 

its what jungkook was born for.

 

jungkookie has such a pretty voice, he's gonna be a famous singer one day 

 

should we sign jungkook up for vocal classes? he seemed interested.

 

jungkook-ah you're very talented, if you continue to work hard you'll become big

 

jungkook had been thinking of applying at music companies and becoming an idol but it didn't seem quite right. like something was telling him to wait, to wait for something else, for a different opportunity. so jungkook threw the ads away and continued to study and improve.

 

and here he was. third-year bachelor student and part-time singer.

 

jungkook sometimes performed at little night bars. he wasn't booked often but people seemed to love him whenever he did perform. it made his heart melt, leap, and jump whenever he got an email with a new request.

 

no, mostly jungkook would perform at the park. a park in the middle of seoul, always busy with running office workers, stressed students and young parents.

 

usually, he was ignored, just another street performer of many but sometimes people would stop, would take a minute of their day to stop and listen. listen to him sing, listen to him play his own self-written songs on the guitar.

 

there was no better feeling than seeing people slow down, take a deep breath and see their eyes start to fill with emotions. and that's exactly what jungkook lived for. those small moments where he could see, see the people he touched and changed with his voice. 

 

jungkook got out his guitar and started tuning it. he had a couple of new songs he wanted to play and he hoped people would like them. it always felt good when one person or so took that extra step and told him personally that they enjoyed his music. jungkook loved being a busker because he gets to be so close to people, ordinary people and that's what makes it all the more fulfilling.

 

it was a normal evening. the same people walked by, some stopped and listened, he received a couple ten thousand won.

 

however, there was one difference. one significant difference. 

 

there was a man, a man with platinum blonde hair sitting on a bench. and jungkook would have probably ignored him. but the man wouldn't stop looking at him. not in a creepy or anxiety-inducing way, no it was full of admiration and curiosity. jungkook could see the man, dressed in wide green pants and an oversized grey shirt watching him, a forgotten book and pen on his lap.

 

jungkook had no idea how long the man sat there but it must have been at least an hour. 

 

before jungkook could approach him though, his curiosity spiked, the bench was empty and the man nowhere to be seen.

 

###

 

jungkook saw him the next time. and the time after that. and after after that. 

 

It was always the same man. blond hair, deep, curious eyes, beautiful face. jungkook recognized him every time. jungkook won't lie it was nice having a “fan”, or someone who enjoyed his music and listened, really listened. listened to his notes, his voice, his words.

 

jungkook just wished he could talk to the stranger. that he wouldn't always run away as soon as jungkook thanked the people listening and packed away his guitar.

 

he didn't tell jimin about the stranger, not wanting his hyung to worry (because jimin tends to be a bit protective of him). jungkook thought about telling seokjin, his mentor and first friend at uni. but seokjin would also just worry. honestly telling your friends a man was watching all of your performances in a park didn't necessarily sound great.

 

jungkook wished he at least knew the man's name.

 

###

 

jungkook always knew that there was something not quite right about him. 

 

he watched his parent’s and brother’s skin be painted with words and sentences, phrases and statements. randomly shuffled together by whatever their soulmate was saying. he watched jimin learn how to read because he practiced with the words on his arm that would appear randomly and disappear randomly. he watched his classmate’s skin be filled with black ink, or that of the woman at his favorite gummy bear store or the grocery store cashier. 

 

he saw the words everywhere. everywhere except on his skin.

 

“do you think my soulmate doesn't like to talk?” jungkook asked his mother one day.

 

she had that look on his face. it wasn’t pity, it was more like sadness but also acceptance. jungkook wasn't sure what to make out of it, “it's hard to say kook-ah.” his mother replied, “it could be that they don't like to talk, or maybe they can’t speak at all and it can also be that they don't exist.” his mother was honest with him and jungkook appreciated that. she didn't lie to him but calmly explained the possible reasons for his uninked skin.

 

back then jungkook was only seven. he did know about soulmates and to a certain extent he was curious and jealous he didn't have the ink too but… he was also only seven. the consequences of uninked skin not quite hitting yet, the concept of love and relationships not quite there yet.

 

the day it hit. really hit was when he was in middle school. it was a class on soulmates and for the first time, jungkook was actually really curious. he understood it more, wanted to know more. he listened to his teacher explain what soulmates are, the basic science behind it and also what it implied. 

 

they watched an academic movie on soulmates and jungkook watched with his wide eyes. taking in the two people on screen, watching them read their messages, watching them meet by chance at work, falling in love and being happy.

 

it all seemed so nice. so simple. so easy.

 

“what if you don't get soul messages?” jungkook's classmate asked.

 

jungkook froze in his chair. because the question hit too close to home. in fact, it was a question that constantly ran through his head. he anxiously fiddled with his long-sleeved shirt, didn't dare pull up his sleeve to see his uninked skin. his skin that had never seen a single message, not a single letter or word, or sentence or phrase.

 

“Well, it's not unusual not to have soul messages. around 15% of the world's population lacks messages for various reasons. sometimes a soulmate doesn't speak or wasn't born yet. however, that doesn't happen very often. the most common reason is death of your soulmate. especially elderly people whose soulmate passed away, suffer under uninked skin.”

 

jungkook froze in his chair. he knew this already. his mother told him countless times but somehow… somehow his teacher’s words just hit him. really hit him.

 

his soulmate was dead .

 

###

 

jungkook saw the handsome stranger in a cafe. 

 

jungkook just wanted a hot chocolate, the cold morning air creeping under his skin and his body desperate for some hot beverage. it's a nice cafe, urban, hip with lots of plants and cute interior decor.

 

the stranger sits in a corner, pen out and writing into a college block. he looks good (again) and jungkook can’t take his eyes of this man. his blond hair is messily styled, his face twisted in a look of concentration, his skin is smooth and seems to glow. and he's just so… so big? does that sound right? he’s muscular, broad, tall. jungkook feels a bit small in this man's presence, especially seeing him so concentrated in the empty cafe. 

 

“sir?” jungkook snaps out of it. embarrassingly noticing that he had stared at the man a bit too long. the barista, a young woman looks embarrassed and nervous about calling his name repeatedly. she fiddles with the pen in her hand and has a forced smile on her face. jungkook feels bad knowing jobs like those are the worst with grumpy, incapable customers, underpaid and understaffed conditions.

 

“sorry,” jungkook touches his neck in embarrassment, “can I have a medium hot chocolate to go please?” 

 

“with whipped cream?” she asks, now a bit more sure in her questions since she falls into a familiar routine.

 

“yes, please.” jungkook replies. he pays quickly and then waits at the side for his drink. he gets out his phone trying to check his social media but... ends up looking at the man again. 

 

he's just so… so… pretty? handsome? breathtaking?

 

jungkook finds it hard to describe but he's just so intrigued. he’s fascinated by this stranger who randomly appeared in his life so many weeks ago. they still haven’t talked, jungkook always missing him. but the stranger listens so closely to jungkook’s lyrics, seems to follow his every word. really listens to jungkook. hears jungkooks soul. 

 

he never experienced something like that before.

 

jungkook could go up right now, right here, and actually talk to the man. ask for his number and name. get to know him.

 

but it feels wrong. the stranger obviously doesn't want to talk to jungkook yet and taking that away from him feels wrong somehow. so jungkook leaves it, lets a breath out of his body and decides to run out of the cafe as fast as possible instead. if the man doesn't want to talk to him then jungkook will respect that decision.

 

his hot chocolate gets put down in front of him. jungkook thanks the barista and then with quick and confident steps walks out of the cafe, leaving once again the stranger behind.

 

###

 

the day jungkook's realizes that his soulmate is dead he cries and mourns the entire day. he feels so devastated, so empty and hollow. his whole chest hurts, his body hurts. it feels like his soul burns and he feels so helpless, so helpless and lost he won’t stop crying. jungkook presses his fist into his mouth and tries to suppress his sobs.

 

he's sitting on the floor of the school bathroom. it's disgusting and pathetic but maybe that’s all he deserves at the moment. the scenery certainly fits his current mood.

 

he's never felt so helpless before in his young life. never felt this out of control and devastated. he feels so sad, so goddam sad . he will never get to have what everyone else has, will never get to experience a relationship like people have with their soulmates, will never see his soulmate or touch his soulmate, won't ever hear their voice or get to know their name.

 

don't take them away before i ever know who they are. please don't take them.

 

it's all taken from him. taken away and there is nothing jungkook can do. absolutely nothing.

 

jungkook hates being out of control. if he didn't achieve something; he does it. he trains and practices until it’s his. if something goes wrong he tries to make it right. its something he lives by, it's how he controls his life.

 

and this. this whole situation is completely out of his hands and control and it's killing him, absolutely killing him.

 

don't do this to me. why me? why me?

 

his throat is dry, his lips are salty and he feels so empty. jungkook can't stop the big tears rolling down his cheeks, can't stop the small whimpers that escape his throat, his hands are wet and sticky with tears, his chest feels empty. he feels so, so, so empty.

 

give them back. give them back.

 

jimin finds him later when jungkook is already half calmed down, enveloping him in a tight hug and telling him a variety of things. usually, it makes jungkook smile again but this time even his best friends charm doesn't have an effect on him.

 

he's never felt this devastated 

 

###

 

“we should go out.” jin says.

 

jungkook bangs his head against the table, “i have like two essays to hand in by next week.”

 

“jungkookie. my talented, hardworking child.” jin clicks his tongue in disapproval, “you deserve some fun and free time.” jin gives him a kind smile, “but i also understand that your education is important to you. so don't feel stressed to go out. I’m just selfish and want someone to come with me.”

 

“ask jimin. he loves dancing.” jungkook likes drinking and clubbing as well but he's been stressed about university for days now and would feel guilty if he went out.

 

jin lets out a sigh, “i already did. he cant.”

 

“don't you have other friends?” jungkook asks a bit teasingly, “or am i the only one?”

 

jin gives him a look, “i do have other friends. i just love you so much.” jin sends him a hand kiss and jungkook laughs loudly. he loves jin a lot. jin took him under his feathers when he moved to seoul and showed him the university and gave him advice on uni. jungkook won't forget how much jin has done for him, how often he made jungkook smile, encouraged him and made him feel loved and safe. he's honestly one of the best friends jungkook has ever had.

 

“another time maybe?” jungkook asks honestly. because he does want to go out but he's busy.

 

jin gives him a reassuring smile, “of course, i'll just ask another friend. i met him a while ago. kim taehyung. he's funny.”

 

###

 

despite being busy with university and really, really needing to finish two essays jungkook goes busking.

 

he just… he just needs to see the stranger, needs to see those beautiful eyes, and the way the man looks at him and listens to his words. jungkook feels less alone through the man, feels more connected to someone, understood. he practically longs to see the man. 

 

i’m so fucked i’m so fucked.

 

jungkook somewhere in the back of his mind knows he has a tiny crush. a tiny (big) crush on this handsome stranger despite knowing nothing about him. but the way the guy makes him feel… it does something to jungkook, to his heart and soul and he wants more. jungkook craves more.

 

so jungkook goes back to the park.

 

he's there again. phone in his hand, hair still beautiful. jungkook looks at him for a while. he looks cold, all bundled up in a blue scarf, a hat and a brown coat. but still, he's here. and maybe jungkook wants to believe that the stranger is here because of him but that’s to much to hope for.

 

it's the same procedure as every time, jungkook introduces himself, most people walk past him, some stay and watch or film him for a while and he sings, and sings and sings. puts all his emotions and feelings into the song. soaks in the energy and tries to sing as sincerely as possible.

 

sometimes jungkook sees the stranger look at him, sees him listening closely and paying attention to jungkook. 

 

it's reassuring to have him there. like a safety blanket, a personal watchdog. jungkook became so used to the stranger’s presence he doesn't know what to do if he weren't there.

 

after his last song jungkook thanks everyone for listening, collects his money, and packs up his things. it was colder today and jungkook can't wait to get home and take a hot shower. he's lost deep in thought thinking about what he can have for dinner (ramen or kimchi fried rice?) and doesn't even notice the tall figure standing above him until a small letter falls down in front of him.

 

jungkook lets out a loud shriek and stumbles back startled from the paper that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. jungkook looks up just to see the handsome stranger walk away, hands stuffed into his jacket.

 

jungkook is about to shout after him but thinks better of it, instead, he picks up the letter. the envelope is a pretty cream color. there is no name on the letter but jungkook assumes it was intended for him.

 

jungkook gently puts the letter into his backpack, packs his stuff and then hurries home.

 

###

 

jungkook isn't the type of person to think romantic love is everything you need in life. in fact, it's quite the opposite. jungkook has a loving family who will always be there for him, jimin is his best friend and he knows jimin would never leave him behind. seokjin is like a second brother, someone jungkook can tell anything and know he’ll get an honest answer to his questions and problems. 

 

he also treats his passions as relationships, he likes working out, takes time in doing so and takes care of his body. he takes care of his relationship towards art. 

 

every relationship no matter if romantic, platonic, relationship to your pets or your hobbies needs to be taken care of.

 

so even if jungkook felt devastated at the thought that he might never fall in love in the soulmate way (jungkook is a romantic, you can't blame him for wanting a cliche love story) he knows it's not the only thing in life.

 

it still hurts however. and that pain will never go away. everyone craves such love, such affection.

 

every time jungkook reads a romantic book or watches a romantic movie something in his heart breaks . over and over and over again. jungkook wonders if its normal for a heart to constantly ache like that. constantly feel longing and sadness.

 

he wonders if he'll ever find love. most people have a soulmate, he could only date someone who really doesn't care about soulmates with the constant fear that once they find their soulmate they'll leave jungkook behind or he finds someone who’s also soulmate less.

 

jungkook just wants to love, love with his whole heart and soul, make someone smile and put his whole body into something and in turn wants to be loved back like that.

 

###

 

the letter the stranger gave jungkook isn't short but also not very long. however, it’s meaningful and jungkook clutches his chest painfully, his heart about to jump out.

 

for the first time he thinks he might be able to experience love, love like everyone else. love like in the cliche romance movies and he feels like crying. crying out of sadness and happiness.

 

hello jungkook,

 

i hope it's okay i write this to you. i’m better writing down things then speaking them. 

 

first, let me introduce myself. my name is kim namjoon. i'm a literature and philosophy student and like to frequent the park you busk in. usually, i'm always on the other side and listen to music so i never heard or noticed you. the day i went to your side of the park, my usual bench was occupied by a couple making out. i didn't feel like disturbing their happiness so i left. i'm glad i did.

 

your voice drew me in, it drew me in and captured my mind and soul. i couldn't believe a real human could have such a beautiful angelic voice. the first day i saw you, i just listened without hearing the actual lyrics. i just listened to your voice. the second time i listen to you, i heard you . i heard your words, your thoughts, your lyrics. i listened to everything you said and i hope you know that i listened, that i took everything in.

 

you have a beautiful soul, deep thoughts and even a more beautiful voice.

 

i'm nervous writing this. i hope i don't scare you in any way. i wish i could say a lot more but i think this is enough at first?

 

i wanted to ask if you want to go on a date with me and if you don't want a date maybe just normal coffee. i'd love to get to know you better.

 

the only thing you have to take into consideration is that i'm mute. i won't understand you but i hope that's okay. i can talk via text.

 

until next time jungkook,

namjoon

 

jungkook's heart was pounding, his hands sweaty. he read and reread and rereread the text over and over again. jungkook could tell that namjoon had held himself back probably wanting to write more but jungkook was still happy.

 

it's the first love letter he ever received.

 

###

 

jungkook still hasn't told jimin what happened. hasn't told jimin about namjoon, the way namjoon makes him feel, the possible date, nothing. 

 

he wants to, jungkook badly wants to tell jimin. wants his reassurance and support but he’s scared. what if everything goes wrong? what if it's just a hopeful dream ready to burst into hundred pieces?

 

but jimin the observant person he is, notices that something is wrong with jungkook and jungkook should have known , known as soon as he saw jimin's text let's eat dinner together tonight :)

 

so he agreed because hey his best friend asked him to spend time together why wouldn't he. but as soon as they sit down on the couch, their bellies full with homemade spaghetti and some alcohol jimin starts talking.

 

jimin eyes him with a stubborn look and then pushes his finger into jungkook's chest, “tell me what's wrong.” jimin demands.

 

jungkook looks away. he's a bad liar and he knows he is, knows jimin will see right through him but he doesn't know if he's ready to tell jimin just yet, “I’m fine.”

 

jimin lowers his fingers from jungkook's chest and instead takes his hand and gives jungkook a soft, reassuring smile, “jungkookie. i know something is wrong. you've been jumpy and anxious the last couple of days and i worry about you. is everything okay with your family? is someone hurting you at uni?” jimin asks concern clearly identifiable.

 

jungkook lets out a sigh and somehow something in him gives away and he falls against jimin's chest, “i met someone.” jungkook states.

 

he can feel jimin tense around him, can feel the arms that are holding him stiffen and jimin's posture straightens, “jungkookie… aren't you happy?” jimin asks wanting to make sure he understands correctly why jungkook is this upset.

 

“i actually haven't talked to him yet but…” jungkook stops talking, unsure, so goddamn unsure of himself and this situation, “jiminie hyung. he's been listening really listening to me.” jungkook holds onto jimin a bit tighter jimin holds him back just as tightly.

 

“oh jungkookie,” jimin looks into his eyes and gives him a bright smile, “I’m happy for you, so happy. if you don't want to talk about it you don't have too, just know i'll always be here to support you.” jimin whispers.

 

jungkook laughs wetly barely holding the tears back, “i know you are. i just don't understand anything myself yet. and how can i tell you what's going on if i don't know myself?”

 

“sometimes it helps just saying what happened to figure out your thoughts,” jimin responds, “either way kookie just stay safe okay?” jimin looked so concerned about him it reminds jungkook once again how much he adores his best friend.

 

“of course.”

 

###

 

four days after he got namjoons (jungkook finally knew his name!) letter jungkook goes back busking. his hand trembled and shook the whole way towards the park, his heart hurt and he really did feel like throwing up. 

 

in conclusion, he feels fine.

 

close to passing out and dying but otherwise fine.

 

jungkook wrote a small letter back. nothing special just saying he's happy namjoon wrote and that he would like to go on a date… if namjoon had time after jungkook finished busking?

 

jungkook would give namjoon the letter before starting to play. it was easy, go up to namjoon, give him the letter, smile, leave, wait.

 

however, it's not that easy in real life. as soon as jungkook sees namjoon he wants to quite frankly run away and never come back. his nerves are eating him up and he feels so shy . he hasn't felt this shy since he was 15 years old and barely managed to talk to close friends.

 

but jungkook also knows that if he won't do this, won't give namjoon the letter he'll regret it for the rest of his life. so jungkook puts down his guitar quickly, takes out the letter and walks (more like runs) over to namjoon whos already watching him approach wide wide eyes and an unsure look.

 

as soon as he stops in front of namjoon, jungkook thrust out the letter and stammers, “uhm.. for you? i mean,” jungkook nervously pushes the letter into namjoons lap, “i mean. this is for you.” and before jungkook can even see namjoons reaction he turns around and runs away.

 

he might be a disaster but at least he managed to give namjoon the letter.

 

jungkook feels spaced out during his entire performance. he can’t stop thinking about namjoon and his reaction? what if he says no and leaves jungkook with a broken heart and shattered confidence? what if he says yes and jungkook actually has to go on a date. like what would he even say? what would he do? how would he act? he didn't think this through and it shows.

 

the hours go by faster than usual and before he knows jungkook is packing his guitar and drinking some water when once again someone looms above him. jungkook looks up to see namjoon, namjoons long legs, and muscular thighs and pretty smile and beautiful eyes and oh god how did this crush ever get so big.

 

“uhm hi?” jungkook asks. he wants to smack himself right after he said that. oh my god why did he ask hi? why didn't he just say hello. this is horrible. this is all going wrong. this-

 

namjoon holds out his phone which is opened on the notes app. jungkook takes it gently and reads over the message.

 

i would love to go out! do you like eating stew?

 

it's so simple but it means so much to jungkook he's about to cry. again. he's an emotional person and cries easily. it's often more annoying than helpful.

 

“uhm yeah? i would like that.” jungkook replies and smiles hesitantly at namjoon who looks at him with so much warmth in his eyes. jungkook's heart squeezes painfully.

 

can it be that namjoon likes him back just as much? can it be that namjoon feels the same way?

 

jungkook doesn't want to draw conclusions or hope for something that isn't true. but the thought alone that someone likes jungkook in a romantic way makes his heart beat wildly and he's sure his cheeks are rosy.

 

jimin and seokjin both told him people had an interest in him and jungkook made out with people at parties and even went on a couple of dates but it had never been like this before. so real. so wholesome. 

 

namjoon types something on his phone again and hands it back to jungkook who takes the device more confidently now.

 

follow me? i know a good place.

 

jungkook nods a smile painting his lips. 

 

he's going on an actual date.

 

###

 

to say jungkook is floating on cloud nine is an understatement. he's flying, soaring, can't stop smiling and shaking his body. he feels so happy. he never thought that the handsome stranger who listened to him all these weeks ago would turn out being this kind and interesting and end up so close to jungkook's heart.

 

it's crazy if you think about it but jungkook is living .

 

their date went well. eating some stew in a restaurant while talking (well jungkook talked, namjoon texted) they did not go into deep topics instead talking about friends, their studies and passions but it was a lot of much fun.

 

he had so much fun in fact, that jungkook forgot soulmates exist.

 

he knows he has to ask namjoon, ask him if he has a soulmate and what it'll mean for them if they continue this relationship. but jungkook is also scared. what if it'll ruin everything? what if namjoon says jungkook is just a temporary distraction until he meets his actual soulmate? jungkook doesn't think that namjoon would actually be that cruel but he doesn't want to rule it out. soulmates always have priority in this society and who is jungkook to compete with that?

 

he knows he has to ask namjoon rather sooner than later. better now when it's still only a crush before he falls too deep. because jungkook knows he will . namjoon is such an interesting, gentle, calm and funny person. honest and thoughtful. jungkook wants to get to know him better. knows he'll fall for this man. 

 

so jungkook makes himself a promise: hell ask next time they meet

 

###

 

next time turns out to be sooner than he thought. 

 

they had exchanged numbers on their first date and have been texting, not to much but occasionally. it's obvious they both wanna take this slowly. don't want to rush things or pressure the other person. it makes jungkook happy, having always been someone who likes his privacy and needs time to warm up and trust other people.

 

however, namjoon texts him three days after their first meeting.

 

there is an art exhibition...its contemporary and looks fun! do you want to join me?

 

jungkook never agreed faster to something in his life and throws himself on his bed in excitement.

 

###

 

namjoon smiles at him when he sees jungkook walking into the foyer of the exhibition. jungkook waves shyly at him. he dressed up for this occasion. he doesn't know if he looks good (jimin said he did) but he's wearing blue jeans (doesn't happen often) and a grey shirt. he chose a couple of cool dangly earrings and made sure his hair was fluffed up. 

 

he hopes namjoon likes it.

 

namjoon looks pretty as always, his skin glowing, his eyes deep and warm, he's wearing white pants which looks better than it should and a white long-sleeved shirt. it looks good, namjoon looks good.

 

“thank you for inviting me hyung,” jungkook says. namjoon smiles and writes on his phone.

 

I’m glad you came

 

jungkook blushes a bit (damn he really feels like a highschooler, he used to be cool and collected) and asks, “what the exhibition about?”

 

namjoon already seemed to have a text ready because he doesn't even write anything when giving his phone to jungkook. a website of the (jungkook assumes) artist is opened and he reads the text quickly. it's an exhibition made out of rubbish the artist found in nature. it's supposed to bring awareness to their growing trash problem, its economic and ecological impact and also climate change. jungkook cares deeply for animals and the planet, always reminding people to walk/ride the bike or take public transport instead of taking the car and tries to eat meat only occasionally knowing how meat production impacts the co2 emissions and is the lead cause of deforestation in the rainforest. he just wants to help this planet. 

 

“this sounds amazing. i'm glad you took me.” jungkook replies and hands namjoon the phone. namjoon smiles and they head into the exhibition.it's interesting seeing the different sculptures and landscapes made out of rotten plastic and trash. it also hurts when jungkook sees the pictures of the places the trash was found. he wished humans were more sensitive and kind.

 

the exhibition isn't very big so they finish after a good hour. jungkook doesn't want the night to end yet, wanting to spend more time in namjoons proximity and asks if the elder wants to get some bubble tea with him. namjoon agrees and they walk through the bright lights of seoul until they reach a cute bubble tea shop.

 

“i'm sorry i can't read sign language,” jungkook says after namjoon texted out something once again. jungkook feels bad because namjoon can’t talk freely with him, always having to text everything out, “i want to learn though, so i can talk to you easier.”

 

you would?

 

jungkook blushes a bit, “yeah uhm… i mean i really like you so it would be good right?”

 

namjoon stares at him for a second, shock written over his face but then a gentle smile paints his features.

 

i like you too jungkook-ah. and that would be very kind of you.

 

“does it ever get too much?” jungkook asks. he isn't sure if he's allowed to ask already, such deep questions that is. but he wants to know namjoon better so he does, “i mean you think a lot. i can tell but you can't physically speak out the words. doesn't your head get too full?” jungkook clarifies a bit.

 

namjoon stares at him, a deep look jungkook can't quite figure out. then namjoon begins to type.

 

it does. it does get overwhelming. my close friends, yoongi, hoseok and taehyung can sign but its not the same. i can't just blurt out what I think during class or even to you. it's hard to say what i feel because i can't write as fast as i can speak. but writing literature and poetry helped me a lot. i learned how to let out my emotions and my thoughts like that. it saved my life.

 

a shiver runs down jungkook's spine when he reads it. it saved my life. jungkook has the feeling there is a deeper meaning, a bigger story but he thinks it's too early to ask so he leaves it there.

 

“hyung if you ever need to talk. i'm here and i'll read everything you write to me.”

 

###

 

jungkook still hasn't asked namjoon about soulmates and it’s making him feel sick. he’s anxious all the time, scared that if he blinks namjoon will be swept away, scared namjoon doesn’t like him as much as he likes namjoon. there is so much uncertainty in their current relationship its destroying jungkook.

 

he’s constantly scared namjoon will pull away, be swept away by a strange face who laughs into his face.

 

poor jungkookie doesn’t have a soulmate. why did you think you could ever experience something like love.

 

jungkook knows that namjoon has a soulmate. usually, namjoon wears long sleeved shirts or cardigans or jackets but one time namjoon spilled water onto his shirt and rolled up his sleeve. jungkook couldn’t read the text on namjoons arm but he saw the ink. the ink of soul messages.

 

jungkook felt like he couldn't breath, like the air was stuck in his throat and his heart, oh god his heart. it hurt. badly. he wanted to hold onto namjoon ask him not to go, his feelings for the kind man increasing with every day that passes.

 

jungkook hadn’t felt this insecure since high school. usually, he’s stronger than this, doesn’t let the soulmate stuff affect him too much but now with namjoon in his life it’s a bit different.

 

he just wants to have namjoon. wants this man in his arms, wants to bury his head into the crook of his neck, touch his dimples and run his hand through his hair, wants late-night conversations, talk about art and the world.

 

he wants it all and every day he falls deeper, deeper and deeper and deeper.

 

###

 

it's been two months since their first date. a lot has changed but most stayed the same.

 

jungkook was still a stressed, broke student and performed as usual. he told jimin and seokjin about namjoon. how they met and how namjoon treats him, how much he adores namjoon. jin teased him a bit but also made sure that jungkook was happy and knew that he was always there for him. meanwhile, jimin hugged him closely and smiled brightly, told jungkook how happy he was. jungkook however could also tell that they were worried about him, worried he might get his heart broken. he desperately hopes namjoon won’t break his heart.

 

jungkook learned a bit of sign language. can read simple sentences like hello, do you want… etc. it's nice learning something and being able to see the results right away. jungkook still remembers namjoons huge smile the first time jungkook read his sign language.

 

jungkook hopes he can make namjoon smile like that in the future to.

 

they became more comfortable with one another. jungkook loved the time he would go with namjoon to the park and have a picnic next to the han river. they would talk about so many things, themselves, the world, jungkook sometimes explained how he wrote lyrics or current ideas he had for lyric writing. sometimes namjoon would talk about his favorite artist who made kaws figurines (personally jungkook though they were a bit scary but namjoon just looked so happy that jungkook gladly talked to him about them). jungkook continues to go to the gym, hang out with his other friends, continues studying hard and follow his passions. sometimes he sees namjoon every day, sometimes they were both to busy and didn’t see each other for days and barley texted. but jungkook didn’t mind, part of being in a relationship is giving the other person space to breathe without making them feel guilty.

 

all in all, it was amazing. jungkook felt happy, so unbelievably happy. 

 

but all came crashing down on him when jimin found his soulmate.

 

###

 

jungkook was at his shared apartment with jimin doing some studying when their door banged open and jimin came running in shouting jungkook's name. jungkook quickly looked up. jimin was smiling brightly but also crying, big tears rolling down his cheeks.

 

“jimin?” jungkook asked unsurely.

 

jimin laughed loudly and jumped into his arms, “jungkookie i found them!”

 

“who?” jungkook asked curiously.

 

jimin took a step back and jumped on the spot repeatedly, giggles making their way out of his mouth, “my soulmate.” jimin let out another happy giggle, “oh my god I found them.”

 

jungkook's eyes widened and he jumps back into Jimin’s arms unbelievably happy at the news. he knows jimin adores his soulmate, writing down every single message he received on his skin over the years, looking at the messages fondly and even sometimes repeating sentences over and over hoping they will be written down on his soulmates skin. jimin never flaunted his soulmate into jungkook's face but also didn't tiptoe or pity jungkook. jungkook appreciated that a lot.

 

so, of course, he's happy, beyond happy, for his best friend, “who is it? hyung who is it?” jungkook asked excitedly.

 

jimin grinned, “kim taehyung. he's a friend of seokjin and he saw a message on my arm ‘ one strawberry smoothie for vincent van gogh’ . he said it to a barista today and what are the odds someone else said that today? i cried as soon as he said that.” jimin wiped another tear away, “he's so pretty jungkook. i'm so happy right now.”

 

“i'm happy too hyung.”

 

###

 

now, what happened was the following. jungkook felt euphoric for jimin, listened to him repeat the same story over and over again, and helped jimin get dressed for his first date with taehyung.

 

but it also hit jungkook.

 

how fast you could lose someone, how fast you can find your soulmate. how fast namjoon could find his soulmate. namjoon could be in his arms in one second and in the next be swept away by another. and maybe jungkook was selfish, not wanting namjoon to be taken away but jungkook just needed reassurance. needed to know if he should break it off with namjoon now before they actually get into a relationship, before their first kiss or if he can continue to fall knowing namjoon will stay with him.

 

he couldn't wait anymore and let his heart be broken. he couldn't do that to himself and also not to namjoon.

 

they had to talk.

 

###

 

namjoon had cooked for him.

 

jungkook knows namjoon isn't the best cook and also a bit self conscious about his skills, however, namjoon made a genuine effort to cook him a nice dish that isn't just ramen with some vegetables but actual curry with tofu and vegetables.

 

jungkook feels close to crying seeing this big, kind-hearted man fidgeting nervously in the kitchen waiting for jungkook's reaction.

 

jungkook is sure he loves him. he loves namjoon. loves all his good and bad sides, loves his dimples, his full lips, and soft skin, loves his intelligence but also realistic views, loves his thoughts, his big, gentle hands that hold jungkook so tightly. he loves namjoon when he sometimes doesn't feel that good, loves namjoons ability to self reflect and grow, acknowledging when he did something wrong, his love for nature and animals. he loves how namjoon looks at him and loves how namjoon takes him seriously and listens.

 

he’s so fucked.

 

“thank you,” jungkook's voice is wobbly (again, he gets touched easily okay?) and takes a step forward to hug namjoon, “this is so kind of you joonie. thank you.”

 

“i hope you like it,” namjoon says with an unsure smile.

 

jungkook smiles, “i think i will. you made it with love.” jungkook takes the plates and fills them up with food while namjoon gets out some wine.

 

it is good. it's really good actually. the rice is well cooked, the curry has flavor, and the vegetables are soft (maybe a bit too soft and overcooked but who cares). jungkook thinks food never tasted better.

 

“namjoon this is amazing.” jungkook compliments him and namjoon blushes a bit under the compliment.

 

actually i wanted to talk about something with you

 

“oh?” jungkook hopes namjoon cant see how nervous he is, “that's funny i wanted to talk to you about something as well. you start.”

 

namjoon takes a deep breath and then unlocks his phone to show an already written text. jungkook takes the phone with shaky fingers.

 

it'll be okay. it'll be okay

 

it wasn't okay.

 

one moment jungkook had the perfect dinner with namjoon realizing he loved this man and the next the rug was pulled away under his feet, his world shattered, destroyed.

 

i found my soulmate

 

four simple words. but such a devastating impact. jungkook could feel tears come up, could feel how they were about to spill. his chest, oh god his chest hurt so badly. why, why, why now, why when he was finally fully happy .

 

jungkook tries not to show his hurt and smiles instead. he should be happy, happy for namjoon.

 

“oh namjoon, that's amazing,” it’s so obvious his smile is fake, his voice feels hollow.

 

namjoon looks at him with wide eyes, jungkook doesn't want to think about anything except how he's hurting, hurting, hurting, “i'm so happy, you know? you deserve to find your soulmate and spend your life with them. as long as they are kind to you.” jungkook continues.

 

namjoon gestures weirdly and shakes his head, jungkook looks at him confusedly. he can't think properly, the phone still in his hand, now locked and the screen black hiding that horrible message that took namjoon from him.

 

namjoon deserves to be happy. it's okay. it's okay.

 

suddenly namjoon stands up, walks around and clutches jungkooks face, a desperate expression painting his face. jungkook looks up into namjoons eyes with a teary gaze, “what?”

 

namjoon bends down and presses a small kiss against his forehead. jungkook closes his eyes at the hot touch, at the feeling of soft lips against his skin. he doesn't understand what’s happening.

 

namjoon gently takes the phone out of his hands, unlocks it, and then puts it back into jungkook's trembling hand.

 

jungkook looks down, sees the first sentence again i found my soulmate . seeing it again doesn't make it better, it's not as shocking as the first time but the pain is still there. at first, he doesn't understand what namjoon wants him to see but then he sees. there is space after the first sentence and the digital note continues, right under his hand which was covering part of the screen earlier.

 

“oh,” jungkook whispers.

 

i found my soulmate.



jungkook i grew up always being a bit different. what most people don't know is that i didn't mind being mute, i grew up with it, was born with it. i was never ashamed of myself or hated myself because i was mute. it was how others treated me that made me feel so bad. like i wasn't a normal human.

 

when i was small the neighborhood kids teased me, made fun of me. children can be horrible growing up not knowing themselves or other people, lacking empathy and kindness. i thought i could never have a soulmate that would love me because others told me so. 

 

high school was better with me gaining genuine friends like hoseok and yoongi. they loved me for me, never saw my muteness as a problem. they made me feel more appreciated in society and made me realize i do deserve a soulmate. 

 

my soul messages were beautiful. first random sentences, then curios questions of a small child obviously younger than me, then more serious conversation. my soulmate always seemed like a person who was well loved and supported. 

 

one day however i got a soul message that said i don't have a soulmate! why don't i have a soulmate? it made me realize that since i never spoke i was hurting my soulmate making them believe i was dead. i felt horrible, wishing i could say one word to let them know i was alive and well. but i can't change who i am. i don't hate me or my muteness, it's part of me. the only thing that makes me suffer is how i can’t express myself in the moment. as a child, it was horrible for me because i couldn't write yet and couldn't tell people around me what i wanted, what i thought and how i felt. later i learned to express myself through writing. writing was what saved me, what made me me.

 

later the older i got the more beautiful my soul messages became. full of poetry and lyrical words. i loved reading them, made me feel less alone on some days. the lyrics on my arm became more beautiful everyday and i wanted nothing more than to speak to my soulmate, to listen to them.

 

the day i heard you in the park...i came home and my arms were full of the lyrics you sang that very same day. i thought i was dreaming and cursed myself out for not noticing earlier. i thought i wouldn't see you again but then you came back to the park. and every word you sang was inked into my skin. your beautiful words jungkook. your beautiful heart and soul right there on my skin.

 

do you know how i felt? seeing you there? angels voice, kind and happy young man with the most gorgeous face and silky hair. i think i fell in love with you the exact moment i saw you the first time. but i was scared to tell you who i was… that i was your soulmate. what if you hated me for making you think i was dead? what if you didn't care about soulmates anymore? so i asked you out like that.

 

i fell in love more and more, with your personality, your bright smiles, your giggles, your little bunny teeth, your kindness and that big heart that loves and trusts so easily.

 

i'm sorry i didn't tell you earlier jungkook-ah. i wasn't ready yet. please forgive me for the pain i caused you. 

 

will you be mine?

 

jungkook had started crying halfway through the letter but now he was full on sobbing. 

 

“namjoon,” jungkook stood up and crushed himself against the elder’s chest. he cried into his soulmates (his soulmate! his his his ) chest and held him tightly. namjoon held him back just as tightly and pressed kisses against his hair.

 

“i could never hate you namjoon. never” jungkook replied. he was so relieved. so relieved namjoon was his soulmate, was his to stay, wasn't leaving him.

 

“namjoon i love you. i waited so long for you and i would wait another 10 years. i would love  you even if you weren't my soulmate. i love you .” jungkook whispered into namjoons skin.

 

namjoon also started crying. big tears running down his cheeks and his eyes uncertain but full of happiness, “of course i'll be yours.” jungkook whispered, “thank you for telling me.”

 

namjoon signed something quickly i want you to be happy.

 

“i want you happy,” jungkook replied, “thank you for telling me.” jungkook leaned up and kissed his cheek shyly, “i will always listen to you hyung. you have such big and interesting thoughts. if you need me to listen, i will .”

 

a couple of tears rolled down namjoons cheeks and jungkook led out a sigh, he gently wiped them away. he couldn't stand seeing namjoon sad, “don't cry joonie. it hurts me.”

 

i'm just so happy

 

jungkook smiled, “me to… so you're my soulmate?” jungkook grinned, “and i didn’t get a single message because you didn't speak huh.” jungkook laughed. all the pain he felt the last couple of years disappearing with this man in his arms. this incredible man.

 

namjoon nodded his confirmation. jungkook grinned again and took namjoon's hands into his, “now that i have you, the long wait was worth it. i would never trade it.” jungkook murmured.

 

he gazes into namjoons eyes that look back at him with utter adoration and jungkook smiles brightly. god, he wanted to kiss namjoon. 

 

“can i kiss you?” jungkook asked confidently wanting to taste namjoon against his lips. kiss him like there is no tomorrow. kiss him and show him how much he means to jungkook. 

 

namjoon nodded and then leaned down to capture jungkook's lips for the first but certainly not the last time.