He's tired. This choreography has been made and remade in several instances and time is running out. So yeah, Jimin is tired and anxious. And he can tell, by the way Hoseok purses his lips, that he's tired and anxious too. The performance is in three weeks and Jeongguk hasn't even seen the entirety of it yet. Jimin doesn't want to show him until it's polished. So for now, it's him and Hoseok. Even though, he's really not the one dancing it with Jimin.
"Listen, Jimin," Hoseok starts, sitting down on the floor and leaning back against the mirror. "You know you can't do this by yourself. It would be easier if you asked Jeongguk--"
"No," Jimin cuts him off, shaking his head. "No." He takes a deep breath, sucking his lower lip in his mouth. When he presents this to Jeongguk, he wants it to be perfect. So perfect that he wouldn't have to lift a finger and wouldn't feel bothered. "I don't want to bother him," he adds, walking back to the table where his iPhone and the speakers are. "Let's go again."
Hoseok blows out a breath and gets up.
Jimin watches Jeongguk through the mirror. Jeongguk's brows are furrowed, lips pursed, and he's staring at the floor, all of which aren't good signs. Jimin runs a hand through his hair and walks back to his phone to stop the music.
"I'll fix it," Jimin tells him, looking down at his phone and mindlessly scrawling. He's trying very hard not to cry, but it's hard. It's hard. Considering how hard he worked, and Jeongguk... It always seems to be hard with Jeongguk these days. "Sorry, I asked Hoseok hyung for help and I thought--"
Jeongguk looks up. "You asked Hoseok hyung about this?"
Jimin flinches when he sees the look on Jeongguk's face. "I--of course," he answers, tilting his head in confusion. "I mean, he's our senior and he's better at this than I will ever be--"
Jimin opens and closes his hands before clasping them together behind his back as Jeongguk continues to look at him. He's wondering whether he should ask what he did wrong when Jeongguk looks away and just shrugs.
"It's not bad," Jeongguk says, glancing at him through the mirror. "It's hard," he continues and before Jimin can open his mouth to say something like I'll change it, Jeongguk turns and faces him. "But it's good. I'll make it work." He stares at his hands and Jimin is unable to look away as Jeongguk catches his eyes once more. "Will you actually dance it with me this time?" he asks, stretching his hand out to take Jimin's.
Jimin swallows. There's another reason, a bigger reason, why he's put off having Jeongguk present in the process. It's a partner dance, one he has to do with Jeongguk and he has quite a hard time dealing with that. As much as a hard time he's having dealing with his feelings for him.
"Okay," he manages to croak, pressing play on his phone, walking to the center of the room and taking Jeongguk's hand.
There was a time when he'd give anything to have some sort of connection, even just for class, with Jeongguk. He's an amazing dancer, with a different technique than how Jimin usually dances, and Jimin wanted to see how would dance together. But that never happened and instead he became Jeongguk's friend.
Now, he gets to dance with Jeongguk. But with all these feelings in the way, it's harder than he thought it would be. He takes a shaky breath as he takes Jeongguk's hand, who doesn't waste time getting into starting position with him standing behind Jimin.
And Jimin thinks he's doing well, moving the way he's supposed to with Jeongguk beside him, when Jeongguk stops and pulls away from Jimin. He has his hands on his hips, head slightly bowed when Jimin turns to face him.
"If you don't want to do this with me, you can just say so," Jeongguk tells him, finally meeting his eyes. "There's still time to maybe change partners or do a solo."
"What?" Jimin responds, stuttering and then quieting down. "What makes you think that I don't--?"
"You asked Hoseok hyung for help with a dance you're doing with me," Jeongguk answers before Jimin can finish. "I haven't even seen this until today and now you're just acting like..." He smiles a little, which looks more like a grimace than anything else. "We really don't have to do this, hyung," he continues. "I understand. You don't like me."
Jimin opens his mouth and then closes it again as Jeongguk moves about the dance studio, picking up his bag and running his fingers through his sweaty hair. What can he say? That he does like Jeongguk? That just feels like it would be saying too much.
"Jeongguk, wait," Jimin blurts out when Jeongguk heads to the door. Jeongguk pauses, shoulders moving up and down as he takes a deep breath. "I don't hate you," he assures him. Jeongguk looks at him, eyebrows raised. "I don't," he insists.
Jeongguk faces him fully and puts his bag down, waiting for Jimin to explain. "Go on," he prods him.
"What else do you want me to say?" Jimin asks, putting his hands to his cheeks to feel how hot they are. "I really don't hate you, Jeongguk."
"Prove it," Jeongguk challenges, crossing his arms on his chest.
Jimin looks away for a second, staring at the floor, wondering what he can do to prove to Jeongguk that he doesn't hate him, that there is so much more that he does feel for him. He lets out a breath as he plays some random slow song from his playlist and approaches Jeongguk. He doesn't know if this will prove anything but it's really all he can do right now.
"What's this?" Jeongguk asks as Jimin pulls him to the middle of the room.
"A dance," Jimin says, taking Jeongguk's hands and putting them on his waist. He then wraps his arms around Jeongguk's neck. "To show you that I don't hate you," he explains, moving closer and pressing their chests together.
Jeongguk stills. "Your heart's beating really--"
"I know," Jimin interrupts, shuffling even closer to him, the side of his face pressed against Jeongguk's cheek. "It's because I don't hate you," he whispers to his shoulder. Jeongguk's arm moves, tightens, around Jimin's waist, but he doesn't really saying anything. "I'm just nervous."
They sway a little around the room, holding onto each other, Jimin clinging more than anything because he may never get a chance like this again. At least Jeongguk seems to understand without making a big fuss, which is a relief but also worrying at the same time. Jeongguk is holding him the way Jimin wants him to, just that Jimin doesn't know what he's thinking.
"How long?" Jeongguk asks when the song changes, pulling away to look at Jimin. Jimin's breath gets caught in his throat. He bows his head, but Jeongguk touches his cheek to keep his eyes on him. "How long?" Jeongguk repeats, softer.
"Too--too long," Jimin confesses, feelings his cheeks redden. Burying his face back in Jeongguk's shoulder, he goes on, "I'm sorry. I really tried and it made things awkward, made you think I hate you. I'm really..." He trails away, shuddering as he takes a breath.
"Hyung," Jeongguk whispers, pressing his face to Jimin's cheek. Jimin squeezes his eyes shut because that feels so good, Jeongguk holding him like this, their faces so close. "Jimin," he repeats, nudging Jimin's face so that he would look at him.
Jimin turns his head and the moment he does, Jeongguk kisses him. Jimin is unable to do anything but gasp into it, his hands gripping Jeongguk's shoulders. It's even better than Jimin imagined it to be because, for one, he never even thought that this could happen, that Jeongguk would ever--
"What's happening?" Jimin asks, pulling back and taking a step. "what are you doing? What are we doing?"
"Kissing," Jeongguk answers. Jimin stares at him and Jeongguk blushes. "I'm kissing you. I mean, I've always wanted to." Jimin's mouth hangs open and he pauses. "I've always wanted to kiss you," he repeats, slower.
Jimin takes another step back, putting his hands back to his sides so that he and Jeongguk were not touching. "Since when? You've never shown me that you liked me. You've always just teased me and you haven't even spoken to me these past few weeks."
"Because you weren't talking to me," Jeongguk counters with a frown. "You were busy with Hoseok hyung. You've barely even looked at me after we've gotten the assignment."
"I thought you didn't want it," Jimin clarifies, playing with his fingers. "The assignment, I mean. So I thought that I'd ask Hoseok hyung to help me with it so that when you get to see it, it'd be okay and we could get over this quickly."
"Hyung," Jeongguk says and it sounds so helpless and exasperated at the same time that it almost makes Jimin want to laugh.
So he does. "I'm really sorry about this," Jimin says, covering his mouth with both hands. "I'm really--I'm so stupid and--"
"We both are," Jeongguk says, shaking his head and stepping forward to cup Jimin's cheeks. He leans his forehead against his and closes his eyes. Up close, Jimin thinks Jeongguk is even more beautiful and his breath is definitely taken away. Everything feels so unbelievable. "I'm sorry."
Jimin eyes flutter shut. "Will you kiss me again?" he asks in almost a whisper, his heart and stomach both doing somersaults. "Will you, Jeongguk?" he persists, tilting his face upwards, searching for Jeongguk's lips. "Please."
Jeongguk finds his lips and Jimin lets out a whimper at the way their lips press against each other, uncertain but warm at the same time. Jimin wraps his arms around Jeongguk's waist as Jeongguk caresses his cheeks with his thumbs. Jimin can't help but think about how he likes Jeongguk so much.
"I like you so much," Jimin tells him when they take a breath, eyes still closed.
Jeongguk chuckles, kissing him again, just a peck but so full of affection. "Me too, hyung."
Hoseok nods his head in approval when Jimin and Jeongguk turn to him as the song comes to a finish.
"You've really sorted out your differences haven't you?" Hoseok asks, raising an eyebrow when Jeongguk reaches out for Jimin's hand and kisses his knuckles.
"It took a while," Jimin says, nodding a little, unable to smile adoringly at Jeongguk.
"But at least we're here," Jeongguk finishes.
Hoseok wrinkles his nose. "Finishing each other's sentences too," he mutters, shaking his head. "I think you two will be fine. You've worked hard. Congratulations on the dance," he says, pausing. "And on the relationship, too."
Jimin knows his face is red, but Jeongguk's is too so it doesn't matter. Besides, they did work hard together. Things would never would have worked out the way they did if Jimin did things by himself.
"You ready to go?" Jeongguk asks, tugging on his hand.
"Yeah," Jimin agrees, grinning at him.
thesockmonster! Sorry I took so long. It's your turn. <3