This is the next installment of this story I started a little while back. Inspired because of this and a very long and silly conversation with nini, but here we go (again). There are a few kinks mentioned, but this whole thing is very PG. ENJOY? Music is from here
Namjoon started playing around on the internet back when myspace was cool. Granted, he’d been young (too young, actually, for the places he ended up on in myspace). Back then, Namjoon learned quickly that random people talking to him provided for a few options. Some of them were bullying, which he figured out fast and navigated around (after a few times of being hurt), some of them were just people looking for a friend, and then there were his favorites: trolls.
It didn’t take Namjoon long to figure out what trolls were, and he got very used to them after having a very intense stint in online gaming, especially in WoW. Of course, he was young, and there was a dark period after Jiho made him aware of the cesspool that is 4chan, but trolling became something of a dark hobby Namjoon kept quiet about.
In Namjoon’s adult life, most of the time he ended up messing with people was with horrible clients, on redd.it, and then, one day, Taehyung had introduced him to the ‘craigslist game.’
The ‘craigstlist game’ was simple, and addictive in the way that Namjoon knew it would be as soon as Taehyung explained it to him. It was similar to what grouphug.org spiraled into and what textsfromlastnight started as in a weird way. It was people, laughing at other people, and learning more about their personal lives than they probably wanted to or should have.
There’s something about the whole affair that just screams to be messed with. Perhaps that was why Taehyung introduced Namjoon to the concept of the game: he knew Namjoon would make a new game, a better game.
Of course, Namjoon did. It was one thing to try to message these people, playing a strange form of chatroulette that Namjoon was too good at. But then Taehyung had said the worst thing he could have.
“Why don’t you make a post?” Taehyung had suggested. The problem was Taehyung knew that Namjoon knew more than half of the people on the internet about all the insane things people got up to. Namjoon knew the underbelly of the internet stalkers, the cyber groups that had fetishes Namjoon wasn’t even sure were humanly possible, and, of course, Namjoon knew trolling.
That simple question developed into something Namjoon knew was wrong, but did anyway. At first, it was just funny, making one of the posts on craigstlist and seeing what he got back. Sometimes it was a reply, sometimes it was someone who was actually into ‘Hunt Me Naked In The Woods’, but that had reminded Namjoon that people could always surprise him.
It was a casual hobby, one which would randomly resurface when work was a little slow or when he had too much time back at home. There was an element of socializing in it, finding people who would call him out on his trolling ads and troll back.
It was all just fun, and Namjoon usually took down the ads after a few days, not wanting to keep getting random emails. He used craigstlist for real things of course, like finding some of the furniture in his house, and picking up a few extra side jobs when he had extra time or needed the money. It also helped him procrastinate from the overwhelming new responsibility of being a homeowner, which Namjoon had romanticized about and not really understood how terrifying it was.
It’s probably that aspect of his life that had made Namjoon post his most recent post no the site. There was a huge snow storm coming in, and no matter how motivated he tried to think himself to be, the prospect of shoveling three feet of snow from his property was not in the least bit appealing. He’d tried to coerce Hoseok into moving into the house with him, but Hoseok had just laughed at him and asked why he would give up Oscar and Felix of the modern day to come play ‘Lord of the Flies’ in Namjoon’s ‘death house’.
No matter of argument would get Hoseok to see it wasn’t a trap, and it didn’t help that Yoongi and Seokjin still called him to make sure he was alive. It also probably didn’t help that Namjoon still spent most of his time at their apartment. It was warm, the sink didn’t scare him, and there was always food.
Yet, as this storm rolls in, Namjoon decides to be responsible. That deciding had changed to procrastinating on being responsible, and by the first inch of snow, Namjoon had craigstlist open and was making a witty post no moron would mistake for a ‘discrete SNG situation’.
It was funny. It was obviously not serious. Namjoon wasn’t married (except to his work), he was just trying to make sure no one got notions of staying on any of his posts. It was a precaution that had just become automatic.
So when Namjoon woke up the first morning of the storm to a reply to his ad, he’d actually spit out his coffee all over the counter and immediately called Taehyung.
“Someone answered my craigstlist ad,” Namjoon said as soon as Taehyung answered.
“That’s usually how those things work,” Taehyung said, chewing something at him around his words. “What did you advertise? Was it those cactus butt plugs I suggested?”
“No,” Namjoon says, and winces at the image again. “And those are still fucking wrong, man. Like, no one in their right mind-“
“Internet people like eating glass, I don’t judge I just help give ideas,” Taehyung says, smacking his mouth as he continues to eat something. Namjoon doesn’t want to know. He’s curious, but he doesn’t want to know. He doesn’t. “So was this a real ad or-“
“It’s the SNG situation one,” Namjoon says.
Then Taehyung starts laughing, and then he keeps laughing, louder and louder until it’s just this hoarse kind of screeching sound Namjoon really wishes he didn’t have to listen to. “Dude, are you-“
“I’m so alive right now!” Taehyung actually screams into the phone right before he hangs up.
Turning back to his computer, Namjoon stares at the email sitting open and waiting for him in response to his ad.
Send me your address and I’ll be there at eleven. – J
A part of Namjoon wants to write back, to tell the guy ‘no please’ or ‘too late, big boy, someone else already got here and did me the job ;)’ but…
But Namjoon is a little curious. There’s a lot of red herrings that people get if they troll, or if they’re being trolled, and a part of him wonders if this ‘J’ guy will actually show up at his house and shovel him out. Which is why he ends up writing back to him all the same with his address and a reminder to be ‘discrete’.
Just to be safe, Namjoon turns off the outside lights, locks all his doors and windows, and periodically checks outside every fifteen minutes.
They haven’t lost power, which is good. It means Namjoon can comfortable pad around his house in his socks and slippers, wearing a lined bathrobe against the cold, and not freeze to death. It also means his pipes won’t freeze (something which Yoongi had told him he had to make sure never happened). He’s in this ensemble when 11:03 rolls around and he’s on his third cup of coffee flavored hot chocolate with extra marshmallows when he catches sight of someone outside of his house by the sidewalk.
It’s a real person, who is actually there, and looks a bit lost and confused as they just stand there staring at his house. Namjoon can’t see him very well, what with how he’s hiding behind the curtains looking out into a damn snowstorm and the guy has on full snow gear, but he’s definitely there.
The guy even waves.
“Jesus, this can’t be real,” Namjoon mutters under his breath before shuffling quickly back to the kitchen for his phone.
TAE 11:06 AM – IS HE THERE? CAN YOU SEE HIM???
Namjoon ignores the text, instead shuffling back to his hiding place only to nearly have a heart attack when he sees the guy walking to his house. Heart beating just a little too fast, Namjoon is half ready to call the police when the guy stops, looks at the house, and makes a very obvious ‘shoveling’ gesture before doing that hands up in the air ‘what!?’ gesture.
The damn guy doesn’t even have a shovel. He came to Namjoon’s house to shovel his house out and didn’t even bring a shovel.
“Amateur,” Namjoon scoffs, but ducks his way through the house (just in case the guy can see in) to go flicker the lights by the garage. There is where all of Namjoon’s equipment lies piled by the side of the building. Shovels, rakes, hoes, even a pitchfork, all at Yoongi’s insistence that ‘Namjoon really fucking needed this shit’. The last time Namjoon didn’t listen to Yoongi about his house, his basement had flooded so Namjoon had just trusted the man.
Peeking back out of the main window, Namjoon catches the guy, his SNG situation man, tromping back out to the sidewalk with a shovel now. The snow is still falling, it looks miserable outside, and Namjoon cannot for the life of him imagine that this is legitimately someone’s kink.
His phone rings, and he answers it, sipping from his coffee hot chocolate delight.
“Is he there?”
“Dude, what the fuck are people into these days?” Namjoon asks, watching as the guy begins to actually shovel out his mailbox. Taehyung is laughing, though it sounds windy on his end of the phone. “Are you outside?”
“Namjoon,” Taehyung says in between giggles. Someone else is laughing in the background. “Dude, you’re never going to believe this. I didn’t know for sure, but this is so good.”
The SNG guy has a thin layer of snow on him now. It looks miserable outside but there he goes, still shoveling, making a pretty nice dent in Namjoon’s sidewalk patch. Shoveling away. “Enlighten me.”
“I think only you can personally enlighten yourself, and you’ve been trying for like-“
“Okay, so guess where I am right now,” Taehyung barrels on, completely unperturbed and sounding way too happy.
“I’m across the street from you,” Taeyung says, and Namjoon chokes on his coffee hot chocolate, sputtering. “Look, I’ll throw a snowball at the guy so you can see my trajectory.” And as Namjoon watches the SNG man get hungup on a sewer grate, a snowball comes pelting from across the street behind some plowed in cars and barely misses the guy’s head. The guy jerks up, looks around, looks at Namjoon’s house, and then goes back to shoveling. “Did you see me?”
Namjoon is staring, dumbfounded, out of his window, with that sort of creeping dread in his gut that tells him something very funny but also very terrible is happening right at this very moment. And it’s Taehyung’s fault.
Which means, in short, everything is going to be completely ridiculous, entirely out of hand, and someone will eventually cry and end up in the hospital.
“What the fuck is going on?” Namjoon asks, that sense of foreboding getting exponentially stronger.
“It’s Jimin,” Taehyung is giggling so badly that Namjoon almost doesn’t catch it. But it’s enough of a name that Namjoon does catch it and it’s a miracle he doesn’t drop his coffee hot chocolate. “It’s Jimin and Jeongguk and I are filming this and he’s never even been to your house he and no idea and when we were playing the craigslist game last night he actually-”
“Why did you let fucking Park Jimin come to my house to fill a fake trolling craigstlist game add!” Namjoon wheezes, almost crumpling in on himself. It’s hilarious, but terrible, but stupendously funny but horrific and Namjoon feels like an actual horrible person but he wants to laugh so, so badly. It’s generating a vague sensation of immediately needing to throw up. “What the fuck!”
“I forgot where you lived!” Taehyung is wheezing at him, and now Namjoon can definitely hear Jeongguk’s horribly contained giggles too. They’re both there watching Jimin shovel out Namjoon’s house and-
“Wait, does he actually think this is real?” Namjoon asks, peeking out at Jimin who has stopped shoveling and is now just staring at the snow looking oddly slumped. Now that Namjoon knows, he feels almost stupid for not realizing it earlier. The man outside is Jimin’s size, wears Jimin’s style, even has Jimin’s jacket that Jimin won’t part with no matter how many times Seokjin offers to burn it. He walks like Jimin does and moves like Jimin does and is fucking Park Jimin.
“Yes!” Taehyung almost wheeze-screeches into his phone and Namjoon can’t breathe. “We got talking about kinks the other day and he kept pondering if he might be an exhibitionist so I teased him last night that this would be his chance to try it out but fuck, I didn’t realize he’d actually come and do it.”
“Oh my god,” Namjoon still can’t breathe. This is the worst, but it’s also the best fucking thing Namjoon has ever been witness and participant to. Jimin is back to shoveling, but he looks less pleased about it. Namjoon watches as Taehyung giggles in his ear while Jimin keeps shoveling a few feet, then stands up, stares at the sky, and shakes his head as if to question why the fuck he’s doing this. “Oh my god, this is actually real.”
“Dude, I’ve never been so proud of myself,” Taehyung is gasping for breath.
Then reality hits Namjoon. “What if he tries to meet me?” Namjoon asks, suddenly aware of how real this is. What if Jimin finds out that Namjoon posted the add and believes that Namjoon has this weird kink (shoveling kink? Voyeurism? Chore kink?) or worse: what if Jimin actually does have this kink?
Worst of all, Jimin will, eventually figure out this is Namjoon’s house. They all have the same friends, Jimin and Namjoon have been friends for a while. Hell, Yoongi even keeps suggesting that Jimin move in with Namjoon instead of squatting with Taehyung and Jeongguk. Namjoon would have said yes if Jimin didn’t look like he’d just tried to eat a cat and been assaulted by ever moral he’d ever had to reconsider.
If Jimin found out this was Namjoon’s house, if Jimin found out Namjoon knew it was him, and not even ’if’ but ’when’, the whole thing would be unbearably, overwhelmingly awkward.
Which is why Namjoon blurts out into the phone to Taehyung, “you can’t tell him.”
“Tell him what?”
“That this is my house,” Namjoon says, peering out to watch Jimin yell something at the sky just as a gust of wind throws snow into his face. It’s impressive in how pathetic it looks.
“Oh my god,” Taehyung says, and immediately Namjoon knows Taehyung has gotten the wrong impression. “You’re right, I have to keep this going. If he actually thinks he has a chore based exhibitionist kink, that’d be the greatest thing.”
Namjoon almost says ’what if he actually does have a chore based exhibitionist kink?’ but then watches Jimin slip on the way up Namjoon’s drive way and fall flat on his ass and just stay there on the ground. It makes Namjoon pity him, but not enough to leave his house and reveal himself. He huddles behind the curtain, watching instead.
If Namjoon were a good person, a decent caring person, he would stop this whole nonsense. He’d walk out of his house in his slippers and lined bathrobe and tell Jimin to go home and that this wasn’t real. He’d tell Jimin who he is and explain that this is all a big misunderstanding and reassure Jimin he doesn’t have a chore based kink and neither does Namjoon. If Namjoon were a good person, he’d invite Jimin inside to warm up from the snow and maybe even compensate him for the shoveling he did.
As it turns out, Namjoon is not that kind of person, and instead watches while Taehyung mouth breathes through the ear piece as Jimin gets up and keeps shoveling. Namjoon watches as Jimin clears his sidewalk, is mailbox, the little patio area near his lawn, and works his way up his little driveway in the middle of a blizzard.
“Alright, it’s freezing, and we got the best shots of Jimin yelling at the sky and falling over, so we’re going home,” Taehyung tells Namjoon just as Namjoon watches Jimin pull off his hat to shake out his matted brown hair. He’s closer now, and Namjoon can see him from where he’s curled up behind his curtain. He can see the pink in his cheeks, on the tip of his nose, flushed with exertion and cold. “Call me when he leaves so I have a heads up or something, okay?”
“Okay,” says Namjoon, watching as Jimin looks up at the sky, panting puffs of breathy clouds into the air, his hair sticking to his forehead. Jimin looks at the house, almost curious, and Namjoon watches him cock his head to the side in soft curiosity. Namjoon doesn’t realize Taehyung has hung up until the automated voice begins asking him to make a call.
Jimin gets back to shoveling, leaving his hat on Namjoon’s bird feeder post that has yet to get a bird feeder. Jimin continues to work on clearing Namjoon’s driveway, his walkway, his hair getting matted and damp with snow no matter how many times he shakes it out. Namjoon gets up of course, walking around his kitchen and making another cup of coffee hot chocolate, grabbing his laptop to work on something as he sits close enough that he can just see Jimin but knows Jimin can’t see him.
It’s almost mesmerizing, watching Jimin work, slowly clearing the snow as he bends and scrapes the shovel again and again, throwing large piles of snow this way and that. Little clouds of breath keep puffing up from him like the steam from Namjoon’s coffee hot chocolates as he works. He works well, clearing the driveway pretty quickly, and Namjoon is actually impressed, finding himself smiling as he looks out at Jimin’s work.
It’s not even half past noon when Jimin stops right at the front steps of Namjoon’s house, Namjoon hunkered down by his curtains near the upstairs hall and watching him. Jimin would just have to walk ten steps and he could knock on Namjoon’s door, demand something in return.
Or worse, reveal that this really is his kink and come expecting sexual favors.
(Never mind that this is Jimin and the likelihood of that happening is about the same as Namjoon waking up tomorrow morning suddenly as a woman or a cat-human hybrid with a self-lubricating asshole. But still, Namjoon’s mind has learned to expect the absolute worst considering a lot of the time it does actually end up happening.)
Yet as Namjoon waits and watches and ignores the fact that his breathing is stuttered, Jimin finally turns, carrying the shovel back to Namjoon’s pile of ‘yard shit’, deposits it, walks down the driveway, and leaves.
Just like that.
“What the fuck?” Namjoon says, watching as Jimin wanders out of sight and away. Nothing, nothing at all. Not even a wave, nothing. Just did the job, and left.
Exactly like the ad asked for.
“Who the fuck is he?” Namjoon asks his window, just gazing after Jimin and feeling the tight coil of suspense driven anxiety begin to slowly dissipate. It still takes a good twenty minutes before he can make it back downstairs, grab his phone, and text Taehyung Jimin is done.
TAE 12:52 AM – Was your SNG situation everything you wanted it to be and more? ;}
Namjoon just sends him back a key smash of implied profanity and drops his phone. The truth is that Jimin did a damn good job, cleared most of the snow, even the layer that fell while he was shoveling and it just…
It almost looks lonely without him outside, in the snow, shoveling away and puffing clouds of breath. It’s stupid, really stupid, but Namjoon almost wishes Jimin had come to the door and knocked and asked and that Namjoon could have asked him in to warm up. To apologize and laugh and tell Jimin no, he doesn’t have a thing for guys doing house maintenance for him what is Jimin thinking that’s ridiculous look at how much Namjoon is laughing because…
The driveway looks so nice. It almost looks like Namjoon knows how to maintain a house on his own, how to survive the winter aside from cowering in fuzzy slipper socks and lined bathrobes. It looks like someone gives a really big damn about Namjoon’s house and would take care of it and…
Jimin’s hand is still hanging off of the bird feeder post.
This time, Namjoon really does drop his coffee hot chocolate and breaks his fourth favorite mug against the hardwood floor of his house. What’s worse is that Namjoon’s first thought isn’t ‘shit my mug’.
Namjoon’s first thought is: I wonder if Jimin knows how to get coffee stains out of carpets?