Warnings: future setting, some words that probably don't make sense
Word Count: 1.3k
Summary: There is no way in hell Hoseok is letting himself go even a meter off the ground. Jimin already makes him feel like he's flying anyway, and that's terrifying enough.
“Wanna learn to rollerskate?”
Hoseok cracks an eye open against the glare of the sun off the windows of the high rises in the highNet district. He likes hanging out here, likes the business and the cleanliness of the district as opposed to the lower-midNet where he and Jimin are from.
“Hyung?” Jimin prompts again, shifting to the side to block the sun better. He’s grinning, and Hoseok is still suitably blinded. He’s also floating about a meter off the ground, lights flashing on the heels of the boots he's wearing, and Hoseok throws an arm over his face, groaning.
“Jimin,” he bemoans. “Those aren’t rollerskates. Those are antiGrav boots that you definitely cannot afford.” Jimin laughs. Hoseok expected him too. Rollerskates, skateboards- those are common in the lowNet and the midNet and the inbetween spaces like lower-midNet because no one has the money to buy antiGrav tech. Jimin, Hoseok is very much aware, doesn't have the pocket change to even rent antiGrav boots if he wants to get dinner in the highNet district later.
Hoseok sits up, rolling his eyes as the TESTER tag still attached to the heel of the antiGrav boot.
“Sure, but the security in the departmentRise should be higher if they didn’t want me to take these out for a spin.” He twirls in a circle, the sunlight flickering around him. Hoseok flops back in the grass. Of course Jimin stole them. Of course he did.
"Dude, take off the tag at least," Hoseok says. "The copBots are gonna see." Jimin flinches, glancing around towards the corner of Redstreet and Planelane where the closest copBots are stationed. They're not looking this way right at this moment, but Jimin scrambles to lean bag and snatch the tag from the boots. He wobbles, the lights on the boots flashing, and Hoseok jumps up, grabbing his wrist and pulling him upright.
"Can you pull the tag off?" Jimin whispers, eyes still glued in the direction of the copBots.
"And risk my fingers getting blasted off by the grav switch?" Hoseok snorts. "Fuck that."
"Hyung," Jimin whines. "They're gonna see."
Hoseok stays reclined in the grass, ignoring the dew seeping through the back of his jacket. "It's not my problem," he says. "I'm not the one flying around on stolen departmentRise merch."
"Yeah but," Jimin tries, "you're with me, and therefore an accomplice. And that's just as bad according to the regulations in the highNet district."
Hoseok jolts up. "You know the rules?"
"I do read," Jimin stresses.
"You do?" Hoseok retorts, raising an eyebrow. Jimin just whines again before a red light blinks on his shirt.
"Shit, they're looking!" He flails in his boots. "Hyung, they're-" Hosoek grabs Jimin's arm, tugging him hard. Jimin chokes on his scream as he's thrown entirely off balance, the lights on his boots stuttering out as they lose traction. Jimin tumbles hard to the ground, Hoseok leaning over him to snatch the tag off of the antiGrav boots.
"Ow," Jimin whines.
"You're welcome," Hoseok says, stuffing the tag in his pocket and letting Jimin sit up.
"So," Jimin starts when he's upright and shaking grass out of his hair. "Crisis averted. Wanna learn?" He points at the boots with a huge grin, and Hoseok stares at him.
"Are you serious?" he asks, and instantly regrets the way Jimin's face lights up.
"Yes!" he nearly cheers. "I'm deadly serious. More serious than Strand92."
"That's not funny," Hoseok chides. Joking about the plague that cut the population nearly in half isn't ever funny, and Jimin should know better. Then again, Jimin should also know that
"Okay, no, it's not," Jimin concedes. "But seriously, do you wanna learn?" He leans in close to Hoseok, the smell of his soap and sweat way too familiar.
Hoseok's heart tries to pound it's way out of his chest, and he swallows. "I like my feet firmly on the ground, thanks."
"Aw, hyung," Jimin tries, pushing himself back up to his feet. He keeps the heel of his left boot lifted and the toe of his right boot lifted off the ground to keep the antiGrav-push from engaging, and he looks pretty ridiculous with his knees bent to awkwardly. "It's like having your own ground. You decide where you want it!"
"And I don't like heights," Hoseok reminds him. "After-effect of the slums."
Jimin rolls his eyes. "Hyung. We don't live in the slums. Even lowNet isn't that bad." Hoseok purses his lips.
"I still don't like heights," he repeats.
"I'll hold you," Jimin promises. "You can stand on my toes, and I'll go easy, yeah?"
Hoseok snorts at him. "You wear, what? Size one-hundred? There's no space for me to stand on you."
"Two-sixty-five," Jimin grumbles, switching his stance so he hovers only a couple inches off the ground, the antiGrav boots' lights only blinking.
"And those boots are to be worn by one person," Hoseok continues. "Not one-person-plus-passenger."
This time, it's Jimin's turn to snort. "These things can hold, like, seven elephants." He holds out his hand to help Hoseok to his feet. Hoseok keeps his hands stubbornly in his lap.
"That's a gross exaggeration."
Jimin holds his hand out again. "It's not. They proved it on that one visuCast program."
Jimin snaps his fingers. "That one!"
"That was cement blocks and only four-thousand metric tons," Hoseok argues, pulling his knees in close to himself like it will protect him from Jimin's determined face.
"Do you weigh over four-thousand metric tons?" Jimin asks. Hoseok sulks.
"Then it's fine," he assures, and this time he leans down and actively pulls Hoseok to his feet. With the antiGrav boots on, Jimin hovers at the same height as Hoseok, and it's strange to looks his friend in the eye without looking down.
"It's not fine," Hoseok starts to explain, "because I am not- WHAT THE- JIMIN!" Hoseok would like to say he didn't scream when Jimin got tired of his stalling and decided to just sweep him off his feet, arms secure around him as the antiGrav boots fired up fully, lifting them what feels like a couple hundred meters off the earth, but Hoseok definitely did scream. Jimin is laughing about it now, still speeding through the air as Hoseok scrabbles to get a better grip on him.
"Put me down, holy fuck, Jimin, no- I said no. I can't- what the- fuck- I- Jimin! Let. Me. Down!" It seems to go on for years, and Hoseok's knuckles feel stiff and his limbs frozen when Jimin finally whispers to him.
"Hey, hyung. We've been on the ground for, like, five minutes? You can let go."
Hoseok cracks an eye open against the glare of the glass high rises in the highNet district, and Jimin is grinning at him, only adding to the glare.
"You're ridiculous, hyung," he says, warm hands uncurling Hoseok's from his shirt.
"I hate you," Hoseok snarls. Jimin pouts.
"I promise I won't do it again," Jimin says. He's still holding Hoseok's hand, and Hoseok gives him a suspitious look.
"What do you want?" he sniffs.
"Can you hide the boots at your house?" Jimin asks, eyes as wide as they can go. "My mom will kill me if she sees, and-" Hoseok holds up a hand.
"Not my problem," he says. "And I'm not an accomplice. Don't tell her that."
"I won't," Jimin promises, plopping down on the grass to pull the antiGravs off of his feet. "I'll just tell her you convinced me to take them because you wanted to learn to rollerskate."
Hoseok gapes. "These aren't even rollerskates!"
"So you'll hide them?" Jimin holds the boots out.
Hoseok scrunches up his nose. "Fine."
Jimin's answering smile is almost worth taking stolen departmentRise merch into his custody. "Thank you, hyung!" He adds with a wink, "I could kiss you. You're the best."
Hoseok punches him instead. "For earlier," he explains, and then he grins. Now that was worth it. "And for the record, you're buying my dinner if you ever want these back."
1. as usual writing cute things is so difficult
2. antiGrav = anti-gravity; departmentRise = department store; low/mid/highNet = low/middle/high net grossing area a la low/middle/high class; copBot = robot cops; Strand92 = a super vicious flu strand you know plague 2.0
YOU'RE UP lotusk