They won’t stop staring.
Considering this is Taehyung and Jeongguk, any length of total silence simply spent staring is extremely disconcerting, primarily because it’s incredibly odd. For them, at least.
“Stop doing that,” Jimin says immediately. He’s still cold, the frost from the snow storm that had tapered off that morning still lingering in his bones. He’s managed to strip off his outer layers, the jacket, boots, scarf, gloves, and snow pants all hanging near the heater to dry off and defrost.
Honestly, until Jimin had walked into the living room, he’d thought Taehyung and Jeongguk hadn’t been home. Now, finding them both just sitting on the floor, cross legged, and staring at him, Jimin is pretty sure he’s missing something.
That, or just accidentally fallen into a rift to another dimension.
Both are plausible considering the circumstances.
“What?” Jeongguk asks.
“How was it?” Taehyung asks, at the same time.
Jimin’s immediate answer is “cold” though that quickly slams into his other immediate answer of “terrible” which conflicts with the contradictory answer that he had mulled over the entire walk home of “not too bad, all things considered.” This results in his actual verbalized answer of, “cetibedable.”
Taehyung and Jeongguk resume their staring and Jimin has a brief moment of wondering what on Earth he just said and why.
“Pardon?” Jeongguk says, head slowly cocking to one side in a sort of pestilential condensation.
“Cold,” Jimin corrects himself, trying to get his thoughts and musings straight. “And- well, it was cold.”
“Welcome to Winter,” Jeongguk tells him, that annoying ‘ha, I’m so witty’ smirk on his face.
Jimin almost tells him to shut up, but the grin on Jeongguk’s face suggests it would only satisfy him further if he did. So it is that Jimin turns, limbs still half frozen, and walks off to take a warm bath to thaw what is left of his body and his temper.
There had been a bit of a metamorphosis of reactions between the time Jimin left his “SNG Situation” and when he had arrived home. Initially, Jimin had left the house he’d shoveled out feeling distinctly conflicted, both pleased with the exercise and satisfaction of a job well done, and a distinct sense of frustration at himself for potentially being duped. It had been cold, he’d not been thanked at all for his hard work, and there was no sign of appreciation for his efforts. It had been cold, Jimin was tired, his clothing too heavy and hot and the air outside his layers too cold and bitter for him to change much about his situation. He’d left the house feeling annoyed, frustrated, and oddly satisfied.
Of course, one block from the house, he’d realized he’d forgotten his favorite hat, and immediately been devastated. Standing in the middle of the street, Jimin had an internal war between going back to the house and getting his hat and just leaving it there. If he went back to the house and his hat was gone, did he go and ask for it back and break the secrecy of the married SNG dude to get his hat back? Did he leave it there as a token? (He didn’t want to. He really likes that hat). Did he go back and hope the hat was still there and he could dart out and grab it and make off home with it none the wiser and never again expect to go back to the chore-kink man’s house?
Did he leave it there and, for some reason his muddle mind couldn’t supply, expect to once more return to reclaim his hat from another chore-kink wish fulfilled?
Ultimately, Jimin had snuck back to the house, peeked around at a distance, and discovered (to his dismayed-joy and please don’t ask about that one, Jimin still isn’t sure how he felt those two things at once) that his hat was no where in sight.
The resulting second time walk home had been even more conflicted, mostly of Jimin mentally and occasionally verbally arguing with himself over going back theoretically in the case of another chore-kink add and reclaiming his hat or putting the entire affair behind him. This had developed into Jimin debating whether, on the whole, the entire thing had been terrible or not.
Which leaves him here, currently sitting in warm bath water as Taehyung barges into the bathroom, still not sure where he sits conclusively.
“I’m taking a bath,” Jimin says, despite how Taehyung can obviously see this.
“I know,” Taehyung says, sitting down on the floor and leaning against the tub. The look and body language clearly suggests he’s here in the mood for a very insightful and heartfelt conversation while Jimin sits in a tub helpless to escape and very naked. Taehyung appears entirely unperturbed by these facts literally staring at him. “How was it?”
“Cold,” Jimin repeats stubbornly. It’s not dishonest. In fact, it’s a very accurate representation of how the whole Shovel and Go Situation had been: cold.
“I mean, besides that. It’s winter, what did you expect?”
“Something less humiliating,” Jimin says, more stubbornly. At the moment, he’s still processing, meaning he’s not entirely sure he’s ready to discuss, at length, the extent nor complications of his experience with ‘chore-kink’ mid winter shenanigans.
“Humiliating?” Taehyung frowns, as if let down and deeply sympathetic.
“Well,” Jimin pushes to the back of his mind all the other complications of the situation. Instead, he begins the intricate process of shampooing his hair. It helps him think, interestingly enough. “I mean, I just went to this guy’s house, randomly-“
“You set it up, it wasn’t random.” Taehyung smiles in blithe hard cold fact.
“-because of some Craigstlist advertisement and, well.” Jimin pauses to dunk his head underwater and wash out the shampoo suds. “It just was really stupid. Really weird and stupid and strange and I don’t think this is for me.”
“What?” Taehyung asks, propping his chin on the rim of the bathtub to stare down at Jimin. “Bathing?”
“Chore kink,” Jimin clarifies, frowning up at his friend. “Sure, doing something today instead of lazing around all morning was good, but shoveling outsome dude’s house?”
“None of it made you feel even a little bit satisfied?” Taehyung probes, the corner of his lips turning down slightly. “Not even a little bit revved up that you did something nice for someone and they deeply and sincerely appreciated it from the depths of their soul and-or groin?”
Jimin doesn’t answer. If he answers, he’s going to be honest (because Jimin is very bad at lying and being dishonest. Jimin calls it a personal flaw and Seokjin is perpetually in admiration and pride about it for him). If he answers honestly, he’ll have to tell Taehyung that it was somewhat satisfying, that the anonymous (well, kind of) act of kindness and assistance did give him a sense of pride and pleasure. If he answers honestly, he’ll have to admit that he was curious, that he did get a strange sort of thrill while doing the shoveling at making some guy’s day, at fulfilling a wish.
A bit like a very skewed version of a tooth fairy. One moment the driveway and sidewalk are all covered in snow, the next it’s gone by efforts of some random hot guy who will never demand favors, monetary or sexually.
Jimin had to admit, as he swirled bathwater absently between his fingers, there was something pretty suave about all of that. If he allows himself, it’s almost heroic.
Not that Jimin will ever tell Taehyung that, which is precisely why he flicks water at him and drapes a washcloth over his crotch. “Get out. Can’t I bathe in peace?”
“I thought you never minded company,” Taehyung pouts, rocking back from the tub to avoid more splashes of water.
“I’m tired and sore, “ Jimin tells him, grabbing the soap. “Peace, please.”
The sound of it doesn’t quite fit. Perhaps noble? No. Chivalrous? No. At this point, Jimin may as well be a knight or something of equal value and honorable value projected suddenly into the 21st century (which is preposterous). Perhaps just ‘decent’ will do.
As it is, by the time Jimin is drying off from his bath, he’s still conflicted and in need of council. Not that he’ll ask Taehyung or Jeongguk (both of whom are absorbed in a video game at the moment). He needs real council, real advice, real support. Real people living real lives dealing with real issues and confused topics like chore-kink and the gratification of one person doing kind and thoughtful deeds for another without any expectation of return.
Pulling on underpants, Jimin realizes he needs Seokjin and, by extension, Yoongi. He needs them extremely bad because if anyone understands the flimsy and yet oddly gratifying exchange of unconditional kindness and immediate personally benefiting generosity, it’s Seokjin and Yoongi.
After all, they’re the only two people Jimin knows who might remotely understand something like ‘domestic chore-kink,’ especially considering Jimin is almost entirely convinced they have one.
In fact, Jimin is pretty sure they’ve had one for as long as he’s known them, and that has been a very long time.