they play a dangerous game, here.
warnings for teacher/student relationship, underage
a small part of a longer fic to come. for karis. also translated in vietnamese here haha.
“I’m seventeen this year, sir,” is the first thing Jungkook says to him when they meet at the gates, walking into the school. Jungkook might be seventeen this year, but he is still sixteen and growing into his youth and way too knowing for his own good, too wanting for his own good.
“Still quite a few months left on that,” comments Hoseok, smiling politely at Jungkook, hyperaware of the crowd and chatter that mills around them, screaming hordes of students who have just come back from their holidays, headache-inducing conversations that speed past even faster than the days Hoseok has spent trying not to think about what happened over the summer, between the two of them.
It’s a dangerous game they are playing here. Hoseok knows the rules. Jungkook knows them too, but all he wants to do is bend them.
Hoseok prays that something doesn’t snap along the way.
“You look nice,” says Jungkook suddenly, quieter than his earlier statement had been, and Hoseok glances at him. Jungkook glances back, expression suddenly shifting, and oh, swallows Hoseok, throat suddenly parched, it’s the same kind of look Jungkook had given him when they’d had that talk. “Hoseok-hyung.”
Jungkook’s use of his first name sends a soft burr of a shiver down his spine, coming so easily from his mouth, reminding Hoseok of the first time he’d allowed Jungkook to call him that, instead of just Mr. Jung, instead of just ‘sir,’ instead of just ‘teacher’ all the time.
Hoseok-hyung. Jungkook had grinned so widely. Hoseok-hyung, come on. It’ll be fun.
“We’re in school,” reminds Hoseok softly, and Jungkook mumbles an apology, but continues to walk beside him anyway, still under the pretense of helping him carry a stack of books. As soon as the corridors begin to clear slightly, and the crowd lessens as they make their way towards the staffrooms, Hoseok allows himself to ask, “You’ve been alright?”
“Yeah,” says Jungkook, curling a hand into his backpack strap, the other still holding onto the bookbag, “yeah, I’m good. Just. Missed you, I guess.”
Hoseok resist the urge to reach out, to just place a hand on his shoulder, to just say yes, I’ve really fucking missed you too, what have you done to me, Jeon Jungkook, but he refrains, and settles for, “Yeah. So have I, Jungkook.”
He can see the corner of Jungkook’s mouth lift slightly, and it almost hurts to see how easily he can be pleased, just a few little words and he’s already smiling, and Hoseok thinks it’s the most adorable thing in the world, the way Jungkook expects so much and so little at the same time.
“Still in school, remember,” says Hoseok, “no letting anything show.”
“I won’t,” says Jungkook, but he’s biting his lip, and Hoseok wants to kiss him, so, so badly. “I promise.”
Jungkook hands him the bag when they reach the staffroom, fingers brushing, and it’s the most excruciating thing now, to watch Jungkook smile and wish him a good day, have a good day, sir, Mr. Jung, see you in class, Mr. Jung, taking a little stumbling back-step and then turning on his heel to shuffle down the hall, determinedly not glancing back towards where Hoseok is standing, gazing after him with what he hopes doesn’t look like something fond, something affectionate, something wanting in its own right.
He wants to keep those looks for Jungkook, and Jungkook alone.
“Hoseok,” greets his co-workers, “hello, how have you been? How was your summer? Ready to take on teaching again?”
“Yes,” replies Hoseok, plastering a bright, brilliant smile on his face, in response to every question that’s flung at him, the same smile that everyone loves, “yes, of course, it was good, great, I am ready, no worries at all, yes.”
“You’re still teaching the third class right? I hear they’ve taken a real liking to you.”
A class of forty students, but the only face that appears in Hoseok’s mind is the same one that’s been there ever since the first day they’d met. “Yes,” he says, ignoring the little stutter in his words that comes, “I am. They’re nice kids, all of them.”
Kids, he says. Jungkook’s a kid too, his mind sings, little Jeon Jungkook, sixteen year old Jeon Jungkook whom you’ve gone and fallen for, you, twenty-four year old Jung Hoseok, his teacher.
You’re his fucking teacher, thinks Hoseok despondently, curling his fingers around the file that he’s just flipped over, this is wrong. This is so wrong.
“But sir,” Jungkook will say later, that grin always etched into his features, leaning forward across his desk, “but sir,” he will say later, resting his cheek on the heel of his palm and glancing up at him, “but sir,” Jungkook will say later, laughing in that way he does, shoulders shuddering and eyes squeezed shut, “there’s nothing wrong with loving someone.”
“But Hoseok-hyung,” is what Jungkook actually says, much later, when the class has emptied out and it is just the two of them, Jungkook making excuses to stay back a little while longer, and Hoseok pretending to mark assignments, “there’s nothing wrong with loving someone.”
“I know,” says Hoseok, “but you have to remember all the people who think that there is.”
“Forget about them,” says Jungkook, words twisting into something a little more ragged, “what would they know? They don’t understand.”
It only takes a split second, but Jungkook walks up to the table and plants his palms on it, leaning forward to come face to face with Hoseok. Hoseok doesn’t budge, doesn’t move. Just waits for Jungkook to say something. And it’s with the softest of breaths that Jungkook whispers, “I know you think that I’m just a child, sometimes. But I’m not. I’m just—not as old as you are. But why does that have to stop us from anything? There are people who date twice their age and nobody says a thing about them.”
“It’s because,” says Hoseok, trying to ignore the fact that Jungkook has gotten too close, way too close, he can feel Jungkook’s breath fanning across his cheek now, and the way his eyes flicker towards Jungkook’s mouth is reflected in the way Jungkook does the same thing, “you’re a student, and you’re my student, and I’m your teacher.”
“I’m still yours, and you’re still mine, then,” murmurs Jungkook, and the need behind his words is so present and so thick, and Hoseok hopes nobody walks past, desperately hopes that just for these few minutes—these few short minutes, nobody will see them, nobody will come across them. “You’re mine, hyung.”
Hoseok doesn’t kiss him.
(But much later, so much later, Hoseok will kiss him. Much later, Jungkook will say his name, just like this again, will say that Hoseok is his, just like this again, and Hoseok will kiss him, and thread their fingers together, and knock their knees together and press his face to the curve of Jungkook’s shoulder, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Much later, Hoseok will allow himself to fall in love with an older Jeon Jungkook, and much, much later, Hoseok will make him his.)
For now, just for now, it goes like this: “Have a good day, sir,” says Jungkook quietly, head dipping, the turn of the doorknob quiet, “see you tomorrow.”
“Goodbye, Jungkook,” says Hoseok. “Tomorrow, then.”
He watches Jungkook’s figure disappear around the corner, listens for his footsteps to grow silent.
And tomorrow, the same precarious dance will go on, and go on, and go on.
Hoseok-hyung. Jungkook smiles, in the back of his mind. I really like you, hyung.
Hoseok picks up his pen, and flips open the first folder.