jungkook looks up, his cheeks stuffed with cookie crisp cereal, one hand deep in the box to grab more. hurrying to chew and swallow, his eyes water as he ends up half laughing at himself, staring down into the cereal box as he coughs and shakes his head. a minute goes by and then another before he lets his gaze glide longways across the black and white tiled floor to a black and white jean-clad leg to a black and white smiling face whose dimples only ever mean well. jungkook considers the stars in kim namjoon’s eyes, thinks about saying the obvious: that his kind do not see this thing called ‘color’, that the descriptions of such are lovely but he simply has no way of knowing. he thinks about asking namjoon what his favorite color is and then, his nose twitching nervously, thinks about asking namjoon what yoongi’s favorite color is – as if that would mean anything when he can’t pick it out himself.
in the end he just reaches for more cereal, smiles a soft smile, and shrugs.
namjoon, amiable to a fault, reaches out to ruffle his hair.
“cute,” he says, and jungkook scowls around his mouthful. 'cute’ is for small animals. 'cute’ is for little kids. he is neither of these. though his reaction only receives laughter on namjoon’s part as the young professor says, “it’s a compliment.” pauses. “but i won’t call you it if you don’t want me to.”
“don’t want him to what?” yoongi enters through the window, dropping his bag and then himself onto the floor, wheezing slightly. when they stare at him he jerks his head at the front door. “jammed again.”
“the door handle’s always coming loose,” namjoon is halfway through saying as jungkook gets up, cereal box still in one hand and pads over to stare at the knob. it doesn’t look broken to him, but when he pulls lightly on it, sure enough nothing happens. it also does not seem to want to budge forward either, and well why would it? it’s meant to swing inwards, if at all. he tries again.
“don’t worry about it,” yoongi says.
“we’ll get it fixed eventua–”
it’s hard to describe the sound that happens, some mix between a cracking and a thud and a screech that causes both namjoon and yoongi to close their eyes, wincing reflexively.
“oh,” they hear jungkook breathe anxiously.
they can see why.
their door is open, in fact it is off the hinges entirely, jungkook’s friendly grip around the knob, still attached to said door held up as if it’s nothing. yoongi sputters. namjoon stares. jungkook goes semi transparent with nerves.
“sorry,” he says. that’s what you say when you do a bad. right? he isn’t sure where to set the door down. putting it in the doorway seems sort of counterproductive at this point; and he’s about to ask when yoongi shuffles over, eyes widening and narrowing spasmodically.
“where’d you say you’re from?”
jungkook goes the last values from transparent to downright invisible. it looks like their door is just floating there now, which namjoon finds humor in even now as he reaches out to where he remembers jungkook’s nearest shoulder is, closes his hand on it gently and says,
“never mind.” and when yoongi shoots him a look he shakes his head, turns his attention back to jungkook and adds, “you can tell us later.”
slowly jungkook comes back into visibility, a water color of a boy that fleshes himself out starting from wide dark eyes.
later yoongi will murmur, staring up at the ceiling, his arm flush with namjoon’s: like some kinda dream.
and namjoon will hum agreement because there aren’t so many words for things like that.
for now, jungkook smiles and it hits home that he is trying to remember the right expression to make.
despite yoongi’s question, namjoon remembers without being told, remembers finally catching jungkook in the laundromat with his arms full of white t-shirts (the same as he’s wearing now, the same he wears every day) and asking if he was new; remembers jungkook saying,
“kind of.” and then, half there, “yes.”
“how far?” namjoon asked, meaning nothing in particular by it.
jungkook bit his lower lip, worried it red-pink and said evenly, “pretty far.”