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A voice like caramel

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Taehyung always waits for the words of a very special person because they just weigh more than the ones of the others.

It’s not that the rest of the group isn’t supportive, doesn’t constantly shower him with compliments. They’re like family, after all. They’ve been through it all right from the start and there are basically no boundaries between them. Taehyung could rely on the fact that every one of his six bandmates would compliment and support him with everything and he knows that even the one that seems the coldest, the most distant one has a severe soft spot for him. And it’s okay that Yoongi might not mean the ‘I love you’s’ the same way Taehyung means them when he says it but that’s really, totally okay.

It’s not that Yoongi isn’t as supportive as the other’s, not as caring or loving. Min Yoongi is just – he’s different. He shows his feelings differently than any other member of the group. He doesn’t come forth and tells you what he feels or what he thinks about you. But he cares silently, it’s the way he casually steers a conversation away from sensitive topics, it’s the way he fixes small mistakes for someone and even if it’s just fixing a strand of hair that was out of place or a jacket that was a bit crinkled. It shows in the way he goes along with everything, doing what pleases others just for the sake of making them happy. It’s the way he always seems to have what you need ready.

Taehyung likes being complimented. He grew up a little shy, more on the insecure side but over the years after their debut, he learned to love himself and just stop caring about other’s opinions of him. He learned to stand above comments calling him ‘weird’ or something more hateful. It was hard but with the support and the compliments of his members, he pulled through. He got more daring with the things he does, expressing himself through his fashion, altering clothes, making art and just doing what makes him smile, makes him laugh. His members helped all, every single one of them but there was one – one opinion that always weighed a bit more than the others.

It’s not that Yoongi doesn’t compliment him. He never misses to tell him how cool he thinks his new custom made jacket looks, he never missed to tell him that his hair looked great when some fans were saying it was ridiculous. It hasn’t been long since he received a long and heartful message from the elder rapper when he needed it the most.

So, it’s definitely not that Yoongi doesn’t compliment him but he knows, he knows there’s one compliment he never got from the elder. One compliment that he gives to all the other vocalists though and it reminds Taehyung after every concert, every show, every rehearsal that he’s the only one not receiving that particular compliment from the elder.

He’s sitting in his bed, the video in front of his eyes swimming, blurring. It’s from their tour. Their last tour. They haven’t even been back home for a week and they still have vacations for the next half week but everyone is already working on their next comeback, their next songs, their next everything.

It’s a fancam on his phone, a fancam of his favorite song of their new album. Normally, the song calms him, makes him smile but this time, today it only makes the tears fall from his eyes faster.

 

-

 

The day has started relatively good.

Taehyung sits in the living room, phone between his hands as he plays the new game he downloaded last night and couldn’t get enough of it. He’s still in his pajamas, too lazy to change and it’s not like he’s going anywhere today. Hoseok and Jimin are already practicing, the younger of the two already done with pre-recordings for today. Jeongguk is currently in Yoongi’s studio and after lunch, Seokjin will be there which means that Taehyung has all the time in the world to laze around all day until he will do the recording with the elder member.

He’s happy – even happier when every other vocalist returns with big smiles on their faces, telling him that recording will be easy today. None of them took particularly long and Taehyung is glad, normally the last one to record with Yoongi would have to deal with an already annoyed producer but with everyone finishing smoothly Taehyung guesses that the other has to be in a good mood.

 

 

That proves to be wrong when Taehyung’s voice cracks slightly for the nth time already. It’s not like he isn’t trying. He is. He really is but he’s been singing for so long already, it feels like he's been standing in the studio of the elder rapper for hours now. He thought it would be easier to record here than in the studio at the company’s building but standing in the small studio feels so much more intimate. It puts more pressure on him.

Especially because he doesn’t want to disappoint Yoongi. He just wants his praises but right now the elder only glares angrily at his screen and then at Taehyung.

“Come on,” The elder groans with frustration lacing his voice. It makes Taehyung choke up a bit more. “Seriously, it’s like you’re not even trying. Again.”

“Okay…” Taehyung whispers, swallowing the oncoming tears down as the melody of the new song fills his ears again. It really is not like he isn't trying but no matter what he does, Yoongi always has something to criticize. He has not enough feeling in his voice, then he puts so much that it seems exaggerated and fake. After that, he missed a tune and then he was off melody for a bit and the next time his voice cracked. He’s tired. He’s tired, exhausted and can’t – He can’t go on anymore. His voice is starting to get hoarse and all he wants to do right now is curl up in his bed and cry a little.

But he can’t. He’s still in the small studio, Yoongi sitting on the chair next to him with his eyes focused on his computer screen. It should have taken some of the edge off of Taehyung but it doesn’t. The fact that the elder isn’t even looking at him as he sings makes him even more nervous. He feels it before he hears it. His bottom lip trembles as he tries to hold back a sob that had tried to escape his mouth. The movement caused his voice to break in the middle of one of the high notes.

Stop.” Yoongi interrupts him harshly and the younger clamps his mouth shut immediately. He hopes his tears won’t fall right now, not in front of the elder male. Not in front of the person he loves the most in the world, the person that just can’t seem to stand his voice.

“Just – stop.” Yoongi runs his hands over his face in frustration before glaring up at him again. “Why is it so hard for you? Everyone before you finished smoothly, early even. Why are you messing around now? These might just be pre-recordings but they will have an impact about the amounts of lines everyone gets in this song. And right now, right now the way you sing doesn’t even fit the song a little.”

Taehyung sucks in a sharp breath, dropping his gaze to the floor as his chest squeezes tightly. He’s not going to cry. No, no, no. Deep breaths, he needs to take deep breaths and focus. It’s not like Yoongi doesn’t like him. It’s not like Yoongi is criticizing him as a person. The elder likes him, the elder loves him like he loves all of them. He doesn’t hate him. (Just his voice.)

The problem is that Taehyung really is trying. He wouldn’t even feel this crushed if Yoongi was right and he was playing around but he isn’t. He’s giving it all he’s got and it’s just not good enough for the elder rapper. He is not good enough for him and that makes every praise he ever received because of his voice fade away. There’s nothing that matters more than Yoongi’s words. Sometimes he wishes it was different. Sometimes he wishes he wouldn’t be in love with his bandmate. Sometimes he wishes he wouldn’t be in love with Yoongi because then he would not take his words so much to heart, he wouldn’t let them pierce through his skin so easily and without any resistance. Over the years of being an idol he learned to develop a thick skin, he learned to ignore hateful comments and bashing but Yoongi’s words slice through every single one of his usual protectiveness shields.

He bites his bottom lip, sniffling slightly as he takes a peek at the exasperated rapper again. “I’m sorry – I’m really trying –“

Yoongi doesn’t even give him the chance to explain himself, to really say anything before he’s already interrupting him again. Words sharp as knives as they tear through Taehyung’s heart and soul. “But it doesn’t sound like you’re trying. You don’t sound like yourself and it’s –“ Yoongi harshly leans back against his chair as he slams his hand down on the table in front of him – Taehyung flinches back from the sudden loud sound. “Just – go. We’ll finish this another time. I can’t deal with that right now.”

That was his cue. His cue to leave but Taehyung stays rooted to the spot. Even if he wanted to he wouldn’t have been able to move at the moment. Not with the tears brimming at his eyes and slowly they start dripping down his cheeks. Yoongi doesn’t notice any of it, doesn’t see how the younger breaks apart right next to him. He is focusing on his screen again, clicking through his mixing programs. “Hyung…” Taehyung doesn’t even feel embarrassed by the tone of his voice, it always becomes so much higher when he cries, cracking on almost every syllable he speaks. “Why… I don’t – Why do you hate my voice so much? Why only my voice?”

This makes the other freeze. It takes him a few seconds to react but when he does it’s not exactly what Taehyung expected. His eyes are wide, disbelieving as he stares at him, concern written all over his face when he spots the younger’s tears. “I – Taehyung, I don’t hate your voice,” Yoongi whispers and it looks like he wants to reach out towards him but Taehyung takes a step back, out of reach for the rapper.

“Well, it seems like you do – I just,” The first sob wracks through his body and the tears are now running down faster his cheeks, dropping from his chin and he knows he looks awful when he’s crying but he can’t stop. It only gets worse.

“I get that I didn’t really sing well today,” He cries, “I know, I know. I get it – I get that you like my voice the least. Not everyone has the same taste, I get it. I got it already. You don’t have to rub it in my face every chance you get. I got it. Everyone’s got it. Everyone knows that Jimin’s voice is your favorite, everyone knows that you think Jeongguk’s voice sounds good no matter what he sings and we all know that you think Seokjin-hyung has made the biggest progress, has the lightest voice The one that makes you feel like you’re flying. You mention it all the time. And I know, I know that I can’t reach the high notes Jimin can and I am not as steady as Jeongguk yet and I haven’t made as much progress as Jin-hyung but I don’t think my voice is bad.”

Yoongi is just staring at him, gaping, mouth opened as if he wants to interrupt him but no sound leaves his lips. Taehyung just keeps talking, keeps emptying his heart in front of the elder rapper. “I improved too, I made progress too but still… still, I never hear a word about it from you. Everyone tells me, everyone but you. And you compliment everyone, everyone but me. It’s always me – It’s always just my voice you criticize. It’s never anyone else. It’s always me. I take the longest time to record songs with you, I don’t get complimented by you when I feel insecure about my voice – so, why do you hate it so much?”

The question seems to overwhelm the elder. Through the teary haze in front of his eyes, Taehyung could see how the other opens and closes his mouth a few times before finally finding his voice. “Taehyung, I…” But apparently not the right words to say.

“You know,” Taehyung sniffles, wiping his sleeve over his wet cheeks. “It’s so hard when you – when your voice is the only thing that can help me sleep at night while knowing that you just hate mine. I just – I just need to listen to your voice to calm down and I wanted, I wanted you to feel the same but that’s impossible, right? I can’t change the fact that you hate my voice, right?”

Yoongi doesn’t answer. He’s biting his bottom lip, insistently avoiding to meet the younger’s gaze. It’s enough of an answer for Taehyung. “Okay…” He whispers defeated. By now the tears are trailing silently down his cheeks and he just wants to forget today ever happened. He leaves Yoongi behind, keeping his gaze low as he makes his way through the hallways. When he bumps into Seokjin he ignores the elder’s concerned questions and just pushes past him to lock himself into his own room and cry into his pillow.

 

-

 

To say that Yoongi feels bad is an understatement. He feels fucking awful, especially for just letting Taehyung run off crying. He should have been more considerate, he should have been more understanding and he shouldn’t have pushed the other so hard. He shouldn’t have blamed everything on Taehyung.

It’s just – they’re choosing which songs to use for the next comeback. They’re choosing the lyrics, the beats, the melodies, the arrangements and he always gets extremely stressed out during those times. It’s when everything needs to be perfect, when every deadline has to be hit and every song needs to be in an almost final version to even get approved to be worked on further and even then it’s not official that it will make it on the album in the end. Yoongi is putting the most work into this one song, the song that comes from deep within him and he has a definite vision of how it needs to sound and the way it has to be sung.

To be honest, he had already been favoring Taehyung for the most vocals in this song because his voice is just so versatile. It can go deep and low, sound either rough and like a growl or slow and sensual. But then at the same time, it could go high and make the hairs on his arms and the back of his neck rise, goosebumps breaking out over his skin. Taehyung’s voice has always tasted like caramel. At least, to Yoongi. It always had a certain warmth to it, a rich sound that commanded attention and it was perfect for his song.

The reason why he snapped so harshly at Taehyung today was that the younger just didn’t seem to be able to sing the way Yoongi wanted him to. Nothing sounded right when Taehyung tried to follow the melody and it pissed Yoongi off. It pissed him off so much because he already had the final version in his head, could already hear it playing in his mind but not in reality if Taehyung wouldn’t cooperate. He snapped because nothing seemed to work because this has to be finished by the end of the week, because there are still a bunch of lyrics sitting in a folder and needing a melody. There’s still a beat on his computer which sounds fine but there’s one thing throwing the whole flow off and Yoongi couldn’t just pinpoint what it is and there’s the folder with all the songs for his new mixtape, nothing finished.

He feels like the time is running away from him as fast as it can and the anxiousness, the restlessness is killing him. The last time he slept decently was weeks ago and it had been just a matter of time until he would finally snap like a simple twig and unleash all the stress that has been building up inside of him.

It just happened to hit Taehyung. Taehyung who didn’t deserve any of the shit Yoongi gave him because it wasn’t his fault.

The words of the younger echo in his mind again. Has Yoongi really given off the impression that he hates Taehyung’s voice?

Well, it’s right that he’s mostly praising the other vocalists but that is only because all three of them tend to beat themselves up endlessly about their voices. Jimin is a little perfectionist. When he messes up a single tone and even if it’s so slight that no one apart from him notices it he beats himself up over it for days. Yoongi knows how hard it is for the younger to get out of a low when he starts feeling bad about himself again, so he tries to compliment, especially on his voice, as much as possible.

Then there’s Jeongguk. He’s the youngest and Yoongi had a soft spot for him right from the start. Jeongguk looks confident, he seems confident and he gets praised everywhere because he’s the Golden Maknae, good at everything. But this mindset has burned itself into his head and now he has started to convince himself that he isn’t allowed to make any mistakes because he is supposed to be good – perfect – at everything. Yoongi reminds him all the time that it’s okay to make mistakes and that some small faults barely count as any at all. He keeps reminding him about how good his voice is because sometimes the other is doubting himself, it doubting his ability to be one of the vocalists with the most lines.

And then there is Seokjin. The elder hasn’t had any experience with singing when he was scouted and over the years he accepted his part as a pretty face, with barely any lines in a song. Yoongi always encouraged to not let himself be just that and Seokjin has evolved so much. He evolved from the person who accepted the fact that they were just never able to fly as high as everyone else to someone who has started to work towards their goals, learning to love themselves just the way they are. Yoongi has done nothing but support the elder on his way and making sure to compliment his voice was necessary because 1) it is a beautiful voice and 2) Seokjin needed to have someone support him with every little step he took. Because otherwise, he would have never made it as far as he did. Yoongi gladly helped the other on the way of bettering himself and loving himself.

But Taehyung… He never thought Taehyung needed this kind of support from him. Because it’s not like he doesn’t compliment the other like he doesn’t support him in everything he does. Yoongi made sure to always tell Taehyung that he should not listen to other people making fun of him, calling him ‘Alien’ and weird just because he was a little goofy. He told him to be himself and supported him whenever Taehyung followed his advice. He made sure to support him in everything he was insecure about at first. He cut the first shirts with Taehyung and he bought him his first sketchbook. He was the first one to see the other’s custom-made jacket with the art on the back and he always expressed how proud he was of the other.

But Taehyung was right… Yoongi doesn’t remember a time where he praised his voice. His face? Yes. His fashion sense? Yes. His hobbies? Yes. But not his voice.

He never thought that would be necessary. He never thought the other would be insecure about his voice when he sings like that. Always so confident, always full of passion and always breathtakingly beautiful. Yoongi should have told him that. He should have told him how much he loves his voice, how often he listens to Stigma and Singularity just because it eases his mind, the low tunes calming his racing thoughts.

Now Taehyung is locked in his room and not coming out while Yoongi has guiltily found shelter in Seokjin’s room. He’s sitting on the elder’s bed, staring at the blank wall in front of him and listening how the other keeps clicking on his keyboard, playing some kind of computer game Yoongi doesn’t understand. He sighs before letting himself fall back on the pillows. “Do you think I hate Taehyung’s voice?” He asks and suddenly the typing stops. There’s an eerie silence in the room before Seokjin replies to him and the cold, threatening tone of his voice makes a shiver run down Yoongi’s spine.

“I’m going to kill you. I’m going to literally kill you when the reason why he’s crying is that you told him you don’t like his voice.”

“No,” Yoongi immediately defends himself, “He thinks I hate it though.”

“Do you?”

Yoongi just groans loudly. No one understands him. The question is not if he actually hates Taehyung’s voice – he doesn’t – but why the other thinks that Yoongi hates it. It doesn’t make sense.

 

-

 

The younger avoids him the next day and Yoongi also isn’t too keen on encountering him alone either. It’s just that he doesn’t have any idea what to say, no idea how to make the other understand that his voice actually calms his anxiety and doesn’t annoy him. It should be easy but it isn’t. Yoongi isn’t good when it comes to speaking about emotions when it’s not in the form of lyrics.

Of course, the other’s have instantly picked up on the tension between the two and Seokjin has glared at him for the whole day. Yoongi sighs, listening to the recordings he did of Taehyung yesterday. There are parts that sound absolutely stunning, even better than he could have imagined it but they’re short-lived, interrupted by a wrong tune, a crack in the other’s voice or a sudden lack of the emotion he had before. Yoongi hears the door behind him open and click shut again. He doesn’t turn around to greet whoever just settled down on the small couch he keeps in one corner of the room.

“Taehyung is writing a song.” It’s Namjoon talking and Yoongi’s finger halt, hovering over his keyboard. He gulps before slowly continuing to type. If Namjoon is here and starts the conversation about Taehyung then this could go on for a while.

“He is?” Yoongi tries to sound nonchalant but he knows that he’s failing when there’s a breathy chuckle behind him. The couch creaks as Namjoon shifts his weight on it.

“He’s already finished – with everything.” This surprises Yoongi – it surprises him even more than the fact that Taehyung has actually written a song without him knowing about it. A whole song finished already. “Did everything himself. Producing, writing – everything.” Namjoon sounds like that should tell him something but Yoongi fails to catch what the other is hinting at.

“Is he gonna release it?”

“Not without approval.”

Yoongi nods slowly. The issue of getting approval. It’s nerve-wracking every time he shows new songs to the other producers and finally plays the final version for the company and lets them decide if those three minutes he worked on for the last weeks are worth releasing or not. “Have you heard it?” He asks the younger rapper.

“Yes,” Namjoon replies and Yoongi tries to ignore the slight pang of jealousy. Why hasn’t Taehyung showed him the song yet? And why has he not even known about the existence of said song? “He showed me, Hobi and the company already – for approval.”

“Is it good enough to release?”

“I cried,” Namjoon recalls and he’s shifting again, the couch creaking slightly. Yoongi doesn’t want to feel jealous but he can’t help it. Well, he figures it would be a logical thing for Taehyung to keep the song hidden from him when he’s convinced that Yoongi hates his voice so much. He probably didn’t want to annoy him with his singing. Oh, how much Yoongi wishes he could just go up to the younger and apologize, make everything right between them again and tell him how fucking amazing his voice really is. “It’s so good,” Namjoon says, “So fucking good but he doesn’t want to release it.”

This startles Yoongi. He would kill for the approval of the company – especially on a self-produced solo song and Taehyung doesn’t want to release the song. Then why show it to everyone if he’s just going to keep it to himself in the end. “Why not?” Yoongi questions the other and doesn’t even try to mask his confusion.

“First, I didn’t understand as well,” Namjoon sighs, “It’s a great opportunity after all but he explained it and now I do get him. He doesn’t want to release it because it doesn’t matter what anyone else has to say about it. He just wants your approval.”

Yoongi gulps. It’s no secret that Taehyung is looking up to him, that he admires him and his voice, his songs, his lyrics but Yoongi never thought he would value his opinion this much. “But he hasn’t shown me the song,” He mumbles.

Namjoon sighs again and judging from the creaking sound the younger has stood up again. “I know. He is still convinced that you hate his voice. He worked so hard on the song that he doesn’t even want to think about the possibility that you don’t like it. Says he rather keeps it to himself than have you tell him you don’t like it – don’t like his voice.”

“He’s still on about that?” Yoongi sighs, hiding his face in his hands. “I don’t hate his voice.”

“Tell him that then.”

Namjoon closes the door a little more violent than necessary. But it somehow gets the job done and Yoongi finds himself in front of Taehyung’s room in the late afternoon and he feels almost more nervous than he does on their first concert. He knocks shyly and waits for the other’s response.

“Come in.” The cheery tone instantly fades from Taehyung’s voice when he notices that it’s Yoongi who’s timidly stepping into his room. “Oh – Hyung.”

“Hey…” Yoongi awkwardly trails off and stays in the middle of the room. He doesn’t know where to go, where to stand and what to do. He feels the younger stare at him from where’s lying on his bed.

“Uhm, what did you want, hyung?”

Yoongi stays rooted to the spot, eyes roaming through the others room to not have to look him in the eyes. Let’s get this over with, he thinks, explain yourself, apologize and tell him that his voice is the most amazing thing in the entire world. Oh, and before he forgets he has to ask him for the most important thing – the thing that has to convince him that he really does not hate his voice at all. “I… I know about the song – the one you produced and don’t want to release,” Yoongi winces slightly, daring to peek up at Taehyung who looks shocked.

“How…?” He whispers and he actually looks a little afraid and Yoongi feels guilty again. He just wishes Taehyung would look at him with adoration again, with those big and happy eyes and not with fear swimming in these brown orbs.

“Namjoon told me,” He explains and now he searches for eye contact, staring at the other intensely as he steps closer. “Please let me listen to it.” His voice softens to not startle Taehyung, to show him his good intentions, to convince him that he’s not here because he wants to say something hurtful again.

“But –“

Please,” Yoongi interrupts him and Taehyung slowly starts to move, getting his phone and connecting it to the Bluetooth speakers he has in his room. “…Alright…” He whispers before pressing play.

Yoongi doesn’t know what he expected but it certainly wasn’t this. The first tunes are soft, traveling through the air almost carefully. The second Taehyung’s voice filters through the speakers Yoongi holds his breath. The younger sings low, soft and goosebumps spread over his whole body. It’s perfect, everything about the song is perfect and Yoongi can’t believe that the other has been afraid that he wouldn’t like it. Ridiculous. How could anyone not like this masterpiece?

The words the other sings are bittersweet. He’s singing of love, of being and love but being in love alone. It – For Yoongi, it might hit a bit too close to home and he actually feels himself tearing up slightly as Taehyung’s voice thrums through his whole body. It’s one of those songs that make you feel the exact emotion the lyrics try to convey. And even though the overall theme seems to be sad you can’t really decide if you want to cry because it is so sad or because the song itself is so beautiful and sounds absolutely perfect.

The emotion in Taehyung’s voice is so raw that Yoongi could actually feel his chest tighten painfully as the younger sings about his unrequited love. And it might sound sad but at the same time, the song makes the elder feel like he’s sitting inside on a stormy and rainy day, being comfortably warm in a blanket and a cup of tea in his hand as he calmly stares out at the thunderstorm going on in front of his window. It’s one of those songs that make you feel all warm inside while also tearing at your heartstrings. It’s something that only very talented people manage to do.

When the music fades out Yoongi stays silent at first, gaze locked on the way Taehyung nervously bites down on his bottom lip and plays with the hem of his shirt, tugging at the loose threads there. “So… what do you think?” The other self-consciously asks, shortly glancing up at him to gauge his reaction.

“It’s…” Yoongi is surprised at how hoarse his own voice sounds and he swallows the tears that have built down again, coughing slightly. “Tae, it is absolutely perfect, amazing. It would be a crime not to release it. I love it and I want you to sing a song for me,” He rushes to say. Cutting straight to the point which might not actually be the smartest thing to do because the younger looks more than taken aback.

“You – what?” Taehyung gapes at him and Yoongi understands it. He should have explained himself first but the song made him restless. This is it – This is the exact amount of emotion he knows Taehyung is able to put into his voice and it’s exactly what he wants to have for his own songs.

“I want you to sing for me, a special song – I want it to be on my second mixtape,” Yoongi explains slowly, looking for any sign of reaction on the younger’s face. “It’s – uhm, it means a lot to me and I hope you allow me to release the song. It’s just you – just you and me.”

“But… but why?” Taehyung looks only more confused than before as if he couldn’t quite believe what Yoongi just asked him. “You said if you – if you could choose who to form a subunit with it would be Jimin. Why do you want to release a song with me and not him? You two fit very well, I mean that’s why you’re always paired up in songs – Spring Day, Airplane part two – you did Tony Montana with him. Why me?”

“Because I want to, Tae…” Yoongi whispers.

And now it’s Taehyung’s turn to tear up again as he huffs, trying to pretend he’s not close to breaking out in tears again. He turns his head away from Yoongi, shielding his face from view. “But you hate my voice –“

“I don’t,” Yoongi interrupts him, maybe a little harsher than intended. Taehyung’s teeth clack together as he abruptly shuts his mouth at Yoongi’s sudden outbreak. The elder softens his voice as he continues to speak. “I really don’t. I just thought you knew. I thought you already knew what kind of amazing voice you have. You always seem so confident about yourself, about everything you do and I – I never considered you think that I could hate your voice.”

Oh, he’s tearing up again. Yoongi draws in a shuddering breath and prays that he won’t start crying now. “Shit, Taehyung – you can’t just – How could anyone hate your voice? It’s so unique and I – god, no one could even begin to describe it. Okay, I – you have a voice that touches people’s hearts. A voice that can deliver any kind of emotion, a voice that no one can copy, something that gets recognized immediately. When I listen to you I feel warm, I feel safe, I feel goosebumps breaking out over my skin – I feel every single emotion you want to deliver with your words and that is a gift, a gift you have. Such a beautiful gift and I’m sorry that you thought I hated that. I didn’t know, I didn’t look close enough to see that you are just as insecure about your voice as everyone else. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”

“Yoongi…” Taehyung has silent tears running down his cheeks but this time they’re not because of the hurtful words Yoongi threw at him yesterday.

“I’m serious, okay? I’m very serious – I would never lie to you. Never. Do you understand that?” Yoongi asks and he reaches out to wipe the tears off the other’s cheeks. “I mean everything I ever told you, every praise. I love your voice, I love your different eyelids –“ He gently touches them. “I love the mole on your nose, on your lip, on your waterline –“ He brushes the tip of his finger over every mole, tapping only slightly under Taehyung’s eye. “I love the way you smile, the way you laugh and the way you talk. I love how you express yourself, how you always find something good even in the worst possible situations. And even though you’re easily irritated and emotional and everything else – I still love you very much, okay? Don’t ever forget that.”

“I – Thank you,” Taehyung cries slightly, leaning into the elder’s touch and Yoongi just leans forward to embrace him tightly. “I also love you very much, hyung.”

Oh, how Yoongi wishes the other’s love would be the same as his love for the younger.

 

-

 

That night Yoongi feels restless. Sleep just wouldn’t come to him and he tossed and turned until deep in the night. His phone shows the time. 3 am. He throws his blankets away and sits up in the bed. There’s no use pretending he’s going to fall asleep in the next few minutes so he might as well get up and make the damn cup of hot chocolate he’s been craving since 2 am.

He shivers as his bare feet touch the cold floor and he tries to walk as softly as possible through the dorm. He passes the rooms of the other members, everything is silent apart from his feet padding over the floor. But there’s one door, one door which still has light shining from underneath and it’s as if it’s a sign by the universe. Yoongi waits in front of the door for a few seconds before proceeding towards the kitchen.

Instead, of making one hot chocolate for himself he makes two, taking both cups and walking slowly towards the door with the light still on. He knocks quietly against it with his foot, being careful of not spilling any of the hot beverages in his hands. When there comes an affirmative hum from inside he slowly pushes the door open and steps inside.

The bedside lamp is still on and Taehyung is sitting in his bed, blankets wrapped around him like a cocoon as he looks at Yoongi with huge eyes, his phone pressed against his chest to hide the screen from view. Yoongi gently kicks the door shut again as he crosses the space between them, sets the cups down and settles on the edge of the other’s bed. “Why are you still awake, Tae?”

“You’re also awake,” Taehyung notes with a small smile playing on his lips. He looks so soft like that, his hair empty of any products and his face bare. Yoongi wants to cuddle him but he just chuckles instead. “Touché,” He laughs, “What are you doing?”

Taehyung seems to press the phone tighter against his chest. “Just – uhm – watching some videos…” He trails off awkwardly.

“Porn?”

“Hyung!”

Yoongi just laughs and tries to grab the phone from Taehyung’s hand. The younger struggles against him but Yoongi ends up as the victor and his heart skips a beat when he sees what kind of video the younger has been watching before e interrupted him. “This is my fancam!” Yoongi stares at himself on the screen, red suit, silver necklace and a smile on his face as he stands in the middle of the stage. He remembers the day this was filmed, the first time he performed Seesaw at their concert. “You’re watching a fancam of me – why?”

“Because I like it,” Taehyung pouts and his cheeks start to blush, the tips of his ears turning pink as he avoids Yoongi’s gaze. “It’s my favorite song at the moment – it jus’ calms me down…”

Yoongi doesn’t really know what to say to that. Well, he does know but he’s afraid of what the other might react to his words and how this might change everything between them. So he keeps his mouth shut, gaze dropping to the cups he brought in. “I made hot chocolate,” He says, changing the topic and handing Taehyung one of the cups.

“Thanks…” The younger accepts the cup and moves over, patting the space next to him. Yoongi crawls under the covers and immediately feels the warmth of the other next to him and his heart beats so fast that it almost makes him dizzy.

They sip their hot chocolate in silence but it’s not uncomfortable. Yoongi is slowly gravitating closer to the younger the more time passes and in the end, they’re pressed right up against each other, touching from their shoulders down to their thighs. When they’ve finished their drinks both of them cuddle under the covers. They’re barely an inch apart but not quite touching even though Yoongi wants nothing more and before he could even think about it the words have already left his lips.

“Can you hold my hand?”

Taehyung tenses under the covers and his voice trembles slightly as he whispers in the darkness of the room. “Hyung, I…”

Yoongi interrupts him, reaching out to brush the tips of his fingers over the back of Taehyung’s hand. “Please… Just – that is what calms me down,” He mumbles and warmth spreads through him when Taehyung uncurls his fist and intertwines their fingers, squeezing reassuringly. “That and your voice,” Yoongi admits and he hears the small gasp leaving Taehyung’s lips.

“Why did you never tell me that before?” The younger asks quietly and now it’s Yoongi’s turn to blush. E presses his face in the pillow and mumbles something incomprehensible.

“What did you say? I didn’t really understand you,” Taehyung teases, tugging at his hand.

“It was embarrassing,” Yoongi grudgingly admits why he kept his amazement with the other’s voice a secret. Well, why he kept it a secret that he listens to his songs whenever he feels anxious and needs to calm down.

Silence engulfs them again until Taehyung moves closer, wrapping his unoccupied arm around the elder and pressing his face into the other’s soft hair. Yoongi can’t help the butterflies exploding in his stomach. “It’s not,” Taehyung says.

 

-

 

Taehyung doesn’t know how long they’ve been lying here, how much has passed since he pretended to have fallen asleep. His front is pressed against Yoongi’s back, the arm he has thrown over the elder’s middle holding him close and their fingers still intertwined.

He doesn’t know where the sudden confidence comes from, maybe it’s the time, deep in the night or it might be the darkness surrounding them. Taehyung doesn’t know what it is but he opens his mouth to speak the words he wanted to shout from the rooftops since he first saw the elder all those years back when they were still the same height.

“Hyung?” Taehyung whispers against the other’s hair. “Are you still awake?”

It takes a little while until Yoongi replies, a hum leaving his lips as he snuggles closer against Taehyung’s warmth.

“Hyung?”

Yoongi hums again and Taehyung squeezes him tighter for a second, taking a deep breath to calm his racing heart. It’s now or never. He’s ready to risk it all and he will accept every possible outcome, no matter how painful they might be.

“You know what I meant when I told you that I love you, right?”

When Yoongi doesn’t reply he’s already thinking about the worst and his arms go lax around the elder, he’s ready to draw back and apologize when Yoongi’s body releases all the tension in his body with a long sigh. He turns in Taehyung’s embrace and the younger could do nothing but lay there in shock when Yoongi briefly presses their lips together in a tired kiss.

“Now go to sleep,” The elder groans tiredly and his voice has slipped back into the familiar Daegu drawl. “I’m tired as fuck.”

Taehyung is still in slight shock from the sudden kiss and a shiver runs down his spine when Yoongi presses as close to him as physically possible, his breath fanning over the sensitive skin of the younger’s neck. “Goodnight, Hyung,” He whispers and holds the other as tight as possible, the smile on his lips so wide that his cheeks hurt.

God, he loves Yoongi so much.