Yoongi remembers the first time he saw something so beautiful it seemed like time itself had stopped.
He had been four years old at the time, a little runt of a child, barely old enough to tie his own shoelaces. His mother had taken him along to run some errands in the city, and while Yoongi remembers very little of all the stores and shops and buildings they’d visited, the park is as vividly etched into his memory as if he had been there only yesterday. The light spring breeze, the freshly bloomed leaves of the trees, bright green and smelling like life, the sound of dogs barking and children laughing, he remembers it all.
Especially the piano.
Back then, the park had been a place for small-time local musicians to perform; tucked into the southern corner of the park was a little stage, barely big enough for five people to stand on. On the day Yoongi and his mom had visited, the stage had been empty save for an old piano, a beaten-up, old, faded instrument, looking like it was at least a hundred years old. His mom had told him the piano had always stood there, welcoming anyone who wanted to try their hand at music, anyone who wanted to experience what it was like to create a song using only the tips of their fingers.
Yoongi hadn’t dared to play, too shy in a park full of strangers, but he’d still wanted to hear it, so his mom had sat him down in the grass in front of the stage and kissed his cheek before walking over to the piano. She’d taken a seat on the bench and flashed him a quick thumbs-up before resting her fingers against the keys, closing her eyes for a moment before pressing down softly, coaxing a chiming sound from the old instrument.
It was then and there that time seemed to freeze for little four-year-old Min Yoongi, and even to this day, he doesn’t know if it was the music, the gentle rustle of the leaves in spring, or the image of his mom playing that overwhelmed him to the point he felt he couldn’t breathe. Probably all of them at once. His mother had smiled softly as she played a song Yoongi had heard several times; she was going to play it on the day of her wedding, five months into the future, but in that moment, in the middle of a noisy, crowded park, blooming on the threshold of spring, Yoongi witnessed something he knew he would never be able to describe.
From that moment on until now, almost twenty years later, that image has remained as Yoongi’s primary definition of beauty, with nothing ever coming close enough to even compare. Not his mom on the actual day of her wedding, not the sea of colorful flowers Namjoon had paraded in front of Seokjin’s apartment on the day he asked the culinary student to be his boyfriend, not the stunning sunsets he and his friends had seen during their road trip across Japan a few years back. Not even the sight of Taehyung crying his eyes out in Jeongguk’s arms after winning an award for one of his paintings last year, the large canvas framing the two of them to make it look like they were part of the artwork.
That last one had come pretty close.
That’s not to say all those moments and images hadn’t been beautiful, no; they’ve all been extremely beautiful, and so emotionally moving it had been impossible for Yoongi to stop smiling. They have all been perfect moments, ones he wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. But no matter how perfect they’d been, none of them could compare to that day back when he was four years old. Nothing in the past twenty years of his life has been beautiful enough to rewrite Yoongi’s very definition of the word, and he has long since settled for believing he’ll never experience anything so beautiful again.
Until the day he sees Park Jimin standing under the warm rays of the sun for the first time.
There’s nothing spectacular about it, really, not in the same way it had been with the piano. There’s no perfect canvas of spring colors, no flower buds, no one to play a pretty piece of music, nothing to bind it all together to form such an unforgettable image. There’s just the dancer, scrambling out onto the street with his torn leggings and scraped knees, his puffy eyes and tear-streaked face, and a smile so wide it might as well contain all the world’s happiness.
Yoongi doesn’t even realize straight away; Jimin had suddenly broken away from his tight embrace, interrupting their string of whispered I love you’s, cutting off their laughter and their tears, pausing their many kisses in favor of turning on the heel and running right out the front door, shouting something about wanting to see the sunrise. Yoongi had stood rooted to the spot for a moment, his brain playing catch-up with what’d just happened, his heart beating deliriously in his chest, and then he’d laughed again and hurried after the dancer, feeling like he was drunk on his own emotions.
Jimin is already outside the apartment complex when he reaches the ground floor. Through the glass doors, Yoongi can see the dancer run across the short walkway leading from the building and out onto the street, completely lacking the sense to actually check for incoming cars as he skids to a halt, sucking in deep lungfuls of air as he stares into the sky. Yoongi follows him outside, and he almost parts his lips to yell at Jimin to be careful, but then the boy turns around to look at him, and for the first time in twenty years, Yoongi feels like time itself has stopped.
All Jimin does is stand there. He just stands there, in the middle of a street made out of dull asphalt and boring colors, surrounded by nothing but the cool morning air and the distant sounds of traffic. All he does is stand there, but when he looks at Yoongi, his skin glistening in the light, his messy, silvery grey hair shining like a halo, with a smile on his lips that carries all the warmth in this world, Yoongi knows that nothing will ever be able to compare to the beauty of the dancer who had just been given back the sun.
“It’s so warm, Yoongi,” Jimin whispers when he walks up next to him, and the dancer’s eyes are brimming with fresh tears as he raises his arms towards the sky as if wanting to embrace the rays of the morning sun, trying his best not to squint against its blinding light. “I-it feels so warm.” His voice is trembling as much as his hands, so overwhelmed he can barely speak. “It’s the sun, Yoongi.”
And Yoongi has already cried a lifetime’s worth of tears in the past twelve hours, but he can’t stop himself from doing it all over again, choking on a wet chuckle as he reaches out and takes one of Jimin’s hands, lacing their fingers together and squeezing. “Yeah,” he croaks thickly, his eyes seeing nothing but Jimin. “Yeah, it is.”
The dancer laughs and it’s like a dam has burst, tears spilling from his eyes as if he hasn’t just spent the entire night crying. He clutches onto Yoongi’s hand, looking like it’s all he can do to not fall to his knees in the middle of the street, and Yoongi holds him, sliding an arm around his waist to not let him fall.
They stand there until a car drives up and starts honking at them to get out of the way, and Yoongi has half a mind to kick in their windshield and tell them to fuck the fuck off, but Jimin just laughs harder and pulls him up to the pavement, where he grabs Yoongi’s cheeks and kisses him. “Thank you,” the dancer murmurs against his lips. “Thank you for loving me.”
Yoongi’s heart swells so much it almost hurts, and he’s quick to slot their lips together again, tasting the salt of both Jimin’s tears and his own. “I should be the one thanking you, sunshine,” he breathes and sniffles, chuckling when the dancer emits a bubbly giggle at the sound, “for finding me after all those years you spent searching.”
They stay outside for twenty more minutes before Yoongi drags Jimin back upstairs, complaining about his lack of proper clothing and ignoring the dancer’s protests - “You’re not even wearing shoes, dumbass!” - and instead of letting Jimin get dressed and go back outside, he pulls him to the bedroom and pushes him down onto the bed. “You need to sleep,” he tells the dancer and crawls up next to him, one hand pressed firmly against the boy’s chest to keep him from getting back up. “I need to sleep. You’ve been running around all night, and my stupid self haven’t been able to relax since you kissed me on the cheek.”
Jimin looks like he wants to protest, but when Yoongi settles in next to him and pulls him towards his chest, all he does is sigh softly and bring up his hands to curl his fingers into the front of Yoongi’s shirt. “I haven’t slept in three decades,” he mumbles, his voice already betraying his drowsiness, shuffling as close as he can and burying his face against Yoongi’s collarbones, though not before pressing a kiss against his chin. “Not since 1982.”
Yoongi chuckles at that. “Then you must be really fucking tired,” he says and smiles into the dancer’s hair when he emits a tired giggle. “Sleep. We can do whatever we want when we wake up.”
Jimin nods against his neck, and it doesn’t take long until he drifts off, his breathing evening out, gusting softly against Yoongi’s skin. Yoongi fights off his own exhaustion for a while longer, wanting to just look at the dancer for some time, to memorize every inch of him, every millimeter, every single part of his new definition of the word beautiful.
When sleep eventually becomes too difficult to fight off, Yoongi closes his eyes and hugs the dancer closer, murmuring a soft, “I love you, sunshine,” into his hair before finally letting himself rest.
Yoongi has no idea for how long they've been sleeping when he's pulled back to consciousness by the persistent vibrating of his phone in his pocket. For a moment, he feels like hell, groggy and dizzy and out of it, and he wants nothing more than to throw his phone out the window and be dead to the world for at least four more days. At least. But his phone won't let him, so he cracks an eye open and finds his vision obscured by a mess of silvery grey hair, and he's hit by a wave of affection so strong, his tiredness vanishes and he finds himself smiling so wide his cheeks hurt.
Jimin is fast asleep next to him, curled up tightly in Yoongi's arms and still clutching onto his shirt. They're pressed flush against each other, their legs entangled, and Yoongi, in his sleep-drunk state, can't quite tell where he ends and the dancer begins.
Carefully, so as to not disturb Jimin's sleep, he shifts his arm to fish his phone out of his pocket, squinting against the strong sunlight. He groans when he reads his grandmother's ID and takes a moment to prepare himself before answering, knowing he's in for an earful. “Hey, hal-”
“Where the fuck have you been, Min Yoongi?!”
Yoongi grimaces and presses his phone against his chest in an attempt to mute his grandmother’s booming voice so as to not wake the dancer. Jimin stirs slightly, mumbling something incoherent in his sleep, and Yoongi momentarily considers hanging up or telling his grandmother to shut the hell up , but decides against both options; he’d be dead within the week.
“- taking off without warning and then not answering your damn phone,” she’s yelling when he dares to raise his phone to his ear. “And I had to call Taehyung-ah and have him tell me that everything is OK and that I should just have you explain it, so that’s what you’re gonna do right the fuck now!”
“Halmeoni,” Yoongi says quietly, his voice raspy from sleep, and he’s almost surprised when she grunts in response, half expecting her to not hear him. “‘M sorry about yesterday, okay? I… I had a lot to think about after our talk. A lot to figure out, but it’s good now.” He cards his fingers through Jimin’s soft hair. “Everything’s okay. More than okay.”
His grandmother is silent for a few seconds and Yoongi wonders if he accidentally made her more worried; he’s not known for apologizing so readily, being too defensive for his own good. Not to mention that it’s probably well into the afternoon and he sounds like he’s been asleep for half a decade. “I’m not convinced,” she says finally, and Yoongi rolls his eyes and groans. “You’re coming back here tomorrow, you hear me? I expect you on my doorstep in time for dinner!”
“I’ve got class, halm-”
“Tough shit, boy! Tomorrow, dinnertime, no excuses!”
With that, she hangs up, leaving no chance for further protesting. Yoongi heaves a tired sigh, but in the end, he can’t quite bring himself to be even a little bit annoyed; after taking off from Daegu in such a manner, he’s almost surprised his grandmother hadn’t come bursting into his apartment, flashlight shining and guns blazing. “Great,” he mumbles and tosses his phone to the foot of the bed before curling his arm around Jimin’s shoulders and burying his nose in the dancer’s hair. “Ahh, this is gonna be so-”
He promptly shuts up, internally cursing himself for speaking loud enough to disturb Jimin’s sleep. “Sorry, sunshine,” he says quietly, his voice muffled in the dancer’s hair. “Didn’t mean to wake you.”
Jimin squirms in his arms, shuffling into a more comfortable position before sighing against Yoongi’s collarbones, blissfully content. “You didn’t,” he says, his voice thick with drowsiness. “I could hear your grandma yelling all the way from Daegu.”
Yoongi chuckles at that. “She invited us for dinner tomorrow.”
He can feel Jimin smile against his chest. “‘S not really what it sounded like,” the dancer says, and Yoongi snorts at the irony in his tone. “She sounded worried enough to kill you, the way she was shouting.”
“Yeah, that’s my own fault,” he huffs with a sheepish grin, “I might’ve panicked a bit after she told me about your quest for true love, and, uh, I might’ve ran straight outta her place and ignored her calls for, I think, the past 24 hours?”
He feels Jimin’s shoulders tense as the dancer tries to suppress a giggle and emits a half-indignant sound when Jimin raises his head to lightly headbutt Yoongi’s chin. “Now see, this is why I told you you’re an idiot,” the dancer mumbles and cracks an eye open to look up at Yoongi, a softness to his gaze that makes Yoongi’s heart hum. “A gigantic idiot.”
“And this is why I didn’t argue with you about it,” Yoongi says before shifting so he can press his lips against Jimin’s forehead, then his nose, and he’s unable in fighting off his smile when the dancer emits a little giggle, his cheeks dusting a pretty pink. Jimin reaches up and cups his jaw, and Yoongi dips down to kiss his lips, twice chastely and then more firmly, feeling like he’s soaring way above cloud nine when the dancer sighs contentedly against his lips, responding with equal eagerness.
“You know,” Jimin says shyly when they part, a smile on his lips even though he doesn’t quite seem to dare look Yoongi in the eyes, “I think I could kinda get used to waking up like this.”
Yoongi has half a mind to roll out of bed and straight onto the floor and squeak, too overwhelmed by his own happiness to know what to do. Thankfully, he decides against making an absolute fool out of himself and instead presses one final kiss to the dancer’s lips before hugging him close again, smiling when Jimin buries his nose in the crook of his neck. “You know, I think I could, too,” Yoongi muses. “So when I go see my grandmother, can you come along and be my human shield? I think halmeoni is less likely to kill me if you’re there. You know, with the shock factor of your freedom and all.”
Jimin giggles at that, shaking his head as best he can in Yoongi’s embrace. “Min Seongi is a scary woman, I'll give you that,” he croons. “I suppose I can be your knight in shining armor just this once. When are we going?”
“Not until tomorrow,” Yoongi says and reluctantly rolls onto his side to check the actual time from the clock on his nightstand. 03:47PM. “I've still got plenty of time to prepare for my impending doom. What do you wanna do today?” When he turns back to Jimin, he chuckles when he's greeted by an excited smile, the dancer’s previous tiredness nowhere to be seen. “Figured you didn't wanna spend your first day back in bed.”
“I wanna come with you to your university,” Jimin says and sits up straight, ignoring Yoongi's dissatisfied groan at the loss of the dancer’s warmth in his arms. “I wanna see what it’s like during daytime. And I wanna see Taetae. He goes there as well, right?”
“He does,” Yoongi says and nods against his pillow. “You wanna go now? If he’s still got lectures today, it should end in a bit over an hour.” He grins when Jimin practically bounces off the bed, his answer crystal clear. “Alright, alright.” With a huff, Yoongi sits up and stretches his arms above his head before quirking a brow at the dancer. “You’re gonna go like that?” he asks with a pointed nod at Jimin’s torn leggings and rumpled shirt. “Come on, take those off. You wanna shower? I’ll bring you something to wear.”
“No, that’s fine, I can shower later,” the dancer says, though he doesn’t move, even when Yoongi stands up and walks over to his dresser to pull out the jeans Jimin had worn up until now. He waits silently until Yoongi passes him a change of clothes, and only when Yoongi inclines his head in question does the dancer snap out of whatever daze he was trapped in, parting his lips and closing them again a few times, a faint red hue spreading across his cheeks as he hugs the clothes to his chest. “U-um, where… where can I… where can I change?” he asks, so quietly Yoongi almost misses it.
For a second or two, Yoongi just stares at him in mild confusion, wondering what exactly he means, and then it hits him, the extent of the dancer’s innocence; while he was fearless in almost every aspect of his life, Jimin is still very shy and very inexperienced when it comes to romance. Hell, he’d even freaked out when Yoongi had used the word sexile a few nights ago, and so now, he’s simply being too nervous to even take off his shirt in front of Yoongi.
Somehow, the realization fills him with an urge to squish the dancer’s blushing cheeks and make cooing sounds at him, but he figures that kind of reaction wouldn’t be very well received. Instead, he grins and leans forward to press a kiss against the corner of Jimin’s lips before walking past him, ruffling his hair on the way. “You change here, I’ll grab a few things while I wait,” he says, though he stops in the doorway, unable to stop himself. “Though, you know, I changed several times in front of your music box, so technically, you’ve seen me naked like at least seven times.”
He ducks out of the room and pulls the door shut behind him to spare himself from being hit in the face with a pillow, chuckling to himself at the dancer’s indignant sputtering.
Five minutes later finds the two of them walking towards Yoongi’s university’s Creative Arts building, where they’ll meet up with Namjoon at the studio and wait there for Taehyung to finish his lectures. Jimin is glued to Yoongi’s side as they walk, eyes the size of saucers as he takes in the lively university grounds, as if he’s never seen so many people gathered all at once. He seems positively entranced, turning his head in every direction to not miss a single student, a single detail of the grand buildings, bathed in the afternoon sun.
Somewhere in the back of Yoongi’s mind, he remembers that one song from Aladdin; seeing Jimin so full of joy makes Yoongi want to show him everything in this world, the world he’s been missing during the decades he had to spend without the sun.
Yoongi has never really thought about it, how little of the world you actually see during the night. He’s always been somewhat of a night-owl, preferring the quiet darkness rather than the bustle of mornings and daytime, but the life of daytime has still always been there, an inescapable presence for anyone doing anything at all. During the dead of night, however, all you ever get to see is a shell of what the world is supposed to be, shrouded in cold darkness, and for so many years, that has been Jimin’s reality; incapable of existing outside the night’s silence, outside its crushing loneliness.
Yoongi vaguely wonders if he’s somehow lost every last semblance of control over his own emotions when he feels a by now familiar sting behind his eyes at the thought of the dancer spending countless nights over the past six decades all alone, forever searching for someone.
Searching for me.
“You okay, Yoongi?”
He blinks, having not realized he was staring at the dancer instead of focusing on where they were going. Jimin is looking at him, taking a hand from around Yoongi’s arm to raise it to cup his face, his thumb brushing over Yoongi’s cheek. “You were spacing out,” the dancer says softly, brows knitting in concern. “You probably still haven’t gotten enough sleep. You wanna go back?”
“No.” Yoongi lets his eyes flutter close and leans into Jimin’s touch, allowing it to calm him down. “I just got lost in thought for a second,” he mumbles, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. “Thinking about how much I love you.” He doesn’t have to open his eyes to know the dancer is blushing, his fingers quivering slightly against Yoongi’s cheek. “Seriously, it’s crazy how much I do. I had no idea it could be this intense.”
When he does open his eyes again, Jimin is looking at him with an adoring expression, eyes wide in awe and glistening, and he’s not even smiling, but he looks just as overwhelmingly happy as Yoongi feels. “Namjoon’s never gonna let me live this down,” Yoongi tells the dancer with a lopsided grin before reaching up and taking the hand that’s cupping his cheek, lacing their fingers together and tugging Jimin with him towards the front doors. “All those times I joked around about how gross he was with Jin, and now I’m way worse than them.”
The dancer pulls him to a halt just before they reach the doors and leans in to chastely peck Yoongi’s lips, smiling cheekily when he pulls away from a rather surprised Yoongi. “Then we should lay it on real thick,” he says with a giggle before attaching himself to Yoongi’s arm once more. “Your pride might as well go out with a bang, so let’s be super disgustingly in love.”
The task turns out to be way easier done than said. Already the fact that they’re holding hands when they walk into the studio has Namjoon’s eyes widening almost comically. And Yoongi reintroduces Jimin as his boyfriend, only to realize immediately after that he hasn’t actually talked it through with the dancer, and that triggers an incoherent wave of, “No, uh, I mean, we, I, uh,” that doesn’t end until Jimin emits a bright little giggle and sushes Yoongi by squeezing his hand and stating that yes, he is indeed Yoongi’s boyfriend.
That has Yoongi grinning like a bloody fool, trying and failing to hide it in the collar of his jacket, and Namjoon looks a little too pleased about it. To Namjoon’s credit, he doesn’t say anything teasing, though he does make the request to be present when they tell Hoseok.
“I kinda figured,” he says thoughtfully and nods to himself. “You two were all over each other during the Star Wars marathon. I’ve only ever seen Yoongi let Taehyungie cuddle him like that, and even then, he doesn’t play with Taehyung’s hair.” He offers Yoongi a lopsided smirk, pretending as if he doesn’t notice the murderous glare he gets in return. “I was actually gonna ask yesterday, but you didn’t come to your classes. Nor today, for that matter.”
“Yeah, I went to Daegu yesterday,” Yoongi huffs and leads Jimin to his chair, letting him sit in front of his computer. “Had to talk to halmeoni. And today… well, I’m assuming you noticed Taehyung-ah was a bit, uh, upset with me?”
Namjoon scoffs at that, crossing his arms over his chest. “If by upset you mean he called you and screamed at you at six o’clock in the morning, then yes,” he says dryly, a frown replacing his smile. “I woke up thinking someone had died.” Yoongi grimaces at that, which serves to deepen his friend’s concerned expression. “The hell actually happened between you two?”
“That’s, uh…” Yoongi glances down at the dancer, who smiles back up at him and nods almost encouragingly, as if to say go ahead and tell him everything. Yoongi doesn’t, however, knowing he’ll be repeating it all in less than an hour, when Taehyung comes barging in here to either throttle him or hug the life out of Jimin. Or both. Probably both. “I’ll explain everything when Taehyung-ah shows up,” he says and goes to fetch a guest chair for himself. “The whole thing’s too fucking weird to go through twice.”
That certainly doesn’t dim Namjoon’s curiosity, his brows rising towards his hairline, but he agrees to let it be for now. Instead, he and Yoongi do some work on their project, going through their written lyrics and testing the flow, discussing background instrumentals while Jimin listens curiously, curled up in Yoongi’s chair and blinking owlishly at them. He nods his head along to the rhythm whenever Yoongi or Namjoon tests out the lyrics, and he looks so damn proud whenever Yoongi looks at him, it has him grinning like an idiot all over again.
He can almost hear how amused Namjoon is, but he pretends he doesn’t notice.
Yoongi loses track of time quickly enough, but he’s sorely reminded when the sound of fast, heavy footsteps echo from the hallway outside, giving him a two-second warning of Taehyung’s arrival. He barely has enough time to rise from his seat before the studio door is thrown open with enough force to slam against the opposite wall, the hinges rattling, and Yoongi sends a silent prayer to whatever gods are listening that he won’t have to pay for any damages the boy may cause. “Taehyu-”
Taehyung barrels his way past Yoongi without sparing him as much as a glance, throwing his bag somewhere over his shoulder before practically tackling the dancer, throwing his arms around Jimin’s shoulders and pulling him into a bone-crushing hug. “You’re here, Jiminie!” Taehyung cries cheerfully, laughing when the dancer emits a garbled sound from having his ribcage squeezed within an inch of its capacity. “I can’t believe it, I’m so happy for you! And you, you gotta be so excited to be out!”
Jimin’s cheeks look like they’re on the verge of bursting from his wide smile, and he giggles brightly when Taehyung finally releases him, only to grab his hands instead. “Hey, Taetae,” he says, returning the boy’s grip with equal enthusiasm. “Yeah, it’s really amazing, it still feels so unreal! I was walking here with Yoongi and there’s so many people, way more than I could’ve imagined, and-”
“Wait, wait a second,” Yoongi interrupts and raises a hand to point at Taehyung, whose eyes narrow slightly when they land on him. “You did know, didn’t you? About Jimin?”
The boy sticks his tongue out at Yoongi before answering. “Of course I did,” he says flatly and nods. “And so did Namjoon-hyung.”
“What?” Yoongi spins around and stares at Namjoon, who looks like a deer caught in headlights, brows knitted and lips parted in confusion. “You knew?”
“I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about,” he says slowly, looking from Yoongi to Taehyung, and then to Jimin before returning to Yoongi. “Knew what, exactly?”
“What about Jimin?”
“Oh come on, hyung,” Taehyung says impatiently, his voice akin to a whine as he drapes himself over Jimin’s shoulders, as if standing up straight takes too much effort. “You were there when Yoongi’s grandma told me about Jimin.” Yoongi has never seen his friend look so bewildered in all the years they’ve known each other. “Yoongi-hyung was carrying boxes down to the car and halmeoni told us that she was giving him the music box because she felt like Jimin would probably be happier with someone his own age. And because Yoongi-hyung barely sleeps at night.”
For a moment, Namjoon looks like a fish out of water, gaping at Taehyung with the same confused expression. “Wait, wait, wait,” he says after a few seconds of silence. “You mean that story she told us about the dancer in the music box who was actually a human boy?”
“Yup, that one,” Taehyung says and nods enthusiastically. “That boy’s Chimchim here.” He smiles his rectangular smile, completely unaware of Namjoon’s dubious expression. “He was freed from the music box only a few hours ago.” He turns his blinding grin on the dancer. “There’s gotta be so much you wanna do! We should make a bucket list and spend all week going everywhere!”
He and Jimin drift off into a lively discussion about places to go and things to do, and Yoongi smiles warmly at the two of them, feeling an immense wave of fondness rise in his chest. Then he turns to look at Namjoon, and the smile morphs into an amused snort at his best friend’s obvious confusion. “Alright, look,” he says, snapping Namjoon’s attention to him. “Halmeoni probably told you a story about a boy on a quest for,” he clears his throat, “for true love, who ends up magically bound to a music box and stays young for the next six decades while searching. Sound about right?”
“Yeah..?” Namjoon says slowly, his voice lilting up into a question.
“Right.” Yoongi nods thoughtfully, taking a moment before dropping the bomb. “Yeah,” he says, unable to fight off an amused grin, “that was all true.”
There’s a moment where Namjoon just looks at him, lips still parted as his brain attempts to process this information. Then he snorts in dry amusement and shakes his head. “Uh, no,” he says, though there’s a smidgen of hesitation in his smile. “No, it wasn’t.”
“It was,” Yoongi counters casually.
There’s an almost warning look in Namjoon’s eyes, as if daring Yoongi to keep messing with him like this, and his voice is completely monotone as he repeats, “No, it wasn’t.”
It takes true effort to not laugh, let alone grin, at his expression. “Yes, Namjoon, it was,” Yoongi says slowly. “All of it.”
Yoongi has time to count twelve full beast of silence before Namjoon finally processes his words and the seriousness in his tone, and when it clicks, he puts a hand on the armrest of his chair and rises halfway, only to sit back down again, so shellshocked his legs won’t carry his weight. “What the...” he breathes out, blinking repeatedly as he stares at Jimin, who’s still chatting amiably with Taehyung. “What the fuck?”
Yoongi can’t help it anymore; he emits a bark of laughter, reaching up to run a hand through his hair as he glances at the dancer. “That was my reaction too,” he muses, “when I came home last Tuesday at two in the morning and found Jimin sitting in my living room, looking so fucking comfortable in my armchair.” He grins down at Namjoon. “You’ve been telling me I look like shit over the last week, right? That I look like I haven’t slept at all since we got the AOMG project?” Namjoon nods slowly. “Well, that was because I didn’t sleep,” Yoongi says with a casual shrug of his shoulders. “Since one week ago I spent every night, from midnight to 7AM, with Jimin. He only took human form during those hours.”
“What the fuck,” his friend mumbles again, leaning forward in his seat to bury his face in his hands. “So everything your grandmother said about what she used to do at the festivals…”
“Is apparently all true,” Yoongi says. “Trust me, I didn’t believe it either, but I saw Jimin materialize out of thin air right before my eyes. And I watched him disappear, too, every time the sun started rising.” The mere memory makes his skin crawl, goosebumps breaking out across his neck. “Kinda hard to be skeptical after that.”
“Right,” Namjoon says, his voice muffled by his hands. He’s tapping his foot restlessly, his eyes darting from Jimin to Yoongi and back, as if he’s trying to picture it, to imagine what it’s like to see the dancer just fade into nothingness. “Right, okay, so he was bound to the music box. And… and Taehyung knew. And apparently I did as well.” His gaze settles on Yoongi. “I take it you didn’t?”
“Nope,” Yoongi says, popping the p. “I had no fucking idea, so you can imagine my reaction when I came home in the middle of the night and Jimin told me he was a magical ballerina and that he was bound to the box until he’d find what he was looking for.”
Namjoon sits up straight at that, his shock momentarily taking on a completely different tone, a smugness that sends a twinge of premonition up Yoongi’s spine. “That’s right, I remember that part,” Namjoon says dawdles, his lips slowly stretching into a wide grin. “Your grandmother said the dancer was looking for something.”
“Namjoon,” Yoongi says warningly, though it comes out more like a whine, warmth spreading to his cheeks.
“Wasn’t it true love he was looking for?” his friend continues mercilessly, looking so utterly pleased with this piece of information, and Yoongi has half a mind to kick him in the face when he leans forward and props his chin up on his knuckles, arching a teasing brow. “Does this mean you guys are in love, Yoongi?”
Yoongi raises a hand to his face and pinches the bridge of his nose, taking a deep, steadying breath, and when he opens his eyes again, he stares down at the floor, pretending he doesn’t feel the way his cheeks are burning. “First of all, fuck you,” he mutters, clicking his tongue when he hears Namjoon snort. “Secondly, yeah. Yeah, I love him. A lot. Like an actual fuckton. It’s insane.”
A soft giggle pulls his attention back up, and he finds Jimin beaming at him, his cheeks dusted that beautiful pink, the color of his shyness. “You’re so romantic, Yoongi,” the dancer muses and wiggles free from Taehyung’s arms to walk over to Yoongi and lean against him, resting his head on Yoongi’s shoulder. “I love you too, even though your vocabulary sucks.”
For a split second, Yoongi forgets about Taehyung and Namjoon - the dancer seems to have that effect on him, to push everything else out of his mind and leave nothing but Jimin behind - and he smiles and reaches up to card his fingers through the dancer’s hair. “Well, I only really need three specific words to make you smile,” he murmurs and presses his lips against Jimin’s temple. “So seems to me my vocabulary’s just fine.”
Yes, for a split second, Yoongi forgets about the others in the room, but as soon as those words leave his lips, he gets a reminder in the form of Namjoon choking on his own breath and descending into a fit of coughing, and Taehyung emitting something in between a squeal and a delighted coo. Yoongi almost jumps out of his skin, his cheeks positively burning by now, and no amount of sputtering excuses or curses manage to make the two back down from their merciless teasing.
“Holy shit,” Namjoon wheezes and slumps over in his chair, closing his eyes and pressing a hand to his heart, adapting an expression as if he’s experiencing some form of cardiac arrest. “I can’t believe Min Yoongi just said that.” He exaggerates a shudder and turns to look at Taehyung. “Please tell me you recorded that shit.”
Yoongi’s heart drops like a stone as he watches Taehyung wave around with his phone, rectangular grin out in full force. “Yessir!” the boy almost sings as he starts fiddling with the device, his fingers flying over the screen. “Sending it to the rest of the guys riiiiiii-”
“Taehyung, don’t you dare-”
“-iiiiight now!” Yoongi hears Namjoon’s phone go off at the same time as his own, the cheery notification sound of KakaoTalk chirping in their pockets, and he knows his fate has been sealed. “Too late, Yoongi-hyung,” Taehyung cackles, looking so goddamn pleased with himself as he saunters over to Namjoon and high-fives him. “Your soft side has just been royally exposed!”
Yoongi emits a long, outdrawn groan and buries his face in Jimin’s hair, wishing he could just turn into a goddamn flea and live as a pest for the rest of his life. “My life is over,” he mutters, pretending he can’t feel the way the dancer’s shoulders are shaking from suppressed laughter. “Oh my god, I’ll have to live under a rock for all eternity, where no one can make fun of me for being so fucking cheesy.” He heaves a deep sigh. “What did you do to me, Park Jimin? This is all your fault, you sunshine bastard.”
“Sunshine bastard,” Namjoon repeats monotonously. “This day just keeps getting better and better.”
Yoongi would’ve thrown something at him if not for the subtle feeling of Jimin’s soft lips against his shoulder. “I’ll happily take all the blame,” the dancer says and giggles before taking a step back, his smile half shy, half smug. “Told you your pride was gonna go out with a bang.”
Before Yoongi can do more than roll his eyes, his phone launches into a rapidfire of dings, joined by Taehyung and Namjoon’s, the chorus signaling the arrival of his social image’s doom. “Fuck,” he grouches and unlocks his phone, barely resisting the urge to throw his phone at Taehyung when he takes in the stream of messages. “Goddammit.”
WAS THAT YOONGI???!?!??!?
no that’s impossible
Yoongi-hyung would never say something like that
no way was that Yoongi
lmao don’t be ridiculous
THAT WAS SO YOONGI
“I only need three specific words to make you smile”
IS YOONGI IN LOVE?!??!
Is he talking to Jimin?
WAIT, IS HE?!?!
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT, JEONGGUK?!?!?!
they seemed to really like each other??
Also Taetae said something about true love or something
and Min Yoongi
oh my GOD WHAT IS THIS
BEST DAY EVER
YOONGI’S GETTING MARRIED
WE’RE CELEBRATING TONIGHT
DRINKS ALL AROUND
NAMJOON CAN OFFICIATE
I’LL BE THE CATERER
does Jiminie have any allergies?
would he prefer fish or beef???
also I know a guy who makes wedding cakes
You can all go fuck yourselves.
With a cactus.
A really thorny one.
CAN I BE YOUR BEST MAN, HYUNG??
WILL YOU DANCE AT THE WEDDING????
THE WORLD NEEDS TO SEE MIN YOONGI DANCE
I think I still have my castration tools somewhere.
Should break out the set again.
Since I have a bunch of willing candidates to experiment on.
Also Jimin says hi.
With a smiley face, but we all know that’s not happening.
oh my god
Oh for the love of...
( ⸝⸝•ᴗ•⸝⸝ )੭⁾⁾
OH MY GOD
IS THIS A WHIPPED YOONGI I THINK SO
HOW DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW TO MAKE THAT SMILEY
THE WEDDING IS SO HAPPENING
I hate you all.
Taehyung is doubled over with laughter at this point and Jimin is holding his phone, giggling brightly into the palm of his hand as he reads the stream of messages, and Yoongi won’t admit it, but he’s having an incredibly hard time staying angry with the sound of the dancer’s high-pitched laughter ringing in his ears.
“Put that away,” he snaps at Namjoon, who was just about to start typing away at his own phone. “I’ll break your laptop up your ass if you ever say anything about me calling Jimin a sunshine bastard.” He holds up a hand when his friend’s grin only widens, clearly not intimidated. “Alright then, if you wanna play dirty, go ahead. Write it, but if you do, I suppose I can tell Jin-hyung about that time you said the university cafeteria’s japchae was better than his.”
Namjoon’s smile vanishes quicker than a candle being blown out, a look of sheer horror replacing it. “That was one time,” he protests loudly, heaving a sigh of defeat when Yoongi merely crosses his arms over his chest and pins him under a challenging glare. “Alright, fine. I won’t tell them you called your boyfriend sunshine bastard. Or that you said you love him a fuckton. Christ, Jimin-ah, are you sure you know what you’re getting into with this one?”
The dancer’s smile could light up the dead of night. “I’ve spent the past six decades living under the same roof as Min Seongi,” he sing-songs with a little shrug. “I once watched her outcurse a military officer in front of half his squad after he catcalled her on the street. So far, Yoongi’s been pretty mellow in comparison.”
“Six decades,” Namjoon echoes weakly, taking a moment to properly process that fact before turning to look at Yoongi once more, holding up his phone. “Can I tell the others you’re dating a sixty-year-old? Please, it’d be so damn hilarious.”
“Just as hilarious as your funeral after Jin puts you through his kitchen grinder,” Yoongi bites back, glaring daggers at Namjoon until he begrudgingly slides his phone back into his pocket. “Thought so.” He scoffs at his friend’s dissatisfied expression and turns his eyes back to his own phone, only to heave a frustrated sigh at the realization that Seokjin, Hoseok and Jeongguk are all on their way to the university to take him and Jimin out to dinner to, quote unquote, celebrate the happy couple. “Alright, Jimin, if we leave now, we can still escape before they get here.”
The dancer is only given enough time to part his lips before Taehyung’s arms clamp down over his chest, trapping his arms to his body and enclosing him in a tight prison. “You’re not going anywhere, Chimchim,” the boy croons with a smug smile aimed at Yoongi. “And neither are you, hyung, not as long as I’ve got your sunshine as my hostage.”
“Let him go, Kim Taehyung,” Yoongi says loudly and takes a step forward, but Taehyung only ducks his head behind Jimin’s, sounding like he’s having the time of his life using the dancer as a human shield. Jimin doesn’t seem to mind, really, smiling that cheerful smile and making absolutely no effort to get out of Taehyung’s bone-crushing hug. “Come on, why are you guys doing this to me? What have I ever done to deserve this unfairness?”
“Do I really have to remind you of all the times you made fun of me and Jin?” Namjoon asks dryly, smiling so wide his dimples look like they’ll be forever etched onto his face.
“That was Hoseok!”
“Yeah, well, you didn’t stop him.”
“You… that makes no sense!”
“Tough shit, hyung.”
And so, half an hour later, Yoongi finds himself slumped over a table in the restaurant where Jin works, his forehead pressed against the surface and his eyes closed in exhaustion as his so-called friends go on and on about how fantastic it is that Min Yoongi has finally shown his true colors, his ultimate soft side. They praise Jimin to high heaven for managing to conquer the beast and bring out Yoongi’s nice side, that it’ll be such a delight having the two of them around now that it’s obvious Yoongi is about as intimidating as a teddy bear.
“I know where you live, Jung Hoseok, and I know you’ve got a phobia of snakes,” Yoongi snaps, lifting his head from the table for long enough to aim a murderous glare at the man. “Do I have to remind you I know a guy who works in the reptilian section of the zoo?”
Hoseok’s teasing mellows out considerably after that.
They don’t get onto the topic of how Jimin and Yoongi actually met until they’re halfway through dinner, at which point Yoongi motions for the dancer to relay the story, too annoyed with his friends to want to put any effort into convincing them. Jimin seems happy enough to do it, giggling into his hand before stating that, “This might be a bit hard to believe.”
It takes him the entire rest of the dinner to convince Hoseok and Seokjin he’s being completely serious about having been magically bound to a music box for the past sixty years, but after Jimin describes the events following the initiation of the Second Republic of South Korea in 1960 in extreme detail, well, that certainly does the trick to erase any and all remaining doubts, leaving the two gaping at him and Yoongi like they’ve never seen actual human beings before. Meanwhile, Jeongguk simply shrugs and says, “Yeah, Taetae said something similar,” and smiles at Jimin without a shred of dubiousness. “It’s gotta be great to be back to normal after so long.”
“If it was anyone else telling me this, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Namjoon tells his stunned boyfriend, chuckling as he watches Jimin lean down to kiss Yoongi’s cheek. “But Yoongi himself told me this shit’s all true. Yoongi. If Min Yoongi tells you magic is real, then magic is fucking real.”
Hoseok is the first one to recover, and Yoongi has half a mind to make good on his threat about snakes when he, just like Namjoon, brings up the topic of true love, his grin threatening to split his face in half.
They stay in the restaurant until Jin’s boss walks up to their table and tells them it’s twenty minutes past closing time. They begrudgingly agree to leave, having been interrupted in the middle of Jimin’s stories about living in Russia while the Korean War was raging in the early 1950s. They’ve asked him every thinkable question about his past, both before and after he got himself bound to the music box, and while Yoongi has already heard most of these stories during their many walks over the past week, he listens intently to every single word, finding something so ridiculously comforting in the dancer’s voice.
He doesn’t even curse at Jin when he points out that Yoongi’s looking at Jimin like he’s the only thing in the world that matters. Yoongi only shushes him before turning back to the dancer and motioning for him to continue.
It’s already dark outside when they finally leave the restaurant, with the time nearing half past nine in the evening. It’s still early enough for the streets to be busy, however, and Jimin pauses on the threshold, his eyes widening as he takes in another version of the awake world, the darkness filled with people, the bustle almost as present as during daytime.
Yoongi smiles against the inside of his scarf and reaches out to take the dancer’s hand. “You wanna go for a walk?” he asks, chuckling when Jimin nods fervently. “Let’s go walk around in Gangnam, there’s a shitload of people there.”
“Can we come, too?” Hoseok asks teasingly, fully aware of what the answer will be. “A romantic, late-night walk sounds really nice, doesn’t it, guys?”
“Unless you’re a dancer born in the late 1930s, you’re not invited,” Yoongi says flatly, making a shooing motion with his free hand. “You may be a dancer, Hoseok, but you’re not on the guest list this time.”
“I think you’re dodging a bullet here, Hoseokkie,” Seokjin says with a warm smile, waggling his eyebrows at Yoongi and Jimin as he leans into Namjoon’s side. “They’re being ridiculously cute right now, I think your single ass would be hit with a serious case of diabetes.”
“Yah, I’m single by choice, you pregnant old lady,” Hoseok says in mock indignance, laughing when Seokjin throws a glove at him. “But I see your point. I’ll let the lovebirds walk in peace.” He raises two fingers to his forehead in a salute before turning to Jimin one last time. “Like I said earlier, hit me up about dancing at my studio. I wouldn’t say no to someone who was due a spot in the Russian Ballet.”
Jimin tears his eyes away from their surroundings for long enough to offer Hoseok a blinding smile. “I never even auditioned, hyung,” he muses. “But I’ll definitely come try out for your team.”
Hoseok gives him two thumbs up before turning on the heel and sauntering off, a swing in his step as he hums some tune to himself. “We’re going home, too,” Namjoon says, his arms around Seokjin’s waist. “Let me know when you’re back from Daegu, alright? There’s a lot of things to go over with the project.”
Yoongi nods and parts his lips to tell his friend he’ll be back to normal in two days, but Taehyung throws himself at both him and Jimin before he can speak, pulling the two of them into a fierce embrace. “I’m really happy for both of you,” the boy says with a breathy chuckle. “I was really mad at you, hyung, but you two look so happy together, it’s impossible to not be happy, too.” He releases the dancer to put a hand on their intertwined ones. “Make sure you love him a lot, Jiminie,” he whispers and gives Yoongi’s shoulders a squeeze. “If you’re his sunshine, you make him your moonlight. Or something. I dunno. Just love him, okay?”
“Okay,” the dancer says softly, his fingers tightening around Yoonig’s, and when Yoongi looks at him, Jimin’s eyes are glistening in the flashing lights of the city, a tremulous smile on his lips. “I promise.”
“Come on, Taetae,” Jeongguk says and gently pries Taehyung away from Yoongi, grinning when Taehyung instantly turns around and hugs him instead. “Good luck in Daegu tomorrow, you two. Let us know if you make it out alive.”
“Yeah,” Yoongi snorts, his voice surprisingly thick. “Thank you, Taehyung-ah. For… you know.”
The boy grins and raises a hand in farewell. “Anytime, Yoongi-hyung,” he sing-songs. “Chimchim’s got me on speed dial now, so if you mess up again, I’ll be there to yell at you all over.”
With that, they take off, following after Namjoon and Seokjin to the nearest taxi station, and as soon as they’re out of earshot, Yoongi heaves an outdrawn sigh and rests his chin on Jimin’s shoulder. “I can’t believe I’m still alive after that,” he groans, though he smiles when the dancer giggles and places a kiss on his forehead. “I swear Jin was only half joking about his plans for our wedding menu.”
“Glad to know they’re supportive,” Jimin says brightly, only to blush heavily at the indication of his words. He quickly clears his throat and looks away, and Yoongi watches him part his lips and close them again three whole times before he finds his voice again. “W-where should we walk? You said Gangnam, how do we get to Gangnam? And what should we do there? Is there anywhere in specific we should-”
Yoongi leans in and cuts of his rambling by catching the dancer’s lips in a kiss, a short peck that he breaks involuntarily when Jimin emits a little squeak that has him chuckling. “Let’s take a bus,” he says and starts walking, tugging the dancer into the sea of people. “We shouldn’t stay out too late. We both need to get back to a normal circadian rhythm so we can spend as much time as possible in the sun.”
That earns him a hug so fierce he almost falls forward, and Jimin doesn’t seem to give a single shit about their surroundings, about the fact that there are hundreds of people around; he pulls Yoongi in by his scarf and kisses him, hard, like he’s drowning and Yoongi is his only supply of air. “I love you,” the dancer breathes when they part, giggling at Yoongi’s completely winded expression. “Now show me a Gangnam I’ve never seen before.”
Contrary to his words, it’s Jimin who leads the way, with Yoongi barely staying on his feet as he stumbles after the dancer, his brain trying and failing to produce any coherent thought that doesn’t have anything to do with Jimin. “Goddamn,” he mumbles to himself, smiling so wide his cheeks hurt. “What an unfair sneak attack, sunshine.”
They end up sitting on a bench outside Gangnam station, buying crepes with chocolate and strawberries and just enjoying the evening, observing the countless people walking by. Jimin sits on the edge of his seat the whole time, turning his head left and right, and Yoongi absentmindedly wonders what the people passing by are thinking, being targets of such concentrated attention.
It’s a few minutes past midnight when they return to Yoongi’s apartment and they go straight to bed, Jimin curling up in Yoongi’s arms with the music box in his hands, carefully twisting the winding key and smiling at the familiar melody. The little ballerina is gone, but the song is the same, and Jimin gingerly trails his fingers along the exterior of the box, half expecting for it to reject his touch in the same way it had before.
When he falls asleep, Yoongi carefully puts the music box down on his nightstand, winding it up again to let the little tune soothe him, and just like last time, he fights off sleep for as long as he can, wanting to not miss even one second he has with the dancer. He snorts quietly at himself, wondering how long it’ll take to shake the habit he’d picked up during the one week he’d been forced to watch Jimin disappear over and over. The habit to not want to waste a single, precious second of their time together, even though that time has now been extended to possibly forever.
“The guys were right,” he sighs when he closes his eyes and shifts comfortably against the dancer. “I’m a fuckin’ teddy bear when it comes to you, Park Jimin.” As he drifts off, he realizes he’s perfectly okay with it.
“How do you think she’s gonna react?” Jimin asks, his teeth worrying his bottom lip as he looks out the window of the taxi, clearly turning more and more nervous for every block they drive past. “I still think we should’ve given her some kind of warning. She’s eighty-seven years old, Yoongi, what if she has a heart attack? That’d be terrible and then it’d be my fault-”
“You’re rambling again, sunshine,” Yoongi says with an amused snort. “And relax, she’s gonna be ecstatic. She’s gonna lose her filter and curse more than me, but she’s gonna be happy to see you.”
“Yeah, but what if-” Jimin cuts himself off when the taxi pulls up in front of Yoongi’s grandmother’s house. “Oh crap,” he squeaks, turning to smack Yoonig’s arm when he chuckles at how tense the dancer is. “Shut up, this is serious! Min Seongi is a scary woman, you know that!”
“The hell are you imagining she’ll do to you?” Yoongi asks and shakes his head before reaching over to pay the driver. “I’m the one who should be worried here, having run off like an idiot and dodged her calls for twenty-four hours. She’ll be too busy beating me with an umbrella to even notice you’re there.” He gets out of the car and sighs when Jimin fidgets nervously with his seatbelt, looking like he wants to tell the driver to take him back to the train station. “Come on,” Yoongi says and goes around to open the door for the dancer. “You promised to be my human shield, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, okay,” Jimin mutters and slides out of the taxi, chewing on his lower lip and looking like he wants to chase after the car when it drives off. “My palms are sweating.”
Yoongi scoffs and takes his hand. “No, they’re not,” he says and tugs the dancer along up the driveway. “Stop squirming, halmeoni’s neighbors will think I’ve kidnapped you.” He pushes in the doorbell and rolls his eyes when Jimin emits a little squeak, though his own tension does spike when he catches the sound of thundering footsteps approaching the door. “Uh, okay, so maybe she’s in a worse mood than I thought.”
The dancer almost whimpers and clutches tighter onto Yoongi’s hand. “Oh god, we’re both gonna di-”
The door flies open before he can finish voicing his dread, kicked open so hard Yoongi fears for its hinges. “Min Yoongi!” Just like Yoongi had suspected, his grandmother is waving around an umbrella, holding it like one would hold a sword. “You careless, irresponsible little brat,” she barks and shoves the tip of the umbrella against Yoonig’s chest, hard. “I should tie you to the fucking flagpole in my yard and smack you with a wet towel until you gain some semblance of common sense! And here you come, dragging some friend with you to hide behind,” she sends a brief, angry glare at Jimin, “thinking I wouldn’t beat the shit out of you if… if you…”
Slowly, very slowly, she turns back to Jimin, her eyes widening to the size of saucers, her eyebrows rising to her hairline and her mouth dropping open. She freezes in an almost comical pose, umbrella still pointed at Yoongi, her back hunched, looking like she’s wholly prepared to impale whomever dares irritate her.
“Um,” the dancer starts, glancing at Yoongi before lowering his eyes to the ground, his lips slowly spreading into a smile, and not until Yoongi encouragingly squeezes his hand does he look up at her face. “Hey, Seongi-noona.”
Yoongi chokes on his breath, thrown completely off guard by the fact that Jimin just called his grandmother noona. He coughs into his hand and stares between the dancer and his grandmother, one of them a boy in his early twenties, the other a woman who should definitely start considering walking with a stick, but then it hits him that when the two first met, Jimin was probably only a few years younger than her.
His grandmother looks like she’s been struck by lightning. “J-Jimin-ah,” she all but squeaks, her anger completely doused to make her sound just as tense as the dancer had been not thirty seconds ago. “You… it’s you. You’re here, but, but it’s… it’s daytime.”
Yoongi isn’t sure if it’s for courage or just to prove his point, but Jimin leans into his side and raises the hand that’s holding Yoongi’s. “Yeah, it’s daytime,” he says softly and brushes his lips over Yoongi’s knuckles, giggling against the back of his hand before offering the old lady a bright smile. “I found him, noona. I found the love of my life.”
Just like Yoongi, everyone knows that Min Seongi isn’t an easy woman to surprise, known to be even more stubbornly level-headed and calculating than Yoongi, but upon hearing this, she looks so utterly stricken, so completely flabbergasted, shellshocked to the point Yoongi almost wonders if she’s stopped breathing. “Please don’t have a heart attack, halmeoni,” he mumbles, and while he snorted at the possibility when Jimin suggested it, now he’s only half joking. “That would be a shit welcome for Jimin.”
That certainly jerks her back to reality, if only to send an affronted glare at Yoongi. “Don’t flatter yourself, boy!” she barks, but barely a second later, she drops her umbrella, letting it clatter to the ground in favor of pulling the two of them into a fierce embrace, and her voice is thick with emotion when she launches into a string of colorful curses. “Oh, I can’t fucking believe this shit, you’re actually out of the box and it’s because of this idiot, fuckin’ hell, this is unbelievable, god fucking dammit!”
Jimin emits a chiming laughter and reaches up to pat her back in a playfully comforting manner. “I can’t tell if you’re happy or sad, noona,” he hums.
Seongi smacks the back of his head as best she can from her position. “I’m fucking ecstatic, you brat!” she says loudly before tightening her grip on both of them. “Like I could be anything else, you absolute dumbass, you’re finally free from that ridiculous music box!”
“Told you,” Yoongi snorts, the sound turning into a weak cough when his grandmother intentionally jams her shoulder up against his throat to shut him up. “A-alright, alright, ‘scuse me, ma’am. Can you let us go now?”
“I can’t believe you, Yoonyoon,” she says but does as asked, using the sleeve of her shirt to dab at the corners of her eyes as she looks Jimin up and down. “You still look exactly the same as the day I bound you. Except the clothes.” She scrunches her nose in disdain. “I see Yoonyoon hasn’t taken you shopping and instead put you in his boring rags.”
“My clothes aren’t-”
“Come in, come in, Jimin-ah, let’s go sit on the veranda out back,” Seongi says and motions for the dancer to follow her, completely ignoring Yoongi’s meek protest to the attack on his wardrobe. “Go make yourself comfortable, I’ll prepare some tea.”
“That went better than expected,” Jimin whispers with a hushed giggle as soon as she’s out of earshot.
“Easy for you to say,” Yoongi mutters, frowning as he massages the center of his chest. “I think she cracked one of my ribs with that umbrella.” He smiles despite himself when the dancer beams at him before stepping through the doorway and into the house that had been his home for the past six decades.
The veranda is bathed in light, the sun shining almost directly above the small backyard, and for a moment, Yoongi wonders for how long his grandmother has waited for this moment, to be able to invite Jimin to sit here with her. No matter how intimidatingly blunt she is, she’s always had a keen sense for decorating, and the beautiful pastel flowers and patio furniture with croche set a stunning background for the dancer as he takes a seat in their midst, dressed all in black, with his silvery hair shining like a crown.
“Quit your gawking, boy, we all know he’s pretty.” Yoongi almost jumps out of his skin at his grandmother’s voice, having been so caught up in looking at Jimin to hear her approaching. “Take a seat,” she tells him before handing the dancer a cup of tea, her expression softening marginally when she sits down and takes her time looking at Jimin. “You look healthy. How are you feeling?”
“The same,” the dancer says and thoughtfully purses his lips. “Apart from the fact that I’m in love and that I’m not pulled back into the music box every morning, nothing’s changed, really.”
She nods at that, either missing Yoongi’s stupid smile at the words in love or then choosing to ignore it. “That’s good,” she says firmly. “The binding shouldn’t have had any downsides or lingering side-effects upon release, but you can never be too sure about these things.” She pauses to think for a moment. “Have you slept properly?”
“Yeah,” Jimin says with a warm smile. “Twice in the past thirty hours.”
“And you’ve eaten?”
“Four times since I was freed.”
“And your bodily functions are working?”
“That’s a really weird question, noona.”
“Answer the question, boy!”
“Yes. Yes, I, uh, I’ve been going to the bathroom. Uh, just the same as always.”
“Anything abnormal about-”
“What about your energy, are you more tired than usually?”
This continues for another twenty minutes, with Jimin turning more and more anxious for every question, the sight making Yoongi imagine a hamster cornered by a cat. He can’t stop himself from smiling at the sight, shrugging every time the dancer sends a pleading look his way, though that smile is quickly wiped off his face when his grandmother leans back in her chair and turns her eyes on him instead.
“So,” she says in a tone that has Yoongi fearing the worst. “What are you going to do now?” She tilts her head to the side in a curious manner. “You getting married?”
Yoongi almost drops his cup of tea, and next to him, Jimin chokes on his drink. “What the- why does everyone keep saying that?” Yoongi demands loudly, quickly setting down his cup just in case. “Seriously, halmeoni, what the f-”
“Language,” she barks and snaps her fingers right before his face, causing him to recoil and effectively cutting him off. “Seriously, how many times do I have to tell you before you learn?” She emits a frustrated sound before tutting in distaste. “It’s a perfectly appropriate question, Yoonyoon. Last time Jimin-ah was able to walk around during daytime, it was normal to get married and start a family in your early twenties.”
Jimin’s head snaps up at that and he quickly raises his hands in some kind of gesture of denial, his cheeks positively burning. “T-th-these are different times, noona, I’m perfectly aware of that,” he stresses, his voice thin and squeaky. “We’re not getting married. We’ve known each other for a week!”
All that gets him is a dry scoff. “Details,” Seongi says with a flick of her wrist. “Alright, so you’re not getting hitched. Then what? Are you gonna live together in that shoebox of yours, Yoonyoon?”
Yoongi parts his lips and closes them again, at a complete loss of words, and he has to clear his throat and exchange a quick glance with the dancer before he can form any sort of answer. “We, we haven’t really… we haven’t really had time to talk about it,” he ventures carefully, almost wincing at his grandmother’s unimpressed look. “Oh, come on, halmeoni, Jimin broke free from the music box yesterday, we haven’t had time to work everything out yet.”
That was definitely the wrong thing to say, or perhaps the wrong way to phrase it; Seongi quirks a curious brow at him before turning to Jimin, a sly smirk gracing her lips. “Oh, I see now,” she dawdles, her voice laced in amusement. “Good for you, Jimin-ah. I was beginning to worry I’d have time to die before you lost your virginity.”
While the dancer emits an incoherent, high-pitched sound and jumps to his feet while Yoongi is just about ready to die in his seat, his face buried in his hands, and his grandmother just laughs, cackling like a hyena as Jimin high-tails back into the house, a string of indignant rambling spilling from his lips as he disappears into the hallway and out of sight.
“You, sit down,” Seongi says breathlessly when Yoongi moves to follow the dancer. “He’s fine, he’ll just be sulking in the attic for a while. He always did that whenever I teased him.” She chuckles for a few seconds longer before heaving a deep sigh, looking so utterly content. “So,” she muses again, looking at Yoongi with a softness to her gaze. “He found his true love in you.”
He lowers his gaze to his hands and nods, lips curling into the smallest of smiles. “Yeah, he did,” he mumbles, and just thinking about that fact is enough to make his heart hum in his chest.
“And you found yours in him.”
“I did, and it’s insane, seriously.” Yoongi doesn’t hesitate for even a second to tell her, the words rising to his lips as if they’ve been dying to be spoken. “This shit is intense as fuck, halmeoni,” he says and pats his chest repeatedly, “and no, I won’t mind my language, because fuck, every time I look at him it’s like I can’t believe he’s even real. I don’t know what to do, I just…” He runs a hand through his hair, smiling impossibly wide. “I just feel so much every time I see him, every time I talk to him, and when he smiles, fucking hell… I’m surprised I’m even still alive.”
His grandmother snorts at his words, but the sound is affectionate. “I haven’t stopped grinning like an idiot since yesterday,” Yoongi continues. “I managed to freak the fuck out of Namjoon when I took Jimin to the university. And I can’t stop feeling like crying. I don’t cry, but here I am, constantly on the verge of tears because I’m just feeling so much.” He shakes his head at his own hopelessness, the smile still etched on his lips. “I don’t know how to get it out of my system and I feel like I’m on the verge of spontaneous combustion all the time, but you know, halmeoni, I don’t want this feeling to ever go away. I love him so fucking much.”
There’s a moment of silence following his words, during which his grandmother does nothing but look at him, her smile just as wide as his, and for a split second, she looks like she might actually cry, her eyes glistening with emotion.
Then she parts her lips and reminds him that Min Seongi is way worse than his friends when it comes to teasing him. “Good lord, you’ve got it so bad, Yoonyoon,” she states loudly, guffawing when he slumps back in his chair with a groan. “Jesus, I’ve been alive during the creation of our time’s greatest love songs, but none of ‘em have ever come close to that.” There’s a definite, genuine warmth to her smugness, but Yoongi purses his lips into an annoyed pout either way. “Back off, Whitney Houston and Elton John, we’ve got a new sovereign of sappy, poetic love songs right here.”
“Gee, thanks,” Yoongi deadpans, which only serves to increase his grandmother’s cackling. “Can I go bring my traumatized boyfriend down from the attic now?”
“Go right ahead, Yoonyoon,” she croons, dismissing him with a wave of her hand. “Try to untwist his panties, we still need to talk about a couple of things.”
He’s quick to flee into the house, pausing on the other side of the glass doors to heave an exhausted sigh. “Fuck’s sake,” he grouches, not quite sure if he got off easy or not. “Ahh, we should just move to Japan and get away from all these assholes…” He snorts, vaguely aware of the fact that he’s still smiling despite his words. “Shit, is this gonna be a permanent thing?”
He massages his cheeks in a meek attempt to get rid of his ridiculous grin as he makes his way to the stairs leading up to the attic. “Jimin?” he calls, getting only an absentminded hum in response, so he makes his way up, scaling the narrow steps and climbing up to the attic, taking a moment to appreciate how much nicer it looks after he and his friends cleaned it up a bit over a week ago. “Sunshine?”
Jimin is seated atop the grand writing desk, hugging his knees to his chest and looking out the small, round window, his gaze trained on the sky. He looks so small like that, and even though he’s smiling softly, there’s something heart-wrenching about the image the dancer creates, a sense of distant longing surrounding his frame. “I used to sit here a lot,” he says quietly without tearing his eyes off the sky outside. “On the days when I’d lost hope and felt like there was no point in going outside.”
Something in Yoongi’s heart urges him to reach out, to walk over to the dancer and hug him and make him forget all about such a time, but at the same time, he can feel Jimin’s need to say what’s on his mind. So he waits, standing at the top of the stairs and listening, his hands clenched behind his back.
“I would look at the stars for hours and hours and pretend they were all the people I couldn’t see during daytime,” the dancer hums, raising a hand and touching the dim glass of the window. “I told myself they were all still awake and here with me. That I wasn’t so alone.” He brings his hand back and rubs at his eyes, a wet giggle bubbling past his lips. “It gave me strength. It pushed away the horrible thoughts I would have, the sense of hopelessness, the dread of being forever bound to the night, away from everything that makes life worth living. It saved me, thinking that one of those stars was the one I was looking for, and that I would find them in the end, as long as I just kept searching.”
He finally looks at Yoongi, and the tearful smile on his lips beckons Yoongi like a moth to a flame; the beautiful light of Jimin’s smile, the brightness that could light up even the darkest, coldest nights calls to him and he starts forward, crossing over to the writing desk to take the dancer’s hand before he even has time to raise it. “And I did,” Jimin breathes, his voice cracking slightly. “I found you, Yoongi, and I love you so much. I can’t put it into words, I really can’t, how much I love you.”
He closes his eyes and sniffles, and Yoongi shushes him softly, reaching up to brush the tears away from his cheek. “Y-yesterday,” the dancer manages, “Taehyung said that thing about you being my moonlight, a-and it reminded me of those days I spent looking at the stars, and I realized that maybe the reason I always managed to find hope again was because you were my moonlight.” He holds tightly onto Yoongi’s hand and leans forward to press his forehead against his knuckles. “Thank you, Yoongi, f-for giving me strength a-and, and for, god, for everything.”
Slowly, Yoongi reaches around the dancer and pulls him against his chest, wrapping his arms around Jimin’s shoulders and holding him close, bringing his right hand up to soothingly stroke the dancer’s hair. “Sunshine,” he murmurs against Jimin’s temple, his heart yearning to make it all better, to ease the dancer’s sadness, to make it go away. “You listen to me, sunshine, okay? All the things you’ve missed during the time you were asleep, all the places you wanted to go to but couldn’t, everything you wanted to do, I’ll take you there and we’ll do it all. Everything. I’ll show you everything in this world, the world you should’ve been allowed to live in during all these years. I promise.”
He gently coaxes the dancer to raise his head until he can look him in the eyes. “I love you, Jimin,” he says, his voice gentle yet firm. “You’ll never have to be alone again, ever. I’ll make sure of it.”
That has Jimin crying all over again, and in between near-hysterical sobs, he manages to ask Yoongi if he knows how much a human being can cry in the span of two days before it becomes dangerous to their health. They both laugh at that, and slowly, the dancer manages to calm down, his tears dissolving into breathless giggles as Yoongi kisses his cheeks over and over.
When they make their way back downstairs, Seongi is in the kitchen, having gotten started on preparing dinner. “Finally,” she says with a scoff. “I was beginning to wonder if you’d both gotten trapped in my old wardrobe or something.” She motions for the two of them to take a seat at the dinner table, taking a few seconds to fiddle around with the food before turning around to face the two of them. “Alright, so,” she says, “whatever you decide to do now, the first thing we have to take care of is Jimin-ah’s identification and citizenship. Without those, he can’t do much around here.”
Yoongi presses his lips together; he hadn’t even considered that. “How the hell do we make that happen?” he asks, brows knitting into a concerned frown. “Considering that Jimin technically hasn’t existed for the past sixty years…”
“Oh, that’s easy enough,” his grandmother says casually. “I’ll adopt him.”
Both Yoongi and Jimin blink up at her. “You’ll what?”
She waves a ladle around impatiently and turns back to the stove. “There aren’t many ways to create an identity, Yoonyoon,” she states matter-of-factly. “Yes, Jimin-ah was born in Korea, but like you said, he’s been off the radar for too many years. You don’t walk into the embassy and tell them you need identifications for a man who was born in the thirties and has only just now been released from the immortality of a magical music box.” She emits a bark of laughter at her own words. “The easiest way for Jimin-ah to be granted identification and be allowed to live here, properly, is for me to adopt him. It’ll take a year before he can get proper citizenship, but at least he’ll be able to live here.”
“You…” Jimin stares at her with eyes the size of the moon, looking like he’s on the verge of tears again. “You’d do that, Seongi-noona?” he asks slowly. “For me?”
She turns to look at him with a surprised expression, as if shocked he’d ask that. “Of course I would,” she says and nods. “Hell, I’ve had this planned since before I agreed to bind you. I wanted you to be able to live a normal life once you were freed. And I still do, so I’ll take care of it.” Her fond smile takes on a sly undertone. “I might have to feed them some excuse about why you don’t have any prior form of identification, but…” She rolls her shoulders in a casual shrug. “Maybe I could tell them you’ve defected from North Korea.”
“What the fuck?” Yoongi chokes out.
“You’ll have to come in for questioning for that one, I think,” Min Seongi adds as an afterthought, completely ignoring Yoongi.
“Oh, I think that should be okay,” Jimin says, pursing his lips thoughtfully, completely unaffected by the ridiculousness of the idea. “I can read up on NK and combine what I learn with what I experienced in the aftermath of the Korean War. The two should add up pretty well.”
“Are you two actually serious right now?” Yoongi asks loudly, wondering how the fuck the two of them could look at him like he’s the one acting out. “You’re just gonna walk into the Ministry of Justice and tell them Jimin defected from North Korea, have him lie to them, and then adopt him?”
“Do you have a better idea, then?” his grandmother shoots back, scoffing when he doesn’t answer. “Didn’t think so.” She goes back to preparing dinner, humming as she works. “After you get your ID, you can start looking for things to do with your life, Jimin-ah. Find a job, apply to university, dance. Make more friends, fall even more grossly in love with my grandson, get married and so on and so forth.”
“Goddamn it, halmeoni.”
She shoots a grin at the two from over her shoulder, emitting another cackle at the sight of their embarrassed expressions. “You two make it so easy, I swear,” she muses before shaking her head. “In all seriousness, Jimin-ah, this is where the rest of your life starts, so don’t go holding back anymore.”
Smiling, Yoongi reaches out across the table to take Jimin’s hand, his heart practically soaring at the sheer joy lighting up the dancer’s face. “You leave the legal details to me,” Seongi says firmly. “You’ve waited almost an entire lifetime for this, and now that you’ll finally be able to do all those things you spent your nights dreaming about, you shouldn’t have to worry about the little things. Do whatever you want to do with your life, but do come visit every now and then.”
“Of course,” the dancer says and nods. “I’ll drag Yoongi with me here at least every other weekend. And Taetae too, he told me he’s making you watch anime.” He giggles brightly when both Yoongi and his grandmother groan. “But seriously, I’ll come back here. All the time, I… I have so much to thank you for, Seongi-noona.” His hold on Yoonig’s hand tightens. “I’ll come running every time I manage to do one of the things I used to talk to you about, I’ll call you whenever I learn something new about this world, my world.”
He beams up at her, the smile that easily outshines the sun. “You’re so, so important to me,” the dancer tells her. “My closest and oldest friend.”
“You’re doing this on purpose, boy,” she snaps at him, her voice thick and hoarse, and when all he does is giggle, she threateningly waves her ladle in front of his face. “I might be an old lady by now, but I’ll still beat your ass with this ladle.”
So she says, but when Jimin stands up to hug her, she fiercely returns the embrace, tears falling from her eyes as she holds him tight. “I’m so happy for you, Jimin-ah,” she manages in between sobs. “I’m so happy you get to start living your life. Even if it is with that idiot,” she glances at Yoongi, who’s blinking rapidly to not start crying again, again. “I hope you’ll be happy together.”
“We will be,” Yoongi promises, smiling widely when Jimin turns to look at him. “I’ll make sure of it. I don’t care what happens, I’ll spend the rest of my life making sure we’re happy.”
And they are.
When Yoongi and Namjoon’s project for AOMG turns into a great success, they’re happy. When Jimin performs alongside Hoseok and Jeongguk for the first time, they’re happy. When Jimin is accepted into one of Seoul’s top universities on a dance scholarship, they’re happy. When Yoongi graduates with a promising job waiting at the record label, they’re happy. When they move out of Yoongi’s tiny apartment into one that’s actually meant for two people, they’re so ridiculously happy.
And when they do get married, two years later, in a small church in Daegu, with only their best friends and closest relatives present, with Seokjin in charge of catering, with Namjoon as the officiant, with Hoseok and Jeongguk as Yoongi’s best men and Taehyung as Jimin’s, with Yoongi’s grandmother bawling like a baby in the front row, they’re happy.
They’re so over the moon, so absolutely fucking delirious with happiness that neither one of them quite know what to do with themselves and end up sitting on the pristine floor by the altar, Jimin sobbing uncontrollably while Yoongi has to take deep breaths to not pass out right then and there, repeatedly asking Namjoon if it’s possible to faint from too much joy.
They’re both ridiculous and they know it, but never once does their love waver. Yoongi never shakes the habit of waiting for the love of his life to fall asleep first, and Jimin never stops thanking the love of his life for existing, for being his moonlight. They never stop loving each other, not through their hardships, not through their fights. They stay by each other’s sides through thick and thin, their hands clasped, fingers entwined in a grasp that can never break.
Truly, their bond is made of a force stronger than the magic that can bind someone to a music box.
- THE END -