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If you ask Min Yoongi, sometimes life is a little bit unfair.

Sometimes, you lose your car keys and end up being late for something important. Sometimes, you stay up all night studying for a test only to have it cancelled when you get to school. Sometimes, you have a very inconvenient crush on your very straight friend.

These things happen to everyone, right?

That’s what Yoongi tells himself, watching Jung Hoseok slowly flirt his way into someone else’s heart from across their Korean Literature class.

By now, Yoongi should really be used to it. The way Hoseok smiles and makes a joke, the light brushes of fingers against forearms, the high-pitched giggles and blushing that comes from the girl Hoseok is currently seducing.

He should be used to this, damnit – they’ve been friends since they were eleven years old, when Hoseok moved in down the street and transferred to Yoongi’s school.

Yoongi can remember that day very clearly – he was intrigued by the moving van parked a few houses down from his, and even more intrigued by the family that came with it. The parents seemed normal – a typical suburban couple, really – but it was the kids that caught his attention. A girl, probably around thirteen or fourteen, and a boy around Yoongi’s age.

To put it simply, the boy was outright adorable – smiling and laughing loudly, making seemingly hilarious jokes (if his family’s reactions were anything to go by). Yoongi was just a little bit smitten.

He watched from his bedroom window for hours, brightening whenever the boy came outside to help carry something in. There was just something about this boy that made his heart flutter, made his palms sweaty, made him nervous like nothing else really ever had.

Looking back on it, Yoongi realises that was more than a little gay of him. He feels the urge to roll his eyes at the confused eleven year old boy who thought that everyone got butterflies thinking about guys they wanted to befriend.

Although his nerves around Hoseok have long since disappeared (being best friends with someone will do that for you) Yoongi’s feelings for him have only grown stronger. It’s troubling.

He’s shocked out of his nostalgia by a warm hand resting on his shoulder.

“Guess who has a date this Friday with the hot new girl?” Hoseok’s singsong voice rings in Yoongi’s ears.

He hums and then says, completely deadpan, “Is it Namjoon? Seokjin?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes and lightly punches Yoongi’s shoulder, “Please, those two wish they had game like I do.”

Yoongi raises his eyebrows, “Big-headed, much?”

“You’re just jealous because you’ve never had a girlfriend.” Hoseok teases.

Yoongi feels his heart clench. He wants to yell in Hoseok’s face that he’s never had a girlfriend because he doesn’t want one, he want a boyfriend – preferably a boyfriend named Jung Hoseok.

Instead, he says, “You should ask your mom about that.”

Hoseok throws his eraser at Yoongi’s face.

 

 

Yoongi has been best friends with Hoseok for almost 7 years. By now, he’s used to his naturally boisterous personality, and usually he likes listening to his loud laughter and witty jokes.

But sometimes, Yoongi just wishes Hoseok would shut up.

“– and her favourite avenger is Captain America, can you believe that? She got all my nerdy jokes and kept telling me I was funny! And damn, have you seen her smile? She’s a goddess, I swear –”

Yoongi sighs as subtly as he can, tuning Hoseok out. Every few months, Hoseok finds a pretty girl that he’s enamoured with and charms his way into her heart. During each one of these relationships, Yoongi spends every day on his way home from school listening to how pretty and fun Hoseok’s new girlfriend is.

He nods along as his best friend talks, making appropriate noises of agreement and approval, giving back just enough attention that he seems engaged and interested in whatever Eunha (or whatever her name is) said about superheroes in Maths class.

Yoongi’s mind wanders. It should take just under 10 minutes to get home, and then he has a few hours to spare before his parents get home from work. He wonders if Hoseok will want to come over and hang out, or if he’ll be too wrapped up in texting her.

He’s snapped out of his thoughts at the sound of his name.

“Yoongs? Yoongi. Min Yoongi!” He turns to see the unimpressed expression on his best friend’s face, “Were you even listening to a word I said? I’m wounded, Yoongi.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “I had like, four tests today. Excuse me for being tired.”

Hoseok’s face stays stony for all of three seconds, before he breaks out into a grin, “Don’t worry, all is forgiven, my dear friend!”

“Hobi, if you hug me or something dumb like that I swear to-”

Yoongi’s words are cut off by long arms wrapping around his body, “Just let me hug you for once, you old man. Best friends hug all the time!”

Yoongi tries not to think about how muscular Hoseok’s arms feel encasing his chest, tries to think about anything, anything other than the feeling of Hoseok’s breath tickling his ear.

Finally, he gains the mental strength to push him off, “Stop being a dumbass.” He grumbles, trying to look like he’s pissed off and not desperately holding back a blush.

Hoseok chuckles and releases him, “You’re such a grandpa sometimes. You’re lucky I love you.”

Yoongi avoids eye contact for the rest of the walk home.

 

An hour later, safely in the confines of his room, Yoongi starts what he calls Dress Up. His phone is on silent and his door is locked, despite the fact that he still has a few hours to spare before his parents are home.

He slowly inches the black stockings up his legs, loving the way they rub against his smooth legs – he shaved last night, as he usually does before one of these sessions. Next comes the skirt, sliding up his hips and accentuating the little curves that his body has, and then the blouse, plain and white.

His chest looks too flat, but he tries to pay that no mind, focusing instead on how nice his thin legs look in black stockings and pumps.

Finally, he pulls out some pink lip gloss – stolen from his mother’s makeup collection – and gently applies it to his pouty lips.

He takes a step back and stares at himself in the mirror. His hair is too short, his hips too straight, his chest too flat, his features too boyish. But despite that, he looks pretty.

He can’t remember when he started wanting to do this, wanting to look like this. It was probably around thirteen, when his voice started breaking and he started getting tall and spurting excessive amounts of body hair everywhere.

He’d ignored it – by that point he was pretty good at ignoring his problems – and tried to pass it off as one of those weird phases that all teenagers went through.

That method worked for the most part, until he was fifteen.

Hoseok had been invited to a big house party by one of his older friends (because Hoseok was even popular at fifteen, despite having braces and terrible fashion sense). Yoongi only went because Hoseok invited him and, in all honesty, he’d do anything for Hoseok.

Yoongi had stuck to Hoseok the whole night, reluctant to leave his side and have to face interacting with a bunch of much older, much drunker teenagers. Hoseok didn’t mind, tossing his arm around Yoongi’s shoulders and making him feel included in all of his conversations. It was nice.

But all mediocre things come to an end. Someone started a game of truth or dare that Hoseok – and by extension, Yoongi – was invited to join.

When it got to Yoongi’s turn one of the boys that he recognised from school dared him to put on a dress. He can vividly remember the way his stomach swooped, his face and ears flushed, and his tongue became too thick and heavy in his mouth.

He’d agreed, with much goading and cheering from the crowd of people gathered for the game. Somehow he found himself in a bedroom of a person he didn’t know, trying on a school uniform of a girl he’d never met.

When he saw his reflection he realised it wasn’t just a weird phase.

After that day he avoided femininity in any form like the plague. Was this a weird kink? Was he going to pop a boner the next time he put on a dress?

He eventually got over the initial shock and panic and concluded that he just liked dresses. He liked femininity and feeling pretty – he had liked how he looked in that school uniform, and not in a way he got off to. He just felt comfortable.

And now here he is, with a stash of clothes from the woman’s section hidden deep in a box under his bed, paid for by numerous part-time jobs and sheer determination.

Checking the clock next to his bed, he notes that he has just under two hours until his parents get home. He smooths out his skirt in the mirror and takes a seat at his desk, daintily folding his legs.

He clears his throat and, pitching his voice higher than usual, speaks into the silence, “Hello.”

Pure cringe seeps through his bones at the awkwardness in his tone. His voice sounds too high, to the point where it’s forced, and so he tries again, “Hi. My name is Yoongi.”

This time, his voice comes out less strained – not as high, but more natural than before. His name feels strange on his lips. It leaves an unpleasant taste in his mouth, but he repeats those few words nonetheless, trying to feel out this new, better voice of his.

By the time his parents are home, his clothes are packed away where no one will ever find them, and his voice is still squeakier than it normally would be.

His mom gives him a few concerned looks at dinner before finally speaking up, “Are you okay Yoongi? You seem quieter than normal.”

Yoongi tries his best to smile, “I’m just a bit tired from school, mom. I’m fine.”

She looks disbelieving but doesn’t press the matter, choosing instead to engage Yoongi’s dad in conversation about his day. Yoongi tries to pay attention, he really does, but his mind is scattered. He keeps thinking back to his clothes hidden in his bedroom, and then to Hoseok and Eunha, and then to the clothes again. It’s a pretty bleak cycle to be stuck in.

 

That Friday – the night of Hoseok’s date with her, Yoongi throws himself a pity party.

In his opinion, he must look a bit pathetic – sitting alone in his room trolling social media and wondering what Hoseok is up to. Are they having a good time? Hoseok said they were going to a movie. Is it good? What did Hoseok get on his popcorn? Did he even get popcorn? Is he making her laugh? The list goes on.

Yoongi can’t help but imagine himself on a date with Hoseok. Would they also go to a movie? They’ve been to movies before, but never on a date. Would a date even be that different from their normal Hanging Out?

Maybe they’d go out to dinner – a proper cliché candlelit dinner, with roses and champagne. He flushes, imagining Hoseok in a suit and himself in a dress – black and hugging his body in a way that gives it the illusion of curves. In this fantasy his hair reaches his shoulders, and he has bangs that hang in his eyes. His make-up is pretty and light, highlighting the softness in his features.

He can see the candlelight bouncing off Hoseok’s handsome face. He can hear his loud laughter, his stupid jokes that Yoongi pretends not to find funny. It’s such a vivid fantasy – he can even imagine the way Hoseok’s dimples would pop when he chews.

Realistically, he knows Hoseok is not as romantic as he wishes he was. (And even if he was, the thought of Yoongi actually going on a date with Hoseok – let alone in a dress – is ridiculous.)

He thinks about the box under his bed and sighs. All he wants is to pull on something – anything – that will make him feel prettier and, by extension, better.

But then he hears his mother’s voice from the kitchen and is reminded of how much he can’t do that – if his mom (or god forbid, his dad) were to walk in and see their son in a dress…

He doesn’t even want to think of how they would react.

 

A couple of hours later he receives a series of texts from Hoseok.

 

hobi hobi~ ^*^

  • OMG
  • It went really really well
  • Like reeaaallllly well

sugaaa

  • omg

hobi hobi~ ^*^

  • We kissed
  • Ahhhhh!!
  • She’s so cute Yoon

sugaaa

  • oh wow
  • that’s so cool
  • im happy for u

 

Yoongi knows he’s being short, and even a bit mean. But he feels like his heart has been chopped up into a bunch of tiny little pieces and honestly, he thinks he can forgive himself just this once.

He stares at the texts for a little while, willing the words to change into something different. (It’s inevitable that they stay the same, but Yoongi is disappointed nonetheless.)

They text for a bit longer about the details of the date and the kiss and all of it. Yoongi feels a bit sick reading Hoseok’s messages and pretending they don’t bother him at all.

When Hoseok eventually says goodnight, he sighs in relief and sets his phone on his bedside table, thankful that he doesn’t have to hear another word of what Eunha did that was so cute today.

He falls asleep with the thought of candlelit dinners and rose petals spread across bedsheets still present in his mind.

 

When Yoongi arrives at school on Monday morning they’re holding hands. They hold hands during classes, in the hallways, during breaks. If they’re not attached at their palms, they’re giggling and shooting each other love-sick smiles.

This happens for the whole week, and the week after that, and the week after that, and the week after that.

(It feels kind of like someone has stabbed Yoongi in the stomach and they won’t stop twisting the knife.)

He tries to distract himself, he really does. Instead of chatting with Hoseok like he normally would, he engages Namjoon in conversations about western hip-hop. Namjoon seems to notice that he’s getting more attention than usual, but doesn’t speak up about it. Yoongi wonders if Hoseok has also noticed that he’s withdrawn. Or is he too wrapped up in his girlfriend?

He also starts dressing up more often, and for longer at a time. Somehow, putting on some make-up and a dress makes him feel better than any Netflix binge or tub of ice-cream out there.

(There are times though, where he feels worse after dressing up. Where he looks in the mirror and wishes Hoseok could see him like this, like a pretty girl that he could date, and not his weird – male – best friend.

Those are the days where he rips off whatever skirt or dress he’s wearing that day and scrubs his face until it’s red and raw and there’s no hint of make-up to be seen. Those are the days where he crawls into bed and sobs for hours.

Those days are the hardest.)

But Yoongi grows used to it. Soon Eunha and her friends are a part of who they sometimes hang out with at school. Yoongi admits quietly to himself that they’re all actually very nice people. Even Eunha, disappointingly enough. He finds himself wishing she were an asshole, only because it would make it so much easier to hate her that way.

He does still hate her a little bit. He can’t help but feel jealous and pissed off when she and Hoseok hang out, because Hoseok is borderline obsessed. He hasn’t been this into someone he’s dated ever and its hurts to watch that love from the side-lines, knowing it would never be directed at him.

Which is why it shocks Yoongi when, after nearly a full two months of dating, Jung Hoseok and Kim Eunha break up.

It was bound to happen eventually – none of Hoseok’s relationships have ever lasted past three months (although Yoongi doesn’t understand why anyone would want to end a relationship with Jung Hoseok of all people.)

This time the breakup feels different though. Hoseok seems sadder and more withdrawn than he usually does.

Yoongi watches him timidly out of the corner of his eye as they sit in Korean Lit. Eunha has moved back to her original seat and Hoseok is just sitting, staring sadly at his hands.

Yoongi panics – he’s terrible at comforting people and Hoseok is just there, looking all forlorn and lost. A face that gorgeous, attached to such a stunning and amazing human being, should never ever be this sad.

“Are you okay?” He eventually asks, quiet enough that no one else in the class will hear them.

Hoseok’s mouth twitches into a small smile, “I guess.” He sighs, “Just sad. I don’t know.”

Yoongi feels his heart break even more, “If you want to talk about it, I’m here for you.” He cringes internally at his awkward advice. His best friend is hurting – he should be able to help him for god’s sake!

Hoseok gives him a very small smile, “Thank you Yoon. I appreciate that.” Another soft sigh, “I think I just need time. Who knows?”

Yoongi hums and after a moment of deliberation, gives Hoseok a pat on the shoulder.

Hoseok lets out a tiny chuckle – presumably at Yoongi’s awkwardness. Yoongi flushes.

 

 

He shouldn’t be happy about this. He shouldn’t. He shouldn’t be happy that his best friend is hurting and yet here he is, a grin plastered on his face as he goes about Dressing Up.

Today he’s wearing shorts and a light pink crop top. The shorts show off his legs that he shaved the night before and he marvels at how long they look. He cringes at the flatness of his chest but admires the softness of his flat tummy, peeking out from his shirt.

His make-up is light and natural. He looks pretty and today, with Hoseok finally single and all his again, he feels the prettiest he has in a while.

He glances at his locked bedroom door. He’s alone after all… it won’t hurt to unlock it just this once and get some food, will it?

The soft click of the lock sounds loud to him in the silent house. Every noise is louder than it should be as he walks to the kitchen – his footsteps against the wood flooring, the ticking of a clock, cars driving past on their way home from school or work.

He makes it to his kitchen and lets out a relieved giggle. It feels exhilarating to bring this side of him out of the confines of his small bedroom.

In no time, he’s watching a dumb variety show with a bowl of cereal. It’s such a mundane thing to sit and do, but in nice clothes and pretty make-up, Yoongi feels on top of the world.

Until-

A knock on his front door. He pauses in shock and sits silently for a few moments – maybe he was imagining it? He’s about to turn back to the TV when it comes again, this time accompanied by a voice.

“Yoongi-ah! Let me in!” Hoseok’s voice. Blind panic jolts down his spine as he stares at the door, and then at his long, exposed legs.

“Uh, I’ll be right there! Hold on!” He manages to yell, abandoning his cereal to sprint towards the bathroom. He splashes water on his face and rubs, foregoing makeup remover for lack of time. When he deems his face mostly product-free, he rushes to his bedroom, pulling the shorts off and replacing them with jeans as quickly as he can. He grabs a sweater and pulls it over the crop top, not wanting to waste time taking it off.

He makes it to the door, cheeks flushed and heart pounding from adrenalin. Quickly unlocking and opening it, he’s met with Hoseok’s confused face.

“What took you so long? And why are you so out of breath?”

Yoongi blinks, “I wasn’t expecting company. I was um… naked. So, uh, I had to, y’know, put clothes on.”

Hoseok looks like he doesn’t really believe him – they’ve been friends for so long that lies are far and few in between – but giggles and scrunches his face up regardless, “Thank you for informing me that you totally just had your dick hanging out in the open air a few minutes ago. I really wanted to know that.”

Yoongi flushes and splutters, “You wanted to know what took me so long!”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “Anyways, can I come in? Or am I going to discover that the real reason you were naked is because you were finally getting your dick wet?”

Yoongi cringes at his best friend’s brashness, but opens the door wide enough to let him in, “Is ‘dick’ the only word in your vocabulary? Also, no offence but why are you here?”

“Yes, it is, actually,” Hoseok says as he slips off his shoes, “And I was hoping we could hang out. We haven’t done that in a while. I brought movies.” He says, gesturing to his backpack.

Yoongi shuts the door and follows Hoseok to where he has already made himself comfortable and helped himself to Yoongi’s cereal, “What if I actually was getting my dick wet and you’ve just totally cockblocked me?”

Hoseok raises his eyebrows, “How likely is it that you could: one, get a girl and two, not tell me about it?”

“You know my name, not my story.” Yoongi says dramatically, settling in next to Hoseok and trying to ignore the way the crop top feels under his sweater. He grabs a full spoon of cereal out of Hoseok’s hand and shoves it in his own mouth, ignoring the glare that Hoseok shoots his way, “So, what are we watching?”

Yoongi watches as Hoseok pulls the DVDs he brought out of his bag. He seems like a completely different person now than what he was at school – more like his normal self – but Yoongi knows Hoseok well enough to know that this is a façade. He’s not here because he wants to hang out – he’s here because he’s hurting and he needs support but doesn’t know how to ask for it.

So, instead of being sappy and hugging Hoseok and telling him he loves him, he acts like he always does – teasing and harsh.

Hoseok doesn’t say it, but Yoongi can tell he appreciates it.

 

They end up watching Kill Bill and although Yoongi is starting to get uncomfortably hot, he manages to ignore the shirt hidden under his sweater.

When his parents get home they are delighted (as usual) to see Hoseok in their house. They’ve always loved him – his bright personality has been charming adults and children alike since he was a toddler.

Much to Yoongi’s chagrin, his mom ends up inviting Hoseok over for dinner after a lengthy conversation about an upcoming dance showcase. Obviously Yoongi loves to spend as much time as he can with Hoseok, but he really just wants to get out of this crop top before someone figures out that something is up with him.

When his parents eventually migrate to the kitchen to make dinner, Hoseok nudges Yoongi, “Why don’t we go to your room? It feels like it’s been years since I was in there.”

Yoongi pauses because, what if Hoseok finds something?

However, he can’t resist the eager look on Hoseok’s face, and ends up muttering a quiet, “Sure.”

When Yoongi opens the door and steps into the room, it feels dangerous – like a dress and some eyeshadow are going to jumpscare him. They don’t, although he does spot a tube of lip gloss on his dresser and the pair of shorts from this afternoon crumpled in the corner.

He can only hope Hoseok doesn’t see them.

Hoseok bounds over and collapses on Yoongi’s unmade bed. He sniffs and crinkles his nose, “Do you ever wash your sheets?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes and settles next to Hoseok, “Shut up, like yours smell any better.”

Hoseok mumbles something that sounds scarily similar to the word prick and pulls out his phone. Yoongi can see the way his shoulders tense at the sight of his wallpaper – it’s a selfie of him and Eunha on their first date.

Yoongi nudges him gently with his shoulder, “Did I tell you about Namjoon in Chemistry today?”

Hoseok locks his phone with a sigh, “No, what did he do this time?”

“He literally nearly burnt a hole in our desk with some hydrochloric acid.”

Hoseok chuckles and Yoongi feels pride swell in his chest, “How the fuck did he manage that?”

He ends up embellishing the story a little bit, but it’s worth it when Hoseok's signature loud cackle makes a few appearances.

It’s almost an hour of shit-talking later when Yoongi’s mom’s voice echoes down the hallway, calling them to eat.

Hoseok stands, stretches and pauses, his eyes landing on Yoongi’s dresser. Yoongi’s heart jumps up into his throat when he follows Hoseok’s gaze to wear it has landed on the tube of sparkly pink lip gloss.

He scrambles up from where he’s sitting and grabs it with shaky hands, “Ha, that’s weird. My mom must have left this here.”

Hoseok is doing that thing with his face again where he looks like he definitely doesn’t believe whatever just came out of Yoongi’s mouth, but chooses to let it slide, “Yeah, weird.”

It feels like his eyes are boring into Yoongi’s soul, like he’s stripped his skin and turned him inside out and he’s looking at everything going on inside of him.

“You know,” He starts, gaze still piercing through him, “You can tell me anything, Yoon. You’ve helped me so much with this whole -” A furrow between his eyebrows appears, “- Eunha thing, and… I don’t want you to think I wouldn’t do the same for you.”

Yoongi’s heart is still beating too fast and his hands are still shaking and he honestly can’t breathe, “Um, thanks Hobi. I appreciate that. And uh,” he scratches his neck shyly, “I’m glad I could help you. You’re my best friend, and all that.”

The air feels way too heavy as it makes its way into his lungs and forms a thick, suffocating layer over his insides.

But then Hoseok smiles, and all of that lifts, “You’re my best friend too, you dork. Let’s go eat.”

 

When Hoseok leaves after dinner, Yoongi feels lighter than he has in a while.

As they’re standing on the porch steps to say goodbye, Hoseok reaches out and tugs at Yoongi’s sweater, “Aren’t you hot in this? You haven’t taken it off the whole day.”

Yoongi shrugs, his attention suddenly drawn back to his secret, “I’m okay. You know how coldblooded I am.”

Hoseok laughs, “Of course, how could I forget that you’re Min ‘my hands are as cold as my heart’ Yoongi?”

Yoongi’s laughing too and suddenly he can’t stop and neither can Hoseok. Yoongi’s so aware of how perfect this moment is – how easy it would be to grab Hoseok by his backpack straps and pull him in for a kiss under the dim glow of the streetlights.

If this were a cheesy drama where he were the pretty lead and Hoseok were a cold-but-sexy bad boy maybe that would happen. But he’s just Min Yoongi and the boy in front of him is just Jung Hoseok and this isn’t a TV show – this is real life.

Their laughter eventually dies down to breathless huffs and tiny chuckles.

“I should get going – I have a dance class pretty early tomorrow.” Hoseok nods in the direction of his house.

Yoongi sighs happily, “Of course. Uh, see you Monday?”

“Yeah, Monday.” And then Hoseok’s disappearing with a wave, not a hug or a kiss or something romantic like that.

Yoongi gets into his bedroom and tugs off the sweater and the shirt beneath in one go, still smiling. If he lets his imagination take over, he can almost pretend that that was a date between the two of them and their breathless giggles outside of his house were a part of their goodbye.

 

By Monday, Hoseok is his usual self. Yoongi knows he’s pretending – Hoseok has a habit of taking all of his pain and hurt and shoving it behind a smile, where no one can see it.

Not for the first time, Yoongi wishes he were better at comforting people.

 

The next Friday Yoongi is getting Dressed Upagain. His make-up is bolder today – the eyeliner thicker, the eyeshadow darker, the lipstick a deep shade of red.

He admires the tiny wing branching out from his eyelid – it’s not perfect, but it’s his best attempt yet.

He’s deliberating on which skirt he should wear – knee-length? Or short enough that if he bends too much you can (embarrassingly) see his ass? – when he hears it.

Knocking.

He shuts his eyes and squeezes them closed, willing whoever’s at the door to go away.

“Are you really going to leave me out in the open again, Yoon?”

He wants to cry and scream and throw a tantrum. For a moment, he imagines greeting Hoseok like this, with a full face of makeup and telling him to fuck off.

But he doesn’t do that. Instead, he allows himself a second to mourn his winged eyeliner before rushing to the bathroom to remove it.

He moves through it as quickly as he can, not wanting to keep Hoseok waiting and make him even more suspicious than he probably already is.

Sparing a moment to glance at himself in the mirror, he realises that there are still hints of eyeliner and long-wear red lipstick visible on his eyes and lips, but he doesn’t have the time to get rid of it now.

Quickly making his way back to his room and shoving any evidence he can find in his closet, he deems himself ready to go outside and meet Hoseok.

When he opens his front door Hoseok opens his mouth like he’s about to say something and then stops.

Yoongi feels a blush rise up his cheeks, along with a feeling of panic. Did he forget something? Glancing down it himself nervously, he snaps, “What are you staring at?”

Hoseok flushes, although his eyes remain glued to Yoongi’s face, “Nothing. I just…” He trails off, seemingly unsure, “It’s fine,” He waves his hand, “It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”

Yoongi raises his eyebrows, standing back to let Hoseok in.

Hoseok gathers himself enough to gesture to his backpack and say, “Movies?”

 

Yoongi can’t concentrate.

They’re watching some dumb thriller that he can’t remember the name of because Hoseok keeps looking at him. Yoongi gets the feeling that he knows somehow. Are the remnants of his makeup that obvious? Or is Hoseok just psychic?

He shifts uncomfortably when Hoseok shoots him another look. He’s not used to this much attention – a glance or two, sure, but staring? His heart can’t handle it.

After five minutes of trying – and failing – to pay attention to the movie, Yoongi gives up and excuses himself to the bathroom. Hoseok’s eyes don’t leave him until he’s out of the room. Yoongi realises that his heart is beating embarrassingly fast and cringes at himself for getting so flustered over his best friend paying attention to him.

Yoongi frowns at his appearance in the bathroom mirror. His hastily removed eyeliner is still smudged under his eyes and his lips are still stained a faint cherry red.

He feels frustrated and terrified tears start to well in his eyes. It’s so obvious that he was wearing makeup before Hoseok arrived. That’s why he was staring – he can tell. Hoseok’s always been perceptive (especially of Yoongi) and now he knows – there’s no doubt about that.

He feels bile rising in his throat and the tears lingering in his eyes threaten to fall. This can’t be happening. Hoseok’s going to hate him – he probably already does. He’s probably sitting out there on Yoongi’s couch thinking about what a disgusting freak he is and how he never wants to speak to him again and –

“Yoongi?”

Over the sound of his own panicked breathing, Yoongi makes out that the voice coming through the door is Hoseok’s. A small part of him notes that he doesn’t sound mad or disgusted – he sounds worried.

Yoongi’s brain short-circuits. Why is he worried?

“Yoon, are you okay?”

He sounds even more concerned now, and Yoongi just barely manages to push the panic down long enough to form a reply.

“Yeah, I-I’m okay.”

“Really? You don’t sound like it, Yoon,” Hoseok’s voice is gentle, as if Yoongi is a bomb about to explode and destroy everything within its reach, “Why don’t you let me in?”

“I-I don’t-” Yoongi stutters. He doesn’t want to let Hoseok in, doesn’t want him to see him like this – all messy and puffy-eyed.

“It’s okay Yoongs. I won’t bite. I just want to make sure you’re okay.” Hoseok’s voice is starting to sound on the edge of desperate, “Please let me in.”

Regardless of the pleading and desperate undertones, Hoseok’s voice soothes Yoongi. It’s deep and warm and reminds him of sunshine and childhood and everything happy and good in the world.

He hates that it can cause such an uprising of emotion in him and he hates that it affects him enough to unlock the door and let his best friend in.

Upon seeing Hoseok’s expression – lines between brows, worry-bitten lips, sad and confused eyes – Yoongi feels all of the emotion rush out of him in the form of tears pouring down his face.

In an instant arms are wrapped around him – strong and comforting, cradling Yoongi’s smaller frame to his chest.

“Seokseok-ah,” Yoongi chokes out between his increasingly violent sobs, “P-please don’t h-hate me.”

A warm hand strokes Yoongi’s hair, “Hush, Yoon. I could never hate you. Please don’t think I could ever hate you.”

Yoongi buries his face deeper into Hoseok’s chest.

He doesn’t know how long it takes for his panic to subside and his sobs to turn into small hiccups and whimpers, but he eventually comes back to himself.

Embarrassed, he unwraps himself from Hoseok’s embrace and busies himself with wiping his eyes. He knows he must look like a mess – face blotchy, streaks of makeup smeared down his cheeks – and he dimly registers that a rather large wet patch has formed on Hoseok’s shirt.

Neither of them say anything as Yoongi dries his eyes. He feels mortification seep deeper into his bones with each silent second. He can vaguely hear his brother’s voice sneering, “Don’t be such a baby! Boys don’t cry!” at a much younger version of himself.

“Yoon?” Hoseok’s soft voice breaks him out of his reverie, “I understand if this is something you don’t want to talk about, and if you decide that we need to completely forget this ever happened, I totally won’t hold it against you. But you are my best friend, and seeing you sad rips my heart in half, so if you want to talk about it I’m here for you.”

Yoongi lifts his head up and meets Hoseok’s soft brown eyes. He looks for any traces of mockery or sarcasm but all he sees is pure sincerity.

(In some ways Hoseok has always been just that – pure sincerity. He smiles because he wants to, because he’s happy. He’s cheerful because that’s who he is. He is kind and honest and goddamn iridescent. And god, is Yoongi in love with him for it.)

He manages a watery smile, “Thank you Hobi. I don’t…” He sighs, searching for the right words, “I don’t even really know if there is something to talk about, or how I would say it if I knew what to say but… thank you.”

One of Hoseok’s trademark angelic smiles appears and he spreads his arms, “I get that. Bring it in, bro.”

Yoongi laughs incredulously and falls into Hoseok’s embrace.

 

Nothing changes. At least, not dramatically.

Yoongi and Hobi are still just that – Yoongi and Hobi. Best friends.

Yoongi doesn’t know if he likes it like this or not.

 

It’s a Tuesday and Yoongi is sitting in a half-empty classroom doing homework with Namjoon when it happens. As much as he hates the fact that he has to have a tutor for maths, Namjoon does make things a lot simpler than they used to be in the dreaded subject.

“Were you even listening to a word I said?”

“Um,” Yoongi shifts guiltily to avoid Namjoon’s eyes, “Would it be rude if I said no?”

Namjoon rolls his eyes, “It would be, yes, but I’m going to let it slide because you seem preoccupied as hell. What’s up with you?”

Yoongi stares at his hands, and then out of the classroom window. He sighs, “I don’t know. Life, I guess?”

“Fuck off with that existential bullshit. What’s really going on Yoon?”

“You’re one to talk about existential bullshit.” Yoongi chuckles humourlessly, “It’s just, um. I think I’m… uh… attracted to guys?”

Namjoon’s eyebrows shoot straight up, “Uh, okay. That’s what’s been on your mind recently?”

Yoongi swallows down his heartbeat, “Uh, yeah, mostly.” There’s a heavy pause, “You don’t, like, hate me, right?”

Namjoon’s entire face contorts into an expression of fear, “No! No, of course not! This doesn’t change anything, Yoon, nothing at all. I just… I didn’t really expect it, I guess.”

Yoongi feels the knot in his stomach untwist a little bit, “Oh… cool. I mean, thanks. For not. Um. Hating me.”

“Of course.” Namjoon cracks a tiny smile, “Have you told anyone else?”

“Uh, no, not directly.” Yoongi shifts uncomfortably in his chair, “I’m pretty sure Hobi has a clue though.”

“Yeah, well, you two are like, telepathically connected, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did.”

Something in Yoongi’s chest flutters at Namjoon’s words and he grins, “Yeah, I guess.”

Suddenly Namjoon gasps and his eyes widen dramatically, “Oh my god. Wait a goddamn second.”

Yoongi sits up, “What? What’s going on?” He looks around, expecting something to jump at him.

“You’re in love with Hoseok!”

“Namjoon! What the fuck, man? Would you mind maybe not yelling shit like that?” Yoongi hisses.

“Aha!” Namjoon exclaims quietly, “So it’s true!”

Yoongi’s cheeks heat up, “No! Fuck off, it’s not.”

“I can’t believe I was so blind. It all makes sense now!”

“Fuck off, you’re just saying that. Nothing makes sense. You’re a dumbass.”

Namjoon raises his eyebrows (again), “You seem awfully upset by my revelation considering you’re totally not in love with your best friend.”

Yoongi buries his face in his arms, “Shut the fuck up.”

In return, he is met with a pointed silence and what is probably Namjoon staring critically at him.

When Yoongi resurfaces he fixes Namjoon with a withering glare and says, “Okay. Maybe I am a little bit in love with him. But I’m totally getting over it and there’s nothing you can do about it so if I hear you’ve been up to anything, god help me I’ll-”

His monologue is interrupted by Namjoon’s hand covering his mouth, “Yoongi, you daft little gnome, I wasn’t going to do anything. I’m hopeless with love and match-making and I’ve accepted that. Don’t worry about it.”

“Right.” Comes Yoongi’s voice, muffled.

“I’m here for you, though. Like, if you ever need someone to spill your gay, lovelorn sorrows to, I’m there man.”

Yoongi squeaks and buries his face in his arms again, “You’re terrible.”

“I’ll take that as a thanks, then.”

 

True to his word, Namjoon doesn’t do a thing. In fact, things stay just the same as they’ve always been. Yoongi stays just as smitten, and Hoseok stays just as clueless.

Except for one thing: movies.

Movie days at Yoongi’s house used to be an occasional, even rare thing. But since the Makeup Incident, they’ve become almost weekly.

Yoongi pretends he doesn’t love it as much as he does.

 

“No. No, I absolutely refuse.”

“You’re such a dick! Why not?”

“Yoongi, you’ve seen Inception more times than literally anyone I know. The question should be: why the hell do you want to watch it again?”

“It’s cinematic art, that’s why!”

Hoseok crosses his arms and fixes Yoongi with an exasperated stare, “You just have a half-chub for Leonardo DiCaprio.”

Yoongi throws a pillow at Hoseok’s head, “I don’t! You’re such a dick!”

Hoseok chuckles, “If anything, your overreaction to my statement just proves it to be true.”

“You are just like Namjoon. It’s infuriating.”

“Context?”

“Nope. Because you are a terrible friend who refuses to watch Inception with me, you get absolutely no context.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “I literally hate you. I just want to watch something new! We watch Inception like, every weekend.”

“That’s an exaggeration and you know it.”

Hoseok fixes Yoongi with a pointed stare that lasts an uncomfortably long time. Something in Yoongi’s chest warms a little bit.

(What? It’s not his fault Hobi’s eyes are so pretty.)

He sighs, and gives up, “Fine. What were you thinking of watching?”

Hoseok’s eyes light up, “I found this really cool movie with Daniel Radcliffe-”

“You speak as if I know who the hell that is.”

“Fuck off, of course you know who Daniel Radcliffe is.”

“Unlike you, I don’t keep tabs on every irrelevant American actor there is.”

“Except Leonardo.” Hoseok says snidely under his breath, resulting in a sharp kick to the shins, “Also, he’s not American, he’s British. And he played Harry Potter, so you definitely know him.”

“Yay! Another child actor trying to show he’s more than just the character he played in his teens!”

Hoseok pouts, “Now you’re just being difficult. It looks really cute, I swear!”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “Fine! We’ll watch it if it’ll stop your whining.”

They do watch it. It turns out to be a cheesy romantic comedy and, as much as he doesn’t want to admit it (especially not to Hoseok), Yoongi actually enjoys it.

“I told you you’d like it.”

“Don’t sound so smug, it’s not attractive.”

Hoseok raises his eyebrows, “Because you’re a master on what’s attractive and not.”

Yoongi’s cheeks heat up, “Shut up. Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t date because I don’t want to date, not because I can’t.”

“Right. Is that also why you’ve never kissed anyone? Because you just don’t want to?”

“I don’t.”

Hoseok stares at Yoongi somewhat dubiously and he feels something stir in his stomach. He wants to stand up and yell that he wants to kiss Hoseok, damnit. He’s wanted to kiss him since he was thirteen and confused and discovering feelings for the first time. He doesn’t want to kiss or date someone random. He just wants Hoseok.

“Why though? Kissing is fun. Dates are fun. The breakups suck, but the dating itself is great.”

Yoongi glares at the coffee table, “I just don’t want to. Drop it.”

“You know, I could find a girl for you to hook up with. You’ve got this whole Unbothered Quiet Bad Boy thing going on – there are probably a ton of girls who think that’s hot.”

Yoongi’s heart is pounding in his chest – how is Hoseok so fucking oblivious?

“I don’t want to kiss girls, Hoseok.”

There is a brief moment of confusion between them, and then Yoongi sees the gears in Hoseok’s head click into place.

“Oh! Oh, I see. I kind of figured, actually.”

“You did?”

“Yeah. I mean, you’ve never really shown interest in girls so,” Hoseok shrugs and makes a vague gesture with his hands.

Yoongi blinks and takes a deep breath. His heart is beating out of his chest and his stomach feels like it’s making a plan to overthrow the rest of his body.

“Hey, Yoon,” Somehow suddenly Hoseok is next to Yoongi and his hand is on his shoulder, “You look kind of like you’re freaking out. You don’t need to freak out – it’s totally okay. We can find boys for you to kiss if you want. I’m pretty sure I heard Park Jimin is gay, and he’s totally adorable and-”

Yoongi laughs a little bit, “Hobi. It’s okay. Thank you a lot, but I’m content not making out with Park Jimin. Being single suits me.”

He turns to face Hoseok and sees that he still looks mildly concerned. Not for the first time (and certainly not for the last), Yoongi finds himself falling a little bit more in love with his best friend.

 

Hoseok leaves a lot later than either of them anticipated. Yoongi sighs as he checks the time. Dad will be home in an hour and it’s a Friday. He’ll have to wait for Monday before he can Dress Up again.

It’s a double-edged sword, really. On one hand, spending time with Hoseok makes him happy. On the other, Dressing Up makes him happy. He wishes that somehow he could do both at once.

As if.

 

He doesn’t get to Dress Up on Monday, but he does receive some of the best news he’s gotten since Hoseok and Eunha’s split.

By sheer coincidence (and luck), an important work conference has been scheduled for Yoongi’s mom this weekend, which also happens to fall over Yoongi’s parents’ anniversary, so they're going away and he’ll have to be home alone the whole weekend, is that okay?

The prospect of an entire weekend with no one in the house but Yoongi is enough to make him want to jump and scream with joy.

 

When Friday comes, Yoongi’s walk home ends at an empty house, and the knowledge that it will be empty until Monday morning leaves him feeling freer than he has in ages.

He lets out a happy giggle. Making his way to his room, he gets started straight away on Dressing Up.

The outfit choice of the day is a blue sundress and knee-high white socks, despite the fact that the weather is still cold this time of year. Looking at himself in his mirror, he does a twirl and giggles some more.

He feels pretty. He feels right.

 

He’s in the middle of a pizza when he receives a series of texts from Hoseok asking to come over on his way home from a dance workshop he was at. Sighing, he stares down at his dress and mourns the good feeling he had wearing it.

He abandons his pizza and quickly trades the dress for sweatpants and a t-shirt, thanking his lucky stars that he chose to wear light makeup today.

Once he’s settled with his pizza again, he sends a confirmation text to Hoseok. He’s only made it through one slice when he hears the door open and a greeting being called.

He makes an effort not to turn around when he hears Hoseok enter the room, keeping his eyes glued to the TV in front of him.

“How was the dance workshop?”

Hoseok settles onto the couch next to Yoongi, “Good. The teacher was hot.”

Yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes. Hoseok is such a teenage boy sometimes.

They sit in silence for a little while, watching the reruns of a show that no one actually liked in the first place. When Hoseok reaches over to grab a slice of pizza Yoongi sneaks his first glance at him since he arrived and instantly regrets it.

Hoseok’s still in the clothes he wore to his Dance Thing, and still slightly sweaty. His biceps are entirely too visible in his tank top and his shorts are riding up his thighs from the way he’s sitting.

Heart beating a little bit faster, Yoongi blesses the dim light of his living room, as this way Hoseok can’t see his furious blush.

“Dude, don’t you want to shower or something? You look sweaty as fuck.”

Hoseok raises his eyebrows, “Are you trying to say I smell bad?”

“Actually, yes. Take a shower.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “Fine, mom.”

Huffing, he stands and makes his way to Yoongi’s bathroom, calling over his shoulder as he goes, “Is it okay if I borrow some clothes of yours? I forgot to bring some of my own.”

Yoongi makes a noise of agreement, trying very hard to focus on his phone and not the naked image of Hoseok that his brain is supplying him with.

Hoseok is done showering surprisingly quickly and Yoongi can hear him walking to his bedroom to find clothes. He shuts his eyes and tries very hard not to picture Hoseok wearing only a towel, hair still wet and water droplets running down his lean body, skin glistening-

“Yoon? None of your sweatpants fit me.”

Blushing, Yoongi’s eyes snap open and he lets out a tiny groan. Standing, he walks to his bedroom and braces himself for the worst.

He’s met with Hoseok, standing like a god in only a pair of black boxers.

Trying very hard not to focus on how prominent Hoseok’s back muscles look, Yoongi averts his eyes and starts digging through his closet, “Listen, if none of my sweats fit you, that’s your fault for being taller than me and then forgetting to bring your own change of clothes. None of this can be blamed on me.”

Hoseok chuckles and leans over Yoongi to grab a t-shirt. Warmth radiates off of Hoseok’s body and Yoongi supresses a shudder.

“Honestly, don’t even worry about the sweats, Yoon,” Hoseok interrupts Yoongi’s distracted search with a hand on his shoulder.

“You sure?” Yoongi asks, straightening up.

“Yes,” Hoseok’s voice sounds syrupy, like he’s holding back a laugh, “Don’t sweat it.”

Yoongi kicks him in the shins on his way out the room.

 

A silent agreement is made at some point that Hoseok will be sleeping over. Yoongi’s okay with this – the two of them have been sleeping at each other’s houses for years – but it hurts a bit to know that all his plans of Dressing Up for the whole weekend essentially have to be abandoned now.

They make their way through two bowls of popcorn and three movies before Yoongi starts feeling tired.

“You wanna watch another one?” Asks Hoseok, still seemingly wide awake.

Yoongi shrugs, “Kind of tired.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “You are such an old man! It’s not even 2 yet!”

Hoseok,” Yoongi whines, “It’s late.”

Yoongi hears chuckling coming from the other boy and aims a half-hearted punch in his direction.

“Fine,” Hoseok says, still laughing, “How about we go into full Sleepover Mode and talk about our feelings?”

Yoongi lets out a tired giggle, “Hobi, you’re dumb. I don’t have feelings, remember?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “Yes, of course, I forgot I’m speaking to Cold and Heartless Bad Boy Min Yoongi.”

“Thank you for addressing me properly for once.”

Hoseok chuckles and pulls out his phone.

Yoongi thinks that this is one of the best ways to spend time with Hoseok – in warm, companionable silence. (He loves Hoseok’s loud side, of course, but it’s nice to know that they can co-exist like this – completely comfortable just sharing space with each other.)

He doesn’t know how long they sit like that before Hoseok interrupts the quiet.

“Yoongi?”

Hoseok’s serious tone causes Yoongi to look up from his phone, worry already seeping into his bones.

“Um,” Hoseok looks from side to side and scratches the back of his neck, two signs that he’s nervous, “I wasn’t going to bring this up because I know you probably don’t want to talk about it but I saw some dresses in your room earlier.”

Yoongi’s heart drops into his stomach and he feels the blood run out of his face. Hoseok must see the effect this sentence has had on Yoongi, because he immediately grabs Yoongi’s hand and squeezes tight.

“After that day in your bathroom, I started doing research on, um,” He takes a deep breath, “Transgender stuff. Obviously, I wasn’t sure if that was what was going on but, um, I wanted to be ready in case it was. I care about you a lot, Yoon, and I want you to know that I’m totally here for you if you aren’t cis, or if you are, or whatever. You’re my best friend and I want you to feel safe with me and if you want to talk about stuff I totally won’t judge you, I promise –”

Yoongi cuts Hoseok off with an involuntary sob. Uncontrollable tears are streaming down his face and his grip on Hoseok’s hand is probably nearing on too tight, but he can’t help it.

“Hobi,” He chokes out, “Seokseok-ah.” He doesn’t know what else to say. He doesn’t know how he could ever express to Hoseok what all this means to him, or how scared he was that Hoseok was going to say he hated him, or how scared he was of everything to do with this.

Hoseok looks like his heart is breaking as he reaches up to wipe away Yoongi’s tears. His hand is warm and strong against Yoongi’s cheeks and he lets his eyes slip closed, sobs subsiding.

When his tears have mostly stopped, he opens his eyes to see Hoseok looking at him with both the most heartbroken and fondest expression he’s ever seen.

“Hoseokie,” He starts, his voice doing that weird nasally thing that happens when a person has been crying for a while, “Thank you.” He pauses to take a deep breath, gathering his thoughts, “I don’t really know what all… this is. I like to feel feminine and I-” he breaks off as another sob racks through his body, “I like to feel pretty. I don’t know.”

“Yoon, it’s okay,” Hoseok coos, giving Yoongi’s hands another squeeze, “You don’t have to know right now. It’s okay to not know.”

Yoongi shrugs and nods, “It’s just. I’d never even considered before that I might be… y’know… transgender. But now that you say it, it makes a lot of sense and that’s… really fucking scary, if I’m being honest.”

Hoseok pulls Yoongi into a hug, “I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re feeling, Yoon. But I’m here for you and I’ll always be here for you, okay?”

Yoongi nods and wraps his arms around Hoseok, letting himself relax into the embrace.

Sharing a bed with Hoseok that night feels strange now that he knows. At the same time, with the knowledge that Hoseok is beside him and going to help, he sleeps better than he has in months.

 

Yoongi wakes up the next morning with the feeling that something is watching him. When he opens his eyes, he’s met with an apprehensive Hoseok standing by the door. He manages a tired smile, which the other boy returns.

“Uh, I may have raided your kitchen and made okay-tasting pancakes. You up for it?”

Yoongi’s smile widens, “Yeah, I’ll be up in a minute.”

Hoseok nods, looking pleased with himself, before turning on his heel and returning in the direction of the kitchen.

Yoongi grins a little bit more to himself before standing and following the smell of fresh pancakes.

He finds Hoseok sitting at his kitchen counter, drizzling an obscene amount of syrup on his plate.

“How the fuck have all of your teeth not rotted and fallen out by now?” Yoongi grumbles, pouring himself a cup of coffee.

Hoseok laughs, “Shut up and eat this food that I so kindly prepared for you.”

Yoongi snorts and takes a seat. The stack in front of him does look really good, “Thanks for this, Hobi. It looks great.”

His response is a smile way too blinding and brilliant for this early in the morning.

“Uh, I just wanted to ask if you’re feeling okay after… everything last night,” Hoseok says, looking slightly nervous.

Yoongi feels a jolt go down his spine, “Actually, I feel better than I have in a really, really long time.”

“Really?” Hoseok says excitedly, “Good. That’s really good!”

“You’re a nerd,” Yoongi giggles, “Yeah, it’s good. Thank you, Seok.”

Hoseok grins.

 

After breakfast, Hoseok goes back to his own house for a shower. Yoongi takes one of his own and, for the first time in a long time, he doesn’t completely hate what he sees in the bathroom mirror.

 

Hoseok comes back about 10 minutes after he’s gotten dressed, announcing his presence by calling out as he walks in, “I live here now, just so you know.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes as he makes his way towards the boy, “If you think I’m going to keep sharing my bed with you, you’re very wrong.”

“And after all I’ve done for you!” Hoseok cries, hand on his chest, “I want a divorce.”

“Finally.”

He ignores Hoseok’s affronted expression and flops on the couch.

“What are we watching today?”

Hoseok flops next to him, “I don’t care.”

“Well,” Yoongi turns to Hoseok very seriously, “I guess we have no choice but to watch Inception then.”

“No! Fuck you!”

Yoongi cackles as Hoseok dives for the remote, wrenching it from his grasp, “I refuse to watch that godforsaken movie!”

“I’m having a gender crisis, I should get movie privilege!”

Hoseok stops, looking at him guiltily, “I mean, if you want to-”

Yoongi immediately backtracks, “Hobi, I’m kidding, please don’t feel guilty for not wanting to watch Inception.”

Hoseok pouts, “You fucking suck. You totally fooled me. I was ready to live in exile forever for being a transphobe.”

Hobi,” Yoongi is more than a little shocked at how considerate Hoseok is being about everything, “Why are you so fucking nice? Oh my god.”

Hoseok laughs a little bit, “I’m not being nice, I’m being a decent human being.”

Yoongi wants to argue – Hoseok is much, much more than just a decent human being. He’s about to open his mouth and say something to that effect – something about how Hoseok is the nicest person he knows, something about how that’s probably the reason Yoongi is head over heels in love with him – but he’s beaten to it.

“Anyways, what are we actually watching? Preferably not Inception, thanks.”

Yoongi must stay silent for too long, because Hoseok turns to look at him, slightly concerned, “You okay, Yoon?”

Yoongi nods, trying to quieten his thoughts. He’s about to shrug and let Hoseok choose something to watch when he’s hit with an idea.

“Um, Hobi?” He realises his hands are shaking and he clasps them together to make it less obvious, “Do you think it would be okay if I wore, um…” He trails off, already regretting saying the thought out loud.

“Do you want to wear, um… girl’s clothes?” Hoseok winces, “Sorry, I shouldn’t call them that – you can’t gender clothing. Do you want to put on feminine clothes? Because I wouldn’t mind. You’d probably look really great,” He blushes, “I mean – you know what I mean. You can wear makeup as well, if you want. I won’t judge you.”

Yoongi’s jaw drops slightly, “You really have been doing your research,” Hoseok’s blush deepens, “But, yeah. You really don’t mind if I…?”

“Not at all! I want you to be comfortable, and uh,” Hoseok stares pointedly at the wall behind Yoongi, “Like I said, you’d probably look… nice.”

Yoongi flushes, “Um. Thank you. I’ll just,” He stands up and gestures in the direction of his bedroom awkwardly.

“Right! I’ll be over here, I guess.”

Hands still shaking, Yoongi turns on his heel and walks quickly to his room.

Once the door his shut behind him, he starts to panic slightly. He has absolutely no clue what to actually wear. He paces for a few minutes, trying to calm his breathing. Stepping in front of the mirror, he looks at himself determinedly.

You can do this, girl,” Yoongi mouths.

With shaky hands, he starts pulling clothes out of his box. Once satisfied with his outfit, he gets changed and tries not to second guess himself.

A mere thirty minutes later, he deems himself ready. Taking one last look at himself, he decides that this is the best he’s probably going to get, and leaves his room.

He feels a flush rising up his neck when Hoseok sees him.

Hoseok’s mouth is a perfect ‘o’ shape, and he looks completely shocked.

Yoongi glances down at his outfit again. Is it okay? His outfit is simple – a black pleated skirt and pink crop top. Standing in front of Hoseok, he realises that this is not the first time he’s worn this shirt around him, and his blush grows deeper.

“Yoon,” Hoseok’s voice is soft, “You look… really nice.”

Yoongi stares at his feet, “Thank you,” he whispers.

“Did you do your makeup yourself?” Hoseok sounds in awe.

Yoongi nods, feeling a bit insecure, “It’s not much, I’m still learning and I don’t really get much time to practice and stuff-”

Hoseok sits up, “It’s so good! I don’t know much about makeup, but I know it’s not very easy. The fact that you did that without much practice is really cool!”

Yoongi’s eyes widen, “Thanks, Hobi.” He sits down carefully, “It means a lot that you’re so cool about this.”

“Of course, Yoon,” Hoseok smiles, bright and blindingly brilliant, “Also, um, on that subject,” He coughs, smile fading slightly, “We didn’t really talk about this last night but if you want me to start using different pronouns, or a different name, or something like that, let me know and I totally will.”

Yoongi’s heartbeat speeds up, “Uh.” There are a couple of moments of silence where Hoseok nervously picks at the rips in his jeans, and Yoongi sits in shock.

“Actually, if you could try using female pronouns that would be really nice? Just to, like, try it out, you know.”

Hoseok smiles, “Of course.”

Yoongi shifts, “I’m not really sure about names, though. I haven’t given it much thought.”

“That’s okay! I can help you brainstorm if you want!” Hoseok says eagerly.

Laughing, Yoongi agrees.

They spend the rest of the morning like that – Hoseok making notes of every feminine name Yoongi likes. It all feels completely surreal – this time yesterday, Yoongi never would have dreamed of telling Hoseok any of this, or of being referred to as ‘she’.

And yet, here she is.

 

Hoseok leaves without Yoongi deciding on a name, but they’re both laughing so much by the end of it that they don’t care. Hoseok is just like that – he makes Yoongi laugh more than anyone else can. He makes her feel like the happiest girl on the planet.

 

The next week at school feels like a dream. Everything is different now, but at the same time, nothing has changed. Hoseok still calls her ‘he’ and ‘bro’ in the hallways (albeit less so since she told him), but sometimes he sneaks her a little smile, or a squeeze on the shoulder. It’s the small gestures like that that show her the whole weekend wasn’t a hallucination – it was very, very real.

Hoseok starts coming over every day, unless he has dance class. Every day, Yoongi goes into her room, changes into something feminine, and they brainstorm names. It reaches a point where Yoongi doesn’t think they’re actually looking for a name anymore – they’re just doing it for fun.

“You know,” Hoseok starts one lazy afternoon, “finding new names is hard. Wouldn’t it be easier if you just chose a variant of your current name or something?”

Yoongi sits up, “Seok, that’s not a bad idea.”

Hoseok raises his eyebrows, “Really? I honestly didn’t think you’d be into it.”

“No, it would probably make it a lot easier to get used to, if you think about it,” Yoongi says, “Something like… I don’t know…” He trails off in thought.

“Uh… like… Yoon-ji maybe?”

“Yoonji.” A pause, “I quite like Yoonji, actually.”

“It’s nice,” Hoseok looks at her thoughtfully, “You actually look like a Yoonji, come to think of it.”

“You’re only saying that because it’s similar to Yoongi.”

“I swear I’m not,” Hoseok says sincerely, “Min Yoonji. It suits you.”

She smiles, “Well, Yoonji it is then. I guess.”

There is another moment of silence before Hoseok speaks.

“You’d think this would be more…”

“Dramatic?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok nods, “This seems like it should be one of those big movie moments.”

Yoonji lets out a chuckle, “Movies always make real life seem boring.”

Hoseok responds with a laugh of his own, “Nothing’s boring with you, Yoon.”

She allows herself to blush briefly before hitting him over the head with a pillow.

 

(Yoonji finds that each time Hoseok calls her by her new name she falls a little bit more in love with him.

It makes her feel pretty. It makes her feel right.)

 

Before Yoonji knows it, summer holidays are fast approaching and it’s been nearly a month of Hoseok Knowing.

The knowledge that their high school graduation is so soon both excites and terrifies her.

On one hand, she’s afraid because she’s yet to decide what she actually wants to do with her life. On the other, she’s excited to finally escape the hell that is high school.

Hoseok is going to a local art school for dance, and every one of their friends seems to know exactly what they’re doing with their lives. Yoonji is taking a gap year, which is actually code for ‘I have no idea what I’m doing with my life, so I’m going to take a year to figure it out’.

She feels so, so lost.

 

Their graduation day is an emotional one. Stepping through the front doors of the school has a strong sense of finality. It brings both bliss and pure existential dread.

The hours pass in a blur. They receive their diplomas, and their parents photograph them. There are speeches, and a few tears, and suddenly, it’s over.

Yoonji is a high school graduate.

“This is probably the last time we’re going to walk through these halls together. Isn’t that weird?”

Yoonji’s eyes observe the walls around her, and then trail over to Hoseok right beside her, “That’s really fucking scary.”

Hoseok shrugs, “Scary, yeah, but aren’t you excited? We’ve got so much to see and experience! There’s so much ahead of us!”

Yoonji laughs, “You sound like my mom.”

He chuckles, “I’m just excited, Yoon.”

She turns and Hoseok is smiling one of his trademark sunshine smiles that she is so in love with.

“Yeah, me too.”

 

With no school and little responsibility, Hoseok and Yoonji find themselves spending most of their time together.

They start going out during the day instead of just staying in and watching movies – they go to arcades, to cafes, to music stores. Although Yoonji has not yet found the courage to dress femininely when they go out, she still wears makeup and dresses at home with Hoseok, having found that the more time they spend together, the more comfortable she gets.

Before Yoonji knows it, it’s a week before her birthday, and nearly a month has passed since their graduation.

She’s applying mascara when she hears a familiar voice echoing from the front door, and heavy footsteps coming down the hall.

“Yoonji-ah! Your favourite person is here!”

She tries not to giggle as she calls back, “You fucking wish!”

When his body eventually emerges in her doorway, she gives him a warm smile, which he returns.

She makes her way to her bed and flops down, gesturing for him to join her.

Instead of following, he lingers, looking nervous, which is extremely uncommon for Hoseok. His hands are behind his back and Yoonji tilts her head to the side, “What’s that? Why do you look so shady?”

His eyes flit about the room, avoiding hers, “Um, I have something. For you. An early birthday gift, I guess.” He clears his throat.

Despite his nervousness, she smiles, “A gift? My birthday’s only in a week, Seok.”

He shifts, “I know. I just wanted to give you this as soon as I could. I really think you’ll like it.”

Yoonji’s heart skips a beat, “Seokseok-ah. That’s so nice.”

He shrugs bashfully, grinning, “You haven’t even gotten it yet.”

She laughs, “You’re right. Give it here.”

He hands her a neatly wrapped box, which she immediately starts unwrapping.

As she rips away the wrapping paper and reveals the gift, her hands start to shake and her heart starts to beat a bit faster. Inside is a box containing a silky black wig.

She feels a bit lost for words as she looks at it, and then at Hoseok, sitting beside her, clearly brimming with anticipation, “Seok…”

“I thought it would be nice until you’ve grown your hair out a bit longer, you know?”

She feels tears brimming in her eyes, threatening to spill over and onto her shaking hands, “Thank you, Seok. Thank you.”

Hoseok looks embarrassed but pleased, reaching over to put an arm around Yoonji’s shoulders, “You’re welcome,” he murmurs.

She blinks away her tears – she literally just put on her makeup – and takes a deep breath, “Can you help me put it on?”

Hoseok smiles, “Of course.”

The process of actually putting on the wig ends with a lot more complications and laughter than expected. But eventually, Yoonji stands in front of the mirror, hair gently brushing her shoulders and hanging in her eyes. She presses down the urge to cry again.

She looks like a real girl. She looks like Min Yoonji.

There are so many emotions swirling around her mind and in her chest that she feels like she could explode. She turns and vaguely registers Hoseok telling her she looks pretty, before she roughly grabs his face and presses her mouth against his with a fierceness and determination unlike any she’s ever felt before.

For a moment, she is disoriented – she’s never kissed anyone before – but then he wraps his arms around her waist and returns the kiss with all the passion and emotion that she’s feeling.

She doesn’t really know if what she’s doing is good or right, but she kisses him like somehow it will let him how she’s feeling – how she’s been feeling since they were eleven years old.

When they part, Yoonji’s lipgloss is smudged and her eyes take a second to refocus on the face in front of her. For a moment all she can see and feel is her own heartbeat and Hoseok’s body, warm and firm, pressed against her own.

Then she realises what she’s done. She kissed Hoseok. She kissed Hoseok, her best friend that she’s been in love with for almost a decade.

But he doesn’t look mad, or disgusted. He’s smiling.

Not just a normal smile either. A sunshine smile unlike Yoonji has ever seen before.

“Seokseok-ah,” she exhales gently, letting the breath of her words ghost over his lips, “I might be very in love with you. I have been since we were eleven, probably. If you don’t feel the same, I get it, and honestly I’ve come to terms with it –”

“Yoonji,” Hoseok interrupts exasperatedly, smile still in place, “I’m in love with you too. Maybe not since we were eleven, but I definitely am now, okay?”

Yoonji blinks, “A-are you sure?”

“Yes,” Hoseok laughs, “Would I have kissed you like that if I wasn’t?”

She blushes, “Would you mind demonstrating just one more time? I want to be sure I really get it.”

This time, when his lips meet hers it’s gentler. One of his hands reaches up to caress her face and she melts into the touch.

“Do you get it now?”

She lets her fingers card through the short hairs at the back of his neck and appreciates how right this feels, “I think you might have to keep showing me, actually.”

The rest of the day is spent sharing kisses and tender touches. For once, Yoonji feels like nothing is missing in her life. With Hoseok at her side, she can do anything, tackle any problem, face any fear. Nothing is impossible anymore.

 

They don’t really talk about their relationship status – Hoseok is Yoonji’s and Yoonji is Hoseok’s. They flow from best friends to boyfriend and girlfriend as seamlessly as if they’d always been this way.

Although, nothing really does change – except that they kiss a lot more, and hold hands a lot more – they’re still just Hoseok and Yoonji.

And Yoonji finds, for the first time, life does seem fair.