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(feat. Jimin)

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The beginning of the end came quietly into their lives, almost polite in the way it knocked on the door, but then made itself at home without anyone really noticing.

In retrospect, though, it must have started in late 2019 when Seokjin got cast as the lead for a much anticipated family drama. It was no surprise, really, since his interest in acting had never faded since their debut, but their work didn't leave him a lot of time to do much about it. This movie, however, gave him the chance to explore his other talents some more and he seemed to enjoy it immensely.

Entirely too much, perhaps, as it turned when the film finally premiered.

He had looked stunning in his classy black suit, posing side by side with his co-stars, as the cameras flashed at them, the red carpet beneath their feet. The other members had been there, too, of course, to cheer him on and let everyone know how proud they were of him.

The movie itself was remarkable as well. They'd seen Seokjin act before but there was a difference between a few scenes in an MV and starring as a young man whose family was falling apart due to his mother's dementia, and the media outlets were falling over themselves as they sang their praises.

“So,” he had said the next day, when they all happened to be lounging around in their living-room area. He had been staring down into his teacup, obviously reluctant or even unable to look at them. “I think I want to pursue a career in acting.”

For a moment, that fateful sentence hadn't even registered to any of them. Yoongi himself had been reading an online article on his phone, and Seokjin's words had gone in one ear and out the other without really touching his brain.

“That's great, hyung,” Jimin had said pleasantly. “We'll support you.”

“No, you don't understand,” Jin had added and the misery in his voice finally made them all pay attention. “I want to be a full-time actor.”

It wasn't betrayal that wedged itself into their hearts then, nor was it disappointment. Grief, perhaps, all five stages at once, but blunted at the edges. In the end, all that could remain was acceptance.

And that's how it began.

2020 became the year of their goodbye. New Beginnings , their album was called, with some nostalgia and bittersweet irony. Their first world tour became their last journey together. BigHit's Bangtan Boys went out as their name had always promised – with a bang.

In January 2021, a few short weeks after his twenty-eighth birthday, Kim Seokjin enlisted for his military service. And so did Min Yoongi.

He'd carefully thought it through, with Bang PD and Namjoon and, most of all, himself.

They could have continued without Seokjin, painful as that would have been, but they were always bound to split ways like this. They could drag it out and leave one after the other – or they could clench their teeth and rip off the band-aid.

“I need a break from the whole idol stint anyway,” Yoongi had said and it hadn't even been much of a lie. The constant stress wasn't doing him any favors and he'd have to enlist eventually.

They'd all been sitting together then and, in a strange way, it was as though they were announcing that they were getting a divorce and no one wanted the kids. It's a scary thing to walk away from your family. Scarier still to think that, even if you returned, there might not be any family left at all.

“I'm going, too,“ Jimin had said in that moment and everyone jerked their heads toward him, staring. The look in his eyes was determined but his words didn't make any sense.

Jimin was, first and foremost, a dancer. Enlisting now would waste his best years on the army.

“If I go now, I'll be done once I'm twenty-seven,” he told them, unflinchingly. “I can still recover from that.”

If Seokjin's decision had been a shock, then Jimin's was a cataclysm. But this time, there was no grief. Only numbness.

And that's how it ended.



 

Chapter Text

 


Min Yoongi is standing in line at a checkout in a grocery store, contemplating whether the fuzzy taste in his mouth is really worth investing money in the over-prized chewing gum displayed on the shelf next to the register, when he feels someone's eyes on him.

He glances up, only to find that there is a boy in front of him openly staring. When he cocks an eyebrow in silent question, the boy gulps.

“Uh, um,” he stutters, obviously trying to gather his courage. “Aren't you Agust D?”

A wry grin cracks over Yoongi's face.

“Sure am, kid,” he says and, with some amusement, watches the awed expression on the young face. The boy can't be older than fourteen, maybe fifteen. Barely old enough to listen to Yoongi's music. Too young to remember him as Suga.

“Wow,” the boy breathes, almost voiceless. For someone his age, it must be bizarre to realize that even famous rappers occasionally had to do grocery runs. He still manages to catch himself remarkably quickly. “Can I have an autograph?”

This is, finally, when the boy's mother who had been chatting with the cashier, starts paying attention.

“Haneul,” she chides, frowning over his shoulder. “Leave the gentleman alone.”

Then her gaze lands on Yoongi, on his baggy sweats and the tattoos sneaking up along his bared arms, and she instantly seems to regret her choice of words.

“But, eomma,” Haneul complains, his voice breaking under the whine.

“It's really no problem at all, ma'am,” Yoongi drawls, inwardly smirking at her dismayed reaction to his obvious Satoori dialect. “I wouldn't want to disappoint my fans.”

“Oh, well, if it's really no trouble,” she relents, probably just to avoid a scene, and then Yoongi gets to sprawl his signature onto the back of a receipt with a ballpen the cashier graciously provides.

“Oh wow,” Haneul says, excitedly staring down at his prize. “My friends are going to be so envious.”

“If they are your friends, they'll be happy for you,” Yoongi tells him and both the boy and his mother look surprised.

Yoongi grabs a pack of gum after all, pays for his purchases, and then strolls out of the store, back into the unpleasant summer heat.

He trudges down the street to his apartment, chewing on the gum with quite some consternation. Seoul, in August, is a right bitch in his opinion and, not for the first time, he wishes he lived somewhere closer to the countryside where the air is more pleasant.

The A/C in his apartment is worth shit and he always seems to be sweating out more water than he can actually make up for. Perhaps he should go visit his parents, catch a bit of a break.

Though a break is the last thing he needs, really.

He's barely closed the entrance door behind himself and slipped out of his shoes, when he is already pulling out his phone and hitting speed dial. It takes a few rings and he chucks his shopping bag onto the kitchen counter, sorting through everything with his unoccupied hand, when his call is finally accepted.

“Hyung,” the voice at the other end says, slightly exasperated.

“Namjoonie,” Yoongi greets, throwing his fridge open and glancing inside, only to realize that he forgot to buy soy sauce. “What have you been up to?”

“Not much since you called me two days ago,” Namjoon replies. “Or the day before that.”

“Don't make me sound like a clingy lover,” Yoongi snorts, sliding the chicken breast he bought onto the lower shelf.

“A clingy lover I could deal with,” Namjoon notes. “You're much more difficult to please.”

“So you still haven't found anything?”

“I have other jobs beside being your personal talent scout,” Namjoon reminds him pointedly. “And you didn't like the last two I recommended.”

“The guy's voice was whiny and annoying,” Yoongi scoffs. “I'm not gonna spend hours recording with him. And there's no way I can do a collab with Bo.”

“Why not?” Namjoon asks. “Just because she's your ex-girlfriend-”

“Fake ex-girlfriend,” Yoongi corrects, pulling a face. “And don't remind me of it, it was traumatizing enough.”

“Well, then I don't know what you want,” Namjoon says. “Chin-Hwa would have been a good choice if you wanted to work with fresh vocals. And Bo-Seon is the best female rapper we have to offer at the moment. If you want something else, you have to go look elsewhere.”

“What about Hoseok?” Yoongi demands.

“You know he is concentrating on the trainees,” Namjoon replies. “Not to mention that Gala will be debuting this fall.”

“Ugh,” Yoongi slams the fridge shut again, “BigHit really isn't what it used to be.”

“Shut up,” Namjoon tells him, though he doesn't sound as hassled as before. “It's not my fault you have a writer's block.”

“Don't call it that.”

“You haven't produced anything worthwhile in almost half a year,” Namjoon says, not pulling his punches. “That's writer's block.”

“I just need someone interesting to work with.”

“And yet no one is interesting enough, in your humble opinion. Maybe get in contact with some Western artists?”

“I don't like working with foreigners.”

“A former idol then,” Namjoon offers. “Nam, Wang, or whoever.”

“Don't pawn your buddies off to me, Kim.”

“Damn, it's like you're being difficult on purpose,” Namjoon sighs but then there is pause, profound even in its brevity. “Have you tried Jimin yet?”

Yoongi stills. “What?”

“Jimin,” Namjoon repeats. “He might be interested in a collab.”

“He's a bit far away, don't you think?”

“Airplanes exist for a reason, hyung.” By the sound of it, Namjoon must be rubbing his temples by now. “Why do you sound so surprised anyway? You were thinking of asking Hobi, so why not Jimin?”

Taehyung or Jungkook would have been the obvious alternative, considering they were at least in Korea, but they were also in the middle of their service. So why not Jimin, indeed?

“It might do you some good to get away for a while,” Namjoon says. “See some new things, find inspiration. And you always loved his vocals, didn't you?”

“I did,” Yoongi admits.

“Then there's no problem,” Namjoon decides and there is the clicking of fingers on a keyboard as he pulls something up on his computer. “It is currently... half past five in the morning in New York. If you are feeling both very impatient and like being an asshole, you can wake him up and ask him while he is still too tired to say no.”

“You're a right bastard, you know that, Kim?” Yoongi asks.

“You should thank me,” Namjoon says. “I'm making sure you don't end up starving in the streets.”

And then he hangs up.

Yoongi purses his lips, stares down at his phone. The screen goes blank after a few moments, his face a blearily smudged reflection on its surface.

What did he really have to lose, except for a tiny bit of his dignity in case his hopes were disappointed?

Well shit, he thinks, tapping the screen again and scrolling through his phone book before hitting call. It wasn't like Jimin needed beauty sleep anyway.

The call signal rings five, six times and Yoongi bites his lower lip, wondering what exactly to say. Finally, the call is accepted and Yoongi cannot help but wonder what Jimin is doing, whether he had still been asleep or already up and about and starting his day.

There is a rustle of fabric, a surprised intake of breath, followed by a voice that is just barely shaking off the remnants of sleep.

“Hyung?” Jimin asks, perhaps wondering if this is just a dream.

“Hey, Jiminie,” Yoongi says, as casual as though they had just talked last week. “About that song I mentioned…”


 

Chapter Text


If there is one thing Yoongi hasn't missed since his idol days it is the constant traveling.

Agust D did occasionally perform in Japan and China but mostly he stuck around in Korea, so getting to locations wasn't too much of a hassle.

Flying from Seoul to New York, however, is a different matter. The flight alone is over fourteen hours, but there is also the baggage check-in and security and then the plane is delayed for half an hour due to maintenance. He doesn't even have his manager with him to handle most of the unpleasant stuff so, by the time he sits down in his seat, he is clinging to the remnants of his composure.

Fortunately, traveling on his own also allows him to just jam his headphones into his ears and listen to music the entire time without appearing rude. Being part of a group of rambunctious boys had often been half of the reason why he abhorred traveling. There was always someone jostling him, waking him up, wanting to show him something outside the window. Now, he at least gets to doze.

Only that fourteen hours of napping are too much for even him and, halfway through, he has to open his eyes and accept that he won't be going back to sleep anytime soon.

He's brought a book with him, of course, but it's in his hand luggage in the overhead compartment. The business woman in the seat separating him from the aisle, however, is fast asleep and he does not want to bother with waking her. He lets his head fall back and resists the urge to let out a loud groan.

He could play games on his phone, probably, but he wants to save his battery in case he needs it later, so for now he is faced with inescapable boredom.

That is, until a flight attendant passes by.

“Excuse me,” he says, just loud enough to get her attention. She stops and turns around, careful not to bang her head anywhere.

“How may I help you, sir?” she asks.

It's an American airline and there is absolutely no recognition in her eyes as she looks at him. But it also means that he'll have to talk in English, which he has never been all that comfortable with.

“Could you get me something to read?” he asks her with a vague gesture. “A- a magazine? Please.”

“Of course, right away, sir,” she says with practiced ease and stalks down the aisle again.

Yoongi doesn't have to wait long for her return.

“That'd be five dollars, sir,” she tells him, presenting him with a thick glossy magazine.

Yoongi purses his lips at the price but digs out his wallet anyway, glad that he already exchanged some money. He forks over a fiver and gives a small nod as she hands him the magazine.

He doesn't bother with the table of contents, just flips it open on a random page, casually glances over it. For the most part, he finds magazines tedious with all their gossip and pretentious lifestyle advice, but sometimes there are some rare gems hidden.

He skims over an article about a new Audi model and another about the impact of the European market on American economy. It's all in English and the more difficult stuff eludes him, but he mostly blames it on his lack of interest.

There's some fashion advice, but only for women, plus the must-have hair cuts for this season.

Yoongi snorts. His own hair is black and messy, hidden underneath his beanie. He hasn't dyed it since their goodbye tour and he certainly isn't sorry for it.

He reads something about a new online RPG that sounds rather promising and then tries to do a Sudoku in his head because he doesn't have a pen. There's a crossword puzzle, too, but his language skills aren't up for that either.

He sighs, flips back to the beginning that he had skipped before. A photo spread sprawls over the pages, candy colors and silk, and it’s so bright and distracting that, for a moment, it's all Yoongi really sees.

Then his eyes catch on the headline.

Bubblegum Power! Jimin Park talks about art, attitude – and cats!

Well, look at that, Yoongi thinks with a grin. What a coincidence.

On the photos, Jimin is sitting on a velvet sofa, surrounded by teddy bears and other stuffed toys, like an overgrown boy in his personal paradise. He looks young, younger than he is, but that's probably part of the concept. Though perhaps that's just Yoongi's mind playing tricks on him, considering that Jimin's hair is dyed a soft pastel pink, much like it had been during their You Never Walk Alone era.

That was eight years ago now. God, time really flew.

If the photos – with all the make-up and editing – are of little use in determining what Jimin has been up to, the interview itself is a little more enlightening, as Yoongi finds out.

 


 

Bubblegum Power! Jimin Park talks about art, attitude – and cats!

When I meet Jimin Park in a small café in lower Manhattan, it is still very early in the morning, but he is bright and perky as the sun itself. He hasn't even ordered anything caffeinated yet, so I cannot help but ask the former Kpop idol for his secret.

I always try to have a positive outlook on life, even if things aren't going that well. When you face problems with a smile, they often end up smiling back at you. Maybe I'm just lucky but I have found that many of my regrets and missed chances turned into blessings after all. So I try to channel that into my work.

Does it apply to your private life as well?

Even more so, I think! Of course, my private life and career have been closely linked for as long as I can remember. Which made it all the more important to be open-minded and enthusiastic.

You've been living in the US for almost two years now. What has been the greatest challenge in that regard?

I have an nice apartment in NYC but it's rather big and gets a bit lonely sometimes. So I got a cat a little while ago. I used to be allergic, actually, but I got that treated. I'm still not used to living on my own so it's nice to come home to someone again.

You spent several years living in close quarters with your buddies from BTS, right?

Right! And then I served in the military where you don't get a whole lot of privacy either. I enjoy not having to share my bath with anyone, but it sure is a new experience for me.

What are your plans for the future? Are you hoping to find yourself a live-in girlfriend to fill the void?

[laughs] No, not anytime soon. The American show biz is much different from what I knew in Korea, so I am working very hard to integrate myself in many ways. I realized that I still have a lot to learn and I am fortunate enough that I have some friends and mentors here who help me along the way.

Do you have any specific ideas for what you would like to work on next?

I've been doing to a lot of modeling, so I would like to focus on my music. I was never much of a producer or songwriter, though, so I have to rely on other people for that. I'm hoping to do some more collaborations, but I have no fixed plans yet. I'll see what life throws at me!


 

 

Well, Yoongi thinks, keeping his thumb in place to mark the page and then flipping to the cover of the magazine. It was already three weeks old, printed mere days before Yoongi's call to Jimin. It seems that Jimin's positivity actually did work and that his hopes for a collaboration are already being fulfilled.

They hadn't discussed much yet, just agreed for Yoongi to come to the US and then go with the flow, see what they could come up with. Talking on the phone had never been one of Yoongi's favorite pastimes anyway and he certainly was not going to write songs that way.

His manager had been surprised at his sudden decision but didn’t object to it. She, too, knew that Yoongi needed to try something new. Or, in a way, something old.

Hopefully, Yoongi imagines, working with Jimin would be like rediscovering an old favorite piece of clothing that had somehow ended up in the back of the closet. It was well-worn and familiar and still fit perfectly. Though, perhaps, it needed a little mending. But he'd have to wait and see.

With six hours left, he leans his head against the backrest and closes his eyes. The magazine, with Jimin's bastardized name sprawled on the front page, sits in his lap like a promise.

                                                                                                  

 

 

 

When he finally makes it into the lobby of the airport, Yoongi doesn't know whether he wants to sleep or die.

Die, he decides when he has to kick against his suitcase a little because the wheels are all twisted in the wrong directions again. Definitely die.

He hates the bright fluorescent lights that sting his eyes, he hates the overwhelming smells and the buzz of the people around him, he hates that he lost his beanie somewhere in the fray of getting his hand luggage, he hates that he has no idea where he is supposed to go now.

Jimin had promised he'd book him a hotel room and have them send a driver once his plane landed, but he had never actually given him the name of the hotel. Craning his head a little, Yoongi glances around for an info point, automatically already reaching for his phone to shoot Jimin a quick message. But he doesn't even get that far.

“Hyung!” a fondly remembered voice calls out and Yoongi nearly drops his phone in surprise.

There, pushing his way through the sea of people, is Park Jimin in all his pink-haired glory.

He is wearing shades, tight jeans and a silk shirt, and Yoongi in his comfy travel clothes and five o'clock shadow feels a little grimy in comparison.

Jimin, however, does not seem to care.

Two years after their last big get-together, two years after the official end of BTS, two years after seeing each other in person before oceans were put between them – Jimin throws his arms around Yoongi and pulls him into a heart-clenching hug.

“Hyung,” he says again, softer this time and directly into Yoongi's ear. He is still just as short and he smells the same and his breath is a little uneven. “I missed you.”

Min Yoongi, for once bereft of words, just swallows down the lump in his throat and returns the embrace, fierce and familiar as it is.

He's never much liked the US, to be honest, but this very moment still feels like the end of a journey home.


 

 

Chapter Text


 

JIMIN PARK SPOTTED HUGGING STRANGER AT JFK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

[LIKE TO READ MORE]

you can barely even see anything in the pictures, i fucking hate clickbait

    Still clicked on it tho lol

I LOVE HIS OUTFIT *__*

    The pink hair with that shirt is just <3

This is obviously a private moment, can’t you people leave celebs alone for even one second?

[Post marked as spam]

Omg, that is no stranger, that is Suga from BTS, do your research people

    Is he in the US for work or is that a courtesy call

        Why not both?

            fskdkfgs Agust D and Jimin making music again!

                *fingers crossed*


 

 

Due to poor traffic, the drive from JFK International Airport takes a little over an hour. It should be enough for them to at least catch up on some major points, but they are both content to just sit in silence, the radio quietly playing some Indie shit Yoongi has never heard before.

Although he should be sick and tired of sitting for so long, Jimin's sleek little car is a nice change from the flight, and Yoongi's mild headache from before slowly melts away. So he just stares out of the window for a while and, when he grows bored of that, too, glances over at Jimin.

Jimin, though he keeps his eyes on the road, notices.

“What?” he asks, a smile curling up the corners of his mouth.

Yoongi just gives a little grunt, drags his gaze along the outline of Jimin's face, his jawline, his nose.

“You still look like you're twelve,” is his eventual verdict and Jimin lets out a startled laugh.

“You're one to talk,” he says, shooting him a faux glare. “The stubble does not change anything about your baby face.”

Yoongi doesn't object, just shakes his head and changes the topic.

“Why'd you come to pick me up anyway?” he asks instead. “Couldn't wait to see me?”

“Hm, that, too,” Jimin admits easily. “And I didn't book a hotel for you, so.”

Yoongi blinks. “You didn't?”

“Nope.”

“Can I still get a decent room without reservation?” Yoongi asks but, to his surprise, Jimin simply laughs again.

“Hyung,” he says, turning on the blinker. “You'll be staying with me, of course.”

“Jimin,” Yoongi groans at once. He really should have expected something like this, but he is still not sure how to turn down the offer. “I don't wanna... be a burden and invade your home or whatever.”

“You are my friend, not a burden,” Jimin corrects decisively. “And you are not invading anything. I am offering. Unless,” he amends, with a quick sideways glance, “You'd prefer a hotel?”

In a way, Yoongi would prefer a hotel. He likes the privacy and the anonymity and the fact that he doesn't have to do laundry. But h e recalls the interview he had read in the magazine. He remembers that Jimin is a little lonely.

“I'm not sleeping on the couch,” he grouches and Jimin smiles.

“Of course not,” he promises. “I have a spare room.”

“Well, then.” Yoongi props his arm up again the car door. “Guess it'll make working together easier.”

“Exactly.” Jimin nods. “Just wait and see. It'll be just like old times.”

 

“And you really only brought the one suitcase?” Jimin asks nervously as they step into the elevator in the underground car park that belongs to his building. He had snagged the hand luggage but Yoongi had insisted on taking his suitcase himself.

“Sure.” Yoongi waves him off. “I won't be staying long anyway.”

“Ah,” Jimin says and that's that.

They get out on what turns out to be the uppermost floor and, when Jimin unlocks the door to his place, Yoongi lets out a low whistle.

“How much are you paying?” he asks, curiously glancing around.

“A lot,” Jimin says and nothing more, but the trauma in his eyes speaks for itself.

From the outside, Yoongi hadn't noticed much about the building, only that it was made of red brick and had a little store front on street level but, from the inside, Jimin's loft sure is impressive.

The ceiling is high and industrial, tall windows lining the opposite wall with a large couch sitting below them, bathed in soft light. There's an overflowing bookshelf on the side, along with an actual hammock fastened to the walls with sturdy hooks.

To the left, there are three doors, presumably leading to the bedrooms and the bathroom, while the right sports the open kitchen, along with a narrow metal stairway leading up to a little gallery above.

Yoongi thinks of his modest apartment back in Seoul and is impressed.

He shucks off his shoes and leaves his suitcase by the door, not waiting for permission to wander farther into the room. There are framed paintings on the wall, some caricatures, some just paint blotches, but each with their own distinct feel. A lot of potted plants, too, on the window sills and lining the walls. He spots a sound system standing in the corner and steps closer, curious to see Jimin's music collection.

There are a few genuine records, from secondhand stores by the looks of it, and some more CD sets, all pristine and very familiar looking.

“That is,” Jimin says, hurrying to his side, “I know it's silly but I just wanted to own them, you know?”

“Huh,” Yoongi says with a little huff, running his fingers over the album sleeves.

Of course Jimin owned their albums; they all did, after all. But it was not just the entirety of BTS' work. It was Rap Monster's mix tapes. It was the singles 1verse had featured in, and the cover album Velcro had released together. It was one of Agust D's CDs sitting inside the stereo, just asking to be played.

“You've been listening to my old stuff,” he points out the obvious, turning around to look at Jimin.

Jimin merely ducks his head a little. “Nostalgia,” he admits, “And anticipation. I needed an idea of what I've gotten myself into.”

“We never did record anything together, did we?” Yoongi wonders. “Not just the two of us, I mean.”

“We didn't,” Jimin agrees. “Though you sure talked big in interviews about one day doing it.”

“Well,” Yoongi gives a crooked smile, “We're doing it now, aren't we?”

“We are,” Jimin agrees and his shoulders lift a little. “Should I show you to your room now?”

“Sure,” Yoongi says and goes to grab his suitcase.

It turns out he was right about the doors as Jimin opens the one on the far left.

“This is my guest room,” Jimin explains. “Though, well, I've never really had anyone stay over. Except for the occasional drunk friend, I guess, or- Mochi!”

Yoongi frowns. “Mochi?”

“No, Mochi is-” Jimin cuts off, quickly steps over to the bed, and it's only now that Yoongi notices the cat curled up on the pillow.

“Your cat,” Yoongi realizes. “You named your cat Mochi.”

“I'm so sorry about this,” Jimin says, quickly lifting the animal off the mattress and into his arms. “I usually keep the door closed; she must've wandered in when I got everything ready. I'll bring your a new pillowcase. There's fur all over this one now.”

“It's cool,” Yoongi says, curiously eyeing the cat. She's a small thing, probably less than two years old, with a calico coat and attentive green eyes that stare back at Yoongi.

“I've only had her for a little while,” Jimin explains. “She was a shelter cat and apparently isn't overly used to people, but she's really quite sweet once you get to know her.”

“She scratches strangers, doesn't she?”

“Yes.”

“She seems to like you well enough,” Yoongi notes, though it's no surprise. He doesn't think there are many creatures, whether human or animal, who don’t immediately take a liking to Park Jimin.

He steps over to the window and glances outside, down on the streets of New York.

“Where are we anyway?” he asks.

“North of Little Italy,” Jimin replies. “Nolita, for short. I lived somewhere else before, but I didn't like it much. A model friend recommended this area so I moved here instead.”

Yoongi lets out a contemplative hum.

It does seem to be a nice neighborhood from what little he has seen so far. It it also a very nice apartment. Just a bit big for just one person plus cat. No wonder Jimin got a little lonely sometimes.

Well, Yoongi reminds himself, for the foreseeable future, they could at least be lonely together.

 

Since New York is thirteen hours behind Korea, Yoongi isn't feeling jetlagged but relatively relaxed, as though it were just a really long day, so they decide to go out and grab some early dinner.

There's an Italian place called La Montagna right round the corner and, though, Yoongi isn't feeling all that hungry, he knows it's a good idea to eat some proper food.

The hostess seats them at a table for two tucked away in a corner and then a waitress is already hurrying over with the menus and tall glasses of water.

“Nice place,” Yoongi notes as he glances around. The walls are rough brick, the furniture all dark wood; a vintage chandelier hangs in the middle of the restaurant and, on the table between them, sits a half-melted candle in a bottle.

“I don't go out all that often,” Jimin reveals, perusing his own menu, “But I like coming here.”

He ends up ordering a penne al arrabiata with a salad on the side, while Yoongi gets a deep-dish pizza which, as he understands, is more American than Italian but the smell wafting over from the kitchen is alerting his stomach to the fact that he is apparently hungry after all.

“Have you seen any of the others lately?” Jimin asks while they wait for their food to arrive.

“I see Hoseok and Namjoon pretty regularly,” Yoongi says. “Seokjin is currently filming but I think we met up in... shit, was that February? And, well, Taehyung and Jungkook are currently getting some manners beaten into them.”

Jimin pulls a face; it was not secret that he hadn't much enjoyed his time in the army, too free-spirited to adapt well to the strict rules and conformity. Not that Yoongi had done much better.

“They'll be done in about a year, right?”

Yoongi nods. “Thereabouts, yeah.”

With nervous fingers, Jimin reaches out and begins scraping the dried wax off the bottle with the candle.

“Do you think it was my fault?” he asks, very quietly, and Yoongi stares at him for a long moment, with no clue what he is talking about.

“When I enlisted back then,” Jimin says, “I felt like I was back-stabbing everyone.”

Yoongi frowns.

“Jin and I wanted out first,” he reminds him. “You just used the opportunity.”

“Yes,” Jimin agrees, though he is still not looking up. “But... you and Jin-hyung would have had to leave soon anyway. I... could've stayed.”

“And done what?” Yoongi challenges. “The five of you continuing on with Bangtan? Till Hoseok and Namjoon would have enlisted a little while later? And then what, the maknae line trying to make it on their own?”

“Taetae and Jungkook did well together.”

“They released cover songs,” Yoongi groans. “They are not exactly the singer/song writer types.”

For moment, Jimin is silent.

“I do miss it, you know,” he admits, somewhere between a dirty secret and a love confession.

Yoongi sighs and leans back in his chair. “I do, too.”

At that, Jimin looks genuinely surprised.

“You were always the one who hated it most,” he recalls. “You never wanted to be an idol in the first place.”

“It's not the being an idol thing that I miss,” Yoongi says and then their waitress returns with the food, so it gives their mouths something better to do than to wallow in silly memories.

While Jimin starts with his salad and sips the wine he ordered, Yoongi sticks to water because alcohol probably wouldn't be the best idea after the flight had already done him in.

For the first few minutes, they don't talk, but Yoongi cannot help but watch Jimin across the table.

Jimin really hasn't changed all that much, all things considered. He's a little leaner maybe, a little more mature, and the way he sits and eats is very conscious, a model's poise to him. The first two buttons of his shirt are undone, exposing the sharp jut of his collarbones.

A friendship such as theirs could not be unraveled even by months of separation, but it still would take some time to get used to one another under these new circumstances. It isn't a bad thing necessarily but they cannot help but tread carefully around each other.

And yet Yoongi knows that no one knew him quite so well as the members did. They had celebrated his ups and carried him through his downs and he, in turn, had done the same for them.

The errant thought reminds him of the fact that, in Korea, it would be time for him to take his medication right about now. He is supposed to take the pills on a full stomach and he usually does so in the morning but, due to the shift in time zones, he'll have to switch things around a little.

So Yoongi reaches into his pocket and grabs the discreet little metal box he keeps on himself at all times, because it makes it look at though he were merely taking a breath-mint. He shakes a pill into his hand and washes it down with a big gulp of water.

When he sets his glass down again, Jimin is looking at him.

“You're still taking those?” he asks, mild worry in his words.

Yoongi shrugs. “Don't wanna risk a relapse,” he says, “But it's a lower dosage.”

Jimin bites his lower lip, probably unsure whether he should press the issue.

“Is it still that bad?” he asks and Yoongi blows out a small breath of air.

“I haven't had a full-blown panic attack in a while, if that's what you wanna know,” he says. “And I still function. So.”

“You always functioned ,” Jimin points out. “I want to know whether you are doing okay.”

Yoongi rubs a palm over the back of his neck. “Did you talk to Namjoon?”

“Of course I did.”

“And what did he tell you?”

“That your last album was released a year ago, that you are apparently suffering from writer's block, and that you have no interest in anyone who wants to work with you.”

“I just have high standards.”

“You are breaking your ankles with your own perfectionism.”

“Well, aren't you one to talk, Mister 'I'm too self-conscious to share my lyrics with anyone'?”

“You know I'm not a songwriter,” Jimin says, twirling the fork between his short fingers.

“You keep saying that,” Yoongi notes gruffly, “But I'm still not buying it.”

“Well, excuse you.” The look Jimin shoots him is slightly miffed. “I'm still waiting for that song you said you'd write for me.”

At that, Yoongi ducks his head, caught-out. The first time he'd hinted something like that had been over ten years ago. Time really fucking flew, didn't it?

“Honestly,” Jimin says primly, obviously enjoying that he has the upper hand in this. “I should demand an entire album, just to make up for lost time.”

“Fine by me,” Yoongi says and gives a slow grin, even as Jimin looks surprised, but Yoongi just shrugs. “Hey, I didn't come all this way for one measly single.”

“Well then,” Jimin says and kicks back in his chair. “I hope we at least make it into the Top 100.”


 

Chapter Text

The next morning, Yoongi wakes up relatively early, both due to the difference in time zones and the fact that he had neglected to pull the curtains closed before he went to bed last night.

Since he had left both the army and idol life behind him, he had reveled in being his own boss and getting to decide when he wanted to get out of bed. There were exceptions, of course, but most days he could sleep in late, preferring to spend long evenings at the studio instead. Not that that had yielded many results lately.

He rolls over in the comfortable bed in Jimin's guestroom and blinks against the sunlight streaming in through the window, eventually ceding defeat. If he didn't get up now, he'd only be groggy for the rest of the day and there was no point in that. After all, they had work to do.

With a decisive push, he rolls off the mattress and runs a hand through his messy hair. He'd taken a quick shower before they went out for dinner last night but he's already feeling grimy again.

On the floor sits his hand luggage with the magazine he'd bought on the plane sticking out of it. In the interview, Jimin had said that he enjoyed not having to share his bathrooms with anyone but, yesterday, he had easily offered Yoongi to feel right at home and use whatever he needed.

Yoongi needs a shave, actually, so for a moment, he contemplates whether he should head straight for the bathroom and make himself presentable before he faced his host. But fuck it, he decides. They had lived together for years; Jimin was used to his bare face and morning breath and questionable choice in sleepwear.

He gets up from the bed, tugs on his t-shirt to make it sit straight and then scratches his junk before he pulls loose sweatpants from his suitcase and slips into them. Then he blows out a breath and opens the door to the main area of the loft.

Jimin, it turns out, is already awake and busying himself in the kitchen. That, in itself, is already enough of a surprise because Jimin had never been the most gifted of chefs. But he seems to have turned up the radio of his sound system and is idly singing along to some mindless pop song that Yoongi thinks was popular a few years ago.

“Every minutes and every hour,” Jimin trills, his voice an octave above the singer's, “I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more.”

The music itself is relatively quiet so he was probably trying to not wake his guest. He's wearing a plain white tee and patterned shorts, animatedly dancing around in front of the stove, a spatula in his hand, back turned to Yoongi.

“Every stumble and each misfire, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you more!”

Yoongi cannot help but grin.

It's not his kind of music, really, but the pure unadulterated joy with which Jimin is singing is infectious. It's been years since Yoongi has heard Jimin sing live. He has missed it more than he had known.

“Morning,” he greets when he has stepped within easy earshot, watching with childish glee as Jimin flinches and twirls around in surprise.

“Yoongi-hyung,” he gasps, theatrically throwing a hand up to his forehead. It's ruined by the fact that he is still holding the spatula and that there is scrambled egg sticking to it. “I'll wish you a good morning once my heart stops racing.”

Yoongi snorts and looks around for somewhere to sit, noting in dismay how there is no proper table, just a counter with three bar stools standing underneath it. He pulls one out and climbs on top, propping his chin up on his hands and watching as Jimin turns back to his frying pan.

“Can I help you with anything?” he asks, belatedly remembering what little manners he has.

“Oh, it's alright,” Jimin assures him, throwing a crinkly smile at him. “There's not much that can go wrong with eggs.”

There is, as it turns out when Yoongi has to add some more salt and pepper to the eggs in front of him because Jimin is apparently averse to sodium or something.

“Too much salt is unhealthy,” he tells Yoongi. “I don't want to die of a heart attack before I reach forty.”

“What's the point in living long if you are not living well?” Yoongi counters.

“Salt is not the only thing to enjoy in life,” Jimin tells him, spitefully shoveling his barely seasoned eggs into his mouth.

“Oh yeah?” Yoongi cocks an eyebrow. “Name one more.”

“Friends,” Jimin says, “Sunshine. Parties. Dancing.”

“Ugh,” Yoongi pulls a face. “Spoken like a true extrovert.”

There it is, that easy familiarity that had been slow to return last night and thus made their initial conversation a little stilted. But here, with Jimin's bare knees pressed up underneath the counter and their elbows brushing as they sit side by side, it's only natural to fall back into their customary bickering.

“You can have the bathroom first,” Jimin tells him when they are done eating but Yoongi shakes his head.

“Just go take a shower,” he says, even though he really needs to piss. “I'll do the dishes.”

“I have a dishwasher.”

“I'll do the dishes,” Yoongi repeats and simply carries everything over to the sink. Jimin hesitates for a moment but then pads back into the direction of the bathroom.

In the meanwhile, Yoongi lets some hot water pour into the sink and over their plates and the pan until they are clean. He hates the way it makes his fingertips all wrinkly but, now that Jimin has already offered him his home, he'll have to show his gratitude somehow.

The chores are easily taken care of, though, so he soon retreats to the guest room instead, considering what to do. A wardrobe and a dresser are standing on the right side, all empty except for some towels and bed sheets. Yoongi knows he'll be staying here for a couple of weeks at least and he hates living out of a suitcase, so he might as well take Jimin's words to heart and make himself feel more at home.

Through the wall, he can hear the water rush in the pipes as Jimin showers while Yoongi stuffs his clothes and his good pair of shoes into the wardrobe. He puts his laptop on top of the dresser; he'll need it later for mixing and reviewing beats. They'll have to rent a good studio where they can record together, too, but he knows that Jimin will probably arrange for that.

“Yoongi-hyung!” Jimin calls a few moments later, sticking his head through the door. His hair is still damp and plastered to his forehead, the pastel pink dulled into something slightly more subdued.

“Bathroom's free,” Jimin informs him needlessly. “Help yourself to whatever you need.”

“Sure.” Yoongi nods. “Thanks.”

He does not quite make a run for it then, but he does let out a relieved breath when he finally gets to close the bathroom door behind himself and take a piss. Then he takes a shower.

Jimin's bathroom is a nice affair, with white tiles and even more potted plants and spring green towels neatly rolled up on a tall wooden shelf. That shelf is, of course, not easily reached from the shower without dripping all over the floor, but it is also the place where Yoongi had deposited his bag with his toiletries the night before.

So he uses some of Jimin's vegan body wash and then some of Jimin's mild shampoo and then he towels himself dry with one of Jimin's super soft towels, dragging the fabric over the dark ink on his arms. For shaving he does use his own razor but there is a jar of balm standing by the mirror and he takes some of that, too, but only a little because it looks expensive as fuck and also smells conspicuously like pine trees.

His toothbrush is already sitting in the glass next to Jimin's and Yoongi gives a crooked grin when he sticks it into his mouth, the plastic bumping against the stainless steel of his piercing. Everything is different but this is still a little bit like when they had all been rooming together, the seven of them between messy and meticulous. Perhaps he would have to call Namjoon and thank him after all - meeting up with Jimin had been a good idea.

 

By the time he had slipped into some fresh clothes and rubbed his hair dry, Jimin is already dressed in a nice outfit and has his hair impeccably styled. Yoongi narrows his eyes.

“Are you wearing makeup?” he asks and Jimin turns his nose up.

“A little,” he admits because over breakfast he had definitely been a shade paler and his eyelids were not naturally that color.

“Getting all dressed up for me?” Yoongi teases, lifting his laptop off the dresser to join Jimin in the living-room.

“For the world,” Jimin claims, waving him over to the sofa. Mochi the cat seems to have been sleeping on a pillow all morning but, as soon as the humans sit down, she jumps up and wanders off into Jimin's bedroom.

“She really is a bit anti-social,” Jimin says by way of explanation. “It took her three months to warm up to me.”

“Impossible,” Yoongi says, feigning disbelief. “Someone who doesn't immediately love Park Jimin?”

“You're such an asshole,” Jimin rolls his eyes but then patiently waits for Yoongi's laptop to fire up.

“I've got some beats I've been working on,” Yoongi explains, opening a variety of files. “I want you to listen to them and tell me your first impression. Don't pull your punches, I want your honest opinion.”

“I thought you didn't really work on much the past few months?” Jimin notes carefully.

“I didn't,” Yoongi admits. “Or, well, I did, but I wasn't happy with anything. And it's difficult to come up with something when I don't already know whom I'll be working with.”

“Sooo...?”

“So since you agreed on doing this with me,” Yoongi relents. “I've had an easier time working on something new.”

Jimin's smile is too sweet to call it shit-eating but it's still pretty damn close.

“You've been inspired by me,” he translates, poking Yoongi in the shoulder.

“I may have had some ideas,” Yoongi admits. “We'll see whether you can work with them. Those shitty pop collabs you've been doing didn't exactly challenge your vocal cords.”

“Excuse me,” Jimin scoffs. “I happened to like those shitty pop collabs.”

“They were okay.” Yoongi shrugs, not bothering to look at him as he pulls up one of his mixes. “I know you can do much better, though.”

For a moment, Jimin is silent.

“Thank you, hyung,” he says at length, pressing his knee closer so it touches Yoongi's thigh.

“Shut up and listen,” Yoongi only says and hits play.

Chapter Text

 

The next day, Jimin has a minor modeling job to take care of and Yoongi reluctantly agrees to join him on the set. It's not his ideal way to spend the day because at least he doesn't have to pose for the cameras.

He's curious, too, about Jimin's life in the States, about his work and his career. Because Yoongi had kept track of everyone's music, had even watched a handful of Seokjin's movies, but he had never paid special attention to any of the rest, mostly because he tried to avoid unnecessary gossip.

There were the rumors of Seokjin dating his manager (probably false), the rumors of Taehyung and Jungkook dating each other (definitely false), and Namjoon having had a kid out of wedlock with one of the coordi noonas (also false, but damn that online article had made Yoongi laugh).

The seven of them still maintained a group chat, of course, and texted each other one-on-one as well, but it still did not compare to being with each other 24/7. There were always things that fell through the cracks, but now Yoongi got the opportunity to observe Jimin in his new habitat.

Jimin had dragged Yoongi into the studio with a fleeting explanation to anyone who asked and then parked Yoongi in a nearby chair while he himself was getting his makeup and hair done. He kept up a lively conversation with the stylist, easily switching between English and Korean for Yoongi's benefit.

Yoongi, though not completely lost in translation, is already starting to feel a little hassled by the bits and pieces of seeming gibberish he catches from the people around them and crosses his arms in front of his chest.

“You've gotten good at that,” he notes when the stylist has wandered off to find some missing tool.

“Hm?” Jimin asks, looking away from his reflection in the mirror.

“English,” Yoongi clarifies, “You're fluent now.”

“Oh,” Jimin gives an abashed smile, “I studied really hard while I was serving. There wasn't that much to do when we had downtime, and I already knew I wanted to try my luck abroad, so I had sufficient motivation.”

Yoongi gives a slow nod. He had never fully understood Jimin's decision to leave Korea but this probably isn't the best place to ask.

The photo shoot, at least, turns out to be slightly more interesting that expected. It's for a relatively young clothing brand that tries to go against more mainstream trends and also only hires ethnic models, as Jimin had explained, though Yoongi had scoffed at the use of that word.

The set-up for the shoot, however, is intriguing, all bold colors and rich fabrics, offset by surrounding plants. Jimin works alongside an Indian model named Hannah Bakshi who is easily a head taller than him and drapes herself across his shoulder as though it were an easy kind of luxury, the two of them sending smoldering looks at the camera.

It's strange, in a way, to see Jimin pose with a woman. Usually, their shoots had either been solo or with Bangtan. Rarely, they appeared with idols from other groups, and only for special occasions.

In a way, Yoongi should be used to the idea. There were billboards of Seokjin and his co-stars all over Seoul, as though beauty were catching, and the perfume commercial Namjoon had done around Christmas.

This, however, is different. American ads are ever so much more blatant and downright sexual, something that had never appealed to Yoongi, so he watches with mild apprehension as Jimin unbuttons his shirt, exposing first his chest and then bit by bit his abs.

What's the point in modeling for clothes when you're not even really putting them on, Yoongi wonders. Isn't bare skin just going to distract from the design?

But Jimin and Hannah seem to know what they are doing, easily slipping through their poses, somehow managing to not only present themselves in the best light but each other as well.

Finally, there is a break and Jimin ambles over to where Yoongi is sitting against a wall.

“You were watching,” he says with a smile and Yoongi, who had been meaning to write lyrics instead, feels a little caught-out.

“I was,” he admits, pushing himself up. “Have you eaten yet?”

“I'm not really hungry,” Jimin claims but he'd only had a coffee for breakfast and that just won't do, so Yoongi pulls him over to the table where the catering is spread out.

“Eat,” he says, lifting a finger sandwich up to Jimin's face.

“But-” Jimin protests, only to be silenced by Yoongi simply stuffing the sandwich into his mouth.

“Yoongi-hyung, my makeup,” he complains with hamster cheeks.

“Is gonna get touched up anyway,” Yoongi points out, “Now chew. Swallow. Open up.”

Jimin does, petulantly, allows Yoongi to feed him another sandwich.

“You're too thin,” Yoongi notes, “Don't think I didn't notice.”

“'m not,” Jimin objects, but chews dutifully, “I just have a tight regimen.”

“An unhealthy diet, you mean,” Yoongi corrects gruffly. He's only been in the US for a couple of days, but he can already tell that Jimin needs someone to properly look after him. The fridge at his place was poorly stocked and he'd mentioned he didn't often eat somewhere else either. Yoongi could do the maths.

“You're such a worry-wart,” Jimin complains but this time he does not object when he is fed a cheese cracker. For a few minutes, the two of them just stand at the buffet, Yoongi randomly pushing grapes and apple slices at Jimin or trying some of the finger food himself.

“I'm gonna cook something later,” he decides, “What do you feel like?”

He doesn't look over but, from the corner of his eye, he can still see Jimin preening.

“Korean,” Jimin says, “I know a little corner store that imports directly from Asia. We can pick something up on the way back home.”

“Good,” Yoongi nods and leaves it at that.

“I'm going to the bathroom real quick,” Jimin announces, wiping his hands clean on a serviette, and flashing Yoongi a quick smile before he leaves.

Yet half a minute later, Yoongi is already being apprehended by someone else.

“Hi, nice to finally meet you,” Hannah Bakshi says, curiously peering down at Yoongi.

“Nice... to meet you,” Yoongi replies, unpleasantly caught off guard by someone trying to make small-talk in English. But he had gotten the feeling that this woman was not simply a colleague of Jimin's but a friend, so he should probably try to be polite.

“So you are one of Jimin's buddies,” Hannah says and Yoongi has to resist the urge to crinkle his nose at that word.

Buddies, he recalls was also what the interviewer in the magazine had called the members. They weren't buddies. Buddies were what you called guys you sometimes played soccer or had drinks with. Buddies exchanged raunchy stories instead of casually offering a shoulder to cry on.

What had the seven of them been to each other, really, and how could it be explained in a single word?

Friends didn't cut it and family didn't either; neither had ever been this close with their siblings. Roommates, of course, and co-workers. Members, perhaps, but that was still too close to colleagues as so many other idols simply were. Hyungs and dongsaengs, rap line and vocals, each so unique in their individual relationships but only ever complete with the other six.

So no, they weren't buddies. They were Bangtan.

Only, Yoongi amends, they weren't. Not anymore.

He realizes he's been taking a little too long with his answer, Hannah still curiously watching him, so he simply gives a nod.

“Yes,” he agrees, “We're very close.”

She tilts her head to the side, her cinnamon-colored hair falling over her shoulder, fluid like water.

“He talks about you guys a lot,” she tells him, “I think it's good you're here.”

Yoongi looks at her, searching.

“Jimin has friends here, yes?” he asks, “He's not lonely?”

Hannah smiles. “Everybody wants to be his friend,” she muses, “So he is everybody's friend. But I don't think it's the same.”

Yoongi nods again, slower this time. Perhaps she gets it after all.

In that moment, Jimin luckily reappears.

“Oh,” he says when he sees them together, “I guess I don't need to introduce each other?”

“Hmhm,” Hannah hums, “Had to confirm all you told me about him.”

Yoongi's ears perk up, especially when he sees Jimin's eyes widen in panic.

“What did he say?” he wants to know, hooking his fingers into Jimin's belt to pull him back from trying to keep Hannah from saying anything.

“Oh,” Hannah grin, her eyes innocently rolling up to the ceiling, “He said he's taller than you.”

“I am!” Jimin insists, trying to demonstrate by standing next to Yoongi, “Look!”

“You're wearing tall shoes,” Hannah points out, “That's cheating.”

“Spreading lies about your hyung, huh?” Yoongi says lowly, clicking his tongue in disapproval. “Seems someone has to be reminded of his height and his age.”

“It's not even much of a difference!” Jimin claims, though the tips of his ears have grown red from embarrassment.

“0,1 cm and seventeen months,” Yoongi corrects, “And you will never catch up on either.”

“Aaah,” Jimin wails, “I hate you.”

“What?” Yoongi says, cupping a hand around his ear, “I can't hear you from down there.”

In his shoes Jimin is, of course, the taller one right now, but that doesn't mean Yoongi can't tease anyway.

The three of them chat some more, a mix of Korean and English, and then it's time for Hannah and Jimin to put on their new outfits and continue with the shoot.

“You're not too bored, are you?” Jimin asks anxiously, glancing over as someone is fixing his hair.

“Nah,” Yoongi shakes his head and pulls his notebook from his pocket. “I gotta write some anyway.”

Jimin smiles, his eyes crinkling around the corners. “Feeling inspired?”

“With you?” Yoongi says, comforted by the knowledge that no one around them speaks their language, “Always.”

He flips the little book open, his fingers easily finding their way on the worn edges, seeking out a fresh page. The vast expanse of blank paper had used to scare him sometimes, like that hesitation of stepping outside in winter and onto a perfect layer of untouched snow. But leaving footprints had its own merits.

When he glances up, Jimin is still watching him. His smiles has muted itself into something soft and fond.

“I'm glad you're here, hyung,” he says, no guile, no pretense, just pure sincerity.

Something in Yoongi's chest nestles closer to his ribs, like a bird making itself at home.

“Yeah,” he says, “Me, too.”

 

As promised, Yoongi does whip up a proper Korean meal for Jimin and then the two of them get comfortable on the sofa, shoveling food into their mouths.

“You need a proper dining table,” Yoongi notes and swallows.

“You've been here for two days and you are already criticizing my home,” Jimin sighs, “I don't even know why I'm surprised.”

“It's not a home if you have to perch on stools by the kitchen counter like some hooker in a bar,” Yoongi snorts, pouring more Bulgogi sauce over his beef.

“Very vivid imagery, thank you for that,” Jimin retorts with an eye roll, and for a few moments they continue to eat in silence.

“Oh,” Jimin says at length, “Were you planning to keep a lid on our collab?”

“Uh, no?” Yoongi tilts his head to the side. “Why, you wanna keep it a secret?”

“No, no,” Jimin waves him off. “The opposite, really. I was thinking about doing promo stuff.”

“We haven't even produced anything yet.”

“I know but we could give a few teasers, just to get people to pay attention,” Jimin explains, “Between my new fans and your new fans and our old fans, we are sure to get some media attention.”

“True,” Yoongi agrees, “What were you thinking?”

“Nothing big, for now,” Jimin says, “But I keep vlog diary, just telling people about what I've been up to. I haven't posted anything this past week, so maybe we could just film something together.”

Yoongi is nodding before he has even really thought about it. When they had still been idols, sometimes it had felt as though every single moment of their lives was being documented. As Agust D, he had mostly kept a low profile in that regard, preferring to maintain his privacy, but a impromptu vlog wasn't anything unusual.

“Great,” Jimin says, setting his plate down and making for his bedroom, “I'll be back in a sec.”

“Eat your dinner!” Yoongi calls after him.

“I will! I'm just getting the camera!”

When he returns, he is carrying a digital camera and a tripod that he deftly sets up on the window sill, a little elevated to get a good angle.

“Move a little to the right,” he instructs Yoongi as he checks the display. “Okay, the light for this is perfect. Ready to roll?”

“Roll, yeah. Jump, maybe. Run, no,” Yoongi deadpans and Jimin chuckles and positions himself in front of the camera, hitting record.

“Hello, everyone!” he greets in English, stepping back a little so the camera is catching more than just his forehead. “How are you all doing? Did you miss me?”

He pushes his hair out of his face and Yoongi has to bite down on his lower lip to keep in his laughter. Some things never change.

“I had a wonderful photoshoot alongside Hannah Bakshi this morning, so keep an eye out for Pangaea 's fall collection – I'm sure you'll love it! But some of you have been asking what I'm planning for the future aaand I guess I can finally answer that. So today, I actually have a surprise guest! Tadaa!”

He takes another big step back and to the side, throwing himself down onto the sofa next to Yoongi, close enough that they both fit into the frame.

“Yo,” Yoongi says, lifting a hand. He hopes Jimin doesn't expect him to say anything in English.

“For those of you who don't know,” Jimin says, fortunately taking the reins again, “This is Min Yoongi aka Agust D aka Suga aka my hyung from by BTS days. I don't want to give away too much, but we just started working on a project together so he'll be staying with me for a couple of... days?”

He words it as a question and turns to look at Yoongi for confirmation. Yoongi shrugs; it would probably be closer to a few weeks since Jimin's regular work schedule would eat up some of their time, not to mention that writing, mixing, recording and arranging was going to be a mammoth project if they were going to be doing most of it by themselves.

He listens to Jimin prattle on, though he only understands half of the rapid English, simply watches him from the side, trying to pick out some of the words. Then his glance falls onto the half-full plate still standing on the table, conveniently forgotten there, so he picks it up and pushes it at Jimin.

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin whines, switching back to Korean, though his hands automatically come up to hold the plate. “I'm in the middle of-”

“Eat, eat,” Yoongi urges him, “You wanted me to cook, so.”

Jimin pouts, but does grab his chopsticks and continue eating, shooting stormy glances at Yoongi and then at the camera, as though to convince his fans to side with him on this matter. Yoongi doesn't really mind, though.

“This one,” he says in stilted English, pointing a finger at Jimin. “He is silly. He has a cat Mochi. Mochi is his name.”

Jimin is laughing again, either at the words themselves or the bad accent, and he has to press a palm to his mouth to keep himself from accidentally spitting out the food.

“Mochi sleep on my pillow,” Yoongi continues, “Hair everywhere. I don't like it.”

“That was one time!” Jimin complains, still doubled over with laughter. “You just have to close the bedroom door.”

“Bad cat,” Yoongi says with feigned sadness, shaking his head. “Very bad cat.”

“You idiot,” Jimin giggles, pushing at him, “I'm going to edit you out of the video.”

He doesn't, of course, just uploads the video to his platform and then sets the laptop aside to eat some of the ice cream they bought.

All in all, it was a good day. Yoongi thinks he could get used to it.

 

So those airport pictures were real! <3

    WHAT? WHAT AIRPORT PICTURES??

BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA!

    Wrong fandom lol

        I meant their hair...

            It's like Spring Day era all over again, but better!

                I can't believe it has been eight years already O__o

Ayyyeee, Agust D producing new shit. Yas, boy!

    Omg I just looked up that guy's music and it's so fly?? I don't even speak Korean??

        His newer stuff is crap, tho :/

Does this mean they will be making music again?

    I better fucking hope so. Jimin can do better than that boring pop trash =__=

I wish BTS would just get back together

    Me too, but I guess they are enjoying their solo careers

        Tae and Kookie just enlisted last year, too :(

How are they so pretty??

    I cant believe Jimin will already be turning 30 next month :O

        Asian genes @__@

            tru dat

I didn't know Suga has tattoos now. I have... so many thoughts

    He got a tongue piercing, too ;)

        Sweet baby Jesus.

Jimin's already got a bit of a ny accent while suga barely seems to understand a word :D

    he hasn't really been touring outside of Asia so I guess his English is kinda rusty by now

        “bad cat, very bad cat” XD

            maybe Jimin can tutor him

                I bet he's the kinda guy would would deliberately teach Suga something wrong. Or just swearwords

                    lmao have you listened to the english bits in his raps? He knows all the swearwords

YOONMIN IS ALIVE!

    Suga said he even cooked for him. I can't

        Sooo... which Mochi was sleeping on his pillow again?

            Omg *__*

Will you be making more vlogs together? Love your stuff

Chapter Text

The next morning, Yoongi wakes up at a reasonable time, his jet lag finally subsiding. He pulls the curtains open, welcoming the late summer sunlight, and slips into his workout clothes.

He'll never be a fan of physical exercise, not for its own sake. He enjoys basketball, yes, and dancing, to an extent, but he dislikes tedious routine that often comes with it, had learned to dislike it even more during his time in the military. There was a difference between Hoseok drilling a new choreography into you and a sergeant with an attitude yelling at you to do another fifty push-ups.

You reap what you sow, though, and after his enlistment Yoongi had found himself approximating upper body strength. He'd never be buff, of course, but he liked the muscles in his arms and shoulders, the way he held himself a little differently.

There was also the matter of his tattoo sleeves and the fact that he was somewhat worried of the illustrations losing their shape should his biceps shrink down again. So, for the past two years, Yoongi had quietly surrendered to the fact that he would have to maintain a daily workout routine.

He slips through the exercises quickly, his body long since used to the motions. Like this, he can only use his body weight, but he'd have to ask Jimin for some dumbbells later. Jimin would probably laugh at him, but that was nothing new.

After half an hour, there is a knock on the door, just as Yoongi is on the floor and planking.

“Yeah?” he calls with a strained voice, his abdominal muscles quivering dangerously, and then the door opens.

“Uh,” Jimin says, blinking down at him from the threshold. “You okay there?”

Yoongi counts to five in his head and then pushes himself up. “Yeah,” he says, “What's up?”

“Just wanted to ask what you want for breakfast,” Jimin answers, “But now I'm guessing protein shake?”

Yoongi snorts, wipes the back of his hand over his forehead. He isn't sweaty, really, but he'd still need a shower.

“Whatever's fine with you,” he says, graciously ignoring Jimin's quip. “I'm gonna jump under the shower, though, so take your time.”

“Sure thing,” Jimin nods and leaves him to it.

When Yoongi emerges from the bathroom, a towel still draped over his head, Jimin is already setting the coffee table by the sofa.

“Since you don't like eating at the counter,” Jimin explains in response to Yoongi's cocked eyebrow. “You want some of that tea we bought yesterday?”

“Sure,” Yoongi says, falling down onto the sofa cushions and rubbing the towel over his damp hair.

They eat in comfortable silence, the sounds of the street below streaming in through the window, an early morning mess of car and languages that Yoongi does not understand.

At some point, though, he can feel Jimin watching him.

“What?” he says self-consciously, wiping his mouth to get rid of any potential crumbs.

“Nothing,” Jimin shrugs but simply looks more closely, gaze caught in the flurry of feathers that sit along Yoongi's arms in shades of black and gray. “Just... Wings, huh?”

Many people had speculated over the meaning of his tattoos, and some bold ones had even asked outright, but Yoongi had never deigned them with an answer. He wore the ink on his skin openly, yes, but their truth sat deep in his bones.

“They represent different people in my life,” he explains now, twisting his right arm to better show off the individual motives. He points to the dove, the gentle poise of her beak, her wing protectively lifted. “That's my mother,” he says, and then motions to the falcon and the smaller merlin next to it. “My father and my brother.”

Jimin nods, his mouth slightly open in wonderment. A small frown sits on his brow as he blinks up at Yoongi.

“Then who's the platypus?”

Yoongi grins. “PD-nim.”

Jimin lets out a delighted laugh and then shyly reaches for Yoongi's left wrist, pulling his hand into his lap to inspect the other sleeve. This time, he doesn't have to ask.

“That's Namjoon-hyung,“ Jimin says, pointing to the owl with the calm face and the piercing eyes, and then to the swan with the gracefully bowed neck. “And Jin-hyung.“ A giggle when he sees the crane with the long legs, wings raised as though in a dance. “Hoseok-hyung.”

Yoongi smiles. He should have expected that, to Jimin, it would be obvious.

“That's Tae,” Jimin continues, rubbing his thumb over the impish glint in the magpie's eye, but then he pauses, contemplating the last two.

The sparrow is, in real life, the smallest of the birds which could offer two different interpretations. Yoongi waits patiently as Jimin considers.

“That's Jungkookie,” he finally decides, “Because he's our maknae.”

Now, there is only one bird left, the blue tit sitting right atop Yoongi's left biceps, the spread of its delicate wings, the black band around its eyes.

“That's me,” Jimin knows with quiet certainty because blue tits are known for their beautiful voices.

“That's right,” Yoongi says, fondly watching the delight unfold on Jimin's face.

“There's some space left there,” Jimin notes with a look at Yoongi's right arm, although his fingers still circle the other wrist.

Yoongi shrugs. “I figure I'll meet some more special people in my life.”

“Like a lover.”

A snort. “Like friends or something. You know I'm not big on that whole dating crap.”

“I know,” Jimin says and for a moment he is silent. “Why don't you have one that represents you?”

“Bit pretentious, don't ya think?” Yoongi huffs. “And I wouldn't even know what to get.”

“How about a crow tit?” Jimin asks and grins, “Because they are cute and small and fluffy.”

“How about no?” Yoongi counters and pulls his arm back. The patch of skin where Jimin had been touching feels curiously cold. But Jimin, naturally, is not brushed off so easily.

“The tattoos suit you,” he says, “But the piercing came as a bit of a surprise.”

Yoongi resists the urge to stick his tongue out, neither wanting to show it off nor to seem childish.

“Why?” he asks instead, “Was less of a hassle than the sleeves.”

“I wouldn't have thought you'd willingly pierce a metal rod through your most vital organ.”

There is a dick joke in there, but Yoongi chooses to ignore that and simply shrugs again. “It looks cool when I rap.”

“Hm,” Jimin hums, “Did it hurt?”

“Not that much. Was a bit swollen, at first, but it healed quickly.”

“And the tattoos?”

“Ugh, those took ages,” Yoongi recalls. Two sessions for his right arm and three for the left. Had hurt like a bitch, too, especially around his wrist and the crook of his elbow.

“Hmm,” Jimin nods. His hand is coming up again, fingers trailing along the six birds on the left, intertwined in dance and song. “Worth it, though.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees, “Worth it.”

 

The weekend is coming up and Jimin has the next few days off, so they plan to hole themselves up in the loft and just work on their music.

But, Yoongi insists, for that they would have to go shopping for groceries first. He was not going to live on shitty American takeout and neither was he going to let either of them starve. When he was deeply entrenched in his work, he had a habit of simply foregoing food, but that was less likely to happen in good company. Or in the presence of a well-stocked kitchen.

So they drive to the next supermarket and grab a cart, the shiny sliding doors parting before them, a gust of cool air hitting their faces. NYC is cooler than Seoul had been when Yoongi left, but while summer was slowly making way for fall, it was still damned hot and dry outside.

They've barely made it into the first aisle, when Jimin is already lifting himself up and into the cart, making himself comfortable, calves sticking out on the side.

“What.” Yoongi says flatly.

“This store is huge,” Jimin replies and plucks at his shirt so it covers his stomach properly, “And I am lazy.”

“I'm not carting your heavy ass around.”

“But you've worked out today, hyung,” Jimin says, blinking innocent eyes at him, “Shouldn’t you be strong enough?”

“... You owe me so many favors for this,” Yoongi says with a shake of his head but then just pushes the cart along. It's difficult to maneuver with the shitty wheels and the added weight, but somehow they make do.

Occasionally, Yoongi will grab things from the shelves and simply throw it on Jimin's lap, but mostly the products on offer don't really appeal to him.

“It's so difficult to eat healthily in the US,” Jimin agrees, “Everything is so expensive. And the quality is subpar.”

“Oh, suddenly you are a connoisseur of all things gourmet, are you?” Yoongi taunts, pulling a box of Hot Pockets from Jimin's hand and putting it back on the shelf. “Where's the veggie section?”

“I want ice cream!” Jimin demands.

“What are you, five?” Yoongi snorts, “Veggies first.”

“Frozen veggies are next to the ice cream.”

“We're gonna buy fresh produce.”

“I see the gentleman is looking to splurge. How audacious.”

Yoongi thinks he is joking, until he sees the prices. With pursed lips he parks some tomatoes and lettuce next to Jimin's butt, followed by some tangerines and bananas.

“I don't understand how you can live here,” he gripes, turning the cart around so they can go get some of that ice cream after all.

“It has its merits,” Jimin says, letting his head fall back. Under the harsh fluorescent lights, his face looks strangely angular and, with a start, Yoongi realizes that Jimin will be turning thirty soon.

“You've got any plans for your birthday yet?” he asks casually. Jungkook's birthday would come up in a couple of days and then Namjoon's, but they had celebrated together last year. Now, he is happy to be there for Jimin's.

“Probably gonna throw a party,” Jimin muses with his eyes still closed, “See whoever is in New York.”

“At the loft?” Yoongi asks.

“Yeah, probably,” Jimin says and then stills, cracks an eye open. “Unless that's gonna bother-”

“Jimin, it's your place and I'm just a guest,” Yoongi reminds him, “I can deal with a little party.”

“What about a big party?”

“As long as no one ends up fucking on my bed.”

Jimin chuckles. “No worries,” he says, “My friends here are pretty well behaved.”

“Your friends here?” Yoongi cocks an eyebrow, “That makes it sound as though someone back home did fuck on your bed.”

“Oh, I don't know,” Jimin contemplates, “I wouldn't be surprised if Hobi-hyung-”

“Let me stop you right there,” Yoongi interrupts him. He'd barely survived having to share his room with six other boys in the beginning. He doesn't need to turn the memory into a nightmare.

When they finally make for the checkout and Yoongi puts everything onto the conveyor belt, the lady behind the cash machine doesn't even blink at Jimin who remains sitting in the cart. She simply scans their stuff and tells them their total, waiting as Jimin deftly swipes his credit card.

Jimin only gets out once Yoongi has loaded all their purchases into the trunk of the car.

“You're a menace,” Yoongi claims when he has returned the cart to the stand and climbs back onto the passenger seat while Jimin is already starting up the engine.

“Hey, I'm not the one who came begging for a collaboration,” Jimin reminds him blithely, “The least you can do is show some gratitude.

Yoongi cannot help but gape. “I didn't beg,” he points out, “I offered.”

Jimin, of course, doesn't let him off the hook that easily.

“'Oh, Jimin-ah,' he says in a rather exaggerated version of Satoori, “'I forgot how to make music! Please help me find some inspiration, you're the only one-”

“I didn't say that!” Yoongi laughs, reaching out to slap his thigh, but Jimin only looks at him with a shit-eating smile.

“Admit it, hyung,” he says, “I'm your muse.”

Yoongi thinks of the lyrics nestled away in his notebook, no coherent lines yet, neither rhyme nor rhythm, but still the best he has written this year, and he doesn't find it in himself to object.

“Next time, I'm sitting in the cart,” he decides simply and leans back in his seat.

Chapter Text

Writing together, when it's just the two of them, turns out to be harder than expected.

Perhaps Namjoon had been right and Yoongi is really suffering from writer's block; perhaps the unfamiliar setting throws him off; or perhaps he is just unused to writing in a BTS related context again. It's not the same, of course, but they are aiming to do something distinct, something uniquely them. It won't do to just try to recreate a miniature version of Bangtan. Not to mention that that's an awful idea anyway.

“We could do a studio version of our Tony Montana ,” Jimin offers. He's hanging upside down on the sofa but they've been spitballing ideas for twenty minutes now so his face has grown pretty red. Yoongi would tell him to move but Mochi is sleeping on his stomach and it would probably be a futile attempt anyway. The cat was clearly a queen in this household.

“Hmm,” Yoongi hums non-committedly, “Only if you rewrite your lyrics.”

Jimin pulls a grimace. From this perspective it almost looks like a smile.

“I'm not good with this,” he moans theatrically, “I sing and dance and look pretty. I'm a canvas, not an artist.”

“If you are just going to make self-deprecating comments, you might as well shut your face,” Yoongi warns him.

Jimin's lips purse and his eyes shift to the side.

“Fine,” he says, and then again, “Fine. If you think it's so easy, how come you've been having trouble with your lyrics?”

“Uh,” Yoongi says intelligently, “I haven't-”

“Don't bullshit me, hyung.” Jimin crosses his arms over his chest, made more difficult by how he is trying not to jostle Mochi with the movement. “A lot of the tracks you showed me were gold. Why not write lyrics for them and actually release something?”

Yoongi has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from either snapping or smiling. Jimin had always been too perceptive for his own good. And Yoongi... Yoongi owes him the truth.

“Agust D was always meant to be a part of me,” he tries to explain, though it is difficult to put into words. “More than a pseudonym or a stage persona. It's what I... what I wanted to be.”

Badass and brazen. Daring. Devious. Agust D was an outlet, and then an escape from the confining aspects of being an idol. He produced his own songs, wrote his own thoughts. It felt right.

He had believed that, when Bangtan split ways, Agust D was with what he wanted to continue, lone wolf and all that, belated teenage rebellion and lingering insecurities.

But then, after the army, he had realized that he didn't want to be Agust D 24/7 either.

Now, he grinds his jaw, swallows.

“But...,” he says, “I want to be more than just me.”

Finally, Jimin is slowly turning himself upright again. Mochi stays asleep in his arms, but the blood drains from his face and leaves his cheeks mottled with red. He looks silly like this, but also contemplative.

“That's... that's my problem, too,” he admits haltingly. “I... I don't know but... I've been having trouble connecting with people. Not just since I came here, but before that, too. I just-”

He breaks off, runs a frustrated hand through his hair, continues. “I keep expecting my friendships to be as deep as it was with all of you. But it never happens.”

Of course it doesn't. And, logically, Yoongi knows that he cannot expect strangers to fill that void. But the hope sits still there at the back of his neck, whispering demands into his ears.

“I keep counting people's flaw instead of their talents,” he agrees with a helpless little gesture of his hand. “That's why I couldn't find anyone to collab with. With you guys... I saw how hard we all worked for it and how we helped each other. Blood, Sweat and Tears, from the first moment to the very last. I know it's unfair, but no one can hold a candle to that.”

For a moment, Jimin is silent, both letting those words sink in and coming up with some of his own.

“You were right before,” he says at length, “About the pop songs. I... I enjoyed them, otherwise I wouldn't have done them. But... none of them appeal to me on the same level that yours and Joonie's work did. That's why I've been modeling so much. Though... that gets pretty old, too.”

He gives a laugh, abashed and too self-aware. His gaze is resting on Mochi as though looking at Yoongi might be a bit too much for the moment. So Yoongi takes the opportunity and just looks at Jimin, this Jimin who is a few years older and self-conscious in old ways wrapped in new fashion. Jimin who speaks perfect English and doesn't seem to have many people to really talk to.

“What do you want to sing about?” Yoongi asks. It's a blunt question and not his usual approach to writing. Normally, the words are there first and then a theme develops all of its own. He just goes with the flow, carried by the currents. Maybe he ought to try something new.

Jimin sighs, tilts his chin up so his head lands on the back rest of the couch.

“I want to write about New York,” he says, his adam's apple moving in his throat. His eyes are closed but Yoongi does not look away from him. “About Busan and Seoul. I want to sing about struggle and success and... I want to sing about love. All the things I love.”

Yoongi licks his lips.

“When was the last time you sang something Korean?” he asks. Jimin stills.

“God,” he says with a chuckle, “In front of an audience? Probably some impromptu mini concert back at the barracks. The other guys wanted some entertainment. I was fun but...”

He shrugs. Fun but not the same.

“And now?” Yoongi wants to know. “Do you want to sing in Korean or in English?”

Finally, Jimin lifts his head, blinks at him.

“Both?” he asks, as though uncertain himself, “Like before, I guess?”

They'd always stuck to Korean with some English here and there, till their very end, something that had surprised many international critics. Because how could music unite so many fans so unanimously when most of them didn't even understand Korean?

They could do that again, Yoongi muses. Or, and that's something he had not really considered before, they could try something he had never much liked personally.

“Half and half,” he says, but Jimin only blinks again.

“Half what?”

“Together we'll do it half and half,” Yoongi decides, “English and Korean.”

“Uuuh,” Jimin says, his eyes shifting to the side. “No offense but your English is...”

He doesn't need to finish the sentence but Yoongi just waves it off anyway.

“You can proof read whatever I write,” he simply points out, “And you'll just write most of the English bits anyway.”

Jimin's mouth opens, a perfect little o-shape. Then he snaps it shut again.

“You want me to write half of our album in English?” he demands, “Are you insane?”

“No.” Yoongi leans back on the couch, suddenly feeling a sense of ease. “I like this idea.”

“Well, I don't,” Jimin huffs, “It's... it's a bad idea.”

“Nope. This is gonna be our album. Our songs. Not just your voice on top of my tracks.”

“I... hyung,” Jimin moans and rubs a hand over his eyes, “I don't- I don't want to...”

“What?” Yoongi challenges, “Write songs with me?”

“Set us up for failure,” Jimin corrects, sounding frustrated.

Yoongi frowns. It was true that, in the past, it had mostly been the Rap Line who contributed to songwriting, with some ideas from the others thrown in here and there. True, too, that even when everyone got to experiment with their tracks and their lyrics, Bang PD usually picked whatever Namjoon or Yoongi had come up with. Was that what had Jimin feel so self-conscious about his own talents in that regard? Or was it something else?

“Failure,” he enunciates carefully, listening to the word as though he were hearing it for the first time. Then he scoffs. “After all those years of success, you're still afraid of failure?”

Jimin just glares at him, though it's a rather feeble attempt.

“We've already been to the top,” Yoongi reminds him blithely, “How about we take the more scenic route now instead of the direct one?”

“This is why you're better at this,” Jimin tells him, “You're good with words. I don't even get that metaphor.”

“You're too stuck on wanting to appeal to a lot of people,” Yoongi points out, “You're thinking like an idol. But fuck that. We're rappers now.”

“I'm not-”

“We're artists,” Yoongi cuts him off, “Who make art. I don't care for that generic shit.”

“... That's not gonna get us into the Top 100,” Jimin notes petulantly.

“Well, neither is just moping around and not producing anything at all.” Yoongi crosses his arms. “One moment you complain about wanting Joonie's deep stuff and then you go and object to doing something a little more experimental. And you call me picky.”

Jimin purses his lips, but it seems that Yoongi struck a nerve.

“Can we start slow?” Jimin asks at length.

“Slow how?”

“I don't know.” Jimin shrugs his shoulders. “Ease me into it. I haven't even tried rapping in ages. Or writing something of my own.”

Yoongi blows out a breath through his nose.

“Okay,” he agrees, “I think I have an idea.”

 

The studio that Jimin booked them for the next few weeks because Yoongi doesn't like sticking to schedules is, at least, adequate.

It takes a while to set everything up, to familiarize themselves with the equipment, but this is just a trial run anyway. In that regard, at least, Jimin is right. They need to ease into it.

Jimin looks... not nervous exactly, but fidgety. Excited. Itching for it. His fingers shake a little as he places the big headphones over his ears, adjusting them. Yoongi watching him carefully through the glass panel, the mixing board spread out in front of him.

They do a sound and mic check, and then Yoongi gives Jimin a thumbs-up. Jimin nods.

The song is old, but still one of Yoongi's favorites. He had released it with Suran, and then done a version with Jin and Jungkook. But the first recording, the first voice overlapping with his own... that had been Jimin's.

Yoongi still has that track saved somewhere in the depths of his files, has a clear enough memory of it. But to now hear how Jimin's voice and style have matured... that is something special indeed.

There's a steadiness to Jimin, a willingness to go out of his comfort zone that is at odds with his previous reluctance. Perhaps it's due to the familiarity of the song itself.

“So far away,” Jimin sussurates, his fingertips delicately perched on the headphones as though they might suddenly fall off. He sings with his eyes closed and with utter abandon. Yoongi grins as he listens.

“Dream,” Jimin chimes in where Yoongi's rap picks up again, and harmonizes with it, “I will be there for your creation until the end of your life.”

It's more than just background vocals. It's his own take on that specific feeling of helpless floundering as you look at the future.

And then Jimin goes and kicks the fucking ball out of the park by rapping along to Yoongi's lines.

Yoongi has to bite his lip to keep himself from laughing out loud.

They'd get their album yet.

 

“'m gonna record my voice track as well,” Yoongi tells him as they go to grab lunch. It's only sandwiches because Yoongi hates interrupting his work, but the fresh air will do them good.

Jimin makes a mildly surprised noise in the back of his throat.

“The original version is over ten years old,” Yoongi reminds him, “I wanna adept it to how you sang.”

Jimin sends him a look from the side, then glances up ahead. The way back to the studio is short but the streets are busy. Not paying attention to where they were going would just make them bump into people.

“But...,” Jimin begins and that hint of insecurity is still there, “It's your song.”

“Yeah, well, we're sharing it now,” Yoongi huffs, “Joint custody or something, so deal with it.”

At that, a little laugh escapes Jimin, but at least he doesn't object again.

For a moment, Yoongi contemplates his next words. Then he plows onward.

“I've been getting bad critics lately,” he reveals, though he suspects Jimin must have read a couple of articles on the matter. “They say I'm nothing without Bangtan.”

Washed-up idol, a particular critic had called him, going on to claim Rap Monster had clearly been the mastermind behind BTS' hit songs. After all, he wrote, that's why Kim Namjoon was still employed at BigHit while Agust D couldn't get out a worthy single to save his life.

“That's not true!” Jimin rushes to tell him and he looks so mortally offended on Yoongi's behalf that Yoongi immediately feels better.

He gives a vague shrug.

“It's kinda true,” he admits, “I haven't exactly managed to distinguish myself with my music.”

He'd always thought the makeup and fan service were going to kill his rep. Other rappers had street cred. Yoongi had aegyo.

“I had a bit of a hard time in the army,” he tags on, gaze raised heavenward. The sky today is overcast. It would be fall soon. “Uhhh, mentally, I mean.”

It had taken him a couple of months to get himself back together, but sometimes he still felt sluggish with it, as though parts of him had gotten lost along the way. Maybe they had.

“But I'm trying,” he nods to himself, as though this were a soliloquy instead of a confession, “And we're gonna write some bomb songs together, you hear me?”

When he finally glances over, Jimin is stoutly holding on to their bag of takeout, his fingers digging into the thin plastic.

“Hyung,” he says, his shoulders hunched up slightly, “Did you bring your notebook?”

“Uh, sure?” Yoongi says. He'd left it at the studio but that was only one block away now.

“Good,” Jimin nods decisively, “Because I have an idea for a song.”

 


 

 

                                              

 

Chapter Text

 

There is a large mirror front opposite of the windows and the sunlight reflecting off of the surface dances across the hardwood floor with each movement. Because Jimin is dancing, too.

He's twisting and turning, his gaze barely straying from his own in the mirror, each movement executed with lethal precision, as though the music were following him instead of the other way around.

He has the training and the years upon years of experience, of course, but he also has that edge, that instinct that Yoongi always quietly envied him for, trying to emulate his style but never coming close to pulling it off.

Right now, however, Yoongi is simply lounging in the hammock and enjoying both his coffee and the show. It's easy to get lost in his admiration, like a walking through an art gallery and sinking into a certain masterpiece, not even to discern its meaning but simply in appreciation of its beauty.

In one fluid move, Jimin goes down on his knees, swivels around his own axis and comes up to his feet again, a body roll, an eloquent gesture of his arms as though yearning toward the sky.

He's only wearing a loose crop top and his sweatpants are hanging low on his hips, so the move highlights how his spine stretches, then bends, another twist, a jump, a landing, a pirouette, and Yoongi cannot help but let out an encouraging cheer.

Maybe he shouldn't have done it, seeing as it seems to break Jimin's concentration, but it's worth Jimin's answering smile when he comes to a stop and turns to look at Yoongi.

“Wanna join?” Jimin asks, pushing his hair out of his damp forehead. His eyebrow cocks up as though to comment on Yoongi's own laziness.

Yoongi, of course, simply snorts. “Yeah, right, and make an ass out of myself.”

Jimin pulls a face. “You always danced well.”

“After Hobi put me through the wringer, sure,” Yoongi shrugs. “But that was ages ago. I haven't danced in...”

“In...?” Jimin prompts curiously.

“In ages,” Yoongi claims. “I'm rusty.”

“I bet it hasn't been that long,” Jimin teases. “I bet you still dance in your bedroom when you think no one is home.”

“There's never anyone home,” Yoongi huff. “I live on my own.”

“So that must mean you dance all the time,” Jimin chirps, putting on a bright smile as though he had just won some sort of battle of wits.

“How about this,” he adds, picking up his phone from the floor. The Bluetooth is connected to the large sound system and, at a push of his finger, the music stops. And yet Yoongi can feel the apprehension rise in his guts as he sees Jimin determined staring down at the screen, searching through the files.

“No,” Yoongi says and Jimin glances up.

“Huh? I haven't even said anything yet!”

“But I know that look on your face and it means you're up to no good.”

“Please!” Jimin pouts, “It's gonna be fun!”

And with those words, a new song starts up.

“No,” Yoongi says again, when he realizes what it is.

“Come on , hyung,” Jimin begs, hopping over to him and grabbing his hand. He gives a tug, sudden enough that Yoongi almost falls out of the hammock and barely catches himself.

“I don't even remember the steps anymore,” Yoongi claims, his hand clenched in the rough canvas as the hammock keeps swinging back and forth while Jimin remains relentless.

“There are videos,” Jimin reminds him, “And I can teach you. I'm a good teacher.”

He was. Hoseok had been, too, of course, which was why he had gone on to work as a choreographer at BigHit; but Jimin had always been a little more patient, a little more empathetic in figuring out why someone was struggling with a certain move.

“We should be working on our album,” Yoongi points out, “No time to fool around.”

“Think of it as promo work - we can make another vlog,” Jimin says eagerly, “The fans will love that.”

“Agust D doesn't dance,” Yoongi moans, though this time he does let himself be pulled to his feet.

“Then what about Min Yoongi?” Jimin asks. “Don't be a spoilsport, hyung. Live a little.”

Perhaps he is remembering their conversation from a few days ago. Perhaps he recalls how Yoongi was still trying out to be himself sometimes. But would their old choreographies help with that? Would recording everything and putting it on the internet make him feel better?

“Death would be kinder,” Yoongi grumbles but he still follows Jimin over to the mirrors.

“I'm gonna get my camera!” Jimin tells him and then runs off to his bedroom. He return with his tripod which he sets up a little off to the side and at an angle so that it films their reflections rather than just their backs.

Yoongi pulls a face.

“You're gonna document everything?” he asks. “Can't we just do the final product?”

“Now, where'd be the fun in that?” Jimin grins. “Let's see how much you still remember.”

“The easy bit,” Yoongi says and simply sits on the floor where he is quickly joined by Jimin, both of them lying on their backs. Jimin had put the song on repeat and by now it's starting up again.

“Fall – everything. Fall – everything. Fall – everything,” the words thrum through the loft, as Yoongi waits for his cue.

“Because of you, I’m becoming ruined,” he cannot help but mouth along to his lines, pushing himself up so that he is sitting again. “I wanna stop, I don’t want you anymore. I can’t do it, this sucks.”

“Please don’t give me any excuses,” Jimin chimes in cheekily, rolling his eyes at him. He sits up as well, both of them coming up on one knee, and then standing. The beginning really is easy, the movements slow enough that Yoongi barely fumbles them. But slow always meant that mistakes were more noticeable, especially as he is watching himself in the mirror.

He moves upfront, does a little twirl, and then towards the back, while Jimin rotates forward. Then the chorus begins and Yoongi, though unwilling to admit that maybe Jimin had been right and this was turning out to be kind of fun, cannot help but belt out the lyrics.

“I need you, girl!” he shouts because, if Jimin stole his lyrics, then Yoongi totally got to do the same. “Why am I in love alone, why am I hurting alone?! I need you, girl! Why do I keep needing you when I know I'll get hurt?!”

Jimin is laughing already, but that doesn't keep him from smoothly going along with the moves. Yoongi is surprised by how well he himself keeps up, but muscle memory is probably playing a big part. Their former dance instructor had drilled it into them that they always needed to be able to perform without hesitation, even if he were to wake them in the middle of the night and just toss them out of bed, and his training had been accordingly rigorous. It had come in handy during Weekly Idol 's Random Dance challenges, and now it was paying off as well.

There are a few moments when he stumbles, when he flubs a certain step or doesn't quite know what his hands are supposed to be doing, but then he simply watches Jimin instead and manages to join back in. With just the two of them, the dance looks somewhat less impressive, and Yoongi cannot help but notice the blanks where the other members would be moving alongside him, but he still thinks they pull it off reasonably well.

“That was awful, hyung,” Jimin tells him when they are done. “I'm disappointed.”

“Fuck you, Park Jimin,” Yoongi shoots back immediately. “You probably do shit like this all the time as a 'light warm-up' or something.”

Yes, maybe he is being petty, and yes, he has to do air quotes with that, but Jimin is poking fun at him, so Yoongi is justified in returning the favor.

“Good idea, actually,” Jimin says, “Let's do a proper warm-up. You look like you can barely touch your toes.”

“I can touch my toes just fine,” Yoongi claims, pulling up on leg and bending it at the knee so he can easily grab his foot.

“You're a disgrace,” Jimin scoffs. “Twenty jumping jacks, now. Go!”

Yoongi just stares at him. Jimin stares back.

“Oh my God, you're being serious,” Yoongi mutters but then does as he is told. “We're editing that out, though.”

“And rob ARMYs of giffing the hell out of you looking dumb? I don't think so.”

So they go through a warm-up which makes Yoongi realize that, while he himself had always focused on strength and endurance, his flexibility has seriously gone down the drain in recent years. Then they do the choreography once more, modifying it a little so it works better for just two people. Jimin pushes and prods at him, catching his mistakes with eagle eyes, and then needling him until he gets it right.

“Your pelvis, hyung,” Jimin insists, rolling his own hips, going down on one knee and rolling again. “You need to use your pelvis.”

“My pelvis is attached to my spine and my spine doesn't work that way,” Yoongi complains. “I'm too old for this.”

“Oh please.” Jimin shakes his head as he gets up again. “It's easy.”

“It's not.”

“Look.” Jimin sighs and makes to demonstrate everything once more. Roll and roll, down, thrust thrust thrust. “Just like sex.”

Yoongi nearly chokes on his spit.

“Yeah, sure,” he says, looking away.

He'd never really paid attention to whatever the other members got up to, especially since they were idols and never really got up to much of anything. But, logically, he knows that Jimin has had years to become a little more experienced in that entire department.

Perhaps Jimin can tell that this is out of Yoongi's comfort zone because he doesn't keep nagging, just pushes himself up and nods to himself.

“Okay,” he says, “Let's go again.”

They dance until they are both panting with exertion, until Yoongi takes off his hoodie and tosses it aside, until they keep slipping on the floor because it's wet. They dance until the moves feel natural again, until their bodies are thrumming with it, until the music fades to more of an afterthought and the steps happen all of their own.

Yoongi can feel his tank top sticking to his sweat-soaked back, his hair uncomfortably plastered to his forehead. His knees and ankles which had been clicking when they first started, have acquiesced and are easily carrying his weight. And Yoongi enjoys it, revels in how alive it makes him feel. His favorite part, though, the part that makes him grin giddily when he and Jimin meet eyes in the mirror, is how perfectly in sync they both are.

In a group of seven, there was always someone who was just slightly off-beat, just a split second too late or too early, whose foot was a little unsteady or whose arm moved too jerkily. With just the two of them, though, those margins for errors fade away. Because they are of similar height, it looks even better, as though they were both cast in the same mold.

Finally, Jimin declares them ready. They do another water break, towel themselves dry, and Jimin runs a mop over the floor so there are no more accidents.

And then they roll.

This time, they do not laugh. This time, they're all business. This is just another stage, another time for them to be at their absolute best.

And perfection had scared Yoongi, had left him paralyzed with fear on his worst days, but now he finds himself craving it. This is something he can excel at, something that holds no consequences beyond the moment.

For a few precious minutes, it is as though the birds on his arms were carrying him on their wings, his own self near weightless, hollow-boned and feather-light. And when the song ends, the feeling of elation does not go away.

 

They shower, quickly and perfunctorily, and then Jimin gets out his laptop and they dedicate themselves to editing everything. They had nearly two hours of footage but it's not tedious to go through all of it, picking out the best bits. There's their banter and their little mishaps, like when Jimin had slipped and landed flat on his ass, or how Mochi suddenly showed up and decided to make Yoongi stumble. At one point, Yoongi had made a wrong turn and ran straight into Jimin who then ran into the mirror and left a huge greasy stain which he cleaned while Yoongi gave a running commentary of huge sweaty and smelly real-life Jimin was and what a burden it was to be living with him again.

They include the entirety of their first run-through and now, with something to compare it to, Yoongi realizes that Jimin had been right. That initial attempt had been awful, really, just a shadow of what they used to pull off at concerts all the time.

The final product is much much better. Swift and articulate in the way the motions fit the lyrics, an underlying anger to all of it, a desperation, like lashing out at the one who hurt you first, and their twin expressions of feigned indifference manage to sell the story beautifully.

They decide against recording an additional message to explain anything and Jimin simply updates the video to his channel and titles it Throwback Thursday, even though it is actually a Wednesday. Give the fans something to puzzle over; they'd always seemed to enjoy that.

“We should do that everyday,” Jimin decides when they are done and he snaps his laptop shut. “It's a good workout.”

“Fuck no,” Yoongi snorts. “We'd never get anything else done.”

“That being said,” Jimin yawns, “Movie marathon?”

“Ugh.” Yoongi pulls a face. “Another of those American action flicks?”

“I was thinking that we could watch some of Jin-hyung's movies, actually.”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “You own all his DVDs, don't you?”

“Blue-Rays,” Jimin returns sweetly, “Directly imported from Korea.”

“Figures,” Yoongi snorts but leans back to make himself comfortable anyway. “Lay it on me then, oh greatest fanboy of all.”

Jimin just sticks his tongue out at him and then gets up, searching through his shelf.

“Do you feel like... romance, thriller, family drama, cop drama or the fairy tale one?”

Yoongi barks out a laugh. The fairy tale one had been a riot and he'd make sure that it would haunt Seokjin forever.

“Let's start with the thriller and work our way up,” he says now. He never managed to pay attention for long anyway, so it was probably a good idea to pick something more lighthearted for later.

Jimin puts the Blue-Ray into the slot and fires up the large TV before sitting down on the couch once more. He seems to contemplate for a moment and then scoots closer, leaning into Yoongi's side.

“This is a scary one,” he explains when Yoongi sends him a sideways look. Yoongi refrains from making fun of him for it which turns out to be a good decision because the movie does actually end up being quite scary.

Jin is playing an ambitious med student who one day comes home to find his fiancée has been brutally murdered in their bed. Grief-stricken, he is appalled to realize the police treat him as a prime suspect but instead goes on a quest to find the true killer. The soundtrack and bleak coloring of the entire movie already has Yoongi on edge, but Jin's acting is also on point, unsettling in how utterly still and cold his face goes in some scenes, as though all emotion had been sucked out of it. And it's weird to see him like this, because they'd all been accustomed to Jin's perfect facade, the one where each flutter of his lashes, each slow turn of his head was calculated to slay whoever dared to look at him. But this is different. This is a Jin who makes Yoongi gulp and grind his teeth.

He can feel Jimin tensing against him now and then, and his own hand instinctively circles around Jimin's wrist. Underneath his thumb, Jimin's pulse is racing, as though in tune with the music.

At some point, Mochi joins them as well, easily jumping up onto the sofa and making an ordeal of picking a place to sit. Lately, she's been warming up to Yoongi, even lets him pet her every now and again, but he cannot help but hold his breath when she now unexpectedly curls up in his lap.

“She likes you,” Jimin whispers, never taking his eyes off the screen, and Yoongi only makes a high-pitched noise in the back of his throat as Mochi's claws dig through his sweats and into his thighs.

On screen, Jin's alter ego turns out to have been the murderer all along, because he found out that his fiancée had been cheating on him with his brother. Possibly, because Jin had already been emotionally abusing her beforehand. Instead of the police actually arresting him, however, he manages to frame his brother for her murder, until even their own parents buy into it. His brother is locked away and disowned while his fiancée is carried to her grave. The movie ends with Jin holding a eulogy at her funeral, shedding beautiful tears as he speaks her name. Her mother thinks he's innocent, his parents think he's innocent, their mutual friends think he's innocent. Like this, it's an easy thing for Jin to convince himself that he's innocent, too.

“Damn,” is Yoongi's final verdict.

“Yup,” Jimin agrees. “When I first watched it on my own, I had to call Jin-hyung in a panic to make sure he really wasn't a cold-blooded killer.”

Yoongi bites back a laugh. “And did he manage to convince you?”

“Yeah, he told me the Top Ten of his dad jokes. Nearly turned me into a murderer myself, to be honest.”

“God, that would have been so much scarier. You know, just him, going around and killing people but telling his shitty jokes the whole time.”

“You should pitch that idea to a studio. Sounds like a great script.”

“Method acting as done by Kim Seokjin.”

Jimin chuckles, sits up on the couch, leaving a cold strip along Yoongi's side.

“Should I put on the fairy tale one?” he asks. “And maybe get us a snack?”

“Yes, please,” Yoongi says and grins.

 



THROWBACK THURSDAY

Because normal workouts are too boring, Yoongi-hyung and I decided to do something a little different for fun. This is for you, ARMY!

 

Leave a comment below

This looks so wrong when it's not all seven of them T__T

    better than nothing

omg, Jimin in a crop top, I can die happy now

    LOOK AT THOSE ABS

        lmao, Yoongi certainly was looking

I hope the others sometimes still sing and dance to their old songs, too

that reminds me of that article that said Taehyung's been teaching his army buddies the Fire choreography

    omg lol I hope someone filmed that

        imagine being a sergeant or sth and walking in on your men all going “FIRE!!1!” :'D

dat hip roll tho

    I think i'm pregnant now

they are having so much fun together, i'm so happy

    Agust D: "I don't dance anymore, I'm a rapper, not an idol."

    Jimin: "Pretty please?"

    Agust D: "Okay, pick a song."

        That's probably how it went, yeah

When Suga started fucking yelling the song, I literally fell out of my chair laughing

    I love how he grows more and more serious as they go along. By the last run-through they     are both back in their stage personas

        aka hot as fuck

hhhnnnggg, yoongi in that tank top is pure sin

    I want to lick the sweat off his tattoos

        omg same

honestly, that entire choreo ought to be illegal

    Yes, hello, 911? I'd like to report my own murder

that's it, I'm going to binge watch all of their old dance practices

Chapter Text

In September, it turns unexpectedly cold and Yoongi is himself unpleasantly caught off guard. He'd packed his suitcase for more of a short summer vacation and now finds himself shivering whenever they leave the house.

They've been sticking to the loft and the studio, making good progress in their work. There are some failed attempts, lines that lead to nowhere, beats that end up getting scrapped, but that is the nature of art. After his last album which was, admittedly, a bit all over the place, like dipping his fingers into different styles but never making the most of it, Yoongi wants to create something more concise, something that tells a story. Sometimes, you just have to rewrite the pages.

This afternoon, they are taking a bit of a break, though. They had worked late last night and then Jimin had had a meeting with his manager this morning. Now, they are just lounging around on the couch, music turned down low and Mochi lying on the cushions between them.

“Hey,” Jimin says, suddenly looking up from his phone on which he had been furiously texting with someone. “Do you want to go out for lunch?”

“Uhh,” Yoongi says, “Not necessarily? Why, you hungry?”

“A friend of mine's back in town. She's asking whether I have time.”

Yoongi shrugs. They still have leftovers in the fridge that he could just warm up later. “You can go.”

But Jimin, to his surprise, frowns.

“Oh,” he says, looking back down at his phone.

“What?”

“I thought... you could come along?” Jimin tries. “You don't have to, of course.”

It's not the first time Yoongi would meet one of Jimin's American friends, but that had always been in a professional context. Not to mention that, considering his lacking language skills, he couldn't help but feel a little left out, never contributing much to the conversations.

“But I'm sure she'd like to meet you,” Jimin adds and, yup, there are those puppy dog eyes that Yoongi only knows too well.

He sighs. “What kind of rumors have you been spreading about me, Park Jimin?”

“Only the best ones.”

“Give me a sample.”

“That you are ripped,” Jimin tells him. “That you can bench-press Kookie without breaking a sweat. That your aegyo is the absolute cutest.”

“Adequate . ” Yoongi nods, setting his book aside. “Okay, I'll join you. But you'll need to lend me some clothes. I don't wanna catch my death out there.”

So Jimin texts back his friend to agree on a time and place, and then they rifle through his rather impressive wardrobe, trying to pick some good outfits. Jimin is a familiar face in NYC and, with the online hype after their vlogs, they know that paparazzi are likely to spot them at some point. They could try to hide or choose to leave an impression – and when it comes down to that, it isn't much of a question.

“I don't think I've spent this much time thinking about clothes since we all lived together,” Yoongi says, thrown down on Jimin's comforter as he tries to pull on a pair of skinny jeans. He and Jimin have the same size, so that's neat, but he wonders how Jimin manages to force his dancer's legs into these torture devices.

Jimin chuckles, glancing at him through the mirror that covers the front of the wardrobe. “I kind of miss that,” he admits. “Every day felt like a sleepover.”

Beauty routines, talking about feelings, going to bed late at night. Yeah, looking back, there definitely had been some similarities.

“You wanna do that tonight?” Yoongi teases, once he has successfully buttoned the jeans and rolled off the bed again. “Watch romcoms, paint each others' nails and put cucumber slices on our eyes?”

“How would we watch the movies if we can't see?” Jimin chuckles, reaching inside his closet. “Do you want a plaid shirt?”

“Nah,” Yoongi says, peering past him and plucking a powdery blue sweater from the shelf. “What's this one?”

“Oh, that- that's-” Jimin begins with a laugh and doesn't have to finish because the sweater unfolds in Yoongi's hands, revealing a white kitty stitched on its front.

“You should wear it,” Jimin tells him mirthfully, “I think it would bring out your eyes.”

“I haven't worn anything this disgustingly cute since that photoshoot for our last album,” Yoongi notes with pinched lips because the fuzzy thing reeks of aegyo. But it feels very warm and soft, and Yoongi's favorite color is blue. He pulls the sweater over his head and, this time, Jimin only smiles.

 

The Ethiopian restaurant they picked is in Little Italy, so they decide against taking a cab, although it is still a thirty minute walk. The wind is brisk, gaining force between the canyons of the tall buildings and Yoongi is glad for the peacoat Jimin gave him. Jimin himself is wearing a Henley with a plaid shirt and a sleek leather jacket above it, apparently less fazed by the cold itself and more upset that his hair won't stay in place.

Jimin also hadn't explained much about his friend, apart from the fact that her name is Adeku and that she is also a model, though a few years younger than him. So when they make it to their meeting point, Yoongi is content to hang back a little and let Jimin jog ahead, calling out when he spots her standing next to a fire hydrant, dressed in a similarly scarlet red coat.

Adeku Obia turns out to be a tall black woman whose face looks as though it had been carved out of marble by a Renaissance sculptor. She's wearing heels, too, so she has to bend down a little when she and Jimin greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. Her handshake, when she turns to Yoongi, is firm and reassuring.

“Please, call me Adeku,” she says, and Yoongi bobs his head in acknowledgment.

“Yoongi,” he offers in turn and then they are already filing into the restaurant, being welcomed by a hostess and shown to a table. They slip off their coats and throw them over the one remaining chair, Jimin sitting down next to Yoongi and Adeku across from them, all of them perusing the menus that one of the waiters brings them.

The names of the dishes are all completely foreign, but he makes out that there is a lot of meat and vegetables involved as he carefully runs his fingers along the lines, mouthing along to the English descriptions, trying to figure out what he likes.

The waiter returns to bring them tall glasses of water and take their additional drink orders, firing off an arsenal of pleasant phrases before he leaves them alone again.

“How was Europe?” Jimin asks Adeku because she had apparently participated in some fashion week event in London and then Paris and also done some smaller additional gigs here and there.

“Good,” she says, with a nod. “I had a lot of fun. The food is good, better than here, and the people are interesting. I think I'll go back soon.”

She goes on to describe some things, little cafés and other models and a street artist she saw in Rome, with Jimin throwing in some questions and Yoongi listening carefully.

Adeku has an accent that he cannot quite pinpoint, but she also speaks very slowly and deliberately so that he has no problems understanding her. She has a calming aura about her, in the way she exposes her wrist as she reaches for her glass of water, how she looks at him with steady eyes as he fumbles his English into coherent sentences.

“Where are you from?” he asks her at length because he can tell that she hasn't been in the US for long either.

“Nigeria,” she replies with a smile like an unfurling flower. “I came here two years ago.”

Yoongi nods. He doesn't know much about most African countries, but she does not seem to expect him to.

“Are you planning to stay here?” she asks in turn and Yoongi shakes his head.

“We make the album,” he says. “Then I go to Korea.”

“Ah,” Adeku nods, but not without sending a small glance at Jimin. “Are you going to tour together?”

“Oh,” Jimin says, looking surprised, but then he is already turning toward Yoongi. “We hadn't really... discussed that yet.”

The look in his eyes is not quite expectant but still tentatively hopeful, as though he didn't dare demand any more out of the context of their new work-relationship, and with good reason, too, in a way.

With his last album, Yoongi hadn't really gone on tour, except for a few gigs around Korea. Performing on his own, however, had been even more exhausting than in a group of seven, even if there were no crazy choreographies involved. By the end of it, he had been holding on by the skin of his teeth, and he doesn't think he'd like to repeat the experience.

But, he muses now, he'd very much like to share a stage with Jimin again.

“We can tour,” he says, giving a small nod. “If you have time.”

The smile that breaks across Jimin's face is like the birth of a star, sudden and bright.

“I have time,” he says, and his cheeks must be hurting from how far his lips are stretched. “I'll always have time.”

“Good,” Yoongi agrees, trying to sound nonchalant but failing terribly. When their food finally arrives, he hides his own giddy grin behind big mouthfuls of spicy meat, and allows his mind to wander.

 

Their lunch passes quickly. Yoongi is jarringly reminded of how just staying put in a restaurant and spending time with easy conversation is not really done in America. Their waiter brings them the bill before they have even finished eating, so they all end up deciding against ordering dessert, getting ready to leave.

Adeku excuses herself to the ladies' room, and Jimin pushes his napkin around on the table.

“Do you really mean it?” he asks, not looking up from his nervous fingers and Yoongi has to lean to the side a little so he can properly frown at him.

“Mean what?” he asks.

“That you want to go touring,” Jimin says . “I don't want you to think that this is any sort of obligation.”

“Hah, you think I don't know what I'm in for?” Yoongi asks and kicks against his ankle to get him out of his strop. “We've traveled the world together, in case you forgot.”

At that, Jimin gives a small exhale, not a laugh, really, but the memory of one.

“World tour may be a bit much, though,” Yoongi acknowledges, propping his chin up on his hand. “Korea and America, I think. Maybe Japan. We'll see.”

They'd have to contact their managers, talk about schedules and venues and promotional work. Not to mention that they first need to finish the album; Yoongi will settle for nothing less than perfection.

“Will you stop fidgeting,” he chides, plucking the napkin from Jimin's hands and tossing it onto the other side of the table. “Why are you so on edge?”

“Just excited, I guess,” Jimin says, running a hand through his hair, though his shoulders slump a little.

“You're overthinking everything,” Yoongi notes, though he knows it's rich coming from him. “Try to focus on what we're doing now and then everything will fall into place.”

“Gee, hyung, I always knew you were the true sunshine of the group,” Jimin teases, but he sounds much less maudlin than before, so Yoongi will take what he can get.

“Careful,” he warns, bringing up a hand to pinch the back of Jimin's neck. “Just 'cause you're some hotshot model now, doesn't mean you can get all uppity.”

Jimin snickers but doesn't object, and Yoongi keeps his fingers where they are, caressing the warm skin. If there was one thing he missed about rooming with six rambunctious boys, it was that there was never a shortage of casual physical affection. He had never been the most cuddly of the bunch , but throwing your arm around someone's shoulders and brushing your knuckles against theirs could go a long way sometimes.

It is in that precise moment that Adeku returns from the toilets and, when she sees them, she gives them a knowing look. She had been doing that throughout their meal, too, when Yoongi and Jimin had ended up sharing some of their food with each other, and when Yoongi simply drank from Jimin's glass before the waiter even had a chance to refill his water.

It wasn't the first time people here had commented on how close they were, and even Jimin's friends seemed surprised by how often they touched each other without a second thought. Jimin had explained to Yoongi that, though the idea of the personal bubble was not as extreme in New York City, Americans still tended to value their space, and the concept of skinship was rather foreign to them, especially in public and between two grown man.

Yoongi had rolled his eyes and seen no reason to change his own behavior. Jimin may have to maintain a more distanced relationship with his co-workers here as to appear professional, but that did not mean that the two of them couldn't revert to former habits.

“Jimin,” Adeku says now, as they slip their coats back on and put their wallets away. “Your birthday is soon.”

“Yes,” Jimin laughs. “In a month. Thirty is practically ancient.”

“Yah!” Yoongi complains, lightly whacking him over the head. After all, he is even older; and this was just their international age.

“That's not what I meant!” Jimin hurries to say, quickly ducking out of Yoongi's reach. “But I'm a model - I have an expiration date.”

“Bullshit,” Yoongi frowns. “Not to mention that you're going back to making good music. Your looks are secondary.”

“Such a charmer.” Jimin rolls his eyes, turning back to Adeku. “I'll probably host a little party,” he tells her. “You're invited, of course.”

“Of course,” she agrees, a twinkle in her velvet eyes. “I'll bring some alcohol.”

“Only the good stuff,” he reminds her. She smiles, and perhaps there must be a private joke between them.

“Only the good stuff,” she echoes, and then she is kissing his cheek again. Yoongi, somehow, cannot help but feel a little left out, even as she foregoes the handshake and simply kisses his cheek as well.

“It was so good to finally meet you in person,” she says warmly. “We should do this again sometimes.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi says lamely, his brain scrambling together a variety of ways to say goodbye, but then the moment passes and he misses his chance. Adeku doesn't seem to mind, though, just sends him another smile and then she is already hailing a cab and off to a meeting with her agent.

Yoongi and Jimin start on their way back to the loft, hands in their pockets and eyes on the road ahead of them.

“She seems nice,” Yoongi says at length because he thinks Jimin will be happy to hear it. It's no hardship, really. So far, he had liked most of Jimin's people here well enough, but Adeku had been particularly pleasant from what little Yoongi could glean during their short meeting.

“She is,” Jimin agrees, bobbing his head. “Honestly, without her I wouldn't have survived here. For the first few months, I was close to just giving up and going back home.”

Yoongi clicks his tongue in sympathy. “That bad?”

“Not even bad, just... challenging in a way I thought I had outgrown. There was still the language barrier, and culture clashes, and the simple fact that I couldn't land a lot of jobs.” His nose scrunches up, more annoyed than anything else. Yoongi is well aware that there aren’t a lot of Asian musicians in the American scene, and going from an an internationally acclaimed idol to 'that Korean guy' must have have taken its toll.

“It's good that you found friends here,” Yoongi knows. He suspects no one else would ever measure up to what the members had shared, but that didn't mean that other connections were to be dismissed. And, he reminds himself, at some point they would all have to move on from their shared past.

“Actually,” Jimin says, the words falling out of him in a rush, “Adeku and I used to date.”

Yoongi trips over a crack in the sidewalk.

“What?” he chokes out, throwing Jimin a wide-eyed look when he manages to catch himself. “When? How ?”

Jimin gives an embarrassed laugh, ducks his head. “Back when I first came here. Pretty much right off the bat. Didn't last all that long, though.”

“How am I only hearing about that now?” Yoongi asks, flabbergasted. Jungkook sure as hell had never stopped bragging about his conquests, especially since they were all at least five years older than him.

“It didn't seem so important at the time, in the grand scheme of things,” Jimin says, though he does look chagrined. “I was... trying very hard to make myself at home here, and I thought constantly updating all of you on everything would only make me feel more uprooted.”

It takes Yoongi a moment to make sense of those words because they seem so at odds with the Park Jimin he knows but, if he really thinks about it, he is not surprised.

Regular cellphones had not been allowed in the barracks, and vacation days were far and few between. It was difficult enough to keep in touch with their families, let alone with the members who were stationed elsewhere or still living on an idol schedule.

And then, when they had all gotten back together in Seoul, Jungkook and Taehyung in the middle of a tour, Seokjin gearing up for a new movie, Jimin had hit them with a harebrained explanation of wanting to explore new horizons and trying his luck in the States. He left only a few weeks later, packed his bags and went, but it's only now that Yoongi really begins to ponder the strangeness of it all.

He had noticed, in an abstract way, that Jimin had been rather quiet during his first few months in the US, that he sent some pictures of his apartment and favorite spots around the city, but little else. It was that as though, now that Bangtan officially no longer worked together, he didn't feel the need to share his private life with them either.

Yoongi thinks that maybe he should have paid more attention, that he should have grown suspicious at Jimin's radio silence, but the truth is that he himself had needed all the help he could get.

During the severe strain his service put on him, he had been praying for it to be finally over , but then, instead of faced with freedom, he only found himself lost at sea, not knowing what to do with himself. Reeling in the aftermath of his mental breakdown, he had more or less locked himself away in his parents' house, unable to do much of anything.

Eventually, between sessions with his therapist and long phone calls with Seokjin, he had managed to get his footing back under him. Yet during that time, he realizes, he had lost track of what exactly the others were doing.

“Still,” he insists now. “You should've- you could at least have told us you were in love.”

Another laugh from Jimin, this one a bit weak.

“I don't think we were in love,” he says and purses his lips, seeming to think for a moment. “Adeku and I were both new to the States and... I guess we needed a little comfort. It wasn't so much that we wanted to be with each other but that we just wanted to be with someone, anyone at all.”

Yoongi squints, trying to understand that explanation. He doesn't quite get it, he thinks, but close enough. Jimin had always been an extroverted, affectionate person. Throwing him into unfamiliar surroundings without a friend would leave him hungering for some replacement. And in a pinch, a cheap facsimile of love had to do.

“But then you broke up?” Yoongi asks carefully because he doesn't think he has anything more constructive to offer. Jimin doesn't seem to mind and simply nods in agreement.

“We admitted that we were better off as friends and there were no hard feelings, considering that we both kind of went into it with the same intentions. Things have been so much better since then. In the beginning, everything was so stilted and strange. I had no idea how to date, honestly, so half of the time I just felt bad for her.”

Yoongi swallows, mulls it over.

“And... since then?” he tries. “Any other girlfriends I should know about?”

“Hmm,” Jimin hums, “I've been with a few people. Nothing long-term, though. Sometimes I think idol life ruined that for me.”

They'd gained so much, but also given up a lot of things that were so natural for other men their age. It was difficult to catch up to those experiences, impossible even, but Yoongi had never seen a reason to cry over the lack of romance in his life, then or now.

But suddenly, he finds himself reevaluating all that he has seen of Jimin's life in New York so far. Each time he liked someone's post on Instagram or texted on his phone, each time he kissed a friend on the cheek or talked to a colleague, those might well have been love interests of Jimin, current, former or future, and Yoongi does not quite know what to do with that.

“Are you... seeing anyone right now?” he asks, though he is not sure whether he actually wants to know. He's been here for a few weeks so surely he would have noticed if Jimin had some kind of girlfriend.

At that question, Jimin glances over at him, surprised. Then he smiles and nudges Yoongi with his elbow.

“I'm rather busy with you, aren't I, hyung?” he asks with a cheeky wink.

Immediately, the strange kind of worry in the pit of Yoongi's stomach deflates and morphs into mild annoyance.

“That doesn't mean anything,” he grumbles. “Don't let me keep you from dating anyone.”

“I want to focus on our album,” Jimin claims. “My first love was music, too, you know?”

“Liar,” Yoongi says . “You were a dancer first.”

“And I danced to music, in case you hadn't noticed.”

The rest of the walk home passes with easy bickering and Yoongi cannot help but feel relieved.


 

 

Min Yoongi and Park Jimin seen in Little Italy, accompanied by model Adeku Obia | Amino

[x] [x] [x]

Adeku is so gorgeous, omg

    they were such a pretty couple T__T

        I don't like it when the guy's shorter than the girl

            why are people so hung up on height? The plan's to just get      horizontal anyway, right?

                :'D good point, I never thought of it like that

Boyfriend clothes! Just like in the old days \o/

    Omfg, they're not gay, jimin dated adeku

        ever heard of bisexuals?

            Still doesn't mean it's a date, who the fuck would take their bf on a date with their old gf?

                Threesome?

I love that Jimin could've given Yoongi literally any sweater, but Yoongi ended up wearing the one with the kitten on it

    Who says Yoongi wasn't the one who picked it lol

I wish I lived in a place where you just randomly run into famous people :(

    I still think it's creepy to just whip out your phone and start filming celebs without     permission. Like, that should be considered stalking

        Imo it's worse when it's paps who actually make money of it

            true :|

I still think Adeku was just Jimin's beard or something and that they didn't actually date

        why???

            because he pretty much /fled/ from Korea? It's almost like he was trying to cover up some sort of scandal back home, like, I dunno, liking guys?

                Omfg, what a reach

                    not everyone/everything is gay, y'all

                        Well, not everything is straight either, so.

 

Chapter Text

One Friday evening, when the sky outside is looking a little drear, Jimin tells Yoongi to dress up because they are going out.

“I have a surprise,” he says and Yoongi pulls a face.

“I hate surprises,” he claims because it's usually the truth.

Jimin, however, is not deterred. “I got us ticket for a show.”

“Is it a Jay Z concert?” Yoongi wants to know because that is pretty much the only thing that would count as a pleasant surprise in his book.

“No,” Jimin says, hands on his hips. “It's a Broadway musical.”

“Ugh,” Yoongi turns his nose up. “I hate musicals.”

“Not this one,” Jimin promises, and then needles him into getting ready anyway, but Yoongi complains on the entire way to the venue.

He doesn't think he's ever seen a live musical, apart from the occasional school production, and he thinks the only musical movies he likes are all of Disney origin. Jimin just keeps rolling his eyes, taking it in good humor. He must have known Yoongi would react like this, and he must also know that Yoongi doesn't really mean it. Yoongi trusts Jimin's judgment, for the most part, and if Jimin thinks he'll like this show then there is probably a reason for that.

“That's a lot of people,” Yoongi notes when they get out of the cab, craning his head to peer over the various heads and umbrellas.

“It's still sold out almost every night,” Jimin tells him. He's got his phone in his hand and is snapping a picture of the banners on the building, announcing the name of the show.

“Hamilton,” Yoongi reads out loud and that name does seem to ring a bell. “What's is about?”

“It's about the America's Founding Fathers,” Jimin explains. “I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know the particulars.”

“Oookay,” Yoongi frowns, feeling some of his skepticism return. Only Americans would go fucking nuts over a musical detailing their history from like three centuries ago.

“You're like a toddler who doesn't want to try any new food,” Jimin chides as he ushers him through the door and into the foyer of the venue. “Ten bucks say you'll really like this.”

Yet it turns out that Yoongi doesn't just like it. He fucking loves it.

He misses out on half of the lyrics, too rapid and in places to archaic for him to really understand the intricacies of the plot and the poetry, especially since his knowledge of American history is rather limited.

But yes, he loves it. He loves the costumes and the flair, loves the juxtaposition of tongue-twisting raps and a larger-than-life orchestra. There are moments during which he can feel himself legitimately tear up, stoutly staring at the stage as to not give away just how affected he is by the story and the music. This is what rap can do, he reminds himself. It has fire and genius and raw emotion. This is what he writes for, what he tries to express with his own works.

He already spent the break after the first act looking up the lyrics on his phone, to make better sense of everything, already planning to download the whole album later on, only giving Jimin a little shove for looking so goddamn smug about it all.

When it is over, after standing ovations and solid five minutes of applause, Yoongi's palms red and smirching from clapping so hard, the crowd spills out into the night again. It has stopped raining, the air clear and welcoming, and Yoongi pulls Jimin along, not ready to go home yet.

“Let's go get some drinks,” he insists because hailing down a cab right now would be a nightmare anyway. “Are the any good bars around here?”

“Probably,” Jimin laughs, obviously amused at seeing him so energetic. “So I take it you liked it?”

“Fuck yeah,” Yoongi nods, turning around to look at Jimin as he squeezes his hands. With the fluorescent lights of the city reflecting off the wet asphalt, Jimin looks like a specter, like something stepped out of a dream.

“Thank you,” Yoongi tells him with open sincerity because Jimin deserves nothing less. “I had a lot of fun.”

“Me, too,” Jimin says and his smile is an overture.

 

 

                                                                                          

 

So they go for drinks and get a little tipsy, discussing the musical and their favorite elements and the other patrons sent them surprised little glances when they actually sing and rap some bits and pieces from memory and manage to sound it good.

They talk about music and what it means to them, what it used to mean and how it has changed. They talk about fighting the good fight, about trying to make a difference in the world. They talk about great people born from mediocrity, and Yoongi traces his fingers over the birds on his forearms where he has rolled up his sleeves. They talk about the girl Jimin met in Harlem who had Not Today tattooed across her wrist to keep herself from cutting it open. They talk about how the world is saved one person at a time.

Bars in New York close at four in the morning and then there is no more alcohol to be had, but Yoongi and Jimin leave before that, climbing into another cab and content to sit in silence. The drive takes a while, long enough to sober them up a little, and once back in the loft, Jimin is already pulling a bottle of soju from the kitchen cabinet.

“Ah,” Yoongi gives a sigh of satisfaction after the first sip. “A taste of home.”

The beer in America is awful, the wine only marginally better, and the cocktails are all deceptively sweet; soju was definitely preferable.

They end up sitting on the couch again in the low light, a disgruntled Mochi wandering off after the accidentally woke her, and they toss back cups of soju, their suit jackets shrugged off and the topmost buttons of their shirts undone.

Jimin is relaxed and pliant, sunken against the cushions less like a model and more like the boy Yoongi used to know. His cheeks are flushed and, when there is a lull in conversation, he sing his lines from their songs, old and new, while Yoongi stifles his smiles in his palm and just watches.

They had already gotten in contact with their managers to organize concerts, for both in the US and in Korea, even though that still seemed a while away, considering their album wasn't even complete yet. But Yoongi was not going to leave of this up to chance.

“We should plan for February," he muses now because he'd rather work without pressure. “That way, we have enough time to wrap up production, and then we can do promo throughout January.”

“It'll be nice,” Jimin says, stretching his arms above his head and arching his back. “To go back for a while.”

Something about that makes Yoongi pause, but it takes him a moment to unravel it and put it into words. The question he comes up with is almost sobering in its simplicity.

“I've been wondering about that, actually,” be begins, nervously licking his lips. “But back then... why did you leave?”

“What, Bangtan?” Jimin asks. “BigHit?”

Yoongi nods, then reconsiders and shakes his head.

“Seoul,” he clarifies. “Korea.”

Jimin leans his head back; his face is turned toward the ceiling but his eyes are closed. “There are some things that I felt I couldn't do there.”

Yoongi frowns, trying to think of what he might be referring to. “Work things?”

“Noo,” Jimin giggles. “Love things.”

If Yoongi was lost before, he he now officially stranded in a desert. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin says, his head lolling to the side so he can look at Yoongi. “I'm gay.”

Yoongi stares.

“Well,” Jimin amends. “Bisexual, really. But mostly gay. Not that it makes a difference to anyone.”

Yoongi, however, is still staring.

“Oh, you're so cute, you had no idea, hm?” Jimin asks and fondly pats Yoongi's hand that rests on the cushions between them. “You've always been oblivious to these kind of things.”

In a way, it was the truth. Yoongi had never much cared for the gossip that was passed around about other idol groups, nor for the dramatic relationships his high school peers had always seemed to go through. He had fucked, here and there, had made out with people at parties, had noticed no difference between guys and girls apart from the obvious bits.

Just wait, his mother had said knowingly when he had complained about how bland and boring it all seemed, One day, it'll happen to you.

Only it hadn't. And Yoongi had focused on school and Yoongi had focused on his idol training and Yoongi had focused on his career, on his mixtapes, on his health, on his military service. No one could point to the absences in his life if he didn't leave any space.

There is also the fact that his therapist had warned him about his anxiety medication potentially lowering his libido. Not that Yoongi would have cared, but he didn't think much had changed in that regard.

And somehow... somehow he had always projected his own feelings – his lack of feelings – onto those around him.

Now, Yoongi thinks of Bo-Seon whom he had fake-dated last year year on Bang PD's request to dispel the gay rumors about her because Au Revoir couldn't afford to get bad press. Only that the rumors were not rumors but the truth, and Bo ended up being the little lesbian sister Yoongi had never wanted but who still bossed him around like no one's business. They went on a number of staged dates, held hands for the paps, appeared at some red carpet events together and then, four months later, Bo had been de-gayed in the eyes of the public and she and Yoongi had announced their 'amicable break-up'. As far as Yoongi knew, she was now regularly nose-deep in one of her group's background dancers, so that was something.

But if Jimin was the same, then he had left because he thought his sexuality was something that would endanger BTS. As though they were not internationally acclaimed. As though they were nothing but your run-off-the-mill idol group. As though they were not a family.

“When you...,” Yoongi begins and swallows quickly. “When you said you've been with people since you came here, does that mean...?”

“Hmhm.” Jimin nods. “Some of them were men.”

Yoongi's mouth opens and doesn't close it again for a while.

“Oh, c'mon, hyung.” Jimin pushes at him. “You've kissed guys, right?”

Yoongi had, though all of that had been before their debut and he had found it to be a rather underwhelming experience. His encounters with women hadn't exactly been any more thrilling, but he certainly hadn't expected Jimin to suddenly come out and admit that he enjoyed both.

“Are you... Were you in love with any of them?” he dares to asks. The dark of the room should make him bolder but he only feels strangely unsettled.

“Here?” Jimin asks and doesn't have to think long. “No, not really. Just excited to try it out.”

Yoongi licks his lips, unable to keep himself from wondering. Because Jimin had said 'here' as though it might have been different in Korea. As though there had been someone back then.

He doesn't want to know. To think that Jimin had actually been bisexual all along but not be comfortable enough to tell him already hurt in a small way that he didn't care to explore further.

But the thought that Jimin had perhaps been secretly in love with Lee Taemin or Yoo Kihyun or any of the other handsome men they worked with is something he isn't sure how to handle. He wrecks his brain for possible candidates and finds both too many and yet none at all. Fucking Jackson Wang had certainly been entirely too happy to provide all kinds of fanservice whenever the opportunity arose, and Jimin had always been rather fond of Bigbang's Taeyang. And there had been entirely too many revelations for just one night, but being drunk makes you more honest, both in regards to questions and answers.

“And... and back home?” he asks, nearly bites his tongue off with it.

Yet Jimin... Jimin just giggles, a carefree peel of laughter, fueled by alcohol and the late hour. He slides down along the backrest of the sofa and holds his belly where his shirt has ridden up a little.

“I'm sorry but this is just so funny,” he manages to get out, his Adam's apple straining against the tendons in his throat. “I guess, in hindsight, I should be glad you never noticed.”

Noticed, Yoongi wonders, bewildered. Noticed what?

“God.” Jimin's eyes turn on him, almost crinkled shut with how big his grin is. “I had such a crush on you.”

And then he is laughing again, a little more, and then a little less, until he has run out, until the sounds putter off and his breath evens, until he sighs and turns to stare up at the ceiling once more.

In the meanwhile, Yoongi opens his mouth, only to find that he has momentarily lost his voice. Because Jimin's words don't make any sense. It should all sound like a joke, but it doesn't feel like one, and now Yoongi finds himself trying to pick apart years and years of friendship, hoping to find clues.
Jimin, not straight. Jimin, crushing on him. Jimin, laughing at all of his jokes and sitting a little too close, touching a little too long. Jimin, asking for his opinion and seeking his presence. Jimin, all smiles and hopeful glances to hear Yoongi's judgment of a dance move, a song interpretation, a silly picture he drew.

“But...” Yoongi tries. “You... you were like that with everyone.”

“Not like this,” Jimin says and his eyes are closed now. His chest lifts and then lowers with an exhale. “Not like this,” he repeats, more softly, and almost sad.

For a long time, Yoongi does not know what to say. He still doesn't know it when Jimin begins to snore quietly, doesn't know it when he carefully lowers him down to lie on the sofa and covers him with a woolen blanket. Doesn't know it when he drags himself off to his own bed and slips out of his clothes.

He doesn't know it when he falls asleep alone.

 

Chapter Text

In the following days, Yoongi's worldview reshapes itself into an entirely new thing. It's something that happens almost all of its own, though he cannot help but pick and pull at it, much his habit of leaving his cuticles bloody whenever he is anxious.

So there it lives, the elephant in the room, in the loft, in the space between them, its presence acknowledged but not commented upon beyond its mere existence.

The errand hope that it had perhaps all been a strange dream, or that Jimin had at least forgotten all of it, is a poor comfort. Jimin had not been that drunk and he had never been one to suffer from blackouts anyway, so there was no doubt that he still remembered their late-night conversation. And Yoongi's abrupt silence.
Perhaps, they could have talked it out over late breakfast the next morning, when Yoongi was making scrambled eggs and strong coffee, and Jimin, who must have moved into his bedroom sometime during the wee hours of the night, came stumbling out again.

But they didn't. They just ate, and then they washed up and got ready for another day at the studio, and then they worked, and then it seemed too awkward to still bring it up.

So they focus on other things instead, a precarious sort of comfort in their joint routine.

Although it had gotten a little warmer again, easing lovely fall weather onto the streets of New York, Yoongi had to admit that he needed to buy some new clothes. He didn't want to live out of Jimin's preppier wardrobe forever, and now that they had agreed on touring together, their album and promotional work required a little more planning. With the way things were going, Yoongi would not be back in Korea before January.

Their idea to go shopping one Saturday noon comes spontaneously, unlike their night seeing Hamilton which Jimin must have planned weeks in advance. So they dress a little more casually, sweatshirts and beanies and comfortable sneakers, and then catch a ride downtown.

“Why is there a Christmas tree?” Yoongi asks in mortification as soon as they step inside the mall and there are blinking lights and fake snowflakes everywhere.

“Oh, they always start early here,” Jimin shrugs it off, apparently already kind of used to it from previous years. “At least they are not playing any Christmas songs on the radio yet.”

“It's October,” Yoongi insists, feeling slightly sick. “Why would they do this?”

“Capitalism,” Jimin says and pulls him along into the first boutique.

They find what they really need relatively quickly. Yoongi buys a black Burberry coat with a red plaid pattern while Jimin picks a navy blue scarf, and then Yoongi decides on a pair of boots for the soggy winter months. And that could be it, really, but then Jimin offers him a pink cardigan and Yoongi throws a bowler hat at him, and it turns into a bit of a challenge.

Together, they put on silly outfits that are still nowhere near some of the more outrageous stuff they had to wear back in the day, and the employees are watching them with tense smiles because they surely take them for rambunctious grad students, so it's a special pleasure for Jimin and Yoongi to just whip out their credit cards and actually buy some of what they tried on.

Somewhere in their fifth store, they take everything a little more serious again, contemplating how they want to be perceived by the public now that their collaboration is happening.

Something more mature, to fit their age and the themes of the album. They are no idols in this, no love interests for teenage girls, no paper cutouts to project fantasies on. But they are not quite rappers either, Yoongi concedes, because their music transcends the hiphop that he has produced on his own.

With a rueful grin he remembers the oversized clothes they had been stuffed into after their debut, as though style came from fashion and not the other way round. In the beginning, Yoongi had often felt uncomfortable with various modeling jobs they had to take, the way they had to switch from cute to sexy to fun to dangerous. Yoongi hadn't particularly felt like any of those things and his face hadn't quite seemed to cooperate the way he wanted it to.

He got better at it, over the years, as the unnerving itch underneath his skin had faded. They weren't fake or sell-outs, as some other rappers had claimed. They were all-rounders. That didn't mean he had ever quite managed to work a room like Jimin did.

Jimin who is now pulling open the curtain of his changing room and strutting out into the aisle, showing off his newest pick. He has chosen high-waisted slacks that somehow manage to be loose around the hips but tight around the ass, giving him almost feminine curves, and combined it with a flowing low-cut blouse, the white fabric so sheer his nipples can be seen through it.

“How do I look?” Jimin asks, giving an exaggerated yet perfectly executed little twirl just as Yoongi slides his gaze away.

“Good,” he says, swallowing with a dry throat. “You should buy it.”

“Hmhm,” Jimin agrees, admiring himself in a full-length mirror. “It's missing something. Jewelry, maybe? Or a hat?”

“I'll get you a hat,” Yoongi says and quickly jumps up from the ottoman he had sat down on while Jimin got dressed. He makes his way into the main area of the boutique, spotting the stand with the accessories.

He busies himself with running his fingers along the merchandise, checking the tags for brands and materials, putting on a pair of sunglasses and catching his tinted reflection in a mirror, only to quickly look away again.

When he returns to the changing rooms, his heart is still beating a little too fast for his liking, but at least he has found a black floppy head that he sets down on Jimin's head.

Jimin, who had been sprawled over the ottoman with his eyes closed, startles a little but then peers up at Yoongi from underneath the broad brim.

“Thank you, hyung,” he says, not bothering to look at his reflection. “I love it.”

 

When their feet hurt from walking around inside the mall, they find a small café to sit down in, and Yoongi is relieved to find that no one has put up any Christmas decoration yet, though here everyone seems strangely stuck on summer still, with the waiters all dressed in Hawaiian shirts and flowers ornaments littering most surfaces.

They choose a table in the back, away from the noise of the other shoppers, setting their bags down at their feet, and then looking through the menu.

They don't have to wait long for a waiteress to appear, an older Filipino woman perkily asking whether they are ready to order.

“I'll take a cappuccino and a Fruit Bomb, please,” Jimin tells her, setting down his menu, before turning to Yoongi. “Hyung, what would you like?”

“I'll have Chocolate Decadence,” Yoongi says in English, carefully pointing in case the waitress doesn't quite understand, but she is already nodding, typing everything down.

“Anything to drink?” she asks and Yoongi thinks for a moment.

“Americano,” he replies and she is nodding again, telling them it'll only take a minute, and then she is off. Jimin is looking at Yoongi across the table, a stupidly proud grin on his face.

“What,” Yoongi mutters, picking at the glass with the sugar satchels between them. But Jimin's grin only grows bigger.

“Your accent is so cute,” he gushes and Yoongi has to kick him underneath the table, knocking over one of their bags, to distract from how hot his ears are growing.

“Stop that,” he says, “I know it sounds dumb.”

“It doesn't,” Jimin assures him. “Accents are so difficult to get rid of, but you're so much more comfortable with English already.”

“Can't let you do all the work,” Yoongi huffs, stuffing his nervous hands into the pockets of his hoodie so they'll stop fidgeting. He felt like a kid whenever he needed Jimin to speak for him.

“I'll teach you some more English then,” Jimin promises. “Whenever you don't know a word, you just have to ask.”

“Oh yeah?” Yoongi grins and then points at the space between his eyebrows. “What's that called?”

Jimin blinks. “Your face?”

“No, that spot there,” Yoongi explains. “What's it called?”

“That- I don't think it has a name.”

“Or are you just saying that because you don't actually know the word?” Yoongi demands smugly, watching as Jimin's mouth opens and closes in indignation.

“Hyung,” he says at length, “You are the absolute worst.”

Then why were you in love with me?

Yoongi doesn't say it but he certainly cannot help but think it, has been uneasily thinking about it from the moment Jimin had told him about it.

It shouldn't matter, really. It had been nothing but a crush, apparently, and only many years ago. Yoongi had been different then and Jimin had been different. They had been different, and sometimes it was difficult to remember everything about back then, the days and years bleeding into each other.

Jimin had no specified how deep his feelings had run, how long they had lasted. Perhaps it had been still during their trainee days when they didn't really know each other yet. Perhaps it was a thing that happened in moments and minutes, a thing that happened because no one else was there. If Jimin was bisexual, as Yoongi now knew, it made sense that would have at least fantasized a little over the other members.

And what was a crush, really, but a delusion? Yoongi had had crushes before, or at least something akin to it. As a kid, he had fancied himself in love with his music teacher because she had gentle hands and a honeyed voice. And later, when he was already a little older and more hormonal, his admiration for some underground rapper whose name he didn't even remember anymore had him stuff a hand down his pants when he listened to one of his songs.

Yet it wasn't the person that Yoongi was enamored with, but their music, their artistry. He had never gotten aroused at the thought of a friend or a classmate or a neighbor. The people he knew personally did not exist in a sexual context to him.

If that was different for Jimin – and it was different for most people, as far as Yoongi could tell – then did that mean Jimin had thought about him? Had he thought about kissing Yoongi, about fucking him? Had he preened a little whenever Yoongi held his hand or pulled him into a hug? Had those moments been painful?

It's strange, somehow, that Yoongi is not feeling more mortified by those implications. God knows he had been more than a little uncomfortable with some of the things fans screamed at him throughout the years, the things they posted during livechats. It should be worse to suspect that one of his closest friends had entertained similar sentiments at some point.

But Yoongi had not minded when Jimin had squeezed into the dressing room with him today, had not objected when Jimin laughed and let his forehead fall against his shoulder, had not felt clammy inside when Jimin told him how nice his back and shoulders looked in that Burberry coat.

Park Jimin, as always, is the exception to many rules that Yoongi had thought to be set in stone.

But he reminds himself, when their orders arrive and Yoongi stuffs a large spoonful of ice cream into his mouth, It didn't matter. It was all in the past now.

“Brain freeze?” Jimin asks in sympathy, when he sees Yoongi's pinched expression, and Yoongi gives a tight nod.

Brain freeze made so much more sense than any type of heartache ever could.

 

They finish their ice cream in easy silence, happy to catch a break from their exciting shopping trip, and then they pay and gather up their things, careful not to leave any of the ridiculously expensive clothes behind.

“Is there anything else you want to look at?” Jimin asks as they step out of the café and Yoongi gives it a moment's thought. They had been here for four hours already and he could feel the exhaustion tugging at his bones; he was more than ready to get back home.
But Jimin's birthday was coming up very soon, so Yoongi should probably start thinking of a present. Yet aimlessly wandering through the mall didn't sound like it would yield any results. Perhaps he should just go looking for something online and hope for the best; then it would at least still be a surprise for Jimin, too.

“Nah,” he says, “I'm good.”

They weave their way through the thin crowd, trying to find back to the main entrance, and Yoongi is rearranging his shopping bags as they slowly go down an escalator.

“Hey,” Jimin says suddenly and nudges him, “There's a piano.”

“Ah,” Yoongi says, looking up and following his gaze.

And indeed, there in the middle of the foyer ahead of them, stands a small painted piano, nothing fancy, colorful curly letters written over the front. Play me, it reads and Yoongi understands that it's one of those urban beautification concepts where passersby could play for whichever audience happened to be around.

“Do you want to try it?” Jimin asks him, once they have reached the bottom of the stairs, and Yoongi is already feeling that itch in his fingers.

“Sure,” he says, grabbing his bags a little tighter and sauntering over to the piano. He glances around surreptitiously, hoping he won't have to shoo anyone else away, but most people don't even seem to notice the instrument. Yoongi, of course, aims to change that.

He settles his bags on the floor, close enough that no one might spontaneously grab them and wander off. He sits down on the bench, and it's a little worn, but then his fingers already discover the keys, trying how they feel and sound.

With delight he finds that the piano is actually surprisingly well tuned and that the acoustics inside the mall are good as well. When he looks up again, Jimin is leaning against the piano, watching him with a fond expression.

Quickly, Yoongi glances away again, plays some random bits and pieces from songs he had written throughout the years, nothing coherent, nothing anyone would necessarily recognize because Yoongi had always been more self-conscious about his instrumental pieces than about his raps, and so he had jealously guarded most of them and kept them close to his heart.

Around them, some people stop and listen for a few moments, smile to themselves and then move on, to meet their friends and make their purchases. Only Jimin stays, nothing impatient about him, nothing demanding, content to just stand there and let Yoongi do what he does best, what he enjoys most.

Seized by a sudden whim, Yoongi let's his fingertips fly across the keys, changing the tune calling up a familiar melody, shyly glancing up to gauge Jimin's reaction to it.

“All this is no coincidence,” Yoongi sings the first words, quietly, because whenever he raises his voice he cannot carry a tune to save his life. “Just- just I could feel that the whole world is different than yesterday.”

It takes Jimin a moment to catch on but, when he does, a smile of sunshine spreads across his face.

“Just- just with your joy,” he sings in turn, his cheeks dimpling. “When you called me, I became your flower. As if we were waiting. We bloom until we ache.”

From his periphery, Yoongi can tell that even more people are stopping to watch, that they are pulling out their phones and filming them. Some of them must surely recognize at least Jimin's familiar face and voice, but the song itself would only be known to few, if any. Yet it had always held a special place in Yoongi's heart, had made him envy Namjoon's raw talent to spin gold where others only saw straw.

“Maybe it's just the providence of the universe,” Jimin continues, bracing his elbows on the piano and leaning in, solely singing for Yoongi, “It just had to be that-”

“You know I know,” Yoongi joins in for a bit, “You are I, I am you.”

“As much as my heart flutters,” Jimin continues, and his eye lashes flutter right along with it. “I'm worried. Destiny is jealous of us.”

“Just like you, I'm so scared,” Yoongi mouths along. “When you see me, when you touch me.”

“The universe has moved for us,” Jimin sings, looking utterly blissful and at peace, just as he had in the MV all those years ago. “There wasn't even a little miss. Our happiness was meant to be. Cuz you love me. And I love you.”

Suddenly, his eyes open again and he is looking right at Yoongi. And Yoongi, with his pulse racing, realizes that he himself cannot tear his own gaze away.

“You're my penicillium, saving me, my angel, my world,” Jimin continues, swaying with the melody. “I'm your calico cat, here to see you.”

Yoongi thinks of Mochi then, of how Jimin had immediately fallen in love with her at the shelter, and he wonders whether Serendipity had anything to do with it.

“Love me now, touch me now.” Jimin tilts his head back, his voice carrying clear above the ruckus of the crowd and into the high arches of the mall. “Just let me love you.”

Yoongi swallows, stares down at the keys to ignore his inexplicable fluster. Just a week ago, this would not have affected him. But a week ago he had not yet know that Jimin had, at some point, harbored romantic feelings for him. All of a sudden, a lot of Jin's and Namjoon's teasing seemed to make sense.

“Since the creation of the universe, everything was destined,” Jimin slowly comes to a close, reining his voice in again, like calling a bird back to its branch. “Just let me love you.”

“Let me love, let me love you,” Yoongi whispers, though his mouth is dry.

“Let me love, let me love you,” Jimin echoes and the last notes of the song putter off, losing themselves in the noise of the building as though it had been there all along. But Jimin is still thrumming with it, with the melody and the thrill of their spontaneous performance, and he only seems to blink himself back into existence when several of the people around them begin to clap and cheer.

Yoongi thinks he hears Jimin's name being called and a random 'I love you' in Korean, but no one approaches them for autographs and selfies, and he is glad for it.

“Shall we?” he asks. His hands feel jittery and his wrists are weak; he doesn't think he'd be able to play much more anyway.

“Yeah,” Jimin says. Even in the harsh luminescence around them, he looks as though painted with a soft brush. His hair falls into his forehead, catching in his eye lashes with each blink.

“Alright,” Yoongi mutters, bending down to pick up the bags, the rustle of the paper much too loud in his ears.

When he stands, Jimin has already stepped away from the piano. Yoongi throws it a last longing glance and then goes to catch up with Jimin. It's not a difficult choice to make.

 


 

 omg rm reblogged a tweet that's hashtagged as yoonmin. I'm

    if you look rlly closely, you can see how yg is singing along to U know I know & Let me love you

        seriously tho they are serenading each other in public

imagine just going shopping for socks or whatever to find that your faves are playing this song together T__T

    I wish I had been there

        I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH OKAY??

            DNA era was best era

Jimin looks so soft here, I can't

why does the video quality have to be so shitty, didn't anyone else record this??

does this mean they went shopping together?

    This is like straight out of a fic <3 <3 <3

        U KNOW I KNOW

I cannot wait for their album. When will it be released?

    They haven't made any official announcements yet

        nooooooo

            good things take time in the making

And ARMYS everywhere rise from the dead

    lol I was never dead. I've been stanning since 2k16 and running on nothing but redbull and closeups of Jimin's thighs

Play this at my funeral


 

 

Chapter Text

 Jimin's birthday falls on a Monday, which does not stop him from planning to throw a party in the evening. Most of his friends work in the fashion or entertainment industry and thus live on an irregular schedule anyway; partying on a weekday is nothing out of the ordinary for them.

The rest of the day, however, is free of commitments. Yoongi lets Jimin sleep in while he goes to the kitchen to prepare an opulent breakfast, idly scrolling through the news on his tablet as he waits for his tea to cool down.

“Hyung!” Jimin gasps when he finally emerges from his bedroom and sees the set table. “I didn't know you cared.”

“You are so lucky it's your birthday,” Yoongi gripes but lets Jimin's insolence slide, standing up from the couch and setting his tablet aside.

“Come here, you,” he says and spreads his arms, inviting Jimin into a hug.

Jimin dives in without hesitation, throwing his arms around Yoongi's neck and then the two sway on the spot, like an exaggerated little dance, before Jimin lets him go again and they just look at each other.

“Happy birthday, Park Jimin,” Yoongi tells him. “I'm glad you were born.”

“Yeah,” Jimin smiles, “Me, too.”

So they have breakfast, and then they decide to dick around for the rest of the day, simply enjoying the luxury of being their own bosses. They shower and shave and do their hair, and Jimin even grooms Mochi and puts a shiny collar on her.

They end up squeezed into the hammock together, sitting side by side, Jimin's hips sharply digging into Yoongi's thigh, while Jimin reads out some of the messages he has gotten, from fans, friends and family.

Taehyung, probably knowing that he wouldn't have access to the internet later, had already sent an email a couple of days ago, but Jungkook apparently didn't get a similar chance. God knows Yoongi had missed most birthdays while he was still serving. But Seokjin and Namjoon wrote lengthy text messages while Hoseok sent an entire video of himself obnoxiously singing Happy Birthday and doing a little dance with lots of aegyo. Jimin laughs so hard he nearly falls out of the hammock and Yoongi has to reel him in by the back of his sweater.

“Yah,” he says, once Jimin has calmed down again though he is still shivering with the aftermaths of his glee. “You want your present now?”

Immediately, Jimin's eyes begin to shine.

“Of course I want my present!” he insists. “I was already starting to think you hadn't gotten me anything.”

“Pff,” Yoongi shakes his head in disappointment as he gets to his feet. “That you would think so little of me...”

“Just go!” Jimin says and lightly kicks him in the ass, until Yoongi relents and does disappear into his bedroom.

The scroll sits on the dresser by the door, tied together with a blue silk ribbon, and Yoongi takes it with careful hands so he doesn't accidentally bend any of the edges. He'd written it late the night after their trip to the mall and then neatly copied a few days later, on some expensive paper and with royal blue ink.

It had been one of those works where the words came easy to him, where they just seemed to drip from his fingerprints and right onto the page, no modifications needed. He'd been thinking of the many similarities between him and Jimin, of insecurities and the search for a place to feel at home, the feeling of stagnation while you watched others move on with their own lives and careers.

There's fear and loneliness sitting at its ligaments but also a steadfast belief in a better future. Moments of sadness do not negate eventual joy.

Yoongi does not say anything when he hands Jimin the scroll, and Jimin himself does not seem surprised, just accepts the gift with something akin to reverence. He shoots Yoongi a quick look, but then his fingers are already picking apart the ribbon and unrolling the paper.

“Hyung,” he says, sighs almost, his gaze setting on Yoongi's handwriting and a smile on his lips. His thumb brushes over the underlined title. “Is that Latin?”

“Yeah.” Yoongi nods. “The scientific name of the blue tit.”

Jimin's eyes widen, flicking up to land on Yoongi's left arm where six birds sit hidden underneath his sleeve.

“You wrote this for me,” Jimin realizes and Yoongi doesn't dispute it. This goes beyond a mere birthday present and they both know it.

“You wanna try singing it for me?” he asks, even though it's superfluous.

Of course Jimin does.

 


 

                                                                       

 


 

By 10 pm, the party is in full swing. Mochi has long since fled into Yoongi's bedroom, hoping to escape the many strangers and the loud music, and Yoongi cannot blame her. But this is Jimin's day, and he wants to leave a good impression.

Yoongi is already acquainted with a handful of the guests but there are many that he doesn't know. He makes a point of going around and introducing himself instead of just sticking to Jimin's side and hoping for the best, and he is surprised by how well this approach works.

Everyone is thrilled to finally meet at least one of Jimin's 'band mates', as they call the members, happily making small-talk and milking Yoongi about interesting stories from Jimin's life in Korea.

So Yoongi tells them random bits and pieces that come to his mind when he thinks of the many years they'd had together. Jimin slipping during an award ceremony; Jimin getting lost backstage; Jimin playing a prank on Namjoon and successfully blaming it on Jungkook.

“He looks cute,” he tells them, “But he is dangerous.”

They all laugh at that, rear their heads back, providing some anecdotes of their own. Everyone has a funny little story up their sleeve, but Yoongi has a handful of aces.

He makes his way back over to the kitchen counter where the catering is spread out, ladling some tomato soup into a bowl before grabbing a spoon. There is music coming from the sound system, just loud enough to make it feel like a party but without hindering conversation. In the middle of the living-room, Jimin is dancing with another man.

Davi, Yoongi recalls his name, a singer from Brazil who is trying to make it on Broadway, and also the one who had helped Jimin get his hands on the Hamilton tickets that are in such high demand.

He is tall-ish and well-muscled, with taupe skin and moss green eyes, and he takes Jimin by the hand and twirls him into a pirouette, with Jimin laughing his head off.

Yoongi grins to himself, because the house music does not fit at all to their impromptu little ballet session, but they manage to make it look good anyway. Davi grabs Jimin by the hips and pushes him up into a small lift as Jimin jumps, one of his legs extended behind him. Around them, some of the other guest giggle and cheer.

Yoongi stares down into his soup.

They had usually bullshitted their answers when reporters asked about their love interests, but certain tendencies were still apparent. Jimin had always said he liked cute girls. Is that true? And does he like cute men as well?

He had also said, more than just once, that Yoongi was cute. Is Yoongi still cute? Is Davi? And why do these questions seem to be burning underneath Yoongi's tongue with an urgency he cannot explain?

He finishes his soup, sets the bowl aside and grabs a beer from the fridge, before making his way over to where Jimin and Davi are now talking to Adeku. Davi has his hand on Jimin's shoulder and Adeku's lips stretch around her pearl white smile.

“Hey,” Yoongi says casually as he sidles close, putting his palm to the small of Jimin's back, fingers dancing across the fabric. Underneath his touch, Jimin's spine stiffens. “Beer?”

“Sure,” Jimin says, taking the offered bottle from him and fumbling with the resealable lid. He takes a large sip, his Adam's apple bobbing with it. Yoongi does not look at him.

“So, when will we hear some of your music?” Davi asks curiously. “Jimin mentioned you have a small performance at The Wire next month, but I'm super curious about your album.”

“We think February,” Yoongi says. “We need more songs.”

“He is so picky!” Jimin pipes up, making a wild gesture with his bottle. “He'd rather not release anything at all than something just vaguely mediocre.”

“I don't write mediocre songs for extraordinary singers,” Yoongi says. He keeps his tone even but, from the side, he can feel Jimin's gaze burn upon him.

“You are so full of shit,” Jimin says, and Yoongi does not bother to admonish him. He has already noticed that, when talking English, Jimin tends to leave all etiquette behind. It makes Yoongi feel less like his hyung, less like someone who had to watch out for him. It makes Jimin an unpredictable menace.

“Oooh,” Davi says, opening his eyes wide as he exchanges a look with Adeku. “Do you think they need to battle it out?”

“What?” Yoongi says, slow to catch up, but Adeku is already clapping her hands in excitement.

“A rap battle,” she explains when she notices Yoongi's confusion. “You should show Jimin his place.”

Yoongi gives a bit of a feeble laugh, hoping it'll be enough to dissuade the idea. He prides himself for his raps, yes, but he has never been the best at making anything up on the spot, especially not in front of a bunch of strangers. No one here knows this, of course. No one except-

“Great idea!” Jimin smiles broadly. “Wonderful! Let's do it.”

“No no,” Yoongi says, jostling him with his elbow. “It's your birthday. You should have fun.”

“But getting dissed by Agust D is going to be so much fun,” Jimin insists. His smile has already taken a more sinister turn.

“I rap in Korean,” Yoongi tries to deflect. “It's boring for the guests.”

“Oh, no, I'm sure they'll enjoy it,” Jimin says, tugging at his sleeve. “C'mon, go and put on some track. Or are you scared?”

Yoongi opens his mouth. Closes it again. It seems he really does need to put Jimin in his place.

“Fine,” he mutters under his breath and then shuffles over to the sound system, momentarily cutting off the music as he connects it to his phone. He hasn't done an actual rap battle in ages and he cannot believe that he is now being challenged by Jimin, of all people, but he pulls up a basic beat he think both of them will be able to work with.

By now, the other guests seem to have caught on to the fact that something is happening, and then Jimin is already spreading his arms wide and making a grand announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen!” he declares. “For the first time, live and in color – you are given the honor of witnessing the legendary subunit Minimini!”

Legendary, Yoongi snorts to himself. More like 'mythical', considering they had never gotten around to releasing anything when they could still even be considered a subunit at all. And does it even count as a subunit if they are essentially facing off against each other?

He is pulled from his thoughts by how Jimin is showily rolling up his sleeves while some of the guests are pulling out their phones to commemorate the entire disaster. Because a disaster it will be, there is no doubt about that in Yoongi's mind.

“Here, hyung, I'll do you a favor and start,” Jimin tells him brightly, curling a fist in front of his mouth in lieu of a microphone. He closes his eyes and visibly counts out the beat – and then he begins.

“My name is Agust D, don't get it wrong!” he snaps, obviously trying to imitate Yoongi's way of rapping, even though he does stick to English. “To make sure you don't forget, I repeat it thrice in every song!”

“Ooh!” the crowd goes, some people snapping their fingers. They probably don't really know any of Yoongi's works, but that burn was obvious enough to understand.

“I sleep all day, I party never,” Jimin continues, a twinkle in his eye as he awaits Yoongi's reaction. “I use big words to make you think I'm clever!”

That's more like Namjoon, Yoongi objects in his head, but then he is already stepping up, the lines slowly falling into place in his heads.

“My name is Jiminie and I was born in Busan first,” he retaliates in Korean. “I flip my hair back in a way that's quite rehearsed.”

None of the guests understand the words but when he imitates Jimin's signature move of brushing his fringe out of his face, everyone starts whooping and hollering, obviously quite familiar with that little habit as well. Jimin is laughing right along with them, but the tips of his ears are glowing red.

“I wear insoles in my shoes to make my fans think that I'm tall,” Yoongi continues, because he at least had always owned up to the fact that he was vertically challenged. “But every time I laugh, I double over and fall!”

Jimin, true to Yoongi's words, has to hold his stomach and barely manages to remain standing as he laughs, yet quickly catching his breath before he picks up the metaphorical glove.

“I am A to the G to the U to the STD because I have no clue what an STD might be,” he retorts with an exaggerated little gesture of his arms. “I had a writer's block so big, I had to flee across the sea!”

Yoongi's eyes widen because that one might sting just the tiniest bit. Then again, that is kind of the point of a rap battle. But it's not like he doesn't know Jimin's weak spots as well.

“I am your regular Mochi, I know nothing of the hood. I like to think I'm cool but I'm too cute for my own good,” he raps with a sharp grin. “I know nothing about hiphop, I ask RM for help with raps. But what I lack in swag, I make up for with my abs!”

Wait what? That last one hadn't been meant to turn into a compliment and Yoongi is somewhat unsure how it came into being. He purses his lips as he waits for Jimin's response, but Jimin is just standing there blinking at him as though he, too, were a bit unsure of what Yoongi had just said.

“I think Jimin got roasted!” Davi exclaims into the silence because no one is actually qualified to play the judge, what with the language barrier, but everyone claps their agreement.

“No! He cheated!” Jimin objects, rearing his head around to stare at Davi. “He said I have abs!”

“You do have abs!” Hannah laughs. “You're just a sore loser.”

“But,” Jimin fumbles, obviously having hoped that Yoongi would be so uncomfortable with the situation that he would lose right of the bat. So Yoongi simply throws an arm around his shoulder and pulls him into something that is closer to a chokehold than a hug.

“Know your place,” he whispers threateningly because he won't be outdone by an uppity dongsaeng, and it was time Jimin learned that lesson once and for all.

“You're awful and I hate you,” Jimin mutters back, tucking his face against the side of Yoongi's neck. “It's my birthday – you're supposed to be nice to me.”

“It's past midnight,” Yoongi points out. Like this, he can smell the plethora of products Jimin had dumped in his hair. “Your birthday's over so I get to go back to being a jerk.”

“Not fair,” Jimin sighs, a warm exhale against Yoongi's skin. Yoongi represses a shiver.

“Few things in life are,” he knows and leaves it at that.

For the rest of the evening, he stays by Jimin's side, leaning in close to be heard above the loud music. He keeps his fingertips on him, even as Jimin is talking to other people, feels his heat through the silken fabric of his shirt.

“Have you tried these?” Yoongi asks as they are getting themselves some more drinks. He picks up a cracker with some sort of seafood crème on it and holds it up in front of Jimin's mouth. Jimin goes a little cross-eyed as he looks at it but he swallows it one bite. For a split second, his lips touch Yoongi's finger and then he is already washing everything down with an entire glass of wine before topping it off again.

“It's good, right?” Yoongi asks, popping one of the crackers into his own mouth.

“Yeah,” Jimin agrees, cutting his gaze away. “It's good.”

As the night progresses, the wine leaves its red color on Jimin's cheeks, making him giggle and laugh and cheer at the mildest provocation. He tries to demonstrate some b-boying moves and nearly breaks his own neck and a vase, loses his mind over a number of simple card tricks Hannah performs, tries to speak Japanese with a Chinese actor who just nods along in mild amusement, and even wrangles Adeku's shoes off her feet so he can try them on.

“Oooh!” he exclaims all of a sudden when a new song comes on, whipping around on the hardwood floor and nearly falling over again because perhaps the high heels really weren't that great of an idea. “I love this song!”

And then he is already moving to the beat, shimmying into a crouch and slowly coming up again, circling his hips. Even drunk as he is, his body eases into the rhythm as though he already had an entire choreography prepared for it. Maybe he had. Yoongi wouldn't be surprised.

For a few moments, he just watches Jimin go with the flow, watches him teeter on the heels but still keep his balance.

“Yah,” Yoongi says, cocking an eyebrow. “Don't hurt yourself.”

Jimin just giggles, glancing down at him. His insoles had nothing on those stilettos and he is obviously enjoying it entirely too much.

“Hyung,” he says, reaching out a hand to pat Yoongi's head. “You're so tiny.”

“Look who's talking,” Yoongi says with a roll of his eyes but then his arm shoots forward to catch Jimin by the shoulder and keep him from toppling over. “I think you had a bit too much to drink.”

“Noo,” Jimin laughs. “I only had beer and wine and wine and champagne and soju and wine again.”

“If you puke on me...” Yoongi warns but Jimin doesn't even seem to hear him.

“Hyung, let's dance,” he says, tugging at Yoongi's sleeve and pulling him into graceless movement.

“Yah!” Yoongi complains half-heartedly, though he does let himself be dragged along. He was always more of a mediocre dancer when it came to improv, but he can enjoy it. Most of it, he knows, it muscle memory, and the rest is fueled by alcohol.

He waves his arms around a little dorkily, swaying on the spot like a reed in the wind, and Jimin laughs again, kicks him in the shin to make him dance properly. Yoongi complies, but not without pulling some silly faces at him.

He combines some simpler moves from their old choreographies, a hip roll here, a drop, a pop, until the motions come more naturally and he feels at ease. In front of him, Jimin finally kicks off Adeku's shoes so he can dance comfortably as well, following Yoongi's cues, like a slightly delayed mirror image, only that he makes everything look ten times better.

Emboldened, Yoongi grabs his hand and spins him around so that Jimin's back is turned toward him. Jimin's hips sway, dangerously close, and Yoongi tilts his own pelvis, just a little, just enough to make him brush up against Jimin's left ass cheek.

A small grind. Nothing more. Not enough to make Yoongi's face sear or make his breath catch, not enough to even make Jimin notice. But enough for Yoongi to want to try again.

By this point, he isn't even paying attention to the music anymore, to the people or the party, his eyes instead fixed on the small stretch of neck between Jimin's collar and his hair, where a vertebra is moving underneath the skin like a siren.

All of a sudden, Jimin spins around and throws his arms around Yoongi, a warm weight on his shoulders.

“Yah, Yoongi-oppa,” he giggles. His breath is damp against the shell of Yoongi's ear. “I wish the party were over.”

“Why?” Yoongi asks though a certain suspicion settles in his stomach, low and pleasant. His arms drape themselves around Jimin's narrow hips.

“So I wouldn't have to share,” Jimin replies, as though it were obvious. Perhaps it is.

For a few moments, they continue to sway on the spot, and Jimin rests his head against Yoongi's collarbone.

Yoongi throws a look at the clock on the wall, noting how it is already past 1am. Jimin had mentioned that, in line with how the bars closed so early, people tended to leave house parties around the same time. Glancing around, he notes how there are definitely fewer people around than before, though some familiar faces still remain.

“I think this means goodnight, hm?” Hannah asks with a knowing smile at Jimin when she and Adeku amble over. Adeku bends down to pick up her shoes and slip them back on, wriggling her toes a little.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says and leaves it at that. The alcohol is not exactly improving his English right now.

“We already called an Uber,” Adeku says as she straightens up, linking her arm with Hannah's. “Don't worry about the other guests. We'll throw everyone out – you just take care of Jimin.”

This time, Yoongi only nods. Even Korean seems to be beyond him, for some reason.

He helps Jimin to his room and deposits him onto the bed before pouring him a glass of water and making him drink it. Then he slips the shoes and socks off his feet, pulls his shirt over his head and at least undoes the button of his jeans. Jimin is not completely incoherent, but he flops around with each movement, giggling at the grunts Yoongi makes whenever he is hit by a stray hand.

“You really shouldn't drink so much,” Yoongi chides him, though he knows it's mostly lost on Jimin. “You're not twenty anymore. At this rate, your liver won't keep up with you for long.”

Jimin makes a dissatisfied noise and simply rolls over, burying his face in his pillow, and that signals the end of their rather one-sided conversation. A few moments later, he is quietly snoring and Yoongi just sits there and watches him for a bit, trying to understand himself.

Then he gets up, turns off the light and closes the door behind himself. By now, everyone else has already left. He doesn't bother with cleaning up the aftermath of the party yet, but he does take the time to at least brush his teeth and wash his face before he kicks off his own clothes and climbs into bed.

Mochi is still there, sitting on one of the pillows and balefully glaring at him for having woken her again. Yoongi settles down next to her, his face dangerously close to her swishing tail, but he is too tired to care about potentially losing an eye to her claws.

“I have no idea what I'm doing,” he tells her and she does not look surprised at all.

“But I'll figure it out,” Yoongi mutters, letting his eyes slide shut. “You'll see.”

Chapter Text

 

                                                                                        

 

 

 

They spend the whole day at the studio.

The weather had taken a nose dive, gearing up for winter, and there had even been tornado warnings throughout the week, though Jimin had assured him that it was nothing unusual. Yoongi had kept nervously glancing out of the window, even as Jimin laughed and pulled him back onto the couch so they could continue binge-watching anime.

Today, they went back to work.

They had already done a demo run for Cyanistes caeruleus , so they could get a feel for where exactly they were trying to go with it, but now they want to wrap up the actual recordings.

Yoongi goes first, pacing himself in his raps, to fit the more melancholic and then uplifting tone of the song. He concentrates on the microphone right in front of him and on the beat in his ears, but he still cannot help but be hyper-aware of Jimin sitting by the mixing board and watching him, bobbing his head along as he keeps an eye of the equalizers.

When it's Jimin's turn, Yoongi crosses his arms in front of his chest to keep himself from fidgeting nervously.

To hear Jimin sing this song that Yoongi specifically wrote for him, to see him put his heart and soul into it, has something primal within Yoongi shiver with pride.

Jimin needs barely any instructions, seems to know instinctively what Yoongi envisioned for this verse or what pitch would go best in that line. Or perhaps, Yoongi amends, whatever Jimin does is simply destined for perfection.

“How was that?” Jimin asks at length, slipping the headphones off his ears so they rest around his neck.

“Should do the job,” Yoongi says lackadaisically but he has to swivel around in his chair to hide just how pleased he is, and Jimin knows him too well to not preen.

They listen to the recordings, again and again, make some adjustments, discuss their ideas, and when Yoongi starts rubbing his eyes, Jimin declares that it is time for some caffeine.

There's a coffee shop a little farther down the road and it would be easy to just march back to the studio and have their fix on the way, but when they place their orders, Yoongi surprises both of them by telling the barista that they'd like it 'for here'.

They find a table in the back, obscured enough that Jimin unwraps his Burberry scarf from around his neck and sighs deeply as he settles in the lounge chair, sinking low and splaying his legs, a well-executed imitation of sloth when he is anything but.

“Eat,” Yoongi urges, plucking the paper from his own bagel so he can take a hearty bite. Across from him, Jimin reaches out and grabs for his plate, though he does not bother to sit up properly.

He had gained a little weight since this summer, Yoongi thinks. His cheeks are a bit fuller, his wrists and collarbones less pronounced. Has Yoongi's constant nagging helped with that, or is Jimin feeling more at ease in general? His obsession with 'keeping himself in check' as he called it, had doubtlessly found its roots in his dance training but, after their debut, he had begun to believe that he could hunger his flaws away.

But Jimin has no flaws and, perhaps, he is finally realizing that, too.

“It's good,” Jimin hums happily, thoughtfully eyeing his bagel. As they have been coming here more often, they have started to eat their way through the menu, ordering whatever is on offer that day to give it a try. Yoongi still sticks to his Americano but, when it comes to food, he is a little more experimental.

They are content to sit in silence, for the most part, until Yoongi manages to drop a slice of egg with mayonnaise on his fucking expensive coat and feebly wipes at it with a napkin, while Jimin laughs his head off and then tries to steal what remains of Yoongi's bagel. Yoongi slaps his hand away, and then they share the cookies they bought, one chocolate chip, one peanut butter cup. Jimin's laughter turns into a coughing fit when he gets crumbs stuck in his throat.

Park Jimin is an utter utter idiot, and Yoongi could imagine no place he would rather be.

They trek back to the studio, Yoongi halfheartedly complaining about the light drizzle that has picked up, while Jimin just stuffs his cold hands in his pockets and avoids the cracks in the sidewalk, his coattails swishing with his little dance, like a bird in flight.

“Thirty years old,” Yoongi shakes his head in feigned distaste and Jimin pulls an outraged face, only to almost stumble over an old woman's even more outraged Pomeranian.

Back at their building, Yoongi sends Jimin ahead to their studio while he disappears into the bathroom. He wrestles open his coat and his pants to take a quick coffee-fueled piss, but when he washes his hands, he finds himself staring at his own reflection in the mirror.

His nose and cheeks are reddened from the cold, his fringe slightly stringy with wetness. He also hadn't really bothered to shave these past few days and, in the harsh lighting from above, a dark shadow sits along his chin and neck. Combined with his ripped jeans, it really makes an almost satirical contrast to the Burberry.

Faintly, he wonders what Jimin ever saw in him.

His gaze drops into the sink and he bites his lower lip. Then he wipes his hands off on his jeans and returns to the studio.

The light is turned low in the wood-paneled room and Jimin is bent close to the computer screens, squinting at the many visualizations of the vocal tracks.

“Don't hurt your eyes,” Yoongi warns, closing the door behind himself. Jimin glances up.

“You think we'll get done today?” he asks, not pressuring, but eager for the results. “I want to listen to the final version.”

Yoongi offers a shrug and a small smirk. “I'll see what I can do.”

 

This part of the process always makes it clear why Jimin would never be a producer.

He has too much energy, which is great when he hyper-focuses on certain parts in his dance routines, when he relentlessly repeats the same movement again and again and again until he has made it his thrall.

But, unlike Yoongi, he is too impatient to sit still for long enough to align the tracks, to adjust split seconds, to try different combinations on the mixing board. Yoongi can spend hours sitting in his studio without regard for the passage of time, especially since there are no windows, but Jimin is squirming in his chair when they are barely even an hour in.

“You can take a break,” Yoongi tells him, never even taking his eyes off the screen. “Take a nap.”

“I'm not tired,” Jimin claims and gets up to stretch his limbs and twist his spine. Yoongi should probably take it as a reminder to sit up straight himself, but he remains hunched over as he is.

Behind him, Jimin paces through the room a couple of times, but then he throws himself down onto the sofa in the corner, wiggles to get comfortable. A yawn and then he is slipping off his cardigan, bundling it up into a pillow and stuffing it under his head.

Yoongi smiles, puts on his headphones and plucks the other end of the cable into the audio jack.

He doesn't know how long he works but, at some point, he notices that his water bottle is empty and he blinks a little, checks his phone for the time. It's almost 2am, meaning a good five hours have passed. It also explains his mild headache, dry eyes and protesting spine.

He groans, kicks his legs out and then pushes himself up, before grabbing the plastic bottle. There is a water dispenser down the hallway and he goes to get himself a refill. When he returns, Jimin is awake again.

“Hyung,” he says, rubbing a hand over his eyes. His hair falls into his face, messy after sleep and having been in the rain. “Are you done?”

“Almost,” Yoongi says, his voice a little hoarse from disuse. “Finishing touches.”

Jimin seems to think for a moment.

“Show it to me when it's done,” he decides. “Not before.”

“It's your song, too,” Yoongi reminds him, but Jimin shakes his head.

“You wrote it,” he says. “I just lent you my voice.”

Yoongi's nervous fingers unscrew his water bottle to take a large gulp, and then he sits back down again, rolling close to the desk, wrestling his headphones on. A moment later, Jimin is sitting next to him once more, curiously peering over his shoulder, as though it were overly interesting without sound. Yoongi takes a deep breath and tries to concentrate.

He is not good at reading signals. Not good at interpreting feelings. More often than not, he had simply brushed everything off as a nuisance and shouldered his way through life, looking neither left nor right, focusing on his music instead.

The music is right in front of him now but, somehow, it's a poor distraction.

It's not like he is wholly oblivious. He gets moods and meaningful glances and the right moment.

And yet it would be easy to just let the moment pass. He could ignore it ever existed, move on and never look back. Throughout the years, there had been vaguely similar scenarios, times when Yoongi had known that it would be child's play to just lean in and kiss a girl, that she would be responsive to it, that they could neatly slide into some sort of dating situation.

This is not quite that, but it's pretty damn close.

For the first time in his life, Yoongi doesn't want to let the moment pass.

“I'm done,” he declares after another thirty minutes, pulling the headphones off and unplugging them again. Next to him, Jimin sits up very straight and leans in close. The bright glow of the screens makes his eyes sparkle. Yoongi hits play.

 

The drive back to the loft is quiet. It's late at night and New York, for once, is mostly asleep.

Yoongi leans heavily against the car door on the passenger side, his breath fogging up the cold window. His eyes lazily track the movement of the raindrops clinging to the glass, dispersing the city lights like a kaleidoscope.

Jimin had not bothered to turn on the radio but now, as they wait at a crossing, he begins to hum the melody of their song, not drumming his fingers against the wheel, not speaking the words, not even all that aware of it, as it seems. The traffic light turns green and he eases onto the gas pedal, picking up speed.

Snippets of blue and red and white whiz across his face, fanciful as the Christmas decorations that have started to pop up all over the place, and Yoongi composes a wishlist in his head.

The underground car park, when they get out, is bitterly cold, early winter radiating off the blank concrete walls, and they both huddle deeper into their coats as they make their way to the elevator. The small cabin is only marginally warmer and Yoongi shuffles on the spot, hitching his shoulders up to his ears. The sudden light manages to wake him up a little.

“Thank you, hyung,” Jimin says non-sequitur, pushing the button that will take them skyward, but Yoongi knows what he is talking about anyway.

“I promised I'd write you a song, didn't I?” he says and he'd expected it to come out grouchy, but it only sounds fond instead.

Jimin's laugh then is radiant and he tosses his head back, eyes crinkling.

“You did,” he agrees, pulling his keys from his pocket as the elevator comes to a halt on their floor. “It certainly took you long enough.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi admits, impatiently waiting for Jimin to unlock the door to the loft. The dense warmth from inside immediately engulfs them, welcomes them home, and a breath shudders out of Yoongi as they step inside.

He puts his palm against the door, pushing it shut, robbing them of the light from the hallway. In the half-dark, his eyes only find Jimin.

“Say, Jiminie,” he says, his voice a little rough. “That crush of yours. Did that ever go away?”

There is a moment of silence, long enough to make him wonder whether Jimin even heard him. Then-

“Please don't make fun of my feelings, hyung,” he finally replies, very quietly. “I can't just turn them off when they become inconvenient.”

“I don't want you to,” Yoongi says and, blinded by things that have little to do with lack of light, reaches for him.

“Oh,” Jimin says, a split second before Yoongi's mouth meets his, curiously precise.

Yoongi's fingers curl in the wool of the scarf that is still artfully twisted around Jimin's neck, less pulling him forward but rather anchoring himself.

Yoongi... hasn't kissed in a while. Has never kissed with much enthusiasm. Has never kissed anyone he thought he might love, in whatever way.

There is nothing about routine in the way he opens his mouth a little helplessly and touches his tongue against Jimin's lips, more tentative that he'd like to admit. Jimin makes an aborted little sound, somewhere high in his throat, a breath falls out of him, and a moment later Yoongi tastes warm heat.

They are separated by a handful of air and two thick layers of coats and Yoongi is grateful for it, wouldn't know what to do with himself if things moved too quickly but, when Jimin's hands come up and settle against his chest, it feels strangely right.

While the hours at the studio had felt like a blink, this moment is an eternity underneath Yoongi's skin. He is kissing Park Jimin and, somewhere, the universe shifts its planets into syzygy.

When they part, their faces are still very close. Jimin's eyes are closed and it takes him a long second to look at Yoongi with heavy lids.

“Hyung?” he asks, just an exhale, as though he had not other word to fit into this pause.

“I know,” Yoongi says because he is confused himself and he can only imagine what it must be like for Jimin. Had Jimin ever imagined how they would kiss? Had he spun fantasies like gossamer and torn them to shreds when he left for the States?

“I know,” he repeats, swallowing heavily. “I shouldn't- make assumptions but- I want to try,“ he says in a rush. “I cannot promise anything more but... I want to try. With you.”

“That- I- that is very sudden,” Jimin says and takes a step back, turning away from Yoongi.

Pacing through the room, he shrugs off his coat, then his scarf, tosses them over the back of the sofa. He hobbles on one foot to pick at his shoelaces, nearly losing his balance, flailing his arms to catch himself again. He is driven by nervous energy, and each movement a valiant attempt to distract from the matter at hand. Yoongi dares to hope.

“It is,” he agrees, glancing down at himself to unbutton his own coat. “But also not.”

“Is this-” Jimin pulls a shoe off his foot, sets it aside, straightens up again. “Is this just because I told you?”

“Jiminie,” Yoongi frowns, feeling vaguely offended, “You're not the first person who told me they were in love with me.”

Jimin stills. His chest heaves and his eyes go wide.

“In love,” he splutters, “I never- That is-”

But even as he says it, his voice breaks and his hands come up to hide his face.

“You can't just make me wait,” he says, his voice muffled. “And make me think how stupid I am. And now get my hopes up. That's not fair.”

Yoongi clenches his fists, stares down at the distance between them.

“I'm sorry,” he says. “For never noticing.”

Idly, he wonders how he would have reacted if Jimin had already confessed all those years ago. A too self-aware part of him bitterly knows that he would have tried to gently let him down. They couldn't have risked the group like that.

“You weren't meant to notice,” Jimin sniffs and lowers his hands. They still haven't turned on the lights, so it's hard to tell, but Yoongi thinks his eyes are glistening wetly.

“The only reason I haven't slapped you,” Jimin adds, “Is that I know you would never just abuse my feelings like this.”

Other people perhaps would have used the opportunity for a quick fling, a convenient fuck.

“I wouldn't,” Yoongi says, giving an awkward shuffle on the spot. “I just... never wanted this with anyone else.”

Jimin's shoulders slump.

“Why am I still so in love with you?” he asks. He sounds a little angry at himself, but also a lot helpless.

Finally, Yoongi gives himself a push and crosses the room, coming to stand in front of Jimin. Now that Jimin's gotten rid of both his shoes and insoles, they are at least on eye level again.

“Maybe so I could get a chance to catch up with you?” Yoongi offers quietly, reaching for Jimin's hand.

Jimin breathes in, a bit unsteady.

“Of course you turn out to be a romantic,” he sighs in resignation and, this time, when they kiss, it's not a surprise.

Now that Jimin is putting his mind to it, it becomes obvious that he, at least, knows what he is doing. He tilts his head to avoid bumping noses, he settles an arm on Yoongi's waist to pull him a bit closer, he tugs and nibbles on Yoongi's lower lip and then soothes the imaginary hurt with his tongue.

Yoongi thinks that, had kissing always been like this, he would have been doing it a lot more.

At length, Jimin pulls back, just looks at Yoongi, as though gauging his reaction.

“You liked that,” he says, sounding almost surprised, and Yoongi gives a mute nod. For some reason, Park Jimin has the peculiar habit of either turning him into a fountain spring of poetry or robbing him of all his words.

Jimin smiles.

“Go to bed,” he tells Yoongi. “You look ready to keel over. We can talk more tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods, and doesn't move.

Jimin, seeming to understand the problem, gives a little laugh.

“Goodnight,” he says and, with a pinch of temerity, adds, “Hyung.”

And he kisses Yoongi again, a plain peck, but right on the mouth. Then he takes a step back and two more, reaches behind himself to push down the door handle to his room, and disappears inside.

For a moment, Yoongi just stands there, trying to think his thudding heart into submission. It doesn't work.

He goes to bed without brushing his teeth, foolishly hoping Jimin's taste won't leave his lips.




Chapter Text

The first few days are tender.

They don't quite know their limits yet, their heights and their depths and their distance. But they had agreed to give it a try and that is more than either had ever seen coming, slightly overwhelming but ultimately ecstatic.

Yoongi cannot seem to keep his hands off of Jimin, and the liberty to touch him is a wholly new thing, his skin hungry for contact.

So they sit cuddled up close as they watch TV. They hold hands on the gearshift as they drive down to the grocer's. They reward each other with kisses when they the are in the studio.

It's chaste, mostly, like teenagers hiding from their parents and also kind of from themselves. Jimin seems shy about initiating anything, obviously not wanting to pressure Yoongi.

So it's Yoongi who crowds him up against the kitchen counter, Yoongi who presses a minty kiss to Jimin's mouth when they are done brushing their teeth, Yoongi who cannot stop his mind from wandering.

The truth is that Jimin had always been sexy to him. Oh, in the beginning, he had been a cute dongsaeng, no doubt. But he was also a gifted dancer with the body to match. He learned how to charm with a glance and how to tilt his head just so. Jimin knew how to work a crowd and a camera in a way that Yoongi had never quite comprehended.

Yoongi wasn't blind to these things, just not necessarily receptive in the way most people seemed to be. It was like there had been a question and, all his life, he had only been able to give vague shrugs. Now that he is finally has found an answer, he doesn't want to whisper it. He wants to shout.

 

On Tuesday evening, they cook together. Italian, because it's relatively easy. Jimin mostly in charge for watching over the pasta and keeping the water from boiling over, but Yoongi is busy cutting tomatoes and onions and olives and fresh herbs, and Jimin's gaze keep sliding over, watching him wield the knife.

Yoongi makes a questioning noise in the back of his throat, but Jimin only makes one right back at him.

“Something the matter?” Yoongi asks and Jimin ducks his head, his cheeks growing round and red with a smile.

“I like your hands,” he says, as though that would explain much of anything, and Yoongi stares down at the basil and the cutting board and his own fingers.

“Why?” he asks, befuddled.

Jimin just shakes his head.

“I don't know,” he says. “They're bigger than mine-”

“Which isn't very difficult to achieve.”

“-and your fingers are so long and pale and- I like it.”

“Thanks?” Yoongi asks and dumps the last ingredients into the pan. A gush of heat hits his face and he blames it on the stove, adjusting the temperature a little.

When dinner is ready, they sit on the couch and eat together. Jimin has turned on some music, and Martin and Sinatra croon in the background, singing of moons and smoke and love. They found some left-over Gouda in the back of the bridge as well and so they pair it with a new bottle of Merlot and enjoy a low-key kind of decadence.

Outside, it has started raining, first lightly and then in torrents, but in here is warm and calm and comfortable. Jimin, in his oversized sweater and black leggings, also looks wonderfully soft and inviting.

Yoongi downs the last of his wine, sets the glass aside and kisses Jimin.

It's a good kiss, slow and angling, with Jimin's hand setting itself on Yoongi's knee and caressing a thumb over it. Yoongi opens his mouth and licks a little deeper.

“Good thing we both had garlic,” Jimin smiles when he pulls back at length, only to lean right back in.

Yoongi doesn't know just quite how long they sit there and make out. The storm is still raging and Dean Martin sings about his Innamorata. At some point, Jimin has thrown a leg over Yoongi, half sitting in his lap, their bodies entwined. Yoongi's fingers inch their way underneath the wool of Jimin's sweater and find hot skin.

When they stop for a moment to catch their breath, Jimin bites his lower lip, catching Yoongi's gaze.

“Do you wanna... go to bed?” he asks tentatively, though a sliver of hope bleeds into his voice.

Yoongi stills, then swallows. He's not quite caught off guard, admittedly; he'd been thinking about it, too. So, after another moment, he gives a nod. It comes out a little jerky because it's daunting to say yes, but he also doesn't want to say no.

“Yours or mine?” Jimin asks cheekily and it seeps some of the tension from Yoongi's shoulders.

“Mine,” he says, swallowing quickly. It's a bit of a calculated move. He has neither lube nor condoms in his room so that, at least, would keep things from moving too quickly.

Moving over into the bedroom should be more awkward than it ends up being. Jimin just takes him by the hand and leads him over to the door, closes it behind them, guides them to the bed and sits them down.

In here, it's colder than it had been in the living-room and Yoongi can feel the fine hairs along his arms stand up. It only makes sense that, when Jimin opens his arms, Yoongi falls into his embrace to warm himself up again.

They return to kissing as the Sun returns to the West, and Yoongi cannot believe that less than two weeks ago, they had never even kissed at all. Just today, Yoongi has probably kissed more than he had before in his entire life.

And he hates it, just a little, that is suddenly seems all so easy just because of that one person. Just wait, his mother's voice echoes in his head, Just wait.

Mid-kiss, Jimin lets himself fall down onto the mattress, pulling Yoongi right along with him.

In that moment, a hot and cold shudder runs down Yoongi's spine, making him question whether this isn't too much, whether they aren't moving too quickly, whether perhaps he is in over his head.

He gasps and pulls back, twisting his head to the side.

“Yoongi-yah?” Jimin asks quietly, pushing himself up onto his hands. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi says roughly, wiping the back his hand over his nose. “I just... need a second.”

“Oh,” Jimin says and it's not much to go on in terms of how he feels about Yoongi's freak-out. “We can stop, if you'd rather-”

“I didn't say that,” Yoongi cuts him off, his tone more snappish than intended. He lowers his head, takes a breath, collects himself.

“I don't, uh, know if I really... can,” he tries to explain, his lack of words making him stumble. It's not just that this whole sex with feelings thing is sort of new to him, but also that his meds don't exactly give him a lot of leeway. Most of the time, it takes him some effort to get going, and then there is this threshold, just when orgasm is in sight, that he sometimes cannot seem to overstep. It's frustrating enough when he is just jerking off, but he's never had to worry about disappointing a partner.

“That's alright,” Jimin says, leaning in without being oppressing. The cool tip of his nose moves along Yoongi's cheek, drags a blazing trailing over the warm skin. “We don't have to.”

“I want to,” Yoongi feels the need to tell him. “I'm just not very...” He glances up at the ceiling, searching. Confident? Experienced? Aroused? He wants to make it good for Jimin but he also doesn't want to compromise his own comfort zone.

“We can do as much or as little as you want,” Jimin assures him, pressing a calming kiss to the corner of Yoongi's mouth. “I know I'll enjoy it in any case.”

Yoongi blinks a little, pulls back to look at him.

“How can you be so sure?” he asks, only to see a small smile tug at Jimin's lips.

“Because it's you,” he says, with all the confidence, the experience, the arousal that Yoongi finds so hard to come by. And suddenly, all doubts seems to dissipate.

“Okay,” Yoongi breathes. “Okay.”

They take it slow. It'd be easier, perhaps, to tumble down onto the bed and roll around, easier to distract from shaking hands and clumsy kisses.

But true to his words, Jimin lets Yoongi take the reins, lets him go at his own pace, while Jimin simply leans back and lets it happen, half-lidded eyes and soft touches. And Yoongi, in turn, makes the most of it.

There is no pressure between them, no urgency, just a peculiar kind of familiarity that has nothing to do with sex but that sits deeper than their skin, than their bones. They know each other and that is, perhaps, what Yoongi had been missing in previous partners.

This, however, is like uncovering a new chapter in a well-loved book. The story is foreign but the heroes are the same.

So Yoongi finds the thin line between what is still a caress and what turns into a tickle along Jimin's ribs. He discovers the taste of salt at the underside of Jimin's jaw. He unravels the exact way how Jimin sighs into a particularly lingering kiss and how his eyelids flutter each time, his hands just gently grasping at Yoongi's shoulders.

He's pliant underneath Yoongi's touches, not like putty, not like a doll, still a living thing but with such utter trust that Yoongi has to swallow, lest his heart jumps out of his mouth.

Bit by bit, he undresses Jimin, slips the socks off his feet and the sweater over his head. He pulls the fabric off him, lays his skin bare as though he had never seen him naked before.

They've had their fair share of intimate moments over the years, thoughtful conversations and emotional support, times when they broke down from sheer exhaustion, when the homesickness got the better of them, when their hard work finally paid off and the joy and gratitude was so overwhelming it all tumbled out of them.

But that was something they shared between the seven of them. Something they wrote letters and told little anecdotes about. Something that, ultimately, would be dragged into the limelight, no longer purely belonging to them.

This, though, is different. This is is truly wholly theirs.

Yoongi can feel himself growing bolder by the minute, his hands steadier, his kisses certain. The lights are soft,the sheets are soft, and Jimin's touches are soft, too.

Like this, Yoongi understands that it doesn't matter if there is sex or orgasms or even passion. It's the most intimate he has ever been with anyone else, both physically and emotionally. Vaguely, he wonders whether it's always like this for other people, whether they kiss and fuck and see stars every time – but then he realizes that he does not care.

Then again, having Park Jimin naked and sighing happily underneath him is a rather good distraction.

 

“What are you writing?” Jimin asks afterwards, when Yoongi has pulled his notebook close and is scribbling onto a new page.

“Nothing,” Yoongi mutters and scratches out a word only to write it again. “Just... impressions.”

“... was this too much for you?” Jimin asks carefully, leaning his temple against Yoongi's bare shoulder.

Yoongi shakes his head. “I just... wanna retain it, I guess.”

It's fanciful, perhaps, and nothing that Yoongi had ever thought he'd do, but he had always been the type to express his experiences through lyrics. What better way than to write a song about the taste of wine, the softness of Jimin's skin?

He tries to put into words how very tender they had been but, right now, he cannot quite catch a coherent thought. After a few more minutes, he sighs and sets the book aside.

“Done?” Jimin asks and Yoongi nods, a little chagrined.

“Good,” Jimin presses a kiss to his cheek. “You wanna take a bath then?”

Yoongi does.


 

 

 

                                                                            

 


 

Another thing Yoongi had never dreamed: being taken care of.

Whenever he had entertained the idea of a relationship – idly, habitually, because it was what everyone kept talking and asking about – he had envisioned himself with a woman. It was simply easier that way. There were rules he had been taught from early on, a certain concept to adhere to. Find a respectable girl, marry her, have children.

To him, it had all sounded like a burden, a chore.

Now, with Jimin sitting behind him and kissing along his neck, Yoongi thinks maybe life isn't so clear-cut after all.

The water in the tub is just the right temperature to redden their skin without being unbearable. Jimin threw some bathbomb into it, and now he is dragging a loofah along Yoongi's torso in a not-quite massage, rubbing scented oils into him.

To put it simply, Yoongi has never felt more pampered.

“Don't fall asleep on me,” Jimin chuckles against his ear, but Yoongi only hums contentedly. He would happily stay in here until his skin was all pruney and then some.

There is something about this that is extremely satisfying. The warmth, the cleanliness, the smell of lavender, the post-orgasm bliss, the storm still trembling outside. But the best thing, Yoongi thinks, is definitely the skin-on-skin contact.

“And here I thought Mochi were the one who's demanding when it comes to cuddles,” Jimin teases. “I didn't know you were so clingy, hyung.”

The corners of Yoongi's mouth pull down, though he does not open his eyes.

“Am I?” he asks.

“What?”

“Clingy.”

For a moment, there is silence, and Yoongi wonders what it means.

“I think,” Jimin says at length, slowly in a manner that shows he is deliberating his words. “That because you avoided one thing, you ended up depriving yourself of a whole lot of other stuff, too.”

“I didn't-” Yoongi protests but then just gives up and sinks deeper into the water. He can't object to the fact that, because he hadn't wanted to encourage other people's advances, he had often been more standoffish than need be, and years of this had boxed him into a corner than he didn't know how to escape from. Until now.

The thing that hits Yoongi then is not quite an epiphany, but it’s pretty damn close.

“Jiminie,” he says, struggling to sit up in the slippery tub, and the water sloshes around his bony knees. He turns around, still half-caught in Jimin's arms, because this is a conversation they need to have face to face. “I don't have to try anymore.”

Something funny happens on Jimin's face then, like a figure skater slipping on the ice and just barely catching himself.

“Oh,” he says, his voice small. “That- I understand.”

Yoongi frowns.

“Jiminie,” he repeats, more intently. “I don't have to try because I know .”

“Oh,” Jimin says again and, this time, it shakes slightly. He shakes slightly.

“Yeah,” Yoongi bobs his head. “So. You wanna stop trying, too?”

“I do,” Jimin laughs and properly throws his arms around Yoongi again to reel him in.

The water closes over their heads and Yoongi has never cared less about breathing.

 

Chapter Text

 

                                                                                               


 

They have their first live performance together at The Wire .

It had been Davi's idea, a way for them to get back in the groove and also promote their album. Something like this would never be possible directly under BigHit but here people filming them and uploading clips to the internet would be a cheap and fast way to fuel the ever-growing hype.

It's been over a decade since Yoongi has performed in such a small venue but the place is packed. With chagrin he remembers Bangtan's first concert when they had been standing on stage in front of three-hundred people. They had known that kpop was not the quick and easy way to fame as many outsiders liked to believe, and as such the concert had felt like a huge success.

So tonight feels like a return to his roots in several ways. Not just because he is here with another Bangtan member after having been on his own for so long, but because he is also rather digging the underground vibe the venue gives off, something he hadn't really gotten to experience since his late teens.

The stage is small and the lighting mediocre, but the sound system is bomb. There are two women on stage, doing a freestyle battle to a mellow beat. They are having fun with it, their drags more ribbing than biting, and the people laugh and snap their fingers. With a pinch of pride, Yoongi notes how, despite only keeping half an ear on them, he can understand most of what they are saying.

Jimin and him are talking to the club owner, Rufus, a middle-aged man who has Disney's Tinkerbell tattooed on the side of his neck and keeps chewing on black licorice. It seems that he either has no idea who Jimin and Yoongi are or that he simply doesn't care; but he appears pleased to see so many new faces in the audience.

The crowd itself is mixed. Some are obviously former ARMYs, others more interested in Jimin's pop image here. There are rappers as well, hip hop fans, many of them Asian. The atmosphere is relaxed, despite the unusual combination. Perhaps New Yorkers are more used to this.

There is a short intermezzo as the women leave the stage and something new by Drake blasts out of the speakers, and they get the microphones sorted out. Yoongi is not nervous, but excited. He wants this as he hasn't wanted the spotlight in quite a while.

“Y'all having fun tonight?” Rufus asks as he takes the stage, meandering along its edge and dragging the mic cord along with him. The audience answers with enthusiastic hollers.

“Good,” he says, bobbing his head. “You're about to have more fun, though, I can promise you that.”

Another wave of cheers, this time primarily by some louder women. Yoongi grins to himself; ARMYs know what's coming.

“Now I've been told,” Rufus continues in a conversational tone as though he were just chatting with some friends at the corner store, “That these two haven't performed together since 2020. That's a mighty long time for friends to be apart.”

Yoongi bites his lip and glances over at Jimin who is already grinning back.

“Friends,” he mouths and Yoongi shakes his head with a snort.

“Now,” Rufus says. “Let's give a warm hand to - Agust D and Jimin!”

Some AMRYs yell their names and the rest of the crowd answers in yells and cries and clapping hands. Yoongi takes a deep breath. It's time.

They don't do any further introductions, Yoongi simply signaling for the MC to play their track of the night. The moment the first few notes boost out of the speakers, their older fans are screaming frenetically. Because this song is familiar, this the subunit teaser that had been dropped years and year ago, and finally it sees its continuation.

“Hey, gentleman,” Yoongi begins with a coy tilt of his head, lifting a finger from his microphone. “Wait a minute.”

So they perform their revised version of Tony Montana first to really get the crowd going, and then follow it up with So Far Away and First Love. Several of their former fans sing along as best they can, but then they sigh and listen with bated breath as they play excerpts from their new songs. They cheer when they sing their odé to Nolita, snap their fingers to The Slow Years , and rock out when the chorus of Dandelion comes up.

The air is thick and hot, the crowd ecstatic, swaying along to the beat. The wooden stage underneath Yoongi's feet vibrates with the bass. He hasn't felt this alive while performing, while simply rapping in ages. He wonders how he could have let it come so far.

“Everyone, thank you so much for coming out tonight!” Jimin tells the audience when they are nearing the end.

“I love you, Jimin!” a guy in the audience screams, his voice nearly breaking with it, and several people laugh, Jimin included.

He strikes a cute pose and winks, terribly at odds with his serious and swaggy attitude from before.

“I love you, too!” he calls back. “So please support our upcoming album! We put a lot of effort into it!”

More cheers and then Yoongi is stepping up, rolling the microphone between his hands before he lifts it to his mouth.

“We have,” he begins, “One last song. It's not done. The track needs more work. But we want to play it for you.”

He thinks for a moment, tries to find the right words. “I have been here since summer. And I love New York-”

Jubilee, as all locals approve of his opinion.

“-but our hearts beat for Seoul.”

He speaks for Jimin, too, because he knows. Daegu and Busan were their roots, and New York is their present. But Seoul had made them into who they are, and that no one can deny.

“So,” he says, sucking in a breath between his teeth. “For the first time: Heart and Seoul !”

The MC takes his cue and the track begins playing, still lacking the minute details that Yoongi has in store for it, the instrumentals and intricacies. But for now, it'll do. For now, only the words matter, the message, the truth that has been growing inside of him for months now, but that has only started blossoming a little while ago.

“So my mother told me, 'Just be happy',” he raps, remembering his parents’ encouragement and consternation when he had first decided to leave Daegu. “And my father told me, 'Make us proud.' There's a difference between fame and fortune. It took me fifteen years to work that out.”

He had been young then, naive, though not as naive as many of his peers. He had thought he knew how the world worked, but he hadn't known himself yet. Age doesn't necessarily make you wiser, but it had made him a bit less of a smart aleck.

“I'm counting dollars, dollars, I'm weighing gold. I flash my Royal Flush before I fold. But how rich are my Midas hands, what good is my greed, when all this Ambrosia tastes like dirt and defeat?”

“Oh, how far do you go,” Jimin chimes in without missing a beat, “To remember, to find out, to know this ain't your home, and you're all alone.”

“I've got street lights paving my way,” Yoongi continues. “They tell me when to leave and when to stay. But I need a reason, I need something profound for my journey to be over, 'cause I am homeward bound!”

Home, he thinks and fixes his eyes on Jimin's profile, the gentle slope of his nose, the plush red of his lips. Perhaps all his trials and errors, his Odyssey had always been meant to lead him here.

“I want my heart and soul to be at ease,” Jimin sings with abandon, sweat glistening on his temples. “A taste of home and a handful of peace. I want my eyes to find the True North of your smile, and for your voice to tell me 'hello, it's been a while.”

A grin, impish and easy, as they both look at each other, the microphones held close to their lips, speaking at the same time.

“Hello, it's been a while.”


 

Trending on Twitter

#helloitsbeenawhile

#yoonmin

#heartandseoul

#ARMY4LIFE

#minimini


 

When they leave the venue, they take the backdoor to avoid any overeager groupies. Outside, it is cold as balls but Yoongi does not even bother to button up his coat, instead running up ahead with a burst of energy.

“Yoongi-yah, your scarf!” Jimin calls out, hurrying to catch up with him, but Yoongi just laughs and ducks away.

“No!” he says, just to be contrary, though he is careful not to slip on any unexpected ice.

He feels rejuvenated and refreshed. This is the feeling he has been chasing after when he came to New York. The reason he came to Seoul.

Jimin, finally fed up with his antics, just throws the scarf around Yoongi's neck and pulls him in for a kiss. Yoongi goes willingly, but he is still laughing, so it's less kissing and more him blowing raspberries against Jimin's lips.

“You're awful,” Jimin complains, even as he properly ties the scarf and then buttons Yoongi's coat. His fingers linger on the tiny strip of skin that is exposed underneath Yoongi's collarbone.

Yoongi licks his lips.

“Let's call a cab,” he says, and they do.

Back at the loft, they are already making out when they stumble through the door. They strip each other of their clothes, haphazardly losing them along the way. Mochi gives an offended wail when she is almost hit by a stray shoe and promptly hides herself underneath the coffee table, watching them with wide eyes. Yoongi slams the bedroom door shut for good measure.

They fall down onto the bed, just kissing some more, exploring the expanses of their winter chilled skin. Against him, Jimin is already hard, though Yoongi's own cock is a bit behind on the program. Today is a slow day for him; perhaps, the performance has tired him out more than he had thought.

So he sits between Jimin's spread legs instead, with Jimin on his back and holding on to the headboard, while Yoongi runs his palms over the quivering muscles on the insides of Jimin's thighs. Yoongi had always admired his dancer's physique, but this new-found appreciation is something else entirely.

There are details, though, that he drinks in with each time they do this, always something new to learn, to imprint onto his memory. The sweat on Jimin's skin, the goosebumps on his arms, hairs rising in the cool of the room, the way his breath hitches as the pleasure builds.

He gets Jimin off like this, his thumb running over the head of Jimin's cock, twisting his wrist with each upward stroke, until Jimin keens and bucks up, coming all over his belly.

Yoongi laughs quietly, sits back as Jimin's nose wrinkles and he wipes at the mess with the flannel shirt he had been wearing. He tosses it into the general direction of the hamper in the corner, and Yoongi tugs down the sheets.

When Jimin cuddles up against his side, Yoongi places an arm around him, running his hand over the gentle curve of Jimin's spine. Jimin is trailing his fingertips over Yoongi's bare chest, the pale skin a stark contrast to the heavy ink of his sleeves.

Perhaps, Yoongi muses idly, he ought to get something new done. Perhaps Jimin had been right, and Yoongi should get a bird tattooed somewhere that symbolizes himself. The idea doesn't sound as outrageous as it had a few weeks ago.

“Your English has gotten much better,” Jimin praises him, probably in regards to Yoongi's confidence at the club.

“I better fucking hope so,” Yoongi grumbles. “I've been living here for long enough.”

“And you've had a good teacher,” Jimin preens, obviously hoping for agreement.

Yoongi smiles, though he hides it against the crown of Jimin's head. Jimin had been a little bit obnoxious about it, especially during their vlogs, insisting on teaching Yoongi either useful phrases or completely unnecessary vocabulary, letting out peals of laughter whenever Yoongi got something wrong.

“Then what's today's lesson?” Yoongi asks.

“Hmmm,” Jimin says, pretending to think about it. “We already did cuss words.”

They had and Yoongi had eagerly written some of them down should he ever need something new and inventive for his future raps.

“We did food.”

That had also been fun, with Yoongi holding up random items as they went grocery shopping, Jimin struggling to find the right word, before Yoongi was already moving on to something new.

“How about we do anatomy?” Jimin asks now, his voice teasing, and Yoongi holds his breath.

“Anatomy?” he asks.

“Yes,” Jimin says, his finger circling Yoongi's aureole.

“Like what?”

Jimin just props himself up on his elbow, his pink lips descending on Yoongi's equally pink nipple, giving it a nibble and then a hard suck. Yoongi has to bite the inside of his cheek to keep himself from making a sound, but Jimin glances up at him from underneath his messy fringe.

"Say, 'I want you to suck my cock'."

At that, Yoongi gives a languid grin. It's not like he doesn't know exactly what that means.

"I want you to suck my cock," he says anyway, watching as Jimin shivers.

"Do you?" he asks, his eyes low-lidded.

"Yeah," Yoongi replies roughly.

"Well, if you insist," Jimin says and pulls the bed sheets off him.

Yoongi is not quite hard yet, but Jimin's clever fingers along with the leftover pleasure from before quickly change that. And if there is one thing Yoongi has found about himself in these past weeks is that he really really likes the sight of Jimin's hand on his cock. Especially if the hand is then followed by a mouth.

Jimin always knows how to take his time with this, to lick and suck and get Yoongi half mad with desire before he actually takes him in, makes his throat go lax and lets him slide in deep. The few times they've done this, they both ended up a little hoarse afterwards, but for entirely different reasons.

Jimin moans quietly, digging his fingers into Yoongi's white thighs, an obvious invitation. But Yoongi is still reluctant about actually fucking his mouth like Jimin has encouraged him to do before, reluctant about clenching his fingers in his hair and moving him along.

But, perhaps, there is something else Yoongi can do to show his appreciation.

“You're so good at that,” he says lowly, watching as the muscles in Jimin's jaw work with each suck. “I've never liked anyone else doing this.”

It's true. Most guys he knew always raved about how great it was to have a girl sucking your dick, but Yoongi had generally found the whole thing rather underwhelming. It was wet and warm, but little more than that. He didn't like the vulnerability that came with it, didn't like not quite knowing what to do with himself while he had someone else kneeling between his legs. Half of the time, his partners had grown frustrated, unable to make him come, eventually just trying to finish him off with a lackluster handjob.

Jimin is different, in every way. Or, rather, Yoongi is different when he is with Jimin.

It's easier to relax like this, easier to concentrate on the sensations, on the embers low in his gut. The visuals are quite nice, too.

Jimin's lips are red and spit-slick, stretched wide around Yoongi's cock as he lowers himself farther down again, swallowing around Yoongi. He's breathing through his nose and his eyes are closed in concentration.

“I wanna blow you, too,” Yoongi tells him. It's not that he hadn't tried it before, he just knows that he hadn't been very good at it. “You'll have to show me how. Give me instructions. I wanna make it good for you.”

Jimin makes a little noise of approval, the sound seeming to vibrate through Yoongi. Yoongi inhales sharply.

“God, I'm gonna write a rap about your tongue,” he says, arching a little, though he is careful not to choke Jimin. “I want everyone to know how well you blow me.”

He doesn't, not really, doesn't like the thought of sharing this with anyone, but Jimin whimpers and Yoongi should have figured that Jimin got off on being praised like this.

The thought of Jimin really liking this, of jealously hoarding Yoongi's compliments and trying to be good for him, is finally what sends Yoongi over the edge, spilling himself in Jimin's mouth.

Jimin catches some of it, but then he pulls back and the come hits face, sliding down along his nose. He does not seem disgusted or even surprised by it and, maybe, he had wanted this, too.

Yoongi, however, grapples for the night shirt Jimin keeps stuffed under his pillow and uses it to dab the cum from Jimin's cheeks, his other hand gently grasping Jimin's chin. In his hold, Jimin remains completely still, and Yoongi is hit with the knowledge that Park Jimin trusts him, that he wants every part of him.

His movements grow slower and slower, until Jimin's face is clean and his eyes flutter open again, giving Yoongi a mildly curious look.

“What?” he asks, with a perked eyebrow, but Yoongi just shakes his head.

“You're beautiful,” he says simply, only to see a blush spread on Jimin's face, another thing Yoongi had quickly learned to enjoy.

He leans in and they kiss, tenderly. No matter how exciting or heated things got in the middle, the end always remained the same.

They settle down once more, the t-shirt discarded, the bed still warm. It must be close to 3am by now, though Yoongi can't be arsed to check. Tomorrow, they could just sleep in, have breakfast, maybe shower together.

For now, he is content to just lie here and let his blood calm down again.

On the bedside table, both their phones suddenly vibrate, still, vibrate again. Jimin reaches out for his, glancing at the app alerts displayed on the lock screen.

“Oh,” he notes, “The others all seem to be online.”

“Uh-huh,” Yoongi nods tiredly. In Korea it must be a decent time of day instead of ass o' clock in the morning.

“Hey,” Jimin says, sounding thoughtful.

“Hm?”

“Do you think we should tell them?”

“Tell them what?”

“That we're dating.”

Yoongi gives a surprised gasp.

“We're dating?!” he exclaims, only to lose his breath when Jimin vindictively knocks his elbow into his ribs.

“Yeah, I guess,” Yoongi relents, once he has stopped coughing. “But how are we gonna do it?”

“I don't know. Just... drop the bomb, I guess?”

Yoongi blows up his cheeks. “I don't feel like giving lengthy explanations.”

“Mmm, me either,” Jimin admits. “What if...” he begins, the tilt of his eyebrows turning somewhat puckish, “We don't explain anything?”

“Huh?” Yoongi frowns. “What do you mean?”

“Come here,” Jimin says, leaning in close to press a kiss to his mouth. Yoongi stills, surprised, but from the corner of his eye he can see Jimin lifting the phone and snapping some pictures.

“Oh,” he says in understanding. “That's just cruel. I like it.”

“I knew you would,” Jimin says and pulls up KakaoTalk.


Chapter Text

 

 

Taehyung: [sent an image]

Taehyung: I hate running in the snow

Jungkook: ~crying~

Seokjin: Stop complaining

Jungkook: Easy for you to say, Mister Grand Bell Award

Seokjin: I had to serve, too, remember?

Yoongi: Hey

Yoongi: Is everyone online?

Jungkook: Hyung!

Hoseok: What's up?

Namjoon: Isn't it really late in NY rn?

Taehyung: Is Jimin-ah with you??

Jimin: I'm here. :)

Hoseok: BTS Kakaotalk reunion!

Yoongi: Good.

Jimin: [sent an image]

Jimin: ;-*

Yoongi offline

Jimin offline

Namjoon: Oh my God.

Seokjin: Wait what?

Hoseok: Why are they kissing?

Hoseok: Did I miss something?

Taehyung: No way.

Jungkook: Why are they naked???

Jungkook: And kissing??

Jungkook: And in bed??

Jungkook: Why are they naked and kissing and in bed?

Seokjin: This is a prank, right?

Namjoon: I don't think so

Seokjin: Why don't you sound surprised?

Namjoon: I am

Namjoon: Or maybe not. I don't know

Hoseok: Did you expect something like this??

Hoseok: I thought they were just recording an album?

Namjoon: I suspected about Jiminie

Namjoon: And I thought if hyung ever got with anyone, it might be one of us

Hoseok: ONE of us? What??

Namjoon: No

Namjoon: He's just never been superficially interested in anyone. So if he is interested at all, there needs to be a deeper connection.

Namjoon: Ergo: potentially one of us.

Jungkook: Tae, did you know about this??

Taehyung: I knew Jimin had a crush on him

Hoseok: Kudos for keeping a lid on it for so long

Taehyung: Hey, I don't like gossip

Seokjin: Liar.

Hoseok: So how long has this been going on?

Taehyung: The crush? That was sort of an on-and-off thing. Wasn't like he could do much about it back then

Hoseok: True...

Seokjin: And the relationship? This is a relationship now, right?

Namjoon: Seems like it. And it must be pretty new. We're probably the first ones they told.

Jungkook: Okay, so I'm freaking out and the guys in my unit are asking what's going on

Namjoon: DON'T SAY ANYTHING!

Namjoon: TREAT THIS LIKE THE GREATEST SECRET YOU EVER HAD

Taehyung: GREATER THAN THE SECRET OF THAT TIME IN JIN-HYUNG'S ROOM

Jungkook: YOU PROMISED WE'D NEVER TALK ABOUT THAT AGAIN!!

Seokjin: What? What happened in my room??

Hoseok: This is such a mess...

Namjoon: IN ANY CASE

Namjoon: Please treat this with respect

Namjoon: They are in the US right now and things are different there. When/if they come back, they probably won't be able to be open about it

Hoseok: :(

Namjoon: But we can support them to the best of our abilities.

Hoseok: Fighting!

Seokjin: I still can't believe the fan girls were right.

 


 

 

Namjoon groans and sets his phone aside. It still keeps vibrating with incoming messages, but for now he doesn’t want to see any more of that mess. The others are just going to keep yelling in all caps; he can always skim through all of that later.

For now, he pushes back his chair and rubs his hands over his face. He had had come home early from the studio today, treating himself to an early dinner and a quiet night in.

Well, he amends wryly with a glance back at the phone that vibrates yet again. Not so quiet anymore.

When he stands up, his knees creak uncomfortably and he reminds himself to work out more. He’s never been the most athletically inclined of the guys, but their regular dance practices and performances had forced him to keep in shape. Now he feels as though he spends most days locked away in his studio, staring at the screen, listening to demos, readings emails, sending off memos.

There’s a bottle of soju in his kitchen cabinet, unopened, because he doesn’t much like drinking on his own and has been saving it for a special occasion. Now, he twists the lid open and takes a deep swig straight from the bottle.

This isn’t what he had been planning when he told Yoongi to collaborate with Jimin, though he reckons it isn’t all that far off either.

He, like everyone else who was close with him, had known that Yoongi had been in a bit of a funk.

Which had still been a step up from last year, from what Seokjin had hesitantly told Namjoon later, with Yoongi drowning and aimlessly treading water without knowing where the surface might be.

Namjoon himself had still been serving during that time, relatively comfortable in his position as a translator, but there was still nothing he could do from afar. When he got out, he had to concentrate on himself, working hard to re-establish himself as a producer at BigHit. By then, Yoongi had been doing much better, but still not exactly good.

This thing was that, while music had always been Yoongi’s way of venting and processing his emotions, it also meant that, when he was unable to write, his condition only got worse.

It’s was a vicious cycle, one that Namjoon had very firmly tried to interrupt which each promising collaborator he threw at Yoongi.

Only that Yoongi was picky and a perfectionist and no one had ever been good enough.

Except, it seemed now, Jimin.

Namjoon swallows another mouthful of soju and then tilts his head back where he is leaning against the counter, staring up at the ceiling.

Jimin and Yoongi sending that selca with absolutely no further explanation had been a bit of a dick move, but he understands why they had done it. He doesn’t have all the info yet, of course, so he does not want to make wild speculations. But he can guess, with relative certainty, that this relationship of theirs is something serious.

Yoongi had never bothered with fooling around, especially not with someone he was close with. It had had its upsides because, out of all of them, he had been the only one completely unperturbed by their strict no-dating contracts.

Saves us a lot of trouble, though, he had said once when Namjoon was complaining about being horny and miserable.

The truth was, of course, that hooking up with someone on the side wasn’t impossible for idols. But not living in celibacy was not equivalent with being able to maintain a relationship. And once real feelings entered the scene, that was when things got messy.

The thing is that, judging by how Jimin and Yoongi had looked in that selca, no one could doubt just how real their feelings are.

And Namjoon is happy, for their sake, but he also cannot help but worry. Attitudes are slowly shifting in South Korea, particularly Seoul, people growing a little more accepting, a little more understanding. They are, however, still a long way from tolerating two male idols dating each other.

Bangtan had always been pioneers, in almost everything they did. But Namjoon does not want to see his friends turned into martyrs.

Chapter Text

 

                                                                                                       

 

 


 

Yoongi watches as Jimin puts his phone away again. The pink has almost completely faded from his hair, leaving only a pale pastel sheen behind. In the light reflecting off the snow, it looks like cotton candy.

“What?” Jimin says, when he notices his gaze on him.

Yoongi shakes his head. “Nothing,” he says, reconsiders. “You look beautiful.”

One would think Jimin should be used to that by now, what with how often Yoongi has told him, but he blushes a particular shade of red, more so than the cold can really account for.

They had decided to take a walk around Central Park to enjoy the beautiful day. The sky is a very clear blue, the air extremely crisp, cutting into their skin. Snow crunches underneath their boots with every step.

“I need to re-dye my hair,” Jimin huffs, brushing off the compliment, though Yoongi knows he is only fishing for more. “I am bit tired of the pink. What do you think?”

“I think you look good in any color,” Yoongi replies easily. It's true enough. Somehow, Jimin had managed to look stunning, no matter which comeback. Yoongi and the others hadn't always been quite that fortunate, if he was honest with himself.

“Are you going to do something new?” Jimin asks, eyeing Yoongi's bangs that stick out from underneath his beanie.

For their last concept, Yoongi's hair had been a rich petrol, like a deep pond. It had faded quickly, though, and then he had to shave it all off anyway. After his military service, he simply let it grow back black, worrying that reconnecting with his kpop image would hinder his solo career as a rapper.

But, as he can now acknowledge with some chagrin, it hadn't been his looks that had made his music mediocre.

“I always thought you looked good in blonde,” Jimin notes mildly, as though he could read his thoughts, and the corner of Yoongi's mouth curls up. His hair had been bleached when he released the MV for Agust D , a compromise between still looking idol enough without any of the rainbow shit.

But lately they had been talking about the specifics of their album concept, and maybe he should trust Jimin's judgment.

In that moment, Yoongi's phone vibrates in his pocket and he pulls it out to glance down at it, coming to a stop when he sees the notification.

“Who is it?” Jimin asks, halting as well.

“Jin-hyung,” Yoongi replies. Seokjin's birthday had been a couple of days ago and they had texted him their well-wishes, but Seokjin had only fired back a short thanks, probably swamped in work.

Quickly, Yoongi types back.

 

 

 

By now, Jimin has stepped up to look over Yoongi's shoulder so he can read the exchange as well.

He chuckles a little at the dirty joke and Yoongi cannot blame him. Though Seokjin had easily had the best humor out of all of them, he had rarely resorted to innuendo, probably wanting to be a role model as Bangtan's hyung.

It hadn't quite worked out that way, considering Namjoon, Hoseok and Jimin, too, had usually had their minds in the gutter, but Yoongi had appreciated the attempt nevertheless.

“Looks like we'll be going back to Korea,” he says now, putting his phone away again.

Jimin gives a hum of agreement. “We should book the flights when we get to the studio.”

He doesn't seem apprehensive about his return, even though he hasn't been back in their home country for almost three years.

A sudden flutter overhead makes Yoongi glance up to catch sight of a blue tit settling down on a dark wet tree branch, its weight not even enough to stir the glistening snow around it.

Blue tits, Yoongi remembers, aren't migratory birds. They are meant to stay close to their home and wait for spring.

The bird shakes itself, spreads its wings and throws itself back into the air, no fear, no hesitation. Yoongi grins.

“Let's go, then,” he tells Jimin and nudges him back on their path.

 

 

 

The inside of the studio is stuffy, the heat of the radiator accumulated in the small space, so they prop open the door to let in some colder air while they sit in front of the computer to book their flights. The prices are horrendous, considering it was only four weeks away, but at least they'd avoid the holiday season.

A couple of days ago, they had already been to the Winter Village in Bryant Park. It had been a bit too crowded for Yoongi's taste but he could admit that it had definitely got him in the mood for Christmas. Between the carols blaring out of the speakers, the exciting smells coming from the food stands, and the colorful lights all over, he hadn't even minded all the useless kitsch and trinkets that were on offer.

They'd even dared to step out onto the Rink, strapping ice skates onto their feet, though they hadn't dared any risky maneuvers. The last thing they needed before their upcoming tour was some bad sprains or even broken bones. But they had pulled up their scarfs a little higher so no one would recognize them and then Jimin had taken Yoongi's gloved hand in his and pulled him over the ice.

It had been a bit of a crazy thing, like a scene from a movie, with music and soft lighting and Jimin's giggles in his ear, and Yoongi had thought that, if he hadn't know before, it would have been in that precise moment that he realized he was in love with Jimin.

He had slowed down then, had draw Jimin in, awkward as it was with the slippery ground underneath their feet, and then he had tugged down their scarves and kissed Jimin right on the mouth, right in the middle of the rink, right in New York.

Jimin had looked a little surprised but he hadn't pushed him off, had not scolded him for his carelessness, and for that Yoongi loved him, too.

When they are done, they decide to record a new video for their channel. They had been so caught up in the actual production of their album that the promotion had to be put on the back-burner. Now, with Christmas getting closer, they decide that their fans deserve a treat.

It doesn't take long for them to agree on what to do, and then Yoongi looks up the sheet music online, propping his laptop up on the piano so he can read along as he plays. Jimin is already familiar with the lyrics, so they only do two quick play-throughs before they set up the camera and get to recording.

Jimin's voice, as he sings, is breathy, sexy, almost indecent, much different from what people are used to hearing from him, and Yoongi has to bite his lower lip to keep from grinning openly because he knows exactly in which situations Jimin usually sounds like that. He focuses on the piano keys instead, but his shoulders quiver with poorly suppressed chuckles.

If fans had enjoyed their impromptu rendition of Serendipity while they were at the mall, then they would definitely lose their minds over this little gem.

 


 

Agust D & Jimin – Santa Baby | YouTube

A little Christmas present before our album is released!

 

Ooooooh myyyyyyyyyyyy Gooooooooooood

With the way Jimin is singing, he definitely belongs on the naughty list

    All I hear is Sugar Daddy AU

        Suga daddy

            *___*

sdgoqhrkskd HE DID THE EARTHA KITT VERSION INSTEAD OF THE 'NO HOMO, SANTA BUDDY'

    They could have chosen literally any other song, and yet they picked the one that's about getting dicked down by Santa

        Hey, don't kinkshame them XD

Yoongi on the piano, and Jimin singing – I thought Christmas was still a few days away?

    Ngl, I'd be totally down for an entire album of this

Fuck, look at Suga's hands

    I am weak

Jimin sounds like he is very high maintenance lol

    He's used to wearing Gucci 24/7, a platinum mine is barely gonna top that

WHEN IS THE FUKCING ALBUM GONNA COME OUT???

    srsly, they've been working on it for months now

        My birthday is in February, so fingers crossed

So, who is Santa, in this scenario?

    Lmao, Yoongi obviously

        Jimin might as well have sung “Suga baby~”

            I wish he had

                You heard the man, Yoongi, better put a ring on it!


 

 

After they upload their video, Jimin heads out for food and a meeting with his agent about the upcoming agendas in Korea. Yoongi, however, chooses to stick around the studio, tweaking some of their tracks.

As per usual, he keeps his phone on silent so he doesn't really pay attention to the time, only focusing on the work at hand.

When he gets bored of that, he stretches, goes to take a piss, jogs up and down the hallways a couple of times to wake himself up again. Then he returns to their studio but, instead of sitting back down at the computer, he decides to give his dry eyes a break and turns toward the piano instead.

He doesn't have a melody in mind yet, just a certain feeling, and he lets his fingers dance over the keys, slow and light. Releasing a song and hearing people's reaction to it is always special but, to him, the process of creation has always been the favorite aspect of his work.

He is still playing later at night, when Jimin finally comes to get him.

“Yoongi-yah,” he chides fondly, and Yoongi shivers a little, not because of the draft coming in through the open door, but because Jimin is still unpredictably switching with how he addresses him and Yoongi has not quite gotten used to it yet.

“I brought you a sandwich,” Jimin tells him, closing the door and sitting down in the abandoned office chair. “You haven't eaten anything in hours.”

Yoongi hadn't. He'd make a quip about Jimin mollycoddling him, but Jimin could very easily turn that around on him, considering how much Yoongi tends to nag him.

He lets Jimin unwrap the turkey club and hand it to him, but he only eats it absentmindedly, keeping one hand on the keys and running through some combinations. He finishes the sandwich, wipes his fingers off on the paper napkin, and then returns to playing.

He runs his tongue over his lips to get rid of any leftover mayonnaise, tilting his head to the side when some of the notes don't sound as melodious as he wants them to, but then he feels Jimin's eyes on him and glances over.

“You can go back,” he offers, “If you're bored.”

But Jimin shakes his head.

“I'm not,” he claims. “I like watching you work.”

Yoongi frowns. “I'm just nitpicking at my compositions.”

“I know. But you look so focused. And capable. It's sexy.”

Yoongi had never considered himself overly sexy. He knew his looks were mediocre and, if his photos turned out well, it was mostly due to a liberal use of makeup and editing programs. But, with Jimin's gaze so hungry, he cannot help but wonder whether he had always been a little too harsh on himself in that regard.

“Come here,” he says, reaching out a hand, and Jimin pushes himself up, coming to stand in front of Yoongi. Yoongi places his hands on his hips, making them twist a little, contemplatively looking up at Jimin. Even from this slightly awkward angle, Jimin looks like a statue of Ganymede, like someone loved by the gods.

Yoongi gives a small smirk, well aware of what a lucky bastard he is. Back with Bangtan, it hadn't been only ARMYs who swooned over how lethal Jimin's beauty could be. There had been more than a handful of rookies and trainees and interviewers who lost their breath over Park Jimin just glancing at them, and Yoongi cannot fault them.

Jimin is playing with the buttons of Yoongi's shirt, hesitantly, as though asking for permission. Only when Yoongi gives a curt nod, does Jimin undo his shirt all the way, one button after the other, revealing Yoongi's chest and the phoenix that sits above his heart.

By now, the skin had mended itself again, the mild scab already worn off. Getting the appointment at the tattoo studio on such short notice had been a lucky strike, as another customer had canceled. The session had taken five hours, three for the needle work alone, but the result was worth it.

He had kept it in all black, to match his sleeves, but he had followed Jimin's idea to get something that symbolized himself instead of someone else. So a phoenix, reborn. A phoenix whose beak touches the blue tit's on his bicep.

Yoongi tilts his head back and Jimin leans down. For a few moments, they just kiss without hurry, but Jimin's neck must start to ache so, without breaking the kiss, Yoongi stands from his bench and straightens up.

With his hands still on Jimin's hips, he maneuvers him around, pushes him until he hits the piano. When Yoongi lifts him up, Jimin goes easily, willingly. Some of the keys clink in dissonance but, somehow, the sound of it fits perfectly, like the snow that must still be falling outside.

Yoongi spreads Jimin's thighs apart, pushes in between them, his tongue sliding back into Jimin's mouth, the barbell of his piercing lightly clicking against their teeth. Jimin moans quietly, probably more at the overall implication than any real stimulus, but Yoongi can work with that.

For a while, they just make out like this, kissing wetly and grinding heavily, working each other up into a frenzy. At some point, Jimin slips his hand between their bodies and rubs his knuckles over the bulge in Yoongi’s pants.

Yoongi’s mouth falls open with a breath and Jimin bites at his lower lip, playfully tugging at it.

“I want you to fuck me here,” he says when he pulls back a little, his eyes low-lidded. And here could be the room, the studio, but Yoongi knows that he actually means the piano.

He swallows.

“We don’t have-” he begins but Jimin quickly shakes his head.

“We do,” he says, pushes Yoongi away and slides off the piano, hopping over to the desk and pulling open one of the drawers.
“Um,” Yoongi says, watching as Jimin triumphantly brandishes a small bottle of lube and a condom. “Have you been planning this?”

“I just like to be prepared for any scenario,” Jimin claims easily, pressing a kiss to the corner of Yoongi’s mouth, before he begins to strip out of his shoes and jeans. He’s still wearing his oversized sweater, so even as he slips off his underwear, he does not look quite as indecent as he might otherwise.

That quickly changes, however, when he snaps the lid of the piano keys shut and sits down on top of it, hitching his legs up a little.

“Well?” he asks, a challenge in the way he cocks his eyebrow. “What are you waiting for?”

Yoongi’s mouth is dry, so swallowing hurts a bit, but he steps closer nevertheless, allowing Jimin to squirt some of the lube onto his fingers.

“Open me up good, yeah?” Jimin asks against his ear and Yoongi shudders out a breath.

He nods mutely, hides his face against Jimin’s neck, biting at the hot skin while his fingers begin to circle his entrance, carefully pushing in. Jimin sighs at the first touch, spreads his legs little wider.

They didn’t even lock the door. It’s late enough that they are relatively confident that no one will bother them, but Yoongi wouldn’t put it past some cleaning lady to mistakenly waltz in and end up scarred for her life. But, right now, he doesn’t care about potential consequences. He just wants to make the most of the moment. He wants to feel.

Before long, Jimin is hitching out small moans whenever Yoongi angles his fingers right. Eventually, he just pushes against Yoongi’s shoulders and hastily unbuttons his pants.

“I’m ready,” he says, grabbing the lube and the condom, and Yoongi does not disagree.

After that, everything happens quickly. Yoongi doesn’t think he’s ever had sex standing up before and it takes him a few moments to get used to it.

It’s a precarious position, with Jimin sitting so close to the edge, so Yoongi has to keep him there with his entire body, has to brace his arms on either side and put all his power into each thrust. Jimin is taut as a bowstring and he feels even tighter than usual but, if there is one thing the side effects of his medication have been good for, it’s the fact that Yoongi’s stamina is pretty impressive.

Within minutes the muscles in his glutes begin to burn, but he enjoys it, finds that it adds a new element to their usually relaxed encounters.

A little off kilter, he realizes that he is fucking Jimin in their studio, on top of the piano on which he composed songs for him. Perhaps it is no surprise that Jimin has fantasized about this.

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin keens. His fingers are clenched in the hair at the nape of Yoongi’s neck. He doesn’t have a lot of leeway to move but he’s subtly pushing himself into each thrust. With a dull thud, Yoongi’s knee knocks against the piano bench but he doesn’t pay it any heed, just hooks one of his arms underneath Jimin’s leg and hitches him up further, changing the angle.

Jimin whimpers in response, head falling back, eyes squeezing shut. His mouth forms a little o-shape, his brows knit in concentration, and Yoongi makes sure to keep fucking him like that, until finally Jimin’s hips jerk up and he is coming all over his designer sweater.

The sound he makes is so pretty that Yoongi vaguely regrets not having left the microphone on.



Chapter Text

It's good to be back in Korea. Good to see familiar sights and hear familiar words. Good to be home.

Not that they are seeing much of anything, what with the tinted windows blocking out most of the view on Seoul at night. At least the black sedan has a separating screen that their chauffeur had rolled up without prompting when he had picked them up from their stylist.

It's been a while since his last red carpet with Bangtan but, right now, he cannot help but be reminded of all those times attending other award shows, trying not to get their hopes up, and then later growing more and more aware of the fact that those hopes were well-founded, well-deserved.

Yoongi sighs, resists the urge to run a hand through his hair for fear of messing it up. At least they wouldn't have to perform this time, merely give some interviews and bang the drums for their album.

“Who do you think is going to be there?” Jimin asks him excitedly, going through his phone for some online announcements about which celebrities would be attending the premiere.

“Taeyang, obviously,” Yoongi muses. The former BigBang member had provided the main track for the movie and was expected to win a number of prizes once award season began.

Jimin makes a pleased noise in the back of his throat in response, followed by another. He lifts his phone to Yoongi's face and Yoongi has to squint to decipher the blurry tweet.

“Taemin is coming,” Jimin says, though he probably should have just done so from the beginning. “I hope we're seated close. I haven't talked to him in ages.”

“Hmm,” Yoongi hums noncommittally. He'd pretty much fallen out of touch with most other idols, former or otherwise, which probably hadn't exactly helped his writer's block from the beginning of last year. Though, he thinks with a glance at Jimin, he'd found a better solution anyway.

“What, why are you grinning?” Jimin demands, having caught his sly look.

“Nothing.” Yoongi gives a vague shake of his head. “Just thinking of how lucky I am to have you.”

Predictably, Jimin immediately flushes up to the tips of his ears. And Yoongi has never been the most emotionally expressive of the guys but, in moments like these, he finds deviating from the norm to be extremely gratifying.

Unexpectedly, Jimin reaches out to press the button of the intercom.

“Hyung,” he says, “Can you give us an estimate when we'll be there?”

“In this traffic, fifteen minutes, give or take a few,” the driver returns. “Should I give you an update before we arrive?”

“Yes please,” Jimin tells him and makes sure to turn the intercom off again. Then he turns to Yoongi.

“I have a bad idea,” he says and Yoongi narrows his eyes.

“How bad?”

Jimin licks his lips, gaze dropping down to Yoongi's crotch. Yoongi's breath catches.

“No,” he says, very pointedly scooting away from Jimin, as far as his seat belt allows him. “Don't even think about it.”

“Please, hyung. You have no idea how often I have already thought about it,” Jimin whines, pressing up against his side. “Even way back...”

He trails off, lets the sentence dangle there. They had never much talked about Jimin's crush on him, of how intense it was and how long it had lasted. It makes Yoongi uncomfortable to think that, without knowing it, he may have unwittingly sent Jimin misleading signals, that Jimin had been pining for him, between skinship and fan service, while Yoongi was oblivious and thoughtless.

But now he finds himself intrigued.

“What were you thinking about?” he asks, his mouth dry.

For a moment, Jimin looks surprised at his curiosity. Then he smiles.

“Sometimes,” he says, leaning in close, “When it was just the two of us after an interview or something... or even when we were sitting in the back of the van, with the others up front... I'd think about going down on you.”

Yoongi swallows. “Yeah?” he asks. “Why?”

“Hmm, it was something to do,” Jimin muses, teasingly running his fingers over Yoongi's knee. “Just for fun or to take my mind off the stress.”

“Sounds more like self-flagellation,” Yoongi notes.

“It was kind of exciting.” Jimin laughs a little. “I imagined that you'd try to keep quiet but that I'd be able to drag all those noises out of you. That I'd make you really weak.”

You do, Yoongi thinks, taking a shallow breath through his nose. Trust me, you do.

“So?” he asks instead and Jimin tilts his head to the side.

“So what?”

“Don't you wanna find out?”

Jimin's eyes widen, doubtlessly caught off guard by how easily he had won this battle. But Yoongi was already weak for him, weak and willing.

Unbuckling his own seatbelt and then Yoongi's, Jimin does not waste any more time, just begins to rub Yoongi through his pants, slowly working him.

Yoongi has already started to harden and it's ridiculous, really, that a mere conversation has him so aroused when, just a few weeks ago, he hadn't even been sure whether he really considered himself overly sexual at all.

But Jimin knows how to make all the difference. Jimin knows what pace he likes and which angles, Jimin bends his head low so that the back of his pale neck is exposed like an arch of triumph.

There is no foreplay, no kissing, no time for anything tender like that. Jimin just undoes the button and zipper of Yoongi's pressed slacks and pulls him out. His hand is cold against Yoongi's skin, but not as cold as the night outside, and suddenly Yoongi finds himself very grateful for the tinted windows because, if they fog up the interior of the car, it will at least be less noticeable.

He hisses quietly when Jimin takes the head of his cock into his mouth with no warning, suckles at it to prompt the rest of it into hardness, fingers working along the shaft.

Yoongi closes his eyes, places a palm on the curve of Jimin's skull for lack of something else to do, just scratches at his scalp a little, and enjoys the warmth of Jimin's welcoming mouth. And Jimin's good at this, knows where to press his tongue and when to suck harder, hollowing his cheeks each time he slides upward and then down again.

Yoongi's breath comes out in a quiet wheeze when it feels particularly good, and Jimin chuckles around him but keeps going. It's a game now, a game that Yoongi is quite willing to lose. He moans.

He can feel saliva and precome slide down along his cock, messy and warm, coating Jimin's fingers where they are curled around the base; and out of context the mere thought of that should be disgusting but Yoongi can only purse his lips and revel in it. He's in the back of a car getting his dick sucked by Park Jimin, their driver is only a thin wall away, and they'd arrive at the red carpet in a few scarce minutes. It's teasing and titillating and entirely too much to handle.

Normally, Yoongi would try to drag it out, to let orgasm build up slowly and then completely overwhelm him, but they don't have much time and he can already feel the pressure roiling in his gut. Jimin's throat tightens around him and Yoongi gives a low groan at the sensation, resisting the urge to buck into it.

They are both wearing black so they absolutely cannot afford to make a mess because eagle-eyed fans and journalists would immediately know what's going on. Jimin must know this but Yoongi still instinctively clenches his fingers at the back of Jimin's neck to keep him in place. Jimin moans when Yoongi pulses against his tongue, the low vibrations seeming to shoot straight into Yoongi’s spine, and a few moments later he is coming, spilling himself into Jimin's mouth.

“Swallow it, jagiyah,” he says, his voice rough, and Jimin obeys, making small labored noises through it all. He licks what little escapes from his lips and off the tip of Yoongi's cock, before giving a small cough and wiping the back of his hand over his mouth. Then he sits up again and smirks, his cheeks plush with heat.

“Fuck,” Yoongi says simply, pulling Jimin in and kissing him deeply, tasting himself on his tongue and being both grossed out and turned on by it.

When they finally part, Jimin looks a bit woozy as though blinking himself awake after a brief dream. The crotch of his tight fitted pants is vaguely tented, but at least the fabric is thick enough that it's not too obvious. Though, considering how many cameras there would be at the red carpet, someone was bound to notice.

In that moment, the intercom crackles and the driver informs them that they will arrive at the venue in a couple of minutes, which answers the question of whether Yoongi had enough time to return the favor, and they hurry to get themselves back in order. When the car finally stops a short while later and the driver opens their door, Yoongi is the first to climb out, immediately greeted by a flurry of camera flashes.

A pleased smile tugs at his lips. It's certainly not the first event he had attended since his service ended, not even the first he had arrived at with company, but his fake relationship with Bo didn't count for much. Today, when he gets to turn around and help Jimin out of the car instead, it feels a thousand times better.

Jimin's hand is small and warm in his and he is holding on tightly, his knees wobbly as he straightens up. By all means, Yoongi should be the one who wears the signs of his orgasm, but instead it is Jimin who looks more affected by what went down in the car.

While Yoongi looks perfectly put together and manages to keep a neutral face, he is well aware of the fact that Jimin is completely wrecked. His lips are red and swollen, his cheeks flushed and his hair mussed up, sweat still clinging to his temples. It's there in his entire posture, too, his shoulders slumped and relaxed, even as they slowly make their way down the red carpet.

Their managers had given them instructions which media outlets to focus on and Yoongi keeps an eye out for the logos on the reporters' microphones, subtly leading Jimin along with a hand at the small of his back.

“You think you're good to talk?” he asks quietly and Jimin nods.

“Yeah,” he says, his voice sounding only a tad strained, and then they are already being apprehended by the team from Korea Today.

“Yoongi-ssi, Jimin-ssi, it's good to see you back in Korea,” the perky young reporter greets them and Yoongi vaguely recalls having done interviews with her before.

“Thank you.” Yoongi nods with a polite bow that she returns. “It's good to be back.”

“What about you, Jimin-ssi?” she asks. “You've been been in the US for almost three years now, correct?”

“Yes,” Jimin replies, “But I've really been enjoying my time in Korea so far.”

The double entendre goes right over the reporter's head, of course, but it's not lost on Yoongi. Jimin just giggles and leans into Yoongi's side who puts a hand on his hip to steady him.

“It seems the two of you are still as close as you used to be,” the interviewer notes with a delighted smile and, this time, Yoongi cannot help but grin at her obliviousness.

“Oh yeah,” he agrees with a snort. “Closer than ever, actually.”

“How about the rest of Bangtan?” she asks. “Kim Seokjin-ssi plays the lead in Seven Years Too Late . Are you excited to see it tonight?”

“Definitely.” Jimin nods. “But I'm probably going to cry.”

Yoongi laughs, eyes crinkling.

“We did a movie marathon where we watched all of hyung's movies,” he explains. “Jimin-ah cried like... every thirty minutes.”

“Jin-hyung is such a good actor,” Jimin whines. “It's not my fault he does so many melodramas. He needs to do more romcoms.”

“We already talked to Kim Namjoon-ssi as well,” the interviewer continues, skillfully guiding the conversation. “He said that, now that you are collaborating, he would be more than happy to produce something with the two of you.”

“Namjoon-ah was actually the one who urged me to work with Jimin-ah,” Yoongi explains, remembering with chagrin how he had originally tried to object to the idea. “Without him, our album would never have happened.”

A lot of beautiful things would not have happened, but he keeps that to himself.

“I really missed Yoongi-yah's music,” Jimin adds. “And I missed Namjoon-hyung's work, too. I'd love to work with him again at some point.”

“Speak of the devil,” Yoongi says in that moment because there, towering above most other attendants, stands none other than Kim Namjoon, Jack of all trades and master of most.

Namjoon is quite the sight in his patterned shirt, bright red suspenders holding up his navy blue slacks, with a bow-tie and eccentric shades to match. Yoongi knows that, fifty years from now, Namjoon will be a kooky old man who still terrorizes the music industry with his genius, and the world will be all the richer for it.

“Hyung!” Jimin perks up when their eyes meet, all sluggishness as well as the interview abruptly forgotten, and then he is already jumping into Namjoon's arms.

“Jiminie!” Namjoon laughs loudly and wraps him in a bear hug, easily lifting him a couple of centimeters off the ground before setting him down again real quick.

“You smell like sex!” he hisses under his breath, his eyes wide as he looks from Jimin to Yoongi and back. “Are you being serious right now?”

“The drive here was boring,” Jimin defends them. “We couldn't even look out the windows!”

“Well, you could be less obvious about it,” Namjoon chides them and he'd probably be more amused about the whole thing if it weren't for the ocean of eyes around them. “At this rate, people are going to find out about you in a heartbeat.”

“So?” Yoongi deadpans, somewhat immaturely.

A small selfish part of him wants people to draw the right conclusion from this, want them to see them standing close and give interviews together, wants them to attribute it to more than just their work relationship.

Maybe Namjoon can understand this or maybe he just knows Yoongi too well. In any case, he opens his mouth and then seems to think better of it, merely shaking his head.

“At least promise me to never make a sex tape,” he mutters, taking a step back.

“Hey, there's an idea,” Yoongi says flatly and revels in the panic that descends onto Namjoon's face. For an alleged pervert, Namjoon sure was easy to unsettle.

“In any case,” Namjoon says tersely, “I'm happy you are here.”

“Did Hobi-hyung come, too?” Jimin asks eagerly but is disappointed.

“He's busy with his protégées,” Namjoon explains, “But he'll join us later tonight, if we go drinking.”

“Then we'll go drinking,” Jimin decides with a big smile and Namjoon fondly shakes his head, but the movement is aborted when he catches sight of something across Jimin's shoulder.

“And here comes the star of the evening!” he announces grandly, and Yoongi and Jimin turn around to find Seokjin walking toward them.

He's got one hand in the pocket of his pinstripe slacks, trying to look casual, but the attempt is ruined by his brisk pace and eager expression. A moment later, he has already reached them, opening his arms wide to pull Jimin into an embrace. Around them, cameras flash.

“God, Jimin, it's been too long,” Jin says, sounding slightly choked up. Yoongi would make fun of him for it if it weren't for the fact that he still distinctly remembers standing in an airport foyer and feeling exactly the same.

“Hyung,” Jimin says and clings on to him just as tightly. “You look good.”

“Stating the obvious, as always,” Jin returns snootily and reluctantly the two of them untangle again. A moment later, it is Yoongi who finds himself engulfed in an equally enthusiastic hug.

“And you, too,” Jin chides, a chuckle in his voice, and with a start Yoongi realizes that he hasn't seen Jin in almost a year either. How does time fly so fast the older you get?

Over Jin's broad shoulder, he can see a tall woman standing just a little way off, smiling at the scene. She is wearing a red cheongsam-style dress with plum blossoms and a peacock embroidered on the glossy satin, her dark hair in a simple updo. She has a kind face, like Jin, and a sweet smile, like Jin.

“Namjoon-oppa,” she says then, greeting him with a bow, and he touches her elbow, an air of familiarity between them.

“Chun-Hei-ah,” Namjoon returns easily, “You look stunning.”

“Thank you,” she laughs, neither flustered by his flattery nor disputing the truth of the matter.

That's the moment when Seokjin chimes in.

“Yoongi-yah, Jimin-ah, I'd like you to meet Moon Chun-Hei,” he introduces, putting a hand to the small of her back to gently nudge her forward. “We met when we filmed Bittersweet last spring.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Jimin says as they all give polite bows to each other.

“It's so nice to finally meet you,” Chun-Hei says. “Seokjin-oppa talks a lot about you.”

“Strangely, he hasn't mentioned you,” Jimin notes and sends Jin a sly look. “Anything you need to confess, hyung?”

“Ah,” Jin says with an embarrassed laugh. “I guess you could say that we weren't just co-stars?”

“Wait wait wait,” Yoongi interrupts, trying to keep up. “Wasn't that Bae Suzy? From Miss A?”

Jin and Chun-Hei exchange a look and then they start laughing.

“Not quite,” Jin corrects. “Suji-ah was my love interest in the movie and so the papers started making up rumors about us. Chun-Hei-ah played my younger sister.”

“But she's your love interest in real life,” Jimin finishes knowingly, though he does keep his voice down. “Does the press know?”

“Kind of,” Seokjin allows, rubbing the back of his neck.

“This is our first appearance together outside of promotional work,” Chun-Hei explains. “The interviewers have already started asking questions.”

Ah, Yoongi thinks, a mild twist of envy in his gut. To think that they could be so candid about their relationship while Namjoon felt the need to admonish Jimin and Yoongi. Though Chun-Hei and Jin admittedly didn't look like they'd been getting it on in the back of a limousine.

But it wouldn't do to begrudge an old friend his happiness. There was little enough to be had in the world.

“Speaking of interviewers,” Jin notes, the corners of his mouth twisting downward, “I need to get back to work. My manager is going to throttle me if I don't sell this movie to the paps.”

“Same for us, really,” Yoongi agrees. One aborted interview would not be enough to promote their album.

“Let's meet up at the after-party,” Jin tells them. “And please, enjoy the movie.”


 

                                                                                    

 


 

 

“Jiminie!” a boisterous Hoseok yells through the bar the moment Jimin, Namjoon and Yoongi walk in.

It had turned out that Jin was required to stay at the afterparty, so he had bid the others an early farewell and promised to meet up with them as soon as possible. It felt strange to leave him there, stranger still to go and meet up with Hoseok while Taehyung and Jungkook were absent.

“Hoseokie-hyung!” Jimin chirps in reply and then he and Hoseok are fluttering around each other like excited birds, an impromptu dance between chairs and tables.

“Okay, okay, settle down, kids,” Yoongi interferes eventually because the barman is sending them looks, probably suspecting that they are already drunk off their asses. Hoseok, of course, is not deterred.

“Hyung!” he crows, throwing his arm around Yoongi's neck, and Yoongi has to bite down a smile. They had met up just before Yoongi left for the States but it was still good to see each other again.

“It's so weird to see you in blonde,” Hoseok adds, his hand mussing up Yoongi's product-cloyed hair. “You look like an idol again.”

“It's my Agust D look,” Yoongi claims, wrestling himself free and feebly brushing his hair back into place. They'll film their MV soon but this is the first time they don't have to hide their hair colors beforehand, content to let it fuel the growing hype for their album.

“Well, I think it looks dope,” Hoseok grins and then beckons them toward the back of the bar. “I already found us a table. Go order something and then join me.”

They get some soju to share and some other drinks and then settle down at the table, Namjoon sitting down next to Hoseok while Jimin and Yoongi take the seats across from them.

“So,” Hoseok says, placing his palms on the polished wood and leaning in close. “Spill.”

Yoongi and Jimin frown at each other other.

“Uh, spill what?”

“Everything!” Hoseok throws his hands up. “One minute you're recording a song, the next you're dating!”

He yelps when Namjoon kicks him under the table and it's difficult to tell whether it's that or his previous exclamation that makes people at the neighboring table glance over at them.

“Well.” Yoongi shrugs. “These things just happen.”

“Hyung, you wrote a song titled First Love and it was about learning to play the piano,” Hoseok points out. “These things don't just happen to you.”

“Oh, you know.” Jimin wriggles around on his chair. “He was there, and we spent a lot of time together, and we were alone most of the time, and we talked a lot and then... yeah, it just kind of happened.”

“Who kissed whom first?” Hoseok wants to know.

“Uh, I kissed him,” Yoongi says, hesitantly lifting his hand. “In... late October, I guess?”

“And you waited a month to tell us?” Hoseok shakes his head, dismayed. “Who confessed first?”

“Technically, me,” Jimin admits meekly. “But I was a little drunk and that was also more about... before.”

“I don't know whether I'm more upset about me not noticing or about you for keeping hush about it all,” Hoseok sighs, his shoulders slumping.

“Oh, come on,” Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Like you would immediately tell us if you started seeing someone.”

Surprisingly, however, a bright grin spreads over Hoseok's face, pronouncing his cheekbones even more.

“Wrong!” he claims. “In fact, I was just about to tell you that I've been going out with one of my colleagues.”

“What?” Jimin's eyes widen. “That's great! Who is it?”

“It's not Joon-ah, right?” Yoongi ventures carefully, only to be on the receiving end of one of Namjoon's kicks this time.

“Nope,” Hoseok says. “Their name is Seung Ki and they are Gala's main choreographer.”

Yoongi thinks for a moment, trying to recall whether that name seems familiar.

“Not a former idol?” he asks, but Hoseok shakes his head.

“They're from Daegu, though,” he notes. “And they know your parents' restaurant.”

“Wait,” Namjoon says in sudden realization, looking very much put out. “Am I the only single guy tonight?”

“Yup.” Jimin nods. After all, Seokjin was taken as well.

“Please don't tell me Tae and Jungkookie are also seeing someone,” Namjoon moans, burying his face in his hands.

“Not to the best of my knowledge,” Jimin assures him. “But considering that they'll be done with their service soon...”

“How much to go?” Hoseok asks. “Three or four months?”

“Thereabouts, yeah,” Namjoon nods.

“We definitely need to do a big get-together,” Jimin decides. “For old times' sake, if nothing else.”

At that, Namjoon and Hoseok exchange a glance.

“Have you thought of how you wanna continue then?” Namjoon asks, taking a sip from his drink.

Jimin tilts his head to the side. “Continue how?”

“After you're done touring,” Namjoon explains, “Are you going to go back to the US?”

“Er,” Jimin blinks and Yoongi blinks right back at him.

“We haven't really discussed that yet,” Yoongi admits, though it should have been the most obvious thing to consider.

Letting their tour end in New York sort of sets them up for simply returning to Jimin's apartment in Nolita and staying put, at least for a while. Yoongi has no intention of emigrating, and a long-distance-relationship doesn't sound appealing at all. But he also can't simply expect that Jimin would move back to Korea, considering he has established himself in America.

“Well,” Jimin volunteers, “My visa is going to run out sometime this year.”

Yoongi bites the inside of his cheek.

“Are you gonna reapply?” he asks, trying to ignore the twinge in his gut.

“I don't know,” Jimin says with a vague shrug. “It was fifty/fifty before but now...”

“Now what?”

Jimin's expression turns somewhat miffed.

“Now I have you,” he elaborates and Yoongi snaps his mouth shut.

Oh. So this was what Jimin must have felt like in the car when Yoongi told him he was lucky to have him in his life. Only now they had an audience.

“Awww,” Hoseok croons. “You two are so sweet. It's downright disgusting.”

“How are you going to handle the media?” Namjoon wants to know. “Do you have something planned?”

Yoongi takes a mouthful of soju to postpone having to answer.

“Kinda,” he says at length. “We wanna focus on promo and the album drop for now.”

He and Jimin had talked about it, about the risk and the potential consequences. But, even if things turned sour, there was always the option to return to the US after all.

He knows Namjoon is worried, can tell it by the way he carefully glances up at them. Namjoon had always been the first one to push the limits of the industry, to turn good songs into great ones by going a little further. But he was also the one who was most conscious about what the group could candle. If he had felt, at any point, that the members could not handle a certain concept or that they were endangering their careers, he would have prioritized that over any artistic goals.

Yoongi, on the other hand, was always rather more reckless – and Namjoon knows that, too.

“If you are sure,” he says, raising his drink in a small toast.

“I am,” Yoongi replies and clinks their glasses together.

 

Chapter Text

                                  

 


Agust D Expands His Horizon | allkpop

Agust D is back – and better than ever before. While his last album Hit It (2024) was mostly described as “mediocre” by many critics, the Daegu-born rapper now teams up with his BTS dongsaeng Park Jimin to create something altogether different. The title Birds in the Snow already hints at a more introspective, less aggressive version of who has famously been called “the quickest tongue in Seoul”. Perhaps it is the fact that the album was produced in New York City where Park has been living for the past three years or perhaps it is something different entirely, but the former idols literally and metaphorically expand their horizons in this collaboration. While Agust D's style is still firmly rooted in HipHop, he borrows elements from both Neo Soul and Classical music and dishes out brand-new songs between deceptively simplistic and opulent.

A throwback to his earliest works, the album also includes new recordings of “Tony Montana” and “So Far Away”, but the real stars are the songs that were written by him and Park together. While Park very much held back when it came to songwriting during their BTS days, it appears that his input on Birds in the Snow is not simply limited to vocals, but that he actively participated in mixing, arranging and writing songs. While many of the tracks can be considered as experimental, they do not actually feel as such but come across with an incredible level of steadiness and self-confidence. Though his raps are still Agust D through and through, speaking of struggles and insecurities, the performer distances himself from his stage persona and embraces his roots as Min Yoongi by pairing his love for the piano with heavy beats and bass.

Fans will be happy to hear that the duo will be touring through both South Korea and the US, starting in Seoul and ending in NYC, with stops in Chicago, Houston and L.A. (full tour dates here).


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I'm pissing myself, they've actually got a song called Minimini

    finally, the unit we deserve

I was never all that much into BTS but I am so ready for this

    I'm listening to all my old albums and feeling so nostalgic

I wanna buy the album but I'm so broke

    Couldn't it have come out before Christmas???

Will this be on Spotify?

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Cyanistes caeruleus is the latin name of the bird blue tit and Yoongi has a blue tit tattooed on his biceps but WHAT DOES IT MEAN??

omg we're getting a studio version of Tony Montana with Jimin !!!

    about fucking time tbh

        same goes for So Far Away. I always hoped they would re-record the original guide

Birds in the Snow – Is it in relation to WINGS? To Yoongi's tattoos?? Is it meant to be shortened to BitS which reads almost like BTS??? I NEED ANSWERS GOD DAMMIT??

What's Nolita?

    It's a part of NYC where Jimin currently lives so it was probably inspired by their experiences there

Heart and Seoul makes me hope that they'll stay in Korea T__T

    they played an excerpt of it back in NY. Such a good song <3

Can't they come to Europe, too? I couldn't get tickets for the BTS world tour when they were in Paris and I cried for days

    I SAW THEM IN PARIS AND IT WAS BOMB

        GREAT THANKS NOW I'M CRYING AGAIN

I am not going to survive any of this


 

 

They start filming very early in the morning, just as the sun is coming up, in hotel at the heart of Seoul.

They had chosen their director and staff with great care, made sure that they are all fully supportive and made them sign the usual non-disclosure contracts.

The noonas are already swarming around them, getting started on Yoongi's hair and make-up, while the rest of the crew is busy setting up the lights and cameras, settling the mise-en-scène. Yoongi sits with his head leaned back against the chair, trying to catch some more minutes of rest before the tight schedule of the day would rob him of another chance, but next to him Jimin is busy texting on his phone.

They had left Mochi in Adeku's care, for the time being.

They could have taken her along to Korea, of course, but they wouldn't be here for long, and then they would go on tour anyway. Hotel rooms and lots of stress are not exactly the best environment for a cat.

Adeku had always had a soft spot for Mochi – for both of them, actually – so she had happily volunteered her home as a temporary refuge. And while Mochi is apparently taking the change well, Jimin himself is constantly worrying about whether he can really leave her behind for so long.

In accordance, Adeku had taken to regularly giving him updates on how Mochi is doing.

“Look,” Jimin says now, pushing his phone into Yoongi's face because Adeku had sent yet another Snapchat. “Isn't she cute?”

 

                                                                                 

 

“That is terrifying,” Yoongi says blandly, one eye cracked open to look at the closeup of Mochi's green eyes.

He doesn't quite want to admit it, but he misses the little monster. On New Years Eve, she had gotten so upset about the fireworks, she had hid in what used to be Yoongi's room. Yoongi had actually felt bad for her – until the next morning when he realized that she had ended up shredding his favorite shirt as some sort of stress relief. Jimin had laughed and cooed and taken Yoongi's face in his hands, promising to make it up to him. They had languidly kissed for a good five minutes, and then Jimin had gone to coo at Mochi, too.

When everything is ready, Yoongi sits down on the side of the bed, slightly hunched over. His naked feet are planted on the floor, his elbows braced against his knees. It's relatively cool in the room and the hairs his arms stand on end. He stares out of the window in front of him, trying his best to look thoughtful, contemplative.

From the corner of his eye, he can tell that the camera is moving closer, but he forces himself not to react to the movement. The lens takes lingering shots throughout the room, catching little details, before slowly creeping up on him, panning up along his bony angles, his ribs, catching close-ups of his tattoos, of the blue tit kissing the phoenix awake.

They do this again, trying different perspectives, and then move on to the next scene, of Yoongi putting on his clothes and leaving the room. In between each take, the noonas apprehend him and tend to his hair and make-up that get messed up each time he pulls his shirt over his head, which doesn't make much sense considering he is supposed to look ruffled from sleep.

The outdoor scenes are a bit trickier, not to mention that it's cold as fuck. Yoongi shuffles from one leg to the other and lets Jimin press heat pads to his cheeks whenever he has to wait for the next scene.

It's good, though. Filming MVs was always stressful, but Yoongi had almost forgotten how pleasant company made it all the more bearable. He teasingly pulls the hood of Jimin's long padded coat over his head and sneaks a kiss before the noonas can scold him for messing up his makeup again.

Around noon, when they are back at the hotel, an unexpected guest shows up, being waved into the room by Yoongi's manager.

“Surprise,” Namjoon says, brandishing some flimsy plastic bags hanging off his arm. “I brought lunch.”

There's catering, of course, not to mention that they still need to film the breakfast scene, but Yoongi could go for something savory right now. They greet him and then begin to spread out the food containers, heavenly smells wafting up before they have even opened them.

“Oh my God,” Jimin gushes, when it turns out that Namjoon has been considerate enough to bring takeout from what was always his favorite restaurant. “I love you.”

“Yah,” Yoongi says without much bite, fumbling with the paper wrapping of the chopsticks.

“I'm dating Joonie now,” Jimin announces simply. “He's such an attentive boyfriend.”

“Wow, that was easy,” Namjoon hums in response, slinging his arm around Jimin's waist.

Yoongi snorts, not bothering to object. After all, when he had started plying Jimin with food, their relationship had originally deepened as well.

“So, how's it going?” Namjoon asks, sending a meaningful look at the luxurious king-sized bed. They haven't yet told him of the particulars of their concept, but his imagination is probably running wild.

“Good.” Yoongi shrugs. “It's a good song. You'll like it.”

Namjoon wipes some sauce from his chin as he chew thoughtfully. “You wrote it together then?”

“Unless Jiminie was secretly texting you and asking you for help with the lyrics again,” Yoongi mutters, delighting in Jimin's immediate indignant squawk.

“Will you ever let that go??” he wails, his pout not diminishing even as Namjoon laughs and pats his back.

“I saw recordings of the bits you performed at that club,” Namjoon says. “I'd be surprised if you didn't make Top Ten.”

“We better,” Jimin says. “That's what Yoongi-yah promised. If he disappoints me, I'm gonna walk.”

“There's the door,” Yoongi says, vaguely pointing with his chopsticks.

“You can sleep on my couch,” Namjoon offers generously, but Jimin puffs up his cheeks.

“Only the couch?”

“Beggars can't be choosers.”

“Stop flirting, you two,” Yoongi huffs and tosses his napkin at them. “I'm trying to eat here.”

“Are you going to stick around?” Jimin asks Namjoon eventually, once most of the food is eaten and the set assistant has told them that they have to move on with their schedule soon. “Or do you have to get back to work?”

“Nah,” Namjoon says easily. “I'm pretty much my own boss these days. What are you gonna film next?”

“The bed scene.”

“Er,” Namjoon says and furrows his brow.

“Not like that!” Jimin giggles and slaps his shoulder. “We are just going to eat breakfast. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

“Breakfast.” Namjoon nods. “That's what I was thinking. What else would the two of you be doing, huh, Jiminie? Any untoward activities I don't know about?”

“Well,” Jimin says coyly. “Sometimes we watch Netflix.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Sometimes we even sleep.”

“Wow.”

“And sometimes, Yoongi-yah puts his mouth on my-”

“Mouth!” Yoongi interrupts, trying to ignore his burning cheeks. “Sometimes we kiss. In bed. For goodnight. And then we keep our hands above the blankets.”

“Prude,” Namjoon says dryly, as though he hadn't admonished him a couple of days ago for getting a blowjob in a car.

But Namjoon does stay and watches them film the remainder of the hotel scenes. He's got a serious expression on his face whenever he thinks no one is looking, but Yoongi has known his friend for too long to not see right through him.

He can tell that Namjoon still worries, will always worry, even if he knows they all ought to make their own decisions. But this is something that Yoongi has to do. For him, his art and his life are intricately linked – he cannot do one without the other.

And, whether society is ready for it or not, Jimin is now a part of that. And Yoongi is not going to censor himself anymore.

 


 

Han River and Seoul's skyline, a smattering of clouds and the first hints of the sunrise painted across the far horizon in faint reds, colors layered over the monochrome of steel and concrete. Somewhere, on the upper floor of a hotel, two suitcases lay side by side, unzipped and half unpacked. Bundled-up socks on the floor, a coat haphazardly thrown over the back of a chair.

On the edge of the bed sits Yoongi, clad only in sweats, his bare feet on the ground. In front of him, through the windows, lies Seoul, his chosen home. He glances back over his shoulder, at the rumpled blankets. Then he stands up. He slips on a sweatshirt and his coat, pulls a beanie from its pocket and puts it on, stuffs his feet into his boots, not bothering with socks. As quietly as possible, he leaves the room.

When he makes it outside, it is cold. His breath billows white in front of him, so he flips his collar up and huddles deeper into his coat. Around him, the city has already come awake. People hurry to their jobs, children to school. Yoongi waits by a crossing, watches the red light as cars flash by, barely visible. There's a lot of movement but, somehow, everything seems quiet, at odds with such a big city. The world is spinning at Yoongi's pace, to the beat of his heart, steady and assured.

He ducks into a French bakery, eyes the pastries laid out in the glass displays. When he comes out again, he is carrying a paper bag and a tray with two coffee cups on it. Then he makes his way back to the hotel. In the elevator, the mirrors reflect his pale face but, when he catches his own gaze, he grins a little.

In the hotel room, everything is still quiet, so he sets the breakfast down on the bedside table. Then he reaches out a hand and tugs at the blankets, only to reveal Jimin with his face half-buried in the pillow. At his touch, Jimin wakes, stretches, opens his eyes and smiles when he sees Yoongi. He kicks the blankets back and sits up, shirtless. Through the large window front, the icy winter sun illuminates the room, bathing everything in a soft glow. Jimin's gray hair gleams like snow at midnight.

They eat breakfast in bed together, leaving crumbs everywhere, laughing and warming their fingers on the coffee cups and on each other. Outside, Seoul exists, but in here it's only them.

When Yoongi and Jimin go for a walk, they stay huddled close, barely any space between them. At times, they'll point to whatever catches their attention, shopping windows, construction sites, new cafés. In a city such as this, things are always changing while still holding onto past memories, caught between tradition and modernity. January cold, even with their gloves, Jimin and Yoongi hold hands for some warmth. Yoongi's heart feels full. He is home.


 

Chapter Text


12,027 Comments

 

IS THIS REAL???

Oh my shit? This was so gay? Was it supposed to be this gay?

    They woke up in a bed together, half naked. I think it was supposed to be gay

I was expecting many things but not this

what's it with this sjw bullshit why do they have to pander to the queers?

    Why is this pandering? If you don't like it, don't watch it

So what I'm getting here is that they are dating

I think i'm gonna pass out

okay, I never was into BTS but, god, does this make me wish I had been

asdfedjkb IS SUGA'S PHOENIX TATTOO NEW?? HE LOOKS SO GOOD ALL INKED UP

Heart and Soul aka Jimin and Seoul, the person and the place yoongi considers home

    that is so poetic!

Jimin looked like he was naked, if you know what I mean :D

    makes you wonder what he got up to the night before that he'd sleep so deeply lol

Just when I thought I was out of kpop hell, these two drag me back in...

    lmao, I know, right??

WTF happened while they were in NY??

    Watch their vlogs! They lived together for months

        and then they fell in love?

            that is so sweet and domestic, and I am forever alone

I'm torn. Is this really a relationship reveal or just an artistic choice?

    Yeah, I mean, other artists have done similar things in past years; it's not like this is the first     queer Kpop MV or anything

when I heard yoonmin got back together to work on some songs, I didn't even dare to dream of this

I am so ready for all the interviews *__*


 

 

They don't go online after the MV drops, quite happy to let the first excitement of it pass by them. There would be outrage, they aren't naive enough to expect different, but they have the leisure to pretend that it does not concern them.

Since their return to Korea, they've been staying in Yoongi's apartment, just for convenience's sake.

It's good to be back, in a way, but also confusing. It had taken a while for Yoongi to realize it, but he had started to consider the loft in New York as his home.

Or rather, he amends, with Jimin spread out on the mattress in front of him, maybe home really is where the heart is.

He's been fingering Jimin open for a while now, keeping him on the edge, and Jimin is quivering with anticipation. Because, while he had initially given Yoongi all the time in the world to get used to their relationship, Jimin actually tends to be impatient in bed.

It figures, in a way. As a dancer, Jimin has learned to love the strain and the burn of his body being brought to its limits. He likes it hard and fast, likes getting handled a little roughly from time to time. And Yoongi indulges him, every now and then, but he prefers to take things slow, to let the pleasure build up at an even pace.

He's lovingly biting at Jimin's perk ass cheeks now, the muscles jumping under his insistent teeth.

“Yoongi-oppa,” Jimin moans, a laugh caught in his voice. He knows how to tease Yoongi, has always known, and their little joke from years ago has taken a bit of a different turn whenever the mood strikes.

“Ah,” Yoongi warns, giving Jimin's ass a gentle slap. “Behave.”

It's fun like this. Easy. The pressure Yoongi had used to feel in sexual situations or, alternatively, the boredom, are only a vague memory. With Jimin, he is always willing to go a step further, to try new stuff and see how they like it. And, so far, Yoongi has liked most of it.

Still, there's just something about fucking here that makes everything a little more real. Especially in the beginning, New York had been almost like a dream, faraway and untouchable. Sometimes, Yoongi had thought he might wake up and blink the past few months from his eyes as though they had never happened.

To remind himself that this is very much his life now, that he is at liberty to do so, Yoongi simply dives back down between Jimin's thighs.

He'd been hesitant about this at first, but it had been his idea and he had wanted to try it out, had wanted to see how Jimin reacted to this. Jimin, needless to say, loved it. And he was unashamedly vocal about it, too.

Jimin stutters out a moan as Yoongi continues to eat him out. He hides his face in his crossed arms, bites at his wrists, but Yoongi does not relent, just pushes his fingers in alongside his tongue.

Like this, it doesn't take long. Jimin's hips buck up, insistently pressing his ass back as he clenches around the movement of Yoongi's fingers, and then he comes all over the bed sheets.

He groans, stills, groans again and scoots up along the mattress and splays his legs so he won't have to lie in the mess he made. His shoulder blades shudder as he comes to rest and there is a thin sheen of sweat layered over the small of his back, dampening the fine hairs there.

Blindly, Yoongi stretches out his arm and fishes for the camera case he left lying on the floor, pulling it up by the strap and unzipping it quickly. At the sound of it, Jimin glances back at him but, when he sees what Yoongi is doing, he does not protest, just closes his eyes contently and lets him do as he wishes.

Yoongi hadn't taken his good camera with him when he left for New York, but here he has been making liberal use of it, taking selfies of him and Jimin, of their intertwined legs, of Jimin's mouth pressed to his fingers.

Now, he takes a picture of Jimin on the soiled bed sheets, fucked out and satiated, and with a smirk he thinks of how people would react to seeing these photos in the wake of their MV. Because that had been an insinuation, not a proof, while these visuals now would leave absolutely no room for doubt.

In that moment, Yoongi's phone vibrates on the bedside table, and he wants to ignore it, wants to enjoy the post-sex haze a little more, but then it vibrates again and again, and the sound it makes is honestly somewhat grating.

“Just answer it,” Jimin gives him permission to kill the mood, heaving out a breath and then burying his face deeper in the pillow, moments away from sleep.

He picks up the phone and checks the notifications, honestly surprised to see that he has several messages from Bo Seon.

Since their fake relationship and their subsequent fake break-up, they hadn't really seen much of each other, preferring to let the rumors about their enduring feelings for each other be put to rest for good. They had texted every now and again, because Yoongi respected Bo's work as a fellow rapper and, as a good hyung, he always offered her good advice when she asked for his opinion. But, when he had left for New York, they had mostly fallen out of touch.

When he sees what she has written now, he cannot help but snort.


 

In the first interview, no one openly addresses it. The host asks what it feels like to be working together again, and Jimin says they have grown closer. The hosts asks for their inspiration, and Yoongi simply replies with, “Jimin.”

They skirt the edges of what is still socially acceptable and what might get a witch hunt started. Scenes from the MV are played but not the blatant ones, not the crucial moments.

And Yoongi had expected as much, had been prepared for worse, if he is honest with himself, but he cannot stop himself from growing a little spiteful about it. Their MV, he knows, has already broken several records, and some of that was due to the whole controversy. People wanted to be able to talk about what everyone else was discussing. And that just happened to be two former idols releasing a rather gay MV.

Homoerotic, one headline had called it, as though there was something overly sexual about two guys holding hands or cuddling in bed.

“In our loft in New York,” Yoongi says, and, “Our cat Mochi.”

It's nothing overt, really, nothing that would get anyone's hackles up, but it's enough to make Jimin send him worried looks underneath his thousand watt smile.

Let them, Yoongi thinks. He's spent the better part of his life not interested in dating, but also not being allowed to date. Unlike Jimin, he has no practice with this whole secrecy shit.

“What do the other members of Bangtan Sonyeondan think of your album?” the host asks at length and Yoongi gives a belligerent smirk.

“They love it,” he knows. “And support us producing more songs.”

 




 

Here's the thing. They are not the first queer idols, not the first who have incorporated it into their work. But they are the first who are openly dating each other – and former group mates to boot. This has the potential of retroactively ruining Bangtan's reputation.

There would be people who'd think this had been going on for years and, considering Jimin's former crush, they wouldn't even be too far off with that. Some would blame BigHit for mishandling the situation, either now or back then. Their interactions with other idols would be examined. Some narrow-minded bigots would accuse them of having a bad influence on Korea's youth.

They have an interview outside of the usual slew of idol shows. Yoongi looks forward to it, too, because he knows it will be more focused on their music than regurgitated questions of how it is to be working without the other members, of how life in the US was, of what their best aegyo face is.

The only thing that has been pleasingly absent so far are the repetitions of 'What's your ideal type of girl?', though Yoongi knows that has more to do with avoidance than with acceptance.

This interview, though, is more serious, more down-to-earth. It's a show Yoongi likes to watch online from time to time whenever there are any noteworthy artists featured as guests. The host is a man in his late thirties, slim and trim and with oversized glasses poised on his nose. He looks more like a math teacher than a music critic, and he always handles his cue cards with careful fingers.

After he welcomes Jimin and Yoongi and beckons them to sit down, he gives a solid introduction, praises their musical experimentation and inquires after their work process.

“I was in a bit of a slump when I released my last album,” Yoongi says, finally something he can admit openly without feeling worse about it, as though Birds in the Snow had redeemed him in his own judging eyes. “During and after my military service, I struggled with a lot of things. I isolated myself, but that only aggravated the problem. For a while I felt like I couldn't write at all, and then whatever I did write didn't live up to my standards.”

“There were rumors of you looking for collaborations with other artists but then rejecting all of them,” the host points out astutely. “It gained you a bit of a reputation.”

“I was very picky,” Yoongi concedes. “And in retrospect, I know my discontent with myself must have come across as arrogance. But I simply needed something to regain my momentum and I knew that if I didn't find it soon I would get stuck again.”

“So you went to the US.” The host nods. “Did you feel like you had to leave Korea to find new inspiration?”

“The place didn't have much to do with it, I think,” Yoongi says. “It was actually RM who encouraged me to hit up Jimin. Only took him like five seconds to convince me.”

The hosts eyes narrow in interest and he leans a little closer.

“Your songs have a distinctly different feel from your previous works,” he comments. “There's less rage in the lyrics, but also new elements. Very outside the box.”

“I don't think we ever discussed that properly,” Jimin says. “We didn't sit down and say, hey, let's try some Soul, let's try some R'n'B. A lot of that kind of happened. We took inspiration from a musical we saw, from the soundtracks of movies we watched. It was more organic than systematic.”

“Would you say the American music industry is bolder?” the host wants to know. “Many foreigners are only familiar with Korean music in the context of kpop and show dismissive attitudes. Did you feel pressure to prove them wrong?”

Yoongi takes a moment to think about it.

“I think, after our history with Bangtan and on an international level, we have been known for not exactly fitting the mold and writing more progressive songs,” he tries to explain. “So we wanted to impress, yeah, especially since it's only the two of us now. We have no choreographies and a good chunk of our lyrics is in English, so it's definitely different from before. We hope this album is something everyone can enjoy, regardless of where they are from and whether they knew us before.”

“But,” the host insists, “you were intentionally breaking boundaries, weren't you?”

Ah, Yoongi thinks, slowly catching on. They'd been given a list of the upcoming questions, of course, but it's the host's delivery that really drives home their true meaning.

“There's nothing fundamentally new in our lyrics, really,” Jimin says humbly, hands folded in his lap. “It's just a little denser.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees, morbidly curious to see whether he can derail the train or whether the wreck is destined to happen anyway. “The pressure of failure versus success, our military service, anxiety and depression and all of that. We've done that before, and so have others.”

“Of course, of course.” The host chin jerks with each quick nod. “But surely you considered the consequences of your MV.”

“Well,” Yoongi says, very deliberate in the way he leans back in his seat. “We knew we'd break some records.”

The host is too well versed in this to give anything away on his face, but Yoongi can still tell that he is slightly irked by having been backed into a corner.

“So,” the man says, “your tour is starting soon, with your opening concert being held in Seoul in only five days. Depending on your success, do you think you'll work together again?”

“We haven't really planned anything yet,” Jimin replies, much more sweetly. “There are many things to be taken into consideration.”

“You have established a career in the States,” the host agrees, gesturing with his cue cards. “But your title track is an ode to Seoul. Are you thinking of returning?”

“Oh, I haven't quite decided yet,” Jimin says diplomatically. “There are many things I love about New York, but being back is wonderful as well. I wish I didn't have to choose.”

“What about you, Yoongi-ssi?” the host asks. “You said that, originally, you never thought you'd end up spending half a year in the States. Could you imagine actually moving there?”

Yoongi shrugs.

“I go wherever Jimin's going,” he says simply and then, just for the hell of it, “After all, we're dating.”

It's a sick kind of satisfaction to see the host's eyes widen and, despite Jimin's put-upon sigh, it is totally worth it.

 

When they get back to the apartment, they put on more comfortable clothes and then argue about what to have for dinner. Yoongi finally relents and starts cutting up the beef, letting Jimin handle the onions. Jimin complains and tries to lean out of the way of the fumes, but some stray tears still escape and Yoongi kisses every single one away until Jimin is laughing again.

Soon, the kitchen is warm and smells of bulgogi, but they carry their plates over into the living room and sit on the couch instead, a bad habit developed in New York due to Jimin's lack of a proper table.

They know better than to turn on the TV and watch the news; their managers would inform them of everything they needed to know. But Jimin does switch on his Bluetooth and play some Soul to quietly keep them company.

They don't make much conversation, but there is no severity to their silence. Idly, Yoongi wonders whether they should be feeling more nervous, maybe even slightly regretful now that the cat is out of the bag. Instead, however, he finds a weight lifted off his shoulders. He hadn't quite noticed it but, since their return to Korea, there had been a certain tension to him.

In the US, they had been able to be so open about everything. Not totally, since they didn't want to risk exposure via some paparazzi eager for a hot story, but still. They had kissed in public and held hands. They had been out to Jimin's friends.

Now, he feels liberated again. He knows this liberation may come at a great cost, but he still cannot bring himself to regret it. This feels right.

Yoongi's phone pings and he expects it to be one of the members, perhaps even an idol from some other group because several of those had already expressed their well-wishes on his and Jimin's relationship and their admiration for their guts. The two of them were far from the only queer idols in the industry but, so far, the only ones who had tackled the issues with such vigor.

When Yoongi sees the name displayed on his phone screen, however, his blood runs cold.

“Oh shit,” he whispers and, next to him, Jimin stiffens, probably expecting something really bad. He glances over Yoongi's shoulder, an apprehensive look on his face – but then he stills.

“Yoongi-yah?” he asks carefully, closing a hand around Yoongi's foot. “Everything alright?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi croaks, clears his throat. “Lemme just...”

He trails off and begins to type out a reply.

 

 

Yoongi blows out a breath and lets his head fall against the backrest of the couch. Jimin fidgets nervously.

“What'd she say?”

“Not much, really,” Yoongi admits, though he knows that his mother has a habit of keeping her true feelings boiling underneath the surface. “She's pissed I didn't tell her sooner.”

Jimin blinks. “Tell her... Are you saying you didn't tell your parents about us?”

“It slipped my mind, okay?” Yoongi says defensively, pulling up his shoulders to his ears. “I was more concerned with other stuff.”

“This is, like, the third thing you consider when entering into a relationship,” Jimin claims, shaking his head in exasperation.

“And I'm kinda new to this,” Yoongi reminds him with a flap of his hand. There was the relationship thing, of course, but also the gay thing. He's actually surprised by his mother's lack of surprise, though he guesses his 'ew, girls' attitude throughout his teens had helped clue her in that he might be a little different.

It had been easier later on because, whenever she prodded, he could remind her of the no dating clause in his contract. Eventually, she had stopped asking at all but, between his service and his nervous breakdown, he hadn't exactly had much time for a relationship either.

“But they did not disinherit you?” Jimin asks, just to make sure.

“There's not much to inherit anyway,” Yoongi snorts. His parents hadn't cast him out when he decided to try his luck with music; it seemed they wouldn't do it now either. “But do you know what this means?” he asks, a different kind of mortification creeping up on him.

“What?”

“We'll have to do the whole meeting the parents thing.”

At that, Jimin does pale a little.

“Oh no,” he says. “I've never done that either.”

“First the tour,” Yoongi decides and puts his phone on silent before pushing it deep deep in between the sofa cushions. “Everything else can wait.”

After all, their album was how all of this had begun.

 


 

 

Chapter Text

                                                                             


 

 

The first concert – together, with this album, in Seoul – is set for shortly after their album release. Quick enough to come across as a sort of comeback, long enough to give fans the time to learn the lyrics by heart.

The venue had been sold out before the reveal of their relationship but there had been the possibility that a lot of fans might not show up or otherwise boycott the concert. Judging by the euphoric chants outside, that worry is unfounded. In fact, as a stagehand has informed them, there are at least three rainbow flags out there.

Yoongi... is not nervous, per se. Excited, yes, to be back on stage, and with Jimin to boot. But he feels as though he has nothing to fear, nothing to make him him regret choosing this path.

He's dressed in a crisp white shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, a black waistcoat cinched round his middle and accentuating his frame. Jimin has been eyeing him thirstily since they slipped into their stage outfits, but it's not like they can do much about it now. Their makeup and hair has already been done and, as appealing as a quick blowjob in the dressing room sounds, they can't really risk straining their vocal cords like that.

Jimin himself is wearing a pearl-gray dress shirt and dark fitted jeans that hug his hips and thighs in all the right ways. He's been bright and bubbly before but by now he has slipped into performance mode, visibly mouthing the lyrics to himself, running through the bits of choreo he is going to integrate at certain points.

Then it is time.

They take their positions on the podiums, Yoongi spreading his legs a little for a steadier stance, giving a signal to the stage director who speaks into his walkie talkie to inform the people in the control booth. The lights lower outside and an uproar rolls through the crowd before a hush of anticipation falls.

A jerk, and the podiums begin to move and lift them toward the stage. Above and in Yoongi's ear, the first notes begin to play and he clenches his microphone a little tighter. He throws a quick glance over at Jimin who just gives him an encouraging nod. And then Agust D is back.

“It's really a bitch to not have something you want to do,” he raps, clearly remembering how he had written those lines and every subsequent time they had applied to. “I know that it seems pathetic to not have a dream like everyone.”

The fans screech as they emerge onto the stage, spotlights upon them.

“'Everything’s going to be alright if you go to university and do as we tell you',” he says sarcastically, words his teachers and various relatives have viewed as reassurances when he had still been in school, as though the prospect of more studying would motivate him in anyway. “I believed in those words but I’m living because I can’t die.”

He can see the crowd now, the flags, the lights, the banners. The bass thrums underneath his feet and against his ear drums.

“Just pass me the drink because I want to get drunk today, so please don't stop me. I don't mind the brand, it might be a luxury for a person with no job to have a drink. Everyone's running but why am I still here? Everyone is running but why am I still here?”

“So far away,” Jimin sings and the fans are screeching themselves hoarse because they had been waiting to hear this since Yoongi casually mentioned that the original guide had been recorded with his vocals. Now they get to hear it live. “If I had a dream, if only I had a flying dream.”

They step off their marks and move toward the traverse of the stage, walking side by side, easily matching each other's pace.

“Dream,” Yoongi continues with another glance toward Jimin who does not seem to notice. “I will be there for your creation until the rest of your life.”

This is what he loves. The music, the fans, and Jimin, all in one place, close enough to touch, to sink his teeth and fingers in. When he had written this song, he had not yet had an inkling that one day would find him here, complete and content.

Like this, the concert goes on without a hitch. There are no hecklers, no microphone mishaps, Yoongi does not stumble over his lyrics and Jimin does not trip over his undone shoelaces.

For the more piano heavy songs, Yoongi sits down at the gleaming Bechstein in the middle of the stage while Jimin stands up front and enthralls the audience.

For Snow , the only instrumental piece on their album, Jimin sets aside his microphone and dances instead, like a snowflake being tossed around in a storm, until the winds calm again, and Yoongi cannot take his eyes off him.

He is happy. He is so fucking happy to see Jimin perform their songs, to have their fans singing along and wave their glow sticks, to be back in Seoul, to do what he is best at.

A year ago, imagining even a semblance of this would have felt like heresy, but now Yoongi smiles and smiles until his cheeks hurt.

He wishes, faintly, that the other members were here as well, that he could share this with them, because this is not just about him and Jimin.

But, he reminds himself with some chagrin, you cannot have everything and he shouldn't be greedy when he already has so much.

Finally, when the sweat sticks to their bodies but they are still soaring on the adrenaline, they perform Lullaby , the closing track of their album, the one that Jimin had one night hummed into Yoongi's hair as they lay in bed together, sentences only half-formed and both of them almost asleep. The one Jimin had been shy about turning into a proper song at all, worrying that it would not live up to the rest of their album.

“So sleep easy with your skin on my skin,” he sings now, no trace of doubt left. “Sleep easy in the truth of where we are and where we've been. Sleep easy with your dreams laid to rest, sleep easy without fear of not being the best.”

The lyrics are simplistic, really, but they fit the message that sits at the song's core. Even now, Yoongi feels at ease hearing it.

“'cause I want to see you smile when you're awake,” Jimin sings, tossing his head back, the sweat glistening along the tendons of his neck, and Yoongi very much does not think of other moments when he got to watch something quite similar. “I want the day to be yours when the morning does break.”

Yoongi's fingers dance across the black and white keys, molding themselves to the undulations of Jimin's voice, soft like the ripples on a lake. He does not need to look at his hands to follow their path, just keeps glancing at Jimin who is covered in lights.

“I cannot pull down the stars, I cannot force the sun to shine,” Jimin admits, his eyes falling shut, slowing down as the song comes to an end, the melody tapering off as though slipping into sleep.

“I cannot give you the world,” he says, almost a whisper, “But I can promise you mine...”

 


Review of Agust D feat. Jimin Opening Concert | allkpop

These two need no flashy show!

Although BTS officially disbanded 5 years ago, fans could hold on to the mild comfort that the group’s two youngest members, Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook, still performed together under the name Velcro. However, when it was time for the two of them to start their obligatory two years of military service in 2024, it seemed that this was truly the end of the world's most renowned Kpop group.

Yet it was only a few months later when Park Jimin - who by now had moved to New York to try his luck abroad - was seen welcoming his group mate Min Yoongi at the JFK International Airport which immediately created rumors in regards to a potential collaboration between the two. Rumors which were fueled only a few days later as Jimin announced in his personal Vlog that he and his hyung would be working on a project together, though definite announcements where only made toward the end of the year.

True to their Bangtan legacy, their album Birds in the Snow hit record numbers for preorders, with their main track rising up to #17 of the American and #2 of the Korean charts upon release, climbing to #1 when they publicly confirmed what their MV had already hinted at – namely that they are currently dating each other.

But the implications and complications of their relationship have been discussed at length elsewhere, and they are not the focus of this article. Instead, in the wake of some rather frightening media buzz, Min Yoongi and Park Jimin chose to respond to haters of all kinds in the classiest of manners – by delivering a truly astounding opening concert in Seoul.

Those who might have hoped for a tiny comeback version of Bangtan might be disappointed. But those who can appreciate good music will rejoice. There are no pyro works, no flashy artistry. A plain black stage and a few white lights, a piano centered in the middle. Fans may still remember their unexpected live performance of Agust D's Tony Montana , featuring Yankee in the studio version. Back then, Jimin's attempts at rap had perhaps lacked a certain bite, his swag had seemed more of an act. Now, he has recently given up his bubblegum look and instead dyed his hair a more regal looking silver, reminiscent of his Blood, Sweat & Tears days, while Agust D, all platinum blonde, looks more like an idol than he ever has since his solo career began. But they look more mature, and they sound it, too.

They have grown into themselves, more confident in their skins and their styles, something that is very much reflected in their music. Many of their songs, like Heart and Seoul , Nolita and Cyanistes caeruleus , seem to center around the idea of home, of chosen family and (be)longing, of finally finding what you have been missing all your life.

The bass is heavy, the crowd sings and sways along. There are a lot of teenagers, but many women in their thirties, too, former ARMYs mixed in with new fans. Finally, after a breathtaking 90 minutes, they perform Lullaby , the last song on their album, with Agust D on the piano and Jimin singing. An unusually soft end for such a bomb of a show, but still fitting.

Have they found what they had been searching for? When they take each other by the hand and bow to a euphoric crowd, the answer is quite obvious.

 

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By the time they get back to the apartment, it's late. After the concert, they had gone to meet fans, pose for photographs, sign albums and pictures, answer some questions. There were some fans they still remembered from the old days, familiar faces grown more mature. Many of the girls who used to jokingly ask them to be their boyfriends now have husbands and children of their own.

Then they had returned backstage, toasting with their crew and managers, thanking everyone for their hard work, making small-talk and accepting congratulations. And then they still had to change their clothes and remove all the makeup before they could even climb back in the car and let their driver take them home.

It's cool when they get inside, the timer of the radiator already shut off for the night, so Jimin quickly jumps under the shower to wash off the sweat and grime of the day while Yoongi fixes them a herbal tea.

When it's his turn to shower, it's tempting to take his time, but he suspects the hot water won't last much longer, so he gets out, dries off and throws on a bathrobe.

Jimin is sitting on the bed in a t-shirt and shorts, laptop propped up on his thighs. His hair is still damp and the screen throws a greenish tint onto his face.

“Looking up fan reactions?” Yoongi asks, not bothering to hide a yawn.

Jimin makes an agreeing noise, but doesn't offer to read anything out loud. Fortunately, it seems that he is concentrating, rather than that he wants to spare Yoongi any hurtful comments.

Yoongi cracks his neck a little and then crawls onto the mattress as well, leaning into Jimin's side so he can look at the screen.

“What's this?” he asks because it does not look like regular reviews of their concert, or even comments for fancams on YouTube.

“Just a forum I used to check out some years ago,” Jimin says easily but, when Yoongi reads some of the headlines he can guess what this is really about.

Jimin had left Korea because he knew his sexuality would cause problems for him, for his group, for his family. He wouldn't have been able to share his experience online, even anonymously, for fear of someone deducing his identity, but reading about other people may at least have given him some sense of kinship, the knowledge that he was not alone in his struggles.

“They're writing about us,” Yoongi notes, his eyes catching on where the cursor is nervously hovering.

“Yes,” Jimin says, sounding a little choked. Sometimes, Yoongi still has trouble relating to how much Jimin had been forced to hide, from everyone and even from himself.

“What are they saying?” Yoongi asks. He hopes it's nothing too bad. They can deal with a handful of haters but he knows it'll still leave a bitter taste in his mouth.

“They are happy,” Jimin says. He sniffs once and roughly wipes his wrist over his nose. “They are saying how seeing us being open about everything makes them hope that things will get easier.”

In the past few years, South Korea's stance on homosexuality has grown less rigid. Younger generations are more open-minded, influenced by the West, but there are still a lot of prejudices and obstacles to overcome.

And Yoongi and Jimin hadn't exactly set out to be a beacon of hope and equality, but this is the role they have been given and they would bear it with grace.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, nudging Jimin. “Wanna make a vlog?”

 

They don't bother with setting up anything fancy. They are bare-faced and messy-haired and sit in their bed with their backs to the headboard, shoulders touching, angling the webcam so it catches more than awkward double chins and the bags underneath their eyes. The golden glow from the lamp on the bedside table is enough to soften the harsh lines of their lives, and the stretched-out collars of their sleep shirts do the rest.

“Hi, everyone,” Jimin waves, much perkier than his previous mood should have accounted for, leaning a little closer to smile at the camera. “We just got back from our first concert and we hope everyone who was there got home safely as well.”

“We wanted to thank everyone who has supported us so far,” Yoongi continues. He's too tired to put up a bright smile but the words are genuine. “The concert went great and we are grateful for everyone who has bought tickets and albums. Whether you are ARMYs or not, we couldn't ask for better fans.”

“You've seen our MV and heard our songs and you've probably watched our interviews, too,” Jimin says. “So I guess this isn't as much of a surprise anymore, but we wanted to tell you anyway, without any room for doubt.”

He cuts off, stalls, takes a deep breath. When he open his eyes again, he looks determined.

“I'm bisexual,” he says, words that had previously only been uttered to the closest of friends. A truth he must have thought would destroy him if it ever got into the wrong hands.

For Yoongi, on the other hand, it all feels rather anticlimactic.

“I guess I'm bisexual, too?” he hazards, still not quite certain which description works best for him. He is all too familiar with the power of words, but this is not something that makes him feel lacking. As long as he understands himself, he doesn't need an encyclopedia entry.

“I don't really... see the difference between men and women,” he elaborates anyway. “But... I was never much attracted to anyone.”

“Just me,” Jimin quips.

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees. “Just you.”

They look at each other for a long moment before remembering that the camera is still running. Yoongi clears his throat.

“That's what Tender is about, actually,” he explains. “This... being unable to relate to others but then... having something that makes everything click into place. And realizing that being different does not equal being bad.”

“We hope that times are changing,” Jimin adds. “South Korea is still very conservative in regards to same-sex relationships but we have faith that our fans will stick with us through this new challenge. And, more than that, we hope that we can be an inspiration for others as well. You shouldn't have to hide who you are or who you love. You are not wrong or strange or broken. Those who truly love you will know that. And those who don't...”

“They can go fuck themselves,” Yoongi says plainly, not bothering to censor himself.

“Right.” Jimin nods. “There are a lot of you out there who are questioning themselves and I know, better than most, that it's not easy. It's intimidating. It's downright terrifying at times, and sometimes it has us making rash decisions. I just want you to know that you are not a coward for hiding. You are not crazy for believing. You are not sinful for loving in whatever way works best for you.”

A deep breath, a smile, fists lifted in an encouraging gesture.

“Fighting!”

They turn off the camera.

 

Chapter Text

The Korea leg of their tour goes off without a hitch. There are a few protesters, a few hecklers, a few less than sympathetic headlines, but nothing that their security and PR people cannot handle. Before long, Jimin and Yoongi are back in the States to continue the second , longer , half of their endeavor.

Here, it's even easier. Gay artists don't even raise eyebrows anymore, though Jimin Park and Agust D get a few favorable mentions for being a rare queer couple performing together. Yoongi gets the feeling that a lot of Americans don't quite understand how groundbreaking their coming out had been in Korea, but he kind of likes it that way. It means less invasive questions about their private life, so he won't complain about their ignorance.

They do twenty-five concerts in the US, in smaller venues than when they had still been with Bangtan, but most of them fully booked. It's a good feeling to be on a stage like this, to be able to confidently speak English and have the fans screech their approval. Even better to perform the songs he and Jimin put so much effort into.

The other side of the tour is pleasant as well. They'd agreed on a less rigorous schedule than what they had been forced to get used to during their younger years. Their staff is much smaller and their expenses not as vast. Not to mention that they only have to book one hotel room for themselves.

It takes a lot of stress off their shoulders and allows them to spend half days before flights to go explore some of the cities they'd been to before , but only ever seen stageside. Between starched bed sheets and tourist attractions, Yoongi learns Jimin in a way he'd never considered before.

He's seen Jimin with stubble and without makeup. Jimin hungry and Jimin sick. Jimin sleepy and exhausted and cranky. And that was life, that was what being idols in close quarters entailed, but now Yoongi finds that he can appreciate it in a new manner.

He wants to know Jimin, inside out. He wants to spend as much time with him as possible.

It's a scary thing, if he thinks about it. He still needs his moments of rest, when he just stuffs his headphones into his ears and cranks up his music, refusing to talk while he recharges, but he likes when Jimin just sits next to him, touching or not touching. He doesn't have to look at him the whole time, but likes seeing him at his periphery.

Finally, they are back in New York and they give their last grand concert of their Birds in the Snow tour. Yoongi wonders whether any of the people who had seen them perform at The Wire are there, wonders whether, back then, anyone had fully comprehended the meaning for their new songs.

Only two days later, perfectly timed so they'd have time for themselves again, is Yoongi's thirty-second birthday. Yoongi does not particularly look forward to it, but he doesn't dread it either.

Aging and the passage of time is not as terrible a thing as it still had been a few months and years ago.

Jimin, on the other hand, is much more excited and, after letting Yoongi sleep in, returns to the loft with a tiny strawberry and chocolate tart. It's not the healthiest of breakfasts, but they share it in bed together and, now that the tour is done with, they don't have to care about their diets anyway.

Jimin also, of course, has not forgotten to get him a present.

“Unwrap it,” Jimin urges, probably more excited than if he were getting a gift himself, so Yoongi smiles and does as he is told.

The square box turns out to contain headphones and Yoongi is confused for a moment because he owns headphones, and good ones at that, but Jimin's grin doesn't falter.

“Put them on,” he says instead, his own fingers helping to get the box open and the wrappings off.

Once the headphones cover Yoongi's ears, he stills.

“See,” Jimin says, his voice slightly muffled. In fact, everything is slightly muffled - the music running in the background, the sounds coming in through the open window.

Yoongi grabs the headphones and lifts them off his ears, listening for a moment, before putting them back on.

“They're noise-canceling,” Jimin explains. “And they work with Bluetooth. Perfect for work and travel.”

“Huh,” Yoongi says, surprised. He'd heard of the things before, but he'd never bothered buying them for himself. “Now I can drown out your incessant chatter.”

“Hyung!” Jimin wails, pressing a hand over his chest as though he had been dealt a deadly blow, so Yoongi just leans over and kisses him into silence, no headphones needed.

 

                                                                         



Later that day, they go to have dinner at La Montagna, the same restaurant Jimin had taken Yoongi after he had first arrived in New York.

They've been coming here sporadically, so the staff greets them warmly and directs them to a table in the back, knowing that they don't want to be bothered by any other patrons who might ask them for autographs.

They don't talk much as they eat because with how much time they spend with each other it is easy to run out of topics for conversation, but there is nothing uncomfortable about it, no pressure to entertain. They have a morning show appearance coming up, as well as a few other gigs here and there, but it's nice to not talk shop, to pretend they are just like any other couple.

Underneath the table, their ankles are crossed, and when Yoongi offers Jimin some of his lasagna, he pulls the fork back so Jimin has to pout and crane his neck and make pretty eyes until Yoongi relents.

Over a shared bottle of red wine, their eyes droop a little, their gazes linger longer than strictly appropriate for public. Idly, Yoongi wonders what they might do once they go back to the loft and, when a waitress comes to ask whether they would like to order dessert, he asks for the bill instead.

They walk back to their building with their pinkies linked and the first stars coming out overhead.

The tension simmering between them is a comfortable thing, not a breathless urge to rip each others' clothes off the moment they step through the door. Instead, they slip out of their shoes and cardigans, set aside their keys and their phones, greet a meowing Mochi.

A calmness has come into their relationship, a maturity, and in a vague sense it had perhaps been there before. But now Yoongi's shaking fingers have calmed and so has the fluttering of Jimin's heart, now their friends know and their families, and there is very little they ought to be afraid of anymore.

In their bedroom, Jimin runs his hands along Yoongi's chest and his shoulders, dipping his fingertips into the spaces between his shirt buttons, finding warm skin underneath.

“Do you want your other birthday present now?” Jimin asks.

“Depends on what it is,” Yoongi replies though he has a pretty good guess.

“Hmm,” Jimin hums around a smirk. “I have some special services on offer.”

Finally, he leans in, his breath close enough to taste.

“Is there anything in particular you want?” he whispers, running his lips over Yoongi's mouth in a way that doesn't quite let it turn into kisses. “A blowjob? A massage?”

Yoongi closes his eyes. When he opens them again, he kisses Jimin and then just looks at him for a long moment.

“I want you to fuck me,” he says, watching as Jimin's mouth falls open in surprise.

They have never done this before, have never even really discussed it. But Yoongi has thought about it, albeit a little hesitantly. He found that it demanded a lot of trust, but whom did he trust if not Jimin? And today, today he knows he wants it.

Jimin must read it on his face, because it doesn't take him long to catch himself.

“Alright,” he says, stepping back a little. “Let me just... put on some music.”

“Wanna light some scented candles, too?” Yoongi teases, if only to distract from his own nerves.

“Sure,” Jimin says easily, throwing a saucy look over his shoulder. “I got lemongrass and vanilla. What would you like?”

Yoongi swallows.

“Vanilla,” he admits. He knows Jimin won't just overwhelm him in this, but it doesn't hurt to make sure.

So they do it. In the beginning, it's not much different from how these things often start between them. They undress, slowly, languidly, small touches turning into longer ones, more searching, more knowing. Only this time, it's Yoongi who ends up on his back, legs angled where Jimin is braced above him, slowly working a finger into Yoongi.

The first intrusion feels odd , but not unfamiliar. They had played around like this before, usually when Jimin blew him, but they had never gone any further than that. Jimin is careful, though, takes his time before he adds another finger. That one is a little more difficult to handle, but Yoongi keeps a hand on his cock and concentrates on that instead.

They don't rush things. They kiss and embrace and talk in between, and there is nothing embarrassing about it, even when Jimin's hand cramps up and he just laughs against Yoongi's collarbone.

“Turn around,” he tells Yoongi eventually, helping him get comfortable, and Yoongi clutches the pillow close but does not tense up as Jimin gets into position behind him, runs a warm palm along the dip of Yoongi's spine as he gradually pushes in.

So Yoongi lies spread out on the bed, on his belly, with Jimin sprawled over his back, gently rocking into him. There's not much stimulation but it's still overwhelming, in the good kind of way. Jimin drapes kisses over the back of Yoongi's neck, mouthing at his vertebrae, pressing his sweaty forehead between Yoongi's shoulder blades.

Before long, Yoongi's breath becomes more labored and he smothers it in the pillow that smells of Jimin's shampoo. On the sheets, their fingers tangle, intertwine.

If someone had told him half a year ago that he would find himself in this situation and love it, he would have sued them for slander. But here he is, blissful and aroused and with one Park Jimin being very much responsible for it. And fuck, it feels awesome.

It's such an intimate thing to feel someone inside of him, to feel each movement, to have the pleasure spike whenever Jimin angles his hips right. And Yoongi clenches his ass, presses forward into the mattress, but eventually that is no longer enough and he wants more, wants sweat sticking to his temples and his heart tripping in his chest.

“Can you, ah,” he says, sucking a breath in between his teeth, “Go faster?”

Jimin does not reply, just smoothly sits up, settling on his knees and holding Yoongi by the hips. His grip is firm but not bruising, though Yoongi might kind of want it to be.

He loses his breath when Jimin pushes back in, does not regain it when Jimin just keeps going, the air filled with the sound of skin slapping against skin, of slick lube, of half-caught moans.

Yoongi weasels a hand underneath himself and grips his cock, working himself in rhythm with Jimin's long, hard thrusts.

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin breathes above him, sounding close to the edge, but in a different way, in a new way and, when Yoongi finally comes, it is an entirely new feeling as well.

Jimin keeps fucking him through it, a little faster than before, and Yoongi quickly grows hypersensitive, hyperaware of each motion until Jimin finally comes, too.

For a moment, Jimin lies still. Then he lifts himself off Yoongi and slides off to the side, so Yoongi can roll over, coming to lie on his back. He stares up at the white ceiling, blinks furiously and then throws an arm over his face to hide his eyes. He's not crying but it's a close thing.

Jimin, in the meanwhile, is just dropping meandering kisses onto Yoongi's chest, trailing them up up up along Yoongi's neck and chin till he reaches his lips.

“Okay?” he asks quietly, not exactly worried but still wanting to make sure.

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods. “Okay.” It's more than okay, though, and he lifts his arm from his face, looks Jimin in the eye. “We should do that again sometime.”

Jimin just grins and kisses him again.

 

Chapter Text

It's rare that Yoongi wakes before Jimin.

In fact, Jimin has pretty much become Yoongi's personal alarm clock, either waking him on purpose with a series of forehead kisses or accidentally by slipping out of bed and moving around a little too loudly.

Today, though, is different.

Jimin had stayed up late because of a Skype conversation with his brother, only crawling into bed at close to three in the morning. Yoongi had snuffled and rolled over, just conscious enough to feel Jimin trying to warm his chilled ankles on Yoongi's calves.

Now, he gets the very special pleasure of watching Park Jimin sleep.

It is, of course, nothing new, really. Even as trainees, they used to share a room. They fell asleep around each other all of the time, during trips, backstage, getting their makeup done. Jimin had fallen asleep on the couch in Yoongi's studio, on Yoongi's bed, on Yoongi's shoulder, bony as it was.

That was Jimin of swollen eyelids and growling stomach, Jimin who danced through the night even as his feet were blistered, Jimin who'd sleepily mumble Yoongi's name and hook a finger in his collar to use him as a pillow.

That Jimin had been a cute dongsaeng who Yoongi constantly worried over, whom he'd never push away. But, back then, Yoongi had never bothered to really look.

And maybe it's creepy that now he only rests his cheek on his propped up hand and simply watches as Jimin breathes in and out, the collar of his old shirt stretched so wide it almost slips over his shoulder.

The gray dye that Jimin had sported for their MV has almost completely washed away by now, despite the fact that their stylists had regularly touched it up throughout their tour. Now, his hair is pale blonde again, falling across his forehead in gentle waves. His plump lips are slightly parted as he breathes and Yoongi resists the urge to just lean down and kiss him.

Instead he just smiles, quietly, privately, and thinks how very alright he would be with getting to see this every day for the rest of his life.

Eventually, however, Jimin's internal clock wins out; his limbs twitch a little and his nose scrunches up. Entranced, Yoongi watches as Jimin slowly comes awake.

“G'morning, jagiyah,” Yoongi tells him, his own voice still rough with sleep.

Jimin's eyes blink open, reluctant against the bit of sun that falls through the gap in the curtains.

“Morning,” he mumbles, rubbing his cheek against the pillow before rolling onto his back and stretching languidly. “Do we have to get up yet?”

“Nah,” Yoongi promises, settling back down next to him and allowing his fingers to caress the shell of Jimin's ear. “It's still early. We have time.”

 

Jimin has a modeling gig in SoHo and, as always, he invites Yoongi to join him on set. Yoongi, however, ops to stay home, even though he regrets it the moment the door falls shut behind Jimin.

Within minutes, Yoongi finds himself shaken by some sort of restless energy, the kind that drives him to first wipe down all the countertops in the kitchen and then rearrange everything in the fridge. He cleans the litter box and then reintroduces a very vocally offended Mochi with her old foe the hairbrush.

Then Yoongi takes some selfies, deletes all of them without uploading anything, scrolls through his Twitter feed, watches some YouTube videos, chews on his fingernails and contemplates whether he should put on a sheet mask, even though that doesn't make much sense in the middle of the day.

The problem, he has to admit to himself after two hours of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile, is that there is nothing to do for him in New York.

Jimin has his other jobs, has just gotten another request for dancing in someone's MV, but now that both their album and their tour are over and done with, Yoongi's presence here is rather superfluous.

In Korea, he'd be mentoring the kids at BigHit, work as producer, do some underground gigs here and there. But in the States, he has none of that. He wants to be with Jimin, of course. But he does not want to die of boredom whenever Jimin is not there.

At some point, the antsy feeling in Yoongi's fingers gets too much and he shrugs on a jacket, slips into his shoes, grabbing his keys and wallet and stuffing everything into his pockets. He puts on a beanie, settling his new headphones on top, and then he turns on the Bluetooth on his phone and fiddles with his playlists as he makes his way down in the elevator.

Cities like these are always busy and thus always too loud, but the music makes it more bearable. It's a nice day, too, sunny and finally smelling of spring and, whenever Yoongi gets the chance, he angles his face toward the sunshine that manages to sneak in between the skyscrapers onto street level.

He wanders aimlessly. After half a year here, he has gotten a pretty good grip of the neighborhood's layout, but it still feels like there is something new to discover every day. There are street artists, patrons loudly talking outside shops, people walking their dogs, white collar workers speaking into their phones, but Yoongi ducks and weaves through the crowd with trained ease.

He takes some pictures here and there, albeit with minimal artistry, plans to send them to his mother so she won't complain again about being shut out from his life. Around late noon, when his stomach begins to grumble, he buys a hot dog from a street vendor and digs into it with gusto, so much more confident in his English skills than he was a couple of months ago.

He loves New York, he does, but in a different way from how he loves Seoul, how he loves Daegu. His life in Korea is a conglomeration of moments, good and bad and mediocre, all mixed together in a near indistinguishable mess. New York, however, is intricately connected to his time spent with Jimin. There are no memories here he made on his own, no friends he found by himself, and once again Yoongi finds himself wondering where he and Jimin will go from here.

They had sparingly talked about it before, mainly because other people had asked questions. Artists' visa lasted three years and Jimin's was almost up, even if he could still re-apply. As for Yoongi, he is not sure whether he would want to stay in the US. From the beginning, the only thing that brought him here was Jimin, the thing that made him stay. So he will stay, if Jimin wants it. If.

Their short return to Korea had made Jimin nostalgic, in ways that were not quite obvious, if one didn't know what to look for. But he had not gotten a chance to visit his family, had only seen a few of his old friends, and now he spends a great deal of his time texting, skyping, snapchatting them, something that has stayed consistent throughout their tour and beyond.

The thing was that Jimin's original reason for leaving South Korea in the first place was his fear of being outed. Now he is out and accepted, for the most part. Would it be selfish to hope that he might want to go back for good?

Yoongi chews slowly as he walks down the street, the store fronts blurring at his periphery, a tailor, a New Age shop, a jeweler, some vendor seemingly specialized on vegan dog food. With a big bite, he finishes his hot dog and wipes the ketchup off his fingers, throwing the paper tissue into a trash can, idly contemplating how to continue.

He's been walking a while now and he should probably head home soon. Jimin would soon be back as well and Yoongi thinks he might cook them early dinner. So he turns around, walks past the same stores again, comes to stand at the street corner as he waits for the green light. He shuffles on the spot, digs his hands into his pockets. Then he walks back again.

The merchandise is spread out on midnight blue velvet and on glass displays. There's a collier made up entirely of silver and rubies, as well as an assortment of expensive watches, but Yoongi already owns enough of those, he doesn't need another to remind him of how quickly time passes.

There is also, he notices with eyes that feebly try to drag themselves away, a great variety of rings.

It's too early, he knows, chewing on the inside of his cheek. Much too early to even jokingly consider the possibility of this. He's just bored, really, bored and restless and full of dumb ideas.

He taps the toes of his shoe against the sidewalk, cranes his neck to look up and down the street as though someone might be watching him. He pulls out his phone to glance at the time, but ends up turning off the music and settling his headphones around his neck. The noise of the city is sudden and unwelcome, but he barely hears any of it, just blows out a breath through his nose.

Then, finally, he enters the store.

The bell above the door chimes happily, but Yoongi just stands there, not knowing where to go. The shop is smallish, white and gleaming, and he feels slightly out of place in his oversized hoodie, even though it is actually more expensive than some of the stuff they sell here.

A dark-haired woman appears through a doorway in the back, coming to stand behind the counter and greeting him with a pristine smile.

“Hello, my name is Marina, how may I help you?” she rattles off easily in her best customer service voice. Yoongi, on the other hand, has a minor panic attack, because he has no idea how to answer; not because he is lacking the proper English words but because he cannot believe that he is actually doing this.

Marina's smile stays firmly in place.

“Looking for anything specific?” she prompts without pressure. “Or would you like a moment to just browse?”

“Rings,” Yoongi manages to say. “I'm looking for engagement rings.”

If possible, Marina only lights up more.

“Wonderful,” she says, gesturing at the showcase that's integrated into the counter. “If you'd like to have a look at these, we got some beautiful models in just this week.”

Yoongi nods, feeling slightly uneasy. He owns enough jewelry to not be daunted by all the glitter and the exorbitant prices, but usually he ordered all that stuff online or even had it provided by the company.

“Did you have a particular price range in mind?” Marina inquires subtly, because Yoongi does not exactly look like a vagrant but she probably still wants to make sure.

Yoongi shakes his head, tries for a lackadaisical smile as he steps closer.

“Gimme the best you got,” he says instead and, at that, she seems even happier.

“Do you have any preferences in regards to style?” she asks. “Something flashier or more subtle? Most of our models can be ordered in silver, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold and pure platinum, though the choice of metal does affect the final price.”

“Uh,” Yoongi says, letting his gaze swipe over the merchandise. “Nothing too flashy? For every day. I want them to match.”

“Do you plan on using them as wedding rings?” Marina asks and Yoongi needs a moment to find his voice.

Would it be too presumptuous to buy two rings right away, he wonders. Weddings rings have gotten more popular Korea, but engagement rings are still kind of rare, as far as he knows.

“Uh, yeah,” he responds at length. “Yeah, I guess.”

It's probably not the first time Marina has dealt with nervous customers but she does not let it deter her. Instead, she pulls a keyring from her pocket and nimbly unlocks the display case before carefully lifting out the entire tray and setting it down on the counter between them.

Yoongi ducks his head so he can have a better look. At first, nothing really sticks out to him. For the most part, all the rings are stylish and elegant, and he has no particular like or dislike for any of them.

“You can touch them,” Marina encourages him. “They are meant to be worn, after all.”

So Yoongi does. Plucks one ring after the other up from it's little pouch and slowly turns them over with pinched fingers. Some of them are pretty standard, gold and silver bands with little to no embellishments. Some carry gemstones, have floral patterns engraved into the surface or consist of several intertwining bands.

There is one, though, that is slightly broader with a slim line of clear crystals embedded in the middle that break and reflect the light as Yoongi inspects it.

“Are those diamonds?” he asks, glancing up at Marina who shakes her head.

“White sapphires,” she says. “And the metal is platinum.”

“Huh,” Yoongi says to himself. There are other rings still left on the tray but, for some reason, he is stuck on this one. Marina quickly catches on to that.

“Would you like to try it on?” she offers. “That one might be a bit too large. What sizes do you need?”

“Uh,” Yoongi says. “I don't know American sizes.”

“Oh!” she says. “Of course. We have this handy-dandy chart right here.”

And she reaches over to hand him a laminated list of how the measurements are converted.

Yoongi hums to himself, carefully going through the options. Within Bangtan, they had shared accessories often enough that he has a relatively good grip of who wears which size, so that at least saves him the embarrassment of trying to google it.

“These, I think,” he says and points carefully as Marina peers down at the list.

“Wonderful, we have those in stock,” she says, making sure to take the ring from him, set the tray back in the display and lock it up before she disappears in the back.

Yoongi takes the moment of reprieve to quickly rub his palms over his face, resisting to the urge to scream into his hands. He doesn't even know how to describe what he is feeling. Giddy and nervous and apprehensive and- Damn. Damn, he's really doing this.

“Here we go,” Marina singsongs once she returns, presenting him with two smaller versions of the chosen ring. One in his size. And one in Jimin's.

Blowing a breath out between his teeth, he slides the slightly larger one onto his fourth finger and just stares a little.

Oh shit, he thinks. Oh fuck.

He wants to get married. He really wants to get married. He'd accuse Jimin of having put something into his food, if Yoongi wasn't usually the one responsible for cooking.

“So?” Marina prompts, though the sly tone in her voice hints at the fact that she might already have an inkling.

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods, lifting the ring up to eye level and trying to imagine the other on Jimin's hand. “Yeah, this one's perfect.”

“She must be very lucky,” Marina notes sweetly.

“Ah,” Yoongi says, too candid to keep himself in check. “He, actually.”

“Oh.” Marina looks a little abashed. “I'm sorry for assuming. It's just that it's a rather small size.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees. “He has tiny hands.”

How easy to just admit to it. How easy to acknowledge that he loves a man. People had prophesied that he would crash and burn for this, and yet here he stands as a stranger apologizes for thinking he is straight.

“Would you like to get any personalized engravings done?” Marina wants to know, smoothing over the small hiccup. “Since you're buying two rings, it's free.”

Yoongi opens his mouth, blinks.

“Can I think about that for a moment?” he asks, and Marina smiles.

“Of course,” she says. “Please take your time.”

So he walks around the store a bit, stares down at the riches he has no interest in. He views snapshots of his own eyes in the many tiny mirrors that reflect the lights and the gleam of the metal and gemstones. Eventually, he even pulls out his phone, scrolls through pictures of Jimin, tries to look up inspiration online.

Should he get lines from one of their songs? The date of their first kiss? He'd consider something funny like 'tiny' and 'tinier', if he didn't suspect that it would lower his chances of getting a yes in return.

They probably wouldn't be able to do something in Korean here, he knows, but somehow English doesn't feel right either, too mainstream and yet too foreign.

And anyway, how do you reduce over a dozen years of companionship, of shared dreams and fears and strengths, to only a handful of fancy words? Life doesn't work like that. Love doesn't work like that.

Eventually, Yoongi knows what to do.

“Just the rings, I think,” he tells Marina.

If Jimin wanted, they could always get something engraved later on. And if Jimin said no... well, then Yoongi could at least just return the rings without any trouble.

“Alright.” Marina nods. “Then you can take them right with you.”

She has him pick out a velvet ring box which she carefully puts into a nice-looking paper bag, inquires whether he would like a payment plan, and then accepts the credit card he hands her. Once the transfer is made, she hands him the card and places the receipt inside the bag which she then pushes across the counter.

“There you go,” she chirps. “And I wish you all the best.”

“Thank you.” Yoongi nods because this entire exchange has drained him more than he would like to admit, before grabbing the bag and leaving the store.

He has barely made it outside when he pulls the ring box and the receipt out of the bag and stuffs them into his pocket, jamming his hand in right along with them to make sure they don't fall out.

And when he passes by another trash can, he makes sure to simply toss the fancy paper bag. After all, he thinks to himself, it wouldn't do to ruin the surprise.

 

When Yoongi enters the loft, Jimin is not back yet. It's just as well. Yoongi needs some more time to psych himself up anyway.

He throws himself onto the sofa, wriggles around a little so he can pull the ring box out of his pocket and flip it open. For a few moments, he just stares down at the tentative promise of a future together.

He doesn't think he'd feel terribly rejected if Jimin says no. They are sure of each other, they know they want to stay together, but there are other factors to consider as well. Jimin might simply not be interested in marriage, in the legal obligations, in the renewed media attention this is bound to give them. Same sex marriage isn't even legal in Korea, so it would hold no meaning beyond what they wanted to share with each other.

And it's early, so very early, but it doesn't feel like it. Jimin already had most of Yoongi's life – he might as well get the rest of it, too.

Yoongi's musings are interrupted by Mochi jumping up onto the sofa, pushing her way underneath his arm and demanding to be petted.

“What do you think?” Yoongi asks, showing her the rings as his other hand smooths from the top of her head all the way down to the base of her spine, her lithe body arching into the touch. “Think he'll say yes?”

Mochi doesn't answer, apart from nudging her head against his rib cage, letting out a low purr.

Yoongi sighs.

If he is honest with himself, he has no idea how to actually pose the question. He doesn't feel like doing the Hollywood thing and getting down on one knee, but just sliding the ring across the table without a word seems kind of impersonal.

Should he maybe crack a joke about it? Carefully bring up the possibility and see how Jimin reacts? Should he take him to a nice restaurant or a meaningful location? Should there be music, flowers?

Not for the first time, Yoongi remembers how, before Jimin, he had been absolutely useless when it came to this kind of stuff. He had not grown up imagining his wedding day or his bride-to-be. He hadn't had steady partners before with whom the fantasy naturally developed. He had never looked at someone and thought he might want to grow old with them.

Now, though. Now. He wants all of it and more.

“What a fucking sap I am,” he groans, letting his head fall back. By now, Mochi has climbed onto his lap, kneading her paws against his thighs, the pinpricks of her claws digging through the thick denim of his jeans. He hisses, grabs the folded woolen blanket off the armrest and shoves it in between so she can have a less sensitive pillow. Mochi turns, showing him her butt hole as she prods at the blanket, before she finally settles down and gets comfortable, immediately ramping up her purring.

“You're a menace,” Yoongi tells her, scritching her between her ears, but she only flicks her tail in warning.

Yoongi weighs the rings in his other hand, poking his tongue against the inside of his cheek.

“Hey, Mochi,” he says slowly. “How about you start earning your keep around here, you useless freeloader?”

Mochi, of course, does not respond, doesn't even twitch as Yoongi undoes the collar from around her neck and slips it off.

The collar is made of colorful nylon, slim enough that it is an easy thing to just slip the smaller of the rings onto it. The sapphires sparkle and Yoongi feels certain in the knowledge that it should be obvious enough to spot.

“Don't fuck this up,” he tells Mochi as he fastens the collar around her neck again, listening for the little click of the plastic clasp.

Mochi meows, though it morphs into a yawn.

“I'm serious,” he warns. “If he says no, you're going right back to the shelter.”

She only meows again and curls up tighter.

Yoongi rolls his eyes at her attitude, only to almost jump out of his skin when he hears the key turn in the lock of the front door. Quickly, he stuffs the box with the remaining ring into the pouch of his sweatshirt, sucking in a deep breath to calm himself.

“Hi,” Jimin moans as he steps inside, kicking off his shoes were he stands. “I'm back.”

“I never would have guessed,” Yoongi deadpans, craning his neck to look at him without having to disturb Mochi.

“Please, no sarcasm,” Jimin says. He shakes the tension from his shoulders, runs a hand through his hair. Yoongi frowns.

“Rough day?” he asks, beckoning Jimin to join him on the sofa.

“Just... ugh, I don't even know.” Jimin pulls a face, though he does cross the living room and climb over the backrest, settling against Yoongi's side. “There was a mixup with the wardrobe and then one of the cameras wasn't working and the head photographer was a terrible choleric who just kept yelling at everyone, until one of the set assistants even started crying, and he apologized while still yelling at her, and it was just a terrible mess.” He groans, hiding his face against Yoongi's shoulder. “How was your day?” he asks, his voice muffled by cotton. “Did you stay in?”

“Nah,” Yoongi says, snaking his arms around Jimin's waist to push up his shirt a little and caress the soft skin. “Went for a long walk. Did some shopping.”

“Hmhm,” Jimin nods, apparently trying to bury himself deeper in Yoongi's scent. “I'm hungry. Did you eat?”

“Just a hot dog. Want me to cook something?”

“Yes pleeease,” Jimin whines. “I'll even help you cut the veggies or whatever.”

“Wow, how generous,” Yoongi rolls his eyes, but does make to stand up.

Mochi makes a disgruntled sound but jumps off his lap, wandering off. The ring goes unnoticed.

It's okay, Yoongi tells himself. It wasn't the right moment anyway.

 

Throughout the following two days, Yoongi begins to wonder whether Jimin maybe needs prescription glasses. Because despite the fact that Yoongi repeatedly fixes Mochi's collar so that the glittering ring is proudly displayed, Jimin manages to remain completely oblivious. Or at least Yoongi hopes so. The other alternative would be that Jimin has, in fact, noticed the ring and its implications and is ignoring it on purpose.

Slowly but surely, Yoongi can feel himself getting antsy. He had thought that letting Jimin connect the dots would save him some of the embarrassment, but this constant waiting and watching is so much worse. He becomes hyperaware of Mochi's presence in the loft, needing to know when she might be left alone with Jimin, because Yoongi doesn't want to be in the bathroom taking a shit when Jimin finds the ring.

Yoongi knows he can be impatient, especially if his ideas don't go according to plan, and this is that kind of scenario taken to the max.

“Why are you glaring at the cat?” Jimin chides him when Yoongi has been giving her the evil eye from across the room. “Did she chew on your shoes again?”

Yoongi frowns, momentarily distracted. “Wait, what? Again?”

“Oh, so you hadn't noticed yet?” Jimin hums. “My bad. Forget what I said.”

Finally, Yoongi has enough of Jimin's selective blindness and Mochi's ineptitude of assisting in an adorable proposal via cat. And so, on the morning of the third day, when Jimin is lounging on the couch and reading a magazine, Yoongi simply grabs Mochi and drops her right on top of Jimin's chest.

The breath goes out of Jimin in a whoosh and he almost jackknives upward, probably only stopping himself because it would catapult Mochi straight across the room.

“Wha-?” he gasps, staring up at Yoongi with wide eyes.

“Mochi has a question to ask you,” Yoongi says resolutely, rocking back on his heels and crossing his arms behind his back. For a moment, Jimin just keeps staring, before slowly turning toward Mochi. He rubs her nose with his thumb, moves up to the spot between her eyes. She purrs happily and tilts her chin up.

And that's when Jimin notices.

“Oh,” he says mildly, leaning closer so he can look at the ring. “Where did you get-”

He cuts off, stills.

“Oh,” he repeats, this time with actual understanding and then he looks up at Yoongi.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says because he is bad at this.

For a long moment, Jimin is silent. His finger is on the ring now, as though that would make it more real. And Yoongi hadn't expected an immediate enthusiastic answer, but now the uncertainty curls in his stomach like a snake, and he doesn't like it.

It's too early. Who proposes after half a year of dating? This was a bad idea and everyone would know it.

But Min Yoongi is nothing if not spiteful.

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin says, carefully sitting up with Mochi cradled in his arms. “I... Are you being serious?”

“Does this look like a prank?”

“Honestly?” Pointedly, Jimin looks at the ring on Mochi's collar. “Kinda, yes.”

“It's not,” Yoongi says, trying not to appear petulant by crossing his arms.

Jimin blinks, then shakes his head as though to clear it.

“Can you sit down, please?” he asks, scooting over a bit though there is more than enough space. So Yoongi sits, his body feeling heavy like lead. Perhaps he overestimated himself.

“What brought this on?” Jimin asks.

“I walked past a jeweler a couple of days ago,” Yoongi replies bluntly. “Went in to pick out some rings.”

“You know that is not want I meant.”

Yoongi purses his lips.

“I love you,” he says. “And I want to spend my life with you.”

For a painfully long moment, Jimin is silent.

Then, tentatively, he says, “You've never been in love before.”

Immediately, Yoongi bristles. “If you think I cannot tell-”

“That's not it,” Jimin hurries to say. “Just... I worry that you are a bit overeager.”

Ah. So Jimin thinks Yoongi is like a teenager with his first crush going all berserk. Yoongi, however, is not easily cowed.

“I'm 32, not 13,” he points out. “I think I'm mature enough to tell.”

“That has little to do with maturity.”

“Where's the difference,” Yoongi asks.

“Huh?”

“Where would the difference be, if we got married,” he clarifies. “We've been living together for months. We've been working together. And, even before that, we lived and worked together. Sure, it's different because we are dating. But we definitely know that we fit.”

Jimin opens his mouth.

“I can't believe you're trying to out-logic me.”

“Well, apparently feelings aren't enough to convince you.”

“... This isn't just a spur of a moment thing?”

“I was an idol. I know what commitment means.”

Jimin still looks a little shell-shocked. With nervous fingers, he undoes Mochi's collar and shakes the ring into his hand so he can inspect it more easily.

“You already bought one for yourself?” he makes sure and Yoongi gives a curt nod.

“Pretty confident, are you,” Jimin says, though it doesn't come out quite as teasing as it was probably intended.

“I still have the receipt.”

At that, Jimin laughs. It sounds like gossamer, a frail little thing.

Yoongi pokes his tongue into the inside of his cheek. He clenches his hands so hard his knuckles crack.

“You don’t want to,” he says.

Immediately, Jimin’s head whips around, staring at him in wide-eyed disbelief.

“What?” he asks. “You think I don’t want to?”

“Well, you’re trying pretty damn hard to talk me out of it,” Yoongi grumbles because what else is he supposed to think. But he takes a moment to collect his wits, to remind himself that his own sliver of insecurity should not be projected onto Jimin. When he feels calm again, he speaks.

“I love you,” he repeats what he already said before. “I don’t know what else to tell you.”

Another beat of silence as Jimin looks at him, open and searching. He seems to find what he is looking for.

“We'd have to do it here,” he muses, a soft smile playing around his lips.

“I know,” Yoongi says. He's read up on it a little and apparently non-citizens can get married in the US without much of a problem.

“My lease will be up soon,” Jimin adds, answering the question of whether he intends to extend his stay in the US. “Your apartment big enough for three?”

Yoongi only shakes his head.

“Guess we'll have to find something new then,” Jimin says.

Then he slips the ring on his fourth finger, just looks at it for a long moment.

It's early. But, depending on the perspective, that just means that they'll have more time together. Jimin must to think so, too.

“Let's get married,” he says and perhaps there never was any doubt in the first place.

 

Chapter Text

They decide to not make a big fuss about it all. If they really wanted to celebrate, all their friends and family would have to come over to the US , and that is not only difficult to organize but also much too expensive. Yoongi had pointed out that Jimin could at least invite the friends he had made in New York, but Jimin claimed he wasn't really that close with anyone and that it would be unfair if Yoongi didn't have anyone there for him in turn.

So they do the sensible - if perhaps less romantic - thing and simply get an appointment to get registered at city hall. There is surprisingly little they have to bring with them, even as non-citizens, but Yoongi still makes doubly sure that they have their visas and IDs before they leave.

The weather is finally looking up again, so they forgo fancy suits and only dress up in some nice dress shirts, putting on shades for a modicum of anonymity. So far, they haven’t often been stopped for autographs, but a few paparazzi pics had popped up here and there, and they'd rather not get recognized today.

They arrive at City Hall with little fanfare and Yoongi making a show of using the Force just as someone is opening the door from the inside. The woman and the two little children that step out give them weird looks, but Jimin just laughs and pulls Yoongi into the building.

The foyer is impressive but they try not to ogle too much as they go and find the information point. There's a woman sitting behind the counter, idly typing away at her keyboard, but she glances up when they step closer.

“Er, hi, we have an appointment,” Jimin says, gesturing between himself and Yoongi. “Jimin Park.”

The woman does not seem to recognize the name or their faces, just peers at her screen.

“What for?” she asks.

“We're getting married,” Jimin says excitedly and his smile is so bright that, when she looks up at him, she has to blink a little.

“Congratulations,” she returns with a smile and then stands up to pull some forms out of the closet behind her.

“Both of you are non-citizens, right?” she confirms before handing them several papers and two pens. “You can fill those out in the waiting area over there. When you're done, bring them back to me so I can get everything checked out.”

“Alright, thank you,” Jimin says, clutching the paperwork to his chest, letting himself be herded along by Yoongi.

The paperwork, obviously, turns out to be a rather anticlimactic aspect of this whole marriage business. They have to enter their names, birth dates, birth places, nationality, current place of residence, valid phone numbers, social security numbers, various numbers from their passports and visas, and then also a bank account for the withdrawal of the registration fee.

It is all pretty boring and repetitive and Yoongi sighs a little, twirling the pen between his fingers as he reads through the next bit.

“Oh,” Jimin says suddenly, staring down at the paper in front of him.

“What?” Yoongi says, worriedly glancing over his shoulder.

“It's asking whose family name we want to take,” Jimin explains, pointing to a line.

Yoongi pulls a face. “I thought we were just gonna keep everything as it was.”

“Oh,” Jimin says again but, this time, he looks a little disappointed.

“What, you were looking forward to me introducing myself as Park Yoongi?” Yoongi grins and nudges him in the side.

“N-no,” Jimin claims with a pout. “Min Yoongi is a household name, so you should keep it, but... I thought I could...”

He trails off but Yoongi finally catches on. His eyes widen.

“Min Jimin,” he says, watching as Jimin's cheeks and the tips of his ears redden, even as he ducks his head.

“You want to take my name?” Yoongi asks, perplexed . “But... I have Agust D and everything. You've always gone by Park Jimin or, hell, Jimin Park here.”

“I know,” Jimin moans, clenching his fist around his pen and resolutely turning back to the form. “Just forget it, it's stupid anyway.”

“Hey,” Yoongi says, nuzzling against Jimin's shoulder. “It's not stupid. We... we can do that if you want; I was just surprised.”

And he still is. Artists of their caliber don’t simply change the names for which they are known. There has to be more to it for Jimin to seem so timidly enamored with the idea.

“It's just...” Jimin starts, stops, bites his lower lip. “When we go back to Korea, they won't recognize this as legally binding.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods. It sucks, but they had talked about it before.

“So,” Jimin says, “I thought if I could at least change my name in all the official documents here and my bank account and everything... If I could use it as my stage name, that... that would be nice.”

His voice putters off toward the end, as though realizing how inane the words sound.

Thing is, they don't. Thing is, they sound absolutely perfect.

“I dunno,” Yoongi says thoughtfully, his mouth close to Jimin's ear. “Min Jimin has a nice ring to it.”

For a long moment, Jimin is silent, as though he’s trying to figure out whether Yoongi is joking. Then he picks up his pen again.

“Yes,” he agrees, neatly writing his new name on the paper that would seal their future. “It does.”

 

Once their paperwork is filled out and the info on their visas and IDs cross-checked , they are handed their wedding license with which they proceed to the registry office. The registrar is an older black man who greets them with a warm smile and arms spread .

“Welcome,” he tells them. “Jimin, Yoongi, it's so nice to see you. My name's Charles Belafonte, but please, call me Charles.”

His accent is pretty thick and he mangles their names a little but he treats them as though they are old friends.

“Wonderful,” he says as they shake his hand and then hand him the license, and again, “Wonderful.” He quickly glances over it and hums to himself. “Republic of South Korea .” H e nods . “Mhmhh. Please, have a seat.”

They do, shuffling around a little, the legs of their chairs scraping over the worn linoleum floor.

“Now, I won't lie to you,” Charles says, leaning back in his own cushioned seat and folding his hands in his laps. “I do these types of things a dozen times a day. People come in and want to get married and I fill out their forms and marry them and that's usually the last I see of them. I don't know much about those people but, you know, you learn to read them a little.”

For a panicky hot moment, Yoongi wonders whether Charles thinks this is a hoax. That he believes they are trying to get visa extensions or social benefits or something, despite the fact that he knows that that wouldn't even be possible anyway, considering neither of them is a legal citizen. But then Charles continues.

“And I can tell,” he says, wagging his finger in a profound way, “That the two of you are absolutely in love with each other.”

Jimin's smile is so wide it nearly splits his face apart.

“We are,” he chirps . “Thank you for noticing.”

“There is no way anyone could miss that,” Charles says, sending a wink at Yoongi. “I've been married for twenty-three years and I haven't regretted it a single day.”

Yoongi would think the man was playing it up for their sake, but he seems so genuinely happy about the entire thing that he can't really doubt him.

“Now,” Charles says, plucking a silver fountain pen from his breast pocket, the kind fancy businessmen in old Hollywood movies sign their checks with, and hands it to Yoongi.

“Please sign there,” he says, pushing a new form across the table, and then a more official looking paper that is titled Wedding Certificate . “And... here.”

Yoongi does, albeit with slightly shaking hands, and then lets the ink dry a little, before pushing both papers over to Jimin.

“And your name goes right next to it,” Charles instructs, pointing once more.

“Okay,” Jimin says, his voice a mere breath, holding the pen between tight fingers , b ut then something occurs to him. “My new name or the old one?” he asks tentatively, glancing over at Yoongi and then up at Charles.

“Your new one will do, I should think,” Charles tell him, patiently watching as Jimin carefully sets the nib down on the paper and begins to write.

There is something incredibly strange about it all; the slightly slanted Roman letters, the combination of their names, the way Jimin's family name is now the same syllable as the second half of his given name, creating something foreign, yet familiar.

Yes, Yoongi thinks. Yes.

“And now my name,” Charles says once Jimin is finished, adding an extremely cursive Charles B. Belafonte as well as the date and place.

“There,” he says, finishing it all by pushing a stamp to an ink pad and then at the bottom of both papers, leaving an official looking seal behind. Then he smiles up at them, his eyes crinkling. “You may kiss your husband.”

Before Yoongi can even process the thought that he and Jimin are now husbands, are now married, are now bound till Death do them part, he is suddenly jerked forward by his collar, practically face-planting on Jimin's mouth.

“I love you,” Jimin says in Korean, kissing him deeply, before coming up for breath and then pushing another kiss to his lips. “I love you, I love you.”

“I love-” Yoongi begins but is cut short by another kiss. “I lo- Jimin, let- I-”

He's given neither time nor air, so instead he surrenders, kisses back, again and again, till the tips of his ears are burning and his heart is nearly bursting out of his chest. This is why they don't need a big reception, no party, no guests. This is what he is truly here for.

Eventually, they have to pull back, rub the backs of their heads a bit in embarrassment because Charles is fondly laughing at them.

“Now, this,” he says, handing them the certificate, “Is yours. Take good care of it. And this,” he adds, taking Jimin's hand when Jimin goes to shake his, and places it in Yoongi's instead . “This is also yours. Take even better care of it.”

“I will,” Yoongi promises, squeezing Jimin's fingers between his own. “I will.”

Charles smiles.

“This is just a piece of paper,” he points out with a feigned scoff at the certificate. “An important piece, sure. But there are many important pieces of paper – diplomas, dollar bills. But nothing is as important as each other, you hear me?”

“Yes, sir,” Yoongi nods. He's met some great people in his life, Coolio and Bang-PD and Rap Monster, to name just a few, and all of them have given him sage advice. But somehow, in this moment, he cannot help but think that Charles Belafonte trumps them all.

They gather up their things, speak their farewells and then make for the door, hands still clutched between them. They won’t let go anytime soon.

“And don't come back for a divorce!” Charles calls after them, just before the door closes, and they cannot help but laugh. After all, it's a ridiculous thought.

 

Instead of having a reception, they go for a walk. It's a beautiful day, the sun settling between their shoulder blades and warming their skin through their shirts. Jimin keeps a careful hold of the bag that holds all of their documents, while his other hand is firmly linked with Yoongi's.

It's a bit like a birthday, Yoongi thinks. Even if you look forward to it, to the celebrations and well-wishes, it doesn't fundamentally change anything. Things are still the same, even if some of the details shift. In March, he went from being thirty-one to thirty-two. Today, he went from being Jimin's boyfriend to being his husband. The natural progression of things.

Eventually, they find a small restaurant and sit down at one of the tables outside, idly perusing the menus that the waitress brings them. Jimin picks the grilled salmon, Yoongi goes for the sea bass, and they get a bottle Pinot Noir to share.

Since they don't have a professional photographer to commemorate this day, Yoongi brought his Canon and they pass it back and forth between them, taking pictures of the skyline, of the food, of each other.

The honeymoon phase, Yoongi remembers the feeling of when they had first gotten together. The undercurrent of electricity, the need to constantly touch and look and grin. So they hold hands on top of the table, the sapphires inlaid on their rings glittering in the sun, and Yoongi lets himself be fed salmon from Jimin's fork and, whenever Jimin laughs at a dumb joke, Yoongi just has to lean over and kiss him.

Jimin wants dessert, so they get some créme bruleé as well, with tiny silver spoons, and then they just sit and let the sun shine on their faces.

The idyll is broken, when Jimin's phone beeps in his pocket and he automatically pulls it out.

“Sorry,” he mutters when he catches Yoongi's glare, but it does not stop him from glancing down at the screen and breaking into a smile, quickly unlocking the phone.

Yoongi cocks an eyebrow .

“Who is it?” he asks because the list of people who are allowed to interrupt their wedding day is rather short.

“Just Tae,” Jimin answers, furiously typing away, and Yoongi is not overly surprised.

His lips purse in thought. “Are you gonna tell him or...?”

Jimin stills, blinks up at him. “Tell him what?”

“That we got married,” Yoongi deadpans.

“Oh.” Jimin seems to consider it for a moment. “I don't want to tell him via text. Seems kind of impersonal.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods. Revealing their relationship with a kiss selfie had been one thing , but this is probably a level above that. He still hasn't figured out how to tell his parents either, especially not since his mother had scolded him for keeping Jimin a secret before.

Jimin is looking back at his phone again, his smile a little muted, melancholic, and Yoongi just watches him, not quite happy with seeing such an expression on his face, and on their wedding day to boot.

Then Jimin hunches over and giggles a little.

“What?” Yoongi asks, unable to stop a grin from tugging at his own lips. Jimin's laugh had always been terribly infectious.

“Nothing, just-” Jimin shakes his head and hands him the phone, so Yoongi can read the conversation.






“Yah, Jiminie,” Yoongi says thoughtfully, lowering the phone again once he's finished reading.

He’s been thinking about it for a while now, since before he even bought their rings. They might as well do it now.

“How about we book some flights?”

Jimin's eyes widen, “You mean-?”

Yoongi nods. “Let's go home.”

 

Chapter Text

  


Throwing one last dispassionate look at the screen, Yoongi slips his phone back into his pocket and then grabs his luggage from the overhead compartment. He can feel the vibrations of more incoming text messages against his thigh but he doesn't pay them any heed.

“Come on, Yoongi-yah,” Jimin complains from down the aisle of the train. He had already grabbed all his stuff and made for the doors the moment the conductor announced they would soon be arriving at Daegu.

“Calm down, will you?” Yoongi rolls his eyes, though he does join him, lazily dragging his suitcase over the floor. “We're not in a hurry.”

“I don't want to keep your family waiting,” Jimin insists. His hair is all mussed up from the long journey and he has to juggle a little to properly manage all his baggage. Mochi gives a plaintive meow from inside her carrier and Jimin hushes her with some cooing noises.

In February, it had still been bitterly cold in Korea, but now it is early June and when Yoongi climbs out of the train he takes a deep breath, breathing in the scent of his hometown.

A year. He had not been back in Daegu for a year, only dropping by for a short visit before he left for the US, when he had not yet known that he would end up staying there.

He had never been the most dutiful son when it came to staying in touch with his parents, rarely in the mood to call and give updates about his life and answer questions whether he was eating alright. His mother knew better than to chide him for it, knew his extended radio silences were not meant as a slight.

Now, she waits behind the train station, between taxis and other cars, casually leaning against the Tesla Yoongi bought her before his service started. She got a new haircut and is wearing sunglasses that cover the lines around her eyes. She looks younger than Yoongi remembers and, when she spots the two of them wrangling their suitcases along the sidewalk toward her, she smiles.

“Jimin-ah,” she greets Jimin fondly, pulling him into an embrace before she has even so much as looked at Yoongi.

“Ajumma,” Jimin returns, slightly bashful. For him, it has been years since he last saw her, so he might not have expected such a warm welcome.

“I see you brought my wayward son home,” she says, pursing her lips in feigned disapproval, and Jimin laughs.

“Sorry for keeping him so long,” he apologizes as though Yoongi had not been staying in New York out of his own free will.

“Yah,” Yoongi interferes, pointedly spreading his arms so he can hug his mother as well. “If you're not nice, we're leaving again.”

“Well, it was nice seeing you,” she says and turns away, making to round the car and climb back inside.

“Eomma,” Yoongi whines, grabbing her by the back of her shirt and making her stop. “You're awful.”

“Now you know whom you got it from,” she tuts and finally pulls him into an embrace. “You're looking well. Rested.”

“Tour ended over a month ago,” he reminds her. “And it wasn’t as strenuous as it used to be.”

“Hmm, that's not the only thing,” she hums and he can tell that, over his shoulder, she is watching Jimin.

They load the suitcases into the trunk of the car, but Jimin insists on keeping Mochi's carrier with him.

“Be careful with Bungalow, then,” Yoongi's mother warns. “She always gets excited when she smells a potential friend.”

The small poodle is indeed falling over herself the moment they open the door to the backseat, greeting them with happy yips and wagging her tail like crazy, her entire rear half swinging back and forth with the movement.

“Why did your parents name her Bungalow again?” Jimin whispers urgently, as they slide onto the backseat and pull the door shut.

“I have absolutely no idea,” Yoongi admits but bends down to pet the dog anyway. She must still recognize him at least and licks his hand, before nuzzling her tiny head against his palm.

Up front, his mother is adjusting her seat.

“Your father and your brother will be home later today,” she informs him. “And I have to get back to the restaurant. But I'll drop you off at home and you can get settled in. We're closing early so we can have dinner together.”

It's sounds like a sweet thing to do but Yoongi knows that it is probably meant as an opportunity to reprimand the both of them for keeping quiet about their relationship for so long.

Oh man, Yoongi thinks with a subtle look at the ring on his finger. That will be fun.


omg i'm crying??

they are so cute!

I still can't believe Jimin's got a calico cat

    she must be a lucky charm indeed, considering he ended up dating yoongi a couple of months later

        ADOPT DON'T SHOP

Lmao, the dog is called Bungalow :'D

    forget about the dog – Jimin calls his cat Min Mochi instead of Park Mochi, what does that tell us?

Yoongi brought his boyfriend and his boyfriend's cat to meet his parents. He's being serious about this relationship

    don't forget that this isn't the first time that they went to daegu together. I wonder whether their families had an inkling of what might happen between them

        The Kims know. The Mins know.

            You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

I am deceased.


 


After very carefully getting Mochi and Bungalow acquainted with each other, they make their way upstairs to Yoongi's old room. His mother had already set out two sets of bedding and towels, very pointedly not adding the bedroll they usually keep around for overnight guests.

Back when Jimin had come to spent Chuseok in Daegu, there had been a futon spread out on the floor, but he and Yoongi had still ended up sharing the bed after they fell asleep on it the first night. Yoongi had thought nothing of it back then, all of them were close and he had welcomed the additional warmth, but now he wonders whether Jimin had been harboring feelings for him even back then.

By mutual agreement, they begin unpacking their suitcases, or at least what they would need for their stay in Daegu. They'd only be here for a week, but it was long enough to try and get comfortable, especially since they hadn’t really been able to do that while on tour.

After Yoongi originally left for Seoul, nothing about this room had changed much. He had, for lack of a better word, run away from home. Eloped to be with his music, so to speak.

In retrospect, he knows his parents had only wanted what they believed was best for him and, every time he had been unable to afford a meal, he had understood their insistence a little better. His pride, however, had prevented him from returning. Pride and stubbornness and a volatile kind of hope.

Even when he finally got accepted by BigHit, when he started living at the dorms, he had rarely gone to see his parents, had barely even called home. He had felt that he ought to truly prove himself before they would understand his motivation.

Even later, when Bangtan's fame took off and he came to visit whenever his tight schedule allowed it, there had been no point in updating his childhood room. He'd torn down some of the old posters, had gotten himself a bigger bed and a better mattress, had thrown out most of his old toys and clothes, but that was about it.

Only after his service, when he had spent weeks holed up in here, unable to get out of bed on some days, had he decided to change the fading wallpaper, replace the rickety wardrobe.

That had been his little DIY project to distract him from the other thoughts in his head. Keep his hands busy so he wouldn't have to contemplate his music and his career and where he wanted to go from there.

His parents hadn't said much on the matter, though it was his mother who eventually made him an appointment with a therapist and even drove him there. And, he suspects now, though she had never actually said so, when she had showed up with a tiny white poodle and said that Min Bungalow would be living with them from now on, that may also have been for his sake.

Between his efforts at renovating, helping out in the kitchen, raising the puppy, having lengthy phone calls with Seokjin and initially slightly stilted sessions with his shrink, Yoongi had picked up his pieces and stitched them back together. They hadn't quite fit, not in the way he remembered them, and it had taken him a while to accept that he would never perceive himself as he once had.

The worst thing was the fear, really. After his first few brushes with depression and anxiety, he had thought he had gotten better, had felt so well that he had thought he was out of the woods for good.

Yet his sudden relapse had driven home the point that he might never be able to live without this. And that had somehow made everything so much worse.

His medication helps, he reminds himself. His friends and his family. And Jimin. Jimin helps, too, in an entirely different way.

“Tired?” Jimin asks, hooking his chin over Yoongi's shoulder as he hugs him from behind. Yoongi had not quite noticed it but he had simply come to a standstill in the middle of the room, confronted by his old demons.

“Nah,” Yoongi says, twisting his head around so he can kiss Jimin on the cheek. “Let's go for a walk.”

 

The flight from New York to Incheon alone had taken fifteen hours, but before that there had been a lot of sitting in the cab, then at the airport, and then after on the train to Daegu. The jet lag will set in soon enough, but now they are both running on nervous energy.

They hadn't bothered to keep their presence in Daegu a secret and, as it's summer, it's difficult enough to put together some sort of disguise, so they just say to hell with it and brave the streets. The silver gray has long since washed out out Jimin's hair, and nowadays there are enough people with bleached hair around that they don't stick out like sore thumbs, but Yoongi does throw on a basecap, mostly because his hair feels grimy after the long day of travel.

Outside, the air is warm and clear. Mellow sunlight sits on the grass as they make for one of the parks nearby.

“She's so well behaved,” Jimin notes as Bungalow obediently sticks to Yoongi's side, never so much as tugging on the leash, even as she longingly stares toward the other dogs running around here and there.

Yoongi gives a small grunt of agreement. He'd spent a lot of time here, not even talking to people, just watching Bungalow and the wind in the leaves and the clouds in the sky. It had been a precarious sort of a calm, the kind he knew would be shattered as soon as he returned to the real world.

He can feel Jimin watching him from the side for a long moment.

“Is everything alright?” Jimin asks. “You've been in a strange mood since we arrived.”

The corners of Yoongi's mouth pull taut, not quite a grimace.

“Just a lot of memories,” he says, and it sucks because he had used to play ball in this park, had hung out with his friends and once even tried smoking cigarettes when he was fifteen. He's skimmed his knee falling off a skateboard just a little farther down that path, and his older brother had once tossed him into the small pond over there.

Those are the things he should think of when returning to his hometown. Not the hours sitting on the lawn until the seat of his pants was soaked through because movement seemed beyond him. Not the things that had been eating up his brain.

Jimin doesn't pry. Perhaps he can guess what Yoongi means.

“We better make some new ones, then,” he says simply and takes Bungalow's leash from him, promptly sitting down in the grass and posing with her. “Take a picture.”

Yoongi sighs, but pulls his phone from his pocket nevertheless. Served him right for marrying Bangtan's social media addict.



 

 

They spend two hours at the park, playing fetch with Bungalow and then just resting, sitting in the sun, though Yoongi pulls his basecap low over his face so he won't get a sunburn. Jimin, he knows, will tan a beautiful shade of honey and maybe even end up with some freckles dusted across the bridge of his nose, and Yoongi plans to kiss every single one of them.

Afterwards, they make their way around the extended neighborhood, walking past Yoongi's old school, peering into storefronts, as Yoongi muses aloud which things have changed. Once upon a time, he had known this town so intimately, but then he only caught it in snapshots and constructions sites. It makes him feel old, somehow, but he's okay with that. It's a thousand times better than stagnation.

When they get back to the house, Yoongi's parents are already there, having brought dinner over from the restaurant with them and set the table.

They greet his father, a little stiffly because Yoongi has never figured out how to handle emotional moments around him, and then Yoongi's brother shows up and some of the tension dissipates.

Yoongi cannot help but notice that his sister-in-law is not present and he suspects that, for now, his brother wanted to spare her the family drama and grant Yoongi and Jimin some privacy. After all, this thing might still blow up in their faces.

So they have dinner, with Jimin's easy chatter filling the blanks between the tentative war fronts.

But his stories about America lead to anecdotes from their tour and that inevitably leads to talking about the album and the media and their relationship.

“So,” Yoongi's father says, taking special care in inspecting how much rice is left in his bowl. “How long have you, uh, been going out?”

“Since November,” Yoongi replies, just as carefully pouring himself more soju.

“I thought you might be gay,” his mother says with the kind of smug satisfaction that shows she is happy about having been proven right.

“Uh,” Yoongi says, almost spilling some of the alcohol.

“And I told her that I once caught you making out with a girl behind the school,” his brother insists.

“Uh,” Yoongi says again, knowing that it would be futile to point out that even that is not a bulletproof indicator for anyone's sexuality. He sets the bottle down and reads the label because that seems easier than looking anyone in the eye.

“That's quite a while,” his father says, apparently just as happy to ignore the other discussion going on at the table. “For your standards.”

It's unfortunately phrased but Yoongi suspects his father doesn't mean anything by it. After all, it's the truth. Yoongi hadn't been the type to bring girls home as a teenager, and then he hadn't been allowed to date openly, so of course this comes as a bit of a surprise.

“And we've been very happy,” Jimin supplies with the kind of smile that leaves no room for doubt.

“That is- nice to hear,” Yoongi's father says, sounding slightly flustered, because Jimin has always had that effect on everyone.

It's as good a moment as any.

Yoongi chews, swallows, takes another sip.

“Actually,” he says, “There's another thing I haven't mentioned yet.”

It would be easiest to do the cliché thing and just show off the ring on his finger, but somehow that seems inappropriate. His parents might not even get it, considering they had never even worn wedding bands themselves.

“You know how same-sex marriage is legal in the US?” he asks, carefully watching their reactions.

“Yes?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi says and doesn't add anything.

A pause. Then his mother's eyes widen.

“You awful boy,” she gasps. “You have some nerve!”

“Wow,” his brother only says, reaching across the table to grab the soju. “I'm an extra in a trashy drama.”

“You're married,” their mother says, hands on her cheeks in an expression of shock. “You're married and you didn't invite us.”

“It was all very spontaneous?” Yoongi tries to defend himself.

“Is either of your pregnant?” his hyung jokes and Yoongi throws him a glare.

“It just seemed so convenient to do it in the states,” Jimin defends them with a small calculated pout that immediately manages to defuse the situation. “And it was all my idea, so please don't blame Yoongi-yah.”

Yoongi's mother, however, is not easily fooled.

“That's very sweet of you, Jimin-ah,” she says. “But while I may not know my son as I well as would like to, I know when he is desperately trying to look innocent. I hope he proposed properly.”

Jimin, the traitor, immediately drops his act.

“No, he made the cat do it,” he says and Yoongi sharply elbows him in the side.

“Well, in any case it's nice to see your relationship hasn't changed from when you were twenty,” his father says with something between exasperation and amusement, and that is as good a blessing as they are going to get.

“Oh, come here, you,” Yoongi's mother says, holding her back as she stands up and then rounds the table. She's shorter than Yoongi, but not by much, and her glare is a little intimidating, but her arms are warm.

“You always knew how to make your way in the world,” she tells him quietly. “I just wish you wouldn't constantly pick the stoniest path.”

“It's not that bad,” he replies. Across her shoulder, he is looking at Jimin. “I'm not walking alone.”

 

“That went okay,” Jimin says afterwards and Yoongi only grunts. The initial panic has faded but the rush of adrenaline has left him weak.

They are spread out on the floor in the living room now. Yoongi's parents have claimed one sofa, while Mochi and Bungalow are sitting on the other, but Yoongi has his head resting on Jimin's shoulder so it's alright. The news are running and Jimin's voice is little more than an idle whisper in his ear.

“Coulda gone worse,” Yoongi agrees. He hadn't necessarily expected his parents to react badly, but people could be unpredictable. Perhaps, up until this point, his family might have thought his liaison with Jimin was just a fluke, a phase. Now they know it's not. It might have changed things – but it hadn't. And that is a relief.

Oddly, it also makes him feel more relaxed about what is still to come. The general public is bound to find out about their marriage at some point as he and Jimin have no interest in keeping it a secret. He figures that, if the initial reveal of their relationship hasn't ruined them yet, then this is only the cherry on top of the scandal. People would be up in arms about it, discussions of same-sex equality in South Korea would be re-examined, some idiots would wave their metaphorical pitchforks around – but in the end, nothing much would change.

All of a sudden, Jimin presses a hard kiss to his forehead and Yoongi scrunches up his nose in response.

“What was that for?” he wants to know.

“You looked like you were thinking too hard and I wanted to make you stop,” Jimin replies blithely. “Frown lines are unbecoming of an idol, Yoongi-yah.”

Yoongi's mouth opens, but it still takes him a moment to come up with a suitable comeback.

“Have fun telling your own family once we go to Busan,” he says finally and doesn't feel any sympathy when Jimin pales.



 

 

When they make their way up to the second floor to get ready for bed, Yoongi feels pretty awful. His back and neck hurt from the long flight and the impromptu nap on the floor. The jet lag has messed up his sleep cycle again and hefeels weirdly groggy but not exactly tired. The skin around his eyes is tight, perhaps from the dry air on the plane and the exposure to the sun, and maybe Jimin had been right about the wrinkles.

They brush their teeth and foam drips from Yoongi's mouth as he complains about how iffy his skin feels, but Jimin is a godsend and pulls out a pack of sheet masks from his toiletries bag.

Yoongi rolls his eyes, especially since Jimin of course had to bring the ones with animals faces on them, but he lets Jimin put the mask on him and pluck it into position. The touch is a cold shock against his skin.

Jimin puts on a tiger mask, slightly distorted, and Yoongi picks up his wedding ring from the shelf and slides it back on. He's not used to wearing a ring on his fourth finger so, whenever he takes the band off, he still feels its phantom pressure, as though his body knows that something is missing.

In his room, they slip into their sleeping clothes, which consist only of boxer shorts, because the house does not have air conditioning and the open window offers little relief.

“Hey,” Jimin says flirtatiously, running his finger along Yoongi's pectorals. “Wanna make out?”

Yoongi gives him a long stare.

“You still look like a tiger.”

“And you're a panda,” Jimin says, taking Yoongi's cheeks in between his hands and squeezing. “So cute.”

“No mood has even been killed so quickly as the one you were just trying to create.”

“Ugh,” Jimin puffs, throwing himself down on the mattress. “You're no fun.”

“Ten minutes and we can take the damn things off,” Yoongi reminds him. “Don't be so impatient.”

“I didn't think your skin care was more important than our marriage,” Jimin sighs tragically. “I could sue you for not fulfilling your marital duties.”

“Cry me a river,” Yoongi says and lays down beside him, brushing elbows and wriggling around for space like the teenage boys they once were. Then they settle down, their breathing evening out, and Yoongi just stares up at the ceiling. The room is dark, save for the bedside lamp, and he finds himself more exhausted than expected, his mind slowly preparing for sleep again, his eyelids dropping heavily.

“Ten years,” Jimin says apropos of nothing and Yoongi only blinks slowly.

“Huh?”

“Ten years ago at Chuseok, I was thinking about making out with you in this bed.”

That definitely answered Yoongi's question from before. Suddenly, he feels a little more awake again.

“Jiminie,” he teases mildly. “Don't tell me you were fondling me in my sleep.”

“I'm not a pervert,” Jimin says, somewhat snappish, and perhaps Yoongi's comment had been a bit callous.

“What were you thinking of then?” Yoongi asks, hoping to mollify, to get some answers to the

questions he had never bothered to ask.

For a long moment, Jimin stays silent.

“I wasn't very confident about any of it,” he reveals. “My fantasies were either totally over the top, like- like blowing you in the van or just making out with you on stage, or really... kinda understated. Like... kissing you when you were half-asleep so you would think you were just dreaming. I didn't want to get my hopes up by imagining what it would be like to actually confess to you. And what it would be like if you said yes.”

It is an entirely too sobering topic after the general success of the day. But, Yoongi thinks, while he may not be able to purge all of his old demons from this room, he might at least help Jimin overcome his.

He peels the sheet mask off his face and bunches the soggy thing up in his fist before smoothly tossing it into the trash can over by the desk. Then he settles back down.

“Do it then,“ he says, closing his eyes and letting himself relax.

“Do what?“ Jimin asks, confused.

“Kiss me in my sleep,“ Yoongi says. His skin, cooled down by the mask, tingles in the warmth of the room.

For a few moments, Jimin does not move. Then there is the wet noise of him also tossing his mask and the click and sudden darkness as the lamp is turned off.

Yoongi's chest lifts and lowers with each slow breath as he feigns sleep, though he is hyperaware of the rustling of the sheets, the weight of Jimin settling close to him.

What would it have been like had Jimin done this ten years ago? Would Yoongi have taken it for a prank? Would he have pushed Jimin away or calmly tried to talk about it? It's difficult to remember the kind of person he was back then, difficult to gauge that Yoongi's reaction. But, perhaps, the only thing that matters, is the fact that he is here to ask himself these questions at all.

So, when Jimin's hand begins to caress his face, Yoongi does not flinch.

“Hyung,” Jimin whispers and it's strange because, in intimate moments, he rarely calls him hyung anymore. “Hyung, wake up.”

Yoongi cracks his eyes open, bleary with dawning sleep. In the dark, he can barely see anything, just the outline of Jimin's face, painted blue from the faint light outside.

“Hm?” he hums.

“Hyung, may I kiss you?”

“Hmhm.”

He can feel the movement of Jimin leaning down, his hand still cupping Yoongi's cheek. Then, a pair of lips is upon Yoongi's, a warm kiss pressed against his mouth.

“Jiminie,” he mumbles.

“Shh,” Jimin soothes, brushing Yoongi's hair out of his face before pulling back again. “It's just a dream, hyung.”

It's not, though. It's not a dream. Somewhere along the way, their dreams had come true.

For the first time in a long time, Yoongi falls asleep in his old room without dreading the morning.



 

A few days later, they take the train back to Seoul. Jimin falls asleep early on, so Yoongi turns on his music and stares out the window, contemplating his vague melancholy.

He's not sad to leave Daegu and his childhood home. He had outgrown that life before he was even of age and, after his breakdown, he had felt himself get stuck there. So being able to leave so easily and without a look back is surprisingly liberating. He thinks he might visit more often in the future.

For now, though, the capital awaits with all its familiar wonders.

He shakes Jimin awake a few minutes before they are bound to arrive and they gather up their things. After their flight in, Mochi had been groggy from the mild sedatives Jimin had gotten her from the vet, but now she is more lively, loudly complaining about getting a little shaken up in her carrier. Yoongi adjusts his beanie and they climb off the train.

The platform is busy, people streaming toward the elevators and escalators, but Yoongi and Jimin are in no particular hurry, taking a moment to sort themselves out and letting everyone pass by them as the crowd gradually ebbs away.

“Excuse me,” someone says behind them and, when Yoongi automatically glances back over his shoulder, it is to find a woman in her early twenties shyly wringing her hands.

“Yeah?” Yoongi asks. Now that he's been back in Daegu for a couple of days, his Satoori is coming through stronger again.

“Um, I was wondering whether I could bother you for an autograph,” she says, nervously glancing between them to gauge their reactions. Back in the day, some fans had been beyond rude and demanding, especially those that waited for them at airports, getting more and more riled up by the mania of the crowd. This one, though, seems very hesitant to have called out to them at all, so it's no surprise to see Jimin's face immediately light up.

“Of course!” he tells her happily, “Do you have anything for us to write on?”

“Y-yes,” she stammers out, reaching into her tiny rucksack to pull out a notebook and then rifling for a pen. She still seems flustered but Jimin's friendliness appears to have eased some of her nerves.

“What names should we sign with?” Yoongi asks her. “Are you a BTS fan or...?”

“Whatever's fine with you,” she tells him with a small smile, flipping open the notebook and handing it to him. “I actually got into BTS just before you disbanded,” she explains. “I saw Velcro perform and RM and one of your concerts back in February. I just wished I could have seen all of you together at some point.”

“We're meeting the others this week, actually,” Jimin tells her kindly. “I promise we'll post a group selfie.”

“Oh,” she says, her eyes suddenly shining with tears. Sometimes, Yoongi still cannot believe how much this group meant to people.

On a whim, he jots down not only Agust D but also Min Yoongi and Suga, leaving just enough space for Jimin when he passes the book over to him.

“What's your name?” Jimin asks the girl, twirling the pen between his fingers, and she blushes in response.

“Song Eun-Chae,” she says, tugging at a strand of her long hair as Jimin writes out a personalized message to her.

“There you go,” Jimin says when he is done. With a glance, Yoongi can tell that he has only signed with Jimin, no Park or Min in front of it. Revealing their nuptials via an autograph for an eager fan just wouldn't do.

“Thank you,” Song Eun-Chae says, pressing the pages to her heart. “Thank you so so much. I- thank you.”

She gives a very deep bow, hair falling into her face, but they can still tell that she must be crying. Instead of drawing attention to it, however, they just bow as well, thank her for her support and wish her a nice day.

“You, too,” she says, wiping a hand over her damp cheek. “You, too.”

“Great,” Yoongi says, as they move toward the escalators. “Now I'm weirdly emotional.”

“Strange, huh?” Jimin hums, maneuvering his suitcase onto the metal stairs and placing Mochi's carrier on top. “To think it has been thirteen years.”

It had. This week's Saturday would mark the 13th anniversary of their debut.

“Damn,” Yoongi mutters under his breath. “We're old.”

“No,” Jimin knows. “We just started early.”

It's an idle thought, a moment of midlife crisis that has no place on his honeymoon, but with a slight twinge in his stomach Yoongi finds himself reminded of the fact that his fame has already reached its peak. He is still on top of the world, of course, especially now with Jimin by his side, but he knows that they will never be able to replicate what they had with Bangtan. That had been their zenith, their magnum opus. It is hard not to miss it sometimes.

“Well,” he says, shouldering his hand luggage. “Good thing we're seeing the other idiots again.”

“Yes,” Jimin agrees with a little smile. “I can't wait.”


 


 

 

Chapter Text


 

On the morning of Bangtan's thirteenth anniversary, Yoongi is slow to wake up.

Since they got back to Seoul, they've been staying in his apartment again and it feels stranger than before. Because now there is the thought that he and Jimin might not return to New York any time soon.

While they were staying in Daegu, he had asked his housekeeper to not only clean the whole place and fill up the fridge, but also to buy cat food and set up a litter box. The place is obviously too small for Mochi's tastes, but she'll have to make do – at least until Yoongi and Jimin get around to looking for a bigger apartment.

Today, however, is the day of Bangtan's reunion. In the evening, they will meet the others, and Yoongi cannot quite wrap his mind around how long it has been.

Jimin, always the early riser, wriggles out from underneath Yoongi's arm. It's nine o'clock, which is relatively late for their standards, but they had stayed up late watching old Bangtan Bombs and interviews, so Yoongi feels justified in burying his face in the pillow and grumbling at the sudden cold.

“I'm going to take a shower,” Jimin announces as he climbs out of bed, stretching his arms over his head as he leaves the room, so Yoongi just rolls over, deciding to doze some more.

In his sleep-addled state he cannot quite pinpoint why, but instead of going back to sleep, he feels agitation climb through his bones. He ignores it at first, unfounded as it is, but then his eyes snap open in sudden realization and he abruptly sits up in bed.

Jimin is never one to dawdle in the morning. He washes up, has breakfast or at least a cup of coffee or tea, and then he goes about his business. But today, the shower hasn't been turned on yet, the toilet hasn't been flushed.

Yoongi thinks he heard the front door fall shut at some point, but it feels hazy, almost imaginary, and maybe Jimin just quickly popped down to a 7-Eleven or something, but for some reason Yoongi cannot quench his panic.

He's out of bed and in the living room before he even quite knows what he is doing, his bare feet on the cool hardwood floor and his eyes wide and searching.

“Jiminie!” he calls out, ducking his head into the bathroom because no one is in the kitchen, but he isn't there either. He spins around , pads back into the bedroom, only to confirm that Jimin's phone is still sitting on the dresser.

“Shit,” Yoongi mutters, beginning to chew on his thumb as he tries to rationalize his thoughts. He knows he is overreacting but Jimin never just disappears without some sort of clue where he is going, so this is definitely out of-

Sudden darkness engulfs Yoongi and it stuns him for a moment, before he feels some sort of fabric settle on his face and he understands that he is being blindfolded.

Maybe it's just Jimin, pulling a prank. But when Yoongi presses backward, he can tell that the man standing behind him is much taller and, in fact, there is another one, breathing in his ear, and Yoongi doesn't know how they got into his apartment, but they must have done something to Jimin and his brain short-circuits itself into a violent reaction.

He jerks back his elbow, catching one of the guys in the side, and he hears a satisfying grunt of pain, bares his teeth in a feral snarl – but then he realizes that the voice sounded kind of familiar.

“Fucking-” he curses, biting his tongue as he tries to collect himself. “Hyung, is that you?!”

“Hyung? What hyung?” The one he hit just titters, though there is still pain laced through his voice. “You've got many hyungs.”

“Kim Seokjin, stop fucking with me!” Yoongi hisses. Someone snickers and he darts out a hand, grabbing a hold of who he now knows must be Namjoon. “What the fuck is this shit?”

“A surprise,” Namjoon says, not bothering to free the fabric of his shirt from Yoongi's grip. “I guess we miscalculated.”

“You bet your ass you did.” Yoongi goes to rip off the blindfold, only to have his wrists caught by Seokjin.

“Ah ah ah!” Jin warns. “That has to stay on, at least for now.”

Yoongi blows out a frustrated breath through his nose.

“Are the other idiots here as well?” he wants to know, even as he feels himself being herded into the direction of the front door.

“Nope,” Namjoon replies. “Not anymore. They went off with Jiminie.”

“What? Did he know about this?” Yoongi's feet hit the cold floor in the hallway and he flinches. “I'm not even wearing any shoes!”

“No worries, I've got your shoes,” Namjoon assures him. “And no, Jimin did not know.”

“How did you even get into my apartment?” Yoongi's feet are being wrestled into his sneakers by Namjoon's hands, despite the fact that he is not even wearing any socks, and he grimaces.

“You gave me a spare key when you moved in, remember?” Seokjin says lightly. “For emergencies.”

“This isn't an emergency! This is a kidnapping!”

“Wrong again.” This time, there is a sly grin audible in Namjoon's voice. “This is your bachelor party.”

 

“What the fuck,” Yoongi says when the blindfold finally comes off. It had been a Kumamon mask, as he sees now, but he chooses not to dwell on that, instead focusing on the sight in front of him.

He's been here often enough to recognize Seokjin's kitchen and the dining table overladen with food. “What kinda bachelor party begins with brunch?”

“This one,” Namjoon says, pushing him down onto a chair. “Dig in. We have a long day ahead of us.”

“I made all your favorites,” Jin says happily, sitting down across from him. “And my own. Mostly my own.”

Yoongi snorts, trying to keep a straight face, but it quickly dissolves into helpless laughter. He still feels high-strung; the early excitement had been enough to set him on edge and because of the blindfold the car ride here had seemed much longer than usual, but now the ridiculousness of it all is finally catching up with him.

A bachelor party for him with two of his closest friends while Jimin is apparently having a separate bachelor party with Hoseok, Taehyung and Jungkook. Yoongi thinks they might as well all have celebrated together, but this is fun, too, in a way.

So they have brunch. Yoongi feels a little grimy, especially since Jin and Namjoon look so fresh-faced and happy, but he stuffs his face with Seokjin's homemade cooking and lets himself appreciate the presence of his friends.

They are curious now, more openly than when they had met back in January. Perhaps it's because Jimin isn't here now and they know he'll speak a bit more candidly; perhaps they are just really into this bachelor party crap.

“How did your families react?” Namjoon wants to know. “You did tell them, right?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods, swallows down a bite. “We're only visiting his family next week, though. His brother was traveling and not in town, so we're going back later. My own folks were surprisingly chill, but they know I'm a stubborn fuck.”

“You're lucky you already know his family,” Seokjin sighs, leaning back in his chair. “When I first met Chun-Hei-ah's parents, they were somewhat skeptical of me. Apparently, being a former idol did not inspire much faith in me pursuing a steady lifestyle.”

Yoongi stills at that, glancing at Seokjin who is busy with his chopsticks, but Namjoon silently catches Yoongi's questioning gaze. Meeting the parents is still a big deal and he wonders whether Seokjin realizes how much he had just given away.

“I'm not too worried,” Yoongi admits, smoothly keeping the conversation going. “Jimin's been out to his family for a while, and he told them about us pretty early on. And anyway, it's not like all that much has changed just because we put a ring on it.”

“True,” Namjoon inclines his head. “The public already knows and, legally, your marriage is void here.”

He says it matter-of-factly and it blunts the sting the words might have carried otherwise.

“It's crazy,” Seokjin says, shaking his head. “All of this happening, when – God, two or three years ago, this whole thing would have been insane.”

“Hm,” Yoongi hums. He knew that, of course, and Jimin had known it, too. After all, that's why Jimin had gone to the States in the first place.

Another thought, and Yoongi tries to make it sound casual, taking a sip of his tea, setting down the cup again.

“Did you know about it?” he asks. “About Jimin liking me back then?”

Namjoon and Jin exchange a look.

“Of course we knew he liked you a lot,” Seokjin allows. “But we would have never dreamed that he liked you like that .”

“But,” Yoongi tries to explain, “You were always teasing us. About so many things.”

“Hyung,” Namjoon says intently. “Do you really think that, if we had even suspected anything like that, we would have made fun of it? In front of the cameras no less?”

Yoongi was aware, of course, that some fans seemed to like the idea of them dating each other, particularly in regards to certain combinations. He had never paid it much heed, had been grateful when their group did away with the more gratuitous fan service. Now he stares down at the plate in front of him.

“I just don't like the thought that he was hurting back then,” Yoongi says. “Or ever.”

“All's well that ends well,” Seokjin says simply, with a resolute pinch to his eyebrows. “So stop wallowing in self-pity. This is supposed to be a fun day.”

 

And it is. After brunch, Yoongi is told to shower, shave and brush his teeth. He's given fresh clothes that fortunately include socks and, by the time they are ready to go, it is already past noon.

This time, when they climb into the car, Yoongi doesn't have to put the blindfold back on, instead peering out of the windows as Jin drives them through Seoul.

Their second stop of the day turns out to be a men's fashion boutique because, as Namjoon says, they are going to do this in style. All of them get properly outfitted, picking out ties and shoes and cuff links that match their suits, and then they sit around in plush armchairs and drink coffee as the in-house tailors make individual adjustments.

Yoongi, because he had been kidnapped from his own home in nothing but shorts and a graphic t-shirt, watches with grim satisfaction as Seokjin pulls out his credit card and pays for their purchases.

Then they go cruising, visiting favorite spots, places where they had filmed MVs or had meaningful conversations together, and Yoongi had just been to Daegu, but Seoul is so intricately linked to his career, to Bangtan, to Jimin, that it feels right to be back here.

So they take selcas together, making new memories in old places, and then they drive to the studio. Yoongi has a suspicion what's coming and he nervously drums his fingers against the railing in the elevator as they go up.

Bang Si-hyuk is virtually unchanged. He has a few more gray hairs, a few more wrinkles, and a maybe a few more kilos, but fame and success have not made him as stuck-up as some of the other producers and executives Yoongi has met in his time.

Yoongi owes him a lot, more than he can ever put into words. If it weren't for Bang pd, he never would have turned into the man he is today. He never would have met Jimin.

So Yoongi bows low, trying to express his gratitude as his voice fails him, only to be pulled up into a warm paternal hug. Bang pd claps him on the back, ruffles his hair, tells him how proud he is and does not comment on the tears biting at the corners of Yoongi's eyes.

After that, they hide away in the safety of Namjoon's rooms. He is one of BigHit's main producers and the sheer size of his office reflects that. The gold and platinum records hanging on the wall beside the desk do so even more.

Yoongi is made to sit down at the desk and given a piece of paper, and Namjoon tells him to write a letter to Jimin, the most heartfelt letter he has ever written. Yoongi suspects it's part of the whole bachelor party deal, but that doesn't make it any less hard. He has an easier time putting his emotions into words when it's for a song or a rap. So he tiptoes around the beginning, scratches out the words, tries new ones.

Finally, he is satisfied and sets his fountain pen aside.

“Good,” Namjoon says. “Keep a hold of that.”

Then it is time for them to go to one of the salons in the building. To Yoongi's surprise, there are several of the noonas who used to travel with them when they were still touring together, and they swarm around the three of them, complimenting their looks and their achievements.

Many of them have children now and Yoongi grins down at pictures of little kids in sandboxes and school plays. There's even a tiny girl doing a very enthusiastic rendition of the Go Go choreography and, when Yoongi sees it, he tosses his head back and laughs.

“Can you dye my hair black?” Yoongi asks the noona who is inspecting the shaggy mess on top of his head. The roots are already growing in anyway but, for some reason, he doesn't want to look like an idol today.

So he waits as the dye seeps into his previously blonde hair, and then he's getting a wash, and a scalp massage, and a haircut, and a shit-ton of expensive products to make everything look lush and shiny.

Once they all got their hair and simple makeup done, they change into their new suits.

“Dare I say we look stunning,” Seokjin announces, fixing his tie as they admire themselves in one of the large mirrors, and Yoongi has to admit that he is right.

As per usual, Jin's own hair is chocolate brown to fit his heartthrob image, while Namjoon had never fallen out of the habit of getting crazy hairstyles and colors. He's white blonde now, his Mohawk carefully coiffed. When he catches Yoongi's gaze in the mirror, he winks.

“Looks like we are ready to party,” he says with a rakish smile and, when it comes to that, Yoongi cannot disagree either.

 

Finally, as the light over Seoul turns gold with an early summer evening, Yoongi is taken to another secret location - which turns out to be the Shilla Hotel. Seokjin hands his car keys to a valet, and then the three of them walk through the front doors and into the lobby.

“The others have already checked in,” Namjoon notes with a glance at his phone. “We can just go upstairs.”

Upstairs is apparently the vernacular for deluxe suite and, when Seokjin knocks, the door is opened by Hoseok.

“Hi,” Hoseok greets them with a very large grin that almost squeezes his eyes shut. “Perfect timing. Jiminie was just getting antsy.”

“Why would he be antsy?” Yoongi asks, stepping over the threshold and into Hoseok's embrace. The room is so opulent it's almost blinding, but then his gaze snags on the maknae line who are standing by the open glass door that leads out onto a balcony.

“Hyung!” Taehyung cries and then he is running over and throwing himself onto Yoongi. Hoseok manages to duck out of the way but Yoongi finds himself lifted off his feet.

“Set me down, set me down,” he yelps, only half-joking, because fuck, the military service had certainly left its mark upon their two youngest.

When Jungkook steps closer as well, he cheekily grins down at Yoongi and the bastard can't possibly have grown more, but both he and Taehyung certainly buffed up.

“I feel personally attacked,” Yoongi groans, even as he pulls Jungkook down into a hug. “Jimin-ah, come stand next to me so I can feel tall.”

The others laugh at that but, when Jimin does come over, smiling and looking absolutely radiant, Yoongi's breath hitches.

Jimin is wearing a perfectly tailored suit and subtle makeup. His hair has been dyed black as well and swept out of his forehead, silver loops in his ears. He's holding a bouquet of roses and larkspur cradled in his arms, soft pink and white and blue, and something about that image has Yoongi draw up short.

“Is this a wedding?” he asks and everyone bursts out laughing.

“It really took you this long to figure out?” Hoseok snickers. “Jiminie caught on as soon as we went to get the suits.”

“It was Taehyungie's idea,” Seokjin explains. “When you told Joon-ah about your honeymoon, he connected the dots, but Tae was the one who thought we ought to celebrate properly.”

“A miniature wedding for our miniature hyungs!” Taehyung chirps, a proud smile on his face.

With that little tidbit of information revealed, everything suddenly makes a lot more sense. There are flower arrangements spread throughout the room and a table with catering, and Yoongi should have known that their friends wouldn't just let them get away with not inviting them to their real nuptials.

“I want to use this moment to revoke all your friendship licenses,“ he says, only to have everyone groan and complain.

“Hyung,“ Hoseok says, slinging an arm around Yoongi's shoulder. “Just enjoy your wedding day.“

 

Namjoon, of course, officiates.

Yoongi can imagine well enough what it would have been like to have one of the others do it, always eager to make Yoongi suffer, but Namjoon takes the job seriously while still keeping things short and sweet.

They are given microphones, which seems a little exaggerated, and Jungkook has set up a tripod with a camera to adequately capture each moment. It's disgusting and picture perfect, and it's kind of impressive that they managed to plan all of this in under a week. Years later, Bangtan is still a force to be reckoned with.

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin begins, his shoulders lifting and lowering again as he exhales. “I still remember the first time I met you and the other members, how nervous I was, how badly I wanted you all to like me. I remember how skeptical you were at first, how standoffish. But I also remember how quickly you opened up to me. I remember admiring you and wanting to impress you.”

He glances up at Yoongi and then quickly back down again, bites his lower lip before he continues.

“So little of that has changed, and yet so much. When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts are of you. When I fall asleep, you are there with me. You have built me up, again and again. You are my strength and my backbone. When I recount my failures, you embrace my flaws.”

His breath hitches, but he plows on, unblinking, too stubborn to let the tears that make his eyes glisten fall.

“You are an artist, through and through,” he says and, this time, when he looks at Yoongi, he holds his gaze. “And I want to be your muse, for as long as you'll have me.”

Yoongi swallows, unable to do anything but nod. He knows it's his turn to speak his vows now, but his voice seems to be missing and, when he lifts the paper with the vows he had unwittingly written, his hands shake so badly he can barely read his own handwriting. Or perhaps, he considers, the characters are a little blurry for a slightly different reason.

The others wait, no nudging, no ribbing. They just let him have this moment to gather himself. When he finally thinks that he can speak again, Yoongi opens his mouth and begins to read.

When he is done, his view expands from just the paper and Jimin right in front of him, to the rest of the room. Jimin is firmly pressing his lips together, his eyes shining, but the others aren't unaffected either. Hoseok is openly crying, Taehyung is holding on to Jungkook's sleeve, and Seokjin looks like a proud parent.

As he and Jimin are already wearing their rings, Yoongi wonders what's meant to come next, so he glances toward Namjoon who gives them a benevolent smile.

“By the power vested in me by myself,” he announces grandly, “I now pronounce you married. You may kiss the groom.”

So they kiss, sweetly, sweeter than even when they actually legally got married. This is better. This is how it was always meant to go. Him and Jimin and their friends, at home.

Around them, the others cheer. Someone is throwing rose petals and they rain down on them in pastel colors and sweet scent. If this were a movie, Yoongi would puke. But it's not a movie. It's his life - his future, his present, and his past - all combined in this very moment, and he couldn't be happier.

When they separate, he and Jimin just gaze at each other, wordless.

“Hello, husband,” Jimin says, smiling shyly.

“Hello, Min Jimin,” Yoongi returns with a toothy grin.

“I get to bug you for the rest of your life now.”

“You would have done that regardless of any rings or legal obligations.”

“True,” Jimin admits. “But now it's my marital duty, twice over.”

“Woe is me, I'm married to a literal angel.”

“Alright, once you're done mooning over each other, can you please turn your attention toward me and accept my condolences?” Seokjin demands, effectively separating them. “Thank you! Jimin-ah, you married the biggest lazybones this side of the equator, have fun with that. And Yoongi-yah, you possibly married the second best looking man in Seoul.”

“Jealous, hyung?” Yoongi teases, even as he hugs him back. “You know, I've been doing some research on that whole sexuality thing, and there's something called polyamory, if you are inte-”

“Aaand I'm going to see how the buffet is doing,” Seokjin says, hurriedly stepping away again.

“Congrats,” Namjoon says, pulling both Yoongi and Jimin into a bear hug and squishing them so close that Yoongi barely avoids smearing his makeup on his lapel. “No award could compare to being your friend.”

“Sap,” Jimin murmurs, but presses a kiss to Namjoon's dimple.

Hoseok has his lips pressed together when he stands in front of them, obviously holding back fresh tears. He looks from Jimin to Yoongi and back again, hands on his hips and not saying a word.

“C'm here,” he manages to say at length, waving them closer, and then he is hanging off their shoulders, sobbing something unintelligible about children growing up too fast.

“Jimin-ah,” Taehyung says, just placing his hands on his shoulders and looking at him for a long moment. There are many things unspoken going on in that look, and there is something sad sitting in Taehyung's eyes. With sudden clarity, Yoongi remembers that, back then, Taehyung had been Jimin's only confidante. It always hurts to see a dear friend suffer, especially when you are unable to help.

“Take care of him,” Taehyung says when he embraces Yoongi as well. There is no or else implied, no threat hiding in the words. Just a genuine plea for Yoongi to be gentle with Jimin's heart.

Jungkook is nervously rubbing his palms as he stands in front of them.

“I don't know what to say,” he admits. “I'm really bad at this.”

Jimin smiles. “You don't have to say anything.”

“I do, though,” Jungkook objects. He runs a hand through his hair, what little has grown back since his last buzzcut. “You're like brothers to me, more than brothers, and I want you to know how happy I am that you are happy.”

“We are,” Yoongi assures him. “Never more than now.”

“Good,” Jungkook nods. His adam's apple bobs as he swallows. “That's good.”

When all of that is done, they get to move on to the less emotional part of the festivities. Seokjin, in fact, is long since standing over by the catering, stuffing some finger food into his mouth.

“Ah!” Taehyung warns. “Photos first!”

“But I'm hungry,” Jin whines, though he does wipe his hands on a napkin and slouches over again.

Jungkook has brought his cameras, and so he's in charge of directing everything, telling them how to pose and where to look.

It's easily the funniest photo shoot they've ever done together. They do one with Jimin tilting Yoongi back and soundly kissing him on the lips, and another with Jungkook and Taehyung carrying Yoongi and Jimin bridal style.

They do a whole series of Jimin throwing his bouquet and Seokjin throttling and punching his way to be the one catching it. They do group shots according to their old subunits, and some just for the hell of it, and a final one with all of them together.

It's only then that they officially open the buffet, Jungkook popping a bottle of champagne and pouring some into the delicate flutes that Taehyung hands out.

“To the happy couple!” Hoseok toasts and they all echo it, carefully clinking their glasses.

“God, I always forget how awful this tastes,” Namjoon gags as soon as he has taken the first sip. “Who thought champagne was a good idea?”

Yoongi grimaces as well but downs the rest of his glass. Champagne always tasted like dusty sparkling wine and sparkling wine wasn't the best thing to be had either. But there is enough other booze to go around, not to mention a lot of food, mostly traditional Korean cuisine, and that does taste heavenly.

They speak with their mouths full and throw napkins at each other, and this does feel like a stereotypical bachelor party. After all the excitement around the wedding, it's finally an opportunity to catch up with everyone, to see how they have been doing.

So they all complain about their time in the army, about annoying executives, about pushy aunts asking for when they'd settle down. They exchange stories of New York and San Diego and Chicago for stories of Seoul and Tokyo and Hong Kong.

There's a lot of it, far too much to cover within only a few hours, and they talk over each other and barely catch some parts of the conversations and then whoever was speaking has to start from the beginning, and it's loud and tedious and so so worth it.

“Can we cut the cake now?” Jimin asks eventually because, although he ought to be full by now, he has been hungrily eyeing the raspberry tart since before they had even spoken their vows.

“Not yet!” Taehyung tells him, excitedly clapping his hands. “There's another thing we have to do first.”

“Do we?” Yoongi asks skeptically because he can feel the anticipation that is suddenly radiating off the others and he wonders what that means.

“Of course.” Hoseok grins. “We did the ceremony, and the photos, and the food, so what else is missing?”

“The part where you give us a lot of money as a wedding present?” Jimin ventures.

“No! Entertainment, of course.”

“Of course,” Yoongi echoes and sighs. He really should have seen this coming.

“Now, if the groom and groom would please sit down here,” Seokjin instructs as Jungkook and Taehyung carry up two chairs, beckoning for Jimin and Yoongi to sit down.

“Does this involve public humiliation or secondhand embarrassment?” Yoongi wants to know, though he does comply.

“Only a little bit,” Hoseok promises with a grin. “Everyone, into position, please.”

He ducks behind the sofa and returns with what turns out to be even more handheld microphones and – oh, God, this is not happening.

“I wrote this within a week, so you better appreciate it,” Namjoon says, fiddling with his phone. The subtle background music cuts off and the five of them come to stand in front of Jimin and Yoongi. There's no stage to be had and their audience is minuscule, but it's obvious that they are going into performance mode.

“Microphone check,” Jungkook instructs and, when everything seems to be in working order, he gives a satisfied nod. “Let's go, let’s go!”

Namjoon activates his Bluetooth again and a moment later an unfamiliar melody streams from the speakers, gentle and unassuming, and Yoongi almost dares to hope for something that won't make him want to jump off the balcony.

But, of course, his friends have to prove him wrong.

“Thirteen years in the making – how has it been so long?” Namjoon begins, with a wistful glance off into the distance.

“I still remember thinking, maybe all of this is wrong,” Jungkook continues, looking equally as melancholic.

“Maybe we should give up,” Hoseok sings.

“Maybe I should go home,” Taehyung sighs, before Seokjin chimes in.

“Pack up my bags, concede defeat, and just walk this world alone.”

A beat, heavy with the memory of their beginnings, but then the tune changes into something light and optimistic.

“But we didn't, we stayed strong,” Jungkook smiles, giving an enthusiastic gesture. “And now we're gathered here-”

“At the dawn of a new year,” Taehyung picks up. “To perform your wedding song!”

“You're in love – oooah!” they all sing, doing a little choreography on the spot, waving their free arms about.

“I just can't believe my eyes!” Seokjin gasps tragically.

“You were boning in New York, we were in for a surprise!” Hoseok adds.

“You're in love – oooah!”

“I just can't believe it's true!”

“But we're singing you this song,” Taehyung smiles toothily. “Because we love you, too.”

“There's Cupid singing under the roses,” Namjoon croons, slightly changing the pitch. “There's arrows raining down from on high.”

“The ocean made a heart out of pebbles,” Jungkook sings. “And a plane draws your names in the sky.”

“You're in love – oooah!”

“And we're a little bit in awe,” Namjoon admits. “You got hitched in New York City and defied Korean law.”

“You're in love – oooah!”

“It's the scandal of the year!” Hoseok's face mimes a shocked expression.

“You're the cutest friggin' couple,” Taehyung and Seokjin sing in unisono. “Now you're married, so we cheer.”

“You're in love!” they all finish together and, by this point, Jimin is laughing so hard he falls off his chair, rolling around on the floor in his designer suit. Yoongi would have caught him but he is too busy hiding his burning cheeks in his hands.

The others are congratulating themselves now, laughing and clapping, and suddenly Yoongi understands that old saying about keeping your enemies close because he kind of wants to smack all of them.

“I hate all of you, you're awful, I want a refund,” Yoongi says, but the others only cackle and stick out their tongues him.

“Do you want an encore, hyung?” Jungkook teases and Yoongi throws a chopstick in his direction.

It takes a few minutes for all of them to calm down, for Jimin to clamber back onto his chair and heavily lean against Yoongi's side.

“We're married,” he whispers, as though it were a secret between just the two of them.

Yoongi snorts. “We were married before.”

“Well, now we are more married.”

And that is a fact that even Yoongi cannot dispute.

“I love you, you know,” he tells him, because sometimes he thinks he cannot possibly say it enough, and Jimin smiles in response.

“I know.”



Chapter Text

Most weddings in Korea are a speedy affair, no reception included, and bachelor parties aren't exactly common either. Or having two grooms.

So the evening continues as the day had been – unconventional, slightly ridiculous, and promising many happy memories.

Yoongi tries to think of something – his family, his other friends – that would make these moments even more precious, but he comes up with a blank. He likes that there is no pressure, no expectation.

When his brother had gotten married, it had been a more traditional wedding, with dozens of guests that the couple didn't even personally know, and it had been draining, to say the least. So Yoongi is quite content to just sit back and let the night run its course, quiet as it is.

“Thank you,” he says, sitting on the couch next to Namjoon and Seokjin. Their friends had put a lot of effort into this day and they'd only had a week to prepare everything. Yoongi almost feels a bit bad for not properly having told them of his and Jimin's engagement.

Namjoon glances at him, probably slightly surprised by Yoongi's genuine tone, but then he grins.

“Sorry we didn't get you a stripper,” he says and claps Yoongi on the back, hard enough that Yoongi almost chokes on his spit. He manages to turn it into a laugh, which is quickly cut off when the others are suddenly looking very attentive.

“Jiminie can dance for you!” Hoseok pipes up and, this time, Yoongi does choke.

“Uuuh,” he says intelligently, his gaze seeking out Jimin in hope of finding him rolling his eyes at the idea. Unfortunately, Jimin is only giggling.

“Yes!” Taehyung cheers. “I haven't seen Jimin-ah dance in ages!”

“I'm gonna pick a song!” Hoseok decides, phone already in hand, while Taehyung makes short work of pulling up a chair into the middle of the room and pushing Yoongi down onto it.

“Uuuh,” Yoongi says again, somewhat whip-lashed by the sudden turn of events, but then Hoseok crows in victory and a moment later the first beats of a song are dripping out of the speakers.

Beyoncé, Yoongi realizes as soon as the singing begins, but that's where his attention span is cut short by Jimin stepping up to stand in front of him, just a little ways off.

Jimin has the audacity of looking flustered but still giving Yoongi a saucy wink, and Yoongi has to wonder whether this was really a spur of the moment thing or whether Hoseok had been planning this since he and the kids had abducted Jimin.

Jimin certainly seems to have no trouble getting into the music, his body subtly moving with the rhythm as he takes off his tie, slowly slides it out from under his collar, wrapping it around one hand, almost like a boxer before a fight. His hips sway as he undoes the first few buttons of his shirt, revealing his collarbones, and slowly he works himself up to full body rolls.

“Yes!” Beyoncé sighs again, the beat drops, and Jimin drops, too, low to the floor, only to bop right back up again, accompanied by a low whistle from who must be Hoseok. With measured steps, Jimin moves toward Yoongi, leaning down, his face a just few centimeters from Yoongi's. Then he drops down again, puts his hands onto Yoongi's knees to abruptly spread his legs apart, palms sliding up along Yoongi's quivering thighs and dangerously close to his crotch.

Yoongi's breath hitches, and he doesn’t dare to look away as Jimin puts one foot on the seat of the chair between Yoongi's legs, placing a hand at the back of Yoongi's neck, fingers curling in his hair, and then pushing him close to the undulations of his hips. Yoongi can hear muffled laughter coming from the others, but it's easy enough to ignore. His mouth is very dry, his cheeks hot.

Suddenly, Jimin lets go of him. The room spins, Yoongi's stomach drops and his eyes squeeze shut on instinct. When he dares to open them again, he realizes that Jimin has grabbed hold of the back of the chair and almost toppled him over, tilting him back at an angle.

Yoongi's entire body is taut in response, his heart beating with the surge of adrenaline, but Jimin just smirks down at him, sets him back on all four legs and comes to stand in front of Yoongi once more, back to him and bending low in obvious invitation. This time, Yoongi does not hesitate and simply puts his hands on Jimin's ass, kneading the firm muscles, as Jimin slowly straightens up again.

And it's a joke, it's all a stupid joke, but they are both so into it that neither of them is laughing, no one is laughing anymore, there is just them and the music.

When Jimin turns around again, he climbs straight onto Yoongi's lap so that they are facing each other. His hips begin to circle, his ass rubbing up against Yoongi who has to bite his lower lip to keep himself from moaning out loud. From his periphery, he can see that both Taehyung and Jungkook have their phones out, but while Taehyung is predictably all focused on Jimin's dance skills, Jungkook the little menace seems intent on catching Yoongi's embarrassing reactions.

But two can play that game. For a while, Yoongi plays along, places his hands on Jimin's hips, running them up and down his sides, pulling him close, following each movement, arching into it. Jimin's face is flushed, his breath elevated from what must be both the physical exertion and the insanity of the entire moment. His walls are down and that's when Yoongi strikes.

He slides his hands underneath Jimin's thighs and then, without warning, stands up from the chair, lifting Jimin with him. There's a gush of warm air against his ear as Jimin gasps in surprise, but Yoongi has already turned them around and is settling them down on the chair, regaining control of the situation.

“Hyung,” Jimin laughs breathlessly and the fact that he is not simply calling Yoongi by his given name is proof enough of how caught off guard he is by this.

If Yoongi weren't drunk, he would never be so bold. If Yoongi weren't drunk, it'd be easier to remind himself of the fact that five of their closest friends are currently watching them give each other a lap dance. If Yoongi weren't drunk, he'd know he'll probably regret this in the morning.

But Yoongi is drunk and so he doesn't really care about anything at all, except for the way Jimin's eyes are heavy-lidded and hungry as they watch him.

One of Yoongi's hands hitches up Jimin's leg and, for a few blissful moments, the two of them just grind up against each other, breathing hard.

“Hyung,” Jimin whimpers, his brow sweat-damp. “Kiss me, hyung.”

So Yoongi does. Leans in close and presses his open mouth against Jimin's, tasting him, inhaling him. Jimin moans quietly, kisses back with little finesse, groans when Yoongi slides out from under him, though their lips stay connected.

Then, the song is over and the moment dies.

“Oh!” Hoseok yelps, grappling for his phone. “You want another?”

“I think one was enough,” Namjoon points out, coughing into his fist, poorly hiding his embarrassment. Yoongi does not pity him. He would not trade the boys for the world, but he's half-hard in his pants and on his knees in front of husband and, fuck, he wishes they were alone right now.

Jimin tips his head back, sweat glistening on the tendons of his neck. It's obvious enough that he is thinking the same.

“I feel so indecent,” Jin laments, one hand pressed over the lower half of his face. Even in the low light, he looks as though he is blushing.

Namjoon shakes his head, apparently quite done with their collective shit. “I don't even know whom to blame - Hobi-hyung for giving them the idea, or the two of them for taking it to the max.”

Yoongi snorts, awkwardly coming to stand again, but quickly finding an armchair to sit it, waiting for his arousal to die down.

“Was that your way of demonstrating how supportive you are of us being together?” he asks, “Because your stupid song was enough.”

“We are supportive of you, hyung,” Jungkook insists, though his eyes are still on his phone, probably already replaying the video. “And we wanted some convenient blackmail material.”

“If this ever ends up in the wrong hands,” Yoongi threatens, “I will tell the internet every single embarrassing thing you have done ever.”

Jungkook seems to think about it for moment. Then he swallows hard and carefully puts his phone away. Without deleting the video, but Yoongi probably can't have it all.

“We're happy for you, hyung!” Hoseok hurries to say. “It's just that everything happened so quickly and while you were in New York, too! It takes some getting used to.”

“Yeah!” Taehyung supplies. “I mean, I knew that Jimin-ah was in love with you, but I still didn't think you'd end up marrying each other!”

“I never thought that I would end up marrying him either,” Yoongi agrees. “But I also didn't think that the rest of you fuckers would be there during our wedding night. So we're even.”

“Fair enough,” Taehyung shrugs and that's that.

 

They end up sitting in a loose circle, nursing their drinks and making idle conversation, low music playing in the background. At some point, Hoseok pulls out his phone again, showing off pictures of his niece.

“God, children,” Namjoon huffs, throwing a sideways look at where Jimin is sitting sprawled on Yoongi's lap, stealing small kisses every now and then. “At least we don't have to worry about that when it comes to you two.”

Jimin just sticks his tongue out at him and goes back to carding his fingers through Yoongi's hair.

Jin, however, clears his throat.

“Actually,” he says, raising his voice. “There's something I've been meaning to tell you.”

“You're pregnant!” Taehyung cheers. “Congratulations, hyung!”

Jungkook giggles but Jin just ignores them.

“I wasn't sure whether I should mention it at all, as this day is about you,” he says with an apologetic look toward Jimin and Yoongi. “But since it's already past midnight...”

He takes a deep breath, twists his hands.

“I'm going to propose to Chun-Hei,” he reveals, bopping his head as though to reassure himself. “And I wanted you to know first.”

“Hyung, that's wonderful,” Namjoon says, reaching out to squeeze his knee. “Thank you for not just getting hitched abroad and then only dropping me a text message about it two weeks later.”

“Stop bitching about that,” Yoongi tells him, but then turns toward Seokjin. “I'm happy for you. She seems like a sweet girl.”

“She is,” Jin agrees, a giddy laugh bubbling out of him. “We already met each others' parents and everything, so I'm just waiting for the right moment to ask her properly.”

“Piece of advice,” Jimin says with a saccharine tone, “Actually do ask a question instead of, I don't know, tying the ring to your cat's collar and expecting her to do the job.”

“I- I don't have a cat,” Jin says in confusion, but Yoongi just jostles Jimin with his knee, nearly throwing him off his lap. Jimin, the tenacious bastard, holds on.

“Man,” Hoseok muses with a small shake of his head, “I haven't even considered marriage yet. But congratulations, hyung. I know you'll be good together.”

“Thank you,” Jin says, smiling down into his glass. “I just hope I can make her happy.”

“We're all growing up, huh?” Jungkook asks, tilting his head back to look at the ceiling.

“Kookie, we've been grown up for over ten years,” Jimin reminds him fondly.

“Yeah, but... everyone's settling down and getting married-”

“Three out of seven is not 'everyone',” Namjoon objects, but Jungkook just keeps talking.

“-and it seems like yesterday we were just trainees in a shitty dorm, you know.”

“It wasn't yesterday, though,” Yoongi mutters. “It was fifteen years ago.”

“Holy shit,” Taehyung breathes. “That's half my life.”

“Do you ever think of how different things could have gone?” Jungkook wonders aloud. “I mean... like... if I had signed up with a different company or something.”

A beat of silence as they all ruminate over that alternative reality, that life where they perhaps never met one another or only under different circumstances.

Jin, signed under SM Entertainment instead. Yoongi, an underground rapper. Jimin, a dancer from Busan.

And perhaps, in this world, Taehyung and Jungkook would have ended up as idols from rivaling groups. Perhaps Yoongi would have scoffed at Namjoon who claimed to be a rapper but who sold himself out to the industry. Perhaps a friend of Jimin's would have shown him videos of that street dancer who called himself Hoya Smile.

“Shit,” Namjoon says, and it's halfway between a curse and a prayer of thanks. “I could have ended up with an altogether different group.”

But somehow, somehow in this universe, the stars aligned in such a way that the seven of them met at just the right time.

“I kinda wanna go back,” Taehyung confesses, the heels of his thumbs pressed into his eye sockets.

“Nah,” Yoongi says and brushes a strand of hair out of Jimin's face; it still smells of chemicals and dye. He's quite happy where they are now.

“Not like time travel,” Hoseok muses. His hand is reaching toward Taehyung as though to underline his agreement, and Taehyung automatically lifts his own arm to hold on to him. “Not a remake. A sequel.”

“A comeback,” Namjoon says quietly and suddenly the whole room is quiet. There's Seoul somewhere beyond the window panes, but in here it's only them.

They try to be subtle about it as they glance at each other, gauging the reactions to the idea, to the ludicrousness of it all. But there is only careful indifference painted on their faces, no one daring to give away too much.

“I'm down for it,” Jin says, in a joking tone, but the nervous pinch of his eyebrows belies the truth behind the words. He had been the first to leave them, the first to establish a career outside of Bangtan. Now he is the first to hope.

“Could we... could we even do that?” Jungkook asks haltingly. “Has anyone ever done that before?”

“Shinwa did,” Yoongi muses. “Under a different label, though.”

There were precedents, yes. Many male idols tried to regain their fame after their service ended, but few ever managed it. Even BigBang who, before Bangtan, had arguably been the best known kpop group on an international level had never truly regained their traction. There is no guarantee that it would be different for BTS.

But there never is a guarantee for anything in life. Fifteen years ago, no one had thought that a hip hop group from a tiny label would make it very far, but then seven boys had gone and proven them all wrong. Those same boys are men now, but who is to say they can't do it again?

“It's not like PD-nim would be difficult to convince,” Hoseok notes slyly.

“Guys,” Namjoon laughs, sounding slightly harried. The corner of his mouth twitches nervously. “We're not seriously considering a comeback.”

“Why not?” Taehyung demands. “I bet we could pull it off.”

“I want to stand on a stage with you,” Jimin says, the words falling out of him in a rush. “I want to sing our songs.”

“Hell, if it's with you guys, I'll happily be an idol till I'm ninety years old,” Yoongi admits.

“Geriatric idols,” Seokjin smiles fondly at that mental image. “That's a life goal.”

“Stiff joints, dementia...” Jungkook teases, “I mean, you already couldn't keep up with the Fire routine back then, hyung, what makes you think- ow!”

“Respect your elders!” Jin crows and keeps hitting him with the sofa cushion he has grabbed.

“Are we... are we seriously considering this now?” Namjoon asks the room at large. “We're not just drunk?”

“Well, a little tipsy,” Jimin acknowledges. “But that only makes us more honest.”

“Do you know the insane amount of planning that would be involved?” Namjoon says, running a hand through his hair. “We'd need to get the producers back on board and- and-”

“Joon-ah,” Yoongi drawls, “I think we're old enough to be our own producers.”

“Or aren't you up to being our leader, hyung?” Taehyung challenges.

Namjoon opens his mouth. Closes it again.

“Fuck,” he says, a slightly hysteric edge to it. “Fuck.”

“Keep that up and you might have enough for full rap verse,” Yoongi snorts.

“I mean, where's the problem, really?” Hoseok asks, lifting his hands in a questioning gesture. “Taehyungie and Jungkookie are done with their service and have no new plans yet. Jiminie's visa is up so he and hyung would have to return to Korea anyway. Gala's almost through with their first year since debut so my duties as mentor are minimal.”

He glances toward Jin who gives a shrug.

“I have a few gigs in TV dramas,” he says, “But nothing that would necessarily inconvenience a hypothetical comeback for our hypothetical album.”

They all turn to look at Namjoon.

“No,” Namjoon says. “Stop it with the puppy eyes. You cannot convince me.”

“Six against one,” Jungkook tells him with a smug smile, suddenly much better at maths than before. “You're outvoted, hyung.”

“This is not a democracy,” Namjoon insists.

“Oh well.” Yoongi shrugs carelessly. “Guess we'll have to do it without you then. Tae can take over your raps, and I'll do your vocals and-”

“Oh my God, no,” Namjoon says, appalled. “You cannot- If anything- Of course I wouldn't let you do this alone.”

“Then it's settled,” Yoongi nods, relaxing back in his armchair, comforted by Jimin's familiar weight on him. “You can't back out now.”

“So it's back to the roots?” Seokjin asks. “Back to Bangtan?”

“Yeah,” Hoseok gives a decisive nod but then his serious expression morphs into a grin. “As long as I don't have to wear a weird mask again.”

They all dissolve into laughter then, giddy and relieved and excited and disbelieving, but Yoongi is distracted by Jimin hiding his face against his neck. He can feel something warm and wet against his skin and blinks in surprise.

“Are you crying?” he asks, worried, but Jimin just shakes his head, sniffles quietly.

“I am happy,” he says and Yoongi squeezes his hand.

“Yeah,” he says, swallows around the lump in his throat. “Me, too.”

Chapter Text

Hoseok had been right. Bang pd is not difficult to convince at all.

This is made easier by the fact that, unlike some other idols, former or otherwise, none of them had ever been involved in any sort of scandal, apart from Jimin and Yoongi's recent coming out. There were no drugs, no groupies, no military officials cursing their names. There is also the fact that, even after all this time, Bangtan is still the flagship of BigHit Entertainment and, whatever they will produce together, is sure to bring in lots of money and media attention.

For now, though, they keep everything a secret.

Jimin goes back to the US for a week to settle his legal issues. There is his bank account to consider, the contract with his American label, the lease. He empties the loft and ships a chunk of his belongings to Korea. Some of them, particularly the furniture, he donates to a local charity auction to save himself the trouble.

Yoongi stays in Seoul, takes care of Mochi and gets the preparations for their comeback going.

There are many things to consider and they want to move things quickly, all of them excited and itching to get back into the habit.

Throughout their individual careers, they gained new experiences that they plan to incorporate in what they have in mind. They're not quite a well-greased clockwork anymore. Sometimes, the cogs grind and opinions differ, Namjoon and Yoongi butt heads over how far they should distance themselves from the kpop label, but they always manage to find middle ground.

They work completely on their own, no collabs, no outside input. As Yoongi had said, they are old enough to produce everything by themselves, to mix their tracks and write their lyrics without nervously asking their sunbaes at BigHit for approval.

This is the essence of BTS crystallized. This is diamond-hard perfection.

Overall, it's an album about friendship. About family. There is love in there and goodbyes and separations. Late night phone calls. Warm hands. There's secrets and familiarity and soul . It's the best thing they've ever done.

And when things start to take a more concrete shape, when they can tentatively set their sights on a release date, they finally confirm their comeback.


 

 

 

Wait what?

    What??

        WHAT???

What does this mean? Because if it means what I hope it means...

    I now know what a heart attack feels like

This cannot be real

    Maybe it's about like... new merch... or something?

I think they're just teasing a new group

    Gala just debuted last year, tho. Bighit doesn't have any trainees who are ready yet

I don't wanna get my hopes up, but...

    I mean, we weren't expecting the yoonmin collab either

        or the yoonmin relationship <3

Vkook are done with their service, right?? So??

If anything, they're probably just gonna do something small together, a couple of songs, a few concerts

    that's how things between suga and jimin started, too, and now they are DATING

        :'D Are you implying an OT7 scenario

            Bangtan gangbang

                omg

Just hypothetically... they'd be the first kpop group to reunite after their service, right?

    No, Shinwa did it first

        And Shinwa did is so /well/. God, imagine the boys all in their late twenties/early thirties, wearing suits and dancing I need U *__*

            or dancing new choreos to new songs

STOP IT EVERYONE, MY HEART IS WEAK AND FRAGILE, I COULDN'T TAKE THE DISAPPOINTMENT IF THIS JUST TURNED OUT TO BE A MISUNDERSTANDING


 

 

Five and a half years after their breakup, they are older, not unchanged but essentially still the same. Their routines, however, are new.

While Hoseok and Jimin work on preliminary ideas for their choreographies, Hoseok's partner Ki occasionally drops by and voices their opinion. Like Hoseok, Ki is easy company but serious and attentive as soon as there is work to be done, often silently watching their progress and then obliterating whatever they had come up with so far.

Sometimes, Seokjin has to rush off for a date with Chun-Hei, making a point of calling her 'my fiancée' in the most obnoxious tone possible. Namjoon nearly despairs of his doubled workload of being one of BigHit's main producers and now returning to his idol career, and he has to reshuffle some of his duties so his schedule becomes a little less murderous.

The weirdest thing is to return to their own apartments at the end of every day, to no longer live in a dorm together.

Taehyung and Jungkook, technically homeless after the end of their service, had opted to get a place together, but Hoseok had one night been caught camping out in the dance studio because he'd had an emergency training session with Gala and going home wouldn't have been worth the trouble.

Every night, Jimin and Yoongi return to their too small apartment, petting Mochi until she has enough and wanders off on her own. Whenever they can manage to keep their eyes open for an additional hour, they go house hunting online, weighing the pros and cons of the different options and inadvertently dozing off without making any final decisions.

While the actual reality of their comeback is a well structured mess, the hype surrounding their return to the stage is undeniable. Every time they take a break, Jungkook gleefully reads out headlines from all over the world. They've left their mark in the music industry and made connections in a lot of places.

For many foreigners, it's difficult to understand just how vast this new development truly is. They don't know how the military service is a death sentence for most groups, don't know what a scandal Jimin and Yoongi's relationship could have been, don't know how rare it is for a group to willingly remain with their label.

In America, bands break up and get back together all the time. In South Korea, however, it's the biggest news of the industry.

 


 BANGTAN IS BACK!

THE SEVEN WORLD WONDERS FROM KOREA RETURN TO THE STAGE - TOGETHER

One almost feels bad for all the other Kpop groups who had been vying for their place in the spotlight since BTS disbanded five and a half years ago. For a long time, the group consisting of seven members had dominated the kpop scene, winning awards left and right and outperforming anyone who tried to keep up with them. Now the group's official Twitter has confirmed what many fans would have happily sold their souls and their firstborns for: BTS are back!

To call this the most anticipated comeback of the year is no exaggeration. Not only does the announcement come completely out of the blue, but it happens in the wake of the members' solo careers which have brought in new fans from all over.

While the oldest, Kim Seokjin, has been carving his path as a model and actor, going so far as to even win a Grand Bell Award in 2024, he has also recently confirmed his relationship with fellow actress Moon Chun-Hei whom he met while filming the drama Bittersweet . Leader Kim Namjoon aka RM as well as main dancer Jung Hoseok (J-Hope) remained with their company BigHit Entertainment, working as mentors and producers. The two youngest members, Kim Taehyung and Jeon Jungkook, continued on as a unit named Velcro until they, too, had to begin their two-year military service.

The most surprising, however, are the joined fates of rapper Min Yoongi (Suga) and vocalist Park Jimin. While Yoongi had published an album as his alter ego Agust D, Jimin went to the Land of the Free to work with international artists, such as Halsey and Boy Epic. When he and Yoongi teamed up last fall, former fans were falling over themselves to hear that their promised Minimini unit was finally becoming reality. Yet along with their instant hit album Birds in the Snow , Yoongi and Jimin also dropped another bomb: namely, that they are dating each other. And while South Korea's stance on same sex relationships is still rather split, younger generations are much more open-minded and welcomed the news with euphoria and outpouring support. The reveal also coincidentally had another effect: all of a sudden, BTS was all anyone was talking about again. Perfect conditions for the imminent comeback.

Not much is known yet about what the group has planned or what triggered the unexpected decision, but perhaps it was the group’s 13th anniversary since their debut and their private get-together in Seoul that same week that encouraged them to once more conquer South Korea and, no doubt, the rest of the world.

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While they had previously turned away all questions regarding their comeback with polite smiles and a firm 'no comment', their first joint interview is bound to fuel the flames even more.

It's a classy affair, no games, no silly sound effects edited into their answers. They all wear some suits and polished shoes and sit spread out on a large comfortable couch.

It feels right, Yoongi thinks, crossing his ankles as he stretches out his legs, displaying his socks that have the same pattern as his tie. Jimin is sitting next to him and they are both wearing their wedding bands on their fingers, but it's not like none of them had ever worn couple jewelry before.

“We don't know yet whether we want to continue as a group,” Namjoon tells the attentive show hosts. “All of us have very different careers by this point and different plans for life. All we know is that it's good to be back together.”

They all hum in agreement, Hoseok grinning broadly, Taehyung squeezing a hand around Jimin's knee.

“You've been around for so long and circled through so many different styles – with great success!“ the female host is saying. “How will you manage to surprise your fans this time?“

“I don't think everything has to be new and experimental,“ Yoongi replies with a bob of his head. “What I love about this album is that is feels so much like us. The sound may be different but the sentiments are very similar.“

“That being said,“ Namjoon continues, “What we can give away is that the intro track is something we have definitely never done before.“

“Oh?“ The male host lifts his eyebrows, curious. “And what might that be?“

“You'll have to wait and see.“ Namjoon smiles. “Only one more week.“

In truth, their intro Choir is just that, an actual choir, all of them singing acapella, even Yoongi, though he had long resisted the idea. So far, all their intros had been solo tracks. Now they lead together.

“But!“ Jimin cuts in. “This time, Jin-hyungie directed the entire MV.“

At that, everyone gets excited again, applauding Seokjin who manages to look both abashed and vain at the same time, fanning himself a little and then giving a little laugh.

“I had a lot of fun,“ he says. “It's very enjoyable to order my dongsaengs around.“

He hadn't done that, really, but the MV had still turned out beautifully, very calm and aesthetically pleasing, with long lingering shots and closeups and warm light. A beautiful opening to an equally beautiful album.

They chat some more, about their dongsaengs at BigHit and their general work outside of Bangtan and then, inevitably, the conversation turns toward their private lives.

“Surely,” the woman asks, “By now you've had the chance to date?”

It's an expected question, really, because everyone knows it's something they are allowed to answer openly, if they so wish. It's also quite obvious that the host is subtly avoiding to mention that Jimin and Yoongi are involved.

“Well,” Hoseok says, fidgeting slightly. “I'm seeing someone. But the rest is a secret.”

And he gives a cutesy wink.

No surprise there. From what little Yoongi had seen of Ki so far, they were an outgoing person, but also private. Dating an idol was already a challenge enough, so they'd probably prefer to not air out the details of their relationship for all the world to hear.

“What about you, Jin?” the other host continues, easily picking up on how Hoseok would offer no more juicy details. “You and Moon Chun-Hei confirmed your relationship back in January. How serious is it?”

“Ah.” Seokjin gives a shy smile. “Very serious.”

“Oh?” The host leans forward in his chair. “Will you be the first member of Bangtan to make a wife happy?”

The phrasing of the question happens to be just specific enough that Seokjin doesn't even have to lie.

“Yes,” he says, very resolutely not glancing over at Jimin and Yoongi. “I guess I will.”

The internet will have a meltdown over this, Yoongi knows, because Kim Seokjin, Grand Bell Award winner, World Wide Handsome and visual of BigHit's BTS had just casually confirmed his engagement to fellow actress Moon Chun-Hei on live TV.

After that, the conversation circles back to their music. Namjoon speaks about how gratifying it is to tailor songs to people he truly knows, Hoseok hints that he might soon have enough tracks for another mixtape, and Jungkook gets shy and silent when everyone nags him about the songs they all know he has been writing but jealously guarding for some reason.

“Let him be,“ Jimin scolds them. “If he isn't ready yet-“

“He'll never be ready if he doesn't just give it a try,“ Yoongi insists. As Velcro, Taehyung and Jungkook had primarily performed cover songs, and he had never understood why.

“Well, you're one to talk,“ Jimin tuts. “Remember how long it took you to make good of your promise and write a song for me?“

Everyone snickers at that, and Yoongi opens and closes his mouth a couple of times, because he can't come up with a good rebuttal.

“Min Jimin,” he finally huffs in exasperation. “You are a menace.”

A hush and, slightly belated, Yoongi realizes what he has just said.

“Uh,“ he says, staring into Jimin's wide eyes, but it's Namjoon who saves them.

“Thanks to Yoongi-hyung and Jiminie's collaboration, we actually got a lot of new fans,“ he tells the hosts, smoothly moving on as though Yoongi had not just accidentally revealed that Jimin suddenly shared his family name.

“After Birds in the Snow came out, our old albums had a surge of downloads and sales, and our MVs broke some YouTube records,“ Namjoon says, his pleasant tone daring the hosts to try and derail the conversation.

“A Bangtan Renaissance,“ Taehyung adds helpfully. “Rising from the ashes.“

Yoongi rubs a wrist over the phoenix on his chest.

 

“Well,” Taehyung says as they all climb into the van. “That was probably the most sensational interview of the year.”

“BTS comeback, Jin engaged to fellow actress, two male idols married,” Jungkook counts off his fingers. “Yup, sounds pretty spectacular.”

“Were you just trying to steal the show?” Seokjin moans tragically, slapping Yoongi's shoulder. “For once, I had the spotlight, but then you go and have to drop the bomb like that.”

“Yoongi-hyung is a secret attention whore,” Hoseok muses.

“It was an accident,” Yoongi insists, petulantly crossing his arms in front of his chest, but Jimin merely giggles next to him.

“We should probably release an official statement about it,” Namjoon decides. “Nothing major, if you don't want it. Just that you got married in the US. Though people will no doubt want to hear our stance on marriage equality now.”

They all roll their eyes. It's not as though they hadn't made their opinion on that clear way before any of them even seriously considered their sexuality.

“I have a better idea,” Jimin says and hands Taehyung his phone before grabbing Yoongi's hand, tangling their fingers. “Take a picture, Tae.”

“Well, that works, too,” Namjoon mutters but does not object, instead leaning out of the light so that Taehyung can take a decent photo.

“What filter?” Taehyung asks, with Hoseok and Jungkook peering over his shoulder.

“Something grayscale,” Jungkook urges him. “Makes it look more classy.”

“Oooh.“ Hoseok grins. “Wonder how many followers that's gonna get us.”

“Our marriage is not a marketing gimmick,” Yoongi huffs, pulling Jimin closer so he can nuzzle his neck.

Jimin chuckles.

“Of course not, Yoongi-yah,” he agrees. “But it also won't do any harm.”

What a wild thought. That they could casually confirm their wedded bliss via a tweet and feel secure in the knowledge that it wouldn't risk their careers. Somehow, Yoongi still cannot believe that this is actually his life.

“What should I write?” Taehyung asks after he has finally chosen a suitable filter.

“Gimme, I want to do that,” Jimin demands and plucks the phone from his hands, quickly typing something.

“There,” he says with a satisfied smile. “That should do the job.”

He hits enter.


 

 

Chapter Text

When Jimin and Yoongi arrive at BigHit in the morning, the rest of the hyung line is already there. Namjoon is standing by the counter in the lobby, chatting with the receptionist, while Hoseok is munching on a banana, reading something on his phone. Seokjin is next to him, looking exceptionally stylish and sipping from a travel mug, and Yoongi wonders whether Chun-Hei is responsible for the recent improvement of Jin's wardrobe.

They all greet each other and then wait around for a few more minutes until Taehyung and Jungkook show up as well. Hoseok fusses when he finds out they haven't had breakfast yet and begins pulling Tupperware containers out of his backpack and making them eat some apple slices and grapes.

“Vitamins are important,” he chides them. “You need your strength for the comeback.”

They all snicker to themselves, because it's not like the two youngest look as though they hadn't been fed well in the army, and then they make their way into the elevator and up to the third floor.

To their surprise, however, someone is already waiting there, casually leaning against the wall outside their dance practice room.

Tran Bo-Seon has her arms crossed in front of her chest, wearing Capri shorts and some awful threadbare sweater vest. She's still sporting a blond bob, but it's cropped short on the side of her head, slowly growing out the sidecut from Au Revoir's last comeback.

“Yah, oppa,” she greets Yoongi with a cocky wink. “Can I talk to you for a sec?”

Two years ago, that would have fit in perfectly with their alleged little love story. But Yoongi is married to Jimin, and everybody knows it, so this has to be something a little more personal.

Yoongi sends a look at Namjoon who shrugs.

“It's okay, hyung,” Hoseok says, nudging him. “We'll get started on the warm-up. Join us whenever.”

Yoongi brushes his knuckles against Jimin's, and then he waves Bo along to go find a place to talk privately. There's an unlocked conference room and Yoongi pushes inside, holds the door open for Bo. She's got her hands in her pockets, her head ducked as she walks, watching the toes of her sneakers, before she throws herself down in one of the large comfortable swivel chairs. The momentum sends her skidding back and she digs her heels into the carpet to stop.

Yoongi sits down as well, props his chin up on his hand and waits.

“You're gay,” Bo says at length and Yoongi grunts.

“Kinda,” he says, not feeling like giving an in-depth explanation.

“Yeah, I watched your vlog or whatever,” she says, impatiently shaking her head. “Can't say I'm surprised.”

Yoongi grunts again. It wouldn't have been the first time other people mistook him as simply gay, even before he had started to figure himself out. To many, he simply read as different , but no one bothered to wonder whether it was maybe a little more complex than that.

“But seriously,” she continues. “Married? Isn't that going a little overboard?”

Yoongi shrugs. “I'm an all-or-nothing kinda guy.”

Bo just snorts but drags her chair closer to the table, so she can drum her fingers against it in a quick, melodious rhythm. It's unfamiliar but, vaguely, Yoongi wonders whether it's a song she has been writing.

To be honest, Yoongi had always liked her, probably would have liked her even more if he hadn't been made to date her. Bo-Seon was headstrong and spunky and always had to have the last word. She loved Pokémon and, at home, she had an entire room full of collectibles. She had gained his respect when, upon being introduced by her manager so they could get this harebrained scheme going, she immediately asked whether he could mentor her during their fake dates.

She didn't do nervous, so Yoongi has to wonder why everything about her now broadcasts just how on edge she is.

He doesn't have to ask, though. She never dealt well with silence, not chatty in the way Jimin and Hoseok often were, but uncomfortable to let it simmer for too long. Finally, she breaks.

“I'm gonna come out,” she says with a tight nod to herself. “The members encouraged me to do it, and our manager supports it, and pd-nim said it'd be okay with him.”

Ah. That is a bit unexpected. Yoongi licks his lips, contemplates the drawn expression around her eyes.

“And you?” he asks because that is not the face of someone who is ecstatic about having a wish fulfilled.

A tremble goes through Bo, starting in her shoulders and going all the way down to her fingertips.

“I'm so fucking scared,” she says and then she is crying.

She keeps her palms flat on the tabletop but her neck bends until her forehead is pressed against the cool plastic as well, until her hair obscures her face and Yoongi can only hear her poorly stifled sobs.

He bites the inside of his cheek and looks over at the wall. Much like him, Bo had never taken well to being mollycoddled. She allowed physical contact when she initiated it but, in moments of weakness, it only shook her apart. Underneath the table, he stretches out a leg so his shoe touches her bare ankle.

It takes a few moments for her to calm down again, but then she wipes her wrists underneath her eyes and gives a spiteful sniff as though that would pull the tears back in.

“Ugh,” she says, disdainfully, and Yoongi grins a little.

“What brought this on?” he asks, though he can pretty damn well guess what it was. Headlines of his and Jimin's marriage had been all over the news, especially after BigHit had released a curt statement explaining the legal circumstances of their wedding in the States. People were examining what little was known about Jimin's relationship with Adeku, and analyzing old photos of Bo and Yoongi out on their fake dates, trying to wrap their heads around the concept of bisexuality. But that also meant that Bo was once more put under scrutiny as well.

“They all think it's so easy,” she says, probably in reference to her members' support. “They think just because it worked for some people, it's gonna work for all of us. That, if it blows up in our faces, it's not gonna feel like my fault.”

Is this how Jimin had once felt, stuck between a rock and a hard place, either option equally as unappealing, even if for very different reasons.

Fight, flight or freeze. Jimin, Yoongi knows, had run, even if he had finally returned. But Bo's situation is different; easier - and yet more difficult in some regards.

Her group members and managers know she is a lesbian, but her family does not. She had mentioned, offhandedly, how her father had one slapped her when he caught her watching some American Indie movie with a gay sex scene. She had mentioned how, disregarding her career, her happiness, her identity, she did not want to risk losing contact to her little brother.

Things that had seemed impossible five years ago, are now a reality. And although their company and even her fan base might support her, life is always more intricate than that. A lie might sit more comfortably than facing the rejection on one individual.

Yoongi rubs a hand over his face.

“I can't help you with that,” he tells her. “I did it because- I had Jimin. When it all began to matter, it was because I had Jimin. Are you seeing anyone?”

Bo-Seon shakes her head. “Nothing serious,” she admits.

“Do you have a crush on one of your members?”

“What?” she pulls a face. “Ew, no. Honestly, once you've had to clean someone's shit stains from the toilet, they kinda lose all appeal.”

At that, Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“Then you should never get married,” he tells her wisely and she looks a little put out by that.

“Fact is,” he continues, “That no one can make this decision for you. You just... have to weigh the pros and cons. Maybe take some more time. Talk to your friends and make them understand. There's no deadline for coming out.”

“Huh,” she says and nods.

It's strange to think that, within the span of one year, Yoongi has somehow become an expert on queer issues, but he guesses it has its upsides, considering that Bo is looking much steadier than before.

For a few moments, they sit in silence, just letting everything sink in. Then Bo-Seon, as always, has to push forward.

“So,” she says, fingers chipping away at her neon pink nail polish. “I kinda wrote a song.”

“Yeah?” Yoongi asks because he can guess where this is going.

“Yeah,” she says and glances up at him, a challenge in her eyes. “You gonna help me produce it?”

 

“Everything okay?” Jimin asks when Yoongi gets back. The others are halfway through their warmup and Yoongi doesn’t waste any time before joining them.

“Yeah,” he says, chucking his hoodie aside. “Just a minor emotional crisis.”

Jimin looks worried. He’s never formally been introduced to Bo but Yoongi had still told him about how his relationship with her had all been for show. And why.

“This is our fault, isn’t it?” he asks, always too perceptive for his own good, and Yoongi sends him a sharp look, the effect of which is slightly diminished by how he is doing squats.

“Bullshit,” he says bluntly. “Don’t start thinking that.”

Yet Jimin still seems conflicted.

There were always going to be consequences, in one way or the other. They had known that when they got together, and they had known it when they got married. They had the relative safety of their fame cushioning them from something more severe, but the same could not be said for Bo and Au Revoir - a scandal could be detrimental at this point of their career.

Kpop is not a kind industry. Behind all the glamour and the sweet smiles, there was a lot of competition, of ruthlessness, of just barely muddling through. It made you stronger, in some regards, and more tender in others.

“Hey,” Yoongi says, offering an encouraging smile. Because that’s part of the deal, too, both of their marriage and of being Bangtan. “It’ll be fine.”

For another moment, Jimin’s lips are still pinched, the corners drooping slightly. Then he sighs and the tension seeps out of his shoulders.

“Alright,” he says and helps Yoongi with the rest of his stretches.


 

 01 Intro: Choir (Delphinium)

 

 

 

 

 

Suga is singing and it actually sounds good! Pigs will fly and Republicans will see reason

    Shhh, he always sang well, he's just super shy about it

        Jimin probably rewarded him nicely :)))

I know Kookie doesn't like being called oppa but – Sweet baby Jesus, oppa, take me now!

    Well, rumor has it he was quite, ahem, liberal during is Velcro days

        Some sasaeng published pics of him making out with a girl at a club

            wtf do you expect him to stay celibate?

                No, but I bet it made Tae sad :(

All of rap line singing – I HAVE BEEN BLESSED

    When will your fave?

        Fingers crossed for vocal line getting to rap on the album <3

            XD I still can't take Chimchim's rap seriously. He's just too cute

That song is so good. So fucking good. Like. People used to say that none of them could sing. And here they are, perfectly harmonizing, no instruments, no autotune, nothing. #LEGENDS

    They said the entire album is self-produced. That means all of what we'll get to hear is 100% them. Most idols just recycle handmedowns from the West. They already got album of the year before they even decided to write this song.

They've been through so much together. And it's all there in this song. Like, yeah, there are the allusions to their other albums and stuff but. It's also so much more.

    This really reminds me of Sea, it's so nostalgic and melancholic yet hopeful

        I love them so much :(

I don't wanna be greedy but... omg, I hope they stay together after this. I hope we'll have them for another 13 years

    Amen


 

 

After the fun part of comeback - that is the writing and producing- is over and done with, the truly harrowing period begins. Because, this time, they don't only have to obsessively rehearse their new songs but their old ones as well.

It's an endless string of running through choreographies, going to singing practice, spending spare hours at the gym, going through vocal warm-ups and trying to harmonize, getting their measurements taken, their diets adjusted, taking selcas and teasing things on Twitter.

It's grueling to get back into the habit so suddenly, especially since Yoongi's life had been so relaxing, but he finds that he revels in it. He misses his sleep, yes, particularly since more sleep would entail more time spent lying next to Jimin, but he likes the burn in his thighs as his body is taken to its limits, finds himself amazed at how well he has retained the physical memory, even though his muscles still disagree.

They are at dance practice and Jungkook is running around with a camera, filming material for a Bangtan Bomb which mostly involves taking closeups of Seokjin's and Taehyung's backs, remarking upon how sweaty they are and zooming in on where their shirts stick to their skin. ARMY would appreciate it, doubtlessly, but Yoongi is more concerned with how he keeps messing up his step sequence in I Need U .

“Yoongi-yah,“ Jimin admonishes as he watches him with critical eyes. “We've been over this before, remember?”

And he smoothly flies through the moves, going down on one knee and giving an utterly sinful body roll.

“Like sex,“ Jimin says, quiet enough that no one else will catch it, but so saucy that Yoongi cannot help but feel a little flustered and- oh. He remembers. He remembers, quite vividly, how upon his first week in New York, they had ended up going through that particular choreography with Jimin giving that particular instruction.

This time around, though, Yoongi knows how to fight back.

“How?“ he asks, doing his best impression of an old man doing the hula. “Like this?”

“No,“ Jimin says in a tone that suggests he knows what Yoongi is trying to achieve, and then he comes to stand behind Yoongi, aligning their hips and undulating slowly. “Like this.“

Yoongi hums, leaning back a little, emulating the move with just enough delay that his ass keeps dragging across Jimin's crotch.

“Yah,“ Jimin complains, sighing against the nape of his neck. “We're in public.“

“You started it,“ Yoongi huffs and turns around so he can face Jimin. Facing Jimin quickly turns into kissing Jimin and hooking a finger into the waistband of Jimin's track pants and then swallowing Jimin's laughter as he begins to giggle.

“What?“ Yoongi demands because he'd like to keep going but Jimin is making it rather difficult.

“Jungkookie is filming us,“ Jimin says against his lips.

“That idiot,“ Yoongi mutters, barely resisting the urge to glare over at their maknae. “Not like it's gonna make the cut anyway.“

“Hmm, I don't know,“ Jimin muses. “Think Korea is ready for some tongue action?“

“I don't know about Korea, but I sure am,“ Yoongi says and leans back in, even as Namjoon starts yelling something about can we please keep it PG, oh my God, we haven't really done fan service since our first year, Kook, turn off the camera and, Jiminie, get your hands off his ass, I'm calling off the entire comeback if-

 


 

THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING I CAN'T BREATHE

    I was so upset when they broke up, I honestly cried for days. Now I'm just crying tears of joy

        will they do just this album or will they continue to work together??

            I better fcking hope so, I cannot take another breakup T__T

IT'S BEEN 84 YEARS

    finally a kpop comeback that's an actual comeback

Delphinium/larkspur symbolizes youth, dignity and ardent attachment, this is so fitting <3

their main track is called old friends i'm crying y'all

    track 5 is called footprints, more like kick me in the heart why don't you

can we talk about how they all had their own careers? They had something good going, but they still decided to get back together. I'm so glad I'm here to witness this

        let's break all the records!!

            I think if I say 'BTS' one more time my mom is gonna bitch slap me

they are all in their late 20s/early 30s now, but they look like they haven't aged a day??

    they do look more mature, though. Especially suga

        that's just the tattoos fooling you

Hobi is going steady, Jin is engaged, yoonmin are fucking MARRIED. Meanwhile, I'm just dead.

    our boys are all grown up

        Not just our boys - I've been an Army from day 1. I was 16 back then, I'm 29 now. I have two daughters and I'm already introducing them to BTS' music. I cannot even describe what this means to me. They have pretty much been with me for half of my life and I don't know what I'd do without them

        Mood

 

Chapter Text

 

There are seven billion people in the world

But not in mine, no, not in mine

 

It's early when they make their way to the set, a large warehouse they had used for previous productions. The sun is just peeking past the horizon and Yoongi really could do with another coffee but decides to wait after the stylists have had their way with him.

Tomorrow, they would film the choreography, but for now they'd start off with the group scenes. Luckily, there would be nothing that could be considered too strenuous, but experience had shown that there was always something that went wrong and delayed their schedule. Technical problems, wardrobe mishaps, missing props all devoured precious minutes of an already hectic day.

It's early enough that it's still cool outside, so Yoongi huddles into his cardigan as they file out of the van and toward the warehouse. Inside, it would be even colder, only to be unpleasantly warm once the spotlights were upon them.

Namjoon is saying something to their manager who frowns as he listens but then nods and moves up ahead, briskly walking toward the warehouse, while Namjoon himself stops and turns toward the rest of the group. As one, they come to a halt, expectantly looking at him.

“Something the matter?“ Yoongi asks, cocking an eyebrow and Namjoon takes a deep breath before he speaks.

“I just want to say how grateful I am to do this with you.”

It should be a big moment between asphalt and concrete and the open sky because Namjoon has always had a flair for grand gestures.

“He says after all the blackmail and cajoling it took to convince him,“ Seokjin tags on with a roll of his eyes, striding forward and clapping Namjoon on the shoulder. “Don't go all sentimental on us now.“

“But-“ Namjoon tries. “I really mean it.“

“We know, hyung,“ Jimin assures him. “And we appreciate it.“

“Well, I for one think he's being too sappy,“ Jungkook quips, earning himself a cuff over the ear when Namjoon makes a swipe at him.

A scuffle ensues, with Jungkook running off to escape punishment, Hoseok shouting after him to be careful because his shoelaces are untied, and Yoongi sees Namjoon sigh and run a hand through his messy hair, dyed a rich teal just the day before.

“Hey,“ Yoongi says quietly, sidling up to him. “Bear with them. They're just nervous and excited.“

“I know that feeling,“ Namjoon notes, pursing his lips and rubbing his wrists. Yoongi eyes him thoughtfully until Namjoon catches him staring and gives a lopsided smile.

“Can you believe we're still here?” he asks and it's not doubt, not even disbelief, just honest curiosity. “I thought I had gotten used to it, but now it feels like a dream all over again.“

“It all started with you,” Yoongi remembers because, if Bang pd hadn't seen the potential in one Kim Namjoon, they never would have gotten their chance.

“Nah.” Namjoon shakes his head. “This was always bigger than any one of us.“

“A small step for humanity, but a big step for Bangtan,” Yoongi deadpans, before nudging his elbow into Namjoon's side. “You're not getting cold feet, are you?“

But Namjoon only smiles, less guarded than before.

“Let's do this,” he says and, together, they walk ahead.

 

The end of every journey is the start of something new

And behind every cloud, no doubt the sky is still blue

You just gotta wait sometimes, you gotta wait for winds to come

And with a friend by your side, your road will never be too long

 

For the MV of their main track, Seokjin and Jungkook end up sharing directing duties. It's a bit of a mess at first because while Jungkook's vision is more experimental and dynamic, Seokjin actually knows how the fuck things are supposed to work on a proper set.

They easily fall back into bickering with each other, the camera team watching everything with mild exasperation but still adhering to their judgment. Yoongi just listens and grins to himself.

The two are putting their heads together, Seokjin in platinum and Jungkook in ash blond, both tall and broad-shouldered and handsome. They could be brothers, really, but it has little to do with their looks.

“How do you know all this?“ Jungkook gripes when Seokjin points to their script and predicts that a particular camera angle would feel dissonant from the rest of the video.

“I studied acting, in case you forgot,“ Seokjin tuts. “And I took several directing classes.“

“Why?“ Jungkook frowns. “You never mentioned that before.“

“Because, at some point, we'll have to make way for younger generations,“ Seokjin explains. “I'm in my mid-thirties and no longer considered the prime choice for most roles. We have to adapt.“

“You are literally going back to being an idol, hyung,“ Jungkook reminds him and Seokjin hums, doesn't chide him for being a smart-aleck.

“I'm also going to be a husband,“ he says. “And, hopefully, a father. I am glad to do this again, however long it lasts, but I also have my family to consider. Yoongi and Jiminie have it easier; I can't just take Chun-Hei on tour with me.“

Easier is, of course, relative. The news of Chun-Hei and Seokjin's engagement had been readily welcomed by the public, while Jimin and Yoongi still got side-eyed quite hard whenever they referred to their relationship a little too candidly.

For a long moment, Jungkook is silent.

“You haven't been dating for long,“ he says at length. “I mean, Jimin-ah and Yoongi-hyung got hitched after only a couple of months, but they'd known each other for so ages. How do you know that things will work out with her?“

“I don't,“ Seokjin admits easily. “No one ever does – she more than most, probably. Her parents had a really bad marriage and only got divorced when she was already a teenager. Her mother remarried, but she's not on speaking terms with her father, and I thought – after all that – she might be reluctant to consider marriage for herself. But she's not. Instead, she wants to do better.“

At that, Jungkook frowns. “How can you 'do better' in a relationship?“

“By putting effort into it,“ Seokjin tells him. “It's not a competition but partner work. That's why Bangtan worked. Namjoon's our leader, but he's not our boss. We all support and strengthen each other.“

“Are you saying we're all married, hyung?“ Jungkook mocks, his tone much lighter than before.

“No, you're adopted,“ Seokjin replies without missing a beat. Then he grins. “But we're a family.“

 

Am I too young to be a legend, too old to be a star?

But suns that burn out quickly are not seen from afar

This is the age of heroes and the Odyssey must end

So where are you now, where are you now,

Where are you now, my friend?

 

After the scenes they could film inside the warehouse are done, they take a longer break, sprawling on the couch and stuffing catering in their mouth, careful not to stain their clothes.

They'd do the solo scenes next, the ones that would make up the MV's exposé, but for that they'll have to drive to different locations.

“Um,“ Jimin begins, when most of them have finished eating and only Jin is still going strong. “I've been thinking.“

“Don't do that, jagiya, you'll only hurt yourself,“ Yoongi coos reflexively, only to double over in pain when it earns him an elbow to the gut.

“I realized that I never properly apologized,“ Jimin continues, not even sparing Yoongi a glance. “For just bailing on you. Without even giving an explanation.“

“You didn't bail on us, Jiminie,“ Namjoon says, leaning forward to better look at him. “You had your reasons, and you don't owe us anything.“

Hoseok is vigorously nodding his agreement, but Jimin still looks conflicted, nervously toying with his chopsticks.

“But,“ he says, small-voiced. “I know you were worried for me. And whenever you asked, I rebuffed you.“

With those words, he sends a look over at Taehyung who seems surprised, but then he reaches out a hand to place it on Jimin's knee.

“All that matters,“ he says, “Is that you are back. And that it makes you happy.“

For a moment, it looks as though Jimin might still object, might flagellate himself and try to make up for his mistakes, but then he just squeezes Taehyung's fingers and nods.

 

Where are you now, my friend?

I think I've reached the end of where I meant to go

and where I wanna be if you're not there with me

to share my road

Where is my home?

 

Their choreography is killer because Jimin and Hoseok don't fuck around when it comes to dancing. Now that Hoseok has also been an actual choreographer and dance instructor, he is also ten times harder on them than he used to be.

”My knees say no,“ Namjoon groans somewhere in the background. Two years after his service has ended and with no reason to keep up with a regular training regimen, he is the one who has been suffering the most since they started getting in shape again.

“Alright,“ Seokjin relents after a quick exchange with Hoseok, clapping his hands to get everyone's attention. “Let's take a ten minute break.“

“Oh thank God,“ Namjoon wheezes and promptly drops to the ground. Yoongi has a little more dignity and energy left and at least makes it to one of the folding chairs before he sinks down. He lets his head tilt back, breathing heavily.

When a shadow falls on him, he expects it to be one of the stylists wanting to wipe the sweat off of him. Instead, it turns out to be Hoseok who hands him a water bottle and then sits down in the chair next to him.

”Thanks,“ Yoongi says with a small nod. His damp palms fight with the lid of the bottle but, when he gets it open, he takes a big satisfying gulp. He already dreads how exhausting comeback week will be. It'd be worth it, though, that much he knows.

For a few moments, they sit in silence, watching as Namjoon eventually picks himself off the ground and wanders off. The maknaes are fooling around with the coordi noonas, as energetic as ever.

“I thought about this, you know,“ Hoseok says suddenly and Yoongi blinks, trying to make sense of what he means.

“This,“ Hoseok repeats, waving his hands at the scene laid out in front of them – the set, the costumes, the staff. Bangtan all in one place.

“Oh,“ Yoongi says and nothing else. They'd all admitted to having felt at least slightly bereft after their breakup, which was only natural. But Hoseok is the only one who openly acknowledged that he had actually been hoping for their reunion.

“It was kinda hard for me, especially in the beginning,“ Hoseok explains. “You and Jiminie and Jinnie-hyung were all off in the army, and Jungkookie and Taetae were touring together, and Namjoon-ah was so busy at BigHit. I felt kinda... forgotten. Kinda lonely. None of my music felt right.“

“I had no idea,“ Yoongi admits, feeling miserable. Back then, he had been so very focused on his own problems that the rest of the world had mostly been a blur to him.

“It wasn't that bad,“ Hoseok waves him off and the 'not as bad as you' goes unsaid. “I just didn't much enjoy performing on my own. I was always more of a dancer.“

“Your first mixtape broke a bunch of records,“ Yoongi reminds him pointedly. “ Our records.“

“Sure, but,“ Hoseok pulls a face. “I really missed the whole kpop deal. The aegyo, the game shows, the fansigns... I actually liked doing all of that. As long as you guys were there.“

“Well,“ Yoongi offers, trying to look at the bright side. “Here we are.“

“Can't argue with that,“ Hoseok laughs and takes a swig of his water.

 

'Home is where the heart is,' they just say that without care

But my heart is in pieces when my friends are not there

'Grow up,' they say, 'That life can't last;

You won't ever move forward with your head stuck in the past'

But I am done with all my failures,

I am done with fear and doubt

I got my sights set on forever

A little dreaming is allowed

 

Finally, the day is over. The crew has already begun to gather up their equipment, and their manager had called for their driver.

“Yah,“ Yoongi says, lightly kicking at Taehyung who is half-dead on the couch. “Don't fall asleep now.”

“Hyung,“ Taehyung mutters, the corners of his mouth pulling down. He pushes himself up anyway, rubs at his eyes. His hair is mussed up and it makes him look like a little child. Idly, Yoongi wonders whether that would ever change.

“You visiting your folks tomorrow?“ he asks, watching as Taehyung yawns. They'd have the day off, a short reprieve before comeback hell truly unleashes its fire. Yoongi and Jimin had opted to stay in town and get settled into their new apartment, but Taehyung and Jungkook had announced that they'd take a quick trip to see their families.

“Yeah.“ Taehyung nods. “They thought that, after my service, I'd be home more often. I think my mother was a bit upset when I told them of our Bangtan revival.“

“Cannot blame her,“ Yoongi muses, letting himself sink down next to Taehyung; they still had a few minutes before their ride. “You were just a kid when you left home.“

Taehyung hums pensively. His eyes are hooded but he does seem more awake.

“She hated me being in the military, too,“ he says suddenly. “She has a friend whose son died while he was serving.“

Yoongi swallows. It wasn't rare for young men to resort to suicide to escape the strict hierarchies of the army. It also wasn't rare for some to pass away under mysterious circumstances, without the authorities ever offering proper explanations.

“Where was he stationed?“ Yoongi asks now and Taehyung's gaze drops down.

“Incheon,“ he says, and Yoongi's jaw clenches.

Both he and Taehyung had been stationed at Incheon and the circumstances had been less than ideal, the barracks overcrowded, the atmosphere tense.

“Was Captain Nam still there?“ Yoongi asks and Taehyung pulls a face.

“Of fucking course he was,“ he mutters, wiping a hand over his mouth as though to get rid of a bitter taste.

“Asshole,“ Yoongi says with emphasis. Taehyung snorts.

“Asshole,“ he echoes.

“I once wrote a drag rap about him,“ Yoongi chuckles. It all feels very far away, but he still remembers how awful it had been. “I performed it for my unit, but someone snitched on me. Had to clean the toilets for a fucking month.“

“And here I thought he just hated my guts for no reason.“ Taehyung sighs. “I bet he was still pissed at you.“

“Probably,“ Yoongi agrees. “But he also just hated idols. Kept calling us lazy shits.“

“He kept going off on a friend of mine,“ Taehyung says and, this time, he looks angry. “One time, I almost punched him.“

At that, Yoongi's eyebrows lift in surprise. Captain Nam had been a certified bastard alright, but to think that he'd make even Taehyung want to resort to violence was saying something.

“You got through it, though,“ Yoongi points out because that's what's important. That's what he had told himself again and again, when he was finally done with it all.

“Ah,“ Taehyung says, his eyes rising up to the high ceiling. “I guess I did.“

He's still feeling unsettled, and Yoongi can tell as much. Taehyung's service had only ended three months ago – roughly the same time that Yoongi's own mind had taken a nosedive. He knows better than to just let it slide.

Without hesitation, he holds out his left arm and rolls up his sleeve, revealing skin dark with ink.

“You know who that is?“ he asks, pointing at the magpie.

“Uh, a bird?“ Taehyung tries, his eyes narrowed, probably wondering where this is going.

“That's you,“ Yoongi explains, rubbing his thumb over the gleaming feathers. “That's all of you.“

“Huh?“

Yoongi licks his lips.

“Jiminie, Hobi, Joon-ah – I always carry all of you with me,“ he says. “I like having the reminder.“

Taehyung, however, hesitates.

“Are you saying I should get a tattoo or...?“

“No,“ Yoongi sighs, fumbles with his words. “Just... count your blessings. Don't focus so much on what's missing but on what you have.“

For a moment, Taehyung seems to think it over. Then the tension seeps from his shoulders.

“Jiminie loved you for a really long time,“ he says, apropos of nothing, but Yoongi just rolls with it.

“Yeah,“ he says, ghosting a look over the ring on his finger. “I guess he did.“

“He left, though,“ Taehyung continues. “He left and tried to forget about you. But he was still waiting, when you came around. Why?“

“You'll have to ask him that,“ Yoongi says because, most days, he still cannot fathom how Jimin had carried a torch for him for so long. “But I think he loves me differently from how he did back then. He's a different person and I'm a different person, too. This time around, we fit.“

“Huh,“ Taehyung says, letting those words sink in. Yoongi expects more questions, more prodding, because that's just what Taehyung does but, instead, the silence drags on, until it grows more comfortable.

When it's time to go, Taehyung seems at ease.

 

I'm ready for the good things now, I am here for something more

'cause I was born to be a singer and this is my encore

I've waited long enough, I think, I have no more time to spare

And if I'm at a crossroads, then I know that you'll be there

 

The week before the MV drop is made all the more hectic by the fact that Yoongi and Jimin move into their new apartment in Gangnam together. It's a bit smaller than the loft in Nolita, but it is nicely situated, close to where Seokjin lives, though he and Chun-Hei haven't yet decided whether they want to stay there once they are actually married.

Jimin and Yoongi, however, have none of these holdups.

So Jimin picks out wallpaper and paint and curtains and furniture and kitchen appliances, and Yoongi nods and agrees, because he honestly doesn't give a fuck about interior design when he knows that Jimin will be sleeping naked between silken sheets and Yoongi will be there with him.

He wouldn't say that, as long as they are together, he'd be happy living under a bridge, but it's a close thing.

Mochi, spoiled princess that she is, only turns her nose up at her new litter box and the luxurious four poster kitty bed, and instead proceeds to curl up in one of the empty carton boxes. She'd warm up to the new place soon enough, though, just as she had to Yoongi's old apartment.

“Looking pretty good, huh?“ Jimin asks, wiping the sweat off his brow as he straightens up from putting the last of his books onto the shelf. The sun is beating down through the large windows and they hadn't bothered to turn on the A/C. He's only wearing boxer shorts and his damp t-shirt clings to his chest and the small of his back.

“Yeah,“ Yoongi says, letting his eyes roam freely. “Looks fucking perfect.“

Jimin startles a little at the huskiness in his voice but, when he looks over and sees Yoongi's expression, he immediately looks quietly pleased.

“Yoongi-yah,“ he says slyly, biting at his lower lip with a coquettish look from underneath his lashes. “Wanna christen the bedroom?“

They don't make it to the bedroom. Instead, they fuck right there on the sun-warm floorboards, with Jimin sitting in Yoongi's lap and riding him with single-minded determination, as though he has a point to prove or time to lose or a kind of hunger that keeps driving him forward.

So Yoongi meets him halfway, closes his hands around Jimin's hips and helps him along, flicks the barbell of his tongue piercing against Jimin's pink nipple as Jimin keens his name.

Jimin laughs when he comes, his head thrown back, his arms locked behind Yoongi's neck, and Yoongi hides his face against Jimin's collarbone. Jimin's back is hot from the sun, and the sweat and cum between their bellies is uncomfortable enough that they separate quickly, using their shirts to wipe up the mess and then just lying down next to each other, eyes squinted shut against the light, like a pauper's summer vacation.

In the pocket of Yoongi's discarded shorts, his phone rings. He groans but reaches for it anyway because it might be something important regarding their comeback and he knows better than to ignore their managers.

Instead, however, it is Namjoon's name that flashes up at him from the screen and, with a vague sense of deja vu, Yoongi finds himself reminded of how, one summer ago, he had called Namjoon and bugged him for someone to produce music with. Funny how that had turned out. It seemed impossible for so much to have happened within the span of just one year. Yoongi has changed so much, he barely recognizes himself, but it's in the best of ways.

“Yeah?” he near rasps when he answers the call, his voice still rough from sex.

“Why are you so out of breath?” Namjoon wants to know and Yoongi takes a second to gather himself.

“You don't wanna know,” he says and there is a long moment of silence.

“You're right, I didn't want to know, but thanks for cluing me in with that,” Namjoon tells him sarcastically. Yoongi only rolls his eyes.

“What are you calling for?”

“The MV's done,” Namjoon replies. “Wanna come by and watch it?”

“Yeah, we can be there in twenty,” Yoongi replies just as Jimin starts mouthing along his neck again. “Actually,” Yoongi reconsiders, letting his eyes slide shut in bliss. “Make that forty.”

“Oh my God,” Namjoon says and hangs up. Yoongi just tosses his phone aside and reaches for Jimin once more.

 

I don't know what the future brings, tomorrow or today

Pandora's box of awful things or summer all the way?

Maybe a little bit of both, to keep me on my toes

So lead me down this untrod path and I'll see where it goes

And if you're ever lost, my friend

Ensnared in what you fear

I'm with you till the bitter end

I'm here, I'm here, I'm here

 

When Namjoon lets Jimin and Yoongi into his apartment, the others are already seated in front of the large plasma TV that Namjoon has hooked up to his laptop. A camera has been set up to film their reactions to the MV, just as they had used to do, though it doesn't seem to be running yet.

“And the Mins grace us with their presence,” Hoseok hoots when he sees them and then Jin is wheezing out a laugh and Yoongi shoots Namjoon a dark look, knowing that their dear leader must have let everyone know just why they were a little late to join the party.

“Ugh, gross,” Jungkook complains, pinching his nose shut when Jimin sits down next to him on the couch, but Jimin only shoves his elbow into his side.

“We showered ,” he points out because there's no way they still smell of sex.

“Together?” Taehyung asks, wriggling his eyebrows suggestively and Jimin looks like he barely keeps himself from sticking his tongue out at him.

“As a matter of fact,” Yoongi says, climbing onto the sofa so he can sit behind Jimin, legs on either side of him. “We did.”

“Do you want anything to drink?” Namjoon asks over the noise of the commotion and then disappears in the kitchen for a moment to return with two cups of coffee. The shower and the drive here had helped wake Yoongi up from his post-orgasm haze, but he still welcomes the caffeine fix.

“Here,” Taehyung says in that moment, reaching over to hand Jimin something. “The finished product.”

It's their album, the cardboard sleeve golden and emblazoned, reflecting the light as Jimin accepts it. Yoongi cranes his neck a little so he can look over his shoulder, can watch as Jimin trails his fingertips over the name Delphinium and the familiar acronym. BTS.

“Open it,” Yoongi urges and Jimin slips the sleeve off, puts it aside. The album itself is less flashy, whites and muted grays, and Jimin turns it over in his hands to look at the tracklist. There's the photobook as well, though, and Yoongi reaches around Jimin's side to flip it open.

True to the more mature concept they have been going for, they've done away with the rainbow colors and sportswear, instead decked out in blue and white and subtle pink to go with their larkspur color scheme.

At the very end, however, there is one of the group pictures they had taken at the wedding. All of them are wearing suits, carefree smiles on their faces. Jungkook's and Taehyung's hair is still cropped short, and Jimin's and Yoongi's faces are tilted toward each other in what had become a kiss only a few seconds later.

Yoongi had already known that The Wedding Song would be included as a hidden track but he'd been surprised when Jimin had voiced his idea to add this picture as well.

Well , he had tried to explain, Wi thout Bangtan and BigHit we probably never would have met. And without ARMY, we'd never gotten this far. And then we'd never gotten married at all.

And their wedding had been a private event, both the one in New York and the one in Seoul, but Yoongi figures that, after all they had gone through to get here, they could share at least this much with their fans.

“Okay,” Namjoon says in that moment, slapping his palms onto his thighs before standing up from where he had been perching on the armrest of the sofa. “Ready?”

“Ready!” they all chorus, watching in anticipation as he wakes the laptop from sleep mode.

“I'm so excited, I think I'm gonna pee myself,” Hoseok says, positively vibrating on the spot, and Seokjin inches away from him.

“Please don't,” he says flatly.

Namjoon fiddles with the camera to turn it on, before pulling up the video file and then quickly walking backward and sitting down on the sofa, only that he ends up sprawling half on top of Seokjin because he's taking up too much space. A brief elbow struggle ensues but then the BigHit logo fills the screen and a hush falls over the room.

Yet, with them, silence never lasts for long.


 

02 오랜 친구 'Old Friends' (Delphinium)

  

A dark room. Two dozens of TV screens fixed to the wall, the only sight and sound their gray static. Then, one of the screens in the middle stills and the camera slowly zooms in on it, until nothing else is seen. The noise fades away as the scene clears and it is all quiet.

Namjoon sits in a decadent office, all sleek dark wood, as he works on his laptop. There's a track editing program open, but he clicks on a new file and a video pops up, filling the screen. It's of Yoongi, his fingers ghosting over the keys of a white grand piano but never actually making a sound. A closeup of the piano's open cover morphs into a gleaming marble floor where Hoseok is dancing without music. The camera pans up to the gold-painted stucco on the walls, but then transitions to the painted arches of the ceiling in an opulent library. With delicate fingers, Taehyung pulls a leather-bound emblazoned tome from the shelf and flips it open. There's an illustration on the page and the zoom-in on it opens up to Jungkook sitting in the compartment of an old-fashioned train and staring out of the window , which turns into a gold-framed mirror. Seokjin looks at his reflection but turns away, fingers coming up to form a square in front of his face. The real camera follows his imaginary viewfinder, only to land on Jimin who slowly ascends a stairway toward a tessellated window of blossoming trees and iridescence. As though it were a magic portal, Jimin steps through the window and straight into sunlight.

All this happens in the span of seconds, dizzying, dreamlike, before it slows down again.

Jimin, a hand lifted up against the glare, blinks at the clearing spread out in front of him. There, amid ankle high grass and wild larkspur, the others are waiting for him.

They all look at each other, birdsong and wind caught in the leaves above. The music begins and they walk.

In quick snapshots, they walk across the clearing, along a white-sand beach, through a school corridor, through a dance studio, across a stage, down a street, along train tracks, through a forest, never once breaking formation. They cross Abbey Road and Hangang Bridge, Sky Garden and Times Square. They walk through their old sets, the garage from Not Today , the motel from Spring Day , the white room from DNA .

They walk until they ought to be out of breath and with their feet aching and blistered. And when they do not walk, they dance, with wrists bared and hands held high.

There are random bits and pieces of their personal history interwoven with their journey, a close-up on the facial scar Hoseok earned during his service, Taehyung getting distracted by a dragonfly, Seokjin helping Yoongi climb over a fallen tree. But through it all, they stay together.

At the end, the room with the screens once more, rushing through a series of random images before they all begin to settle on specific moments of their lives. Seokjin accepting his Grand Bell Award. Jungkook and Taehyung performing as Velcro. Hoseok instructing Gala. Yoongi and Jimin holding hands during an interview in the US. Namjoon winning a freestyle battle at a big event.

Again, the screens flicker until, finally, they all form one big group shot. The last notes of the song still linger but the screen fades to white...


 

 


 

Chapter Text

It's been a while since Yoongi had gotten the jitters before a concert.

Sure, there was the anxiety at some point, the stage fright and the nerves eating away at him, the stomach aches and nausea, the clammy hands. But this is different.

This is pure electricity in the air, static raising the hairs on his arms. This is rubbing the barbell of his piercing along the roof of his mouth and tasting thunder. This is the calm before the storm and he will stand in the eye of the hurricane. He is its epicenter, its cataclysm, its ground zero. He is a force to be reckoned with.

He drags his eyes through the backstage room, his gaze snagging on random details, thrown into sharp relief by his own excitement. The bones in Seokjin's wrists as he rolls down his shirt sleeves and does up the buttons. The crease of concentration between Namjoon's brows, his lips silently moving along his rap in Fire, loosening his tongue. The roll of Hoseok's shoulders as he shifts through the steps of their Run choreography. Jungkook rolling an iced bottle of water between his hands, spreading the perspiration on his heated skin, while Taehyung's eyes are lifted to the ceiling, staring at something that only he can see.

Their pre-concert vibes didn't use to be like this, Yoongi thinks. There was laughter instead and easy camaraderie, lost shoes and forgotten steps. They all got nervous, sometimes, especially before important performances, but they always managed to draw each other out of it.

Now is different.

They are all hungry animals, wolves thrown back into their pack, and tonight they are on a hunt.

The door opens and Jimin prances in, all sharp lines and soft angles, an almost feverish glint in his gaze. His eyes clear a little when they fall on Yoongi, songbird turned raptor, and then he has already crossed the room.

“It's almost time,” Jimin says, his hands coming up to straighten Yoongi's shirt collar.

“I know,” Yoongi says. Jimin's presence is not calming as such, but steadying. The waves are still there but the ship has been anchored.

“I can't believe we're doing this,” Jimin says, more to himself than anything else. “I can't believe we got this far.”

They couldn't have done it without ARMY, without BigHit, without their families. But, most of all, they couldn't have done it without each other.

And there had been days when Yoongi had questioned becoming an idol, when he had thought that being an underground rapper or an accountant or a fucking taxi driver might have been the better decision after all. But life had led him down this road and he had never regretted it.

Today, they are here, and it is still mind-boggling. Seoul Olympic Stadium seats 70,000 people. The first time they had performed solo here had been the final concert of the 2020 world tour. The last time they stood on a stage together.

It doesn't feel as though no time has passed at all. It's not just another Tuesday. But Yoongi feels certain in the knowledge that he can get back into the habit.

“Alright, everyone,“ a stage assistant calls them to attention and it makes them all perk up quicker than any military drill ever had. “We're ready for you.“

“I think I'm gonna be sick,“ Hoseok mutters under his breath and he does look a little pale around the nose.

Seokjin claps him on the back in silent sympathy, but his eyes search out Namjoon.

“Aren't you going to give us a pep talk?“ he prompts, cocking an eyebrow.

Namjoon gives a crooked grin.

“Gentlemen,“ he says simply. “Ready to write history?“

“Let's kill it,“ Jungkook says with bared teeth. The look on his face speaks of starvation.

Taehyung throws an arm around him, the other fist raised in response.

“Fighting!“ he cheers and they all join in.

They follow the set assistant and make their way under the stage. Here, the noise is much louder, the sound of it incongruent with the staff moving around like ants. It's as though, outside, an unseen giant is raging up a storm. ARMY, Yoongi thinks and tries not to smile as one of the stylists quickly touches up his makeup.

Once she declares him finished, she steps away again. But, suddenly, Jimin is there, pushing himself up on his tiptoes so lean in and sneak a quick kiss from Yoongi, only to duck away again before Yoongi can return it.

“Yah!“ Yoongi calls after him, but Jimin just laughs, dancing back to his mark.

“You can have more later,“ he promises with a singsong, and Yoongi rolls his eyes. Secretly, he wonders whether, from now on, all their concerts would start like this. He wouldn't particularly mind.

Once everyone is in position, the stage director gives a few hand signs and barks some orders into his walkie talkie. Yoongi glances around. He and Taehyung are standing on the platform to the left, while Seokjin, Hoseok and Jimin are farther down on the right. Namjoon and Jungkook, according to their choreography, take centerstage.

The director snaps his fingers and the ground beneath their feet begins to move. Next to Yoongi, Taehyung lets out an audible breath.

Slowly, the podiums climb upward, with Namjoon and Jungkook emerging first, but even from below Yoongi can see the pyro works going off, raining white sparks everywhere. The atmosphere outside is downright frenetic, the welcoming screams deafening before the music has even begun.

Five years after they broke up, they are stepping back onto the stage and Yoongi feels like he belongs.

The lights rise. The crowd cheers.

“Welcome,” Namjoon says as though no time had passed at all. “First time with Bangtan?”

And that's how it continues.


 

 

 


 

 

 

The End.

 

[180309]

 


 

 

 


 

Chapter Text

Due to their military service, BTS have disbanded. Years later, while Jungkook and Taehyung are still serving, the others are pursuing solo careers, though they still  sometimes team up for smaller projects. Jimin has been abroad for a while now, gaining popularity as a model, singer and dancer. He's had some gigs with popular artists, like Halsey and Boy Epic. Yoongi, in the meanwhile, has be performing as Agust D but is looking to branch out. Collaborating with Jimin seems like a good move.

They've never fallen out of touch, of course, but this is the first time they'll be seeing each other in a while and Yoongi is excited.

Jimin is, too. He won't allow for Yoongi to live in a hotel and out of his suitcase for the duration of his stay, so he offers Yoongi the guest room in his penthouse.

“Just like old times, hyung,” he says, except for the fact that they are for once completely alone.

The view across the city is spectacular. Jimin's even got a small dance studio and a hot tub. Yoongi is slightly envious.

So they work on their project together. But Jimin is also showing him around town, introducing him to some friends so Yoongi can get some more practice speaking English. All in moderation, of course, because Jimin knows Yoongi tires easily and prefers working from home.

It's not unusual for them to spent entire days cooped up in the living-room, far above the roofs of the city, right under the stars. There's the music, of course, but sometimes they'll just talk and talk, order bad American takeout and watch even worse American sitcoms.

Photos of them together show up all over the internet. Jimin is a half-familiar face for many Americans, but there are still enough BTS and Agust D fans around to recognize Yoongi, too. To recognize them together.

It's easy to fall into a routine. Easier still because Yoongi has no set time for when to return to Korea. He'll tag along to Jimin's modeling jobs sometimes and it's familiar and slightly nostalgic to watch him work. Jimin still manages to light up entire rooms with a single of his smiles.

“God,” Jimin says when they are vaguely drunk and reminiscing over old times. “I had such a crush on you back then.”

Yoongi nearly chokes on his drink. “You what?”

But Jimin just laughs. “In retrospect, I'm rather happy you never noticed.”

Yoongi is completely flabbergasted but, the more he thinks about it, the more sense it makes. They always had something, didn't they?

“Thank you, hyung,” Jimin tells him the evening after they finish their first recording, when they are standing in the elevator, riding up into the sky.

“I promised I'd write you a song, didn't I?” Yoongi says and Jimin's laugh is radiant.

“You did,” he agrees, pulling his keys from his pocket to unlock the door, “Took you long enough.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees and, when they are inside, pushes a palm against the door so it falls shut with a click. The lights are out and they can barely see each other through the darkness.

“Say, Jimin,” Yoongi says, his voice a little rough, “That crush of yours. Did that ever go away?”

For a moment, Jimin is silent.

“Please don't make fun of my feelings, hyung,” he finally replies, “I can't just turn them off when they become inconvenient.”

“I don't want you to,” Yoongi says and, blind in the dark, reaches for him.

“Oh,” Jimin says, a split second before Yoongi's mouth meets his, curiously precise.

After that, working together morphs into something new. They are even more inspired than before, but also more easily distracted. Yoongi should have known that trying to write songs in the hot tub would be a futile endeavor.

They ponder on how to handle their new relationship and eventually decide to just go with the flow. They tell the others, of course, but no one is overly surprised. No one advises them to be more cautious.

It's easier, in the US, to be open. The first time a pap catches them holding hands, people write it off as a hoax. But when Jimin brings Yoongi along to a red carpet event, most doubts are assuaged.

Together, they write enough songs for an entire album. Some of them are all Agust D, angry and audacious. Others more playful, a callback to their kpop days.

Their favorite song is a sensual thing, heavy bass coupled with a sinfully slow rhythm. There's no crazy choreography to go with the MV, none of Namjoon's layered symbolism. It's sordid and blatant and one critic calls it 'pure sex'. But Jimin dances and Jimin sings and Jimin even raps a little as Yoongi's tongue slaves along the syllables of the song they wrote, a bastard child in English and Korean. It's a love song, in a way, about never parting, in sickness and in health, poverty and wealth.

In the MV, accordingly, Yoongi is sitting on a golden chair, on a rickety bed, on the hood of a nondescript car. There are incandescent lights around them or stars or candles, but always always in front of him is Jimin, dancing. And Yoongi gives him whatever he has, dollar bills or chains of gold or kisses. His thumbs dig into Jimin's hip bones as they grind against each other.

For a rap video, it's pretty tame. For two former pop idols it is utterly scandalous.

“I don't give a fuck,” Yoongi deadpans when an interviewer asks whether the move wasn't too risky, considering Korean audiences, and Jimin giggles against his shoulder.

They end up splitting their time between the West and Korea, traveling back and forth as needed. Sometimes, they don't see each other for months on end, but they manage.

“Hey,” Jimin says one day, idly flipping through a magazine, “Did you know that non-citizens can get married in the US?

Yoongi looks over from where he had been wiping down the kitchen counter.

“You're not very subtle, are you,” he notes.

Jimin just snorts. “The last time I was subtle, I actually had to tell you myself six years later,” he points out, “I'm not waiting that long again.”

“Fair enough,” Yoongi admits, “You know all five of the other idiots are going to want to hold a speech, right?”

“Or we could just go to Vegas.”

“Fuck that,” Yoongi says, “If we're going to marry, we're gonna do it right.”

Jimin grins. “I'd hoped you would say that.”

Their wedding is the hottest event of the year, though they do try to only invite their close friends. Halfway through, Jimin can tell Yoongi is already sick of socializing so he whisks him away. No one quite knows where they went, but everyone can guess what for.

Jokes on them, of course. Yoongi is completely beat.

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin whines, jostling him where he lies prone on the bed, “It's our wedding night.”

“Exactly,” Yoongi says, cracking an eye open, “And tomorrow, we'll have another night together. And a night after that. And after that.”

“Don't romance your way out of this,” Jimin pouts though he does settle down next to him, “You owe me, like, five songs for this at least.”

“Jimin,” Yoongi says. His eyes stay closed this time but he is smiling anyway. “Every song I'll ever write again will ultimately be about you.”

When put like this, Jimin cannot really stay mad, wedding night be damned.

 

Chapter Text


 

 

 

Title: à trois

Release Date: June 1st 2018

Pairing: Yoongi/Jimin/Namjoon

Tags: Threesome, porn with feelings

 

“So,” Namjoon says, his wine-soaked tongue unexpectedly curious and his brain too slow to keep it in check. “Sex. What's that like between you two?”

It's not that he has thought about it in depth. But, with Yoongi's previous aversion to the whole spectrum of Relationships, he cannot help but wonder.

There had been so many incidents in the past months that had clued him in that Yoongi is, by now, more than enthusiastic about what two people can do together. There'd been that very first selfie they sent, of the two of them naked and kissing in bed. Then whatever they had done in the car that had taken them to Seokjin's movie premiere. Not to mention the impromptu lap dance at their wedding...

Okay, so maybe Namjoon has thought about it a little. But only because the two are so very blatant.

Now, Jimin and Yoongi exchange an amused look.

“'s pretty easy,” Yoongi drawls, his arm still slung around Jimin's waist. He's not drunk but relaxed and a little flushed. “Why, you wanna watch?”

Namjoon snorts into his glass, thankful he doesn't accidentally spit out any wine. Jimin, in turn, giggles and presses his nose against Yoongi's cheek. His gaze, however, is fixed on Namjoon.

The clock above the door strikes three.

A sudden weight settles in the pit of Namjoon's stomach. He makes an ordeal of leaning over and setting his empty glass down on the table, but then regrets it immediately because now his hands start fidgeting. The room is very warm; he tugs at his collar.

“Joon-ah,” Jimin says. His voice is teasing, but not... not in ridicule. Just playful. Sweet. “Do you want to watch?”

 


 

 

 

 

Title: .intermezzo

Release Date: October 6th 2018

Pairing: Taehyung/Jungkook

Tags: Secret Relationship, On-off-Relationship, Pining, Angst, Hurt/Comfort

 

04 adagio (Intermezzo Teaser Track)

 

Jungkook takes off his shirt and throws it into the hamper in the corner. He fiddles with his earrings until they come off and then carefully sets them on the little shelf by the sink. Then he flips down the toilet seat and straddles it, facing the tiled wall.

Taehyung bites his lower lip.

“Are you sure you want me to do this?” he asks, feeling vaguely uncertain, though he cannot quite pinpoint why. Perhaps because he had already promised his own mother that he would let her do this for him; perhaps the same honor should be reserved for Jungkook's mother.

“Sure,” Jungkook says easily. He doesn't seem as upset as Taehyung thinks he should be.
It's just hair. Of course it's just hair and it'll grow back. But their hair was always such an integral part of their idol existence. Shaving it off was a literal act of cutting that part of their lives away.

No more stylists and products, Yoongi had joked before starting his own service. He had never been a fan of constantly getting touched by staff members and had claimed to look forward to no longer spending hours on his appearance almost every single day. Taehyung wonders whether it will be truly that liberating.

“Okay,” he says now and turns on the razor.

The hum of it is the only sound in the bathroom, like the buzz of a malign insect reverberating off the walls, and Taehyung stalls for another moment, stares at the long curve of Jungkook's spine exposed in front of him. Then he poises the blade at the nape of his neck and slowly draws it upwards.

There is always something off-putting about seeing someone's hair get shaved off like this, like cutting down a rainforest, like a hurricane ripping its way through a village.

Then the swath of destruction is followed by another. And another.

Bit by bit, Taehyung lays bare the scalp drawn taut over Jungkook's skull, the small bumps and ridges in the bone. He tries to work evenly but he's not used to doing this, focuses on not accidentally nicking the skin instead.

Jungkook just sits still, his shoulders relaxed, his breathing at ease, as though no metal were creeping close to his arteries.

It's a strangely intimate act. The shorn hair snows down onto Jungkook's shoulders and Taehyung's free hand brushes it away in between, before coming up again to protectively cup Jungkook's ear or hold a longer strand out of the way. His breath comes out in warm huffs and Jungkook shudders in response.

When it is done, Taehyung turns off the razor and takes a step back, busying himself with setting the damned thing aside. From his periphery, he can see how Jungkook runs both palms over his head, just rubbing them back and forth.

“Woah,” he says and, when he stands up and turns around, there is a look of mild wonderment on his face. “Feels weird.”

Taehyung hums, his fingers picking up the razor again and shaking it out above the sink, picking at the blades to dislodge the hairs caught in them. He turns on the tap to wash everything down the drain.

Then, Jungkook is behind him, closing his arms around Taehyung's waist and catching his gaze in the mirror.

“How do I look?” he asks. His mouth rests against the back of Taehyung's head, muffling the words.

The truth is, he looks younger and older at the same time. Vulnerable. Jaded. His eyes are too big and his jawline too sharp. He doesn't look like an idol. He doesn't look like Jungkookie. He doesn't look like Taehyung's.

Tall as he is, with his chest bare and his head bald, Taehyung can see the soldier he would soon be.

With a little wriggle, Taehyung turns around in Jungkook's hold. Like this, he only has to tilt his chin up.

“Good,” he lies and kisses him.