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Seokjin’s routine was always the same: he woke up, turned on the coffee pot and the morning news, dressed in mildly differing versions of the same suit, and kissed his wife before leaving for work.

 

His routine changed for the first time in years when he woke up one morning, reaching over to nudge his wife awake and only feeling still air and cold bedsheets. Seokjin called for her, over and over, but never got a response.  His foggy morning brain took too long to notice all her belongings were gone, leaving the apartment feeling oddly empty.

 

Seokjin was late to work that day.

 

But he eventually got back on track, continuing with the same routine, just with a minor adjustment. Seokjin thought today would be just like the others before, the many more to come. So he switched off his alarm clock, looked sadly at the cold side of the bed, and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes.  He turned on the coffee pot and the morning news, rumbles and spurts muddling over voices too bold for the early hour. Retreating into his bedroom, he traded in his pajama pants and bathrobe for a dress shirt and matching tie.

 

Taking in his broad appearance in the mirror, tying the perfect double windsor, is when he heard it:

 

“Oh my god..,” the reporter’s normally strong voice shook. “We have just received news that the space shuttle Deliverance caught fire and disintegrated upon entering the atmosphere.”

“No..,” Seokjin’s fingers started shaking, his heart dropping into the pit of his stomach. He bolted into the living room, eyes wide and hand covering the screams that couldn’t find their way out of his throat.

 

“The shuttle was on its way to the asteroid Matilda, our only hope at surviving complete annihilation,” the reporter paused, stared blankly at some point in the distance as he said, “Matilda is said to collide with the earth in three weeks’ time.”

 

Seokjin was late to work for the second time.

 




Work proved to be a useless, underwhelming distraction for Seokjin.  Something about the clicks of his keyboard under his fingers and the overflowing stacks of paperwork on his desk did little to take his mind off the fact that he would soon cease to exist, along with everyone he had ever known.

 

You could say this was one of Seokjin’s off days.

 

“Seokjin,” his boss poked his head into Seokjin’s dull cubicle. “Can I see you in my office?”

 

“Of course, sir,” and Seokjin swiveled his chair out from his desk, stood and smoothed out his suit jacket before following his boss into his office. He noticed the boxes on the floor that had been filled with his boss’s personal items. Seokjin’s stomach dropped when his eyes landed on the pictures of his family; they had been completely oblivious of their fate then.

 

“Seokjin, you’ve probably noticed that several of our employees failed to come in today,” his boss started, his voice as professional as always. “Actually, only three of you did.”

 

Seokjin, the suicidal intern, and the elderly woman who he’s pretty sure has dementia and should’ve retired decades ago.

 

“That being said,” his boss continued. “I think you should be rewarded. I would like to offer you a promotion to district manager.”

 

“But sir,” Seokjin stared, his brows furrowing. “Isn’t that your position?”

 

“About that,” his boss looked down, voice dropping to just above a whisper. “I applaud you for your diligence, Seokjin. But we have to get out while we still can.”

 

Seokjin stared, not quite sure what his boss meant by that. At least, until he watched him pull a revolver from a desk drawer and slowly raise the barrel to his temple. Seokjin opened his mouth to say something, anything, but his words were cut short by the gunshot.

 

Little drops of blood splattered on the remaining family pictures and Seokjin’s favorite dress shirt.

 

You could definitely say this was one of Seokjin’s off days.

 


 

 

Seokjin’s building was quiet. No gunshots, no sobbing, no burning of newly useless belongings. It was a stark contrast from the streets outside. Jesus, we only just found out, he thought.

 

But the absurd quiet seemed to wholly engulf him. He could hear his breath in his ears, the hollow thump of every heartbeat. The sound of his neighbor’s door opening seemed to blow out his eardrums.

 

“Are you really going?” a small man asked. His hair was disheveled, and his loose shirt was slightly hanging off one shoulder.

 

“Yeah, I really am,” the other man replied, rolling his eyes (though only Seokjin could see). The first man pouted.

 

“Will I see you later?” the smaller man asked, his voice just as small.

 

“I don’t know, Yoongi,” the other man barked. The small one, Yoongi, flinched a little. Yoongi watched from the doorway as the other man retreated down the hall, rubbing his arms and digging his toes into the carpet.

 

“Another one, huh?” Seokjin mumbled, messing with the lock on his door.

 

“Excuse me?” Yoongi’s voice suddenly wasn’t small anymore. Seokjin looked over to find him with his arms crossed and a deadly scowl taking over his features.

 

“It’s just,” Seokjin fully faced him now, his stature towering over Yoongi’s. “You’re not exactly the commitment type, are you?”

 

“Why are you so quick to judge?” Yoongi spat. “At least my wife didn’t leave me in the middle of the night.”

 

“You know about that?” Seokjin paled immediately.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi shrugged. “I held the door open for her.”

 

Seokjin stood staring at Yoongi in disbelief.  Yoongi challenged his glare before giving in and looking sadly down the hall, tracing the ghost of the other man’s path.  When he spoke again, his voice was a little softer. Tired.

 

“Just because the world is ending doesn’t mean you have to act like an ass,” Yoongi sighed. “Actually, you’d think it would prompt people to act with a little more compassion.”

 

Seokjin followed Yoongi’s eyes, watching the empty hall, not quite understanding why Yoongi seemed so down about a fling. Then again, Seokjin thought maybe he understood the feeling of losing a companion. Even if that companion was temporary. He didn’t realize how long he had been staring, not until the sound of Yoongi’s apartment door closing snapped him out of his uninvited melancholy.

 

Seokjin unlocked the door to his own apartment and stepped inside, throwing his keys and suit jacket onto the table. He sank down into the couch, loosening his tie, and turned on the TV to listen to words he probably didn’t want to hear.

 

But he wasn’t paying attention to them, even if he had wanted to. His brain seemed fuzzy, his eyelids heavy, and sleep soon overtook him. Slumped in a very awkward position sure to cause a sore neck once he woke up, Seokjin had a flurry of fast paced nightmares induced by the stress of the day and the panicked words floating from the TV into his ears.

 

Seokjin awoke feeling even groggier than before. And of course, his neck ached with every turn of his head. He blinked a couple times before focusing again on the TV, trying to clear the visions from his sleep out of his head.  The reporters’ voices seemed to drone on, not quite getting through to Seokjin’s brain. That is, until something caught his attention.

 

“The last plane from Incheon airport just took off about ten minutes ago, heading for Nagasaki,” the voice said. “The world’s last flight is to leave Chicago later today, en route to Seattle, Washington.”

 

Seokjin couldn’t help but think of how big the United States is, how big the world is. He thought about all the people who were thousands of miles away from their families with no way of getting back to them. He thought about all the people who would never see their loved ones again.

 

At least he didn’t have to worry about that.

 

People always joked that Seokjin would die alone, and he would laugh along with them. He just seemed the type, after all. And apparently the universe thought so, too. Now that dying alone is actually a fast-approaching reality for him, he’s having a hard time trying to accept that fact. He prefers not to think about it.

 

A loud bang sounding from the hallway outside his door pulled him from his thoughts of impending doom. Then…

 

Dammit!

 

And Seokjin was sprinting to his door and throwing it open. Even with his eyes searching the entire hall, he almost missed spotting a defeated Yoongi sitting against the wall outside his apartment door, knees pulled in close to his chest. Seokjin walked over.

 

“Everything alright?” Seokjin asked, looking down at the ball of Yoongi. Yoongi just shot him a glare before staring ahead again, letting out a defeated sigh.

 

“I locked myself out of my apartment,” he said in a low voice, not looking back up at Seokjin. “And my spare key walked out a few hours ago. Who knows when he’s coming back.”

 

Something about Yoongi’s story didn’t quite add up to Seokjin, but he thought it was probably best not to ask. He looked around the empty, deathly silent hall again, maybe subconsciously looking for someone else who could deal with this small, pitiful ball on the floor. Admitting defeat and swallowing his pride, he looked everywhere but Yoongi’s face when he said:

 

“You can stay in my apartment for a while. You know, if you want to.”

 

Yoongi looked up, not quite believing the words the spilled from Seokjin’s mouth. Did he really just ask him to come inside? Seokjin, the man perpetually going through a midlife crisis. And he’s only in his early thirties.

 

Yoongi thought about being stubborn, sitting there in the hall by himself until his “spare key” came crawling back to him. But the still air in the hall seemed to be getting colder, and the rebel yells and gunshots from outside seemed to be getting louder. Yoongi didn’t like this any more than Seokjin did, and he maybe had a little more pride to his name.

 

Even so, Yoongi sighed, standing and dusting off his clothes. Without looking at Seokjin, without even letting him lead the way, Yoongi marched into Seokjin’s apartment and sat himself down on the far end of the couch.

 

Seokjin stared after him in disbelief, shaking his head at Yoongi’s unbelievable arrogance. Nonetheless, he followed him inside, claiming his own seat on the opposite end on the couch.

 

Silent minutes stretched into what felt like frozen hours, neither of them looking at each other. Their eyes were glued blankly to the droning TV in front of them. Just when Seokjin’s skin started to crawl, his fingers itching to pick at it, and Yoongi’s eyes slowly started fluttering closed against his will, did Seokjin break the silence.

 

“I’m gonna make a pot of coffee,” he stared ahead, standing abruptly. “Do you want some?”

 

“Uh,” Yoongi didn’t understand what was happening. “Okay, sure.”

 


 

 

“Seokjin, can I ask you something?” Yoongi had been nursing his coffee for a while, letting the warmth flow through him and melt his brain and inhibitions. Granted, it took him longer than he’d like to admit to trust that Seokjin hadn’t slipped him something.

 

“I suppose,” Seokjin replied, finally able to look at Yoongi curled up on his couch without his pride aching. Yoongi sighed, shifted a little bit.

 

“What do you think of me?” Yoongi looked down at his coffee mug, running a finger over the rim.

 

“What, is this some kind of honesty hour?” Seokjin scoffed. Yoongi shot him daggers.

 

“Yes, this is honesty hour,” his voice wasn’t so guarded, instead picking up a certain bite.

 

“Well, I think you’re a typical millennial,” Seokjin said matter-of-factly. “I think you are afraid of commitment, never take responsibility for anything, and expect everything in life to be handed to you instead of working for it yourself.”

 

“That’s a lot to think of someone you don’t even know,” Yoongi laughed, actually laughed at Seokjin’s response. “How many times have you actually interacted with me? Three? Including today.”

 

“Then what do you think of me?” Seokjin was on the defensive, his heart beating just a little bit faster and his cheeks feeling just a tad warmer.

 

“I think you’re a prude with a giant stick up your ass,” Yoongi said with a smile. “I bet you follow the same routine every single day of your miserable life, and you’re afraid of risks. Like spilling a drop of ketchup on your favorite tie. I bet you do have a favorite tie, don’t you?”

 

Seokjin looked down at his clothes. He never bothered to change once he got home, and the reddish-brown spots still dotted the fabric. It wasn’t Seokjin’s favorite tie, and it definitely wasn’t ketchup, but he felt that Yoongi’s words hit a little closer than he’d like to admit.

 

Yoongi noticed Seokjin surveying his clothes, and that’s when he finally noticed the bloodstains. How didn’t he see that before?

 

“What happened?” he asked, his voice soft again. Seokjin glanced up at him, almost as if he was trying to figure out whose voice that was, before looking at the tie again and trying to swallow the lump in his throat.

 

“My boss shot himself today,” Seokjin’s voice was barely a whisper. “It’s his blood.”

 

Yoongi’s body went cold. He thought about how close you’d have to be to get that much blood on you. He couldn’t imagine watching someone die like that, so close but unable to do anything… wearing the memories on your clothes just to remind you. Yoongi could feel tears stinging his eyes, and he blinked them away.

 

They stayed quiet after that. Seokjin felt as if no words would come out even if he tried to speak. And quite frankly, Yoongi wished he never asked. If it were him, he wouldn’t want to think about it any more than he had to. And he especially wouldn’t want to confide in some punk.

 

“That man earlier,” Yoongi’s voice was so small, so scared to finally fill the silence after what felt like years. “The one who walked out with my spare key. His name is Namjoon… we’ve been living together for about a year now.”

 

Seokjin looked over to find Yoongi looking down at his lap, smiling sadly.

 

“We’d been dating even longer.”

 

“Yoongi, I-”

 

“You don’t have to apologize,” Yoongi aimed his smile at Seokjin now, laughing a little at the blatant shock on Seokjin’s face. “Just don’t think you have everyone pegged. Anyway, I’m the one who should apologize.”

 

“What for?” Seokjin didn’t think he could be thrown for another loop. With everything he’s heard today, his brain stopped processing the difference between fact and fiction.

 

“That night your wife left, I had gotten out of bed and heard someone crying in the hall outside,” Yoongi began, finding it very difficult to look Seokjin in the eyes. “I looked to see what was up, asked her if I could help her. She said not to worry about it, that she was just moving her stuff out. I figured you’d had a fight or something, and she decided that was it for her.”

 

Yoongi closed his eyes, swallowed, and continued on.

 

“Anyway, I held the door open for her because her hands were full. But when she walked past me, she thanked me and told me to forget I ever saw her. She said she didn’t tell her husband that she was leaving, didn’t even leave a note.”

 

Yoongi remembers the cold air finding its way through his thin jacket, the street outside still too loud for that time of night. He looked out after her, letting her words sink into his brain after her car sped away.

 

“I regretted holding the door for her then.”

 


 

 

Seokjin had fallen asleep on the couch again, still dressed in his work clothes. He looked down to find his shirt wrinkled, the dots now an old shade of brown. Deciding he’d better shower, he stood up, stretched, and headed into the bathroom. But he stopped in his tracks when he heard a yawn, a small whimper.

 

He had totally forgotten about Yoongi. They must have fallen asleep in the middle of their honesty hour that lasted waaaaay more than an hour, Seokjin would like to point out. He pulled a blanket off the foot of his bed and laid it over Yoongi’s tiny, curled up body. Seokjin guessed he was the one to fall asleep first, and Yoongi didn’t want to wake him up. So Seokjin figured he’d return the favor, leaving Yoongi to sleep while he washed yesterday off his skin.

 

“No..,” Seokjin muttered under his breath, turning the shower’s faucets with no result. “You’ve gotta be kidding.”

 

There he was, standing naked in his too cold bathroom, twisting and turning faucets that produced no water. He felt like this was the lowest point in his life: bending over the tub completely exposed and worrying that the stranger sleeping on his couch would waltz in at any moment. Seokjin decided the embarrassment wasn’t worth it and gave up on the shower, tying his bathrobe around his waist and tiptoeing into his bedroom for some fresh clothes.

 

No matter what Seokjin wore, he always looked like a step-dad at a barbeque, not someone casually existing in the apocalypse. He sighed at his reflection in the mirror, looking more tired, older than usual. He scoffed, turning up his nose and giving up on himself. He needs coffee.

 

The soft sputtering from the coffee pot, the warm aroma drifting through the air, greeted Yoongi when he woke up. He noticed the blanket that wasn’t there before, shrugging and wrapping it around his body as he got up, padding into the kitchen to find Seokjin leaning against the counter.

 

“Water’s off,” Seokjin tells him, not quite acknowledging Yoongi’s presence otherwise.

 

“Plant workers must have given up,” Yoongi’s rough morning voice startled Seokjin, who was not expecting such a thing to come out of someone like him. He watched as Yoongi came to stand beside him, also taking to leaning against the counter.

 

“Did you sleep okay?” Seokjin asked, looking down at Yoongi beside him. “If you woke me up, I would’ve let you have my bed.”

 

“Oh,” Yoongi glanced up at Seokjin before quickly averting his eyes to the brewing coffee. “No, it was totally fine. Besides, I thought you could use some sleep anyway.”

 

When the coffee was done, Seokjin poured a cup for himself and a second one for Yoongi. He looked sadly at the black liquid in his hands, steam swirling up into his face.

 

“Enjoy it,” he said solemnly. “This is the last of it.”

 

Yoongi took a tentative sip, only burning his tongue a little bit, and raised his eyebrow at Seokjin.

 

“This pot used up the last of the water,” Seokjin’s voice sounded so… done. It was like he accepted his fate already, deciding he would live out the rest of his miserable days just wasting away inside his apartment. Yoongi didn’t like that.

 

“Do you have any plans?” Yoongi asked, trying to get some kind of emotion from Seokjin. “Like, somewhere to be? Someone to look for maybe.”

 

“No,” Seokjin replied bluntly, not looking at Yoongi as he said it. Yoongi was a little taken aback, but decided that after last night, asking Seokjin questions was probably not the best idea.

 

Just then, they heard a scream. Seokjin set his mug of coffee on the counter, walking over to the door and yanking it open. Yoongi stood on his tiptoes to get a better look around Seokjin’s frame, hearing panicked voices, glass breaking, and maniacal laughter. Just when Yoongi caught a glimpse of something glowing orange, Seokjin slammed the door closed, hurriedly bolting every lock and pulling Yoongi farther into the apartment, away from the door.

 

“What’s going on?” Yoongi was scared, and his voice showed it. Seokjin just took him into the living room, threw open the window that led to the fire escape outside, and turned back to Yoongi. His hands were firm on Yoongi’s arms, almost pinning them to his sides, and Seokjin looked at him the way a father would his child.

 

“Yoongi, we have to go,” he said, his voice surprisingly calm for the situation.

 

“What do mean ‘we have to go’?” Yoongi’s brain couldn’t process everything that was happening so quickly, and he thought his heart was going to erupt from his chest.

 

“The riots,” Seokjin said, unwrapping the blanket from Yoongi’s body and throwing it into the room behind him. “They’ve gotten closer. I think they’re trying to get inside the building.”

 

Seokjin climbed out of the window, reaching inside for Yoongi to do the same. Once on the fire escape, Yoongi noticed the nearby window into his own apartment.

 

“Seokjin!” he whispered excitedly. “I can get into my apartment from here!”

 

He expected Seokjin to protest, to tell him there was no time, that he had to leave it behind and forget about it. But instead he said:

 

“Be quick.”

 

Seokjin helped Yoongi onto the railing so he could climb over to his own little balcony. He panicked a little at the thought of Yoongi falling, but he chose not to think about it. Yoongi made it to the other side safely, opening his window and crawling inside. As Seokjin waited, the minutes felt like hours as the yelling and sounds of destruction grew louder. His skin felt like it was crawling with all the anxiety running through him.

 

Then Yoongi poked his blonde head out the window, breathing hard as he made his way through again. He was still pulling a thick sweatshirt over his body as he stood straight, and Seokjin reached out a hand for him. Yoongi took it, climbing over the railing again, and landing safely by Seokjin’s side.

 

“Did you change your clothes?” Seokjin’s words were rushed, running down the fire escape with Yoongi’s hand still in his.

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi breathed. “If we’re gonna be on the run, I have to dress warm, don’t I?”

 

“I suppose,” Seokjin looked around the corner, motioning to Yoongi that the coast was clear before running across the alley.

 

“Little sad I didn’t have a sweater to match yours,” Yoongi snickered, and Seokjin looked back to shoot him a quick glare.

 

“This is my favorite sweater,” Seokjin mumbled.

 

“Of course it is,” Yoong whispered back, smirk still on his face. They turned into a tall parking garage on the corner, climbing the stairs inside until they reached the fourth floor. Yoongi was surprised Seokjin was this athletic, to be able to run this much without having to breath as hard as Yoongi was. Seokjin finally let go of Yoongi’s hand, approaching a black sedan. Yoongi looked down at his hands, not sure why he suddenly felt empty.

 

“Get in,” Seokjin said, opening his door and sliding into the driver’s seat. Yoongi cursed his reflexes for being so slow as he scrambled into the passenger seat. Seokjin shoved the keys into the ignition, and the car roared to life.

 

“I never saw you pick those up,” Yoongi was staring at the keys, assuming they appeared out of thin air.

 

“I always have them in my pocket,” Seokjin said, backing out of his parking space and peeling down the garage. “I have a habit of playing with them, keep my fingers busy.”

 

Yoongi smiled to himself, not ready to admit that it was cute. He likes uncovering people’s little quirks, learning more about who they are underneath everything else. He wasn’t paying attention until the toll booths at the entrance of the garage were right in front of them.

 

“Hold on,” Seokjin said, stepping on the gas pedal and sending Yoongi flattening into his seat. Seokjin’s car burst through the boom barrier, sending chunks and splinters of wood flying outward. Yoongi instinctively ducked upon impact, shielding his eyes and letting out a strangled yell he tried to keep inside. Seokjin’s tires squealed on the asphalt as he barreled down the street, zooming past mobs with guns and random things they’ve lit on fire. Seokjin only looked straight ahead, determined to get them to the highway, but Yoongi couldn’t tear his eyes away from the utter destruction before him. He silently hoped Namjoon was okay, wherever he was.

 

The normally bustling highway was eerily quiet, the only running car on the road belonging to Seokjin. They had been traveling in silence for a while, too stunned to speak. But the adrenaline was wearing off, and Yoongi felt very uncomfortable in his skin. By the way Seokjin kept peering out his mirrors and windows, fidgeting with a coin he found in the cupholder, Yoongi knew Seokjin wasn’t faring any better than himself.

 

“Yoongi,” Seokjin’s voice boomed in Yoongi’s ears. He turned to look at Seokjin, but he was still just watching the road in front of him. For a moment, Yoongi thought he was hearing things. “Do you have someplace to be?”

 

“Seeing as the world is ending, my schedule has miraculously freed up,” Yoongi joked, feeling that may be the best way to make their current situation feel normal.

 

“You know what I mean,” Seokjin didn’t take humor very well, apparently. All he felt was tired, his bones aching and his muscles dragging him down.

 

“Well,” Yoongi began. “My family lives in Daegu. I suppose that’s probably the best place for me to be.”

 

Seokjin seemed not to acknowledge him at first, instead inspecting the dash and looking into the mirrors some more. Yoongi opened his mouth to speak again, thinking perhaps Seokjin hadn’t heard him; his voice did feel rather small once his words were in the air. But Seokjin’s deep sigh stopped him.

 

“I don’t have enough gas to get you to Daegu,” Seokjin said casually, as if they had a deal from the beginning that Seokjin would take Yoongi to be with his family. This struck Yoongi.

 

“Y-you don’t have to-” Yoongi stammered out, not quite meeting Seokjin’s gaze.

 

“I want at least one of us to die happy,” Seokjin said gently, almost sweetly, glancing over at Yoongi. “And I know that isn’t going to be me.”

 

“Don’t say that,” Yoongi begged, voice small.

 

“Yoongi,” Seokjin sighed, like the way a parent loses patience with a child who just won’t listen, but they’re too tired to really yell. “You said it yourself; I live a miserable life all by myself. And you know what? That’s exactly how my sad life is going to end.”

 

Yoongi had nothing to say. He just stared at Seokjin, feeling the burn of a reprimand. He felt small, like a child, and curled in on himself in the passenger seat. Seokjin gripped the steering wheel a little harder, knuckles turning white, before easing up.

 

“I’m taking you to the train station first thing tomorrow,” he said, not looking at Yoongi once. Yoongi knew he couldn’t refuse, couldn’t tell Seokjin not to worry about him. So he just kept quiet, thinking it was probably best he didn’t speak.

 


 

 

The sky had turned dark, a foreboding stretch of black hanging over them.  They had driven a little farther in the thick silence until they stopped for food at one of the only restaurants open. The hostess who greeted them said they wanted to be available for anyone trying to get home, that she knew the long road could feel even longer on an empty stomach. They were grateful, but the meal they shared was awkward. Yoongi, though very hungry, poked at his food like a moping little kid. Seokjin kept shooting him glares from the other side of the table, telling him he better eat because he probably wouldn’t get another chance any time soon.

 

But Yoongi now poked his head out the car window, looking up at the stars. A shiver ran up his spine as the cool night air drifted into the car. Seokjin told him to get back in here and roll up the window, the car wasn’t going to stay warm forever. So he pulled himself in, pressed the little button on the door to slowly roll up the window, and sank into his seat.

 

Seokjin turned off the car, not wanting to waste the little gas he had left. He reached down between his seat and the door, pulling the lever and laying his seat back as far as it would go so he could sleep somewhat comfortably. Seokjin looked over to find Yoongi trying to hide his pout by looking out the window, pulling his knees into his chest. Seokjin internally sighed, cleared his throat to get Yoongi’s attention before sliding the panel back on the sunroof. Yoongi looked between Seokjin and the sunroof a couple times before laying his own seat back and staring up at the stars.

 

Seokjin looked away, tried to close his eyes and sleep. The thought of lying there, staring out at the endless sky above him and potentially catching a glimpse of the asteroid that would soon bring his death scared him, made his skin crawl and stomach drop. He shook the thought from his head, shivering slightly against the cold. Now that the car was turned off and provided zero warmth, the chill from outside seemed to seep into his very bones. He tried to ignore it, tried to clench his eyes as tightly closed as possible in his search for sleep.

 

Ignoring it didn’t work, and Seokjin found his head lolling to the side, his eyes landing on Yoongi’s small form. He was curled into a ball, as tight as he could possibly be, and shaking. He could feel Seokjin’s eyes on him, burning holes into his back through the harsh chill.

 

“I’m starting to think we shouldn’t have left that blanket in your living room,” Yoongi muttered, laughing a little. He pulled his arms in closer, rubbing his sleeves for friction. Seokjin couldn’t tear his eyes off the pitiful lump, guilt eating his insides. He dragged Yoongi into this, made him leave home and come on the road. It was his fault Yoongi was so miserably cold, alone. So Seokjin swallowed his pride yet again.

 

“Get over here,” he said, closing his eyes to avoid Yoongi’s surprised stare. “If you lay with me, we can share body heat.”

 

So Seokjin slid as close to the door as he could get, making room for Yoongi and holding his arms open. Yoongi crawled over the center console and nudged into Seokjin’s side.  Seokjin wrapped his arms around Yoongi’s small frame, pulling him in close so he could stop shivering. He felt cramped in the seat meant for one person max, and he was sure his arm was going to fall asleep under Yoongi’s weight. But he liked the feeling. It had been a while since Seokjin held someone, slept next to someone.

 

Just when Seokjin felt the pull of sleep, Yoongi lifted his chin to look up at him, warm breath ghosting Seokjin’s neck.

 

“What is it?” Seokjin whispered, his voice a little rough from being pulled into consciousness.

 

“Just..,” Yoongi begins, biting his lip before finally finding the strength to ask the question burning in his mind. “Why won’t you tell me about your past?”

 

Seokjin sighed, looked down at Yoongi. His eyes looked soft, maybe a little tired, but he didn’t look mad that Yoongi had asked.

 

“There’s not much to tell,” Seokjin breathed, chest heaving in a deep breath. Yoongi stayed quiet, looking up at Seokjin in something akin to mild disbelief. Seokjin counted the number of breaths Yoongi took before speaking again.

 

“Seokjin..,” his name, soft and pleading, nothing but a whisper. That was all the convincing he needed.

 

“Alright,” he conceded, sighing. “Where should I start?”

 

“Well,” Yoongi tilted his head a little, thinking. “Where are you from?”

 

“Seoul,” Seokjin didn’t hesitate. “I grew up in Gangnam.”

 

“Oh, a high roller,” Yoongi laughed. Seokjin smiled sadly to the roof of the car, not quite willing to meet Yoongi’s eyes for the next part.

 

“Let’s just say, my parents make a lot of money,” Seokjin admits, no pride evident in his voice.

 

“Like a chaebol?” Yoongi asked, eyes wide.

 

“Like a chaebol,” Seokjin sighed, closing his eyes and swallowing hard. “They cared more about the money than they ever cared about my brother and I. Then again, they always seemed to make room for him. He’s the older one, of course… the heir.”

 

Seokjin mocked the word, and Yoongi held his breath. He waited for Seokjin to find his bearings, to even out his thoughts and continue. But Seokjin found this a lot harder than it maybe should have been.

 

“But none of that matters,” he huffed out, sighing and pulling Yoongi a little closer. Yoongi nuzzled his nose into Seokjin’s neck. “I left as soon as I got the chance. Though, I doubt they even noticed.”

 

“I’m sorry, Seokjin,” Yoongi breathed. “I shouldn’t have asked.”

 

“No, it’s okay,” Seokjin whispered into Yoongi’s hair. He squeezed his eyes shut, stemming the burn of tears in his eyes. Now was not the time to fall apart over things that shouldn’t bother him anymore. Seokjin felt Yoongi’s breath slow, little puffs warm against his skin. Despite the cold on his back, Seokjin fell asleep easily with Yoongi in his arms.

 


 

 

Seokjin woke up to the warm sun streaming in through the sunroof he left open to the night sky, and a tapping on the driver’s side window. Shielding his eyes from the burning sun and squinting against sleep, Seokjin looked to see a police officer banging his flashlight on the glass. Yoongi stirred beside him, confused. He cracked the door open, poking his head out the door and greeting the officer with his rough morning voice.

 

“Good morning, officer,” Seokjin scrunched his eyebrows. “What can I do for you?”

 

“Gentlemen,” the officer started, hand on one hip, arm resting against the roof of Seokjin’s car. “Are you aware that this is a public area?”

 

“Yes, officer,” Seokjin stared, replied blankly. “It’s a rest stop.”

 

“Look,” the officer sighed and crossed his arms. “I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.”

 

“Leave?” Seokjin was awake now, by god. “Why should we? We have just as much of a right as anyone else to be here.”

 

“Seokjin,” Yoongi tugged on Seokjin’s sleeve. “It’s not a big deal, let’s just go-”

 

“It is a big deal,” Seokjin didn’t even spare a glance at Yoongi, keeping his gaze hard and strong against that of the officer. “What, two men sleeping together makes you so profoundly uncomfortable that you don’t want the children to see? You think the other people in this rest stop are going to get infected by looking at us?”

 

“Sir, I’m gonna need you to step out of the vehicle,” the officer barked, face bright red and the vein in his neck pulsing. Seokjin opened the door fully, stepping out onto the asphalt below. Yoongi reached out to pull him back into the car, but Seokjin shook Yoongi’s hand off, telling him to get back in his own seat. Yoongi crawled to the passenger side and watched with wide eyes as Seokjin stood inches from the officer, taller than Yoongi had ever seen him.

 

“Going to arrest me?” Seokjin growled low into the officer’s face. He leaned in, towering over the officer, and pushed a finger into his chest. “I dare you.”

 

“Turn around, sir,” the officer’s voice was much smaller than it had been before. “Hands behind your back.”

 

Seokjin’s jaw was locked tight as he turned around, so very slowly. He started to move his hands to the small of his back when he caught Yoongi’s eye, and smirked. The officer was untangling a pair of handcuffs from his belt when Seokjin turned around. He aimed a fist for the officer’s jaw, landing so hard, Yoongi swore he heard something crack. The officer fell to the ground, spitting blood into his hand, and Seokjin scrambled to get into the car and start the engine. Seokjin didn’t look back as he sped away from the rest stop.

 

Seokjin could feel Yoongi’s burning stare on him, could feel the road beneath him flying by much faster than it legally should. But laws don’t matter when the world is ending, Seokjin thinks. His knuckles hurt, especially when he gripped the steering wheel harder, and his heart couldn’t stop racing.

 

“That wasn’t a very Seokjin thing to do,” Yoongi broke the silence, finally really laughing. He laughed so hard, he had to clutch his stomach. Seokjin started laughing, too, blinding Yoongi with a smile that could put last night’s stars to shame. It felt… normal. To laugh, to be happy. It was almost as if the world wasn’t ending in a couple weeks.

 

They pulled into the train station’s parking lot, and Seokjin couldn’t help but think it seemed oddly quiet. Especially when he expected everyone to be traveling home to their families. Yoongi was beaming, excited at the chance to finally go home, to be with the people he loved most. Seokjin smiled at the glow Yoongi radiated, and he wished he could feel the same way, the same purpose Yoongi felt.

 

The inside of the depot was just as quiet as the inside, and that put Seokjin on edge. He felt tense, the hair on his arms sticking up at the quietness. He glanced down just in time to see Yoongi’s smile slide straight off his lips. Seokjin reached down to grab at one of Yoongi’s hands, squeezing a little as if to tell him that there was nothing to worry about. Though he didn’t believe it himself.

 

When Seokjin looked around, he noticed the depot wasn’t just void of people. The ticket booths had no clerks inside them, the automatic machines weren’t glowing with welcoming messages like they usually were. And there were no trains. Yoongi let go of Seokjin’s hand, running both through his hair and pulling as the tears threatened to fall. Seokjin started sprinting through the depot, trying to find someone, anyone, who could get Yoongi to Daegu. Meanwhile, Yoongi had collapsed down into a ball, similar to the one Seokjin initially found him in, covering his mouth as silent sobs wracked his body.

 

“Hello?!” Seokjin yelled, breathing heavy and shaking in his skin. “Anybody?!”

 

But no one answered. Seokjin could feel the blood in his veins turn to ice as a wave of disappointment washed over him.  Yoongi was supposed to be with his family. He was supposed to spend his last days on earth with the people he loved the most, and Seokjin was supposed to get him there. Now, Yoongi has to die with him.

 

Unless…

 

“Come on,” Seokjin said, voice resolute as he reached a hand down for Yoongi to take. “Get in the car.”

 

“I thought you didn’t have enough gas to get to Daegu,” Yoongi sniffled, following Seokjin out to the car.

 

“We’re not going to Daegu,” Seokjin gave Yoongi a long look before opening his car door.

 

“But- where are we going then?” Yoongi sounded small and defeated. That’s why Seokjin had to swallow his pride, yet again. But this time, Yoongi wasn’t the one he didn’t want to face.

 

“We’re going to Gangnam.”

 


 

 

Here they were, standing outside the house way too big for just one family. Seokjin guesses that’s why so many servants were hired to fill the space. He knew Yoongi’s jaw had dropped, knew he was itching to step inside and experience the life of luxury himself. But Seokjin’s skin felt heavy, and all his muscles were tensed up. His legs felt like they were made of lead as he tried to walk up the too-much front steps that lead to a too-much front door.

 

Seokjin pressed the doorbell and heard it echo through the house.  A man dressed sharply in white pulled open the ornate doors. He looked over Seokjin and Yoongi, considering them for a moment.

 

“I’m here to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Kim,” Seokjin stated, voice just as proper as it was trained to sound.

 

“And who should I say is awaiting them?” the servant asked. Seokjin hung his head.

 

“Kim Seokjin.”

 

The man in white bowed deeply, opening the door wider for Seokjin and Yoongi to enter. Yoongi took in every inch of the extensive foyer, the high ceilings, marble floors, and chandelier bigger than his own living room.

 

“You lived here?” he nudged Seokjin’s side, still staring at every corner and expensive piece of art.

 

“Yeah,” Seokjin only looked straight ahead, like he was used to everything around him that seemed to amaze Yoongi to no end. “I didn’t miss it.”

 

The man in white led them into one of the large living rooms, or “entertainment areas” as Seokjin remembers them being referred to. To him, they were just big, pointless living rooms that no one ever spent time in. The sofas were sleek white leather, his father sitting on one with a book spread open across his lap and thin reading glasses perched on the tip of his nose. His mother was on the opposite sofa, her legs tucked underneath her as she picked at her fingernails.

 

The man cleared his throat before bowing and introducing Seokjin and “company” to Mr. and Mrs. Kim. They looked up simultaneously, eyes wide and peeking over tops of glasses, scrutinizing. When they realized that Seokjin was indeed their son, they shared a long look with each other over the wide glass coffee table between them.

 

“Seokjin,” his mother smiled, pointedly looking at the small man trying to hide behind Seokjin. “Who’s this?”

 

“This is Yoongi,” Seokjin said as Yoongi stepped out from behind him, shy smile gracing his lips. “I’m trying to get him home.”

 

“Where’s home, son?” Seokjin’s father asked, still peeking over the rim of his glasses.

 

“Uh- Daegu,” Yoongi stuttered. “That’s where my family is.”

 

“You do realize my home is rather far from Daegu,” his stare shifted to Seokjin, more judgemental than ever. “Don’t you, Seokjin?”

 

“Yes, I know that,” Seokjin sighed. “I need your help.”

 

“You need our help?” his mother unfolded her legs, crossing them at the knee and leaning forward, accusing finger pointing directly at Seokjin. “You leave in the middle of the night, don’t speak to us for ten years, and you expect us to help you?”

 

“Mom, I-”

 

“Honey,” his father sighed, hand massaging the stress and wrinkles out of his forehead. Seokjin stayed silent, not missing the way Yoongi grabbed a fistful of his sleeve. He tensed when his father’s gaze turned back on him. “We can talk about this over dinner.”

 

Seokjin found it odd that his parents were going about their daily lives as normal, seemingly unaware that the world was falling apart before their very eyes. Then again, Seokjin was originally planning on doing the exact same thing. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, he guesses.

 

“Where are we going?” Seokjin asked, following behind his father. They left Yoongi with his mother in the living room. Seokjin could only pray for his emotional safety.

 

“To the kitchen,” Seokjin’s father answered, glancing over his shoulder. “I know you haven’t lived here for a while, but surely you didn’t forget where the kitchen is.”

 

“No, I-,” Seokjin felt unbearably weak in this house. “I just figured the cooks would take care of dinner.”

 

“I sent them all home, them and everyone else,” his father replied. “I couldn’t keep them from their families.”

 

He paused, and Seokjin knew what was coming.

 

“Everyone deserves to be with their family when the time comes.”

 

“Then why is the doorman still here?” Seokjin wanted to ignore the guilt brewing in his stomach, wanted to change the topic. His father knew exactly what Seokjin was doing. He always did.

 

“He had no family to go home to,” his father said, searching the fridge and cabinets for the ingredients he needed. Seokjin knew he already had a recipe in his head. “He said he would rather just stay here than be alone.”

 

He handed Seokjin a pot, told him to fill it with water and set it to boil. Seokjin paused for a second, not sure where the hell he was supposed to get the water from if people weren’t working the plants. His father pointed to a case of bottled water, and Seokjin felt incredibly stupid for missing something apparently obvious.

 

Seokjin and his father were side-by-side, chopping vegetables on separate cutting boards. His father told him he was slicing too thin, too thick, that he was holding his knife wrong. Nothing had changed, from the days his father would take him into the kitchen and teach him simple recipes, claiming that was the only way he could find and keep a wife since his personality wasn’t getting him anywhere. Even during the end of the world, Seokjin’s father finds little ways to pick at his self-esteem.

 

Seokjin is just thankful he’s not being subjected to his mother.

 

“So, Seokjin,” his father starts conversationally, dumping vegetables into the mixture boiling on the stove. “Why are you here?”

 

“I need to get Yoongi to Daegu,” he repeated from earlier.

 

“That’s not it,” his father’s voice was slightly accusatory, and Seokjin felt like a child under his authority. He held his breath for a long moment before letting it out and hanging his head.

 

“And I need the helicopter to do it.”

 

“There it is,” his father laughed coldly. “Everything comes with a catch, huh? Nothing that comes out of your mouth is straightforward.”

 

“Listen, I know that it’s pointless to ask,” Seokjin sighed, aiming pleading and hopeless eyes at his father. “But I had to try, right? For him.”

 

“Oh, come on, Seokjin,” his father turned around to fully face him. He was taller than his son, and he towered over him. Seokjin couldn’t meet his eyes. “We both know you’ve never been the altruistic type.”

 

“People can’t change?” Seokjin asked to the floor, voice so weak under his father’s judgement.

 

“Not when they’re as backwards as you,” his father shook his head, backed away from Seokjin to return to the pot on the stove. Seokjin felt all the breath finally return to his body. “Tell me something, Seokjin.”

 

“What’s that, sir?”

 

“Do you love him?”

 

Seokjin choked on thin air, his eyes watering and throat burning with every cough. He leaned against the kitchen island and tried to catch his breath, his father coming up and hitting him hard on the back. Seokjin wondered when people would learn that that never worked.

 

“I’ve only known him for a few days,” Seokjin’s voice had gone up a pitch or two, eyes wide and watery. “You can’t- that’s not how love works.”

 

“And you of all people know how love works?” his father laughed, hand on Seokjin’s back now rubbing in soft circular motions. “The world is coming to an end, people’s emotions are high. There are somethings you just can’t calculate, Seokjin.”

 

“Still,” Seokjin searched his father’s face. “Do you really think that’s even possible?”

 

“All I’m saying is that you never would have come here if it was up to you” his father’s expression softened as he squeezed Seokjin’s shoulder. “He has to mean something to you. Obviously more than your pride.”

 

Maybe his father was right. Seokjin didn’t care about a lot of things, and though he sometimes missed his wife’s presence, he’s not sure he ever loved her. If she was with him instead of Yoongi, he would have told her to suck it up. That a lot of people were far from home, and she was just gonna have to die with him in that apartment. He had never told her the things he told Yoongi that night in the car, and he certainly would never embarrass himself in front of his parents at her expense.

 

So maybe Yoongi was different. But Seokjin could never find it in him to say that out loud; the concept was completely lost on him.

 

When the food was ready, Seokjin and his father carried it into the dining room. Upon entering, they found his mother and Yoongi setting the table, reminding Seokjin of the tense dinners of his childhood. Yoongi seemed to have suffered minimal emotional damage while in his mother’s company. In fact, they seemed to be getting along, shooting smiles and comfortable small talk.

 

Seokjin cleared his throat before setting the plates of food in the center of the table. Yoongi looked up at him, his smile widening immediately. Seokjin tried not to think about his father’s words, tried not to wonder if maybe Yoongi had fallen for him, too.

 

“Smells delicious,” Yoongi said, aiming a smile at Seokjin’s father. “I didn’t realize how hungry I was until now.”

 

“Seokjin,” his mother’s cold voice pierced through the air. “You didn’t feed him all this time?”

 

“There aren’t exactly a lot of resources anymore-” Seokjin was reflexively on the defensive.

 

“Look at him,” she grabbed at one of Yoongi’s thin arms. “He’s all skin and bones.”

 

“Ma’am, I’ve always been skin and bones,” Yoongi laughed, slightly nervously under Seokjin’s tense eyes.

 

“Enough of that,” Seokjin’s father spoke up, setting the last of the plates on the table. “Seokjin and I have prepared a nice meal, and I expect everyone to appreciate it.”

 

Ah yes, Seokjin thought. Home sweet home.

 


 

 

Seokjin’s bedroom was exactly how he left it; the only difference was the thick layer of dust on every surface, the certain coldness the room had taken in his absence. Seokjin laid in bed, staring at the ceiling as darkness filled the room. It almost felt like nothing changed, like he was a teenager again, cursing the world around him. But everything had changed, and he’s not sure if it was for the better.

 

But then Seokjin heard a knock on his bedroom door, heard a whisper of his name.

 

He slipped out from under the covers that provided no warmth and opened the creaky door that hadn’t been used in a decade. Standing in front of him, all small and shy in the dark hall, rubbing his hands along his skinny arms, was none other than Yoongi himself. Seokjin wouldn’t admit it, but he was thankful Yoongi was there.

 

“Can- can I sleep with you?” Yoongi stuttered, looking up at Seokjin with something sad in his eyes. “It’s just- this house is so big and…”

 

Seokjin said nothing, just stood to the side and held the door open for Yoongi. He watched as Yoongi bowed his head a little when he walked past him, watched him crawl under the sheets and sink into the warmth Seokjin left behind. Seokjin was glad it was too dark for Yoongi to see him smile.

 

Seokjin climbed in after Yoongi, settling in and pulling him close to his chest. Yoongi melted against him.

 

“So this is your bedroom?” Yoongi whispered against Seokjin’s skin. The feeling was familiar and certainly not unwelcome.

 

“Yeah,” Seokjin’s breath tickled Yoongi’s hair. “It’s just as dull with the lights on, I promise.”

 

“I doubt that,” Yoongi laughed, his whole body shaking in Seokjin’s arms. He couldn’t help but smile, laugh a little under his breath. But then they stilled, and the usually comfortable silence between them filled with something heavy. Seokjin just pulled Yoongi closer.

 

“I’m scared, Seokjin,” Yoongi whispered, so quiet that Seokjin felt it more than heard it.

 

Seokjin wanted to say me too, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he said, “You’ll be with your family.”

 

“Yeah,” Yoongi sighed, nudging his head farther into Seokjin’s neck.

 

“You leave tomorrow morning, right?” he asked. He knew the answer, but he didn’t want the silence to consume him.

 

“Yeah, first thing. I don’t think I could thank your father enough,” Yoongi pulled away, looked up at Seokjin with an expression Seokjin had never seen before. “How did you convince him, anyway?”

 

Seokjin almost couldn’t meet Yoongi’s eyes, feeling like he would give himself away with just one glance.

 

“Just,” he started, heart beating faster. Seokjin was always weak under interrogation, was always an awful liar. “Did a lot of begging and pleading. They like you more than they like me, I think.”

 

“I don’t think that’s true,” Yoongi smiled, nuzzling back against Seokjin’s skin. He was sure Yoongi could feel him let out the breath he was holding, could feel his heart frantically beating in his chest.  “Seokjin?”

 

“Yeah?” he pressed his cheek against Yoongi’s hair, closed his eyes against the feeling.

 

“Thank you,” Yoongi whispered, voice so small. “You had no reason to help me, but you did.”

 

“Yoongi, I couldn’t just leave you,” Seokjin’s eyes shot open, and he pulled away to look Yoongi in the eyes. “You could have been killed.”

 

“In the grand scheme of things, does that really matter?” Yoongi stared back, his eyes slightly watery. Seokjin didn’t know what to do, didn’t know what the situation warranted. He cupped Yoongi’s cheek with a gentle hand, ready to swipe away any tears that fell. Yoongi closed his eyes against the touch, leaning into the warmth of Seokjin’s hand.

 

And Seokjin suddenly felt Yoongi’s lips against his own. He didn’t pull away, didn’t jump out of his skin at the contact. He embraced it, pulled Yoongi closer to deepen the kiss. Seokjin ran his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, ran his tongue against Yoongi’s lips. It wasn’t a very Seokjin thing to do.

 

Seokjin felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time, something he thought he couldn’t feel anymore. And he hated that he had to let it go.

 


 

 

Yoongi pried himself from Seokjin’s arms when the morning sun came streaming through the windows of his bedroom. Yoongi looked around and smiled;  he didn’t think Seokjin’s bedroom was dull at all. It wasn’t decorated much, walls empty of posters or memories from his teenage years with his friends. Instead, the room was neat, books lining shelves and a desk so organized a lawyer would scoff at it. Yoongi thought Seokjin was reflected in the state of his room, and Yoongi didn’t think Seokjin was dull.

 

He looked back at the sleeping Seokjin, arms still stretched out in the emptiness that took Yoongi’s place. He hated to do it this way, but he figured it was the only way he could convince himself to go. Yoongi blinked quickly, trying to fight the tears as he pulled Seokjin’s door shut behind him.

 

The air outside was much warmer than usual for a spring morning in Seoul. It was as if the sun had inched closer to the earth, like there was a fire burning in the atmosphere. The thought quickly dissipated as the harsh winds from the helicopter blades blew the heat away.

 

“Good morning, Yoongi,” Seokjin’s father greeted, leaping from the cockpit.

 

“Good morning, sir,” Yoongi bowed, taking the headphones Seokjin’s father offered him.

 

“Ready to go?” he asked.

 

“Yes, sir,” Yoongi swallowed the lump in this throat, putting on a smile that felt so forced.

 

“Well, hop in and buckle up,” Seokjin’s father smiled, helping Yoongi climb into the seat next to his own. “It’s going to be a long ride, hope you’re not afraid of heights.”

 


 

 

When Seokjin woke up on the right side of noon, he had a hard time believing he wasn’t in a nightmare. His arms were empty, the air and bedsheets next to him a familiar cold. He blinked his bleary eyes too many times, and his heart started beating too fast. Seokjin felt that drop in his stomach, the same one that gave way to the sneaking suspicion his wife had left him.

 

Not again.

 

Seokjin ripped the sheets off his body and stumbled out of bed, his ankles getting caught in his haste. He called Yoongi’s name, frantically running through the endless halls of the house. Seokjin barely noticed his mother before he bumped into her. Her mouth was moving, but Seokjin couldn’t hear a thing.  Her firm hands against Seokjin’s chest held him in place.

 

“Seokjin!” he heard her, it was coming through all fuzzy. “Seokjin, what’s wrong?”

 

Seokjin couldn’t get any words out, just stood staring at his mother with his mouth opening and closing without a sound. She tilted her head a little bit, kneaded a small fist into Seokjin’s chest. His head was slowly clearing.

 

“Where’s Yoongi?” he asked, voice rough and weak. He’s not sure how he even made a sound.

 

“He left with your father about two hours ago,” she said, confusion taking over her face.

 

“They’re gone?” Seokjin felt like he could throw up.

 

“Yes, now come eat,” she started walking into the kitchen, Seokjin numbly following behind her. She set a plate of what was supposed to be breakfast on the island. Seokjin took a seat on the stool in front of the plate and stared at the food, decidedly not hungry. Seokjin’s mother watched him from across the kitchen, just poking at the food he wasn’t putting in his mouth. She walked over and leaned her elbows onto the counter in front of him.

 

“Seokjin,” she sighed. “What’s up with you?”

 

“I just-” Seokjin didn’t look up. “I didn’t think they’d leave so soon.”

 

But he really meant I didn’t think he’d go without saying goodbye.

 

“I thought this was what you wanted,” she shook her head at the table. “I’ll never understand you, Seokjin.”

 

She never did, and Seokjin was used to that. He thinks maybe that’s why he is the way he is. She looked to Seokjin as if waiting for a reply, for him to fight back. But Seokjin never fought back, always shied away and submitted.  When she realized she’d get nothing from him, she sighed and pushed herself from the island, crossing the room and turning on the old radio. Seokjin’s father always said it was for emergencies only. Seokjin guessed the apocalypse counted.

 

“...have reported unusually warm weather among other odd phenomena…” the radio droned. Seokjin was surprised to hear the voices of real people and not that automated emergency voice, the one that always scared him as a child. He supposed the only people who cared to go to work were the ones who didn’t have anything to lose. “...magnetic field being altered. These changes are due to the asteroid’s close proximity to the earth.”

 

“Wait, mom,” Seokjin called, body suddenly alive with panic. “Turn that up.”

 

She did, and they both listened closely.

 

Matilda is speeding toward the earth at a rate faster than anyone could have predicted,” the voice said. Seokjin’s blood ran cold, and his mother stared at the radio as if she could see the face behind the voice. “The asteroid is about a week ahead of schedule. It is set to collide with earth in two days.”

 

Seokjin actually threw up.  

 


 

 

Seokjin had been laying on one of the white leather couches for what felt like days but could only have been an hour or so. He had been staring at the ceiling, flat on his back, for so long that he started seeing shapes move in the solid color. His mother had paid him no mind, biting her fingernails on the matching couch. She had been staring off into the distance with no sign that she was actually seeing.

 

But when the front door opened, echoing loudly in the abysmally silent house, Seokjin sat bolt upright. He frantically looked around, listening to the footsteps that came nearer down the hall until his father stepped through the doorway.

 

“Dad?” Seokjin stared at him, not quite believing he was actually there. He thought his ceiling hallucinations transferred to the rest of reality. “What are you doing here?”

 

“You’re not supposed to be back for hours,” Seokjin’s mother stood up, tilting her head to the side. If his mother could see him, it had to be real. “Did something happen?”

 

Seokjin’s father didn’t say anything, just smiled and stepped to the side. Yoongi appeared in the doorway, slowly and suddenly all at once. Seokjin thought this for sure had to be a hallucination, something his heart wanted so badly, he thought it into existence. But then Yoongi’s eyes locked onto Seokjin’s, and all the breath in his body seemed to evaporate.

 

Seokjin stood from the couch slowly, approaching Yoongi with careful steps as if he was a fawn that was about to run off. Yoongi looked tense, apprehensive. It was as if he felt guilty, like maybe he expected Seokjin to be mad. But Seokjin could never; all the anger he might have felt earlier melted away at the sight of Yoongi now, at the feeling of him being back in Seokjin’s arms. He felt Yoongi’s muscles relax against him, felt him let out the breath he was holding in anticipation.

 

“You’re back,” Seokjin whispered into his hair. He was afraid that if he spoke any louder, his voice would crack and the tears would start falling.

 

“I’m back,” Yoongi smiled into Seokjin’s chest, squeezing his middle a little tighter.

 

“I can’t believe you left,” Seokjin ran a hand through Yoongi’s hair, closing his eyes against the sting. “Without even telling me.”

 

“I’m here now, though,” Yoongi pulled away to look up at Seokjin, grasp light on his arms. Seokjin could feel the warmth through his sleeves, and he cherished it. “I could never leave you. Not really.”

 

“Did you hear the news?” Seokjin’s mother called. The other three turned to look at her.

 

“What news?” Seokjin’s father asked. Seokjin braced for impact, closing his eyes and tensing ever so slightly before the words came tumbling from his mother’s mouth.

 

“We only have two days,” she said, ripping the tip of a nail right off. “The world is ending in two days.”

 

“What?” Yoongi gripped harder on Seokjin’s arms, blunt nails digging through the cloth. He looked at Seokjin with big eyes, almost as if he was pleading with him, wanting it to all be a bad joke. But Seokjin just nodded and pulled Yoongi closer. He wasn’t sure he could stand to watch the tears that were now soaking his shirt. Seokjin rubbed circles on Yoongi’s back, kissing the top of his head. He wanted to tell him that everything would be okay, but he couldn’t lie like that.

 

Not when everyone was bound to die, no matter what.

 


 

 

They tried not to think about their quickly approaching end. But Seokjin couldn’t help himself when he counted down the hours. It was methodical, something his brain did on reflex, and he hated himself for it. Even in his last moments, he stressed over the little things.

 

Seokjin thought life was really funny sometimes. He always thought he would die alone, but here he was, surrounded by people who would share his fate. And to think, he finally found Yoongi - someone he loved so fiercely and suddenly that it had to be real - just when the world was ready to rip them apart. Seokjin thought it was his luck, the way life loved to play with him, that he would feel the happiest in the wake of the end of the world. Leave it to Seokjin to fall for a man he could never really be with.

 

Yoongi kept telling Seokjin he wasn’t afraid, that there was no reason to be afraid. But Seokjin could feel Yoongi’s heart beating, could see the way he fought to stay awake in the fear of never waking up again. Yoongi couldn’t lie to Seokjin, because he was scared too. He didn’t want to think about the end, if it would be painful, if it would happen quickly. He didn’t want to think about what might happen next.

 

So it didn’t surprise Seokjin when time seemed to stop at the first boom in the atmosphere. It sounded like thunder, but louder and sharper. He could feel it in the air and in his bones, and he suddenly couldn’t move. Not until he heard Yoongi call his name after what felt like centuries. It was frantic, weak and dripping with unadulterated terror.

 

Seokjin was running, tripping over his own gangly limbs to get to Yoongi. He wiped the streaming tears from his cheeks, pulled him in close and told him it was going to be okay. Seokjin told Yoongi not to worry, that he was there and it was nothing to be afraid of. But Seokjin didn’t believe that himself.

 

At the second, much louder boom, Yoongi jumped in Seokjin’s arms. A fresh wave of tears soaked through to Seokjin’s chest, fingernails digging desperately into his skin. Seokjin stroked Yoongi’s hair with shaking hands, kissed his crown and closed his eyes when the house started shaking.

 

There was no doubt that Yoongi could feel Seokjin’s heart beating out of his chest. He could probably see it pumping if he looked hard enough. Seokjin just whispered I love you, I love you, I love you against Yoongi’s hair. When he felt his mother’s hand reaching for his own, he took it. He couldn’t stop crying, even though he didn’t know when he started.

 

The air felt unbearably hot and like it was so heavy it could crush them flat. The light streaming in against his closed eyes burned as if the sun itself was right outside the window. He squeezed his mother’s hand, probably hard enough to hurt. He felt his father’s hand on his back, rubbing in circles and grabbing a fistful of Seokjin’s shirt. And Yoongi…

 

Yoongi never let go, and Seokjin never would have asked him to. Seokjin cursed every god, the ones that couldn’t save them now, as he pulled Yoongi so close, they could’ve melded into one body.

 

And that was the last thing Seokjin ever did.