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it's empty (in the valley of your heart)

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"Um... Hyung?"

The voice was soft, unsure. Namjoon knew that it was incredibly late (or incredibly early, depending on which side of the clock you were looking at), and if Jungkook was still awake, something had to have been bothering him.

"Yeah, Kook. What's up?"

No immediate response. Namjoon turned the chair to see Jungkook standing in the doorway, fiddling with the hem of his shirt. From where Namjoon was sitting, it looked like the younger man had been crying. He looked like he was about to burst into tears right there. "Kookie, what's wrong?"

"I don't... I..." Jungkook trailed off. His face scrunched up in frustration, and a few tears leaked from his eyes unbiddingly. "God, I hate this."

"Hate what? Kook, I don't--"

"I hate not being good at words, hyung. You're good at words, I'm not, and I hate it. I can't say what I feel."

"Why do you need to say what you feel?" Namjoon asked.

"I hate not being able to say what I feel because I just? Don't know what this feeling is?" Jungkook blurted out and started featuring towards himself, "Because I know other people don't feel like this, like their body isn't their own. Like if I dig hard enough, I could fucking--shit, I don't know. Become someone new? The person who I'm meant to be? I guess? I'm just..." Jungkook's voice broke. "God, I'm such a freak."

"Jungkook--"

"No, hyung. I am so tired. So. Tired." Jungkook's eyes were suddenly filled with both rage and resignation. "My skin always feels like it's too tight, and sometimes I feel like I should be doing all these things and feeling all these things that other people feel, that you feel, and God I can't. I can't do it. Every fucking time we do a romantic song, I get nauseous. And not because girls are 'gross' or whatever but because the concept of romance as we know it is? Gross to me? And I hate the clothes we wear and how tight they get, because..." Jungkook trailed off again. His eyes filled with tears again and he curled in on himself. "I hate that I'm a boy sometimes. But I don't think I'm a girl either, so I'm even more of a fucking freak."

Namjoon got off the chair, crossed the room, and kneeled down so he could make eye contact with the younger man. "Jeon Jungkook. Listen to me. You. Are not. A freak."

Jungkook burst into tears.

"No, listen. You're not a freak, and I hate how you somehow came to that conclusion. You are a smart, kind, sweet, and gentle person. I don't even have to kinkshame you at all, unlike some people in this apartment!" Namjoon added, which made Jungkook giggle wetly. "And, so what if you're not a boy? You're still a member of this group, and you're still my family. I'll just say you're my sibling instead of my brother." Namjoon straightened up a bit, and pulled Jungkook into a hug. "I still love you, Kookie. Even if your mind tells you otherwise, I'm telling you right now, that I still love you. And I am so honored that you came to me with this. And I'm not going to say some shit like "Oh, I knew all along!" or "Hate the sin, love the sinner" because I didn't know, and by saying the second one, I'm implying that other queer people don't deserve love and you're an exception, which isn't true." Namjoon pulled away from Jungkook to look him in the eyes again. "You're not an exception, Kook. You're a kid. Hell, I'm a kid. It would surprise me if you even had a semblance of understanding about yourself right now. And, yes, there are people your age that know themselves deeply, but you haven't really had the opportunity to explore your gender or your sexuality. And that's okay. It is totally okay to feel like this. And if you want to tell the others, great! I'll be right beside you. If you don't, that's okay too. Life is a fucking pile of garbage with good things between. You're still our Kookie."

Jungkook sobbed, burying his face in Namjoon's shoulder, crying out all the stress and the insecurities and the confusion that had been building up for years. They curled up together on the floor, Namjoon holding Jungkook through the emotional storm, acting as a lighthouse through the raging sea.