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gold from earth

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jungkook’s morning starts with a BANG.

he jolts, echo of an unpleasant noise ringing in his ears, forcing his eyes open before his brain has caught up. sunlight is flooding the room, hitting his face so he can barely see but he’s fairly sure nobody’s in the room with him so he’s not in immediate danger but the sound was close, it could be an attack, there could be someone in the apartment coming to take yoongi out and chop him into little pieces and thankfully yoongi is long gone but jungkook is here so he’ll have to defend himself and he remembers he had a gun ready in the nightstand for cases like this because he will not go down without a fight if those bastards really want to—

“jesus shit fuck.”

jungkook’s half out of bed ready to fight for his life when he hears the familiar hissing. he hits the brakes on all movements so his brain sort of crashes against the inside of his skull. he falls back into bed.

blinks, squints, screws his eyes shut. restart.

he’s in bed, he is safe, although he almost had a heart attack; it is morning but way too late going by the sun that almost blinded him— it is late and he’s on earth so he’s still on leave; he’d wanted to go home one last time. a noise woke him, dull but loud, metal; a pan dropped on hardwood floor in the kitchen. yoongi.

yoongi pops his head in. “hey goodmorning i madebreakfast heresitup.”

jungkook hears it but doesn’t understand. for some reason his equation doesn’t add up.

yoongi’s here.

huh?

“huh?”

yoongi’s hands are on his body, gentle but urgent, pulling him up. pillows are shoved behind his back. a good morning kiss, quick but firm. jungkook blinks up at him.

“good morning. i made breakfast. here. sit up.”

yoongi repeats it, slower, clearer, punctuates his words with little pecks across jungkook’s cheeks. the words jungkook can understand. but.

yoongi’s placed a tray of food on his lap and disappeared back out the door by the time jungkook thinks to kiss him back, quick on his feet, touch still tingling on jungkook’s jaw.

yoongi isn’t supposed to be here— yoongi isn’t usually there when jungkook wakes up. they don’t usually wake up together to begin with. the last time jungkook woke to yoongi’s eyes warm on his own was months ago, maybe, it must’ve been.

jungkook relocates the breakfast to the nightstand, sits up a bit straighter when yoongi comes back with a bowl of real, expensive fruit.

“why are you here?”

“do you want orange or apple juice? it’s not fresh, but— i should’ve made it myself, jesus.”

yoongi hurries back out into the kitchen, and jungkook frowns up at the ceiling.

“what time is it?”

[it is nine twenty-three a.m.]

the pleasant female voice sounds somewhere above his head, volume lower than usual in calculated consideration of his still foggy mind.

“thanks, holly.”

“here, i brought you both,” yoongi comes back with two glasses of juice but barely puts them down before he flits back out again; he forgot the cutlery.

“aren’t you supposed to be out on the euphoria?”

yoongi comes back with cutlery and a vase of roses, red and immaculate, tries to fit it on the nightstand, too. “i’ll take the next shuttle back at 12.” he fidgets on his spot, shifts his weight, reaches down to arrange the plates on the tray in a prettier manner. his gaze is everywhere in the room, on the bed, the windows, the pictures on the wall; eventually on jungkook staring at him. his hands fly up in some vaguely apologetic gestures.

“sorry, did you— want to shower first? i can reheat it later, it’s okay—”

“what are you doing here?”

yoongi rubs at his nose, gives a tiny shrug with his shoulder.

“i made you breakfast.”

jungkook sighs quietly, not understanding the why, but certainly understanding the what. he reaches out to take yoongi’s hand, pulls him closer to sit on the bed.

he speaks softly, running his thumb across yoongi’s knuckles, “why are you stress-cooking on earth?”

yoongi leans in to kiss jungkook hesitantly this time, from one corner of his mouth to the other, softly, and all the way back. jungkook can hear the pout, the wrinkles between his brows.

“i wasn’t stress-cooking. i was cooking.”

jungkook tilts his head back, yoongi continuing to kiss his jaw, frowning up into the air again. “when’s the next shuttle for the euphoria?”

yoongi snakes a hand up into his hair, angles his head to kiss him on the mouth, insistent.

[ten a.m.]

“thanks, holly.”

jungkook pushes against yoongi’s chest to direct his frown at him, but yoongi kisses and kisses him; along his jaw, down his neck, back up again, “they’re fine without me,” breath warm beneath jungkook’s ear.

“yoongi,” jungkook starts, still half-confused but also very tempted, “tell me you didn’t ditch the interplanetary peace talks.”

yoongi crawls over him, hand sliding down his torso and jungkook has a feeling something bad is coming even before yoongi’s curling his fingers at his sides, tickling him, tone dismissive, “it’s not like they need me.”

jungkook’s trying to hold it in, reaching for yoongi’s hands to fight back, but yoongi knows it all too well, has too much practice. his touches are feather-light, barely grazing the skin, and jungkook likes it but hates it and shivers and it bursts out of him, “you can’t just,” the lightest giggles, little airy things, “leave the undersecretary alone—” his smile stretches wide, wide, he doesn’t mean to, “hey—” it’s hard to talk.

“joonie’s got it under control.”

when jungkook has yoongi’s wrists in his own grasp, he allows himself to breathe, forcing a bit of space between them. then his smile falters, fades; yoongi’s not meeting his eyes.

“hey,” jungkook entwines their fingers, gives yoongi’s hand a squeeze. yoongi exhales slowly, something pent-up and heavy. “that bad?”

jungkook knows yoongi doesn’t want to tell him bad news. doesn’t want to worry him on the one hand, can’t bear to voice his own fear on the other. they don’t really talk about their jobs if they can help it, not about the ugly details. they understand too well even without any words.

yoongi raises his head slowly to return jungkook’s gaze. his face is completely blank, eyes devoid of any emotion. he doesn’t blink for a concerning amount of time.

then he all but growls, pained and exasperated, “they’re such goddamn dumbasses.”

jungkook lets out a sudden snort, yoongi dropping his head on jungkook’s shoulder. his arms come up to instinctively hold the elder close.

“god if i’d known— it’s the same shit every single time, only they get even dumber, i don’t get it, it’s like they have their heads so far up their own asses that, i don’t know, maybe they genuinely can’t hear what we’re saying, maybe they’re trying their best and just physically can’t—”

jungkook tries to be serious, but his shoulders start to shake a little with silent laughter, yoongi’s matter-of-fact delivery not helping at all. he burrows his head further into jungkook’s neck, muttering against his skin.

“what if i accidentally say what i think? what if jackson spews his usual bullshit and my fist slips and he coincidentally stands in the way and tuan cries for war again? god do i hate martians. and i realize jackie only exists to be a pain in namjoon’s ass—” by now there’s an audible pout in his voice, and jungkook has a hand raised to comb it through his hair soothingly, grinning. “but quite frankly, he pains me too, and they can’t expect me to be into it—”

yoongi cuts himself off, inhaling deeply. he stays quiet for a while, nosing at jungkook’s skin, jungkook’s other hand drawing circles on his back.

“i just,” he huffs, quieter, “i’m not made for these games, it’s all just a fucking pile of bullshit, and i’m angry, and—” he presses his closed eyes into jungkook’s neck, fingers curling against his stomach, “it’s not— going anywhere, they won’t— i can’t—”

jungkook doesn’t really need him to say it; maybe doesn’t want him to. jungkook’s a bit afraid, too.

yoongi’s voice is tired. “i can’t make them stop. it’s useless.”

jungkook pulls yoongi even closer, squeezes him between his arms. his eyes wander across the room, their bedroom; the wardrobe with yoongi’s fancy suits and old military uniforms, jungkook’s rarely used civilian clothes; the dresser with yoongi’s cologne and jungkook’s necklaces on top; a lone cactus on the windowsill because they’re shit with living things and the bright yellow curtains they’d rolled a dice for because yoongi didn’t care and jungkook wasn’t going to be home a lot. there are the framed pictures jungkook had bothered to put up because yoongi had clearly wanted to display them but not admit it by doing it himself. there are more in the living room, along with yoongi’s antique cds and dusty keyboards from a previous century, jungkook’s collector’s holo figurines from his teens because maybe he wants to hold on to being a kid, being naive and hopeful. he remembers yoongi unpacking the pots and pans in the kitchen, showing jungkook how to cook the most basic things the old-fashioned way, because jungkook didn’t quite remember, hadn’t ever really known how to prepare and enjoy anything but rations. he knows the fridge is still full because yoongi already buys a lot in anticipation when jungkook comes back, bought way too much this time because he was worried about not being there.

it hasn’t even been that long since yoongi settled in these very walls, but feels like it’s always been this way. whether in secret or later somewhat publicly, for them it’s always been this with each other. a harbor, a home.

it’s still peaceful here, on earth, right now. jungkook’s a bit afraid sometimes, afraid a lot out on the frontlines. of not coming back. but here, he feels safe.

he nuzzles yoongi’s head with his nose, presses a kiss into his hair. “i believe that you will. you and namjoon and seokjin. you’ll do it.”

yoongi only whines low in his throat, still refusing to resurface from under jungkook’s chin. it’s— maybe a bit unusual, definitely incredibly cute. they’ve both long grown out of being cute, or should have, and nobody on this planet or the next or in between would believe him, but jungkook thinks— might always think that yoongi’s cute. sometimes, definitely.

“i shouldn’t have taken this position, it just… it isn’t for me. i can’t talk to people, i want to shoot them. in their ships. out in space.” yoongi’s got a firm grip on jungkook’s bicep, shaking it a little in emphasis.

it’s all a bit silly, a bit tired and nervous, and jungkook understands, so he smiles. “well, you can’t just give up.”

he knows yoongi can’t. yoongi knows he can’t. for all his bark and bite and learned cruelty, yoongi almost naively, fiercely believes in working towards a better future, a greater good.

jungkook feels an affronted puff of air against his throat, “i beg to differ,” and then yoongi’s hand is sliding under the covers, suggestively stroking the inside of his thigh. “let’s elope and let the idiots argue for another fifty years.” he kisses beneath jungkook’s ear, voice tempting, “i’m thinking hyyh p.t.1 or p.t.2, they have the newest tech,” his hand grips jungkook’s thigh firmly, “gorgeous pools, they’re like giant greenhouses, out near saturn.” another hand slides up over jungkook’s stomach, up, up to his chest, “or we kick everyone off the euphoria and take her instead, she’s too good for them.”

“okay, enough, mr. admiral,” jungkook laughs, endeared, to yoongi’s annoyed whine that he retired, lieutenant, that’s my problem, “are you saying the secretary-general was mistaken about you?”

jungkook finally moves to pull yoongi up so he can breathe, but also so he can see that jungkook is serious. he really is pouting.

“joonie always fills jinnie’s head with nonsense, he shouldn’t have listened. they’re idiots.”

jungkook giggles, pressing a kiss to yoongi’s nose, “alright deputy undersecretary, you are talking about our elected leaders of earth here.”

yoongi kisses him back on the mouth, sighing into it, “i say that to their faces, too, they’re aware.”

jungkook lets yoongi settle on his lap more comfortably, now sitting up, hands on his jaw, jungkook’s on his thighs. he’s not even dressed properly.

he shrugs one shoulder, earnest, “we can take holly, too?”

[shall i prepare an escape route?]

“so, what,” jungkook ignores that train of thought, “you fled here for a few hours to cook the stress away?”

“well,” yoongi lets his mouth curve into a lazy smirk, fingers tightening on jungkook’s waist, “not just cook the stress away, gorgeous.”

jungkook shoves him off without mercy, and yoongi chuckles, laughs, finally, he laughs so beautifully. jungkook is used to this but pink around the nose, anyway. he still hasn’t gotten tired of this, of yoongi.

“okay, yeah— actually.” yoongi sits up, fingers tugging at his hair, “there was something else.”

his gaze is a bit low, a bit avoidant, and jungkook wonders if maybe something happened, something bad, yoongi looks like he’s about to tell him something bad.

yoongi crawls over him and all but runs out of the room, though.

when he hesitantly steps back in, he’s carrying something in his hands.

jungkook hadn’t really thought of it— or had briefly thought of it, but hadn’t expected anything, had agreed when they’d established that it wasn’t necessary, wasn’t their style, wasn’t even feasible most of the time since they were both too busy, too far away.

today yoongi’s here, though.

he sits down at the edge of the bed slowly, next to jungkook. he’s staring at the little box intently.

“this isn’t— i mean, it is— it’s.” he huffs, catches jungkook’s eyes. “it’s your birthday, and i’m sorry i’m usually not there, but—” he reaches out to gently hook his fingers around jungkook’s, and they’re a bit clammy, “happy birthday, baby.”

jungkook kind of gapes at him, all kinds of surprised and endeared and moved and so fucking happy, elated, in love. his stomach and chest are doing weird things as yoongi places the box in his open palm, closes jungkook's fingers around it.

jungkook doesn’t really think to open it at all, at first, surging forward to kiss yoongi on the mouth, firmly, deeply. yoongi lets out a surprised chuckle, kisses him back.

“thank you,” jungkook breathes between them.

“you don’t know what it is, yet,” yoongi smiles lopsidedly.

jungkook doesn’t need to know what it is to be thankful for the gesture, be happy about yoongi having thought of him, having gone out of his way to get him something. having come back, even shortly, to be here for it. but of course he wants to know what it is.

when he opens the box— he doesn’t exactly know what it is.

it’s a stone, a gem, and when he makes to take it out, he sees it’s a pendant. it’s hung on a delicate golden necklace. yoongi’s fidgeting in the corner of his eyes.

“it’s, um—” jungkook studies it, the artfully twisted chain links, the smooth surface of the gemstone, as yoongi’s voice sounds nervous, defensive. “i know you wear necklaces sometimes, so i—” it has an oval shape, or rather— a drop. it’s clear crystal, the shape of a drop of liquid. when jungkook raises it closer to his face, there’s something in it.

“that’s—”

in the middle of the crystal, there’s something sparkling— almost like dust, tiny particles reflecting the sunlight when jungkook turns it this way and that between his fingers, mesmerized. there are different hues all around it too, little dots of color sprinkled here and there, like fine splashes of paint.

yoongi inhales deeply.

“the dark gray is mercury, the light gray is the moon. yellow is saturn, orange is jupiter,” yoongi almost whispers, eyes not leaving jungkook, “venus is brown, and the red is from mars,” jungkook wants to know what expression yoongi is making, but he can’t look away from the stone in his fingers, traces the little specks of color with his eyes as yoongi goes on. “the diamonds are from uranus and neptune, the crystal is water from earth and,” his voice is shaky, jungkook doesn’t quite know why, “the gold is—”

yoongi reaches out to touch a hand to jungkook’s chin, gently, feather-light; strokes his jaw lovingly, and jungkook finally looks up.

“the gold is from earth.”

jungkook swallows, mouth dry, but now he can’t look away. yoongi looks at him in a way that is much too tender, much too intense.

“that is my world,” yoongi breathes, and jungkook somehow can’t.

they just stare at each other, breathing a bit off, and he can tell yoongi is nervous but he isn’t saying anything else, waiting for jungkook.

“it’s— planet dust,” jungkook murmurs dazedly, thoughts all over the place. “you got me planetary dirt.”

yoongi’s eyes shimmer with affection, corners of his mouth twitching a bit.

“i asked jimin and taehyung for help,” he explains, gently stroking jungkook’s knee, “and hoseok— knew some guy, in some company—”

“you had your spies collect space dust? isn’t that misconduct?”

yoongi shrugs, but a hand flies up to touch his nape. “they’re obedient kids, and they probably like you more than me, so…”

“hyung.”

yoongi’s movements stutter a bit, eyelids fluttering. he parts his lips in surprise, but nothing comes out. it’s a bit old-fashioned, and not many around them know to begin with— the almost disused terms specific to their shared cultural origin, lacking equivalents in english. jungkook watches as yoongi flushes a bit, gaze down in his lap, biting down on a grin. it’s not much of an intimate term, but in the rare moments between them it kind of is, yoongi oddly fond of everything traditional and korean.

“it’s beautiful,” jungkook’s voice is almost inaudible, or maybe his heart is just pounding too loud in his ears for some weird, overly emotional reason. “it’s—”

“okay, before you cry—”

“i won’t cry, it’s just—” jungkook squares his shoulders, hugging the gem to his chest, ready to defend his dignity, or the gift’s value, he isn’t sure. yoongi throws his hands up.

then he reaches into his pocket, and pulls out another box. he doesn’t wait for jungkook to open it, doesn’t give it to him at all. yoongi opens it easily, decisively, and holds it out to jungkook.

jungkook’s brain sputters to a halt.

“i love you, and i want to spend my future with you, no matter what.” yoongi’s voice is low, so low, but steady, somehow, “and i don’t know what it will look like, but i don’t need to. i know i want you there, if you want to be there.” there’s no hesitance in his words, although his fingers tremble, jungkook can see it, “i was going to wait until after the summit, when you’re back from your deployment, when things are maybe better, but—”

yoongi stutters on his inhale, but he’s smiling, slowly, more and more, all gums and love and exactly the same as over ten years ago, “i’m sure of this either way, and i don’t only want you if things get better, i want you right now, too.”

jungkook’s vision blurs, embarrassingly, although he’s trying really hard not to miss a single thing about how yoongi looks right now, holding out the golden ring, shoulders slumping in relief when jungkook starts to nod.

there’s a lump in his throat, and he’s sure yoongi knows his answer either way, but he forces out an airy, “i want you too,” watches yoongi smile even wider, however that is possible.

jungkook barely has the ring on his finger when he pulls yoongi in by the neck, holds his shirt, his jaw, reaches around his back as he kisses him, hotly, and kisses him, and kisses him. yoongi’s still smiling into it, giggling, and then he breaks into laughter, making jungkook laugh, too.

“you’re such a fucking sap, fuck, on my birthday—” jungkook’s complaining half-heartedly, oddly embarrassed, as yoongi pulls him into a tight embrace, shakes and shakes against him in joy.

“should’ve seen your face, baby, i wish i’d taken pictures. holly?”

[the audio-replay is available for twenty-four hours from now.]

jungkook groans, frowning down at their tangled sheets, whole face and chest and body too hot. “alright, so that’s out of the way, now go and make me jobless, go,” he pushes against yoongi’s chest, swats at the insistent arms reaching for him.

yoongi only laughs, catches his face between his hands and kisses him, kisses him, kisses him breathless. crawls on top of the bed, over him, doesn’t stop kissing him.

“okay but i still have an hour or so?”

“hyung!”

he doesn’t stop kissing him.