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home is where the murder room is (please move out)

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It’s been awhile since Yoongi decided to day drink. Like properly before noon day drink. When it’s socially unacceptable to drink at a restaurant let alone in the comfort of your own home.

He recalls memories from junior year when he, Namjoon, and Seokjin would spend idle spring days on the quad before final papers were on their radar of things they should be working on. They'd be unashamedly sipping at Seokjin’s Super Secret Special Spring Semester Sangria (which was mostly jungle juice if Yoongi was being completely honest but god forbid he actually told Seokjin that) out of Nalgenes and not giving one single shit.

Those days were lackadaisical and sweet with honeysuckles, or sometimes reeking of those horrible white-flowered trees that smell like jizz, with some upbeat jangly indie twee bullshit playing from Seokjin’s phone all tinny and whining (“I swear to god if you make us listen to Tullycraft one more time, Jin, you’re banned from The Apartment”).

They’d be lightly toasted, just enough to get giggly and stupid but not enough to cause a Taehyung-level scene in front of the administrative building. Even though Seokjin liked to detail the entire history of Sarah Records to an incredibly patient Namjoon and an increasingly annoyed Yoongi, it was lofty and good and carefree, shoulders unburdened by ignoring impending deadlines and tasting of zinfandel and peaches. Day drinking like that was fun.

What’s not fun is being driven to day drink by unexpected and stressful circumstances, which is exactly where Yoongi is at presently.

It’s a beautiful and quiet afternoon. The September sun still heavy and orange with the weird in-between colors of the last remaining bits of summer and the beginnings of autumn. It feels like that one Earth, Wind, and Fire song and Yoongi is reminded of the time he and Jimin were hungover in Wawa waiting for their hoagies the morning after a dance competition party and the sweet sweet dulcet tones of Maurice White gave them enough strength to get them through the day. Jimin had tugged at Yoongi’s hand making him shuffle and wiggle while Jimin did his best attempt to body-roll his way through a Riot Punch induced hangover through the chip aisle in Wawa.

But Wawa is the safest place in the world and sometimes all there is to do is order an Italian hoagie, grab a bag of Herr’s salt and vinegar potato chips, and drink a cookies and cream F’real fast enough to get brain freeze, heartburn, and an IBS flare up all at once.

Regardless, Yoongi was minding his business, tending to the sunflowers on the kitchen table while humming the chorus to a Fall Out Boy song to himself. He was gonna sit his ass down on the couch sans pants, potentially scratch out a couple of lines for his grad project (pointedly ignoring the verse he wrote the day Seulgi barged into his studio. Fucking suns and moons and bullshit. He blames her entirely), and wait until Namjoon got home from the survey level art history course he TAs to order like five things of $3 cheesy garlic bread from the cheap Italian place on grubhub and watch reruns of Mountain Monsters. But the world has a funny way of fucking Yoongi over even in the tiniest of ways.

He tries so, so hard to put good energy out into the universe. He cleans his school studio space and keeps it immaculate by the time he leaves as to not burden the cleaners’, he always pays his bills on time and online to reduce paper waste, he buys Jeongguk lunch when the idiot admits he hadn’t eaten in 24 hours since he was too busy writing code for his programming class. He tries so hard. And yet.

"You mean to tell me you have a room in your house you’ve called Murder Room.”

Unfortunately, most of the tiny things that fuck Yoongi over involve the clusterfuck that is Jimin Park, Taehyung Kim, and Jeongguk Jeon.

“The house that I hauled shit into in 95 degree heat while you and Jimin argued over where to put up your cardboard Legolas cutout for two hours? The house where I scrubbed your toilet after you puked in it after drinking two RT44 sized ocean waters in an hour? That house? That house has a room called Murder Room. We’re talking about the same house right?” shouts Yoongi, volume raising with every sentence he throws out at Taehyung from the kitchen where he’s currently dumping Bailey’s into his coffee.

He reconsiders the amount of coffee he had left in the mug and the amount of Bailey’s he needs to get through this conversation before he stands up on tippy-toes to reach the extra-large emergency mug that Namjoon lovingly customized on zazzle with the phrase “In Case of Taehyung Kim” emblazoned on the front in sparkly pink comic sans.

“Yeah, that house. Jeez, Yoongi keep up. Anyway, yes we have a room in our beautiful home called Murder Room. We mostly don’t go near Murder Room,” Taehyung says flippantly, walking into the kitchen to take pity on Yoongi and his height-challenged woes.

“This isn’t actually comforting at all, Tae,” he responds, snatching the mug from Taehyung and slamming the cabinet shut. The bastard even brightly smiles when he sees the mug immortalizing the pain it causes Yoongi to deal with him.

“I can’t believe we’ve never told you about Murder Room,” Taehyung says, surprised by his most egregious shortcomings in spreading the good good word about Murder Room. He hops up onto the counter and Yoongi muses on how the last time Taehyung was there he was crying about almost getting his finger sliced off by an errant seven year old and the dude who threw up on his bus home.

“Yeah, I can’t believe it either, dickhead!” Yoongi shouts out and finally takes a sip of his liquor with coffee, only sorta grimacing at the layered burn of hours old black coffee and leftover Bailey’s from last St. Patrick’s day. Taehyung reaches to try his concoction and Yoongi smacks his hand.

“You don’t get shit nothing until you explain yourself, Kim.”

“Uch. Okay. We have a Murder Room in our house.” Taehyung supplies, gesturing vaguely with his hand.

“Please, repeat the name more as if I’m supposed to figure out what the fuck you’re talking about through telepathy.”

“If only, Yoongi. If only. It would make all of our lives easier. We’d be like brothers but closer through the linking of our two minds. But back to the point, so we have a Murder Room in the basement. It’s supposedly the fourth bedroom in the house, but the landlord, like, wouldn’t allow that.”

“Well, that’s somewhat reassuring.” Yoongi scoffs out.

“Yeah so, it’s on the unfinished side of the basement, y’know the side where the washer and dryer are?— still can’t believe I haven’t told you about Murder Room—“

“For the love of god get on with it.”

Anyway , it’s guarded by a floor to ceiling door reinforced by a sheet of metal on the outside. It only locks from the outside…. only from the outside. You go in. The entire thing is linoleum. The floor, the wall, the ceiling. Linoleum. The bilco doors that lead into Murder Room are chained shut.”

“Jesus, what the fuck,” Yoongi sputters out around a sip.

“Isn’t it horrible? It smelled musty and too much like bleach the first time we went in there.” He Taehyung clucks his tongue, “ Very suspicious.”

Yoongi almost spits out his drink. Taehyung hands him a napkin from their cow shaped napkin holder.  

“Thus, we don’t go into Murder Room. Because someone was almost definitely murdered in there. I assume the linoleum allows for easy clean-up but I’ve never really meditated on what it’s like to murder someone, so who knows,” Taehyung muses while he picks at the acrylic paint that’s constantly embedded in his cuticles. Joohyun would fucking die if she saw the state of them. Trust a lesbian to care about the status of one’s nail health and hygiene.

“Tae, fucking move out. Your home is fully cursed,” Yoongi begs out of concern, moving to wipe down the counter covered in spittle and Bailey’s.

“Can’t! The lease isn’t up.”

“Break the lease!” Yoongi fires back because it’s the most obvious solution in the world. Because Taehyung, Jimin, and Jeongguk live in an off-campus house that apparently provides sanctuary to a room built for murdering people. And as much as Yoongi is proud of them for being adults and they haven’t done anything yet to not get their security deposit back, he still worries. Jeongguk is just a baby and Jimin and Taehyung are too young to be parents. They’re gonna give him gray hairs.

“No can do, Hobi is moving in.”

Yoongi swears the record scratch that overrides his entire thought process was actually audible enough to be heard from the living room of The Apartment all the way to the room Namjoon is lecturing in. Nay, an entire record store just went out of business over how scratched all those records were.

Yoongi had spent the last week staunchly pretending that Jeongguk’s birthday didn’t happen. There’s only so many times Yoongi can embarrass himself in front of a New Person before he feels the need to commit seppuku the next time the mere idea of said New Person crosses his mind.

And Hoseok Fucking Jung has been on Yoongi’s mind far more than he’s willing to admit (nearly thrice a day like clockwork). His mind on a constant loop of muscle tank-lips-laugh-arms . Needless to say, Yoongi is coping appropriately and he hasn’t been sent into this kind of spiral in a hot second.

There is a reason why Yoongi carefully curates his friendship circle. It’s The Group, The Terrifying Lesbians, and he thinks he considers the sound-guy at that one basement venue a solid workplace proximity associate, but that wholly depends on how many drinks both he and the sound guy have had.

New people mean new variables, deciding whether or not to reveal an entire life’s worth of baggage on them (because Yoongi definitely has at least three suitcases full), keeping them at arm’s length until they eventually give up and determine Yoongi’s façade of grumpy aloofness is how he actually is. If they can’t get through it, and Yoongi will definitely make it difficult to accomplish such a task, there’s no point. The Group and The Terrifying Lesbians are different though. But they fill his quota. He doesn’t need another variable.

He likes his tiny bubble of stability that he’s crafted for himself.

He likes knowing what time Namjoon leaves in the morning and comes home at night and can tell when Joonie needs a hug and a mug of tea with a splash of whiskey in it when his undergrad freshman are acting up. He likes knowing that even though he doesn’t know when Jimin and Tae are gonna be in the apartment, he knows they’ll light the jumbo three-wick soft cotton scented candles for him and Jimin makes him do dance stretches with him so “he doesn’t develop a hunchback and carpal tunnel from slouching over a computer all the time” while Holly gets belly rubs from Tae. He likes knowing that when Seokjin’s right eyelid twitches, he can gently remove the script from his hands and force a bagel into his mouth and all is right in the world.

He likes knowing.

He doesn’t know Hoseok. Yoongi knows he dances, he knows he wears muscle tanks like a sinner, he knows he likes tater tots, and he knows that he mostly seems like an alright guy. It doesn’t stop Yoongi from fretting.

But Hoseok fucking Jung bothered to ask a lot of questions most people don’t bother to ask. Most people who ask about Yoongi about his schooling and his career want something from him. Networking opportunities, a favor so someone can use his private studio, no one is really ever interested genuinely. And he wheedled his way in and Yoongi was too enamored to stop it. He hates him and his stupid face and his stupid arms and his skeevy fuckboy muscle tanks that no decent human being should actually wear out in public.

Yoongi had careful plans to forget about the night and answer “Hoseok, who’s that, the name doesn’t ring a bell,” when he was going to be inevitably brought up in conversation. He hasn’t seen Hoseok since the night at The Bar with the Cher singalong in the Sonic drive-thru line and he intends on keeping it that way. Compartmentalizing is important and his therapist loves to reiterate that to him.

And now there was no avoiding it. Yoongi’s over at The Gremlin Zone at least once a week, twice if no one else is home and Jimin needs someone to touch the gross wet food collected in the kitchen sink drain strainer. Jimin will need to grow up and touch the wet, soggy lettuce now because like hell Yoongi is going over there now.

Record scratch again.

“Hold on, are you saying that Hoseok is gonna live in Murder Room?”

“No! God, Yoongi, I’m not a monster. Let alone a murderer. Geeze. It’s like you don’t trust me or something,” Taehyung pouts.

“Is this why you’re always here?” Yoongi snorts out.

“Nah, I’m always here because Jeongguk’s socks are becoming a science experiment on stinkiness and Jimin only buys almond milk now, but you guys keep the real stuff.”

“Oh my god, you absolute pain in the ass.”

“What! It’s totally a valid reason!”

“I guess .”

“You love me, Oh Benevolent Yet Grumpy One.”

At that moment, in a flurry of graded papers with angry red marker all over them and overpriced coats from Urban Outfitters (which it’s definitely still too warm for coats but the last time Yoongi tried to convince Namjoon to wear weather appropriate clothing he got a passionate schpiel about fashion as living sculpture that cannot be constrained by the will of Mother Nature’s weather-related decisions and that was that on that), walks in Namjoon being trailed by Jin angrily fisting a script in one hand shaking it to convey whatever diatribe he’s passionately delivering at an only relatively bothered Namjoon.

“Twenty-two dollars for a knish, Joonie. Twenty-two fucking dollars. It’s asinine. The commodification of traditional folk foods and then being marketed to a wealthier demographic, stripping it of its historical roots and making those foods inaccessible to those who invented it is ruining food culture, Joonie. I won’t stand for it. For twenty-two dollars they can eat my ass,” Seokjin delivers with such righteous zeal that only a man possessing a Bachelor’s in theater could convey it.

Overdramatic? Definitely, seeing as he flings a Tennessee Williams script on the coffee table so hard he nearly knocks over Yoongi’s open laptop. The lingering September humidity, the certain kind of madness only public transit can illicit, and the Tennessee Williams script explain it all.

Well, there goes Yoongi’s plans of mindlessly shoving $3 cheesy garlic bread into his maw while getting very worked up over Mountain Monsters reruns, but seeing Seokjin yell at a half-attentive Namjoon is definitely worth it every time for entertainment purposes alone.

“While I definitely give a shit and want to sit down and properly talk about foodie culture and the gentrification of food, I want to know why it’s knishes that’s got you fired up and not like, white girls doing soju bombs in K-Town and spending six dollars for a tiny amuse-bouche sized mandu that I know your mom makes way better than any bougie Korean tapas place ever could,” Namjoon says back at him.

“All cultures matter, Joonie and you of all people should know that. I just happened to crave a knish and was in the Upper Eastside where apparently the Halal carts are too lowbrow for the sidewalks there so I googled ‘best knishes in manhattan’ and Thrillist gave me a suggestion for a knish that cost twenty-two dollars. I mean, I know that Giuliani was an anti-semite and banned knishes because it was a so-called food safety violation. But, what kind of moron thinks that food-borne pathogens are going to grow in a fully cooked potato cake . It’s potato, flour, water, and salt. Sauerkraut maybe . It’s ridiculous and I won’t stand for it,” Seokjin says with immense conviction, setting his millennial pink Fjällräven bag on the coffee table (Yoongi had once grumbled “just use a Jansport like the rest of us, asshole” and Seokjin resolutely cuffed him upside the head and said that he wouldn’t know quality unless it kicked him in the ass).

He leans over the coffee table to peek through the kitchen doorway to give a waggle of his fingers and blow a kiss in greeting to Yoongi and Taehyung. Taehyung reaches out his hand to catch and slap his cheek with the kiss.

“I will tell Misook you said that by the way. Hope you realize that means you’re forcefully coming to Sunday night dinner at the Kim’s,” Seokjin continues.

“Your mother is lovely, but I truly don’t know if I can handle Misook Kim all buttered up over her supposed ‘the only future-son-in-law worthy of her precious boy’ complimenting her cooking,” Namjoon responds, taking off his overpriced sky-blue wool duster (it’s fucking September, it’s absurd to being wearing wool ), and flinging it over the ugly pink wingchair. He peeks through the kitchen doorway as well to give Yoongi and Taehyung a bro-nod as a hello.

Taehyung leans over, precariously, ass about to slip off the kitchen counter, to see Namjoon and Seokjin flitting about getting into each other’s space as they make moves to settle down in the living room, turns back to Yoongi and whispers, “Do they know they’re not actually dating?”

Yoongi shrugs, having had this conversation with everyone in The Group at least thrice.

“Definitely not.”

“Hmm,” Taehyung hums, sneakily reaching for Yoongi’s mug again and Yoongi grabs the fly swatter on the counter and smacks his hand.

“No, get your own,” he points at Taehyung with the swatter and wiggles the plastic flap against his nose.

So he’s not able to sit around in his ugly stretched out most comfortable pair of boxer briefs that absolutely do not have Kumamon’s face printed on the butt, pretending he’s going to get any writing done. He hides his small smile behind his coffee mug at Namjoon and Seokjin’s banter and domestic habits. They’ll get it together someday.

Hopefully sooner rather than later cause he has a bet riding on opening night of Seokjin’s performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in November. Jeongguk’s bet is on New Year’s Eve. Yoongi would rather die than lose fifty bucks to Jeongguk Jeon. He’d never live it down.

Music starts to filter into the kitchen while Taehyung is raiding the fridge for the Hawaiian Punch he put in there the other day because Jimin keeps drinking it and Taehyung is sick of it so thus the solution is Yoongi’s fridge.

“I swear to god if that’s fucking Belle & Sebastian your ass is grass, Seokjin Kim,” Yoongi shouts out.

All he gets is a squeaky laugh in return.

 

———

 

It’s Friday and Yoongi finds himself humming and singing under his breath yet again on his way home from The Coffee Place, not Fall Out Boy or something more respectable like Frank Ocean, but Seokjin’s bullshit twee garbage that has infiltrated his brain.

“San Francisco’s calling us, the Giants and Mets will play. Piazza, New York catcher, are you straight or gay?” Yoongi mumbles dodging the other college students milling about on the sidewalks of downtown, protecting the coffee holder for his and Namjoon’s drinks and the bag full of pastries to last them the weekend. He has a critique first thing Monday morning that he’s given very little thought to this week and he hates himself for it.

He’d already spent most of his day squirreled away in the music building, hammering out angry chords on the baby grand in the reserved practice room, frustrated that he couldn’t make his melodies come together for just one measly song for his project. He had an iota of a song, the song inspired by the Terrifying Lesbians but it was still just scratched out lyrics waxing poetically about the moon hanging in the sky and crap like that.

He dawdles a little bit, pausing at the outdoor display of the local bookstore where he spots a discounted coffee table book of Degas’s ballet paintings and purchases it, knowing that Jimin would like looking at it the next time he’s over and for Namjoon to go on his French Impressionist rant for the millionth time which cracks Yoongi up every time.

(“Impressionist scholarship is terrible and anyone who likes looking at Monet’s muddied bullshit excuses for landscapes has bad taste in art,” Namjoon had yelled about this when he was still a humble undergrad, angry at the state of art historical scholarship and determined to change it since no one else was doing it. The same crusty white scholars haven’t died out yet and Namjoon is one hundred percent pressed about it.

“Namjoon, you have no room to talk. You study Dada .”)

He goes back into the September sun, last bits of summer clinging on desperately, knees creaking yet again and his feet blistering in his barely broken in Docs, keys jingling on his belt loop in time with his mumbled singing when he sees a glimpse of gaudy Aloha print and frayed jean shorts through the throngs of perky students in front of the new taco place next to the bookstore.

Nope this can’t be happening to Yoongi on this day of days.

First off, his songs were coming along like shit, secondly Seokjin got his garbage twee songs stuck in his head yesterday and they won’t fucking leave, and now he’s seen Hoseok Fucking Jung in the wild scarfing down a taco, resting against the brick wall front of the taco place, ankles crossed. Yellow converses, of course. Yoongi hates converses. Fuck his balance too, fuck dancers and their innate ability to be graceful not matter what they’re doing.

Let it be known, Yoongi is a bitch ass coward who runs from his feelings and situations that he hates. He understands this is a personality flaw. He’s a Pisces, he can’t help it. His therapist encourages him on a weekly basis that he should probably stop doing that thing. But Yoongi is probably not going to stop doing that thing.

Seeing Hoseok Jung out in public in the light of day and not in a dimly lit bar surrounded by people in their decade old skinny jeans that definitely don’t fit anymore is a very jarring experience if only because he’s not wearing that forsaken muscle tank. So Yoongi does what any self-respecting adult would do and trips over his own two feet trying to duck behind a conveniently placed bush.

He peeks his head out to keep track of Hoseok’s movements to see when he’s going to leave. Because he’s a coward. But of course, the universe has a funny way of fucking Yoongi over constantly and relentlessly, and Hoseok is talking to Jeongguk which is fine. Totally fine. Jeongguk’s making new friends, he’s made a new roommate and Yoongi is extremely proud of him but not when said new friend has made Yoongi’s life incredibly difficult in an incredibly short span of time.

Yes, Yoongi is perfectly aware he is overreacting and is perfectly aware that he shouldn’t be having a public silent freakout over finding someone attractive. Incredibly attractive. And kind. And passionate about the things that he cared about. And he took an interest in getting to know Yoongi. And has abs . But Yoongi has never processed feelings the way that he should do thus him hiding behind a bush where a professor on their lunch is definitely staring at him. It’s fine . It’s The Rules .

Regardless, he’s close enough to them that he can hear snippets of their conversation including phrases such as “smash bros tournament,” “Drake has small dick energy,” and “we’ll see everyone in The Group later.” And, like a fucking coward, when Yoongi hears “we’ll see everyone in The Group later,” he promptly bolts from his bush, yes it’s his bush now, to scamper past the taco place.

Hell yeah, they didn’t notice him. Well, who actually knows. He didn’t bother looking over his shoulder to notice Hoseok squinting in his general direction after making the bush shake a little bit too much.

Time to go the fuck home, pelt a pastry at Namjoon, and take his pants off rendering him useless to see everyone in The Group later.

It’s been a day.

 

———

 

So Yoongi does end up pelting Namjoon with a pastry.

It was, in fact, wrapped in grid printed butcher’s paper and sealed shut with a stupid kitschy sticker, so that at least lessened the blow and it was Namjoon’s favorite lemon poppyseed muffin so Yoongi should be getting showered in more thank yous and less squawks of indigence.

To be fair, the pelting wasn’t done out of aggressive love it was mostly done out of a dumb reflex when being told they were hosting an impromptu Smash Bros tournament at The Apartment that evening confirming his suspicions after very blatantly eavesdropping on Jeongguk’s conversation. Fight or flight be damned because muffin tossing makes more sense in Yoongi’s brain than literally any other normal human response at that present moment.

“What the fuck was that for, asshole?” sputters Namjoon, dropping his pen from where he was grading more survey course quizzes, rubbing at his chest as if Yoongi’s pitiful strength behind the muffin toss was anywhere near powerful enough to cause pain.

“I would at least like a text to mentally prepare myself for having everyone over in,” Yoongi growls out, pointedly checking his phone, “like two hours.” He drops the bag of delicious pastries bought with money out of his checking account onto the coffee table.

“At least I fucking bought food,” he grumbles out, flopping next to Namjoon on the couch, fighting to untie his Docs, and shoving his toes under Namjoon’s thigh. He makes a couple of jabs with his toes before settling down. Namjoon pokes his unnecessarily pointy fingers in the soft underneath of his arm in retaliation before grabbing the couch duvet to drape it over Yoongi’s head.

“I’m sorry, but you know I can’t say no when The Gremlins demand shit from me. And then when Seokjin chimes in and also begs I really, really can’t say no,”

“Of course it’s only when Jin bats his pretty eyelashes at you do you succumb to doing anything. You swoon ,” Yoongi teases from beneath the duvet, wiggling his toes some more to punctuate his point.

Namjoon sputters and flusters a bit before batting Yoongi’s blanket-covered head, “I- I don’t- It’s not-. I don’t swoon.

“Uh-huh you keep telling yourself that big guy, I know the real truth,” Yoongi continues.

Namjoon grumbles a bit more while eating his muffin, Yoongi wiggles his toes some more, Holly jumps up on the couch and burrows underneath the duvet with Yoongi, Namjoon spits out a “fucking traitor,” at the dog, spraying poppyseed crumbs everywhere.

“Hey so did you know that the kids have a room in their home called Murder Room?”

“Excuse me, what the fuck .”

 

———

 

Thank god Seulgi and Joohyun brought a six-pack of the lingering good seasonal summer shit the big liquor store has been trying to get rid of to make room for the plethora of pumpkin beers October always brings because it’s a great distraction from helping Jeongguk and Taehyung lug out the CRT from the back of the storage closet. They insisted vehemently that the only way to do a proper Smash Bros tournament was with Melee on a Gamecube on a CRT. No if ands or buts about it. Yoongi is staunchly not involved.

“The normal TV has A/V ports and you also spent a hundred bucks on an HD adapter for the Gamecube, and yet you bring out the CRT,” Yoongi calls out lazily through the kitchen doorway when Taehyung drops the weight of the TV on his end leaving Jeongguk to carry the brunt of it.

“They’re going for authenticity, something about ‘only real gamers still play on CRTs,’” Seulgi says as she also goes to crack open a cold one and clinks the neck of her bottle to Yoongi’s when he holds it out to her. She smacks a red-lipstick print on Joohyun’s cheek before clinking her bottle too and receives a pat on her hip in return.

Seulgi’s hair has changed from black to orange in the interim of Yoongi not seeing her for a week. It looks lovely and it’s stupidly adorable how Joohyun is gently twisting her newly coppery orange locks around her perfectly manicured finger. Namjoon, also staunchly not involved with the moving of the TV and trying not to cringe as Taehyung and Jeongguk destroy the very precise and organized arrangement of cables, moves into the kitchen with them, trying not to look back at the current disaster status of their living room.

“I’m digging the new hair color, very pre-Raphaelite. Y’know, Waterhouse and shit,” compliments Namjoon as Yoongi passes him a bottle of beer too. Seulgi flips her hair around dramatically at the praise, Yoongi snorts when her ends hit Namjoon in the shoulder.

“I was going for Judith Slaying Holofernes, but I’ll take it. And Joonie, if only I weren’t a lesbian I’d be swooning. Don’t let Seokjin hear you complimenting one of the only girls you talk to,” Seulgi pats Namjoon on the arm and he flushes and flusters.

“What is that even supposed to mean ? I am very much a homosexual man and Seokjin knows that. Actually, why are you even mentioning him?” Namjoon fires back. Now it was Seulgi’s turn to snort.

“Because he’s making cow-eyes at you from the living room and it’s frankly sickening. You two have got to do something to do something about this, I am very tired of you being bad at feelings,” Joohyun says.

Namjoon was about to attempt to deny anything remotely suggesting that Seokjin might actually have a thing for him (which he does, Yoongi and Seulgi have told Namjoon this multiple times over but god forbid he actually listens to them) when there’s a shout of triumph followed by a yip from Holly from the living room that causes them to vacate the counter space and check what’s going on. Unfortunately, in their group of friends a shout of triumph could mean anything from finishing a very long project just in time for the 11:59 deadline to Thing 1 and Thing 2 smuggling yet another stray animal into their apartment when they have a perfectly good house to do so in.

Well, describing The Gremlin Zone as a perfectly good home is subject to some debate now given the newly discovered knowledge of Murder Room, but that is a conversation to have with Namjoon and Seokjin later on and how they can somewhat guide Taehyung, Jimin, Jeongguk and now Hoseok into making wise decisions about living situations.

Probably involving very solid advice about breaking a lease and checking to see if a new off-campus house wouldn’t be home to a room built for murdering people.

Taehyung is sucking at his thumb having dropped the weight of the CRT TV weirdly on his hand. Jeongguk wiggles his butt as he gets all the cables plugged in accordingly and Seokjin criticizes Jeongguk’s age reminding him that he probably doesn’t even remember a time when A/V cables were still used.

“Fuck you, old man,” Jeongguk bites back, untangling all the controllers from the storage bin.

“1 v 1 me, scrub,” Seokjin challenges, nodding his head up to jut his chin out.

“Oh yeah, it’s gonna be a real difficult match. You’re basically a casual at this point, what’s your rank looking like these days in League? I bet you’re not even gold,” Jeongguk scoffs. Jimin definitely murmurs something about how this isn’t even about League and that Jeongguk doesn’t even play that game and proceeds to lean forward to untangle the controllers cords that are still bundled together in Medusa-like fashion.

Yoongi takes pity on Jimin and remembers to give him the Degas artbook from his walk through downtown earlier. Jimin’s eyes light up and he looks positively thrilled when Yoongi crouches to hand it off and he tosses Yoongi a closed-eyed grin and squeezes his hand in thanks. Yoongi squeezes back and returns to his kitchen doorway position, acting as a self-appointed chaperone.

Seokjin was about to launch himself over the coffee table to throttle Jeongguk you little piece of shit when there’s a knock on the door, thankfully stopping a fight before it could even begin.

“Oh, Hobi’s here!” Jeongguk says, deftly dodging Seokjin’s pounce and taking the time to stick out his tongue at him like the little shit that he is. But to be fair, Seokjin is no better since he does the same thing and huffs as he thumps back down onto the couch.

Yoongi doesn’t really know why he expected anything different. Maybe he was secretly hoping that Sooyoung and Yeri would actually drag their asses out of Brooklyn for once to hang out with them or for Wendy to magically visit from Canada and bring ketchup chips back for him, but he knew deep in his soul that Hoseok was going to be in his apartment that evening.

He eavesdropped on his conversation with Jeongguk earlier, of course he knew, but Yoongi did what he does best which is if one pretends that a problem doesn’t exist then it will eventually go away. That never works, unfortunately.

Both Seulgi and Namjoon give him looks, Seulgi looking far too giddy for her own good and Namjoon softly concerned but Yoongi can see through it and sniff out the underlying “can’t wait to see how this goes” tone of his scrunched together eyebrows. Because eyebrows can totally have a tone.

To keep up appearances and in sheer desperation to not embarrass himself again in front of Hoseok Fucking Jung, he attempts to prop himself in the kitchen doorway, ankles crosses, holding his beer in a very blasé manner.

God, he looks like a fucking asshole anyway doesn’t he? He totally looks like an asshole. He’s already uncrossed and recrossed his ankles three times. He’s wearing mismatching socks, threadbare skinny jeans, and Namjoon’s state championship high school marching band hoodie that he makes him look like a thirteen year old wearing his older brother’s clothing. His hair is so faded it’s barely mint anymore, it’s spitty Listerine.

This is a fucking nightmare.

Hoseok is greeted by The Gremlins chanting “Hobi, Hobi, Hobi, Hobi” at him and he struggles to toe off his yellow converses without putting down the huge brown bag with a growing grease stain along the bottom edges he’s carrying and juggling trying to wave hello to everyone with the hand that’s carrying a six-pack. Yoongi notes his selection, Luau-Lupa IPA from Dogfish Head. Seulgi will very pleased.

Yoongi would recognize that grease soaked brown paper bag anywhere. It’s the $3 cheesy garlic bread from The Italian Place on grubhub.

The sound of Cupid’s arrow piercing Yoongi’s heart could probably be heard from space.

That’s when Seulgi teleports behind him to whisper in his ear, “The Sun and The Moon, my darling Yoongi,” and Joohyun joins her to wiggle his fingers and join her whispering with “he has a decent pair of shoes, did you find out if he listens to Soundcloud rappers yet?” in his other ear. “Remember those good vibes, dweeb.”

A pox upon their home.

He hasn’t told them that he couldn’t get out more than barely three sentences out at The Bar because he was so overwhelmed by Hoseok’s heart-shaped smile and his arms and his high-pitched laugh. He would never hear the end of it from The Terrifying Lesbians and then they’d tell the rest of their so-called coven (maybe that would finally drag Sooyoung and Yeri out of their overpriced Brooklyn apartment and Wendy would take the next flight out of Toronto).

Yoongi takes a deep long sip from his beer. He truly can’t do this right now.

Namjoon thumps Yoongi on the back, squeezing past him to greet Hoseok and gives him the Bro Greeting. Yes, Yoongi nearly sprays out his sip and yes, he pulls back so fast that his beer foams over. Yes, this is the worst day of Yoongi’s life because Hoseok is staring at him with genuine concern.

“Hey, man, you good?” Hoseok asks, reaching to rub a hand soothingly on Yoongi’s arm.

“Uh, yeah. Just went down the wrong pipe, here lemme grab that from you,” Yoongi chokes out, offering his hand out to take the six-pack. “I’m gonna put this in the fridge ,” he says over his shoulder, turning to go back into the kitchen. Definitely under the guise of attempting to be a good host and also to calm himself down, center himself, practice fucking mindfullness.

But he catches a glance at Hoseok nodding before he’s grabbed by Jeongguk to sit him, well more like wedge him, on the couch between himself and Seokjin who greets him with a slap on the thigh.

Quite honestly he deserves an award for having a mostly normal interaction despite the speed bump. It was two whole sentences, but that was progress since at this point Yoongi has accepted his fate as having to be subject to Hoseok’s presence given his recent adoption by The Gremlins. He can do friends. He can definitely pull himself together to be friends with Hoseok.

Seulgi dramatically stretches, cat-like, across Jeongguk’s lap to reach her hand over the arm of the couch to shake Hoseok’s hand, who at this point looks overwhelmed by all the attention, only kinda panicked and only kinda terrified of Seulgi with her new flaming orange hair and sharply swooped eyeliner. Which is fair, everyone is terrified of Seulgi at first.

“Hi, I’m Seulgi. Art student, beer connoisseur, can sometimes predict the future, and in-house therapist to The Group. Sorry you’ve been dragged into this mess, but we’re glad to have you,” she greets, Hoseok limply shaking her hand. Yet again, totally justifiable response. She gives him a welcoming smile and the spell of Seulgi is broken and Hoseok grins back at her, heart-shaped and beaming. Jeongguk grimaces trying to wriggle himself out from underneath Seulgi’s torso.

“Just because I don’t have a thing for you anymore doesn’t mean you can just… do that…” he whines. Seulgi pinches at Jeongguk’s cheek and coos at him. Jeongguk eyes plea towards Hoseok who just laughs at his misfortune before turning his attention back to Seulgi.

“Hope you like IPAs, I snagged the last pack of that Dogfish Head coconut IPA from the good liquor place off of the highway,” he says and Seulgi gasps, jumping off of Jeongguk who lets out a ‘whoomp’ when she elbows him in the solar plexus.

“Fuck, you’re a god amongst men Hoseok Jung. That place has been trying to move that stock out for weeks to make room for all the pumpkin bullshit. I don’t care that it’s available year round when liquor stores treat Luau-Lupa like it’s seasonal. It’s a crime and I won’t stand for it,” she says, bending to press a swift kiss to Hoseok’s cheek, who looks a little stunned, and twirls away to the kitchen once again.  

“Yeah, she has that effect on people. She’s a lesbian though, don’t worry about it,” Jeongguk waves off to Hoseok, giving the CRT one last final push against the wall, nearly knocking over one of the many vases of sunflowers. He at least has the wherewithal to look apologetic about the sunflowers for Yoongi’s sake, who’s been watching the scene from the kitchen door, lowkey stressed and a little panicked, fingers ripping bigger holes into the cuffs of Namjoon’s hoodie. Yoongi Min: asshole extraordinaire, fashion icon wearing the bummiest outfit known to man in front of known dancer and tropical print enthusiast Hoseok Jung. Desperately chugging his beer all the same, carbonation burning down his throat.

“Nah, I’m used to those types. Dance girls are always scary and have that air of ‘I am more powerful than you will ever be,’ art girls are the other side of the same coin. Either way, you saw me sing to Cher the other night, I’m definitely not straight. Like at all,” Hoseok says, flicking his eyes towards the kitchen where Yoongi is now attempting to make himself look busy by putting The Coffee Place pastries on a plate that were supposed to be project-fuel for him and Namjoon this weekend and grabbing a wad of napkins. Just call him Suzy fucking Homemaker.

“You’ll fit right in with the rest of the lads, Hobi,” Seokjin says through laughs directed at Jeongguk’s misfortune.

Not that Yoongi really processes any of that conversation whatsoever since he is trying to ignore it. Desperately. Not when he looks like a gremlin and Hoseok looks like… that . His socks have little crabs on them. Little fucking crabs. And he’s definitely not wearing a shirt underneath the breezy tropical printed dad shirt, all buttoned low, his tanned chest on reveal when he leaned forward to set the cheesy garlic bread down on the coffee table in between the flowers and art supplies.

Collarbones are definitely a thing that Hoseok has, and he may be thinking about like kissing them a lot? Or unbuttoning that shirt just a little bit lower. He mentally smacks himself across the face, The Rules dipshit the fucking Rules we’re trying to be friends .

Seulgi leans up behind him again like it’s her fucking job to perch behind him, replacing the empty beer bottle in his hand with a can of the good Dogfish Head, breaking Yoongi out of Hoseok Jung induced reverie.

“You’re not being subtle, peaches.”

“I am so subtle, so subtle that you need a PhD to pick up on my artfully crafted nuances akin to tomes of Russian literature. I’m subtle like notes of citrus in the house blend from The Coffee Place, only a true coffee sommelier can detect my subtleties.”

“I don’t think coffee experts are called that.”

“Incredibly and totally not the point, witch.” Seulgi slaps him on the arm. Yoongi has the audacity to look offended.

“You haven’t moved from this doorway since you mustered up a single degree of courage to say hi, proud of you for that one by the way,”

“Thanks.”

“No problem, but it’s time to get the fuck over yourself and make the apple of your eye feel welcome in your home. A s a friend if that’s what you’re so concerned about. I have a feeling he’s gonna stick around for a while, maybe offer him a blanket.”

“Yeah, I guess. I could do that. Yeah, that’s what normal people do right?”

“That’s absolutely what normal people do for friends, you want to be friends, he seems like a good egg,” Seulgi pushes him into the kitchen, “Go get ‘em tiger, oh and bring this wine out to sweet Jimin, he looks like he’s suffering just listening to Jinnie and Gukkie argue.”

Yoongi takes a deep breath and mentally prepares himself for the next four hours of Smash Bros and ignoring Hoseok’s collarbones.

 

——

 

Despite Yoongi being the human embodiment of pure, unbridled embarrassment particularly when it comes to making a fool of himself in front of people he means to impress, he does make it a point to try and stop his friends from embarrassing themselves in front of others. Self-preservation, preservation for his friends, a misguided sense of parenthood, he doesn’t know.

Yoongi is really trying to be a good host, especially with the teeny burst of energy from Seulgi’s minor pep talk coursing through his veins. He’s going to hand Jimin a filled to the brim glass of pinot grigio and offer a blanket to Hoseok and settle in the ugly pink wing chair and coast through the evening. Maybe throw in a diss at the expense of Jin.

But Yoongi sees the scene in slow motion, Jimin laying on the floor kicking his legs to hit his butt in front of the TV, patiently waiting for Seokjin to stop berating Jeongguk’s age and tickling at Jeongguk’s knees through the holes in his jeans while he puts the final fucking finishing touches on this hell set up just to play Melee, when Taehyung nudges Jimin’s ass with his pink glittery painted toe.

“Hey, Jimin?”

“Yeah, baby?”

“Let’s ninety-six,”

Baby , I thought you’d never ask,”

And Taehyung lays atop Jimin, ass to shoulders, shoulders to ass. Yoongi wishes he could stop whatever the hell was going on in his apartment, they’ve done this before and he didn’t need to see it again for the thirteenth time. Hoseok doesn’t need to see it.

But as Hoseok gives a deep-bellied chuckle at their antics and Yoongi forgets that of course Hoseok would know about their bullshit and Namjoon starts groaning and Joohyun has given up any sort of pretense of being the only legitimate adult in the room by joining Hoseok in laughing and Yoongi tries to pry Taehyung off of Jimin to hand him the precariously filled glass of wine as Jeongguk announces with deep panache:

“Sakurai, praise be unto him! We are ready to begin this evening’s tournament!”

Yoongi sighs, borderline tosses the wine to Jimin, and turns to settle down in his ugly pink wing-chair.

Which currently has Seulgi seated prettily with Joohyun sitting on her lap and they give him a smirk. And Namjoon has settled on the arm of the couch closest to Jin and Taehyung and Jimin are laying on top of each other on the floor and-

The only open seat is next to Hoseok. On the couch.

A pox. A pox on their fucking house.

Namjoon even has the gall to peek behind Jin’s broad dorito sized shoulders to smirk at him too.

But Yoongi is an adult, he’s a kind host, he’s gonna sit next to Hoseok Jung and be cool about it.

At this point Jeongguk is dramatically pausing to wait for Yoongi to settle in and the plan to coast through the next four hours is becoming null and void. Hoseok just looks up at Yoongi, soft and inviting, and tugs his holey sweatshirt to get him to just sit down already. He’s only kind of mortified.

“I like your socks,” Hoseok leans in to say under his breath to Yoongi and boy does the hair on the back of Yoongi’s neck tickle and he feels his ears warming up and he is totally not playing it cool. His socks don’t even fucking match.

“Ah, thanks. Yours too. Crabs, very cute,” he positions himself to squish his legs up on the couch off the floor, trying to keep as much distance between Hoseok and his thighs from touching. What he really means is that Hoseok is cute, but the crabs will have to suffice. Yoongi may be wearing skinny jeans but Hoseok’s thighs are just. There. Out and about. Sky’s out, thighs out.

“They are aren’t they? Target, man,” he chuckles out, moving to tug the couch duvet stuck underneath his ass, and drapes it over Yoongi’s toes. That was supposed to be Yoongi’s job .

Jeongguk claps loudly.

“Pay attention, this is so important. Your lives depend on it. Heed my call, assholes.”

Jin opens his mouth to yell something at Jeongguk.

“Shut it! Four player melee, four lives, no items, first person knocked out leaves the competition, Corneria only, everyone plays!”

“God you’re so bad at setting this up, Jeon! That makes no sense!” Jin finally gets out.

“It was my birthday last week, I’m the birthday boy, I make the rules!” he pouts, hands on his hips.

Joohyun and Namjoon being the voices of reason shout out at everyone to just fucking grab controller and get on with it and Yoongi chimes in with “Just hold each other’s hands and shut up!”

Jeongguk, Jin, Jimin, and Taehyung were the only ones immediately up to the task selecting their characters swiftly, Yoongi recognizes that everyone defaulted to their mains to make it a fair fight. The blood shed should be interesting tonight, Jin’s already drunk and picked Peach and Jeongguk’s gone for Fox. Yikes.

“This is gonna be a disaster,” Hoseok mumbles next to him, taking a deep swig from his beer.

“Oh, you have no idea, Hoseok Jung,” Yoongi says back, drinking in solidarity.

 

——

 

Two hours later, four drinks in, and two stopped fist-fights between Seokjin and Jeongguk later, Yoongi finds himself with the kinda melted black controller (all because Seokjin wanted to see if he could melt plastic with a match finals week three years ago, and turns out he could) in his hands. The room spins slowly if he moves his head too quickly, it’s a little too warm underneath his duvet, and Namjoon is staring at Jin a little too starry eyed to be completely sober.

“What the hell am I supposed to do with this?” Yoongi asks, slurring his s’s only like just a little bit. Nothing too extreme. Shut up, those IPAs were strong.

“Play the game, ding dong,” Taehyung pipes up.

“No, I’m not involved.”

“Oh, but yes you are involved.”

“My house, my rules. I’m not involved.”

“Nice try, but you’re playing.”

Hoseok says through the tiff between Yoongi and Taehyung, “I’ll play if you play, Yoongi.” All lazy smiles, head cocked to one side like he was too tipsy to keep it up upright anymore, tropical shirt hanging dangerously off of one shoulder at this point. Yoongi hadn’t noticed, he had been too busy staring at the screen straight in front of him, picking at beer labels, spending too much time making sure there was a blanket and an inch of space between his and Hoseok’s thighs.

Before Yoongi has a chance to respond, Hoseok turns to grin at him, an eyebrow raised, a little taunting, almost begging for a challenge.

“What, you’re too afraid to play against me?”

Yoongi wouldn’t necessarily say he’s a pacifist. He’s just very selective about the kind of shit he gives a shit about. He doesn’t pander and give into jabs and playful insults easily. But, Yoongi has a couple drinks running through him, he’s desperately pretending to not notice Hoseok whip-cord lithe forearms as he twirls a finger in the controller cord, and maybe the reasonable part of his brain has shut down a little bit. He’s a little stupid.

Suddenly he has a point to prove. To himself, to Taehyung, to Hoseok.

The way that he’s gonna impress Hoseok is by kicking his ass at Smash Bros, apparently. Nothing says burgeoning new friendship, completely devoid of any romantic feelings whatsoever (thighs be damned), is to destroy someone in a commonplace video game meant to bring friends together. That is what his brain has decided for him. And he’s gonna do it .

Let it be known that Yoongi is not, well, the best at video games. Pokemon Yellow may have been his shit when he was 10 but his hand coordination has limitations and apparently he’s only allowed to use that to play piano and nothing else. He’s patently and notoriously bad at Smash Bros. Walking off the map, being at 187% damage barely a minute in, playing only one character and spamming ‘up + B,” he’s flat out bad at this game.

“I’d never be afraid of you, Hoseok Jung,” Yoongi seriously says, like a liar since he’s terrified of Hoseok, unfurling his legs from under the duvet, leaning forward resting his elbows on his knees. He may or may not have given out a wink and poked his tongue through his teeth when playfully grinning up at Hoseok. He’s Yoongi fucking Min of course he’s not afraid. He can do anything. He has the power of god and beer on his side. And yeah he just winked at Hoseok Jung. He can do this.

“That’s not how you were acting this aftern-,” Namjoon is cut off by Seokjin jabbing him in the ribs with his elbows.

“Let him have this,” he hisses.

With a flourish of his wrist, Taehyung allows them to go to the character select screen.

Hoseok picks Ness as Yoongi goes for Young Link. Yeah sure Seulgi and Joohyun were playing this round as well, but the true battle was between him and Hoseok.

Jeongguk whistles lowly and crosses his arms in front of his chest, “This is gonna be a doozy of a match, lads.”

 

----

 

Yoongi enters what can only be referred to as an emotional fugue state where the spirit of a fabled EVO Melee player became the puppeteer of his body.

“Yoongi won,” Jeongguk says in disbelief, with Seokjin and Jimin nodding along with him, jaws slack.

“Yoongi. You won,” Namjoon states, with some gumption to pump Yoongi up about his upset win.

“Holy shit, I won,” Yoongi also says in disbelief, finally relaxing the vice like grip he had on the controller. The plastic creaks at the release of pressure and he goes to rub a sweaty hand across his equally as sweaty face. He’s ripped from his emotional fugue and lets out a raggedy breath he didn’t realize he was holding (was he getting enough oxygen through that entire high-stakes game, probably not) when Hoseok slumps into his shoulder, drunk and giggly and warm.

“Yoongi, you’re a man of honor. I concede. I mistakenly underestimated you. Allow me to kiss your feet and grovel. Let me get you a celebratory bev, another beer?” Hoseok says, all cheery with an extremely poorly executed posh British accent that is the equivalent of nails on a  chalkboard for Seokjin.

“Yeah, a beer would be nice,” Yoongi responds, still in a daze. Hoseok pats his knee, using it to help him climb out of their overly cushy and mushy threadbare couch, and moves into the kitchen, only kinda stumbling and bumping his shoulder into the doorframe. He laughs and apologizes under his breath to the wall.

Everyone moves simultaneously to look at Yoongi.

“What the fuck was that!” Taehyung loudly hisses at Yoongi, breaking the silence, leaving his spot in Jimin’s lap and crawls across the floor to get in his face. All Yoongi can do is blink slowly at Taehyung and try to gently shove his face away, huge hand covering the entire left side of Taehyung’s face.

“Stop it, you dense fool. Go talk to him in the kitchen, go!” Taehyung whisper-shouts, hands flapping trying to adjust the shoulders of Yoongi’s hoodie.

“No why would I do that, I can’t look at him, what just happened ?” Yoongi whisper-shouts right back at Taehyung, smacking at Taehyung’s hands on his shoulders to get them off of his person immediately.

Namjoon intervenes, and aggressively drags Yoongi off the couch, who definitely puts up a fight like a cat going limp to avoid being moved, and nudges him towards the kitchen where Hoseok’s humming is heard.

“Is he humming Tullycraft?” Yoongi hears Seokjin ask excitedly and Namjoon just squints at him, “So, not the point, Jin.” as he shuffles into the kitchen after bothering to pick up the plethora of empty bottles on coffee table on his way over.

“What! He’s got good taste!” he replies, affronted.

The bottles in Yoongi’s arms clack together, making Hoseok hop in surprise, hand clutching his heart, interrupting his search for the bottle opener. Yoongi actually feels bad about spooking him, and it’s kinda cute? Bad, so bad, friends .

“It’s over in the cow,” Yoongi helpfully points out, gently placing the bottles in the recycling bin Jimin and Taehyung painted rainbows all over.

“The cow?” Hoseok starts spinning in arching circles, mini-pirouettes executed with grace despite the amount of beer dumped into his body this evening, looking all over for the cow.

Yoongi reaches to steady Hoseok by the hip before he whacked Yoongi in the face with his noodle arms, and Hoseok comes to a halt and looks at Yoongi with surprise before his face breaks into a wide grin, lazy and loose. Yoongi does not spend any time looking at Hoseok’s mouth, entirely too soft looking, and pink, is that fucking tinted chapstick?

He removes his hand from Hoseok’s hip, suddenly realizing the implication of his actions, and pops his knuckles with his thumb to find some sort of excuse to not look as rude like he just found out Hoseok had the bubonic plague or swine flu or some shit and like he needed to go into quarantine.

“Yeah, the cow, he lives over there,” he says, plucking the novelty bottle opener shaped like a dick that was entirely Seulgi’s doing as a gag birthday present for Namjoon two years ago from the cow shaped cookie jar. He’s just drunk enough that his hand nearly knocks over the Brita pitcher full of sunflowers (wow he really did go nuts with the sunflower sale from Trader Joe’s didn’t he), but Hoseok stops it just before it tips over.

“I love sunflowers, they’re my favorite,” he says, playing with a stray petal on the counter.

Hoseok looks like a sunflower, Yoongi thinks. He seems like the kind of person who lolls his head back to tilt towards the sun on lazy summer days and bask in the marigold orange of winter sunsets cuddled up with a hot mug of something pepperminty. Maybe gingerbread flavored. He’d look so lovely. So lovely, and warm, and soft.

In the crappy overhead lighting of his kitchen, Hoseok looks so lovely anyway. Maybe like he brings the sun with him wherever he goes. Yoongi wants to know more about Hoseok’s favorite flowers and what his order from The Coffee Place is and why he even knows the melody of Seokjin’s shitty twee songs. He wants to know . And maybe it’s not a bad thing to want to know.

“Here’s the bottle opener,” Yoongi says, making himself stop thinking about lovely Hoseok with his lovely sunflowers in his crappy little kitchen that feels so lovely with Hoseok in it. “Sorry, it’s dick-shaped. It’s Seulgi’s fault.”

Hoseok gives out a honk, and takes it from Yoongi.

“Good thing I’m very familiar with dicks,” he says, his eyes crinkling at the corners.

Yoongi chokes just a little bit on his own spit, the hiss of the bottle being opened masking his embarrassment. Hoseok slides it across the counter and Yoongi actually catches it, smoothly, he’s a proud of himself for that one.

“Sorry it’s not the coconut one, I didn’t realize it’d be such a crowd pleaser,” he says sheepishly, just so casually after mentioning dicks. Hoseok might just be the death of Yoongi.

“You’re in beer snob territory, buddy.”

“Well then I’m in good company.”

And Yoongi smiles into his beer. Yeah, they were good company. Their little family of artsy misfits with big personalities who fight about twee music and get competitive over Smash Bros and bring each other The Coffee Place pastries on bad days and curl up together on underneath piles of blankets. Maybe they can make room for someone who brings $3 cheesy garlic bread and sunshine.

They’re interrupted by Namjoon, out of breath.

“Please, get Jin and Gukkie to hold hands. They’re about to throw fists over who’s the better Peach main and I’m not about to buy a new coffee table again.”

They hear a thud followed by Joohyun yelling “I thought we were more civilized than this, gentlemen!”

“He’s never been gentle in his whole life!” Another thud.

“It’s caused you raised me badly!” Oof, that one had to sting Jin.

Yoongi sighs, “Duty calls.”

 

——

 

Later on, after Yoongi sat in between Jin and Jeongguk on the Persian rug and made everyone hold hands in a circle and after Jeongguk gathered up a sleepy Taehyung and Jimin, and after Joohyun pressed tiny kisses into Seulgi’s alcohol flushed pink cheeks trying to push her off her lap and after Jin draped himself all over Namjoon who kept asking him if he needed Yoongi to drive him home while Jin slurred “I only need you, Namjoonie Joon,” into his neck, Hoseok will hover at the apartment door, shoving his feet into his bright yellow converses without tying them and bending the ankle part down and Yoongi doesn’t know what to do with himself.

Hoseok perks up after successfully scrunching his little crab socks into his beat up shoes to flash one final heart-shaped grin at Yoongi.

“Thanks for having me over, it was really nice seeing everyone not in The Bar. You have a really nice home, all the art and flowers and blankets. It’s homey. I like it,”

Yoongi stops himself from saying I like you . Because he’s following The Rules and it’s really really hard to remember them right now when he’s a little drunk and a little slap happy and a little carefree.

“You’re welcome here any time, Hobi,” he says instead and he means it and he means to call Hoseok Hobi and not Hoseok Fucking Jung in his head anymore.

Hoseok visibly perks up.

“No beer toll?”

“No, beer toll. Just knock. Or steal Taehyung’s extra key that I’m not supposed to know about.”

“I’ll think about it, I have to worry about moving into their house before I can think about breaking and entering into your place.”

Yoongi winces out of sympathy for Hoseok. He loves those three so much, but no one could pay him to live with them.

“As long as you don’t Houdini yourself in here like Seulgi does I’ll have no problems,” he jokes back.

Hoseok laughs through his nose.

“Isn’t he an escape artist, not a break-in artist?”

“Semantics.”

“Fair enough,” he says. He pauses, lingering, like he wants to stay and trade quips with Yoongi for more hours and Yoongi doesn’t want him to leave either but Jeongguk comes back into The Apartment to grab Hoseok’s shirt collar demanding that he give them a ride home since “you’re morally obligated to do so since we let you move in and you’re the oldest now and you have to take pity on us.” Yoongi shakes his head hiding an amused grin behind his hand.

“Well, duty calls am I right?” Hoseok shrugs off.

“Yeah, it does. Get home safe,” Yoongi says and closes the door behind Hoseok and Jeongguk and locks the door. And locks the second lock. And the third one.

Namjoon coughs to break through the silence of Yoongi just staring at the closed door and Yoongi sharply swivels to face Namjoon on the couch suddenly remembering he had a roommate.

“So that went well?” Namjoon calmly asks and all Yoongi can do is flop face first into the couch and scream into Namjoon’s thigh.