As the sun set on the fourth dance practice of the week, the Bangtan boys were taking their last break before final run-through. Sweat beaded their bodies, their chests rose and fell heavy like falling tons of brick, and Jeon Jungkook was slipping between the lands of slumber and awake.
He was their baby, their little brother. Their most revered creation, and as they watched him slip, not a word said between them, Tae reached out and slid his fingers between the damp strands of honeyed hair.
“He’s finally gone?” Hobi murmured. Tae made a soft, decisive noise and nodded. Another silence fell as the second youngest cradled the Mankae’s skull and shifted him, so his head was propped on Tae’s thigh.
“Do…” the members eyes snapped to Jimin, who seemed to falter before he quickly gathered his thoughts. “Do you ever just sorta, look at him and feel this…this crazy amount of pride.”
A beat. “Every day.” Jin murmured, rolling onto his stomach and letting his hand gently massage Kookie’s sore calf muscle.
“Every day…” Namjoon repeated.
Yoongi turned his head against the cool mirror, his warm skin and hot breath clouding the glass. He looked down upon Jungkook with a gaze of tender contemplation. Just watched him as he snuffled and emitted a tiny sigh of contentment in his sleep. “We made that. We made him…I’ve written and composed countless hits, I’ve won awards with Bangtan and without. We’ve toured the world, broke Billboard, spoke at the UN. He’s still the most perfect thing we ever did together. The single greatest thing we ever made.”
There was a quiet, another moment of thought. Then it was Taehyung who spoke, voice gruff from disuse. “I’m so in love with him it hurts.”
Smiles budded on five pairs of lips. Tae and Jungkook had been destined since day one, but had only really told each other after they shared a bunk in Norway. Ever since they were inseparable, ever since there hadn’t been a day they hadn’t kissed each other good morning over breakfast, or pulled the other by their hand to bed, tired or not.
It seemed as easy as breathing. It happened so gradually and so seamless, it was like they’d always been that way. And the others never batted an eye to it.
“We should get him home…” Hobi whispered. “If he’s dropping like that with all that adrenaline running through his veins, we’ll be here all night trying to get him to do a full hour more.”
“I’ll carry him…” Jin murmured, pushing himself up. Jin might’ve not been a strong as their mankae, but he had been gaining muscle and he could make it to the car at least.
“I’ll call down for the van.” Namjoon hummed, sliding the phone from his pocket.
As they donned their coats and zipped them to their chins, Tae and Jimin helped Jin push Kookie’s limp arms through his own, Yoongi grabbing his bag and Hobi holding open the door for them as they braved the stairs together.
Namjoon made sure to stay in front, just in case he got too heavy or Jin stumbled. Together they made it to the car, lay him out over Tae, Yoongi and Jimin in the back seat and they drove home in near silence.
The only sounds were soft even breaths, Namjoon tapping a beat on his knee, Hobi humming a tune to match. It was safe, it was serene, and it was home.
When they arrived back, Jin took him again, the mankae stirring and mumbling something inaudible against his shoulder.
They took him to bed, Jimin helping Tae again to undress him. They would let him worry about showers in the morning. Once he was snug in his pyjamas and curled with a smooth, lineless face against Taehyung’s chest, Yoongi fetched Tae his dinner from Jin. Made sure the younger wouldn’t have to move or disturb their Mankae’s perfect rest. After that, Yoongi wordlessly tangled his fingers with Jimin’s, tugged him towards the door as the dancer yawned so wide it made his ears pop.
“C’mon angel, you too.”
Jimin hummed, rubbed his doey eyes. “Mm, night Tae-tae. Night Kookie-ah.”
“Sweet dreams Hyungs.” Tae whispered, pressing a tender kiss to his lover’s forehead.
Unbeknownst to them all, Kookie smiled into the crook of his lover’s neck. His body pleasantly heavy and his heart warm. In the morning he would wake first. He’d make a chaos of the kitchen and throw together a messy breakfast for his Hyungs.
If he was their perfect creation, they were deserving of his heart, and he’d do his damn best to make them proud every single day.