the night yoongi arrives in koriko, he almost doesn’t. it’s—a mix, maybe, of the storm that assails the sky as he keeps his thighs firmly pressed together around the broomstick his mother had given him years ago, and of the fact that he’s never been the best flier. it’s not a good combination when he’s a witch who travels primarily by flight, but. there are some things even he has to improve upon.
“we’re going to drown,” holly calls from where he’s tucked under yoongi’s arm, hidden safely within yoongi’s black coat. yoongi just grits his teeth, ignoring the little dog in favour of attempting to commandeer his broom toward the lights he’d spotted miles back—the promise of safety and warmth. the promise of a new home, someplace he might be able to settle after years of moving from town to town and never truly finding a place he belonged. it would have to do for the night.
with the rain and wind whipping through yoongi’s hair, he speeds toward the port town. he wishes, not for the first time, that his magic extended to these things: being able to keep himself warm and dry, or being able to freeze time and still move within it. even now, yoongi isn’t sure what his abilities are inclined to other than being able to fly, and even then, it’s one of his least skillful talents.
they make it to the ground, though—after nearly colliding with a clock tower, an incident which has holly yipping in fear—and yoongi tumbles more than lands into a waterlogged park. he groans, rolling over onto his back and letting the rain greet him for a time; he’s tired and wet and hungry. it wasn’t a good day to fly, but he can’t predict the weather.
he feels holly burrowing under his arm, searching for warmth. yoongi gives a sigh, hopes that the rest of his time in his town won’t be as turbulent as his journey here. “bed,” mumbles holly. “please.”
“c’mon,” says yoongi, wiping at his wet face and rolling under he can stand up. he scoops holly into one arm and grabs his broom with the other, shaking off some of the water before he surveys his options; the park is surrounded by paths and streets leading outward. finding an inn would be his best bet, but yoongi doesn’t have much money, so he chooses a street at random and starts walking.
it’s too dark for many people to be out; he passes by a few townspeople hurrying from their cars to their houses with umbrellas held over their heads, or a newspaper meant to shade them as they hurry hurry hurry. yoongi’s the only one not hurrying, because he has no home to go to—not here. his last year was spent in a town set in a valley surrounded by mountains; it had been beautiful, except for the people. they didn’t really believe in magic.
“i don’t know where we’ll stay tonight,” shivers yoongi. “i’m sorry, holly. this was a bad idea.”
“too late now,” comes the muffled reply from within his coat. holly sticks his head out from where yoongi has tucked him into the material, shaking his head as a few raindrops hit the fur on top of his head. “and any place was better than the last. it’s extremely difficult trying to bark like a dog all the time when people don’t think animals should be able to speak.”
yoongi’s lips curl upward, just slightly; holly can be brash sometimes, and blunt. but he does know how to cheer yoongi up. so yoongi keeps walking, trying to find someplace that will take him—someplace that’s open to begin with, because the light is fading fast and the rain only grows heavier, the crash of thunder and lightning overhead making yoongi pick up the pace.
it’s only when they pass a little shop at the end of the street, that holly says, “wait.” yoongi stops walking, peering down at the little dog as he sniffs. “i smell bread. you haven’t eaten all day, have you?”
as if on cue, yoongi’s stomach rumbles. as his cheeks colour, not only from the cold of the rain, he looks up and sees what holly was talking about: they’re standing outside of a bakery, the lights still on inside. there’s a man inside, behind the counter. and—yoongi does have a bit of money, so he should eat. he should ask for help, even if he’s never been particularly good at that.
quickly, yoongi enters the bakery. he slicks back his wet hair with one hand as the bell over the door announces his arrival, and the man behind the counter turns to him with an, “oh.” he must look ridiculous: soaked from head to toe, dripping water all over the welcome mat. he’s carrying a broom in one hand and there’s a tiny dog poking its head out of his coat.
“sorry,” says yoongi. “i was wondering if i could… buy some bread?”
“do you not have an umbrella?” asks the man as he leaves the counter and approaches yoongi. “it’s dreadful weather out there and you’re not even bothering to stay dry. your poor dog.”
holly makes a huffing noise that yoongi imagines means yeah, your poor dog. “i just arrived,” says yoongi by way of explanation. “from out of town, i mean, so i didn’t have anywhere to go to stay warm. sorry, can i—bread?”
the man narrows his eyes. “i can do more than just bread,” he says. “if you don’t have somewhere to go, then you can stay here until you’re dry, at least. and maybe the storm will calm down by then. c’mon, take that damn coat off before you drown yourself. also—how do you have a broom and not an umbrella?”
“witches can’t fly on umbrellas,” says yoongi before he realizes what he’s saying, and then—stops. his eyes widen slightly as the man raises an eyebrow at him, and yoongi might have made a grave mistake. he can never guess how people feel about witches, but the man just opens his mouth and lets out a squeaky sort of laugh.
“oh, i like you,” he says. “i’m seokjin, by the way. this is my bakery.”
“alright, yoongi-ssi. what’s your favourite kind of bread?”
that’s how it happens—yoongi staying in koriko. and that’s how it happens—yoongi meeting seokjin, and eventually seokjin offering to let yoongi stay in one of the little rooms above the bakery, as long as he promises to help out in the bakery once in a while, when seokjin has other errands to run. what he finds about seokjin is that the man, only a year older than yoongi as it were (you’ll have to call me hyung, yoongi, because anything else would be an abomination to the fact that i may have my life together and a whole business of my own, but god knows i don’t look a day older than twenty-three), is nice. and funny, and is very good with customers. he only knew yoongi for an hour or two before he invited him to stay indefinitely, which might be very stupid, or very kind—yoongi is still trying to figure it out.
but he stays. he stays, because he likes seokjin and because seokjin doesn’t look at him like he’s strange for being magical, and yoongi takes it as a good sign. in other towns, yoongi spent so much time trying to find people who wanted him around that he forget entirely about trying to hone his magic, or trying to practice his flying skills, or trying to figure out what it is he’s meant to do as a witch.
this comes as easily as finding accommodation and his first friend—and yoongi thinks that maybe seokjin has his own sort of magic with how easily things seem to fall into place for him. a week after yoongi first arrives, he comes downstairs with holly on his heels only to hear seokjin muttering.
“two baskets,” he’s saying, hunched over the counter as he writes in a notebook, “for three… but i have to be at namjoon’s by three. why can’t she just drive, fucking—”
“hello?” asks yoongi, and seokjin snaps upward with a shriek. behind him, holly lets out a barking laugh. “sorry, hyung, didn’t mean to scare you. what are you worried about?”
“i’m gonna put a bell on that fucking dog of yours,” says seokjin, and then sighs. “there’s just this elderly lady who lives across town and always orders enough bread to feed the whole damn town every weekend. she can’t come here herself so i always deliver it to her, but i have… other engagements and i’m not sure how i’ll get it to her.”
“other engagements?” asks yoongi as he feels something pawing his foot. “i heard the name namjoon.”
“nothing that concerns you, witch,” huffs seokjin, and yoongi laughs, about to tease some more before there’s a harder tug at his pant leg. he looks down instead to see holly looking up at him imploringly.
yoongi raises his eyebrows, cursing the fact that holly still refuses to speak around people—even if they’ve been living with seokjin for a week, apparently the dog doesn’t exactly trust normal people, so it’s hard for them to communicate. but the dog makes some jerking motion with his head toward seokjin, or the counter, or the bread, and yoongi stares down at him before holly rolls his eyes (which yoongi didn’t even know was possible for animals, even if they’re magical) and barks something that sounds suspiciously like delivery.
but yoongi gets it, having lived with holly for enough years of his life. the witch’s head snaps up, grin on his lips as he said, “i can do the delivery for you, hyung. it’ll take me much shorter than it would for you because i can just fly there and then you don’t have to worry about missing your other engagements.”
“would you?” asks seokjin with a relieved sigh. “you’re a lifesaver, yoongi-yah. honestly, i could kiss you.”
so yoongi does the delivery; he only gets blown off course once by the breeze, but he doesn’t drop any of the bread out of the baskets, so he takes it as a success. and he doesn’t crash, so that’s always going to be win for him. the elderly woman is so pleased with yoongi that she invites him in and gives him a cup of tea and shares some of the bread with him, and she asks if he’d be willing to do other deliveries for her—clothes or household items if she ever needs them but can’t get them herself. that’s where yoongi gets the idea: he could start a delivery service for people like the elderly woman, or people who are too busy, or people who are just willing to pay him to do something they could probably do themselves. yoongi is always willing to capitalize off of other people’s laziness.
yoongi’s delivery service, seokjin proudly names it. makes a sign and everything to hang in the front of the bakery and starts handing out little business cards with the bakery’s phone number on it. it seems he’s more enthusiastic about all of it than yoongi himself, but yoongi isn’t going to complain—he’s finally found what he’s meant to do here, which is help people with his magic. he might not be the best at flying, but he’ll learn through this. he’ll have lots of practice and he’ll be amazing witch and everything will be perfect.
and then two weeks later, while yoongi is doing a delivery, he crashes.
it wouldn’t—be a horrible thing, really, because yoongi has crashed plenty of times before. he’s gotten some bruises and scrapes from it, too, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. except, this time, yoongi doesn’t just crash. he crashes—into someone.
it’s not his fault. yoongi just got lost trying to find the house that he was supposed to be delivering the package to, even though he has a map and everything. he’d flown above the town to make sure he got it right and then dived right back down, but the twisting the turning streets left him confused as he flew ten feet above the ground, attention on the map more than on his surroundings. that’s probably why he doesn’t see the truck at first—a massive thing, much larger than most cars that people own in the town, and when yoongi puts down the map and rounds a corner, there’s suddenly something there.
with a shriek, he tugs hard on his broom and goes tumbling sideways, away from the danger of the truck crashing into him, but the momentum has his broom picking up speed as he ties to right himself, and then he’s hurdling down the street without much control at all, unable to get his broom back on track as it dips toward and yoongi realizes, too late, that he’s headed directly for a trio of boys walking down the street.
“get out of the way!” he yells at the last second, and all three boys turn; only two of them actually move, though, the third standing and staring at him with wide eyes. it’s the last thing yoongi sees before he closes his own, hugging his broom close to him as he braces for the impact. yoongi collides with the other boy, a loud oof echoing in his ear as they both hit the ground.
“oh my god!” he hears from somewhere on the right. “gukkie, are you okay?”
someone groans—from beneath him. yoongi opens his eyes, ignoring the few spots on his body that are already blooming with pain, to see that he’s landed on top of the boy, broom stuck between the two of them and the package yoongi is meant to be delivering thrown somewhere to the side. yoongi—blinks down at the other boy. he can’t be much older than eighteen, hair a mess (although that might be yoongi’s fault) and a pout on his lips as he looks back at yoongi.
yoongi stares. and the boy stares back, at least until someone is suddenly tugging at the both of them, helping them to their feet. “holy shit, that was nasty,” says one of the other boys. “did you break anything? jeongguk-ah, i swear—”
“i’m fine, hyung,” says the boy—jeongguk. he dusts himself off when he’s on his feet, and yoongi continues to stare, now hugging his broom to his chest. he should say sorry, probably, but he’s too embarrassed to open his mouth. he’s been a witch for his entire life, and has been away from home for almost half of that time. yet, he still hasn’t been able to master the most basic of magical skills.
once the other two have finished fretting over jeongguk, the boy turns to yoongi. “so?” he asks.
yoongi’s eyes widen. “so?” he repeats.
“aren’t you going to apologize for attempting to murder me?”
“i didn’t attempt to murder you,” says yoongi. “it was an accident. i—just lost control.”
jeongguk takes a step toward yoongi, and yoongi takes a step back. there’s a scrutinizing expression on the boy’s face, like he’s trying to figure something out, and then he says—“you must be a witch.”
it’s the truth, yet yoongi sputters. “what makes you think that?”
“you just crashed into me on a broom,” says jeongguk. “and i don’t know anyone else who can fly that isn’t a witch. unless you think you’re a bird.” he turns to the other two. “doesn’t he kind of look like a bird?”
“he kind of looks like a bird,” agrees one of them, the one who had been fretting about jeongguk in the first place. “like a crow or something. you’re wearing enough black for it.” yoongi frowns, looking down at his outfit—which is all black. but that’s just what witches wear.
“thank you, jimin-hyung,” says jeongguk. “either way, you’re not a very good… whatever you are. aren’t witches supposed to be good at flying?”
yoongi frowns. “i’m good at flying,” he says. “i was just trying not to get hit by that truck!”
“it’s okay, i won’t tell anyone that you’re a fake witch,” says jeongguk, grinning now, like he’s proud of himself. he looks stupid, yoongi decides. partially because his hair is pink, and who on earth decides to dye their hair pink? also because he looks too cocky for his own good, and he’s got dust all over his shoulder that he hasn’t gotten rid of. out of spite, yoongi doesn’t tell him about it.
yoongi just glowers. thankfully, it’s the third boy who saves him—he reaches out and tugs on jimin’s sleeve, saying, “we’re gonna be late if we just stand around here all day.” he glances at yoongi, gives him a little nod, like he knows that he’s doing more than just making sure they’re not late to something—at least one person in this situation isn’t a total idiot.
“shit, you’re right,” says jimin, and then gives yoongi a little grin. “well, nice to meet you. we gotta go, guk!” he grabs the other boy’s hand and the two of them disappear down the street, leaving yoongi and… jeongguk. which might be worse than all three together.
for a moment, neither of them says anything. then—“i’m jeongguk.”
“i know,” says yoongi.
“those were my friends, jimin and taehyung. they’re dating.”
“thank you for the completely useless information.”
for the first time, jeongguk’s grin falters. yoongi realizes, belatedly, that maybe jeongguk isn’t trying to be annoying on purpose—he’s trying to make conversation, or trying to talk to yoongi in a way that might make yoongi open up. but the whole conversation started in the worst way possible, whether because of the crash or because jeongguk decided to go with yoongi’s least favourite form of friend-making: teasing.
“sorry about crashing into you,” says yoongi then, hurriedly grabbing the abandoned package and hopping back on his broom. “i have to go.”
“wait,” says jeongguk, as yoongi kicks off into the air—a little wobbly, much to his chagrin. “i don’t even know your name.”
“you’re not supposed to,” yoongi calls to him, and then he huffs and takes off down the street.
yoongi puts jeongguk out of his mind. he hasn’t met a lot of other people around his age—or people who seem at all interested in him—but he’s sure he can find better people to be around. he assumes there are plenty of other people to meet in this town.
yoongi, as it turns out, is wrong.
instead of meeting other people, he keeps running into jeongguk. almost every delivery he makes seems to come with a sighting of the younger boy either out with his friends or hanging around by himself. he notes that jeongguk is by the ocean a lot, or with jimin and taehyung. sometimes he’ll spot yoongi in the air and start yelling at him, but it’s just yoongi’s cue to fly a little faster, even if his broom doesn’t listen to him half of the time.
he’s making a delivery for the seamstress shop across town—for a man named hoseok, whose sister owns the shop, because he needs to get a special dress to someone before their party that night, but is swamped with other work—when he spots jeongguk for the third time that week. this time, though, he’s doing something far too interesting for yoongi to ignore, and the witch checks the time to make sure he’ll be able to delay heading to hoseok’s for a few minutes so he can demand to know what on earth jeongguk is doing.
yoongi descends to the ground a little wobbly, hovering a few feet above the grass of a park as he watches jeongguk tinkering with something. after watching for a few minutes, he calls out, “what the heck is that?”
jeongguk startles, banging his head on the bottom of the contraption where he was lying. he pops up right away, though, a massive smile on his lips when he spots yoongi. “it’s a flying bike!” he calls out. “or it will be, if i can get it to work.”
the witch’s eyes narrow. “why do you want a flying bike?”
“flying is cool. you have magic to fly, but i’m just a regular human, so i have to do it this way.”
yoongi holds back the comment he wants to make about how his flying magic isn’t very good, and instead touches down on the ground and makes his way over to jeongguk and the bike. it does look like a bike—just with a massive propeller on the front, like one of those little planes that only holds one person. he runs his hand over the propeller as he inspects it, and then says, “flying isn’t that fun when you do it all the time, you know. you’ll spend all of your time making this and then as soon as you get in the air, you’ll realize it’s boring.”
“why are you so cynical?” asks jeongguk, wiping his hands on a cloth. “hey, do you have fairy dust or something that you can sprinkle on this to make it work?”
“that’s not how magic works, jeongguk,” scowls yoongi. “it’s in my blood or something.”
“then prick your finger and wipe it on the propeller.”
yoongi holds his hands to his chest suddenly, half-convinced that jeongguk might actually do it, but the younger boy just laughs. for the first time, yoongi realizes that jeongguk’s laugh is… kind of nice. but he’s still stupid and has stupid coloured hair and a stupid flying bike.
“i was just kidding, yoongi-ssi,” says jeongguk.
“good.” then—“wait, how do you know my name?”
“it’s not hard to find out. i just asked seokjin-hyung. he always gives me an extra roll or two when i go over there, so i know he likes me. i also heard that you talk to your dog.”
yoongi scowls. “who told you that?” and it’s true, but. jeongguk doesn’t yet know that holly can talk back, so it sounds worse this way.
“seokjin-hyung notices a lot of thing,” grins jeongguk. “also, don’t you find it weird that you’re a witch but you have a dog instead of a black cat? you really are terrible at being a witch.” yoongi scowls at him, but before he can reply, jeongguk changes directions entirely when he adds, “d’you wanna try out the bike with me?”
the bike looks like it’s not going to be able to fly. despite the propeller, which yoongi assumes is powered with the pedals the same way the wheels of the bike are, he’s not convinced that the both of them won’t end up in a heap at the bottom of a hill. and considering they already ended up in a heap the first time they met, yoongi isn’t keen on trying this out again. jeongguk looks far too solid, with his tiny waist and thick thighs and all of those muscles. yoongi much prefers to stick to his own flying methods where he won’t run the risk of ending up pinned under someone like that.
“i have a delivery to make,” says yoongi, and ignores the look of disappointment on jeongguk’s face. “maybe next time.”
the next time yoongi runs into jeongguk, it’s at the bakery. it shouldn’t be surprising, considering jeongguk mentioned that he knows seokjin and he comes over sometimes, but when yoongi comes downstairs in the morning to see jeongguk sitting at one of the little tables against the window, he accidentally lets out a yelp. it’s just—yoongi has a bad case of bedhead and he’s wearing a robe (still black, though) and holly is hot on his heels, muttering about something.
the noise causes jeongguk to look up and over, and that same stupid smile is on his face the instant he sees yoongi. the witch can’t help but feel flustered as he stands at the base of the stairs and just looks, at least until holly barks at him and goes scampering off to jeongguk.
ah, he’s sure holly wants to say. this is the one you’ve been telling me about.
“hyung,” says jeongguk.
“i didn’t say you could call me that,” yoongi tells him, and jeongguk just grins.
“bagel?” jeongguk holds up half of the bagel he was eating, and yoongi considers his options—he could run back upstairs and hide in his room and pretend that jeongguk has never seen him in such a state of disarray. he could be rude to jeongguk, like he’s been for most of their meetings, and hope that it keeps the kid away. or—and oddly enough, it’s the option he finds himself taking—he could go over and sit down at the seat opposite jeongguk and take the bagel from him.
when he’s chewing, jeongguk says, “i like your hair.”
yoongi flushes, and then jerks back when he sees jeongguk’s hand in his peripheral, like he wants to touch it. “yours is stupid,” he says.
“it matches my personality, i think,” says jeongguk. “pink. like my soul is pink. so it’s not surprising that your hair is black, since the rest of your clothes are black, too. do you even own any colour?”
“it’s not black,” says yoongi, and jeongguk cocks his head—looks a bit like a puppy as he does so, all curious and wondering. yoongi silences the voice in his head saying that it’s cute. he’s not supposed to like jeongguk, because all jeongguk does is tease him about being a witch and not being very good at flying.
“that’s definitely black,” says jeongguk. “although… i guess if you turn that way, it looks a little red. but the other day, it looked a little purple when you were outside. that must mean your hair is magical, just like the rest of you.” he shrugs, biting into his own half of the bagel, and yoongi stares at him. yoongi’s magic has always been concentrated in areas that he doesn’t understand and he knows he’s not quite unlocked its potential yet, but jeongguk thinks everything about him is magical. and maybe that’s good enough.
he doesn’t want to let it change anything. but when he sees jeongguk again a few days later, the first thing on his lips isn’t a snarky comment but an actual greeting. he tries to help jeongguk with the flying bike, even letting jeongguk take him on it but all yoongi does is cling to jeongguk’s waist and hide his face in the boy’s back as though he doesn’t fly on an actual broom every day. (they do end up in a heap at the bottom of a hill, like yoongi predicted, and jeongguk laughs and laughs and yoongi thinks, oh no.) jeongguk shows up at the bakery more mornings than not, always asking yoongi if he wants to share a bagel, and holly gives him a knowing look that has yoongi threatening to kick him out of his bed at night.
jeongguk is still loud and annoying. but now he’s—funny and cute and curious, too. he asks questions about yoongi’s magic that yoongi doesn’t know how to answer. but he encourages yoongi’s awkward flying, too, watching him make rocky landings with a fond sort of grin on his lips that has yoongi’s insides curling into knots.
he’s just supposed to be delivering things, not realizing he actually likes the kid.
but once he does have the realization—“his hair is so stupid, holly, i swear!” “you definitely have a crush on him.”—yoongi does the only thing that makes sense: he stops looking for jeongguk. stops trying to take detours on his deliveries in hopes of running into the other boy, stops coming down to the bakery in the mornings to avoid sharing bagels and stories with him. yoongi doesn’t even know if he’s going to stay here, so he can’t be going and getting attached.
like always, his plans are thwarted. jeongguk said that every bit of him is magical, but then he’s not sure why the universe always wants to throw him through a loop.
“delivery,” says yoongi as he enters the bookstore, a box in his hands. “kim namjoon, right?” the man behind the counter looks up and gives yoongi a dimpled smile, nodding. “good. these are all secondhand books from the chois. they were hoping you could take them off of their hands.”
“that’s very lovely of them,” says namjoon, making room on the counter for the box. “set them down here and i’ll deal with them.”
“could you sign here, please?” asks yoongi, fishing out the notebook from one of his pockets. when he hands over the paper and a pen—he hears it: the giggling. it’s not strange to hear giggling, although it sounds strangely pointed, and yoongi turns his head sideways in time to see a flash of colour disappear behind the nearest bookshelf. he tilts his head.
“there you are,” says namjoon, drawing yoongi’s attention back to him. he grins, thanking the man and pocketing the notebook again before he hears another louder giggle.
then—“guys, seriously.” it’s a desperate whisper, but yoongi places it immediately as jeongguk’s voice. “i’m serious, stop. he’s gonna—” the whispering stops abruptly when yoongi rounds the corner of the bookshelf and comes face to face with jeongguk crouching on the floor, staring back up at him. behind him are jimin and taehyung, giggling like mad.
“um,” says jeongguk. “hello, yoongi-hyung.”
“hi, jeongguk,” says yoongi. “hello, lovebirds.”
somehow, that just makes jimin laugh harder. “we should be calling you the lovebirds,” he says, and jeongguk turns around to smack him on the shoulder. there’s a moment of terse and silent communication between them in which yoongi chews on the inside of his cheek. it’s the first time he’s seen jeongguk flustered, seen him so out of his wits and without something witty to say to yoongi. it’s a nice change for once.
“what are you doing back here?” asks yoongi. “you know they have chairs, right?”
“i’ve always liked the floor,” says jeongguk.
“gays don’t know how to sit on chairs properly,” says taehyung. jimin throws his head back in laughter again, and jeongguk’s cheek grow even redder—redder than his hair, even, and yoongi finds himself grinning a little, too. there’s something horribly endearing about seeing jeongguk so embarrassed by his friends.
yoongi decides to have mercy on him, though. “i’m gonna go,” he says, pointing over his shoulder. “deliveries to do, you know.”
“wait,” says jeongguk suddenly, all too eager, and jimin and taehyung dissolve into even more giggling as he stands up and ducks his head a little. this close, yoongi is forced to realize that despite jeongguk only being eighteen, he’s taller than yoongi by a few inches. “i was, um—wondering if you wanted to, um. you know, like—”
“go on a date with him!” shouts jimin, and then his laughter is muffled as yoongi assumes taehyung gets to him and puts a hand over his mouth. this time, it’s both jeongguk and yoongi who blush.
“it’s not—like that,” says jeongguk, awkwardly rubbing at the back of his neck. “it’s just, um—jimin’s dad works for this company that is funding this new blimp and we got invited to help test it out this weekend. and i was… wondering if you wanted to come with us.”
“on a date,” adds jimin, still muffled.
“not a date,” jeongguk whispers. the poor kid looks like he’s about to burst into flames from the embarrassment, and yoongi finds himself giggling a little. for the first time, he realizes that maybe he does kind of like jeongguk as more than just the annoying kid that he runs into sometimes. seeing him like this is doing a number on yoongi’s heart.
except—“this weekend?” he asks. “i don’t know if i’ll be able to make it… i have a lot of deliveries scheduled.”
“oh,” says jeongguk, and his entire face falls. “i mean—yeah. yeah, that’s okay. um—well. if you can make it, you should. i think it’ll be fun.”
it’s only once yoongi gets home and flops onto his bed and feels holly pad onto his chest with a question in his eyes that he realizes—he might have made a mistake. “you’re lovesick,” grumbles holly. “it’s disgusting.”
“i’m not,” insists yoongi. “he just looked so sad when i told him i might not be able to go to the blimp thing. but i do have deliveries.”
holly huffs and hops off of yoongi’s chest. “talk to me when you’re done being an idiot,” he calls, and yoongi groans before rolling over and stuffing his entire face in his pillow.
☾ ☾ ☾
in the end, yoongi does try to go to the testing of the blimp. it’s set to start at six, and he has a delivery at five thirty, which means he should realistically be able to fly over to the beach where the blimp will be taking off from. the least he could do is fly by it if he can’t get there on time, just to show jeongguk that he tried—that he cares. he’s not been very good at showing it, he realizes. there are a lot of things that yoongi has been realizing.
he goes about his delivery as quickly as possible—or as quickly as he can when he still doesn’t have a handle on flying. holly, sitting on the broom in front of him, shouts a, “can we please not die today?” when yoongi narrowly misses colliding with a tree in someone’s front yard, and then skids down another street and overshoots the house they’re supposed to stop by.
“sorry, holly,” says yoongi as he wrestles the broom to turn around and lands on the ground. “i’m in a hurry.”
“i thought you didn’t like jeongguk.”
“i don’t,” huffs yoongi, hooking his arm through the basket and making his way to the front door. “i… like blimps.”
he imagines holly rolling his eyes at that, and yoongi rings the doorbell. he’s delivering another basket of baking to the elderly woman he made his first delivery too, since she still can’t get out of the house to go to the bakery herself. yoongi realizes the pitfall of this once she opens the door with an oh, my favourite witch! and pulls yoongi into the house, insisting that they share tea and some of the baking together. yoongi doesn’t want to be rude. holly happily laps up the attention that the old woman gives him, clearly not caring for the time.
but time does go by—much more quickly than yoongi would have liked, as the elderly woman asks him questions and continues to shove croissants and pastries and rolls at him, refilling his tea twice over. yoongi gets swept up in it, in having someone so interested in his wellbeing, and then all at once, he looks at the clock on the wall and sees a glaring 6:12.
yoongi gasps, rising to his feet. “i’m late!”
“for what?” asks the woman, looking up at the clock as well. “oh, weren’t they going to test that new blimp today? i’m sure they’ve got it on the television.” she rises from her chair, hobbling out of the dining room and toward the living room, and yoongi turns to see holly sitting on the table.
“well?” asks the dog. “are you going to go meet your loverboy?”
“it’s probably too late now,” says yoongi, trying to ignore the disappointment in the pit of his stomach. instead, he follows the old woman into her living room, arriving just as she turns on the television. she’s right: the local stations are all showing live footage of the blimp as they prepare for it to take off. he notices a whole crowd of people below, waving up at it, and tiny figures in the blimp itself, waving back.
jeongguk is there somewhere. jeongguk is there and he wanted yoongi to be there and yoongi isn’t, because—why? because he can’t commit to this, even though he’s been looking for a place to settle down in for years? because he’s scared? suddenly, yoongi isn’t sure why he’s been so ridiculous about his relationship with jeongguk.
“oh,” the woman says suddenly, and yoongi turns back to the television. “oh, look at the wind!” yoongi steps closer, leaning down to get a better look as he sees that the blimp, just beginning to take off, is suddenly leaning.
“there seems to be a very strong wind today,” the announcer is saying on the television. “i don’t think they anticipated this. the blimp is—it’s moving too fast! i don’t think they can control it!”
yoongi gasps, moving even closer to the television as he sees that what the announcer is saying is true: the blimp is rising into the air too fast, blown off course as it begins to dip and careen. the ropes that were previously holding the blimp to the ground begin to snap, people from the crowd rushing forward in attempts to hold it back, as though they can. the wind picks up, shrieks from the crowd rising into the air with it as ropes snap and snap and suddenly, the blimp is soaring away, feet above the ground.
“it’s taking off!” says the announcer. “i don’t know how they’re going to get it down now with that wind! and… god. there’s someone on that rope!” the camera zooms in, narrowing in on one of the ropes that’s still attached to the blimp, now hanging fifty feet above the ground as the blimp flies. and sure enough—someone is attached to the rope.
someone with pink hair.
yoongi is out of the house before he even realizes that he’s moving, hand closing on the broom leaning against the door and all caution thrown to the wind. he can hear holly yelling at him in the back of his head, something about being rational and safe but there’s nothing to think about in this situation—when jeongguk is hanging onto a thin rope for dear life, being dragged away by a blimp.
he races through the air toward the blimp—it’s hard to miss, as massive as it is, and he traces it floating toward the center of town. it’ll run into the clock tower or some other building and crash, and only god knows what will happen to jeongguk. it’s the one thing that spurs yoongi on more than anything: the thought of jeongguk jeongguk jeongguk. for the first time in his entire life, yoongi’s broom doesn’t wobble once as he speeds across town, chest almost flat to the wood as the fear and panic keeps his heart racing.
he gets close enough to see jeongguk when the blimp floats into the town square, heading straight for all of the tallest and most dangerous buildings. here, he pauses—at least long enough to hear a, “hyung!” from below. looking down, yoongi sees jimin and taehyung. “jeongguk is on the rope!”
“i know,” he calls back.
“we’re going to—”
“no,” shouts yoongi, cutting taehyung off. “stay down there. i can take care of him.”
he lifts his eyes again to see jeongguk clinging to the rope with both hands, legs wrapped around it.
he has to save him.
yoongi takes off again, trusting in his broom as he flies across the square. “jeongguk!” he calls, and he sees the younger boy’s head snap around to look at him, eyes wide with fear.
“hyung!” jeongguk calls.
“i’ve got you,” yoongi tells him, already reaching out a hand as he gets close enough. jeongguk lets go out of rope with one hand, clinging with the other as he reaches for yoongi, and—
there’s a loud crash from above them and jeongguk is jerked away with a shriek. when yoongi looks up, he sees the blimp as collided with the clock tower, the entire thing careening sideways. it’s pulled the rope with it, and now jeongguk is swinging wildly with only one hand attached to the rope, rapidly sliding down as the momentum of the swing keeps him from getting a good grip.
“hyung!” jeongguk shouts, and yoongi grits his teeth as he urges his broom after him.
“jeongguk-ah, hold on!” he shouts, and he can see it—the rope reaches its peak and the blimp jerks once more as it’s blown sideways and jeongguk—loses his grip on the rope. he falls.
yoongi shoots after him in an instant, willing his broom to go faster faster faster as jeongguk plummets to the ground below with a scream. he angles his broom downward, feeling everything whip past him faster than he’s ever gone before, his broom and magic finally listening when it counts most, and yoongi reaches out, jeongguk’s terrified face meeting him as yoongi realizes he’s not going to make it.
at the last moment—yoongi jumps. he leaps off of his broom, using the momentum to make it the last few feet between he and jeongguk, and he collides with the other midair in time to wrap his arm around jeongguk and twist their bodies, reaching up and up—and snagging his broom with his hand again, which slows down enough that when the two of them crash onto the ground with a roll, it’s only somewhat painful.
for long moments, yoongi just lies there with his arms wrapped around jeongguk, who has burrowed into his chest. it was yoongi who landed on the ground first in an attempt to protect jeongguk—so it’s yoongi’s back and shoulders that begin to throb with pain immediately, although he isn’t worried about himself. as commotion erupts around them, people running from other areas of town to see what happened, yoongi moves his hand over jeongguk’s head, shoulders, back.
“are you okay?” he asks, breathless. “oh my god, jeongguk, are you okay?”
jeongguk lifts his head. it’s not the first time they’ve been in this position, although it’s somewhat reversed—the first time they met, yoongi crashed into jeongguk. now, jeongguk is the one with his weight pressing down on yoongi, looking at him with wide eyes, but an otherwise unscathed face. he looks terrified, but he’s alive.
which means—“you fucking idiot!” snaps yoongi, smacking jeongguk’s shoulder. “how could you terrify me like that? why did you keep holding onto the rope when the blimp started going off course? did you think you would single-handedly be able to hold the whole thing down? i cannot believe you, jeon jeongguk.”
“hyung,” begins jeongguk.
“no, i’m not done,” huffs yoongi. he shoves at jeongguk’s chest, making him back up a little so yoongi can sit up. “you gave me an actual heart attack. what if i wouldn’t have been there to catch you, huh? you’d be here with your head split open.”
“what the fuck would i have done without you, you bastard?”
“yoongi-hyung.” this time, jeongguk grabs the sides of his face, pulls him close. yoongi is practically shaking with it—the anger, maybe, or the fear. but jeongguk grins at him. “just kiss me already.”
so—yoongi does. he doesn’t realize that’s what he wants until jeongguk says it, but then he just looks at jeongguk. looks at him, thinks about how he’s been very good at realizing things for a long time, thinks about how scared he was of something even miniscule happening to jeongguk. and he surges forward, lips colliding almost painfully. it’s too forceful at first—jeongguk lets out a little ow and yoongi giggles, and then they find their rhythm.
he kisses jeongguk soft, kisses him slow. it’s with all of that fear behind it, but something more, too: something that says finally. jeongguk’s lips are insistent beneath his, peppering kisses along his lips and asking for more. without having to be asked or told, yoongi crawls toward, right into jeongguk’s lap—just to be closer. he kisses jeongguk like that, ignoring all of the people around them, because it’s not about them. it’s about this: the feeling of finally finding home, right here. yoongi understands that home is wherever jeongguk is.
“you’re still a fucking idiot,” yoongi tells him after a while, when he has to surface for air, and jeongguk kisses him again.
“thanks for saving me, hyung,” jeongguk says.
“you’re lucky i’m a witch.”
“can my lucky ass take the witch on an actual date? one where i don’t almost die?” and—yoongi giggles, kisses jeongguk again. smacks his arm again, though, for good measure. and only then does he agree.
☾ ☾ ☾
two months later—“hyung, are you sure about this?”
“you made me ride that death bike multiple times, jeongguk-ah. also, this thing can actually fly.”
still. jeongguk’s grip tightens around his waist, face pressed into yoongi’s spine. yoongi just laughs—he knows what it’s like to be afraid of heights, afraid of flying. he spent twenty-two years of his life trying to master a broom that wouldn’t listen to him. he spent all that time with wobbly landings and take-offs, always certain that his magic needed a little something more to get where it needed to go.
he’s found it.
“i’m taking off now!” calls yoongi, and jeongguk already shrieks despite still being on the ground. yoongi laughs again, patting jeongguk’s hand, and then he shoots off into the air. brooms aren’t really meant to hold two humans—but he’s gotten much better at flying in the past two months, so he’s sure that pushing it a little further today isn’t going to end up with both of them at the bottom of the ocean. or so he hopes.
once they get twenty feet in the air, yoongi hovers. “are you going to look?” he asks.
“no,” says jeongguk, voice muffled. “i’m perfectly fine on the ground. i never want to go in the air again after the blimp incident.”
“i’ll kiss you if you look.”
there’s a pause. then—“you’ll kiss me, anyway.”
yoongi’s cheeks flush, and he hates it admit it but jeongguk is right—he can never stop himself from kissing jeongguk, even if he tells himself that he won’t. now that he can, he’s not sure there’s a point in trying to hold himself back. jeongguk has a very kissable face, is all.
and yet, he says, “i’ll kiss you in front of jimin and taehyung and let you squeeze my butt to make them jealous.”
almost instantly, he feels jeongguk lift his head, the younger hooking his chin on yoongi’s shoulder. “wow, beautiful,” he says too hurriedly, too much like a joke, and yoongi giggles, pinching jeongguk’s hand. jeongguk kisses the side of his neck like a consolation. “can we go down now? i’m seriously afraid of falling off.”
“i’ll catch you,” says yoongi.
“my big, strong boyfriend,” sighs jeongguk. “i knew those shoulders would come in handy one day.” just for that—yoongi urges the broom forward, soaring down the street, and jeongguk shrieks again, grip tightening as he stuffs his face in yoongi’s shirt once more, and yoongi laughs. and kisses jeongguk twice as much once they get back on the ground, trying to wipe that scared look off of his face. he can’t help but tease—it’s how their relationship started, after all.
yoongi does let jeongguk squeeze his butt in front of jimin and taehyung, but only once. the crowing he gets in response is enough for a lifetime, but he can’t help grinning at jeongguk anyway, and feeling like all sorts of new magic are welling up inside of him.
can’t help feeling like he’s finally found one place where he wants to stay. where he will. home, with a little delivery service that allowed him to deliver his heart right into jeongguk’s hands (where that will stay, too).