Actions

Work Header

a feel so sweet

Work Text:

 

*

[now]

As far as first dates go, theirs is kind of a disaster.

“Second date. The second date is where the magic happens.”

“Is it?” Namjoon asks, opening the door to his and Yoongi’s tiny apartment, letting in the two figures behind him, both bundled up to keep the cold from creeping underneath.

“Of course,” says Yoongi, taking off his several layers of sweater and coat, unwrapping his big fluffy scarf as Jeongguk toes off his shoes in the doorway. “Our second date was good, Namjoon-ah. Don’t you remember?”

“I remember ordering takeout and making out in your bed for like three hours, but I wasn’t aware that that was a date.”

“We had dinner reservations.”

“Yeah, which we never showed up for.”

“Semantics.”

“I’m sorry.” Jeongguk finally speaks up, and he looks sort of like the human personification of the raincloud emoji, which means that someone will have to answer for causing such a twisted expression. Someone will pay. The snobby host back at the restaurant, probably. “I didn’t think—that was so dumb of me. It’s my fault. The coupon said fondue for two. I didn’t even think. I’m so stupid.”

“Hey.” Yoongi crosses the small entry-space and takes Jeongguk’s hand. “We got this. Okay, so we can’t do fondue for three.”

“We can’t do anything for three,” Jeongguk points out, this less pouty and more genuinely sad. “I didn’t think this would be so hard.”

It’s technically not their first date, if Namjoon is counting all the times they’ve ever hung out before. They’ve done the takeout and makeout thing. They’ve done the cuddling in bed and watching Netflix. It’s not really their first date if they’re being technical. But it was kind of a big deal. Their first night out as them, all three of them. Jeongguk spent a whole week doing research on different restaurants. He wore a bow-tie.

But the waiter had looked down at the coupon and down at them and said, I’m sorry, but this is strictly for two people, this coupon doesn’t apply to parties of three. We don’t offer discounts for the addition of a third guest.

The way he said the word guest, he might as well have said We don’t allow third wheels.  

It would have meant paying full-price, something they definitely couldn't afford at this moment, especially not Jeongguk, who’d insisted on paying for dinner. It was fine, really. In the end they took the train back towards their place and swung by their favorite hot-pot joint, content to eat a good meal even if it was dirt cheap in a dingy hole-in-the-wall eatery. But Jeongguk was quiet for the whole train ride home and for most of dinner. Quiet with huge eyes, in the way he often was when he was thinking very hard about several things and doing his best to keep the emotions from spilling over the brim. Like holding a cup of boiling water between his palms.

Jeongguk does that a lot, Namjoon is learning. Swallowing his own suffering down and not speaking up about it. It’s technically not their first date, but they are still very much learning about each other on that day.

“It’ll be okay,” says Yoongi. “We just gotta get creative. Which Namjoon and I rock at. Think of it as a challenge Jeongguk-ah. A challenge to structure the best possible date for three people. You up to the challenge?”

Jeongguk gives a small nod, spark of steel flickering to life in his eyes. “Yeah. I think so.”

“Cool.” Then Yoongi, almost shy, presses a kiss to Jeongguk’s cheek. “Wanna spend the night?”

Jeongguk hesitates a second, eyes flickering to the bedroom space, but then Namjoon says, “No sex on the first date” like some awkward domineering dad, which makes Jeongguk grin.

“Trying to protect my virtue, hyung?”

“Absolutely not,” says Namjoon. “Just. You know. We’re taking this stuff slow. Take your time to see how you feel, educate yourself if you need to. We’re in no hurry.”

“Though I am in a hurry to snuggle,” interjects Yoongi, waddling down the hallway. “I ate way too much food and I’m pretty sure my body is going to shut down in ten minutes regardless of whether or not I am lying down.”   

“Okay.” Jeongguk nods, smiling softly, stretching up on his toes to pass off Yoongi’s kiss onto Namjoon’s cheek. “I’ll spend the night.”

Another thing that is not new, actually probably the oldest thing about them, is Jeongguk spending the night. It used to be on their couch but now it’s in their bed. He changes into sweats and a t-shirt and crawls beneath their down comforter, looks at Yoongi and Namjoon with a warm, sleepy expression as they get ready for bed, like the food coma suddenly decided to kick in.  

And then, with the lights off, a familiar back and forth in the warm dark that almost feels scripted it’s so routine:

“The bed is too small.”

“The bed is perfect.”

“No, hyung. The bed is too small.”

“You’re going about it the wrong way, Jeongguk-ah,” sighs Yoongi, before carefully turning Jeongguk onto his side, spooned between him and Namjoon. He tugs Jeongguk’s arm around his middle, pushes back so they’re tucked close. “Like this.”

Their legs notch together, noses pressed to necks, nuzzling at the nape. Namjoon reaches over Jeongguk’s middle to squeeze once at Yoongi’s shoulder. They’ll start the night out arranged together like spoons and by morning they’ll be all tangled, but it’s nice to imagine they might stay in their place for once. Jeongguk settles and for a moment it seems like he’s almost passed out in two seconds flat.

Then—

“The bed is still too small.”

He’s kind of right though. When morning comes, they’re all a little sore. Yoongi is the only one who seems to have gotten a good night’s sleep, but Namjoon owes that to the fact that Yoongi is tiny and sleeps tiny and evidently would probably be comfortable on a matchbox if the fancy struck him.

But maybe it’s worth the slightly stiff neck and pins-and-needles in his arm from where Jeongguk fell asleep on him. Maybe it’s worth it if only to wake up and see Jeongguk absolutely conked the fuck out against him, drooling on his t-shirt.

“Should we wake him?” Yoongi whispers over Jeongguk’s shoulder, smiling fondly.

Namjoon brushes a finger light against Jeongguk’s parted lips and Jeongguk twitches, purses them together like he’s giving a kiss.

Christ, he’s cute.

“Let him sleep in,” says Namjoon, and Yoongi moves from the bed with a quiet whine as his body emerges from the warm cocoon of blanket and goes to make coffee. “I can wait.”

*

[then]

The short version of their Epic Love Story goes something like this:

Once upon a time, Jeon Jeongguk got kicked out by his depraved roommates, who insisted on having a twelve hour sex marathon to commemorate their anniversary. He crossed the street and went to the apartment building around the corner, where he’d been told that Taehyung and Jimin’s good friends—a nice, if boring and vanilla couple—lived.

So Jeongguk got sexiled, went over to Namjoon and Yoongi’s looking for a place to crash and. Well.

According to Yoongi, he was the first one to fall—and this is undisputed fact, because there’s no winning an argument with Min Yoongi when he’s dead set on something. Sure, Yoongi listens to the counterargument, but usually he knows he’s right, and deep down Namjoon knows he’s right too, and like most disputes of theirs it ends with holding hands and a smug pouty smile and a told you so, Joon-ah.

Namjoon can never seem to win that argument no matter how hard he tries because when it comes down to it, he got there last. Letting himself into their apartment at 2 a.m. after a long night at the studio, jaw cracking on a yawn as he toed off his shoes and headed for the living room, only to stop still in the door and be greeted by an odd scene.

By the time Namjoon met Jeon Jeongguk, Yoongi was already Gone with a capital G.

Namjoon had come home expecting to crash into bed alongside a sleeping boyfriend. Yoongi was between projects and using every waking minute to soak up as much sleep as he could, before the workaholic habits kicked back in and he was up most of the night, working on the next song, the next album for whoever wanted to pay him. But instead of Yoongi in their bed it was Yoongi on their couch, drinking tea across from someone that Namjoon had never seen before in his life.  

(Admit it, Joon-ah, you were jealous, Yoongi smiling into his collarbones.

I was not. I was more in shock because that there was a stranger in our home at 2 a.m. And you made him tea with honey and cinnamon.

It’s not like I had a choice. You should have seen the look on his face when he knocked on the door. You try saying no to those eyes, Jesus.)

The point is, Yoongi met and fell for Jeongguk first. He’s soft that way.

According to Yoongi, at 11:37 p.m. Jeon Jeongguk knocked on their apartment door and introduced himself with a deep bow and a, “Hi, I’m so sorry to bother you. Are you Namjoon-ssi? Taehyung and Jimin said I could come here in an emergency. May I come in?”

According to Yoongi, who’d been dozing in front of the TV before the doorbell rang, Jeon Jeongguk looked like a kicked puppy left out in the rain.

(You thought he was hot.

He was helpless. I would have been an ass to say no. Keep your mind out of the gutter.

No, no. Definitely hot.)

According to Yoongi, Jeongguk was beautiful.

The “emergency” as Jeongguk had described was a simple matter of sexiling.

“Of what?” Namjoon’s head swivels over to Jeongguk as Yoongi explains.

Jeongguk hadn’t said a word at all when Namjoon first came in. His eyes got huge and he curled into himself like he could disappear behind the couch cushion he had on his lap. Then, before Yoongi had even gotten through introductions, promptly sloshed lukewarm tea all over his front in an effort to scramble off the couch and bow to Namjoon.   

(—he liked you first

bullshit

he did. you could see it on his face. Yoongi’s laughter in the dark. I don’t blame the kid.)

The story comes out then, in bits and pieces, mostly Yoongi talking and looking at Jeongguk as if to confirm the facts. Jeongguk nodding every so often like a scared forest animal.  

“Jimin and Taehyung apparently told the kid to come here in an emergency.”

“What’s the emergency?”

“They’re having sex,” Jeongguk says grimly, as this apparently is answer enough.

“Ah, and exactly why did they tell you to come here?”

“Well, apparently your other friends also like to er, boink a lot. And uh,” here Jeongguk blushes, mumbles. “They said you guys were old and boring and lived like a married couple that had sex with the lights off and in silence. Tae’s words, not mine.”

“Lovely.”

Namjoon sighs. “I feel like I should be taking offense but also, I’m so sorry you’ve been kicked out.”

“Oh, it’s okay,” says Jeongguk brightly. “I don’t mind, really.”

Namjoon and Yoongi’s eyes meet, and they’re thinking the same thing without saying it. Adorable.

“Well, Namjoon-ah and I are going to go have boring sex in silence with the lights out,” says Yoongi wryly, and Jeongguk giggles, blushes a bit. “You wanna crash on our couch, kid?”

“Please.” Jeongguk nods. “They said they’ll be done by 3 a.m. but honestly I expect them to go all night.”

“Sounds about right.”

Jeon Jeongguk crashes on their couch. He borrows Yoongi’s Daegu blanket that his Mama made him and one of Namjoon’s sleep shirts. He snuggles into the cushions and he’s out before Namjoon wakes up the next morning, shirt perfectly folded on the couch pillow. The shirt smells sweet, almost like perfume or floral scented lotion.

Jeongguk crashes that one night, but in some ways he stays the night once and never leaves again.

*

[now]

jeongguk🥜>>>namjoon & yoongi🍯
hyungs

namjoon
Jeongguk

jeongguk🥜
do me the honor of clearing your schedules for saturday morning
i have secured us a date

yoongi🍯
sounds good kid

namjoon
Can i ask what the secured date is?

jeongguk🥜
RULE NUMBER  3!!!

yoongi🍯
which one is that one?

namjoon
Wait dont you mean rule number 2

jeongguk🥜
first of all i am APPALLED that both of y’all have forgotten our Rules of Relationship
that we set out to create as a throuple
Rule #1) no tickling
Rule #2) no spoilers
Rule #3) no fun

namjoon
……

jeongguk🥜
ah shit yeah u right u right it’s rule #2
ANYWAYS
not to get u excited but i think you will BOTH be really into this one.
not to spoil u but i should want u to bring helmets and bottles of water

yoongi🍯
you’re taking us spelunking?

namjoon
You’re taking us biking?

jeongguk🥜
😤😤😤

namjoon
Alright alright we hear you loud and clear

yoongi🍯
no spoilers <3

jeongguk🥜
Thank You
now that that business is dealt with

when are u both coming home

namjoon
Oh that’s not fair

yoongi🍯
so not fair
look at the /pout/

jeongguk🥜
*ariana grande voice* And What About It?

yoongi🍯
what does that even mean

jeongguk🥜
it means i am all alone
in this too small bed
desperately lonely
abandoned, one could say

yoongi🍯
is this your way of trying to get us to come home

jeongguk🥜
i dunno hyung
is it working

yoongi🍯


as you can see, I’m doing very important work in the studio rn

jeongguk🥜
now who’s being unfair!!!!!!!
the soft smile!!! the glasses!!! the general air of min PD professionalism!!!! shot thru the heart!!!!!

yoongi🍯
How The Turn Tables

jeongguk🥜
osdhfsmdg
WAS THAT A MEME I SAW
you just referenced a MEME
wow im so hot n bothered one yoongi selfie and a meme im—
NAMJOON GET BACK HERE SO IM NOT SUFFERING ALONE

namjoon
Sorry, got stuck in a tunnel on the train


Be home soon baby

jeongguk🥜
god that dIMPLE.

 

yoongi🍯
that is literally the most terrifying thing ive ever seen
is this a meme? i'm scared

jeongguk🥜
its how i FEEL hyung
i have two handsome bfs who lOVE ME  
is that a PROBLEM??
can i LIVE???

yoongi🍯
jeongguk-ah i am more than happy to let u feel but can we
do it without kermit the frog

jeongguk🥜


me looking at selfies of my boyfriends^^


me lying in my boyfriends’ bed thinking abt how much i love them^^

namjoon
I'm getting weird looks from this lady on the train because I keep laughing out loud at my phone 
So thanks for that jeongguk  

jeongguk🥜


me dabbing bc i made my boyfriend laugh^^

yoongi🍯
okay okay wait
i got this

jeongguk🥜
JSKDSFS;F;ALSDKCMA;SLDKC;ASDFAS;D?!?

namjoon
Wow. I think you actually broke him.
I can hear him fading off this plane of existence.

jeongguk🥜
MR STARK I DONT FEEL SO GOOD,


yoongi🍯
:)

jeongguk🥜
oh we are SO cuddling when you get home
i might even hold your hand
might
kiss ur cheeks
wow im having PALPITATIONS

namjoon
Please refrain from having a heart attack I’m literally down the block.

jeongguk🥜
pls walk faster!!!!!
this bod ain't gonna cuddle itself!!!!!

yoongi🍯
now i’m jealous :(
hey
hEY
You two better be miserable without me

namjoon

We’re quite content but we miss you terribly <3

yoongi🍯
gross
ugh ur both so cute
suddenly i relate to the kermit memes
alright
will wrap this up as soon as i can.
love you.
see you soon.

namjoon
Gross🤢

jeongguk🥜
💓💗💕💞❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💗💖💖💖!!!

*

The three person bicycle near kills them. Like, nearly.

It’s kind of hysterical. Namjoon going at breakneck pace because he bikes regularly but generally has no sense of direction or bodily coordination. Jeongguk going at breakneck pace but being twice Namjoon’s speed through sheer force of horsepower alone and Yoongi, mostly screaming, feet coming off the paddles because he can’t keep up with Jeongguk’s fucking power cycling.

The trail Jeongguk mapped out takes them up a small mountain and around a dark blue lake, like a jewel embedded in the surface of the earth. Together the three of them nearly careen straight into the lake on multiple occasions. But they make a picnic out of it at the summit, stretch out in the sun and feed each other strange hybrid fruits only in season at odd times of the year, pluots and dragonfruit and white peaches. Then they bike back down the hill and nearly die the same amount of times and when Namjoon wakes up the next morning he has a hard time walking because his hip flexors are screaming. But he finds he doesn’t mind too much.

So they almost die but it’s fun. Like all things in this new uncharted relationship it requires an open mind and a decided lack of comfort. It was worth it to watch the sun go down, Yoongi’s hand in his left hand and Jeongguk’s in his right.

(Then—afterwards. At the apartment. Sun down. Jeongguk sweaty and sprawled on their couch and kind of giddy that he biked up a mountain today, some kind of testosterone high. 

The way he’d eagerly pushed up and into Namjoon’s mouth, crawled into his lap and shoved his hands up his t-shirt to palm at his sides while Yoongi watched, lip caught between his teeth. And then Jeongguk had crawled right over to Yoongi’s lap, eyes dark and bottomless, keyed up. He gets like that sometimes, eager and indecisive. Wriggly, for lack of a better word. But it's never been while kissing, where he tends to be so sweet. It's never been like this. 

There’d been a moment, trading kisses, telegraphing shivers and breath between them, when they’d all been aware of something, a less sweet and more hungry something that they’d been teetering around for a while now. Something they’ll probably need to talk about, if their dates are anything to go by. But then the moment was over and Jeongguk was skipping off to the shower to steal all their hot water, with one more kiss to each of their mouths.)

The date is a success and they feel pretty good about it minus the sore muscles. It’s a process of trial and error but since the beginning they have been navigating love not in lines or simple shapes but in concentric spirals.

It feels good, to not be so sure of where things are going to go for once. To just be.

*

[then]

According to Jeongguk—and this is not fact, but Jeongguk is stubborn, and Jeongguk is cute, and Jeongguk somehow manages to pout more than even Yoongi does, so most arguments are won by sheer use of pursed lips alone—he fell for Namjoon first.

(Rude, Yoongi will say, like he’s not pressing kisses to Jeongguk’s rosy cheeks, like Jeongguk’s not kissing back. So rude. I can’t believe the disrespect being done to me in my own home.

I mean, I fell in love with you too hyung, it wasn’t long after.

How long?

Like. As soon as I met you.

Ridiculous. You met me first and he still wins. Namjoon’s never going to let this go. Everything is terrible.)

The way Jeongguk tells it, he’d had a crush on Namjoon before he’d even met him. Kim Namjoon of the dead potted plants (that Taehyung and Jimin kept rescuing at the last possible second and nursing back to health in their own apartment). Kim Namjoon of the Onion Incident (something about a knife and an onion and Namjoon almost dying in the process of trying to cut it). Kim Namjoon and the totally well meaning but often overthought gifts. Jeongguk knew of Namjoon by legend and mythos only, not to mention a small framed photo of him on Taehyung’s nightstand for some weird reason, but really that’s all it took. Whoever this super tall super handsome boy was, Jeongguk was already crushing. Didn’t need to meet him in person to know he’d already liked him.

(It’s not your fault, Yoongi-hyung. I just didn’t know that much about you.)

Which was all well and good, because Yoongi opened the door to his apartment at 11:37 p.m. and Jeongguk heard bells.

And then Namjoon had walked into the apartment, and Jeongguk heard a whole damn cathedral crashing over his head.

Then he realized that they were together, had been for ages, for years, and the bells kept ringing but everything felt discordant and horrible, like that one Edgar Allan Poe poem.

Yoongi was cute and Namjoon was cute and Yoongi and Namjoon were cute together and apparently that’s all it took for Jeongguk’s gay brain to go yup, I’ll have one of those, please.

The innocent crush had been on Namjoon. The kismet romantic spark of company and conversation had been with Yoongi. The combination of the two had meant loud clanging chimes in Jeongguk’s head and his chest, and knowing he was fucked, never meant to recover, and happy to be in such a bad way.

The way Jeongguk tells it, he saw one glimpse of collar bones and a single bare thigh after Yoongi and Namjoon changed into their pajamas, and promptly fell ass over heels.

How he became such a fixture in their lives, Namjoon really can’t say. The first night was Jeongguk sleeping on their couch, leaving early the next morning with all the blankets and clothes neatly folded and a note that said thank you hyungs alongside a doodle of Yoongi and Namjoon.

The next morning was Yoongi picking up the note, raising his eyebrows, oddly quiet in the way he moved about the kitchen. As if something had changed, as if he’d forgotten where to locate utensils that had never been moved. He’d seemed a bit disoriented, which makes sense in retrospect. Yoongi and Namjoon themselves had not fallen into quick steady love. It had been slow going from the start, so they’d had time to sort everything out before things happened.

So the first day is strange, a hiccup in the usual routine.

But then two nights later Jeongguk is back and he comes bearing gifts.

“I just wanted to say thank you.” His eyes look bright with fever flush as he hands over a plate of cookies. “Thank you for letting me crash on your couch while my roommates were banging.”

“Any time,” Yoongi responds, and Namoon looks at Yoongi’s fever bright eyes as well and thinks, huh. Huh.

Jeongguk means to drop off the cookies and go, but one thing leads to another and before Namjoon can even track it Yoongi has somehow wrestled out the fact that Jeongguk can sing, is ushering Jeongguk over to their shared office space slash mini-studio c’mon, hyung wants to hear you sing, and Namjoon is sort of helpless to follow. Curious, despite himself.

To say that Jeon Jeongguk sings like an angel would be cliche, but to say he sings like anything else on this planet would be an insult. There’s not an earthly sound that compares. Namjoon hears Jeongguk sing that night and feels less alone in the world, beauty and wonder cupped between the palms of his too often clumsy hands.

Before Namjoon can get the words out it’s like Yoongi’s plucked them straight out of his brain, asks Jeongguk for his phone number and before he’s even left the building they’ve got a groupchat and they’re talking, trading jokes, swapping memes (Jeongguk is fluent, Yoongi’s caught up to about 2012 in his education, Namjoon is the healthy middle ground).

And then they’re inviting Jeongguk over to dinner again, after a mutual agreement and Namjoon having this strange moment of looking at Yoongi and not being entirely sure what he’s thinking. Jeongguk texts, i dunno hyung, i guess if i get sexiled again. And Yoongi replies, well pencil in another sexiling, i’m making lamb skewers. And Namjoon tries to ignore the strange swell in his chest, something that he can’t place. It’s not jealousy. It’s—

Anyway. Jeongguk more or less becomes a permanent fixture in their lives. And Namjoon’s so not overthinking it.

*

[now]

Yoongi and Namjoon have never been conventional, but they’ve always been a team. Ever since the beginning. Always been sort of an us-against-the-world thing, or at least it was in the middle of things, after the rocky beginning, after the dust settled.

This all to say that Yoongi and Namjoon have never backed down from a challenge.

“This is ridiculous,” says Yoongi. “How hard can it be to plan out a three person date. Fucking mini-golf is even in duo tickets. Unbelievable.”

“Unbelievable that the rest of the world seems to think we only travel in pairs?” Namjoon shrugs. “I suppose so.”

Still, they tackle it to the best of their ability. Yoongi and Namjoon? Are fucking committed to Jeongguk. It’s their lives now, and he’s a part of it, they’re not gonna budget about that. Jeongguk isn’t a cool extension piece to them but a necessary part.

“He deserves the best.” Yoongi drags the laptop cursor over a throuples Spa-Day package, complete with massage and facials. “He’s so great. He built that Ikea Desk so fast Namjoon, we’re never going to find a man that can do that. He’s a keeper. He’s the keeper.”

“I completely agree,” says Namjoon, dragging three tickets to a Wednesday night Paint-N-Sip event in Hongdae to his own cart. They’ve been brainstorming fun date-nights for hours, and he’s sort of on loop repeating himself at this point. “He deserves the best.”

It’s moments like these where Namjoon—isn’t quite sure where this thing with Jeongguk is headed. The other day Yoongi realized they didn’t have a mug for Jeongguk to use when he drank coffee and had a tiff over it. Or sometimes they’re trying to find the right way to cuddle on the couch together and it takes extra maneuvering. Everything takes extra maneuvering. Extra thought. Extra consideration for is this normal, does this seem normal, are we acting calm and normal and not like the anxious well meaning freaks we are?

Is Jeongguk happy?

The answer is often yes. And Jeongguk is often smiling around them. In the moments they hesitate before making a move he seems to bridge the gap for them. Burrowing into the awkward space and pulling them close. Lifting a thermos mug out of his duffle bag so Yoongi can let out a visible exhale.

Sometimes Namjoon thinks they might be overthinking it, and that eventually Jeongguk might just want to stay in. But he deserves to be courted, and properly so. So goddammit, they’re going to do it or die trying.

 

*

[then]

It’s not quite that things that were once only his and Yoongi’s now becomes Jeongguk’s as well. It’s sort of like they’re starting fresh all over again.

They still go to their favorite breakfast place, but instead of Namjoon and Yoongi ordering coffee and reminiscing over old times, it’s Jeongguk with them, tucking into a frankly horrendously sized stack of pancakes and asking hyung do you want a bite through a barely discernible chewed mouthful.

The bi-weekly movie night now becomes weekly when Jeongguk discovers that Yoongi has never seen Cowboy Bebop and damn near has a conniption over it. Then Namjoon and Yoongi are horrified to discover that Jeongguk doesn’t really know how to cook? Like he lives off ramen and seaweed crackers and Seokjin’s charity. So Yoongi drags Jeongguk to the grocery store with him. Teaches Jeongguk how to make stir-fry that doesn’t taste like crap while he lectures Namjoon about how to properly cut an onion. Followed by the next week when Yoongi orders a new work desk from Ikea that’s literally fucking impossible to set up. They call Jeongguk, and the desk is assembled in forty five minutes flat. Jeongguk even volunteers to carry out the old desk and dump it in the recycling.

(Jeongguk’s very strong. This isn’t important. It’s barely a blip on the radar of things that matter. But Jeongguk lifts the heavy frame of Yoongi’s old desk like it’s nothing and Namjoon and Yoongi both sort of go still as they watch him carry it out.)

Every time Jeongguk comes over, he ends up staying so late that he might as well sleep over. The couch becomes less of a couch and more Jeongguk’s unofficial bed. The pull-out part is more or less always pulled out. Namjoon starts putting the sheets and blankets in the regular rotation with the rest of their laundry. He finds an unfamiliar looking toothbrush in the medicine cabinet one morning and has a second of panic because. Well.

Things are changing. That isn’t a bad thing, Namjoon is trying to be better about freaking every time something changes, but something is changing that has not changed in a very long time. His relationship with Yoongi. The way they talk to each other feels altered, like they’ve switched languages at some point and everything is sounding strange. The two of them talk about Jeongguk constantly, and it’s not really bad, it’s more that Namjoon doesn’t really understand why it’s the sudden topic of their conversations. They can’t shut the fuck up about him.

Namjoon doesn’t want to draw attention to the change without seeming alarmist. But at the exact same time, he kind of wants to know exactly what the fuck is going on.

“It sounds like you two are befriending a very nice boy,” says Seokjin.

“And…” Namjoon waits for the other shoe to drop.

“Well, a very nice boy who’s got a big fat crush on you.”

“On me? Or hyung.”

Seokjin takes a sip of his tea. “Um, not sure. Both? Maybe?”

“Both sounds about right,” chirps Hoseok.

It’s not that Namjoon hasn’t entertained the thought. He knows that Jeongguk looks at him a bit moony eyed. But deep down a small part of Namjoon wants to protest and say that it’s different. Jeongguk looks at him with moonstruck admiration but on the other hand he looks at Yoongi with literal stars in his eyes. If Namjoon were to guess, it’d have to be Yoongi he was crushing on. Jeongguk likes Namjoon maybe. Admires Namjoon. But he adores Yoongi in a way that Namjoon can neither blame nor feel icky about. It makes Namjoon hurt a little, but he doesn’t feel bad for it.

“I don’t know what to do with this information,” he says, instead of giving voice to his swarming thoughts. “What am I supposed to do with this information?”

“Nothing. Everything. Proposition the kid for a threesome.”

Namjoon inhales then spats out a mouthful of tea. “That is not—”

“What you and Yoongi are into, I know, you’re both boring and vanilla, look, we get it.”

“Threesomes aren’t inherently kinky, you know.” Hoseok’s words come polite but he’s giving Namjoon a furtive look as he says it. Like he knows something Namjoon doesn’t. “Some people do it as like, a commitment.”

“They’re not, you’re right. But there’s another name for that. A more-than-just-sex sort of threesome.”

It’s Seokjin’s lack of continued sarcasm and silliness that clues Namjoon into the fact that this conversation has taken a strange turn. There’s a fucking elephant in this room and they all seem to be staring at it but only walking in wide range circles around it. No one daring to go close enough to touch it.

The gnawing feeling in Namjoon’s chest, the strange swell, only deepens from there.

*

[now]

 

“You know, when you said dancing lessons—I’d imagined something a bit different.”

“Yeah,” agrees Yoongi. “This. Sure is something.”

“Right?” Jeongguk says, his whole face lit up. “They’re on an World Tour. I couldn’t resist. I did this on vacation with my parents when we visited the U.S. and it was awesome.”

Namjoon’s not quite sure that awesome is the word to describe the situation they’re in. A public school gym, where a lot of white people are currently corralling up in clothes that look straight out of an old Hollywood western film.

“It’ll be fun!” Jeongguk had said, when he’d told Yoongi and Namjoon about the date he’d planned out. “Like going to a real American hoedown! Namjoon-hyung and I can wear our overalls. And Yoongi-hyung, you can wear that bandana scarf and that jean jacket that Jin-hyung said gave you a distinct lesbian aura.”

So now they’re here, and a man with a handlebar mustache and a ten-gallon hat is instructing them on the basics of square dancing. This is once again totally new and totally out of their comfort zone and Namjoon—goddammit, Namjoon has to admit he doesn’t hate it.

Until the music kicks in, and it’s hell. Seriously, everything is so fast. It’s twanging guitars, screeching fiddles and banjos and the Caller with a microphone screeching out different moves for them to do.

At one point Namjoon looks over at Yoongi and—yeah, there’s a slight element of we’re too old for this, there’s a slight element of our boyfriend goes to the gym five days a week and we go biking once a week At Most so we’re gonna die. But then Yoongi, because he’s Yoongi, and he always surprises Namjoon right when Namjoon thinks he’s got him all figured out, throws back his head with a guttural whoop and throws himself into the dance.

Jeongguk has the time of his life, can Do-Si-Do like a champ, while Yoongi and Namjoon are dying. It’s one of those moments where they lock eyes and Yoongi mouths, we really are old aren’t we and Namjoon laughs breathlessly before being pulled into another Left Allemande. The cotton-eyed joe takes them out entirely, but they’re sweating and whooping and Jeongguk is glowing, bouncing about with this frenetic energy and looking so happy that the Caller calls him a true cowboy, lets him wear the ten gallon hat, which makes Namjoon laugh so hard he cries.  

And honestly, it’s one of the stupidest things Namjoon has ever done.

He fucking loves it.

*

[then]

They wait one month before they tell the gang. They’ve talked about it at length, planned out the conversation and all the possible outcomes, have decided it’s well worth the risk. Their friends are good people who love them, there’s no reason to be nervous. No reason to be nervous, but Jeongguk’s been twitchy all morning, keyed up in the worst way. Outwardly Yoongi is the calm one, but Namjoon sees the ruined hangnails of his fingers, the redness of them where he’s bitten them down to the quick.

It’s not a big deal, Namjoon soothes them. Their friends are all accepting, loving people. And worse comes to worst, Namjoon has seen and experienced enough that he can blackmail them into grudging acceptance. But even that assurance doesn’t make Jeongguk’s eyes go any less wide. Doesn’t stop Yoongi from biting viciously at his thumbnail whenever he’s not actively doing something with his hands.

So they pile Jimin and Taehyung and Seokjin and Hoseok onto the couch. Namjoon walks through his planned out speech with occasional input from Yoongi. Jeongguk remains quiet, and that’s okay too.

It doesn’t necessarily go according to plan. There’s a brief pause when Namjoon finishes, broken first by Jimin.

“Frankly, I’m a little offended.”

For the briefest of seconds, Namjoon watches Jeongguk visibly tense in a way that makes him want to fly across the room to hug him, cheer him up, make him feel better. Or maybe verbally rip Jimin a new asshole.

Yoongi rallies first. “We’re sorry we didn’t tell you sooner, it’s just something we wanted to work out on our own before we made any big announcements. We wanted to be sure.”

“Oh, I don’t care that you waited to tell us. I just.” Jimin cuts off, nostrils flaring, tiny fists clenched.

“Okay,” says Namjoon, trying to put on his best conflict resolution voice because they’ve clearly put off their friends in a way they hadn’t anticipated. This is bad, this is really—

“I just think,” sniffs Jimin, “It would have been nice to have been considered.”

Jeongguk’s nervousness melts to bafflement as he looks from Yoongi to Namjoon.

“Considered for…what exactly.”

“You didn’t invite me!” Jimin pouts. “I feel so left out! I mean what am I, chopped liver? Am I not worthy of a triad?”

“Babe, you’re so worthy,” coos Taehyung, and glares at Yoongi.

“We’re so very sorry,” says Yoongi, in his best deadpan. “That we did not invite you into our newfound polyamorous relationship. Whilst you were married to another man. In future endeavors that have absolutely nothing to do with you, we will make sure to consider your feelings.”

“Thank you,” says Jimin. “That’s all I ask.”

Jeongguk snorts, ducks his head, a discernible slump of relief in his shoulders. He leans against Yoongi, like he needs him to sit up properly.

“I imagine you guys have already talked all this out, and don’t need anything from us?”

“I mean, do you guys have questions?”

“Can I still invite Jeongguk over for Overwatch?”

“I’m still going to live with you, hyungs,” Jeongguk says, then blushes as he glances at Yoongi and Namjoon, because that isn’t something they’ve talked about. Not explicitly.

“Are the threesomes exclusive? What if we all happened to be having sex in the same room. That’s still sacred, right?”

“I can’t believe we just bared ourselves to you and you’re already seeking group sex.”

“No, no, wait,” says Seokjin. “I want to hear what Jimin has to say.”

And they’re off, bickering. What if someone comes naked to our next house party? Does that count as an orgy? What exactly are the bounds of polyamory? Can a throuple become a fourple? It’s called a quadrupple, Tae. Okay but how about a septupple? I’m big on seven. It’s a magic number.

“We’re so going to regret this,” Yoongi grumbles, wrapping an arm around Jeongguk’s shoulders as Jeongguk burrows into him, trying to hide his laugh as Taehyung suggests Sexual Secret Santa, which is basically a swinger’s party in the holiday spirit.

“Without a doubt,” Namjoon agrees, though he can’t help but feel that this was how it was meant to be. Their group of friends bickering about the technicalities of group sex, all of them together and all of them laughing and everything right.  

*

[now]

Namjoon and Yoongi had only ever talked about the polyamory thing once.

Not that it was this big taboo subject. It came up before they were even a couple, when they were still navigating who they were as people, how they fit as roommates, as collaborators, as friends. One night, probably stoned (definitely stoned), stretched out on the floor watching smoke drift through the air, they started talking about exes, bad breakups, worst breakups.

Went something like:

“I’m polyamorous. Means I like dating more than one person at once. Not always. But, yeah.”

Which, admittedly, had thrown Namjoon a bit. He knew what polyamory was, but he’d never imagined it’d be a label that applied to Yoongi, who felt so singular and focused in his passions, all his passions. It had seemed the slightest bit baffling at first (but then, most things about Yoongi-of-Then were).

So he’d said:

“Oh. Cool.”

Namjoon-of-Then hadn’t known how to ask about it, hadn’t thought to. The notion of being in love with Min Yoongi was this vague thing. He’d barely been aware of a crush then. More just a warm feeling whenever Yoongi smiled at him, and that had taken so long to distinguish from friendship on its own. Min Yoongi had a smile that felt good to earn.

So Namjoon had taken this candid information in between hits on a blunt and thought to himself well okay then. Because it hadn’t applied then and it didn’t occur to him to ever think of it since. Yoongi never brought it up either. They got together and they were in love and Yoongi, always the first to voice his discomfort or grievances with Namjoon before anyone else in the world, always the first to be honest, never said a word. Never said he was unhappy or needed a third person to feel happy.

The mechanics of it, the thoughtful questions and schematics and notion of how does this actually work?

Well, it didn’t come up until—

“So,” says Namjoon one morning, and he can already feel the heat in his cheeks, the telltale way it dissolves like sugar in hot tea. “We’ve been dating for a few months.”

Jeongguk nods, munching on a large mouthful of cereal.

“We’ve also been holding hands and kissing and cuddling,” prods Yoongi.

“Great stuff. Good content.” Jeongguk shovels another spoonful of cereal into his mouth. “Big fan of that.”

“And on more than one occasion we’ve had to uh. Slow things down or. Change tracks. Because one or more parties involved was getting…worked up.”

“Why does it sound like you’re about to give me the birds and the bees talk?” Jeongguk wrinkles his nose. “You can say boner, hyung. Yoongi-hyung, make him stop talking in his dad voice.”

“I just think—” Namjoon blurts loudly. “And we’ve been thinking—just—lots of thoughts. That we should talk about what happens next in a theoretical sense. Not because it has to happen right now but. So we’re prepared when we get to it. Being intimate.”

“Oh,” Jeongguk says, then slurps down the milk from his bowl. “Don’t worry about that, hyung. Already taken care of.”

Namjoon’s panic abates for a moment. “Wait, really?”

“Yeah, I’m totally ready for anything that could come up. You told me to take my time and see how I feel and maybe try and educate myself, and. Well.” Jeongguk grins, puffs his chest out like he’s quite proud of himself. “I did research.”

“Research?” Namjoon and Yoongi share a confused glance.

Jeongguk nods very seriously. “Yeah! I didn’t want to be unprepared when it happens, you know? So I went and looked up everything I wasn’t sure about. Like how to three way kiss and sex positions we could all try together and how to prep for double penetration—”

Yoongi spats out his coffee into the kitchen sink.

“It’s actually not too complicated? Just, you know. Clean up thoroughly before and lots of lube—”

“Okay,” says Namjoon faintly, feeling a little punched in the gut, a little embarrassed as Yoongi hacks up a lung and, goddammit, he’s laughing isn’t he. “I appreciate you being well researched on the physics and all but that’s. That’s not what I meant when I said to take some time to think about things.”

“We’re gonna ease into that stuff if that’s okay,” Yoongi says, voice smoky and choked out. “That’s—yeah. Baby steps.”

“Oh, alright,” Jeongguk says, eyes wide and owlish.

Namjoon looks to Yoongi helplessly, feeling more out of his element and out of his depth than he’s felt in quite some time. Sometimes Namjoon gets caught up in the details, in the semantics, sometimes the words get knotted up and he forgets how to speak. In those moments, Yoongi seems to know exactly how to pick all of Namjoon’s overthinking apart and choose exactly the words he needs to say what he means.

“Have you been with other people before?” Yoongi asks, because that feels like the right place to start.

The tension in Jeongguk’s shoulders diffuses a bit, and he nods, but continues to chew at his lip. “I’ve had sex with individual people before. But not couples. Not even like, a threesome to see what it was like. So. Yes, but no. Not like this.”

Which, they knew he’d never dated other couples before. That this is as new to Jeongguk as it is to Namjoon in that way. But unlike Namjoon, who had his mini-breakdown about it and has since recovered and been relatively okay, Jeongguk looks like he’s about to launch himself out of his seat on sheer energy propulsion, like a pilot ejecting himself out of a dive-bombing plane.

He’s nervous, Namjoon realizes. Even though he knows they both want him. Even though it’s something they’ve established and clarified. Even though they’ve been kissing and dating and being other definitions of intimate for months now.

It’s strange for Namjoon to think about him and Yoongi in the contexts of him&Yoongi. They’ve been jokingly referred to as a power couple way too many times for it not to have a semblance of significance. Power couple seems so intense and from where Namjoon stands, they’re not so scary. But that’s also a matter of perspective, because Namjoon was there before the him&Yoongi existed. He was there freshman year at the start of them, when they argued constantly and bickered over different living habits. When Yoongi turned the thermostat to boiling and Namjoon always forgot to fill the Brita Pitcher, something that drove Yoongi crazy.

They were so much more formidable then, in his opinion. At each other’s throats, at odds, not so much polar opposites as just the right amount of similar that they repelled each other like magnets.

Now, as they are, Namjoon finds them rather soft and un-threatening. Yoongi wakes up with pink pillow creases on cheeks that feel like ripe apricots when Namjoon brushes his thumbs against them. Namjoon writes lyrics about the moon and rain and things he still doesn’t understand but is trying not to be impatient about and Yoongi makes music that makes your chest ache with feeling. They go to bed and emerge into each day on the same page, even when they disagree on the small things. Even when Yoongi cranks up the heater and Namjoon still forgets to fill the Brita pitcher.

To him, that’s just being in love. But for someone new, for someone who is Jeongguk, Namjoon can see how it might be downright formidable.

“Okay well, for starters, let’s not think of it as you having sex with us,” says Yoongi, opening his stance so he’s facing both Namjoon and Jeongguk. “Like, okay, Joon and I were an ‘us’ before you came along. But from this point forward, we’re all an us. Like how our dates are for three people, and we’ve had to think outside the box and improvise in that fashion. This stuff is like our dates, okay? It’s new for all of us. Even me.” Yoongi nods to himself. “Because I may have been with more than one person before, but I’ve never been with a Namjoon and a Jeongguk.”

Jeongguk lets out a breath like he’s been holding it for hours.

“And Jeongguk-ah.” Here the very tips of Yoongi’s ears turn pink, even as he talks so calm, and Jeongguk can’t quite tell that Yoongi is embarrassed but Namjoon can. “All that stuff you researched, I just want you to know that that’s not like—an expectation we have at all. I know that’s what you probably found in the first search result, but everything we do is a group agreement. That’s why we’re talking about it now. We don’t have to have sex right away. Or ever, if that’s what you prefer. We can talk about what we’d like to do, and how we’d like to do it, and we’ll talk about it before anything happens so there’s nothing unexpected we can’t handle. But yeah. The internet is helpful, but I assure you that’s not where the bar is set. This isn’t that kind of deal.”

“Okay.” Jeongguk nods, looks relieved before he looks up frantically. “Just so we’re clear though, not never hyung.”

The pink spreads to Yoongi’s cheeks like wildfire. “Okay, not never.”

“Even when ‘not never’ comes, though, we’re going to make sure we agree on everything we do, alright? Whatever the internet told you about how this works, you can forget that. We’re doing our own thing, and however that works for us is no one else’s business. Okay, Jeongguk?”

“Okay.” Jeongguk nods, and what he says next gushes forth like a babbling brook, happy and spilling over, like he can’t help it. “I’m so into you both. My attention span is already shit but I want all of that. Individually, both.”

“It’s your call, Jeongguk-ah. We want you to be comfortable with us.”

Jeongguk preens a bit at that. “But I already am, hyung. It’s so much, I wish I could explain.”

“Is there anything else you feel unsure of?” Namjoon asks. “Any hesitations you might have? And—and if you change your mind, we can stop. It’s not a problem.”

“So,” Jeongguk says, “What you’re saying is, I get to love both of you as much as my muscle pig body and heart will allow? Sort of like how cows have four stomachs, only I get two hearts?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes with a groan. But Namjoon has eight years of living with him under his belt. He knows every micro expression there, from the slight curvature of the corners of his mouth, to the tender way he’s looking at Jeongguk, even as he ribs him. The same way he looks at Namjoon. Min Yoongi loves in ocean tides, a quiet but undeniable force to be reckoned with.

“Yeah.” Namjoon smiles. “Something like that.”

“Sick,” says Jeongguk in an awed tone, and takes both of their hands.

*

[then]

In the long version of their Epic Love Story, it takes Namjoon a while to notice.

There’s something to be said about having a high IQ. Mostly that it doesn’t mean shit when it comes to the things that matter. Namjoon’s smart in some ways, in a few specific parallel-with-a-fucked-education-system ways, but pretty fucking dumb in all others.

Dumb enough that in the beginning, he manages to convince himself that he just likes watching the two of them together, and there’s no deeper meaning to it than that.

The noticing comes after it’s far too late.

It’s not that he likes watching Yoongi or he likes watching Jeongguk. He likes watching Yoongi with Jeongguk. Jeongguk with Yoongi.

Yoongi’s softer around Jeongguk. Which isn’t to say he’s not soft around Namjoon, but it’s a different kind of soft. Maybe because Jeongguk’s newer and younger but Yoongi’s—the patience as he has with Jeongguk is staggering. The gentleness with which he talks, part doting hyung part something else. And Jeongguk, so quick to tease, be sweet, the way his nose scrunches when he smiles at Yoongi. It’s something about the way their frames fit together, Namjoon thinks, when they hug, or play fight. Something about Yoongi’s big hands and Jeongguk’s slender waist. Something about Jeongguk’s cackle and Yoongi’s rasp of a laugh. Something about their smiles, all teeth.

And then there’s this one night. This one stupid night. Yoongi pulling out his classical music records from college, violin concertos and the like, for the purpose of waltzing Jeongguk around the room. Namjoon doesn’t even understand the why of it. Comes home to the sound of Jeongguk’s laughter and Yoongi’s swearing as they spin and twirl around the living room in bare feet. There’s music playing and there’s dinner waiting on the table, because they never forget to leave some for Namjoon, and before Yoongi takes off for the studio—late night, always a late night—he brushes a kiss to Namjoon’s lips and says do me a favor and help Jeonggukie learn to waltz for his cousin’s wedding. He’s hopeless. Please help him, as if Namjoon knows a single fucking thing about how to waltz.

Then this other time, Jeongguk’s fingers in a loose ring around Yoongi’s knobby wrist, guiding Yoongi through painting, talking to him about colors and palettes. Yoongi’s resounding rumble. Then Jeongguk guiding Namjoon through it, because apparently they’re both trying to paint today, Namjoon fumbling with the brush and Jeongguk’s kind joyous laugh, no hyung, like this, and Namjoon so so aware of Yoongi’s eyes on them, the way his gaze follows the places they touch.

Then another time, shopping for clothes, helping Jeongguk pick something for a gallery showing because the poor boy only owns ripped skinny jeans and large t-shirts and nothing in-between. Fluorescent lighting and cramped aisles in the discount section. Yoongi holding out a nice lace dress shirt towards Jeongguk and a jacket towards Namjoon, this will fit, no, trust me, look at the shoulders, it’ll fit and talking to both of them like he knows them both just the same amount. Even though he’s known Namjoon well over triple the time he’s known Jeongguk. But it’s that, the familiarity, the notion of him knowing Jeongguk too. Makes something possessive pulse in Namjoon’s belly.

Or maybe—maybe he notices it in the way they touch. How movie nights started sitting a safe distance from one another on the couch but now feature Jeongguk being half sprawled across their laps. Burrowing into their shoulders. How Yoongi grabs and holds Jeongguk’s hand as often as he holds Namjoon’s. Not more than Namjoon, not a tipping imbalance of the scales, but as much.

It’s the way Jeongguk touches both of them, this sort of absent minded fiddling, nervous twitch. The way he drags his fingertips over Yoongi’s fine pink knuckles, or how he teases the hairs on Namjoon’s forearms until they stand with goosebumps. Like he’s trying commit the feel of them to memory, trying to figure out how to find them in the dark.

Their group chat messages go from the occasional ‘can I crash’ exchange to a steady stream of conversation all day long. They’re more comfortable around each other and that’s a good thing, Namjoon tells himself. They’re better together than they are apart.

But Namjoon, despite all his intelligence, doesn’t really get it until—

Jeongguk and Yoongi at the piano. Namjoon’s home today, for once. Yoongi’s supposed to be gone by now for a late night studio session, but Jeongguk wanted a lesson, just one lesson. And somehow they called Namjoon over, and now it’s Jeongguk and Yoongi and Namjoon at the piano. The three of them. Namjoon leaning against the wooden body of the piano, feeling their notes resonate up through his fingertips to his chest. Jeongguk’s singing from where he sits next to Yoongi, melody taking shape in the air and the music washes over Namjoon. Music is always doing that, really, grabbing hold of him at the foundations, at the deepest part. But this is different.

Yoongi’s notes and Jeongguk’s voice blend together and this is Namjoon’s chest cracking open and someone gently stroking over the strings in his ribcage, plucking at him like a harp. Such a wonderful and terrifying thing, to know the full extent of which you can feel, especially about other people.

(Jeongguk, months later, saying it’s like when you mega evolve in Pokemon, hyung. You go all sparkly and glowy. And you’re the same, sort of, you’re just more. Like you have access to all these cool powers. Like when Charizard becomes Mega-Charizard. Essentially the same, but more powers, cooler.

I hate this, says Yoongi, like he’s not kissing his way down Jeongguk’s stomach, smiling at the way Jeongguk arches up into him, burying his whimper into Namjoon’s neck. I can’t believe you just compared your love for us to Pokemon. Fucking Pokemon. This is the worst.

Fine, fine, Jeongguk sighs, gives up, gives in to Yoongi’s mouth for a second.

Then—

Okay, you know Dragonball Z?

Yoongi groans and flops onto his side, and Jeongguk’s grin feels so good against Namjoon’s.)

In the short version of this story, Namjoon takes forever to come around.

And when he does, it’s like a fucking brick to the face.

With Yoongi, he had time. Years of context and history that he could look back on to understand, pick apart to peer at, oh yes of course, i love him, i understand.

With Yoongi and Jeongguk, it’s more love then he’d ever thought he could ever feel and as a result, a fucking hurricane in his head, an oh jesus shitting christ kind of primal shriek.  

*

[now]

Jeongguk either sleeps like he’s dead to the fucking world or he doesn’t sleep at all.

“You’d think we’d have tired him out last night,” Namjoon mumbles, rolling over and murmuring the words into the curve of Yoongi’s shoulder.

In the kitchen, the distinct sound of clattering pots and pans. The hot hiss of butter on a skillet.

“Are you kidding?” Yoongi rumbles. “You know that kid did like, a fifty page dissertation on sex before we even broached the subject. He was ready to rev. If anything, we opened Pandora’s box.”

“I blame you.”

“Excuse me. I’m not the incessantly horny one who crashed our computer sophomore year after downloading too much porn.”

“No, you’re just the incessantly soft one who loves being all gentle. Make all the guys fall for you with your wiles.”

Yoongi huffs, disgruntled, like he’s not pressing a kiss to Namjoon’s hair, bringing a hand up to grip his hip and pull them closer, getting lost and off-track with sleepy morning kisses.

“Mm.” Yoongi hums after a moment. “I think Jeongguk’s making breakfast.”

“Can he even cook?”

“Debatable. It sounds like he’s cooking but for all we know he’s making us ramen with Redbull.”

“Remember when I used to make post-coital breakfasts?” Namjoon smiles, eyes closed.

“You mean when I used to make them. Revisionist history.”

“Oh right, my apologies.”

He can see it so clearly in his head. Which is strange, because it feels a thousand years away. The first time he and Yoongi slept together and Namjoon woke up so utterly paranoid that he’d somehow fucked up their first time and Yoongi wouldn’t want a repeat, would—in fact—want to break up and move out and never speak again. Namjoon had convinced himself the only way to make Yoongi stay was to make him breakfast.

Which, of course, resulted in a kitchen full of smoke and Yoongi running half-naked from the bedroom to find Namjoon shouting “IT’S FINE! IT’S TOTALLY FINE” even though everything was definitely not fine.

And then, after they put out the small fire, right at the moment where Namjoon expected Yoongi to leave, Yoongi had just lightly hip-checked Namjoon aside, started bustling about the kitchen, humming to himself, giving Namjoon quiet instructions as they cleaned up and started over.

Then Namjoon had been—well, a newly deflowered virgin for lack of a better term. All nervous and cracked open, his soft squishy parts on display. And something about Yoongi calmly navigating their kitchen, cooking, occasionally making eye contact and smiling (like they had a secret, only theirs, nobody else’s) cemented it as one of the happiest moments of Namjoon’s life.

It doesn’t come close to this though.

“I made breakfast!” trills Jeongguk, crossing the threshold to their room with a tray and almost staggering under the weight of what looks like the leaning tower of hotteok. He must have showered while they were still sleeping because his hair is damp and sticking to his temples. He’s wearing Namjoon’s sweats and has the drawstring double knotted to keep them falling off his hips. There’s a rather indecent bruise on above the notch of his pelvic line because—oh yeah, he was also apparently cooking shirtless.

“Who’s the incessantly horny one now?” Namjoon smirks, noting the expression on Yoongi’s face as Jeongguk places one knee on the bed, carefully balancing the tray, and crawls over to them, gives them both minty morning kisses, shoves a coffee under Yoongi’s nose and a tea under Namjoon’s and urges them to eat.

They’re all so shy, Namjoon realizes. All three of them sitting on the bed in various states of undressed and debauched and avoiding eye contact and blushing.  Namjoon feels a fondness so sharp in his chest he feels like he’s swallowing down a scream.

“So,” Jeongguk says, happily munching a few moments later. “Should we—talk about it?”

“By it you mean sex?”

Jeongguk colors slightly but he gathers himself enough to power through to a firm, “Yes. The sex. Did you—was it okay?”

Yoongi’s mouth twitches. “No complaints here, Jeongguk-ah.”

“Perfectly adequate,” Namjoon agrees mildly, loving the glint in Yoongi’s eye and the slight terror in Jeongguk’s.

“Is…is adequate enough for a repeat performance? Or should we table that discussion for another time.”

“Oh my god,” Yoongi laughs, taking pity on Jeongguk. “Yes, he’s just being coy, you rocked our worlds. Collectively and singularly. And a repeat performance is definitely in the works.” He slides a look at Namjoon, coy. “Whenever you’re up for it, that is.”

“Oh.” Jeongguk puffs out his chest like he’s flexing. “Neat.”

And then he rolls up the remainder of his hotteok and shoves it whole in his mouth, chewing voraciously like Namjoon imagines a beaver goes through a log of wood.

“W-what are you doing?”

“Carb loading for round two.” Jeongguk’s words are barely audible, there’s so much food in his mouth that Namjoon’s legitimately concerned he might choke. “You should do it too hyungs, y’all are older and have less stamina then me. Also, the bed’s still too small.”

“The bed’s just fine.”  

Namjoon narrows his eyes. “Funny, I don’t recall you complaining last night.”

“Yeah,” tacks on Yoongi. “If we’re too geriatric for your sex drive, we can sit this one out.”

“Turn on the news.”

“Catch up with current events.”

“Wait, no,” Jeongguk whines around a mouthful of pancake.

“Oo, Namjoon-ah, why don’t we take a shower together while Jeongguk loads his carbs.”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

Jeongguk knocks over the syrup in the effort to yank both of them back down on the bed as they move, and the gross sheets get even grosser, and Jeongguk nearly does choke on the hotteok because—like always—he is trying to do too much at once, pressing kisses as he carb loads.

“I’m sorry hyungs,” he whispers, drags a sticky finger down the line of Namjoon’s neck and licks it up, kisses Yoongi so he can have a  taste. “Sorry sorry, you’re not old. You’re at your prime. Dick game ten out of ten.”

“Only ten?”

“Twelve hundred out of ten,” Jeongguk amends, and then they’re kissing, and touching, and their shower is much like their bed—too cramped and too many bodies to be considered comfortable, but to his credit Jeongguk’s got one hell of a determination streak when it comes to giving and getting what he wants.

*

[then]

In the long version of the story, Namjoon only freaks out a little bit.

Falling in love with two people is fucking confusing.

Maybe he’s not supposed to think that. Half his existential breakdown about this whole thing is the fact that it’s not easy. Falling in love with Yoongi was easy, that was built into the infrastructure of him, written into his blood and bones. That love was earned, after long years of fighting and bickering and navigating a cease fire and figuring out how to breathe and grow around each other. Falling in love with Yoongi was patient and steady, the slow understanding that that Min Yoongi was sensitive as he was strong. That he and Namjoon were singing the same song, just different harmonies.

Falling in love with Min Yoongi was being handed a symphony, learning to pick apart all the different parts, the solos and the crescendos and finding where the music had ebb and flow. Loving Yoongi was music, Chopin probably, one of the Nocturnes. Lilting piano that took its own measured time. Once it happened, it was easy. Relationships have never been easy for Namjoon, who often feels too awkward and neurotic to be deserving of the sort of love he gets from Yoongi. The fact that he got one so good, too good, was a blessing in and of itself.

Then Jeongguk came along.

And suddenly love was another symphony, only Namjoon did not have months and years of time to parse out all the melodies and instruments. Jeongguk was Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony finale, crashing-shrieking-grandiose fast love.

In the long version of the Epic Love Story: Namjoon has only the tiniest of contained breakdowns about it.

Can’t help it. Comes home one evening to find Yoongi and Jeongguk asleep together, cuddled together like kittens on the couch. Jeongguk’s balled into one of Namjoon’s hoodies and absolutely swimming in it, the hood thrown over his head where it’s shoved beneath Yoongi’s chin. He's holding Yoongi so tightly. And Yoongi’s holding him right back.

If Namjoon were a normal person, if his heart kicked the right way this would be the part where he starts yelling and accusing Yoongi of cheating on him, of being in love with someone else. Or maybe the part where he takes a picture on his phone and mocks both of them in the groupchat, makes light of all of this, doesn’t think much beyond the picture of a comfortable and intimate friendship.

But Namjoon sees the two of them, sleeping so deeply, touching so sweetly, and everything in him halts. Skips. Glitches like the record got off track only to pick back up again at the finale.

He doesn’t wake them. He doesn’t joke. He doesn’t yell.

He does however go over to Hoseok’s to have a very quiet freakout on his couch.

He doesn’t tell Hoseok what is wrong, just sort of hunches his shoulders over the beer Hoseok hands him and sips until his thoughts settle from oh fuck oh fuck oH FUCK to a more muted okay, jesus christ, okay, alright, here we go.

Hoseok’s good for this sort of thing. He doesn’t ask questions and he knows that Namjoon will talk when he’s ready. He sits quietly while Namjoon nurses his beer, scrolls through vine compilations on YouTube, occasionally Snapchats Seokjin.

The truth is, Namjoon doesn’t blame them. Either of them. He can’t blame Yoongi for falling in love with Jeongguk and he can’t blame Jeongguk for falling in love with Yoongi. They’re a perfect couple. The perfect complements. Not like him and Yoongi, twin moons that clash all too often, too alike, too similar.

Namjoon doesn’t blame them because he gets it. Because he loves both of them too.

Both, together. It’s not a siphoning off of the love he has for Yoongi, not spreading something thinner to make it cover a wider ground. It’s doubling. Someone took Namjoon’s love for Yoongi—his slow and steady, his nocturne, his Chopin piano lilting—and flipped the fucking script on him, turned it into something twice as long, twice as intense, twice as beautiful.

Twice as painful.

“Are you going to go talk to him?” Hoseok asks, always too smart for his own good.

“I can’t,” says Namjoon.

“Yes Namjoon, you can. Communication is important.”

“I don’t want to communicate. I want to go lie on the forest floor and become a tree.”

“That seems counterintuitive.”

“I still think it’s a nice thing to aspire to.”

“Namjoon-ah.”

Namjoon sighs and scrubs a hand through his hair. “He’s just…so much. And not in a bad way. In the best way. He is so much good and I want to be just as much for him. But what if it’s not me?”

Hoseok nods, but doesn’t say anything.

The worst part of this whole thing is that Yoongi and Jeongguk make total and complete sense. Namjoon doesn’t think there’s anything happening behind his back, but when he pictures it, it’s like something out of a movie, the way they look together. He and Yoongi were always the Odd Couple. The gangly klutz next to the tiny tsundere. This was never a problem when it was just Namjoon and Yoongi. They always seemed to find a way to make things work for themselves, unconventional or not. The world didn’t need to see or approve of their love, they expressed it in their own language, their own way.

But now that Jeongguk’s here, Namjoon really has to wonder what the fuck he’s even doing. It’s like suddenly he can see all the ways he’s holding Yoongi back, being unhealthy for him. Yoongi shouldn’t be dating someone who writes sad things or has sad thoughts.

So maybe he’ll go home and—what, dump Yoongi? That doesn’t seem fair. It might not be what Yoongi wants. But Namjoon doesn’t think he can handle the other alternative. Staying in a relationship and watching Yoongi fall out of love with him as he falls in love with Jeongguk, if he’s not there already. He can’t handle Yoongi trying to be gentle with him, trying to let him down easy. And Jeongguk, because Jeongguk would want to be nice about it too. He can’t handle the notion of their pity and kindness because it wouldn’t be infidelity, they would never cheat, he knows this in his gut, but him staying would mean that they would be in pain. That they would be wanting, and he’d just be the foot in the door and Namjoon doesn’t want—doesn’t want to be in the way of anyone’s happiness.

They’re the best people he knows. They are completely deserving of each other.

He pulls himself together and thanks Hoseok for sitting with him and trudges home in the rain with the beer pleasantly numbing him and thinks all i need is me, it’s okay to be alone, i don’t have to be with someone, i don’t want to hurt them. By the time he walks through the door he’s worked himself into enough of a pep talk that he thinks he can steamroll through the whole breakup speech and not have to give it too much thought.

He’ll go in. He’ll talk to them, let them know there’s no hard feelings. He can find a place, maybe crash on Hoseok’s couch. Something like that.

They’re up waiting for him when he gets back, seated on the couch. Maybe they heard him leave in the first place. That makes this even worse. That makes this even harder. That they know, that they’re going to feel guilty about it.

They’ve moved the ottoman out so he can sit across from them, like they’ve been expecting him. Namjoon’s stomach twists.

“Hey,” Yoongi looks up, and Namjoon’s eyes go to his hands where the nail beds are torn to shreds, red and angry looking. He’s nervous.

“Hey,” murmurs Namjoon.

Jeongguk chews at his lips. He looks about as sick as Namjoon feels.

“So, I have something I want to say.”

“So do I.” Namjoon cringes.

“Same.” Jeongguk’s whisper comes out feather-light and timid.

No one seems to want to speak first. Namjoon’s thoughts crank louder and louder until he feels like he’s going to let out a scream of anxiety.

“I’ve been thinking. I don’t think this is working out.”

“I think you’re right.” Yoongi nods, and it punches Namjoon right in the gut. He hadn’t been expecting such an easy surrender but, god, they’re probably just waiting for him to leave. It makes sense. They want to get to their happily ever after. That’s okay. “Something’s gotta give.”

“Right. Okay.” Namjoon feels like he’s going to burst into tears like a child, and he doesn’t want that. So he stands, shoulders back to the door. “I’m gonna crash at Hoseok’s. I’ll pack my stuff tomorrow, the essentials. I’ll be out in a week.”

“What?” Yoongi balks. Jeongguk finally looks up at Namjoon, eyes huge and alarmed.

“I mean that’s—you said I was right. That we’re not working out. So I’m—I’m going, hyung. I know a losing battle when I see one.”

“Kim Namjoon. Love of my life. What the goddamn shit are you talking about.”

“I’m. I’m breaking up. We’re breaking up.”

“No the fuck we aren’t,” Yoongi says fiercely, and grabs Namjoon’s hand like that alone will keep him here.

“Please hyung.” Jeongguk takes Namjoon’s other hand and that—hits, somewhere very deeply in Namjoon’s ribs. Buries into the flesh like an arrow. His knees buckle like he’s been wounded. “Don’t be mad or grossed out. We can talk about this. We can—.”

“Grossed out? Why would I be grossed out?”

“Why else would you be dumping me?” says Yoongi petulantly. “I thought you were cool with this.”

“I.” Namjoon is thoroughly confused, more confused than he was when he walked out the door the first time this evening, and that’s saying a helluva lot all things considered.

“Okay.” Namjoon sinks back down on the ottoman. They’re both holding onto his hands so tightly, like he’s a hot air balloon and they’re the only things keeping him from floating off. He wants to flee the room and not deal with the emotional brunt of this but this is going to have to be a clean brutal break. There’s no way to avoid that. Namjoon has to ask them how they feel, they have to get this out. “Start from the beginning. What were you going to talk to me about? What’s not working?”

“What’s not working is that we love you, hyung,” says Jeongguk.

Namjoon’s throat feels sticky. “I love you guys too, but that’s not—”

“Let him finish, Joon-ah.”

“I want to be with you, hyung.” Jeongguk holds his hand so tight. “And Yoongi-hyung. Not just Yoongi-hyung, but you too.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s like this. I love you. And I also love your boyfriend. I love you both the same. Want you both the same.”

Namjoon’s brain flickers. “I don’t. What?”

Jeongguk sighs through his nose, the smallest noise of frustration. “Look. Have you ever had just peanut butter and jelly, hyung?”

“I—,” Namjoon stops short. “Come again?”

“When you have a PB&J sandwich. You don’t just have the peanut butter and the jelly, hyung. You can’t make the greatest sandwich in the world without the bread. You need the bread, hyung! You just do.”

Something clicks in Namjoon’s thick skull and he looks to both of them for the answer. “Am…am I the bread?”

“You’re whatever sandwich component you want to be,” Jeongguk sniffs, oddly teary eyed for someone talking about food. He squeezes Namjoon’s hand. “But the point is, PB&J doesn’t work without you. We don’t work without you.”

We.

“You feel it, don’t you.” It’s not a question, Yoongi’s not asking. He’s looking at Namjoon the same way he has always looked at Namjoon. With kind, dark eyes. Like he can see through to Namjoon’s heart, can read it like the back of his hand. “You feel it, and you know it’s good. It works. Us works.”

“Us works,” Namjoon says, and lets out the most trembling exhale. “Us works.”

The tectonic plates of the earth seem to shift in the breath of a moment. They’re still holding hands.

“Dibs on peanut butter,” Jeongguk suddenly blurts.

“Yah,” Yoongi squawks. “I don’t like jelly, what does that make me?”

“Still the jelly. Because you’re so sweet?” Namjoon offers, and is rewarded with a glare.

“Hm. Terrible. I’ve changed my mind about being in this throuple.”

“Is that what we’re called? A throuple?”

“If you want,” Yoongi shrugs. “We can come up with another name. I don’t care what we’re called, just so long as Namjoon isn’t dumping me.”

“I.” The words keep getting stuck in Namjoon’s throat. Like swallowing peanut butter. “I came here to break up with you. I thought—I thought you guys were soulmates. That I was keeping you apart.”

Yoongi’s expression softens, this special look that he only saves for Namjoon, in the moments he loves him most. “Kim Namjoon, I love you, you wonderful man, but also you are one of the dumbest string beans I’ve ever met.”

Jeongguk gasps and giggles, leans in. “Hyung, don’t make fun of him.”

“I’m not making fun of him. I’m genuinely baffled how someone with such a high IQ and professional standing has only this many brain cells to put to use.”

“I’m doing my best!” Namjoon protests weakly.

“Well, you’re still an idiot. I don’t know what I’m going to do with you.”

Namjoon shrugs. “You could kiss me, hyung.”

“Actually,” says Yoongi casually. “I’d rather if Jeongguk did.”

Jeongguk’s eyes go so huge it’s like they’re going to pop out of his head, like a Bug Out Bob toy.

He looks to Namjoon, as if seeking permission, a gesture so thoughtful that Namjoon can’t help but think this is going to work out alright.

“Only if you want to,” adds Yoongi.  

“Yes.” Namjoon nods jerkily. “I want to. Do you want to, Jeongguk?”

“I want to,” Jeongguk says quietly.

Silence. Neither he nor Jeongguk move. The thing is, Namjoon does want to. It’s not like he’s been fantasizing about it non-stop but now it feels like he has, that kind of want rising in him, a long familiar ache, as if it’s been all he’s been able to think about these long weeks. And Jeongguk wants to too. The boy’s never been subtle about anything a day in his life; his gaze has gone a bit trance-like, locked on Namjoon’s mouth, but he’s not doing anything. Neither of them are doing anything.

“Well me too,” Namjoon repeats again, feeling kind of numb and out of body, before his brain glitches and resets in a moment of total dumbassery. “Do you want to?  

Yoongi sighs, all exasperated. “Get up, you two.”

“What—”

“I’m tired of talking. If you don’t shut up, I’m gonna have to beat you up.”

“That seems unnecessary.”

“I’ll do it. I have brass knuckles from the streets of Daegu.”

“Hyung!”

“Ignore him, Jeongguk. He’s never even thrown a punch.”

“I’ll pinch you,” says Yoongi. “Or I’ll bite you. No, no I won’t bite you, I know you like that too much. But I will pinch you.”

“Would you bite me, hyung?” Jeongguk asks impishly, but Yoongi’s pinch to his cheek is way too gentle to be anything but affectionate.

“I’m tired of talking,” Yoongi says again, tone less domineering and more pouty than he probably means to be. “Too much talk of breaking up isn’t good for my heart. Now kiss.”

Jeongguk’s jaw drops. “Just like that? Just—kiss?”

“Just a kiss,” Yoongi speaks so soft, in the way he only does when something matters, when it’s so important. “Know you want to.”

Jeongguk shoots out of his seat like he’s been electrocuted. “Of course I—” he cuts off. “I mean, yeah, that’d be chill.”

“Chill.” Yoongi raises an eyebrow.

Jeongguk rolls his eyes. “What do you want me to say, hyung? That I want to kiss you both? That I’ve dreamed about it? How it’d feel? How you taste?”

“Less talking, more touching.” Yoongi grins, eyes twinkling. “But yeah, maybe something like that in a little while.”

Even their banter seems perfectly in sync. They’re all sitting so close on the well worn couch. The soft smell of cinnamon lingers in the air.

“Take his hand, Jeongguk-ah,” says Yoongi, not so snappy as before. “He likes when you brush a thumb against his knuckles. Like a damn cat.”

“Hyung—”

“And you.” Yoongi turns, and the steel in his eyes would maybe be intimidating if he didn’t press the softest of kisses to Namjoon’s cheek, right along the dimple, where he likes cheek kisses best. “You touch Jeongguk-ah’s face.”

“Is he always this bossy?” Jeongguk asks in a low tone, biting back a smile.

“Hardly. Usually he just pouts a lot until he gets his way. That’s when the real trouble starts.”

“Sounds like a lot of talking for a moment that’s supposed to be romantic,” Yoongi growls.

“Bossy.”

“Hyung!”

“Sorry.”

“I’ll do the shutting up. Leave it to me,” says Jeongguk, a determined glint in his eye, as he surges forward and kisses Namjoon.

Not to wax poetic, but Namjoon imagines this is what sipping from a cup of sunshine feels like. Or maybe nectar of the gods. Or the fountain of youth. It’s a little bit holy. A little bit of a motherfucking revelation.

Jeongguk pulls back, staring Namjoon down but still nervous. “Do you get it now, hyung? Do you see how I feel about you? How we both do?”

Namjoon can feel Yoongi’s hand on his waist like a brand. Jeongguk’s thumb stroking slow over his knuckles, like Yoongi said, making his fingers pulse with warmth.

“Didn’t quite catch that. Missed the memo. Kiss me again,” breathes Namjoon.

Jeongguk does, slower this time. Fits their mouths together and Namjoon is so aware of his body. Of how Yoongi’s forehead presses to his shoulder as he watches them kiss. Of how Jeongguk’s parts his mouth, wet, lets Namjoon take a curious lick inside that has both of them, all three of them, shivering down to their toes.

He’s kissing Jeongguk but he can feel Yoongi sigh into his skin and feel Yoongi’s fingers gripping his hip and there are so many limbs involved Namjoon’s getting preemptively stressed thinking about how they’re going to navigate any sort of physical relationship but then Jeongguk’s kissing him deeper, and Namjoon’s anxieties flit off into the blue.

When he pulls back for air, Jeongguk’s smile is toothy and punch-drunk.  

Then Yoongi’s ducking in, fitting his fingers to the angle of Jeongguk’s jaw as he him tilts down.

Then their mouths are brushing and Namjoon compares the look of their lips together, near twin shades of pink. The sense of holy only grows, and he wonders stupidly to himself if this is what it felt like to witness an undiscovered world wonder. This total sense of awe and overwhelming emotion. It’s just a kiss. But Jeongguk makes this noise, murmurs something like, you taste good hyung and that makes everything about this feel so much more personal because Namjoon knows exactly what Jeongguk means by that. He knows how Min Yoongi tastes, intimately.

Namjoon buries a hand in Yoongi’s hair, scratches just the way he likes it, encouraging him, squeezes Jeongguk’s hand right back as if Jeongguk isn’t already clinging to it so hard he’s cutting off the blood flow. They are anchoring each other, he realizes. Tethering each other so neither of them float off.

Then the kiss ends and there are two sets of eyes on him. Star-glazed. Curious.

“Okay,” says Namjoon, voice cracking. “Okay, I’m the bread.”

“I’m still not jelly,” Yoongi argues, and then Jeongguk’s tackling both of them down to the couch like a linebacker and they’re on him, kissing his cheeks and whispering so many secrets, sweet things, simple truths. And kissing. And kissing. And kissing.

*

“Honey,” says Namjoon some time later, after they’ve all curled up under the covers of their bed. It’s a tight fit. They might need to get a king size if they want this to work. Jeongguk’s already complaining about how small the bed is, and all they’re doing is cuddling in it.  

“Huh?” Jeongguk lifts his head, lips kiss swollen and bruised. His hair thoroughly fucked up.

“Honey. Peanut butter and honey sandwich. You can be the honey, hyung.”

“That’s disgusting. Oh my god. I’m so thoroughly revolted,” Yoongi says, even as he leans over and kisses Jeongguk’s hand, the two of them linked across Namjoon’s chest. “Hate it so much.”

“Me too,” whispers Namjoon, and pulls them both closer.

*

[now]

It turns out that Jeongguk doesn’t have two hearts like cows have four stomachs. He has one heart and it’s wonderful. It’s this big expansive never-ending thing. Not an ocean nor a continent but an entire universe. Something with shooting starts and whole planets and galaxies and black holes where there’s no way to explain the physics of it, no way you could reach the ends of it.

That is how Jeon Jeongguk loves. Ferociously. With the whole of him, beautiful and enthusiastic and pure. Being loved by Jeongguk means new discoveries every day, finding new ways to touch and be touched by a human being.

That’s the stuff that shines in and behind Jeongguk’s eyes, Namjoon thinks. It’s the stuff of galaxies. It’s what all those old philosophers used to stare up at and wonder about, even though they weren’t even close to hacking it. Namjoon could write dozens of songs trying to describe it, all the big limitless love that Jeongguk has.

There are some days, not many but some, where Namjoon kind of has to shake himself. Reassure himself that this is real, Jeongguk’s hand slipping into his in the morning, clammy from sleep. How Yoongi nuzzles Namjoon’s shoulder blade through his sleep shirt, still half awake, cajoles Namjoon to stay in bed.

The best days, Namjoon decides, are the days where they both team up on him. The days where they don’t have to go anywhere, where the sheets pool around Yoongi’s legs and Jeongguk’s waist and they call out to Namjoon. Should sound like a siren call but really just sounds like one (1) pout mixed with one (1) whine. Namjoon will be halfway through making the coffee when he hears Joon-ah or hyung and finds himself tripping back to bed like he’d never left.

Yoongi on his own is a force to reckon with. Yoongi with Jeongguk, though? Not a chance. Namjoon does not stand a single chance, and they know it.

“This is an attack,” says Namjoon, somewhere in the later morning, after they’ve convinced him to linger a while longer. There are kisses being dispatched along his collarbone that feel like stones being placed on his chest, weighting him down onto the mattress. He can’t move, doesn’t want to move, not for all the world. “I am being attacked.”

“Oh no.” Jeongguk’s kisses stop, hover pretty and pink above him, floating like fairy lights. “Poor hyung.”

“Poor hyung indeed,” says Yoongi, nipping Namjoon’s ear. “Look how he blushes.”

“You blush so pretty, hyung.”

It becomes a game of this, sometimes. Usually they all try to touch each other at once, trading kisses and delegating as much as they can but sometimes it’s this game. Two on one. Namjoon never knows what to do when he becomes the center of their attention, their honey drip touches, slow, sticky. It’s one thing giving out that love and affection. It’s one thing making eye contact with Yoongi as he kisses Jeongguk. It’s one thing holding both their hands when they’re watching TV, but sometimes they turn on Namjoon, a tag team, and it’s a betrayal, it really is. Namjoon never knows what to do with himself. Feels like he’s going to burst into confetti before they’ve even laid a hand on him.

It was too much even with just Yoongi at times. The intensity of Namjoon’s affection and long-grown love something between them always felt so vulnerable. With Jeongguk thrown into the mix, it’s like Namjoon’s reached a new level of intensity. A new place inside of himself for emotion and pleasure.

They pull away for a second to lean over him as they kiss, Jeongguk’s hands tangled in Yoongi’s hair, wet and messy and wild and even that, even them not even touching him, makes Namjoon feel like he’s going to die.

He wonders when this will become a less intense thing. Part of him hopes it never will. Because sometimes they’re both on him and all over him, touching him, being sweet to him, dragging mouths and fingertips so gentle, and Namjoon finds God in those moments. The stuff of miracles, of genesis. It’s somewhere in the shade of Yoongi’s mouth when Jeongguk bites at it. It’s the note within the sound Jeongguk makes when he gasps against Namjoon’s skin.

“Namjoon-ah?” They’re both looking at him now, eyes wide, concerned looking.

“What?” Namjoon blinks, feels a single tear slide down his cheek and—

“Oh, you sap.” Yoongi grins, flopping over and curling against Namjoon’s side, something old. Jeongguk does the same on the other side, something new. “Getting emotional on us before we even get to the foreplay.”

He teases, but Namjoon feels the faint kiss pressed to his shoulder. The gentleness of it. The way Jeongguk nods, as if he means to tease, but only presses closer.

Saying something is too good to be true feels like jinxing it. But on the best days, on Namjoon’s favorite days, on those slow and gentle and teasing luxuriating bed days, he has no words left but to think it.

Too good to be true.

*

[now]

“We should ask him to move in with us.”

Yoongi freezes mid-buttering his toast. He flicks his eyes over Namjoon, no, Namjoon’s not kidding, he knows with a glance. He cautiously sets down the knife.

“Are you sure?”

All is quiet in the apartment, save for the lilting of a voice down the hallway, Jeongguk taking a shower real quick before he heads out to his classes. Their shower has infinitely better water pressure than his, at least that’s what Jeongguk tells them. He does his best to try and sway them out of their work for the day, beguile them with promises of water-wet touches. Really he just uses up all the hot water and makes them regret ever giving him a house key in the first place.

It’s no different from any other morning. Or maybe it is. Maybe that’s how it happens. These little moments of clarity, every so often, like water meeting flat skipping stone. Jeongguk sings in the shower, belting an IU song. The bathroom door is open in invite, and shower steam and his voice float out into the hallway after the trail of clothes he’d left behind. He’d announced he was taking a shower and proceeded to playfully shed his clothes all the way down the hallway, banging into the wall at one point and knocking a picture frame down. And now he’s in their shower, probably stealing Namjoon’s conditioner and Yoongi’s expensive peach body scrub, and he’s singing.

Their home is always full of music—between him and Yoongi, they probably haven’t gone a day without music since they’d become roommates eight years ago. It pours from the walls of this place like water in an underground cave. Music from the computers, from the fancy surround sound speakers, from the tinny radio by the microwave, from the piano by the windowsill where the sun pours in, from the vintage record player that they only take out on certain nights, favorite old records and a bottle of red wine.

Namjoon and Yoongi have always made their own music, kicked their own beat, spit their own words. But suddenly Jeongguk’s singing in the shower, happy and clear as a bell and Namjoon doesn’t understand how the hell he and Yoongi made it this far on their own without him.

He loves Jeongguk. He’s neck deep in it, like being twenty years old all over again and working with Yoongi in the studio late into the night and watching him bundle up in his scarf as they prepare to walk home in the 2 a.m. snow and having the air all but punched from his lungs with the realization.

“Yeah,” Namjoon nods to himself. “Yeah, I’m sure. I want him to move in. As soon as possible. I want him with us so bad.”

“He is with us, Joon-ah,” says Yoongi, but his eyes are shining, like he gets it, because he always gets it, whatever truth Namjoon is too overwhelmed to utter. He reaches over and squeezes Namjoon’s hand. “But I know, I know what you mean, he’s…”

Jeongguk goes up an octave, perfect pitch as the water shuts off, and Yoongi cuts off. Any minute now he’ll come ambling out of the bathroom buck naked, because he’s cheeky like that. He’ll pull his clothes back onto his body, only he’ll steal one of Yoongi’s t-shirts and Namjoon’s dinosaur socks and he’ll kiss both of their cheeks and steal bites off their plates and he’ll be leaving. Namjoon will miss him before he’s even out the door.

Any minute now.

“We’ll talk to him,” Yoongi whispers. “Let’s let him finish up the semester. I don’t want him to make such a big decision in the middle of everything.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course.” Yoongi’s eyes meet Namjoon’s again, and they’re so bright, and Namjoon is so in love, both with him and with the boy giving his debut performance down the hallway in front of the steam-filled bathroom mirror. “You’re right. We’ve got time.”

Maybe this is how it starts. Feeling love like a force of nature, maybe it starts in moments like this. Pockets of happiness, makeshift patches to cover up the exposed bits where the cold air gets in.

Maybe this is how it’s always been meant to be.

*

[then]

In the beginning of the long version of the story, or maybe somewhere in the middle of the short version of this story, Hoseok asks Namjoon a question:

“Why both?”

It’s asked with no intention of offense, because Hoseok is Namjoon’s best friend and this is how they talk with each other. Like when Hoseok introduced Seokjin to the group and Namjoon—as best friend—had a hard time understanding why Hoseok, the most steady and serious person he knows, had chosen someone who seemed to exist by refusing to take anything seriously.

Why him? Namjoon had asked, side-eyeing from the corner of the room as he watched Seokjin cut his bangs with kitchen scissors in front of a crowd of spectators at their housewarming party.

Hoseok hadn’t taken offense then and Namjoon doesn’t take offense now. It’s how they have always understood and communicated with one another: honest and open. No judgment.

(When Namjoon asked Hoseok had smiled kindly, then slid his gaze back over to Seokjin with a nod, look Namjoon and Namjoon followed his gaze, watched the way everyone lit up around Seokjin. The way they smiled and laughed and looked genuinely happy, even as his hair scattered all over the kitchen floor.

Kind of a obvious fucking answer, don’t you think?, Hoseok had said.)

Why both? Namjoon thinks he’s had time to parse it out by now. Sometimes he has the intrusive thought of what if we broke up. What if Jeongguk decided to take off? Or Yoongi? It’s entirely hypothetical and he’s pretty confident it won’t ever happen, but in his brain the scenario plays out and he…can’t picture it. He can’t picture two of them without the third. He can’t even picture him and Yoongi going back to the way things were before Jeongguk. It doesn’t sit right with him. He’d be too sad.

Why both?

Both: because they sleep in tangles. French braided limbs and clove hitch knot cuddling. The mornings where Namjoon has to get up early are legitimately heartbreaking. He hates having to twist free of them, disturb them in their sleep. But oh, how he loves to watch them twine back together. Jeongguk shoving his face between Yoongi’s shoulder blades or Yoongi pushing his face into Jeongguk’s neck, as if chasing after his pulse in his sleep.

Both: because 2 a.m., when Jeongguk’s making slap-happy jokes and doing impersonations that make Yoongi laugh so hard he’s hoarse, leaning against Namjoon, tipping into his lap as Jeongguk grins at the both of them, like he’s hearing music for the first time.

Both: because the day Jeongguk graduates from university is the same day Yoongi gets a paycheck for a production credit that’s projected to be the next hit, his big break with an up-and-coming R&B solo artist. They have a graduation dinner at the most expensive restaurant they can find within walking distance of their place, get drunk on whiskey and eat too many fancy macarons and walk home as it begins to drizzle with late night summer showers and when they touch each other that night everything is feverish with whisky burn and sweet like rain.

Both: because Namjoon having a bad day, the worst day, the way they pry him out from beneath the blankets and layer of quiet sadness into the outdoors, into the sun. How Jeongguk will bend over backwards to make Namjoon smile and how Yoongi will wait and understand when he doesn’t have the energy to.

Both: because of the way they call his name into the kitchen, beg him to come back to bed. Because of the noise they make when they walk through the front door. The sound of their breathing in sleep.

Both: because, god, there’s this photo that Taehyung took a few weeks ago. He gave a print of it to Namjoon and asked permission to use it in his series. Namjoon doesn’t get why Taehyung needs permission, he uses photos of their group all the time, but then he sees—

—sees Jeongguk, Namjoon and Yoongi sitting on a sofa at their favorite coffee shop. Jeongguk’s legs stretched across both Yoongi and Namjoon’s laps. Yoongi’s knobby hands ruffling Namjoon’s hair. Namjoon smiling with dimples at something Jeongguk is saying. It’s from a few days after they came out to their friends, when they were still sort of shaky and unsure of each other in company. Navigating conversations more in questions than answers, unsure of how to just be. They’re all looking at each other with such gentleness and care that Namjoon’s heart swells impossibly, makes him think, we are going to be alright. There is good in this world. There is. There is. There is.

If one were to ask Namjoon what his favorite part of being in love with two people is, he couldn’t say. He doesn’t know that it could be another two people in the world. There is something about the chemical equation of Jeongguk and Yoongi that just works. Namjoon spends so much time staring up at the night sky, thinking of all those far away celestial things. It never seems to be a possibility to begin to understand them until their cheeks are cupped in his palms, when he gets to hold them. Or hold them up. Or hold them down and make breaths come fast. When he gets to wake up and be lazy with them, Jeongguk and Yoongi, playful and sweet as moonbeams.

Why both?

Hoseok was right. It really is an obvious fucking answer.

 

*

[now]

“You know, I can’t believe we pulled it off, but fondue for four with a last minute drop out was so worth the extra cash.”

“What do you mean last minute drop out? You ate the entire four course meal for two.”

“Yeah,” Jeongguk says dreamily, and immediately strips down to his boxers and t-shirt, launches himself into the bed like a torpedo, only to drop with an unceremonious groan. “Wow. I think I’m actually full? I’ve never felt this before.”

“Groundbreaking,” Yoongi mutters with a wry smile, crawling into the sheets alongside him to cuddle up. “We finally bested the beast at last.”

“That’s me.” Jeongguk smiles, drops a kiss to Yoongi’s nose, then his cheek. “I’m the beast.”  

And that’s—maybe this isn’t how it should go, Namjoon standing in the doorway, loosening his tie, thunderstruck. Maybe there should be flowers and candle light, maybe they should have done this over dinner. Maybe not here, with Jeongguk full and wearing Spongebob boxers, maybe not with Yoongi’s hair rain damp and sticking to the pillow. But it feels intimate, and Namjoon feels very in love, and the bed is groaning with their combined weight and maybe there’s never a Right Time to take these sorts of leaps except for the moment when your heart feels like it’s beating straight out your pores.

“This bed is still too small,” Jeongguk grouses, shifting to get comfortable, and Yoongi’s eyes flick darkly up to Namjoon, and he sees the same thought reflected back at him.

Namjoon sits at the foot of the bed. “Yeah. You’re probably right. We should probably get rid of it.”

Jeongguk cracks open one eye.

“Might be time to get a new one. Bigger, too.”

“Maybe a new dresser as well, Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi adds, and runs a hand gently up Jeongguk’s arm. “More drawers, we could use more of those too.”

Jeongguk sits up. The mattress gives a horrendous creak.

Namjoon nods, as if thinking it over. “I’d like extra desk for the study. Something near the window, where the light is. Good for painting, if anyone ever felt like doing that sort of thing.”

Yoongi has sat up too now, still touching Jeongguk so carefully.

“Maybe also another mug? Everyone who calls this place home has to have their own mug.”

“Of course,” says Namjoon. “Though, we should probably ask him first?”

The corners of Yoongi’s mouth, always curved, almost always smiling even when he doesn’t mean to, pull upward. “I suppose we should.”

“Jeon Jeongguk,” says Namjoon. “Would you—”

“Fuck yeah,” Jeongguk bursts, and the tears that spill over his cheeks are hot with joy. He’s practically vibrating with energy. He rocks forward into Namjoon’s space and back again, touching Namjoon’s cheek, touching Yoongi’s, toppling over and grabbing for their hands and kissing their knuckles. “Yes, yes, I’ll move in. Are you sure? Oh my god. I love you both so much, what the fuck.”

“We love you too.” It’s like a chain reaction, Namjoon can’t even tell if Yoongi’s crying caused Jeongguk to cry or vice versa. They’re a mess. “We love you too, Gukie.”  

It was never a doubt that he would say yes, but like all the things they’ve been taking day by day, it’s this new and wonderful surprise, the possibility of being so happy. Jeongguk’s kisses taste like salt, his laughter like marzipan. He pulls both of them so close on the tiny creaking bed, and they plan out a date to IKEA, and kiss each other quiet.

In the short version of this story: they get a big soft mattress. It’s great in some ways, but much the same in others—Jeongguk still hogs the covers, turns it into the vicious game of tug of war with Yoongi in their sleep, somehow always ends with them holding hands over Namjoon’s chest and pressing close together so they fit. Other times they kick the blanket off entirely and Namjoon, with the longest wingspan, is the one dangling his cold foot off the bed, trying to hook it back off the ground.

Jeongguk moves all his stuff into the office space. They buy him a tacky mug for the kitchen cabinet. Jeongguk insists on ordering these ridiculous fairy lights off the internet and strings them up alongside the blackout curtains, so now they undress each other in starlight. Yoongi picks out new sheets, splurging on 1800-thread count Egyptian cotton in a warm yellow (his favorite color). Over time Jeongguk’s sweet pea smell mixes in with Yoongi’s bergamot cologne and Namjoon’s detergent, more proof that things are strongest in threes. And they live happily ever after.

In the long version of this story: they’re not perfect, Jeongguk and Namjoon and Yoongi. Sometimes Namjoon and Yoongi spat in the way they did before they were in love, and Jeongguk doesn’t know what to do but to wrap himself around both of them until they apologize, talk it out. Sometimes Jeongguk gets moody and quiet, quiet like a jarful of buzzing insects, doesn’t talk until Yoongi coaxes him to speak, or until Namjoon makes tea and distracts him with something else. Sometimes Namjoon retreats into his own sad head too much or sometimes he forgets to pick up milk at the grocers or they have to cancel date nights because of work deadlines or simply being too tired to drag themselves out into the air.

It’s far from perfect but love, like skies, changes colors and patterns and sometimes gets stormy and dark but it’s there, it’s always there. Always consistent.

The long and short of it is simple, because despite all the hiccups and blips and everything else in between—they’re in love. They make it work.

 

*

fin.