The thing is - there’s only one magical greenhouse in the general vicinity of Yoongi’s apartment.
It’s not public in the same way that a lot of Witch Places aren’t public: the entrance is clearly marked, between a storefront and the door to an apartment building, but you need the Sight to be able to spot it, and most humans walk past it without realizing.
Kids notice, often, but they can’t pull their parents’ towards the door fast enough; lots of college students get distracted by it, think about coming in - and then they don’t, carried away by thoughts of exams and assignments.
Yoongi likes the greenhouse, actually. The glass ceiling is delicately decorated, the swirls on the glass resembling vines, gemstones hang from ribbons laced with amplifying potions, and the plants grow happy and green and vibrant with life. What he doesn’t like is having to share his potion space.
There’s no better place to brew potions in for a city witch than a greenhouse: his great-great-great grandmother, back in Daegu, did it in the middle of the Biseulsan forest, but Yoongi doesn’t have the same luxury in Seoul. A greenhouse, though - the energy from the plants feeds the potion and it feeds them back, a positive feedback loop that assures everything will turn out perfect - just as long as you don’t butcher the recipe.
But anyway. His potion space. There are rows and rows of cauldrons set up for witches who need to brew something: fifteen or so tables equipped with measuring cups and wooden ladles, so it’s not really his, but still. He has to share with Kim Namjoon, of all people.
Yoongi didn’t think they would meet again after that one time - both in the middle of their apprenticeship, at something that resembled one of those human boot camps with a bunch of other witches in training, ending up whisper-yelling at each other over Yoongi accidentally freezing over the roots of the baobab tree Namjoon had been growing for the past three hours.
Yoongi was going to apologize, but then Namjoon had to go and make a passive aggressive comment, and so he’d still apologized but in a way that made it look very insincere and they’d just ended up glaring at each other, going back to their respective teachers with a huff.
So. Their first real conversation, two years of avoiding the other at gatherings and parties later - curse their shared circle of acquaintances - was really not the warmest social interaction.
(Literally. Yoongi had to unclench his hand and let the temperature around him rise again, frowning at himself for the slip-up over his powers.)
And now, six months after that, they are, well - civil. They’ve had actual conversations, and they make small talk and Yoongi knows things about Namjoon now. He knows he has a family dog that doesn’t like him that much and he has a tendency to coo at every new sprout he notices, and that whenever he concentrates really, really hard he juts his chin out and furrows his brows.
(He also knows that Namjoon looks really, really good in those sleeveless, flowy blouses he uses to work and it’s just distracting, that’s what it is. Yes, the greenhouse is humid, but what’s the point in parading around like that?)
Last week, it had rained. Yoongi had walked out of the bus he took to get to the greenhouse and the sky had opened up right then and there, and instead of magicking himself an umbrella he’d just let the rain touch him, soaking in the falling water.
A weather witch gets their powers from the weather, after all - and even if rain wasn’t Yoongi’s favorite element to work with, he felt way more energy at his fingertips than he did when he’d gotten out of the house, even as he walked around completely drenched.
When he’d stepped into the greenhouse, only bothering with magicking away the water from his shoes as not to make a mess on the floor, he was met with a group of teenage girls in a corner, all three working at the same cauldron, and of course - Kim Namjoon, who’d taken one look at him and had widened his eyes in a way Yoongi couldn’t interpret.
Whatever it was, it’d disappeared as fast as it had come - and what was left was Namjoon pressing his lips together in an amused smile.
“Yoongi-ssi, I thought you were supposed to be a weather witch? Didn’t you read the weather page in the newspaper this morning?”
Yoongi had just shot him a look, turning his nose up and pretending he was very very busy with setting up the ingredients for a new potion he’d wanted to try, and answered - “I told you to call me hyung, if you’re going to be this disrespectful - and who even reads the weather page on the newspaper anymore? It’s 2019, not 1968. Also , yes, I am a weather witch, Kim Namjoon. The rain is good for me.”
So maybe they are a little bit more than civil, veering more towards friendly, even if Namjoon is almost always just - there, saying hello with a dimpled smile and being distracting when Yoongi is trying to work, giggling whenever one of the vines of the greenhouse wraps itself around his arms and ankles until he gives them attention.
Friendly, though, means that Yoongi could make fun of Namjoon right back without it being awkward. He’s thought about it before, biting back comments at the early stages of their recent acquaintance he didn’t know how Namjoon would react to, but now - he feels a little more confident.
And that’s why when he walks into the greenhouse on Monday morning and finds it empty except for Namjoon, he doesn’t really think about it as he walks up to the cauldron right next to the one Namjoon is using.
He has headphones on, so he sees, rather than hears Namjoon’s “Good morning,” but he says it back as he takes out his recipe book. Taehyung had asked for another potion to dye his hair, because apparently he and Jungkook absolutely had to have a matching half-and-half hairstyle. (He thinks it has something to do with the comic convention he knows they’re attending next week, but it might also be Taehyung and Jungkook being Taehyung and Jungkook.)
He’s trying to find the right page in the mess of scribbles that is his potions book, and then. He gets distracted.
The scent of whatever Namjoon is brewing is strong and familiar and - it smells like Namjoon , his brain registers after a second. It smells like something warm and forest air and books and there’s an underlying note that reminds him of winter in Daegu and his wooden childhood piano, and Yoongi, in the privacy of his own internal monologue, can admit it’s good. It’s really good.
He also admits it’s a little weird to know what Namjoon smells like. But they’ve ended up working next to each other one too many times on those days when the greenhouse is packed, and before, he’d assumed it was just - completely natural, a witch’s scent always influenced by their powers. Like the way he knows Jungkook smells a little like the ocean and Jimin like burning embers.
Except the contents of Namjoon’s cauldron smell exactly like that warm something Yoongi remembers along with everything else, and really, there’s only one conclusion Yoongi can draw from that.
“Are you brewing your own cologne?”
It’s really not that far-fetched of a theory. Whatever Namjoon’s making is completely transparent, smells like him, and there’s a series of glass bottles in his workspace that look like something one would use for perfumes.
He chuckles as he gets the words out, pulling his headphones off his head so he can hear Namjoon’s response. He knows Namjoon is kind of dorky and a bit pretentious, but brewing your own cologne is just really funny, and somehow something he’d definitely expect Namjoon to do.
Namjoon’s reaction, though, is a little weird. He freezes up, hands stilling as he turns towards Yoongi to stare at him with the biggest eyes Yoongi’s ever seen.
“What you’re making. It’s your perfume, I can smell it,” Yoongi replies, his mouth turning up in a smile when Namjoon through some miracle manages to look even more shocked.
You’d think I told him he smells like shit , Yoongi thinks, but then Namjoon is stammering an answer and now he’s just amused.
“No - I mean, yes, that’s. Uh, that’s exactly what I’m doing,” Namjoon stutters, and he keeps looking between Yoongi and the cauldron with eyes wide open and his ears are very, very red.
Yoongi’s shoulders shake as he chuckles, going back to his own potions book.
“Don’t worry, Namjoon-ah, your secret is safe with me,” he says, and starts sifting through his bag for the ingredients he’s brought with him.
Namjoon hums in what Yoongi assumes is agreement, and starts transferring his cologne - Yoongi has trouble suppressing a snort - into the first glass bottle.
He doesn’t say anything for a bit, but he doesn’t look mad. He looks just really, really flustered, and Yoongi wants to reassure him that yeah, he does think it’s kind of dorky, but it’s not anything to be ashamed of - and then Namjoon finishes in record time, filling the five bottles as fast as possible while Yoongi works on the first steps of his own potion. Just a moment later Namjoon is waving him goodbye, ears still extremely red and nervous hands tapping over the straps of his backpack.
He waves back with a genuine smile, still amused. It’s cute, how embarrassed Namjoon was - the way his shoulders were going up to his ears and how he couldn’t stop fidgeting, fingers playing with the corks of his perfume bottles - but now Yoongi is alone in the greenhouse and he has a potion to finish.
Yoongi’s smile is still in place when he puts his headphones over his ears again and gets back to work.
Yoongi knows he’s signed up to find Jimin and Jungkook in his apartment more often than not the second he agreed to room with Taehyung, so finding all three of them on the couch watching anime isn’t really a surprise. At least Taehyung always knows when Yoongi’s about to come home and warns him accordingly, his Seer powers coming in useful when it comes to sexiling his roommate. Yoongi is just glad he’s never had to walk into something potentially scarring.
He waves them hello and goes straight to his room to get changed, slipping out of his jeans and into a pair of shorts. His powers allow him to walk around in a pitch black outfit and keep himself at a reasonable temperature, even as the weather keeps getting warmer and warmer, but that doesn’t mean he likes wearing skinny jeans inside the house.
When he walks back out of his room on the hunt for some water, the trio on the couch is loudly yelling at the TV - someone has done something very dumb, and honestly, watching the three of them watching stuff is entertainment all on its own.
Five minutes later, he has his second glass of water in his hands and he’s sitting down on the far right end of the couch with them, pulling his bare feet up from the floor and curling on the side to put them on the armrest. Jimin just rolled off the couch and is now ranting about how he could write something way better than this from his spot in front of the TV, while Taehyung nods in agreement, even as sparks fly from Jimin’s fingers as he moves his arms in big, sweeping motions. The ending theme has a good beat, though, and Yoongi briefly thinks about the assignment he has for his sound design class the next week -
“Oh, Namjoon-hyung just called!”
Yoongi turns around to look at Jungkook, who has his phone in his hands and is tapping away at the screen. He doesn’t always remember that he and Namjoon do have friends in common - Jungkook and Jimin, on his side, and he knows Hoseok and Seokjin, two of Namjoon’s friends.
“Jungkookie, you know, if you took your phone off silent mode you wouldn’t miss every single call,” Jimin says with a tone that’s a little too pointed not to be an argument they’ve already had. Considering he’s still lying on the floor, completely starfished, the effect isn’t that impressive.
Jungkook doesn’t answer, pulling his head further down his shoulder, but Yoongi’s brain helpfully reminds him of seeing Namjoon brew his own perfume just a few days before and he can’t help himself. He snorts, and busies himself with finishing his glass of water, but Jimin definitely notices.
“See? Even Yoongi-hyung agrees with me,” Jimin pounces on it immediately - but Yoongi waves him away.
“I was laughing because I saw Kim Namjoon at the greenhouse two days ago,” he starts.
Maybe he shouldn’t tell them this, but. They’re Namjoon’s friends, they might already know - and really, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Namjoon was just really embarrassed and it was kind of cute. It’s not the end of the world.
“Did you two know that he brews his own cologne? That’s what he was doing.”
Jimin and Jungkook both turn to look at him, interested.
“No,” Jimin answers with a frown.
“When does he even have the time for that? He’s always brewing new stuff to use on his plants. Last week he wanted to test how they’d react to - wait.”
Jimin sits up from the floor, turning completely towards Yoongi.
“You said he was brewing his own perfume?”
Yoongi nods, raising his eyebrows.
Jimin starts laughing.
It’s not even a chuckle. It’s a full blown belly laugh, complete with inaudible wheezing and clapping and wow, okay, he can see actual tears at the corner of Jimin’s eyes.
Yoongi kind of feels bad.
“Come on, now, it’s kind of dorky of him, yeah, but there’s no reason to laugh that much -”
Jimin tries to get a few words out, but he goes as far as to say “No, no,” before succumbing to another fit of laughter.
Now he’s just confused. Jimin is taking deep breaths, trying not to giggle (and failing), but after a moment he’s calm enough to actually put words in order, and he looks at Yoongi straight in the eye.
“Namjoon-hyung told me he was gonna try and see how his camelias reacted to a love potion, and then work his way around his other plants,” Jimin starts, taking deep breaths between every few words, “And that he was going to try and brew some himself next time he went to the greenhouse.”
Yoongi’s brain stutters. Stops.
Every witch knows love potions don’t really work. They can mimic lust, infatuation, obsession - but not love.
Every witch also knows how to brew one. And every witch knows that if you brew it well, it will look like clear water and smell like the things you like the most, even if its effects are just a pretty, short lived illusion.
Yoongi’s brain comes back to the land of the living. He kind of wants to set himself on fire, but he can feel the back of his neck get warmer and warmer and - he’d rein in the small sun over his head that’s making him start sweating, but. Right now he doesn’t have the best control over his magic.
Jimin is back on the floor, laughing loudly. Taehyung looks like he’s seconds away from joining him, his face buried in his hands as his shoulders shake. Jungkook is not even trying to hide, his head thrown back as he laughs.
Yoongi is glad someone is having fun.
When he gets up from the couch, his hands are kind of shaking as his brain reshuffles the pieces of the last interaction he had with Namjoon in light of this new information.
Yoongi is, to put it simply, a fucking idiot .
“Wait, wait, hyung, did- did you tell him? Did you make a joke about it? To his face?”
Yoongi’s brain must be too busy to keep him from digging his own grave, because the “Yes,” just - slips out.
The sound of Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook laughing follows him to his room.
It’s fine. Yoongi hasn’t been to the greenhouse in a week and he’s out of sleeping potion but no one else can make it for him since he’s tailored the recipe to himself and it needs his own powers to work. He has classes next week he needs to be alive and awake for and three assignments to finish he can’t work on when he’s sleep deprived, but. It’s fine.
He’s just gonna have to go when Namjoon isn’t there.
Like in the middle of the night, maybe? Or really, really early? Maker, no wonder Namjoon looked that embarrassed. He probably thought of Yoongi as a tentative acquaintance and then Yoongi had to go ahead and open his mouth -
He rubs his eyes and pulls the brakes on that train of thought, staring at his bedroom ceiling. He’d already done the stupid thing, Namjoon looked obviously uncomfortable, so, really. The only solution was possibly avoiding Namjoon until the end of time and find another greenhouse to brew his potions in.
It’s two in the morning and Yoongi knows from experience - if he hasn’t fallen asleep by now, he’s not gonna fall asleep, period. He’s barely drowsy, and he’s been resisting the urge to do a full-body cringe after thinking about accidentally confessing to Namjoon for the upteenth time this past week.
He sits up on his bed, frowning. He could try going to the greenhouse now. His bag of ingredients is ready, he just needs to get dressed, swap his sleep shorts for sweats, maybe -
Before he knows it, he’s ready and walking out of his bedroom, in the Kendrick Lamar shirt he sleeps in, sweatpants, and socks - not bothering with a real outfit because, well, it’s two in the morning.
Taehyung is awake, too, reading on his phone while lying upside down on the couch, and he looks up at Yoongi as he rushes out.
He raises his eyebrows at him in question, and Yoongi starts explaining as he puts on his sneakers by the door.
“Going to the greenhouse to make some sleeping potion, I’m sure there’s a night bus I can get. Don’t wait up for me,” he says, and Taehyung nods. He goes back to his phone without much fanfare, and Yoongi pats his pockets to check if he has everything before walking out the door of their apartment.
He only has to wait five minutes for the next bus, and the ride is uneventful - he puts on his headphones and listens to Nujabes and tries not to think about why he’s going to the greenhouse at two in the morning. It’s fine.
He gets down at his stop, nodding goodbye to the bus driver, and takes the short walk towards the greenhouse entrance.
Yoongi steps through it with his brows furrowed, determined to just make himself a few vials of sleeping potions and leave as soon as possible.
Being scared to find Namjoon there is completely irrational, and yet he lets out a sigh of relief when the greenhouse is dark and empty.
He puts his bag down on the nearest table, some of the plants perking up to greet him, and he takes a moment to admire the ceiling.
The glass is enchanted - to clear the Seoul sky above the greenhouse of light pollution, or to just replicate what the night sky would look like without all the skyscrapers, Yoongi doesn’t know. Either way, he feels somehow guilty of disturbing the peace when he summons a small sun to help him out, having it hover above his shoulder as he prepares the ingredients.
It’s quiet. There’s the steady hum of magic, and the breeze going through the plants, and the tinkling of the gemstones hanging from the ceiling, but the only real noise is Yoongi tinkering with the measuring cups.
This is a potion he’s made time and time again: rain he summons himself and chamomile and willow tree bark, cloves and ginger and lemon juice, bound together by magic until everything condenses down into a few small vials, enough to last him for at least another three weeks.
It’s not often Yoongi can’t sleep - mostly, he just goes to bed late, and wakes up late, and his internal clock is a bit messed up because of that. There are some nights, though, in which insomnia gets the best of him and his brain just won’t stop running towards nothing, thoughts getting jumbled and mixed one into another, and it’s easier to have something like this at hand.
He stirs in the ginger powder, checking his phone for the time - he has to wait twenty minutes before adding chamomile flowers, and then he can bind the potion and go home, hopefully to try and get a few hours of sleep.
When he picks his phone up to set the time, it helpfully tells him it’s now almost three in the morning, and that there’s also a new text waiting for him.
He doesn’t have time to wonder why would Taehyung send him a text that just says sorry, maybe thank me later , with a row of purple heart emojis, because the door of the greenhouse opens, letting someone through.
Of course it’s Kim Namjoon.
Yoongi briefly considers summoning a thunderstorm and striking himself down where he stands.
Namjoon looks - well, cute. He’s sleep rumpled, eyes puffy behind his glasses and hair a mess, and Yoongi is pretty sure he has his hoodie on inside out, because he can see the backstitch of the front pocket even in the little light he’d summoned to work. None of that explains, though, what is Kim Namjoon doing in the greenhouse at three in the morning.
Yoongi tears his eyes away from the shorts Namjoon is wearing to find him slowly making his way towards Yoongi’s table. He’s just as pink as he looked a week ago, and the light on Yoongi’s shoulder makes him squint a little. Yoongi moves it upwards just a bit without thinking, so it looks like there’s a small, hovering, very bright lightbulb over their heads.
Yoongi knows Namjoon wants to talk, because that’s just the kind of person Namjoon is, so - he crosses his arms and leans back on his heels and tries to wait for the inevitable I’m sorry, Yoongi-ssi, but I just wanted to clear the air, I don’t feel the same way -
“Um - Jimin texted me to tell me you were here,” Namjoon begins.
Fucking Kim Taehyung, Yoongi thinks, but doesn’t interrupt him, just sets his mouth in a line, waiting for Namjoon to continue.
He’s fidgeting, and Yoongi feels the height difference more than ever - Namjoon is maybe a meter away from him, but he has to crane his neck just slightly to see his face properly. He stares as Namjoon pushes his glasses up his nose and takes a deep breath. Yoongi braces himself again.
Namjoon takes a small vial full of clear liquid out of the left pocket of his shorts, tapping his index finger over the lid as he presents it to Yoongi.
“To me, this smells like - winter snow and petrichor and music sheets. It smells like you, hyung.”
Considering how many times he’s been surprised in the past few days, Yoongi’s brain should have gotten used to processing things quickly.
It still stumbles a bit over Namjoon’s words, but it makes sense of them pretty fast. This is the best case scenario he hadn’t even thought of entertaining briefly when he’d been assessing the situation.
Yoongi breaks out in a smile. Namjoon keeps going.
“Maker, this shouldn’t be so hard, I already know you like me -”
Yoongi, a bubbling, giddy feeling in his chest, takes a step forward. They’re very, very close, now.
“Kim Namjoon, who told you I like you?” he asks, looking up with a smile, and Namjoon’s eyes widen for a moment before he registers the teasing lilt to Yoongi’s voice.
He smiles back, and the light makes his dimples look even deeper, and Yoongi’s hands move from his side up to Namjoon’s neck.
Namjoon tilts his head towards his right hand, pushing his cheek into it, his eyes fluttering closed for second when Yoongi’s thumb moves across his pulse point.
“Wow, hyung, you wound me. I thought I at least smelled good to you,” he murmurs.
“Shut up, Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi whispers back, and then he leans in, Namjoon following suit. Their lips meet in the middle as Namjoon’s hands fly up to hold on to Yoongi’s sides, and the vial falls to the floor between their feet. The press of his lips against Yoongi is firm, no hesitation in the way he kisses the corner of his mouth, his bottom lip, the line of Yoongi’s cupid’s bow, but his hands clench and unclench on Yoongi’s shirt like he’s afraid to touch too much, too soon.
Yoongi smiles into the kiss at that, and when they part for air he leans back to look at Namjoon’s face, just because he can.
The small sun he’d summoned has gone out sometime during the kiss, and now the only light is the one coming from the stars on the glass sky above them. Yoongi shoots them a quick glance, but Namjoon stares at them just a bit longer, enough for Yoongi to see them reflected in his eyes.
It makes him wanna kiss Namjoon again, so he does.
(They kiss until Yoongi’s timer rings, and he remembers he came here to brew a potion and he should probably get back to that sometime soon. The next time he walks into the greenhouse, he’s holding Namjoon’s hand.)