It happens every time he starts to fall.
Not in love, perhaps, not always, not necessarily.
It happens every time he starts to fall into… something, that his eyes will hold something powerful enough to drive them away— forever, in most cases.
It happened to his parents, then the kids in the orphanage, then Seokjin, and everyone he’d fall into something for.
Yoongi has never been told why it happens, but after a while, the answer he comes to is that he is never meant to be loved by anyone, that his love is never meant to be returned.
And he accepts it, to a certain extent.
“Our session tonight has come to an end, unfortunately,” Yoongi says into the microphone. “If you’re driving, then please get home safe. If you’re at home and up and listening for whatever reason, sleep soon, for the day awaits you. It might be good, or it might be bad, but it’ll be a day, and you can come tell me about it tomorrow night. I’ll be here.” His fingers skim the control pad, “Here’s one of my favorite songs as a final gift from me. This has been DJ Gloss for 613fm radio. Goodnight.”
As soon as the tune of the piano notes start to chime, Yoongi pulls his headphones off, resting it on the desk as he sits back in his chair with a groan.
“Gloss hyung!” Taehyung clicks open the door as he knocks. “Done for today?”
Yoongi doesn’t look up at him. His eyes stay glued to the sound board as the only form of acknowledgement he gives the boy is a nod. Taehyung, or ‘DJ V’, as he calls himself, has been working for 613fm for a few months. As well as hosting the show, he has also spent those few months pestering Yoongi every night when he’s about to start his shift.
He’s nothing like Yoongi in any way; he has the colorful personality of a morning radio DJ, and he spends most of his hours discussing art or jazz music he happens to stumble upon. He talks to callers and guests about their favorite movies while Yoongi lends an ear to troubled people who can’t sleep. They’re completely different, yet Taehyung still persists on idolizing and befriending Yoongi in all of their interactions, no matter how many times Yoongi shuts him down or acts coldly towards him.
He doesn’t hate Taehyung, he doesn’t even dislike him in any way. Taehyung is young and passionate, and Yoongi would have no problem helping him out at all. He can already tell that Taehyung would grow on him if he gives him a chance, but that is exactly why Yoongi keeps him as far away as he can.
“Thank you for your hard work!” Taehyung says anyway, seemingly unaffected by the treatment. It’s all too loud that it’s almost unpleasant. Everything feels too loud at two in the morning, and no one should have this much energy this late. “Also, Sejin hyung said it’d be cool if I could help you out with your sessions somehow so he gave me your number, but I wanted to make sure if it’s alright with you?”
Yoongi stays on the chair for a moment, rubbing the impending sleep from his eyes before he says. “Sure, I guess. I don’t really need help at the moment, but I’ll find you something.”
He can hear the boy’s gasp, can feel his whole face light up when he almost shouts, “Really? That’d be awesome! Thank you so much! Please get home safe!”
Yoongi spares him another nod before he straightens up and leaves. He passes Taehyung at the door, their shoulders brushing, but he doesn’t spare another word as his eyes stay focused on the musty carpeted floor beneath his shoes.
He walks home with his hood pulled over his head, eyes tracing the barely visible texture of the cement, not sparing a glance at any passerby; it’s a habit he’s developed after all these years.
He only pulls his hood off when the door is closed behind him, shrugging his coat off as he walks toward the ray of light spilling from an open door.
“Namjoon,” Yoongi calls, standing just outside the room instead of peering in. “You’re still awake?”
“Hi hyung,” Comes the responding voice. “I have my glasses on. You can come in.”
Yoongi has learned to keep the people he cares for at an arm’s length, as that’s the only way he’ll be able to keep them around. At an arm’s length, so that he doesn’t fall and meet their gaze directly.
It’s different for Namjoon, he supposes, because Namjoon is pretty much blind as a bat without his thick glasses. Perhaps that’s why Namjoon has stuck around for so long— they’re never able to directly look each other in the eye.
“Your new roommate called when you were at work, so I talked to him,” Namjoon tells him as he tries to push a particularly heavy box towards a wall. “I don’t think you’d have a problem living with him.”
Yoongi has been avoiding the topic for a while. Him and Namjoon have been roommates since their college days, from dumb young adults to dumb adults, they’ve been through it all together. He’ll never admit it out loud, not to Namjoon at least, that while he’s happy that Namjoon will be moving in with his boyfriend and somewhere closer to his workplace, he doesn’t even know what will happen with a new roommate. It has always been Namjoon, for the longest time, and a none-Namjoon possibility is, well— it’s honestly terrifying to Yoongi.
“I’ll always have a problem living with anyone but you,” Yoongi says, and Namjoon doesn’t bother muffling a snort at how awfully romantic it sounds. “Shut up. You get my point.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Namjoon chuckles anyway as he bends down to carry his pile of books, and Yoongi just manages to hide a smirk at the very audible sound of his joints cracking. “I really do mean it though. He’s blind.”
Yoongi quirks an eyebrow, “Oh?”
“I’ve told you before that Jung Hoseok is a writer, haven’t I?” Namjoon drops down onto the floor after setting down all the book piles not too neatly. “You’ll be fine.”
Yoongi shrugs. “At least he’s not a morning radio DJ. Those guys are a different breed.” And it’s true, he thinks, though he’s not sure how many people would actually agree with him.
Yoongi likes being a late night radio DJ. He likes playing lo-fi music and talking to people, because people are relatively quiet at night, calmer than they are in the morning, no matter how conflicted they may be in their tone as they vent to Yoongi about their lives. But he likes to respond as well, likes that he has to be mindful of the quiet and talk in a low tone unique to night time.
Morning DJs are too loud, too bright and cheerful for his taste. He always turns down the radio in the morning because mornings are busy and way too quick-paced for being in a state of barely-awake. Morning DJs play bubblegum pop music and are way too positive and it’s sickening, like pummelling through one large too-sweet cheesecake by yourself.
“Like I said,” Namjoon sits back onto his hands, staring up at Yoongi through his thick glasses, and the smile on his lips doesn’t fade even when their eyes meet, because there’s a border. Yoongi is always one layer of glass away from losing Namjoon. “It’ll be fine, hyung. Just be nice.”
Their eye contact breaks when Yoongi scoffs and rolls his eyes. “Whatever.”
Itʼs a bit of an unsettling feeling, seeing Namjoonʼs things slowly disappear from the apartment one by one while new boxes, foreign ones he has never seen before, start to occupy the empty spaces.
Regardless of what he has said, he knows that Namjoon has tried his best to find a suitable roommate for him, someone he can actually get along with, if not just coexist alongside each other at the very least.
Heʼs staring down blankly at all the boxes before the door clicks open, and itʼs not Namjoon coming in to get more things, rather the opposite.
The boy that enters is carrying two boxes under each arm, struggling to keep the door open before Yoongi steps forward to hold it for him.
“Ah,” He looks up to meet Yoongiʼs gaze and Yoongi flinches, but nothing happens. He hasnʼt fallen or taken a liking of this stranger, let alone know him enough to actually form some kind of judgement of him. “Thank you!”
Did Namjoon hear something wrong? The more Yoongi looks, the clearer that this man can see perfectly fine as he has no trouble maneuvering around at all, and he even trailed his eyes up from Yoongiʼs feet to his face.
“... Jung Hoseok?” He asks anyway.
“Ah, nope,” The stranger drops another box down with a huff, he brushes the dust off his pants before straightening up and spinning around on his feet to face Yoongi. “Iʼve been dropping in a few times already, but this is the first time youʼre actually home,” He says as he offers a hand, fingers barely poking out from the sleeve of his loose-knitted sweater. “I’m Park Jimin.”
“Min Yoongi,” Yoongi offers a smile he hopes is polite enough. He focuses on Jimin’s forehead instead of meeting his gaze.
“I’m Hoseokie hyung’s friend and assistant, of some sorts. I’m just moving his things in for him.” Jimin smiles again, sweet and scrunched up.
Everything so far has been little puzzle pieces that make up Jung Hoseok in Yoongi’s head, from his job to his friend. It’s a new territory for him, considering how long he’s intentionally avoided people for.
But Namjoon worked hard for this. He spent weeks trying to find a suitable roommate, and held off all plans of moving out until he found the perfect one. Yoongi should at least try.
So he tries, “You’re his assistant?”
Jimin hums in affirmation as he nods. “He types his drafts on the computer and I just proofread it to correct any mistakes. He’s really talented.”
“Would I know him?” Yoongi asks.
There’s a small grin on Jimin’s face. “I’ll let you ask him yourself.”
They meet a month later when most of Namjoon’s things are being moved out of the apartment.
“Hoseok will be coming in an hour,” Namjoon says as he tries to carry his boxes of heavy equipment all by himself, “shouldn’t you be getting changed?”
Yoongi tries to smooth his hair out with his hand, “What, do I look like shit or something?” Namjoon nods. “It’s not like he’s gonna know I look like shit.”
“Not unless I tell him,” Jungkook enters the room, his large round glasses sitting on his head before he remembers and quickly fixes them down to his eyes. They’re not prescription glasses. “He can probably smell that you look like shit anyway.”
Yoongi glares as the boy walks up to take some of the equipment Namjoon is balancing in his arms. “What are you even talking about?”
“Think about it, hyung,” Hands occupied, Jungkook shakes his long hair out of his eyes. “All of your senses are probably heightened if you lose one of them. He’ll probably know that you’re stinky and you only put on deodorant in the morning when you’re not going outside.”
“Y’know Joon, it’s probably not too late to move everything back inside and just leave Jungkook paying the full price for his rent and his own tuition fee.” Yoongi says as he holds the door open for the two of them with occupied hands. Jungkook mumbles something about already paying his own tuition fees and Namjoon just laughs, even though Yoongi is partially serious. Partially.
He wouldn’t mind it at all if Namjoon suddenly changes his mind about moving, if everything goes back to the way they were. It’s not exactly that Yoongi hates change, he’s just scared of the unfamiliar, and a new roommate is definitely unfamiliar territory.
There’s one box left in Namjoon’s room. Yoongi doesn’t know how long he stares at it before someone comes up behind him.
“Hyung,” Jungkook walks in alone. Namjoon is probably waiting downstairs. He doesn’t walk towards the last box, but instead he comes to stand in front of Yoongi, blinking at him through his glasses that he never wears anywhere else. “I’ll take care of Joon hyung.”
Yoongi chuckles at that, “He’s older than you.”
“Yeah,” Jungkook smiles. “My point still stands.” He suddenly pulls Yoongi into a hug, and Yoongi surprises himself when he doesn’t pull away. “Thank you for letting me be with him.”
It’s a faint murmur buried into his shoulder, but Yoongi hears it loud and clear, and he gives Jungkook’s back a soft pat. “You don’t need my permission, silly. Just take care of each other. Just be happy.”
He feels Jungkook laugh into his shoulder. “I wish you could hear yourself sometimes.”
“What does that suppose to mean?” Yoongi asks, still holding onto Jungkook. Itʼs easier like this when theyʼre close— he doesnʼt have to worry about accidentally looking into Jungkookʼs eyes. He was never meant to know him any better than the label of Namjoonʼs boyfriend, but Jungkook has wormed his way into Yoongiʼs heart to the point that he wouldnʼt want to risk meeting his gaze.
“Iʼm just saying,” Jungkook slowly pulls away as he fixes his glasses on his nose, a soft smile on his face. “I want you to be happy.”
Yoongi thinks about it even after they’ve both left him with a room full of a stranger’s boxes. How long has he been unhappy for? Has it been that obvious to everyone?
There’s suddenly a knock on his door, followed by an unfamiliar voice. “Is this room 5B?”
“Ah, yes,” Yoongi quickly answers, though he can’t shake away his suspicions. The room number is right there on the door.
When he goes to open the door, he’s greeted by a young man whose face seems to light up. He’s looking somewhere above Yoongi’s head, but he has a wide smile on his lips.
“Hello, are you Min Yoongi?” He asks in a charming voice.
“I- yeah. Yeah.” Yoongi stumbles out messily. “...Who might you be?”
The man blinks confusedly at him for a second, as if that’s not a question he had anticipated at all. “I’m Jung Hoseok. Your new roommate?” He sounds uncertain himself.
“Oh,” Yoongi breathes out before he even understands what is happening, “Oh,” He says again when he seems to grasp it a little better. “Yes. I thought you were- uh, I heard from someone that you’re... blind?”
Jung Hoseok doesn’t answer his question at first. He just stands in place, as if waiting for Yoongi to figure it out. After a few seconds, he seems to give up and pokes Yoongi’s foot with a white walking stick.
“Oh,” Yoongi repeats himself like a broken record. The possibility that Jung Hoseok might actually be blind, now that Yoongi is meeting him for the first time, didn’t occur to him at all. He looks… normal. His eyes are the same as any ordinary person’s, and he doesn’t seem to maneuver himself in any way that would make anyone come to the conclusion that he cannot see. “That was stupid of me. I’m sorry.”
Jung Hoseok just chuckles, a soft little sound. “I’m actually flattered. It’s alright. Are you going to let me in now?”
Yoongi jolts at the realization that he’s still guarding the doorway and quickly moves to the side, barely keeping another apology behind his lips as to not make things weird, though they already are. Yoongi actually genuinely thought he wasn’t blind, fuck. He was holding a cane.
“Has Jimin come by to drop off some things?” His new roommate asks as he moves further into the apartment. Yoongi watches curiously as he lightly swings his walking stick around in front of him and slowly walks around. It knocks on one of the boxes. “Ah, there they are. I’ll move them later.” He turns to Yoongi then, “Where’s the bathroom in this place?”
Yoongi has to admit that he’s a little spooked when this blind man was somehow able to sense where Yoongi is standing and turned to face him for some reason. “It’s that way,” He quickly answers as he points toward the bathroom down the hall.
A silence stretches across them before Jung Hoseok has to once again state the obvious. “Are you… are you pointing?”
Yoongi can feel his brain mentally slapping himself, “Huh? Oh fuck- sorry, uh,” He’s fumbling embarrassingly. “Just keep walking down the hall, it’ll be to your left.”
Another laugh, “You’re funny.”
There’s a little smirk on the other man’s face, like he’s amused by Yoongi’s stupidity. And Yoongi agrees, really, for the most part. This is his first encounter with a blind person who didn’t even seem blind at all at first glance. Or maybe he does look blind, maybe Yoongi just doesn’t know anything about blindness and in hindsight, he really should have at least done some research beforehand since they’ll be sharing spaces.
It seems like Jung Hoseok has found his way into the bathroom at the sound of the lights flicking on. Why would he need to turn on the lights?
A hesitant voice suddenly comes up from the open door, “Uh, Yoongi-ssi. Yoongi hyung. Can I call you hyung? Hyung, I have a question.”
“Yeah?” Yoongi walks up to the bathroom to see Jung Hoseok with an expression like he had just witnessed— perhaps not visually, the most disgusting thing a person can witness. “What is it?”
“Hyung,” The man says again, “how often do you clean this place?”
Jungkook’s words about heightened senses briefly come back to Yoongi before he waves them off. “The last time was like a few weeks ago? Me and Namjoon would just clean it when it’s starting to stink.”
Jung Hoseok scrunches his nose and furrows his brows in question, “And this… is this not stinky to you?” One of his hands come up to touch the mirror and he makes a noise at the back of his throat. “This mirror is covered in stains.”
Now this is a very interesting turn of events. Yoongi didn’t expect a smooth transition with no conflict whatsoever, because there would definitely be conflict, inevitably, but he really didn’t expect it to happen this early, no more than ten minutes into meeting each other.
How does it make sense for someone who can’t see to be fussing over a mirror?
So Yoongi tells him as such, “I’m sorry, I didn’t think you would be using a mirror.”
“I won’t,” Jung Hoseok says matter-of-factly, “but you will, hopefully, and I’m just trying to understand why you wouldn’t want a clean mirror that you can actually look at.”
“Why does it matter to you how I use the mirror?” Yoongi doesn’t bother hiding the annoyance in his tone now.
“Because, hyung,” The tone Hoseok says that in is somehow irritating, “the fact that you don’t have a cleaning schedule and that you don’t even bother cleaning the mirror isn’t exactly something that makes me look forward to living with you. You should be cleaning your bathroom at least once a week!”
“It’s perfectly clean.” Yoongi argues.
“Judging by the fact that you smell like sweat and not enough deodorant, I’m not surprised you’d think so.” Hoseok promptly makes his way out of the bathroom after that final remark. “I suddenly don’t want to pee anymore.”
Yoongi glares at the back of his head, vaguely wondering if the guy can even feel it. He looks forward to calling Namjoon and telling him about how big of a mistake this all is.
After a few visits from Jimin for the following week, the apartment is finally rid of boxes.
Yoongi and Hoseok are not on the best terms, but it’s at least some kind of tolerable co-existence that is honestly not the worst-case scenario in Yoongi’s mind, so he reckons that this is pretty good.
Hoseok would try to strike up a conversation sometimes whenever they’re around each other, for pleasantries sake if anything. They’d start off by talking about the weather or their jobs, but then it would somehow escalate to Hoseok complaining about the state of living Yoongi is in, and that everything is dirty even though Yoongi insists that it’s not and that Hoseok is way too paranoid about this, but then Hoseok would argue that he can’t see, damn it, he has every right to be paranoid, and the conversation would end there.
They share the space in the living room a lot more than Yoongi had anticipated as well. Yoongi would be working on his laptop on the couch before Hoseok would join him, tapping away on his phone.
Sitting next to Hoseok isn’t a problem at all— the problem is that Hoseokʼs phone is always on loud, voice-guided maneuvering.
“Contacts, phones, messages, Kakaotalk, double-tap to open Kakaotalk.” The automated voice blares out. It makes Yoongi twitch, “Friends, chats, pinned, Jiminie baby chick emoji, selected Jiminie baby chick emoji. Keyboard, typing H, E, Y”
“Have you ever considered investing in headphones?” Yoongi speaks up over the noise, “I think headphones would be a good investment for you.”
Hoseok stops his very loud, voice-guided typing. “And how will I know whatʼs happening around me if I have headphones on?”
Thatʼs a good point, actually. Still, Yoongi persists, “Maybe just turn the volume down a bit?”
That manages a loud, huffed sigh from the younger boy. “Look, I know itʼs annoying. I donʼt really want anyone knowing my business either, but privacy is just not an option when youʼre disabled and if I donʼt want to be a hassle to everyone all the time, then this is the one solution. Sorry if it bothers you so much.” He turns to grab his walking stick before heading into his bedroom and gently closing the door despite the clear annoyance in his voice.
And it makes Yoongi feel guilty, really. Hoseok sounds like he has had to explain this to people a bunch of times, and heʼs probably tired of it all, and annoyed; even more than Yoongi is.
“Honestly,” Namjoon’s voice sounds from the phone, not in the most amused tone, “I think you’re being kinda immature, hyung.” Yoongi glares at nothing in particular. “Don’t pout. You know it’s true.”
Yoongi huffs as he drops himself back onto his bed where the sheets smell fine, thank you very much, “He’s always, always, finding something to complain about. Jungkook was right about the heightened senses thing. This guy can smell everything. He called me out for wearing the same pajamas for three nights.”
“Yeah, and tell me which one of his complaints aren’t true,” Namjoon rebuts. “The way we lived was disgusting, hyung. We’re absolutely filthy, and it’s very fair for him to point it out. Just because he’s blind doesn’t mean that you can just slack off on cleaning up, because clearly he notices these things.”
Yoongi sighs, “I don’t think that.”
“I know you don’t,” Namjoon tells him, “you’re just not giving him a chance. You’re not listening.” Yoongi hears his friend sigh. “You have to remember that it’s okay to let people into your life. I picked him as your roommate for a reason.”
Yoongi doesn’t know what to say.
Namjoon sighs again, “Just… promise me you’ll stop bickering and listen to him?”
It’s quiet for a moment as Yoongi glares up at his ceiling. He never had parents to teach him these things. The common knowledge of how often you should change your sheets or when you should throw away your toothbrush and get a new one are things that he had been left to figure out himself. He should be thankful that Hoseok cares enough to point out these things when he doesn’t have to at all, as it won’t even affect him.
He briefly realizes that he’s still on the phone with Namjoon, so he quickly answers his plea, “Fine. Alright.”
As Yoongi approaches Namjoon’s old room, he has to remind himself that this is Hoseok’s room now. So he approaches Hoseok’s room, and hears the faint typing sounds on a keyboard before it’s muffled by the sound of his knocking.
The typing noises come to a stop and Hoseok’s voice comes up. “Do you need something?”
“Not really,” Yoongi murmurs. “Can I come in?”
There’s a loud sigh before Hoseok says, “Sure.”
Yoongi tries to tread lightly, physically and metaphorically as he slowly clicks the door open. Hoseok is sitting on his bed with his laptop on his lap, a soft lo-fi song plays from it.
“Hey,” Yoongi starts, though he doesn’t know where he’s going with this, “I think it’s safe to say that the past few weeks have been kind of uncomfortable for the both of us, and I have to admit that most of it is my fault for not listening to you, and not empathizing with your situation.”
Hoseok draws out another long sigh before he says, “We’re different, I guess. We have different values and things that we see are important, so of course we’re not going to get along well. It was wrong of me to expect you to instantly understand me.”
“Yeah,” Yoongi nods, even though Hoseok can’t see. “That’s fair. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable around where you’re supposed to be living, so I tried my best to comply.” At that, Hoseok turns his head to Yoongi’s direction, but his eyes are fixed on the top of Yoongi’s head. “I uh,” Yoongi tries to gesture before he reminds himself again, “I cleaned the bathroom. And the mirror.”
A little smile plays at Hoseok’s lips at that, “You did?”
“You can go look for yourself,” Yoongi says before he quickly retracts his statement when Hoseok raises an eyebrow at his word choice, “or smell it. It doesn’t stink anymore. I also moved a few things so you wouldn’t trip on them.”
“Thank you, hyung,” Hoseok says then, his smile now reaching his eyes and Yoongi has to duck his head. “I’m sorry for being so harsh.”
“It’s alright,” Yoongi stares down at his feet. “I’m sorry for being stubborn. I’ll try to make it up to you.”
“Yeah?” He hears Hoseok say. “How about we watch a movie?”
“Sure, what do you want to-” Yoongi pauses abruptly and squints, “...are you fucking with me?”
Hoseok lets out a loud laugh, almost a cackle, “What, you think I can’t watch movies?”
Yoongi feels kind of dumb at this point, “...Can you watch at all?”
The bed lets out a loud thump when Hoseok drops himself onto his side and clutches his stomach from how hard he’s laughing. “Ah really,” He dramatically wipes his tears, “you’re so funny. Of course I can enjoy movies.”
“Underwater.” The narrator says. “Fish swim by as a view glides through seagrass and through a rocky opening into a hallway.”
“Are you even enjoying this?” Yoongi turns to ask Hoseok, who actually seems kind of invested already.
Hoseok frowns at him, “We’re one minute into the movie.”
“The title appears,” The narrator’s voice says, “The Shape of Water.”
Yoongi has never watched a movie with audio description before. It’s unusual, but regardless interesting to hear every single visual aspect verbally described in detail over the music. He has always believed that some things just can’t be said in words, and that’s how music and other arts come into play in people’s lives. Though if he were to close his eyes and listen without any verbal descriptions, he wouldn’t have much of a clue what is happening on the screen either, so he supposes that it’s fair.
The woman on the screen suddenly undresses and- oh, Yoongi really didn’t expect this much nudity for a 15+ movie.
“Bathwater spills out as she lies back, squirming beneath the surface with a relaxed expression,” The deep voice narrates, “reaching between her legs, the woman props one foot up on the edge of the tub, her toes flexing.”
“Jesus,” Yoongi wheezes.
“What?” Hoseok asks then, “Is she stretching or something?”
“No,” Yoongi wheezes again, “she’s jacking it in the tub.”
“Oh,” Hoseok’s eyes are wide and round, his mouth forming a surprised little circle. It’s an interesting expression. “I thought you said this movie is 15+”
“It is,” Yoongi insists. He even reaches for his phone to check. “Fifteen year olds can see a lot these days.” Hoseok hums in agreement.
Twenty minutes into the movie, the audio description starts to overlap the characters’ dialogue and Yoongi, slightly frustrated, reaches for the remote to turn it off.
Hoseok chuckles, “Did it get annoying? I’ll put on headphones and listen to it on my laptop.”
“Don’t bother,” Yoongi says. “She’s sitting on the side of the tub with her lunch bag right now, and now she’s pulling out a boiled egg and a spoon, then she’s- oh wow I’ve never seen egg shells break so cleanly.”
“What do you mean?” Hoseok laughs.
“She tapped the spoon on the egg and the shell literally just broke into two perfect pieces.” Yoongi tells him, almost awestruck. “That surprised me more than this fish creature.”
Hoseok throws his head back with another loud laugh, “You’re ridiculous! Oh my god.”
“Hey, focus,” Yoongi reaches over to tap his knee, “There’s this really weird tension between the lady and the fish man right now.”
For a minute then, Yoongi considered calling Seokjin since he would definitely know how to properly clean the bathroom and other places in the apartment Yoongi had never thought to clean. He really considered it; he stared at Seokjin’s contact on his phone screen for way too long before he closed the screen into black.
He doesn’t think they’re on speaking terms.
Yoongi wakes up one day with his eyes burning.
“A corneal abrasion,” He huffs as he walks, relying on Namjoon to navigate him around with a hand holding his arm now that two plastic eye shields are taped over his eyes, limiting his vision to small holes of light.
“It’s because your eyes are always dry from staring at screens and you rub them all the time,” His friend complains as he helps Yoongi into the car. “This was bound to happen.”
“Oh, shut up,” Yoongi grumbles, glaring through the small holes of his eye shields. “Everybody rubs their eyes, but I’m the only one who ends up blind.”’
“Don’t be a drama queen, you’re not turning blind. The doctor said to rest your eyes for a day, so you can just rest at home. Taehyung even agreed to cover for you tonight on very short notice,” Namjoon changes the subject. Taehyung was definitely all too enthusiastic. Even when Yoongi was just talking to him on the phone, he could imagine the boy’s face lighting up at his request, accompanied by the too loud half screaming that ensued as he thanked ‘Gloss hyung’ for the opportunity, and then an endless repetition of Yoongi hyungs when Yoongi told him to just call him by his real name. The conversation ended with Yoongi hanging up on Taehyung, but he’s probably fine with it.
Yoongi scoffs at the memory and Namjoon’s statement. “I’d rather be at work where I just sit on my ass for a few hours. I can’t even navigate around at home like this.”
Namjoon shrugs at that. “I mean... you do have help.”
“Youʼre gonna walk into the shelf like that,” Yoongi can hear Hoseok warning him from his side.
Yoongi turns to scowl at him, which is meaningless since the both of them canʼt even see, but he feels like he had to get it out anyway. “How the fuck am I supposed to know?”
“The stick, hyung. Use the stick! Like I said, hold it in front of your bellybutton and swing it around.” He feels Hoseok guide the walking stick to knock on one of the bookshelves. “This way, youʼd know to turn the other way, then you walk with the leg opposite to the stick. I thought youʼd be able to navigate around this place with no problem since you’re cooped up here all the time.”
“Oh please,” Yoongi hisses. “Don’t even think that a big reason for my terrible progress for the past ten minutes isn’t because you suck at giving verbal instructions.”
He hears Hoseok grumble something before hands come up to hold his arms, and his back presses against something when he tries to shift away.
“If the bookshelf is in front of you,” Hoseok’s voice comes up from behind him, way too close than he’d ever expect. “You have to find a clear path by lightly swinging the stick around.” One of Hoseok’s hands move to the suddenly tight grip Yoongi has on the walking stick before moving it to his left. “Like this. If it doesn’t knock on anything then it’s clear, and you can walk there.”
Yoongi hasn’t been this close to someone since his last relationship, probably, which is almost a year now, and he never really recovered— not properly, anyway.
Once, a few months back, he slipped and Namjoon had caught him from behind, but the contact had reminded him way too much of Seokjin and he flinched away immediately. His friend apologized even though it wasn’t his fault at all.
Yoongi hasn’t flinched away though, not at all. He hates the idea of someone’s breath on his skin in theory, but his skin doesn’t crawl when Hoseok speaks near him, like his breath is somehow different from other people’s, as if it’s softer, perhaps because Hoseok doesn’t smell bad. He doesn’t smell bad at all, actually, he smells like something nice, but then he’s pulling away before Yoongi can identify what it is.
“Hyung,” Hoseok sounds distant now. “Try walking forwards without me this time. You should be able to do that much, at least.”
“I can walk just fine, you’re right,” Yoongi mutters as he walks, swinging the stick around rather haphazardly, “I’m so good at walking-”
Yoongi crashes into something with a yelp that is muffled by what he later identifies to be Hoseok’s sweater.
“Careful,” The younger boy says, albeit a little too late, his hands come down to hold Yoongi’s waist to help balance him. “Your stick knocked at my feet so I thought you’d stop, but you didn’t.”
Yoongi glares at nothing. “I think we can both see that.”
“Neither of us can right now, hyung.”
“Oh shut up,” Yoongi groans as Hoseok lets out a giggle that he feels more than hear with his face still pressed against his chest. Vanilla, he suddenly realizes. Hoseok smells like vanilla. He wonders why he hasn’t noticed this before; perhaps it’s one of those ‘heightened senses’ thing Jungkook mentioned.
“Ah, you’re shorter than me,” Hoseok brings him back to the present where they’re standing in this awkward embrace, “I didn’t expect that.”
“I've always thought that you were taller,” Hoseok tells him. “I gotta recalculate everything now. Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” Yoongi pulls his face away as fast as he can, but when he goes to stand up properly, his nose brushes something.
He feels the way Hoseok’s breath suddenly catches in his throat, and he soon works out that they’re standing nose-to-nose. Hoseok’s hands are loose, but still holding onto Yoongi’s waist.
They both suddenly flinch away from each other at the same time, and Yoongi is worried for a second that Hoseok might notice his clear blush, but realizes a bit dumbly that he can’t see... though he can’t see either. He can never know for sure what Hoseok is feeling right now, can never know if he’s blushing as well.
“I-” Yoongi blurts out, though he doesn’t really know what he’s going to say. “I think I’ve got the hang of it now. Thank you.”
He spends the rest of the day sitting on the couch and listening to music, but also not listening to it at all as his thoughts are clouded with that event replaying in his mind.
“And for today’s call-in session, we have Haewon-ssi from Seoul who has a few things to get off of her chest,” Yoongi announces as he connects the call, “Haewon-ssi, can you hear me? You’re live.”
“Gloss-nim,” A woman’s voice comes up, slightly worn out, “my boyfriend of two years broke up with me this morning. I’ve been crying the whole day.”
“Ah,” Yoongi’s face falls. “I’m sorry to hear that you’re hurting. Did he tell you why?”
“...I guess he just got tired of me,” The woman says, “I think he fell out of love with me before I even realized. We used to listen to your show every night and hear you ease others’ worries.” Yoongi can hear the strain in her voice as she speaks, the way it fades into a whisper before she covers it up with a laugh. “I never thought I’d be the one calling you like this.”
“Thank you for your support, Haewon-ssi, and thank you for trusting me enough to come to me at a time like this,” Yoongi starts, albeit too softly. “I’ve actually been recovering from a year-long relationship with someone I loved. They fell out of love with me as well. It’s been months now, but they still come up in my mind sometimes.” He bites his lip at the memories that start to flush past, but he continues, “I understand that it may seem like your fault at first, and you try to find fault in yourself that you’re supposed to fix.” He hears a whispered ‘yes’ from the other end of the line. “I did that at first too, and I spent those days hating myself, because I saw everything about me as a fault that I didn’t know how to fix, and anything could have been a reason that they left me. I realized then, quite sadly, that you can’t control people falling in and out of love for you,” He lets out a small chuckle, “people will come and go, and it’s not anyone’s fault. I’m sure your ex-boyfriend can assure you that it’s not your fault that your relationship has come to an end, and he’s probably trying to find a reason within himself how he has come to fall out of love with you.”
The line is quiet, save for a couple of quiet sniffles and hiccuping before Haewon seems to calm down and says, “Ah, I didn’t know that Gloss-nim went through a break up too.”
“I never really talked about it here,” Yoongi tells her, “not directly, anyway. We all have our moments.”
“Listening to you and talking to you feels really different,” Haewon suddenly says, “Talking to you feels like talking to a friend. A really wise friend.”
Yoongi chuckles, “I think I’m a lot of things to a lot of people. I was there for your happy times, and now I’m here for when you’re sad. Sometimes I’m a background noise, and sometimes I’m the friend you talk to at the end of the day. I’m happy to be anything to you, even though I may be the smallest part of your life.”
“Gloss-nim is always really kind and charming,” Haewon says then, “I think you and your soothing voice has helped a lot of people, including me today. Thank you.”
Yoongi smiles at that, though he’s alone. “You said your ex-boyfriend also listens to this show, right?” After a small confirmation, he asks, “What is his name?”
“Seonwoong-ssi, if you’re listening right now,” Yoongi starts, “I understand that you must be hurting as well. It’s never fun to separate with someone who was so important, so I hope that the two of you would be able to clear any misunderstandings so that you don’t walk away from each other with something still plaguing your mind.” His eye catches the timer on the screen, “I think our little time together is up, Haewon-ssi. I hope everything goes well.”
“Thank you again, Gloss-nim,” She says, voice clearer than when she first spoke about ten minutes ago. “May I request a song?”
“Of course,” Yoongi says, “what will it be tonight?”
“Anything by Lee Sora would be good,” She tells him, “I just want to sleep well.”
“I’ve been listening to her soundtrack for the new drama these days, and I think it’s really beautiful,” Yoongi tells her as he searches for the song in the system, smiling to himself a little when he finds it, “Here is Into My Heart by Lee Sora. Goodnight, Haewon-ssi.”
After wrapping up his session for the night, Yoongi hears knocking on the door before Taehyung lets himself into the room.
“Yoongi hyung!” He half screams, as if delighted that he gets to call Yoongi that now, “Yoongi hyung, today’s session was so good! We were all listening to it from outside.” There’s a wide, boxy smile on his face, which is definitely endearing… which is definitely why Yoongi has to keep his distance.
“Thank you,” Yoongi murmurs, eyes fixed on Taehyung’s bare feet. “Thank you for covering for me the other day too.”
“Of course!” The boy says proudly, “Are your eyes okay now?”
“They’re fine,” Yoongi tells him before his eyes catch his blue light filter glasses on the corner of his desk. He hastily reaches for it and slides it on before gathering his things and getting up. “Good luck with work today,” He looks up to smile at Taehyung, eyes not exactly meeting his, hovering somewhere just above them, but it’s enough, he thinks.
Taehyung seems a bit shocked at first, but then he beams, brighter than before, “Thank you so much! Please get home safe!”
Yoongi gets home a little later than usual that night. It’s way past midnight by the time he steps out of the shower, and he hears typing coming from the living room.
“Hey,” He says when he spots Hoseok, legs crossed on the couch, typing away on his laptop.
“Hyung,” He turns to Yoongi in the dark, “did you just come back from work?”
“Yeah, ten minutes ago,” Yoongi says as he slowly comes up to sit down next to Hoseok. “Why are you up late?”
“I was listening to something, then I had a few ideas so I wanted to write them down,” Hoseok explains, “before I even realized, I’ve been writing for hours.”
“Sparks of creativity huh, I get it,” Yoongi smiles. “What’s it about?”
“A highschooler turning blind. It’s basically just the shift between seeing and not seeing, really.” Hoseok shrugs, “I don’t have a solid plot in my head yet, but I’ve been typing up any snippets that I can think of.”
Yoongi hums at that, “That sounds good. I don’t see a lot of books like that.”
Hoseok snorts. “Judging by how clueless you are around me, I can tell.”
“What does that supposed to mean?” Yoongi frowns. “I’m getting better, you know? I’ve been talking to Jimin.”
“What, like in person?”
“Nah, text,” He says.
“Ah, you should talk to people in person,” Hoseok tells him in a scolding voice. “You have eyes for a reason, Yoongi hyung. You can see what Jimin looks like, and you don’t have to judge everything by the tone of his voice.”
“Well,” Yoongi rubs the back of his neck, “I’m not really good with… talking in person.” He shrugs, “I feel better when I’m not pressured to look at them. Also, there’s a bunch of other ways to tell people how you feel, non-verbally. Like music, for example.” He tells Hoseok. “I think you can get to know someone a lot just from listening to their favorite song.”
Hoseok smiles, “That does sound like something you’d say.” He suddenly grabs for his phone, and the robotic verbal guide comes on again. “Music. Songs. Saved. February 18th- Fancy- Dance the Night- Bad Boy.”
Yoongi isn’t surprised by Hoseok’s music taste at all, although he’s never heard of February 18th before.
“Yellow.” The phone blares out.
“Ah, here we go,” Hoseok selects the song and lets it play from his phone speaker. “I really like Coldplay.”
Yoongi chuckles when the similar guitar riff comes on. “It’s a good song.”
They let the song play for a while, then Hoseok has a teasing smile on his face. “What do you know about me now?”
“That your favorite color is yellow?”
That gets the first laugh out of Hoseok tonight. “Close, I guess, but no.”
“Wait,” Yoongi catches himself, “...do you have a favorite color?”
“It used to be green,” Hoseok tells him anyway, “because that was one of the last colors I saw before I turned blind.” A sad little smile plays on his lips, “But it’s orange now.”
“Can you imagine orange in your head?” Yoongi asks, a bit wary.
Hoseok shakes his head, “No. I guess I just like the sound of it? It’s a warm color, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” Yoongi says, “I think that’s a good enough reason to like something.”
“You’re warm, too.”
Yoongi’s breath suddenly catches in his throat, “I- what?”
“Probably because you just came out of the shower,” Hoseok says, before he reaches for Yoongi’s arm, following it down to his hands, and holding it. “Yeah.”
Hoseok’s hand is warm; warmer than Yoongi’s as it stays there on top of his hand. Yoongi doesn’t pull away.
None of them say anything for a long while until the song ends, and Hoseok slowly lets go to gather his things. “I should go to sleep now. Night, hyung.”
Yoongi thinks he understands why you would have a favorite color even if you can’t see. Some colors can be felt without you having to look at it to know that it’s there.
Like right now, Yoongi can feel just how red his cheeks are in the dark.
“The weather is steadily getting colder everyday, so please don’t forget to keep warm,” Yoongi says into the microphone. “The song I want to play for you today is an english song, but it’s a classic, really. I think we’ve all heard Yellow by Coldplay at least once in our lives.” He stares at the song title on his monitor. “You may wonder what the color yellow is supposed to mean in the song, what is it exactly that is yellow? When Chris Martin talked about writing it, he said that yellow doesn’t really mean anything. Some may think that heʼs talking about stars, but stars aren’t really yellow in real life. He just likes the sound of the word yellow and how it seems to fit the melody, so he wrote it as such.” An image of Hoseok passes by for a second, and it manages to make Yoongi smile. “I think colors are now much more than just what we see. Colors can be feelings and emotions. When you think of orange, for example, you just feel warm. You don’t even need to see colors to describe it. You don’t have to see things to know how beautiful it is.”
Yoongi looks at the time, and briefly wonders if Hoseok would be awake by the time he makes it home. “This has been DJ Gloss for 613fm. Sleep well.”
“What color is his hair?”
“Black,” Jimin answers as he reads through the open document on Hoseok’s laptop. “It curls a little but not that much.”
“Does he have freckles?”
“Dunno, I haven’t really looked at his face for that long. His skin is really pale though. Paler than yours.”
Hoseok hums, shifting around until he’s lying on his side on the couch, head resting on the arm as he hugs a throw pillow to his chest. “What are his eyes like?”
“Pretty pointy, I guess, pretty sharp, kinda triangular, like a cat’s,” Jimin says. “His eyelashes are pretty long.”
“Ah, really?” Hoseok can’t help but chuckle to himself. Long eyelashes. “Wait, wait, give me back my laptop.”
Jimin quickly hands it to him, “Got a new idea?”
“For a character, yeah,” Hoseok says as he quickly types everything up before it disappears from his brain. “Jimin-ah.”
“Do you think he’s my type?”
He can hear Jimin sigh, but it’s not out of annoyance, not a strong rush of air. It’s softer, the kind that you let out when your mouth stretches across your face into a little smile.
“I think you already have the answer to that,” He hears Jimin say.
Hoseok and Yoongi are very different in many aspects— they’re essentially polar opposites.
Hoseok is very active for someone who doesn’t really need to do a lot. He goes out quite regularly during the day for “inspiration” and to meet up with friends. When he does stay home and work on his book, it’s never a dull atmosphere that surrounds him. He seems more alive and human than Yoongi in many ways.
Yoongi isn’t scared to admit this, because he barely believes that he would qualify as a person in the first place; at most times, he feels like a caricature of one. He’s cursed with something that has made him learn to be afraid of eye contact, of forming relationships, of interacting. He’s tied to the few friends he has with a very thin piece of string that can snap at any moment if he isn’t careful, but he knows it will happen eventually, because it did with Seokjin. It will happen with Namjoon, with Jungkook, and Yoongi will end up alone.
The reality of it is that Yoongi will always end up alone. It’s determined. He’s submerged in water, and as he tries to extend his arms and push the water towards himself, it’ll easily escape and slip out of his hold to where it was before. The more he tries, he’ll lose, and lose, and lose until he gives up.
He wakes up a little late that morning, and hears loud chatter coming from the living room.
“And he’s alive,” Namjoon announces when Yoongi drags himself to see what all the commotion is about. “So nice of you to join us this morning, hyung.”
“What’s happening?” Yoongi croaks, voice still addled with sleep. Namjoon and Jungkook are sitting on the floor near the coffee table where Hoseok is helping himself to a croissant.
“We came to surprise you with breakfast,” Jungkook fixes his glasses on his nose, “but Hoseok hyung was the only one awake, so we’re treating him instead.”
Yoongi frowns at that, “You should’ve told me beforehand so I could have at least put on some pants.”
Namjoon raises an eyebrow, “Since when do you dress up for us?”
“I think you look great, hyung,” Hoseok says through a mouthful of croissant.
“Thank you-” Yoongi’s face reddens suddenly. “Oh, you little shit.”
The small coffee table almost shakes from the rumbling laughter that ensues between the three of them shortly after Yoongi’s reaction.
Yoongi groans. “Give me a break. I woke up to the three of you sitting there like three blind mice.”
“Hyung,” Jungkook scolds, “only blind people get to make blind jokes.”
“Namjoon just called you ʼillegally blindʼ like five minutes ago,” Hoseok deadpans.
“That’s because I’m legally blind,” Namjoon tells him. “You have to be blind to be Yoongi hyung’s friend.”
Yoongi snorts at that. He drops himself down next to Jungkook and reaches for the paper bag in the middle of the table, “Guess we’re not friends yet, Kook.”
“I’m working on it,” Jungkook assures him before he takes a sip of coffee from his mug.
“He sounds like he’s joking but I’m half-convinced that he’s serious,” Namjoon shudders, “I’ve never seen someone stare at computers that long, and I’ve been living with myself for twenty five years.”
“Wait,” Hoseok interjects, “why would you have to be blind to be hyung’s friend?”
“So the chances of you accidentally looking directly into his eyes are slimmer,” Jungkook tells him.
Hoseok still looks confused, “What?”
A silence overtakes the room when they realize that Hoseok is genuinely clueless.
“Hyung,” Namjoon turns to Yoongi, “you haven’t told him about your-?”
“No,” Yoongi mumbles. “I haven’t.”
“Ah, is it something personal?” Hoseok asks then.
“Hyung has this curse-”
“I’ll tell him when I tell him,” Yoongi cuts Jungkook off. “Don’t worry about it.”
Jungkook has this guilty look on his face, and it only upsets Yoongi even more. It’s not his fault that Yoongi is like this.
Anyone who knows about the curse would tread lightly around him, treat him like some wounded animal that they can’t exactly trust not to attack. Anyone who knows wouldn’t know how to act around him, wouldn’t try to get too close because they’re scared. Some would pity him, and that’s even worse.
As someone new in his life, Yoongi just wanted Hoseok to treat him like any normal person. He just wanted that moment where nothing is revolved around this curse that he has no idea as to its origins, but just the fact that it’s always following to ruin aspects of his life.
“It’s fine hyung,” Hoseok suddenly says, smiling in his general direction. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”
Yoongi nods before he mumbles a small “yeah” that he isn’t sure is audible enough.
He wonders, for a split second then, if Hoseok knows how pretty his smile is.
“I think I’m in a slump,” Hoseok says in the middle of typing.
“Hm?” He hears Jimin’s little confused noise from the call. “Why? I think it’s good so far.”
“It just doesn’t feel very… real?” Hoseok complains. “Dohyun is supposed to be a highschooler, but I guess I don’t really remember much of highschool anymore.”
“I mean it’s not too late if you want to make him older.” Jimin tells him.
Hoseok shakes his head at that, “No, I won’t do that. This book is supposed to show blind kids that there’s still a life beyond blindness, because I didn’t know that when I was younger, and I would’ve appreciated it.”
“Right, right,” Jimin says earnestly, “let’s see what we can do. He’s a dancer, then he turns blind, but he’ll dance again. That’s what you have right now.”
“I’m trying to create this gradual change from his life as he starts to lose his sight, so he’ll probably give up on dancing at one point, then he loses a few friends, and he has to do a lot of things like learn braille and learn to walk with a stick to suddenly adjust to his new life,” Hoseok scratches his head. “But it just feels kind of… bland? There’s no pull to it.”
“Maybe you could focus on how people reacted?” Jimin suggests, “Like his friend, Junghwa? Maybe you could focus on how he comes to accept Dohyun and support him?”
“Yeah, I’ve written that down,” Hoseok rubs his jaw, “I just feel like it needs something… bigger?”
“How about a love interest?”
Something clicks in Hoseok’s mind, “That’s pretty good, actually. Well done, Jiminie,” Jimin laughs sheepishly from the call. “We’re still at a pretty early stage, so it’s easy to write in another character. Let’s see…” He hums, “Where did I keep my draft again? The one about the little grumpy boy with sharp eyes and black hair.”
A very nervous voice answers his call, “Gloss- Yoongi hyung?”
“Taehyung,” Yoongi greets, and he thinks he hears a squeal, “do you think you could cover for me again tonight?”
It’s quiet on the other line for way too long that Yoongi has to crack his bleary eyes open to check that the call isn’t cut when Teahyung suddenly speaks up, probably too loudly, “Of course! Of course, Yoongi hyung. Are you okay?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Yoongi says, though he doesn’t sound okay at all, “I just woke up with a pretty high fever, and I’m not sure if I’ll get better by tonight, so. Better safe than sorry.”
“Ah, you’re sick?” Taehyung sounds devastated. “Do you have someone to take care of you? I’m with my friend, but I can just ditch him to go-”
“It’s fine, Taehyung,” Yoongi quickly tells him. “I uh, yeah, I have someone around. I’ll be fine. Go work hard. Thanks for filling in for me again.”
He sighs when the call eventually ends. He’s already taken a few painkillers this morning, but his headache has yet to calm down at all.
Both Namjoon and Jungkook are busy with work, so Yoongi doesn’t call them, which leaves him alone in his bed where everything feels too stuffy and his nose is blocked.
There’s suddenly a knock on his door.
“Hyung,” Hoseok calls, “can you come look at this bread and tell me if it’s moldy or not?”
“...What?” Yoongi calls back.
Hoseok clicks the door open and walks in with a few pieces of sliced bread in his hands.
Yoongi frowns, “Why the fuck are you bringing bread into my room?”
“Cause I’m blind,” Hoseok reiterates for what must be the thousandth time, “I’m blind and I don’t want to get sick because I ate mold, so can you and your lazy sighted ass please tell me if the bread that I’m holding have things that I shouldn’t be eating?”
“The bread is fine, I bought it like two days ago,” Yoongi scowls, even though he’s learned now that it has no effect whatsoever. “And I’m sick.”
“Oh,” Hoseok’s face falls, “are you okay?”
“It’s just a fever,” Yoongi murmurs.
Hoseok still looks concerned though. “Have you eaten anything this morning?” At Yoongi’s slurred mumble of ‘painkillers’, he panics, “Just painkillers? It’s almost lunch!” He starts to fumble around like he’s figuring out what to do when he’s still holding sliced bread in his hands. “Go sleep on the couch where the window is open. It’s too stuffy in here. I’ll be back.”
“The couch, please. Your room has no ventilation.”
Yoongi doesnʼt know exactly where Hoseok has gone to, but he sluggishly drags his blanket and sick body onto the couch anyway. His nose is already clearing a little now that heʼs out of the room.
He doesnʼt realize when he fell asleep, but he wakes up at the sound of a ceramic bowl softly hitting the coffee table.
“Here,” Hoseok says from somewhere, “you need to eat something.”
Yoongi slowly blinks his eyes open to see a bowl of hot porridge on the coffee table. He raises an eyebrow at that, “You cooked porridge?”
“Yes... ?” The other boy raises an eyebrow, “where else would this have come from?”
“You can cook?”
“Sure I can,” Hoseok huffs, crossing his arms in front of his chest. Yoongi notices how red his right hand is.
“Hoseok,” Yoongi stares at the clearly burnt hand, “did you burn yourself?”
“Hm? Yeah,” Hoseok holds up the offended hand like it’s nothing, “poured hot water onto my hand instead of the pot. You canʼt really expect me to know exactly where things are. It happens.”
“Wait here,” Yoongi quickly says before he pushes himself up with a groan.
“Where are you going?”
“To get something for your hand.”
“It’s fine,” Hoseok quickly says, “it happens all the time.”
“Don’t be stupid,” Yoongi shouts back as he rummages through the cupboard in the bathroom until he finds Namjoon’s abandoned lavender oil from that very short phase where he cared for his skin.
“Here, for your hand.” He says as he returns and holds it in front of Hoseok before dumbly realizing and mentally slapping himself.
Hesitantly, he reaches for Hoseok’s hand, careful not to touch the burned part. He can feel the way Hoseok jolts at the sudden contact, but he makes no move to pull away or shake his hand out of Yoongiʼs hold. Yoongi carefully drops a bit of the solution and gently massages it into his skin.
“Does this help?” Yoongi whispers, though he doesnʼt know why.
“Yeah,” Hoseok murmurs. “Thank you.”
Hoseokʼs hand is delicate in Yoongiʼs hold. His nails are smooth and pink like flower petals, wrist slender and fingers slim and tanned in stark contrast with Yoongiʼs.
“Is this lavender oil?” He feels Hoseok ask, so Yoongi mutters a little affirmation. At that, Hoseokʼs free hand reaches for one of Yoongiʼs and brings it up to his nose as he takes a sniff. “It smells good.”
“I burned myself pretty bad once,” Yoongi eyes the hand near Hoseokʼs face as he says. Itʼs almost like heʼs going to kiss it. “My uh, my ex actually, he used lavender oil to treat it, and it helped a lot.” The fact that he can always seem to bring up his ex boyfriend makes him scoff. “It didnʼt end well, but Iʼm grateful that I actually learned a basic life skill because of that.”
“Ah,” Hoseok slowly lowers Yoongiʼs hand from his nose, though they still stay in his hold. “Messy break ups. Theyʼre hard to get over, arenʼt they.”
Yoongi chuckles tiredly, “Tell me about it. I was in love with him. We had these plans to move in together and everything, but he changed his mind.”
“Oh, you were-” Hoseok seems shocked, though the expression disintegrates into a sad little one, “Iʼm sorry to hear that.”
“It wasn’t his fault.”
Hoseok shrugs, “Kinda sounds like it is.”
“It wasn’t,” Yoongi insists, and it’s true. It was Yoongi— Yoongi and his curse. “I’m cursed.”
There’s a frown on Hoseok’s concerned face, “Don’t say that.”
“No, I’m literally cursed, Hoseok,” Yoongi tells him, his grip on Hoseok’s hand tightening before loosening again. He takes a deep breath in. “People who are close to me would just… instantly hate me when I look directly into their eyes.”
It’s quiet. Yoongi half-expected Hoseok to let out a laugh, or at least ask Yoongi if he’s joking around since he can’t see if Yoongi is serious, but it’s quiet. He can probably sense it.
Hoseok’s silence doesn’t feel like one of disinterest or detachment, but rather an invitation for Yoongi to continue speaking, but without the verbalized pressure that he has to. So he continues.
“I don’t know how it happened, but when I looked into my mother’s eyes when I was way too young to know anything, I was suddenly put in an orphanage,” Yoongi bites his lips a little too hard and he winces. “Everyone hated me, and no one adopted me. They eventually kicked me out when I was old enough.” He sinks into the couch and tips his head back to stare up at the ceiling as if it would help him get his words out better. “I kept my head down all the time when I was in school. Namjoon came around and it was a little better for a few years… then I met Seokjin.”
Saying his name feels like a punch to the gut, like he doesn’t really deserve to say it now. Yoongi realizes that they still have each other’s hands in this awkward hold, so he moves to hold them properly, and Hoseok complies.
“Your ex?” Hoseok asks him then.
Yoongi just nods. “We met online, and I really liked him because he was funny, and handsome, and he was always really kind and understanding.” He bites his lip, “...Being with Jin hyung made me forget that I was cursed.” He chuckles, though none of this is really funny to him, “It was the worst thing that could’ve happened. I forgot.” He then smiles, but at nothing. Perhaps he’s just internally laughing at himself. “I forgot, and one night I looked him in the eye and told him that I love him, and that was it.”
It’s quiet when he stops talking.
“That was it,” He repeats himself just to fill in the silence.
Hoseok’s hand, the one in Yoongi’s hold, moves slightly. When Yoongi thinks he’s going to pull away, his thumb shifts to rub the back of Yoongi’s hand.
“Is that what Jungkook was going to say a few weeks ago?” Hoseok asks him.
“Yeah,” Yoongi murmurs. “It was dumb of me to keep it from you. Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize for that,” Hoseok squeezes his hand. “How are you now?”
“How are you right now?” Hoseok reiterates. “Are you okay?”
“Me? Well,” Yoongi didn’t expect this question, and he has to take a moment to actually figure it out. How is he right now? What kind of state is he in? “I’m alright, I guess. I just don’t get too friendly with people nowadays. It’s not worth the risk. Sometimes I just want to walk around with my eyes closed.”
Hoseok’s head is turned towards him, but his eyes are distant when he asks, “Do you wish you couldn’t see or something?”
That’s a rather difficult question to answer a blind person, Yoongi levels, but he knows that he, perhaps unconsciously, has been longing for this release.
There are things that he hasn’t told anyone, including himself. There are things that he has never verbally admitted to himself, and are still stuck in a messy cluster at the back of his mind that makes him ache at random instances.
Hoseok’s question is one he has asked himself before, but never answered.
He supposes that Hoseok will be the first one to know.
“I used to,” He tells him. “I couldn’t handle it at one point, seeing the faces of all the people who have and will grow to hate me, and I wished for it.” Then he chuckles again. “I guess you probably don’t understand.”
“That’s not exactly the case,” Hoseok says in a calm voice. “Sometimes I’m glad that I’m blind. Sometimes I can’t imagine how I’d be able to process anything if I were to see it. Everyone has things they see that they wish they didn’t see.” He lets out a soft little laugh too, “This wasn’t the mindset I had when I could still see, of course.”
Yoongi feels kind of stupid, once again, for not realizing that Hoseok had lived a life where he could see before this. He gives his hand a squeeze, like a little gesture that he’s listening if Hoseok wants to tell him.
“It was this genetic eye disease,” Hoseok says. “By thirteen, I realized that I couldn’t see things at night anymore, and I tried to look at everything that I could look at.” He smiles to himself. “I’d stare at my mom’s face for way too long just so that maybe I would remember what she looks like when I do turn blind, but that didn’t really help.” Hoseok lets silence take over for a few seconds as he gathers his thoughts before he continues. “I turned completely blind when I was seventeen, and that wasn’t an easy age at all. I hated myself then.” He directs his smile to Yoongi suddenly, “Good thing you never actually went blind.”
Yoongi ducks his head out of reflex. “Hey, you’ve taught me enough. I might do alright if I do go blind.”
He hears Hoseok familiar laugh, “Will we walk around the house like blind zombies then? Sounds fun. I’ll laugh at the sound of you tripping over everything.”
Yoongi wiggles his eyebrows, but then goes on to softly pat Hoseok’s lap, “You never know.”
Something seems to suddenly pop up in Hoseok’s mind then, “Your porridge is probably cold now. I’ll go heat it up.” He slowly lets go of Yoongi’s hand, and Yoongi lets him, though he’ll never come to find out how upset the gesture made Yoongi.
“Right after you just burned yourself? You never learn,” He tuts, “it’s fine. It’s still kinda warm.” He reaches for the ice pack he brought earlier and presses it to Hoseok’s burnt hand. “Hold this. I don’t want you hurting because of me.”
Hoseok laughs at Yoongi’s dramatic delivery of the last sentence, mocking one of the lame dramas they stumbled upon a few nights ago. “Alright, alright, come on,” He nudges Yoongi’s side with his elbow, holding the ice pack against his hand. “Eat.”
“Yeah, alright,” Yoongi grumbles as he pushes himself to sit up. Feeling a bit sluggish, he stretches his arms out a little carelessly and accidentally bumps Hoseok’s lips with the back of his hand.
Hoseok suddenly flinches away, almost dropping the ice pack before Yoongi grabs hold of it.
“Sorry,” Yoongi quickly says. “Are you okay?”
“Did you…” Hoseok is covering his mouth with his hands, and his cheeks are tinting a warm color. ... Is he blushing? “Did you just kiss me?”
“What are you-” Hoseok’s words suddenly register halfway through whatever Yoongi had planned to say, and he swears he feels his whole system shut down at that, like a cog has been put between some of the wheels and everything is malfunctioning and he’s blabbering and sputtering before he’s even conscious of it. “I- you- what?”
He can feel his own expression mirroring Hoseok’s, what with his cheeks suddenly rising in temperature as if he isn’t sick enough already.
“Did you just kiss me?” Hoseok asks again, a bit choked up. His ears are red.
“No,” Yoongi manages out. “No, I didn’t. It was, uh- I was stretching, it was the back of my hand. Sorry.”
“Ah,” Hoseok blinks as he rubs his face. “Okay.”
“Why would I kiss you?” Yoongi starts to ramble. “I’m sick, I’m not gonna get you sick too. That’s too cruel.”
“That’s why I was surprised,” Hoseok says, just as exasperated. “I thought you just… wanted to, or something.”
Yoongi quirks an eyebrow, “What, do you want me to?”
“No!” Hoseok says, too loudly. “You’re sick!”
“Well, how about when I’m not sick?” Yoongi’s words are spilling out without any filter at this point, as if his fever is manifesting his mind and letting his subconsciousness loose.
He realizes, of course, pretty quickly what he just said. But before he could even come up with an excuse to refute his words, Hoseok gives him an answer, sort of.
“We’ll see about that,” He says as he stands up from the couch and grabs his walking stick. “You should get better first, for starters.”
When he was younger, Yoongi had never thought that at twenty six, he would put so much effort in trying to get rid of his fever. The effort in question includes chugging a bowl of lukewarm porridge with a pounding heart.
“Iʼm not going.”
“Oh, but you are.”
“No, Iʼm not.”
“Hyung,” Hoseok huffs, crossing his arms over his chest, “Iʼve nursed you back to health-”
“It was a fever,” Yoongi interjects.
“Iʼve nursed you back to health,” Hoseok continues anyway, “you finally have the evening off from work, and I think itʼs a pleasant surprise that your co-worker and my friend know each other, so this dinner is a good idea.”
“Yeah no.” Yoongi mumbles into the throw pillow on the couch. “I told you about… the thing before. You know why I don’t like going to gatherings like this. It’s too risky.”
A hand comes down to lightly pat his back. “You’ll be okay, I promise.” The hand drifts up to squeeze his shoulder. “Wear your glasses if you want, but I’m not going to let you close off from people like this.” Hoseok’s voice softens after every syllable, and his touches are gentle, unfamiliar to Yoongi, but welcomed. Yoongi lets Hoseok’s hand trail down his arm to find his hand and hold it. “I won’t let anything happen.”
Hoseok’s hands are a lot smaller than Yoongi’s, but they’re firm in the way they touch him, like Hoseok is so confident and trusting of this world without his sight more than Yoongi does with sight. He feel’s Hoseok’s thumb gently rub the back of his hand in circles.
He doesn’t really know what they are, or what Hoseok thinks they are, at this point. Despite what they had said, they haven’t kissed, and none of them seem to know how to bring it up. But these touches; the gentle hold of hands, the softened words, feel more than just friendship, sometimes more than something platonic, but they never put a name to it. Yoongi, for the first time since Seokjin, months ago, likes it, and he lets himself like it.
Hoseok gently squeezes his hand again, “Come on, how can you deny a blind person anything?” He’s pouting when Yoongi lifts his head up from the pillow to look at him.
He laughs though, “Youʼre so irritating.”
At that, Hoseok already know he’s won. He lets go of Yoongi’s hand and goes to stand up. “Go put some pants on.”
“It’s a good thing the buttons here have braille,” Hoseok says as he presses on the button to the ground floor. “My last building didn’t have it, so I always had to facetime Jimin or something when I was alone.”
“Do you… write your books in braille?” Yoongi asks another question. Hoseok has sacrificed himself as the token blind person for him to ask everything he’s curious about so that he doesn’t go around offending every other blind person he meets.
“Nope, I can read braille, but I type things in Korean the way you type,” Hoseok answers easily. “I used the computer a lot back when I could see, so most of it is just muscle memory, and Jimin just fixes any typos. You can install audio description so it talks like my phone or use speech-to-text, but I don’t really like that.”
“Right,” Yoongi nods in acknowledgement and watches as the elevator door opens. Hoseok seems to notice, probably by the sound or the sudden drop in temperature, and he unfolds his walking stick. “...Can you hit people with that?”
“What, like this?”
A loud yelp escapes Yoongi when Hoseok swats the stick against Yoongi’s calf. “It was just a question! God.”
“And there’s your answer,” Hoseok says, all too bemusedly. “Are we gonna walk now?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Yoongi grabs Hoseok’s left hand and puts it on his right upper arm. He has to be half a step in front of Hoseok, he reminds himself.
Hoseok has taught him a lot of things, most of it through the course of one night where he had sat Yoongi down and said to him, “Let me get things straight before I cringe to death. I don’t have heightened senses, I’m not like daredevil, which is as disappointing to me as it is to you, and I don’t see ‘just black’. I can see light, and yes, I would appreciate some help when it comes to finding moldy bread and reading expiration dates on condiments, thank you very much. Blind jokes are okay as long as they’re funny and not making me the butt of the joke. Also, stop bothering Jimin with questions. Just ask me.”
Yoongi was definitely schooled that night.
“We’re crossing,” Yoongi says when the light turns green, “there’s one big step down.”
He feels Hoseok squeeze the arm he’s holding. “You’re getting better at this.”
Yoongi smiles jerkily at that, “Bet you don’t need to save up for a guide dog anymore. We’re at the end, just step up a bit to get back on the sidewalk.” Hoseok chuckles and steps up from the road.
Another thing that Yoongi notices when they go out like this, even for just a short trip to the grocery store when their bickering over who was supposed to do the shopping yesterday ends up with the both of them going, or on long trips on the subway like now, is that people stare.
People stare, and Hoseok can somehow feel it when they do.
He doesn’t voice it out loud, but it would show on his face that he’s feels uneasy. Yoongi doesn’t really know what to do in situations like these because he hates it just as much when people look at him. The best he can do is just to try his best to act nonchalant and talk about the weather as if people aren’t staring.
Sometimes the opposite happens, like Yoongi did at first, where people don’t even notice that there’s anything different about Hoseok.
“Wait, you’re blind?” A woman who had come up to sit next to Hoseok ten minutes ago suddenly asks mid-conversation.
“Ah, yeah,” Hoseok holds up his folded cane, “I am.”
“I see, I see,” The woman nods and she suddenly reaches over to tap Yoongi’s arm. “Are you his helper?”
“What?” Yoongi stares down at her hand on his arm, “No, no I’m not.”
“He’s just a friend,” Hoseok tells her.
“I see,” She repeats herself the same way Yoongi did when they first met. “Was he born blind? Or did it happen later?” The question is directed at Yoongi, for some reason.
“I wasn’t born blind, no,” Hoseok answers her anyway. His tone is slightly different, slightly jumpier than before.
“I had no idea, wow,” She breathes, then she says to Yoongi, “his eyes look normal, don’t they?”
“Some blind people have clouded eyes, some don’t.” Hoseok tells her with a forced smile on his face. The ridiculously awkward interaction continues for as long as the subway ride lasts, and Yoongi practically drags Hoseok out as soon as they arrive at their stop.
“Jesus, she was a handful,” Yoongi murmurs.
He feels Hoseok shrugs, “It’s nothing new.”
Yoongi doesn’t really like that statement at all.
Hoseok seems to feel it when Yoongi seizes up at the sight of Jimin and Taehyung in the barbecue restaurant. He squeezes Yoongi’s arm again before he whispers, “It’ll be okay.” He’s smiling when Yoongi turns to look at him, like a little encouragement. So Yoongi fixes his glasses on his nose, takes a deep breath in, and starts to guide the both of them to the table.
The dinner feels like it’s all just a quick flash. Yoongi keeps his head down the whole time, though he still talks and engage in conversation whenever Hoseok urges him to, through a small pat on his thigh. He feels out of place, like there’s too many people around, and he’ll somehow slip and look into Jimin or Taehyung’s eyes and he’ll lose them. The more they talk, the more Yoongi likes them, and the more Yoongi gets scared that he’ll lose them, scared at the possibility that something can just happen and he’ll lose them right now.
At one point, he hears Taehyung ask if he isn’t feeling well, or if he’s upset, and he somehow can’t even utter out a weak “I’m fine.” Hoseok is the first to say something and explain that he’s fine, that he’s shy, and jokes that it takes Hoseok an hour to convince him to do anything, making them laugh.
Yoongi tries to reassure that he’s okay, throughout it all. He answers any question Taehyung has, asks Taehyung any question he has. He wants to be able to look into Taehyung’s eyes and tell him that he’s doing great, that he’s already fine without Yoongi’s advice or approval. It scares him, like the curse has made him scared so many times, the fact that he will never be able to look into Taehyung’s eyes and sincerely say it, even if he wants to so badly.
He wants to meet Jimin’s gaze too, the same way he would suddenly be hit by a brief want to look into Namjoon or Jungkook’s eyes. Conversations don’t feel as sincere without that eye contact, without that connection to assure sincerity and that you care; you care so much.
He remembers briefly, when he witnessed the light leaving Seokjin’s eyes, and it makes him want to curl up again and pretend that he’s not in this loud, crowded restaurant with people who are starting to grow on him, which only makes it that much scarier.
The fear stays as they finish up and split the bill, as they make their way out of the restaurant where it’s dark and moody, as Jimin and Taehyung say their goodbyes.
“Hyung,” He suddenly hears a whisper. “Look up.” He feels himself shake his head. “You have your glasses on, it’s okay,” He feels small, warm hands coming down to hold his cold, large ones. “It’s okay.”
Taking another deep breath in, Yoongi looks up at the two people in front of him. He’s only noticing now that Jimin dyed his hair.
“Thanks for the invite,” Yoongi tells them, “I’m sorry that I’m… really closed off. I hope that didn’t ruin the mood.”
He sees Jimin’s face change into this worried one. “No, no, it’s fine! You’re fine, hyung.” He sees Jimin smile. “Thank you for coming out today. Me and Tae really appreciate it.”
He sees Taehyung beam. “See you at work, hyung!”
Yoongi likes this, he thinks to himself.
As they silently make their way home, Yoongi is too busy taking extra precaution as he guides Hoseok now that it’s night time to feel Hoseok lightly squeeze his arm.
“You did well,” He tells him, “you did well, hyung.”
Yoongi huffs out a laugh, “I didn’t do anything.”
He watches Hoseok’s white walking stick swing around on the pavement, clicking on the uneven footpath and little pebbles. “You came out with me, and you had dinner with your friends,” He says. “You did well.”
Then Yoongi chuckles, because that doesn’t sound like anything he should be praised for at all. But the more he thinks about it, the more he gradually comes to realize that he can’t recall the last time he’s been out to have dinner with friends, he starts to believe it. He did well.
“Thank you,” He tells Hoseok. He absently wishes that he could hold his hand right now.
They quickly run into a problem as they enter the apartment as the lights flicker for a moment before the whole place turns pitch black.
“Ah shit, the power probably got cut,” Yoongi grumbles and sighs through his nose before he begins to rummage his pocket for his phone. “It’s way too dark. I can’t see anything.”
“Oh no. How terrifying,” Hoseok says sarcastically. “Must feel like a living nightmare.”
Yoongi weakly hits him, “Shut up. I need to focus on not tripping on something.”
“It’s not that bad.”
“It kinda is,” Yoongi retorts. “There’s no light at all. And my phone’s dead. Fuck.”
“Welcome to my world, hyung,” Hoseok snarls suddenly. “And guess what? Even if the power comes back on, I still won’t be able to see. I don’t get to wait around until the lights flicker back on.” Yoongiʼs little panic has definitely upset him. “This is forever for me, so can you please just shut up and calm down already?”
That definitely shuts Yoongi up, and he immediately hates himself for whining so much over something so trivial. He feels Hoseok’s hand leave his arm and he panics.
“Hoseok?” He calls in a weak voice, “Where’d you go? I’m sorry.”
He can hear a kitchen drawer opening and rummaging sounds.
“Hoseok?” He calls again. It feels weird to be alone like this. “Hoseok-”
A flashlight hazily illuminates the room. Hoseok is standing no more than ten feet away from him, holding a bright flashlight. “Where do you keep those candles?”
The atmosphere is oddly romantic now that there are candles lit around the living room. Yoongi just manages to get by showering in the dark, while Hoseok treats it like any other day with lights on.
Vanilla, he thinks again when Hoseok sits back into the couch next to him. The whole room glows a soft orange, casting it onto his skin in gold.
“I’m sorry,” Yoongi whispers, hand finding Hoseok’s in the dim light, but he’s too scared to hold it. “I’m an idiot.”
Hoseok shakes his head. “I’m not mad. I was just annoyed for a second there.” His hand slowly closes around Yoongi’s. “Can’t really get mad at you these days.”
“I can think of a million reasons to be mad at me.” Yoongi says.
“Me too,” Hoseok assures him, “I just don’t. Not anymore.”
It’s quiet. Yoongi wonders if Hoseok can hear the sound of the orange candle lights flickering.
“Say something,” Hoseok whispers then.
“I’m sorry.” Yoongi repeats himself.
“Say something else.”
“I like you.”
“Wait,” Yoongi suddenly panics. At the same time, he realizes that their hands are interlaced between them, which only panics him even more. “Wait, I didn’t mean- fuck.”
“You didn’t mean it?” Hoseok asks, and he turns his head to face Yoongi.
“No- I,” Yoongi rubs his face against his palm and groans. “I didn’t mean it to suddenly come out like that. I’m a fucking loser.”
Hoseok giggles then, like this is the most amusing thing by far today. “You’re funny.”
But then he’s closing his eyes and his face shifts closer. Yoongi marvels at the way he seems to glow in the orange light, and— and Yoongi likes Hoseok. He’s fallen for him before he even realized. Then it all clicks in his mind why he would.
Hoseok is beautiful, from the way he looks to the way he talks to everyone with a weight that shows that he cares a lot.
Hoseok is beautiful now in the orange glow, eyes closed, eyelashes fanning over his cheeks, and his lips that seem to be waiting. Yoongi would be an idiot to keep him waiting any longer.
So he leans in closer, lessening the gap between them little by little until their noses brush, and he brings a hand up to hold Hoseok’s cheek before-
Hoseok jumps, accompanied by a loud squeak as he jolts away, eyes flying open.
“Was that,” He breathes, “were you going to…?”
“I- wait,” Yoongi sputters, “what? What were you expecting…? ”
“I was gonna fall asleep,” Hoseok says, “did you think that- oh my god.”
“Huh?” Yoongi stares as Hoseok doubles over with a loud laugh.
“Jesus, you can’t even read body language correctly?” Hoseok wheezes out between his laughter, “What do you have sight for?”
“You fuck-” Yoongi groans. “You suddenly closed your eyes in the middle of… of that, and you think I’d assume that you’re falling asleep?”
Hoseok tries to calm himself down from his laughing fit. He brings the intertwined hands to his chest and holds it with both of his hands. “You know you can just ask, right? I’ve told you before.” There is sincerity behind his words. Yoongi feels the warmth seeping through to his hand, and revels in the softness of Hoseok’s voice. “Just ask me.”
So Yoongi asks him, albeit hesitantly, “...Do you like me?”
Hoseok smiles at that, keeping Yoongi’s hand close to him. “Yes hyung, I like you. Is that okay?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” Yoongi asks.
“I don’t know what you look like,” Hoseok tells him, and his voice seems to quiver slightly. “I don’t know what I look like either. I can’t see your facial expressions or your gestures, so it will be difficult to avoid misunderstandings.” A soft huff of air escapes his nose. “I can’t read off of the menu when we go on dates so you’d have to read it out loud for me. Youʼll always have to tell me where things are and what to be careful of. I can never be sure of what’s happening around me so I might embarrass myself and you when we’re in public. You’ll always have to drive because I can’t, and you’ll have to do most of the cooking because I can’t do a lot without making a mess. You’ll always have to take me somewhere quiet at parties or gatherings because they’re too loud and crowded for me. People will ask you weird questions if they find out that you’re dating me, and it’ll get frustrating. You might get frustrated at me because of how dependent I have to be on you, and my apologies may not sound sincere to you because I can’t look you in the eye when I say them.” He lightly tugs Yoongi’s hand. “I will never be able to see you.”
The last sentence sinks into Yoongi’s skin, and he closes his eyes for a moment then.
With his eyes closed, he can still feel the warmth of Hoseok’s hands that are holding his, the softness of the fabric of his shirt. He can hear Hoseok’s breathing that is more nervous than he plays it out to be. He can feel the orange warmth of the candles on the table near them and it almost resembles the warmth of Hoseok’s hold, of his gentle touches and gentle words.
“Is that okay?” He hears Hoseok whisper.
He opens his eyes to see his hand still enveloped by Hoseokʼs, and he tells him, “Yeah, that’s okay.”
Hoseok beams then, brighter than Yoongi has ever seen him, brighter than the orange flames in the room. “Good,” He says.
Yoongi shifts himself closer on the couch, and reaches forward to gently, still hesitantly, caress Hoseok’s cheek.
“Can I kiss you?” He asks. He’s suddenly hyper-aware of his heart pounding against his ribcage, sending a thrill down his spine.
Hoseok’s smile is still on his face when he says, “No.”
He chuckles when he feels Yoongi tenses up at his unexpected answer. “I do want to kiss you, hyung. Just not right now.”
“I just brushed my teeth a few minutes ago,” Yoongi says in a slightly whiny tone.
“It’s not that,” Hoseok laughs. “I like you. I just want our first kiss to be in the morning when the power is back on and I see a little better. Also gives you more time to think.”
“I’ve already decided that I want to,” Yoongi tells him.
Hoseok smiles, “That’s good, but I just want to kiss my boyfriend when I can actually see a bit. Is that so bad?”
There’s a pleading look on Hoseok’s face that is indescribably charming to the point that Yoongi doesn’t think he can ever refuse anything from this face.
So he easily gives in, “Alright.” As he moves to stand up, he realizes that Hoseok is still holding one of his hands to his chest.
“In the morning,” Hoseok tells him with a little snicker. He brings Yoongi’s hand up to his lips, and presses a little kiss on a knuckle before he lets it go.
Yoongi doesn’t really get much sleep that night.
Most of the hours are spent trying to gather his thoughts as he stares at the hand and the soft caress it was in earlier, the spot where the kiss was left, though a great part of it consists of him being hyper-aware that this is the first relationship he’ll be in after the huge fall out with Seokjin from months ago.
He wakes up earlier than usual and takes his time washing up, distracted by his brain sending signals that Hoseok might not know what he’s getting himself into.
So when he sees Hoseok in the kitchen, now with the power back on, the sun painting the apartment orange, he feels fear just as much as excitement.
“I have a lot of things about me that I don’t like,” Is the first thing that he says. He watches as Hoseok turns around to face him. “Because of my curse and also not, I get difficult sometimes, and everyone would think I’m rude because I don’t meet anyone’s eyes, and I might embarrass you, and you might get frustrated with me.” Hoseok seems to feel it when Yoongi steps closer to him, because his hand comes up to find Yoongi’s at his side.
“Is that okay?” Yoongi whispers, staring down at Hoseok’s lips.
It widens into a familiar smile before he nods and says, “That’s okay.”
Orange is what Yoongi sees before he closes his eyes and their lips meet. He can feel the orange warmth as his fingers run through Hoseok’s hair, the puff of air on his lips when Hoseok giggles, hears the little noise at the back of his throat when he lightly nips his bottom lip.
Hoseok lets go of Yoongi’s hand in favor of cupping his cheeks, but then he’s pulling away before Yoongi even thinks of parting to breathe, laughter tinkering in his ears.
“What’s so funny?” Yoongi asks him, face still close.
Hoseok chuckles as his thumb caresses Yoongi’s cheekbone, “I was thinking about how stupid I was when I thought you kissed me, but it was just your hand.” That makes Yoongi laugh too, at the sheer panic the both of them were suddenly in back then. “It feels completely different. Has it been that long since I kissed someone? Wow.”
“You’re rambling,” Yoongi points out, hands tightening on Hoseok’s waist.
“Probably got it from you,” Hoseok murmurs before he tugs Yoongi closer until their bodies press together. Yoongi feels Hoseok hide his face in his neck.
They’ve never been this close together before. Yoongi has never felt this much warmth surround him, never felt this safe, never thought that there would ever be a time when he’s hugging someone in his kitchen in the early morning, and he doesn’t pull away, doesn’t want to.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a while,” He feels Hoseok’s lips brush the skin of his neck as he speaks. It tickles. “You’re always so hesitant and scared of… of being close, that I just wanted to hold you just so you can see that itʼs okay.”
“I’ll always be scared,” Yoongi whispers.
“I know,” Hoseok whispers back, tightening his hold. “I know, so just tell me when you are.” Fingers come up to gently brush through Yoongi’s hair, and there’s a little kiss softly pressed into Yoongi’s neck. “Are you scared right now?”
Yoongi slowly lets the question register in his mind. He can’t know for sure if Hoseok is safe from the curse, just like he wasn’t sure how long Seokjin and a pair of glasses can make them last for. There will be things that he will fear, just like he did with Seokjin, but Hoseok is asking about right now.
Right now, he can’t see Hoseok’s face, but he can feel him pressed to his body, feel his arms around him, and the genuine, loving words whispered into his skin.
So Yoongi tightens his hold around Hoseok’s waist. “No,” He tells him, no louder than a murmur that would never be heard by anyone in a crowded room, but no one else needs to hear it but Hoseok. “I’m not scared.”
“Are you going to meet his parents?”
Yoongi almost chops his fingers off, but he manages to set down the knife on the cutting board in time. “We’ve been dating for two months. Jesus Christ.”
“I’m just saying,” Namjoon says from the sink where he’s wiping down all the cleaned plates, “I met Jungkook’s parents a few days ago and it went pretty well. Have you two even been on dates?”
“We go out for food sometimes,” Yoongi tells him as he continues chopping up the green onions. “But it’s both a little difficult for us, so we usually just stay home and cook, which is the reason why I’m here in your kitchen doing this right now, I should remind you.” He keeps chopping faster. “I can’t believe you two lived on ready-made steak and cup noodles for months.”
“Jungkook just got a new job so we’re both kinda busy,” Namjoon shrugs, “he’ll be glad to see real food. Where’s Hoseok today?”
“With his friends,” Yoongi lowers the heat on the stove.
“Jimin and stuff?”
“No, Kwangsun and Youngsoo and Wonshik and… I’m still trying to remember the rest.”
Namjoon raises an eyebrow at the unfamiliar names, “Which circle is this?”
“His classmates from blind school,” Yoongi explains. “They’ve come over once. Kwangsun and Wonshik have guide dogs, which is kinda cool. Seok is also saving up for one.”
“Yeah?” Namjoon smiles, “Howʼs the book coming along?”
Yoongi shrugs, “Dunno. He won’t let me read it.”
“No idea. He just said I’m not allowed to read it until it’s finished.”
“That probably means he’s writing about you, then.”
Yoongi drops all the minced beef into the pot in a loud plop and steps away just enough to avoid the boiling water spilling out.
“Don’t be weird,” Yoongi turns to glare at him, “that’s ridiculous.”
“Well, why else won’t he let you read it?” Namjoon retorts. “He’s shy.”
“Oh, we’re well past that stage,” Yoongi grumbles as he carefully stirs the ingredients around in the pot. “He walked in on me when I was butt-naked the other day because he wanted me to check if the milk was expired. I told him I was naked, and you know what he said to me?” He turns to Namjoon, who gestures for him to continue, so he opts for a higher, flirty voice, “Geez hyung, relax, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”
He watches as Namjoon doubles over in a loud laugh, playing it up so dramatically that he grabs the kitchen counter for support. Yoongi has to admit that it’s a little funny.
“It’s ridiculous,” Yoongi says shakily as he tries to suppress his own laughter. This isn’t like him at all.
“I think the most ridiculous thing here is that you laughed at it, hyung,” Namjoon says as he recovers, straightening up again. “When was the last time you laughed at something so easily?”
The question hits Yoongi unexpectedly, and it stays with him even after he has left Namjoon and Jungkook’s apartment, then it fleets, but returns once again when he comes back to find Hoseok in his room.
Hoseok dramatically flips the laptop lid down with a glare as soon as he notices Yoongi, and Yoongi laughs at that. He laughs so easily. Any bare minimum thing Hoseok does makes him smile. When has it been this easy to laugh? When has Yoongi let his guard down this much? Since when has he not been afraid of being happy?
“Hey,” Yoongi smiles. He’s happy. “Did you eat?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Hoseok scoots over to make room on the bed for Yoongi to sit. “It was good.”
“How’s writing?” Yoongi’s hand skims up to rest on Hoseok’s lap, and Hoseok takes it as he shifts closer until their shoulders are touching.
Hoseok hums, lacing their fingers together, “It’s getting there.”
“Will I get to read it soon?”
“If you’ll read it on your show, then maybe.”
Yoongi chuckles as he lifts up his free hand to brush his finger against Hoseok’s cheek.
Unexpectedly, Hoseok quickly rubs the offended cheek with the back of his hand. “Is there something on my face?”
“What?” Yoongi is caught off-guard, “No. I just want to kiss you, Seok.”
Hoseok blinks as his expression shifts to an unreadable one, “Oh.”
At that, Yoongi starts to hesitate, hand faltering on Hoseok’s cheek. “...Can I?”
“Yeah,” Hoseok immediately says, so abruptly that he almost cuts Yoongi off. “Yeah, of course.”
The sun is setting down from the window, tinting everything in the room with an orange glow, though Yoongi doesn’t focus on the color as he closes his eyes and guides Hoseok’s lips to his.
He can feel Hoseok smile, his mouth stretched across his face as Yoongi follows the shape of it with his lips to the corner of his mouth, pressing another kiss there before he tilts their foreheads together, noses brushing.
“Hi,” Hoseok greets him when their noses bump.
Yoongi chuckles, “Hey.”
“Sorry about that,” Hoseok says sheepishly. “Jimin does that sometimes when I have food on my face and I just can’t get it off myself. I got used to it.”
“That’s fine,” Yoongi tells him. “You gonna kiss me back?”
It’s still orange when he blinks his eyes open for a second. Orange on Hoseok’s skin, Hoseok’s smile. He admires it shortly before he closes his eyes when Hoseok tilts his head up to kiss him.
Yoongi is happy.
Hoseok likes when they’re standing close to each other. Even though they’re not touching, he can still feel the closeness, feel the warmth radiating from Yoongi, and his smile. It makes Hoseok want to kiss him, and he realizes eventually that he can in fact, kiss Yoongi.
So he tries. He tilts his head up slightly and leans in closer until something presses against his lips. It doesn’t feel like Yoongi’s lips.
“....Thanks?” He hears Yoongi say when he pulls away. So that was definitely not his lips.
“I’m trying to kiss you,” He complains, and Yoongi chuckles.
“That was my nose.” He feels hands on his waist, then comes Yoongi’s voice, closer. “Try again?”
So Hoseok tries again, and misses.
“Still my nose,” Yoongi says, so he tries to aim lower, “a little lower, you’re almost there. Nope, that’s my cheek. Wait, here.”
Yoongi’s finger brush against his cheek before big hands cup his face, guiding it down slightly until they’re on the right spot.
“There you go,” Yoongi murmurs against his lips with a little laugh.
“Hyung,” Jimin says in a particularly enthusiastic tone. “I read your latest draft with Dohyun’s first kiss and oh my god.”
Hoseok laughs, “Thoughts?”
“It’s so cute!” Jimin squeals excitedly. “The accidental nose kiss is everything! I felt like a teenage girl reading that. It’s so well-described too.”
Hoseok smiles, “That’s good.”
“Have you been inspired by something lately?” His friend asks him. “You’re on a roll.”
“Yeah,” Hoseok cups his cheeks with his own hands, feeling the warmth there. “I’ve been inspired.”
Hoseok is patient. Hoseok is always so patient.
Yoongi sees Seokjin at the grocery store one day, and he feels himself break.
He surprises Hoseok when he crashes into the apartment, chest heaving from how fast he ran back. That day from months ago comes back to him again and it hurts. It still hurts.
Hoseok makes a surprised noise when Yoongi drops himself onto him on the couch, legs wrapped around his back and face in his shoulder.
Hoseok probably feels it when his tears soak through his shirt, but he doesn’t prod right away.
“Do you want to talk about it?” He asks after Yoongi has settled down from sobs into little hiccups.
“Five minutes,” He mumbles, “please.”
“Okay,” He hears Hoseok say, before a familiar pair of arms wrap around his back. “Can I give you a kiss, hyung?”
Yoongi nods into his shoulder, and he feels little kisses on his cheek, in his hair, anywhere Hoseok can reach. It’s comfort now, and Yoongi feels himself gradually calm down, melting in Hoseok’s hold.
“I tried to blind myself once,” Yoongi makes himself say now that he’s stopped crying, and they’re sitting next to each other with their hands laced in a firm hold. “Almost a year ago. No one else knows this but Seokjin because he caught me.”
The room is quiet. He doesn’t dare turn to face Hoseok, he doesn’t want to see how Hoseok is reacting to all of this.
“We’ve been dating for a while then, and I started to realize how much I loved him, and so I became scared that one day I’ll just slip and our eyes would accidentally meet and that would be the end of it all.” He lets out a dry laugh. “Which is what actually happened, but before that I didn’t want it to happen at all, so I thought that if I can’t see anything, then it would never happen.”
“And then he caught you?” He hears Hoseok ask.
“He found me just before I was about to drink fucking methanol,” Yoongi laughs, but nothing about it is funny. “I didn’t realize how stupid it all was, but I really was going to do it.”
“This was all because of the curse?” A small whisper asks him.
Yoongi nods, even though it’s pointless. “Yeah. It was because of the curse.”
“Is that why you became a night DJ?”
“Yeah,” Yoongi says. “So no one has to look me in the eye, and I can still talk to people. It’s like I was meant to be doing it from the start.”
When he turns at last, Hoseok is nodding like he understands. He does; Yoongi is pretty sure.
“So that’s my secret,” Yoongi murmurs when it gets too quiet, “that’s how I’m here.”
After a second of silence, he feels Hoseok’s nose poke his cheek before there’s another kiss there.
“I also have a secret,” Hoseok says then, and he’s smiling when Yoongi turns to him. “I used to be obsessed with DJ Gloss of 613fm.”
Yoongi snorts. “No, you weren’t.”
“You’re right. I’m still obsessed with DJ Gloss of 613fm.”
Hoseok hugs his knees close to his chest before resting his chin on it. He fishes out his phone from his pocket and launches the music app.
“Music,” The familiar automated voice says, “Songs. Saved. February 18th.”
Hoseok turns the volume up, and Yoongi wordlessly waits, expecting some kind of song to play, but instead it’s Hoseok’s voice.
“Hello Gloss-nim, I’ll be moving from Gwangju to live in Seoul in a week to work as a full-time writer for a company.” His voice is crackled from static as if it’s from a call.
Yoongi’s voice suddenly comes up, “Ah, that sounds really cool, Hotteok-ssi. I used to read a lot as a kid and good books always stick with me for a long time. I’ve moved to Seoul to work too, so I understand how difficult it must be for you. I wish you luck.”
Hoseok in the audio sounds younger, excited, but determined. “I’ve been ghost-writing for a lot of authors for a while, and I’ll be doing that a lot when I move to Seoul, but I really want to write and publish my own book under my name one day.”
“You sound very determined,” Yoongi hears himself chuckle, “so I’m sure that I’ll be able to buy a book under Hotteok-ssi’s name one day. I believe I will. Maybe you could send me a signed copy?”
“Of course,” Hoseok half shouts, “will you read it on your show if I do?”
“If it’s nothing inappropriate, then I don’t see why not,” Yoongi tells him in a sincere tone. “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. I really wish you luck, Hotteok-ssi. And I hope I’ll know you by more than your fake alias next time.”
Hoseok laughs at that, “Of course. Next time.”
“Our time together here is almost over. Would you like to request a song?”
“Ah! Yes. Yellow by Coldplay would be good.”
“Good choice,” Yoongi hums. “Here’s Coldplay for you. Have a good night, Hotteok-ssi.”
The music switches to a girl group song that Hoseok promptly pauses. He turns to Yoongi with a smile on his face.
“I didnʼt realize at first when I moved in, but your voice sounded so familiar and when you told me you were a DJ, it just clicked. Even now, I’d stay up to listen to you sometimes,” Hoseok tells him, then he asks, “Do you remember this?”
“I won’t get upset if you don’t.”
“I do,” Yoongi insists, “you’re the one who wrote me a letter when you moved to Seoul. You said you had your friend write it for you because you couldn’t write, but you wanted to be sincere.”
Hoseok hums, too satisfied with the answer, “So you do remember.”
“Yeah,” Yoongi chuckles, “Yeah, I do.” He reaches forward to stroke down Hoseok’s cheek before holding it. “Charming from day one. How could I forget you?”
Hoseok tilts his head into Yoongi’s hold, and when he looks up, their eyes meet.
For the first time, their eyes meet.
A lot of things run through Yoongi’s mind at that moment.
He marvels at first, at how pretty Hoseok’s eyes are up close; a pretty brown color, long curled eyelashes, drooping at the corner.
But then he panics, because Hoseok is looking at him, and even though he can’t actually see what he’s looking at, that doesnʼt mean that the curse still won’t take place.
Yoongi is scared now. He’s scared, but he can’t seem to take his eyes off of Hoseok’s, and that only makes him more terrified. All of this is too good to lose.
“Hyung…” Hoseok starts to say, and Yoongi knows that tone so well. He almost sounds like Seokjin.
“Hoseok,” Yoongi feels tears prick at his eyes. The same thing is happening again, but it’s never this painful or suffocating to the point that he can’t breathe. He grabs for Hoseok’s hand, as if their touch would somehow remind him, “Hoseok, please-”
“I think I’m in love with you.”
Yoongi freezes, “You- what?”
“I love you, Yoongi hyung,” Hoseok says, clearer and more determined this time. “Is that okay?”
Yoongi almost doesn’t believe what he’s hearing. This is the opposite of anything he’s ever expected to happen when this happens.
And then he thinks, why wouldn’t it be okay? Yoongi wants to ask, but he knows. They both know. They know that they’re both scared, to a certain point, that this might end up the same way it does with everybody else. But this feels different, and it’s different to the point that they don’t know how far it will take them, and they don’t know if they’ll suddenly drop. Everyone else was like that, but they both hope, secretly, but greatly hope that this wouldn’t end like everyone else. They’ve both gotten their fair share of hurt from something beyond their control.
“Yeah,” Is all Yoongi can muster out before he whispers back, eyes still fixed on Hoseok’s. “I love you, too. Is that okay?”
Hoseok’s eyes turn into crescents as he smiles. “Yeah. That’s okay.”
The room is quiet and glows a soft orange as the sun is starting to set beyond the window, painting Hoseokʼs face a pretty shade. He looks nervous. They both are.
“Are you okay?” Hoseok asks him, a hand running up and down his arm before it reaches up to thumb at his dry cheek to make sure he’s not still crying.
“I’m okay,” Yoongi whispers, covering Hoseok’s hand with his. “Are you?”
Hoseok nods, but then he asks, “Can you close your eyes?”
Yoongi closes his eyes, “Theyʼre closed.” This isnʼt the first time Hoseok has asked him. Heʼd always check too. His fingers would lightly skim up his face to his closed eyelids just to make sure.
He doesnʼt check this time, like he trusts Yoongi to do as he asks.
Yoongi feels the bed undip beneath him, then hears the rustling of fabric, like Hoseok has stripped out of his clothes, and he barely stops himself from opening his eyes.
He feels Hoseok take one of his hands then, and slowly guides it forward to touch a warm, soft surface.
When he lets go, Yoongi shifts his hand before his fingers close on a slim waist, a sharp hip bone jutting out.
His hand slowly skims up the expanse of skin beneath him. He canʼt see, but he can feel the way Hoseokʼs breath hitches as he drifts up his torso to his chest, and pausing there.
He feels the pulse underneath his palm, fast and steady.
He feels the jut of Hoseokʼs collarbone, then his hand shifts to his shoulder, then down his arm to find his hand.
Yoongi laces their hands together and brings it up to his lips as he presses a kiss to every knuckle, then his palm, wrist, a small trail down his arm that leads to his shoulder, and up his neck to his lips.
This is how Hoseok would experience the whole thing. He wonʼt be able to see Yoongi like Yoongi would be able to see him. He wonʼt be able to see Yoongiʼs body, the way Yoongi would react to his touches. He wonʼt be able to see his facial expressions and the blush that would wash over him.
“Is this okay?” Hoseok whispers the question like itʼs a secret heʼs never told anyone.
Yoongi feels the words on his lips and he loves it. He loves Hoseokʼs voice, loves how loud and blaring it can get when heʼs excited, loves how low and soft it can be in quiet, orange moments like this.
Yoongi loves the way Hoseok feels under his touch, loves the way warmth from his skin seems to spread to Yoongiʼs fingertips and his whole body. He loves feeling the insistent beating beneath his palm on his chest, so persistent like it calls for him, like it wants him.
He doesnʼt need to see anything to want Hoseok this badly. He already feels it from the way the room seems to warm up, the way he knows everything is tinted a soft orange color that suits Hoseok so much without having to open his eyes to see.
So he tells Hoseok as such.
“Youʼre beautiful.” He whispers instead of a simple yes, before tilting their foreheads together as both hands come down to Hoseokʼs bare waist. “Youʼre so beautiful.”
Hands come up to cup Yoongiʼs face. “Youʼre beautiful, too.”
When Yoongi goes on to pull his shirt off and he lets Hoseokʼs hands skim, it feels like heʼs trying to memorize each shape, every single bit of touch in detail, like heʼs studying the expanse of Yoongi, mapping him out with his fingertips.
Yoongi strokes the back of his finger down Hoseokʼs cheek, and he tilts his head up so that their lips meet once more.
It’s warm— orange, in the way skin feels against skin.
Hoseok lets out a soft moan that Yoongi feels on his lips, then his left cheek. He feels fingers lightly digging into his shoulders before Hoseok wraps his arms around Yoongi’s back and pulls him closer until Yoongi is lying flat on him.
It’s almost overwhelming, and so much more now with how exposed they both are, and they feel everything.
Yoongi feels Hoseok’s heart beat beneath him, feels Hoseok bury his face into his shoulder and kiss him there.
“I love you,” The words escape his lips in a whisper that seeps into his skin, all the way to his heart. It makes Yoongi wonder, not for the first time, if he really deserves to have Hoseok like this. Hoseok is already perfect, already complete in so many ways, and he doesn’t need anyone for him to feel whole.
Yoongi used to feel like he’s intruding on Hoseok’s life, that he has become another one of his burdens that will only trouble him.
But right now, and many other instances before where Hoseok just stops everything to hold him close, has made him realize that Hoseok wants him— Yoongi is here because Hoseok wants him.
And Yoongi wants him just as much.
“I love you too,” Yoongi murmurs into Hoseok’s ears as his hands trail down to where Hoseok gasps and tries to shift closer. “I love you.”
He doesnʼt realize that he still has his eyes closed until they pull away from each other for a second, warmed by the sunset and the heater, Hoseok on his back and Yoongi above him.
“Can I look now?” He asks.
Hoseok hums, fingers still playing with the hairs at the nape of Yoongiʼs neck before he says, “Yeah, you can look.”
The moment Yoongi blinks his eyes open, he has never seen anything more beautiful.
It doesnʼt take a genius to figure out that Yoongi doesnʼt want to be here at all.
Itʼs that simple— heʼs scared.
Heʼs scared of hearing something that will make him know more about his curse, that itʼs actually a lot worse than what he had thought.
Maybe its effects are permanent; maybe if Seokjinʼs eyes meet his again they will repel away immediately, and Yoongi would have to experience being left alone all over again.
Although this time around, he wonʼt be alone if this meeting is to end badly. Hoseok encouraged him to do this, to get rid of the thing that has been plaguing his heart for months.
He supposes that he owes Hoseok and really, everyone around him, this much. Maybe he wonʼt be as scared to keep them close if he knows how to hold someone close without them flowing out of his arms like hugging water.
His thoughts are interrupted much sooner than he would like. Seokjin pulls out the chair opposite to Yoongi on the table before gingerly taking a seat. Heʼs not wearing pink like he usually would. He started wearing pink because Yoongi said itʼs his color, and they look funny walking around together looking like polar opposites. Being with Seokjin was fun; he made Yoongi unafraid.
… He made Yoongi unafraid, and let his guard down, and that had led to losing him.
Seokjin doesnʼt wear pink anymore, but people change. Itʼs alright.
“Yoongi,” His voice echoes in Yoongiʼs head even though heʼs right in front of him. “Hello.”
Yoongi focuses his gaze on Seokjinʼs hand, intertwined with each other on the table. “Hey. Thank you for agreeing to this.”
“Itʼs fine,” Seokjin tells him in a calm voice, “I missed you.”
But heʼs lying, Yoongi thinks. The way Seokjin looked at him that day told him that he wouldnʼt want to ever see Yoongi again. Seokjin didnʼt agree to this because he missed Yoongi.
... Seokjin didnʼt agree to this because he missed Yoongi, but because heʼs just that nice of a person.
Seokjin is so nice that he will put other peopleʼs feelings before his own, no matter how much he has come to hate them. He is so incredibly nice, and that was what made Yoongi fall. That was what made Yoongi think, foolishly, when their eyes met and he told Seokjin that he loved him, that they were alright, that they would be okay. Yoongi couldnʼt even tell that Seokjin, right at that second, didnʼt love him anymore, if he ever did.
He doesnʼt tell Seokjin this.
“Have you ever considered reaching out?” Yoongi asks instead, “Before this, I mean.”
Seokjin closes his eyes, “I have, but then Iʼd get scared that you donʼt want to see me.” Yoongi quickly ducks his head when Seokjin opens his eyes again. “I did hurt you pretty bad.”
Yoongi considers not saying anything to refute that, though for only a second. It wasnʼt Seokjin that hurt him, or at least Seokjin never meant to. It was Yoongiʼs curse.
So Yoongi tells him, “You didnʼt hurt me. I hurt myself.”
“I underestimated your… curse,” Seokjin says it like the word leaves a bad taste in his mouth. “I donʼt think I wouldʼve fallen out of love if I were more careful. I did love you, Yoongi.”
It’s weird to hear that now, because now it doesn’t mean anything.
I did love you will never mean the same thing as I love you.
The words don’t hit him as hard as its implication; the implication that Seokjin no longer loves Yoongi, and has stopped for a very long time now.
But Yoongi loved him too. He really, truly did, so it was especially difficult to wake up one day losing all of that just because he wanted to look the love of his life in the eye and confess.
“Was it weird for you when it happened?” Yoongi makes himself ask. “Was it weird to suddenly not… not love me anymore?”
When he dares to lift his gaze to Seokjinʼs face, there's a difficult expression there.
“It was,” He says eventually. “I wanted you to move in, and meet my parents, and I wanted to go back to your place that night to watch that midnight drama we always watch.” Every word seems difficult for him to get out. “I wanted to do so much, but that moment…. at that exact moment, I suddenly didnʼt want any of those things anymore.” His hands grip onto each other tightly as he continues. “It was scary, honestly. It was like I suddenly forgot how to love you.” He whispers the last part. “I couldnʼt even fathom it.”
This is what hurt Yoongi the most, he thinks. It’s the fact that his curse curses others too. Seokjin didn’t want to fall out of love, but he did. Yoongi had cursed him.
“You still have friends, right?” He hears Seokjin ask. It sounds like a stupid question, but his tone is serious and coated with concern that Yoongi doesn’t think he deserves at all.
Seokjin knew that after he left Yoongi, Yoongi didn’t talk to any of his friends, not even Namjoon, as if he really tried to disappear from everyone’s life. A weird part of him back then actually thought that it was okay to live like that, isolated from everyone else, unseeing.
“I do,” Yoongi tells him. “I’m… I’m seeing someone.”
Seokjin’s eyes grow wide, his mouth agape as a gasp escapes him, not out of shock but surprise, a joyful one. “You are?”
“His name’s Hoseok,” An image of him lights up in Yoongi’s head, and it warms him, somehow, it makes him unafraid. “He’s a writer. We met when Namjoon moved in with Jungkook and he became my new roommate, and I guess things just clicked. We’ve been going out for about half a year now.”
“That’s great, Yoongi,” There’s a melting smile on Seokjin’s face as if he’s receiving good news. “I’m really, really happy for you.”
“He’s blind,” Yoongi blurts out suddenly, a hand unconsciously coming up to rub the back of his ear, “that’s how we… yeah.” His eyes are focused on Seokjin’s now relaxed hands, then his neck, where he sees Seokjin shake his head.
“I don’t think that’s the case,” Seokjin tells him. Before Yoongi can even argue back that yes, of course it is, how could it not be? There’s a hand under his chin and it’s tipping his head up until his gaze locks with Seokjin’s. “I really don’t think it is.”
Yoongi jolts suddenly before he quickly squeezes his eyes shut like a reflex. His heart pounds at the sudden panic that stirs him when he catches a glimpse of Seokjin’s brown pupils.
“No,” Yoongi utters out, but it’s weak, like he’s scared that he’ll relive that moment all over again. “No.”
“Yoongi,” Seokjin’s voice is softer, calmer, and it’s clear of any hate. “It’s okay. Open your eyes.”
“I can’t,” Yoongi whispers, pained.
“Just for a second,” It’s weird how Seokjin doesn’t sound scared at all. Nervous, maybe, but he sounds so certain. “Please look at me.”
So Yoongi opens his eyes.
He’s close enough to see the brown of Seokjin’s pupils, lightened under the cafe lamp above them. He sees the little white blobs from the lights around them reflect onto the brown of his eyes like diffusing steam from a cup of hot coffee in the morning.
He sees it all before he realizes that he’s never seen it before, because he never got to meet Seokjin’s eyes for this long, without him pulling away, without him leaving.
He’s not leaving.
“Are you wearing contacts?” Yoongi asks, still quiet.
Seokjin smiles as he shakes his head. “No.”
They’re making direct eye contact, but Seokjin’s expression isn’t changing to anything remotely negative. He still has a soft smile on his face, and it’s sincere, genuine, loving.
“I don’t- I don’t understand,” Yoongi stutters, eyes still fixed on Seokjin’s from how fascinating and new this is to him. “How?”
Seokjin’s eyes scrunch up when he smiles. “I think the curse is broken, Yoongi.”
Mornings are orange sometimes, if they wake up early enough.
Yoongi would tell Hoseok when they do, and Hoseok would tell him that he knows, that he can feel it somehow.
Orange mornings are good because it means it’s still early, and they can still stay in bed together for a little longer in their wakefulness.
The kisses feel more languid in the morning. Softer, like they’re scared of bad morning breath or they’re still trying to fully wake up.
Hoseok gasps when Yoongi sucks at the soft skin on his neck, fingers digging into his shoulders slightly before Yoongi lets go.
“Hyung,” He says, “is there a bruise?”
Yoongi rubs at the red blotch that is starting to form with his thumb. “Nah,” He replies nonchalantly in the same tone as every time he’s been asked this. It was amusing to see Hoseok walk around with the marks on his neck, but he soon caught on when Jimin pointed it out to him.
“Oh god,” He spots the bullshit in Yoongi’s voice all too easily. “Hyung, it’s too hot to be wearing turtlenecks or scarves right now!”
“Sorry, sorry,” Yoongi ducks down to kiss the spot like it’s going to make it any better. “Hyung got carried away.” He shifts down to where the low collar of Hoseok’s shirt has dipped, leaving out his collarbone to which Yoongi presses his lips to. “I’ll make the other ones lower,” he murmurs against Hoseok’s skin.
But then Hoseok, with unexpectedly impeccable strength, pushes Yoongi off of him, and almost to the floor if not for Yoongi latching onto the bed sheets with a wheeze.
“Pervert,” He hears Hoseok huff as he fixes his shirt and pushes himself up from the bed. Yoongi fears for a moment that Hoseok will whack him with his walking stick when he reaches for it, but he just makes his way to the bathroom with a trail of grumbles left behind. “You had to do it on the day I have to go outside too.”
“Hey,” Yoongi calls after him before he gets up himself, “I’m sure the publishing people wouldn’t mind.”
Yoongi once asked Hoseok one slow morning, where he was brushing his teeth and a sleepy Hoseok was leached onto his back, “Do you wish you could see sometimes?”
“Sometimes, yeah,” Hoseok’s eyes were still closed, nuzzling into the nape of his neck before he hooked his chin over Yoongi’s shoulder and opened his eyes. “Like right now, maybe. I want to see what we look like when we’re like this.” His hold around Yoongi’s middle tightened, “It’s good to not see big spiders or weird things, obviously, but sometimes I just want to see you. I want to know what you look like.”
“Well I’m very handsome, so don’t you worry,” Yoongi had said as he rinsed off his toothbrush. “I’m practically Park Seojoon’s twin.”
“I don’t know what Park Seojoon looks like.”
“Oh, right. Here,” Yoongi turned to him once he had rinsed his mouth. He brought one of Hoseok’s hands up from his middle, then traced a finger down his face, from his forehead to the tip of his nose. “I look like this.”
Hoseok had a neutral look on his face the whole time before he suddenly pinched one of Yoongi’s cheeks. “No one does that, silly.”
Hoseok laughed as he shook his head. “No, babe. That’s just Hollywood.”
“Oh,” Yoongi snorted, “lame.”
Hoseok then wondered again what Yoongi face looked like when he would do that.
“I like this part here,” Jimin told him a few days ago when he was proofreading Hoseok’s new draft. The book was finally starting to see its completion. “The one near the end.”
Hoseok hummed in acknowledgement. “Can you read it out to me? I wanna know how it sounds.”
“You lay out certain things like a ground rule of your life as you unconsciously follow them,” Jimin read. “They’re the things you can rely on to be certain, but rules have never been something permanent or unmendable. It’s a raw slab of clay you’ve molded that you sometimes don’t remember that it has never been fired to take that shape forever. And the things you come across will remind you as such.” That sentence was a bit clunky, Hoseok had thought as he took a mental note.
“Sometimes I wish I could see, perhaps for a few seconds, just so that I can look at him,” Jimin continued. “I’ve tried before, stupidly. I’ve strained my eyes just to make out his shape when he stands in front of the window in the morning, though I’ve never seen anything more than a blob, but I know that that blob is him, and I hold it close to me.”
“The rules I’ve molded throughout the years are mended by irrational thoughts, and though I welcome them, I remind myself that its original form had a purpose, and then I remind myself that I don’t need to see him to know what he looks like, because I already do.”
Jimin laughed as he read this, “I know he’s shorter, and that he doesn’t let it get to him. I know he works out sometimes from when I would hold his arm as we cross a street. I know he has a soft little belly when we would hug. I know he shaves regularly when we would kiss, when his round nose would poke my cheek. I feel the shape of his lips when he’d kiss my cheek, the shape of his round cheeks when I would kiss them. I know the shape of his large, calloused hands when they would roam on my skin, or when they would hold mine tightly. I remember every single vein on the backs of his hands, every single dent of his brittle, bitten nails, by heart like it’s been imprinted into my subconsciousness.”
“Though I can’t see him as much as others can, no two blind eyes see the same, and it means that no one will ever be able to see him the way I see him, as this unique, colorless blob.” DJ Gloss’ voice sounds from the audiobook. “I don’t need to see him to love him, because love is never seen. Love is felt, and I’ve felt it in everything.”
“Love is felt in the slow mornings, the high noons, and the quiet evenings. Love is felt in the faint hummings, the hushed whispers, and the loud, tear-jerking laughs. Love is felt in the nose kisses, hands on waists, the fingers that trace light circles on ankles on the couch on a rainy day.”
Hoseok laughs suddenly, “Why did your voice sound so choked up at the end?”
Yoongi shrugs, “It’s well-written. Good writing makes you feel, and I felt it.”
‘The Last Time I Saw A Hibiscus’ by Jung Hoseok is due to be published in Korean and braille, as well as a special audiobook read by the renowned DJ Gloss of 613fm. It follows the story of a young boy named Dohyun whose life turned upside down as he turned blind during his last years of highschool. Though blind only were his eyes, as his heart was still very capable of feeling beauty and love. Dohyun will spend the last of his teenage years learning to live and to love again.
“What did you feel?” Hoseok asks him, leaning in closer.
“Warmth, probably,” Yoongi murmurs before he turns to Hoseok, “orange.”
Orange has become so much more than a color for the past year for Hoseok, and for Yoongi as well.
Orange is the shade of Taehyung’s eyes when he looks at Yoongi with pure awe after every one of his shows.
Orange is the early mornings at the bakery with Jimin, whose eyes turn into small little crescents when he smiles.
Orange is the late nights with Namjoon and Jungkook and too much soju for the three of them to stomach, the howling sound of their laughter that is most likely too loud for three in the morning.
Orange is the occasional texts from Seokjin, then the lunch together near the broadcasting station.
Orange is the hot, crowded barbecue restaurants with tables barely big enough to fit seven stools around.
Orange is Hoseok right now, always, with the smile, the laugh, the warmth that is so uniquely him that Yoongi so dearly loves.
is a feeling.