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it’s something you can’t even feel, really

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It’s strange, Yoongi thinks, to be in love with the idea of love.

Defining love is something he’s never finished doing. He knows there are so many beautiful shades of love and that he’s felt a few but that deep sense of being in love, he’s only had fleeting glances at that. Glances so blurry and distorted that he can’t be sure if he deceived himself into seeing them or not.

He remembers loving Namjoon.

Or, he remembers thinking he loved Namjoon. Being told he loved Namjoon. Because he was so happy around Namjoon and thought about him a lot. Liked holding his hand. Liked kissing him. But when they tried to take off their clothes, Yoongi remembers the skin contact of their chest pressing together feeling like heaven and Namjoon’s fingers undoing his belt a little like hell. He remembers stopping Namjoon’s hands with his own, but not having the words to explain why he was scared. And Namjoon waited, listened, stopped. But Yoongi could never give him an answer. Namjoon waited and Yoongi’s brain scrambled to put into words whatever this complicated feeling was until ultimately that feeling didn’t matter and Yoongi realized that love, the love he glanced at, was gone.

So he left Namjoon. And Namjoon didn’t understand. And Yoongi couldn’t make him understand, couldn’t make himself understand.

Then there was Taehyung.

A crush. Always just a crush. Yoongi didn’t want to go near him. Things went so badly with Namjoon that Yoongi assumed the same would happen again. He liked looking at Taehyung. Liked hearing him laugh. He dreamed about holding Tae’s hand and teasing him, getting coffee together. But there was no urge in his heart to act on any of it. So as soon as the paths of their lives diverged, Yoongi watched Taehyung walk away and slowly continued on his own path. Strangely, he had no regrets. He kept waiting to regret it, but he never did. He didn’t lose a love. He just lost a… 

Ah, but he didn’t have a word for that.

Now Jimin, Jimin is easy to love.

It took Yoongi three months to cave and hang the poster on his wall. He’d already spent all his free time with Jimin’s voice in his ears, that soft voice on loop. His albums were incredible and calming. There was something both sensual and soothing about his voice, and his voice matched his personality. Yoongi watched videos and fell in love and Jimin never looked back at him and that felt right.

No one else was being hurt, no one else was being held back. So Yoongi loved in the only way he could figure out how to.

And then there was Hoseok.

Hoseok who also listened to Jimin’s music, who maybe understood what Yoongi felt if Yoongi could just open his mouth and say it. But he couldn’t because there still weren’t words. Yoongi left part of his heart with Jimin and did his best to give the rest to Hoseok.

It was never serious, that’s what they said, and it worked. It worked for a long time. And Hoseok met Jin. And they discussed open relationships and Yoongi felt a weight fall from his shoulders as he passionately agreed to let Hoseok be with Jin at the same time as him. There was something about seeing them together that somehow made him happy. He loved Hoseok smiling at him and he loved Hoseok smiling at Jin.

A month later, Jin started to smile at Yoongi.

Yoongi started to smile at Jin.

It worked.

Until it didn’t.

Just like Namjoon.

It all happened just like Namjoon.

Yoongi was happy. He held their hands. He loved their hearts. And then his own heart turned cold and every kiss felt like a lie.

He tried to explain and he’d learned a little bit more about his words. He cringed, uncertain as he explained aromantic, asexual, how they’re on a spectrum. And Hoseok and Jin nodded, but they didn’t understand.

So he left them. He hurt them. And he ran back to Jimin.

He hid in his room, avoiding anything that reminded him of them and how safe he felt, how his own heart betrayed him and he didn’t know why.

He asked Jimin and got a response in a song. If he twisted the words enough they felt relevant.

Yoongi: do you ever feel alone

Yoongi stared at the DM. It was silly and he knew he’d never get a response.

He remained alone for a while, until he made a friend. Jungkook, aromantic.

And something felt right, being friends. Jungkook understood a lot of what Yoongi was feeling.

The relief of being understood, finally, blinded him.

The more they talked, the more they discussed, the more Yoongi couldn’t relate.

And then Yoongi lost the words he’d gained. Jungkook was definitely aromantic, but Yoongi…

He didn’t feel how Jungkook did, not really. So what did that make him? Was he just farther on the spectrum? Or was he not on the spectrum at all?

Pain swirled with confusion every time he talked to Jungkook so he just stopped.

Jimin: yes

Yoongi didn’t understand what he was looking at for a moment.

Yoongi: but youre loved by millions

Jimin: but not by one

Yoongi: is one even enough?

Jimin: ha. probably not.

Yoongi: are you allowed to say that to me?

Jimin: definitely not

Yoongi: then why did you?

Jimin: because im lonely in a crowded room and you dont sexually harass me on twitter. that puts you in a very small group of decent people on the internet

Yoongi: you love your fans

Jimin: i do but i dont love twitter and what it does to them

Yoongi: this has to be a dream

Jimin: what would you say to me if it was

Yoongi: id probably lean into the fantasy. tell you i love you even though i dont know what that means

Jimin: huh

Yoongi: what

Jimin: i always thought id get a more straightforward confession if i dm’d a fan

Yoongi: sorry im not a very straightforward person when it comes to confessions

Jimin: good. that wouldve been boring

Yoongi: if we’re being honest, im a little mad at you for responding. ive never been able to stay in love with anyone unless theyre unattainable so i cant promise you that whatever i felt for you will hang around if you keep talking to me

Jimin: well i feel nothing for you right now other than intrigue so maybe we can balance out

Yoongi’s gifted a VIP ticket when Jimin’s tour lands in his hometown.

They makeout in the dressing room after but neither of them move to take off their clothes.

Jimin pants, still sweaty and out of breath from performing. “What, you don’t want to see my body?”

Yoongi’s quiet for a while, formulating a response. “Not really.”

Jimin’s lips press together. “I would be insulted, but…” Jimin guides Yoongi’s hands back to his body over the clothes. “You like beauty, don’t you? But not sex.” Yoongi can’t speak. “I’d be more than happy to just be beautiful for you if that’s what you want.”

They spend the night in Jimin’s hotel room and Yoongi’s headache is only calmed by Jimin’s body heat next to him. They kept trying to curl together but couldn’t get comfortable so they lie in t-shirts and sweats next to each other under the covers. Yoongi feels safe.

It’s different than the safety he felt with Hoseok and Jin.

They don’t meet up often. They don’t even talk often.

Sometimes they’ll message the other, desperately needy and clingy, and in a few hours the feeling will pass and they’ll go back to their lives as if the other didn’t exist.

Yoongi stares at his poster and wonders if love is something you can’t define. If it’s something you can’t even feel, really. If love is just something you do.

Love is supporting someone important to you. Love is physical comfort. Love is soothing words. Love is understanding limits. Love is respect. Love is walking away.

Yoongi has done a lot of walking away.

Yoongi: what are we doing?

Jimin: texting?

Yoongi: this quasi relationship. what is this.

Jimin: what are we? is that what youre asking? i mean you jinxed it. i was under the impression we were gonna work as long as neither of us asked what we were

Yoongi: im used to being the one to ruin things. so what are we

Jimin: does it matter?

Yoongi: not really

Jimin: then why did you ask

Yoongi: to see if you cared

Jimin: well thats complicated. i do care.

Yoongi: i care too

Jimin: this works for me. this is the only thing thats ever worked for me

Yoongi: me too

Jimin: so...we keep doing this

Yoongi: until it stops working

Jimin: ill drink to that