twenty-three years ago, a star fell down from the sky.
some called him a miracle. some called him the second coming. some called him the chosen one.
but yoongi? yoongi just called him jeongguk.
please, let him be soft.
i know you made him
with gunmetal bones
and wolf’s teeth.
the first time min yoongi met jeon jeongguk was when the other was seven years old and he was eleven. yoongi had been walking holly, their family dog, when he watched the moving truck pull into the house next door.
the truck rumbled into the drive way of the empty house and as two adults came out from it, quickly opening up the back of the vehicle and carting out countless boxes with scribbled labels on them.
yoongi was about to walk past when holly started barking and pulling him towards their new neighbors. sitting atop a tall pile of boxes was a boy, younger than yoongi. he sported a sweater that seemed to be two sizes too big and stared down at the barking dog.
“holly!” yoongi chided the dog, trying to pull the pet back. yoongi looked up at the boy and bowed his head in apology.
“he isn’t usually like this. holly is nice, i swear. you can pet him, if you like.”
yoongi lifted his head to met the boy’s gaze and nodded.
(that was the first time yoongi noticed how large jeongguk’s eyes were. too large, too knowing for a young child.)
“do you wanna be friends?” the small child asked softly.
“sure.” yoongi grinned at him. the kid seemed nice, so why not yoongi thought.
“i’ve never had a friend before.”
“well, i’ll be your first.”
the boy had smiled, a wide and toothy grin, and got up from his tower of boxes and hopped down.
but instead of going with gravity’s pull and landing straight on his feet, the winds seemed to carry him down, as if he was levitating and gently placed him on cracked pavement.
yoongi had been sure his eyes were playing tricks on him. maybe his mother had been right and all that television had rotted his brain.
“how did you-” yoongi started, spluttering, not knowing how to properly put what he just saw in words.
the younger tilted his head to the side as if not knowing what he was talking about, but then his eyes widened when he realized.
“ah, you mean this?” if one would ask yoongi what he thought when he witnessed a little boy, no older than eight, bend his knees as if he was going to jump over a rope in the school play yard and shoot up and into the sky as if he was a rocket for the first time, he would have said that the it took his breath away.
(not a lot of things rendered min yoongi speechless, but the handful of times that he had been, a certain jeon jeongguk had always been the reason.)
he had gone up about thirty meters, becoming a small speck against the light blue of the afternoon sky until he floated back down, softly like a leaf on the first day of autumn.
yoongi gaped as he touched back down to earth. the little boy smiled once more at yoongi before crouching down to an awaiting holly and scratching the dog behind the ears.
“i’m min yoongi. call me hyung. what’s your name?” yoongi croaked out, words jumbled and strung together by awe.
“jeongguk. my name is jeon jeongguk.” the boy stood and bowed his head at yoongi. “please take care of me.”
( please take care of me.
-the first promise yoongi had broken.)
after that day, it was rare to see one without the other. min yoongi and jeon jeongguk. jeon jeongguk and min yoongi. that was the way of life.
for some unknown reason, jeongguk thought yoongi was the coolest person in the entire universe.
(“he looks at you like you hung the stars in the sky.” yoongi’s mother would say.
how strange. yoongi thought.
when jeongguk was the one that lived among the stars. )
it was a couple months into their friendship, when jeongguk had slept over at yoongi’s house. yoongi had let the other take his bed and jeongguk had shook his head profusely saying it wasn’t right to make his hyung sleep on the ground, but yoongi had waved him off.
they had been playing video games for hours. yoongi scowled at the screen as jeongguk took another victory for himself.
he knocked his shoulder into jeongguk’s. “you sure you don’t have a superpower in video games or something? because if you’re hiding something like that from me, i would never forgive you because that’s just unfair.”
jeongguk laughed. “hyung, it’s not my fault you suck at everything.”
they played a couple more rounds until a yawn interrupted jeongguk mid-sentence.
“we should sleep.” yoongi got up to turn off the console.
jeongguk pouted. “but i’m not tired.”
the yawn that followed made yoongi raise an eyebrow and jeongguk grumbled while getting up to brush his teeth. after changing and washing up, they settled into their beds. yoongi twisted and tuned on the messy pile of blankets he laid out on the floor.
jeongguk was out like a light. his soft snores filling the corners of the room. yoongi smiled and rolled his eyes when he thought about the conversation he and jeongguk would have in the morning when he would tell the younger that he snored. he could practically hear jeongguk’s no-i-don’t and i-didn’t-keep-you-up-right-hyung.
yoongi was never good at making friends. he had people to hang out with in school, but none of them made him feel like how he felt when he was with jeongguk.
jeongguk didn’t mind yoongi’s quiet days, when all his energy was just spent in keeping himself together, when the bones in his body felt too heavy. jeongguk would just nod and stay by his side and fill the silence in with little anecdotes about his day or something he read in a book.
jeongguk just understood him in a way no one else. maybe it was because jeongguk was the same, with his days where he clung to yoongi’s hand like it was a lifeline, like if he let go he would float away. on days like those, yoongi would simply squeeze jeongguk’s small palm, as they walked holly together through the streets of the neighborhood.
yoongi’s eyes began to droop from the pull of sleep, until he heard a whimper.
yoongi got up as the whimpers returned, now louder. jeongguk was crying, his limbs thrashing as the nightmare he was trapped in continued.
yoongi stood at the edge of the bed and reached out to grab ahold of jeongguk’s arms, shaking him awake.
“gguk. jeongguk. wake up.” with a final shake, jeongguk’s eyes burst open, filled to the brim with tears.
yoongi got onto the covers and wrapped his arms around jeongguk, keeping him close to his chest. the smaller boy clutched yoongi, hiding his face into yoongi’s shirt. he felt a dampness on the cloth of his pajamas where jeongguk burrowed himself in. yoongi tightened his hold on the younger.
“it’s okay. you’re okay.” yoongi whispered. “do you want to talk about it? my mom always says its better to talk about your nightmares so they don’t come back.”
jeongguk hiccuped, his breath slowing down and slowly returning to normal.
“i was flying, but suddenly i began to fall. no matter what i did, i couldn’t fly anymore and i just kept falling and falling and falling and i thought i was going to die, hyung.”
“it’s okay.” yoongi ran a hand through jeongguk’s hair in the way his mom would always when he came to her crying with a scarped knee. “if you do ever fall, don’t worry. hyung will always catch you.”
jeongguk looked up to him, eyes glistening. “promise?”
( i will always catch you.
-the second promise yoongi could never keep. )
i know you made him to be
the first time jeon jeongguk saved min yoongi’s life was when they were twelve and sixteen.
yoongi was walking home from school. jeongguk had tutoring for about another hour, so they couldn’t hang out til then.
the chill autumn air made yoongi huddle into the scarf his mom made him wear. he was almost to his front door when he passed by a tall oak and was stopped when he heard a panicked mewl.
yoongi looked around for the cat that must have made that sound, until he looked up and he saw a small tabby cat, frozen and clutching for its life on one of the branches.
yoongi looked around, not knowing what to do, but the kitten meowed once more as if telling him to come save his ass already .
from the looks of it, the branch was about seven meters off the ground. it shouldn’t have been too bad.
yoongi dropped his backpack on the floor and brushed his hands off on his uniform pants. he wrapped his arms reaching for the lower branches to pull himself out and his sneakers looked for footholds along the trunk. he slowly scaled the tree, inching his way up, until he got to the branch the cat held onto.
he made the mistake of looking down and suddenly he realized that from the ground seven meters didn’t look too bad, but from seven meters the pavement looked like it was lightyears away.
his arms shook as he grabbed the branch to crawl towards the kitten. he tried to steady his breathing as he called for the kitten, beckoning it to come to him. it mewled once more, not budging from its spot at the edge of the tree.
yoongi cursed to himself as he let go of the branch to bring a hand towards the kitten. he leaned forward. he must have leaned too much because suddenly gravity had taken its hold on him again and he tumbled from his place on the branch.
it all happened too quickly. first he was hurtling toward the earth, but before he could blink he was pushed to the side, towards a pile of fallen leaves to cushion his fall.
once the world stopped spinning, yoongi looked up to see jeongguk’s worried eyes looking down at him.
“hyung! are you okay?”
yoongi stood, wiping off his uniform. his chest heaved. he was still alive. he wasn’t dead on sidewalk like an autumn leaf, thanks to jeongguk.
“yeah, i’m fine. all thanks to you, gguk.” yoongi reached over and fluffed jeongguk’s hair. they were four years apart, but jeongguk was tall for his age, almost catching up to yoongi. it was only a matter of time till yoongi was the one who had to look up to him.
“you almost died, hyung. are you sure you’re okay?”
“i’m fine.” yoongi smiled once again to jeongguk. “i was trying to save the little one up there.”
yoongi pointed up to the cat who was still mewling down at them. jeongguk looked up to see the reason for yoongi’s nasty fall and started flying up to it and plucked the kitten out of the tree. he got back down, gracefully. the kitten was tucked in his cheek, purring as jeongguk scratched it behind the ears.
“here you go, little guy.” jeongguk placed the animal in yoongi’s arms. yoongi felt jeongguk’s eyes trail after him when he got to get his discarded things on the ground.
“stop worrying, brat. i’m not going to break.”
jeongguk matched his gate with yoongi’s as they headed towards their houses.
“you scared me, hyung.” jeongguk whispered, so soft that yoongi almost missed it.
yoongi looked over and saw the crease between jeongguk’s forehead and yoongi scoffed. yoongi stuck a finger out and pressed on the wrinkle until it was gone.
jeongguk yelped and cried out. “hyung, stop it!”
“you’re too young to be worry about me. your hyung is strong enough to take care of himself, okay?” yoongi draped an arm around jeongguk’s shoulders.
they walked in a comfortable silence for a few moments before jeongguk asked, “are you going to keep him?”
yoongi looked down towards the cat who had fallen asleep in his arms, whose neck was missing a collar or any indication he had a home. as much as he would love to, his hyung had a cat allergy, so his mom would never allow it.
“can’t. you remember hyung’s allergy.”
the cat woke up as if sensing their conversation about him and mewled before going to lick the skin of yoongi’s arm. the crease returned between jeongguk’s brows.
“we can’t just leave him out here.”
“bring him home, gguk.”
jeongguk’s eyes shone as a grin split his face as yoongi passed the cat to jeongguk once more.
yoongi smiled to himself as he listened to the younger rattle on about what he should name his new pet. jeongguk’s heart was too big for his own good sometimes.
( a heart that was worn on his sleeve. a heart that bled for too many. a heart that wasn’t his to call his own. )
the first, and far from the last time, min yoongi had jeon jeongguk show up at his doorstep bloodied and bruised was a year later.
jeongguk’s powers weren’t exactly a secret. jeongguk just didn’t prefer telling people because the younger claims people treat him differently when they learn that he wasn’t like them.
yoongi knew some of it. jeongguk never really liked talking about his school life, so yoongi never pressed. he knew jeongguk would tell him if he wanted.
yoongi knew some people would try to be friends with him just on the basis of his ability, thinking it would make them cool to be friends with the flying kid.
none of them stayed for long, and every time they left, jeongguk would shrug it off and say he didn’t care, but yoongi saw straight through that front jeongguk put up. jeongguk had a habit of giving his all to a person, even if they didn’t deserve it.
but this time it was different.
there was a knock from his window and that could only be one person. jeongguk had given up on using the front door years ago, preferring to fly up to yoongi’s window and sneak in there.
yoongi opened his window and jeongguk tumbled in, groaning. yoongi gasped in horror at the sight of the younger’s appearance.
“jeongguk, what the fuck happened to your face?”
his lip was split, dried blood stained the skin around his nose and the collar of his shirt. he couldn’t open one of his eyes as he stared up at yoongi.
he cracked a small smile, but winced when it stretched his lips. “if you’re worried about me, you should see the other guys.”
“ guys?! there were multiple?!”
yoongi got up to his feet, pulling jeongguk with him to the bathroom. he sat him down on the toilet seat and got out the first aid kit from the cupboards.
“hyung, it isn’t that bad.”
yoongi was taken aback and glared at the other. “jeongguk, you look like death. now shut the fuck up and let hyung take care of you.”
that kept jeongguk quiet because yoongi never cursed at him, or at least never looking so serious. he kept still, trying not to grimace, when yoongi softly dragged a disinfectant wipe across his wounds.
after yoongi had cleaned up most of the dried blood and put some ointments on the open cuts, he stood up and examined his work with hands on his hips.
“are you going to tell me what happened or do i have to find these guys myself?”
jeongguk stayed silent, looking down to his tangled hands. “are you mad at me?”
yoongi’s expression softened and he crouched back down to be on jeongguk’s level. the other wouldn’t meet his eyes.
“gguk, look at me.”
jeongguk fiddled with his fingers for a few more moments before catching yoongi’s gaze.
“hyung isn’t mad. hyung was just scared. i don’t like seeing your face covered in blood. i’m sorry if i made you feel bad.”
yoongi covered his hands over jeongguk’s and that must have been the last straw because an onslaught of tears suddenly started pouring from jeongguk’s eyes.
“some kids found out about my power and they wouldn’t stop bothering me to show them.” jeongguk paused for a second and filled the small bathroom with the sounds of his hiccups. “i thought if i showed them they would leave me alone, and i did but-”
jeongguk was shaking and yoongi wrapped his arms around the younger, murmuring soft it’s-okay ’s and take-your-time ’s into jeongguk’s hair.
“they called me a freak of nature and i tried ignoring them, hyung. i promise i tried really hard, but then they started calling my whole family freaks and they even called you names and i didn’t even push them that hard, but then they all just ganged up on me. i tried fighting back, hyung, but there was just so many of them.”
yoongi held jeongguk close to his chest, just like that one night so many years ago in his bedroom. he ran his hand through jeongguk’s locks, waiting for the younger to calm down.
“they’re just jealous, gguk. you know that right? they’re just jealous that you are amazing in every single way possible and you got a cool superpower.”
jeongguk buried his head into yoongi’s chest, his cries slowly dying down.
“you’re not a freak, okay? did people call iron man a freak? actually, that’s a horrible example because people kinda hated him, but that’s not the point. you are destined for great things, jeonggukie. i just know it. i believe in you.”
“i’m sorry for crying.”
“nothing wrong with crying. it’s okay to cry, just don’t cry alone.”
yoongi gave jeongguk one last squeeze before standing up once more.
“now tell me the names of those fuckers and hyung will teach them a lesson. no one hurts my jeonggukie and gets away with it.”
and when yoongi gets the names, tracks each one of them down to promise if they ever touch jeon jeongguk again he would make their lives a living hell, and gets them expelled, it would have all been worth it for the smile jeongguk sends his way.
( the smiles that he saved for yoongi was always different than the ones he gave others, always a bit brighter, always a bit softer. )
but even gunmetal can warp
and even wolf’s teeth can dull
and i do not want to see him break
the way old and worn and overused things do.
the first time min yoongi tells jeon jeongguk goodbye was when he is eighteen and packing his things into his car for college. jeongguk, fourteen, was standing with his hands at his side, kicking at the rocks by his feet.
yoongi pushed the last box in and closed the trunk. he brushed his hands off on his jeans and looked at jeongguk, who refused to meet his eyes.
“are you not going to say goodbye?” yoongi teased with a smile.
jeongguk turned his head to the side, biting his lip in the way to keep his tears at bay.
“you know i don’t want to, hyung.”
“i’m just going to seoul. i’ll be back for the holidays.” yoongi took a step toward the younger and jeongguk stepped back, trapping them in an awkward dance.
jeongguk looked up to meet yoongi’s eyes, but quickly flittered away, nervous. “hyung, before you go, i have to tell you something.”
yoongi’s hand came up to rest on jeongguk’s head to run it through for old’s times sake. jeongguk’s fragile composure broke for a second at the light touch.
“hyung, i-” he paused, taking in a deep breath. yoongi smiled at him, not rushing him. he took the moment to admire how much jeongguk has grown in the seven years they’ve know each other. the younger still has ways to go, limbs still too long for his body and nose too big for his face. yoongi was sure the boy will be a heartbreaker in a couple years.
“i lo- i li-” jeongguk huffed, cheeks red, and seemed to deflate. “just… don’t forget about me, okay?”
yoongi knew that wasn’t what jeongguk wanted to say, but he knew if the other wanted to tell him he will, sooner or later. he just hope jeongguk wouldn’t overthink about it too much like he usually does.
“how could i ever begin to forget about my jeonggukie?” yoongi laughed, bringing the other into a tight embrace. before yoongi knew it, jeongguk was sniffling into his chest and yoongi placed the bottom of his chin on top of jeongguk’s head and let himself shed a tear or two.
“it’s so weird leaving you here, gguk.”
“i’m going to miss you so much, hyung. why do you have to go?” jeongguk hiccuped.
“i’m going to come back. i’m always going to come back to you.”
as yoongi drove off, he watched jeongguk’s waving figure grow smaller and smaller through his rearview mirror until jeongguk was gone and yoongi was alone.
( dear jeongguk,
please come back to me. )
the first time min yoongi realized he was in love with his best friend, jeon jeongguk, was when he went home during the summer after jeongguk’s high school graduation.
over the past four years, yoongi hadn’t been able to come home as often as he wanted, but when he did, jeongguk would welcome him back with open arms.
this time was no different. the moment he got out of his car, he was suddenly bombarded with an armful of jeongguk. yoongi didn’t even notice they were floating three feet off the floor until he looked down and saw they were slowly being carried off by the wind.
“jeon jeongguk, put me down right this instant!” yoongi clutched onto the younger’s neck and he felt the reverberations of the younger’s laugh through the fabric of their shirts. jeongguk’s arms wrapped around the elder’s waist and they shot up towards the clouds.
(if yoongi wasn’t holding on for dear life, he would have wondered since when did jeongguk get so fit?)
“i won’t let you fall. don’t worry.”
yoongi screeched as they flew higher and higher. they’ve never done this before, yoongi always being too big for jeongguk to carry around. yoongi’s eyes were shut tight, but he heard jeongguk’s giggles so yoongi could practically see the teasing smirk he had on his face.
“welcome home, hyung.” jeongguk whispered. “open your eyes.”
“nope.” yoongi shook his head adamantly.
yoongi groaned as he gave in. he slowly opened his eyes and jeongguk was there, inches away from him, smiling. yoongi looked down to see the city under where he and jeongguk grew up. everything looked so small, so insignificant and there was jeongguk, bigger than life itself.
the clouds tickled their feet and the light from the setting sun painted their skin gold and pink. yoongi looked at jeongguk, really looked at him in what feels like years and noticed how the soft roundness of jeongguk’s cheeks had melted away into sharp edges. they weren’t on the ground so he couldn’t really tell, but yoongi knew the younger had more than a few centimeters on him.
but his eyes. his eyes were still the same from all those years ago, too large and too knowing. they seemed to dance with the lights of the sky.
beautiful. he was beautiful.
“i missed you.” jeongguk tucked his face in the crook of yoongi’s neck and yoongi played with the hair on jeongguk’s nape.
“missed you more.”
in that moment, as jeongguk breathed in softly, as they were both suspended in air, trapped in their little microcosm, yoongi let himself feel, let himself fall.
in that moment, yoongi knew why icarus flew too close to the sun.
( dear jeongguk,
i should have told you sooner. )
the first time the world pays attention to jeon jeongguk is when the two have been living together in seoul for a couple months.
jeongguk had just moved into yoongi’s apartment for his freshman year in college. they quickly fell into a routine.
jeongguk would wake up first to go on a morning jog, but before he would leave, he would turn on the coffee machine for the other. yoongi would get out of bed after hitting snooze two or three times and shower, just in time for jeongguk to get home to clean himself up after his run. yoongi would be done making breakfast as jeongguk finished and they would eat together. they would part ways, just before jeongguk reminds yoongi to take the lunch he had prepared for the elder the night before. yoongi would wave and go on with his day, a content buzz in his veins.
their life they built together was nice, domestic, easy .
but when you’re secretly in love with your best friend, who happens to be your roommate who hugs you from behind while you cook your meal, who leaves little post it notes with reminders of don’t-push-yourself-too-hard and drink-water in your lunch, it was anything but easy.
it was one of those rare days off, where neither of them had classes and just lazed around the apartment together. they sat on the two ends of their couch, legs tangled under a shared blanket. yoongi was flipping through the channels while listening to jeongguk rant about this group project where his classmates didn’t do their share of the work.
“and this bitch, changmin, fucking told me ‘wait i had to make a slide- hyung, go back to the channel before.” jeongguk pointed at the television.
yoongi obliged, confused.
it was a news channel with a young reporter on the screen with the live video of what seems to be a bank robbery.
“breaking news. live from citibank korea. there seems to be a hostage situation. at least eight adults and two children.”
jeongguk sat up in a flurry, bringing the blanket and yoongi with him.
yoongi grabbed his arm. “jeongguk, no. you can’t go out there.”
“hyung, you know i have to.”
yoongi lied. there was something about their routine, their life together, that stopped the butterflies in his stomach, that made the warmth in his chest fizzle out.
for the past few months, jeongguk had been parading around in a mask stopping petty crime around seoul. he usually only dealt with the small stuff, stopping the occasional mugger or trespasser. no one really knew who the masked figure was who disappeared through the skies as quickly as he appeared. there was never any news station covering his actions. there was never guns or serious weapons. there was never any chance that jeongguk didn’t come back home.
“jeongguk, what if you get hurt? what if you die?” yoongi gripped the fabric of jeongguk’s shirt, pleading.
stay. for the love of god, please stay with me.
“i can’t just sit around when i know i could do something to help those people.” they both knew jeongguk could easily pull away from yoongi’s hold, but neither could muster the courage of letting go.
a silence dawned upon them. yoongi dropped his hand from jeongguk’s shirt and took the younger’s palm in his. he thread their fingers together and squeezed once.
“promise me you’ll come back home.”
promise me you’ll come back to me.
jeongguk gave yoongi’s hand a squeeze in return. “i promise.”
so yoongi let go. a part of him told him to say those three words that have been living on the tip of his tongue for months now.
but he knew that saying them now would mean he didn’t believe in jeongguk’s promise. in a way, it was like admitting defeat, so he held those three words back, saving them for another day, for the right moment.
( dear jeongguk,
i’m sorry i wanted to keep you all to myself.
i’m sorry for being so selfish. )
(no matter how many times jeongguk would come home bloodied and bruised, yoongi would sit him down in his bathroom and clean him up, just like the first time all those years ago. yoongi would always ask him to be a bit more careful out there. just because he could fly, doesn’t mean he was invincible.
no matter how many times jeongguk would stay up late, doing homework, yoongi would be there, cooking him dinner and trying to explain theorems and laws. for the only thing harder than trying to save the city, was pass calculus in college.
no matter how many times jeongguk would knock on his door, asking if he could sleep in his room tonight because of how he woke up, grasping the sheets because he was falling and falling and falling, yoongi would let him in and make a space for jeongguk.
in those moments, jeongguk wasn’t JK, the golden hero of seoul that decorated the headlines and trending pages. he was just jeon jeongguk, the wide-eyed boy that he met all those years ago. the one that made yoongi fall and fall and fall in love every day.)
i do not want to see him go up in flames
the way all heroes end up martyrs.
the first time jeon jeongguk couldn’t save someone was one of the darkest days of min yoongi’s life.
it was almost year into this gig. the name JK becoming a myth, a living legend to the people of south korea. the name was whispered in the alleyways in fear and celebrated in the streets. everyone wanted a piece of the hero, to touch him, to be saved by him.
yoongi hates to admit it, but the twinge of jealousy that pokes in his stomach is almost always replaced by smugness when jeongguk stumbles into his room, searching for yoongi’s embrace.
yoongi knew what jeongguk was doing was for the greater good or some shit the articles shoved down the public’s throats, but yoongi can’t help but want to ask jeongguk to stay in for the night, to not go out to patrol, to just take care of himself for a change.
yoongi could see how jeongguk sometimes charged into battle, with no hesitation. he was reckless and one couldn’t blame yoongi for being worried.
the younger had always had a tendency to bite off more than he could chew and yoongi was worried that one day it was all going to be too much. jeongguk could fly, but he wasn’t invincible. superhero or not, one could only take so much before cracking under the pressure.
that night, yoongi was in his usual spot on the couch, waiting for jeongguk to come home so they could eat dinner together. there has been a fire, in the northern parts of the city. yoongi had the television on for background noise as he watched the door.
the entrance to their apartment flew open and in staggered jeongguk, covered head to toe in soot. yoongi knew something was wrong with the way jeongguk stood silent and still in the doorway.
“gguk, are you okay?” yoongi stood from his place on the couch and approached the other. as yoongi got closer, he reached to brush the hair out of jeongguk’s face, but the younger flinched away from his fingers.
the small action made something inside yoongi’s chest shatter.
“jeongguk, what’s wrong?” yoongi tried again.
suddenly, jeongguk sank to his knees with a sob. “i couldn’t save him. i couldn’t save this man, hyung. i had him in my arms, but he told me to take his daughter first, so i did.” jeongguk paused, taking large gasps of air as he hiccuped. yoongi sat next to him on the floor, their knees grazing the other’s.
“take your time.” yoongi whispered, fingertips fidgeting as he wanted to grab jeongguk’s hand.
“i was too late. the building collapsed and he was gone. i couldn’t save him.” jeongguk choked out and sobbed into his hands.
yoongi’s chest ached, a hollow feeling, at the sight of jeongguk, broken on the floor.
“can i hold you, gguk-ah?”
“please.” it was barely over a whisper, more breath than words, but yoongi heard, yoongi always heard. yoongi didn’t care that jeongguk was covered in grime and he wrapped his arms around the other, gently placing his chin on the top of his head. yoongi ran his fingers through jeongguk’s hair, humming a sweet song he heard on the radio he didn’t know the name of.
jeongguk tucked himself in the corners of yoongi’ body, slotting himself into the place yoongi carved out for him years ago. he cried into yoongi’s chest, tears staining the shirt yoongi wore.
“if i had just been a bit faster, a bit stronger, that little girl would still have a dad.”
yoongi shushed jeongguk. he could feel his own tears gathering in the corners of his eyes, but he held them at bay. he needed to be strong for jeongguk.
“because of you, that little girl is still alive. you can’t save everyone, gguk.”
“if i can’t save everyone, what kind of hero am i?” jeongguk met yoongi’s eyes and for the first time since they met, yoongi couldn’t see the starry lights in them.
how long has it been since the constellations in your eyes went out, gguk?
“the best kind. you’re jeon jeongguk and that should be enough.” yoongi tightened his hold on jeongguk, afraid if he let go, jeongguk would fall apart into pieces in front of him.
“but jeon jeongguk isn’t the one that saves people, JK is.” with that jeongguk stood with a quiet thanks-hyung , leaving yoongi alone, feeling useless, with two plates of dinner went untouched for the rest of the night.
(if you give yourself to everyone, is there going to be anything left for me?)
the first time jeon jeongguk told min yoongi he loved him was in the middle of a fight.
since that night of the fire, jeongguk had been different. he’s been colder, spending more time at the gym, training to be stronger because it was never enough, he was never enough.
when yoongi watched videos of jeongguk’s fights on youtube, he could see how careless he was. marching in and throwing himself into fights without a care in the world.
there were times where yoongi would wait all night for jeongguk to come home, ending up falling asleep on the couch or dinner table, just waiting for a sign that he was still alive. yoongi would wake up those days in his bed in an empty house, with nothing, but a note in his prepared lunch box of sorry, hyung .
yoongi had gone on a blind date, set up by namjoon, a friend in the same master’s program as him. namjoon had noticed his dark mood and thought a nice night out would held lighten his spirits. it was with kim seokjin, a broad-shoulder guy with the type of face that could be seen in a drama on television and jokes that made yoongi smile.
(he couldn’t remember the last time he smiled.)
after the date, seokjin drove him home and yoongi bid him farewell with a kiss on the cheek. yoongi waved goodbye before going up to his apartment. he opened the door and slipped off his sneakers.
“where were you, hyung?” yoongi yelped at the sound of jeongguk’s voice. yoongi turned to see the younger on the table, eating a bowl of ramen, with a frown decorating his face.
yoongi willed his face to be neutral. he was trying to get over jeongguk, his best friend, the one who’s been jumping in crossfire, teasing death over and over again.
“i was on a date.”
a look of surprise and something else, something dark, passed over jeongguk’s face, but it was gone as fast as it came.
“was he nice?”
“is he your boyfriend?” yoongi looked over to jeongguk and saw how half his face was black and blue with bruises. call it selfish, call it whatever you want, but the sight of jeongguk’s injured face made yoongi mad. not only at the ones that put them there, but at jeongguk himself.
yoongi went to the kitchen to fix himself a cup of coffee, trying to avoid looking at the other.
“no. not yet.”
jeongguk’s jaw tightened. the crease that’s been living between his brows for the past weeks deepening.
“do you love him?”
yoongi stopped in his tracks, annoyance bubbling beneath his skin. “why do you care?”
“what do you mean why ? i can’t be worried about my best friend and where he goes off to during the night?” jeongguk approached where yoongi was in the kitchen.
“that’s fucking rich coming from you.” yoongi scoffed, backing up putting distance between them.
“what do you mean? i just want to know if you love him.” jeongguk’s unfeeling mask started to crumble as he started pulling at the ends of his bangs, a nervous tick.
“you know exactly what i mean. don’t play dumb with me, jeon jeongguk. it’s none of your fucking business if i love him or not.” yoongi glared at jeongguk, coming closer to poke an accusatory finger into his chest.
jeongguk stared at yoongi for a few moments. an unnerving silence between them.
then, as if he was a time bomb running low on seconds, jeongguk exploded.
“of course it’s my fucking business because i’ve been in love with you for years! i’ve been in love with you since i was eleven fucking years old!”
yoongi gaped at jeongguk, who stared down at him. a flurry of emotions ran through yoongi’s head, until he settled on the one that he’s been keeping at bay for the past weeks.
yoongi was never the type to raise his voice when he was mad. it took a lot to make him truly angry, to test and bend his patience for so long, that it just snapped in half and he lost control.
yoongi grabbed the collar of jeongguk’s shirt, pulling him to his level, eyes ablaze.
“no. you can’t do that! you can’t fucking waltz in here, early after weeks of me waiting all night for you. you can’t fucking tell me you love me when i went on a date with a good guy. you can’t come in here, your face decorated with bruises from god knows where because you run into battle without a fucking thought about the people that wait for you to come home. you can’t say you love me when i’m finally trying to get over you.”
yoongi pushed jeongguk away, chest heaving before saying,
“you can’t expect me to wait around for a dead man walking.”
without a word, without a tear, jeongguk turned around and let go.
( why do you believe that the only thing that would end is your life if you died? )
i know that you will tell me
that the world needs him.
the world needs his heart
and his faith
and his courage
and his strength
and his bones and his teeth and his blood and his voice and his-
the first time jeon jeongguk doesn’t come home to min yoongi is the night afterwards.
yoongi regretted his words, wishing he just kept his mouth shut.
how could he have been so cruel?
jeongguk loved him.
he repeated those three words, as a reminder, as a punishment, all night as he sat at the dinner table with two plates of food in front of him, growing cold as the night grew older.
( dear jeongguk,
i’m scared i missed my chance to tell you that i love you too. )
the world needs anything he will give them.
the first time yoongi sees the facade of JK crack is one live television.
yoongi hasn’t called jeongguk; for what kind of sane person would answer after the words yoongi spat out at him?
but yoongi has been worrying about jeongguk since he was eleven years old, so one couldn’t blame him if he was constantly on JK Updater or watching news channels just to see if jeongguk was okay, if jeongguk was alive.
old habits die hard.
it was a friday evening and JK had just saved the passengers of a bus that lost control.
yoongi sat close to the screen of the television, watching jeongguk answer all of the reporter’s questions.
even though half his face was covered, yoongi saw the slope of his shoulders and how his cheeks seemed less full.
has he been eating well? has he been sleeping well? whose room did he knock on when he woke up screaming about a nightmare? who’s hand ran through his hair in the way he likes to calm him down and quell his fears?
yoongi wanted to reach, to touch, but he knew he couldn’t. not after what he’s done.
( dear jeongguk,
hyung is sorry for breaking his promise.
hyung is sorry for not being able to take care of you. )
damn the world
and damn you too.
damn anyone that ever asked anything of him,
damn anyone that ever took anything from him,
damn anyone that ever prayed his name.
twenty-three years ago, a star fell from the sky.
no matter how gold he was, no matter how much he shone, all shooting stars must burn out and crash.
and oh, how jeongguk crashed.
yoongi had been watching a live stream on JK Updater when it happened.
at first, he thought the stream glitched.
jeongguk had stopping moving mid-air and was just suspended, floating.
until, he started falling.
he fell and fell and fell.
until he crashed.
( dear jeongguk,
hyung is sorry for breaking another promise.
hyung is sorry for not catching you. )
you know that he will give them everything
until there is nothing left of him
but the imprint of dust
where his feet once trod.
“my name is min yoongi. i’m listed as jeon jeongguk’s emergency contact. where is he? where is he being held? is he okay? what happened? how could he just fall? is he still ali-”
( do fallen stars make a noise when they breach the earth? )
( wake up. wake up. wake up. wake up. wake up. wake up. wake up. wa- )
you know that he will bear the world like atlas
until his shoulders collapse
and his knuckles buckle
and he is crushed by all he used to carry
you have already made an atlas.
you have already made an achilles and an icarus and a hercules.
you have already made a sacrificial lamb of your son.
you have already made so many heroes,
and you can make another again.
beep. beep. beep.
the heart monitor was an annoyance and a comfort at the same time.
jeongguk had been here for three days now. yoongi had never left his side, never letting go of of his unmoving hand.
jeongguk had suffered severe head trauma when he crashed, putting him in a coma. the doctors were unsure when he’d wake up, if he’d wake up at all.
but jeongguk made yoongi a promise that he would always come home, so yoongi knew that jeongguk was going to wake up. he had to wake up because yoongi didn’t know what he would do without him.
(a world without jeon jeongguk seemed cold. a world without jeon jeongguk was as if the moon was taken from her place in the sky. just the mere thought of it felt weird and unnatural.)
during his time waiting for jeongguk to open his eyes, yoongi had acquired a bunch of post-its from the nurse. on them, he wrote everything, from his broken promises and random thoughts and all the things he wished he had said. he would stick them on the head of jeongguk’s bed. he was slowly making a mural.
he still had so much to say.
beep. beep. beep.
yoongi looked at jeongguk’s sleeping and wondered if jeongguk dreamt.
he scribbled it another post-it to ask him when he woke up.
when jeongguk woke up. that was important, it was a reminder, a promise.
the word was two letters longer than its enemy, if .
yoongi can’t lose hope. he picked up jeongguk’s hand and brought it to his mouth, kissing the knuckles softly.
“come back to me, jeongguk.”
beep. beep. beep.
yoongi fell asleep to the sound of jeongguk’s steady breaths and heartbeats.
beep. beep. beep.
“-ung. hyung. wake up.”
that voice. that voice was familiar. where has yoongi heard that before?
“hyung. yoongi-hyung, come back to me.”
yoongi woke up to a start.
there, in his thing hospital gown, skin pasty from the cords sticking out from him and the lack of sunlight, with a grin too large for someone that fell to his almost -death three days ago, was jeon jeongguk, looking beautiful as ever.
yoongi practiced this scenario countless times over the last few days, but nothing came out as he gaped at jeongguk, mouth opening and closing as if he’s seen a ghost.
“you’re awake.” he managed to choke out.
“yeah, for a couple hours now. i didn’t want to wake you up.”
yoongi flicked jeongguk’s forehead, which made him pout. “i’ve been worrying myself to fucking hell whether you were going to wake up for not for the past three days and i didn’t even get to see you wake up.”
jeongguk let out a soft giggle, but his face turned serious.
“i read your notes.”
he held out a pile of sticky notes towards yoongi and yoongi stared down at it, not knowing what to say.
a sob escaped yoongi’s throat. the tears he’s been holding back for the past three days, for the past few months, for the past couple years.
“jeongguk, i’m so sorry. hyung is so sorry. it’s all my fault. i didn’t mean all those mean words i said. i’m sorry, jeongguk-ah.”
arms wrapped around yoongi and brought him next to jeongguk on the small hospital bed. yoongi turned his face to the side to his tears, but jeongguk gently guided his chin to meet his gaze.
“hyung, i’m sorry for not coming home after our fight. i promised you i would always come back home and i didn’t. it wasn’t any of my business about you and your date. i’m sor-”
yoongi cut him off by catching jeongguk’s lips with his own. jeongguk froze for a few seconds before he started kissing back. it wasn’t really a kiss because a smile grew on jeongguk’s lips and he was just grinning and yoongi pressed pecks on his lips.
“you know i love you, right? just you, not anyone else. i’ve always love you and i always will, jeongguk.”
“i love you, too hyung.”
you can have your pick of heroes.
so please, i beg you-
he is all that i have,
and you have so many heroes
and the world has so many more.
twenty-three years ago, a star fell from the sky.
some would look at that star and use for for their own wants and whims. some would look up to that star and pray to it to make their wishes come true.
but has anyone ever asked the star if it wanted to fall in the first place? but has anyone asked that star if it had a place to land? a place to call home?
the star that was jeon jeongguk, not JK the golden hero, just jeongguk had found his home in the arms of a min yoongi.
a home where he didn’t need to shine like a supernova to be called a miracle. a home where no matter what he did, yoongi would choose him.
for yoongi, jeongguk wasn’t just a star. he wasn’t a fleeting light that flew through the sky and was never seen again. he was the planets that decorated the sating blanket of the universe; he was the moon in his orbit, controlling his troubled seas; he was his galaxy, ever growing and expanding.
yoongi was jeongguk’s.
jeongguk’s was yoongi’s.
and that was the law of the universe, how it has been and how it will always be.
let him be soft,
and let him be mine.
- please, let him be happy