Actions

Work Header

loving and being loved (a study in patience)

Work Text:

1

 

hoseok first noticed it during a movie night. or rather- a show night. it was a regular thing, a weekly occurrence that had started some years ago and just… never stopped. the show was a new one- they liked watching shows as they aired, one episode at a time- but hoseok couldn’t bring himself to stay focused long enough to gauge what the plot was even about. 

see, they had started back in college, their show nights, but they had started when they all lived in the dorms together, and then, later, in apartments. they had started when it was all seven of them crammed together on a little couch, spilling over onto the floor, as their youngest two pulled up a pirated stream of whatever the newest anime was. that’s how they had started.

but then they’d graduated: first some, then others, until all seven were out and (mostly) on their own. they still hung out, sure, but they had real jobs now, and with real jobs came the money to live in their own apartments (homes, in the cases of seokjin and jimin). so, naturally, show nights had disappeared. mostly.

yoongi and namjoon and hoseok… they still had them. it didn’t make complete sense, seeing as yoongi and namjoon lived together and hoseok lived, well, not with them, but, for some reason, show nights had never ended with them.

which was why hoseok was here now, at seven pm on a friday night, looking over at yoongi curled up on namjoon’s lap like a cat, eyes sleepy but fixed on the screen as namjoon fed him the occasional pepero stick.

it struck him as odd sometimes that they always invited him over, even now. they never invited the others, only him, and they kept doing it until it became a given that he would show up at six-ish every friday with his hands full of snacks, and yoongi would give him a warm, grumbly hug, and namjoon would smile at him with those dimples of his, and hoseok would settle into their routine like he always did. 

the only issue, if it could be counted as one, was that namjoon and yoongi were together. together together. as in, they’d been together for ten whole years. they hadn’t been dating for a full decade, but the sentiment was there nonetheless, the feeling of wow, you’ve been together a long time . it was obvious in everything they did, in all the little ways they fit together and seemed to read each other’s minds. sure, hoseok had joined them only a few months after they’d met, been with them for basically all ten of those years too, but. but he didn’t end up like they did. he didn’t end up together together. 

maybe it was those first few months, the not-even handful of months where it was namjoon and yoongi, before hoseok came in the picture. sure, they didn’t even start dating until years later, but maybe those months were the tipping point, the thing that decided karmically that it should be namjoonandyoongi and hoseok, and not maybe namjoonandyoongiandhoseok or something like that.

not that hoseok cared. of course not. he’d only been in love with them for maybe nine of those ten years probably, so really he was fine. really. 

it helped, most of all, that hoseok was not one to quit. especially not when he wanted something. 

when he’d wanted to do something to make a name for himself, he’d started dancing on the street, clumsy and awkward at first, and he’d fallen and scraped himself up more times than he could count, and eventually he’d become good- good enough to land a scholarship in seoul, good enough to get an internship at an entertainment company, good enough to start his own dance studio with a good reputation and steady income and his name on the door. 

when he’d wanted to impress the two boys he’d quickly become enamoured with when he was just sixteen and freshly transferred to a fairly prestigious arts high school in seoul, he’d taught himself how to rap. he’d channeled every ounce of passion and rhythm he had and funneled it into learning, become almost as good a rapper as he was a dancer. he’d followed the boys to the underground rap battles they snuck out to every few weeks, and after a few times just watching, he’d finally gone up and shown them what he could do. they’d been inseparable ever since.

when he’d wanted to win those boys over ten years later, tell them how ridiculously in love with them he was and had been this whole time, kiss them all over and hold onto them forever and ever- well. he was still working on that one.

which led to his current predicament: every show night felt like a date. sure, they all kind of felt like innocent first dates, or maybe the second or third, where they were comfortable enough to be intimate, but not so comfortable as to do anything else, but that didn’t change the fact of the matter, which was that hoseok didn’t really know how to escalate things.

hoseok, of course, was a very good and respectful friend, so he had no intentions to just come right out and say something stupid like when will you two kiss me, you goddamn beautiful idiots , or anything like that. no, hoseok wanted to keep things subtle, to ease them into it and let them take things at their own pace. it would be a big change, undoubtedly, and there was, of course, the possibility that they wouldn’t want it at all, that they were comfortable and happy with exactly what they had now, so hoseok didn’t want to do anything too dramatic.

it seemed, however, that neither namjoon or yoongi were too keen on subtleties. that is to say, hoseok had been dropping subtle hints for, well, probably years at this point, flirting with them (respectfully), taking them out, buying them gifts. years. and nothing. not nothing in a they don’t want anything more way, but nothing in a they literally have no idea someone is courting them kind of way. 

for example, tonight. 

hoseok had come over with a bag of snacks in one hand- namjoon and yoongi’s favorites, like always- and, in his other hand, a bouquet of flowers. beautiful, blooming pink camellias. literal wedding flowers.

“they’re so pretty,” yoongi had murmured, breathing them in for a long second before giving them to namjoon. 

“beautiful, seok, thank you,” namjoon had echoed, smiling warmly and rummaging under the sink for flower food (“i know i have some around here somewhere”). “did you know camellias mean love and devotion? that’s why they’re used in weddings.”

“no one knows flower meanings but you, joon,” yoongi had answered, snarky but smiling fondly. 

hoseok wanted to lock himself in their bedroom until they apologized for the emotional whiplash. 

he should have known, really. a bouquet of wedding flowers was far from the most romantic thing he’d given them or done for them and they hadn’t caught on so far. he’d do better next time.

sure, at times it felt a bit like he was chasing his own tail, like he was running around in useless circles with no real goal in sight, and sure, sometimes he laid in bed at night and wondered if maybe he was wasting his youth, the prime years of his life, pursuing people who never showed any sign of wanting him back, but… when he thought of giving up, when he thought of ending all of it and moving on, finding someone or someones that would want him as much as he wanted them, well. he knew what his options were, and that wasn’t one of them. maybe at some point in the future, he’d give up his fruitless pursuit. maybe. but for the past ten years and still now and for the foreseeable future, he saw no chance of that happening. 

honestly, most nights hoseok couldn’t bring himself to mind. even now, with the soft pink flowers in a vase on the dining table and namjoon and yoongi cuddled together on the opposite end of the couch, hoseok couldn’t bring himself to mind. 

yoongi’s cold feet were tucked under hoseok’s thigh. namjoon’s arm was spread over the couch cushions, fingers drumming an absentminded beat on the nape of hoseok’s neck. for every pepero namjoon fed yoongi, yoongi passed one back to hoseok. whenever namjoon started fact-checking the show, yoongi and hoseok would exchange playful eye rolls. whenever yoongi started falling asleep, namjoon and hoseok would share fond smiles.

maybe he wasn’t with them in the way he wanted, maybe there were things he wanted to do, like take them on real dates and kiss them goodnight and fuck them silly and hold their hands, but he didn’t feel like he was missing anything. everything he needed was right there, right in front of him. namjoon was safe and healthy and happy. yoongi was safe and healthy and happy. they were both in his life and they wanted him in theirs. even without moments like these, even if they didn’t have their weekly date nights show nights, hoseok knew they always had each other. 

hell, he knew that he could confess to them right here and now, tell them he’d been in love with them for nearly a decade and trying to court them for at least half of that, and even if they didn’t want it, even if they didn’t want him like that, nothing would change.

well, one thing would change, which was the reason hoseok didn’t just confess in the first place. 

if they didn’t want him, if they conclusively and definitively told hoseok that they didn’t love him like that, that he was just a friend, a best friend, maybe even a platonic soulmate…  well. that would be the end. that would be where hoseok gave up. and once he gave up… he didn’t know what to do. 

hoseok was a good person, he smiled a lot and he smiled genuinely, he gave people hugs and encouragement, he played with dogs and gave cats space when they needed it, he made friends with everyone and always did his best to remember names and birthdays. he called his mom at least once a week to tell her he loved her. hoseok was a good person with a big heart, but he had one major flaw. with all that heart, with all that love he had, he was very careful. he was careful because when he loved something, he loved it with every ounce of his being. he did it with dance, he did it with rap. he’d done it with namjoon and yoongi.

if they ended it, if they put a stop to hoseok’s naive chase, his silly, far-flung dream, then they would take all of that love, all of that big, big heart he’d put in their careful hands so many years ago, and they’d fracture it, gently and lovingly, until all that was left were splinters and blood. and even then, it would still be theirs.

so hoseok didn’t confess, and he held tight to his precious hope, and he reveled in every moment he had with them, because every moment felt like a lifetime and he wasn’t ready to lose that yet.

“hey,” yoongi called, satoori rounding out his words the way it always did when it was late and just them, “you’re spacing again.”

namjoon hummed in agreement, his hand stilling on hoseok’s neck. “you okay? you’ve been quiet tonight, haven’t commented on the show once.”

hoseok leaned into namjoon’s touch and smiled at them. “all good, just tired today. besides, you know i don’t come all the way over every week for the shows.” it was funny, really, how namjoon flushed when hoseok winked, earning himself a lazy slap from yoongi.

“quit that, you know joon gets all shy.” 

namjoon turned pinker still at that, and hoseok had to giggle at how cute he got. and he couldn’t very well coo over namjoon by himself, but it was quite alright because for all he scolded, yoongi also loved seeing namjoon blush, and soon namjoon was as bright as the wedding flowers on the table and hiding his face in his hands as yoongi and hoseok pinched his cheeks and laughed.

 

2

 

when he was nineteen and almost halfway through university, hoseok ruptured his achilles. he was there on another dance scholarship and he didn’t have even close to enough money to finish college without it. surgery, is what they told him. four to six months of rehab after. suddenly, hoseok could see his entire future vanishing right before his eyes.

if he couldn’t dance, he’d lose his scholarship. he’d have to drop out, leave seoul, go back home to gwangju because he couldn’t afford to stay. not only that, but what if something went wrong? what if the surgery went wrong or something got fucked up during rehabilitation? what if it healed and re-ruptured? what if he could never dance again?

he wasn’t even twenty years old, and he was pretty sure he was staring straight at the end of his life.

by that point, he, namjoon, and yoongi had acquired the rest of their friends: seokjin, a senior who was balancing a split medical program so he’d be done with med school only two years after undergrad; his “little brother,” jungkook, a junior in high school who seokjin had been assigned to through a mentorship program his senior year of high school and literally adopted (jungkook had run away from foster home after foster home in busan and seoul, and as soon as seokjin was able, he’d petitioned for guardianship); jimin, a first year hoseok had met through dance who came from money but was trying to make it on his own; and finally taehyung, another first year who’d transferred in a few months late and quickly found a friend and guardian in jimin’s easy charm and grace. 

they were the only good thing in hoseok’s life at that point, and even then, that terrified him more than anything. if he lost his scholarship, he’d have to leave them. they all had their lives in seoul, just like he had. for once in his life, hoseok found something he loved more than dance, and he didn’t want to lose it. 

seokjin offered to help- do something to cover the costs if hoseok lost the scholarship, if he had nowhere to stay- but he already had jungkook on his hands, not to mention the costs of med school after graduation. jimin and taehyung wanted to help too, but they were just figuring out college for the first time, just learning how to live on their own and take care of themselves. 

as much as the others wanted to help if it came down to it, it was yoongi and namjoon, who’d been with him for almost four years at that point, who took on the burden. hoseok would like to say that he’d been more helpful, or at least more supportive or grateful, but the reality was that he’d been too hurt and afraid to do much of anything but try to push them away. 

it was namjoon who went to the scholarship committee on his behalf, explained his situation and urged for leniency. it was yoongi who traded in his unpaid ta position under the best sound engineering professor at their university for extra shifts wherever he could find them, scrounging up enough money to buy hoseok more time. in the end, it took both of their efforts to save him. 

the committee kept his scholarship on a limited basis- he would have a portion of his tuition and housing paid for, along with a percentage of the medical costs of rehabilitation, but until he was fully recovered and dancing again, they wouldn’t cover everything. if, by the start of the next academic year, he still couldn’t dance, they would withdraw all financial support. but they wished him well.

“live with us,” yoongi argued. “you can’t afford even half of dorm living on your own, and i can’t afford my rent and yours. live with us, have the scholarship cover a portion of the rent, and we’ll use whatever we have leftover to cover your tuition. joon-ah’s looking for another job too, so we’ll be able to pay for the rehab.”

hoseok fought them, already well past defeated in his own mind and unwilling to drag them down with him, but they fought harder. he moved in with them, the others all helping settle him into the small apartment, and he spent the next four months sleeping on a mattress on the floor in yoongi’s room (because namjoon snored) and slowly working to get his body back on track. his mind took a little longer to recover, but the first day he was able to run for the full thirty minutes on the treadmill with no pain, he started to realize that he was getting better, that if he kept going, he’d be able to dance again.

by the time the spring semester ended, hoseok had regained full usage of his ankle again, though he had instructions to take it easy so he wouldn’t hurt it again. regardless, it was good enough that the committee assured him that as long as he had retained his skill as a dancer, they’d be happy to renew their full support. when hoseok went home- that is, to namjoon and yoongi’s apartment- he broke down for the first time since the injury.

namjoon found him crying on the floor in the hall and immediately panicked, thinking hoseok had reinjured himself, fallen or something and been unable to get up. he was on the phone with yoongi before he even reached hoseok, sounding close to tears as he asked if he should call an ambulance. hoseok stopped him before he could get too ahead of himself, but it was too late for yoongi, who was already off the phone and running home from work, yelling over his shoulder about a family emergency as he left.

the end of the day found the three of them piled in one big sniffly heap on hoseok’s floor mattress, namjoon and yoongi clinging to him even as they cursed him for scaring them, hoseok holding them just as tightly because he still hadn’t found the words to say thank you, you saved my life .

that was when hoseok realized he was well and truly in love with them, though it was one of those after-the-fact kinds of realizations that catches you off guard because how did i not know before?

he went home that summer to his parents and his sister and his dog, and he spent all three months missing seoul, missing namjoon and yoongi. when he finally went back in the fall, the first thing he did was find his way to their apartment. there, he gave his first real attempt.

at the time, having just realized he was in love with his two best friends, riding the high of summer and reunification, hoseok didn’t have the same self preservation he did now. there wasn’t the need for it back then, he didn’t know just how deep the feelings ran, he was hot-headed and freshly turned twenty and ready to confess his love and-

and yoongi and namjoon were dating. 

they hadn’t been before, not when he lived with them, not when he’d left. hell, he didn’t even know when it had happened because he certainly hadn’t heard. and the worst part? the worst part was that his plan was already set up.

namjoon and yoongi walked back into their apartment, hands intertwined and cheeks pink from laughter and the heat of seoul in late summer, and there was hoseok, a home-cooked meal set out on the table, flowers and candles decorating the room, two matching gifts he’d saved up for all summer resting delicately on the table. 

“seok-ah,” yoongi hummed happily, dragging namjoon after him so he could wrap himself up in hoseok’s arms without letting go. “you’re back.”

hoseok rocked him back and forth and went to bury himself in namjoon’s arms as well, happy and in love enough at the sight of them that it took him a second to notice their linked hands. “what’s this,” he asked with a laugh, nodding toward yoongi’s long, knobby fingers holding tight to namjoon’s careful hand. “you finally got joon-ah to fall for your hand-holding schemes?”

“ah,” namjoon blushed, rubbing behind his neck with his free hand as yoongi tugged him closer to his side. “hyung and i… we, um. we talked, and-”

“we’re dating,” yoongi interrupted, and namjoon smiled softly, his dimples peeking out as he looked down at his feet. hoseok felt like the world stopped turning for a second. 

“oh,” he forced out, trying not to stumble back. “oh.”

“yeah,” yoongi dismissed, “anyway, what’s all this?”

“it smells good,” namjoon praised. hoseok forced himself to smile for maybe the first time in his life.

“ah. nothing much. missed you guys, that’s all. got you both a present, too. as, um, as thank you. for last year.”

“you don’t need to thank us,” namjoon protested with a frown. “we would do it again, and we know you’d do it for us.”

hoseok’s smile softened a bit at that. “i’m not trying to magic up the money to pay you back yet, just… please, i want to thank you. you guys really… you really don’t know what you did for me. please, i want you to have these.”

they accepted reluctantly, letting go of each other’s hands in order to take the little boxes from him, their names scrawled on the lids. even though… even if things hadn’t gone according to plan, even if these weren’t the milestone confession gifts he’d planned for them to be, hoseok still wanted namjoon and yoongi to like them. 

yoongi, always a little impatient, opened his first. “seok,” he breathed, looking down at the delicate chain, “you can’t afford this.”

hoseok huffed indignantly. “i can and i did. put it on, please.”

namjoon was opening his too, and his quiet little sucked in breath made hoseok smile. namjoon moved slow and careful, holding the box in one hand and carefully pulling the bracelet out with the other. “can… can you put it on me?” he asked, looking down at hoseok with wide eyes. “it’s so pretty, it looks so delicate, i- i’m scared i’ll break it.”

“of course i can, joonie,” hoseok crooned, feeling warm and happy even now. that was namjoon’s effect. “give me your hand.”

yoongi was waiting to the side, holding his bracelet tightly with both hands and watching as hoseok snapped the little clasp closed on namjoon’s bracelet. “mine too,” he said through a pout, sliding in under namjoon’s outstretched arm and offering his opposite hand. “do mine.”

“ah, hyung, so polite,” hoseok teased, but it felt good to fasten his bracelet on too, like even if they were- even if they were dating and he was just there , he still had a part of them, and they still had a part of him. 

“namjoon-ah, let me see yours,” yoongi asked, reaching out for namjoon’s arm. hoseok smiled fondly as they both examined their new bracelets. arms held up side by side.

“they’re basically the same,” he informed them. yoongi was studying the little three jeweled charm on namjoon’s, while namjoon was tracing the silver crescent on yoongi’s. “the, uh, jewel thing has three. for- for the three of us.”

“you’re the yellow one,” namjoon murmured. hoseok smiled.

“yeah. the little citrine is me. it’s supposed to… energize you? i don’t know how crystals work,” he said with a laugh, fidgeting nervously. “it looked like, um. sunshine. so, yeah, and joonie, your birthstone is sapphire, and yoongi-hyung’s is aquamarine. that’s the dark blue one, and then the light one. um, sapphire helps with wisdom and insight, and aquamarine represents instinct and determination, it helps you speak your mind and… be creative or something like that.”

“yours pops,” yoongi said softly, looking close at the stones, two little blue gems, one yellow-gold. hoseok snorted a little at the irony. them, and him. 

“yeah. i’m just not a very blue person, i guess.” he reached out to tap the moon on namjoon’s wrist. “the moon is also you guys. if you flip them, hyung, yours says moonlight , joonie, yours says moonchild .”

“our songs from high school?” 

“yeah. they suit you both. like… you’re both little pieces of the moon.”

“and you’re the sunshine,” namjoon adds with a smile, touching the yellow stone softly. hoseok bit his lip and stepped back.

“as long as you’ll have me,” he chirped, doubling down on his smile as the other two looked up at him. 

“they’re beautiful, seok.” yoongi stepped in for another hug, and even though it hurt a little, hoseok couldn’t deny him.

“you should have one,” namjoon added, nuzzling his own way into the hug and somehow shrinking between their arms. “all three of us should have one.”

hoseok flushed red and cleared his throat. it wasn’t going how he’d intended, but. he wiggled his wrist free. namjoon and yoongi pulled back just enough to look at it. where yoongi and namjoon’s were silver, hoseok’s was gold, but it was the same delicate chain, the same cluster of tricolor gems. and in the place of a moon, there was a small golden sun. “since. since you always call me sunshine. it felt like it fit better.”

“it’s perfect.” namjoon tucked in close again.

“our sunshine,” yoongi mumbled, burrowing into hoseok’s collarbone. and hoseok was almost able to forget that his heart had just been broken a little.

 

3

 

hoseok had never felt jealous of yoongi or namjoon once they started dating. of course, there was longing sometimes, the occasional sadness that he couldn’t show them all the ways he loved them, even heartbreak at the beginning before he’d realized that nothing would change between them, but there had never been jealousy.

and really, why would there be? hoseok loved namjoon. hoseok loved yoongi. namjoon and yoongi loved each other and, in their own way, loved him. it wasn’t too much of a dilemma when it came down to it. what hoseok wanted, above and before his own desires, was for yoongi and namjoon to be happy, and they were. plus, who would he even be jealous of? yoongi for kissing namjoon? namjoon for kissing yoongi? hoseok wanted to kiss them both. 

if anything, what he felt when he saw them together (other than sometimes overwhelming want ) was happiness. he was happy that they had each other, that they were together the way they were. that was the thing with them- all three of them really, but perhaps more so namjoon and yoongi: they were kind of soulmates. as in, they fit together so perfectly that it had to have been curated by some higher power, there was no other explanation. 

so, even if hoseok didn’t fit with them in the same way (gold to their silver, yellow to their blues), he felt deep down content that they were where the universe needed them to be, yoongi leaned heavily against namjoon’s side, namjoon’s hand on the small of his back for support. 

hoseok had a list in his head (and on his phone, and scattered across various scraps of paper lost throughout the years) of all the things he loved about the two of them. their cute noses were pretty close to the top for both of them- not that hoseok had necessarily ranked his reasons- but another thing was the way they fit together.

hoseok really tried to rein in his feelings for them, at least to an amount that wouldn’t immediately make one of them uncomfortable, but, god , every time they did something that really emphasized the difference in their sizes, hoseok just about lost his mind.

like they way namjoon would come home from work on fridays, tired and heavy, and duck his head alllllll the way down to yoongi’s shoulder, hiding there like yoongi could solve all the problems in the world. he’d stay there for a second before lifting his head with a smile, kissing yoongi on the forehead and saying hi to hoseok, and for that second, all hoseok could think about was how big namjoon was and how small yoongi was.

there was no jealousy, but at times like these hoseok felt like he could understand lucifer’s fall from grace; the temptation to just do something was overwhelming at times. it was all so crystal clear in hoseok’s eyes, the way he could fit between them so perfectly, taller than yoongi but slimmer than both of them with their broad shoulders and big hands. and they were both so pretty , namjoon with his dimples and full lips, yoongi with his dark eyes and pout…

there was no jealousy, but some days hoseok just wanted to forget all the rules and fucking- god, he’d do anything, anything they wanted, if he could just touch-

he couldn’t. not yet anyway, though his fingers were twitching to reach out as he watched namjoon shuffle around the room in his workout gear, chest pulling at the fabric of the shirt and thighs testing the limits of his shorts. his clothes were damp with sweat, something hoseok regularly found disgusting on other people, but whenever namjoon showed up after a workout hoseok found himself wanting to peel his clothes off and lick the sweat from his body until he was trembling and begging for-

damn it. hoseok tried to rein himself in, turning his gaze to yoongi instead, but if anything he just made it worse. if namjoon looked exceedingly big today, yoongi looked exceptionally small. ironically, he was also wearing namjoon’s clothes, but everywhere namjoon filled his out, yoongi was drowning in them. he shuffled around pressed to namjoon’s back, arms tight around namjoon’s abs, but the lack of distance just emphasized the centimeters between them. namjoon’s clothes were so big on yoongi, the t-shirt falling to mid-thigh, the pants pooling around his feet, and the way he slumped against namjoon made him look half his size. hoseok was going feral.

“when will you guys just let me fuck you .” 

yoongi managed to turn his head to look at hoseok without detaching himself from namjoon. namjoon was preoccupied downing a second bottle of water (his own reusable one, of course, refilled). “when will you stop asking to fuck us everytime you see joon-ah sweaty, you perv,” he shot back, more on reflex than any actual effort. hoseok sighed dramatically and slumped against the couch.

“tell him to put his tits away and maybe i’ll stop.”

“they’re not,” namjoon spluttered, nearly snorting water through his nose, “t-tits.”

“they’re tits, babe,” yoongi told him, reaching up one sneaky hand to squeeze one of namjoon’s defined pecs and making him jump. hoseok had to bite his lip and look away before he got a boner and started begging for real. 

“i hate you guys,” namjoon muttered, but he let yoongi keep his hand in place. 

“the offer stands,” hoseok announced, adjusting himself quickly in his pants before yoongi and namjoon came over to the couch. “i’ll fuck one of you, both of you. joonie, you need someone to hold your other tit, it’ll get cold.”

yoongi sent him a weak glare over namjoon’s shoulder and brought his other hand up to namjoon’s empty pec. namjoon was bright pink, but he just sighed. hoseok shrugged, not discouraged.

“now who’s going to hold your hands while hyung has his full? you need me.”

yoongi started to reach for namjoon’s hands before realizing he’d have to let go of his chest first. he stopped with a pout. “who’s to say he wants to hold your hands anyway,” he argued. it was a weak argument, especially since namjoon was already holding both hands out for hoseok to grab. he did so with a smile and pressed a kiss to the center of each palm. 

“everyone wants to hold my hands,” hoseok reminded yoongi, “i’m the best at it.”

“cocky bastard,” yoongi grumbled, but when he had to separate himself from namjoon as they sat in order to not be crushed, he squeezed his hand between hoseok and namjoon’s, tangling all their fingers together in one big mess. hoseok smiled at it but didn’t say a word. 

it had been several years since saying something like that would have been strange or awkward in their friend group, but as much as it had been turned into a fairly normal occurrence, hoseok didn’t know if namjoon and yoongi took it at all seriously. he wondered if they knew that he meant it whenever he asked, whenever he complimented them or threw them some cheesy pick-up line and a wink. he hoped that, at least deep down, they had an inkling. 

“we should go out,” hoseok hummed, playing with namjoon and yoongi’s fingers. “it’s been a while since we did anything just the three of us.”

“we do show night every week,” yoongi pointed out. 

“i mean out ,” hoseok whined, tugging at their intertwined hands. “we always hang out here. i wanna go eat food or go to a cafe or something.”

“i’ll go with you, hoseokie,” namjoon agreed easily, turning his hand over pliantly in hoseok’s. “there’s a new book cafe i want to see. we could stop by the shops on the way, i think there’s a place with clothes you’d like.”

hoseok looked up excitedly, pulling their joint hands up to his chest. “really! when?”

namjoon shrugged with a smile, cheeks dimpling prettily. “whenever. after work someday or on a weekend. whenever you want.”

“yah, what about me,” yoongi huffed, tossing himself carelessly over their laps. “you can’t leave me behind.”

“oh, but hyung, we have movie nights with you every week,” hoseok said with a pout. 

“and we live together,” namjoon added, sighing sadly, “don’t we see each other enough?”

yoongi gasped dramatically, tearing his hand free from their joint hold. “you two are monsters,” he said sternly, tucking himself in closer to their laps. “tell me when you’re going. i’m coming too.”

“ah, hyung, you can’t live without us,” namjoon teased, too fond to garner any response. 

hoseok felt better now, more in control and less like he was going to jump his best friends. and he was going out with them soon. it had been a while, but he always loved going out with the two of them. inside yoongi and namjoon’s apartment, they fell into their habits as easily as breathing. when they went out, it felt refreshing, a reminder that their bond didn’t only exist inside the four familiar walls. sometimes hoseok could even pretend it was a real date. 

“whatever,” yoongi mumbled, his words muffled into hoseok’s thigh. “you two can’t live without me either. who would make you food?”

“hey,” hoseok protested, “i’m a good cook. plus, jin-hyung can’t say no to joonie’s puppy eyes, you know that.”

“mm, you’re right.” yoongi frowned thoughtfully for a moment before narrowing his eyes up at them. “what am i here for then?”

“cuddles,” hoseok stated matter of factly, “and turning down all of my solicitations.”

“yeah, yeah, i’m sure your stroke game is life changing,” yoongi rumbled, rolling his eyes playfully, “but don’t worry about the two of us, we’re doing just fine. if you’re that eager, go find someone who needs some dick blessings in their life.”

“hyung,” hoseok whined, crinkling his nose as namjoon huffed a laugh, “why do you always make things so uncomfortable. besides, i only offer dick blessings to people i love, i can’t just go around giving my life-changing stroke game to anyone who asks for it.”

“hyung, would you say my stroke game is life-changing?” namjoon asked curiously. “what does life-changing stroke game even entail?” 

“revolutionary, babe,” yoongi responded lazily, at the same time as hoseok answered with a “let me fuck you and you’ll find out.”

that earned him a smack on his head from yoongi, but namjoon just hummed thoughtfully. “do you think it’s a skill or a stamina thing? like, would one mind blowing orgasm be life-changing? or, like, so many orgasms back to back that it doesn’t even matter if they’re great, you know what i mean? or is it even physical? i feel like life-changing is a pretty big claim, like, philosophically speaking. is it more about the interpersonal connection, or maybe the conversation?”

those were valid questions. hoseok had one answer. “ah, joonie,” he purred, “life-changing is sleeping with me . whatever’s on your list, i’ll check it. promise you it doesn’t get better than this.”

“one of these days, we’re gonna let you fuck us just so we can see if you really put your money where your mouth is,” yoongi said with a pointed jab of his elbow into hoseok’s side. hoseok squealed but didn’t squirm too much, not wanting to dislodge yoongi’s resting head.

“promise it is,” hoseok said confidently. “i’ll prove it whenever you want.”

namjoon pouted. “you’re not allowed to fuck yoongi-hyung,” he complained. “if your stroke game is that good and he leaves me, i’ll cry.”

“oh no, baby,” hoseok cooed, tugging namjoon in close and peppering his soft face with kisses. “you know hyung would never leave you for some dick. besides, i would want both of you. the three of us are my favorite, can’t give that up.”

it was getting ridiculous, hoseok thought, how much he said to them every day, and how little they heard.

 

4

 

hoseok loved going clubbing with jimin and taehyung. of all his friends, they were the best to go with: jungkook preferred staying in or going somewhere quiet, seokjin liked going out but didn’t like trying to keep up with the three of them dancing so he only went if someone else would come, and namjoon and yoongi just didn’t like clubs at all, neither of them being particularly fond of dancing or sitting at a bar where they couldn’t hear themselves think. jimin and taehyung and hoseok loved those things, and they’d eventually become an unofficial clubbing team, always ready whenever any of them texted in their group chat. 

it helped too that jimin and taehyung knew what hoseok liked most about clubbing. they, like all of their friends, knew about hoseok’s situation- the whole i’m in love with my best friends and i’m ready to wait forever until they love me back thing. the only people who didn’t know, it seemed, were yoongi and namjoon themselves. it was fine, hoseok wasn’t embarrassed by it (anymore, at least). it had taken some time for the others to really get it, but they’d accepted it surprisingly easily. 

the only thing was that, as willing as hoseok was to wait for them to realize his feelings, he still had needs . it was something he’d had trouble with at first- how could he want other people, even just sexually, when he was in love with yoongi and namjoon already? it had taken him some time to not see it as a betrayal, but eventually (with the help of taehyung, actually), he’d realized it was okay. 

he was in love with them and he was willing to wait for them for as long as necessary, but part of the reason he was okay with waiting was because they already loved him. whether or not it was in the way he wanted most, they already loved him and he got to have that. what he didn’t have with them, what they couldn’t give him, was… sex. and he needed that, to some extent. so eventually, he’d come to terms with that, accepted that he could hook up with people, he could enjoy it, he just wasn’t emotionally able to want more.

which is where clubs came in; hoseok had an excuse to dress hot, go out, have fun. find someone attractive, someone who wanted one night and nothing more, and take them home. that was why he was there tonight, jimin and taehyung by his side, all three of them dressed a bit like sin, alcohol warming their skin.

“they still won’t let you fuck them?” taehyung asked, pouting heavily. jimin elbowed him with a pointed glare, but hoseok just laughed it off.
“not yet. maybe next time.”

“doesn’t matter,” jimin insisted, handing them another round of shots. “you’ll find someone hot tonight. it’s their loss anyways.”

they drank until they were loose-limbed and giggly, and then they took the dance floor by storm. the three of them were all dancers, so it wasn’t too long before people were slipping into their space to join them. hoseok wasn’t usually too picky considering he was just finding someone to sleep with, nothing more, but he liked to find people that at least sparked some bit attraction, some hint of chemistry that would build into hopefully great sex and then fizzle out quickly after. tonight, no one seemed to fit that. 

it happened sometimes, that hoseok would go out, ready and wanting someone to fuck, but once he was out… he just wanted to go home. home to them. tonight was one of those nights. 

a few hours and drinks and many rejected suitors later, hoseok found himself leaving, shooting jimin and taehyung a text to let them know. his screen was too blurry to find the uber app so he just waved over a cab instead and told the driver where to go, ignoring his seat belt in exchange for lying down across the back seat. 

he wondered what yoongi and namjoon were up to. it was late, nearly three in the morning, but yoongi at least was a notorious night owl and namjoon often indulged him when he didn’t have work in the morning. hoseok wondered if they were watching a show- he pouted- without him.

ten years , he reflected silently, staring at the dark ceiling of the cab. ten years. how long will it take them to love me back?

hoseok sat up with a start as the cab stopped, pulling up to the sidewalk. he thumbed through his wallet, handed the driver the money (with a generous tip), and stumbled out of the car. the building entrance was well lit, thankfully, and hoseok leaned against the wall, squinting at the labeled buzzers by the door. he was pretty sure he pressed the right one.

a crackly “hello?” sounded after a few insistent pushes, and hoseok smiled.

“hyung,” hoseok slurred happily. “hii.”

it was silent for a moment, and then “seok?”

“let me up, hyungie,” hoseok pouted, rattling the door. 

“i- yeah. come on up.”

the door buzzed open, surprising hoseok as he pulled against it and nearly fell back at the sudden lack of resistance. giggling, he stumbled in, pressed the elevator button and leaned back against the opposite wall, eyes closing as he waited. he hadn’t meant to come here. it happened sometimes though.

the elevator opened with a ping! and hoseok opened his eyes to see a sleepy namjoon in slippers and a cardigan stepping out of the elevator. 

“namjoonie! namjoonie, pretty namjoonie, i love you.” hoseok leaned easily into namjoon’s broad chest, sighing when namjoon’s arms wrapped around him and pulled him closer.

“i know, hoseokie,” namjoon murmured, voice thick with sleep. “come on, let’s go up.”

“mmkay. love hyung, too. missed you.”

namjoon maneuvered them into the elevator, letting hoseok cling to him and using his own grip on hoseok to keep him standing. “it’s late, seokie,” namjoon mumbled, his voice low and rumbly where hoseok’s head was tucked against his chest. “were you out with taehyung and jiminie?”

hoseok hummed and nodded. the elevator felt like it was swaying under his feet a bit as they ascended. “had fun, danced a lot.” he turned his head to bury his nose in the crook of namjoon’s neck, breathing in the soft warm scent of tea and sandalwood and soap. “missed you.”

“you were just here yesterday for show night,” namjoon commented, petting hoseok’s hair sleepily. “you missed us that much?”

hoseok nodded. paused. “always miss you. love you.”

“i know, sunshine,” namjoon murmured, shifting his hold as the elevator came to a smooth stop. “come on, hyung’s making you some food before you sleep.”

hoseok let himself be half-carried into namjoon and yoongi’s apartment. he nearly fell over trying to get out of his shoes, but namjoon leaned him carefully against the door and helped him out of them. yoongi was pouring soup from a little pot into a bowl, and he waved hoseok over to the table where there was a big glass of water and two pills. 

“miso,” yoongi told him, setting the hot soup in front of him with a spoon. “take the medicine first, let the soup cool down a bit.”

“he was out with the kids,” namjoon informed yoongi as hoseok dutifully drank down some water and swallowed the pills. the water alone already felt like heaven.

“doesn’t he go out with them to get laid?” yoongi asked brusquely, sitting across from hoseok at the table. namjoon took another seat. “what’s he doing here?”

“said he missed us.”

hoseok tried to swallow down the strange sadness that was seeping in and occupied himself with the soup instead. it was too hot still, but it gave him an excuse to duck his head to blow on it, and he could blink away the sudden stinging in his eyes easier. 

“he always shows up here when he’s drunk. you think he’s lonely?”

“hyung,” namjoon scolded quietly, “that’s not nice. hoseokie’s always allowed here. and besides, it’s not like we don’t miss him too.”

“ah, i didn’t mean it like that,”yoongi grumbled apologetically. “you know i’d never tell him to leave. i’m glad he comes here when he’s drunk instead of… i don’t know. home with some stranger.” 

namjoon hummed in agreement and they fell silent again as hoseok finished the soup, the light tofu and seaweed not upsetting his stomach as he ate. he tried to shake the uneasy feeling, the feeling of having done something wrong, but when he pushed the bowl away and finished his water, the feeling was still there and he couldn’t look namjoon or yoongi in the eyes.

instead, a little steadier on his feet now, he followed them as they led him to the bathroom and gave him some clothes to change into. he washed up silently and as diligently as he could with hazy eyes and vertigo and didn’t let himself look in the mirror as he changed his clothes and stumbled out, not wanting to look at the pitiful sadness no doubt obvious in his eyes.

hoseok started towards yoongi and namjoon’s bedroom before stopping, leaning on the wall as he hesitated. he shouldn’t. even drunk, he knew he shouldn’t. sometimes when he showed up he’d drunk too much to stop himself, but, right now, he knew he shouldn’t. 

god, it was times like these where he was suddenly forced back into perspective. he always shows up here when he’s drunk. you think he’s lonely? was he? he had his friends, his family, the men he loved. but was he lonely still? 

he thought about his own apartment, clean and comfortable and filled with things he loved. he thought about his big bed and the skincare routine neatly organized on his bathroom counter. and yet he’d come here, here to yoongi and namjoon who had to wake up in the middle of the night to let him up. yoongi and namjoon who had to make him food and give him medicine and dress him. 

how long will it take, he asked himself again. how long can i wait

they were all he wanted, yeah. but how long could he survive getting his heart broken everyday? and how long… how long could he make yoongi and namjoon subject to it- to his daily confessions and shameless propositions, to his endless flirtations, to his uninvited, drunken presence every few weeks, stumbling into their home and pretending they could love him the same.

it was too late to go home, but hoseok managed to force himself to turn around and stagger back to the living room. the apartment was chilly and there was no blanket out, but hoseok didn’t really care. he fell onto the couch and barely summoned the energy to arrange himself into a slightly more comfortable position, eyes already slipping closed. 

he couldn’t fall asleep, uncomfortably cold, but his consciousness was slipping a bit, in and out as his body and his mind warred between sleep and warmth. it could have been five minutes or thirty before light suddenly spilled from down the hall and the sound of footsteps approached, a quiet voice saying “-just gonna check on him… doesn’t usually take this long.”

there was a knock on a door, a “seok? you okay?” followed by the door opening. a few seconds later, the footstep started again, coming closer until hoseok heard them come to a stop by the couch. he kept his eyes closed, tried to still his shivering. 

“seok,” the voice called softly, sounding close by. “wake up, what are you doing out here? seokie, come on. it’s cold, sunshine, you’re shaking.”

a big calloused hand landed on hoseok’s arm and he couldn’t help but curl closer to it. yoongi shook him a little and hoseok forced his eyes to crack open. even in the dark, yoongi was so pretty. he squeezed his eyes shut again.

“come on,” yoongi urged quietly, “don’t make me get joon-ah out here to carry you, he’s already half asleep.”

“hyung could carry me,” hoseok mumbled. “i’m light.”

“maybe,” yoongi conceded, “but i certainly won’t. up, let’s go before you freeze to death on my couch.”

and there was only so much hoseok could resist anyway, it wasn’t like he wanted to be sleeping on the couch. he got up and leaned heavily against yoongi as they walked, but yoongi didn’t complain, just helped him into bed and let him wiggle until he was curled into namjoon’s side and namjoon woke up enough to wrap a warm arm around him. 

yoongi turned off the hall light and shut the bedroom door again before slipping into bed himself and pulling the covers up over all of them. hoseok exhaled heavily as the heat of yoongi’s body pressed up behind him, encompassing him in blissful warmth. there was nothing fighting off his exhaustion anymore, and the anchored claws of sleep were finally dragging him quickly down, but before he could slip fully into unconsciousness, he burrowed closer to namjoon, yoongi’s arms still secure around his waist.

“joonie,” he whispered, eyes closed, “hyung. i love you two.”

“we know, sunshine,”  yoongi responded, just as quiet. “we love you too.”

namjoon hummed softly in agreement, clearly barely awake. “love you,” he managed, and it was enough for hoseok to surrender fully to the dreamless darkness that dragged him under.

 

5

 

sometimes, though he knew they didn’t see them as such, hoseok liked to take namjoon and yoongi out on dates. it didn’t matter much what they labelled them- friend dates, hangouts, whatever- hoseok always felt proud when he took them out to do something they loved, especially when they got dressed up for it. there was something about it that he just loved, because even if they weren’t really his , when they went out like that, people always knew they were together. 

part of it was definitely the fact that namjoon and yoongi weren’t very outwardly affectionate people, so their actual relationship was rarely on display, while hoseok was very touchy anyways, which only highlighted his closeness with them to the outside eye. whatever it was, hoseok loved the way they were seen as a unit instead of a couple and their friend. more than that, though, he just loved spending time with them.

yoongi was always the hardest to convince to go out (he and namjoon barely went on dates themselves, hoseok was certain they never would if he didn’t make them), but he was the most serious about it when they did. namjoon and hoseok were both okay with going out just for the sake of going out, even if namjoon sometimes got too immersed inside himself and forgot that an ‘out’ even existed, but yoongi liked having a plan.

namjoon liked letting things happen as they occurred, letting things flow “organically,” while hoseok was just always ready for anything, but yoongi wanted to know what was happening when, liked having a purpose behind things. namjoon and hoseok could easily kill a few hours wandering around the city looking for something to do, but if those were the plans, yoongi couldn’t be bothered.

“we can walk around,” he’d say, “as part of the plan. but only if we already know what we’re doing after.”

so they allotted time for strolling because namjoon liked to, and they made dinner reservations after so they had somewhere to be, and then namjoon and hoseok had all of dinner to come up with something to do after and convince yoongi that it was better than going home.

it didn’t really take much convincing usually; yoongi was more soft-hearted than he liked to admit, and if hoseok and namjoon really wanted to go do something (or even go do nothing, but do it out of the house), yoongi would cave. hoseok was pretty sure they all felt that same urge for each other- whatever would make the others happy, that’s what they wanted. that was why hoseok was happy to never truly confess, to keep things the same as they’d always been, because his happiness came from yoongi and namjoon’s. as long as they were happy, he was satisfied.

tonight was one of those nights that hoseok managed to get yoongi into a plum colored dress shirt and black skinny jeans with no rips (fancy, for yoongi). namjoon was a bit easier, his closet rivaling hoseok’s in terms of pure volume. he wore a pair of slacks that clung to his thighs and made his legs look unfairly long and, tucked neatly into the waist, a dark blue silk shirt that was distractingly almost sheer, like if the light hit it at the right angle you’d be able to see every dip and divot of his chest underneath. 

hoseok was in white pants and a white shirt, a matching blazer open on top. to make it more casual, he’d unbuttoned the first few shirt buttons and added a thick silver chain that sat close to his throat, and he’d traded dress shoes out for white leather sneakers, crisp and clean but decidedly less formal. despite that, he still stood out next to namjoon and yoongi in their dark attire.

as much as hoseok liked to stand out, liked it when people looked at him, or his clothes, or his hair, sometimes he wished he blended in a little more, if only so that when he was out with namjoon and yoongi, they could look... cohesive, maybe?

hoseok wasn't really sure what he wanted, he just liked it when the divide between them was less obvious. right now, in stark white, head to toe, he stood out like a fish on land.

"seokie," namjoon said, tugging only semi-awkwardly at the lapel of hoseok's jacket, "you look hot."

well. it was okay to stand out, hoseok decided. he'd be okay.

"joon-ah," yoongi called from the bathroom, a frustrated whine in his voice, "help me."

"coming, hyung." hoseok followed namjoon down the hall and propped himself in the doorway to watch. yoongi had hair gel on his fingers, but his hair looked fluffy and messy, tufted up around his head a little like cat ears. hoseok bit back a laugh, but his smile earned him a glare through the mirror.

"i can't get it to... do the thing," yoongi mumbled, annoyed and maybe a little embarrassed if the pink on his cheeks and neck was any indication. "help me."

and, because yoongi's pout was impossible to resist and he didn't really like asking for help, which meant he really wanted his hair to do the thing, namjoon swiped the gel from his fingers and sat yoongi down on the toilet lid with a little grin

"sit still, love," he murmured, and yoongi closed his eyes, the little pout on his lips fading slightly as namjoon began to work. hoseok's heart hurt a little as he watched- namjoon wasn't usually verbal with his affection in the presence of others; hoseok definitely saw it more than most, but it was still unusual. hoseok wished...

he didn't need anything more. namjoon's appraising hums and the sound of the comb brushing through yoongi's hair occupied the silence. hoseok watched as namjoon tamed yoongi's fluffy hair, parting it and brushing it back from his forehead, slicking it back so his undercut was showing. a few strands fell down into yoongi's eye, but he stopped namjoon from fixing them with a tug on his wrist.

he looked so handsome, hoseok thought, so achingly beautiful. namjoon too, bent over to fix his lover’s hair, his sleeves pushed up to his elbows and his arms flexing at the fabric as he moved.

looking at them, hoseok thought that this was probably enough. as long as he got to see them like this... that was enough.

it took a little longer for them to be ready to go, but (since they had a plan, yoongi reminded them smugly) it didn't take long to actually get to the... date. outing. evening out with the boys.

today was a bit of a special occasion, if only to hoseok himself. seven years ago, give or take a few days, hoseok had realized he'd fallen in love with them. they didn't know that of course, but they were still willing to dress up when he asked them too, still willing to indulge him when he said he wanted a nice night out with his best friends. it made him happy.

he didn't always celebrate this... anniversary, as it were, on the same day- that would be a little suspicious, he thought, if every year, on the same day, hoseok made them all dress up and go to a fancy restaurant for no apparent reason- but at some point between the anniversaries of the day he'd realized his feelings and the day he'd almost confessed, he managed to pull something together.

this time, it felt a little special. well, it always felt special, but something felt different. hoseok wasn't sure why until namjoon spoke up.

"you know, it's been ten years now."

"hmm?" yoongi asked, busy looking at the wine list with a furrowed brow. hoseok handed him the cocktail menu instead, pointing to the list of liquors at the bottom.

"ten years since we met," namjoon clarified. "the three of us, at least. still."

"that's a long time," murmured yoongi after a second. he looked up at namjoon, blinked over to hoseok. "can't believe i've put up with you two so long."

hoseok didn't bother shooting back an insult or quick rebuttal, still processing namjoon's observation. ten years. that was a long time. he wondered briefly if there had ever been a time in those ten years that he hadn't been in love with them, even if he didn't know it. it seemed unlikely.

"you've done more than just put up with us," namjoon teased, smirking as yoongi huffed and buried himself back in the menu. "it's too late to pretend you don't like us anymore, hyung, we know you're soft now."

yoongi muttered something that sounded like "i've never been soft in my life," and namjoon burst into a delightful giggle that snapped hoseok out of his thoughts.

"hyung, you must be tiny if you've been hard this whole time and i've never noticed," hoseok cooed. yoongi spluttered as namjoon laughed even harder.

"we are in-" yoongi tried to slap hoseok with the menu, but namjoon's weight on his side made it hard to reach- "a restaurant! i'm calling both of your moms tomorrow, this is disgraceful. you should be ashamed." his face was bright pink, nice and on display with his hair pushed back, the dim lights of the restaurant making the red look darker. there was a soft spot of light on his cheek where the candle on the table reflected off his skin. hoseok wanted to kiss it.

"you didn't deny it," hoseok teased, smirking dangerously across the table as yoongi just kept getting redder. "that's okay, hyung, i'm sure it's cute."

he was toeing a dangerous line tonight, he knew that, but it was hard to control himself when namjoon and yoongi were sitting across from him looking like that , when they'd been together, the three of them, for ten years, when they'd been inseparable since. it was always hard, but it felt like every day, hoseok got weaker, less able to resist.

namjoon pulled a blushing yoongi into his side and kissed his temple, lips lingering for a second before he pulled back, still smiling. "pick something to eat," he encouraged, saving yoongi from any more teasing (saving hoseok from thinking any more about yoongi's blush, about yoongi's cute little-).

"i'm paying," hoseok said, finally looking down at his own menu in an attempt to distract himself.

"no, seok, let us pay-" namjoon tried to protest, but hoseok cut him off, meeting his eyes firmly.

"please. as a thank you for taking me in ten years ago."

"we didn't do anything," yoongi argued.

"you taught me how to rap-"

"you taught yourself how to rap, bastard."

"you helped me when i got injured-"

"that was in university."

"you were my first real friends," hoseok continued, glaring at yoongi. yoongi shut up. “you… you gave me a home in seoul, you made it somewhere i could stay. somewhere i wanted to stay. and you kept taking care of me since. so let me thank you. please.”

yoongi’s jaw was clenched, his eyes sharp in that glare he got when he wanted to argue but was holding himself back. namjoon had the softest smile on his face, just at the corners of his lips, and his eyes looked warm warm warm. “hoseok-ah,” he said, his deep voice as comforting and warm as ever, “you’ve taken care of us too. we all take care of each other. that’s how we’ve made it this far. you can thank us today. we’ll thank you next time, okay?”

hoseok bit his lip and nodded. yoongi was still silent, that angry look on his face (angry at himself, usually, for not being able to put words to his thoughts) (hoseok knew the feeling). “next time,” hoseok promised, smiling a bit to lighten the mood. “yoongi-hyung can plan it.”

namjoon groaned good-naturedly. “if hyung has to plan a date, we’ll ever get around to it.”

date , hoseok repeated victoriously in his mind. “then i’ll just have to keep thanking you.” 

“seok-ah.” yoongi’s voice was a little quiet, a little harsh. namjoon and hoseok both turned to him, smiles fading a bit at the serious look on his face. hoseok felt his heart soften at the upset look on yoongi’s face. “you never owe us anything.” yoongi spoke like he was trying to win a debate, forceful and urgent. “when you need anything, we’ll give it. you never have to thank us for it. you- you’re ours. for always.”

ours, ours ours. hoseok blinked. and again. theirs. he managed a nod, and yoongi nodded tersely back, looking like there were a thousand more things he’d like to say if he only had the words. hoseok had a thousand things to say too. if he only had the courage.

i love you. i love you i love you i love you . a thousand times.

 

6

 

it was… surprisingly anticlimactic when it happened.

hoseok should have seen it coming, really, should have known there was a limit to how long he could pretend (or rather, hide), but for some reason he’d failed to predict this. this being… their normal routine. nothing out of the ordinary. and really, what could he have done? even if he’d seen it coming, how could he have changed anything?

falling. it was the price he paid for walking a tightrope for so long. he was bound to fall someday, he knew that. he just didn’t know it would be like this.

how many times had he touched them? hugged them, leaned into them, stroked their hair, scratched their backs? how many times had he squeezed their cheeks together and peppered kisses over the soft skin of their faces until they were pink and giggly? how many times had he pet their arms until they fell asleep in his, or held them when they cried, or slapped their arms or chest when he was doubled over in laughter?

after ten years, there was no keeping track. too many times. so many times it had become hard to remember they had limits, lines. lines that shouldn’t be crossed. lines that hoseok was always distantly aware of, lines that became little strings around his heart, pulling him back when he got too careless.

maybe the strings snapped, maybe the lines blurred too much, maybe hoseok had closed his eyes and missed the signs. he didn’t know. all he knew right now was that he was kissing namjoon. he was kissing namjoon on the lips. 

there was a line somewhere behind him, that much he knew for sure.

it hadn’t been intentional, hoseok hadn’t meant to kiss namjoon on the lips. that wasn’t something they did. it was just a friday like any other friday, yoongi and namjoon and hoseok curled together on the couch watching a show like they always did, snacks scattered across the coffee table, the last rays of sun slowly filtering through the window.

namjoon said something silly, something nerdy about an unimportant subplot of the show, just because he had the knowledge in his head and he was never really good at stopping himself from sharing whatever came up in his big, big brain. it was adorable and endearing and somehow also obnoxiously hot because how could one person have so much information stored in their brain?

namjoon had said something, yoongi had looked at him fondly, listening to his unintentional lecture, and hoseok had leaned forward and kissed him.

maybe he'd been aiming for his dimple, that was a tried and true spot he loved to kiss and often did, or maybe the corner of his jaw or the top of his cheekbone, close enough to make namjoon's one eye squint shut on instinct as hoseok's nose almost brushed his eyelashes.

or maybe he'd been aiming for namjoon's mouth all along. maybe his heart had shut down the rest of him for one brave, reckless second, just long enough to make it too late to correct.

his lips met namjoon's, pressed hard against him for a second, two, and then he froze, pulled back with a gasp.

namjoon was staring at him, eyes wide, lips parted. yoongi was staring too, just as surprised as if he'd been kissed himself. hoseok felt like he was choking on his own heartbeat, his pulse thick in his throat, making it hard to swallow, hard to breathe.

he'd kissed namjoon. and he wanted to do it again. he wanted to do it again and never stop kissing him until the air vanished from his lungs and he was left gasping. he wanted to do it again and never stop until he was kissing yoongi, until he'd tasted them both, felt them under him, poured every ounce of want and devotion and admiration and love he'd ever felt into their very souls.

fuck.

they weren't saying anything, and hoseok knew he should laugh it off, knew he should smile and pinch namjoon's cheek and say something like "you lucky dog, you're welcome, i don't let just anyone kiss me," or "all you had to do was ask, namjoonie." but he couldn't. he couldn't.

hoseok was many things, a coward maybe among them, but he wasn't a liar.

he couldn't shrug it off with a joke. he couldn't apologize. he couldn't regret it, even though he was pretty sure he'd just ruined the rest of his life by having just one taste of everything he'd ever wanted and maybe never getting to taste it again.

"i love you." it escaped him the same way the kiss had, thoughtless and hasty and rash, and just like the kiss, he couldn't take it back. not when he was looking into namjoon's eyes as he said it, not when his whole existence was reduced down to that one truth.

it was suffocating. but at the same time, it felt like maybe hoseok had been suffocating for years. maybe this was just what it felt like to finally breathe.

"i love you." he said it to yoongi, who was staring at him dumbly. when hoseok swallowed, his mouth was dry. "i didn't mean to do that. or- or say that. but i do."

"love- love us how," yoongi asked, voice just as parched as hoseok felt. "you just kissed namjoon."

hoseok blinked at him, blinked back up at namjoon, whose eyes were still reflecting the gears turning in his head. "l-love you like that. love you like- like i want to kiss namjoon again. like i want to kiss you. like... like that. like i've loved you for a long time."

"a long time," yoongi repeated, his face as blank as his voice. hoseok wondered if the prickling on his skin was normal, if the way he felt like he was slowly catching fire was to be expected. "how... how long is a long time."

"how long have i known you." it was a question, but it wasn't really. it didn't need an answer. it didn't matter how long he'd known them, how long they'd known him. hoseok had loved them always, since the first star exploded into existence in the dark emptiness of the universe. that was how long hoseok had loved them. and he'd love them until the very last star fizzled out.

yoongi's mouth opened and closed like he was trying to speak, like there was something he needed to say that just wasn't solidifying in his mind. namjoon beat him to it.

"i love you too."

yoongi's head snapped back to him so fast it looked painful, his mouth dropping open, his eyes circling wide. hoseok probably looked the same. namjoon was frowning slowly, eyes unfocused as he concentrated on his words instead.

"i think maybe just as long. it’s… it’s hard to pinpoint because i think it’s been forever. i think i’ve always felt the same, and i think i loved you before i knew- before i knew what love was. hyung and i… we realized it because we lived together, because we were alone together, but… but it’s the same, i think. i think it’s the same as what i feel for you.”

hoseok was dizzy. namjoon’s lips that he’d just kissed were saying the words he’d been longing to hear for his whole life, even before he knew it. he slowly turned to yoongi, who looked like he hadn’t blinked in a full minute.

“and you, hyung?” he managed, voice trembling even as he tried to keep it light. “if i kiss you, will you love me too?”

“i-” yoongi shook his head helplessly, eyes still wide and unblinking. “i already do.”

hoseok pinched himself and yoongi startled when he squeaked at the pain. “sorry,” he mumbled, feeling dizzy suddenly, “had to make sure.”

yoongi stared at him for all of two seconds before slapping him on the arm, hard. hoseok jolted but did nothing to stop it as one slap became a torrent of sloppy hits, yoongi sitting up on his knees just to hit him. namjoon snapped out of it enough to hook an arm around yoongi’s waist and try to pull him back, but yoongi leaned deeper into it, slaps landing heavy on hoseok’s arms, shoulders, chest, until he suddenly ran out of steam, hands stilling at hoseok’s collarbones, fisting his shirt. yoongi drooped forward silently, head ducked and shoulders heaving, and it took a confused second before namjoon and hoseok realized he was crying.

“hyung-” hoseok slipped off the couch and kneeled to the ground in front of it, in front of namjoon and yoongi. from below he could see the way yoongi’s dark eyes were squeezed shut, the way his teeth bit down harshly on his bottom lip to keep himself quiet, the way his tears rolled down to the roundest parts of his cheeks before falling down to his knees. “hyung.”

hoseok reached up a hand to yoongi’s face at the same time that namjoon used the arm around yoongi’s waist to pull him closer to his chest. yoongi scrubbed at his eyes with the heels of his hands, sniffling loud, and hoseok tried his best to not follow suit, his own emotions threatening to overwhelm him. ten years worth of love and fear and pining. he was so full with it, he didn’t even know if he could let it go anymore, if there would be anything left of him after.

“sweetheart,” namjoon whispered, a bit hoarse but still soothing. his hand rubbed small circles on the center of yoongi’s chest. “you’re okay, it’s all okay. just breathe with us, love, it’s all okay.”

hoseok found himself listening even though the words were for yoongi, focusing on his breath instead of on the way he was feeling too much all at once. yoongi’s shuddering gasps slowed and steadied, sniffs growing less frequent, and hoseok mirrored the rise and fall of his chest until he felt like he could think again.

“what does this mean?” he asked, voice small. “i’ve been… for ten years, i’ve been trying to, i don’t know. woo you? but i never thought…”

“what do you want it to mean?” namjoon asked after a second, hand still circling yoongi’s sternum gently. hoseok’s eyes followed the motion. 

“i want… i want what i’ve always wanted,” he answered. “i want you two. in any way. in every way. however i can have you.”

“however you want,” yoongi responded, raspy and low. “you can have us however you want. tell him.” the last part was directed at namjoon, who nodded in agreement, one hand reaching out and only hesitating for a second before turning hoseok’s palm over and threading their fingers. 

“you can have us however you want,” namjoon echoed, sure and steady. “any way. every way.”

hoseok whimpered, squeezing namjoon’s hand tight, reaching wildly for yoongi’s too. it all felt real, suddenly, so real. his eyes stung. “can i- can i kiss you? for real. please.”

he barely had time to finish before yoongi was falling out of namjoon’s lap and into his, his big, cold hands cupping hoseok’s face and pulling him into a harsh, dizzying kiss. 

hoseok heard namjoon suck in a breath from the couch above them, but he was distracted by the sudden force of yoongi- yoongi on his lap, yoongi holding him close, yoongi kissing him deep. yoongi always ran cold, but his body on hoseok’s felt like nothing but heat- unadulterated, unbridled warmth. 

yoongi didn’t hold back, it wasn’t a gentle, surface level skim like the close-mouthed press of hoseok’s lips against namjoon’s, but a fast and sudden drop into the deep end. if hoseok though he’d had earth under his feet, it was gone now and he was in a free fall with no end in sight.

hoseok was pretty sure that if hadn’t opened his mouth for yoongi on instinct, yoongi would have pried it open himself with the way he was diving into hoseok’s mouth like he was starved. it was messy and wet, teeth and tongue as much as lips, but, god, it felt like everything hoseok needed to survive. 

yoongi was fierce and desperate, but hoseok eased him into submission, pressed him back against the couch and slowed him down until he was moaning and shivering at hoseok’s touch. namjoon cursed softly, and the sound of his voice dragged hoseok, hazy and breathless and reluctant, away from yoongi’s wanting lips. 

namjoon was on the couch, legs spread wide, one hand pressed hard against his crotch. hoseok’s eyes lingered before tracing slowly up namjoon’s reclined body, bare neck, bitten lips, finally to his hooded eyes. hoseok licked his lips, still tasting yoongi on them. 

“you liked that, namjoonie?” his voice sounded a little rough, a little wrecked, but he saw the way namjoon shivered at the sound. 

“yes,” namjoon breathed, “you looked so pretty together.”

yoongi whined softly and hoseok couldn’t stop himself from dipping down into another kiss, slow and teasing. when he pulled back, he focused on namjoon again.

“joonie,” he murmured, “come kiss me.”

namjoon was crawling off the couch in a heartbeat, knees hitting the ground with a dull thud, and hoseok was grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and pulling him closer, sliding his hand to the back of namjoon’s neck, pressing their lips together with purpose this time.

namjoon was the opposite of yoongi, pliant right from the start, almost shy as hoseok licked carefully into his mouth, taking his time to savor the moment, feel the fullness of namjoon’s lips, taste the eager noises that fell from his mouth. yoongi was still under him, hands tight on the hem of hoseok’s shirt like he wanted to make sure he wouldn’t disappear. hoseok could feel yoongi’s eyes on them as he kissed namjoon, as namjoon melted into his touch, his big body soft and eager under hoseok’s hands.

hoseok let one of his hands slip down namjoon’s chest, stomach, and tighten on his hip bone, lingering for just a second before he pulled namjoon in by the hips. namjoon whimpered into hoseok’s mouth when his hips came into contact with hoseok’s body, and hoseok could feel the press of namjoon’s erection on his side, grinding against him as namjoon’s hips stuttered from the friction.

“are you always so eager, namjoonie?” hoseok asked between kisses, threading his fingers through namjoon’s soft hair and letting namjoon hump against his leg, kiss turning a little sloppy as he got distracted in the pleasure. hoseok liked it better that way, liked that namjoon was feeling too good to stay focused, liked that he was the one making him feel that way. beneath him, he could feel yoongi shifting too, little gasps leaving his mouth as he squirmed. in the end, he was the one to answer.

“joonie always wants it,” yoongi told him, “he’s always ready.” yoongi sounded like he was ready too. looked ready when hoseok looked down at him and saw he’d slipped a hand up under his shirt. hoseok bit his lip, slowly taking yoongi in. his pupils were blown out even with the fading sun and the light of the flickering tv illuminating his pale skin, his dark messy hair. he looked wanton and needy- his hand teasing at his nipples under his shirt, his pants tenting between his legs- but there was something almost dangerous about him, something in the way his eyes were dead set on hoseok, the way his lips opened and his tongue darted out, quick and fleeting. hoseok knew he could make yoongi fall apart, but he was more and more certain that yoongi would have him crumbling too. a thrill ran down his spine. he couldn’t wait.

namjoon let out a soft moan, his forehead tucked into hoseok’s shoulder, and hoseok turned his attention back to him. he was still pushing against hoseok’s hip in tight little grinds, enough to get him wound up but not enough to do anything more. hoseok lifted his chin with a finger, breath catching at the sight of namjoon’s wide, wanting eyes and swollen lips. “can we-” namjoon begged quietly, looking between hoseok and yoongi with desperate eyes. “can we… bedroom-”

“yeah,” yoongi muttered in agreement, already trying to wiggle himself free from hoseok, “yeah, let’s go.”

hoseok forced himself up and helped yoongi after him, namjoon already scrambling to his feet and adjusting himself in his pants with an uncomfortable scrunch of his nose. hoseok giggled and reached up to kiss him, unable to help himself, and namjoon settled happily.

yoongi and namjoon’s bedroom was comfortable and familiar, the bed big enough for the three of them (they’d slept in the same bed together enough times to know how to fit), and somehow, despite the newness of… everything, there wasn’t a trace of uncertainty in any of them as they crawled onto the bed exchanging kisses.

“how do we want this?” yoongi asked, namjoon wrapped around him and kissing up his neck. “hoseokie? what do you want?”

“i want to fuck you. both of you. so bad. if- if that’s okay.”

yoongi leaned back against namjoon, head lolling to the side, and nodded with a breathy moan. “i want that. i… prefer that. joonie? baby, would you want that?”

namjoon separated from yoongi’s purpling neck with a wet pop that made yoongi gasp. “hoseokie can do anything to me,” he said plainly. he met hoseok’s gaze through his eyelashes, looking at him with steady, sinful eyes. “whatever you want.”

hoseok leaned forward so he could kiss namjoon hard, yoongi pressed up between them and instantly taking advantage of the position to slide his hands under hoseok’s shirt and start pushing it off. 

“how about, yoongi murmured, leaving little nips and bites at hoseok’s exposed neck, “hoseokie fucks joon and joonie baby, you suck me off, and then the two of us switch, hoseok fucks me, and you get to come in my mouth. that sound good?”

namjoon whined and nodded, and hoseok said a silent prayer in hopes that he would even last long enough to get inside one of them, much less both (with the added visual of them being spitroasted- he wasn’t going to make it).

it didn't take long to get their clothes off, though they did it with lingering kisses and fleeting touches as they all tried to memorize the new map of skin laid out before them.

"have to open you up, baby," yoongi purred as namjoon sucked a mark behind his ear. "you want me to do it, or seokie?"

"hyung," namjoon answered. "seok-ah can prep you?"

"fuck. yeah." yoongi tugged namjoon around to face him and kissed him on the lips, deep enough that hoseok could see their tongues between them when they moved. "seok, sunshine, can you get the lube? it's, uh... yeah. under the... yeah. condoms too."

hoseok pulled them out of the nightstand drawer and tossed the lube over towards yoongi. namjoon had already situated himself lying down on his back, feet wide and pressed flat to the bed, knees falling apart. he watched with dark eyes as yoongi and hoseok coated their fingers with lube, kissed once and then again, and finally got ready.

hoseok held his breath as yoongi crawled forward between namjoon's legs and up to his mouth so he could kiss him. "love you, baby," yoongi whispered, kissing the corner of namjoon's lips with aching sweetness. hoseok felt overwhelming fondness bubbling up inside him.

"love you, hyung," namjoon replied easily, honestly, even as yoongi's slicked up hand slipped between his legs and began to trace his rim. hoseok wanted to give yoongi a second to get started before he joined in too, a second for him and namjoon to dip their toes in the water and make sure they wanted to go deeper. namjoon's dreamy voice sounded again, a little breathy as yoonngi's long finger started inching in, "hoseokie- seok-ah, i love you."

hoseok was certain that even if he heard those words every day until the day he died, he would never grow tired of them. "i love you both," he responded easily. it was almost strange to say out loud after so long keeping it a secret, but, if anything, it had been stranger to go so long without saying it, without telling them. even if they hadn't felt the same, it felt like one of those truths that needed fresh air and light, needed to be out regardless of the consequences. saying it felt as easy as breathing.

"seokie," yoongi called, a hint of a whine in his voice. hoseok's eyes caught the way yoongi's hips were pushing against namjoon's, both of them gasping softly, skin starting to get a sheen of sweat. they were gorgeous, all flushed and slick, yoongi's body pale and lean and small, namjoon underneath him the complete opposite, long limbs, tan skin, enough muscle to make him beefy, enough fat to keep him soft. hoseok could probably just get off watching them.

“hmm?” he hummed, running his clean hand up the back of namjoon’s thigh, digging his fingers into the meaty muscle there. yoongi shifted until he had his knees under him, lifting himself up and away from namjoon with a hiss. 

“prep me, c’mon.”

“needy,” hoseok snickered, but he scooted closer anyway, letting go of namjoon to knead yoongi’s ass, pull it apart and let the cheeks fall back together with a little jiggle of flesh. yoongi grumbled, but arched his back deeper, face pressed into namjoon’s chest. “cute,” hoseok cooed, and he pressed a kiss to the base of yoongi’s spine before he pushed in with his first finger.

it was clear yoongi was more used to this than namjoon, his body relaxing quickly around the intrusion with little more than a shuddering sigh. namjoon, on the other hand, was writhing around just two fingers, sweating and panting and fisting the sheets in his tan hands. hoseok bit back a groan at the thought of namjoon stretching around his cock, his big lips and little mouth wrapped around yoongi’s- which, it turned out, was not that small at all.

yoongi was tight around his fingers but he adjusted easily, pushing back for more before he was even loose. “he can take it,” namjoon gasped. “he’s- he’s taken me before without prep. he likes it.”

“jesus,” hoseok hissed, pulling his finger out and lining up three, pressing them to yoongi’s hole, dripping with lube. yoongi sucked in a breath and pushed back, his own fingers curling inside of namjoon and making him cry out. hoseok pushed in without a second thought, steady and as slow as yoongi let him. 

yoongi stopped them once namjoon was worked open with three fingers, all of them painfully hard and desperate for more. hoseok eased out and reached for one of their discarded shirts, wiping his fingers on it and handing it to yoongi to do the same. namjoon turned onto his belly and got up onto his hands and knees, looking over his shoulder at hoseok with those goddamn eyes of his, and hoseok cursed as he reached for a condom, rolling it on with hands shaking from want.

“ready?” he asked, pressing himself close enough to grind up between namjoon’s cheeks. “you’re sure about this?” as much as he wanted it, as much as he wanted them, he needed to know that this was good, that they were sure about what was happening. he’d had the better part of a decade to imagine this but it was pretty new to them for all he knew. though they’d seemed sure enough when they confessed, no trace of doubt or hesitation in their words or actions, hoseok needed the reassurance. 

“ready,” namjoon confirmed. “always been ready for you, hoseokie.” 

yoongi was moving around to namjoon’s head, but he paused and looked at hoseok. “we want you here, seok,” he said seriously. “we’re not going to back out. we’re not going to change our minds. we love you and we want you too.”

“okay,” hoseok breathed. “okay. i love you too. i trust you. but you’ll- you’ll tell me if anything’s too much, if i do anything-”

“i will,” yoongi promised, “but you’ll take care of us. you’re always good to us, seok.”

“me too,” namjoon added, “but if you don’t fuck me righ now i will retract the offer and have hyung fuck me instead.”

“brat,” hoseok laughed, but he aligned himself and pushed in in one smooth motion, leaving him and namjoon both trembling as they adjusted. “god,” he hissed, “how are you still so tight.” 

”he never gets fucked, that’s how,” yoongi said, his own cock leaking precum as he watched. “bet he’s loving this.”

“yeah, namjoonie? you like it?” hoseok pulled out slowly, snapped back in hard enough to knock the air from his own lungs. namjoon almost fell to his chest, elbows buckling at the thrust. 

“yeah,” namjoon gasped, “l-like it, fuck- so good.”

hoseok cursed, fucking into him harder, a little sloppy, a little desperate. “what if we get something in your mouth, hmm?”

“please- mmph ” his plea was cut off by yoongi as he grabbed namjoon by the jaw with one hand and guided his cock into namjoon’s open mouth with the other. hoseok groaned and thrusted hard, feeling dizzy from the heat and tightness of namjoon around him and the view of yoongi, hair matted with sweat, eyebrows furrowed in focus, pushing into namjoon’s mouth like he belonged there.

and, god, namjoon looked like he was meant to take them, his long, tan body rocking between them, surprisingly high-pitched noises escaping around yoongi’s cock, sweat coating his golden skin. hoseok wondered how many times he’d have to confess before he could put the full extent of his feelings into words; i love you just didn’t seem like enough for them.

every thrust felt like it might be the last one, like it might be the one that pushed hoseok over the edge before he was ready for it, but he managed to hold on for one more, another one, and then another again. he would last, at least until he got to be inside yoongi too, make yoongi come. 

they switched when namjoon looked like he was truly only held up by their hands on him and their cocks inside him, all his limbs trembling, his eyes watering, his cock leaking. yoongi pulled out first, dragging namjoon into an indecently wet kiss. 

“namjoon-ah can’t come without being touched,” he told hoseok between kisses. namjoon was drooly and whiny as hoseok fucked into him, pace slowing infinitesimally. “joon-ah, you want to come baby?”

“please,” namjoon begged into yoongi’s mouth, eyes nearly rolling back as hoseok kept pressing into his prostate, “please, please, please.”

“c’mon,” yoongi moaned, namjoon’s hands falling down, one to yoongi’s spit-slicked cock, the other back behind him towards his already stretched hole, “switch, switch, c’mon.”

“you want a dick in you that bad?” hoseok taunted, pulling out of namjoon with a controlled breath, smoothing his hands down namjoon’s spine. “did so good, joon-ah,” he whispered, kissing the jut of namjoon’s shoulder blade and massaging his pink-tinged ass cheeks, “felt so good around me.”

yoongi whined petulantly, pulling back from namjoon to glare at hoseok. hoseok laughed at him, though the tightness in his own stomach was dangerously close to unraveling and his whole body felt desperate for something tight and warm around him, already missing namjoon. “shut up,” yoongi grunted, shuffling around to namjoon’s spot and urging namjoon up to his knees where he’d been, “i know you’re dying to fuck me. tell him how good it is, joonie, tell him how good i feel.”

namjoon groaned and caught yoongi in a kiss before he could drop to his hands. “so good, sweetheart, so fucking- nnnh -” he cut off in a moan as yoongi wrapped his fingers around namjoon’s untouched cock- “the best.”

hoseok didn’t even want to try to play hard to get. “yeah,” he admitted easily, running his hands over yoongi’s smaller body, pulling him into place. “been wanting to fuck you forever. joonie got his turn already and i’ll lose my damn mind if i don’t get to fuck you too.”

“go on then,” yoongi prompted, down on all fours now and licking around the base of namjoon’s cock, “fuck me.”

and hoseok, just as desperate, couldn’t even pretend to tease. yoongi liked the stretch, he reminded himself, and he slammed in in one sharp thrust. namjoon’s big hands caught yoongi before he could fall forward, but it just made hoseok needier when he saw his and namjoon’s hands, tan and slender, on yoongi’s pale skin, yoongi’s small body caught between them as they all but towered over him, his tight ass stretched to its limit around hoseok’s cock and his mouth open and drooling for namjoon to use.

“fuck, i won’t last,” hoseok cursed, fucking in hard and fast, doing his best to keep a steady rhythm even as he could feel himself unraveling too. 

“s’fine,” namjoon managed to gasp as yoongi swallowed him down, eyes already starting to water from hoseok’s pace and the stretch of namjoon in his throat. “yoongi can’t last once he’s had his dick touched, and- fuck , i’m so c-close already. fuck, it’s so hot, watching hyung get fucked, i’d never thought-”

“i know,” hoseok growled, too on edge to do anything but stare at where their bodies met yoongi’s, where namjoon’s thick cock kept pushing deeper into yoongi’s throat, where his own cock kept disappearing into yoongi’s pink hole- “you’re so hot,” he panted, “you and hyung, i could come just watching. god, the number of times i thought about just- just asking if i could watch, i knew it would be like this… and, shit, it’s even better somehow.”

namjoon whined, threading his fingers into yoongi’s hair and holding him in place as he pumped in and out. yoongi didn’t even choke, just went limp between them, eyes rolling back as he got used on both ends. “gonna come,” namjoon moaned, his face scrunching up cutely, so at odds with the sweat dripping down between his pecs, the abs that were on display with the way his body tensed, his rough grip on yoongi. “seok, seok,” he panted, “hoseokie- gonna- gonna come, gonna-”

hoseok watched, enraptured, as namjoon buried himself deep and stilled with a stifled cry, biting hard on his lip and nearly doubling over as yoongi swallowed blindly around him, milking him dry. “fuck, joon,” hoseok said hoarsely, his own thrusts stuttering to a stop as he watched. “fuck. i’m gonna make you come someday, i’m gonna make you do that for me, i swear it.” namjoon whimpered, his body trembling as he pulled out and nearly fell back onto the bed, panting and barely managing to look at hoseok through his heavy lidded eyes. hoseok cursed and snapped his hips hard back into yoongi. 

without namjoon in his mouth, yoongi was suddenly vocal, whines and gasps and little stilted cries falling from his lips as hoseok fucked him, doing his best to hold on until he made yoongi come. he almost reached for yoongi’s cock, but yoongi slapped him away before he could touch it- “j-just you,” he moaned, “wanna- wanna come from just you, please, ‘m so close-”

so hoseok fucked him harder even though every thrust felt like he was one thrust away from coming, but he just gritted his teeth, grabbed hold of yoongi’s slim waist, and went deeper, faster, rougher, until yoongi was suddenly (finally) gasping, arms buckling, body arching as he came violently. hoseok whined and fell over yoongi’s back, namjoon leaning up to meet him in a messy excuse for a kiss as he chased his own orgasm, fucking yoongi through his high and onto the edge of oversensitivity. 

when he finally came, it hit him so hard he saw white. namjoon managed to keep him from collapsing onto yoongi’s worn out body, but he couldn’t hold himself up alone. it was followed, as he pulled carefully out of yoongi, by a wave of emotion so strong he thought he might buckle over again. he managed to get to the side before he dropped to the mattress, narrowly avoiding yoongi. 

namjoon, more recovered than either of them, kissed them both, careful and sweet, and got up to go to the bathroom. hoseok and yoongi, without saying a word, curled close to each other, pressing their sweaty bodies together despite the uncomfortable warmth. namjoon came back a few minutes later looking cleaner than before, a wet washcloth hanging from his hand.

yoongi and hoseok separated enough for namjoon to wipe yoongi down, gentle and slow as he cleaned the cum and sweat from yoongi’s skin, and then hoseok, a little quicker since there wasn’t that much to clean once he tossed the condom. after he threw the washcloth towards the hamper, namjoon fell into the sliver of empty space between them, somehow making himself small enough to fit.

it was instinctual, the way they all came together, warm and safe and sated. hoseok felt like something inside him was settled for the first time ever, something that had been perpetually at war inside him since the very start. he didn’t realize he’d started crying until a soft hand landed on his cheek, caressing him softly and wiping his tears as they fell.

“sorry,” hoseok whispered, too drained to speak any louder, “i don’t know why i’m…” 

“s’okay, sunshine,” yoongi murmured into namjoon’s shoulder, only his eyes visible behind namjoon’s body. “good tears, right?”

hoseok nodded uselessly as namjoon kept stroking his face, watching him calmly. “just- been, like, dreaming about this for…” he let out a wet laugh, turning his head away in a weak effort to hide. “wanted this for forever,” he said, letting namjoon drag him back in. “just happy. that’s all.”

namjoon kissed the corner of hoseok’s jaw, the only part of his face he could reach without really moving. “hoseok-ah,” namjoon said, “it’s been ten years now. i think you waited long enough. you’ve always been so good and patient, so loving. please stay with us now? like this, like- like everything we could be. let us make you happy.”

yoongi hummed softly, a gentle sound that confirmed his support for namjoon’s words, backed up by the cold fingers that found hoseok’s arm and trailed over to his chest, pressing against his heartbeat. hoseok tried to force the tears back with a laugh, but it came out strangled. “please,” he begged, unable to hold them back any longer. “please, that’s all i want.”

namjoon, as gentle as he was, had unreasonable strength in his body, and he turned hoseok over easily, pulled him tight into his chest and pressed a lingering kiss to his forehead. yoongi’s fingers carded through hoseok’s hair and over his bare skin, light and careful, the way his eomma used to do to put him to sleep. “us too,” yoongi rumbled. “we only want you.”

“i’m yours,” hoseok said, whispering the words into namjoon’s skin like he could tattoo them there, permanently mark his love onto their bodies. “always.”

maybe for anyone else there would have been more to it, but for them, that was enough; there were ten years between them- ten years of love and devotion and admiration and respect- and that was enough. the three of them held tight to each other, a little universe nestled in the sheets of their bed, and there was no fear, no uncertainty, no hesitation between them. 

for the first time, they were all there, all giving themselves over fully without any doubts, all taking everything they were given without any greed. with the three of them, it was like the scale had balanced, steady and firm, no longer at risk of tipping one way or another. 

it felt cheesy to say that hoseok had never felt happier, never felt more content or at peace, than he did right then, but it was the truth, and hoseok didn’t have any more truths to run from anymore. he was here now, in the arms of the people he loved most in the world, the people who loved him most in the world, and he was happy, and that was (finally) enough.