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You Could Throw Me to the Flames (I Will Follow You)

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Once poets spoke of an infinite night,

Where lovers written never die

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, to the sky I write

We’ll live forever, you and I

05 23

The number flashes red on their alarm clock, and Yoongi stirs his coffee. He hates coffee. It makes him think.

He wants to be curled up under his covers, enjoying the blissfully quiet early hours of the morning, but his brain is having none of that. That’s why he’s sitting, cross-legged at their coffee table, staring at his blank notebook. He wills his hand to pick up his pen. To write,write, write. He knows he should be getting sleep. He knows he shouldn’t be drinking shitty 3- in- 1 coffee, or “cancer stuff” as Namjoon so intelligently calls it, at 5am in the goddamn morning.

But he couldn’t. Something had forced him to stay at the company until 3am, and come home at 3:30 to make shitty coffee and stare at a blank notebook. He feels detached from his body. The hand putting his coffee down is not his, the constant drumming of his fingers on the table not his doing. He’s felt like this for a month now, all fake smiles and laughs. The only time he laughs for real is at himself, when he wonders why the fuck he chose to go through this.

He blinks, and realises that he’s written something.

“Legs between mine/ Hands holding to what was once mine/ but now ours/ Fingers in my hair/ Warmth in my soul/ Feelings uncontrolled/ A faint scar/ Where my sorrows once laid/ Where you now are”

He laughs. His manager would lap this right up, another sad ballad and something that screamed: “Flower boys!”

05 49

“Hyung? What are you doing here?”

Yoongi closes the notebook hurriedly and pushes it away, turning to face their youngest.

“Can I see?”

“No. Go back to bed please?”

Yoongi’s feeling so tired now, as if Jeongguk was the only calming presence in the room, and he wants to sleep now.

The boy gives his trademark bunny-like smile, one that cuts right through Yoongi. He feels relaxed for once in his life.

“Only if you go with me.”

He feels himself being pulled to their bedroom, and doesn’t say a word as Jeongguk climbs into the bed with him.

“For survival.” He hears Jeongguk whisper, and strong arms bracket his figure. For once, he falls into a fitful slumber.

*

He wakes up alone, but not cold. Blankets are tucked tight around him and he almost smiles at the effort put in by his friends. He fumbles around for his phone and squints at a video message Jimin sent to him not long ago.

“Hi hyung!” The tinny voices are so loud in the empty room. “We didn’t want to wake you, you looked so happy!” He watches wordlessly as they explain about going off to shop on their free day, while Hoseok does aegyo in the background.

“Taehyung didn’t want to go anywhere, so he stayed behind to look after you. Bye hyung!”

Taehyung? Yoongi groans, wiping his sleep crusted eyes. He didn’t want Taehyung here. He wanted peace and quiet, not loud complains of “hyung!” or having to listen to Taehyung acting out a scene from his favourite drama.

When he opens the bedroom door, however, he realises it’s quiet. Too quiet. He pads around their flat, heaving a sigh of relief when he sees Taehyung curled up con couch, watching an anime.

He taps Taehyung on the head and nods in greeting. The other grins and yanks his headphones out of his ears to greet Yoongi. Yoongi pours milk for himself and almost laughs at how childish he is. He curls up next to Taehyung, gazing off into the distance. Zoning out is his favourite pastime now, next to sleeping. He finds it…calming.

“Hyung?” He feels a tap on his knee. Taehyung has abandoned his anime, which is an odd scene that outs Yoongi off.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.”

“I’m confused. I think I’m confused. I like girls? But I also like boys? But I really just like everyone. What do I do? Hyung, does this mean I’m gay?” Taehyung is on the verge of tears, and he looks so distraught, so terrified, that Yoongi grabs his hands.

“No, no, no, Tae, you’re entitled to like whoever you want to. You’re going to be confused for a while, and that’s okay. Judging from what you’ve said, you’re probably pansexual. It’s okay if you don’t really like labels, and remember that sometimes, sexuality is fluid. You understand that there are more than two genders, right?”

The younger nods, now less distressed than before.

“What if the others find out?”

“Do you want them to find out?”

A shake of the head.

“Then your secret is safe with hyung.”

Taehyung wraps Yoongi into a tight hug, snuggling into him. He plants a soft kiss on the rapper’s cheek, and laughs at the grumble it gets him in return.

“Taehyung. If you need help understanding something, I’m always here, okay? Hyung’s pansexual too, so I can –“

A squeal cuts him off and Taehyung almost knocks him clean off the couch. The younger tackles the rapper to the ground, laughing merrily.

“Hyung told me first! I’m your favourite!”

A smile rises. He hasn’t felt this open, this free, I five months. Something dark within him has broken, broken free, and is no longer tormenting him. The loss of weight when that dark thing left was insignificant, but Yoongi feels it. He feels lighter, he feels as if the pieces of a puzzle are coming together slowly. He feels…happy.

He doesn’t let it go to his head though.

*

The day doesn’t go by as quickly as Yoongi had hoped. He has absolutely nothing to do. He doesn’t move from the couch. Normally, he would be overjoyed, but not today. The happiness he felt earlier has given way to emptiness. He feels as if he’s tired, although he doesn’t want to sleep. He stares at his fingers, although he doesn’t want to sleep. He feels as if he’s tired, although he doesn’t want to sleep. He stares at his fingers, surveying every line and crease. Thinks about how his hand hasn’t held another in years.

He wants to hold someone’s hand now, to feel the warmth, of another, or their pulse, the steady beat, something that a computer cannot replace. But he’s so tired. He doesn’t want to do anything.

He hears the click of a door opening, and he turns to the front door. Noise filters in from outside, making him want to return to the bedroom. Taehyung bounds towards the front door to greet their friends, tears now gone, and Yoongi slips away, back to the comfort of white sheets and soft pillows. They’re so loud, he can hear them arguing about something unimportant from where he is, wrapped tight in fluffy blankets. He doesn’t feel up to faking smiles and laughs today.

“Hyung!” A honey-sweet voice calls out.

He rolls over to face the door, and his vision is momentarily distracted. A black fuzzy thing is being pressed to his face, and he pulls it away. It’s a Kumamon doll. He smiles, a knee- jerk reaction and hugs the stuffed toy tight. The toy smells like the shampoo Jeongguk doesn’t let anyone else use, and it smells like home.

Yoongi looks up at the maknae, grunting when Jeongguk pushes him away so he can lie down with the rapper.

“Mmmph – smelly.” Yoongi complains.

Jeongguk doesn’t say a thing, just laughs, a sound that sends millions of butterflies flying inside him. Yoongi fiddles with the blanket, covering them both. He reaches for Jeongguk’s hand.

When their fingers intertwine, everything feels perfect. It’s as if he was born to hold Jeongguk’s hand; and his hand is soft, like a girl’s. He runs his thumb over Jeongguk’s, feeling happy for the second time that day.

But it’s over all too soon.

Jeongguk breaks away, and gets up. Yoongi blinks owlishly at him, surprised at the younger’s sudden movements.

“I’ve…I’ve got to go.”

Jeongguk wipes his hand on his shirt and practically runs out of the room. It’s a small gesture, but it speaks volumes, the message crystal clear.

Jeongguk doesn’t like boys. Not one bit.

Yoongi curses himself.

Of course he doesn’t like boys, you fucking idiot. Not everyone’s bisexual, asshole. You scared him away, and now he fucking hates you. Nice going. No wait, it’s probably because of you. It’s not that he doesn’t like boys, he just hates your fucking face. Yeah, it’s your fucking face.       

And he lies there, alone, suddenly much colder than before.

03 41

It’s three am and Yoongi’s sitting crossed- legged at the coffee table again, staring out of the window and at the moon. A sheet of paper lies on the table, fluttering in the small breeze, as if threatening to fall off. Kumamon resides in his lap, soft and comfy.

The soft pitter- patter of the rain echoes throughout the quiet room, and far off into the distance, he hears the soft rumble of an engine. He wonders where the driver is going so late at night. Were they going home? Sneaking out? Or just driving, with no purpose or care in the world?

He likes the early hours of the mornings, when stress flows and stress goes. He likes the build-up to dawn, likes seeing the crack in the sky when the sun comes up. Watching the street lights and the small steady stream of cars is his favourite. When he sees the occasional person on the road, he sighs because they’re probably doing exciting things he can never do.

Soft footsteps fill the room and he looks over his shoulder to see the youngest of the group. He curls into himself, a defensive position, as he remembers what happened just hours ago. He watches as Jeongguk bathes in the glow of the moon, the light making his pale skin shine bright. He’d give Jeongguk the moon, if he could.

If he could.

Jeongguk staring at the moon may be his new favourite thing. He’s uncomfortable with the once peaceful silence, the dredges of self- hate already creeping into his skim. He grips Kumamon tighter, inhaling the aromatic smell of Jeongguk. Jeongguk’s smell is now the smell of home.

He wants to cry now. He doesn’t know why, but the urge to do so is strong, emerging from under and grasping at his throat, squeezing tight, like the grip of a dying man. He’s shaking with the effort to pull himself together, praying that Jeongguk doesn’t notice.

Jeongguk notices.

Yoongi stands and heaves a shaky breath.

“Hyung, I’ll come with you.”

Yoongi doesn’t really want to be persuaded by that voice anymore. But he is, and he waits for Jeongguk to throw one last longing look at the moon, before walking off to their bedroom together.

Yoongi sees Jeongguk open his mouth to say something, but he turns his head away from the younger, not wanting to hear his voice again.

Yoongi climbs into his own bunk, pulling the covers over himself. He tries to ignore Jeongguk’s figure staring at him, and sighs softly when he hears Jeongguk pad off to his own bunk.

All Yoongi wants to do is hold Jeongguk’s hand.

But he can’t, so he pulls Kumamon closer, wishing it was Jeongguk he was holding tight.

*

Their comeback keeps them busy. Photoshoots, interviews, music videos. Yoongi’s fake smile is perfect in every one. V app videos, Bangtan Bombs that his manager uploads, Yoongi’s laugh isn’t real.

He wishes it was.

*

They’re being interviewed by a preppy reporter whose smile is faker than his own. He can tell she would rather be somewhere else drinking expensive wine than interview seven noisy boys.

His friends are the closest ones he’s had, but Yoongi can’t help but feel so alone sometimes.

They’re going to play a game and they’re supposed to partner up. In pairs of two. He’s normally left out during these things, as an MC or just alone. It’s normally fine for him, but this time it doesn’t feel so… right.

He’s used to being the lone wolf of the group, left alone to do his thing. Yoongi doesn’t really mind, it’s just this time, he feels like he wants to do something fun with someone for a change.

He’s invited to join one of the already formed groups. He goes straight for Taehyung and Hoseok’s group.

He doesn’t want to be in Jeongguk’s group.

*

Yoongi likes the warmth and comfort Taehyung seems to radiate. He feels as if he can be more open with Taehyung than with anyone else, because the boy with the boxy grin seems to understand.

Yoongi isn’t much of a clingy person, but he wraps himself around Taehyung on one of their free days, and the glint in Taehyung’s eyes seems to say that he knows what Yoongi’s feeling.

Yoongi keeps his face tucked into Taehyung’s collarbones to avoid eye contact with any of the other members, who think he’s grown a second head.

(He doesn’t dare to look at Jeongguk’s face)

*

Taehyung understands. Sometimes Yoongi thinks Taehyung understands a bit too much, but he can’t really tell what the younger’s thinking most of the time. Though he much prefers hugging Kumamon, Taehyung is a nice alternative.

Yoongi loves Taehyung and Taehyung loves him back. But their love for each other has and will always be platonic, because Yoongi knows that Taehyung loves Jimin.

Yoongi can look Jeongguk straight in the eye now.  He feels calmer and more secure, and a huge weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

(He reminds himself to treat Taehyung to ice- cream and burgers when he regains his mental strength.)

*

Hugging is something Yoongi does nowadays. Though sometimes his smile still doesn’t reach his eyes and his laugh is hollow, he finds that when warmth is shared with another, it’s bliss. Not pure bliss, but Yoongi’s nearing there.

Physical contact is something Yoongi used to hate. He didn’t understand people could solve problems by hugging it out. He doesn’t understand movies that end with the formerly suicidal protagonist able to overcome their depression because of that one special kiss or person. He still doesn’t think it’s possible. But physical contact, to him now, is good. In some way or another. He’s still not sure what these feelings mean.

*

There’s a fire in Jeongguk’s eyes that inspires him, forces him to write words after words at 3am in the morning while watching Jeongguk watch the moon. They’re silent during the one hour that Jeongguk stays up, and they return to their separate beds. Jeongguk’s unstyled hair ruffles in the soft wind their fan provides, and Yoongi wants to run his hands through that hair.

He wants to wake up next to Jeongguk every morning and he wants to smile or to laugh at Jeongguk’s drool. They could cuddle after that, until Jimin or Hoseok pulls them apart. Yoongi wants Jeongguk to be his, and he wants to be Jeongguk’s.

*

This must be what love feels like.

Yoongi watches as Jeongguk nods his head to the track the rapper just finished, the little bunny smile peeking out. The track lacks vocals and Yoongi’s running it through with Jeongguk, checking to see if the younger is comfortable with his parts.

“You want to run this through again? So this is where you come in.” Yoongi fiddles with his studio’s computer. He hits the space button and the stickily-sweet like audio resonates around the room. The audio’s what he’s been working on for weeks, and Yoongi’s proud to say that he likes it very much.

Light up the night with me, oh won’t you light it up? This city is pretty, why don’t you burn it with me girl, and we can be fireworks in the cold Busan sky”

Yoongi hums along, his pride in his work causing him to crack a grin. Jeongguk’s face is radiated by the studio’s light, causing him to glow like an angel. An angel. That’s what he is. Jeongguk’s voice is his harmony, his rhythm, his BGM. Everything about is perfect, and Yoongi can’t help but wonder if the maknae is actually real.

He spins around on his wheely chair and rests a hand on the younger’s knee in encouragement. The latter shifts on the couch, and Yoongi withdraws his hand to fiddle with his beanie. Jeongguk’s eyes follow the movement of his hands, before jerking downwards to stare at the ground. Yoongi spins around again to face his computer, holding Kumamon on his lap.

“You’re in here again. Try it with more feeling, like you’re really in love with this girl and you want to spend the rest of your days with her.” Yoongi’s voice is muffled by the scarf he starts to wrap around his neck despite it not being that cold in the studio. Jeongguk nods.

I’d like to wake up with you every day, to hold your hand and make it right For you to hold me close and I’ll keep you safe, I’ll do anything girl, To hold your hand”

Not bad, Yoongi thinks, it goes well.

“Last part.” The rapper murmurs as he hits the space button again, and the audio starts up once more.

“Oh honey, stay with me and I’ll be yours until the last sunset goes down for the both of us, I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine, take my hand and we’ll be fine, hold it close and keep it tight.”

Yoongi wishes Jeongguk was singing to him.

“That was great! Thank you, maknae!”

There’s silence and Yoongi wonders why Jeongguk still hasn’t left. He turns, and Jeongguk smiles his trademark bunny smile. The elder’s blown away by the simple pull of seventeen muscles. He loves it.

“Hyung, let’s go eat bibimbap! My treat!”

*

It’s Bangtan’s first scandal in a long time. Though not entirely a scandal, it feels like one to the rest of the band.

The words “Idol Jeon Jeongguk Finds Love Interest?” sit smugly on the magazine, as if mocking Yoongi. Hoseok and Jimin think it’s hilarious. Jeongguk smiles on the half-page photo in front of him, and that smile alone should be enough to make a thousand butterflies free in Yoongi’s stomach. It doesn’t right now.

Because Jeongguk’s smiling at a girl.

A girl who’s presumably the same age as Jeongguk, who’s better than Yoongi in more ways than one. A girl who’s so pretty, she turns heads everywhere she goes. A girl with dark red lips instead of Yoongi’s soft pink ones, a girl with large eyes and a soft nose, wide bust and slim thighs. Obviously Jeongguk’s Miss Right.

The article goes on to describe how the pair were shown at a coffee shop near the Han River, and speculated who the girl might be. The article gushes about eye-witness accounts of Jeongguk’s love sick eyes, him carrying the girl’s bag for her, holding doors and sharing foods.

Yoongi wonders if it’s bad if he wishes that the girl was him instead.

The seven of them are gathered around their coffee table, staring accusingly at the magazine. Jimin and Hoseok can barely stifle their giggles and Namjoon and Seokjin look half impressed and half worried. Taehyung leans on Yoongi, who hasn’t moved or spoken since the article was put on the table. Jeongguk looks flabbergasted, obviously not yet having grasped the omnipresence of the media.

“Kid, tell us next time beforehand if you decide to get a girlfriend.” Seokjin breaks the awkward silence, and Jimin almost screams, convulsing with laughter on the floor.

“I think I’m old enough to do what I want, thank you very much.”

Everyone’s silent now. Jimin and Hoseok aren’t laughing anymore. Namjoon sits up straight, and Taehyung’s grin fades. Seokjin looks visibly hurt, and hangs his head low. Yoongi can see the anger radiating off Namjoon. Yoongi knows no one should hurt Seokjin. It’s an unspoken rule, and it hangs in the air, broken.

Yoongi doesn’t want a fight. They’ve never had one before in their three years of being a band, and nothing has come close to this before. Sure, they’ve had their petty spats, but it was always over small things like disappearing snacks that each member hides in their own secret place. Yoongi doesn’t want a fight at all. He fucking hates fights; he’s been through a lot of them with family members when he said he wanted to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. He hates the anger behind it al. he hates angry screams and shouts. If they start a fight now, he’s not going to be able to sleep well for a week.

Taehyung’s grip on him tightens. Yoongi squeezes his eyes shut, waiting for someone to say something, anything.

But all he hears is the slam of the front door and the deafening silence of which the members don’t break while leaving one by one.

*

03 11

It’s 3 am and Yoongi hears the front door open. A completely exhausted Jeongguk wobbles into sight. The youngest panics but calms down after realising that Yoongi was alone.

“Are you working on a new song?”

Jeongguk casually asks as he sits next to Yoongi, as if he hasn’t been gone for more than eight hours straight. Yoongi leans towards him unconsciously, but quickly recoils.

Jeongguk doesn’t smell like Jeongguk.

Jeongguk smells like smoke and barbeque and a slight hint of that perfume Yoongi normally smells on ARMYs during fan meets. Jeongguk smells like sweat, the barbeque place not far from here, and girl.

“You went to see her?”

A question, not a statement. A curious question yet Jeongguk swallows hard. The younger fumbles for an answer, fidgeting, pulling loose strings and adjusting clothing.

“Yes. I did.” The younger chokes out at the end.

“Okay.” Yoongi whispers to the air, already turning away from Jeongguk, picking his things off the table.

The smell of perfume rears and strikes at Yoongi again and again, as if taunting him about the fact that Jeongguk would prefer to have some girl’s company instead of his, over anyone else’s.

“You like her, then? She like you?”

“Yes. I hope so.”

And with that Yoongi stands, the pain too unbearable, and leaves Jeongguk alone. His bed seems welcoming with every step he takes, and Yoongi doesn’t let the tears fall until blankets are wrapped tight around him and Kumamon is tucked into the fluffy sheets next to him.

*

The anger and shock is gone but no apologies are made. It was drama while it lasted, and their eldest just took Jeongguk’s harsh remark in stride.

Something has changed, though.

Their stressful comeback days are over, and that means more free days. More days where Jeongguk sneaks out alone. More days where Yoongi feels empty and gone, despite having Taehyung and Kumamon. More days where Jeongguk comes back reeking of the same perfume. Yoongi and Jeongguk aren’t the same people they used to be.

Yoongi’s stronger, though still fragile. At least that’s what Seokjin thinks. The elder has picked up on Yoongi’s behaviour and now he, Jimin and Taehyung handle Yoongi like a small doll. They make sure the rapper gets enough rest and food. It doesn’t stop Yoongi from sneaking out of their beds for one hour, from 3am to 4, to see if Jeongguk shows up.

Jeongguk is slightly more distant now. He doesn’t laugh as much as he used to, and doesn’t bother to play with Jimin anymore. Jimin’s been whining about his dongsaeng being grumpy. Perhaps Jeongguk thinks he’s growing up. Once Jeongguk smelled like his shampoo and home, but now he smells of perfume and night clubs, which is strange because everyone knows Jeongguk hates night clubs. He’s been scolded about it by his manager, but still sneaks out anyway.

Jeongguk doesn’t refer to the girl as his girlfriend. He calls her “my friend” or “Jaemin”, which is her name.

Jeongguk doesn’t show up for that one hour anymore, and Yoongi waits in the darkness, only illuminated by the moon, staring at an empty page of his notebooks.

*

Yoongi meets her one day. She’s prettier in real like and he bumps into her at a coffee shop. She recognises him as Jeongguk’s friend, and tells him to keep a secret for her.

Because Yoongi saw her kissing the girl sitting opposite her.

He doesn’t tell Jeongguk about it. He’s jealous, but not mean.

*

Yoongi has been living in his studio for a week now, surviving on nothing but salads and sandwiches. He knows it’s unhealthy. But he really can’t stay in their dorms and see Jeongguk disappear and feel nothing at all. He’s probably being selfish and he knows he is. But impossible jealousy consumes him, and he can’t stay in the same house with someone he falls for every day. He wants to scream the truth.

Yoongi loves Jeongguk more and more with every passing day, though Jeongguk doesn’t feel the same. Yoongi’s hyper- aware of what Jeongguk does, his small movements and tiny gestures. He smiles whenever Jeongguk smiles, smiles when Jeongguk sings, smiles whenever Jeongguk misplaces his toothbrush and complains about it.

Jeongguk has made Yoongi feel things he was sure he couldn’t feel, and yet Jeongguk has no idea about it.

*

03 37

Yes, your happiness is all that matters/ No, I’m not going to tell a lie like that/ Why should I wish you happiness/ When you’re the one who left me?

03 38

Yoongi curls up on the couch, large scarf wrapped around his neck. He sips his scalding tea, earphones jammed into his ears. He gazes wistfully at the moon, wishing he was on it, far away from where he is now.

Congratulations, you’re so amazing/ Congratulations, how could you be so fine?/ How could you trample on me?/ I see your smiling face as you completely forgot about me/ As you’re being so happy

A familiar figure slides in front of him and blocks his view. Yoongi rips his headphones out of his ears, getting up to sit on the couch properly. The figure pads around for a while before finally settling on the floor near Yoongi’s feet.

“Jeongguk-ah? What’s wrong?” the words are hard to say, as if someone had stuffed Yoongi’s mouth fill with sticky rice cake. Yoongi hasn’t spoken this much in weeks, it’s like he’s forgotten how to speak.

Jeongguk doesn’t say anything. Just stares at the moon.

“Can I, um, help in any way?” Yoongi tries again, reaching for Jeongguk’s shoulder.

Dead silence. Yoongi can feel the blood pumping through his veins, the steady bump, bump, bump of his own heartbeat. His heartbeat is unnaturally loud as he places his hand on Jeongguk’s shoulder, and he wonders if Jeongguk can hear it.

“You knew, didn’t you?”

“I’m sorry?”

“You knew, you knew and you didn’t tell me? Did it not occur to you that I actually though I had a shot with her, hyung? Did you know that I really liked her? Did you think it’d be better if you didn’t tell me, so that my little heart wouldn’t be broken? I’m sick of being treated like a child, hyung. I’m not sixteen anymore!”

Jeongguk got up and turned around. Yoongi could see the absolute hatred in the younger’s eyes. It made him look like a beast, a ferocious one, and Yoongi shrank into himself.

“I confessed to her today, with real roses and everything! And you know what she said?”

Jeongguk clasps his hands together, eyelashes fluttering as he faces the rapper.

“Oh oppa, I’m sorry but I prefer girls.” And I’m not criticising her for her sexual preferences, it’s the fact that you knew it the whole damn time, you knew because you saw her and her girlfriend, didn’t you?”

Yoongi’s mouth is dry, but his eyes aren’t, and tears threaten to spill to the floor. His eyes are fixed to a spot on the floor, and he wants more than ever to be pulled away from reality. The one he loves is hurling cutting words at him and it’s all because of him and his own idiocy. Yoongi won’t let the tears fall. He feels the familiar prickling in his throat, a sob beginning to bubble up, the need to breathe. He feels supressed and stupid, self-hatred and the need to bash his own head in. Jeongguk’s sardonic words cut straight to the bone. He’s such an idiot. He should’ve told Jeongguk.

He should’ve told Jeongguk, it was easy enough. He could’ve slipped it out, sugar coated so as not to hurt the younger. But even then, would Jeongguk still yell at him like what he’s doing now? Would Jeongguk feel nothing but immense hatred for Yoongi, when all Yoongi wanted was what was best for the singer?

This is his own fault.

Yoongi lets the tears fall, and they clink like a broken pearl necklace on the floor. Yoongi stares at the small wet puddles they form.

And it’s the last thing that Jeongguk shouts that causes Taehyung and Jimin to run out from their rooms, causes Yoongi to break down completely while Jeongguk storms out of their apartment, despite it being 4 in the goddamn morning.

“God, I hate you! What kind of friend are you? I fucking hate you! Fuck you! Fuck you!”

And when Yoongi is pushed into bed by a teary Jimin, he feels empty, dull, and so cold, because the best thing in his life, his fire, has walked away from him, and fucking hates him now.

Oh god, Yoongi fucking hates himself.

Yoongi hates himself more than anything.

He pushes Kumamon out of the bed and into Taehyung’s open arms, which were searching for a hug. He doesn’t let the younger lie with him, and pushes him away with a murmur of “Not today, Taehyung.”

And he feels so empty, because the two things that once smelled like home, couldn’t be his home anymore.

What kind of friend was he?

 

Chapter Text

 

Yoongi wakes up with dried tear tracks on his face and an empty feeling in his gut. He wills the memories away and tries to pretend the previous night never happened. Squeezing his eyes shit, he wriggles back under the covers, searching for Kumamon.

And then it hits him.

What kind of friend are you? I fucking hate you! Fuck you!

He curls into himself, wishing everything and anything away, away, away. He can’t breathe properly. He needs Kumamon, Taehyung, Jeongguk.

Oh god, Jeongguk.

He can’t imagine a life without Jeongguk. Would Jeongguk still look at him the same after what Yoongi did? After what he said? Reality crashes around Yoongi, the debris crushing him into the bed, until all he can do is whiper and plead, for the weight to be lifted, for something, anything.

A faint buzz resonates around the room.

Yoongi fumbles with his phone, almost falling onto the floor. The screen flashes with Taehyung’s name, and Yoongi would have declined the call if he didn’t feel so empty.

“Hello?” His voice doesn’t feel like his own.

“Hyung? We’ve found Jeongguk and we’re heading home now. Do you want anything?”

Jeongguk? They’re coming back? Fuck, fuck!

He can’t see Jeongguk. He can’t look at him anymore. He doesn’t want to. No, fuck no. What Jeongguk said cut Yoongi to the bone, the hurt he caused still flowed like a fresh wound. No, Yoongi doesn’t think he can see Jeongguk without breaking down and throwing up.

“Fuck, fuck.” Yoongi whispers into the phone. Despite Taehyung’s confusion, he hangs up. Quickly changing into shorts and a giant sweater, he grabs his phone. He leaves Kumamon. He laces up his boots and dashes out of the apartment, running straight for the only place he can call home now.

*

He’s glad he has blankets and a pillow in his studio. He’s glad he can lock his tiny studio room door. Slumping onto his couch, he feels his phone vibrate with texts he knows he’s never going to answer.

[10:49 a.m.; Jimin]:

Hyung, where are you?

[10:49 a.m.; Jimin]:

Hyung?

[10:50 a.m.; Namjoon]:

This isn’t funny. Stop acting like a child! Where are you?

[10:50 a.m.; Hoseok]:

Hyung? Where are you??? Come home!!

[10:51 a.m.; Seokjin]:

Whatever happened, we can work it out together right? Come home safe. Make sure you eat something, at least.

[10:52 a.m.; Taehyung]:

I think I know where you are hyung. Don’t worry, I won’t let them get there anytime soon. Get some rest! :)))

[10:52 a.m.; Seokjin]:

Did something happen between you and Jeongguk?

Yoongi watches the steady stream of messages that come one at a time, as if every member is sat down together organising who should text next. The idea is endearing, and he cracks a small grin at the thought of it. Each message is filled with more concern than the last, and it should make Yoongi feel happy but all he wants to do now is throw up.

None of them are from Jeongguk.

Yoongi closes his eyes. He doesn’t want to read the messages anymore.

***

Taehyung’s angry. Those two words don’t belong together, and even Taehyung himself is confused. He’s not the type to get angry. He never does. And the person he’s angry at is someone he’d never dream of yelling at.

But he has to. He knows how bad Yoongi hyung has been feeling nowadays, and he understands. Yoongi hyung’s always been there for him, it’s time for him to do something for his hyung.

So Taehyung drops his boxy grin, squares his shoulders and knocks on Jeongguk’s door. Their youngest has been holed up there for the whole day, refusing food and offers to talk from Seokjin. Taehyung jiggles the door knob, frowning when it doesn’t yield.

“Jeon Jeongguk! Open this door right now!” Taehyung pounds on the bedroom door, earning a sigh from Namjoon.

“Open this door now! Listen to your hyung! Or… or I’ll call Bang PD-nim and to force Yoongi home so he can beat some sense into you!” Taehyung kicks the door, wincing in pain.

The door opens just a crack and Jeongguk sticks his head out, glancing left and right.

“You wouldn’t. You can’t!” The younger whispers.

Taehyung crosses his arms and lifts his head smugly. Jeongguk frowns, before gesturing Taehyung into his room. He locks the door after that, and Taehyung flops onto the maknae’s bed. Jeongguk sits awkwardly near Taehyung’s head.

“You should apologise to Yoongi hyung.”

Jeongguk shoots up like a rocket, ready to protest.

“Whatever he did, I’m sure he did it for you. You know him, he’s not good with feelings and emotions, but he has a lot of sense. He’s not the kind of person that does mean things or says stupid things and doesn’t apologise. He always thinks about others. You’ll see that if you get closer to him. So now you have to think about him. Has he not treated you well these three and more years? What you said really hurt him, I could tell when I called him.” Taehyung stretches a hand out to ruffle Jeongguk’s hair, but the younger pulls away quickly.

“I’m sick and tired of being treated like a kid, hyung.”

“Do you realise you’re kind of acting like one? You sneaking out although Bang PD-nim and Seokjin told you hundreds of times not to, you ignoring everyone, creating fusses and throwing tantrums because Yoongi didn’t want to hurt you. You should talk to him, instead of holing up here like a child! Yoongi is somewhere right now, feeling endless amounts of pain because of you, and you have to do something about it!”

Jeongguk gapes at the elder, whose carefree expression has been replaced with a now genuinely strict one, which Jeongguk has never seen before.

“Think about it Jeonggukie. Yoongi hyung needs you. Please try.

“Oh, and one more thing,” Taehyung starts as he leaves the room, “Yoongi hyung likes Jimin’s homemade sandwiches. I’ll tell you where he is if you get up and eat something.”

***

Yoongi chews on a celery stick. It tastes like water and sadness, and he wishes he could gorge on something more… “healthy”. He’s picturing foods that will never work their way into his diet no matter how he pleaded with his manager. More than 1000 calories and more calories he could ever dream of. Foods even Kim Seokjin wouldn’t gorge on.

Weren’t those foods considered break-up foods? Yoongi’s sure of that, after having watched American drama after American drama with Taehyung.

They didn’t even break up, for god’s sake. They weren’t even together, and Jeongguk was a confirmed zero on the Kinsey scale. The whole thing was Yoongi’s fault anyway.

But wasn’t it a good thing not to tell Jeongguk about her own relationship? It was her secret after all, and Yoongi was in no position to share. Why did Yoongi have to take the brunt of Jeongguk’s anger? It couldn’t have been his fault.

But it probably was his fault.

Yoongi sighed. He probably needed something stronger than celery and peanut butter. He bets Taehyung or some poor intern would bring him fruit flavoured chicken if he asked. Maybe they’d even bring beer or vodka if he asked nicely. He isn’t too picky right now.

Jesus, he should’ve at least bought five cans of coffee before coming here.

Was he ever going to leave his studio? Probably not. Who knows, there could be a Kim Seokjin or Jung Hoseok lurking around, ready to take him home to face Jeongguk.

Now all he can think about is that heavenly laughter, the magical voice of the golden maknae. The soft silky hair, the trademark bunny smile. How Jeongguk’s English is terrible, despite having stayed in America for quite some time. How expressive his eyes were. His ability to look beautiful everywhere, whether it was at home, without make-up, or on stage, with thousands of fans screaming their names. How angry, how betrayed he had looked.

Was Yoongi even a good friend to Jeongguk? Yoongi knew that Jeongguk loved weird things like raisins and tht bizarre anime with the cannabilistic giants. He knew Jeongguk always lost the bookmarks fans gave them and ends up dog-earing the pages of books instead. He knows Jeongguk’s now obsessed with that new band Seventeen, and his favourite song is “20”.

He wonders if Jeongguk knew this much things about him.

Did Jeongguk know that whenever Yoongi saw him, Yoongi’s stomach would be plagued by butterflies? Did he know that Yoongi sometimes had hard times speaking during interviews because of him? Did he know that whenever Jeongguk touches him, it’s like a fire has spread and it keeps burning, the fire starting from Jeongguk’s fingertips. Did he know that Yoongi would do anything to hold Jeongguk’s hand, and he wouldn’t care if he got burnt along the way?

Or was Yoongi nothing more than just a band mate? A backstabbing, lying asshole who did nothing much other than sleep look miserable?

*

I’m either gone in an instant, or here to the bitter end, I, I never know”

Music blasts from Yoongi’s speakers, and he twirls the pen in his hand, a trick he learned from watching Taehyung. He taps his pen against his notebook, humming to the obnoxiously loud song.

“ ‘Cause we are alive here, in death valley”

The words weren’t coming to him at all. Normally it would flood him like a tidal wave, crashing over him and knocking him down, until the only thing he could do to get rid of it was to let it crush him.

He glances towards the computer screen, now black. He catches his reflection and squints, because he looks like a downright mess.

He wonders if he should dye his hair another colour. Get rid of those black roots growing out of his pink hair. He’s dyed it pink again after their comeback, the pretty pink of Seokjin’s flip phone. Maybe he should dye it back to black.

Or better yet, shave the whole thing off.

Yoongi wonders if this is the lowest point of his life. Running away from someone who’s so much younger than him, like a goddamn coward. Running away from his feelings and himself. He’s sick of running.

Yoongi wonders if anyone would care if he holed up in his studio and just let time fly, until there’s nothing left but a scar. The scar would still remind him of this time, but at least the pain of the previously gaping wound would be gone.

That’s what Yoongi wants. For the pain to disappear. To not have to love again.

But it seems the fates already decided to make his life living hell.j

*

Yoongi’s a mess for exactly four days. He did persuade one of the noonas to buy him chicken and coffee, without having to leave his studio. But he took one look at the chicken and wanted to throw up. He’s pretty sure the peanut butter sandwich left outside his door is from Taehyung.

The day he tells himself to get it together is the day he runs out of coffee. He needs a shower, he needs a shave, he tells himself, as he trudges to the company restrooms, which, thankfully, have working showers.

He’s gotten much more writing done, now preferring to take the tsunami of words and transfer it onto paper. The soft click clack of the keyboard as he types is reassuring in the still darkness of his studio, and Yoongi finds it easier to breathe when he’s focused on something else that is not his own existence.

The cold water of the shower hits his skin and Yoongi thinks about putting everything behind. To accept the fact Jeongguk would probably never be his, and to ignore all feelings he has for the younger boy. It would send him into a spiral of darkness, yes, but isn’t that what life was about? Growing up meant learning life wasn’t as pretty as they made it out to be on dramas.

What he had to do was keep rolling with the punches and never stop. It wouldn’t be perfect in the end, he knew this, and more often than not did things never work out in his favour. Accepting that would be personal growth, because not everything was going to be okay, but it still would be.

Hopefully soon enough.

But maybe he’d forget about Jeongguk when he’s older and is a solo artist. Forget the fact that he had a crush on the boy with a bunny smile and sunshine personality when he was young and foolish enough to believe he had a chance. Marry a pretty girl and have children.

He steps out of the shower, and heads back to his studio dressed in a new hoodie and shorts.

He likes his studio so much more now. It feels more like home. Though he quite misses their dorm and the smell of it, he’s grown quite attached to his cosy little abode, where he’s been pouring his heart and soul into book after book and word document after word document that his fingers feel numb. His entire body feels numb, to be honest.

*

He’s daydreaming about renting a small studio apartment when the door bangs, as if something is being thrown against it.

Fuck, he bets it’s Kim Seokjin and his shoulders.

“Hyung! Let! Me! In!”

That wasn’t the voice of Kim Seokjin or his shoulders. It was the voice of an angel. The only angel he knew, however, was furious with him. It couldn’t be.

It was.

Yoongi slowly unlocks his studio door and opens it. Jeongguk barrels straight into the room, tripping over his own feet. Yoongi grabs the younger and immediately regrets it, the fire coursing through his veins wiping away all existing thoughts of forgetting Jeongguk.

Yoongi gestures in a random direction and turns around to close the door, not really wanting Jeongguk to see the wrecked state he was in.

But it was really kind of Jeongguk’s fault, so he turns to face the younger, who had a plastic container Yoongi didn’t notice before in his hands.

Neither of them said anything, as if caught in a death match of a staring competition.

“What’s this about?” Yoongi breaks, and he asks, arms folded across his chest. His eyes dart around before finally settling on Jeongguk’s shoes.

Previous eloquence now gone, Jeongguk stares at the floor and raises his hands. The smell radiating from the container makes Uoongi’s stomach rumble, and Jeongguk smiles softly at the sound.

“Jimin hyung taught me how to make your favourite sandwiches. I’m…I’m sorry. For everything. For what I said. You…you did it for me. I know you were thinking about me and my feelings, so thank you. I’m sorry about everything. Can you forgive me? Can we be friends again, hyung?”

The way Jeongguk says it so hopefully has Yoongi’s stomach erupting in a wave of butterflies, and they threaten to escape by pushing their way out of his mouth, making it hard for him to speak.

But he’s still not ready to forgive Jeongguk.

“No.”

Jeongguk’s eyes shoot up, filled with regret and the beginnings of tears. The younger awkwardly sets the sandwiches on the table, careful not to disturb anything. His downcast eyes set off a pity cannon in Yoongi, and Yoongi holds an arm out to stop Jeongguk from leaving.

“I don’t forgive you, but we can still be friends. Just, just give me time.” Yoongi murmurs as he cards his fingers through his hair. He doesn’t miss the way the younger’s eyes light up after that.

Soon he’s smothered in a hug he doesn’t want but needs, the fire coursing through his veins no longer a blazing hot, but now a soft warm that only lazy Sundays could radiate. And he holds onto that moment, because it could be the only itme Jeongguk hugs him with that amount of love.

“I also brought you your favourite white chocolate mocha. It’s outside. I’ll go get it.”

“Oh god, I love you.”

It’s a murmur, but Yoongi doesn’t miss the way the backs of Jeongguk’s ears turns a pretty shade of pink.

(Yoongi’s not lying though)

*

Yoongi curses his sweaty palms as he fumbles with the knife in his hands, trying unsuccessfully to chop onions. He’d rather be watching the episode of Weekly Idol that Hoseok is re-watching on their television, but after all the “emotional distress”, as Namjoon puts it, that he’s caused Seokjin, it’s best if he helps out. Seokjin’s smiling, which makes Namjoon smile, which makes Jimin smile, which makes everyone smile.

Even Yoongi.

Someone’s hands wrap around Yoongi’s middle, startling him.

“Hyung’s back, stay here with us, okay?” Taehyung smiles near Yoongi’s ear as he whispers.

Yoongi absentmindedly pats Taehyung’s hands and continues to massacre onions, slicing and dicing, and no, he’s not crying, it’s just the onions.

Jesus Christ, get yourself together!

But he can’t help it, a loud sob wrenches its way out of his chest and he collapses into a crouch, falling back on Taehyung. The noise that he makes is animalistic, a sound that has everyone dropping everything to rush to the kitchen. Yoongi waves them away, but it’s hard for other people to take you seriously when tears are streaming down your face. He curls up into a ball, letting Taehyung pet his hair and coo at him.

He looks back and Taehyung’s eyes are filled with tears, but the latter us smilling, all teeth, as he taps his mouth, as if telling Yoongi to smile, it’s okay, you’re okay.

He feels like an actual baby as each member hugs him tight, and he’s still sitting on the floor, the other six all tearing up. Body wracking sobs soon turn into small hiccups that have Jimin giggling softly at. They sit in a circle on their small kitchen room floor, all holding each other’s hands.

Yoongi’s in between Taehyung and Jeongguk, and he doesn’t miss how their youngest rubs his thumb over Yoongi’s to reassure him. Yoongi leans towards Jeongguk, and the latter releases Yoongi’s hand to throw an arm over the rapper’s shoulders.

It’s all good right now.

It’s all sunshine and rainbows, butterflies and meadows, and Yoongi couldn’t be happier, surrounded with the best friends of his life.

He can’t pinpoint the moment that he realises he loves them with every fibre of his body, and he tells them that he loves them anyway, and it’s met with laughter and agreement.

(He doesn’t tell them that he loves the boy whose arms he’s in a bit more than anyone.

*

The void of emptiness isn’t present in Yoongi anymore, and the incident with everyone has sucked the numb feeling out of him, the tears that fell lightened his body and he’s no longer the Yoongi he used to be. He smiles and laughs more, the fake hollow sounds eradicated from his body.

And even if he feels pulled down by the stress that comes with the hectic lifestyle of an idol, there’s always Taehyung and Jeongguk.

Jeongguk, oh god, Jeongguk.

The younger is so nice to him now, always stopping by Yoongi’s studio to check on how Yoongi’s doing, buying the rapper coffee and instant noodles, cuddling with him on the couch in Yoongi’s studios on rare occasions that Yoongi learns to treasure.

The onslaught of feelings that Yoongi has for the younger has left Yoongi feeling happy and contented, and seeing Jeongguk makes him smile, which makes the younger smile. Maybe, just maybe there’ll be a chance for them.

***

It’s three p.m. and most of them have returned from their various duties. Taehyung and Jimin are wrapped up under blankets doing god knows what, Hoseok is watching his dramas and Jeongguk is in the kitchen, humming under his breath while waiting for water to boil.

“What are you singing?” Jeongguk feels Yoongi murmur against the back of his neck, causing him to jump a mile high, a pretty splash of red dusting the elder’s cheeks. Jeongugk turns around, smiling sheepishly.

“Nothing that you’d like.”

“Sing for me, won’t you?” Yoongi eyes glint as he presses Jeongguk to the counter top, taking the younger’s hands in his, grinning mischievously.

Yoongi can’t help the cliché jaw drop that happens when the younger opens his mouth, and Jeongguk smiles, grabbing the elder’s hand and waist.

“Wise men say, only fools rush in, But I can't help falling in love with you Shall I stay, would it be a sin? If I can't help falling in love with you”

Jeongguk spins Yoongi around the kitchen, relishing in the small giggles Yoongi lets out, feeling his chest swell every time Yoongi looks into his own eyes.

“Like a river flows, surely to the sea, Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be Take my hand, take my whole life too for I can't help falling in love with you”

He isn’t sure what these feelings meant, but he is sure of one thing: Yoongi is an angel sent down from heaven. He can tell by the way his body is burning up with every step he takes, holding the rapper close to him.

And his laugh, oh god, his laugh.

Is it even alright to fall in love with your best friend’s laugh?

“Like a river flows, surely to the sea, Darling so it goes, some things are meant to be Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can't help falling in love with you For I, can't help, falling in love with you”

When he sees Yoongi’s smile, he feels the same thing he did when he held  her hand. Magic and fireworks. An endless feeling of contentment. Empty yet full, and burning from fingers to toes. The entire galaxy.

Jeongguk stops their waltz, and realises how close they were. Face flushed with excitement, he hears the elder’s breath stop for one, two, three, seconds before he sighs, and Jeongguk can feel Yoongi’s breath on his face. He grins, and presses his forehead to Yoongi’s, a trick he learned to calm the rapper down from Taehyung.

If anything, it gets the rapper more worked up than before, his breath coming hard and fast, almost to the point of hyperventilating. Jeongguk places both hands on Yoongi’s cheeks and pushes a stray strand of hair away. He’s seen Taehyung do this before, and Yoongi doesn’t push his hands away like he would to Taehyung. Jeongguk senses Yoongi’s hands wrapping around his waist, body pressing up to Jeongguk, fitting like missing pieces of a puzzle.

Jeongguk can see every single detail of Yoongi’s bare face, the small scar under the rapper’s right eye and the mole in his left eyebrow. The proximity is getting to his head, and he’s suddenly so aware of the strands of hair brushing his thumbs, the smooth skin under his hands, the height difference, the weight of Yoongi’s hands on the small of his back. This was nothing like the casual hugs he gave the elder, the simple cuddles in the morning. This was, this was…

He wasn’t even sure anymore.

“Hey.”

Yoongi’s scratchy Daegu accent hits Jeongguk like a bullet train, scrambling up his brains until he was just a mess of wild teenage hormones.

Jeongguk strokes Yoongi’s cheek absentmindedly, trying to supress the scream threatening to push out of him. He likes the warmth Yoongi supplies, the feeling of hugging a cat on a lazy afternoon. He likes the way Yoongi talks, and the way he raps, the way the words never seemed to stumble on his tongue. He likes the way Yoongi never seems to give up, no matter how tough the stress got.

He liked how Yoongi poured his soul into everything he did, be it lyrics or presents for fans, he gave it his all. He liked how Yoongi treats the other members, caring and gentle just like a father. He likes how Yoongi smiles more often now, gums and all, at things he used to grumble at, like Seokjin’s lame jokes and the 95 line’s antics and Hoseok’s screams. He likes how Yoonig smells, like the shampoo he uses and it smells so much like home.

He likes…Yoongi?

Does he like Yoongi?

Yoongi is, well, Yoongi is always a good friend and mentor to him. After that fight they had, Jeongguk views Yoongi as precious, fragile even, something that needed to be taken care of. Yoongi is, well, his home. His everything. His mini galaxy.

And when they separate because of the shrieking kettle, he finds himself craving for more and more. He wants to dance with Yoongi at 3am in the morning without a care in the world. He wants to learn how to drive and then take Yoongi somewhere like Busan, or even a road trip to Daegu.

But has Yoongi forgiven him for what he said, what he did? He hurt Yoongi really badly, and he’s not even sure if Yoongi’s okay anymore. He wants, needs, to make sure Yoongi’s okay. He wants Yoongi to be okay. He wants Yoongi to be happy.

Because Yoongi was the source of Jeongguk’s own happiness.

*

“Kid? Let’s have a talk.”

Jeongguk looks up from his anime to see the oldest, fidgeting awkwardly. And if Jeon Jeongguk knew Kim Seokjin at all, he’d know that Seokjin never fidgets.

Jeongguk pats the space next to him on the sofa, waiting for whatever hell was coming for him.

“Jeongguk-ah, you do know what sexualities are, right?”

Jeongguk splutters; he didn’t expect this.

“Yes. Yes.”

“Do you know yours? I mean, not to be rude, or to offend you, but you hang around Jimin and Taehyung and Yoongi a bit too much, not that there’s anything wrong with that, so, I’m just wondering…You know we’ll support you no matter what? Hoseok saw you in the kitchen with Yoongi the other day.”

Jeongguk feels like he’s on fire, and not in a good way.

“I like girls.” He answers, though he’s not quite sure himself.

“What about Yoongi hyung?” A voice teases from behind him, and Jeongguk decides to get Taehyung a bell for his birthday. That guy sure can creep.

“What about him?” Jeongguk asks, fighting the blush that works its way up is throat.

“You know, do you like him? More than a friend- friend way?”

Jeongguk wants to smack them for being so childish.

But he hesitates, processing the question. He’s always had a sort of brotherly worship for Yoongi, who excelled in so many ways. Duringt aht fight, he’d really seen Yoongi for who he really is; caring, thoughtful, self-destructive, beautiful.

There was nothing beautiful about the way Yoongi tended to push himself too hard and hole up in his studio, but the fact that Yoongi does it dor others, for their fans, that was something amazing. Yoongi was selfless, and he always thought of others. Too much. Sometimes Yoongi had to have someone to remind him to think of himself.

Yoongi was beautiful. He just needed someone to tell him that.

Jeongguk wanted to be that person.

Then Jeongguk thought of all the times that Yoongi was nice to him, treated him well, made sure that he ate enough, slept enough, while staying up late to work on lyrics and songs. Yoongi needed someone to care for him.

He remembered how good Yoongi’s hand felt in his, and thought of how happy he is when Yoongi smiles.

Did he like Yoongi?

Yes, yes, he liked Yoongi.

He snaps out of it and sees the crowd he’s gathered: an impatient Hoseok, curious Jimin and confused Namjoon. Where was Yoongi?

“Can he hurry? I want to watch my drama.”

“Shh, be quiet. He’s thinking.” Jimin hushes Hoseok as the group continues staring at Jeongguk like he was an exhibition on display.

“Why are you all here? Where’s Yoongi hyung?”

“See, I told you he’d say that!” Hoseok laughs, and he can see Jimin scowling, shoving 10000 won into Hoseok’s open hand.

“I like girls.” Jeongguk repeats, causing Taehyung to frown and take out his wallet. “But Yoongi hyung can be an exception.” He finds himself mumbling after, regretting his decision almost immediately after.

There’s a loud whoop and Seokjin looks like he’s wiping away proud tears, while Taehyung looks like he just won the lottery as Namjoon passes him 20000 won. Jeongguk feels light-headed.

“You’re heteroflexible then. It means you’re attracted to the opposite gender, but you may like someone of the same gende. It’s okay if you don’t like labels, but remember that sexuality is fluid. We won’t tell any of this to Yoongi, will we?” Seokjin pats Hoseok and Jimin a bit too hard on the leg.

Jeongguk isn’t paying attention to any of them. He wonders how long it will take for him to buy ramen and head to Yoongi’s studio. He bets he could make it under 40 minutes, provided he can slip away in five.

He just really wants to see Yoongi.

*

Jeongguk completely regrets his decision to tell the rest about his feelings towards Yoongi. Now whenever he’s around Yoongi, the other members will “mysteriously” disappear, and he’d catch Namjoon and Seokjin hiding behind a wall. He would look at Yoongi for more than two seconds and hear a “sha-la-la-la-la” from Hoseok.

Yoongi would hold his hand every so often and he would see Jimin hitting Taehyung and gesturing wildly in Jeongguk’s direction. Jeongguk wishes his friends weren’t so… enthusiastic.

*

“Ah, Jeongguk-ssi, here’s one for you. ‘Oppa, what would you do if your girlfriend was jealous? Can you act it out with one of the members?’ Wow, Jeongguk, it seems that you’ve got a lot of messages. Why don’t you pick one of your members to be your ‘girlfriend’?”

Jeongguk really wonders how fans come up with these questions. He pauses, knowing full well that this entire interview is scripted, and lets a smile spread across his face. He’s willing to bet anything that one of them bribed the PD-nim so this could happen.

“Suga-hyung?”

Laughter resounds around the interview room as Yoongi protests, and Jeonggguk bites his lip. He knows it’s scripted, but would Yoongi really react like this if he was posed with the possibility of being Jeongguk’s boyfriend?

“Oppa, nowadays you always look at other girls! Am I not good enough for you?” Yoongi pouts, but refuses to do aegyo, and retains his husky Daegu accent, sending Jeongguk spiralling into a deep dark abyss.

“Honey, you’re so beautiful, why would I need to look at other girls? Honestly, I think I’m not good enough for you.” He almost cringes with how bad it sounds, but he keeps his expression cheeky as he grins at Yoongi. The room erupts with groans and complains.

He can’t see the blush on Yoonigi’s face because it’s so caked with makeup, but he knows it’s there.

Yoongi returns to their original line with him, but Taehyung shifts so that Yoongi has to stand next to Jeongguk, an “accidental” mistake that will probably get overlooked by their manager. Taehyung subtly bumps into Yoongi, causing the elder to stumble and hit Jeongguk. Jeongguk catches Yoongi’s arm, and is responded with an absentminded pat on the waist from the rapper, but Jeongguk doesn’t fail to notice one thing.

Yoongi’s ears are the same pretty shade of pink as his hair.

Jeongguk thinks he can get used to seeing that colour on Yoongi’s face, and knowing that he’s the one who causes stoic Min Yoongi to blush makes him prouder than he ever was before.

*

“Chopsticks are literally just food sticks.”

“No, but hear me out. You can use chopsticks for self-defence.”

“We are eating kimbap right now and you guys are debating the uses of chopsticks? How domestic. It’s like a lover’s spat!” Seokjin says as he pushes past Jeongguk to grab the soy sauce.

“The use of chopsticks is very serious.” Jeongguk hears Yoongi mumble as he shoves kimbap into his mouth, grinning when Jeongguk nudges him playfully.

“Yoongi hyung, there’s rice on your face.”

The elder makes no move to remove the offending grain of rice, and Jeongguk is irked by the very presence of it messing up Yoongi’s face. So he moves, thumb brushing Yoongi’s cheek and caressing a part of Yoongi’s lip, and it has the elder almost choking on his mouthful of food.

The elder clears his throat and looks at Jeongguk. Jeongguk cocks his head, playing ignorant, ignorant to the fact that making Yoongi blush gives him a rush of emotions that warms his entire body and sends sparks flying everywhere. Jeongguk sees Yoongi’s eyes gravitate downwards while surveying the singer’s face, finally coming to rest on his lips.

Yoongi’s eyes shoot away, but Jeongguk doesn’t ignore the way the rapper’s hands fiddle with the hem of his oversized jacket.

Flustering Yoongi may be his new hobby.

*

Whenever Yoongi disappears it’s like Jeongguk has a string attached to the elder, telling him exactly where to go to find Yoongi. It’s uncanny, how Jeongguk now knows Yoongi so well. Like two pieces of a puzzle. A human sized puzzle.

Jeongguk can’t pinpoint the exact time he realised there was a connection; broken pieces of glass still match up to form a window. He felt it on one of the days he was sent out by Seokjin to call Yoongi from their room to eat.

He had bounded towards the door, opening it softly and creeping up behind Yoongi, who was writing (again) in his notebook. Kumamon rested on the table, looking over the rapper.

As Jeongguk approaches, he hears murmurs of “ah, that’s right” and “it needs more feel”. Considerable mutterings and wild gestures with a black pen, complete with dark eye bags and bitten lips, and you’ve got the whole package. Jeongguk’s surprised that Yoongi just hasn’t bitten his lip until it bled.

Dark red would look good on the pretty pink of Yoongi’s lips, he muses.

“Hyung, it’s dinner time.”

“Mmm. Yeah.”

Yoongi makes grabby hands and Jeongguk immediately slips a hand into Yoongi’s, pulling him up from his chair. Yoongi smiles at him, eyes crinkling and Jeongguk feels like he’s been punched.

Yoongi foes in for a hug and Jeongguk indulges him, slipping into the hig like he’s done a thousand times. They fit together like pieces of a puzzle, melding together. Yoongi’s hands on his waist is the lifeline that keeps him steady, keeps him tied to the earth. The height difference has Jeongguk’s chin on top of Yoongi’s head, and he breathes in the overwhelming scent of flowers, home and Yoongi. It’s a beautiful smell, one that reminds him of Saturday nights watching movies with the rest, Sunday nights spent stargazing with Yoongi and delicious warm home cooked food on a snowy day. It reminds him of happy times, and things he’d never want to forget.

The pieces of a puzzle that click together. The puzzle itself, is Jeongguk and Yoongi. With each passing day, he feels himself drawn to Yoongi more and more. The pieces are aligned, and he feels like it’s fate, it’s the stars telling him that Yoongi is the one. Because he feels like the universe is being born inside of him when everything surrounding him is Yoongi, the pink haired angel.

When they separate, Yoongi doesn’t let go of Jeongguk’s hand.

Jeongguk hopes he never lets go.

*

“Love blooms like cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms bloom like blood That stains your pretty skin like raindrops. They don’t come easy in the desert of my emotions No they don’t come easy Not when I’m missing you And all I can think about is your voice But it burns red hot, Red hot skin, You burned like a fire And that should have been the first clue That this would go down in flames And it burns, yes it burns And I thought you said you’d put me out”

Jeongguk watches from the sidelines as Yoongi clutches the microphone stands like it’s a life line, watches the rapper spit the words like they’re venom he needs to get out of his system. He sees the pain being washed away as Yoongi shuts his eyes tight, clutching the stand and leaning slightly to the side.

The song’s of lost love and the need for closure, and the beat of it sets people ablaze with the raw emotion Yoongi has channelled into the song, all the nights of sleeplessness and tears and instant ramen at 3 am compressed into an emotional masterpiece that has you stinging from the first chord. Jeongguk knows. He’s been with Yoongi every step of the way.

Yoongi’s solo performance stage drew more fans than they ever expected, the tickets selling out in the blink of an eye and the stadium jam-packed with screaming fans.

Yoongi’s on his last song, the last lap of a breath taking race that Jeongguk knows Yoongi’s never thought he could finish.

“And how can I say goodbye When you’ve never said hello to me in two months And how can I close this When I don’t even know what it was So thank you for the show, It was nice while it lasted.

“Thank you so much!”

The stage blackens and the fans let out a piercing shriek of Yoongi’s stage name. Jeongguk can see Yoongi jogging over to the backstage crew, shaking their hands, bowing and thanking them for their hard work. And when the elder makes his way over to the band, Jeongguk can see that Yoongi has tears in his eyes. The elder breaks into a full sprint, a goofy expression on his face.

Jeongguk opens his arms and Yoongi jumps straight into them, like a trained puppy. The elder whirls them around and Jeongguk ignores the way the other members stare at them. He ignores the looks from backstage crew and stylist noonas. Because all he needs to focus on is Yoongi.

Yoongi tucks his head into Jeongguk’s collar, humming appreciatively when Jeongguk rubs his hands on the elder’s back in comforting circles. Yoongi’s hands are thrown around his neck and it’s such a domestic move that it throws Jeongguk off.

“Thank you. I love you.”

Yoongi’s never vocal with his feelings and Jeongguk feels his eyebrows shoot up into his hairline. Flustered, he shushes Yoongi and continues cooing at him and telling him what a great job he did. If Yoongi was in his right mind Jeongguk would have been kicked into Hong Kong. But Yoongi snuggles deeper into Jeongguk’s embrace, squishing his face against the younger’s jacket, and Jeongguk knows Yoongi secretly loves being coddled.

Jeongguk hopes Yoongi meant what he said.

*

Dance practices were fun, especially for Hoseok, who could let go and flow with the continuous beat of the song pumping out of their studio’s speakers. Tiring, yes, but it was a fun way for them to bond, and there’s something there, a fire that gives Jeongguk life, and these movements make him proud he chose to be an idol.

Yoongi smiles a lot during dance practices. Maybe it’s cliché, but maybe it’s because he can dance all his stress off, though he likes to complain that the dances are too hard on everyone. Yoongi’s smile sends sparks shooting to the base of Jeongguk’s spine, has his heart pounding faster than ever. It has his legs turning to jelly and a warmth spreading in the hollow of his chest.

Yoongi’s legs are still as nice as SNSD’s, and Jeongguk can’t help but marvel at the rapper’s thighs every once and a while. Maybe he’s staring at them a little too greedily than he should. Those thighs, the ones that are always on his shoulders and near his head during dance practices, those thighs are a miracle.

Or at least that’s what the 19 year old side of him thinks.

Jeongguk blocks out all noise and focuses on Yoongi’s thighs, dance practice already forgotten. That’s how it all went down.

“Jeonggukie!”

Jeongguk feels something hit him square in the head, causing him to lose his balance, stumbling backwards and tripping, sending him sprawling straight onto the floor, groaning on impact.

Yoongi’s face is in view almost immediately, checking if Jeongguk had any bruises or a concussion, waving slim fingers above his face, a soft smile in place.

“Jeonggukie! Sorry, I tried to get you to catch that bottle of water, but you were…preoccupied.” Jimin smiles sheepishly, but Jeongguk can see the raw mischief in his eyes, and he curses Jimin because Yoongi’s concerned face is too close for comfort. Jimin whispers something to Yoongi, who doesn’t even blink.

Their dance instructor wraps things up for the day as Jeongguk massages the red spot on his own head. He watches as the staff file out of the dance studio, leaving the members behind. Somehow the other members, excluding Yoongi, lock eyes with each other at the same time, and start to leave, with murmured excuses, each one a bigger lie that the last. (Namjoon helping Seokjin cook? They’d return to the apartment burnt down.)

That left Yoongi and him alone, the rapper slowly collecting the empty water bottles strewn all over the place, throwing them away.

“You like my legs, Jeonggukie-ah? Jimin said you were looking at them and that’s why you got hit in the face with that water bottle. Are my legs that distracting?”

Jeongguk can feel his knees tremble and lock upon hearing the term of endearment, the simple syllable has him heating up in no time. He flushes red, turning slowly to face the elder. Yoongi saunters towards him, like a big cat on the prowl, hunting its innocent prey down. Yoongi, for the love of god, chose to wear shorts today, and his milky-white thighs has screws popping off Jeongguk’s brain.

“Jeongguk? Do you like my legs?”

The elder crouches near him and Jeongguk swallows, hard. Yoongi’s shirt oh so conveniently rides up to showcase a cute little trail heading south, and no, Jeongguk shouldn’t be thinking about that.

“What will you do if I say yes?”

Yoongi shrugs, previous confidence now gone. He turns to look at the very interesting closet on Jeongguk’s left, but Jeongguk can see the pretty pink dusting Yoongi’s cheeks.

The elder gets up, and pats Jeongguk on the forehead, rubbing the red skin.

“You’re cute, Jeongguk. Be more careful next time.”

Yoongi crouches down and is gone in an instant, turning to flee out the studio door. Jeongguk’s heart is beating fast and hard, and he feels like he could cry, because Yoongi just kissed him.

It was short and sweet, a simple peck on his forehead that had blood rushing to his face, and he can almost hear the blood being pumoed around his ears. He feels light-headed, like he could fly. But he sits there in a daze, trying to process what happened, because that simple kiss, made him go haywire.

*

Jeongguk yawns as he fiddles with the keys to their apartment. Most of the members were lounging around their dance studio, and Jeongguk had found it weird that they had brushed him off when he said he was going to return to the dorm, but he shrugged it off, choosing a nice warm shower over hanging out with five other sticky boys. Yoongi was nowhere to be seen, and Jeongguk couldn’t help but admit he missed his favourite hyung.

His forehead still stung from the kiss he got.

As he opened the door, he was greeted with the familiar beat of one of Yoongi’s songs and smiles. Yoongi was most probably passed out on the couch, and Jeongguk couldn’t wait to cuddle with the sleepy rapper.

“Jeonggukie?”

Jeongguk registers how dark it is in the apartment, frowning at the lack of visibility. The only lights on were the ones in the kitchen, and Yoongi’s voice trails from that room. Jeongguk gravitates towards the enticing smell of something baking.

“Yoongi hyung? Why are all the lights off?”

He pops his head into the kitchen, spotting Yoongi fiddling with the knobs on their oven, turning it off.

Yoongi turns around and scrunches his nose, a cute habit that Jeongguk always never fails to miss.

“I was going to, I mean…I was going to surprise you but…”

Yoongi takes a deep breath and holds it, and Jeongguk can see the gears turning in the elder’s head. Yoongi exhales, as if deciding something.

“Jeonggukie? Can I ask you a question?”

Yoongi takes small steps towards the younger and his shyness is not lost on Jeongguk, and the simple act of Yoongi dropping his head to stare at the ground has Jeongguk’s heart beating like a machine gun.

He watches as Yoongi steels himself and looks up, eyes lined with thick strokes, bringing out the warm, dark chocolatey brown of his eyes. Jeongguk could get lost in those eyes for days. Yoongi’s pale skin seems to glow ethereally in the kitchen light, and Jeongguk’s breath stills as the rapper moves to hold his hands.

 “Jeonggukie? Can I kiss you?”

Jeongguk feels his heart stop as is arms go limp, legs slowly turning to jelly. He’s sure his expression is one of deep shock, with the adorably concerned face Yoongi has on right now. He sees the elder’s eyes search his, glancing left and right nervously.

He doesn’t trust his mouth, so he nods, a small squeak escaping. He watches as Yoongi bites his lip and stands on his tip-toes, hands moving to cup Jeongguk’s face. Jeongguk’s heart is pounding hard and fast, and Yoongi’s feather light touches has him melting around the edges. Yoongi hesitates, and Jeongguk wants to scream.

But Yoongi’s mouth presses against his and his brain short circuits, eyelids flying shut as he takes in the scent of vanilla, home and Yoongi. The kiss sends Jeongguk to heaven, and it’s everything he wished it would be, if not better.

It’s magic and fireworks, and he presses harder against Yoongi’s lips, hands sliding against the elder’s cheeks and carding them through Yoongi’s soft hair, gasping as Yoongi swipes his tongue against his bottom lip, causing heat to rush to his cheeks.

They break away and Jeongguk gulps down air, but they don’t separate, noses and foreheads pressing together, breaths mingling. Yoongi smiles his gummy smile and Jeongguk nuzzles their noses together, laughing softly as the rapper pouts, nose scrunching up in an adorable fashion.

His hands unconsciously slide to Yoongi’s hips and squeezes, softly, revelling in the gasp the shorter lets out. Yoongi’s hands trace the sides of his face, and the rapper’s eyes are wide with amazement and Jeongguk sees tears start to well up.

Yoongi kisses his forehead, and his eyes flutter shut as Yoongi presses small kisses to his temple, eyelids, nose and peck at his mouth, before pressing butterfly kisses to Jeongguk’s jawline, and leaves a little trail of kisses along Jeongguk’s neck.

He sighs in contentment as Yoongi presses a final kiss to the hollow of his throat, and the rapper tucks his head there. Jeongguk’s hands come up to stroke at Yoongi’s hair, smiling at Yoongi’s contented look as he presses up against the younger, wrapping himself around Jeongguk tightly.

“I think I love you, hyung.”

“Kookie, I’ve been in love with you since forever.”

As they eat the cake Yoongi made for them, Jeongguk stares at Yoongi munching on the cae, sighing softly at Yoongi’s small smile. He wonders if this was what being in love felt like. He props his chin on one hand and tries not to giggle as Yoongi gets frosting on his nose, and instead kisses it away. He kisses Yoongi’s pretty pink cheeks and threads his fingers into Yoongi’s. Jeongguk kisses each one of Yoongi’s fingers, one by one, and pauses at Yoongi’s left ring finger, a cheeky smile appearing on his face.

Pulling one of his own rings off, he slides it onto the offendingly empty finger.

“I love you, hyung.”

“I love you too, Kookie.”