It hurts to know when someone doesn't love you, as much as you love them.
Namjoon knows that in theory, but it's an entirely different ache in practice. No one ever said how much it felt like suffocating, the pressure on his chest increasing with every song Yoongi writes, with every tentative demo he sends out.
You better make a move man, Hoseok had said, arms crossed over his chest while he watched Namjoon watching Yoongi through the glass. Else he's gonna fucking leave.
He won't leave, Namjoon had protested, watching Yoongi's mouth shape the dragon fire that was always burning in his gut into words that did just as much damage in all the right places. Hoseok had looked at him, cocking one eyebrow, and sighed, shaking his head.
Whatever, man, He'd said, shoving his hands into his pockets and heading for the open door. I wouldn't count on that.
Namjoon watches Yoongi work his way through pages of lyrics, picking out the ones he wants to record while yammering excitedly about his mastery of the newest program he's been trying; Namjoon watches his dark, cherry-brown hair shine in the bad lighting. It makes Yoongi look paler, even sicklier than usual. “You look like a ghost,” Namjoon deadpans in the middle of Yoongi's sentence. He hadn't even been listening, really. Just watching Yoongi talk.
“What? What the fuck, dude, I was being serious!”
“About what,” Namjoon asks, sitting back.
“Are you deaf? I said someone at Backtrack wants my demo.”
“That's why I'm here on a Sunday, fuckstick,” Yoongi rolls his eyes and Namjoon's chest collapses in on itself. “Trying to figure out what to send them so they don't think I suck. I sure as hell ain't here for the company.” He elbows Namjoon in the shoulder with that grin he grins when he knows he's getting away with murder. “But you gotta help me pick.”
For a moment Namjoon entertains the idea of picking Yoongi's weak songs. He can't really hear properly. His ears are full of water.
“I can't believe you're really thinking of leaving us,” Namjoon says, after four unbearable hours of listening to Yoongi yammer and scratch, write and cuss. It comes out a lot more hurt than he meant it to, and he turns to grab his jacket to hide the twist in his face.
“You can't expect me to stay forever, Namjoonie.”
Namjoon's never been more grateful to have a big hood, because that feels like a punch in the gut, a palm to the jaw, a sweep of his legs. He's on his back and looking up at Yoongi, but Yoongi's walking away. Namjoon didn't think he could ever ask Yoongi to stay, not when he knew that he would have chosen to leave, if given the opportunity.
The worst part about that is now, Namjoon has to face the reality that it was never true in the first place. Opportunity or Min Yoongi?
He chooses Yoongi every time.
This is the break Yoongi's been waiting for. He's been patient, he's been calculating, and now one of the biggest hip hop labels in the country is interested in his work. He'd waited to tell Namjoon, because-- well. Because he'd known Namjoon would take it badly, and the grating brassiness of his voice after he finds out illustrates that with perfect clarity. He's taking it hard. He won't look at Yoongi with his eyes open, just grins that stupid, toothy, hollow grin as he locks up and waves himself off, because he has plans with Hoseok.
...Hoseok is at home with Seokjin, probably making out while some b-grade horror movie plays in the background.
Still. Yoongi shouldn't concern himself with Namjoon's feelings. Namjoon is a grown man, and Yoongi doesn't want to deal with his petty jealousy.
When he gets home, he looks over the lyrics, the composition sheets. Hopefully Namjoon cares enough not to lie to him about the quality of his work. Yoongi doesn't think he's that shallow, that petty. But he might be. Yoongi fights off the guilty feeling in his chest. He's not breaking up with Namjoon, for christ's sake. He's... Exploring other options. Yeah. With big record companies, with professional facilities and actual paychecks and maybe he can finally get that cat he's been wanting for months.
That was mean, Jimin says on the phone later. Waiting till the last minute to tell him like that, hyung. That was mean.
“I'm not being mean!” Yoongi splutters, on his third bottle of beer and very unimpressed with the world at large, and how it's trying to make him out to be the bad guy here. “I'm doing what every other worthless human on this planet does, okay? I'm looking out for myelf.”
That's a shitty thing to do, Jimin says. Yoongi can almost see the younger man's furrowed brow. You know Namjoon cares about you a lot, right?
“Of course I know,” Yoongi says, setting the empty bottle down onto the coffee table before picking up a fourth. “Do you think I'm blind? I think he's probably the only one who doesn't know that I know.” He's known forever. That's why he wrote that Hong Kong line into that one song-- just so he could watch Namjoon turn red on the other side of the glass like some grade-schooler. It had brought him great satisfaction at the time.
So why are you being mean to him? If you're going to break up with him, do it like a man, hyung!
“We aren't even dating!” Yoongi shouts, ending the call and throwing his phone to the other end of the couch, burying his face into a throw pillow to shout. They're not even dating. So why does he feel like such utter shit?
When Yoongi gets to the studio the next morning, Namjoon is passed out on the console. And as much as he wants to be surprised, he isn't, and as much as he wants to be nice to Namjoon, he doesn't have the patience. He's hung over, his head is on fire, and Namjoon is a fucking moron.
He jerks the chair back from the console and Namjoon yelps in surprise. He looks around like a cartoon character before his eyes settle on Yoongi. Yoongi knows he looks like shit-- he's swollen around the eyes, red-cheeked and his white hoodie doesn't hide his messy hair. “Get up, asshole,” he says, and Namjoon grumbles, rubbing at his eye, at the saliva-wet corner of his mouth. “Christ, you drooled on the console, you fucking ape,” Yoongi rolls his eyes and grabs for a paper towel. He feels Namjoon watching him, feels the aura of cautious confusion.
“Stop looking at me like that,” he says, and the chair jerks as Namjoon shifts.
“I wasn't looking at you.”
“Yeah, sure, you lie to your friends, Kim Namjoon, and I'll lie to mine, but lets not lie to each other.”
Yoongi tosses the paper towel into the wastebasket and grabs Namjoon by the front of his hoodie. Namjoon stares up at him in confusion and vague worry.
“Listen here, asshole,” he says, his eyes mostly closed. Shit, he'd had something a lot more eloquent in mind last night when he was practicing this speech in front of his bathroom mirror in his boxers. “Listen. Are you fucking listening?”
“Yes,” Namjoon says, squinting back at him.
“Good. You're a fucking idiot. I'm not breaking up with you.”
“What the fu--”
“I'm not breaking up with you,” Yoongi growls, shaking Namjoon's shirt a bit. “So stop fucking acting like I don't love you or some shit just because I'm sending my demo out. If you'd bother sending your shit out, you'd have been signed months ago. Don't fuckin'--”
Yoongi wants to keep ranting, because now his blood pressure is rising and fuck, yes, he is mad at Namjoon, but Namjoon is jerking out of the chair and he's hugging Yoongi to his chest. Yoongi sometimes forgets how much taller Namjoon is. He always holds himself with a slouch.
“Sorry,” Namjoon says. Yoongi scowls and hits his ribs with one arm. Not very effectively.
“You fucking should be. Moron. Now get off me, we have work to do.”