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Broken Without You (Drown In Me)

Chapter Text

They met at the ripe old age of three. One was shy with a dimpled smile and inquisitive eyes; the other was a ball of rambunctious energy with an infectious laugh. They became fast friends, and if one was seen the other was never far behind. They were two peas in a pod, the peanut butter to the other’s jelly. Inseparable.

 

They grew, they liked girls, but they loved each other -- not in a sexual way, or at least, they didn’t think so. But it’s hard to define their closeness; it was different from other boys, other people their age. Namjoon seemed lost on days Jackson wasn’t around -- days like today when Jackson was away for a fencing competition. It felt, to Namjoon, like a part of him had gone missing.

 

They’re fifteen and it shouldn’t matter this much, shouldn’t matter at all, that Jackson isn’t there. But it does, so much that it hurts. Namjoon’s phone buzzes on his bed.

 

From: wanglosaxson

What ya doing?

 

To: wanglosaxon

Nothin

You?

 

From: wanglosaxon

Bored…

 

To: wanglosaxon

You miss me huh

⊙▃⊙

 

From: wanglosaxon

Yes

.

.

Shit

.

.

TTYL

 

The messages stop as Namjoon’s heart rate increases.

 

Jackson misses him too.

 

But was it the same? Did Jackson also feel like a part of himself has broken off?

 

Probably not.

 

Namjoon’s shoulders sag just as his phone buzzes again.

 

From: wanglosaxon

I’ll be home in an hr

Parents are gone

Wanna hang?

 

 

Namjoon smiles. They’re close, and Jackson misses him – and that’s enough.

 

To: wanglosaxon

Sure

Text when you’re home

 

From: wanglosaxon

K…

Uhm, Joonie?

 

To: wanglosaxon

Mmmm, what?

 

From: wanglosaxon

Spend the night?

 

Namjoon’s heart jumps as it always does at the thought of sleeping in a bed with Jackson, at the thought of his skin touching Jackson’s. He likes girls, sure -- they’re soft and giggly -- but… then there’s Jackson and their relationship can’t be defined.

 

To: wanglosaxon

….

 

They’re fifteen and their friendship has no rules, none that have been identified. Their hearts beat faster and wilder around each other, but that’s because they’re close, really close – plus they like girls and it’s not sexual, or at least, they still don’t think so.

 

To: wanglosaxon

Sure.

Chapter Text

They met at the ripe old age of three. One was shy with a dimpled smile and inquisitive eyes; the other was a ball of rambunctious energy with an infectious laugh. They became fast friends, and if one was seen the other was never far behind. They were two peas in a pod, the peanut butter to the other’s jelly. Inseparable.

 

They grew, they liked girls, but they loved each other -- not in a sexual way, or at least, they didn’t think so. But it’s hard to define their closeness; it was different from other boys, other people their age. Namjoon seemed lost on days Jackson wasn’t around -- days like today when Jackson was away for a fencing competition. It felt, to Namjoon, like a part of him had gone missing.

 

They’re fifteen and it shouldn’t matter this much, shouldn’t matter at all, that Jackson isn’t there. But it does, so much that it hurts. Namjoon’s phone buzzes on his bed.

 

From: wanglosaxson

What ya doing?

 

To: wanglosaxson

Nothin

You?

 

From: wanglosaxson

Bored…

 

To: wanglosaxson

You miss me huh

⊙▃⊙

 

From: wanglosaxson

Yes

.

.

Shit

.

.

TTYL

 

The messages stop as Namjoon’s heart rate increases.

 

Jackson misses him too.

 

But was it the same? Did Jackson also feel like a part of himself has broken off?

 

Probably not.

 

Namjoon’s shoulders sag just as his phone buzzes again.

 

From: wanglosaxson

I’ll be home in an hr

Parents are gone

Wanna hang?

 

Namjoon smiles. They’re close, and Jackson misses him – and that’s enough.

 

To: wanglosaxson

Sure

Text when you’re home

 

From: wanglosaxson

K…

Uhm, Joonie?

 

To: wanglosaxon

Mmmm, what?

 

From: wanglosaxson

Spend the night?

 

Namjoon’s heart jumps as it always does at the thought of sleeping in a bed with Jackson, at the thought of his skin touching Jackson’s. He likes girls, sure -- they’re soft and giggly -- but… then there’s Jackson and their relationship can’t be defined.

 

To: wanglosaxson

….

 

They’re fifteen and their friendship has no rules, none that have been identified. Their hearts beat faster and wilder around each other, but that’s because they’re close, really close – plus they like girls and it’s not sexual, at least, they still don’t think so.

 

To: wanglosaxson

Sure.

 

Jackson’s house is warm and comfortable, pictures line the wall of the Wang family and it makes Namjoon smile. Jackson’s room reminds Namjoon of their childhood, of laughter and innocent friendship and of nights spent building forts out of blankets. The room has seen them change from giggling toddlers with high-pitched voices, to teenage boys with rugged tones. These four walls have seen Namjoon grow from short and pudgy to lanky and tall, and Jackson from small and round to a body built like a mack truck.

 

Namjoon drops to the carpeted floor and crosses his legs as he leans his back against the frame of Jackson’s bed.

 

“How was your competition?” Namjoon asks as Jackson walks in the room.

 

“We won,” he holds out the medal that adorns his chest.

 

“Nice, congrats,” Namjoon says looking down at his hands, trying to ignore the slight raise in his heartbeat because victory looks way too good on Jackson.

 

Namjoon is unsure as to why he’s having this reaction, because the other boy looks no different from any other day. For some reason today, the lines in Jackson’s arms seemed more pronounced, and the muscles in his thighs seemed more defined. But, he looks like this every day, and yet Namjoon feels like he’s seeing the boy for the first time.

 

“So what’d you want to do?” Jackson asks as his powerful thighs propel him in Namjoon’s direction.

 

“Whatever,” Namjoon says and scoots over so Jackson can join him on the ground.

 

Jackson’s hand accidently brushes Namjoon’s arm as he slides to sit down.

 

“Your skin’s so warm,” Jackson muses mostly to himself.

 

“Mmm,” Namjoon wants to tell Jackson that his skin is warm too, but doesn’t because he’s unsure what would actually come out of his mouth. He runs a hand through his blonde hair hoping to clear his mind, his skin still throbbing with the ghost of Jackson’s touch.

 

“You should come next time,” Jackson’s voice is husky his tone hinting at something, but Namjoon doesn’t know what. “competitions are fun and all, but you’re really the only person I like hanging out with.” Jackson’s voice is back to normal and Namjoon releases the breath he didn’t know he was holding.

 

“Why? None of your sports friends are as dope as me?” Namjoon says jokingly as he hits Jackson on the arm.

 

“Nope, none of them are as uncoordinated and awkward as you,” Jackson grins and Namjoon pouts.

 

As though to prove Jackson right Namjoon gets up in a huff and flings his arm forward accidentally knocking over the lamp on the nightstand causing it to break into large pieces.

 

“Fuck, sorry,” Namjoon says biting his bottom lip.

 

Jackson laughs as he jumps to his feet, “I bow to you the God Of Destruction.” He says with an exaggerated sweep of his arm as he bends his body.

 

“You’re and idiot. Now help me clean it up,” Namjoon huffs out.

 

Jackson’s loud laughter fills every corner of the room, and as much as Namjoon hates to admit it, even if it means Jackson is making fun of him – the other’s crackles of mirth are his favorite sounds.

 

“Shit!” Namjoon exclaims when a piece of broken glass slices his index finger.

 

He shakes his hand hoping to chase away the stinging pain that’s beginning to set in.

 

“Fuck!” Jackson is glued to Namjoon’s side in an instant, grabbing the hurt appendage, “Be more careful, will you.” The words sound mean, but the tone is worried and concerned.

 

Namjoon is about to complain that he didn’t need to be scolded like a child, but the words die on his tongue when his finger is engulfed in the warm wetness of Jackson’s mouth. And time stands still, every thought in Namjoon’s head vanishes, he has no words, no concept of anything -- he knows nothing – except the sensation of Jackson’s tongue hard and firm against his skin.

 

“Jackson,” it comes out more moan than actual language and causes the dark-haired boy halts his actions.

 

“Shit, sorry,” Jackson drops Namjoon’s hand and takes a step back.

 

They stand clumsily for a moment each trying not to look the other in the eye. Jackson rubs the back of his neck as he clears his throat.

 

“Clumsy, much?” Jackson’s voice trying to sound light but fails.

 

There’s a heaviness weighing Jackson down, like anchors tied to his feet dragging him under water. Because fuck he didn’t want to stop. Namjoon’s skin is soft and warm, and Jackson’s mind is replaying the way Namjoon’s voice broke around his name, and the way Namjoon’s eyes were glued to him -- and it all felt so wrong and so right at the same time.

 

And fuck we can’t, because we’re boys and we’re friends and we like girls.

 

We like girls.

 

“Yah!” Namjoon answered back, even if he notices the gruff and rough tones of Jackson’s voice as it drips with something else, that Namjoon can’t qualify.

 

He flicks Jackson on the forehead playfully, “I am not clumsy, I simply lack dexterity.”

 

“You know that’s just another way of saying clumsy, right?” Jackson laughs as he fishes through the drawer and finds a band-aid. “Here take this, I’ll clean up the rest of the glass.” He hand’s Namjoon the adhesive strip, and if Jackson’s finger lingers a fraction longer than necessary on Namjoon’s skin, well, they’re both just going to ignore it.

 

That night they fall asleep with limbs tangled together like a spider’s web, soaking up each other’s warmth. They push aside any feeling that could mean something else, squelching any unwanted desire, pretending that the need to touch was natural, because…

 

They’re friends and they’re intimate, but it’s not sensual or sexy –

 

At least, that’s what they keep telling themselves.

 

 

Life moves on, and roughing-housing teens become fully grown men. They are twenty and roommates and they still haven’t given a title to their special connection. They’re men who both like women, but spend most of their nights together trying to get as close to each other as possible without crossing whatever invisible line they believe themselves to be standing behind.

 

They never talk about the heat or the tension they feel around each other. It just whirls around them like a typhoon waiting to strike, or a volcano that rumbles but never erupts. The feelings are pushed down, and they ignore that they touch a lot, and sit way too close. They ignore the mornings they find themselves waking up wrapped in each other’s arms. Never questioning why they hadn’t slept in their separate rooms. They reason--

 

They’re friends, and this is just how they interact.

 

Then -- it changes abruptly.

 

The day Jackson brought her into their world Namjoon had been thoroughly unprepared.

 

“Hey,” Jackson says as he walks through the door.

 

“Hey,” Namjoon hums from his place on the couch, computer in his lap editing his written words. He’s working on his Ph.D. and it’s his final year and his thesis is killing him. Namjoon’s written what feels like tens of billions of words, but really it was just four hundred and fifty-two pages.

 

“How’s it going?” Jackson asks as he drops on the couch and causes the laptop to jump in Namjoon’s lap.

 

Namjoon sighs, and that’s all the answer Jackson needs.

 

“It’ll be great Joonie; you’re incredible and smart and talented. Even if you coordinately challenged.” He laughs when Namjoon thumps him in the arm the blonde’s eyes never leaving the glowing screen. “Good news. I won’t be here to distract you tonight,” Jackson says as he heaves himself up from the chair.

 

The words find Namjoon’s head snapping up quickly, like a dog who hears a car in the distance.

 

“How come?” He asks, a little too quickly.

 

“I have a date,” Jackson yells from his bedroom.

 

“A date? Wow, with who?” Namjoon prays his voice sounds normal, and then wonders why it wouldn’t.

 

“The girl from the coffee shop, the one I pointed out to you. Last week she scribbled her number on my cup -- I would have missed it too if some of the ink hadn’t gotten on my hand.” Jackson says as he steps into the hall, chest bare and towel slung over his shoulder.

 

Namjoon averts his eyes, he does that a lot, and again he wonders why.

 

We’re both men.

 

“Oh, she was pretty. What was here name again Nani, Noni --”

 

‘Nana,” Jackson calls out from the bathroom.

 

“Right,” Namjoon says slowly.

 

The shower turning on ends any further dialogue.

 

Jackson comes out of his bedroom some time later dressed to kill, literally. Tight black jeans that accent his muscular legs, and a black skin hugging t-shirt that didn’t quite hide his rippling abdomen. Jackson’s head is adorned with his signature black leather snapback that he wears backward. Namjoon finds himself staring unabashedly. Jackson looks good, he always looks good and it shouldn’t matter – but it does, and Namjoon doesn’t understand why.

 

“Hey, you seen my red leather jacket?” Jackson’s voice pulls Namjoon from his daze.

 

“Uhm,” Namjoon’s voice is breathy and Jackson looks up at the sound.

 

A tinge of something coloring the brown-haired man’s dark irises causing a silent shiver to run through the blonde. Namjoon clears his throat and diverts his eyes, because Jackson’s stare is dangerous, and it shouldn’t be.

 

“In the hallway closet, I think,” Namjoon’s voice sounds almost normal.

 

“Thanks,” Jackson says as he turns away. He pulls the leather jacket on completing the ensemble. “Don’t stay up too late Joonie, you have work and school tomorrow,” Jackson walks to the couch and ruffles the man’s blonde hair.

 

Namjoon wants to lean into the touch; this too has been happening more and more, the desire to have Jackson’s hand on his skin last longer. But it never does.

 

“Will you be out late?” Namjoon asks and prays that his voice doesn’t sound as whiny as he feels.

 

“Mmm, probably not, it’s just dinner,” Jackson says as he walks to the door grabbing his keys off the counter. “See later.”

 

The apartment feels lonely and quiet and Namjoon wonders why.

 

They’re just friends and Jackson can date whoever he wants.

 

So why does it hurt?

 

Namjoon leaves the question unanswered, he doesn’t want to know why.

 

 

Nana becomes a permanent thing and Namjoon wants to dislike her, but he can’t. She’s funny and engaging and lovely. She makes Jackson smiles, she makes Jackson happy. So, he can’t hate her.

 

“What are you and noona doing for the New Year?” Namjoon asks as they stand in line for coffee.

 

“Hadn’t thought about it,” then Jackson turns around his eyes lasering Namjoon’s face, “why does it sound like you won’t be there too?”

 

“Oh, I-,” Namjoon rubs the back of his neck. “I got invited to a party by one of my classmates, and I figured you two wouldn’t want me hanging around.”

 

“Namjoon,” the barista calls, “caramel latte with a shot of expresso.”

 

Namjoon walks over to the counter.

 

Jackson doesn’t understand the tightening in his core, he’d been looking forward to it – time with Namjoon. New Year’s was their special tradition, sure Nana would be there, but why should that change anything?

 

“Why’d you do that?” Jackson asks a little too loud, and the lady next to him looks up quizzically. He blushes, he hadn’t meant to yell, but Namjoon is fucking with tradition. So he’ll yell if he goddamn wants to.

 

“Jackson, dark roast with vanilla.” The barista’s voice nudges him back to reality.

 

They walk out the shop coffee in hand, they are silent for a bit before Namjoon answers the question that Jackson had asked earlier.

 

“Because I didn’t want to be a third wheel,” and I don’t want to watch you kiss her at midnight he adds silently. And again Namjoon wonders why that matters.

 

Jackson stops walking, “You’re never a third wheel Joonie, never.” The slightly older man sounds hurt, and Namjoon stops walking.

 

It’s cold and they can see their breath, and for a bit Namjoon wonders if the white puffs are because of the frigid air or if it’s the steam from his overheated heart. Namjoon pulls his jacket closer.

 

“I know hyung, I wasn’t being mean. I just meant that New Years is a time for couples, and you have someone now – you know, to kiss at midnight. So…”

 

Jackson stares Namjoon skin is red and he’s not sure if it’s because of the bitter cold or something else entirely. Jackson wants to touch, to see if the crimson tint is hot or cool, but instead, he digs his hands deeper into his pockets.

 

“If I promised not to, you know, kiss her. Would you come?” Jackson’s voice is pleading and Namjoon nearly gives in, nearly.

 

“Hyung, you can’t do that,” Namjoon says as he strains out a laugh.

 

“New Years Eve is a tradition Joonie, we get drunk and do stupid shit. What if--”

 

“We can hang after, I already promised,” Namjoon says with finality. It’s cold and it hurts and he doesn’t want to have this conversation. Because if they continue, if they continue – he may say too much.

 

Jackson doesn’t press, and he doesn’t offer up any more solutions. Instead, he takes the five steps needed to close the gap between them and undoes his scarf from around his neck and wraps it tightly around Namjoon’s neck.

 

“Learn to dress for the weather, will ya,” the dark-haired man says with a sigh that sounded like defeat.

 

Namjoon smiles, and doesn’t complain, because this scolding felt like, like love?

 

Well of course it does, they’re friends, almost brothers - of course, they love each other. It’s what Namjoon chooses to believe, he can’t allow himself to think anything else. They’re just friends, really, really close friends.

 

On New Years Eve Jackson does more than kiss Nana. They touch and move in ways that his body wants, but his heart doesn’t. She moans and pushes into him and it feels good, but not amazing. His earth doesn’t shake and his heart doesn’t flutter. It’s just sex, and nothing more. She falls apart under him with tiny cries and whimpers, and he rides her till she calms down. But he doesn’t fall apart even when he comes, it feels good getting release, but it’s still just sex – nothing special.

 

As they lie in bed, Nana wrapped in his arms sighing contently in her sleep, Jackson wishes he had pushed, had made Namjoon change his mind. Because he missed him, wanted to be spending the beginning of this new year with the slightly younger man. Jackson vows before falling into slumber, that next year, next year he’ll be spending New Years the way they always do, with each other.

 

Nana is beautiful and Jackson likes her, but he doesn’t love her. He doesn’t miss her when she’s not around, he doesn’t long to touch her when she’s close. But she’s a girl and she’s gorgeous, and he’s supposed to want her. So, he continues their relationship, hoping to fill the void that time spent away from Namjoon creates.

 

Jackson comes home late and finds Namjoon asleep on the couch, textbook on his stomach and pen still clutched in between his fingers. Jackson’s heart clenches at the picture because Namjoon is beautiful, and he knows he shouldn’t feel this way, but he does. He misses the blonde when he’s not around, and right now his fingers are aching to trace the man’s dewy skin. All the things he should feel for Nana, he feels for his best friend, and it’s scary and exciting.

 

But it’s not sexual, they’re just close.

 

Namjoon stirs and the pen falls from his hand. Jackson’s not sure when he moved but he’s next to Namjoon bending down to pick up the pen. Then for some reason, he sits, next to the couch, next to Namjoon. The blonde’s breathing is shallow and quiet, and Jackson is mesmerized by the rise and the fall of the other’s chest. Each breath that Namjoon takes feels as though it’s being robbed from Jackson’s lungs. He’s breathless and the need to touch grows harder to control. Jackson lays his face on the couch inches from Namjoon’s and the blonde’s breath coats his skin, and Jackson inches forward. Namjoon’s lips are centimeters away, they look soft and inviting and --

 

What the holy fuck!

 

Jackson jumps up as though the ground beneath him had bit him or had been lit on fire. He walks to his room and throws himself on the bed. The weight of what he was about to do, what he wanted to do -- fuck, what he still wants to do hitting him. The brown-haired man turns till he’s face down in his bed, then he groans into his sheets. There’s no more pretending, no more acting like this is normal like what he feels when he’s around Namjoon is just friendship. It’s not, and Jackson knows it. He falls asleep tormented by Namjoon’s lips and the aching need to touch his friend’s skin.

 

The next weeks are hard for Jackson, Nana is clingy and needy almost as though she knows she’s losing him. He feels apologetic, and he tries to be what she wants, because she is the right choice. But every morning that he has to force himself to dislodge from Namjoon without touching inappropriately – he’s reminded of who he wants.

 

They continue their act, but the tension between them is almost tangible. Each wondering if the other can feel it as well. Jackson has taken to spending the nights away, waking up with Nana in his arms is far less painful. He doesn’t ache to stay close when he’s with her, doesn’t pray that they stay asleep forever when she’s by his side. But a new ache replaces the old, and this pain feels like it shredding him from the inside out, and unraveling him like a knitted sweater with a kink.

 

On the days he does come home, Jackson waits till he is sure the blonde is asleep. Because just seeing Namjoon hurts, and the sway to be near, to touch, to taste is more that he can handle. He contemplates moving out, maybe distance is what they need. Maybe these feeling have been created because of their constantly close proximity. He opens the door as quietly as possible.

 

“You’re home,” Namjoon’s voice startles him.

 

“Mmm, why are you still awake it’s four in the morning?” Jackson doesn’t move closer.

 

“Couldn’t sleep,” Namjoon’s voice sounds tired. There are dark circles under the blonde’s eyes has Jackson wondering when the man last slept.

 

Jackson moves from the door further into the room, “You look like shit, when was the last time you slept?”

 

Namjoon shrugs, he doesn’t really know when he last slept. He hates sleeping because he knows when he wakes up Jackson won’t be there and it hurts. So he stays awake hoping that it will ease the sting, which Jackson’s absence brings.

 

It doesn’t.

 

His eyes feel like they’re filled with sand, but Jackson’s here now, and who knows for how long? So, the blonde fights to stay awake. Namjoon gets up to meet Jackson, but his legs are wobbly and he stumbles forward, and Namjoon would have landed face first on the ground, but strong arms caught him and held him steady.

 

“Damn it Joonie, why the fuck haven’t you been sleeping?” Jackson’s voice is warm against Namjoon’s skin.

 

The blonde sighs.

 

“Can’t,” Namjoon answers as his head drops on Jackson’s shoulder and his fingers grip the front of the man’s shirt.

 

“Why?” Jackson asks softly, his arms tightening around the blonde. He’d been caught and now he’s not sure that he’d ever be able to let go, Namjoon felt right against his skin.

 

“Missed you,” Namjoon voice his hoarse. The words falling out just before sleep overtakes the blonde. The comfort of Jackson’s arms made the pull of slumber too hard to fight.

 

“Missed you too,” Jackson sighs as he bends and lifts the blonde in his arms and carries him to his room.

 

Namjoon’s fingers are still clinging to his shirt, and Jackson could remove them, he could. But he doesn’t. Instead, he climbs into bed next to the man and pulls Namjoon as close as he can. Every fiber of Jackson’s being exhales, it’s as though his inside are singing with joy at the press of Namjoon’s body against his.

 

The blonde slots his leg in between Jackson’s and cuddles into the man’s board chest, then sighs and tightens his hold on Jackson’s shirt as though silently commanding the man not to leave. To Jackson, it feels as though Namjoon is sinking into his skin and becoming one with his membrane. It feels perfect, like the creation of life, and sunshine all at the same time.

 

The brown-haired man is too tired to fight, and too tired to pretend that where he is isn’t exactly where he wants to be. So Jackson surrenders, just for tonight he’ll pretend there are no walls between them, pretend that being in love with his best guy friend isn’t a social taboo.

 

As his body gives into the peace that being next to Namjoon brings, all of Jackson’s walls and filters crumble, too exhausted to stay up. And just before he’s pulled into dreamland where Namjoon is happily waiting for him with a dimpled smile, Jackson says the words that have been sitting on the tip of his tongue for years but were being held prisoner by his fears.

 

“I love you Joonie, so much.” Jackson falls asleep with a smile on his face, he said it, finally.

 

They don’t talk about that night in the morning when they woke up wrapped up so tightly together it’s hard to tell where one started and the other ended. They also, don’t talk about why Jackson has started coming home every night, nor do they talk about the fact that since that night even when they go to sleep in separate beds, they wake up together. They don’t speak about it, because what is there to say? How would they ever explain?

 

It’s Nana who first talks. Nana, who opens the door that Jackson and Namjoon had locked with deadbolts and cinderblocks.

 

“You know we been dating for almost two years now. Don’t you think it’s time we take it to the next level?” Her eyes seem to be staring into Jackson’s soul as she asks the question.

 

“Next level?” Jackson’s eyebrows arch quizzically.

 

“Yeah, you could, I mean if you wanted to – maybe we could,” she takes a deep breath. “move in together.” She looks hopefully.

 

They’re at a restaurant but right now it feels to Jackson as though they are in outer space and there is a tear in his space suit, because he can’t breathe.

 

“M-move in together?”The words sound foreign on his tongue.

 

“Yeah, you can’t live with your best friend forever, right? I mean, don’t you plan on getting married, starting a family? Doesn’t Namjoon?”

 

Jackson had tabled the moving out idea the day he found Namjoon awake after having not slept for God knows how long. The same night he’d told his sleeping friend that he loved him. So, the thought of leaving was no longer an option. Will never be an option. But Nana was right, what about Namjoon. Was Jackson holding him back?

 

“Don’t know, we’ve never talked about it,” Jackson answers. “You tell me all the time I’m disorganized and unkempt. Why would you want to live with me?” Jackson tries to make his voice light, almost joking.

 

“I like you, a lot,” her answer is so simple so honest it makes Jackson’s stomach clench. Because he likes her too, just not in the same way. “I want to wake up in your arms, and listen to your corny jokes. So, will you think about it at least?”

 

Jackson wants to say no, but he knows the right answer is yes. It’s what he’s supposed to say. “I’ll think about it,” it’s the best answer he can give her. Nana’s smile is radiant and Jackson feels guilty.

 

Three days later the walls come falling down.

 

“Hey, what ya doing?’ Jackson walks into the living room to find Namjoon on his hands and knees peering under the couch.

 

“Can’t find my phone. I thought I put in my bag, but it’s not there.” The blonde says a mixture of urgency and frustration color his voice.

 

“Want me to call it for you?”

 

“Yes! Why didn’t I think of that?” Namjoon knocks himself on the forehead.

 

“Not everyone is blessed with my quick thinking brain so don’t feel bad,” Jackson says ducking to miss the pillows that Namjoon launched in his direction.

 

He grabs his phone out of his pocket and presses the speed dial one button. When Namjoon jumps up as though struck by lightning, Jackson stares at roommate curiously then breaks out into uncontrollable laughter when Namjoon reaches into his back pocket and takes out his phone.

 

“It’s not that funny,” the blonde pushes past Jackson, cheeks red with embarrassment.

 

“Uhm, I beg to differ,” Jackson says in between laughter.

 

He follows Namjoon into the kitchen snickering a little louder every time the blonde rolls his eyes.

 

“You hungry?” Namjoon asks trying to divert Jackson’s mirth.

 

“Mmm, what ya making?”

 

“I was thinking breakfast for dinner, how would you feel about an omelet?” Namjoon says as he ducks his head in the fridge.

 

“I say that sounds pretty damn perfect,” Jackson leans down to the bottom cabinet to get the skillet.

 

They work side by side moving around each other like a well-structured dance. They set the table and sit to eat. The silence between them isn’t awkward, it never is.

 

“So, anything exciting happen?” Namjoon’s voice breaks the stillness.

 

“Nah, nothing really. Unless you count Nana asking me to move in as exciting,”

 

Jackson says the statement flippantly thinking Namjoon would think it funny. But when the blonde’s fork falls out of his hands and crashes loudly against his plate. Jackson’s head snaps up and the look of utter shock in Namjoon’s eyes tells him that apparently the man did not find anything humorous about the statement.

 

“M-mov, m-move in?” Namjoon’s voice stutters around the words and he feels like he’s fallen into the deep end of the pool and has forgotten how to swim.

 

Jackson should've stopped it there, should have let Namjoon know it would never happen, but something inside pushes him to keep going. He wants to know, no -- needs to know if the thought of them being separated would affect the blonde. Does the thought of being away from Jackson make Namjoon’s heart hurt? He needs to know, once and for all.

 

“Yeah, I told her I would think about it. She made a good point, we can’t live together forever, right?” Jackson keeps his voice conversational, which is in direct contrast to the anxiety that he feels inside.

 

Namjoon doesn’t respond immediately, he can’t -- all his words have left him. It never dawned on him that Jackson might want to leave, that Nana would be the person who grew old with Jackson.

 

NEVER.

 

DAWNED.

 

ON.

 

HIM.

 

The blonde alights from the chair so quickly it crashes to the ground. He needs to get out of here. He can’t breathe.

 

Air, I need air.

 

Namjoon is out the door before Jackson can properly process the events taking place before his eyes. It’s the dead of winter and the temperatures have been below freezing for the last three days and Namjoon had walked out in a t-shirt, jeans, and house slippers.

 

“Fuck!” Jackson scrambles to his feet stopping to put on winter boots, and jacket before grabbing Namjoon’s coat and heading out the door in search of the blonde.

 

What the hell just happened?

 

Jackson expected dialogue, feedback in the form of words, but this, what the fuck was this?

 

He spots the blonde walking and Jackson runs to catch him up.

 

“Namjoon,” Jackson yells the man’s name, but the blonde doesn’t respond. “Namjoon, wait up!” Jackson tries again and still no acknowledgment.

 

When Jackson finally reaches the man he grabs him by the back of the shirt to stop him from moving.

 

“Let go,” Namjoon’s voice is frantic, and he struggles against Jackson’s hold trying to free himself.

 

“What the fuck, are you trying to freeze to death?” Jackson says grabbing a larger portion of the blonde’s clothing trying to still him. “Why the hell did you run out of the house like that?”

 

“Let me the fuck go!” Namjoon spits out still struggling against Jackson’s hold. “You’re the one that wants to leave, so what the fuck do you care if I run out the door or freeze to death?” Namjoon’s heart is racing in his chest like a stock car driver on the last lap just before the finish line.

 

“I never, said I was leaving. Now stand still.” Jackson pulls the blonde against his chest, wrapping an arm around the Namjoon’s waist and securing him in place. “Just, stand still, and put this on,” Jackson says as he holds the jacket in front of Namjoon.

 

Jackson feels exhausted all of a sudden. He and Namjoon have been doing this dance for years, and it has yet to end. They have been side-stepping and swirling around each other in a waltz that never finds them in each other arms, and it’s fucking tiring.

 

“Please, please just stop,” Jackson’s voice is hoarse and broken, and something in the tone makes Namjoon stop fighting. “Why’d you run?” Jackson just wants an answer, just needs to know.

 

“I needed air,” Namjoon mutters voice bearly audible. It’s cold out and his jacket is in his hand and not on his body, yet the cold he feels is not from the frigid temperatures but from the fear of losing Jackson.

 

“Why?” Jackson’s breath tickles Namjoon’s neck as he speaks.

 

“Couldn’t breathe.”

 

“Fuck with the vague answers, tell me why you ran out of the house with barely anything on. Tell me honestly. I need to know.” Jackson’s voice is desperate and his grip on Namjoon tightens, and it’s almost painful.

 

Namjoon likes it, the pain from being touched. It is better than never feeling Jackson this close again, because that would be death.

 

“I don’t know. I-I mean, I’m – fuck it, Jackson, I don’t know how to answer that. What do you want to hear?” Namjoon sighs heavily and leans into Jackson’s chest.

 

“The truth, I just want the truth,” Jackson whispers into Namjoon’s hair.

 

Jackson’s voice is filled with emotion and it feels as though the man is firing torpedos at Namjoon’s well-constructed walls. Namjoon can feel his armor cracking, and he opens his mouth to tell Jackson he doesn’t want to talk -- that the truth doesn't make sense. But what comes out his mouth is everything, everything he’s been holding in since that night in Jackson’s room when they were fifteen; the night he realized that what he felt was more than friendship.

 

“I couldn’t breathe because the thought of you not being beside me is fucking scary. Is that what you want to hear? Or do you want to hear that I’ve loved you since I was fifteen and now I’m twenty-two, and I can’t figure out how to let you go?” Namjoon breaks and hot tears run down his face, and now he feels the cold.

 

“Joonie, I--” Jackson starts to speak but Namjoon doesn’t let him finish.

 

“God, please don’t hyung, please don’t tell me you’re sorry that you don’t feel the same. It’s okay, I swear I’ll be fine, I just need some tim--” Namjoon words stop short when he find himself abruptly turned around to face Jackson.

 

Namjoon is frozen in place, and not because of the temperature outside. But because of the look in Jackson’s eyes, a look that has flickered across the man’s dark iris many times before, but never lingered long enough for Namjoon to figure out what it was. Right now, right now, the blonde knows what the looks mean -- and Namjoon’s heart stops beating, and the earth stops spinning, and he watches in a trance-like state as Jackson’s face inches closer and closer to his own. When their lips finally, finally meet Namjoon’s world explodes into rainbow colored bliss.

 

The kiss is slow and searching, not heated like they each had imagined it would be. Instead, their tongues played against each others searching not for dominance, but to trace every curve and dip of the other’s mouth commenting to memory the taste and feel. Jackson’s hand lands on the back of Namjoon’s neck pulling the blonde closer and deepen the contact. Jackson tastes like omelets and strawberry jam and that should be gross, but it is the best combination Namjoon as ever sampled.

 

The blonde groans into the kiss when Jackson pulls his bottom lip between his teeth and bites down. They stay like this kissing and pulling at each other trying to get closer, to taste more, touch more until the need for oxygen finds them panting against each other trying to regain their breath. They don’t speak they just stand there glued together each breathing the other in.

 

Jackson’s hand rolls down Namjoon back and across till his hand finds Namjoon’s, he intertwines their fingers and wordlessly pulls the man forward. The walk back to the apartment is silent, yet the buzz of anticipation they each feel is deafening. Namjoon’s jacket still hangs loosely in his hand and the weather is still below freezing, but the heat from Jackson’s skin against his has burned all the cold away.

 

They make it to their apartment door, never saying a word, but each touch and caress of fingers along heated skin – has spoken values. Jackson opens the door and Namjoon steps inside dropping his jacket on the floor, and stepping out of his house slippers. He turns to say something but finds himself pushed against the cold door instead, this time when their lips meet nothing is slow.

 

Jackson is needy and heady with desire, Namjoon loves him, wants him and the knowledge has caused the volcano that had laid dormant inside him for so many years to erupt. He kisses Namjoon hard on the lips, pinning the slightly younger man to the door and holding him there with a leg lodged between Namjoon’s and rubbing against the blonde’s crotch.

 

Namjoon hisses the contact feels like fire in his loins, he grinds upward trying to push in Jackson but the man has him pinned so effectively that all he can do is whine and whimper as Jackson launches a full-scale attack on his senses.

 

“Fuck, I’ve wanted to touch you like this for so long,” Jackson’s voice hitches around the words, and Namjoon tries to answer that he feels the same but all that comes is a stuttered groan as Jackson’s hand slips under his t-shirt and scratches at Namjoon’s heated skin.

 

“Bedroom,” Namjoon breathes out the words, and he’s not sure they’re even audible.

 

But they are, and Namjoon figures that out when Jackson lifts him up by the waist and orders the blonde to wrap his legs around his hips. Namjoon obeys and is rewarded with a small thrust of Jackson’s hips that knocks their groins together and the friction the contact creates has them both seeing stars. It’s when Namjoon’s back encounter the soft mattress that he realizes they had moved from the front door, he was so wrapped up in the sensation of Jackson’s lips on his lips, and Jackson hands on his skin.

 

“I need to feel your skin,” Jackson says as he pushes Namjoon further up in the bed, working the blonde’s shirt off his body.

 

Jackson has always appreciated Namjoon’s lean and toned frame, his finger tracing the lines of Namjoon’s abdomen enjoying the way the muscles tense under his touch. Jackson stops at the waist of Namjoon’s jeans and he works the button open and pulls down the zipper.

 

“Jackson,” Namjoon moans out and pushes against Jackson’s hand.

 

The way his name falls from Namjoon’s lips is the best sound Jackson has ever heard.

 

“Say it again, my name,” Jackson requests as he scoots himself down leaning over Namjoon’s stomach letting his tongue take the same path his finger had.

 

“Fuck, Jackson, fuck,” Namjoon squirms beneath angling his body trying to move Jackson’s lips to the point of his biggest need.

 

However, Jackson doesn’t need prompting his lips are already heading south. His hands tugging down Namjoon’s jeans as he buries his face in the man’s clothed crotch, nuzzling into the warmth and reveling in the way the blonde is slowly unraveling. Namjoon bucks and arches his back off the mattress his hands sliding into Jackson hair pulling and tugging in an effort to lead the man in the direction he wants him to go.

 

When Jackson finally removes Namjoon’s underwear soaked with a mixture of pre-cum and Jackson’s salvia, the blonde loses all sense of the tangible. Namjoon feels like he’s floating through space not tethered to anything, and just one skilled move of Jackson's tongue as it licks along his length will cause him to melt like ice in a hot beverage.

 

Jackson knew that touching Namjoon would feel good, but he never expected this. It is as though every cell of his DNA has been lit on fire, every push of Namjoon into his skin, every moan that escaped the man’s swollen lips -- and every gasp of need from Namjoon pulses inside Jackson’s core like a bomb about to detonate.

 

He rids Namjoon of his clothing.

 

Namjoon lays bare and spread open, Jackson’s head between his legs and the man is pressing hot kisses along Namjoon’s thigh. When the brown-haired man’s lips move to his throbbing penis, Namjoon cries out in pleasure as a shiver rocks his body like a category five hurricane.

 

Jackson’s tongue licking along his slit has Namjoon’s legs trembling and he’s having a hard time holding himself up. But still the blonde tries to sit upright, he wants to see this, Jackson’s beautiful lips wrapped around his cock. However, he fails, falling hard on the mattress spineless and wobbly like jello, when Jackson swallows down on him. He screams.

 

Jackson sets a pace that has Namjoon grasping at the sheets for purchase, he wants to push into the heat so badly, to feel his appendage hit the back of Jackson’s throat, but the older male has him pinned tightly in place. He can’t move, he can only surrender.

 

To Jackson right now Namjoon is singing the most beautiful song he’s ever heard, as the blonde whimpers, begs, and cries wanting more. As a reward Jackson increases the speed bobbing up and down on Namjoon cock at a furious pace. And in response Namjoon increases his volume. The blonde lets out another scream when Jackson's teeth scratch along his sensitive member.

 

“F U C K! Ahhh, oh, fuc--” Namjoon struggles to push forward he’s so close he needs more.

 

Namjoon’s body begins to stutter and jerk forward on its own, forcing his penis deeper into Jackson’s mouth. Jackson gags slightly as the involuntary movement has the man’s appendage hitting the back of Jackson’s throat in a rapid fire procession. Jackson swallows and relaxes his throat, he would stop Namjoon -- but the way the blonde is yelling his name is addicting, and the way Namjoon’s body is tensing tells Jackson the blonde is close, and fuck he wants to see Namjoon come -- utterly undone.

 

Jackson’s wish is granted moments later when Namjoon comes loud and hard screaming Jackson’s name as though it was his lifeline to, everything. Jackson’s not one for the taste of cum, but he makes an exception for Namjoon swallowing the hot liquid filling up his mouth, just so he can continue to suck Namjoon through the aftershock.

 

Namjoon is trying to catch his breath his body is spent and he feels weightless, and if Jackson wasn’t holding him down, he’s sure he’d float away. He feels like a fallen electrical wire because his body is buzzing. When Namjoon’s eyes are once again able to focus, he looks up to find a still fully dressed Jackson staring at him, pupils blown with lust.

 

“Clothes.. gone,” caveman is all he speaks now and Jackson happily obeys.

 

As Jackson begins to disrobe, Namjoon’s mouth falls open. He’d forgotten how hot Jackson was, the man’s chest was a wall of muscles and Namjoon can’t wait to mark it with his mouth, and scratch pretty bruises along Jackson’s abdomen like a graffiti artist painting a mural. The blonde’s eyes drink in every line and curve of Jackson perfectly sculptured frame, he watches mesmerized as Jackson leans back to remove his pants and undergarment. However when Namjoon’s eyes fall to the man’s prominent V-line, the need to touch is more than he can take.

 

Namjoon’s hand moves on its own accord and a long, lean finger traces the outline of the bone.

 

“Fuck,” Jackson hisses out, then leans over and grinds down on Namjoon’s leg, trapping the man’s hand between their bodies.

 

Namjoon inches his hand over till the back of his hand is rubbing against Jackson’s hard length. The cry that rips from Jackson's throat is primal, and it fills Namjoon with dizzying hunger. Jackson thrust into Namjoon’s leg over and over again hoping the friction will calm his intense need. Because all he wants to do is pound Namjoon into the bed until the blonde passes out or begs him to stop.

 

Jackson imagined his first time with Namjoon (if it ever happened) would be sweet and innocent, but the desire he feels curdling through his pores is more like poisonous darts, dark and dangerous – and there is nothing chaste about it. He leans forward covering Namjoon entirely, rutting relentlessly against the blonde like a dog in heat.

 

Jackson kisses Namjoon hard on the mouth pushing his tongue in without warning and reveling in the moan that tears through Namjoon’s body. He continues to rock against the blonde, hands touching whatever skin it can find, and lips biting and nipping marking Namjoon’s neck and shoulder, until he feels the man release against him once again, body stuttering and mouth hanging open.

 

Namjoon’s skin is drenched with sweat and his eyes are glazed, he’s come twice already, but he wants more, needs more. He wants to feel Jackson inside him filling him, reaching the parts of him that are inside his skin. Jackson leans down and kisses Namjoon’s wet forehead pushing the man’s sweaty bangs out of his face.

 

“Can you take more?” Jackson asks his voice sounds foreign and dark.

 

Namjoon can’t speak, he has no words only need and desire. The blonde pumps his hips forward and grinds into Jackson’s hardness, the action has them both filling the room with lewd wanton sounds. Jackson struggles, but manages to push himself onto his elbow, and leans across Namjoon and the bed so he can reach into the drawer of his nightstand he shuffles in the drawer till he finds the items he’s looking for.

 

Jackson sits all the way up till he’s straddling Namjoon. He considered flipping the blonde over and taking him from behind, it may be more comfortable, but he shelves that idea in favor of being able to see Namjoon fall apart once more. Jackson flips open the cap and leans down to kiss Namjoon softly on the lips once before sitting back up and coating his fingers generously.

 

Namjoon’s body keens with anticipation. He’s dreamt about this million of times, but never thought the dream would ever become reality. As he watches Jackson the reality of the moment hits him -- the person he loves, loves him back. The words fall out of his mouth as though bringing validation to his thoughts.

 

“I love you Jackson,” Namjoon’s voice is sincere and Jackson pauses his actions.

 

“I love you too. It’s always been you Joonie. Always. I feel whole and complete only with you. So this is not just sex, I’m not trying to satisfy some dirty need. I just want to be one with you. Because you’re it, there will be no one else. After tonight, we forever belong to each other, okay?” Jackson hadn’t meant to say that much but once he opened his mouth, the words kept coming until he had laid his entire heart bare as an offering to Namjoon.

 

“Forever,” Namjoon smiles.

 

Jackson leans in and kisses the blonde once more brushing his tongue against the contours of Namjoon’s mouth and savoring the sweetness. As he sits back up he has Namjoon arch his back up as he places a pillow behind the curve of the blonde’s back, then he hitches one of Namjoon’s legs about his shoulder pulling the man forward giving him access to Namjoon’s entrance. He adds more lube to his finger, and leans forward.

 

“This is going to hurt at first, but try to relax, okay? It will hurt more if you tense up.” Jackson’s says his voice soothing the butterflies in Namjoon’s stomach.

 

The blonde closes his eyes tight when he feels Jackson index finger circling his rim. As Jackson pushing in slowly, trying to breach the wall of muscle, Namjoon tenses, and hisses in pain.

 

“Relax Joonie, I swear I won’t hurt you.”

 

Jackson runs his hand along Namjoon abdomen hoping his touch will help calm the man, it does, he feels the tension dissipating slowly. He pushes his digit further in breaking through the tight ring, and Namjoon hisses again. A tear rolls down the man’s face and Jackson lean in to kiss it away. He peppers kisses along Namjoon’s thigh and is rewarded when the blonde pushes against his finger.

 

“You're doing so good, Joonie, so very good.”

 

Jackson’s praise is like a drug to Namjoon and he grinds harder against Jackson's finger. Jackson adds a second finger and the push in is still a little tight, but much easier than before, Namjoon whines a bit and Jackson stills his movement allowing the blonde to adjust. Jackson begins to move when Namjoon starts to roll against him, he pushes in as far as he can get before pulling almost all the way out and to plunge in again. With each push and pull, Namjoon becomes more and more wrecked, and the sounds that fall from the man’s lips has Jackson growing harder. Jackson adds a third finger and begins a ferocious attack on Namjoon hole scissors and plunging in and out. His fingers begin a search trying to find the place that will ultimately be Namjoon’s undoing.

 

Jackson knows he’s found what he was looking for when Namjoon screams out, “Holy fuck!” as his body jerks uncontrollably against Jackson’s digits. Jackson stops his attack on Namjoon prostate but continues working the man open, a hand firmly on Namjoon’s hips to keep the man from grinding more trying to get release. When Namjoon is sufficiently prep Jackson pulls out is fingers, he smiles at the whine of “why” that falls from Namjoon’s lips.

 

“This will feel so much better, I promise.”

 

Jackson finds the condom package and swiftly opens it rolling the rubber down his sensitive member. He slathers the plastic with a generous amount of lube, and pushes Namjoon’s leg further over his shoulder, angling the man just right. He brings his tip to Namjoon’s rim and braces his free arm on the bed to steady them both before he pushes in.

 

The push stings and Namjoon sucks in a ragged breath, and expels a broken cry. Jackson doesn’t stop it will hurt more if he does. Instead, he leans forward kissing Namjoon hard on the lips, as he pushes in all the way in topping out inside the blonde. Then he stills his movement, allowing Namjoon time to get used to the fullness.

 

They stay like that for what feels like forever to Jackson, and the man is fighting the urges to just pummel the blonde, because Namjoon is warm and tight, and pulsing around his cock. He feels Namjoon move a little, then a little more, and soon the blonde is rolling his hips and begging Jackson to move, to just fuck him already.

 

Jackson gladly gives Namjoon what he wants. He pulls out to the tip and then pounds in hard like a hammer to the head of a nail, the pace is slow at first, but as Namjoon begins clawing at his skin and begging for more and Jackson’s reserve all fall away. And he does what he’s wanted to do since he had Namjoon pressed up against the door, Jackson fucks the man hard down into the mattress and soaks up every moan, and every broken pronunciation of his name as they drip like hot wax from Namjoon’s lips. He spreads Namjoon legs further apart so he can push in deeper, beating the blonde’s prostate with the precision of Robin Hood striking a bullseye.

 

Namjoon is a wreck his mouth is hanging open, but not words are coming out. His body is at Jackson’s mercy, and the pleasure he feels can’t be verbalized with any words that he knows. His penis is knocking against Jackson's stomach and he wants release so badly, his body is moving on its own pressing and pushing to meet Jackson’s erratic thrusts. He tries to slide his hand around his cock only to have it knocked away by Jackson.

 

“No touching, come for me like this, okay babe?”

 

How can he say no to that, especially now that Jackson’s thrusts have become harder and faster? Namjoon feels his core tighten and feel his leg begin to tremor; he meets every frantic knock of Jackson’s hip with equal fervor, one particularly hard push breaks him apart as Jackson hammer’s his sac of nerves like a construction worker drilling a hole. Namjoon’s comes hard and white spirts coat his and Jackson's abdomens. The feeling of Namjoon’s hole clenching around his penis like a vice grip is the most blinding pleasure Jackson has ever known. Jackson yells Namjoon's name as he releases into the condom his body jerking hard milking the orgasm to the very end.

 

They lay panting trying to catch their breath, after a minute Jackson pulls out, and lies on his back. He removes the condom and ties it in a knot, dropping it into the wastebasket by the side of his bed. He rolls over to his side and pulls Namjoon into a soft sweet kiss, before standing up and walking to the bathroom. He comes back moments later with a wet washcloth. Jackson cleans the blonde’s stomach and legs gently before moving Namjoon to a clean spot on the bed.

 

Namjoon is spent, every muscle in his body has been abused, and he feels boneless and exhausted -- but in the best way possible. A smile plays across his lips, because again he remembers Jackson loves him too. Namjoon feels himself being pulled into a warm embrace and he sinks readily into Jackson’s arms. As sleep overtakes him, his mind wonders if this is all just a dream.

 

“This is real, right?” Namjoon asks as his eyes fall shut.

 

“Yes, very, very real Joonie,” Jackson’s answers back kissing the Namjoon’s sweat drenched hair.

 

“Good, because it would totally suck if it weren't.”

 

Jackson laughs and kisses the now sleeping man. Namjoon’s right it would totally suck. But it’s real, and it has taken them so long to get to this point. But Jackson’s happy that they finally made it.

 

And as sleep comes to claim him, Jackson finally allows his heart to sink, and drown in the ocean that is his love for Kim Namjoon.

 

Because now, now they’re more than friends.

 

They're lovers,  and it's still not sexual -- it's real love.