The alarm jerked Yoongi awake. Next to him, Jeongguk stirred, groaning into the pillow before his arm went out to slap it off.
When had Jeongguk even set it? Yoongi’s groggy mind couldn’t remember. “’time is it?” he murmured sleepily.
“Six,” Jeongguk answered curtly, voice hoarse from sleep.
His tone alone was enough for Yoongi to pick up on his horrible mood. In the hopes of cheering him up, Yoongi dragged a limp, comforting hand down his spine, but Jeongguk shrugged him off. He sighed audibly and crawled out of their bed, letting a cold draft under the warm nest of blankets. Yoongi watched with squinty eyes and wrinkled brows as he stumbled around the bedroom, frustration radiating off him while he yanked on clothes and finally disappeared in the direction of the bathroom.
For a few minutes, Yoongi stayed under the covers and debated going back to sleep. He didn’t need to get up yet. His work awaited him patiently at the desk. But then he thought of the circles under Jeongguk’s eyes and rolled out of bed to pad into their tiny kitchen space in his pajamas. Putting on the hot water kettle for Jeongguk, he busied himself with starting the coffee maker for himself. By the time he measured out the coffee grinds, Jeongguk came to join him, rummaging in the cabinet.
“Where’s my black tea?” he asked, head still shoved deep in the cupboard. He only drank black tea on the days where he needed to wake himself up quickly.
“How should I know? I don’t drink it,” Yoongi replied, slapping the lid back shut over the filter and starting the coffee maker. He nudged Jeongguk aside to put the tin of grinds back in its place.
Jeongguk scowled at him. “Didn’t you buy any new one?”
“You didn’t tell me we ran out.” Closing the cabinet door, Yoongi shot a glance at the way Jeongguk’s shoulders were drawn into a tense, exhausted curve. “Just have some of my coffee instead. You look like you need it.”
Jeongguk crinkled his nose. “No thanks. It’s nasty.”
“Then put in milk and sugar.”
“It’s still disgusting. How can you stand to drink that bitter stuff?”
It was way too early in the morning for that old, recurring discussion, so Yoongi just rolled his eyes and turned to the fridge to take out the side dishes for breakfast to the gurgling sounds of the coffee machine. He heard Jeongguk hunt for something else to put in his cup while he got out bowls and a serving spoon and then opened the rice cooker. Empty space greeted his eyes.
Slamming the lid back shut, he turned to glare at Jeongguk’s back. “Did you forget to set the rice cooker yesterday?”
Frowning, Jeongguk turned around, glancing first at the machine and then at Yoongi. There was a hint of guilt on his wan face that was quickly replaced by another scowl. “Well, you could’ve remembered to set it! You know how busy I’ve been this week.”
The tiny prick of remorse in his heart made Yoongi bristle. “Yeah, well,” he groused back, “maybe I would have if you didn’t always yell at me that I’m not doing it right.”
“Because you don’t!” Jeongguk sniped back. “How can you not know how to do even that small thing?”
It might have been too early for Yoongi’s brain to function properly, but it felt like they were going around in useless, frustrating circles already. Yoongi lifted a hand to the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “Then why are you even nagging at me for not setting it if I do it wrong anyways?”
“Oh my God,” Jeongguk muttered, turning back to his tea cup dramatically and ripping the kettle off the stove even though it hadn’t whistled yet.
At the theatrics, Yoongi rolled his eyes again. Jeongguk’s tendency for nobody-understands-me pouting always made his hackles rise. Silently and in a black mood, he stuffed the side dishes back in the fridge and got instant noodle packages out of the cupboard instead. Jeongguk pointedly ignored him even as Yoongi snatched the kettle from his side to fill it with more water and set back on the stove.
The tense silence that descended on their kitchen grated on Yoongi’s nerves. Usually he was good at ignoring uncomfortable pauses, but never when it came from a fight with Jeongguk, especially a groundless, petty one. Jeongguk had always been his exception to so many things. He sighed and rubbed his neck. “When will you be back today?” he asked in a low voice, not daring to look at Jeongguk’s dark face just yet.
“I don’t know, hyung,” Jeongguk said, sounding put-upon as if Yoongi had asked the question for the millionth time. “Late.”
“Right.” Yoongi sighed again, feeling incredibly tired. “Late.”
Just then, the kettle whistled. Yoongi mechanically poured water over their noodles, then busied himself with preparing a cup of coffee and throwing the soggy filter away as the noodles soaked. He carried his bowl and cup over to the small table, biting his tongue when Jeongguk stirred cold water into his portion to cool it down and wolfed down the soup standing up. By the time Jeongguk was done, Yoongi had barely made a dent in his own share. He watched silently as Jeongguk dropped his dishes in the sink, gulped down the rest of his tea, and put the cup down as well.
“Have a good day,” he said as Jeongguk hurried past on his way to the door.
He got a vague grunt of thanks in return. The door shut and there was silence.
Yoongi blankly finished his noodles and coffee, putting his dishes to join Jeongguk’s in the sink, and went to brush his teeth. In the bathroom, he stared at the frustrated wrinkle of his eyebrows and the tired droop of his eyes. It was way too early for all that shit, he decided, way too early to face the world. So he rinsed his mouth, dried his face, and proceeded to crawl back into their bed, closing his eyes against everything.
When Yoongi woke up again, it was nine and the apartment was empty and silent. He went through his shower on autopilot and it wasn’t until he sat down at his desk with the intention of working through the audio file of an interview he’d done two days before that his mind wandered to thoughts of Jeongguk’s black mood and got stuck. The up-and-coming clarinetist would have to wait for a while. Jeongguk had been stressed all week due to his fourth-year workload and a sudden increase in shifts for his part-time job because two co-workers had fallen ill at the same time. Every day, he’d left early in the morning and gotten home late only to brood over textbooks and homework until the dead of night. When Yoongi had asked, he’d hurriedly explained about a presentation. He seemed to barely eat or sleep anymore and his temper was so short they were constantly on the verge of an argument for the most ridiculous of reasons.
Something had to be done. An intervention, a night of forced relaxation, anything.
Hesitating only for a moment, Yoongi reached for his cell phone and dialed Seokjin’s number.
When Jeongguk came back home it was eight-thirty at night. He looked dead on his feet, Yoongi noticed from his perch on his desk chair, his dark hair mussed and his cheeks pale and sunken.
“Welcome home,” he called casually and got a tired flop of a hand in response.
Setting aside his notebook, Yoongi got up to cross the room, silently bending down to neatly arrange Jeongguk’s kicked-off shoes against the wall and pick up his bag, heavy with textbooks and dance clothes. “Hyung,” Jeongguk protested, and it was a testament to how exhausted he had to be that it came out as a whine.
“It’s Friday night, Jeongguk. Relax for once.”
“I can’t! My presentation is on Wednesday and I still have to go over it and check all the facts and proof-read the slides and I have an essay due on Friday and work tomorrow and Sunday and the dance competition coming up and it’s Hobi-hyung’s birthday next week so we need to go buy a present and your birthday is--”
Yoongi effective broke him off by clamping a hand over his mouth. “Are you even listening to yourself? You’re panicking. And you look like a zombie. You need to relax or you’ll have some sort of breakdown soon.”
Jeongguk glared at him heatedly for a prolonged moment, before his shoulders slumped and he drooped forward into Yoongi. He was heavy, but Yoongi let his hand slip from Jeongguk’s face to catch him around the waist, pulling him closer. It felt like forever since they’d last had a minute to just feel each other close, so Yoongi let Jeongguk burrow his face into the crook of his neck and curled his hand into the material of Jeongguk’s hoodie. “Let’s watch a movie, Jeongguk-ah,” he murmured into Jeongguk’s soft hair, nosing at the shell of his ear. “Cuddle on the couch. Seokjin-hyung brought food for us, we can eat that later. It’ll be nice, hm?”
“You’re so lazy, Yoongi,” Jeongguk muttered into the skin of his neck, but he’d said ‘Yoongi’ instead of ‘hyung,’ so Yoongi took it as agreement.
“I promise I’ll get up at the crack of dawn with you tomorrow so you can do your work.”
At that, Jeongguk snorted, his shoulders shaking in amusement. “Wow, that’s a big statement coming from you.”
“Mmh, so you better be thankful for my huge sacrifice.”
“Nobody asked you to do it,” Jeongguk replied uncaringly, pressing his into Yoongi’s neck.
Yoongi hid his smile in Jeongguk’s hair. “C’mon, Jeon Jeonggukie, move your pretty ass to the couch.”
So they ended up on their couch, tangled into each other and mindlessly watching the Avengers movie for the umpteenth time because Jeongguk loved that movie and almost knew it by heart. Apparently resigned to his fate, Jeongguk had wiggled around until he was curled into Yoongi. He slumped tiredly into his side, his head leaned against the dip underneath Yoongi’s collarbone, half held up by Yoongi’s arm that slung over his shoulder to press a warm palm over his heart. He felt so small and vulnerable like that and with a surge of tenderness, Yoongi dropped a kiss on the crown of his head.
“You’re such a sap,” Jeongguk drawled drowsily.
In response, Yoongi only repeated the motion again and again until Jeongguk blindly slapped at his face, his nose wrinkled and his toothy smile on his face.
Content, Yoongi leaned back to watch the movie.
It didn’t take long for Jeongguk to fall asleep. For a while, Yoongi just sat and enjoyed the rhythmic rise and fall of Jeongguk’s chest and the sleepy warmth of his body. But finally, two-thirds into their film, he decided he might as well start putting together their dinner so they could eat and Jeongguk could get into a proper bed. Jeongguk’s collarbones were starting to stand out too much again, he couldn’t afford to skip the meal.
When Yoongi tried to gently extract himself from their tangled position, Jeongguk stirred, grabbing at his hand before he could move away from the couch. “Yoongi? Where’re you goin’?”
Even though Jeongguk would probably tease him for his sappiness again later, Yoongi couldn’t help himself and brushed the messy fringe out of Jeongguk’s eyes with his free hand. “Making dinner. Go back to sleep, Jeongguk-ah. I’ll wake you when it’s done.”
Jeongguk hummed sleepily, giving his fingers a short squeeze before he rolled himself into a comfortable position. Yoongi valiantly withstood the temptation to take a picture of him like that, vaguely resembling a napping baby animal, and turned to the kitchen instead where their fridge now housed several of Seokjin’s trusty plastic containers full of nourishing foods. For the next twenty minutes, Yoongi put together a small feast for them and laid it out on their dinner table, finishing off his preparations with a cup of honeyed herbal tea for Jeongguk that he set next to his rice bowl. Then he padded back over to the couch to wake his boyfriend.
Jeongguk was breathing noisily through his perpetually stuffed nose, drooling onto the couch pillow. Grinning to himself, Yoongi reached out a hand to softly run his knuckles down Jeongguk’s sleep-flushed cheek. “Hey, sleeping beauty, dinner’s ready.”
Groaning, Jeongguk pushed his hand away. “Too greasy,” he whined.
With a laugh, Yoongi turned to seat himself at their table. Jeongguk stumbled after him, yawning still, but already looking better. His eyes grew large when he saw how many dishes were set out in front of them. He plopped into his chair and gave Yoongi an incredulous look. “What did you tell Seokjin-hyung to make him do all this?”
Yoongi picked up his chopsticks and chose a particularly tasty looking piece of pork. “I poured out my heart about how worried I was that you’re working yourself to death of course,” he replied calmly, chewing thoughtfully while Jeongguk gaped at him. “Totally worth it,” he added his judgment. The pork was excellent.
Sighing in resignation, Jeongguk picked up his own chopsticks. “I guess I better call him tomorrow and tell him that I’m not dying anytime soon.”
Yoongi hummed in agreement. “Thanks to my timely intervention, no, you won’t.”
Jeongguk silently sipped at his tea, seemingly mulling things over in his head, before he set the cup down. “Yoongi,” he said finally, eyes fixed on where he was pushing his rice around in its bowl, “I’m sorry for being a grump this morning. And, um, this past week.”
“Yeah, well,” Yoongi replied, shrugging easily because he knew that making a big deal out of it would only embarrass Jeongguk further. “I’m a grump all the time, I can deal with it.”
That earned him a tiny, crooked grin. “You’re better when you had your coffee.”
“I’m better when I don’t have to get up at indecent hours in the morning.”
“That’s because your definition of morning starts at eleven and that’s actually midday,” Jeongguk answered smugly, as eager to knock him down a peg as he was to leave their minor fight behind him, and Yoongi hid his smile by shoving a spoonful of rice into his mouth.
He thought that the topic had been laid to rest with that when they relaxed back into their usual rhythm around each other and Jeongguk looked brighter than he had in days. But when they were in the bathroom, Yoongi rinsing toothpaste out of his mouth and Jeongguk rubbing a towel through his shower-wet hair, Jeongguk abruptly said, “Thank you, Yoongi-hyung. For, you know, tonight.”
Wiping his mouth, Yoongi used the mirror to eye the way Jeongguk was suddenly intensely focused on arranging his towel on the drying rack. “Mmh,” he replied casually. “Just don’t really work yourself to death. I kind of want to have you around a little while longer. Maybe fifty years or so.”
He watched with a grin as Jeongguk turned to face him and fondly rolled his eyes. “I’m sure all your grease will make me slip and fall to my death long before that.”
“Tch.” Yoongi put his own towel back in its place. “You like the flattery, you wouldn’t stick around otherwise.” When Jeongguk suddenly wrapped himself around him from behind, pushing his lean, pajama-clad body against Yoongi’s and pressing a loud, wet kiss against the back of his neck, Yoongi shot him a grimace through the mirror. “Or you just want me for my body.”
Jeongguk laughed softly against his skin, leaving another, more lingering kiss. “You caught me.” He lightly pulled on Yoongi’s waist. “C’mon, Yoongi-yah, let’s sleep, I’m tired.”
“You just want to cuddle, you big baby,” Yoongi grumbled back, but he let himself be dragged to the bedroom willingly. Jeongguk set the alarm to a cringe-worthy time of the morning once again, yet Yoongi held his peace. He had promised after all. The things he did for Jeongguk. But then Jeongguk turned around and wiggled his warm hands around his waist again, pulling them together until his nose was pressed against the sleeve of Yoongi’s shirt. He was asleep within minutes, leaving Yoongi hot and stuffy under their blankets, but content because Jeongguk was right and he was just a big sap.