Over the years Seokjin has known Jungkook, he's learned that there are very few things Jungkook is hilariously disastrous at. Schoolwork, for one, and pretending to pay attention to anything he isn't the least bit interested in, by extension. Picking up after himself is another, if the trail of clothes from his side of the bed to the laundry hamper is a sign of it. Talking to his parents to let them know he's alive. Talking to people, period.
It's his communication skills, or the lack thereof, that honestly really worries Seokjin the most. His verbal constipation is laughable enough to rival Yoongi's capacity to be more open about feelings without being put under a truth spell, and normally Seokjin would just roll his eyes and stuff a slice of beef bulgogi into Jungkook’s mouth to get him to at least feign enthusiasm for food as an excuse to just let everyone else do the talking for him. (Food is always a good distraction, Seokjin’s found. Even Yoongi, who eats like a bird in comparison to Seokjin and Jungkook combined, can’t say no to a juicy slab of meat when it isn’t grilled or charred to worrying levels by Namjoon’s hands.)
Unfortunately, there isn’t a spell on earth that could collar Jungkook’s brain-to-mouth filter without Seokjin inadvertedly violating one (hundred) laws on free will and magical responsibility. Trust him. He’s checked it out in a mad rush after he’d finally plucked up the nerve to take Jungkook along to meet his parents. He’d suffered through the brunt edge of the stick while Yoongi had just chewed on his lettuce leaf and made complicated faces of I told you so from across the table. Up until now, Seokjin can’t quite mention Jungkook without his father developing an interesting spastic fit of his eyebrows the entire time. Considering that his family now considers Yoongi as the better option for a partner, that’s saying a lot.
(To this end, Jungkook claims he was trying to butter up Seokjin’s parents. Seokjin still doesn’t know how “your house is smaller than I imagined” or “your dog looks like a mop” is an acceptable way of calling someone’s much-loved home quaint or a family pet adorable, but then again, Jungkook had told him on their first date that he looked like he was a billboard and almost made Yoongi choke on his potato wedges while he was discreetly (shamelessly) listening in from a table away. Like a billboard. Not, like he belonged in one, but an actual, inanimate billboard. “It’s the shoulders”, his ass. Seokjin should have abandoned him then and there.)
As it is, Jungkook’s already bad enough with anything involving social niceties that it’s almost a warning sign when the first thing out of his mouth isn’t a backhanded insult or a stubborn complaint, but a pick-up line. (A lame one at that, but an attempt at it nonetheless.)
"Seokjin-hyung," says Jungkook, trying to sound coy but really only managing 'strangled' at best, "did I ever tell you that you look especially handsome today?"
Seokjin takes a moment to pause and look at the ceiling, before going back to chopping up some tomatoes for tonight's dinner. He could always magic the kitchen knives into doing the prep work for him, but his control never manages to make the results come out as cleanly as he'd prefer it to be, chunks of vegetables upended onto the tiled floor the last time when Yoongi distracted him with the ghost of a smile against his nape. When Jungkook sounds like this, it always, always backfires on him, and he's practically dreading the worst by now. "You haven't even seen me since this morning. What did you do now?"
Jungkook's voice crackles over the line, static. "What makes you think I even did anything?"
"Considering that hearing nice things from you outside of sexual favors is close to impossible, I'm wondering if you teleported Taehyung to Gwangju again just because he wouldn't stop bothering you," says Seokjin, then almost immediately regrets thinking about it. "Oh god, did you actually send anyone to some far-away place again? Did you send Taehyung to Hong Kong?"
"I'm not as gross as Yoongi-hyung," says Jungkook, primly, only to let out a hiss of pain a few seconds later. Fucking — ow, hyung! Seokjin hears in the background, muted, but instead of Yoongi's grousing, all he hears is what sounds suspiciously like a disgruntled cat, or Hoseok's yelling reaching new levels of pitchiness.
There's a shuffling sound, and then silence. It lasts for a beat longer than Seokjin's comfortable with, because the last time Jungkook did this, he'd inadvertedly turned Seokjin's dog into a paperweight and Seokjin's mother freaked the fuck out. Yoongi maintains that it made meeting the parents significantly more exciting than he'd originally imagined it to be, but Yoongi thinks Jungkook's increasing mishaps with his magic are hilarious when it doesn't involve him.
He stops chopping, and the sound of the knife clattering against the wooden board does little to soothe his nerves. "Jungkook," he says, trying to keep his voice soothing and level but failing spectacularly at it, "what the hell did you do now?"
Something wails, from outside the apartment, and Seokjin jerks back. For a moment, he wonders if a banshee is moving into the other flat, and he groans at the thought. At least it's not a poltergeist like their last neighbor. That one had made impromptu renovations a bitch to deal with.
"Um," says Jungkook, hesitating, "can you open the front door? My hands are a little... occupied."
If it's not a box of cake in his hands, I'm breaking up with him, Seokjin thinks, only half-joking. Or a quarter. Some days the urge to strangle Jungkook makes him wonder if Yoongi's been rubbing off on him too much, but then again, Yoongi has a soft spot for Jungkook that Seokjin can't claim he doesn't empathize with.
This day is shaping up to be a disappointing one, though, and the lump Jungkook's cradling inside his jacket doesn't look like it's an edible dessert in any way, shape, or form. Seokjin opens his mouth, and whatever reprimand he's planning to open with dies in his throat in the face of a furry white head popping up out of Jungkook's collar with a huff.
It looks around with uncharacteristic twitchiness, and Seokjin feels his knees wobble at the sight. "Aww," says Seokjin, with a hand to his heart. Cavities, he's finally experiencing them again. He almost wants to barf from too much cute. "I can't believe you'd get us a kitten!"
The cat makes a pitiful noise as it looks up at Seokjin with imploring eyes, and Seokjin's so distracted that he almost doesn't catch Jungkook's fidgeting. It's a white, tiny fluffball that keeps wriggling around in Jungkook's arms, the same way Yoongi does whenever Jungkook slings an arm over his shoulders and traps him under his weight in his sleep, heavy enough that Yoongi's grumbling wakes Seokjin up long enough to catch the —gonna piss my pants in bed and he'll be damn sorry before rolling his eyes and kicking both of them off the mattress and onto the floor.
"A kitten," says Jungkook, only to nod decisively. "Right." He clears his throat, and unzips his jacket to give the cat more breathing room. "Happy anniversary?"
Their anniversary isn't until three months away, and Seokjin tells him as much. Jungkook's always been as bad with dates as Yoongi, if not worse, and Jungkook blanches in place. Seokjin doesn't really care, though, because all that registers in his head is cat cat cat cat CAT, and he reaches out to take the cat from Jungkook and heft it up into his arms gingerly.
The cat looks like it's contemplating lunging back into Jungkook's arms to maybe dig its claws into his skin, if the way it bristles and swipes at the air is a sign of it, but it soon sags into a helpless ball of fluff when Seokjin starts scratching behind its ears and under its chin. "Did you get a familiar?" He asks. "I heard Yoongi mentioning something about wanting one this morning, but I didn't know you were paying attention to anything other than your cereal."
"Not exactly," Jungkook mutters, and his eyes dart away from the cat to Seokjin, and then to the ground. It's almost like the sight of cute things is making him uncomfortable, like he hasn't grown out of that awkward phase in his life. It probably does, because to this day he refuses to even do anything in bed when Seokjin tries to convince him and Yoongi to let him use the Mario bedsheets for once. "It's just. Um."
Seokjin stops petting the cat, and it butts its head against its palm before its eyes snap open, wide-eyed and hunted. Seokjin's never seen a cat look as especially terrified and properly chastened after indulging in affection, and he'd comment on it more except Jungkook and pauses and gifts are anything but harbingers of a crisis threatening to bite Seokjin in the ass.
"Jungkook," says Seokjin, icily, "please tell me you did not steal this cat from someone."
"I didn't steal the cat," says Jungkook, but only manages to look half-convincing. For a brief moment, the lights in the hallway flicker, an after effect of Seokjin's mood dropping even lower. "I swear, I didn't!"
"Did you make Taehyung steal the cat?" Seokjin demands instead.
"There was no theft involved, jeeze."
"I'm calling Yoongi," says Seokjin, and the cat cocks its head up to stare at him. Seokjin shelves the desire to put his face against its cheek in favor of more pressing matters, like maybe coercing Yoongi into getting Jungkook to confess and repent for his sins.
Jungkook doesn't look too daunted, though, when once he would have been on his knees by now. "I don't think calling him is gonna do you any good if he isn't going to be able to pick up," he says, digging around his backpack until he pulls out Yoongi's phone. "We may or may not have gotten into a bit of an accident."
"Oh my god," says Seokjin, "did you kill Yoongi and buy me a pet as a replacement goldfish for our boyfriend?"
"Not exactly," Jungkook hedges. The cat fixes its eyes at him, and suddenly the weight of its gaze makes the room feel even colder than usual. Or maybe it really does have powers. Great. A magical cat. Now all it needs to do is to be able to talk and Seokjin's life is officially a circus. "Yoongi-hyung's not dead yet, okay?"
With the way Jungkook's talking, Seokjin's not sure if it's Yoongi he really should be worried about, but Jungkook when Yoongi comes home for whatever it is Jungkook's done. "Not yet?"
"Hypothetically speaking," says Jungkook, with a wince, "how would you feel if I told you I kinda turned Yoongi-hyung into a cat?"
Seokjin looks at Jungkook, and then at the cat. The cat who, apparently, is not someone else's pet in the strictest sense, but his boyfriend, who is probably already plotting vengeance against Jungkook and thinking up ways on where to hide the body.
"What," says Seokjin, flatly.
"Surprise?" Jungkook squeaks out.
Seokjin slams the door into his face, and puts the cat down long enough to scream into his hands.
The thing about being in a relationship with an all-too-powerful magical disaster is that Seokjin's never prepared for the inevitable. You'd think that he'd get used to it after the first five (hundred) times Jungkook almost caused a national incident by not being able to control his powers long enough to not transfigure stoplights into an epileptic smorgasbord of colors other than yellow, red and green, or maybe refraining from turning the playground statues of elephants and giraffes into sentient beings at will, but he never really does.
It doesn't even have to be consciously done, sometimes; Jungkook just needs to think about something in passing and there's a good chance that the improbable (impossible) will happen by virtue of it being from him. Honestly speaking, Seokjin should be more surprised it's only happened now, instead of, say, the first week Jungkook even met Yoongi and promptly magicked every flower in the vicinity to turn into man-eating plants. (Seokjin doesn't want to know the implications of that. Really, he doesn't. Magical sex pollen sucks.)
Still, it takes Jungkook a good part of the afternoon to wheedle and whine at Seokjin to open the door for him. It's not like he doesn't have his keys or even the power to dislodge Seokjin's painstakingly created barricade of Lego blocks with the power of his mind, but Jungkook, for all the dumb shit he does in his life, is at least smart (and sane) enough to not test Seokjin's patience.
It's just his luck that Seokjin's weak for tiny, adorable animals and Yoongi, which is always an added bonus. Yoongi's long since stopped struggling to wiggle out of Seokjin's vise grip, but makes the token protest by nipping at his fingers, a warning. When he plays with Yoongi's paws (paws!) with careful fingers, Yoongi does nothing but give him a long-suffering stare.
"Look at it this way," says Jungkook, ever the optimist, "at least you finally have bigger hands than he does, right?"
Why does Seokjin have shitty taste in men again? He should probably consider asceticism at this point. He hears the mountainside is lovely this time around. Maybe then he’ll actually get the peace and quiet he deserves.
"Don't make me get up and punch you," he coos at Jungkook, tone belying the smile still carefully plastered on his face.
Yoongi doesn't look too impressed, even as Jungkook seems to visibly wilt under Seokjin's threat. It's a wonder Seokjin ever doubted the veracity of Jungkook's claims, but then again, Jimin's always joked that Yoongi was probably part-cat in some way or form every time he found a sunny spot in the corner of the library and dozed off without considering the rug burn. The perennial disdain and the resting bitch face are rather uncanny.
He bends forward to look at the cat in his arms, properly this time; it doesn't look too pleased about its 'situation', but it doesn't put up much of a struggle either. Seokjin wonders if he can chalk it up to natural laziness, or just the tacit resignation of one that realized that people are fucking incompetent idiots. Yeah, that definitely sounds like Yoongi.
Yoongi wrinkles his nose, or seems to, at least; do cats even know how to do that? Is Seokjin just projecting? Seokjin puts him down, but Yoongi doesn't scamper off and into safer territory away from Jungkook like Seokjin initially pegged him to do. Instead, he shifts uneasily in between Seokjin's legs, rubbing his fur against him in what Seokjin wants to assume is a soothing manner but probably really only appeals to his baser territorial instincts. If Yoongi pisses on the carpet, Seokjin’s gonna strangle him the minute he changes back, no exceptions. He’s not that soft yet, even if Yoongi does make the most adorable huffing noises when he’s trying to lick his belly clean or smack Jungkook into submission with a fluffy white paw.
"What am I gonna tell his mom," Seokjin despairs.
Jungkook, ever unhelpful, looks up from contemplating between two cans of cat food. He'd picked them up on his way home and had gotten a squeaky toy, a neon pink collar, and a scratch on his arm for his troubles. Seokjin's positive that by the time they end up finding a cure for this, Jungkook's going to end up regretting it as much as Yoongi; the humiliation of the litter box did not end well between them.
"Congratulations on finally having a new and improved version of your son?" Jungkook tries, stroppily.
This time, Yoongi aims for his face.
Magical fuck ups aside, at least Seokjin's managed to survive with his hand unscathed so far. Seokjin wonders if somehow Yoongi’s retained his sense of self-preservation that comes with familiarity and time that he’s had since he and Seokjin fell into their thing, or if maybe the constant deference has given way to the baser concept of “THIS IS YOUR ONLY FOOD SOURCE THAT WON’T POISON YOU, DO NOT PISS OFF”. Then, when he really thinks about it, Seokjin finds that he doesn’t really care much, just as long as he gets an obedient Yoongi out of it. (Not that Yoongi as a cat is an improvement in the least. Seokjin glares at Yoongi as Yoongi pokes his head into the laundry hamper and sheds fur all over his shorts.)
It’s marginally better compared to how Jungkook’s faring under Yoongi’s judgmental prowling and almost near-constant glowering. With Jungkook, Yoongi doesn't even bother to hold himself back, hissing and skulking around the coffee table instead after deeming it the lesser of two evils. "I don't think he likes me much right now," says Jungkook, hand poised mid-air in a failed attempt at coaxing Yoongi to sit on his lap. He looks so sad and disappointed that Seokjin’s almost tempted to enfold him in a hug and press a placating kiss against his cheek. Almost.
"You turned him into a cat, of course he's pissed off," says Hoseok, from his spot on the couch. Seokjin had called him in a panic and now he's suffering from an allergic reaction to Yoongi's fur after the first (and last) time he scooped Yoongi up into his arms and made funny faces at him. Seokjin didn't think it would be possible for Hoseok to actively peel himself away from an excuse to make Yoongi suffer from excessive skinship, but apparently there's a limit when it involves hair balls.
"I think it's hilarious that Yoongi-hyung turns into the one species that hates Jungkook," says Jimin, ever one to rub salt into the wound in the absence of Taehyung. They’d taken a near-unanimous vote about not telling Taehyung (near-unanimous because Jimin was kind of an asshole and also more loyal to Taehyung than anyone else) until the whole clusterfuck blew over. Honestly speaking, none of them were sure if Taehyung could escape without getting his eyes clawed out from being too handsy, or if Yoongi could survive from the trauma and indignity of Taehyung finding out and rubbing his face all over Yoongi’s fur. Worse still, what If Taehyung point-blank insists they never turn him back and kidnap him for a life of overindulgence and constant treat-feeding? What if? "Is anyone taking pictures of this?"
Yoongi bristles and looks like he'd enjoy nothing more than to bite everyone's hands off and piss on everything they love and hold dear. Hoseok snaps a picture on his iPhone and cackles at Yoongi's indignant meow.
"You should be happy I haven't spammed Taehyung with blackmail material yet," says Hoseok. "You know he's even crazier about animals than Seokjin-hyung is."
“Crazy’s one way of putting it,” says Jungkook, watching Seokjin tut at Yoongi to keep him still long enough to wrangle the knots and snarls out of his fur with a brush. Grooming Yoongi is an impossible task now that Seokjin can’t just dunk him inside a bath tub without getting pitiful crying noises in exchange. “Try absolutely batshit insane.”
“I’m not insane,” says Seokjin. Everyone ignores him and the hair decorations he kicks under the couch, much to Yoongi’s visible full-bodied relief. “I’m not.”
"There's a thought," says Jimin, and Yoongi trots closer to dig his claws into the meat of Jimin's thigh. "Ow!"
"Please don't," says Seokjin. "I think if I let Taehyung anywhere near Yoongi, he's gonna suffocate me in my sleep."
"No one would feed him, though," says Jimin. "And if he's sitting on anyone's face, it'd be Jungkookie's."
"I wish I could make a joke about that, but he's too cute that it'd be creepy," says Hoseok.
"That never stopped you before," says Jungkook.
"As if you even understood half the innuendos, kid," says Hoseok, teasing.
"Don't encourage him," says Seokjin, sharply, as he watches Yoongi skulk away to hide under the couch, his proximity making Hoseok sneeze. Yoongi probably did it on purpose. He's a vindictive shit like that. "And you two, don't you have anything better to do? Like, you know, maybe helping us figure out how to turn him back?"
"Sorry, hyung," says Hoseok, "Naver's got nothing except some really disturbing manhwa that I'd pay thousands of won to unsee."
“You spent, like, two hours on your phone,” Seokjin points out.
“I’m a curious guy,” says Hoseok, shrugging. “You can’t show me a link to furries and not expect me to click to find out what they are.”
“You say this like you don’t already know what furries are,” says Jungkook.
“Is that what you were looking at when you accidentally turned Yoongi-hyung into a cat?” Hoseok asks, with false sweetness. Jungkook shuts up. Jimin pats his knee, the comfort almost an insult by now.
Appeased, Hoseok turns back to Seokjin and fixes him with a sunny smile that’s meant to be disarming but only has Yoongi cowering even further into the deepest, darkest nook and cranny of the couch until he’s nothing but two spots of eyes blinking balefully at them every so often.
"Besides, it's pretty funny to watch," says Hoseok. "When Yoongi-hyung starts leaving you two dead mice as a sign of his love, I will never let him live this down."
"How are all of you useless," Jungkook intones.
Yoongi meows piteously, the only agreement Seokjin's heard from him all day. Seokjin stifles the urge to reach under the couch and drag Yoongi out, but he figures if he were Yoongi, hiding is as good as any decision when it comes to the fountain of bad ideas his friends constantly heap upon him. He curls his fingers into a fist, and lets out a defeated sigh.
"Speak for yourself," says Seokjin, and picks up the phone to call someone saner and more helpful. Preferably someone that could shoot him out of his misery.
Seokjin ends up calling Namjoon, who is probably the least helpful person in the world despite his aptitude for magic. Much like Jungkook, Namjoon's raw potential had been the stuff of rumors at school, and, regrettably, Namjoon doesn't have a better handle on control either — he's just really good at pretending he does.
Still, maybe Seokjin can count on him to bumble around long enough to turn Yoongi human. If he manages to do it without anyone losing any limbs or appendages in the process, Seokjin's going to kiss him. Or make someone else kiss Namjoon. Whatever.
Honestly, he's starting to miss Yoongi's snoring at this point, because at least Yoongi slept in the same space. He's still not over his personal vendetta against Jungkook and had opted to doze above the refrigerator last night, out of reach and out of sight. (Seokjin's not proud to admit that he may or may not have pissed his pants when he stumbled into the kitchen for a midnight snack and caught sight of a pair of bright eyes judging him from across the room. Damn it.)
Because Namjoon is an asshole, though, he spent a good half hour laughing at Yoongi's pain and documenting it for posterity. (And for Instagram. Namjoon is nothing if not meticulous.) And to top it all off, he'd ratted them out on Taehyung, too, and now Yoongi is helplessly making pitiful noises as he tries to clamber out of Taehyung's hold. At this point, he's been making eyes at both Seokjin and Jungkook in desperation. It's that bad.
"Holy shit, why does it feel like my birthday came early," says Taehyung, mystified. He bends to blow into Yoongi's ear, and Yoongi lets out a distressed yowl that just encourages Taehyung to do it again. "This is the best day of my life."
"Same," Namjoon chokes out, and wipes a tear or two away. "The best."
"Can he stay like this forever?" Taehyung asks Jungkook, and Yoongi's face scrunches up even more than Seokjin thought possible. "Please?"
Seokjin sighs, and thanks whatever deity exists for small miracles. As a cat, Yoongi doesn't have as extensive a handle on his magic as before, and the most he can do is stare at his squeaky toy, willing it to move in spastics fits in place. Part of Seokjin wonders if it's Yoongi trying to make it combust with the power of his mind, and the thought of it makes him really glad Yoongi's virtually magically handicapped by now that there's no danger of him turning into the world's first supervillain animal. Maybe,
"If Yoongi ends up shedding all over your clothes, don't say I didn't warn you," says Seokjin.
“That’s okay,” says Taehyung. “I’ll keep all his fur as a souvenir and give it to him for his next birthday. I’ve always thought handmade presents were the best.”
“Give it to Seokjin-hyung when he’s pissed off enough to consider voodoo,” says Namjoon, and Jungkook reaches out to give him a high-five. Bastards. “That’ll probably be more helpful.”
“I’m not gonna practice dark magic on you,” Seokjin tells Yoongi, who looks at the half-opened kitchen window with practically longing eyes. Honestly, Yoongi can be such a drama queen sometimes. “Now can we please get back to the matter on hand?"
"Why would you even want to turn him back?" Taehyung despairs. "He's, like, five hundred times better looking now than he ever was."
Yoongi swipes his paw at Taehyung, and what might have been a punch once is now rendered useless as nothing more than a pat to his jaw. Yoongi throws Jungkook and Seokjin a baleful look, at that, like he's blaming both of them for all of his troubles. Seokjin's almost tempted to surrender him to Taehyung completely to spite him.
“He’s a cat,” says Seokjin.
“A very adorable cat,” says Taehyung.
“What on earth are we gonna do with a cat?”
“Lots of things,” says Taehyung, “like petting him and grooming him and playing with him when he’s bored—“
“I think you’re forgetting that Yoongi-hyung used to be human, once,” says Jungkook.
Yoongi makes an indignant noise, almost like he’s saying, Yoongi-hyung can also hear you, you twerps. Seokjin’s kind of getting the hang of this magical cat telepathy thing. It’s probably already in his blood, or maybe that’s just his mind translating everything Yoongi does on default mode, cat or not.
“If I wanted something to dote on, I would have asked Jimin to live with me,” says Seokjin.
“It’s not too late to go for the obviously better choice, hyung,” says Taehyung, and gets hit by Jungkook’s sock-covered foot and Yoongi’s tail for his trouble. Taehyung ignores them both. “Think of it this way: what’s the one thing Yoongi-hyung can’t give you now that he’s a cat?”
“Free labor when I need someone to fix your messes,” says Seokjin, looking significantly at the three other people in the room. Yoongi glowers. “A drinking buddy. Emotional intimacy. And—“
“Jimin can do that,” says Taehyung, completely ignoring Jungkook’s protests of what am I, cannon fodder? “Jimin can do everything.”
“Do you hear this, hyung?” Jungkook grumbles, peering down at Yoongi. “Do you hear this blatant piracy going on?”
“Doesn’t Jimin have a girlfriend,” says Seokjin.
“Seriously?” Jungkook splutters. "Are you honestly considering this?" Seokjin shrugs.
“Point taken,” Taehyung broods, nosing along Yoongi's spine and clearly enjoying every bit of it. “I still maintain that Yoongi-hyung is a lot more useful as a cat than as a person, though.”
"I kinda miss his dick already, though," says Seokjin, flatly.
"I wish you never asked," Namjoon tells Taehyung.
Namjoon and Seokjin leaf through his archive of spells from his uni days, but all they manage to come up with are options for transfiguring inanimate objects and shapeshifting for a temporary period of time. "I skipped a lot of classes when I was a freshman," says Namjoon, shrugging. "Sorry, hyung."
Yoongi glares at him, but the effect is diminished by the flower crown Taehyung conjured out of thin air and placed atop Yoongi's head. Seokjin's tempted to ask Taehyung to make a few more, just so he could use it as a replacement cone of shame if Yoongi gets into a snit.
"Why don't you just let Jungkook try to cast a spell on him again?" Namjoon suggests.
"We tried that the first time and Jungkook almost zapped a pillow into a crisp," says Seokjin. "We're not taking any chances."
"In my defense, I was hungry and tired and Yoongi-hyung wouldn't stop moving," Jungkook protests.
"That pillow was a gift from my mother," says Seokjin. "You are dead to me."
"It was one time!"
"You know what would have been funny?" Namjoon butts in, and Jungkook and Seokjin turn to look at him, expectant and dreading it at the same time. "If Jungkook turned Yoongi-hyung into a girl instead of a cat."
Right. Seokjin's friends are all idiots. "Please stop thinking with your other head," says Seokjin.
"Sounds like a movie Hoseok-hyung would pay to watch," says Taehyung.
"Or porn," says Namjoon.
"Or porn," Taehyung agrees.
"What did I say about keeping your heads out of the gutter again," says Seokjin.
"That's asking for the impossible, hyung."
"Knowing you, I don't doubt that," says Seokjin, dryly.
Namjoon opens his mouth to retort, but Taehyung beats him to it with a considering sound. He drops Yoongi to the floor to stroke his chin, and Yoongi darts away and dives behind Seokjin to curl up against him and scowl at Taehyung.
"I think I read about something like this in a book once," says Taehyung. "It had some cheesy thing with true love's kiss, but who's to say Yoongi-hyung won't turn into a troll if Jungkookie lays a big one on him?"
Jungkook's foot shoots out to kick at Taehyung's side, and Taehyung just cackles.
"I'm not kissing a cat," says Seokjin, scandalized. "That's super gross. Do you know what their tongues feel like? Sandpaper, that's what."
"We're not telling you to make out with him, god," says Namjoon. "But if you're into that, then, uh, I don't wanna know."
"Wait, are you seriously going along with this sentimental bullshit?" Seokjin asks. "Really?"
"It's funny," Namjoon defends himself.
"Your humor is seriously lacking in taste," says Seokjin.
"Pot, meet kettle," says Namjoon, though it's drowned out mostly by Taehyung's peal of laughter and Yoongi's wailing. Seokjin turns to look at them in time to see Yoongi scamper down the hallway and into the bedroom, fluffy tail ramrod straight and indignant behind him; Jungkook, shamefaced, purses his lips and kicks at Taehyung again.
Namjoon bursts out into a fresh round of cackling, and Taehyung laughs so hard he nearly chokes. Jungkook wilts and slumps against the couch. Seokjin closes his eyes and tries to will his incoming migraine away.
"Oh my god," says Seokjin, breathing in. "I'm not kissing you until you brush your mouth."
True to form, Seokjin refuses to let Jungkook kiss him until he brushes his teeth twice and gargles with mouthwash. "I don't get it," Jungkook complains. "You let Yoongi-hyung lick you all the time, so what's the difference?"
"The difference is that he uses his tongue to clean his genitals now and he's a walking sanitary hazard," says Seokjin. Not that Yoongi wasn't a disaster in the proper care and feeding section of Basic Human Survival 101. Yoongi's the type of guy who would rather sleep in an unmade bed and in his street clothes than take the time to shower for five minutes, and if he could go without bathing for more than a couple of days, Seokjin suspects he totally would. "And what makes you think I'm not gonna make him do the same when he finally turns back?"
"If he turns back," says Jungkook, shoulders slumped. As much as their friends like to joke around and congratulate Jungkook on his most entertaining crisis to date, Seokjin knows that the anxiety is itching under his skin, every pad of Yoongi's near-silent footsteps against the carpeted floor stacking up more weight to the pressure.
That vulnerable, miserable face — Seokjin's always been a sucker for it, and Yoongi too. As much as Yoongi likes to complain about Jungkook's magic going completely haywire, he's learned to bite down the more callous remarks that tend to pull Jungkook into reticence.
As if sensing his mood, Yoongi pokes his head into the bathroom, wary. He slinks inside and prowls in between Jungkook's legs, tail brushing against Jungkook's calf and lingering when Jungkook bends down to hesitantly scratch under his chin. He doesn't bite off Jungkook's hand for it, and suffers through the indignity like he would whenever Jungkook digs his chin into the juncture of his neck and shoulder and lets out a huff of laughter, awkwardly slotting their limbs together before their mouths. It's like living with a dog that can't sit still, Yoongi keeps telling Seokjin, but it's not like he minds as much as he pretends he does. Yoongi's kind of emotionally constipated like that.
"He'll turn back," says Seokjin, from his spot inside the bathtub. Jungkook picks up Yoongi from the tiled floor, and Yoongi scrambles up from his arms to perch along Jungkook's shoulders, digging his claws into Jungkook's skin enough to make him wince.
Seokjin watches them, knees hiked up to his chest and hands swirling concentric circles in the water. Yoongi refuses to approach him in principle, but Seokjin doesn't stop Jungkook from flicking drops of it at his face until Yoongi sneezes. It's oddly domestic, but it's completely off. Seokjin looks away and pretends to scrub at the soles of his feet.
One of the things Namjoon had told him before he and Taehyung had left was that sometimes, it's not so much the original proponent of the spell that makes the magic stick, but the receiving end of it. Seokjin has no idea why the hell Yoongi would even actively want to stay a cat, and from the disgruntled expression on Yoongi's face, he feels the same way, if not more than a little insulted.
Now, though, he wonders. He really, really does.
Jungkook doesn't say anything else as he tries to distract himself with other things; he's bad with pauses and ill-timed silences to begin with, and Yoongi and Seokjin aren't of the disposition to push or prod Jungkook the way the louder members of their friend group tend to do. This, too, is a gap, and one that they'll fill in with time. Eventually.
(Unless Yoongi stays a cat. God. Seokjin's not looking forward to that at all.)
For now, though, there's not much they can do about that, and Seokjin knows it from the way Jungkook can't quite meet his eyes as he reaches for the shampoo bottle and lathers its contents onto Seokjin's hair, a chore he's been on the receiving end of more times than the giver, as if to try to dispel the knot on Seokjin's back with his fingers. He doesn't quite manage to work out the knots as well as Yoongi does, but with time and practice, he'll learn. Seokjin tries not to miss Yoongi much, not when he's right there, but from the sigh he lets out, he can't seem to tamp it down
Yoongi doesn't make a sound, just peers at Seokjin, draped along Jungkook's shoulders like he can't be half-assed to move. His line of sight flickers from Seokjin's forehead, bangs plastered wet against his skin, and to Jungkook's fingers kneading against Seokjin's scalp. Things he can't do anymore, now that he isn't human, and Seokjin gives him a rueful smile.
"Looks like he likes you again," says Seokjin, hushed, in the awkward absence of anything to say.
"Does that mean he'll sleep with us again this time?" Jungkook says, but the joke is flat, weak. In another lifetime, another apartment, another what-if, this could have been normal, just him, Jungkook, and their cat that hates Jungkook's guts with a passion on principle except on days it doesn't. As much as Seokjin feels the warm fluttering of feeling seize at his throat when Yoongi noses along Jungkook's cheek and nuzzles closer, this isn't the kind of reality he wants with Yoongi.
The feeling lingers, even hours later when Jungkook is already lost to the world like the dead sleeper he is, Yoongi curled up against his chest in bed, Seokjin takes a moment to look at them from the doorway, at Yoongi's half-lidded eyes, jolted awake with every snore from Jungkook that reverberates through his body. Once, Yoongi could fall asleep at the drop of a hat even in the middle of distractions, and it was Seokjin that was the sensitive sleeper; now, maybe some of that's changed, too.
He climbs into bed gingerly, and Yoongi's eyes snap open before closing once more. The bed feels too big now that Yoongi's considerably scaled down, and Seokjin tries to distract himself by stroking Yoongi's fur.
On cue, Yoongi lets out a pleased purr that's more like an incessant buzz than anything else. Seokjin cracks a smile, and he scratches at Yoongi's side, then to his belly. This Yoongi is a little more honest about affection, a little more vocal. He'll miss it a little, probably,
Or maybe he's a little too honest. Seokjin tries to hide his snort of laughter at Yoongi's blissed out expression, and at the lazy swish of his tail and the involuntary jerk of his limbs.
"Yoongi," says Seokjin, sniggering, and Yoongi cocks an eye open, vaguely annoyed, "why didn't you tell me you liked belly rubs?"
Yoongi spends the rest of the night sulking under the bed and refusing to come out until the next day, but not before clawing at Seokjin's thigh. Seokjin bears through the hiss of pain under the alcohol and cotton swabs. Worth it, he thinks and bribes Taehyung into manhandling Yoongi into wearing a crown out of daisies on his head as punishment the next day.
They try to feed Yoongi cat food. The operative word is 'try'.
On an ordinary day, it's already hard to peel Yoongi away from his laptop long enough to nag him into scarfing down more than a sandwich or a bag of chips, and Seokjin's not confident enough in his cooking to be able to brag that it would be enough to coax Yoongi back to the land of the living. Yoongi's particular about the things he likes and dislikes, and doesn't hesitate to call Seokjin out on something tasting too bland, or too spicy, or whatever. Don't even get him started about grilling meat. Seokjin's had one too many horror stories about letting Jungkook hold the tong and burning most of the pork belly into a crisp.
Cat food doesn't look particularly appetizing either, and it's barely a step up from charred pieces of samgyupsal. If Yoongi could curl his lip downwards, he probably would; as it is, he refuses to come near the pile of goop served on the tiniest platter they could find, and not even laying it on the dining table is brainwashing Yoongi into at least thinking it's real food.
"Of course it's not appetizing," says Jungkook, gnawing on a piece of bacon that Yoongi keeps stealing longing glances at. "He's still Yoongi-hyung, just without the human parts."
"Don't even think about feeding him table scraps," says Seokjin, warning. "We're not letting him live off human food. Do you know what it does to their poo?"
"I wish I could forget you ever said that," says Jungkook, blanching. Across him, Yoongi looks like he feels the same way. "Has Taehyung been sending you links again?"
"They're very informative blogs," Seokjin defends.
"I'm starting to think you're taking this a little too seriously," says Jungkook. "You remember Yoongi-hyung's not really a cat, right? And that this isn't a permanent thing?"
"Of course I do," says Seokjin. "I'm just saying, it doesn't hurt to be prepared."
Yoongi's paw pushes down on the saucer of tuna goop hard enough to tip it over, and chunks of fish scatter across the hardwood surface. Seokjin and Jungkook jerk back with an alarmed yell, and Seokjin rushes to the sink to grab a wet rag.
When he comes back to wipe everything up, Yoongi is staring at him, tail flicking side to side. "Bad kitty," Seokjin scolds before he can remember himself, and Jungkook chokes on his glass of water.
Unrepentant, Yoongi sniffs and turns to face away from Seokjin; it makes Seokjin's insides clench with annoyance, because of course Yoongi would do something like this. Of course.
He cleans up in silence, and tosses the rag aside afterwards. When he looks back, Yoongi's gone from the table now, tracks of fish flakes in the shape of his paw leading out of the hallway, belligerent as ever.
"This is why I never got a cat," he says, flatly, rolling his eyes.
It's not all smooth sailing.
By day three, the novelty has finally worn off and Seokjin is seriously considering moving to some far-flung place just to escape the phone calls from work or friends or – god forbid – Yoongi's parents.
"He's sick with the stomach flu," he tells them, eyeing Yoongi as he hacks out a hairball on the very white, very pristine carpet. He’s making Yoongi pay for the dry-cleaning when this bullshit is over. He really likes that carpet, god damn it! "Vomit and bodily fluids everywhere, it's really gross."
"Oh," says Yoongi's mother, "do you need me to come down and take care of him?"
While Seokjin would ordinarily love nothing more than to get back-up in his quest to pester Yoongi into actually listening to him, he doesn’t think Yoongi’s mother would take too kindly to the sudden changes in her son’s lifestyle, much less his current physical condition. She’s a mild-mannered woman at best, but Seokjin wants to stay in her good books, thanks. He’d want nothing more than to salvage his reputation by sacrificing Jungkook in the process, but that damnable part of him called his conscience is still a real and thriving thing echoing and nagging at the back of his head, sounding suspiciously like his dog. Or Zelda. The things he does for love, honestly.
"He'll be fine," Seokjin lies through his teeth. "He's just sleeping now. I'll ask him to call you later."
By that, he means conning Jungkook into transfiguring into Yoongi and mimicking him with the deceit of one pretending to be a dutiful son. It shouldn't be too hard. Considering that Yoongi and Jungkook both communicate in grunts and one-word replies, following his speech pattern shouldn't be that much of a task. Or maybe Seokjin should hand Jungkook a script, just in case Jungkook pulls off yet another astounding moment of foot-in-mouth syndrome and makes Yoongi’s mother cry. Domestic peace seems like a long and far off dream that’s constantly out of Seokjin’s reach, no matter how many times Hoseok jokes that getting dicked by two people at once sounds like a wild night out. Hoseok doesn’t know shit outside of porn.
"Okay," says Yoongi's mother, with a sigh that makes the guilt demons in Seokjin's stomach attack with renewed vigor. "Give him a kiss for me and tell him to call me back when he feels better."
Yoongi meows, sadly, at the sound of his mother's voice on speaker phone, and Seokjin feels the panic creep in, slowly. Once upon a time, Yoongi would have begged Seokjin to make excuses for him whenever his mother called, but now it seems that turning into a cat is triggering his repressed need for affection. And Yoongi calls Seokjin a mama's boy.
"Did you get a new cat?" Yoongi's mother asks, curiously.
"It's Jungkook's," says Seokjin, and Yoongi digs his claws into his thigh. Technically speaking, it barely feels like a pinch in comparison to Jungkook's more frequent bouts of reenacting martial arts moves from action movies, but at least Jungkook hasn't drawn blood yet, unlike this asshole. Seokjin scowls and makes shooing motions at him, and Yoongi sulks off to maybe rip apart Jungkook's socks with his paws.
When it comes down to it, though, Seokjin doesn't know what it says about Yoongi that most people just shrug and consider the excuse with tacit acceptance; then again, the last time Yoongi pulled a disappearing act, Seokjin found him snoring in the bathtub for what was apparently a thirty-six hour sleeping marathon after finals and no one had even bothered to look for him until Seokjin remembered Yoongi owed him lunch. Magical mishaps are the only times he's all too happy that his boyfriend has the makings of a hermit.
"You're lucky you're cute now, even if you are making me reconsider my policy on not getting pissed off at tiny animals," says Seokjin, watching Yoongi unravel one of Seokjin's knitted sweaters with his claws. Yoongi peers at him for a second only to lay down on the couch, ignoring him. Considering that ignoring everything and everyone when he's hyper focused on something is normal for Yoongi, Seokjin just sighs. "You're buying me a new sweater when you turn back, by the way."
Yoongi just licks at his paw and preens.
Seokjin wakes up to Yoongi sitting on his face.
Well, not ‘sitting’, precisely. Suffocating, more like, now that Yoongi’s throwing majority of his body weight onto Seokjin’s nose and getting cat fur all over his cheek; Seokjin tries to shove him off, but no dice; a stubborn Yoongi is as immovable as a petrified rock, or Jungkook before eight in the morning. It just doesn’t come easy.
“Why,” he tries to ask, only to come up with a garbled whhhhuuhh that just makes Yoongi shuffle in place and turn his head to look at him without doing much else.
Seokjin tries to kick at Jungkook’s leg. Jungkook, predictably, doesn’t even wake up. Useless.
It’s a wonder, sometimes, how they even work. When Seokjin thinks about it, really thinks about it, the three of them look anything but the epitome of domestic peace and stability. Outside of being a magical disaster, Jungkook tends to act more like an annoying, overbearing older brother despite the discrepancy in their age (or because of it? Seokjin’s not too sure), or even like a bullish dog in the tenuous stage of crate training and teething all over the furniture. They’ve broken two pieces of furniture already, and none of them are from any scandalous sex orgies that their friends tease them about. Really. Seokjin should know. He’s had to rush them to the emergency room and explain, in great detail and with much embarrassment, that the bruises along Yoongi’s back and hip were casualties of Jungkook dreaming about the bed turning into piles of straw with the mattress collapsing under their combined weight. Why is sleep such an elusive, fickle thing?
Yoongi, on the other hand, has an excellent sense of control, though his self-confidence honestly makes Seokjin want to smack him upside the head sometimes. Or all the time.
(“I feel like I’m the designated babysitter in this relationship,” he used to constantly say. “I like to think I’m the only reason you two are still alive.”
“I’ve never set the bathroom on fire,” Seokjin pointed out.
“That was one time,” Yoongi protested.
“You were in the shower.”
“I was with Jungkook,” said Yoongi. “For all you know, it could have been his fault entirely.”
Somehow, Seokjin really doubted that, but he let Yoongi have his delusions. It was just better not to argue when it was already two in the morning. Seokjin should reconsider sleeping with nocturnal animals in his next life.)
And Seokjin – well, sometimes he just feels like a piece of furniture in the middle of everything, like he’s squashed in the middle of Yoongi and Jungkook and just taking everything at face value, like it’s nothing new. Yoongi likes to call it an ever-present sense of optimism that they just can’t squash, and Jungkook calls it being oblivious. This whole cat problem, though, is testing his patience enough that Seokjin’s almost tempted to call it quits and move back home with his dog. At least Jjangu doesn’t make it a point to try to strangle him in his sleep.
“You’re lucky I’m not allergic,” he tells Yoongi. Tries to, at least.
Yoongi doesn’t even bother with the pretence of acting cute to suck up, and just puts his head back on the pillow, the tip of one ear brushing Jungkook’s cheek. Seokjin sighs, and reaches out to pinch Jungkook’s nipple. It doesn’t wake him up.
“I’m not feeding any of you breakfast,” he says, to the ceiling. All he gets is a snore in response.
He ends up making pancakes for both of them. Saying no is so hard.
"You know, when you first told me you had two boyfriends, I was wondering if you could get any less vanilla than you already are," says Hoseok, when he's checking in on Seokjin the next morning. "How does it feel now that one half of your significant others is a four-legged mammal that probably has fleas?"
"How about I let him loose in your apartment next time," says Seokjin, keeping his tone light, and Hoseok lets out a sharp bark of laughter.
"I'll be sure to invite Taehyung and Jimin over. They'll definitely have fun with that," Hoseok considers. When the snickering subsides moments later, his voice turns soothing, concerned. "Seriously, though, how are you holding up?"
Seokjin sighs and pinches the bridge of his nose. In the other room, Jungkook is massacring pixelated enemies and swearing up a storm in the process, while Yoongi naps atop the Xbox, gravitating towards the heat from the console. For a time, he'd sat patiently beside Jungkook with rapt attention, eyes glued to the TV screen, but after a semi-humiliating moment of getting his paws tangled up with the wires, they'd made an executive decision to keep Yoongi out of complicated machinery.
"He hasn't brought me any dead rodents and birds, if that's what you're asking," says Seokjin, drily.
"The one bright spot in your life, I'll bet."
"As far as he's concerned, Jungkook's already sufficient prey for him not to bother with anything else," says Seokjin. Considering that Yoongi's competitive and ambitious to a fault, he probably doesn't even deign to hunt down something smaller in size without the challenge. Not that reeling Jungkook in is much of one, either, when all Yoongi has to do is meow piteously at him until Jungkook picks him up and feeds him some of his banana milk and cereal when they think Seokjin's not looking. And they think Jungkook is the tough one.
"Please tell me you've been dressing him up and making him wear tiny booties on his paws," Hoseok begs.
"I don't want to wake up with a fistful of Yoongi's ass in my face, thanks." Again, he doesn't say, because Hoseok, for all his relative niceness compared to the rest of their friend group, is still a genuine asshole at heart. The less said about it, the better. Seokjin scowls and rubs at the creases on his cheek at the reminder. Shedding is the worst.
"Never stopped you three before," says Hoseok, and Seokjin almost gags on his chai.
"Don't," says Seokjin, and scowls at Hoseok's choked laughter. "I'm serious. It's already creepy enough that I can't get Jungkook off with Yoongi blinking at us from outside the shower." It's giving him flashbacks of why he sent Jjangu back to his parents, except this time he's actually romantically invested in the animal scratching outside his door and whining to be let in while he has a hand down someone else's shorts, which sucks.
"If you're suffering from a serious case of blue balls, you can always get Namjoon to look after him."
"Namjoon's dog already can't stand him, what makes you think Yoongi will?"
"True," says Hoseok. "One of them will probably set the other on fire by the end of week one, and I can't guarantee Namjoon's safety. Knowing Yoongi-hyung, he'll figure out how to light a match with or without opposable thumbs."
"For Namjoon's sake, I hope we don't come to that," says Seokjin, voice grim.
He puts the phone down and goes back to scrolling through his phone, tabs of a quick Naver search of what do I do if my SO turns into an animal giving him nothing but extremely kinky BDSM porn, werewolf copulation methods, and animal husbandry strategies that make him reconsider ever trusting the internet. He's almost desperate enough to get in touch with his old professors, but he really doesn't want to have to suffer through the mortification of having to explain how, exactly, he's come to this point, reevaluating his life decisions at all turns.
Seokjin peers into the living room, unsurprised to find Jungkook downing an energy drink and jabbing mercilessly at the controller. Seokjin's convinced he's cheating, or possibly an idiot savant. Someday, the world will suddenly turn into something out of a Minecraft play through and Seokjin will know exactly who to blame for it. He bumps his hip against Jungkook's shoulder, jostling him badly enough that Jungkook lets out a strangled cry when his character promptly gets shot in the head and dies.
"What the hell, hyung!" Jungkook protests. Yoongi opens one eye, and if cats could snicker, Seokjin feels like he wouldn't hesitate to make fun of Jungkook. As it is, the laugh track of Yoongi's vaguely derisive cackling echoes in Seokjin's mind, and he tries to stamp down the sharp swell and ebb of disappointment in his stomach.
It's probably just hunger pangs. Maybe.
"Go do something productive with your weekend, for once," Seokjin groans out, sinking into the couch. "Besides, your trigger finger is flagging down."
"My fingers are perfectly fine," Jungkook grouses. "I'm not as old as you are, grandpa."
"You're sleeping with this geriatric man," says Seokjin, breezily. "And if anything, it's Yoongi that's the old one. Right, Yoongi-ah?"
He crooks a hand towards Yoongi, waving at him. Yoongi's ears twitch, but he doesn't move, just watching Seokjin's fingers curl into his palm, tracking it with an alertness that belies the lazy flick of his tail.
Even as a cat, Yoongi prefers to sit on his ass until Seokjin does something. Seokjin's nothing if not stubborn to a fault, though, and he folds his arms around a throw pillow and stares back at Yoongi.
"I fed you salmon for lunch," Seokjin accuses. "I gave you a bath this morning. I cleaned out your litter box."
Yoongi yawns. Jungkook puts his controller down to stretch out his arms, and rolls his eyes. "You do realize that's not going to convince Yoongi-hyung to come closer, right?"
"You're right," Seokjin despairs. "I forgot I was living with overgrown children."
"Says the one that refuses to take the character figures away from the display cabinet," Jungkook mutters.
"They're collector's items. I'm a connoisseur."
"Nerd," says Jungkook, reaching over to turn off the console and stroke Yoongi's body, knobby fingers grazing the ridges of his spine. He purposefully pitches his voice higher as he coos at Yoongi, cloying. "Seokjin-hyung's the biggest loser, isn't he, Yoongi-hyung?"
"If I turn into an animal in the future, I hope you remember all the good I've done for you by not sending you to Namjoon or Taehyung, brat," says Seokjin, to both of them.
Yoongi just sniffs and goes back to sleep, and Jungkook cackles in response.
Ingrates, both of them.
Surprisingly, it's Jungkook that's taken to snuggling against Yoongi with gusto significantly more than Seokjin; no matter how many articles of clothing Yoongi ruins and sheds on, Jungkook just seems to take everything in stride and even thinks of it as endearing. Seokjin blames it on guilt, and Jungkook just shrugs and tucks his face back into making smacking noises against Yoongi's belly.
"It's therapeutic," says Jungkook, at Seokjin's curled lip of disgust. Yoongi, high on catnip and cuddling, just stretches in place and lets Jungkook stroke his stomach. "Don't knock it until you've tried it, hyung."
For someone that's constantly balked at the idea of Yoongi staying as a cat for far longer, Jungkook's warming up to this false sense of domesticity all too easily. Seokjin considers digging out a spray can and spritzing both of them back to the land of Sense and Reason.
"It's a health hazard," says Seokjin, not bothering to point out that once upon a time, Jungkook had been on his side with this one before Yoongi had converted him. "I know where he's been prowling around, and it's not in a tub full of bath bombs and roses."
"How can you say no to this face," Jungkook wheedles. Yoongi sniffs and blinks owlishly at Seokjin. His eyes are still a little glassy from the trip, and Seokjin wonders if he should be worried about this carrying over to his human form when he changes back. If he changes back.
"It's actually very easy," says Seokjin. "I just try not to look at him."
"You wouldn't be saying this if this were Jjangu," says Jungkook, shaking his head.
"Unlike Yoongi, Jjangu doesn't actively make it his mission to destroy my kitchen."
"What if it were me, though?" Jungkook challenges. Yoongi's ears perk up, though he keeps his eyes shut as Jungkook continues to pet him. "What if I turned into some tiny, helpless animal?"
Somehow, Seokjin doubts that Jungkook would be anything remotely resembling a tiny woodland creature. For all of Seokjin's luck, he'd probably end up like something straight out of a safari, like a large cat out for his blood. Or an overgrown dog that would make it its personal mission slobber and spit all over the couch, and Seokjin can say goodbye to any semblance of order in his life.
"I'm gonna need to start looking for cages, then," says Seokjin. Jungkook makes a wounded noise, like he's been gutted. "I don't trust you enough to not subject you to crate training."
"Monster," says Jungkook, and Yoongi just meows and bats at his cheek in agreement, the effect only dampened when he misses and hits Jungkook's nose instead. Jungkook rubs at the bridge of his nose and sighs.
"Says the one who turned Yoongi into a cat," says Seokjin, and Jungkook shuts up.
The relative peace of his sullen moping is broken only after a few seconds of blessed silence, because if there's anything Jungkook likes to do best, it's having a comeback armed and ready to shoot him down. "It's because you wouldn't kiss him either," Jungkook points out. "If I did it once, you have to do it too!"
"Why would you even listen to Taehyung?"
"Hey, fairytales exist for a reason," says Jungkook, with a shrug. "It didn't hurt to try."
Seokjin looks at Yoongi. Yoongi, whose head jerks up and away from trying to clean his stomach with his mouth. Yoongi, who definitely hasn't been handed a toothbrush for days. Yoongi widens his eyes, and meows.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," says Seokjin, resolve cracking. Beside Yoongi, Jungkook makes a huffing sound of laughter, and smiles. Somehow, someone up there is pointing at him and laughing at Seokjin's life choices.
"Just do it," says Jungkook. "If it didn't work for me, who's to say it won't for you?"
Yoongi keeps staring at him, the same kind of look he'd given Seokjin when he'd alluded to harboring something more than the easy swell of platonic feeling. When he'd said that if feeling came first and he'd had no choice but to share him, then he could learn to love Jungkook too, else risk not having him at all. It's not blind devotion, not quite, but it's the softest Seokjin's ever seen Yoongi. On human-Yoongi, it would probably look creepy and hilarious. On a cat, though, it just makes Seokjin's heart shudder and snap in place.
Yoongi butts his cheek against Seokjin's hand, as if to say get on with it. Seokjin lets his knuckles graze the back of Yoongi's head, and Yoongi shivers a little, pleased. There's a certain way that Yoongi likes to be petted, hard like he wants Seokjin's fingers to dig against his skin enough to let the sensation linger for hours on. Seokjin can never sustain the energy to do it for long, though, because if Yoongi had his way, he probably would never let Seokjin stop.
There's a point where they have to, though, just like how this will end in time, too. Seokjin can only hope.
He bends forward, taking in a deep, fortifying breath. Purses his lips and tips Yoongi's chin up to meet his eyes. Bumps their noses together, and lets out a huff of laughter at how cold and moist Yoongi's feels against his skin.
It's nice, if he conveniently forgets that this cat is his boyfriend. It could even be cute. Yeah, maybe Jungkook's right. It's not so bad, getting kisses from cats. He can stand to live with it for a few more hours.
Then the moment is promptly ruined by Yoongi twitching and coughing in a spastic fit, only to hack out a hairball on the sheets.
Seokjin promptly drops Yoongi back into Jungkook's lap, and closes his eyes. "You're cleaning that up, by the way," he tells Jungkook, and refuses to let Yoongi nose at his face for the rest of the night.
The highlight of day five is Yoongi breaking a collection of Seokjin's porcelain cat figurines, the ugly ceramic mugs they keep on the counter that Seokjin keeps insisting on bringing back as souvenirs every time they go on a trip overseas, Jungkook's stack of illegal bootlegs of old video games, and a grand total of six various dinnerware every time Jungkook accidentally throws a squeaky toy into the kitchen.
"How are you a bigger nuisance now that you're less than a foot tall?" Seokjin half-sobs, half-yells as he sweeps up the latest victim of Yoongi's prowling. Yoongi, from his favorite perch above the refrigerator where Seokjin can't reach him without looking for a stool, doesn't react much except to for a twitch of his tail that Seokjin knows means he's enjoying this too much.
Seokjin has a sneaking suspicion that half of the 'accidents' Yoongi winds up in are more of a conscious effort to search and destroy everything he's complained about over the months of living together. That unopened bottle of red wine from Seokjin's ex-boyfriend that Seokjin never really had the heart to throw away or drink? A pain in the ass stain on the white carpet that Seokjin had to scrub out with a bottle of bleach and elbow grease with only an aching body to show for his troubles. A bowl filled with Hansanim ginseng candy Jungkook had gotten Seokjin and Yoongi as a gag gift last White Day that Yoongi refused to eat on principle? That's a bust too.
"We have a problem," Seokjin tells Jungkook over dinner. In the other room, Yoongi is watching a kdrama, looking bored except for the near-lazy swish of his tail betraying his true feelings about the main couple arguing on the screen, so Seokjin figures now is a good as time as any to bring it up before Yoongi catches on.
"I didn't do it," says Jungkook, quickly.
"I didn't say you did anything," says Seokjin, after a pause. Jungkook stuffs his mouth with a piece of lettuce, and Seokjin decides that whatever it is, he'll let it slide for once. He's never been great at multi-tasking problems. "Have you noticed Yoongi's been too destructive lately?"
"Well, he has been hanging out with you and Namjoon-hyung," says Jungkook. Seokjin kicks him under the table, and Jungkook bends to rub at his knee with a pout. "What did he break this time?"
"The clock on our bedside table," says Seokjin. "The one from the anime Taehyung wanted you to watch."
"Good call," says Jungkook. "I always hated that clock."
"Have you been bribing Yoongi to do the dirty work for you?" Seokjin demands.
"If I wanted it gone, you would have known a long time ago," Jungkook points out. Seokjin almost wants to agree, except Jungkook has a selective attention span that conveniently forgets how easily susceptible he is to cajoling and blowjobs. There's a reason Seokjin's gotten pretty good at those.
"Right," says Seokjin, and makes faces at Jungkook until Yoongi, bored and starving, wanders back to them meowing loudly for food and attention.
"So your boyfriend problem is turning into an actual cat problem," says Hoseok, when Seokjin calls him to complain after dinner; Seokjin can always count on Hoseok to make the appropriate wounded noises every time he hears the words glass shards or carpet stains or, god forbid, excess fur from shedding. "Which, not saying it wasn't before, but if he's basically destroying your home by now, you really have to sit him down and talk about this."
"Don't you think I've tried that?" It's kind of awkward to hold one-sided conversations with your boyfriend-turned-cat that's probably judging you mentally except he can't really voice it aloud. Seokjin's tried giving him a marker and paper before remembering that it's a little hard to write without opposable thumbs, and anyway Yoongi's never really had the best handwriting or Pictionary skills.
He's tried upending a box of Alpha-bits on the kitchen table as well, but Yoongi had only made it as far as D-U-M-B-A-S before they ran out of letters as a consequence of Jungkook stealing bits of cereal whenever he passed by. Suffice to say, they don't try that again.
Now, though, Yoongi doesn't seem to be too interested in communicating with more than his body language; when Seokjin talks to him, Yoongi just cocks his head and stares like he's trying to comprehend whatever it is Seokjin's saying, and while Seokjin would love nothing more than to blame that on Yoongi playing dumb to get out of situations that involve talking about their issues and feelings, there's a very paranoid part of him that wonders if maybe that's not all there is to it. All those times Seokjin's caught Yoongi lapping up water from the faucet, or pouncing on the laser light Jungkook aims at the wall? At first it had seemed cute, harmless, even, but now that Hoseok's pointed it out...
Stop. Don't think about that, he reminds himself. Thinking like that is banned from this household for a reason.
He swallows the lump in his throat, and tries to come off as unaffected when he speaks. "And anyway, trying to get Yoongi to talk is like trying to ask Jungkook to stay still for long periods of time. It just doesn't happen."
"You're right," says Hoseok. "This is your emotionally constipated boyfriend we're talking about. The cat brain probably made it worse."
"Right," says Seokjin, laughing weakly as his eyes dart from the TV and to Yoongi, whose ears are perked up, alert, like he's eavesdropping. "You said it."
Seokjin stops talking about it, and thankfully Hoseok gets it. Hoseok doesn't push the issue yet, and they talk about other inane things until Jungkook finally gets up from his spot on the couch to putter around the bathroom for a late shower, Yoongi trailing behind him. Yoongi's taken to following him in the bathroom sometimes, just because he likes listening to Jungkook sing in a place with better acoustics, and also because Seokjin put a fluffy throw rug in front of the toilet that Yoongi can lounge around on and pick apart with his claws. Seokjin doesn't know if it's cute or creepy that they're even entertaining Yoongi's voyeuristic tendencies.
Once Seokjin hears the shower turned on and Jungkook's voice echoing past the bathroom walls, Seokjin pitches his voice lower and demands, "What do you mean Yoongi has a cat brain?"
"I mean, now that he's an actual cat, what if the reason he's been fucking around is because he doesn't realize what he's doing?" Hoseok muses, sounding grim. "What if he's forgotten how to act like a human now that he's been a cat for almost a week?"
That tiny, tiny paranoia in him rises from the grave and prods at his mind with renewed force. Oh shit, Seokjin thinks, a little belatedly now that he thinks about it. I think I should stop talking to Hoseok.
Because he’s an idiot that doesn’t listen to that tiny voice inside his head, he doesn’t hang up yet.
"No," says Seokjin, "I don't think it works that way. He's not regressing into an actual cat, god."
"You don't sound too sure about that."
"I am sure," Seokjin insists, but even to his ears, it sounds weak. "He's still Yoongi. I just know it."
"Uh huh," says Hoseok. Seokjin can already imagine him rolling his eyes. "I have a list of weird cat behaviors open right now, and if he checks in on all of these, I think we can consider freaking the fuck out. That sound good to you?"
As if Seokjin hasn't done his fair share of freaking out yet. "Sure," he says, biting the inside of his cheek.
Hoseok hums, and Seokjin here's the sound of a page flipping before he speaks. "Has he tried kneading everything in sight?"
Seokjin tries not to think about Yoongi pawing at his chest in his sleep. "No."
"Does he chew on plants when Jungkookie tries to take him out for a walk?"
More like, aggressively gnaws on flowers, but whatever. "No."
"Does he keep rubbing his cheeks against you?"
"Jungkook does that and he's not a cat," says Seokjin.
"I meant his actual facial cheeks, not his butt cheek. Gross," says Hoseok, and laughs at Seokjin's spluttering protest. "I'm kidding! I meant scent-marking, hyung, jeeze."
"I don't think so," says Seokjin, cagily. Well, he's never really noticed if Yoongi does it to mark his territory. Seokjin's just chalked it up to him being particularly affectionate in his time of need.
Hoseok grunts, like he doesn't buy it, but continues his interrogation anyway. "Does he keep rolling around for no good reason?"
"No," Seokjin lies, eyes darting away from the carpet where Yoongi's all but shed a year's worth of fur on from all the excessive playing that Jungkook and Seokjin have only been too happy to indulge him in.
"You're a liar and in denial, but I'm chalking that up to emotional turmoil," says Hoseok, cheerfully. "Honestly, though, has he tried bringing you any corpses yet?"
"Then congratulations, your boyfriend's still the fakest cat in the world," says Hoseok.
Somehow, that's not really a comforting thought.
"What's wrong with you?" Jungkook asks, as he pads out of the shower with Yoongi in his arms.
"Our boyfriend is a cat," says Seokjin, voice muffled through the hands cupped around his face where they've been for the past fifteen minutes since talking to Hoseok. "Was that a rhetorical question?"
Jungkook inches closer, and all but shoves Yoongi into Seokjin's face. Yoongi blinks at him, drowsy, and Seokjin purses his lips to keep the fluttering warmth in his throat at bay.
"I think Seokjin-hyung's going crazy," Jungkook tells Yoongi. Yoongi meows and bats a paw at Seokjin's cheek. "And also that he needs to go to bed so he can stop overthinking."
"Why do I feel like I'm the only one who's taking this seriously these days?" Seokjin despairs.
"I think Yoongi-hyung's chronic worrying has rubbed off on you, hyung," says Jungkook, seriously. "Weren't you the one who always told Yoongi-hyung that all that stress will make him go bald?"
"Considering he's shedding enough to mop up an oil spill, I don't think that's too far off the mark," says Seokjin.
Jungkook sighs, and pats his cheek, patronizing. "Go to sleep, hyung. We'll deal with your mental breakdown in the morning."
Right. Tomorrow. Hopefully Seokjin will just wake up to Yoongi magically returning back to his very human body. Knowing Seokjin's luck, though, that's probably asking for too much already.
Predictably, Yoongi's still a cat the next day.
Predictably, Seokjin's anxiety hasn't abated in the least.
It only gets worse. The next morning, Yoongi leaves a mauled squeaky toy on Seokjin's pillow, head dangling off its body and missing a considerable number of appendages that Seokjin's only seen in his nightmares. Seokjin's only glad he doesn't have access to any rotting carcasses of other animals yet, but it doesn't stop Seokjin from screaming his ass off.
"I don't understand," Seokjin tells Yoongi. "Are you doing this to drive me insane? Are you leaving me dead things because you love me?"
Yoongi, predictably, yawns and doesn't say anything else. Seokjin spends the entirety of breakfast looking up how to make cats talk with the power of their minds, before he remembers that Yoongi's not really a cat, he's human, and the conundrum that comes with that makes his head hurt too much that he has to sit down.
"Why are you and Jungkook adapting so well to this?" He asks Yoongi, helplessly.
Yoongi just lets out a chirruping meow.
By the time the week is about to end, Seokjin steels himself and tries not to think dark, foreboding thoughts that make him want to strangle both Jungkook and Yoongi when they're both lazing around the couch watching TV, Yoongi plopped on top of Jungkook's chest like he's carved that space for himself for months.
(Which he has, sort of. Back when they were starting out in the tentative truce and confusion that tellingly gave their inexperience away, Yoongi and Jungkook had been two of the least physically needy people that Seokjin had ever known. Whatever intimacy they'd had, then, was never really as scandalous as Hoseok always imagined it to be; the first time Seokjin had come home and seen them sitting beside each other on the couch, shoulder to shoulder, he nearly dropped the takeaway bags in his surprise.)
They're the picture of serenity, Yoongi and Jungkook, when not a few days ago Seokjin worried about Yoongi murdering Jungkook in cold blood in his sleep. Jungkook's asleep with a textbook on charms splayed open on the floor, and Yoongi is still, unmoving. The noise from the TV is a dull hum, turned down low. In the dim light, Yoongi's fur shines bright, almost silver.
Seokjin drops his bag in the hallway, and closes his eyes. The light in the hallway flickers, open and shut, open and shut. He breathes in, and out.
With time and no progress, Seokjin finds himself testy, on edge. It's not Seokjin that's the chronic worrier among the three of them, but when it happens, he just. Diffuses. Fizzles out in bits and spurts.
The night before, he'd snapped at Jungkook and opted to sleep on the couch; the cushions were lumpy and the contour killed his back, but he'd fallen asleep easily enough when Yoongi had pattered into the living room and opted to sleep a few feet away. It's not that Yoongi's indifferent, no, but he knows Seokjin well enough that if Seokjin's pissed off at one (or both) of them, he can't be easily appeased with a hug or a comforting pat on the head like Jungkook. They've all needed their space one way or another, when there's little to no breathing room in a relationship for three people.
He thinks of Yoongi's mother. His coworkers. His friends. Then he tries not to think about it before the tug of anxiety sets in again. Yoongi likes to point out that it's Seokjin that's the most irritating when it comes to an optimism that comes from a lax personality that tends to go with the flow, but being in constant close quarters with Yoongi and Jungkook is enough to test the most laid-back of men. For all that Yoongi’s hair-dyeing and Jungkook’s hare-brained incidents are to blame for the excess hair down the shower drain, Seokjin’s is all from them. A part of him wonders if maybe Namjoon's right, if Yoongi is doing this on purpose to get back at him one way or another, but.
He cups his hands over his face, and sits on the floor, legs crossed. It's times like this that he has to remind himself, though, that it's not him that's the one with the biggest problem. He's not the one that has to look at Yoongi and think, I did this. He's also not the one that can't quite pass by glass mirrors and windows anymore without shifting uneasily away. He's just. Collateral damage, maybe.
He hears the sound of cloth rustling, and then the light padding of paws against the floor. Seokjin pulls his palms away from his eyes, dry and sore. Yoongi stills, just waiting, and Seokjin feels a weight drop to his stomach, thick and heavy.
"Oh, Yoongi," says Seokjin, and holds out his hand. Yoongi sniffs at his fingers, nudges at them with a wet nose, and ducks his head like he can't look Seokjin in the eye when he inches closer. "What are we going to do with you?"
I wish I knew, the droop of Yoongi's tail seems to say, and Seokjin lets his fingers run past the long, fine fur, painstakingly combed by Jungkook in the mornings. There's not much Yoongi can offer him other than more questions, when they've combed through the books, the internet, everything.
Then, he thinks about what Taehyung said before, about a story that doesn't really exist. Something about love.
What's really stopping you from kissing him? Jungkook had asked, when Yoongi had fallen asleep and the lamplight was already shut. It had been what they'd fought over, yesterday, and Seokjin wants to say that it's the absurdity of it all that keeps him at bay.
Then again, there's not much rhyme or reason to go on with when it comes to things like this. What he hadn't told Jungkook was that it wasn't so much the denial of plausibility that the more sentimental side of fairy tales suggested that made him cagy, but the possibility that if it were true, then what would that make them? Where would that leave him? Not knowing, the unknowable – all things take root, and now that it's there, a ghost of a suggestion, he's—
Afraid, that's all. And he thinks Yoongi knows it too. Otherwise, Yoongi could have gone and attacked him in his sleep earlier on, if he were selfish enough. Suffocated to death by a cat trying to solve the mystery of life from a storybook ending. It would make for a good story, at least.
He looks at Jungkook, who's still fast asleep. When he snores, he makes this weird, chirruping sound that Yoongi's taken to mimicking unconsciously in his sleep. Whatever fragile, tentative thing he'd worried over when they first came together, it's nagging at Seokjin all over again, when it shouldn't be. But Jungkook doesn't deserve this, and he doesn't deserve Seokjin procrastinating on their options to keep the fear at bay.
"Well," says Seokjin, casting a glance at Yoongi, whose tail is curved like a question mark as loud as the hunted look on his face, "what are you waiting for? Come here before I change my mind."
Yoongi's ears perk up, and he scampers up to sit on Seokjin's lap, paws digging painfully into Seokjin's thighs. He tips his chin up, and noses along Seokjin's jaw, making Seokjin's nose wrinkle at the feeling.
"Whatever happens, it can't be as bad as our first kiss, right?" Seokjin tries, weakly, and Yoongi huffs and bumps the top of his head against Seokjin's chin in a reprimand.
Seokjin presses a soft, small kiss to the curve of a grey-tipped ear with a sigh. Yoongi's eyes close, pleased, and his tail twitches, barely. This kind of affection, they show it so rarely to each other that sometimes the intimacy makes him nervous, but it's easy to sink in.
He kisses Yoongi's brow. His nose. And finally, his tight-lipped mouth. His fur is scratchy against Seokjin's skin, and it's just a chaste peck not unlike the puppy kisses Jjangu gives him whenever he's too excited to stay still. There's no sparks, no tell-tale consequence in the atmosphere that lets him know that anything's changed. Just a light, quivering sensation that tugs at his throat.
He opens his eyes, and only meets Yoongi's glassy-eyed, disappointed gaze.
"Ah," says Seokjin. The disappointment wells up in his stomach, and lodges into his throat, stuck. He tries to muster a smile, and fails. Guess that bit about true love is bullshit, or you're not —, he almost says, but manages to catch himself in time,
"Let's go find something to eat," he says, keeping his tone light. Yoongi follows him, past the living room and into the kitchen, but from the low sweep of his tail, Seokjin knows he's not fooling anyone at all.
Yoongi ends up picking at his food and sluggishly prowling around under the dining table before settling onto Jungkook's lap. Jungkook tries to feed him bits and scraps of meat, but Yoongi just turns his head away and makes a soft, pained sound that makes Seokjin wonder if he's sick.
"Is he dying," says Jungkook, hushed and terrified; Seokjin had tried to use a thermometer on Yoongi, but Yoongi hadn't taken too kindly to having foreign objects lodged up his butt. "Oh my god, what the hell have we done?"
"He's not throwing up, at least," says Seokjin. "Maybe he just ate something bad?"
"Have you been secretly hunting mice in your spare time now?" Jungkook asks Yoongi. Yoongi, annoyed, bats a paw at his face. "Okay, looks like that's a no."
"We'll take him to a clinic if he doesn't get better after a few hours," says Seokjin. He looks at Yoongi and feels something in him break, a dull ache he'd been familiar with the last time Yoongi had gotten the flu and wound up bedridden for days. Yoongi's never had as resistant a constitution as Seokjin, and it doesn't help that he's painfully stubborn about showing a moment of weakness.
A brief, less sane part of him wonders if it's his fault, but he scratches that thought out as quickly as it comes. You can't transmit poisonous thoughts now, could you? Maybe it's a new power Seokjin's just growing into. Maybe it’s not just Jungkook that's the magical ticking time bomb in the room.
They keep a close eye on Yoongi for the next few hours, but he just lays down, listless and unfocused. Jungkook's grip on him is tight, as they settle into bed, but Yoongi's either too exhausted or too sleepy to complain.
"I can't sleep," says Jungkook, after an hour of stroking Yoongi's trembling body despite the comforter wrapped around all of them. "I keep wondering if maybe –"
"Don't," says Seokjin, unable to keep the sharpness out of his tone. At Jungkook's wince, he bites the inside of his cheek, and lets his palm rest atop Jungkook's fingers and Yoongi's fur. "Don't think about that. He'll be fine, okay? So stop worrying too much."
"I wish this never happened," says Jungkook, miserably.
"It was probably all that grease from the bacon you kept feeding him," says Seokjin, and Jungkook looks like he wants to crack a smile at that but it only comes out watery.
"I'm making him eat grass tomorrow," says Jungkook.
"Should have turned him into a herbivore instead."
"He would have killed me on day one," says Jungkook, with a ghost of a smile. It disappears as quickly as it comes when Yoongi lets out a pained wheeze, before falling into silence again. "I just wish I knew what was wrong with him."
Me too, Seokjin thinks, but doesn't say it out loud. Instead, he touches Jungkook's knuckles with the back of his hand, something Yoongi used to do to calm them down, or let them know that he was just there, a promise. He'd never been much for airport kisses or grand displays of affection, but Yoongi had a way of making them feel grounded, stable.
"Everything will be just fine," he says, watching Jungkook's eyes flutter open and shut, sleepily, as he presses a kiss to Yoongi's cheek, soft, unbidden. "I promise."
Seokjin wakes up feeling like his skin is on fire, pinned under some heavy weight.
Is this what dying in your sleep feels like, he wonders, and when he manages to come to, it's still dark out.
For a moment, he thinks that Jungkook's just rolled over to his side of the bed, and he shuts his eyes again. Then his eyes snap open, because holy shit, what if all of Seokjin's initial trepidation about bed sharing came to life and Jungkook finally suffocated Yoongi in his sleep? What if?
Turns out, he doesn't have to worry about that. When he turns his head to look at his bedmate, he doesn't see a bright pair of eyes illuminated in the darkness like a thing out of his nightmares, nor does he catch sight of a shock of white fur shedding hair all over. That furnace plastered along his side is Yoongi, naked and visibly clawless under the covers, and he's making the same huffing noises in his sleep, barely audible unless you were as sensitive as Seokjin.
So logically, Seokjin does the only thing he can do at one in the morning: he punches Yoongi awake.
"Fucking ow," Yoongi howls, and his irritated face soon morphs into surprise. He touches his face, and then his throat, and the top of his head. "Wait, what?"
"Hyung, shut up and go back to sleep," Jungkook groans, only to sit up moments later and blink owlishly at both of them. "Oh my god," he says, "you can talk! You're human! We didn't kill you by feeding you people food!"
A paperweight spontaneously combusts in the dresser. A lamp falls over and crashes to the floor. Apparently, Seokjin and Jungkook's combined enthusiasm reaches destructive levels when uninhibited. No wonder things started levitating the first time they figured out how to properly have sex without knocking everything over.
Yoongi, already used to the chaos, just ignores it. "You nearly killed me with that crap you call cat food," Yoongi complains, stroppy as ever as he rubs at his eyes. "I can't believe you wouldn't give me pork belly slices."
Seokjin's mind is abuzz, light-headed, but it doesn't stop him from grabbing the largest pillow on hand and hitting Yoongi over the head with it for being a jerk first thing after waking up considerably less hairy and cute, the latter part debatable. "I can't," thwack, "believe," thwack "you would," thuMP "make us worry like this!"
"I was a tiny animal for days, don't kill me before I've managed to regain control of my dick," Yoongi yelps.
Seokjin pulls the covers off of Yoongi, despite his squawking protest of hyung, what the fuck, do you want me to freeze my ass off, and almost breathes out a sigh of relief as he inspects Yoongi's lower body parts. Looks functional enough. Good.
"You have a human dick now," says Seokjin, "oh thank god."
"I'm glad I'm suffering from actual blue balls just to prove a point," says Yoongi, yanking the comforter back from Seokjin's grip. "And by the way, all those times you nearly went at it without me? Thanks, assholes."
Seokjin ignores him, and gathers him and Jungkook up into a forceful hug. Yoongi lets out a grunt of pain, and Jungkook looks torn between setting something on fire in his glee or falling back to sleep now that the problem's over and done with.
"I love you, but not even you can convince me into bestiality," says Seokjin.
"Hahaha," says Yoongi, monotonous as ever. "Says the guys who actually thought fairytale remedies were true."
"Is it too late to change him back to a cat?" Jungkook wonders, cheeks turning as red as his ears. "I've forgotten how annoying he can be when he knows how to talk."
Yoongi digs his elbow into Jungkook's side, and Jungkook just cackles and throws his limbs around him to keep him pinned down. "I should have shed all over your breakfast cereal," Yoongi complains, sagging against the mattress in defeat. "You're both assholes."
"You were more honest when you were a cat," Jungkook coos. "Always wanting to snuggle and pounce at the butterflies and—"
"I'm gonna kill you," says Yoongi, and Jungkook laughs. Seokjin bites his lip, trying to keep the bubble of happiness inside his throat. "No, seriously, the minute you let me go, I'm strangling you with my bare hands."
Jungkook places a placating peck to the edge of Yoongi's mouth, and Yoongi groans but doesn't look like he's hell-bent on following through with his promise any time soon. Maybe being a cat taught him something about obedience, but then again, maybe it's just Jungkook.
"There, there," says Seokjin, soothing. He brings a hand up to stroke Yoongi's bangs out of his forehead, and runs his fingers through the top of his head, past his cheek and down to the underside of his jaw, grazing his Adam's apple absently. It's an unconscious gesture, almost, but Yoongi's neck cranes forward as if to follow Seokjin's hand, and his eyes flutter shut.
The real kicker, though, is when Yoongi lets out a low, hoarse imitation of a sound Seokjin's heard increasingly over the past few days, and Seokjin's hand stays very, very still even as Jungkook's lips curve into a shit-eating grin.
"Don't fucking say a word," says Yoongi, tone flat and promising nothing but pain.
Jungkook, predictably, ignores the warning signs with ease, the way all-powerful magical prodigies tend to do in the face of danger. "Did you just purr?" Jungkook asks, overjoyed.
Yoongi flings an arm over his eyes, and refuses to look at them. "When one of you turns into a cat, I will never let you live it down," Yoongi promises.
It's an empty threat, and Seokjin knows because Yoongi doesn't push Jungkook away when he comes closer. Jungkook snickers, as he tucks his cheek against the back of Yoongi's head, and he touches the tip of Yoongi's ear with curious fingers that make Yoongi shiver even through his grumbling. It's like Jungkook's trying to map out the difference with his mind, like the hell of the week before was just some far-off dream, the relief of its aftermath consuming. And Yoongi, well – some small, subconscious part of him, responds to the touch with the slightest incline of his head, a silent plea for more.
For a long while, they don't speak, and Seokjin waits until he hears Jungkook's breathing even out into the tell-tale sign of a deep sleep before he reaches out to tangle his fingers together with Yoongi's.
"I'm glad you're back," says Seokjin, hushed. "Even if the kiss thing didn't work, at least you're okay."
Yoongi's grip tightens around his hand, and when he turns to look at Seokjin, he's smiling, softly. Seokjin almost misses the brightness of his eyes from before, but the stroke of his thumb along Seokjin's knuckles makes Seokjin remember that almost doesn't mean he does. "Who says it didn't work?" He asks, drily. His eyes are hooded, dark. "For all you know, it could really have been true love's kiss."
"I'm scrubbing your mouth with soap tomorrow," says Seokjin, after a long, interminable pause that has Yoongi's ears turning slightly red. "That's the cheesiest thing I've heard you say yet."
Yoongi mutters something under his breath, something that Seokjin doesn't quite catch— it sounds a little like should have read my mind the entire time, that'll show you, but when Seokjin pokes him to speak up, Yoongi just brings Seokjin's hand closer to his mouth and sighs.
"Shut up and go to sleep, hyung," says Yoongi, acerbic as ever despite the gentleness belying the kiss he presses against the back of Seokjin's hand. As petulant as a cat, and no less demanding than he was when it had started. Still, Seokjin wouldn't trade it for the world.
He does rap his knuckles against Yoongi's nose, just because, and Yoongi doesn't say anything more. Seokjin reaches out to tuck an arm around him until his palm rests against Jungkook's hip, and touches his fingers to Yoongi's chest, right where he thinks his heart is.
He falls asleep to the sound of Jungkook's breathing and Yoongi's heart beating— slower now, but still comforting. It's the best catnap he's had in weeks.