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the hugs lost (and how to get them back)

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Hoseok just really likes skinship, and Yoongi just really hates when he isn't on the receiving end.

Winter hugs are intimate, warm. Filled to the brim with promises of hot tea and sniffles from the snowy air.

Soft sweater paws meet in the middle of his back from the arms weaved around his waist and Yoongi is standing like a comical statue, arms stuck out straight from his shoulders like a horizon line and his head turned to the side to avoid a mouth full of Hoseok’s hair, as the latter had his head tucked into the crook Yoongi’s neck. Hoseok’s nose burrows into Yoongi’s black sweater and Yoongi can feel his lips just barely brush over the exposed skin of his neck as the younger whispers, “it's cold outside. So, so cold, I thought my ears might freeze off.”

Yoongi’s mouth droops, eyes closing as an annoyed sigh billows from his chest because does he look like a heater? He moves his hands to Hoseok’s shoulders, giving a heaving shove against the man, but he clings tight like a koala to a tree. “Jeong Hoseok, I swear to all things holy, I am going to kill you if you don't get the fuck off of me right now.”

Yoongi's voice is raspy from the cold season, his throat parched and his mop of black hair falling out of place slightly when he shakes his head in disbelief. But the man attached to him stays in place, daring to hold tighter to his senior. Hoseok inhales, a long pull of Yoongi's aroma—black coffee and the leather of his studio chair. “Don’ wanna; you're warm.”

A full minute more of Hoseok's cold cheeks pushing against Yoongi's neck and shoulder, and Yoongi finally manages to pry the coat-clad man off of him with a growl rumbling in his chest.

“I told you last time to stop doing that,” Hoseok’s mouth curls widely at Yoongi’s scolding words, a laugh only he could get away with bubbling from his lips when he notices the older man’s cheeks have been brushed over with a subtle red blush.

“Oh c'mon, it's just a hug,” the younger’s eyes pull into crescents to rival the allure of the moon as he landed a playful push against his hyung’s shoulder. “Lighten up a little, Yoongs.”

Yoongi's eyes grow even more annoyed as Hoseok opens his arms yet again, moving to envelop Yoongi in “just a hug.” His hand shoots out to halt Hoseok in his tracks, pushing firmly against his chest and ignoring the hands that continue to try and grab their way towards him. Yoongi shoves lightly to put more space between them.

“No, bad. Hug someone else,” it’s as if Yoongi is speaking to a pet that has misbehaved. His tone is dripping with apathy as Yoongi wags his finger in Hoseok's face to further emphasize his point before making a bee-line back into his studio and closing the door hurriedly behind him.

The other man, abandoned in the entrance way of the apartment, stares at the door for a few short, contemplating seconds, wondering just what it is that repels him from Yoongi:

Is Yoongi just anti-social?

Am I just annoying to him?

It's a thought left to its own as Hoseok trudges carefully to the door of the room his roommate has disappeared into. The cream-painted wood is cold as he places his ear against it, but the piano playing from inside is colder—loud, boisterous notes confined by the pedal that Yoongi is surely stomping on to soften them unjustly. Hoseok can picture Yoongi's fingers—nimble and almost too bony to believe sweeping along the notes without thought, producing a concatenation of shambolic, jarring notes which tumble from the instrument's hammer, onto the strings with hazy satisfaction. The melody isn't perfect, some chords clash and others are out of place, but Hoseok muses that it must reflect just how the older man is fighting against his own turmoil; the exhalation of the piano’s pent notes mirrors Yoongi’s pent emotions.

 

-

 

Yoongi is not like Hoseok; they don't mix, like oil and water—no matter how many times they are stirred together, they will always be separated by the even the smallest drops. It's been so ever since Hoseok tore a ticket off from the flyer broadcasting a wanted roommate. A gravely, sleep laden voice had answered, causing Hoseok to think he'd misread (it had said “young male in his 20s,” right?). But, to the surprise of the young man, it had indeed been a 23 year old man named Yoongi who, despite the grimace that seems to be tattooed in place of his mouth and the annoyed, tired eyes that are hidden behind hooded lids, is actually a laid-back spirit.

The perfectionist in Yoongi is too obvious—the sheer amount of music that Hoseok has listened to, emotive, flow-like-a-river tracks he would pay a thousand times over to hear, that have been deleted because they “weren’t good enough” is enough to weigh down Hoseok’s heart. Yoongi doesn’t see himself as acceptable, either, Hoseok knows, and that is just flat-out bullshit. But, affection and reassurance will surely help, right?

Yoongi's first impression of Hoseok was different. Hoseok is not quiet, does not keep to his own as Yoongi does, and it became clear to Yoongi from the very first moment he heard the bubbly man’s voice, as he had to draw the phone far from his head to avoid the ear-shattering “Hello!” that boomed out from the other side of the line. Hoseok, to Yoongi, is boisterous, too optimistic, with a smile so bright it hurt his eyes to stare at. But, there will always be more, because behind those cheek aching grins, lays the addled mind of a young man trying to identify himself while he is identifying others. Even an indifferent soul like Yoongi can’t help but to worry over him when leaves as the sun reels in its ombre arms, not returning until the horizon exudes the pink warning of morning into their apartment windows.

Their schedules eventually fell into a steady rhythm. Hoseok leaves in the evening to a quaint convenience store down the street to serve as the cashier, then on to the studio on his college campus where he composes and rehearses contemporary dance until dawn. Yoongi wakes just before the sun awakens, giving him enough time to prepare one mug of black coffee with sugar, and one with breakfast tea. He doesn’t return home from his job, a partnered photography business he founded with an old friend, Jimin, until 4 o’clock. By then, Hoseok is sound asleep. On weekends, however, when either of them rarely work full shifts, it’s a full-blown battle for who gets control over the house. . .

 

Yoongi’s breath is short and laborious as he pounds up the stairs of the housing complex, small but forceful puffs of air fleeing past his lips to greet the air in translucent clouds. Having just finished his morning run, his thighs are aflame with torn muscle tissue, the pads of his feet crying out from the torture from each heavy step on their bruised surfaces—Kidding! The stairs are just steep enough to have a mountain-climber huffing in discontent, and Yoongi definitely doesn’t run.

As soon as he makes it up onto the last flight of stairs before the entrance to his floor, a muffled bang! is sounding along the corridor, the troublesome noise leaking out from under one of the doors—not as if it is from direct impact, it’s too static-heavy, too synthetic. Someone has their television’s volume turned up too high; probably an action movie, Yoongi decides (“what an asshole,” he adds subconsciously).

Violet and sage fall supine in bags beneath his eyes, such a stark contrast to the pallor of his skin. The hair that is sticking to his skin with the sheen of cold sweat is black, styled in a sleek trim with choppy bangs curled slightly to match the natural upturn of his dainty lips. His usual outfit of skinny jeans and a t-shirt has been discarded in favor of a baggy grey sweatshirt that hangs to nearly mid-thigh and a pair of loose black joggers, pulled together by the white Air Jordan 1 Mids adorning his feet. Yoongi’s posture is slouched, his head lolling to the side even as he pads along to his door, where he pauses to reach into his pocket and retrieve his key.

The day has been long, one of those that feels like each passing second is working backwards. Even though it’s a bright Saturday with dry air, Yoongi had gone into work at seven o’clock just to make sure that every photograph was organized into the right folders for one of their biggest, most favorable (most generously tipping) clients. . .and then he had double checked the saturation, brightness, highlights, and amity of each before saving them to his hard-drive as JPEGs just in case. Jimin had taken hundreds of photos for the project, a company’s new instructional campaign that require lots of slideshows. Just thinking back to the amount of clicking here, readjusting there, was enough to settle an ache in the tips of Yoongi’s fingers, and all he wants to do now is take a shower, slip into bed, and sleep for the net century and a half.

But, no good luck ever comes on sunny days anyway.

The key turned in the lock, and as soon as the door opens, an annoyed groan slips past Yoongi’s lips, because it’s obvious by the two-toned yelling coming from the living room, and the noise of what sounds to be a movie with lots of commotion, that Hoseok had a friend over. Yoongi creeps into his shared home after leaving his shoes by the door, taking the lightest steps his possibly can so as to not disturb the others home—well, probably more to avoid being noticed. He doesn’t bother stopping by his room first to drop off his things, instead making a bee-line for the only bathroom in the apartment.

With a long exhalation of relief, Yoongi locks the door behind him and rests his aching forehead on the cool surface of the faux wood. The weight of his eyelids push down on his motivation to move, moulding more stones into the wall of lethargy already building within him. He begins to peel his sweatshirt away from his skin with reluctance, following with his socks and jeans. The shower isn’t allotted enough time to warm before its jetting streams blunder upon pale, tense skin. Yoongi’s spine releases from its rigid form under the water as it massages the knots and contours of his back, and he stays there for a solid ten minutes before scrubbing soap through his hair and washing his body.

By the time he finds the sense to get out, his fingers are pruned up and his muscles are finally a bit less taut. Yoongi ruffles his stringy, wet hair with a random towel that had been hanging on the rack, not bothering to look in the mirror at his complexion before wrapping the semi-damp cloth around his waist.

Just as he turns the knob to open the bathroom door, an excessively loud “woah!” sounds from the living area. Yoongi gives a roll of his eyes before exiting to his bedroom, quickly dressing in a clean set of pajama pants and a t-shirt. The pounding in his head from staring at the harsh LED display of his computer begins once again. A harsh swallow brings to his attention just how parched his throat is, like washing salt water down a washboard of sandpaper and the sensation alone is enough to start him into a coughing fit. Yoongi ambles into the kitchen, shaking his head lightly to shake a few unruly locks of hair from his eyes.

He’d barely managed to grab a glass from a glass from the cabinet in the kitchen before: “Oh, these graphics are so amazing! Wah, turn it up some, will you?” That is definitely Hoseok’s excited voice, and he, along with whoever the hell else he had brought home, are definitely watching an action movie of some sort, going by the exaggerated sound of an explosion.

Yoongi slams the cup in his hand a bit too harshly on the countertop in front of him, but he is too sans-aspirin to care. With the bitterness of Hell on the tip of his tongue, he marches right into the room where his rowdy roommate is making too much noise.

“Hoseok, for the last damn time, just stop—” Yoongi bites the inside of his cheek to halt his string of words when he catches the sight in front of him. Hoseok is curled up to the side of one of their mutual friends, Seokjin. Of course Hoseok would invite him over because he wanted affection; the two were the most physically direct out of their friend group, after all. “I mean, will you please turn it down?”

“C’mon, Yoongs, it’s just a movie and it’s almost over anyway,” Hoseok pleads, pushing away from Jin slightly to sit up, looking Yoongi in his face with a somewhat guilty smile.

“No. My head fucking hurts, alright? I’m tired, I’m sick, and for once, I want to be able to sleep without someone else in my home preventing it,” Yoongi’s words are sharp, snapped out with such conviction that even Jin looked down in apology. He hadn’t meant to say it like that, but he couldn’t very well take it back, and it was the truth, after all. He gritted out another “turn it the hell down” before spinning on his heel, ignoring his forgotten empty glass in the kitchen, and stomping into his room with a slam of the door.

 

Yoongi’d been laying in bed for not even half an hour before his bedroom door creaks open slowly.

“Um, hyung? Jin left, and he said he hopes you feel better soon,” Hoseok pauses, nnoticing the slight shift in the blanket-covered Yoongi on the bed, “and I’m sorry I brought him over. I should have thought about how you’d feel after working. You work really hard, y’know? Maybe too hard, so, um, sleep well.”
The door begins to close again, but before it shuts completely, Yoongi, who had been clenching his eyes tightly and furrowing his brow because he knows he’s going to regret this, calls out “come here.”

“P-pardon?”

“What, can you not understand? I said come here, Hoseok,” Yoongi sits up in bed, throwing off his cover to gaze straight at the other man with expectant eyes. Luckily, Hoseok complies (that could have been awkward), shuffling over to the side of Yoongi’s bed and before he can get a question out of his mouth, Yoongi grabs his wrist and pulls him down beside him.

“Yoongi, what—”

“Just shut up, Hobi,” Yoongi pulls the blanket back over the top of them, pulling Hoseok closer by his waist and wrapping his arms around the younger man’s middle.

Hoseok is different than Yoongi. He is nearly radiating body heat that lures Yoongi into nuzzling his face into his chest. After a few seconds of pure, unadulterated shock, Hoseok responds with his body, letting his chest release a long breath of contentedness as he puts his arm around Yoongi, letting one of his hands card through the just-barely-shorter man’s hair that is still damp from his shower.

“Thanks, Hobi,” the voice strikes Hoseok as uncharacteristically soft. It brings a smile to his face to be able to hold Yoongi like this, and he can’t hold back from pressing his lips to the top of Yoongi’s head in a terse kiss.

Yeah, maybe hugging Hoseok isn’t actually so bad.