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her, her, her

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prelude:

 


 

 

It was strange how they had all met her separately— 

 

 

 

No— not strange.

 

 

 

It was cruel.

 

 

 

If they had known they would all come to love her as much as they did they might have chosen differently—

 

 

 

Might have.

 

 

 

She managed to make them all feel a certain way as the months passed— at different times, different seasons—

 

 

 

All at once.

 

 

 

It was her, they all thought.

 

 

 

Her, her, her—

 

 

 

Her they needed, her they loved.

 

 

 

Then again, it felt wrong thinking they might not have each other someday— they were family.

 

 

 

Them they needed, them they loved—

 

 

 

A family of seven, seven—

 

 

 

It was just enough to stop any of them from telling her everything they kept inside— for a while.

 

 

But none of it was intentional— no, they would never hurt each other.

 

 

They had tried to let her go—

 

 

 

Pushing her away when they felt her get too close; lashing out when they felt her drift away.

 

 

 

She was always too close or too far and it was never enough—

 

 

 

It would never be enough.

 

 

 

It all came down to her, her, her—

 

 

 

 

Wanting her, loving her.

 

 

 

 

 

y/n.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: park jimin

 


 

 

June 6 2018

 

 

17:10

 

 

The first time she passed him he barely noticed her.

 

 

He was in the middle of his routine and a crowd had formed around him— gathered and stilled as the busy people of Seoul rarely did—

 

 

 

The whole world agreeing to slow as it rarely did.

 

 

 

He was focused, but he still noticed her bright sundress in the drifting crowd—

 

 

 

To his disappointment, she was gone before he could actually look at her.

 

 

 

The second time she passed down the street he was dancing to a different song— the moves more intense and powerful. Her vibrant dress kept catching his eye despite his attention to the music, each movement; he hoped his dancing would draw her in, his curiosity peaked by her continued passing.

 

 

But when the song finished she wasn’t in the crowd of faces that cheered and dropped money into his hat—

 

 

She was gone.

 

 

The third time she passed it was late and foot traffic was low, he was doing his last dance when he saw her—

 

 

Her.

 

 

Pretty, he thought— pretty, lost.

 

 

He smiled lightly.

 

 

There was no doubt in his mind that she was lost— no, hopelessly lost— she wouldn’t have passed down the same street three times going the same direction otherwise—

 

 

And when the song finally finished she was the only one there— still before smiling brightly, raising her hands to clap and cheer loudly.

 

 

As if she hadn't noticed she was the only one there—

 

 

“Bravo! That was amazing!”

 

 

He felt himself smile.

 

 

“Thank you.”

 

 

She kept clapping, showering him with praise— and he couldn’t stop smiling at every word, couldn't stop laughing the louder she cheered.

 

 

“I wish I could dance like that!”

 

 

He beamed.

 

 

“Sure you can—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Oh, no— I can’t dance for shit.”

 

 

It was his turn to laugh—

 

 

“It’s not too bad if you just take it by steps, I bet you could if—”

 

 

“Show me then!”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“Really? You’re not embarrassed?”

 

 

“No, it’ll be fun!”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“Please?”

 

 

And so they did— and she had been right.

 

 

Jimin enjoyed dancing more in that short time than he had in months—

 

 

Laughing and making jokes, dancing together in the warm summer air like they had known each other for years and not minutes—

 

 

Minutes that turned into hours: two whole hours of just dancing and having fun. 

 

 

Talking during the breaks—

 

 

He learned she had just moved to Seoul for university and was exploring the city before summer classes began in four weeks.

 

 

“I figured it would be better if I got lost now instead of when school actually started—”

 

 

She learned that he lived with six other people.

 

 

“Six? Really?“

 

 

“Yeah— we’re basically family at this point.”

 

 

“Wow!”

 

 

He also learned she really couldn’t dance for shit— but it just made the whole thing much more enjoyable.

 

 

She would trip over herself and laugh every single time—

 

 

Her lightheartedness was refreshing to him.

 

 

And his company helped her forget, forget— so she came back the next day with snacks.

 

 

 

And the day after that, and the day after that, and— 

 

 

 

Until it became routine to see each other everyday— dance and talk and mess around for a good hour into the night.

 

 

 

“You know, if you came earlier we could hang out more y/n—”

 

 

After all, the single hour he spent with her slowly became the only reason he went out at all— her company was just so refreshing. 

 

 

She made dancing less routine, more spontaneous— something he had forgotten.

 

 

Something he had lost.

 

 

She would smile brightly at his words before always saying the same thing— 

 

 

“But then more people will have to see my terrible dancing Jimin-ah.” 

 

 

 

And then they would laugh, laugh and forget and look forward to the next day.

 

 

 


 

 

 

“Why are you coming in so late every night hyung? Isn’t there less people around this time?”

 

 

A pause, a smile he couldn't help—

 

 

I met this girl—” 

 

 

At this the younger boy sat up from his spot on the couch and shot a bunny grin to his friend who was trying to quietly close the front door.

 

 

“You player.”

 

 

Jimin rolled his eyes.

 

 

“I just like spending time with her Jungkookie— it’s no big deal.”

 

 

“Sure hyung, so did you get laid yet or—”

 

 

Jimin couldn’t help but laugh at his brother’s antics.

 

 

 

“Isn’t it past your bedtime Kookie?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: kim taehyung

 


 

 

June 7 2018

 

 

19:31

 

 

 

Boring, boring, boring.

 

 

Work was always boring.

 

 

The little convenience store sat empty for a majority of his shift because people were still at work, so he just stacked and re-stacked things or sat behind the counter watching anime on his phone.

 

 

 

Boring, boring—ding

 

 

 

He looked up at the sound but didn’t bother to put his phone away when he saw it wasn’t anyone important—

 

 

 

At least not then.

 

 

 

“Hey— what are you watching?”

 

 

He looked up and realized that the girl who had come in a few minutes ago was now in front of him and ready to pay.

 

 

He murmured an apology, picking up her single item and scanning it—

 

 

“1500 won please.”

 

 

“It’s okay!"

 

 

She handed him the money, laughing lightly.

 

 

"So, what was it?”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

There wasn’t many people he knew that watched anime as much as he did, or just in general. Even his brothers teased him sometimes— lovingly, but still— everyone except for Jungkook.

 

 

He settled for saying the English name of the show, hoping she wouldn’t know what he was talking about—

 

 

“My Hero Academia.”

 

 

He took her money and shuffled through the cash register for change, wishing—

 

 

“Really?” 

 

 

She beamed.

 

 

“I love that show! What season are you on? I finished season two before moving to Seoul—”

 

 

At this he instantly lit up, an anime comrade— he laughed lightly at his own thoughts.

 

 

“I just started the second season!” 

 

 

He spoke much more enthusiastically than before which made the girl smile.

 

 

Cute— 

 

 

“What do you think so far?”

 

 

“Well…”

 

 

She ended up making her noodles in the tiny microwave of the tiny store— taking a seat at the little tables inside while he stacked and re-stacked things in the aisle next to her— 

 

 

Listening to him talk about his thoughts on the show so far— what he was expecting and wasn’t expecting.

 

 

She listened attentively, nodding in agreement and even disagreeing at times which Taehyung found he liked—

 

 

She really did watch the show.

 

 

They stayed that way for about an hour before she looked at the time and told him she had to go.

 

 

“Aw, okay.”

 

 

He had smiled sadly at the thought of getting back to boring, boring—

 

 

“It was nice meeting you Kim Taehyung!” 

 

 

She bought a few snack and drinks before making her way to the the door— looking over her shoulder and smiling warmly before leaving.

 

 

“I’ll probably come here from now on for dinner!”

 

 

To this he perked up, smiled back with more enthusiasm.

 

 

“Okay!”

 

 

That can’t be healthy, he thought.

 

 

But from poor college student to poor college student he could relate. Besides, she was good company, so he wasn’t about to suggest otherwise.

 

 

Taehyung watched her go into the summer night not knowing where she was off to—

 

 

Not knowing it was towards Jimin.

 

 

But she did come back.

 

 

Everyday for four weeks— and every time he felt their conversations deepen and become more meaningful— 

 

 

All while still being light hearted and sweet.

 

 

They talked for about an hour each time before she would leave with snacks to go brighten up another boy's day.

 

 

She even started coming in earlier so they could talk more— much to Taehyung’s delight.

 

 

He looked forward to work everyday now, and when one of his co-workers quit he begged her to apply.

 

 

“Pleaseee— it would be so much fun!”

 

 

She had laughed at his whining.

 

 

“You know I start school soon right?” 

 

 

“Please y/n, please—”

 

 

He had followed her down the aisles as she tried to find snacks Jimin would like, repeating those words over and over—

 

 

"Please, please— you can't ignore me forever—"

 

 

She smiled softly, knowing he was right—

 

 

"Okay Tae, I will."

 

 

"Promise?"

 

 

"Yeah—"

 

 

 

 

 

"I promise."

 

 


 

 

 

She was hired shortly after, and they managed to convince their boss to have the same shift— just longer instead of switching out.

 

 

She would go to school, and then she could go to that tiny convenience store where Taehyung would be waiting—

 

 

 

A three hour shift with Taehyung— 

 

 

 

 

She had smiled at the thought.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: jeon jungkook

 


 

July 3rd, 2018

 

 

14:55

 

 

Her first day of school was stressful—

 

 

 

But she knew it was her fault.

 

 

 

She had to work later that day, and she had spent the night before out with Jimin who made her promise to call once in a while—

 

 

“I wish I had taken summer classes now—”

 

 

He had laughed softly as he hugged her goodbye.

 

 

“Well, once fall classes start we can hang out more Jimin-ah!”

 

 

To both of their surprise, they attended the same university; the same one Taehyung mentioned he attended a week before;

 

 

 


 

 

 

 "SNU isn't really all that, especially if—"

 

"SNU? I go there Tae, are you insulting my school?"

 

 

They got into a 10 minute argument about SNU before Taehyung realized what she had said.

 

 

"Wait, really? Do you really go there y/n? I do too! This is your first year right? It'll be so much fun! We can take classes together, and eat meals together and—"

 

"But  you just said that SNU was—"

 

"—and then we can come to work together and— ok ok! I'm just excited y/n don't walk away when I'm talking! Respect your seniors!"

 

 

 


 

 

 

The thought of attending university with her two close friends made her happy— nevertheless, she was sleepy now from her outing with Jimin and needed caffeine or a nap.

 

 

 

Summer classes at university were just for overachievers, she would come to learn. That or people who had flunked the course the semester prior—

 

 

 

The cute bunny-like boy who sat down next to her thirty minutes into lecture was the latter—

 

 

 

Thirty minutes into lecture?  

 

 

 

As soon as class was over she packed her things and went to leave; but the boy stopped her.

 

 

“Hey, could you send me your notes for the first part of the lecture?”

 

 

She paused before nodding.

 

 

“Sure!”

 

 

They exchanged numbers and— much to her surprise— he stuck to her, following her out of lecture hall while making small talk.

 

 

“Where are you headed?”

 

 

His friendly tone made her smile.

 

 

“Uh, a coffee shop maybe— do you know any good places around here?”

 

 

“Yeah! I can take you to my favorite place! On me, I feel bad for taking your notes—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

"I really didn't mean to show up so late."

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“It’s no big deal, and I have som—”

 

 

“C’mon, please— I’m not being weird I promise, my name is Jeon Jungkook.”

 

 

He shot her a bright smile and she couldn’t say no— just like he knew she would.

 

 

She thought about the professor's advice to make friends with classmates at the beginning of lecture— so making study groups would be easier, in case you were late—

 

 

Jeon Jungkook also seemed nice and genuinely sorry— so she agreed even though she had plans to get lunch with Taehyung before work.

 

 

She sent him an 'I’m sorry something came up' text, and he replied just like she thought he would.

 

 

“Just don’t be late for work loser!”

 

 

She laughed, looking up at her classmate that was waiting for their drinks to be made—

 

 

She wondered why he was late— also why he was so pretty.

 

 

Jeon Jungkook—

 

 

Once they sat down she found he really was nice and easy to talk to— but after talking for a few minutes his demeanor suddenly changed—

 

 

From confident to shy; his cheeks became warm and he looked down at his hands instead of holding her eyes like he had before.

 

 

“I actually had another reason for asking you to come here—”

 

 

She paused, waiting for him to continue, and he lowered his voice so only she could hear—

 

 

“I was wondering, if you could maybe— help me with this class, maybe? I mean, you don't have to— oh shit, I forgot to say please—”

 

 

She held in her laugh and smiled—

 

 

“Help you how?”

 

 

“Well, I actually took this class last semester and didn’t pass, so I just need someone who seems really good at this stuff.”

 

 

At this she finally laughed—

 

 

“Do I seem like I’m really good at this stuff?”

 

 

“Well, you’re the only new face, so I figured you’re the only one that didn’t flunk last semester.”

 

“Ah, well I can try my best bu—”

 

 

He lit up.

 

 

Really? Thank you! Thank you so much! I can buy us coffee everyday and we can come here to study and do homework, what time works best for you?”

 

 

She didn’t recall agreeing to be his full on tutor— but part of her didn’t mind.

 

 

He was so genuinely excited and happy she found she couldn’t tell him no. 

 

 

You learn better by teaching, she told herself.

 

 

“How about every afternoon before class? I’m going to be doing work-study at the library every morning and I have an actual job in the evening.”

 

“Wow! You really are hard working! I could tell just by looking at you! Afternoon before class is perfect—”

 

 

He smiled that smile— but much to his surprise her smile was just as bright.

 

 

Over the remainder of the course she would meet him everyday, two hours before class immediately after her morning shift at the university library ended.

 

 

And as the days passed their conversations slowly went from gentle;

 

 

“Almost right, try it this way next time Jungkook…”

 

 

To playful,

 

 

“Jungkookie you should really just drop out at this point.”

 

 

And eventually—

 

 

“Kookie maybe you would understand better if you bothered to show up to class on time I—”

 

 

To which said boy would always laugh and reply with some comment of his own and a bunny smile shining her way;

 

 

“Maybe if you were a better teacher, y/n , there wouldn’t be a problem— Hey! I was kidding, don’t hit me!”

 

 

 

They could always make each other laugh then.

 

 

 

They both finished with A's in the class, but in the end Jungkook was just glad to have met her—

 

 

 

 

He would never tell her that, though.

 

 

 


 

 

  

"I just want you to know that I'm ending this relationship now that summer session is over and I got an A— thanks for everything y/n, but the truth is I passed because I'm just amazing at everything I do. Especially Calc—I was kidding y/n, y/n!"

 

 

He knew his smile always got to her so he flashed it her way as he stepped in front of her, trying to make her stop walking away from him—

 

 

Then he put his arms around her waist playfully and pulled her into a hug.

 

 

"Like it or not your stuck with me!" 

 

 

"Yeah, yeah."

 

 

He held her there, a moment passing before speaking softly—

 

 

"Y/n?"

 

 

Before speaking seriously.

 

 

"Thank you— I mean it. Not just for helping with class but—"

 

 

"I know Jungkookie—"

 

 

She smiled into his chest, hugged him tighter.

 

 

 

 

 

"I know."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: kim namjoon

 


 

 

It was hard to say when they had met.

 

 

 

Six years ago? 

 

 

 

It was the end of spring— and when he thinks of it now it seems like a dream.

 

 

A string of memories so distant and precious he questioned whether any of it had really happened.

 

 

 

But it had, and she was real.

 

 

 

He was reminded of this truth every time his heart ached with longing to see her.

 

 

 

She was his friend—

 

 

 

When they met they were children, and he was three years older than her—

 

 

 

It was a wonder how they ever became friends.

 

 

 

But Namjoon’s family had just moved to the city so he could attend a prestigious academy on a scholarship in the fall, and a tiny apartment in a building full of drunkards and low-lives was the only thing they could afford. So, when his mother met hers they instantly became friends. That is, their mothers instantly became friends, and they made a habit of visiting each other daily, bringing their children along each time. It was a short walk down the hall to get to each other’s homes— but still too dangerous for them to be left home alone, their mothers thought.

 

 

 

How they ever became friends—

 

 

 

Namjoon didn’t actually like the girl at first because he thought she was dense.

 

 

 

And she was—

 

 

 

He always laughed at the thought— and a few years later when they were older and he told her so, she didn’t talk to him for a week.

 

 

 

He always laughed at that too.

 

 

 

“You're dense but it’s not like I’m calling you dumb, y/n, you just get lost in your thoughts easily— but it makes sense. I didn’t even grow up here and I daydream alot more than I used to. I guess it’s just a side effect of growing up in places like this, without much— always dreaming of elsewhere.”

 

 

She was quiet for a long time before responding—

 

 

“What do you dream of Joonie? What’s your elsewhere?”

 

 

He smiled.

 

 

“Talking to me again?”

 

 

“No."

 

 

They were lying on the floor of his room like they always did, sprawled out and facing each other with nothing but the moon for light— she had her eyes closed and he felt like he could tell her anything.

 

 

He wanted to tell her everything.

 

 

“I want to make music.”

 

 

She opened her eyes and held his gaze—

 

 

He was serious.

 

 

 

Her silence made him nervous, made his thoughts waver—

 

 

His worries echo louder, louder—

 

 

 

What if she thinks it’s stupid? Who wouldn’t? Everyone expects me to go to university, everyone—

 

 

 

“Do it then, Joonie— I’ll cheer for you even if I’m the only one.”

 

 

He let out the breath he was holding in a half-hearted laugh.

 

 

“Do you think you’ll be the only one?”

 

 

She hummed in response before laughing

 

 

“No, as long as you’re yourself.”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“What do you mean?”

 

 

“I think you got into a bad habit the past year of trying to be cooler than you actually are.”

 

 

“What?" 

 

 

He spoke in exaggerated shock, making her smile.

 

 

"I am cool.”

 

 

She let out a laugh, rolled over to face the ceiling— he laughed too.

 

 

“Just love yourself for who you are— you’re so beautiful without any of the things you think others want. And if they don’t want the real you then they don’t deserve you at all.”

 

 

He was silent for a long time, so she looked over and realized his cheeks were wet with tears.

 

 

“I wish I could.”

 

 

She felt her heart ache.

 

 

“You can Joonie!”

 

 

She sat up and tried to speak as excitedly as she could, trying to cheer him up—

 

 

“You’ll do really well in anything you do, including music! If uni isn’t what you want to do then that’s okay, just focus on—”

 

 

 

Trying, trying—

 

 

 

“I wish I could love myself.”

 

 

 

He kept his gaze on the ceiling, his chest rising and falling unevenly, the wet streams running across his face making her falter—

 

 

Making the pain she felt in her chest grow, grow.

 

 

She moved closer, placed his head on her lap— wiping those tears away.

 

 

 

“I love you—”

 

 

 

She looked into his eyes with certainty, and warmth, and so much love it made him cry harder.

 

 

“Until you can love yourself Namjoon, and I know you will, just know that you are loved.”

 

 

 

He looked up at her, as she stroked his hair gently and spoke in a voice that he still dreams about.

 

 

 

 

“You are loved.”

 

 

 


 

 

The next day he told his parents that when he graduated high school three months later he would be leaving for Seoul to pursue a career in music—

 

 

They practically disowned him.

 

 

But he knew he had to, and she cheered for him just like she said she would— that is, until her parents found out about his career choice and forbade her from speaking to him.

 

 

They didn’t go to the same school so talking became almost impossible.

 

 

Almost.

 

 

They managed to find ways to spend time together before his set departure. His parents stopped caring when he came home and left, and her parents were heavy sleepers, so they would sneak out into the night and then just talk like they always did. About everything and nothing at all.

 

 

As the day for him to leave got closer and closer he started to speak more excitedly about how he wanted to start his music career and the underground rapper scene in Seoul.

 

 

“There’s this guy I’ve been messaging for a while now who’s been rapping and producing for a while, he was even part of a small group! He started in Daegu and moved to Seoul about a year ago but he needs a new roommate— so I was hoping I could move in and he could teach me about—”

 

 

“Hey Joonie?”

 

 

He looked over and realized she was sad— even though she was trying to hide it, he could always tell.

 

 

He could always tell.

 

 

“Yeah?”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“We met around this time of year didn’t we? When you were starting high school and I was still in middle school? It’s funny how we’re parting ways at the same time of year.”

 

 

It didn’t sound right, he thought, but it was true— they were parting ways.

 

 

He finally spoke.

 

 

“...at the change of the season.”

 

 

He glanced over again and saw that she was confused by his statement.

 

 

“I met you at the change of the season, and it was a change for the better.”

 

 

He turned towards her fully, smiled sadly.

 

 

“So hopefully, this change is for the better too, even though it’s hard.”

 

 

She nodded and thought about his parents.

 

 

“I’m sure they’ll understand eventually, if they love you they’ll want you to be happy.”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“I hope so.”

 

 

But the hardest thing to let go was in front of him, with a hopeful smile on her face and grass in her hair.

 

 

 

“I hope so.”

 

 


 

 

 

On the day he was set to leave she ditched school to see him off.

 

 

He was glad she did but he wished she hadn’t—

 

 

 

He wanted to tell her everything.

 

 

 

“I’ll look for you as soon as I can Joonie I promise! You're going to touch everyone with your music I know it, I believe—”

 

 

He cut her off by pulling her into his chest and holding her there— 

 

 

Not wanting to let go, not wanting to let go—

 

 

But every second she was in his arms he could feel his desire to stay grow stronger, stronger— so he let his arms fall, his hands push her away gently.

 

 

 

He didn't want to change his mind about leaving—

 

 

 

But before he could stop himself he leaned down and placed a chaste kiss on her lips.

 

 

 

He wanted to tell her everything.

 

 

 

He wanted to tell her he was scared.

 

 

 

Scared of failure, scared of losing her—

 

 

 

He wanted to tell her to come with him.

 

 

 

With him, where she belonged, with him like he felt it always had been—

 

 

 

But he knew that would be selfish, stupid, reckless—

 

 

 

He wanted to tell her he was falling in love with her, or that he already had somewhere along the way— he wasn’t sure.

 

 

“I’m your first kiss now, so you’ll never forget me right?”

 

 

But he couldn’t— some things aren’t meant to be said.

 

 

It took her a moment, but once she came back to reality she laughed, thinking he hadn’t meant anything by it.

 

 

“Joonie I’d never forget you either way!”

 

 

He smiled at her words, a pain in his chest, nodding before getting on his one-way bus to Seoul.

 

 

 

His mind on one thing, his mind on many things—

 

 

 

I love you, y/n—

 

 

 

But we both need to grow.

 

 

 

I can’t stay and you can’t go.

 

 


 

 

 

That was two years ago, at the end of spring and the beginning of summer—

 

 

 

Now it was the end of summer and his heart was aching more than usual. 

 

 

 

They had lost touch just like he knew they would— he couldn’t afford a meal when he came to Seoul much less a phone, and she was monitored by her parents who grew paranoid at the idea that she might not go to university like he had. 

 

 

But she had promised she would find him and he put his faith in that— she would find him.

 

 

He kept thinking about how she'd be starting university in the fall—

 

 

She would find him.

 

 

And he was determined to love himself before she finally came— whenever that would be.

 

 

So he could love her better, he told himself.

 

 

 

So he could—

 

 

“Hyung— you’re daydreaming again.”

 

 

He blinked, turned to face Jungkook who sat across from him on his bed.

 

 

“Huh?”

 

 

Jungkook had been telling him a story—

 

 

“Yeah, sorry—”

 

 

Namjoon looked at him apologetically, but Jungkook only frowned, went to his own bed across the room.

 

 

“It wasn’t important anyway.”

 

 

“No, tell me Kookie, I'm sorry—”

 

 

He felt his younger brother growing more and more distant lately—

 

 

“It’s fine, hyung. Goodnight.”

 

 

Less and less himself.

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

 

“Fine, Jungkookie— goodnight.”

 

 

He felt bad.

 

 

Lately all he could think about was how much he missed her.

 

 

How much he loved her—

 

 

 

 

 

Her, her, her.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: kim seokjin

 


 

 

 

 

“Hey Namjoon?”

 

 

“Yeah, hyung?”

 

 

Jin was nervous.

 

 

“You said you loved someone before right?”

 

 

He paused, trying to find the right words—

 

 

“What did you feel around her?”

 

 

Namjoon looked up from his phone at Jin who had just sat down in front of him.

 

 

“What do you mean hyung?”

 

 

“Like, when you looked at her— I don’t know, can you describe the feeling?”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Why do you ask?”

 

 

Jin sighed.

 

 

“I thought you would ask the least amount of questions, Joon.”

 

 

At Namjoon’s silence he sighed again, dramatically, trying to lighten the mood—

 

 

Namjoon looked at him expectantly, laughing at his brother’s antics.

 

 

“Well?”

 

 

“Why can’t you just help me out?"

 

 

Jin spoke in an irritated tone— knowing he was right.

 

 

"Those brats will laugh at me, and I think the only emotion Yoongi has ever felt in his entire life is annoyance.”

 

 

“Jin—”

 

 

“And being in love is like breathing for Hoseok—”

 

 

“Jin.”

 

 

“It’s true! Can you think of a time Hobi didn’t have a girlfriend he was dotting over? I bet he can’t even tell the difference between loving someone, liking someone— or even hating someone.”

 

“Hyung.”

 

Jin looked towards his brother who had a dimpled smile on his face.

 

“You know you can tell me anything right?”

 

Jin sighed, avoiding Namjoon’s eyes—

 

“I know.”

 

After a long silence Jin finally brought his gaze towards his friend again who looked at him patiently.

 

 

 

He was reminded why he came to Namjoon in the first place—

 

 

 

While everything he had told Namjoon was true, the main reason he came to him was this; Namjoon was good at listening— at being patient and not passing judgement.

 

 

He was the oldest— that was the thought constantly running through Jin's mind.

 

 

As he held Namjoon's gaze and tried to hide his insecurities—

 

 

A year older than Yoongi, two years older than Namjoon and Hoseok, three years older than Jimin and Taehyung, and four years older than Jungkook—

 

 

Shouldn’t he know these things? 

 

 

But he was scared of admitting to anyone that he was unsure of how he was feeling, or how he should feel in the first place— to anyone except Namjoon.

 

 

So he gave in.

 

 

“Remember that girl? The one I met last year?”

 

 

“...restaurant girl?”

 

 

“Yeah, restaurant girl. I think I saw her today, and—”

 

 

He started laughing.

 

 

“She was with someone else.”

 

 

He felt his throat ache.

 

 

“And it hurt.”

 

 

His laughing turned into uneven inhales and exhales—

 

 

“I don’t even know if it was her, Joonie, but I just—”

 

 

Which turned into crying—

 

 

“It hurt so much."

 

 

He was sobbing before he could think about being ashamed, hiding.

 

 

Namjoon got up quickly, sat next to his friend and began rubbing his back soothingly.

 

 

“Did you see who she was with?”

 

 

“No—”  

 

He lied.

 

The room was filled with Jin’s ragged breathing for a long time before Namjoon spoke again, his hand still rubbing his friend’s back gently, head on top of his.

 

“When I saw her, and when I think of her now, I felt— feel— warmth."

 

 

He paused, waiting for Jin to calm down a little before he continued.

 

 

"I feel happy, at the thought of her smiling, laughing, and being care-free. I feel sad at the thought of her crying— at the thought of her being hurt. I feel angry at the thought of her with someone who doesn’t deserve her— I think maybe being in love isn’t just feeling one emotion, it’s being with someone who makes you feel everything, and every time you see them you want to hold them and tell them so.”

 

 

Jin tried to steady his breathing.

 

 

“Can you ever stop loving someone, then?”

 

 

Namjoon thought about it.

 

 

“Ask Hobi.”

 

 

The both laughed half-heartedly and Jin broke the half-hug they were in to look at Namjoon directly.

 

 

“Really though? Could you ever stop loving that girl Joon?”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“I think it depends. Some people think it depends on time— but I don’t think time is why you love someone any more or less, or why letting that person go is harder or easier. I think it depends on what the person was to you in the first place.”

 

 

“Like?”

 

A sigh.

 

“Well, the girl I love was my first love— so that makes it harder to let her go. But on top of that she helped me see the real me, she taught me I should love myself, and she showed me how to through her own genuine love. Everyday we spent together— every conversation we had, she made me trust myself— and I love her for that.”

 

“Wait— Joon, I thought you said she didn’t love you back?”

 

 

“Well, she did in her own way.”

 

 

He breathed out incredulously.

 

 

“Joonie, you let your childhood friend friend-zone you?

 

 

They laughed together, genuinely this time, and Jin felt his spirits rise.

 

 

“So, why do you love restaurant girl?”

 

 

Jin paused.

 

 

“I’m not sure that I do.”

 

 

Namjoon hummed in thought.

 

 

“Do you cry for just anyone then?”

 

 

Jin smiled solemnly at him.

 

 

“I’m not sure if I want to.”

 

 

Namjoon nodded understandingly.

 

 

“I get it, hyung, I do. But we don’t always get to choose— if you do then you do. If you want to stop loving her then you need to at least acknowledge—”

 

 

“I do.”

 

 

Namjoon looked at him earnestly.

 

 

“Why then, hyung?”

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

He met her a year ago—

 

 

 

When he felt he couldn’t be more trapped, more alone.

 

 

His whole life belonged to his father—

 

 

He had gone to university like he had been told to, gotten a degree in business like he had been told to.

 

 

He was supposed to take over the family business with his brother— his father had always told him so.

 

 

The family business, the family business, the—

 

 

He was sick of it.

 

 

An hour before he had been in one of the best restaurants Seoul had to offer with his brother, his father—

 

 

Now he was out wandering the streets— thankful it was summer because hot humid air was better than biting cold.

 

 

As much as he enjoyed walking out in the middle of one of his father’s rants he didn’t enjoy the loss of security.

 

 

He couldn’t go home— no, not yet. And it occurred to him he should be more concerned— he didn’t have his wallet or phone because when he was with his father he never needed either. But he just didn't care for some reason or another, his mind was elsewhere.

 

 

His father—

 

 

 

He’s impossible.

 

 

 

I’m not going back— 

 

 

 

Jin convinced himself, just like he had many times before—

 

 

 

I’m not going back.

 

 

 

But he knew he wouldn’t go through with it—

 

 

He never did.

 

 

Trapped, trapped—

 

 

“Hey you—”

 

 

He looked up towards the voice of the girl who had just called out to him, half of her body hanging out of the restaurant’s doorway.

 

 

“Are you just going to stand there? You should really come inside, it looks like it’ll start raining soon.”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“I don’t have any money.”

 

 

She shrugged.

 

 

“Coffee’s free.”

 

 

He thought about it, sighed.

 

 

Coming home soaked would only fuel his father’s anger.

 

 

“Alright.” 

 

 

Once they were inside he noticed it was mostly empty.

 

 

“This must not be a very good restaurant.”

 

 

He hadn’t realized he had spoken out loud until she responded.

 

 

“It’s an excellent restaurant, only weirdos come in this late at night.”

 

 

Wait.

 

 

“Did you just speak to me informally?”

 

 

She led him to a table.

 

 

“You insulted my uncle’s restaurant.”

 

 

Oh.

 

 

“I didn’t mean to.”

 

 

She laughed as she poured him a cup of coffee.

 

 

“I think what your supposed to say is ‘I didn’t mean it ’.”

 

 

He decided to change the subject.

 

 

“How old are you anyway?”

 

 

“Older than you.”

 

 

Jin laughed.

 

 

“I really doubt that.”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Well you shouldn’t be so stuck up about those things anyway.”

 

 

He scoffed and she smiled before going to tend to the few remaining guests— when she finally returned to his table everyone else had already left.

 

 

Jin looked up at her, taking his gaze away from his half empty cup.

 

 

“Are you going to kick me out?”

 

 

“No.”

 

 

“Aren’t you closed?”

 

 

“No.”

 

 

She took a seat across from him and poured herself a cup of coffee.

 

 

“I close today so we can just wait for the rain to stop.”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“Why would you do that?”

 

 

She met his gaze that was trying to find hidden intentions.

 

 

“It just looks like your only way to get home is walking. You’ll get sick if you walk in the rain.”

 

 

He kept looking, so she added;

 

 

“Hasn’t anyone ever been nice to you before?”

 

 

He laughed, starting to get irritated.

 

 

“For free? No.”

 

 

“What a sad life—”

 

 

She had said it jokingly, but the truth of it made him feel defensive.

 

 

“What do you know?

 

 

She thought he was being childish, so she spoke before thinking—

 

 

“Aren’t you supposed to be older than me?”

 

 

He snapped.

 

 

“I am older than you— you brat. I graduated university early with a business degree in management this spring— well, I guess I shouldn’t even say graduated because my father made us go on a business trip the day of my ceremony so I wasn’t allowed to attend. I don’t even want to do business. I hate it, and I hate him. Why should I give up on what I want to do? Why is it always about what he wants and what’s best for the family business? The family business can crash and burn for all I care—”

 

 

“Why don’t you do what you want to then?”

 

 

She looked at him plainly— he scoffed.

 

 

“Where would I even start? I’m not even sure I know what I want to do, let alone—”

 

 

“Well, what makes you happiest?”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“I don’t know—”

 

 

“Do you have any hobbies?”

 

 

He thought before answering. 

 

 

“I guess the only thing would be cooking. But that’s not a job—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“It is too.”

 

 

“Well what? Am I just supposed to leave home to go to culinary school? It’s not like I have money of my own. It’s not like—”

 

 

“Just get a job in food service and see if you like it.”

 

 

He didn't try to hide his irritation.

 

 

“I don’t have any experience. I’m a business major. No one would hire me to work in a kitchen, and I have no intention of washing dishes or busing tables.”

 

 

She paused.

 

 

“Work here then.”

 

 

He looked at her seriously.

 

 

“Why would I do that?”

 

 

She smiled and let out a small laugh.

 

 

“You said it yourself, you don’t have any experience— you can just get it here. My uncle might not give you a job as a cook but you can be a kitchen aide, and he could teach you things—”

 

 

“You’re uncle’s a chef?”

 

 

“Well, not officially, he never went to school for it but he’s been doing it for almost twenty years now—”

 

 

Jin went to speak but found he didn’t know what to say.

 

 

He wanted to be free of his father, but there was a reason he had never left— aside from the money problem.

 

 

He was scared.

 

 

And he would never admit it— he could barely admit it to himself.

 

 

But she could tell.

 

 

She had seen it before—

 

 

She had seen it in Namjoon.

 

 

He was doubting himself; he was certain—

 

 

Certain he wasn’t meant to be free.

 

 

He cleared his throat, shaking his head clear of the possibility—

 

 

“I’m sorry. Thank you for the offer but I—”

 

 

“You know— you’re the only person that can change your future. You’ll never be happy if you let someone live your life for you—”

 

 

Irritation returned to his face, his voice.

 

 

“Some people aren’t meant to be happy.” 

 

 

“And do you think your one of them? Do you hate yourself that much?”

 

 

“I don’t—”

 

 

“I know you don’t."

 

 

Her voice was slowly rising, but still careful, calm—

 

 

"If you did you would be resigned but you aren’t. Why are you giving up on yourself?”

 

 

He laughed, incredulous.

 

 

“There’s no guarantee I’ll even like cooking, or working in a kitchen— like I said,  it’s just a hobby.

 

 

“There’s no guarantee you won’t.”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“But—”

 

 

“There’s no guarantee in anything— there’s no guarantee your family business won’t crash and burn like you want it to the minute you take over so why not do something you love instead? There’s safety in money but money doesn’t last forever.”

 

 

His gaze was back on the half empty cup.

 

 

“And why didn’t you finish the coffee I made? It’s damn good coffee and I was going to take it out of my pay.”

 

 

She was trying to ease the heavy tension in the room—

 

 

She felt bad for yelling at the stranger in front of her— but only partially.

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“I thought you said it was free?”

 

 

“I lied.” 

 

 

He let out an exhale that was almost a laugh.

 

 

“Well— it’s too bitter.”

 

 

She paused— 

 

 

Laughed wholeheartedly.

 

 

“Why didn’t you just add sugar?”

 

 

He paused—

 

 

“I guess it didn’t occur to me.”

 

 

They were silent. He thought about what she had said while she reached across the table to add sugar to his coffee.

 

 

“Adding sugar is easy."

 

 

She stirred it, gave it back— continued in a gentle voice.

 

 

“Look, I’m not saying you won’t make mistakes, or that it won’t be hard finding the right thing. But you should try. Don’t be half-fulfilled for the rest of your life because you were afraid of adding sugar.”

 

 

He looked up at her—

 

 

“Why are you so persistent?”

 

 

She smiled sadly, shrugged—

 

 

“You remind me of my best friend I guess— except he was sure of what he wanted. He was just as scared though.”

 

 

He tried the coffee again, and it was perfect now—just a little cold.

 

 

 

They didn’t talk after that.

 

 

 

They just sat in silence, drinking coffee and listening to the pitter-patter of the rain.

 

 

 

Until it stopped.

 

 

 

“Now I’m kicking you out.”

 

 

 

She led him to the door and showed him out, but before walking into the night Jin looked back and smiled—

 

 

 

Genuinely.

 

 

 

“That was a stupid metaphor.”

 

 

 

He paused—

 

 

 

“I’ll be back tomorrow.”

 

 

She smiled at his retreating figure, shouting after him—

 

 

“I’ll be here!”

 

 

And he did go back. He worked there all summer, and it was hard.

 

 

 

 

But he loved it. And he was good at it too.

 

 

 

 

So good that her uncle decided to mentor him.

 

 

 

"I’m no culinary school but I could teach you some things"

 

 

 

He had laughed lightly afterwards, and so had she.

 

 

 

 

 

Jin cried that night.

 

 

 

 

 

He was happy.

 

 

 

 

And she was there helping him grow everyday—

 

 

 

Eventually he started being more himself and she always made fun of him for it.

 

 

 

“I thought you were a little kid but you’re actually the oldest man I’ve ever met.”

 

 

They would laugh and he would always retort an insult back.

 

 

“You’re such a brat.”

 

 

She left when summer ended; but came back during the winter, and then again during the spring—

 

 

 

And he was always there when she returned.

 

 

 

And he would always tease her—

 

 

“Can’t get enough of me?”

 

“It’s your cooking I can’t get enough of— don’t feel so special.”

 

“Did I get better?”

 

“Everytime!”

 

 

Her praise always warmed his heart.

 

 

“Thank you.”

 

He looked at her seriously.

 

“You know— when I first started working here I almost left many times, but you always stopped me. You would speak encouraging words to me and ask me to cook for you.”

 

She smiled at him before taking another spoonful.

 

“Did you know I wanted to leave when you would ask?”

 

“Of course.”

 

She stopped eating and took a sip of water.

 

“How?”

 

“Just did.”

 

He laughed while she went back to eating quickly.

 

“Liar.”

 

“It’s true!”

 

He rested his chin on his hand and sighed dramatically.

 

“I don’t believe you.”

 

She raised her eyebrows at him then smirked.

 

“Don’t then.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Don’t talk with your mouth full.”

 

“Old man.”

 

“Brat—”

 

She stopped eating and interrupted him hoping it would irk him. 

 

“When you wanted to go back to your old life you always had the same look in your eyes. It was the same look you had when we met.” 

 

She paused to eat a spoonful of food.

 

“But before you could give up I wanted to remind you why you were there in the first place— what you were truly passionate about. So I would ask you to cook for me, and it always worked.”

 

He looked at her, really looked at her, felt his body full of something he couldn’t describe.

 

 

“Why didn’t you give up on me?”

 

 

She paused and looked away from her food towards Jin who had his face scrunched in confusion and sadness.

 

 

He had always been so certain—

 

 

 

I don’t deserve—

 

 

 

 

“I thought you deserved to be free.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hyung?”

 

Jin looked up and smiled at his friend who had snapped him out of his thoughts.

 

“So, why do you love her? Do you know?”

 

“I do.”

 

“Well, what is it then?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“She set me free.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: min yoongi


 

 

 

 

One year ago.

 

 

 

 

There was two reasons she had gone to Seoul for the summer.

 

 

The real reason was Kim Namjoon.

 

 

He had left for Seoul the summer before to pursue his dream of becoming a rapper, and although she supported his decision to leave she missed him more than words could describe.   

 

 

After he left she found that she couldn’t sleep at night— her mind filled with thoughts of Kim Namjoon, Kim Namjoon, Kim Namjoon.

 

 

 

Was he eating?

 

 

Was he sleeping?

 

 

Was he happy?

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon.

 

 

 

Maybe it was those late night talks they would have laying on his bedroom floor— about everything and nothing at all. Maybe it was the way he would recite poems to her as she was lulled into sleep— about people from far far away and long long ago.

 

 

 

Maybe it was how safe he always made her feel.

 

 

 

Whatever it was, sleeping was hard without Namjoon, so eventually she was given medicine that made it easy.

 

 

But she tried to never take it— she knew she didn’t need it.

 

 

What she needed was her best friend—

 

 

Kim Namjoon.

 

 

The reason she told her parents, though, was the opposite of Kim Namjoon.

 

 

 

“I want to visit universities in Seoul since I’ll be applying to them this coming school year!”

 

“The best universities are in Seoul so I might as well try to find the best out of all of them! Maybe I could even talk to some professors or students about university life and advice for being accepted.”

 

"While I’m there I could also work at uncle’s restaurant since I’d be staying with him anyway and save the money I earn for university!”

 

 

 

University, university, university.

 

 

 

That whole summer she didn’t spend a single day anywhere near a university—

 

 

Instead, she spent her time trying to find the underground rapper scene Namjoon had described to her so earnestly and working day and night. But three weeks into her ‘vacation’ all she had found was that getting into clubs as a minor in Seoul was impossible and a spoiled brat named Kim Seokjin one rainy day her first week.

 

 

 

She was irritated, to say the least.

 

 

“I don’t get it Jin. Don’t these people want to be famous? Why aren’t their faces and names everywhere? Where are the posters of ‘come see so and so perform tonight!’?”

 

 

Jin thought about his friends.

 

 

“Not everyone who produces or raps wants to be famous, some of them just want to speak their truth— or something like that.”

 

 

She sighed and then nodded.

 

 

“Yeah, I know. I just wish it wasn’t so hard.”

 

 

Jin looked up towards the girl who was chopping tomatoes for him to use in his dish.

 

 

She was sad.

 

 

Even though he wasn’t sure if he liked food service yet, he still felt like he owed her.

 

 

He had finally gotten away from his father— and there was nights, like this, on her closing days where she would stay after everyone had left and cook late into the night with him.

 

 

So you can practice, she always said.

 

 

He could tell she really wanted this, so he tried to be as helpful as he could.

 

 

“You said you were looking for your friend right? Just ask around for his name, what is it anyway?”

 

 

“Kim—”

 

 

Jin laughed.

 

 

“If he’s a Kim you’ll never find him. I meant his stage name brat.”

 

 

She paused.

 

 

“Uh, well—”

 

 

Jin raised his eyebrows.

 

 

“You don’t know?” he scoffed rolling his eyes. “Some friend you are.”

 

 

“He left before we had decided.”

 

 

“We?”

 

 

“Yeah, we, like I said we were best friends—”

 

 

“Were? Who replaced him?”

 

 

“No one di—”

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

“You know we’re not friends right? Just cause I’m starting to like working here—”

 

 

“You’re joking right?”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Of course I am, brat. But seriously though, I know this place where some old friends perform and they’d probably let you in— for a fee. Once you get in just, I don’t know, describe him? His music? You might find him that way.”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“I knew I made the right choice in keeping you.”

 

 

Jin glared at her. 

 

 

“What am I, a dog ?”

 

 

“Seokjin, I would never compare you to a dog.”

 

 

Jin smiled.

 

 

“Dogs are so much nicer and softer and—”

 

 

Jin frowned.

 

 

“I haven’t told you where it is yet, brat.

 

 

And, not as handsome as you—”

 

 

After stroking Jin’s ego for the rest of the night and going back and forth he finally gave her an address.

 

 

She went the next night— and to her surprise, they let her in.

 

 

It was her first time in the scene Namjoon had painted so vividly for her, and there were more performers than she could have ever imagined. Not to mention fervent never-ending crowds of people who cheered loudly and filled the place with energy.

 

 

The lights, the music, the feeling.

 

 

She wondered if that had been Namjoon's life since he left— 

 

 

Lucky bastard.

 

 

She couldn’t wait to find him.

 

 

But she wasn’t meant to find Kim Namjoon that night.

 

 

Instead, someone else was on stage when she finally made it in.

 

 

Agust D—

 

 

Min Yoongi.

 

 

His rapping was breathtaking— his lyrics poetic. The way he carried himself, the way he moved.

 

 

She found herself cheering for him along with the rest of the crowd, and when he finally came off stage the crowd started chanting his name before starting to hype up the next performer— but she kept her eyes on him.

 

 

He went straight to the bar and she hurried towards the empty seat next to him.

 

 

She sat there nervously while he drank in silence for a few minutes before she finally found the words and turned to him.

 

 

“You were—really, I mean—well, I just wanted to ask—”

 

 

Well she thought she had found the words.

 

 

He turned to her with an expressionless face.

 

 

“Not interested.”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

What a jerk. 

 

 

But there was a chance he might know Namjoon, or of him— so she continued.

 

 

“I have a friend I’m looking for—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Uh-huh. Look groupie, I don’t need—”

 

 

“Wait, what? Groupie ?”

 

 

“Yeah, groupie, I don’t need sex so fuck off unless you’re buying drinks.”

 

 

She scoffed and went to leave before stopping herself and rethinking the situation.

 

 

She turned back to him.

 

 

“I’ll pay your tab but I’m not a groupie and my friend is real— he moved to Seoul to produce and rap and I just want to find him.”

 

 

He ordered some whiskey and swirled it around in thought before responding.

 

 

“What’s his stage name?”

 

 

Shit— it suddenly occurred to her that he wouldn't believe it if she said she didn't know. 

 

 

So she tried to speak confidently—

 

 

“RM.” 

 

 

It was one of the ideas they had mentioned when they were trying to come up with names.

 

 

Yoongi paused.

 

 

“Does that stand for something?”

 

 

She didn't recall. 

 

 

“No, but—"

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Never heard of him.”

 

 

He finished his drink and ordered another one.

 

 

“Well, do you know where I could maybe find him? Are there any places in particular—”

 

 

He took a sip of his drink before getting up to leave.

 

 

“Most places that are for performers only wouldn’t let you in, groupie.”

 

 

She tried to think quickly before he left.

 

 

“What if I went with you? Could you take me?”

 

 

He grimaced.

 

 

“Why the hell would I—”

 

 

“I could pay you.”

 

 

She paused, and when he didn’t say anything or leave she continued.

 

 

“I could give you 400,000 won a week if you let me come with you wherever you go.”

 

That was the highest amount she could make if she worked all week from opening to closing— 8 a.m to 8 p.m. She could even start working weekend mornings and afternoons— she just needed to be free at night.

 

 

He turned towards her frowning.

 

 

“Wherever I go?”

 

 

“Well, just places where you said I couldn’t normally get in, also to any clubs where you perform— if I’m with you I could talk to more people that might know my friend, other rappers behind stage.”

 

 

If I’m with you I also won’t get carded, she thought.

 

 

“How old are you?”

 

 

She had a feeling he wouldn’t be down to have a highschool senior hanging around—

 

 

So she lied.

 

 

“Nineteen.” 

 

 

“Where do you work?”

 

 

“A restaurant.”

 

 

Bullshit. You have 400,000 won to just give away and— “

 

 

“A fancy restaurant.”

 

 

He scoffed.

 

 

“Are you a university student?”

 

 

“Yes.”

 

 

Another lie.

 

 

“Here in Seoul?”

 

 

“No.”

 

 

“How long will you be in Seoul then?”

 

 

She hesitated.

 

 

“Two months and a half— three?”

 

 

Around there— school started in about two months and a half.

 

 

But it just depended on how long it took her parents to drag her back home— or realize school had started.

 

 

They cared— but were also too busy to care, and she took advantage of that only when it came to Namjoon.

 

 

He paused and looked at her seriously before sighing in defeat.

 

 

“Fine. I need the money. Just dont be fucking annoying or the deals off.”

 

 

She nodded and kept her excitement inside since she wasn’t sure what he considered to be fucking annoying yet—

 

 

 

 

 

Everything.

 

 

 

 

 

He considered everything to be fucking annoying.

 

 

Don’t do this, don’t do that.

 

 

But she thought he was pretty fucking annoying too.

 

 

He would call her at random times throughout the week, even when she told him not to—

 

 

“I’m at work—”

 

“I’m going out later, meet me at the same place.”

 

“But I’m—”

 

“I’ll text you the details.”

 

 

End call.

 

 

“—working tomorrow.”

 

 

She would sigh and tell herself what she already knew—

 

 

 

"I wouldn’t have gotten much sleep anyway."

 

 

 

So she would meet him throughout the week and every weekend after work—

 

 

It was the same routine for about two weeks.

 

 

During the weekdays they went to performer hangouts and it would go the same general way— after getting in she stayed relatively close to him, eventually asking around for 'RM'.

 

 

He told her not to be too aggressive about it or they could be kicked out— 

 

 

"Nobody likes a clingy groupie."

 

 

Weekends were different though. She would go with him to performances— cheer him on on the inside because he said actually cheering made her look like an even bigger groupie— and then he would get shitfaced drunk and she would have to take him home.

 

 

At first it was strange.

 

 

“I’m not going to tell you where I live groupie.”

 

“Shut up Yoongi, you’re too drunk to get home by yourself.”

 

“Fuck off.”

 

“If you get mugged you’re going to blame me— like the dick you are. Now tell me where you live asshole, I have to get home too—”

 

 

He would even get drunk during the week sometimes. If it was late enough.

 

 

“I don’t have time for this Yoongi.”

 

“Then don’t. Go away—

 

His words were slurred.

 

“Just get on your side and go to sleep. If you choke on your puke and die I’ll never find Joon.”

 

“Whatever.”

 

 

I wouldn’t have gotten much sleep anywayI wouldn’t have gotten much sleep anyway, I— 

 

 

She had to tell herself something to ignore the growing exhaustion.  

 

 

But Jin noticed.

 

 

“You look more tired than usual, y/n.”

 

“Yeah— I’m sorry.”

 

He kept her eyes on her as she continued folding napkins into triangles, laughing lightly after a few moments passed—

 

“What? Worried about me, old man?”

 

A scoff.

 

“No. You work slower when you’re tired, which means more work for me.”

 

She laughed again; louder, happier—

 

“Right. You miss late night cooking sessions don’t you?”

 

 

It was true—

 

 

He rolled his eyes.

 

“No.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Are you free tonight?” 

 

“Are you? ” 

 

“Aw— I’m always free for you old man."

 

She nudged him playfully and he tried to hide his smile. 

 

"Fine, if you insist. I've been wanting to make...”

 

 

 

That was how she balanced keeping Kim Seokjin from quitting and Min Yoongi from getting mugged.

 

 

 

All while still looking for Kim Namjoon—

 

 

But she had to admit, going out with Yoongi was making her sleep even less than usual.

 

 

 

 

That is, until he started asking her to stay.

 

 

 

 

She had tossed him into his bed as usual and put him on his side, but when she went to leave he grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her into bed—

 

“Stay.”

 

She was still.

 

“You drunk bastar—”

 

“I said stay.”

 

“Yoongi, I can’t stay— I have work tomorrow.”

 

She spoke as she tried wiggling out of his grasp.

 

“Leave in the morning.”

 

He pulled her in closer and she sighed, she was too tired to fight with him. So she decided to stay until he fell asleep.

 

 

And that’s how it went for a few nights— he would ask her to stay, and she would leave once he had passed out.

 

 

But he never said anything the next night when he would call or when they would meet up.

 

 

“Ungrateful prick— you should be paying me. I’m basically your babysitter.”

 

She was talking to herself, but Yoongi wasn’t as passed out as she thought he was—

 

“Shut it groupie.” 

 

His murmur was more sleepy than anything; it made her sigh and try to remember she wasn't tired.

 

 

“Well— it’s true."

 

 

 

And it was—

 

 

 

 

When Yoongi was drunk he started to act more cuddly— more needy.

 

 

He would also talk more— about his random thoughts and troubles.

 

 

She figured he was just lonely.

 

 

So one day she asked—

 

 

“Don’t you live with anyone? Whose room is next door?”

 

“Monnie’s” he murmured into her hair.

 

“Monnie?”

 

“Mhm.”

 

“Where’s he?”

 

“Visiting his parents for the summer or something.”

 

“Why don’t you visit yours?”

 

“I haven’t talked to mine in years.”

 

She sighed and nodded.

 

 

They were silent for some time before he spoke again.

 

 

“Groupie?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“You never ask questions about my past or in general— I mean, thanks I guess .”

 

She snorted.

 

“Well you’re drunk. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”

 

She said the last part jokingly— he frowned, subconsciously moving closer.

 

“I’m not that drunk.”

 

“Yeah, yeah. Just go to sleep.”

 

 

 

But he wasn’t.

 

 

 

He was drinking less— not enough for her to notice though.

 

 

He used to need it to sleep.

 

 

But somewhere along the way there was a shift in what he needed. Before he realized it, no amount of alcohol could compare to how quickly he could fall asleep when he was holding her.

 

 

When she was pressed against his chest and the smell of strawberries filled his nose.

 

 

He hadn’t meant to make a habit out of it— having her bring him home and then pulling her in before she could leave— asking her to stay.

 

 

But he was starting to get annoyed that she was never there when he woke up.

 

 

He was relieved the first few times.

 

 

But now it was just annoying.

 

 

Fucking annoying.

 

 

So one day, when he was perfectly sober, he asked her about it.

 

 

“Why aren’t you ever there in the morning?”

 

 

She choked on the water she was drinking.

 

 

What? Did you think I wouldn’t remember? We’ve slept together every other night.”

 

 

When she finally stopped choking she whispered angrily at him.

 

 

“Don’t say it like that.”

 

 

He looked at her— amused— waiting for an answer.

 

 

“Well, you’ve never brought it up, so I just assumed—”

 

 

“So why do you leave in the middle of the night groupie? Someone else to get to?”

 

 

What?  No. I just have work and—”

 

 

“How long does it take you to get home from my place?”

 

 

“I don’t know Yoongi— 38 minutes?”

 

 

“And do you think that’s safe? Walking around at 2 a.m? I know you don’t call a cab. I take a majority of your money.”

 

 

All of it, actually.

 

 

“Well what? I can’t just stay out all night Yoongi—”

 

“Why?”

 

 

Because I’m technically a minor.

 

 

“I’m sure my uncle—”

 

 

“Has he said anything so far?”

 

 

“No, but—”

 

 

“Then he probably doesn’t care. You’re an adult y/n. It’s not like you have to answer to anyone.”

 

 

“Some great influence you are.”

 

 

“Fine— I don’t care that much anyways.”

 

 

“Then why bring it up?”

 

 

“Fuck off, groupie.”

 

 

Later that night though— when he was drunk enough to not care about what she thought— he pulled her in like he always did, and asked her to stay like he always did—

 

 

With one small difference.

 

 

“Stay until morning, groupie.

 

“Yoongi—”

 

“Are you listening? I need you to sleep now, when you leave I wake up and I miss you— and then I can’t sleep even more than usual. So just stay. If I get more sleep we could go to more places— so you can have more time to look for your friend, or whatever. Can you just try sleeping, try staying?”

 

 

She was stiff for a long time before relaxing, and then eventually, drifting off—

 

 

 

That night she slept better than she had in months.

 

 

 

So, they became eachother’s sleeping medicine.

 

 

 

He didn’t drink as much, and she didn’t take pills after restlessly laying in bed for hours.

 

 

It became routine to go out every other day and on weekends; but instead of dragging him home drunk they would go back to Yoongi’s apartment and she would make tea. Then they would just talk while they laid in bed until they drifted off peacefully.

 

 

Maybe it was the way she spoke softly to him, or the way she looked at him kindly despite the fact he was an asshole whenever they were out.

 

 

But eventually Yoongi started talking about the things he never told anyone.

 

 

The reasons he couldn’t sleep at night in the first place— and she opened up to.

 

 

It was only fair, she thought.

 

 

He put his trust in her and she put her trust in him.

 

 

Once she started talking she realized maybe Namjoon wasn’t the only reason she couldn’t sleep at night.

 

 

Yoongi listened to her and she listened to him—

 

 

And they found peace in each other.

 

 

She brought him peace.

 

 

And so she went from groupie he hated to groupie he needed.

 

 

 

Well, from groupie to y/n. But he could never tell her then.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Her uncle never did say anything about her staying out all night— only mentioning it once when she showed up late for work.

 

 

“Look, I don’t say anything because I trust you enough to know you’re probably not doing anything bad—”

 

“I’m not, I promise—”

 

“Let me finish y/n. I trust you to be out on your own, you need to live. But if you show up late to work I’m losing money, so I don’t want this to happen again.”

 

He spoke sternly, but he said the last part smiling—

 

 

She nodded, smiled back.

 

 

“It won’t happen again.”

 

He patted her back.

 

“You’re a good kid, not like that father of yours was—”

 

 

They laughed.

 

 

And she never did come late again, no matter how hard Yoongi’s grip on her was she always managed to slip out.

 

 

One day Jin laughed at her.

 

 

“I wanted you to sleep more but I didn’t want you to be this energetic.”

 

“Are you upset cause you can’t keep up old man?”

 

“As if, brat."

 

She smiled brightly at him and he sighed loudly, smiled—

 

"So— what are we making tonight—”

 

 

Even though she started spending most of her nights with Yoongi she still made sure to spend nights with Jin— cooking and talking about life.

 

 

Kim Seokjin.

 

 

He wasn’t so bad. It seemed that summer she only met people who seemed one way but turned out to be completely different.

 

 

 

Min Yoongi—

 

 

 

His stage presence was insane, and powerful. Seeing him perform wasn’t just entertainment, it was an experience. And whenever they went out or talked to anyone he always had the same fuck you attitude he had when they first met. 

 

 

But when they talked at night— when he held her tightly in the dark and told her about little things and big things while playing with her hair or rubbing her back— he always seemed like a someone else.

 

 

His smile, his gummy smile, his laugh— his everything— it was all so perfect, all so beautifully different.

 

 

But the same. If you look closely, Yoongi-ah, you're still the same on stage and here in bed.

 

 

But whenever she told him so in public he would always say the same thing—

 

 

“Fuck you groupie, if you ruin my image—”

 

 

She always laughed.

 

 

“Okay, Yoongi-ah, okay.”

 

 

But it was never weird that they slept together— because they always just slept.

 

 

 

Even as their relationship slowly shifted— they always just slept.

 

 

 

One of those nights when she snuggled into his chest that smelled faintly of liquor from the bar they had gone to he whispered faintly like he always did, half-asleep and dazed.

 

 

“You better not fall in love with me groupie.”

 

 

She snorted.

 

 

“As if.”

 

 

He continued.

 

 

“I picked you because you were convenient— being around all the time anyway. It wasn’t anything special about you.”

 

 

She pressed into his chest, more asleep than awake.

 

 

“Mhm.”

 

 

She knew he didn’t mean it— he was just being dumb about his feelings as usual.

 

 

She didn’t know he was trying to reassure himself more than anything.

 

 

Later on that night he spoke again.

 

 

“Are you asleep?”

 

 

She laid still, and before she could speak he continued.

 

 

“I hope you never find him.”

 

 

His words were soft, and he spoke mainly to himself, his hands running through her hair.

 

 

“I want you to stay with me, y/n.”

 

 

She could feel his heart beating.

 

 

“I need you.”

 

 

And she believed him— she felt it too.

 

 

Minus the whole never finding Namjoon part.

 

 

The next time they met she tried to bring it up, because she didn’t want him hating Namjoon when she finally did find him.

 

 

And she knew she would find him.

 

 

“You know, the guy I’m looking for, he really is just my best friend.”

 

Yoongi took a sip of his beer.

 

“Right.”

 

She rolled her eyes.

 

“It’s true, I—”

 

“So nothing ever happened between you guys?”

 

She paused.

 

“We kissed once.”

 

He glared at her.

 

“Right.”

 

“What are you so mad about?”

 

“Nothing.”

 

“Yoongi, he’s not my boyfriend or anything—”

 

“I know.”

 

“You know?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

He paused.

 

“Your boyfriend’s right here.”

 

He finished his beer and she sat there pouting.

 

“I don’t remember agreeing to that—”

 

“I didn’t ask.”

 

“Well, ask then—”

 

“No.”

 

“I hate you.”

 

Later that night he held her like he always did, but it felt different— he felt closer.

 

 

Maybe she was fine with it, or maybe she wasn’t.

 

 

But she needed him, and he needed her— and that was all that mattered at the time.

 

 

All they cared about.

 

 

The title didn’t matter—

 

Maybe they were falling too fast, or trusting too soon. 

 

 

It didn't matter.

 

 

She’d be lying if she said the idea of being with him didn’t make her feel something.

 

 

Whatever it was— they both felt it.

 

 

 

 

Until they didn’t.

 

 

 

 

Or rather, until Yoongi didn’t want to feel anything anymore.

 

 

 

She ruined it— that’s what he had to tell himself.

 

 

He wouldn’t— he couldn’t— take the blame.

 

 

If he did he would shatter.

 

 

It was on one of the nights where he was holding her so close that he wanted to kiss her, but didn’t. On one of the nights where he felt like she was his.

 

“What’s that guy’s name anyway? What kind of stage name is RM?”

 

He spoke jokingly, his forehead on hers.

 

“Well, I actually don’t know if it’s RM.”

 

He looked at her confused. She continued—

 

“When we met I knew you wouldn’t believe me if I said I didn’t know, so I just said one of the names we had been thinking of, he left for Seoul before we had decided on a name.”

 

He lifted her face to look into her eyes and smiled.

 

“Well what’s his real name then?”

 

He wanted to help.

 

And what she saw in his eyes made her press her lips softly against his.

 

She pulled away and then snuggled into his chest.

 

She was his, he thought. If she found her friend it wouldn’t change anythin—

 

 

“Kim Namjoon— I call him Joon though, or Joonie.”

 

 

He got stiff.

 

 

She looked up at him, but he didn’t say anything.

 

She could feel him retreating into himself.

 

 

“Is everything okay?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Does it sound—”

 

“No.”

 

He didn’t sleep that night.

 

Or the next.

 

With every night that passed she could feel him growing more and more distant.

 

 

It seemed like the last few weeks of maybe’s and what if’s were gone.

 

 

 

She was going to leave soon anyway— he kept telling himself.

 

 

 

But the other part of him wondered why it had to be him of all people.

 

 

Kim Namjoon.

 

 

Kim Namjoon who came to Seoul with no one to turn to and put his complete trust in him.

 

Kim Namjoon who called him hyung— who always made sure he ate on the days he didn't leave his make-shift studio and took care of him when he got sick.

 

Kim Namjoon who he had come to love like family, who was family.

 

 

 

The choice was obvious— so why was it so hard?

 

 

 

 

“Get out.”

 

She was in the kitchen making tea, and his harsh tone startled her.

 

“What?”

 

“Leave.”

 

She smiled and it killed him.

 

“Shut up Yoongi. Did you want a sandwich or something while I’m up?”

 

“I’m serious y/n.”

 

She looked up at him, and when she saw that he was serious she got angry.

 

“What’s your problem?”

 

“I don’t need you anymore.”

 

“Yoongi—”

 

“I don’t want you anymore.”

 

She felt her throat ache.

 

“But you said—”

 

“I lied.”

 

“No, Yoongi, you’re lying now. You told me —”

 

“I tell alot of people alot of things. I told you from the start you weren’t any different.”

 

She felt tears in her eyes but what she felt was anger.

 

“I don’t—”

 

“Y/n I don’t give a fuck if you believe me or not. Now get the fuck out of my house.”

 

 

She didn’t love him, but Namjoon loved her. Namjoon loved her, and he loved Namjoon.

 

 

He couldn’t have them both— so he pushed her away.

 

 

“My roommate is coming home today and I don’t want him to see me with a fucking groupie.”

 

 

He scoffed, trying to push her away as far as he could.

 

 

"Do you know how embarrassed I would be? To be seen with you, groupie?"

 

He had thought about telling Namjoon that the girl he had gone on and on about— his childhood friend— was the reason he could finally sleep at night. That he was hers and she was his and he didn't know why but he just wanted to hold her in his arms at night, and wake up to her in the morning.

 

 

That even though Namjoon had loved her longer he probably didn't need her as fucking much as he did.

 

 

But she was Namjoon's first.

 

 

The girl he needed. The girl he loved.

 

 

The girl Yoongi needed, the one he was starting to love.

 

 

It wouldn’t be fair—

 

 

Kim Namjoon who could love her better.

 

Kim Namjoon who she was meant to be with.

 

 

He tried to stop those thought but he couldn't.

 

 

Namjoon could love her better, but he was too selfish to ever bring her to him.

 

 

So she had to leave.

 

 

She had to leave right then, and part of him waited until the last minute to make her leave so he couldn’t change his mind. Namjoon would be home within a few hours, after all.

 

 

The other part of him waited because he knew the truth.

 

 

I need her.

 

 

He was crying.

 

 

I need her.

 

 

He grabbed her arm and she hit him all the way to the door.

 

 

I need her

 

 

But it will never work.

 

 

She was bawling.

 

 

“Stay away from here groupie don’t fucking come back.”

 

 

He spoke with venom but his eyes betrayed him.

 

 

He’s lying, he's—

 

 

“I hate you—”  was the only thing she could manage to choke out in between sobs before he slammed the door shut.

 

 

He hated himself too.

 

 

I don’t need her.

 

 

He had to tell himself something.

 

 

I don’t need her.

 

 

Or else he would break.

 

 

I don’t need her.

 

 

He couldn’t stop crying.

 

 

I don’t need

 

 

When Namjoon came home it was almost midnight— he noticed that it was cleaner and smelled less like a bar—

 

 

But he found Yoongi drinking like he always did on the weekends, always—

 

 

“Looks like nothing’s changed, huh hyung?” 

 

 

He smiled his dimpled smile at him.

 

 

Yoongi looked up in a daze.

 

 

“No—” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Nothing at all.”

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

“Hey y/n, are you okay? You’ve seemed down these past days.”

 

She smiled sadly at her friend.

 

“I’m just sad to be leaving.”

 

He frowned.

 

“You’re coming back though, right?”

 

“Yeah— in the winter, and then in spring.”

 

He pinched her cheek.

 

“Cheer up then, brat.”

 

She smiled again— warmer this time.

 

“Thanks Jin.”

 

She was silent for some time before adding—

 

“I feel like I’ve dreamt the past three months— and I’m finally awake now.”

 

Jin looked at her confused.

 

“In a good way?”

 

She shrugged.

 

“Maybe.”

 

He reached over and placed a hand on her head, messing roughly with her hair until she smacked his hand away with the smile he had wanted to see—

 

"Hey!"

 

He laughed.

 

“Of course it was good— you spent every day with me, worldwide handsome. That sounds like a great dream, if you ask me.”

 

He shot her a grin that made her laugh with him.

 

 

Worldwide handsome?”

 

 

He was right. Her nights had been filled with Min Yoongi— but her days had been filled with Kim Seokjin.

 

 

 

Like day and night.

 

 

 

She would tell Namjoon about it someday— and punch him for being so hard to find.

 

 

Someday.

 

 

“Hey, so you know that dance major I’ve been crashing with?”

 

 

She looked up a Jin who kept his eyes on the tomatoes he was washing— wondering if he had changed the subject on purpose.

 

 

“Uh-huh.”

 

“Well, him and a few of our friends are going to get an apartment together soon. Some of us go wayy back, so we’re all really looking forward to it— I was thinking about what I would cook for our first meal in our new home and—”

 

 

She couldn’t help but laugh, he spoke with child-like excitement that could make anyone smile.

 

“Hey, you’re all grown up!”

 

She smiled and reached up to ruffle his hair like he had done earlier— he looked at her, appalled.

 

“What am I? A baby?”

 

“I would never compare you to a baby Seokjin. Babies are so much nicer and cuter and—”

 

 

They broke into laughter, spending the rest of the day just like that, just that way—

 

 

Happily. 

 

 

Just like it should be, Jin thought.

 

 

When her parents finally sent for her a few days later she wasn't sad at all. 

 

 

"See you in the winter old man!"

 

 

"How long is your break anyway brat?"

 

 

"Winter break? Like three, but if it goes anything like this break I could probably stay for six. School started three weeks ago— hey don't look at me like that!"

 

 

"Aish. Brat."

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping became easy again for her after summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not for Min Yoongi, though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the day we met: jung hoseok

 


 
April 2, 2018

 

 

7:07

 

 

It was always the same thing with Jung Hoseok—

 

 

 

Falling in love was easy.

 

 

 

It could be her smile, her laugh, her voice—

 

 

Falling in love was easy because he could always find something to love about a person.

 

 

“You see too much good in everyone.”

 

Yoongi’s words were as cold as the snow that fell gently from the sky, but Hoseok smiled warmly at him.

 

“Well— there’s good in everyone, hyung.”

 

Yoongi looked at the boy walking beside him who spoke so sweetly—

 

“Then why do you hurt them?”

 

Hoseok paused.

 

“I don’t mean to— it just sort of always ends up that way.”

 

Yoongi scoffed.

 

“Well you wouldn’t have to if you didn’t act on every crush you get, Hoseok.”

 

 

They were silent for a long time before Yoongi realized he had been too harsh—

 

 

“I’m sorry, Hobi. I just—”

 

 

He just thought it wasn’t fair.

 

 

Hoseok found perfection in everyone when he had only ever seen it in her. Hoseok could always chase the girls he fell for and love them freely before leaving them without a second thought. He fell asleep to dreams of someone new every week— Yoongi had been trying to claw the same girl from his mind for months.

 

 

Hoseok smiled sadly towards Yoongi who looked tired, lost in thought like always—

 

 

“I know, hyung.”

 

They walked in silence for a long time, neither of them wanting to say the wrong thing— but Hoseok couldn’t help the words that came out when he looked over and saw his brother's face filled with pain and longing.

 

 

“I hate her.”

 

 

Yoongi stopped walking— he was taken aback. 

 

 

Hoseok didn’t hate anyone.

 

 

“Who?”

 

“That girl— the one who left you before we all moved in together.”

 

 

Yoongi sighed, watched as his warm breath formed clouds in the cold air.

 

 

“Hoseok—”

 

“She ruined you, hyung— you had problems before but you always had us— and that was always enough. But now— nothing’s enough. Nothing's ever enough and I hate it. I hate her.”

 

 

Yoongi felt defensive.

 

 

It wasn’t her fault— it was his.

 

 

He had pushed her away. 

 

 

“Hobi I didn’t tell you about it so you could hate her— I told you because I’m trying to get over it.”

 

Hoseok frowned.

 

“Will you?”

 

Yoongi felt his heart ache.

 

“Maybe, but—”

 

 

But bringing it up isn't helping.

 

 

“Are you sleeping any better since we last talked about it hyung?”

 

 

His head was starting to hurt.

 

 

“Sort of— Hobi, I don’t want to talk about this anymore.”

 

Hoseok sighed before nodding, following his hyung the rest of the way home in silence—

 

 

But despite Yoongi’s protests that night Hoseok couldn’t help it.

 

 

 

 

He hated her—

 

 

 

 

But not as much as he would come to love her.

 

 

 

It was always the same thing— except it wasn’t that time.

 

 

At first Hoseok thought he liked her for all the reasons he fell for any other girl.

 

 

Her smile, her laugh, her voice—

 

 

The first time Hoseok met someone— especially if it was a pretty girl— he always looked and looked until he found something he thought was worthwhile about them, and then something else. Again and again until he thought he had found everything he wanted in them— even if it wasn’t there.

 

 

Falling was easy, it was the staying part that was hard for him.

 

 

Once he realized all the things he had searched for and convinced himself were there weren’t, he left—

 

 

Namjoon always scolded him.

 

 

“You can’t fall for appearances and then desperately look for something else. It’s the something else that should draw you in and appearances are just a bonus.”

 

 

He would have to tell him about the girl he met on his way to work one morning—

 

 

About how beautiful she was under the April showers that welcomed spring violently.

 

 

They had both run into same flower shop to take cover from the heavy rain, along with a few other unlucky pedestrians—

 

 

It was cold, but she was warm.

 

 

While everyone else was annoyed she was smiling brightly as she watched the rain fall—

 

 

“Lovely weather, huh?”

 

Hoseok had spoken with the intent of trying to find something— like he always did.

 

But she looked at him with a small smile, spoke genuinely—

 

“I think so.”

 

Before he could look further she got up and motioned for him to sit where she had been.

 

“You look cold— the heater’s right there so it’s warm when you sit here.”

 

He sat down and looked up to see her smiling brighter, brighter—

 

“See?”

 

He nodded.

 

She leaned on a nearby wall and began talking—

 

Normally it was Hoseok who did the talking, and it was strange having it be the other way around. And she didn't talk about anything special or deep— but Hoseok didn’t have to search.

 

 

He didn’t want to either, because he had a feeling it was there—

 

 

Whatever it was he was always looking for—

 

 

It was there.

 

 

And he was right— 

 

 

They spent a whole day rained in together.

 

 

She talked for a long time, he listened.

 

Just listening was enough that day— the sound of her gentle voice filled with splendor and fascinating things he wanted to unveil and discover. She spoke with excitement about things that made sense and things that didn’t. Her voice, although soft, drowned out the thunderous storm brewing outside and it was breathtaking.

 

He wanted to know her, and let her talk until she couldn’t breathe— but she started asking him questions and he was forced to break his silence.

 

 

“So, where were you going?”

 

 

He had almost forgotten.

 

 

“Work— actually I should call in.”

 

She laughed.

 

“Yeah— you probably should! We’ve been here for like 3 hours!”

 

 

Had it really been that long?

 

 

After he called in she continued.

 

“So, what’s work?”

 

Hoseok smiled.

 

“I teach at a dance studio, mostly kids, and with a few other instructors.”

 

She nodded, but then asked something no one had asked him before.

 

“Do you enjoy it?”

 

He paused.

 

“Well I’m a dance major, so—”

 

She hummed and shifted against the wall.

 

“That’s not what I asked, dance major.”

 

At this he laughed.

 

“It’s Hoseok— and I think I do. Teaching little kids can be frustrating at times, but in the end it’s worth it. Seeing them gain confidence and watching them grow— no, I definitely do.”

 

He looked up to see her smiling brightly.

 

“I can tell.”

 

He gave her a confused look, so she added:

 

“Your eyes light up when you talk about it— so you must really love what you do. It’s good that you’re so passionate Hoseok— it means that you’ll only ever keep growing.”

 

 

He felt a warm feeling in his entire body—

 

 

It never occurred to him that someone might be looking for something in him too.

 

He cleared his throat in an attempt to catch his wandering thoughts.

 

“So, where were you going?”

 

“Work too.”

 

“What’s work?”

 

Before she could answer he repeated her question back to her.

 

“Do you enjoy it?”

 

She paused before smiling at nothing in particular.

 

“I enjoy the company— I work at my uncle’s restaurant.”

 

He nodded, assuming she meant her uncle’s company.

 

 

But she was talking about the other old man that scolded her constantly and made dad jokes every chance he got—

 

 

Seokjin had slowly become the only reason she came to Seoul. She hadn't given up on Namjoon, but she felt herself growing farther and farther away from him every day that passed.

 

She hummed.

 

“I only work there when I come visit Seoul, though.” 

 

Hoseok couldn’t help but frown.

 

“You don’t live in Seoul?”

 

Her gaze was still out the window so she didn’t notice his change of demeanor.

 

“No, I just visit when I have breaks in school— right now it’s spring break, which is one week. I intend to stay for at least three though.”

 

He laughed.

 

“Is your university lenient on attendance?”

 

She turned to face him and paused before laughing.

 

“Oh, no. I’m a highschool senior— and I have solid grades so whether I go or not won’t make a difference.”

 

He couldn't help but curse in his head, clear his throat—

 

“How old are you?” 

 

She laughed.

 

“What, don’t want to talk to a high schooler?”   

 

He smiled half-heartedly. 

 

“Well—”

 

She interrupted him with another laugh.

 

“I’m kidding— I understand. I just turned 18!”

 

 

A sigh of relief.

 

 

“Ah, okay—”

 

“So anyways, tell me more about the kids you teach!”

 

He beamed.

 

"There's ten total, and— "  

 

They stayed that way until the sun set— taking turns sitting next to the heater and talking about everything that came to mind. Neither of them felt time passing— it was as still as the white flowers that surrounded them. It wasn’t until the flower shop clerk asked them to leave that they realized the store was empty and the storm had passed.

 

“It’s dark out— can I walk you home?”

 

She smiled brightly.

 

“Of course Hoseok.”

 

"Call me Hobi— or Hopie, well, if you want I mean."

 

She nodded, smiling at his nickname.

 

 

It suits him.

 

 

"Thanks Hobi." 

 

She took him the long way— because she liked talking to him just as much as he did. When they finally arrived they almost sat down on the steps of her uncle’s house to start talking some more when a voice called out her name from inside the house.

 

“Y/n, get in here!”

 

 

The name sounded familiar to Hoseok, but he couldn’t recall from where.

 

 

Y/n—

 

 

She thanked Hoseok for walking her home quickly and went to go inside when he called out to her—

 

 

“Can I see you again tomorrow?”

 

 

She froze.

 

 

The last person she made a habit of seeing was Min Yoongi who broke her.

 

 

“We walk in the same direction to work— so just meet me outside of the flower shop and we’ll walk together!”

 

 

She smiled in thought, nodded—

 

 

Seokjin couldn’t be her only friend forever.

 

 

At some point she would have to start letting people in again.

 

 

“Okay!”

 

 

It was Jin who had healed her sadness, so maybe Hoseok could be the one to heal the trust she lost in others—

 

 

 

And he did.

 

 

 

Hoseok was like the sun, and every morning he would wait for her with a heart-shaped smile on his face that made her days brighter.

 

 

The path they walked slowly bloomed— cherry blossoms making the city of Seoul seem different.

 

 

Everything began to look fresh and new.

 

 

Winter had come to an end.

 

 

Their walks weren’t long— but they were enough.

 

 

Enough for him to see that he was right afterall.

 

 

It was there—

 

 


What he was always looking for.

 

 

 

It was her.

 

 

 

He was certain, but he didn't want to hurt her— so he wouldn't rush into things like he always did.

 

 

He hoped the spring days filled with her would never end.

 

 

Three weeks later she left just like she said she would. He didn’t fret though.

 

 

“I’m only applying to uni in the city— like hell I’d go anywhere else.”

 

 

She had spoken loudly, with the smile he had grown to love to reassure him.

 

 

He laughed at the thought—

 

 

 

 

He couldn’t wait to see her again— he could win her heart when she came back.

 

 

 

 

 

But it was on one of those nights where Yoongi got drunk and couldn’t stop crying.

 

 

"Hobi I can't— I can't anymore"

 

 

On one of the nights where everyone wondered what was wrong and Hoseok could only say it was nothing, comfort him away from the concerned eyes of their brothers.

 

 

“I miss her— I need her.”

 

 

On one of those nights where he felt Yoongi falling apart in his arms, breaking, shattering—

 

 

 

“I need her.”

 

 

 

On one of those nights.

 

 

 

“I love her—”

 

 

 

On one of those nights.

 

 

 

“y/n—"

 

 



On one of those nights.

 

 

 

 

"y/n."

 

 

 

 

He had heard that name before—

 

 

 

The girl he hated.

 

 

 

 

He hoped he'd never see her again—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y/n.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

the days we met.


 

 

kim namjoon: 7ish years ago 

 

kim seokjin: summer of 2017

 

min yoongi: 3 weeks after jin

 

jung hoseok: spring of 2018

 

park jimin: summer of 2018

 

kim taehyung: one day after jimin

 

jeon jungkook: four weeks after jimin

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

August 31, 2018

 

 

 

12:00

 

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

She felt someone shake her gently.

 

 

“Y n.”

 

It was Taehyung; his deep voice keeping her from sleep was all too familiar—

 

 

“Jagi.”

 

 

She hummed in annoyance.

 

 

“Don’t call me that Taehyungie— and I told you to knock first.”

 

 

He smiled.

 

 

“I did knock jagi, but you were asleep like always—”

 

She frowned.

 

“Go away Tae, I’m tired.”

 

He pouted and sat by her bedside in protest, defiant.

 

“Tae—”

 

“I’m not leaving.”

 

She sat up with a sigh, chuckling when he smiled brightly at her.

 

 

“Ok— what episode were we on?”

 

 

 

Summer classes had ended two weeks before, and when Taehyung found out he started showing up at her dorm with a bright smile so they could watch anime together before work.

 

 

At some point she had given him the code to her room and she’d regretted it ever since.

 

 

Every afternoon he would come in unwelcomed and wake her up so they could 'continue where they left off'. But 'continue where Taehyung left off'  was more accurate. If she fell asleep— and she always did— he would just keep on watching.

 

 

“The least you could do is pause it, Taehyungie.”

 

 

He would always scoff.

 

 

“Why’d you fall asleep? Is it my fault you fell asleep? You should be awake and enjoy the time you have with me, jagi.”

 

“But I see you every day

 

“Quite jagi, I’m trying to watch.”

 

“But you just—”

 

 

He would always shush her when she was right, pulling her into him and tickling her sides— all while keeping a lecturing tone.

 

 

“It’s rude to talk while the show is playing, jagi.”

 

 

She didn’t actually mind, though.

 

 

 

Taehyung hopped onto her bed and turned on the TV.

 

 

“Episode 13!”

 

 

She couldn’t help but smile—

 

“You’re adorable Tae.”

 

He smiled back.

 

“You’re adorable-er.”

 

“You idiot—”

 

“Be quite jagi, the episode’s starting.”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

It was noon and sunlight was pouring into the tiny room, making her more sleepy and the warm feeling in his chest more intense. Despite the heat Taehyung snuggled into her, resting his chin on her shoulder and looking up at her.

 

She turned towards him and held his gaze. He couldn't help but stare at her eyes that looked at him kindly, warmly—

 

 

Y/n, you're so—

 

 

“What is it Tae?”

 

 

Beautiful.

 

 

“I just wanted to get a closer look.”

 

 

He spoke softly, kept his chin on her shoulder making her laugh.

 

“Of what?”

 

He smiled and pinched her cheek.

 

“Of y/n.”

 

She held his gaze curiously before rolling her eyes.

 

"Yeah, yeah—"

 

He wrapped his arm around her waist and moved her closer to him gently.

 

“Let’s stay like this.”

 

 

He wanted her closer—

 

 

“But it’s hot—” 

 

 

Closer closer closer.

 

 

“Well I’m cold.”

 

“Liar—”

 

“It’s true!”

 

He pulled the blanket she was wrapped in over both of their heads, tickling her until they were tangled up—

 

 

They couldn’t stop laughing.

 

 

It was a sound that filled Taehyung's heart with a strange sort of bliss; he didn’t stop tickling her until they had fallen to the floor—

 

 

She only laughed more, whining playfully.

 

 

“Taehyungie that hurt—” 

 

 

She tried getting up but he grabbed her hand and pulled her down into his chest.

 

 

“But I took most of the fall jagi.”

 

 

Closer—

 

 

“Hey, Tae—”

 

 

Closer

 

 

He shook his head, voice getting softer, quieter—

 

 

 

“How many times do I have to tell you jagi?”

 

 

Closer.

 

 

He held her tighter, bringing a strange reminiscent comfort—

 

 

“No talking while the show is playing.”

 

 

She hummed in thought before laughing, nodding, snuggling closer into him while the anime playing in the background got quieter, quieter—

 

 

And as she drifted back to sleep she tried not to think too much; just sleep, only sleep. He had to try not to think too much too— listening to her breathing soften instead— he couldn’t help but smile.

 

 

 

Because in the end, it was the only reason he came.

 

 

 

To hold her close.

 

 

 

They stayed that way, wrapped in a blanket and the sun, snuggling closer, closer, closer, until it was time to go to work.

 

 

 

 

16:00

 

 

 

“I think I’m going to drop out.”

 

It seemed no matter how much she slept she couldn’t get over the exhaustion college had caused.

 

Taehyung smiled and nudged her side.

 

“Who will keep me from dropping out if you drop out?”

 

She groaned.

 

“But I’m tired Tae— I just want to sleep the rest of the year.”

 

He pouted.

 

“Yah— y/n— if you did that I’d miss you.”

 

She laughed at him while he tugged on her jacket.

 

“Promise you won’t jagi

 

He spoke in a sing song voice and followed her around the tiny store while she stacked things— like always— except he kept on asking.

 

“Promise? Promise you won’t leave your best friend behind? Pleaseee—”

 

“Taehyung you bastard— you just don’t want to work.”

 

He smiled brightly, nodded.

 

“You do everything so much better than I can, jagi.”

 

She hit him on the back and scolded him for being lazy while he whined playfully.

 

“That hurt jagi—”

 

She hit him again.

 

“I told you to stop calling me that Tae—”

 

He laughed and hugged her from behind while she tried to work.

 

“Okay, jagi —okay.”

 

She sighed but smiled at his playful antics.

 

Even while they were at work he couldn't help himself.

 

 

Closer closer clos—

 

 

 

 

But it felt like no matter how close they got she always kept a small distance. 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

When their shift ended at eight Taehyung walked her to the bus stop and waited with her until the bus came— like always.

 

 

“It’s going to start getting cold soon— you have a jacket for the snow, right y/n? If not I could give you one—”

 

She laughed.

 

“Yes Tae, I have winter clothes.”

 

He hummed and then leaned on her shoulder.

 

Closer.

 

“I’d be sad if you got sick.”

 

She smiled and put her arm around his shoulder.

 

“Who would do your job then, huh?”

 

He shifted and sat up crossing his arms.

 

Hey— most girls would think that was cute.”

 

She stuck her tongue out at him.

 

“It’d be cute if you meant it.”

 

He pouted.

 

“I did mean it jagi.”

 

She laughed and leaned into his shoulder, which he welcomed happily.

 

Closer.

 

“We could just do this and I wouldn’t get sick.”

 

He laughed, nodding excitedly.

 

“I could keep you warm jagi!”

 

He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer.

 

 

She couldn't be close enough.

 

 

“I’ll never let you get cold!”

 

She had gotten used to his playfulness, and he had gotten used to hers.

 

 

 

But from afar—

 

 

From afar it looked like more.

 

 

No.

 

 

Why is he holding her like that?

 

 

Closer.

 

 

Why is he looking at her like that?

 

 

Closer.

 

 

Why do I care?

 

 

Closer.

 

 

No—

 

 

Closer.

 

 

No, no, no—

 

 

Maybe it was more— or maybe it wasn’t.

 

 

They were comfortable with the friendship they had— and Taehyung was happy to have someone that could put up with him aside from his hyungs and Jungkook.

 

 

 

 

Someone who understood him.

 

 

 


Someone like her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They were just friends, but for some reason all he wanted to do lately was get closer, closer, closer.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

"Text me when you get home safe jagi!"

 

 

He smiled brightly, waving her goodbye.

 

She nodded, smiled and waved back—

 

 

"You too Tae!"

 

 

The bus ride home wasn't too long, and when she finally got home she showered quickly and tried to go to sleep as fast as she could.

 

 

She had almost drifted off after lying in bed for a few hours when her phone rang—

 

 

“Jin-ah—”

 

“Were you sleeping, brat?”

 

“A little— it is past my bedtime old man.

 

He laughed.

 

“You haven’t come to see me in a while—”

 

“I told you I had school— and since I’m not staying with my uncle visiting the restaurant is really out of the way just to see you—”

 

He scoffed.

 

“What happened to us being best friends?”

 

She smiled.

 

“Best friends? Who said that?”

 

“Aish, brat.”

 

She laughed, feeling her eyes close— a moment passing.

 

“When— when can I see you y/n? You’re done with work now right?”

 

She hummed.

 

“I am— I have work every day from four to eight. I could go see you and uncle tomorrow morning.”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Ah— okay.”

 

She frowned.

 

“You sound disappointed old man—”

 

“Well I wanted to see you sooner, y/n.”

 

“Sooner than tomorrow?”

 

“Yeah— I’m actually outside the dorms if you want to come out—”

 

“Kim Seokjin, it’s almost midnight—”

 

He scoffed.

 

“I really, really missed you brat— it’s your fault for never making any time for me—”

 

She let out a small laugh.

 

“We talk every other day—”

 

“Just through text and on the phone— it’s not the same thing y/n.” 

 

He sighed.

 

“Just hurry up and get out here before I go up there.”

 

“But—”

 

“Y/n—”

 

“Okay, okay— I’ll be right there.”

 

 

 

00:00

 

 

 

She came out wrapped in a blanket and Jin couldn’t help but smile at the sight.

 

 

He really had missed her—

 

 

And he had made up his mind about how things would go tonight.

 

 

“Cute, you’re so cute—”

 

He ruffled her hair as he spoke, pulling her close—

 

“Come here.”

 

Her sleepy form gladly went into his hug that was warm and loving— strong.

 

They stayed that way for a while before he pulled back to look at her face.

 

“You’ve aged.”

 

She punched his arm softly.

 

“Shut up old man, at least I'm still young—”

 

He thought of a retort but only managed a small laugh, taking her hand in his wordlessly, leading her across the dorm’s parking lot as she questioned him softly, soundless.

 

 

When she asked where they were going he didn’t respond— not too sure of where they were going either.

 

 

He just wanted to be near her again.

 

 

He needed to be.

 

 

She tried to keep up with his pace but the blanket she had wrapped herself in made her steps smaller than the ones he was taking.

 

“Jin-ah— I’m going to fall if you keep holding my hand.”

 

He turned back towards her, laughing at her waddling figure.

 

“I’d rather you fall then let go, y/n.”

 

She thought about it, then frowned.

 

“Hey! I wouldn’t!”

 

Her protests made him laugh more, but he slowed down just enough so she wouldn’t fall—

 

 

They walked for a long time, hand in hand, going nowhere in particular and talking about how life had been.

 

 

Eventually she got tired and started protesting.

 

 

“It’s late old man, I can go see you in the morning—”

 

“Did you always whine this much brat?”

 

“My feet hurt—”

 

“Come here then.”

 

He picked her up gently before she could say a word, carrying her back to her dorm as she thought about complaining, too tired to actually say anything about how ridiculous she felt.

 

 

And he had been too gentle for her to be angry at all.

 

 

 

When they finally got into her room he closed the door behind him, setting her down.

 

 

He looked at her and felt like he was seeing her for the first time—

 

 

She was in pajamas, wrapped in a blanket twice her size, and the moonlight pouring into the tiny room made her look more beautiful— more sleepy.

 

 

Something had changed.

 

 

Something was different—

 

 

 

 

He had seen her with Taehyung.

 

 

 

 

He took the blanket she had cocooned herself in and slowly unraveled it, then he wrapped it around them both.

 

 

“Is this fine?”

 

 

She nodded, his close proximity chasing away her sleepiness.

 

 

 

He wanted her to feel what he felt.

 

 

 

He took a hold of her hand, but it was different than before—

 

 

 

It was gentler.

 

 

 

He wanted her to know.

 

 

 

He looked into her eyes with something that made her feel warm all over—

 

 

 

Something that reminded her of Namjoon.

 

Something that reminded her of Yoongi.

 

 

 

“Is this fine?” 

 

 

He spoke as he intertwined their fingers and stepped closer.

 

She tried to say something, but the words got stuck—

 

He leaned in and put his forehead against hers, their noses touching, heartbeats racing—

 

 

He looked into her eyes and smiled— held his breath.

 

 

He wanted to kiss her, but all he could manage in a half whisper was—

 

 

“I missed you.”

 

“I—”

 

Y/n, I need you to know something.”

 

“Jin—”

 

He interrupted her, trying to hold on to his courage.

 

 

Trying to tell her how he felt.

 

Trying to tell her what he knew.

 

 

“I know we’re just friends— I know that,”  his words came out pained. “I just want you to know that I— I”

 

 

But he couldn't do it—

 

 

He didn’t want to ruin everything.

 

He didn’t want to hurt her.

 

 

She looked up at him, opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off— brushed her cheek gently, gripped her hand tighter.

 

 

“Maybe someday— if you’ll let me— we’ll be more.”

 

 

His words filled her mind with what-if’s—

 

 

 

 

Just like Yoongi’s had.

 

 

 

 

He isn’t Yoongi, she had to tell herself.

 

 

 

He isn't—

 

 

“Jin— I don’t know if—”

 

 

He sighed and then smiled.

 

 

”Y/n, we can be like we’ve always been until you love me or love someone else.”

 

 

He frowned at those words.

 

 

“Do you— do you love someone else?”

 

 

She paused—

 

 

She didn’t know.

 

 

What counts as love?

 

 

Someone that always makes you happy?

 

 

Someone that you still think about even when they hurt you?

 

 

Someone who knows you better than you know yourself?

 

 

“I— maybe.”

 

She could see it in his eyes— her words had hurt.

 

 

“Seokjin-”

 

“I should go.”

 

She grabbed his hand.

 

“Stay— I, I didn’t mean—”

 

“Could you ever love me then?”

 

His words came out angrily— he was holding back tears and it was breaking her heart.

 

 

“I—”

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who could always make her smile.

 

 

Kim Seokjin who she confided in after she lost Kim Namjoon.  

 

 

Kim Seokjin who had saved her from the aftermath of Min Yoongi.

 

 

Kim Seokjin.

 

 

“I already do.”

 

 

He sighed in defeat, stepping back even further.

 

 

“You know what I meant."

 

His words weren't angry anymore— they were sad.

 

 

She nodded, stepping closer before he could move further away— wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him closer.

 

 

 

“I already do.” 

 

 

 

He couldn’t respond— so she continued.

 

 

“But I want to make sure— it wouldn’t be fair to you if I—”

 

 

 

If I loved someone else while loving you.

 

 

 

He didn’t let her finish, though.

 

He closed the distance between them, pressing his lips against hers— softly, sweetly, and then roughly. Again and again until he got the image of Taehyung with his arms around her out of his mind.

 

 

Again and again— pressing closer and closer.

 

 

He wanted to show her.

 

 

Again and again— kisses becoming more and more desperate.

 

 

He wanted her to know.

 

 

Again and again— pushing her onto the bed gently.

 

 

He wanted her to be his.

 

 

But she stopped him.

 

 

“Not yet Jin— I want to be sure.”

 

She spoke gently—

 

“I want to be sure that I love you—" 

 

Smiled sadly. 

 

"Just you.

 

 

Because she wasn't sure— all she knew was that Jin was something more to her.

 

 

Something more.

 

 

But maybe that wasn't enough—

 

 

She couldn't bring herself to tell him, though.

 

 

Because maybe it was.

 

 

He looked down at her— his heart racing, his body aching.

 

She looked so beautiful beneath him— it felt so right.

 

Having her so close to him, with the possibility of her being his, truly his— it was the most right thing he had ever felt in his life.

 

He barely had enough strength— enough will— to get up off of her.

 

They sat up and he held her face in his hand— leaned his forehead against hers.

 

 

“Okay.” 

 

 

 

He was brushing her face gently while he spoke.

 

 

“I’d wait a lifetime for you.”

 

 

After that night not much changed— except she started going to see him again.

 

 

“Look who finally came to their senses—” 

 

 

He nudged her side gently as she laughed.

 

 

"Miss me brat?”

 

 

“As if old man—”

 

 

No, not much changed at all—

 

 

 

 

Friends until you love me or someone else.

 

 

 

Me or someone else— those words rang in her head as Taehyung moved closer to her—

 

 

 

Me or someone else.

 

 

 

Taehyung laid his head on her lap, looked up and reached to play with her hair.

 

 

“What is it jagi?”

 

 

Me or someone else.

 

 

“Nothing Tae—”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“What episode were we on?”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

September 14 2018

 

 

 

Fall classes would be starting soon, and she couldn’t help the growing excitement for things to come—

 

 

 


For things to come.

 

 

 

 

She had smiled at the thought.

 

 

 

Jungkook and Jimin had also started texting her more often, which only fueled that excitement.

 

 

 

What classes are you taking?

 

How much time do you have in between classes?

 

Can we still get coffee everyday?

 

Could you come see me rehearse in your free time?

 

 

The idea of being able to see them everyday or every other day was what she looked forward to the most.

 

 

 

She was happy—

 

 

 

She had a class with Jungkook from five to seven in the evening four times a week— and Jimin’s rehearsal time was in between her morning and afternoon class, so he made her promise to come at least twice a week.

 

 

 

So happy.

 

 

 

Taehyung wasn’t though.

 

 

 

“I’ll still see you at work Taehyungie—”

 

“Only for like 2 hours!”

 

He frowned at her small smile.

 

“I work from 6 to 10, and you work from 8 to midnight— it’s not fair!”

 

She pinched his cheek.

 

“You chose your classes Tae.”

 

He pouted.

 

“Well— I forgot the registration date and ended up with class times nobody wanted.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Whose fault is that?”

 

“Yah! This is serious y/n—”

 

“It’s not that serious, I could always see you on the weekends.”

 

 

He thought about it.

 

 

Aside from him going to her tiny dorm before work they’d never really hung out outside of the convenience store.

 

He smiled and wrapped his arms around her from behind.

 

 

“I’d like that.”

 

 

How quickly his mood could change didn't even surprise her anymore.

 

 

“Hey— I’m trying to work, let go—”

 

He laughed into her neck tightening his grip.

 

“Not until you promise you’ll still make time for me!”

 

She laughed.

 

“Okay Taehyungie, okay.”

 

 

 

I promise.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

September 17 2018

 

 

13:11

 

 

The first day was hectic— and after getting lost about four times she called Jin.

 

 

He picked up right away even though he was at work, just like she knew he would.

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

“I hate it here Jin—”

 

He laughed.

 

“It's just your first day— what happened?”

 

“Well, I just keep getting lost— the campus is huge and people keep telling me where to go but I feel like I’m walking in circles—”

 

“Wait, I thought you took summer classes? Shouldn’t you know the campus by now brat?”

 

“I took a summer class— one. So I just learned where that was and went the same way everyday.”

 

“Aish.”

 

“Jin, can't I just ditch and go see you? I’m hungry and your food always makes me feel better.”

 

He wanted to see her more than anything, and the fact she suggested it made him smile—

 

But he knew it was a terrible idea.

 

“This isn’t like high school brat, you can’t just come and go and expect to do well.”

 

She sighed.

 

“I know Jin-ah."

 

He frowned at how disappointed she sounded.

 

“I’m sorry y/n— if I wasn’t working you know I’d drive all the way over there just to be with you.”

 

She smiled at the thought, it made her feel warm.

 

“I know Jin-ah.”

 

A pause.

 

Not much had changed, but there were moments like this—

 

 

“I miss you, y/n.”

 

 

His words made her heart race.

 

 

“I miss you too, Jin.”

 

 

He smiled, the familiar aching in his chest making him want to see her more.

 

“Text me what time you get off work brat— I have to go now—”

 

She hummed in response and he hung up quickly, not wanting to change his mind about it.

 

 

 

She knew talking to Jin would make her feel better.

 

 

 

19:03

 

 

 

After calling him she still got lost, but getting through the day was a little easier—

 

 

Unfortunately for her Jimin couldn’t meet up and Jungkook ditched the first day of class.

 

 

Ditched the first day of class?

 

 

She called him once class had finally ended.

 

He didn’t pick up—

 

 

Of course not.

 

 

But a few minutes later, when she was about to start walking to work, her phone rang. 

 

 

“Hello?”

 

 

His voice was groggy.

 

 

“Jungkookie— you weren’t in class today—”

 

“Yeah—” 

 

He paused.

 

“I was taking a nap.”

 

She sighed.

 

“Kookie—”

 

“Did we go over anything that wasn’t on the syllabus?”

 

“Yes—”

 

“Did you take notes?”

 

She knew where he was going.

 

“Yes, but—”

 

“Then I’m good.”

 

She could almost see his bunny smile as he spoke happily—

 

“Will you meet me tomorrow for coffee?”

 

He had asked sweetly, but she was annoyed.

 

“Will you show up?”

 

He frowned.

 

“Are you actually upset?”

 

She couldn’t help the complaints that started coming out— calling Jin had helped, but she was really looking forward to a class that wasn’t full of strangers.

 

“Today sucked — it sucked and you were supposed to make it better but you didn’t bother to show up—”

 

"I—"

 

"You didn't bother to show up because you knew I would— you knew I would and that I'd be a good student for you."

 

She sighed, frowning at the way her words made her feel—

 

They were true, but they also weren't—

 

She knew Jungkook wasn't taking advantage of her— she knew that.

 

His careless words just made it easy to get mad, but she regretted not letting it go.

 

 

It wasn't his fault—

 

 

They were silent for a while, both of them feeling bad.

 

And when she finally spoke—

 

“Jungkook, I’m—”

 

He cut her off.



“Where are you?”

 

She paused.

 

“I’m in the courtyard outside of class—”

 

“Wait there.”

 

“But—”

 

 

End call.

 

 

He showed up around 20 minutes later, sweaty and breathless.

 

She couldn't help but laugh lightly.

 

“Jungkookie, did you run here? Are you okay?”

 

He waved his hand dismissively.

 

“Fine—” he spoke in between breaths “I got you this—”

 

He held up a paper bag and she took it, looking inside.

 

“It’s your favorite—”

 

 

Bungeoppang?

 

 

She looked up from the fish-shaped pastry and met his gaze— he was smiling sadly.

 

 

“I’m sorry you had a bad day,”

 

He stepped closer.

 

“I’m sorry if I made it worse.”

 

She sighed, shaking her head.

 

“You didn’t, I was just—”

 

He pulled her into a hug, made her silent.

 

 

His words were gentle— and she could hear it in his voice—

 

 

“I’ll only make your days better from now on.”

 

 

She wondered if Jungkook had always been so sweet.

 

 

“Why—”

 

 

Why was her heart speeding up?

 

Why were her legs weak?

 

It was just Jungkook.

 

It was just Jung

 

 

“Because you’re special.”

 

 

He leaned back so he could look at her— keeping his arms around her waist and looking into her eyes.

 

“When I was going through all those things during the summer— when I was hurting— you were the only one that always listened to me. My hyungs— I love them but they didn’t always listen as much as I wanted them too.”

 

 

She was quite for a minute before smiling and reaching up to fix his hair that was a mess.

 

 

“What are friends for?”

 

 

She was running her fingers through his hair, and he felt something strange.

 

 

It's just the run, he told himself.

 

 

He reached up to grab her hand gently. Her eyes looked up at him in a way that made his chest hurt— that made breathing harder and focusing impossible. 

 

 

It’s just the run.

 

 

He smiled and nodded, letting go of her hand.

 

 

“What are friends for.”

 

 

He stepped back, excited to finally spend some time with her.

 

 

"So where are we going?"

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“Actually, I need to go to work soon.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Can’t you ditch? Just this once?”

 

She laughed, shook her head.

 

 

Taehyung would never let it go if she did.

 

 

 

“I’m sorry Kookie— I tried to tell you before you hung up on me.”

 

He sighed but then smiled sweetly.

 

“It’s okay—”

 

He threw his arm around her shoulder and started walking.

 

“Just make it up to me tomorrow— and then the day after that, and the day after that—”

 

She laughed.

 

“How?”

 

He hummed in thought.

 

“Meet me for coffee.”

 

She smiled.

 

“That’s it? I was going to do that anyways Jungkookie—”

 

 

He stepped in front of her, took a hold of her hand—

 

 

“Then meet me for more than coffee, meet me whenever you can— make time for me. Just me.”

 

 

He spoke sternly and with a serious look on his face, but when she tried to hold his gaze he moved beside her again— kept his gaze forward.

 

 

He didn’t let go of her hand, though— he swung it playfully as they walked.

 

 

She wondered if he meant it—

 

 

“And do my homework, help me study—”

 

 

Of course not— it was just Jungkook.

 

 

Just Jungkook.

 

 

She elbowed his side.

 

 

“You’re the worst, Jungkookie.”

 

 

He smiled his bunny smile and stayed with her until she was able to haul a cab. 

 

 

It's just Jungkook— she reassured herself one last time.

 

 

As he waved goodbye—

 

 

Just Jungkook.

 

 

 

22:00

 

 

 

Work went by quickly, and when Taehyung’s shift ended she made him leave.

 

“But jagi—”

 

“You have class early tomorrow— you need to go home and sleep.”

 

“But—”

 

“You're a student first, remember?”

 

"But—"

 

After going back and forth for a few minutes he finally gave in.

 

“Just text me when—”

 

“I know Tae, I know— you text me when you get home safe too, okay?”

 

 

He nodded, kissed the top of her head quickly before running out the door.

 

She didn’t have time to scold him about how he shouldn’t do things like that because someone might get the wrong idea—

 

 

Someone like her.

 

 

Taehyung’s too playful for his own good, she thought.

 

 

She spent the rest of her time at work thinking about it— while she stacked and re-stacked, greeted the occasional customer.

 

 

 

Thinking about him.

 

 

 

00:00

 

 

 

When her shift finally ended at midnight she was exhausted and couldn’t wait to go home.

 

She walked out into the September air that had hints of autumn in it, closing her eyes and enjoying it for a moment before her phone rang—

 

“Why are you still awake? It’s witching hour you know—”

 

“Aish, brat— I’m across the street.”

 

She looked up and saw Jin’s car.

 

“Why?”

 

“Just hurry up and get over here.”

 

She sighed, crossing the street quickly—

 

When she got inside he leaned over to put her seat belt on.

 

She laughed.

 

“Are you trying to baby me?”

 

He nodded and kissed her cheek gently, the corner of his mouth touching hers.

 

He stayed there for a while, resting his forehead on hers, listening to her soft breathing and the hum of the heater.

 

 

“I missed you y/n."

 

 

She could see it in his eyes, in the way he looked at her.

 

 

Moments like this—

 

 

Before she could respond he pulled away and started the engine.

 

He talked about work and new recipes he had tried— normal things.

 

While she listened to him she realized where they were going.

 

“Why are we going to campus?”

 

He shrugged.

 

“I wanted to show you around so you wouldn’t get lost anymore.”

 

He smiled, speaking with confidence—

 

“I’m the best guide there is, y/n— a handsome alumni who graduated early, plus the campus will be empty so showing you around will be more fun.”

 

She laughed.

 

“Thank you sunbae-nim.”

 

He scoffed.

 

“Don’t call me that— it makes me feel old.”

 

“You are old.”

 

He sighed dramatically.

 

“Why don’t you try calling me oppa instead—”

 

“Because you’re not my brother.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Girls call guys that all the time—”

 

“Guys they like— I don’t like you, not even a little.

 

He hummed in annoyance.

 

“You’ll be the death of me brat.”

 

She smiled at the thought.

 

“Wouldn’t you die faster if I started calling you oppa? Seokjin-oppa? I missed you oppa, where are we going oppa —”

 

 

She was right.

 

 

He hadn’t realized hearing her say it would make him feel so—

 

 

So—

 

 

“Stop—” he spoke angrily, “don’t say that word ever again.”

 

He looked over and spoke sternly.

 

“Especially not to other guys.”

 

She smiled brightly.

 

“Okay Jin-op—”

 

“Do you want me to crash?”

 

She laughed at him while he tried his best to calm down—

 

 

When they finally got on campus it seemed completely different than it had in the morning.

 

There were barely any students, and the emptiness of it all only made it seem bigger— she frowned and Jin read her mind.

 

 

“It’s not that bad y/n, you’ll get the hang of it."

 

He smiled, motioning for her to follow him—

 

“Especially after tonight— come on.”

 

They walked side by side— and surprisingly it felt more intimate than walking hand in hand.

 

 

He took her to places he had liked going when he was a student.

 

 

“Remember places by where I went, the places I’m showing you now— this is where oppa would eat, this is where oppa would study .”

 

She scrunched her nose.

 

“You said not to call you that.”

 

“You can say it in your head.”

 

She laughed.

 

He tried to show her short cuts and explain how the school was set up, where the biggest lecture halls were, which classes were usually held in which buildings— he also got distracted and told her stories about his time at university.

 

“I actually started university late because my father took my brother and I on a bunch of business trips after I graduated high school— to get 'experience'. Before I knew it around two years had passed. So there was alot of pressure to finish early— that’s really the only reason I graduated so soon.”

 

She smiled.

 

“It’s still impressive though.”

 

He smiled back.

 

“Thanks brat.”

 

Eventually they ended up in his favorite place— a small hidden garden with a clear view of the sky.

 

He hummed as he looked up towards the moon, the singing of crickets and the gentle sound of a nearby fountain making him sleepy— making him think.

 

 

They were lying on the grass even though they weren’t supposed to.

 

 

She was too far away—

 

 

“I used to come to this garden with my ex all the time— with a bunch of girls actually.”

 

“Thanks Jin—”

 

Let me finish, y/n.”

 

She hummed in response, keeping her gaze on the moon.

 

“I would bring girls here and tell them they were as pretty as the flowers, as pretty as the moon.”

 

 

She felt her heart stop.

 

 

“But it’s different with you— I don’t want to tell you you're pretty or try to win you over with words or gestures”

 

He moved closer, pulling her towards him and speaking softly into her neck.

 

“I just want to be close to you, I want to hold you and look up at the stars, hold you close and tell you how much I care about you.”

 

 


Closer closer closer— he wanted to be closer.

 

 

"That I care about you so much it hurts— it hurts, y/n.”

 


She felt it breaking— her heart was breaking.

 

 

She kept her gaze on the moon even though he was holding her tightly.

 

“Hold you and tell you about the future I want— tell you you’re there.”

 


Breaking, breaking, breaking—

 

 

He grabbed her face gently so she would meet his gaze.

 

 

“Tell you you’re mine.”

 

 

She wondered why she felt like crying, crying—

 

 

He held her gaze for a long time, he wanted her to say something but she didn’t— not for a while.

 

 

“What would you compare me too then—”

 

She looked towards the moon in a daze.

 

“If not the moon or flowers.”

 

He didn’t hesitate—

 

 

“You’re incomparable y/n.”

 

 

 

3:17

 

 

 

He walked her back to her dorm which wasn't far, but wasn't close either.

 

 

He wanted his time with her to last anyway.

 

 

When they finally got there she hugged him goodbye and held him tightly.

 

 

She held him so close he felt like his words might have brought them closer. 

 

 

It made his heart happy, his body warm—

 

 

He looked into her eyes and thought he was right.

 

 

Closer—

 

 

He didn't realize his words had done the opposite.

 

 

She held him close for many reasons—

 

 

Partially because both of them knew it would be a while before they could spend time together again.

 

 

Partially because she loved him and knew she would miss him.

 

 

Partially because she was trying to fix the growing pain in her heart.

 

  

After he left with a solemn goodbye and a 'make sure to call' she lied in bed.

 

 

 

Lied in bed until the sun rose.

 

 

Lied in bed, but never slept.

 

 

 

She felt stupid.

 

 

 

Stupid for thinking of him.

 

 

I hate him.

 

 

Stupid for wanting to see him.

 

 

I hate him.

 

 

Stupid for loving him.

 

 

I—

 

 

But as she lied in bed she could see him.

 

 

Min Yoongi.

 

 

As she tossed and turned she could smell him.

 

 

Min Yoongi.

 

 

As she cried she could hear him.

 

 

"Y/n—"

 

 

Hear his gentle voice as he played with her hair and held her tightly in his chest that smelled faintly of liquor.

 

 

“Y/n, I care about you so fucking much— so fucking much it hurts.

 

 

Hear his promises when he thought she was asleep, hear the love in every syllable.

 

 

“One day, I swear y/n — one day it’ll be you and me. You and me.”

 

 

 

Hear him whisper, whisper as he lulled her to sleep.

 

 

 

 

“You’re as pretty as the moon y/n.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As pretty as the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

jungkook and jimin

 


 

 

 

 

The month of September came quickly to an end.

 

 

Jin had been right— it didn’t take her very long to learn where things were, and once she did she fell into routine.

 

 

 

Jungkook and Jimin were that routine.

 

 

 

The more time she spent with them the more she thought— her mind becoming full of them, them, them—

 

 

 

Mainly because she didn’t want to think of him, him, him.

 

 

 

Him.

 

 

Namjoon turned twenty-one this fall— is he eating, is he sleeping?

 

 

Him.

 

 

Jin deserves someone who can love him better.

 

 

Him.

 

 

Yoongi left a year ago.

 

 

So instead she tried to focus on them—

 

 

Jungkook and Jimin.

 

 

They both chase perfection, she concluded—

 

 

 

 

 

But they couldn’t be more different.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Perfect.

 

 

 

Jeon Jungkook had always thought of himself as perfect.

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

He saw the perfection everyone else always told him was there.

 

 

He saw it.

 

 

But what he saw wasn’t real—

 

 

Y/n was the first person to ever tell him that.

 

 

It was during the summer when he began to question what he had always been told.

 

 

He had chased the same girl for two years— he told himself he loved her, and maybe he did.

 

 

She was perfect.

 

 

And so was he.

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

 

 

So why had she rejected him in the end?

 

She said she had met someone else.

 

She said not to call her anymore.

 

 

She left—

 

 

Without a second thought, a second glance.

 

 

She left and he was devastated.  

 

 

He tried to confide in Namjoon—

 

 

He didn’t even listen.

 

 

So he just got angrier and angrier as the days passed.

 

 

Sadder and sadder.

 

 

He went to class less and less—

 

 

Ditched y/n more and more.

 

 

But she was always still there—

 

 

Always.

 

 

Waiting at the coffee shop, saving his seat in class.

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

“You’re late Kookie—”

 

She always spoke with a smile.

 

 

“I was waiting.”

 

 

He wished she wouldn’t.

 

 

But she did.

 

 

Always—

 

 

She was never angry.

 

 

She was never annoyed.

 

 

Always spoke softly—

 

 

I was waiting—

 

 

With a smile, that got sadder every time—

 

 

I was waiting.

 

 

One day when they were walking to class he snapped at her.

 

 

“Why are you always here ?”

 

 

She flinched at his tone and he got even angrier.

 

 

He was angry at himself.

 

 

“I only come because I know you’ll be here— waiting even if I don’t show up.”

 

 

He scoffed.

 

 

“Waiting even though you know I won’t.

 

 

Angrier and angrier—

 

 

“I don’t even care about passing anymore so why don’t you just stop?”

 

 

They were both silent— the warm summer air felt cold.

 

 

He had never hated himself, but in that moment he did.

 

 

He stared at her, and she stared down.

 

 

He felt like crying—

 

 

He was supposed to be perfect.

 

 

Perfect, perfect, p—

 

 

“I don’t give up on my friends.”

 

 

She met his gaze.

 

“Jungkook, I know we’re not that close — it’s why I never asked. But I can tell that something’s been bothering you and— well I just want you to be happy again.”

 

Her eyes looked at him with so much kindness he felt like he would break at any moment—

 

“I thought maybe— maybe if you didn’t feel so alone, if you knew I would be here — that it might help.”

 

 

Just like Jin had been there for her.

 

 

Her words were gentle.

 

 

“I’ll always be here, waiting—”

 

 

He couldn’t help it—

 

 

“No matter how sad it makes me.”

 

 

He started crying.

 

 

“Always, always, always.”

 

 

She wrapped her arms around him and tried to rub his back soothingly.

 

 

Something she had learned from Namjoon.

 

 

Before he could speak she continued—

 

 

“I won’t stop—”

 

 

She pulled away and smiled brightly.

 

 

“So let’s work hard!” she pushed him lightly, “and don’t make me wait anymore.

 

 

He smiled and nodded as he wiped his tears and tried to compose himself.

 

 

“Okay— okay. I promise.”

 

 

For the rest of the summer she made him keep that promise—

 

 

“Jungkook why aren’t you here yet?”

 

“Are you on your way yet?”

 

“I’m waiting.”

 

 

He never made her wait long, though—

 

“I’m sorry—”

 

She would always nod understandingly.

 

“I’m trying— I just—

 

He could never get it out.

 

“It’s okay—"

 

But her smile always made him feel reassured.

 

“I wasn’t going anywhere anyways.”

 

 

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

 

 

He finally told her one night when he was walking her to her dorm.

 

 

Told her about the other her—

 

 

 

The one who left.

 

 

 

"I just, I didn’t understand— I don’t understand. I did my best to be perfect for her, I needed to be perfect for her.”

 

He stopped walking and did his best to keep himself together.

 

“She always told me that she liked how perfect I was—”

 

There were still people around, so he tried to hold it in.

 

“She only ever liked me when I was doing my best to be perfect.”

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect—

 

 

Those words kept ringing in his head.

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perf—

 

 

Before he could break she took his hand, intertwining their fingers and squeezing gently.

 

 

She didn’t say anything but he understood.

 

 

I’m here.

 

 

Always.

 

 

They walked in silence until they reached her dorm, hand in hand with a gentle squeeze now and then—

 

 

When they got there she let him in.

 

 

He sighed, walking in slowly, hesitantly—

 

 

“The moon looks brighter tonight.”

 

 

She turned around after closing the door, looking at the moon that shone in brightly, illuminating the small room in its white light—

 

 

She hummed in agreement, moving to sit on the floor.

 

 

“Come here.”

 

 

He sat across from her and she tried to find the right words so he would understand.

 

 

“You’re not perfect Jungkook— it’s your flaws that make you unique and beautiful as a person.”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“But—”

 

“I know you’re used to being told that you’re perfect Kookie—”

 

She laughed.

 

"You’re good at everything you do, and you’re not terrible to look at—”

 

She looked into his eyes trying to make him understand.

 

 

Her words were kind, gentle—

 

 

“Why do you think you’re perfect Jungkook?”

 

He paused.

 

“I’ve always been told—”

 

“What have you been told?”

 

“That I’m—”

 

“Specifically, Kookie.”

 

He looked out her tiny window, into the night sky.

 

“My hyungs always tell me that my charisma is perfect, that I'm charming, older ladies always tell me my appearance is perfect, I know everyone thinks so, too— I do everything well—”

 

She grabbed his hands softly, just like before.

 

 

“Jungkook, you’re not perfect because you’re handsome or because of how good you are at any one thing.”

 

 

He looked towards her, met her gaze.

 

 

“You’re perfect in your own Jungkook-way, not in any stereotypical way.”

 

 

His heart swelled.

 

 

“You’re more than just handsome, you’re more than just charisma. It must be hard to try and be the perfect others want you to be all the time— which is why you should just be yourself. The real you is one of the most perfect things I’ve ever seen Kookie.”

 

 

He wanted to hug her—

 

 

“The real me?”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“Yeah. The Jeon Jungkook that likes to play video games all night and watches anime— even though he acts like he doesn’t. The one that gets shy easily and is actually a big baby. The one that has a bunny smile that could make anyone’s day.”

 

 

She reached up to fix some stray hairs that were in his face.

 

 

“You’re perfect in your own way— and if she couldn’t see that it’s her loss.”

 

 

When she met his gaze again the pain in his eyes was gone.

 

 

There was something else there now—

 

 

She couldn’t tell what though.

 

 

He smiled, reaching down to fix her hair too.

 

 

“You’re not in love with me right?”

 

 

She scoffed pulling away.

 

 

“You wish.”

 

 

They laughed.

 

 

He pulled her into a hug.

 

 

 

“Thank you.”

 

 

 

After that night he confided in her more frequently, he started to need her.

 

 

 

To clear his mind.

 

To soothe his heart.

 

What she had said made him change the way he saw himself, and he tried to be more genuine.

 

Not afraid to be shy—

 

Not afraid to complain or talk about little things, like video games.

 

 

“The new character that came out last night wasn’t all that great. I only played for like five hours and got over it—”

 

 

Not afraid to talk about big things, like the growing distance he felt between his brothers.

 

 

lately it feels like they all have better things to do. I miss our time together—”

 

 

Sometimes he would call her in the middle of the night when he couldn’t stop thinking.

 

 

About her words, and the way she had said them— about her.

 

 

Her, her, her—

 

 

Y/n.

 

 

“Jungkookie?”

 

 

“Can we talk?”

 

 

She would always laugh, tell him it was late— but she never said no.

 

 

“Sure.”

 

 

Sometimes they would only talk for a few minutes— sometimes they would talk for a few hours.

 

 

It was always just until Jungkook cleared his mind or fell asleep.

 

 

Sometimes he would just go to her dorm, uninvited like most people that went—

 

 

But she didn't mind; it was impossible to sleep otherwise.

 

 

So they would sit in her room like they had the night she told him he wasn't perfect, and that he was. The moon shining in, their voices barely above a whisper—

 

 

They talked about everything, and nothing at all.

 

 

It reminded her of Namjoon.

 

It reminded her of Yoongi.

 

 

He started to notice that he felt happiest when she was close.

 

She started to notice he was being more himself.

 

 

“Thank you y/n— for being here with me.”

 

 

She hummed, drifting off to sleep.

 

 

“Always.”

 

 

Always—

 

 

The word had been about always being perfect, and sometimes it still was—

 

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

 

But it started to mean more, with every night that passed and was filled with her and her careful words— being there, being near—

 

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

 

One night she told him about the boy she fell in love with.

 

 

 

About how he left.

 

 

 

It was after she started having trouble sleeping again—

 

 

 

Sometime after summer classes had ended.

 

 

Sometime after Taehyung started getting closer, closer, closer.

 

 

Sometime after Jin confessed.

 

 

 

He was laying across from her on the floor, looking into her eyes as she spoke— and when she finally finished she lied silently with a sad smile on her face.

 

 

 

Her mind full of memories.

 

 

 

Memories of—

 

 

“I’ll never leave you.”

 

 

His words took her out of her daze.

 

 

“I’ll be here—

 

 

He moved closer, pulling her up into a warm hug.

 

 

“Always, always, always.”

 

 

 

They met during the summer, became friends during the summer, grew close during the summer.

 

 

 

After summer classes he would still come over but less.

 

 

Would still call but less.

 

 

She missed him.

 

 

But she wasn’t sure why—

 

 

 

 

It was just Jungkook.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

She had been excited to see him the first day of class.

 

 

But he didn’t show— and then he did.

 

 

 

“I’ll only make your days better from now on.”

 

 

 

She remembers his words from that night vividly.

 

 

He really had.

 

 

The last few weeks of September— the month of October.

 

 

He was always waiting for her by the time she came in to the that small coffee shop they had both grown to love.

 

 

 

Waiting in the same place she had waited for him—

 

 

 

Always.

 

 

 

“I’m the one waiting for you now

 

 

 

She had laughed while he pinched her cheek and pulled her close.

 

 

He had whispered playfully, sweetly.

 

 

 

“You’ll never have to wait for me again, y/n.”

 

 

 

Just—

 

 

 

After class he always made the hour she had before work count, cherishing every second.

 

 

They would walk around campus like she had with Jin—

 

 

Exploring new places, finding new things.

 

 

Eventually he started bringing his camera so he could practice his new hobby— and she always asked him to take pictures of her.

 

 

Sometimes he would refuse just to hear her argue and see her pout.

 

 

“I didn’t want you to anyways Kookie— “

 

“I’m prettier than that tree Kookie.”

 

 

He would laugh.

 

 

“Says who?”

 

But he always gave in.

 

 

She was right.

 

 

She was prettier than that tree, or anything else he had ever seen.

 

 

“Should I pose or act natural?”

 

 

“Which way should I face Kookie? This way, that way?”

 

 

He would laugh at her as she pointed and posed playfully.

 

 

“Should I try throwing leaves in the air? Would that be a good photo? Wait, what about—”

 

 

No matter how many pictures of her he took he could never have enough.

 

 

 

Every single one was breathtaking.

 

 

 

One time he captured her mid-fall and he still thought she looked perfect.

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect—

 

 

She was truly perfect.

 

 

In her own y/n-way.

 

 

On one of his favorite days he managed to take a picture of her while she was laughing at something he had said.

 

 

“Show me!”

 

 

He turned his camera towards her and she cheered.

 

“You’re an amazing photographer Kookie!”

 

 

He smiled shyly.

 

 

“Thanks.”

 

 

But he knew that wasn’t it.

 

 

You’re just beautiful y/n—

 

 

 

He made that photo his screensaver, and a few days later when she noticed she teased him.

 

 

 

“You’re not in love with me, right?”  she spoke jokingly, mocking his words from many nights ago.

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Do I have to be? For you to be my screensaver?”

 

 

She pouted.

 

 

“I guess not—”

 

 

He smiled his bunny smile.

 

 

“Come here.”

 

 

He pulled her into him sideways and grabbed her phone from her hand.

 

 

“Hey!”

 

“One, two, three!”

 

 

He made the selfie he took of them her wallpaper.

 

 

He was smiling at her brightly, and she was smiling back— neither of them had faced the camera, but the picture had managed to capture the happiness they both felt.

 

 

It almost looked like they were both in love.

 

 

Almost.

 

 

“If you change it I’ll kill you.”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Fine— it’s a cute picture anyway.”

 

 

He never did change his screensaver— not for a long time.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The end of September, the month of October—

 

 

 

It was work at night with Taehyung, weekends with Taehyung— listening to him complain about not seeing her enough.

 

 

It was Jin waiting up until midnight so he could call and ask about her day— making her stay on the line until she got home safe.

 

 

It was mornings and evenings with Jungkook— they had hundreds of photos that had captured each day, each moment.

 

 

 

It was afternoons with Jimin.

 

 

 

It was everyday with Jimin.

 

 

 

Park Jimin.

 

 

 

He chased perfection too.

 

 

 

But he couldn’t be more different—

 

 

 

He was always told he was perfect—

 

 

Just like Jungkook.

 

 

 

The perfect dancer, the perfect life.

 

 

 

Handsome, beautiful, talented—

 

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

 

 

 

But he never saw it.

 

 

 

Never, never, never.

 

 

 

At first she thought he was just a little critical of himself— as most people are.

 

 

During the summer when they first met and would dance on the street it was almost always just light-hearted and fun—

 

 

Almost, almost—

 

 

There were times he would get frustrated with himself for reasons she didn’t understand then—

 

 

Because he didn’t do something right.

 

Because he missed a step.

 

 

“It’s no big deal Jimin-ah—”

 

 

He would laugh half-heartedly.

 

 

“It wouldn’t be if I didn’t always make mistakes.”

 

 

“Jimin—”

 

 

“I never do it right— this one step—”

 

 

Never—

 

 

He spoke with a smile then, and it almost made her think he had said it jokingly.

 

 

But she could hear it — the frustration and anger in every word.

 

 

The sadness.

 

 

During those days she didn’t know how to console him, so she would just take his hand and dance with him—

 

 

“Can you teach me how to do this move again?”

 

“Can we dance to that song again?”

 

 

He would always agree cheerfully, and they would dance to upbeat songs.

 

 

But she could see it— the doubt that never left his mind.

 

 

Back then she never saw the extent of it.

 

Back then there was no pressure to be perfect—

 

 

The only pressure was himself, but she was always there to save him from it.

 

 

 

Always, always—

 

 

 

But that was then.

 

 

 

Once fall classes had started he would practice relentlessly.

 

 

She would bring him lunch everyday, force him to eat—

 

 

“A few more minutes—”

 

“No."

 

 

She would grab his hand and make him sit on the floor with her.

 

 

“Let’s eat.”

 

 

Everyday— even on weekends when she didn’t have class.

 

 

She knew he would be there, so she would go before meeting up with Taehyung.

 

 

Everyday.

 

 

He would eat and they would talk.

 

 

He would dance and she would watch.

 

 

She would shower him with praise— when he did well, when he messed up.

 

 

She never stopped.

 

 

Never stopped trying to get rid of his doubts.

 

 

Never stopped trying to make him have faith.

 

 

Never, never, never—

 

 

There were days that he was cheerful—

 

 

Smiling, laughing, just like before.

 

 

But mostly he wasn’t—

 

 

Quiet, frustrated, angry.

 

 

She would always make him stop when she came— knowing he wouldn’t otherwise.

 

 

He would dance until he couldn't if she didn't intervene. 

 

 

“You’re perfect Jimin-ah.”

 

 

She would say it when he was angry with himself, hugging him from behind to stop him from dancing.

 

 

“You’ve done it right a million times now—”

 

 

He would never respond, but he would always listen— breathing heavily, trying to believe her.

 

 

“Come rest with me—”

 

 

Her words were always gentle as she took his hand—

 

 

Trying to make him understand.

 

Trying to save him from himself.

 

 

It was on his birthday that things changed, though.

 

 

 

She came like always—

 

 

 

“Jimin-ah, come here.”

 

 

He stopped dancing, turning to see her—

 

 

She was holding a small pastry bag.

 

 

“I made this— I couldn’t really afford anything else but—”

 

 

She handed him the pastry, moving to take something else out of her backpack.

 

 

He stood there—

 

 

Wanting to say thank you.

 

 

Wanting to cry.

 

 

“I forgot it was today.”

 

 

She smiled sadly, showing him what she had pulled out of her bag—

 

 

“One hundred candles— we can light one each year, and if you live longer than that we can buy more!”

 

 

She smiled brightly.

 

 

He didn’t say anything, so she continued.

 

 

“You only need one to make a wish, and every year after you make your wish I’ll remind you of all the reasons you should love yourself.”

 

 

He stared at the candles while she opened them.

 

 

“I could have a million and I’d never run out of things to say—”

 

 

He pulled her into him.

 

 

Trying his best to not let go of the small pastry she had made.

 

 

He whispered softly, his heart fraile and his body weak.

 

 

“Can we dance?”

 

 

She paused before smiling, nodding—

 

 

They hadn’t danced together for fun in a long time.

 

 

But he held her there— she had misunderstood.

 

 

 

He held her there, swaying back and forth— his forehead on hers—

 

 

 

It was a good thing the pastry was in a bag, because he had dropped it to pull her closer.

 

 

A slow dance.

 

 

She smiled and reached up to wrap her arms around his neck, putting the candles in her jacket pocket.

 

 

At first she looked down but he used his hand to make her gently meet his gaze.

 

 

 

Perfect—

 

 

 

She’s perfect.

 

 

 

He kept his forehead on hers and they moved slowly across the room.

 

 

She started humming a slow melody and he felt his heart ache.

 

 

It was the first time he had ever danced without music, the first time he had ever danced without focusing on being perfect himself—

 

 

 

All he could do was focus on her.

 

 

 

Her humming was the most beautiful song he had ever danced to.

 

 

In her arms he didn’t feel doubt.

 

In her arms he wasn’t afraid.

 

 

They stayed that way for a long time—

 

 

 

Time neither of them would ever forget.

 

 

 

And when they finally let go, when he lit the first candle of many, she kept her promise—

 

 

 

She told him all the reasons he was perfect.

 

 

 

He had never believed others when they spoke those words.

 

 

 

Perfect—

 

 

 

But when they came from her they couldn’t be anything but true.

 

 

 

She looked into his eyes like no one else ever had, holding a different kind of sincerity—

 

 

She spoke softly and with so much tenderness it made his chest tighten and his eyes water.

 

 

“You’re beautiful Jimin. I’ll never stop telling you so.”

 

 

She gripped his hand and smiled.

 

 

 

“Never, never, never.”

 

 

That year he wished she would never leave his side.

 

 

Everyday—

 

 

 

I want to be with her everyday.

 

 

 

From sunrise to sunset—

 

 

 

 

Everyday for a hundred years.

 

 

 

 

After that day it became a habit.

 

 

 

 

She would come in and he would be dancing, like always—

 

 

But 'always' was different now.

 

 

He would stop the music when she came, and they would eat like always.

 

 

But before she left he would always ask.

 

 

Always—

 

 

“Can we dance?”

 

 

And they would.

 

 

The sound of her gentle humming was all he needed to let his worries and doubts fade away.

 

 

It made him let go of never, never, never—

 

 

The word was different now.

 

 

It was doubt before.

 

 

But now it was something he held close, close—

 

 

She would never leave his side.

 

 

She would never stop reminding him.

 

 

"You're perfect Jimin-ah."

 

 

It made him believe that maybe he could do things right.

 

 

It made him believe in himself.

 

 

Sometimes when he got out of practice at one or two in the morning and he started to get thoughts of the old never, never, never he would go to her—

 

 

Knock on her door knowing she would answer.

 

 

Knock on her door hoping she was awake.

 

 

“Jimin?”

 

 

She always was.

 

 

“I know I said I wouldn’t stay out all night practicing but I—”

 

 

She would hug him and pull him inside before he could finish.

 

 

“It’s okay." 

 

 

She would whisper softly—

 

 

“My neighbors don’t like me anyways—”

 

 

She smiled, with hints of sadness he could barely see.

 

 

"I was awake anyways."

 

 

She wrapped her arms around his neck instinctively, knowing why he was there.

 

 

But he stopped her—

 

 

"Is everything okay y/n?"

 

 

She nodded but his eyes stayed worried, so she pulled him close, whispered in his ear sleepily.

 

 

"I'm okay now that you're here."

 

 

He felt himself smile, and his hands went gently to her hips where they belonged.

 

 

After dancing for a few minutes he heard himself ask—

 

 

“What song do you always hum? When we dance?”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“I’ll show you—”

 

 

She took her phone and put a headphone in his ear, put one in her own.

 

The music started, and they danced to its soft melody until he felt her start dozing off.

 

 

"You should sleep—"

 

 

 

He spoke gently just like she always did, taking her hand and leading her to her bed that was only a few steps away.

 

 

 

And when he laid her down in bed she couldn't help it—

 

 

 

 

She grabbed his hand before he could go.

 

 

 

 

“Stay.”

 

 

 

 

He froze.

 

 

 

“I haven’t been sleeping well." 

 

 

 

She was telling herself not to.

 

 

 

"I think, maybe I need someone—”

 

 

 

But she couldn't stop— she really did need someone.

 

 

 

Someone who isn’t in love with me.

 

 

 

Someone who can just be here—

 

 

 

Someone like you.

 

 

 

“Please stay Jimin-ah—” 

 

 

 

His heart raced as she pulled him into bed.

 

 

 

"Please?"

 

 

 

He wrapped his arms around her and she nuzzled into him, more asleep than awake.

 

 

 

He couldn't refuse.

 

 

 

"Let's rest." 

 

 

 

He whispered in her ear those words she had said to him many times before—

 

 

 

As he held her tight and breathed her in her couldn’t help but think.

 

 

 

Everyday.

 

 

 

He pulled her closer, held her tighter, as he made his prayer—

 

 

 

Please—

 

 

 

Her gentle breathing lulled him to sleep, his mind on one thing.

 

 

 

 

I never want to live a day without her—

 

 

 

 

Never, never, never.

 

 

 


 

 

 

She tried to not make a habit out of it— after all, she hadn’t meant to ask him to stay.

 

 

She was just so tired.

 

 

 

Tired of trying to constantly keep him out of her mind.

 

 

 

 

Him.

 

And him.

 

And him.

 

 

But once she let Jimin in she started needing it.

 

 

 

Just like before—

 

 

 

But he wasn’t him.

 

 

Park Jimin was the sweetest boy alive.

 

 

And they were just friends.

 

 

Just friends, she always told herself—

 

 

 

It's not like he stayed every night, anyways.

 

 

 

Just every once in a while.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

One night he saw her wallpaper and it was the first time he ever felt hurt by her.

 

 

 

That picture—

 

 

 

The way Jungkook was looking at her—

 

 

The way she looked at him.

 

 

 

“Do you know Jungkook?”

 

 

 

She paused looking up at him.

 

His serious tone had caught her off guard, but she smiled brightly and nodded once she recomposed herself—

 

“Yeah! We’re really close friends! Do you know Kookie too?”

 

He nodded slowly.

 

“He’s one of my roomates— the ones I told you about.”

 

“Really? Wow! I meet him for coffee every morning, do you want to come?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“I have practice—”

 

“Aw, well maybe we could all hang out some other time—”

 

He shook his head, smiling once he realized it probably didn’t mean anything.

 

 

They’re just friends.

 

 

If she was his he would have bragged about it by now—

 

 

He didn’t realize she was too important to Jungkook to brag about.

 

 

“I see enough of him at home y/n— and I like my time with you too much.”

 

 

He pulled her in, tickling her sides— her laugh making his heart happy again.

 

 

 

“Just y ou.”

 

 

 

I’m an idiot, he thought.

 

 

 

 

 

She would never hurt me.

 

 


 

 

  

“Jungkookie! You’ll never believe it! I know Jimin-ah! He’s my friend too!”

 

 

Jungkook almost choked on his coffee.

 

 

“With hyung?”

 

She nodded.

 

“We should all hang out sometime!”

 

He shook his head.

 

“No, I mean— when do you normally hang out with him?”

 

“Everyday!”

 

He choked that time.

 

“Everyday? Like actually?”

 

 

He didn’t even see her everyday — well, not on the weekends.

 

 

“Yeah! Well just for a short time though—”

 

 

Oh.

 

 

He smiled.

 

 

She had scared him

 

 

They were probably just friends.

 

 

“Good, as long as I spend more time with you—”

 

She laughed.

 

“What am I? A competition?”

 

He nodded and pulled her towards him playfully.

 

“Yup! And I’m winning— like always!”

 

She punched his side and tried to escape his hug.

 

“You cocky little shit—

 

Neither of them were scared for one reason, and one reason alone—

 

 

They didn’t fear losing her—

 

 

“She’ll always be there."

 

 

Always, always, always.

 

 

They didn’t fear the each other.

 

 

“She’ll never leave.”

 

 

Never, never, never.

 

 




She had assured them both that they were perfect, after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

  

November was guilt.

 

 

 

November 1 2018

 

 

00:57

 

 

 

1 voicemail: Jin-ah

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

He spoke softly, sweetly.

 

 

“I learned how to cook a new meal today!”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

"I burned it a few times but now it’s perfect—"

 

 

It always made her feel the same way, always

 

 

“I want you to try it.”

 

 

Jin deserves better.

 

 

“I’ll be waiting for you"

 

 

I don’t deserve it

 

 

“See you then love."

 

 

I don’t deserve him.

 

 

Jin’s words rung in her head as she walked up the steps towards that tiny room where she had so recklessly let so many in.

 

 

Park Jimin.

 

Kim Taehyung.

 

Jeon Jungkook.

 

 

 

Jin deserves better.

 

 

 

When she finally got there she saw the boy she had invited into her bed— the one who she felt getting closer every night he came.

 

 

Closer closer closer—

 

 

“Jimin-ah, how long were you waiting?”

 

 

He got up from the floor and smiled.

 

 

“Not long—”

 

 

He picked up his things while she opened the door.

 

 

“I came straight after practice—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“And when was that?”

 

 

They went inside the tiny room he had grown to love.

 

 

The tiny room so many had.

 

 

He put his things down shrugging his shoulders.

 

“I’m not sure.”

 

She frowned.

 

“Don’t your roomates say anything Jimin-ah?”

 

 

She was trying to find the right words.

 

 

“Not really—”

 

 

Trying to tell him he shouldn’t come anymore.

 

 

“I’m sure they notice Ji—”

 

 

Trying to tell him he couldn’t come anymore.

 

 

He pulled her into him before she could finish, like he always did when he wanted to dance.

 

 

Smiling sweetly, holding her gently—

 

 

“Who cares?”

 

 

She tried to smile back— wishing she could tell him to go .

 

 

 

It was all too much like then.

 

 

 

“Jimin-ah, you should really—

 

 

 

Too much like Yoongi.

 

 

 

He pulled away and looked into her eyes, whispering softly, sadly.

 

 

“Do you really want me to go?”

 

 

She hesitated. 

 

 

He was scared.

 

 

It was in his eyes— in the way he gripped her a little tighter.

 

 

Scared she might say yes.

 

 

Scared of letting go.

 

 

Jimin was frail— easily broken.

 

 

She didn't want to break something she had tried so hard to fix.

 

 

“No I’m sorry Jimin—”

 

 

She felt guilty.

 

 

Guilty for being the reason he was afraid.

 

 

“I just thought you’d be missed at home—”

 

 

Guilty knowing it was becoming more than just friends sleeping with every night that passed.

 

 

He put his forehead on hers, searching for a lie.

 

 

“Really? Are you sure?”

 

 

She nodded and tried to smile reassuringly.

 

 

Guilty knowing Jin was waiting for her call while she slept in Jimin's arms.

 

 

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

 

 

He smiled brightly pulling her into his chest and falling onto the bed.

 

“Even if I was missed at home—”

 

 

He gripped her tightly and whispered into her neck.

 

 

“I can only sleep when I’m with you now.”

 

 

She felt like crying.

 

 

 

What Yoongi had done to her— she had done to him.

 

 

 

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

 

 

 

She nuzzled into his chest, trying to silence the thoughts in her head.

 

 

 

“I’m sorry."

 

 

 

7:00

 

 

 

November was the same— but different.

 

Jungkook before class in the morning was the same—

 

“Hey Kookie?”

 

He looked up from his cup of coffee and smiled.

 

“Yes dear?”

 

She scoffed.

 

“I start work earlier today so we can’t hang out after class.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Just don’t go.”

 

She laughed and rolled her eyes.

 

“You know I can’t—”

 

“Can I take you then?”

 

She paused.

 

“Walking? It’s kind of far—”

 

He smiled and reached for her hand, taking it gently in his and holding it firmly.

 

“I don’t mind.”

 

She nodded, taking her hand back to finish her drink.

 

It’s just Jungkook—

 

 

That was getting harder to believe lately.

 

 

 

The same but different.

 

 

 

 

11:24

 

 

 

 

Jimin everyday was the same, except

 

 

“Y/n!”

 

 

She had just walked in with lunch and he stopped the music like always—

 

 

Pulling her in like always, pinching her cheek.

 

 

“I have a surprise—”

 

 

She smiled and pinched his cheek back, he laughed.

 

 

“What is it?”

 

 

“I have a recital the first day of December, we were told by the dance department this morning—”

 

 

She pulled away with a frown.

 

 

“You only have a month? Is that enough time?”

 

 

He smiled and nodded.

 

 

“I’m really excited! I get to do a dance duet!”

 

 

She smiled back.

 

 

“I know you’ll be amazing Jimin-ah!”

 

 

He tackled her into another hug and spoke into her neck while she laughed.

 

 

“You’ll come right?”

 

 

“Of course Jimin— but let go!”

 

 

They laughed while she tried to break free from his grasp.

 

 

“Jiminie let go!”

 

 

He only held her tighter.

 

 

“Not unless—”

 

 

“Jimin.”

 

 

They both looked up.

 

A familiar face—

 

“Hyung! This is my friend I told you about! Her name is—”

 

“We’ve met.”

 

Why was he glaring?

 

“You’ve met?”

 

Hoseok nodded.

 

“We were rained in together earlier this year.”

 

She frowned.

 

Why was he lying?

 

Jimin turned towards her.

 

“You were?”

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

“Yeah—”

 

Hoseok interrupted before she could continue.

 

“Aren’t we starting practice today?”

 

Jimin was startled by how annoyed he sounded.

 

 

Hoseok was never annoyed.

 

 

He was only ever happy.

 

 

“Yeah, we are—”

 

 

“Then what is she doing here?”

 

 

She held Hoseok’s gaze— wanting to say something, not being able to.

 

 

Hoseok who had insisted on their friendship after that rainy day in April—

 

 

Hoseok who waited outside the flower shop with one or two in his hands every morning.

 

 

 

“White carnations?”

 

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“I’ll send you some when you go back home—” he would always say as he smiled and handed her the white flowers, “if that's okay?”

 

 

She had nodded and smiled back happily.

 

 

“I’ll be waiting!”

 

 

 

He never did, though.

 

 

 

Hoseok who had called every morning for a few weeks after she left.

 

 

“Hobi?”

 

“Good morning!”

 

 

She could see his smile when she heard his cheerful voice— he always spoke sweetly, happily.

 

 

“I just wanted to talk a little before work—”

 

 

He would laugh shyly.

 

 

“If that’s okay?”

 

 

He always asked if it was okay, even though she would always laugh and agree.

 

 

“You shouldn’t walk while you’re on the phone Hobi— it’s dangerous.”

 

“Aren’t you walking to school?”

 

“Well you called.”

 

 

Then they would talk like they had when she was still there—

 

About little things and big things and everything in between.

 

 

One day he just stopped calling.

 

 

 

It must have been her fault—

 

 

 

It had to have been.

 

 

Why else would he be looking at her the way he was now?

 

 

 

“I’ll see you later Jimin—”

 

 

Jimin frowned.

 

 

“No y/n— you’re not going.”

 

 

He grabbed her hand before she could go and held it defensively.

 

 

“Y/n is going to bring us lunch everyday and help us by taking videos while we dance—”

 

 

Hoseok scoffed.

 

 

“We don’t need—”

 

 

“Hyung, I wasn’t asking.

 

 

They were both silent, neither of them wanting to give in.

 

 

“It’s important to me hyung—"

 

 

At this Hoseok sighed.

 

 

“As long as she doesn’t get in the way, I guess.”

 

 

She felt like crying.

 

 

She wanted to leave but Jimin held her in place— Hoseok left to go get dressed and Jimin turned to her.

 

 

“I’m sorry,"  he put his forehead on hers, “he normally isn’t like that— I’ll talk to him about it later.

 

 

She put her arms around his neck— the dancing position bringing them both comfort.

 

 

“I don’t have to stay Jimin-ah—”

 

 

He shook his head and whispered softly.

 

 

“You do, y/n.”

 

 

He held her tightly until Hoseok returned, whispering about how he needed her to be there.

 

 

 

You do

 

 

 

And she did.

 

 

 

 

The same but different.

 

 

 


 

 

 

19:40

 

 

After class Jungkook walked her to work just like he said he would.

 

 

Taking pictures of her as they walked through the busy city of Seoul.

 

 

“Smile!”

 

“I’m going to be late Kookie—”

 

“Just one more—”

 

“Yah!”

 

 

 

When they finally made it Jungkook stopped walking and frowned.

 

 

 

“Wait, here? You work here?

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

She went to go in but he grabbed her hand to hold her in place.

 

“My hyung works here—”

 

She paused.

 

“Kim Taehyung?”

 

He nodded and tried to look for a hint of something else there.

 

 

Does she know him well?

 

Are they friends?

 

Are they more?

 

 

No.

 

 

He was perfect to her

 

 

“It’s his shift right now! Come in and say hi—”

 

 

She had told him so perfect, perfect, perfect.

 

 

“Tae!”

 

 

Taehyung stopped pretending to work, happy that she was finally there.

 

 

So why—

 

 

“You’re late jagi! I was—”

 

 

Jagi?

 

 

Jungkook felt his heart sting.

 

 

It sounded so natural coming from his lips— and she accepted the nickname happily.

 

 

It stung even more when she let go of his hand to wrap her arms around Taehyung and mess with his hair.

 

 

“You weren’t actually working were you?”

 

 

They stared at each other and she looked like she belonged there.

 

 

In his arms, looking at him sweetly.

 

 

But she had been in his just a few minutes before—

 

 

She turned back to Jungkook and smiled.

 

 

“Jungkook said you were friends? He’s my friend too— we have class together!”

 

 

We have class together.

 

 

That stung the most.

 

 

Was that it? What about the coffee shop? And the late night talks? What about always, always, always?

 

 

Taehyung smiled.

 

 

“Yeah we are.”

 

 

“You must know Jiminie too! Can we all hang out some time? It’d be so much fun!”

 

 

Taehyung nodded.

 

 

“We should! Let’s talk about it later—”

 

 

He motioned her to the back room.

 

 

“You should go get dressed jagi!”

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“Bye Kookie! I’ll see you tomorrow!”

 

 

The door closed and Jungkook laughed.

 

 

Why—

 

 

“Hyung, are you and y/n—”

 

 

He couldn’t say it.

 

 

Taehyung saw the sadness in his brother’s eyes and it broke his heart.

 

 

He couldn’t lie to him.

 

 

“We’re just good friends Jungkookie—”

 

 

He only wished they were more.

 

 

Taehyung paused and met his younger brother’s gaze, and they just stared at each other for a while.

 

 

It was just as hard for him to ask the same question— he was scared.

 

 

Scared of the possibility that maybe it had just been him the whole time—

 

 

Him, him, him.

 

 

Wanting to be closer.

 

 

Wanting to be more.

 

 

Falling in love.

 

 

“Are you Kookie? You and —"

 

 

Jungkook hesitated.

 

 

Maybe he needed her more.

 

 

Maybe he was just more selfish.

 

 

Maybe it was the way Taehyung had looked at her— the way she had looked at him.

 

 

But he looked into his brother’s eyes—

 

 

“Yes—”

 

 

And lied.

 

 

“We are.”




Taehyung broke.

 

 

“Oh.”

 

 

He felt like crying.

 

 

Why hadn’t she said anything?

 

 

No— he felt like sobbing.

 

 

Was it just him this whole time?

 

 

But he smiled at his friend—

 

 

Just him?

 

 

And told him he was happy for them.

 

 

 


 

 



The month of November was cold.

 

 

 

Because of Jin.

 

 

17 voicemails: Jin-ah

 

“Y/n!”


He was talking in his scolding voice— the one she knew so well.

 

“You spoiled brat—”

 

She could hear him sigh.

 

“I worry you know—

 

Of course he does, she smiled sadly.

 

"I'll be here when you're ready."

 

Jin deserves—

 

"I'll be here."

 

 

  

Because of Hoseok.

 

 

 

 

Everyday— she saw him everyday.

 

 

And everyday his words grew harsher and harsher.

 

 

His hatred stronger and stronger.

 

 

But despite his glaring and constant annoyance at everything she did she never stopped going.

 

 

She went for Jimin.

 

 

Jimin who needed her to feel safe, confident, reassured—

 

 

Jimin who needed her more than she needed him.

 

 

She went for Jimin, but his words still hurt.

 

 

“If we’re in the middle of a routine wait outside I don’t care what Jimin said, wait outside.”

 

 


They hurt more—

 

 

“We can’t eat this crap start bringing us better things to eat or don’t bring anything at all.”

 

 


And more—

 

 

“Seriously? Don’t move the camera so much—”

 

“You didn’t move the camera enough. How are we supposed to see what we did wrong?

 

 


And more—

 

 

“Why are you like this? Do it right for once.”

 

 

I’m sorry was all she could ever say.

 

 

I’m sorry.

 

 

She might have been angrier if she didn’t feel like it was her fault—

 

 

The Hoseok she knew, the one she met in spring that was always smiling— he wasn’t like this.

 

 

 

Something had changed.

 

 

 

It had to have been her fault— he still acted normally whenever Jimin was around.

 

 

 

Smiling, happy, playful.

 

 

 

It was always just around her—

 

 

 

“Why can’t you do anything right?”

 

 

“I’m sorry Hoseok—”

 

 

 

I’m sorry.

 

 

 

Everytime she apologized he hated her more.

 

 

He hated her for being so kind.

 

 

He hated her for being so hard to hate.

 

 

 

Because of Taehyung.

 

 

 

She would come in like always, smiling brightly and greeting him cheerfully— wrapping her arms around him and tickling his sides or hitting him playfully.

 

“Did you miss me Taehyungie?”

 

 

"Were you actually working or just waiting for me?”

 

 

But she only ever got back a hey— some days he wouldn’t even respond.

 

 

“I’m busy y/n.”

 

 

That was always his response when she tried to be playful like before— when she tried to make him happy, make him smile, see his laugh.

 

 

When she asked where they were going next weekend or what he wanted to do until his shift ended—

 

 

I’m busy y/n—

 

I’m busy.

 

 

Maybe she really hadn’t spent enough time with him—

 

 

Had she missed something?

 

 

“You never call me jagi anymore—”

 

 

“Why would I?”

 

 

 

Had he needed her when she wasn’t there?

 

 

 

“Is everything okay Taehyung?”

 

 

“Everything’s fine.”

 

 

 

Had she pushed him away too much?

 

 

 

“Are you sure?”

 

 

“I’m fine y/n.”

 

 

 

It was all her fault.

 

 

 

“I’m sorry Tae—”

 



I'm sorry.

 

 

 


 

 

 

It was a few weeks into November when she finally broke.

 

 

Maybe it was because Hoseok yelled at her more than usual.

 

 

Maybe it was because Taehyung had started to completely ignore her—

 

 

 

But she was tired of feeling guilty.

 

 

 

“Taehyung how was your weekend?”

 

 

He was silent and continued to stack and re-stack.

 

 

Tired of feeling sorry.

 

 

“Taehyung did you hear me?”

 

 

Stack and re-stack.

 

 

She started crying, and at this he turned around quickly.

 

 

 

Tired of feeling cold.

 

 

 

“Why do you hate me?”

 

 

She was sobbing.

 

 

“What did I do? If I hurt you I didn’t mean to—”

 

 

He pulled her into a hug and held her while she cried.

 

 

She cried for a long time.

 

 

Cried because she missed the boy who was holding her in his arms but felt so far away.

 

 

“I’m sorry y/n —"

 

 

Cried because she missed the old man who still called her everyday, the one she didn’t deserve.

 

 

“Please don’t cry—”

 

 

Cried because she felt hated, and guilty, and cold.

 

 

“I don’t hate you I could never hate you.”

 

 

He looked into her eyes and he felt his heart breaking.

 

 

He’d never meant to hurt her.

 

 

“I was just being selfish—”

 

 

She couldn’t stop crying, and he held her close.

 

 

He had missed the feeling.

 

 

It hurt to hold her close— knowing she wasn’t his.

 

 

But it had hurt even more to push her away— to not have her at all.

 

 

“I’m so sorry y/n you’ll never cry because of me again.

 

 

She looked up at him, sad and heartbroken.

 

 

“I promise.

 

 

He brushed the tears running down her face, wanting to kiss them away— to kiss her.

 

 

To show her how much he loved her.

 

 

 

How sorry he was.

 

 

 

But she wasn’t his.

 

 

 

“Do you forgive me?”

 

 

She nodded and pressed closer to him.

 

 

They had both missed the feeling— their touches had always been playful before, sweet and innocent.

 

 

 

But this—

 

 

 

They held each other and it was like they never had before, it was intimate—

 

 

Intimate, and terrifying, and both of them held onto each other desperately afraid of letting go.

 

 

Trying to erase the void he had built between them.

 

 


Trying to forget—

 

 

She wasn’t his, she wasn’t his, she wasn’t—

 

 

He spent the rest of the night reassuring her that he could never hate her.

 

 

Reassuring her of how much he loved her.

 

 

Closing the smallest of spaces between their hurting souls that had longed for each other.

 

 

Closer closer closer.

 

 

They spent the rest of the night holding each other, finding comfort in closer closer closer.

 

 

 

 

The next day she finally confronted Hoseok.

 

 

 

Making up with Taehyung had given her the strength to—

 

 

"No one could ever hate you y/n. You're impossible to hate."

 

 

She held those words close when she asked—

 

 

Asked what had changed— why he had stopped calling.

 

 

 

Why he always glared.

 

 

 

“If I did something to offend you, or hurt you— I really am sorry Hoseok. I never meant to—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

She was so hard to hate.

 

 

“You—”

 

 

He sighed, meeting her gaze and for once—

 

 

“When Jimin doesn’t come home at night—”

 

 

Just once—

 

 

“he’s with you isn’t he?”

 

 

He didn’t look angry or annoyed.

 

 

He stepped closer, closing the distance between them.

 

 

He looked sad.

 

 

“I—”

 

 

She was so close to him— so close that he had almost forgotten.

 

 

Forgotten that he hated her.

 

 

He wanted to tell her that he was sorry, that having her around was killing him.

 

That everytime his words made her upset— every time he could see how much pain she was in because of him

 

 

 

It was killing him.

 

 

 

But seeing her with Jimin— the way they would laugh and mess around, the way they smiled at each other—

 

 

 

It was killing him the fastest.

 

 

 

But she had met Yoongi first—

 

 

 

She had met Yoongi first so she could never be his.

 

 

She could never be his— so he lashed out at her every chance he got.

 

 

He hated her for being so hard to hate.

 

 

But he hated her even more for being so easy to love.

 

 

Yoongi still cried when he thought no one was listening, or when he got too drunk to care.

 

Jimin loved her more than he loved himself— anyone could see it.

 

 

And Hoseok—

 

 

 

He had loved her since he saw her under that April sky, with droplets of rain kissing her face.

 

 

Love at first sight— like he had with many girls before.

 

 

 

Except—

 

 

 

He reached up and caressed her cheek— wanting to hate her.

 

 

He hadn’t loved anyone since that rainy day.

 

 

He had only hated her.

 

 

Hated and loved the same girl for months.

 

 

 

“Hey! They didn’t have any—”

 

 

 

It was Jimin.

 

He stepped away from her and smiled toward his younger brother.

 

 

He hated her more, though— that's what he had to keep telling himself.

 

 

“It’s fine Jiminie, we can just drink water.”

 

 

Because of Yoongi, because of Jimin.

 

 

Jimin looked between the two of them, his mind racing.

 

 

“Alright—”

 

 

He spoke slowly, trying to hide the fear he felt.

 

 

“Let’s get back to practicing then.”

 



But he couldn't let it go.

 

 

He had seen the way Hoseok looked at her.

 

 

 

And for some reason he hated it more than when he glared at her.

 

 

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

She hummed.

 

They were lying in bed, like always—

 

 

“Have you and Hoseok—”

 

 

She looked up at him and he tried to find his words.

 

 

“Hoseok has a habit of— well have you ever— with Hoseok ?”

 

 

She shook her head, too sleepy to say anything.

 

 

He let out the breath he was holding— pulling her closer, holding her tighter.

 

 

“Good.”

 

 

After a while of silently listening to her soft breathing he pulled back to look into her eyes.

 

 

She was half-asleep and in a daze—

 

 

But what she saw scared her.

 

 

The way Jin looked at her.

 

 

The way Yoongi had.

 

 

 

It was love.

 

 

 

“You’re mine right?”

 

 

“I—”

 

At her hesitation he pulled away.

 

He sat up trying to ignore the growing pain in his chest.

 

 

“It is Hoseok isn’t it?”

 

 

She felt her chest tighten.

 

 

“No— it’s —”

 

 

She didn’t know anymore.

 

 

He started to cry.

 

 

Jimin was frail— so easily broken.

 

 

She had forgotten in her sleepy daze.

 

 

“I thought—”

 

 

He wasn’t wrong— but he wasn’t right either.

 

 

She loved him, but not as much as he loved her.

 

 

And it was her fault.

 

 

“I’m sorry —”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Don’t be.”

 

 

He pulled her close and he kissed her cheek gently. Staying there for a long time, breathing her in.

 

 

 

“As long as you’re here with me.”

 

 

 

She nodded and smiled sadly.

 

 

 

“I’m not going anywhere.”

 

 

 

He still needed her, after all.

 

 

And part of her still needed him.

 

 

She rubbed his back while they lied in bed— until he stopped crying.

 

 

She had almost fallen asleep when he spoke again.

 

 

 

“I’m never going to give up on you y/n.”

 

 

 

She met his gaze and he smiled sadly.

 

 

Even if she loved someone else, or didn’t love him yet

 

 

“I care alot about you Jimin-ah— I really do, I just—

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“It’s okay y/n.”

 

 

 

 

It’s okay— and it was.

 

 

 

 

"Never is a long time."

 

 


 

 

 

27 voicemails: Jin-ah

 

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

He spoke sadly.

 

“you must be busy—”

 

She could hear him laugh softly, trying to believe his own lie.

 

“I miss your voice"

 

She could hear his voice breaking.

 

“I miss you y/n.”

 

I miss you too, Jin-ah—

 

“Come and see me sometime, I could cook any meal you wantwhatever you want y/n.”

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

 

"I’ll be waiting."

 

 

 

 


 

 

It was a few days before the recital when she asked Taehyung if he would go with her.

 

 

“Jimin-ah gave me two tickets, so—”

 

 

“Don’t you want to go with Kookie?”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“I see Jungkookie everyday— don’t you want to spend time together?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

Even though they had made up he still kept his distance—

 

 

She wasn’t his, afterall.

 

 

“Shouldn’t you go with Kookie though? Since you’re together?”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Kookie and I aren’t together Taehyungie.”

 

 

He looked at her with confusion.

 

 

“But—”

 

“Do you want to go or not?”

 

 

Had Jungkook lied?

 

 

He didn’t care either way.

 

 

He was happy— the happiest he’d been in a long time.

 

 

Maybe, just maybe, it hadn’t been only him all along.

 

 

Maybe there was a them.

 

 

He nodded and hugged her from behind— it’d been a long time since he had.

 

 

“Of course I do jagi—” he nuzzled into her neck and she laughed.

 

 

“Okay Tae, okay—”

 

 

 

She smiled at the nickname—

 

 

 

It’d been a long time since she’d heard it.

 

 


 

 

  

It was also a few days before the recital when Hoseok asked her not to go.

 

 

“I just think that maybe— well there’s going to be more recitals in the future,” he looked at her pleadingly “so please, just don't—”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“Hoseok, I know you don’t like me but Jimin worked really hard for this—”

 

 

He shook his head, and looked into her eyes.

 

 

Trying to make her understand.

 

 

“You really shouldn’t— I’m not trying to hurt you y/n—”

 

 

She smiled sadly.

 

 

“It’s a little too late for that Hobi—”

 

 

She hadn’t called him that since he left— and it hurt.

 

 

It hurt to remember what they had.

 

 

It hurt to remember what they could have been.

 

 

“You know you were the first person I trusted after—”

 

 

She laughed, looking down in defeat.

 

 

It was too late.

 

 

“Don’t worry Hoseok, I’m not going for you— but I understand.”

 

 

Too late to fix things— too late to reason.

 

 

She stepped away from him.

 

 

“I guess we’ll never be friends again.”

 

 

And she left — leaving Hoseok behind with all the guilt he had bred in her for weeks.

 

 

Leaving Hoseok behind not knowing how much he hated her.

 

 

 



How much he loved her.

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 1 2018

 

 

 

The first day of December, the day of the recital.

 

 

 

She was determined to leave all the sadness of November behind.

 

 

 

No more feeling guilty, or sorry, or cold.

 

 

 

Taehyung came to her door with flowers, dressed in the nicest thing he could find.

 

 

He had asked his hyungs a million times if he looked okay before they finally sent him off.

 

 

"Bring her over sometime!"

 

He smiled shyly.

 

"I will Joon— I will."

 

She opened the door and gasped playfully.

 

"You look like a model Taehyungie!"

 

He smiled, looking down, before he could respond she continued—

 

“Those are beautiful Tae! Are they for Jimin?”

 

He met her gaze and shook his head.

 

 

“They’re for you, y/n.”

 

 

He had spent November pushing her away, and then desperately trying to pull her back in— December would be different.

 

 

“They’re lilies— for new things to come!”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Thank you, Kim Taehyung.”

 

 

He handed them to her and she smiled.

 

 

“Come in! I need to finish getting ready.”

 

 

The room was tiny, but it had a separate bathroom.

 

 

She went in and out with different dresses on.

 

 

 

“This one?”

 

“How about this one?”

 

“What do you think?”

 

 

 

He smiled standing up and pulling her towards him after the fifth one.

 

“You’re still beautiful jagi — just like the last one and the one before that.

 

 

Closer closer closer.

 

 

He took her hand intertwining their fingers.

 

 

Let’s go! We’re going to be late!”

 

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

 

It was a beautiful start to December.

 

 

Taehyung gave her his coat and they walked closely— arm in arm, hand in hand.

 

 

“I asked you if you had winter clothes months ago jagi—”  

 

 

“But your clothes are nicer!”

 

 

He pouted.

 

 

"As long as you let me hold you so I don't get cold."

 

 

They laughed.

 

 

She had missed him.

 

 

Missed his smile, missed his laugh.

 

 

She hadn’t realized how cold life could be if he wasn’t close enough.

 

 

The walk wasn’t far from her dorm, but they went slowly, wanting to remember the Christmas lights that were already up and the warm feeling in their hearts—

 

 

“Can we spend Christmas together jagi?”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“I thought you spent Christmas with your roomates?”

 

 

He smiled.

 

 

“We can all spend it together—”

 

 

He squeezed her hand that was in his pocket.

 

 

“As long as you’re there.”

 

 

She smiled and hummed.

 

 

“Maybe.”

 

 

He nudged her side, trying to walk slower— trying to keep this moment forever.

 

 

“Promise?”

 

 

She nudged him back, following his pace.

 

 

“Promise.”

 

 

When they finally arrived they went inside the crowded theater to their front row seats.

 

 

Pushing past the crowd, trying to not lose each other.

 

 

They stayed that way once they finally sat down— arm in arm, hand in hand.

 

 

At some point she tried to let go but he didn't budge.

 

 

“It’s cold in here, don’t you think jagi?” he had whispered as he held her hand tighter and pulled her a little closer.

 

“Not at all—”

 

Quiet jagi— you shouldn't talk while people are performing.”

 

 

She had nodded and smiled— holding in her laugh.

 

 

Letting him get closer.

 

 

Needing him to be.

 

 

When the show finally ended she went backstage to look for Jimin.

 

 

“I’ll meet you there y/n— I have to use the restroom—”

 

 

She nodded letting go of his hand.

 

 

When she finally found Jimin she tackled him into a hug—

 

 

“You were amazing!”

 

He smiled.

 

“Really?”

 

She nodded.

 

“Really.”

 

He put his forehead on hers, remembering her words from a few nights ago.

 

“I saw you with Tae,”

 

He smiled.

 

“I was happy when you cheered for me—”

 

He looked into her eyes with that something else there.

 

“But—”

 

 

 

He closed the gap between them, his mouth meeting hers gently, sweetly, briefly.

 

 

 

It was a quick and stolen kiss.

 

 

 

He just wanted Taehyung to see.

 

 

 

Taehyung who was across the room.

 

 

Taehyung who he had seen come in.

 

 

 

Taehyung who was watching.



 

 

 

 

But he wasn’t the only one.





 

 

“Shouldn’t you know better than to kiss a groupie?”







 

 

That’s

 

 

 

Jimin pulled away and they both turned towards the familiar voice.

 

Hoseok and Yoongi stared back at them.

 

 

Hoseok looked worried.

 

 

Yoongi looked—

 

 

"Hyung! This is—"

 

 

“I have to go —” was all she could manage as she pushed out of Jimin’s grasp.

 

 

“Y/n, wait—”

 

 

She heard Jimin calling out to her.

 

 

She heard Taehyung calling out to her too.

 

 

 

But she pushed past the crowds of people—

 

 

Not knowing where she was going.

 

 

Not knowing until she looked up and saw him.

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin.

 

 

 

She must’ve taken a cab to get to the restaurant—

 

 

Or maybe she had run— maybe that was the reason her lungs were burning, her chest was aching, and her heart was pounding.

 

 

 

I’ll be waiting.

 

 

 

His words rung in her head as she stepped into the kitchen.

 

 

He hadn’t seen her come in.

 

 

He must’ve been closing that night because there was no one else there.

 

 

“Jin?”

 

 

Her voice trembled.

 

 

She didn’t realize she had been crying until she heard herself call out to him.

 

 

When he heard her voice he lit up.

 

 

Aish, where the hell have you been—”

 

 

Before he could rant she wrapped her arms around his waist and held him close.

 

 

She couldn’t stop crying.

 

 

“I’m sorry—”

 

 

He pulled away and bent down to look at her directly.

 

 

“Why love?”

 

 

He used his apron to wipe her tears.

 

 

“Shh, hey it’s okay—”

 

 

He could always make her feel better.

 

 

He rubbed her back soothingly, held her close.

 

 

“It’s okay.”

 

 

When she met his kind and loving gaze she suddenly remembered the past month.

 

 

She had forgotten when she came, her mind had only told her that this was the only place she could go.

 

 

To feel safe.

 

To feel loved.

 

 

But now she was there, and he was holding her, and she didn’t fucking deserve it.

 

 

Not at all.

 

 

“I—”

 

 

Her throat ached as he rubbed her cheek gently.

 

 

“I was avoiding you—”

 

 

She looked down, the love in his eyes making her hate herself more and more.

 

 

“I was scared.”

 

 

He smiled sadly.

 

 

“It’s okay—”

 

 

“I don’t deserve you Jin I don’t.

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“Don’t say that y/n—”

 

 

She shook her head and pushed him away, crying harder than before.

 

 

“I don’t, I don’t, I—”

 

 

He grabbed her roughly and pulled her towards him, holding her in his chest— speaking barely above a whisper.

 

 

“Why—”

 

 

He held her tightly, trying to keep himself together.

 

 

“Why would you think that?”

 

 

He started to laugh, which turned into heavy breathing—

 

 

“I told you I’d always love you—"

 

 

Which turned into crying.

 

 

“So why—”

 

 

She tried to meet his gaze but couldn’t.

 

 

“You deserve better—”

 

 

“That’s crap y/n!”

 

 

He couldn’t stop himself from yelling.

 

 

She tried to step away from him, his voice startling her— but he held her in place.

 

 

“Jin I—”

 

“Don’t—”

 

 

He could barely speak but he was begging her to stay.

 

 

Begging with every breath he drew.

 

Begging with every tear he wept.

 

 

She could see it in his eyes.

 

 

He took her face in his hands, his voice had softened again.

 

 

“There isn’t better—”

 

 

He leaned into her, looking into her eyes and speaking with so much love it broke her.

 

 

“I don’t want anyone if it’s not you y/n—”

 

 

She cried harder but he only pulled her in closer.

 

 

“Please—”

 

 

He couldn’t stop crying either, but he tried to speak sternly.

 

 

“Don’t ever say that again. Don’t ever think it I don’t care what you think the reason is— I don’t care.”

 

 

At his words she wrapped her arms around him tightly, closing the space between them.

 

 

No matter how guilty she felt she couldn’t let him go.

 

No matter how much she thought she didn’t deserve it, she needed him.

 

 

“I love you

 

 

She pulled away slightly, trying to find her words.

 

 

“and I’m sor—”

 

 

He put his lips roughly against hers to silence the apology he didn’t want.

 

 

He kissed her trying to get rid of the fear he felt.

 

 

“I love you y/n—”

 

 

He kissed her trying to feel close again.

 

 

“Only you—”

 

 

He kissed her trying to show her that he was being honest.

 

 

 

“Forever.”

 

 

 

They stayed in each other’s arms for a long time before finally letting go.

 

 

 

“I have someone I want to tell you about— someone I saw today.”

 

 

He smiled kissing her gently, one last time before she could tell him no.

 

 

“I’ll make coffee, then—”

 

 

They sat at the same table from many nights ago, hanging on each other's words, consoling— drinking coffee.

 

 

It had even started to rain.

 

 

It's gentle pitter-patter bringing them closer.

 

 

 

 

Just like when they met.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She had wished November would end.

 

Anticipated December—

 

 

But there were worse things to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

intermission:

 


 

 

 

 

“Y/n wait—”

 

 




They both watched as she disappeared into the crowd—

 

 

Filling them both with anguish and anger.

 

 

They both wanted to chase her— they both knew it was too late.

 

 

Jimin went to go after her but Taehyung pushed him roughly before he could.

 

 

“You—  why the hell would you do that?”

 

 

Jimin felt a pain in his chest.

 

 

Taehyung looked just as scared and as he felt.

 

 

Scared and angry.

 

 

Scared of losing her— scared of losing each other.

 

 

Angry at each other— angry at themselves.

 

 

Jimin had gone too far.

 

 

Too far to prove a point that didn’t mean anything.

 

 

Too far, too far—

 

 

At Jimin’s silence Taehyung stepped forward again, with every intention of hitting him.

 

 

But Hoseok quickly moved in between them before he could—

 

 

Not wanting them to fight.

 

 

"Taehyung, don't—"

 

 

Wanting it to end.

 

 

“We're in public—”

 

 

But neither of them cared.

 

 

Jimin was partially sorry.

 

 

But the other part of him

 

 

“I did it because she’s mine, Tae—”

 

 

Taehyung laughed—

 

 

Making Jimin angrier.

 

 

Making Hoseok more afraid.

 

 

 

They were both so close—

 

 

 

So close to breaking, breaking, breaking.

 

 

 

Hoseok knew it.

 

 

They knew it too.

 

 

 

“Do you think anyone that spares you a glance is yours Jimin-ah? Is that it?”

 

 

Breaking—

 

 

Jimin pushed Hoseok out of the way— 

 

Hoseok who was trying to keep them from breaking all while falling apart himself.

 

 

“You really think that Tae? You think she cares more about you than me?”

 

 

Jimin laughed.

 

 

 

Breaking.

 

 

“Stop it, stop it—”

 

Hoseok was pleading— begging.

 

“Let’s go home Taehyungie— let’s go home

 

Taehyung ignored his brother's pleas—

 

 

Too angry to listen.

 

Too angry to care.

 

 

“I know she does Jimin, more than you or anyone else—”

 

 

Broken, broken—

 

 

They were both yelling.

 

 

Saying things they would regret— things they didn't mean.

 

 

They were both broken.

 

 

Because of each other—


Because of themselves.

 

 

Because of her.

 

 

In the end it didn’t matter— they knew their bickering was childish but neither of them could help it.

 

 

They wanted to hurt each other.

 

 

Because they both knew she wasn’t theirs, and it rang in their heads the more they looked at each other, the more they fought.

 

 

She wasn’t theirs, she wasn’t theirs, she wasn’t theirs, she wasn't—

 

 

And they both wanted somebody to blame.

 

 

“Where do you think I go every night Tae?”

 

Taehyung froze.

 

“Do you think I’m by myself?”

 

He started crying at the implication—

 

 

Broken, broken, broken.

 

 

Taehyung’s tears pulled Yoongi back to reality, away from all the terrible thoughts in his head.

 

 

Away from all the realizations.

 

 

Yoongi couldn’t breathe— he couldn’t breathe.

 

 

But his brothers were falling apart as Hoseok tried to keep them together.

 

He joined Hoseok in trying to keep them away from each other physically—

 

 

To keep them together emotionally.

 

 

They couldn't hate each other, if they did then—

 

 

The fear was enough to bring Yoongi to his senses, at least for a moment.

 

 

He grabbed Jimin's shirt and pushed him backwards.

 

 

Away from Taehyung.

 

Away from Hoseok.

 

 

“Don’t Jimin, we're—” 

 

 

 

We're family, remember?

 

 

 

But before Yoongi could finish Jimin continued—

 

 

Too hurt to stop himself.

 

 

Too hurt to care.

 

 

He was crying too now— 

 

 

Broken, broken, broken.

 

 

 

“She invited me into her bed weeks ago.”

 

 

 

Taehyung was doing his best to push out of Hoseok’s grasp— out of his grasp and onto Jimin.

 

 

"Do you still think you're her favorite Taehyungie?"

 

 

He wanted to hit him, hit him until he took it back—

 

 

“You’re lying

 

 

Hit him until the pain stopped.

 

 

Taehyung was sobbing as Hoseok pulled him away.

 

 

“You’re lying, you’re lying, you’re—”

 

 

Broken, shattered.

 



He just wanted it to stop.

 

 

Hoseok was trying to comfort him, all while pushing him towards the exit.

 

 

“Let’s go home Tae, let’s go home—”

 

 

When they were finally gone Jimin was left alone with Yoongi who wanted to disappear all together.

 

 

Yoongi laughed.

 

 

He couldn't breathe again—

 

 

Suffocating on the sound of Taehyung's sobbing and Jimin's yelling— 

 

 

“You shouldn’t have fucking done that.”

 

 

Jimin was still looking at the spot where Taehyung used to be— he couldn't stop crying.

 

 

Crying because he knew.

 

 

He knew and he wanted to take it all back.

 

 

“Hyung, I—”

 

 

Yoongi was furious.

 

 

“Why would you do that? Why would you fucking do that?" 

 

 

Furious because they had fought.

 

 

 

"Couldn’t you see how much pain he was in?

 

 

Furious because they both loved her.

 

 

"We're supposed to be family!"

 

 

Furious because he loved her too.

 

 

Yoongi was the one yelling now, and Jimin was trying to stop crying.

 

 

“Hyung I—"

 

 

Trying but failing.

 

 

“You would throw away everything for someone you could never have?”

 

 

Trying but falling.

 

 

 Jimin shook his head—

 

 

“I need her hyung—”

 

 

Yoongi scoffed— scoffed and laughed and felt himself going insane.

 

 

He couldn't breathe—

 

 

“From the looks of it she doesn’t need you.”

 

 

He was looking into Jimin's eyes— but he was telling himself.

 

 

What he had told himself for months.

 

 

What he had seen a few minutes ago when Jimin held her in his arms and kissed the mouth that was supposed to be his—

 

 

 

She doesn’t need you, she doesn’t need you, she doesn’t—

 

 

 

Yoongi started crying— crying until his body ached and he couldn’t feel anything anymore.

 

 

Crying because everything he had just told Jimin was true—

 

 

Because it was all a lie.

 

 

Jimin wrapped his arms around his older brother— thinking he knew the reason for his tears.

 

 

 

They were the only family he had.

 

 

 

"I'll talk to him tomorrow— he'll forgive me, he will. We can be a family again."

 

 

Yoongi only cried harder.

 

 

"I promise hyung—"

 

 

Yoongi was shaking.

 

 

“I’m sorry—”

 

 


Jimin continued to rub his back gently— both crying, both hurting.

 

 

Jimin thought he was apologizing for his harsh words earlier—

 

 

 

"It's okay—"

 

 

 

But he wasn't.

 

 

 

"It's okay hyung."

 

 

And it would never be okay.

 

 

"Tomorrow Taehyung won't be mad—"

 

 

He was sorry they all loved the same girl.

 

 

"And I won't be either."

 

 

Sorry it had to be her.

 



"We can be a family again."

 

 

It wasn't true, it wasn't true, it wasn't—

 

 

 

 

"We can be a family again."

 

 

 


 

 

 

When Hoseok and Taehyung finally came home Namjoon and Jungkook were both in the kitchen.

 

 

Namjoon saw them and smiled— not noticing the tears.

 

 

Not noticing the pain.

 

 

“How was it? Did you do well Hobi—”

 

Taehyung spoke in a daze before Namjoon could finish.

 

“That day—”  

 

He laughed, choking on his words.

 

 

“You lied to me that day.”

 

 

Jungkook looked up from his phone, towards his older brother who looked awful.

 

 

Broken.

 

 

“I—”

 

 

Taehyung was going to let it go, but that was before—

 

 

Before the happiness of the truth faded away.

 

 

Now all that was left was anger.

 

 

“You know I thought about lying to you too Jungkookie, but when I looked at you—”

 

He started breathing heavily, the pain in his throat getting worse and worse until it turned into crying.

 

Namjoon went towards him, trying to pull him into a hug, trying to comfort him—

 

 

But Taehyung pushed him away with such violence Hoseok had to catch him.

 

 

He didn’t want to be touched by anyone anymore.

 

 

The guilt Jungkook had been pushing away for weeks—

 

 

It all came back.

 

 

Taehyung spoke again, his words carrying so much anguish that he knew he’d never forget them—

 

 

“I looked at you and I loved you too much to hurt you Kookie— I couldn't lie.”

 

 

He’d never forget them

 

 

“I guess you didn’t feel the same.”

 

 

Never.

 

 

“Hyung please—”

 

 

Never.

 

 

Taehyung shook his head and turned his back to him.

 

 

Never.

 

 

“We’re not brothers anymore Jungkook.”

 

 

 

And he left.

 

 

 

Before Namjoon could intervene or Jungkook could respond— his door slammed shut and it echoed through their apartment.

 

 

That and the faint sound of his crying.

 

 

Hoseok left immediately after, towards his own room before Namjoon could ask questions—

 

 

Wanting to be alone.

 

 

Needing to be.

 

 

Namjoon turned to his younger brother after a few minutes of silence—

 

 

But all he saw was broken, broken, broken.

 

 

“I’m sure he didn’t mean it Kookie—”

 

 

He pulled Jungkook into a hug.

 

 

Trying to keep him together.

 

 

Trying to keep him from breaking.

 

 

But it was too late.

 

 

There were five broken people living under one roof now.

 

 

All broken for the same reason—

 

 

Wanting her.

 

 

“Don’t cry, it’s okay—”

 

 

Loving her.

 

 

“We can fix things tomorrow—”

 

 

Y/n.

 

 

He rubbed his back soothingly, like he had done so many times before—

 

 

 

For Jin.

 

 

For Yoongi.

 

 

For all of them—

 

 

 

 

 

For y/n.




 

 

 

“It’ll all be okay soon.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It wouldn't, though.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

The first few days of December were day and night—

 

 

 

 

 

December 2 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Day—

 

 

 

 

 

It was morning when they finally stopped talking.

 

 

Both sleepy, both wide awake.

 

 

He broke the silence by sighing loudly.

 

 

“Are you going to see him again?”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“I hope I don't—”

 

“That’s not what I asked y/n.”

 

 

His serious tone surprised her, making the pain in her chest worsen.

 

 

“Are you mad at me?”

 

 

He sighed getting up to sit next to her.

 

 

“No—”

 

 

He took her hands in his, motioning her to meet his gaze—

 

 

“I’m not mad at you— I’m just worried. If he really hurt you as much as you say he did then you shouldn’t let him come anywhere near you brat—”

 

 

“I know Jin-ah—”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“But what if I don’t have a choice? What if he’s just around all the time— if he's friends with my friends?”

 

 

Jin laughed.

 

 

“Who said you could have friends, brat? Are there really people who like you? Did I give you permission to—”

 

 

“I hate you old man—”

 

 

He pinched her cheek and they laughed together—

 

 

Until he frowned.

 

 

“Do you really think you’ll see him again?”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“Maybe—”

 

 

“Well if he does just yell 'I have a boyfriend named Kim Seokjin!'— just like that.”

 

 

She laughed at his imitation of her—

 

 

“I don’t sound like that.”

 

 

“Who has to listen to you, brat? You really think I wouldn’t know what my girlfriend sounds like?”

 

 

“You finally lost it?” 

 

 

She spoke with a laugh, squeezed his hand gently.

 

 

“I don’t even like you—”

 

 

He sighed as she pressed her lips against his forehead lightly, spoke there softly.

 

 

"I sort of hate you, really—"

 

 

He smiled, pulled her into a real kiss before she could finish.

 

 

Softer, sweeter than before.

 

 

She smiled, pulled away.

 

 

“You can’t keep doing that Jin-ah—”

 

“I know brat—”

 

 

He kept his forehead on hers and spoke half-jokingly.

 

 

“You did ignore me for a month, though. So you owe me at least one more—”

 

 

She laughed and shook her head.

 

 

“Not tonight—”

 

 

“On my birthday then, it’s on—”

 

 

“The fourth.”

 

 

He looked into her eyes and smiled.

 

 

“You do love me brat—”

 

 

She shrugged.

 

 

“I just listen to you sometimes.”

 

 

“Aish—”

 

 

“I’ll see you on the fourth then— now take me home old man! I have a shift later today—

 

 

He smiled brightly.

 

 

“Yes dear.”

 

 

“And Jin?”

 

 

He hummed and she squeezed his hand again—

 

 

 

“Thank you.”

 

 

 

 

 

Night.

 

 

 

 

 

“Taehyungie!”

 

 

She had argued with herself about whether or not she should explain why she ran off before walking into the tiny convenience store—

 

 

 

She decided against it.

 

 

 

So she came in like she always did— a loud greeting, a warm hug.

 

 

But something was off—

 

 

“Is everything okay Taehyungie?”

 

 

He was silent—

 

 

Not sure who he was angry with anymore; not sure if he could talk without having another breakdown.

 

 

“Taehyung— are you really ignoring me again?”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Look at me then—”

 

 

He turned around, but before he could say anything she pulled him into a hug.

 

 

“You know you can tell me anything right?”

 

 

Words she learned from Namjoon.

 

 

He nodded and returned the hug, staying that way for a long time before he finally spoke.

 

 

“You ran away last night—”

 

 

She sighed, hugging him tighter.

 

 

“Is that why you look so sad? I’m really sorry Tae—”

 

 

He shook his head again—

 

 

Starting to feel as broken, broken, broken as the night before—

 

 

“I got into a fight with Jimin after you left— and then Jungkook.”

 

 

Broken.

 

 

She pulled away to look at him directly.

 

 

“Why?”

 

 

He wasn’t crying, but she could see how close he was— and she couldn't tell if it was because he was frustrated or sad or both—

 

 

“Jimin said you were sleeping together— Jungkook said you were dating—”

 

 

Both, both—

 

 

“Taehyung, you’re fighting with your brothers because of me? What you have with them is special—”

 

 

“What about what we have, y/n?”

 

 

His voice broke as he whispered those words, but that wasn’t the only thing—

 

 

He finally started crying and he hated himself for it—

 

 

All he could do was cry, and cry, and cry as he felt his heart hurt more, more—

 

 

Broken, broken, br

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“I love you Taehyung

 

 

Her words made him shake his head, look away, but she reached towards him to brush each tear away. 

 

 

“But I just want all of you to be happy. You shouldn’t fight over a person— people don’t always stay, they come and go. But from what I’ve seen, the way you guys talk about each other, support each other—”

 

 

Her soft words matched her sad smile—

 

 

“That’s something you should be fighting for, not against. Bonds are forever—”

 

 

He held her gaze, a desperate feeling rising in his chest—

 

 

“Is ours? Our bond? Could it be forever y/n?”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“It could, but—”

 

 

He grabbed the hand she had on his face and moved closer—

 

 

“Then—”

 

 

Closer, closer, closer until his forehead was on hers.

 

 

“Can we try?

 

 

She sighed, shaking her head.

 

 

“I just want all of you to be happy—”

 

 

“Please—”

 

 

Closer—

 

 

“Please.”

 

 

His lips were soft, warm— and so much love was in that single kiss that it made her forget— even if just for a moment

 

 

Forget about everything, everyone.

 

 

Out of everyone that had told her they loved her, she had known Jin the longest— and she loved him for endless reasons.

 

 

But love isn’t about time— that’s what Namjoon had always said.

 

 

It’s about every moment spent, every feeling felt and every smile, laugh, and touch making the desire to stay by their side stronger, stronger—

 

 

 

It’s about missing the little things, the big things—

 

 

 

Loving the little things, the big things.

 

 

 

She had been told all of these things but what she felt was all of it and more—

 

 

 

More, more, more.

 

 

 

It was so much more and it was terrifying—

 

 

 

How could she love him and someone else?

 

 

And someone else.

 

 

And someone else.

 

 

Namjoon had taught her many things, but the one thing she wanted him to teach her the most— what she needed right then as Taehyung pressed closer into her— 

 

 

 

It was something she had never learned to do.

 

 

 

The kiss had deepened while she was lost in thought, and she was pressed against the counter when she finally had enough sense to push him away.

 

 

“Tae— we can’t—”

 

 

He was trying to catch his breath, refusing to let her go—

 

 

“But why? I love you too jagi, so why—”

 

 

“Because it’s not fair—”

 

 

“Who cares!”

 

 

He looked into her eyes, begging her to be selfish, his voice that had risen, defeated—

 

 

“Who cares—”

 

 

She leaned into his chest as he ran his fingers through her hair slowly, a tiredness washing over her body.

 

 

“Don’t you want to fix things with them Taehyungie? I thought they were family—”

 

 

“I do, they are—”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“All of you— I could never be with any of you.

 

 

In her mind, Kim Seokjin was the only one who wasn’t a part of the family she didn’t want to tear apart.

 

 

She finally managed to push out of his grasp.

 

 

“No—  y/n please—”

 

 

His voice trembled as he spoke, and his body was reaching out to her as much as his soul was.

 

 

 

“Make up with your brothers Kim Taehyung— that’s the most important thing to me, so please?”

 

 

He moved towards her, and she let him pull her close again.

 

 

Closer, close—

 

 

 

“Please?”

 

 

 

They spoke at the same time, wanting nothing more than to convince the other of their words.

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

“Let’s make a promise then—”

 

 

“A promise?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“Once our family isn’t broken anymore— once we’re stronger — can we try then?”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“Maybe— but—”

 

 

But maybe you should just let it go

 

 

Maybe, maybe.

 

 

Despite her doubts he pressed his lips to hers again, relishing in the feeling before he knew he had to pull away.

 

 

Taking in as much as he could, knowing it would be a while.

 

 

A while until they were strong again.

 

 

A while until they could be fine with losing her—

 

 

Jimin and Jungkook were almost as persistent as he was.

 

 

 

“Maybe is enough for me—”

 

 

He smiled brightly, spoke happily wiping the rest of his tears away.

 

 

“So promise jagi? Promise?”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“I promise, Taehyungie.”

 

 

 

 

 

I promise.

 

 

 

 

 

She wouldn't tear them apart— it was a promise she made to herself.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

The next day she scolded Jimin and Jungkook harshly.

 

 

 

“You made it sound like we were having sex, Jimin-ah?”

 

“You made it sound like we were dating, Jungkookie?”

 

 

Both lectures ended with her telling them to spend more time with each other, that and—

 

 

“Never lie again or you’ll go to hell—"

 

 

To which they both laughed, and she laughed too—

 

 

Despite still being angry she wanted them to fix their own problems, not worry about their relationship with her— so she let it go.

 

 

Partially.

 

 

Night was the same that day— the same but different.

 

 

Taehyung was happy.

 

 

Things were different for the better—

 

 

"Jimin and Kookie talked to me earlier— we're all still a upset but I feel alot better after we talked—"

 

 

But also for the worse.

 

 

"Jagi, come here, come here jagi—"

 

 

Every time he called to her, every time he put his arms around her playfully or said something sweet—

 

 

What she felt before was confusion— hesitation and fear.

 

 

But now she was certain.

 

 

It was more than liking or longing or friendship—

 

 

She just wanted to kiss him and not think about it too much.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

December 4 2018

 

 

 

 

Like day and night—

 

 

 

 

 

She spent the whole day with Jin— the whole day.

 

 

He called her at midnight and told her to come outside, which she refused to do. A few minutes after hanging up on him she was startled to death when Kim Seokjin himself suddenly picked her up from her bed and took her to his car.

 

 

“This is probably kidnapping—” 

 

 

Her sleepy whisper made him laugh, she sighed.

 

 

“What did you want to do again, Jin-ah?”

 

“Sleep—”

 

“What?”

 

“Just shut up, will you brat?”

 

He buckled her into the passenger seat, smiling at the sight.

 

“You’re so cute when you’re wrapped in a blanket like that—”

 

She frowned. 

 

“You sound like a serial killer—”

 

“Why do you have to ruin everything brat? I was being cute—

 

She only hummed in response, letting herself drift back to sleep.

 

“Aish.”

 

When she finally opened her eyes again Jin was parking.

 

“Where are we old man?”

 

“About two hours out of Seoul. I made a bed in the back of the car— well, I took the backseat out and brought pillows and blankets—”

 

She laughed.

 

“You drove two hours just to sleep in your car?”

 

“Just come on—”

 

He opened the back door and it suddenly made sense—

 

 

 

The view.

 

 

 

She took his hand and they climbed into the back-half of his car, he took her out of the blanket she was wrapped in and wrapped himself in it too— just like before.

 

 

“Is this fine?”

 

 

She smiled nodding.

 

 

“Always.”

 

 

He talked while moving around the pillows and blankets to be more comfortable—

 

 

“I wanted to see the sunrise with you — you can see most of Seoul from here. Here you can have this pillow— it’s the one I always use.”

 

 

She took it from his hands and brought it to her face.

 

“It’s soft—”

 

He nodded.

 

“I want it to smell like you so make sure to—”

 

“Weirdo.”

 

He laughed, pulling her towards him gently—

 

 

The cold December air making him long for her warmth.

 

 

They were silent for some time, relishing in each other’s warmth— getting closer, closer—

 

 

Cuddling with Jin was different than cuddling with Jimin.

 

 

Different than cuddling with Yoongi.

 

 

When she was in Jimin’s arms— when he held her — it always felt like she was holding him.

 

 

 

Jimin who was easily broken— she held him in her hands to keep his broken pieces together, to make him feel loved.

 

 

 

Something he desperately needed, something she didn’t quite understand.

 

 

 

 

Yoongi—

 

 

 

 

She shouldn’t be thinking about him now.

 

 

 

“It’s a good thing you drive a mom car—”

 

He sighed.

 

“Do you ever shut up?”

 

She laughed, and he laughed too—

 

 

Pulling their cold faces closer, leaving small ghost kisses on her face.

 

 

She wanted to enjoy it— the sound of nothingness and love. 

 

Letting him kiss the cold away and feeling her heart skip beats when their toes touched or his fingers traced hearts along her back— hearts and

 

 

“Property of Kim Seokjin—”

 

 

But the silence was deafening, and it fed her wandering mind with thoughts of Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi, Min—

 

 

“When does the sun rise?”

 

He smiled.

 

“In a few hours—”

 

“Can we talk until then?”

 

He hummed.

 

“What about?”

 

“Well it’s your birthday— anything you want, anything on your mind—”

 

He laughed and pulled her closer.

 

“Are you sure? Anything?”

 

She nodded—

 

 

So he did.

 

 

He talked about the future, mostly— trying to exclude the parts about her and failing miserably.

 

 

He didn’t want her to know that she was in every single thought of the future for him, but it just came out—

 

 

“I’ve been looking at restaurants I really want us to go to together someday— restaurants in London, Paris, Venice, everywhere y/n. Would you like that? I don’t have alot of money anymore, but someday I will— I’ll be a famous chef and have my own restaurant. Can you wait until then?   I’ve traveled for business before— and I hated it. But if I’m with you — I know I’ll see the world differently.”

 

 

“When I open my own restaurant we can make the menu together— I’ll only add things you like, and every night I’ll make you something new — and if you like it we’ll add it! We can even pick the dish names together—”

 

 

Mostly about the future— but also about the present.

 

 

“You’re uncle is more of a father to me than my own— he even called me son the other day and I cried once no one was looking. I think he knows how much you mean to me — he makes fun of me for talking about you so much, for asking things like 'Do you think y/n would like this?' after I make a new dish—”

 

 

“My brother’s have been fighting lately—”

 

 

Terror coursed through her body as he spoke— the thought of it being them

 

 

 

But she pushed the thought to the back of her mind and left it there.

 

 

 

The world wasn’t so small.

 

 

 

It wasn’t so small and it wasn’t so cruel.

 

 

 

The day was all about Jin

 

 

 

So she kept her thoughts on him.

 

 

 

Him, him, him.

 

 

 

As the sun rose and found its place in the sky—

 

 

 

Him, him, him.

 

 

 

The drive back to Seoul went by quickly, and so did the rest of the day.

 

 

He still had work, so she spent the day with him in the kitchen— prepping ingredients for him to use and serving the dishes he made.

 

 

“You’re getting paid more for being an actual chef now right? My uncle isn’t taking advantage of you, right?”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“I am — I’ve been saving the extra money for Christmas.”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“What are you doing anyway? He’s not making you work is he?

 

 

He shrugged,

 

 

“I don’t mind— as long as you stop by.

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“My uncle is the only family I have in Seoul, so that’s very possible—”

 

 

“Good, then just work that day with me—”

 

 

She scoffed.

 

 

“You wish—”

 

 

They went back and forth for a long time before finally agreeing.

 

 

“I’ll come in but I refuse to work—”

 

He smiled and nudged her side.

 

“It’s a date.”

 

“No— it’s not—”

 

 

Their laughter echoed through the kitchen for the rest of the day, and when it was time to close he took her home—

 

 

 

They spent the whole time arguing.

 

 

 

“How many times have we kissed brat? Do you kiss just anyone? It makes you my girlfriend by default.”

 

He turned towards her and smirked.

 

“You’re impossible old man— and keep your eyes on the road—”

 

“Do you call anyone else oppa?”

 

“I don’t even call you that, Jin-ah.”

 

He frowned.

 

“I said you could in your head—”

 

“I call you idiot in my head— hey! Don’t hit me!”

 

He laughed, lacing his fingers in hers.

 

 

 

“I love you, y/n.”

 

 

 

She shifted in her seat frowning.

 

 

“If you don’t say it back this instant brat—”

 

 

“I love you too, Kim Seokjin—”

 

 

She squeezed his hand and met his gaze.

 

 

“Let’s spend your next birthday like today—”

 

 

He smiled and turned back to the road.

 

 

“Of course we will— and the one after that, and the one after that. Let’s get married on this day three years from now.”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“So you don’t forget?”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Because I knew I wanted to marry you today.”

 

 

She pouted.

 

 

“I thought you always knew?”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“You’re funny brat, you don’t want to be my girlfriend but you want me to propose?”

 

 

“Well before you said wanted to be together forever—”

 

He huffed.

 

“You ruined the moment.”

 

She nudged him playfully.

 

“I don’t date liars.”

 

He scoffed.

 

“What do you want me to say? That I thought about asking today? When I looked into your eyes as the sun rose, when I talked about the future I see with you? That’s embarrassing y/n—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Why didn’t you then? Why three years Kim Seokjin?

 

 

He sighed dramatically.

 

 

“Why are you like this?”

 

 

She smiled, waiting for his response.

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Maybe by then you’ll be sure— that it’s just me.”

 

 

He gripped her hand a little tighter.

 

 

“When you first told me about that guy— I was a little jealous, and mad, but I was happy you told me. It means you’re just that much closer to letting him go.”

 

 

As he pulled into the dorm's parking lot and parked he turned to look at her directly.

 

 

“I’m not worried about losing you anymore— because we’ll continue to have days like today and little moments that will make you fall for me more and more,  just me —”

 

 

He leaned over to rest his forehead on hers— looking into her eyes and speaking gently.

 

 

“I want you to think 'I want to marry this man'— and then I’ll propose. And that other guy, you’ll never see him again. So you won’t have the chance to make memories like today—”

 

 

He smiled happily.

 

 

“Right?”

 

 

She nodded, trying to believe his words.

 

 

“Right.”

 

 

He laughed and kissed her forehead, pulling away—

 

“I was also accepted into culinary school earlier this week— and I should be done in about three years if everything goes right—”

 

 

She cheered loudly startling him.

 

 

“Kim Seokjin you’re amazing! Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

 

 

He smiled, relishing in the praise.

 

 

“Today was about us, not me or—”

 

 

She punched him lightly.

 

 

“Who told you to apply in the first place, old man? Who always encouraged you to cook and ate your food even if it was burnt—”

 

 

He laughed reaching up to brush her cheek.

 

 

“You.”

 

 

She nodded smiling brightly.

 

 

“So you following your dreams— it will always be an us thing! Well mainly you, but— you know what I mean.

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“Can I kiss you, y/n?”

 

 

She shook her head and he frowned.

 

 

“Get out of my car then brat—”

 

 

She laughed, leaning over and kissing him softly before quickly getting out.

 

 

“Happy Birthday!”

 

 

“Yah— brat, you can’t just—”

 

She slammed the door shut and ran up to her room before he could run her over.

 

 

 

Part of her wanted him to chase after her like she knew he wanted to—

 

 

 

The other part—

 

 

 

Jimin had called earlier that day— and it suddenly occurred to her that he might be outside her door waiting.

 

 

Waiting with all his frailty and sadness outside her door like he always did.

 

 

Waiting to be let in.

 

 

Waiting to be loved.

 

 

Every step she took towards that tiny room was one she dreaded, she knew she wouldn’t be able to push him away if he begged to stay—

 

 

Despite Kim Seokjin.

 

 

But what she saw at the end of the hallway outside that tiny room—

 

 

 

It made her wish Jimin was there.

 

 

 

“What—”

 

 

 

He looked up at her, his eyes puffy and red.

 

 

“What do you want Yoongi?”







Like day and night, like day and night.

 

 

 

 

“I want to talk—”

 

She shook her head while trying to open the door to that tiny room quickly—

 

 

Trying to runaway.

 

 

“We can’t.”

 

“Y/n,  please—

 

“I said no—”

 

“Do you know what it was like? Seeing you with him? These past few days I’ve been trying— trying and trying to stop seeing him kiss you over and over. Do you have any fucking idea groupie?”

 

 

She scoffed.

 

“I bet it’s pretty fucking similar to the feeling I had when you threw me out of your house—”

 

“If you’d just listen to me—”

 

“Go away.”

 

“Y/n I’ve been trying to go away for hours— Hoseok told me where to find you when I refused to stop drinking—”

 

“So you’re drunk?”

 

“I waited until I was sober y/n, I’m not a fucking prick—”

 

She laughed.

 

“Y/n, I’ve been here for hours knocking and leaving and coming back. The farthest I could go was 12 steps away from this door—”

 

“I’m sorry you wasted your day here Min Yoongi, but I spent mine with someone that cares about me—”

 

 

He felt the pain in his chest intensify.

 

 

“Are you fucking kidding me? No one cares about you as much as I do groupie—”

 

 

His words were laced with so much anger and resentment that she almost believed him— 

 

 

 

She felt like crying, yelling—

 

 

 

Jin does, Taehyung does, Jimin does—

 

 

 

He grabbed her hand.

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

“Don’t touch me

 

 

She ripped her hand away and went inside, trying to close the door but he pushed his way in.

 

 

“Get out Yoongi—”

 

 

Those words he had said to her so long ago.

 

 

“I don’t want you anymore—”

 

 

Those words.

 

 

“I don’t need you anymore.”

 

 

Those words.

 

 

He started crying, shaking his head as he pulled her towards him.

 

 

“You’re lying y/n— I know you are.”

 


She knew he was right.

 

 

"Leave—"

 

 

She knew he was right.

 

 

"You need to leave—"

 

 

She felt herself slowly fall apart as she tried to get him to leave— hitting him, pushing him.

 

 

 

He needed to leave— he needed to leave, he needed to leave, he needed to—

 

 

 

She was scared—

 

 

 

Scared of having him so close.

 

 

 

“Listen to me, y/n—”

 

 

 

Scared she might forgive him.

 

 

 

“I hate you—”

 

She was practically yelling, screaming—

 

 

“I hate you Min Yoongi, I hate you—”

 

 

He grabbed her face and made her meet his gaze—

 

 

He was yelling too.

 

 

“Look at me!”

 

 

Pleading, begging.

 

 

“Look at me y/n, please just 

 

 

When she met his gaze what she saw scared her even more.

 

 

 

She wanted to forgive him—

 

 

 

“You love me—”

 

 

She shook her head and he tightened his grip on her, pulling her close to him, resting his forehead on hers and looking into her eyes.

 

 

“Don’t fucking lie to me, don’t lie to yourself. You love me— you love me as much as I love you.”

 

 

“No—”

 

 

He didn’t let her finish, violently pressing his lips against hers—

 

 

Desperate.

 

 

He was desperate—

 

 

He didn’t care about anything else anymore— not Namjoon, not Jimin.

 

 

He had tried to live without her and failed.

 

 

“Please—”

 

 

He held her gaze with so much tenderness it made her chest burn. 

 

 

His soft words contrasting his hold on her, his soft eyes making her weak, weak—

 

 

“Say it— I need to hear it, I can’t—

 

 

She was crying—

 

 

She knew he was right.

 

 

“No.”

 

 

He couldn’t breathe.

 

 

“You don’t deserve it Yoongi—”

 

 

He laughed, crying harder— he couldn’t breathe.

 

 

“You think I don’t fucking know that?”

 

 

He pushed her onto her bed, pinning her down before he could think.

 

“You think I don’t— y/n, I knew I didn’t deserve you from the moment I saw you— I knew it but I let you in anyways. I let you in because with you I felt something— don't you understand?”

 

 

He was shaking, his grip around her wrists unintentionally tightening.

 

 

“You made me feel what I’d never felt, I was broken and you made me whole— and then you left, you left and I—”

 

 

He couldn’t stop crying, choking in between sobs.

 

 

“Is it my fault Yoongi?”

 

 

She couldn’t breathe either.

 

 

“You pushed me away—”

 

 

“I was scared!”

 

 

He was yelling again, and it broke her.

 

 

“Scared of losing you y/n—”

 

 

With every word.

 

 

“Scared of loving you.”

 

 

With every syllable—

 

 

Broken, broken, broken.

 

 

She couldn’t stop crying.

 

 

“Why Yoongi-ah? You were mine— you were mine and I was yours—”

 

 

He couldn’t breathe— she pulled her hand out of his grasps and reached up towards his face.

 

 

“I was yours—”

 

 

Brushing his cheek gently, with words that made his heart break.

 

 

“I was yours.”

 

 

Comforting his hurting soul with every gentle touch, making him believe that maybe, just maybe—

 

 

“You still are—”

 

 

She pulled her hand away, slowly shaking her head.

 

 

“It’s too late for that—”

 

 

He put his forehead on hers, his ragged breathing matching her own.

 

 

“No— not if you still love me.”

 

 

He looked into her eyes—

 

 

He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t—

 

 

“I do.”

 

 

She closed the small space between them.

 

 

“I love you, Min Yoongi.”

 

 

She kissed life back into him— slowly, sweetly.

 

 

She kissed him and he felt like the pain in his chest that had been there for months was suddenly gone.

 

 

He could breathe again.

 

 

He could love again—

 

 

He was whole.

 

 

But the kiss, it almost felt like—

 

 

 

“Goodbye, Min Yoongi.”

 

 

 

No.

 

 

 

“Because it is too late.”

 

 

 

No.

 

 

 

“And you can’t stay—”

 

 

 

No.

 

 

“I’m not yours."

 

 

 

He let go of her, pushing himself off the bed—

 

 

 

He wanted to go home and drink himself to death.

 

 

 

He was almost out the door when he stopped— not turning around, wishing he could face her.

 

 

Knowing he couldn’t.

 

 

He wouldn’t be able to leave if he did—

 

 

“Your sheets smell like him.”

 

 

She sat up, his words pulling her out of the misery consuming her mind.

 

 

“I hope he makes you happy—”

 

 

He choked on his words one last time.

 

 

“I really fucking do.”

 

 

He went to leave—

 

 

 

He almost did.

 

 

 

But she wrapped her arms around his waist and held him in place.

 

 

“You’re wrong about me and him.”

 

“Y/n—”

 

“I asked him to stay because—”

 

He tried to turn around but she only held him tighter.

 

“I needed him to forget you— I needed him to sleep.”

 

He was silent before laughing— laughing because it was ironic.

 

 

Laughing because he couldn't breathe anymore.

 

 

 

He didn’t face her, he was scared to—

 

 

 

“Ask me to stay y/n—”

 

 

His voice broke.

 

 

“Please.”

 

 

If she said yes—

 

 

“Let’s go to sleep baby—”

 

 

He would never let her go.

 

 

She shook her head against his back, leaning into him.

 

 

“I can’t— I have—”

 

 

I have a boyfriend— his name is Kim Seokjin.

 

 

 

Her mind echoed with Jin’s words— Jin who wanted to marry her.

 

 

 

Jin, Jin, Jin—

 

 

 

“Please—”

 

 

He kept his gaze on the closed door, too scared to turn around.

 

 

Too broken.

 

 

Her mind kept racing—

 

 

What about everyone else? Everyone else who loved her? It would be selfish if she let him stay.

 

 

Selfish, selfish, sel—

 

 

He could feel her heart beating—

 

 

He could hear it breaking.

 

 

“I can’t remember the last time I slept y/n I can’t, I can’t—”

 

 

Her thoughts on everyone else were suddenly gone.

 

 

It had never occurred to her that he might have also endured endless nights, sleepless sorrow.

 

 

“You had him—”

 

 

All those nights—

 

 

“I had nothing.”

 

 

 

 

All those nights, just like hers—

 

 

“Just once — and I’ll go. I’ll never come back, I’ll leave you behind even if tears me apart and every broken piece of me tells me not to—”

 

 

She took his hand, intertwining their fingers and bringing them to her lips.

 

 

“Stay then—”

 

 

Knowing she wouldn’t be able to let him go—

 

 

Knowing she was making a mistake.

 

 

She took his hand, pulling him back into bed as they both stumbled taking off their shoes, their coats—

 

 

“Let’s go to sleep baby—"

 

 

He pulled her blanket over their heads, holding her tightly— afraid he'd wake up alone otherwise.

 

 

 

"Let's go to sleep.”

 

 

 

 

And they did.

 

 

 

 

When they woke up it was evening, and they just stared at each other for a long time.

 

 

He was waiting for her to say those words— to tell him to leave.

 

 

 

Waiting knowing she wouldn’t.

 

 

 

What he felt in that moment—

 

 

 

All the love and tenderness and longing.

 

 

 

He could see it in her eyes as she gazed up at him.

 

 

He ran his fingers through her her hair and let his mind wander.

 

 

“Do you believe in soulmates?”

 

 

She hummed.

 

 

“I used to.”

 

 

He smiled pressing his forehead to hers.

 

 

“What changed?”

 

 

She hummed again.

 

 

“Who knows—”

 

 

 

But she did know.

 

 

 

“Do you, Yoongi-ah?”

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

“Maybe—”

 

 

He pressed himself closer to her.

 

 

“Only if it’s you.”

 

 

She laughed, and he laughed too— the sound making both of their hearts swell.

 

 

He pulled the sheets over their heads and started kissing her—

 

 

Gentle, tender kisses he wished would last forever.

 

 

She pulled away before it could turn into something else.

 

 

 

Something he had thought about for months.

 

 

 

“We’re still not okay, Yoongi—”

 

 

He nodded taking her hand and intertwining their fingers, bringing them to his lips like she had when she asked him to stay.

 

 

“I know y/n.”

 

 

He kissed her hand and pulled her closer—

 

 

“I know.”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“You should go.”

 

 

He nodded snuggling into her chest.

 

 

“I will.”

 

 

Her hand instinctively went to his hair to brush it gently.

 

They stayed that way for a long time before she finally spoke again.

 

 

“You can’t stay much longer Yoongi-ah—”

 

 

He looked up at her.

 

 

“Expecting someone groupie?”

 

 

She smiled sadly and nodded.

 

 

He sighed tightening his grip around her waist.

 

 

“Groupie—”

 

 

He whispered gently, trying to find his words—

 

 

“I know I haven’t explained myself— I know you deserve better.”

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

“But I’m selfish, and I wish you would be too— but you won’t.”

 

 

He shifted so he could look at her directly.

 

 

“You’re going to let others in— into your life, into your bed, maybe even into your heart—”

 

 

He laughed softly, resting his forehead on hers.

 

 

“But you’ll always be mine you’ve loved me all this time, and wanted me just as much.”

 

 

He kissed her again, and she let him—

 

 

She had missed class— she was going to miss work.

 

 

Just like she had the day before.

 

 

The company was different— the feeling was different.

 

 

 

Different but the same.

 

 

 



"Always y/n— always."

 

 

 

 


Like day and night, like day and night, like day and—

 

 

 

 

 

“I’ll sleep at night just fine knowing that, groupie.” 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

December wasn’t real—

 

 

 

With all its promises of something that could work, something that was normal.

 

 

 

A happy ending for everyone—

 

 

 

 

It wasn't real.

 

 


 

 

 

 

In the night she slept peacefully— alone.

 

 

 

Jimin had stopped going the night after Yoongi stayed—

 

 

 

Never giving a reason— never needing to.

 

 

 

The sense of peace was widespread between all of them.

 

 

So instead of every night he would knock on her door first thing every morning— with a smile on his face, a warm peaceful feeling in his heart.

 

 

They would walk silently to that little coffee shop where Jungkook was waiting for them both, both—

 

 

 

That small little space that had been for two—

 

 

 

It became a place for three.

 

 

A place where they could talk about big things, little things and share small happy moments of peace—

 

 

 

Small happy moments of love.

 

 

 

When they would part ways every morning both boys would hug her— hug her and be happy she was there, hug her knowing she always would be.

 

 

 

 

December was putting trust in never and always.

 

 

 

 

Because despite their fighting, despite their lying, she still treated them both with so much love and affection that it made them think that maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t anything to be afraid of when it came to her.

 

 

It had been fear that had made them hurt each other in the first place—

 

 

But there was nothing to be afraid of, they convinced themselves.

 

 

 

Nothing to be afraid

 

 

 

They both had always, they both had never.

 

 

 

December was going to see Jimin practice and having someone else there—

 

 

 

Someone who didn’t glare.

 

 

Someone who could never hate her—

 

 

“This is my hyung, Min Yoongi. He was at the recital—”

 

“I remember—”

 

She smiled.

 

“Nice to meet you.”

 

He had smiled back— something Jimin was surprised to see.

 

 

 

It seemed y/n was the only person that could make Yoongi smile so genuinely— make Hoseok frown so hatefully.

 

 

 

So instead of Hoseok it was Yoongi who came everyday, waiting outside her class and walking to go see Jimin together, bring him lunch together—

 

 

He told Jimin he just had free time and wanted to be supportive, he told her that he wanted to be friends again— be friends and then be more once those three got over her.

 

 

At first it was strange— but then it wasn’t.

 

 

Yoongi didn’t act differently—

 

 

Everything about him was the same.

 

 

He still called her groupie, still pouted when he thought no one was looking and was still seemingly rude to everyone except her, including her—

 

 

The same but different.

 

 

 

Everything about him screamed peacefulness now— the way he smiled so effortlessly, the way he laughed so freely—

 

 

 

The way he slept so soundly.

 

 

 

His soul which had been in chaotic turmoil for so long was finally resting— and no one knew why except the two of them.

 

 

 

Just the two of them.

 

 

 

She never asked why he had pushed her away—

 

 

 

December was wanting the feelings of peace to last.

 

 

 

She knew he would tell her when he was ready, she knew she would probably forgive him in the end—

 

 

 

Probably.

 

 

 

So that room that had been filled with frailty and hatred for so long, a room of broken mirrors and solemn reflections—

 

 

 

It became a room of loving warmth that Jimin basked in, each crack carefully fixed with gentle hands those of Yoongi, those of y/n.

 

 

 

A place for three was still a place for three— by pushing someone out they had seemingly brought peace.

 

 

 

But they hadn’t pushed someone out— no, not at all.

 

 

 

They had left him in that room of broken mirrors and gone to a room of their own; one that only had room for three.

 

 

 

No room for Hoseok, no room for Hoseok.

 

 

 

December was feeling winter creep in— pushing the cold away by holding onto each other.

 

 

 

All of November Jungkook had been— not quite himself. But the guilt he had felt was gone now, and all that was left was joy.

 

 

He would walk beside her as the snow fell and cherish all the tiny moments.

 

 

Capturing every one with his camera—

 

 

Before he had only wanted to see her through his lens, but now—

 

 

“Smile!”

 

 

Taehyung smiled brightly resting his arm on her head and Jimin leaned closer to them both.

 

 

Closer, closer, closer

 

 

 

All of them felt closer with every night that passed.

 

 

 

When Jungkook and her walked into the tiny convenience store that had been hers and Taehyung’s for so long— Jimin would already be there, poking fun at his brother who was sitting behind the counter on his phone.

 

 

 

It seemed December was all of the places built around you and me becoming places built for us.

 

 

 

They all still wanted 'you and me'.

 

 

But for now— for now 'us' was okay.

 

 

They would stay in that tiny convenience store, hiding from the cold and eating hot noodles and anything else they wanted until her shift ended at midnight—

 

 

 

Feeling their hearts warm as they grew closer as friends— all of them.

 

 

 

“You can be part of our family too, y/n.”

 

 

 

They had all nodded, smiled.

 

 

 

"You can be part of our family too."

 

 

 

December was believing in those words.

 

 

 

 

Around midnight he would always call.

 


Kim Seokjin who wanted to marry her.

 

 

But he never had to leave a voicemail— she would always answer now.

 

 

 

She would always answer.

 

 

 

 

December was anticipation—

 

 

 

Christmas was coming soon.

 

 

They had all asked her to spend it with them, but she declined.

 

 

“I’m visiting family—”

 

 

Family and Kim Seokjin.

 

 

Kim Seokjin who had made her promise to go—

 

 

Kim Seokjin who would come to regret it.

 

 

They had nagged him for weeks when they found out he would be working for Christmas—

 

 

Christmas was special, a time for family—

 

 

They were family.

 

 

“Who’s going to cook to cook Christmas dinner if you’re not here hyung?”

 

 

“Who the fuck goes out to eat on Christmas eve anyway?”

 

 

Jin had laughed.

 

 

“A lot of people Yoongi—”

 

“He just wants to see restaurant girl—”

 

Namjoon had spoken without looking up from his phone—

 

 

They all laughed, teased him.

 

 

“Who’s that hyung?”

 

He smiled brightly before speaking shyly.

 

“My girlfriend—”

 

 

The room erupted in cheers—

 

 

 

December wasn’t real.

 

 

 

It was Christmas eve when she came in— she was carrying a gift for Seokjin, a gift for her uncle.

 

 

She came in and looked around, it wasn’t very busy, but the boy she was looking for—

 

 

He wasn’t in the kitchen like he usually was.

 

 

No, he had gone to greet his friends—

 

 

His friends who had come unannounced.

 

 

His friends who he was happy to see.

 

 

 

When she walked in he pointed to her—

 

 

 

 

“That’s her.”

 

 

 

The feeling of seeing her come in— it was different for all of them.

 

 

 

Different but the same

 

 

 

The same because what they all felt was an indescribable pain—

 

 

Seeing her standing there with snow in her hair and a coat much too big— with a smile they all loved, a warmth they all loved.

 

 

 

They all loved, they all loved, they all loved—

 

 

 

It was the same heartbreak, but different—

 

 

 

A promise broken, shattered for Kim Taehyung.

 

Always, always, always being torn to pieces for Jeon Jungkook.

 

Never, never, never being ripped away for Park Jimin.

 

Hating her more, more, more— loving her all the same for Jung Hoseok

 

Back to sleepless nights for Min Yoongi.

 

 

 

 

It was a long lost friend— a long lost love for—

 

 

 

She finally turned towards them—

 

 

 

A table full of familiar faces.

 

 

 

Everything she had hoped December was—

 

 

It wasn't.

 

 

 

It wasn't, it wasn't, it wasn't.

 

 

 

 

None of it had been real— and if it had been it was gone now.

 

 

 

 

Gone, gone, gone.

 

 

 

It had been a dream.

 

 

 

But she was awake now—

 

 

 

 

She called out to the only person she saw—

 

 

 

“Kim—”

 

 

 

In a table full of familiar faces—

 

 

 

 

 

The only person she saw.

 

 

 

 

 

















“Kim Namjoon

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Do you believe in soulmates?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used to.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Him, him, him—

 

 

 

Before him she was alone.

 

 

 

Alone, alone, alone.

 

 

 

She would come home to a small empty house with small empty rooms.

 

 

She would eat alone, sleep alone, and let her mind wander to places that weren’t so lonely.

 

 

 

But little by little

 

 

 

“Y/n, did you eat yet? Come over, I can try to make us something to eat—”

 

"You shouldn’t eat junk food all the time y/n, you’ll get sick and never grow—”

 

“I made you lunch when I was making my own— here, take it.”

 

 

 

He would nag her everyday, and she would laugh.

 

 

 

“You better eat it all— it took me a while to make.”

 

“I will Namjoon." 

 

He would smile happily and hug her goodbye.

 

“Good— what do you say?”

 

He always asked, she always answered—

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

 

He would invite her to his home for every meal—

 

 

 

His home that slowly became her own.

 

 

“I can’t cook very well—”

 

 

He would always remind her— she would always laugh.

 

 

“It’s okay Joon.”

 

 

 

And it was.

 

 

 

They would sit and eat their burnt food together everyday— everyday until she learned how to use a stove.

 

 

“Yah, Joonie— aren’t you ashamed? That I can cook better when I’m only—”

 

“Are you being ungrateful y/n? Should I have let you starve?” 

 

She would laugh at him, and he would laugh too.

 

“I know, I know—”

 

“What do you say?”

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

 

Little by little and all at once— he unraveled every bit of her.

 

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

 

She had stood outside his tiny apartment with her heart on her sleeves and a pain in her chest—sad and lost. 

 

 

“I had a nightmare—” 

 

 

He had smiled gently, taking her hand in his.

 

 

“Come in.”

 

 

 

Every bit of her that was lonely

 

 

 

“Come in.” 

 

 

 

Every bit of her that was afraid.

 

 

They would lie across from each other on the cold floor, wrapped in blankets and warm thoughts.

 

 

She would tell him about her dreams and he would always listen carefully.

 

 

 

“Do you want me to read you a story?”

 

 

 

He always asked— because it always worked.

 

 

She slept soundly once he finished a story— she always waited until the end and he loved her for it.

 

 

 

“I have to read this anyway— so it’s a good thing you came.”

 

 

 

It’s a good thing you came.

 

 

 

He reassured her so much that she started going even when she didn't have nightmares—

 

 

 

Just to listen to him as she fell asleep— listen and be lulled by every word.

 

 

 

She went almost every night for five years— every night but no one ever noticed.

 

 

She started to need those stories of far, far away and long, long ago.

 

 

 

 

To forget, to remember.

 

 

 

 

The world around them kept moving fast, fast, fast.

 

 

 

But with him—

 

 

 

Together they had built a world that moved slowly.

 

 

A world built on the fictitious words Namjoon brought to life every night with his gentle voice— those of poets, those of scholars.

 

 

 

A world built only for them.

 

 

 

A world that wasn’t so lonely— 

 

 

 

A world full of him, him, him.

 

 

 

His loving hugs.

 

His gentle words.

 

His constant care.

 

 

 

Him, him, him.

 

 

 

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same

 

 

They were lying on his floor like always, she was hanging on his every word like always, like always but—

 

 

She interrupted him while he read.

 

 

“That’s like us, isn’t it Joon?”

 

 

He looked over and smiled.

 

 

“Sort of, in the book they mean it in a romantic way—”

 

 

She sat up quickly, smiled brightly.

 

 

“But aren’t they also best friends? The two protagonists?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“Then it is us!”

 

 

He smiled sadly.

 

 

“But their story doesn’t have a happy ending—”

 

 

She beamed.

 

 

“It’s okay— we can make our own ending!”

 

 

He reached across the tiny space with his pinky out.

 

 

“Promise?”

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“I promise!”

 

 

 

She wasn’t just alone before Kim Namjoon, though.

 

 

 

No, it wasn’t just loneliness that made her love him.

 

 

“Y/n, did you do your homework yet? Let me make sure it’s right—”

 

 

 

It was the way he cared—

 

 

 

“Y/n, how’d you do on that test? You have a quiz coming up right? Let me help.”

 

 

 

 

Everything he did was always a reminder—

 

 

 

I care, I care—

 

 

 

 

He would sit with her for hours after they came home, making sure she did her work while he did his own—

 

 

 

“You didn’t do this right y/n— do it again.”

 

 

“It’s not spelled like that— here let me show you.”

 

 

 

She hated it for a while.

 

 

 

“I’m just not good at this stuff—”

 

 

“Just leave me alone Joonie—" 

 

 

 

He would always smile— a smile she had grown to love more than anything.

 

 

 

“You shouldn’t give up so easily y/n.”

 

 

 

He always said it— always, always, always.

 

 

 

Until it finally stuck.

 

 

 

You shouldn’t give up so easily.

 

 

 

Her feelings for him were simple at first—

 

 

 

Appreciation for everything he did, admiration for everything he was.

 

 

 

But slowly it turned into something more—

 

 

 

Something she couldn’t explain, something she couldn’t describe.

 

 

 

He slowly became everything.

 

 

 

Every part of him— every single last piece.

 

 

 

The more time passed, the more certain she became—

 

 

 

 

He was everything.

 

 

 

 

He was the seasons—

 

 

 

Winter was letting him take her cold hands and watching him blow warm air into them, seeing his dimpled smile shine when she mimicked his gesture. It was watching his kind loving words form puffs of warmth in the air and tackling each other into blankets of snow. Letting the cold envelop them— letting it swallow them whole— winter was all about finding warmth in each other, after all.

 

 

Spring was running home, his hand tightly around hers while rain poured down in a fury. It was her laughing at him when he ran a little faster despite already being soaked— it was him giving up, spinning her around in the April showers yelling about how they were going to get sick. They always did— but that just meant ditching school and taking care of each other more than usual.

 

 

“Do I still have a fever Joon? Did it change in the last five minutes?”

 

He would roll his eyes, and she would laugh.

 

 

 

But she was the same way.

 

 

 

“I made you three different kinds of tea— you should drink them all just to be safe Joon. I heard this one was good for headaches, and this one was good for a sore throat, and this one—”

 

 

 

They would laugh together and listen to the gentle sounds of rain as they fell asleep.

 

 

 

Summer was singing his favorite songs loudly while watching the clouds pass gently through the clear skies— his laughter being warmer than the sun. It was long nights of star gazing and talking about the future— listening to his life philosophies and following his finger as he traced patterns in the sky.

 

 

 

“That one can only be seen in the summer— each constellation has a myth tied to it, and different people believed different things.”

 

 

 

Summer was listening those stories— she liked them just as much as the books he would read when it wasn’t summer.  

 

 

 

Fall was dancing in the leaves that fell like rain hand in hand— smiling brightly and laughing about how much they both couldn't dance at all. It was watching the seasons change— beautifully, slowly— just like each other.

 

 

 

"You're getting taller—"

 

 

"You're getting prettier—"

 

 

 

It was reading ghost stories once October came— stories written by people who were long gone about things that were thrilling to them both. It was arguing about how stories would end and taking advantage of longer nights to read more. Quietly, soundlessly— with every year that passed she became better at arguing, better at being right.

 

 

 

“I liked it better when you were stupid y/n—”

 

“I liked it better too. I used to think you were smart Joonie— but it’s hard to look up to you now.”

 

 

He would laugh and flick her head.

 

 

“Shut up— who raised you? What do you say?”

 

She would smile and pinch him back.

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

 

He was day and night.

 

 

 

Morning was waiting for the sun to rise so she could wake him up gently and they could get ready for school together.

 

 

 

It was making his lunch while he made hers, splitting everything in half and arguing about strawberry milk—

 

 

 

“This wouldn’t be a problem if we bought the pack with only strawberry milk Joon—”

 

“I told you it costs more.”

 

“But we both hate banana milk—”

 

“That’s why we take turns y/n— and it’s my turn.”

 

“Okay—”

 

“But you can have it I guess—”

 

“But I want you to have it.”

 

 

 

Morning was arguing playfully— him tying up her hair before they left the house—

 

 

 

“I bet you could do this better yourself y/n—”

 

 

She would smile, nod.

 

 

“But when you do it I don’t get headaches— since you do such a terrible job

 

 

“Are you being ungrateful?”

 

 

 

They would laugh together every morning—

 

 

 

Every morning.

 

 

 

Afternoon was waiting for school to end— running towards him when it did. He was always waiting in the same place, reading a book or gazing up at the sky.

 

 

 

It was asking about his day and telling him about her own—

 

 

 

Sharing every detail vividly, every moment—how dull it was without him.

 

 

 

“You should make other friends y/n. You know— like girl friends.”

 

 

“But I have you— you’re the prettiest girl I know!”

 

 

He would smile and laugh.

 

 

“You know what I mean.”

 

 

She would nod.

 

 

It was a conversation they would have often as he grew older, it seemed that the more time passed the more and more space he wanted.

 

 

 

More and more space that she didn’t quite understand—

 

 

More and more space while still keeping her close.

 

 

 

Especially when he started dating.

 

 

 

He would still expect her to come over in the night, still wanted to read her stories and argue every morning. He wanted everything to stay the same even though part of him felt guilty about it—

 

 

“Wouldn’t your girlfriend be mad Joonie? Since we spend so much time together?”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“No— it doesn’t mean anything.”

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t mean anything.

 

 

 

 

“We still hold hands when we walk to school— isn’t that something you should only do with her now?”

 

 

He sighed.

 

 

“Probably.”

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“We’ll stop then—”

 

 

“It’s okay, though. We can hold hands as friends like we always have y/n. Holding hands, hugging, it can all be platonic too—”

 

 

She smiled sadly, but he was too lost in thought to notice.

 

 

“Whatever makes you happy then, Joon—”

 

 

 

Whatever makes you happy.

 

 

 

Evening was going home briefly when she knew her parents would be home—

 

 

 

Night was sneaking out as soon as they fell asleep.

 

 

 

He scolded her the first few times—

 

 

“Sneaking out is bad y/n—”

 

 

She had looked up at him worried.

 

 

“Should I go home then?”

 

 

“No— well it’s not that bad if you’re coming here. Just keep that in mind.”

 

 

“Okay.”

 

 

“What do you say? I taught you something important—”

 

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

Eventually night became routine, though. The more time passed, the closer they became.

 

 

Every night.

 

 

“You’re late—”

 

“They took a while this time— what chapter were we on?”

 

He smiled.

 

“I used to ask you that.”

 

She nodded.

 

“Can you read to me when I finish?”

 

“Always—”

 

 

 

Day and night were always, always, always him, him, him.

 

 

 

 

He’s more myself than I am.

 

 

 

 

Everything that Namjoon was, she held it close to her.

 

 

She didn’t know much about anything before she met Kim Namjoon, although she would never tell him so—

 

 

Namjoon had carefully brought out everything about her that made her her.

 

 

 

Her, her, her.

 

 

 

Without him, him, him there was no her.

 

 

He had helped her grow— he had seen everything that was special and praised it.

 

 

Had seen everything that was beautiful and nurtured it.

 

 

 

She loved him for it.

 

 

 

 

Whatever souls are made of—

 

 

 

 

“Joonie?”

 

He met her gaze.

 

“Hm?”

 

 

“Do you ever think about what it would have been like if we never met?”

 

 

 

He frowned.

 

“I try not to.”

 

They were lying in a nearby park under a blanket of stars— it was all too familiar.

 

“Joonie?”

 

“Hm?”

 

 

“Can we run away together?”

 

 

He stared at her for a long time before pulling her towards him into a gentle hug.

 

 

“Not yet—”

 

 

He looked into her eyes and smiled sadly.

 

 

“Someday, though.”

 

 

“Promise?”

 

 

“I promise.”

 

 

They stayed in each others arms for a while before she spoke again.

 

 

“What about your girlfriend?”

 

He laughed.

 

“What about her?”

 

“Well if we run away you’d have to leave her behind.”

 

“You’re my best friend y/n, I love you more than anything—”

 

She pushed him playfully while laughing.

 

“What do you need her for then?”

 

He smiled.

 

“You wouldn’t understand.”

 

“I’m not a little kid you know—”

 

“You are to me.”

 

She frowned.

 

She had almost forgotten— she was to him.

 

 

 

 

His and mine are the same

 

 

 

 

His and mine are the same.

 

 

 

And they were.

 

 

 

She was a product of all his tender love and affection and she loved him for it.

 

 

She loved him, more than words could describe or actions could say—

 

 

She loved him.

 

 

But it was something she could never understand, never explain.

 

 

 

Everything, everything

 

 

 

He was everything to her small young mind that didn’t know much about anything— only the fact that she loved him more than anything else.

 

 

When he wasn’t there she missed him, when he smiled she loved him.

 

 

Him, him, hi—

 

 

 

But her—

 

 

 

She wasn’t the seasons to him

 

 

 

She loved him—

 

 

 

She wasn’t day or night.

 

 

 

She loved him—

 

 

 

She wasn’t anything but family.

 

 

 

She—

 

 

 

Whenever he held her hand or read her stories as she fell asleep.

 

 

Whenever they talked in the middle of the night about everything and nothing— big things and little things like she would with so many after him.

 

 

 

Whenever he made promises like the one he made that night, or fed her illusions about a different life—

 

 

 

It all made her love him more.

 

 

 

She loved him because he took care of her.

 

 

 

Because with him she wasn’t alone.

 

 

Because with him she wasn’t afraid.

 

 

 

She loved him because he made her feel loved.

 

 

 

Because he never gave up on her.

 

Because he always encouraged her.

 

 

But he didn’t love her not until it was too late.

 

 

Not until she had already decided.

 

 

 

Decided that that’s what friendship was.

 

 

 

Making promises to keep—

 

 

Making someone feel less lonely.

 

 

Making someone feel less afraid.

 

 

Taking their hand and telling them that they should never give up.

 

 

 

That you’ll always be there—

 

 

That you'll never leave. 

 

 

 

Holding someone when they needed to be held—

 

 

 

Reassuring them that you’ll never let go.

 

 

Loving them when they needed to be loved.

 

 

 

She thought they were soulmates for a long time— but eventually she understood.

 

 

 

He didn’t love her—

 

 

He could never love her.

 

 

And at some point she didn’t want him to anymore—

 

 

 

Some point before he kissed her goodbye— some point before she held him that night and told him she loved him.

 

 

 

She was happy to have loved Kim Namjoon, and seeing him now

 

 

 

It made her think back.

 

 

 

 

She wished they had run away together then.

 

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon was the only person she had seen— he had gotten up and wrapped his arms around her before she could think about anything else—

 

 

 

About anyone else.

 

 

 

But now she was staring at the six faces she had looked past— those faces that couldn't hide what they felt.

 

 

 

Those faces twisted in hurt and anguish.

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who wanted to marry her had never looked so afraid.

 

 

It made her want ask again—

 

 

 

Min Yoongi who had asked for forgiveness and was begging for it now as his eyes searched hers desperately.

 

 

 

Can we run away together?

 

 

 

Kim Taehyung, Park Jimin— all of them, all of them.

 

 

 

Please— let's run away together?

 

 

 

 

She felt like crying.

 

 

 

 

Please, please—

 

 

 

But Namjoon held her in place, keeping her firmly in the reality that threatened to tear her apart.

 

 

 

She remembered Jimin’s words from the first day they met—

 

 

 

It seemed like years had passed since then.

 

 

 

 

A family of seven—

 

 

 

 

She was a fool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A family of seven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fool, a fool, a fool, a fool—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In that moment a small part of her that wanted to go back.

 

 

 

Back to what she had known best—

 

 

 

Back to what she felt she deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alone, alone, alone.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

“Y/n—"

 

 

 

 

"Hey— look at me.”

 

 

 

 

It was Namjoon.

 

 

 

He smiled gently— it brought her back to reality, away from all the thoughts that grew louder, louder—

 

 

 

Her mind was racing, but she found comfort in what she saw.

 

 

 

The same Namjoon.

 

 

 

“I missed you, y/n.”

 

 

 

She could only nod as he pulled her closer.

 

 

 

All the things she had wanted to say to him— every fleeting thought, every drawn out monologue— it was all gone in an instant.

 

 

 

Gone when she saw them.

 

 

 

Namjoon made her meet his gaze gently, taking her face in his hands— sweetly, softly.

 

 

 

Forgetting they were being watched—

 

 

Forgetting and going into the place he knew best.

 

 

 

 

Their world, their world, their world.

 

 

 

 

She couldn’t find her words and Namjoon laughed.

 

 

 

The same laugh.

 

 

 

“You should join us—”

 

 

She met his gaze and smiled sadly.

 

 

She had almost forgotten—

 

 

 

It was the same Namjoon— but he couldn’t be more different.

 

 

 

This Namjoon didn’t know her fears anymore— her worries, her doubts.

 

 

 

All of which consisted of them—

 

 

 

Hurting them, loving them.

 

 

 

This Namjoon had left.

 

 

 

It wasn’t his fault— no, it wasn't his fault at all—

 

 

 

But part of her couldn't help but resent him for it.

 

 

 

If he had just stayed— 

 

 

 

She shook her head.

 

“There isn’t enough room, Namjoon—”

 

He frowned.

 

 

 

The same frown—

 

 

 

He always knew when something was wrong, in the end he always would. 

 

 

 

They were the same.

 

 

 

They always would be.

 

 

Always, always, al—

 

 

“Namjoon? What’s wrong y/n? I haven’t seen you in years—”

 

 

She avoided his worried gaze, focusing on his feet like when they were children—

 

 

 

Like when they were children.

 

 

 

“Who’s fault is that Joon?”

 

 

 

The words stung, and the happiness he had felt quickly turned into guilt.

 

 

 

Despite the pain in his chest he pulled her closer—

 

 

 

“Y/n, talk to me—”

 

 

 

She had grown so much since then— so much.

 

 

 

But when he held her like he always had she still felt small— small and vulnerable.

 

 

 

She wanted to tell him everything— take his hand and run away.

  

 

She wanted to yell at him— ask what she had wondered for so long—

 

 

 

 

Did you even look for me?

 

 

 

 

She didn’t get the chance, though.

 

 

“Is one of those for me?”

 

 

 

It was Jin

 

 

 

He was pointing at the presents she had forgotten she was holding, smiling brightly before taking them from her hands.

 

 

 

"Thank you, brat—"

 

 

 

His smile gave her something Namjoon's hadn't.

 

 

 


"It's just like you to show up late—"

 

 

 

His words, his voice, it all gave her something Namjoon hadn't—

 

 

 

"I'm happy you're here, y/n—"

 

 

 

He didn't have to say anything else.

 

 

 

"I'm happy you're here."

 

 

 

She understood.

 

 

 

Everything’s going to be alright, y/n—

 

 

 

She understood.

 

 

 

I'm right here.

 

 

 

Somehow Jin had seen what Namjoon hadn't— she was terrified.

 

 

 

 

He didn't know why— he didn't have to.

 

 

 

 

As soon as he saw it he pushed away his own fears and went to her.

 

 

 

I'm here.

 

 

 

Jin guided her towards the table with no room.

 

 

 

No room for y/n, no room for y/n—

 

 

 

She didn’t realize Namjoon had kept his hand in hers the whole way there.

 

 

Jin had only told her to follow him— but it was almost as if he was holding her hand instead.

 

 

 

Whispering words of comfort and rubbing the back of her hand gently.

 

 

 

If only for a moment she had been certain—

 

 

 

Everything’s going to be alright.

 

 

 

That moment ended when she met Hoseok’s intense glare.

 

 

 

Her hand was in Namjoon’s when she was supposed to be Jin’s— Jin was the only one out of all of them that didn't seem to care.

 

 

 

And he didn't— his trust for her was unmatched, even if only in that moment.

 

 

 

Namjoon spoke up after they were greeted by silence and glares.

 

 

 

“This is y/n— the best friend I’ve always talked about—”

 

 

 

He hadn’t realized her hand was in his— it had belonged there for so long that he knew it would be a hard habit to break.

 

 

 

He laughed and let go— knowing he had to.

 

 

 

She was Jin’s— she was Jin’s.

 

 

 

“We’ve met Joon—”

 

 

 

He smiled and nodded. 

 

 

“Well I know you’ve met Jin, y/n, but—”

 

 

 

He spoke with excitement—

 

 

 

Happy to be introducing his family.

 

 

 

“These are—”

 

 

“We’ve met, hyung.”

 

 

Taehyung’s voice was indifferent— it reminded her of November.

 

 

 

She wanted to leave.

 

 

 

Both Namjoon and Jin remembered their brother’s fights vividly—

 

Both Namjoon and Jin were suddenly full of fear.

 

 

 

“I don’t understand—”

 

 

 

“We go to the same university hyung, we've all met—”

 

 

Jin laughed at Jungkook’s words.

 

 

Wanting it to be a lie.

 

 

“Jungkookie, thousands of people go there—”

 

 

Before Jin could finish Namjoon spoke the only thought running through his head— 

 

 

“You got into SNU?”

 

 

She forced a smile and nodded.

 

 

She wanted to leave, she wanted to leave, she wanted to—

 

 

 

Namjoon pulled her into a hug— away from reality and all its chaotic turmoil.

 

 

 

They had talked about SNU ever since they were little— how they would go together someday.

 

 

 

He was the one to first bring it up— feeding the illusions she held close.

 

 

 

Illusions of a better life, illusions of a world that was truly him, him, him—

 

 

 

He felt like crying.

 

 

 

Because he was proud—

 

 

 

Because he was sorry.

 

 

 

Sorry he hadn’t been there—

 

 

 

Been there to reassure her when she applied, been there to cheer when she got in.

 

 

 

Sorry he hadn’t known when he was supposed to know everything about her—

 

 

 

He had always known everything there was to knowwhat she told him, what she didn’t.

 

 

 

Sorry he had left.

 

 

 

“I always knew you could, y/n.”

 

 

 

She smiled into his chest— she had missed his encouragements.

 

 

 

She had longed for them.

 

 

 

“Thank you, Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

 

They laughed and started going back and forth.

 

 

 

Their world, their world, their world.

 

 

 

It was still easy for them to retreat into that place they had built so long ago— retreat into each other.

 

 

 

With so much uncertainty about reality, they were both happy to at least have that.

 

 

 

They had been too lost in each other to notice her uncle making his way over—

 

 

It wasn't until he started scolding Jin for having a bigger present that they stopped their playful argument.

 

 

“Yah, this is how you repay me? By stealing my niece’s affection?”

 

 

His scolding was half-hearted, playful—

 

 

Jin laughed.

 

 

Stealing her affection—

 

 

It made him smile despite her being in someone else’s arms.

 

 

“Sorry father—"

 

 

Everyone laughed at Jin’s words.

 

 

It was hard to tell whether they were annoyed, spiteful or genuine—

 

 

But whatever they were, they had shattered the illusion that everything was fine. 

 

 

It was easy to forget reality when she was with Kim Namjoon— it always had been.

 

 

She could escape— for a moment, for a second. 

 

 

 

But it was still there.

 

 

 

They were still there.

 

 

 

She wanted to—

 

 

 

“Well, I should go—”

 

 

“You spoiled brat.”

 

 

Her uncle’s words took her by surprise— he had spent too much time with Jin.

 

 

“Seokjin was going to prepare your favorite dishes tonight— he’s made them a million times to get them right and I’ve had to listen to him talk about it for weeks—

 

 

She nodded moving towards an empty seat before he could finish.

 

 

She met Jin's gaze and smiled.

 

 

"Okay—" 

 

 

His heart swelled— he understood.

 

 

 

For you—

 

 

 

"It better be good!"

 

 

 

When had they stopped needing to use words, he wondered.

 

 

 

Only for you.

 

 

 

There were only two seats available— one for Namjoon, one for Jin.

 

 


Jin said he would pull up a chair once the food was finished, and then he hurried towards the kitchen to finish service.

 

 

 

Namjoon let her choose— in front of Hoseok, in front of Yoongi.

 

 

 

The choice wasn't hard.

 

 

 

Yoongi—

 

 

 

She remembered thinking she would probably forgive him—

 

 

 

She had been wrong.

 

 

 

She sat in front of Hoseok who wasn't glaring anymore.

 

 

Hoseok who seemed to be looking for something— a truth, a lie.

 

 

 

She tried to speak as little as possible for a while— waiting for Jin who she felt could maintain the peace.

 

 

 

It was easy because Namjoon talked earnestly about everything and nothing at all— like he always had except he was forgetting they weren't in that tiny room and five others were listening.

 

 

 

They were as silent as her for a long time—

 

 

 

But eventually Namjoon’s stories intrigued even Hoseok who was trying hard to seem indifferent.

 

Hearing stories about the girl they all loved seemed to melt away all the suffocating tension and anger.

 

 

 

Even she started to cheer up.

 

 

 

“Hey! I wasn’t that dumb Kim Namjoon

 

“In my defense you didn’t tell me forks aren’t supposed to go in the microwave

 

“That was only once you’re making me look bad Joon.”

 

 

 

Their laughter warmed her heart.

 

 

 

A family of seven.

 

 

 

She smiled at how happy they all looked— it looked right.

 

 

 

How things were meant to be.

 

 

 

All of them laughing, all of them smiling— all the pain, anguish, and hurting long forgotten.

 

 

 

All forgotten.

 

 

 

It was Christmas after all.

 

 

 

When Jin finally returned with food everyone cheered and passed their plates around to be served.

 

 

She had thought Jin being there would make things even more peaceful— but it did the opposite.

 

 

 

They had almost forgotten—

 

 

 

She was Jin’s, she was Jin’s, she was—

 

 

 

The table fell silent again, Jin was waiting for the praise nobody wanted to give.

 

 

She could see it in his face— she could read him almost as well as Namjoon could read her.

 

 

“It’s amazing Jin-ah! The best food I've ever had—"

 

 

He finally smiled.

 

 

“You like it?”

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“Of course I do— I always do. You’re amazing Kim Seokjin!”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Of course I am, I always have been, actually—” 

 

 

“I take it back.”

 

 

He laughed again, smiling brightly.

 

 

“It doesn’t work that way, brat—”

 

 

“When did you two meet?”

 

 

It was Jimin— Jimin who had lost his appetite.

 

 

 

He wasn’t looking their way but she could tell—

 

 

 

He was  upset.

 

 

 

Jin answered before she could ask what was wrong.

 

 

“A little over a year ago? Around there—”

 

 

Jungkook choked on his food and Taehyung froze.

 

 

Jimin looked up and met her gaze.

 

 

 

Why—

 

 

 

“Have you been dating since then?”

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

That was why

 

 

She wondered why he had looked so hurt.

 

 

 

So broken.

 

 

 

“No— it was only recently that I asked.”

 

 

It was her turn to choke.

 

 

 

She had never agreed— she was certain he had understood

 

 

 

Jin laughed and passed her his water.

 

 

“She didn’t say yes—”

 

 

Jin wasn’t speaking to anyone in particular anymore— no, he was telling everyone.

 

 

He smiled gently at her and took her hand in his.

 

 

“But she will someday— right y/n?

 

 

She laughed half-heartedly.

 

 

 

She wanted to leave.

 

 

 

Jin had spoken so tenderly, lovingly— 

 

 

 

She had almost said yes.

 

 

 

Almost.

 

 

 

 

“She might not—”

 

 

 

 

Taehyung’s voice was soft and barely audible— but they all heard.

 

 

 

 

“She might not.”

 

 

 

 

He had said it mostly for him, but those words brought everyone comfort.

 

 

 

It was true— she might not.

 

 

 

She might not, she might not, she might—

 

 

 

Everyone except Jin.

 

 

 

They were all silent until Jin laughed trying to ease the growing tension— pulling his hand away slowly.

 

 

 

Wanting to hold it desperately.

 

 

 

She would, he kept telling himself.

 

 

 

She would, she would, she would

 

 

 

 

 

“Let’s eat.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

They all ate silently, letting their minds wander―

 

 

 

Away from the present.

 

Away from each other.

 

 

 

Time passed quickly, and with every second they only retreated further and further into themselves—

 

 

 

She wanted—

 

 

 

“Thank you Jin― it was amazing!”

 

 

 

She reached for his hand and squeezed it reassuringly, he met her gaze and smiled sadly.

 

 

 

“You’re leaving?”

 

 

 

She nodded, getting up― letting go.

 

 

Before turning to everyone else she mouthed something only for him to see―

 

 

Only for him, only for him.

 

 

 

I love you.

 

 

 

And she did― but he wasn’t what she needed in that moment.

 

 

He nodded, getting up to say goodbye― whispering it back when he pulled her in.

 

 

Thank you was the last thing he said before letting go—

 

 

 

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

Her goodbye to everyone else was just as quick, just as quick but not as meaningful.

 

 

 

She had given Jin comfort, she had given the rest nothing.

 

 

 

Nothing to hold on to, nothing to quell the destructive thoughts tearing them apart.

 

 

 

Nothing.

 

 

 

She only had one thought on her mind.

 

 

 

She wanted to leave

 

 

 

She wanted to leave but not without him.

 

 

 

Not without him.

 

 

 

“Come on Joon― walk me home.”

 

 

 

He got up quickly without hesitating― he understood.

 

 

He understood because he wanted it too.

 

 

 

Let’s runaway―

 

 

 

Back to our world, our world, our world

 

 

 

Run—

 

 

 

Back to you and me  back to us.

 

 

 

Run—

 

 

 

Back to before.

 

 

 

Run.

 

 

 

Both longing, both desperate― they said a final goodbye and went to leave.

 

 

 

To find what had been lost—

 

 

 

To find what never would be.

 

 

 

Run, run, run.

 

 

 

When they stepped outside cold winter air filled their lungs with haunting memories of the past― haunting and beautiful.

 

 

 

Memories of warmth, memories of love.

 

 

 

Memories of long nights under heavy blankets and listening to each other’s soft gentle words—

 

 

 

“Let’s go.”

 

 

 

Run, run, run.

 

 

 

With every step they took they got a little closer―

 

 

 

He saw everything she had been

 

 

 

“I really did miss you y/n.”

 

 

 

And everything she had become.

 

 

 

It was beautiful― every inch, every bit.

 

 

 

Beautiful.

 

 

 

She smiled, remembering a time when Kim Namjoon was the seasons.

 

 

The snow that fell gently, wanting his warmth― everything was a reminder.

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon, Kim Namjoon, Kim Namjoon—

 

 

 

It brought her peace.

 

 

She nudged his side and smiled brightly—

 

 

“I missed you more―”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

They walked silently for a long time― anywhere, nowhere.

 

 

Run, run, run.

 

 

Away from their problems― away from them.

 

 

They found warmth in each other, just like before― their hands barely touching, their souls intertwined.

 

 

With every step he wanted to pull her into his chest more and more― let her live there like she had before.

 

 

With every step he wanted to take that hand― trace every line that he knew by heart like he had before.

 

 

 

Before, before―

 

 

 

But it wasn’t before ―no, it couldn’t be.

 

 

 

She loved Jin, she loved Jin, she loved―

 

 

 

“I was waiting for you, you know―”

 

 

 

She smiled sadly, finally intertwining her fingers in his— closing the small fragile spaces he had carefully left.

 

 

Just like before, before—

 

 

She kept her eyes forward and spoke gently, every word reaching his heart.

 

 

“I waited a long, long time.”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“Well you’ll never have to wait again, y/n―”

 

 

She laughed, her hand squeezing his a little tighter.

 

 

 

Those words― it reminded her of Jungkook.

 

 

 

“You know I looked for you like I said I would Joonie― I kept my promise.”

 

 

He sighed, feeling his heart grow heavy.

 

 

“I’m―”

 

 

She stopped walking, finally meeting his gaze― she was trying to hide it, but he could always tell.

 

 

He could always tell.

 

 

“Did you look for me?”

 

 

She was sad, hurt, lonely―

 

 

Something she couldn't hide, not from him― sad, hurt, lonely.

 

 

 

It reminded him of the first time she came to his door

 

 

 

 

“I had a nightmare.”

 

 

 

 

He had loved her then― her fragile heart, her unwavering trust.

 

 

 

He had loved her then, but not as much as he loved her now.

 

 

 

She was everything to him― nothing would ever compare.

 

 

He saw everything she had been― little, lonely, afraid.

 

 

The parts he would always cherish, the parts he had nurtured, the parts he had chased away.

 

 

 

He saw everything she had become―

 

 

 

The person he knew he would always need, the person he knew he would alway love.

 

 

 

He pulled her in carefully― wanting to protect what he had always loved most.

 

 

 

“Everyday y/n.”

 

 

 

He put his forehead on hers, met her gaze gently― it brought her peace.

 

 

“Not a single day passed where you weren’t in my mind.”

 

 

He smiled, which turned into laughing, heavy breathing― crying.

 

 

“I couldn’t live without you― I couldn’t live without you ."

 

 

 

Crying, crying, crying.

 

 

 

"Every room I went into, every person I met, every passing face, every cheering crowd― I was always thinking of you― always looking for you.

 

 

With every word he was pulling her closer, holding her more and more desperately.

 

 

He laughed and it made her chest tighten.

 

 

“Looking for that smile, listening for that laugh― your voice when you told me you loved me, your eyes when we talked about the future― our future.

 

 

His crying only got worse, and it broke every part of her that was trying to be strong.

 

 

She held his face in her hands, brushed his tears away and hushed him gently as he cried harder.

 

 

“It’s okay Joonie, I’m here―”

 

 

He pushed away her gentle touch and pulled her into his chest carelessly, desperately.

 

 

 

“It’s not okay y/n— it’s not, it’s not―"

 

 

 

Every breath he drew was more and more painful― the cold air burning his lungs, his heart, even more.

 

 

 

"I should have runaway with you when I had the chance― taken your hand and never looked back like in all those stories we've read. I should have asked you to come with me― we could have everything right now y/n, you and me, we could’ve had everything

 

 

 


Every second that passed was more and more unbearable. 

 

 

 

 

“Joon, it doesn’t have to be any different―”

 

 

She was holding on to him just as desperately― trying to get him to calm down, trying to make him understand―

 

 

“You and me, you and me― we’ll always have you and me. What we are, what we have― you don’t have to worry about it ever being replaced or forgotten.”

 

 

 

He met her gaze, searching for something that wasn’t there.

 

 

 

“You saved me Kim Namjoon― remember? I'll always love you.”

 

 

 

Searching desperately for something that wasn’t there, wasn't there, it wasn't―

 

 

 

“We’re family Joon ―”

 

 

 

He couldn’t stop crying.

 

 

 

 

“I’ll always love you.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

When they finally made it back to her dorm it was morning, he walked in a daze―

 

 

 

There were no more tears left to cry, no more words to be said.

 

 

 

Only hurting, only longing.

 

 

 

She hugged him goodbye, not knowing how much pain he was in. 

 

 

 

She hugged him for a long time before finally going inside.

 

 

 

He stood there for a long time― hesitating, wavering.

 

 

 

 

He knocked.

 

 

 

 

 

She opened the door half awake and in her pajamas.

 

 

“You’re still here Joonie?"

 

 

She sighed lightly.

 

 

"You should go home, they'll be worried if―”

 

 

 

 

“I had a nightmare.”

 

 

 

 

She almost hesitated― almost but she didn’t.

 

 

She opened her door, smiling softly.

 

 

“Come in then―”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“I had a nightmare― a nightmare that you didn’t love me― that you loved someone else.”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“Joon, I already told you that I―”

 

 

 

“I had a nightmare―”

 

 

 

He stepped closer―

 

 

 

Leaning down, resting his forehead against hers until their lips were almost touching―

 

 

 

He shook his head, frowning.

 

 

 

“I had a nightmare and it was real― as real as day and night, winter and spring. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to make it be a lie.”

 

 

 

His words made her freeze― she tried to speak but couldn't, tried to move away but failed.

 

 

“Y/n, I know you need me― right now more than ever. I can be what I was before― we’re friends before anything else right?”

 

 

He smiled sadly.

 

 

“Pretend this was a dream― that I didn’t say what I’m about to.”

 

 

She shook her head, knowing where he was going― 

 

 

But he only moved closer.

 

 

 

“I’m in love with you, y/n."

 

 

 

Closer.

 

 

 

"I have been for a long time―"

 

 

 

Closer.

 

 

 

"I tried to ignore it, tried to push it away―”

 

 

 

Closer.

 

 

 

“But I’m in love with you and I always will be.”

 

 

 

It brought him peace, to finally say those words after so many years―

 

 

 

It brought him peace.

 

 

 

He smiled genuinely.

 

 

 

“So love who you want to love― be with them, learn from them. I’ll always be here―”

 

 

 

He laced his fingers in hers and made his way into that tiny room.

 

 

 

“With you, loving you―”

 

 

 

He led her towards her bed and she followed in a daze― confused and sad.

 

 

 

“Maybe someday you’ll love me back.”

 

 

 

He tucked her in gently, running his fingers through her hair and kissing the top of her head.

 

 

 

“And maybe you won’t―”

 

 

 

Every word made her feel loved, made her feel sorry.

 

 

 

Sorry because she wanted to love him and it hurt every inch of her that she didn’t.

 

 

 

“Either way, y/n― I’m the only person that will always be here, the only person that will never leave."

 

 

 

Always and never, she thought of those two, those two.

 

 

 

He smiled brightly, his eyes filled with warmth and love.

 

 

 

“You could never love me, you could come to hate me― I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

 

 

 

He got up from her bedside and found a place on the floor― something only Jungkook had done since him.

 

 

 

Everyone was always eager to lie next to her, but he didn’t have to.

 

 

 

Somehow staring at each other from across the room felt more intimate― felt more right.

 

 

 

They just stared for a long time― both cherishing every second.

 

 

 

When she finally smiled at him he laughed.

 

 

 

 

Everything was going to be fine between them.

 

 

 

 

“So― tell me everything y/n.  Your every thought since we last spoke like this.”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Only if you tell me yours, Kim Namjoon―”

 

 

He smiled.

 

 

“I will, I promise.”

 

 

She smiled back― 

 

 

 

It all felt so right.

 

 

 

“Well, after you left…”



 

 

They stayed up all morning, forgetting everything else.

 

 

 

Their world, their world, their world―

 

 

 

 

They stayed up all night but they weren’t the only ones.

 

 

 

It seemed as though every decision she made had an effect on all of them―

 

 

 

It seemed because it was.

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who had to remind himself that he trusted her as he lied awake restlessly― Kim Seokjin who held the letter she had written him carefully, lovingly― tracing over each letter and committing each word to memory.

 

 

Min Yoongi who had tried to drink himself to sleep but ended up miserable instead― Min Yoongi who had curled up with a pillow and cried until his body ached and his lungs burned, wishing he could vanish, wishing he was with her.

 

 

Jung Hoseok who had invited another girl into his bed to forget his regrets and silence his thoughts― Jung Hoseok who had never felt more alone afterwards.

 

 

Park Jimin who lied on the couch pretending the empty space next to him was filled with her loving warmth― Park Jimin who was humming the song they always danced to in the moonlight, thinking she must have lied about his perfection.

 

 

Kim Taehyung who was trying to remember a time when he didn’t feel like he was suffocating, a time he didn’t feel so broken― Kim Taehyung who wanted to feel her tender kiss again, feel her gentle touch― who just wanted to love and be loved.

 

Jeon Jungkook who lied in bed going through every photo he had of her, every single one. Remembering every moment vividly, remembering those nights they spent together― the long talks and late night walks. Jeon Jungkook who didn’t feel so perfect anymore― who felt forgotten, who felt abandoned.

 

 

 

All of them waiting.

 

 

 

Waiting for Kim Namjoon to come home―

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waiting for y/n.

 

 

 

Chapter Text


January was new beginnings—

 

 

 

For better, for worse.

 

 

 

Hope— doubt.


 

 

January was new beginnings.


 



 

A new semester had begun― a new semester with new classes and a drastic change in who she saw everyday—

 

 

No more Jungkook every morning, no more Jimin everyday.

 

 

Taehyung on the other hand—

 

 

“Did you do that on purpose Tae?”

 

 

He had smiled brightly.

 

“Of course not! I―”

 

“Our schedules are almost identical.”

 

He pouted, following her around the tiny store like always— whining playfully like always.

 

“I thought you’d be more happy about it—”

 

She had laughed.

 

“I am Taehyungie— I am .“

 

He smiled, pulled her into a hug.

 

“This year is going to be the best!”

 

 

She wrapped her arms around him and held him close.

 

 

"I hope so Tae— I hope so. "



 

January was hope.



 

A new semester for her, a new semester for Jin.

 

 

“I won’t be able to call as often love —”

 

She laughed.

 

“Don’t call me that—”

 

“Okay— I’m really going to miss you, love.”

 

“I’m going to miss you too Seokjin.”

 

“Promise to come see me?”

 

“I promise.”

 

“I love you—”

 

“I love you too Jin.”



 

January was doubt.



 

It was a new work schedule— getting out earlier while Taehyung worked later into the night.

 

 

When she got out she decided she would always go straight to him.

 

 

Like nothing had changed— just like before.


 

Straight to him.


 

“I missed you Kim Namjoon―”

 

 

He worked as a producer for a small company— a small company that was only a cab ride away.

 

 

The first day she went he had excitedly showed her everything there was to show.

 

 

Every small little thing—

 

 

“I bought this not too long ago— I keep this on my desk because it reminds me of you. Yoongi gave this to me when I first came to Seoul—

 

 

Every song he had ever written.

 

 

“I wrote this song on your birthday — I wrote this song about our friendship. I wrote this song based on that book you made me reread a million times— ”

 

 

Getting lost in their world — giving her hope of before.

 

 

“This is the code to my door— just come in any time! You know I’m always missing you y/n.”

 

She had smiled brightly.

 

“I will Joonie— I will.”

 

 

And she did

 

 

Those first few nights of January were hope.

 

“How was school y/n? What did you learn?”

 

 

Just like before.

 

 

“I made you some food Joonie—”

 

 

Just like before.

 

 

“I started reading this book today — can I read it to you y/n?”

 

 

Just like before.

 

 

 

Those first few nights of January—

 

 

 

They stayed up all night just like they had the night he confessed.

 

 

All night sharing a world of their own―

 

 

Until Yoongi started showing up each night.

 

 

Namjoon had opened the door happily―

 

 

“You’ve met Yoongi right? We’re working on some songs for a new upcoming artist together—”

 

She smiled, nodding before getting up to leave.

 

“I’ll leave you to it then Joon!”

 

Namjoon had frowned the first time few times, asked her not to go― but she explained that she had homework to do, errands to run― so he eventually stopped asking.

 

“Get home safe then, y/n.”

 

 

But Yoongi always asked.

 

 

Always grabbed her wrist before she could leave

 

 

“You don’t have to go—”

 

 

Pleading with his eyes, begging with his touch.

 

 

Namjoon would never see, never hear―

 

 

His soft whisper drowned out by the music playing.

 

 

Only she could hear Yoongi's words, but she would never respond, never show any emotion— only take her hand back and wish them luck.

 

 

 

On one of the nights meeting Yoongi’s gaze had hurt more than usual she went up to the rooftop— sitting on a bench, letting the cold winter air swallow her whole.

 

 

 

She looked up towards the sky—




 

As pretty as the moon.



 

She had never felt more alone.

 

 

 

With every breath she took and every second that passed—

 

 

 

Alone, alone, alone.


 

 

Ever since December had come to an end she wondered how she could be surrounded by so many and still feel so lonely―

 


Be so loved but feel so empty.


 

She sat in silence— lost in thought, losing track of time―

 

 

 

Alone, alone, a—

 

 

 

“You’ll catch a cold if you stay out here too long.”

 

She paused before laughing.

 

“You’re here?”

 

He nodded, moving to sit next to her.

 

“I’m an intern here— Yoongi’s been teaching me how to write songs.”

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

“So you’re trying to be a producer?”

 

“Sort of— but that’s not what I wanted to talk about, y/n.”

 

She met his gaze, smiled sadly.

 

“What is it then, Hoseok?”

 

He frowned— paused for a long time. He had had this conversation a million times by himself―

 

Apologized a million times— cried about it just as much.

 

 

A million times but not a single word came out.

 

 

When he finally spoke his words came out choked, his voice cracked―

 

 

“I’m—”


“It was because of Yoongi, wasn’t it?”


He froze, she smiled, laughed―

 

 

“I couldn’t figure out why—but it was, wasn’t it?”

 

 

She nodded, trying to convince herself more than anything―


 

“I just really couldn’t stand it if it was all my fault


 

He looked away, focused on the empty space before them both―

 

 

“What do you mean, y/n?”

 

 

She laughed again, doing her best to smile.

 

 

“Alot of things are my fault lately—”

 

 

Smile and not cry—


 

But he could tell, it was all too familiar.


 

He frowned.

 

 

“Don’t say that, please don’t say that—"

 

He sighed.

 

"None of it’s your fault.”

 

 

She could only nod despite disagreeing―


 

It was her fault.


 

Her fault her fault her fault her


 

“It was because of Yoongi.”

 

 

His words interrupted her thoughts, and he met her gaze even though it killed him—

 

 

Even though his regret was tearing him to pieces.

 

 

“Yoongi and then Jimin— I pushed you away because of my love for them, I pushed you away because I thought you were the reason they were in pain—”

 

 

He laughed―

 

 

Feeling cold, alone, empty.

 

 

“But I was wrong— there was more to it than that.”


He sighed.

 

 

“There will always be more to it than that.”

 

 

Cold, alone, and empty.

 

 

“I’ll never deserve your friendship y/n— I’ll never deserve you. I just want you to know that I’m sorry, I’m so sorry and I would do anything—”

 

 

“I forgive you Hoseok―”

 

 

Maybe it was because she could see it— maybe it was because she understood.


 

Cold, alone, and empty.


 

“I forgive you.”


 

It was in January that she regained small pieces of herself back—

 

 

 

Small pieces of hope that made her whole as the month quickly passed.

 

 

It was easy to forgive Hoseok, to forget―

 

 

With every night they spent together on that cold rooftop— with every night they talked— she begun to understand him more and more.

 

 

Understand his actions more and more―

 

 

He told her everything he had felt— everything minus his love.

 

 

His ever-growing love.

 

 

She understood the love he felt for his brothers well— and maybe it was because all of her anger and resentment was towards someone else, but forgetting the way he had treated her, the way he had made her feel— it came easily.

 

 

As easy as it was to let him in— to spend the night talking, healing.

 

 

Without the burden of his love, without doubt of how he felt— she found that with him she never felt alone.

 

 

 

Just like she had with Namjoon when she was little—

 

 

 

Just like she had the few hours they had spent before he confessed.

 

 

 

Nothing and everything had changed with Namjoon— being around him was different because of the constant fear in her heart.

 

 

 

Fear she couldn’t love him, fear she never would.

 

 

 

It was never intentional, but as the days passed they only got closer.

 

 

He gave her what Namjoon couldn’t— what none of them could.

 

 

 

Like the day they were rained in—


 

“Do you still teach those kids?”

 

He shook his head sadly.

 

“Interning here and going to school— I chose here over them.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Are you happy?”

 

He shrugged.

 

“Well, it makes more sense to be here— teaching kids was only ever part-time. Interning here means a future in—”

 

She laughed.

 

“That’s not what I asked dance major—”

 

He laughed too, nudged her gently.

 

“It’s Hobi, or Hopie— my friends call me both. You can call me both, if you want—”

 

She smiled.

 

“Hobi—”

 

He cut her off, smiled brightly.

 

“I guess I am happy— I just miss it sometimes.”

 

She nodded.

 

“That’s okay—”

 

They were silent— lost in thought, both a little less lonely.


 

A little less lonely.


 

“But don’t you think you should choose what brings you certain happiness?”

 

He only smiled at her words.

 

“You really are the same you you were then—”

 

She smiled back.

 

“Aren’t you?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“Everything has changed—”

 

She laughed.

 

“In a good way?”

 

“In the best way.”


 

With every night that passed—


 

“Hey Hoseok?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“Why do you think you love so easily?”

 

He smiled sadly.

 

“Why do you?”

 

She laughed.

 

“You and I Hoseok— we’re the same aren’t we?”

 

He turned towards her, met her gaze.

 

“Don’t say that— don’t say that. You’re so much better than me y/n—

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“You never mean to hurt anyone Hobi—”

 

“But I do—”

 

“So do I.”

 

 

He frowned, they were silent.

 

 

“Hoseok?”

 

“Yeah?”

 

“How is it that you can be surrounded by so many people and still feel so alone?”

 

 

He felt his heart ache— ache for her suffering.

 

 

“How is it that you can be so loved and still feel so empty?”

 

 

Ache for his.

 

 

She smiled gently.

 

 

“We are the same—”

 

 

She reached for his hand, held it firmly.

 

“I knew it since the moment we met — so let’s figure it out together.

 

 

He nodded, squeezed her hand tightly.

 

 

“What are friends for?”


 

A little more hopeful.


 

“Yoongi once told me that I see too much good in everyone— I think you do that and more. You see the bad parts and try to fix them. You see the bad parts and try to love them.”

 

He smiled sadly, searched her eyes for an answer.

 

“How can you be so unconditional, y/n?”

 

 

Searching and seeing everything, everything―

 

 

“So beautiful?”

 

 

She smiled brightly.

 

 

“How can you?”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“My love is rarely unconditional—”

 

“When is it then?”

 

He smiled.

 

“With them—”

 

He paused.


“With her.”


She turned towards him.

 

 

“Her?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

“Well why did you love her more than any other girl?”

 

He laughed.

 

“Who knows—”

 

She pouted.

 

“You should know!”

 

He only laughed harder and she punched him lightly, laughing with him.

 

“She’s easy to love—”

 

“That can’t be the only reason! If you tell me maybe we can figure out why—”

 

“Well why do you love Jin?”

 

She froze.

 

 

 

Jin who wanted to marry her.

 

 

 

At her hesitation he frowned.

 

“Do you love Jin?”

 

She smiled sadly, hesitating.

 

“I wish I loved him more—”

 

 

Before he could stop himself Hoseok asked what he had wondered for a long time―

 

 

“Do you love Yoongi?”

 

 

She frowned— no doubt, no hesitation.

 

 

“I wish I loved him less.”

 

 

Hoseok only nodded.

 

“You should talk to him— Yoongi I mean.”

 

She only nodded.


“I will.”


January was finding peace in Hoseok, confiding in him more so than Namjoon―

 

 

“Was Yoongi your first love?”

 

She smiled, shook her head.

 

“It was Joon.”

 

He didn’t hide his surprise very well and she laughed.

 

“I loved him for years—”

 

“Did you know he loved you too?”

 

She smiled sadly.

 

“Not until recently.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Then—”

 

She shook her head, reading his mind.

 

“I don’t love him like that anymore— I loved him from the moment I saw him, and that love turned into something real and beautiful, but I let it go years ago.”

 

She laughed at the irony.

 

“He’s the person I love the most and I can’t bring myself to love him.”

 

Hoseok shook his head.

 

“It’s not your fault y/n—”

 

She looked towards him and frowned.

 

“It doesn’t feel that way.”

 

He smiled reassuringly.

 

 

“It will someday― until then pay it no mind. Namjoon is almost as unconditional as you are.”

 

 

 

With every night the small spaces between them getting smaller and smaller―

 

With every conversation, every thought and small gesture.

 

 

Smaller and smaller.

 

 

“Hobi? Have you ever loved anyone like that? From the moment you saw them? It doesn’t have to be romantically—”

 

He laughed.

 

“Almost every girl I’ve ever loved— it was always fleeting, though. Always temporary.”

 

He met her gaze and smiled sadly.

 

“It was only ever different with her.”

 

She nodded.

 

“What about you? Anyone besides Namjoon?”

 

It was her turn to laugh.

 

 

It was ironic.


 

“I loved you, Hoseok.

 

 

He felt his heart stop.

 

 

“What?”

 

 

“When we first met— I loved you.”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“But why— what did you see? When you saw me?”

 

She turned towards him and smiled brightly―

 

“I saw you, Hoseok—"

 

Laughed.

 

"I saw you.”


“Y/n —”

 

“You must be used to girls falling for you so easily— but it wasn’t the way people normally fall in love, and I think the love was special. Not romantic, not platonic — do you remember the flowers you would give me then? Do you know what they meant? I always thought the love I felt for you was like that—”

 

“Pure love— they meant pure love.

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“It could have gone either way, really— but I’m glad that in the end we have this.”

 

 

She smiled with so much love it hurt his soul.

 

 

“I’m glad in the end we became friends.”

 

 

He was lost in thought for a long time before smiling and nodding.

 

 

“We both need to learn how to love—”

 

 

He took her hand and smiled gently.

 

 

“Let’s learn together and support each other as friends— I think it's what we both need most in the world right now.”

 

 

“A friend?”

 

 

He nodded and laughed.

 

 

“But not just any friend— you were right y/n.”

 

 

“You and I are the same— so let’s learn together.”



 

 

“Let’s grow together—”



 

 

 

 

“Let’s love together.”



 

 

 

 

January was hope above all else.

 

 

 

Chapter Text


 

 

No more Jungkook every morning, no more Jimin everyday.


 

 

Time didn’t just pass more slowly without her―

 

 

 

Time stagnated.

 

 

 

Every minute, every second― they spent it thinking about what could have been.

 

 

 

What they had done.

 

 

 

With the very hands they had used to try to hold on to her so desperately they had pushed her away.

 

 

 

They felt it every time she did come around― every time they called.

 

 

 

She would smile gently, hug them tightly― speak softly, say nice things.

 

 

But with every smile and every touch came an undeniable truth― with every word a painful aching in their chests.

 

 

She felt distant, she felt sad.

 

 

They didn't know why― maybe it was them, maybe it wasn't.

 

 

But when they held her close― when they heard that voice.

 

 

 

An undeniable truth.

 

 

 

There was no one else to blame― the more and more they thought about it the more clear it became.

 

 

There was no on else to blame.


 

Out of reach before they had even realized―

 

Out of sight before they could change things.


 

They had pushed her away.


 

January was reflection for them above all else.

 

 


January was cold.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

But Taehyung―


 

 

With every day that passed he only grew more certain.

 

 

 

They would eat breakfast together, go to class― meet up for lunch, go to class.

 

 

Meet after that― go to work.

 

 

Certain that if he could only have that for the rest of his life―

 

 

That it would be okay― no, it would be perfect.

 

 

 

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

 

 

 

He would never go back to boring, boring, boring―

 

 

Never feel out of place.

 

 

Despite all the pain she was causing him―

 

 

Despite all the pain she was causing them.

 

 

It was hard to blame her for it― so he didn’t.

 

 

He never would.

 

 

Never, never, never.

 

 

It was all too easy to forget― when she smiled, when she laughed.

 

 

When she told him about her day and was excited to hear about his own― when she lit up every time she saw him despite seeing him just a few hours prior.

 

 

She made fun of him for having the same schedule as her but in the end it made sense―

 

 

It had been a long time since he had seen her smile so brightly.

 

 

Smile so genuinely.

 

 

Maybe it was because of him, maybe it wasn’t.

 

 

 

Maybe he should just let her go.

 

 

 

But with every day that passed―

 

 

 

"Taehyungie, you have a test coming up right? You studied for it right? How many times do I have to tell you―"

 

 

 

Every single day―

 

 

 

"You should work harder Taehyung― we need to get rich together!" 

 

 

 

Maybe he should― but he never would.

 

 

 

As long as she was happy, as long as he could feel her warmth.

 

 


He had promised January would be new beginnings, and it was.

 

 

She had promised that maybe someday, maybe someday.

 

 

When his family wasn't so broken, broken, broken.

 

 

 

So until then―

 

 

 

"Jagi, I told you you should have worn more layers, here― take my scarf, and my jacket, and my mittens―"

 

 

 

He would cherish every minute― 

 

 

 

"I can take care of customers while you study jagi―"

 

"But what about you?"

 

"We can take turns!"

 

"Whoa― Kim Taehyung is going to do his work?"

 

"I take it back jagi―"

 

 

 

 

Every second.

 

 

 

 

January was happiness for him above all else.

 

 

 

 

January was warmth.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

A new semester for her, a new semester for Jin―

 

 

 

“I don’t know why I’m nervous― it’s not like it’s my first time going to school or anything.”

 

He laughed.

 

“I don’t know y/n― I mean I was so good at business but I hated it, what if I’m no good at cooking despite my love for it?”

 

 

She smiled sadly, wishing she could wash away his doubts over the phone.

 

 

He had called her in the middle of the night― apologized for waking her up and proceeded to talk for the past four hours.

 

 

“It’s normal to be nervous before your first day Jin-ah― and you’re already an amazing cook you don’t have to worry about that.”

 

 

He only sighed.

 

 

“I’m sorry for keeping you up―”

 

She laughed.

 

“It’s not like it’s the first time old man. Besides, it’s the least I can do― I called you on my first day too, remember?”

 

He smiled at the thought.

 

“Of course I do brat― it was one of those times when I knew I was in love with you.”

 

He spoke matter of factly and it only made her laugh― he laughed too.

 

 

“Do you love me more for calling you y/n?”

 

 

“Should I?”

 

 

He frowned, rolled his eyes.

 

“It means I trust you more than anyone else― that I’m willing to share my fears with you and know I’ll find comfort in you even if you ruin the moment and say things like―”

 

“That’s nice and all but I’m sleepy more than anything Jin.”

 

“I literally hate you―”

 

She smiled and thought back to something he had said to her before.

 

 

“You know I’m always here right?

 

 

He was silent, so she continued.

 

 

“Whether you’re struggling or succeeding I’ll always be here Jin-ah, to love and support you.”

 

 

His tone tone suddenly became serious― serious and sad.

 

 

“As a friend, right y/n?”

 

 

She felt a pain in her chest, in her heart.

 

It wasn’t an accusation― but it felt like it was.

 

It wasn’t meant to hurt but it did―

 

 

She wished she loved him more.

 

 

He realized his mistake at her silence.

 

 

“Y/n, I didn’t mean―”

 

“I know― I’m sorry Jin.”

 

“No ― please love, I’m sorry I―”

 

He sighed, angry with himself.

 

“I should let you go― it’s getting late. Come and see me soon, okay?”

 

“Have a good first day tomorrow―”

 

“Thank you y/n.”

 

“I love you―”

 

“I love you too.”

 

 

 

 

January was doubt for him too―

 

 

 

 

Doubt, doubt, doubt.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Going to him every night.


 

 

Namjoon counted down the seconds before she came.

 

Waiting for her to come through the door like she had when they were children― whenever he went out with friends or on a date.

 

 

Waiting pretending not to be―

 

 

He would jump out of his chair as soon as she came in and pull her cold body into the warmth of his chest.

 

 

Take her cold hands up to his mouth and blow on them― like when they were children.

 

 

She would only laugh.

 

 

“It’s good to see you too Joonie―”

 

 

Her words always made him smile, her voice always made him say―

 

 

“I missed you today.”

 

 

She would smile at his gentle words and pinch his dimples.

 

 

“I was here yesterday― and the day before that, and―”

 

 

“Still.”

 

 


January was reminiscing for him― thinking of better times and wanting things to be the same.

 

 

 

Wanting things to be different―

 

 

 

But most of all wanting to keep his promise. 

 

 

 

January for him was longing for her happiness.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Going to him every night, leaving as soon as he came―

 

 

 

He would knock on Namjoon's studio door even though he knew she would be there.

 

 

Even though he knew it would kill him.

 

 

Every time she pulled away from his grip, every time she ignored his silent pleas.

 

Every time, every single time a piece of him withered away into nothingness―

 

 

He feared becoming hollow and empty― every time she looked away.

 

 

He feared it― but he also longed for it.

 

 

 

At least then he might be able to watch her leave without taking the only pieces of him that had been happy―

 

 

 

The only pieces that wanted to be.

 

 


The pieces she had created with her tender unconditional affection― with every kiss and every touch.

 

 

 

The pieces that he needed to sleep.

 

 

 

Every time the door closed behind her he would turn to Namjoon.

 

 

 

Namjoon who he loved, Namjoon who was family.

 

 

 

He would stand there feeling every word he wanted to say catch in his throat and force themselves down.

 

 

Feeling his body shake with anger― his mind consumed with hatred. 

 

 

 

Hatred that was never for him, never for her.

 

 

 

Only ever towards himself.

 

 

 

It was always towards himself― his self pity, his lack of strength.

 

 

 

He thought he was pathetic, he knew he was.

 

 

 

It all seemed so easy― 

 

 

He wondered why he could only stand there when it all seemed so easy.

 

 

Stand with a suffocating weight on his chest and an unbearable fear in his heart.

 

 

 

Fear that left no room for anything else.

 

 

 

“Joonie―”

 

 

“I wrote the second half of that song we’ve been working on hyung― here, let me play it for you!”

 

 

Fear that was unforgiving, relentless.

 

 

Every night―

 

 

“Joon I have something to tell you―”

 

 

Every single night.

 

 

Fear, fear, fear―

 

 

“I have something to tell you―”

 

 

He would look into Namjoon’s gentle eyes and feel that fear strangle him.

 

 

"What is it?"

 

 

 

Fear of losing her―

 

 

 

 

But most of all fear of losing him.

 

 

 

“Nothing.”

 

 

 

Every single night.

 

 

 

“It's nothing at all.

 

 

 

Those words he had told Namjoon when he first came back.

 

 

 

After he had pushed her away and chosen him.

 

 

 

Those words that had been the essence of his lie―

 

 

 

Those words, those words.

 

 

Without fail― even though he was dying to tell him the truth, even though it was killing him.

 

 

I made a mistake Joonie―

 

 

Killing him, killing him, killing him―

 

 

I made a mistake, I made a mistake, I made a―


 

Those were the only words that ever came out.

 

 

 

“What is it hyung?”

 

“Nothing―”

 

 

 

He hated himself.

 

 

 

“Nothing at all.”

 

 

 

He hated himself.

 

 

 

No wonder she looked at him so coldly―



 

 

January was the opposite of hope for him― January was fear.

 

 

 

 

 

Fear, fear, fear.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Namjoon remained constant after January passed.

 

 

 

Just like his love— constant, unyielding.

 

 

 

She would still go every night— every night but it seemed that as the days passed she would leave a little bit earlier.

 

 

Even if only by a few seconds she wanted just a little more time―

 

 

A little more time of the peace Hoseok brought her.

 

 

Seeing Namjoon still made her happy, but it wasn’t the same—

 

 

As much as she longed for it to be just like before—

 

 

It wasn’t the same.

 

 

“I just don't know Hoseok— there’s the parts of me that want to pretend like everything is fine, parts of that don’t— parts of me that want to smile for everyone, parts that can't—”

 

 

He nodded, it was times like this when he really felt it—

 

 

 

They were the same.

 

 

 

“Which parts are you right now y/n?”

 

She met his gaze and smiled.

 

 

“All of them— all of me.”

 

 

He laughed softly, nodded happily.

 

 

He felt the same.

 

 

Only with her—

 

 

 

All of him.

 

 

 

During the night Hoseok brought her peace, during the day Taehyung brought her happiness.

 

 

 

Taehyung with his box shaped smile and loud laugh.

 

 

Taehyung who would knock on her door every morning—

 

 

“Jagi wake up! Jagi— we’re going to be late!”

 

He would always make a point to knock before inviting himself in.

 

So that when she would scold him—

 

 

“Well I knocked.“

 

 

She would laugh, throw pillows at him.

 

“You should have waited at least a few minutes Tae!”

 

He would laugh too, throw them back.

 

"Well if you would just wake up on time—"

 

“I hate you Taehyung—"

 

He would laugh and help her out of bed― force her out of bed.

 

 

"It's too cold to go outside Tae—"

 

“Then let me help you pick out your clothes— please jagi, please?”

 

“No.”

 

“But— “

 

“No! Last time you picked out way too many layers— I was sweating before we even did anything.”

 

“I was trying to keep you from getting sick jagi— you know, you should be a little more grateful to me—“

 

 

Taehyung who knew her order for almost every restaurant in a 5 mile radius.

 

 

“We spend way too much money on food Taehyungie—“

 

“Well, what else are we going to spend it on?”

 

She laughed.

 

“Debt?”

 

“We have our whole lives to pay that—”

 

“Idiot.”

 

 

Taehyung who would be by her side until he couldn’t be.

 

 

“Bye Jagi—”

 

She would smile at his pout, pull him into a hug.

 

“I'll see you tomorrow Taehyungie.”

 

"I know—"

 

"Then smile— smile Taehyungie, smile—"

 

 

He would laugh, smile brightly, pull her closer.

 

 

 

He loved her so damn much―

 

 

 

 

See you tomorrow.


 

 

January had passed and things got better for some— worse for others.

 

 

 

Jin—

 

 

 

He didn’t expect to be the best in his class— but he certainly didn’t expect to be the worst.

 

There were small technicalities he didn’t know that everyone else did— small technicalities that ruined his dishes more than once.

 

It was hard to focus when it seemed everything he did was wrong— it was hard to focus when doubt was starting to eat away at him.

 

 

But despite all of it— growing uncertainties, festering fears.

 

 

Despite all of it he still did it all with thoughts of her, her, her on his mind—

 

Every meal he cooked— every mistake he made.

 

It was all for her— for him, but for her.

 

 

 

You chasing your dreams will always be an us thing.

 

 

 

Whenever he was frustrated he remembered those words—

 

 

Every time he burned a meal, burned himself—

 

 

Remembered his promise, his three year promise.

 

 

Every time he felt less than, every time he felt doubt—

 

 

 

Remembered those words, remembered her love.

 

 

 

Sometimes it wasn’t enough, though—

 

 

Those were the times he would call.

 

 

 

Only she could erase his doubts—

 

 

 

“How am I supposed to compare to half of these people that have been cooking ever since they could turn on a stove?”

 

 

She would laugh, and he would smile seeing her in his head.

 

 

“You shouldn’t compare yourself to others too much Jin-ah, I know it hard but you need to believe in yourself. You really are amazing—”

 

He laughed.

 

“I know , I just—”

 

 

Well at least she could before.

 

 

He heard Taehyung’s voice on the other end.

 

Jagi— I’m hungry can we go get dinner already?

 

Not now Tae—

 

But we'll be late for work—

 

 

Taehyung's whining voice that he normally found endearing―

 

 

Normally.

 

 

“—I’m sorry Jin, I’ll call you back later—”

 

He sighed.

 

“I love you y/n—”

 

“I love you too Jin— I love you too and I’ll call back as soon as I can—”

 

 

 

Jagi!

 

 

 

Jin wished she would tell him not to call her that—

 

Jin wished he could tell him himself.

 

 

 

But she wasn’t his — he was reminded of this everyday.

 

 

 

When he saw Taehyung he heard those words— she might not.

 

 

 

She wasn’t his.

 

 

 

When he saw Namjoon he was reminded of the day they had talked about her not knowing she was the same girl— the girl they both loved.

 

 

 

She wasn’t his.

 

 

 

“I’m sorry Jin—”

 

 

“Bye y/n.”

 

 

She thought he sounded upset but she didn’t have time to dwell on it— Taehyung was tugging on her sleeve.

 

 

“Where do you want to go eat Jagi? It’s your turn to choose— what about pizza? Or thai food? Or—”

 

 

The worst part of school wasn’t being last in his class— not even close.

 

It wasn’t endless nights of making mistakes and starting over, cooking food that his teacher’s only ever criticized—

 

It wasn’t so complex— it was simple.

 

 

He hated not having her— he hated not seeing her.

 

 

He hated it and somehow she knew.

 

 

 

Somewhere along the way she must have noticed because—

 

 

 

“Jin-ah! You’re late! I made you your favorite dish— I was going to wait to cook it together but I figured you must be sick of cooking—”

 

She was standing in the kitchen when he came in to work the next morning, standing with a smile on her face that was incomparable.

 

He thought about scolding her— he knew she must have class.

 

But all he could do was pull her into his chest and hold her close.

 

Whisper softly.

 

 

How could he ever doubt—

 

 

 

“I love you y/n.”

 

 

 

She smiled into his chest, hugged him back.

 

“I’m sorry it took so long again—”

 

He laughed.

 

“All of November, and then all of January—”

 

“I said I was sorry!”

 

He only smiled held her face gently in his hands.

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 

She laughed, smiled and shook her head.

 

"Nope!"

 

He sighed dramatically, pinched her cheeks.

 

“I hate you brat.”

 

“That hurts Jin-ah!— let go!”

 

They laughed while he tickled her sides and chased her around the kitchen— all doubts forgotten.

 

When he finally caught her he wrapped his arms around her waist and held her tightly from behind.

 

 

“Wait next time love.”

 

 

She smiled.

 

“Don’t you get sick of it? Cooking all the time?”

 

He shook his head, resting his chin on her shoulder and pecking her cheek again and again.

 

 

“Not with you— never with you.”

 

 

She could only smile and laugh while he picked her up and spun her around.

 

“People will be here soon! Put me down!"

 

 

She protested but she was happy, let him hold her because she knew he needed it.

 

 

Part of her needed it too.

 

 

They spent the day working, laughing— all day until closing.

 

He smiled while they did dishes together.

 

 

Remembering days when it was all he knew.

 

 

Only she could erase his fears so effortlessly, create them so easily―

 

 

 

“How’s school for you brat?”

 

She smiled while she passed him dishes to dry.

 

“It’s good, I spend most of my day with Taehyung—”

 

He laughed— genuinely, bitterly.

 

“I know— you’re all he talks about when he thinks no one’s listening.”

 

She laughed.

 

“About me? With who?”

 

“His mom—”

 

She laughed even harder.

 

“Well, he’s good company— we talk about anime and—”

 

“You can talk about those things with me too you know.”

 

She pouted thinking he was joking.

 

“You don’t even watch anime old man—”

 

He cut her off.

 

“I could start— but if you’d rather just talk to him—”

 

She could hear it in his voice.

 

“Hey, what’s wrong?”

 

He shook his head, stopped washing dishes and sighed.

 

“It’s nothing— I’m sorry.”

 

She smiled sadly, grabbed his hand gently and squeezed it tightly.

 

Trying to comfort him— trying but making him feel worse.

 

“Don’t be—”

 

He put his forehead on hers and whispered softly— with so much sadness it made her want to cry.

 

 

 

“I just forget you’re not mine sometimes.”

 

 

 

She tried to respond but he cut her off with a gentle kiss on her forehead.

 

“But you will be someday right?”

 

He was crying.

 

She couldn’t see him— no, he had pulled her tightly against his chest before she could see.

 

But she could hear it.

 

In his voice that cracked and wavered.

 

 

 

“Right y/n?”

 

 

 

He was crying.

 

She couldn’t answer— and at her hesitation he pulled away.

 

Trying to laugh it off.

 

He wiped his tears quickly, tried to smile brightly.

 

“I’m sorry brat that wasn’t fair—”

 

He could only laugh.

 

“I don’t know why—”

 

She wrapped her arms around his neck and made him meet her gaze.

 

 

“I’m here— don’t cry.”

 

 

He nodded— he knew.

 

 

 

 

That wasn’t what he was afraid of.

 

 

 

“Don’t cry— I’m sorry too. I should have come sooner—”

 

He laughed, smiled sadly.

 

“It’s just like you to be late.”

 

She rubbed his back soothingly.

 

"I'm here now— I always will be."

 

Her words only made him cry more.

 

 

 

"I'm here."


 

 

 

Worse for some— better for others.

 

 

 

 

 

Jimin— Jungkook.

 

Her thoughts kept going back to them the more she talked to Hoseok.

 

 

About why they loved so easily— why she had loved them in the first place.

 

 

You see the bad parts and try to love them.

 

 

Jimin who was fragile and easily broken— Jungkook who was the same.

 

 

 

The same but different.

 

 

 

She remembered a time when they had consumed her thoughts, been a part of her life so adamantly.

 

 

It seemed like years ago— it seemed like yesterday.

 

 

Yesterday that Jimin had held her while she drifted off to sleep, had his hands on her hips as they swayed back and forth.

 

Yesterday that Jungkook told her he would never make her wait again, slept on the floor across from her and told her he would never leave her.

 

 

 

Remembered all the good, and the bad—

 

 

 

She still wanted to love them.

 

 

 

When she saw them all she felt was guilt— guilt and shame.

 

 

 

For hurting them, for loving them.

 

 

 

Guilt and emptiness.

 

 

 

She wanted the feeling to go away.

 

 

 

“It’s not your fault—”

 

 

Hoseok said it so much that she had started to believe him.

 

 

“It was theirs.”

 

 

Hoseok was right— Hoseok was wrong.

 

 

 

Either way February was wanting to forgive, wanting to forget.

 

 

 

Finding time— finding a way.

 

 

 

On weekends— at three in the morning after telling Hoseok she was going home.

 

 

 

They were surprised the first few times.

 

 

 

Out of reach, out of sight—

 

 

 

She had seemed so far away.

 

 

 

They remembered why they loved her so much when she cleared past the fog in their minds that kept them from her.

 

 

 

Reached out and pulled them closer.

 

 

 

Unconditional— so unconditional it hurt.

 

 

 

She had already forgiven them in those first few days of December―

 

 

 

She had already forgiven them but she needed them to forgive themselves.

 

 

 

“I missed you Jimin-ah— I almost forgot what an amazing dancer you are! You’re not staying up all night, right?”

 

 

 

 

Love themselves.

 

 

 

 

“Jungkookie— can we go on a walk soon? I’m sure you haven’t found anything nearly as interesting as me to take pictures of—”

 

 

 

After a month of regrets and longing.

 

After a month that felt like years—

 

 

 

“I brought you a snack Jimin-ah— I knew you’d be up late, and I can’t stay long but— I just wanted to see you, make sure you were okay―”

 

“Jungkook-ah, I’m not working this weekend— let’s study together, and after that we can go visit Jin at my uncle’s restaurant, and after that—”

 

 

They had pushed her away— of this they were certain.

 

 

Something they couldn’t fix, something they had lost— they would never ask, they knew they didn't deserve it.

 

 

They would never ask even if it kept them up at night, haunted them―

 

 

 

But they didn't have to.

 

 

 

They didn't have to.

 

 

 

 

She went to them.

 

 

 

“You’re unconditional and it’s a gift— it’s a gift but it's also your greatest downfall, y/n.”

 

 

She had smiled sadly at Hoseok’s words.

 

She knew it was true— she knew but it didn't matter.

 

She had promised—

 

 

 

 

Always and never.


 

 

 

 

Worse, worse, worse—

 

 

 

 

 

“Yoongi?”

 

“Hm?”

 

“It’s been a while.”

 

Yoongi laughed.

 

"Come in."

 

Hoseok walked into Yoongi’s studio— slowly closing the door behind him.

 

Sitting in the empty chair next to him.

 

“I missed you, hyung—”

 

Yoongi tried to hide his smile— failed.

 

“Don’t be weird, I see you at home.”

 

Hoseok perked up at his response— maybe he was feeling better.

 

“You spend all of your time your time with Namjoon— you’re supposed to be my mentor remember?”

 

Yoongi scoffed.

 

“You don’t need me Hoseokie— you’re naturally good at it. Just like Joon.”

 

Hoseok smiled.

 

“Just like you.”

 

“Aish—”

 

“How have you been?”

 

Yoongi froze— Hoseok was the only person he had ever been completely honest with.

 

 

But even then—

 

 

“Fine— I’ve been fine.”

 

 

“Hyung—”

 

“Hoseok— don’t start. I have a song I have to finish.”

 

“You can’t keep doing this Yoongi— if you’d just talk about it—”

 

“I can’t!”

 

Yoongi’s outburst caught them both off guard, brought them both pain.

 

 

Yoongi had yelled before, but never at him―

 

 

Never at him.

 

 

Hoseok was his closest friend— his closest friend yet—

 

 

“Fine then, Yoongi— fine.”

 

He went to leave but Yoongi stopped him.

 

 

Just like all those times he had stopped her.

 

 

“I’m sorry Hobi— I―”

 

 

 

 

When is your love unconditional?

 

 

 

He remembered her words.

 

 

 

 

Only with them.

 

 

 

 

He met Yoongi’s eyes and couldn’t bring himself to leave.

 

 

“It hurts when you’re like this, hyung— it hurts all of of us but it hurts me the most.”

 

 

Yoongi was trying not to cry—

 

 

But Hoseok could tell.

 

 

Just like she could always tell—

 

 

He saw all the pain, all the suffering.

 

He pulled him into a hug and whispered softly.

 

“Let me help you Yoongi.”

 

Trying to reassure him—

 

"I'm here—"

 

In Hoseok’s embrace he still felt all his fears— every single last one but they felt bearable.

 

 

Every single last one but he felt safe.

 

 

 

He could breathe.

 

 

 

“I’m here hyung— I’m here.”


Yoongi cried the whole night, cried and told him everything that he'd been wanting to say.

 

 

Everything he had been trying to hold in.

 

 

Every truth— every lie.

 

 

And finally— finally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He felt a little bit better―

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Better, better, better.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

February was more than better, more than worse―

 

 

It was anticipating spring— an end to the bitter-sweet days that had been January.

 

 

The increasingly bitter days of February.

 

 

Spring would bring warmth—

 

 

It was something they all told themselves as winter seemed to get colder.

 

 

Freezing for some and lukewarm for others.

 

 

And spring would bring warmth — but only for some, because not all flowers can bloom in the spring.

 

 

 

Not all flowers can grow— some can only wither.

 

 

 

 

Wither, rot and die.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

“Joon?”

 

He looked towards her and smiled gently when she met his gaze like he always did.

 

 

Spoke softly like he always did―

 

 

“What is it y/n?”

 

She smiled sadly.

 

Those eyes— that voice, suddenly they were children again and she was standing in his doorway asking to be let in.

 

Suddenly, briefly

 

 

She felt all the love that she had ever felt and would ever feel build in her chest and dissipate— it was only her on the outside, and him on the inside.

 

 

 

Their world but even smaller.

 

 

 

“I had a nightmare— last night and the night before.”

 

 

He frowned, waiting for her to continue but she didn’t.

 

 

Waiting for her to tell him every detail of every fear and worry that clouded her mind, invaded her thoughts―

 

 

But she couldn’t.

 

 

For many reasons, no reason at all― so she stood there feeling small and weak before she spoke without much thought.

 

 

“And the night before—”

 

 

Without much feeling.

 

 

And the night before , and the night before, and the night before, and

 

 

Wanting to say more— retreating into herself before she could.

 

 

Retreating into him.

 

 

When Namjoon hugged her it didn’t bring her the same peace it used to—

 

 

The same calm and reassurance that it had years ago.

 

 

 

 

It felt fake.


 

 

Maybe the childlike idea that Kim Namjoon could save her, could protect her were left behind in that tiny room of their world, their world, their world.

 

Maybe it was knowing that reality was sometimes more terrifying than any dream, the feelings she felt worse—

 

 

 

Worse, worse, worse.

 

 

 

Maybe it was knowing all of those things and more— everything he couldn’t do.

 

 

But she clung onto him like she would have years ago and pretended he could.

 

 

 

In spite of everything pretending things were the same—




 

 

 

 

And he held onto her tightly pretending he didn’t know.

 

 

 





She could remember the first night she had woken up to that dream vividly— she had felt her heart breaking.

 

 

Withering.

 

 

The second time was the same, the third, the fourth— but after a week of the same thing it all started to blur.

 

 

And the second week made her even more indifferent—

 

 

Indifferent.

 

 

The idea that she might not care was constantly on her mind—

 

 

As she went through her day with Kim Taehyung who smiled and laughed like always— Kim Taehyung who played with her hair and called her jagi.

 

As she walked to Kim Namjoon’s studio and then to the rooftop a few hours later where Hoseok was always waiting.

 

 

When she looked for those two and never found them—

 

 

 

Park Jimin and Jeon Jungkook.

 

 

 

When she avoided Yoongi and called Jin who was always busy.

 

 

Always busy.

 

 

But that indifference quickly became something even worse than what she had felt before—

 

 

 

It was terrifying— she could feel her soul withering.

 

 

Rotting.

 

 

She couldn’t decide which pain was worse— the pain they caused or the physical pain of hardly sleeping.

 

 

Hardly breathing—


 

What if only we had met?


 

Her thoughts were suffocating— so she tried to drown them out with thoughts of those two.

 

 

Those two that she thought needed her a little more than she needed them—

 

 

Those two that did but refused to show it, refused to say it.

 

 

She couldn’t help but love them in spite of all their frailty and faults.

 

In spite of everything— she couldn’t help but love them.

 

 

 

“Jimin-ah— it’s me again. I wanted to make sure you weren’t still at practice— if you don’t pick up I’ll be there soon.”

 

 

 

If she hadn’t met them she wasn’t certain if she would be better or worse off.

 

 

 

“Jungkookie— are you doing your homework? Are you staying up late? Call me back when you get the chance—”

 

 

 

Lately all they did was hurt her.

 

 

 

“You came? Again?”

 

 

With every word and every cold glance— with every straight to voicemail and no reply.

 

They resented her for forgiving them— they knew they didn’t deserve it.

 

Every time she came to them with a warm smile on her face, with kind loving words on her lips—

 

 

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay—”

 

 

Every time even though on the inside she was withering.

 

 

“I just wanted to let you know I’m still here.”

 

 

They were constantly reminded of how much they didn’t deserve any of it.

 

 

“I’m fine y/n

 

 

They hated themselves for it— for brushing her off, for being indifferent—

 

 

For pretending to be.

 

 

“I’m fine.

 

 

They were becoming more and more alike as the days went on, she concluded.

 

 

At first it was a relief to have her again, to have her so close when they had longed for her, yearned for her so earnestly.

 

 

But as the days passed their responses, their glances—


 

Their gestures, their faces

 

 

 

More and more alike.

 

 

 

Cold, cold, cold.

 

 

 

If it wasn’t for Hoseok’s warmth she might have gone insane.

 

 

 

Might have


 

 

If only we had met—


 

 

But she knew they didn’t mean it.

 

 

She knew they couldn’t mean it.

 

 

So she persisted— with gentle smiles and loving words.

 

Persisted even though it hurt.

 

Maybe it was because she was having trouble sleeping that she started seeking them out more and more.

 

 

As February dragged on and the nights became longer— colder.

 

 

 

More and more.

 

 

 

Until she couldn’t tell the days apart from how routine it all became— until the stinging pain in her chest became all too familiar.

 

 

Seeking them out and never finding them—

 

 

 

Cold, cold, cold.

 

 

 

Those who needed her a little more than she needed them.

 

 

“Jimin?”

 

 

Her voice echoed slightly as she walked into the small practice room where Jimin usually was at this time.

 

Midnight.

 

Her body was still cold from the walk there, and normally the room was brightly lit and full of music and Jimin’s warmth was enough to chase away the cold.

 

 

Even if from afar.

 

 

Even if lately he would only ever hug her briefly— it was always enough.

 

 

But he must have gone home early, or forgotten, or both―

 

 

But she knew neither was true.

 

 

He was too stubborn to ever go home and to mindful to ever forget.

 

 

Forget she was coming, forget she was waiting.

 

 

So he was probably in some other room of mirrors dancing to music that was far too loud trying to forget the girl he was avoiding, the girl who kept calling.

 

 

Trying even though he knew he couldn’t.

 

 

She wondered what was true as she stared at her reflection and decided she looked pathetic and cold―

 

 

Pathetic and lonely.

 

 

She wanted to lie down and forget everything— she wanted to be warm.

 

 

But the only two people that could truly make her feel warm were busy— sleeping.

 

 

So she walked out into the cold night and let the cold air sink into her cold body that threatened to shatter—

 

 

 

Wondering when spring would come.

 

 

 

She walked aimlessly for some time— keeping her mind busy by counting the seconds.

 

 

It wasn’t until she came across something familiar that she realized where she was—

 

 

“This is where Seokjin would eat, where he would study.”

 

 

She laughed at the memory, and at her voice which came out hoarse and raw.

 

 

Taehyung would throw a fit if she got sick— Namjoon would want to take care of her and Hoseok would scold her for not being careful.

 

 

And that was it— the rest wouldn’t know or wouldn’t care or both.

 

 

 

She thought she must be selfish for wishing they would.

 

 

 

When Jungkook had gotten sick a week earlier she had waited outside his classes with soup whenever she could and bought him medicine she sent through Namjoon.

 

 

Just yesterday she had met up with him to give him a tea remedy Namjoon had always made for her when they were younger―

 

 

Just another reason she had always loved him.

 

 

Loved him.

 

 

“Thanks.”

 

 

Jungkook’s indifference had actually startled her—

 

 

Without a smile, without a glance.

 

 

He had taken the warm thermos from her cold hands and left before she could tell him to stay warm.

 

 

Before she could ask if he felt better

 

 

She figured it was that ungrateful little shit that had potentially gotten her sick, and with those thoughts on her mind she eventually looked up and realized she had walked into another familiar place.

 

 

A small hidden garden where boys take girls and tell them they’re as pretty as the flowers, as pretty as the moon—


 

You’re incomparable y/n.


 

Her heart suddenly ached— it all seemed so distant.

 

So forgotten.

 

 

That’s right—

 

 

She loved Jin.

 

 

She had even written him a letter telling him so.

 

 

Dear old man…

 

 

She had meant every word she had written yet she couldn’t remember some of it looking back— only the general ideas and specific rude comments she thought were hilarious.

 

 

She missed him— and it hadn’t occurred to her until she sat down that she hadn’t seen him in weeks.

 

 

She hadn’t thought about it but at some point he had stopped calling.

 

 

But now the thought consumed her—

 

 

The loving words that always left his lips― she hadn’t heard them in a long time.

 

 

Somewhere along the way he must have gotten sick of her, she thought.

 

 

His laughter, his jokes— she missed him.

 

 

He must have gotten sick of her—

 

 

The way he held her close and called her name lovingly.

 

 

She would have too.

 

 

She missed him, and she didn’t realize she had called him several times until she heard his voice on the other end.

 

 

Sleepy, faint.

 

 

“Y/n? Is everything okay?”

 

 

She was relieved to hear him.

 

 

“Yeah, I was—”

 

 

But it didn’t last very long.

 

 

“Well— what did you want then?”

 

 

His tone startled her, he wasn’t yelling or pretending to be upset like he usually did.

 

 

Cooing at her for missing him and calling her brat, calling her love.

 

 

He sounded genuinely annoyed.

 

 

“I just wanted to talk to you— I didn’t realize it was so late.”

 

He hummed, unamused—

 

 

Indifferent.

 

 

“It’s okay— I lose track of time when I’m with Joon too.”

 

She frowned.

 

“I wasn’t with Joon—”

 

“It’s fine y/n, I don’t care anymore.”

 

“Is that why you never call?”

 

She responded before she could think, but so did he.

 

“I never call because you’re always busy with Taehyung— and you never call either.”

 

“I never call because you’re always busy, Seokjin—”

 

“That’s fine, y/n. So what did you want again?”

 

 

She wanted to scream.

 

 

Wither, rot and die.

 

 

He wanted to do the same.

 

It felt childish but it wasn’t about calling and not calling―

 

 

It was about loving and not being loved.

 

 

Watching the person you love love someone else, and someone else, and someone else—

 

 

“I’m in the garden.”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“Of SNU?”

 

 

She hummed in response and he sighed.

 

“Alone? It’s cold outside y/n—”

 

He frowned.

 

“And it’s dangerous brat what the hell—”

 

She laughed.

 

“You’re such an old man—”

 

“I’ll be there soon.”

 

“But—”

 

 

End call.

 

 

She wasn’t sure how much time had passed but during the time she spent waiting she noticed something she hadn’t earlier.

 

 

The flowers were all dead.

 

 

That and something else— the sky was empty.

 

 

No moon, no stars.

 

 

When he finally got there she was too lost in thought to notice, too cold.

 

 

It wasn’t until she felt his arms wrap around her that she tore her gaze away from the dead flowers.

 

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

 

She smiled sadly.

 

“What for Kim Seokjin?”

 

“For forgetting how much I love you.”

 

At his words she laughed―

 

 

He laced his fingers around hers and she felt warm.

 

 

Felt less dead.

 

 

“Let’s go.”

 

 

Away from everything that was withering, rotting and dead.

 

 

Away from her thoughts, away from herself.

 

 

They drove the long way — through the city of Seoul, talking about all the things he had been dying to tell her.

 

 

Every new skill he had gained and every new person he had met—

 

 

All the things he had been dying to tell her.

 

 

“I missed you brat.”

 

 

He kept his eyes forward even though they had parked, feeling embarrassed and hopeless.

 

 

“I was angry with you, you know— and when I saw you I wanted to yell at you, but most of all I wanted to hold you.”

 

He laughed and she smiled.

 

“You looked so small and cold— and then I remembered all the reasons I loved you and wondered how I could have ever been angry.”

 

She interrupted him before he could continue.

 

“Was it because I didn’t call?”

 

He scoffed

 

“Are you trying to kill me? You’re so dense—”

 

She frowned.

 

“I am not—”

 

“I just didn’t understand— I don’t understand—  why you hang around them so much. That’s not normal brat— why can’t you have girl friends? You know they like you, don’t you? So just stay away from them. Couples come into the restaurant all the time, I see couples at school too— I just want that and not this.”

 

 

She frowned, not wanting to say the wrong thing— she took her seatbelt off and leaned across the tiny space to hug him, but he put his arm on her shoulder and kept her in place.

 

 

“Not being able to kiss you or say you're mine when the others talk about you— it just hurts sometimes.”

 

He looked down and spoke softly, his grip on her shoulder tightening slightly.

 

“It makes me angry sometimes.”

 

He looked up and held her gaze with so much warmth it chased away any traces of cold left in her body.

 

 

“But having you like this is better than not having you at all.”

 

 

His hand traced over her cheek gently―

 

He smiled softly.

 

“Even if I’m worse off and there are prettier girls.”

 

She laughed.

 

“I hate you old man.”

 

“You love me.”

 

He pulled her towards him and kissed her cheek.

 

It was warmth, and he stayed there wanting to hold onto it desperately―

 

 

Wanting more.

 

 

“Can I—”

 

She closed the small spaces always left between them before he could finish.

 

 

Wanting it to last.

 

 

Even if only for a little— they found warmth in each other.



 

If only we had met—




She didn’t sleep that night, just like every other night— but Jin had decided by himself that he wasn’t going to leave so at least she had company.

 

 

“But Tae will be here soon—”

 

“Do you ever shut up y/n? Do you even think before you speak sometimes? Why—”

 

“Okay, I get it

 

He smiled.

 

“Sleep on the floor then.”

 

He frowned.

 

“What the fuck— you sleep on the floor brat.”

 

She laughed, and he pushed her so there was room on the bed for him.

 

He murmured about her being the rudest person alive while he situated himself facing away from her.

 

She only laughed harder while he took most of the blanket and both of her pillows.

 

“I need two— one for my head and one to hug. It’s your fault for not having more—”

 

After a few minutes of silence he finally spoke.

 

Whispered—

 

“Are you awake?”

 

She didn’t respond, and at this he turned around and pulled her into his chest like he had wanted to do in the first place.

 

 

“I love you—”

 

 

He whispered into her ear as he held her tighter.

 

 

“I love you.”

 

 

She lied still, with her eyes closed and her heart racing— aching.

 

 

She loved him too.

 

 

And so she trusted that maybe, just maybe, she could find peace in his embrace.

 

 

That just like Namjoon had years ago― he could chase her fears away.

 

 

Her nightmares.

 

 

And so she let herself sleep after what felt like days— drift off with Jin’s words on her mind and his fingers tracing across her back gently .

 

 

Soothing her mind and making her feel safe—

 

 

Making her feel warm.

 

 

But it must have not been enough—

 

 

His words and embrace.

 

 

They must have not been enough.

 

 

Because a few hours later she woke up feeling more dead than alive.

 

Cold despite being in his arms, cold and afraid and alone―

 

She stared at Jin who slept peacefully, held her lovingly.

 

She moved slowly, got up and left.

 

 

To another day of the same thing—

 

 

“Did you sleep well jagi?”

 

She sighed.

 

“Sort of—”

 

He frowned.

 

“You sound awful.”

 

She laughed, he was right.

 

She felt awful.

 

“I think Jungkook got me sick.”

 

She had been right about how he would take to her being sick—

 

The whole day was him complaining about he was going to get sick.

 

 

Complaining about why she got sick in the first place.

 

 

“I get it Tae—”

 

“No, you don’t get it , they’re being jerks so why are you even hanging around them in the first place? I love them too and—”

 

 

The door opened but he continued.

 

 

Customers normally didn’t need help anyway.

 

 

“And I know why you’re doing it, but—”

 

“But what? Taehyungie you’re being—”

 

“Hey.”

 

 

They both looked over and Taehyung scoffed playfully.

 

“Are you trying to get sick too? Why aren’t you wearing a jacket Jimine? It’s cold outside—”

 

He laughed.

 

“I was just at practice—”

 

“Did you get out earlier today?”

 

Jimin nodded.

 

“We’re preparing for a recital, so—”

 

His words drifted off as he met her gaze and then looked away.

 

 

Just like always.

 

 

“Can I talk to you? When you’re done— are you done soon?”

 

 

She nodded and Taehyung moved towards her, grabbing her hand gently out of Jimin’s sight.

 

Speaking softly.

 

“Do you want to go now? I can cover for you—”

 

She smiled at his words, gripped his hand reassuringly.

 

“I can stay.”

 

He smiled and let go— proceeded to talk to Jimin for the next hour about nothing at all.

 

School, video games—it was nice to know they could still talk about simple things.

 

 

But everything that mattered— everything he used to tell him.

 

 

He confided in her more than anyone.

 

 

As a result there was not much to say to anyone else — including Jimin who had once known his every thought.

 

 

His very soul.

 

 

It didn’t occur to him until he ran out of things to say that they all seemed distant lately—

 

 

Together but separate.

 

 

For better, for worse.

 

 

After her shift ended they left into the cold night together— leaving Taehyung alone with his thoughts.

 

He wondered what they would talk about— that and something else.

 

 

 

 

They had forgotten Hoseok’s birthday.

 

 




They didn’t talk much about anything for a while.

 

 

Nothing, nothing.

 

 

The empty air was filled with shallow breaths of almost words— almost apologies.

 

 

Almost.

 

 

“You walked a long way without a jacket Jimin-ah— you should be taking better care of yourself if you have a recital coming up.”

 

 

He smiled at her— warmly.

 

 

It had been a while since she’d seen it.


 

If only we had met.


 

“Will you? Take better care of yourself?”

 

 

She laughed softly, murmured quietly about how she would—

 

 

well, only if you do Jimin-ah.”

 

 

They walked in silence—

 

Listening to the the city and tuning it out.

 

And it wasn’t until he started humming that she noticed that it had started to snow— that white flakes danced around them in the moonlight melodiously.

 

Just like they used to, just like it should be—

 

 

Falling in tandem to the song she had hummed for him both years ago and yesterday.

 

 

Yesterday and years ago.

 

 

She felt warm under his gentle gaze that was melting away the suffocating cold— she hoped it would last this time.

 

 

Unconditional warmth.

 

 

“I want to keep my promise to you—”

 

She spoke softly, not wanting to break the peace.

 

 

“Do you still want that?”

 

 

She stopped walking and he stopped too, but he refused to look at her.

 

He did— more than anything.

 

More than anything, but—

 

 

“No.”

 

 

He didn’t deserve it.

 

He never would—

 

 

Never, never, never

 

 

She looked up towards the sky and sighed.

 

 

“That’s a relief.”

 

 

At this he finally looked over—

 

Finally met her gaze and held it, trying to find a lie.

 

 

Trying, trying

 

 

It hurt more than the cold seeping into his bones and slowly killing him— more than the past few months of pushing her away.

 

 

His numbness suddenly became pain.

 

 

His voice wavered, broke

 

 

“You don’t mean that—”

 

 

She didn’t hesitate.

 

 

“Of course I don’t.”

 

 

She frowned and met his gaze.

 

 

“Just like you and Jungkook don’t mean any of it.”

 

“Y/n—”

 

“It must hurt to lie all the time so why don’t you just stop it already?”

 

“Why are you like this?”

 

 

His loud voice startled her—

 

 

He was crying.

 

 

She moved towards him and he moved away— she reached out, her cold hands trying to give him warmth and he flinched.

 

 

He flinched.

 

 

She stayed where she was, worlds between them.

 

Even though they were only a few feet apart—

 

 

Worlds between them.

 

 

Time slowed and stopped.

 

 

“Your love terrifies me.”

 

 

Slowed and broke.

 

 

It was her turn to flinch.

 

“You scare me, and him— y/n do you know why?”

 

She tried to speak but he pulled her into his chest before she could.

 

Held her there.

 

And suddenly everything that was between them ceased to exist and never was―

 

“Because it’s perfect, and you’re perfect— and we don’t deserve any of it.”

 

 

Time continued when it hadn’t for so long―

 

 

He pulled away so he could see her, brush the snow on her face away.

 

“Your forgiveness—”

 

He searched her eyes and saw sadness—

 

“Your kind words—”

 

Saw warmth despite her skin being cold.

 

“Loving gestures.”

 

He whispered the last words slowly— kissed her forehead gently.

 

It stung his lips because she was freezing.

 

It burned where his lips had touched because he was too.

 

 

“Let’s go inside.”

 

 

That night she slept and didn’t dream at all— she must have been too tired.

 

Too warm.

 

She woke up to the sound of Jimin’s gentle breathing across the room—

 

Her heart ached at the sight.

 

She was happy.

 

He was curled up on the floor with a soft non-existent smile on his lips and a pillow she must have given him.

 

He looked so warm.

 

Under rays of sun that shone in and danced on his features.

 

She had to resist the urge to lie next to him remembering all the things Hoseok had told her―

 

 

About being careful when it came to things like holding hands, hugging— sleeping.

 

 

“Always remember that sleeping with someone is more intimate than sleeping with them.”

 

 

She had laughed at his words then, and she laughed softly remembering them now.

 

 

“Why?”

 

 

He had smiled.

 

 

“It just is— most of the time.”

 

 

She had nodded despite being confused.

 

But thinking about it now it made sense—

 

Looking at Jimin now it made sense.

 

Even if he was across the room.

 

 

She thought about it as she walked out into the cold air―

 

 

But the same winter air that had been suffocating suddenly felt like a fresh breath of life.

 

 

She let it sink deep into her lungs and held it there, along with everything that was withering, rotting, dying.

 

 

 

And then she let it go.

 

 

 

“Y/n!”

 

It was Taehyung.

 

“Are you ready to go?”

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

“Did you sleep well?”

 

She told him yes and she meant it.


 

She hoped it would last.





The day went as usual—

 

 

As usual except Jin called her.

 

As usual but Jimin waited for her.

 

As usual but—

 

 

“Where were you yesterday?”

 

 

Both Namjoon and Hoseok asked.

 

She told them both she had gone home because she was sick—

 

 

They responded just like she knew they would.

 

 

“Did you take medicine? Do you need medicine? I can go get you medicine— did you eat today? What did you eat? Do you want me to—”

 

 

“I told you to start wearing more layers— I’m sure Taehyung told you too. We can just start meeting inside, my studio’s next to Yoongi’s but—”

 

 

She had laughed.

 

 

“But I like the rooftop Hoseokie—”

 

“I’m fine Joonie

 

 

I’m fine―

 

 

And she meant it.

 

 

As usual but better—

 

 

And suddenly February was over, and it was spring.

 

 

 

Well it technically wasn’t.

 

 

 

“Spring doesn’t start until March 21st y/n— I expect more from you.”

 

“Taehyungie, did I ask? I don’t remember asking—”

 

“Well you said you were glad it was spring and—”

 

“It’s March— which is basically spring. Shut up will you?”

 

 

Some flowers can’t bloom in the spring— can’t grow.

 

 

But that doesn’t mean they have to die—

 

 

 

Sometimes they just go to sleep.





 

 

 

Sometimes.




 

 

Withering, dying—

 

 

Blooming— growing.

 

 

 

“Yoongi?”

 

It was Hoseok.

 

“Yoongi—”

 

He spoke softly as he shook him awake gently.

 

 

As gently as he could.

 

 

Yoongi opened his eyes slowly and sighed.

 

 

“What time is it?”

 

“It’s time.”

 

“Really?”

 

Hoseok nodded and pushed him to get out of bed.

 

“Let’s go —”

 

It was routine.

 

Hoseok would wake him up and they would go to work.

 

They always walked even though it was far—

 

 

Even though it was cold.

 

 

Time passed quickly when they were together— talking about everything that wasn’t too important.

 

 

“What should we eat later? Did you want to get coffee before or after?”

 

 

And everything that was.

 

 

“I haven’t been drinking much lately— don’t smile so happily Hoseok you look ridiculous.”

 

“I slept well last night— just like yesterday and the day before and—”

 

 

Blooming.

 

 

On their walks he never asked about her, never talked about her.

 

 

But Hoseok knew better—

 

 

He wasn’t over her.

 

 

In fact he thought that maybe he loved her more.

 

Cherished her more.

 

 

Just from afar— knowing she needed space.

 

 

Afar at least for now.

 

 

He never asked but when they said her name he always listened.

 

 

When Taehyung talked to his mom or Jin talked to Namjoon.

 

 

He pretended he didn’t but he did.

 

 

He always did.

 

 

When Jimin suddenly started talking about her again he was happy.

 

 

Hoseok saw it.

 

 

With hidden smiles that graced his features even if only for a second.

 

 

Hoseok saw it.

 

 

Slowly but surely as the winter days passed Yoongi seemed to be blooming.

 

 

What had seemed hopeless came to be.

 

 

It was winter but he was blooming.

 

 

“How is she?”

 

 

Hoseok looked over and smiled.

 

 

“She’s better.”

 

 

It was March when he started asking about her— not always.

 

 

Just sometimes.

 

 

It was because Namjoon had cried about her to him a few days before March―

 

 

A day after she had told him about her nightmares, and he had held her feeling hopeless.

 

 

Feeling useless.

 

 

Namjoon had confided in Yoongi and part of him wanted to tell him the truth―

 

 

The other part of him knew it wasn’t the right time.

 

 

So he held Namjoon while he cried and listened to all of his worries, doubts, fears.

 

 

Focused on him and not her.

 

 

At least in that moment—

 

 

Him and not her.

 

 

But after that moment had passed he was able to worry for them both—

 

 

Hurt for them both.

 

 

And so he started asking since he never saw her—

 

 

“Was she better today?”

 

 

Even though he longed to see her—

 

 

“She was.”

 

 

As long as he could hear those words it was fine.

 

 

See her through Hoseok.

 

 

He was happy.

 

 

Less worried for her and worried only for him.

 

 

Only him—

 

 

Kim Namjoon who started feeling better when she did— and worse because of it too.

 

No matter what Yoongi said Namjoon kept telling him that he was certain—

 

 

 

Certain she didn’t need him anymore.

 

 

 

Certain she didn’t love him anymore.

 

 

 

Rotting, rotting— slowly, surely.



 

Not all flowers can bloom.


 

Yoongi wondered if she could tell—

 

 

But he knew that if she could she would have consoled him by now.

 

Held him closely and told him what Yoongi knew was true—

 

 

That she loved him

 

 

More than all of them combined, she loved him.

 

 

“No she doesn’t, hyung.”

 

 

But whenever he tried to tell him so, whenever he tried to comfort him—

 

 

“She doesn’t love me— she never will.”

 

“Joonie— don’t say that.”

 

Namjoon cried more and more lately.

 

 

“I think I ruined everything— when I told her I loved her.”

 

 

More and more

 

 

He would smile sadly and it would make Yoongi’s throat ache.

 

 

His healing heart break slowly.

 

 

“It hurts to love her so much hyung, so much— ”

 

 

He knew—

 

 

“Seeing her smile, seeing her laugh— watching her grow closer to them.”

 

 

He knew.

 

 

“Feeling her grow farther and farther.”

 

 

But—

 

 

“Don’t cry Joonie— don’t cry .”

 

 

It wasn’t about him.

 

 

“I’m here for you.”

 

 

Just like Hoseok was for him―

 

Just like Hoseok always would be.

 

 

She stopped going to Namjoon’s studio that had become the closest thing to their world, their, their world.

 

 

Left him alone there more and more—

 

 

Alone with Yoongi.

 

 

“It’s okay Namjoon —”

 

 

Yoongi who was never good at giving comfort—

 

 

“Everything will be okay.”

 

 

Yoongi who loved him—

 

 

Yoongi who loved her.

 

 

“Where does she go? Instead of going with Joon?”

 

Hoseok sighed.

 

“Jimin started waiting for her after work— she goes to watch him practice and then goes home.”

 

“So she’s sleeping?”

 

Hoseok smiled softly and nodded.

 

Yoongi looked up towards the sky full of stars that mimicked the city beneath them.

 

Shining brightly yet softly.

 

 

Beautifully.

 

 

He felt his lips pull into a smile that he didn’t try to hide—

 

 

 

As pretty as the moon.

 

 

 

“Could you tell her to talk to him Hoseokie? I think he really needs her and not me.”

 

 

Her and not me.

 

 

Hoseok laughed.

 

 

“You tell her.”

 

 

At his words Yoongi stiffened.

 

 

“I don’t think—”

 

 

He turned his gaze away from the stars— away from the moon.

 

 

“I don’t think she wants to hear from me.”

 

 

Hoseok nodded.

 

 

“Probably not.”

 

“Fuck you—”

 

 

They laughed even though the thought made both of their hearts ache.

 

Hoseok for Yoongi— Yoongi for her.

 

 

“She probably hates me.”

 

 

It wasn’t a question— he wasn’t asking.

 

But Hoseok knew what he wanted.

 

 

Reassuranc e that she didn't.

 

 

“You should really talk to her hyung—”

 

 

Reassurance from someone who couldn’t give it.

 

 

“If not for yourself—”

 

 

Hoseok smiled at him.

 

Bringing him warmth like always.

 

 

“Then for Joon.”

 

 

Yoongi frowned.

 

Hoseok always knew the right things to say— always.

 

And he expected Yoongi to curse at him like always―

 

 

Like always.

 

 

But instead—

 

“Thank you Hoseokie.”

 

It made him smile, push his brother gently.

 

“I just want what’s best for you both, hyung.”

 

 

Even though he loved her more with every passing day—

 

Even though he was absolutely certain of his love.

 

 

It wasn’t about him.

 

 

She had learned from him and he had learned from her.

 

 

He had learned from her—

 

 

“You should love more selflessly Hobi— it shouldn’t always be about you.”

 

 

She had said it playfully, but he had seen it in her.

 

 

The way she loved Jimin— the way she loved Jungkook.

 

 

He had seen it and he had grown.

 

 

 

 

He had grown.

 

 

 


 

 

It was a few days into March that he finally built up the courage—

 

 

For Namjoon.

 

 

He knocked and it suddenly occurred to him that he was terrified.

 

He crossed his arms and then stuffed his hands in his pockets— gripped his sleeves and then the hem of his sweater.

 

He didn’t want her to see him shaking.

 

When she finally opened the door in a sleepy daze he felt his heart race and then stop.

 

 

It was overwhelming—

 

 

When she met his gaze and looked at him softly, gently— the desire to hold her, pull her close―

 

 

It was overwhelming.

 

 

But he didn’t.

 

“I just thought you should know that Joonie is depressed because of you

 

 

His words startled her— he had spoken quickly and monotonously.

 

 

She was too sleepy to realize he was trying to hide the fear rushing through him as she stood before him—

 

 

With the potential to ruin him.

 

 

“You should talk to him.”

 

 

With every second that passed— the potential to hurt him.

 

 

“I— will.”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“Good.”

 

 

Wanting to leave— wanting to stay.

 

 

It was just him on the outside and her on the inside.

 

 

“Yoongi— is that all?”

 

 

She spoke softly and he let go of something he didn’t know he was holding.

 

 

She wasn’t angry—

 

 

He didn’t know much but that was enough for him in that moment.

 

 

She wasn’t angry.

 

 

“Yeah.”

 

 

She laughed and he wondered if he was dreaming—

 

 

Hoped he wasn’t.

 

 

“Goodnight then?”

 

 

He smiled and nodded.

 

 

“Goodnight y/n.”

 

 

For Namjoon—

 

 

She closed the door and he felt something ease in his mind, swell in his heart.

 

He smiled and pressed his forehead against the closed door.

 

 

 

Smiling at the sweet feeling of spring

 

 

 

The warmth coursing through his veins.

 

 

“I missed you —”

 

 

He had whispered to no one in particular— through the door of that tiny room where he thought she must be sleeping.

 

 

But she heard him— his voice tender and warm.

 

 

Her back pressed against the door with her heart still racing, still aching—

 

 

She heard him and it felt like spring.

 

 

She couldn’t help but smile—

 

 

“You look prettier than before— I heard you’ve been sleeping.”

 

 

His words filled with all the emotion he had been hiding— she couldn’t help but smile.

 

 

“I have been too.”

 

 

He spoke to her like he had all those nights ago, saying things he would never say to her during the day— not knowing she was listening.

 

 

Not knowing she was hanging onto every word even though he spoke them mainly for himself.

 

 

Saying them brought him peace

 

 

“I heard you got sick, are you feeling better? Don’t get sick again— I was worried.”

 

 

He could almost imagine holding her again.

 

 

“I miss feeling you fall asleep in my arms, feeling your chest rise and fall gently against mine—

 

 

Running his fingers through her hair and pressing his lips to hers softly.

 

 

“I miss hearing you laugh when I was mean to you, hearing your voice every morning— I just miss you so much.”

 

 

He was on one side of the door and she was on the other— but she could almost feel the warmth of his embrace, hear his heart as she pressed into his chest.

 

 

Feel his love— he felt hers too.

 

 

There was no outside, no inside.

 

 

Just them—

 

 

 

Two flowers—

 

 

 

 

 

One in bloom and one asleep.








 

Both wishing spring days would never come to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Spring was, was, was


 

 

Everything December should have been but wasn’t, wasn’t, wasn’t.


 

Spring was beautiful.


 

Beautiful in every way for some, beautifully tragic for others.

 

 

But despite some blooming, despite some withering— there was no denying what spring was, was, was

 

 

Spring was real, vividly so.

 

 

A beautiful, beautiful precursor for everything that wouldn’t be.

 

 

Everything that couldn’t be—


 

 

Spring was real.

 

 

 


 

 

 

“Tae?”

 

He hummed gently, looking over the shelves between them to meet her gaze—

 

“What is it?”

 

They were in the middle of stacking— just stacking. There was less and less restacking to do lately, more and more actual work.

 

“Did you decide on your classes for next quarter yet?”

 

At this he smiled brightly, laughed softly.

 

“What? Scared we won’t see each other as often jagi?”

 

She scoffed.

 

“You’re the one—”

 

“Are you confessing?”

 

He held his hands up to his cheeks and looked down playfully.

 

“I’m honored—”

 

She laughed before yelling at him about how he was the one always complaining when they didn’t have similar schedules—

 

“You’re the one crazy obsessed with me Taehyungie—”

 

He laughed— stacking, stacking.

 

“Only a little jagi

 

“Weirdo.”

 

“Hey! That’s not very nice—”

 

She only hummed and listened to him rant about how much she didn’t appreciate him until it was their break.

 

“—and I buy us food all the time, and I—”

 

“We take turns buying food Taehyungie, that’s how taking turns works—”

 

“And I put up with you interrupting me all the time, and I—”

 

She laughed, and he laughed too— and it was that same beautiful peace they had grown so used to having whenever the other was close.

 

Even if one of them was rambling— even if they argued, went back and forth for hours—

 

They were still always in that beautiful peace.


 

“Y/n?”

 

 

She was in the middle of making them instant noodles, and his soft serious tone made her look up with worry.

 

“Hm?”

 

“Do you know why I was always so worried before? About not seeing you?”

 

She thought about it— shook her head.

 

Instinctively she wanted to make a joke about him just being clingy, just being needy—

 

 

But she held his gaze and realized that he was being honest— something he did more and more often lately.

 

 

Less playful, but still warm— less jokes, but still smiling.

 

 

Gentle, sweet— the way he was now.

 

 

Just him, just him— like always but different.

 

 

He was being honest.

 

 

“I was scared, y/n— scared you’d find someone who wasn’t so boring and smile their way— scared you’d be their friend and eventually forget—”

 

 

He looked away from her eyes, down towards his hands in an effort to hide how vulnerable he felt.

 

 

“You might think it’s dumb, but compared to people like Jimin, Jungkook, Hoseok— almost everyone at SNU really— they’re all talented, or interesting and I’m—”

 

 

He might have laughed if the words weren’t so heavy on his lips, just like they had been on his mind since the moment he realized they were true—

 

 

At least to him

 

 

“I’m just—"

 

 

They were true.

 

 

“Not.”

 

 

He looked up, ignoring the overwhelming feeling to hide and runaway—

 

 

He looked up because he knew his next few words were true—

 

 

“But that’s not you y/n— that’s not you.”

 

 

And although his fears were real he smiled, because he knew his words were real too.

 

 

There were, they would be— of this much he was certain.

 

 

“So that’s why I’m not worried anymore— whether we see each other twenty times a day or once—

 

 

He reached across the tiny table and pressed his palm against hers, intertwining their fingers as he spoke gently

 

 

“You’ll still know it all, we’ll still be best friends.”

 

 

She smiled sadly at his words and just stared at his hand in her own for a long time— feeling sad, feeling warm.

 

 

Her hand was small in his, yet he still felt fragile— her hand was small in his, yet he still felt smaller.

 

 

It wasn’t until his words had finally settled in her mind that she spoke— feeling sad, feeling warm, but most of all feeling defensive.

 

 

“But you are Tae—”

 

 

He laughed loudly, half-expecting the lecture she was about to give about how special she thought he was.

 

 

But he knew it wouldn’t matter, even though it was her it wouldn't change his mind—

 

 

And so he brought the back of her hand to his lips in an attempt to silence her worries— smiling against her knuckles before letting each word he spoke lightly brush her skin with warm chills.

 

 

“Please don’t lecture me. Not today y/n—”

 

“But—”

 

He shut her up by pressing his lips softly to the back of her hand— once, twice—  

 

“Maybe another time—”

 

Three, four—

 

“Just not today.”

 

Until he was certain she would let it go, he pressed into her warm skin with promises of another time.

 

 

Another day.

 

 

She sighed, pulling her hand away but keeping her fingers in his.

 

 

Forgetting Hoseok’s lectures both mindlessly and intentionally— she let their fingers stay locked with that beautiful, beautiful peace lingering until they both finished eating.

 

 

To give reassurance, to give comfort.

 

 

She didn’t let go until she had to— walking into the warm night with Taehyung’s words on her mind.


 

His and Yoongi’s from the night before—


 

The parts about Namjoon, the parts about missing her.

 

 

But mostly—

 

 

 

“Joonie?”

 

 

 

She stood in the doorway of his studio, smiling sadly when he finally noticed she was there.

 

He smiled back, just like he always did

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

Except she knew.

 

 

“Can we talk Joon?”

 

 

She knew and parts of him knew too—

 

 

“I—”

 

And there were parts of him that wanted to runaway— parts that wanted to cry.

 

Just like all those times in his distant memory when she would take those tiny hands he had seen grow each day and wipe his tears away— gently, softly— echoing the words of love he had taught her, giving the same comfort he had always given her— him being her whole world, and her being his.

 

 

 

Like she still was for him, like she always would be.


 

But it was spring—


 

It was, was, was


 

So he couldn’t bring himself to cry or runaway— it was a vulnerability that must have died with their world, their world, their world.


 

“Yeah, yeah we can.”

 

 

A world that had withered and rotted because one of them left.

 

 

 

And so they talked about everything, everything.

 

 

 

A world meant for two


 

And then she left.


 

 

And one of them left.



 

 



 

She thought about going home— told herself she was before she looked up and realized she wasn’t.

 

 

A familiar rooftop instead of a familiar room— a familiar person instead of a familiar loneliness.

 

 

On the same bench with his eyes closed and his nose raised towards the stars in the sky— on the same bench with a calming presence she wanted to bury herself in.

 

He looked over when she finally closed the door behind her— because it squeaked loudly, but mostly because it was something he was looking forward to.

 

 

She walked towards him and he couldn’t help but smile.

 

 

“Taehyung said you looked pretty today.”

 

His words caught her off guard, but then she laughed— trying to bury herself quickly before he could notice.

 

“When did you see him Hoseokie?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“I didn’t— he sent it in our group chat this morning.”

 

She laughed again, spun around and realized it was hard to pretend to be okay around Hoseok of all people.

 

“Well?”

 

 

But she did her best anyway.

 

 

He only smiled wider and clapped while she spun around him playfully— his angelic laughter filling her heart with momentary peace.

 

When she finally sat next to him she said the first thing that came to mind—

 

 

“That’s embarrassing— in a group chat?”

 

 

Hoseok laughed and nodded.

 

“Our roommate group chat— half of us left him on read, and the other half—”

 

She nudged his side gently.

 

“What did you say Hoseokie?”

 

He smiled brightly.

 

“I just watched— I don’t like getting on Jin’s bad side. Anyways— how was your day?”

 

She smiled lightly before shrugging, closing her eyes before starting to ramble about little things.

 

Little things before—

 

“I talked to Namjoon today and— and I won’t be coming around as often anymore.”

 

 

At this he was jolted out of his peaceful state of mind— she couldn’t be serious, no, in his mind she couldn’t be serious—

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

She wouldn’t just leave

 

 

“Because of my new classes Hoseokie, new shifts I have to take—”

 

She sighed.

 

“But mostly because I think I need to give him space.”

 

She finally looked over and saw that he was frowning, so she reached up and pinched his cheek gently.

 

“Hey— it’s okay. I’m okay.”

 

But he didn’t smile or laugh— just stared with his eyebrows furrowed and a frown.

 

“You’re not— okay.”

 

At this she laughed, let her hand fall from his face and onto her lap.

 

“No— I’m not.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Not yet, but I will be— as soon as he is.”

 

Hoseok looked at her smiling face for a long time before reaching up and pinching her cheek the same way she had only a few moment before.

 

“Stop that. I thought you knew you didn’t have to pretend with me

 

She only laughed, looked away.

 

“It’s not for you—”

 

He stopped pinching but kept his hand on her cheek.

 

“It’s for me.”

 

He hummed.

 

“Well stop it.”

 

She looked up from her hands and met his intense gaze that threatened her to do anything else but just that— stop it.

 

 

“Hoseok— I’m sorry.”

 

 

And suddenly his eyes were gentle again

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

He let his thumb brush over her cheek before pulling her into his chest.

 

 

“I want you to cry when you’re sad, yell when you’re angry and only smile when you meant it— especially if you’re with me.”

 

 

Speaking sternly, trying to make her understand—

 

 

“Cry when you’re with me so you don’t have to cry when you’re alone.”

 

 

And she almost did—

 

 

“You don’t have to be alone.”

 

 

She almost did.

 

 

But then something else came to mind.

 

 

“Not until you do.”

 

 

He pulled away slightly.

 

 

“You want me to cry?”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“I want you to be honest—”

 

“I am—”

 

“Not with yourself.”

 

 

He looked down towards her lips that spoke softly yet harshly— kept his eyes there with many thoughts, one thought.

 

 

“I am when I’m with you—”

 

 

He looked away from her lips, into her eyes.

 

“Do you know what Jimin once told me? That he had never seen me frown until the moment he saw me look at you.”

 

She laughed at the memory, trying to chase away the aching in her throat.

 

“Back when you hated me?”

 

“Don’t say that.”

 

His words were almost angry, at what she wasn’t sure but they startled her nonetheless.

 

“Hoseok— it’s okay.”

 

“No—”

 

He looked away, suddenly feeling guilty.

 

“It’s not but— but what I was trying to say was—”

 

He sighed.

 

“You’re the only person I can’t hide my feelings well with— well mostly.”

 

She frowned.

 

“Why not fully?”

 

At this he finally smiled, only slightly but genuinely.

 

“Because—”

 

 

Because his love for her was more than just wanting her to be his or wanting her to love him back

 

Because his love for her was real, and it was selfless, and it was, was, was—

 

 

 

“Because I can’t.”

 

 

 

She sighed before nodding, thinking it must be for the same reasons she couldn’t.

 

 

“Let’s learn how to together then Hoseokie—”

 

 

He only nodded—

 

 

“Let’s.”

 

 

Wanting to kiss her before she pulled away, letting go of her before he could.

 

They both looked up towards the night sky and sat in silence before she spoke again.

 

 

“I think I’m making the right choice— with Joon, I mean. Yoongi said that he needed me the most, but I think what he really needs is Yoongi— Yoongi and all of you.”

 

 

He hummed in agreement before chuckling lightly, mostly to himself.

 

 

“Yoongi?”

 

 

She looked his way again— nodding even though he couldn’t see her.

 

 

“Yoongi came to see me last night—”

 

 

He raised his eyebrows in feigned surprise.

 

 

“Really?”

 

 

At this she laughed genuinely, pushed him lightly until he finally opened his eyes and looked her way.

 

 

“You told him to go, didn’t you?”

 

He smiled softly and shrugged.

 

“I thought you both needed it.”

 

 

She moved closer to him and pulled him into a hug he wasn’t expecting.

 

 

Held him tightly.

 

 

“Thank you Hoseokie—”

 

 

Unlike earlier, having her so close made his heart race— he hoped she couldn’t feel it pounding in his chest.

 

“For?”

 

 

Hoped she couldn’t hear it in his voice.

 

 

“For everything— everything.

 

 

At this he smiled, let his hands wander up towards her face and cup it gently.

 

 

“Like?”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Telling me to cry when I was trying not to, telling me you love me without saying it.”

 

 

His eyebrows furrowed.

 

 

“With actions I mean— like always being here, like always listening.”

 

 

She smiled and it melted his heart.

 

 

“You really are the best Hoseok—”

 

 

He smiled back, laughing softly.

 

 

“You’re not in love with me, are you y/n?”

 

 

She laughed at his words, pressed her forehead against his before thinking.


 

“Only a little.”


 

And he knew, he knew what she meant but his heart still ached— he knew what she meant but he still couldn’t help his next few words—


“Me too y/n—”


And she hadn’t noticed how close he was until she felt his warm whisper on her lips until she felt his heartbeat through his fingers pressed against her skin.






“I’m in love with you too.”





And she believed him—

 

 

Even if only for a moment, when she looked into his eyes filled with so much warmth it was startling— when she felt his fingers pull her slightly into an almost kiss.



 

It felt real because it was, was, was


 

But then he laughed— let go of her face and let go of the moment.

 

 

And so she let it go too, laughed with him— he loved her only as a friend and she loved him the same.

 

 

“But only a little, of course.”

 

 

It was both a truth and a lie.

 

 

“Only a little.”

 

 

A lie and the truth .

 

 

“Thanks— for loving me.”

 

 

She smiled brightly.

 

 

“Even if only a little.”

 

 

He shrugged, wanting to change the subject.

 

 

“So I guess I won’t be seeing you for a while either, right?”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“Jimin said you’d be doing a dance duet again— for the spring recital at the end of May? I could see you when I go to see him! I was planning on going every morning—”

 

 

He hummed in thought before shaking his head.

 

 

“Maybe— I hadn’t agreed.”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“Why wouldn’t you?”

 

 

He looked over and held her tender confused gaze for a long time before sighing.

 

“Alot of reasons.”

 

The main reason was staring at him, he couldn’t help but think back to November.

 

 

How much it had all hurt.

 

 

But there was more to it—

 

 

“I don’t want to hurt him again— Jimin, I mean. I always do— even though I tell him not to he always overworks himself when we’re going to perform together. Even more than he usually does. It’s just not healthy—

 

“But he didn’t last time Hoseokie—”

 

“Because you were there y/n. Almost everyone’s noticed— he never does when you’re there.”

 

“And I’ll be there again, we can be there for him together—”

 

 

He didn’t want to argue, but he also didn’t want to talk about it.

 

 

And she could tell— so she let it go.

 

 

“Either way don’t worry— we’ll still see each other.”

 

 

She extended her pinky towards him, and he obliged.

 

 

“I promise!”

 

 

He smiled lightly, still trying to get his heart to slow down.

 

 

“I’ll hold you to it.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

The next morning Taehyung knocked on her door like he always did— the same lightheartedness she was used to carried in every word he spoke.

 

“Good morning, did you sleep well jagi?”

 

She only nodded in response.

 

“No more nightmares?”

 

She laughed, rubbing her eyes and letting him in.

 

“Nope, only dreams.”

 

He smiled, walked past her into the tiny room illuminated by the rising sun that cast shadows on everything she kept— each thing familiar.

 

“You know— you don’t keep very many things.”

 

She only hummed, pushing past him gently to reach her bedside drawer where she kept her socks.

 

“Well— it’s not a very big room Taehyungie.”

 

He smiled, moved to sit on her bed like always.

 

Legs crossed, eyes focused on nothing in particular yet everything.

 

 

Everything yet nothing in particular.

 

 

“It’s four y/n steps wide, seven y/n steps long from the window to the entry— not including the tiny thing they call a bathroom next to the three y/n step big entry.”

 

She looked over her shoulder and laughed.

 

“Weirdo.”

 

He laughed too—

 

“It’s not my fault you’re never ready when I get here—”

 

“It’s not my fault you always come so early.”

 

He raised his hands playfully in defeat.

 

“I concede.”

 

She smiled, grabbed a shirt and headed towards the bathroom to get dressed.

 

Just like always, except—

 

“Jagi?”

 

She turned around, met his gaze.

 

“Why did you keep those?”

 

She followed his finger pointed to the wall across the bed.

 

A bouquet of white lilies wrapped in the same brown paper he had picked out on that first night of December—

 

 

A bouquet of white lilies that had long since withered and died.

 

 

Hung carefully with red strings and pins— each petal fragile and easily broken.

 

 

She scoffed playfully.

 

 

“Did you really just notice? They’ve been there since you gave them to me Taehyungie—”

 

He sighed.

 

“I know— it’s just, they’re dead.”

 

She hummed, putting her clothes down and moving towards him.

 

“They’re not to me.”

 

He only laughed softly as she pressed her back against the wall and sat with her legs crossed next to him, both staring at the flowers he had given her.

 

“Well, they’re definitely not alive jagi—”

 

It was her turn to laugh.

 

“Do you remember what you said? When you gave them to me?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Something cheesy I read online—”

 

“You’re the worst—”

 

“I’m kidding jagi— I’m kidding.”

 

“You said—”

 

“I said new beginnings. For you— for us. So that’s it? That’s why you kept them?”

 

She smiled, nodded.

 

“They’ll always be alive to me. Plus— they just look nice.”

 

He laughed.

 

“I guess they do.”

 

She nodded, got up to go get dressed but he grabbed her wrist gently before she could get out of grasp.

 

Out of sight.

 

“Is that— is that the only reason?”

 

She hummed.

 

“Should I say I kept them to remind me of you? Because I didn’t—”

 

At this he let go.

 

Lowered his gaze and laughed.

 

Spoke softly so his voice didn’t crack in his throat that was suddenly aching.

 

“You didn’t have to say it like that, y/n.”

 

“How else should I say that I don’t keep dead flowers to remind me of you?”

 

 

He would have made a joke if her words weren’t so hurtful—

 

 

If he didn’t feel so stupid for thinking that maybe—

 

 

“I keep other things to remind me of you Taehyungie—” 

 

She laughed.

 

“Even though we talk every second of every day.”

 

She moved closer— took his hands in hers and pulled him towards her.

 

 

 

Off the bed and into a warm hug.

 

 

 

“They’re just not the flowers you gave me the day I made you cry and you fought with your brothers—

 

 

She rested her head against his chest that was rising unsteadily as he tried to chase away his almost tears.

 

 

His aching heart.

 

 

“I keep other things Tae— is that what you wanted to hear?”

 

He only nodded, reaching up to dry his eyes quickly as she pulled away and smiled.

 

 

“I’ll show you them to you someday— just not today.”

 

 

He laughed before pouting.

 

“Why not today jagi?”

 

She shrugged her shoulders and finally made her way to the bathroom.

 

“Why not yesterday?”

 

He let out a whine before she closed the bathroom door, and then he continued to whine until she finally came out in a dress.

 

 

And then he had something else to complain about—

 

 

“It’s freezing outside jagi—”

 

“It is not.”

 

“If you get sick I’m not taking care of you

 

“LIke you would have either way

 

 

The rest of that day was just another typical day with Taehyung—

 

 

Making fun of each other and finding warmth in every moment, he was partially trying to compensate for his serious words of the day before.

 

 

His now shared insecurities.

 

 

And she knew— but it was what he needed, she knew that too.

 

 

So she let him be extra obnoxious.

 

 

Another day with Taehyung which had recently started to include a daily phone call with Jin— in which he always asked the same thing.

 

 

“Put me on speaker y/n.”

 

“But I’m still at work Jin-ah—”

 

“Did I ask brat? Just put me on speaker— Tae, can you hear me?”

 

Taehyung would only ever laugh, watch as she rolled her eyes and left entirely to go do something else.

 

“Hyung?”

 

“Taehyung, can you see y/n right now? If you can you’re too close. If you can hear me you’re too close.”

 

 

He would always laugh while Jin scolded him for a few minutes, join the conversation when he would tell her about his day.

 

 

“My professor said I’m getting much better—”

 

“I think so too hyung!”

 

“Taehyung— y/n take me off speaker, right now y/n—”

 

 

But she never would.

 

 

“You wanted to be on speaker Jin.”

 

“Brat—”

 

“Yeah Jin, you wanted to be on speaker—”

 

“I’ll never cook for you again Taehyung.”

 

”It’s okay— y/n will cook for me.”

 

“I will n—”

 

“She will not.”

 

 

And it always went the same way—

 

 

And despite all his protesting Jin didn’t mind.

 

 

And neither did Taehyung—

 

 

And neither did she.


 

Because they could feel it—



 

 

And it was, was, was—







 

It was real.

 

 

 


 

 

 

It was the last night before classes would change that Taehyung spoke honestly again—

 

 

It made her wonder if he would continue to make her heart race and crash with his honest eyes and loving words.

 

 

“So— when are your classes?”

 

She smiled.

 

“I thought you said it didn’t matter—”

 

He held her gaze and smiled back.

 

“Well, I’ll still miss you—”

 

She laughed and hummed in thought before responding.

 

“Most of my classes are in the afternoon— I’ll probably do more night shifts, or morning shifts— but in the mornings I wanted to—”

 

She paused, and at her hesitation he looked up from his food and smiled reassuringly—

 

He knew what she was going to say.

 

“Go see Jimin practice?”

 

She nodded.

 

He hummed.

 

“You should— you really should.”

 

At his words she smiled.

 

“I think so too.”

 

He laughed.

 

“I must be crazy— I know they love you but I’m happy knowing you’ll be spending more time with them.”

 

“Them?”

 

“Jungkookie and Jimin— make sure to spend time with Jungkookie too.”

 

She laughed.

 

“I am trying—”

He laughed too.

 

“I know, he’s just— not in the right mindset I guess. He talks to Jimin more than anyone lately, and ever since Jimin and you started getting along again—”

 

 

He smiled— thoughts on Jimin’s increasingly obvious happiness.

 

 

“He should come around soon— so wait for him just a little bit longer.”

 

“Don’t worry Taehyungie I will—”

 

“I know— remember?”

 

“Yeah, yeah— so when are your classes?”

 

“Mostly late afternoon— night? You know, it’s probably a sign, the universe always tries to keep soulmates apart.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Idiot— you signed up late and got the classes nobody wanted again—”

 

“Well—”

 

“It’s true.”

 

“You know what else is true?”

 

 

He hugged her from behind like he had so many times before—

 

 

Playful and loving, except—

 

 

“I love you jagi.”

 

 

It felt more real.

 

 

“I love you too―”

 

 

 

Just like the rest of spring was, was, was— just like the rest of spring would be.


 

 

He smiled brightly, followed her around the tiny store asking her to say it again, and again, and again.



 

 

It was real— and the next day would be too.


 

 

 

 

Spring was here after all, and it was—



 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Dear Old Man,

 

 

Thinking about it now I must have known I loved you— I’m sorry for never being any good at it.

 

It’s something that won’t change anytime soon but I’m trying—

 

With little things, like saving up money for all those things you said we would do in the little glass jar we bought together— you know, the one you said would be for storing pasta that I stole?

 

Did you know you can’t buy plane tickets three years in advance?

 

Little things— but big things too.

 

Like chasing away thoughts of anyone else with “I have a boyfriend named Kim Seokjin!”—

 

In the middle of the night when I’m sad or lonely— I remember I have you and I start to feel better.

 

 

Did you know you could do that?

 

 

There was only ever one person who could chase away my nightmares so easily— I hope you can meet him some day.

 

 

I hope I find him someday—

 

 

But if I never do I suppose you’ll do— that was a joke, I can almost hear you scolding me.

 

 

See what you do?

 

 

I can’t make jokes without hearing your damned reprimanding—

 

But if I were being honest I would tell you I don’t mind— that it makes me smile, hearing all the things you say.

 

The way you say my name, the way you say those words.

 

 

 

I love you.

 

 

 

I love you too, you know— it’s just, hard to explain, but— I want it to be just you.

 

 

 

Just you.

 

 

 

We do have a three year deadline to meet Kim Seokjin— it shouldn’t be too hard, though.

 

 

 

 

It almost feels like I’ve done it before

 

 

 

 

In a world where I only met you.

 

 

 

 

But maybe it’s just because loving you is easy—

 

Or because I just seem to fall in love so easily.

 

Another joke, don’t get all upset

 

But it’s also partially true— it’s partially true and I’m sorry.

 

 

 

 

I’ll always be sorry.

 

 

 

 

Maybe next time we can meet first— let’s make a promise to find each other sooner.

 

Next time, next time—

 

But until then let’s make the most of now.

 

It seems that lately I keep finding more and more of the most beautiful moments in life—

 

I have a few people I want you to meet.

 

I’m sure you’ll like them as soon as you get over the fact they’re all guys—

 

 

 

Sorry.

 

 

 

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve met them all before too— meeting all of you has just felt so providential.

 

Or maybe it’s just one in the morning and I’m sleepy— I wrote you this letter in hopes of clearing my mind, see?

 

 

 

 

You're here for me even when you're not.

 

 

 

 

But I think I’ll give you this one tomorrow— and maybe someday I’ll give you the rest.

 

 

 

Maybe someday in three years—

 

 

 

Until then,

 

 

Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

Chapter Text



March 11 2019

 

 

00:05


 

 

“Jungkookie?”

 

 

It was Jimin—

 

 

His gentle voice reaching across the room where Jungkook laid still under his blankets.

 

 

Still

 

 

Hoping he would go away, knowing he wouldn’t.

 

 

Silent

 

 

Listening to the familiar sound of Jimin coming home—

 

 

The door slowly opening, the door slowly closing— light steps against the wooden floor moving closer, closer.

 

The same sounds of the night before, and the night before— the same cold hands that reached under the blankets to push him lightly, gently.

 

Until there was enough room on the bed for him to press his cold feet against Jungkook’s warm skin, wrap his cold arms around his younger brother’s waist.

 

 

“I know you’re awake—”

 

Jungkook sighed.

 

“Go away.”

 

But he didn’t — just like Jungkook knew he wouldn’t.

 

Not until he agreed—

 

“I’m not going hyung.”

 

Which Jungkook refused to do.

 

Jimin pressed his forehead lightly against his brother’s back, frowning at his words.

 

“Why not?”

 

“You know why hyung—”

 

He let out a sigh.

 

“You know why. I just—”

 

“Can’t?”

 

At this Jungkook finally turned around, met his brother’s gaze and held it


Eyes that hid fear so well meeting eyes that didn’t—

 

 

“There’s nothing to be afraid of Jungkookie— not when it comes to her.”

 

 

Eyes that don’t.

 

 

“Then what are you scared of hyung?”

 

Jimin smiled sadly, spoke softly—

 

“I’m scared you won’t forgive yourself, scared you won’t see what I see—”

 

Trying to make him understand.

 

“And what’s that?”

 

“That even though we don’t deserve it she’s there, waiting and waiting—”

 

“We never asked her to.”

 

Jimin scoffed.

 

“But we did— you know we did. We practically begged her to

 

Jungkook frowned.

 

“Or did you forget?”

 

He could never.

 

“She’s waited long enough Jungkookie—”

 

His promises to never make her wait — 

 

“So go today—”

 

His promises to never leave.

 

No, he could never forget— he only ever tried, tried, tried—


Tried and failed.


“It’s not about what we do or don’t deserve Kookie, it’s about what she deserves—”

 

“I get it Jimin

 

“Do you?”

 

Jungkook buried himself into his brother’s warm embrace and nodded.


“I’ll be there.


And he was—

 

On the first day of new classes and then the next— like he would for the next few weeks.

 

He went just like Jimin asked him to, just like he knew he should—


 

He went


 

Went and stood outside of that practice room— trying, trying, trying to make himself take just a few more steps —

 

 

A few more steps that felt like millions.

 

 

Trying to silence his mind that told him he couldn’t, told him he shouldn’t


 

Trying, failing.


 

He could hear her laughter echoing in that room, hear her cheers, hear her praise.

 

 

And he could almost see her

 

 

With her arms around Jimin who would go into his room when the sun set and ask why he hadn’t gone— with her arms around Jimin who was almost as perfect as she was.


 

He stood outside listening to them, trying to remember all those promises he made—


 

Trying so that he could start to keep them— he wanted to keep them.


 

All while trying to forget.


 

Because the more he remembered the more real it all felt—

 

 

And he wasn’t perfect

 

 

And he had hurt her.

 

 

Her and Taehyung and himself—


 

It was too much—



 

It was too real.



 

And Jimin knew—

 

 

“You weren’t there today.”

 

Jimin knew because he could feel his brother’s worries as vividly as he felt his own—

 

“She’s waiting for both of us Jungkookie

 

 

So he would go into his room every night—

 

 

“Both of us.”

 

And hold him until he finally fell asleep — trying to reassure him, trying to be there for him.

 

 

Or, until Namjoon came home and kicked him out.

 

 

“You’ll hurt your back if you don’t sleep in your own bed Jimin—”

 

“I know—”

 

“Hoseok is also afraid of the dark, so—”

 

“I’m going, I’m going


But sometimes—


Most times.


Namjoon would just smile at the sight and go to bed.


Seeing them so close, trying to give each other comfort—



 

 

It reminded him of their world― it reminded him of her.


 



 

Jimin tried, persisted.

 

 

In trying to make Jungkook feel better again— himself again.



But he wasn’t the only one.



“Jungkookie— did you walk here again?”

 

 

While Jimin had to go to Jungkook every night it was the opposite for Taehyung—

 

“Yeah.”

 

 

Jungkook went to him.

 

 

After going to Jimin’s morning practice, not going in—  after classes ended for him around noon.

 

 

Just like he would until the quarter ended — Jungkook went to him.

 

 

“You know, there’s convenience stores closer to campus—”

 

“I know.”

 

Taehyung would smile, hold his hands up playfully.

 

“Okay, okay— as long as you know.”

 

And he never bought anything, never said much— only ever tried and got nowhere.

 

 

But Taehyung could see—

 

 

See how much he was trying, see how much he was hurting.

 

 

And so—

 

 

“Jungkookie—”


Around the third or fourth time he came in—


 

 

“Can you do me a favor?”


 

 

 

 

 






“You’re here?”

 

 

It was the same words he had always used—

 

 

You’re here .

 

 

Except his use of those two simple words had always made her feel pathetic—


For being there— for waiting.


Pathetic and empty.


But coming from her lips they were made new— coming from her they became love.


 

As most things did.


 

She smiled when he just stared blankly—

 

 

“Jungkookie?”

 

 

And for a brief moment he smiled back— forgetting, forgetting.

 

 

When she spoke his name so sweetly it was easy.

 

 

But his mind worked quickly to remind him— remedy the slightest bit of ease he had felt.

 

 

Until every mistake he had made was the only thing he saw.

 

 

In her smile, in her eyes—


The only thing he saw.


Tae said you forgot this

 

 

She looked at the umbrella in his outstretched hand before laughing.

 

 

“Did he?”

 

“Yeah—”

 

And he wanted to say more—

 

 

About being sorry, about feeling lost.

 

 

So sorry it hurt when he tried to sleep, when he tried to speak, when he looked at her and saw all the reasons he didn’t deserve to love her―

 

 

Lost because self-hatred was new to him— in her love he saw perfection, in his own he saw the opposite.

 

 

 

Everything hers wasn’t

 

 

He hated himself for it.


 

That and not being able to say any of it—


 

“ He also said that it was going to rain today, so— here I am I guess.”


Well, not the first time at least.

 

 

No, not the first, or the second the day after—


For two weeks he waited outside her class after going to see Taehyung who would always tell him the same story—

 

 

“She forgot it again— I heard it was going to rain today.”

 

 

Wait and then walk her to her dorm in relative silence.

 

 

Relative— much to his annoyance she talked to him as if every response he gave wasn’t a one word answer insinuating a lack of interest.


 

She talked and it drove him crazy because no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t respond.


 

No matter how much he wanted to, how many times he said it in his head


 

Couldn’t, couldn’t—


 

But despite not being able to he went, despite it hurting at first he went.

 

 

Because Jimin’s words rang in his head—

 

 

“It’s about what she deserves— she’s waiting for both of us.”


 

Waiting, waiting.


 

Because Taehyung always insisted—

 

 

“She’ll get sick if she gets caught in the rain Kookie

 

 

Even on the clearest days— when the sun burned any traces of precipitation from the air and pinched at his skin with its infernal hands.


 

He always went.


 

“I heard it was going to rain today—”

 

“You forgot this again—”


 

He didn’t say much more.


 

Parts of her wondered why, parts knew—


 

Either way he didn’t say much for a while.


 

It was the last week of March when he finally started feeling less, less—


 

“Hopeless, useless, worthless—”

 

“Kook—”

 

Jimin sighed, Jungkook frowned—

 

Spoke in a soft-whisper like he always had when they were younger

 

“I’m sorry—”

 

When he thought he was in trouble, when he felt small— sad.

 

“No— no. I just want you to feel better Kookie—”

 

And unlike before—

 

“I—”

 

Jungkook agreed.

 

“I do too.”

 

Because the more he saw her the more he felt that maybe he did deserve to feel better—


Feel less hopeless, useless, worthless―


 

It was in her that he found reassurances for all of his doubts also rooted in her—



Her, her, her.



“Jungkookie— Jimin said you aren’t sleeping well.”

 

 

Reassurances woven with intention, threaded with affection— reassurances so delicate and subtle he almost didn’t catch them.

 

 

“Jungkookie— Taehyung said you aren’t eating much.”

 

 

But they were there—


 

Making him feel wanted .


 

Always—


 

Making him feel forgiven.


 

Always—


 

Making him feel loved.


 

Always.


 

When she spoke like she always had before— gently, harshly.

 

 

“Jungkookie— did you do your homework? Do it when you get home. Stop slacking so much—”

 

 

When she offered to buy him food even though he always refused — when she started packing him meals she knew he couldn’t throw or give away.

 

 

Meals he would be forced to eat.

 

 

And it started with talking about his day— bits and pieces.


Bits and pieces that turned into a little more each day.

 

 

Closer and closer to before—


To those late night phone calls that seemed like a midsummer’s night dream, those late night walks filled with laughter.

 

 

Before, except he still never held her gaze for very long— before, except he still spoke softly, looked away when she smiled his way.

 

 

But every day—


“I slept a little better than usual last night—”


A little more.


“I ate two meals instead of one yesterday— the one you packed and some fried rice Jin made.”


Taehyung noticed too.

 

 

“Hyung, can we go out soon? Like we used to—”

 

 

Taehyung would smile, reach over the counter and pinch his brother’s cheek.

 

 

“You’re so cute Jungkookie—”

 

 

To which Jungkook always smiled brightly, laughed softly.

 

 

But despite getting closer—

 

 

He still couldn’t say everything that was on his mind—

 

 

Still felt a pressure in his chest when he saw her, when he spoke.


A sadness that persisted and lingered no matter how much he wished and wished and wished





 

 

Until finally—




 

 

“Look Jungkookie—”




 

 

Finally.




 

 

“It’s raining.”





 

He cried.

 

When those first few droplets fell and touched his skin, his lips, his soul washing away, washing away.

 

 

He cried.

 

 

The feeling made him smile as much as it made him cry more— in tandem with the sky that wept tears of joy with him.

 

 

Wept in a fury.

 

 

“Jungkookie!”

 

He looked over and saw that she was soaked, smiling brightly and laughing while the rest of the world ran inside—

 

 

He laughed with her— looked a little closer and realized she was waiting for him to take her hand.

 

 

He hadn’t noticed until then— her small hand outstretched towards him, waiting, waiting.

 

 

It made him lose his breath

 

 

She had never looked more beautiful.

 

 

“Let’s go!”

 

 

He nodded, took her hand and promised himself he would never let go again—



He would never let go again.


They laughed as they ran towards that tiny room where he hadn’t felt welcome— hadn’t felt wanted — in months that had felt like years.

 

 

And when they finally got there, out of breath and soaked he laughed even harder—


Holding up the umbrella Taehyung had routinely given him earlier that day.

 

“He— you forgot this.”

 

 

She almost laughed with him but he pulled her into a hug before she could—


And what he felt— what he felt.



There were no words.



That feeling overtook him, seeped into his heart, flooded his mind until it was the only thing left—



It made him shake, and then it made him cry again.


As loudly as the baptismal rain that had turned into a violent storm


He cried because it was all too much— holding her, loving her.


 

Losing her.


 

He cried and she held his body that was done pushing her away.


“He said it was going to rain today


 

His body— his soul.

 

 

Cleansed of everything that made him want to wither, rot and die— restored the desire to live.



 

The will to grow, the want to bloom.



 

She smiled sadly at his words— hugged him tighter.

 

 

“If only it could rain forever.”



If only—



"I'm sorry—"

 

 

 

She held him tighter.

 

 

 

"I'm sorry."

 

 

 

He stayed after he was done crying— in her arms, in that room.

 

 

Because everyone was advised to stay inside, because he wanted to

 

 

“Thanks for letting me use your shower—”

 

 

She hummed, trying to focus on her assigned reading.

 

“Did they fit?”

 

He smiled.

 

“I think so—”

 

She looked his way, laughed.

 

“They’re big on me too Kookie

 

He smiled wider, looked down shyly before making his way towards the empty space in front of her.

 

He sat with his legs crossed on the warm floor and just stared while her eyes went back to the book in her hand.

 

Stared— gazed.

 

With a soft smile on his lips, a warm feeling all over.

 

 

“I was sitting here when— when you told me I wasn’t perfect.”

 

She met his gaze, held her book in place.

 

“You were—”

 

He chuckled.

 

“I guess it’s fitting— that I’m here now. When I finally realized, finally feel like that’s okay.”

 

She smiled.

 

“That’s—”

 

“Thank you, y/n.”

 

 

And it felt like the first time he had said those words so sincerely—

 

 

Under the moon surrounded by warm summer air, lifetimes ago.

 

 

He held her gaze for longer than he had in months— held it and spoke with love.

 

 

“For waiting— for waiting.”


 

Something he had learned from her


 

“I’ll keep my promises this time.”


 

Something she had learned from Namjoon.


 

He held his hand out and she smiled gently, took it.

 

 

Because despite Hoseok’s voice ringing in her head this was different— for both of them.

 

 

It was honest—

 

 

“You’ll never wait for me again—”

 

 

So honest it hurt.

 

 

“I’ll only make your days better.”

 

 

In her heart, in her chest.

 

 

“I promise —”

 

 

It hurt.

 

 

“I promise.”

 

 

It hurt.

 

 

In his soft familiar smile that she had almost forgotten—

 

 

It made her want to cry—


She had almost forgotten.


What his smile looked like without any hidden sadness in his eyes— without regret, fear, loathing.


Without anything but love.


And it hurt— it hurt, it hurt like hell because his face was sunken in where it shouldn’t have been and there were dark circles under his eyes where they didn’t belong.


 

It made her want to cry.


 

“You should shower— or at least change into some dry clothes so you don’t get sick.”

 

His words made her smile— saved her from her thoughts.

 

“ But you’re wearing my favorite rainy day clothes Jungkookie.”

 

He laughed—

 

“Did Namjoon leave these here?”

 

She shook her head.

 

“He gave them to me when we were younger, a year or two before he left— they’re warm right?”

 

Jungkook nodded, and she hummed in thought.

 

“He said it was so he could keep me warm on rainy days— you know, indirectly at least.”

 

She smiled at the memory—



 

 

So I can always be with you and keep you safe, keep you warm— so you don’t miss me when it rains or snows and we’re not together


 

Hey— don’t cry y/n.


 

It’s just in case


 

We’ll always be together won’t we?


 

 

What do you say?




What do you say y/n?




 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

Jungkook looked up from his homework that he had started while she was in the shower.

 

“Did you say something y/n?”

 

She met his gaze and smiled, pushed him playfully.

 

“No— focus Jungkookie!”

 

He smiled back, laughed.

 

“I am, I am—”


After that day they started going up to her dorm together— to talk, to do homework.


She would yell at him when he didn’t focus and praise him when he did well—


But partially— entirely — he went because he had missed her.


And when he waited outside her class with no excuse at all, when she would smile and say those same words—


 

You’re here?


 

He couldn’t help it— couldn’t bring himself to leave her side once it all started to finally feel right.

 

 

As things went back to how they used to be—

 

 

How they used to be but even better.

 

 

He hadn’t cherished what they had before— of this he was certain.

 

When he had lied to Taehyung— tried to make things what they weren’t.

 

 

That wasn’t love.


But—


“Can I— can we go on walks again? I haven’t been taking pictures lately—”

 

What he felt now— that was love.

 

And her friendship meant everything to him— he would keep his promises this time.

 

“One, two, three—”

 

 

Cherish every moment this time.

 

 

“Jungkookie! Are you sure you haven’t been practicing? You’ve only gotten better—”

 

 

 

And if he made mistakes along the way he wouldn’t run from them— wouldn’t hide.





 

Of this, he was certain.

 

 





The reconciliation spring brought didn’t begin and end with Jungkook, though.


 

No, not even close.


 

She had asked him to come the first few times— to pick her up after her shift ended because she knew he was up, because she knew he was free.


 

Because she needed to.


 

It was simple— it was simple.


 

At least—


 

“How was he today?”


It started that way.


Yoongi always answered relatively the same way—

 

 

 

Vaguely.

 

 

 

“He’s been better— but, I think it’s helping—”

 

“Not seeing me?”

 

He would smile grimly, nod.

 

And that was it—

 

Both wanting to say more

 

“Was he better today?”

 

 

More about Namjoon—

 

 

“Sort of— we got more work done than yesterday.”

 

 

More about anything.

 

 

“That’s good.”

 

 

Both sitting silently with the hum of the heater to fill the void after her only question of the night had been answered.

 

 

And he was impossible to read— because it was dark, because he was driving


She was even more so because he refused to look her way.


But after the first few times she stopped asking him to come— because she felt guilty, because she felt sorry.

 

 

For missing Kim Namjoon who was only hurting because of her—


 

Because of her.


 

But Yoongi just showed up anyway — the first day she didn’t call and everyday after that.

 

 

Even when she didn’t work, driving past just to check—

 

 

Waiting, waiting.

 

 

Because he knew the girl he loved—

 

 

And he’d be damned if he let her feel sorry for herself over something that wasn’t her fault.

 

 

So without fail, he was there— and without fail, she ran to him.

 

 

Opening the passenger door quickly— throwing her stuff and then herself in before closing it gently.

 

 

He wondered why at first, remembered why—


 

“Don’t slam the door so fucking hard, yeah groupie?”

 

“Hurry the fuck up, will you?”


 

He almost wished he had been a little kinder to her when they had first met, then again—

 

 

“Fuck you Yoongi—”

 

 

It had brought out the best in her.


 

“How was he today?”

 

Her words brought him out of his thoughts of the past— into ones of the present.

 

She couldn’t see Namjoon, couldn’t go to him— couldn’t because Yoongi’s next few words were true.

 

“Better.”

 

If she didn’t think it was helping she wouldn’t be staying away— he wouldn’t have let her.

 

He would have told her to go to him like he had the first night he saw her again—

 

There was no doubt in his mind

 

He would have told her to go to him.


But she had gone—


Gone and decided that staying away would be better—

 

 

And now he was helping her see Namjoon the same way he had seen her through Hoseok.


 

And that was enough—


“Good.”


 

At least at first.


 

Because as the days passed a single thought seemed to be getting louder and louder in his mind—


He was a hypocrite.


Holding Kim Namjoon’s hand as he tried desperately, miserably to forget—  let go of his love for her that was as much a part of him as his beating heart.


 

All while he held onto his—


 

Refused to let it go.



 

A fucking hypocrite—



 

“Did you eat yet?”

 

She looked his way, half-startled because their single conversation of the night had already started and ended four blocks back.

 

 

When she didn’t respond he spoke again—

 

 

“Are— are you hungry?”

 

 

He forced the words out, gripped the steering wheel and cursed himself for stuttering.


But if Namjoon was trying so hard— he needed to try too.


Try to let her go— try to set her free or whatever the fuck.


When she stayed silent it was as if all the reasons he hadn’t said anything the past three weeks hit him all at once—

 

 

 

All the reasons being around her was as terrifying as it was breathtaking—

 

 

 

She could hurt him so easily— she must have been the only person in the world that could hurt him so easily.

 

 

“Sort of—”

 

Her words made him let out a sigh of relief she mistook for annoyance

 

“Are you hungry?”

 

He met her gaze briefly before looking back to the road

 

Feeling his heart speed up and feeling stupid for it.

 

 

“Sort of.”

 

 

There was a pause before she laughed.


That’s when he knew he had made a mistake— the silence had been better.


 

Better for trying to pretend he didn’t love her as much as he did— better for his heart that swelled when he heard it.


 

“There aren’t alot of places open at this time Yoongi-ah—”

 

 

He couldn’t help but smile— hearing his name from her lips.

 

 

Hearing that playful condescending voice that brought back so many memories

 

 

He couldn't help but smile.

 

 

“McDonald’s is— I can buy you a happy meal like I used to—”

 

She laughed again and he could hear Hoseok’s voice in his head.


 

You’re stupid in love with her—


 

“I don’t think you’re remembering that correctly—”

 

“Fine groupie— when you would make me buy you a happy meal.”

 

And she almost didn’t catch it— the nickname.

 

 

But she couldn’t help the way it made her feel—

 

 

He felt it too.

 

 

“Let’s go then—”

 

 

He felt it tenfold—

 

 

"Okay."

 

 

But he didn’t want to be a hypocrite, didn’t want to be the piece of shit he had tried so hard not to be—

 

 

 

Didn't want to hurt her—

 

 

 

Didn't want to hurt Namjoon.

 

 

 

So he wouldn’t say it again—

 

 

“Yoongi— is this you? Is it a new mixtape? It’s so good!”

 

 

No matter how easy she made it.

 

 

“You think?”


With every night that passed—


“Yoongi— I know you don’t like convenience store food but I brought you this—”


He just wanted to hold her and not think too much about it—

 

 

Call her that nickname that made her his.

 

 

But he didn’t— for Namjoon, for himself.


He wouldn’t, he wouldn’t—

 

 

“Can I ask you something?”

 

He looked her way, nodded.

 

“Do you still perform?”

 

He paused.

 

“Not really—”

 

She frowned.

 

“Too busy?”

 

He sighed, nodded again.

 

“Did Namjoon— did he ever perform? I never got the chance to ask him. When he left I know that’s what he wanted to do—”

 

At this Yoongi paused.

 

“He never told you?”

 

She was silent, so he continued—

 

“He only tried rapping for a few months before he realized producing was the next best thing— the best way to earn a living really.”

 

He parked and finally met her gaze, trying to decide if he should tell her—

 

“But, it’s not like Joonie, to just— give up.”

 

“He didn’t give up— he just, well he just chose the safer option because he was trying to be smart about it. He was thinking about the future—”

 

“Is that what you’re doing Yoongi? Thinking about the future?”

 

He shrugged.

 

"I'm not so sure about the future anymore—"

 

"Well, what made you switch then?"

 

He smiled softly, looked down and shrugged.

 

 

But he knew—

 

 

And unfortunately, it was the same reason Namjoon had made the same choice early on.

 

 

His future—

 

 

Namjoon had seen a happy family— a dog or two, a kid or ten. 

 

A house, a car—

 

Her— her.

 

Had— had.

 

 

Yoongi's idea of a future wasn't so straight forward, but he knew he needed money to get there.

 

Knew that when he pictured it, which was more than he would ever admit, there was only one constant—

 

 

Only one in his ever-changing dreams.

 

 

"Yoongi-ah?"

 

He hummed.

 

"What made you switch?"

 

“Well, I didn't completely switch. I’m still rapping— so is Joon, just, as a side thing.”

 

 

This seemed to be enough for her because she smiled, nodded— picked up her stuff to go.

 

 

 

But before she left—


 

“Well, I’ll always be cheering for both of you!”


 

He stared blankly as she shut the door and ran off.


He was trying— 


 

But when she said things like that—


 

He couldn't stand the thought of ever losing his love for her.

 

 

He smiled the whole way home and didn’t stop until Jungkook asked him what was wrong and Hoseok laughed at him.

 

 

“Fuck off—”

 

“Don’t be so vulgar in front of the children.”

 

Hoseok’s words made Jimin and Jungkook burst into laughter— Jin roll his eyes.

 

“Children? They’re animals—”

 

At this Taehyung chimed in.

 

“Like cute puppies Jin-hyung?”

 

 

“I think so.”

 

 

It was Namjoon— the only one that could end fights before they began.


 

 

 

“Let’s eat—”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Her routine was Jungkook after class— Yoongi after work.

 

Jimin every morning, in that room where Jungkook still never went—

 

He didn’t want to go— but not for the same reasons he didn’t want to back in October.

 

“Y/n wants me to study more— I want to study more. There’s math tutoring at the library every morning and I just want to— not rely on her for everything, you know?”

 

Jimin had laughed.

 

“I know—”

 

But even after things got better— after Jungkook finally started to be okay again— he still went into his room every night, into his bed—

 

Asked him a different question

 

“Did she seem better, today?”

 

“A little— I mean, you saw her—”

 

“I know, she’s happy, but she also seems—”

 

“Distant?”

 

“A little.”

 

“I bet it would cheer her up if you went tomorrow—”

 

Jungkook would laugh.

 

“I bet.”

 

A pause.

 

“You’ve been staying at her place alot lately—”

 

Jungkook hummed.

 

 

“I never mean to.”

 

And he didn’t.

 

But it rained almost every day in April—

 

And he spent most of it hiding away with her in that tiny room—

 

She would always let him stay until nightfall or until she had to go to work— losing track of time studying, eating, talking.

 

Talking— it felt so good to finally be talking again.

 

About everything and nothing at all.

 

At first he always left when she did— took a cab home or to a library when he wasn’t done with his work.

 

Knowing he wouldn’t do anything but play video games if he went home—

 

She laughed at him when he told her.

 

“Why don’t you just stay here if you’re not done Kookie? You should be staying focused instead of moving somewhere else!”

 

He had smiled brightly at her words—

 

 

Accepted.

 

 

But more than once it had led to him sleeping soundlessly where she had left him on the floor—

 

 

 

All those sleepless nights catching up to him.

 

 

 

And she knew, so she always just let him sleep— threw a blanket over him and woke up to it folded where he had been the next day.

 

Neither of them thinking much of it.

 

 

“Maybe she doesn’t want me staying over so much?”

 

Jimin shook his head.

 

“I don’t think that’s it—”

 

“We should just ask, she would tell us right?”

 

Jimin hummed.

 

“She would— but maybe we should just wait for her to tell us first?”

 

“Like she did for us?”

 

Jimin laughed.

 

“Like she did for you— she lost her patience with me.”

 

Jungkook smiled, spoke softly—

 

“It’s a good thing she did.”

 

That was something they could both agree on, that and—

 

“I hope whatever it is, it goes away soon.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

It must have been the middle of April when she realized she was waiting for Hoseok to come through the door and say he had just been joking about not dancing with Jimin—

 

 

He never did.

 

 

Every morning— waiting for Hoseok.

 

He still called, they texted often.

 

He teased her about seeing Yoongi again—

 

She was happy she could tell someone about it.

 

“It’s weird— being friends, almost?”

 

Hoseok laughed over the line and it made her smile sadly—

 

 

She missed him.

 

 

“I bet.”

 

“You should join us sometime Hoseokie!”

 

“On your car rides?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

He would hum, murmur an excuse about work or school and hang up.

 

She always invited him— hoping one day she would open the door and he would be there—

 

 

He never was.

 

 

And she almost felt ungrateful— for missing him so much when she was surrounded by so many— him and Taehyung who didn’t call as much as Hoseok did.

 

Taehyung who left notes instead— hidden throughout the store on post it notes that were supposed to be for work memos.

 

In different places— the same places.

 

They had started the first day Jungkook had gone to see her, a few days after spring quarter had begun—

 

 

Make sure to leave it again jagi!— I’ll send it with him tomorrow.

 

 

But they quickly became more— notes of his rambling thoughts that he left for her mostly behind the counter.

 

Sometimes throughout the store for her and whoever else came in before she found them—

 

 

In his messy handwriting that almost seemed careful.

 

 

We talked about France in my Humanities class today— we should all go someday! When we're rich!

 

I ate ramen today, right here in this spot— your favorite brand.

 

I had a long day yesterday— I miss you jagi.

 

I love you.

 

I love you.

 

 

Sometimes it would just be doodles— sometimes they would be full on letters left under the register.

 

Heartfelt letters that would make her laugh.

 

 

She missed him—

 



Jagi! Smile! 

 

 

 

She missed him.

 

 

But Jimin and Jungkook always made her days better—

 

Them and Yoongi—

 

 

 

Yoongi.

 

 

 

It was towards the end of April that she made her first mistake.


 

“What’s wrong?”

 

She had laughed.

 

“Have you always been so perceptive?”

 

He drummed his fingers against the wheel, shrugged.

 

“Hoseok says it’s easy to read people you—”

 

She looked his way and he sighed.

 

“Just— how are you?”

 

It wasn’t much— it wasn’t what Jin could have given her, he knew that.

 

He thought that, at least.

 

But it was the best he could do.

 

She looked over and he was gripping the steering wheel, keeping his gaze away from her like he had in the beginning—

 

When it had been simple.

 

“I’m okay.”

 

He was silent, frowning.

 

“I—”

 

And he wondered what Hoseok would say—

 

 

The right thing.

 

 

And then it occurred to him that if it was anyone but him they would be able to say something, anything—

 

 

Anyone but him.

 

“Do you— want a happy meal?”

 

She didn’t stop laughing until he finally reached the parking lot and he told her to get out.

 

“Fuck off—”

 

“You’re really something—”

 

“I— get out— just get out. I don’t want to look at you anymore groupie.”

 

And she didn’t know why—

 

“I love you Yoongi-ah—”

 

But those words just came out.

 

She froze— felt her heart stop as she stared into his eyes that were suddenly soft.

 

Wanting, wishing they could go back to when it had been simple—

 

A single question, a single answer.

 

She didn’t know why— she didn’t know why.

 

Ever since things had stopped being simple, ever since they became friends—

 

Friends.

 

 

That wasn’t right.

 

 

He had slipped when he had called her groupie the first time— he didn’t realize it until she had said those words but he had made that same mistake again.

 

That nickname was too much like then— it made her his.

 

 

It made her his.

 

 

“I’m— sorry.”

 

She slammed the door shut and stood there for a bit before running inside.

 

He laughed—

 

Couldn’t help the warm feeling all over.

 

He knew she wouldn’t say anything about it the next day—

 

He wouldn’t either.

 

 

He didn’t have to.

 

 

Seeing Yoongi every day was making her happier than she cared to admit, but at the same time—


 

 

“Do you really think you’ll see him again?”

 

“Maybe—”

 

“Well if he does just yell “I have a boyfriend named Kim Seokjin!” —just like that.”

 

 

 

 

Jin’s words rang in her head.

 

 

 

Jin— he was the only reason.

 

 

 

The only reason she wished they could go back to then— a single question, a single answer.

 

 

 

 

Jin, Jin, Jin

 

 

 

Jin who she also saw everyday.

 


 

 

She had two hours before class after Jimin finished morning practice

 

“Brat—”

 

And everyday.

 

“Brat!”

 

Everyday.

 

“I’m in the library Jin—”

 

“Why are you whispering?”

 

“I’m in—”

 

“Where are you?”

 

“Jin—”

 

“Can we get lunch?”

 

And it was around that point in the conversation that she left the library so she could be certain he heard—

 

“No.”

 

“Brat—”

 

“No!”

 

“Why?”

 

He always asked, she agreed most of the time—

 

 

Most of the time.

 

 

“I have to finish my homework Jin-ah—”

 

But even when she disagreed—

 

“Right— so where are you again?”

 

 

She always ended up in some restaurant Jin wanted her to try.

 

 

“I hate you—”

 

“You love me.”

 

She looked over and sighed.

 

“Unfortunately.”

 

“You’re so dramatic—”

 

“Really? I’m dramatic?”

 

“That’s what I said y/n—”

 

And he would take her to try different dishes, asked if she liked them—

 

“I do—”

 

“I’ll learn how to make it then.”

 

And when she met that loving gaze that seemed to never change she would forget all the troubles on her mind—

 

 

Yoongi, Hoseok, Taehyung

 

 

All the homework she would have to do later.

 

 

“You’re making me a bad student—”

 

“Am I?”

 

He smiled as he leaned over to kiss her cheek.

 

“I brought you back on time didn’t I?”

 

“Yeah, after kidnapping me—”

 

"What was that? You’re so—”

 

“I love you Jin.”

 

And that usually shut him up— when she said it so softly.

 

 

 

But she couldn’t help but wonder why it felt different than when she had said those same words to Yoongi the night before— different, different.

 

 

 

He reached for her hand, held it tightly.

 

“I miss you y/n—”

 

She laughed.

 

“I’m right here Seokjin—”

 

“I meant holding you— that night when we fell asleep together— can we do that again? Soon?”

 

She smiled, nodded.

 

“I miss you too you know— you’ll just have to come over when Jungkookie isn’t spending the night—”

 

 

At this he let go.

 

 

“What— what did you just say?”

 

“Jungkook falls asleep on my floor sometimes— when he’s doing homework and—”

 

He was frowning.

 

“It’s no big deal—”

 

“I’m sure.”

 

“Jin—”

 

“You and I y/n— we’re more than friends right?”

 

She nodded.

 

“We are—”

 

“And you and Jungkook—”

 

“Aren’t.”

 

He smiled.

 

“Okay—”

 

Despite wanting to tell her otherwise

 

“That's fine y/n.”

 

She smiled back—

 

“See you tomorrow?”

 

He nodded, she left.

 

Because her class was starting soon— 

 

 

 

Because he didn’t tell her otherwise.

 

 

 

Thinking back, he wished he would have been honest.

 

Told her how he was feeling instead of holding it all in like he always did—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe then, maybe then—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

It was almost May— 

 

 

A few days after she had told Yoongi she loved him, told Jin the same.

 

 

Things had been fine since then—

 

 

Normal.

 

 

Yoongi hadn't said anything, she hadn't either— Jin didn't tell her he was upset, she didn't notice.

 

 

 

Things just seemed—

 

 

 

"Brat— hey, come here—"

 

She laughed while Jin pulled her into a hug.

 

"Let's go somewhere over the summer—"

 

"Somewhere?"

 

He nodded.

 

"Maybe Paris? Venice?"

 

"Or you could pay your tuition Kim Seokjin."

 

He smiled.

 

"Or I could pay yours—"

 

She smiled right back—

 

"Help yourself old man."

 

At this he frowned.

 

"Yah, brat— you're supposed to say that you're independent or whatever, that you would never take advantage of me."

 

"Am I?"

 

She laughed and he pulled her closer.

  

"I hate you brat—"

 

She stood on her toes and kissed his cheek—

 

Quickly, gently.

 

"You love me."

 

And he couldn't help but smile—

 

"Unfortunately."

 

"Hey— that's my line—"

 

 

 

Normal—

 

 

 

"Joon was good today— Hoseok managed to get a laugh or two out of him."

 

She smiled lightly.

 

"Just him?"

 

"Well, both of us."

 

"Aw—"

 

"Oh shut up—"

 

She laughed, met his gaze briefly before he looked away—

 

"How was your day, Yoongi-ah?"

 

"It was fine."

 

"Just fine?"

 

He nodded, she smiled.

 

"Well, I could buy you a happy meal—"

 

"Fuck you y/n— let that shit go already—"

 

"But—"

 

"Do you want to walk home?"

 

She held in her laughter for as long as she could— finally let it out when he pulled into the McDonald's drive thru.

 

"Two happy meals and— y/n shut the fuck up will you? I'm trying to order—"

 

And despite all his yelling she could tell— see the hidden smile on his lips, the amusement in his eyes.

 

 

As they ate, when he finally took her home

 

 

 

 

 

Normal.

 

 

 

At least—

 

 

“Y/n— can I show you something?”

 

 

It seemed that way.

 

 

She was in the middle of folding laundry on her bed while Jungkook sat on the floor next to her—

 

 

Normal— normal.

 

 

She hummed— moving next to him while he opened a file on his laptop.

 

“I bought this new editing software recently and— well I’ve been editing and—”

 

She laughed.

 

“And?”

 

He opened a file that had thousands of pictures.

 

She had seen most of them— she was in most of them.

 

She laughed again.

 

“And? What did you want to show me Jungkookie—”

 

“Well— Jin saw me editing one of your pictures and he called me a— well, he just yelled until Joon told him to calm down. I was just messing around with filters and stuff— I guess it was just because I mostly have pictures of you that he got so angry—”

 

At this she frowned.

 

“Jungkookie— I let you take the pictures didn’t I? I even asked you to— they’re just us on walks— Jin was just being dramatic like he always is.”

 

He looked down— trying to be reassured by her words.

 

Away from her and towards each photo he had taken with such care Jin’s words had hurt more than usual—

 

 

More than usual.

 

 

“Hyung still said I needed to ask for your permission to edit—”

 

“Next time he says anything tell him to shut up for me, yeah?”

 

At this Jungkook finally looked up, smiled lightly—

 

 

Sadly.

 

 

“I just— wanted to make sure. If I—”

 

Her eyebrows furrowed and he let out a sigh.

 

“If I make a mistake, I want to tell you— I want to fix it.”

 

She smiled softly, brushed his hair out of his face and pinched his cheek.

 

“Thank you Jungkookie— but this, this wasn’t a mistake. It was just—”

 

“Jin?”

 

She laughed.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“He’s stressed out lately— Jin I mean. I don’t blame him for it.”

 

She sighed, kept his words on her mind as she watched him open and close different folders on his laptop.

 

“You still shouldn’t let him just— yell at you.”

 

Jungkook only hummed in response—

 

 

Not wanting to get into it.

 

 

They sat in silence until he finally found what he was looking for—

 

She nudged his side gently.

 

“You like filming too?”

 

He met her gaze, smiled and nodded.

 

“This was two summers ago—”

 

It was a video of all of them at the beach— all minus Jungkook who was filming.

 

“It looks familiar—”

 

“Does it?”

 

She nodded, keeping her eyes on the screen.

 

Trying to figure out why it felt—

 

“It’s Jeju— have you been?”

 

His words made her frown.

 

“No— I haven’t—”

 

But the longer she stared the more certain she was that

 

It was his gentle voice that brought her out of her thoughts.

 

“Can we go someday then? You and me?”

 

She met his hopeful eyes with a smile.

 

“Let’s

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Jungkook left earlier than usual that day— because he had finished all his work, because he had a test the next day.

 

 

 

But mostly because he could still hear Jin yelling.

 

 

 

She had been trying to focus on her assigned reading when she heard a knock on the door—

 

 

It was a welcomed distraction from her wandering mind that had one too many memories of Kim Namjoon associated with the echoes of rain—

 

 

Faint, distant memories of days spent inside and outside— under brewing storms, under languid drizzles.

 

 

 

Hiding, dancing, falling— falling.

 

 

 

Rain meant a change of the season— Namjoon had taught her that.

 

 

 

 

A change of the season.

 

 

 

 

She had opened the door expecting Jungkook who had forgotten his calculator—

 

 

Finding Taehyung.

 

 

Smiling brightly, holding his hand up and waving.

 

“Hi.”

 

She had laughed, waved back before letting him—

 

 

Yelling at him playfully when he pulled her into a hug.

 

 

“You’re all cold and wet Taehyungie—”

 

“Is it my fault it’s raining jagi?”

 

“No—”

 

“Well then stop complaining.”

 

And eventually she did— because the more she protested the more determined he became to pull her closer, closer.

 

 

So she fell silent, listening closely to the familiar rhythmic beating of the rain and his heart.

 

 

His skin was cold, his clothes were wet— but it didn’t matter.

 

 

What she felt was warmth.

 

 

All-consuming, addictive warmth that filled and flooded into her like the cold rain of spring flooded Seoul—

 

 

As his lips pressed lightly against her forehead, as his fingers tenderly found hers and his whisper reached her ears.

 

 

She could drown in it.

 

 

“I missed you jagi.”

 

 

He had said it in that voice, reminding her of just how much her next few words were true—

 

 

“I missed you too.”

 

 

He pulled away, laughing lightly.

 

“I brought your favorite snacks— mine too! It’s best friend time!”

 

“You sound like a toddler Taehyungie—”

 

But he ignored her remarks and found the familiar place on her bed that was his.

 

 

At least in his mind— it was his.

 

 

Patting the spot next to him and pouting until she complied.

 

“Okay— what episode were we on?”

 

“132!”

 

And it was all too familiar.

 

Sitting on her bed wrapped in a blanket, watching anime with his shoulder as her pillow and a million snacks to share.

 

 

Until eventually—

 

 

“Thanks by the way—”

 

 

They started talking.

 

 

“For?”

 

 

About everything— everything.

 

 

“Jungkook— giving him your umbrella everyday to give to me.”

 

Taehyung smiled brightly, hummed gently.

 

“I want that back now that it’s raining jagi—”

 

She laughed, pushed him lightly.

 

“Jerk.”

 

“Get your own!”

 

She laughed harder, and he laughed too.

 

“I’m kidding jagi— you can have it.”

 

“How generous.”

 

He poked her side.

 

“Well you like things with meaning right? The umbrella brought you and Jungkookie together— so you can keep it.”

 

She smiled gently at his words.

 

“It wasn’t the umbrella Tae—”

 

He feigned surprise.

 

“Really?”

 

“Stop that.”

 

He laughed again, this time reaching out for her hand to hold.

 

 

Squeezing tightly.

 

 

“I’m glad things are okay with you and him again jagi— I really am.”

 

At this she paused the show,  turned towards him and held his gentle gaze that shone with affection.

 

 

With warmth— love.

 

 

“You’re so— good, Tae.”

 

He raised his eyebrows.

 

“Like a puppy?”

 

She sighed and tried letting go of his hand— moving away.

 

“No—”

 

But he held her in place.

 

“Jagi?”

 

It was that voice again— that voice.

 

 

“Do you remember your promise? About maybe— maybe trying? Once we were all okay?”

 

 

For better or worse she had tried forgetting— for Jin.

 

 

 

 

For Jin.

 

 

 

 

“I wanted you to be happy y/n, I wanted them to be happy. But I also— I wanted to fix things because I thought that maybe—”

 

He hesitated— trying to keep his voice from trembling.

 

“Maybe we—”

 

But he couldn’t say it— he couldn’t say it because he didn’t think it was fair.

 

 

To her, to Jin.

 

 

“I was selfish— and I’m sorry.”

 

At this she smiled lightly, sadly—

 

 

Wrapped her arms around his neck and ran her fingers through his hair.

 

 

“You don’t have anything to be sorry about Taehyungie—”

 

 

His arms instinctively pulled her closer, held her there until he finally found his words.

 

 

“But I don’t want to be selfish when it comes to you y/n— in any way. I don’t

 

“You’re far from it— wanting something doesn’t make you selfish.”

 

He pulled back slightly—

 

 

It almost made her cry.

 

 

“Taehyungie— it’s okay. You’re not—”

 

 

Almost—

 

 

“But I know that it’ll hurt them— I know, I know and I still—”

 

 

He paused, watching her lean closer.

 

 

“I still—”

 

 

It wasn’t until she pressed her lips against his cheek that he stopped talking, stopped crying—

 

 

“We’re both selfish then.”

 

 

Stopped breathing.

 

 

She kissed where his tears had fallen— each one filled with doubt, each one filled with fear.

 

 

Until there was nothing left, nothing except—

 

 

 

“I love you, Taehyungie.”

 

 

 

He looked into her eyes and saw everything he had ever wanted there.

 

 

 

Everything and more, more, more—

 

 

 

She kissed his forehead like he had done earlier, found his fingers and laced them in hers.

 

He smiled softly.

 

“Promise?”

 

She smiled back—

 

“I promise.”

 

 

They stayed that way for a long time, her chin resting on his head as he held her tightly—

 

 

Until his breathing finally steadied and all they could hear was the rain pouring.

 

 

“I love you too, you know—”

 

 

He had whispered, as if his words were a secret only she could know.

 

 

She laughed—

 

 

It was the most angelic thing he had ever heard.

 

 

He smiled into her neck, laughed with her.

 

 

“We’re best friends!”

 

 

At this she smiled, hummed in thought before they went back to a peaceful silence.

 

 

Peaceful silence until—

 

 

“Can you— can you get off my lap jagi? I don’t usually put out until the first date—”

 

 

She thought about his words before bursting into laughter, and he took the opportunity to push her off.

 

“It’s the second date Tae

 

He smiled brightly.

 

“I’m just kidding jagi, I—”

 

 

 

Her phone ringing cut him off.

 

 

 

She looked at Taehyung who motioned her to take the call.

 

 

“It’s ok—”

 

 

She smiled, nodded.

 

 

 

“Jin-ah—”

 

“Brat? Are you home?”

 

She paused.

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Good. I’m on my way—”

 

“I’m actually with—”

 

“I’ve been wanting to go to one of my teacher’s restaurant for a while now— after that we can go see a movie or—”

 

“But I’m—”

 

 

Taehyung tapped on her shoulder lightly, and when she turned around he smiled warmly.

 

 

Whispered softly

 

 

“You should go.”

 

 

She smiled back, shook her head.

 

“Y/n? Hello?”

 

She really had missed Taehyung— and she had seen Jin earlier that day.

 

 

And so—

 

 

“I’m sorry— I’m actually with Taehyungie right now, we made plans to stay in.”

 

 

She figured he would understand.

 

 

A pause.

 

“Okay.”

 

She smiled.

 

“We can go tomorrow—”

 

“I’m busy tomorrow.”

 

“Well— we can go sometime next week?”

 

Another pause.

 

“Okay.”

 

“Okay—”

 

He hung up abruptly, but she figured it was because he was driving.

 

 

Because he was driving.

 

 

“You didn’t have to do that jagi— I know how much Jin means to you, he means alot to me too. He doesn’t get alot of breaks and we all know he likes to spend them with you the most—”

 

 

She nudged him gently— back to his spot, finding her place next to him.

 

 

“You don’t mean any less to me.”

 

 

And he had never loved her more than when she spoke those words—

 

 

Because it was like she made all the insecurities that were always pressing in his mind vanish, even if only for a moment.

 

 

Even if only for a second—

 

 

 

But she did it so often that it was starting to become more than just fleeting moments.

 

 

 

And as she unpaused the anime and they continued their 'bestfriend time' as if nothing had occurred, he let his mind wander—

 

 

 

Onto all the reasons he loved her, onto all the reasons she was worth it.

 

 

 

“I could wait forever you know.”

 

 

 

It was later in the night, when they had finally turned off the small tv and decided to go to bed.

 

She was laying on one side of the bed and he was on the other— one of her pillows in between them and the other under her head.

 

She laughed softly, more asleep than awake.

 

 

“Why are you all so melodramatic— always, never, forever et cetera, et cetera—”

 

 

Taehyung smiled.

 

“Should we be more like other guys? That just want to—”

 

“Fuck? Yeah.”

 

At this he laughed.

 

Hummed in thought, focusing on her gentle breathing.

 

“Y/n?”

 

“Hm.”

 

“Do you know why?”

 

“Why what?”

 

“Why you’re so important to us?”

 

She turned around to face him, looking over the pillow—

 

 

Eyes cloudy with sleep.

 

 

“I’m— I never really thought about it.”

 

 

He placed his hand on the pillow and she met him halfway— moving more on instinct than reason.

 

 

But if she was wide awake she would have held it anyway.

 

 

“You were the first person to tell Jungkookie he wasn’t perfect— that he didn’t have to be. Tell him he was perfect in a different way and make him feel loved in spite of it all. The first person that finally made Jimin start to see himself without hatred or resentment— I’ve been friends with him for years but never really got through to him.”

 

She laughed.

 

“Do you all just talk about me around the dinner table or something—”

 

He smiled, brought her hand to his lips and kissed it.

 

“Or something.”

 

She hummed, and after some silence she finally spoke.

 

“What about you Taehyungie?”

 

 

Something she wouldn’t have asked if she was wide awake—

 

 

But he only smiled, kissed her hand again.

 

“Can I tell you a secret?”

 

She nodded— and he hesitated, but when he met her gaze he was certain.

 

 

“I only got into SNU because one of my uncles is on the admissions board— and, I never felt, good enough before, growing up with friends like Jimin and Jungkook— in high school, in everything. I was always just— missing something. But going to SNU when I knew I didn’t deserve it—”

 

 

He paused, trying to will away the growing pain in his chest.

 

 

But she squeezed his hand gently and it was gone as quickly as it came.

 

 

So he continued—

 

 

“It made me feel so— empty, empty and alone. And so I always tried to be happy— always smiled because I knew I didn’t deserve it, because I had to be grateful, right? I didn’t deserve it and the more time passed the more numb I felt to it all. But then you came along and— you just—”

 

 

At this point she was wide awake— holding his gaze, wanting to cry.

 

 

“You just chase away my fears so easily— when I’m with you I’m reassured.”

 

 

She wanted to hold him—

 

 

“I used to be afraid that I would never be good enough— but now it’s almost like it doesn’t even matter. I could never be good enough for the rest of the world— if we’re together I don’t feel like anything’s missing—”

 

 

He squeezed her hand a little tighter.

 

 

“With you I feel complete.”

 

 

She started crying and it startled him.

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

 

“You’re so good

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“Don’t cry— I promised never to make you cry again, remember?”

 

 

His words only made her cry harder to which he smiled.

 

 

“As long as they’re happy tears—”

 

 

And they were—

 

 

 

 

They were.

 

 

 

 

She fell asleep to the sound of his soft humming as he rubbed the back of her hand gently—

 

 

 

A pillow still between them—

 

 

 

Closer than they had ever been.

 

 

 

 

And it was peace—

 

 

 

 

 

It was, was, was—

 

 

 

 

 

Until a faint knock on her door woke her up, and she had to let go of Taehyung’s hand to stumble towards the door.

 

 

She didn’t know what— or who— she was expecting.

 

 

Nonetheless the look on Jin’s face drove away all the sleepiness—

 

 

 

 

All the peace.

 

 

 

 

He looked past her before speaking, staring at her bed where he knew he was going to find Taehyung.

 

 

 

Knew and only hoped he wouldn’t.

 

 

 

“If—”

 

 

 

His voice was hoarse, and it trembled like his hands that were clenched into fists.

 

And he was soaked, so she couldn’t tell if he was cold or angry—

 

 

 

He was both.

 

 

 

But despite his anger his voice was resigned— indifferent.

 

 

It was terrifying.

 

 

“If one of them doesn’t come home— should I just assume they’re here from now on?”

 

She opened her mouth to say something, but then he looked into her eyes and she couldn't.

 

 

“Am I—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“A joke to you y/n?”

 

“Jin—”

 

“Do you know— how hard it is? How tiring? Checking to see who’s come home— wondering if you let them into your bed again.”

 

 

And she didn’t know what to feel—

 

 

But her brows furrowed and he mistakenly took it for anger.

 

 

He scoffed, and she looked up to meet his gaze that made her feel pathetic

 

 

 

Pathetic and hated.

 

 

 

But then—

 

 

“Do you even love me anymore?”

 

 

It turned into something else.

 

 

 

And every syllable was filled with so much sadness it made her want to die.

 

 

 

“Jin of course I do—”

 

 

 

But as quickly as it came— the sadness in his eyes, his words, his face

 

 

 

“Really? You love me?"

 

 

 

 It left—

 

 

 

"Y/n— you've made me feel like I'm your second choice for months now— Namjoon, then Taehyung. Jimin, Jungkook— but you love me? "

 

 

 

It left.

 

 

 

"You expect me to believe that?"

 

  

 

And the only thing left in those eyes, in his words— 

 

 

 

 

It made her sick.

 

 

 

 

“You’re so fucking embarrassing y/n— do you know how that makes me feel? That you’re mine but you'll let half my friends just—”

 

 

He laughed again, which came out more as a choked cry.

 

 

He didn't know who he was angry with anymore—

 

 

 

“But you’re not mine, right y/n?"

 

 

 

Didn't know why he was hurting her—

 

 

 

"You belong to everyone but me."

 

 

 

Hurting her when she was everything to him

 

 

 

"Is that what you’re trying to say?”

 

 

 

Everything.

 

 

 

She stood silently after he had finished staring blankly.

 

 

She felt cold.

 

 

And what made it worse

 

 

 

What made her sick—

 

 

 

She realized she was waiting for him to say he was joking— to tell her he loved her, to tell her something, anything—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Embarrassing?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who had never hurt her.

 

 

 

“Please—”

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who wanted to marry her

 

 

 

She heard herself laugh, and then she heard herself cry— not really feeling any of it.

 

 

 

 She wondered if she had always been so pathetic.

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who had ruined her.

 

 

 

 

"Please leave."

 

 

 

 

He hesitated— held her gaze for a long time, waiting—

 

 

 

For her to tell him she loved him so he could press his lips against hers and say it back—

 

 

 

Waiting—

 

 

 

For her to say she was sorry so he could pull her into him and keep her there forever.

 

 

  

Both waiting, waiting—

 

 

 

"Bye, y/n."

 

 

 

 

Both done.

 

 

 

 

Her hands trembled as she slowly closed the door she had never fully opened—

 

 

 

Closed it and went back to the empty spot where she had been before Jin knocked on the door and made her wish she had never met any of them

 

 

 

She kept crying— 

 

 

 

Wishing her body would just stop.

 

 

 

Because there was no use in crying, all she felt was empty—

 

 

 

Kim Seokjin who wanted to marry her— 

 

 

 

It was the only thing going through her head as she stared at the wall opposite her bed—

 

 

 

At those white lilies she suddenly felt the urge to throw away.

 

 

 

Because they were dead, after all—

 

 

 

 

They were dead.

 

 

  

 

 

“He didn't mean it

 

 

 

 

Taehyung who had given no indication of being awake until then spoke so gently it hurt.

 

 

 

 

“Don’t cry y/n

 

 

 

 

So gently it made her wonder if Jin loving her had just been something she had thought up in her mind

 

 

 

Something she could never have.

 

 

 

“He didn’t mean it.”

 

 

 

She knew it wasn’t true—

  

 

 He had— 

 

 

 

“He didn’t—”

 

 

 

He had.

 

 

 

 

 


And it was, was, was—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was too late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

May was watching the flowers bloom—

 

 

 

Rainy greys into vernal blues.

 

 

 

She thought it was funny.

 

 

 

That everything, everything , everything except her

 

 

 

All much more beautiful after the skies had cleared, all flourishing.

 

 

 

She thought it was funny, she thought it was funny

 

 

 

The rain had stopped as soon as she wanted to drown in it.

 

 

 

Drown so that maybe then she could breathe again—

 

 

 

All she wanted was to breathe again.

 

 

 

It was a desperate, terrible feeling— blooming in her chest, festering.

 

 

 

Slowly, surely— it made her not want to do anything, really.

 

 

But she did—

 

 

Mostly because she was expected to— partially because she just didn’t want to feel ruined, broken, thrown away

 

 

But she did, she did.

 

 

And she didn’t know how to describe it— when Taehyung kept asking, and asking, and asking—

 

 

 

How do you feel today?

 

Do you feel better?

 

Are you sad jagi? I can

 

 

 

She thought it was funny.

 

 

She must have looked sad, she didn’t feel sad.

 

 

She only wished she was— sad or angry or anything, anything, anything but—



 

Drowning.

 

 

 

“I’m fine, Taehyungie.”



 

In the end, she was—



 

“Thanks for asking Jiminie, but—”



 

She was.




“I’m fine.”





Because there was no rain to actually drown in.

 

 

And if she wasn’t sad, wasn’t angry

 

 

 

 

Anything, anything



 

 

 

Maybe she was just nothing at all.

 

 


 

 

May 5 2019

 


23:20

 

 

 

“It’s not just me, is it?”

 

“No— it’s not.”

 

“You noticed too?”

 

Jimin nodded.

 

“She says she’s fine, though.”

 

Jungkook frowned.

 

“I thought you said not to ask hyung? To wait for her like she waited for us—”

 

The bedroom door opened and closed—

 

Namjoon was home.

 

“Are you two awake?”

 

Silence.

 

He sighed, shuffled around before getting into his own bed—

 

 

 

Lying still.

 

 

 

And it was only until they were certain he had fallen asleep that they continued their hushed conversation, under a blanket they hoped hid their words from Namjoon’s ears should he be awake—

 

 

 

He always was.

 

 

 

“She acts fine, she seems fine— but I asked because it feels like something serious, it feels like—

 

 

“Like she’s hiding something?”

 

 

Jimin nodded.

 

 

“Something she thinks will worry us, something we probably can’t do anything about

 

 

“Which is why she hasn’t told us?”

 

 

 

Probably.

 

 

 

“Probably.”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Do you think she told Tae?”

 

 

 

Probably not—

 

 

 

“Why do you think that Kookie?”

 

 

“Well, he calls her almost everyday when he didn’t before. She always puts him on speaker and he asks her about her day, how she’s feeling—”

 

 

Namjoon frowned—

 

 

 

Maybe she had.

 

 

 

Jimin sighed.

 

 

“Maybe, I mean— it’s good if she did.”

 

 

Jungkook hummed in agreement.

 

 

Silence.

 

 

“But— doesn’t that mean she trusts him more than us?”

 

 

Jimin flicked his head.

 

 

“Don’t be so selfish Koo—”

 

 

Namjoon shifted, the thought making him sick—

 

 

 

 

Taehyung had replaced him.

 

 

 

 

Silence.

 

 

“Joonie you up?”

 

 

Jungkook shushed him.

 

 

“He just moves around in his sleep sometimes—”

 

“Well, I should go anyway— Hoseok keeps reminding me he’s afraid of the dark when we meet up after class.”

 

 

Jungkook laughed lightly—

 

 

Grabbed his brother’s hand before he could go.

 

 

“She’ll— be okay, right?”

 

Jimin smiled gently at his brother’s worried voice—

 

“Of course she will— we love a winner.”

 

 

At this Jungkook let go— let Jimin's words bring him comfort.

 

 

“We love a winner.”

 

Jimin nodded.

 

“Goodnight Kookie—”

 

“Goodnight hyung.”

 

 

 

The door opened, the door closed.

 

 

 

Jungkook slowly fell asleep with thoughts of her on his mind—

 

 

 

The same thoughts that kept Namjoon awake.

 

 

 

He didn’t always eavesdrop— he never meant to.

 

 

 

But when they talked about her he just couldn’t help it, because as much as he tried to let her go—

 

 

To stop worrying about her, to stop trying to look out for her, take care of her—

 

 

 

He never would.

 

 

 

Because she had been his to worry about, look out for and take care of for so long that he just didn’t know any different—

 

 

 

He didn’t want to know any different.

 

 

 

Even if she couldn’t love him, even if he had been replaced

 

He needed to know how she was— just as much as she needed to know about him.

 

 

 

Just as much as she worried, wondered, longed to know how he was—

 

 

 

But he didn’t know that.

 

 

 

So in addition to worrying he also felt pathetic— pathetic for wanting her even though she had pushed him away, left him alone in the world he had built for them, for her.

 

 

 

A world they had built together

 

 

 

He got up out of bed, went toward the kitchen for some water to chase away the burning feeling in his chest—

 

 

 

The desire to runaway.

 

 

 

And it must have been two or three in the morning—

 

 

 

Yet, Jin was there.

 

 

 

Cutting up vegetables with his brows furrowed and a frown on his lips.

 

 

 

Namjoon smiled lighty

 

 

 

He hadn’t seen him in a few days.

 

 

“Have you been hiding from us?”

 

 

Jin didn’t look up, which made Namjoon laugh.

 

 

“Glad you’re still the same, hyung.”

 

 

At this Jin frowned.

 

 

“Just busy—”

 

 

“Well, we miss your cooking—”

 

 

Jin scoffed, put his knife down and looked towards Namjoon who was smiling.

 

 

“And you, of course.”

 

 

Jin sighed dramatically, smiled lightly—

 

 

Sadly.

 

 

“It’s probably just you, Joon.”

 

 

Namjoon frowned.

 

 

“That’s not true. We all miss you—”

 

 

He simply shrugged in response, went back to chopping.

 

 

“What are you making?”

 

 

“Nothing really, just practicing—”

 

 

“At two in the morning?”

 

 

“It’s three, actually.”

 

 

“Hyung—”

 

 

Jin sighed, looked for a bowl while Namjoon lectured him.

 

 

“Are you having trouble sleeping?”

 

 

Jin frowned.

 

 

“No—”

 

 

He wondered if Namjoon could tell—

 

 

“Well— you’re around even less than usual.”

 

 

Tell that he was lying.

 

 

“I took on more shifts."

 

 

 

Tell that he was trying, trying, trying—

 

 

 

“Is that all?”

 

 

Trying to make the feeling go away— a feeling he couldn't describe.

 

 

Jin shrugged.

 

 

“That and school—”

 

 

He sighed at Jin’s response, nodding.

 

 

“Well, I’m here if you ever need anything."

 

 

Namjoon's words stayed on his mind as he moved past him to get some water—

 

 

 

Of course he was, he always was 

 

 

 

Namjoon's laughter made his thoughts end—

 

 

“Nothing, huh?”

 

 

The fridge was full of prepared meals he had started making when he got home at midnight—

 

 

 

He scoffed at Namjoon's amusement.

 

 

 

“I thought about letting you all starve and decided against it.”

 

 

Namjoon smiled, his dimples making Jin smile back.

 

 

“I also just needed the practice—”

 

 

“Sure, hyung. Thank you—”

 

 

He nodded, went back to chopping.

 

 

 

But before Namjoon could leave—

 

 

 

“Are— are you going to bed anytime soon?”

 

 

Namjoon turned around, met Jin’s gaze that had been normal just a few seconds before—

 

 

“If you’re not—”

 

 

Jin’s gaze that suddenly looked as lonely as he felt.

 

 

“Can we talk?”

 

 

As lonely as he felt.

 

 

Namjoon smiled.

 

 

“About?”

 

 

Jin hesitated.

 

 

 

But then—





 

 

 

“About y/n.”

 

 

 


 

May 7 2019

 

 

22:00

 

 

 

Yoongi didn’t ask right away, or everyday like Taehyung did—

 

 

Much to her relief.

 

 

But he noticed, just like everyone else did.

 

 

He noticed—

 

 

But unlike everyone else he also felt it.

 

 

Just by looking at her he could tell, he had felt it all before

 

 

And seeing her now he could feel it all again.

 

 

 

It made him sad at first.

 

 

 

At first—

 

 

 

“Can you just tell me what fucking happened already?”

 

She looked over— laughed which only made him angrier.

 

“Nothing happened—”

 

“You’re a shit liar, y/n.”

 

She shrugged and he scoffed.

 

“You know Yoongi— you’ve been meaner lately.”

 

He rolled his eyes and she laughed again.

 

“You’re more annoying lately—”

 

“Fucking annoying?”

 

He frowned.

 

“You can’t— stop that.”

 

She smiled lightly.

 

“What?”

 

“You know what — you’re trying to make me forget—”

 

“How?”

 

“By making me think about—”

 

 

He trailed off—

 

 

About then.

 

 

“About what?”

 

“You’re so fucking annoying y/n—”

 

She laughed, and he had to do his best to not laugh with her.

 

 

Frowning, glaring—

 

 

But he was smiling when he finally pulled into the dorm’s parking lot.

 

She had succeeded, he had forgotten

 

 

But only temporarily.

 

 

She held his gaze before picking up her things to leave— smiling softly, genuinely.

 

 

 

Genuinely—

 

 

She had forgotten too.

 

 

But only—

 

 

“I wish you would just talk to me, y/n.”

 

 

He sighed, looked away when the smile left her eyes—

 

 

“Or anyone, really.”

 

 

When she didn’t respond he focused on his hands, his fingers—

 

 

Wondering if they would ever tangle in her hair again, brush the knots away and trace over her skin—

 

 

 

Those same hands that had gripped her violently and thrown her out of that shitty apartment where someone else was waiting.



 

 

Someone who had loved her better—

 

 

 

Had.

 

 

 

But he didn’t know that part.

 

 

 

“Can we— go to that place—”

 

He finally looked over, his eyebrows raised.

 

“What place?”

 

“That bar, by—”

 

At this he frowned.

 

“No.”

 

She frowned.

 

“I can buy drinks—”

 

“No.”

 

“But Yoongi—”

 

She looked closely and realized he was glaring.

 

“I’m not going to watch you try to drink your problems away y/n

 

“That’s not fair! I let you do it— I fucking dragged you home more times than I could count!”

 

He scoffed.

 

“Fuck you y/n— I’m trying to help you—”

 

“Then just take me Yoongi-ah, I won’t even drink—”

 

He laughed.

 

“You’re still a shit liar y/n.”

 

She reached out for his hand but he flinched away—

 

“I’m trying to talk to you Yoongi

 

He frowned.

 

“Then just talk to me here, groupie you can't just—”

 

“But I want to—”

 

“We’re not going. I’d rather see you sad then pull the same shit I did.”

 

“I’m not sad—”

 

“Whatever y/n.”

 

She scoffed.

 

“I’ll just go by myself.”

 

She grabbed her things and tried to leave but he reached over and closed the door before she could.

 

“What the fuck Yoongi—”

 

“Can you just, listen to me groupie— please?"

 

“You’re not listening to me either—”

 

“Cause you’re being a fucking brat.”

 

She frowned, suddenly felt like crying.

 

“Don’t call me that.”

 

“What? Brat?”

 

She tried to leave, he held her still—

 

“Why do you hate me!”

 

He stared, incredulous—

 

 

Pissed.

 

 

“Get out.”

 

“I’m—”

 

“Just go— you don’t want my help? Fine. Just get the fuck out of my car—”

 

She did, slamming the door shut and watching as he drove away.

 

She wanted to cry but she didn’t—

 

 

 

Everything just felt like her fault lately.

 

 

 

And when Yoongi didn’t go the next day she wasn’t surprised—

 

 

 

But still, she waited.

 

 

 

Didn’t call, didn’t text— just waited.

 

 

Until the last bus ran, until she couldn’t anymore—

 

 

Waiting while the feeling in her chest only worsened.

 

 

Until it was unbearable— because she wanted to apologize, wanted to see him.

 

 

 

But he didn't go.

 

 

 

And so she called someone to go get her— someone that wouldn’t care if she wanted to get shitfaced drunk trying to chase that damned feeling away.

 

 

Drinking wasn’t the problem— she knew that.

 

 

That wasn’t why Yoongi had gotten so upset— why he hadn’t gone when he always did.

 

 

It was the binging part.

 

 

The unhealthy minute detail that made her call exactly none of the boys who claimed to be so desperately in love with her and one obnoxious group partner who sat next to her in class now and then.

 

 

He was perfect— until he wasn’t.

 

 

It would have been fine if he hadn’t left her there.

 

 

 

“Taehyungie!”

 

“This is Yoongi.”

 

“Taehyungie, I need your help—”

 

“You need— are you fucking serious y/n? Are you fucking drunk?”

 

“I didn’t, realize— I was a lightweight Taehyungie, I really didn’t. Not until—”

 

“Please tell me you’re not there alone y/n

 

“No— no! Yoongi’s here! Please don’t be mad Taehyungie—”

 

“I’m— fuck y/n, fuck

 

“Hey—”

 

“Go to the bathroom and lock yourself in.”

 

She murmured something he didn’t quite catch before he heard a door slam shut.

 

“Okay—”

 

“Stay on the line— is it the same bar Yoongi always took you to?”

 

“Yup!”

 

“I’m on my way.”

 

“Thank you Tae— hyung!”

 

He sighed, his worry only worsening the more her words slurred— his annoyance.

 

“Just stay on the line— count to one hundred and I’ll be there when you’re done.”

 

She hummed, got to about twenty before—

 

“Do you remember what Jin said?”

 

Yoongi paused.

 

“Count to one hundred—”

 

“Do you think he was right?”

 

He sighed.

 

“Y/n, we can’t talk about this right now—”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because you’re drunk.”

 

“So?”

 

“If you didn’t want to tell me when you were sober—”

 

“But you were there.”

 

“No y/n—”

 

“Taehyungie, you’re bumming me out.”

 

He sighed.

 

“Just count—”

 

“But I hate math.”

 

He laughed.

 

“Well you’re good at it, so—”

 

He heard her laughter echo.

 

“Only cause Joonie made me practice so much—”

 

“Whatever— I’m almost there.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Really.”

 

“You’re the best.”

 

“Fuck you."

 

“Anyways, I think Jin was right

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

 

“I am embarrassing.”

 

 

 

He paused.

 

“What the fuck did you just say?”

 

“I don’t mean to be, but I am—”

 

He gripped the steering wheel.

 

“No y/n, you’re not—”

 

“I’m glad you think so Tae.”

 

He laughed— drove a little faster.

 

“Start counting.”

 

“But—”

 

“If you keep talking about Jin, I’m going to beat the shit out of him when I get home

 

She laughed.

 

“You’re not— Taehyungie.”

 

“No shit.”

 

“My bad—”

 

“Don’t you dare hang up groupie— start counting.”

 

A pause.

 

“Why?”

 

“So I know you haven’t died.”

 

She frowned.

 

“I didn’t drink that much—”

 

“You thought I was Taehyung.”

 

“I thought I called him last and just clicked—”

 

“Y/n, I will leave you there—”

 

 

He wouldn't, but she didn't know that—

 

 

Or rather, she didn't drunk.

 

 

“Okay, okay— one, two, three...”

 

 

When she opened the door he pulled her out, and despite being pissed about the whole thing he still tried to be gentle—

 

 

Helping her walk to his car, into the passenger seat, putting her seatbelt on—

 

 

Cursing the entire time— but gentle.

 

 

He drove in silence, stopping at a convenience store before taking her home.

 

 

Carrying her into the dorms when they finally got there, putting her on the bed slowly.

 

 

“Here— sit up, drink this—”

 

She took the water bottle from his hands and took a sip.

 

He stared.

 

“All of it.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Look, I wasn’t there with you and I’m sorry. But I need you to just listen to me for the rest of the night— okay?”

 

She stared blankly for a while before nodding.

 

“Okay.”

 

He sighed, watching her finish the biggest bottle he could find that wasn’t a gallon.

 

“Here—”

 

He pulled a small bottle of pills out of the plastic bag and opened it— took her hand and placed two there.

 

She laughed.

 

 

“I used to do this for you—”

 

 

But he didn’t say anything, kept his gaze away from hers.

 

 

Moving silently about the room trying to find a bag, some towels—

 

 

“I’m sorry Yoongi.”

 

 

At this he looked her way— she wasn’t sober, but it was genuine.

 

He shook his head.

 

“Just— you shouldn’t have gone alone.”

 

“I didn’t— I asked on of my classmates to go with me, they just left—”

 

He frowned.

 

“They left?”

 

She nodded and he sighed.

 

“If you see them again, kill them for me.”

 

She hummed.

 

“I’ll do it for me—”

 

He smiled lightly.

 

“Good.”

 

Silence.

 

“You know— you were right Yoongi-ah. You were right.”

 

He frowned.

 

“I’m sorry y/n— I just, I knew from experience.”

 

 

She smiled sadly.

 

 

Felt her voice crack, her words slur—

 

 

“If anything— I felt worse Yoongi-ah.”

 

 

He met her gaze, nodded.

 

 

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there— to take care of you.”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“Sorry I didn’t listen—”

 

 

He smiled sadly, went back to looking for—

 

 

 

 

“But I do feel better when I’m with you Yoongi-ah.”

 

 

 

 

He froze.

 

 

“It’s funny, really. When— when you pushed me away Jin was there. Jin helped me feel better and he was really my only friend— until I met Hoseok and Jimin and—”

 

 

“Hoseok? When did you meet Hoseok?”

 

 

She paused.

 

 

“When I met everyone else I guess— the point is, Jin was there, he was always there. He would cook for me, I would cook for him— we would argue, laugh, forget. With him I just felt— happy, peaceful. When I came to Seoul during my breaks, when I eventually moved here— we were really good friends before we were—”

 

 

He winced, she paused.

 

 

“I’m sorry Yoongi—”

 

 

“Don’t be, tell me.”

 

 

She nodded.

 

 

“I just— I don’t understand. This feeling in my chest, it’s like—”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

He knew—

 

 

“Suffocating?”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“That’s why you make me feel better— you get it. And you didn’t have to tell me, I know you do— I feel like you’re the only person that does. The only person that doesn’t make me feel like I’m going

 

“Crazy?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

He sighed.

 

Jin might, but he wasn’t about to tell her so.

 

 

"You get it. We get each other— we always have! We always will—"

 

 

He agreed— and it was almost a relief to hear it coming from her lips that he wished he could just—

 

 

"Y/n— we can talk about this another day—"

 

 

But he knew she wouldn't be saying any of it if she wasn't—

 

 

"But why? It's funny Yoongi-ah, it really is— you became Jin."

 

 

He felt his heart stop—

 

 

He had almost forgotten.

 

 

"You became Jin, and Jin became—"

 

 

How easily, how quickly and thoughtlessly she could make even momentary fleeting happiness turn into nothing—

 

 

 

The girl he loved—

 

 

 

“Don’t y/n—" 

 

 

 

She was the only person in the world who could make him so miserable.

 

 

 

"Don't."

 

 

 

She hadn’t realized it before, but—

 

 

 

“I’ll be outside if you need me—”

 

“Yoongi-ah, you’re crying—”

 

“I’m—”

 

 

She pulled him into a hug before he could stop her— 

 

 

 

And being in her arms— it only made him cry more.

 

 

 

“Y/n, please let go of me—”

 

 

 

But she didn’t— she didn't and with every second that passed he only wanted to stay there longer—

 

 

 

Forever.

 

 

 

He let himself be held, let himself feel her warmth that he had longed for, yearned for since she had walked into that restaurant and looked at him with anger, resentment—

 

 

 

And so he did what he knew how to do best—

 

 

 

Wrapped his arms around her waist and held her close, listened to her heart beat race in unison with his own that was hers—

 

 

 

 

No matter how many times she broke it.

 

 

 

 

He buried himself into her embrace, tried to control his ragged breathing—

 

 

“I— I don’t want to be Jin’s replacement—”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“That’s not what I meant, it’s just—”

 

 

“He’s the one that hurt you and I’m the one fixing you? That I’m the one that pushed you to him in the first place? Broke you in the first place? That’s shit y/n—”

 

 

He could feel his heart slowly fill with a familiar pain, a dull aching—

 

 

Just like the day he had pushed her away—

 

 

 

Except it almost felt worse.

 

 

 

“Yoongi listen to me—”

 

 

She pushed him away only so she could look into his eyes, kept her hands on his shoulders scared he would break apart otherwise—

 

 

Fall to pieces.

 

 

“Being with you brought me peace before Jin— don’t you remember? Being together always brought us both peace—”

 

 

“Is that all it was?”

 

 

“No—”

 

 

“Is that all we were?”

 

 

“Yoongi-ah— stop it. You know what we were.”

 

 

He laughed— breaking, breaking.

 

 

“Right— what we were.”

 

 

“Why are you being like this?”

 

 

“Because it sucks y/n, it fucking sucks that—”

 

 

He paused.

 

 

“You’re drunk y/n— I shouldn’t be arguing with you.”

 

 

He pushed her off gently, tried to lie her down on her side—

 

 

“No— please stay. Talk to me Yoongi-ah—”

 

 

“I can’t.”

 

 

“Why? Why are you—”

 

 

“You know why, y/n— I'm—”

 

 

She reached out towards him— wanting to feel that familiar peace that seemed long forgotten.

 

 

 

The one she had felt when he was holding her just a few seconds before.

 

 

 

Trying to get rid of that empty feeling— trying to pull him closer—

 

 

 

But—

 

 

 

“You’re drunk y/n.”

 

 

 

 

He didn’t let her.

 

 

 

 

“I’m— not.

 

 

 

 

He wouldn’t let her.

 

 

 

 

“Jin please—”



 

 

No matter how many times she broke him.

 

 

 

 

She froze and he only chuckled.

 

 

 

Over, and over, and over—

 

 

 

“See? You don’t want me, baby—”

 

 

 

“Yoongi-ah, please I’m sorry—”

 

 

 

He shushed her, kissed her temple and left tears there.



 

“You’re thinking of him.”




 

“No—”

 

 

 

“Go to sleep y/n— stay on your side, go to sleep. You said you would listen—”

 

 

“No!”

 

 

“Goodnight— just call if you need anything.”

 

 

“I need you to stay— don't you want to stay?”

 

 

He brushed the hair out of her face and forced a smile.

 

 

“I can't.”

 

 

“You owe me Yoongi-ah, I used to take care of you—”

 

 

He spoke softly, calmly—

 


“You weren’t in love with me then, y/n. Staying never hurt you—”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“So just— go to sleep―”

 

 

“Leaving did.”

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

“What?”

 

 

“Leaving hurt then, leaving hurts now— because I love you so much.”

 

 

He breathed in— looked into her eyes and realized that there was a million reasons to stay.

 

 

Realized they were all selfish.

 

 

 

“See you tomorrow y/n.”

 

 

 

He got up, left despite her protesting.

 

 

And when he got to his car—

 

 

He finally let himself cry — scream, shake with frustration—

 

 

With sadness.

 

 

 

He could feel himself breaking, it only made him cry louder.

 

 

 

Until the sun rose—

 

 

 

He stayed so Hoseok wouldn’t see him— so he wouldn’t have to see Jin.



 

 

But most of all— in case she needed him.









And only one thing brought him comfort—







 

 

 

Because I love you so much.

 

 

 


 

 

She didn’t expect him to be there the next day—

 

 

Still, she wondered how she was going to apologize— what she could say to make it better.

 

 

 

 

Make it go away.

 

 

 

 

But most of all she was getting ready for him to not be there— she understood.

 

 

 

If he never came back— she understood.

 

 

 

But when she stepped out of the convenience store there it was—

 

 

 

The same black car, the same feeling in her chest when she saw it.

 

 

 

She ran to him— opened the door and threw herself in.

 

 

 

But when she looked over—

 

 

“Hoseok?”

 

He frowned.

 

“Don’t sound too excited—”

 

“I am! I just—”

 

“Expecting Yoongi?”

 

She smiled, nodded.

 

“You are in his car Hoseokie—”

 

He smiled back, started driving.

 

“He sent me to get you— he had a meeting today.”

 

“Did he?”

 

Hoseok pressed his lips together.

 

“He— did.”

 

She laughed, wondered if it was true.

 

 

“He also wanted me to talk to you y/n—”

 

 

She nodded, expecting as much—

 

 

A lecture, a worried drawn out monologue.

 

 

But instead—

 

 

“Let’s go to our place.”

 

 

She looked over.

 

 

“Our place?”

 

 

He smiled lightly, nodded.

 

 

Their place—

 

 

She had missed their place.

 

 

A familiar rooftop that seemed infinite—




 

 

 

 

 

That was.





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Can I tell you a story?”

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

“I’ve known Jin the longest—”



 

Hoseok had his eyes on the stars above— felt his lips pull into a smile at the thought.

 

 

 

“I met him when I was five, he was—”

 

“Seven?”

 

He nodded, reached over and pinched her cheek—

 

“Just listen, okay?”

 

She hummed in agreement, watched as his smile turned into a frown—

 

“Growing up with Jin— it was almost disheartening. He always— always got what he wanted. And if he wanted something I had— well, I learned to just give it to him.”

 

He sighed.

 

“He was more than just spoiled— and he was a good friend most of the time, but he was also— selfish. Selfish because no one ever really said no to him, and he’s always just hated his father— always tried to spite him by being obnoxious—”

 

He met her gaze and chuckled.

 

“That’s why I thought it was funny— that he called you brat. It was what Yoongi called him in high school—”

 

She smiled.

 

“Yoongi?”

 

He laughed.

 

“Yeah— I met Yoongi when I was a first year, Jin was a third year. He transferred in and well— we just really hit it off. We would talk for hours at a time, started going everywhere together, doing everything together— much to Jin’s annoyance.”

 

She frowned.

 

“He didn’t like Yoongi?”

 

“He hated him.”

 

He smiled brightly at the thought—

 

 

“And Yoongi hated him right back— called him a fucking spoiled brat, a spaz. Jin called him a delinquent, offensive—

 

 

He couldn’t help but laugh.

 

“To be fair— they were both kind of right.”

 

She laughed with him—

 

 

Wished she could have seen it.

 

 

“But I think the reason he hated Yoongi so damn much was because he was the first person to ever tell him no— the first person to try to take something that Jin thought belonged to him.”

 

 

She thought about it—

 

 

“You?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

She didn't hesitate—

 

 

“I’m sure he didn’t think he owned you Hoseokie, Jin isn't like that—”

 

 

He met her gaze, smiled sadly—

 

 

Wondered if she realized she was defending him—

 

 

 

“I’m sure he doesn’t anymore.”

 

 

 

Him who had hurt her—

 

 

 

“Hey, don't be sad y/n—"  

 

 

 

Him who couldn't bring himself to apologize— 

 

 

 

"He was and is a good friend, a good person."

 

 

No— he would never apologize.

 

 

"But he's also— possessive, demanding—" 

 

 

 

Hoseok knew him well—

 

 

 

"He's never liked sharing."

 

 

 

 

Hoseok knew him well.

 

 

 

She looked up, stared at the stars that seemed to be staring back in silence—

 

 

 

He joined her—

 

 

 

Found the moon that had already danced halfway across the sky.

 

 

 

 

He laughed lightly, bringing an end to their silence— her thoughts.

 

 

“You know— I even gave him the moon once.”

 

 

He closed his eyes in thought, let the night air fill his lungs.

 

 

“The moon?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“I had almost forgotten— but I keep having these dreams lately. Dreams of distant memories, do you— do you ever have those?”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“Sometimes.”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“There’s this one dream— this one memory— in particular. We both fell in love with the moon on a rainy summer night— the kind of rain that makes people run inside, hide away. You know, the kind that brought us together—"

 

 

 

She nodded, smiled gently much to his relief—

 

 

He could never stand seeing her sad for very long.

 

 

"We were stuck inside and there was nothing to do— so we talked to the moon. After that night we both fell in love— but he said he didn’t want it, so I kept it.”

 

“You kept the moon?”

 

“Shut up, it’s a cute story—”

 

She laughed.

 

"But if you both loved it why did Jin say he didn't want it?"

 

 

He shrugged.

 

 

"He probably thought people would laugh at him— for loving something that he could never have, something that could never love him back."

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

"And you didn't?"

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“It was mine— and I talk to it all the time, even when the sun had risen— I guess I was also alot lonelier than I realized. But so was Jin— and with every night that passed he started to want it just as much— and, I almost felt bad for the moon.”

 

He frowned.

 

“It almost looked sad. Maybe she— maybe it knew that it was being chased, maybe it felt that burden. Jin chased the moon more than the sun ever could, so eventually—”

 

“You gave him the moon.”

 

He hummed.

 

“That’s a terrible story Hoseokie—”

 

He laughed.

 

“Well, it’s the truth.”

 

She pushed him playfully.

 

“Well, then what happened?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“That was it. We both slowly forgot— with every new day, it became easier to forget.”

 

She booed.

 

“What? Happy endings aren’t real y/n—”

 

“That’s crap!”

 

“Yeah, well— anyways.”

 

She pouted, making him laugh.

 

 

“Don’t be sad, the moon shouldn’t belong to anyone in the first place—”

 

 

She smiled lightly.

 

 

“I guess.”

 

 

They both went back to looking at the stars, the moon—

 

 

“I’m sure it misses you though—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“The moon?”

 

 

“Yeah— I’m sure it does. You must have been its first friend—”

 

 

“It’s a rock, y/n.”

 

 

“Well, actually—”

 

 

 

They laughed together, and she felt her heart swell—

 

 

 

“I miss you, Hoseokie.”

 

 

 

He looked down, away from the moon— towards her.

 

“I miss you too— I’ve just been—”

 

“Busy?”

 

She smiled sadly—

 

“I hear that alot lately.”

 

He frowned, hesitated—




“Do you— do you remember that girl?”




She looked over, nodded.

 

“The one that was special?”

 

“Yeah— that one.”

 

“Did she break your heart? Should I kick her ass—”

 

He laughed.

 

“Yoongi’s rubbing off on you.”

 

She stuck her tongue out at him— laughed.

 

 

He smiled sadly, of course

 

 

 

Of course his heart still raced when she was close, of course he felt his chest ache when she laughed, when she spoke—

 

 

 

Of course.

 

 

 

“Well— you can only watch someone leave so many times, let them.”

 

She frowned.

 

“Don’t let her then—”

 

He smiled lightly, shook his head.

 

 

 

Of course, of course—




 

“People like her always end up with people like Jin.”




 

He held her gaze that was filled with sadness—

 

“I wish you wouldn’t give up so easily Hoseokie—”

 

He shook his head.

 

“I— I don’t want to make the same mistake Taehyung is making with you. The same mistake they all are—”

 

“Mistake?”

 

He frowned.

 

“It's just—they’ll never let you go y/n— you’re with them everyday and it’s only making them more attached—”

 

She laughed.

 

“So what? I should just stay away from them?”

 

“They should just stay away from you—”

 

“Like you are? Why are you staying away from me?  I don't—”

 

He frowned.

 

“It’s not just you y/n, I’m just focusing on work, on school—”

 

 

It wasn’t true— it was, but it wasn’t.

 

 

“I’m also graduating soon, I have practice everyday— not everything’s about you y/n—”

 

 

 

He froze.

 

 

 

“I didn't—”

 

“Fine. You’re right—”

 

“No, I’m—”

 

He sighed.

 

“I’m just frustrated—”

 

She nodded.

 

“I understand.”

 

“Y/n— don’t go.”

 

“I’ll take a cab home, thanks for the stories Hoseokie—”

 

“We’re trying to help, I'm trying to help—”

 

She frowned.

 

“Well, I feel worse—”

 

“Over Jin? Really? ”

 

“No Hoseok— over you.

 

He paused.

 

"Me?"

 

"Yeah— you. You're not avoiding anyone else, I know you're busy but that's crap— you act like I don't talk to all of them everyday. Which is a mistake? A mistake Hoseok? What the fuck happened to seeing the good in people? Loving them, fixing them—"

 

“Y/n—"

 

He took her hand and made her sit down next to him.

 

 

"I'm sorry."

 

 

When she didn't meet his gaze he took her face gently in his hands and made her—

 

 

"I'm sorry."

 

 

She sighed, defeated—

 

 

Tired.

 

 

"I feel like we used to tell each other more."

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

"There's nothing I wouldn't tell you y/n—"

 

 

It was true.

 

 

She spoke softly, sadly.

 

 

"Did you get sick of me like Jin did?"

 

 

He frowned.

 

 

"Don't say that—"

 

 

"Do you still love me Hoseokie?"

 

 

"I— of course I do."

 

 

 

It was true.

 

 

 

She nodded, let her head fall on his shoulder— let her lips say what was on her mind—

 

 

“You’re right, though— not everything’s about me.”

 

 

He laughed gently, put his arm around her and pulled her closer.

 

 

She was wrong— that was his only thought as he leaned into her, pressing as close as he could while keeping a distance.

 

 

She was wrong.

 

 

 

It was, it would be—



 

Her, her, her.



 

“I’m sorry for getting mad, I just— I’m still angry at myself for yesterday, and now— I’m the worst, aren’t I Hoseokie?”

 

He smiled, nodded.

 

“Terrible.”

 

She laughed— following his gaze across the horizon towards the moon that was almost out of sight.



 

It seemed to be shining a little brighter than before.



 

He spoke softly, trying to be careful—

 

 

To not ruin the moment.

 

 

“Yoongi— he didn’t tell me everything, about what happened. I’m not sure if he knows either but— knowing you, and knowing Jin— I just don’t want you to blame yourself for something that is just— so inherently like Jin to do.”

 

 

 

 

Silence— he pulled her closer.

 

 

 

 

“Like a fatal flaw?”

 

 

He nodded—

 

 

Silence— she moved away.

 

 



Met his gaze—

 

 

“But doesn’t that make him a tragic hero?”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“This isn’t a story y/n—”

 

 

She smiled.

 

 

“You said that already— no happy endings.”

 

 

He pinched her cheek, and she smiled brighter.

 

 

“Let go Hoseokie!”

 

 

He did—

 

 

Kissed where his hand had been gently, quickly.

 

 

Stayed there, even if only for an instant, a moment—

 

 

 

“Hopefully there won’t be an end— "

 

 

 

A moment that felt like a lifetime.

 

 

 

"Hopefully you’ll be happy forever.”

 

 

She spoke softly, whispered as if it was a secret—

 

 

A promise that needed to be kept—

 

 

“Forever?”

 

 

He nodded, looking at the sun slowly rising over the city.

 

 

Getting lost in thought—




 

“C’mon, I’ll take you home.”

 

 

 

 

 

Like the sun

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

And the moon.




 

“Will I see you around?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Yoongi wanted me to join your daily car rides—”

 

She smiled.

 

“Will you?”

 

He nodded, laughed when she cheered and watched as she ran inside—



 

Out of sight just as the sun found its place in the sky and a new day began.










 

Forever together—


















 

 

 

Forever apart.








 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

"About y/n."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What about her?”

 

 

Jin held his breath at Namjoon's question—  

 

 

 

He didn’t know.

 

 

 

Didn't know why he had asked, what he was looking for—

 

 

 

All he knew was how miserable he had been since then, how pathetic it all made him feel— how lost.

 

 

As Jin's mind wandered silence filled the room, Namjoon’s words echoing louder and louder in his mind—

 

 

What about her?

 

 

Was she sleeping? Was she eating? He wasn't—

 

 

 

What about her?

 

 

 

Did she even miss him? Think about him? Had she even loved—

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Nevermind.”

 

“Hyung—”

 

He didn’t look up.

 

“Hyung—”

 

He refused to look up— Namjoon sighed.

 

 

“You know you can tell me—”

 

 

“Anything?”

 

 

Jin laughed lightly, bitterly— shook his head again.

 

 

“You really think that Joon?”

 

 

Namjoon frowned at his words.

 

 

“You don’t?”

 

 

The accusation made Jin wince despite Namjoon’s voice never rising— never wavering.

 

Soft, gentle— something she had always told him she loved.

 

Namjoon frowned, chased away his thoughts that always found their way back to her.

 

 

Focused on Jin—

 

 

Jin who couldn't find the right words.

 

 

“When it comes to her— I just—”

 

He trailed off and Namjoon smiled softly—

 

Shrugged.

 

“It not like you never talked to me about her before, hyung— you did more times than I can count—”

 

“It was different then Joon—”

 

“Was it? What changed?”

 

Jin scoffed.

 

“You know what changed.”

 

Namjoon’s eyes filled with sadness, looking away from his brother.

 

“You’re right— you’re right but—”

 

 

“But?”

 

 

They both sighed— silence, silence.

 

 

 

“But we’re still friends aren’t we?”

 

 

 

His words made Jin laugh softly— and it was sudden, quick—

 

 

But in an instant he felt less miserable.

 

 

“Yeah— I guess we are.”

 

He met Namjoon’s gaze and watched as that familiar dimpled smile returned to his face, shone brightly his way— he couldn’t help but smile back.

 

 

“You guess?”

 

 

And then they were laughing—

 

How nice it was for them both—

 

 

To be reminded of when things were simple.

 

A moment passed, but the silence was peace instead of fear, confidence instead of uncertainty—

 

 

“Joon?”

 

 

Their eyes met, and Jin almost hesitated.

 

 

Almost.

 

 

 

“Did you ever feel like she didn’t love you growing up? Now?"

 

 

Namjoon frowned at his words—

 

“No—”



 

 

 

At the very thought—





 

 

 

“Never.”

 

 

 






Foolish, foolish—

 

 

It would have been foolish to have ever doubted.


“I had a nightmare

 

She was small then— small, vulnerable and afraid

 

 

Alone.

 

 

Shaking because it was cold, crying because she was scared

 

Scared he would tell her to go— back to a familiar loneliness, an empty room.

 

He could see it in her eyes— when they first met and in that moment, she was simple then.

 

Alone and not wanting to be—

 

 

 

Desperately  not wanting to be.

 

 

 

And so he told her to come in and she had— told her to trust him and she had.

 

 

She did.

 

 

“You can go to sleep now y/n— I’ll be right here holding your hand, like this, see?”

 

She looked at their fingers he had carefully intertwined before nodding.

 

“When you’re dreaming try to remember that I’m right here, okay?”

 

She frowned—

 

“But will you be in my dreams Namjoon?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Even if you can’t see me I’ll be there— holding your hand and keeping you safe, just like I always will—”

 

“Always?”

 

He met her worried gaze with a gentle smile.

 

“We’re friends forever y/n, forever means—”

 

“Always?”

 

He laughed.

 

“Yes, always. So go to sleep—”

 

 

And she did.

 

 

He watched her fall asleep, wondering what thoughts filled her mind, why the floor was so cold—

 

But mostly wondering if he had really meant it all—

 

 

Whether they could really be friends forever.

 

 

He cared for her— but the word forever was trivial to his young mind.

 

There was no forever.

 

Not in anything, not in them—

 

Not in them.

 

 

 

But after that night—

 

 

 

“Namjoonie, can you read me a story again?”

 

He smiled softly.

 

“Again?”

 

She nodded.

 

“I don’t get nightmares when you read me stories—”

 

He hummed.

 

“Is it because you dream of the stories instead?”

 

She shook her head, spoke like a child would—

 

Like she always did.

 

“I dream of you, Joon.”

 

 

He loved her for it.

 

 

“Why don’t you have more friends y/n?”

 

She shook her head.

 

“I have you.”

 

He laughed.

 

“I have more friends—”

 

“But they’re not forever like we are .

 



Those words—

 

 

 

They stayed on his mind years after.

 

 

 

 

"How are you always so— honest?"

 

She had smiled his way, laughed.

 

"What do you mean Joonie?"

 

"You always just— say what's on your mind when we're together, don't you?"

 

She nodded.

 

"Promise that'll never change— that you'll never lie to me."

 

She laughed again.

 

"I don't have to promise Joonie—"

 

 

 

Just like most of her words—

 

 

 

"Forever friends don't lie."

 

 

 

He kept them for years and years.

 

 

 

No, after that first night he couldn't have doubted—

 

 

“What’s wrong Joonie? You’re crying—”

 

He smiled sadly.

 

“It’s nothing—”

 

 

Thinking back he doesn’t even remember why he was crying— the why didn’t matter.

 

 

Only what came after.

 

 

Her small hands wiping his tears away, finding his.

 

Intertwining in his—

 

“Don’t cry Joonie—”

 

Bringing him peace.

 

“I’ll keep you safe.”

 

 

He loved her for it.



“You’ll never leave me, right y/n?”

 

She didn’t hesitate—

 

“No, we’re—”

 

“Forever.”

 

She smiled gently and nodded—

 

“Forever.”

 

And as the years passed he only grew more certain—

 

“Joonie-ah! You’re going to be late for school—”

 

He shrugged, held her hand a little tighter.

 

“I want to go the long way again—”

 

She smiled brightly.

 

“Because you love me so much?”

 

He nodded and she laughed.

 

“Let’s walk slowly then—”

 

 

 

How foolish, how foolish

 

 

“Let’s runaway someday y/n.”

 

 

She looked up from her homework, surprised—

 

Surprised before nodding, speaking with honest eyes, honest words.

 

Childlike despite no longer being a child.

 

“I’ll be there— wherever you go Joon, I’ll be there—”

 

 

He loved her—

 

 

“Holding your hand and keeping you safe— forever.”

 

 

 

He loved her.

 

 

 

Namjoon repeated those words, held them close.

 

 

Forever.

 

 

They were forever.

 

 

He cried that night— after she had fallen asleep, her hand still in his.

 

No— he had never doubted her love.

 

From the moment they became friends, she had always reminded him—

 

Closer than his shadow ever was, she was by his side every moment she could be— eyes lighting up whenever she saw him, whenever he spoke.

 

 

When he walked her to school, when he made her breakfast, lunch, and dinner—

 

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon—”

 

 

And he didn’t understand why at first—

 

Why she looked at him with so much affection, so much love.

 

But slowly , surely— he came to understand, to feel the same way— 

 

As time slowed and their world came to be, as their souls grew more and more intertwined—

 

She had believed him.

 

 

Trusted in those words he had said to comfort a crying child he had only known for a few months then— someone he had cared for but didn’t love.

 

 

No, not then—

 

 

But that night he cried because his love for her was overwhelming, because he hadn’t realized it sooner—

 

Forever existed and it was holding his hand—

 

 

Forever existed and it was his.

 

 

It was her.

 

 

And it seemed impossible, but he only loved her more and more after that night.

 

Seasons came and went, years passed quickly for the rest of the world—

 

Slowly for them— 

 

When the present was overwhelming they found refuge in each other, when he felt like he couldn’t possibly love her anymore—

 

“Surprise!”

 

He laughed.

 

“You got me— a box?”

 

She pushed him lightly.

 

“Just open it—”

 

He laughed at her as she beamed.

 

“They’re—”

 

“They’re all the poems you threw away this year I thought were worth keeping!”

 

He paused.

 

“You—”

 

“I rewrote them and folded them into paper cranes!”

 

He smiled.

 

“You went through my trash?”

 

She shrugged.

 

“It was just paper trash— you could make these into songs someday. You’re so talented Kim Namjoon—”

 

He shook his head.

 

“You just love me too much—”

 

She nodded.

 

“I do— but you really are! Don’t throw your poems away from now on—”

 

He smiled softly, felt his heart swell.

 

“But I like your paper cranes y/n—”

 

“Well— I like when you believe in yourself.”

 

He laughed, pinched her cheek gently.

 

“That’s not a very good argument—”

 

She slapped his hand away.

 

“I get paper cuts when I dig through your trash— you’re physically hurting me when you throw them away.”

 

He paused—

 

Frowned.

 

“Stop getting smarter—”

 

She stuck her tongue out.

 

“You’re proud of me, aren’t you Joonie?”

 

“I—”

 

He laughed.

 

“I am.”

 

More and more—

 

 

“Where do you want to go? When we runaway?”

 

She shrugged.

 

“Anywhere you go—”

 

He nodded.

 

“We really can go anywhere then—”

 

She laughed.

 

“You don’t have anywhere in mind Joonie?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Wherever you are.”



It was beautiful—



“Pick one.”

 

She smiled.

 

“A star?”

 

He nodded.

 

“It’s your second birthday gift—”

 

“But stars can’t be owned—”

 

“Don’t you believe in me?”

 

She nodded.

 

“Pick one then—”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“You pick one first— it can be an early birthday present Joonie! From me to you—

 

He laughed.

 

“Why? You're stealing my idea—”

 

 

She smiled brightly.

 

“Well I only want one if it’s next to yours—”



 

It was perfect.






Until it wasn’t .

 

And he had never been more terrified at the thought that he could lose her over something so selfish

 

And he hadn’t noticed when— hadn’t noticed how.

 

 

But it was true—

 

 

She was everything to him.

 

The seasons—

 

 

“You have a girlfriend?”

 

 

Day—

 

 

“Yeah.”

 

 

Night.

 

 

“Why?”

 

And not knowing she felt the same—

 

“Because I like her, y/n.”

 

Not knowing it broke her heart.

 

He did his best to hide that selfishness he was so afraid of— that truth.

 

But girlfriend after girlfriend—

 

“I love you, y/n—”

 

It became harder to deny—

 

“I love you, y/n.”

 

 

 

How poetically the universe had conspired against them—

 

 

Because it was that same moment in time she realized that those words—

 

Those words.

 

“I love you too Joonie!”

 

 

They would always mean friendship.

 

 

But he didn’t know that.

 

In his mind it had already been decided, fated— 

 

 

 

Forever.

 

 

 

She was everything to him, he was everything to her— she had told him so.

 

 

 

And that night—

 

 

“I love you—”

 

 

That night.


“You are loved.”

 

 

 

He had decided that even if he left it would be okay— they would be okay.

 

Because in the end, he had only ever doubted himself— never her.

 

And after all those years— he believed in his promise as certainly as she had that first night.






They were forever.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Jin didn’t say much while Namjoon spoke—

 

 

It made him happy— 

 

 

 

It made him miserable.

 

 

 

He missed her—

 

 

“Namjoon?”

 

 

 

He loved her.

 

 

 

Jin’s voice cracked, and shook— he laughed.

 

 

 

They both did— 

 

 

 

“Can you ever stop loving someone?”

 

 

 

Those same words he had asked when he had first seen her with Taehyung—

 

 

 

Namjoon breathed out— felt his heart start to ache and laughed with him.

 

 

Both wanting to cry—

 

 

 

“I don’t know anymore, hyung.”

 

 

 

Jin nodded.



“I don’t either—”



Both holding it in.

 

 

 

And the sun rose, the day began— but those thoughts stayed with them both.

 

 

 

Haunting them both.

 

 

 

So the next night—

 

 

 

“You’re here hyung? It’s late—”

 

 

And the next.

 

 

 

“What about her?”

 

 



And the next.

 

 

 

“Anything.”

 

 

 

He always complied.

 

 

Talking about her helped Namjoon remember—

 

 

Hearing about her helped Jin forget.

 

 

They both missed her, they both loved her— and their inability to deal with both of those things only brought them closer.

 

 

As the month of May went by they dwelled on the past while Jungkook and Jimin dwelled on the present only a room away—

 

 

 

Their growth and love for her bringing them just as close, closer.

 

 

 

Wrapped under a blanket— both filled with peace, both filled with love.

 

 

“She seems better, doesn’t she hyung?”

 

 

Jimin smiled softly at the thought—


“She does.”

 

 

Every night, every night


Hoseok wondering if Yoongi was really okay—




Yoongi wondering why he hadn’t noticed sooner.

 

 

 

 

But those nights were Jin's only consolation, he would spend the rest of his days numbly— miserable.

 

 

 

That was the only word that came to mind whenever Namjoon asked how he was—

 

 

 

Miserable for missing her, miserable for loving her— wanting to rip her from his mind, wanting to feel her in his arms.

 

 

 

A misery so strong it almost felt like dying—

 

 

 

Almost felt like drowning.

 

 

 

And when he finally couldn't take it anymore he would go— wait outside that tiny convenience store, wait outside her dorm.

 

 

More than once he went— after driving around aimlessly waiting for everyone to go to sleep so he wouldn't have to deal with any of them.

 

 

See any of them—

 

 

Them who got to see her, them who got to hold her—

 

 

It was those thoughts that always kept him from leaving his car when he went— from going to her. 

 

 

Because in the end he was still angry— too angry to forgive, to forget.

 

 

He held onto that anger, his resentment, almost as strongly as he held onto his love for her— and it was tragic.

 

  

 

Because despite all his pain and misery Hoseok was right—

 

 

 

"Jin will never apologize—"

 

 

 

Hoseok was right—

 

 

 

Until he wasn't.

 

 

 

Because sometime before May came to an end Jin couldn't physically keep himself from her anymore— couldn't stop himself from going.

 

 

She had everyone— everyone while he only had Namjoon to help him keep his sanity.

 

 

 

Namjoon who was hurting almost as much as he was.

 

 

 

 

Namjoon who only had one piece of advice—

  

 

 

"You should talk to her hyung— I would."

 

"Why don't you then?"

 

 

Namjoon who would only ever smile sadly, shake his head.

 

 

"I can't—"

 

 

Namjoon who loved her—

 

 

"But you can."

 

 

Namjoon who loved him.

 

 

"So go to her." 

 

 

 

 

 

He did— 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He went.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But what he saw—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her, her, her—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi, Min Yoongi.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

  

 

May 13, 2019

 

 

 

22:48

 

 

 

She was glad.

 

 

When she opened the door and saw that Hoseok was there— in the passenger seat with a bright smile on his lips, in his eyes.

 

 

Just like he said he would be—

 

 

It was reassuring.

 

 

To know that in the end Hoseok had meant what he said, a small insignificant promise that he had a million reasons not to keep.

 

But despite everything, everything, everything that had kept him away in the first place—

 

 

He had meant what he said and she loved him for it.

 

 

“Get used to it back there y/n—”

 

 

His words had made her smile— playful like always, sweet.

 

 

She believed him as easily as she had once believed in Namjoon— understood the hidden promises in every syllable.

 

 

Maybe it was those simple, complex words that only made her love him more.

 

 

His words that bound her wavering mind to something constant, something safe— in his very presence, with just a few words—

 

 

Just like Yoongi knew he could— just like Yoongi knew he couldn’t.

 

 

Within a few minutes of Hoseok being himself: Hoseok who she habitually let herself drown in, Hoseok who always said the right things—

 

 

Hoseok, Hoseok—

 

 

Yoongi couldn’t help but focus on them both as their conversations turned from playful banter to a light hearted seriousness.

 

Hoseok who managed to make her laugh and smile more than he had in months— make her happy.

 

 

Just like Yoongi knew he would, hoped he would

 

 

He was glad.

 

 

Yoongi was glad.

 

 

Because in the end it didn’t matter who— who was making her smile, who was making her forget— as long as someone did.

 

 

Someone, anyone— and Hoseok was perfect.

 

 

Hoseok who had saved him from himself

 

 

Not knowing he, Min Yoongi, could have been enough—

 

 

 

Would have been enough.

 

 

 

Not knowing, not knowing

 

 

How easy it was to overlook, to forget, all those small hidden smiles she had tried to hide from him, sent his way for weeks when she smiled so brightly towards Hoseok—

 

 

How easy it was to overlook everything with Hoseok around.

 

 

Within a few minutes, a few blocks of listening to their voices and getting lost in thought, he had convinced himself.

 

 

 

They were—

 

 

 

“Yoongi-ah?”

 

 

He was pulled from his thoughts when he heard her soft voice, and she was pulled from hers just as suddenly when she heard his name leaving her lips.

 

 

As easy as it was for her to get lost, to bury herself in Hoseok’s presence—

 

 

As easy as it was for Yoongi to blissfully and soundlessly hide in the shadow of Hoseok’s brightness.

 

 

Her mind couldn’t help but turn against the peace and ease Hoseok brought— towards the unease, uncertainty she felt as her eyes drifted towards Yoongi who drove in silence.

 

 

Unease because she needed to apologize, uncertainty because she didn’t know how to apologize to him—

 

 

Him who in her drunk distant memory had cried in her arms, refused to stay.

 

 

How much things had changed since then—

 

 

 

When he had cried in her arms and refused to leave.

 

 

 

Kissed her slowly until the winter sun rose and then set, only breaking apart when they had to— whispering things she might never hear again.

 

 

 

Words of love so certain from his lips, so soft on her skin— impossible to emulate, enumerate.

           

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Min Yoongi who looked in the rear view mirror and met her gaze only for a second—

 

“What?”

 

She felt the apology she had rehearsed for hours the day before dwindle in her mind, unravel until all that came out was—

 

“I’m sorry for the other night.”

 

 

It was a good thing Hoseok was there.

 

 

It gave Yoongi the strength to scoff, to pretend it hadn’t mattered, didn’t matter—

 

 

“Whatever groupie—”

 

 

Hadn’t when it had—

 

 

“Just don’t fucking do it again.”

 

 

Didn’t when it did.

 

 

 

But she knew better.

 

 

 

“I really am sorry Yoongi. I want you to know that—”

 

 

It was a good thing Hoseok was there, it was a good thing Hoseok was there—

 

 

“If anyone doesn’t get to be mad about having to take care of a drunk it’s the alcoholic—”

 

“Fuck you Hoseok.”

 

She sighed.

 

“Yoongi, please—”

 

“I said drop it, groupie.”

 

 

 

His cold tone sharply contrasted the warm smile Hoseok sent her way.

 

 

 

“Don’t feel bad y/n— getting drunk at least once is part of the college experience. Just— don’t go alone next time.”

 

She frowned.

 

“I just think—”

 

Hoseok held her gaze, frowned and convinced her of something Yoongi would have fallen apart trying to do—

 

 

“It’s okay, y/n.”

 

 

And in some ways it was— in others it wasn’t.

 

But she nodded after a long pause, focusing on the parts that were—

 

 

 

And that was it.

 

 

 

At least for then, in that moment and for the next few weeks— it wouldn’t come up again until the last few days of May.

 

 

 

 

The last few days of May—

 

 

 

 

But until then the new routine did them all good.

 

 

 

 

Hoseok cheered them both up— and being around her, seeing Yoongi slowly going back to that happy version of himself that he was bad at hiding— it cheered him up.

 

 

Hoseok helped them both forget— but mostly her who needed to forget.

 

 

With his mere presence that overwhelmed and overflowed— with everyday that passed it became easier to think about Kim Seokjin less.

 

 

 

Less, less, less— Hoseok helped her think about him less.

 

 

 

But so did Yoongi.

 

 

More than he knew—

 

 

 

Together— together.

 

 

 

Jin was far from her mind when they were all together.

 

 

Sometimes she would just watch them bicker, listen to them talk about work, about music, about anything—

 

 

 

Her thoughts never having the chance to wander, run towards Jin like they did during the ringing silence of the day—

 

 

 

 

Everyday.

 

 

 

Everyday before Hoseok became routine was filled with an unbearable, haunting silence— that was when everyone noticed.

 

 

 

Noticed, worried, wondered—

 

 

 

When she couldn’t help but look sad as her mind wandered to his words, that word—

 

 

 

Embarrassing.

 

 

 

Nothing could keep her thoughts from going to him, him, him—

 

 

Her mind that also told her to get up, get up from bed, get up at all— her mind that forced her to.

 

 

Because Jin wasn’t everything, he couldn’t be—

 

 

 

He couldn’t be.

 

 

 

It was easy to rationalize— just like everything was. Easy to rationalize but impossible to understand— her mind betrayed her, just like it always had.

 

 

Her indecisive mind that loved easily and wanted to be loved just as much, her mind that didn’t know any better—

 

 

 

That knew better.

 

 

 

And so she moved around mindlessly, walked and smiled and spoke like she always had. Trying to make that silence go away, that drowning feeling.

 

 

But even forgetting was remembering.

 

 

Nothing was loud enough— nothing, nothing except—

 

 

 

“Hey groupie— Namjoon’s okay. Work? I wrote a new song today— ”

 

 

 

But it was temporary, a nightly fix that wasn’t enough because it was too soon— too soon to not be affected, to not be waiting—

 

 

Alway waiting for him to go, to apologize— she would never admit it, she refused to admit it but—

 

 

 

More than once she had called, more than once she had gone— outside that restaurant that was more her’s and Jin’s than her uncle’s.

 

 

But what kept her away was remembering how seriously he had spoken those last few words, how final—

 

 

“Bye, y/n.”

 

 

Too soon, too soon—

 

 

But then there was Hoseok.

 

 

And time became irrelevant.

 

 

“Hopefully you’ll be happy forever.”

 

 

That was the first time— the first time silence was silent.

 

 

And after that night, that morning with Hoseok where she came to understand Jin a little better, her days became filled with instances, moments of time without him—

 

 

Without Jin.

 

 

No matter how hard she tried the thought still made her chest ache—

 

 

But it was those moments that were gradually saving her from her own destructive nature that almost seemed to wish her harm.

 

 

Moments filled with them—

 

 

Mornings of watching Jimin dance to loud rhythmic music— slowly hearing it again.

 

 

 

Feeling the vibrations of each beat, his every step, through the wooden floors. Pressing her own bare feet, the palms of her hands against that cold floor that shook with every beat, echoed with his dance.

 

 

Trying to hear the music a little more.

 

 

She hadn’t heard it in weeks.

 

 

After Jin’s words the music, no matter how loud, wasn’t loud enough to keep her mind from going back to the way he had looked standing outside her door, his eyes, his lips— remember his love.

 

 

 

His love—

 

 

 

Jin who wanted to—

 

 

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

 

 

She looked up, realized the music had stopped and Jimin was smiling down at her.

 

 

 

Holding his hand out, waiting for her to take it—

 

 

 

It was his way of making her feel better.

 

 

When she took his hand he pulled her up, refused to let it go— smiled a little brighter when she laughed.

 

Pouted—

 

 

“You weren’t watching.”

 

 

She smiled.

 

“I wasn’t?”

 

He shook his head, she hummed.

 

“Show me again then Jimin-ah—”

 

 

His way of making her feel better.

 

 

He nodded.

 

Hummed the only song that could keep her thoughts from wandering— the only song that was loud enough even after Hoseok.

 

She laughed lightly as he began to sway back and forth.

 

 

 

Familiar but different

 

 

 

Resting her head against his chest like she always had before, letting her thoughts slow, stop— until he slowed, stopped.

 

 

 

“I should get back to—”

 

 

 

She would only ever smile brightly, nod.

 

 

“I can’t wait to see you perform Jiminie—”

 

 

He would squeeze her hand and she would watch as his eyes lit up.

 

 

“I can’t either, y/n.”

 

 

 

 

Jimin’s humming—

 

 

 

 

Late night walks with Jungkook before work.

 

 

 

 

“Pretty

 

 

Jungkook who would just smile and watch her most of the time, enjoying as she tried to pose for him, laughing at her jokes, making jokes with her, talking about video games, talking about everything—

 

 

 

She noticed he talked less— but it was a different kind of silence than before.

 

 

 

When he couldn't meet her gaze because of his shame—

 

 

 

It was peaceful, it was loud enough.

 

 

 

Jungkook’s shy smiles when she complimented him, when she pinched his cheek—

 

 

 

Those compliments he whispered under his breath.

 

 

 

“Beautiful.”

 

 

 

They were loud enough.

 

 

 

And even louder was Taehyung who she could rarely see during the day but always called— Taehyung who had knocked on her door more than once in the middle of the night.

 

 

 

After Yoongi, after Hoseok—

 

 

 

“Taehyungie?”

 

 

 

He wouldn’t say much, sometimes he wouldn’t say anything at all; not until he had walked in and snaked his arms around her waist, not until he had her close.

 

 

 

“I didn’t want you to be alone—”

 

 

 

She would smile, push him lightly and tell him to go home.

 

 

 

“You can’t stay Tae—”

 

 

 

But he would only bury himself in her neck and hold her tighter.

 

 

“I don’t want you to be alone.”

 

 

“Please jagi—”

 

 

“Just tonight—”

 

 

“Just tonight.”

 

 

 

 

He was right to think that way.

 

 

 

 

It was only when she was alone—

 

 

 

Always when she was alone.

 

 

 

 

The moment she left Yoongi’s car, Hoseok’s presence— until the sun went up and she could find herself in that dancing room again.

 

 

 

All the moments in between.

 

 

 

In between Jimin and Jungkook, Jungkook and Yoongi, Hoseok—

 

 

 

Hoseok.

 

 

 

Out of everyone it was only after Hoseok that the silence became a little more bearable, that those moments with Jimin, Jungkook and Taehyung— that they all became louder and louder and louder until all she could hear was them, all she could see, all she could think of—

 

 

 

Them.

 

 

 

Only after Hoseok that everyone noticed, wondered, wondered—

 

 

“I had missed her smile.”

 

Jimin laughed at Jungkook’s words.

 

“Me too—”

 

“Do you think it’s because of Taehyung?”

 

Jimin hummed in thought.

 

“Who cares—”

 

Jungkook smiled.

 

“Do you think maybe we helped, hyung?”

 

Jimin sighed.

 

“Maybe we did— but if we didn’t—”

 

“That’s okay?”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“It should be—”

 

 

Another pause.

 

 

“But it’s not, is it hyung?”

 

 

Jimin smiled sadly into his brother’s shoulder.

 

 

“I guess— parts of me still want to be the reason, the reason she’s happy.”

 

 

Jungkook nodded.

 

 

“Me too.”

 

 

A sigh.

 

 

“Sometimes I feel like we’ve come so far, and we have Jungkookie, so much has changed since we first met her, we’ve come so far yet—”

 

 

“But we’re not perfect, hyung, it’s okay to still

 

 

Jimin laughed.

 

 

“It’s funny you say that Kookie—”

 

 

He only smiled at Jimin’s words.

 

 

Nodded, silence.

 

 

“Maybe you’ve grown more than I have.”

 

 

Jungkook shook his head.

 

 

“You—”

 

 

“Shouldn’t compare yourself to others so much— I listen to her too, you know.”

 

 

Jungkook frowned.

 

 

“Then—”

 

 

“It’s still hard not to at times.”

 

 

After a moment passed he smiled at Jimin’s words.

 

 

“At times is better than always—”

 

 

Jimin moved closer, held his brother a little tighter.

 

 

“She said the same thing.”

 

 

Another smile.

 

 

“She did?”

 

 

Another nod.

 

 

“It’s true—”

 

 

“It is.”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“It all is—”

 

 

Jimin thought about Jungkook’s words and eventually frowned.

 

 

He was right—

 

 

“It all is.”

 

 

 

Together—

 

 

 

 

Everyone made her happy, made her smile, made her laugh— she did the same for more than just him.

 

 

 

 

It was true, it was all true.

 

 

 

 

Jimin and Jungkook wondered— Taehyung wondered.

 

 

 

“Jagi?”

 

She pulled away from his hug, met his eyes that looked into hers seriously—

 

“Did something— change?”

 

She frowned.

 

“You mean—”

 

“Since that night, you weren’t fine, but now you seem—”

 

“Not fine— but better?”

 

He nodded—

 

She hummed.

 

“I am.”

 

“But—”

 

“Why?”

 

He nodded again, she sighed—

 

 

She didn’t know.

 

 

Why—

 

 

Why had Hoseok—

 

 

“Can I pretend I had something to do with it?”

 

His words interrupted her thoughts, made her smile brightly his way.

 

 

“You did, Taehyungie.”

 

 

“Promi—”

 

She stood on her toes, kissed his cheek gently.

 

“Get home safe, Tae.”

 

He frowned.

 

“Are you kicking me out jagi?”

 

“You have to be inside for me to kick you out—”

 

He laughed, stepped closer and let his nose fall into the familiar crook of her neck.

 

 

“Can I come in?”

 

 

She shook her head and he nodded, let his whisper touch her neck.

 

“Okay—”

 

She sighed as he ran his hands across her back slowly.

 

“Okay.”

 

Begging—

 

“Y/n?”

 

“Hm?”

 

He pressed closer into her neck, an almost kiss before pulling away and letting his soft words reach her ears.

 

 

“I love you.”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“You can’t say it like that Taehyungie—”

 

 

He couldn’t help but laugh— 

 

 

He knew what she meant.

 

 

His serious self that couldn’t hide—

 

 

“Like what jagi?”

 

 

She pushed him away and he complied.

 

 

“Like you’re—”

 

 

 

Couldn’t hide.

 

 

 

“In love with you? I am—”

 

 

She paused, shook her head and began to stutter.

 

 

“I— I already knew that you—”

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

“I did confess jagi—”

 

 

She punched him lightly, he laughed softly.

 

 

“I did!”

 

 

He smiled her way again, trying to find her hands with his own—

 

 

But she refused.

 

 

 

“Taehyungie stop being so loud—”

 

 

He laughed again— and she laughed too.

 

 

They held each other's gaze, slowly stopped laughing before both looking away.

 

 

“How does it feel jagi? To be so loved?”

 

 

Her mind slowed at his question, but then she was certain—

 

 

“It doesn’t feel any different than—”

 

She trailed off and he raised his eyebrows.

 

“Than?”

 

She smiled sadly at the thought.

 

 

 

“Than growing up with Namjoon.”

 

 

 

Taehyung nodded at her words—

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Are you still avoiding him?”

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

“I never wanted to— I just, I thought it would be best. But I miss him Taehyungie, more than anyone I just—”

 

 

Taehyung let his hand find her face, his thumb brush against her cheek in a small act of comfort.

 

 

“Just go see him then, he misses you too you know—”

 

 

She shook her head.

 

 

“Yoongi says he’s getting better— if he’s getting better I can’t just, go to him and ruin everything, any progress he’s made? The night I told him we needed to be apart— he agreed. And it hurt us both but— but I hurt him more than I can forgive myself for. The look on his face alone Taehyungie, I—”

 

 

She leaned into his touch, trying to find her words, comfort.

 

 

She sighed.

 

 

“He’s kept his promise and stayed away. I can’t just go because he hasn’t come to me and if he hasn’t come it means he really is better. And I can’t just go until I know he’s fine— until I can’t hurt him anymore.”

 

Taehyung let his hand fall from her face as he hummed in thought, leaned against her door frame and thought about her words before they settled in his mind.

 

 

“Yoongi?”

 

 

She winced, shifted and tried to step back before realizing Taehyung was holding her hand.

 

 

She hadn't felt it sooner, but it had been there all along— as soon as her voice began to tremble, as soon as he asked about Namjoon.

 

 

“Yeah— Yoongi.”

 

He frowned, she continued.

 

“I ask him about Namjoon since—”

 

“Since they work together.”

 

She nodded.

 

 

He thought about her words, decided to be honest—

 

 

“I think, he isn’t as fine as he pretends to be— and you can’t wait for him to be perfectly fine so you can avoid feeling guilty about the whole thing—”

 

 

She felt her heart break.

 

 

“I—”

 

 

“You’re always so intent on being with people, helping them through their hard times— why is Namjoon any different?”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Jagi—”

 

 

“Namjoon’s completely different—”

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

“I love him more than anyone—”

 

 

A sigh.

 

 

“I didn’t mean—”

 

 

She shook her head,

 

 

“I can’t— I can't stand the thought of losing him, I can’t stand the thought of not making him happy, I can’t be around him when—”

 

 

“Can I kiss you?”

 

 

She looked at him more surprised than confused, he chuckled.

 

“You’re talking too fast— you’re thinking too much.”

 

She smiled weakly, laughed lightly.

 

 

“You’re funny—”

 

 

He smiled, nodded.

 

 

"I am—"

 

 

“Do you remember the first time we kissed Taehyungie?”

 

 

He met her gaze with a sudden seriousness.

 

 

“You’re joking right—”

 

She punched him lightly.

 

“You could have forgotten!”

 

“No— I couldn’t have y/n — did, did you?”

 

She held his gaze before shaking her head.

 

He laughed.

 

“That’s too bad—”

 

She raised her eyebrows at him and he only smiled brighter—

 

 

 

“I’ll remind you once you’ve forgotten jagi.”

 

 

 

She shook her head, laughed with him and smacked his hands away when they tried to snake around her waist again.

 

"Not tonight Tae—"

 

"Let me hold you jagi—"

 

"Not—"

 

"Sing you to sleep."

 

"Tae."

 

He looked into her eyes, spent a moment there before nodding.

 

"Goodnight jagi—"

 

And as he stood there with a soft smile on his lips and a warmth in his eyes she couldn't help but wonder—

 

 

 

"Are you this caring to everyone, Taehyungie?"

 

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

 

"Just them, my sister—"

 

She smiled brightly.

 

"Sister?"

 

He nodded.

 

"You'd like her, she likes you—"

 

"Me?"

 

He hummed.

 

"She says I talk about you too much sometimes—"

 

She punched him lightly.

 

"Kim Taehyung!"

 

"What?"

 

She laughed more as he stepped closer, closer—

 

"What jagi?"

 

She beamed.

 

"I—"

 

And then she froze.

 

"Tae—"

 

"Can I—"

 

 

Those words that were too much like Jin—

 

 

"Kiss you?"

 

 

She frowned.

 

 

"Jin—"

 

"Jin was wrong for all those things he said, y/n— I can show you just how wrong—"

 

 

She shook her head, stepped away.

 

 

"If you show me— if you stay— then he was right. About me, about—"

 

 

He stepped closer, spoke louder.

 

 

"He wasn't, he isn't, right either way— if he felt like he was second or third or fifth to anyone it was because he put himself there. You're—"

 

 

"You think too much of me, Taehyungie—"

 

 

Closer and louder—

 

 

"No—"

 

 

"You can't stay—"

 

 

Closer and—

 

 

"It's not about staying!"

 

 

 

Softer.

 

 

 

"It's— it's not about staying."

 

 

His gaze fell, and he kept his eyes on his shoes that were torn up, old—

 

 

"I just—"

 

 

She nodded slowly as he let out a sigh.

 

 

"I'll go."

 

 

And she had never wanted him to, but she understood all the reasons he couldn't stay.

 

 

 

All the reasons—

 

 

 

"Let's go together."

 

 

 

He finally looked up, eyes filled with confusion, hesitation—

 

 

 

"Together? Where?"

 

 

 

She shrugged.

 

 

 

"Anywhere—"

 

 

 

 

Anywhere.

 

 

 

And as they walked into the warm spring night together— rode an empty bus, the only bus still running—

 

 

 

Her mind drifted back to his question from earlier— why?

 

 

 

Why Hoseok?

 

 

 

It kept her up while Taehyung dozed off beside her, fell asleep with a soft smile on his lips, an overwhelming peace in his heart.

 

 

 

Why—

 

 

 

As the sun rose and crept up into the sky, doused the world in its rosy light.

 

 

 

 

Why—

 

 

 

 

But then it came to her clearly.

 

 

 

 

His love reminded her of Namjoon's.

 

 

 

 

All while still being his own, different—

 

 

 

More than just reminiscent of Namjoon's.

 

 

 

But as Taehyung's soft breathing reached her ears, as his grip on her hand tightened and loosened, she remembered everything else he had said.

 

 

 

 

He was right—

 

 

 

 

She was hiding from Namjoon when she needed him the most—

 

 

 

He was right.

 

 

 

Like when they were children— like it would be forever.

 

 

 

 

Forever.

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon who she needed the most.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Yoongi.

 

 

 

Once Hoseok had joined their routine he couldn’t help but smile as much as she did— because of Hoseok’s words or hers—

 

 

Hoseok’s actions or hers.

 

 

Smiles he didn’t, couldn’t, hide from either of them—

 

 

The month of May went by quickly with nights like those filling each of them up with enough smiles to last a lifetime.

 

 

Much to her delight and Yoongi’s annoyance Hoseok never wanted fast food—

 

 

 

“Happy meals? Everyday?”

 

 

 

And so they found themselves in restaurants every other night— all of them relishing in every second they had with each other.

 

 

 

Despite the pressing in her chest because of Jin, because of Yoongi.

 

 

Despite the pressing in Yoongi’s and Hoseok’s because of her—

 

 

 

Because of each other.

 

 

 

Because of each other—

 

 

“Hyung?”

 

After they had dropped her off the car always fell silent.

 

“Are you still—”

 

Yoongi would only ever nod.

 

Retreat into his own thoughts while Hoseok wondered out loud—

 

“Why don’t you just talk to her?”

 

A sigh, silence.

 

“Hyung?”

 

“I like this, Hoseok— I love this. This thing we have. Where I can be myself around her, not feel guilty for spending time with her—”

 

Hoseok raised his eyebrows, laughed lightly.

 

“Because I’m there?”

 

 

Hoseok was waiting for a witty remark, a curse—

 

 

But Yoongi never did what expected him to anymore— making him wonder if more than just his mood had changed.

 

 

“You’re there because I want you to be Hoseok, not just because I feel less shitty when you’re around.”

 

 

He laughed at his brother’s words, hummed in thought.

 

 

“I love it too— I love you too.”

 

 

When Hoseok finally looked over towards Yoongi who made sure to keep his gaze on the road he was smiling—

 

 

 

One of those small ghost smiles Yoongi always wore.

 

 

 

And the sight made him forget his lectures for the night; all his scoldings about how he should talk to her, should make up with her, should be honest—

 

 

 

Should, should, should—

 

 

 

There was always the next night to talk about everything they both should do, hold onto what they wanted instead.

 

 

 

To have her close and at ease, to have her happy and feel happy with her.

 

 

 

And maybe that was selfish—

 

 

 

Because in the end her mind always wandered back to that night.

 

 

That night—

 

 

But whenever she brought it up they would both change the subject— when she tried to talk about what she had said, what she had meant—

 

 

 

 

Maybe that was selfish.

 

 

 

“How did we end up here?”

 

“You said my clothes were ugly Yoongi-ah—”

 

“I did not.”

 

“You did, hyung.”

 

“Hoseok—”

 

“Hoseokie! You don’t think they’re ugly, do you?”

 

He laughed, shrugged.

 

“Just, short—”

 

Yoongi interjected.

 

“Ugly.”

 

She frowned.

 

“It’s just a dress

 

“Well, we’re here to buy you a new one groupie.”

 

“Hoseok doesn’t think it’s ugly—”

 

 

They both turned to him and he laughed.

 

 

“I do. It’s awful, too short— but I’ll buy you a new one—”

 

She smiled brightly.

 

“Really? You will?”

 

“What the fuck—”

 

“Thank you Hoseokie.”

 

“I just offered to do the same thing—”

 

“Of course, y/n.”

 

“I hate you both.

 

They laughed at him—

 

 

At each other.

 

 

“Can we get more food before going home?”

 

Hoseok frowned.

 

“You didn’t each much at dinner—”

 

She shrugged.

 

“I wasn't really hungry then—”

 

“No. Eat at dinner next time you fucking spoiled brat—”

 

She frowned at his scolding.

 

"You're such a—"

 

“You’re not as pretty when you curse, y/n.”

 

Hoseok said it nonchalantly— Yoongi snorted.

 

 

She gaped.

 

 

“What the— what about Yoongi?"

 

“Yoongi’s never pretty—”

 

“He’s prettier than I am!”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“I didn’t mean that—”

 

“The fuck you didn’t groupie.”

 

 

Hoseok never stopped laughing as they argued for about an hour—

 

 

 

He had been joking.

 

 

 

 

Maybe it was selfish, but maybe it was the exact opposite

 

 

 

 

“I brought you your favorite snack Hoseokie!”

 

He smiled lightly.

 

“Thank you—”

 

A pause.

 

“Did you bring me anything?”

 

“No.”

 

“No?”

 

“No.”

 

“Why the fuck not—”

 

“You don’t like anything hyung.”

 

Hoseok spoke with a smile—

 

 

It made Yoongi frown, glare as she burst into laughter.

 

 

He tried to steal some of Hoseok’s snack but he quickly moved it away.

 

 

She laughed louder when he sent his a glare her way—

 

 

“I don’t hate everything—”

 

“You never liked the things I would bring you, Yoongi-ah—”

 

He scoffed.

 

“Whatever—”

 

“I’ll bring you something tomorrow—”

 

“Don’t bother.”

 

“What do you want?”

 

“I don’t want anything groupie—”

 

 

Hoseok laughed while they went back and forth, made fun of him even more the when he happily took the snack she brought him the next night.

 

 

 

“Do you ever shut up Hoseok?”

 

 

 

The exact opposite of what they hoped it wasn’t, the exact opposite of what they always had been— Hoseok to his many girlfriends, Yoongi to his flings—

 

 

 

Selfless—

 

 

 

They both hoped it would last, both hoped it was true.

 

 

 

Selfless.

 

 

 

Happy.

 

 

 

And Yoongi couldn’t help but wonder, with every night that passed, every stolen moment he caught—

 

 

 

Wonder if Hoseok had always looked at her that way.

 

 

 

Looked at anyone that way—

 

 

 

But for the same reasons he couldn’t confront her he refused to confront Hoseok about what he knew was true

 

 

 

What he knew was true.

 

 

 

But—

 

 

 

If they could just stay that way forever.

 

 

Together, together—

 

 

 

 

 

 

Euphoria but real.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

May days, May days coming to an end— 




 

 

 

Spring days, spring days would come again.





 

 

 May 28, 2019

 

 

10:00

 

 

 

“Y/n?”





She looked towards Jimin who had just walked into the room of mirrors where she was waiting, where he had left her only a few minutes before.


 

He was in his recital clothes— but it was more an just that.

 

 

 

More than just those clothes making him seem beautiful, angelic. More than just those clothes that caught the rays of light making him shine—

 

 

 

A white button up shirt that flowed with his steps as he moved closer— draped over his shoulders yet fitted, dress-like. Slacks, simple, simple yet—



 

“Breathtaking. Jimin-ah, you’re—”



 

He only laughed, hugged her from behind and stared at her reflection with a smile in his eyes.


 

“I was going to say the same y/n. Beautiful—”

 

 

 

 

She smiled gently, looked in the mirror and held his gaze before focusing on the dress Hoseok had chosen



 

It was pretty, flowy— white.



 

She laughed, spoke playfully as he drummed his fingers along her hips lightly.


 

“You mean you, Jimin-ah.”


 

He hummed in thought, smiled back after a brief moment, a brief second, in time.



 

 

He looked—




 

“Both of us, y/n.”





She felt her lips fall, her words falter—



 

Felt her heart race with excitement and flood with joy.



 

He looked—




Different.




 

Different, different—

 

 

 

How beautifully, brilliantly different was the boy in the reflection staring back at her now than the one she had first met.



 

The one she had once held every night, the one holding her now—

 

 

 

 


"Both of us."

 

 

 

 

Now, now—  

 

 

 

He started to hum, started to sway slowly, keeping his hands firmly on her waist, his chin on her shoulder.


 

The same actions, the same peaceful feeling washing over them both.



 

But the melody—




“That’s—”

 

 

He smiled into her neck, whispered softly there.


 

“Namjoon played it for us the other day.”


 

She laughed, nodded.

 

 

Felt her heart ache with longing.


 

“He wrote the melody when we were younger— he would hum it when he thought I wasn't listening.”


 

Jimin paused, met her gaze in the mirror.


 

“Do you know the lyrics?”


 

Her eyebrows furrowed in thought.

 

 

He chuckled at her expression, kissed her cheek quickly before she could object.


 

“I’ll sing them for you someday then, but—”


She sighed loudly, nodded.


“But I should go to class.”


He smiled warmly, nodded back.


 

A pause—



 

They laughed.



 

“Let go then Jimin-ah!”


 

He did eventually— and she moved quickly to pick up her things.


“Just one more thing before you go—”

 

 

His words made her laugh again.


 

“But I’m going to be—”


 

He pulled a small wooden box out of his backpack he had hurried across the room to get, held it out to to her with a warm smile as he walked towards her.


 

She felt her heart race.


 

“Jimin—”

 

 

 

 

“One-hundred matches.”


 

 

She froze as he placed them in her hand, looked down at her with something new—


 

 

 

Something new.


 

 

 

She looked away, let her fingers trace over the engravings on the box, let his soft words reach her ears, her heart, her soul.



 

Words, words, words—



 

They were more than just words.



“For one hundred candles, for one hundred years, and if we live longer—”




She laughed lightly, felt her heart stinging more than usual at the sound of his voice.



 

At the vow.




 

“We’ll buy more.”


 

Her words were and echo of the past, an affirmation of the future.


 

He only nodded, smiled brighter when she finally met his gaze.


 

She opened her mouth to speak but he cut her off



 

 

“And if all we can be is friends during those years— well—”



 

He chuckled and stepped closer, placed a hand on the back of her neck and brought the top of her head to his lips— speaking his love.



 

Speaking the truth.





“That’d be perfect.”










20:00






 

 

“Perfect—”








She looked towards Jungkook who had a small smile on his lips as he gazed up at her, from that same spot on her floor where he always spent his evenings.


She brought the book she was reading away from her face, having barely caught his words.


“Hm?”


Jungkook smiled whole-heartedly, propped himself up on his elbow before continuing.


“I used to think I was perfect, and then I thought you were perfect— but you’re not perfect.”


She laughed lightly at his words, nodded.


“Perfect is

 

 

“Boring.”

 

 

He laughed with her, watched as she smiled and went back to reading.


 

Feeling lighter because of his words.


 

A soft smile staying on her lips, in her eyes



 

“I love you more for it, y/n.”



 

She looked past her book, met his gaze and held it.


His words didn’t jar her as much as they could have— maybe it was because he spoke them so simply.


 

So she replied simply


 

“Why’s that Jungkookie?”


 

He brought a finger to his lips, spoke in English which surprised her.


 

“Secret.”


 

She couldn’t help but laugh, kick him over and hide under a blanket when he got up to counterattack.



Laughed even louder when he picked her up instead of his usual tickling, still wrapped in a blanket, and carried her like a bride


 

Took her outside.


 

She never stopped laughing, he never stopped smiling.


She swung her legs lightly, before stilling, shouting in a hushed whisper.


 

 

“Make way! Superhero Jungkook and his useless sidekick!”


“Strong bunny Jungkook and his weakling best friend!”



 

 

He couldn’t stop laughing, and she wondered if his laughter had always been so bright, so sirenic to her ears.



 

It was a short late night walk like all the others, but as they neared her dorm—


 

 

“Y/n?”


 

 

She hummed softly, her nose brushing against his neck making him smile lovingly.





 

 

 

“In our next life, let’s be lovers.”





 

 

 

She clung onto him a little tighter, whispered in his ear.



 

“What makes you say that Jungkookie?”



 

He chuckled softly, whispered back just as sweetly.




 

“Always— isn’t bound by time, is it?”




 

She hummed again, wondered if he had been so quiet lately because his head had been full of thoughts like those.




Like those and





 

 

“Let’s be friends until always finally finds us, y/n.”





 

 

He spoke gently, into the warm night as he carried her in his arms towards nowhere at all.


 

 

For only her and the stars to hear.

 

 

 

She thought about making a joke, and then thought about saying something just as beautiful.



But she could only nod.




 

Nod and agree, vow—





 

 

“Let’s.”








May 29 2019

 

 

3:57

 

 

“I was wrong— I’m—”


 

 

 

 

She sighed.


 

 

 

Looked in the mirror and realized no matter how hard she tried she would never find the right words— the right words for him.



Taehyung met her gaze when she came out of the bathroom, held it as she sat across from him on her bed.



He hummed lightly, continued eating his instant noodles while she stared down at her own.



“I don’t think he wants an apology, jagi.”



She smiled sadly, tried to laugh it off.



“No, he wouldn’t, he won’t—”


“Hey—”


She met his eyes that saw her clearly.

 

 

They saw her clearly and then he spoke with love.




“It’s almost morning, jagi.



She laughed softly at his words, tried to pretend the thought didn't frighten her.

 

 

Morning—

 

 

But he saw her clearly, and she saw him too—

 

 

They held each other's gaze and she nodded when she was ready.

 

 

He got up to throw away their empty noodle cups, getting dressed before going out into the city of Seoul that never slept but was beginning to stir again.

 

 

 

It was morning.


 

 

She held onto his hand that found hers easily, strangely held it tighter than he ever had.



 

They didn't speak much the whole way there— on the bus, on the taxi.

 

 

 

They didn't have to.

 

 

 

And when she was afraid he saw, held her a little tighter, reminded her in a soft whisper.



 

“It’s morning jagi—”




 

 

“It’s morning.”



 

He only let go once they were there— a familiar place, filled with familiar people.



 

“I’ll be nearby if you need me.”


 

She nodded at his words, smiled with affection as she watched him go.


 

Going inside the tall building without much trouble once he was out of sight, walking past familiar rooms—

 

 

 

Familiar faces.


 

 

Hoseok smiled brightly at her, surprised.

 

 

Yoongi frowned at her, confused.



 

But she moved past the room they were both in, towards the room he was in.



 

She held her breath, remembered his voice when they were children



 

And that gave her to the strength to push open the door he had left open since that day— open it and step inside.


 

 

Where Kim Namjoon was waiting.

 

 

 

He turned around quickly, and she focused on his eyes that never hid emotions well.

 

 

 

Expecting them to be surprised like Hoseok's, confused like Yoongi's—

 

 

 

But Kim Namjoon had spoken the truth that cold night in December.

 

 

 

 

He walked into every room looking for her when she wasn't by his side.

 

 

 

 

And so he wasn't surprised, he wasn't confused— he wasn't even alarmed by her intrusion.

 

 

 

 

He had left the door open hoping one day she would wander back in, afterall.

 

 

 

 

And what she looked for next wasn't there either— anger, hurt, resentment.

 

 

 

 

But, she didn’t have much time to see study the look in his eyes she had longed to see more than a few moments.

 

 

The curve of his lips, the dimples in his cheeks, the warmth in his eyes.



 

No—




 

He had her in his arms before she could look any further, take another step closer, say an apology he didn't want.






 

In his arms she found it again, the world she had forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

And his first words—




 



They made her cry more than she had in years.

 

 

 







 

 

 

“Is it too late to runaway?”

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

12:00



 

Sunlight traced its warm fingers over her eyes in waves, light carried on a spring breeze disguised as summer— 

 

 

 

Rousing her from sleep— awake, awake.


 

Warm and bright, swaying in through white curtains, an open window—

 

 

The world stilled, silence fell.

 

 

She met Kim Namjoon’s eyes and realized he was fourteen again.


And as her eyes left his she realized that the room, each thing— all his own .


 

Their own—

 

 

 

His childhood bedroom— her beginning and end.



Each wall, blue.



She closed her eyes in thought, opened them and found that everything seemed clearer. The memory more vivid.


Blue, blue—



They had been blue before him— dull and lifeless.



They had stayed blue after him, too.



After him, after him




The world is bigger than this, don’t you think y/n?



She frowned, remembering how he had cried when she responded with a smile.




Well if you get lost out there I’ll be here Kim Namjoon




He cried at her words easily those last few weeks before leaving for Seoul. More than he had in all the years they had spent together, he had cried and cried and it made them both laugh—



I can’t cry in front of my hyung and his friends once I get to Seoul— right y/n? So it’s a good thing, right?





Right?




She laughed lightly in the present— the past echoing in her mind, all around her, louder and louder with every beat in time—

 

 

She laughed because she saw Kim Namjoon and knew he was there: a few feet away, a book in his hand, a look in his eyes— he only looked young again. But she knew he was the same Kim Namjoon Taehyung had led her to that morning— hand wrapped in her own, her happiness on his mind.


She would have to thank him later .


But for now, for now


She let her mind remember. Her body enjoy the moment in time, the familiar calm washing over her at the sight of him, of blue—


It made her want to go to him, go to him— but when she tried to get up and move towards him she couldn’t. When her lips tried to say she had missed him, when her voice longed to speak his name—

 

 

She couldn’t.


 

All she could do was watch, and remember.



Remember him, remember then, then, then


After him.


Opening a locked door with a key and finding emptiness where Kim Namjoon’s dimpled smile had once been, had once waited.


Every night—


A pair of careful steps towards that blue room instead of two— lying on the right side of the room where Namjoon had always slept.


“I failed a test today Joon, I’ll do better next time—”


Pressing closer into the floor as if it could bring him back, talking as if his missing warmth was there



Trying to sleep, trying to sleep—



Counting when she couldn’t.



All the things he had left behind on one hand, all the things he had taken with him on the other.


Always wondering if they had found nicer walls to live in where he had fled, happier places to rest where she couldn’t follow.


 

Those thoughts always made her laugh—  laugh and wonder what he cared for more.



Was it the things he had left behind or the things he had taken?

 

The things he wanted to keep safe or the things he wanted to keep close?



 

She never decided—



But she always counted anyway.



On one hand the things he left behind—



Seven worn-out books she counted on one finger; always first. Books they had decided to keep of the hundreds they had surely read. Seven stories they had read, and reread, and reread—


They’re special , he had always said, and she thought so too—


“They’re special—”


Seven books left on the same shelf he had always kept them.



Two, three—



Paper cranes and old notebooks she reserved for two and three— both filled with faded blue ink, both in boxes under his bed.



Four—



A few hip hop CD’s sitting where they had once kept library rentals.




What he cared for most




Of all the things he left behind, whether she counted them all individually or grouped, she always counted one thing last—



 

Herself.



 

She breathed in time with her past self, holding her breath before sighing— finally trying to will herself awake and failing.

 

 

The familiar scent of the cotton sheets Namjoon had surely wrapped her in was too strong— it only made her blurred vision blurrier.



The memory of that place clearer.



Kim Namjoon’s blankets had always smelled the same— like the cheapest detergent he made her promise to always buy.



It smells the best anyway, y/n



She gripped the sheets and continued trying to rouse herself from her half-awake dream— her half-awake memory.



She knew it wasn’t real but it was— and the more she tried to focus the harder it became.


Namjoon sat across the room that was blue and that wasn’t.


She blinked and he seemed grown— but it came in waves, and in a second he was a child again.


Blue and then white— white and then blue.


A book in his hand, light pouring, dancing in— onto those blue walls and Kim Namjoon’s skin—



Those white walls and her own.



Over her skin, over her eyes— clouding her vision, making it clear.




Through white curtains, an open window—




But the more she focused the more she realized it didn’t matter.



The color of the walls, the time in her memory.



Kim Namjoon was the same, and the sight of him brought her peace again.






Again, again—





So she went back to sleep.






17:43





She opened her eyes and saw her room, her dorm— white walls.

 

Namjoon was where he had been before, a book still in his hand— a focused look still in his eyes.


 

But she was awake this time— and they weren’t children anymore.


 

She frowned as she sat up, feeling more tired than usual.


“Joonie?”


He looked up with surprise in his eyes, as if her voice had broken his own daze—


His own dreams.


“I’m here.”


His soft voice made her smile—


She rubbed her eyes lazily and the sight made him smile.


He spoke lightly and she clung to it, his voice— it felt like she hadn’t heard heard it in years.


“You fell asleep in the cab on our way here— so I brought you up.”


She nodded, the memory slowly coming back—


“I’m sorry. I—”


She paused, frowning when she realized the sun was setting.


Did I keep you from work Joonie?”


His dimples became clearer before he shook his head, looked away.


“I asked for the day off when you wouldn’t stop crying, y/n—”


She laughed loudly at his words.

 

 

“Really?”

 

 

He nodded.

 

 

“Thank you Kim Namjoon.”

 

 

He hummed, keeping his eyes elsewhere.


She smiled gently at the familiar action— it was always elsewhere when he was embarrassed.


She got out of bed, speaking just as softly as he had, moving towards him slowly—

 

“Joonie-ah...”

 

Lying down on the floor next to him — it made his dimples show again, his eyes fill with more love than usual.


“I found you!”


He hummed.


More love than usual, tender amusement—


“Did you?”


She nodded happily.

 

He stared with a soft smile on his lips for a long time—

 

 

At the way her hair spread on the floor around her, the way her eyes focused on his own, the way her lips curved upward when she finally spoke again


Pointing at the book in his hand.


“Is it still your favorite, Kim Namjoon?”


He chuckled softly.

 

“There are happier stories with happier endings—”

 

She raised her eyebrows.

 

“But?”

 

“But it will always be my favorite.”

 

She nodded before smiling brightly.

 

“Mine too.”

 

He smiled back, letting his body move and settle in the familiar space next to her—

 

 

 

Both of them looking up, at the white ceiling, the white walls all around them—


All bathed in the red reflection of the setting sun.


Red, red—


A few moments passed before he sighed; the smile never leaving his lips, the amusement never leaving his eyes—


“One book— you have one book in this entire room.”


She let her head roll to the side and her eyes meet his scolding gaze before they laughed together.


The red light making them warmer, the feeling of then becoming the feeling of now—


“I thought I raised you better than that, y/n—”

 

She smiled.

 

“You only took one too, Joonie.”

 

He frowned, holding her gaze as she propped herself up on one elbow.

 

“When you left for Seoul I mean— you only took one book. My copy of Wuthering Heights

 

He raised an eyebrow at her, opened the book still in his hand and flipped through the pages.

 

“And you brought mine— so we’re even.”


They couldn’t help but smile.


But then he frowned again—

 

“Why don’t you have many things, y/n? Don’t your parents send you money? I thought you worked with

 

She hummed before laughing.

 

“Taehyung noticed too.”

 

He didn’t say anything, he hid his frown well. But then again—

 

“This room looks like home, doesn’t it, Joon? When I first moved in the bed was over there, I moved it here — where it was in the blue room. And that desk, I moved it too. It was—”


He had forgotten he didn’t have to.


He laughed at her words.


“Even now, we’re still the same person, aren’t we y/n?”


She rubbed where her heart was as if it could do anything.


“The blue room was empty when you left, so—”


“It’s okay that you brought him up, y/n. It’s okay that you’re friends with Taehyung, I just—”

 

 

 

He sighed while she held his gaze expectantly, sadly.

 

“I just— I always wonder if you found what we lost. In Taehyung, in Jungkook or Jimin or—”

 

His words slowly stopped, just like the heartbeat she was trying to mimic against her chest with her hand.

 

They both fell silent and she sat up slowly, speaking only once he had finally met her gaze.

 

“Kim Namjoon—”

 

“It’s okay if you did y/n—”

 

“You and I—”

 

“I understand if you did.”

 

“Are forever aren’t we?”


She shook her head at his silence, her voice rising with every word.

 

“Kim Namjoon— we’re forever, aren’t we?”

 

He sat up, tried to stand but her hand was in his before he could even think of leaving.

 

“Did you forget Joonie-ah? It was a habit I got into when we were younger, you know, not having many things—”


He burst into laughter.


She moved towards him, and he let his head fall on her lap in defeat, one hand wrapping around hers tighter, the other pulling her closer.


“I noticed you never kept many things either, the only thing you had an abundance of was books—”


He laughed again, turning his face into her lap, staying there.


“But even then, when you left you only took one.”


She laughed gently while he pressed closer, making her heart break.


“So I keep one, one, one of everything — do you know why Kim Namjoon?”


Her fingers found his hair and he sighed an unsteady breath, stilled.


“So that when we ran away—”


He shook his head, keeping his face out of her sight.



“We wouldn’t have to look back or leave anything behind



Out of her sight but she could feel his tears where he had pressed himself.



“So that running away would be easy.”


She hushed him, watching the red room vanish in tandem with the setting sun, each wall becoming white again as his breathing steadied—


His crying, stopped.



White—




And then, the moonlight made them blue.




19:56




When he finally turned over he realized she had been crying too—


She always looked prettier after she had.


Eyes swollen, nose runny, but her soul—



“Where?”



His voice was hoarse, his throat ached, but he managed a soft smile. She looked at him with confusion before laughing.


“Did you forget?”


She wiped his tears away and kissed his forehead.


“Wherever you are Joonie-ah.”


Her own words he had echoed back to her years ago, she was saying them again but this time it was different—

 

It wasn’t a dream for the future, a longing for someday, someday—

 

He sat up quickly, taking both her hands in his and holding onto them like he had when they were younger, like she was the only thing keeping him grounded—


Looking at her the same way he had before things changed


With hope.


Speaking just the same—


“Where? We can go anywhere, y/n. I’ve been saving money since I started working, we can go as soon as you finish this school year and come back before you start again and—”


“We should go home.”


His eyebrows rose in surprise.


“Run away home?”


She smiled sadly in return.

 

“When was the last time you saw your parents, Joonie?”

 

He frowned.

 

“Two summers ago, when I went home to look for you —”

 

She spoke more seriously.

 

“My mom says she misses you— your mom. They both do.”

 

He smiled sadly.

 

“I call and send money every month—”

 

“Joon—”

 

“They never answer, y/n.”

 

She shook her head, squeezed his hands tightly and spoke with a scolding tone.

 

“I know why you’re afraid— but I’ll be there

 

She raised their laced hands up before letting them fall playfully.

 

 

“Holding your hands just like this!”

 

 

He felt himself laugh, felt his heart remember just how much he had missed her—


Realizing there was nothing to miss anymore.


She was there.


And he wondered why their world was what he had missed all these months when it was her he really wanted—


Wondered if she had ever left their world at all or if her world had just gotten bigger.


Bigger — filled with them who loved her too, who helped her grow—


He just wished he hadn’t missed it.


“You’re not listening Kim Namjoon!”

 

She had been speaking while he let his mind wander, and the way she looked at him now made him laugh.

 

“Sorry—”

 

“I was saying we could be there by next weekend Joonie-ah, home! This quarter ends in—”

 

He shook his head, looked away.

 

“I don’t want to go home, y/n—”

 

Before he could finish she moved closer, used a hand to cup his face gently—


A small act of comfort she had learned from Kim Taehyung.


He finally met her gaze and smiled softly, yet brightly.


A small act of reassurance she had learned from Jeon Jungkook.


And then she chose her words carefully, something Jung Hoseok always told her to do and Park Jimin showed her was important.


“Forever is a long time to be afraid.”


He held onto her— onto the look in her eyes, the touch of her hands, how beautifully she had grown.


He wished he hadn’t missed it — watching the parts of her he had always loved become stronger, bloom.


But he had.


“I know.”

 

She let her hand fall from his cheek and push his shoulder lightly.

 

“Do you?’

 

He nodded.

 

“Good.”



He had.



But—


“Y/n?”


It brought him comfort—


“Where will we go after home?”



Knowing he wouldn’t miss anymore.



She hummed lightly in thought.


“Where should we runaway after?”

 

He nodded, she smiled.

 

“Seoul—

 

He couldn’t help but laugh.

 

“What? It’d be poetic Kim Namjoon—”

 

“Would it?”

 

“It would.”

 

“You’re joking.”

 

She laughed.

 

“I am. But—”

 

“But it would be, wouldn’t it?”

 

She smiled at his words, nodded.

 

“We’d come together this time, hand in hand, no goodbyes—”

 

He repeated her words wistfully.

 

“No goodbyes.”

 

She paused.

 

“But this city , it’s home now too, isn’t it Joonie?”

 

He smiled.

 

“Running away home, twice—”

 

She hummed.

 

“Is it poetic or ironic?”

 

“Both.”

 

They laughed—

 

A pause.

 

“Joonie?”

 

He met her gaze that looked at him softly—

 

“They are home for you now, aren’t they?”

 

He hummed before nodding, smiling.

 

“They are.”

 

She nodded, mimicking the loving smile on his lips at the thought of them—


All of them.


“Me too— mine too.”

 

She paused.

 

“But you know Joonie-ah— it was us before them.”

 

 

He raised his eyebrows at her words and she shrugged.

 

 

“It’s something I thought you should know.”

 

 

 

“I know it was—”

 

“Do you?”

 

She held his gaze, waiting until his eyes lit up with understanding just like she knew they would—


They were the same, afterall.


He laughed lightly, nodding.



“They’re not forever like we are.”



She smiled at his words and spoke playfully.

 

“Who told you that?”

 

He chuckled.

 

“You did.”

 

“What do you say?”

 

“Thank you, y/n.”

 

She smiled brightly before nodding, getting up and walking towards her bedside table to pick up her phone.

 

 

Sitting on her bed with a laugh—


“Look—”


He stood, walked over and sat beside her— letting his chin rest on her shoulder, laughing lightly at the amount of missed calls.


“Jungkookie, Jiminie, Taehyungie—”


She smiled fondly at the way he read their names, almost as lovingly as he the way he spoke hers—

 

“Jungkook probably waited for me after class, and Jimin probably missed me this morning—”

 

“Morning?”

 

She nodded.

 

“I watch him practice, for his recital that’s in—”

 

“Two days.”

 

She met Namjoon’s happy smile with her own.

 

“You’re going?”

 

He nodded.

 

 

“We’re all going— it’s Hoseok’s last show.”

 

Her heart warmed at the growing affection in his voice, with every word—  he sounded so certain—

 

“None of us could miss it, he’s—”

 

“Family?”

 

He met her gaze before smiling.

 

“Yeah, like us—

 

She nodded.

 

“Like us.”

 

Brief silence he ended with a heavy sigh that caught her off guard.

 

“I’m sorry, y/n.”

 

She frowned.

 

“What for Joonie?”

 

“I fell in love with you, I am in love with you and— I’m sorry it changed things. But, I meant what I said. My love for you, it’s not just—”

 

“Romantic.”

 

He pressed his lips together, held his breath before letting out a shaky laugh.

 

“Whatever souls are made of—”

 

“His and mine are the same.”

 

He laughed again.

 

“Are you just always in my head?”

 

She nudged him playfully, nodding.

 

“And you’re in mine. But you know, we’ve also said it a million times Joonie-ah, read it a million times—”

 

 

He smiled at the memory.

 

“Do you think it’s true?”

 

She laughed at the question.

 

“What? Do I believe in soulmates?”

 

He shook his head.

 

“Do you believe in us? That we’re—”

 

“Fate?”

 

He nodded.

 

She hummed.

 

“Maybe—”

 

A pause, she moved away slightly to look into his eyes.


“But the idea of a world where we hadn’t met—”


He raised a hand so she would stop—

 

 

Realizing how small she suddenly looked, how small he suddenly felt.


The thought of it all making them both want to suddenly cry.


If we hadn’t met


“I’m sorry y/n—”

 

She shook her head.

 

“Stop it Joonie-ah. Don’t be sorry—”

 

He frowned.

 

“No, I—”

 

“I fell in love with you first, you know. When we were younger—”

 

His eyebrows furrowed so she continued.

 

“I love you more than anything, more than anyone. I know that I want you to always be happy, to never be alone. That you’re my hero, I felt and know that you saved me and— I love you for it. But then I realized that that love was just us, our friendship, our forever, and it was built on that type of love for each other. A type of love like no other. I thought it was romantic for a while before realizing it wasn’t. It wasn’t romantic or platonic or anything but what it was . I’ve never stopped loving you, I’ll never love you any less, my perception of our love just changed.”

 

She spoke knowing he would understand, but afraid nonetheless—

 

A fear that made her eyes avert his at times, her words stumble and fail at parts.

 

But it was what she had wanted to say since the night he confessed— words Hoseok had reassured her made sense despite being senseless.


She thought of the rooftop and Hoseok’s words when she stumbled, and by the end she was looking into his eyes that had stayed constant.


The emotions behind them unwavering.


And when he finally spoke—


“I’m glad.”


She knew he meant it.


A sigh left her lips, followed by a soft laugh.

 

“Glad?”

 

He nodded, a small smile forming on his lips.

 

“I think so too. Our love isn’t any one thing—”

 

He paused.

 

“But what made you realize that our love wasn’t, well—

 

She frowned.

 

“The truth?”

 

He nodded.

 

“The truth.”

 

But despite his reassurances her hesitation persisted, making him laugh.

 

“It was falling in love, wasn’t it y/n? Falling in love with someone else.”

 

She sighed.

 

“I knew before, I had decided what we were when I was still in middle school. But— when you left for Seoul I thought maybe I had been wrong.”

 

She frowned at the memory.

 

“I was just, so miserable without you Joonie-ah— and the thought of ever living without you, of you marrying somebody else—”

 

She shook her head.

 

“You’re my forever Joon.”

 

She laughed, suddenly feeling a familiar misery in her chest.

 

“How could I ever live without you?”

 

He pulled her into his arms before she could fall apart.


They had both cried enough for one day.


He hushed her.

 

“It’s okay y/n—”

 

“And I still can’t, I’ll always need you—”

 

“But you met Jin.”

 

The words made her stomach turn.


She had almost forgotten


“Joonie-ah—”


 

That she was still lying to him.


 

He pulled her closer.

 

 

“I’m glad y/n. I’m so glad you met him, fell in love with him. He taught you something I couldn’t have given you—”



That person—



“That there’s more than just us— that our world was perfect but it wasn’t. No, it couldn’t be perfect because without the other we just—”

 

He thought of himself the past few months, laughing lightly if only to bring her ease.

 

 

“We break.”

 

 

She was still in his arms but the emptiness he had felt from months ago wasn’t there anymore.

 

 

She wasn’t hiding—



 

Yet, she was.



 

“I’ll get there for us y/n, someday, I’ll— I’ll know the love we have better. My world grew too— I was just, too focused on the parts of it I thought I had lost.”

 

She pressed her face closer to his chest.

 

“I—”

 

“If you cry I’ll be mad, y/n.”

 

He pushed her away gently, used a hand to lift her chin up and met her worried eyes with gentle ones.

 

Spoke with a warm, bitter-sweet smile—

 

“I mean it, all of it — and it took alot to say it so if you cry I’ll be furious.”

 

She forced a smile and he pinched her cheek—

 

“Hey—Jin, Jin was good for you.”


He wasn’t wrong, she loved Jin even now.


But that person Namjoon was describing so well hadn’t been Jin at all.


Jin came after— helped her grow after with four others.

 

And maybe Jin had helped her the most with his form of love, or maybe Hoseok had with his, Taehyung with his—



It was all immeasurable.



But that person, that person—



 

That person was Yoongi.


 

“He was good for you.”


He was.


“He is good for you, y/n—”


She frowned, getting lost in thought.



“He is, isn’t he?”



Namjoon nodded with a half smile.

 

“You should really talk to him, you know. He’s been—”

 

The thought made Namjoon frown.

 

“Talk to him, y/n.”

 

She laughed halfheartedly.

 

“Is that advice or—”

 

“I’m telling you to.”

 

She smiled, trying to hide the growing ache in her chest.

 

“You’re taking his side Joonie-ah—”

 

He hummed.

 

“Or yours—”

 

She scoffed.

 

“I will eventually.”

 

“Y/n—”

 

His stern, scolding tone reminded her of Hoseok’s—

 

She simply nodded.

 

“I will soon.”

 

He raised his hand towards her and she smiled brightly, thinking he was going to pat her head, mess with her hair or pinch her cheek playfully.

 

But he flicked her instead.

 

“I said soon!”

 

“You didn’t mean it.”

 

“Of course I didn’t! He picked a fight with me!”

 

“You’re both so stubborn.”

 

“He really hurt me Joonie-ah—”

 

“You hurt each other.”

 

She frowned.

 

“He deserves better anyway—”

 

“Don’t be offensive, y/n — you are the better to alot of people.”

 

“Offensive? Me—”

 

She pointed a finger to herself with feigned hurt and he scoffed.

 

“You’re the worst y/n. I’m being serious—”

 

“Well so am I— I know I hurt him but if I apologized to him now I wouldn’t mean it. You’re the one who taught me apologies should be sincere—”

 

“You’re not sorry you hurt him?”

 

“I’m not sorry for the things he thinks I should be sorry about

 

They both sighed.

 

“But I will talk to him, I will, I just need to—”

 

“Figure it out?”

 

She nodded and he smiled.

 

“Okay.”

 

She hummed.

 

“What you said earlier, though— let’s both learn, together. I want to know the love we have better too.”


His dimples shown her way and his eyes finally lit up just like she had always remembered them—



Childlike.



She stood up after squeezing his hand—


Giving reassurance, comfort and love.


Things he had taught her for years, things he could see she had made her own.


“Well anyway, I’m going to be late for work—”


He smiled softly before nodding and getting up, ready to leave the room behind.


“Want to share a cab?”


She nodded, watching as he walked towards the door before following his steps.


Standing in the doorway beside him, both looking at each blue wall, then each other—


Stepping outside, closing the door.



Walking away—



Side by side, no goodbyes.





 

 

Blue walls left behind.


Chapter Text

 

 

May 30 2019


 

5:00


 

“Taehyungie?”

 

 

She spoke in a sleepy daze as Taehyung pushed past her and waddled inside her room still in his pajamas, wrapped in a blanket.

 

“Jimin has dress rehearsal today—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“Yeah, he called me—”

 

“So you can sleep in today, jagi.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Is that why you woke me up Tae? So I could sleep in?”

 

He nodded, finding a spot on the floor next to her bed— smiling playfully her way.

 

“You owe me.”

 

She hummed, moving to get back in bed.

 

“I do.”

 

“It went well didn’t it?”

 

She nodded, watching as he closed his eyes, a small smile still on his lips—

 

 

“I’m glad.”

 

 

The sight made her smile, and she threw him a pillow he happily took.


A few minutes passed before he opened his eyes again with a soft, deep laugh.


“You’re staring jagi—”

 

She stuck her tongue out.

 

“You’re in my line of sight.”

 

“What were you thinking? Was it, I never noticed how handsome Taehyungie is—”

 

“I was thinking you’re kind of like a stray—”

 

He grinned.

 

“A cute stray?”

 

“The cutest—”

 

“You know— I always thought people who took in strays were special.”

 

She laughed.

 

“Just go to sleep, Tae.”

 

“I will—”

 

“Right now.”

 

 

He fell silent, she closed her eyes, but a few minutes later—

 

 

“Can I— still wait for you y/n?”

 

 

She stayed still, her eyes closed in thought but he must have assumed she was asleep—

 

 

Assumed because he spoke freely.

 

 

“Jungkookie, and Jiminie— we all talked yesterday. And somehow it went back to you, somehow it usually does. And we talked about the things you do that make us happy; it’s most things you do, if you were wondering. Little things you probably don’t even catch—”

 

He hummed.

 

“We all, love you— but they said they weren’t going to be stuck anymore. That they would just, keep on living. Living and growing with you, with our family— loving you, loving themselves— all of us. And if in the end you chose them they'd be happy but—”

 

He laughed softly, as if not to wake her.

 

 

“In the end—”

 

 

He fell silent for a long time and she thought he finally fell asleep—


 

Finally found some peace—

 

 

 

“In the end it probably won’t be me.”


 

She opened her eyes and met his that must have known she was awake— his eyes that didn’t show surprise or anything but his aching heart.

 


He smiled.

 

"You should be sleeping, jagi—"

 

"Taehyung—"

 

"Close your eyes, y/n. Close them and stay still so I can tell you that I want to wait for you until the very end— until you make that choice— find an end. That even though we both have a long way to go, growing to do— so much life to live—"

 

He laughed lightly.

 

"That even then I'll be here, and even though I'll change, even though things might go wrong— I won't fall in love again until you tell me to."

 

 

She opened her mouth to speak but he shook his head.


"Go back to pretending so I don't have to—"

 



"You don't have to either way, Taehyungie."

 

 

He smiled at the way her eyes scolded him.

 

 

"I don't as much anymore—"

 

 

"Taehyungie—"

 

 

“Not since you came along.”



She laughed, spoke gently—

 

 

"But you just said—"

 

 

"It's only when I'm afraid lately— that I pretend."

 

 

"Afraid?"

 

 

He nodded, spoke with a smile.

 

 

"Loving you this much, it's scary sometimes. At least when I say it out loud— to myself or to others. Lately all my mom does is scold me— tells me I'm handsome and that I should be dating—"

 

 

He shook his head, a soft smile still on his lips.

 

 

"I keep telling her that I don't want some other girl— that I only want one even if that girl doesn't want me in the end. That in the end the wait is worth it— no matter what the end is."

 

 

"Idiot."

 

 

He met her eyes and couldn't help but smile—

 

 

"Happy tears?"

 

 

She nodded and he shifted, got up and pushed a space for himself on the bed—

 

 

Placing the pillow she had thrown at him earlier between them—

 

 

 

"Can I sing you to sleep?"

 

 

 

His words made her laugh—

 

 

 

She nodded, he did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep, peace—

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both found them quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

11:15



 

 

When she finally woke up Taehyung was gone—


 

She had forgotten he had class and fallen asleep thinking they could talk when they both woke up.

 

 

 

About all those things he had said—

 

 

 

She would call him later.


 

But until then she had class, class and then—


“You’re here!”


Jungkook smiled her way, nodded.

 

“Even though you ditched me yesterday—”

 

She laughed at his pouting.

 

“I said I was sorry—”

 

“I know, I know— you owe me, though.”

 

“Do I?”

 

He nodded.

 

“Jimin too—”

 

“Yeah whatever— stop that!”

 

She smacked his hand that was tickling her side away.

 

He laughed.

 

“Should we get coffee before going home?”

 

She smiled.

 

“Home?”

 

He sighed.

 

“You know what I meant—”

 

“I did.”

 

“I am going to miss your dorm though.”

 

She nodded.

 

“Me too, but it’s okay.”

 

He nodded, letting his head fall after a moment of silence.

 

“I heard you were going home for the summer—”

 

She laughed.

 

“I didn’t think Namjoon would tell anyone, well, not so soon—”

 

He shook his head.

 

“We share a room— and I came home to him packing. So he had to tell me—

 

She couldn’t help but laugh louder despite Jungkook’s frown.

 

“He’s such a little kid sometimes— hey, don’t be so sad Jungkookie  

 

He sighed.

 

“When are you coming back?”

 

She shrugged which made him whine loudly.

 

“But you’re my sidekick —”

 

She punched his arm lightly and it finally made him shine his bunny smile her way.

 

“I hope you have fun, both of you

 

She nodded, smiling just as brightly when he took her hand in his and made her start walking a little faster.

 

“Can we all spend time together when you get back?”


The thought made her even happier than the familiar playfulness growing in his smile, his eyes—

 

“We will Jungkookie—”

 

“Promise?”

 

She laughed as he gripped her hand tighter and started running.

 

Shouting loudly for him and everyone else to hear—

 

“I promise!”


And when they finally got to her dorm, both slightly out of breath and laughing—


“Why were we running?”


He smiled, pulling her into a hug.

 

“I didn’t want to be late again, getting to where I wanted to be.”

 

She hummed into his chest, pulled away slightly to look around the room.

 

“Here?”

 

She met his gaze and he shook his head—


Placed his forehead on hers and stayed there.



Out of breath, out of breath—




“Here.”





They didn’t do much after he finally let her go.



Just talked about summer, the recital, and Kim Namjoon—



Namjoon who wouldn’t stop texting her about places he had found they could visit, things they could do on the weekends, restaurants he had always wanted to try but couldn’t afford—

 



Should we go here, or here? Both?

 

 

How many pairs of socks are you bringing?  How many—

 

 

I’ll stop by when I can to help you pack, y/n!



Every message made her heart warm up and fill with excitement, made Jungkook laugh—


“Hyung’s so lame!”

 

“He’s just excited— leave him alone Jungkookie!

 

“Well, he could hide it better

 

She pouted.

 

“It’s cute.”


Jungkook kept laughing, but at some point he nodded in agreement—


“It is.



They stayed that way until she had to leave for work, happy—




 

Happy.








22:00


 

 

She frowned.

 

“Where’s—”

 

“Just hurry up.”

 

She scrunched her nose at Yoongi’s words, throwing her things in the back and herself where Hoseok was missing—

 

“Sorry.”

 

Yoongi sighed as he merged into traffic.

 

“He had dress rehearsal, for his thing tomorrow night—”

 

“Still? Jimin’s been there since—”

 

“I think they were split up by class.”

 

She nodded, finally smiling his way.

 

“Well, how was your day Yoongi-ah?”

 

He shrugged with indifference, spoke with indifference—

 

“Fine.”

 

She laughed—

 

“I didn’t realize we weren’t friends if Hoseok wasn’t here.”

 

He hid his smile with a cough—

 

“We’re not.”

 

She grinned.

 

“So we’re enemies!”

 

He couldn’t hide his smile then

 

“What are you? Five?”

 

She nodded and he scoffed.

 

“We’re—”

 

He stopped.


We’re—


“Yoongi-ah—”

 

“Did you eat yet groupie?”

 

Her smile fell.

 

“Yoongi.”


The way her voice trembled surprised him—


“We should talk




 

22:00




 

Jin laughed when he saw Yoongi’s car there.



It couldn’t be true—



And when she got into his car he laughed again.


It couldn’t be true.


He sat in his car for a long time after he watched Yoongi drive away— sat laughing at himself and the stupidity of it all before deciding he would go wait in the parking lot of her dorm.


Yoongi was just taking her home— Namjoon must have sent him.


But then he sat in the parking lot for an hour or two, feeling his anger turn into sadness, his guilt turn back into resentment, and then back again: but it didn’t matter, nothing mattered.


 

He just needed to see her.


 

So when Yoongi finally pulled into the parking lot he decided to wait— wait for her to leave him and go up to her room where he could apologize.



 

He just wanted to apologize.



 

But—



He laughed.



They left that car together, disappeared up those stairs— the same stairs he had carried her down the night he had first told her he loved her, the stairs he had always watched her go up alone no matter how much he longed to be with her. How much he longed to stay—


 

Up those stairs, hand in hand—



 

He laughed.




 

Deciding to wait and then deciding he couldn’t.






He couldn't—

 

 

 

 

Because if Yoongi didn’t leave—







He tried to force another laugh but he couldn’t that time.




 

Not that time.





 

All he could do was cry—










Just like he had been since the moment she got into his car hours ago.










 

 

 

All he could do was cry.















Chapter Text



 

22:07



 

“We should talk—”


Yoongi frowned.


“Why? Just let it go groupie—”


“Stop it, stop saying that. Shouldn’t it matter? Don’t you care—”

 

His voice never rose, his gaze never left the road but his words—


His words.




“I care more than you do, y/n.”





They made her silent, and she only spoke again when he finally stopped driving—



“I’m not hungry.”

 

He sighed.


“Well I am. You’re not the only one that needs to eat, y/n—”


His words, his words— they only made her feel worse but she followed him into the familiar restaurant without much thought.



It wasn’t until they’d been seated that she realized just how mindless Yoongi’s words had made her.



“Why are we here?”



She spoke calmly despite a panic rising in her chest— the familiar restaurant had seemed familiar because it was hers and Jin’s.


And after days and days of standing outside, trying to force herself in—



 

It was with Yoongi she had finally made it inside.



 

“Can we—”


“Jin’s not here, y/n.”


She frowned.


“But—”


“Hey.”


She met his gaze that was waiting.



Waiting with everything she needed to feel some relief.



She let out a heavy sigh, repeating his words—



“Jin’s not here.”



He let his gaze drop back to the menu in his hands but not before telling her to do the same.


“Pick something—”


She forced a smile.


“I already know what I want.”


He smirked.


“I forgot my groupie was also a waitress—”


She stuck her tongue out at him and they both laughed.


“Fuck you—”


He raised his eyebrows in amusement.


“Hoseok would disapprove—”


She smiled.


“Well he can—”


He cut her off with a sudden seriousness.





“Namjoon would disapprove.”





She tried to disagree but found she couldn’t.


All she could do was get lost in thought—






Namjoon would disapprove.






 

“Let’s eat.”





23:45





The drive home was relatively silent, and it went by just as quickly as dinner had.



Or seemed to at least—



When he finally parked she sat in his car— waiting for a goodbye, a playful get out.



Minutes passed before she realized she was waiting for something he refused to give her.



Just like he had the entire past month— refused, refused.

 

 

So she went to leave, saying a quick thank you, a see you tomorrow—



But Yoongi surprised her.



“I don’t—”


She stiffened at his touch, the way his cold fingers wrapped around her wrist and kept her there.



 

With him—



 

“I don’t want things to change, y/n.”


She held his gaze that was softer than usual— a pleading sadness in those eyes, on his lips.


“I don’t—”


“They wouldn’t have to Yoongi-ah. We—”


“But if we talk about it— about us—”


She shifted, reaching out and watching him flinch away.



Letting go—



“Baby—”


He looked up, frowning at the way her voice cracked.



At the words themselves—



“You called me that— that night.”


He smiled sadly, nodded.


“And you called me Jin.”


“Please—”


“There’s not much to say, y/n.”


She frowned—


“Maybe—”



Feeling her throat swell—



“Maybe there’s not.”



Her chest tighten.



“But—”


She let out a shaky breath.


“I need this, and that might be selfish, no, I know it is— but, can’t you be honest with me Yoongi? Can’t we just talk?”




Silence fell and after a minute passed she nodded, speaking more defeated than upset.




“I'll see you tomorrow then.”




But as she got out, he followed—




Locking his car and walking in front of her, intertwining his fingers in hers to give himself the strength to move forward— 

 

 

Together.



Holding on tighter when he heard her soft whisper—






“Thank you.”

 

 

 

 

 

May 31 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:00

 

 

 

 

 

They reached her room quickly, she opened the door and he closed it behind them— not going much farther than that.



He couldn’t.



So he leaned against the door, watched as she put her things down, moved some things around—



“I’m going home with Joonie this summer.”



When Yoongi stayed silent she continued.



“Jungkook said it was lame but he helped me start moving things around and—”


“Y/n—”


She looked up, met his solemn gaze and smiled sadly.



“I’m sorry.”



He nodded at her words, stilled as she walked towards him.




“I think—”




He cut her off, speaking clearly.






“It’s too late for us, y/n.”






She froze in place, faltered—


“Is it?”


He sighed, keeping his gaze on his fidgeting hands.


“Of course it is.”


The annoyance in his voice was towards himself; for being afraid, for being—


But that annoyance quickly turned into sadness, regret.


“That summer we met— when I kept you from him, from Joon— I ruined any chance of us. There is no us, y/n— there’s you and me and everyone else, but us?”



He shook his head, speaking a little louder.



“I see Namjoon everyday, and everyday I think about how I’m in love with his girl. You were his, and now it feels like everyone I care about the most loves you just as much as I do—”


He paused, his mind drifting, drifting—



Drifting to Hoseok.



“There is no us. There can’t be an us. If there’s an us we’d be hurting them— all of them. So we can’t y/n, we just—”


He laughed.


“I don’t even know why I’m telling you any of this— you’re in love with Jin.”



She nodded, knowing it would hurt him, but it was the truth—




Was, is.



She loved Jin, but— 

 

 

He laughed again, trying to hide the growing pain in his chest—



Remembering his words from that night and feeling like he finally knew they were true—



Convincing himself they were.



“You don’t even want me, groupie. You want—”



“That’s not true.”



He shook his head.

 

 

 

Convincing himself, convincing himself—



“I’ll never be enough for you—”



But her voice rose the more he tried to shut her out—



The more he tried to run away— 

 

 

“I’m in love with you— you, you, Yoongi. I



She reached for him but he moved away— again, again.

 

 

Refusing.



 

“You love Jin—”






“I loved you first.”






He finally looked up, met her gaze for a second before it was too much—



Before he looked away again.



“That, that doesn’t mean—”



“But it does, Yoongi, it means everything. You were my first real love, and loving you, falling for you, it taught me so many things and— so many things I hadn't realized until yesterday. And that doesn’t have to change anything now, now, now or ever but don’t—”



She laughed lightly, wishing he would just look her way—



“Don’t try to say it doesn’t mean anything.”



He frowned, hating they way his voice was shaking—



“It’s not like— it’s not like we can do anything about it, y/n. About how we feel—”


He sighed, feeling hopeless.


“About us—”


She shrugged.


“Maybe there isn’t—”


He laughed lightly, feeling tired, wanting to sleep—  


 

“Then why? Why talk? Why—”


 

“So we can both move on, Yoongi. If you meant it then say it again, tell me— say it’s too late for us. That we’ll never have what we did that summer, those days of December. That we can be happy as just friends, that it can be like it has been this past month and we’ll never want more, more— tell me. Say it and I’ll agree Yoongi, I won't argue, I'll—”


His hands were on her face, making her look up at him, eyes finally meeting—



Hers that hadn’t noticed sooner—



His— 

 

 

Her hands reached up shakily, and she used her thumbs to wipe away his tears.

 



He laughed lightly, leaning into her touch before moving away— 

 

 

Wiping away his tears with his sleeves.



A moment passed and he held her gaze as she stayed where he had left her, resigned to the distance he had made— 

 

 


He stared into her eyes with questioning, with desperation.



Wanting to tell her, to say all those things she wanted him to—



 

It’s too late, it’s too late—




 

But the more he looked at her, saw her— 

 





He stepped closer— 






But Namjoon, but Hoseok—






Brought her into his arms that had longed for her and held her there.

 

 

 

It’s—




 

With every breath he drew he knew he couldn’t— 

 

 

 

Every breath that knew those words would never leave his lips, every breath that longed to bring her closer.






It all felt helpless— 

 

 

 

So he held her tighter.

 

 

 

It all felt useless— 

 

 

 

 

 

It's— 

 








 

 

“Is it too late for us y/n?”









His lips that had whispered on her own pressed there lightly.



As if she would break— 

 

 

As if he would too.

 

 

 

A kiss so light it was barely there— 

 

 

 

 

But the way it felt— 

 

 

 

 

The sound of glass breaking made him let go of her, hold her gaze with something that almost made her cry— 

 

 

Something she wished she could keep forever— 

 

 

 

He must have felt it too.

 

 

 

But before she could say anything he turned around, opened the door behind him— 



 

Before she could tell him not to, to let it go—





Before she could answer.





It’s—





What they saw, though— it made them both forget.



About their conversation, each other, themselves.




 

What they saw—




 

On the floor, picking up what was broken—





 

She pushed past Yoongi, fell on her knees and forced his hands smeared with blood open—

 





Shaking, yelling the more he tried to hold on to the pieces of glass cutting into his skin.

 

 

 

 

“Joonie stop it!”



Chapter Text

 

 

Joonie—





Joonie





“Kim Namjoon!”



He looked up and saw her face, her eyes—

 

 

Filled with fear.

 

 

He looked down and saw red, red—

 

 

Looked past her and saw Yoongi frozen in place.

 

 

 

Yoongi—

 

 

 

“You’re bleeding Namjoon—”

 

 

She held onto his hands tightly, watched as her white sleeves stained red, red—

 

 

“You’re—”

 

“I brought your favorite—”

 

The unease never left her eyes as they shifted— from him and his bleeding hands to everything around him.

 

 

The take out he had dropped—

 

 

“From your favorite place—”

 

 

The flowers on the floor—

 

 

“I spent hours finding the right ones—”

 

 

The vase that had been one piece and was now a million—

 

 

He smiled her way before laughing lightly, shaking his head—


 

“I thought we could pack.”


 

She frowned, trying to convince herself that he hadn’t heard, he hadn’t heard, he hadn’t—

 

 

The words of love Yoongi had spoken that were true, her own.

 

 

 

True, true— they were all true.

 

 

 

To her, to Yoongi—

 

 

 

They were true to Namjoon, too.



 

“I guess we aren’t the same after all—”




The truth—


 

“I would never lie to you, y/n.”


 

 

The truth.


 

 

Kim Namjoon was running far away where she couldn’t follow.

 

 

 

 

Terror—

 

 

 

 

Far away where he didn’t want her to.

 

 

 

It was terror gripping her violently as Kim Namjoon’s hands tried to pull away—

 

 

As his eyes wavered and then stilled, as he met her gaze and let out a small laugh.

 

 

“You really have grown up after all—”

 

 

“Joonie

 

 

“You’re taller than you were yesterday, you’re prettier too—”

 

 

“Don’t do this, please don’t do this

 

 

He shook his head, spoke louder just like she had when she was reassuring Yoongi she had loved him first, first—

 

 

“Your voice sounds clearer, y/n, your hands feel colder—”

 

 

Her hands that held onto his despite the red flowing out of them—

 

 

 

His that had already let go.

 

 

 

He remained still as she cried, wishing it didn’t affect him as much as it did.

 

 

Speaking calmly despite an unfamiliar feeling starting to build in his chest—

 

 

 

“I thought they’d look nice— the vase, the flowers— that we could keep them in my room, that we could—”

 

 

 

In his heart.

 

 

 

He shook his head one last time before standing up, meeting Yoongi’s gaze that followed him.

 

 

 

“You surprised me, hyung—”

 

 

 

He smiled sadly.

 

 

 

“I guess I just don’t know anyone as well as I thought I did.”

 

 

 

He went to leave but she grabbed his hand before he could go any further.

 

 

She didn’t say anything — only cried and wished he would take it back.

 

 

 

Take it back, take it back

 

 

 

But he only looked down at her, laughed shakily as his own will started to break.

 

 

 

His own will to not cry, yell, scream—

 

 

 

He needed to leave.


 

“Not now, y/n—”

 

 

 

She held him tighter, which only made him more desperate—

 

 

 

He needed to leave, he—

 

 

 

“Let go of me.”


 

 

The harshness in his voice startled even Yoongi—

 

 

“Namjoon—”

 

 

Yoongi who was finally able to move again.

 

 

“Don’t start, Yoongi. Don’t—”

 

 

He said something as Yoongi moved towards them she couldn’t hear—

 

All she noticed was how their talking turned into yelling.

 

 

 

Louder, louder—


 

She couldn’t— hear.

 

All she was left with was a ringing in her ears as their screams echoed, echoed—

 

 

 

She couldn’t—

 

 

 

She watched as Namjoon pushed Yoongi away, walking, running down the hall—

 

Away, away—

 

 

No—

 

 

She tried to speak but it almost felt like she stuck in her dream from the day before, her memory —  in the blue room, in the white room.

 

 

Trying to speak, trying to move—

 

 

She felt Yoongi grab her shoulders, lift her up and rush her into her room.

 

 

He met her gaze that was far, far—

 

 

 

It made him want to stay.

 

 

 

To hold her in his arms as she fell asleep if only to heal her brokenness, to reassure her, to love her—

 

 

But—

 

 

“Y/n—”

 

 

His voice was hoarse, and she met his gaze, watched as lips moved without really listening.

 

 

 

He spoke—

 

 

 

Holding her face in his hands gently, looking into her eyes even if only to say goodbye—

 

 

 

He spoke.

 

 

 

Kissed her cheek and stayed there before whispering something in her ear she finally heard—



 

“I’ll be back.”



 

And then he left.



She stayed still for a long time, hands in fists, waiting, waiting—

 

 

And then she started shaking.

 

 

When she couldn’t ignore how big the small room felt— how empty.

 

 

“One —”

 

 

She felt her voice break when she tried to count, count, count like she always had in the blue room.

 

 

She couldn’t

 

 

She felt cold.

 

 

Alone.

 

 

Just like when Namjoon left the first time


 

Alone.



Couldn’t, couldn’t— how stupidly helpless she had felt then and how stupidly helpless she felt now.

 

 

Now, now—

 

 

It wasn’t until she felt a sharp pain in her palm that she was reminded to breathe— to gasp a breath of life in, in—


 

To think, to move, to do anything but lie still and afraid—

 

 

She laughed when she finally looked down.

 

 

She must have been gripping the glass she had taken from Kim Namjoon’s hands



Red, red.



She stood up and took uneasy steps towards the bathroom— focusing on how much shit Jungkook could potentially give her if she passed out over something like this.

 

 

Him and Taehyung—

 

 

They would make fun of her.

 

 

Jimin would worry, Hoseok would scold her.

 

 

That and—

 

 

 

“You’re being dramatic, brat—"

 

 

 

It was her own voice but she could almost hear his—


It made her smile despite the growing pain.


 

Me? Dramatic?

 

 

 

She laughed.

 

As she cleaned herself up, cleaned it all up— the glass, the food—

 

 

She laughed because it wasn’t true.

 

 

She knew how all of them would react— so she did the best she could to think about anything but them— him.

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon.

 

 

 

As she re-wrapped her hand when the blue bandages became red—

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon.

 

 

 

As she showered and made a wish that the day would end soon.

 

 

 

Kim Namjoon.


 

She looked at the time and realized it had only just begun—




4:07


 

It had only just begun.


 

She got dressed, wondering if any of it mattered.

 

 

It seemed that maybe in the end Kim Namjoon and her were fated—




They don’t have a happy ending.




Namjoon’s words from long ago rang in her head.


They don’t—


A knock on the door made her thoughts stop.

 

 

A mixture of relief and sorrow made her argue with herself about getting it or not.

 

 

She didn’t want anyone to see her looking so, so—

 

 

Anyone except Taehyung.

 

 

Taehyung who had already seen her break once before, Taehyung who was the only person who would come at such a stupid hour, the only person who was just as stupid lately—


And if it was Taehyung she could cry, cry for hours in his arms about the only thing on her mind—

 

Kim—



 

I’ll be back.



 

Yoongi—

 

 

It had to be Yoongi.

 

 

And so she opened the door, expecting Yoongi or Taehyung.




Yoongi or Taehyung—








Finding Jin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

She frowned at the thought— it was wrong.






 

 

 

 

Jin found her.

 

 

 

Chapter Text


Jin found her.





And just like her—




Waiting.




For the other to speak, for the other to move—




Waiting.




 

You’re both so stubborn




 

“I want—”

 

“I think—”


 

They spoke at the same time, stopped at the same time.


 

I want, I think—


 

He smiled lightly at the way she lost her words— the way he lost his own.

 

 

Smiled as if nothing had ever happened, as if he wasn't terrified— he smiled and she couldn’t help but look away.


 

It was just like him to.

 

 

 

Just like him—



A familiar gentleness filled his eyes when she finally looked up again.



Just like him.



A familiar love despite all his sadness.



He laughed—


Forgetting the past few hours of driving and going nowhere, nowhere—


Thinking about her and then Yoongi and then her again— nowhere, nowhere.

 

 

Nowhere before ending up right where he had started— in that parking lot wanting to go up.

 



Her and then Yoongi, Yoongi—

 

 

And now he was outside her door, right where it had ended—


 

He laughed.


Realizing that after all this time he still hadn’t found the right words— no. That he had and they left him the moment he saw her—

 

 

The sadness in her eyes.

 

 

He thought it must be because of him— so he tried again.

 

 

Tried to find those words to say everything, everything— those words he knew so well.


On his mind— they had been on his mind since then. On his lips— when the silence became too loud, too loud, too loud—


Just like it had for her.


In the restaurant that was theirs where he could almost see her in every corner.  In the car he had told her the future— their future.



When he saw Taehyung, when he saw Jimin, when he saw Jungkook, when—


 

When he saw her.


 

Even if only for a second.


 

When he saw her—


 

It had been easy then, when she was too far to hear his words that were a confession, a prayer— his love.


Looking at her now, though, those words didn’t exist— not in his mind or anywhere else because they weren’t enough



It was all more.



More, more, more


 

He hadn’t just missed her, he didn’t just love her.


That was all he knew. That was the truth.



But the way she looked at him—



“I must look foolish to you.”



His words made her shift; stuff her hands in her pockets before he could see they were shaking.



Yoongi’s habit he had never meant to teach her— Yoongi’s habit she had learned anyway.



Her focus went from his eyes to his feet; trying to breathe, trying to breathe—



“We both are.”



Her words made him look at her— really look at her.


He couldn’t help but frown when he didn't find a single part of her he hadn’t missed.


From her eyes themselves that refused to look his way— soft, warm— to everything behind them.



Her, her—




He couldn't help but be angry—


Furious—



“I came to apologize y/n



Why hadn't he come sooner, why, why— he couldn't help but be furious.

 

 

She remained still despite him wishing she would move, her eyes stayed on the floor despite him wishing they would look up and meet him halfway—


When she didn’t say anything he tried to continue—

 

“Y/n—”

 

But he didn’t get very far.





“I don’t want you to.”





Just like he had earlier, he laughed—


Trying to make the thoughts in his head getting louder and louder to stop, stop, stop—


Maybe it was him—


Him that had fallen desperately in love with her, him that had wanted more of her every second that had passed, him wondering how he could ever love anyone again when she was so perfect to him, him craving every single piece of her to be by his side, to be his. Him, him—


Him alone.


“How—”


Feeling that the air wasn't air, that the sun wasn't day, that the moon wasn't night, that time wasn't time that nothing was right that nothing was right that nothing was right—


Him alone.


 

“Can you say that so easily y/n?”



Barely sleeping, barely eating, barely living—


Waiting, waiting— him alone.


“How—”


It was her gentle touch made those thoughts finally stop.


As she moved past the doorway and placed a hand on his hip, pulled him towards her and let her forehead find the familiar space against his chest, the familiar beat of his heart—



“Pleasejust not right now.”



The way her voice broke made his chest tighten with sadness.

 

“Not now, not

 

She let her other hand find his waist before hugging him tightly.



Jin found her.



“Y/n


He held her protectively as her shaking body tried to pull him closer— and he held her tighter the more she trembled.


“Y/n.”


He let her name fall from his lips over and over—



He had missed even that.



Thoughts of talking, of apologizing, of doing anything but hold her all clouded the more she clung to him. And when she finally spoke—



“I missed you so much Jin, I



All thoughts left him completely.


He let out a short laugh—


Burying his face into her neck, breathing out a sigh of relief.



“Good.”



The warmth of his chest, his arms, his breath—


It made the lingering fears from earlier smaller and smaller—


As he whispered in her ear— softly, sweetly.



Nothings, everythings




It’s going to be okay.



Whatever it is—




I’m here now.



I’m here




He didn’t let her go until he was certain she believed him—


Until she smiled softly and nodded.


“I know—”


He kissed her temple making her laugh lightly—

 

Making him sigh.

 

“I missed that the most.”

 

He wiped her cheeks with his thumbs.

 

Looked into her eyes for a long time before his smile finally fell—

 

“Did I make you cry?”

 

She laughed.

 

“All the time—”

 

A sudden seriousness in his eyes made her smile fall—

 

 

"Why won't you talk to me?”


She frowned while his hands found her own— lacing their fingers as he leaned down and kissed her cheek.


Just like Yoongi had—



Yoongi.



She had wanted the same thing from Yoongi, to talk— she wanted the same thing from Jin, just—



Not now—



Talk to him, y/n.



She knew she should—


But that didn’t make it any easier.


“Y/n—”


His voice made her look up, meet his gaze that searched her own.



“I'm afraid too—”



She felt his fingers trace along her back again, move up slowly to her shoulders where they stayed.


Forcing her to look at him.


“But we can't just—”

 

She nodded, but he didn’t move away or let go— only gripped her shoulders tighter.


“Y/n —”


He wavered, his eyes falling to her lips and staying there—

 

“Say you love me.”

 

He moved closer, until she could feel his lips touching her own— touching but not pressing.

 

“Say—”

 

“Of course.”

 

He held her eyes, she spoke again—

 

“Of course I love you, of course I—”

 

He nodded—



"Y/n?"

 

 

 

 

“This can’t be our last—”







“Okay?”







She managed a small nod, closing her eyes when his lips pressed onto hers softly.



 

The feeling of it only making their fears worsen—




Because it felt like goodbye because it felt like it couldn’t be.




The way her lips moved against his so easily, the way she drew him in so addictively


It made him wish he hadn’t asked all those times and just kissed her anyway.


Kissed her the way he was now.


Addictive, addictive— addictive to them both.


She pulled away when she couldn't breathe anymore, only when she couldn't breathe anymore—



You're thinking of him.




“I think—”

 

He smiled when she lost her words just like she had earlier.



This can’t be our last—



She motioned for him to go inside and he nodded— closing the door behind them, she watched as he walked into the room.

 

He looked everywhere before stopping on the flowers Namjoon had left behind.


The ones she couldn't bring herself to throw away.



“Pretty.”

 

She followed his gaze before nodding.

 

“They’re—”

 

“Your favorite.”

 

She nodded again.

 

“You know—”

 

The calmness in his voice made her wonder why she had been scared in the first place.


Jin was—


“I should have told you sooner.”

 

He continued, looking away from the flowers, towards her confused gaze.

 

“How selfish and stubborn I am— how much it bothered me that—”

 

He frowned, shook his head.

 

“I was just, so afraid y/n — afraid you would leave. Me, us—”

 

He laughed.

 

“It scared me the most then and it scares me the most now— the idea of not having you, of losing you—”

 

He sighed.

 

“The idea that you weren’t mine to begin with.”

 

She tried to speak but he rose a hand to stop her.

 

“I was hiding from you and I’m sorry y/n. I want to show you me, all of me, so we can move past this—”

 

He chuckled lightly and let his gaze that had held hers the entire time finally fall.



Towards the floor then the flowers—



“So I can keep my three year promise.”


His words made her heart warm, and she watched as he walked over to the flowers and picked them up.


“I won’t hide anymore, y/n—”


He met her gaze.





“But you can’t either.”





She nodded, tried to say something but he cut her off again—




“Did Yoongi give these to you?”




She looked at the flowers in his hand before shaking her head.

 

“Namjoon dropped them when—”

 

Her eyes met his that were waiting.



Waiting—



“Tell me.”


His tone wasn’t scolding, it wasn’t curious either—


He—



“It was Yoongi, wasn’t it?”



He knew.


She hesitated, feeling an aching rise in her throat.


A panic in her chest.



He knew.



“Namjoon dropped them when—”



Jin shook his head set the flowers down and walked towards her, voice rising.


“Not that, I don’t care about that—”


His hands found her face— one resting on her cheek, the other under her chin.


The calmness never left his tone but the look in his eyes shifted.


“Look at me—”


She did.


“Tell me the truth.”


She looked away, trying to find her words—

 

 

Trying to make sense of it all, trying to—

 

 

He spoke again when she couldn't meet his eyes, the calmness in his voice suddenly gone—


“That guy you told me about in December— the guy you met in the club I sent you to—”

 

 

Gone.

 

 

 

“It’s Yoongi, isn’t it?”

 

 

 

He took a deep breath when she didn't respond— his voice giving him away.


“The guy you promised to stay away from— the guy you fell in love with, the guy who hurt you—”


His hands started shaking so he let go, stepped away so he wouldn’t fall apart—



“It is.”



He let out a shaky laugh moving farther and farther away from her, nodding, nodding—



He knew.



But—



“Do you love him?”


At her silence he turned around, speaking a little louder—


“Do you—”

 

 

“I do.”


He had her in his arms before she could say anything else— gripping onto her tightly as if it could change things.


Pretending it made her his



“Us—”



His shaking hands found her face and held it just like they had before— but there was desperation in his eyes now, in his touch—


With every passing moment—


Desperate, desperate—




“What about us?”




She moved slowly, letting her hands find his face and holding him just the same.




“I'm sorry, I—”




Her voice cracked when tried to say more— so she simply held him in place as he broke.



“You were supposed to tell him you had a boyfriend— a boyfriend named Kim Seokjin



Pressed his forehead against hers; broken, broken—


“Someone who had promised to marry you didn’t that mean anything to you y/n?”



He spoke as he cried—



“Doesn’t that mean anything to you?”



Cried until he couldn’t breathe.




And despite being so tired, so sick of crying— she couldn’t help but cry with him.


He didn’t try to hide how much pain he was in, how much it all was tearing him apart , and it made her cry just as much because she was in love with him— because she was ashamed.



Guilty—



“I’m selfish, and I’m stubborn— and I’m sorry y/n, I’m sorry—”


She shook her head; don’t be, don’t be—


It only made him cry more, hold onto her tighter.


“But this? Have you been with him this whole time?”



With him—



She shook her head and it only made him laugh and cry harder.



“So I pushed you to him? I did this?”



No, no



But he wasn’t hearing her, all he could do was cry in her arms— and all she could do was hold him, cry just as much.


Despite barely being able to hold herself up she refused to let go— despite her words not reaching him she kept speaking softly.


Saying things to soothe him, herself



I love you, Jin—



I'm sorry.



She ran her fingers through his hair and he finally met her eyes when her words reached him.


“When did I become the villain? Keeping you from him, him of all people?”


She pulled his face closer, shaking as she told him he wasn’t, he wasn’t—

 

 

“When we were together, was he on your mind? When we touched, every hug, every kiss—”

 

 

He shook his head.

 

 

“Fake— it was all fake to you, wasn't it? Don't touch me— don't pretend like you care about me, don't—”

 

“Stop it!”

 

 

It wasn’t until she yelled that he finally heard her, listened—


But her will to yell left as soon as it came.


And her arms that had refused to let him go finally did—

 

She tried to walk towards the door but he grabbed her roughly before she could.

 

She shook her head.

 

“You’re not—”

 

“Listening? You want me to listen? How can I y/n you're not saying anything—”

 

She tried leave again but he pulled her into his arms before she could— she couldn't tell which one of them was shaking more.


“I hate this.”


He spoke into her ear just like he had earlier, but there wasn’t any sweetness, any softness—

 

“I hate this y/n, I hate this — them? Them, I knew they loved you, but at least, at least I knew you didn’t love them the same way.”

 

He made her met his gaze.

 

“But him? You were his before you were mine, you—”

 

His forehead fell against hers, just like earlier but defeated.

 

The anger left his tone, and that was left—

 

 

“He knew your lips before I did, your touch— the curve of your back, the way it feels to run a hand through your hair, the way it feels to be hopelessly in love with you—”

 

 

He was finally able to laugh, all anger replaced with sadness.

 

“You’re my everything y/n, but you were his everything first and I fucking hate it.”

 

He ran a hand through her hair— stopped on the side of her face.

 

“If you just didn’t love him back—”

 

He held her gaze.

 

“Tell me you don't, y/n. Just tell me you can't— we could forget all of this and you could be mine, truly mine . I would keep all of my promises to you, you could could keep yours to me— we'll never hide, we'll—”

 

“I can’t say that Jin, I

 

He nodded, letting his hand fall, his grip on her go—

 

 

“Should I just forget you then, y/n? Should I convince myself I hate you just like you convinced yourself you loved me? Is this—”

 

 

At his accusation she finally found her words.

 

 

“I can’t say it because it’s not true— it’s not true Jin. But neither is the idea that I never loved you and that I don't love you now. Yoongi loved me first, I loved him first. It’s true that means something to me but that doesn’t make what we had, what we have, mean any less to me. I love you for completely different reasons Jin, you’re not Yoongi but I’ve never wanted you to be.”

 

She laughed bitterly.

 

“It’d be a lie— a lie if I said I never thought of him when we were together. But it was never because I wanted him more. I just couldn’t forget, I couldn't forget— just like this past month no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t forget you. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I convinced myself I had, no matter how much I wanted to, I hadn’t— I couldn’t.”

 

She shook her head, pushed him away when he tried to pull her close.

 

“You’re right, Jin— you’re right.”


Guilty.


“You’re right about him and I but you’re wrong about you and me.


He held her gaze, trying to move closer—

 

“Y/n—”

 

“I’m foolish for alot of reasons Jin— but you’re just as foolish if you try to convince yourself you’re right this time— fake? Are you joking? If this was all fake to me it would be easy— to tell all of you to leave, to tell one of you to stay

 

 

She frowned.

 

“Just

 

He pressed his lips to hers if only to shut her up.



He had had enough—




He was done.



Done fighting, done thinking—


She was too.


His forehead stayed on hers when he finally let his lips leave hers—

 

His eyes filled with confusion and hurt held hers that looked at him with exhaustion.

 

“Just—”

 

“I’m sorry y/n—" 

 

 

He shook his head.

 

"When you couldn't respond to me, when you couldn't look into my eyes, when—”

 

He frowned.

 

“I thought—”

 

She shook her head.

 

“No, I'm—”


He kissed her again before an apology could leave those lips he hated, hates—



Loved, loves—



When he finally spoke again his voice was softer than it had been all night.

 

“I didn't realize I was hurting you too, I didn't think about—”

 

“I did—”

 

She frowned.

 

“I knew I was hurting you, Jin. That it would hurt you when you found out about Yoongi, that it would hurt Namjoon. That you wouldn't want me to love anyone else but I did anyway, I—”

 

“You couldn't help it y/n. You—"

 

She laughed at his reassurance.


It was


“That's shitty, that's so—”

 

He nodded, laughed.

 

“It is. It is and I wish you didn't— didn’t love him, didn’t love any of them as much as you do. But, I didn't fall in love with a version of you that isn’t good— a version of you that isn’t just so damn easy to love—

 

He frowned.

 

“I just wanted you to love me the most, but that was—”

 

 

Selfish.

 

 

She didn't let him finish, though.

 

 

“I saw a video Jungkook filmed— of all of you at the beach.

 

 

He laughed at her words.

 

 

“You're so—”

 

 

“You all looked happier that way— back then. I must have only known Namjoon then— I wasn't there but he was happy I know he was. And—”

 

 

“Brat—”

 

 

“I don’t regret meeting any of you Jin— how can I? You’re all so—”

 

 

She laughed.

 

 

“I love all of you so much and I can't imagine a world without any of you but I wish none of you had met me. Because, because— because I ruined your family didn’t I? I ruined your happiness didn’t I? I—”

 

“Look at me—”

 

“I can’t—”

 

He sat her down on the bed and fell on his knees, holding her hands—

 

“Y/n, look at me.”

 

She drew in a deep breath and held it, the seriousness in his tone making her nod.


“Don’t ever say those things, do you understand me? None of us— would ever want—”

 

He shook his head.

 

“Even with all my jealousy, even though I wish you were mine I don’t— I don’t wish you’d never met them. God y/n— I hate Yoongi right now more than anyone but you must have been good for him because I can stand him alot more than I could in high school—”

 

She laughed genuinely and he smiled, wishing she wouldn't cry—

 

“More than I care to admit— you were good for more than just me. It’s, it’s so obvious in all of them and because I love them too—”

 

He sighed.

 

“I don’t regret that you met them and I’m sure they all feel the same despite—”

 

He held her hands tighter when her eyes drifted towards her window—

 

 

 

The moonlight that was leaving quickly—

 

 

She met his gaze when he spoke her name.

 

He continued—

 

 

“Not despite— because we love you. And we had problems then and we have problems now, but it's also because we love each other— and no amount of jealousy could change that. You didn’t ruin anything—”

 

“Jin you don’t—”

 

“Mean it?”

 

He laughed.

 

“Brat— do you think it was easy to say any of this?”

 

She smiled sadly at his words and he hummed.


Wanting to see her real smile—

 

 

“All of that being said they can’t have you.”

 

 

Another genuine laugh made his heavy heart lighter.

 

He smiled, continued in a soft voice—

 

“I can work on my selfishness, y/n. I mean it. It won’t just go away but—”

 

She nodded.

 

“It doesn’t have to—”

 

He sighed.

 

“But my jealousy —”

 

“It doesn’t have to.”

 

He searched her eyes and she shook her head.

 

“Just, work on it— it doesn't have to happen all at once, and you don’t have to get there alone. You have me and—”

 

“Them?”

 

She smiled and nodded.

 

Them—


“You do Jin.”


He hummed again.

 

“Y/n—”

 

He sighed, and the long silence made a sudden sleepiness rush through her veins, her heart slow, slow—

 

 

 

He laughed.

 

 

Looked at the time—


6:00


She smiled gently as he stood up, used a hand to push her down onto the bed slowly.

 

“Go to sleep princess.”

 

She looked up at him, watched as he opened up her only blanket.

 

“Princess?”

 

He nodded, spoke with feigned annoyance as he tried to aggressively tuck her in.

 

“Hurry up! Go to sleep—”

 

 

But when she tried to hit him lightly he finally saw her hand wrapped in blue and brought it eye level.

 

 

Both of them wondering how he hadn't noticed sooner—

 

 

“What is— what the hell is this? Are you— did Yoongi—”

 

 

She met his worried eyes and shook her head.

 

“I’m okay. And you know Yoongi wouldn’t—”

 

His frown deepened and she sighed.

 

“Stop trying to pick fights and go away.”

 

Her words made him smile.

 

“I lied earlier— about what I missed the most. Your laugh’s nice and all but what I missed the most was this, us—"

 

She scoffed.

 

“Whatever old man—”

 

His eyes filled with love as he brought her hand to his lips.

 

Left a kiss there and promised it would be better tomorrow—

 

 

“I’m only leaving because I have to.”


 

She nodded sleepily, smiling when he kissed her head.



It was just like him, it was just like him—



“I don't care that you were his first


His words made her open her eyes—


“I still want you.”


She tried to speak, but she was sleepy—


 

“Min Yoongi—”



 

Sleepy—




 

“Can’t have you.”






“Jin—”


He laughed lightly at the way his name fell from her lips.

 

She sounded drunk.

 

“He stole Hoseok from me, did you know that?”

 

She frowned.

 

“Don’t say it like that—”

 

He shook his head.

 

“I’m waiting for you in your dreams, y/n— sleep. Sleep so we can be together again sooner.”

 

She nodded, finally falling asleep with Jin’s hands running through her hair.

 

He kissed her forehead one last time before getting up— breathing a sigh of relief when he finally got to his car.


He sat there for a long time— thinking, feeling—

 

 

He laughed.


 

 

“I must be crazy—”

 

 

 

 

He felt happier than he had in months.


 

 

 

His phone rang and not even that ruined his good mood—

 

 

 

 

“Bastard—”

 

“Is she okay?”

 

“Okay? You could have told me why—”

 

“I will when you get home.”

 

Jin laughed.

 

“You know, when I saw her I forgot you had told me to go see her— all I could think about was—”

 

“Yourself?”

 

A small laugh on the other end made of the line made Jin scowl.

 

“Fuck you—”

 

“Is she—”

 

“She’s fine, Yoongi.”

 

A sigh.

 

“Good.”

 

“Are you home?”

 

A pause.

 

“No—”

 

“Is anyone?”

 

“How should I know?”

 

Jin couldn’t help but frown.

 

“Yah— did you forget what day it is? We all—”

 

“I know what day it is Jin. I care about him more than you do—”

 

 

Jin scoffed, incredulous.

 

Trying to remind himself that he was happy, happy—


“Hoseok—”

 

“We’ll be there.”

 

“We?”

 

“I’m with Joon.”

 

“Don’t forget—”

 

“I won’t.”

 

Jin laughed starting his car.

 

“I forgot how much you piss me off—”

 

“Right.”

 

“I’m hanging up—”

 

“Don’t forget—”

 

“I won’t .

 

Jin went to hang up, but—




“Is she—”






 

“Is she really okay?”







He wanted to say that it wasn’t any of his business, that she wasn’t any of his—






“She is.”





 

 

 

“Thank you, hyung.”







End call.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m tired—”



 

Hoseok laughed.



 

“You’re always tired.”



A sigh.



“Well, more than usual—”



A frown.



“Did you get any sleep last night?”



A laugh.



“Not really—”



Hoseok nodded, a pause—





“I didn't either— I have alot of nightmares lately.”





Hoseok’s words made Yoongi frown, turn towards him only to find the same peacefulness he always wore, the same light smile that hadn’t convinced him in years.



“Do you— want to talk about it?”



Hoseok laughed—



 

“Not really.”



 

Yoongi shook his head.



“You should— talk about it I mean.”




A shrug—




 

Silence.




 

“Do you ever— get weird dreams hyung?”



Yoongi raised his eyebrows and Hoseok couldn’t help but chuckle.



“I meant—”



“Well I don’t really dream, Hobi. And when I do—”



He stopped, making Hoseok drop his gaze from the moon—



 

“What do you dream of, hyung?”



 

Towards him.



 

“I don’t know—”



“You can tell me anything hyung, I—”





 

“I don’t remember.”





 

The sudden frustration in Yoongi’s voice made Hoseok pause, nod and let it go.





Silence lingered between them before he began to hum lightly, looking at the stars, thinking of—





Yoongi laughed.





“I wish we could have performed that song live.”




Hoseok nodded—




Smiling before he began to sing lightly to the sky.






“All of my wonder, you’re the answer—”






“I call you her, her— cause you’re my tear, tear.”






They laughed in unison— watching as their voices became clouds before they became nothing, nothing—






Gone, lost—






“Don’t you feel like somethings— missing right now?”






 

Lost—







“I think you think too much, Hoseok.”









Lost.









He looked at Yoongi who hardly called him by his name— noticed he looked tired, tired—




 

Just like he always did—





Tired, tired.





But Hoseok knew better—






Thinking, thinking—

 

 

 

 

Always thinking.






Hoseok laughed.




“I think too much, hyung?”






“Hey guys—”






They looked over and saw Namjoon.






Waiting, waiting—







Yoongi wondered if the rooftop door had always been so silent.







“We’re leaving soon—”




Hoseok smiled and Yoongi sighed—




“We’ll be there Joon—”




“I’m tired.”




Namjoon smiled encouragingly.



“We all are, hyung— but we can do it. Just like always—”




Yoongi paused before looking away, nodding.






That wasn’t what he meant.








The door closed.







“They must have fixed it.”



Hoseok laughed.



“It used to squeak, right?”



“I think so—”




A pause.




“Hey hyung?”



Yoongi kept his gaze on the moon, nodding for him to continue—







“Do you believe in soulmates?”








He laughed—









“I used to.”










Hoseok nodded— knowing, knowing.




“Yoongi—”



“We should go.



“But—”



“Don’t you want to see them?”




Hoseok laughed—

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

“Army?”




Yoongi smiled.



“We should hurry—”



“Should we?”



 

Hoseok couldn’t help but laugh at Yoongi who hadn’t moved at all— gaze still up, up— amusement in his eyes.



 

 

“We should.”

 

 

 


Hoseok laughed again, followed his gaze—




Chose his words carefully.




“They look like Army, don’t they? The stars—”



Yoongi smiled brighter, hummed in agreement.




“They—”




“Don’t you ever look for the moon, though? In the seas of stars, of people— don’t you ever look for—”













 

 

“Her?”










 

 

 

A laugh—








 

 

 

 

“Whoever she is?”







 

 

 

 

A shrug.



















“I used to.”























“Yeah—”












 

 

 

Hoseok nodded.






















 

 

 

 

 

“We all used to.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

7:20


 

 

“You forgot, didn’t you?”

 

 

 

 

Taehyung frowned at his words, put his seatbelt on with a sigh.

 

“No—  I just kept pressing snooze."

 

Jin laughed.

 

“I can tell.”

 

A scoff.

 

“Well— I thought you would wake me up before coming down, hyung."

 

Jin shrugged, smiled at Taehyung's pout and messy hair before starting the car.

 

“I was out all night—”

 

A hum.

 

“I can tell—”

 

“Watch it.”

 

Taehyung smiled playfully, hummed again—

 

“So were Yoongi-hyung and Joonie— out all night— at least I think so.”

 

Jin frowned.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

He hummed again, again— let his head fall to the side as Jin pulled into traffic, let his mind wander.

 

Silent, silent—

 

“Yah, Kim Taehyung— I didn’t bring you with me so you could sleep the whole way there.”

 

He let out a small laugh, spoke tiredly—

 

“When I went to sleep last night Joonie was leaving and Yoongi-hyung hadn’t come home yet, and when I left this morning their shoes weren’t at the door—”

 

It was Jin’s turn to hum.

 

“Do you think it’s just work?”

 

A nod.

 

“That and getting things ready for today— but, whatever it is, if they have each other I’m sure they’re fine.”

 

 

Taehyung’s words were a sleepy whisper— 

 

 

 

Words that were true and that weren’t.

 

 

 

Jin thought about them for a long time before before nodding—

 

 

“You’re right—”

 

 

Silent, si—

 

 

“You’re really the worst Taehyungie—”

 

A smile.

 

“Taehyungie?”

 

A scoff.

 

“I thought you were sleeping—”

 

He turned to face Jin who kept his eyes on the road.

 

“I missed you, hyung. I  wouldn't sleep now that we're finally together—”

 

The childlike way he spoke made Jin scoff again.

 

“Whatever—”

 

A frown.

 

“Say you missed me too Jin-hyung—"

 

"Hardly."

 

Taehyung smiled brightly.

 

"I know you did—"

 

“Anyways— did you eat last night? I left fried rice, and—”

 

He couldn't help but laugh at Jin's words.

 

“No, Jungkookie ate it all.”

 

A pause.

 

“But what about the rest of you?”

 

“We ordered take out—”

 

“On him?”

 

“Yup!”

 

They laughed—

 

“But can we get breakfast hyung? It’s a long drive—”

 

His whining voice made Jin smile.

 

“You’re such a kid—”

 

Taehyung laughed.

 

“Y/n always says the same thing—”

 

They paused, sighed—

 

 

 

 

“I was avoiding you too, you know.”

 

 

 

 

Taehyung's voice was softer than it had been before— they made Jin smile sadly, nod.

 

 

 

He knew.

 

 

 

He came to a stop, and it took him a moment to realize Taehyung was holding his gaze— gentle eyes to match his gentle words. 

 

 

 

And then it occurred to him that Taehyung was only a child when he wanted to be—

 

 

 

“I thought if I saw you I would really hit you— but I should have just told you how I felt instead. I’m sorry I didn’t, hyung— I’m sorry I wanted to hit you at all—”

 

 

Jin smiled more genuinely, focused his eyes back to the road.

 

 

“Well, what changed? Unless you’re going to hit me now—”

 

 

Taehyung laughed lightly, spoke honestly.

 

 

“At first it was because I knew she wouldn’t want me to. She would have been angry if I hit you— she would have cried more. But I slowly remembered why I wouldn’t want to either— you kept cooking for us and it made me realize you were sorry, that I was sorry. That I missed our family, that I just wanted to be together again.”

 

Jin nodded—

 

“I do too.”

 

Laughed.

 

“But if I talk to her that way again you should— hit me until I apologize.”

 

Taehyung laughed with him.

 

“If you say so hyung—”

 

“Yah— I wanted to hit you too, you know.”

 

A smile.

 

“But I’m too cute— aren’t I hyung?”

 

Jin scoffed.

 

“No. I knew it was childish— to be mad you were spending so much time with my girlfriend—”

 

At this Taehyung frowned.

 

“Hey—”

 

“Oh, shut up— you call her jagi and that makes me sick.”

 

He pouted.

 

“That’s different hyung—”

 

“You also never stopped going to see her in the middle of the night, staying over—”

 

“That was your fault! You made her sad— I was just being a good friend by keeping her company—”

 

“Well, she’s a girl—”

 

“You’re sexist! When we didn’t all live together you would come to our dorm and visit Hoseok every other night— whenever you were sad. You always just stayed and we were happy to have you despite you taking up so much room—”

 

 

Jin laughed again, reached over to mess with his hair—

 

 

“I almost forgot how annoying you are—”

 

 

Taehyung forced a frown, tried to feign seriousness before laughing with him—

 

 

"I am not!"

 

"And I'm not sexist—"

 

 

Taehyung smiled brightly, let Jin continue to defend himself loudly while he turned the music up—

 

 

Rolled his window down to watch the streets fill with more and more people.

 

 

Eventually Jin smiled—

 

 

 

It was a song Namjoon had written— a song Yoongi had produced.

 

 

 

It brought them peace— and it wasn't until they they had driven out of the city, watched it become small, that Taehyung finally spoke again.

 

 

“Today will be a good day.”

 

 

Jin hummed.

 

 

“It already is.”

 

 

Taehyung looked his way, mimicked the small smile on his lips.

 

 

“You were with her all night— weren’t you?”

 

 

Jin shrugged.

 

 

“Sort of—”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“That’s good.”

 

 

Taehyung’s words made Jin laugh—

 

 

He knew he meant them.

 

 

It was in his voice, his unwavering eyes that focused out the window at the passing trees—

 

 

“I’m glad.”

 

 

He knew he meant them.

 

 

Jin smiled, sighed dramatically.

 

 

“I was with her, but I meant because I’m here— here with you.”

 

 

Taehyung looked his way, watched as he started driving faster, faster— as the world started going slower, slower.

 

 

 

“Me too, hyung.”

 

 

 

 

10:45

 

 

 

 

“We're on our way back—”

 

 

 

Jungkook stretched as he got out of bed, yawned loudly as he spoke—

 

“Already?”

 

"Yup!"

 

Jungkook hummed, put Taehyung on speaker despite Jimin still being asleep— 

 

"How'd it go?"

 

"Fine—"

 

Jin's sarcastic voice made Jungkook laugh, Taehyung frown.

 

"It was more than fine— hyung and I had fun!"

 

"Isn't Jin-hyung too old to have fun?"

 

Jimin laughed loudly, kicked off the blankets Jungkook had carefully placed over him just a minute before—

 

"I think so—"

 

 

They listened to Jin complain for a few minutes before Jimin finally spoke up, his whining voice making his younger brother laugh and Jin scoff—

 

 

“I want to do more to help—”

 

A sigh.

 

“Just make sure he's there on time— other than that focus on your performance.”

 

Jungkook smiled softly at the way Jin's words made Jimin pout, watched as he rubbed his eyes lazily and nodded.

 

“I will—”

 

“Good. Jungkook—”

 

“I'm going, I'm going—”

 

“Well call us when you get there— Yoongi and Joon aren't taking my calls.”

 

 

They both frowned at Jin’s words, but Taehyung spoke happily if only to reassure them—

 

 

“They're probably just busy setting everything up! Joonie mentioned a delay in one of the shipments—”

 

Jungkook sighed.

 

“Well, I'll call as soon as I get there—”

 

“Okay. Don't forget—”

 

 

A knock on the door made Jimin jump and Jungkook hang up quickly— Hoseok peeked his head in the room, smiling brightly towards them both.

 

 

“Jimin-ah are we still getting breakfast before dress rehearsal?”

 

He nodded, hurrying out of bed—

 

“Just give me a minute!”

 

Hoseok laughed as Jimin pushed past him, ran down the hall towards their room in his oversized pajamas—

 

He turned back to Jungkook who was looking through Namjoon's closet.

 

“Do you want to join us Kookie?”

 

Jungkook looked at him blankly before his eyes grew wide—

 

“No, no I can’t— I have plans with y/n.”

 

Hoseok smiled at the way he stuttered.

 

“Are you coming to the recital together?”

 

He shook his head quickly.

 

“I think Joon is picking her up for the recital— we’re just meeting up for breakfast!”

 

Before Hoseok could respond Jimin spoke from down the hall— swinging his bag over his shoulder, putting a shirt over his head.

 

“I’m ready, hyung!”

 

Hoseok couldn’t help but laugh at how messy he looked laugh even more as he grabbed his hand and pulled him towards the front door, rushed him out.

 

 

 

But not before he could shout one last thing—

 

 

 

 

 

“Don’t be late, Jungkookie!”

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook couldn't help but smile, shout back happily.

 

 

 

 

"I won't be!"

 

 

 

 

The front door closed, he got dressed quickly—

 

 

 

Called Namjoon—

 

 

 

Called Namjoon.



 

Called Namjoon.



 

Called Yoongi—

 

 

 

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Is everything alright hyung? Joon isn’t—”

 

“Everything’s fine— are you on your way?”

 

Jungkook sighed.

 

“Yeah— I just got in a taxi. I’ll be there in—”

 

“Do you remember how to come up?

 

Jungkook paused in thought—

 

“I think so?”

 

Yoongi chuckled.

 

“Just call if you have trouble. Did you bring your camera?”

 

“Yeah, I got it— did everything come in?”

 

“Yeah. Everything’s here—”

 

 

A pause.

 

 

“Oh, Jin wanted me to—”

 

Yoongi sighed.

 

“Yeah I just talked to him. They should be back before two, but traffic is getting worse—”

 

“Well, they just have to make it back before three, right hyung?”

 

He hummed.

 

“Three was the plan.”

 

Jungkook heard a murmur in the background, smiled brightly.

 

“Hyung!”

 

A different hum

 

“Yeah?”

 

“You’re alright! I was worried—”

 

Namjoon laughed lightly—

 

“Are you almost here?”

 

“Yeah!”

 

“Alright— see you soon.”

 

 

End call.

 

 

Namjoon sighed, looked over at Yoongi who was on the floor again, still trying to figure out some of the equipment they had bought for him—

 

 

“If Hoseok doesn’t like any of this I’m going to kill him.”

 

 

Namjoon shrugged at his words—

 

 

“I’m sure he will Yoongi.”

 

 

 

They both frowned, looked at the various pieces of music equipment they had chosen weeks, months before— 

 

 

 

Some already assembled, some they hadn’t figured out for hours, hours—

 

 

 

Hours trying to set it all up when Namjoon was finally able to force himself to stop crying, stop yelling—

 

 

 

They hadn’t talked much since.

 

 

 

 

 

Because no matter how much Yoongi tried, begged, cried with him—

 

 

 

Namjoon simply didn't have anything to say.

 

 

 

But—

 

 

 

Even if just for one day—

 

 

 

 

They could look past it all.

 

 

 

 

 

It was all for Hoseok, for Hoseok—

 

 

 

For them.

 

 

 

 

Just one day.

 

 

 

 

“If you don’t call me hyung they’ll know something’s wrong, Joon.”

 

 

Namjoon kept his eyes on the small figurines they had arranged a few days before, the work space they had spent weeks making perfect—

 

 

After work, whenever they could, him and Yoongi, him and Yoongi—

 

 

“We wouldn’t want that, would we hyung?”

 

 

 

Yoongi frowned—

 

“Joon—”

 

But a knock on the door made them both stop look away from each other, away from themselves.

 

Jungkook opened the door with a bright smile, holding up three plastic bags—

 

“I brought all the party stuff too!”

 

Namjoon laughed.

 

“I would hope so—”

 

 

He walked in, laughing much more genuinely than his brother, stepping carefully over Yoongi and everything else on the floor—

 

 

“Should we put up the ‘Happy Birthday’ banner first or the ‘Congratulations’ banner?”

 

Yoongi scoffed.

 

“I don’t think it matters—”

 

Jungkook shook his head.

 

“Of course it matters! But Yoongi-hyung, isn’t this studio bigger than yours?”

 

A nod.

 

“It was supposed to be his new studio— as a promotion.”

 

Namjoon’s words made Jungkook smile and Yoongi shrug.

 

“They were going to give mine to Hoseok after he got hired full time but I told them to just give him this one I like mine better anyways.”

 

Jungkook nodded, pulled out the banners he had made with Taehyung—

 

 

They had mixed blue and red to make purple letters, purple hearts. 

 

 

“Does he even know he’s been hired?”

 

Namjoon shook his head, spoke with a small smile.

 

“It’s part of the surprise.”

 

Jungkook nodded, began rummaging through his backpack trying to find the tape he had stolen from—

 

 

 

“Y/n?”

 

 

 

Jungkook pressed his phone against his ear, continuing his search for tape while his brother’s listened closely


 

“You want me to what?”



 

“I’m actually kind of busy today—”




“Yeah— Taehyung’s busy too. But if you want I can


 

 

“Are you sure y/n?”


 

 

 

“Okay—”


 

 

“Okay, I’ll see you later!”


 

 

End call.


 

He turned around, met Namjoon’s frown with a smile.

 

“Don’t worry hyung— everything’s fine! She just wanted someone to run errands with.”

 

Jungkook didn’t notice that the smile Namjoon gave back was forced— instead, he moved around the room happily, singing while he decorated.


 

And eventually, in spite of everything—


 

His happiness caught, his excitement became theirs.


Yoongi smiled the louder Jungkook sang, Namoon laughed—



 

A family of seven.



 

“You’re late, hyung

 

Jin frowned.

 

“Ungrateful brat, it’s not even three yet—”

 

Jungkook laughed.

 

“Yeah, yeah— are you guys almost here?”

 

“We’re parking—”

 

Taehyung spoke up.

 

“Come help us bring it all up!”

 

Jungkook smiled brightly, making his older brothers laugh.

 

“Is there alot?”

 

“Too much.”

 

“I’ll be right down!”

 

“Aish.”

 

 

 

End call.

 

 

 

Jin sighed, a sudden exhaustion coming over him.

 

“Tired, hyung?”

 

He nodded, making Taehyung smile softly, hit his arm gently.

 

“Once we make our delivery you, Yoongi-hyung and Joonie can go home to shower and get some rest— Jungkookie and I can stay here.”

 

Jin met Taehyung’s smile with his own.

 

“When’s Hoseok coming?”

 

“Two hours before the show starts! Dress rehearsal was this morning, so him and Jimin are just resting up until the show starts right now. It won’t be a very long party, but—”

 

“It’ll be perfect.”

 

Taehyung’s heart swelled with love.

 

“We'll all be together again— finally.”

 

Jin smiled, let Taehyung's words echo from his own lips.

 

 

They were bliss.

 

 

“Finally.”

 

 

Jungkook knocked on the car's window, making both Jin and Taehyung laugh at the familiar bunny smile that grew even brighter when he saw the trays of food in the back.

 

 

“We did it!”

 

Taehyung smiled back, spoke loudly.

 

“We should hurry— so you have more time to rest Jin-hyung!”

 

 

They all nodded in agreement, carried tins of food and a single cake to Hoseok’s new studio—

 

 

Namjoon, Jin and Yoongi left— Taehyung and Jungkook stayed.

 

 

Watched time pass, talked about their days, about their hyungs—

 

 

 

“Joonie and Yoongi-hyung were stressed— they probably thought I didn’t notice, but I did my best to cheer them up! We...”

 

“Jin-hyung and I lost track of time while we were over there, we both just kept talking— we both just couldn’t stop talking…”

 

 

 

Hoseok who was worth all the effort and more—

 

 

 

More, more, more.



 

 

17:00


 

 

There was something beautiful about everything there—

 

 

 

Something about all of them that made Hoseok smile before it made him cry.

 

 

 

For a moment he forgot where he was at all, why he had gone there— Yoongi had called, Jimin had led.

 

 

 

As they sang they smiled, laughed and clapped and told him to make a wish, make a wish—

 

 

 

There wasn’t much to wish for, there wasn’t much to say.

 

 

 

He closed his eyes with neither a wish on his lips, a prayer in his mind.

 

 

 

Just a thought—

 

 

 

 

“Thank you.”

 

 

 

 

He cried— laughed as they they hugged him.

 

 

Individually, all together—

 

 

As they cheered to celebrate his graduation— his birthday.

 

 

“We were all sorry, hyung— it didn’t take us long to realize— but we wanted to do something special, so we waited until now!”

 

“You’re mom says hi Hobi-hyung! And that we should all visit her soon— she hopes you like the food Jin helped her make, the cake cake we helped her decorate—”

 

 

Jin laughed, spoke with a smile.

 

 

“Do you remember when we got sick of it Hoseokie? The cake your mom would make on our birthdays each year— we were such ungrateful brats then. We haven’t had it in years—”

 

Hoseok nodded, smiled.

 

“I missed it. But, you, all of you—”

 

He frowned, shook his head.

 

“I missed us more."

 

Jungkook punched his arm lightly.

 

"Us too, hyung—"

 

He sighed.

 

"But you went all the way home today, hyung? Aren’t you tired?”

 

Jin scoffed.

 

“No— I left home, but I came back, didn’t I? We’re all here now, aren’t we?”

 

They couldn't help but smile—

 

Taehyung spoke cheerfully.

 

"Of course we are! Where else would we be but here? Home—"

 

 

Jimin raised his hand.

 

 

“Can I ruin the moment?”

 

They all laughed.

 

“Sure—”

 

“I think these past few months I realized that we all used to need each other more— but in a bad way. A selfish way. Not all the time— but it was there.”

 

He smiled sadly, sighed.

 

“At least for me it was— because of my insecurities, who I was, who I’m still growing out of— I needed all of you for reassurance, for comfort. And that wasn’t what was bad — comfort and reassurance are a part of friendship, of family, of love. What was bad was that I centered our relationship around what all of you gave me, what you could give me, and that isn’t love. My need for all of you was desperate, destructive —”

 

H