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Sometimes, when Namjoon is gently tucked into Yoongi’s embrace and their bodies are tangled up in moonlight and blankets, Yoongi reminisces on how they got here and where they’ll end up. 

 


 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

a specific, neuropsychiatric, anxiety disorder that causes a person to experience uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions)

 


 

Yoongi never thought their rag-tag group of seven would make it. Not, at least, to where they are now. 

 

Signed under a bankrupt company alongside six boys who knew nearly nothing about fame, about the true violence of the world, or about the fight they had yet to win, Yoongi thought Bangtan wouldn’t last. 

 

He wanted to leave, sometimes. (All the time.) A part of him thought it’d be better to dash those boys’ hopes early on, when it meant less. When they weren’t yet burdened by the cries of the world—whether they be of love or of hate. 

 

Climbing, then crashing, then burning, would be worse, Yoongi mulled, than splitting up before they even made it. 

 

But Yoongi stayed, and he got to know those six boys. 

 

He doesn’t regret it for a second. 

 


 

(“Hoping hurt,” Jungkook quietly admitted years after their debut, “It hurt to hope. But it meant the most to me then, because it was the most difficult part of our journey: the beginning. Holding on to our possible futures. Chasing them before we even really knew what we were chasing them for. Hoping then meant so much more than hoping does now.”)

 


 

There was a period of time after Agust D where Hoseok spent more time in Yoongi’s studio than his own. Where Jimin never strayed too far from his side when they were beyond the dorm. Where Taehyung made more efforts to coax laughter from his lungs. 

 

They cared for him, Yoongi knew, but there were parts of him that whispered it was out of pity. There were parts of him that remained jaded by Agust D, the absence of all persona and fallacy: the vitriolic side of himself he wrapped around his consciousness like a jacket - more bitter, angrier, less certain about the world and the people in it. 

 

(Himself included.)

 

“No, Yoongi-yah,” Seokjin told him, eyes kind and voice patient, “They don’t pity you. They’re trying to show you they’ll be there for you if you ever need them. In their own ways.” He picked up some jajangmyeon from his own bowl, and he dropped it into Yoongi’s, “We’ll all be here for you.”

 


 

Home. 

 

Yoongi didn’t know what it was until Bangtan. Not fully. 

 

Then: 

 

A hyung who cracked jokes to lighten their spirits and made himself louder so they could feel safer in the quiet. A leader who made decisions with them instead of for them and who chose them without hesitation or thought. A light who guided their bodies in dance and handed out reassurances like the sun does warmth. A solace who knew what love to use when and paired affection with gentle encouragement. An artist who painted their conversations with thoughtfulness and whose energy was infectious. A maknae whose empathy and support stretched bounds and whose tears embodied the magnitude of his love for them. 

 

Home. 

 

Yoongi found it in Bangtan. 

 


 

Namjoon was a man of many firsts. 

 

(Namjoon had been the first. For many things. 

 

The first to stay. The first to lead. The first to encourage. The first to sacrifice for Bangtan. 

 

Yoongi saw a question in Namjoon’s eyes when they first met, brown and almond-warm, silently asking, Are you going to leave too?  Pained, but prepared. 

 

Saw doubt creep into his gaze when Yoongi silently replied, I don’t know yet . )

 

So, naturally, the first one to notice it was Namjoon.

 

Yoongi’s meds helped with his OCD, but they didn’t solve everything. They didn’t stop every compulsion and every obsession. Not like he wished they would’ve.

 

Namjoon caught him one day, mumbling under his breath as he locked and unlocked the door to their dorm. Lock, unlock, lock, unlock, lock. Over and over again in bouts of five. Just to be sure. Yoongi had to be sure the door was locked, because if someone got in, their things would be stolen. The little that they had couldn’t afford to be taken away, because their dreams would be taken with it. It was on Yoongi’s shoulders to make sure that didn’t happen. 

 

So—

 

Lock, unlock, lock, unlock, lock. Always end locked. And then start over. Repeat. Just to be sure.

 

“Hyung, what - ” 

 

“One more time.” 

 

Three repetitions passed, and then Yoongi drew a deep breath in and stepped away from the door. 

 

Namjoon’s worried gaze met his, and all Yoongi could think to say was, “I had to be sure. That it was locked.” He couldn’t explain himself any further, couldn’t afford to admit to Namjoon what he could barely admit to himself. 

 

(What he almost didn’t admit to the company.) 

 

I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

 

Sometimes I can’t leave a room without retying my shoes at least three times.

 

Sometimes I can’t leave a room without walking back into it again, re-crossing the threshold as many times as my brain tells me is safe. 

 

Sometimes I can’t leave a room without flicking the lightswitch off multiple times, because if I don’t make sure it’s off then it might be left on, and if it’s left on, that’s more money to pay for electricity, and if we give all our money to the electricity company, then we’ll go broke and we’ll fail and we’ll fall. 

 

Sometimes thinking about it happening is so taxing that I don’t leave the room at all. 

 

There were reasons for his every compulsion, logical or not. Reasons that become obsessions that become compulsions that Yoongi couldn't control. He learned to live with it. 

 

That doesn’t mean it was any easier. 

 

Facing Namjoon’s slow realization that night felt like confrontation. It felt like failure. 

 

And Yoongi wasn’t ready for it. 

 


 

“Are you sure about this?”

 

“Yes.” 

 

“Nothing like this mixtape has ever been released before. Not here. Not in this idol industry.”

 

“That’s why I’m sure.” 

 

“Why are you so hell-bent on changing the world?” A question not meant to insult. A question asked out of simplistic curiosity. A question meant to dig deeper into Yoongi’s true intentions, the ones he’d struggled to open up about in the first place. Now, no longer. 

 

Honesty had never come so easy, “I’m not trying to change it. I’m trying to tell people they’re not alone in it. I’m trying to tell people that there are others out there who feel what they’re feeling. Who understand them.”

 

Yoongi being one of them.

 

An idol, yes. But a person, still. 

 


 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Doubt and Harm

— A dimension of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder revolving around Checking and Rechecking.  People with obsessions in this dimension tend to experience intrusive thoughts, images or urges related to the fear of unintentionally harming themselves or someone else due to carelessness or negligence.

 


 

A few months after the release of Agust D, Yoongi began feeling more sluggish, more ungrounded. It’d happened before, with a different type of medication, so he knew why he felt the way he did. He knew what was happening. 

 

(Sometimes medications stop working. Sometimes they start making you feel less human.) 

 

Tapering off a medication is always a difficult process. Symptoms return or increase. The brain becomes accustomed to once more going unaided by the chemicals it lacks: the chemicals needed to function like a (mostly) mentally stable person. A new medication has to be started without the guarantee that it will work, and only the hope that it might .

 

It’s frustrating. It makes you feel like reality is even more out of your control. 

 

It’s why Yoongi was up at three in the morning on a Wednesday, slipping on his shoes and pulling a coat over his shoulders. It’s why he startled when Namjoon’s voice broke the all-encompassing silence of the dorm. 

 

“Hyung, where are you going?”

 

“To the studio,” Yoongi sighed, a tired urgency to his words. He wanted to go back to bed, to curl up underneath his covers like he had only minutes ago. It’d been a long enough night at the studio already, but here he was, clothes thrown haphazardly on, did it save did it save did it save rattling around incessantly in his thoughts, and halfway out the door at fuck’o’clock in the morning. 

 

Namjoon squinted at him, shifting on his feet, “Didn’t you just get back a few hours ago?”

 

Frustration crept into Yoongi’s shoulders, tight and tense. He shoved his hands in his pockets, avoiding Namjoon’s gaze. He needed to get going. 

 

did it save, did it save

 

you have to check

 

“I - Yeah, I just have to go back. I’m worried something didn’t save.”

 

“You always save your files before you leave, hyung. Whether you like the track or not.”

 

“I know, but - “

 

It wasn’t an option, whether or not he was going back to the studio tonight. He had to. you have to check and did it save and what if you lose the track weren’t suggestions. They were demands. Impulses sent from his brain to his body, and pushing his limbs into motion. 

 

All his equipment was at the studio. Therefore - 

 

“I’ll come with you. To the studio.”

 

Yoongi met Namjoon’s gaze. It showed him the path of least resistance, so he sighed, said, “Let’s go then,” and watched as Namjoon grabbed his keys, slipped on his shoes, and stumbled out the door ahead of him. 

 

 

Yoongi didn’t touch the lights when they got there. He sat down in his chair, turned on his computer, and clicked into the audio file. Namjoon hovered by the door, waiting. 

 

Yoongi re-saved the file, grateful to see it was still there. Yoongi closed the tab. Yoongi turned off his computer. 

 

He looked down at his hands, still perched upon the keyboard and mouse. 

 

This… 

 

This was one of those moments. 

 

One of those early morning moments where nothing quite felt real enough, or maybe the opposite. Everything felt too real. The earth had bared its face to the stars, so humanity bared its soul to the night. 

 

Every second was a precipice. Every thought echoed in the quiet. The subconscious bled into the unconscious. The brain loosened its hold on the mental structures caging emotion and irrationality and things kept unsaid or undone. The world was silent, so Yoongi’s mind was not. 

 

This was one of those moments where something was inevitable, too touched by nightfall and too influenced by fatigue. 

 

This was one of those moments where Yoongi’s compulsion did nothing to help the obsession. 

 

(His medication was a life vest. It kept him bobbing, afloat, down the rapid of obsession without being submerged in it. Now, life vest lost and no shore in sight, Yoongi was pulled in by the current and swallowed by the rushing waters.)

 

again. check again.

 

Yoongi’s fingers twitched. 

 

Namjoon was waiting for him. 

 

what if it didn’t save? what if this track is what makes Bangtan known? 

 

check again. 

 

Yoongi turned his computer back on. 

 

The lights flicked on, “Hyung, what - “ 

 

“Sorry, I - “

 

I should’ve expected this. I should’ve come alone. 

 

He clicked the folder, entered into the file, saved it, and did it all again. Caught in a loop, in a current. Stuck until further notice. The river didn’t yet let him up for air. The compulsion was incomplete, the obsession unsatisfied. Check and recheck. 

 

He didn’t count how many times he did it, the movements more automatic than anything. At some point, Namjoon sat down. Yoongi heard him settle on the couch behind him with a heavy breath. Nothing else followed. 

 

In a way, Yoongi was grateful for Namjoon’s patience and for his silence. But it also meant Namjoon was watching. He was waiting, still. 

 

It meant Yoongi was being perceived. 

 

Over and over again, layers of music and vocals appeared on the screen like mountains. And over and over again, Yoongi had to grit his teeth and bear the repetition. The way his fingers curled up on the keyboard and pressed the same keys in a consistent, smooth pattern. The way his shoulders shifted in an identical manner every time he reopened the file or turned on his computer. 

 

check again. and again. and again. 

 

you have to be sure. 

 

There was no escaping it. 

 

So Yoongi didn’t. 

 

He waited until it was over: when the current released him. Noticed when the thoughts went quiet and his body went lax, fingers slipping from the keyboard. All it left in its wake was fear of what would come next. When would he next slip into the current or be engulfed in another rush of river waters? 

 

Yoongi put in his face in his hands, braced his elbows on his knees, and tried to steady his breaths. 

 

(Medication doesn’t take nearly as much time to wear off as it does to begin working. So even when Yoongi started a new one, he’d still have to deal with this: his naturally fucked-up brain and how it could affect everyone and everything around him.)

 

There was movement, a shuffle of fabric, and a hand setting on the back of his chair, gently turning it around. Namjoon’s presence moved around him like a moon in the orbit of earth, slow but apparent, a dim light in the dark. 

 

Yoongi didn’t look up. Not yet. He could feel the warmth of Namjoon’s hand coming to rest on his knee, soft in pressure but paramount in reassurance. No words were spoken. Only breath was breathed. Only a simple touch was given. Yoongi wasn’t sure he could handle much more than that. The fear on its own was overwhelming enough. 

 

Namjoon’s hand remained still on his knee, body crouched before him. Patience lined his every limb. It stilled his every movement. 

 

Yoongi, years ago, had done the same. Not days after their debut, he crouched in front of Namjoon with a hand on his knee and watched the tears spill over his cheeks. 

 

Namjoon: scared of the world, scarred by the hate, laden with leadership.

 

And Yoongi, with barely enough hope for himself, attempted to share it. 

 

“I’m here,” he said softly, “Hyung is here.” 

 

“I’m here,” said Namjoon, thumb rolling gently over the ridge of Yoongi’s knee, “I’m here, hyung.”

 

Shivers rushed through him, and tears pricked at his eyes. Namjoon was offering safety in a moment where Yoongi had once felt anything but. The way his senses reoriented themselves around Namjoon’s presence told him just how much he ached for it. The safety. The reassurance. Namjoon. His body seemed to curl toward him, stuck in his gravitational pull. Drawn to the light he offered. 

 

“Do you remember?” Yoongi asked, his broken voice breaching the silence, “The night we released Wings?”

 

“I do, hyung.” 

 

“This feels like that. But worse.” 

 

They cried that night. Just the two of them. The world was so big, and here they were, a still up and coming hip-hop turned idol group trying to make ends meet. Trying to succeed. Trying to break records. 

 

Trying to fly. 

 

“I’m scared of wanting too much. I’m scared of being so angry about it. I’m scared of all of it, of myself, of the world. Hyung - Hyung, we’re working so hard. What if it’s all for nothing? What do we do then?”

 

When did want become greed? When did anger become rage? When did the shadow of the psyche start blurring the lines between what one desired and what bled into those desires? 

 

Yoongi didn’t know.

 

He’d sacrificed his youth for this, the double sided coin of fame. He could only hope he hadn’t sacrificed it for the sake of constantly wanting more than was deserved or more in the face of already having enough. Failure came with success. Shadows came with light. Falling came with flying. 

 

“I’m scared of trying,” Yoongi whispered to Namjoon, tentatively taking his hand. When Namjoon didn’t pull away, he interlocked their fingers and tried to smile, “Which is funny,” he sniffled, fought tears, “Because we’ve already tried so much, so what’s a little more? What’s a little more hope when we’ve already hoped so much?”

 

“No matter when it comes, there’s always the fall.”

 

Yoongi laughed bitterly, felt the sobs bubble up in his throat, “We’re supposed to be happy about Wings. But it feels - it feels more like our last effort. Our last shot.” 

 

Leaning his head against Yoongi’s shoulder, Namjoon sighed, “I think that maybe… it is.” 

 

It all boiled down to hope and fear and future. And at the very core of the matter, the parts of themselves that fueled each one. 

 

Yoongi lifted his head and blearily opened his eyes, exhaustion coating his vision. He dropped one of his hands into Namjoon’s free one, palm facing up in offering, and held it tight. Each press of Namjoon’s fingers wrapping around his knuckles felt like pinpoints of warmth waterfalling through him. Soothing. Present. Grounding. 

 

Something (one) to rely on. 

 

Namjoon met his gaze with fond worry, his face upturned toward Yoongi and his hair still unkempt from bed, “You’re off your medication now right, hyung?” 

 

“Yeah… I - I just… I’m scared this will continue. How this progresses is out of my control. I can’t control my OCD or how it could affect us. How it could affect everything . I can’t pull myself out of the thoughts or stop the compulsions. I can’t , Joon. What if the next medication does the same thing as the old one did? What if nothing works?” 

 

All his doubts and fears - about success, about himself, about his OCD - were all coming together into tight knit, inseparable anxieties. Anxieties that downpoured on the river in his head and flooded its flow. Made the current stronger. 

 

“Hyung,” Namjoon stood, and he pulled Yoongi up with him, “Hyung, I - “

 

“Just tell me it’ll be okay. Just tell me I’ll be okay… Please, Namjoon-ah,” Yoongi let his head tip forward into Namjoon’s shoulder and his body give into gravity’s pull, “And maybe hug me, if that’s okay.”

 

So Namjoon did. 

 

He enfolded Yoongi gently in his arms, resting his cheek atop Yoongi’s hair. “You’ll be okay,” Namjoon whispered with conviction, and the words echoed deep into Yoongi’s bones, touch-warm. It felt like truth spilled from Namjoon’s lips, and although Yoongi couldn’t fully put his faith in it, he could hope for it. He could try. 

 

So Yoongi let himself bury his face in Namjoon’s shirt, breathe in his sleep-soft and tea tree scent, and imagine that, perhaps, he would be. 

 

It had to be enough for now. 

 

It had to be. 

 

 

(It was.)

 


 

The Last

“청춘과 맞바꾼 나의 성공이란

괴물은 더욱 큰 부를 원해

무기였던 욕심이 되려

날 집어 삼키고 망치며 때론 목줄을 거네.”

 


 

On the night Bangtan won their first Artist of the Year Daesang, Yoongi cried on stage and cried in the shower and cried when Namjoon lay beside him on that unbelievably cushiony hotel room bed.

Cried even more when Namjoon held his hand and whispered, “We did it, hyung.” 

 

“We did it, Joon.”

 

It took all Yoongi had not to bring Namjoon’s knuckles to his mouth, press his lips to the back of Namjoon’s hand, and stay like that for the rest of the night. 

 


 

It got easier to handle, Yoongi’s OCD. 

 

That, in turn, made everything else a little easier to handle too. 

 


 

“Shadow.” 

 

“You want me to do Shadow?”

 

“Yeah, if you’re up for it. I mean, we’ve talked about it before. Greed and anger and the aspects of ourselves we try to ignore. The things that compose our shadow.”

 

“Mhm.” 

 

“I just - I think you’re the most equipped for it, hyung. You’ve fought with it, you’ve tried to repress it. Your shadow is something that haunts you, but you’ve been learning how to accept it. It’s a part of you. It’s yours . And you’ve written about it before.”

 

“In Agust D.”

 

“Yeah, hyung. Do you think you can write about it again?”

 

(They were in a better place now. They were really flying, and although the height made the fall more terrifying, somehow Yoongi wasn’t scared to acknowledge it. He was still working through it all, the greed that came with fame and the duality of the limelight, but there was a confidence in him that couldn’t be shaken by what they’d gone through like it had before. 

 

A confidence that burned even brighter under Namjoon’s proud gaze.)

 

“Yeah, Joon-ah. I can write about it again.” The corners of Yoongi’s mouth pulled up, a thin smile overtaking his features, “We’re going all out with Map of the Soul aren’t we?”

 

Namjoon laughed, and Yoongi watched his body shake with it. He felt his stomach flutter at the pretty sight. Namjoon: carefree and dimple-smiling and proud .

 

“Since when do we not go all out?” Namjoon responded eventually, and the playful grin he sent Yoongi was more than enough to flush red to Yoongi’s cheeks and induce an endeared huff of a laugh. 

 

“True,” nodded Yoongi, the happiness surrounding them infectious, “True.”

 

(He only hoped he replied loud enough to mask the quick of his heartbeat, and distract from the way years of gradually-coalescing love leaked out from its inward existence, like a meteoroid finally pulled into orbit. Like a wave moving with the moon’s gravity. 

 

Like Yoongi, leaning into Namjoon’s side and letting the lull of light and laughter fill the entirety of their existence until they were tipsy on it. 

 


 

Yoongi hadn’t always known what he felt about Namjoon. 

 

He just knew that he hadn’t always felt like this. Namjoon’s soft gazes hadn’t always made his knees weak, and Namjoon’s hesitant touches hadn’t always made warmth wash through him like sunlight upon his skin. Namjoon’s compassion hadn’t always made him blush and Namjoon’s presence hadn’t always made Yoongi feel comforted simply because he was there. 

 

Namjoon hadn’t always made fondness - beyond that of a friend - take hold of Yoongi’s heart and steal away its rhythm in uneven pitter-patters and flutters of ache inside his chest. 

 

Somewhere between trainee days and now, love sprouted, and it flourished. It lay just beneath the surface and grew until it filled Yoongi’s body to the brim and couldn’t remain unknown to him any longer. 

 

And sometimes, when Yoongi caught the way Namjoon looked at him, he wondered if a similar fondness stole away the rhythm of Namjoon’s heart too. 

 


 

Late-night conversations seemed to be on brand for them, Yoongi thought. When the stars and the moon were high up in the sky and their spirits, in contrast, were low and bathed in the dark, it was then that Yoongi and Namjoon allowed themselves to let go of it all. Just a bit. Just enough to loosen their dependence on the ideal of being okay to acknowledge that they actually weren’t. 

 

So here Yoongi was, sitting silent on the couch beside Namjoon, and waiting for him to let go of it all. 

 

“Joonie - “

 

“I failed today.”

 

Tenacity bubbled up in Yoongi’s gut, and he snatched up one of Namjoon’s hands, holding it tight, “No, you didn’t.”

 

“Hyung,” laughed Namjoon, this self-deprecating sound that resounded through the dorm. It hurt to hear, and it made Yoongi flinch. Namjoon continued anyway, “Hyung, we almost collapsed on that stage.” 

 

“But that’s not your fault.”

 

“Isn’t it?”

 

“No - “

 

“Hyung, I saw it! I saw that we should’ve canceled. I knew we were too worn out. I should’ve fucking said something. I - “

 

“Kim Namjoon, look at me.”

 

Surprisingly, Namjoon did, and Yoongi took advantage of his attention, instilled his voice with resolve, and said, “We’re capable of saying no, too. It’s not on you to say no for us. Not everything is your responsibility.” More tears welled from Namjoon’s eyes, red with irritation, and fell down his face. Yoongi cupped Namjoon’s cheek with his free hand and softened his tone, “We’ve been busy as fuck, were running on nearly no sleep, and went too hard at DNA, which is already a taxing choreography. Right?”

 

“Right,” Namjoon whispered in admission, keeping his gaze level on Yoongi’s. 

 

“We could’ve rescheduled that DNA performance. We should’ve rescheduled that DNA performance, but it wasn’t on you to decide that. Namjoon-ah, you’re our leader, but you’re not responsible for everything that happens because of a decision made or unmade. We all had the capability to speak up and say no, and we didn’t. We pushed through because we’re stubborn and didn’t listen to our limits.” 

 

“But - “

 

Yoongi was firm, “No, Joon. This wasn’t your fault. Not any of it. Give yourself a break, huh?”

 

And there it was. The letting go in the lateness of night. 

 

Namjoon began crying in earnest, expelling these quiet, tired sobs, breath a bit quicker, shoulders slumped all the way down. Touches gentle, Yoongi pulled Namjoon into his arms, and let the boy melt into him, feeling all the tension and frustration drain from Namjoon’s body. He let Namjoon wrap an arm around his back and turn into him, face smushed into his collar and back twisted in a way that surely wasn’t comfortable. 

 

Yoongi only pressed his lips to Namjoon’s hair and held him as long as he needed. Held him until his tears dried and he couldn’t quite sit in that position any longer, having been draped over Yoongi like a blanket. Clinging to him like a koala. 

 

“The kids and Jin-hyung are all in bed. We should be too, Joonie-ah…”

 

“Don’t wan’ move,” was murmured in response, the words thick and muffled by Yoongi’s shirt, now tear-stained, “M’tired.”

 

Huffing, Yoongi loosened his embrace just the slightest. “Exactly why we should go to bed,” he said softly, hoping the words would be enough to persuade Namjoon to pack away his leftover frustrations for the night and give his body and mind the rest they so sorely needed. 

 

It took more time for them to disengage from one another than Yoongi thought it would. His reluctance to let Namjoon go, paired with Namjoon’s exhaustion-heavy frame weren’t a good equation for success. Eventually, though, Namjoon pulled away, and got up. 

 

And once more, Yoongi found himself grasping Namjoon’s hand, holding it as gently as he’d hold a blooming flower. “Would you like to stay with me tonight?” Yoongi asked, the words unpracticed and rough around the edges. It’d be a comfort to both of them, if Namjoon was willing. 

 

Still red-eyed and sniffly, Namjoon squeezed his hand, nodded in a bit of a frantic manner, and weakly whispered, “Yeah, hyung. Please.” 

 

 

“You’re amazing, you know?” Yoongi told him when they’d slipped beneath the covers of his bed, not yet warm from their body heat, “You do so much for us. You shoulder so many burdens that I’m sure we’re all not even aware of.” But it was more than that. Yoongi felt so much more about it than just that. 

 

It was late. Yoongi was exhausted, so that’s all he could convey. Maybe the way he met Namjoon’s eyes made up for it. He hoped Namjoon saw Yoongi’s pride and his gratitude. Saw his reverence and  affection. Saw all of it laid bare.

 

“It’s worth it. For you guys, it’s all worth it.” 

 

“Just remember to take care of yourself too,” Yoongi murmured, reaching up to brush Namjoon’s hair out of his face, fingertips just barely gracing his forehead.

Then, “Hyung.”

 

Namjoon was a man of many firsts. 

 

The way Namjoon was looking at him, all soft and endeared… It kindled something between them: this unspoken, gentle thing that hung in the air. Made the slow-rising warmth they were burrowed in almost suffocating, the weight that connected their gazes nearly unyielding. 

 

“Hyung, I love you."

 

Namjoon was a man of many firsts. 


So, naturally, it was with Namjoon that Yoongi first imagined having a future with beyond Bangtan.

 

One minute, Yoongi’s eyes were trained on the bags beneath Namjoon’s gaze, dark and hanging, and the next, they fluttered down to train on Namjoon’s lips. Parted with breath, with weariness and the exhales of breaths verging on slumber. 

 

“I love you too, Joon-ah.”

 

It was Namjoon who first said “I love you,” with greater depth. 

 

It was Namjoon who first asked, 

 

“Can I kiss you, hyung?”

 

and did so when Yoongi smiled, sighing,

 

“Yes.” 

 

Namjoon’s press of lips against his was chaste, but sweet. It was a kiss that lasted long enough for Yoongi to taste the green tea Namjoon had earlier and the dollop of honey that diluted its bitterness. It was a kiss that preceded more, but not ones meant to have tonight, leaving the multitudes for tomorrow and the tomorrow after that. 

 

It was a first. Of many to come. 

 

Namjoon kissed him, and Yoongi kissed back, and both rhythms of their hearts were stolen away by confessions. By love. 

 

Soon enough, the night stole away their consciousnesses too, and when they awoke in the morning, the world was still heavy upon them, their bodies were still battered from doing too much, and the entirety of their existences still dragged through the day. 

 

The only changed thing was that Yoongi could kiss Namjoon awake, whisper “I love you,” once more, and remind him to take care of himself - since he hadn’t responded to that particular request the night previous. 

 

(And also ensure that Namjoon would.)

 


 

Sometimes, when Namjoon is gently tucked into Yoongi’s embrace and their bodies are tangled up in moonlight and blankets, Yoongi reminisces on how they got here and where they’ll end up. 

 

“Where we’ll end up is something we shouldn’t think about,” Namjoon’s taken to telling him when they talk about it, “We couldn't predict it when Bangtan started, and you and I can’t predict it now. Where we’ll end up is simply where we’ll end up. Focusing on the present will guide us there, and that’s all we have: what’s here and now and what the past has provided us.” 

 

And what a perspective that is:

 

To rely on the present and the past - the dreams they had and the dreams they have, the struggles they experienced and the struggles they still work through - to light the way for what's to come. 

 


 

Life Goes On

늘 하던 시작과 끝 ‘안녕’이란 말로

오늘과 내일을 또 함께 이어보자고

멈춰있지만 어둠에 숨지 마

빛은 또 떠오르니깐