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i'd spend all nine lives with you

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It's a little later than usual when Seokjin gets home for work. He was held behind for a few minutes to talk to his boss about a possible promotion, which was good news, but it meant that he was late for his bus, which was bad news, because buses only come to that stop every half an hour.

It wasn't too cold outside, but it was cold enough that he spent most of his time waiting shrivelled up inside his coat, hands stuffed deep into his pockets and tapping his foot restlessly. The cold always feels worse when you're stationary.

The journey back was uneventful. There were none of the regulars that he usually sees on the way home because he took a later bus, and it was mildly interesting to see the new faces for about five seconds before he resigned to looking at his phone.

When he's home, he shrugs off his coat and shoes and goes straight to make some coffee. He knows that he shouldn't be having coffee at this time, not really, but he's exhausted and it's too late in the day to take a nap. He can't afford to ruin his sleeping schedule when it's only recently that he's been able to feel not awful when he wakes up in the morning.

As he settles down at the table and takes his first sip, he hears something fall to the ground from the bookshelf behind him.

"What's up?" He asks absentmindedly, lifting the mug back to his lips.

Something else falls down. It's probably just the books. They'll be fine, they've been thrown onto the floor enough times that they can't get any more damaged than they already are. The books that are on display are the cheap ones, the more expensive ones aren’t as easy to access. They've learned to adjust their interior decoration for things like this.

"Hm?"

Another book falls down.

"What's wrong?" He doesn't really expect a verbal response at this point.

Another one.

"Go take a nap."

Another one.

"Is it because I'm home late?" Seokjin asks, finally turning around to face his boyfriend who looks both guilty and not guilty at the same time, hand braced on another book like he's ready to push it off the shelf.

"No," Yoongi says, which means yes. He looks down at the small pile of books on the floor that he's created.

Seokjin looks at it too, sighing. "Ah, I'm sorry. My boss held me behind again and- I might be getting a promotion! That's good news. But it meant that I missed my bus." He squints at Yoongi. "And you want attention."

Yoongi climbs onto the chair opposite Seokjin, curling up slightly in the way that he does. "Can you make me a coffee?" He asks, instead of admitting that he wants attention.

Seokjin does. He thinks of reminding Yoongi that it’s too late to be drinking coffee, especially considering that they know what happens when he has too much energy in the middle of the night, but it would feel hypocritical to do that when he has a cup of his own.

From behind him, he hears Yoongi get up from the chair. He comes up to Seokjin and rests his chin on his shoulder so that he can see what he’s doing, a little trilling noise coming from his throat.

He says that all of his “cat noises” come out naturally and he can’t control it, but Seokjin has noticed that ever since he told him that he thinks it’s cute, Yoongi seems to do it a lot more often. It’s like how he told Jungkook that he thinks his thumping is cute and now he does it all the time for attention.

“How have you been?” Seokjin asks as he fills Yoongi’s mug and hands it to him. Yoongi grasps the mug with both hands, head dipping down to sniff the coffee.

Yoongi takes a sip and then winces. He probably burnt his tongue. “Fine. Took a nap in the bathtub.” When he has a day off, he usually sleeps for most of it, and then he wonders why he has so much energy at night. “How about you, hyung?”

Seokjin hums. “It was a long day. I’m feeling better now.”

-

Science has allowed for some really interesting, revolutionary things. Hybrids are an example of that.

It all started with a project to find if it's genetically possible for werewolves to exist. After decades of tests, it appeared that there was no way to create a human that could transform into a wolf, full moon or not. Scientists did, however, find a way to create something that was part human and part wolf.

The amount of wolf DNA in those original hybrids was far too high, and it caused them to lead pretty miserable lives. It was a constant battle of instincts, the elements of a human mind against the violence and territorial traits of wolves. That being said, a breakthrough was still a breakthrough. The werewolf project was scrapped, and the scientists moved onto refining these hybrids until they created beings that had traits of animals- particularly physical traits like tails and patches of fur- but were human enough in the mind that they could, in theory, live amongst other humans.

The project was of utmost secrecy until some of the richest people in the world found out and wanted hybrids of their own. Unfortunately, enough money can buy anything, no matter how immoral it is. Thousands and thousands of hybrids of different species were bred specifically for the wants of whoever they were to be sold to and treated like commodities, a sign of wealth and something to show off.

It was a controversial thing. Some people saw no problem with it because they weren't human, not really. They saw it more as a case of keeping pets. Others argued that if they were human enough to have emotions and communicate, then they were human enough to live their own lives and not be treated as objects.

Seokjin's grandmother was one of those people. She was a part of the riots, the uprisings from humans and escaped hybrids. It took years, awful years, she had told him, but eventually a law was passed prohibiting the buying and selling of hybrids, and hybrids were to have the same rights as those who are fully human.

It wasn't quite as simple as that, and it still isn't. Hybrids are still largely prejudiced against and are often paid less than humans for the same work, but their freedom grows over the years as the general population begins to see them as what they are- people. Just people.

People with large, fluffy ears and tails, maybe. People with claws and fangs, maybe. People with feathers or scales, maybe. People with faster speed or greater strength or enhanced senses, maybe. But they're people.

Some of them are Seokjin's people, and he loves them.

Yoongi is asleep, stretched out with his belly exposed. He looks like a croissant.

It took a while for him to be comfortable enough with Seokjin to be in a position like that, a position of vulnerability. It's difficult, not only for cat hybrids but hybrids in general, to completely put their guards down around humans. There are a lot of kidnappers out there, a lot of people who have sick fantasies about keeping hybrids as pets and keeping them enslaved.

Seokjin is nothing like those people, and Yoongi always knew that. But it still took time, and Seokjin understood. When they moved in together, there were a few times when Seokjin caught Yoongi looking out of the window, not even staring at the birds as he likes to do, almost as if he were wondering if one day he'd never be let outside again.

It breaks his heart that so many hybrids are treated like this, and that they need to have that fear in order to help them survive.

He knows that Yoongi doesn't like being babied or talking about feelings like that, so Seokjin tries to comfort him in other ways. He asks Yoongi if he wants to go out on his own to buy food, or suggests places that he might like that he can go on his own. He makes a conscious effort to make sure that it's clear that he views his partner's thoughts and opinions as the same priority as his own. He makes sure that Yoongi always has a copy of the house key on him. It’s little things like that.

They've lived together for just over a year now and by this point any fear that Yoongi had seems to have completely disappeared, but Seokjin still worries sometimes. He still worries that he's not doing enough, not being supportive enough.

Yoongi has told him multiple times that there's nothing he needs to do except be there. So Seokjin does that.

-

During the first few months of their relationship, Seokjin was constantly trying to make an effort to be accommodating of Yoongi's hybridisms. He would do a lot of online research, rereading the same pages on cat body language so that he could understand all the little signals as well as he could.

One day, his internet searches changed slightly.

Yoongi was over at his apartment, but he was napping, as he often did, so Seokjin was alone. Without thinking much, he got out his laptop and did some more research. He pretty much knew it all at this point- he made a point of blinking slowly and always let Yoongi scent him and made pathetic attempts at scenting him back- but he didn't want to just communicate friendliness anymore. He wanted to communicate something else.

'how to tell my cat that i love him'

The things that come up all seem to be the same things that he's already seen. It's a shame- he was hoping that there would be a cat-specific type of behaviour for this that he could try to imitate.

"I appreciate the effort that you're putting in," a voice came suddenly from behind him, causing him to jump five feet in the air and scramble to close his laptop, "but have you ever considered just telling me?"

Hands over his laptop as if closing it hard enough would wipe the memory of what was on it from Yoongi's mind, Seokjin turned around quickly, hand on his chest. "Fuck, where did you come from?!"

Yoongi blinked smugly at him, a lazy smile on his face. "I woke up a few minutes ago and came to see what you were doing. You looked like you were trying to be sneaky."

"Damn you and your silent footsteps," Seokjin muttered.

"Are you going to say it or are you going to try to groom me again?"

Seokjin may or may not have gone through a phase where he tried to groom Yoongi like a cat as an attempt to show his care and acceptance, but his tongue is too smooth for it to work properly so all that it really did was get hair stuck in his throat. ("Now you're the one with a hairball," Yoongi had said.)

“I’m not a fan of this peer pressure,” Seokjin said, feeling his ears reddening. He was half tempted to cover them with his hands.

"Shame," Yoongi said, like the heartless fucker he is.

As much as he liked to be accommodating, the main reason that Seokjin had hoped that there was a cat-specific way of communicating love so that he wouldn't have to say it outright. He's usually a pretty confident person, all things considered, but talking about his feelings like that felt like unfamiliar territory. Too scary.

Yoongi was looking at him expectantly, but there was a softness to his eyes, too. A softness that surely wouldn't be there if he didn't feel the same way. He isn't the kind of person to push someone to say that they loved him if he weren't going to say it back, Seokjin knew that.

He closed his eyes for a moment, feeling like he was being very dramatic about it but at the same time unable to not be dramatic about it. He inhaled. "I love you," he said.

"Gay."

Seokjin's mouth fell open in betrayal. "Say it back, you little shit!" He screeched, karate chopping Yoongi on the torso.

"Hm," Yoongi said, pretending to deliberate whether or not to say it. He climbed onto Seokjin's lap, rubbing his face on his neck. "I love you, too."

Seokjin couldn't help it. "Gay."

There was a moment of silence, and then they both laughed, because they're both annoying and gay and also in love, which was great. Yoongi was purring, which sounds weird when he's laughing at the same time.

When he finished scenting Seokjin's neck, Yoongi lifted his head and their faces were a few inches away from each other.

"Hello, pretty kitty," Seokjin said.

"I am a dangerous predator," Yoongi said. He tried to growl but it didn't work because he was already purring.

Seokjin smirked. "Yeah, I'm so scared of you right now." He moved his head forward and they kissed, lips twisted into smiles. He moved back for a second. "You really need to shave your whiskers again, they're scratching my face."

"I'm using them to sense you."

"I'm sure you can sense me on your own just fine."

Yoongi nips lightly at his jaw. "Whatever, you love me."

"Yeah," Seokjin says. "I really do."

-

"Yoongi-yah, have you seen my-" Seokjin stops in place, squinting at Yoongi, whose cheek is bulging suspiciously. "What's in your mouth?"

There are a few things that he does that can be explained by his cat genetics. It's the kind of things that he used to joke about getting the urge to do, but would never actually do because he knew it was weird. At some point, Seokjin told him that if he really wants to knock things over and put random shit in his mouth, then he can.

That doesn't stop Seokjin from telling him to spit out whatever is in his mouth, though. He knows that Yoongi can look after himself and he probably isn't going to choke- they both pretend that that one time never happened- but he can't help it. It's a rivalry between Yoongi's cat instincts and Seokjin's hyung instincts.

"Nothing," Yoongi says, voice muffled by the fact that there's clearly something in his mouth. As soon as Seokjin starts to approach him, he backs away into the kitchen.

"Give it."

Yoongi climbs backwards onto the countertop, wrapping his arms around his knees and sticking his tongue out. Seokjin sighs in exasperation. If it were any other person, then this would be annoying, but, unfortunately, he always finds this unfairly endearing every time. And they've done it a lot of times. It's like some kind of weird domestic roleplay that happens every few days.

"Spit it out," he says warningly.

Yoongi shrugs, like he doesn't even know what Seokjin is talking about. Brat.

Before Seokjin can threaten to give him the heimlich maneuver, the doorbell buzzes. "You lucky fuck," Seokjin grumbles as he goes to answer it.

From the corner of his eye, he can see Yoongi smirking as he spits a pen lid into the sink.

The door opens to reveal Taehyung, holding an empty food container with one hand and fluffing up the black and white pointed ears on top of his head with his other hand.

He’s not a hybrid or anything, he’s just a furry. Usually, furries have the common sense to tone down the weird shit when around actual hybrids, but Taehyung isn’t the kind of person to tone down his weird shit for anybody.

“Thanks for the meal, hyungs!” He says cheerfully, pushing the container into Seokjin’s hands. “The meat was great.” He always comments on the meat. Seokjin suspects that he does it to make himself sound like a real carnivore.

Yoongi peeks from behind Seokjin’s shoulder. “Take those damn ears off,” he says in place of a greeting.

“You take yours off,” Taehyung retorts childishly.

The tip of Yoongi's tail flicks irritably as he takes the container from Seokjin and walks away to put it in the kitchen. “I can’t, they’re attached to my body.”

Taehyung’s tail hangs limply between his legs because it isn’t real and he can’t move it. “Yeah? Well, mine are attached to my soul.” He barks loudly, as if that proves his point.

“Ah,” Seokjin says, watching their interaction with mild amusement. “The lifelong rivalry between cats and dogs, am I right?”

Yoongi has murder in his eyes. It's a soft kind of murder in his eyes, though, because he doesn't get genuinely mad about this kind of thing.

Taehyung has been a furry for a long time, but it's only recently that he's started actually walking around with fake wolf ears. The past few times that he has come over, Seokjin has glanced quickly over at Yoongi to check that he's okay with it. He always seems fine, disgruntled mostly because Taehyung's being weird and not because he's crossing a line. He'd react the same way if Taehyung brought over a pineapple wearing a top hat and said that it was his new best friend.

Taehyung and Yoongi met at university. According to Yoongi, Taehyung wasn't a furry back then but he was weird in different ways. He refuses to elaborate on what those different ways were, which Seokjin finds mildly alarming.

He was a furry by the time he met Seokjin, and for that reason they got off on a rocky start. He wasn't a big fan of the idea of humans pretending to be part animal in any way when hybrids are still treated like shit by a lot of people.

He had a bit of a saviour complex in regards to hybrids. It came with growing up in a family of hybrid rights activists. If he's being brutally honest with himself, he kind of still does, but he's definitely chilled out over the past few years. If he's unsure about something, nowadays he would quietly bring it up with Yoongi or one of the other hybrids he knows, rather than make a scene himself.

Well, he didn't make a scene. But he did take Taehyung aside for a moment to confront him about what the hell he thinks he's doing when he knows hybrids personally and what they go through. He had thought that Yoongi was too easygoing to bring up that he was uncomfortable with it.

To his surprise, Taehyung had gotten serious for the first time since they had met and told him that he had made it clear with Yoongi and the other hybrids he knew that if he ever crossed a line, they should tell him immediately so that he can stop doing it. He wasn't mad at Seokjin for confronting him the way that he did, because he understood the concern.

Apparently, most hybrids are fine with furries as long as they don't speak over hybrids or claim to actually be hybrids themselves. They're a very tolerant community.

And, really, if Yoongi were genuinely mad about Taehyung being a furry, as he has a right to be, Taehyung would know about it. Everyone would know about it, because Taehyung would be covered in claw marks. Those things are really damn sharp- Seokjin knows from firsthand experience.

Taehyung is weird, and Seokjin is going to continue calling him weird because he's really fucking weird, but he’s also considerate and intelligent and knows what boundaries not to cross. Seokjin was unsure about him for a while, but now he's one of his dearest friends, even if he does bark a lot.

Taehyung isn't leaving, kind of just standing there and fiddling with his phone, so Yoongi fills the silence with a question. "How's it going with those kids you hang out with?"

Taehyung has a group of furry friends and they're all younger than him, presumably because he can't find anyone else his own age who is as weirdly into wearing fake ears and tails as he is. They meet up every so often and bark at the moon, or whatever it is that furries do.

Seokjin has met these kids once, and he swears he overheard one of them unironically saying 'kitty-incidence' instead of 'coincidence', so as far as he's concerned they and Taehyung are perfect for each other.

"They're not kids," Taehyung says for the fiftieth time. "Yeonjun is, like… Twenty or something."

Seokjin nods slowly. "Sure." He knows that Yeonjun is, in fact, at least twenty, but it's fun to wind Taehyung up because they know that he doesn't really take it to heart. He knows that he's a bit of a weirdo and accepts the mockery, even if he pretends to be annoyed with it.

Seokjin suspects that Taehyung actually likes being made fun of, because it consolidates his belief that nobody understands his furry, like, desires, or whatever. It’s like how emo teenagers relish in thinking that they aren’t like everyone else.

"Still can't make friends your own age, then?" Yoongi says, which is blunt but Yoongi is blunt and Taehyung doesn’t care.

"Actually," Taehyung starts, eyes wide and puffing his chest out with pride. "I recently became really popular on Twitter." He doesn't even tap the screen before he shows it to them which makes Seokjin think that he must have been planning to show them this anyway.

@TheAlphaKTH

HAVE A GOOD DAY, PACK!! BARK BARK!! 🐺🐺 🐺

26 retweets | 3 quote retweets | 314 likes

@TheAlphaKTH

FULL MOON TOMORROW!! AWOOOO!!!! 🐺 🌕 🐺

31 retweets | 8 quote retweets | 412 likes

Seokjin catches the username and looks at him incredulously. "Really? Alpha?" He shakes his head in disapproval. "You're definitely a beta. You don't have the raw sexual magnetism of an alpha or an omega."

Taehyung howls in offence, as in he actually imitates a wolf’s howl because apparently that’s the appropriate response. Seokjin covers Yoongi's ears. "I totally do have raw sexual magnetism! I just don't show it in front of you guys." He sniffs, affronted. "And ranks aren't all about sex anyway. It's about... Dominance, and power, and responsibility."

That sounds a whole lot like sexual dynamics to Seokjin, but he doesn't bother questioning it considering that alphas and betas and omegas don't even exist in real life. Taehyung refuses to accept that they aren't a real thing because he hasn't met a wolf hybrid in real life to prove it. He thinks that the nonexistence of alpha/beta/omega dynamics is just a massive cover-up to prevent society from learning some harsh truths about itself.

If it weren't for the fact that neither Seokjin nor Yoongi know any wolf hybrids in real life, they'd introduce Taehyung to one to prove that that kind of dynamic is just not a thing. The original wolf hybrids are long gone, and other 'wild' animal hybrids are rare. When scientists were still breeding hybrids, they were more likely to use the genetics of animals that can be easily domesticated like cats, dogs and rabbits, in order to simplify the process of assimilating them into human society.

"If you're so popular," Seokjin asks. "Haven't you met a wolf hybrid on twitter yet?"

Taehyung shakes his head mournfully. "A lot of people are fakes, so it's hard to tell."

That’s a shame.

-

They needed a new kitchen table, so they ordered a new one.

It comes as a bunch of parts that need to be put together, but it's still a very large cardboard box. A surprisingly large box, actually. Almost as if the people who had packaged the table knew that there was a cat hybrid living here who likes to sit in boxes.

When Yoongi sees the box, there's a conflict behind his eyes that Seokjin finds endlessly hilarious. "That's a big box."

"It is," Seokjin agrees, and the only reason that he's able to hold back his laughter is because he's had a lot of experience with stopping himself from laughing at box-related situations. It's not a touchy subject or anything, but Yoongi likes to pretend that he doesn't have a thing with boxes even though he absolutely does. Something about refusing to conform to stereotypes. "Do you want it?" He asks, even though he knows the answer.

Yoongi turns his face away from the box. "Nah." He says it too casually, like he's putting effort into sounding casual which makes it not casual at all.

They put together the table, which doesn't seem to be getting anywhere at the start until Yoongi tells Seokjin to go away and let him do it himself. Slightly miffed, Seokjin busies himself with cooking until the table is put together, and then they get to eat on the new table.

Eating on the new table is thrilling, and neither Seokjin nor Yoongi are afraid to admit it because they are grown men who have been together long enough that they no longer need to suppress their domestic fantasies. There’s a certain kind of joy that nothing other than new furniture can bring.

The box is left conveniently out, with the top flapped open so it would be very easy for somebody to climb in. Seokjin purposefully sits facing away from the box, which means that Yoongi has to sit in front of him, facing the box.

He has to face his desire head on, Seokjin thinks.

Sure enough, after Seokjin leaves to drop some leftovers off for their friends, he returns to find Yoongi curled up inside the box, fast asleep.

Seokjin has tried hanging out in boxes a few times, since Yoongi likes it so much. He kind of sees the appeal. It feels like a form of protection, even if it's just a layer of cardboard that could be torn down in seconds. He doesn't find it particularly comfortable, though.

Comfort isn't much of a problem for Yoongi. He enjoys being comfortable, but it isn't a requirement. He can sleep pretty much everywhere; Seokjin can't name a single place in the house that he hasn't found Yoongi sleeping at least once. On the floor, in the bathtub, on the (old) kitchen table, even once on the kitchen sink. Seokjin has no idea why Yoongi would decide that curled up on top of the kitchen sink is a good place to sleep, especially when their sink is so small that half of his body was hanging out of it.

It could be a cat thing. A lot of Yoongi things are probably cat things, but Seokjin likes to think of them as Yoongi things, because being a cat hybrid is a part of him and not the other way around.

He watches his sleeping boyfriend fondly for a while, taking in the way his chest slowly rises and falls, before fetching a blanket and draping it over him so the box becomes a little makeshift cardboard bed. It might not be very comfortable in there, but it should at least be warm.

-

Because hybrids are mostly human and have been raised alongside mostly humans, they act mostly human. There are a few animal instincts that they have, but they're usually trained into hiding them. Seokjin doesn't agree with that very much, but he sees how it can be necessary sometimes.

"I just," Yoongi mumbles, drunk, pointing at the new table. "I wanna piss on that so bad. I wanna piss on that so fucking bad, hyung." He groans loudly, pressing his knuckles into his eyes. "It doesn't- doesn't smell like me, yaknow? And, it's like, I gotta piss on it. I know that it's gross but I gotta."

It's not the first time that he has admitted to wanting to pee on things, but it only ever happens when he's drunk or really sleepy. If it were anyone else, Seokjin would be incredibly grossed out, but it's Yoongi so it's cute in a weird way. He even said once that if Yoongi really, really wants to pee on things then he can as long as they clean it up afterwards. Yoongi refused, which is probably for the best because they don't want to be that couple that pee on their own furniture.

"Yeah?" Seokjin responds mildly.

Yoongi takes another drink, tail swishing lazily behind him. "I wish I had, like... a designated pissing corner where I could just piss all the time when I want to piss on things. But that wouldn't work!" He throws his hands up in frustration. "Because the whole point of pissing on things is making them smell like you. What's the damn point in having a pissing corner that smells like me because I piss in it if the rest of the house doesn't?"

"Is there not anything else you can do to make things smell like you?" Seokjin asks. It's a rhetorical question because he knows the answer. He's had less to drink than Yoongi has and his mind is clearer.

"Mmm," Yoongi full on just flops back onto the floor, staring at the ceiling as if it will give him answers for his pissing dilemma. "I rub myself on stuff. Like I rub myself on you." He snorts, a little giggle escaping his mouth. "Not like- not like that-"

Because he's unhelpful, Seokjin says, "Well, you do rub yourself on me like that."

Yoongi's tail slaps against the floor because he's moving it so fast. Seokjin thinks that he's going to need to calm him down soon before he gets the zoomies. "But I don't go around humping the furniture. Do I? No, I don't." He decides before Seokjin can answer (he doesn't.) "I rub my cheeks on stuff." He does. Seokjin thinks that it's cute. "But it's not- it's not like pissing on it, you know? I just wanna piss on everything."

"I think that everything might be a bit excessive," Seokjin says mildly. "That's a lot of piss."

With a hilariously straight face, Yoongi says, "I have a lot of piss."

"Right now?" Yoongi nods. "Go to the bathroom." Yoongi groans, wiggling irritably on the floor. "I'll carry you."

Seokjin carries him to the bathroom, where he pisses in the toilet and not on the new kitchen table.

-

Even though Taehyung's behaviour is generally considered to not be bad, there is undeniably a lot of fetishisation towards hybrids. It's bound to happen- most of them were genetically created to be appealing, to seem cute or exotic.

Seokjin just sees hybrids as people, but that's because he was raised to think that way. Not everyone has grandparents that were part of the fight against the commodification of hybrids. An uncomfortably large amount of the general public view hybrids as glamorized pets, like they don't have the same thoughts and feelings as normal humans even though it's been scientifically proven countless times that they do.

Moving into a new office is scary, and not only for the normal reasons. Seokjin couldn't have possibly turned down the promotion, but when he senses people looking at his computer screen over his shoulder, he wonders if maybe he should have.

His home screen is a picture of himself and Yoongi, taken just after they moved together. It's Seokjin's favourite picture of them together, so he likes to look at it every so often when work starts to feel like too much, to remind himself that there is more to life than moving numbers around.

The issue with the home screen is that other people can also see it.

"Is that your...?" Seokjin hears from behind him. He turns to see a man, presumably a coworker from the new department, pointing towards his screen.

"Boyfriend, yes," Seokjin says politely, spine stiffening. People usually have one thing or another to say about it. Is it homophobia, prejudice against hybrids, or both? It's like the shittiest guessing game ever.

The coworker nods, still looking at the picture. Seokjin can see his brain working, like he's trying to figure out a way he can ask an intrusive question without getting in trouble.

Seokjin leans back in his seat, looking at the man with a well practised expression of polite indifference. Mentally, he readies up one of his prepared responses about what being gay is like or what being with a hybrid is like or if his relationship is really just like having a 'glorified pet'.

Seemingly having decided to ask his intrusive question, the coworker leans in slightly, lowering his voice. "So, cats have... Barbed penises, right?"

It takes a moment for Seokjin to realise what he's saying, and when it clocks in his head he's appalled. It's only due to years of experience that he's able to keep his face from distorting in rage, although some of the anger does leak out in his tone when he speaks. "If you're asking what I think that you're asking, don't you think that that's an incredibly inappropriate thing to be asking about the partner of someone whose name you don't even know yet?"

The man glances at the nameplate on the desk. "I apologise for being so bold, Seokjin-ssi," he emphasises the name a little to disprove Seokjin's point, as if he didn't literally just watch him look to find what his name was. "It was just a question that came to mind when I saw your picture."

Seokjin hums in mock agreement. "Ah, yes, I totally get it. I also often wonder about the appearance of stranger's genitals when I see pictures of them."

"That's not quite what I meant, it's different-"

"And how is it different? Were you wondering what my penis looks like, too?"

"I don't think you understand-"

"I understand perfectly," Seokjin says coldly, turning back to his computer screen and opening up the spreadsheet that he's supposed to be working on. "I suggest that you ask yourself why you consider it appropriate to ask such questions about certain people and not about others."

He hears the man huff and leave. He'll probably talk shit to their other coworkers, and he'll have the upper hand since Seokjin's the new guy and nobody else knows him yet.

Sighing heavily, Seokjin checks his phone and sees that he has a notification.

kitten: buy fish when finish work

we have tuna in the fridge

kitten: buy more

no

kitten: 😿

no

kitten: 😿

no

kitten: 😿😿

no

kitten: 😿😿😿😿😿😿😿

fine

kitten: 😺

Seokjin huffs a little laugh at his phone- damn Yoongi for using the cat emojis against him- and goes back to his computer.

People can be really, really shitty, but he thinks that the presence of the people he loves make everything worth it.

-

There's no point in bringing up what happened at work, because it's nothing new and it's nowhere near the kind of shit that Yoongi has experienced in person. There's a slit in his left ear where one of his classmates in school had tried to cut it off with scissors. Seokjin likes to kiss it and pretend that it makes it all better.

He acts like he doesn't care about it, but Seokjin knows that he does. Every so often, he comes home with his ears flattened across his head and his tail coiled anxiously between his legs, and Seokjin knows that something has happened.

Yoongi used to talk more about the kinds of things that people say to him, but now he doesn't bring it up unless it's something new and he can frame it as a joke. He explained once that he doesn't see the point in dwelling on things, not unless they're stuck in his head for too long and he feels like he has to talk about it to let it out.

Seokjin isn't very into talking about his problems, either, especially problems that are always going to be problems, so he gets it.

There's also the fact that if he told Yoongi that someone at his workplace started saying shit, Yoongi would definitely follow him to work one day and yell at whoever it was. And the thing is that he wouldn't even be yelling at them for talking about him, he'd be yelling at them for being rude to Seokjin. Seokjin knows this because it has happened before, before he learned to keep his mouth shut and realised that, actually, telling someone that a stranger was talking shit about them is not a productive thing to do.

He comes home today with a selection of different kinds of fish, because Yoongi asked for fish and Seokjin wanted to treat him. He really likes fish, for fairly obvious reasons.

As soon as he smells the fish, Yoongi sits up straight from his slouched position on the couch and his tail starts swishing excitedly. "That smells expensive," he says in a tone that makes him sound like he's not that excited about it, but his tail betrays him as always.

"It was expensive," Seokjin agrees, opening the bag so that Yoongi can smell it better. "You deserve the best."

Looking very pink in the face, Yoongi rolls his eyes. "Yah, stop it. I've been napping all day, if you get me excited then I'm gonna get the zoomies." It happens a lot when there's too much energy in his body with nowhere to go- he ends up just running around for an hour. Seokjin can tell that it's coming soon by the way that his tail is slapping hard against the couch.

Seokjin takes a few steps towards him, rubbing the space behind Yoongi's ears in the way that he likes. "I like when you get the zoomies."

"I'm gonna end up jumping on the bed," Yoongi mumbles, closing his eyes and leaning into Seokjin's touch. "I can't break another bed."

"You break all of our stuff, we're used to it by now." Yoongi bites him on the wrist, and Seokjin just laughs. "Go on, zoom away."

Yoongi's vibrating, like he's trying to physically hold the energy in. "No."

Seokjin sighs loudly. "Ah, fine. I guess if you're not going to run around the house then we're going to have to get all that energy out of you another way," he trails his hand down Yoongi's torso and up under his shirt, grazing his fingertips over the soft skin. "You're leaving me no choice."

"You are not using this as an excuse to get laid again," Yoongi grumbles, breath hitching as Seokjin's hands wander.

Hell yeah, he is. "You're leaving me no choice," Seokjin repeats, grazing his teeth across Yoongi's neck. "Come on, babe. Let it all out on me."

When he's pinned down against the mattress a minute later, claws digging into his arms, he's pretty damn pleased with himself.

-

Taehyung is over again, because he's always over. He's practically a part of the furniture at this point. There's the table and there's the chairs and there's the guy doing an uncomfortably accurate impression of a dog.

("We don't have a dog," Seokjin had said once to Mr Kang, the upstairs neighbour, after he'd told them to keep their dog quiet. "We just have a noisy friend. I'm sorry, I'll tell him to keep it down in the future."

Mr Kang doesn't seem to believe him, judging by the way he always looks suspiciously into their apartment when the door is open. Maybe they should introduce him to Taehyung sometime and see how that conversation goes.)

Sometimes, Seokjin feels in a rather pleasant way like he and Yoongi are Taehyung's parents, particularly when they feed him for no reason other than that he's here and hungry. But then Taehyung does something weird and it ruins the atmosphere.

"Oh no," He says dramatically, pausing mid-step and widening his eyes. "I think I'm- I'm going into rut."

"Get out of my apartment," Seokjin says, filled with a level of exasperation that he had previously thought would be impossible, and yet also struggling to hold back a laugh. "Get out of my apartment right now. Just get out. I don't want to see your horny furry ass ever again."

Taehyung pouts at him, putting his foot down. "You didn't let me finish!"

"You better not be finishing anywhere in this apartment."

Taehyung tugs on Yoongi's arm pleadingly, as if he has the desire or power to do anything about this. Seokjin is a strong, independent man who does not need to obey the commands of his catboy boyfriend. Catboyfriend? That seems like too long of a word. He'll have to think this over later.

"You can help stop my rut if you give me one thing," Taehyung insists, yanking Yoongi's sleeve so hard that his arm is flopping everywhere. Yoongi kind of just lets him do it.

Seokjin eyes him suspiciously. "What thing?"

"Also," Yoongi adds, voice a little wobbly from being jostled so much. "I thought that nothing could stop the ‘primal urges’ or whatever until they're 'satiated'. Isn't that what you said last week?"

"No, no, no," Taehyung says emphatically. "It can be stopped as long as I am given one thing!"

"What th-"

"The love of my two favourite hyungs!" Taehyung beams at them.

They stare at him in silence.

After exhaling for an extremely long time so that Taehyung knows exactly how exasperated he is, Seokjin asks, "Did you make up a rut just as an incentive to get us to cuddle you?"

Taehyung wiggles his butt so that his fake tail looks like it's wagging. "Yes, I did. Now you have to do it or I'll hump all of your furniture."

"Ah, we can't have that," Seokjin says, shaking his head in mock contemplation. "There's only room for one furniture humper around here."

Yoongi eyes him dangerously. "I'm getting a divorce."

"We aren't married."

"Not anymore, we aren't."

"Hey," Taehyung interjects, "am I getting my cuddles or not?"

-

There's a thought that comes to mind in the middle of the night, as many thoughts do. It's like an itch that he hadn't noticed until this very moment, and now that he's picked up on it he can't ignore it. He has to scratch it. He has to do something about this idea, this concept that refuses to leave his mind now that he's taking the moment to realise how much he wants it.

Seokjin opens his eyes. It's dark, but enough light from the street lights comes through the window to see Yoongi in bed next to him, curled up so tightly that it should surely be bad for his spine. He's going to have to start worrying about his spine as he gets older. As they get older.

Seokjin wants more than he wants anything else in the world for them to grow older together.

"Yoongichi."

Yoongi doesn't open his eyes, just makes a sleepy grunt in acknowledgement.

"You know when Taehyungie was here and I heavily implied that you were a furniture humper?"

"Yeah." Yoongi unfurls his body slightly so that he can look at Seokjin, a questioning look on his tired face.

"And you said that you were going to divorce me."

"Yeah."

"And I said that we aren't married."

"Yeah?" If Yoongi were more awake, he would have picked up on what Seokjin is getting at by now.

He could have waited to say this until they were both awake, but there didn't seem like there was any point in waiting. Partly because it felt like, as soon as the idea came to mind, he just had to get it out or he'd explode. But partly because neither of them are the kind of people to make a big deal out of things, especially not things that feel like a natural progression in their relationship.

The thought of it makes Seokjin feel excited, a smile naturally forming on his lips, but it also feels like not a big deal at all. It just makes sense.

"What if we were?" He asks, reaching forward to brush away the hair flopping onto Yoongi's face.

Yoongi blinks slowly for a few seconds, instinctively leaning into the touch. "... Are you proposing to me?"

"Depends." Somehow, despite everything, despite how long they've known each other and despite how right this feels, Seokjin suddenly feels a little shy.

"You're asking me to marry you." Yoongi says it tonelessly, no indication of what he thinks of it. No way to tell if it feels just as right to him as it does to Seokjin, no way to tell if he thinks that it's the worst idea that he's ever heard. Seokjin would be scared, but he's never scared around Yoongi.

"Yeah," he breathes.

Yoongi straightens up so that his face is directly in front of Seokjin's. "So you're proposing to me." His face still gives away nothing.

"I guess I am," Seokjin says.

Yoongi stares at him for a long few seconds. "Alright."

"Alright?"

"Alright. Let's get married." Then he grins, exposing his pointy little fangs.

And that's it. That's all there is to it. Seokjin reaches out and pulls Yoongi closer to him, laughing under his breath at how he tenses up when he nibbles at the tip of one of his ears. It's worth getting fur stuck on his tongue, even if he inevitably chokes on it later.

There's a smile that he couldn't get off his face even if he tried, and it only widens as he feels the vibration of purring against his chest.

Seokjin doesn't really believe in people being made for each other (although he and Yoongi do call each other their soulmate when they're feeling particularly sappy) but the way that Yoongi's body fits in his arms feels just right. He's the perfect size and shape to hold, and Seokjin will never get tired of holding him and being held by him.

They drift apart after a while because they both sleep better with some personal space, but Seokjin has never felt closer to Yoongi than in this moment. His best friend, the love of his life, his fiancé.