I. Say it like you mean it
The sun broke the glass barrier of the window with no problems; dust danced in the light just above Yoongi’s head.
He looked next to him; Jin was sleeping soundly, his lips parted slightly. A fleeting beam of sunlight shined in his hair as he shifted.
Yoongi leaned in and pressed his lips to Jin’s. He felt Jin shift slowly before he put his hands on Yoongi’s shoulder, kissing him back.
“Morning,” Jin breathed when they separated.
Yoongi wrapped his arm around Jin’s naked body, pulling him closer as they kissed. Jin ran his hands through his hair.
“Come on, Yoongi - ah, fuck,” Jin said as Yoongi bit gently, leaving a mark on his neck and then kissing it. Jin arched into the touch, giving him more access. “You have to work on your mixtape and I have to go to work.”
“Fuck work,” Yoongi replied, looking up. “Let’s stay here today.”
“I can’t,” he whined as Yoongi continuing licking and sucking on his neck. “Fuck, don’t leave any marks.”
“Too late,” he murmured. Jin groaned and Yoongi shut him up with a kiss.
“Jin, we haven’t been spending a lot of time together,” he said when they broke apart.
“I know,” Jin said. “But I can’t. My boss will kill me.”
Yoongi sighed, lying down next to him again. Jin kissed his cheek and then Yoongi felt the weight on the bed shift as his boyfriend stood up.
“I will be home early tomorrow,” Jin said, buttoning one of Yoongi’s shirts. “I will make it up to you then. Promise.”
“I will make sure that you do,” Yoongi stated, as he got up from his bed and started to dress.
Jin smiled. He looked at the mirror and touched his neck. “I am blaming you if anyone said anything to me today.”
Yoongi wrapped his arms around him from behind, looking at their reflection in the mirror. “I like you better like this,” he murmured.
Jin chuckled as he started to fix his hair.
“I have something for you,” Yoongi said. He had been planning to keep it a secret till next week, but he was too excited to see Jin’s reaction. He opened the wardrobe and got out a box that he had hidden earlier.
Jin turned around. Yoongi opened the box and took out two tickets.
Jin’s eyes widened. “Oh my god, is that-” He snatched the tickets from him and stared at them.
Yoongi grinned. “I heard that they were going to play in Seoul and I know a friend there. He managed to get the tickets. I know that they are your favourite band.”
“Yoongi,” he murmured, clutching the tickets with one hand as he wrapped his other around Yoongi’s neck, pulling him into a hug. “What would I ever do without you?”
Yoongi buried his face in his boyfriend’s neck. “I thought we could go to Seoul and spend a couple of days there before the concert.”
He felt it immediately, the slight tension in Jin’s body as they broke apart.
“Before?” Jin bit his lips, ruffling his hair slightly. Yoongi regarded him. He knew the signs. “I have work until Friday.”
“You can take a couple of days off. Surely, after all the extra shifts you took, then can give you a vacation?”
“One of the employees left,” Jin said. “I have to cover for him until they hire someone new.”
“Well, isn’t there anyone else?” Yoongi snapped.
Jin shook his head. “Look, I can’t help this. When I come back from work on Friday, we will take the car and leave. We will make it to Seoul in no time and take some time for ourselves.”
“But it is our anniversary, Jin,” he murmured. “I thought we agreed before that we will take a couple of days off and spend some time together.”
“I know love, but-”
“Just this once, Jin, ” he said. He couldn’t believe this was happening again, and at a time like this. “Do it for me.”
“I am sorry,” Jin said, kissing him briefly on the lips. Then, he walked out of the room.
Yoongi swallowed, clenching his hands tightly, his nails digging into his skin. He closed his eyes and focused on the slight pain.
* * *
Yoongi waited until he heard Jin humming to himself as he made breakfast before he slipped Jin’s mobile from his jacket.
He scrolled through the recent messages. It wasn’t hard to find the name since the image of the young man was stuck in his head. He knew Jin well enough by now to know when he was lying, but he had to make sure. He prayed that he would be wrong. Just this once.
When he heard Jin’s footsteps coming from the kitchen, he quickly shoved the mobile into his jacket again and sat on the couch. He stayed silent while Jin ate breakfast, a million thoughts running through his head.
II. Enduring more, holding out
“Where is Jin?” Namjoon asked as he sat on the couch.
“I thought he got out earlier?”
“He has been...busy lately,” Yoongi said, trying to sound casual, but couldn’t stop the bitter smile the stretched across his lips.
Namjoon frowned. “Is everything alright?”
“Yeah.” Yoongi went to the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink?”
“No, I am good.” Yoongi could still feel his gaze on him as he sat on the couch and pointedly started to watch the TV, a drink in his hand.
“So, why is Jin working so late?”
Yoongi shrugged. “Fuck if I know,” he muttered, taking a long gulp.
“Maybe...” Namjoon paused. Yoongi could almost hear his brain working, trying to come up with the right words, the right things to say to make Yoongi open up and talk. He knew his best friend well enough to know how he was thinking, just as he knew that he wouldn’t be able to stay quiet for long. “Maybe you can talk to him, you know? Tell him to not work for so long?”
“Tried,” Yoongi replied, clipped. “Didn’t work. He ‘can’t’, as he always says.”
He felt Namjoon shift next to him. “Well, maybe his boss is pushing him,” he said. Namjoon was always like this; never made bad assumptions about people. Or maybe it was because they were talking about Jin, their best friend and the one everyone trusted easily. He could lie to your face, but you would be too caught up with his smile to notice it. Sometimes, Yoongi wished he was like them.
Yoongi didn’t answer, instead taking another sip of his drink, his hand clutching it tightly.
“Hey, sometimes you are busy too, and he always waits for you-” Namjoon said.
Yoongi muted the TV. “I called work,” he interrupted, feeling that he was going to explode if he kept it inside any longer. “He isn’t there.”
“Then, where is he? Have you called him?”
“I did. He said that he was working.”
“What? But - are you sure you got the right number?”
“Positive,” Yoongi wondered how he was talking so calmly when he wanted to rip something to shreds inside. “This isn’t the first time either.”
“I am sure there must be something,” Namjoon stated. “Maybe he is planning a surprise for your anniversary or-”
Yoongi let out a bitter laugh. “It is a surprise alright.”
“Come on, hyung. Don’t make assumptions. Have you tried to talk to him? I’m sure-”
“It has been months, Namjoon,” Yoongi interrupted, finally looking at him. “At first, I thought it was just because he had too much work or not enough staff. Then, I called one day to tell him that I finished the mixtape but they said that he had left. He wasn’t home when I returned. When I asked him, he said it was a long day at work.
“I didn’t say anything, figuring that he will come around as he always does and tells me himself. I waited and waited for months, pretending that I couldn’t hear the hushed conversations in the bathroom, or the lingering smells he occasionally had on him when he returned home. I trusted him. Jin would never hide something from me unless he had a very good reason. That was until...” He paused, taking a deep breath and gathering whatever small power he had.
Yoongi could pretend. He could make excuses all he wanted. He could make up a reason why he showed up alone to their friend’s house without him, why Jin was late and why sometimes he didn’t come home at all. But deep down he knew. He could lie to anyone, but not to himself.
“I saw them, Namjoon,” he said. “A few days ago, I got out of work early and I decided to have a little walk in the park. Jin was there with a guy just across the street, about to get in a car. I was just about to go and say hi when I saw them kiss.”
The silence stretched in the room, heavy and unforgiving. Namjoon stared at him. Yoongi took a deep breath and closed his eyes. That was the first time he said it out loud, and it felt like a punch in the face, making it all real, and not a nightmare that he was going to wake up from.
“He...he couldn’t have-”
“Oh, believe me, I wished the same,” he spat, his voice getting harsher. “I followed him one day and went to his where he worked and found out that he goes to his house after work, or sometimes skips work entirely. He doesn’t even know that I know.”
“What did you do?”
Yoongi stayed silent.
“W-What?” Namjoon demanded.
Yoongi rested his head on the back of the couch, unwilling to look at him.
“I thought that...that maybe I was wrong and it wasn’t anything. I thought that he would stop or…” Yoongi paused and swallowed. His throat was suddenly tight. “Fuck, I don’t know. Okay? I don’t fucking know what I was thinking but- but- I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t say it. He came home and acted like nothing happened and I didn’t want-”
“Didn’t want what?”
Yoongi didn’t answer, running a shaky hand through his hair.
Namjoon put his hand on his chin, forcing him to look at him. “You need to snap out of this and talk to him. You can’t live like this.”
Yoongi stayed silent and looked at the ground.
“Why are you not doing anything?” Namjoon snapped, shaking Yoongi. “This isn’t you! Yoongi would have demanded the truth from the first day, would have packed his bags and left. Not sit silently for months, pretending that nothing was happening! Fucking do something, Yoongi.”
“Why the fuck not?”
“Because then it will be real,” Yoongi yelled. “Because if I asked him about it, he won’t be able to make any excuses and I would destroy everything and I can’t lose him, Namjoon. I can’t-” he stopped, his throat closing.
“So, what?” Namjoon demanded, his voice rising with every word he said. “You are just going to shut up about it, knowing that he is with someone else. Is that it? Are you just going to take it?”
“No, hyung. You can’t-”
“Shut the fuck up, Namjoon,” Yoongi screamed. His vision began to blur and he looked away, blinking rapidly.
Namjoon sighed. “Fuck, I am sorry for getting angry. I’m just...Hyung, I can’t see you like this,” he said.
“I just - I wish I would know what I did wrong,” he whispered. “We were so happy. Three fucking years, Namjoon. I-I don’t understand.”
“You did nothing wrong,” Namjoon stated. “He is the one who cheated on you. He is the asshole here.”
Yoongi nodded. He knew that. He repeated that to himself several times before, but that didn’t stop himself from wondering, what could he have done to prevent this?
“Look, I can’t force you to do anything, but just...promise me you will talk to him soon, okay?”
Yoongi nodded, an idea slowly forming in his head. “Okay.”
* * *
Yoongi knocked on the wooden door. The cold wind bit into his skin. He rubbed his gloved hands as he waited.
He heard a muffled sound from inside and then the door was opened. Hyosang’s eyes widened as he looked at him.
“May I come in?”
Hyosang swallowed. “Do I know you-”
“Cut the bullshit,” Yoongi said. “I just want to talk.”
Hyosang regarded him for a moment. Yoongi put his hands in his pockets and waited.
Finally, Hyosang shrugged slightly and took a step back, letting him in.
Yoongi looked around; it was a small messy studio, barely any room left among all the books, thrown paper here and there and packages of empty junk food.
Hyosang leaned against the wall, wrapping his arms around his chest. “How did you find me?”
“I followed you once,” he said as he continued studying the place around him. He wondered if Hyosang and Jin spent time here cleaning, laughing as they found lost buried things everywhere like he and Jin did sometimes.
“Did you talk to him?”
“No,” Yoongi said.
“So, why are you here? Are you going to tell me to back off?”
Yoongi shook his head. “I am just…curious, I suppose.” In truth, he didn’t know why he was here. He just wanted to see him, wanted to see what was so fucking special about him.
He hadn’t known what he would feel when he met him, but as he studied him, he didn’t feel anything. None of the expected rage or hate. Nothing. He just felt numb.
Hyosang sighed. “Look, I know that you won’t believe me, and you have every right not to but- this isn’t me. I never did this before,” he said. “I didn’t know, at first. Jin didn’t tell me that he was in a relationship.”
“And when you found out?”
“I…” He paused. He shrugged and looked away. “I couldn’t let go.”
Yoongi nodded. He could understand that in a way.
“Who started it?” Yoongi wondered if he really wanted to know. If he really wanted to know any of this. Ignorance is bliss, as they said.
“I did. He works in the shop next to mine. I saw him every morning,” he said. “One night, I kissed him. He didn’t pull away.”
Yoongi ran his hand through his hair. He wished he could close his fucking mouth and stop asking so many questions that didn’t help him or make him feel any better.
“He told me that he had a boyfriend afterwards,” Hyosang said, looking like he was remembering a distant memory. “He said that...He said he wasn’t going to break it off.” He smiled bitterly. “But we could continue and…” He looked at him. “I accepted.”
Yoongi stayed silent.
“I didn’t know what I expected, Hyosang continued. "For him to fall for me? That you two would end it at some point? I still don’t know. But I would be lying if I said that I didn’t hope for it to happen.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Yoongi asked.
“I don’t know.” He chuckled. “I realise how pathetic I sound but...I guess I just felt the need to explain myself.”
“And you think this justifies you hooking up with someone who is already in a relationship?”
He shook his head quickly. “No. No, I’m not trying to justify myself.”
“Do you love him?”
“Do you?” He countered.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” he said. Yoongi remembered hearing about a similar situation like this before. Back then, he had scoffed and wondered how the hell would someone know that their partner was cheating on them for so long and never say anything. But he never knew that the answer would be given to him like this.
He briefly thought about everything he had endured so far, and how long he would be able to take it.
“Yes.” Hyosang swallowed. “I was in love with him long before this started.”
They stayed silent, studying each other until Hyosang broke it.
“I need a drink,” he muttered. Yoongi couldn’t agree more.
Hyosang disappeared for a moment and came back with two beers. He handed him one and sat on the couch. Yoongi took off his jacket and crashed next to him.
“So, is this the part where you threaten me?” Hyosang asked after he took a gulp of his drink. “Or is it the part where we plot to get revenge on him?”
Yoongi snorted. He honestly had no idea what he was going to do.
They sat in silence for a while. Yoongi thought of what he was going to do next. He imagined the look on Jin’s face when he confronted him and what he would do if he said that he wanted to break it up. Would he ask for forgiveness, or just go and find someone else to play with? Or stay with Hyosang?
And what the hell would Yoongi do without him? The idea seemed impossible; they had known each since they were kids. The thought of them ever separating two months ago would have been absurd, unthinkable.
Mixed thoughts and emotions ran through his head as he took sips from the drink in his hand.
Yoongi’s eyes landed on a necklace that Hyosang was wearing and his heart skipped a beat.
He held it in his hands, the familiar shape was cool against his fingers. He remembered it, remembered the moment when he decided to buy it for Jin a couple of months ago.
“Why the fuck are you wearing this?” He demanded. The old anger resurfaced again, consuming, blinding him.
“What? Oh, this...” Hyosang paused. His hand reached to hold the necklace and incidentally touched Yoongi’s hand.
Yoongi let it go, feeling as if he were burned. All he could think of was how happy Jin looked as Yoongi showed it to him. Was he lying to him when he said that he liked it? Did it not matter to him? Did anything ever matter to him?
“Is it yours?” Hyosang asked, oblivious to the storm running through him.
Yoongi stood up, staring at Hyosang. “Why the fuck did you show up in our lives?”
Hyosang stood. Before Hyosang could reply or do anything else, Yoongi whipped his arm around and hit his head. The glass crashed against his skull, shattering. Blood started to dribble down on his face. Hyosang reached and touched his cheek. His eyes travelled from his bloody fingers to Yoongi and back again. Then, his eyes fluttered and shut. He fell on the ground.
Yoongi stared at the broken bottle, his heartbeat thundering in his ears. He crouched down, searched desperately for a pulse but didn’t found any.
He stood up quickly, taking several steps back. He stared at the bleeding corpse on the floor and then at his shaking bloody hand. Was the blow that hard? Had he really fucking meant it?
He looked around desperately, waiting for a miraculous solution to come and help him.
A sound suddenly came out of nowhere, and Yoongi almost jumped out of his skin. He whirled around and found that it just a mobile ringing.
He froze, his heart still beating furiously as the ringtone finally died away and the caller started to leave a voice message.
“Hey, Hyosang,” he said. It was Jin. “Look, I know I promised that we would go out next week but things happened and- I just can’t make it. I will explain later. I am sorry.”
The mobile beeped and then it was silent once more.
Yoongi turned around. Taking a ragged breath, he crouched next to the body. He took the necklace off carefully his neck and put it in his pocket.
It wasn’t Hyosang’s to wear anyway.
III. A house made of cards, and us inside
“Yoongi, there you are,” Jin said the moment his eyes landed on him. “I was getting worried-” The words died on his lips as he studied him. “What’s wrong?”
Yoongi smiled. It felt fake and he was certain that Jin noticed it. He always had. “I need to talk to you.”
“Sure,” Jin said, closing the door after Yoongi entered.
Yoongi waited till they were in the living room before speaking. “Look at what I’ve found.”
Jin turned around. Yoongi took the necklace from underneath his jacket and held it between his fingers.
“I was looking for that,” Jin said, stepping closer.
“Guess where I found it.”
“Oh, come on, think,” he said. “Where did you forget the present I got for you?”
“I don’t know. The bedroom?”
Jin sighed. “Just say.”
“I am going to give you a hint,” he said. “It isn’t in this house.”
Jin looked at him, frowning slightly. Yoongi saw it in his eyes the moment it dawned on him.
“I don’t understand,” Jin said.
“Liar,” Yoongi said lightly. Before Jin could reply, Yoongi grabbed his chest and shoved him, pushing him against the wall, knocking his head in the process.
“What the fuck-” Jin shouted.
“Now, don’t be loud,” he said softly, taking a step closer towards him. “We don’t want anyone to hear us, do we?”
Jin’s eyes widened. “What are you doing?”
Yoongi smiled and unzipped his jacket, letting it fall to the ground.
“His blood, yes.”
“His…” Jin’s eyes were unbelievably wide, travelling from his bloody t-shirt to his face.
“I paid a little visit to your boyfriend.”
Jin took a step back, trying to get as close to the wall as possible. “What the fuck did you do?”
“That’s not what’s important right now.” He took a step closer and wrapped an arm around Jin, pulling him closer. “Didn’t you say that you will make it up to me tonight?”
Jin swallowed. “Take your hands off me, Yoongi.”
“I don’t think so,” he said.
Jin struggled against him, his moves gaining speed and force as panic took over him. Yoongi grabbed his arms harshly and pinned them to the wall.
“Relax,” he murmured. They were so close that their breath mingled. “I just want to talk.”
“Let me go,” Jin spat.
“Now, you are just going to piss me off,” he said. “I don’t think you really want to do that.”
“Someone is going to find out and they are going to come and get you,” he said.
“You don’t have to worry about that. I took care of the body,” Yoongi said. “Anyway, I don’t think that should be your main concern right now.”
Jin looked at the door and then at his bloody t-shirt. He swallowed.
“So tell me, Jin,” Yoongi said casually. “How are you going to fool me this time? What's your brilliant plan?”
“I knew, right from the beginning,” Yoongi said. “You thought you were so clever, huh? Playing with me for so long?”
“Don’t,” Yoongi spat. “Don’t go there.”
Jin rested his head against the wall, letting out a long breath and closing his eyes.
“How long did you think you could fool me? Or did you know that I knew?” he continued. “Were you aware, but thought that I wouldn't do anything? That I was too in love with you to do anything?”
“Yoongi, I know that I was wrong and-” he said, looking at him again. “I-I have no excuse but- but-” His voice cracked.
“Don't cry,” Yoongi ordered.
Jin nodded frantically.
“I think I ruined your t-shirt,” Yoongi noted, looking at the red imprints on their clothes. He could feel Jin’s body shaking against him. He looked up. “Are you scared?”
Jin didn’t answer.
“Why did you do it?” Yoongi murmured, leaning slightly so his lips touched Jin’s wet cheek. “Just give me a reason.”
Jin shook his head slowly, tears running down his face.
“I will tell you why then,” he whispered. “Because you were selfish. Because you didn't want to give me up, and you wanted him too.”
“I-I did want him,” Jin said after a moment of silence. “But it wasn't...it wasn't like what we had. It was just sex.”
Yoongi let out a bitter laugh. “You were almost going to miss our anniversary trip for him. Come on, Jin. He has to be special,” he said, feeling the familiar anger rise again. “Tell me, was he that good in bed? Did he fuck you better than I did? Or did you fuck him?”
Jin shook his head. “Yoongi, please. Just- just let me-”
“What, Jin? What is there to say? What excuse could you possibly have?” He demanded, tightening his grip on Jin’s arms.
“Yoongi, you are hurting me,” Jin said. “Please, love-”
“I told you not to say that!” He shouted. Jin flinched and looked away.
Yoongi loosened his grip slightly. “Look at me,” he murmured.
“You are right,” Jin said. “I didn't want to lose you or him, but I ended up losing you both.”
Yoongi stayed silent. He hadn't known what to expect from Jin, but he didn't feel anything. It was too late.
Jin moved his arm slightly, getting it out of his grip. He put a shaky hand on Yoongi’s chest. “I was stupid to think I could get away with it,” he said. “I wanted to tell you but…”
“I didn’t want you to leave me.”
Yoongi shook his head. “You were always a good actor,” he said. “And you know what? Sometimes I wished that you were good enough to convince me that there wasn't really anything. That my paranoid mind was just making it up. But I guess I knew you too much.”
Jin stayed silent.
“You know, I actually didn’t mean to do it,” he said. “It just happened. I saw it around his neck and I snapped.” He touched the necklace. “It took so long for me to have enough money to buy it for you, and then I see it with him.”
“I am so sorry, Yoongi. Fuck, I know this isn’t enough but I-” Jin swallowed. “Just tell me what you want and I will do it.”
“I want to wake up and find out that this was just a nightmare. Can you do that?” Yoongi said.
“I can make it up to you, or at least, I can try,” Jin said, his hand reaching out to touch his cheek tentatively. “Just give me a chance. Please, love.”
Silence stretched between them as Yoongi stared at Jin’s eyes, the one he had met when he was just entering school, a nervous little boy. He had seen Jin standing in the corner of the class, and they soon became friends.
He had loved him ever since he knew what love was. He was his best friend, his confidant and everything he had.
“Are you scared of me?” Yoongi asked.
Jin took a deep breath, freeing his other arm and wrapping both of them around Yoongi’s neck. “No.”
“But I killed him.”
Jin swallowed. “We just need to make sure that no one else knows that.”
Yoongi stared at him, speechless. Was it that easy for him?
“So you will help me? Cover for me?”
Jin nodded. “I don’t want to lose you, Yoongi.”
“But you loved him.”
“I never loved anyone else but you.” Jin pulled him closer, their lips almost touching.
“How should I know that you aren’t lying?”
“I will prove it to you. Just give me a chance.”
Mixed thoughts ran through Yoongi’s head. A voice screamed in his head that Jin was only doing this to save himself, another disagreed.
Yoongi sighed, leaning his forehead against Jin’s. “I can’t hurt you,” he murmured. “No matter how much I want to sometimes.”
Jin closed the distance between them and captured his lips with his own. He parted his lips and tightened his arms around Yoongi’s neck.
Yoongi closed his eyes, kissing him back. The last look Jin had on his face remained behind his eyelids. It was a look of happiness, of victory. Yoongi knew right from the beginning that he wouldn’t do anything to Jin, and Jin did too.
Maybe he had underestimated Jin’s acting skills, after all. But really, Yoongi ought to stop getting surprised by anything that Jin did.