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Namjoon breaks a glass.

It’s not the start of anything, but it would be hard to pinpoint an exact time or place where things started to go wrong; it would be hard to find evidence of them ever going right, whatever that means.

But the point is, there’s a glass. And Namjoon hurls it at the wall with all his might like a distressed heroine of a soap opera or something, because some small part of him has always wanted to know what that would feel like; to break something just for the sake of breaking it and this—his breaking point—feels like just the time to live the dream.

So there’s a glass, and then there isn’t, and no wrongs are righted in the split second between object meeting wall and exploding into a gazillion tiny shards all over the kitchen floor, the cabinets, even Namjoon’s socked feet where they stand rooted to the spot, shocked into prey animal stillness by his own violence.

There’s no catharsis to justify the damage; he’s just left with a mess to match the state of the rest of his life. It’s strangely fitting.

It’s also fitting that Yoongi should walk in on him at this point, precisely when Namjoon must look his most pathetic.

Namjoon opens his mouth to explain the unexplainable; the connection between their messed up kitchen and this one annoying thing his coworker said today, and the way their receptionist could have smiled in the morning but chose to grimace instead, and the way his mom said, “Fine,” over the phone last week after Namjoon told her he—they, because he and Yoongi are a they—couldn’t make it to dinner on Saturday yet again, which everyone—and especially Namjoon’s mom—knows is really just code for, “We would rather not.”

Namjoon is going to explain all of it, but then he just says, “You’re early.”

It comes out sounding defensive and, to make it even worse, it isn’t even true.

Yoongi looks at him, unreadable in that way he only gets when he’s trying really hard. He’s still wearing his leather jacket; the same jacket he’s been wearing since college, since day one of their relationship. It’s been five years but Yoongi is the same. He still waits too long in between getting haircuts, he still bites his nails when he’s antsy, he still smokes the same brand his dad does; Namjoon would recognize the smell anywhere along with Yoongi’s overbearingly masculine cologne that isn’t Old Spice but something close enough.

Yoongi is unchanging, unchanged, frozen in time, and therein lies the problem.

Namjoon isn’t.

Because Namjoon gave up music and with it he gave in, because he couldn't—wouldn’t—live the life of a drifter. He’s no post-modern Peter Pan. Namjoon feels time and gravity keenly; in the ever-present palm between his shoulder blades, in the pressure that just builds and builds until he’s ready to burst, until he’s throwing glasses at the wall like a so-bad-it’s-funny cliché and feeling ridiculous for even trying to rip himself out of the reality he’s inseparably tied into.

Yoongi shakes his head slowly before walking inside the apartment, away from Namjoon and his—their—mess of a kitchen. Escaping to the balcony for a smoke or five, hoping Namjoon will sort himself out by the time Yoongi’s fingers are frozen bone-white.

Namjoon knows, because that’s how it always goes.

But for once he finds his voice.

For once he says, “Stop running from this. I know I’m not the only one who feels it.”

He can’t be the only one who’s aware of the ever-growing chasm between the two of them. For all that he can hardly tell what Yoongi’s thinking these days, he can’t be the only one who knows that they don’t have much to say to each other anymore. Not about Namjoon’s shitty office job or Yoongi’s latest mixtape which still isn’t selling, not about their respective parents’ worry and displeasure, not even about the sea of glass shards in which Namjoon stands like a stranded ship, deceptively upright for now but already wrecked in all the ways that matter.

There’s really only one thing left to say, and Namjoon is ready to say it or hear it—whichever way it goes.