“I’ll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you . . . We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams . . . And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight . . .”
- Philip Pullman, His Dark Materials
They both dream a lot.
Jimin likes fantasy novels: he daydreams, using the letters that form words, words that form thoughts, thoughts that form worlds . Who’s to say the world of a novel isn’t as real as the world he lives in? For all he knows, he could be a character in a story himself; he could be a thought, is made out of words, made out of letters. Who’s to say he doesn’t live in a book, or in somebody’s head?
Would that make him a prisoner? Or would that make him free?
Of course, the grass he’s sitting on is real. The tree he’s leaning against is real. Yoongi’s shoulder, warm and broad and inviting, is real. The wind that ruffles Yoongi’s black hair - everything about this is real to Park Jimin.
But Yoongi tells Jimin about the stars. Yoongi wants to be an astronomer someday, and he tells him how everything that surrounds them is made out of tiny atoms that once have been part of the universe - still are, isn’t the Earth part of the universe? But, before the Big Bang, or right afterwards (Jimin isn’t sure, Jimin is better at writing and imagining than at remembering facts) those atoms and particles have probably been so many light years away from where the two of them are sitting now; the yard of their university, both with books in their laps that couldn’t be any more different.
Creative. Analytical. Feeling. Thinking.
Yoongi talks about the stars and all Jimin hears is that they are made of stardust. And when he hears it from his childhood friend’s lips, he believes it.
And it’s fantastic, isn’t it? Downright unreal, right? How can he, Park Jimin, be made of stardust and gravity and other magical things? Someone must be behind this, some writer or creator, so Jimin thinks they are part of a huge story. Nothing else makes sense in his head, filled with narrations and dreams, images and universes.
Yoongi thinks they are made of stardust, too, although he speaks in way more rational terms about it: he explains it with physics and chemistry and it sounds like poetry and art to Jimin and Jimin realizes they are the same thing. Everything is part of the same story at the end of the day; Yoongi and Jimin are made of stardust and so is the wind that cools them down in the summer heat, as is the fresh grass under their intertwining fingers, and the smell of the tree behind them.
Yoongi and Jimin are made out of the light in their eyes when they look at each other, and the lopsided curl of Yoongi’s smile, and the sound of Jimin’s laugh when he throws his head back with joy. They are made out of the tears Yoongi cries when he is home alone, and of the rage Jimin feels towards the helplessness regarding Yoongi’s situation, and of the hugs and kisses and the promise of more.
Yoongi and Jimin are made of brotherhood, of hatred and friendship and jealousy and love .
And in their dreams, they meet.
For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.*
Sometimes, Yoongi wonders what his life would look like if he made it through the audition for BigHit. Naver and YouTube are full of videos and interviews with BTS; they are the next huge sensation and Yoongi feel kind of proud seeing them being so successful although he has got nothing to do with them. He met Kim Namjoon, one of the two rappers who were part of the final lineup, during his audition; tall and lanky and one hell of a good rapper. He respected him after talking to him and learning about his influence on the creation of the group, and he felt the respect Namjoon had for him. But that was not enough, Namjoon was in no position to decide over company issues. The producers had immediately understood that Yoongi was first and foremost a producer himself and a performing artist only second. They hadn’t wanted somebody who wouldn’t be easily malleable, somebody who’d probably talk back and who’d have their own ideas.
Namjoon was younger than him, probably easier to work with. And that was fine.
That is fine.
Against all odds, Yoongi had made it as a producer a few years (of suffering and starvation) later. People now want to buy his songs and beats for various projects; TV commercials, background music for shows - his latest offer is about producing an entire original score for a drama.
Yoongi smiles; coincidentally, it’s a drama that stars a member of BTS, the group he’d auditioned for. BTS hadn’t become a hip hop group after all (as was first promised to Yoongi when he auditioned) - they are idols like EXO or BigBang, and Yoongi thanks the stars for having failed the audition back then.
He is doing what he’s always wanted to now, anyway.
Yoongi is sitting in his office, located on the 27th floor of a high-rise building in Gangnam. The rent is still a bit too much for his company, but he knows it won’t be in half a year’s time anymore; their workload is growing exponentially and he’s already hired three additional producers. Min Yoongi is a perfectionist, so the selection process has been a long and arduous affair, but now his team consists of four producers (including himself), several sound engineers, salesmen specializing in marketing, accountants and everything else that a real and proper company needs.
Min Yoongi has officially made it all by himself, after fighting through years of darkness and depression, hunger and starvation. And he is the proudest man alive.
He rests his head on the open palm of his hand and looks out of the window, enjoying the view of Seoul on a wonderful spring day. He doesn’t believe in fate, but if it did exist, it had been good to him.
His telephone rings.
“Yoongi, I just got an email about an interesting new offer,” his secretary replies. Yoongi insists on everyone talking informally to each other - he appreciates the feeling of familiarity and team spirit at work, especially since he spends way more time at the company than at home.
He licks his lips. “Give it to Yoonsung, he should be finished with his current assignment by the end of the week.” He thinks he’s already told Jieun to give the next offer to the young and promising addition to their team. Not that Yoongi was old being only 26 - but everyone thinks Yoongi is older than that anyway, with the way he holds himself and speaks, authority and wisdom permeating every aspect of Yoongi’s persona.
Jieun sounds exasperated. “I know you told me to do that, Yoongi. Contrary to your beliefs I do sometimes pay attention to you when you talk. But the company explicitly requested a song written and produced by you. The recipient is a fan of yours.”
Yoongi’s eyebrows shoot up and he can’t help but feel pleased - somebody actually gave a shit and looked up the credits of one of his songs instead of just attributing it to his company.
“Oh? And who is it?”
“Park Jimin of the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company.”
Lyrics come to Yoongi in a lot of different situations. Sometimes, he watches people on the train; they look tired and there’s the smell of sweat from a hard day’s work hanging in the air, so Yoongi writes about the gloomy, repetitious nature of society. Sometimes he indulges himself and takes a few days off. He drives down to Daegu, having forgiven the lack of help and support, mending broken relationships as well as his stubborn personality allows him to. He visits his old schools and the basketball court that used to be his second home, and writes about hopes and dreams and happy endings.
There is always more waiting for him, a new world around every corner.
Sometimes, inspiration strikes hardest when he sees something beautiful and that is what’s happening right now.
Park Jimin is dancing. He jumps up in the air, his left knee almost touching his chest, his right leg stretched out gracefully. Yoongi sees the droplets of sweat on the dancer’s face and on his sculpted, naked chest as he executes one elegant move after another. Yoongi doesn’t know a thing about contemporary dance but he doesn’t need to in order to see that Jimin is the best of the best.
Before attending the dance company’s showcase, Yoongi had looked Jimin up online. Apparently he’d spent the past few years in Europe’s most famous dance companies, receiving applause and recognition from around the world. But Yoongi was still a bit apprehensive about composing a song for Park Jimin’s next performance since contemporary dance was not Yoongi’s element like hip hop and original pop music was.
But Park Jimin thinks the two of them are compatible, and sitting in the audience, watching him with his mouth agape, Yoongi begins to understand why.
Passion. Pure, utter, raw passion in every breath Jimin takes, formed by days, weeks, months, years, decades of effort and bone-tiring, hard work.
Park Jimin must have heard the same in his songs; the ones he’d published as Agust D on Soundcloud and YouTube for free.
I want Agust D to write a song for me the email had said and Yoongi had scoffed at the demanding tone of it.
Now he wants to write a carpet full of words and melodies, wants to cover the stage Jimin is performing on with it, wants Jimin to dance on it the way he’s dancing now - a display of perfection carried by Yoongi’s very own music.
Min Yoongi will definitely obey Park Jimin’s command.
It would be the first, but definitely not the last time.
They’re sitting in a café; Jimin is sipping his latté while Yoongi drones on about contracts and rights and ownership of intellectual property.
Yoongi had been surprised when it was Jimin who scheduled their appointment; he’d expected a manager or someone else from Jimin’s company. But Jimin wrote an email again - this time, Jieun forwarded it to Yoongi so Yoongi could answer on his own. The tone had been as commanding as in the previous one: I heard that Min Yoongi was in the audience during my last showcase so I gather that he is interested in writing a song for me. I request a meeting with him to discuss further details. It didn’t match at all with what your first impression of Jimin up close would be; a bit on the short side (even shorter than Yoongi, although only by one centimetre), chubby cheeks, cute voice and an endearing smile.
If Yoongi didn’t know about his stage presence, he’d probably wondered what he was doing there.
“So,” Yoongi ends his monologue, “do we have a deal?”
Jimin smiles sweetly. “I have to give those papers to my agency first, of course. But I’ve pestered them for so long to allow me to contact you, I’m sure they won’t make any problems.”
“I’ve already wondered why no higher-ups from your agency are here.” Yoongi rolls his eyes. Yes, he wants to write that song for Park Jimin, the beautiful dancer he has seen the other day, but that is a professional interest. He wants to have a beautiful and artistic collaboration and he needs efficiency and integrity.
What he got is Park Jimin sitting in front of him, staring at him with his googly eyes all afternoon without saying anything about the contract or business.
“Why did you start making music, Yoongi?”
Yoongi raises one eyebrow. “Why do you think?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s not because of contracts and business.” Jimin takes a big gulp of his already cold latté.
“Yeah well, but that’s how the world works - and I really need to get the contract work done in order that song for you, Jimin.”
Jimin chuckles. “Yeah, I know, I’m sorry… I just. I really relate to your lyrics, you know?”
Jimin looks at him and Yoongi recognizes the feeling in his eyes - Yoongi must’ve looked the same when he saw Jimin dance a few days ago. It’s recognition; the knowledge the other person shares their passion for music, no matter how differently they express it. The admission that both of them have worked hard to get where they are now; one of Korea’s best modern dancers and one of the rising top producers of Korea’s music industry.
“You know what,” Yoongi smiles and looks at the table in defeat, “what the hell. Why did I start making music? It was the only way I knew how to express myself when I was young and too anxious to give my thoughts words. I gave them melodies and lyrics instead.”
It is a sunny day and the café they’re sitting in is decorated with old furniture to make it look more homely; dark wooden tables instead of thin plastic ones, the chairs, made out of the same wood as the table (cherry? Yoongi guesses), are upholstered with faded mint-green velvety fabric. There’s dust flying around between Yoongi and Jimin and the sunlight streaming through the gap between the light mint-green curtains make the dust particles shine against the dark interior of the café.
Yoongi looks up to follow the dust with his eyes and so does Jimin - their eyes meet and there is a sparkle, way brighter than the dust and the sun and their passion for music. It feels like the wind swaying the grass under the tree, the wind through their hair as they read books, bodies and souls touching.
“Your melodies are your thoughts. My dance is my feelings.”
Attraction is science. Jimin is a beautiful man and Yoongi adores beautiful men; wants to feel them underneath himself, touch them. He feels the rush of oxytocin and serotonin, feels his throat go dry and his eyes widen with his visceral responses to his perception of Jimin.
Love is magic. They don’t know why they smell grass, why they feel wind, but it is there and it is taking them with it, letting them float between the stars like dust. Jimin takes Yoongi’s hand in between his two, and Yoongi holds on for dear life. He is losing himself in the rush of science and magic and everything in between, feels melodies forming in his mind and sees Jimin’s legs jump and stretch and twirl to them.
“Give your dance to my thoughts and I'll give my melodies to your feelings.”
When Yoongi looks back, he knows that maybe he finished that song some day, but that doesn’t mean he’s ever finished writing out Jimin’s feelings. He did that all of his life and he will continue so, always, wherever and whenever they are.
They have more magical moments in more cozy cafés.
In Jimin’s dance studio.
(Yoongi’s breath becomes visible on the mirror when he presses himself against Park Jimin and Park Jimin’s back against the mirror. The breath mists away half of his face and he looks into his own eyes; but they don’t feel like his own eyes, they are another Yoongi’s, watching, wondering how the hell he and Park Jimin came together like this.
I feel you, buddy, I don’t know either , Yoongi thinks. The other Yoongi’s eyes seem to smile a little before looking at Jimin with something akin to disgust.
But then Jimin moans his name and Yoongi becomes one again, one for Jimin, always for Jimin as he pleasures him. Jimin is his other half wherever, whenever.)
In his own studio.
(That isn’t in the BigHit building, but he makes love to Jimin in it, sees Kumamon figurines and a baseball shirt and so many music show trophies. Jimin has pink hair and this isn’t his Jimin but it is his Jimin, all the Jimins are bleeding into one.
“Suga,” he moans with a mischievous smile on his face and Yoongi chuckles although he doesn’t understand the joke. He just looks up to the wonderful man that is riding him on some other Yoongi’s couch, his best friend, and he knows he is only ever himself, all of his selves, when Park Jimin and Min Yoongi are like that, together, two parts of a whole, underneath the big tree, lying in the grass.)
At home in bed.
(That is a set for a magazine photo shoot. Jimin rolls his eyes when Yoongi says something, he loves to disagree but touches him anyway, because there is no feeling in this world like touching Min Yoongi, who is a horrible horrible person but who is also made out of melodies and stardust. Stardust you can see in the photographer’s work, and Jimin hates Yoongi, he truly does, but he loves the art he makes out of his own body, whether it is with a lens or with his hands.)
Their friends say they are the perfect couple. Min Yoongi, producer, and Park Jimin, dancer - their collaboration becomes a huge hit in Korea’s entertainment industry, as does their relationship. Jimin’s performance to Yoongi’s music is breathtaking; it makes people cry and feel and think and see dust in the sunlight. In the opening night of Jimin’s new showcase, Yoongi, Park Jimin’s boyfriend of six months, sits in the front row. They are planning to come out to the world after the performance and Yoongi is feeling giddy. There is no way things can go wrong in this world; Jimin will be brilliant, Yoongi’s name will be written all over it and people will accept them for what they are.
He looks up to the stage and sees Jimin. Jimin looks right at him and smiles. The performance is a masterpiece.
“Tell me how the two of you have found each other,” the hostess says. Yoongi and Jimin are sitting on the couch of the TV studio, holding hands. They want to show Korea what they are, and the consequences have been, although severe, not as terrible as they thought they would turn out.
Yoongi is still a successful producer.
Jimin is still a brilliant modern dancer.
“Well,” Jimin begins, “I am always looking for good music to dance to. And although I had been trying out for idol companies back in the day - no really,” the audience makes surprised noises, “I don’t really want to dance to popular idol songs. Those have their own choreographies anyway. I am always looking for independent artists on Youtube and Soundcloud, and so I found Yoongi’s work as Agust D.” Jimin squeezes Yoongi’s hand with pride. “Afterwards I found out that he owned his own independent company and yeah. I asked him to write me a song.”
“You demanded I write a song for you, Jimin,” Yoongi corrects and both the hostess and the audience laugh.
“But isn’t it weird?” Yoongi looks at Jimin. “I didn’t even know you auditioned to become an idol. I did, too. Only once though, but I did.”
Jimin perks up. “Yeah? Which company?”
Jimin’s eyes go wide. “Oh my god, me too?” Both of them begin to laugh and the audience coos.
“Looks like you were meant to be together!” The hostess smiles brightly, clearly overjoyed at the fact that a romantic detail of their relationship like this happened to be revealed on her show.
The soft smile on Yoongi’s face at that moment will melt hearts all over Korea when it broadcasts. “I guess no matter how things would have turned out, you and I would’ve always met, Jiminnie.”
“Yeah. Even if we were part of Bangtan Sonyeondan. Imagine that!” Jimin’s eyes are shining brightly. “I can’t imagine you being an idol though, Yoongi.”
The three people on the couch throw their heads back with laughter at that thought.
People will see that laughter. See Yoongi and Jimin hold hands and talk to each other. Smile together.
Maybe things will work out for the two of them, the producer and the dancer. Maybe they won’t. But this story ends here as the wind continues to make the leaves of the old tree rustle above Min Yoongi’s and Park Jimin’s heads.
Dream, I will be there for your creation until the end of your life.**
“Your stage name will be Suga.”
Yoongi makes a face at that statement; he makes faces at a lot of things management tells him to do. “Suga?”
“Yeah. Your smile is sweet. Your skin is white. Like sugar.”
Another thing he often does: Trying to reduce cognitive dissonance.
An idol group. But yeah, it’s focused on hip hop! And he can produce his own songs!
Dance. Dancing to hip hop is just like b-boying, isn’t it? Also, Hoseok and Jimin look pretty cool doing it, so he and the other four are just like back-ups, right?
Writing romantic lyrics about girls. It’s not like he doesn’t like girls. He likes both. Or all. Whatever. So he can just concentrate on the liking girls aspect of his preferences.
“I think it fits you!” Jimin, the new one, their latest addition, says cheerily. He is wearing Yoongi’s clothes - there is nothing to wear for him except Yoongi’s clothes after Yoongi told him to throw out his old, uncool clothes - and he looks better in them than Yoongi.
At least Yoongi thinks so. God, that kid is cute.
“But it sounds so pretentious and… I don’t know, sweet I guess, yes? But I am not sweet.”
Jimin furrows his brows, which somehow doesn’t make his expression any less bright.
“Last night you told me you used to be the shooting guard of your basketball team at school, right?”
Late night talks quickly became Yoongi’s and Jimin’s thing. Right after Jimin entered Yoongi’s life, the older couldn’t resist taking him under his wing. The poor kid was a ball of shyness and anxiety when he arrived at BigHit, but now he feels more secure; as long as Yoongi is around to look up to and copy.
Yoongi is glad that the kid isn’t copying his negativity though - Jimin is way too psyched up about getting the chance to be an idol to be depressed and gloomy like Yoongi.
They are very different people, but similar at the same time.
Jimin grins again. “Well, Shoo ting Gua rd. Shoo-Gua. Suga! It sounds like your stage name!”
The manager has already left the two, not really caring about Yoongi’s little identity crisis. They’re alone in their dorm’s tiny living room, sitting on the couch and Jimin is so bright, Yoongi feels like he has to squint his eyes. He wishes he could battle his own anxiety like Jimin does.
He also feels a smile creeping onto his face.
“Yeah, it does.”
“See?” Jimin takes Yoongi’s hand in between his two. “It’s meant to be!”
The first two years of their career are absolutely horrible. Of course, it’s much better than their trainee days; he might still be hungry all the time, but at least now, he has enough money for food. If he’s really hungry, he can just go to the store and get something. Back in the day, he simply couldn’t afford it.
He remembers trying not to be angry at his parents, who weren’t well off themselves. But when the others got care packages from home, his pride didn’t let him take parts of the others’ food when offered. In spite of always sharing his own food when the other members were hungry (and Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook were hungry all the time ), he couldn’t accept help from the others in return.
Except sometimes, he would accept a rice cake or two from Jimin because he knew Jimin wouldn’t eat until Yoongi, his role model and big brother, would. Yoongi was aware of the fact that Jimin manipulated him into eating, but he also realized that the boy was the first who properly, truly understood him. He couldn’t be mad at the boy who turned on the light in Yoongi’s dark studio as its owner hid his face from the world in a never-ending cycle of self-destruction and shame. He couldn’t be mad at the boy who made him retell all the good things that happened at the end of a day so Yoongi wouldn’t be able to bury them under blood, sweat and tears. He couldn’t be mad at the boy who struggled so much himself, but who’d always proclaim that without Yoongi praising him, building him up when he crumbled and holding him above the water that always threatened to drown all seven of them, he wouldn’t be able to make it.
Yoongi might have known Namjoon and Hoseok for years longer than Jimin, but only with Jimin in his life he started to feel like he could heal .
Yoongi’s demons had always been present and it was not like Jimin was the one who cured him. Yoongi is not cured, will never be, but Jimin is the one who gives him space to breathe, to collect all the parts of himself and mend them together into one.
But still. The first two years are really bad, even if they are better than trainee days.
“I’m shit at this, Yoongi.”
It’s 2 am and it’s only Jimin and Yoongi at the company building. Yoongi had just wrapped up his latest song and wanted to go home when he saw the light burning in their small dance practice room.
He found Jimin sitting in the middle of it, knees drawn up to his chest and face buried in them.
They had just come home from America and everyone is just so tired . Yoongi is finishing the last touches on Dark & Wild ; so are the other producers. The other members have already started practicing the choreographies for Danger and War of Hormone and no one is getting enough sleep.
Yoongi feels the guilt settling deep down in his gut - he hasn’t had enough time for Jimin lately although he knew how much he struggled in America and afterwards.
“No, you’re not,” Yoongi sighs as he enters the room and puts down his bag. He knows Jimin doesn’t believe him.
It’s night and they are alone. Yoongi looks at Jimin; at his slouched shoulders, at the back of his head, and his heart swells with love and adoration for the boy that is so much like him with his self-doubt and ambition, yet who is so entirely different.
The silence between the two is eery and, again, just as every night when he dreams, Yoongi sees: The space between the two of them is filled with endless possibilities. Yoongi looks at the wooden floor and sees grass that is swaying gently with the wind. He sees intertwined fingers and he sees his own breath on the mirrors of the practice room as he does unspeakable things to Jimin, with Jimin.
But Yoongi swallows down his own wishes, pretends he doesn’t see the other worlds - the worlds Jimin and he could live in. Do live in.
Jimin is the one who always lightens up the room, so Yoongi goes over to the light switch and turns it off. There are no windows in the room, but Jimin raises his head and he swears that there is starlight surrounding Yoongi when the older approaches with long and determined strides. Jimin smells the stench of another Yoongi’s photo lab when he embraces him and he wonders what it would be like to never make music or dance; to be Yoongi’s model, to exist for Yoongi to make him look beautiful all the time. Because Yoongi is a creator , he writes melodies for Jimin to dance to, he builds Jimin’s self-confidence out of nothing so the younger can function, he makes art out of Jimin with rationality and skill.
“They will love you, Jimin,” Yoongi whispers into his ear and finally, Jimin believes Yoong. Of course he does, he will always believe Yoongi’s words, wherever they are, whatever the time is.
The fans love Jimin. They love all seven of them.
“Can you believe we got this far?” Jimin asks as he makes himself comfortable in Yoongi’s arms.
They just came home from a music show. They’re promoting Fire now and in a few days, they will go to Europe with their Vlive team. Everyone around them is giddy with joy; this is the end of Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa , the series that made them rise to stardom. And Fire - Fire is a huge hit. Their biggest so far, and they love promoting it.
They have very little time, but Yoongi and Jimin still make sure they spend enough of it together, so when Jin is already sleeping, Jimin steals himself into Yoongi’s bed to cuddle and talk for a while before they fall asleep. Jimin grins at the thought that Yoongi wouldn’t give up his precious sleep for anyone but him.
Yoongi chuckles lowly. “Yes, I can. My bank account is proof enough. Do you know what I did before you came here?”
“I ordered a Rolex online.”
Yoongi has to hold his hand over Jimin’s mouth to stifle his laughter in order to not wake Jin up from his deep slumber.
“Oh my god, Yoongi, isn’t that a bit too much?” Jimin asks with tears in his eyes.
Yoongi grins. “No. It’s too little actually. After these and the next promotions, we can buy the whole fucking world, Jiminnie.”
I will buy the whole fucking world and give it to you.
Jimin looks up at Yoongi and smiles as if he had heard Yoongi’s thoughts. The smile is a bit sad and he feels Yoongi kiss the crown of his head when he looks down again.
“There is no way this will work, Yoongi, right?” he mumbles against his friend’s chest.
(Thinking friend hurts so much.)
He hears Yoongi’s lungs fill up with air when he breathes in deeply to let out a sigh. Yoongi’s long, bony fingers are carding through Jimin’s black locks and there is silence. Specks of dust are flying around in the room, illuminated by Seoul’s city lights that comes in through their thin curtains. The light is dim and artificial, yet it still looks kind of magical. It reflects on Yoongi’s silver hair and makes Yoongi’s skin look as white as porcelain.
Jimin thinks he looks like a character out of a fairytale, but then, aren’t they all just part of a story? There is no way this is the real life - they are worldwide superstars. How can it be? How is this possible?
The only thing that feels real to Jimin are Yoongi and himself lying in bed like this, playing with each other’s hair, bathing in each other’s warmth and affection.
“I don’t think so, Jiminnie.”
Yoongi sounds as choked up as Jimin feels, but it comes as no surprise.
“If it were just us two against the world - then yes, I would risk anything for you and me.” Yoongi sighs again. “But- it’s not just us. It’s also Jin, Namjoon, Hoseok and the kids. And I can’t risk them. I can’t risk Bangtan. Can you?”
Jimin buries his head in Yoongi’s chest and Yoongi pretends he doesn’t feel the wetness seeping through his shirt. The pull between their souls is like a tight string, never loose, always there, and it hurts so fucking much.
“No,” Jimin whispers after a while, “I can’t risk them for us. For this. They’re the only people I couldn’t bear to see suffering because of my selfish desires.”
Yoongi takes Jimin’s face in between his hands and makes him look at him. “Our. Our desires.”
Jimin stares at Yoongi’s face, silver hair illuminated by the city lights, glittering dust almost invisible against the canvas of his pale face, and he wonders if Yoongi is talking about just the two of them, or all two of them.
Yoongi leans down and their foreheads meet. “At least we can always be together like this, can’t we? Maybe it will be enough.”
Jimin then steals a kiss - just a little peck, their first and their last one of the millions and millions of kisses they share.
“Maybe. And if not - well, we will always meet under the tree.”
When Park Jimin and Min Yoongi look into each other’s eyes, they always see the one trait they have in common: Passion.
Jimin is a dancer; he wants to show his love for music with his movements, loves when his body obeys his every command, so he trains hard for it every day. The stage allows him to show the results of his hard work - being an idol is ideal for this.
Yoongi is a rapper and a producer; he loves to write songs and publish them, he cannot express himself very well when he talks to strangers, so he lets his music speak for himself. He works day and night to be able to deliver good music that tells of his thoughts and paints his feelings - being an idol is a great opportunity to perform them.
The stage gives both Jimin and Yoongi what they need from life and that is why they decide to put the stage before anything else. And it is fine, really, it is , as long as they are able to be on that stage together .
They’re performing one of the last songs of their concert and they are just walking around on stage, singing leisurely to it while waving their hands to their fans. It’s one of their Wings tour stops and they have finally, truly made it: BTS are world stars and there is hardly any other group more successful than them. They have sacrificed everything for their goal; youth, health, love.
But can true love be sacrificed?
Jimin looks over to Yoongi. He can’t suppress his smile when he sees the older’s bright laugh; it’s not often that Yoongi laughs as freely as that, with happiness radiating off him.
He truly looks beautiful, rapping his part, his eyes glued towards the screaming and cheering fans.
It’s so weird, seeing Yoongi perform. Is- is he wearing make up ? My Yoongi? My producer who never wants to accompany me to official parties because there are too many photographers and he hates being in the spotlight?
Not yours. Mine.
Ugh, please stop saying Yoongi is yours, that’s kind of disgusting … thinking about Min Yoongi as ‘mine’, I want to throw up. And why the hell is your hair pink? It looks ridiculous .
They are all stories in his head, Jimin knows, but he loves to meet them under the tree. He loves to meet himself and himself and himself .
Because they all tell him of so many Yoongis, and they all love them - even that arrogant prick who pretends to hate his Yoongi.
Suddenly, Yoongi turns around and his bright smile is directed at Jimin. Jimin wants nothing more but to run to him and fall into his arms, to steal another kiss and so many more because he knows - even if it’s just a story, a fantasy world in his head in which dust carries starlight and atoms are made out of the love between Min Yoongi and Park Jimin - he just knows that every kiss Yoongi has to give is rightfully his .
There is a future ahead of them, and maybe even the narrator of the story in his head can be wrong. That peck he stole from Yoongi all those nights ago, was it really the last?
Because suddenly, right here and now, Yoongi has his camera with him. Jimin doesn’t remember Yoongi bringing his own camera on stage for the last song, but it is there, and Yoongi is smiling so brightly - isn’t Jimin supposed to be the bright one out of the two? The cheering of their fans becomes louder, it washes over Jimin in waves as he feels the world around himself alter and shift. The love for this moment - standing on the stage, with the six people he cares about the most, being looked at Yoongi who is happy, finally happy , demons temporalily gone, and the happiness is aimed at him, Jimin, who is not shit at this, who finally accepted the truth of him being good - it overwhelms him and he feels how it flees his body.
He feels himself floating away from this world.
Jimin panics - somebody has to capture this moment, his love for this moment, somebody has to keep everything how it is! This is not a world in which he can be with Yoongi the way he wants to, but this is a good world, a right one. This is the world in which he is part of Bangtan Sonyeondan, a group with a million loving fans, a world in which he can live and breathe the way he wants and he doesn’t want to go to another branch, he cannot lose this -
Yoongi takes a photo of Jimin and suddenly, everything stands still because Yoongi, creator of worlds in which Park Jimin tells his stories, captures the moment.
And all is well (in this world).
We go to seek a better world. May you find one, as well.***
Min Yoongi and Park Jimin are always ready to fight because everything Jimin does is so annoying to Yoongi.
“I cannot believe they’re rescheduling the whole day because Park fucking Jimin wants his popcorn to be salty, not sweet.”
“He says the sweet popcorn reminds him of you, that’s why he hates it,” Hoseok answers with a bored voice, “clearly, he doesn’t know you very well; you’re the saltiest person on this planet.”
Yoongi gingerly puts down his camera and looks at Hoseok with a blank face. “You’re joking.”
His co-worker shrugs. “No. He said out loud that the first time you two met, you were eating obscene amounts of sweet popcorn, and that’s why he can’t stand the stuff. The location owner only bought the sweet kind when he heard that Park Jimin likes popcorn, because normal people like sweet popcorn . Now his managers are out looking for salty popcorn because His Majesty wants it, and we cannot start with the shoot because you know the rule, no photos of His Majesty without his managers overlooking the operation and being sure nothing is out of order.”
Yoongi crosses his arms on the table and lets his head fall down onto them. “Oh my god,” he whispers sadly. “I want to go home.”
Suddenly, there’s an obnoxious slurping sound behind him - it seems like somebody is trying to suck approximately three droplets of fluid out of a cup with a straw. Annoying . “Believe me, I want you to go as well, but your perverted ass happens to take the best photos of me, so here we are.”
“Go away, Park Jimin, I don’t have the patience for you today.”
Jimin, pretty as always with his fluffy grey hair and lipgloss on his pouting lips, lets himself fall into the seat next to Yoongi at the desk.
“I wanna go home as well, Yoongi. Let’s talk about the outfits so we can start right away after I get my popcorn.”
Yoongi turns his head around to peek up at Park Jimin between his mint green hair and his arm. “Then stop doing unnecessary stuff like ordering a different kind of popcorn just because you don’t like me .”
With his head rested against his small hand, Jimin sneers. “Don’t take yourself too seriously. I also simply dislike sweet popcorn. But I crave popcorn right now. And you know that I have to get what I crave.”
Hoseok, who’s turning around to leave the bickering duo, snickers meaningfully at Jimin’s last comment.
Yoongi buries his head in his arms again and makes fake sobbing noises. “I don’t deserve this.”
“Yes,” Jimin smiles sweetly, “you don’t deserve me.”
At some point in his life, Park Jimin had been a dancer. Yoongi knows that because, yes, he has to admit it, he looked him up online after their first project together. During high school, Jimin had suffered from a severe injury to his right leg that resulted in a chronic condition and he had to give up dancing.
There are YouTube videos. He had been really good, they called him a natural and predicted his future as a contemporary dancer in Europe. Yoongi would feel bad for him if he didn’t dislike Jimin so much.
(Yoongi feels very bad for Jimin.)
Apparently, he was scouted on the street afterwards; not for the catwalk, he was too small for that, but as a photo model. Park Jimin knows exactly how to pose for photos. His plump lips and bedroom eyes add a certain amount of mysterious sexiness that overlays the cuteness he gives off at first glance.
Especially in Yoongi’s photos.
Yoongi had always had an interest in photography - capturing a moment feels like freezing a certain emotion or thought. It was, and still is, a tool to express himself. As a child and young teenager, he considered making music as a means to create something of his own. His parents used to have a brown piano in their living room, which had always fascinated Yoongi as a child. The sounds he got out of the big old thing felt like magic to him. But after his friends and family told him the chances of getting a stable job with music were almost non-existent, he re-considered.
During high-school, he found his love for photography. It was a quiet hobby and less exhausting than basketball, but Yoongi enjoyed the change. He felt like he was able to tell stories by taking photos; by burning an image onto paper with his lens, he made sure that a moment never changed, which meant that it never developed into a new moment, and then into another, and another, until it might have become its own timeline in a new world with new possibilities.
Yoongi found that he liked to end those worlds with just a click . All the possibilities - gone.
(The cover of the brown piano - shut.)
He took photography classes in college and people complimented him on his talent for making pretty things look even more beautiful in his pictures; flowers in full bloom, the stars in the night sky.
Pretty people, too. People like Park Jimin.
When Yoongi first met Jimin two years ago, Jimin was still in college and Yoongi had just graduated. He had applied to every magazine that hired photographers because he wanted a stable job in which he could make decent money and maybe create some artful pictures that would give his craft purpose.
Min Yoongi didn’t dream big. Still doesn’t.
Park Jimin seemed to be the same. He had never aspired to be a photo model. It was a coincidence that he had been asked by some guy on the street, and after confirming that the offer was legit, he just went along with the promise of some money and praise for his looks. Jimin liked to feel flattered and he craved more of that kind of attention.
They met up at the planned location for the photo shoot and for both of them, it was their first job in their respective careers. Yoongi and Jimin shook hands and for a brief moment, Yoongi caught himself admiring the other’s soft face and well-built body.
Until he realized what kind of man Park Jimin was. And who he was to him.
It is two weeks after the popcorn incident and Jimin finds himself yet again in front of Min Yoongi’s lens.
As always, magic happens.
When Jimin feels Yoongi’s eyes on his body, he just knows how to move and twist it to make it look beautiful. When he hears Yoongi’s harshly shouted directions, he just knows how to tilt his chin and how widely he has to smile.
Tired, boring, bitter Min Yoongi brings out the best of Jimin’s looks - and his looks are what Jimin is most proud of in this world.
(Since his leg has failed him.)
“Lick your lips, open your mouth, and let the glasses slide down a bit.”
Jimin does as told. Click click click.
“Pull up your jeans so it doesn’t crinkle, show me that ass.”
“Pervert,” Jimin whispers as he follows the direction. Click click click.
They are shooting promotional photos for a magazine and the client insisted on some full body shots - that’s why he also hired Yoongi, famous for making Park Jimin look like a god in photos.
The two of them are a mystery in the world of models and photographers - how can two people hate each other so much but click so well during work?
Of course, Jimin knows why.
Those idiots around him - managers, caterers, hell, even the client - they’re all drooling over Jimin’s looks. He has all of them wrapped around his little finger. If he wanted some bubble tea right now, he’d have it in under five minutes. He would smile as sweetly as always and gracefully thank the poor soul that would have brought it.
Jimin doesn’t fake his politeness and charm, but he knows exactly how to use his traits as weapons. He is always the one who bows to every single person on set after a job is done. He’s the one who pretends to be shy before a shooting so everybody reassures him how good he looks and how great he is doing. He’s the one who offers help to everybody on set, knowing very well that no one would make him do hard labour, not with his small cute hands and pinchable cheeks and sweet smile.
Everybody thinks Jimin is an angel - except Yoongi.
And that is why Yoongi’s photos are the best: They show the real Park Jimin, who knows what he wants and who is so damn sexy everyone wonders where that cute and lovely boy from the shooting had gone.
Back in the day, Yoongi asked Jimin out after their first job, feeling the pull on his soul hurting him.
They went to a beautiful little café. The old-fashioned chairs and tables were made out of dark wood (cherry, Jimin thought) and were upholstered with faded mint-green velvety fabric. It looked very homely and cozy. Warm light flooded in through thin, faded mint-green curtains and although no furniture was dusty, there were little particles flowing around in the air, illuminated by the sun.
Jimin didn’t tell Yoongi about his dancing, the memories hurt too much (of course Yoongi knew the next time they met). Instead, he told him how much he loved the attention during the photo shoot and how he could see himself doing this for the rest of his life.
His eyes were dull when he spoke about it, hands not gesturing at all.
Yoongi didn’t tell Jimin about his secret love for music, the regret of giving up on it was too strong (yes somehow, magically, Jimin knew about it the next time they met). Instead, he spoke about photography and how it was a stable source of income because he had a talent for it and he’d probably always get hired, so he planned to do it for the rest of his life.
Jimin liked Yoongi’s voice, but he didn’t like what he was saying.
Yoongi liked Jimin’s face, but he didn’t like what it was expressing.
But then, Yoongi showed Jimin the photos he took during their photo shoot and both realized that they were making art when they were together.
(It feels like a rhythm and a melody finding their ways to each other. The rhythm is strong and the melody is soft, and together they make a song that feels alive . More alive than Yoongi has ever felt in this world.)
(It feels like finally getting a dance move right; the body tension is on point when Jimin raises his arm and both of his feet stay in position. He feels the rhythm and the melody of the song that was written for him and Jimin loves it. Loves him .)
“Pervert,” Jimin whispers and Yoongi lifts Jimin’s designer shirt he’s already wearing for the next session, kissing and biting the skin underneath. “Don’t leave marks where they can be seen.”
“I’m not an idiot,” Yoongi murmurs hotly against soft skin, making Jimin shiver.
“Not sure about that...” Jimin hisses in pain when Yoongi bites down particularly hard as an answer.
There is a huge couch made out of dark red velvet in Jimin’s waiting room and it was so cliché, so Jimin , Yoongi had to laugh out loud when he saw it for the first time a couple of minutes ago. He was following Jimin into his room, as he almost always does during their breaks.
They may not like each other, but god knows they almost physically hurt when they can’t touch each other.
Jimin half-sits, half-lies on the big ugly thing, toned back propped against its corner, muscular thighs parted so Yoongi’s torso fits right in between. Jimin’s arms are lying on the head- and armrests of the couch and he looks positively regal, ready to be pleasured by his lowly photographer.
Yoongi sneers at the image in front of him, but he cannot hold himself back from lying down anyway. He bruises and reddens the canvas underneath him and again, as always, he makes an art piece out of Jimin.
And it is beautiful .
“We would be different if we had dreams and ambitions, you know,” Jimin says quietly, “you and I. Together.”
Yoongi doesn’t answer.
Jimin doesn’t look at Yoongi kissing and biting his way down to where he wants him to. Instead, he looks into the mirror on the other side of the room.
There is a hint of pink and black and blond, there are melodies in his head and the itch to dance, and all those things scream at him: Love him!
But how? This Yoongi has decided to not follow his dreams, to give up. How can he love him when Jimin knows of his potential and how Yoongi decided not to use it?
Yoongi looks up at him and Jimin knows that all he can see is a spoilt brat, a diva, an arrogant and bossy boy. And Jimin isn’t even mad, because that is his reality; he has lost his dream and he is angry .
Yoongi is angry, too. What right does Jimin have to judge him? He presses himself against the body underneath him and scurries back up to kiss his jawline. Jimin’s family has always been well off, he doesn’t know what it is like to grow up and know everyone expects you to show your gratitude by making money and building a stable life.
Music was just too much of a risk.
Yoongi sits back on his heels between Jimin’s thighs and looks at him; no, there is no love, no affection, but he cups his face between his hands anyway, because he knows that this world has grown out of his own choices, and he feels sorry. Because Park Jimin craves the passion in Min Yoongi’s eyes that isn’t there, not this time, not in this world, but this is the only thing Jimin craves that he doesn’t get. Jimin looks at him
(like the one who admires that other Yoongi so very much)
and his lips are tembling
(like the one’s who keeps winning dance competitions and always cries with happiness, hugging the producer)
and Yoongi leans down and hugs him tightly, so very tightly, and he wants to love him and be loved in returned, but he can’t. They can’t.
“I love you. Somewhere.”
“I love you, too. Somewhere. Don’t leave me, Yoongi, don’t you ever leave me.”
“I won’t. I can’t .”
Jimin would rather be miserable with Yoongi, the man he doesn’t love, than don’t be with him at all.
Yoongi kisses Jimin’s wet lips and oh, he feels them all, his knees are touching grass and a cool breeze is ruffling his hair, and he hears a happier Jimin giggling from afar. Their hands are linked together.
Cherish him, protect him, love him , the others say and maybe the starlight is weak in Yoongi, but he is still Yoongi, one of many, part of one, no - part of two .
Not once in his life has Yoongi regretted being born as one half of a whole, even though he cannot bring himself to love the other half.
To love himself .
Jimin looks at him, stars dying in his eyes, wind not touching his hair, a flower withering away before it even got to bloom properly, but he holds on to Yoongi for dear life, because he feels the same.
Only together are they ever alive.
Of course they end up at the same model agency together. No one ever books Park Jimin without his photographer Min Yoongi - joining forces seems like the logical thing to do.
Even if it results in more bickering, more fighting, more marks on their bodies that replace real affection.
Jimin gets more and more popular; soon, he’s on every second magazine cover, he gets invited to variety programmes and international fashion shows.
Everywhere he goes, Min Yoongi follows with his camera, earning heaps of money and living the comfortable life he wished for, catching each of Jimin’s bright moments on camera to turn them into something that lasts forever.
(Something that will never change.)
They’re sitting on the couch of Yoongi’s hotel room, both of them wearing white robes and nothing underneath. This time, it was Jimin who followed Yoongi after a huge fight about how Jimin must stop requesting white lilies decorating every location they take photos at.
Yoongi is allergic against lilies, of course. He wants to burn them.
Jimin didn’t follow Yoongi into his room to make up for it - sex has nothing to do with love or hate or their fights for them, sex is just the only way they are able to leech off each others’ stardust that is getting less and less with every day.
They’re watching some boring late night show, neither talking nor laughing, when suddenly, somebody knocks at their door.
Jimin doesn’t move; his legs are pulled up to his chest as he munches on some sweet popcorn, eyes never leaving the TV. Yoongi gets up with a sigh to look through the spyhole - it’s Hoseok, who’s still working as Yoongi’s technical assistant.
“Hey Yoongi, I wanted to tell you- oh, hi Jimin!” Hoseok storms into the room and doesn’t even look fazed when he sees Jimin, although both Jimin and Yoongi have never told anyone about their affair. Instead, there is a knowing look in his eyes. Without any hesitation, he lets himself fall down onto the couch right next to the model.
“Imagine who hired you guys! That rapper you like to listen to, Yoongi, Kim Namjoon!” Hoseok grins at Yoongi, who is leaning against the closed door with folded arms.
Jimin raises one eyebrow. “Huh, I didn’t know Namjoon became a rapper here. Unlike someone else.” His eyes still don’t leave the TV.
“Shut up,” Yoongi retorts coldly without looking at Jimin. “Why would Kim Namjoon need a model and a photographer?”
Hoseok grins. “He wants Jimin to act in his latest music video, and he wants you to be the director.”
“... the director?!”
“It was your decision, wasn’t it, Mr. Director.”
They’re standing on a beach. It’s a cold day, but not one cloud blemishes the clear blue above their heads. On the horizon, it looks like the sea just bleeds into the sky, becoming one with it.
A strong wind is messing up their hair; Jimin’s is pink and Yoongi’s is jet black.
“I like the pink. It suits you.” Yoongi laughs when Jimin makes a disgusted face.
“I liked your mint-green hair better than the black one.”
Yoongi takes Jimin’s hand. “Well. Maybe I am hoping for things to get different. To get better.”
“What do you mean?” Jimin stares at their intertwined hands in wonder, not even feeling the need to shake Yoongi off. It actually feels nice.
“Well. Namjoon wrote Spring Day . He wants you to be in the video and me to create it. Maybe I can create something else. This is a chance, you know.”
Jimin stares at Yoongi with wide eyes, because there it is - there is passion in Yoongi’s face and it glows , he glows, and the wind carries the sand of the beach, makes it hit their skin, but it doesn’t scrape them; it is soft as dust and it gets caught in Yoongi’s light.
In their light.
“We’re contributing to music,” Jimin says, comprehending. “Not yours, but… music .”
“Yes,” Yoongi’s smile shows all of his gum and Jimin stares at it while a huge grin breaks out on his own face, “and we will make the melodies look like something. We will make people feel the music by adding visuals.” Yoongi’s grip on Jimin’s hand grows stronger and Jimin blooms . “I will make art out of your body yet again and the music will carry it.”
The tears that are running down Jimin’s face are as green as the grass they are sitting in when they lean against the big tree.
Did you change?
Or did I change?
I hate even this moment that is passing
I guess we changed
I guess that’s how everything is
Yeah I hate you
Although you left
There hasn’t been a day that I have forgotten you
Honestly I’ll erase you
Because that will hurt less than resenting you
I say that I’m gonna erase you
But actually, I still can’t let you go
Yoongi tilts his head towards the sky and observes the thinner branches of the tree swaying with the wind.
“What did you dream of yesterday?” He asks the boy whose head is lying in his lap. Jimin’s hair is dry from the bleach, but still so soft to the touch when Yoongi buries his fingers in it.
“I dreamt of us making music.”
Yoongi chuckles. “Never in my life have I thought about making music. Those must have been some branches really far away of ours.”
“I know right,” Jimin answers. His eyes are closed and his lips tilted up in a subtle smile. He looks content and happy with himself and the world he’s living in. “But you were so happy when you were able to create music. And I loved dancing to it. In one dream, we met because I was a dancer and found your music online. We fell in love and became a couple. In another, we were both idols. You wrote a lot of songs for the group and I was one of its dancers. We also fell in love but we couldn’t be together. But it was alright, somehow? We were still together, still best friends. In the last branch I was able to visit, our music careers didn’t work out and we kind of hated each other.”
Yoongi raised an eyebrow. “ Hated ?”
“Well.” Jimin opens his eyes and sees that Yoongi stopped staring at the branches of the tree and looks down at him. He cannot imagine Yoongi looking at him without the fondness he currently wears on his face, but he saw it last night. He shivers in a way only Yoongi could ever notice. “Not exactly hate, but we didn’t love each other. At the end of the dream, it got better, though. We still found our way to music. Apparenty, those three dreams lie really close together in the grand scheme of things. The branches were thriving on music.”
Of course, Yoongi dreamt of the same worlds last night and Jimin knows that - there is no way he would let Jimin go on his own. Not when they share everything with each other. They originate from the same place between the universes (come from the same star in the same story in somebody’s head). Yoongi creates and Jimin visits, studies, narrates the stories. He fills up Yoongi’s worlds with life and light and love and Yoongi gives Jimin’s thoughts and emotions a place to flourish - or to wither away.
“I’m glad we’re here though,” Jimin suddenly says, “I’m glad that we’re us .”
He raises his hands to gently carress Yoongi’s cheek with his fingertips. They’re looking into each others’ eyes, well aware that they could be just a story themselves.
But they are real to each other. The grass they’re are sitting in is real. The wind that cools them down is real.
The light that shines in their eyes and the stardust that makes up their atoms and molecules, and thoughts and feelings?
“Me too. I love ourselves the way we are.”
They are real.
**Agust D, So Far Away
***Stephen King, The Dark Tower
****BTS, Spring Day