Jimin is tired. He’s tired, he’s really tired, his eyes are stinging and he wants to just let them droop and be claimed by his exhaustion, to fall asleep even if it’s against his small, wooden desk, in a chair that’d give him back pains for days. It’s almost 3AM and he wants to just sleep, but he has an important exam tomorrow - later that same day, actually - and he’d procrastinated on studying for it, so there he sits, staring at a page full of senseless mumbo jumbo about trigonometry, the clock on his nightstand ticking almost mockingly.
“What even,” he mumbles, reading the same formula for the fifth time in two minutes without actually seeing it. It’s all unintelligible scribbles to him now, the letters and numbers and lines, and honestly, he’d benefit more from five hours of sleep than another hour of torturing himself like this. But Park Jimin is stubborn, and he will not let himself be defeated by something as ridiculous as math.
Or so he keeps telling himself up until five minutes later, when his eyes have fluttered shut and he’s sliding down in his chair.
A sudden screeching noise jerks him back up straight before he can properly drift off, eyes wide and heart stuttering nervously in his chest. “What the hell?” Jimin whispers and looks around. “What was…” His gaze lands on the open window and there’s nothing but the blackness of night staring back at him, but then he hears the sound again and it sends a rush of goosebumps up his neck.
It’s a bird, he realizes, a crow cawing somewhere down the street of his apartment. It must’ve flown past my window just now, which is why it was so loud. The thought doesn’t quite calm him down, especially not since the crow keeps up its insistent screaming, so he decides to close his window to shut out the noise.
As soon as he stands up, however, the noise multiplies, a second crow joining its voice to the first. Then a third, then a fourth, and by the time Jimin reaches the window, the night is filled with a choir of near-terrifying cawing, a full-out murder of crows screaming in unison and making Jimin’s nerves stand on edge. “The hell is this..?” he breathes as he looks out his window, his hands gripping the frame as he leans out a bit to get a proper look at what’s going on.
It’s the dead of night, but in the dim light of a street lamp, Jimin can see what looks like a dozen black shadows flying back and forth, the rustling of their wings drowned by the sound of their insistent cawing. They almost look like bats, if bats were abnormally large with feathers that seemed to shine every time they were hit by a ray of light.
Jimin is rooted to the spot, torn between curiosity and just pure fear, because everyone knows that crows are associated with death, and what with it being the middle of the night and the street is otherwise completely abandoned, well, Jimin really doesn’t think anyone can blame him for being nervous. The birds are circling, never straying too far from the street light, and after a few more seconds of observation, Jimin decides to just close his window and try his best to block out the dreadful noise.
Then he sees the body sprawled out on the ground, and his heart almost jumps out of his chest.
It takes Jimin all of three seconds to grab his keys and burst out the door, his ears ringing with dread. “Oh god, oh god, oh god,” he chants as he throws open the door to his apartment complex and runs out onto the street, fear gripping at his chest as his eyes land on the person. Even from this distance, Jimin can see a smattering of black on the ground around the body, and he prays, he prays to high heaven that it isn’t blood.
“Go away!” he yells at the crows when he gets close enough, forcing himself to keep going even when every single one of the birds turn their black eyes on him, ceasing their screaming for two seconds before picking it up again, even louder than before. “Go away!”
He swipes out his hand, almost throwing his keys away in the process, and the crows disperse, shrieking in protest. “H-hey, hey, mister,” Jimin half whispers, half shouts as he drops to his knees next to the body, hovering his hands out over him, not quite daring to touch. “C-c-can you hear me?”
The man is lying face down on the sidewalk, dressed in black from head to toe, and all Jimin can make out from this angle is the side of his face, pale as snow, his hair ashen grey. “Oh god, please don’t be dead, please don’t be dead,” Jimin breathes, flinching when something hits him in the back of the head, and he looks up in time to see one of the crows fly past his shoulder. “Get away from here!”
The birds scream in reply, and though Jimin can’t remember the last time he’d been this scared, he turns his attention back to the man and gingerly grabs his shoulders, whispering, “I-I’m sorry if this hurts,” before turning him onto his back. “Oh god...”
The man’s left arm looks like it’s been mauled by a fucking bear, large claw marks stretching from his wrist up to his elbow and seeping blood through the tattered sleeve of his jacket. “Holy shit,” Jimin whisperes, on the verge of tears as his eyes travel up to the man’s face. His lips are almost as pale as his skin, just the slightest tint of pink, and Jimin feels his own breath start escalating, his panic threatening to trigger some sort of hyperventilation. With trembling hands, he reaches to the man’s chest and presses down, searching for any sign of life.
It feels like he sits there for an eternity before he feels it, a strong heartbeat surging up against the palm of his hand.
Jimin’s relief is so intense, he almost falls forward, his arms losing their strength. “Oh god, oh thank god,” he breathes out, his voice cracking with a sob. “You’re alive, shit, you’re alive- back off!”
One of the crows had landed next to the man and lowered its head towards his injured arm, and it triggers a violent need to protect in Jimin, a feeling he only ever gets when Taehyung is in trouble. “Don’t touch him!” he shouts at the bird, leaning over the unconscious body as if to shield him, glaring at the crow as it caws at him and flaps its wings, taking to the sky. “Just go away, he’s not dead, you’re not touching him!”
He can almost feel the crows’ offense, screaming at him in indignance, but he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care that they could probably claw his eyes out if they so decided. Instead he reaches for his back pocket, looking for his phone, but he comes up empty; he had sprinted out the door too fast to grab anything other than his keys. In retrospect, he’s not even sure he actually closed his door behind him.
He glances back down the street and at his apartment complex, worrying his lower lip. It’s not very far, he could probably go get his phone in less than two minutes, but he doesn’t want to leave the man alone in the street, especially not when there are twelve crows flying around, still screaming bloody murder.
“Okay,” Jimin mumbles, running a hand through his hair before looking down at the man again. “Okay, okay, alright, okay.” He shoves his keys into his pocket before rising to a crouch, carefully sliding a hand behind the man’s neck and pulling him up against his side, trying to not think about how cold his pale skin is. “Okay, I-I’m gonna, I’m gonna try and carry you, okay, mister?” he whispers, focusing so hard on not touching the man’s injured arm. “I-I’ll get you up t-to my apartment a-and, and then I’ll call an ambulance.”
It takes some effort to hoist the man up on his back, especially with the birds shrieking at him without pause and making threatening dives at his face, though they never actually touch him. “Okay, let’s go,” Jimin manages to say, half thankful, half worried about the man’s thin structure. “J-just stay with me, yeah, just keep breathing.”
He almost drops the man when he enters the building, scared out of his wits by how persistently the crows try to follow them inside. “What the fuck,” Jimin breathes as he watches the birds claw and peck at the glass doors, their beaks open as they continue their screaming. “What the fuck even is this..?”
The trek up to the third floor is painful, what with the elevator being out of order, and as he climbs the stairs, he’s never been more thankful for his history as a dancer; he probably wouldn’t have made it even past the lobby without it. Even so, Jimin’s thighs feel like they’re on fire when he reaches the top of the stairs at his floor, his muscles screaming in protest. “Almost there, almost there,” he pants, leaning forward to have the man be more securely draped over his back as he grabs for his keys and unlocks his door. “We’re almost there.”
He uses his foot to close the door behind himself before shuffling over to the bedroom and lowering himself into a crouch next to his bed so he can carefully tip the man over onto the sheets, panic flaring in his chest when the man winces and he groans, his injured arm bumping against the edge of the bed. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry,” Jimin whispers, his voice high-pitched, and he feels tears well up in his eyes again. “I’m so sorry, shit, I-”
He cuts himself off, freezing to the spot when he hears a rustling of wings, and he shoots to his feet and slams his window shut one millisecond before the crows would’ve come bursting into his room. The birds shriek in protest, ramming themselves against his window, leaving scratches on the glass, and for a few seconds, Jimin just stands there, gaping, because what the actual fuck is wrong with these birds?!
Then he remembers the man on his bed and he curses under his breath, looking around for any sign of his phone. “Come on, come on, come on,” he chants to himself as he starts throwing around clothes, books, scurrying to the living room and almost crying in relief when he sees his phone sitting on the small dining table, only to have that relief dissipate when he realizes his phone is out of juice. “Shit!”
He hurries back to his bedroom and quickly plugs in his charger, his gaze flickering between his screen and the man on his bed, nervous, impatient, afraid. Jimin’s emotions are completely shot to shit by now, and when his phone takes too long to come to life, he tosses it onto the table and runs to his bathroom, grabbing pretty much everything he can find in his medicine cabinet.
He doesn’t even look at his phone when he returns, his heart dropping like a stone at the sight of the blood smeared into his sheets. “O-okay, oh god, I-I need to, oh god,” he rambles, trying and failing to take a deep, steadying breath. His hands are shaking and he almost drops the bottle of disinfection spray, internally screaming at himself to get his shit together. “Please don’t die, oh god, I can’t--”
Jimin recoils with a startled yelp, the various bottles of medicine falling from his arms as he stumbles back and against the wall, his heart beating a mile a minute in his throat and his eyes wide as saucers as they stare at the man, who’s looking right back, his hooded eyes struggling to focus. “Yah,” the man rasps again, his voice hoarse and thick. “Where… where is… who…”
He’s slurring his words, and it only amplifies Jimin’s state of panic, but he doesn’t break away from the wall, his back glued to it. “I-I-I’m P-Park Jimin,” he stutters, his voice barely above a whisper, high-pitched. “T-this is m-my apartment.”
The man blinks heavily, his brows knitting into a slight frown as he stares at Jimin for several seconds, silently studying him before letting his eyes flutter close again, a thick groan spilling from his lips as he turns his face away. “H-hurts,” he mutters, his jaw twitching as he tries to raise his left arm. “My arm…”
Jimin’s body almost moves on its own. He breaks away from the wall and rushes over to the bed to press a hand against the man’s shoulder as gently as he can while still being firm. “Don’t move,” he says, his voice cracking in his urgency. “Please, please don’t move, you’re hurt, y-you need to go to a hospital!”
“No,” the man sighs, his breath trembling. “No, I… I don’t need a…” He swallows thickly, still not opening his eyes. “Just… just stop the bleeding and… and I’ll be fine…”
“Tha-that’s not how it works,” Jimin squeaks, flinching when he hears a violent pecking on his window. He chooses to not spare the crows a single glance, instead moving to stand up straight. “L-let me get my phone, I’ll call an ambu- whoa!”
He’s yanked right back down by a strong hand around his wrist, almost pulling him on top of the injured man. He barely manages to brace himself against the edge of the bed, the frame digging into his side, and his breath hitches, not from the pain, but from the intensity of the man’s eyes as he glares at him. “I said no,” he croaks, his voice so weak compared to the vice grip he has on Jimin. “No hospital.”
“O-okay.” The word falls from Jimin’s lips before he can stop himself. Every cell in his body feels hyperalert under the man’s gaze, which feels like it’s digging its way into Jimin’s very soul, and he finds himself holding his breath, completely frozen to the spot. “Okay,” he whispers again, slowly nodding his head. “Okay, no hospital.”
The man’s eyes soften and he nods, his fingers loosening around Jimin’s wrist. He doesn’t pull them away immediately, his gaze shifting to observe the contact, and Jimin just sits there, trapped in some sort of trance. Then the man looks up at him again, their eyes meeting for a few seconds, and he emits a sound akin to a snort before letting his hand fall back down against the mattress. “Ah shit,” he mumbles thickly, closing his eyes. “The man upstairs is gonna lose his shit when he hears I made contact with an angel…”
A rush of warmth rises to Jimin’s cheeks and he parts his lips and closes them again a few times, having absolutely no idea what to say or how to respond. He doesn’t spend much time thinking about it, however; a particularly loud cawing outside his window snaps him out of his daze and he jerks around to glare at the crows, hissing when he finds they’ve all found perch on the small rail directly on the other side of the glass.
“The hell,” Jimin mumbles and turns back to the man on his bed, only to find him unconscious again, his head lolling to the side. “Oh god, okay, first aid kit, first aid kit…” He grabs a gauze, the disinfection spray, and a sturdier bandage and sets them down on the bed before walking to his cupboard on shaky feet and grabbing a small hand towel. He runs it under some cold water in the kitchen and returns to the bedroom, carefully sitting down on the edge of the bed and holding his breath as he peels back the remains of the man’s sleeve. “Oh god, okay.”
Jimin knows what he has to do, he knows he has to stop the bleeding and he knows the only way to do that is direct pressure onto the wound. He hesitates for a few seconds, his heart thundering in his ears and blocking out the sound of the crows, and his voice cracks when he whispers a soft, “I’m sorry,” before pressing the cloth down over the cuts.
The man’s jaw tightens and he winces, reflexively attempting to pull his arm away, but Jimin holds him down, leaning his weight down over the man’s upper body. “I’m sorry, shh, I-I know it hurts, I’m sorry,” he says, vaguely aware that he’s crying. “It’ll get better, I promise, shh, just a little bit longer, please…”
Outside the window, the crows have gone silent.
Jimin doesn’t know how long he stays like that, murmuring soothing words without pause, before the blood stops spreading through the fabric of the towel. Carefully, he peels the cloth away, sniffling in relief when the wounds no longer seep. “Thank god, okay,” he chokes out, his voice thick. “Okay, next.” He takes a corner of the towel and gingerly cleans away whatever small specks of dirt there are around the cuts before grabbing the disinfection spray. “Th-this might sting.”
The man’s body tenses for a second when the spray makes contact with the wounds, but then he relaxes under Jimin’s weight, his brow smoothing out. “Good, tha-that’s good, yeah.” Jimin doesn’t know why he keeps talking when the man clearly can’t hear him. He doesn’t know, but he doesn’t care; perhaps it’s for his own sake, to calm himself down rather than his patient. “O-okay, I’ll wrap it now,” he mumbles, reaching for the gauze.
He’s pretty sure he wraps it too loosely, but he doesn’t dare tighten it for fear he’d tie it too tightly and somehow end up making it worse. He makes sure it covers every inch of the wound before taking the bandage and wrapping it around the man’s forearm, making sure it’ll keep the gauze in place.
When he’s done, Jimin just sits there for a moment, properly taking in the man’s appearance for the first time. He looks like he’s about Jimin’s height but much slimmer, narrow hips and slender frame. His skin looks like ivory, so pale and smooth, unblemished, and while Jimin’s still 100% worried about his complexion, he also realizes it makes the man look almost ethereal, like he’s not quite human.
He’s beautiful, too, Jimin notices, with high cheeks and a well-defined jaw, and his lips, no matter how unnaturally pale, look soft and plush. His hair is the color of silver, falling over his brow and brushing against his eyelids as he sleeps, his breathing finally calm. “What happened to you?” Jimin asks quietly, raising a hand to carefully brush the hairs out of his eyes.
He stays like that for a few seconds longer before standing up, looking around at the mess in his room. Clothes are thrown haphazardly across the floor and there are books everywhere. His bed is a mess, a big chunk of his sheets having soaked up the blood and probably spread it to his mattress, but he can’t quite find it in himself to care. At least not tonight. Instead, he grabs the disinfection bottle from the bed and tosses it onto a pile of clothes, clearing the bed off anything that could disturb the man’s sleep before pulling the blanket up to his chest.
When he’s sure the man is as comfortable as he can be, Jimin walks over to the armchair in the corner of his room. He curls up in it, hugging his knees to his chest and propping his chin up so he can watch the stranger for any signs of distress.
Slowly, as the adrenaline fades from Jimin’s veins, his exhaustion starts creeping back on him and he feels his eyes sting again. He wants to stay awake, he wants to keep an eye on this injured man, but he’s too tired, and after only a few minutes, he falls asleep.
Jimin wakes up to a stiff neck and a throbbing headache, a groan falling from his lips as he’s hit full in the face by strong rays of sunlight. He squeezes his eyes shut, grimacing at the foul taste in his mouth, a grimace that morphs into a pained scowl as he straightens his back, not at all pleased with the way his spine cracks. Reluctantly, he pries his eyes open and looks around in his room.
The stranger is still asleep in his bed, having been spared the blast of morning sunshine thanks to Jimin’s strategic positioning of his furniture. He looks peaceful, curled up on his side with his good hand clutching the duvet to his face, his nose buried in the fluffy blanket. The sight makes Jimin smile, his chest buzzing with relief and something else he can’t quite identify. “Good,” he says quietly and stands up, only to almost fall over again when he turns to look out the window. “Shit!”
He hisses out the curse as he flinches away from the window, having not expected to find all twelve crows still sitting there, tilting their heads as they stare back at him with those pitch black eyes. “What the hell,” Jimin breathes out, feeling his nerves tense up again. The birds’ presence is eerie, even though they’re silent now, simply sitting there, watching. “Go away already, what the hell are you still doing here?”
His words are barely above a whisper and it’s not like birds can understand human speech anyway, but one of the crows raises its head and clatters its beak, almost as if it’s trying to reply. Far from calming Jimin down, however, all it does is freak him out even more, and he quickly turns on the heel before fleeing to his bathroom.
“This is so weird,” he mumbles to himself, staring into the mirror for a moment, blinking deliberately to make sure he’s not dreaming. “This is so weird…” He just stands there for a moment, wondering what on earth he should do, and then settles on just trying to calm down and be normal while he works out a solution.
He cleans himself up and steps back out, and instead of even glancing at his bedroom or the window full of birds, he strides past the doorway and heads for the tiny kitchen. “Breakfast,” he tells himself. “Breakfast will help me think.” He clicks open his rice cooker and is content to find there’s enough leftovers from yesterday’s dinner to feed two people. He rummages through his refrigerator for some eggs and grabs the tupperware box of his mom’s homemade kimchi.
He still needs to see a doctor, Jimin thinks to himself as he watches the frying pan, careful to not burn the eggs. Those cuts need to be stitched up properly. He sighs as he remembers how adamant the man had been about not going to a hospital, the mere memory of his intense glare making Jimin shudder. “Maybe I could ask Namjoon,” he huffs, making the mental note to call his friend, who was on his third year of medical studies.
When the eggs are done, Jimin plates them together with the rice and kimchi and grabs a bottle of chilled tea from the fridge, pausing for a moment to look at the bowl of assorted nuts on his counter, the thought of what do crows eat? passing through his head. He shakes his head and frowns, mumbling, “What the hell?” for the umpteenth time today before steering his steps back to his bedroom, balancing the plates on one arm and carrying the bottle in his free hand.
He pauses in the doorway, his eyes widening slightly when he finds the man awake, in the process of pushing himself up into a sitting position. “Careful, careful,” Jimin stresses, setting down the plates on his desk before hurrying over to his bed, raising his hands towards the man but not quite daring to touch him. “A-are you okay?”
The man looks up at him, the ghost of a confused frown marring his brow as he lets his eyes trail down Jimin’s front, silently taking in his appearance while Jimin just stands there, clueless as to what to do. “Park… Jimin, right?” the man asks when his eyes come back up to meet Jimin’s, his voice gravely and thick from sleep. He waits for Jimin to nod before doing the same, tipping his head in a curt gesture of greeting. “Min Yoongi.”
“Y-Yoongi-ssi,” Jimin tests, faltering slightly under the man’s gaze; his eyes are dark, almost black, and they make Jimin’s skin tingle. “Are you… how are you?”
Yoongi sighs and shuffles around in the bed so he can lean his back against the wall. “I feel like shit,” he rasps, raising his good hand to rub at his face. “My arm hurts like a bitch.”
“Y-you really should see a-”
“No, I really shouldn’t,” he interrupts, frowning. “I can’t go to a doctor here. You should know that.”
Jimin blinks at him in confusion. “I, uh, I should?” he asks slowly, but Yoongi isn’t listening, instead turning to look at the bottle on Jimin’s desk.
“Can I get a glass of that?” he asks and points. “My mouth tastes like death.”
“A-ah, yeah, of course.” Jimin hurries back to the kitchen to grab a clean glass, and when he comes back, Yoongi’s eyes are closed and he looks slightly nauseous. “Lie down, Yoongi-ssi,” he says, setting the glass down next to the bed and reaching out to carefully touch the man’s shoulder. “I-I think you lost a lot of blood, please, you need to rest.” Yoongi looks like he wants to protest, but Jimin takes a firmer hold of his shoulder and coaxes him to scoot down the bed. “Here,” he says softly and brings the glass of tea to the man’s lips. “Drink, slowly.”
Yoongi does as told, taking a few sips before letting Jimin lay him back down. “Thanks,” he murmurs, his voice sending a shiver down Jimin’s spine. “Shit, I feel like I could throw up.”
“That’s the anemia,” Jimin says, remembering Namjoon telling him the same some years ago, when he’d accidentally cut himself on a letter opener. “When was the last time you ate?”
The man snorts, cracking his eyes open to offer Jimin the best ironic expression he can muster. “Quite a while ago,” he croons, and Jimin doesn’t have time to do more than frown in confusion before Yoongi’s expression shifts back to one of discomfort. “Ahh, damn it…”
“Alright, just sleep, Yoongi-ssi,” Jimin says, pulling up the blanket and tucking the man in properly. “I’ll have food ready for you when you wake up.” He smiles when Yoongi looks up at him. “Please rest,” he says, waiting until the man has gotten comfortable and closed his eyes before standing up and taking his plate to the living room.
It’s only a bit past 7AM, which means he’s slept for roughly four hours, yet he’s feeling wide awake, thinking back to the night’s events as he eats his omurice. He has no idea what to make of it all, the crows, Yoongi’s appearance, his reluctance to go to the hospital, and, maybe the most confusing thing of all, the fact that he seemed to expect Jimin to understand him without an explanation. “Do we know each other?” he wonders, but dismisses the idea; he’s fairly confident he would remember meeting someone like Yoongi.
He puts away his dishes when he’s done eating and takes the opportunity to stretch a little, spending fifteen minutes doing a range of movements to ease the tension in his shoulders and neck. When he’s done, he goes back to his room, putting a cover over Yoongi’s breakfast before grabbing The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, a book Namjoon had shoved into his hands amidst a lengthy monologue about its statement and message and hidden themes and so on and so forth. With a contented sigh, Jimin sits down in his armchair, ignoring the curious looks of the crows outside his window, and reads.
Yoongi wakes up again three hours later, and Jimin is instantly at his side to help him sit up. “Careful, be careful,” he says, rubbing circles into the man’s back without even realizing it. “How are you feeling? Are you hungry? Do you feel sick? Is your arm-”
“Yah, Park Jimin,” Yoongi interrupts, looking half amused, half annoyed, “can you calm down and let me breathe for a second?” Jimin nods, but doesn’t detach himself from the man, constantly ready to help if something happens. “Can I get something to drink?”
Jimin nods, though he finds himself taking two seconds longer than necessary to take his hand off Yoongi’s shoulder. “Y-yeah, I’ll go pour you a glass of tea.” He puts the untouched breakfast into the microwave before making his way back to the bedroom. “How are you feeling, Yoongi-ssi?” he asks as he hands the glass over.
“Thanks. And better,” Yoongi says, his voice rough. He takes a tentative sip of the chilled tea, humming contentedly before downing the entire glass in one go. “Much better.” He passes the glass back to Jimin and rubs at his face, wincing slightly when he accidentally moves his injured arm. “Ah, crap.”
“Please be careful, Yoongi-ssi,” Jimin chides gently and stands up when he hears the microwave ding. “Don’t move, I’ll get you your food.” He fills up the glass as well before making his way back. “Here.” He puts a pillow in Yoongi’s lap and places the plate on top of it to make it more accessible, easier to eat. “Be careful, it’s warm.”
For a moment, Yoongi just looks at him, his expression completely unreadable as his eyes trail over Jimin’s face, as if on a mission to map out every detail of it. Jimin tries to keep a straight face, but the back of his neck is tingling and when he can feel his cheeks fill with warmth, he clears his throat and looks away, choosing to break the eye contact rather than make a fool out of himself. “Eat,” he says, his voice thin. “You need to get your blood sugar up.”
Silence stretches on after he finishes speaking, with no indications that the man is actually doing as told, so Jimin takes a deep breath and looks at him again and is met with a soft smile, the tiniest curl of the lips. It’s enough to make Jimin feel like he’d been smacked straight over the heart, a feeling that intensifies when Yoongi speaks a quiet, “Yeah,” and picks up his fork.
This man is lethal, Jimin screams internally. He’s not dangerous, but he’s lethal. He turns away and takes a long sip of the chilled tea, completely forgetting that it’s Yoongi’s glass. He also misses it when Yoongi’s smile turns into an amused smirk.
To distract himself, Jimin half-heartedly shuffles some things around in his room, trying to make it at least a little bit less messy. He gathers his clothes from the floor and toss them into a pile before shuffling around the books and notes on his desk, not really seeing what’s written on any of them. Finally, when he’s satisfied, he goes to take a seat in his armchair, curling up like he always does, his knees tucked under his chin.
He tries and fails to let Yoongi eat in peace, his curiosity - and his need to hear more of Yoongi’s voice - taking over after only a minute or so. “Um,” he begins, hesitating as his eyes trail over the man’s arm. “C-can I ask… can I ask what happened to you?”
“I was fired.”
The answer is immediate and straightforward, spoken in a tone as if it’s no big deal and should serve as more than enough of an explanation for how Yoongi ended up with a mauled limb. “O-oh,” Jimin says, perplexed. “I’m, I’m sorry to hear that.” That can’t be all there is to the story. “Uh, that sucks.”
Yoongi snorts around a mouthful of rice and egg. “Yeah, it does,” he says and rolls his shoulders in a shrug. “But I got tired of collecting souls and bringing them to Styx day in and day out, so I told my boss he’s a moody piece of shit who could go fuck himself on my scythe when he refused to give me a vacation.” He emits a dry chuckle. “Fucker got his panties in a twist and decided to banish me.”
Jimin stares at him, unblinking, waiting for him to say something along the lines of, “Just kidding,” or “When I say collecting souls, I mean I’m a tax collector,” or something like that, but no, Yoongi just keeps eating, seemingly completely oblivious to Jimin’s internal struggle. Souls. Jimin parts his lips, then closes them again. Styx. There had definitely been something about a River Styx in his greek mythology class. Scythe. He has no idea what to make of that. Banished. Nor that.
After a full sixty seconds of battling with himself about whether to ask or just let it go, Jimin decides on the latter. He closes his eyes for a moment and takes a calming breath, and decides to steer the conversation in another direction. “A-are you alright?” he asks carefully, nodding at Yoongi’s arm when he sends a questioning look at Jimin. “It looked really bad, and I’m not that good at first aid…”
“It’s fine, Jimin,” Yoongi says, raising his arm and flexing his fingers to demonstrate, though Jimin notices the way his jaw clenches at the forced action. “Things kinda got out of hand and my boss tried to set the Cerberus on me on my way out, but it only grazed me, so this’ll heal in no time.”
Why does this attractive, intriguing man with the godliest voice Jimin has ever heard have to be crazy? As in an actual lunatic? “Right, th-the Cerberus,” he echoes weakly, his brain hurting. “The three-headed dog that… that guards Hell.”
“Yup,” Yoongi says, playfully popping the p. “Never did get along with that mutt.”
“A-ah.” Jimin buries his face in his hands for a few seconds, despairing. Okay, Jimin, don’t be too quick to judge, he tells himself sternly. This guy went through something traumatic, he’s anemic, he’s not thinking straight. He nods to himself and sits up straight again. “I-I think you should call the police if someone attacked you like that,” he says, once again nodding at Yoongi’s injured arm. “You could’ve been seriously hurt, even more seriously hurt, so they should be arrested.”
The man laughs, he actually laughs, the sound washing over Jimin and making his heart quiver like the wingbeats of a hummingbird. Oh god, I’m screwed. “Yeah, sure,” Yoongi says when he sobers up, sarcasm dripping from every word, “because I’m gonna send the police marching into Hell and telling Hades that he’s gotta come in for questioning.” He emits another bark of laughter. “Hoo boy, wouldn’t that be something?”
Why, why do I like a crazy person?
He just stares blankly at Yoongi for a moment, and he’s halfway to resigning himself to being a crazy man’s hostage when he blinks, a slight frown settling on his brow as he looks at Yoongi, properly looks at him. His tattered black clothes, his pale skin that’s cold to the touch, ashen hair, everything about him that’d had Jimin briefly wondering if he’s actually human after he’d cleaned up his wound. And the wound itself, looking like something that no cat or dog could cause. And…
Jimin turns in his seat to look at the murder of crows outside his window. They’re still all there, all twelve of them, calm as can be as they look back at Jimin, some of them peering at Yoongi and clattering their beaks, too quiet to be heard through the glass. Everyone knows that crows are associated with death, he remembers himself thinking.
Slowly, Jimin turns his attention back to Yoongi, who’s finishing up with his food, and it can’t be possible, the mere thought is ridiculous and there’s no way it can actually be true, but Jimin needs to know, he has to ask, he has to. “I-I’m sorry, Yoongi-ssi,” he starts, his voice barely above a whisper, “but can I ask you something?”
Yoongi doesn’t look up. “Shoot.”
Jimin fidgets with the hem of his sweater, because it’s bizarre, it’s weird, it’s absolutely ludicrous, but he has to ask. “Are you… and this is gonna sound really weird and please don’t think I’m crazy, but,” he rambles, his courage almost failing when Yoongi turns to look at him with a curious expression, “b-but are you, like… the Grim Reaper?”
The man frowns and Jimin feels mortified, because of course not, it’s a ridiculous thought and Jimin is so embarrassed, and oh god, can I just crawl in a hole and-
“I legit told you I was fired like three seconds ago.”
Yoongi’s tone is flat, a scoff following his statement. Jimin stares, he just stares, because Yoongi didn’t deny it, he didn’t deny it and he didn’t call Jimin crazy. “B-b-but you were th-the Grim Reaper, then,” he stutters before he can stop himself.
“Yes..?” Yoongi ends the word like a question, now frowning deeply in confusion as he takes in Jimin’s absolutely shellshocked reaction. “Why are you so nervous?” he asks, as if he really can’t see why this is such a big deal. “You should know who I am.”
Why the flying fuck would I know that?! Jimin’s insides scream, but all he says is a meek, “I-I should?” while trying his best to not let himself freak out.
“Well, yeah,” Yoongi says, nodding. “Or aren’t angels briefed on who’s in charge of what anymore?”
Whatever Jimin had expected to hear, it certainly wasn’t that. “W-w-wha--” he stutters, his tongue suddenly refusing to cooperate with his brain, his cheeks flushing with warmth. His heart is all but singing in his chest and no, no this isn’t the time to be happy! “Y-you said t-that last night as well, but, uh,” he manages to say, averting his eyes to look anywhere but at Yoongi, “I, uh, I’m not an, an angel, I-I’m just… I’m just me, I-I’m just Park Jimin. A, uh, a human.”
There’s a beat of silence, then another, and a third, and Jimin can feel Yoongi’s eyes on him, as if they’re trying to drill their way into his head. He can’t bring himself to meet the man’s, the reaper’s gaze, at least not until he raises his voice and he sounds just as confused as Jimin feels. “Wait,” he says, holding up a hand. “Wait, you’re not an angel?”
Jimin feels his blush intensify and quickly shakes his head. “N-no.”
“But… you’re so… you look so… and, and your voice is, it’s so…”
Yoongi doesn’t finish any of these sentences, gesturing all over Jimin while he speaks, and Jimin vaguely wonders how his armchair hasn’t burst into flames yet, what with him blushing from head to toe. He just stares at Yoongi, watches as his face falls and realization dawns on him. “Oh shit,” he says quietly, his eyes wide as he looks at Jimin. “Oh shit, okay, you’re human.” He presses his hand to his face and groans, the sound long and outdrawn, before looking up at Jimin again. “Are you sure?”
And Jimin can’t help it, the situation is just too bizarre, everything feels too unreal. He emits a bright laughter, raising his hands to cover his mouth in a poor attempt to stifle the sounds. “Yeah,” he says breathlessly when he sobers up enough to speak, too busy fanning his face to notice Yoongi’s awestruck look. “I’m pretty sure, yeah.”
Yoongi blinks once, twice, then tears his eyes away from Jimin and stares down into his lap, squeezing his eyes shut and emitting another outdrawn groan. “God fucking dammit,” he hisses. “I was wondering why an angel would be stationed at a human school, but I mean, look at you!” There’s an almost accusing look in his eyes when he gestures at Jimin again. “Anyone could mistake you for one!”
Jimin is fairly certain the reaper is too worked up to even realize what he’s saying right now, but it doesn’t stop Jimin’s heart from tap-dancing in his chest, and he presses his hands more firmly against his cheeks to hide his smile. “I, uh, th-thank you..?” he mumbles uncertainly.
Yoongi doesn’t seem to hear him. “This is bad, though, really bad,” he rambles to himself, burying his good hand in his hair and tugging sharply. “Humans aren’t supposed to know anything and I just basically confirmed our entire existence, wow, okay, shit.”
“Um,” Jimin says carefully, a twinge of worry seeping into his complete and utter bewilderment as he watches Yoongi berate himself. “Y-Yoongi-ssi, please calm down, I-I’m not gonna tell anyone, okay, I promise, but please just--”
All of a sudden, Yoongi’s hands are cupping Jimin’s cheeks and their faces are only inches apart, and there it is again, that wildly intense look in Yoongi’s eyes as he stares directly into Jimin’s, that look that knocks all air out of Jimin’s lungs, escaping him in a sharp exhale and leaving nothing behind. His heart stutters to a momentary but complete stop and he doesn’t move, doesn’t breathe, doesn’t think, at least not until he feels like he’s actually going to pass out, so he wets his lips and whispers a near-silent, “Yoongi.”
The faintest tint of pink spreads across the reaper’s cheeks, heavy in contrast with his pale skin. His eyes widen and he lets go of Jimin’s face as if he’d been burned, wincing as pain flares up his left arm, a hiss finding its way past his gritted teeth. “Fuck,” he breathes, his good hand coming up to cradle the injured limb as he backs up, staggering slightly.
“Yoongi-ssi!” Jimin exclaims, reaching out and grabbing the reaper’s upper arm, struggling to hold him still. “Yoongi-ssi, Yoongi, please calm down, y-you can’t move your arm like that, you have to rest!”
“Rest?” Yoongi repeats, as if the mere thought is ridiculous. “I’m not healing, I feel like shit, and I can’t even erase your memories! Hades didn’t just banish me, he fucking stripped me of all my powers!” He tries to pry himself away from Jimin, but Jimin refuses to budge, stubbornly holding onto him to prevent him from accidentally hurting himself. “Fuck’s sake, did he actually… did that bastard…”
Yoongi’s shoulders slump slightly and he hangs his head, his eyes squeezed shut and his jaw moving as if he’s chewing on his own words. He looks pained, not the physical kind of pain, well, probably a little bit of that too, what with his arm being the way it is, but there’s a sadness to his expression that makes Jimin’s heart clench.
Carefully, very carefully, Jimin takes a step closer to the reaper, into his personal space, one hand coming up to cup Yoongi’s cheek, and he guides Yoongi’s brow to rest against his shoulder. “Shh, it’s okay,” he murmurs softly, sliding his hand from the reaper’s cheek to his back, rubbing soothing circles into his tense muscles. “It’ll be okay, Yoongi, you’ll be okay. I’m here, I’ll help you get better, okay? You’ll be alright. I promise.”
Slowly, oh so slowly, Yoongi submits to his embrace, his good hand settling at Jimin’s waist, clutching his sweater, while he lets Jimin support the other. Jimin feels him nod against his shoulder and hears a quiet, “Okay,” and then they just stand there like that for what could very well have been an eternity.
Not until there’s a dull tapping sound from somewhere next to them do they look up, and Jimin rolls his eyes at the sight of the crows, not a single trace of fear of the birds left in him. “You guys just won’t quit, will you?” he huffs and turns back to Yoongi to tell him to ignore them, but the words die in his throat when he sees the expression on the reaper’s face, eyes wide and lips parted in stunned silence. “Yoon--”
Yoongi detaches himself from Jimin and runs over to the window and, without a second of doubt, pulls it as far open as the hinges allow. “Yoongi, wai-”
The rustle of wings is deafening when all twelve birds fly into the bedroom at once, causing Jimin to yelp and throw himself onto the floor to not be caught up in the chaos of wings, claws, beaks, and loose papers whirling around in the confined space. Even on the floor, he can feel the touch of feathers brush against the top of his head, and he’s thankful for his quick reflexes, or the light touches would’ve probably ended up being more like an actual faceful of bird. Or several. “Oh my god, Yoongi, you can’t just-”
For the third time in less than a minute, Jimin is interrupted, but this time, he does it to himself; when he pushes himself up into a sitting position to send a pointed glare at the reaper and give him a lesson about wild birds in a small room, he somehow finds he can’t speak.
Because Yoongi is smiling, he’s smiling so widely, his white teeth and pink gums on full display as the crows flock around him, perching on his shoulders, his right arm, even on top of his head. The reaper looks so endearingly happy. The sight is nothing short of ethereal, so warm and pure that Jimin finds himself absolutely floored, his mind drawing a complete blank. All he can do is look and look and look, and hope that he can forever etch this image into his memory, the Grim Reaper, dressed in all black, looking more like an angel than the countless depictions Jimin has seen in his life.
Once again, his eyes are welling up with tears without him even realizing, but he’s smiling too, so maybe it’s not all bad.
“I can’t believe you guys followed me up here,” Yoongi says, laughing when one of the crows nudges his cheek and emits a snort caw. “Oh thank fuck, I can still understand you.” He turns around and looks down at Jimin, his smile more blinding than the sun seeping through the window. “These are my friends from the Underworld,” he says brightly, barking a laughter when another bird clacks its beak. “He says you tried to hit him.”
Jimin’s eyes widen and he stumbles over his words in his hurry to explain himself. “Ye-yeah, well, they,” he starts, having even more trouble forming coherent sentences when pinned under the reaper’s smile. “I-I didn’t know they were your friends. I thought, I thought they wanted to eat you or something!”
Yoongi laughs again, and Jimin feels like he’s flying. “I’m sure you guys were just worried,” the reaper says, and all twelve of the crows raise their voices in a perfectly synchronized caw, and it makes Jimin laugh as well. “But I was in good hands, I had an angel take care of me.”
Jimin almost chokes on his breath. “I-I’m really not--”
“Do you guys know what happen after I was kicked out? Did you hear anything, did Hades say anything?”
Apparently too caught up with his birds to hear Jimin’s meek protest, Yoongi just stands there, bombarding the crows with questions and nodding in response when they rely what they know through noises that are, well, nothing more than noise in Jimin’s ears. He can’t understand any of it, so he takes the moment as an opportunity to process everything that’s happened in the past eight hours. He’d picked up a bleeding stranger from the street, patched him up - even though he still thinks Yoongi should see a doctor - and fed him breakfast.
He is more okay with the thought that Grim Reapers and Hades and Styx and Zeus are real than he would’ve expected. It’s a lot to digest and really hard to believe, but watching the ex-Grim Reaper himself hold a conversation with a murder of crows, well, that sort of does it. Makes it a whole lot easier to swallow.
The thought of Now what happens? barely has the time to cross his mind when Yoongi’s voice snaps him out of his musings. “Huh?” He looks up and finds the reaper standing by the window, holding out his arm to let the crows take off. “So-sorry, I was lost in thought.”
“I could tell.” Yoongi’s still smiling when he turns to face Jimin, though it falters slightly with what he has to say. “Apparently, Hades got so angry with my moody piece of shit comment that he decided he’d rather put a dent in the balance of life and death for a while and search for a new Grim Reaper,” he says, sounding bitterly amused rather than sad. “He wanted to strip me of my powers on my way out, but his Cerberus kinda made him have to rush, and, well, he got almost everything.”
“You can still communicate with your friends,” Jimin says softly, smiling when the reaper does. “That’s good.”
Yoongi nods. “Yeah, it’s really good,” he agrees. “He did, however, get my immortality, my regeneration, teleportation, time manipulation, my scythe and the powers that came with it, and some basic shit, like me not needing to eat or drink or sleep to stay healthy.” He heaves a sigh and purses his lips. “Basically, he turned me human.”
“Almost human,” Jimin corrects him with a little smirk. “At least no one in my group of friends can talk to birds.”
The reaper chuckles, and Jimin’s heart swells. “Only crows,” he snorts. “We don’t have any doves in the Underworld.” He sighs again, though it’s more light, a soft exhale. “So now I’m a 300-year old almost human.”
Jimin blinks up at him in shock before it hits him that gods obviously don’t have the same lifespan as humans. Quite the age difference, his brain unhelpfully supplies and he chuckles, shaking his head when Yoongi sends him a quizzical look. “Nothing,” Jimin hums, lips spreading into a grin. “But I’m so sorry, I’ve been so rude, I should’ve been calling you haraboji all this time.”
“Yah, show some respect, brat,” the reaper scoffs, amusement in his voice. “You’re in the presence of an actual deity.”
“Ohh, okay, tough guy,” Jimin croons, rocking back and forth where he sits. “What are you gonna do, talk birdy to me?” He doesn’t realize how close the word is to dirty before it’s too late, and he feels his cheeks damn near combust in embarrassment when Yoongi’s smirk fades and his eyebrows shoot to his hairline. He lets himself fall forward, voluntarily faceplanting on the carpet of his bedroom in favor of having to live through the mortification that follows his mistake. “O-oh my god, I’m so sorry, oh god, that sounded so much better in my head, shit, uh…”
Then Yoongi’s laughing again, bracing his good hand against the window frame as he leans forward, his shoulders quivering from his cackling. “Wow, okay,” he chortles when he straightens up again, teeth bared in a wide grin as he looks down at Jimin. “Maybe you really aren’t an angel, after all.”
Jimin cranes his head to send a mock pout at the reaper. “‘S what I’ve been telling you,” he huffs and pushes himself back up into a sitting position.
“Right.” Yoongi’s chuckles carry on for a few seconds longer, and then he falls silent for a while, his gaze absentmindedly trailing over Jimin, who sits still, not wanting to disturb the man’s thoughts. “Right,” Yoongi says again at last, pushing away from the window frame. “I should go. I need to start figuring out what I’m gonna do with the rest of my life.”
Jimin’s heart drops like a stone. No. “Thanks for taking care of me, Park Jimin,” the reaper says and bows his head, and Jimin can’t get a single word out of his mouth. Don’t go, Yoongi. “I hope I’ll see you again at some point.” Oh god, please don’t. “Bye.” Don’t go, please, I don’t want you to-
Jimin has never moved as fast in his life as just then, springing to his feet and practically launching himself across his room to lock his arms around Yoongi’s waist and pull him back, because Yoongi had just been about to step through his fucking window. “What the hell are you doing?!” Jimin almost screams, tightening his grip when the reaper emits a startled yelp. “It’s the third floor, Yoongi!”
“Y-yeah, so?” Yoongi asks, bewilderment coating his words as if he has absolutely no idea why Jimin is currently holding onto him as if his life depends on it. “I’ve left through windows before.”
“You-” Jimin’s eyes widen and he sort of just wants to squeeze the everliving hell out of the reaper, because what kind of fucking idiot- He forces himself to take a deep breath, which turns out to not be such a great idea, because his face is pressed against Yoongi’s shoulder and his nostrils fill with the reaper’s scent. Oh god. “I-I-I’m sure you have left through windows before,” he manages to say, his voice tense and high-pitched, “but I’m assuming you could fly or levitate or something back then! Humans don’t do that!”
There’s a brief pause, then Yoongi says, “You’re right, they don’t,” and he sounds so goddamn casual, as if he really hadn’t thought about it and it sort of hit him as an afterthought, as if he thinks it’s funny. “Wow, okay, yeah, they really don’t.” Jimin can’t decide if he wants to kiss the reaper or tie him up and throw him in a closet and just keep him there just to be safe. Both, probably. “Are you gonna let me go?”
Jimin chokes on his breath and he hesitates because A, he kinda doesn’t wanna let go for obvious reasons, and B, he doesn’t want Yoongi to leave. “D-depends,” he mumbles against the nape of Yoongi’s neck, and there’s a slight stutter in his voice. “Are you gonna try jumping out the window again?”
He can feel the reaper’s chuckle before he hears it. “No, Jimin.”
“Okay then.” Jimin doesn’t immediately let go, squeezing his eyes shut and savoring this moment for as long as he dares before he finally has to loosen his grip. He bites his bottom lip in an attempt to keep calm when he lets Yoongi go, but when the reaper doesn’t immediately step away, Jimin’s feelings somehow escalate in his chest and before he can stop himself, he blurts out, “You can stay here.”
Yoongi turns around and looks at him in surprise, but Jimin can’t quite meet his eyes, so he speaks to the reaper’s collarbones instead. “Stay here with me,” he says, his voice quivering, and he knows his cheeks are embarrassingly red. “I-I mean, not with me with me, but in this apartment. You can stay in this apartment.” Then, almost as an afterthought, he quietly adds, “With me.”
For a moment, all he’s met with is silence, a silence that becomes more and more crushing for every passing second. He can feel Yoongi’s eyes on him, but he can’t meet them, no way, not when there’s a chance that he will say no, that he will leave and they’ll never meet again. This time, Jimin can feel his tears sting behind his eyes, but he wills them away, because he’s not the one who has to start a whole new life, he’s not the one who’s had the most literal identity crisis anyone could ever have, so if anyone’s gonna cry, it’s not gonna be Jimin.
He nearly jumps out of his skin when he feels Yoongi’s fingers brush against the back of his hand, his touch cold yet somehow comforting. Slowly, the reaper’s fingers curl around his palm, silently tracing the lines there before moving to lace their fingers together, a soft hum ghosting past his lips as he brushes his thumb against the side of Jimin’s hand, over and over. Jimin looks up and almost whines, because Yoongi is smiling as he observes their hands, the softest curl of the lips. “I haven’t felt this kind of warmth in over three hundred years,” he murmurs.
Jimin is so in love, it’s insane.
They just stand there for a moment, holding hands like it’s the most natural thing in the world. Then Yoongi looks up and meets Jimin’s eyes and it dawns on him what they’re doing. He quickly looks away again, that unmistakable blush dusting his pale cheeks and he clears his throat to regain his composure. He doesn’t let go of Jimin’s hand. “A-are you sure you want me to stay?” he asks instead, his voice forcibly calm. “I appreciate it, but I don’t think you want to live with a 300-year old Grim Reaper.”
Jimin’s heart swells to the point he worries it’s gonna come bursting out of his chest and he giggles, feeling like he’s flying. “Didn’t we already establish that you were fired?” he asks softly, smiling brightly at the reaper. “Either way, that’s for me to decide, whether or not I want you to live here, and I do, so…” His voice trails off when Yoongi turns to stare at him, his expression unreadable as he just looks at Jimin. “W-what?”
The reaper’s lips part and close and part again, and he gapes at Jimin for a few seconds before finding his voice to ask, “Are you sure you’re not an angel?”
“I-I thought we were past this,” Jimin squeaks and brings his free hand up to smack Yoongi’s chest, absolutely no force whatsoever behind the hit. “And you said so yourself just now, that I’m not!”
“That was obviously a joke.”
“Oh my god,” Jimin breathes out and raises both of his hands, even the one that’s still holding onto Yoongi’s, and presses them both against his face in an attempt to hide his blush. “I’m not, now stop asking!”
He can almost hear the reaper’s smirk. “Why?” he asks, his fingers brushing against Jimin’s brow. “You shy?”
“Yes,” Jimin mutters against his hand, seeing no point in denying what’s so painfully obvious, “so stop saying that.”
That certainly forces Jimin out of hiding, and he looks at Yoongi with eyes wide in shock. “Wha-- where’d that come from?!” he demands, incredulous, trying his best to not notice the way Yoongi’s fingers are now at a perfect height to brush against his lips instead, the touch featherlight, yet strong enough to make Jimin feel like his knees are going to fold.
The reaper has the gall to look innocent. “What,” he dawdles, “I thought we were stating facts.”
Jimin just stares at him for a moment before heaving a deep sigh, pressing his and Yoongi’s hand to his face for a moment before dropping both down to his sides. “I’ve changed my mind,” he huffs and turns around, “you can find somewhere else to stay. Out you go.”
There’s a chuckle behind him and he doesn’t make it even one step towards the hallway before he’s pulled back, and his fake pout can only last so long when Yoongi’s arms wrap around his chest, the left one carefully pressing against Jimin’s side. Foul play, he thinks halfheartedly, trying to convince himself he would definitely try to get out of the reaper’s arms if one of them wasn’t injured.
“I don’t think you mean that,” Yoongi hums against his ear, threading their fingers together again.
“H-how you figure?” Jimin asks, trying and failing to keep his voice neutral, but then again, it is a very difficult challenge when he can feel the reaper’s breath against his neck.
“Because you’re so kind,” Yoongi says simply, his smile audible from his tone, “angel.”
“Oh my god.”
It’s not until hours later that Jimin realizes he’s missed his math test - completely forgotten about it is closer to the mark - but he somehow finds it difficult to care all that much for now. Spending the day talking to a former deity and learning about Hell and Heaven and Hades and Zeus and everyone and everything in between, well, Jimin figures these things are more interesting than geometry anyway.
Two weeks pass and Yoongi settles in well at Jimin’s flat. It’s big enough for the two of them, and even though Jimin insists Yoongi takes the bed for the first few nights, while he’s still recovering, the reaper finally has enough of his protests on day four, when he wraps up Jimin so tightly in his own blankets that he can’t move and then throws him onto the bed snappishly wishing him a good night before laying down next to him and falling asleep.
Jimin takes Yoongi to meet his friends and smiles through the whole ordeal, when Taehyung and Hoseok tires the reaper out with their antics to the point he comes staggering to Jimin, hugging him from behind and muttering something about a human shield. Jimin complains loudly to Seokjin and Namjoon, the latter of which switches into complete doctor mode when he sees the cuts on Yoongi’s arm and demands to let him treat it properly. Jeongguk and Yoongi hit it off well, the younger shy around strangers and the older - much older - quietly patient for him to open up.
Yoongi knows more than Jimin thinks he’ll ever have time to learn in a lifetime, and while the reaper is trying to figure out what to do with his mortal life, Jimin coaxes him to write, anything from short made-up stories to journal entries to things based on his long life. Yoongi does and it’s all for fun, but maybe he’ll try to get something published one day, he muses.
Two weeks have passed, and Jimin still hasn’t told Yoongi how he feels.
He’s seated in his armchair with a science book propped open in his lap. He’s supposed to be studying, but he’s ignored the book for the past few minutes in favor of looking at Yoongi, who’s hunched over a notebook at the small desk, worrying his lower lips as he writes, scribbling something in the margin of the paper.
Jimin isn’t quite sure why he’s hesitated for so long; he’s fairly certain Yoongi feels the same way, what with all the small touches, the hugs, the soft smiles that no one else gets to see. Jimin loves Yoongi, and he’s pretty sure Yoongi at least likes him, but even so, he hasn’t said anything. He’s thought about it several times, but he always ends up not doing it. His most common excuse is that life has got to be pretty overwhelming for Yoongi right now, having to adjust to a completely new way of living, having to find a place in a strange world. There is so much Yoongi has to learn to deal with, and Jimin hasn't wanted to add to that.
“Yoongi,” he says softly, closing the book he’d barely even glanced at.
“Mm?” the reaper hums, though he doesn’t look up.
“I need to tell you something.”
Jimin worries his bottom lip, feeling his nerves start creeping up on him. “First tell your friends to stop eavesdropping,” he says and glances at his bedroom window, outside of which four of Yoongi’s crows are perched, throwing what Jimin can only interpret as offended looks at him. “They’re making me more nervous.”
That certainly catches the reaper’s attention and he sits up, a slight frown knitting his brow. “More nervous?” he repeats, worry in his voice. “What are you nervous about?”
Jimin offers him a small, reassuring smile. “Just tell them to stop listening in,” he mumbles, fiddling with the hem of his shirt.
“Okay.” Yoongi stands up and makes his way to the window, pulling an overly stern expression as he pulls it open. “I know you all heard the ange-- I mean, you heard Jimin,” he says, the slip not entirely accidental. “Bugger off, will you?”
The crows caw in protest, but do as told either way. Jimin watches them take off, disappearing over the rail and taking to the sky, and the very second the sound of their wings is out of range, Jimin stands up, places a hand against Yoongi’s chest, and leans in.
Well, not by far, but still. He kisses the corner of Yoongi’s lips, close enough that he can feel when they part in surprise, but not close enough to actually be able to do anything about it. Oh my god, he wails internally, Park Jimin, you disgrace! Sure, a kiss is a kiss and this is definitely better than nothing, but still.
His face is flaming when he backs away, and he wishes the floor could just open up and swallow him whole so he wouldn’t have to stand there, lips moving to form words and nothing coming out. He can feel Yoongi’s eyes on him - the reaper’s gaze still carries the same intensity as before - and he can’t take it, so he brings up his hands and hides his face, emitting an inaudible whimper at how warm his face is. Even his ears are burning, he’s sure.
The silence only lasts a few seconds. “I thought you needed to tell me something, Park Jimin,” Yoongi says slowly, amusement subtly hidden away in his smooth voice.
Jimin considers just running away and locking himself in his bathroom, but decides against it, since that’d be pretty counterproductive. “Th-that was me telling you something,” he says instead, his voice a higher pitch than he would’ve liked.
“Oh. Okay.” There’s another short silence. “Jimin.”
He takes a breath in an attempt to steady his heart, to stop it from hammering against his ribcage hard enough to crack the bones. “Y-yeah?”
“I need to tell you something,” Yoongi murmurs, and his hands come up to curl around Jimin’s, gently tugging them away from his face, thumbs rubbing against his knuckles.
It takes Jimin several seconds before he can make himself meet Yoongi’s eyes, and when he does, it feels like his heart has sprouted wings. The reaper’s smile is heartbreaking in the best way possible, his gaze brimming with adoration as he looks at Jimin. “Wh-what?” Jimin breathes out, even though he already knows the answer.
Yoongi chuckles softly before leaning in and kissing him, slotting their lips together perfectly, his hands bringing Jimin’s up to his neck before he wraps his own around Jimin’s waist. The kiss is slow, soft, and Jimin is deliriously happy, every cell in his body humming in response to the presence of the reaper he loves. The man he loves.
When they part, it’s because Jimin’s out of breath. Yoongi must’ve sensed it, because it’s him who retreats first, grinning when Jimin tries to chase his lips, not quite realizing his own state. Without a word, Yoongi rests his forehead against Jimin’s, his eyes fluttering close and the smile remaining on his lips, looking so content with the world, so at peace. “I-is that,” Jimin murmurs, having to swallow thickly before he can form the full sentence. “Is that what you wanted to tell me?”
Yoongi chuckles, the sound ghosting over Jimin’s lips. “Yeah,” he hums, his grip around Jimin’s waist tightening just a fraction. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I wanted to tell you.”
“Oh.” Jimin smiles, and he knows the crows are back outside the window, he can feel them watching, their heads curiously tilted as they observe the former Grim Reaper in the arms of Jimin, who definitely isn’t an angel, but Jimin can’t find it in him to care. “Okay,” he whispers instead before bringing a hand to cup Yoongi’s cheek, and when he leans in this time, he doesn’t miss.