Actions

Work Header

Sin City

Chapter Text

“I have an idea.”

“No.”

“And it’s a pretty big one.”

“No.”

“Are you listening?”

“No.”

“Yoongi.”

No.”

“Stop saying no!” Namjoon barks, “I didn’t even say anything!”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “Exactly. I’m saving myself the trouble of having to listen to whatever shit idea you’re about to give me.”

Namjoon’s jaw drops, offended, as he sits up straighter in the swivel chair and scoffs matter-of-factly, “My ideas are not dumb.”

Yoongi looks at him. Namjoon blinks.

“Okay maybe some of them are bad, but this one isn’t!”

Yoongi flicks his hand dismissively and swivels his chair to face his computer, again. He’s really not trying to be an asshole; he’s trying to be safe. Namjoon is…well he’s Namjoon. He’s spontaneous and reckless and a mess and Yoongi is not fucking sure how he’s friends with him but…here he is. He can count all the times on both hands how many times he’s had to go to the hospital to pick Namjoon up. He can count on one hand how many times those hospital trips were from broken bones. He can’t, however, count how many times he’s gotten a call from Namjoon saying he’s either lost or crying about his place in this world. That’s Namjoon. Spastic. Wild. Fucking crazy.

But, for as crazy as he is, he’s also insanely smart. He’s so smart that he leaves Yoongi speechless more often than not and somehow always has an answer even if it isn’t the right one. The guy he can always rely on when his mental health is too out of control and he feels hollow, the guy who will make him take breaks to rest and send him delivery food because he knows Yoongi chooses not to eat and work instead. That’s also Namjoon. Caring. Protective. Loyal.

“Don’t you have a boyfriend to annoy with these stories?” Yoongi offers. Maybe that segue way will get him the fuck out of his face.

Namjoon leans back in his chair and whines, “Jimin’s visiting his family.”

“So? He’s got two ears and you’ve got a phone. Call him and leave me alone.”

Namjoon sighs dramatically. If Yoongi had to guess, he’s probably pouting.

“Don’t you at least want to hear what this idea entails?”

“Not in the slightest.”

“Well I’ll tell you anyway—”

“Namjoon no—

“Let’s go to Vegas!”

What?”

  


 

Yoongi questioned daily why he even tried. His opinion never really mattered when it came to Namjoon, and ultimately the crew of friends he kept around. There was Jimin, Namjoon’s boyfriend, but that was a given in his circle. Jimin was a pushover and agrees with Namjoon no matter what. Then there was Taehyung, Jimin’s best friend who…well Taehyung and Jimin are so synonymous with each other they might as well be one person. Can’t have one without the other.

“You guys are assholes.”

“Oh, Yoongi,” Taehyung drawls, “you can do better than that! It’s only 8am.”

“You guys are fucking assholes.”

“I hope I’ll be fucking an asshole on this trip,” Taehyung says with his hands on his lower back and bending backwards with a groan, “I need to get laid so bad my dick is probably dust.”

“I really didn’t need that information,” Yoongi grimaces.

Taehyung chuckles maniacally, bouncing on the balls of his feet, “I’m so excited! A road trip with my best friends to the most magical place on earth!”

Yoongi says, “You’re thinking of Disney World, dumbass.”

Which makes Jimin gasp from inside the van, “Oh! We should totally go there next!”

Yoongi rolls his eyes and doesn’t reply. He’s learned that the more he talks, the more hell-bent they are on actually doing things. Sometimes Yoongi thinks they’re friends with him to only annoy the shit out of him. But, he did have to be grateful for them, even a little bit. If he didn’t have them he’d be at home 24/7 probably weighing 80 pounds and having shit vision. He’d reduce back into a caveman. Humanity would be proud. Fire good. No eating bad.

“Get in the car Yoongi or we’ll leave your ass behind!” Taehyung says from inside the van.

Yoongi turns around as if he’s really leaving and scoffs “Good, see you.” Namjoon, he knows it’s Namjoon by touch alone, turns him right back around and pushes him towards the van and Yoongi groans overdramatically before being pushed into a seat and having the door close behind him. There goes any chance of him leaving. Looks like he’s in it for the long haul.

Overall, the road trip shouldn’t take very long. Key word being shouldn’t, because he’s technically in the car with a bunch of children, and Namjoon, of all people, was driving. He’s not bad…he’s just not good. He has a heavy foot on the gas and also the break. The amount of whiplash Yoongi has suffers is…it’s unreal. He’s gotten in a few fender benders, but they’ve never really been his fault cause he was the one obeying the law. However, that being said, he has a terrible habit of not keeping both hands on the wheel at the same time. He’s always touching something besides the wheel, which sometimes causes swerving. Which, right now, is causing Yoongi’s stomach to hurt. That or the fact that he had two cups of coffee on an empty stomach this morning. Not his best idea, but he’s done it so many times that he figured he’d be used to it by now.

Yoongi, having calculated the distance to Los Angeles to Las Vegas beforehand, knew they’d arrive in four hours (and six minutes, thank you, Google Maps). What he couldn’t calculate was the reason for leaving at 8am. He really didn’t know. Nor did he really care. He just wants to get there in one piece.

“Man, I gotta piss.” Taehyung whines from the backseat.

“We’ve already stopped five times, why don’t you lay off the Monster?” Yoongi offers.

He can hear Taehyung huff indignantly, “They’re so good, though.”

“Yeah, tell that to your stomach lining when you’re older. We’re like,” Yoongi looks at his phone for a second, “an hour away. Can’t you hold it?”

At Taehyung’s silence, Yoongi turns in his seat to see Taehyung’s puppy dog eyes. He groans cause fuck he’s really trying that right now?

“I actually have to go too,” Jimin agrees from next to Taehyung, pulling out an ear bud from his ear.

“Me too,” Namjoon agrees, already swerving gracefully into the right lane and Yoongi is pretty sure he didn’t look before he did so god why didn’t he offer to drive? Oh that’s right, cause he didn’t want to come on this stupid trip.

“You all have the bladders of children,” he grumbles. He doesn’t say anything else because, again, there’s no point. They’re already off the interstate exit in search of a gas station without another word.

Ironically, the van needed to be topped off with gas so Yoongi couldn’t be all that mad that they stopped. Except that he was. They were already behind schedule because combined, they’ve stopped at a gas station probably twice an hour, which, if you ask him, was pathetic. Have none of them gone on a road trip before? No liquids, light/minimal breakfast. It’s simple and foolproof.

Well, then again, maybe that was just Yoongi’s plan. Not even a plan, but his life. His penchant for forgetting to eat was becoming…concerning. He knew, but sometimes food wasn’t important.

Yoongi jumps when he feels something fall into his lap, followed by a snicker from outside the window.

“I didn’t know they made candy with you in mind, Yoongi.” Taehyung says, sliding the van door open and stepping inside. Yoongi looks down at the yellow box of Sour Patch Kids and frowns. Children, he thinks, they’re all children. Barely legal children.

“Fuck off.” Yoongi replies, pushing the candy onto the floor.

“How are those like Yoongi?” Jimin questions before tipping an M&M packet into his mouth.

“They’re sour, then sweet. Just like him!” Taehyung barks, and Yoongi deflects the laughter behind him by putting his black hood up over his ears and resting his head against the window. His breath fogs up the glass from the slight chill outside, and he considers writing ‘help me’ to the couple pumping their gas next to them, but reasons with himself. He’s gotta suck it up. There really is no way to get out of this trip now that they’re so close. He might as well enjoy himself. Where there’s Vegas, there’s a fuck ton of alcohol. And judging by how the trip is getting there, he’s already five shots behind.

“Okay,” Namjoon says when he climbs back into the passenger seat, “Let’s get this show on the road, yeah?”

 


  

Since it was such a last minute decision, their hotel room was…not what Yoongi would have wanted.

“I am not sharing a bed with Taehyung,” Yoongi barks, “That fucker is too clingy.”

“I’m right here.” Taehyung defends with a pout.

Now that they’re finally here, all Yoongi wants to really do was take a long ass nap and then possibly venture out for some food. But the hits just keep on coming, apparently.

Yoongi’s not opposed to sharing a bed, per se, but he’d rather not. Having only an older brother who moved out relatively early meant that he had a lot of things to himself more often than normal. And of course, he understands that this is a situation to help them out monetarily, but still.

“Well I’m not sharing a bed with him,” Namjoon offers at the same time he’s pulling out a water from the stocked mini fridge, uncapping it, and taking a sip, “I already have a boyfriend, I’d rather not have another.”

“Aw,” croons Taehyung, his pout bigger and eyes much more puppy like, but this time he looks towards Namjoon, “That’s so sweet, babe.”

Jimin, upon hearing that endearment, bristles visibly and goes to stand near Namjoon, crossing his arms as if he’s ten feet tall and hiding Namjoon.

“I know we share a lot, Taehyung, but we’re not sharing Namjoon.” His words were slightly threatening.

Taehyung holds up his hands in surrender, “I’m just kidding, Jiminnie.”

Namjoon slings an arm around Jimin’s shoulders from behind and brings his head around, pecking Jimin’s cheek with small, tickling kisses. It breaks the hard gaze Jimin was giving Taehyung and instead, a bright smile breaks out on his face as he starts to giggle.

“You’re so cute when you’re possessive, baby.” Namjoon says lowly.

Yoongi mocks a vomiting noise, “Okay that’s it, I’m sleeping in the bathtub.”

He definitely knows he’s being harsh on them, but that’s pretty much how he is. A sometimes cynical and highly skeptical little shit. But Namjoon knows that.

And deep down…Yoongi is a little bit jealous. Okay, no, he’s a lot jealous. It’s been a really, really, really long time since he’s dated someone. It’s probably been like what…seven years? Maybe. He’s lost count. There’s no point in trying to date when you don’t really put forth the effort. There hasn’t been anyone that just gets Yoongi. Good ole complicated Min Yoongi.

Still…it would be really nice to have someone by his side when he needs it. Someone that he can lean on when Namjoon isn’t around or someone to basically take over Namjoon’s job. Yoongi has spent countless hours awake in a cold sweat because of how guilty he feels over Namjoon’s constant parenting and hovering over him. He really can take care of himself, he can, but sometimes things just…overwhelm him to the point where he shuts down and forgets basic human functions. He can’t really tell Namjoon how grateful he is out loud. It would be nice to have someone else to…well just…someone else. Someone’s hand to hold, someone’s voice to hear on the phone…someone.

Taehyung jumps back first onto the bed in a wide starfish position and sighs, “Is anyone else starving?”

At the offhand mention of food, Yoongi’s stomach growls, answering the question before his mouth could. That makes Taehyung laugh and pop right back up, “Let’s get going then, I heard there’s a bomb sandwich place down the street.”

Yoongi doesn’t argue. The bed situation can wait.

Once they get to the sandwich place, ordered, and found a table, Taehyung was practically vibrating in his seat.

“Did ants crawl down your pants? What’s with you?” Yoongi asks as he stuffs two potato chips into his mouth.

“More like butterflies,” Taehyung takes a big bite of his sandwich and talks while he chews, “I’m so excited to see everything! What are we going to do next?”

Jimin, after stealing a french fry from Namjoon’s tray and eating it, takes a look at his phone that’s lying flat on the table, gently scrolling with his index finger, “There’s way too much to do I don’t think we can get through the whole strip in the time we’re here.”

“Not unless you want to die,” Yoongi remarks. He’s heard a few stories about how…resilient the nightlife is in Vegas. There is a lot to do, yes, but if you want to stay alive, it’s probably best to not do every single thing possible. Plus I think it would take weeks to cover it all, not the weekend.

“Let’s just sight-see first and we’ll go from there.” Yoongi offers with a solemn bite of his sandwich. The food is starting to make him less irritable. Maybe it’s what he needed all along.

“This club called Light seems to be popping up everywhere,” Jimin says soundly, tapping on the screen with his ring studded index finger.

“I guess we’ll stop there later tonight,” Taehyung says, wolfing down the rest of his sandwich which…he had almost a quarter left of, “let’s go!”

 

&&&&&

 

“Seokjin!”

Seokjin nearly jumps out of his skin at the unexpected shout and he immediately tenses his grip.

“Jungkook, I am holding a knife, we discussed this! No yelling while I’m cooking!”

Jungkook skips into the kitchen like he didn’t almost cause Seokjin to cut open his finger and then leapt effortlessly onto the counter near the stove where Seokjin was working.

“What are you making?” he asks. Seokjin wants to throttle him for not apologizing right away, but that is often the Jungkook way.

“Japchae.”

Jungkook groans dramatically, his head hitting the cupboard behind him, “But we had that last week!”

Seokjin pauses on his cut on the shiitake mushroom under the knife and considers pointing it at Jungkook with a threatening face, but decides against it, “If you want something else, you’re more than welcome to cook it yourself.”

Though the threat was of a low level, Jungkook had known to pick and fight his battles. Arguing with Seokjin over dinner was one he shouldn’t touch, ever.

Instead, he huffs and starts swinging his legs so his sock covered feet melodically knock against the wooden cabinet below, “I have some news.”

“You’re moving out finally?” Seokjin offers, finishing up one mushroom and grabbing another.

Jungkook scoffs, “You love having me live here or else you would never leave!”

That might be slightly true. Seokjin was known to be introverted at times and quite often enjoys staying home, but that doesn’t mean he stays home all the time. Sometimes going out was too much effort and besides, all the good stuff was already in his home rather than outside.

“Get to the point, Jungkook.” Seokjin sighs. This boy’s tendency to derive from a topic is insane.

“I know where I want to go for my birthday.”

Shit, Seokjin was hoping he’d forgotten. Well, how could he forget, it was his actual birthday. Maybe was Seokjin was hoping he wouldn’t go to the extreme…but then again everything about Jungkook is extreme, from the way he acts to the way he speaks. This should be good, Seokjin thinks.

“Is that so?”

Jungkook hums as he reaches over and plucks a piece of raw carrot from the cutting board, skillfully avoiding the knife, and pops it in his mouth, “I want to go to Vegas.”

Seokjin actually drops the knife this time; it clatters on the cutting board, startling the both of them.

“Vegas?” Seokjin echos.

Jungkook sighs dreamily, “Yeah, it’ll be perfect!”

I doubt that, Seokjin thinks. Jungkook was a very shy kid growing up. He would always hide behind Seokjin as if he could totally disappear and never spoke up for the things he wanted, until he was about 16 or so and Seokjin had moved away for university, leaving Jungkook to be on his own. Seokjin was very, very hesitant to leave Jungkook, though. Their home situation wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. Both of their parents worked constantly and rarely made it home for dinner, so Jungkook was mostly on his own. However, instead of this being a negative thing, it brought him out of his shell probably better than Seokjin could have taught him himself. He asked for the things he wanted, didn’t take no for an answer, and begun a self journey that bloomed with age. Once he turned 18 and was legal and technically free from their parents, he moved out immediately.

Now that Jungkook has grown into himself, he’s very headstrong and opinionated. There’s really no room for Seokjin to argue with him, especially when Seokjin turned 21 he had practically done something similar—a local club with a few of his friends, testing the night life and taste of freedom and too much alcohol. Even though he had an okay time that night, he rather Jungkook have chosen a nice dinner somewhere fancy rather than a high intensity party city.

“Seokjin?”

Seokjin startles again, this time with a shake of his head to clear his head, “Are you sure?”

Jungkook nods, persistent and strong, “I’m sure. I already wrote down some places that’ll be on my list of things to do!”

Seokjin picks up the chopping board and dumps the contents into the boiling pot of broth on the stove, pushing them off with the knife, and contemplating. On one hand, maybe Jungkook will experience on his own how the partying route is not the way to go, especially with someone who is taking a break from school, but on the other hand…saying no to Jungkook is like saying no to a baby bird that’s ready to fly. It’s useless.

“I guess that’s alright,” Seokjin says carefully, “But we’re bringing Hoseok with us.”

Jungkook groans again, “Really? He’s likely to get us killed.”

“No,” Seokjin disagrees, “he’s most likely to keep us alive. His navigation skills are unlike any man I’ve ever met and he probably has connections to a cheap hotel room.”

“So we’re going, then?” Jungkook asks, eyes sparkling with possibility.

Seokjin sighs forlornly as he stirs the pot of japchae, wishing he could jump in there himself rather than agreeing with Jungkook. His sense of premonition scared him sometimes.

“I guess we are. We’ll book the plane tickets after dinner.”

Jungkook jumps off the counter in excitement, his bunny smile bright and happy, “Awesome! Thank you so much, it’s really going to be a lot of fun!”

Jungkook skips off towards his room, and Seokjin sighs again long and hard. One day, he thinks, one day I’ll be able to tell him no.

Let’s just hope we’re not dead before that happens.

 


 

 “No fucking way. Seokjin, are you serious? Vegas? Come on.”

Seokjin flops backwards onto his bed with the phone at his ear, “I really wish I was kidding, Hoseok, but he came up with this on his own. And I’ve said no to a lot of his ideas growing up, I figure I should let him have this one. He’s turning 21 and I want it to be special for him, kind of like mine was.”

“You passed out in a ditch on your 21st. We had to call the cops cause we thought you were kidnapped. And before that you literally wouldn’t let go of me, so I don’t know how you got lost in the first place.”

Seokjin winces. Yeah, that totally happened. Alcohol is a funny thing. Seokjin is a clingy, giggly, sing-song type of drunk. He really cannot for the life of him remember any part of that night even though Hoseok admits that he has photo and video evidence. He really doesn’t want to remember it, anyway.

Seokjin pinches the bridge of his nose, “Can you just…come? Please? You’re probably better at handling drunk people than I am. There’s no way I can handle this on my own.”

He can hear Hoseok’s inner battle on the other end of the line until he grinds out stubbornly, “Okay, fine. But if I find that kid in a ditch I’m leaving him there.”

“No, you won’t,” Seokjin offers, a slight smile on his face. The confirmation of Hoseok coming just made half of Seokjin’s worry disappear. The other half…he doesn’t want to mention. Hoseok has a way of easing Seokjin’s anxieties; it’s been that way since college. They became roommates their junior year and neither knew the other, but quickly understood that they both respected each other’s space, but grew close enough that their friendship had withstood a lot of trial and errors. Now having both graduated college, they both still keep in touch, even more so than Seokjin does with his parents. It’s honestly really refreshing to have someone you can hold onto and lean on when you need it.

Though, it would be nice if there were someone other than Hoseok. One of Seokjin’s anxieties was feeling that he was putting too much on Hoseok and not giving enough in return, even though Hoseok reassures him constantly that everything was okay. He still worries. He wishes he had someone else to voice himself upon rather than Hoseok. Seokjin’s social circle is very, very small, so having just Hoseok to rely on makes him very guilty.

“When do we leave?” Hoseok asks, breaking Seokjin’s mental tirade.

“Tomorrow at noon. It’s an hour or so flight but Jungkook wants to sight see before we really go out.”

Hoseok laughs, “If it’s only an hour flight why are we flying and not driving?”

“Would you really want to be stuck in a car for four hours with me and DJ Nochu?”

Hoseok doesn’t reply.

“I didn’t think so. This way we’re up and down within no time and he won’t kill us all with his obnoxious trap music.”

“You sound like an old man, Seokjin.”

“I am old.” Seokjin defends, indignant, “Let me be, son.”

Hoseok’s laughter always somehow cheers Seokjin up, and tonight is no exception, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Yeah, see you.”

Seokjin sighs and melts further into his mattress. Tomorrow was going to be a long day, and not in a good way.

 


 

The flight was fine. The take off was fine. The arrival was fine. It was all fine.

Except it wasn’t. The longer Seokjin sat inside his head the more he was worrying. He really couldn’t pinpoint where this worry was coming from, as if he could normally, but he was just…worried.

Hoseok whistles next to him which startles him and Seokjin watches as he raises a hand at an approaching taxi outside of the airport gate hangar.

“How do you know how to hail a cab?” Seokjin asks, perplexed.

Hoseok shrugs, “I picked it up quick when I was in New York for a dance competition. I wouldn’t try it if I were you or Jungkook.”

“Noted,” Seokjin grips his luggage handle, “That will be your job.”

Meanwhile, Jungkook looks like he hadn’t been outside in almost 21 years of living, because everything was “look at this!” or “look at that!” It was like he was seven years old again. And of course, his camera was at the ready wherever they went.

The tires of the cab screech in front of them, and Hoseok wastes no time reaching towards the trunk and shoving everyone’s luggage inside it, motioning for Seokjin and Jungkook to get in. It was honestly pretty impressive.

When Hoseok hops into the backseat, he squishes Seokjin close to Jungkook who was at the window seat, and then slams the door and rattles off the name of the hotel no problem.

“Where do you want to go first once we drop our luggage at the hotel, Jungkook?” Seokjin turns to Jungkook, whose cheek is practically smashed against the glass window.

“I have no clue,” Jungkook says, thoroughly star-struck, “Let’s just walk around for a while.”

“I thought you had a list?”

Jungkook shrugs, “I did but…I’d rather just wing it.”

Seokjin could agree with that, at least. Jungkook wasn’t the planner, Seokjin was. Jungkook was a “shoot off the hip” guy while Seokjin was a “careful focus” guy.

“But there was a nightclub that seemed to pop up on all of my searches,” Jungkook continues, hands fumbling on his camera, itching to take a picture of something new, “It’s called Light, and I think that’s where I want to go the most, tonight.”

Seokjin tenses up at the mention of a nightclub. Really, he doesn’t get why he’s so scared, he knows he’s in control of tonight and he has Hoseok to help. It’s all going to be fine. Fine.

Light it is, then.” Seokjin reaches out to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, “You grew up too fast. Where did the time go?”

Seokjin.

Chapter Text

Yoongi was overwhelmed.

Normally, Yoongi would be caught dead in such a busy place because a crowd of people freaked him out way beyond belief. He wasn’t necessarily agoraphobic but just…didn’t really like big groups of people. Too many eyes. Too many judgments. He would have much rather of stayed home all the way back in his tiny one bedroom apartment while the wild children explored the city. He likes his introverted self and rarely let things mess with it. Canceled plans are his forte. But when he does venture out, he becomes tired very quickly, like he is right now. He’s slowly running out of energy.

Then again, everyone in Vegas was probably pissed drunk for all he knew, since there is so much alcohol around. And he wasn’t a part of any of it. He was probably ten shots behind.

“You guys are never going to believe this.” Taehyung says, bewildered. At the moment they’re outside of the Bellagio watching the fountains shoot an impressive amount of water into the air. There’s a similar show back home, but it’s nothing of this caliber. It’s impressive and a spectacle, and honestly Yoongi would be happy watching this all night than doing anything else.

“What’s that?” Jimin asks curiously, caged in between the railing in front of them and Namjoon’s chest behind him, leaning back comfortingly. Namjoon and Jimin are that touchy feely couple. The one that seems like too much PDA but the one you can’t stop looking at because of how cute they are.

Yoongi’s heart stutters a bit with jealousy.

“I just got us tickets,” Taehyung pauses dramatically.

“Tickets.” Namjoon emphasizes.

“Tickets to what?” Jimin picks up.

“Celine. Dion!” Taehyung screeches, his eyes wide and dazzling with delight.

There’s a brief silence before a cannon of water erupts in front of them and then, Namjoon, “Holy shit, dude,” his eyes incredulous, “how the hell did you manage that?”

Taehyung does a little victory dance, “I have this bougie discount app that’s sometimes dodgy at times but somehow it always, always comes through. I got a notification because of our location and there were four tickets for sale at 25 each! It’s a steal!” he says animatedly.

“As long as it won’t land us in jail,” Yoongi offers. From the sound of it, it’s complete bullshit and sketchy as fuck, but if anyone can pull off something slightly illegal, it might as well be Taehyung. Plus, to see Celine Dion is one hell of a steal, pun possibly intended.

Taehyung shuts off his phone and shoves it into his back pocket, his chesire cat grin as bright as the setting sun around them, “The show is in ten minutes, we gotta go now!”

And they were off, barreling towards Caesar’s Palace that, according to Yoongi aka Mr. Google Maps, was five minutes away. Normally Yoongi wouldn’t bother going to a show last minute because…well he likes plans. He likes concrete plans not spontaneous plans. And he hates running so…this was probably a penchant for tumultuous disaster.

The tickets were surprisingly real, according to the ticket holder at the doors, despite Yoongi’s hard skepticism. He scanned the code number on Taehyung’s phone with no problem, his face impassive as he moved from them to the people behind them, and all four of them entered into the small, lush theater bustling with people looking for their seats. Their seats were on the second balcony, seventh row back, but that didn’t matter because the theater was built so that wherever you sat you had a good view.

“This is fucking nuts,” Taehyung whispers, “she’s going to be right there.” Not technically right in front of them, but close enough that the intimacy of this venue definitely beat a giant stadium any day.

Regardless of Yoongi’s feelings and doubts about where the evening was going, Celine was nothing short of incredible and he was honestly really glad Taehyung got those possibly illegal tickets. She sang all her most popular songs, and Yoongi, since he had the misfortune of sitting next to Taehyung, was at the helm of his rollercoaster of emotions. At the beginning of every song Taehyung would whimper like a kicked puppy. And when “My Heart Will Go On” began, Taehyung clung to Yoongi’s hand and cuddled it to his chest, rocking back and forth with giant tears running down his face.

Yoongi knows he gives Taehyung a hard time pretty much twenty-four seven, mostly because it rolls off his tongue so easily, but Taehyung never takes it seriously. When everything is said and done, Taehyung is really special and someone that makes Yoongi’s life a little less shitty. He’s a shooting start that you can’t catch in any way, so seeing him this vulnerable kind of made Yoongi rethink his approach to this trip. He’ll never say that out loud though. Too mushy.

“You’re getting snot all over my hand, jackass.” Yoongi whispers. Yep, subtle.

“Sorry,” Taehyung says, his voice watery as he lets go of Yoongi’s hands, “she’s just…a majestic fucking angel.”

When the curtain closed and the lights turned back on, the four of them sat there and watched people filter back out, but mostly gave some time for Taehyung to calm down. Yoongi understands the feeling of seeing a show from someone you idolized.

“I’m glad those tickets weren’t fake,” Namjoon pipes up from the left of Yoongi, “that was radical. My mind is blown.”

Taehyung sniffs and then sighs, his eyes refreshingly alert, “I think it’s time to head to Light now. I need about seven shots.”

“Thank fuck.” Yoongi says, shooting up from his seat without a second thought, “Let’s go.”

 


 

“Well I can see why they call it Light,” Yoongi mutters to himself in complete disbelief.

Fuck.

After being carded and bumping into a wall of people to get into the club’s main floor, Yoongi is immediately hit with a cacophony of…well, lights. If that’s what it can even be called. There’s a giant wall of TVs flashing different colored lights in sync to the music and in front of that wall was a lit up DJ booth. There’s just color everywhere. And so much of it. They’ll probably all be blind by the end of the night.

Yoongi can feel the booming bass deep in his heart, vibrating his bones and stuttering his breathing. He’s always wanted to dissolve into music, and here…there’s a chance that will happen tonight. A slight chance. If he can ever get over how massive this place really is. He hasn’t seen anything like it.

“This place is fucking insane!” Taehyung howls, his voice lost in the music. It’s some electric dance music that has no set rhythm or beat but just wild sounds.

“I can’t even hear myself think!” Jimin yells back. Namjoon’s arm is hanging over his shoulder as if he’ll disappear into the crowd. Not only is Jimin small but this place is so packed that any kind of jostle will make you feel like you’re lost in a human sea.

“You guys hang tight,” Taehyung suggests, ducking in close so all four of them can hear, “I’ll go get the alcohol. Orders?”

“Anything with a fuck ton of vodka.” Yoongi answers. He’ll need it.

“Namjoon and I always get the same thing.” Jimin replies.

“Blowjobs?” Taehyung suggests, eyes mischievous.

“Nah, they probably like sex on the beach,” Yoongi adds on.

Even from the light show, Yoongi notices how both Jimin and Namjoon’s cheeks are completely red. Jimin looks like he can’t decide if he should murder or slap Taehyung.

“Rum and coke,” Namjoon answers with his voice stuttering.

Taehyung’s boxy smile is just as bright as the lights swirling around them, and he jumps in the air before taking off, “Be right back!”

Taehyung disappears before Yoongi’s eyes and he can feel his anxiety level start to rise again. He’s nervous because it’s suddenly really claustrophobic in here and he’s slightly afraid that Taehyung is going to get lost and they’ll have to scrounge this entire group of people and there’s just so many people

“You okay, dude?”

Yoongi takes a deep breath. Like always, Namjoon knows. And like always, Yoongi reminds himself that he’s safe when Namjoon is around. There’s so many things that can go on during his life, this included, but Yoongi knows without an absolute doubt that Namjoon will protect him if needed. A best friend that can calm you down is rare, and Yoongi is so fucking grateful, especially now.

“Yeah, yeah,” Yoongi takes a deep breath, settling his nerves a little bit, “just a lot of people. I’ll be fine when I get some alcohol.”

Namjoon bumps his shoulder in comfort, “They’re not paying you any mind, so don’t worry. They’re too drunk to realize that a rap god stands in their presence.”

Yoongi can’t help but smile. Namjoon always has the best things to say.

“Thanks.” says Yoongi.

“I wasn’t talking about you,” Namjoon scoffs, a smug smile on his face when Yoongi reaches over and punches his upper arm.

Thankfully, Taehyung somehow squeezes back into their little corner alcove, impressively holding four cups in his lithe fingers. And though Yoongi was expecting a small red solo cup, this cup is much larger. It’s probably a twenty-ounce cup. And upon taking a sip and immediately coughing—

“What is this, Taehyung?”

“You said anything with vodka!” Taehyung answers, handing off Namjoon and Jimin’s drinks.

“I did, but I figured you’d get the hint to mix something in it. This is just a giant cup of vodka!”

Taehyung shrugs as he takes a sip of his own drink and god only knows what’s in that, and says, “Bottoms up, bro! All goes to the same place anyway!”

Lord help me, Yoongi thinks as he takes another hesitant sip. 

 

&&&&&

 

 The room was spinning. That would be fine except…Seokjin couldn’t decipher the difference between where the floor was and where the ceiling was. Or really, where he was. He had only had about four shots of tequila and he figured that wasn’t too much but…he must have become a huge lightweight in contrast from his college days. It was actually kind of pathetic.

“This place is amazing,” Jungkook laughs next to Seokjin, breathless, his full teeth on display, “and huge!” he bounces on his feet like he does when he’s got too much adrenaline going. He must have been out on the dance floor. The bass in the club is rattling Seokjin’s head and making it a little hard to breathe, but nothing he can’t handle. He’ll get the hang of it eventually, even if it means sacrificing his eardrums for the night.

“How much have you had to drink, Jungkook?” Seokjin asks.

“Not as much as you, bro.” he retorts with a wink.

Seokjin snorts, snippy, “I’m not that drunk.”

“Really?” Jungkook asks, cocking his head curiously, “Where are we right now?”

Seokjin hesitates. The question is simple, but it puts him in a weird place because his mind is a little fuzzy, Damn.

He swallows his hesitation and goes for a shot in the dark, “Uh…merica.”

Hoseok’s laughter wraps around the three of them like a warm, familiar blanket despite it being so loud in the club, and Seokjin shoots him a scathing scowl, or tries to. He can’t quite feel his face either. Numb.

“You’re not wrong, but, we’re in Vegas,” Hoseok answers, “and maybe you need some water.”

“No shit I need water. You keep giving me shots!” Seokjin yelps. He tends to curse more when he drinks than sober.

Hoseok pats his shoulder sympathetically, “And you downed those like a seasoned champ! You know the first four are the hardest and they get easier after that.”

It’s not that Seokjin doesn’t drink. He does, on a very, very, very rare occasion. Hoseok was his roommate in college as well as the designated frat guy; the one that got a shit ton of invites to frat and sorority parties alike, the signature reliable rush date and all around party animal; but he was also the one that brought Seokjin to said parties whenever he could, so it seemed that he was an honorary member even though he never applied to any of them. Hoseok had been the ultimate wingman and perfect roommate wrapped up in a letterman jacket. He made sure Seokjin had a good time but never got hurt, all while constantly giving him alcoholic drinks that were easy enough for him but not too much to go overboard. He even made sure that Seokjin was coherent enough when they walked back to their dorm building so they wouldn’t get busted by the person on desk duty. Seokjin had trusted him wholeheartedly. Still does.

And after the day they had, Seokjin could honestly use four more shots. They started the day off innocently enough having lunch at In-N-Out, and Seokjin easily downed six burgers, which were downright delicious. Then they had decided, well, Jungkook had decided, that he wanted to see the view from the top of the Stratosphere, a pointy, spindle top tower that was over 800 feet tall and showed off a 360 degree view of the entire Vegas strip. Seokjin was pretty okay with heights, but that view was downright wicked. And to top it all off, there were rides on the very top., Of course, adrenaline junkie Jungkook wanted to immediately try one of them. Seokjin and Hoseok downright refused, so Seokjin had to sit and stew in worry as Jungkook rode a short roller coaster that tipped down from the tower which made it look like you were plummeting to your doom. Jungkook was breathless when he stepped off, but his eyes were sparkling with delight.

And then after that, Jungkook was on a roll. He wanted to do everything that had a ride. Every rollercoaster he spotted, he was in line for. Every wild thing, he was on board. Even the famous zip line. With a name like Slotzilla, it had to be dangerous. “No.” Seokjin had said. Absolutely not. He was tired of this and wanted to take a huge nap back at their hotel. Which, by the way, they had only put their luggage into the room before heading right back out again. No time to relax, Jungkook was on a fast train full steam ahead.

“You didn’t say no to all the other rides.” Jungkook argued. He was ready to bolt.

“Because those weren’t fast and dangerous!”

“Too bad, I’m going it anyway.”

Jungkook.”

Seokjin barely had time to reach out for the sleeve of Jungkook’s white t-shirt before the kid is bouncing off in front of him, his broad shoulders disappearing within a matter of seconds.

“Oh my god,” Seokjin said, immediately panicking, “he’s going to kill himself!”

Hoseok chuckled beside him, “Dude, seriously, calm down a little bit. Just a little bit.”

“How can I be calm about this? A zip line? What if the zipline breaks and it’s the one he’s on and he falls and crashes into something—”

Hoseok clapped his hands onto Seokjin’s shoulders and turned his thumbs in circles, massaging, “He is in perfectly safe hands. He is not a child anymore. You have to calm the fuck down.”

Seokjin wanted to. He wanted to. But he couldn’t. You try practically raising a child and having him grow up before your eyes and let up easily as if the world isn’t a horrible place and something could go horribly wrong and you weren’t there to stop it and oh god the scenarios—

A single, ecstatic howl echoed above them in the hollowed building, and Seokjin instantly knew it was his younger brother. Looking up, Seokjin watched in brilliant wonder as Jungkook soared, quite literally, in a superhero pose connected to the zip line above, his smile all but blinding underneath the massive helmet. Seokjin could hear Jungkook’s maniacal and bright laughter as he sped above, and all the fears that tightened Seokjin’s heart seemed to diminish. Here was his younger brother, a completely wild and carefree firecracker, flying across almost 100 feet of building. And apparently loving every bit of it. No fear whatsoever. A foreshadowing for the future, perhaps.

It hit Seokjin then and there that his brother was technically now a grown adult and that he had to reel back some of his worrying tendencies. He was not always going to be the one that picked him up and calmed him down when he fell. He was not always going to be the one to wipe his nose and cleans his cuts and bruises. He would always be Jungkook’s brother, yes, but he would no longer be the main caretaker.

“He doesn’t need me anymore,” Seokjin murmured, watching Jungkook become a white speck in the distance.

“Of course he needs you. You’re his brother. That’s not going to change.” Hoseok reminded him softly, still massaging his shoulders. Seokjin does agree, but hesitantly.

Hoseok let go of Seokjin’s shoulders and sighed, “We’ll go to the club after this and get you a drink. You definitely need one.”

And thus, where they were now.

“Man, I gotta piss.” Hoseok gripes, “You stay here, okay? I’ll be right back.”

“I don’t think I can move if I wanted to.” Seokjin answers. Hoseok slides off the barstool expertly and disappears without a second glance, vanishing into the throbbing crowd. He turns to his left to talk to Jungkook, who has disappeared as well, leaving him completely alone.

The bartender extends her hand in front of Seokjin with another tequila shot, and Seokjin looks at her and says, “I didn’t order this.”

“No,” she replies, her voice as light as a twinkling bell, “he did.” And winks.

Seokjin follows the direction of her pointing finger to a blurry figure down the bar, a plastic cup raised in a cheers motion. Seokjin can’t make out his features nor can he really make out anything else since his vision is so shot. He could only really make out the black color of his hair. And speaking of shots…

Seokjin returns the cheers to…whoever that was and downs the shot without another moment’s hesitation. Hoseok was right; this one didn’t sting as much going down. He must be getting used to them, which was a great sign for however the night was going to go after this.

“Excuse me,” a voice utters from behind Seokjin, making him jump. He swivels in his bar stool and nearly falls right off because of how dizzy he is. He really needs to get a grip.

Standing before Seokjin was a short, slightly skinny man with oh, black hair, “Can I ask you something?” he questions. His voice is raspy and, quite frankly, music to Seokjin’s ears.

“What is it?” Seokjin answers hesitantly. He can feel his face getting hot under his brown eyed gaze.

The man smiles coyly, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

“Oh Jesus,” Seokjin groans, rolling his head back in slight distaste, “like I haven’t heard that one before. Were you the one that sent the shot?” Seokjin asks once he makes eye contact with the guy, his tongue thick in his mouth, the reminder of said shot on his taste buds.

The man nods and laughs as if he’s suddenly nervous, scratching the back of his neck, “Ah, yeah, I did.”

Seokjin pouts comically, cooing at the poor, sweet man and his obvious nervousness and reaches out to pull him by the black hoodie so he now stood in the middle of Seokjin’s open legs on the barstool. The guy braces himself with one hand on Seokjin’s thigh. Mmm, warm.

And Seokjin leans forward without a second thought and plants a huge, wet kiss right on the stranger’s lips.

Chapter Text

Two hours earlier…

“I don’t want to alarm anyone,” Taehyung commented, his voice slurring, eyes glazed, “but I just saw a fucking angel with an ass sculpted by the god’s on the dance floor.”

“Yeah, Taehyung, we know,” Jimin retorted, “you won’t shut up about him. I’m starting to think he doesn’t really exist,” he cuddled further onto Namjoon’s side. They somehow, amongst all the chaos the club had brought, found a low corner couch and have saddled there for the past two hours they’ve been here. Yoongi was starting to get the hang of how to maneuver through this club, having taken over the job of going to the bar to grab several rounds of drinks. Numerous cherry red Jello shots sat in his stomach as proof.

Yoongi really didn’t have the best track record when he was drunk. Normally, he was one of those drunks that would only become more morose and down in the dumps the more he drank. Never did anything but sit and wallow. Pity himself and his life choices. Didn’t do anything spontaneous. He always felt buoyant, as if he was floating out at sea with no life vest on, no one to save him. Tonight was all of that mixed in with major indifference. He was positive his RBF was on with full force.

“I’m fucking seriou-s!” Taehyung hiccupped, sitting up straight and talking with his hands, “he looked so gritty and sweaty, but in the attractive kind of way, and he had this weird smile where he looked like a bunny? If that makes sense? All he was wearing was a white t-shirt that made his arms look like they could easily choke me—”

“Okay, Jesus, that’s enough,” Yoongi interrupted, waving a hand as if to break up the train of thought, “we don’t need to hear about your kinks.” Taehyung’s drunken persona is pretty much same as he normally is except he turns into a major motor mouth, case in point about wanting to be choked by some stranger.

Taehyung grinned as he sighed, closing his eyes and resting his head on the back of the couch, “I think I’m in love.”

“You don’t even know him,” Yoongi countered logically. His cynicism can never be doused.

Taehyung opened his eyes lazily and looked directly at Yoongi, blinked, then smiled with a slight devilish intent, “You’re one to talk, dude. You haven’t took your eyes off Adonis at the bar since we sat here.”

Yoongi, despite being heavily buzzed, felt his cheeks ignite in an embarrassing flame, his skin buzzing, spine rigid. He thought he had been subtle this whole time, but he must have been completely obvious.

But Taehyung wasn’t wrong. On his most recent journey to the bar, Yoongi was trying to get the bartender’s attention when he noticed the most gorgeous man sitting next to some highly animated punk, looking worse for wear and a little defeated. Just by seeing his face, Yoongi felt incredibly sympathetic towards him. He also felt a little bit of attraction. Okay, a lot of attraction. The guy was fucking stunning, from what Yoongi could see, anyway, distance wise and alcohol withstanding. He had sweeping brown hair across his forehead, dark eyes, and a face that looked beautiful in every color swirling around the club. He was an angel. On Earth. Without wings.

He was beautiful, that’s all Yoongi really knew. He wanted to get closer, but…he didn’t feel brave enough to. Alcohol supposedly makes you brave, but Yoongi’s never been that type of guy. The boy sitting next to him was touching his shoulder enthusiastically as if it was so easy, so simple, and Yoongi felt an immediate rush of jealousy; which was ridiculous. He didn’t even know the guy.

But he wanted to.

Yoongi went back to his friends with the drinks a little lightheaded and a little light hearted as well. From then on, his seat at the couch gave him a perfect view of this guy’s fucking broad shoulders, hunching every time his friend slapped him on the back. And apparently, all those forlorn glances hadn’t gone unnoticed because Taehyung, though pissed drunk, was still sharp. Yoongi wanted to punch him. Several times.

“Shut the fuck up,” Yoongi coughed, taking a deep sip of his drink, a kamikaze, the bartender called it. Whatever it was, it took the burn out of straight vodka but still gave the same effects. A loose tongue; a looser mind.

Taehyung howled in laughter, antagonizing Yoongi further to want to hide in a hole, “Busted.”

“I said, shut the fuck up,” Yoongi scowled, hoping the alcohol didn’t numb his best glare. Taehyung laughed harder. Yoongi almost threw his drink at him.

“I think it’s sweet,” Jimin offered. Yoongi’s eyes slid over to him, his hand now resting pristinely on Namjoon’s chest, Namjoon’s arm around him and his hand…on Jimin’s ass. Cool. Yoongi wanted to throw the drink on himself instead.

“If it’s really sweet,” yelled Taehyung. “then he’ll go up there and buy him a drink.”

No.” Yoongi barked. His skin ignited in retaliation. Not only is that a humiliating idea, but idiotic.

“Why not?” Namjoon piped up. I need new fucking friends, Yoongi thought urgently.

“Because he’s a stranger, and that’s just creepy,” explained Yoongi, defensive, “If I didn’t want someone to approach me at a bar, I’m sure he doesn’t want it, either.”

Namjoon shrugged, frankly unconcerned towards Yoongi’s comment, “He’s probably too drunk to care. All those in favor of Yoongi buying Adonis a drink at the bar, say ‘aye’.”

Jimin’s smile is impish, but he raised his hand, saying, “Aye.”

And Taehyung, that asshole, raised his drink in cheers, and yelled, “Aye, aye, captain!”

“The aye’s have it, Yoongi,” Namjoon shrugged again, this time as if he didn’t just dictate the shit out of this decision, “Go on.”

Yoongi gritted his teeth together so hard he hopes they break into shards so he can rip his friend’s throats out but…

He stood up. And without another word, headed straight for the bar for the third time tonight, this time trying very, very hard to ignore Taehyung’s loud laughter following him, tickling his ears.

His tongue feels like lead in his mouth, his mind spinning. This is stupid, so stupid. There’s no way this can work. He’s an idiot. He should turn around now and just—

“Back so soon?” a female voice giggled. Yoongi eyes the bartender, familiarizes her as the one that’s served him earlier, and sighed.

“Um, actually,” he swallowed down the apprehension, it’s honestly now or never, “what is the guy down at the other end of the bar drinking?”

The bartender quickly looks over, and then looks back at Yoongi, “Nothing special. His friend keeps ordering him tequila shots. Kind of funny, really. But it looks like he’s got a break since his friend just left.”

“Can I…can you send him one from me?” he sounded fucking pathetic.

The bartender’s eyes dazzled under the cacophony of the light show across the floor, and nodded, “Absolutely. He’s very cute, I’m rooting for you!”

Yoongi’s neck erupted in another blush out of embarrassment, but he watched with languid attention as the bartender filled a shot glass to the brim of the amber liquid and walked down the bar and placed it in front of Adonis. Adonis sits up in his seat, surprise on his face, and watched the bartender explain with a oh shit, she’s pointing at him, and looked down right. At. Yoongi.

Shit, shit, shit, shit this was a stupid idea—

Like an idiot, Yoongi held up his cup in a cheers motion and cringed so bad. Covering up his failing pride, he showed a small semblance of a smile and hoped it was enough. Still, he’s shocked when Adonis cheered back and downed the shot with no problem. It’s oddly impressive, and at the same time Yoongi sighed because, well, he didn’t reject it. That’s good, right?

Yoongi doesn’t know what to do now, so he turned back to the direction of where his friends were, and Taehyung, that fucking idiot, stood up and pointed directly at Adonis and made a shooing motion, as if shouting across the distance, “Go! Go talk to him!” Yoongi seriously is not drunk enough for this. He wanted to black out from alcohol and embarrassment. Never had he thought that he’d be the type of person to pick up another guy at a bar.

Yoongi hesitated for another brief second before pushing off the bar and shuffling through the crowd until he was within breathing distance of Adonis, and, shit kill me now—

“Excuse me,” Yoongi said, a little scared of his own voice. Adonis startled in his barstool but slowly spun around, swaying slightly, eyes glassy. Yoongi lost his breath. If he had been that beautiful from far away, he’s downright deadly up close. Yoongi’s entire body felt on fire.

Think, you bastard, think.

“Can I ask you something?”

Adonis cocked his head at the question, intrigued and blinking, but takes the bait, “What is it?”

The alcohol, he can feel it burning up all his senses, taking control of his tongue, “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”

There had to be a bridge nearby to jump off of, surely. That was honestly the worst thing he had ever done in his life.

Adonis blinked, mouth open in surprise, but then morphs into something else as he groaned dramatically, and griped, “Oh, Jesus, like I haven’t heard that one before. Were you the one that sent the shot?”

Yoongi heard nothing more but white noise after that, claiming he heard himself say “yes” because all he felt was Adonis pulling him closer, closer, and closer until…

Until Adonis kissed him. Holy fuck he was kissing him! You have to be fucking kidding—

Adonis’ lips were plush and soft, his tongue a little clumsy but warm as it swirled across Yoongi’s bottom lip. Yoongi struggled to find a rhythm but eventually settled his hands on Adonis’ thighs, which brought the two of them closer. The man gripped onto Yoongi’s hoodie and…oh, okay. Yoongi felt a soft moan fall off this beautiful man’s lips onto his own, and all the nerves he had before suddenly vanished. He somehow had this man, hook, line and sinker. He was incredibly floored but at the same time confused as to how that stupid, cliché pickup line worked.

In Yoongi’s mind, he can see his friends being as dumbfounded as he is. All he had planned was for that shot, and this is what had been the result. I mean he wasn’t complaining, cause this guy can kiss, but damn. Yoongi never imagined that it would be this easy.

Yoongi broke the kiss to try and gather some air, but the guy was virtually relentless and started kissing a trail down Yoongi’s neck, which, he’s not too mad about. In fact, someone downstairs liked it quite a bit.

“Um,” Yoongi swallowed, still flabbergasted, and admitted, “I didn’t think that would have worked as much as it did.”

He felt laughter at his neck, and Adonis sat up straight, looking Yoongi right in the eye with another tilt of his head, “It didn’t. I just think you’re really cute.”

Yoongi’s face scrunched. He’s never been called cute before, in all the years he’s been living. Handsome? Maybe. Cute? No way.

“I doubt I’m cute, but, I can be a little bit more cliché.” Yoongi offered. His hands are still on Adonis’ thighs, the muscles strong under his fingers. He wishes the jeans didn’t separate him.

The angel without wings smiled, and it’s breathtaking, “Try me.”

Yoongi felt himself becoming a little more comfortable with his situation, having felt like he made a successful catch, like a professional fisherman, so what more can he do but use another pick-up line, “I’ve seem to have lost my teddy bear, can I cuddle with you instead?”

Adonis’ face contorted in amusement, but he said, “I’m sure you’d be a better cuddler than a teddy bear.”

Yoongi went in for the final kill, “Only one way to find out.”

Adonis hopped off the barstool without another word.

 

&&&&&

 

This isn’t the first time Seokjin had been picked up at a bar. Nor did he really expect it to be the last. However, something about this guy, so forlorn and a little bit hesitant to talk to him made Seokjin’s heart beat a little faster. He had been approached by a lot of cocky, overly muscular and overly confident guys before, but none were as sincere as…whatever his name is.

The ground under Seokjin’s feet feels like quicksand, dragging him with every step. And, bless him, Teddy, Seokjin names him, holds onto his waist and keeps him upright as much as possible. He’s trying his best, poor thing.

Seokjin doesn’t notice that they make it outside until the cool breeze hits his face, making him sigh with satisfaction. Teddy sighs too, as if he was grateful to get out of that stuffy club. They both stand there for a moment, trying to balance each other out, as if offhandedly comparing which of them is more wasted. Honestly, Seokjin didn’t think he is that drunk, but he guesses everything hit him the moment he stood up from the barstool.

Seokjin feels Teddy’s lips press against the curve of his ear, and Seokjin exhales dreamily as he presses his hands against the chest holding him, completely airy and light. A man and woman nearly collide into them as they pass them on the sidewalk, the woman wearing a big, white, tulle headband, her arm hooked around a man who was wearing a ridiculously tall top hat. Together they kiss passionately, laughing with happiness. It takes Seokjin a minute to understand—they got married. If light bulbs really hung over your head when you had an idea like in cartoons, Seokjin would have one.

“Oh, we should totally do that.” Seokjin suggests, giddy.

“Do what?”

“Get married!” Teddy’s face turns into something that Seokjin really doesn’t like, so his pouts, “You don’t want to marry me?”

“I barely know you,” Teddy explains. His grip on Seokjin’s waist falters a bit.

Seokjin can see the reluctance, but pushes on, rolling his eyes, “You just picked me up at a bar because you probably want to fuck me, so how is getting married really any different?”

Teddy doesn’t answer. In fact, it looks like he’s mulling over the idea.

“I’ve been doing stuff for my younger brother all day; this is something I want to do. Plus, it’s not like it’s a real marriage. Come on.” Seokjin grabs Teddy by the hand without any other words exchanged, and giggles when Teddy doesn’t resist. He knew he was too charming for his own good.

Honestly, it’s a stupid plan. Even Seokjin, who is three sheets to the wind, knows this. But, really, it’s all part of the adventure. From what he’s heard about Las Vegas, this is the most innocent thing that can be done here. And what he did say was true; he had done everything today for Jungkook and nothing for himself. He was tired of worrying, tired of being stressed, tired. Plus, the weddings here shouldn’t be real, like he said. It’s most likely just a gimmick in order to attract more tourists.

There’s a white, squatty building with golden trim accents down the street, a neon sign blinking “Little White Chapel” with two hearts and a ribbon surrounding it. If anything, it’s gaudy as all hell, but that’s probably why it works so well. It takes the two of them a little while to walk there because, well let’s face it, walking is hard when you’re drunk. And it’s damn near impossible for the both of them being so wasted, neither of them necessarily supporting each other to the fullest. Yoongi is somehow chivalrous enough to hold the front door open for Seokjin when they get there, which makes him blush faintly.

There’s a lot of paperwork. Like a lot. Seokjin can barely read any of it, it’s all blurry, but it’s most likely just an agreement that they’re both of age. Which…now that he thinks about it—

“Wait, how old are you? You’re not a minor are you?” Seokjin asks, slightly horrified. He’s a little scared at the possibility that he got picked up by someone younger than himself. He grips the pen poised above the paperwork, nervous.

Teddy scoffs, “I know I look like a child, but I’m not. I’m 24.”

Seokjin yelps in surprise, “Really? No. You’re lying. You use some kind of skin serum to make you look young.”

Teddy starts to laugh, squinting now at his own piece of paper in front of him, and bends down a little as if that will help him read it better, “Wait, shit, I don’t even know your name.”

“Seokjin,” he giggles childishly, “Kim Seokjin.”

“Min Yoongi,” he, Teddy—no—Yoongi replies, eyes lazily sliding over Seokjin’s body for a second. Seokjin is a little sad that his name isn’t Teddy, but he has to admit that Yoongi is a downright adorable name. It sounds good in his head.

Seokjin sloppily signs all the blank lines with his name in the ink pen and hands it back to the woman behind the desk. Her face is blurry too. Everything is blurry to Seokjin, and a little bit disoriented. Yoongi does the same, and then reaches for Seokjin’s hand when she gestures for them to follow her.

Seokjin can’t stop his giggling as they enter a grand room, equipped with rows of white whicker chairs and a gaudy red velvet carpet with flower petals scattered all over. Seokjin squeezes Ted—Yoongi’s hand in anticipation. Yoongi squeezing his hand back gives Seokjin a little feeling of relief, as if he’s actually warming up to the idea now that it’s so close to happening. The woman leads them up to the apex of the carpet, and that’s when something catches Seokjin’s eye. He grabs the nearby headband veil hanging on one of the chairs and plops it right onto Yoongi’s head without a second guess. He immediately starts laughing now, the windshield wiper sound on full blast. Yoongi scowls, ripping the monstrosity off of his head, sneering, “No way. I’m not wearing this!”

Seokjin continues to laugh, “Aw, come on, Yoongi! You look so cuuuute!”

Yoongi frowns. He’s a stubborn one, Seokjin thinks.

Seokjin smiles, the airy feeling returning, spreading through his body. He reaches out and pinches one of Yoongi’s cheeks, chanting, “Yoongiiiiii. If you’re gonna marry me you better wear the veil.”

“Why don’t you wear it?” Yoongi counters.

He’s very persistent, “It looks better on you! Don’t you want to make your soon-to-be-husband happy?” Seokjin blinks with his puppy dog eyes.

Yoongi grumbles, but, regardless, puts the veil on his head. Seokjin claps in delight, leaning forward to wrap his arms around Yoongi and press their lips together. They both laugh into this kiss, so much so that they barely miss someone speaking in front of them. She sounds miles away to Seokjin. He’s too wrapped up in Yoongi.

“Do you, Seokjin take Yoongi to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

Seokjin’s legs almost gave out from underneath him because of the excitement, maybe because of the lightheadedness, but he’s thankful his arms are wrapped around Yoongi’s neck, “I do! Oh, I certainly do.”

The voice is distant, muffled, if best, as it says, “And do you, Yoongi, take Seokjin to be—”

“Yeah, yeah I do. Come here.” Yoongi pulls Seokjin towards him by the waist, slotting his lips over his again. Seokjin is so dizzy with amusement that he doesn’t hear anything else, doesn’t really feel anything else other than Yoongi’s—his husband’s—lips on his own, fervent and full of desire. The veil tickles his face, and he laughs as he pulls him all the more closer. He wants to be one person with this man, even though he’s only known him for, at best, an hour.

“So,” Yoongi mutters between kisses, “your place or mine?”

 

&&&&&

 

It’s a goddamn miracle that they make it to a hotel room.

Yoongi, honestly, couldn’t for the life of him remember which hotel he was staying at. He completely forgot, and told Seokjin so. So, naturally, the best bet would have been to go to Seokjin’s hotel. Seokjin. Yoongi finally had a name for the Adonis he met at the nightclub. And it suited him really well.

Thankfully, getting to the hotel was only a short cab ride away, but the anticipation was a thick cloud that followed them the entire ride there. Yoongi’s skin is buzzing with alcohol and a little bit of newfound adrenaline as Seokjin leads him through the front lobby and into the elevator. Once the doors of the elevator close shut, he presses Seokjin back against one of the vacant elevator’s walls. Seokjin is warm in all the right places and Yoongi wants to kiss him, badly, but he knows he wouldn’t stop once he started. And he wanted to do some of this night somewhat right.

Seokjin sighs into Yoongi’s presence. Yoongi leans forward and—

The elevator stops, the doors open, and Seokjin slips from Yoongi’s grasp and takes off into a run out and around the corner. Yoongi, who hasn’t run since high school, immediately takes off after him, giggling, as he chases Seokjin. When he caught up he saw Seokjin having a little (a lot) of trouble trying to fit the card key into the slot. Yoongi took this as an opportunity to stand behind Seokjin, and place his hands his hips, pulling him back flush against his chest. Seokjin gasps, which means he notices how much Yoongi is turned on. Yoongi’s hand snake underneath Seokjin’s t-shirt, which makes him squirm, which in turn makes Yoongi groan. The friction against his cock is teasing, if anything, but at the same time it was a foreshadowing of what was coming. And judging by how Seokjin was practically melting in his arms, they’d definitely be coming. Soon.

Finally,” Seokjin hisses when the card fits into the slot just right, the lock clicking open, and Yoongi takes this momentum and pushes Seokjin forward by the hips into the dim hotel room. When the door clicks, they become enveloped in total darkness. Seokjin spins in Yoongi’s grip, and although it’s clumsy, Yoongi can feel Seokjin’s hands on his chest, snaking up his neck to cup his face, pulling him closer. Yoongi catches the bottom of Seokjin’s jaw, the corner of his mouth, and then, finally his lips. The groan against Yoongi’s lips vibrates through his entire body, turning him on quick.

“Where,” Seokjin moves his lips along Yoongi’s jaw, “where do we start?”

“Finding the bed, first, would be nice.” He can feel Seokjin’s ghost laughter across his neck.

“Smartass.” Seokjin whispers.

Yoongi can barely see it’s so dark, but Seokjin seems to be very aware of their surroundings. Which would make sense because this is his room, after all. He grips Yoongi’s hand and guides him through the thick darkness, and Yoongi lets out a yelp of surprise when he feels the backs of his knees hit the bed, causing his body to fall backwards onto the plush mattress.

“Found it,” Seokjin purrs. Yoongi bites his lip. Asshole, he thinks.

He can feel Seokjin’s hands traveling up his thighs at an agonizingly slow pace, and Yoongi, though his head is still fuzzy, knows where they’re headed.

“Can I blow you?” Seokjin asks sweetly. His hands lightly fan across Yoongi’s crotch, and Yoongi feels, belatedly, his muscles locking in anticipation.

“Yeah,” Yoongi answers, “yeah. But turn on a lamp or something I really need to see this.”

Seokjin’s snicker is devilish, and suddenly his hands are gone. Yoongi listens to the shuffling, hears a click, and the room ignites in a warm, honey glow. Seokjin is somehow hovering over him again.

“Hi,” Seokjin smiles.

Yoongi croaks, “Hey.”

Seokjin honest to god licks his lips, and asks, “May I?”

Yoongi only nods. His tongue is so heavy in his mouth that any words wouldn’t really do him justice.

He feels Seokjin’s hands pull at his belt, his zipper, his briefs, until cold air closes around his cock, making him hiss through his teeth. When Seokjin touches Yoongi, he sighs, the pressure satisfying a part of what he’d been craving all night since he saw Seokjin. Yoongi watches with owlish eagerness as Seokjin lowers his head, already tonguing the slit of his cock, teasing. He swirls his tongue around the head and makes his way down, slowly, slowly, slowly still holy fuck until his nose is pressed against Yoongi’s pelvis.

“Fucking Christ,” Yoongi curses, “that’s, ah, amazing.”

Seokjin hums in gratitude, which makes Yoongi sharply inhale. Seokjin’s lack of gag reflex is a twist he definitely didn’t see coming. And speaking of coming, he knows that this will be pretty quick. He’s way too turned on for any dramatic flair. Yoongi’s skin grows warmer the more Seokjin leisurely bobs his head up and down on his cock, as if he’s hell bent on taking his sweet time destroying Yoongi. He’ll pay for that later, for sure.

Yoongi moans when Seokjin hallows his cheeks which creates more feeling, more envelopment, more fire, “Fuck, you’re really good at this.”

Even though his mouth is preoccupied, Yoongi can feel Seokjin smile. Yoongi wants to curse him out with every colorful name he can think of, but he can’t. He feels the familiar feeling growing, his legs restless.

“I’m go-gonna come,” Yoongi reaches down to thread his hands in Seokjin’s hair, looking for an anchor since his whole body is adrift, weightless. Everything is spinning.

Seokjin keeps up the same maddeningly slow pace, and Yoongi’s breathing turns into panting as he groans a final time, back arching off the bed, his mouth open in ecstasy. He comes, hard and fast, and Seokjin stills his mouth as he swallows, humming again, causing Yoongi to shake due to overstimulation.

Yoongi opens his eyes after a while to see Seokjin smirking like a smug asshole, and Yoongi catches the back of his neck to bring him towards him, pressing their lips together in an intense kiss. That was honestly really hot, despite it being so short. Yoongi doesn’t have time to feel embarrassed about it.

He reaches for the hem of Seokjin’s t-shirt and pulls it upwards and over Seokjin’s head, throwing it somewhere across the room. Seokjin reciprocates, and although it takes some maneuvering, Yoongi’s hoodie joins the pile on the floor. Seokjin continues working Yoongi’s jeans and briefs down his legs until Yoongi kicks them off. Yoongi barely even blinks before he sees Seokjin’s jeans pool on the floor, and he blinks again and watches Seokjin climb over him, his eyes glazed with lust. They kiss sleepily like two people that own all the time in the world, before Yoongi rolls over on top of Seokjin, their lips still connected. Yoongi runs his hands across Seokjin’s chest, down to his stomach, and barely touches Seokjin’s cock with his knuckles, earning a frustrated whine from Seokjin.

“Impatient?” Yoongi questions, slightly winded. The sight of Seokjin, flushed and anticipating, makes his mouth dry out. He was gorgeous in his simple t-shirt earlier, but the body underneath was just deadly. His broad shoulders taper into a small, defined waist coupled with his sharp hipbones; his proportions are spectacular. If Yoongi had the world, he’d explore every inch of skin with his tongue. But he was on a roll, and didn’t want to interrupt.

“Ah, shit, we probably don’t have lube, huh,” Yoongi comments.

“Improvise,” Seokjin huffs, “I’ll be fine.”

Yoongi spits on his hand and makes quick work of loosening Seokjin up, whispering filthy things in his ear and teasing him with touches across his stomach, his nipples, his cock. Seokjin took two fingers pretty quickly, and could take more, judging by how much he was whimpering and squirming against Yoongi’s touch.

“Come on,” Seokjin pants, “come on.”

Yoongi smirks, mimicking the expectation shining in Seokjin’s eyes, “Definitely impatient.”

Yoongi presses the tip of his cock slowly in Seokjin’s entrance, and Seokjin’s moan grows with every inch that presses into him. Seokjin is so tight, so warm, and Yoongi groans when he presses in all the way to the hilt. He’s cautious enough, even in his inebriated state, to give Seokjin time to adjust. Seokjin, however, has no plans to wait. He claws impatiently at Yoongi’s ass, pulling, gripping, needing.

Yoongi acts like he’s pulling completely out and thrusts forcefully right back forward, making Seokjin choke and whine brokenly. The act alone makes Yoongi feel cocky, this moment withstanding.

“Faster,” Seokjin gasps in pleasure, reaching up to grab onto Yoongi’s neck and pulling him down until they’re flush together, skin on skin. Yoongi buries his head against Seokjin’s neck, his hot breath fanning back against him, but he takes this opportunity to lick at Seokjin’s pulse point, tongue swirling and prodding at the skin. Yoongi wants to mark him, mark this night, on his skin, so he’ll remember the adventure that they had just witnessed.

Yoongi feels himself teetering over the edge, yet again. He can’t help it, though, he’s just too turned on and blind by lust that everything is magnified by 100 percent. Seokjin’s moans in his ear; Seokjin’s trembling body beneath him; Seokjin, Seokjin, Seokjin. His husband. Yoongi’s head is spinning at a maddening pace. He can feel Seokjin’s cock between their stomachs swell with every thrust.

“Oh, god.” Seokjin wheezes, “You feel so good inside me, Yoongi, oh god.”

Yoongi feels the crest break, and his hips stutter as his orgasm hits him blindly, locking his muscles and frying his brain. For a split second, he hears sirens and white noise, and all that vanishes when he hears Seokjin’s beautiful moan surround him, flow through him, as he comes too, his come falling between their bellies, hot. Yoongi can’t quite catch his breath.

He feels like he’s drowning.

He’s in complete bliss.

He’s adrift.

Gone.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, sleepyhead!”

Yoongi startles under the sheets, eyes blown wide and head feeling like he got hit with a sledgehammer. His heart skips a few beats, recognition pumping through his brain, slowly, kicking up like a vintage car on its last leg.

People say all the time that if you binge drink you never remember what happens when you wake up, and Yoongi never believed it until right now. The only thing he knows right now is that he’s never heard that voice before. And he knows he’s not in his own bed otherwise Taehyung would be cuddling him from behind.

Where am I?

“Come on, we can’t sleep all day, my dude, we have people to meet, places to see!”

Yoongi doesn’t move. An inch. For the first time in his life, he prays: go away, please go away, please…

He can hear the footsteps approaching, every one magnifying each beat of his heart. Maybe they’ll get distracted, there’s no way that they’ll—

The covers are thrown upwards into the air, and Yoongi is immediately reminded that he is completely naked.

Yoongi’s ears ring as he hears a piercing scream, so much so that he cups his hands over them and rolls blindly to get away from the source, unfortunately falling out of the bed, through the air and falling onto his naked ass on the carpet below.

Fuck,” he curses. That’ll bruise.

The person screeches, loud and shrill, “Who the fuck are you?”

Yoongi’s head is pounding now, and he looks up to see a skinny but tall guy with orange hair and skeptical but scared eyes. Yoongi slowly reaches down to cup a hand over his genitals so that he has some kind of dignity left, despite this situation.

The guy glances at the movement, suddenly furious, “I’ll kick you in the dick, dude, I swear, who are you?”

“I’m—”

“Hoseok?”

The spindly guy dares to take his eyes off of Yoongi for a second and back towards the bed that is apparently being occupied by someone else. Yoongi thinks that he’s going to die in the same way he came into this world: naked and afraid.  

“Stop shouting.” The voice whines.

The guy, Hoseok, points a slender finger at Yoongi now while trying actively not to pass out, “Who is this?”

The other person in the bed, Yoongi is actively trying to remember his name when he can’t even remember his own, sits up in the bed, his brown hair askew in a million different directions, and—oh, a few very violet hickeys on his neck. Yoongi wants to pat himself on the back. Those are pretty impressive.

Not now, asshole.

“Oh,” he says, he blinks for a long time, swaying, “that’s…um…”

“Yoongi.”

He looks completely pale, and rightly so. Yoongi feels his entire world is flipped on its axis, and he feels like he got chewed up and spit out. “Right, that’s Yoongi and I’m…Seokjin. I think. My head feels miles away.”

Seokjin. That’s right. That’s his name. Yoongi should know that. He’s always been diligent about remembering names but for the life of him he couldn’t remember this one.

“I don’t care about his name, why is he here? Who is he?”

Seokjin yawns but then groans as if that hurt, and Yoongi honestly can feel that, “He’s…uh…”

“Please don’t make me punch you.”

Yoongi watches as Seokjin rubs both hands over his face and through his hair, and catches something glistening on his hand. He takes a chance and glances down at his own hand—

“Oh, fuck,” Yoongi grimaces, and Hoseok looks back as he answers, “He’s my husband.”

 

&&&&&

 

“Okay, go through it one more time.”

“Really, Hoseok?”

Yes. Don’t make me call Jungkook; he’ll go psycho on your ass and kill him and then you.”

Seokjin sighs. He’s explained this story at least three times by now, but only after he had gained some sort of normal semblance.

After he made one insignificant move to get up from the bed, everything about last night came rushing up, burning his throat, and he only barely made it to the bathroom before expelling everything that had happened last night. After a fierce round of revisiting all the alcoholic drinks and food he consumed, he took a brisk, scalding shower, concerned for the wellbeing of the other men outside. He knew Hoseok really wouldn’t hurt, what’s his name, Yoongi, but the possibility of getting a kick to the balls was real and probably eminent.

After climbing out of the shower and managing to redress himself feeling like he got hit by fifteen semi-trucks, he offered the shower to Yoongi who took the opportunity like a dog took a bone. The black haired man disappeared in the bathroom and had been in there for the past half hour. Seokjin understood the feeling. He wanted to disappear too.

Right now, Seokjin cups a warm cup of coffee in his hand, his stomach still rolling and head aching, “Last night, after you went to the bathroom, the bartender girl gave me a shot and said it was from someone down the bar, and before I could blink that’s when Yoongi showed up. He used some lame pick up line, I kissed him, and he asked if I wanted to leave with him, I said yes, we stepped outside and—I’m not too sure how this happened but—I guess we got married?”

Dude.”

Seokjin groans, lying his head down on the table, which was cool to the touch, “Don’t start.”

“You fucking did the one thing you weren’t supposed to do in Vegas. Are you stupid? No, don’t answer that, you’re stupid. You’re so stupid.” Hoseok gripes. Seokjin can visualize the veins bulging in his neck.

But he didn’t answer. He did feel stupid. He let the alcohol control him, consume him, and he did in fact do the one thing in Vegas that is so cliché. He got married.

“It’s not like it’s a real marriage,” Seokjin says defensively.

Hoseok sighs, “Still, I can’t believe you did this.”

They both hear the bathroom door open and Yoongi steps out looking freshly pink in the face, revitalized and little less scared. Still apprehensive. He’s back in the same clothes that he was wearing last night and running a towel over his hair.

“Hey,” Seokjin says, politely. Despite the awkwardness, Seokjin can see what initially attracted him to Yoongi. Defiant, wise, and a little prickly, but cute. Small. Charming.

Yoongi hesitates for a second, glancing at Hoseok, “Hey.”

“You want some coffee?”

Yoongi’s face brightens a little bit at the mention of coffee, even though he’s still a little wary, more of Hoseok. Seokjin grabs the second hotel complimentary coffee cup and pours a plenty amount of coffee inside, looking over his shoulder at Yoongi taking a seat wisely across from Hoseok, “Milk or sugar?”

Yoongi shakes his head, “I drink it black.”

Hoseok scoffs, as if his coffee choices are perpendicular to the decision that happened last night. Yoongi looks over at him with distaste. He doesn’t even know Yoongi and he’s being an asshole. 

Seokjin places the coffee cup in front of Yoongi and then takes his place next to him at the table, sighing as his sore limbs reposition themselves back into a sitting position. He feels like he aged 50 years.

“Thank you,” Yoongi thanks him softly. Seokjin’s smile is genuine as Yoongi continues, “I didn’t realize I’d meet the Godfather today. Does he have a gun? Henchmen?”

“Shut up, dude.” Hoseok spits with venom.

Hoseok,” Seokjin hisses warily, “cut it out.”

Hoseok’s eyes are fire, and Seokjin is actually still worried that he’ll physically attack Yoongi. He doesn’t blame Hoseok; he is very, very protective of his friends and will practically take a bullet for both Seokjin and Jungkook if he could, so it’s only fair that he looks like he wants to slice Yoongi’s head off. But really, he’s overreacting. It’s not like Yoongi is a burglar. He’s…his husband. That still sounds weird.

“It was my idea to get married,” Seokjin continues, looking in the corner of his eye to see Yoongi putting the cup to his lips to slowly sip his coffee. He actually finds it a little bit endearing to see him so…vulnerable. So different from last night. From what he could remember anyway, “It’s not any different from taking a stranger home.”

“Right,” Hoseok agrees, “but that doesn’t mean you made the decision alone.”

“Oh my god it’s not even a real marriage, Hoseok. They wouldn’t really marry drunk people, that seems highly illegal. Chill out.”

“Even if I was some evil conspirator,” Yoongi pipes up now, a little brazen, “I want nothing from this. In fact, I can get out of your hair right now and go back to my friends who I’m sure are wondering where I am.”

“Good,” Hoseok leans back in his chair, folding his arms, victory coloring his features, “It was nice knowing you. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Yoongi downs the rest of his coffee and places the mug down on the table, and without another word gets up and heads towards the door. Seokjin leaps out of his chair as fast as his bruised body can handle and follows Yoongi out to the hallway. He feels responsible for this hostility, this rift, and wants to make sure Yoongi is okay.

“He’s not normally like this,” Seokjin explains, sheepish now, wanting to hide as if this guy, his husband, hadn’t seen more intimate parts of him last night, “He’s…”

“I get it,” Yoongi scratches the back of his neck nervously, “uh…I guess this is goodbye?”

A small part of Seokjin really didn’t want him to go. The small part wanted to pull him back inside, tuck him back in bed and hold him close until they both stopped hurting and return to normal, learn about each other in more than a psychical sense. Seokjin has always been nurturing, raising Jungkook had taught him that. But…

“I hope you find your hotel okay.” Seokjin wants to kick himself. That’s the best he could say?

Seokjin likes the small smile on Yoongi’s lips, but watches it fade as he turns, nodding, “See you.”

It’s one of the more awkward goodbye’s he’s witnessed, but not the worst. If anything, it feels like a one night stand.

When the hotel door shuts closed, Seokjin presses his forehead against the door. Everything about the last 24 hours screams absolute insanity, but it wasn’t the worst thing he could have done. He could have, what, committed robbery? Killed someone? Getting married to a stranger was the least harmful thing he could have done. Jungkook zip-lined across the hotel strip for fucks sake, why is he getting the brunt of Hoseok’s verbal punishment?

Shit, Jungkook

“Where’s Jungkook?” Seokjin sounded slightly panicked.

“He’s downstairs in the buffet probably on his fifth plate, calm down,” Hoseok doesn’t seem to be relaxed at all now that Yoongi is gone, “He slept in my bed last night cause you know how much he likes to cuddle. And seeing as how you were preoccupied,” Hoseok eyed the bed in question suspiciously, “you’re so fucking lucky that he went straight to bed when we got back or else…”

“Or else what, Hoseok, you would have killed him? You don’t know him.”

“You don’t know him either! That’s my fucking point! You married a complete stranger!” Hoseok explodes. Seokjin has never liked confrontation. Getting Hoseok angry takes serious skill, but here he was.

“I wouldn’t say he’s a complete stranger, I did suck his dick. That makes us a little friendlier, in my opinion.”

“Jesus fucking Christ, Seokjin.”

Seokjin takes a seat next to Hoseok who is holding his head in his hands now on the table and says seriously now, “Hoseok, seriously, don’t worry okay? It was just something fun to do. Jungkook was having the time of his life, I had a stick up my ass, and you told me to loosen up—”

“I didn’t tell you to get married!”

“You’re the one who kept giving me shots! So this is basically your fault.”

Hoseok smacks the table with an incredulous look, “You’re incredible.”

Seokjin’s jaw clenched, he was getting angry now, “You’re so god damn stubborn. Just drop it, okay? We’re not here for me, so cut the crap.”

And without another word, Seokjin walked right out of the hotel door and out of the conversation.

 


 

As expected, Jungkook was on his fifth plate by the time Seokjin found him in the buffet room.

“Oh man, this place is amazing,” Jungkook marvels with eyes glittering while chewing on a piece of cantaloupe, “I never want to leave. Can we move here?”

Seokjin sat down next to him. For once, food didn’t excite him. In fact, he wanted to go back upstairs and crawl into bed and hide for the rest of the trip, but knew he couldn’t, for Jungkook’s sake. This was his birthday weekend; he couldn’t be jealous.

“Aren’t you hungry?” Jungkook questions. He offers Seokjin a piece of bacon but Seokjin shakes his head. The smell alone makes his stomach fall.

“Too much alcohol last night. My stomach is a little…off.”

Jungkook nods, chewing thoughtfully, “How much did you have? I barely saw you last night.”

“Too much. You were too busy dancing.” Seokjin started to rub at his temples to hope stop the throbbing even a little bit. He should have taken some painkillers before stalking down here. His headache was fading a little earlier, but his outburst with Hoseok caused it to come right back.

It’s not like he liked being angry with Hoseok, not really. Hoseok is Seokjin’s best friend, practically his second brother, and it’s hard to be mad at someone you’re close to. But Hoseok knows how to push buttons that should be left alone.

“Well, yeah, there was this guy—”

“Oh great, here we go,” Seokjin rolls his eyes. Jungkook gets all sorts of attention whenever they go out. For once, Seokjin thought, it was just him getting the attention, but turns out it wasn’t.

Jungkook laughs, bunny smile and all and says, “Shut up. Anyway, there was this guy, he had long hair that hit his eyes in a way that looked like he couldn’t see, but when he looked at me I felt my stomach climb to my throat. He was gorgeous, and I almost tripped backwards before he caught me and smiled, and his smile was just, wow. Like, it was mostly teeth but it was boxy and endearing and—” Seokjin tuned out a little after that. Jungkook got on a roll when he was truly excited about something. When he took up bowling lessons his freshman year of high school, that’s all he ever talked about. Bowling this, bowling that. Bowling practice. Bowling team.

“—and his voice was really deep and husky—oh, hey Hoseok—Seokjin are you listening?”

Seokjin jumps when he hears Jungkook greet Hoseok, who appears and sits across from them with a plate of his own, undeterred by the story. Jungkook must have told him this spiel already.

“Yeah, I’m listening. He was hot. Did you get his number?”

Jungkook takes a sip from his glass of water, “No. Hoseok pulled me out of the club a little after that. You didn’t come back with us, where did you go?”

Seokjin’s skin tingles with a little bit of shame. He knows he has to hide this from Jungkook, and judging by one brief, knowing look from Hoseok, he knows it’s better this way.

“I got a little lightheaded,” Seokjin smiles forlornly, “The shots and all. I went back to the hotel early and fell asleep right away.”

“That’s fair,” Jungkook nods, considering, “I got really tired on the way back to the hotel too so I crawled straight to bed with Hoseok. It was fun though, I had a good time.”

Seokjin looks at his brother now, truly, in the golden light of the morning and appreciates his childlike wonder. If Seokjin’s a little honest, he’s a little envious of Jungkook; envious of his real world oblivion, where everything is smooth and blemish free. Here he was, a terrific and talented kid at just twenty-one years old, and Seokjin feels like he is making so many mistakes, especially after what happened last night. He never felt like the right guardian for him, not once, despite everything he put on hold to raise him and despite the small victories. His life is dedicated to Jungkook, so his life took the backburner. But that doesn’t mean he regrets it, not at all. He’s proud to be the one guiding Jungkook, but he wishes he could do it with a little more dignity and grace. It was one thing being raised by absent parents himself, but raising a brother to not be exposed to those negative idiosyncrasies was difficult. It was always a thought in the back of his mind, something tingling and vicious, whispering, you’re not doing a good job, Seokjin. You’re just like your parents. He can get better care somewhere else.

“Listen, Jungkook—”

Hoseok coughs then, sternly, but disguised as a warning. Seokjin bites his tongue, reroutes his words, and pats Jungkook on the shoulder, smiling and saying, “Happy birthday, kid. I hope you had a good night. And please stop growing, you’re making me feel bad about myself.”

Jungkook’s smile is as bright as the sun shining outside. Seokjin feels horrible, and not from the hangover.

 

&&&&&

 

Yoongi doesn’t go back to the hotel right away.

He takes some time to think for himself; to have some solitude. He always does this after a night exhausting his anxieties. It’s tough to challenge yourself against the things that scare you, and in Yoongi’s case, it was being in a new place with no plans, and being in a large place with strangers. When he was younger if there was some social event, he wouldn’t bother going. There was no point, nothing to gain from it, so he stayed home where it was safe and where he was happy. But as he grew older he realized that not everyone is scary and not everyone is going to watch him so he was, relatively, safe. He was safe in his mind where no one could enter and he could be alone. He was fine on his own, really.

But last night made him think differently.

As that guy, Hoseok, had said, it was a two person decision to get married. It wasn’t as though Seokjin had pressured him with a gun to his head; he put pen on paper too. Something about marrying a stranger set his blood on fire, from fear and adrenaline, and mixed with his vodka brain, anything sounded like a good idea.

Seokjin is, was, enigmatic. He was something Yoongi wanted to figure out, to put under a microscope and study. And Yoongi doesn’t have that feeling often. He mostly doesn’t bother even getting close to people cause it’s too much of a hassle, to be someone different for someone else. Yoongi had masks for different people and showed them differently to other people. It was survival, for him, but it was exhausting. He had to compartmentalize parts of himself for others. With Seokjin…the mask was his own. There wasn’t anything to hide. And that’s saying something since Seokjin was practically a stranger. But there was a connection, however which way Yoongi looked at it, there was something there he kind of enjoyed. Even if he was pissed drunk, the connection was pretty genuine.

Not that it mattered, cause it was just a bump in the road. He couldn’t dwell on it any longer, cause it was pointless. Dead and gone.

By the time he finally got the courage to go back to the hotel, he turned his phone back on that he turned off sometime during the night and saw the blinding amount of numbers on the screen. 27 missed calls from Taehyung, 8 from Namjoon, 2 from Jimin; 34 messages in their group chat and 4 emails. Emails? Seriously?

He dialed Namjoon’s number first, knowing he needed to talk to him first. And without fail, he answered on the first ring.

“Yoongi? Oh thank god you’re alive! I thought you died! Where the hell are you? Are you in a body bag? No wait, you couldn’t call if you were. Unless you are dead and this is the coroner calling, oh god, please tell me it’s not the coroner—”

“It’s me, Namjoon.”

Yoongi can hear Namjoon’s small gasp of delight in hearing his voice, and that makes him smile just a little bit, “Thank god I was not ready to plan a funeral. I’m shaking, god, where are you?”

Yoongi looks around him now, “I’m by the…place with the fountains. From last night.”

“The Bellagio? How the hell did you get there? That’s not where our room is.”

Yoongi scoffs, laughing a little, “I’m not in the Bellagio, I’m walking by it. I’ll explain everything when I get back to the hotel, I’ll be there soon.”

“Okay, well, I’m not hanging up so, tough.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes at Namjoon’s over protective parent role, but doesn’t hang up either. Something about Namjoon calms him down and brings him back to reality, so in a way he’s thankful for the distraction.

After some soul searching and preparation, he makes he back to the hotel room with his headache a ghost in the back of his skull and his stomach a hollow mess. He just wants to sleep the rest of the day, but he knows that won’t be an option.

Having no room key, he knocks only once on the door before it flies open and someone immediately jumping onto him. Judging by the ugly crying sounds, he knew who it was immediately.

“I know I give you shit all the time,” Taehyung hiccups, “but please don’t fucking disappear like that ever again. Holy shit, dude, I haven’t stopped crying all morning.”

Yoongi closes his eyes and hugs back. He can’t help but be amused (and a little touched, though he won’t say) at how concerned his friends are. Yoongi’s believed that he’s had to be alone forever, but sometimes these people prove that to be different.

“I’m sorry,” Yoongi apologizes, “it’s a long story.”

“We have all day,” Namjoon says, sitting on one of the beds, Jimin standing always near him. Yoongi takes a deep breath and prepares for battle.

“So…” he remembers hearing Seokjin’s words when he got out of the shower and how he explained it, one giant jumble of words. A little misleading, a little endearing, but nonetheless a mess. “We, Seokjin, that’s his name, uh,” he splays out his hand and the gold glints in the sun streaming from the window.

“You got married?” Taehyung screeches immediately, standing up from shock, “Dude! You’re a fucking legend! Oh my god, I fucking I love you.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes because he somehow expected that from Taehyung, “It’s not…whatever. Yeah, we got married. He’s not a pedophile or anything he’s only a year older than me. But anyway yeah, we did that and we went back to his place and…did stuff,” Yoongi, always explicit, for some reason couldn’t say ‘we fucked’; he felt suddenly embarrassed, “and then this morning his friend came in and basically caught me with my cock out by flipping the sheets on the bed thinking I was Seokjin.”

Both Namjoon and Jimin groan in embarrassing unison. Taehyung laughs wholeheartedly. He might start rolling on the floor soon.

“It’s not real, right?” Namjoon chirps.

Yoongi sighs, “I highly, highly doubt that. There’s no way they’d marry drunk people. That seems really fucking shady and not to mention illegal.”

“Do you love him?” Jimin questions. He’s serious.

“How can I love someone after one night? We got drunk and fucked, that’s it.”

“You got drunk, married and then fucked. You’re a husband now, that’s totally weird man. I thought I would be first to walk down the aisle but you beat me to it!” And yep, there he goes, rolling on the floor in laughter.

Yoongi kicks him in the ribs, “No one would want to marry you, you fucknut, you’re annoying as shit.”

“Energizer wasn’t annoyed with me last night.” He laughs from the floor, clutching the place where Yoongi kicked him.

“Energizer?”

Taehyung spreads his limbs into a starfish shape on the floor, eyes dreamy, “The guy I met on the dance floor last night. The bunny smile and jacked muscles? The Energizer bunny? I think it’s a funny nickname!”

“You didn’t get his number?” Yoongi asks. He’s not sure why he’s interested. Maybe he’s still drunk. Or he got kicked in the head last night.

Taehyung sighs now, “No, these two lovebirds,” he juts a thumb to Namjoon and Jimin, “wanted to get back here before I could snatch his digits. But it’s whatever. He’ll be the one that got away. The one I’ll remember for years to come. Romantic, right?”

Yoongi doesn’t answer, his mind going back to Seokjin. Really, for someone he only knew for a few hours, he shouldn’t be this hung up about him, but he’s just worried that he left him in a tough spot. It’s not like he’s in love with him, he’s just…concerned. He isn’t sure what for.

“We were about to go get something for lunch but it looks like you won’t eat until later,” Namjoon says, standing up and grabbing Jimin’s hand, “so you just…crash here and we’ll be back later. Maybe we’ll go see another show or something tonight. Taehyung got to pick last night so you or Jimin can pick what we do later.”

“You all loved what we did yesterday, don’t even start,” Taehyung stands up now, fluffing his hair, “we saw some good shows and Yoongi got married, sounds like a successful night to me!”

Yoongi punches him in the stomach. Not too hard, but hard enough.

 


 

The room stops spinning an hour or two after Yoongi is asleep. He doesn’t know how long he’s out, doesn’t care, really, cause having a bed to himself is a luxury on this trip he’s not ready to let go of just yet.

However, instead of waking up naturally, he woke up to his phone skittering across the side table, making an unusual sound with the vibration on the glass. Groaning, he kicks and shoves the covers off of him, reaching blindly until he finds the phone. Unlocking it, he realizes it’s almost 2 o’clock, which means he probably slept for at least five hours. Impressive. Not his longest nap, but still impressive.

Looking down at the screen while rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he first sees the subject line of an email saying “Happy Marriage!” and he’s instantly wary. Not that he’s forgotten what happened last night, but he’s still curious about it.

Opening the email, however, was a different story:

 

Min Yoongi, congratulations on your marriage! We at Little White Chapel are thrilled for you and your partner for choosing our establishment. We wish you a happy future! Attached you will find a video of your gorgeous nuptials that will hopefully be a happy memory for years to come! Again, congratulations, and thank you for visiting us. Viva Las Vegas!

 

“They recorded it?” Yoongi asks aloud, confused. Isn’t that some sort of extortion? Then again, pretending to marry people was as amusing as it can get.

The thumbnail is already disturbing, a still frame of Seokjin bending in laughter and Yoongi wearing a god-awful tulle headband. He doesn’t want to watch it, not really, but he clicks it anyway.

It’s immediate laughter, and some shitty violin track playing as an overlay. It’s like the videographer was drunk too, because it’s not steady in the slightest, but Yoongi still concentrates when watching.

Honestly…they look happy. Yoongi looks happy, which is rare. They look like they planned this for years. They’re laughing. Seokjin can barely stand, and Yoongi is holding his hands as hard as he can, but they’re swaying together. There’s a god forsaken Elvis impersonator standing between them, how Yoongi never saw that was beyond him, and he can see the anticipation in Seokjin’s eyes even when glazed over.

Video Seokjin spots the videographer and brightens even more. He presses his fingertips to his mouth and flings his hand in the most dramatic hand kiss Yoongi has ever seen and he shouts, “I’m getting married by Elvis! This is a miracle! Isn’t he cute?”

The videographer pans over to Yoongi, who, despite his current self, looks nothing like his every day self. Video Yoongi is light, airy, smiling and laughing, carefree. Not in the slightest perturbed that he’s getting married to a stranger. He, too, looks like he had been waiting for this, which his ridiculous because there was no planning to this. It was spontaneous, not real, and that’s all. He won’t see Seokjin again, that’s it.

“You’re,” video Yoongi slurs, “like really pretty. You’re so pretty I could cry.”

Jesus.

Video Seokjin pouts and then pouts his bottom lip, “Aw, baby, stop it!”

The violin track gets a little louder, a montage of hearts fluttering around their heads like some jacked up Photo Booth filter, and an honest to god cupid angel floats around once or twice, shooting arrows. Yoongi literally wants to hide in a hole forever.

He’s beyond embarrassed and for a second wonders how much jail time he would get if he burned the chapel down. He’s such an idiot. He’ll never be able to live this down. And his friends, mostly Taehyung, won’t either. They’ll never see that video. Ever.

Yoongi deletes the email, throws the phone across the room, and goes back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Yoongi tries his best to forget.

With every hour that passes since the “The Incident”, he named it, he’s gone along with the things his friends had planned; tried to submerge himself in the mindless activities to blur the days together. But something nagged at him in the back of his mind, he wasn’t sure if it was crippling embarrassment or his urge to flee. He wanted to disappear, to go back home where it was safe and no mistakes could be made. Snippets of the video flashed in his brain every so often and he wished he had some type of device clear his mind.

“Are you sure you don’t have anything specific you want to do, Yoongi? I’d feel bad coming here and you not getting to choose something to do.” Namjoon says, breaking his thoughts.

I’d want to go back to sleep until we leave tomorrow, he thought viciously.

“Gamble my life savings?” he offers instead. Taehyung chuckles beside him, amused at the prospect. It would be funny to blow what little cash he had still in his bank account or try to win big, but responsible Namjoon wouldn’t let that slide.

“Come on,” Namjoon pulls Jimin to his side, “let’s see a Cirque du Soleil show. I hear they’re magical.”

At this point, Yoongi could care less.

The show was magical, that much was true, but Yoongi had slid so far down in his seat to vanish that he almost slept through it. The only reason he got to watch was because Taehyung would pull on the sleeve of Yoongi’s hoodie which lifted his arm and dropped it back on the arm rest, waking him back up. Taehyung has this thing—he tries to make everyone happy and lively, attentive and focused. Sometimes, like now, Yoongi is thankful for it. Other times, he isn’t. He needed to stop this pity party. He couldn’t even figure out what he was feeling. Whatever it was, it needed to stop.

He needed to leave Seokjin behind. Why he was still thinking about him, he didn’t know. There wasn’t anything he knew about him to make him wonder what would happen.

“I can’t believe we leave tomorrow,” Jimin whines quietly to the group as they walk out of the theater and down the street, “this trip was really...entertaining.”

“That’s a word for it,” Yoongi grumbles.

Taehyung bounces in front of them and starts walking backwards, some hidden talent he only shows every once in a while, “Anyone want to hit up another club tonight?”

No.” Yoongi practically roars. Taehyung’s laughter is infectious. Yoongi wants to clip his lips shut.

What’s worse about not thinking about “The Incident” is the fact that Taehyung keeps bringing it up in different ways. Small, friendly jabs. He thinks it’s funny as shit, really, that Yoongi got so pissed drunk that he married a stranger he couldn’t stop staring at all night. Really, Yoongi thinks that Taehyung is jealous. He’s the one who saw someone attractive on the dance floor the other night and didn’t make any hard hitting moves whereas Yoongi hit a homerun. Well, as twisted as that was. Taehyung would probably be thriving, being a husband to a stranger. He’d want to make it work and find it hysterical, not disappear like Yoongi wanted to. He’d probably cling and snuggle up to whoever he met the other night, all the opposite things Yoongi is feeling right now.

“How about we just get some pizza and shut up about this?” Yoongi was grateful for Namjoon’s deflecting statements sometimes. He always keeps a really close eye on Yoongi and notices this is a touchy subject enough to direct the attention off of him. And Namjoon knows Yoongi enough that he doesn’t need to thank him.

Yoongi is actually really thankful to have Namjoon in his life, as a friend. Once upon a time, when they first met in a college lecture (Yoongi has since blocked out anything about college so he can’t even remember what class it was) there was an initial attraction. At first, Yoongi was attracted to the way he wore these thick framed glasses and had this sleepy, frantic quality about him. Pathetically, Yoongi feigned needing tutoring as an excuse to talk to him. Later on, Yoongi grew attracted to his mind and his thoughts, how deep and thoughtful he was. Yoongi found that they hosted similar interests which made it beyond easy to hold conversations with him. But the reason why it never reached beyond a friendship was because Namjoon wasn’t looking for a relationship. He was purely focused on his studies and wanted to graduate top of his graduating class. And he was intelligent, Yoongi knew that, and he respected that. As they grew in friendship, the attraction faded into a low, simmering tolerance. The feelings were there but they weren’t as strong as they could be.

Still, having Namjoon’s friendship was something Yoongi was grateful for daily. He understood Yoongi’s hesitations, his deepest cracks and how far he could go before he needed to be pulled back from the edge of the cliff, his disregard for proper human care and what makes him tick. It takes a damn good friend to be that introspective about someone other than themselves, and Yoongi can’t imagine not having him around.

Nothing really changed when he started dating Jimin about a few years back. Yoongi wasn’t at all jealous because his feelings had diminished at that point, and he was happy for Namjoon when he said he had met someone. He didn’t think that meeting someone meant he would become a third wheel. Where Namjoon went, Jimin was sure to follow. And sometimes where Yoongi went, they followed. Which was sort of fine because Yoongi was a hermit most of the time so if he went out it was better to be with them.

That being said, Yoongi was never fond of dating. It was too trivial and a huge waste of time. What good was it doing things with someone when all you were doing was going to either marry them or break up with them?Pointless. He didn’t bother. He was content with himself and his music.

So, imagine remembering that he married a stranger. It’s as if he skipped entirely past the dating part, passed go and didn’t collect 20 dollars. Granted, he didn’t know anything about Seokjin other than he was really good at sucking his dick. And as crude as that was, that wasn’t much to base a relationship off of. Something about the embarrassment of this situation Yoongi couldn’t help himself to forget. He wished time travel was real so he could go back in time to not make this monumental mistake that he was pretending didn’t happen.

 


 

“Taehyung, take one more sweep of the room to make sure we didn’t forget everything. You know how Namjoon and Yoongi are.”

Jimin is painfully honest to a fault. He isn’t afraid of saying what too many people are scared to do. In a way, Yoongi admires that about him. He isn’t at all offended at the dig against he and Namjoon being forgetful. It is true. Yoongi left his entire iPad tucked into an office drawer one summer in Seattle. Worst day ever.

Taehyung, ever in admiration of Jimin, did what he was told, crawling on all fours to inspect under the bed and waving his arm through the dresser drawers. Yoongi laughs when he comes back holding Namjoon’s in-ear headphones.

“Damn,” Namjoon curses, “I could have sworn I packed those.”

Jimin sighs melodramatically, “I'm glad he found them cause I wasn’t going to buy you another pair.”

“Babe,” Namjoon whines, fluttering his eyelashes in the way he knows Jimin likes, “you treat me so well.” He then leans down and presses a multiple of messy kisses all over Jimin’s face to make him laugh.

Jimin was probably the most “grown up” of all three of them, working as a journalist at a popular magazine company and writing weekly articles based off certain topics he’s interested in. He makes a stable amount of money, a little more than Namjoon does, but it’s not like Namjoon is purely dependent on Jimin’s income. Jimin just...likes giving gifts. Yoongi’s not even sure how much money he really makes—he’s normally really quiet about it. He’s definitely the humble type.

Before Jimin and Namjoon get lost in their own little world of PDA, Yoongi heads for the door, “Come on, lovebirds, let’s get on the road sometime today.”

They check out and return the hotel keys, locate the van that’s been sitting in the parking lot the entire trip, and pile all their luggage into the trunk, reminiscent of the way they did a few days earlier. Except this time, Yoongi wasn’t hesitant to get into the van, because it was going to be on their way home. Home, away from the nonsense of Las Vegas and what he had done. He remembers when Namjoon had first brought up this idea of coming here and how adamant he was about it, and he was right. This trip was nothing short of hell in a few amount of days, from the ride up, Taehyung’s tears, Namjoon and Jimin’s ridiculous displays of affection, and the fact that he got fake married to a stranger. He was ready to leave Las Vegas in the dust, for good.

They had just reached the main road before Yoongi’s phone vibrates violently in his pocket. Having already dozed off from an early morning call, he ignores it, letting it go to voicemail. When it rang a second time, he ignores it too, not wanting to be bothered. The third time, however, he’s annoyed. He reaches into his pocket to pull out his phone and frowns at the unknown number. Whoever it was, they were persistent, so he might as well tell them to fuck off sooner rather than later.

“Hello?”

“Oh, thank god,” the voice says, and Yoongi’s blood turns to ice. Even knowing him a short time, he knew the voice, “Yoongi?”

“Seokjin?”

Yoongi was back to the first night he saw Seokjin under the fluorescent colored lights of the club, shoulders wide and strong, profile elegant against the shadows. He remembers every event after that, the nervousness of trying to talk to him, every word and kiss and touch that came after. Yoongi tried to forget it all, and in one fell swoop of his voice, he was brought back to it all.

“Seokjin?” Taehyung pops up, poking his head to the front seat to look at Yoongi, who shoved his hand in his face, “like your husband Seokjin? What does he want?”

“Um,” Seokjin says on the phone, and Yoongi can tell even from wherever he is that he’s on the verge of a breakdown, “I need your help.”

“What’s wrong?” Yoongi is not good at dealing with emotions such as people crying, but for some reason the tone in Seokjin’s voice makes him curious but nervous at the same time. The feeling caging his heart feels like protectiveness.

He hears Seokjin take a deep breath, and Yoongi didn’t even think about how he got his number because he knows he didn’t give it to him in the short amount they were together, “Can you come to the airport?”

Yoongi echoes numbly, “The airport?”

“Yes, the airport. Just...please. I’ll explain when you get here. Please, Yoongi, I’m desperate and don’t know who else to call.”

“Okay, okay,” Yoongi consoles him as best as he can, “I’ll be there.”

He reluctantly hangs up before Seokjin can make his heart beat any faster with anxiety, and turns to Namjoon and says, “Turn around, we need to go to airport.” As if he didn’t just hear the conversation on the phone.

Namjoon navigates the van without a question. Something about it made Yoongi even more uneasy.

 

&&&&&

 

“Jungkook, please—”

“I’m going to kill him.”

“No! Stop,” Seokjin calls as he reaches out for Jungkook’s sleeve. He can’t believe this happened. Just a few minutes ago he was on his way through airport security to get on a flight back home, and minutes later, Jungkook is fuming mad at him. There was a problem with his boarding ticket, the information desk said. Seokjin didn’t know what was wrong; he hadn’t done anything wrong when booking it. All the necessary information was there, correct birthday, flight destination, flight time, his name—

His name.

Yoongi .

Seokjin wanted to claw his heart out of his chest when he realized what was wrong. One drunken mistake had lead to something as significant as his name that could jeopardize a lot more than his plane ticket home.

Jungkook—

Jungkook was fuming, rightfully so. Having just found out his older brother married a stranger a few days after it happened probably makes him feel betrayed. Seokjin didn’t want to tell him for this reason. Jungkook was explosive, eager to get angry at any instance of something being wrong. He never ran away from confrontation. Instead he bulldozed forward like a bull, ready for defense.

“I can’t believe you married a fucking stranger and didn’t tell me, your brother, after it happened. You let me play a fool for days and you held onto this information, that was so stupid.”

“I told you,” Hoseok chirps. The look on his face is self-righteousness.

Jungkook whirls on him, “Don’t fucking start. You knew too. You’re just as guilty for not telling me.” Jungkook’s jaw sets and Seokjin is afraid that he might break his teeth from clenching so hard. Hoseok’s expression is hurt, but Jungkook was right. The two of them sheltered him from the information.

When he found out what was wrong, he knew it was time for an explanation. He sat Jungkook down on a nearby bench and explained the entirety of the day they first got to Las Vegas and watched Jungkook’s expressions go from confusion, shock, to anger. As of right now, he’s still angry, and Seokjin can’t blame him. Not one bit. He’s a little angry at himself, one, for doing it, and two, for keeping it from Jungkook. He is his brother, they should never leave anything to secret. Damn Hoseok for thinking that way, and damn Seokjin for believing him. He feels incredibly guilty, too.

In the distance, Seokjin notices a dark head of hair approaching them. Even from a distance, he knows it’s Yoongi. It’s strange, really. Even though he knows nothing about Yoongi other than his physical features and what he’s like in the bedroom, he hadn’t forgotten about him and the situation he was in. Seokjin told Hoseok to not bring it up because he wasn’t allowed to have an opinion anymore, so that left him alone with his own thoughts. The only reason he was able to even contact Yoongi was because the lady behind the desk had looked up Yoongi in their system, and Seokjin prayed to whatever god there was that he would be able to contact him. After they found him, Seokjin called immediately, his heart climbing in his chest after thinking of what to say. They hadn’t left on good terms; it was bound to be awkward either way.

Watching Yoongi approach now, he looks so different from the night they met. Gone was the suave acting, the calm character. In his place was a frazzled and confused, slightly scared Yoongi, eyes reminiscent of the morning after they figured out they were married. Seokjin’s heart definitely doesn’t skip a beat seeing that he’s still as handsome as he was back then. Too late, he thinks, when Jungkook looks between him and Yoongi, connecting the gaze between the two.

“Son of a bitch ,” Jungkook starts, stalking towards him. Seokjin darts out of his seat and holds onto Jungkook’s upper arms to push him back, but to little avail. Jungkook was built much sturdier than he was, so it was like pushing against a tree.

“Jungkook, please ,” Seokjin cries, “I’m going to figure it out, don’t cause a scene. I’m begging you. Let me handle it.”

As soon as Yoongi is in ear shot, Jungkook snarls, “I hope you’re happy, asshole, you ruined my brother’s life!” It’s a little dramatic, really, but that’s always been Jungkook. Overdramatic, over confident, and wild. Nothing he said or did was half assed, Seokjin knows.

Before hell exploded, Seokjin sees a blonde haired kid with lanky limbs poke his head from behind Yoongi’s small frame. His smile is brilliant, brown eyes looking directly at Jungkook, connecting, and exclaiming excitedly, “You!”

Jungkook’s curled lip drops into a shocked expression as he looks back, echoing in a much more subdued manner, “You.” It’s as if all the fight was extinguished with one syllable, and Seokjin is confused as ever. Who did Jungkook know in Las Vegas? Suddenly, it clicks.

“He’s the guy you met at the club, right?” Seokjin questions. He remembers the morning after saying goodbye to Yoongi, at the buffet Seokjin had listened to Jungkook regale a story fit for a novel about this mystery man. Seokjin had wondered if Jungkook thought anymore about him, and clearly he did, judging by his expression that completely derived him from his anger. He thought about him almost the same as Seokjin thought about Yoongi.

The lanky kid’s smile widens more, if possible, answering for Seokjin, “Nice see you again, Energizer!”

Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow in confusion, “Energizer? The pink bunny?” Seokjin would laugh, if he had the capability.

The stranger laughs now, ignoring the stoic silence surrounding them. Seokjin blinks, trying to make sense of what is happening, but looks over at Yoongi, whose eyes are searching him as if he’s physically injured. Seokjin reaches for his arm and pulls him a distance away from Jungkook who is, thankfully, distracted. Seokjin will have to get answers from him later.

“What’s going on?” Yoongi asks, quick to the chase. Seokjin can hear the covered panic in his voice, which means he has to explain quickly.

“They won’t let me on my flight,” Seokjin summarizes, “they notice that I’m not in the system; my pass doesn’t match when they scan it.”

Yoongi looks perplexed, and Seokjin doesn’t find it adorable, “Did you misspell something?”

Seokjin starts to wring his hands. This could be nasty, he thinks, “I think...I’m not Kim Seokjin anymore. I’m Min Seokjin.”

Yoongi’s eyes go completely blank, as if he had autofocus on and completely lost control. He blinks once, twice, ten times, and Seokjin fears that he might collapse here in the middle of the linoleum floor of the airport.

“It’s real?” his voice is but a whisper.

Seokjin doesn’t want to believe it, not really. He wanted it to be fake, a gimmick for people to visit, a ploy for a good time. But the marriage they participated in was as real as any other marriage. They’re legally and permanently married. Seokjin is no longer Kim Seokjin, but someone else. Someone he became on an alcohol induced idea.

“Fuck,” Yoongi looks a second away from losing all sanity as he threads his hands in his hair, “ fuck .”

“You’d have to buy me dinner first,” Seokjin says, and immediately cups his hands over his mouth, cringing at Yoongi’s incredulous look. A joke, at a time like this? “I’m sorry, it slipped. I make a lot of jokes. That’s not important. Sorry, um,” Seokjin was slowly losing himself, reverting to multiple syllabled apologies, “What do we do?”

Yoongi sits down on the nearby chair and cups his head in his hands, “It shouldn’t be real, this is ridiculous. Who legally marries drunk people? This has to be illegal. Oh, fucking Christ. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry.”

“Hey,” Seokjin says softly, sitting softly next to Yoongi. He puts a comforting hand on his back and rubs in circles, feeling the rigidity of Yoongi’s shoulders, “it’s okay. I’m at fault too. You didn’t do it alone, okay? We’ll figure it out. First things first is that we need to get home. Where do you live?”

“Los Angeles.,” Yoongi answers morosely. Seokjin, despite the situation, was pleasantly surprised at the answer.

“Really? We live in Santa Barbara. What a small world!” he laughs. Out of anywhere in the world and the guy he married on a drunken whim lives an hour and a half away from him. California is not a small state, by far, but it was interesting that they practically lived within the neighborhood. Seokjin’s laughter doesn’t do anything to move Yoongi’s statuesque body language; if anything, it turns him colder, detaching him. Seokjin resumes the lazy, swirling patterns on Yoongi’s back, hoping it will ease him in case he were to really panic.

Yoongi sits up straight and looks at Seokjin, all of a sudden, in all his glory. He looks exhausted, a type of exhausted sleeping can’t fix, his eyes laden with dark circles. He’s scared, too, that much Seokjin can gather. He feels scared too, but the one thing Seokjin has always been is logical. He’ll try to fix things as well as he can; he’s been that way forever.

“Santa Barbara,” Yoongi repeats, as if he can’t believe it, “that’s not far.”

Seokjin smiles softly, realizing that his logical thinking is helping Yoongi calm down like he figured it would, “It’s not far at all. It’s got nice beaches— beautiful beaches, amazing restaurants and activities. Look,” Seokjin sighs, placing a hand on Yoongi’s thigh and regretting it immediately. The shock he feels in that touch is enough for him to gasp, but he holds it back. It’s just static electricity, maybe, the early autumn air charging their clothing. Yoongi looks at Seokjin’s hand, eyes saying a thousand things but his mouth says nothing. Taking it back now would look awkward, so Seokjin clears his throat and bulldozes through, “we can get back home and then...see a lawyer about this and see if we can get it annulled. Okay? Does that sound good?”

Yoongi nods, eyes flickering at Seokjin’s hand, which he takes off now and keeps to himself, “I’m sorry.”

Seokjin smiles carefully. Yoongi is probably the type to act out and apologize a lot of times later, and Seokjin finds it a little endearing.

“Don’t be sorry. We can fix this. We can look into it legally and then part ways like it never happened. Like you said a few days ago, you want nothing to do with this, and I want the same. I’m not going to steal all your money or furniture or anything, promise.”

“There’s not much to steal, if I’m honest.” Yoongi jokes.

Yoongi seems to ease a little more at that. It is the truth. Seokjin has never been someone who steals or cheats his way through a situation—he likes things that are clean and fair.

Both of them glance over at their respective parties, Jungkook standing with his hands on his hips, glacial facial expression melting a little more as he listens to the guy from the club talk animatedly. Hoseok looks over at Seokjin at that moment, ready to defend and protect, but Seokjin smiles easily at him. His eyes are wary, but Seokjin doesn’t blame him. Twice he’s seen Yoongi be a hiccup in this vacation, so it’s understandable that he’s concerned.

Yoongi stands up from his seat, slowly, and says as if he’s steeled his resolve enough to be sensible,  “I’m going to see what I can do.” And stalks off towards the counter that Seokjin had spent quite some time trying to figure out what the problem was. He knew there wasn’t much that Yoongi could do that he didn’t try already, but he remained hopeful.

Jungkook filled in the seat that Yoongi was in and sighs somewhat wistfully, “What’s going on?”

“Yoongi’s checking to see if there’s anything that’s been done,” Seokjin nods towards Yoongi standing with his arms crossed on the counter talking to a representative, and then notices Jungkook’s gaze darkening again, “Jungkook, seriously. You and Hoseok are two of the same. He’s not a bad guy, okay? He’s scared.”

Jungkook huffs, crossing his own arms and being the stubborn brat he always is, “I don’t get how someone like that could talk you into marrying you.”

Seokjin sighs, “For the last time, he didn’t coerce me to do anything. It was my idea. We were pissed drunk and he agreed that it would be fun. Nothing more, nothing less. I want out of this just as much as he does, okay? It’s basically a big misunderstanding.”

“Some misunderstanding.”

Even though Jungkook is young, his protectiveness of Seokjin is something pretty unique. It makes Seokjin wonder if they think he’s some lost puppy incapable of making an adult decision when he, in fact, is the adult, “Who’s your mystery guy?” He says as a distraction.

The blush on Jungkook’s face is unmistakable, and for once, and he shrugs at it isn’t a big deal, “His name is Taehyung. He’s...vibrant.”

“That’s a colorful word.”

Jungkook’s eyes glance over for a quick second to Taehyung who is checking his fringe in the reflection, like a bird pruning his feathers, “Nothing’s gonna come of it. He probably lives in another country.”

“Yoongi says he lives in LA and that’s not far from here, maybe they all live together.” Seokjin offers. He sees the spark of interest in Jungkook’s eye flicker, then fade. He shrugs again.

“Long distance?”

Seokjin laughs, “It’s an hour and a half away, silly. I’m not saying to marry the guy,” Jungkook flinches at the poor joke, “I’m saying just...see how it goes. Slow. Not what I did.”

“Yeah, I won’t follow in your footsteps.”

Seokjin reaches up to smack the back of his head playfully, saying snarkily, “Such a brat.”

Movement catches Seokjin’s peripheral vision and he turns to see Yoongi waddling back, his eyes clouded with confusion. By the look alone, Seokjin can feel his stomach start to churn at the impending bad news.

“So, good news or bad news?” Yoongi asks. He doesn’t acknowledge Jungkook.

Seokjin swallows the fear creeping his way back up, “Bad news?”

“The bad news is that if you wanted to fly back you’d have to show a valid driver’s license and since your name has changed,” he looks sheepish, “and since we’re not in California, there’s no way to do that.”

Seokjin holds his breath as he asks, “What’s the good news?”

Yoongi glances back at his friends now huddled together, looking at a phone screen, “Good news is that we have a van big enough to fit you three in and we’re more than happy to bring you home.”

Seokjin is really touched by the offer. If Yoongi were any other type of guy, entitled and selfish, he’d tell Seokjin to fuck off and find his own way home. But Yoongi is different—a quiet kindness and a penchant for avoiding disappointment. Seokjin can’t help but be touched.

“That’s really sweet,” Seokjin smiles, “and that would really help us out. If you’re sure we won’t be an imposition.”

“Trust me, after all we’ve been through, this is the least I can do.”

“Yoongi,” Seokjin sighs, shaking his head, “you really need to stop thinking this is all your fault. I’m part of this too, okay? I’m just as much to blame.”

The look on Yoongi’s face tells Seokjin that he’s done this before, shouldering blame that wasn’t always his. Seokjin wonders why he’d think that he forcibly made Seokjin put pen to paper in order to get them married. He wonders what happened in his life to make him so self-inflicting of trouble.

“I understand,” Yoongi says now, but Seokjin thinks he’s just saying that to brush it off, “we have a long drive ahead of us, so we should get going.”

Yoongi wasn’t lying when he said they had enough room for all three of them in the van. Said van was a squatty thing, painted bright orange and looking slightly less for wear. There were double doors and definitely enough room for seven people total.

“Where did this come from?” Seokjin laughs as he throws his luggage in the trunk designated for bags.

The driver, who Seokjin was introduced to as Namjoon, beams with pride as if the car is his own child, “I bought Fanta at a discount car shop some odd years ago. It was my first “adult” purchase after leaving home. I didn’t really have a reason for buying her; it was more like a calling. She handles really well on road trips.” He taps the exterior a couple of times before climbing into the driver’s seat.

“Does this mean I get shotgun?” the other man named Jimin says. Seokjin could deduce just from a glance alone that he was dating Namjoon. They’re relationship was as clear as the sky.

“It would make sense,” Seokjin offers, “I wouldn’t make Hoseok sit up there, he’s picky with the radio.”

“Then you’re gonna hate Namjoon,” Yoongi says quietly, “not only does he drive terribly but he tries to pick music and talk with his hands at the same time.”

“Why don’t you drive?”

“I don’t want to die,” Yoongi explains, reaching for the double doors, “if I wanted to drive this beast I’d have to, I don’t know, give Namjoon a blood oath or something.”

Seokjin admires the joking manner in which Yoongi said that, because it means he’s lightening up. Which is good, because Seokjin can only handle doom and gloom for so long.

Speaking of—

“Energizer and I will take the back,” Taehyung says with an authoritative lilt before gesturing to Hoseok, Seokjin and Yoongi, “you three can sit ahead of us on the bench and Jimin can ride shotgun.”

“Are you gonna call me that the whole ride home?” Jungkook grumbles.

Taehyung smiles again, and Seokjin finds it adorable. He wonders if he ever doesn’t smile.

It took some maneuvering, but they eventually all fit with some space to spare. The fring row was a long, cushioned bench in which Seokjin ended up in the middle of Hoseok and Yoongi. Seokjin could care less about having a middle seat, honestly. A seat was a seat; he was grateful either way to have a way home.

“Adios, sin city!” Taehyung yells a little too boisterously in the small cabin of the van, making everyone flinch.

Seokjin tries not to cling onto Yoongi’s thigh at the sudden screech of the tires on the asphalt. If he was religious, he would start praying. But that never got him very far before.

This was going to be a very long ride home.

Chapter Text

In Yoongi’s head, he’s killed Taehyung 47 times.

He cannot believe he even suggested this, suggested that Yoongi sit next to Seokjin for the next seven hours of the car ride. But then again, he can. Taehyung has always, always, always had some kind of playful vendetta for Yoongi, embarrassing him and making him want to hide. Whereas Namjoon was calm and patient, Taehyung was wild and obnoxious.

Right now, Yoongi can actually feel the heat radiating off of Seokjin’s body because of how close they are sitting. He’s surprised he hasn’t hyperventilated himself to death yet. He can’t give Taehyung the satisfaction, though. He’s done that too many times. Pulled up the white flag too many times. From the multiple kicks to his seat from behind, he’s guessing Taehyung has a shit eating grin on his face. But, however, he might take back half of those for the fact that Seokjin’s brother probably wanted to rip his dick off. The look he gave Yoongi when he approached at the airport was nothing short of vengeance and Yoongi felt his impending demise. If looks could kill, Jungkook would have melted Yoongi’s face off. The size of his muscles was absolutely insane too, and Yoongi was sure he was much younger than him, but how? No wonder Taehyung had been all over him.

Speaking of…

“So, what do you do, Energizer?” Taehyung asks. Yoongi cringes.

Jungkook,” he emphasizes in annoyed voice, “and I’m a student. Junior.”

Taehyung coos, and Yoongi can guess he’s leaning over to pinch his cheeks, “A high school student! Oh, you’re so much younger than I thought!”

“College, dumbass,” Yoongi pipes up, “He’s a college junior.”

“I didn’t ask for your answer,” Jungkook spits back.

Seokjin turns around in his seat, scandalized at his brother’s standoffish behavior, “Kim Jungkook. Behave. Yoongi and his friends are nice enough to give us a ride home, so be nice to them!”

“I just don’t get why we couldn’t fly,” was his retort.

Yoongi studies Seokjin’s side profile as he turns to bicker with his brother. Again, Yoongi knows Seokjin is handsome. It’s partially the reason, well, why he married him. He was handsome, he is handsome, and Yoongi knows that. He looks at the gentle slope of his nose, the high cheekbones and ample cheeks, and those lips as they give Jungkook a stern talk. If Yoongi thinks hard enough, he can still feel them on his, coupled with a moan.

Don’t think about him moaning, you dumb fuck, Yoongi curses to himself. He turns his eyes forward. Up front in the driver’s seat, Namjoon has one hand easy on the top of the wheel, the other stretching over the middle console and lying on Jimin’s thigh. Yoongi wishes the door would open so he could roll out and die; he’s sick of being surrounded by couples when his relationship was forced on him. They weren’t even two hours into the car ride and he was feeling bad. But when he thought about it, it was only forced upon him because he forced it. He agreed to Seokjin’s idea and...here he was. Married to someone he didn’t know and was being incredibly awkward.

“And for what it’s worth,” Seokjin turns to Yoongi now, “I work at a television station.”

“Oh,” Yoongi says, blinking at the new information, and remembers the question Taehyung asked a little earlier, “do you have your own segment?”

Seokjin leans back and sighs kind of dramatically, “No, not yet. I’m trying to work my way up to main anchor but it’s so difficult!”

“How long have you been there?” Yoongi can’t help but ask, because he is curious. The inner workings of a TV station has fascinated him. How many people can it take to make one show? What happens if something goes wrong? What goes on behind the scenes?

“About three years or so. The money is nice but I want to be the first face people see in the morning.”

“I’m sure Yoongi would like that,” Taehyung pipes up, as if his own conversation wasn’t happening, “he married you for your face.”

Make that 48 times.

“Can we not talk about that?” Yoongi pleads, looking back at anyone but Seokjin.

“We have to talk about it, eventually.” Seokjin says instead, looking inquisitively at Yoongi. Yoongi can barely handle the gaze on him. He wants to shrink up and disappear again. But he is right. He can’t avoid it forever, even if he wanted to.

“We will,” Yoongi nods, swallowing regret and fear, “later. I want this car ride to be as...hostile free as possible.”

Jungkook scoffs from the back seat.

The sigh from Seokjin is understanding but slightly frustrated. Yoongi hopes it’s at his brother and not him, because it’s a simple thing to append to. Avoid talking about The Incident for the next five and a half hours. Easy.

“I’m a musician,” Yoongi offers, instead, trying to keep the subject going. It’s not totally the truth, but it’s what Yoongi is most proud of. His music is his life, and the air he breathes. It keeps him alive.

This takes Seokjin by surprise, “Really? I wouldn’t have thought of that.”

Yoongi’s face scrunches, “I know I look like I should be a mortician, but I’m not.”

“No, no,” Seokjin bursts into laughter, something giggly and equal parts endearing, “I didn’t mean it like that. It’s imperative to pursue your dreams, right?”

“That’s stupid. He’s probably flat ass broke.” Jungkook comments. Seokjin flat out ignores him. Yoongi feels his heart squeeze from Seokjin’s understanding. Most people think he’s an idiot for chasing a dream with no end in sight, but he could care less.

“I think it’s sweet,” Seokjin muses, “dreams have no monetary value, Jungkook. Also, why are you against that? You sing in the shower like it’s a concert hall.”

“Fuck you,” Jungkook sneers, lip curling at the leak of personal information, “that isn’t funny.” He looks feral. Yoongi fears he can tear his guts out with his teeth.

“But it’s true!” Seokjin continues to laugh, now turning to Yoongi, “he’s really good, actually. And I’m sure you are good too. Can I hear any of your stuff?”

“No—”

“You sure can!” Namjoon shouts from the front seat, the car jerking a little far left as he reaches for his phone that was connected to the AUX cord.

“Namjoon if you play it I will kill you.”

Too late, because the car booms with the familiar symphony sound, completely different from when the bass is blasted from his anthem song. Yoongi really considers jumping out the window. It’s kind of embarrassing showing your stuff to new people, especially strangers who you don’t know that well, especially a song this vulnerable. Yoongi buries his head in his hands as his own voice spits back at him from the speakers, lulled by his friend Suran’s voice.

When it ends, Yoongi still wants to kill Namjoon.

“It sounds so whiny,” Jungkook comments into the brief silence before Namjoon picks up on his playlist like that didn’t just happen.

“You know what, dude?” Yoongi turns in his seat now, suddenly very furious, “Fuck you. Really, fuck you. I may not make a fuck ton of money but I’m doing the one thing I’m good at and the only thing I love in this world, so shut the fuck up.”

Yoongi feels a warm hand on his thigh that makes him jump, and before he can see the stunned look on Jungkook’s face, he meets Seokjin’s eyes. They’re filled with a little concern and a little shock at the sudden outburst, but kind nonetheless. The hand on his thigh is confirmation that his words weren’t unwarranted. His passion for music is a little too big for people to understand, so when they insult it, he becomes very protective and defensive. He would not be half as sane as he is right now if it weren’t for the songs he creates and records. Having Jungkook joke like that just…tears him apart. As if the years spent trying to battle his demons didn’t mean a damn thing.

“Jungkook, don’t talk about his music like that, okay? He’s doing what he loves. In fact, stop being a dick altogether, you’re being incredibly rude. I’m starting to hate you a little bit.”

Jungkook doesn’t answer. His jaw sets into a hard line and he glances out the window, past Taehyung, who has ceased to exist. Yoongi wishes he didn’t exist, either, the close quarters making him a little anxious.

“Hey,” Seokjin says quietly, the hand on his thigh squeezing for Yoongi’s attention, though Yoongi isn’t sure what to look at more, the hand, or Seokjin’s face. He settles for Seokjin’s eyes. He regrets it immediately, cause he’s too god damn beautiful up close, and last time he was this close he was fucking his brains out. “I think you’re amazing, really,” Seokjin continues, “I can feel your desperation and your vulnerability in that song. Did you write it?”

Yoongi can only nod, afraid the knot in his throat will jump out and spill his deepest fears.

Seokjin’s smile is fond, “It’s beautiful.”

Yoongi can’t hide his blush, can’t hide the way the compliment flames his face. Acknowledgement is something he rarely receives, so when he does, it means a lot to him. The comment makes him a little less hostile, but he’s still very wary about Jungkook and wanting to punch him.

“Thank you.”

“I can show you more tracks if you gimme a second,” Namjoon says excitedly from the front seat.

“Maybe later, Namjoon,” Seokjin replies, “when Yoongi’s ready to show us. Thank you, though.”

“Play Serendipity instead, Joonie,” Jimin says as he taps Namjoon’s hand on his thigh before turning around, “Namjoon wrote and produced this song for me, and asked me to sing on it cause it suited me.” Jimin is pretty shameless when it comes to his voice; it’s something he’s very proud of but won’t pursue any further. It’s a hobby, he says, but it’s at times mostly convenient for him. He often works with Namjoon on odd projects here and there. Yoongi is sometimes kind of jealous with that working relationship—he wishes he had someone to consult when he wanted a song to be someone rather than himself. There’s a whole book of written songs that he know he won’t sing himself. And the lyrics are really nice too. They would fit a voice more serene than his harsh one.

Seokjin’s hand wavers on Yoongi’s thigh as the song starts, as if transfixed by the lyrics, “ As much as my heart flutters, I’m worried. The destiny is jealous of us, just like you I’m scared, when you see me, when you touch me.”

Yoongi takes a deep breath and steadies himself, listening to the song he’s heard thousands of time. It sounds different, now. This time, his heart pounds to a different beat, one that is believing of fate and destiny, as if this trip was everything like that. The lyrics whisper to him in a different way than before, and that scares him.

“The universe has moved for us, there wasn’t even a little miss. Our happiness was meant to be, cause you love me, and I love you.”

Yoongi braces himself, gently placing his own hand on top of his thigh, his pinky finger gently overlapping Seokjin’s adorable crooked pinky finger. He doesn’t jump, but feels victorious when Seokjin doesn’t pull away. The small touch is magnetic enough for Yoongi to look at Seokjin, whose eyes are glazed with wonder.

You’re my penicillium, who saved me; my angel, my world. I’m your calico cat, who came to see you. Love me now, touch me now. Just let me love you, let me love you.”

The violent jerk of the car breaks everyone’s reverie, followed by Jimin’s squeal, “Eyes on the road, Joonie! I’ll kiss you later.”

Seokjin’s hand vanishes, and Yoongi’s heart kicks in overdrive. But it’s not necessarily from the adrenaline.

 

&&&&&

 

Seokjin has been on road trips before. In fact, they were something he used to do a lot as a kid with his favorite aunt. She would call him sometime when he was alone at home working on homework and asked if he and Jungkook wanted to tag along to some other state for six, seven, eight hours in a car. And without hesitation, he would accept. He loved the open road, loved the scenery as it blurred together, blending one area into the next until it felt like a dizzy oblivion. With his aunt and Jungkook it felt like what his parents were doing wasn’t so bad, that being alone wasn’t bad.

Of course, he didn’t resent his parents. He couldn’t, they gave him everything. But...he wasn’t fond of them always being gone and him being alone . Jungkook had only turned seven by the time they pulled full time at work and only came home for sleep to be gone the next day again. Wash, rinse, repeat.

But on the open road, none of that existed. It was them on a long road with the world waiting, breathing, alive .

Being in this car, with Yoongi pressed close to his side, was a different type of ride. He can’t help but remember the last time he was this close to Yoongi, a different type of intimacy was occuring. And it wasn’t the worst.

Three hours in, Seokjin was fine. Five hours, still fine. Until…

“What the hell?” Namjoon curses softly. Seokjin has to peer forward to see what’s happening, and when he does, he almost groans. An angry, swirling dark cloud looms before them, practically swallowing the cars that drive towards it.

“That looks scary,” Jimin comments. Seokjin agrees.

Yoongi leans over to get a good look at what lies ahead and curses, “Namjoon, you need to pull off now. I don’t trust you driving any other day, but driving in rain is not your strong suit.”

Namjoon nods, “Can’t argue with that.” He gently eases the van off of the highway onto the shoulder, reaching for the hazard lights as the dust swirls around them.

At first, there’s silence. And then all of a sudden, the whirling cloud sucks them into the weather, rain slanting sideways against the car, biting like bullets. It sounds like hail being thrown at one hundred miles an hour against the metal, and the sound is horrendous. Seokjin had never occured weather this bad on the road with his aunt. It’s frightening.

“Anyone check the radar?” Hoseok finally pops up. Seokjin wondered if he would be silent the whole ride out of pure protest. He’s glad to know he’s still alive.

Jimin taps away at his phone, then sighs in frustration, “No signal.”

Seokjin can physically feel Yoongi tense up, this unforeseen weather forecast making him nervous. The poor guy, Seokjin thinks, any little change in plan gets him riled up. He needs to let loose for a little, to be okay with unexpected hiccups.

“I’ve been through this area before,” Seokjin pipes up, finally clicking in his mind, “there’s a motel down the road. We can’t stay here all night.”

“Namjoon isn’t driving in this,” Yoongi protests, louder. Seokjin wonders if this is how he wins arguments, by speaking louder and over everyone. That’s a little frustrating.

“Then I’ll drive,” Seokjin suggests, “is that okay, Namjoon?”

“No.” Yoongi says, at the same time that Namjoon says, “Yes.”

“Excuse me?” Yoongi barks, incredulous. Seokjin can see the shock coloring his face. “You never let anyone drive Fanta!”

“In dire circumstances, I’m willing to make changes. I have too many people in the car and not enough bail money if I kill you all.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes but doesn’t respond. Namjoon and Seokjin make a plan to climb into each other’s seats, Namjoon first, climbing into the back seat with him and Yoongi, making sure he’s situated before Seokjin takes the place of Namjoon in the front seat. Taking a deep breath, he assesses the vehicle. Notes the gas pedal and brake, the gas gage, the gear shift, and exhales. Putting the car in drive, he slowly eases the car back into the highway, freezing momentarily when the groaning and whistling gets louder, but only because of the rain. It doesn’t take too long; Seokjin had a photographic memory and was good at memorizing roads on said road trips, but he is slightly shaking maneuvering the giant van around. He can’t see that far ahead of him, unfortunately, and he can’t see the taillights of the car in front of him. It’s a solid, gray wall.

Still, Seokjin’s memorization of roads from his past comes in handy. There would be an exit in half a mile where the motel would sit, and after a few agonizing minutes of driving at only 10 miles an hour, he spots the familiar neon sign even in the dark grey atmosphere. When he parks, they all make a run for it to the front desk, unsuccessfully staying dry. They’re soaked within seconds, but it could be a lot worse, Seokjin thinks. He’s not sure how, but it could be.

“So, what’s the plan?” Taehyung chirps, shaking his head like a dog, littering the carpet with more water.

“You,” Seokjin points to Yoongi, “come with me.”

“Why?”

Jungkook and Hoseok stand as Jungkook says, “Yeah, why?”

“Relax, I’m seeing if we can get a newlywed discount for rooms.”

“We’re staying overnight?” the look on Yoongi’s face is incredulous. What else did he expect?

“You keep saying you don’t want Namjoon to drive, and no one else is going to drive in that,” Seokjin huffs, getting annoyed, “it doesn’t look like it’ll pass soon, so it would take us probably four more hours to get back at the speed we were going. So, yes, we’re staying. That’s all I can think of right now.”

Seokjin grabs Yoongi’s hand without any further prodding and drags him to the front counter where a man sips on a very large vodka bottle. That does nothing to ease Seokjin’s nerves, but he surely could use some of that vodka. It takes a little of finagling and hassling to get what Seokjin wants, but he finds a way.

“Okay, so here’s the situation,” Seokjin sighs morosely when he comes back with Yoongi in tow, “there’s a honeymoon suite, one room with a king bed and one with a queen.”

“Well obviously, the honeymoon suite should go to you two—” Namjoon starts, looking in Yoongi’s direction.

Taehyung jumps in between everyone, a devilish smile on his face. Seokjin is worried about what he’s going to say. From the short time he’s known him, he’s completely unpredictable and wild.

“Let’s make things interesting, instead,” he chirps, rocking on his toes, “rock paper scissors for the honeymoon suite. Don’t you think that’d be fun, Energizer?”

Jungkook rolls his eyes, but Seokjin can see the competitive gleam in his eye. He never, ever turns down a chance to be on top in a competition, no matter how small or big.

“What are we, five?” Jimin points out.

“Live a little, twinkle toes!” Taehyung chuckles, poking Jimin in the shoulder. Jimin pouts royally at the nickname, so much so that his boyfriend wraps an arm around him in a comforting manner. Seokjin feels a small, small pang of jealousy. He wishes that he had a relationship as solid as them, even though he wouldn’t particularly say his “marriage” is copacetic. He barely knows Yoongi, and there hasn’t been any moment like in the movies where they suddenly click and completely understand each other. This is the real world. It’s awkward and slightly disappointing.

“Alright, fine, whatever,” Yoongi interrupts, “rock, paper, scissors for shits and giggles. Ready?”

They all stand in an awkward, oblong circle, dealing out hands. The first round decides for the king room, which both Namjoon, Jimin and Hoseok end up winning. The look on Hoseok says he couldn’t care less, but Seokjin knows he’ll argue about it a little later. Seokjin’s heart is hammering a little faster in his chest now that the middle room is out, therefore the one he wanted most. He could care less about the honeymoon suite, which goes too—

Fuck yes ,” Taehyung hollers, grabbing onto Jungkook’s shoulder, “honeymoon suite it is, Jungkook! Let’s go!”

Which leaves...the tiny queen to Seokjin and Yoongi. Seokjin has been moderately lucky in life, avoiding broken bones and severe car crashes and other epidemics with his good immune system. But in the matter of a week he’s managed to fuck all that up.

Yoongi coughs as if someone socked him into the stomach, “Okay, now for real—”

Taehyung barks a laugh, wagging a finger, “No, no, it’s decided. Energizer and I get the honeymoon suite, which is sweet . Namjoon, Jimin and Hoseok get the king and the newlyweds get the queen. No take backs.”

“You’re lucky I haven’t punched the living shit out of you, yet,” Yoongi grumbles. He grabs the key out of Seokjin’s hand and heads towards the number correlating on the key and steps in, turning back and waiting for Seokjin. With a quick, apologetic look at Hoseok, he follows suit.

Soaking wet, both of them head towards the bathroom. They bump shoulders trying to get in at the same time, so Seokjin let’s Yoongi go first. They both grab a towel and start to dry themselves off, the silence a little bit nice after the car ride they had. Everything seems to be simmering down. Seokjin kind of feels like he’s aged 20 years.

“For what it’s worth,” Seokjin pipes up, the silence earning a joke, “we could be in a ditch right now.”

Yoongi smiles a little bit, which to Seokjin, feels like a million bucks, “I’ve been in a ditch with Namjoon before; it’s hell. But you’re right. I’m sorry about...everything.” he says suddenly, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth.

“Don’t apologize,” Seokjin shakes his head, rubbing the towel over his hair, “we’ll talk more in depth about it when we get home. For right now we just need to wait for the storm to pass. Take a breather, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi nods. His sleepy eyes look at Seokjin in the small mirror, “that was some excellent maneuvering out there, by the way. Not many people can say they’ve driven Fanta and lived to tell the tale. How’d you know there was a motel around here?”

Seokjin wipes the towel over his face to hide the creeping blush on his cheeks, and explains, “I used to take a lot of road trips as a kid with my aunt. Anywhere the wind blew her, she wanted me along, and I wanted adventure so naturally I went. I’ve passed by this motel a ton of times on the road away from home.”

Yoongi tosses the towel on the counter and Seokjin does the same, only before picking them up and hanging them neatly on the rack behind the door, for convenience sake, “That must have been nice. I’ve never really gone anywhere save for work and things around LA.”

“Is your work producing?” Seokjin asks. As it stands, he only knows little about Yoongi. But he knows that music is a big part of it. Whether or not it is his main job, Seokjin genuinely wanted to know. He makes his way out of the bathroom back into the room where the bed is and Yoongi follows, kind of like a lost puppy. Seokjin hopes that he hit a sweet spot talking about Yoongi’s music, but he earns a sigh instead.

“I wish,” Yoongi answers in a morose tone, “right now I’m an assistant at a radio station. I don’t even get to pick the songs, I’m the bitch, basically. The pay fucking sucks but I’m hoping that it’ll get better if they see my potential as a producer. I’m hoping for the day that they let me play my stuff on the radio.”

Seokjin gives him an easy smile. It’s endearing when Yoongi opens up; Seokjin feared that from the morning after their wedding that Yoongi would be a clam, shut out from the world, but he has his moments. He’s appreciative of Yoongi giving him this information. It bonds them a little deeper. Not by much, but a little. “From what I heard in the van, you’re really talented. I hope you don’t give it up.” He means it.

The blush on Yoongi’s cheeks is unmistakable, and Seokjin thinks it’s charming to have his walls come down, even a little bit. Music to Yoongi, he’s found, is like breathing. It’s easy and simple, something that he does frequently. He admires that. He wishes he had the urge to chase his dreams no matter how small they are. He wasn’t lying when he said he wanted to be main anchor at the station he works at, but he wants to be a little more than that. He wants to see himself on a bigger screen, in bigger productions. More . And in a state like California where everyone and their mother is an actor, it loses its appeal after a while. It’s unoriginal, to want to be that.

Seokjin feels the bed dip as Yoongi sits next to him, breaking him of his thoughts. He’s happy to be where he is, he is. He doesn’t know how to move forward, but it’s safe.

It’s safe to stay still. The chances of failure are small.

To coast.

 

&&&&&

 

Yoongi finds it hard to believe that it’s only been one week since Namjoon came into tiny apartment, suggesting that they go to Las Vegas for a fun vacation. That’s seven days. In those seven days they’ve visited the strip, gambled a little, seen multiple circus and performance shows, eaten unbelievable food, and of course, he got married.

It’s only been a week, but it feels like an entire year. Or twenty.

“I don’t know about you,” Seokjin says now, peering down at the sheets, “but I’d rather sleep on the floor.”

“No, you wouldn’t.”

Yoongi is growing used to Seokjin’s smile. It’s beautiful, he can admit that much, and it’s a smile he wants to see more often. He keeps thinking of small little quips to say to see that smile.

Before Yoongi can respond further, there’s a knock at the door. Yoongi, slightly confused, answers it, and he meets a woman that he hadn’t seen, so different from the man at the front desk drowning himself with vodka. He looks down at her hands, a bottle of champagne in each one.

“I’m sorry,” she blinks owlishly, “I thought you two would be in the honeymoon suite. But when the door opened there were two kids that denied they were married and said you were down the hall.”

Yoongi sighs as he presses his hip against the open door, “You’d be surprised what a mean game of rock, paper, scissors can get you.”

Her eyes blink behind the giant tortoise shell glasses perched on her nose and she looks passed Yoongi, as if she’s memorized the room they’re in specifically, “Well, I’m the manager of this motel and I figured that the newlyweds deserved a welcoming gift. I imagine this wasn’t the ideal destination for your honeymoon.” She hands over the bottles and Yoongi handles them expertly, holding them to his chest like newborn twins.

Yoongi chokes on a laugh but plays along, no matter how ridiculous it is, “No ma’am, it isn’t. Thank you, have a good night.”

The old woman’s smile is beautiful, but naughty, “You too.” The implication alone scares Yoongi a little bit.

When Yoongi shuts the door, he can’t help but start to laugh at the ridiculousness of this day. He managed to escape hell that was Las Vegas by the skin of his teeth and was on the road home but then hit a brick wall when Seokjin called him for help, and after a quick two hour pit stop they managed to make it only a few hours away from Los Angeles before the rain started. At least they were out of Nevada so Yoongi could breathe a little sigh of relief. As if a sign from some god finally seeing him struggle internally with this week, the manager just so happened to drop off two bottles of champagne? Yoongi would be crazy not to laugh.

“Well that was sweet.” Seokjin starts to giggle. Within minutes they’re cackling as if someone told the biggest joke of a lifetime. Yoongi thinks that Seokjin’s laugh is incredibly charming. It feels good to laugh, after everything.

“Well,” Yoongi says and hands one of the bottles out to Seokjin, “we don’t have glasses so we have to be classy about this.”

“Classy is my middle name,” Seokjin’s tone is light, joking, smile still showing from the laughter.

The champagne is light on Yoongi’s tongue, the bubbles aerating in his bloodstream. Too late, he remembers, that he barely ate that day. Nothing to do about it now, he supposes. His head is swirling within minutes. The silence between them stretches for a moment too long before Seokjin speaks.

“I want to be an actor,” Seokjin suddenly says into the twilight lighting of the room.

The storm is still in full force outside, and Yoongi can feel the thunder rumble in his lungs. Every so often the lightning strikes brilliance across Seokjin’s face, now looking forlornly at the blank television.

Yoongi frowns into his own bottle, taking a deep swig, “Why don’t you?”

Seokjin shrugs. He’s sitting with his back against the headrest, bottle perched between his legs, “It’s seems to have lost its...quality.”

“Quality?”

Seokjin hums and blinks for a long length of time, mumbling, “That’s not the word. It’s...I don’t know, it’s importance?”

Yoongi hears the word he’s trying to pull, hidden in the echoes of his mind, years of experience making songs helping him in a quick second, “It’s value.”

Seokjin takes a long pull from the champagne bottle, coughing slightly before wiping the back of his hand across his mouth, “ Yes , it’s value. It’s like everyone and their mother wants to be an actor in California so there’s really n-no point,” he hiccups, “in trying. I have a degree in film arts! It’s not necessarily the same thing but...” Seokjin shrugs slowly. He looks completely defeated. “Working at a television station I thought would fight that urge to want to do something bigger but it doesn’t. Not in the slightest. It sucks.”

Yoongi’s frown deepens. This is heartbreaking news, really, to hear that Seokjin isn’t actively trying to reach for his dream but settling. Yoongi understands first hand what it’s like to feel hopeless, but at least he’s trying to do something about it and not giving up, like Seokjin is.

“I think there is a point,” Yoongi offers kindly, “you have a really nice face.” Champagne aside, it is the truth. Even though it isn’t all you should base a career on, it is true.

Seokjin starts to giggle again, hiding now behind the bottle, “Thanks.”

“No, really,” Yoongi states, suddenly standing up and swaying as he stands tall on the mattress that groans with the unexpected movement, “you have a really fucking beautiful face! That’s what I first noticed about you in the club.”

Seokjin glances up at Yoongi with glassy eyes, blinking slowly, “Really?”

The mattress dips precariously now, like a ship in the ocean, as Yoongi takes a seat next to Seokjin, leaning against the headboard and touching shoulder to shoulder, the neck of the champagne bottle in his hand as he continues bulldozing forward with his nonsense, “Yes, really. I remember walking in and being like ‘oh this place sucks, I wanna go home’ and my friends like ‘no, let’s stay, this place is cool’ so I said ‘fuck you guys, I’m annoyed, I hate you’ and then I turned and saw your face from across the room and it was like,” Yoongi makes a small explosion sound complete with a hand mimicking a cloud on his head, “my mind was blown .”

Yoongi suddenly really likes the red blush across Seokjin’s cheeks, “People call me handsome a lot.”

“Fuck yeah, they should ,” Yoongi agrees, “I called you Adonis the entire night, to myself and my friends.”

“Adonis!”

Yoongi hits the back of his head on the headboard, a languid smile on his lips, “Yes, Adonis! It’s still true!”

Seokjin lolls his head to the side now, looking at Yoongi with big, puppy eyes, as if egging him on for more compliments. Yoongi wants to give him more. Wants to give him a lot of things, a lot of his words, and songs that he hasn’t even written yet. He can feel his heart in his chest beating completely out of time, can feel all rationality and sanity slip from his fingertips, but he doesn’t care. He brazenly leans forward to remind himself of what happened just a few days ago in the club after his stupid pick up line, before everything went downhill. He can taste the lingering bubbles on Seokjin’s tongue. The anticipatory sigh from Seokjin’s mouth answers the question he wasn’t going to ask— that there was some small amount of attraction between them that they were skirting around.

Yoongi feels Seokjin take the champagne bottle from his hand and breaks their kiss to turn to put them both on the side table, then reaching for his face. Everything is blurry and not clear; the only thing grounding him right now is the feeling of Seokjin’s cool fingertips on the heated skin of Yoongi’s cheeks.

They kiss for what feels like hours, remembering each other. Memories flash behind Yoongi’s eyelids of all what happened a few days ago, leading Seokjin to the wedding chapel, signing the paperwork, seeing Seokjin down the aisle as beautiful as a sunset. He remembers kissing Seokjin’s skin, marking him, tasting him for the first time and feeling like the world was meant to stop for them, but didn't. And the ugly truth came to hit him the morning after, regret a giant stone still sitting in his stomach. He feels it dissolving a little now with Seokjin’s lips on his.

“Can I?” Seokjin whispers. Yes , Yoongi says to nothing in particular, yes, absolutely .

Seokjin slides down Yoongi’s body now, settling in between his legs. He’s reminded of the same scenario happening from a while back, and how beautiful Seokjin looks pulling down the zipper of Yoongi’s jeans, pulling them so they fit just past his hips. His cock lies half hard on his stomach, but Seokjin’s touches will help in no time.

“I remember what you like,” Seokjin whispers sensually into the dim lighting, a bright flash of lightning making him look angelic and fierce, cheeks flushed, “you’re very sensitive on your thighs.” Seokjin lalves at the skin on Yoongi’s inner thighs, smiling when Yoongi tenses. He kisses hidden marks across Yoongi’s pale skin, and Yoongi can’t help but feel that he’s suffocating, again. He hasn’t forgotten how attentive of a lover Seokjin is, but he hasn’t thought about it either. He didn’t want to think of something he might not get again.

“And you like my mouth on your cock,” Seokjin says quietly before swallowing Yoongi whole. Yoongi’s fuzzy brain registers everything at once: heat, pleasure, Seokjin’s tongue. He can’t help the moan that falls off his lips. Yoongi repeats what he did the other night by threading his hand in Seokjin’s hair, grabbing as much as he can without hurting him. Seokjin’s answering moan vibrates around his cock, making him gasp. His body heats up from his head and melts down to his toes.

When Yoongi comes, Seokjin is attentive to his climax, swirling his tongue around the head which makes Yoongi shiver and pull harder at his hair. Yoongi kisses Seokjin and ignores the taste of him on his tongue. His heart is threatening to jump into his throat, but he ignores that as he pushes Seokjin forward so he lies on his back before him. Even buzzed, Yoongi knows he isn’t carrying a condom on him, nor is Seokjin, and that would be too forward of him. But that doesn’t mean he can’t reciprocate Seokjin’s actions.

Yoongi pulls Seokjin’s shirt up and off his head so his beautiful chest is on display, a blank canvas waiting for Yoongi to mark. Yoongi takes his time exploring every inch of open skin, tasting him as if it was the first time all over again. He swirls his tongue around Seokjin’s throat, down to his clavicle and sternum, and pays extra attention as he places an open mouth kiss on Seokjin’s left nipple, surprised at the sound that falls from Seokjin’s mouth. This is new information, and Yoongi hopes he can remember it in the morning, and forever. He grazes his teeth over said nipple for good measure, smiling when Seokjin physically convulses under his touch, a soft whine answering him. Yoongi sneaks his hand underneath the waistband of Seokjin’s pants, gently stroking Seokjin’s cock. He’s not against using his mouth, he might, but for now it’s kind of fun watching Seokjin squirm.

“Is this okay?” Yoongi asks, thumbing the slit. Seokjin bites his lip.

Seokjin nods, breathing out a pleasured sigh, “More than okay, it feels good. Please keep going.”

This time Yoongi hums around Seokjin’s nipple, and can’t help but feel some deep satisfaction when Seokjin grips the back of his neck, preventing him from moving. Yoongi switches tactics and kisses around the skin, puckering his lips and blowing cool air, which earns him a delighted yelp from Seokjin’s mouth. He continues kissing down Seokjin’s abdomen, the skin smooth and delicate, blushing wherever he touches him. When he takes Seokjin in his mouth, it’s almost too much to fit around, but he makes it work. He uses his mouth and his hand in unison, using more than one depending on what makes Seokjin gasp more.

Seokjin comes on Yoongi’s tongue with a broken cry, and Yoongi admires the silent power thrumming underneath his tensed muscles as he shakes under his touch, coming down from his orgasm. Yoongi also notes that he looks very, very good with hickeys on him. He remembers that from last time, too.

They’re slow getting dressed again, brains fogged with alcohol and pleasure, and by the time Yoongi passes out this time, he feels his back flush against Seokjin’s chest and feels nothing but protected and safe from the bad things in the world, from the bad things in his mind.

He dreams of what it would be like to actually be married to Seokjin, not by accident.

Chapter Text

Yoongi honestly couldn’t remember not only the last time that he got a full night of delicious, uninterrupted sleep, but the last time he was the little spoon. He surely didn’t remember it feeling like this. He could feel the heavy weight of Seokjin’s arm draped over his stomach and the heat of his chest on his back, the comfort of being in someone else’s embrace actually...kind of nice. What was uncomfortable was the slight, hollow feeling of his pounding head, the result from the night before.

A part of him didn’t want Seokjin to wake up, part of him needed to run far away as possible. Both options never happened.

A chorus of brutal, hard slaps on the door make Yoongi jump, making him wake up a little bit more. He wonders who it is this time waking them up, since Hoseok was the one to wake them up the night after they got married. He wonders if it’s Taehyung, looking for a penchant to get slapped so early in the morning. He wants them to go away.

Yoongi hears Seokjin’s large inhale and feels the arm on his stomach pull him closer, feels Seokjin’s nose pressing against his neck, making him shiver all over. He had forgotten this, forgotten the closeness and intimacy of the morning after, especially with a someone who likes to cuddle. He hadn’t had many experiences, but from this morning alone, he could tell that Seokjin was a enthusiastic cuddler. Their first morning after wasn’t anything like this: quiet, easy, relaxed. This felt like they had years to spend together, had all the time in the world to discover every secret about each other; that there wasn’t a hurry to return to reality. The morning after they got married it was chaotic, painful, and embarrassing. Yoongi felt secure in Seokjin’s embrace, and wanted it to last just a little bit longer, out of his own selfishness. He felt...protected. That was a feeling he never had experienced, not once. And he knew he liked it way too much.

The knocking continues, followed by a harsh, “Let’s hit the road!”

Yoongi could tell it was Jungkook by the harsh tone, the vendetta between them as visceral as, well, a hangover. He wonders why Jungkook had been so standoffish since their first meeting. Yoongi understood being protective, but this was something different, something angry. It wasn’t possessive, either.

“He’s such a brat,” Seokjin mumbles tiredly, making no hurry to move.

“Good morning?” Yoongi questions, thinking of no reasonable response. He didn’t feel comfortable enough to insult Jungkook, even though he could think of a few choice words.

Seokjin hums, and Yoongi feels an incredible amount of loss when the comforting arm leaves his stomach, the weight having become familiar and secure, when Seokjin yawns, “Morning.” Yoongi wonders...wonders if he could ever be used to that. Used to this. Domesticity. In another world, perhaps. Certainly not in this world, for the universe put them together at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way. There’s no way that they can continue.

“Seokjin!”

“Jungkook, I swear, I’m going to murder you!” Seokjin yells, his arm thrown over his eyes. Yoongi feels bad that he insisted on them drinking all that champagne last night, but at least it wasn’t as bad as all the alcohol they had the night they met. Instead of his head feeling like it’s filled with cement, instead it feels like a slight, warm throb.

“It seems that he wants to murder me,” Yoongi offers quietly. He lies still on the bed, staring at the ceiling, suddenly aware of the lack of warmth on his body. It was the truth; he had a small amount of fear in the fact that Jungkook could very well knock him lights out, but he was both equal parts confused and annoyed. It made every rational part of him want to hide from a threat, but the irrational part of him wanted to fight him back, to show his age and ferocity.

Seokjin sits up slowly and starts to twist his torso side to side, his spine cracking like an old man at a chiropractor, “Trust me, he’ll have to go through me to get to you. He’s just being...he’s being an asshole.”

“I heard that!” Yoongi hears from behind the door.

“You were supposed to!”

The comment lessens Yoongi’s anxiety a little bit; the fact that Seokjin is willing to protect Yoongi from his younger brother is miles from what he expected. It makes him feel a little more secure, kind of like the feeling he gets when he’s with Namjoon. Which is weird, because he thought he wouldn’t find that in someone else. Not that he actively looked, because it seemed useless. And yet...here Seokjin was.

“I have some painkillers in my luggage back in the van,” Yoongi comments as he finally starts to wake up. His head doesn’t really hurt until he stands up, the throbbing hitting him like a bullet in his temples, making his movements slow, staggering, “Shit, champagne is a silent killer.”

Seokjin stretches at full height, wincing slightly as well, “We’ll probably need a few of those. I also need some coffee. You think the lobby has any that’s complimentary?”

“I sure fucking hope so,” Yoongi’s body suddenly aches everywhere as it usually does when he wakes up, “but I’m sure Namjoon will forgo the coffee to get on the road and get home quicker.” He hadn’t meant to make it seem like he and Seokjin had a shared home, that they had a shared life, but it didn’t feel like it need to be corrected.

By the time they finally emerge from their room, the rest of the crew stood huddled around Fanta, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed. Yoongi admires them for putting up with everything—everything he’s done to them, and so on and so forth.

“Looks like you two had a rough night,” Taehyung snickers, his face amused, “enjoyed that champagne, yeah?” He made a crude gesture with his hands that makes Yoongi immediately stiffen.

“It was nice,” Seokjin comments instead, “thanks so much for not taking it for yourself. Would have been a shame to waste such a pleasure on a tasteless fool.”

Taehyung struggles for a comeback, and for that alone it makes Yoongi want to kiss Seokjin, again. Not many people can shut him up, but that’s exactly what Seokjin did in no time flat. Seokjin has been breaking a lot of Yoongi’s barriers lately, it seems…

“Everyone ready?” Namjoon questions. Jimin yawns beside him and Hoseok pretends to not have heard it. It’s odd, the one guy who voiced his opinion so strongly about not being on Yoongi’s side and that this marriage was stupid, he had been quiet the entire ride here. Yoongi wonders if this is his way to protect Seokjin—to be highly passive aggressive to the point where he gives the silent treatment, a vicious cold shoulder. Yoongi believes that’s highly out of character for someone like him. He can’t help but be skeptical of an impending explosion from him, as well.

Jungkook, of course, is glaring and brooding all at the same time. Yoongi wonders if he shows any other emotion than hostility. Probably not. He doesn’t want to ask. He wants to be home, in his own bed, in his own life, in his own world, away from everything and everyone.

They all pile back into the van a little worse for wear and get back on the road, Seokjin offering their address to plug into a nearby phone for navigation, Namjoon’s idea. The weather is completely different from last night; the rain completely gone and in its place a brilliant, bright blue morning without a cloud in sight. This time around, Yoongi doesn’t mind Seokjin sitting so close. It’s actually comfortable, like something within the night had shifted between them and made them more confident in each other’s area of space. In fact, he leans a little of his weight onto Seokjin, who doesn’t seem perturbed at all. It’s a silent ride, but not uncomfortable. Well, unless Yoongi ignores the heat of the eyes glaring into the back of his head, which he tries to do. He hopes he lives till he sees his shitty apartment again; he swears he won’t do anything out of his comfort zone ever again. He’ll go to work and go back home like a sane person.

By the time they make it to the West Covina, Yoongi knows he’s close to being home that he can feel it. Can feel it like animals sense storms. But the extra time that they’ll take to go to Santa Barbara has his skin itching. He’s sure that Seokjin can sense it, except—

Yoongi stiffens when he feels Seokjin’s head suddenly fall to rest against his shoulder, not of the intrusiveness, but at how unexpected it was. He figured that Seokjin out of the both of them got the most sleep, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Yoongi doesn’t feel himself drifting off as well until the car stops abruptly, jolting him into being wide awake.

“We’re here!” Namjoon announces in a loud voice. Yoongi groans, his neck stiff. Seokjin yawns as he stretches for the second time in the day, “I can’t believe I dozed off like that,” he says, turning to Yoongi, “I’m sorry, I just fell asleep on you.”

Yoongi shakes his head, “Don’t worry about it, I would have done the same thing.”

“That’s cause you’re always tired,” Taehyung says, “like a little old man. Never sleeps. Always yells.”

“I think the term you’re looking for is ‘night owl’,” Seokjin looks back at Taehyung with a smug look, “and if he’s losing sleep doing what he loves, is he really losing?” Before Taehyung can answer, Seokjin says, “No, he isn’t.”

It’s a struggle to designate whose luggage is whose, but eventually they figure it out. Jungkook wastes no time with pleasant goodbyes as he stomps off in the direction of their apartment complex, Hoseok following obediently, neither thanking Namjoon for the ride home. Yoongi feels relieved, slightly. At least that’s out of the way. Taehyung skips after Jungkook like a lost kitten being invited in.

“Well,” Seokjin sighs, “I guess this is it. For now anyway. I’ll...contact you later when I find a lawyer? And then maybe set up a meeting, I don’t know; I don’t know how this works.” For the first time all week, he sees Seokjin looking completely lost, gripping a slippery rope. And he feels guilty that he aided in making him feel that way. He really does need to help fix it, fix this.

Yoongi nods, because he, too, doesn’t know what the next step. All he knows is that it’s awkward now, all of a sudden between them, as if everything they experienced before now was a cake walk of pleasantness. Yoongi is stiff and Seokjin is becoming more of an acquaintance the more they stand still. He can feel the grip of their “relationship” slipping from his hands. He doesn’t understand himself—this is what he wanted, right? To diminish this as quickly as he could? Of course it is...so why is his heart hurting a little bit? It has to be the lingering hangover, or the fact that his stomach is yelling at him in protest of not being fed since lunch yesterday. Either way, he feels awkward and it’s disturbing.

“Just...don’t sue me okay? I don’t have a lot of money—”

“I already said I don’t want your money, Yoongi,” the sound of his name on Seokjin’s lips still makes his skin light up, but Seokjin throws the duffel over his shoulder, finalizing their conversation, “It’ll be a clean break. I’ll be in touch.”

Seokjin turns and leaves, falling like sand through Yoongi’s fingers. It’s funny; Yoongi’s never broken a bone, but he imagines it feels just like this.

 

&&&&&

 

Seokjin doesn’t even get to close the door before he erupts, breaking the silence he so desperately held onto.

“What the fuck was all that?” he yells. His skin is igniting in fury.

Jungkook seems unperturbed, downing a water bottle he no doubt just grabbed from the fridge, hip resting on the counter. He doesn’t even flinch at the outburst, which makes Seokjin even angrier. He’s been holding it in this whole time to try and be courteous to, ultimately, their saviors, yet here Jungkook stood, thinking he did nothing wrong in acting so hostile and volatile to everyone who dared speak to him, as if he was ungrateful of the help. It made Seokjin sick thinking his younger brother, the one he’d spent the latter of his life practically raising would act this way towards strangers—technically his husband—it’s completely absurd.

“All what?” Jungkook asks with a simple cock of his head, completely innocent.

Seokjin steps in closer to Jungkook’s space, but not too much, “That attitude towards not only Yoongi, but his friends? To Taehyung? You were a complete asshole and I was honestly appalled and embarrassed to even be around you.”

Hoseok, who had seemingly vanished the entire car ride home, moves into Seokjin’s peripheral vision, and Seokjin can’t think straight before he hurls his anger at him, “And you! You gave everyone the cold shoulder the entire ride home, which is just plain childish, even for you. You have never been silent for that long, ever, in the whole time I’ve known you.”

Hoseok shrugs, shrugs , and says, “I don’t have to like the guy.”

“That wasn’t disliking him, that was blatant disrespect. Both of you. You were both being disrespectful.”

“It’s what he deserves.” Hoseok responds.

Seokjin feels like ripping his hair out, “For what? Existing?”

“Amongst other things.” Jungkook takes another swig of his water bottle, completely blasé about this conversation. It’s heating Seokjin up even more. He doesn’t know these people.

“You’re both so,” Seokjin grits his teeth, “so unbelievably bratty, and crude, and downright immature. I am so disappointed in your behavior—”

“We’re not five, Seokjin—”

“Don’t you fucking interrupt me, Kim Jungkook, or I swear I will kick you out permanently. What the hell is your problem?” Seokjin steps a little closer, his hands curled into fists as if he seriously might throw one Jungkook’s way. He won’t, because that won’t solve anything, but he thinks about it for a second now that his face is burning with white hot rage. He can forgive Hoseok in a little while, having not been as hostile as Jungkook was, but he’d be mad about it for a while. Maybe make him grovel, but Jungkook was someone he had never seen before. Someone completely different; changed.

“Let’s see here, my problem,” Jungkook hums sarcastically, “we go to Vegas for my birthday, we do entertaining things, we go to a club and the exact same night, you get married and act as if it isn’t a big deal? Seokjin, he could be a serial killer, for all we know, and you don’t seem to care!” His voice is rising in pitch, his sign for rising aggravation. Good, Seokjin thinks, let him yell. This is ridiculous.

“Enough with that shit, Jungkook, you did thrilling shit all night, giving me a heart attack! God forbid I do one goddamn thing for myself, even if I was drunk. You would have hooked up with Taehyung too had Hoseok not dragged you out! I was the one who wanted to get married, not him. He didn’t cooerce me, he didn’t drug me, he didn’t do anything wrong.

“Yes, but he’s taking you away!”

And there it was, the reason behind Jungkook’s behavior, laid bare as if Seokjin had taken a knife to Jungkook’s chest, cut out his heart and held it in his hands. The aggression and brutal behavior since the moment Jungkook figured out what happened wasn’t from anger—it was from fear. Seokjin knew it well, this fear. He felt it when his parents discussed having to send Jungkook off to live with their grandparents in another city where he would be conditioned to grow up someone worthy of creating a fortunate business; someone cold and deliberate, calculated and steely. He feared he’d never see his brother again, never get to see that charming bunny toothed smile, that hearty laughter. That was the last straw, back then, for Seokjin. He’d taken a lot of grief from his absent parents, but there was no way that he would let them take and condition his brother into someone he wasn’t. With Seokjin, he was comfortable and blossomed into the person he always needed to be—their bond as family was so beyond what normal family members go through. One simply wouldn’t exist without the other, it’s as easy as that.

“Jungkook,” Seokjin says quietly now, seeing his younger brother’s eyes glisten now, the frustration gathering in his eyes, “I’m not going to become anything less than your brother, you know that.”

“Do I?”

“What are you saying?”

Jungkook’s lower lip trembles now as he struggles to find his words, “How do I know you won’t be like mom and dad and be so wrapped up in your future, in your relationship that you’ll forget about me, forget about us, so much that you ignore me? Or erase me from your life? I was mean towards Yoongi because I wanted to scare him away, so that no one could take you from me. Maybe it’s cause I’m shit at being independent, or I’m fucking selfish, but it’s so hard to live without you. I don’t want to lose you.”

Seokjin wraps his arms around his brother now, cradling the back of his head as his body shakes with quiet sobs, “Jungkook, I swear on everything I am there’s nothing that can make you stop being my brother. You’re my blood, and blood can’t be broken so easily. Even if I do move on in my life, there’s no way I’d neglect you. It’s okay to be scared but there’s no reason to think I’d leave you.”

They stand like that for a few minutes, Jungkook gripping the material of Seokjin’s sweater, as if this was a mirage. The anger boiling Seokjin’s blood has turned normal, the sympathy evident in his tone. He should have known that this protectiveness was him being scared of Seokjin being taken away; he should have known. But he was so blinded by disappointment.

“Look at me,” Seokjin grabs Jungkook’s face so he makes sure they make eye contact, “even though I went and got married, which I’m going to fix, I’m not going to be like mom and dad. I’m always going to be your brother. I’m always going to be here. Okay?”

Jungkook smiles, and with Seokjin’s hands on his cheeks it’s kind of comical, his chubby cheeks making his bunny tooth smile even more prominent as he says, “Okay.”

“Stop being a protector and be what you’re supposed to be—my little brother.” Seokjin looks at Hoseok again and says to them, “Both of you need to stop thinking I’m some fragile vase that will break. I’m stronger than you think, and I can fix problems myself. Okay? Let me handle this from now on. It’ll be fine.”

Jungkook nods, inhaling and exhaling one last shaking breath, before saying, “You want to get pizza later and marathon a bunch of movies?”

Seokjin smiles, knowing the air has been cleared, for now, “Absolutely.” Hoseok does a funny little dance in approval. After everything, that seemed to be the best course of action in order to relax.

Unfortunately, all three of them don’t make it past the second movie, the whole week catching up to them pretty quickly and exhaustion taking over their bodies. They fall asleep on the couch, the empty pizza box somewhere on the floor that Seokjin will pick up tomorrow. For now, the dust has settled.

Everything was as it should be.

 

&&&&&

 

Yoongi does what he does best: he goes back to his routine. Wake up at 9 o’clock after barely five hours of sleep from a creative session from the night before, gets dressed in a bleary daze, takes the train towards the studio where he works and bears the oncoming day with gritted teeth. He doesn’t care if he’s late. He doesn’t care if he’s on time. He kind of cares that he gets to the studio, and tries to work himself up to not dread the day before him. And the studio doesn’t mind either, they don’t seem to notice him as much.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he didn’t like his job. It’s bitch work—clean the studio, restack the shelves, reorganize, grab coffee orders, food orders, all with the promise that “ one day” (his boss’ words, not his) they’d consider playing one of his songs on the radio. But it’s been eight months of the same bullshit, and no progress. He’s consider quitting, but looking for another job is just as tiring.

Sometimes he dreams about owning his own studio; his own, real, recording studio. Where it’s him calling the shots. Him recording his own music—maybe someone else’s music. Just something productive to make his life worthwhile. Playing the songs that roll through his mind all day, put them down on a soundboard or a computer and have a voice bring them to life. Granted, all the station does is play music from local artists, but Yoongi wants to do it all. Write, record, produce, broadcast; all of it. He had just started to get back into the swing of things a few days after they got back from Vegas. Slowly, but surely.

So imagine his surprise when he walks into the Starbucks this particular morning, his entire world being flipped upside down just by four simple words.

“Your card is declined.”

Yoongi blinks at the nameless, seemingly faceless, barista, “Excuse me?”

“Your card,” she shows Yoongi the flimsy plastic, so worn out and needing to be replaced, a symbol of a capitalistic society, “is declined.”

He starts to laugh. Like, maniacally. It bubbles in his chest, works it’s way up his throat, and falls off his lips, right into the barista’s face as he says, “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

The barista smiles, smiles, and says, “No I’m not, sir, now if you don’t mind I need to serve the customer behind you. Have a wonderful day.”

Yoongi almost punches the glass window on his way out. Almost, because he isn’t sure how thick the glass is, but almost, because he wants to feel pain. Feel something real, because so far everything has become one giant clusterfuck of terrible things, and he’s tired. Tired of things happening to him, tired of feeling afraid of the other shoe dropping, tired of when it does— tired. He chokes on something within his throat when he finally manages to look at his bank account and sees in giant, black letters: $0.00.

He stumbles pulling up his recent contacts, and tries to swallow his fear that presses at his throat, choking him, as he clicks on a name, any name—  

“Hello?”

“Fuck,” Yoongi knows the voice instantly, “shit, I meant to call Namjoon—”

“It’s okay,” Seokjin says, instantly calming and alert in his tone, “what’s wrong?”

Yoongi leans against the wall on his back, the cool tile helping him for a moment, he closes his eyes so tight he sees stars. His heart aches.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” Seokjin prompts softly when Yoongi doesn’t respond, his voice nothing but soothing comfort and concern. Yoongi cannot believe not only that he hit the wrong name on his call list, but it shows how often he doesn’t make calls. Seokjin must have been his last phone call, even from a a few days ago when they last spoke when Seokjin couldn’t fly home.

“I’m broke.”

Seokjin doesn’t seem too shocked, which kind of unnerves Yoongi just a little, but asks, “How do you mean?”

Yoongi laughs again, this time a sinister chuckle, because how else can he put it? “Like, I have zero dollars in my bank account. I didn’t even have enough money to buy a goddamn four dollar Americano. I don’t have any money . And I don’t even know where it went. Oh my god, I have to pay my rent at the end of this week. Holy shit .”

More shuffling, more white noise, “Text me where you are, I’ll come get you.”

“You live an hour away—”

“I’m in Santa Monica on a news story,” he replies cooly, as if that didn’t bother him at all, “I’m nearby. Probably less than half an hour away. Text me and I’m going to pick you up, and we’re going to talk. This is long overdue. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Just stay there.”

And Yoongi stayed. Too numb to move, to process anything but his breathing in the technique Seokjin told him, too engrossed in his thoughts to even discern anything else. What else? What else could the universe throw at him?

Yoongi jumps when he suddenly feels a cold substance at his neck, and looks up to see Seokjin holding a godsend of an iced Americano in front of him. He wasn’t above thinking it was a pity coffee, but he was too numb to care. He took a sip and placed it on the table next to the seat of the outdoor table he practically fell into.

“You don’t happen to have a bottle of vodka, do you?” Yoongi says, trying to joke, but being completely serious. Right now, he needs to drown. Drown in what’s comfortable, his alcohol of choice. And jugding by the fact that he drinks heavily around Seokjin, it almost would be normal.

Seokjin doesn’t say anything as he pulls a seat across from Yoongi. Yoongi barely has time to marvel over his crisp, maroon suit and the frames sitting on his nose, doesn’t have time to think about how handsome and at the same time, how devilish he looks, because—

“I have no money.” he says. Saying it out loud doesn’t make it real, not right now.

“It seems that way.” Seokjin replies, cautiously. How he can be so calm about this is a little unnerving, but Yoongi is thankful because what he really needs right now is someone with a level head, and he’s not sure he would have gotten it with Namjoon. So, in a way, calling Seokjin wasn’t a mistake.

Seokjin sighs, leaning a little closer into Yoongi’s space, and he isn’t afraid of the proximity. No, he’s afraid of the judgement, the ridicule. He’s afraid of the insults that he’ll get, like he does from everyone when they learn of his mistakes, as if he was some pariah of bad omens.

But it doesn’t come.

“Do you think it happened in Vegas?” Seokjin asks quietly, tentatively. It’s nice, to have someone concerned instead of disappointed.

Yoongi’s mind is muddled. He can’t think of any concrete evidence, can’t think of anything, really, except that he’s glad Seokjin’s here. He hasn’t seen him in a few days, but it seems like no time had passed. It seems like just yesterday that they parted.

“I don’t know.”

“Close your eyes. Try to think.”

Yoongi jumps when he feels Seokjin take both of his hands into his own, holding him; grounding him. Seokjin knew he needed it. Yoongi always needs some kind of physical reassurance when things get out of hand and Seokjin somehow knew.

Yoongi shuts his eyes, erasing the world for a moment. Erasing his problems, ignores his galloping heart and everything, can only feel Seokjin’s touch on his hands. Thinks back to a week ago when he was sitting somewhere in Sin City, somewhere...it must have happened on a day Yoongi can barely remember. The rest of their trip was a gray area—moments completely unrecognizable from the amount of things they had to shove into their remaining days. There were days before Seokjin, then filled with nothing but Seokjin, then the area afterwards where he was a pit of regret and confusion, blinded by his need to forget. Fueled by few hours of sleep and no access to coffee, tired of navigating a town he didn’t favor—flashes of a roulette table flash in Yoongi’s mind. A fuck ton of chips, his hands pushing them forward onto the green felt table, felt the rush of betting the frivolous salary he boasts about, just tipsy enough to think he can’t lose any of it, his vision clouded by shots being passed around the table—  

Yoongi hangs his head, “Fuck.”

Seokjin sighs, understanding, “So it was. Vegas is one tough bitch to get rid of, yeah?”

It was Vegas. It always was. What was once a simple trip had turned into a nightmare from hell. There had been a small, small part of him that had been excited to see what Vegas had to offer, but once he arrived had quickly deduced that this would not be the best trip. Parts of it were, but most of it wasn’t. It was like there was some magical curse doused over them, putting them in a trance, making all their decisions turn sour. From day one, a disaster. And what a better way to end it by gambling what was left of his life savings.

Yoongi suddenly catches the sun glinting off of the ring on Seokjin’s left hand, a simple thing they had on hand at the chapel. It was silver, nothing more, nothing less. Yoongi opted for a darker silver, probably unpolished, but took it off as soon as he got home, making it unseen from the naked eye. But Seokjin...Seokjin was still wearing his. It almost made Yoongi forget the topic at hand.

He literally has no recollection whatsoever of when this night happened—it must have been between the time period of after he and Seokjin got married and when they left, but when? When could he have sat down and flushed all his money down the drain? When? And why is Las Vegas such a mystery for his memories?

“You’re still wearing it?” Yoongi looks directly at the ring in question, admiring the way it fits snug past his knobby knuckle like it’s been there for years.

“What?” Seokjin frowns, then follows Yoongi’s line of eyesight, to the ring, and sighs, “oh, uh, yeah. The people at the station love it, my boss especially. She thinks that if I can handle a marriage that I can handle a bigger segment of the show. They, uh, promoted me to reporter, actually, for a little while, kind of like a trial? Which is a huge step forward, in my opinion. That’s why I was in Santa Monica, I was doing research on the new attractions down at the pier for my story. But that,” Seokjin shakes his head, getting too carried away, “that doesn’t matter.” Still, he holds onto Yoongi’s hands, unrelenting, an buoy, guiding Yoongi back to the surface.

“That’s great, Seokjin, really,” Yoongi says. And he means it. He understood Seokjin’s need for a bigger dream, understood the frustration in feeling stuck. He really was glad that one of them was getting somewhere.

“Thanks,” Seokjin smiles gently, ever so handsome, “ironically enough, I was actually going to call you later today. I set up a meeting with my lawyer to discuss where we go from here. It took me a while to get around to it with everything from work and all, but that’s where I’m at. I figured we’d need it sooner than later.”

“Oh,” Yoongi had kind of forgotten, his own schedule not important, “ah, yeah. That’s fine. I guess washing all my cash away came at a good time.”

Seokjin squeezes his hands in a pitying motion, “Stop, that’s not funny. Doesn’t your work pay you?”

Yoongi blinks, “I work minimum wage. I’m their bitch, after all. And this week’s check isn’t enough for rent. I’d have to work...what...90 hours? Maybe? Shit, I don’t know.”

“Alright, well I’m not asking you to think too hard right now,” Seokjin suggests, “just bring this information to the lawyer and we’ll discuss how to move forward from here.”

Seokjin finally lets go of Yoongi’s hands, which he regrettably misses the second he does, and stands up, looking as completely professional and debonair as can be, opposite of Yoongi’s unbrushed hair and wrinkled clothes. He can’t understand his life, any of it, but with Seokjin, things start to make a little sense.

“Do you need a ride to work?” Seokjin asks. He stands up and brushes the wrinkles out off his suit pants, adjusting his glasses on the bridge of his nose.

“Actually,” Yoongi leans back, “can you take me to the pier? It’s been years since I’ve gone there.”

Seokjin’s smile makes Yoongi believe he’ll figure it out. They’ll figure it out. One way or another, this is something that can be solved, and that Yoongi doesn’t have to go through such measures to reject help like he has for many, many years. He knows he can trust Seokjin, this much has taught him so. He knows he’ll be okay. He knows, but he just wants to be able to breathe again.

Chapter Text

Seokjin wasn’t lying when he said he was covering new attractions at the pier. He wasn’t lying when he said he was offered a promotion at work. His boss: an intense but very professional woman, had called him into his office early Monday morning the weekend after he got back from Vegas and asked him a simple question about his recent story he had been developing when she took notice of the ring on Seokjin’s finger. He hadn’t meant to leave it on, but it slipped his mind to take it off.

But something about the ring had brought him strange amount of comfort, and, apparently, good luck.

“Seems you had a productive weekend and didn’t tell me,” his boss said with a subtle cross of her legs. Seokjin had seen this side of her before, this female prowess, not afraid to put people in their place with just  a flick of her hand. She held a high standard for not only herself, but the company; she was strong, and intimidating. But her work was impeccable. She was even a head anchor and had been for probably longer than Seokjin had been there.

Seokjin didn’t need to look at the ring himself to know what she was referring to, “Ah, yeah, it was…thrilling, to say the least.”

She flips her hair off her shoulder, “I understand. I admire you for keeping it secret. A marriage is a tough job, tougher than this job. It actually makes me wonder about your future potential here at the station.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

His boss sighs, leaning her head on her chin, “People have told me I’m…hard to handle. I’ve been married once or twice—that’s neither here nor there—but they both couldn’t handle me being more successful than them. So, you being so…diligent and now sporting a new title, makes me think,” Seokjin feels a little apprehensive, not knowing what direction this conversation could go in. “How would you like to try being on main camera for your own story?”

“My own,” Seokjin echoes. He can’t believe his ears, that this is real, “my own story?” Could this really be happening? All for wearing a wedding ring? He felt that this was a trick. It had to be a trick.

His boss nodded, smile genuine, “Yes. We can start you at Santa Monica reporting on the developing attractions and what it will do to visitation levels and the future of the pier. I had been looking for someone to take the story for weeks but no one fit the bill. Plus, you seem reliable enough. Does that sound okay?”

Seokjin understood it was a little out of the blue and slightly degrading for his boss to compare his ability to work to his marriage, and he knew that having his own story had no correlation to him being a married man, but he’s learned that in this television business, it’s do or die. Loitering around, waiting for opportunities…they come around so rarely it’s like a mirage in a desert. He knew he had to take it or else he’d spend the next 20 years regretting it. Even if his marriage wasn’t particularly real; he knew he had to do this.

“Yes, yes of course that sounds okay. When do I start?”

So, when Yoongi called him, he had been interviewing a local vendor on the pier, the owner of a small food shack that had been there for 50 years, and the pier had been opened for almost 100. It was a generational spot, nothing had changed for all those 50 years, and it was passed from one member to the next, purely familial, nothing else. His phone had vibrated shrillingly in his pocket in the middle of a question, and normally he wouldn’t answer, but since he knew only Jungkook called him for emergencies, he didn’t want to risk it. Instead, when he saw his caller ID, he was promptly surprised, but answered it anyway.

The sound of Yoongi’s voice was alarming, to say the least. Seokjin had gathered over the time they’d been together that Yoongi kept all his feelings internally and was very slow to open up, but this was pure panic. He excused himself from the shop owner and immediately made his way to his car, knowing that this problem would only be solved if he was there in person. And if Yoongi’s voice was any indication, his sanity was shot, he had given up completely. This was a shell of a man, dissolved of his tough exterior and in its place, confusion.

Turns out, Yoongi had gambled his money away. When he did it, he and Seokjin weren’t sure. It broke Seokjin’s heart to see Yoongi grappling at a slippery rope, trying to remember, but he knew Vegas was the one who, quite literally, robbed Yoongi of not only a good time, but much more. Still, Seokjin was appreciative that Yoongi felt comfortable enough to open up to him and be so vulnerable—their relationship was complicated, but at the most, they understood each other more than they thought. They had a strange connection. Seokjin couldn’t explain it, but he saw parts of himself reflected in Yoongi.

Currently, they’re both taking the long stroll back up the pier. Yoongi had asked Seokjin to take him back here, and since he wasn’t technically finished his work, he obliged, but he knew he wouldn’t get anymore work done. He knew he’d come back another day, and he was fine by that. Plus, it had been a while since he had time to spend with Yoongi, in the comfortability of their own home state. He hoped this helped Yoongi calm down.

“Fuck,” Yoongi curses, shielding his eyes from the sun, “it’s been years since I’ve been here. I feel like I’m a teenager all over again.”

“Did you come here trying to woo someone?”

Yoongi barks in a laughter, not really surprised by the question, “You could say that. High school was a questionable period for me in more ways than one. I once took a girl here who I thought I liked, turns out she only liked me because she thought she could get me to do her science homework. Needless to say, I made her find a way home.”

Seokjin can’t help but laugh, “That’s so harsh, Yoongi!” He doesn’t press on the fact that he took a girl here—Yoongi seems like a lover of all people, so he doesn’t ask for an explanation. And, to Seokjin, that makes him a lot more endearing. Plus, coming out in high school can be a destructive time for an adolescent, or anyone if not in the safest circumstances—Seokjin hadn’t been too secretive of his own sexuality but in the end, his parents never bothered to ask, so he didn’t bother to tell them. Once upon a time, he thought they resented him for not liking women, but after months of self pity, he decided that if they didn’t care, then they didn’t care. Seokjin knew himself, there wasn’t any need to change him. No one could, and no one would.

Yoongi shrugs, taking a bite of the cherry flavored shaved ice Seokjin bought him, after a little fighting, “She was nice, but she could do her own homework.”

“You ever wonder where she is now?”

“No, not really. I could care less. I have…” Seokjin wants to believe he’ll say I have you now, in some fantasy scenario, in another world, but knows that probably isn’t the case, “I have other things to worry about, moment withstanding.”

Seokjin nods. In the back of his mind he’s thinking the same thing—how to fix this problem Yoongi ran into. He’s always been the one to help when anyone he knows is in trouble; that’s who he is. He’s loyal to a fault, and outlandishly considerate about people’s feelings. He’s gone over multiple possibilities in his head, but can’t come up with a finite solution. He hopes that the divorce lawyer has more knowledge of what to do than him.

There is one thing he can’t stop thinking about, and that’s where Yoongi’s head is at. Does he want to divorce him outright, no questions asked? Does he want to never see Seokjin ever again after this? What does he want? It drives him mad, really, that he can’t control Yoongi no matter how hard he tries. He’s learned that he can’t control every situation, or every person, but what he can do is be there for them if they need him. But it’s difficult when he can’t gauge Yoongi. Maybe if they had more time, he could learn.

“Oh, man,” Yoongi’s voice pulls Seokjin back from his thoughts again, “this game is still here? Fuck, now I feel old.”

Seokjin looks at the station that they ended up standing in front of: a small, colorful basketball themed attraction. It looks simple enough, three hoops with long nets connecting to baskets underneath holding different colored basketballs. Seokjin doesn’t know a lot about sports, but seeing Yoongi’s face light up makes him smile too. Seokjin doesn’t even think about it, he reaches into his wallet and offers ten dollars to the vendor, and Yoongi doesn’t say anything, possibly too embarrassed. There are tiny stuffed ducks hanging on the cage in front of them, a prize for making just one shot. Seokjin wonders how difficult this game is.

The vendor hands Yoongi a basketball and Yoongi doesn’t even blink at it. He sinks the first basketball easily, so easily that Seokjin thinks it’s beginner’s luck. But then it keeps happening. He keeps throwing the orange basketballs towards all three hoops intermittently, and not one misses. Not one.

Seokjin can’t help but cheer him on, completely surprised. He’s mesmerized, watching Yoongi’s gorgeous hands grip the ball, his arm pulling close to his chest, and then pushing outward, the ball launching in a perfect arc and flying through the net without any fuss. After the first five shots, he starts garnering an audience, and Seokjin can’t help but feel some surge of pride. He wishes that he could turn around and exclaim, “that’s my husband!” but, really, he’s getting too carried away in his own fantasy. He isn’t even sure why he’s getting so over his head. He knows they’re relationship will end soon.

Maybe that’s part of it. Maybe it’s been such a whirlwind that he’s gotten so wrapped up in the idea of being a husband, being reliable, being someone’s confidant. He’s forgotten to separate ideas. But the idea here is just that—a fantasy. Technically, he could still be a support system for Yoongi without being his husband, but there’s a hidden intimacy of holding that title. He wonders how he’d feel without it. He’s just starting to get used to being Min Seokjin.

One voice inside his head says: This isn’t real, Seokjin…snap out of it.

Another, says: But what if you want it to be?

A big buzzer makes Seokjin jump, breaking him again out of his thoughts. About ten more people had accumulated from the time that Yoongi started, and most of them can’t believe it, can’t believe this spectacle. Yoongi looks smug, but underneath the surface he looks slightly embarrassment that there’s this much attention on him.

Seokjin moves forward now, his smile completely genuine, “That was incredible, Yoongi! I’ve never seen anything like that!” And really, he hadn’t.

“Ah,” Yoongi scratches the back of his neck, probably a little more embarrassed now, “I was a shooting guard on my high school basketball team, and usually in that position you learn to get pretty good at shooting.”

Seokjin preens at that tidbit of information that he had no idea of, connecting Yoongi’s athleticism to a past sport, because of course, “Pretty good? That was spectacular! You didn’t miss a shot!”

Yoongi smiles, his face scrunching self-consciously, but his smile undeniably precious. Seokjin sees the fierce blush paint Yoongi’s cheeks. It’s been evident that he doesn’t handle compliments too well, but Seokjin can’t help but give credit where credit is due. That really was a sight to see. Yoongi keeps surprising Seokjin, quite literally.

“I’ve never seen anything like that, man,” the teenager vendor says, stupefied, “we usually only give away these gifts out of sympathy,” he points to the stuffed ducks, “but you can have any large prize from the vendor to the left. Wow. I’m, like, blown away.”

Yoongi nods, appreciative but too shy to continue talking. Instead, he moves to the left of the booth where there’s a large display of gifts of all shapes and sizes. Plushies, toy water guns, lightsabers, obnoxious headbands and more. They’re all to ostentatious, but then again, it’s the pier. Seokjin had learned about the tactic to sell big prizes for more customers, and boy, does it work. There’s not a booth without bright colored toys to rope in customers.

Yoongi hums beside him, and then states, “You pick, Seokjin.”

Seokjin stills, “What?”

Yoongi gestures to the giant booth in front of them as if Seokjin didn’t see it, “Pick one.”

“But you won.”

“It was your money.”

“But, you made all those shots!”

Yoongi shrugs super casually, seemingly unconcerned, but Seokjin can see right through it, “It was still your money. Think of it as payback…for a lot of things, I guess.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes, “You’re incorrigible.”

Still, he feels completely giddy over the fact that Yoongi is letting him pick the prize. He feels like he’s in one of those romantic comedies with a couple on their first date, although this isn’t technically—

“You know,” Seokjin says jokingly, “if this is a ploy to get me into bed, I don’t put out on the first date.”

Yoongi barks in unrestrained laughter, “That’s good to know, but I already know what you’re like in bed, so that doesn’t matter. Just pick something quick so we can go eat. If I remember, there’s a burger joint here that’s out of this world.”

Seokjin legitimately shivers at how quick Yoongi was to respond to his banter. He’s not sure what part of Yoongi this is, but he likes it. He likes this charismatic part of him, this charming and witty Yoongi, not afraid to speak his mind and shock Seokjin with what he says. He’s not completely different from the Yoongi he met back in Vegas, but he’s more carefree. As if a weight was lifted from off of him, even in his dire situation. It makes Seokjin feel good; makes him feel like he’s helping Yoongi forget about his problem, even if it’s just for a little while. And, he hasn’t denied that this could, technically, be a date. Seokjin feels so giddy as he points to the biggest prize behind the counter: a large, pink, fluffy alpaca. It’s easily the size of a great dane.

“Really?” Yoongi questions. He looks at the alpaca like it’s a chewed up piece of gum he stepped in. It makes Seokjin laugh.

“What?” Seokjin squishes the alpaca’s face in his hands, turning it towards Yoongi, making an overly dramatic pouty face, “it’s really cute! Look at that face!” He pushes it towards Yoongi as if he’s going to kiss him, but Yoongi dodges last minute. Seokjin wishes it were his lips. He wonders if Yoongi would pull away if he did kiss him.

“Who’s incorrigible now?” Yoongi says with an easy tilt of his head.

Seokjin giggles, hugging the alpaca to his chest. It’s easily the largest and most obnoxious thing he’s ever owned, but he couldn’t help but pick it. Something drew him to this one specific toy, as if it were a brand, signaling where he stood in the world. Plus, the look on Yoongi’s face…he wishes he could frame it. It’s easily one of Seokjin’s new favorite of Yoongi’s smiles. It’s joy.

Seokjin squeezes the alpaca closer tightly to his chest, hoping Yoongi can’t sense the way his heart squeezes just as hard.

 

&&&&&

 

Shit, shit, shit, shit.

Yoongi could sense something squeezing at his heart, but he wasn’t sure what he would call it. Seokjin was just being nice, that’s all. He wasn’t being adorable. His face of delight when picking up the alpaca wasn’t cute, either. No, not at all.

Except it was.

He tries to avoid looking at Seokjin carrying the giant pink alpaca around, because something about it brings back memories of his past. He wasn’t lying when he said he tried to impress a girl by taking her here; wooing her with all the games she wanted to play and even pulling the same schtick he did with Seokjin: giving her a large toy, buying her treats...but in the end all she really wanted was the answers to his homework, knowing that he was willing enough and naive enough to give them. The Yoongi in high school was impressionable and pliant, willing to move wherever the rest of the crowd went. He didn’t feel any sense of individuality, nor felt the need to stand out. He was a fish in the sea of students; left to make no big moves and graduate as transparent as possible.

But by the time college came around, he got fed up being in the shadows. He needed people to take him seriously, take his ideas and evaluations into consideration. That’s when he decided to challenge himself in small ways, like applying to the best school in California and to show his abilities and the fire that burned within him. That fire burned a little longer until after he graduated when he became more idealized and familiar with the working world, that the dream job he wanted wouldn’t come to him right away, but fuck , he wanted it. He wanted it so badly that he suffers through his job daily just to see where it’ll lead him in the future.

But one misstep brought him tumbling back down to the bottom, and he’s just confused about everything. Confused about his path, confused about his decisions and the means necessary to succeed. And he’s confusing what he thinks are feelings for Seokjin. There’s no way that he can like Seokjin; their paths were forced together and would soon be taken apart. He had to snap out of this foolish teenager fantasy, and quick, because nothing up to this point has been easy for him—he isn’t about to start thinking this way. Sure, in another universe, maybe, if he had met Seokjin more conventionally, like at a coffee shop or the grocery store, he would delve into it some more, but this is nothing more than a botched arrangement that will soon end.

But…did he want it to end? A very, very small part of him said no. He liked Seokjin’s company, that much he knew, and dating for Yoongi was difficult and he didn’t do it often, is it some kind of clandestine sign that they got along so well? Possibly. But Yoongi was realistic to a definite fault.

He also thought about the things that stand in their way: Seokjin’s brother, for one. Their separate lives. The distance. Their jobs. Not knowing anything about their pasts. Their friends not meshing. The fact that they got married in the worst possible way—it couldn’t happen. He needs to snap out of it, now. Before another part of him suffers.

“So, where’s this place with the ‘out of this world’ burgers?”

Yoongi shakes his head, pulled back into this reality where he and Seokjin are still strangers, and says, “Follow me.” He begins walking forward, knowing Seokjin will walk by his side.

It’s still the same as Yoongi remembered, not that much of this place has changed, really. The only thing that’s changed is him, he supposes. He’s matured, become more aware of himself and his priorities, his feelings, his goals. He knows he thinks too much, thinks too quickly, and loses himself in his thoughts too often, but that won’t change no matter if he wants it to or not. It’s a part of him.

“Oh, wow,” Seokjin says in awe, in this strange roar, his mouth full of the hamburger he ordered, “this really is out of this world.”

“You take gigantic bites,” is all Yoongi can say. He’s kind of stupefied at how he hasn’t seen this before. Yoongi would have to take three bites to equal the one bite Seokjin took. It’s legitimately entertaining.

Seokjin’s looks like a legitimate chipmunk as he smiles with his cheeks full of food, in which he simply says, “I like the feeling of a lot of food in my mouth, because when I swallow it feels like I’ll choke, but I don’t. I don’t know, I just like that feeling.”

Yoongi does, in fact, choke. On the large sip from his soda.

Seokjin looks as though he didn’t just admit he likes to be choked, whether or not it was intentional. And here Yoongi is, perverted as ever, remembering the first time they had sex and the way Seokjin swallowed his cock…it all makes sense now. It makes sense how easy it was for him, but it makes sense now that Yoongi knows it’s true.

The juxtaposition of Seokjin in his devilish maroon suit and innocent glasses, wharfing down a large hamburger…Yoongi couldn’t be more enthralled at how interesting he is. Granted, he’s been interesting since the moment Yoongi saw him at the club, but he just keeps piquing Yoongi’s interest the longer he’s around him.

Yoongi sees the wedding band on Seokjin’s hand glint in the sun, again, and it’s when he remembers, “So your boss promoted you, yeah?”

Seokjin nods, wiping his mouth with his napkin. The smile underneath is hard to miss, “Yeah, she’s most likely taking advantage of me, but I’ve learned that the television world is kind of a dog-eat-dog world. You have to grab certain opportunities to move up or else someone else will get the credit. And I mean, it’s not exactly what I’d want to report on, but it works, for now.”

Yoongi nods because he gets it. His job is similar in terms of taking opportunities as they come, but for Yoongi they never really come to him. He sometimes tries to ask his boss if he can take over the station one time, just one time, to show what he can do, but the answer is always the same: “ we’re professionals, Yoongi, come back when you have the credentials.

What fucking credentials? All they do is pick music! It isn’t that hard; Yoongi knows how the music industry works probably better than they do—how to compose and produce your own original content and have it sound similar to what is on the radio now, but still be unique. He knows he can do it, do it better, but there’s no chances for him to do so. No chance to prove himself. And now that he’s lost all his money, he’d either have to overwork or—no there’s no way he’d ask anyone for money. His guilt is always too giant when he has to ask for help, in any form.

He already hates that Seokjin paid for shaved ice, the basketball game, and now, their food. If this were any other circumstance, like a date—which Yoongi could believe, but for a little while—he’d be the one paying because he likes to spoil people or make them smile with small gifts, even if it’s something simple like paying for a meal. That’s partially why he let Seokjin pick the prize, both because he theoretically played for it, and because he really wanted to see what Seokjin would pick. Maybe have a small token from before, when they were happier, not ready to be separated.

“What are you thinking about?” Seokjin asks, curiously.

Yoongi begrudgingly chews on a couple of fries and knows he can’t really avoid the question, but says anyway, “Nothing.”

Yoongi watches Seokjin wipe his mouth a final time before crumpling his napkin and dropping it onto his tray. Sometimes Yoongi notes the small things unexpectedly—the delicate color of his eyes, the way his nose twitches excitedly when he talks about food, the curves of his fingers, his long, elegant neck, and the way the ring on his finger looks like it’s been there for years, “I promise that the meeting will be as painless as possible. I’m sure you want to get back to your life without me in it and for me to disappear—”

“That’s not how I’d put it—”

“Isn’t it though?” Seokjin questions out loud, peering into Yoongi’s soul, “I know all of this was practically a joke, and I know neither of us had warmed up to the idea, but you seem insistent on disappearing and putting it behind you. And I wouldn’t call us strangers, not after everything.”

Everything, meaning how intimate they had been, not only physically but emotionally—showing their true feelings about their futures and the fissures that are too big to be closed. Yoongi had shown pieces of himself that he hadn’t shown to a lot of people, even if they weren’t big pieces. And Yoongi knows this, he knows he’s still being standoffish, but that’s how he’s wired. He’s wary of every living person, paranoid that people will want something from him that he can’t be, and he’s not too great with change, as this whole ordeal has shown. He’s also paranoid with himself as a partner, looking more at his faults than successes. He’s very judgemental.

Yoongi squints, breathing deeply, “This is just who I am.”

“Yeah, I know. You have walls that are like a giant fortress and I’m climbing up the sides barehanded,” Seokjin explains. He crosses his arms on the wooden table, relaxed, “You need to learn to trust me just a little bit.”

Did Yoongi trust him? Yes. Some strange part of him automatically did. Did he trust himself? No. He didn’t trust himself to say the right thing, to say exactly what he is feeling, and instead hide it and expect someone to find it. He expects people to automatically know what his problem is; and the only person that’s gotten close enough to doing that is Namjoon.

Yoongi deflates, knowing that trying to fight Seokjin with his mental army isn’t worth it, “You’re right.”

“That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“Watch it, Kim.”

“Technically, it’s Min.” Seokjin corrects, eyes glittering some type of way with the sunlight filtering across them. A light breeze tickles the back of Yoongi’s neck.

“And technically, you’re older,” Yoongi points out, “so I don’t know why they made you take my last name.’”

“Oh, they didn’t make me. I guess I never got the chance to tell you,” Seokjin cocks his head now, “I requested it, on my form.”

Yoongi sits up a little straighter. This is news to him.

“You did? How come I didn’t know this?”

Yoongi hopes he doesn’t deflect, but he shrugs, “I forgot about it myself, to be honest. I passed by the email a few days after I last saw you and it was a review of the paperwork. It was probably Drunk Seokjin just projecting. I don’t have the best relationship with my parents, so I probably just…wanted to be someone else, I guess. And at the time I was really worried about Jungkook so I kind of wanted to…get away. To be someone else for a while and not be such a giant a worry wart.” The tone of Seokjin’s voice makes Yoongi soften—he’s seen this vulnerability before when they were sharing the small motel room a few days back, talking about their careers and future. But that, as with a lot of their relationship, was fueled by alcohol. This is purely them; purely Yoongi and purely Seokjin. And Yoongi never really assumed that there was some animosity between not only Seokjin and his parents, who he never talks about, but Jungkook, who Yoongi has had an unfortunate relationship with.

Still, it takes a lot of balls to be vulnerable, and Yoongi appreciates those moments that he gets, despite his complex, “I’m sorry, about both things.”

Seokjin waves his hand, “It’s fine. I resolved things with Jungkook, so hopefully he shouldn’t act that way towards you again. My parents…that’s a different story.”

“Well, for what it’s worth, I think they did a good job instilling responsibility and good judgement within you, even if they weren’t around to see it,” Yoongi wasn’t particularly avoiding the topic of his own parents, because there wasn’t that much else to say, “and I’m just hopeful Jungkook won’t try to rip my head off next time I see him.”

The implication of seeing Jungkook again must mean something special to Seokjin, because the look he gives Yoongi looks a bit…thankful. And even though Yoongi was fickle most of the time, he meant his words when his tone was this serious.

“Thank you,” Seokjin sighs as if there was a large weight on his shoulders, and then says with finality, “I think I can go for some ice cream. What about you?”

Seokjin does gets ice cream, but Yoongi passes. He doesn’t want him to spend more money on him. But if Seokjin eating a hamburger was entertaining, Seokjin eating ice cream was interesting. For one, Yoongi might have remembered at that moment how amazing it is to kiss him, and wished that he was able to do it again. Now that the high point of today passed, he was more relaxed. He wonders if Seokjin would be okay with him leaning over and kissing him. He wonders if he’d taste the rocky road on the older man’s tongue, feel the cold of his lips, feel Seokjin’s smile. He wonders if Seokjin would lean forward for another one, not ready to part. He wonders, and wonders, and wonders .

Shit, he really is attracted to Seokjin. That much, he can tell. But other than that he’s completely confused about what other emotions he’s feeling, especially sitting here on a bench looking out at the ocean, watching the sunset below the horizon. The sky is painted in delicate oranges and purples, and honestly, Yoongi is having a hard time looking at the sunset with Seokjin sitting so close, their thighs touching. This is the perfect scenario for a couple, and Yoongi is confused about what they are.

Or rather, what they will be. The meeting with the lawyer will decide everything. Yoongi has said time and time again he’s nervous about it, but Seokjin has repeatedly told him there’s nothing to worry about. But he’s not worried about Seokjin taking some of his possessions, as if there’s anything to really take, and he’s not too scared of Seokjin putting up a fight...he’s scared that Seokjin might already own his heart, and he won’t be okay with getting it back.

 


 

Yoongi is on his fifth company coffee run of the day when he gets his daily phone call from Seokjin.

He immediately starts with, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news…”

“Oh, this is going to be good,” Yoongi rolls his eyes. Even though Seokjin can be a dramatic storyteller, his tone will usually will give away when he’s joking or not. Yoongi’s gotten good at telling which is which, and this is just a story, nothing too drastic.

Yoongi moves closer in line, holding the phone closer to his ear to savor Seokjin’s voice. Seokjin calls often, usually once a day. He talks about a lot of things, nothing in particular, but he’s sure to keep Yoongi in consideration of the conversation and ask for his opinion on small things. Since their time at the pier, they’ve gotten just a bit closer. And Seokjin’s a very good conversationalist, even on the phone. Yoongi expected that. Today may only be Thursday, but Yoongi had a feeling he could get used to this. He knows it takes a lot for him to talk a lot and talk frequently, but Seokjin makes it easy.

“Don’t be mean! I’m sure you’re going to be over the moon at this news.”

Yoongi smiles—teasing Seokjin, he finds, is pretty easy, and he found that he likes Seokjin’s reactions, “Have I been nominated for a Grammy?”

Seokjin groans, then laughs, “Yoongi, be serious, just for a little bit. I know you can do it, Grumpy Gills. And maybe someday you’ll be nominated, believe in yourself.”

“Don’t call me that, it can ruin my brand.”

“Oh, you have a brand now?”

Yoongi approaches the counter now, halting the conversation for a brief minute, and grabs both cartons of venti coffees, and hands over the company credit card. Not one of them is for him, even though he knows the company will most likely pay for it, but he can’t give the company a reason to hold something over him. So, he suffers. Suffers through carrying all this coffee and not having his own Americano to hold him over. He hasn’t had one since Seokjin bought him one earlier last week, and he’s pretty sure he went through some withdrawal. It’s been terrible so far.

“Everything okay?” Seokjin asks, hearing Yoongi maneuver the order away from the main counter towards the straws so he’s not holding up the line.

“Peachy,” he grunts, “this is the fifth time I’ve been to Starbucks today, and it’s not even for me.”

“This boss of yours is a dick, yeah?”

“Yeah, well, these days I’m doing all I can to get some extra cash.”

“I could lend you some—”

Gritting his teeth, Yoongi says, “Seokjin, I don’t know how many times you’ve suggested that, but no. I’m going to get it back myself, and then pay you back for,” he almost says ‘date’, but catches himself, “for the other day at the pier.”

Seokjin sighs, indignant, but he doesn’t ask again or push further, which Yoongi is glad for, because he listens , “Okay, well I’ll tell you before you have to go back to work. It’s about my work, actually. My boss was impressed with my work on the pier piece that she wants me to do another piece.”

“That’s amazing! I knew she’d be impressed with your work,” this news really does make Yoongi happy, because Seokjin is getting something he’s been wanting, even indirectly, but it’s still something. And Yoongi should, Yoongi should take tips and look elsewhere, but things keep happening, blocking him. Someday, he vows. Someday he’ll get what he wants.

“It is,” Seokjin sounds apprehensive, “but the thing is, the next story is in Seattle. I’ve never been there before, so this seems really big.”

“This is big, Seokjin. Why is that bad news though?” Yoongi remembers the reason for his call in the first place.

Yoongi gathers eight straws, and leans against the counter, hoping to find solace in Seokjin’s voice before reality pulls him back in, “That’s the thing, I had the meeting with the lawyer scheduled for Saturday, but since I’ll be out of town, I’m going to have to reschedule. I get back Tuesday, so I’m not sure when I can make another appointment.”

So that means he’ll still married for a few more days. Not that it’s particularly a bad thing, but Yoongi figures that this should be over with quickly so no one has to deal with the awkwardness.

“Oh, well, that’s not too big of a deal. It’s just a few more days and you can reschedule whenever. When do you leave?”

“I’m actually on my way to the airport right now. I’m really nervous.”

He’s no stranger to nerves, Yoongi. It makes him understand Seokjin’s situation of the unknown a little better, but, “You’re going to be amazing. Your boss is trusting you, and this is a step forward in your career! And don’t tell anyone, but I might be a little jealous of you. I’ve always wanted to visit Seattle.”

It is true. Yoongi’s been in California for as long as he can remember, never really moving anywhere. This is his home. He does wish that he had the ability to travel without reservations, but his anxieties sometimes get in the way, logistics clouding his mind. Going to Vegas was a big step for him, and he was so uncertain about going from the beginning. Everyone knew it, and look what happened.

“Maybe I’ll bring you back someday,” Seokjin sounds sure and wistful, and Yoongi tries really, really hard to not picture it, picture them in another city, together, “Can I send you pictures?”

“Of course. I’d be mad if you didn’t.”

Seokjin laughs, a very pretty sound that makes Yoongi’s skin tingle. Another thing Seokjin has been doing lately is sending pictures, sometimes of random things he sees during the day, funny conversation starters or things that look pretty. Yoongi’s gotten used to seeing life through Seokjin’s eyes.

“I’ll let you go now,” Yoongi hears a lot of movement on the other end of the line, “please be careful to not push yourself too much, okay? Don’t make me worry.”

That statement strikes something in Yoongi’s heart; he doesn’t like making people worry about him, but in this case, it means Seokjin is paying more attention to him, which he kind of appreciates. He can admit that he sometimes needs some extra attention when it comes to self care, “I can’t guarantee much.” He says honestly.

“For me?” the pout in Seokjin’s voice is so clear, Yoongi can see it.

But he sighs, “Fine, fine. For you. I’ll try.”

He does try, but it’s harder said than done. The rest of the week passes so slowly that it feels like he’s swimming in molasses. Thursday feels like it will never end, and Friday, too.

The thing about losing all your money is that there are a lot of repercussions, as expected. A few days after he learned about his empty bank balance, he had spent three long hours on the phone with his bank, admitting that there was a change of balance and no , it wasn’t stolen and yes , he will try to get it back or they’ll be problems. The condescending tone did nothing to help his headache. At the end of it he needed a stiff drink, but he just ran out of his last beer the day before.

And, as of late, it would be difficult to afford a six pack, which was really disappointing.

Instead of wallowing in self pity and the guilt of asking someone for help, he threw himself into work to keep his mind from wandering elsewhere. Whatever job his boss needed done, he volunteered with gritted teeth. He worked hard, harsh hours, from 8 in the morning until the studio closed at 7 o’clock, barely taking time for himself. Coming home was his only saving grace. And then he would have trouble sleeping that night and only get five hours of sleep, maximum, and do the same thing all over again the next day.

Yoongi liked to think that he was was a strong man; he liked to think that he had instilled a deep sense of perseverance and hard work, but sometimes he has his limits. Those same limits were tested in Vegas, but this was a whole new monster.

He slept all day Saturday. Didn’t even bother to set an alarm. He unplugged from everything, and tried not to cry himself to sleep. He was so tired. So, so tired. His bones ached. His skin felt itchy. And his eyes felt like they were on fire.

Time was irrelevant. The whole world could burn and he’d be happy. This is a familiar feeling—he had this same type of reaction in Vegas the day after he got back to his hotel. Except this was way worse. He wanted his dreams to swallow him, to save him from reality.

He regains consciousness slowly when he hears his phone vibrate across his bed. He ignores it, but it rings again. And again. And again. It rings until it doesn’t end, it keeps on vibrating, and Yoongi reaches for it blindly, the brightness cutting through the dark like a knife. It’s an unknown number, but he’s had enough that he answers anyway, “Hello?”

“Is this Min Yoongi?” It’s a woman’s voice. He’s not sure who it is.

“Yeah?”

“Mr. Min, I’m calling on behalf of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, we have a patient here and we are unable to contact his main caregiver and we saw you were second on the list.”

Yoongi’s heart drops into his gut, and turns into solid stone, “Who’s the patient?”

“Kim Jungkook.”

Chapter Text

He’s fine.

Yoongi’s clenching his fists so hard he’s leaving crescents on his palms from his fingernails.

He’s fine.

Namjoon looks over his shoulder and changes lanes quickly, and for once, Yoongi can’t be bothered at the lack of erratic movement. His mind is moving a thousand miles a minute.

He’s fine.

The woman on the phone wouldn’t elaborate anymore than the basic information, who the patient is and where they’re keeping him. He tried calling Seokjin immediately after he hung up the phone, and he’s not too sure why he called because if the hospital couldn’t get a hold of him, there’s no way he would. He left a brief message saying to call him when he could, and then pressed on Namjoon’s contact, trying to ignore his shaking hands.

Namjoon was at the apartment in less than 10 minutes, tires screeching when he stopped from how fast he approached. It’s been silent the whole ride, Yoongi trying not to let the panic seep into his muscles. He was too anxious to realize that Jimin wasn’t in the car with them, and Yoongi couldn’t really focus on that. Namjoon doesn’t try to fill the empty silence with conversation because he knows it isn’t the time. What really could be said?

He has to be fine.

Yoongi tries not to think of the worst scenario—he has a problem with intrusive thoughts. What he thinks about the most is the fact that he and Jungkook hadn’t communicated since the car ride home from Vegas. He didn’t want any animosity between them for Seokjin’s sake, so he vowed that at some point, if possible, he would squash any ill feelings between them. He wishes he had reached out earlier, but he was preoccupied and overworked. His limbs still feel heavy, the residuals of deep sleep not completely gone yet, but his mind is working at full speed.

Namjoon swings Fanta into a parking spot and pulls hard on the gear shift to park the car, “do you want me to come in with you?”

Yoongi is thinking a few steps ahead, knowing that Namjoon will be stopped from entering the floor that Jungkook is on because he’s not family. He wishes he could come, but he knows that nothing at this point is really going to calm his nerves, “I don’t think they’ll let you get too far.”

Namjoon nods, “Keep me updated, then?”

“Of course. Thanks for the ride.”

Yoongi quickly hops out, heading towards the entrance of the hospital. He’s directed to the third floor where the recovering patients are, and it makes Yoongi breathe a little better hearing the word recovering , because whatever damage had been done has been helped, or so he thinks.

The air of the elevator is stiff. Once he steps off, a woman behind the main counter straightens up and asks, “May I help you?” Her eyes don’t seem particularly concerned—she’s collected herself, whereas Yoongi is mostly the opposite.

“I received a call about a patient.”

“The name?”

“Kim Jungkook.”

“And what’s your relation to him?”

Yoongi doesn’t feel strange saying this, though he should, “I’m Min Yoongi, he’s my brother-in-law. My,” this is the weird part, “my husband was out of reach, so I was second on the contact list.” This is realistically the second time he’s mentioned out loud that Seokjin was his husband, the first time under extreme circumstances as well—the morning after their wedding.

She nods, typing a few things on the computer, and then stands and rounds the corner of the long desk counter, “Follow me.”

Yoongi isn’t particularly afraid of hospitals, per se; he’s afraid of the ambiance. The sickly sterilization makes him feel out of place, clinical and detached from the real world. Reality seems to stop whenever he’s in a hospital. He’s been in the hospital a few times—a few times too monumental to forget.

The first was when he got into a car accident which fucked up his shoulder to the point when he had to quit playing basketball until it healed enough, and by the time it did, he had graduated and forgotten the joy of being a shooting guard. He didn’t tell that to Seokjin that day at the pier, but the memory of sinking all those basketballs brought great memories, as well as some bad ones when his shoulder ached later in the night, the evidence of misuse and the memory. It doesn’t bother him as much as it used to, but every once in a while it will. His second hospital run in was when his appendix burst out of the blue and he needed immediate surgery. Both moments very painful. At the moment, it felt as though both injuries were hurting him, as if there was a phantom sympathy pain saying, remember me.

Enough, he hears a small voice in his mind say, this isn’t about you. Nothing’s about you anymore, you have other people to take care of now.

They reach a room at the end of the hall, Yoongi wasn’t paying attention, and the nurse pulls a folder from the door, flipping it open and scanning it, eyes calm, “Kim Jungkook, 21 years old, multiple lacerations to the face, mild concussion, and fractured tibia.”

Yoongi pales, cause shit, “What was he doing?”

The nurse reads on, “His record shows that a 911 call came in from Campus Point around 5pm this afternoon. The EMT that responded to it reported that he took a wave that was too big and fell off his board, disconnecting his ankle strap, and then got caught in underside of incoming waves. It’s likely that he hit his head on his board and got tossed a certain way to hit the ocean floor for the broken tibia,” she sighs, closing the folder shut, “these types of things happen a lot. Kids thinking that they’re pro surfers and try to show off catching the big waves when they shouldn’t. We’ll need to keep him here a few days to monitor the concussion, waking him up every few hours or so, and he’ll need to wear the cast for a minimum of four weeks. We’ll schedule check ins and such later. You can go in since it’s family only on this floor.”

Family. That’s right—Jungkook is family. By law, but family nonetheless.

He’s okay. Yoongi’s heart calms down slightly, but picks up again at the thought of entering the room. He wishes Seokjin were here with him. He’s petrified. And he can’t really imagine what what Seokjin will think when he figures all this out. And god, he hopes he’s okay. He wishes he could hear his voice.

He walks in slowly, trying to steady his breathing the closer he approaches. Jungkook is reclined in the bed, hair completely a mess, eyes closed, sleeping peacefully; probably sedated because of pain. He has multiple bandages over his face: a butterfly bandage over his eyebrow, and a particularly large square bandage on his cheek. Yoongi grimaces at the large cast covering from his ankle to below his knee, resting on top of a pillow. The sound of the heartbeat monitor freaks him out, but he pushes himself to move forward.

He’s fine, he’s gonna heal, he’s gonna get better. This isn’t horrible. Calm down.

He doesn’t know how long he sits at Jungkook’s bedside; sits on the uncomfortable chair, numbing everything. He watches Jungkook’s chest move, counting his breaths, thankful to see it. His muscles are so stiff that any movement hurts. Guilt threatens to choke him—it’s not like he was able to be there at the scene to prevent this from happening. There’s no way for him to have known about this, even if he and Jungkook were on speaking terms, but he figures that all people feel guilty when someone they know is hurt, as if they were able to prevent it or help even if they couldn’t.

Jungkook, from what Seokjin told him, was a wild child. So he had a penchant for thrilling things, for adventure. So really, Yoongi wasn’t too surprised, but he was concerned that it came to this. He knows from experience that wounds heal, but they take time. He wishes he wasn’t seeing this alone.

He had a feeling that this won’t scare Jungkook either, not in the slightest bit. If anything, he’d probably think of it as inconvenient and the moment he’s healed, he’ll probably be out doing it again as if nothing ever happened. Yoongi is the opposite in that fact. If anything hurts him or has the potential too, he knows to back away; don’t go near it. He prevents things from hurting him by making sure they don’t happen in the first place.

That car accident that happened when he was younger wasn’t even his fault, but it scared him for a few years. He didn’t want to drive for years after, afraid that he would be a magnet for that accident to repeat itself. His parents thought it was a little ridiculous, but they didn’t push him. He eventually grew out of it, and felt ridiculous about it, but grew out of it nonetheless. That’s the reason why he’s always nervous with Namjoon driving. It’s embedded in him, the pain haunting him every so often even when he’s allegedly over it.

Yoongi hears a sudden, loud shout outside the door, causing him to jump. The quiet reverie within this room is broken.

“Sir, please calm down.”

“But that’s my brother!”

Yoongi stands up without a second thought—I know that voice—and runs out the door, looking left, then looking right.

Seokjin is frantic and in disarray, and somehow here as the nurse holds onto his shoulders, preventing him from moving. Yoongi’s heart falls from his chest, seeing Seokjin this unkempt and panicking. He’s not even sure he’s seeing right—it could be some bad dream, all of this. How did Seokjin get here? When did he get here?

Yoongi moves surely, saying sternly to the nurse, “It’s okay, he’s my husband. He’s here with me.”

Seokjin makes shaky eye contact with him, his eyes glassy, and he whimpers one word weakly, “Yoongi.”

The man who’s always one step ahead, always put together and calm, is an absolute mess; his hair crazy, eyes wild, and clothes haphazardly put together. He looks like he’s lost control. Yoongi can sympathize.

Yoongi reaches forward instinctively, catching Seokjin as he collapses against him, cradling his body against his chest. He decides immediately in this moment, for once, he’s going to be the pillar instead of the floor that gets walked upon. Seokjin has helped him way too many times, and this is something too big to handle on Seokjin’s own. He needs to be here, present enough in Seokjin’s fear that he can help.

But...the way Seokjin sobs and clutches at his chest, it makes Yoongi’s heart squeeze. This is something he never thought he would see, and it’s so unbelievably painful that he feels his eyes prickling with the same frightened tears.

“Yoongi,” Seokjin cries, his body absolutely shaking, “Yoongi.”

“I’m here,” Yoongi pulls him as close as he can, because that’s all he can do, “I got you.”

Seokjin buries his head in the crook of Yoongi’s neck, soaking Yoongi’s shirt, but he could care less. Seokjin cries and cries, and it’s heartbreaking. He’s scared, rightfully so. He found out his younger brother is in the hospital when he was out of town; of course he’s reacting this way. Yoongi knows that Seokjin is overprotective of Jungkook and has expressed that fear to him a little bit more just recently, so his reaction is that of feeling like he’s losing control. Feeling like he’s let Jungkook down.

He cups the back of Seokjin’s head, repeating in hushed tones that he’s here, and that it’s okay. He feels like this is an out of body experience. He knows that personally he doesn’t like too much touch when he’s in this state, but Seokjin seems to calm down with it, with his words and comforting touch.

“He’s okay, Seokjin,” Yoongi says quietly when he feels Seokjin start to settle down, “he just has a concussion and a broken leg. He’s fine. He’ll be fine.”

Seokjin hiccups, and Yoongi can feel the tremors coming from his body subsiding a little bit. He wants to take the fear from him so badly. He wants to fix this.

“Can you look at me?” Yoongi whispers.

Seokjin is unsteady, but Yoongi looks directly in his brown eyes, pained by the red puffiness of them, and he says with certainty, “He’s okay.” Yoongi cups his face, keeping the eye contact and making sure he sounds legitimate, careful not to scare Seokjin.

Seokjin closes his eyes, breath quivering, “I shouldn’t have left.”

So he feels guilty for going out of town, Yoongi guesses. Which is a little absurd because it wasn’t like Seokjin being out of town caused this to happen. He shouldn’t feel guilty at all; how was he supposed to know this would happen? Jungkook was being Jungkook—crazy and chaotic—

“You not being here didn’t cause him to get hurt, Seokjin, please don’t think that,” Yoongi thumbs a few tears falling from Seokjin’s eyes, “this wasn’t your fault.”

“Yeah, but—”

Yoongi barges on, “ No, Seokjin, you were doing something for your own career, for your own life. Your job is not to constantly be taking care of Jungkook, you know this. You had to go. He’s just a kid—he’s supposed to get hurt, that’s part of growing up. You couldn’t have stopped this. And I’m here for you now, okay? I’m here for both of you.” He wasn’t sure why he felt so strongly at this moment, so passionate about making Seokjin understand, but he did want to help Seokjin. He had to. He wasn’t going to abandon them especially when Seokjin didn’t abandon him.

Seokjin wraps his hands harder around Yoongi’s shoulders, pressing closer again, and Yoongi holds him close. He holds him until he hears his breathing regulate, the tremors cease. He would stay this way for as long as Seokjin needs. He’s shown his broken side to Seokjin, so now that Seokjin is baring himself, Yoongi will be the one he needs. The one he leans on.

 

&&&&&

 

Not that it’s particularly brand new information, but Seokjin has spent the past couple of years living in constant fear. Fear about Jungkook.

It’s not something he can turn off. Ever since he decided that Jungkook would live with him full time, he realized that he was becoming constantly worried. He wasn’t a singular person anymore. He was worried about taking care of another person, let alone his brother , and worried that he wouldn’t teach him good ideals for the future, worried that he’d grow up to resent him like their parents did to him: worried, worried, worried. He woke up every morning wondering what kind of shenanigans Jungkook would get into and wondering if he’d be able to handle it if something were to happen.

The real reason why he grew dissatisfied in his job and refused to move forward was, sadly, because of Jungkook. His younger brother may have turned 21 almost two weeks ago, and Seokjin knew that he was his own person, an adult, but he didn’t feel too comfortable leaving him alone. Again, he knew he couldn’t control anyone or anything, especially Jungkook, but he needed to feel comfortable knowing Jungkook would follow the rules enough to make him feel secure.

Seokjin was safe. Everything he did, every decision he made, was safe. He made careful, calculated moves. Made sure nothing dangerous would happen to him, made no extraordinary moves. And he was fine with it, because it meant that he was efficient and looked at things from different angles, different perspectives. Jungkook was the complete opposite. Reckless, carefree, and uninhibited. He made decisions spontaneously, felt thrills off of sudden adventure, thrived off action. He was full force in Las Vegas, searching for anything out of the ordinary or electrifying.

Seokjin didn’t mind it—no, that’s a lie. He did mind it. He was scared, more often than not, whenever Jungkook left. He was scared that Jungkook would do something that he wouldn’t come back from. Seokjin wonders if he acts this way because of the restrictions his parents put on him at a young age, a rebellious phase. His anxieties about his brother were so powerful that he often forgot about himself and his feelings. He didn’t know how to fix it. Fix his mind. To let go.

Something within him felt thrilled that he had Yoongi by his side, felt thrilled that he had someone he could share his feelings with. Even in the worst circumstance, he finally had someone to talk to and feel comfortable around. Maybe it was because Yoongi didn’t know his life story completely, but he knew the essentials, and he felt that whatever he told Yoongi, he would take in stride and not judge him for it. And for so long he needed someone else besides his mind, telling him to be careful. He felt safe with Yoongi as well.

Receiving the voicemail was devastating. He was diligently working on his new story and navigating the new city of Seattle, excited about the new sights and people he was meeting. It seemed to be déjà vu, getting an important phone call that threw him completely off balance, unable to think clearly.

The rest of it was a blur. He booked an immediate flight back home, packed all his stuff as quickly as he could, and tried not to lose his shit the entire flight back. He wasn’t even sure where in time he was, but he knew he had to get home. Fast.

When he saw Yoongi emerge from the hospital room, he was absolutely shocked, then relieved. That relief he felt seeing his beautiful, concerned, strong face made him break down in tears, instantaneously. And they wouldn’t stop. The warmth he felt being held against Yoongi’s chest was so overwhelming that he didn’t care how much he was losing composure. Hearing the words ‘he’s okay’ calmed him down, but not completely. Jungkook was okay, but he wasn’t. He needed to see it for himself to believe it, even though he was hesitant.

“Ready to go in?” Yoongi murmurs, his voice muffled against Seokjin’s shoulder. Seokjin didn’t want to leave his embrace just yet; he was scared of the reality that awaited him behind the door. He liked the way Yoongi was holding him. He felt safe.

Still, he nods.

Yoongi holds his hand tightly the entire time as they enter the room. Truthfully, seeing Jungkook was alarming, but he was particularly relieved that the damage wasn’t as extensive as it was. He was sleeping peacefully, his leg wrapped with a thick cast—he can already hear Jungkook’s complaints about wearing it. He wonders at that moment what Jungkook was even doing at Campus Point so late, trying to catch some waves when he wasn't all that great at surfing to begin with, but he knows he'll discuss it later with him, once he's better. He knows it was probably a split decision to go out and do it.

There was a seat already next to Jungkook’s bed, and Seokjin deduced that Yoongi had been sitting there for a good while. The thought alone does something to his heart.

“How long have you been here?” Seokjin asks, voice gravelly. They both glance at the clock on the wall and see that it’s almost 2 in the morning. Seokjin didn’t even know that much time had passed from when he first got the call.

“Probably since 7pm. They got the call at 5, and he was admitted about an hour after that.”

Seokjin wants to cry again. He never really imagined that Yoongi would be here, be here first, for his brother. The act alone makes him appreciate him even more. He feels that he can breathe a little easier knowing he’s here. Seokjin is very caring and open to other people and makes friends easily, but he often looks for people who reciprocate the same amount of care for him, an equal partnership. He knows he can trust Hoseok with his life only because he’s grown up with him and took the time to cultivate their friendship, shared secrets and life stories with him—he’s only known Yoongi for a short amount of time but it feels like years had passed by. It’s the small things that speak the loudest, and Yoongi being here for his brother has solidified something strong inside of him.

A nurse walks in briskly, smiling softly at both Seokjin and Yoongi, “I’m here to check on the patient, standard concussion procedure.” She moves surely, confidently, and Seokjin watches in amazement as she places a gentle hand on Jungkook’s shoulder, prodding and shaking a little bit. Jungkook scrunches his nose like he always does when being woken up, and Seokjin’s heart clenches. He’s okay , Yoongi had said, and he believed it, barely, but seeing him so...normal, makes the anxiety in Seokjin’s heart lessen a little bit more.

Jungkook mumbles then, “Five more minutes.”

Everyone within the room laughs. Seokjin smiles the most. That’s my brother, he thinks, even after a harrowing experience, does his humor remain .

Seokjin feels Yoongi’s hand on his shoulder, a silent sign of support, and he breathes. Breathes until he sees Jungkook’s eyes open slowly, taking in the room. The atmosphere. Seokjin wonders if he knows where he is, or knows that he’s here.

“My name is Kelly, and you’re here at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. You were in a surfing accident, and you have a mild concussion as well as a broken leg,” the nurse quickly looks at the heart monitor and speaks softly, “do you know your name?”

He looks a little distant and confused, but answers the question nonetheless, “Jungkook.”

“How old are you, Jungkook?”

“Twenty one. My birthday was a few weeks ago.”

The nurse smiles, pressing on his bandages on his face to check them, careful and reserved, “You’re correct. On a scale of one to ten, how much pain are you in?”

It’s then that Jungkook winces as if he becomes cognizant of where he is, finally, “Mmmm, I’d say like, uh, 7? I feel really sore but whatever meds you gave me are working pretty well,” he laughs lucidly, then gasps, remembering suddenly, “Is my leg really broken?”

Jungkook shifts a little with the help of the nurse, leaning up on his forearms on the reclined bed, and glances at the giant cast on his leg, “Oh, shit. There’s a cast and everything, that’s wicked,” he quickly glances over to the side of the bed and does a double take when he sees Seokjin, “hey! You’re supposed to be in Seattle!”

Seokjin reaches forward to grab his brother’s hand, and it’s warm within his grasp, which he is grateful for. He’s handling all this as if he didn’t just go through a small trauma, which is normal for Jungkook, to not focus on the reality of things. His leg is broken but he acts like he could care less.

“I was in Seattle, but I got a flight back cause I got a phone call from the hospital.” Seokjin explains.

“Sorry,” Jungkook looks a little unfocused now as he glances up, “oh, and Yoongi is here too, that’s awesome. Hey, Yoongi.”

Yoongi’s voice is soft, “Hey, Jungkook. Is it safe to assume you’re not going pro?”

Jungkook flops back on his bed, an easy grin on his face. Seokjin knows that smile, knows the contentment and peace that comes with it, rather than the hostility of a few weeks ago.

His eyelids start to droop closed again, and soon he’s back asleep, as if this whole interaction didn’t happen.

The nurse nods, “he’s going to be really tired for a while, but I’m going to be coming back every two hours or so to check on him. He’s probably going to get very annoyed that I keep waking him up, but, you know,” she trails off. Seokjin nods in understanding. He thanks the nurse on her way out, and then it’s silent again.

Seokjin sighs, leaning back in the chair and exhaling, suddenly exhausted. Yoongi’s hand slides from his shoulder to the back of his neck and squeezes, then steps aside and pulls up another chair next to him, sitting side by side. Like partners. Equal.

Looking at Jungkook’s chest rising and falling, Seokjin inhales deeply and confesses softly, “I can’t even begin to think of how to thank you for being here.”

Yoongi‘s voice is quiet, “You don’t need to thank me; you helped me, remember? I didn’t hesitate to come here.”

That’s right. Just a few days ago when Yoongi had realized his bank account was empty, Seokjin had dropped everything to go to him. In this case, Yoongi had dropped everything to be with Jungkook, the one person who means everything to him. Seokjin is beyond grateful, beyond words of gratitude, for Yoongi. They’ve been on such a roller coaster that this seemed to be part of it, but he cannot be more thankful that he has Yoongi’s support.

Yoongi breathes in deep, and sighs, “the nurse will be back in a few hours, try to get some sleep. You look exhausted.”

Seokjin felt exhausted. He couldn’t be bothered to lift his limbs anymore, afraid they were powered down from how tight they were the whole flight home. He could—he would —sleep in this chair. He wasn’t moving.

“Will you stay with me?” Seokjin whispers quietly.

He feels Yoongi’s hand grasp his again as he feels his subconscious slip a little further, “I’m not going anywhere.”

 


 

“Pst, hey...Seokjin... hey.”

He wakes up slowly, eyes blinking the sleep away as well as the sun—

Wait, the sun?

Seokjin squints, looking over at Jungkook. He looks so normal, casually cutting into a pile of pancakes from the tray of food in front of him, oblivious to the bandages on his face, his broken leg lying out in front of him.

“What time is it?” Seokjin asks.

Jungkook stuffs his mouth full of a piece of pancake, and Seokjin has a flashback to the morning after in Vegas, “It’s like, 7am? The nurse came in a few minutes ago.” He turns to look at the big clock on the wall behind him and nods, “yeah, 7am.” That means he slept for five hours.

Rubbing his eyes so hard he sees stars, he asks, “how do you feel?”

“Better, now,” he says around a mouthful of the breakfast food, “I’ve never been in a hospital that serves pancakes for breakfast.”

“You’ve never been in a hospital, period. That’s how I would have liked to keep it.”

Jungkook winces, noticing his tone, “I’m really sorry.”

He believes it, really, because he’s not about to talk sternly to his brother right now, “We’ll talk about it later,” it’s then when he realizes the emptiness of the room, and sits up a little straighter, “where’s Yoongi?”

Don’t say he left, don’t say he left, please…

“Oh, he left,” Jungkook says simply.

Seokjin is sure his heart drops into his stomach, begins burning in acid. He feels something dark burn smoke in his lungs.

“He said he’ll be back though. He went to get coffee downstairs.”

Oh. Despite himself, he starts to smile. It’s the first time within the past few hours that he’s really allowed himself to not only smile, but feel happy. Exhilarated, even. He was undoubtedly satisfied with the progress of his career, but he was burning out with the amount of work he was doing while on the trip. He hadn’t quite figured out how much work he should do and how much to relax. And regardless of everything that happened on this ride with Jungkook, he’s elated to hear that Yoongi stayed .

“You really like him, huh?”  

It shouldn’t shock him, really, but the question startles Seokjin so badly, he visibly stiffens like he’s been caught. It’s probably because of the fact that it’s coming from Jungkook who, just a few days ago, basically wanted to slit Yoongi’s throat out of the need to protect Seokjin. The amount of change he’s seen within himself, Yoongi and Jungkook has his mind reeling.

Still, he stutters, “What? No, there’s no way I could like him. We...we barely know each other.”

Jungkook makes a show of placing his plastic silverware down on the tray and giving Seokjin this knowing look , and he knows he’s busted. Completely sought out. And the fact that Jungkook knows is probably the most embarrassing part.

“I may have a mild concussion, but I can tell you have major heart eyes for him, like the emoji. And he does too. It’s honestly really disgusting,” he says sarcastically, and without another hesitation, stuffs another piece of pancake in his mouth, “just a little while ago when the nurse came to wake me up for the fucking fiftieth time, Yoongi was watching really carefully. But he wasn’t watching me, he was watching you.”

That comment makes Seokjin’s skin ignite in joy, like a giddy school boy who just found out his crush likes him back. But what makes him think that—

“It doesn’t really matter,” he says, shaking his head, “I’ve already rescheduled the meeting with the lawyer, so it’ll be over with. Then he can do what he wants.”

“Seokjin—”

Movement from outside makes both of them stop talking. The door slowly opens up and Yoongi slips through quietly, taking in the scenery and smiling, “Hey, you’re up.”

Seokjin nods, lifting his arms in a large stretch, groaning when his muscles protest the movement, most likely from the awkward sleeping position. It really wasn’t the most ideal place to sleep, but it could be worse, he supposes.

Before he can say anything, Jungkook says, “I was up when you left, idiot.” Seokjin is about to reprimand him.

But Yoongi smirks, glancing at Jungkook as he walks further into the room, “I wasn’t talking to you, idiot , I was talking to my hu—I mean, your brother.”

The playful tone in both of their voices almost makes Seokjin bypass the conversation completely and the way Yoongi almost said my husband . Almost. He knows he was borderline hysterical when he first arrived to the hospital, not knowing any information, but he can vaguely remember Yoongi’s stern voice telling the nurse “ that’s my husband ”, like he had wanted to hear a few days ago. Thinking about it now brought another smile to his face. What also makes him smile is the progression of Yoongi and Jungkook’s relationship and how it’s becoming what he wanted.

But he disguises it as a smile of gratitude when Yoongi hands him the cup, the warmth giving him solace, “Thank you.” Yoongi takes his original seat next to him, smiling back gently, and Seokjin takes a sip from the cup, making a surprised sound when the hot liquid touches his tongue.

“How did you know I liked tea?”

Yoongi takes a sip himself, squinting self-righteously, “You don’t look like a coffee guy.”

Seokjin cocks his head as he’s suddenly really curious. He’s not necessarily opposed to coffee, but if it’s—

“I told him you usually prefer tea, but if it’s not available then you’d drink coffee.” Jungkook pipes up. Well, it is true , he thinks, certain places don’t carry coffee as much as they do tea. He’s particularly biased towards tea, anyway, though he’s logically not too picky. The fact that Yoongi went out of his way to listen to Jungkook says a lot, too.

“Shut up, Jungkook, it was supposed to be a surprise!” Yoongi guffaws. Seokjin feels like laughing.

Jungkook gestures to the now empty tray in front of him, “I don’t see any coffee for me.”

Seokjin watches Yoongi roll his eyes and snorts, “First of all, you said no when I offered. Second of all, I don’t think you need any.”

“Cause I’m naturally so chipper?”

“I was going to say annoying , but sure. Coffee would only make that worse, and we don’t want that.”

Seokjin does end up laughing. And it’s the type of laugh that is free of restrictions, free of everything. His chest feels light, like the butterflies in his stomach are threatening to spill up into his throat. This…this right here is something he could get used to. At first their banter was mostly one sided in Jungkook’s favor, but now it’s kosher and…Seokjin is happy. He hasn’t felt like this in a long, long time.

Like he said, it’s too bad that it will end soon.

Just when it was getting good, too.

Chapter Text

“Have you ever broken a bone?”

Yoongi adjusts himself on the chair and chuckles, eyes blinking deeply in self-reflection, “No, never. I never really was one to adventure out and do anything too crazy. I think I focused more on my studies than having fun.”

“Right? That was me too! All I cared about growing up was where the library was and the best way to study. He’s nothing like me, I don’t know where he gets it from,” pointing at Jungkook, Seokjin curls his legs under him and tries not to make his voice too loud. He wonders what Jungkook would say if he were awake. Probably repeat his words in a snarky tone.

It’s almost been a full 24 hours since Jungkook was admitted to the hospital, and the nurses assure Seokjin that all is going very well, and that they’ll check him one more time before making a decision about being discharged. He’s thankful to hear that it’s not as bad as he imagined it to be, but then again he always blows things out of proportion. He’ll be grateful if he never sees the inside of a hospital room again.

What’s shocked him, though, is that Yoongi hasn’t made any moves to leave. He’s been with Seokjin and Jungkook since last night, this morning, up until currently, the afternoon sun setting slowly outside. Seokjin wonders how much he’s sacrificing being here, not working. He’s been courteous and offered to grab things when needed, in order to make both of them comfortable, but mostly Seokjin. He wasn’t expecting Yoongi to stay for the long haul, not really. He didn’t really need to be here, but he was. And it made Seokjin happy. Like, ridiculously happy.

“It must be a brother thing; mine was a little rambunctious growing up too. Got in trouble a lot in school with pranks and stuff. True trickster.” Yoongi explains.

A brother? Had Yoongi mentioned this before?

“I don’t think you’ve mentioned you have a brother.” Seokjin says, piqued.

Yoongi frowns a little, thinking, “I haven’t?”

Seokjin shakes his head. It’s news to him, but makes him understand a little bit more why he would be willing to stand by him and Jungkook out of familiarity with his own brother. It lightens something inside Seokjin.

“Huh,” it doesn’t seem like he’s hesitant to bring it up, because he would know what subjects are touchy between them by now, “well, yeah. I have just one brother, he’s older than me. He lives in Sacramento now. Doesn’t really visit that much, but when he does it’s always like he’s the prodigal son returning home. When I visit it’s not as grand.” He laughs.

“Where is home, for you?”

“Daegu. Or it was. My parents stayed in Korea while I moved here when I was 18, you know, chasing my dreams and all that. I’ve been on my own for almost 7 years now.”

“They rather stayed behind?” Seokjin glances at Jungkook again, notices the rise and fall of his chest, hoping that the questions he’s asking Yoongi don’t scare him and make him clam up. This is the first time they’re getting a real conversation, even if it is the conversation they should have had when they first met.

“They’re real homebodies and never really wanted to leave. They’re comfortable there. Plus they didn’t really see the appeal of me looking for something here rather than over there. They still live in the home I grew up in.”

Seokjin makes an awed noise, “That’s really sweet. What are they like?”

Yoongi’s eyes are sentimental now, glassy with memories. It makes Seokjin smile, knowing Yoongi has that type of reaction when asked about his parents. “They’re amazing. My dad owns a restaurant, kind of like a retirement investment, and my mom was a librarian for years and years, but she’s retired now too and helps my dad run the place and making sure he’s taking care of bills and stuff. He’s the ‘do-now-think-later’ kind of person and my mom is the analytical, resourceful one. They balance each other out.”

Even though Seokjin’s parents weren’t all they needed to be for him, he wasn’t about to sour anyone else’s stories of their parents because of it. It’s his burden, not anyone else’s. He genuinely was happy to listen to Yoongi talk about his parents and could feel Yoongi’s admiration for them.

“They sound really sweet. Very sincere.” Seokjin offers.

“Oh, definitely. They are as mild as they come, very caring and kind.”

Must be nice.

Yoongi tilts his head, “Why do you say that?”

“Oh,” Seokjin feels his skin flame in immediate embarrassment, “I didn’t realize I said that out loud.”

“Were they really that bad?”

That’s a loaded question, and Seokjin knows it. He really, really tries not to let that skeleton in his closet come out to touch his shoulder, but it’s something he constantly thinks about. Thinks about if he really is treating Jungkook just like his parents or wondering if Jungkook will resent him in any way. It’s hard to think clearly when every move that’s made is self scrutinized.

“You don’t have to answer, I didn’t mean to overstep my boundaries.” Yoongi says quickly. He looks really startled.

Seokjin shakes his head, because he knows that despite everything, Yoongi deserves to know about this because it haunts him, “They were really work oriented. Growing up it was either one or the other staying with us, but never really present in the moment. It was kind of like Jungkook and I didn’t really exist,” he looks over and Jungkook, at the quick movement of Jungkook readjusting in his sleep, “by the time Jungkook was 7 they both went to work full time, and I hate to say this but that’s when I—that’s when I turned into—”

“You felt like his parent rather than his brother.” Yoongi finishes.

Seokjin can feel his eyes burn. He doesn’t like thinking that way. He loves being able to provide for Jungkook. He feels accomplished. But the line between a brother and a caretaker was blurred, so much so that Seokjin had forgotten a lot about himself.

“Before Jungkook came to live with me full time, he was almost sent to live with our grandparents where he’d go to school and learn how to take over the family business. I refused and fought tooth and nail for them to let him go. And the only way they’d let me do that is if I found my own place. So I did a ton of research and found a place within three months and he moved in a few days later after that. And don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond elated that he’s with me, but I’m so constantly worried that I feel like...I’ve lost myself.”

Seokjin feels Yoongi’s hand before he sees it, feels the sympathetic warmth covering his own hand that sits on his knee. His touch is comforting, letting Seokjin know that his concern was safe to share with him, and it’s been so long since he’s been able to get perspective that it’s a little overwhelming. Sharing this with Hoseok wasn’t as special, because Hoseok gets it, but he doesn’t understand , which to Seokjin, are two different ideas. You can get a math question but you don’t understand it until you solve it. Seokjin loves Hoseok, but he needs someone to help solve his problems, even if they seem insurmountable. He needs someone to help, period, because he thinks that he does and thinks too much.

“I’m really sorry you’re going through all of this, all of these thoughts. I’m sure it’s been really hard.” He looks so sympathetic that he wants Yoongi to hold him again. Wants to feel his warmth again. “It’s really hard to control parents but even harder to communicate with them because they’re the parents and you’re the child, so they know better. I’ll tell you this,” Yoongi adds his second hand, and soon he’s pulling and holding both hands in his own, “Jungkook would not be the strong man he is today if it weren’t for you. That ferocity he felt towards me was him being protective of you, and he couldn’t have learned that on his own. You gave him the best life possible, and still do.”

There are tears gathering in Seokjin’s eyes, but Yoongi continues with direct eye contact, “I grew up being afraid of people’s opinions of me and worrying what they thought of me. Then one day, with help from my therapist, I learned that I can’t control everything and everyone’s opinions. This situation you’re in is kind of similar—you feel responsible for him, but when he acts up, you want to control him and box him in. But he can’t be. You have to let go. I know it’s scary and I know it’s probably really unthinkable, but for your sanity and health, you need to learn to be an individual. Trust me, it will help.”

The tears fall silently down his cheeks. He knows this. He does. It for a long time. What he needed was what Yoongi gave him, just now—validation and concern for his future. He needed to hear it from someone else, and he was unexpectedly happy that it was coming from Yoongi.

“You’re right,” Seokjin cries quietly, a little embarrassed that he’s cried so much in front of Yoongi, “I know you are. But it’s hard to change something that’s been happening for so long.”

Yoongi smiles softly, probably remembering something from his past, “Trust me, the scariest thing in life is change. It’s difficult, but not impossible.” And Yoongi says the words that Seokjin will cherish for a long time: “I know you can do this. I believe in you.”

It’s taken a lot for Seokjin to get this far in life; taken a lot from him emotionally. As much as he doesn’t like the way he’s grown up, he wouldn’t change even a small piece of it because it’s made him into the strong man he is today. If it was any different, he wouldn’t have grown up, probably still at home being someone he wasn’t used to—a robot. He would be so single minded. But here, in this moment, having Yoongi on his side, he understands, finally, that he has to let go. It will be the scariest thing he’s done till this point, even more than going to Vegas and marrying a stranger, because that can be undone, but losing family can’t be undone. Losing yourself can’t be undone, either. He’ll have to start in small increments, but start nonetheless.

“Thank you,” Seokjin says, voice shaking as his hands grip onto Yoongi’s tighter, “I needed to hear that.”

Yoongi continues to hold his hands and Seokjin wishes he would lean over and kiss him. Just once. Just kiss him to reassure him that it’s okay, and that he’ll be okay—that they’ll be okay, but he won’t force it. He’s not going to force Yoongi to stay with him if he doesn’t want to. That’s too selfish. It’ll hurt, of course, but there’s something he can’t control happening here.

There’s a soft knock at the door, and when Seokjin looks expecting it to be the nurse again, he smiles a little bit instead, seeing a familiar face, “Hey, Hoseok.” Seokjin hadn’t even thought about calling him, that’s how absorbed he had been in this predicament, he must have been scared to get a phone call, from who, Seokjin wasn’t sure. It was probably Yoongi, after all he had been doing.

Seokjin feels Yoongi’s hands slip from his, suddenly, as he stands. He doesn’t want Yoongi to go, not at all, but he knows what he’s about to do, “I’ll let you guys have some time in private. I’m going to get some more coffee and make some phone calls.”

Yoongi slips from the door just as Hoseok takes a seat in the place Yoongi had just been, and his heart hurts. Hurts a lot.

Hoseok looks over at Jungkook, his concern high but concealed, “Never thought I’d see this happen.”

Seokjin snorts, because that’s not true, “You know he’d be in here one day.”

“Yeah, I know. How is he?”

“He’s okay now. He might be discharged soon. How did you know where to find us?”

“Oh, I got a call from Yoongi, actually,” Hoseok crosses his legs, leaning back in the chair, speaking casually, “It was pretty unexpected. It was your number, though so he must have called from your phone. He explained everything calmly and told me not to worry and come visit when I was ready.”

Seokjin closes his eyes, reflecting. Yoongi really was a superhero. He wasn’t sure how he could thank him for everything.

Hoseok sighs suddenly, deeply, “Listen, Seokjin, I’m really sorry.”

Seokjin opens his eyes and looks at Hoseok, searching his big brown eyes to find an answer. It’s really odd for him to apologize out of the blue, especially since he just got here, “What for?”

“For not protecting Jungkook more. For ignoring your feelings. Not being around. A lot of things.” Hoseok has been Seokjin’s foundation in stressful environments. He can see parts of Jungkook reflected in Hoseok as well, the fierce protection and loyalty, the strong regret when things go wrong, the attitude of being ready to battle at a moment’s notice if Seokjin were to be hurt. Seokjin appreciates it, but he’s realized that there’s a lot thinking that all three of them need to do—a lot of individualism to figure out.

Looking at Hoseok’s apologetic face, Seokjin nods, “I appreciate that, but there’s nothing to be sorry about. All three of us have been so close that we feel the need to constantly protect each other from bad things, even if they can’t be prevented. But these bad things are experiences that make us grow. If we never experience them then we’ll stay the same way and never become better,” he inhales as he says the words out loud, “personally, I need to let go of Jungkook and let him live his best life without worrying. Both of you need to stop protecting me and let me do things my own way. You need to do the things you say you want to do but never get to them. We all need to grow up a little more.”

Hoseok blinks, eyes wide, surprised at Seokjin’s words, “Sounds like you’ve had some time to think.”

Not too much time to think, per say, but having your mind opened up and analyzed by someone else can make you put things into perspective, “Let’s just say that...Yoongi’s opened my eyes a little.”

Seokjin notes Hoseok’s reaction being not as violent as it was when they first met, which is good, because the hostility is pretty much gone between everyone, “He seems like a nice guy. I’m sorry about that too, not giving him a chance and judging him too quickly.”

“Hey, stop apologizing; you’re still my best friend,” Seokjin offers, thinking dreamily, wishing Yoongi would come back soon, “but yeah, he’s a really nice guy.”

“Too bad you’re getting divorced soon.” Hoseok laughs. He still seems so blasé about this situation, but if there’s one thing Hoseok has always been, is a jokester, trying to make light of situations that are really deep. Sometimes Seokjin is thankful for it, sometimes he isn’t. In this moment, he’s not.

Seokjin’s heart jumps and falls at the word ‘divorce’, knowing that it will be a reality in a few days time, “Yeah.”

Too bad.

 

&&&&&

 

“Yoongi I don’t think you need another one. You haven’t had this many since—”

“Hey, don’t say it. I don’t need to be reminded. Just give me the vodka soda, already.”

Yoongi watches with glassy eyes as Namjoon reluctantly hands him the glass, his saving grace for quieting the thoughts running in his brain. Namjoon’s right though, he hasn’t had this many drinks since Vegas. Since he got dragged to Light. Since the night he married Seokjin. Since, since, since…

Yoongi downs the drink hastily, the vodka not burning his throat as easily as it used to earlier when they first arrived. He’s used to it by now; he’s just had enough to where the room is about to spin, same as his head. Maybe one more and he’ll forget who he is entirely. That sounds good.

A little bit after Hoseok arrived at the hospital, Yoongi had come back briefly to tell Seokjin that he was leaving. When he walked into the room, the nurse had been instructing him on how to use crutches, which meant that he would soon be discharged. It made sense, then, that since Jungkook had company he was familiar with that Yoongi would be better off leaving. Seokjin’s face was heartbreaking, and Yoongi had to remind himself at the foreseeable separation coming up that this was for the best.

“The meeting is on Thursday; 10am at the courthouse.” Seokjin had said, standing in the doorway of Jungkook’s hospital room, leaning against the frame.

“Got it.”

Without another word, Yoongi dismissed himself, walking down the hospital hallway with his head and heart heavy.

He could feel himself clamming up, feel himself solidifying, and knew he had to leave. Besides, Hoseok was there, they were family, and Yoongi had overstayed his welcome anyway.

“Whoa,” Namjoon says now, a hand on Yoongi’s back as he sways back a little farther than intended. Ha, gravity. Funny. “Okay there?”

“Perfect,” Yoongi smiles, his eyes droopy, “peachy. I need another drink.”

“What’s going on, Yoongi?”

Yoongi shrugs, “Nothing. Just had a shit few weeks and needed to unwind, ‘s that okay with you?”

Namjoon frowns, twirling the straw in his first and only rum and coke, “Doesn’t really look like this is unwinding. More like wallowing.”

“Wallowing? ‘M not wallowing. I’m relaxing. Unwinding. I had a long day.”

Yoongi hears Namjoon’s disapproving hum, and he bristles, “Look, you don’t have to be here if you don’t want to, I didn’t ask you to be here—”

“Yes, you did.”

Yoongi sways again, the ground swaying and sparkling in his vision, “Okay, well, you can still go. I’ll...what did you say, wallow? I’ll wallow by myself. Yeah. I’m okay by myself.”

That’s not true.

Yoongi downs the rest of his glass, struggling to force the last bit of vodka onto his tongue despite the cold bite of the ice on his tongue. Any bit counts, to hide the confusion in his heart. He’ll take anything at this point to forget.

“Yoongi, come on.”

Namjoon can be assertive when he needs to be, and when he is, he can be a little scary. Yoongi knows this well, having been on the receiving end of a stern talk or two (or fifty), correcting him on his path of indecision. It’s not like he wanted to be here on a Tuesday night, not after spending a whole day at the hospital with Jungkook and his husb—with Seokjin , but against his better judgement, he wanted to hide now. He had exhausted a part of him he can’t place, and had been reminded of how real his situation is and how close he had gotten to Seokjin in his vulnerability. He had meant every word he had said yesterday, meant every gesture, but realized how deeply he wanted to believe them to be something else other than compassionate. He realized that, despite the circumstance of Jungkook being in the hospital, he wanted to be around Seokjin and help him. He wanted to be what Namjoon was to him. But he didn’t think he could be. It felt false. Fake. Like he was living a lie.

“I don’t know,” Yoongi shrugs now, slumping forward against the bar, “I don’t know what I’m thinking. Too much or too little, no in between. Everything’s fuzzy.”

“But it’s about Seokjin.”

Hearing his name ignites a small spark inside Yoongi’s heart, something exciting and scary at the same time, and he hates how easily it happens, “Yeah, it is.”

“Do you think, possibly, you have feelings for him?”

Yoongi’s reaction was so visceral, so out of control that his hand whacks the empty glass full of ice in front of him, knocking it over the bar’s edge that it tumbling over and shattering onto the floor, breaking the loud commotion of the bar. Namjoon waves around apologizing, and it takes a couple of minutes for things to return to normal, but the buzzing in Yoongi’s ears don’t subside.

“I can’t have feelings for him.”

“Why not?” Namjoon moves his glass closer to his right so Yoongi doesn’t reach for it, which he considered, “It’s plausible.”

“I can’t.” Yoongi needs to preoccupy his hands. He needs to leave. He needs to...to…

“Yoongi,” Namjoon stresses when he notices Yoongi slide off the bar stool ungracefully and stumble towards the bar entrance. He can’t breathe, the air being sucked out of the place, trapping him. He’s in overload mode, everything is spinning and blurry but he needs air.

He tries not to think of the same feeling he had back in Vegas after he met up with Seokjin, the cool air hitting his face, pulling him back to reality. His back scratches against the brick wall as he tries to pull some air into his lungs.

Does he actually like Seokjin? Was that what this all was?

But what else could it be? It wasn’t just being friendly. Helping out Seokjin’s brother and holding Seokjin as he cried and comforting Seokjin when he was upset about his parents and being by Seokjin’s side—was that friendly? Was that more? Yoongi didn’t know anything anymore. He was absolutely confused. He’s confused beyond belief at what was going on in his mind, and on top of it all the entire world is spinning because of his four vodka sodas and the intermittent shots. He doesn’t mean to hide behind alcohol, but it helps blur reality for a little while.

The door swings open a few seconds later, Namjoon walking through slowly as if he didn’t just send Yoongi’s head into a tailspin. Or really, Yoongi did it to himself.

“Answer me truthfully, Yoongi,” Namjoon sighs beside him, leaning against the wall, “would it be so bad to have feelings for him?”

Yoongi knew he had to be honest with Namjoon, his anchor in his hectic life, because if he wasn’t honest with Namjoon then he would never be honest to anyone else.

“No, it wouldn’t. But there’s so many things in the way.”

“Name one.”

“Our marriage?”

Namjoon’s scoff is so condescending and full of disbelief, Yoongi wishes he wasn’t so drunk that he could punch him or something. He hates when Namjoon gets this way. When he gets articulate.

“Has Seokjin actually ever said, out loud, that he doesn’t want to be married?”

That makes Yoongi pause. Out of all the times he’s been with Seokjin, been around Seokjin, spoken with Seokjin—drunk or not—the phrase “I don’t want to be married” or “I want a divorce” had come up between them. Not directly, anyway.

“He keeps bringing up the meeting with the lawyer,” Yoongi says instead, “from the moment we got back from Vegas he told me he’d make a meeting, when he made it, when he rescheduled it. It always comes up. Even at the hospital.”

That part was true. Yoongi had come back from the hospital cafeteria with another cup of coffee for himself, giving Hoseok quality some time with Jungkook and Seokjin, his movements slightly sluggish from lack of proper sleep, and was surprised to see Jungkook actually out of bed, standing on two, well, one foot, balancing on crutches. Seokjin’s smile was elated, watching his brother moving normally instead of being bedridden. Yoongi was happy too, he was, but something had changed in that exact moment. It was no longer about them. Not that Yoongi ever thought it really ever was, because there were so many things between them, but it felt nice to just be the two of them for once, without so many other opinions and voices. They had one quiet moment already on the pier, and Yoongi was grateful for that, because it gave him a look inside Seokjin’s mind, which he was curious about.

And then earlier today, the moment that Seokjin opened up about his parents had solidified something between them, a deep connection that wouldn’t be so easily broken. Yoongi knew that Seokjin’s parents were a sore spot for him and he wouldn’t push him to talk about it until he was ready, and in that moment, Seokjin was ready. And he revealed a piece of his broken heart, and Yoongi felt incredibly sympathetic towards him, wanted to help fix it. The advice he gave to him about Jungkook was genuine, because he himself had spent too much time in his past trying to control everyone and turn them into someone they couldn’t be, just like Seokjin was doing with Jungkook, with Hoseok, with everyone besides himself. He wanted to control other people but himself and lost who he was, and Yoongi knew from experience that it was extremely damaging. He wanted to help fix that.

“He probably thinks you don’t want to be married to him , so he’s trying to make you happy by ending it.”

Yoongi shook his head, pushing away any rational talk. He couldn’t handle this right now, “Namjoon, I’m fucking drunk, I can’t handle this talk right now. Take me home.”

He stayed up late that night, feeling the slow swirl of the room, his heartbeat, the thoughts in his head, all at once. He tried to think of anything other than Seokjin filling the space in his bed beside him, tried to think about anything but the way Seokjin looked disappointed hearing he had to leave the hospital. He was disappointed in himself and the way he handled it. He had clammed up, same as he always does when other people get involved, and the amount he regrets it is so surmountable, he feels it sitting on his chest like a pound of bricks.

He sleeps all day in protest of his heart trying to tell him he might be in love with Seokjin.

 

&&&&&

 

“Jungkook, be careful! Where are your crutches?”

“Relax, relax, I’m just getting some water. I can do it without them.”

Release your fear, don’t control, “Alright,” he says, trying to be nonchalant, “but if you get hurt, I won’t help you.”

Jungkook laughs as he hobbles over to the kitchen, half jumping, half shuffling, but doing it nonetheless, “If I fall just leave me, I’ll get back up. I always have.”

That was an understatement for Jungkook’s entire life, Seokjin had finally realized that. He would get himself back up if he needed to, and he would, whether Seokjin helped or not.

The past few hours have been pretty uneventful for Seokjin, but at the same time he spent most of it thinking about Yoongi, which seems to be happening a lot.

He’s not even sure where he went wrong. One moment, Hoseok had been apologizing about his attitude, the next, the nurse came in and woke Jungkook up again, giving the okay for him to be discharged. He was handed multiple pieces of paper, the paperwork never ending, and Yoongi had come back from his coffee run right as the nurse picked Jungkook up out of the bed to hand him his crutches that he would be using for the next couple of weeks until he would get a boot to walk on. But Yoongi had walked in, seen the progress, and became so far away that Seokjin felt that he was unreachable. Unreadable. Before Seokjin could blink and assess, Yoongi excused himself, saying he had to head home, and barely waited for Seokjin to thank him for everything he had done.

“Hmm,” Hoseok hums beside him on the couch, “normally you’d be fretting all around him.”

Seokjin sighs. He didn’t think Hoseok would notice, but who was he kidding? He knew he had grown too accustomed to taking care of Jungkook that any movement he made was secondary to Jungkook’s, not his own and stopping that would cause someone to have a reaction. But then again, Hoseok has always kept a close eye on Seokjin, from a long time ago.

“I’m trying to let go of control of him, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember. Something Yoongi said. It’s just bizarre to see you so relaxed.”

Seokjin’s heart jumps a little at the mention of Yoongi’s name, as if it hadn’t been long enough that he’d seen him or spoken about him. Something had changed between them with their talk earlier today, something deeper than what they had at the pier, and Seokjin would hold onto it for a while. Though he did keep replaying the last few hours over in his mind, wondering where he had went wrong. He figures Yoongi was just tired, not being in your own bed for a night or two can do a number on someone, especially if they have trouble sleeping. Yoongi had gone above and beyond what Seokjin had thought, as a friend, and as a partner, if that’s what he could even be considered. There was a line between them that Seokjin couldn’t quite understand as to what they could call themselves.

“You seem to be thinking a lot about him.”

Seokjin tenses, “No, I’m not.”

“Yes, you are,” Jungkook shouts from the kitchen.

“Shut up, both of you! He’s just been friendly, helping out when I was out of town.” Seokjin barks in defense. He feels like a cat with his shackles up, exposed.

Jungkook hops, hops, on his good leg back into the main room, “You know that isn’t true.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok joins in, patting Seokjin’s leg condescendingly, “if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you had feelings for him.”

Seokjin tenses some more, his spine and muscles rigid. He feels caught, a giant spotlight covering him.

“I don’t have feelings for him.”

The look on Hoseok’s face was one that Seokjin has seen multiple times—one that clearly says ‘I don’t believe you’. But Seokjin is serious, or at least he thinks he is. There’s no way he can have feelings for Yoongi; he just can’t.

“It wouldn’t be so bad, would it? Be honest.”

It wouldn’t be bad, no. It really wouldn’t. The time they spent talking earlier today was probably the best time they’ve had together, despite the heavy tones. It felt good to get it off of his chest, and Yoongi had been so understanding and sympathetic and kind that it felt really, really good to let go of that burden.

“He doesn’t want to stay married; I’m sure he has a lot of other things to take care of besides be married to me. Besides, we can’t be together, there’s too much between us.”

“You don’t know that for sure, though.”

Seokjin leans back into the couch, trying to relax and quiet his mind, “No, I don’t. But I’m not going to put him through something he doesn’t want to be a part of. That’s not right. I told him this would be a clean break, and I meant it.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes and scoffs exasperatedly, in the tone that Seokjin doesn’t particularly favor, “Has Yoongi ever said that he didn’t want to be married? Like actually said ‘I don’t want to be married’?”

“Not particularly,” Seokjin feels like he needs a big glass of wine, “but he doesn’t have to say it; this is a ridiculous situation. Why would he say that? This happened under the influence, we can’t keep it going; that’s unfair for both of us. That’s why I keep bringing up the meeting with the lawyer as like a reminder that this is going to end soon, that he’ll be free and be able to forget about it.”

“You’re making it seem like he’s a problem for you and you’re pushing him away.”

“How am I pushing him away? I’m trying to fix a problem I created! He knows that. He has to know that. Just…” Seokjin feels his temples start to throb, “let’s stop talking about it, Hoseok, please. You’re stressing me out. We’re ending it tomorrow and that’s it.”

And with that, he stands up and heads to the kitchen, grabbing a whole bottle of red wine from his fridge and no glass. He needs to end this night before he gets too far into his own head.

And the worst part of all of this is that he wishes Yoongi was sharing the bottle with him.

 

&&&&&

 

“Are you sure I need to wear this nice of a suit to meet a divorce lawyer?” Yoongi groans as Jimin tightens the tie already threatening to choke him alive, “This seems like too much.”

Namjoon, from the kitchen table says, “You can’t look like a slob in a courthouse, Yoongi. Seokjin would get everything you have.”

“He doesn’t want everything I have. He said so.”

“It’s not like you have much anyway,” Taehyung speaks up, leaning against the counter and taking a huge bite of an apple he somehow found in Yoongi’s kitchen, “you obliterated your bank account, and I sure as fuck think he wouldn’t want this apartment.”

“This apartment is fine,” Yoongi can hear his heartbeat in his temples, “and I didn’t even invite you here. Can you get the fuck out?”

Taehyung takes another bite, not phased, “I go where Jimin goes.”

“And where I go, Jimin goes.” Namjoon retorts easily.

Yoongi groans again, the movement vibrating against the horsecollar of a shirt he’s wearing. His friends are something special.

Jimin steps back with a satisfied look on his face, “There! All better! I can’t believe you don’t know how to tie a tie.”

Yoongi mumbles, “Sorry I didn’t go to manners school.”

“Well, obviously not,” Jimin rolls his eyes, flourishing his hands onto his hips, “because anyone who went knows it’s called etiquette class. And at this rate, you might need it.”

“I’m not staying married,” Yoongi’s words are firm, even if his heart is not, “This is a separation meeting. I’m not trying to woo Seokjin into staying.”

Taehyung scoffs, taking another big bite, his voice muffled around the apple, “Cause it worked so well the first time. What did you call him the whole night? Adonis? I’m surprised he even fell for that; he’s an idiot.”

Yoongi can take a lot of jokes, and a lot of criticism, but the one thing he won’t let happen is someone badmouth Seokjin, because that’s disrespectful, especially since Taehyung knows nothing about him, “And you fell for a muscle pig who doesn’t even want you. Who’s the bigger idiot here?”

Taehyung squints at Yoongi, his jaw flexing from the force of how tight he holds it. Yoongi notices, and for the first time in a while, regrets something he’s said. He sighs. He knows when he’s overstepped a boundary and isn’t above apologizing.

He turns towards Taehyung, “That was uncalled for, but don’t call Seokjin an idiot. You know nothing about him.”

“And you do? All you two have done is fuck and forget you even fucked in the first place.” Taehyung snarls. Yoongi feels his skin slowly flicker on fire; now he’s getting angry.

And he takes his apology back. If there’s one thing Yoongi is good at, is defending himself. And at this point, he knows the need to defend Seokjin, who isn’t here to do it himself. Seokjin has done nothing wrong.

“I know a lot more than you think, Taehyung, cause that’s what happens when you genuinely get to know someone without wanting to fuck their brains out and never see them again.”

Taehyung barks with laughter, holding his stomach, lip curling, “Dude, do you even hear yourself? You’re going to the courthouse to get divorced! People get divorced because they don’t want to see each other again, and you think I’m the asshole? Get a fucking life.”

“I’m only getting divorced because we got married on the wrong terms, and you’d know that if you didn’t fucking take everything as a fucking joke,” Yoongi spits salaciously, his tongue fire and smoke, “you’re so focused on who your dick is inside that you forget other people and their feelings. Have you asked how I felt about this whole situation? No, because you’ve been eating this all up as if it’s some glorified joke, and I’m the punchline.”

“This is ridiculous,” Taehyung takes off towards the front door, slipping through, and saying, “I’m out of here.” And then he slams the door so hard that the contents inside the refrigerator in the kitchen vibrate.

Yoongi is angry. He’s pissed. This isn’t a foreign feeling—a lot of things make him angry, pretty quickly, which is embarrassing, but to disrespect someone without getting to know them is wrong. He might have done the same thing about Jungkook with his fiery attitude in the beginning, but something about Seokjin’s words the other day reassured him that it wouldn’t happen again. And after everything they went through at the hospital, they definitely aren't strangers anymore. Taehyung had been practically invisible this entire week, so who was he to be judgemental?

But still, his skin bristled having to hear Taehyung talk about Seokjin that way. He’s not really sure why he got so defensive—call it pride or what, but he knew that Seokjin didn’t deserve it. He should have stopped it from day one in Vegas after he got back to his hotel and saw Taehyung a step away from rolling on the floor in maniacal laughter. Nothing about this was funny, but Taehyung always thinks Yoongi’s misfortunes are a joke.

Of course, he’s disappointed that Taehyung acted that way, but he hopes he understands his mistake because Yoongi wasn’t wrong, despite having to raise his voice.

“Thanks for fixing my tie,” Yoongi murmurs softly to Jimin, “I’ll see you guys later.”

And he leaves without another word. He isn’t sure why his apartment is always the place where the rest of his friends commence, but sometimes it doesn’t work, like today. He wanted to get ready in peace, but that didn’t really stop Namjoon from coming over because he liked Yoongi’s apartment view better, and Jimin always goes where Namjoon goes, and wherever Jimin goes, Taehyung goes, etcetera. It’s a little exhausting—maybe he should charge them for rent so he can continue living there without the impending doom of his next payment. Since his money scare, he’s been working nonstop, but it’s still not as much as he thought. He’s close to his rent pay day and he doesn’t have nearly enough as he expected.

He shakes his head. He doesn’t have time to think about that. He needs to think clearly about what he was going to discuss at the meeting.

And he has no clue what he wants to talk about. He’s not even sure what he wants, period. He’s still confused after all that happened at the hospital the other day. He hopes that the lawyer will understand their predicament and give them all their options without just saying flat out that they were idiots for getting married in the first place.

He makes it to the courthouse with a few minutes to spare, and tries not to feel jealous of the cab driver being able to leave quickly. He grows a little more anxious with every step forward, but he knows Seokjin is waiting somewhere inside.

Speak of the devil—Yoongi’s only ever seen him in his maroon suit from the day at the pier, but today he’s traded that for a simple blue suit, which makes him look severely elegant. A simple black tie colors his chest, similar to Yoongi’s. He wonders if Seokjin tied it himself.

“Hey,” Seokjin looks to breathe a little easier when he makes eye contact with Yoongi, “you came.”

Yoongi nods, breathing deeply, “Of course. Let’s get this over quickly, shall we?”

Seokjin looks apprehensive, and a tad bit afraid, for what, he’s not sure. Yoong is wondering what happened to the sure fire, quick wit Seokjin, and what happened within a day to turn him fearful.

They locate their respective meeting room, and Yoongi breathes a sigh when he realizes it’s not like a civil courtroom with a judge, but instead it’s a simple conference room. Yoongi shakes hands with a man probably in his mid-50’s and an easy smile.

“So,” he says once they settle down into their respective seats, the lawyer, David, he learned,  opening a notebook in front of him and adjusting his glasses, “what brings you two in today?”

There’s a brief bit of silence, neither one of them knowing how to start this conversation even though it’s been a few days in the making. Seokjin clears his throat, “Well me and my hu—I mean, Yoongi and I, we, um…we got married under the influence in Las Vegas and we were wondering what our options were in terms of moving forward. We were both consenting at the time, even,” Seokjin scoffs, laughing a little, “I don’t know how to say this without it sounding bad, but we were both consenting to it even though we were drunk; I didn’t force him into anything, and neither him to me.”

The look on David’s face is not sympathy, or concern, but shows strict professionalism, which makes Yoongi a little on edge, “I see. You two wish to be separated?”

Yoongi doesn’t answer, but Seokjin says carefully, “We both have…conflicting aspects of our lives that aren’t meshing too well, and we feel that it would be better to separate. It would be fair, rather, to be separated.” Yoongi wishes he was giving more input and not leaving it all on Seokjin’s shoulders, but his tie is suffocating him.  

David sighs, “It is definitely a shame when a couple has chosen to separate, especially you two. Just from my personal, professional opinion, I’ve witnessed a lot of nasty battles in this room alone, but you two are probably the most civil clients I’ve worked with. If I didn’t know any better I’d say you two really were in love with each other.”

Yoongi feels like he’s swallowed a boulder and it’s scratching and clawing its way down into the pit of his stomach. He tries to school his features in the face of fear, and explains slowly, “We…we’re practically strangers. We didn’t know each other beforehand, so it wasn’t planned. I don’t know anything much him.”

Lie. You know a lot, and a lot of it you like.

Seokjin’s face looks pained, and for what, Yoongi isn’t sure, as he continues, “We both met each other the night we got married. I was forward with him and he suggested that we get married because he thought at the time it would be fun, but I went along with it because I thought at the time that there was no way that it was real, but…yeah. Turns out it’s legitimate.”

They both watch David scribble some words with an ink pen onto his notebook, nodding, “It’s a tricky situation because Nevada has no wait time for acquiring marriage licenses, so it’s only natural that the chapels in Las Vegas would take advantage of this aspect,” he takes a deep breath, and looks both of them square in the eye, “there are a few options you can consider. You can both agree to have a no-fault divorce, which is an amicable separation between both parties involved, or you can have the marriage annulled, which basically means that the marriage will be erased, as if it didn’t happen.”

Seokjin looks over at Yoongi, and Yoongi looks at Seokjin. There’s something tearing at his heart, he’s really not sure what it is, but he swallows it deep down, down and away, and watches the past few weeks erase like an old film reel, “I think…we just want to pretend this never happened.”

You fucking liar.

Yoongi sees Seokjin’s adam’s apple bob as he swallows nervously, nodding, “That sounds fair.” He sees pain in his eyes. He sees despair. He knows, because he knows his show the same thing. He can’t stop it. This is how it has to end. This has been haunting them for a long time now and it should have been done day one of them coming home.

David scribbles some more, and it’s driving Yoongi crazy how unfazed he is, at this, at how unperturbed he is, “Well, if that’s the case, I have the correct paperwork here,” he lifts his notebook and Yoongi swears he had this decided from the beginning of this meeting, swears he’s losing oxygen as he slides the paper across to Seokjin. He takes his pen and points to a line of text on the paper, “This paragraph states your mutual agreement on the annulment of the marriage, and that both parties involved participated in this decision, and here,” he moves the pen, “this states that both parties want no ill will against each other, nor want to bring this into the court system.”

Don’t do it.

“And lastly, two signature lines stating that both agreeing to the terms of this not going on eithers persons permanent records, legally separating both parties involved as civilized as possible.”  

Don’t fucking do it.

David hands over the pen to Seokjin, and Yoongi swears he can see Seokjin’s hand shaking. He wishes he could see the wedding band on his hand one more time, before it all ends. His hands are so beautiful. He wishes he could hold them. He wills himself to look at Seokjin’s face, and he wishes he didn’t. He sees turmoil, loss, and a sadness so strong that he feels his heart now ripping in two. He suddenly can’t breathe, he can’t—

Don’t—

“I can’t.”

Yoongi’s chest heaves with his shallow breathing, and he looks at Seokjin, looks at the man he’s spent the past two weeks thinking about, “I can’t. I don’t…” He squeezes his eyes, willing and hoping that he really wouldn’t cry at this point, but he is, and he can’t stop his eyes from burning, “I don’t want to sign it.”

Seokjin’s eyes are glistening as well, but he’s confused, “Why not?”

David says sternly, “Fighting only makes it worse, Mr. Min.”

Yoongi is drowning alive. He’s drowning, and the only way he can breathe, the only reason for moving forward, is sitting right next to him, not in front of him on that paper, “I don’t want to sign it, because I don’t want to lose Seokjin. I-I’m not really sure what I’m saying or what I’m really thinking, this whole thing is crazy and it makes no sense,” Yoongi presses his hands to his eyes, trying to ease the burning feeling, but when he moves them away all he sees is Seokjin, and it’s all so clear to him, now, in this exact moment. He knows. He knows. Signing that paper won’t solve anything. Leaving Seokjin won’t make any sense. It’ll make it worse. Maybe the universe helped kick him in the ass, telling him that sometimes the best decisions are made without thinking, and this is by far the best thing—Seokjin is the best thing.

Yoongi is breathless, “I don’t want this to end. I know it’s probably the most ridiculous thing ever, and I know it’s only been a little over two weeks, but you’re filling in pieces of me that no one else has. I’ve been ignoring it for a long time, trying to fight it because it seems impossible. For the first time in a long time I’m scared to lose someone, and this isn’t the way to fix it, to fix what we have. And what we have isn’t really broken.”

“You,” Seokjin chokes, “you want to stay married?”

Yoongi can feel his chest clearing now, hearing those words, “I’ve been lying to myself for a long time since we first met, but I think I’m…I think I’m falling for you, and I don’t want, I can’t—”

Seokjin reaches out to grip Yoongi’s hands, sincerely looking at him, the real him, like he has all along. His whole being is beating in tandem with his heart, but he knows this is what he’s been holding back. Somewhere along the way, he dreaded the moment when they finally got home, cause it meant being away from Seokjin. Seokjin, who, despite everything, has kept him sane amidst all hell, has made him laugh, and made him believe that he is worthy of good things, instead of bad, and has filled every part of him with light. He doesn’t want to be dark again. He doesn’t want to lose himself in monotony.

He wants Seokjin, and he wants to live life with Seokjin, however it happens. It’s totally backwards, he knows, but something happened between them that he can’t explain. His heart is beating like crazy, but he’s sure. When he puts his mind to something he believes in, he’s stubborn, and this, he’s sure. And he’s not about to give up now, not after everything. Their marriage has been unique—a special bond between them making them grow closer emotionally and physically. Even though it was daunting, it was something Yoongi didn’t want to erase.

Seokjin chokes now, his hands tight on Yoongi’s, “I felt it that morning at the hospital. I felt like,” he puts a hand to his chest, “I felt like I could breathe easier being with you. And yes, it’s only been like two weeks but that’s just the thing; we found each other somehow and I don’t, I don’t want it to end either. I think us getting married was the best decision and we made it seem like a bad decision. It wasn’t.” Seokjin then looks at David, the pen, the paper lying lifelessly without a signature, and suddenly laughs. It starts small, but then grows into something happy and mystical, that it fills Yoongi’s heart with something foreign and sweet. “This is so crazy, Yoongi.”

His name. His name from Seokjin’s mouth is and always has been his favorite thing, and he wants more. He wants it all. With Seokjin. However it comes, he wants it. He doesn’t know why he fought it for so long, but he knew he was falling for Seokjin even if he tried to fight it. It was the fact that they were married scared him into thinking that he wasn’t allowed to have feelings, when that wasn’t possible. It was just like dating; they just had a piece of paper between them.

Yoongi, for the first time today, smiles, pure and genuine, and happy, “I know.”

“I’m sorry, David,” Seokjin shakes his head, mystified, as if Yoongi has been an apparition and this whole time, appeared real to him in this moment, “It looks like we won’t be needing your services today.”

And with that, they leave.

Seokjin takes Yoongi’s hand and they run, straight out of the courthouse, into the sun, into the world that moves on without them, the world that stops whenever they’re with each other. Seokjin doesn’t let go of Yoongi’s hand the whole time. He never wants to let go. Never again.

“We must be idiots,” Yoongi says, taking a deep breath, the fresh air baptizing him into someone brand new. Someone worthy. He doesn’t think about the things he’s done in the past, he only thinks about what his future will hold, and how this is probably the most bizarre thing, and he can’t explain it, but he doesn’t want to. There’s an eerie sense of peace settling in his heart. He’s made the right decision, and he finally can relax now.

“We’re giant idiots,” Seokjin agrees.

“But are we wrong?”

Seokjin does what Yoongi wanted to see most today, he smiles beautifully, and says, “I don’t think so. We just skipped the dating step and went straight to marriage. But I think…I think that it doesn’t matter. We can still be together despite having a marriage license,” he takes a deep breath and turns to face Yoongi, “it’s been a whirlwind of a few days, and I can’t thank you enough for what you did for Jungkook and I, respectively, but I definitely don’t want to give this up either. It’s the weirdest thing, but I couldn’t stop thinking about you when we got back. I couldn’t stop thinking about you whenever you were gone.”

“I couldn’t, either.” Yoongi admits. It is true. Every hour he spent awake was thinking about Seokjin—what he was doing, what he was going to do, what they were going to do, and ultimately when he’d see him next. Despite every other inner turmoil going on in his brain, every anxiety he fought, there was always one thing he was sure of, and it was that he didn’t want to lose Seokjin. Yoongi was not usually an impulsive man, but seeing that piece of paper having the capability of taking away the one thing that made him want to be better, to have a future, scared the shit out of him. He had to do something or regret it.

“I didn’t know you were such a sap, Min Yoongi,” Seokjin teases, stepping closer. His eyes glitter softly in the sunlight.

Yoongi shrugs, “It’s been bottling up and kind of just…spilled out of me.” He takes a step forward, too. The gap between them closes. The distance no longer a factor. This is no longer a dream. They’re staying together, married.

“This is so crazy,” Seokjin whispers as his hands make their way up to delicately cradle Yoongi’s face, “this is the legitimate craziest thing I’ve done but—”

“I know,” Yoongi finishes Seokjin’s sentence, the statement as sure as his heartbeat, “I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else, either.”

“We must be idiots.” Seokjin echos Yoongi’s statement, this time softly, leaning in. 

Yoongi replies in the simplest tone, “But we’ll be idiots, together.”

Seokjin’s lips taste like peppermint, laughter, and their wide open future.

Chapter Text

“You sure you got it? It’s really heavy.”

Yoongi grunts, adjusting his grip on the box, “I’m perfectly capable of moving boxes, Seokjin, thanks for the vote of confidence.”

Seokjin giggles as he reaches out regardless and helps relieve some of the weight from the box, helping Yoongi out despite his grumpy ‘I can do it myself’ attitude. Seokjin knows Yoongi can do it, but he prides himself on doing tasks he’s not 100% he can do, case in point, carry heavy boxes and acting mucho. Seokjin takes a quick glance at the tape adorning the box and sees “KITCHEN” in large chicken scratch letters. Yoongi’s handwriting is cute.

“What else did you bring from your kitchen? I thought you said you sold your furniture with the apartment.”

Together they wobble further into Seokjin’s apartment, maneuvering around open boxes and furniture, “This probably has some other appliances and my coffee machine; that thing is expensive, so be careful.”

“I got it, butterfingers.”

“Hey! That wasn’t my fault!”

Seokjin chuckles, bending over to place the box on the floor in tandem with Yoongi, bending back up and putting his hands on his hips, his tone sarcastic, “Yeah, so your box of glassware and just pulverized into dust on it’s own?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes and takes a deep breath, slightly exasperated from the walk over with his things, “I wasn’t too attached to them anyway.”

“You’ll like mine, anyway. Yours were mismatched. Typical bachelor attitude.” Seokjin moves gracefully across the threshold of his apartment, looking like a king in his castle, and reaches out a hand to gently cup Yoongi’s cheek, saying, “But a bachelor, no more.”

“I will be if you keep teasing me.” Yoongi’s gaze is steel, but there’s absolutely no fire behind his voice. Not a drop. Not after everything they’ve been through.

It’s been three weeks since the meeting with the lawyer where they both revealed that they wanted to stay married, and things escalated just a little bit. Big decisions were made, the most important being Yoongi making the decision to move into Seokjin’s apartment and selling his own apartment, relieving some financial stress on him from his stint in Vegas gambling his money away. He was still at his same job, but now that he and Seokjin figured out his living situation, he had started to look elsewhere for jobs. Seokjin hoped he would be fruitful. For himself, he was garnering more and more on field experience and loving the time he spent on camera and felt proud of his improvement and hoped he would continue on this path, only moving forward.

Turns out that being married you get a lot more benefits than a piece of paper—financial and insurance wise. Yoongi was a little intimidated selling his place, rightfully so; it was the place he lived in for a long time, almost 10 years. But it wouldn’t make any sense to keep his apartment and have to overwork himself to pay rent when Seokjin had a free room.

The free room was a recent venture. Jungkook had replaced his crutches for a boot just a few days ago, and that’s when he hit Seokjin with the bombshell of going back to school. It wasn’t a secret that he had been taking a break, unsure about his direction, but he told Seokjin one night after he had a lot of time to think with the downtime of nursing his broken leg.

To say that Seokjin was stunned was an understatement. He was proud and overwhelmed; part of him really knew Jungkook would succeed in anything he would put his mind too, and he just needed some direction. Jungkook said he would start the upcoming semester next month, and was unsure about if he wanted to live on campus, to which Seokjin pushed him towards. He needed his freedom, and Seokjin was making moves every day to let Jungkook be. Jungkook was definitely stunned, but elated. He started packing right away.

But in reality, Seokjin didn’t need the extra room because Yoongi moved all his necessary stuff into his room, knowing that it was necessary and right. They shared so much lately that it was only right that they share a room. Plus, Seokjin had found that having someone else in his bed was amazing and comforting and didn’t want it to be empty again. Ever again.

Fast forward to now, where Yoongi walks through the door hauling in another one of his boxes he had spent a few days packing up. He sold most of his furniture with the apartment, feeling no real attachment to any of the pieces, and knowing he wouldn’t need them with Seokjin’s things around. Seokjin has been giddy all day, nearly skipping up and down the floors to help unload the boxes from Fanta that sat downstairs on the curb.

“You didn’t want to divorce me then,” Seokjin muses, other hand cupping the other man’s face now, pressing together so Yoongi’s lips formed a pucker. His lips are so cute , Seokjin muses inwardly, as he says, “you couldn’t live without me, so you wouldn’t start now.”

Yoongi’s eyes narrow, and Seokjin can’t help but laugh at how non-threatening he looks, “Don’t push it, Min Seokjin.”

Min Seokjin . That doesn’t get old, even if it only has been a couple of weeks. He liked being a Min. He was closer to Yoongi in more ways he could only imagine. Yoongi knows Seokjin likes being called that, judging by the way he smiles victoriously when Seokjin’s face lights up.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Min Yoongi.” Seokjin pulls Yoongi closer, smiling wider when he feels Yoongi’s strong hands connect to his waist, holding him as if he’s a sacred treasure. Seokjin loves this position, loves being close to Yoongi at any given moment—he really can’t get enough of him. He won’t ever get enough of him.

Lowering his head, Seokjin watches his husband’s eyes flick to his eyes, to his lips, and then flutter closed in anticipation—

“Alright, alright, come on, we have young kids here!”

Seokjin jumps back, eyes blinking out of a haze, and he sighs deeply out of being robbed a chance to kiss Yoongi, “Hoseok, you’re the childish one of us all.”

Huffing heavily, Hoseok softly places a small box on top of a growing pile, dramatically cocking his head, “Lest you forget our dearest baby Jungkookie.”

“I’m not a baby, I’m twenty one, dipshit,” Jungkook laughs, hobbling in with a box perched on his shoulder. He acts as if the boot is a complete nuisance to him; he acts like it isn’t even there. Whatever is in that box, he carries with utmost ease.

Hoseok crosses his hands on his chest and frowns, “Still a child.”

“I think Taehyung is the child, really,” Jungkook deflects, “he saw a dog just now and fell onto the gravel baby talking it to death.”

“I agree, sounds like Taehyung,” Yoongi adds.

“I’m only two years older than you, Jungkook!” Taehyung waltzes in with two pizza boxes tucked under his arm, “And that dog was fucking adorable. The next one who insults me doesn’t get any pizza.” The look on Jungkook’s face is pure entertainment, bunny teeth on full display. Taehyung plucks at Jungkook’s shirt as he passes by, causing him to laugh loudly and try to pull back at him.

“Where’s Namjoon and Jimin?” Seokjin asks. He lets go of Yoongi’s face, but Yoongi doesn’t particularly let go of him, which he loves. In fact he pulls him to his side and wraps his arm further around his waist. Seokjin leans against his familiar weight, sliding his own arm over Yoongi’s shoulders.

Hoseok plucks himself down on the couch, “Ah, the parking meter ran out so they’re refilling it,” He kicks his feet up on the coffee table for an added annoyance factor, which he knows Seokjin doesn’t particularly like.

Things between the seven of them have been unexpectedly peaceful; amazing, even. Yoongi had confessed about a week ago that he and Taehyung have a history of not connecting and that sometimes they fight and hurt each other deeply, but lately things have calmed down. Seokjin made him sit down with Taehyung and got to the bottom of their animosity, and it turns out that Taehyung was jealous that Yoongi had gotten married before him. It was probably the most shocking thing Yoongi had heard, but understandable. Yoongi hadn’t thought he’d get married at 25 either, but sometimes life is a funny thing. It was a miracle that Seokjin didn’t make them hold hands.

Since then, they’ve been better at communicating. In doing so, he’s caught Jungkook’s attention again, something different than when they first met. Taehyung even bought Jungkook flowers the day he got his boot, getting rid of the crutches. Jungkook was beyond shock, the gesture completely unexpected. Since then things have been really calm.

“Well the plates are in the cupboard, you all know where. You can’t use Yoongi’s plates cause they’re in a box in pieces when he dropped them earlier.”

Yoongi’s hand tightened on his waist, pulling him closer and /making him laugh. He knows Yoongi reacts funnily when teased. It’s cute.

“Hey, come with me for a second, I have something for you.” Yoongi taps his hip, then walks in the direction of their, now, shared bedroom. Seokjin is beyond perplexed, and a little antsy knowing there’s so much to unpack, but he tells himself to calm down and listen to what Yoongi has to say.

Yoongi scrounges through one of the boxes, arms moving around frantically, mumbling to himself as he searches until he says triumphantly, “Ah-ha! Gotcha!”

And pulls out a black sock.

“Oh,” Seokjin says with a bit of confusion, “if you need to do laundry, I can show you the machine; it’s kind of fickle for first timers.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, laughing. He sticks his hand into the sock, and at this point Seokjin is just plain confused. This is the oddest thing Yoongi’s probably done, or the strangest thing he’s seen, period. He doesn’t miss Yoongi’s confidence, though, which is charming.

Until Yoongi pulls out a black box. And suddenly things aren’t as strange.

Holding his breath, Seokjin watches Yoongi fiddle with the black box until he opens it, turning it around and displaying not only one, but two shiny platinum rings nestled in beautiful blue velvet lining.

“Oh!” Seokjin exclaims this time, “Yoongi, they’re beautiful!”

The blush on Yoongi’s face is downright adorable, and he scratches the back of his head nervously, biting his lip as well, “Ah, well, I had some of money leftover from selling the apartment, and I realized that there was one thing missing between us, and those were legitimate wedding bands. They’re both the same. And I know you wore your other one for a while but I wanted to get some that matched and not from some random pick of the litter box that they gave us at the chapel. I, ah, I hope you like it. Like them.”

Seokjin can feel his heart growing at least seven sizes bigger than normal, the action completely endearing and adorable to him. This really was the last thing he expected Yoongi to do, but then again Yoongi has constantly kept him in suspense, surprising him here and there with small actions.

“You know what this means, don’t you?” Seokjin whispers excitedly as if this is suddenly a big secret.

Yoongi’s brows furrow, “What?”

“You have to get on one knee!”

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Yoongi groans, rolling his neck, “we’re already married!”

Seokjin decides to play the best trick in his arsenal, his biggest and best pout that turns every man into stuttering goo, “But you didn’t do it the first time.”

“You forget it was your idea to get married.”

Right, that part is true.

“Okay, well,” Seokjin takes the black box from Yoongi’s hand. It’s warm to the touch, and he slips one finger onto his left hand, and then lowers gracefully onto his knee, watching Yoongi closely as his blush escalates.

“Seokjin—”

“Min Yoongi,” Seokjin declares in a grand voice, flourished with a wide sweep of his arm like a townsperson bowing before his prince, “my dearest, beautiful husband: will you stay married to me for a long time? Or at least until Elvis comes back from the dead?”

Yoongi bursts into a hearty laughter, the kind that you can’t hold back. His smile is one of Seokjin’s favorite things about him, and his teeth are in full display, gums and all.

“You’re absolutely ridiculous,” he says, giggling and bashful, “just give me the ring already.” he reaches for the ring that Seokjin is holding, but Seokjin pulls it back with an undignified yelp.

“You better say yes or I’m not gonna kiss you.”

Yoongi holds his hand out for Seokjin to take, his face blushing fiercely and showing nothing but love and adoration, “Sadly, Elvis isn’t coming back, so I willingly accept. Yes, I’ll stay married to you.”

Seokjin believes that it can’t get any better than this, that he can’t get any happier than this, but Yoongi’s smile as he slides the metal ring onto his left hand is so breathtaking that he wants to freeze time forever and live in this moment. The ring that mirrors Yoongi’s own feels like it’s been there forever, and it will be there forever, he realizes, as he stands up and kisses Yoongi with unbridled passion.

“Hey lovebirds! The pizza is getting cold!”

Yoongi quickly kisses Seokjin one more time and then intertwines their hands together, pulling him towards the new living room where both pizza boxes were spread out on the coffee table, beer bottles littered in between.

Grabbing a piece of pizza, Seokjin frowns, “Really, where are Jimin and Namjoon? It can’t take that long to—”

Just then, the apartment door flies open, the force behind it so strong the doorknob nearly smacks a hole into the wall, and Jimin strolls into the room looking like he didn’t just give everyone a heart attack. Namjoon walks in slowly behind him, closing the door delicately and follows Jimin’s footsteps.

“Speak of the devils,” Taehyung says around a mouthful of cheese pizza, “did you two get lost?”

Jimin ignores the comment and saunters around the apartment until he’s standing in front of everyone near the television, like a conductor about to commadere a sixty piece orchestra. Yoongi looks at Seokjin quickly, confused, and Seokjin looks back. Namjoon saddles up beside him, clapping his hands together. He looks confident.

Yoongi immediately stiffens besides Seokjin, saying sternly, “Namjoon.”

“I haven’t even said anything yet!”

Yoongi throws his half eaten pizza back into the opened box in front of him, pointing a finger at Namjoon, “We’re not doing this again, stop—”

“But—”

“Namjoon proposed!” Jimin squeals, loud and clear, jumping up and down before exposing his left hand where the shiny golden band that glints under the lights. His smile is glistening.

The apartment is full of commotion all at once: Taehyung shouting in surprise, Hoseok hopping up and down frantically, and Yoongi, unmoving. He must be in shock, Seokjin thinks, amused, as he pulls the couple into a tight embrace, ogling over Jimin’s ring and then patting Namjoon on the back. When the chaos subsides, Yoongi is still looking at them, searching for something.

And that’s when Namjoon says proudly: “And we’re going to Vegas to get married!”