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Petals and Ink

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Jimin slowly becomes aware of the warmth in his bed; of the softness of the blankets he’s wrapped up in; the air that is crisp and white while he’s snuggled up and cozy.

And not alone.

Someone’s hair tickles his chin, the touch of bare skin against his own… Jimin opens his eyes to his bedroom, hushed and dimmed on a winter morning hidden by the blinds.

He smiles, because Yoongi’s head is on his chest; Yoongi’s tattooed arm is over his torso. Their legs are tangled under the covers and maybe Yoongi is snoring a bit. Maybe Jimin is smitten.

He doesn’t bother getting up or moving, save for the raise of his hand to gently card his fingers through Yoongi’s dark hair. Yoongi lets out an unintelligible murmur.

His tattoos are calm - breathing, but otherwise still. With his other hand Jimin traces the shapes over the forearm; the piano keys, the lines of Pip’s star-shaped flowers… a new quote.

Start at the beginning.

Jimin isn’t sure how it’s possible to feel so content, so blissful as he does at this moment.

Then Yoongi hums, that low, gravelly drawl he has in the mornings, and rubs his face into Jimin’s chest, like a cat. Still the cutest.

“‘Morning,” Jimin says.

Yoongi hums again, smacks his lips and returns to resting on Jimin, firmly nestled into Jimin’s side.

“You’re cute,” Jimin doesn’t resist saying.

Now the sound is more of a grunt, but it’s only token protest; Jimin knows Yoongi actually likes being called cute. And sweet. And cuddly. But only in private.

They lie in peaceful silence for a moment longer, when Yoongi breaks it with,

“How’s your ass?”

Jimin giggles. “Ever the romantic. It’s-” He shifts a little, feeling the tightness and only slight discomfort. “-sore.”

“Sorry.”

“No, no, it’s…”

Last night, it was slow and molten hot; buried in blankets, exploring each other, tasting each other; Yoongi’s tongue on Jimin’s skin, Yoongi’s fingers inside of him, his mouth on Jimin’s cock; and then Yoongi - Yoongi so gentle and so careful, whispering sweet nothings and dirty somethings, making Jimin gasp and writhe and shiver underneath him.

“It was perfect,” Jimin says, getting aroused by the sheer memory of it. He can’t wait to make love to Yoongi again.

“Hmmmmmm,” Yoongi lets out agreeably, and nuzzles into Jimin; kisses his warm skin, moves up to the collarbone, to the small, delicate line of ink looping onto itself; a flower, etched into Jimin’s skin. Thin, thin, as if drawn by a quill, barely a few centimeters across. Yoongi kisses the open petals, and Jimin laughs as they tickle - the tickling means the flower is unfolding, its thin line stretching out to form words instead of the shape:

my beginning.

A handwriting that looks a lot like Yoongi’s.

Yoongi kisses up, up, nips at the skin over Jimin’s pulse point, and Jimin hums, sneaks his arms around Yoongi’s shoulders. Welcomes him.

“G’morning,” Yoongi grumbles, slowly stroking Jimin’s side; from his bare hip all the way to his chest, Yoongi’s fingers leaving goosebumps in their wake. “Hungry?”

“For more cuddling? Always.”

Yoongi smiles, then settles back on top, his face in the crook of Jimin’s neck. “Brat.”

“I see you’re firmly against the cuddling then,” Jimin teases as Yoongi practically wraps himself around him again.

“Shut up.”

Jimin laughs, and they stay like that for a while more. Minutes, minutes, Jimin wants it to be hours; wants to stay naked in bed with Yoongi for the whole day if possible. And Yoongi must share the sentiment, because he breathes evenly, continues to caress Jimin’s side, and occasionally plants a dry kiss where he can reach.

Suddenly, the serenity is broken by distinct sounds of a key turned in a lock, of a door opening.

Yoongi tenses. “Uh. Who has the keys to your apartment?”

“Everyone?” Jimin says at the same time that Taehyung’s voice booms down the hallway,

“WE’RE GIVING YOU 30 SECONDS TO STOP WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU’RE DOING AND GET DRESSED!”

“Are you fucking kidding me,” Yoongi mutters, sinking into the bed as Jimin bursts out laughing. At least they weren’t in the middle of actual sex.

“30, 29, 28, 27…”

“Why,” Yoongi asks no one in particular, reluctantly letting Jimin slip out from under the covers. “Why are they our friends. Why can’t we get new ones. Why do we need friends at all.”

“...20, 19, 18…”

“Can’t we have one, single, moment of peac-” Having pulled on his own boxers, Jimin smacks Yoongi’s over his face, shutting him up.

“...11, 10, 9…”

Yoongi pulls his underwear on without getting out of bed, and now that they’re decent, Jimin dives back under the blankets in search for more of that morning warmth, of Yoongi’s body heat.

“I hate them,” Yoongi reaffirms for good measure, and Jimin laughs again.

“...2, 1, READY OR NOT HERE WE COME AND WE HOPE ALL PENISES HAVE BEEN PUT AWAY!”

Jimin lets out a cackle, and then Taehyung and Jungkook come into view, smiling. Taehyung has an old-fashioned analogue camera in hand, and he brings it up, focuses the image, and snaps a picture of Jimin and Yoongi in the bed. Yoongi holds up a middle finger, one arm still around Jimin, and Taehyung takes a picture of that, too.

Then he sets his camera down on the nightstand and both he and Jungkook climb onto the bed. There’s commotion and shifting around and an ow! from Yoongi as Jungkook jams an elbow into his side by accident, and then they arrange themselves like sardines - Taehyung by the edge of the bed, over the covers, Jimin between him and Jungkook, under the covers, Jungkook over the covers as well, and then Yoongi on the other end, half his body hanging off.

“I didn’t sign up for this,” Yoongi mutters, yanking as much of his pillow from under Jungkook’s head as he can. “I don’t remember getting two kids who come in unannounced and get into our bed and steal our pillows. ” He pulls, but Jungkook pulls back, and Yoongi is left to lie on a flat mattress.

“You wouldn’t be able to live without us,” Taehyung says as he drapes himself over Jimin and buries his cold nose into Jimin’s neck, making him shiver.

“Also, kids? ” Jungkook raises an eyebrow in Yoongi’s direction. “Hyung, I can literally bench press you.”

“Oooooh, let’s watch that again!” Jimin exclaimes and makes a grabby hand toward the nightstand, from where Taehyung fetches his phone. Jimin scrolls through his camera roll to find the video of Jungkook bench pressing Yoongi.

“Thank you for this, by the way,” Yoongi says, sounding resigned. “Love getting our lazy Saturday mornings interrupted. Love having two more bodies in the bed. Love it.”

Ignoring him, the other three comfortably settle on their backs, and Jimin plays the video, which starts with Yoongi’s tinny voice going, Absolutely not. but ends in Jungkook lifting him up overhead as though he weighs less than a loaf of bread.

“He took it so seriously though,” Taehyung says, making Jimin laugh. “It’s not easy to pretend to be a weight bar, believe me, I’ve tried. You have to tighten all your muscles, and keep perfectly still.”

“I don’t like half-assing things,” Yoongi mutters, his head now leaning on Jungkook’s on the shared pillow so he can also watch the video.

“You did a great job, hyung,” Jungkook says. “In fact, we could totally do it again, because I’ve been working out more and I think-”

“-not a fucking chance-”

But before Yoongi can interrupt Jungkook, he gets interrupted himself, by the door opening again. A familiar voice hums and sings as the person is presumably taking off their shoes and whatever outerwear they had on, “Beach day, beach day, it’s beach day today! Beach day~” Then the voice pauses and calls out,

“Yoohoo! You guys up? Tae and Jungkookie said we’re meeting here, so, uh, if you’re… doing things, sorry to say that you should probably wrap them up because-”

“We’re in here!” Taehyung shouts, much to Yoongi’s dismay.

“Awesome, yes, let’s invite more people, why the fuck not.”

Hoseok is already grinning ear to ear when he appears in the doorway.

“A cuddle pile!” he exclaims, then puts his palms together as though he’s about to dive in.

“Don’t you dare-” Yoongi starts, but Hoseok already lunges and falls into bed over the four of them, with Jungkook and Taehyung shrieking out and Jimin’s breath getting knocked out of him from the added weight. Hoseok is lean, but surprisingly heavy.

“What are we watching?” he asks, craning his neck to fit between Jimin and Taehyung and see what’s on Jimin’s phone.

“We started with the one where Kookie lifts Yoongi-hyung, but now we’re at the one where Jin-hyung is twirling him at the airport.”

“Ooooooh, my favorite!” Hoseok says and wiggles in, and Jimin presses play.

In this clip, Seokjin is mock running towards them, having just landed from France for good. He’s dragging his suitcase behind him, which he then abandons in the middle of the busy airport, bypasses Namjoon and Hoseok who wanted to hug him, and goes straight for Yoongi, picking him up and twirling him around. Jimin’s recorded laughter is resounding, the camera shaking with it, and Yoongi can be heard, -right this fucking second, hyung, I’m not kidding around.

In the bed, everyone except Yoongi bursts into giggles. Jimin is already replaying the video when Yoongi groans, throws off what little of the blanket was covering him and heads out of the room in his underwear.

“Wait, no!” Jimin exclaims through his laughter. “Yoongi-yah, we love you!”

“Yes, hyung, we love you so much!” Taehyung adds.

“Not our fault you’re so… easy to manhandle,” Jungkook says.

“We promise to watch my embarrassing videos next!” Hoseok offers, but Yoongi only waves them off.

“I’m making breakfast and all you idiots better be hungry."

 


 

Yoongi has become an expert in cooking with Jimin attached to his back. 

The others are scattered around Jimin’s apartment, playing games on their phones, making loud noises, Taehyung gone to get bagels from Kim’s bakery, and Jimin… Well, Jimin can’t resist Yoongi in only an apron and boxers, making delicious food for everyone.

Jimin had put on sweatpants and a random t-shirt that he’s pretty sure is Yoongi’s when they all piled out of the bedroom, and now he has his arms wrapped around Yoongi’s middle from behind, his chin resting on Yoongi’s shoulder. They easily move around the kitchen together; an act they’ve done a thousand times before. Jimin will never get tired of admiring Yoongi at the stove.

“-should make sandwiches for the trip,” Yoongi says.

“I could help,” Jimin says, not lifting his chin.

“For the mountain picnic, you and Kookie ate half of the ingredients before they even went into the sandwiches. So no thanks.”

Jimin snorts, and presses a kiss to Yoongi’s bare shoulder. In tandem, they step to the side so Yoongi can take the rice off the burner and put on a frying pan for eggs.

“I’ll be good this time,” Jimin says.

“Hm. Like you were good last night?” Yoongi muses, cracking the first egg, and Jimin’s cheeks instantly heat up.

“Hyung, oh my god.” He glances into the living room, but Jungkook and Hoseok aren’t paying attention to them, talking amongst themselves and comparing results on a game level, it seems.

Then Jimin brings his lips to Yoongi’s ear, and whispers, “Not nearly as good as I’m going to be next time. Really want to know how it feels to ride you.”

Yoongi’s hand was just about to crack another egg on the countertop, but he misses and it lands on the tiled floor with a splat!

Jimin giggles, separating from Yoongi and handing him a sponge to clean up the mess.

“Fucking hell,” Yoongi mutters, picking up the shell pieces and wiping away the goo. His ears, his cheeks, his neck are all flushed, and he shoots a glare at Jimin.

“You started it!” Jimin accuses with a smile.

“Shoulda known you’d be the death of me, Park Jimin,” Yoongi grumbles, but when he throws everything away and is back to scrambling eggs, he doesn’t object to Jimin finding his way back around him, nosing into his shoulder and neck.

Jimin simply lets out a content sound, closes his eyes, and enjoys the warmth and the domesticity for a bit longer.

Taehyung returns with two bags filled with bagels and pastries, and Jungkook dives in before the cooking part of breakfast is even finished. Yoongi warns him to save some for sandwiches, but Jimin bets they’ll have to go out and buy more before the mini road trip.

As they wait for Namjoon and Seokjin to arrive, everyone helps Yoongi set up the small plastic table, with bowls of side dishes and noodle soup, rice, eggs and toast and deli meat and tea and juice, a strange but welcome blend of traditional and western. Jimin’s stomach growls at the sight, at the aromatic scents filling the air, and he restrains himself from reaching for one of Mrs. Kim’s signature blueberry muffins.

Yoongi and he go put on proper clothes - kissing while searching for the right jeans and Jimin laughing into Yoongi’s lips when Yoongi slaps his ass. When they return, they find Hoseok and Jungkook on the couch, upside down, their heads hanging off the cushions and their legs in the air. Taehyung is taking a picture of them with his old camera.

“Can we eat now?” Jungkook asks from his position, and how he doesn’t break his back like that is beyond Jimin. “They were supposed to be here 10 minutes ago.”

“Yeah, everything’s getting cold.” Taehyung casts a plaintive look at the food table from his place on a cushion on the floor.

“We can wait a bit more,” Jimin says. He takes a seat between the twisted Jungkook and the twisted Hoseok, and Yoongi takes the armchair.

“Have you been to the beach before, Jimin-ah?” Hoseok asks then, lowering his legs and sitting next to him the right way up again. His dark hair is all over the place.

“This beach, no.” Jimin laughs at the sight, reaching up to smooth Hoseok’s hair down. “It’s the same one you guys went to before, isn’t it? From Tae’s album?”

“Yup.” Taehyung nods. “We used to go there all the time. Especially in winter, when there aren't many people around.”

“Though last time we forgot to bring food and were kind of miserable and started arguing about the grain size of sand in the middle of it,” Jungkook says, also dismantling himself and sinking into the sofa normally again. “I got a smack from Hobi-hyung.”

“And I got a smack from Jin-hyung.” Hoseok nods.

“Was a fun day,” Taehyung concludes.

The conversation dissolves among them, with Taehyung perching on the armrest of Yoongi’s armchair, both of them looking through a photographer’s instagram, Jungkook back to playing his game, and Jimin asking Hoseok what it’s like, being back at SOPE again.

He had come to sit with them twice as they were closing up last week, after he’d sorted everything in his own flower shop, and they seemed to be doing well. There weren’t too many customers right off the bat, but the word is slowly spreading that the tattoo shop is open again, and both Yoongi and Hoseok are confident that business will pick up soon.

“On one hand, it’s almost like nothing’s changed,” Hoseok says with a small smile. He plucks at a stray thread in his sweater sleeve, ridden up just enough to expose his mesmerizing watercolor tattoos. “But on the other… It’s a little weird, too. Awkward. I think we’ll have to learn how to work together again.”

“It’s only the first week,” Jimin says. “You’ll get there.”

“Yeah…” Hoseok shrugs. “I’m just. It’s not… easy, but. I’m really happy to be back.”

Jimin smiles, and takes Hoseok’s hand and squeezes. “I know.” He glances at Yoongi, who is deep in a discussion about lighting and composition with Taehyung. “He’s really happy, too.”

“I know.” Hoseok squeezes Jimin’s hand in return.

“Haha!” Jungkook then exclaims in triumph, holding up his phone. “New record in the level with the snake-”

He doesn’t get to finish, however, as the door to Jimin’s apartment opens again-

“FINALLY!” Taehyung cheers.

-and Namjoon walks in.

He closes the door behind himself, takes off his long puffy jacket, unlaces his boots and slips them off, but as he walks further in, it becomes apparent that he’s doing all of this on some sort of autopilot. His face is blank, not really registering the people around him; he seems confused, like he’s filing away a lot of information at once.

“Hyung?” Jungkook asks, but Namjoon doesn’t react.

He reaches the armchair where Taehyung and Yoongi are, then moves to sit - Taehyung jumps off the armrest and Yoongi scrambles with a yelp, grabs Hoseok’s arms who then pulls him out of the way just seconds before Namjoon would have sat down on him.

“What the hell?” Yoongi demands, but Namjoon doesn’t hear him.

He’s perched on the edge of the seat, back straight, gaze staring off into some distance only he is aware of.

“Hyung?” Jimin tries, a little unsettled by this. “Is everything-”

But Hoseok lays a hand on Jimin’s arm, cutting him off. “Give him a moment,” he says softly.

Taehyung and Jungkook exchange a look; Taehyung shrugs. Yoongi is still scowling at Namjoon, having been booted from the chair, obviously unsure of what is happening to his friend.

Namjoon blinks.

“I think…” he says, then frowns, like the end of that sentence doesn’t make any sense in his mind.

Jimin looks at Hoseok, and Hoseok pats his arm in reassurance. “He’ll get there.”

Out of everyone present, Hoseok seems to be the only one who knows what this might be about, and isn’t alarmed at all, so maybe it’s nothing worrying. Through whatever it is, it has certainly occupied every thought process Namjoon has. And he has a lot of those.

“I think…” Namjoon starts again; pauses, licks his lips, as though considering. “I think I might have… feelings… for Jin-hyung,” he says carefully, like he’s trying the words out in his mouth.

The silence that follows is short, with the first audible reply coming in the form of Yoongi slapping a hand to his forehead, then dragging it down his face. Hoseok smiles wide, but doesn’t say anything, and Taehyung starts clapping, like they do in movies when someone has accomplished something grand and deserves a slow, deliberate applause.

The claps jolt Namjoon out of his head, and his gaze focuses. He looks around himself, at Jimin who is smiling too, at Taehyung who stops the clapping and lays a hand on his shoulder, fondly shaking him. Namjoon seems to only now realize where he is and that he’s not alone.

“Took you long enough,” Hoseok muses, and Namjoon’s ears turn pink.

“I didn’t… I mean. I never stopped to think-” he stammers. Then, “Wait. You knew?”

“We all knew,” Yoongi deadpans, unmoved.

“All…?” Namjoon looks at him, wide-eyed, then at Taehyung, Jungkook, and Jimin. Surprised, and somewhat amazed. Still blushing.

“I didn’t know for sure,” Jimin says kindly. “Never asked because it’s none of my business, but… It was kinda obvious.”

“Obvious…?” Namjoon repeats, collecting new data he needs to work through.

“Yeah. You talked a lot just the two of you, and the way he flew all the way from Paris just for your birthday… That was pretty romantic.”

“Romantic as fuck,” Taehyung agrees with a nod.

“He… He flew from Paris to see me,” Namjoon says, eyes turning hazy again, churning over this old memory he’s now seeing in a new light. “You think…? You think he also has feelings for me?”

Hoseok coughs up a laugh and Yoongi throws a look at Jimin that says both stop me from doing something I’ll regret later and, fucking finally!

“I think we can all eat now?” Jungkook suggests over Jimin’s giggles, and is the first to rise to his feet.

“B-but-” Namjoon tries; however, everyone follows Jungkook into the kitchen, and he’s forced to stand up too. “Jin-hyung is getting the car, so… He’ll- He’ll be here soon,” he dazedly says, and accepts the plate for piling on food that Jimin hands him.

“Hyung,” Jimin says. Namjoon looks at him; seems to try hard to concentrate on him. “It’s okay,” Jimin continues, smiling. “You don’t have to figure everything out today. Or even tomorrow.”

“Took Kookie like three months to even agree to a date, if you remember,” Taehyung says, helping himself with eggs, while in the background Jungkook shouts, “Hey!” through his own mouthful.

“It’s good that you’ve come to this realization,” Hoseok says next to Namjoon, taking the liberty of plopping a spoonful of rice on his plate. “But you have time to work on it.”

“Exactly,” Jimin agrees. “Feelings don’t need to be rushed. You’ll be fine.”

“Fine,” Namjoon repeats, like it’s a foreign word.

“Yah, Joon-ah.” Yoongi sidles up to them, and Jimin doesn’t miss the chance to snatch a slice of cucumber off his plate, then press a cucumber-flavored kiss to Yoongi’s cheek. Yoongi scowls, but continues, “Just breathe. Get out of your head a little.”

“Enjoy the beach day!” Hoseok beams.

“Beach day.” Namjoon stares at his plate, then asks again, as though he needs confirmation, “And it’ll be… fine?”

Yoongi smiles a little. He glances at Namjoon, but his gaze rests on Jimin when he says,

“Yeah. It’ll be fine.”

 



Seokjin arrives some minutes later, declares that the car is parked just outside their street, and proceeds to pillage through what is left of the food, predictably getting into a disagreement with Jungkook over the last of the stir fry veggies. 

As always when all of them are together, it takes time for everyone to get underway; for Yoongi and Seokjin to make sandwiches, for Jimin to clear the dishes away and Taehyung and Hoseok to stack them into the dishwasher, and for Namjoon to stare unblinkingly at Seokjin from the armchair, with an awed, hopeless look on his face.

“Hyung, you’re being too obvious,” Jungkook mutters just when Jimin is within their earshot, taking the plates from breakfast. Jungkook is playing the game on his phone, but looking at Namjoon.

Namjoon meets Jungkook’s gaze, takes a beat to catch up, then says,

“Right. Yes.” He straightens up, then seems to conclude that’s too rigid of a posture and instead just sinks into the armchair, like a deflated balloon. “Shit. I’m not good at this.”

Jimin chuckles, precariously balancing an empty glass on the plates.

Jungkook’s game pings with something like a new high score, but he looks over at Seokjin, who is debating with Hoseok whether or not there is enough of the ‘shine liquid’ in the dishwasher.

“You don’t have to be good at it,” Jungkook says, now watching how Taehyung simply grabs the bottle of the liquid and pours it in the right compartment to the point it overflows and spills over a little. “I’m not… I mean, I thought I wasn’t good at it, either, you know,” he says. “If Tae wasn’t so determined, we wouldn’t… It took time, for me. For both of us, but mainly me. Because I didn’t know how someone… normal like him, could ever…” He sighs, actually taking a moment to tap his phone screen and exit the game. “Well. That’s not important anymore. Point is, there’s no need to freak out, hyung. Just slow and steady, and neither of you is going anywhere now, so…”

Jimin turns away, catching a glimpse of Namjoon’s smile as he’s careful not to drop anything before he makes it to the kitchen.

“When did you get so wise, Jungkook-ah?”

“Your IQ rubbed off on me, what can I say.”

When everything is settled, the dishwasher doing its thing, the people having put on their boots and jackets and scarves, they file out of Jimin’s apartment, and Taehyung locks the door with his own set of keys.

The car that Seokjin rented is a sort of a pickup, prompting Yoongi to complain that this isn’t an American movie for fuck’s sake.

It’s a matter of seconds before Taehyung, Jungkook, Jimin and Hoseok decide they’re all going to ride in the back, deeming the inside of the car too boring.

(“Absolutely not,” Yoongi counters. “It’s too cold outside and we’re not risking anything falling, hitting or flying into your dumb heads and killing you.”

“Yoongi-yah,” Jimin chirps, lips pursed in a pout, and it takes one look at him before Yoongi sighs in defeat.

“Dammit.”)

So the four of them arrange themselves in the back, with flannel blankets, cushions and their basket of food; sandwiches, chocolate bars and bottles of soda and water.

It’s a chilly day, the middle of March, and Jimin shivers, snuggles deeper into his jacket as Hoseok ties his own flappy-eared hat around his chin. Seokjin is at the wheel, and he pulls away from the curb at the same time that Katy Perry starts blasting from inside. Yoongi knocks on the glass separating them, demanding to be let out, and the ones sitting outside laugh at him.

The sky overhead is brilliant blue, not a cloud in sight, and the sunshine seeping in between the buildings is bright, bright; Hoseok pulls out sunscreen from his bag and passes it around, insisting that everyone protect their faces.

The drive is windy, making their cheeks red and ruffling their hair - or at least on those who aren’t wearing hats. By the time they escape the hubbub of the city, by the time the glass-paneled skyscrapers are replaced with industrial lots and vast parking spaces, and then with nothing but the bare landscape, Jimin is light and airy and free.

He feels it - the nature rising from its winter slumber. He feels the energy of the trees about to sprout leaves, of the tiny, tiny flowers about to emerge from the previously frozen soil. This isn’t as familiar or as intimate a sensation as with his plants - he doesn’t know this flora - but he feels them budding and buzzing and being excited about what’s coming.

And Jimin is excited, too.

He closes his eyes and leans back in the sunlight, half-listening to how Taehyung had accidentally gotten his matcha ice cream all over Hoseok yesterday and how Hoseok nearly killed him for that, and half just… savoring the moment. The unbridled content. Relishing the lovely day, the laughter of his friends, the love in his heart.

“Hey.” Jungkook nudges Jimin’s foot with his own. Jimin squints at him. “How’s the mixtape going?”

The mixtape. Yoongi’s mixtape.

Yoongi has no definite plans to combine the few songs he’s completed into a mixtape - and definitely no plans to release them anywhere anytime soon - but the others have taken to calling it that. They’re eager to hear anything Yoongi will give them, and to support the fuck out of him.

Instead of trying to answer over the wind, Jimin pulls out his phone and his earbuds from his jacket pocket, and hands one to Jungkook. They huddle close in the wide cargo bed of the truck, and Jimin plays the song Yoongi is currently working on.

The overarching theme is love and hope; it starts with the sound of Jimin’s loud, uncontained laughter, through which the music slowly filters in.

(“Laugh for me, Jimin-ah,” Yoongi had said.

“What?” Jimin looked up from his book, from where he was sprawled on Yoongi’s sofa one quiet January evening.

Yoongi brought his phone closer to Jimin and repeated, “Laugh. I need a sample of your laughter.”

“I- What.” Usually, Jimin was good at interpreting Yoongi’s ideas and questions and even hums and grunts and sounds. This time, however, he was a little lost.

Yoongi sat down on the edge of the sofa. He showed Jimin that an app was recording their every sound. “I want to add your laugh to a song,” he said, avoiding Jimin’s gaze. “So I need a sample of it.”

“Oh.” Jimin closed his book and slid it onto the coffee table. He should have been used to these small affections; these casual, almost off-hand ways Yoongi expressed his love. But he wasn’t; he’d never get used to the softness that was Yoongi.

“Well,” Jimin said, feeling warm, so warm. “I can’t do it on command.”

“What, so I have to be funny?”

Jimin tried to fight the smile on his lips, but it came through anyway. He nudged Yoongi’s back with his leg. “Wouldn’t hurt.”

Yoongi huffed, rolled his eyes, but before Jimin could say anything more, he went, “Fine,” and dove right in.

With the hand not holding his phone, Yoongi started tickling Jimin’s side, pouncing on him and making him burst out in giggles. Jimin did his best to defend himself but was too overcome with laughter, too squirmy, and Yoongi knew all of his most ticklish spots.

Jimin squealed and laughed and almost peed himself on the couch when, finally, Yoongi seemed to have had enough and had just collapsed on top of him. Both of them were out of breath, the last of Jimin’s laughter hovering around them. Yoongi set his phone on the table.

“Was that enough?” Jimin asked.

“Mhm,” Yoongi said into Jimin’s hoodie. “Until the final version of the song, yeah. It’ll be enough.”

“You like my laugh.”

“I do.”

“You like me.”

Yoongi grunted, somewhere between amusement and annoyance. “Most of the time.”

“Mmmm…” Jimin murmured, leaned in and got Yoongi to lift himself up enough for Jimin to find his lips.

They kissed slow and long and languid, with just a hint of heat simmering underneath. “Come on, hyung,” Jimin whispered, one hand sneaking between them to start undoing Yoongi’s belt; Yoongi smiled into the kiss, at Jimin’s phrase that had by now become a prelude of many of their most intimate moments.)

...when you’re not here,
I feel you 
I hear you laugh 
and I thank you, 
for bringing my hope back.

The chorus is compelling. The music is grand, strings and a soaring instrumental, but Yoongi’s words are no less powerful, each syllable its own punch, each line delivered with his signature ferocity.

It’s Jimin’s favorite song to date.

“Holy shit,” Jungkook says, and in the next second Jimin’s phone plays the song again without anyone touching it. “This is…” Jungkook trails off, unable to find the right words, with which Jimin agrees.

“Yeah.”

It is. The song definitely is; an embodiment of what Jimin and Yoongi are; a manifestation of Yoongi’s gratefulness and Jimin’s love, and their joint effort to maintain their happiness.

Because it’s not rainbows and daisies and unicorns all the time. Hoseok is back and they’re slowly healing, but their scars will forever remain.

Their happiness is work, but one they’re all more than willing to put in.

“Love it,” Jungkook says then, halfway through the third listen. “It’s… amazing. It sounds like his previous stuff - the same style and the same sort of… roughness, I guess, but it’s also different. He’s talking about lighter, romantic subjects, and yet he hasn’t lost any of his strength- I love it.”

“I love it, too,” Jimin says, smiling.

Taehyung raises an arm, his coat sleeve flapping in the wind of the drive. “Motion to start on the snacks in the basket!”

Jungkook nods and takes out Jimin’s earphone. “Motion granted!”

“Leave some for the others!” Hoseok says, but Jimin isn’t sure how much the two heard over the noise of the ride and their own deliberations over what they’re going to start with.

 


 

Jimin’s boots hit the sand as he jumps out of the parked pickup, and he can’t stop grinning at the sight; at the wide, seemingly endless horizon, grey and glimmering in the sun; at the deserted beach; the waves easing up and down the sand; at the scent of salt and ocean in the air.

Jungkook lands next to him, swallowing the last sandwich bite, and he also smiles, his cheeks full of food.

“Wow, it’s… wider, than I remember it,” Seokjin says behind them.

“It’s amazing,” Jimin says.

“It’s too sunny,” Yoongi gripes, coming to stand next to him.

“Of course you would find something wrong with it,” Jimin tells him with a fond eye roll, as Jungkook smacks Seokjin and challenges him to a race; Seokjin says no, but starts running anyway, and Jungkook then yells that it’s not fair, but he’s also running, and Hoseok is calling for them to be fucking careful -

Which is about the time Namjoon missteps as he’s getting out of the car and falls on all fours in the sand. Hoseok sighs and helps him get to his feet.

Jimin laughs, and finds that Yoongi is smiling, too.

“Good day?” Yoongi asks.

“Hm, yeah.” Jimin turns to peck him on the lips, tangling their fingers together. “Gonna be a good day.”

Behind them, Taehyung lifts his analog camera, and snaps a photo.

 


 

Jungkook leaning his forehead on Taehyung’s shoulder and smiling into his coat. His eyes closed, Taehyung’s arms around him; the bright sun shining overhead.

 


 

Hoseok peeking at the cards in Namjoon’s hands when Namjoon isn’t paying attention.

 


 

Yoongi’s scowl and a finger pointed at Seokjin as he accuses him of cheating in their game of poker. Seokjin’s lips pursed and his eyebrows innocently lifted because, no rules were broken in the playing of this game, Yoongichi.

 


 

Jungkook giving a beaming Hoseok a piggyback ride.

 


 

Jimin attempting to give Yoongi a piggyback ride too, then losing his balance and both of them tumbling to the sand.

 


 

Seokjin’s horrified expression when he realizes three sandwiches and two candy bars are already missing from the food basket.

 


 

A close-up of two forearms side by side; one painted like a galaxy, in deep blues and violets and lilacs and pinks, a small peace-sign turtle outlined over the lighter colors; the other forearm intricate in its black tattoos, with a turtle just like the first one, comfortably wedged in between flowers and piano keys.

 


 

Taehyung dabbing mayonnaise on Jungkook’s nose and Jungkook failing to move away from his finger.

 


 

Taehyung kissing the dab of mayo off Jungkook’s nose, smiling through it.

 


 

Yoongi passed out after eating, his head in Jimin’s lap, Jimin’s fingers in his hair, and his mouth predictably open.

 


 

Taehyung and Jungkook in the middle of a bet of who will be the first to launch a piece of a candy bar directly into Yoongi’s open mouth.

 


 

Two dark silhouettes outlined against the sun, looking out at the horizon; Namjoon and Seokjin, standing so close their shoulders are touching. Their fingers are almost brushing together.

 


 

Taehyung’s old camera doesn’t have a timer, but they did bring a tripod for a phone. He sets everything up in the sand, in front of the other six who are lined up for the picture, sitting down.

Taehyung starts the countdown for the photo, then runs towards the group and dives into his spot right next to Jimin - he misjudges the distance and shoves Jimin to the side, who falls into Jungkook, who falls into Yoongi, who falls into Hoseok, into Namjoon, into Seokjin.

They’re yelling and trying to pick themselves up, and Jimin’s ears are somehow sandy now, and Hoseok is laughing at Namjoon’s red face too close to Seokjin’s crotch, and-

The camera snaps.