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[now]

 

It’s a thing they do.

 

-

 

[then]

[the first time]

 

It begins like this:

He’s not into women, but he can appreciate anyone getting fucked, any body taking a cock, and before long he finds himself leaning into the laptop screen. Watching the slide of anonymous cock into anonymous pussy, how the condom is wet when the dude pulls out of her, how her slick is all over him and his cock and his fingers and her inner thighs. This porno is the kind of low quality shit you pull up when you’re really damn close and you’ve stopped being at all shy about what you type into a search bar. What you click on. It’s wet and nasty and their bodies are making weird noises and the camera is shaky and it’s, like, barely 480p, and it’s straight, and Yoongi is leaning into it and watching the slide of cock into pussy and feeling something in his lower belly pulse, pulse, pulse.

He is hyperaware of Hoseok’s body beside him. Hoseok is leaning into the laptop too, eyes on the screen. His fingers keep twitching on his knee like he wants to fidget but doesn’t want to call attention to the fact that he wants to fidget. If Yoongi were capable of looking at him for more than a fraction of a second, he thinks maybe he’d be able to see Hoseok’s hardness, his erection pressing up into his old thin sweatpants. Crosslegged like this, Hoseok’s thighs are spread. If he’s hard, Yoongi would definitely be able to see it.

Onscreen, the girl’s getting eaten out. She’s making all these high pitched, kinda whiny noises that would usually be an instant turnoff. Yoongi’s not even into the dude, either; he’s got a weird milquetoast Joe White Guy thing going on, and he’s honestly a little too built. Yoongi likes his men lean. Muscular but in a wiry kind of way, where you can tell they look like that because they swim or run or dance (or dance) or whatever and not because they live at the gym. So really there is nothing at all appealing about this porno, except for the fact that there is fucking, and Yoongi can feel Hoseok’s warmth beside him. Their knees are touching.

Yoongi is—too high for this. He can feel Hoseok’s warmth beside him and he’s listening to this girl moan and watching the dude finger her deep while he eats her out and Hoseok’s fingers are twitching and it is fucking with Yoongi’s head big time. Big time. Oh, god.

He knows he’s hard in his jeans. He’s pulsing everywhere: his cock, his temples, his belly, the deep low place in your belly where arousal makes you ache. Makes your hips thrust up for no reason. 

Something happens onscreen. Hoseok’s breath hitches.

Yoongi loses his fucking mind and turns to look at Hoseok at the same time Hoseok turns to look at him. And suddenly their faces are so close that their noses are almost brushing, and in the darkness Yoongi can only see half of Hoseok’s face, lit up by the laptop screen: harsh blue light on his cheekbone, his jaw, one eye. Everything else in shadow. Yoongi can’t even help it when his gaze falls to Hoseok’s spread legs, the spot between them where, god, yeah, his cock is hard in his sweatpants. Hoseok’s mouth is wet and dark like he’s been licking and biting his lips (so he wouldn’t make noise? so he wouldn’t gasp a little when the dude onscreen grabbed the girl’s hips and pushed inside her?) and oh god, oh god, Yoongi’s too fucking stoned to hide how he just eyed his best friend’s dick. He can’t move fast enough to cover it—it’s like he’s underwater, weighed down, his head too light and too heavy all at once.

He meets Hoseok’s eyes again. They are dark and hot when Hoseok says, “You wanna ‘nother hit?”

The smart answer is no. Yoongi says, “Sure,” and hopes like hell that Hoseok doesn’t notice how breathy his voice his. Jesus fuck.

They’re both silent as Hoseok gropes for the bowl and the lighter, the only noise coming from the porno. The stars are fucking properly again, both really playing it up for the camera, a chorus of whines and moans and the dude’s guttural, straight-guy grunts. Yoongi can’t choose between looking at the screen and looking at Hoseok’s hands on the pipe, the lighter, the way he flicks the lighter on and the way his face is all gold from the tiny flame.

He takes a hit and passes it over. Yoongi takes a hit, watches the still-glowing cherry flare up a little. Holds the smoke deep in his lungs. He tips his head back when he breathes out, blowing smoke at the ceiling, and when he looks down again Hoseok is staring at him.

“What,” he mumbles.

Hoseok shakes his head. “Gimme.”

They pass back and forth till the bowl is definitely cashed, and by now Yoongi’s so lost in it that he can feel himself swaying back and forth. The room is swaying with him, but in a good way—this is what he likes about weed, that everything goes all tilted and off-balance and the world spins but it doesn’t make him feel sick like when he’s drunk. It’s more like he’s riding a slow-moving carousel, and everything is movement and color and hazy light.

Hoseok’s head is on his shoulder. When did that happen? Yoongi blinks hard and focuses back on the porno, but time has gone screwy and he keeps forgetting what came before this bit, this bit where the girl is riding the dude and making little circles with her hips and now there’s a closeup of the dude’s cock pushing slowly, slowly inside her, everything wet and glistening.

“‘M really,” Hoseok breathes into Yoongi’s neck. “‘M really…would you mind if I…?”

“What,” Yoongi manages. “What, if you do what.”

And then he looks down and sees the way Hoseok is palming his own cock and understands exactly what.

“I’ll stop if it’s weird,” says Hoseok. “Really, just tell me if it’s weird an’ I’ll…”

He’s pressed up against Yoongi and his legs are still spread and he’s grinding the heel of his hand against his crotch, where his cock is hard and full inside his sweatpants. His head is on Yoongi’s shoulder, his other arm stretched out behind Yoongi on the couch, and when he turns to whisper in Yoongi’s ear his nose brushes Yoongi’s jaw and his lips are on Yoongi’s ear and it’s too much, too much, holy fuck it’s too much.

“’S okay,” Yoongi whispers. “I don’t give a shit, ’s fine.”

“You can too,” says Hoseok.

“Okay,” says Yoongi, his brain whited out, and lets his hand drift down to where he needs it most. He’s wearing old, worn-out jeans. His fingers brush the curve of his hard-on and he feels it like a spreading wave throughout his body. A dirty thrill in all his nerve endings. He cups himself, unsatisfying through his jeans.

“Angle’s all wrong,” says Hoseok.

“…What?”

“I said,” says Hoseok, leaning back just far enough to give Yoongi a slow, wicked smile, “your angle’s all wrong. And you’re wearing jeans. Gonna take you forever like that.”

Yoongi chokes on nothing and ducks his head, hiding how fucked up that got him. Did Hoseok—did Hoseok look at him? Aren’t they supposed to be watching the porno and nothing else, according to all the rules of no-homo and the bro code and shit? Why would Hoseok look?

“Just sayin’,” says Hoseok. He’s looking at the screen again.

Maybe he just saw Yoongi’s reflection or something.

“Sorry,” Yoongi manages, “since when are you an expert on my personal preferences?”

“‘M not. But I am a bit of an expert in—,” Hoseok breaks off and gestures at himself, to where he is kneading his own cock under his sweatpants. “It’s different when you’re stoned.”

“Is not.”

“Is too. Do you want a fuckin’ demonstration?”

“Um.”

“’S better to do it slow,” says Hoseok. “When you’re stoned. Do you need me to show you or something?”

“The fuck,” Yoongi says weakly. “I—what’re you talking about.”

Hoseok shrugs. On the laptop screen, the girl is taking the dude deep into her throat. “Shit, hyung, I dunno. Never mind.”

“No, tell me.”

“It’s not, like, it’s not a big deal,” says Hoseok. “Just a bit of fun. I mean. We’re both—you know—and the weed’s good and we’re both here and—”

There’s no way he’s offering what Yoongi thinks he’s offering. Hoseok (Hoseok, Jung Hoseok, Yoongi’s best friend of almost five years, who is and has always been nothing but incredibly, torturously heterosexual) is not suggesting that they fool around.

There is no goddamn way.

“You mean…?” Yoongi asks quietly, and the way Hoseok winces a little and goes pink gives him all the answer he needs. He stares at Hoseok, stunned. “You, you want to do that?” With me?

Hoseok shrugs again. “Nobody else around, is there?”

Ah.

That—stings.

Aches, maybe, in a few different places that Yoongi spends most of his life trying to ignore. Places that clearly do not exist inside Hoseok. But still—Hoseok’s offering, and he’s probably never gonna offer again, because why would he, he’s been single for a few months but that never lasts long, and—well, at the end of the day Yoongi’s always had one hell of a self-destructive streak.

“It’s really not a big deal?” he asks, watching the side of Hoseok’s face.

“Nah,” says Hoseok. A muscle twitches in his jaw, but that’s it. Otherwise his face remains totally blank, totally focused on the porno. “No big deal at all. We might as well, right?”

“Right,” says Yoongi hoarsely. “Right. Yeah. Fuck it.”

“Fuck it,” says Hoseok, and leans over.

After that, things happen one after the other, quick and fluid, difficult to follow. One moment Yoongi is squeezing his eyes shut and holding onto the futon cushions with both hands as Hoseok reaches over to slide a hand up Yoongi’s thigh, up up up, until he’s—there, he’s there, and Yoongi is kind of not convinced this isn’t some weird hallucination, like maybe the weed was laced, or maybe he’s just dreaming—

Then Hoseok’s thumb brushes over him with the perfect kind of pressure, the exact right touch, and Yoongi hears himself moan. Not like the dude in the porno, not all manly and restrained—he moans like the girl, a soft, breathless noise, and Hoseok’s hand goes still—

Then Hoseok says, “Can I—? Can I, just, move you a little, just to get a better position, it’s fine if you don’t wanna—,” and Yoongi says, “Whatever, yeah, do whatever,” and—

Hoseok grabs Yoongi’s hips and lifts him, fucking lifts him, into his lap.

Their cocks brush through four layers of fabric and Yoongi shudders, gasps, curls in on himself. He hooks his arms around Hoseok’s neck, lets his fingers slide into Hoseok’s sweat-damp hair. Maybe it should be gross. It isn’t.

God, Hoseok lifted him so easily. Hoseok could—oh—Hoseok could carry him to bed. Hoseok could carry him to bed, Hoseok could grip Yoongi’s thighs and hoist him up and carry him like that; Yoongi could wrap his legs around Hoseok’s waist; Hoseok could shove Yoongi against the mattress or the couch or a fucking wall and thrust into him and hold him down, hold him steady, hands on his hips and ass. God. Yoongi buries his face in Hoseok’s neck and whimpers a little, his hips moving in tiny helpless circles.

“Oh, fuck,” Hoseok breathes, “oh fuck, Yoongi, that’s so hot—”

What, what’s hot, I’m not even doing anything, Yoongi tries to say, but instead he just presses himself harder against Hoseok and grinds down. This stoned, each new wave of arousal seems to lasts for hours. Yoongi pictures his bones gone liquid, his veins filled with honey or sweet molasses, everything slow and dripping and perpetual. His entire being is narrowed down to the spot between his legs.

“Shit,” he gasps into Hoseok’s ear. “Hoseok, ‘m so—it’s so much.”

“I know, I know.”

“Please—”

Hoseok’s hands move from Yoongi’s arms to his ass. He drags Yoongi’s hips forward, creating the most incredible pressure and friction between their cocks. They both gasp at the same time and Yoongi’s eyes fly open, staring at the dark room and the soft light from the laptop that neither of them are looking at anymore and the tan skin at the nape of Hoseok’s neck. He grinds down again, more pressure, more friction, and Hoseok actually groans aloud.

“Do you wanna,” Hoseok’s saying, his voice low and rough in Yoongi’s ear, “do you wanna—god—the last hit, do you wanna—”

Yoongi nods. He’s not really sure what he’s agreeing to, but 1. anything will feel good right now, and 2. it makes Hoseok’s grip tighten on his ass, which makes him spread his knees even wider around Hoseok’s thighs, and that changes the angle of their cocks and makes Hoseok’s hard-on brush the area behind Yoongi’s balls, the ridiculously sensitive skin between his balls and his ass, and it’s not even close to enough through his jeans but it still makes him moan, high-pitched and breathy, against Hoseok’s neck.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” says Hoseok.

“Please,” says Yoongi.

Hoseok fumbles with something—he lets go of Yoongi’s ass for a moment, which leaves Yoongi reeling and thrusting back into nothing—and then there’s the flick of a lighter and Hoseok’s taking the last hit, his mouth obscene on the little pipe.

Then the pipe is gone and Hoseok’s hands are on Yoongi’s face, fingers pressing at the hinge of his jaw, and Hoseok’s giving him a significant look: is this okay? Yes or no? Can I—? and Yoongi whines and surges forward. Lets his mouth fall open.

When Hoseok breathes out, Yoongi breathes in. Their lips aren’t really touching, but Hoseok’s exhaling smoke into Yoongi’s mouth and Yoongi is taking it all the way in, deep inside him, holding it in his lungs. Hoseok watches him with huge dark eyes. Parted lips.

The smoke is thick on Yoongi’s tongue. His head drops back almost involuntarily, exposing the column of his throat. He breathes out and is instantly fascinated by the haze of blue smoke, how the light from the laptop flickers through it. Then he sees the ceiling fan—which seems to be rotating not fluidly, not in a blur, but in tiny fragments, film stills, stop-motion animation—and watches it, amazed.

There’s something hot and wet at the base of his neck.

He shivers, hips jerking, and remembers that he is hard and Hoseok is hard and he is sitting in Hoseok’s lap. He wants to do something about it, wants to grind down or jerk off or take Hoseok’s cock in his mouth, but his body is so liquid. He sways.

Slowly, he registers that Hoseok is kissing and sucking at his neck. Hard and wet and slow, the slightest hint of teeth. How does he know exactly what Yoongi likes? He’s at Yoongi’s jaw now, at the sensitive spot behind his ear, then down again to the curve of his neck. Yoongi doesn’t realize he’s been making noise until Hoseok pulls back—his mouth wine-dark and swollen, fuck—and stares at Yoongi, panting. “Holy shit, hyung.”

“What,” Yoongi says. He closes his eyes and tips his head back again. He wants Hoseok’s mouth back on his neck. He wants Hoseok everywhere, really.

“Look at you,” Hoseok says with something almost like reverence. “Look at you. Holy shit, Yoongi-hyung. Are you always like this? Fuck, you’re so fucking—god—”

“Hoseok, please, please touch me, I wanna come—”

“Oh god. Yeah, sweetheart, I got you.”

And he does. He leans in again, teeth and tongue hot on the soft skin of Yoongi’s throat, and then his fingers are scrabbling at Yoongi’s fly. Yoongi tosses his head back and gasps at the ceiling when Hoseok cups him through his boxers. The pressure is incredible. He knows distantly that he’s being utterly shameless and should probably be embarrassed about it, but god. His mind is bobbing in a sea of smoke and arousal, everything light and airy and languid and so fucking good.

A thought rises to the surface: this would feel even better if we were kissing.

He shoves it away.

Even like this, with Hoseok rubbing the wet spot on Yoongi’s boxers and sucking what must be a ridiculous bruise into his neck, even with both their inhibitions lower than they’ve ever been, Yoongi won’t let himself think about kissing his best friend. It would be—too much. Hoseok is straight. Hoseok is stoned and horny and he wants to fuck around with a warm body and he knows that Yoongi, his best friend, is gay. Easy. This has nothing to do with kissing.

Instead Yoongi grabs one of Hoseok’s hands and pushes it up his shirt, sighing a little when Hoseok gets the idea and rolls a thumb over Yoongi’s nipple. Then Hoseok is shoving Yoongi’s shirt all the way up around his collarbones and pressing the flat of his tongue over Yoongi’s other nipple. Yoongi keens.

“Fucking hell,” Hoseok mutters, “you are so fucking shameless, what the fuck,” and his hand is back on Yoongi’s cock, tugging it gently out of Yoongi’s boxers. Yoongi glances down—there he is, pink and oversensitive and dripping—and wriggles a little, seeking pressure.

Hoseok gives it to him. Wraps his gorgeous fingers around Yoongi’s cock. Tries and fails to spit into his own hand—“Shit, this is so fuckin’ dumb, I’ve got dry-mouth, sorry”—and ends up using Yoongi’s precome as slick, smearing it up and down his length. Yoongi crumples forward and drapes his arms over Hoseok’s shoulders and moans into Hoseok’s neck and just—lets go.

Everything’s a bit hazy after that. With his eyes closed, Yoongi loses himself in his high. In the slow, liquid pleasure building up in his lower belly, pulsating through his whole body. He is vaguely aware that he’s gasping out tiny little oh-oh noises; vaguely aware that Hoseok is whispering filthy things into his ear. But Yoongi’s lost.

When he comes, his whole body shudders and thrusts and is wrecked. It takes a solid three minutes to get his breath back, to pull his shaking hands from Hoseok’s messy dark hair.

There’s a wet spot on the front of Hoseok’s boxers. At some point he must have shoved his own sweatpants down. Did he touch himself?

Did he come in his pants?

Yoongi sits back a little, just far enough that he can look into Hoseok’s face. And god—he’s never seen Hoseok this far gone. Eyes wide and bottomless, mouth red and swollen, cheeks flushed, a sheen of sweat on his tan skin. His hair is all fucked up from Yoongi running his fingers through it.

For a moment, neither of them speak. But it’s Hoseok who breaks the silence. It always is.

“That,” says Hoseok, “was the single hottest thing I have ever experienced in my entire fucking life.”

“Oh,” says Yoongi.

So that’s how it begins.

 

-

 

[now]

 

It’s a thing they do.

Not that often—not every single weekend—but often enough that Yoongi notices when it doesn’t happen, notices when it’s been a few weeks. Wonders, sometimes, if maybe it’s over for good; if maybe Hoseok has found another fuck buddy or is dating some girl or (most likely) simply doesn’t want Yoongi anymore, and this whole thing will end not with a bang but with a whimper (Yoongi’s, obviously, after he gets very drunk on cheap wine).

He wonders, sometimes, if it’s over for good.

It never is.

It keeps happening.

It’s a thing they do.

When it comes to fucking around with his best friend, Yoongi follows two rules:

1. They must be inebriated.

2. They must not kiss.

The first rule is necessary because it gives them an excuse. The second is necessary because Yoongi is horribly aware of the fact that if he kisses Hoseok he will probably never want to kiss anyone else for the rest of his stupid, miserable life, and he will die alone, and he’s allergic to cats so there won’t even be any cats to eat his face. He’ll just rot.

So the first rule is an excuse. The second is self-preservation.

Things are going great.

 

-

 

[then]

[the first time]

 

In the morning, they wake up still tangled together on the gross futon. Yoongi’s mouth tastes like skunk and his eyes are dry and itchy and his clothes are all twisted around his body. His first thought is: My hand is up Hoseok’s shirt. His second thought is: Oh Jesus shitting Christ.

Because God hates Yoongi and personally wants him to suffer, it’s at that exact moment that Hoseok begins to stir. He makes a soft noise, wrinkles his nose. His stomach muscles clench under Yoongi’s hand.

Yoongi’s fingers twitch. Hoseok freezes.

They’re a mess.

Hoseok is still wearing the boxers he came inside of. He at least wiped Yoongi’s come off his hand last night—Yoongi vaguely remembers that—but never actually washed up. They’re both unshowered and smelling of weed and sweat.

Hoseok opens his eyes. His face is so close to Yoongi’s. They fucking spooned all night on the fucking nasty sex futon and now they are facing each other and Hoseok’s face is so close and his eyes are so dark.

“Hey,” says Hoseok.

Yoongi grunts a little.

He’s not at his best right now.

“You were totally the little spoon all night,” says Hoseok, and cracks up.

“Fuck you,” says Yoongi. He yanks his hand out from Hoseok’s shirt and struggles to get up. “Fuck off, it’s just ‘cause you’re pushy and I was tired, I could’ve been big spoon if I’d wanted to—”

“Nooo,” Hoseok whines, pulling Yoongi back down. Yoongi lands half on top of him, nose squished into Hoseok’s shoulder. “No, come back, you’re warm.”

“Am not.”

“You literally are. How does your tiny body produce so much heat?”

“I am not tiny.”

“The tiniest furnace. It’s a miracle of science.”

“Fuck. Off.”

“You don’t smell so great, though.”

“Die,” says Yoongi, his voice muffled by Hoseok’s T-shirt.

Hoseok sighs and tugs him closer, arms looping around Yoongi’s waist. “Maybe after coffee.”

And that’s it.

They don’t talk about it.

Privately, Yoongi has a crisis and then puts his crisis in a box and ships it to Australia. Refuses to think about it. He does not think about Hoseok’s mouth or Hoseok’s hands or Hoseok’s cock or the way Hoseok called him sweetheart and lifted him into his lap and whispered in his ear and made him come apart. Yoongi doesn’t think about any of it, because it’s clearly a one-off and will never happen again.

 

-

 

[now]

 

It’s happening again.

This is the sixth time now, so Yoongi isn’t all that shocked. In fact, he’s sort of been expecting it since the moment Hoseok walked in the door.

As a general rule, Yoongi hates parties. He goes out of his way to avoid them. But this particular party is hosted by Namjoon, who promised it would be “a small get-together of the kickback variety” with “strong drinks and probably some weed, I dunno, Tae usually brings a couple joints” and “you’ll know like everyone there, hyung, and if you feel awkward you can always just chill in my bedroom if you want, I don’t care.” Sensing Yoongi’s reluctance, he finally tacked on, “You can control the playlist.”

So Yoongi came. He even mingled for a while, after his first drink kicked in.

Now he is pleasantly tipsy—buzzed enough to feel warm and soft and silly but not drunk enough to feel dizzy or sad. He’s sitting on the kitchen counter, a Solo cup to his left and a couple sticky, squeezed-out lime halves to his right, and the music is good and bass-heavy and Namjoon’s kitchenette is empty but the air is filled with the hum of happy conversation noises from the living area, and Yoongi actually feels pretty good.

He closes his eyes and sucks on a lime.

Hoseok showed up maybe an hour ago. (Yoongi wasn’t looking for it—he just noticed.) Hoseok stepped into Namjoon’s apartment with his skin flushed from the June heat, his hair sticking to his forehead. This afternoon he’d said, I might have to skip out on tonight, I’m so exhausted. I’m turning into you, old man.

Looks like he decided to let loose.

Yoongi glimpsed him through the crowd a couple times, but Hoseok was always deep in conversation with someone else. That’s how Hoseok is: he knows how to talk to people, knows how to make friends quickly and hold conversations and laugh at the right times. He’s magic at parties. His presence makes even the most mundane of nights fun and exciting and hilarious.

Sometime after Yoongi’s second drink, the air in the living room became too stifling. Too hot, too loud. So now he’s semi-hiding in the kitchenette, taking small sips of JD and chasing it with sucks of lime. The poor man’s whiskey sour.

He’s in there alone for maybe five minutes before Hoseok comes in. He smiles the second he spots Yoongi. A slow, drunken, appraising kind of smile.

Yoongi shivers.

“Hey, you,” says Hoseok, and comes to stand before him. Hoseok’s wearing old jeans and a black T-shirt. There’s no reason for him to look this good.

“Hi,” says Yoongi. “Why aren’t you out there?”

Hoseok shrugs. “Needed some air. Or another drink. ‘Sides, you’re in here.”

“You drunk?”

“Bit crossed. Tae brought a joint.”

“Little shit,” says Yoongi. “I couldn’t find him anywhere.”

“Last I saw, he was about to go make out with Jimin in the bathroom.” Hoseok wiggles his eyebrows. “I think they’re like, officially a thing.”

Yoongi snorts. “Tae likes ‘em pretty.”

“So does Jimin, apparently.”

They’re quiet for a moment. It’s the kind of quiet you feel more than hear, like the moments right before the sky bursts open with rain or when your favorite song pauses right before the chorus; the kind of quiet that thrums with anticipation, of an unspoken but mutually acknowledged Something. Hoseok is pink-cheeked and dark-eyed and he’s looking up into Yoongi’s face, a smile still playing at the edges of his mouth, and Yoongi is both too drunk and not drunk enough for this.

It’s the sixth time now. It shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s not.

“You good, hyung?” Hoseok asks softly. Is he leaning forward? Is he tipping his chin up? “Why’re you hiding in here?”

“Got too loud,” says Yoongi. “Out there. Too many people.”

“Mm.”

“Namjoon said I’d know everyone but I don’t.”

“Ah,” says Hoseok. “Well. I could introduce you to some people, if you want.”

Yoongi scrunches his nose.

He doesn’t want to meet new people.

Hoseok laughs. “Yeah, okay, I should’ve known. What’re you drinking?” Wordlessly, Yoongi shows him the contents of his Solo cup. He makes a face. “Is that whiskey or rum?”

“JD.”

“No chaser?”

Yoongi gestures at one of the lime wedges.

“God. You’re nasty, hyung.”

Yoongi scoffs. “Just ‘cause you like piña coladas and shit doesn’t mean the rest of us do.”

“Damn right I love piña coladas,” says Hoseok, and then giggles a little and hums a few bars of Escape. “And mojitos, and cosmos, and tequila fuckin’ sunrises. Drinking doesn’t have to be torture.”

“Whiskey isn’t torture.”

“You’re drinking JD, dude.”

“With lime,” says Yoongi, swaying forward a little. He can’t help it. Hoseok’s got gravity. “Lime makes it classy.”

“Show me, then,” says Hoseok.

So that’s how it’s gonna be.

Slowly, Yoongi takes a sip of whiskey. It’s nothing sexy, drinking shitty lukewarm alcohol from a Solo cup, but it is sexy the way Hoseok’s looking at him, and it’s sexy that they’re alone in this dim, quiet kitchen with the door shut while the rest of the party happens out in the living room. And it is incredibly sexy when Hoseok picks up one of the lime wedges and raises it to Yoongi’s lips, holding it steady while Yoongi fastens his mouth around it and sucks.

After a moment Hoseok takes the lime away and drops it on the kitchen counter. Yoongi licks the sticky, sour juice from his lips, watching Hoseok with half-lidded eyes.

“God,” Hoseok breathes, and lifts his hand to Yoongi’s face. His fingers skim across Yoongi’s jaw and cheekbone but his thumb presses at Yoongi’s bottom lip, at the place where Yoongi’s tongue was just moments before.

Yoongi parts his lips and takes Hoseok’s thumb into his mouth. Heart pounding in his ears, he sucks at it like he did with the lime, swirling his tongue over the soft pad. Even lets his head bob forward a bit so there’s no question as to what he’s mimicking. He likes the way Hoseok’s eyes are fixed on his mouth. He likes the way Hoseok’s fingernails scrape at his jaw a little. Yoongi likes it so much that he spreads his legs as far as he can while still sitting on the kitchen counter, shifts forward a little so his cock is closer to Hoseok’s flat stomach.

“It blows my mind,” says Hoseok, breath hitching as Yoongi kisses the pad of his thumb, sucks it into his mouth again. “God—it blows my mind how hot you are. I had no fuckin’ idea, dude. I had no idea.

“The fuck does that mean,” Yoongi mumbles.

“Just—,” Hoseok takes his thumb from Yoongi’s mouth and uses both hands to grabs Yoongi’s ass and pull him an inch forward, till Hoseok’s body is fitted neatly between Yoongi’s thighs. Yoongi’s legs come up automatically to wrap around him, ankles locked behind Hoseok’s legs. “Just like, I dunno, you don’t really like physical contact and you’re kind of cranky—”

“I just want what I want when I want it.”

“Clearly,” says Hoseok, and then his mouth is on Yoongi’s neck and neither of them say anything else.

 

-

 

Five minutes later, Hoseok is pulling Yoongi through the crowded living room. They’re only stopped a couple times—once by a very stoned Namjoon, once by some dude who gives Hoseok a bro hug and does not acknowledge Yoongi’s presence at all—before Hoseok leads them down the short, narrow hallway and into Namjoon’s bedroom. There’s a sign on his door that says NONE OF YOU FUCKS ARE ALLOWED IN HERE, which both Yoongi and Hoseok ignore wholeheartedly.

The second they’re inside, Hoseok pushes Yoongi up against the closed door and flips the lock. For a moment they just look at each other, eyes adjusting to the dark—here, the only light comes from the moon and the orange glow of streetlights filtering in through the blinds. Hoseok—leans forward, maybe.

Yoongi goes absolutely still.

Is Hoseok going to—?

Five times before this. Five hookups: twice at Hoseok’s place, once at Yoongi’s, once in Hoseok’s backseat after another house party, and once, embarrassingly, they got stoned before going to see the latest dumb comedy flick and ended up exchanging sloppy handjobs in the movie theater bathroom.

Never sober, never on a bed—never further than handjobs (and a single blowjob, Yoongi taking Hoseok’s cock into his mouth with something a little like ecstasy)—

They’ve never kissed—

Yoongi isn’t breathing. Hoseok’s face is so close, his hands big and firm on Yoongi’s hips. He’s so strong, so lean and muscular, every inch of him tight and flexible and gorgeous in a way that made it hard to be just friends in the beginning. (In the beginning, before there was more; before there was this.) His mouth is soft and endlessly distracting and right now, right now it’s barely two inches from Yoongi’s.

 

-

 

[then]

[freshman year]

 

They meet in the first week of undergrad.

Yoongi is technically supposed to be a sophomore, but he took a gap year. Worked three jobs, saved up enough money to get the hell out of Daegu. So when he enrolls as a freshman, he and Hoseok are at the same class level. They’re assigned to the same floor in the freshman dorms.

And to be honest—to be honest—

To be honest, at first Yoongi doesn’t know what the hell to think about Jung Hoseok.

Jung Hoseok, who grins at Yoongi whenever they pass each other in the hallway. Jung Hoseok, who laughs loud enough and often enough that Yoongi can recognize his particular laugh within two days of meeting him. Jung Hoseok, who never shuts the fuck up.

For the entire first semester of freshman year, Yoongi avoids him.

It’s just that he doesn’t know how to deal with the smiling. The friendly fucking chit-chat. The way Hoseok became instant buddies with everyone else on their floor.

(He doesn’t know how to deal with the fact that Hoseok is just—really handsome. Even as a skinny eighteen-year-old, he is really handsome. Yoongi is new to Seoul and new to Knowing Things about himself and he’ll step out of the shower, pale and bony, a half-drowned rat, and there is Jung Hoseok with his perfect tan skin and dancer body and easy, toothy grin, walking naked around the showers in the way of boys who don’t think about what other boys think and it is too much. It is too much.)

So Yoongi avoids him.

For the entire first semester of freshman year, Yoongi pretends not to hear whenever Hoseok says hello and pretends he’s too busy to attend any of the parties Hoseok invites him to. It’s fine. He meets Kim Namjoon in Music Comp 101 and Namjoon introduces him to Kim Seokjin, and everything is fine. Yoongi has friends. It’s fine.

Then, barely a week after they all get back from winter break, Yoongi camps out in the library until four in the morning. It’s a Saturday. Which means that he finally drags himself back to the dorms, the dark streets are filled with people stumbling home from various parties. It’s cold enough outside that Yoongi’s breaths made little clouds.

He gets back to the dorms and heads for his room and then he hears it: the awful sound of someone vomiting.

Yoongi sighs, braces himself, and makes a beeline for the bathrooms.

But when he gets there, the drunk kid—some jackass frat hopeful—isn’t alone.

Jung Hoseok is already there with him. He’s crouching right next to the kid, rubbing his back as the kid hangs over the toilet. Talking to him, low and soft. “Yup, there you go,” he’s saying, flushing away the mess. “There it is. You got it. You’re okay. Do you feel like you’re gonna barf again?”

The kid spits into the toilet. Shakes his head.

“Okay,” says Hoseok. “But I got some water for you right here, okay? I’ll stay with you for a little while until your roommate gets back.”

“Fuck,” the kid groans. “This sucks.”

Hoseok smiles. It isn’t like any smile Yoongi has seen on him before. It isn’t huge and bright. It’s just a smile: small and kind and amused but not in a mean way. “Sure does,” he agrees. “But it’s okay. We’ve all been there. Drink some water, yeah?”

It’s only then that Hoseok notices Yoongi standing there in the doorway to the bathroom. His eyes widen. He looks like he isn’t sure what to expect from Yoongi. Like maybe he’s expecting something bad, which is probably fair.

Yoongi can’t meet his eyes. “He okay?”

“Yeah,” says Hoseok after a short, surprised pause. “Yeah, he’s fine, just drank too much. I think he’s got most of it out of his system by now.”

“Okay,” says Yoongi. “Okay, well—goodnight.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok echoes. “Goodnight.”

It is four-thirty in the morning. Yoongi’s just busted his ass in the library for six hours straight. He is exhausted.

He doesn’t sleep at all.

 

-

 

[now]

 

Hoseok doesn’t kiss him.

Instead, he drops to his knees. “Can I?” he whispers, looking up at Yoongi. His hands slide from Yoongi’s hips to his fly.

“Yeah,” Yoongi says, heart swooping. “Yeah, shit, yeah—”

They don’t waste time. They never do. Hoseok unzips his fly and yanks his jeans down and pulls Yoongi’s cock out of his boxers. Yoongi’s been half-hard for what feels like hours now—ever since he first saw Hoseok step in through the front door—and he’s aching, a little wet, desperate to push himself inside something hot and wet and tight.

Hoseok pumps him once, twice, smears his thumb through the precome at Yoongi’s tip. Then he opens his mouth and swallows Yoongi down.

Oh, god.

It’s the first time Hoseok’s blown him. They don’t go further than handjobs. Once, the third time, when they fucked around on Yoongi’s couch with One Piece playing in the background, Yoongi blew Hoseok, and Hoseok slid his fingers into Yoongi’s hair and tugged.

To be honest, Yoongi didn’t really think Hoseok was ever going to blow him.

Blowjobs are gayer than handjobs, and Yoongi is still pretty damn sure Hoseok’s straight.

He could be bi or pan, but he could also be experimenting or curious or just—horny. All throughout undergrad, Hoseok only ever slept with girls. He even had a pretty serious girlfriend, Mina, in senior year; Yoongi still doesn’t know why they broke up. When Yoongi came out to him in their sophomore year, Hoseok just rolled his eyes and said, Dude, you’re my best friend and I love the shit out of you no matter what, and that was that.

He never said anything about himself.

Never, not even once, gave off the impression that he was anything other than hopelessly straight.

(Until he and Yoongi got stoned out of their minds and watched a fucking porno and Hoseok pulled Yoongi into his lap, and it became a thing.)

But goddamn.

Hoseok doesn’t give blowjobs like a straight boy.

He doesn’t look grossed out by the taste or nervous about trying to take Yoongi deeper. He fucking goes for it: covers his teeth, makes everything slick with spit, sucks Yoongi’s balls into his mouth and rolls them in one hand. He can’t go down very far, but he curls his other hand over the base where his mouth can’t reach. Flutters his tongue over the tip, sucks at the head, looks up at Yoongi through his lashes like a god damn porn star.

“Jesus fuck, Hoseok,” Yoongi chokes out, trying like hell to hold still. “Jesus fuck, where the fuck did you—”

“Don’t be too loud,” Hoseok murmurs. “Namjoon will fuckin’ murder us if he catches us in here.”

“Fuck Namjoon. Seriously, fuck Namjoon.”

Hoseok cracks up, head tipping forward to rest against Yoongi’s hipbone. Then his mouth, his swollen red mouth, is sliding up the side of Yoongi’s cock, tongue dragging against the wet, oversensitive skin, and he takes Yoongi down again.

It’s only a few more minutes before Yoongi gasps out a warning and tugs at Hoseok’s hair and then comes hard, his whole body folding over, shaking with the effort of not thrusting deep into Hoseok’s throat. He straightens up just in time to see Hoseok spit into his hand and then wipe it off on a tissue from the box by Namjoon’s bed. Hoseok throws the tissue away and comes back to kneel in front of Yoongi again, looking extremely pleased with himself.   

Yoongi’s knees give out.

He slides down the door and lands in a heap in front of Hoseok, pants still halfway down his legs. He’s still shaking.

“Oh my god,” he says, because who swoons over a blowjob. Hoseok giggles (fucking giggles) and leans forward to scrape his teeth over Yoongi’s neck. His mouth is warm and wet.

“Good, then?” he says.

Yoongi groans and slaps him weakly on the shoulder. “Shut up. Just like, gimme a second. Then I’ll, you know, do you.”

“Wow, talk dirty to me.”

“Shut up. Asshole. You just sucked my brains out through my dick.”

“Did I really?”

“Fuck you, I’m on the fucking floor. You know you did good.”

“Mm.” Hoseok kisses at Yoongi’s ear, the line of his jaw. Slow, lazy kisses. “God, I’m like barely even high anymore. Tae’s shit is so weak.”

Oh. “Do you—do you not want to—?”

“Did I say that?” Hoseok huffs. His breath is hot on Yoongi’s neck. “‘M just saying Taehyung needs to find a better dealer. Now pull yourself together, old man. As soon as you can handle it, you’re getting me off.”

“Asshole,” Yoongi breathes, and refuses to examine his own instant, dizzying relief.

 

-

 

[then]

[junior year]

 

“Hyung,” Hoseok says, slurring a little through a mouthful of fried pork belly, “do you wanna come home with me over winter break?”

Yoongi stares at him.

“Not for the whole time,” Hoseok clarifies. He chases the pork belly with another shot of soju. “Just for a week or so. You don’t have to. Like, no pressure or anything, it’s just that my ma’s been hounding me about meeting you and shit, so, you know. Yeah. But no pressure.”

“Your mom knows about me?” Yoongi says without thinking.

“Uh,” says Hoseok, and now he’s the one staring, frozen with his chopsticks halfway to his mouth. “…Yes? Yes, my mother knows about the existence of my best friend? Wait, are you joking?”

“No,” Yoongi mumbles. “Yes. I don’t know.”

“You have literally walked in on me Skyping with her like fifty times,” says Hoseok. “Last time she said Hello Yoongi. She addressed you by first name. You waved.”

Two minutes ago, Yoongi was feeling quite good about the evening in general. They’re at an old dive bar just off campus, the kind of place where all the counters are sticky and the air smells like booze and sweat. It’s a Saturday night but they still managed to get a two-person table in one corner, and they ordered a few shots of soju but have mostly just been talking and picking at a plate of ridiculously greasy samgyeopsal and occasionally hopping up to select a new song on the jukebox. There’s nobody else with them, it’s just Yoongi and Hoseok, and the air smells like booze and sweat but it’s warm and Hoseok keeps leaning close enough that Yoongi can smell his cologne.

It was a good evening.

Now Yoongi’s ruined it, maybe.

“I don’t know,” he says, shifting uncomfortably. He can tell Hoseok’s still looking at him. “I don’t know, I mean, I know that she knows I exist, but I didn’t think she would, like. Want to meet me. Or whatever.”

He stuffs his mouth with pork belly to avoid saying anything else.

“Yoongi,” says Hoseok. “Hyung. Of course she wants to meet you. My whole family wants to meet you. I talk about you all the time.”

Yoongi nearly chokes. “The fuck?”

“Dude.”

“No, seriously, what the fuck. What do you say about me?”

“I dunno,” says Hoseok. “Lots of stuff. I keep ‘em posted on how you’re doing in school—”

“Your mom knows my grades?”

“—what projects you’re working on, whether you’re sleeping and eating right—”

“Oh my god.”

“—oh, everyone was really excited when you got the BigHit internship. Don’t you remember? I told you my mom said congratulations!”

“I thought you were joking,” Yoongi says weakly.

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “You’re so dumb. My sister listened to your mixtape, dude. My mom probably listened to your mixtape.”

“Oh Jesus Christ, Hoseokie.” Groaning, Yoongi slumps over the table. The Formica is sticky and gross against his forehead and he doesn’t even care. “Hobi, I rapped about sex.”

“Well, that was a choice you made.”

“I can’t believe you tell your mom about my eating habits.”

“We’re both very concerned,” Hoseok informs him. “You eat way too much sodium.”

“I hate you. I literally hate you. Friendship fucking canceled.”

“Uh huh,” says Hoseok, totally unconcerned. He nabs the last piece of pork belly and chews loudly, because he is awful and disgusting and Yoongi hates him, he does. “So anyway, do you wanna come to Gwangju over break or not?”

“Yeah, I fuckin’ do,” says Yoongi, and focuses very intently on the tabletop, and the empty shot glasses, and the greasy, empty samgyeopsal plate, instead of the way Hoseok is beaming. 

 

-

 

[now]

 

They hook up for the first time in March. By late May, Yoongi’s lost count of how many times he’s lost himself under Hoseok’s hands, his mouth, his hot dark gaze. By May, they don’t always have to be plastered—sometimes they leave someone’s party when Yoongi’s got barely half a drink in his system. Sometimes they split a joint, lounging around on the couch at Hoseok’s place, but sometimes Hoseok just sort of makes a half-assed move to roll one or pack a bowl and then decides he’s too lazy and they keep watching whatever dumb show they’re watching and then one of them (usually Hoseok) slides closer and closer, and runs a hand up the other’s thigh. Then they snap the laptop shut and Yoongi climbs into Hoseok’s lap and they make each other gasp.

It’s a thing they do.

It’s no big deal.

Yoongi’s fine.

 

-

 

yoongi
hey

hobi
Heyy~~
what’s up?? aren’t you w/ Joon & D rn???

yoongi
nah
donghyuk needed to reschedule
i’m at home
what are you doing

hobi
mm not much I’m just chillin in the studio

yoongi
oh
that’s a nice picture of you

hobi
lol thanks :3
……..well????

yoongi
well what

hobi
aren’t you gonna send me a pic of you?????

yoongi
uh was i supposed to

hobi
I mean you don’t HAVE to but like, I would appreciate one
:D

yoongi
why
you see me every day
you know what i look like

hobi

yoongi
ugh fine

hobi
……………Jesus christ Yoongi

yoongi
what

hobi
YOU KNOW WHAT
you little shit

yoongi
“little”
i’m your hyung

hobi
1. barely
2. still little :)))

yoongi
fuck you
you told me to send a selfie so i sent a damn selfie

hobi
ohhhh no you don’t
you cannot play that game with me bro
you know exactly what you look like rn

yoongi
not sure i do
maybe you should tell me

 

Yoongi hits SEND and immediately regrets his entire life.

He’s so stupid.

Hoseok is literally at the dance studio right now. He’s at the studio, in public, and it’s like two p.m., broad daylight, and they’re obviously both sober and this isn’t a thing they do. Yoongi just crossed every single one of their careful, no-homo boundaries. It’s daytime and they’re sober and they don’t do this. Night—they do night. They do darkness and whiskey and the acrid taste of weed. They do Solo cups and shot glasses and closed doors and hands pressed over mouths to muffle their harsh breaths.

But Yoongi’s at home right now. Alone. Just sitting in his bed eating an ice pop because it’s fucking July and his A/C is broken. Because that’s the level at which he is functioning.

Hoseok’s at the studio like a person and Yoongi is a bed sloth who has eaten nothing but ramen and an ice pop all day. And he just—what? Tried to sext Hoseok?

He opens up Naver and is in the middle of typing how to unsend a text when his phone buzzes.

 

hobi
you look really fucking good.

 

The ice pop slips out of his hand.

 

hobi
I’m kinda obsessed with your mouth, did you know that?
it’s just so fucking pretty
like sorry if that’s the wrong word but damn, dude. your mouth.

yoongi
oh.
okay

hobi
lmao
what are you wearing?

 

Yoongi is dimly aware that his entire body is flushed hot. He tosses the half-finished ice pop onto his bedside table and replies, biting his lip.

 

hobi
Yoongi?
you don’t have to answer
seriously, no pressure
you can totally ignore that

yoongi
white t shirt
boxers
that’s it

hobi
for real?

yoongi
yeah
i mean i’m just at home
so yeah
nothing else

hobi
god

 

Hoseok’s typing balloon pops up and disappears and then pops up again. He types for a long time.

 

hobi
I wish I were there with you right now tbh

yoongi
what would you do if you were
here

hobi
depends
where are you? bed?

yoongi
yeah, bed

hobi
mm okay
can you lie down for me?

 

This should not be turning him on as much as it is. It’s sexting, for fuck’s sake. Not even that yet. Pre-sexting. Yoongi is a grown man who has had actual, real life sex and this should be nothing.

But god, he can feel his own heartbeat in every inch of his body. He’s hot all over, his face is definitely bright red, and his boxers are already getting a little tight.

He lies down. Straightens himself out with his head on the pillow.

 

yoongi
okay
i’m lying down

hobi
you’re not touching yourself, are you?

yoongi
no
should i be

hobi
No.
not until I say you can

 

Jesus fuck.

 

yoongi
jesus fuck

hobi
:)
if I were there, I’d be sitting beside you on the bed
not touching you yet
just looking

yoongi
at what

hobi
you.
you’re so goddamn hot like this, seriously
like when you’re getting riled up
I’ve told you this before, it blows my fucking mind how you go from normal Yoongi to like
god I can’t even explain it
you’re just pure sex
the noises you make, the way you know exactly how you want to be touched and you’re not afraid to show me
you’re fucking pushy and shameless and it drives me insane
so yeah, if I were there I’d be looking at you. how the fuck could I look anywhere else

yoongi
the,
n what

hobi
Lol
then I think I’d get on top of you
straddle your thighs
take your wrists in my hands and hold them down

 

Yoongi shudders out a breath.

 

yoongi
fuck

hobi
you like that?

yoongi
you know i do.

hobi
I’d hold you down
make sure you can’t touch yourself
you know why, Yoongi?

yoongi
why

hobi
because I want you wrecked
I fuckin love it when you’re just a mess
you start whining and begging me to touch you

yoongi
i don’t whine

hobi
you deadass 100% do and it’s the sexiest fucking thing
I think about it sometimes
when I’m jacking off

yoongi
you do?

hobi
mmmhmmm
I think about you saying my name
and I think about your hips
and your thighs
and your pretty mouth
and your cute little ass ;)

yoongi
fuck off oh my god

hobi
nah but I’m serious
you’re so hot
I wanna see you spread out for me
white t shirt and boxers, right?

yoongi
yeah

hobi
put one hand up your shirt and touch your chest.

yoongi
just my chest?

hobi
just your chest.
I know you like it when I tease your nipples
so touch yourself like you’d want me to touch you
do it slow
I want you to feel it
I want you to close your eyes and pretend it’s me there with you, okay?

yoongi
fuckc
ok ay
okay

hobi
if I were there I’d have my hands on your skin
your stomach, your nipples
I’d be kissing your neck
do you like it when I do that?

yoongi
yes
eyeah i like it
i really like . it

 

God, he does. Yoongi squeezes his eyes shut again and touches himself like Hoseok wants, fingers skimming his own skin, exploring himself and trying like hell to imagine his hand belongs to someone else. He pinches his own nipples, rolls them between his fingers until they’re hard and sensitive. Lets his hand slide down his chest, over his skinny-boy abs; lets his fingertips brush the hem of his boxers but doesn’t push them down. Not yet.

Not until Hoseok says he can.

He arches his back and fumbles for his phone, typing one-handed.

 

yoongi
i like yourm outh too

hobi
yeah?
well, I want to put my mouth all. over. you.
are you still touching your chest?

yoongi
yeah

hobi
does it feel good?

yoongi
yes

hobi
say my name.

yoongi
it feels  ogood hsoeok
hoseok
hoseokie

hobi
good
can you suck on your fingers a little for me?

yoongi
mm

hobi
just enough to make them wet

 

Yoongi drags his hand out from under his T-shirt and sticks two fingers in his mouth, sucking on them, licking at his own skin until everything is wet and warm and slick.

Feeling brave—feeling far gone—he takes another selfie. No cheeky pose with a stupid ice pop this time. Just him splayed out on his bed, face flushed and hair messy and eyes half-lidded and two fingers in his mouth.

 

yoongi

[IMAGE SENT]

hobi
Oh FUCK.
Oh Jesus fucking GOD Yoongi
Holy fuck
you’re incredible?????? what the fuck??
holy shit, you’re so gorgeous

 

Gorgeous.

That’s a new one.

 

hobi
fuck lmao why am I in the fucking studio

yoongi
youre not in lclass are you?

hobi
nah I’m alone, I reserved it for a couple hours
trust me I could not be around other people rn
I don’t even think I can dance
I’m so hard dude

yoongi
me too
hoseok iwanna touc myself

hobi
okay okay
your fingers nice and wet?

yoongi
yeaj

hobi
rub yourself over your boxers for me sweetheart
I want you to pretend that your fingers are my mouth

yoongi
ohj uesjs

hobi
god I wish I were there
I’d be on top of you
grinding down onto your cock
touching you fucking everywhere
your wrists and your nipples and your ass
sucking at that one spot on your neck

 

Fuck. Fuck. Yoongi presses against his bulge with the heel of his hand, hips thrusting up into nothing. When he closes his eyes, he can imagine it so clearly: Hoseok on top of him, Hoseok’s weight on his thighs, all the devastating ways in which Hoseok can move his hips. He’s a dancer and it shows in the way he fucks, the way his entire body is lithe and graceful and flexible, the way his muscles shift beneath his tan skin.

Yoongi wants to call him.

Wants to hear his voice.

But no—no, that’s too much.

 

yoongi
im so hard
please  hoseok please let me otuch my slef please
fuck

hobi
you’re being so good
so good, Yoongi
how bad do you want it?

yoongi
sofucking bad
i want your hands o nm y cock
i wnat your mouth on my neck and yoru hands on m y cock and
i want you inside .me

hobi
god yes
I wanna finger you open
I’d go so slow sweetheart
you’d be going crazy and I’d still go so slow
I’d wait until you were begging for me to give it to you hard and deep

yoongi
oh god odh fuck hoseok
please

hobi
do you want it like that?
do you want me to finger you till you’re begging?

yoongi
no if want you to tofufkc me
fuck me

hobi
I will.
but first I’ll make you fall apart.

yoongi
i am

hobi
where do you want my hands?

yoongi
everywhere
fuck fukck hoseok
i want you to holdd me down
my hips
i want your hands on my ass
while yorue fucking into me

hobi
where do you want my mouth?
imagine it, Yoongi.

yoongi
my neck
m yfcking mouth i dont care
everywhere
give me bruises

hobi
I know you like when I do that
I fucking love it too
remember when we hooked up in my backseat after Donghyuk’s party
and then 3 days later we got Starbucks lol and I could still see the mark I left on your neck
I wanted to drag you into the bathrooms and fuck you right there

yoongi
you could have
you,should have

hobi
ha. I’ll keep that in mind.
for now let’s make you feel good, okay?
you can touch your cock

 

Toes curling against the bedspread, Yoongi doesn’t waste any time in shoving his boxers down and finally gripping himself. He’s hot and wet and so so so sensitive; it only takes one pump to make him gasp and shudder. His breaths are so loud in his small, empty bedroom.

He closes his eyes and tries to pretend it’s Hoseok’s hand on him. It doesn’t quite work. Hoseok’s fingers are long and slender where Yoongi’s are knobbly; Hoseok’s palms are soft and Yoongi’s are callused. Yoongi bites his lip.

He wants to hear Hoseok’s voice.

 

hobi
are you touching yourself?

yoongi
yes.,
fyeha i am

hobi
god
I can’t even imagine how good you look right now
Wish I was there to see you
and hear you and taste you and fuck you
I wanna make you feel good

yoongi
you do
you lawyas do

hobi
spread your legs for me
make noise if you want
I know you’re so close

yoongi
im so ofucki
gn lcose

hobi
Are you making noise?

 

Yoongi arches off the bed and doesn’t think and presses CALL. Hoseok picks up after barely half a ring. “Shit, hyung,” he says. His voice is hoarse and strained. “Yoongi, holy shit.”

“Sorry,” Yoongi gasps out, “you can hang up if, if there’s anyone around—I just—oh god—just wanted to hear your, your voice—”

“There’s no one around.” Hoseok’s breath hitches audibly. “’S just me. Fuck. Are you—are you close?”

Yoongi bites back a truly pathetic whiny, high-pitched noise. “‘M so close, ‘m so—I wanna come, Hoseok, tell me I can come, ‘m so fucking close.”

“One second,” says Hoseok. “Give it one more second. I just wanna hear you a little.”

“Fuck you, I wanna come—”

“And I wanna hear you say my name.”

“Hoseok.”

“Again.”

“Hoseok. Hoseok. Hoseok-ah, fuck, I want you here with me, I want you to fuck me, I want your cock inside me—,” Yoongi breaks off with a stuttered groan, stroking himself harder, fucking his own fist. It’s a bit too dry but he doesn’t even care; any friction is so much, pushing him closer and closer to the edge. His hips are lifting off the bed in tiny circles and he knows he must look absolutely fucking debauched—mouth red and open, throat bared, back arched, hand on his cock, legs spread as wide as they can go—and he shivers, getting off on it. On looking like this for Hoseok.

That’s probably not good. That seems like too much.

But right now—right now—

“I want you inside me,” he breathes into the phone. “I want you to fuck me. I want you to let me come. Hoseok, please.”

“God,” says Hoseok, “Jesus Christ,” and then, “Come for me, sweetheart.”

Yoongi obeys.

His orgasm hits him so hard that his entire body curls up and he’s so overwhelmed that he can’t even moan. The only noise he can make is a stuttery little ah and then he’s gone, mouth open, eyes screwed shut. His whole body wracked with a wave of liquid pleasure.

He’s rigid for a few moments, frozen as the aftershocks rippling through him, and then the orgasm fades and Yoongi relaxes. Uncurls. Lets out a slow, shaky breath.

Hoseok’s sigh is a rush of static in his ear. “Goddamn,” he says, so quietly that maybe it wasn’t for Yoongi at all, and then, “Can I come over?”

It’s two p.m. Broad daylight.

“Yeah,” says Yoongi, and closes his eyes.

 

-

 

[then]

[junior year]

 

In Gwangju, they sleep in the same bed.

Meeting Hoseok’s family was nice—his father is warm and welcoming, his sister Jiwoo is effortlessly cool, his mother has Hoseok’s exact same smile—but a little overwhelming. They sat Yoongi down and asked him a ton of questions about his life and his music and How He Met Their Son, and then there was a home-cooked meal, and then there was after-dinner coffee and a carton of vanilla ice cream, and then, only when Yoongi yawned in the middle of a sentence and started apologizing profusely, did Mrs. Jung usher them off to bed.

Bed.

Specifically, Hoseok’s childhood bedroom. Hoseok’s childhood bedroom, which has blue walls and glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and a poster of Naruto on the back of the door. There are action figures on the bookshelf and a pile of sneakers and old dance clothes in the closet and NSYNC CDs under the bed. The whole room smells like teenage boy, but not in a bad way. In the clean boy-smell way that Yoongi used to hate himself for liking. Even now, he holds his breath whenever Hoseok hugs him; he is scared to breathe him in.

“Sorry there’s not much space,” says Hoseok in a hushed voice; his parents’ room is right on the other side of the wall. He and Yoongi are standing in the middle of Hoseok’s childhood bedroom, teeth brushed and pajamas on, and now there’s just the small problem of figuring out logistics. “I’ll set up my sleeping bag on the floor and you can take the bed, ‘kay?”

“No way,” says Yoongi. “No, it’s your house. I’m the guest—”

“Exactly, you’re the guest.”

“—so I’ll take the floor. Seriously, you’ve already—it’s too much, Hoseok.”

Hoseok frowns a little, sensing the edge in Yoongi’s voice. “What do you mean, it’s too much?”

“I…,” Yoongi trails off and wraps his arms around himself, staring at the floor. “I mean, like, your mom cooked my favorite food. Because it’s my favorite, because I guess you told her. They asked about Daegu and like, the fuckin’, the fuckin’ Gen Ed class I’m taking that doesn’t even have to do with my major. Because you told them, and they remembered.”

“Of course they remembered. Why wouldn’t they?”

“Gee, let’s think,” says Yoongi. “Because I’m not their son? Because they’d never even met me before tonight? Why should they give a shit?”

“Because you’re my friend.” Hoseok takes a step forward and Yoongi steps back, keeping a good meter between them. “I’m sorry, bro, I guess I don’t really understand the problem.”

“Forget it,” Yoongi mumbles. “Forget it, whatever. There’s not a problem.”

“No, come on.”

“I said forget it.”

“Hyung,” Hoseok says, and closes the space between them. “Yoongi, dude, come on. Look at me.” When Yoongi doesn’t move, Hoseok’s fingers come up to press at the bottom of his chin, tilting his face up. In the dim light of a single lamp, Hoseok’s face is mostly shadow. “Why do you not like it that my family knows stuff about you?”

“It’s not that I don’t like it,” says Yoongi. He fights the urge to duck away from Hoseok’s fingers, which are still just barely brushing his chin. Their faces are too close together. Is this weird? Does Hoseok think it’s weird? “It’s just, I dunno. I wasn’t expecting it.”

“Are you mad that I talk about you?”

“No.”

“Are you uncomfortable staying here?”

Yes. “No.”

“I still don’t under—”

“My family’s not like this, okay?” Yoongi says in a rush, staring fixedly at a spot on the wall behind Hoseok’s left ear. “My dad isn’t like your dad and my mom isn’t like your mom and I haven’t spoken to my brother since I was fourteen. I don’t know how to deal with, with this TV family shit. Where everyone is nice and your parents give a fuck and you take friends home with you over break. I don’t know how to—it’s just weird, okay? It’s weird.

He lets out a shuddering breath, cheeks burning. He doesn’t know what Hoseok’s face looks like right now (refuses to check) but Hoseok’s gone very still and silent and Yoongi wants to push him away and run out of this room and take the first train back to Seoul, where things are lonely sometimes but at least they make sense.

Hoseok pulls Yoongi into a hug. 

Yoongi stiffens and Hoseok just holds him closer, hands gripping the back of Yoongi’s sleep shirt. His head drops onto Yoongi’s shoulder. “Is this okay?”

When Yoongi doesn’t answer for a moment, Hoseok starts to move away—and that’s when Yoongi unfreezes and steps into him, shoving his face into Hoseok’s chest, hands coming up to grab the front of Hoseok’s T-shirt. Hoseok’s arms are back around him immediately.

“I’m sorry,” Hoseok says softly. “I didn’t—I mean, I figured there was a reason you don’t talk about your family, but I didn’t even think about it. I was just so excited about you visiting.”

“’S not your fault,” Yoongi mumbles into his chest. “I’m being stupid.”

“No, you’re not. It’s okay to feel shitty about things.”

“I’m literally complaining about your family being too perfect.”

Hoseok snorts a little against Yoongi’s shoulder. “For the record, we’re not perfect.”

“Right.”

“No, I’m serious. Jiwoo and I used to fight like, all the time. It only got better when she left for college. And my mom and dad went through a really bad rough patch when I was in high school.”

“What—really?”

“Yup. They’ve never really discussed it with us, but I’m pretty sure they almost got divorced.” He gives Yoongi a little squeeze. “And it took my dad like ten years to accept that I’m not gonna magically stop being into dancing and start being into super manly shit. Um, one of my cousins is a perv and a huge asshole and my other cousin punched him in the face at a big family dinner.” He sighs. “I’m pretty sure one of my aunts is a lesbian and her ‘roommate’ is actually her partner of like ten years, but nobody talks about it.”

“Oh my god.”

“Let’s see…oh, Jiwoo almost flunked out of college her freshman year. It was a whole thing. And my mom lowkey murdered my pet hamster when I was a kid.”

“What?”

“Well, I had this hamster named Patrick Swayze—”

“Patrick Swayze?”

“I was eight years old and my cousins let me watch Dirty Dancing with them. I was obsessed.”

Yoongi wants to say that the high-pitched little laugh that comes out of him then isn’t a giggle, but it totally is. “Okay, so you had a hamster named Patrick Swayze.”

“Yup. And my mom hated him. She thought he was pretty much a glorified rat that lived in my bedroom.”

“Please don’t tell me Patrick Swayze died in this room.”

“No, don’t worry,” says Hoseok very solemnly. “Trust me, I would’ve never slept in here again. I’m not living in a room haunted by the ghost of a murdered hamster.”

Yoongi giggles again. Hoseok’s arms tighten around him. It should probably feel dumb and embarrassing, just standing here hugging each other in the middle of a mostly dark room, but it doesn’t feel embarrassing at all.

“Anyway,” says Hoseok, “Mom hated Patrick Swayze. I think she was always kinda hoping he would just die by himself, but I took super good care of him? So he was probably gonna live for like, at least three years. But then, just a few months after I got him, our neighbors asked us to pet-sit their cat while they were on vacation for a week.”

“Oh no,” says Yoongi.

“Oh yes. And he wasn’t even a cute cat, either, he was one of those horrible old flat-face cats that look like they hate the entire world. His name was Sushi Roll and he must’ve weighed like 20 pounds. I was honestly scared of him, I thought he was gonna claw my face off.” Hoseok smiles and Yoongi can feel it on his shoulder. “And I was really scared that he’d try to eat Patrick Swayze, so I made sure to always close the door to Patrick’s cage and the door to my bedroom. I was really careful about it.”

“Let me guess….”

“Uh-huh. I got home from school one day to learn that Patrick Swayze had mysteriously escaped from his cage, even though he’d never managed to get out before, and coincidentally the door to my bedroom had been wide open. So he’d gotten out and then of course fuckin’ Sushi Roll got him.”

“Jesus Christ. That sounds traumatizing.” 

“It was!”

“Did you—you didn’t see—?”

“Yes! I did! I got home and my mom had cleaned up most of it but there was literally blood on the carpet! It was awful, I cried for a week.”

“Oh my god,” says Yoongi, and hooks his arms around Hoseok’s neck, even though he has to stand on his tiptoes to reach. “Oh my god, I’m so sorry for laughing. That’s terrible.”

“I know. And at the time I didn’t even question it, you know? I just thought I’d somehow forgotten to close the door. I was really mad at myself. It was only years later that I was like, holy fuck, my mom fucking murdered Patrick Swayze.”

“I’m so sorry.”

Hoseok fake-cries a little. “It’s okay. I’ve mostly recovered. But, you know, a perfect mom wouldn’t have done that.”

“Yeah. I guess not.”

For a long moment, neither of them speak. Now that he’s less freaked out, Yoongi is hyperaware of Hoseok’s arms around him, Hoseok’s mouth pressed to his shoulder. His sleep shirt is thin. He can feel the warmth of Hoseok’s lips.

“I’m tired,” Hoseok whispers after a while. “Let’s go to bed, okay?”

“I’m still not letting you sleep on the floor.”

“Fine then, we’ll both sleep in the bed.” Hoseok lets go of Yoongi and yawns hugely. “C’mon, I’m so freakin’ tired and Mom’s almost definitely gonna wake us up early tomorrow.” Easily, like it’s no big deal at all, he shucks off his sweatpants and crawls into his tiny fucking twin bed in nothing but his T-shirt and boxers. He scoots over against the wall and pats the space beside him. “Come onnnn.”

A thousand questions are caught in Yoongi’s throat—are you sure it’s okay? What if your mom sees? You know I’m gay, why are you okay with this? What if I accidentally touch you? What if I wake up hard? What if I dream about you?—but shit, shit, Hoseok clearly isn’t thinking about anything like that so Yoongi sure as hell can’t let on that he is. He keeps his mouth shut, keeps his pajama pants on, and carefully slides into bed next to Hoseok.

He realizes immediately that this is hell.

It’s a twin bed.

It was designed for one person.

Hoseok leans across Yoongi’s body to turn off the lamp, chest brushing Yoongi’s fucking face, and Yoongi can’t breathe. It’s somehow worse in the dark. In the dark, in the quiet. In Seoul, Yoongi falls asleep each night listening to shouts and laughter and traffic and the screech of car horns floating up from the street six stories below. Here, in the suburbs of Gwangju, all he can hear are singing frogs. Sometimes a single car passes by on the street outside Hoseok’s house, and the yellow glare of headlights slides across the wall. Then everything goes quiet again.

All he can hear are singing frogs, and Hoseok’s breathing.

“Hyung?” Hoseok whispers.

“Yeah?”

“Thank you for coming home with me.”

“Of course,” Yoongi whispers into the dark. “Of course, idiot.”

Hoseok laughs, more breath than noise, and rolls over and slings an arm around Yoongi’s waist. “Night, asshole.”

“Night,” Yoongi manages.

Hoseok drops off into sleep within five minutes. For Yoongi, it takes much longer.

 

-

 

[now]

 

Yoongi can’t stop thinking about the sexting. The phone call. The way Hoseok’s voice sounded when he said Come for me, sweetheart. Yoongi thinks about it, and it makes him shiver every time.

I want you inside me, he’d told Hoseok. I want your cock inside me. I want you to fuck me. It’s so stupid. They’ve hooked up countless times, but the furthest they’ve ever gone is blowjobs. Usually it’s nothing but handjobs. They haven’t seen each other fully naked; haven’t been inside each other; haven’t fucked.

I want you inside me.

It’s the truth.

That’s another thing Yoongi thinks about far too often: Hoseok’s fingers, tongue, cock inside him. Hoseok over him, on top of him, fucking him into the couch, the floor, the mattress. The first slow push, the ache, the stretch, the gorgeous fullness. Cock inside him, fingers bruising his hipbones, mouth on his neck.

Mouth on his mouth.

It’s so stupid.

They haven’t talked about it. Hoseok came over that afternoon and Yoongi blew him and then there was a moment (a moment) when it looked like maybe something else was going to happen. Like maybe they were going to fuck for real. Or like maybe Hoseok was going to lean forward and take Yoongi’s face in his hands and kiss him as hard and deep as Yoongi needs to be fucked.

But then Yoongi’s roommate got home and started puttering around in the kitchen, and the mood died.

And they haven’t talked about it.

It’s getting difficult to even look at Hoseok (Hoseok, his best friend of almost five years) without thinking: I want you to hold me down and push your cock inside me and fuck me until I forget my own name.

Awkward.

In October, Taehyung and Jimin drag them out to a club in Itaewon. For once, everyone can make it: Namjoon and Jin, who have been circling each other since the beginning of time; Taehyung and Jimin, who have transitioned very quickly from just making out sometimes to living together in domestic bliss; Jeongguk, who is probably straight but always willing to try new things; and Yoongi and Hoseok, who are—something. Lots of things, and also nothing at all.

The club is called Honey Boys, which seems heavy-handed. But according to Jimin the drinks are cheap and the music is good, so Yoongi allows himself to be dragged along.

(He gets ready beforehand with Hoseok. Hoseok, who has chosen to wear literal tight black leather pants and a loose white T-shirt that turns his tan skin gold, makes him look like high class sin. Yoongi wears skinny jeans and a plain black shirt and looks at himself in the mirror and thinks, Why the fuck would he want you. Then Hoseok comes into the bathroom and says, “Looking good, hyung!” in a cheesy voice like it’s nothing, like they’re just friends and he’s never brought Yoongi to orgasm against his thigh, and Yoongi almost backs out of the entire night.

“You realize it’s a gay club, right?” he says, watching Hoseok in the mirror.

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “Yes, Yoongi, I managed to deduce that a place in Itaewon called Honey Boys caters to a certain crowd. Also, Jimin invited us. Jimin.”

“I’m just saying.”

“Dude,” says Hoseok. “Number one, I am a dancer. I already spend most of my time surrounded by sweaty, half-naked men. Number two, literally all of my friends are some level of queer. Except maybe Jeongguk, but like, jury’s out.”

But you’re not, Yoongi thinks. You like girls. You’ve never looked at a guy, not once.

“Number three,” says Hoseok, “I am very good at drinking, dancing, looking hot, and receiving attention. So I promise you that I’m not gonna run screaming if some dude puts his hands on me. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Great,” says Hoseok, with finger guns and a big smile. “Now go grab your leather jacket and let’s go.”

“My leather jacket?”

“Just trust me.”)

Honey Boys is pretty much exactly as expected: loud and hot and sweat-smelling, with colorful flashing lights and a disco ball and a neon display of liquor bottles behind the bar. The bass is pounding, the entire dance floor is packed—a pretty even mix of men and women—and Yoongi can already feel a headache coming on.

His idea of a good time is like, chilling in the studio. Or a quiet night at home with some red wine and a movie. A hot new club in the middle of Itaewon is not his scene.

As if sensing Yoongi’s reluctance, Hoseok wraps his fingers around Yoongi’s wrist and leads him around the edge of the dance floor toward the bar. The others follow closely behind them, Jimin already bouncing to the music. Even when they reach the bar, Hoseok doesn’t let go of Yoongi’s wrist.

“What do you want?” he says, half-shouting to be heard over the music. His lips brush Yoongi’s ear. “Shots?”

“Yup,” Yoongi says grimly. “Tequila.”

Hoseok laughs. Beside them, Jimin flags down the bartender and orders a Red-Headed Slut, which makes Jin slap him on the shoulder and Taehyung practically fall over from laughing. Namjoon is already looking at their group with the sort of long-suffering expression he gets when he realizes he’s about to be relegated to the position of Responsible One for the night. He and Jin usually take turns.

(“Why’s it never me?” Yoongi asked Namjoon once. “I’m second oldest. Shouldn’t I be in charge sometimes?”

“Oh, hyung,” said Namjoon. “You’re way too much of a softie. You’d let them get away with anything.”

As much as he wanted to, Yoongi couldn’t argue with that.)

“Tequila!” Hoseok yells, passing out a round of shots and lime wedges. The smell of lime—sweet and sour and sticky—brings of memories of kitchen counters, whiskey in a Solo cup, Hoseok’s hands on his hips. Hoseok passes him a shot and their eyes meet for one hot, electric moment, and Yoongi wonders if Hoseok is remembering the same thing. “Shots shots shots!”

They start with two shots each. After that Hoseok orders a tequila sunrise, because of course he does, and Yoongi orders a whiskey sour, and he and Namjoon lean against the bar and watch the others dance. Jimin and Taehyung and Jeongguk are holding hands and dancing in a little circle, hopping around and giggling and sometimes thrusting their hips to the beat. Hoseok and Jin are having a weird little dance-off nearby, which mostly involves a lot of body rolls from Hoseok and a lot of dabbing and wiggling around from Jin.

“What’s the deal with you and Hobi, man?” says Namjoon.

Yoongi nearly chokes on his drink. “Excuse me?”

“You know what I mean. You guys are like, different.”

“Different how?”

“I dunno. Your energy or something.” Namjoon takes a long sip of water and looks out over the dance floor. His eyes land on Jin, who is doubled over from laughter, rainbow lights catching and scattering on his black hair. A couple men nearby have actually stopped dancing to stare at him in something like awe. Jin has that effect on people. “I’ve known you both for years, man, I can just tell. Are you guys fucking?”

This time, Yoongi actually does choke. “No!”

“So you are.”

“Oh my god.” Yoongi tosses back the rest of his drink and signals to the bartender for another one. “I’m not having this conversation with you.”

“Should I be worried?”

“Jesus fuck, Namjoon. No, you should not be worried, because I’m a big boy and I can handle my damn self.”

“But you’ve had a thing for—”

“How’s it going with Jin-hyung?” Yoongi interrupts, staring up at the side of Namjoon’s face. “Are you gonna tell him you’ve been in love with him for three years, or—?”

Namjoon scowls into his water. “Low blow, dude.”

“Yeah, well, this entire fuckin’ conversation was a low blow.”

“It was not, because if you and Hobi are fucking then clearly your thing for him isn’t totally hopeless. As opposed to my thing for Jin, which is basically just, like, a constant Sisyphean exercise in masochism and self-flagellation.”

“Maybe cut back on the self-flagellating. You’ll chafe.”

“Look at him.” Namjoon gestures at the dance floor, where Jin is dancing again. He is goofy and awkward and has very little rhythm and still manages to be ridiculously, improbably beautiful, the kind of beautiful that makes people stop dancing just to stare at him; the kind of beautiful that makes schoolgirls take photos of him in public when they think he’s not looking and then send the photo to their friends with the caption WHO IS THIS???????

“I’m looking,” says Yoongi. “It’s just Jin, man.”

“There’s no ‘just’ about Jin,” says Namjoon, quietly enough that Yoongi barely hears him over the music.

But Yoongi hears, and Yoongi understands.

There’s no “just” about Hoseok, either.

He’s there, visible through the sea of slick bodies, dancing next to Jin. His eyes are closed. He gets like that sometimes, when the bass is heartbeat-slow and he’s just feeling it, letting it move him, like music is an ocean and he’s bobbing in it. His eyes are closed, his face tipped up toward the ceiling. He is devastating. But Yoongi’s had five years to get used to Hoseok’s face. Eight months to get used to his body, to stop feeling like the breath’s been punched out of him every time Hoseok’s shirt rides up.

It is far more difficult, and far more complicated, to get used to the parts of a person you cannot see. The things inside them. Sometimes Yoongi thinks he’s learned all there is to know about Hoseok, and then Hoseok does something or says something or maybe just laughs in a particular way and Yoongi’s left reeling all over again. He can study Hoseok’s body all he wants, learn every scar and memorize the ways in which his muscles shift and flex beneath his skin, but there’s no way to do that with his heart.

There’s no “just.”

Yoongi finishes off his second whiskey sour. Then Jin, pink-cheeked and sweaty and giggling, comes up and drags both Yoongi and Namjoon onto the dance floor. “Stop being so boring!” he yells, weaving his way through the crowd. “Dance with your friends!”

Resistance is futile, and anyway Yoongi’s four drinks deep. He lets Taehyung grab his hand; he lets himself move with the bass reverberating in his chest. He lets go.

Time passes liquid and colorful, like drops of rain sliding down a car window at night, catching the yellow glow of streetlamps and headlights. Yoongi sways and jumps up and down and opens his eyes to: the flash of a disco ball. Jimin and Jeongguk hanging off each other, laughing, caught in freeze frame. Namjoon doing the robot. Jin watching him, eyes bright with pure drunken fondness, and then stumbling forward to curl his arms around Namjoon’s waist.

You’re the only one who thinks it’s hopeless, Yoongi thinks in Namjoon’s direction, and loses himself in the music again.

Hands on his waist.

A solid chest against his back.

Yoongi startles a little, eyes flying open, and Hoseok laughs, “It’s just me!”

“No ‘just,’” says Yoongi, tongue loose with drink.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“Mm.” Hoseok’s hands slide from Yoongi’s waist to his hipbones, fingertips sliding beneath the waistband of his jeans. When Yoongi shudders, Hoseok huffs a breath of laughter against his neck and pulls him even closer. “People are lookin’ at you, you know.”

Yoongi snorts. “They are not.”

“Are too! I told you the leather jacket was a good idea.”

“Whatever,” Yoongi sighs, and lets his head tip back onto Hoseok’s shoulder. Hoseok smells so good, and he feels so good, all warm and solid and boyish. His thumbs are caressing Yoongi’s lower belly, over his shirt.

They stay like that for a while, just sort of swaying together with Hoseok’s chin hooked over Yoongi’s shoulder. It’s nothing intense—they’re leaning into each other but not grinding. Hoseok’s hands stay where they are. Yoongi’s got a loose hold on Hoseok’s forearms, not sure what else to do with his hands.

Then the song changes from a bouncy Top 40 hit to something Yoongi doesn’t recognize—something slower, more sensual, bassline dripping with heat and sex—and Hoseok’s fingers twitch against Yoongi’s skin.

Yoongi’s breath hitches.

Judging by the way Hoseok pulls him closer and fits his hips to Yoongi’s ass, they’re on the same page. Hoseok’s hands slide an inch lower. His fingertips brush the band of Yoongi’s boxers. In response, Yoongi moves his hands from Hoseok’s forearms to his hair, stretching up and back to reach. Hoseok’s hair is sweaty from dancing, from the lights, and Yoongi pushes his fingers through it. Drags his nails across Hoseok’s scalp just because he knows it’ll drive Hoseok crazy.

“You little fucker,” Hoseok says into his ear.

Yoongi is unrepentant. “You started it.”

“I’ll finish it, too.”

“You better.”

Hoseok seems to take that as a challenge. He begins to grind his hips in small circles against Yoongi’s ass, pressing their bodies together in one long warm line. His arms are tight around Yoongi’s waist. Distantly, Yoongi is aware that they’re in the middle of a dance floor—at a gay club, sure, but still surrounded by people, five of whom are their very close friends who do not yet know about their situation. (Well, except Namjoon. Apparently.) But shit, it’s dark enough even with the flashing lights, and their friends are all drunk and caught up in their own dancing: Jimin and Taehyung have disappeared possibly to go fuck around in the disgusting unsanitary bathrooms; Jeongguk is dancing with a group of very loud lesbians; Namjoon and Jin are—oh.

Namjoon and Jin are slow-dancing.

Namjoon’s arms are looped around Jin’s waist, Jin’s hands on Namjoon’s shoulders. It honestly looks a little high school; there’s a couple inches of space between them. Like this, with Jin’s back to Yoongi, he can’t see Jin’s expression at all. He can only see the way Namjoon’s eyes are closed, brow furrowed a little. Like he’s concentrating on something.

For a moment, Yoongi wonders if maybe he should separate them. Ask Namjoon to escort him to the bar or the bathrooms or something. Because if this goes wrong—if Jin’s just drunk and doesn’t mean it—he’s a notorious flirt, even moreso when he’s got a couple drinks in him—they’ve been circling each other for ages but Yoongi’s got no fucking idea how Jin actually feels

Namjoon and Jin turn a little, and Yoongi catches a glimpse of Jin’s face.

And he knows then that Namjoon has nothing to worry about.

Because Jin—beautiful Jin, silly drunken carefree Jin, Jin who could have his pick of anyone in this club, in this city—Jin’s face is bright red. His eyes are huge and almost scared. His lips are parted.

He’s got his face tucked into the crook of Namjoon’s neck and it looks like he’s barely breathing.

They’ll be okay, Yoongi thinks to himself, they’ll figure it out, and then Hoseok nips at the curve of his jaw and he forgets all about Namjoon and Jin. Hoseok’s hands are like brands on his hipbones. It’s fucking sweltering in here with all the bodies around them, especially because Yoongi’s wearing a leather jacket; he’s sweating through his shirt, which should be gross but it’s not because Hoseok is touching his hot slick skin. Yoongi leans back into him even more, fingers playing with the short hairs at the nape of Hoseok’s neck.

Together, they find a new rhythm: pressing into each other, hips moving together, Hoseok leading and Yoongi letting himself ride out the slow, sensual motions of Hoseok’s body. It feels less like dancing and more like foreplay, like frottage, like if they did this for long enough Yoongi could come just from the sensation of Hoseok’s dick (half hard and growing fuller) against his ass.

I want you inside me.

He turns his face to the side. Noses at Hoseok’s throat, where his skin shines with sweat and neon. Yoongi brushes his mouth against the shine—the barest touch, no pressure or heat, just a flutter of breath. In return, Hoseok scritches his fingernails across the delicate skin above Yoongi’s boxers. It’s a particularly sensitive spot. Hoseok knows exactly what he’s doing. Oh, god.

“Oh god,” Yoongi says, moving his lips up to graze the shell of Hoseok’s ear. “God, Hoseok.”

“Yeah,” Hoseok says. Anywhere else he’d be speaking loudly, but here Yoongi can barely hear him over the thumping club music. “Yeah, fuck,” he says roughly, and then he shifts sideways, pushing one strong thigh between Yoongi’s legs. “This okay?”

Yoongi doesn’t bother answering. Just grinds back against Hoseok’s thigh, short and dirty, tossing his head back onto Hoseok’s shoulder. He wants to taste the salt on Hoseok’s skin.

“People are lookin’ at you,” comes Hoseok’s voice in his ear. “Men, I mean. I swear half the guys in this place have checked you out since we got here.” 

“You’re lying.”

“I’m not. Jimin noticed too.”

“You jealous?” Yoongi says, unthinking, and then is immediately horrified with himself. His eyes fly open (when did he close them?) and he stares at the side of Hoseok’s neck, trying to figure out how the hell to take that back. Unsay it.

Of all the stupid fucking things—

“Nah, I’m not,” says Hoseok, and Yoongi’s stomach plummets. Of course. Of course he’s not jealous. Why the fuck would he be. “You wanna know why?”

No. “Why,” Yoongi mumbles.

“Because they’re looking at you like they wanna know what it’s like to fuck you,” Hoseok says, and takes Yoongi’s earlobe into his mouth for a split second of teeth and hot wet tongue. “They wanna know what you look like spread out on a bed for ‘em. They wanna hear you moan. But they can’t even imagine it, you know? They got no fuckin’ idea, Yoongi. No point in being jealous if they don’t even know the half of what they’re not getting.”

“Oh,” Yoongi breathes, too quiet for Hoseok to even hear him, and then he twists around in Hoseok’s arms. He keeps Hoseok’s thigh between his legs, grinds against it—a little too hard, maybe, a little too erratically, with his cock this time instead of his ass, and fuck, the friction is incredible—and runs his fingers through Hoseok’s sweaty hair. He’s almost afraid to look up into Hoseok’s face. When he does, all the breath is blown out of him. Hoseok is already looking back. He’s looking back, and he looks like he wants to swallow Yoongi whole. He looks like he wants to take Yoongi apart and trail his beautiful fingers through the mess. He looks like he could make Yoongi come with nothing but his voice.

He looks at once like Yoongi’s best friend and nothing like that at all.

Hoseok aroused is a new creature. He still smiles—still laughs, even, right in the middle of sex, if one of their bodies makes a weird noise or he can’t get the angle right or sometimes for no reason at all—and he still talks shit and makes dumb faces just to be goofy, but there’s an edge to it. A dark heat in his eyes. It reminds Yoongi of the time he went camping with a few friends back in high school. They drove out of Daegu and into the mountains. It was summer. Humid, the air thick and wet. In Daegu, like in Seoul, the night sky is never actually dark. It just goes from blue daylight to the sort of brownish-pinkish color of old gum on the sidewalk.

In the mountains, the sky was a black ocean. The stars were like one of those jellyfish colonies in nature documentaries: millions of glowing white creatures floating slowly through the water. Yoongi hadn’t ever known a dark like that before. His friends got absurdly drunk and hotboxed the tent and ate marshmallows from the bag because they couldn’t get a fire going to make s’mores. Yoongi went off on his own. Smoked a joint. Looked up at the wide and bottomless sky.

It was the kind of dark that just had everything in it. Life and breath and heat and motion.

I want you inside me.

Yoongi tears his eyes away from Hoseok’s face. He can’t look at that dark anymore. Can’t handle it. Now that they’re facing each other, Hoseok’s hands have shifted from Yoongi’s hipbones to the small of his back. One move, one breath, and he’ll be gripping the swell of Yoongi’s ass.

Hoseok pulls him in even closer. Bodies flush. Thigh between Yoongi’s legs. Their hips roll together and Hoseok kisses at Yoongi’s earlobe again, bites at it gently.

“Oh,” Yoongi groans, the sound wrenched out of him, and presses his open mouth to Hoseok’s neck.

Before, he barely let his lips brush Hoseok’s skin before pulling away. This time he starts deep and goes deeper, letting his tongue flick out first to taste the salt of Hoseok’s sweat and then to flatten against the column of his neck, relishing the way Hoseok tips his head sideways to give Yoongi a better angle. Yoongi stands on his tiptoes and fastens his mouth to Hoseok’s neck and sucks, jaw working. A hint of teeth, a hot press of tongue. It’s wet and dirty and definitely not appropriate even for a club called Honey Boys and Yoongi is so hard he’s gonna die. He’s full on dry-humping Hoseok’s thigh at this point, rutting against him but still unable to get the perfect pressure through his jeans.

He detaches his mouth from Hoseok’s neck just long enough to gasp, “Touch me, please touch me.” Then he goes back to sucking and biting at Hoseok’s skin, leaving a trail of red marks from his collar to his jaw. “Please, Hoseokie—”

Hoseok palms his ass and then digs his fingers in, just the way Yoongi likes it. Neither of them are even pretending to move with the music anymore. They are maybe two seconds away from fucking in the middle of this stupid club. “Do you wanna go,” Hoseok says, kneading Yoongi’s ass. “Do you wanna—my place, unless your roommate’s not home—”

“Your place,” says Yoongi. “You call an Uber, I’ll tell Joon.”

“Sir yes sir,” says Hoseok, giving him a grin and a cheeky salute even though two seconds ago he had both hands on Yoongi’s ass and looked about ready to bend him over the nearest surface. The goofiness somehow does not kill Yoongi’s boner even a little, because 1. Hoseok is just that hot, and 2. Yoongi is just that weak.

So he worms his way through the crowd, grimacing whenever he’s jostled by the sweaty body of a stranger. He didn’t realize how far he and Hoseok had migrated across the dance floor—moved by the currents of everyone around them, lost in their own pulsating world—until he has to shove his way past what feels like fifty people before he finally catches sight of Namjoon’s white baseball cap.

Jin is nowhere to be seen.

“Yo,” Yoongi says loudly, poking Namjoon on the shoulder. “Where’s Jin?”

“He, um,” says Namjoon. He twists around. His cheeks are pink. “He—I think he said something about, um, air.”

“You didn’t go after him?”

Namjoon looks terribly worried. “Should I have?”

“I don’t know. Probably. Haven’t you seen Love Actually?”

“I’ve been in a room with Taehyung for more than five seconds. So yes.”

“Well…,” says Yoongi, letting Namjoon catch his drift, and then says, “I’m leaving with Hobi.”

“I figured.”

“Fuck off, Joon.”

“Great job being subtle, by the way. Now the kids know you’re fucking.”

Goddammit. “They saw?”

“Jeongguk is traumatized.” Namjoon looks smug for a moment and then seems to remember his own predicament. “You really think I should go after Jin? I don’t want to, like. I don’t know. He was pretty drunk.”

“Then just make sure he gets home in one piece,” says Yoongi. “I’m gonna go now.”

“Yeah, yeah,” says Namjoon. “Have fun banging Hobi. Or, you know, the other way round.”

“And you have fun with your come-sock tonight,” says Yoongi, and smiles very sweetly when he flips Namjoon off.

 

-

 

Yoongi finds Jin sitting on the grimy curb outside the club, head in his hands.

Hoseok is still inside. Just before he made his own escape, Yoongi saw him at the bar saying goodbye to Jimin, Taehyung, and a very wide-eyed Jeongguk. Knowing Drunk Jimin, it’ll be a good five minutes before Hoseok manages to detach himself. (Drunk Jimin is like a cuddly koala, if koalas were extremely dedicated to verbalizing just how much they love everything and everyone around them. And god, Drunk Jimin and Drunk Taehyung in the same room? A nightmare. Yoongi’s never been so aggressively validated in his entire life.)

He’s got some time before Hoseok pries himself from their clutches.

He sits down on the curb next to Jin.

“Hi,” Jin says. His voice is more high-pitched than usual, and he doesn’t take his head out of his hands.

“Hello,” says Yoongi. “You good? You’re not gonna puke, are you?”

“No.”

“Cool.”

It’s chilly out here. Behind them, music still pumps out of the club, muffled, mostly bass. The street is dark and the sidewalk is tinted sodium-yellow from the streetlights and the buildings around them are all closed for the night, except the ones lit up from inside by neon signs. Another club, a dive bar, a greasy-looking restaurant that must cater exclusively to the people who stagger out of clubs at two a.m., starving and empty and very drunk.

Jin makes a small, considering noise. “You and Hoseok, huh?”

“You and Namjoon, huh.”

“God.” He turns just enough to rest his cheek on his knee, looking up at Yoongi. “God, who even knows.”

“Everyone in Honey Boys, after tonight.”

“Funny. Respect your elders. You can’t be mean to me right now, I’m fragile.”

“I wasn’t being mean.”

“You were being honest. That’s even worse.”

Yoongi glances at him. “Something you don’t wanna hear?”

“Gee, Yoongi, I dunno,” says Jin. “Scale of one to ten, how much would you wanna have a conversation about your deep and all-consuming feelings for one Jung Hoseok?”

“Say it a little louder, asshole.”

“Scale of one to ten, come on.”

“Zero. Goose egg. Fuckin’ negative numbers.”

“Uh-huh. So would you say there’s some things you don’t wanna hear?”

“Okay, I get it.” Yoongi stretches his legs out, scowling at the pavement. “Was that your way of saying that your feelings for Joon are deep and all-consuming?”

“It was my way of saying that I refuse to have this conversation right now. Or possibly ever. Thank you in advance.”

“Looked pretty cozy out there on the dancefloor.”

“Eat a dick and die,” Jin says primly.

“Damn, hyung,” Hoseok’s voice comes from behind them. When Yoongi turns to look, Hoseok’s got his hands shoved in the pockets of his bomber, a flush on his cheeks from the cool night air. He’s halfway silhouetted against the glowing sign that says HONEY BOYS in curling pink script. “Don’t hold back.”

Jin makes a dying-cat sort of noise. Hoseok snorts and comes to stand beside Yoongi and Jin, resting his fingers lightly on the top of Yoongi’s head.

“You ready to go?” he asks Yoongi. “Uber should be here any second now.”

“Yeah,” says Yoongi. He nudges Jin. “You good to get home? I told Joon to look after you.”

“Great,” says Jin. “Wonderful. Thank you for that.”

“Yup,” says Yoongi.

“You kids have fun,” says Hoseok.

“The disrespect,” says Jin, and drops his head back onto his knees.

 

-

 

[then]

[junior year]


In Gwangju, Yoongi wakes with his head tucked under Hoseok’s chin. His face is pressed to Hoseok’s chest, nose brushing bare skin where Hoseok’s loose T-shirt shifted during sleep.

It’s just past dawn, watery blue light filtering in through the blinds. For a second Yoongi isn’t sure why the hell he’s conscious at this godforsaken hour. Then he feels it again: Hoseok is stroking his back, one thumb brushing back and forth across Yoongi’s spine, feather-light. Is Hoseok awake too? Their legs are hooked together. One of Yoongi’s arms is trapped uncomfortably under his body and the other is draped across Hoseok’s waist.

Is Hoseok awake?

Carefully, Yoongi closes his eyes again. Waits almost a full minute, hyperaware of Hoseok’s gentle touch. Then he makes a quiet, sleepy, about-to-wake-up noise. Just to see what happens.

Hoseok’s hand goes still.

He’s awake.

He’s awake and he’s got Yoongi wrapped up in his arms and he’s stroking Yoongi’s back so, so gently. What the hell does that mean? Hoseok has always been touchy; he loves physical affection, loves cuddling…but surely this is a little intimate even for him. (He froze the second he thought Yoongi might be waking up. Surely that means something.)

(Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe Hoseok just thought he was bothering Yoongi and stopped out of courtesy. Maybe Yoongi is a fucking dumbass who needs to stop looking for sunshine at midnight.)

Yoongi keeps his breaths slow and even, pretending he’s still asleep. After a few long minutes, Hoseok’s thumb starts moving again.

He thinks Yoongi’s asleep. He thinks Yoongi’s asleep.

Yoongi snuffles a little and presses closer, nosing at Hoseok’s collarbones. Like he’s asleep and seeking warmth. Like he’s asleep and can get away with anything. Hoseok’s skin is soft and flushed with heat, and when Yoongi moves closer Hoseok’s arms tighten around him. The hand on his back skims up and down the curve of his spine, and Hoseok’s other hand cups the back of Yoongi’s head. Fingers in his hair.

Hoseok smells like soap. He smells like a soft, clean boy who laughs easily and hums to himself when he makes scrambled eggs and listens to Taylor Swift and SNSD when he’s sad. He is warm and solid and Yoongi realizes that he wouldn’t mind waking up like this a thousand times, maybe more.

Something bursts open inside his chest. Like those videos that show flowers blooming in 5x speed: a quiet, contained eruption of color and vibrance and growth.

He sighs into Hoseok’s sleep-warm skin.

Hoseok smooths his hand over Yoongi’s hair.

It’s not even a revelation, really. More that Yoongi finally accepts something that has been dormant inside him—a seed, a bud—for years now. He is in love with his best friend. Just because it has finally, noticeably blossomed doesn’t mean it’s new.

  

-

 

[now]

 

Hoseok’s hand slides up Yoongi’s thigh in the backseat of the Uber. Yoongi gives him a short, incredulous look—just long enough to register the wicked grin tugging at Hoseok’s mouth—and then stares resolutely out the window. The city slides by in shades of darkness and sometimes the glare of 24-hour signs or office buildings with scattered squares of yellow light. Hoseok grips Yoongi’s thigh, rubs his thumb up the inseam of Yoongi’s jeans. They pass a fried chicken joint. A McDonald’s. A bar with the door wide open, spilling music and people out onto the sidewalk. Yoongi presses his forehead to the cool window and tries to think of nothing at all.

They reach Hoseok’s apartment building.

They get out of the car.

They walk five feet apart from each other all the way into the building, past the mail room and the landlady’s door. To the elevator.

Hoseok presses the UP button.

Neither of them speak.

Far above, the elevator lurches and groans and begins to descend.

Yoongi stares straight ahead, hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jacket. His stomach disappeared somewhere between leaving Honey Boys and stepping out of the Uber after a long ride through Seoul, and now he’s just hollow, but not in a sick way. Hollow like his insides have been replaced with something floaty and transparent. He is both incredibly aware of his body (his inner thigh, still warm from Hoseok’s hand; his hips; his cock; his spine; the spot behind his ear; his unkissed mouth) and so far gone that it feels like he’s transcended his body entirely. Yoongi is: shivers. Yoongi is: anticipation.

The elevator dings.

The doors slide open.

They step inside, and Hoseok presses the button for the seventh floor, and the doors slide shut.

They crash into each other at the same time, bodies meeting in the center of the tiny rickety elevator. Hoseok’s hands fly up to Yoongi’s face and he drags him in, but not for a kiss, of course not for a kiss; he presses his open mouth to Yoongi’s throat instead. Gasps into his skin. Yoongi shudders and molds himself to Hoseok’s body as if he’s trying to crawl inside (maybe he is) and throws his arms around Hoseok’s neck, tossing his head back to give Hoseok a better angle. He wants Hoseok to eat him alive.

First floor. Second floor. Hoseok’s hands find Yoongi’s bony fucking ass and he grips hard, working his fingers into the muscle, not bothering with going slow—they covered that in the club, on the dancefloor. Yoongi moans and shoves his fingers into Hoseok’s hair. Tugs at it, yanks Hoseok’s head back and fits his mouth to Hoseok’s jaw. Third floor. Fourth floor.

Fifth floor. “I wanna be inside you,” Hoseok’s saying, biting out the words against Yoongi’s skin, licking and sucking at his collarbones. “Can I—tonight, can I—?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi chokes out. “Yeah, yeah, you fuckin’ better, if you don’t I’ll fuckin’, I’ll fuckin’ kill you—”

“You’re hot when you’re murderous,” Hoseok says, low and dreamy.

“Shut up, oh my god.”

Hoseok’s mouth snaps shut and he pulls away.

“No,” says Yoongi, eyes flying open. He stumbles a little in the wake of not being held. “No no no, idiot, I was kidding, never shut up—”

The elevator doors slide open.

They’ve reached the seventh floor.

“I wasn’t—it’s just that we’re here,” says Hoseok unnecessarily, gesturing at the hallway. He’s giving Yoongi sort of an odd look.

“Right,” Yoongi mumbles, and feels his entire face turn red. He shuffles out of the elevator after Hoseok and together they head down the hallway to Hoseok’s door. It’s quiet again, the quiet of desperation in a public space, the quiet of hands that have to wait just a little bit longer.

Hoseok’s keys jangle in the lock and then he lets them inside, and they are alone in the dark. There’s a light switch in the foyer right beside the door, but neither of them bother with it. Instead, Hoseok crowds Yoongi against the closed door. Curls his hands around Yoongi’s hips.

Their breathing is strangely loud in the silent apartment.

Yoongi wonders if his heartbeat is just as audible.

Then Hoseok slides one hand from Yoongi’s hips to his ass, cupping it and then trailing one finger between his ass cheeks. He grins when Yoongi lets out a shaky breath. “Yeah?” he murmurs, and pulls Yoongi in, grinding their cocks together once, quick and sudden and filthy, before grabbing a handful of Yoongi’s ass again.

“Beginning to think you got a thing,” Yoongi says, sucking a hickey into the juncture of Hoseok’s neck and shoulder.

“A thing?”

“For my ass.”

Hoseok coos. “It’s just so tiny and cute.”

“Say that again and I’m leaving.”

“Nah, don’t do that just yet,” says Hoseok, and kisses at Yoongi’s throat, his jaw, his ear; he tongues at the piercing in Yoongi’s earlobe and then nips at it, a sharp little bite. “I wanna keep you around a bit longer.”

“Just a bit?”

“Mm.” He slips one thigh between Yoongi’s legs. “Bedroom?”

“No, how about you make me wait another hour.”

“Have it your way then, asshole,” says Hoseok. And he bends down and picks Yoongi up and throws him over his shoulder in a fucking fireman’s carry. For a moment Yoongi is frozen with shock, gaping at the floor—and at Hoseok’s ass, his face is quite suddenly very close to Hoseok’s ass—and then he comes back to himself and starts protesting, punching the backs of Hoseok’s thighs.

“What the fuck,” he splutters, “what the fuck, you fucking caveman, put me down—”

Hoseok groans, adjusting his hold. He’s got one hand on Yoongi’s back, the other very conveniently on Yoongi’s ass. “Jesus, hyung, what did you drink tonight? Cement?”

“Fuck you,” says Yoongi, and then immediately wants to die when his voice cracks a little. “Fuck you. I hate you. Take me to the bedroom.”

“You should just be glad I don’t have you in a princess carry.”

“That would be preferable, you dickhead! There’s dignity in a princess carry!”

“Oh baby,” Hoseok says grandly, putting on a voice like an old movie star, “you lost all your dignity years ago.” But he starts moving, navigating expertly through the pitch black apartment without ever tripping or knocking Yoongi’s skull into a piece of furniture. Yoongi scowls at the floor. Then Hoseok is pushing open the door to his bedroom and crossing the floor in three strides, his hands firm and solid on Yoongi’s body. “Here we go, Your Highness.”

Yoongi bounces a little when Hoseok drops him onto the mattress and barely has time to get his breath back before Hoseok is climbing onto the bed and crawling over him, knees on either side of his hips, forearms framing Yoongi’s head. There’s more light in the bedroom than in the foyer, city light seeping in through Hoseok’s pretty blue curtains, but it’s just enough to touch the edges of Hoseok’s body, lining him in gold-leaf like a figure in a painting. His face is half in shadow, half illuminated.

He’s hovering above Yoongi. There’s still a smile playing on his lips, but he’s not laughing at Yoongi’s angry squawks anymore. Hoseok is just sort of—smiling. Small and kind and amused but not in a mean way.

“Hi,” he whispers.

“Hi,” Yoongi whispers back.

With one hand, Hoseok smoothes Yoongi’s bangs off his forehead. “Are you still drunk?”

“No. Not even tipsy, really.” Yoongi bites his lip. “Are…are you?”

“No. I’m sober.”

He says it with a sort of weight, like it’s supposed to mean something. Like there’s a message hidden in the pauses, in the spaces between words, that he wants Yoongi to decode.

“Okay,” Yoongi says slowly. Maybe Hoseok is trying to hint that he doesn’t actually want to hook up. “Do you still wanna…?”

“Yeah, I do,” Hoseok whispers, and cups Yoongi’s face in his hands, and leans down.

 

-

 

When it comes to fucking around with his best friend, Yoongi follows two rules:

1. They must be inebriated.

2. They must not kiss.

The first rule is necessary because it gives them an excuse. The second is necessary because Yoongi is horribly aware of the fact that if he kisses Hoseok he will probably never want to kiss anyone else for the rest of his stupid, miserable life. If he kisses Hoseok, he will be ruined. If he kisses Hoseok—if he tips his chin up and lets Hoseok take his mouth, lets Hoseok slide his tongue into Yoongi’s mouth and kiss him deep and sweet like he does everything, if Yoongi sighs and tangles his fingers in Hoseok’s hair and lets himself be kissed and kissed and kissed—it’s all over. That’s it. Hoseok will know. There is no god damn way Hoseok could kiss him and not figure him out.

Yoongi has been in love with his best friend for five years. He doesn’t know when it began, only when he realized it. There’s a reason they call it in love instead of at love: it’s not so much about reaching a brand new place as it is finding yourself in the middle of a room filled with all your favorite things, all your clothes and books and photos and action figures and tattered notebooks, and the walls are painted your favorite color, and there’s a blackish mark on the ceiling from that one time you accidentally underhanded a Doc Marten, and the bed is soft and and the sheets smell like fresh laundry and the pillow has an indentation the exact size of your head, and everything is clean and familiar and wholly comfortable, and you have no fucking recollection of when or how you got here. You’re just here.

So the first rule is an excuse. The second is self-preservation.

If nothing else, Yoongi knows how to shut down.

 

-

 

Hoseok leans down, and Yoongi dodges him. Turns his face to the side at the last moment so Hoseok’s lips land on his cheek instead of his mouth. For a split second they are both frozen, Hoseok’s breath hitching audibly.

“Weren’t you gonna fuck me?” Yoongi rasps.

A beat.

And Hoseok laughs, quiet and rueful and something else, something Yoongi doesn’t know how to name. “Yeah,” he says. “Yeah, come here.”

After that, time slides into itself. There’s Hoseok’s hands unbuttoning Yoongi’s jeans, tugging them down his thighs. There’s Hoseok’s lips at Yoongi’s throat, Hoseok’s fingers on his hipbones, Hoseok’s weight pressing him into the mattress. Yoongi, for his part, hooks his arms around Hoseok’s neck, fingers in his hair. Lifts his hips so Hoseok can pull his boxers down and off. Then Hoseok’s tossing his boxers on the floor and Yoongi is naked from the waist down, the air conditioning cool on his flushed, sweaty skin, and Hoseok is sitting back on his heels. Looking. For a moment something twists in his expression, jaw clenching like it always does when he’s unsure—and Yoongi opens his mouth to ask (are you okay? Should we stop?) but then Hoseok slides his hands up Yoongi’s bare thighs and Yoongi is shivering, canting his legs open, reaching up to curl his fingers into Hoseok’s hair again.

“How d’you want it,” Hoseok says, unbuttoning the stupid fucking leather skinnies that have been driving Yoongi out of his mind for hours now. He shoves them off, frustratingly graceful and sexy even when he’s shimmying himself out of tight pants.

Yoongi’s hands find Hoseok’s strong, tan thighs. He spreads his own legs wide, his cock heavy and fully hard against his thigh, darker pink compared to the rest of his skin. “Like this.”

“Okay,” says Hoseok, “okay,” and leans over Yoongi for a second, fumbling around in the drawer of the nightstand. He comes back with a box of condoms and a thing of lube. (Yoongi notices, and then hates himself for noticing, that there’s only three condoms left from a box of twelve. How often does Hoseok do this? he wonders. How often does he go out dancing, bring someone home? Undress them on this bed and fuck them on these sheets?)

(It’s not Yoongi’s business. It is literally not any of his goddamn business.)

“Off, off,” he murmurs, pushing at Hoseok’s shirt, and Hoseok laughs and strips out of it, tossing it over his shoulder. Then they’re mirrors of each other—Yoongi naked from the waist down, Hoseok from the waist up—and Hoseok is bending down, hands everywhere, on Yoongi’s hips and thighs and cupping his face and sliding up under his shirt, thumbing at his nipples until Yoongi keens and squirms beneath his touch.

“You’re so fuckin’ sensitive,” says Hoseok, “god, it’s like your whole body is one big erogenous zone, what the hell,” and cracks up when Yoongi smacks his shoulder. “Okay, okay, chill.”

“Fucking finger me,” Yoongi says. He meant it like a command, but it comes out as a breathy whine. “Come on, Hoseok.”

“Shirt off first, I wanna see—,” Hoseok breaks off and looks away for a second. “Just—just, get your shirt off.”

“Then you get your boxers off.”

There’s a few seconds where they’re both just scrambling for their own clothes, and then (for the first time) (for the first time) they are both naked. Naked and gazing at each other with wide dark eyes. Hoseok, in the light from a city and a moon, is a study in muscle and smooth skin and bone structure. He settles down over Yoongi’s body again and presses a series of slow, open-mouthed kisses down the column of Yoongi’s neck. Yoongi sighs and tilts his head to give Hoseok a better angle, shivering at the feeling of wet heat on his skin. Without even really meaning to, he wraps his legs around Hoseok’s waist. Hooks his ankles above Hoseok’s gorgeous ass and draws him down and in. Their cocks brush for one hot, pulsating moment.

It occurs to Yoongi that with all his other sexual partners (not that it’s a long list) he’s never once felt comfortable being completely naked. He knows what he looks like: short and skinny and pale, with ribs where his muscles should be. He doesn’t look very masculine, but he also doesn’t really look like a twink; he’s too sharp around the edges. Too willing to bite back. He is a mess of weird angles and shadows and bony hips.

So he doesn’t like taking his shirt off. He doesn’t even really like having sex with the lights on. Here, in front of Hoseok, he's on full display: naked in the moonlight, cock dark and full between his legs, chest rising and falling with his panting breaths, and Hoseok is looking at him, and Yoongi doesn’t want to cover himself up. Doesn’t want to put his shirt back on.

He just wants Hoseok to touch him.

Hoseok’s mouth trails from Yoongi’s neck to his collarbones, his chest, his nipples. He takes one nipple in his mouth and thumbs at the other, takes the other in his mouth and uses his free hand to grip Yoongi’s ass. Then he’s grabbing the lube, drizzling some over his fingers.

“You ready?” he breathes into Yoongi’s ear.

Yoongi digs his heels into Hoseok’s ass. “Fucking yes.”

When the first finger touches his entrance, circling the rim and then pushing in slowly—just one knuckle at a time, almost gentle, almost unbearably slow—Yoongi grabs Hoseok’s shoulders. He bucks up a little bit, just enough to get Hoseok’s finger in deeper. One finger feels so good but in a terrible way, in a not-nearly-enough way. “Little shit,” Hoseok gasps, his mouth hot against Yoongi’s ear. “I’m going slow for your own fuckin’ good.”

“I want more, asshole.”

“Fuck you, I don’t want this shit to hurt. How long’s it been?”

“What, since I had a cock up my ass?”

“Or the equiv—oh—equivalent.”

“Only like a week, okay?” Yoongi groans, legs slipping off Hoseok’s waist. He spreads his thighs as far as they’ll go, consciously relaxing his body, preparing to take more. “I own a dildo, you know.”

“Shit,” Hoseok mutters. “Jesus. Why’ve I never seen you use it?”

“Dunno. You never asked. But—hah—it’s big.”

“How big?”

Yoongi curls his fingers into Hoseok’s hair and makes slow circles with his hips, getting used to the rhythm of Hoseok’s finger pushing in and out of him, opening him up. “Guess you’ll have to find out. Oh god. Okay. ’M ready for two.”

Slowly, carefully, Hoseok pushes a second finger in alongside the first. As much as Yoongi hates to admit it, it’s probably a good thing that they’re going so slow. There’s more of a burn this time, more of an ache. As if he senses it, Hoseok pulls out and adds more lube and then pushes back in again, crooking his fingers against Yoongi’s inner walls. God. Yoongi hisses out a breath. He can feel sweat on his temples, his collarbones, and he’s not sure whether it’s his or if it dripped onto him from Hoseok, which should be nasty but isn’t.

“You’re so tight,” Hoseok breathes, quiet and reverent. He kisses clumsily at Yoongi’s jaw, scrapes teeth over the shell of his ear. “You’re so tight, holy shit.”

“Feel even better once you’re inside.”

“Oh, god, don’t I know it.” Hoseok drags his fingertips from Yoongi’s entrance to the spot behind his balls, a long wet stroke that leaves Yoongi breathless, toes curling against the bedspread. “One more finger.”

Yoongi rolls his hips. “‘M ready, ‘m ready—”

“Be patient, shit.”

“I said I’m ready, gimme—”

“Dumbass,” says Hoseok, but he’s smiling into Yoongi’s shoulder and his voice sounds soft and almost delirious. More lube, another pause, and a third finger slides in. It’s the most difficult by far: the slowest push, a twinge of pain. Hoseok stops after the second knuckle, letting Yoongi adjust.

“How the fuck do you know so much about anal,” Yoongi mumbles, filling the quiet space between them. “Did you like, Wikihow it in the Uber?”

“Dated this girl who was into it.”

“What—not Mina, was it?”

“No. Not Mina. Do you mind not talking about my ex while I am literally inside you?”

“Sorry, sorry.” Yoongi sighs and shifts his hips a little, testing. “Okay. Keep going.”

Hoseok keeps going. Pushes the third finger in the rest of the way and spends his sweet time working Yoongi open, crooking his fingers, thrusting slowly in and out. On maybe the tenth stroke his fingertips brush Yoongi’s prostate and Yoongi lets out a shocked, strangled noise, hips jerking.

“Oh,” says Hoseok, leaning back to look at Yoongi’s face with wide eyes. “Whoa, I almost forgot that was a thing.”

“It’s—it’s a thing,” Yoongi gasps. “It’s a thing, fuck, it’s a thing, oh my god—”

“Shit,” says Hoseok, and pushes his fingers back in, angling the same way he did before, and god: he finds Yoongi’s prostate again, first brushing against it and then pressing in deeper, harder. He props himself up on one elbow, eyes trained on Yoongi’s face. Yoongi, for his part, has no idea what his expression is doing; all he knows is that he’s achingly hard, hips twitching with every thrust against the most sensitive part of him.

“If you keep—fuck—doing that,” he manages, “I’m gonna come, so just, please, please get in me, please just fucking get in me, Hoseok, shit—”

“Okay, okay,” says Hoseok, clearly trying to sound long-suffering but instead he just sounds shaky and breathless. “Okay, lemme just—condom—”

He slides his fingers out of Yoongi’s body, making Yoongi whine from the sudden emptiness, and gropes around for one of the condoms he dumped out on the bed. Yoongi closes his eyes as Hoseok rips the foil open, rolls the condom onto his cock, slicks himself up. Then (oh god) there’s the blunt head of a cock at Yoongi’s entrance, warm and wet with lube. Yoongi shudders and braces his heels on the bed. Tries to relax.

“Tell me if it hurts,” Hoseok murmurs, and begins to push himself inside. He pauses about halfway in, when Yoongi’s hands tighten on his shoulders. “You good?”

Yoongi nods, swallowing hard. It doesn’t hurt, it’s just more of a stretch than three fingers was, and cock always feels different anyway. “Yeah. Just—gimme a second.”

“‘Kay.” Hoseok noses at Yoongi’s ear. One of his hands comes up to frame Yoongi’s face, thumb at the corner of his mouth, holding him still while Hoseok kisses his jaw. “Lemme know if you need me to pull out.”

Yoongi snorts. “Please. You’re not that big.”

“Ah, fuck off.” It’s whispered, low and sweet and between kisses, into Yoongi’s throat. “Just thought maybe you couldn’t take it.”

“I can take whatever the fuck you give me, asshole,” says Yoongi, and wraps his legs around Hoseok’s waist again, nudging at him to push in further. “Fuck me.”

One final push and Hoseok bottoms out. He pauses again—both of them catching their breath, sweat dripping from Hoseok’s forehead onto Yoongi’s chest—and then begins to thrust. Yoongi has his mouth open, ready to say something cheeky (about time, jerk—c’mon, you can do better than that—is this all you got?) but the words catch in his throat. It’s clear in moments that Hoseok knows exactly what he’s doing. He gets into a rhythm immediately, focusing all his attention on thrusting in steadily and gorgeously smooth, bottoming out every time, his balls pressed up against Yoongi’s ass. Each thrust goes a little deeper. Yoongi tosses his head back, curving up into Hoseok’s body. He went a bit soft during the adjustment period but feels his cock growing full again, his entire body lit up with the sensation of Hoseok thrusting into him.

He moans with the next stroke. Hoseok smiles into his shoulder and then nips at the skin, presses the flat of his tongue against the spot where his teeth left a mark. Yoongi retaliates by dragging him down and pressing his mouth to Hoseok’s neck, wet and messy. Hoseok tastes like salt, smells like sex and cologne. He thrusts in again, harder this time, and Yoongi makes an embarrassing little high-pitched noise, a weak sort of noise, oh-oh-oh.

“You like it hard, don’t you,” Hoseok breathes. He reaches back and grabs Yoongi’s ass, palming it, fingers digging in. “Think you can spread a little wider for me?”

“Yes,” says Yoongi, nodding frantically. “Yes, yeah, oh—,” and he lets Hoseok push his thighs apart, one leg still hooked around Hoseok’s waist, the other pressing into the bedspread. He’s not very flexible—it burns a little, being spread like this, but it’s a good kind of burn. A satisfying ache in his inner thighs. Yoongi twines his arms around Hoseok’s neck and closes his eyes, giving in to heat and thrust and sensation. “Fucking—fuck me,” he mumbles, “Fuck me harder, I want it harder, come on—”

“Sorry, what was that?”

“I said I want it hard. Give it to me hard, come on, fuck me hard, this is nothing—”

“Nothing?” Hoseok stops thrusting, the bastard, sliding out of Yoongi torturously slow. “Mm, maybe I should just stop now if I’m not fuckin’ you right.”

“No,” says Yoongi, his voice cracking. “No, no no no, come back.”

“You sure?”

“Please. Please, I just want you to fuck me, I need you to fuck me, please.” Yoongi opens his eyes to find Hoseok’s face just centimeters from his own, a dark shape above him. “Please,” he says again. Bites his bottom lip, watches Hoseok’s eyes flick down to his mouth. “Please. You asshole. I haven’t been fucked in—fucking months, okay, I need it, my stupid dildo isn’t the same and I’ve never been good at fingering myself, I can’t get the, the angle right, please. Please fuck me. I’m fuckin’ begging, okay?”

“One more time,” says Hoseok.

Yoongi lets out a wild, desperate noise. He grabs Hoseok’s face and pulls it down till their noses are almost brushing. “Hoseok-ah,” he says quietly, meeting Hoseok’s hot dark gaze. “Hoseok, I want you to fuck me. I am begging you to fuck me. Please.”

He can feel Hoseok’s shaky breath against his lips.

“Please,” Yoongi whispers. “Hoseok, I want you to make me come.”

“God,” says Hoseok, and pushes back inside. And god, thank fucking god he's finally fucking Yoongi like he means it, hipbones meeting the backs of Yoongi's thighs with every thrust. It's fast and hot and deep and at one point Hoseok drizzles more lube around Yoongi's entrance, drags the head of his cock through it and pushes back in with a wet, nasty noise: the kind of noise you don't hear in porn, the kind of noise that means this is real and they are tangled together, sweaty and flushed and gasping into each other's skin, and it's real. Yoongi closes his eyes, loses himself. His cock bobs against his lower belly, caught between them and dripping pre-come. He wants Hoseok's hand around him but also he doesn't wanna come yet, doesn't want this to end, wants to feel Hoseok inside him and on top of him and around him for hours. For ever.

He hasn't been fucked this good in—a couple years, maybe. The last time he was fucked this good it was Sungmin who actually turned out to be a bastard, cold and selfish, the opposite of Hoseok, so maybe that wasn't so good after all. After Sungmin there were a couple one night stands, whenever Yoongi was feeling drunk and lonely and self-destructive, and then last March he started hooking up with Hoseok and that was it.

It's not that Hoseok's dick has like, ruined him for everyone else.

It's that Yoongi's been ruined for everyone else since his freshman year of college, and unfortunately Hoseok is also damn good in the sack.

Yoongi slides his hands down Hoseok's back to his fucking glorious ass, squeezing it hard, urging him in deeper. Hoseok's hips are snapping against his thighs and Yoongi is bent nearly in half and he still wants more, more, more, wants Hoseok to fuck him until he's got one more place inside him that only Hoseok has touched. He gasps at the ceiling when Hoseok's mouth finds his nipple, when Hoseok presses the flat of his tongue against it, biting at the peak. "Fuck," Yoongi moans, sound spilling out of him, "oh fuck, oh fuck, yes, fuck, just like that—”

Hoseok's cock brushes his prostate and Yoongi nearly wails. He actually slaps a hand over his mouth to muffle the noise, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

"Shit," says Hoseok, slowing down for a moment. "Shit, was that your—?”

"Yes. Yeah. Oh my god." Yoongi's still mumbling into his own sweaty palm. "Yeah, oh my god. Shitting fuck. Oh my fucking goddamn Jesus fuck."

"You're gonna singlehandedly get us both sent to Hell, I hope you know that."

Yoongi flips him off. "Fuck me in the ass, Christian boy."

"Praise Jesus," says Hoseok, and grabs Yoongi's wrist. Runs his pink tongue up Yoongi's middle finger, takes it into his mouth and sucks. He holds eye contact the entire time, tongue hot and wet and curling around Yoongi's finger, the slightest scrape of teeth. Then he pulls it out of his mouth and nudges it into Yoongi's, and Yoongi takes it in. Tastes Hoseok on his own skin.

Hoseok hums a little, pushes in nice and easy. "I ever tell you that you're really fucking hot?"

"You've mentioned it once or twice."

"Ah, damn."

"I mean," says Yoongi, bracing his heels on the bed. He rises up to meet Hoseok's next thrust, moaning when the head of Hoseok's cock grazes his prostate again, his whole body trembling. He can feel his heartbeat in his cock, a liquid pulse. "You could tell me again."

"You're really fucking hot," Hoseok says immediately, lips at Yoongi's ear. He's thrusting slow but impossibly deep now. "It's like, every time we fuck around I think there's no way you could possibly get any sexier. And every fuckin' time you do." He mouths at Yoongi's neck. "You in that club...you know another reason I wasn't jealous of all the guys looking at you?"

Yoongi can't speak. He just moans, weak and shaky, as Hoseok hits the perfect spot inside him over and over. It's almost too much; he's almost too sensitive, too stimulated. His legs feel like jelly.

"Because I can't blame them," Hoseok breathes. "If I were them, I'd be looking too. I was looking."

He reaches down and rubs his fingers around Yoongi's entrance, pressing at the delicate skin right where his cock is buried inside. Yoongi's hips stutter, his toes curl. He gasps Hoseok's name.

"You were the best thing out there," says Hoseok. "No competition."

Yoongi gasps. "'M close," he manages, words slurring together. “I’m—close, I'm close."

"Okay," Hoseok murmurs, soft and low, and wraps his fingers around Yoongi's cock, the hot aching center of him; he drives his own cock deep inside, quick and hard, shocking a wordless cry from Yoongi's lips. "Okay, sweetheart, okay—"

"Like when you—do that," Yoongi says senselessly, "like when you call me sweetheart, like when you—oh, oh god—," his hands find Hoseok's ass, back, shoulders; he's very quickly reaching the edge, the space you inhabit right before you come, when you're so close that you will do anything, say anything, to push yourself forward into the wracking, shuddering, full-body orgasm. "Like when you do that, say it again, 'm so close—"

"Sweetheart," Hoseok gasps, fucking into him. "Sweetheart, baby, I wanna see you come, wanna see you look at me—”

Yoongi opens his eyes. He realizes hazily that there are tears in his lashes, making everything crystalline and blurry. He blinks hard and looks up into Hoseok's face, moves his shaking hands from Hoseok's shoulders to his jaw, thumbs on his cheekbones, holding him. The eye contact feels like a physical thing. Another connection between them, another place where their bodies are touching. Yoongi couldn't break it if he tried. He gazes up into Hoseok’s face, eyes flicking across Hoseok’s flushed cheeks and dark eyes, Hoseok's soft and terrible mouth. Yoongi’s own mouth feels swollen and untouched, his lips aching. He wants—

He wants—

God, he wants—

"Baby," Hoseok says again, fingers working up and down Yoongi's cock. Hoseok is so close that he's losing rhythm, thrusting erratically, fast and hard. "Yoongi, oh fuck, baby—"

Yoongi drags him down into a messy, open-mouthed kiss.

God—it is at once a kiss and not a kiss, more an exchange of gasping breath than anything else, both of them just panting into each other’s mouths, and then they both realize what's happening and Hoseok grabs at Yoongi’s face with his free hand, graceless and sloppy, thumb pressing at the corner of Yoongi’s mouth, urging him to open wider, and Yoongi whimpers and opens up for him and they're kissing. They're kissing. They're really kissing.

Yoongi comes.

He moans into Hoseok's mouth, hips bucking off the bed. His come splatters his belly, Hoseok's belly, Hoseok's hand. Yoongi comes and his brain whites out, his whole body curling up with the force of his orgasm—he's clenching up around Hoseok’s cock, moaning, maybe saying Hoseok's name—and Hoseok keeps fucking into him, and oh god: keeps kissing him. Another deep thrust, another, and Hoseok's body tenses up. His hips slam into Yoongi's ass and he drives himself in deeper than ever before, and he comes, emptying himself inside.

And they don't stop kissing.

They don't stop kissing as Hoseok lets go of Yoongi's cock. They don’t stop kissing as Hoseok brings his hand up between their faces and Yoongi licks his own come off Hoseok's fingers, and Hoseok kisses the corner of his mouth as he does it and then kisses him deeply, licking the come off Yoongi's tongue. They don't stop kissing as Hoseok begins to soften inside Yoongi's body. They don't stop kissing as Hoseok settles down between Yoongi's legs, a warm weight pressing Yoongi into the mattress, and cups Yoongi's face in his hands.

At some point Yoongi twines his arms around Hoseok's neck. His fingers skim Hoseok's shoulder blades, muscles twitching and shifting beneath his touch. When Hoseok angles his head to deepen the kiss, Yoongi lets Hoseok take his mouth. They kiss deep and wet, licking inside each other, tongues pressing together. Hoseok still tastes like tequila. His hands are big and firm, his thumbs brushing across Yoongi's cheekbones. His lips work against Yoongi's, kissing at Yoongi's upper lip, sucking the bottom one into his mouth, worrying it with his teeth.

It's dizzying. Endless. They don't even break apart to breathe. Even as Yoongi comes down from the rush of his orgasm, he doesn't pull away; he just keeps kissing and kissing and kissing Hoseok. Keeps being kissed by Hoseok. The only sound in the dark bedroom comes from their lips catching, over and over again.

Hoseok's eyelashes flutter against Yoongi's cheek. Hoseok breathes out through his nose and Yoongi feels it on his overheated skin. He's kissed people before, but he's never felt this close to another person. He has never wanted to be kissed this much for this long. He smooths one hand down Hoseok's back, trailing his fingers over the bumps of spine, and lets his whole body relax into the bed. Into the kiss. Into Hoseok.

They kiss, and kiss, and then finally Hoseok pulls back just a little bit. He's still so close that their lips brush when he speaks.

"Hey," he says, and presses a kiss to Yoongi's mouth, to his cheek, to his jaw. "Okay if I pull out?"

Yoongi nods. He feels soft and small and thoroughly kissed, but not so thoroughly that he wants to stop, even as reality begins to seep in. "Go for it."

So Hoseok pulls out. He disappears for a moment, getting rid of the condom, and comes back with a wet washcloth. Yoongi props himself up on one elbow to watch Hoseok pad around the bedroom completely naked. He tries to memorize the flex of muscles in Hoseok's ass and thighs, the specific breadth of his shoulders.

Hoseok wipes all the come and lube off Yoongi's belly and ass with gentle movements. Then he clambers back on top of Yoongi, planting his elbows on either side of Yoongi's head, and bends down to brush their lips together almost hesitantly. Like he thinks he might get rejected again.

But Yoongi just pushes up into Hoseok's mouth and lets this thing between them bloom into another long kiss, this time slow and purposeful instead of desperate. He runs his foot down Hoseok's bare leg and curls his hands around the back of Hoseok’s neck, stroking the soft hairs at his nape. Everything about Hoseok is soft but solid. He's steady, dependable, in a way that Yoongi is not and has never been.

They kiss for a long time.

Even when they're both struggling to keep their eyes open, exhausted after the night, the dancing, the drinks, the sex, they keep kissing. Hoseok tips sideways off Yoongi's body and they keep kissing like that, naked and curving into each other like parentheses. Hoseok's hands are warm on Yoongi's hips. Their cocks brush once, accidentally, and Yoongi—still oversensitive—hisses and nearly topples backward off the bed. Hoseok catches him and pulls him close, kissing him messily on his teeth. Laughing into his mouth.

"Fuck off," Yoongi mumbles between kisses. "I get really—mm—I get really sensitive after, you know this."

"'S just funny. Your face was funny."

"Your face is always funny."

"Thank you," says Hoseok, like he meant it as a compliment and is assuming Yoongi did too. He kisses Yoongi again, brief but firm, and then collapses back onto the pillows. "Y'wanna stay the night? It's already like three a.m., might be hard to get an Uber out here. Not exactly a party district."

"Yeah, okay," says Yoongi, as if the thought of it (sleeping in Hoseok's bed after they just had sex, after they just made out for—god, fuck, nearly forty fucking minutes according to the clock on the nightstand) doesn't make him want to drink his weight in whiskey. "Shove over. And gimme some pajama pants, I'm cold."

"Needy, needy."

They putter around separately for a few minutes, brushing their teeth (Hoseok always keeps a spare toothbrush around for when Yoongi stays over) and pulling on matching pairs of Hoseok's old Kakao Friends pajama bottoms. The pants are too long on Yoongi, pooling around his toes. Hoseok finds this incredibly amusing.

Then bed. Where Hoseok slides in first because he knows Yoongi doesn't feel comfortable unless he’s closer to the door. He lifts the blankets, giving Yoongi a sleepy smile, and Yoongi gets the sudden feeling of deja vu, or of two photographic negatives stacked on top of each other, a strange overlay of time. Here, now, there’s Hoseok lifting the blankets and waiting for him to get in bed. He’s shirtless and messy-haired and his lips are red and swollen from kissing.

Below, then, there’s Hoseok in Gwangju. In a twin bed. In his childhood bedroom with the blue walls. He’s patting the space beside him, come on Yoongi get in, and isn’t that just a fucking metaphor for their entire friendship: Hoseok patting the space beside him, lifting the blankets, beckoning Yoongi into his bed and his home and his family and his life. Yoongi hesitating in the doorway, nervous and awkward and terrified, always, of letting his thoughts show on his face.

 

-

 

[then]

[freshman year]

 

It’s two in the morning. Yoongi is cold and miserable and soaking wet.

He forgot his fucking keycard inside his dorm room. He just straight up forgot it. He saw INCOMING CALL FROM DAD and his mind went blank and he went outside the dorm to talk because he’s paranoid about people listening in and then it started raining while he was pacing around outside the doors and it’s a Tuesday in late February and it’s two a.m. and pouring, and Yoongi is already drenched to the bone, and his teeth are literally chattering, and his phone is dead after a fucking hour-long phone call and he forgot his keycard so he can’t even get into the dorm building, let alone his room, and he kind of wants to die a little bit. Or maybe just sleep for a long time.

Yoongi scowls, wrapping his arms around his legs and burying his face in his knees. He’s taken shelter under the overhang, his back against the rough brick wall of the dorm building, but it’s not really doing much to keep him dry. The wind keeps sweeping the rain sideways and he’s wearing nothing but Kumamon pajamas and a thin hoodie.

(His dad is in Los Angeles for some conference. It’s nine a.m. there. It was already past one in the morning when Yoongi saw his phone light up, INCOMING CALL FROM DAD, and his mind went blank.)

His hoodie is soaked through. His pajama pants are sticking to his legs. His whole body is cold and wet, which is Yoongi’s least favorite combination of things. He is miserable. The conversation with his dad didn’t help.

He sniffles a little, trying to think about his options. The campus libraries will still be open. Maybe he could wait for the rain to let up a little and then make a break for it. He’s slept in the library before, though admittedly it wasn’t on purpose and also at the time he was 1. dry, and 2. fully clothed. But maybe he’ll look pathetic enough that the librarians will take pity on him. Let him curl up between the stacks.

His phone is a cold, blunt object in the pocket of his hoodie. He can’t look at it right now. The dead black screen makes him nervous. He would feel so much better if he could just listen to some music, but of course the stupid thing crapped out after one call.

He sniffles again.

Tries to block out the sound of icy rain hitting the pavement, a sick sort of percussion.

He’s so focused on hearing nothing at all that he doesn’t hear footsteps approaching. When someone taps on his shoulder, Yoongi nearly jumps out of his skin.

“Sorry!” the someone says immediately. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you!”

Yoongi blinks the rain out of his eyes and squints up at the intruder.

Jung Hoseok.

He is dressed appropriately for the February weather, bundled up in a gray peacoat and a knit beanie, and he’s carrying a bright yellow umbrella.

“Oh,” says Hoseok, taking a step back. “Oh—Yoongi. I’m really, really sorry. I seriously wasn’t trying to scare you, I promise.”

Jung Hoseok.

They haven’t talked since that night after winter break, when Yoongi found Hoseok helping that drunk kid. They haven’t talked, but sometimes Hoseok smiles when he passes Yoongi on the way to the communal bathrooms, and sometimes Yoongi doesn’t ignore him. Sometimes he gives Hoseok a tiny nod.

“What are you doing out here?” Hoseok asks. “Shit, you’re all wet. Are you okay?”

“‘M fine,” says Yoongi. His voice comes out as a rough, ugly rasp. “Forgot my card.”

“Dude. That sucks. Well, here, get up.”

“…Why?”

Hoseok raises his eyebrows. “So I can let you into the building?”

When Yoongi doesn’t move for a moment, still just staring up at him like an idiot, Hoseok drops down to squat beside Yoongi and peers into his face.

“You sure you’re okay?” he asks.

“Yeah,” says Yoongi, and then, humiliatingly, realizes he’s about two seconds away from bursting into tears. He is about to start crying like he hasn’t cried since he was a little kid. He can feel the tears coming, eyes stinging and nose itching and throat closing up, and oh god, Jung Hoseok is still right there. Why is he still right there? Yoongi curses, a horrible scraping non-word, and covers his face with both hands. The last fucking thing he wants is an audience for this.

(No. That’s not true. If someone has to see him cry, he thinks maybe he’d prefer an audience—an entire goddamn stadium full of people—over Jung Hoseok.)

“I’m fine,” he mumbles. His voice cracks and he wants to die. “I’m really fine. You can leave now.”

“It doesn’t look like you’re fine,” says Hoseok.

“Fuck off, Jung.”

“Yoongi…,” says Hoseok, and then there’s the warmth of a hand on Yoongi’s back.

It’s like a pebble dropped into a full glass of water: a tiny disruption, a barely-there touch, but still the meniscus breaks. Still everything overflows.

Yoongi shudders and curls into himself and begins to cry.

“Oh,” he hears Hoseok say, punched-out, which only adds to the abject mortification of this moment. Yoongi has truly never been so pathetic in his entire life: he is cold and wet and ugly like a half-drowned cat, crying into his knees, and it’s not even cool crying—not stoic, silent crying like men in the movies. He is full-on sobbing, his whole body wracked with the force of it, hands shaking where he’s trying to hide every inch of his face. Even with the rain pounding down on the tin overhang, his gasping breaths are loud and harsh and horribly obvious.

And of course he’s having this stupid, ridiculous breakdown in front of Jung Hoseok. Of course he is. Jung Hoseok who smiles at everyone and laughs at everything and walks around the dorms shirtless because he’s beautiful enough that nobody gives him shit for it. Jung Hoseok who apparently carries around an umbrella just in case, because he’s the kind of person who probably checks the weather each morning and plans ahead. Jung Hoseok who wears gray pea-coats and beanies that look like his grandma knitted them for him, who looks put-together and just really nice even at two a.m. on a Tuesday when it’s pouring rain.

Jung Hoseok who definitely wouldn’t get stuck outside in his Kumamon pajamas with a dead phone and no keycard. He just wouldn’t.

Jung Hoseok who is currently wrapping one arm around Yoongi’s shoulders and settling beside him on the wet concrete, pulling him close.

“It’s okay,” he’s murmuring. “It’s okay, just let it out.”

Fuck you, Yoongi wants to snap at him. Fuck you. Get off me. Don’t fucking touch me and don’t fucking condescend to me, you sheltered little prick. You don’t know shit about me and you never will.

But his voice isn’t quite working.

So instead he just sits there and sobs into his knees and lets Hoseok—hold him, a little bit. That’s probably what this is called. He lets Hoseok hold him and tries not to think about how long it’s been since he’s touched another human being like this. He and Namjoon high-five sometimes, and Jin is a fan of shoulder-patting and hair-ruffling. Once, first semester, Yoongi went out to a frat party and got wasted and went home with some guy. But he can’t remember the last time he was held.

It’s like the cherry on top of the melodramatic sundae.

He cries until finally the tears stop and he’s left with the quivery, hollow feeling that always comes after you cry yourself out. He cries until he’s not crying anymore, just trying to catch his breath. Hoseok is rubbing his back. Yoongi straightens up, wiping his eyes. At some point during his breakdown it stopped raining so hard. The gutters are working overtime, little waterfalls cascading from the overhang down to the pavement, and the stormy night sky has cleared enough to let a little moonlight through.

He sniffles. “I hate rain.”

Hoseok makes a short, surprised noise and then cracks up. “God,” he says, laughing so close to Yoongi’s ear. “Don’t tell me that’s why—?”

“No, idiot. I was just saying.”

“Mm.” Hoseok sighs and leans into Yoongi. “It’s almost two-thirty.”

“I didn’t ask you to stay,” Yoongi snaps. “You’re free to go.”

Hoseok flicks him on the forehead.

It’s actually so shocking that Yoongi just gapes at him, speechless.

“I wasn’t being passive aggressive,” says Hoseok. “I was just gonna say it’s almost two-thirty and you’re for sure gonna catch a cold if you stay out much longer in those wet clothes. You’re probably sick already. So—come inside?”

“Still don’t have my keycard.”

“I have mine.”

“No, like.” He scowls at the wet pavement. “Like, I can’t get into my room. I was gonna go spend the night in one of the libraries.”

“Shit, that’s right. You’re in a single, aren’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn. Well, no worries. You can spend the night in my room.”

Yoongi coughs. “Uh—what?”

“Dude, you can’t sleep in the library. Also, you’re all wet? You’ll totally get pneumonia or something and then you’ll die and I’ll feel super guilty because I could’ve saved your life. So yeah, you’re sleeping in my room tonight.”

“Don’t you have a roommate?”

Hoseok shrugs. “He started dating this girl like a week into first semester and they’re obsessed with each other. They’re probably gonna end up married, honestly. He sleeps at her place like five times a week.”

“Oh.” Yoongi shifts uncomfortably, thinking it over. On the one hand, he would really rather not sleep on the floor of the library in his wet pajamas. On the other hand, sleeping in Hoseok’s room sounds like a very specific kind of torture.

“C’mon, hyung,” says Hoseok, nudging him. “Please? I’m tired and cold but I don’t wanna leave until I know you’re not gonna be a dumbass.”

“Didn’t say you could call me hyung.”

“Fine. Monsieur Min, most dignified sir, will you please just get up and come inside with me? You’re literally shivering.”

“Whatever,” says Yoongi, and gets to his feet. He feels even more gross standing up, short and skinny with his bangs dripping into his eyes. His face is probably all blotchy and swollen from crying. It’s not like it matters (it’s not like Hoseok gives a shit), but still.

They’re quiet as Hoseok lets them into the building and Yoongi trails after him into the stairwell, leaving little footprint-shaped puddles on the floor as he goes. He feels like a very small wet ghost. Especially because his nose is still running but he’s trying his best to sniffle silently. Now that the worst is over and he’s let all the tears out, everything is just exhausting and embarrassing.

“All right, here we go,” says Hoseok when they reach the fourth floor. He glances at Yoongi over his shoulder and then falters. A literal double-take. 

“What,” says Yoongi.

“No, it’s just—I didn’t notice—,” Hoseok blinks a little and clears his throat and then presses a hand to his mouth, hiding his grin. “I, um. I like your slippers.”

Confused, Yoongi looks down at his feet.

And—oh, god.

Oh god.

He is wearing teddy bear slippers.

Like. Not even normal teddy bear slippers. He is wearing huge, round, velvety-soft Rilakkuma slippers. They’re sort of limp because they got wet but they’re still very unmistakably Rilakkuma, and Yoongi fucking forgot he was wearing them. He was so focused on being embarrassed about his Kumamon pajama pants that he didn’t even. Think. About the fucking slippers.

“Jesus Christ,” he groans, and covers his face with both hands. He can physically feel himself turning bright pink, blood rushing into his cheeks so fast he feels a little lightheaded. This entire fucking night could not get any worse. He could strip naked and start dancing the Macarena right here in the stairwell and it wouldn’t even matter because this is already the most humiliating night of his life. “Oh my god, please just leave me here to die.”

“Noooo,” says Hoseok, much closer than he was a second ago, and then long fingers wrap around Yoongi’s wrists. Gently, he tries to pull Yoongi’s hands away from his face; Yoongi resists him. “Nooooo, come on, they’re so cute. I love Rilakkuma.”

“Shut up,” Yoongi says weakly. He glares up at Hoseok through his fingers. “Shut up, this is awful.”

“You’re blushing.” Hoseok sounds equal parts amazed and delighted.

“Shut up! Die!”

“Do you secretly love cute things? You wear nothing but black all the time, I thought you were all cool and mysterious, but you’re actually a huge softie, aren’t you? Oh my god. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?”

“Shut up or I’m gonna go sleep in the library, you colossal asshole.”

“Which is your favorite, Kumamon or Rilakkuma?”

Yoongi mumbles into his hands.

Hoseok laughs. “What was that?”

“Kumamon,” Yoongi repeats miserably.

Hoseok laughs again, way too loud for two-thirty in the morning, and the sound bounces and echoes throughout the empty stairwell. “I can see that. He matches all your outfits.”

Yoongi kicks Hoseok in the shin. It does nothing, because being kicked by a Rilakkuma slipper is probably like being kicked by a marshmallow. “I hate you.”

“Yup.”

“I’m gonna kill you in your sleep tonight.”

“What a way to go,” says Hoseok. His cheeks are flushed from laughter. He keeps glancing between Yoongi’s face and the stupid slippers like he can’t decide which he’d rather look at.

“Oh, fuck off,” says Yoongi. “Weren’t you gonna take me to your room?”

Hoseok’s eyes widen and he coughs a little. “I—yeah. Right. Yes I was. Yeah, follow me.”

“That’s what I am currently doing.”

“Right,” Hoseok says again, and turns away. His ears are pink.

Don’t you dare, Yoongi tells himself fiercely.

Don’t you dare—

 

-

 

[now]

 

Yoongi climbs into bed and Hoseok immediately throws an arm around his waist, pulling him close. Everything smells like him: the sheets, the pillow, his hair, his soft warm skin. He pulls Yoongi close and kisses his mouth. They both taste like Hoseok’s mint toothpaste.

One kiss becomes two. Two becomes three. Three becomes more. These, of all the kisses they’re passed between them tonight, are the most innocent. No tongue, no teeth. Just the soft presses of their lips, tiny whispers of breath. Yoongi kisses Hoseok’s top lip, bottom lip, switches between them. Breathes out through his nose.

“You’re good at this,” Hoseok murmurs, and kisses him again, again. “Feels good.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

“You too.” Yoongi wriggles even closer, tipping his chin up for another kiss. “’S good.”

Hoseok hums into his mouth. “We should do this stoned sometime.”

“Oh. Yeah, we should.”

“Smoke up an’ watch, like, nature documentaries. Make out during the scary parts.”

“The scary parts of…a nature documentary?”

Hoseok huffs. “Like when there’s a cheetah chasing down a baby antelope or whatever and you know what’s gonna happen and it sucks.”

“Cheetahs have to eat too.”

“Thank you, Yoongi. Thank you so much. I had no idea—,” and the rest of it is swallowed when Yoongi kisses him, long and sweet and lingering. They break apart and sway back into each other, noses bumping, searching for each other’s mouths in the dark. Over and over again.

Yoongi doesn’t remember falling asleep.

But it happens.

 

-

 

[then]

[freshman year]

 

It’s the first time Yoongi sleeps in Hoseok’s room. Hoseok sets him up on the floor with a sleeping bag, two comforters, and two very fat pillows, and everything smells like the best kind of laundry detergent (the nice subtle kind with a name like Sea Breeze or whatever) and a little like lavender. Yoongi is warm and dry and wearing Hoseok’s clothes (boxers, baggy sweats, a T-shirt from some dance camp) and he can’t remember the last time he felt this comfortable.

Hoseok passes out almost as soon as he climbs into bed. The ocean-rush sound of his breathing is just barely audible over the hum of the ancient, sputtering heater. Yoongi curls up in a ball and lies awake for a while, listening to him.

It’s the first time he sleeps in Hoseok’s room. But it’s not the last.

Not even close.

 

-

 

[now]

 

The first thing he’s aware of is the sound of someone showering.

The second thing is that his toes are cold.

The third is that he’s sore all over.

Yoongi stretches, tucking his feet under the blankets again. What time is it? It can’t be too late in the morning, because the light seeping in through his closed eyelids is pale and grayish, not the bright red-gold of pure sunlight. He shoves his face deeper into the pillow, which is very soft and smells like lavender, and tries to fall back asleep.

Then he hears the sound of someone (no, not someone—Hoseok) singing that Rihanna song about love on the brain, and Yoongi jolts awake so quickly and violently that it feels like his entire body was just dropped into a frozen lake.

That’s Hoseok in the shower.

That’s Hoseok singing in the shower. That’s Hoseok singing Rihanna in the shower and the pillow smells like lavender because Yoongi is in Hoseok’s fucking bed, which Hoseok spritzes with fucking lavender spray every few days because it’s soothing or whatever, and Yoongi is in his bed and he’s sore all over because Hoseok fucked him last night. They fucked. They fucked, bone-deep and incredible, Yoongi’s whole body shivering and liquid with pleasure, and they—made out. They made out, yeah, they sure did fucking do that. For like an hour. An hour. They fell asleep still kissing, wrapped up in each other’s arms.

What was it Hoseok said?

We should do this stoned sometime.

Yoongi wants to throw up. For one horrible second he thinks he might actually throw up, because god knows he mixed his fucking liquors last night, but then his stomach settles and the physical feeling passes, leaving only the phantom sickness behind.

We should do this stoned sometime, Hoseok said.

Oh, Jesus fucking Christ.

What should he do? Hoseok’s in the shower. Should Yoongi—wait for him to get out? Oh, god, what the fuck is that conversation gonna look like? If Hoseok wants to wake and bake and fuck around some more, Yoongi will have a mental breakdown. But also if Hoseok starts nudging Yoongi toward the door (Sorry hyung, I’m gonna be pretty busy today, maybe I’ll see you later this week, thanks for the fuck, haha super crazy that we did it up the ass last night, bye) he will probably cry.

Yoongi raises a hand to his mouth. His lips are chapped and swollen from kissing. He remembers the way Hoseok took his mouth, gentle but intense, the sound and smell and taste

This is too much.

Yoongi…is maybe about to have a panic attack. It feels like cold fingers are wrapping around his lungs and digging in. Restricting his breathing. He can’t stop thinking about the way it felt to be kissed by his best friend of five years and how it made everything so, so, so much worse.

He’s so fucking stupid.

He did it first, he tries to tell himself. He started it, this isn’t on me, he started it

But Yoongi rejected him. Hoseok was just trying to set the mood, make out a little, and Yoongi rejected him, Yoongi made a big deal of it. He made kissing into a big deal. And then barely twenty minutes later, he caved (like always) and kissed Hoseok with everything in him. Kissed him (fuck) and then came immediately afterward (FUCK).

What message does that send?

Yoongi came from a kiss.

He pretty much begged Hoseok to call him sweetheart.

He said goodnight into Hoseok’s mouth and wormed his way into Hoseok’s arms and slept there all night.

He is so.

Fucking.

Stupid.

The sound of the shower cuts out. Yoongi curses under his breath, heart leaping into his throat. Fuck, Hoseok’s gonna come back into the bedroom any second now. He’s gonna come back and he’s either gonna grab his pipe and wiggle his eyebrows at Yoongi, like, wanna pack a bowl?, or he’s gonna say oh, are you still here? I don’t wanna kick you out, bro, it’s just that I’ve got so much shit to do….

It takes Yoongi less than a minute to scramble out of bed, wrangle himself into last night’s jeans, and make a break for it. His shirt is somewhere in Hoseok’s bedroom, his leather jacket tossed onto the coffee table in the living room, his shoes kicked off in the foyer. He grabs the jacket and the shoes and writes off the shirt as a lost cause, fuck it, and then he’s out the front door, into the tiny narrow hallway, bolting for the stairwell. The elevator is rickety. The last thing he needs is to get stuck in Hoseok’s fucking apartment building.

Seven flights of stairs. He’s panting at the end of it but never slows down, doesn’t stop running until he’s out the main doors of the building and onto the sidewalk, the morning air crisp and cool and smelling slightly of rain. It’s not even eight a.m. yet. Yoongi hurries down the block and ducks under the awning of a tiny bookstore to check his phone. 

 

namjoon
Yo, taking Jin home. Will let you know when back
If you don’t respond I will assume you and Hobi got back fine
But also if you could confirm that at some point it would be great

jin-hyung
im sad drunk
srunk

thing 1 
RUDE THAT YOU DIDNT SAY GOODBYE TO ME BUT WHATEVER!! I FORGIVE YOU!! BC UMMMMMMM YOU AND HOSEOKIE HYUN;G??? WHATS THAT?? WHATS UP WITH HTAT?? SINCE WHEN IS IT OFFICIAL?? ? ANSWERS PLEASE!!

thing 2 
jj  iim n;
idf
a

thing 1 
LIKE……WE ALL KNEW BYTU LIKE WE DIDN ’T………… WE DIDN’T // OKNOW//
HI YOOGNGLES TSHIS I S TAE
SORRYT
THAT WAS  TAe

namjoon
K got back all right
Jin is staying the night at my place but not like that. He’s on the couch.
This is a lot.
Agh.

jin-hyung
can we get coffee & dessert this week and be emo together :(((
:((((((((

brat
hey hyung
congrats on you and hobi hyung
i know you’ve liked him for a while so thats awesome!!
(pls don’t ever hump each other in front of me again)
(im begging u)
super happy for u guys!!
yay!!!!!!

 

Fuck.

Fuck.

Yoongi scrubs a hand over his face.

 

yoongi >> namjoon
spent night at hobi's. just woke up. sorry i didn't text earlier.
you okay?

yoongi >> thing 1 
thanks but hobi and i are not a thing. hope you got home okay. 

yoongi >> thing 2 
thank you for that thoughtful message. i hope you're alive.

yoongi >> brat
thanks but hobi and i are not a thing. hope you got home okay.

yoongi >> jin-hyung
if we're going to be emo i'd rather do it over a fuckload of meat.

 

He calls an Uber and heads inside the bookstore to wait for it. The air is warm and smells like musty old books. There's a single worker behind the cash register, a teenage girl who looks like she is more than three-quarters asleep. She doesn't even look up when he walks in, even though the bell over the door jingles.

His phone buzzes.

 

jin-hyung
okay yes, meat sounds agreeable
so i guess i shouldn't ask if you had a good night

yoongi
ha
i slept over at hobi's

jin-hyung
i slept over at joon's

yoongi
did anything happen?

jin-hyung
no.
how about with you and hobi
...yoongi, sweet summer child, you have read receipts on. i can tell when you're ignoring me.
should i assume the answer is yes?

yoongi
yes

jin-hyung
okay. and it's not the first time, right? it's been going on for a while?

yoongi
yes

jin-hyung
:(

yoongi
yes

 

His screen lights up.

 

[INCOMING CALL - HOBI]

Hoseok.

Yoongi freezes, dies, and comes back alive as a zombie all in the space of three seconds.

He declines the call.

Then his Uber pulls up outside the bookstore and he goes home and takes a long hot shower and tries very hard to think of nothing at all.

 

-

 

After four days of zero contact between them, Yoongi gets a text.


hobi
hey are you in the studio

yoongi
yeah

hobi
mind if I drop by? I’m in the neighborhood

yoongi
yeah, sure

 

Hoseok shows up half an hour later, bursting in through the studio door with his cheeks pink and his hair hidden under a beanie and his arms loaded down with Chinese takeout. He sits down in the squeaky chair opposite Yoongi and passes over a container of the same dish Yoongi has ordered every single time they’ve ever gotten Chinese takeout, which is a lot of times.

For a couple minutes, everything is quiet except for the rustling sounds of of them unpacking their food. It is terrible in a brand new way, like breaking a bone for the very first time. Once, a long time ago, Yoongi and Hoseok were not friends. Then Yoongi forgot his keycard in his room and cried in Hoseok’s arms and slept on the floor of Hoseok’s room. After that they were best friends. There has not been a single awkward silence since.

This silence is awkward.

Hoseok mixes a spoonful of rice into his sesame chicken and takes a bite and chews and swallows and asks, too casually, “So how are you doing?”

“Good,” says Yoongi. His voice is hoarse. He clears his throat and tries again. “Good. Busy. Really busy. Sorry I’ve been off the grid.”

“No worries,” says Hoseok. “I’ve been busy too. My level two kids have that show coming up.”

“Right, yeah.” Yoongi knows about that. He’s known about that for weeks. The kids are dancing to a few generic family-friendly songs but also they’re gonna dance to Gee by SNSD and it will be awesome and ridiculous and Yoongi was planning on showing up, as a sort of surprise. He was going to bring a yellow tulip because he always gives Hoseok a single yellow tulip after his dance shows because they both think roses are overrated. Holy fuck, there is no fucking way Hoseok doesn’t know Yoongi’s in love with him. It’s so fucking obvious. “Are they ready?”

“Yes. No. I mean, I’m sure it’ll be a bit of a mess in some places, they’re six years old. But they’re so cute. It’ll be really fun. The parents love it when they mess up anyway, it’s always adorable.”

“Yeah, I bet.”

Silence.

Yoongi shoves beef and broccoli into his mouth so he has an excuse to not talk.

“Hey, so,” says Hoseok. He sounds normal, he sounds totally fine, but he’s staring down into his rice and keeps fiddling with his chopsticks. “So like, as long as I’m here, there’s something I’ve been meaning to mention.”

Something cold and sharp lodges itself between Yoongi’s lungs. “Okay,” he says slowly. “Go for it.”

Hoseok sighs. He puts his chopsticks down, picks them back up, and then meets Yoongi’s eyes. He’s smiling a little, the way Hoseok is usually smiling a little. He looks normal. He looks totally fine. “It’s just, like, I think we should maybe stop doing the whole FWBs thing,” he says. “You know?”

“Oh,” Yoongi hears himself say.

“I’m just concerned that it’s gonna make things weird,” says Hoseok, “if we keep fooling around. It’s a little weird right now, you know? And I don’t want that. You’re my best friend and that’s infinitely more important to me than like, a convenient hookup or whatever. So I think we should probably stop doing, um, that kind of stuff, and go back to just being super chill best buds.”

He makes finger guns.

Yoongi stares at him.

“So anyway, yeah,” Hoseok finishes, and takes a huge bite of sesame chicken. “That’s all. You good with that?”

“Yeah,” says Yoongi. “I was gonna suggest the same thing.”

“You were?”

His insides are crumpling like paper. “Yup. Like you said, we don’t wanna make things weird. So.”

“Cool,” says Hoseok. “Glad we’re in agreement. That was easy.”

“Yup.”

More silence, broken only by the scrape of chopsticks and the sound of quiet chewing. Yoongi’s ears are ringing a little bit. For a few months back in high school he went through a phase where he could only fall asleep at night if he listened to this one YouTube video that was just eight hours of winter wind howling across the Arctic tundra. Air and ice and emptiness. That’s sort of how he feels right now. He isn’t hungry at all anymore but he keeps eating his stupid beef and broccoli just to be doing something with his hands.

“Oops,” says Hoseok after a while. “I better head back, my next class is in like twenty minutes.”

“Okay,” says Yoongi.

“Good luck with work today, bro. I’ll see you later? Maybe tomorrow or something?”

“Yup.”

“Cool.” Hoseok dumps his half-eaten food in the trash and hovers for a moment, like he isn’t sure whether he’s still allowed to hug Yoongi goodbye, and that is somehow even worse than every single other thing leading up to this moment. “Okay, well, I’m off. See you!”

“See you,” says Yoongi.

Hoseok doesn’t go for a hug. Instead he just leaves. The door closes behind him, and Yoongi is alone again in this soundproof room. He holds very still for a long moment. Then he reaches for his phone. 

 

yoongi >> jin-hyung
i need vodka and i need to not drink it alone

jin-hyung
where are you?

yoongi
about to head home

jin-hyung
i’ll meet you there.

 

-

 

“It’s fine,” says Yoongi, two hours and five shots later, half his face mushed into the carpet. “It’s seriously fine. ’S for the better.”

“Uh huh,” says Jin. He’s not quite as wasted as Yoongi, but he’s getting there, taking too-big gulps of a homemade vodka cranberry, emphasis on the vodka. “That’s why we’re drinking at three p.m. on a Wednesday.”

“’S just, you know…,” My best friend referred to me as a convenient hookup. I managed to get dumped without ever having something in the first place. I think maybe this is what it feels like to have your heart broken. I don’t understand how there are so many songs about it because right now I feel like I will never write again. “It just sucks. At the moment. But it’ll be fine.”

“Same.”

“Like, ‘m gonna be fine.”

“Same.”

“It just might take a while.”

“Same.”

“Like…,” Yoongi trails off, squinting at the pattern in the carpet. He’s lying on his belly on the floor, because somewhere between shots two and four, the idea of sitting upright got a little too complicated. Jin is curled up on the couch, wearing sweatpants and a Super Mario shirt that Yoongi knows for a fact was a birthday gift from Namjoon.

They are drinking their vodka out of mugs. Yoongi’s is a stupid novelty coffee mug that says DON’T TALK TO ME UNTIL THIS IS EMPTY. Hoseok got it for him three years ago, no occasion, just This made me think of you ha-ha-ha, and it was the first time Yoongi had ever gotten a random present because someone was just thinking of him. One time he dropped it and the rim chipped a little and he wanted to cry.

“Like what?” says Jin.

“What?”

“You were saying something.”

“Oh.” Yoongi frowns a little, thinking. “I guess just. Y’know. It can’t be like this forever. Right? It can’t.”

“I hope not.”

“He couldn’t even—” Look at me. Touch me. “It can’t be forever.”

“I think maybe,” says Jin, and then his voice cracks and he takes a funny little breath and blinks hard and tries again. “I think maybe after the club I, um. I think I tried to kiss Joonie. But I can’t remember if I actually did it or if I just sort of imagined it really hard.”

“How long?”

“Mm?”

“How long’s it been? With you an’ him. Always wanted to know.”

“Oh. Um. Well. It’s hard to—I’m not sure, is the thing. Because I know it wasn’t like this in the beginning. And now it is like this. And it’s been like this for a long time. But. I’m not sure when…when it changed. It wasn’t, like…,” he gestures vaguely for a moment, and then snaps his fingers. “Not like that.”

“Yeah.”

“I wish it had been. I wish I’d just, just woken up one day, like, oh no, I’m in—yeah. With Joonie. That would’ve been easier. But it wasn’t like that.”

“Yeah.”

Jin sighs. “Can I use a dumb metaphor? You’re gonna laugh at me.”

“Go for it.”

“It’s like, you know when you’re making bread—”

“I don’t make bread.”

“Or any baked good, whatever, Yoongi. But you know how you stick the thing in the oven and it’s dough, and then you wait a while and it’s bread? And it’s the same thing, like it didn’t disappear and then reappear as something else, it just like, you know, changed sort of fundamentally or whatever, ‘cause of the environment and the things you put into it. Like. Yeast.”

“Yeast.”

“So you open the oven and there it is. Bread. But when did it become bread and not dough? Even if you sit there and watch it rise for two hours it’s impossible to tell.”

Yoongi nods. The carpet is scratchy against his cheek. “I feel that.”

“That’s how it is.”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah? With you and Hobi, too?”

“Oh,” says Yoongi. “No, not with us.”

“Then how is it?”

“I guess it just wasn’t ever dough. On my end.”

“Oh no,” says Jin, sounding terribly upset. “Oh no, really?”

Yoongi laughs, low and dry and miserable. He takes another sip of nasty vodka from his stupid fucking mug. “Yeah. I just sorta always, with him. Like. Always.”

“Oh, Yoongi.”

“’S fine. I’m used to it. But, um.” He squeezes his eyes shut. He refuses to cry. He’s doing a really good job of feeling drunk and numb right now, and he refuses to ruin that by crying. “I think. I think maybe, um, maybe sleeping with him made it. A little bit worse.”

Jin reaches down to pet Yoongi’s head. “I’m so sorry, baby.”

“And now he doesn’t wanna do it anymore. Because I fucked up. I fucked up so, so bad, hyung. That night after the club, I—and now he doesn’t wanna—and I’m so stupid, I should’ve just kept it easy and, and convenient—

Jin’s fingers still. “Convenient? What?”

“When he broke it off. He said, he said, um, he said our friendship is more important than”—he’s not going to cry. He’s not.—“um, more important than a convenient hookup, and—”

“He said that? Hobi? Jung Hoseok said that to you?”

“I’m so stupid.”

“Jung Hoseok,” says Jin slowly, “Jung Hoseok called you a convenient hookup?”

“He said he wanted to be just friends again.”

“Oh my god, I’m going to kill him.”

Yoongi cracks an eye open at that. “Don’t you fucking tell him shit about what I just said.”

“He can’t just—”

“I mean, ’s not like he was wrong.

It’s one of the more humiliating things about this entire humiliating situation: that Yoongi was so easy. He was so fucking easy for Hoseok. One bowl, one shitty straight porno, one single dark-eyed look, and he was practically gagging for it. Climbing into Hoseok’s lap and sliding his hands up Hoseok’s shirt and grinding his hips down, moaning and gasping, harder Hoseok, touch me Hoseok, call me sweetheart. He wasn’t cool, he didn’t play hard to get, he wasn’t good enough or wicked enough to leave Hoseok wanting more. He was convenient. 

Then he kissed Hoseok with five years of longing behind it.

And suddenly he wasn’t convenient anymore. He was complicated.

Now it’s over.

It’s going to be fine, it really will be, someday, maybe. Just not right now. They’re going to be best friends, super chill best buds, as Hoseok said, and Yoongi will hurt for a very long time, probably, but not as long as their friendship. (Unless it’s already destroyed. Unless the awkwardness doesn’t pass and Hoseok isn’t capable of being friends with someone who is so horrifically in love with him. Then they’ll stop being friends, and Yoongi will hurt even more, for even longer, in different places.)

He’ll survive this.

It’s just going to be very hard. And he’s very tired, already, of feeling like someone scraped out the most important part of him and left nothing behind to fill the ruined space.

He can’t think about this.

He can’t stop thinking about this.

He finishes off his mug of vodka and shudders at the weird medicinal chill.

“Now you say something awful,” he says to Jin. “’S not fun if only one of us is emo.”

“Okay. I think I tried to kiss Joonie that night and I think he rejected me. Neither of us have mentioned it.”

“You should…,” He can’t say too much. “You should maybe, like, mention it.”

“Sure. Or maybe I’ll just die.”

Yoongi flails one arm a little. “Why is it like this?”

“Like what?” Jin asks. He shifts on the couch, but his fingers don’t leave Yoongi’s hair. “Shitty?”

“Just…hard. It’s really hard.”

“Yeah,” says Jin softly, and both of them go quiet.

 

-

 

Days pass.

Then weeks.

Yoongi thought the whole point of Hoseok breaking it off was that he wanted to just be best friends again. But they don’t hang out as much anymore.

When they do hang out, it’s always just grabbing coffee between work or Hoseok’s dance classes or Yoongi’s studio time. Ten minute interactions, barely long enough to play catch-up, and still there are silences. Still there are long moments when a space that would usually be filled with words is conspicuously empty, and neither of them seem quite sure what to do about it.

It’s survivable: frequent awkward silences with the one person who knows Yoongi better than anyone else in the entire world. It makes him want to rip off his skin with his own fingernails, but it is technically survivable. He is surviving it.

November rolls in with freezing rain. The sky is perpetually gray. Yoongi wraps himself up in sweaters and beanies and scarves, wears soft fuzzy socks inside his Doc Martens, buys a new pair of gloves. He hates the cold. These days, it feels worse than usual. Leaving his apartment feels like dunking his whole body into a half-frozen river, like the one time he went to summer camp and the counselors forced all the kids to do a Polar Bear Plunge at four a.m. in a mountain spring and it was honestly The Worst and Yoongi caught a cold. The November air feels exactly like that: a chill that goes deeper than his skin, that settles inside him and makes itself at home.

He’s fine, though. He’s doing fine.

He finds one of Hoseok’s T-shirts stuffed between his bed and the wall. He can tell it belongs to Hoseok because it says SNU WINTER SHOWCASE ’14 and also it smells like him. Yoongi buries it at the bottom of his dirty laundry pile and then takes it out and smells it and hates himself and throws the fucking shirt into the wash to get the smell out, because he feels like a gross pervert panty-sniffer, and then he spends all afternoon missing Sea Breeze detergent and Hoseok’s soft, soft hair.

So yeah, Yoongi’s doing fine. He’s doing great.

All his lyrics are about empty spaces and the cold side of the bed, but he’s doing great.

“Yo,” says Namjoon, flopping down to sit beside Yoongi. “There’s no way the kids are gonna let you leave this joint without singing.”

Yoongi groans. It’s rare that all seven of them have an overlapping night off, but it happened, and it was decided that they’d spend it at a noraebang. The drinks have been flowing all evening—Jimin and Taehyung in particular are wasted, all giggly and bouncy, singing sappy love songs to each other—but Yoongi isn’t quite so drunk that he feels like singing. Caterwauling. Whatever.

“Can’t I just supervise,” he says, pouring himself another shot of soju, which is fucking green apple flavored because somebody let Jimin order the drinks. “I’m comfortable. I don’t wanna get up.”

“I don’t care either way. It’s the kids that are gonna make you do a song.” Namjoon glances over at the others. Jeongguk and Jin are dancing along to some girl group song; Jimin and Taehyung are laughing at them. Hoseok has physically collapsed onto the floor with the force of his laughter. “Also maybe Jin. You know how he gets.”

“Ugh.”

They make him sing twice. After the second song, he manages to wriggle out of Taehyung’s grip and escape back to his seat and his bottle.

Hoseok follows him.

Hoseok sits right next to him, pours himself a shot of nasty sweet soju. Tosses it back, his throat shining with sweat.

Yoongi coughs a little and stares at the floor.

The last time he was tipsy like this he was naked, and Hoseok was pressing him into the bed with firm and careful hands.

But they don’t do that anymore. They don’t do most things anymore.

It’s fine.

“Oh, ew,” says Hoseok, making a face. He squints at the bottle of soju like it personally insulted his mother. “The fuck is this?”

“Green apple,” says Yoongi. “Ask Jimin.”

“Ah. Figures.” Hoseok slumps back in his seat, closing his eyes. “You good?”

“Yup,” says Yoongi. “Why.”

“No reason. Just making sure.”

Neither of them speak after that. Even in a tiny room filled with five other people who are all being very loud, it feels like a silence. And it feels awkward in the worst kind of way. Hoseok keeps checking the time on his phone. At one point he gets up to take a piss. Leaves his phone face up on the seat beside Yoongi.

It vibrates.

The screen lights up with a push notification. 

TINDER — YOU’VE BEEN SUPER LIKED! SWIPE TO FIND OUT BY WHOM.

Yoongi stares at it until the phone screen goes dark again.

Oh, he thinks numbly.

Oh.

So—that’s a thing. That’s a thing Hoseok is doing. Going on Tinder, finding people to hook up with or maybe even date. That’s—happening. Apparently.

(Hell. For all Yoongi knows, it could’ve been happening this whole time. It’s not like he and Hoseok were anything even vaguely resembling exclusive. It’s not like they ever fucking talked about it. They both get tested regularly and they’re both always clean, so it’s not like they ever—god, they just didn’t discuss it. Yoongi wasn’t sleeping with anyone else, and he kind of thought—he kind of hoped—)

He feels sick.

It’s stupid.

How many people has Hoseok slept with since Yoongi? Is he dating anyone? For the first time in five years, Yoongi’s got no fucking clue. In the past, Hoseok’s always kept Yoongi posted about the people he dates. He’s a serial dater—of course he is; he’s beautiful and warm and confident and good at small talk, good at making people feel comfortable around him. A girl in his Bio class, a girl he met on the subway. He’d get her number, get a date, and immediately text Yoongi: Omg I met THE. CUTEST. GIRL. AND WE’RE GETTING COFFEE THIS FRIDAY :’DDDDD.

And Yoongi would text back: haha congrats, have fun. hope it goes well.

And he meant it, every time. He really did.

So it’s good that Hoseok is on Tinder. It’s good that he’s having fun and meeting new people and dating and whatever else. It really is.

Hoseok comes back from the bathroom. He grabs his phone and glances at the screen and his expression doesn’t change. He sits back down, close enough that Yoongi can feel the heat coming off him, and watches the others. Namjoon is rapping; Jimin is dancing. Tae and Jeongguk and Jin are on vocals, hamming it up, breathless. Laughing.

Hoseok watches them and he looks so soft and open with love.

That’s the kind of person he is. Hoseok is the kind of person who unfurls with love, who blooms with love like a morning glory at dawn. He grows; he blossoms with love. He fills every room with love.

He’s got a lot to give.

i’m heading out, Yoongi texts Namjoon. Then he leaves.

 

-

 

In early December, Hoseok starts dating one of the other dance teachers at his studio. Her name is Momo and, judging by her Facebook page, she is friendly and funny and incredibly talented. She and Hoseok go on four dates before Yoongi finds out. It isn’t Hoseok who tells him.

“I’m sorry,” says Namjoon, his entire expression some sort of permanent wince. “I’m really sorry, dude, I didn’t wanna—I’m still not totally sure they’re together, but—like, I dunno, if it were me I’d wanna know.”

“It’s fine,” says Yoongi. “I figured he was dating.”

“Like, it’s not even necessarily serious. They’ve only been out a couple times.”

If it’s Hoseok and it’s been four dates, it’s pretty serious. “Right,” says Yoongi.

Namjoon groans a little. “Hyung, I still don’t even know what happened between you guys, but for what it’s worth I think you’re both being ridiculous and all of this could just be solved with—”

“Yup,” says Yoongi, and puts his noise-cancelling headphones back on.

 

-

 

He sees them on a date, once.

There’s a little café right next to Hoseok’s dance studio. Yoongi likes it because the coffee is strong; Hoseok likes it because the baristas draw cute little designs in the latte foam. It’s a chilly Tuesday afternoon when Yoongi drops by for an Americano and thank god, thank god he sees them before he actually goes inside: Hoseok and sweet, pretty Momo sitting at a table right in front of the windows, sharing a slice of cheesecake.

Yoongi freezes with his hand on the door.

Did they see him? No, they didn’t. Hoseok’s got his back to the door and Momo—well, Momo isn’t looking anywhere but at Hoseok. Yoongi knows the feeling.

She’s really pretty. She has long hair and she’s wearing a soft white sweater and her nails on the coffee mug are painted yellow. She looks good with Hoseok. They look good and normal together.

Momo says something that makes Hoseok crack up, tossing his head back and clapping twice like he always does when he finds something truly hilarious. Hoseok’s got a helpless laugh. The kind of laugh that takes over his whole body and leaves him breathless in its wake.

Yoongi backs away from the door to the café. He’s about to just go when something dark and terrible possesses him. The dark and terrible thing makes Yoongi grab his phone and type out a text.

 

yoongi >> hobi
hey, what are you up to rn?

 

SEND.

Heartbeat in his ears, feeling like a fucking middle schooler, Yoongi waits.

Inside the café, Hoseok takes his phone out of his pocket.

Glances at the screen.

Types.

Puts his phone away.

Says something that makes Momo lean forward and smile.

Yoongi bites his lip so hard he tastes blood. His phone buzzes.

 

hobi
Nm just at dance busy rn but talk 2 you later!

 

Okay.

Okay.

That’s—an answer. It’s not the one he was hoping for. But it’s also the one he was expecting.

This is not friendship, he thinks to himself very clearly. This is not what we used to be.

Before, Hoseok would have said: ON A DATE!! TTYL <33333.

Now he lies.

Because he knows.

Hoseok is kind. He doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. Of course he wouldn’t tell Yoongi about dating Momo, about their coffee date today. He is kind; he has always been kind. He was kind when he let Yoongi sleep in his dorm room back in their freshman year; he was kind when he invited Yoongi home with him to Gwangju; he was kind when he said they should just be friends again. He is kind and considerate and always, always, he spares Yoongi’s feelings.

Because he knows.

He’s always known.

Not about this, but about everything else: Yoongi’s father, family, sadness, sexuality; his stupid dreams.

 

-

 

[then]

[sophomore year]

 

“You realize I’m gay,” Yoongi says one night, unable to keep from saying it any longer, because this thing (this friendship) has gotten Real. It’s gotten Real to the point where it would really suck if things ended, so. Might as well cut it off at the quick. You realize I’m gay. He says it like: this is who I am and you can take it or fucking leave it, but he means it like: please take it. Please don’t leave it.

“Uh,” says Hoseok. “Yes, I was—I’m sort of aware, yeah.”

Yoongi stares at him.

“Yeah.” Hoseok shrugs a little, squinting at his laptop screen. He’s been whining about this paper all week. “I mean, like, I don’t wanna—stereotype? or something?—but like, I sort of had an idea, and then also don’t you totally have a thing for David Beckham?”

It honestly takes a second for Yoongi to reboot his brain. “…What.”

“Oh my god, dude. Again, I don’t wanna be insensitive or whatever, it’s the 21st century, but like. Dude.”

“I—I do not have a thing for David Beckham.”

“Are you sure about that?” says Hoseok. “Because you know when I was watching TV and that ad came on? Like the charity thing for abandoned dogs or something? And there was Messi and Ronaldo and a bunch of other famous footballer dudes who are super into this dog charity, and then also Beckham came on? And you nearly dropped a plate?”

“I,” says Yoongi.

“So there’s Beckham,” says Hoseok, ticking it off on his fingers, “and then, let’s see, that one dude from Unpretty Rapstar, which, yes, I know you secretly hate-watch, but anyway yeah the dude with the nice butt who did that one verse about social justice, and then also the guy from Inception. Johnny something?”

“Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” Yoongi says weakly.

“Right. Him. Anyway, hyung, you totally have a type.”

“I do not.”

Hoseok snorts. “Bro. You’re into sorta skinny, sorta athletic-looking guys with pretty faces. That is your type.”

“Oh,” says Yoongi. “Um. Right.”

“It’s not bad! It’s normal. Like, my type is short cute girls who could probably kill me. But yeah, I kinda figured you were gay. Or at least not totally straight. Sexuality is a spectrum, you know?” He grins. “I did some research.”

“You…researched it.”

“I mean, yeah. After you saw David Beckham and nearly dropped a plate.”

Yoongi opens his mouth and nothing comes out.

“I just wanted to make sure,” says Hoseok. “I wanted to look up the right words and stuff to use, so I wouldn’t accidentally say something stupid.”

“Okay,” says Yoongi. “Okay, that was—okay.”

“Seriously, dude,” says Hoseok, “you’re my best friend and I love the shit out of you no matter what. So if I do say something stupid, which I totally might because it’s me, just tell me. Okay? Just tell me. The last thing I wanna do is make you uncomfortable. Anyway, do you wanna watch Haikyuu? I can’t fuckin’ focus on this paper anymore.”

Yoongi nods.

They watch Haikyuu.

Two years later, the night after they both graduate college, Yoongi asks Hoseok what exactly he researched. Hoseok laughs and falls into him, drunk and irreverent, and refuses to answer.

 

-

 

[now]

 

“What in the hell,” says Hoseok’s sister, “did you do to him?”

Yoongi actually pulls his cellphone away from his ear and stares at it for a second. No, he didn’t read the contact name wrong. It’s definitely Jung Jiwoo calling him, and it’s definitely Jung Jiwoo yelling at him for no reason. “Uh, what?”

“You know what, Min Yoongi!”

“No, I really don’t?”

“What! Did you do! To my brother!”

She and Hoseok have the same screech. Yoongi winces and ducks into the frozen foods aisle, which is slightly less crowded than the cereal aisle. Jiwoo is loud enough that there’s a good chance anyone within five meters of Yoongi will be able to hear the entire conversation.

“I didn’t do anything!” he hisses into his phone. “I swear!”

“Then why,” she says, low and deadly, “has my brother been straight-up miserable for like two months now? He isn’t sleeping! He’s barely eating! I sent him a care package and he barely reacted! We Skyped and he almost started crying! What did you do?”

“Okay, hold up,” says Yoongi. “I saw Hobi a week ago and he seemed fine.”

Maybe not fine. Maybe a little pale around the edges, a little wan; maybe the shadows under his eyes were a little more pronounced than usual. But he didn’t look miserable.

“Well, he’s not fine,” Jiwoo snaps. “He’s like, depressed. I live half a country away and even I can tell something is really damn wrong, so either you don’t actually know Hoseokie very well at all or you’re just being willfully blind.”

Yoongi bristles. “Look—”

“No, you look.” She huffs into the phone, a rush of static. “I’m not mad at you because of how you feel about him. I get that you can’t control it and you don’t, like, owe him anything. I’m mad because you’re apparently treating him like shit—”

She keeps going, but Yoongi’s not listening.

How you feel about him. You can’t control it.

He wants to throw up.

Hoseok really does know, then.

Hoseok knows, and apparently he talked to Jiwoo about it. What the fuck did he say? There is no fucking way he told Jiwoo about the fuck buddies thing. Not when his entire family is just waiting for him to settle down with a nice girl like Momo and get married and have sons. Not when Hoseok is straight, no matter what he likes to do in the dark with a drink in him.

What did he tell Jiwoo?

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Yoongi has a thing for me. Like, romantically. I’m gonna have to let him down easy.

“I’m not treating him like shit,” Yoongi manages. “I don’t know what—I don’t know what he told you but I’m not treating him bad. I wouldn’t. Don’t you dare think I would.”

“I don’t know what to think,” says Jiwoo. “He won’t tell me anything. All I managed to pry out of him is that you guys had some sort of—I dunno, fight?—and now you’re not hanging out as much. God, Yoongi. I get that certain things might make you a bit uncomfortable, but I didn’t think you were the type to pull this crap.”

Certain things. Yoongi grips his phone so tight that his fingers hurt. “It was his idea.”

“What was?”

“Us not hanging out as much.”

A pause.

“That doesn’t sound like him,” Jiwoo says slowly.

“Yeah, well. Even though—even though the two of us aren’t on the same page, I—I wouldn’t just, you know. Ghost him.”

“I didn’t think you would. That’s why I was so mad.” She sighs. “Well, damn. I guess I’ll go yell at him now.”

“Please don’t,” says Yoongi. “It’ll just make shit worse.”

“Rude.”

“Sorry.”

They’re both quiet for a moment. Yoongi can hear her breathing, the faintest noise.

“I’m sorry for yelling,” Jiwoo says finally. “And I’m sorry that my idiot brother is being an idiot. I’ll stay out of it for now, but I really hope you guys patch things up soon. Your friendship is stronger than something like this. So just…keep trying, I guess. Hoseokie will come around. And Yoongi?”

“Yeah?”

“I’ll be really sad if you never come home for break again. So will Mom and Dad. You’re part of the family, you know?”

It’s too much.

It’s too much.

“Uh huh,” says Yoongi, and hangs up.

 

-

 

By the time New Year’s rolls around, they haven’t seen each other in three weeks and haven’t texted in two. Their last conversation went like this:

 

hobi
hey are you coming to Joon’s tonight? there will be drinks and board games~

yoongi
ah, sorry
helping a friend mix

hobi
oh okay! no worries!!
I’ll see you later then hyung

yoongi
sounds good

 

And that was it.

Yoongi has gotten halfway through typing out a text (hey—how are you—what are you doing today—sorry i’ve been busy—do you have plans this weekend—do you wanna come over—do you wanna smoke up—i miss you—i miss you—i miss you—) about a thousand times over the past two weeks, but he hasn’t sent a single one.

The rest of his inbox looks like this:

 

namjoon
Yo do you wanna come over tomorrow?
Or this weekend
Or whenever
I can’t tell if this is your usual work-related disappearing act or something much more troubling but I feel like it’s the latter and I’m concerned. 
Broooooooooo
Hyuuuuuuuuuuuung
Ugh

thing 1 
hey daily reminder that everything is gonna be okay and i’m here if you ever wanna talk <3

thing 2 
look at this cat i met today! u wouldve loved her~~

okay but like For Real we all miss u dude!!!! idk the details or anything but pls know that we all love u and hobi Super loves u and everythings gonna be okay!!!!!!
if u ever wanna talk about falling in love w/ ur best friend i am a veritable phd Expert in that lmao so just lmk ok????

brat
hey i know its not my place but like
hobi-hyung seems kinda sad and stuff
which means ur probably sad too
:((
u can talk 2 us hyung thats what we’re here for

jin-hyung
okay so here’s the deal
you talk to hoseok, i’ll talk to namjoon. i mean it. i can *feel* myself breaking out right now and it is 100% your fault. your lack of communication with hobi is literally clogging my pores. FIX THIS.
(also i love you and i’m here for you.)

 

Yoongi hasn’t responded to any of them.

Everything is just sort of a lot right now.

The only reason he doesn’t plan on spending New Year’s Eve holed up in his apartment is because Namjoon showed up at the studio yesterday and threatened to physically drag Yoongi to their group’s annual party. Yoongi said, “You and what army, beanpole?” and Namjoon said, “Jeongguk and his biceps. Good luck, toothpick.”

So it looks like Yoongi’s going to the party.

It’ll be okay, he reasons with himself. It’s not just their small group—it’ll be Yoongi and Namjoon’s friends from college, Namjoon’s roommates and all of their friends, Jin’s coworkers, Jimin’s entire dance troupe, Taehyung’s weird science people, Jeongguk’s slightly fratty college squad. There will be food and alcohol (and alcohol) and actual good music, if Namjoon’s making the playlist. Yoongi can just stick around and avoid Hoseok—and, god, Momo—for long enough that everyone is satisfied with him making an appearance, and then he can duck out early and go the hell home.

It’ll be okay.

It might even be fun.

 

-

 

It’s not going to be fun.

Yoongi knows the second he walks into Namjoon’s apartment that this is going to suck, because the first thing he sees when he walks into Namjoon’s dim, crowded, weed-smelling apartment is Hoseok. And Momo. Their backs are to Yoongi, but he’d recognize Hoseok anywhere, and Momo has long blonde hair. They’re both laughing, standing in a circle of people Yoongi vaguely recognizes from Hoseok’s shows.

When Momo laughs, her head falls onto Hoseok’s shoulder.

Yoongi makes a beeline for the kitchen.

Which honestly makes things even worse, because being in Namjoon’s kitchen—small and dark and closed-off, the counter piled with Solo cups and and lukewarm mixers and bottles of whiskey, vodka, soju, a single bottle of dark wine that must be Jin’s doing—just reminds Yoongi of the last time he was here. When he sat right there, on the counter next to the stove, and drank JD and chased it with lime wedges, and then Hoseok came in and slid between his legs and pressed his gorgeous mouth to Yoongi’s throat. Held a slice of lime to Yoongi’s mouth and watched with hot dark eyes as Yoongi wrapped his lips around it and sucked, sticky juice dripping down his chin. Then Hoseok’s hands were on Yoongi’s ass, and then they were in Namjoon’s bedroom and Hoseok was crowding Yoongi up against the door, and then Hoseok was dropping to his knees. And Yoongi was ruined for yet another thing.

Here, now, on a cold and snowy New Year’s Eve six months later, Yoongi is alone. Hoseok is right on the other side of the kitchen door, but he’s not gonna come in here this time. He’s going to spend the night with the girl he’s dating. Three hours from now, they will kiss at midnight like all couples do. Ring in the new year together.

It’s okay.

Yoongi pours himself some vodka. He tosses back two mouthfuls and shudders and refills his cup.

 

-

 

“And it’s just like,” says Namjoon, gesturing with both hands, “like, I’m always thinking, ‘if I make music and nobody hears it—would that still make me happy? Am I doing this for myself or others? Is my happiness dependent on everyone else’s?’ That kind of thing.”

Jin nods and takes another sip of his wine, which he is drinking out of a Pikachu mug. “Like the tree question.”

“The tree question?”

“You know. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it, does it still make noise. If you make music and nobody hears it, does it still make you happy.”

“Oh my god,” says Namjoon, eyes wide. “Oh my god, yeah. Exactly like that.”

Yoongi plucks the lit joint from Namjoon’s fingers before he starts a damn fire.

“But you know what I think?” says Jin. “I think that it’s kind of okay if you’re happier making music when other people hear it. Instead of just like, making music and throwing it into the void. Because it’s not like…it’s not like your happiness depends on them? On other people? It’s more like you’re giving them happiness. Which is your music. And then their happiness makes you happy.”

Namjoon nods slowly. “I never thought about it like that.”

“You gotta think more positive,” says Jin. His eyes are closed. He can’t see the way Namjoon is looking at him. “It’s not, ‘I can’t be happy unless people listen to my music.’ It’s, ‘Making people happy makes me feel good.’”

“You’re so smart, hyung,” Namjoon mumbles, burying his face in his hands.

Yoongi looks away.

The three of them are sitting on the floor in a dark corner of he living room, backs against the wall. Around them, the party continues. Music, conversation, laughter. It’s nearly eleven p.m. now. A few people have begun to crack open the champagne.

Outside the living room window, it’s started snowing again. Yoongi watches the snowflakes drift in and out of the yellow light of a streetlamp. They look like sparks floating above a bonfire, or like fireflies.

Jimin and Taehyung are curled up on the couch. Jeongguk is sitting across from them, talking animatedly about something that has Taehyung rapt and Jimin looking sleepy but fond. Somewhere on the other side of the living room, Hoseok has been flitting between a few different circles: college buddies, dance friends, Momo’s group of girls. Every time Yoongi’s caught a glimpse of him, he’s been smiling.

It’s strange.

It’s strange, because this is sort of exactly what Yoongi wants, always: Namjoon and Jin beside him, the kids curled up together like foxes, the maknae talking, Hoseok smiling. Everyone safe and warm. This is exactly what Yoongi wants, all his ducks in a row, and it’s strange because he is caught between glowing contentment but then also the same place he’s been for the last couple months, the cold and rough-edged empty place. He is both incredibly happy and incredibly sad. It’s like his body is filled with helium but his shoes are lined with lead.

He closes his eyes and takes another sip of vodka. There’s cranberry juice in it now. Namjoon.

It’s actually a little bit nice, feeling like this. Knowing that he has the capability to feel this much. It’s a reminder that even if he has broken the most important thing, he will someday be okay.

Someday, Yoongi will be okay.

Maybe not for a while.

But someday.

“Thirty minutes to midnight!” someone yells, and everyone cheers. Jin raises his mug of wine and says, “Wooo, yay, oh my gosh,” very quietly. Namjoon laughs.

“I’m gonna get some air,” Yoongi says, and cuts Jin off before he can protest. “I’m not ditching, I promise. I just want some air. I’ll be back before midnight.”

“Fine,” says Jin. “But you better be here for the countdown.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

He gets up, leaving his drink behind, and winds his way through the packed living room toward the door. Namjoon lives on the second floor, so it’s just a quick flight of stairs before Yoongi is out on the freezing, snowy street, his breath coming in white clouds. He feels the cold immediately, shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his hoodie.

This close to midnight, there isn’t anyone else on the street. They’re all inside: in bars, clubs, houses, apartments, waiting for the new year to begin. Far away, maybe halfway across Seoul, Yoongi can hear the crackle of fireworks. He can see them burst open in the night sky, a distant bloom of color.

Yoongi doesn’t really smoke outside of the occasional joint, but he kind of wants a cigarette right now. It’s that kind of moment. That kind of night.

Around him, the snow drifts silently to the ground.

Behind him, the door to Namjoon’s building creaks open.

Yoongi turns.

It’s Hoseok, because of course it is. He’s wrapping a scarf around his neck like he left the party in a hurry, didn’t have time to bundle up before he headed outside.

He comes to stand beside Yoongi on the icy sidewalk.

For a moment, neither of them speak.

Then Hoseok says, surprisingly quiet and shaky, “I think I need to apologize.”

“…What?”

“I, I need to…,” Hoseok huffs a short, humorless laugh, self-deprecating in a way that Yoongi hates. “I—yeah. I definitely need to apologize. To you.”

Yoongi is lost. “Why?”

“Uh, because I fucked up? I’m not an idiot, Yoongi, I—I know I made things weird that night, and then—I tried to make it better but I guess that didn’t work, and now we haven’t talked in like a month. Even when I spent two months in freaking Japan we talked more than we do now.”

 

-

 

[then]

[sophomore year]

 

“Hi!” Hoseok practically shouts, grinning into the camera. The video quality is shit and Skype keeps lagging, but his voice comes through, and that’s all Yoongi needs. “Hi hi hi, hello, hi, I miss you!”

“Oh,” says Yoongi. “Hi. Hi, um—you too.”

Hoseok laughs. “Don’t strain yourself, dude. Ohhhh my god, it’s so nice talking in Korean. I thought my Japanese was okay until I had to start, like, actually using it on a daily basis, with everyone. Yikes.”

“Don’t most people know some Korean?”

“Yeah, but hyung. That’s cheating.”

Yoongi snorts. Hoseok’s grin fades into something a little softer, a little more familiar.

“I really do miss you, you know,” he says. “I keep seeing stuff and immediately being like, ‘Oh man, Yoongi would love this. Yoongi would so buy this shirt. Yoongi would take a pretentious Insta photo of that flower.’”

“My Instagram is not pretentious,” says Yoongi, even though it totally is.

“Riiiight. Anyway, in case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve already bought you like five million souvenirs. And I’m putting together a list of all the places we should visit together when we come here on a trip.”

“We’re taking a trip, are we?”

“Uh! Yes!”

“Okay,” says Yoongi. “We’ll take a trip. Where are we going?”

“Well, just for starters—,” says Hoseok, and he’s off, chattering for nearly an hour about the village he’s staying in right now, all the foods he’s tried, the traditional dance performance he went to last night. The whole time, he keeps saying it: I’m definitely gonna take you there—you have to try this egg thing—I took a ton of photos but it’s not the same, you’ll have to see it for yourself—we should stay in this inn—

It’s the second semester of sophomore year.

Yoongi doesn’t yet know the meaning of the growing thing inside his chest. The thing that glows and waxes like the moon, but never wanes.

He’ll figure it out soon.

But for now, he just sits there and listens to Hoseok plan their future. I miss you, he thinks, watching Hoseok talk. I really miss you.

Two months later, Hoseok comes back from Japan.

The missing, which over the course of the semester had settled itself into Yoongi’s bones, never really goes away.

 

-

 

[now]

 

“It’s not your fault,” Yoongi says. “You didn’t fuck up.”

“I clearly did,” says Hoseok, sounding genuinely upset now. “I did. I was the one who—and, and I tried to just get things back to the way they were, but I should’ve known it would be impossible, and now you won’t even look at me—”

Yoongi turns to face him, looking up at Hoseok’s pale, splotchy face, his twisted mouth. There are snowflakes in his eyelashes. “I’m looking at you,” he says.    

Hoseok shakes his head. “I’m serious. Things are different, hyung. There’s no point pretending everything is fine, ‘cause it’s not. It’s not fine. I miss you. I’m really, really sorry about everything, and I get if you need some time to like, come to terms with it or whatever, but if you do please just tell me because I hate not talking to you. I hate it.”

“Come to terms with it?” Yoongi repeats.

“Yeah. You know. The—the shit from that night. After the club.”

Oh.

Right.

Come to terms with it.

It’s like a horrible echo of what Jiwoo said. I’m not mad at you because of how you feel about him. I get that you can’t control it. I get that certain things might make you a bit uncomfortable, but I didn’t think you were the type to pull this crap.

Yes, Yoongi supposes, it is a bit uncomfortable being in love with his heterosexual best friend. No, he cannot control it. Yes, he might need some time to come to terms with it.

Suddenly, he feels distinctly pissed off.

“You’re right,” he says, cold enough that Hoseok flinches. “It’s not fine. You—you started this, you know? I’m not talking about the fuckin’ club, I’m talking about like almost ten months ago when we got stoned and watched that stupid porno. You started it. You started it, and then I guess you got uncomfortable or whatever, which—it’s fine, obviously you can break things off whenever you want, but you can’t just expect me to forget that anything ever happened and be totally fucking normal super chill best buds again just because—because fucking me got too complicated. We can’t all just decide we wanna go back to being straight.”

Hoseok is staring at him. “Go back to being—what are you talking about?”

“You said I was convenient,” Yoongi snaps. His voice cracks on the word convenient and he wants to die. “You said I was a convenient hookup. And I get it, that’s what it was for you, that’s what you wanted, but—it wasn’t ever convenient for me, okay? I’m not like you, I can’t get off with just anyone, and I know I should’ve just said that right from the beginning. And it’s my fault that I didn’t. But I’m saying it now.”

“Uh, I can’t get off with just anyone, either,” Hoseok says. “What the fuck, Yoongi, did you actually just call me a slut?”

“No! No, fuck, I’m just saying you’re straight. So it was always gonna be fuckin’ different for you. And I’m saying that yeah, okay, maybe I’m gonna need some time to come to terms with this shit. Sorry if that’s not convenient for you.”

They’ve gone from facing each other to facing off, both of them breathing a bit hard. Hoseok’s eyes are wide and hurt and angry and a hundred other things that Yoongi has never really seen in him before.

“What I wanna know,” says Hoseok, “is why the hell you keep saying I’m straight.”

Of all the things—Yoongi actually laughs a little, he’s so caught off guard, which makes Hoseok’s scowl deepen. “Because you are? You date girls. You like girls. You sleep with girls.”

“I want to point out,” says Hoseok, “that I was sleeping with a guy regularly for like ten months there. I’m a little surprised that you don’t know that, seeing as how it was you.”

“But you’re still straight,” says Yoongi. “You never—you’ve always been straight. You never said otherwise. You can experiment and fuck around and still be straight.”

Hoseok is still staring at him. “I am aware of that,” he says. “But I’m not sure why you think that I was just experimenting.”

Is he fucking serious? “What else would you have been doing?”

“Um. Being bisexual?”

“But you’re not—you’re not bisexual.”

“I don’t think you’re the one who gets to decide that?”

“I’m not deciding anything, I’m stating a fact,” says Yoongi, even though he’s beginning to feel more and more lost. He knew he and Hoseok weren’t on the same page, but he thought they were at least in the same book. Now he thinks maybe they’re not even in the same fucking library. “I—you were just—I mean, you’re dating that girl now.”

“What girl?”

“Momo,” says Yoongi. “Hirai Momo. From…from your studio.”

Hoseok actually groans out loud. “Oh for fuck’s sake—Momo is a fucking lesbian, Yoongi.”

What.

“What,” Yoongi says weakly.

“She’s a lesbian,” says Hoseok. “We got a lot closer over the last few weeks because we went out for drinks after work one night and she told me about how she’s in love with her female best friend. Because again: lesbian. We bonded over that. Now we’re really good friends. We’re not dating, Yoongi, fuck.”

“But,” says Yoongi, “but,” and then he realizes he needs to sit down. Right now. So he sits down, right there in the middle of the sidewalk in two inches of fresh snow, and draws his knees up to his chest. “Are you actually bi?” he asks, mostly to his own feet.

Hoseok joins him on the ground. He sits cross-legged right in front Yoongi, the toes of his boots touching Yoongi’s Doc Martens. “Yes. I am.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah. Did you seriously—the whole time, did you seriously think I was straight? Like, a 100% totally heterosexual dude who just…really liked sucking your dick?”

Yes. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“Well, I’m sorry for that too,” Hoseok says. “I thought it was obvious, but honestly? I know your past. I know how you grew up. It was obvious to me, but I get that it wasn’t to you, and I’m sorry. I should’ve told you.” He sighs, fiddling with the hems of his coat. “I think I knew deep down that you didn’t know, but I was still scared. Even though we were hooking up. I was still scared of actually, like, coming out to you. It’s so stupid. Pretty much our entire friend group is gay, and I was still…I don’t know. Scared.”

“I know the feeling.”

Hoseok smiles a little. It’s thin and sad. “I’m sorry I called you convenient. You’re not convenient. I wouldn’t want you to be.”

“It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not.”

Yoongi shrugs. “Sorry I kinda called you a slut. I didn’t mean to.”

“I know you didn’t.”

“Also, congrats on, um, being bi. I accept you and stuff.”

“Ha. Thanks.”

“I’m sorry you found out,” Yoongi whispers without quite meaning to. He wants to take it back, but—hell. It’s not like things between them can get much worse, and he’s so tired of dancing around this. “I never wanted you to find out. I’m sorry I made everything so complicated. I really will try to get over it, okay?”

Hoseok frowns, but Yoongi keeps going.

“Like you said, it might take some time,” he says. “But it’ll happen. Because, like, our friendship, you an’ me, that’s more important than—that stuff, so. I’ll get over it. I will. Okay?”

“Okay,” says Hoseok, and then, “Wait. What?”

“So you don’t need to worry about me making things weird. I’ll need some time, but we can just be friends again. I promise.”

“Dude. What are you talking about?”

“You know what I’m talking about.”

“…Hyung,” Hoseok says slowly, leaning forward. The light from the streetlamp above their heads casts a yellow glow across his face, highlighting the angles of his cheekbones and the gold of his lashes. His eyes are wide. “Hyung, why didn’t you let me kiss you that night? After the club? I tried to kiss you and you stopped me. Why?”

“You know why.”

“No. I’m beginning to think that I really, really don’t. Answer the question, hyung, please.”

“Because,” Yoongi starts, and has to take a moment: to breathe, to bury his face in his knees like the coward he is. “Because, um, because it would—it would fuck everything up even worse. It would ruin everything.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“Can’t you just drop it?”

“No.”

“Please, Hoseok, come on.”

“No, I won’t drop it. I want to know why kissing me would ruin everything.”

“It just would.”

“Why?”

“Fuck, let it go.”

“No,” says Hoseok, raw and desperate, “no, I can’t, I want an answer—”

“I don’t wanna fucking talk about it!”

“Well, I do!”

“Hoseok—”

“Why, Yoongi?”

“Because you would know,” Yoongi finally spits out, his hands clenched into white-knuckled fists, his face hidden in his knees. “You would know, you’d know, you fucking asshole, you’d know that I—I love you, that’s why I didn’t wanna fucking kiss you, but I did, and you figured it out just like I knew you would and you fucking—you fucking dumped me, and now we’re barely even friends but I’m trying to tell you that I’ll get over it, I will, I promise. I promise. I just need some fucking time.”

He takes a deep, shuddering breath.

I love you.

He—he said it.

He really said it.

He curls up into an even tighter ball, both arms wrapped around his legs. His entire ass is numb from sitting directly in the snow, but he doesn’t even care. He just—he cannot look at Hoseok right now. He can’t.

Because he said it.

I love you.

Hoseok is utterly, horrifically silent.

Yoongi can’t look at him.

It’s so quiet between them that Yoongi can hear cars and honking horns a few streets over; fireworks half a city away. Music from somewhere above their heads. Maybe Namjoon’s apartment. Across the street, a few floors up, people are chatting and laughing on a balcony, their voices floating through the cold night.

The city moves and breathes.

Everything continues to happen, even though Yoongi finally Said It.

In Seoul, he thinks dazedly, in a city of ten million, there must be at least ten thousand different New Year’s Eve parties going on right now. At least ten thousand living rooms filled with people, at least ten thousand different spots of warmth and light and music in the darkness.

That’s good. That’s—that’s nice to think about.

I love you.

The world keeps churning.

Hoseok is silent.

Yoongi feels a strange sense of calm. It’s out there now. He pictures his words hovering between them like a speech balloon in a comic, with big bold letters and maybe a sound effect. I love you. BAM! CRASH! No takebacks. It’s out there; he did it; game over.

“I love you,” he says again. Why the hell not? “I’m sorry. I’m working on it.”

Silence.

Then: a hand on his wrist.

Gently, Hoseok pulls Yoongi’s hand away from where he was gripping his own ratty jeans. Hoseok pulls his hand away and takes it in his own and gently, so gently, twines their fingers together. It’s a little awkward. Hoseok’s wearing gloves and Yoongi isn’t. But they fit, and Yoongi’s hand is warmer for it.

He waits.

His heart is pounding so loudly in his ears.

Hoseok’s thumb brushes across the back of Yoongi’s hand. He says, “I thought you knew.”

Knew what?

Yoongi waits.

“I thought you knew,” Hoseok says again, barely more than a whisper. “I thought you didn’t want to kiss me that night because you knew about my feelings, and you didn’t want to encourage me.”

Wait.

What?

“I only dumped you so you wouldn’t dump me first,” says Hoseok, playing with Yoongi’s fingers. “I was playing it cool. I thought you knew and you were gonna break it off at any second. I wanted to leave with, like, the last remaining shred of my dignity.”

What.

“Not that I had much to begin with,” says Hoseok. “Not that I’ve ever really had any. But whatever. Yoongi, I—I mean, come on, I thought you knew. I thought there was no way you didn’t know, I’ve been so obvious for ages. You were my fuckin’ Bisexual Awakening, dude.”

What.

“What,” Yoongi chokes out. “What—what are you—ages?”

“This is so embarrassing,” says Hoseok. “You know freshman year? How we didn’t talk much first semester? I—I swear to god, I wanted to be your friend so bad. I was probably so freaking annoying, like, I know I kinda followed you around the dorms like a puppy, but I just? Thought you were so cool? And there was that one night—”

When he forgot his keycard.

“You forgot your keycard, and I was coming back from the library and there you were, and—and you started crying and I had no idea what to do but I got you inside and oh my god, Yoongi, I don’t know if you remember this but you were wearing these slippers—”

“My Rilakkuma slippers,” Yoongi mumbles into his knees.

“You were like, the cutest thing I’d ever seen. I thought about it for weeks afterward. And then we, you know, we became friends, and you came home with me, and you met my parents and Jiwoo and they all adored you, and you slept in my bed, and. And I sort of realized what was happening back then but it didn’t really hit me until I got with Mina.”

“Mina?”

“She was awesome, you know? She’s still one of the best people I’ve ever met. But we’d go on dates and I would literally just keep talking about you, or thinking, like, this is so fun but it would be even better if Yoongi were here, and…yeah. I think she knew before I did, honestly. So we broke up, and that’s when—that’s when I kinda figured my shit out.”

Yoongi dares to lift his head a little. Just enough to peek at their hands, still intertwined. Hoseok has been playing idly with Yoongi’s fingers, but now he brings Yoongi’s hand to his mouth. And Yoongi can feel the warmth of Hoseok’s lips, the flutter of his breath.

“This is awful,” Hoseok says quietly, his mouth soft against the back of Yoongi’s hand. “This is awful, it's so embarrassing,” he says, but he’s smiling.

He kisses Yoongi’s skin.

“I love you,” he says. “Dumbass.”

Yoongi doesn’t move.

He can’t move.

Hoseok kisses his hand again. “I love you. I think I’ve probably been in love with you since freshman year. I don’t know how the hell I thought I’d be able to handle just fooling around, no strings attached. There have always been like forty billion strings attached when it comes to you. I love you.” He kisses Yoongi’s hand. Kisses it and kisses it, presses his mouth against it, so sweet and warm. “I love-love-love you. I can’t believe you didn’t fucking know that.”

“I,” says Yoongi, “I, uh,” and realizes that his whole body is trembling, just a little. He doesn’t think he’s gonna cry, but he’s definitely close. Right on the edge, in the shaky space. “Are you—I know you’re being serious but can you just, uh, just fuckin’—just tell me you’re being serious—”

“Min Yoongi,” says Hoseok, and kisses the back of Yoongi’s hand, his palm, the pad of his thumb. “I am being completely, totally, 100% serious when I say that I am completely, totally, 100% in love with you. Trust me. I’ve had a very long time to think about it. At this point I could probably write an entire Namjoon-style thesis about, like, the depth of my disgusting, super romantic, incredibly non-heterosexual feelings for you.” 

“Okay,” says Yoongi.

“The title of my thesis would be ‘The Useless Bisexual: An Exploration of the Effects of One Min Yoongi on Otherwise Mentally Sound Young Men in South Korea.’”

“Oh my god.”

“If my love for you was a news article, it would be called ‘Local Man Sees Best Friend Shirtless, Realizes He is Royally Screwed.” Then Hoseok frowns a little, kisses at Yoongi’s knuckles. “Not that I only love you for your body.”

Yoongi coughs. “Okay.”

“No, seriously. I also love you for your coffee addiction and general crankiness.”

“I’m not cranky.”

“You are in the mornings. I love it. I love you.”

“Shut up,” says Yoongi. “I—I get it, shut up.”

“Nope,” Hoseok sings. “Nope, I’ve been holding this shit in for years and now I fully plan to say it all the time. Like, good morning, I love you. Goodnight, I love you. Is your ass numb? Because mine is. We’ve been sitting in the snow for like twenty minutes. I love you. Why aren’t you wearing gloves, idiot? You’re gonna get frostbite. I love you.”

“This is the worst,” says Yoongi, even though this is actually the #1 best thing that has ever happened to him, bar none. His face is a weird mix of flushed with heat and numb from cold. He’s still not entirely sure that he won’t start crying. Who knows. Who cares.

Hoseok loves him.

Hoseok loves him.

Hoseok loves him back.

“Hey,” he says, squeezing Hoseok’s hand. Hoseok’s hand, which is attached to Hoseok, who loves him. “Hey, hey, come here, I wanna—”

All of a sudden, there’s a loud cheer from above their heads. Yoongi glances up—the people on the balcony across the street are whooping, but there’s also noise coming from what must be Namjoon’s apartment, the noise of cheering and also music getting turned up—

“TEN,” someone yells from the balcony.

Closer now, fireworks burst open in the sky.   

“NINE,” says the same someone, but now other people have joined in, and Yoongi can even hear the chanted number from inside Namjoon’s apartment, and from an entirely separate party a few floors above. “EIGHT.”

Yoongi looks at Hoseok, who is already looking back at him, his whole face bright with a huge, goofy grin. He’s got snowflakes in his eyelashes and his dark messy hair and on his shoulders. His cheeks and nose are pink. He’s looking at Yoongi like there’s nothing else worth looking at, even though they’re surrounded by freshly fallen snow, and the stars are visible in the polluted sky, and there are fireworks.

“SEVEN.”

“I was supposed to go back inside for the countdown,” says Yoongi. “Jin’s gonna kill me.”

“SIX.”

“Uh oh,” says Hoseok solemnly, scooting even closer. “We might have to flee the city.”

“FIVE.”

“Well, we never went to Japan,” says Yoongi. “You never showed me that one ramen place with the egg thing.”

“FOUR.”

Hoseok laughs, helpless, bright like the fireworks. “That’s true. We should take a trip.”

“THREE.”

“Yeah, let’s take a trip.”

“TWO.”

“Where do you wanna go?” asks Hoseok, leaning in. “Like, after Japan.”

“ONE.”

“Anywhere,” Yoongi breathes, and closes the distance between their mouths.

Everything is a bit confusing for a moment—noisy, as the city screams and cheers around them, welcoming the New Year; colorful, as fireworks explode and the sky flashes red and gold; even a little awkward, because they really have been sitting out here in the snow for half an hour and their lips are kind of numb.

But then Hoseok brings his free hand up to frame Yoongi’s face, his thumb sliding across Yoongi’s cold cheekbone.

Yoongi tilts his head just right.

Their mouths are warm against each other.

And it stops being noisy, and colorful, and awkward, and it becomes just this: just them, kissing each other in the middle of the sidewalk. Hoseok’s still smiling (he’s smiling into Yoongi’s mouth) but it’s softer now, intimate, just for Yoongi, and his hand is so gentle on Yoongi’s face. They kiss. They are kissing, continuous, sweet and firm and dizzying. Then Hoseok pulls back, gasping a little, and Yoongi opens his eyes. “Come back,” he says.

“Sorry,” says Hoseok. He looks almost embarassed. “Sorry, I just sort of needed to—catch my breath—,” and he leans in again. This time, he kisses each individual part of Yoongi’s mouth: he presses a kiss to Yoongi’s top lip, his bottom lip, both corners of his mouth. His grip tightens on Yoongi’s hand.

Yoongi makes a tiny noise into the kiss.

Hoseok laughs, his breath shuddering out against Yoongi’s cheek, and then time goes a little wonky and the next time Yoongi surfaces, he is lying on his back in the snow with Hoseok over him, but it’s okay because Hoseok’s hand is cupping the back of his head, protecting him from the snow and the icy sidewalk. Yoongi’s hands are curled into the front of Hoseok’s puffy coat.

They’re still kissing. In public, in the glow of a streetlamp, on the ground, in the snow, they are kissing. The city is celebrating around them. It’s midnight, the New Year, and Yoongi is kissing Hoseok, and Hoseok is kissing him back, holy hell, kissing him so deep and good, kissing him like nobody’s ever kissed him before, not even close. Hoseok isn’t kissing him like this is just foreplay before the good part, the sex part, the main event. Hoseok is kissing him like this is the main goddamn event. Like all he wants to do, for tonight and tomorrow and maybe longer, is kiss every single inch of Yoongi’s soft and willing mouth.

Oh, Yoongi thinks hazily, moving his hands from Hoseok’s coat to his shoulders, holding on. Oh, oh—

He doesn’t know how long they stay like that. Long enough that he starts getting really, legitimately cold, his fingers stiff in Hoseok’s hair. Long enough that he has to pull back and say, “Okay, shit, I think I really am gonna get frostbite if we stay out here.”

Hoseok laughs and presses their foreheads together. “Same. I didn’t wanna say it, but like, I’m kinda shivering and not in a good way.”

He kisses Yoongi’s nose. Yoongi tips his chin up and catches Hoseok’s mouth, and they get lost again for a couple minutes, and then Yoongi says between kisses, “Okay, seriously, I’m gonna die. I’m losing brain cells. My dick is gonna fall off.”

“God forbid,” says Hoseok. He sits up, and Yoongi pushes himself upright as well. Hoseok’s mouth (his glorious mouth) is all red and swollen from so much kissing. Yoongi kind of can’t stop looking at it.

(He did that.)

(That was him.)

He sighs. “We should go back inside. At least long enough to say goodbye to everyone.”

“Right,” says Hoseok. “And then—my place? We don’t have to do anything, I just, you know, we should probably talk some more? Also, I kind of wanna sleep with you? Not necessarily like that, just like, sleep-sleep—”

“Personally I would like to have sex,” says Yoongi.

“Oh thank God. Okay, up up up, let’s go tell everyone we’re gonna GTFO—”

Hoseok scrambles to his feet and drags Yoongi up, taking the opportunity to both pull Yoongi into his arms and cop a feel of Yoongi’s (frozen) ass, and that is when the door to Namjoon’s apartment building swings open.

Namjoon, Jin, Jimin, Taehyung, and Jeongguk all stumble out into the cold night air.

“There you are!” says Taehyung happily. “We were hoping you guys were out here!”

“Oh my gosh,” says Jimin, and Yoongi realizes he is staring at Hoseok’s hands, which are still on Yoongi’s ass. Figures that Drunk Jimin is just as perceptive as Sober Jimin. “Well, happy frickin’ New Year.”

Hoseok groans. He moves his hands from Yoongi’s ass to the small of his back, but it’s too late. Everyone’s already seen.

Taehyung screeches like a fucking banshee. Jeongguk shields his eyes with both hands, but he’s grinning. Jimin laughs and punches the air, and Namjoon says, “Fuckin’ finally, congratulations,” and Jin—

Jin looks at Yoongi and Hoseok, then at Namjoon, then at Yoongi and Hoseok again.

And then he turns to Namjoon and says, loud and clear, “Not to steal the spotlight, but I am in love with you.”

Namjoon’s mouth drops open.

So does Yoongi’s.

“Oh my god,” Hoseok whispers. “Oh my god, it’s happening.”

“I’m in love with you,” Jin says again. “I’ve been in love with you for, I don’t know, at least two years or something, it’s ridiculous. You are so frustrating, did you know that? And you’re so dumb, honestly, for someone with an IQ of like 200—”

“I don’t have an IQ of 200,” Namjoon says faintly.

“—you’d think that you’d be able to, like, pick up on certain emotional cues, or—body language or microexpressions or whatever, but no, literally everyone knows about it but you, Namjoonie, literally everyone, and it’s getting very tiring. I shouldn’t have to put up with this, you know?”

“Yes,” says Namjoon. “I mean, no. You shouldn’t. What?”

“I tried to stop, because I didn’t wanna ruin anything, but you’re just—,” Jin makes a noise sort of like an angry cat and tries to scrub one hand through his hair, but all he really does is knock the pom-pom hat off his head. It falls into the snow at his feet and he doesn’t even seem to notice, still staring at Namjoon with wild eyes, his whole face bright pink. It looks like he’s maybe about to start crying. “You’re just you, Namjoonie, you’re always so you, it’s terrible, it’s seriously the worst.”

“I’m sorry,” says Namjoon. “I’m really sorry, Jin.”

“It’s not okay!”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

Jin really is crying now. He sniffles and kicks at the snow a little and glares at Namjoon, who has not moved or possibly even breathed since Jin first said I am in love with you.

“You suck,” says Jin. “You really suck.”

“Okay,” says Namjoon, and steps forward. Slowly, like he’s approaching a spooked animal, he kneels in the snow at Jin’s feet. He picks up Jin’s fallen hat and straightens up again, holding it very carefully in his big hands. “Here, it’s not wet. Put it back on.”

“Why,” says Jin.

“Because it’s winter,” says Namjoon. “You’re gonna catch a cold.”

“This is exactly what I was talking about,” says Jin, but he puts the hat back on. The tears on his cheeks shine under the streetlamps. “You suck.”

“I know,” Namjoon murmurs, gentle and aching like Yoongi’s never heard him before, not ever, and then he cups Jin’s face in his hands and kisses him.

Jin arches up into it immediately, both hands flying up to grab at the collar of Namjoon’s coat. He sobs a little against Namjoon’s mouth, a wet gasping noise, and kisses Namjoon hardonce, twice, three times. Then he wrenches away, panting. “What the hell, Namjoonie!”

“Sorry? I’m sorry,” Namjoon says. “Did you not—I don’t know—”

Jin smacks him on the shoulder. “What the hell!”

“Okay, shit! I’m sorry!”

Another smack. “Tell me what that meant! Use your words, you jerk!”

“I love you!” Namjoon yelps, trying and failing to shield himself from Jin’s mittened hands. “Sorry, I was trying to be smooth or something, I don’t know, I just love you and I wanted to kiss you and I’m sorry, oh my god—”

“I’m gonna kill you,” says Jin, but he’s not yelling anymore. “You can’t just do that. Everyone knows the confession comes first.”

“Got it,” says Namjoon. He nods very seriously. “Got it, I’ll remember that.”

“You better.”

“I will. I promise.”

Then they’re kissing again.

In the background, Taehyung whoops. Jimin does a celebratory little dance and nearly slips on the ice; Jeongguk, who looks equal parts traumatized and incandescently happy, catches him just in time.

And Hoseok wraps both his arms around Yoongi, buries his face in Yoongi’s neck, and says, “Let’s go home.”

 

-

 

Usually, Yoongi falls asleep fast and wakes up slow.

On New Year’s it’s the opposite. Even after everything—after leaving Namjoon’s party, after holding hands with Hoseok in the back of the Uber, after getting back to Hoseok’s place and crashing into each other, after making out in the foyer, and the living room, and the doorway to Hoseok’s bedroom; after stumbling into bed; after peeling each other’s clothes off with shaking hands; after mouthing across Hoseok’s tan skin and kissing his kneecaps, his hipbones, his holy palms; after Hoseok fingers him open and gasps into his mouth and pushes inside him, lacing their fingers together on the pillow; after they come; after they collapse beside each other in the sweaty sheets, spent and panting and grinning stupidly at each other—

After all that, it still takes Yoongi nearly an hour to fall asleep.

He’s got a lot to think about.

And in the morning, the first morning of the New Year, he wakes with a jolt. For a moment he’s disoriented, blinking in the pale, watery sunlight, wondering why half his body is too hot but his toes are freezing.

Then he realizes: the bed isn’t empty.

He’s not alone.

The sunlight looks weird because Hoseok, unlike Yoongi, doesn’t use blackout curtains.

Yoongi is overheated because there is a sleeping boy curled up against his back. Hoseok’s got an arm around Yoongi’s waist, fingers brushing Yoongi’s stomach. His legs are fitted against Yoongi’s from hip to toe. He is breathing, deep and slow with sleep, against the nape of Yoongi’s neck.

The bed isn’t empty.

Yoongi is not alone.

The shock of it doesn’t feel cold and stinging, like ice water or a slap to the face. It’s more like the shock of staying indoors all day, lazing around in the cool dark, and then stepping outside into the full heat and bright of summer. Yoongi has to squint, take a breath, get his bearings, but it’s not bad. It’s just different.

Definitely not bad.

It takes him maybe a minute before he stops breathing a little funny.

Definitely not bad.

Hoseok is still asleep. His fingers twitch every so often against Yoongi’s stomach. His breaths are warm and soft.

Yoongi loves him so much that there aren’t words for it, maybe. If there’s a song in the way Hoseok’s body feels against his own, the way Hoseok’s golden hand looks when it’s sliding over Yoongi’s skin, it doesn’t have lyrics. If there is a way to talk about the growing thing inside Yoongi’s chest (the morning glory, the well-watered seed), he hasn’t found it yet. He’s been trying to turn Hoseok into music for five years now, and it hasn’t yet worked.

Maybe someday.

Yoongi can wait.

 

-

 

An hour passes, and Hoseok begins to stir. First his arm tightens around Yoongi’s middle. Then he shifts, his mouth dragging across the top of Yoongi’s spine.

Then his breath hitches and he wakes.

In Gwangju, Yoongi faked being asleep so he could get closer to Hoseok. Here, now, he says, “Hi.”

“Nn,” Hoseok mumbles into Yoongi’s hair. “Hi. Morning.”

“Yeah,” says Yoongi a bit senselessly. “Morning.”

“You’re still here.”

“So are you.”

“How do you feel? About—things?”

“Well,” says Yoongi, “I mean. Nothing’s changed. Since last night. So.”

“Me either,” says Hoseok quickly. “I mean, me too. Nothing’s changed.”

“Okay.”

“Okay. Can you turn around an’ look at me?”

Yoongi rolls over in Hoseok’s arms until they are facing each other across a couple inches of pillow. His hands find the front of Hoseok’s shirt automatically, curling into the thin, warm cotton. He is dimly aware that he’s probably all flushed and puffy-faced from sleep, and his hair is probably a disaster. But also Hoseok has seen him crying, drunk-puking, flu-puking, delirious with fever, and having a bad allergic reaction to an almond croissant. So it’s fine.

They look at each other for a second.

“Are we doing this?” says Hoseok.

“Yes,” says Yoongi. “We are.”

“Good. That’s good.”

“Yeah,” says Yoongi, “yeah, it’s good, it’s really good,” and then Hoseok pulls him even closer and kisses his eyelids, his cheekbones, his grinning mouth. Not just good, Yoongi thinks to himself. We’re gonna be amazing, we’re gonna be so much better than just good—

And they are.

 

[end]