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one sheep, two sheep

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I.

 

Insomnia never feels good, but it feels particularly horrible now that it’s summer and Jungkook's brother wants to keep the window open at night.

The nights are sweltering hot, and even with four of them renting out the apartment, they don't want to pay ridiculous amounts for air conditioning if they can avoid it.

They all deal with the heat differently. Seokjin strips off more and more clothing as the temperature rises and Yoongi sets up three desktop fans around whatever room he plans to be in for more than ten minutes. Jungkook's brother likes to sleep with their bedroom window open, and Jungkook—

Jungkook doesn't sleep.

He'd already had trouble falling asleep thanks to the heat, but instead of comforting him with the slight breeze going by, the open window just adds to his sleep troubles.

Because the heat also means people are spending time outdoors in the evening, when it's most bearable, and school being out for the summer means most of their neighbors are happy to stay up past midnight. Summer apparently is also the time to have all the lover's quarrels and start all the fights with your friends, time to scare the neighborhood kids that are camping in backyards into screaming for their parents, and time to wake the dogs and get every animal in the neighborhood howling.

At least, that's what Jungkook gathers from the distant sounds of yelling trickling in through the window.

He knows not to worry too much about the noise, should ignore them and just close his eyes. He's never heard Seokjin or Yoongi complain about the neighbors, and Junghan doesn't even twitch in his sleep when the dog next door starts yapping. Why they bother him so much, he doesn't know. Could be that the noises are what keeps him up, could be that he can't sleep for some other reason and the noises grate on his tired nerves—

Jungkook hears the sound of shuffling outside the window. Not in the distance, not far enough away that he would think it was someone stumbling home drunk, but close. 'Right outside on the balcony'-close.

He sits up, sifts through the sounds of cars driving by and groups of teenagers messing around to focus on the skittering, the sound of nails scratching the wall.

"Hyung," he whispers. Junghan doesn't move. A little louder, he says, "Hyung, there's something outside. I think it's on the balcony."

Junghan moans and cracks open an eye to glare at him. "It's just a raccoon or something, who cares? Go to sleep, Kookie." He turns over to face the wall, back to his brother.

There can't be a raccoon on their balcony when they live on the fifth floor, but Jungkook's not gonna argue with his hyung at 2 am. He lets him fall back asleep and listens for more scratching sounds in the silence that follows.

None come, but they’ve done their damage, and someone is still whooping every few seconds—there’s no way he'll be able to fall asleep. Quiet as he can, he makes his way to the living room, where maybe he'll be able to fall asleep on the sofa.

To his surprise, the lights are already on and the sofa is already occupied.

Yoongi turns at the sound of the bedroom door shutting. They stare at each other for a few seconds, both shocked to find someone else is awake so late.

The elder breaks the silence with a tap of his pencil, saying, “Still awake?”

Jungkook nods and shuffles closer, feet squeaking on the hardwood floor. One desk fan sits on the coffee table and another sits on the side table next to the sofa, whirring rhythmically as they rotate back and forth. Yoongi has his sketchbooks laid out in front of him and his laptop open to a CAD program. "Are you working?"

"Yeah, just adding finishing touches to a project. Needs to be done today."

The elder pats the cushion next to him, gesturing for Jungkook to sit. Across from them, the curtains are closed over the balcony sliding door. It unnerves Jungkook even more that he can't see what's out there, but he doesn't want Yoongi to think he's afraid of some nonexistent monster outside their window. So, he curls up on the couch with his back pressed against the armrest, as far away as he can get without outright rejecting the offer to sit.

"Why are you still up?" Yoongi asks.

"Just can't sleep." Jungkook shrugs when the elder looks at him disbelieving. "It's too hot."

Yoongi chuckles, a deep sound that feels too loud for two in the morning, but that Jungkook minds a million times less than he minds the drunken shouting outside. "It is. I'm afraid to go back into my room, if I'm honest. Seokjin's probably taken all his clothes off by now."

Yoongi keeps looking at him, as if he's waiting for something, and Jungkook realizes he normally would have laughed at that. He forces out a quick, “Haha.” But that only makes the elder furrow his eyebrows.

He leans forward to pat Jungkook’s knee. "There's a pot of tea on the stove. Should still be warm,” he says. "I know it's hot right now, but it might help you fall asleep."

Jungkook shakes his head.

"I can go get you a cup, if you want. A warm cup of milk, if you'd prefer that."

He shakes his head again. "It's alright, I'm just gonna chill out here for a bit. I'm already starting to feel sleepy."

When he says this, it feels like a lie. The last time he had gone into the living room for peace and quiet, he hadn't fallen asleep until sunrise. But almost as soon as it's out of his mouth, his limbs lose all their tension and his eyelids feel heavy. He yawns and stretches his legs out, leans against the back cushions instead of the armrest. Yoongi takes that as confirmation that he'll be back to bed soon.

"Alright, Kookie," he says. He reaches forward to ruffle Jungkook’s hair, and Jungkook feels the last clouds of restlessness clear from his mind.

The fans still whir and click as they oscillate. Yoongi flips pages roughly and mumbles to himself as he works. His pencil scratches across the paper, his eraser squeaks with every rub.

The noise is much closer, just a few feet away. And yet, Jungkook falls asleep within minutes.

 

•••

 

(Yoongi wakes to the sound of dishes clattering and someone drawing the sliding door curtains back. Peeking under heavy eyelids, he sees one of his roommates crouched down by the door. He’s fully clothed in workout gear, so it’s not Seokjin.

"Junghan, the fuck you making so much noise for?" he says with a groan.

“There’s a cat sleeping on our balcony,” Junghan answers, opening the door wide enough to place the bowl of water outside without scaring the cat. It leaps toward the bowl as soon as the door is closed again. He then turns toward Yoongi with an eyebrow raised. “And you’re sleeping on my brother.”

Yoongi tries to sit up, but there are arms locked firmly around him. He’s not on Jungkook, not in the way Junghan had been suggesting. It’s an odd position, with Jungkook’s hip digging into his side. One of the younger’s arms loops around Yoongi’s neck, while the other arm cradles Yoongi’s head on his bicep. His fingers are laced together, keeping Yoongi pressed against his chest, and no matter how many times Yoongi nudges him, he doesn’t let go. How is his grip so tight when he’s asleep?

Watching him struggle, Junghan says, “I don’t envy you. Trust me, he will not let you go until he wakes up.”

Yoongi gives up on trying to untangle himself from the younger and says, “Just let him sleep, he was up with me until 3 am. In fact, let me sleep.”

"Uh-huh, and why was he with you until 3 am and not in our room?"Junghan narrows his eyes at them.

Yoongi can’t tell if Junghan is actually ticked off, or just trying to annoy him. Knowing his personality, he would say Junghan was trying to rile him up, but his roommate was hard read on things about his brother.

"Fuck if I know, man."

"Honestly, hitting on my brother without telling me." Junghan sighs and touches the back of his hand to his forehead. “Stripping him of his innocence.”

Intentionally annoying him, then. "We just fell asleep!"

Jungkook shifts at the noise, grip tightening. Yoongi instinctively brings his hands up in case the hold gets too tight, but finds he can slip his hands beneath Jungkook’s arm and lie with his own arms curled against himself. It makes the position a lot more comfortable, and he feels himself starting to drift off again, the exhaustion of an all-nighter settling in.

At the same time, the cat meows and paws at the glass door. They watch it scurry off across the beam running along the wall between their apartment and their neighbor’s, and Junghan goes to collect the empty bowl. When he looks back at them and sees Yoongi’s content expression, he frowns. “So, I’m gonna go wake up Jin-hyung. ”

"Fair warning, he might be naked."

“Lovely. This is such a lovely morning.”)

 


 

 

II.

 

Jungkook finds himself out on the sofa again the next week. Though, this time he's alone.

It's only marginally cooler in the living room than it is in his room, but at least out here it's quiet. No snoring older brother, no noisy nightlife, no wind whistling through the window. No cats climbing all over the place, no barking dogs.

But also, no hum of fan blades, no rhythmic clicking and whirring as it moves back and forth. No quiet mumbling of measurements, no pencil and eraser against a page.

He still can't sleep, and he has no idea why.

He's turned on the white noise app that Seokjin had recommended, letting the sound of the ocean wash over him. Tries to match his breathing to the push and pull of the waves, closes his eyes and lies down. Seagulls start chirping and—

He still can't sleep, so he gets up and goes to the kitchen. Sure enough, there is a pot of tea on the stove, still warm.

He knows Yoongi is awake, probably working again. He can hear the creak of his chair through the bedroom door, sporadic and jarring as he moves from his sketchbook to his laptop. The same movements had been quiet and relaxing a week ago, when Yoongi had been on the couch next to him. With Seokjin gone to visit his parents for a couple of days, he can work to his heart’s content in their bedroom.

Jungkook pours himself a cup of tea and downs it as quickly as he can. Sleep, dammit.

When he sits back down on the couch, he doesn't feel any better. No matter what position he is in, he can't fucking fall asleep—lying down on his back, on his left side, on his right side, sitting up with his head resting on the back of the couch. He stares at the electric clock resting on top of their television, watches the colon blink and blink and blink (12:58, 12 58, 12:58, 12 59). He tries to count how many times it blinks, because isn't counting supposed to make you sleepy? One blink, two blink, three blink (1:13, 1 13, 1:14, 1 14, 1:14).

He must fall asleep at some point. What else could explain why the curtains turn pink and his favorite childhood show starts playing on the television, his favorite show that had been cancelled when he was twelve, or why one of the characters looks like his brother but sounds like his mother—

What else could explain the hands on the back of his neck and at his side, and how he tilts—

What else could explain how he jolts and shakes, reaching out to grab the hands that are on him, only to stop when a voice says, "Hey hey, shhh. It's just me. It's just me, hey. You're gonna hurt your back sleeping like this, Kookie. Shhhh, Kookie, it's just me," and the hands are lying him on his side and lifting his feet onto the couch.

He must have fallen asleep at some point, because when he blinks, one of the hands is running through his hair and all he can focus on is the underside of a wrist. His own hand is wrapped loosely around it, grip becoming more and more slack. The voice says, "Go back to sleep, now, it's just me. You can go back to sleep."

Blink (1 37, 1:37, 1 37, 1:38), and he falls asleep.

 

•••

 

(

[The Housem8s™]

Min Yoongi
hey hyung, when u get back just text, k?
dont ring the doorbell or knock
jk's sleeping on the couch
2:22 am

again? what time did he sleep?
while we're at it, what time did *you* sleep, yoongi?
7:00 am

Jeon Junghan
my bad
i think i was snoring last night
7:02 am

Min Yoongi
u were, i could hear u through the walls
9:25 am

)

 


 

 

III.

 

It’s not the first time he's woken up like this, with tremors pulling him out of sleep, but it never fails to scare him shitless. It happens rare enough that it feels like his body is betraying him each time, like demons are coursing through and ruining him in seconds.

His torso twitches, his arms jerk, and his legs kick until he's slipping back into consciousness. His head rolls, eyes bleary as they take in his surroundings—the dim light of the lamp behind the television, the dark curtains and white ceiling—fading in and out of focus until his gaze settles on a person, soft hair, a button nose, and lips pulled down into a frown.

It's not the first time he's woken like this, but it is the first time his wrist is caught in a soft grip and a hand runs through his hair, fingers massaging in a familiar pattern.

Yoongi's voice is quiet, barely heard over the creaking of the cushions. "Jungkook? Jungkookie. Hey, Kookie."

With a final jerk, he curls on his side, eyes wide open. Yoongi moves away, drops his hands and lets Jungkook sit up.

He sits and just breathes—in out in out deep breath—trying to gather himself.

"Are you okay?" Yoongi says. He sits on the floor next to him, in the small space between the coffee table and the sofa, and he’s leaning in so, so close.

Jungkook nods, tucks his head into his elbows and keeps nodding. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm good."

The hand that massaged his scalp now rests on his back, where it rubs circles in that same pattern—small, small, big, small—and he leans back into the touch as he sighs. He times his breaths with the movement—in out deep breath, hold—until his heart rate calms and the blood stops rushing in his ears.

“Did you have a nightmare?”

"No," Jungkook mumbles. He rests his cheek on his forearms, facing Yoongi but not looking at him, instead looking over his shoulder at the sketchbook laid open on the table, the tea leaves floating in his mug, anywhere but at Yoongi and his concerned gaze. "It just happens sometimes."

“Kookie, that was… scary, almost."

He shrugs and meets Yoongi's eyes for the briefest of seconds. Looks away and repeats, "It happens sometimes."

Yoongi leans back against the coffee table, and Jungkook can feel his stare. It makes his skin tingle, worse somehow than when Yoongi was an inch away holding his hand. “When was the last time you slept well?” he asks.

“Probably,” he starts. He stumbles when the next words pop into his head. In his mind they make sense, but he knows they won’t out loud. "Probably the last time we were out here."

"Kookie, that was almost a month ago."

“It wasn’t two?”

Yoongi sighs in response, bringing his hand up to rub Jungkook's back again. There’s no pattern this time, but Jungkook still counts the movements—small, big, small, small.

"You should sleep on a bed," Yoongi says, voice near Jungkook's ear. "Your bed."

Jungkook shakes his head.

“Why not?"

"I can't fall asleep in there. I just can't."

“It’s getting cold out now, Jungkook. Tell Junghan to close the window."

"It's not the window."

"Then, his snoring?"

"Not the snoring."

"Is your bed uncomfortable?"

"No."

Tone even, Yoongi asks, "Then what is it?" And Jungkook is surprised by his patience. Junghan would have raised his voice by now, would have looked down at Jungkook with his hands on his hips, looking very much like their father.

Yoongi just looks at him, leaning forward into his space again, with his brow furrowed and his voice measured. This late at night, Yoongi never speaks louder than a mumble, not even when he’s frustrated and cursing, but it comforts Jungkook the same as when they talk in the daytime—when he approaches his brother’s friends with his young adult insecurities and they freely give him advice, Seokjin's more practical than Yoongi's, but Yoongi's making a warmth spread through him and his worries fade.

Jungkook doesn’t know how to say, ‘I think it's you,’ in a way that makes sense, in a way that will even help himself understand what he’s trying to say. So he shakes his head again. "I don't know."

Yoongi rubs a few more circles into his upper back before his fingers slide up, thumb brushing over the nape of his neck. He pats his back in a slow rhythm, and Jungkook could fall asleep like this. Hugging his knees to his chest, cheek squished against his arms, back bent forward—he could still fall asleep.

The movement stops and Yoongi stands. Jungkook tenses, arms pulling tighter against himself as he lifts his head.

"Wait, I'll be quiet, honest. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to—"

He quiets when Yoongi's hand trails up into his hair, patting the top of his head before he walks off.

"I'll be right back," he says as he disappears into his room. The door is open, Seokjin not home yet from an outing with his coworkers, and Jungkook can hear Yoongi puttering about. He comes back as quick as he said he would, large candle jar in hand.

"Here," he says, placing it on the coffee table next to his mug. Sitting down, he removes the lid and lights it with a silver zippo lighter. "It's lavendar. The scent is supposed to help with sleep, but I think sometimes just a candle helps."

He's close again, closer to Jungkook's end of the sofa than he was before, nodding at him. Jungkook trusts he knows what he's talking about, knowing Yoongi only stays up this late when he needs to—sometimes when he wants to, when inspiration hits and he wants to make something for himself instead of for work.

Jungkook, on the other hand—Jungkook just can't sleep. "Thank you, hyung."

“I still think you should sleep in your room,” Yoongi says, gesturing at his belongings spread out on the coffee table. “It’s quieter out here, but I am working and moving around.”

Jungkook shakes his head, to which Yoongi shrugs. He pats him on the head again, fingers a subtle pressure nudging Jungkook to lie down and try to sleep. He leaves to refill his mug once Jungkook is settled.

When Jungkook curls up on his side, the candle is in his line of sight, all three wicks lit and dancing. The scent permeates the room slowly, and he does find it soothing, like being wrapped in a blanket fresh from the dryer. He's not able to close his eyes, though, not until Yoongi is back and working again, mumbling to himself every once in a while.

When Yoongi leans back against the sofa, his back touches Jungkook's fingers ever so slightly, enough that Jungkook can feel his sighs. Can feel Yoongi inhale and exhale in deep breaths.

Yoongi must turn to look at him at some point, because Jungkook can feel his fond chuckle as much as he can hear it, as a hand massages that familiar pattern into his shoulder.

 

•••

 

(The front door opens and closes, the lamp behind the television turns off—not without someone stumbling and shifting the television on its stand—a bedroom door shuts, and Yoongi opens his eyes halfway.

It's dark, save for the moonlight filtering through the slight gap in the balcony curtains. Yoongi had extinguished the candle after he was sure Jungkook was asleep, but the scent of lavendar still lingers.

He expects to be cold wearing only basketball shorts and a t-shirt, but there's an arm stretched across his chest, hand gripping his shoulder, and a blanket draping over his side haphazardly. The rug beneath him protects his legs and backside from the chilly hardwood floor, and steady breathing spreads warmth across the side of his face.

Mind still between waking and dreaming, he huddles closer, trying to get more of the blanket around himself. The arm moves up to circle his neck and the body behind him shifts closer, curling so that a chest pillows his head. A voice hums against his cheek before quieting into deep breaths again—in, out, in, out—warm on his skin.)

 


 

 

IV.

 

Jungkook feels like an idiot, standing in front of Yoongi and Seokjin's door with his blankets and pillow in hand.

Junghan had certainly looked at him like he was an idiot when he told him what he was going to do, eyebrow raised and a confused stare. But he'd only said, "You do you, Kookie,” and went back to the video he was watching on his phone.

It's just past midnight, and he doesn’t see any light through the crack under the door. Not his most brilliant timing. Slowly—with enough time to stop himself if he really wanted to, because what was he doing?—he raises his hand. Before he can knock, he hears the creak of a mattress and footsteps getting closer.

He steps back when the door swings open, and he’s greeted by Yoongi staring up at him, hair askew and blinking slowly, eyes tired. His heart jumps into his throat.

"Jungkookie? What's up?" he says, stepping out and leaving the bedroom door open only a crack. And his voice—his voice.

"Uh," Jungkook stutters, and the pillow in his grasp falls to the floor. Yoongi bends down to pick it up before he even registers it's happened, fluffing it and brushing off imagined dust. "Um."

“Sleeping outside again? Did you need that candle or—"

"No!" He flinches and lowers his voice. Seokjin is home and likely already asleep just behind the door. "I mean— No, thank you. Actually, ah... Could I sleep here tonight?"

Yoongi blinks at him, confusion clear on his face. "Here, in our room?"

Jungkook nods. "If you don't mind." His voice trails off into a mumble and the elder's confused look fades into one of concern.

"Is the sofa not working for you anymore?"

Jungkook shakes his head, keeping his gaze pointed down at the floor. The sofa had never worked. It was never about the sofa.

"Alright, come on in. It's not the cleanest right now, but—"

"That's okay! I'm the one intruding, you don't have to—"

Yoongi silences him with a pointed stare, his chin tilted down and his eyebrows raised just slightly. "I don't mind at all, Jungkook. And if he were awake, Jin-hyung wouldn’t mind either." He gives Jungkook a sheepish smile as he pushes the door open. "Still, let's not wake him."

Jungkook sets down his bedding while Yoongi goes down the hall. Their room is just as big as his and Junghan’s, enough for two twin beds and a large desk. The desk lamp is lit with the head pointed toward the wall, allowing for enough light for them to move around the room without disturbing Seokjin. Where Jungkook and Junghan have an extra set of shelves for clothes, they keep a small chest of drawers with skin care products and accessories lying on top. He unfolds his sheets and sets it out lying next to it, out of the way so he doesn't bother Yoongi or Seokjin when they wake up.

Yoongi comes back into the room sipping from a small thermos—tea, Jungkook guesses. He tilts it toward Jungkook, pointing at it to ask if he wants a cup. Jungkook shakes his head but smiles in thanks.

He gets his bedding down and settles in, feeling warm and comfortable despite lying on the floor. Once he's stopped moving, Yoongi switches the lamp off and returns to his bed, the dim glow of his laptop crawling up the wall behind his bed.

He has his headphones in and the screen on its lowest brightness setting, with some kind of application tinting the color a soothing orange instead of bright white. There's virtually no noise in the room, only their breathing and Jungkook's stirring. Yoongi doesn't even laugh or gasp at what he's watching.

And still, Jungkook's awake.

He can't help tossing and turning, unsure why sleep won't come. It seems like everything should be in place—or, it seems like the one thing he thinks has been helping him sleep is in place. And still, he turns over and sighs in frustration, because he's just as awake as he had been half an hour ago when he knocked on their door.

He hears Yoongi shift on his bed, setting the laptop down on his mattress, and soft footsteps coming toward him.

"Jungkook," Yoongi says, quiet as his footsteps. His voice comes from behind him, a warmth settling on his back when Yoongi crouches down and leans over him. "Still can't sleep?"

Jungkook shakes his head, before realizing Yoongi can't see the motion in the dark. He can hear it though, and he pats Jungkook on the shoulder. "Come up here."

"What?" Jungkook whispers.

"Come watch this movie with me."

Jungkook rolls over onto his back to look up at Yoongi. His laptop screen is pointed down and away, but the light still glows behind him. In the dark Jungkook can barely make out the outline of his face. He feels like he can see Yoongi's eyes looking down at him, but maybe that's just a feeling. His hand twitches on some idiotic impulse, like he wants to—to reach out and make sure it's really Yoongi who's there, in the dark, with a golden light around his head.

He stops himself from actually lifting his hand and letting it reach its destination, but his hand hits one of Yoongi's hands resting on the floor next to him. He plays it off as if he were turning over on his side to face the elder, hoping he doesn't feel Jungkook's heart hammering against his chest.

Yoongi adds, "If you still can't sleep, I mean. If you, uh. Want to watch a movie. I'm watching a movie right now. You can watch with me. If you want."

Seokjin stirs on his bed, breath coming out in a huff as he shifts his legs. Yoongi stops talking.

Jungkook's not sure how he can tell, but Yoongi looks as if he's one noise away from giving up and just going back to his bed, leaving Jungkook on the floor and far away from him. "Okay," he whispers. "Movie. Okay."

When he places his hand down to push himself up, his fingers curl over the back of Yoongi's hand. He almost flinches, but the elder doesn't pull away, doesn't move until Jungkook has gathered his pillow and stood up, moved toward Yoongi's bed.

Yoongi gestures for him to get in first and he presses as close to the wall as he can. Yoongi lies next to him and pulls his comforter up over their legs and his laptop on the bend of his knees—and everything is warm.

The bed is small. He can't help it if his side presses against Yoongi's, if his legs curl up around Yoongi's, if his fingers curl around Yoongi's when the elder hands him one of his earbuds. He can't help if he doesn't pay attention to the movie, even when there are punches and explosions in his ear, not when the only place to put his head is against Yoongi's arm and he can feel Yoongi breathe in and out.

Can hear his pulse.

He's quick to fall asleep then. Maybe when he thinks he hears Yoongi's pulse quicken, it's just his imagination, just a dream.

 

•••

 

(A toe presses into Yoongi's side, and he swats at the area he thinks the person’s leg will be. He gets a resounding smack against a calf, and Seokjin hisses.

"Min Yoongi."

"Kim Seokjin-hyung."

"Please tell me why you are on the floor."

Yoongi opens his eyes to find Seokjin is standing over him, hands on his hips and eyes tired, but still judgmental. He sits up, stretches his back because damn, floors are not as great as mattresses.

Speaking of, he looks over to his bed and finds that Jungkook is still sound asleep with the comforter tucked up beneath his chin. Just as Yoongi had left him when he crawled out of bed, making sure not to nudge or jostle him.

"Because Jungkook is on my bed."

Seokjin's cheek twitches. Yoongi knows he's trying not to roll his eyes. "And why is Jungkook on your bed?"

Seokjin is unusually serious about things that concern Jungkook. Except when he's with Jungkook, in which case he's the complete opposite of serious. But Jungkook's sleeping habits and Yoongi's unexpected involvement in helping correct them—serious business.

"We were watching a movie and he fell asleep. I didn't want to wake him up," Yoongi says.

Seokjin sighs. "See, wasn't that an easy question to answer? Why do you always antagonize me."

Yoongi scoffs. "Only when you wake me up on a Saturday morning, hyung."

"Last question," Seokjin says. "Why were you two in here instead of out on the couch like you usually are?"

"Well," Yoongi says with a shrug. "He, uh. Asked if he could sleep in here. S'what all this is." He gestures down to Jungkook's blankets, covering his legs.

"Why did he want to sleep in here?" Seokjin asks, mostly to himself. He's looking past Yoongi, at some spot on the dresser behind him.

Yoongi just shrugs again. The movement catches Seokjin's eye, and he meets Yoongi's gaze. They can both guess why. But like hell they’re gonna talk about it before they have coffee in their systems.)

 


 

 

V.

 

Junghan gets up in the middle of the night to piss and sighs when he sees Jungkook is still awake on his side of the room, cell phone screen bright on his face. He just shakes his head and rubs his eyes, doesn't say anything until he comes back, when he pulls the phone out of Jungkook's hand. "Kookie," he says, with a look in his eyes that reminds him of their father's scoldings, "it's 3 am. Sleep on the couch if you need to. Hell, sleep on the balcony if that's what it takes, but please. Sleep."

He lets Jungkook take his phone back. "Okay, hyung." He sits up slowly, waiting for Junghan to turn around. This same thing had happened two nights ago—Junghan had had a cup ramen at 10 pm that made him wake up at midnight to piss, and he found Jungkook awake with his headphones in. He knows his brother will knock out as soon as his back touches the bed, and he can go back to his mobile game.

But Junghan shifts on his feet and gives him a look that reminds him of their mother's scoldings. "I'm not going back to bed until I see you get up and walk out there, dongsaeng. I'm not falling for that again."

Jungkook scrambles to pick up his pillow and comforter, tucking his phone under his arm. "Sorry," he mumbles.

Junghan reaches up to ruffle his hair as he walks by. "Sleep well, 'kay?"

"I'll try," Jungkook says, with a nod.

He shuffles out into the living room with quick steps, not questioning the soft light coming from the kitchen. He wouldn't put it past Junghan to come out and check on him in a couple of minutes, so he settles down on the couch and tucks himself in.

After a few seconds, he hears his brother start snoring—knocked out as soon as he hit the bed. With a sigh Jungkook flips on the TV, looks for something mind-numbing that he can still follow with the TV muted, and sets the timer.

It's been weeks since he's last had a restful sleep, almost a week since he's last fallen asleep at a reasonable hour. Each night is a slow descent to 5 am when his eyes finally shut, still weighing him down when he wakes up at 7.

It's been weeks since he woke up in Yoongi's bed instead of on the floor, alone in an empty room. Weeks since he stepped into the hallway and Yoongi choked on whatever he was saying to Seokjin in the kitchen. The eldest had stared at him from over the counter as Yoongi turned around to fiddle with the coffee machine, even though he had a full mug in his hands.

They'd been talking about him. It wasn't hard to figure out.

The next night Jungkook had tried sleeping in his and Junghan's room again, just to prove—to himself, probably, definitely not anyone else—that he could.

He couldn't.

It's been weeks. But Junghan would tell him that correlation does not equal causation. He hadn't been able to sleep well before. He shouldn't expect to be able to after.

He feels like he's exaggerating when he says after, as if accidentally falling asleep in Yoongi's bed had been some kind of cataclysmic event. But Jungkook had never woken up more well-rested before in his life. He's definitely never felt so great waking up since moving to Seoul.

Maybe what feels so earth-shattering is that before knocking on Yoongi and Seokjin's door, Jungkook had lined up the nights he'd had a restful sleep with the nights Yoongi was out there with him—correlation does not equal causation, but there was a hell of a lot of correlating. Waking up with a smile on his face that morning only added to his theory.

A door opens and Jungkook freezes, debates turning the TV off in case Junghan gets well and truly angry with him for not even trying to sleep. But then he hears a thud and mumbled cursing, a familiar voice gravelly with sleep. The footsteps come to a stop in the living room before continuing to the kitchen. An audible sigh and the thunk of a teapot on a cork mat—of course it was Yoongi who had left the stove light on, why didn't he realize—then the footsteps return, stopping at the end of the couch where his feet rest.

Jungkook lies as still as he can and holds his breath for good measure, but his heart pounds hard enough that he thinks Yoongi might hear it and know he's awake.

Another sigh and he moves around toward the other end of the couch, sitting on the floor by Jungkook's head. Yoongi sets his mug down on the coffee table and reaches for the remote where it lies right in front of Jungkook's face. Just as Jungkook can't hold his breath anymore and lets out a shaky breath.

"Kook?"

When he opens his eyes, he sees Yoongi's hand hovering over the remote, fingers in Jungkook's face. He moves to sit up, and the slight movement has his lips pressing against Yoongi's knuckles.

He doesn't know who jerks away faster.

"Yoongi-hyung?"

Jungkook lifts the neck of his shirt over his nose, hiding his lips and cheeks, at the same time Yoongi pulls his sleeves further down his arms, covering his hands.

Yoongi clears his throat and says, "I thought you were asleep. Why are you still up?" He looks as exhausted as Jungkook feels, eyes dark and empty, the blue glow of the TV highlighting his dark circles.

Jungkook shrugs. "Don't know. Why're you?"

Yoongi shrugs, mouth twisting into a wry smile. "Don't know."

He turns around to rest his elbows on the coffee table, and Jungkook sinks further into his T-shirt. His heart is still pounding and the room feels ten degrees warmer than it did a minute ago. Still, he pulls his blanket higher up over his legs.

They sit in silence, stone still except for Yoongi's fingers tapping on the side of his mug.

Jungkook wants to say something, wants to move, wants to do anything but just sit there and think himself into a stupor, but. If he opens his mouth he might say something stupid like, 'I'm awake because I can only sleep when you're around.'

"There's—" Yoongi looks at a spot on his face with a blank expression, doesn't meet his eyes. "There's still some tea left. Want some?"

Jungkook shakes his head. "No, but thank you."

"Are you sure? It might help."

The dark circles seem to crawl down his face when something moves on the TV, and his bloodshot eyes look almost frightening in the shifting light. Jungkook imagines he looks much the same. "Does it help you, hyung?"

Something flickers in his eyes, before he says, "It used to. Not so much lately." He meets Jungkook's gaze then and Jungkook doesn't know how to describe that expression. But it makes his pulse stop. "Scoot over."

"What?"

Yoongi pushes his mug toward the center of the coffee table and gestures at the couch. "Scoot over."

Mind blank, Jungkook scoots forward, giving Yoongi room to sit on the couch behind him.

"No, not that way."

"What?"

With a chuckle, Yoongi repeats, "Scoot over." He slips onto the couch, lying down on his side. Jungkook scoots closer to the back cushions, glad he has a blanket to cover his legs so he doesn't feel Yoongi's skin against his own where their legs press together.

He stays seated upright, staring down at Yoongi and wondering if the exhaustion has him hallucinating, or if he's having one of those too-realistic types of dreams. "Hyung?"

"Not gonna share your blanket?" Yoongi jokes. He slips a hand under Jungkook's pillow and pats the open space next to him with the other, signalling for Jungkook to lie down.

"Hyung?"

"Do you wanna be on the outside? We can switch."

"Hyung." He's not sure what exactly he's asking—he has a lot of things he wants to ask—but somehow Yoongi gets it.

He reaches out, tugs on the sleeve of Jungkook's shirt until he starts lying back. "I haven't had a good night's rest in weeks, Jungkookie"—correlation is not causation, Jungkook has to remind himself—"Let's sleep."

When Jungkook lies down, his head rests on the bottom of the pillow, his neck over Yoongi's arm. The elder moves, stretches his arm out to pull Jungkook closer and pillow his neck with his bicep. "Are you okay like this? Your legs are long."

Yoongi's arm is around his back, hand curling over his shoulder. Jungkook has to bend his legs a bit, squish his feet into the gaps between the cushions, but yes—he's okay like this. More than okay.

Whatever questions Jungkook had wanted to ask, Yoongi has given him an answer. This is okay.

He's already starting to fall asleep when he leans forward, forehead resting against Yoongi's collarbone. He's nearly gone when Yoongi stretches the blanket out over them, and Yoongi's skin is cold against his own.

He's starting to dream when he slips his own arm around the elder's waist and their ankles tangle together. He lets reality and dreaming mix when he imagines Yoongi's other arm winding around him and him sighing into his hair, when he imagines a soft pressure against the crown of his head.

 

•••

 

(For once, Jungkook has woken up before Yoongi. Only by a minute at most, but Yoongi is still surprised to feel the younger readjusting his position, huffing warm air onto his neck. He blinks up at Yoongi when he realizes the elder has also woken up and yawns.

Yoongi dies a little, right then. It's just so fucking cute that he stares for a while, mind catching up to him. Then he notices the sun is way too high up in the sky and the house is way too quiet.

"Shit," he says, extracting his arm from under Jungkook's head. At the curse the younger sits up, confused. "Sorry, that wasn't at you. It was just a general kind of—anyway, what time is it?"

Jungkook is still drowsy, blinking slow and yawning again, so Yoongi turns his head to look at the clock sitting on top of the TV. 12 pm. He was supposed to go out hours ago with Seokjin and Junghan to meet with some friends from undergrad.

He reaches back to grab his phone off the coffee table and checks through his notifications, noticing a few silly texts from Namjoon and Hoseok in the groupchat and a text from Seokjin.

 

Jin-hyung
I turned off ur alarm
Get some rest
The guys understand

 

With a relaxed sigh, he slumps back down. Jungkook has hunched forward with his knees drawn to his chest, pulling the blanket off Yoongi's legs. He rubs at his face, clearly still shaking off sleep. But he looks much better than he did earlier in the morning, dark circles smaller and the sparkle back in his eyes.

Yoongi feels better, too. Most of the tension is gone from his shoulders despite the cramped sleeping space, and his reflection on his blank phone screen had looked a lot less dead than it had the day before.

"Hey," he says, touching the small of Jungkook's back to get his attention.

Jungkook looks down at him. "Hmm?"

"You hungry?"

Jungkook nods.

"Wanna go out in like, fifteen minutes? I need a shower."

Jungkook smiles and stretches, more awake at the mention of food. "Okay."

Yoongi slips off the couch, and only when he notices how cold he suddenly feels does he realize how warm he'd been curled up with Jungkook.)