These things are never truly accurate, Yoongi thinks, as he blinks up at the darkening sky. Just this morning, reports had said that they would be seeing no rain at all, but at the same time to keep an eye out for just the slightest hint of a shower. Not even a shower, the weatherman had called it a sprinkle. Now, as the sky darkens, and the air grows colder with the drawing rain, Yoongi scowls.
He hasn’t got a problem with the rain. He likes it, contrary to popular belief and to what his friends always laugh about. Although Yoongi will admit that most of the time, it’s not the rain that he looks forward to. It’s what happens after.
The sun slowly peaking through the dark grey clouds, casting its first orange glow after a drizzle. A storm. A hurricane. Because no matter how much it rains, the sun will always follow after it.
Just that small realisation has Yoongi smiling, if only for a little bit as he lifts his umbrella up over his head, in anticipation for the rain.
Perhaps it’s just one of the many things that Yoongi is thankful for—knowing the exact second when the first raindrop will fall.
Some people aren’t so lucky, he observes.
Most of them aren’t expecting it. Darting in and out of shops, digging around their bags and their purses in search of an umbrella that should be in there, except it isn’t, because nobody had expected rain after the sunny morning they all just had.
So Yoongi keeps walking, making his way down the block and towards the corner where he’d left his car. He had a few errands to run in this side of town. Had a few friends to see—a certain Kim Seokjin who insisted he finally pay his new cafe a visit, and while Yoongi had just rolled his eyes and reminded Seokjin that this is his hundredth business venture in the past—oh, how many years? Several decades.—he still had gone, because Seokjin is an old friend of his.
And a good friend.
Besides, the coffee and the cake had been good.
Although that really shouldn’t have been surprising, given who Seokjin is.
What Seokjin is, exactly.
In no time at all, the rain starts to pour in earnest. Yoongi tightens his hold on his umbrella, noting just the few more minutes left until he gets to his car. There are fewer people now in the streets, the ones that are left with umbrellas held over their heads, fingers practically white around the handle as they try to hold it against the strong wind that blows.
It’s when Yoongi rounds another corner that he sees him for the first time. Shivering and arms wrapped around himself, backpack already soaked through, and dark hair wet and sticking to his forehead.
Yoongi stops, looking around the street—nobody else is here, everyone else safe and warm in shops they’d darted into when the rain started to fall.
Which is a surprise, then, when Yoongi draws closer to the boy who stands partially under the rain, the small little waiting shed for the bus barely doing its job of providing for cover and shelter from the heavy rain that falls.
Unexpectedly, Yoongi falls into step beside him, umbrella still held over his head. He pauses for a short while, looking him over—he looks like a mess. When Yoongi looks down at his hands, he notices a few stray scratches littered across his skin. Some pin-pricks on his fingers. Yoongi lifts his eyes back at the boy, who looks far too pale to even be considered okay in any situation.
And while Yoongi is never one to start a conversation, much less with a complete stranger, there’s something about this boy that has him swallowing past the apprehension to ask just a simple question that he hardly ever voices to a remote stranger.
Yoongi has his reservations, and talking to new people is one of them.
But he tries, anyway, if only because the boy looks like he’s about to cry.
If the droplets that cling to his eyelashes are tears or from the rain, Yoongi isn’t sure, but he knows it won’t hurt to ask. Just a simple question that has Yoongi raising his voice a little bit higher than usual, if only to be heard over the sound of the storm.
“Are you okay?”
The boy turns slowly to him, as if realising he’s there for the first time. When he brings a hand up to his eyes and swipes at his wet cheeks, Yoongi finds his answer—tears. Not the rain.
“Why do you ask?” the boy says, voice trembling.
Yoongi’s brows furrow, partly in confusion, partly in concern. “You’re standing around in the rain.”
“Waiting for my bus,” is all the answer he gets, the boy turning away from him to look down the road, empty except for the cars that drive slowly past them, careful because the harsh rain hinders visibility. “It should be—it should be here by now.”
“You’re drenched,” is the next observation that Yoongi gives, raising an eyebrow at the boy who finally turns around completely to look at him, to level him a stare.
Yoongi has to tilt his head just the slightest bit to meet his gaze. He notices a few things when he does—the dark circles under his eyes, the tears that cling to his eyelashes, his downturned mouth. The slight quivering of his jaw as he presses his lips into a tight line, presumably to stop himself from crying even more in front of a stranger with the weirdly bright yellow umbrella.
The same yellow umbrella that Yoongi offers to him, without a single word, except for the small nudge of his shoulders when the boy barely blinks at him, not quite registering what’s happening.
“What—“ but Yoongi passes the umbrella over to him, anyway, doesn’t lower his hand until the boy takes it from him, fingers closing around the handle.
They stand under it for a few quiet moments, except—except for the rain that still falls, that colours and washes the city with greys and darks.
“Take it,” Yoongi murmurs, this time his voice is barely above a whisper. But he’s heard, anyway, because there isn’t much you can miss when you’re standing so close together under the same umbrella.
“But it’s raining—“ the boy insists, taking a step towards Yoongi when Yoongi steps away from him, ducking out from the umbrella’s cover.
Yoongi just shakes his head. There are some things that people need more than him, and for someone like Yoongi, not having an umbrella during a storm is hardly a problem.
“It’s fine, you can have it.” it’s final, the way Yoongi says it. The way he takes a few steps away from the bus stop. The way he raises his hand, for a wave or for one last final no, really, I insist, Yoongi himself isn’t sure.
“It’s raining,” but he doesn’t make a move to follow after Yoongi, not when the rain pours even more. The wind blowing harder. “This is yours—you’re going to get sick.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Yoongi calls to him, hands stuffed into his pocket. He looks over his shoulder then, to get one last look of the boy with the scuffed knuckles and scratched up hands. “It doesn’t really rain where I’m going.”
Of course, it still rains.
It follows Yoongi wherever he goes, but when he finally makes it to his car, and slips inside, he’s warm, but most importantly—dry. Like he hadn’t just walked three more blocks to get here in the downpour.
There’s a curve of a smile on Yoongi’s face as he starts to drive back to his place. It stays, even as Yoongi takes the first few steps back into his house, toeing out of his shoes, and his hat thrown over to a counter that he passes on his way to the large windows—nearly floor to ceiling in length.
He’s got a good view of the rest of the city, living in the top most floor. Right now, that’s not exactly the case, not with the rain, and all the grey clouds that wrap the city in a haze.
Yoongi lays his palm flat against the cool surface of the window. Closes his eyes. Breathes in.
He doesn’t have to try too hard, not when the rain isn’t falling in earnest anymore. Not when there’s hardly a storm.
And perhaps, compared to the usual hurricanes that they get, this can be considered a sprinkle. Perhaps.
Or, a very cold shower.
A few moments pass, Yoongi’s breathing turning even, and his eyes finally fluttering open, only to see the sun pushing through the grey clouds, the first few yellow rays of the two-in-the-afternoon-sunshine almost blinding, after that rain.
But Yoongi doesn’t look away. He never looks away from the sun, if he can help it.
The rain stops completely then, the sun shining high up in the sky, and the grey clouds swept away and replaced by clear blue skies, no sign at all of the rain that had just passed.
When Yoongi steps away from the window and turns to draw the blinds back, he thinks of the boy with his yellow umbrella, and the scuffed knuckles. He thinks of the boy who’d stood in the rain, barely able to hold his tears back.
Yoongi hopes he has a good day now that the rain’s stopped.
Seokjin ends up sitting Yoongi down after the incident from the other day.
He brings in Jeongguk, too, who looks a little uncomfortable, tucked away in a corner of Seokjin’s cafe. Jeongguk folds his fingers over the table, the look on his face obvious he’d rather be anywhere else but here.
“Yoongi, apologise,” Seokjin says, staring over the both of them.
Yoongi looks at Jeongguk. Jeongguk, who he’s known for countless years. Countless millennia already. Jeongguk, who still ducks his head, refusing to meet Yoongi’s gaze just because he thinks that what Yoongi did was hardly a thing to apologise for, but Seokjin has been more or less running this show, their little foursome since day one, and even Yoongi has to sit himself down and listen from time to time.
“Hyung, he doesn’t need to—“ Jeongguk finally says, almost hissing it out because they have to be quiet. The cafe is a bit packed, and if it weren’t for the situation, then Yoongi would be snickering at how they’re having this fucking conversation in a cafe, of all places. “It’s fine, it’s no big deal.”
Seokjin runs a hand through his hair, mussing it up. Yoongi notices that he looks more disheveled, tie a bit loose. He looks like he’s more stressed about the situation than the actual people involved.
“Gguk, it’s not about it being any kind of deal,” although by Seokjin’s tone, it sounds like a very big deal to him. “It’s about us having our limitations. Borders. Just because Yoongi can pull the sun out of his ass—“
Yoongi clears his throat.
Jeongguk nearly chokes at that.
And Taehyung, sitting at the next table, laughs.
“Didn’t notice you there,” Jeongguk says, brightening up just the slightest bit as he turns away from Yoongi and Seokjin to look at Taehyung, who grins at him, raising his cup of tea.
“Just got here, is why,” Taehyung comes, and Taehyung goes. Much like the many phases of the moon, never quite all there at the same time, only—only occasionally. He’s got his moments, and it looks like today is one of his quieter moments.
And now that Yoongi looks at Taehyung, he notices that he’s a bit translucent. Not something that the regular eye would see, unless they looked truly hard and for quite a long time at him. But it’s something that people like Yoongi notice almost immediately, with no problem.
Taehyung lifts the cup of tea to his mouth, raising both eyebrows at Yoongi, as if to say that this is all his fault, but even if it is, he’s still having just the slightest bit of fun.
Okay, a lot of fun, given how much he’s smiling now, watching as Seokjin stares at Yoongi pointedly, arms crossed, and hair even more of a mess now.
“Not looking too good there,” Yoongi says, eyeing the tie, and the hair, and the flour that’s smeared on Seokjin’s cheek. “You stressed.”
Seokjin breathes out sharply. “Wonder why,” and then, after a while, turns to Jeongguk, who startles at the sudden attention. “You’re going to get an apology or else nobody’s leaving.”
It’s been a while since they’ve all been sat down like this, since Seokjin’s visibly bristling, quite stressed from the recent events. Yoongi remembers the last time he’d stepped a toe out of the line, remembers how Jeongguk had just shrugged about it and said that he didn’t mind. Besides, it rains, and then the sun shines. They go hand in hand, the both of them.
Although it can get quite a bit more complicated than that, from time to time, given the true nature of who Jeongguk is.
Who they all are.
“Fine,” Yoongi tries not to seethe too much, because he’s annoyed at Seokjin, not at Jeongguk. To Jeongguk, he reaches across the table, fingers closing around Jeongguk’s own, still clasped tight. “Sorry. Won’t happen any time soon.”
There’s a lilt in Yoongi’s voice that tells them all that it will happen again, as much as Yoongi feels like stopping the rain right in the middle of the down pour, as often as he wants. Jeongguk knows this, Taehyung knows this, hell, even Seokjin does, too, which is why Seokjin just groans.
But he visibly lightens up after the apology, smiling at the both of them, and patting Jeongguk’s head, fingers ruffling at his hair first, and then smoothing it back after.
When Seokjin slips away from them to busy himself with his business, Taehyung plops himself down on the seat next to Jeongguk and then leans in towards Yoongi, elbow propped on the table, and chin settled on his open palm. “So, why’d you do it, hyung?”
Yoongi can only shrug his shoulders. “No reason. Got wet, that’s it.”
Taehyung nods his head, totally not buying it. “Okay, what happened before that?”
Jeongguk leans in, too, much more curious now that Seokjin’s gone, eyes alight, and the look on his face more relaxed. Seokjin has that effect sometimes, when all he wants is to scold and reprimand. It gets on Yoongi’s nerves, and bogs down the kids. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes—on all the occasions where Yoongi not just steps a toe out of the line, but crashes head first into the wall, tearing it down. He doesn’t mean to, at least, not all the time.
There are reasons.
The boy from the bus stop, who had accepted Yoongi’s umbrella rather begrudgingly, who had tried not to look at Yoongi directly in the eyes, because he’d been crying—that was a good reason, thinks Yoongi.
When Yoongi doesn’t answer, just stares pointedly out of the window, Taehyung pushes on.
“You met someone, didn’t you?” Taehyung asks, almost conspiratorially.
Beside him, Jeongguk snickers.
“As if,” Yoongi murmurs, pushing off of his chair. “I just don’t like the rain, yeah?”
Which is a lie, and they all know that.
But there’s no real reason why they should know what exactly happened, and before Taehyung can force that information out of him—because he always does, Yoongi has no idea how, but Taehyung never fails to do just that—Yoongi grabs his phone from the table and turns away, his goodbye coming much later when he stops by the door, hand raised in a casual good riddance, and a heavy feeling of relief settling over him, now that he’s stepped out of the door.
He loves them, of course he does.
There are just some things Yoongi wants to keep to himself—like the yellow umbrella, and the boy who has it, now.
Whoever he is. Wherever he is.
Yoongi just can’t help but wonder if he’s okay. Finds himself hoping that he is.
It’s not going to rain any time soon anymore.
Taehyung visits Yoongi right as the sun sets, when the city starts to quiet down, the lights turning brighter now that evening falls.
For someone who comes alive at the night, Taehyung is awfully languid at this hour.
Yoongi glances up at the sky, the moon is barely visible behind the thick clouds. The clouds look a lot like the storm clouds from the other day, and Yoongi wonders if Jeongguk has anything planned for tonight. Or the rest of the week. Despite himself, Yoongi hopes that he doesn’t.
There’s just that same boy that Yoongi sees in his mind’s eye, that he still remembers. It’s not uncommon for Yoongi to worry over people. It comes with the package, sometimes. What’s uncommon is for Yoongi to directly interfere.
Taehyung snaps him out of his thoughts, the younger boy bending down beside Yoongi to run his fingers over the bed of tulips that Yoongi had just been tending to.
“They grow all year round, now?” Taehyung asks, straightening up. His smile is bright enough for today’s evening, and Yoongi—well, Yoongi just shrugs his shoulders.
His garden is a bit more special than your usual garden.
Yoongi is fond of it, is the only reason he can say when the others ask him why he allows all the flowers to bloom year round. He’s too fond of them, he can’t quite imagine himself parting with them for a season. For a few short days, even.
Taehyung gets this.
“Always have,” Yoongi murmurs, motioning for Taehyung to follow him. He’s done with the garden, now. No more reason to stay up on the rooftop unless Taehyung really needs to.
And Taehyung has all the permission to stroll in and out of Yoongi’s rooftop.
Yoongi knows Taehyung often spends countless sleepless nights out here, just perched on the single bench that Yoongi had pushed to the very corner. He likes to look at the city, covered by nightfall, as much as Yoongi likes to look at the city basking in sunlight.
“Are you going to stay up here?” Yoongi asks, looking over his shoulder to find Taehyung directly behind him, looming.
Taehyung folds his fingers over Yoongi’s shoulder, the both of them nearly crashing into each other when Yoongi had stopped all of a sudden.
“Nah,” and here Taehyung yawns, one hand coming up to cover his mouth, although it comes a few moments too late. Yoongi murmurs something about basic manners and to stop being disgusting for once, but Taehyung just grins at him. “I think I’m going to sleep soon.”
Yoongi glances one last time at the sky—at the stars that twinkle from very far away, distant even from the moon tonight. It seems like it’s going to be quiet. A little bit lonely, too, with Taehyung now leading the way back down to Yoongi’s house, shoulders sagging.
Taehyung seems tired. More tired than usual. Yoongi wonders if it has anything to do with how much longer nights get in the winter. Most probably, Yoongi thinks.
The same way Yoongi is twice as tired come the summer. Days are longer. Warmer. Everything is just brighter. He loves it, of course. But it takes its toll on you. Eventually, everything will take its toll.
“G’night, then,” Yoongi’s voice is a quiet murmur as he leads Taehyung to the foyer, where the elevator is.
Taehyung’s smile is a small one, hand raised in a small wave, the elevator doors closing in on him before he can say good night back.
It doesn’t matter.
Taehyung lives on the floor just below Yoongi’s.
And it’s a bit funny, isn’t it, how the gods of the sun and the moon live in the same building.
The thing is, Yoongi’s not a bad friend. He really isn’t. It’s just that, well—sometimes, his memory’s not as sharp as it had been. Sometimes, he forgets things.
Like today, for example. Yoongi’s completely forgotten what today is supposed to be.
If it had not been for Jeongguk’s text early in the morning, reminding him of the surprise for dinner, then Yoongi would have totally walked into dinner with the rest of his friends totally unaware that it was Taehyung’s birthday.
Seokjin also helps, too, because he knows Yoongi all too well, now. Knows that winter often distracts Yoongi—with the long nights, the shorter days, and the colder weather. He calls Yoongi just after lunch, the line a little bit muffled, probably because of the signal. Or probably because Seokjin insists on leaving the mixer on behind him as he talks to Yoongi.
“Don’t forget the flowers,” Seokjin says, sounding a bit too far away. Like he’s set his phone down to do other things—and this is confirmed a few seconds later, when Yoongi hears Seokjin drop a plate from somewhere off to his left. Somewhere too far away for his phone.
“Yeah, of course,” it’s not exactly lying when Yoongi means it. He’d just been, well, just been distracted, head too light the past few days that he hasn’t kept track of the dates very well. Hell, he slept through all of Christmas, only waking up to Taehyung’s incessant knocking during dinner, the younger boy carrying a tray of some of Yoongi’s favourite food, and a cake from Seokjin’s bakery.
And as if Seokjin knows that Yoongi has literally no idea where to get the flowers, he tells him that he’ll text him with a good flower shop not too far from the bakery. Gives him the number, too, just to be sure.
So Yoongi calls the flower shoppe, waits until someone picks up—a girl—and asks for the actual address, because there’s no way he’s going on a complete whim here, just because Seokjin had said the flower shop was three lefts going up the block, two rights, and then just go straight up the next block and it should be right by the corner.
While Seokjin had been right about that, there’s really just no fucking way Yoongi would have been able to make it to that exact same location, not with directions like that. God.
The fact that the shoppe accepts last minute flower arrangements—and this one Yoongi is quite familiar with already, with what specific arrangement he wants for Taehyung—is a blessing in itself, given how it’s just a day before New Year’s Eve, and that most of the other shoppes around it are close already, shutting down early to give their employees enough time to prepare.
Yoongi’s arrival is announced by the tinkling of a bell as he pushes through the door, eyes immediately doing a quick scan of the shop. He knows now why Seokjin had been so confident in recommending this place. It doesn’t look too commercialised. Cosy, is what it looks like, and warm. Different pots of flowers are lined up along the windowsill, a few succulents littered across the front desk.
The girl behind it smiles at him, her greeting chirpy. “Hi, can I help you with anything?”
“I need—flowers,” Yoongi says, sounding a little helpless. Because it’s ironic, for someone like him—who can make flowers grow all year round no problem. Who has his own garden on his very own rooftop, adorned with both the sunshine and the moonlight.—to be coming into a flower shop like this, requesting for a bouquet.
But the truth of the matter is, while Yoongi loves his flowers, he knows next to nothing when it comes to arrangements.
And so it brings him here, to this quaint little flower shop that’s open for all the last minute requests from people like him, either hurrying for New Year, or for something else. Like a friend’s birthday.
“Sure, do you have anything in mind?” she asks him, pen and paper ready. “Wait, hold on. You’re the guy that called earlier, aren’t you? You need this right now?”
When all Yoongi had expected from her was to snicker and roll her eyes, he gets a laugh, instead. Like wind chimes. She nods her head at him, the pen and paper discarded somewhere out of his sight.
“Stay right there. Let me call my brother, he’s better at this than me.” there’s a sense of pride in the way that she says it, from the look in her eyes. She raises a hand up to Yoongi, as if to tell him to stay put before she slips into the back room, the door slamming shut behind her.
The wait isn’t too long, Yoongi barely having the time to take the few needed steps to get to the bundle of baby’s breath pushed to the corner, ready for the day’s arrangements and requests.
“Hi,” someone says from behind Yoongi. He hears the shutting of the door. Two sets of footsteps, and then a hushed conversation when Yoongi doesn’t turn around immediately.
“He says he needs it now,” comes the girl’s voice from earlier, whispering to her brother.
“Now as in, now?”
Yoongi’s about to apologise for the rush order, try to excuse his way out of them glaring at him for rushing them during one of the busiest days of the year, but then he turns around, and he sees the brother that the girl had talked about. The brother who she had sounded so proud of.
The brother who Yoongi had passed his yellow umbrella to, a few weeks prior during one of this winter’s heaviest downpour.
“Hey—I know you,” a funny little look settles on his face the same exact moment that recognition flashes in his eyes. And then he smiles at Yoongi, bright and warm, eyes crinkling in the corners, and says. “Hi.”
The only thing Yoongi can say, with his sister staring down at him from over his shoulder, an eyebrow raised in question at the both of them, is a quiet, “Hello.”
Yoongi thinks it’s a good a start as any.
“Thanks again for the umbrella,” a hand is stretched out for Yoongi to take, and he blinks down at it for a few seconds. Remembers exactly where he is, who he’s standing across from, before he reaches over the space between them to squeeze at the offered hand. “I’m Hoseok, and that’s my sister—we sort of run this place.”
“It’s okay,” two weeks ago, the boy had looked like a complete mess. Hair wet from the rain, and clothes soaked through. He must have been freezing, too. He looked like absolutely hell. Now—
Now, he looks better. More kept. Hair swept to the side and finger-combed. The dark circles under his eyes less prominent. And he’s smiling now, too, something that Yoongi hadn’t seen during the rain.
He looks happy, is what it is.
And when Yoongi looks down at his hands, he realises just why they’ve been littered with scratches. From the thorns and the scissors and all of the flowers that he handpicks himself, and god. The paper. All the paper cuts, probably.
Yoongi lifts his gaze up to meet his, and for the first time since he’s walked into the store, he cracks a smile. It looks more surprised than anything, but at least it’s a smile, and for now, he hopes that it’s okay, that it’s enough.
“My name’s Yoongi,” So he smiles at Hoseok for the first time, since, and asks, “So, can I get that bouquet for today?”
The sound of Hoseok’s laughter bubbling out of him is unexpected. His sister snickers behind him, and Yoongi just grimaces, knowing full well how inconsiderate he may sound. But he needs the flowers. Knows how much Taehyung loves them, how Seokjin would probably wring his neck if he can’t even get this simple thing done.
Much like how his sister had just laughed at Yoongi, all too open to helping him out, still, Hoseok nods as well, and runs his fingers through his hair, turning it messy.
“Well, tell me what you want, then.”
And that’s all Hoseok has to ask for Yoongi to start, hands moving animatedly, talking about the kind of arrangement that he wants, the kind that he knows Taehyung will love, will find absolutely perfect.
Something warm, a mixture of greens and blues, like the river and the evening sky, reflecting the moon on its surface. Yoongi wants something simple, in the end, with a thin ribbon to tie it all together.
It only takes Hoseok less than thirty minutes, it seems, until he’s passing Yoongi the bouquet he’d specifically asked for. Different coloured tulips—purples and whites, accompanied by meadow whites right in the heart of the bouquet, and lavender along either side of it.
Yoongi accepts the bouquet, eyes wide with surprise at how easily Hoseok had come up with it. How he’s practically mastered his art by now. He holds it gingerly in his hands, disbelief still quite evident on his face, because Hoseok laughs again, a little nervous now, asking him if it’s alright, or if he wants anything done again, because he can help, it’s the least he can do, of course.
After what Yoongi had done for him. After that storm.
But Yoongi shakes his head, holding the flowers closer to him, and says, “These are perfect.”
Hoseok beams at him from the other side of the counter, eyes glittering. Bright. Happy.
“Thank you, Yoongi.”
When Yoongi walks out the door, flowers held in his hand, he doesn’t think about how warm Hoseok’s fingers were when they grazed along his right as he passed the bouquet over. It doesn’t do anyone any good to dwell on that, especially now that Yoongi’s seen him again. Now that Yoongi has a name to the boy who’d cried in the rain, freezing and cold, and miserable.
Now that Yoongi’s heard him laugh, and by the gods, he’s got a pretty cute laugh.
Yoongi snaps himself out of it, and with one last final smile and a thanks that the murmurs for the pair of siblings, he heads to the door, fingers clasping on the handle of the bouquet tightly, his heart beating just the slightest bit faster.
He doesn’t know what it means, not exactly, so Yoongi chalks it up to just being cold.
The surprise party is almost a success, if anyone’s standard of success is Jeongguk nearly tripping on a stray shoe by the front door as they all creep in, quiet as can be. He hisses his annoyance because he’d almost dropped the cake.
Seokjin just ushers him in, carrying a tray of food for all four of them, while Yoongi follows behind them, the bouquet of flowers in his hands, fingers circled gingerly around the base, like he isn’t quite sure how to be holding such a beautiful bunch of flowers.
The surprise party is almost a success because, for starters, it hadn’t been a surprise at all, Taehyung sprawled on the couch, earphones dangling from one side of his neck as he startles in confusion at his friends, eyes wide, and mouth slightly open at the mess that had just walked through the door.
Jeongguk lets out a small little noise that sounds something between a choke and a laugh, while Seokjin just groans, the surprise foiled because none of them had thought, for a split second throughout this day, to ask about where Taehyung was.
“Well,” Yoongi clears his throat, stepping in-between Seokjin and Jeongguk to walk over to Taehyung, who lifts himself up off the couch, the look of small surprise on his face wiped away, only to be replaced by a bewildered smile, eyes alight and sparkling. “Happy birthday.”
So this is how they spend Taehyung’s nth birthday—
They spend it sprawled around the living room, cups and boxes of food all strewn along the single coffee table that Taehyung has lying in the middle. Jeongguk sits right next to him, their knees knocking together with every little move that they make.
Seokjin cuts the cake into slices, passing the very first one to Taehyung. He’d made this just for him, with his cafe plunged in eerie quiet, his employees sent home early for the holidays, Seokjin had worked the whole afternoon, just to make Taehyung his favourite.
A fucking lemon cake that Yoongi hates, but this isn’t his birthday, so he lets Taehyung have it.
Yoongi won’t admit it, but he’ll let Taehyung have a lot of things.
“This is great, hyung,” Taehyung has buttercream smeared across his cheek, and with a small sigh, Yoongi leans across the table between them to wipe it away with his thumb, Taehyung making a face as soon as he realises what’s happening. “Thanks,” he says this to Yoongi, and then, after a few more mouthfuls of cake, he looks pointedly to the bouquet of flowers sitting by the edge of the couch, a stark purple and blues and peaches against the pristine white of the couch.
“These are really pretty,” this Taehyung says to Yoongi, who looks up from his bowl of noodles.
Seokjin raises an eyebrow at Yoongi, the twinkle in his eye evident.
It all clicks, then—
Why Seokjin had insisted Yoongi go to that specific flower shop. Why he seemed so sure Yoongi would enjoy it. That it was exactly Yoongi’s taste, given his own fondness for flowers. For his little garden just two stories above Taehyung’s floor.
“No,” Yoongi says, bowl clattering to the table. “What did you do?”
Seokjin plays coy the whole time, deflecting the question by plucking the bouquet off of the couch to hand it to Taehyung, who stares at it with a softness in his eyes and his smile the whole time, fingers caressing the lavender that adorn the sides carefully, afraid that he might ruin the arrangement.
“Nothing,” Seokjin says, although the smile on his face is too knowing, the glimmer in his eyes too mischievous.
Yoongi knows exactly what Seokjin’s done.
The same way Seokjin knows exactly what Yoongi had done, several weeks ago.
Why Yoongi had done it.
And it was supposed to be a one-time thing, just someone Yoongi had bumped into.
Just someone who had caught his attention for ten minutes, maybe, in the freezing rain. Wrapped up in the grey and the fog.
“These are really pretty, hyung,” Jeongguk is the one who makes the observation, flicking at a tulip. Taehyung snatches the flowers away from his hold, murmuring something about how Jeongguk’s never allowed to touch them, not after he’d nearly snapped one of the flowers in half, unaware of what he’d even done.
“Yeah,” Yoongi looks at the tulips, at how cleanly it had all been gathered together, intricately arranged to create something that screams Taehyung again and again. Yoongi looks at the flowers and he sees Hoseok, can hear his laugh. He downs the last remaining half of his champagne, refusing to meet anybody’s eyes when he murmurs out his approval. “It really is beautiful.”
The first thing Yoongi sees when he walks out of his bedroom the day before New Year’s is a box of cupcakes, perhaps a dozen or so, and a note from one Kim Seokjin that simply says:
Some extras from the cafe. There’s more in your fridge. - J
Yoongi crumples the note in his hand, heading over to the fridge just to check.
There’s at least two more boxes inside, one labelled specifically for him, and the other with Taehyung’s initials. He could have given it to Taehyung the other night, they’d celebrated Taehyung’s birthday together, after all, but Yoongi has a feeling that was never his intention.
The box of cupcakes sitting on Yoongi’s counter says more than what the letter could have ever translated. Yoongi looks out the window, squinting at the midday sun, and then sighs, because of course Seokjin would want to spend the last day of the year meddling. Of course he’d want to push Yoongi straight into hell, just so he can maybe pluck him back out after.
Yoongi hates him sometimes, but then again, perhaps this is just Seokjin’s way of getting back at him. A rather shoddy attempt to teach him to stop messing around with Jeongguk’s territory, to leave what isn’t his alone, and just because he can maybe pull the sun from one corner of the world to another, doesn’t mean that he should, and god, he’s starting to sound like Seokjin. Exactly like Seokjin.
Shutting his own reeling mind down, Yoongi grabs his scarf off of the rack and shrugs into one of his thicker coats, already knowing what he has to do, because god forbid Seokjin has to spell everything out for him.
Yoongi grabs the box of cupcakes on his way to the door, the scowl on his face evident.
This time, Yoongi doesn’t drive to the flower shop. This time, when Yoongi steps into the elevator, he steps out into an alley a few feet away from the shop.
Completely impulsive, and perhaps stupid of him to play along, but he’s got three boxes of cupcakes, and as much as Yoongi is a fan of Seokjin’s baking, there’s just no way he’s going to eat everything, not even if he enlists both Taehyung and Jeongguk’s help, the two younger boys up to god knows what today, on the last day of the year, of all days.
What Yoongi doesn’t expect when he walks up to the front door is a closed sign that hangs against the window. He blinks at it, teeth worrying on his bottom lip, and fingers tightening around the edges of the box. Of course. Of course. Of course he would forget just what today is. Would forget that unlike yesterday, nearly all stores lining down the streets, up and down, are closed in preparation for tonight.
Yoongi’s about to walk away when he hears the tinkling of chimes and the creaking of a door opening.
“Hey,” comes Hoseok’s voice, the boy sticking his head out the door as he catches sight of Yoongi. “What brings you here?”
This might just be the stupidest thing Yoongi’s ever said, but panic and the sight of Hoseok, hair a little bit messy, now, and eyes still bearing the weight of sleep, shoulders lax, has him mumbling, tripping over his words as he says, “I—I need flowers, I think.”
Hoseok looks at him for a few seconds too long. Eyes the box in Yoongi’s hand, and then sighs, the look in his eyes amused. “Come in, then,”
The flower shop is dimmer than it was yesterday, the music that had filtered through the speakers absent for today. Had it not been for Hoseok dressed in what looks like his pyjamas and a too baggy sweatshirt, Yoongi would have called it solemn. But as it is.
“Noona live upstairs,” Hoseok says, as a way of explanation, probably catching on to the question Yoongi hasn’t asked. Won’t ask. Thats not his question to ask or his answer to know, in the first place. “I’ve been helping Jiwoo noona prepare for later,”
Yoongi doesn’t ask if it’s just going to be them for new year’s eve.
“Do you really need flowers?” Hoseok leans across the counter, a sleepy look in his eyes, still, and his voice scratchy with too-few hours from the past night. It must be the cold bogging them all down, making them feel more lethargic than usual.
Yoongi tries to stifle a yawn behind the box of cupcakes. He knows he looks like a mess right now, hair tucked into a beanie, and scarf looped messily around his neck. He doesn’t even think he’d slipped into the right pair of shoes—and now that he glances down, he sees that he’s still wearing his house slippers, and god, well, nobody’s going to notice that, not when all Yoongi’s done to get here was walk through the elevator walls.
“I have flowers at home,” Yoongi says, as an answer. He sets the box down on the counter, a little apprehensive and a lot nervous. This was a bad idea, his worst idea to date, and to think Seokjin had pushed him into this. “I’m—here because of cupcakes,”
Hoseok eyes the box for a second, unseeing, before he realises what it is and his face brightens up, eyes crinkling in the corners the way that they do because Hoseok’s smiling too widely, too brightly, and Yoongi—
Yoongi pretends not to notice it, ducking out of Hoseok’s line of sight, eyes not meeting his, as he taps a finger against the cover of the box.
“My friend baked these. The flowers from yesterday—it was his birthday. So he—we. We wanted to thank you,” not a lie in the slightest, not when Taehyung had extended his thanks to Yoongi the other night. “Thanks.”
Yoongi likes to think that all the years he’s spent just roaming around the world would have made him a better conversationalist. Or, at least, a decent one, anyway. And sometimes, he tries. Sometimes, he doesn’t, not really. This is one of those times—
When Yoongi tries just a tad bit too hard, he can’t quite get anything out. Nothing.
It doesn’t help at all that Hoseok’s still smiling, surprised and kind, and sweetly, now that he realises what’s going on. Now that he puts one and two together to get the god forsaken total that Yoongi’s just braved the cold morning air to deliver a box of cupcakes. On the last day of the year.
“Happy new year, Yoongi,” Hoseok’s voice is softer, but much more awake, now. Their eyes meet, and Yoongi feels a knot tightening in his stomach. He stuffs his hand into a coat pocket, and nods, lips curving into a smile that he hopes is enough for Hoseok. “Let’s go get your flowers ready, then.”
They spend the day like this—
Yoongi following after Hoseok around the indoor garden in the back, watching him the whole time. Hoseok insists that they make just a simple one. Asks Yoongi what his favourite flowers are, and Yoongi doesn’t say it out loud at first, because he doesn’t see it anywhere around them, but Hoseok insists, and Yoongi realises that Hoseok wielding a cupcake to his face can be quite intimidating. Or, at least, demanding, anyway.
“Sunflowers,” they’ve gathered the few flowers Yoongi had pointed out—a mixture of white and pink peonies that had looked far too beautiful to be plucked out, only to be bunched together again just for Yoongi, of all people—and they’re back to the main room again, Hoseok working under warm yellow light to trim at the stems, cleaning the flowers up before he sets them back down for an arrangement. “I like sunflowers.”
Hoseok doesn’t startle at that sudden revelation. Instead, Hoseok just smiles warmly. So, so warm, Yoongi almost forgets what time of the year it is, and says, “Me, too. I go to this fair every August, they have giant sunflowers—really pretty, yeah. Let’s check it out, then.”
And this is how it happens, how things fall into place, rather unexpectedly.
This is how Yoongi walks into the door with a box of cupcakes in his hands and a thank you on the tip of his tongue, and how Yoongi walks out the door a few hours later, a fresh bouquet held high up to his chest as he stares at it, transfixed.
This is how Yoongi finds a friend on the last day of the year.
Yoongi watches the fireworks on the rooftop.
He’s not alone—
Taehyung is sitting on the ledge, feet dangling below him. Swinging.
Jeongguk stands right next to him, completely unafraid of falling.
Seokjin a few steps behind Yoongi, sat down on the bench, legs crossed, and a pleased little smile on his face.
Nobody really says anything.
This is how they usually spend their new year’s—just the four of them staring as the sky explodes into colour. Greens and reds and blues, and yellows and oranges, and whites, and a mixture of everything. A festival of colours. Of rain.
The fireworks display don’t last as long this year, Jeongguk sulking at that. “That’s it?” he asks, like he isn’t capable of coming up with his very own fireworks in the snap of his fingers.
“Well, happy new year to you too, Gguk,” Seokjin huffs, though there’s nothing but sheer fondness that colours the tone of his voice. Sheer fondness on his face when he levels Jeongguk a look, the corners of his lips tugging up into a smile.
Taehyung doesn’t make a move for the next few minutes. Just stays on his spot, unmoving, until—
Until he reaches a hand out up to the sky, fingers splayed for the briefest of moments, before he closes it into a fist. Like he’s just tried to catch a shooting star in his hand.
Yoongi doesn’t doubt how capable Taehyung is of doing that, and he smiles, just the slightest bit, because if Taehyung opens his palm to reveal a miniature sized star sitting right in the middle of it, then it really might be time for them to get out of the cold and into the warmth that Yoongi’s penthouse offers.
“Look,” Taehyung’s voice is barely a whisper as he opens his hand again, and this time, instead of trying to snatch another star out of the sky, he waves his hand. Yoongi doesn’t understand what he’s trying to do until Seokjin makes a noise of surprise behind him, and Jeongguk exclaims—
Yoongi sees it, now, what Taehyung is trying to do.
Taehyung clears the sky of the smoke from the fireworks. He clears the sky of the heavy clouds that had overshadowed the moon for the better part of the evening. Pushes them a little to the side, allowing the moon to finally make its entrance.
The stars come out to play just as the moon does, and they scatter themselves around it, burning. Bright. Beautiful. So, so, beautiful, Yoongi is at a lost for words.
And it’s absolutely impossible to see the stars and the moon burn this brightly with all the city lights, but Yoongi’s long since learned that impossible is not a word that applies to Taehyung.
Not when Taehyung holds the moon and all of the stars in his hands, in his eyes.
Taehyung looks over his shoulder then, to grin at all of them.
Yoongi smiles at him, the same way the sun must smile at the moon every morning, when it’s time for the other to sleep, to take its rest.
This is Yoongi’s family, he thinks, heart warm in his chest. They will always be his family.
And it’s only much, much later, with Jeongguk tucked into the guest bedroom, and Seokjin and Taehyung stumbling back down to Taehyung’s floor, that Yoongi finds himself completely at ease.
Turning over his side, he sees the peonies propped up against the nightstand on the corner of his room. He brushes his fingers across its smooth petals, and smiles. Closes his eyes, and hopes that this new year will be good to all of them.
Yoongi doesn’t see Hoseok until halfway through January, during a chilly Thursday afternoon.
They don’t even meet at the flower shop.
Rather, they run into each other right as Yoongi’s stepping into Seokjin’s cafe, and Hoseok’s stepping out.
There’s a moment of pure surprise, the looks on their faces a comical match, before they both reel themselves back, and smile at each other.
Hoseok is the first to say anything, hand reaching out to pull Yoongi away from the door before a group of teenagers could shoulder their way past him.
Even through the gloves that he wears, Hoseok’s hands are still warm.
“What are you doing here?” Yoongi asks, eyeing Hoseok. Hoseok’s long since dropped his hold on Yoongi’s hand, now keeping both of his hands tucked into his pockets. He looks carefree, of sorts, without a single worry on his face. He looks like he’s been sleeping better, too.
Is it the good weather, then?
Spring might be a few more months away from them, but it hasn’t rained too hard since that one particular afternoon, a month ago. Right in the middle of December.
“Oh, just stopping by for coffee,” Hoseok raises his tray for Yoongi to see, two cups still steaming hot. And then, as if as an after thought, shakes the brown paper bag that he has clutched in his other hand. “My sister likes this cafe best.”
Well, that certainly explains why Seokjin had made the connection in the first place. How Seokjin had convinced himself to meddle into Yoongi’s own—affairs. Attempts at friendship. Because all Yoongi really does these days is try.
He’s tried for Taehyung’s birthday.
Tried for New Year’s.
Hell, he even tried to help someone out.
Yoongi can still remember the rain, the grey clouds, the mist and fog that clung to Hoseok. The scuffed knuckles and the wet eyelashes, cheeks wet with tears.
It’s such a stark contrast to what Yoongi’s seeing, now. Hoseok, with his hair pushed back and tucked under a hat. Cheeks tinged pink with the cold, and his smile inviting. As warm as the coffee in his hands.
“They have good cupcakes,” is all Yoongi can say, grimacing at the cafe. At the memory of Seokjin practically leaving Yoongi with a hundred cupcakes as a peace offering—for Yoongi, or for Hoseok, he’s still not quite sure. “The best, I think. The owner gets annoying sometimes, though.”
At that, Hoseok bursts out laughing, a surprise bark of a laugh that catches Yoongi off guard, because if he thought Hoseok’s smile had been warm, it has nothing against his laugh.
Yoongi lets it wash over him, listening to Hoseok laugh loud and big for what feels like the first time. It has Yoongi smiling, just the slightest bit, eyes softening as he watches Hoseok gather himself, calming down from the sudden outburst, finally.
“I can imagine,” Hoseok wheezes, still catching his breath.
There are certain things that you don’t mind hearing again, and for today, Yoongi thinks it’s Hoseok’s laughter. He hasn’t seen the boy in weeks, and it’s not like Yoongi’s not trying—he doesn’t know what it is about Hoseok, but Yoongi sees something in him.
Sees a friend, most probably.
If he’s looking at the good side.
He hopes, anyway.
And as much as Yoongi wants to stay, he tilts his head to the entrance to the cafe, and then says, “Well, I have to go.” and it’s not supposed to be sad or anything, because he knows who Hoseok is. Knows where Hoseok stays most of the time, but it is, watching as Hoseok’s eyebrows knit together, and the smile on his face dampen, just a little bit.
“Drop by soon.” is all Hoseok tells him, in lieu of a goodbye.
It hits Yoongi then, as he watches Hoseok walk down the street, that they hadn’t thought about the day they met, at all.
But then again, Hoseok did say he should drop by soon, so perhaps there is time.
The moon has its own special air around him, all the time. Tonight, the moon is hiding behind wispy thin clouds, stars barely twinkling behind the light fog and mist that’s descended upon the city.
Tonight, the moon is as quiet as the wind that blows gently into the room, the windows pushed open, ever so slightly.
It’s below ten degrees and this late into the night, any normal person would be freezing. But Yoongi can handle the cold, if he lets himself, and tonight, he does.
The moon, however, curls up under a blanket, fingers clutching on tightly to it as he keeps his jaw locked to prevent himself from chattering. Ridiculous.
Yoongi tells him that exactly. “You’re being ridiculous. Or,” and here Yoongi takes a few steps towards Taehyung, who’s as pale as the moon that hangs on the sky tonight. “Are you sick?”
A hand flat against Taehyung’s forehead tells Yoongi just as much. The kid is burning up, cheeks flushed, and eyes shut tight. Taehyung shakes his head and tells him to just close the fucking windows, please, normal people can’t handle this kind of cold, god, hyung.
And it’s only because Taehyung’s sick and nearly delirious that Yoongi doesn’t contest his use of the word normal people, because now’s not the time to have that debate. Now’s the time for Yoongi to try and haul Taehyung off of his couch and into a bed.
“Well, come on, then,” Yoongi says, gently helping Taehyung up.
Taehyung moves sluggishly against him, head leaning against Yoongi’s shoulder as Yoongi drags him to his own bedroom, practically throwing Taehyung onto the bed as soon as they get close enough.
“Why did you allow yourself to get sick?” Yoongi’s tone comes off too sharply, even to his own ears, and he hopes Taehyung doesn’t pick up on it.
But of course—
Of course Taehyung picks up on it, the younger boy just groaning and rolling over to the other side of the bed, a clear invitation that Yoongi should sit down (and it’s hilarious, it really is, because Taehyung’s treating him like a guest in his own bedroom. And had it not been for the fever, then Yoongi would have maybe kicked him out, say, twenty minutes ago, but even Yoongi has his own reservations. Sometimes, when it comes to Taehyung.).
“Enough about me,” Taehyung sighs, sinking into the pillows. “I heard you’ve been busy,”
“Go to sleep, Tae,” Yoongi tucks Taehyung into bed, pulling a second blanket up to his chin. He watches Taehyung the whole time, eyes levelled and—and soft, almost, because Taehyung’s still so flushed, the circles under his eyes darker than normal. He doesn’t look healthy, now.
Is it the winter, or is it just that even the moon himself can get sick, sometimes?
“Tell me about the tulips,” Taehyung’s voice is wistful, sounding exactly like someone who’s asking for a bedtime story. “Tell me about him, hyung. I wanna know.”
Yoongi’s fingers tighten around the blanket. It takes him a few moments, but he manages to compose himself enough to snicker, because of course Taehyung would know. Would hear about it.
“Nothing to tell,” Yoongi’s just being honest here. “There’s nobody to mention.”
“Sure,” Taehyung breathes out, eyes fluttering to a close. “So I guess I’ll just visit him, then. When I’m better.”
“When you’re better, maybe then,” before Yoongi gets up, he pats Taehyung’s hair, letting his fingers trail down the side of his face, just to check if he’s still warm. “Maybe.”
Taehyung’s smile is bright enough to light up Yoongi’s dimly lit room.
“Y’know, I heard they give flowers to the sick,” this time, when Taehyung lifts his head up to look at Yoongi, standing by the door, hand closed around the doorknob, his smile is calmer. Easier. The light in his eyes looking far too similar to the light of the moon.
Yoongi’s only response to that little quip is to shut the door behind him, leaving Taehyung alone in the dark, with a fever that Yoongi knows he’ll sleep off, come the next morning. That Yoongi knows Taehyung can literally just snap away, but perhaps this is one of those days where even Taehyung himself likes to play the part too well. Too seriously.
They all have those days.
Gods can get bored, too, and so—
And so, in Taehyung’s case, he allows himself to get sick.
In Seokjin’s case, he sets up a cafe.
Little things that help, if only in the slightest bit.
Yoongi finds himself looking forward to these little things the most.
Such as getting a get well soon bouquet for Taehyung.
Taehyung had asked, and Hoseok did say he needed to drop by soon.
So with a small quirk of his lips, Yoongi pushes through the flower shoppe’s door. Hears the familiar tinkling of the chimes that hang overhead, and sees Hoseok right behind the counter, working on a particularly large centrepiece.
When he sees Yoongi, Hoseok lets the pair of scissors clatter onto the desk, his greeting loud. Way too loud. “Hey, I’ve been waiting for you.”
Outside, the winter wind blows.
Inside, Yoongi is wrapped in the warmth of the orange lights that hang overhead, and surrounded by flowers that Hoseok has touched. Flowers that turn their pretty little heads to Hoseok whenever he laughs. Whenever he so much as smiles.
In this small little flower shop, with Hoseok smiling just behind the counter at him, his welcome as bright and as warm as his smile, Yoongi finds that he doesn’t quite mind that Hoseok is loud and a little bit reckless.
Yoongi doesn’t mind it, not one bit.
This isn’t foreign to Yoongi, meeting new people.
Getting to know new people.
What’s foreign is the twisting knots in his stomach and the speeding of his heart whenever he thinks about—about Hoseok, and his smile, and how he’s practically got three hundred and one smiles, ready for the rest of the world.
This part is foreign to Yoongi.
But it doesn’t really do well to dwell on these things, to think too much, because as it is, Yoongi is just—
Well, Yoongi is just up at four in the morning, tossing and turning over this, when he really should be sleeping.
It’s almost time for the sun to rise, after all.
So Yoongi doesn’t think too much about it, tells himself that it’s been a while since he’s last met someone. Truly met someone, and chalks it up to decades of going without anybody except, well, except the three that he calls his idiots.
The three that he calls his family.
Yoongi closes his eyes, then, allowing himself to retreat into sleep, for now.
The sun forgets to shine the whole morning, but that’s okay, because Yoongi wakes up the afternoon after, a little bit more rested, and his head clearer. His mind made, because this is how friendship works.
Friends. That’s exactly what this is.
(And so what if Jeongguk snickers at him when Yoongi lets slip about his new friend. So what of Taehyung just laughs and says that he really should introduce them all to this new friend of his. So what if Yoongi’s new friend is a mortal in all the sense of the world, but also the farthest thing from normal?
It becomes pretty obvious then that Yoongi’s running out of reasons to drop by the flower shop. How many flowers can a guy need in a week, anyway? The actual answer should be zero, knowing Yoongi—knowing he’s got his own garden on his rooftop, but still here he is now, pacing in Taehyung’s living room, hands stuffed in his pockets, and mouth pressed into a thin line.
“Thought this was just your friend?” Taehyung asks, a bit cheeky. He’s sprawled on the couch, feeling much better after a week of fighting through a fever. A stupid idea, Yoongi thinks, but if that’s what Taehyung wants, then what’s what Taehyung gets. “The whole, it’s nothing special charades and all that.”
Right, Taehyung’s right. Hoseok is just his friend, and Yoongi’s starting to look like a proper idiot, coming in and out of the shop, and god, what would his sister think of him, now?
The last time Yoongi had swung by, it was because of Taehyung’s cold.
And he’d seen Hoseok again, a few days after that at the cafe.
But other than that, it’s been weeks, and Yoongi’s only now starting to realise that he doesn’t quite know anything much about him. Not his phone number, or—or what he likes, aside from his flowers.
All Yoongi really knows about Hoseok is that he looks at his flowers in a way that seems almost too tender, too soft. He looks at them and he sees more, a different world, maybe. A different time.
Hoseok looks at his flowers and falls in love, is what Yoongi sees. What Yoongi knows.
Which brings Yoongi back to the subject of flowers, and how there’s literally too many god forsaken arrangements littered around Taehyung’s apartment and his, a combination of all that Yoongi had bought, and all that Yoongi had tended to and passed off to Taehyung.
“You met him last December, right?” At this point, Taehyung already has the full story. Or, at least, parts of the story that he’d pieced together. Following the trail like bread crumbs to piece together the whole thing.
“During the storm, yeah,” Yoongi plops down on the couch next to Taehyung, feet propped on Taehyung’s lap.
If the younger boy minds, he doesn’t show it. Instead, Taehyung just strokes at Yoongi’s knee absentmindedly as he nods along.
Taehyung straightens up then, eyes going wide, and face brightening, like the grandest idea’s just struck him. He almost knocks Yoongi off the couch in his haste, but Yoongi pushes him back down, tells him to be careful, Christ, people are trying not to have a crisis here, and then waits as Taehyung gathers the rest of himself up, hands moving animatedly when he finally proclaims,
“The umbrella. You gave him the umbrella. Ask for it back, hyung.”
And like a busted lightbulb that’s just flickered back to light, Yoongi gets it.
The feeling comes and the feeling goes, Yoongi realising a little bit belatedly that it’s been too long since then, and that if he even wanted the umbrella back, then he would’ve asked for it on the get-go.
Taehyung begs to differ, though, simply because Taehyung begs to differ on a lot of Yoongi’s decisions.
“Hyung, you’re desperate enough,” is all that Taehyung says, his smile turning soft, in contrast to the sting of his own words.
Yoongi just grimaces at him, knowing full well that Taehyung’s joking. Of course he’s joking. Yoongi can’t be desperate—he’s a god, of all things, and desperate just isn’t a pretty colour on him. On anyone. Yoongi should know better—
He knows better, he does.
But that still doesn’t explain how he’s standing right outside of the shop an hour later, thick scarf looped messily around his neck, hiding half his face.
So Yoongi had let Taehyung get into his head, the very same way that he’d let Taehyung help him sleep the previous night. The boy’s long fingers brushing through his hair, and telling him that it’s been three days since he’s slept properly. The sun might always be shining, but that doesn’t mean Yoongi has to be.
He needs to sleep, too. They all do.
And Yoongi knows that Taehyung had sprinkled more than reassurance—if Yoongi squints hard enough at his own bed, squints at his sheets, he’s sure he’ll find traces of moon dust scattered everywhere.
With his mind set, and his heart practically thudding wildly in the back of his ribcage, Yoongi makes his way into the shop, his arrival announced by the soft, tinkling of the chime that Yoongi’s already grown quite fond of.
Jiwoo greets him as soon as he walks in, the smile on her face more knowing, now.
“It’s been a while,” Jiwoo says in that same familiar trill of hers, and when she lets out a breathy little laugh, Yoongi thinks that she sounds a lot like the wind chime that they keep at the front of the store. “Hoseok’s been moping around, did you know?”
Yoongi curses how pale he is then, because it’s so easy for him to blush, so easy for people to see it. How obvious does he have to be for Jiwoo to raise both her eyebrows, the soft smile that she’d greeted him with turning into a smirk, now, and her tinkling laugh sounding much more playful when she realises, when the gears in her own head click and start to fit together.
Hoseok takes that moment to step in through the door in the back, the look on his face a pleasant kind of surprise when he sees Yoongi. And there’s a moment between the siblings, Hoseok eyeing Jiwoo for a good few seconds before she shrugs her shoulders and steps away from behind the counter, announcing that she’ll have an early break. That she’ll be gone for a good few hours, if that’s what they need.
Finally, with just the two of them left, and the quiet silence that befalls an entire garden during one cold winter afternoon, with the sun barely able to make its way through the sky, Hoseok says, “Hi.”
Yoongi smiles at Hoseok.
Outside, after a day-long battle with the grey and the blues, the sun manages to break through the clouds, shining for the first time.
It is three in the afternoon.
Yoongi thinks that maybe now is not a good time to bring up the umbrella, because that would be weird, wouldn’t it, but what else is weirder is him dropping by again, seemingly for no reason, except, perhaps—
Perhaps to see Hoseok.
That’s his reason.
The only reason Yoongi thinks he needs.
But, with Hoseok still looking at him, the smile on his face kind, face flushed from how cold it is all of a sudden—the heating can barely fight off the cold, especially given how the front of the store is all glass and flimsy blinds. Open. Always open, Yoongi thinks, looking at Hoseok.—Yoongi starts to wonder if this is okay, really, or if Hoseok’s just being nice.
Because Yoongi may not know much about Hoseok, but he knows that he is kind.
There is a reason his flowers bloom the way they do, a reason why the petals sway to the tune of Hoseok’s laughter.
“I was in the area,” Yoongi starts off with a complete lie. “And I—you know the umbrella I gave you before?”
Right, there are things Yoongi is thankful for, and for today, it’s the absence of witnesses to the train wreck that is him trying to talk to Hoseok.
If Hoseok is surprised by it, or if he minds, he doesn’t show, because he laughs at Yoongi, just a short laugh that warms the cold store, and then says, “Oh, right. The umbrella. I keep forgetting,”
Yoongi waves it away, like it’s not even important at this point. He just really needed an actual reason aside from wanting to see Hoseok to come by. An actual reason he could say out loud. “That’s fine. Maybe I’ll come back for it another time,”
“Y’know, I never really thanked you for that,” here Hoseok’s voice turns soft, just a notch lower, the look in his eyes when he looks up to meet Yoongi’s gaze reminiscent of the sun as it finally sets after a long day. “For the umbrella—for that day, really.”
There’s no reason his heart should be beating this wildly, but it is, and Yoongi doesn’t know how to deal with it. Doesn’t even know what to say, all the words suddenly lost to him as he looks at Hoseok standing across from him, the perfect picture of the sunset.
(And Yoongi should know, shouldn’t he?
How beautiful the sunset is.)
“You don’t have to,” Yoongi finally manages to say after a while. Sometimes, when words are all you have, they’re also the hardest to come by. “It was no big deal, yeah?”
“Yoongi,” Hoseok takes a step closer to him then, his smile smaller now, and the dusting of pink across his face less like a flush of embarrassment and more like a blush. Hoseok’s blushing and Yoongi’s only now realising it, blinking up at him as he draws nearer, hand reaching out for Yoongi. “Let me make it up to you. Properly thank you for that, if it’s okay,”
It’s definitely not okay because the last thing Yoongi wants is for Hoseok to feel a sense of obligation to him. It had been an umbrella, albeit, Yoongi’s favourite umbrella, but still an umbrella, and if it were to rain again, everyday for the rest of their life, then Yoongi thinks he won’t mind too much, giving Hoseok his umbrella for every time the sky darkens and the rain pours.
Yoongi really doesn’t mind.
With a shake of his head and a shrug of his shoulders, Yoongi says, “No, you don’t have to do that—It’s fine,”
“No, I want to,” there is a sunset in Hoseok’s eyes and a fire that burns through his veins. With Hoseok so close, Yoongi starts to realise that he isn’t pretty. Not just pretty. Hoseok’s fucking beautiful, and Yoongi would be damned, now, to want to look away anytime soon. “Let me take you out to dinner, if that’s okay.”
Yoongi says okay before Hoseok can even try to shake him out of his little daze.
Friends have to eat dinner, right?
Hoseok’s answering smile is as blinding as the three p.m sun that shines against the snow piled on either side of the street.
Yoongi smiles back at him, not quite as bright, but bright enough.
There is warmth from the sun, Yoongi realises, and then there is a warmth that Hoseok emanates.
And it’s hard to compete with the sun, but Hoseok—
Hoseok’s putting up a damn good fight.
Of all the places Hoseok wants to hang out in, its Seokjin’s cafe.
Yoongi doesn’t begrudge him that, though, because there’s nothing wrong with Seokjin’s cafe aside from the fact that it’s Seokjin’s cafe, and he’ll be there, and watching, and annoying Yoongi, and if he says even two words to them during their stay then Yoongi’s going to flip a table. Maybe.
Or request for a slice of cake, who knows.
It’ll all play out how it’s supposed to play out later.
For now, they just idle by the entrance, Hoseok chattering about a new client that had rushed into their store the other day, practically hysterical because the bride’s initial florist had gotten sick all of a sudden, and the wedding’s in three weeks, and there are no flowers, none at all, and it had taken a while—Hoseok even snickers at Jiwoo nearly losing her shit, almost yelling at the woman back—but they’d calmed her down enough to assure her that they’ll be able to help her, no problem.
Which explains why Hoseok’s much busier, now. He looks happier, though, talking about this new project, about the kinds of requests she wants, the concept for the reception. For the church. It’s not their first time arranging for weddings, but it is their first time doing it on such short notice.
“Huh, I don’t think it’ll be a problem with you,” Yoongi says with an amused little smile, recalling how quickly Hoseok had made Taehyung’s birthday bouquet, or his get well soon, bastard bouquet.
Although with this grand of a scale, Yoongi knows that they’ll have to bring maybe a few more people in, just to help. Just to keep things moving.
But Yoongi is happy, anyway, because Hoseok looks absolutely excited, and Yoongi realises that it’s a pretty good colour on him, happy.
“Anyway, this cafe has good coffee and food,” A bistro, Yoongi should start calling it, because while Seokjin does specialise in his pastries, the actual place’s food is pretty good, too. Yoongi doesn’t blame Hoseok for completely falling in love with the place. “My friend works here, too.”
“Which friend?” Yoongi asks, nose scrunching. He follows Hoseok inside, quickly casting a sweeping glance around the store to look for Seokjin.
It’s not as busy, given how it’s a Sunday afternoon. There are a few people off to the side, picking on their food, and playing with the straws on their coffee. Aside from them, there’s no sign of Seokjin at all. Yoongi breathes out a sigh of relief.
“Jimin,” Hoseok says, stopping by a table off to the corner of the store, away from the rest of the crowd. “He’s the head pastry chef, I think. After the owner,”
“Seokjin,” Yoongi mumbles the name low enough, afraid that if he says it loudly, it’ll somehow summon Seokjin.
(And they won’t talk about how names often hold a too-strong power on them. How it’s not exactly impossible to summon each other by calling their name. Just—
Just not today, of all days.
Yoongi wants to get through this by himself. With Hoseok.
Two friends out to eat. Of sorts, anyway.).
“Oh, yeah, that must be the Jin hyung he keeps mentioning,”
Yoongi waves the mention of any Jin hyung away, because it’s already quite a blessing now, the place quiet and empty. No Seokjin in sight, not at all. Yoongi wants to keep it that way, really.
With their food ordered and the first round of their drinks already set in front of them, Yoongi leans back into the chair, finally relaxing.
“I left the umbrella again,” Hoseok says, only realising it now.
Yoongi swirls his straw in his drink, nearly choking when he realises what Hoseok’s just said. But he laughs at it, not quite minding, and shakes his head. At this point, Hoseok can keep the umbrella. Yoongi doesn’t even care about it, had just used it as an excuse to go see him again. “It’s fine. Like I said, it’s no big deal,”
But Hoseok just grimaces at him, “Next time, I promise.”
Yoongi can only smile at that, because there’s a promise of next time.
Their food comes then, and with it, easy conversation. It’s like this is the first time they’ve actually sat down together and talked—actually talked (and in a way, it is, really) but it doesn’t feel that way, not at all. Not when Hoseok talks with the ease of someone completely comfortable in Yoongi’s presence. And definitely not when Yoongi laughs, and smiles, and listens to him the whole time attentively.
Hoseok has a way with his words, hands often moving in the air to accompany them. Yoongi watches him the whole time, transfixed. Listens as Hoseok recalls an event with one of his other friends—someone named Namjoon—how Namjoon had slipped in the back-garden and broken four fucking pots, clay and dirt shattered all over the floor. It had been a cause of panic then, but now it’s something that Hoseok laughs easily at. Something that Yoongi finds himself chuckling over, too, because he knows someone exactly like this Namjoon. A little bit reckless and clumsy. Yeah. He knows someone exactly like him.
Hoseok is only momentarily pulled away from his story when somebody calls his name, an excited trill, and an all too high pitched, “Hoseokie hyung,” coming from somewhere behind him.
It’s one of the chefs from the kitchen, white apron tarnished with pink and blues and chocolate, mostly, and Yoongi doesn’t even have to wait for Hoseok to blurt out his name to know that this is Jimin. Cheeky little smile and eyes that hold far too much excitement at the sight of Hoseok, arms immediately coming around him as Hoseok stands up to wrap him up in a hug, just as eager.
“This is Jimin,” Hoseok introduces, extracting himself out of Jimin’s hold.
And before Yoongi can even introduce himself—before Hoseok can try, even—Jimin says, voice as friendly as ever, “And you must be Yoongi hyung, hi. It’s nice to finally meet you,”
When all Yoongi can do is raise his eyebrow at that, surprise obvious in his face, Jimin giggles. “I heard a lot about you from Jin hyung,” and after a little pause. “And Hoseok hyung, too, actually.”
At that, both Yoongi and Hoseok’s eyes snap at Jimin.
Yoongi doesn’t even have to touch his face or look in a mirror to know that a blush has crept up his cheeks all of a sudden, his face suddenly warm at that.
But instead of addressing that, Yoongi just clears his throat and says, “Yeah, Seokjin hyung’s mentioned you a few times, too. He says you’re really good,”
Apparently saying that was the right decision, because Jimin beams at him. Absolutely beams, bright and wide, and goddamn cheeky, pleased with himself. Pleased with the praise.
“Thanks, hyung. Well—sorry to intrude on this—“ Jimin pauses, eyeing Yoongi first, and then Hoseok. The food and the drinks on their table, and the possible blush on Yoongi’s face, as well as the small little smile that curves on Hoseok’s lips. “—date. But Namjoon hyung’s going to be here in a while, can you just tell him that I’ll be out soon?”
This last question he directs at Hoseok, who nods his head and tells him that he’ll do just that.
“I’ll get you guys dessert, okay? Chef’s choice, no questions asked,” Jimin laughs one more time before he leaves the both of them, the air that hangs between Yoongi and Hoseok suddenly thicker, because if Yoongi hadn’t just heard things, if he hadn’t just imagined it, then Jimin had definitely called this whole—whatever this whole arrangement for this afternoon is—a date.
“Did he—“ Yoongi murmurs, watching as Hoseok slips down into his seat again, reaching over to grab for his drink, and taking one strong, big gulp of it.
Hoseok’s cheeks are a dusty rose, the smile on his face much more nervous now, and—
And Yoongi thinks that’s cute, too. Hoseok being shy, since this is the first time Hoseok’s been shy of anything.
“Yeah,” Hoseok murmurs, practically talking to his drink. “He did.”
“Is it?” Yoongi asks, trying to keep his own curiosity from getting the better of him. But the question’s already out and had he just learned how to bite on his tongue and stop, then perhaps Hoseok wouldn’t have almost spluttered out his drink. “A date, I mean,”
Hoseok looks up at Yoongi then, rather shy, and then says, “I mean, if that’s okay with you.”
Yoongi’s fingers close around his drink. Cold. He takes a small sip from it, just to get something down his throat because there’s nothing inside of him, his mind going completely blank. It’s too sweet, his drink, but then again, so is Hoseok’s smile, a dimple poking out from his cheek, and the look in his eyes turning softer, more hopeful.
Finally, after Yoongi’s set his drink down, and a new song filters through the speakers, he says, “That’s more than okay with me, Hoseok.”
“Well,” and here Hoseok’s smile turns into something more familiar. Something Yoongi has seen often enough to know that Hoseok is happy. So, so happy he can barely contain it. “It’s a date then.”
The only thing Yoongi is thankful for today is the absence of one Kim Seokjin, because the last thing Yoongi wants Seokjin to lord over his head is this, that his first apparent date with Hoseok had been in his cafe. Yoongi will sooner jump off a cliff than allow that.
Which is good, really, because there’s no sign of Seokjin anywhere. Only Hoseok across from him, the smile on his face a radiant one, and the tiny little dimple that pokes against his cheek endearing enough that Yoongi has to physically restrain himself from reaching over and poking it. He almost gives in, but then the door to the cafe creaks open, and something completely other catches Hoseok’s attention from somewhere behind Yoongi, and Yoongi is safe, for now.
And judging by Hoseok’s grin, it’s not difficult to guess who’s just walked in.
When Yoongi looks over his shoulder, he sees someone who looks just a little younger than him—and age here is subjective, really, given who Yoongi is. What Yoongi is, exactly. But Yoongi never wants to talk about that the same way Jeongguk doesn’t want to explain why he’s not comfortable just outright calling Yoongi by his first name, because it makes sense, if they’re on the spectre of out of the ordinary—who bounds up to their table, dimpled smile just as bright as Hoseok’s.
“Jiminie’s going to be out soon,” Hoseok tells him, and then, as if remembering that no introductions have been given at all, he points Yoongi to Namjoon, and then says, “Hey, Yoongi. Meet Namjoon. He’s alright,”
Hoseok snickers at that while Yoongi just smiles at Namjoon, a bit apologetically, his introduction coming right after.
Namjoon shakes Yoongi’s hand, grumbling about Hoseok being a complete pain in the ass and if Yoongi needs to leave right now, then he can, he’ll hold Hoseok back, because nobody needs to be subjected to the torture that is a date with Hoseok.
Information that Yoongi takes in stride, though the smile that graces his face is an amused one, eyes glittering playfully as Hoseok shifts on his seat, cheeks flushed red.
“Shut up, I swear,” Hoseok says, shooing Namjoon away, who only rolls his eyes and pulls an extra chair to their table, sitting himself right between Yoongi and Hoseok, like this is his business as much as it is theirs.
And the blessing that had been Seokjin’s absence seems incomparable compared to this—to Namjoon sitting himself right next to them, seemingly oblivious to just what’s happening here. To what this actually is, between Yoongi and Hoseok.
“I’m going to fucking kill you,” this one, Hoseok actually hisses, and whether he’s trying to be quiet about it or not, Yoongi has no idea—he heard him perfectly fine from across the table. Hoseok looks away from Namjoon to meet Yoongi’s gaze, the grimace on his face—endearing. Cute, even. “Sorry, I have really annoying friends,”
Yoongi thinks back to his own friends—Jeongguk who’s too noisy for his own good. Who had actually ran at Yoongi full force just last week, colliding against his back in what had been the world’s worst attempt at a piggy back ride. Yoongi had ended up on the ground, groaning, while the rest of their friends cackled, and the people around them gave them their space.
Then there’s Taehyung, who lives right under Yoongi’s floor, who spends his nights awake, either painting or talking to the moon, or singing to the stars. A gentle boy who falls asleep on Yoongi’s bed far too often than is necessary, but Yoongi really won’t have it any other away.
And—and of course, Seokjin, who’s more of a thorn to Yoongi’s side than anything. But everything Yoongi’s been through, he remembers having Seokjin right next to him.
Even finding Hoseok again had been all because of Seokjin, who’d quietly stirred him along the right block, the right alley, and into the right flower shop. The only shoppe that matters.
Hoseok, who laughs at something Namjoon’s said. Hoseok, who had been as shy as Yoongi had been when Jimin had said that this was a date. Who was hesitant, not wanting to assume things between them, and Yoongi—
Yoongi never really assumes, because nothing good ever comes from assuming when it comes to mortals. Fickle minded and easily swayed. So all Yoongi had thought of Hoseok was a friend, someone he liked to see. Whose laughed he didn’t mind hearing everyday, played on a loop for all the days to come.
But now, with the air a little bit lighter between them, and the road less rocky, steadier, Yoongi starts to think that perhaps there is no more need to assume, not when everything is just that little bit clearer.
Or, as clear as is possible, given how confusing some things can be.
Like Hoseok reaching his hand out to grab hold of Yoongi’s on the table. And it’s not much, it really isn’t, just a small little gesture that colours Yoongi’s face a light pink, Hoseok squeezing on Yoongi’s fingers lightly at first, eyes holding a question, if this is okay, if Yoongi himself is, given how Namjoon’s started to rattle on about work, and how he never sees Jimin anymore.
If they’re okay, so far.
Yoongi turns his hand over on the table, palm up, and slips his fingers through the spaces between Hoseok’s. He squeezes on Hoseok’s hand, and nods, his smile soft.
They’re okay, so far.
“Anyway—“ Namjoon’s voice breaks through their little moment. Yoongi’s hand twitches in Hoseok’s hold the same time Yoongi hears a bump against the table—Hoseok’s knee, he has a suspicion—and Hoseok jerks his hand out of Yoongi’s hold, pulling it back to his side. “Am I interrupting something?”
Nice of him to ask the question literally fifteen minutes after he’d sat himself down, when they’re basically done with lunch already. Amazing, this Namjoon.
Before Yoongi can tell him that he is, and before Hoseok can literally shove him off of his chair, Jimin stops by their table. He sets the dessert down—a slice of cheesecake—and then swaps their mimosas with iced coffee.
With a quick glance at Namjoon, Jimin raises an eyebrow and says, “Hold on, let me just bring the rest of this back.”
Jimin is back in less than two minutes, the table cleared of the plates, with only dessert left sitting right in the middle of it. Jimin gestures grandly to his own little presentation, and then, when he gets no reaction, tells Namjoon that he can go have a bite if he wants.
“At least someone appreciates me here,” Jimin says, sounding far too fond as he watches Namjoon take the first bite of the cake.
“I always appreciate you, Jiminie,” Hoseok tries, reaching for a fork.
Jimin just slaps his hand away, a wordless way of saying that his time’s up, and that if Namjoon wants, he can eat all the cake. Have his own damned slice, he just has to say the word.
“I have the best friends ever,” Hoseok directs this at Yoongi, who wants to agree, but thinks that he shouldn’t, because watching the three of them like this, Yoongi is starting to see just how they’re so close. The dynamic that brings them together. That keeps them together.
“Damn right you do,” Namjoon says, pushing the plate of half-eaten cheesecake away as he looks up at Jimin, who steps to Namjoon’s side of the table, that little smile on his face tugging up into something wider, something brighter.
Yoongi doesn’t think anything of it when Jimin rubs a thumb against Namjoon’s cheek, tutting, “You’ve got cream here, hyung.” Doesn’t think anything of it when Namjoon just shrugs his shoulders, or when Jimin leans down to press a kiss to the side of Namjoon’s mouth.
What Yoongi does, though, is shoot Hoseok a pointed look.
Hoseok just laughs at him, far too amused than anything else, and says, “Yeah, they’re disgusting,”
Jimin pulls Namjoon up on his feet, arm winding around Namjoon’s waist almost immediately. He pouts at Hoseok for effect, and when he turns to Yoongi, he smiles, apologetic for what Yoongi had just seen. “We’re not, really,”
“Anything Hoseok says after we leave is a lie,” Namjoon doesn’t say it meanly, if anything, he says it with a soft lilt in his voice. The look in his eyes as it slides over to Hoseok kind, because Hoseok is his friend, and while he had just interrupted them in the middle of their first date, Namjoon is still—well, a good friend, is what Yoongi thinks.
What Yoongi knows, after a gruelling twenty minutes with the boy.
“Well, we’re off, then,” Jimin tugs Namjoon closer to him, the two of them already headed towards the door. Jimin waves at the both of them before he gets dragged out of the cafe by Namjoon.
For a second, silence settles over them.
Just for a second, because it only ever takes them that long to snap out of it, Yoongi finally letting out a laugh that sounds far too relieved to be anything, and Hoseok shaking his head.
“Your friends,” Yoongi says, gesturing to where Jimin and Namjoon had just been. “Are something else.”
Instead of replying to that statement (which is actually true, in the best way possible, thinks Hoseok), Hoseok reaches for Yoongi’s hand again, and this time, there is no hesitation. This time, Hoseok holds Yoongi’s hand without a question, but an answer.
“Was that how you wanted me to meet your friends?” Yoongi’s voice is teasing, and it shouldn’t even be a serious question, but Hoseok flushes at the assumption, and Yoongi smooths him out of it with a mumbled apology, squeezing down on Hoseok’s hand. “No, I’m joking—Hoseok, hey. Sorry,”
“No, I actually didn’t expect the both of them to be here. Jimin, yeah, but—y’know, not like that,” Hoseok murmurs, a little flustered. “I mean, it’d be nice if you met them, but—yeah. They crashed our—“
Before Hoseok can even finish his sentence, Yoongi supplies the word for him, “Our date, yeah.” and it is all Hoseok needs to look Yoongi in the eye again, a lot less apologetic for the blunder that is his friends and more, well, if anything, amused, because Yoongi likes his friends enough. They’re—dynamic, is what they are. And cute, too, in that annoying way that couples are cute.
With a smile and a glint in Hoseok’s eye that Yoongi finds promising enough, Yoongi breathes in, the air settling over his bones, and around his tired heart.
Later, when they find themselves out of the cafe, clasped hands still hanging between them, Hoseok says, “I’m really sorry I forgot the umbrella,”
“It was just an excuse to see you again,” Yoongi says, brain-to-mouth filter fried at this point.
There’s something about the way that Hoseok holds his hand that has Yoongi’s brain stuttering, his own words tumbling out of his mouth. And it’s hilarious, isn’t it, how just a few days ago Yoongi had been at a loss for words, how he had tried to grapple with them and wrestle them into something intelligible. Now they come without him even trying.
Hoseok barks out a laugh, loud and surprised, and Yoongi steps closer to him, one hand gripping gently onto his forearm, holding Hoseok steady.
“God, did you really—“ Hoseok wheezes, looking at Yoongi. When all Yoongi can do is nod, Hoseok shakes his head. Breathes in, breathes out, and then breathes in again, and says, finally, “Well, good. Because I wanted to see you again, too,” and then after a beat that had almost felt like Yoongi’s heart skipping, Hoseok adds, “I think I want to see you a lot more, Yoongi.”
Yoongi doesn’t even argue with that, not when that’s exactly what he wants. He ignores the bubbling in his stomach, and the knots that pull taut inside of him, or the way his heart suddenly feels like an iron fist is squeezing on it. Yoongi ignores it all for the comfort that is Hoseok’s smile, as bright and as warm—or warmer, even, given how it is still winter—as the winter sun that hangs up in the sky, nestled comfortably between light blue clouds.
“Me, too,” Yoongi knows that sooner or later, Hoseok will have to let go of his hand. That they’ll have to go their separate ways for the day. But for now, Yoongi holds tightly onto Hoseok’s hand, and chalks up the stuttering of his heart to how much coffee he’s ingested for the day. For now, Yoongi doesn’t listen to the quiet song that the sun and the wind blows his way.
So this is how their first date goes. How the sun starts off stumbling into the cafe, and ends with his hand holding onto Hoseok’s, who smell a lot like citrus and crisp air.
(And if Yoongi spends half the afternoon and most of the evening just smiling to himself as he tends to his flowers, then nobody has to know exactly why, just that he is happy. So happy, the sun defies all laws of nature and stays out and up until eight in the evening in January, until Taehyung meets him up on the rooftop, and asks if it’s okay now for him to take over.
Yoongi hands Taehyung a white tulip. “Blow us away, Tae.”
Taehyung does. He always does.)
Seokjin finds out anyway that Yoongi’s first date with Hoseok had been at his cafe.
It’s the first thing he mentions when he drops by Yoongi’s apartment the very next day, a box of freshly baked cookies in one hand, and a smug little grin on his face.
Yoongi knows exactly what he’s here for without Seokjin even saying a word. Seokjin doesn’t even need to say anything and Yoongi would readily kick him out of the house, through the window and down thirty storeys.
“So,” Seokjin says, a terrible play at being casual. He sets the box down on top of the kitchen counter.
“Go away, hyung,” Yoongi says, waving Seokjin away. He’s curled up on the couch, the book that he had been reading discarded somewhere to his right. His fingers are curled tightly over his phone, like he’s waiting for something—a text, a call. Both.
“Heard about the good news,” Seokjin shoves Yoongi’s legs away to squeeze himself into the corner of the couch. “Congratulations,”
Yoongi really wishes he could kick Seokjin out right fucking now, but he knows Seokjin will easily find his way back in in ten seconds, or less. God.
“Is this all you’re really here for?” Yoongi asks, turning over his back and propping his feet up on Seokjin’s lap. “To torment me? Is this what your eternal existence is good for?”
Seokjin sniffles at that. “Actually,”
“I knew it,”
But there is no malice to Yoongi’s voice, no spite. Maybe just the slightest hint of annoyance, but that’s it. Other than that, Yoongi is—well, he’s okay.
Yesterday, he’d gone out on a date with Hoseok. Held his hand—and Yoongi doesn’t even remember wondering what it’d be like to hold Hoseok’s hand, because Hoseok had provided that information almost immediately, reaching over to cover Yoongi’s hand with his own, fingers warm and smooth. Soft. So soft, Yoongi had felt a little bit too sad to let go, to watch Hoseok leave for his block.
“Had a good time?” Seokjin asks, patting Yoongi’s knee. “Yeah, I figured. Jimin told me all about it the next day,”
Right, so it hadn’t even been Seokjin’s otherworldly abilities that had supplied that information but one Park Jimin.
Yoongi can’t even bring himself to be annoyed anymore, instead, he just nods his head, a small smile tugging on the corners of his lips. “Yeah, it was okay,”
It was more than okay, but Yoongi won’t be saying that out loud to anyone in particular, and definitely not Seokjin of all people. Definitely.
“Hoseok’s a nice guy. Really talented, yeah?” Seokjin’s talking about the arrangements—about Hoseok’s eye for beauty. For colour and for art. “Funny how these things work,”
“What things?” Yoongi cranes his head to look at Seokjin in an attempt to read the expression on his face.
“These things,” Seokjin waves a hand dismissively, a gentle smile now curving over his lips. He looks perfectly at ease. Calm. Warm. “You’ll see soon enough. But let me just be the first to say that I’m happy for you, Yoongi,”
And there is a comfortable silence that hangs between them, because Seokjin and Yoongi—it’s always a comfortable silence, whenever they’re not bickering.
Finally, Seokjin pats Yoongi’s knee rather appreciatively, and says, his voice so soft, Yoongi has to actually strain to hear him, “The cookies are for Hoseok, not you, by the way.”
The silence is broken when Yoongi groans, pushing himself off of the couch with a grimace thrown to Seokjin’s side.
Seokjin just laughs on his corner of the couch, head thrown back as laughter spills out of him.
Yoongi, meanwhile, just shakes his head and smiles, because it hits him again how Seokjin’s always had his best interests at heart.
“Tell him I said hi,” Seokjin says, finally coming down from his laughter.
Yoongi scoffs at him, but says okay, anyway, because it’s the least he can do. And besides, there’s very little Yoongi can say now when his phone starts to ring, Hoseok’s name flashing on the screen.
And just as Seokjin had come without a word or an explanation, he leaves the exact same way, because for Yoongi and Seokjin, words don’t really need to be said.
They’ve always worked like this.
But just before Seokjin can slip out of the door, he looks over his shoulder and throws Yoongi a smile. Less smug and knowing, more kind and gentle.
Yoongi smiles back at him and it is louder and clearer than any thank you Yoongi could ever say to Seokjin.
It becomes part of the ordinary now, Yoongi and Hoseok and how, despite their busy schedules—Hoseok with his flower shop, and Yoongi doing gods know what—they still manage to make time for each other.
And Yoongi would, he thinks, whenever, wherever, because there is something about Hoseok that calls to him. It is akin to the call of the ocean and the shore, a never ending courtship and affair.
It almost comes naturally, this progression between them. How one dinner date had led to another, the very next day, and then the next, until dinner became an everyday occasion, and if not dinner, then lunch. Or breakfast, Yoongi dropping by early with coffee and a bagel and a smile for Hoseok, who looks like he’s just rolled out of bed but can already spare a warm smile for Yoongi, who feels like his heart might just snap whenever he looks at Hoseok, because it’s working too much, feeling too much, and—
The sun blinks.
Yoongi lifts his head up, sees Hoseok looking at him from behind the counter, and they share a smile, cups of coffee raised up in quiet acknowledgement before Hoseok returns to his phone call, pen and paper ready as he jots down instructions from another customer, nodding along the whole time.
As much as Yoongi likes to drop by at the shop, so do Hoseok’s friends. Jimin, in particular, who always brings pastries and food whenever he does so, raising an eyebrow at Yoongi as if in challenge, although Yoongi can never really be sure with Jimin, one moment it’s a creased eyebrow, so deep in thought, and the next it’s a flashing smile.
“So, what are you going to do?” Jimin asks, one afternoon.
This time, it’s Jimin who’s gotten to the shop first, feet swinging off the bench as he turns to look at Yoongi.
Yoongi had dropped by a little bit later than usual, work—or whatever he calls is work (really, it’s just Yoongi sitting up on his rooftop, drawing shapeless figures on the sky as Jeongguk hums right next to him, slow and languid, the both of them content with all the time that they have now, and all the time that they will have later.)—uneventful today, except for the bird that had nose-dived to where Jeongguk had been sitting, going for an immediate kill on the single piece of toast the boy had been nibbling on.
“Do with what?” Yoongi looks at Hoseok, now, and Hoseok doesn’t notice, too busy talking to Jiwoo, but it’s enough, this view.
Hoseok likes to talk with his hands a lot, moving it wildly in the air as he recounts a story. Yoongi looks at Hoseok’s hands, then, remembering how nice it had felt to hold his hand. That had been once, nearly a week ago. But Yoongi doesn’t like to dwell on those things, because this little arrangement with Hoseok—whatever it is, whatever they’ll call it—is good enough.
“Next week,” Jimin passes Yoongi a cookie, seemingly from out of nowhere, but Yoongi still accepts it with a quiet nod of thanks, finally tearing his gaze away from Hoseok to level Jimin a stare. “Oh, my god. You don’t know—nobody told you?”
When all Yoongi can offer is a blank stare and a shrug of his shoulders, Jimin leans in real close, one hand cupped over his mouth as he whispers, “It’s Hoseok hyung’s birthday next week.”
As if sensing that he’s being talked about, Hoseok looks away from Jiwoo to the both of them, sat by the large window of the shop, looking totally unbothered with the raging traffic outside as they eat their cookies.
Hoseok waves a hand, waits until the both of them wave back, and then mouths, give me a second, before he turns to his older sister again, the both of them far too engrossed in whatever tale they’re talking about that they’ve completely ignored the three sets of flower arrangements due in forty minutes (but knowing the Jung siblings, they’ll have it done in no time flat).
“It’s his what?” Yoongi hisses to Jimin, now that Hoseok’s not looking again. “Fuck’s sake, is it really?”
Jimin just laughs at him, clearly amused. “Yeah. Next Friday. He doesn’t really like to celebrate it, but I mean—you guys are sorta dating, right? So I figured it’d be fair to tell you,”
Fair is an understatement, Yoongi thinks, mind already reeling. Next Friday—that means he’s barely got ten days, although to do what, Yoongi isn’t even sure of. All he knows is this—Hoseok’s birthday is on Friday.
(Later, when Jiwoo ushers them out of the shop, telling them that she’ll close up in a little bit, Hoseok says, “See, Jimin’s not too bad, right?”
There is relief in Hoseok’s tone and under it, just a light sprinkling of fondness that Yoongi hears. Because Hoseok’s friends aren’t bad, not really, and Hoseok—well, Hoseok is just thankful that Yoongi likes his friends. Actually, really likes them enough to warm up to them.
“I only like him for the cookies,” is all Yoongi says, smiling.
Hoseok just steps closer to him, bumps their shoulders playfully, and then reaches for Yoongi’s hand, their fingers twining as they walked together. “Yeah, me too, actually.”)
The night Hoseok meets Yoongi’s friends is totally incidental. Yoongi hadn’t planned on it, had wanted a better setting than them at a bar, bickering over food and drinks. He’d wanted Hoseok to meet his friends somewhere nice, somewhere much better than this bar tucked into a corner, lights dimmed down low, and smooth jazz filtering through the speakers.
Perhaps, as far as bars go, this one isn’t that bad. It’s a pub, really, one that Yoongi likes for its quiet and it’s ease, how relaxed everyone in here is.
Because after a busy day at work, Hoseok had called Yoongi, asked if they could grab dinner together, and I know I said noona and I were going out to dinner, but she changed her mind, and I’m starving, yeah, and what could Yoongi respond to that except a resounding sure, because when will Yoongi ever deny Hoseok good food? Never, that’s when.
Even if it means Hoseok gets to meet his friends, who are, for the most part, quite the eccentric bunch.
But Hoseok takes a liking to them immediately, slipping into the booth right next to Yoongi, and before he can even say anything, Taehyung is on Hoseok, introducing himself and Jeongguk right next to him.
“Hoseokie hyung,” how familiar the nickname rolls off of Taehyung’s tongue, how warmly he already feels around Hoseok. “We heard so much about you,”
When Hoseok asks exactly what they’ve heard, Jeongguk just snickers behind his fist and says, “Lots.”
And that’s that for their introductions, because a minute right after that, Jeongguk knocks over his beer, spilling it down their side of the table, Taehyung yelping out in surprise as something cold trickles down his leg.
Hoseok laughs at that, watching the whole mess across from them.
Yoongi can’t help but laugh, too, shaking his head as Taehyung and Jeongguk both panic over the mess, grabbing a bunch of napkins in an effort to try to wipe down all the beer.
A server helps them out, noticing all the commotion in the usually quiet pub, and with a small little sigh from Yoongi, and one last chuckle from Hoseok, the two younger boys finally calm down, Jeongguk immediately reaching out for his bowl of nachos, staring a little bit too sadly at all the wasted beer.
“Hey, I don’t think I ever thanked you, hyung,” Taehyung looks up from wiping down his jeans at Hoseok, the smile that spreads on his face warm. He’s met with a tilt of the head and a creased eyebrow, Hoseok not quite following, because this is their first time meeting, and Yoongi swears if Taehyung lets something slip, then the moon’s going to be hanging a little crookedly from the sky for the next few days.
But then Taehyung says, “For all the flowers,” and Yoongi breathes a sigh of relief.
Hoseok is taken by surprise at first, mouth falling into a little o of understanding before a bright, beaming smile lights up his face. “Right. The birthday. Don’t tell me you’re the same friend who’d gotten sick last time?”
“It was him,” Yoongi groans, remembering how Taehyung had allowed himself to get sick for a week. A fucking week. “That was the worse week of my life,”
Across the table, Jeongguk nods. “He was so delirious he tried to eat the flower,”
“Because none of you were feeding me,” Taehyung groans, rolling his eyes at them. “Just let your sick friend die on your own couch like that.”
Probably, if Taehyung was capable of that.
But they’d had their reasons. Like Yoongi not having anything but cereal in his apartment, and Seokjin being busy with the cafe, and Jeongguk refusing to get take-out or delivery because he can’t be bothered to walk out the front door.
A whole mess, the four of them sometimes.
Most of the time.
But watching them now, Taehyung and Jeongguk shifting the topic away from Taehyung and back to Yoongi, talking to Hoseok with wide eyes and grins that seem to match, all three of them, with hands that move animatedly in the air, Yoongi now understands why it had been so important for Yoongi to like Hoseok’s friends.
While the kids can get on Yoongi’s last nerve, they’re still his family. People he holds close to him, always, despite everything.
In spite of everything.
So the night passes by like this, with good food and drinks, and even better company, and Yoongi doesn’t know when or how, but sometime, with the evening hanging heavier in the sky, and the hours turning late, he finds himself pressed much closer to Hoseok, Hoseok’s arm wrapped around his shoulder, holding him still and steady. Close.
Yoongi likes the feeling of it, lining up next to Hoseok. All his crooked sides fitting nice and perfect against Hoseok’s.
Nice and easy, that’s them. That’s how they are.
Seokjin drops by well into the night already, after too much food and alcohol. He offers a small smile to Hoseok, raising his hand up in a greeting, before he squeezes into the opposite booth next to a slightly drunk Taehyung and Jeongguk who’re arguing over whether or not warm beer is still good beer.
It’s not, Yoongi thinks, utterly disgusted by Jeongguk’s stance.
There’s no need for introductions, not when Seokjin and Hoseok know each other already, not when Hoseok asks about Seokjin every other day, always in the best of spirits when Yoongi drops by the shop with another box of cupcakes, or cookies, or whatever Seokjin’s dropped at Yoongi’s apartment, specifically for Hoseok.
It’s always how Seokjin wins over people. If they’ve got a sweet tooth, then they’ve got a friend in Seokjin.
In the middle of it all, with Seokjin trying to catch up, and Taehyung and Jeongguk still arguing over the quality of warm beer, Yoongi leans his head against Hoseok’s, the small smile that plays across his face soft.
Hoseok snakes his hand into Yoongi’s, their fingers twining.
Yoongi doesn’t need to look up to know that the smile on Hoseok’s face is bright enough to light up his own little corner of the world. He can feel it just fine.
It’s funny, how things play out.
How Taehyung insisting it’s really only logical that he takes a cab with Yoongi and not Seokjin could lead to this—
And this being:
Yoongi tucking Taehyung into sleep as Hoseok watches by the door, a funny little look on his face the whole time.
“Thanks, hyung,” Taehyung murmurs, rolling over to his side as soon as Yoongi straightens up. “G’night.”
“Good night,” and Taehyung may be a pain in the ass, but Yoongi really won’t have him any other way.
Hoseok meets him outside, a yawn pressed to the back of his hand as Yoongi lets the door to Taehyung’s apartment close with a quiet click of the lock.
“I should get going,” Hoseok says, voice quiet and just the little bit slurred from drinking. “It’s late,”
“Sorry we had to drag you here,” Yoongi thinks back on Taehyung passing out in the backseat of Yoongi’s car as soon as they’d all slipped inside. How it had taken a lot of poking to even get Taehyung to stir when they’d arrived. “I’ll drive you home, yeah?”
Hoseok just shakes his head, “Nah, it’s fine. I know you’re tired, and home is a little bit far from here. I’ll be fine,”
Yoongi knows it isn’t the best idea he’s ever had, but Taehyung lives literally a floor below him. An entire fucking floor is all that separates their apartments, and it would be stupid, wouldn’t it, if Yoongi just let Hoseok go for the night. It’s late, there are no buses anymore. The trains have long since stopped, and a cab will be far too expensive, given how Hoseok lives right across town.
“Or?” and here Hoseok takes a step closer to Yoongi, fingers circling around Yoongi’s wrist, thumb pressing into the inside of his wrist, rubbing small circles against his skin.
“Or you could spend the night,” the words come jumbling out of Yoongi’s mouth, too fast to even be coherent and too quiet to even hear, but Hoseok hears it, and he understands, because they’re standing so close to each other, Yoongi trying to blink the star dust away as he focuses on Hoseok, cheeks flushed, and that same funny little look on his face again. “If you want. Or—or I could drive you, yeah. I don’t mind.”
“I don’t mind,” Hoseok says, finally. “Staying over, I don’t mind.”
Yoongi lets out a breath he never even knew he was holding, and in front of him, Hoseok smiles, much quieter than usual. Smaller, too.
This is a smile that Yoongi’s never seen on Hoseok, this five a.m smile that feels like the first few rays of the sun breaking through the clouds after a long and heavy night, and filtering through Yoongi’s too-thin curtains, filling the room with warm early morning sunshine.
It is Yoongi’s favourite part of the day, the start.
Looking at Hoseok now, Yoongi is starting to think that perhaps this small, special little early morning sunrise of a smile might just be his favourite, too.
If you ask Yoongi if the magic of the night is any different to the magic of the day, then you will get a straight answer. Yes, it’s different.
Because night is when Yoongi finally catches his breath and settles down, his shivering bones getting a break. Night is when Taehyung comes alive, though, fingers tapping against the window, and staring out at the city, waiting. Watching. Living.
But Yoongi will give Taehyung this, when it comes to evening—there is a magic that wraps around them all that is different to the magic that morning brings, because everything seems much easier in the night.
Even when it is odd, this—Yoongi and Hoseok stepping into his apartment, just a floor above Taehyung’s, who’s sure to bounce back awake any second now, the alcohol flushed out of his system and his eyes as clear as the skies are outside.
Hoseok curls his fingers over the tips of Yoongi’s, and for a moment, they stall over the threshold of Yoongi’s apartment. For a moment, Yoongi swears he can hear the beating of his heart in full force, full volume.
And then the moment is over when Hoseok cuts the distance between their hands, flesh meeting flash, and fingers linked together. When Hoseok nuzzles his nose against the side of Yoongi's face, and Yoongi smiles at him, a tired, sleepy little smile as he tugs Hoseok towards his bedroom, the door clicking to a quiet shut behind them.
They fall to the bed as easily as they both have fallen together, arms and limbs, and heavy blankets and far too many pillows. Yoongi reaches over the bedside to flick the lamp off, although with the windows pulled back, and the soft light of the moon drifting in through his large windows, as well as the billboards that hang a few stories beneath them, Yoongi’s room is still illuminated by the dim lighting of the city and the moon, a good contrast and mix.
Hoseok fits right next to him, arm slinging around his middle.
“Is this okay?” Hoseok asks, voice low.
Yoongi turns to his side to face him. “It’s fine,” and Yoongi knows that with Hoseok, things are going to be fine. Because now that silence and the night has fallen upon them, Yoongi hears the little voice in his head loud and clear. The one thing that had pulled him into Hoseok, pulled him close against him, was the feeling of fine and okay, how Yoongi feels just right with him.
And it had been odd, then, but now, Yoongi welcomes it the same way he welcomes Hoseok into his arms, the younger boy burrowing closer.
“Yeah,” Hoseok murmurs, letting his fingers brush through Yoongi’s hair. Hoseok presses a soft kiss to Yoongi’s forehead, just a fleeting sensation that fills Yoongi with a sudden warmth, something foreign and strange spreading across his chest, and tightening in his gut. Hoseok looks down at him, a hint of a smile on his face. “Alright?”
Yoongi is warm, so, so warm. He curls his fingers over Hoseok’s hip, and nods his head. Alright. Everything is fine.
Hoseok makes him feel okay. Anchors him down, when even the night threatens to drag Yoongi down and drown him.
“‘Course, Hoseokie,” Yoongi says, burrowing closer to him.
In this hour, with the moon hanging heavy outside, and the skies finally clear of the fog and the mist that winter had brought with it, they both know that they’re going to be fine.
So they inch closer to each other until there’s barely any space between them, Yoongi lifting his head up to bridge the gap between them, Hoseok kissing him for the first time, fingers cupped over Yoongi’s cheek, and pressing gently.
Yoongi’s eyes flutter to a close, the kiss slow and tentative, Hoseok not rushing anything at all as he breaks away for the first time to look at Yoongi, squinting in the dark to get a better view of him. As he pinches Yoongi’s cheek playfully, the smile that pulls at the corners of his mouth so bright, Yoongi’s starting to suspect that with Hoseok around, there’s never any need for lights.
Nobody asks if it’s okay, if the kiss was alright, because they don’t have to to know that it had been more than okay, the warmth that spreads across Yoongi’s chest a warm welcome, now, after months of the freezing cold.
Hoseok slips his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, tugging gently, before he kisses him again, this time with less of a question on the tip of his tongue, and more of an answer, a reassurance. Hoseok tastes a lot like beer and lemon, and Yoongi kind of regrets kissing him like this—with their alcohol laden brains and heavy bones sinking even deeper into the mattress, legs tangled underneath the blanket—but then Hoseok presses closer to him, and Yoongi tilts his head up, fingers curling over Hoseok’s hip, and he forgets everything else, except for this one moment.
Yoongi kisses the taste of beer away until he can taste it—lemon and citrus, and Hoseok. Soft and warm and gentle, in the way that Hoseok cups a hand over the side of his cheek, and brushes his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, slowly lulling him into sleep.
They pull away with a quiet little sigh from Yoongi, and a soft, tinkling kind of laugh from Hoseok. A laugh that he presses into Yoongi’s hair. Happy. Contented. Just right.
Eventually, they get too tired even to say anything. Eventually, Yoongi gives in to sleep, and Hoseok gives in to Yoongi burrowing closer next to him, bumping his head under Hoseok’s chin as he fits himself right in the crook of Hoseok’s neck and shoulder, and it’s right, just fucking perfect, how it’s so easy for them to get here. How Hoseok welcomes Yoongi as much as Yoongi welcomes him.
And perhaps there is something much more special to Hoseok than his impeccable eye for art and flower arrangements. Because right now, with Hoseok pressing light kisses to his forehead, all Yoongi can feel is this—
Like his calls have finally been answered, a honey-sweet voice on the other end of the line, and a smile so bright, it puts the sun to shame.
And so they fall asleep like this, close together, with the soothing sound of two in the morning wrapping around them. Yoongi is warm right next to Hoseok, and right before sleep pulls him under, Hoseok presses his good night against Yoongi’s hair.
When Yoongi wakes up, it is to the soft eight-in-the-morning sunshine filtering through the gap between his curtains. He pushes himself up on the bed, already feeling well rested, even if it hadn’t been that long since he’d fallen asleep.
Beside him, Hoseok stirs.
Hoseok, who had spent the night.
Hoseok, who had held Yoongi close to him, brushing his hair back before sleep overtook him.
Yoongi cards his fingers through Hoseok’s hair, now, careful not to wake the boy up.
But Hoseok wakes up, anyway, eyes blinking back the sudden brightness, mouth pressed into a hard line as he tries to squint up at Yoongi, who seems unbothered by the sudden wash of orange and yellow in his room. Who seems much more alive now that morning has come.
And Yoongi knows that some things are easier by the light of the moon, but waking up next to Hoseok, Yoongi is starting to think that nothing is easier than this.
Hoseok eventually lifts his head up, nuzzling his cheek against Yoongi’s hand, searching for that warmth, chasing after it.
“Morning,” Hoseok says, voice still rough with sleep.
Yoongi lets his fingers trail up the side of Hoseok’s face, slipping them through his hair again. Hoseok relaxes underneath him, turning pliant now that Yoongi’s brushing his hair again. Yoongi smiles, tucking this information away for safe keeping.
“Good morning,” Yoongi says, sounding much more sleepy than he looks. “Did you sleep well?”
Hoseok tugs on Yoongi’s wrist, as if to bring him back down next to him.
He obliges easily, the bed dipping underneath his weight as they shift again, trying to make themselves comfortable. Trying to fit their limbs and their arms and all their crooked sides, and Yoongi’s tired little heart that beats more steadily, now.
“The best,” Hoseok’s smile is sleepy, eyes still trying to blink the sunshine away. “You look good.”
Yoongi wants to shoot that down, because he looks like something that the cat’s just dragged in. Bed hair, clothes askew. He probably looks like someone who’s seen the light of the morning for the first time. But Yoongi’s in far too good a spirit to try and bicker about that, so he just sighs, and nuzzles his nose against Hoseok’s cheek, murmuring something that sounds a lot like shut up.
“About last night,” it’s Yoongi who brings it up, poking Hoseok gently in the cheek.
Hoseok opens his eyes when he does. He looks like he could sleep for maybe a few more hours, but for Yoongi, he tries to fight the sleep away.
“What about it?” Hoseok asks, stifling a yawn in Yoongi’s hair. “It was okay, right?”
This is where Yoongi takes a deep breath.
He can smell lemon and citrus and underneath it all, the smell of the earth and wood. This is what Hoseok smells like—like the earth that he so loves, that he tends to. Like the flowers who turn their heads whenever he walks into the room, who sway in the tune of his laughter.
“More than okay,” Yoongi finds himself smiling, despite himself.
Outside, the sun shines brighter than it ever has, a clear indication that while they’re still halfway through winter, spring is just around the corner, waiting.
Winter will always yield to spring, the same way the evening will always yield to the morning, because the sun will shine, no matter what.
What happens next comes as a blur, Hoseok suddenly laughing, too low for this early in the morning, and before Yoongi can even process what’s happening—Hoseok’s fingers in his hair, and his other hand cupping at his cheek—Hoseok is on top of him, straddling Yoongi.
Behind him, there is the light of the sun. A halo of yellow and orange, the clear blue skies reflected in Hoseok’s eyes.
Yoongi blinks up at him, hand instinctively reaching up to touch his face.
Hoseok actually has the sky in his eyes, Yoongi realises.
“I wasn’t drunk last night,” Hoseok tells him, shifting on top of him.
“Sure,” Yoongi plays along, laughter coming easy to him, now. “Just a little bit tipsy, then.”
But Hoseok had been drunk. Doesn’t really take his alcohol well. As terrible as Taehyung, who had crashed the very second he’d hit the backseat of Yoongi’s car.
“Probably,” the smile on Hoseok’s face is playful, and gods, looking up at him like this, eyes clear and bright, and his smile so, so pretty, Yoongi is starting to think that nothing, absolutely nothing can ever come close to Hoseok. He’s absolutely beautiful, and it hurts, a pang in Yoongi’s chest, because all he wants to do is look at him, and touch him, and perhaps stay with him—for as long as he’s able to, for as long as Hoseok will let him. For as long as time will stretch between them. “Sober now, though,”
“Mmm,” Yoongi hums, hand slipping under Hoseok’s shirt to settle on the warm skin of his hip. He rubs his thumb gently over the jut of his hipbone, revelling in the warmth Hoseok himself exudes.
“Wanted to try something, come morning,” Hoseok brushes Yoongi’s hair back, the soft, tender little smile on his face unwavering. “Now that we’re both sober, yeah?”
This time, when Hoseok kisses him, Yoongi’s heart beats so fast, he’s starting to wonder if it’s possible for gods to die like this. Completely at bliss. But then he opens his eyes, finds Hoseok leaning back, and he breathes out a sigh of relief, because he’s fine.
They’re both fine.
The kiss had been fleeting, just a pressing of their lips together, and Yoongi blames it on the morning, how groggy they both are, still.
“Wanted to try that?” Yoongi asks, breath evening. He lifts his hand up to brush through Hoseok’s hair, easing out the knots and the tangles in Hoseok’s hair.
When all Hoseok can do is smile, far too cheekily at that little comment, Yoongi just rolls his eyes, pushes himself up on his elbows, and kisses Hoseok again, although this kiss he presses to the edge of his mouth.
The smile that he flashes Hoseok is similar to the sun that hangs in the sky, nestled amongst white fluffy clouds.
“Good morning, Hoseok,” Yoongi says once again, brushing their noses together.
Hoseok laughs, nearly toppling off of Yoongi as he does so. But Yoongi holds him still, one hand on the back of his nape, and the other on Hoseok’s hip, holding him steady.
“It is, isn’t it?” Hoseok leans down then, nuzzling into the crook of Yoongi’s neck. His lips brush against his skin, a little bit wet and warm, it sends chills down Yoongi’s spine. “A really good morning, I think.”
It’s the best morning, Yoongi knows. The best he’s had in a long, long while.
Taehyung keeps him company for this afternoon, the younger boy laying on his back and staring up at the sky. Yoongi had just barely managed to convince him to grab the mat from downstairs, because god or not, lying down on the floor would hurt.
“It’s tomorrow, isn’t it?” Taehyung asks, reaching his hand high up to the sky. He squints up at the sun, barely peeking behind fluffy white clouds. “How are you holding up, hyung? You don’t look too good up there,”
Yoongi glances up at the sky. The clouds look greyer, the blues slowly melting behind skies of grey that are sure to come tonight.
Rain, Yoongi knows. It’s going to get colder, too.
“It’s about to rain,” is all that Yoongi says, stepping over Taehyung to cross to the other side of his small rooftop garden. “I don’t know what to get him.”
There is silence from Taehyung’s part, the younger boy still staring up at the sky, drawing shapes with his fingers. Yoongi wonders if he’s talking to Jeongguk right now—they’ve both got their way with playing with the clouds and the small wisps of smoke. Yoongi won’t be surprised if that’s really the case.
“That’s real easy,” Taehyung says, craning his head up to look at Yoongi. He raises an eyebrow, as if that’s answer enough, and when all Yoongi can do is stare blankly at him, brows creased, he sighs. “You’re looking at it right now, hyung.”
Yoongi doesn’t know what Taehyung is getting at here, because the only thing he’s looking at is his garden. Flowers that bloom eternally only under his careful eye and touch. From sunflowers in the back, to small little daisies in a pot right next to Taehyung’s head, and an assortment of tulips and peonies alongside the garden, as well as roses. God, all the roses—even Taehyung gets caught up in the roses, plucking one out for himself whenever he visits the garden. Yoongi never minds. He can readily give his flowers to his friends. People he cares about—
The cogs in his head click. A lightbulb goes up. Yoongi’s eyes widen.
“No, you don’t mean,” he mumbles, the words tripping over themselves far too fast, because Taehyung has a good idea, and Yoongi could do it. He can, right? Flowers. For Hoseok. But then again—Hoseok works at a flower shop, he looks at them enough. “He has plenty already,”
“Sure he does,” Taehyung hums a slow tune under his breath. It sounds a lot like a folk song from so long ago. Yoongi is almost brought back to a time where the skies had been wider, the horizon clearer, devoid of skyscrapers and flashing lights. Almost. But then he blinks again, and Taehyung changes the tune to a more recent pop song even Yoongi’s heard on the radio, and he’s back, both feet planted on the here and the now. “He doesn’t have any from you though, does he?”
It comes to Yoongi like the soft blowing of the cold air against his skin. He bristles, hands tucked into his coat pocket. It’s starting to get late, and with it comes the cold. It’s going to rain any minute now, and Yoongi knows—Yoongi knows that Jeongguk will stop over with boxes of takeout and beer, the grin on his face cheeky as he talks about how the weather’s taken a sudden change, and for a while, they will all revert to normal patterns. To how they are on the daily, how they have always been, and how they will always be.
But for now—
For now, Yoongi looks at the small bed of flowers in front of him, bright yellow peonies that hide just behind a row of tulips. He lets his fingers graze over the petals, careful not to shake them too much.
Yoongi looks at Taehyung again, as if for a final bit of confirmation, one more push, but Taehyung’s asleep, the boy turned to his side, his breathing even.
Staring at the flowers, Yoongi thinks that it can work. It definitely can, probably. And if it doesn’t, if Hoseok resents him for it, then he can get him something else on the next day. A hundred cupcakes. Five gallons of iced coffee. Whatever he wants, Yoongi’s pretty confident he can get his hands on it.
Yoongi plucks the first peony from its bunch, letting it rest gently on the palm of his hand. It is a beautiful and bright yellow, so, so warm, Yoongi can’t help but smile. This looks a lot like Hoseok, he thinks—peonies. There’s a delicate beauty in them that often contradicts how reckless Hoseok can get, how loud he can be. But Yoongi knows this for a fact—
Hoseok is gentle. His touches soft, and the lips that he press against Yoongi’s cheek tasting a lot like the first breeze of spring. Inviting and refreshing.
Yoongi loves spring.
Behind him, Taehyung groans, finally awake. He holds a hand up to his head, rubbing at his temple. Yoongi sees one of the potted plants had fallen over, and he grimaces at Taehyung, a sigh already halfway through his lips before Taehyung can even apologise for accidentally knocking over one of his plants.
But it’s okay, Yoongi thinks, shrugging the apology away as he turns back to the flowers. He plucks another flower, raises it high up to the sky, and he smiles. Because the yellow of the flowers look absolutely beautiful against the pale blue of the sky.
The only thing Yoongi can hope for now is that Hoseok won’t mind his sloppy flower arrangement skills.
“Hyung,” it’s Jimin, hissing out Yoongi’s name. Before Yoongi can even know what’s happening, he’s pulled into an alley, Jimin’s fingers wrapping around his wrist and tugging. Panic registers on Yoongi’s face, and Jimin giggles, his hold around Yoongi’s wrist loosening. “Hey, relax. It’s just us.”
Him and Namjoon, who stands behind him with a friendly little smile, a large box in his hands. Yoongi notices just how hard he’s holding onto that box.
“Is that the cake?” Yoongi asks, trying to peek through the transparent top.
Jimin just shakes his head at him, “You’ll see later,” and then, to Namjoon, “Please, I swear to god, if you drop that again this year, you’re off cake duty.”
There is a sense of pride in the way that Jimin leans into Namjoon to peek inside the box, one that Yoongi chalks up to Jimin actually making the cake himself. And why shouldn’t he—he works as a pastry chef in one of the city’s most up-and-coming cafes. It’s bound to taste good, Yoongi knows.
But there’s something that he just can’t quite shake off, so he muses, “Again?”
“Yeah,” Namjoon just laughs at that. “Someone left their socks lying around the floor, so I tripped on them,”
Jimin blushes at that accusation, “If someone was more careful, then we could’ve spared Jiwoo noona’s dress—“
And it looks like they’re both about to spiral into an argument about an event from exactly a year ago, so Yoongi stops them before they can, clearing his throat. “Anyway, what’s going on, exactly?”
“We’ll just ambush Hoseok hyung after work,” Jimin steps closer to Yoongi now, eyeing the bundle in his hands. “What’s that?”
Yoongi glances down at the flowers he’d messily tied together. Just a bunch of peonies—the most beautiful ones from his garden—tied together with a bright green ribbon that Yoongi had barely managed to tie himself (it had taken Jeongguk actually feeling sorry for him after fifteen minutes of watching Yoongi struggle with the lace before Jeongguk had sighed, rather loudly, and offered his finger for Yoongi to use.).
“Flowers,” Yoongi says, looking over his shoulder at the main street. “It’s getting late, isn’t it? Don’t tell me you’ve been hiding in this alley just waiting for me—“
“I told you it was a bad idea,” Namjoon murmurs under his breath, and Jimin just laughs again at that. “It was a bad idea, I know.”
And Yoongi can’t help it, watching Namjoon and Jimin together, the both of them so easily falling into each other. In quick and easy banter about an accident from a year ago, to an almost failed plot to pull Yoongi into a dimly lit alley (that could potentially be dangerous, but then again, who would attack anyone carrying a large ass box of cake, really?). Jimin touches Namjoon’s arm briefly, his smile spreading, and Namjoon beams back down at him.
It doesn’t take too long until they’ve both settled down, finally coming down from their little high, the moment paused for now, because Yoongi’s turned away from them, already headed out of the alley.
“Hoseok’s expecting us, isn’t he?” this isn’t exactly a surprise party—or, well. Their company isn’t, anyway. But Yoongi supposes that the cake and the too-many balloons Jimin’s trying to hold on to are.
Yoongi ducks his head down, smile hidden behind his thick scarf.
Hoseok has good friends, Yoongi knows. The best friends, even.
“Hyung actually said no surprises,” Jimin admits, halfway down the block from the flower shop. “So we’ll blame this one on you, is that okay, hyung?”
Yoongi blanches at Jimin, but now that they’re nearing the shop, Yoongi realises that there’s no way he can back out of this. The look on Namjoon’s face expresses a sheepishness that Jimin doesn’t, and for a second, Yoongi wonders just how they both work so well together.
But then he notices their shifting gazes, from playful to soft, and Yoongi thinks he knows, looking away from them.
“You’re out of your mind, d’you know that?” Yoongi says, glancing down at Jimin who just tells him to lead the way, this is his idea, after all.
Yoongi will get him back for this.
But for now—
For now, he pushes through the shop’s front doors.
Hears the familiar tinkling of the chimes that hang high above the door.
Sees Hoseok from behind the counter, bored out of his mind, scrolling through his phone. He nearly drops it when he sees Yoongi, face lighting up at the sight of him.
Hoseok rushes out from behind the counter to head towards Yoongi, his smile so fucking bright, Yoongi’s starting to wonder if it’s actually possible for a smile to be so blinding, you have to squint.
It is, of course, because there is no other explanation for Hoseok.
“Hi,” Hoseok settles his hands on either side of Yoongi’s hips, his smile turning much softer now that they’re closer.
“Hello,” Yoongi smiles up at him, a little bit weak under Hoseok’s gaze, and says, “Happy birthday.”
It must be a surprise to Hoseok, the boy probably forgetting his own birthday after the mess of the day, after how busy he’d been, because he blinks down at Yoongi, a little surprised, before realisation dawns on him, and he tips his head back and laughs, out right laughs—loud and booming, and ringing all around the room, bouncing off the walls.
It washes over Yoongi like warm honey, wrapping around him the same way the morning does, whenever he rises. Whenever he opens his eyes to the breaking of light across the sky.
And Yoongi loves to hear Hoseok’s laugh. Can listen to it for a long, long time, he thinks. He knows. But Yoongi can’t help it when he tilts his head up and bridges the gap between them for a kiss, cutting Hoseok mid-laugh.
Yoongi rests his hand on the back of Hoseok’s neck as he brings him down for a kiss. A simple hello, I missed you that Yoongi says through a kiss.
Hoseok eases into the kiss, his shoulders steadying, and his laughter dying down as he kisses Yoongi back, although—Hoseok breaks the kiss halfway through, his smile too large, too warm, that even Yoongi has to pull away to look at him, the exasperated look on Yoongi’s face softening when he feels Hoseok squeezing gently on his hips, the younger boy nosing against Yoongi’s cheek.
“What’s this?” Hoseok asks, finally noticing the flowers in Yoongi’s hand. “Did you—“
“Happy birthday,” Yoongi says again, offering the yellow peonies he’d grown himself. The yellow peonies he’d picked himself. The yellow peonies he’d tied together himself. “For you.”
Passing the flowers over to a flustered Hoseok, whose cheeks flush with a delicate pink, the look in his eyes shifting, turning softer, much more tender as he accepts the flowers from Yoongi. As he looks at them for a minute far too long, Yoongi grows concerned.
But then Hoseok lifts his gaze back up to look at Yoongi, and he smiles.
Hoseok smiles the smile that reminds Yoongi of the sky after a terrible rain. All the greys and the heavy storm clouds and the mist and the fog slowly pushed away to give way to the blues and the fluffy white clouds, the skies clearing up again the way it always does after the rain. After anything.
And the sun—
The sun always manages to break through the storm clouds before it’s even over, a single ray of orange light shining down on the city as a reminder that the rain doesn’t always last forever.
This is that exact same smile. Like the first few rays of sunshine breaking through the grey clouds after a terrible storm. Hoseok’s smile.
“Did you really?” Hoseok asks, voice soft. Low.
“I love it.” Hoseok finally says, and this time, when he smiles at Yoongi, it looks a lot like the same kind of smile that he reserves only for his flowers.
The cake and the balloons come much later, Jimin justifying their late entrance to wanting to give the two of them time alone together.
This year, Namjoon successfully delivers the cake to Hoseok, whose laughter fills the entire shop, face as bright as his laugh is.
Yoongi stands off to the side, watching as Jimin and Namjoon take turns trying to swipe a dollop of cream on Hoseok’s cheek, Hoseok trying to squirm away from them but failing, Jimin’s hold around his wrist holding him still as Namjoon smears chocolate on his nose.
“I liked it better when the cake never survived the first half of the night,” Hoseok grumbles, walking over to Yoongi, who offers to wipe the cream from his face.
“Come here,” Yoongi says, tugging on Hoseok’s sleeve. He brings Hoseok’s face down closer to him, fingers locking around Hoseok’s hand as he licks the chocolate just to the side of Hoseok’s mouth, wiping the rest of his cheek clean when he pulls away, an all too pleased look on Yoongi’s face that Hoseok doesn’t mirror.
Hoseok’s hand snakes around Yoongi’s waist, eyes narrowed for a slight second, before he nods, a little stilted.
Whatever moment they were about to have—Hoseok’s arm still wrapped around Yoongi’s waist, and Yoongi barely saying a word, though his hold around Hoseok’s wrist tightens, just considerably so—is broken when Jimin ushers them both out of the door, reminding them all of their reservation for dinner.
The night is cold, the wind biting against Yoongi’s skin the second they step back out into the street. But Hoseok is beside him, one hand holding onto Yoongi’s, and the other onto the make-shift bouquet that Yoongi had spent the whole morning stressing over.
They both share a smile, and just a small one this time.
And it might be far too cold even to Yoongi’s liking, but with Hoseok beside him, a small, quiet smile of contentment on his face, Yoongi feels just warm enough.
It’s after dinner, when both Namjoon and Jimin have already ferried themselves into a cab that Yoongi and Hoseok find themselves right in the middle of the city, the cars rushing past them, and all the lights blinking. Blinding. Neon.
There is a quiet that sits between them, a comfortable one as they try to recover from dinner. It hadn’t been quiet, that one is sure—not with Hoseok and Jimin practically bouncing off of each other the whole time. But Yoongi had enjoyed it. Had enjoyed the conversation and the company, Hoseok at home with the two people he values most.
“So the flowers,” Hoseok says, nudging Yoongi back into consciousness. They’re nearing the block where Yoongi had parked, and as much as Yoongi wants to stretch the night even more, he knows that he has to say goodbye, at least. For now.
“What about them?” Yoongi squeezes on Hoseok’s hand, a small question in the creasing of his brows.
“Where’d you get them again?”
“Garden,” Yoongi starts, and then, after Hoseok stops walking, pauses, looking over his shoulder at him. “I have a garden.”
“Show me.” is all Hoseok says, tugging on Yoongi’s hand now as the car comes into view. Hoseok’s smile is wide and bright enough to light up this entire street.
There’s a swooping sensation in Yoongi’s stomach when he realises that apparently, it’s not time to say goodbye yet, and he nods his head, although feeling just the teensiest, tiniest bit nervous at the prospect of Hoseok seeing his garden.
“Sure.” Yoongi says anyway, because it’s Hoseok’s birthday, and who is Yoongi to deny Hoseok of anything on this day, of all days, really?
The drive back to Yoongi’s apartment is filled with Hoseok humming along to whatever song’s on the radio, fingers tapping idly against the dashboard. Alternating between humming and singing, all the while looking at the bouquet on his lap. He’s still got that smile on his face—a funny little smile that Yoongi can’t quite read, not yet—and it only makes Yoongi’s stomach turn, because here it comes again—
The knots growing tighter, his heart beating faster, and the tips of his fingers just itching to hold on to Hoseok.
This feeling is one that Yoongi isn’t sure of, not when he doesn’t really know how to listen to it. The only thing he truly knows is this—
That this all feels right and that there’s no possible way that his heart constricting in the best possible way whenever he hears Hoseok laugh is in no way wrong, is it?
No, it isn’t.
And so Yoongi sighs, feeling more assured in this.
Maybe not as certain, but more assured that this—
This is a good thing, between him and Hoseok. Something that he wants.
Which is why Yoongi almost, almost forgets, a little bit too distracted with Hoseok’s hand in his, tugging him along into the elevator all too excited to see Yoongi’s garden, that his garden isn’t—
Well, that it isn’t exactly ordinary, per se.
It's too cold on the roof.
Yoongi tucks his hands into his pockets, nudging gently at Hoseok's shoulder to tell him to follow him. Yoongi doesn't trust himself enough to talk up here, because it's so fucking cold, he wonders how Hoseok's even holding up.
"Is this it?" Hoseok asks, stopping just at the makeshift picnic mat Taehyung had laid out the other day. Hoseok kicks distractedly at it, squinting at the darkness.
How easy would it be for Yoongi to just clap his hands, or blink his eyes, and will for all the lights to brighten up the roof? How easy would it be for him to suddenly flood the whole night with a single shot of sunshine? Too easy, but there is a reason why Yoongi doesn't do it.
Why Yoongi is much more careful now.
So instead of willing all the light that's scattered too far away from their little corner of the world back, he walks over to the switch off to the side, blindly feeling up and down the wall until he finds it. Flicks it on. A single light bulb is the only thing that lights up the small little garden Yoongi's tucked away into a corner of the roof. It is the only thing that helps Yoongi see, because they're too high up even for the billboards to truly reach them.
The neons and the reds and the blues and the bright city lights are just a distant glow off the edge of the rooftop.
Yoongi's about to open his mouth this time, try to explain the flowers. Just why the hell they're growing out here in the open, in the middle of fucking winter, but then Hoseok turns to him, eyes bright with new found wonder, and Yoongi stops, hands falling to his side.
"The peonies—" Hoseok says, looking over to the bunch of them, mostly whites and yellows swaying quietly with every soft blow of the wind.
"Yeah," and then with one last look at Yoongi, Hoseok's off, walking up and down the aisle, one hand still gripping onto the bouquet Yoongi had gotten him for his birthday.
The only thing that Yoongi had gotten Hoseok, because god, Yoongi admits that he doesn't know how to do this. That it's been too long—that it isn't anything like him, either, to want to do these things with someone.
Because if you live a life like Yoongi's, like his friends, really, it is difficult to find yourself involved. It had been a small little promise Yoongi had made to himself, that he wouldn't. That he won't.
But here he is.
And here they are, up on the rooftop, Hoseok completely transfixed on each and every flower, a small smile of complete fond on his face as he observes them all, eyes still wide. Lit up like lamps in the dark.
There Hoseok is, with half his face tucked behind one of Yoongi's thicker scarves, concern and practicality getting the better of him earlier when Hoseok had started to sneeze, complaining about his too-thin coat and just how cold it was for a February night.
"This is beautiful, Yoongi," Hoseok says, walking back over to him.
Yoongi's hands settle on either side of Hoseok's hips, rubbing gently over the slight jut of his hip.
"I made do with what I could," is all Yoongi says, rather plainly. He leans over to Hoseok, nose bumping gently with his, the smile that plays along the curve of Yoongi's lips soft. Beautiful. "Hope it was okay."
"Okay?" Hoseok laughs, throwing his head back. "This is—this is more than I could have ever hoped for, yeah? How come you never told me about this?" and here Hoseok gestures to Yoongi's garden, the yellow flowers in his hand standing starkly against the night.
It is like a beacon, now, Hoseok's smile and the flowers that he holds close to him.
The flowers that Yoongi had gotten him.
Flowers that Yoongi had grown himself.
Yoongi's favourite flowers.
"Because you're a big-shot florist," Yoongi laughs, clearly just taking a jab at Hoseok, and Hoseok rolls his eyes at him, though with the cold and the darkness, he huddles closer to Yoongi, one hand wrapping around his waist.
Hoseok noses along the side of Yoongi's cheek, smile still too big, too wide, and Yoongi can feel it reverberating off of him—this glow. A warmth that can only be explained by Hoseok's laughter.
It sounds happy.
Hoseok sounds really, really happy, and Yoongi's heart swells, because he's done something right this time.
For someone who doesn't do this all too often—who's nearly sworn off of the whole thing, he's doing, well. Okay.
More than okay, because Hoseok's kissing him again, fingers pressing into his back, and his mouth warm against Yoongi's, lips easily parting for Yoongi to kiss him even more, deeper, tongue swiping along the backs of Hoseok's teeth, the sense of playfulness lost as the cold pushes them to each other.
They find themselves backing out of the roof, Yoongi tugging Hoseok along with the sleeves of his coat out of the roof, and back down the stairs until they're back in Yoongi's apartment, shoes kicked off somewhere by the door.
The scarves are the first thing that Yoongi pulls off, practically throwing his and Hoseok's over to the couch just because he wants to touch, and feel, and kiss, lips gliding over the line of Hoseok's jaw, and down to his neck.
Hoseok pushes off Yoongi's coat easily enough, pulling off Yoongi's sweater right along with it and only leaving Yoongi with a thin shirt that has him shivering when Hoseok touches his arm, hands still cold from the outside.
But Yoongi eases into it, anyway, refusing for Hoseok to do anything else, pulling the younger boy back in whenever Hoseok pulls too far back, hands on Hoseok's hip, and in his hair, the both of them stumbling along Yoongi's dark apartment until they find the door to his room, Hoseok's breath against Yoongi's cheek warm, and close—so, so close, because Yoongi can hear every shuddering breath that Hoseok takes, every sharp little inhale when Yoongi finally, finally, straddles him on the bed, hands splayed on Hoseok's chest.
"You sure?" Hoseok asks, one hand settling on Yoongi's bare hip. He presses his fingers into his skin, rubbing smooth circles over it as Yoongi nods.
“'Course," Yoongi murmurs, chest warm, too warm, god.
Yoongi feels too warm, now. Like he's about to burn up.
Because there is a want, Yoongi is aware, and there is this
There is this need to have Hoseok, to touch him, to keep him, to press himself close against him.
And so with one final nod, and with Hoseok biting his hip down, Yoongi repositions himself. Slowly lowers himself down onto Hoseok's cock, his breathing measured the whole time. Even with the preparation, it's still tight, Hoseok moaning against Yoongi's mouth as Yoongi tries to breathe in, and then out, each measured breath steadier than the last as he tries to get used to the feeling of—of Hoseok inside of him, filling him up.
Warm. So, so warm. Like a fire, now.
They both breathe out together, Yoongi's coming out much airier, fingers sliding through Hoseok's hair, and mouth open in a small little oh as he shifts on top of Hoseok, earning himself a small groan from Hoseok, whose fingers tighten around Yoongi's hip.
"Yoongi," Hoseok sounds too far away and too close at the same time.
In the warm orange light of the single lamp Yoongi's managed to turn on, Hoseok looks absolutely beautiful, hair fanning out around him, and lips kiss-swollen, neck sure to bruise by tomorrow.
And Yoongi feels full, so full with Hoseok inside of him. It takes nearly no time at all for Yoongi to get used to it enough to start moving, Hoseok trying to slow the whole thing down, because he wants to be careful, gentle, doesn't want Yoongi to hurt himself, and Yoongi smiles, because Yoongi doubts Hoseok can ever hurt him. Not soft, gentle Hoseok, who laughs with the flowers, and smiles at the sun. At Yoongi.
So Yoongi moves, lifting himself up off Hoseok and then back down, setting a pace for the both of them.
When Hoseok cants his hips up to meet Yoongi's, Yoongi almost stiffens, the moan that stutters out of him low, eyes closed as Hoseok starts to move from underneath him, heels planted on the bed and thrusting up into Yoongi, this time turning the tables completely.
And it's so easy, now, to fall into Hoseok, Yoongi leaning down to kiss him, sloppy and wet, and almost too dirty, the sound of skin against skin, and Hoseok's breathing harsh right next to his ear.
Yoongi doesn't remember the last time he'd let himself go like this, completely lost in the feeling. But it's easy, now, for Yoongi to give in to Hoseok, to give in to what he wants.
There is a fire in the pit of his stomach, the same flames licking up the tips of his toes and his fingers that threaten to consume Yoongi in one go, any second now. So Yoongi pushes himself back again, moaning high and breathy when he feels Hoseok's fingers circle around the base of his cock.
Yoongi bucks up into the circle of Hoseok's fingers, but Hoseok strokes him the entire time, and at this rate, with Yoongi grinding down against Hoseok, and Hoseok rocking right back up into Yoongi, meeting him for every little thrust and movement, it doesn't take long for Yoongi to come spilling on Hoseok's fingers.
Instead of the fire consuming Yoongi completely, it dies down to a quiet trickle, now pushed off the edge.
Hoseok's orgasm comes right after one final thrust inside of Yoongi, who slumps down bonelessly against Hoseok, lips pressing lazily against Hoseok's in a kiss as they both try to calm down from that high.
"Yoongi, baby, come on," Hoseok says, voice ragged, but still soothing as he rakes his clean hand through Yoongi's hair. "I need to—get a wash cloth. Clean you up, yeah?"
Instead of moving, Yoongi just shakes his head, fingers tightening in Hoseok's hair. He lifts his head up from the crook of Hoseok's neck and shoulder and says, quite simply, "Can't that wait?" and it sounds like a whine, Yoongi feeling far too good and too tired to even want to roll off of Hoseok, even if it means sticky and sweaty skin that's sure to dry off uncomfortably later.
But Hoseok manages to push Yoongi off, anyway, kissing him slowly before he rolls off of the bed in search of a towel.
Before Yoongi can even start to complain, Hoseok's back, pressing a towel against Yoongi's stomach, cleaning him of the mess that he'd made on himself.
"This could've waited 'til the morning," Yoongi groans, though he turns pliant far too easily under Hoseok's hands.
"Don't be disgusting," Hoseok chides, towel now discarded as he climbs back into bed next to Yoongi, pulling the sheets over the both of them. "See, all better, right?"
Yoongi turns to his side to face Hoseok, arm slung around his waist. He presses his yawn against Hoseok's neck. There's no shaking this tiredness. This post-sex glow that even Yoongi can't deny.
"Much better," Yoongi finally agrees, smiling now that Hoseok's back in bed with him, Hoseok's skin so warm, so overheated, Yoongi wonders if there's even a need for the heater anymore, not when Hoseok feels this warm next to him.
Hoseok kisses him on the nose, quick and more playful than anything else, and says, "That was good,"
If there ever was a time Yoongi had wanted to maybe knee Hoseok in the groin, it would be now.
But then Hoseok's laughing, clearly over what he'd just said, and Yoongi sighs, far too fond at the idiot to even be annoyed or scandalised at that to react, and just nods, because no matter how much Yoongi can grumble and blush, what Hoseok had said is true.
It was good.
This, between them—it's good.
Yoongi brushes his fingers through Hoseok's hair, hearing the younger boy's breathing turn slower right next to him, the rising and falling of his chest much more even, now.
Contentment, is what it is, the look on Hoseok's face when Yoongi kisses just the top of his lips, Hoseok's smile a sheepish one as he nuzzles even closer to Yoongi, eyes heavy with sleep that's coming for the both of them, the day long and the night starting to weigh heavy.
"Happy birthday, Hoseokie," Yoongi says, still carding through Hoseok's hair, because he knows how much Hoseok likes this. His earlier suspicions confirmed a few afternoons ago when Hoseok had completely fallen asleep on his lap, Yoongi reading a book the whole time while he absent-mindedly brushed through Hoseok's hair.
He thinks its cute, this.
"Not my birthday anymore," Hoseok's voice turns sleepy, his bones heavy as sleep calls. "But thanks,"
"Sleep," Yoongi tells him, smoothing Hoseok's hair back from his forehead.
"Good night," Hoseok presses a sleepy kiss to the corner of Yoongi's mouth, eyes fluttering to a close when he murmurs, voice sounding a little muffled, a little far away, "I'll see you in the morning."
That sounds like a promise. Something Yoongi can look forward to—with the sunrise and Hoseok, Yoongi has all the reasons to wake up.
Morning comes to Yoongi much earlier than expected. He is awake right before dawn breaks, carefully pushing up from beside Hoseok, slowly untangling his arms and his limbs away from the younger boy, afraid of waking him up too early.
But Hoseok sleeps, still, the falling and the rising of his chest, and his soft snoring enough evidence of how tired he had been last night.
Before Yoongi scoots out of bed, he runs his fingers one last time through Hoseok’s hair, the smile on his face one of surprise, now, because Hoseok is here with him, asleep. But here.
Yoongi kind of likes the feeling of that, of having Hoseok next to him.
He knows that it’s never like them to dwell too much on this—this kind of emotion. Knows that Seokjin will only smile at him sadly, because Yoongi and Hoseok are worlds away, but Yoongi will hold onto Hoseok for as long as he can. For as long as Hoseok will allow him to. Yoongi’s already decided on that much, at least.
And so with one last sigh, he rises from the bed, grabbing one of his sweaters from behind the chair on his way out of the bedroom. He doesn’t want to leave Hoseok this early, but this is how Yoongi usually is every morning—or, at least, on the more important mornings of his life.
Commemorating them by aiding the rise of the sun—inch by careful inch, from one side of the world to this—is how Yoongi usually spends it, and this morning is no different.
The whole apartment is far too quiet. There are traces of their haste from the last night—shoes and scarves and coats that had been thrown carelessly over the counters and behind the couches. Yoongi tidies it up on his way to the large floor-to-ceiling windows just right next to the kitchen.
Pulling the drapes back, Yoongi pauses, fingers tightening around the curtains as he stares down at the quiet city. There are fewer cars and hardly any pedestrians at this hour. The billboards aren’t as annoyingly bright anymore, and even from up here, Yoongi thinks that he can hear it—the silence.
It sounds exactly like how the world would wake up, shuffling around in its sleep, before yawning, eyes cracking open to stare up at the rising sun.
Yoongi touches his fingers against the windows, nearly frosted from the cold night, and watches. Waits.
The first ray of sunshine that breaks through the clouds hits him right in the face. Yoongi smiles, revelling in its warmth.
The sun rises as dutifully as it always does every morning, and Yoongi watches as he always does, eyes transfixed on it the entire time. When the sun finally settles itself right between some wispy clouds, Yoongi nods, pleased with himself.
This will be it for today.
To make up for the chilly night air, Yoongi’s decided that the sun will shine that little bit harder today. That little bit warmer.
Yoongi doesn’t pull the drapes back, wanting the soft, yellow light of six in the morning to cascade down his living room, to wash his entire apartment with the colour of the morning. It is Yoongi’s favourite time of the day, after all.
When he climbs back up into bed, it is to find that Hoseok’s waiting, the boy still half-asleep as he pulls Yoongi against him, Yoongi’s back pressed against Hoseok’s chest. They fit, they really do, and it’s beautiful, Yoongi thinks, how someone like Hoseok could find something good in someone like Yoongi.
How Yoongi, after years—so many fucking years—has found a special brand of magic in Hoseok.
Hoseok mumbles something sleepy against Yoongi’s shoulder, “Are we supposed to be up, now?”
But Yoongi just squeezes at Hoseok’s hand, bringing it up to his lips to kiss it, very gently, before saying, “No, Hoseokie. We can sleep in.”
“Okay, then a few more minutes, yeah?” Hoseok tightens his hold around Yoongi’s middle, the kiss that he presses on the back of Yoongi’s neck accompanied by a smile, Yoongi just knows. “I’ll make breakfast, I promise.”
And Hoseok does—
Because two hours later, Yoongi wakes up to an empty bed, with the blanket pulled high up on his shoulders, and to the sound of a song played on one of his speakers outside. He wakes up to the smell of coffee and eggs, and cheese, realising a little bit too belatedly in his sleep-logged mind that Hoseok had kept to his promise of breakfast.
“What’re you cooking?” Yoongi yawns, rubbing at his eyes. He makes his way into the kitchen, more on muscle memory than anything because Yoongi’s got his eyes nearly half-shut, unable to see much in front of him until he bumps into Hoseok, who folds his fingers over his shoulders, and squeezes. “G’morning,”
Hoseok kisses him first on the cheek, his smile immaculate at this hour of the morning, “Good morning. Here, coffee,”
“A man after my own heart,” Yoongi smiles, accepting the cup of coffee without a question, quickly bringing it up to his lips to take his first sip for the morning.
Hoseok watches him the entire time, a fork in one hand, and a smile on his face, expectant. Waiting.
The coffee helps sober Yoongi’s sleepy mind, and he notices it now—notices just how Hoseok’s wearing one of Yoongi’s sweaters. And Hoseok may be taller than him, sure, give or take a few inches, or what, but he’s not any bigger, which is something Yoongi realises when he notices just how the sweater hangs off of Hoseok’s shoulder, revealing a small stretch of skin that Yoongi had definitely kissed too hard the other night, if the light smattering of blues and reds against it is any indication.
“I’m not like Jimin or anything, but—breakfast is breakfast,” Hoseok finally says, rather sheepishly as he sets a plate of eggs right next to Yoongi, the grilled cheese sandwiches coming a little bit later, Hoseok snickering at how difficult it had been to try to whip something up, given how incapable Yoongi’s kitchen is of feeding one very small child, let alone two grown men. “Why do you have ten different boxes of cereal and no milk?”
“Stop questioning my breakfast choices,” Yoongi’s up on the counter now, Hoseok standing right between his legs and looking up at him expectantly, an eyebrow raised, and the smirk on his face playful.
“Not judging the cereal, babe,” Hoseok laughs this time, hand sneaking up from under Yoongi’s sweater to settle warmly on Yoongi’s bare hip.
And there it is again, the warm sensation that spreads across Yoongi’s chest, just because Hoseok had said—
Just because Hoseok had called him that.
God, really, what would his friends think of him.
Yoongi, who can pull the sun out from behind the storm at will. Yoongi, who’s more than capable of growing sunflowers in the middle of winter. Yoongi, who can walk into one door, and walk out to another, in a completely different country. Yoongi, who—
Who blushes, now, especially with Hoseok looking up at him so intently, the playfulness wiped away from his face to be replaced with a soft, tender look that Yoongi doesn’t want to look away from.
That Yoongi can’t look away from, not even if he’s forced to, because there is a magnetic pull to Hoseok that drags Yoongi in and under. Because the ocean calls to the shore, even after all the times they’ve said goodbye—and Hoseok is the ocean come the morning, when the surface is glittering like diamonds, and the water is a clear, crystal blue, the sun shining right above it, and laughing.
“Is everything okay?” Hoseok’s plucked Yoongi’s mug out of his hands, brows furrowing in worry now, because Yoongi still hasn’t said a thing, still in shock, because the first time Hoseok had called him anything besides his name had been during sex, and that happens, sure it does, but now, in the light of the morning, Yoongi feels like he might just go under.
The effect Hoseok has on him, really. It’s laughable, given just what kind of being Yoongi is.
But it’s not, because Yoongi is melting like honey against Hoseok, who eagerly leans in to taste him, pulling Yoongi down so he can kiss Yoongi a proper good morning, lips parting easily, Hoseok sucking on Yoongi’s tongue as he settles one hand on the small of Yoongi’s back, and the other on Yoongi’s chin.
It is a slow and languid kiss, one that leaves Yoongi completely breathless when they pull away.
Hoseok rubs a hand absent-mindedly on Yoongi’s knee, and his reply may have come a few moments too late, but Yoongi finally nods, cheeks still a light pink. This time, when Yoongi says, “Yeah, everything’s perfect,” he means it.
Breakfast sits to their side for a while, the both of them choosing to spend their first few moments of the morning together, trading lazy kisses, with Hoseok just pecking at Yoongi’s lips, and Yoongi threading his fingers into Hoseok’s hair, brushing it sideways, and then smoothing it back as Hoseok kisses the corner of his mouth, and then the edge of his jaw.
Slow. Nice. Warm.
In the glow of the early morning sunshine, with Hoseok looking right up at Yoongi, smile less sleepy, now, and more alive, Yoongi can see it—
The way Hoseok looks at his flowers, with a fondness that is undeniable.
He looks at Yoongi the same way, and Yoongi swallows, fingers curling up around Hoseok’s shoulder.
“Breakfast, baby,” Yoongi reminds him, after one final kiss to Hoseok’s forehead. “It’s getting cold.”
Hoseok helps Yoongi down from the counter, and for a second, they stay completely still, Hoseok with his arms wrapped around Yoongi’s shoulders, and Yoongi’s wrapped around Hoseok’s waist, and Yoongi will admit it has been a while since he’s felt this, the first few smatterings of—of something that could be so much more, Hoseok’s hold around him tight.
Yoongi buries his face against Hoseok’s chest. Takes a deep breath in, and closes his eyes.
The music that filters through the speakers is a soft one, a new song Yoongi’s never heard of. But beyond that—beyond that, he can hear the sound of traffic. Of the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings. He can even hear the soft lapping of the tide against the shore. Yoongi can hear it all, if he focuses hard enough, which is exactly why he can hear his own heart beating against his ears, calm. Steady.
Like it already knows.
“Breakfast?” Hoseok prompts, rubbing small, soothing circles on Yoongi’s back.
Yeah, breakfast. Yoongi thinks that he doesn’t quite mind waking up to breakfast like this every morning—or just waking up next to Hoseok, for all the mornings possible. Not at all, really.
Once, when Yoongi had been younger—when all of them had been younger, really—he had taken to the habit of staying at the beach, sitting just by the shoreline, knees pulled up to his chest. He would wait for the tide to roll, would close his eyes, and hope, every single time, that it wouldn’t leave, that for once, it would stay—
Yoongi had been naive, then, but now.
Now, he is much better.
Now, Yoongi knows that the sea will wait for no one, the same way the sun will always shine. Will always give the world a new day, even when all Yoongi wants to do is stay at home, curled up and forcing himself to sleep.
There are things Yoongi has yet to keep peace with, but now, with the sound of the ocean rolling against his ears, and spring finally coming, settling around them, Yoongi thinks that he can be much, much better.
He is here now, after all—not the same boy who had thought that he could catch the ocean in his hands, because why couldn’t he, really, when the sun was at his fingertips?
But there are some things even a god is incapable of doing.
“What are you thinking about, Yoongi?” Seokjin asks him, tapping lightly against his shoulder.
They’re at the cafe, tucked into the corner-most part. Yoongi nurses a mug of coffee in his hands, blinking back at Seokjin when he realises he’d been spacing out.
“Nothing,” and then, after a moment, “Everything. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we, hyung?”
Seokjin smiles at him, not unkindly. “We’ve still got a long way to go,”
And Yoongi knows what Seokjin means—Seokjin, who is the hearth himself. Who is warm fires and home. Who is what keeps their little family together.
Yoongi knows that for people like them, their job will spin on forever. Their task, of sorts, because who else will be left with the sun and the moon, with the clouds and the sky, with the very Earth herself, if not them?
“I don’t want to go anywhere, though,” Yoongi takes a careful sip of his coffee, smiling despite the topic at hand, because once again, Seokjin has brewed Yoongi’s favourite cup. The best coffee in town—anywhere, really.
A look of pure tenderness passes across Yoongi’s eyes, one that Seokjin reflects, if only for a second, before he blinks, his smile much, much sadder now.
“What are your plans?” Yoongi knows that where one goes, the other will follow. If Yoongi stays—then they will, but Yoongi’s reasons are tied to someone, unlike them, and for beings such as themselves. Gods, is what they are, a decade feels like a day. And a normal human’s lifetime? Merely a blink of the eye.
Which is probably why Yoongi hasn’t been sleeping very much, afraid that if he blinks too much, he’s going to find himself alone, and Hoseok—
Yoongi shakes his head.
“Do you wanna tell him?” It’s not unheard of, somebody knowing of what they are. What they can do. But Yoongi’s never really told anyone, if he can remember. Or, he had, but it had been so long ago, even his memories have turned grey and murky.
But he can see Hoseok clearly in his mind’s eye, though. Always.
“I don’t think I should,” it’s never a good idea. Because they’d always think him insane for even suggesting that. “Imagine walking up to him one day and just saying—so I can make the sun set and rise at will, how do you feel about that? He’d dump my ass,”
Seokjin’s laughter bounces off the walls, head thrown back. “Hoseok’s a sweet kid, though,”
Too sweet, Yoongi thinks, smiling down at his cup. At the thought of Hoseok.
Very quietly, Yoongi says, “I like him, hyung,”
A hand reaches out across the table, Seokjin’s fingers clasping around his and squeezing. It is warm. Feels exactly like home. Like family. Yoongi smiles.
“I know, Yoongi.”
The ocean may never stay, but Yoongi—
Yoongi can stay, for as long as Hoseok needs him to stay. For as long as he can stay, really.
By the look on Seokjin’s face, Yoongi has a feeling that he would as well.
Hoseok walks into the cafe then, hair a mess, and his hands scratched up, most probably from the flowers. From the pins and the scissors, and the ribbons.
“There he is,” Seokjin says, looking away from Yoongi to smile at Hoseok, quickly waving him over to their table.
Yoongi looks over his shoulder at Hoseok, who spots them easily enough, smile bright as he makes his way to their table. He leans down to kiss Yoongi on the corner of his mouth, lingering for a moment just to smile at him, before he straightens back up to greet Seokjin, who pushes off of his chair to excuse himself, something about hearing Jimin yelling around in the kitchen, destroying his expensive pots and pans, or worse—the ovens.
So Seokjin leaves with one last meaningly glance at Yoongi, and a smile at Hoseok, who takes his seat across from Yoongi, bag dropping to the floor, and his hand automatically reaching across the table to hold onto Yoongi’s, their fingers twining.
Holding Hoseok’s hand feels warm, Yoongi now realises, watching as Hoseok squeezes on Yoongi’s hand, their palms pressed together.
When Hoseok brings Yoongi’s hand up to his mouth for a playful little kiss that he presses to each of Yoongi’s knuckle, leaving Yoongi flushing in his seat, just staying at him, he thinks that Hoseok—
Hoseok feels a lot like home, and Yoongi hasn’t felt at home in a very long time.
“Missed you,” Yoongi says, not pulling his hand out of Hoseok’s hold, watching the whole time as Hoseok plays with his fingers, smile fond.
“You’re a sap,” is what Hoseok says, snorting, because they’d seen each other just a few days ago. Hoseok had just gotten busy, and Yoongi—well, Yoongi had spent the days Hoseok had been busy at the beach, stealing away the mornings and the afternoons with Taehyung, who had waded in the water at ten in the evening, looking so calm, Yoongi sort of regrets not joining him then. “But I guess I missed you, too.”
Yoongi smiles at Hoseok, and Hoseok smiles back at Yoongi with the force of the rising sun, leaving Yoongi to wonder if it’s alright for a god to have a favourite, and if it isn’t, then so what, really?
It’s impossible not to play favourites when Hoseok himself can give the sun a run for its money.
But that’s perfectly fine for Yoongi. A sun is a star, after all, and Hoseok is his.
Every star is a sun for somebody, and for Yoongi, it is Hoseok.
Rain falls heavily on a dark Saturday afternoon, and whatever plans they’d made are washed away as it continues to pour.
Hoseok smiles ruefully at Yoongi, though, and says, “Well, lucky for us, I have an umbrella,”
It’s the yellow umbrella Yoongi had lent him months before—so many months ago, yet Yoongi still remembers.
Their first meeting together, how Hoseok had looked a little bruised up and too tired.
Hoseok looks infinitely better than that time, though. The dark circles under his eyes less prominent, his smile lighting up his whole face. He looks healthier, except for his bruised knuckles and hands littered with the occasional scratch or two from when he’d cleaned out a rose from its thorns.
“My saviour,” Yoongi snorts, turning over his shoulder as Hoseok ducks down from under the counter, his goodbye for his older sister still stuck in the garden at the back yelled out carelessly as he bounds towards Yoongi, arm automatically slinging around Yoongi’s shoulders to pull him close to his side.
“It’s your umbrella,” Hoseok says, matter of factly, and Yoongi decides to just let that go, even if all he wants to do right now is to maybe just jab Hoseok the slightest bit with his elbow. Maybe.
They step out into the pouring rain, Hoseok raising the umbrella high over their heads as he tightens his hold around Yoongi’s shoulder, keeping him close, the both of them practically squished together and huddled under one yellow umbrella, scurrying past everyone else running up and down the streets with their flimsy coats held high over their heads, umbrellas forgotten because it had been beautiful this morning, the skies clear and blue, the sun warm and shining.
“Here we are,” Hoseok declares, sliding into the car first as he passes the umbrella over to Yoongi, who quickly jogs to his side of the car, a little bit wet from the rain when he finally settles in next to Hoseok.
Yoongi shakes his hair dry, Hoseok running his fingers through his to try to comb through his damp hair.
They both share a funny little smile in the middle of traffic, Hoseok’s hand heavy on Yoongi’s thigh, fingers pressing in gently enough not to be distracting as Yoongi drives.
But Hoseok is always distracting, whatever he does, where they are—simply because the feeling that blossoms in Yoongi’s chest is hard to ignore, even at the slightest of smiles that Hoseok throws his way.
It’s only when they stumble back into Yoongi’s apartment that Hoseok tells him he doesn’t really like the rain.
“Gives me nightmares,” Hoseok says, blanket gathered in his arms as he heads to the couch.
Yoongi sets two cups of coffee down in front of them before he joins Hoseok on the couch, Hoseok scooting over to the edge to give room for Yoongi.
“Did something happen?” Yoongi asks, stealing a quick glance up at Hoseok to find that the smile he’d flashed earlier is gone, replaced with a far away look in his eyes, lips pressed thinly together.
“Something, yeah,” and before Hoseok can even say anything else, or divert the topic, Yoongi slips out of his hold to walk over to the floor-to-ceiling windows just behind them, pulling the curtains to a close.
“There,” Yoongi says, settling back next to Hoseok. He wraps Hoseok in a hug, now, arms going around him as Yoongi leans back against the couch, Hoseok easily fitting himself in the space between Yoongi’s legs so he can clamber on top of him, gently lowering himself down. “Is it better?”
Hoseok has his face buried against Yoongi’s chest, and like this, Yoongi can’t quite gauge his reaction, but then Hoseok lifts his head up and kisses him, and Yoongi knows.
No words are needed, not when Hoseok is visibly much more relaxed, cuddled up next to Yoongi, head pillowed against Yoongi’s chest.
They stay like that for a while, the rain still falling right outside, and Yoongi loves the rain—loves the sound of it falling against the glass windows, against the roof, but for now, all he wants is for it to stop, quietly hoping, wishing, that Jeongguk hears, wherever he is, because Hoseok is quiet, too, too quiet, that it worries Yoongi.
Yoongi combs his fingers through Hoseok’s hair the whole time, alternating between tugging gently on small little tufts of his hair to sliding his hand down Hoseok’s back to rub small, soothing circles.
Hoseok is quiet in Yoongi’s arms, although he presses the occasional kiss to Yoongi’s neck, or the side of his jaw, the corner of his mouth—wherever he can reach without moving too much, less he accidentally elbow Yoongi in the gut (and after the first few times, Yoongi thinks that they both have learned their lesson, thank god).
They wait the rain out, Yoongi perfectly fine with Hoseok’s warm, familiar weight on top of him. The apartment is dimly lit, the curtains all drawn back, and like this, with just the two of them, with only the sound of their breathing, and Yoongi’s quiet little hums under his breath from time to time, the sound of the rain is drawn out.
It is so quiet that it’s almost deafening, until—
Until Hoseok shifts on top of Yoongi and sighs.
Hoseok opens his mouth to say something, then closes it again, and Yoongi would usually wait, give him his time, but for today, unsure of the kind of weight that Hoseok wrestles with, Yoongi just shakes his head and smiles at him, thumb pressing gently into the exact same spot in his cheek where his dimple usually pokes out, whenever he smiles.
“It’s fine, Hoseokie,” Yoongi says, smiling at him. “Not today, yeah?”
“Thank you,” Hoseok breathes out, relieved, and returns the smile, although a little bit shakily.
“Anything for you,” and when Yoongi says it, he means it, every single word.
“Y’know,” here Hoseok ducks his head, voice coming out much smaller, like he wants to keep this just between the two of them. As if there’s anyone else in the room to be whispering, but Yoongi—he understands, remembering the first time they’d met in the middle of the storm. All the other times where Hoseok would back away from the rain, a little hesitant when it decides to pour. “I really like you, Yoongi,”
And there it is again, that warm, blossoming feeling that spreads across Yoongi’s chest and right down his fingertips. Yoongi’s hand stills in Hoseok’s hair, eyes widening in surprise as he lets that sink in. As it finally hits him—as it registers, this feeling.
“I guess,” Yoongi starts, a little laughter in his voice.
Hoseok raises an eyebrow at him, and Yoongi kisses the tip of his nose, if only to stop Hoseok from looking so scandalised at Yoongi’s first response.
“No, listen—I mean,” and Yoongi’s never been great at words, has always failed in using them when they counted, but today. Now, Yoongi thinks he can do it, the words easily clawing their way up to his throat and to the tip of his tongue, all too ready, after having waited for so long, Yoongi sitting on them, on the feeling for so long, they’d grown impatient. “I love you, is what I mean.”
The look on Hoseok’s face is absolutely beautiful, cheeks a soft pink, and his eyes tender, the exact same way he looks at his flowers, but only this time, he’s looking at Yoongi.
It’s for Yoongi, this look, this smile—
The smile that looks like it could bring even the ocean to its knees. And why can’t it, really, when it can do just that to the sun?
Hoseok cups Yoongi’s cheek with one hand, his smile brilliant. Wonderful. God, Yoongi’s in love with that—with Hoseok’s smile, the look in his eyes, because Hoseok always looks at everything with a little bit of awe and wonder. Like he’s got the biggest secrets of the universe mapped out behind his eyelids, in constellations that are dotted with the universe’s brightest stars.
Yoongi loves it.
Loves the feeling of Hoseok’s hand against his cheek, warm and familiar, and comfortable. Of Hoseok kissing him, smiling far too wide for it to be a proper kiss, but Yoongi kisses him back, anyway, never one to complain because he’s smiling just as much against Hoseok’s mouth.
“Me, too,” Hoseok finally says, his laugh breathy.
Outside, the rain continues to pour.
But it’s warm enough inside, Hoseok finally smiling, the colour back in his cheeks, his eyes glittering.
In the middle of the rain, with Hoseok in his arms, Yoongi feels absolutely warm.
There is much to be said about the morning after a drizzle. Even more on the mornings that follow right after an evening of endless rain.
It’s beautiful, the gentle cascading of just the lightest orange, thin rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds, still sleepy, as if even the sun himself had tired out from hiding behind storm clouds the whole time.
Yoongi rises just as the sun does, carefully extracting himself out of Hoseok’s hold.
Hoseok, who had slept fitfully last night—
Hoseok, who had told him not to worry about it, that he just doesn’t like the rain, and it’s normal, it really is, so many people have a longer list of what they don’t like, surely this is just like that, right? A question Yoongi could only smile at, knowing full well that there is a reason, and that Hoseok isn’t quite ready to talk about it, yet. And that’s perfectly fine with Yoongi.
He doesn’t mind, he’ll wait for Hoseok.
Yoongi kisses Hoseok’s forehead before he leaves, shrugging into one of Hoseok’s sweaters as he makes his way out.
The rain has finally come to an end, Yoongi pulling the curtains back to reveal a sleepy Saturday morning. He smiles down at the traffic, at what very little he can see, with the windows still fogged up and dewy.
It’s all too quiet, just how Yoongi likes it.
Outside, the sun shines weakly, still stirring, still half-asleep. Inside, the sun makes his way to the piano, Yoongi plopping himself down on the bench, fingers poised over the keys.
The first few notes are mindless, Yoongi still trying to get the feeling of it. He glances over his shoulder at his room, just to make sure if the door’s locked and properly closed before he starts to play again. It is.
And so Yoongi plays, for real this time, fingers moving expertly across the keys, the ghost of a smile on his face.
The song that Yoongi plays is a new one. A quiet song. It is more of a story than anything. And Yoongi doesn’t mean to, but he always gets too lost when he plays. This morning is no different, the music taking him to new heights, his heart slowing down to laugh with the music, eyes closed as Yoongi plays the story of the previous night, of how Hoseok had fallen asleep on top of him, murmuring a quiet good night and thank you before he had, how Yoongi had felt so settled at that, to hear to relief in Hoseok’s own voice, the quiet note of surrender to sleep and dreams.
Yoongi takes it back further—to the first day they’ve spent together, to the flowers that bloom whenever Hoseok so much as walks into the room. Yoongi plays, and he plays, and he remembers it all in vivid clear detail, as if it had just happened yesterday. He even recalls the first time they met, the yellow umbrella—how Yoongi had gone home in the middle of the storm, umbrella surrendered to a complete stranger who would one day—
Who would one day walk out of Yoongi’s room, hand rubbing sleepily on his eye as he makes his way blindly to Yoongi, barely cutting off his yawn as he murmurs a very small,
At this point, Yoongi slows down, but he doesn’t stop playing. But the tune changes, turning much softer, because Hoseok’s awake and next to him, hand on Yoongi’s shoulder as he listens to Yoongi’s story, told in the form of a song.
The song of how they had met the first time, in the middle of a winter storm. And it may have been freezing cold then, but all Yoongi can feel now when he tries to think about that day is a very fond warmth.
Eventually, Yoongi stops playing, and Hoseok slides down on the bench next to him, head leaning against Yoongi’s shoulder. Hoseok plays with Yoongi’s fingers, now, a small smile on his face as he hums a melody so similar to the song Yoongi had just played. To the first few notes.
Hoseok is gifted in music, too, Yoongi knows—there’s no other reason for how Hoseok can hear the song that plays in Yoongi’s heart. The only song Yoongi will sing for him.
“Good morning,” Yoongi presses a kiss to Hoseok’s cheek, smiling when he pulls back. Sleepy, so sleepy, the both of them.
“You told me you loved me yesterday,” Hoseok says, as easily as if he’s just mentioning how the rain’s finally stopped.
It catches Yoongi by surprise, cheeks immediately flushing from the comment. But Hoseok kisses the flustered little look away from his face, lips grazing just over Yoongi’s as he pushes off of the bench to clamber on top of Yoongi, sitting himself down on his lap, back pressing against the piano, just barely for it not to hurt.
Yoongi wraps a hand around Hoseok, his other one holding onto him, fingers pressing into his hip as Hoseok threads his fingers into Yoongi’s hair, staring down at him the whole time, eyes wide now, much more awake, as he smiles at Yoongi.
“I love you, too, did you know?” Hoseok’s never actually said the words last night—but he didn’t really have to say them, not exactly. Yoongi had understood, either way. But now, actually hearing it—it sets a fire inside of Yoongi. A fire that spreads from the pit of his stomach to his veins, right down to the tips of his fingers.
Hoseok kisses him again, slow and lazy, and languid, because it’s still so early in the morning, still too early for anything more than their careful little touches and breathy little sighs.
It’s really still too early, but Hoseok pushes Yoongi’s sweater off, anyway, and Yoongi pulls him back down for a kiss, hands slipping under Hoseok’s shirt, just so he can touch skin, just so he can feel Hoseok burning up against him.
And they take everything so slowly that when Yoongi finally, finally slips inside of Hoseok to fuck him right there on the piano bench, Hoseok sighs against his lips, smile so bright and easy that Yoongi wonders if he can go on as simply as this—
Taking everything slowly, stretching everything out, holding Hoseok the entire time.
Hoseok laces their fingers together, bringing their joined hands up to his mouth to press a kiss to the inside of Yoongi’s wrist.
Yoongi trails kisses down Hoseok’s nape and then to his shoulder as he fucks him slowly, carefully, as he takes his time with Hoseok. And Yoongi realises it then, that they actually do.
That they have all the time in the world.
Hoseok doesn't tell Yoongi why he's so afraid of the storms, of the thunder and the lightning, how the only way he fell asleep that night a few weeks ago was because Yoongi held him throughout the night, brushing his fingers through his hair, and peppering kisses on his forehead, his cheeks, the top of his lips, quiet reassurances murmured right next to his ear, Yoongi staying up until Hoseok could fall asleep first.
Yoongi doesn't even think to really ask, because he knows there are things some people want to keep to themselves, and this far into what they have, into what they are, Yoongi knows that if Hoseok's ready to tell him about it, then he will. So Yoongi will wait, because that's one thing he's really good at—waiting. And for Hoseok, he will.
It just so happens that the universe doesn't really want to play to anybody's plans, especially when a storm heralded to be the worst for this year, so far, is coming. Jeongguk says it in passing over breakfast, something along the lines of, "It's been a while since we had a bad one," as he bites right into his sandwich.
That had been yesterday. Today—
Today, Yoongi is on edge, waiting. Holding his breath. He knows Hoseok knows. Probably. Hoseok watches the news, doesn't he, listens to people talking?
But just in case he hasn't, just in case, really, Yoongi sends him a text, a really simple one that just says storm later, did you know?
Hoseok's reply comes much later, after two cups of coffee. Just a simple little :( i know that has Yoongi smiling, despite the implications, just imagining Hoseok typing that out, a furrow in his brows, and his lips pushed into a small little pout.
All the shops are closing up early, Yoongi helping Seokjin with the last minute checking and cleaning. Jimin and Namjoon have left an hour ago, as with the rest of Seokjin's staff.
It just leaves the both of them, Seokjin walking out of the kitchen to declare that they're all set.
A glance out the window has Yoongi's heart clenching, because the skies are dark, the whole city enveloped in a grey that is sure to bring harsh rains. If Yoongi listens carefully enough, he can hear the blowing of the wind just outside.
The streets are empty, and the few people left outside are rushing to get back into their cars, down the subways, and up into buses, all wanting to be anywhere else but outside.
The city doesn't always get bad storms, and even if they do, they prepare for it. Shoulder through it. But this one—this one is reportedly going at too many miles per hour, the wind already harsh, and it hasn't even started raining yet.
Even Jeongguk had called this a particularly bad one.
"It's about to start," Seokjin says as they step out of the cafe. He glances up at the sky—sees the lack of the sun, or even the hints of orange and yellow, a blue sky. Nothing. Only ominous grey clouds that even Yoongi is afraid of. "Where are you going?"
Yoongi scrolls down his phone, teeth biting down on his bottom lip, because it's been hours since Hoseok's last texted him.
"Waiting for Hoseok," Yoongi murmurs, looking away from his phone to glance at the people rushing right past them, talking amongst themselves about the subway, and how it's supposedly a ghost town at this time, with the storm coming, and the more sensible people already rushed into their homes. "He hasn't picked up,"
"Do you want me to help?" Seokjin asks, looking worriedly over at Yoongi. "We can head over to the flower shop—"
"No, it's fine. It's starting to rain, anyway. You should go," But Yoongi cuts him off with a shake of his head. "I'll take care of him."
Which is exactly what Yoongi tries to do, but even that is proving difficult when he arrives at the flower shop only to find it locked and closed, not even a trace of Jiwoo inside.
And by the looks of things, it seems like they'd never even opened in the first place.
Yoongi tries to call Hoseok again, hurrying down the street with an umbrella held just above his head, the rain starting to fall already. It's not quite a storm yet, just the start of it—the calm before any storm, as they say. Even the winds seem to be gentle, blowing against Yoongi's cheeks in a way that almost seems as if they're saying hello.
Hoseok's not picking up at all, not after several missed calls and text messages that all go straight to voicemail and in his inbox, left unread.
A call to Jimin leaves Yoongi basically nowhere, still, the younger boy just saying, "I don't know, he hasn't been picking up at all. But Hoseokie hyung, he really doesn't like the thunder," or the lightning, or the heavy rain, or even the cold. Yoongi knows that, he really does, which is why he's starting to worry, because the wind is picking up, and the rain is falling harder, and visibility is turning bad, too, Yoongi squinting at his windshield, trying to see just ahead of him.
He tightens his hold on the steering wheel, trying to think of places Hoseok could be.
Yoongi decides to call Taehyung, then, just as a precaution, and asks if he can check if Hoseok's upstairs, because at this point, Yoongi is running out of ideas. All of Hoseok's favourite cafes and restaurants are all close, and the one place he's usually at, with no fail, hadn't even been opened the whole day. And if Hoseok had just replied to Yoongi's text earlier, if Hoseok had told him about his plans, then this wouldn't be happening, but it is, and Yoongi thinks he's going out of his mind with worry, fingers so tight on the wheel that its turning white.
Taehyung comes back humming on the phone, telling him, voice low, that his place is empty. "Doesn't look like anyone's been there since you left,"
That's all Yoongi needs to know.
Because if Hoseok isn't at his place, then there's just one other place Yoongi can go.
Yoongi makes it so Hoseok's apartment in very little time, because the roads had been deserted, traffic basically nonexistent, with everybody else holed up at home, safe and warm.
Yoongi steps too quickly out of his car that he forgets, for a quick second, where he is, what he's supposed to do, because he's cold and wet, all of a sudden.
He looks up at the sky, sees nothing buy grey clouds that look so threatening, even Yoongi's starting to get a little scared.
Snapping out of it, Yoongi makes a run across the street for Hoseok's apartment, barely remembering that he can actually choose not to get soaked by the rain. But it's too late, Yoongi had thought too late, and now he's soaking wet and shivering, a cold already on its way if he doesn't dry up soon enough.
There's not much time to worry about himself, though, not when he has to rush to Hoseok, heart racing in his chest, and this time, for all the wrong reasons.
Yoongi's never really one to worry about the storm, god, but with Hoseok—after that night, after that storm (and compared to today's storm, it had seemed like a walk in the park with just the slightest bit of drizzle)—Yoongi finds himself worrying too much, gut twisting at the thought of Hoseok alone, refusing to answer Yoongi's calls, and just—just alone, stuck in the middle of a shower of thunder and lightning and heavy rain. Yoongi is starting to hate just the thought of that himself.
And Yoongi doesn't remember how he's managed to get to Hoseok's apartment, the last memory he has was his hand wrapping around the apartment's doorknob, twisting it open.
Yoongi punches the code to his apartment quickly, the sound of the lock opening enough to probably alert Hoseok that someone's on their way inside. But even so, Yoongi carefully makes his way into Hoseok's apartment, shuffling out of his shoes first before he calls out to him in the darkness, "Hoseok?"
There's no sound from Hoseok, except—
Except a small shuffling off just further into the apartment.
It's enough of an indication for Yoongi to know, to be sure that Hoseok is at home.
"Baby, hey, it's me," Yoongi calls, voice turning much softer, now. But there is still fear and worry that weaves its way into his words, that makes his voice tremble, if only for the slightest second. Yoongi prays Hoseok doesn't hear it.
He finds Hoseok on the floor, legs pulled high up to his chest, and a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. He's staring right out of the window, just blinking unseeingly at the fog and the grey and the trees whipping in the distance, the wind blowing harshly.
Hoseok turns over his shoulder just as Yoongi stops, a couple of steps away from him, and when he looks up to meet Yoongi's gaze, Yoongi's heart breaks. The smile that Hoseok smiles is one that Yoongi has never seen before, and one that he hopes he never has to, because it looks painful, the corners of Hoseok's mouth barely lifting, and the smile not even reaching his eyes. Hoseok looks shaken and pale, and Yoongi—
Yoongi takes a deep breath, smiles back at him, as calmly as he can, before he lowers himself down right next to Hoseok, gathering Hoseok in his arms and holding him still, and steady, and close.
They stay like that for a few moments, Hoseok barely saying a word, and Yoongi following after him, because there is not much to be said, not when Yoongi knows that all Hoseok needs is this—Yoongi to hold him while the storm rages outside.
The first strike of lightning has the both of them jolting, Yoongi looking away from the window just as thunder rolls loudly, making his ears ring.
Yoongi looks at Hoseok, then, and cups a hand on his cheek. "I'm here,"
All Hoseok does is nod at that, head tilted into the warmth that Yoongi's hand provides, the same kind of warmth that comes from the sun late into the afternoon, at maybe four in the morning, when the day is about to end, a sigh just barely at the tip of everyone's tongues, relieved that another day is over.
Much with the days, and the evenings that follow it, Yoongi knows that storms will end, too.
But for now, Yoongi will hold Hoseok.
Hoseok, who fits himself right under Yoongi's chin, eyes closed, and finally looking away from the window.
Hoseok, whose fingers are cold and clammy around Yoongi's hand.
Hoseok, who finally, finally lets out a sigh for the first time, and says, voice barely above a whisper, "I hate it, Yoongi,"
Yoongi's hold tightens around Hoseok's waist. “Hoseok—baby, hey, it's okay. It's gonna be okay,"
"But it's not," Hoseok's voice sounds too far away, like he's underwater and going under faster than Yoongi can even try to swim after him. Outside, lightning strikes, and a few moments later, thunder rolls. It's getting louder. "It's not okay now."
There is a different kind of pain to that of loss, and it is this, knowing that all you can do will not be enough to still the shaking bones and trembling breathing of the one person who matters the most to you. It is one of the most painful things Yoongi has ever felt, and he holds his breath, not knowing what to say, not when he knows that Hoseok is right, and Yoongi—
All Yoongi can do is this—just hold him through the storm, through the night, the reassurances barely leaving his pressed lips because he knows they're no good, not during the storm.
"My father," Hoseok says, then, face still buried in the crook of Yoongi's neck, and his arms still tight around Yoongi's waist. This close, and with Hoseok murmuring against Yoongi's neck, Yoongi can barely hear him, not when Hoseok's own words are coming out muffled.
Under, he's going under, and Yoongi is doing his very best to keep them afloat, treading dark waters, trying his hardest for the both of them. Because it's cold and it's dark and there's no way to see how deep it actually is, but it doesn't matter, not when Yoongi can keep them both afloat for as long as necessary, treading through the murky waters of fear, right as the storm blows ahead of them, the ocean itself raging.
"This was—this was exactly how it was like when we lost dad," and it clicks to Yoongi then, how Hoseok hates it whenever it rains. How he's always so restless when it falls too hard, when a hurricane falls upon the city. How the first time they'd met was during a storm, too, and how Hoseok had—
Had cried, shaken up by the memory of his father, and caught out in the rain.
Yoongi rubs a hand soothingly on the small of Hoseok's back, and waits. Listens as Hoseok starts to talk for the first time since Yoongi's stepped into his apartment, hours ago. Yoongi listens as Hoseok tells him that it had been an accident, during a storm like this, how they had all been woken up early in the morning to the ringing of the doorbell, and red and blues lighting up the room he had shared with his older sister, then.
It was a storm that had killed his father.
And when they buried him—
It had rained then, too.
Much like today's storm.
"I just—" Hoseok takes in a sharp breath, Yoongi hearing his own heart still, waiting. "I just want it to stop."
Yoongi's hand stills. He looks back out of the window, the sky so dark, he can barely see anything, until—Until lightning strikes again, and it lights up the clouds, looking like an eerie purple now, more than anything.
It's a terrible sight to see, a terrible storm that brings about terrible memories.
"Hoseok, hey, look at me," Yoongi says, pulling away from Hoseok briefly just so he can watch as Hoseok lifts his head up to look at him, cheeks a little bit wet from crying, and his lower lip looking bruised, Hoseok biting down on it too hard. “It’s—It’s going to be okay from now on, yeah?"
Hoseok's hand tightens in Yoongi's, and he squeezes, almost too hard that Yoongi winces.
"The rain will stop," Yoongi presses a kiss to Hoseok's forehead, fingers slipping through the back of Hoseok's hair. "It'll stop now, and then you'll feel better, okay? I promise, it'll stop."
The look on Hoseok's face is enough of a question that he doesn't need to ask, his eyebrows furrowed in momentary confusion, because there's no way this rain will stop any time soon, not when they can barely see anything outside, not when lighting strikes every other five minutes, the thunder that roars echoing throughout the dark and empty apartment.
Empty except for the two of them.
For the one person that matters.
For the one person that can stop the rain.
"Close your eyes," Yoongi says, brushing Hoseok's hair back, and kissing him on the tip of his nose. Yoongi smiles at Hoseok, a sleepy, quiet little smile that he hopes will be enough to placate Hoseok for a few seconds—for a full minute, maybe. "Just, trust me, okay? Close your eyes, and count down to ten."
"It's not going—" Hoseok tries, but stops when all Yoongi can do is smile at him, the same quiet little smile that he smiles whenever Hoseok turns to look at him first thing in the morning. The same kind of smile that can only really mean one thing—
And it is that Yoongi is happy, and content, so long as Hoseok is.
That there is a sense of wonder that still lingers in Yoongi's eyes, and it's all thanks to him.
"Just try," Yoongi murmurs, lips brushing Hoseok's forehead. "For me, okay?"
With a deep breath, and one last glance out of the window, Hoseok nods, and then he closes his eyes, starting to count with a quiet ten that rings loud and clear in the cold apartment.
Yoongi finds Hoseok's hands in the dark, and he holds onto the both of them, his own eyes closing, too, as he focuses on this one single moment, the sound of the rain whipping against the windows, the roaring thunder, and the howling wind drowned out by the sound of Hoseok's breathing, of Yoongi's own heart beating right in his ears, and his blood rushing through his veins. Steady.
The rain doesn't stop for anyone, but it just so happens that Yoongi isn't anyone, for that matter.
And Yoongi knows that this is technically not allowed, that he's going to get reprimanded. That just a few days ago, he had assured Jeongguk that he won't be meddling, that he understands they've all got responsibilities and roles to play, but god, how easy is it to throw that all out of a window just to calm Hoseok down, just to finally, finally hear him breathe out a sigh of relief?
All Yoongi can do now is apologise for what he's about to do next. He murmurs a silent apology to Jeongguk, for doing exactly what he said he wouldn't do, and tells him that it's just going to be for today. Just for today, Yoongi will need to bring the sun out involuntarily.
And the sun does come out. It comes out at the exact same second that Hoseok says, one. Bright yellow light breaks through the grey clouds. The rain stops.
The lightning and thunder are all gone.
The sky slowly turns blue, the grey clouds replaced with a sudden brightness that has even Yoongi squinting, the whole room suddenly washed in the warm yellow light of the afternoon.
The sun is miraculously shining, the storm pushed far, far away.
"It's safe, now," Yoongi says, just as Hoseok opens his eyes, blinking for a couple of times, unsure of what had just happened, unsure why it's suddenly so bright, why it's light out again, no trace of the storm at all except for the dew that clings to the leaves and to the glass windows.
Yoongi looks paler, tired, his breathing laboured. But he gives Hoseok's hand a gentle squeeze, and smiles at him.
Hoseok opens his mouth and closes it, the words getting caught in his throat, because he's suddenly struck with the strangest sense of disbelief. The rain has stopped, and he can always attribute it to the storm finally passing, but the last thing he heard was thunder. The last thing Hoseok saw was the white flash of lightning behind his eyelids.
As for Yoongi, well—
The last thing Yoongi sees is Hoseok, mouth open slightly in surprise. The last thing Yoongi feels is Hoseok's hand, cupping his cheek. The last thing he hears is Hoseok saying his name over and over again, brows furrowed in concern.
And then Yoongi blinks, and stars bloom behind his eyes, and he passes out.
This is how Yoongi wakes up—
He wakes up to the sound of Hoseok humming a slow, familiar tune under his breath.
To the sound of his own breathing.
He wakes up to Hoseok’s fingers skirting down his cheeks, careful, hovering, just wanting to touch, to feel if Yoongi’s warm enough, that he hasn’t gone completely cold.
He wakes up to Hoseok’s arm around him, holding onto him tightly.
The first thing Yoongi sees when he wakes up is darkness—his face pressed against Hoseok’s chest.
Yoongi starts to stir, and he hears it, then—the sharp intake of breath from Hoseok, hand stilling, the humming stopping.
“Yoongi?” Hoseok’s voice is quiet, at first, before he gets a glance at Yoongi. Sees that he’s awake, now, and for how long Yoongi’s slept—passed out—he isn’t aware, but what matters now is that he’s back, pulled out of that episode with warm hands, and an even warmer smile that Yoongi won’t mind looking at for all the days that’ll follow.
“Oh, god, Yoongi,” Hoseok wraps both his arms around Yoongi, pulling him against him, the blankets by their feet tangling as Hoseok buries his face in Yoongi’s hair, eyes shut tight. As Yoongi wraps an arm around Hoseok, and allows himself this one tender moment, just breathing everything in, his heart beat so slow, and so low, he can’t hear it, not anymore.
But Yoongi knows he’ll be fine. He’s just—tired. So, so tired.
Hoseok looks like he’s spent the night awake, though, just staring at Yoongi, waiting for him to come back. Yoongi notes the dark circles under his eyes, how red it is, how puffy, and he realises that Hoseok’s probably cried. Because of the storm. Or because of worry.
“I was so fucking worried,” Hoseok’s words are muffled, lips brushing against Yoongi’s forehead.
When Yoongi reaches up to cup Hoseok’s face, when he tilts his head up to look at him, he feels the wetness in his cheeks. Sees Hoseok crying, worried so, so sick, he’d spent the whole night awake, just taking care of him, looking out for him, and Yoongi thinks—
He thinks and he realises that in Hoseok is the light of a thousand and one suns, because there is no other reason why Yoongi feels so, so warm, why his heart is slowly picking up speed, beating stronger, steadier. Why his head, while still heavy, is just the slightest bit clearer. There is no other reason except for the fact that Hoseok is undoubtedly a good thing for Yoongi, even when all Yoongi can ever do for Hoseok is make him worry.
So Yoongi sits up on the bed, gathers Hoseok up in his arms, and wipes at the tears that stain his cheeks, smiling sadly up at him, heart aching when all Hoseok can do is stare at him, fingers curled on his lap, and brows furrowed. His breathing turns sharp, like he’s still reeling, like he hasn’t quite gotten over the shock, what happened.
Yoongi eases him into it, thumb swiping at Hoseok’s cheek, and the corners of his lips pulling up into a smile. “Good morning, sunshine,” Yoongi almost-whispers, voice soft.
Hoseok tilts his head into Yoongi’s palm, searching for the warmth, chasing after it. Yoongi will give Hoseok all the warmth this sun has to offer, and all the warmth the rest of the universe has. He will rob Earth of its warmth if it means Hoseok will not grow cold, not even for a second. Yoongi will do it in a heartbeat, the same way he’d pulled the sun out in the middle of a goddamn typhoon for Hoseok.
“What happened?” Hoseok asks, hiccuping.
Yoongi takes Hoseok’s curled hand in his, gently prying it open. He looks at Hoseok the whole time, Yoongi’s smile turning apologetic now as he says, “You never like it when it rains,” as if that’s an explanation already, as if that’s enough to explain what had happened, or the heavy toll it had caused Yoongi, how it had brought him down beneath the water, where the light can never reach.
That had been one of the rarer times when Yoongi had felt truly cold.
But now, awake, with the seven a.m sunshine making the curtains glow, with Hoseok in front of him, their knees knocking together, and Hoseok finally calming down, Yoongi feels warmer than ever.
“I’ll give you all the sunny days you want, Hoseokie,” Yoongi clasps Hoseok’s hand in his, leaning forward to knock their foreheads gently together. “No more rain, not for you,”
“Yoongi,” Hoseok’s hands are shaking in Yoongi’s, but he doesn’t let go. Holds onto Yoongi’s hands as tightly as Yoongi holds onto his. “Did you do that? The—the sun. You—did you?”
Hoseok’s eyes are closed, lips trembling.
Yoongi smiles, heart heavy, and not quite where this will lead, but there’s only so much Yoongi can do, so much he can keep away from Hoseok. “Yeah, I did,”
This is a secret he doesn’t want to hide, not with Hoseok, not when all Yoongi wants is to spend all his days under the sun with Hoseok beside him, the sound of their laughter wrapping around him, and getting carried away by the wind—to the sky, to the clouds, to the sun. For all the stars to hear.
And before Yoongi can even start to wonder if it had been a mistake, if Hoseok doesn’t want anything to do with it—because what does Yoongi mean, anyway, when he said he did it, how is it possible for a single human being to bring the sun out. Except—
Except, Yoongi isn’t exactly a normal human being.
“Tell me you’re okay,” Hoseok opens his eyes, and lifts both his hands to cup on either side of Yoongi’s face. “You—you fainted, Yoongi, and then slept a day and a half away. I was—God, I couldn’t sleep, I had to check if you were still breathing, still warm, I was so—“
“Worried,” Yoongi supplies, smiling at Hoseok, a quiet, content little smile. He pinches Hoseok’s cheek, not wanting him to cry anymore, because that’s exactly what Hoseok’s voice sounds like, what he’s starting to look like. “I’m sorry. I—I should have explained, but I just—I wanted it to be over, for you, yeah?”
Hoseok shakes his head, a hint of a smile breaking through his face, now.
The same way the sun had broken through the clouds in the middle of that storm.
“I really thought—I really thought I was going to lose you. In a storm,” Hoseok’s voice is unsteady, the words tripping out of his mouth and falling brokenly down, down, down, until Yoongi hears them crash, and break on the floor like glass. Like porcelain. “But—“
“But I’m not going anywhere,” Yoongi surges forward to kiss him, just a light one that he presses to the top of Hoseok’s lip. “I could never—I’d never do that, not to you, Hoseok. You’re,”
And here Yoongi wants to say that Hoseok is everything, that Hoseok is really all Yoongi needs to keep the skies clear, and the sun shining high up and warm.
There are so many words Yoongi wants to say, so many things he wants to tell Hoseok, now that he can, now that the dam is broken.
“You’re—you’re like the fucking sky to me. I could never leave you.”
Hoseok breathes in.
Yoongi breathes out.
“Tell me everything,” And then in a whisper that Yoongi can barely even hear, Hoseok says, “Stay.”
And all the days that come after that.
So Yoongi tells Hoseok everything—
Or, the condensed version of it.
He tells Hoseok everything that he knows, and everything that he does, and he tries to keep it short, simple, but by the time Hoseok’s wrapped his head around it—the fact that Yoongi is, in fact, what most people would call a god—the sun is already sinking down the horizon.
Hoseok doesn’t need convincing, not after what he had witnessed during the storm. All Hoseok had ever really needed was an explanation, and now that it’s come, now that it’s here, he visibly relaxes, and leans weakly against Yoongi, arm wrapped around Yoongi’s hip loosely as they both stare out at the window, at the sun and the sky and all the clouds that seem to have forgotten completely about the storm that had broken, crushed under the weight of the sun.
“Is that you?” Hoseok points to the setting sun, to the reds and the oranges, and the wisps of blue and purple from the sky. He turns to Yoongi, lips pressing briefly to Yoongi’s temples.
Yoongi just leans into Hoseok’s embrace. Looks at the sun, and nods, “Yeah,”
“You’re beautiful, Yoongi,” Hoseok tightens his hold around Yoongi’s waist, kissing his way down Yoongi’s cheek, now, until he reaches the corner of Yoongi’s mouth. “Really.”
And Yoongi looks at the sunset, thinks—he thinks about the sun, and while he may have a rule over it, while he may hold it in his hands, it is nothing against Hoseok, because Hoseok—
Hoseok is actually the sky, surrounding Yoongi in an embrace that has made Yoongi feel right at home.
Because when people look at the sky, there is always that feeling of hope, the prospect of a promise. Of all your problems looking insignificant under the large, open sky.
Yoongi feels the same way when he looks at Hoseok.
“Nothing next to you, Hoseokie,” Yoongi turns to face Hoseok, cupping a hand to his face, thumb pressing gently into his cheek. Yoongi kisses him, soft and slow, letting their lips linger for a few breathless moments, Yoongi’s heart finally, finally finding steam, after nearly two days of unmoving sleep. “You’re a dream.”
Even now that Hoseok finally knows, Yoongi doesn’t notice any changes between them. If anything, their dynamic is exactly the same, but just—stronger, in a sense.
Hoseok is still the same, he still swoops down for an early morning kiss, still coddles Yoongi when he needs coddling, and still lifts his head up from a flower arrangement whenever Yoongi walks into the shop, his smile bright and beautiful, and powered by all the stars in the sky.
Yoongi is still the same, too—he still wakes up early in the morning to watch the sunrise, still drops by the shop with coffee and a smile, and a kiss that he presses to Hoseok’s cheek, fingers running through Hoseok’s hair whenever the boy is stressed.
Perhaps, if there’s one thing that’s changed, then it’s that Yoongi sleeps better now, nestled right next to Hoseok, waking up every morning with a song on his mind and his fingers ready to play.
Hoseok joins him shortly after he starts to play, sidles up right next to him on the piano bench, still sleepy, but awake with Yoongi.
Perhaps that’s changed, too—how Hoseok can drag himself awake as soon as he feels Yoongi rise next to him, wrapping his arms around Yoongi’s middle as they both stare out of Yoongi’s floor-to-ceiling windows, watching the sunrise.
As they both let the orange light of the early morning sunrise wash over them, staining Yoongi’s hands orange and yellow as he plays a song for Hoseok—
It’s a song that he’s been playing for the past couple of days, now. A song that Hoseok’s taken to calling his own, and Yoongi doesn’t correct him, because Hoseok is right.
It is his song.
It’s a soothing melody, a song that tells the story of how Yoongi feels for Hoseok, and it’s only really fitting, if Yoongi thinks about it, because this is the exact same song that he hears in his mind whenever Hoseok catches him off guard, whenever Hoseok smiles that smile that he only really smiles at his flowers.
So Yoongi plays the piano, and Hoseok listens to him, and outside, the sun rises.
It is always a beautiful day.
They decide to go to the beach, Taehyung knocking on Yoongi’s door first thing on a Sunday morning.
Now that Hoseok knows, his friends have gotten more liberal, more open and at ease with him, which is exactly what Yoongi wants, because they’re not just his friends—they’re his family, and at one point, the only thing Yoongi had in the world.
Hoseok is a beautiful addition, though, which Yoongi will never regret, because he can’t remember a time when he’d last felt this way. Can’t even remember if he’d ever been this honest to anyone.
So Yoongi stops forcing himself to remember things from a very distant past and instead just focuses on the here and the now—
All of them at the beach, welcoming the summer.
Taehyung manages to drag Jimin into the ocean with him, Jeongguk following after Taehyung had kicked sand into his speakers.
Namjoon sits back with Seokjin, and like this, Yoongi can’t help but think how nice things have fit, how well everything has worked out.
His friends don’t mind Hoseok’s friends—they’re good people, Namjoon and Jimin. Easy to get along with and great cooks—in Jimin’s case, anyway. Namjoon at least has better music taste than Jeongguk, which is exactly what Taehyung tells him when they walk back to their corner of the beach, dripping wet and smelling like the ocean.
“The water’s really nice,” Jeongguk says, shaking the water out of his hair and in turn drenching everyone else.
Seokjin just laughs while Yoongi pushes himself up to stand, grabbing his beer and Hoseok’s hand in the process.
“One day, I’m going to drown you in it,” Yoongi murmurs with barely any inflection.
Jeongguk hears it, though, and grins at him, playful and mischievous, the way he’s always known to be.
Hoseok squeezes on Yoongi’s hand and drags him towards the beach, the both of them ducking away from their friends for the first time that day just to test the water out for themselves. Almost an unspoken agreement.
But not much has to be said when everything is so clear—when things are as clear as the water, crystal blue and sparkling under the light of the sun.
“Come here,” Hoseok says, stopping just a few steps away from the shoreline.
Yoongi steps right next to him, and they wait for the tide.
Wait for the waves to roll into the shore, touch it very briefly, and then roll back away, back into the ocean.
The water is cool when it finally washes over their feet, reaching up right to their ankles before the ocean pulls it back away.
They stay like that for the longest time, Yoongi sipping his beer, and Hoseok humming a song that sounds awfully familiar to Yoongi—
Awfully familiar because it’s the song that he plays for Hoseok every morning.
He realises it a little bit too late, Hoseok twining their fingers together when Yoongi finally jerks his head up to look at him, laughter ripping out of Yoongi when it all clicks.
“It’s a good song,” Hoseok says, as a way of excuse. He shrugs his shoulders and leans in quick to kiss the tip of Yoongi’s nose. “I love it.”
Yoongi smiles at Hoseok, brighter than he’s used to, warmer than what is usual for him, and as big as the sun that shines high above the sky. “You really should, I wrote it for you.”
Perhaps things have changed between them, but only because now they’re better people. Stronger people.
Everything else is the same, except for the fact that whenever Yoongi looks up at the sky, he sees Hoseok’s twinkling smile in the stars, hears his laugh when the wind blows warmly against his cheeks after a tiring day.
Everything is exactly how it should be.
The next time it rains harder than usual, they’re both in Hoseok’s apartment again, Yoongi on the floor trying to choose which movie to watch, and Hoseok busying himself in the kitchen, getting the popcorn ready.
It’s only when they’re both settled in the couch, a blanket drawn over their shoulders, that the lightning and thunder start.
Yoongi feels Hoseok flinch right next to him.
“Are you okay?” Yoongi says, arm tightening around Hoseok’s middle.
Hoseok nods very quietly, eyes staring unseeingly at the TV.
“If it gets too bad—“ but Yoongi doesn’t even get to finish, because suddenly, Hoseok is turning to face him, brows already furrowed, and mouth downturned, his shoulders set.
Hoseok squeezes on Yoongi’s knee, and says, voice steady and resolute, “No, you’re never doing that again,”
“It’s just an alternative,” Yoongi tries again, but Hoseok shakes his head, and crowds Yoongi into the corner of the couch, hands coming up to frame either side of Yoongi’s face, his thumbs pressing into Yoongi’s cheeks with the gentlest of pressure.
“Don’t ever do that again,” When Hoseok speaks this time, it’s to sound just the slightest bit shakier, concern and worry so clear on his face, in his tone, in how heavy his heart is at just the thought of it. “Yoongi—you were gone for a day, almost two. I was worried out of my mind. You can’t—you can’t do that. I can’t lose you for a single day,”
Outside, the rain falls harder against the window.
But it is warm inside, Hoseok’s hands soft, the look on his face a mixture of worry and fear, now.
Yoongi takes one deep breath before he nods.
Hoseok doesn’t let go or draw back until Yoongi says it out loud, “Okay, I won’t,”
Doesn’t turn back to the movie until Yoongi leans against him, their fingers twined together underneath the blanket.
“I love you, okay?” Yoongi says, squeezing on Hoseok’s hand.
“I know,” Hoseok turns to kiss Yoongi, a gentle pressing of his lips against Yoongi’s, his voice soft and sweet when he says, sounding much more at ease, now, “I love you, too, but if you really expect me to sit here in the middle of a storm just to watch Annabelle with you, then—“
But Hoseok doesn’t finish, because Yoongi kisses him again, more to shut him up than anything, really, and it works, because Hoseok kisses him back, taken by surprise for a few seconds before he gets into it, too, but they break away shortly after because Hoseok accidentally bites down on Yoongi’s lower lip too hard, just because he can’t hold his laugh back.
Just because he’s smiling too hard.
Yoongi is, too, because it’s impossible not to feel absolutely on top of the world whenever Hoseok smiles, whenever Hoseok laughs.
So he lets Hoseok’s laugh wash over him, lets it wrap around him warmer than anything can ever be, and there might be a storm outside, but inside, they’re both right at home with each other.
They decide to call the movie off just so they can watch something else, something that won’t give Hoseok nightmares, and in the process of reaching out to grab at the remote, Hoseok falls over the couch, falling with a painful thud on the wooden floors.
Yoongi stifles his laughter, because Hoseok looks completely betrayed that he’d failed to drag Yoongi down with him.
“Come back up here,” Yoongi says, patting the space right next to him—the exact same space Hoseok had previously occupied.
But Hoseok just wraps his fingers around Yoongi’s wrist, tugging him closer towards him, and Yoongi leans down, but instead of a kiss he feels Hoseok pull on his hand harder until he completely slides down from the couch, falling right on top of Hoseok.
Hoseok coughs from under Yoongi.
“I didn’t expect this,” Hoseok winces, nudging Yoongi’s elbow away from his stomach. “You’re literally the worse,”
Yoongi stifles his laughter in the crook of Hoseok’s neck, feeling Hoseok’s arms wrap around his middle to hold him still, hold him against him, and they’re being ridiculous, they really are—
Sprawled on the floor, with Yoongi on top of Hoseok after Hoseok had deliberately dragged him down with him, laughing. Hard.
Like this, the sound of the storm is drowned out.
Like this, Yoongi feels warm, and Hoseok—
Hoseok feels safe.
Like this, they are happy.
Hoseok comes to him like the rain after a summer long draught. He touches Yoongi with hands so warm, Yoongi has no time to remember what it had been like for him to be cold. So cold.
When Hoseok smiles, and pulls him into his arms, Yoongi thinks that he's found a home. Another one with Hoseok this time.
And so when Yoongi plays the song his heart has always sung, this time around, Yoongi tells the story of how a boy had found a home by the beach, and then right in the middle of the big city, surrounded by flowers, so many flowers that seem to grow like evergreens, no matter the season or the time.
He thrives right in the middle of jungle-like skyscrapers. A home that had been ravished by the storm only to be slowly put back together with hands that will hold onto Hoseok’s tightly, that will help him up when he stumbles and falls.
Yoongi has always had a home in his friends, in his family—
But this one with Hoseok, this is something that he realises he’s always been walking towards. The same way the sun will always rise in the East, and set in the West.
On a path guided by flowers that turn whenever Hoseok laughs, the trees alongside it an evergreen, swaying with the wind, and the sky a brilliant, beautiful blue, Hoseok meets him halfway.
This—this is home, thinks Yoongi. Knows Yoongi.
As Hoseok wraps his arms around him, and pulls him against his chest, nose nuzzling into the back of his neck.
Hoseok smells like tulips and roses, the soft, distinct smell of being in a flower shop all day not completely washed out after the hot shower he’d had right before he’d joined Yoongi in bed.
“Don’t wanna sleep yet,” Hoseok yawns into Yoongi’s hair.
Yoongi gives Hoseok’s hand a squeeze, his voice gentle and quiet when he says, “It’s late, Hoseokie. We should sleep,”
But Hoseok just shakes his head, a little bit stubborn tonight.
“Missed dinner with you,” Hoseok murmurs, fingers tugging on Yoongi’s. “I miss you.”
Despite how late it is. Despite how tired Yoongi is, he smiles at that, shifting around and turning over on his side so he can face Hoseok.
So Yoongi can bump their noses together, playful even at this hour. “I’ll be here when you wake up,” Yoongi slides his fingers through Hoseok’s hair, knowing full well that this is a dirty trick just to pull Hoseok into sleep faster.
It works, because Hoseok yawns.
“We’ll have all of tomorrow,” it’s a Saturday, after all. A good day as any to just spend to themselves, holed up at home. “You can have everything you want tomorrow,”
Hoseok smiles a sleepy little smile. “Promise?”
Yoongi nods, because he knows it the same way that he knows that the sun will rise eight minutes past six tomorrow. As sure as the waves will continue to roll, the winds to blow, and the rest of the world to turn. Yoongi knows it—
He knows that he will be here tomorrow. And the next day. And all the days that will follow that. Yoongi will be here and with Hoseok for all of his days, he knows.
For all of the days that they have together.
Yoongi kisses Hoseok, fingers tangling in his hair when he does, and says, right after he pulls away, “Promise.”
“That’s a god’s promise,” Hoseok laughs, bumping their forehead together, and yawning once more when Yoongi smooths his hair out of his forehead. When Yoongi continues to brush his fingers through his hair, unrelenting, knowing full well this is the only way to get Hoseok to sleep after a long day, even when that stubborn mind of his refuses.
Hoseok leans in for one final kiss, lips pressing against the side of Yoongi’s mouth just so he can murmur, tone laced with sleepiness already, “Wake me up for the sunrise.”
“Of course,” Yoongi’s smile is the last thing that Hoseok sees before he sighs, soft and relieved, and falls into sleep.
Of course Yoongi will wake Hoseok up for the sunrise. Yoongi will watch ten thousand sunrises with Hoseok. There’s really no one else Yoongi will do that with. So he smiles, lips pressing against Hoseok’s forehead, eyes fluttering to a close, ready to surrender to sleep, when he feels Hoseok shift beside him.
“Hey,” Hoseok starts, apparently still awake. But he sounds so, so sleepy, like he’s fighting a losing battle just to keep his eyes open. “You know I’ll watch every sunrise with you, right?”
At that, Yoongi’s heart stutters, and his smile softens. He tightens his hold around Hoseok, and then, after much effort of keeping his voice from shaking, asks, “Promise?”
Hoseok’s smile is blinding at one in the morning. “Promise.”
That’s better than any promise a god can make.