Getting used to Seoul is tough.
He's used to the fresh air and clear skies of the countryside in Daegu, surrounded by lush forests and stone temples, not the cold atmosphere of Seoul, pungent and acrid with glass and stone sprouting from the ground for miles.
He's used to flowers and grass sprouting from fertile dirt that he can feel beneath the soles of his Bates, not hard concrete and even harder asphalt making his heels sore and his heart heavy.
He’s used to Daegu, but he’s dependant on Seoul.
His neck hurts from being hunched over the computer in his studio at home and his laptop on the train ride over. He should have taken a nap, but what’s done is done and there’s no going back now. A part of him wonders if he should really be here, four hours away from the life he’s built himself in a shiny new city with shiny new things.
The sun is still high in the sky when he arrives.
Well, there’s no turning back, he decides. He grabs ahold of his suitcase and rolls it down the dirt path behind him, eyes watering at the stray dust in his eyes. His grandparents are gone, off on some excursion around the world--which Yoongi really doesn’t understand, but his grandmother had insisted they go before they grow too old--so when he’d informed them of his... situation , they’d jokingly said they needed a housekeeper through the tears.
He always kept a spare key in a box underneath his bed that now hung on a necklace around his neck. He doesn’t feel like reaching up to unclasp it, unlock the door, and put it back on, so he awkwardly bends down so that he can unlock the door with it still around his neck.
Stepping through the threshold is a lot less dramatic than he was expecting, but he’s not really surprised by it. He’d spent a good chunk of his childhood and even his teenage years here, after all. Everything is the same, down to the pinewood scent that somehow emanates from the walls.
With a weary sigh, Yoongi heavily sets his luggage by the front door, not forgetting to take off his shoes before he steps in. He hits the light switch beyond the foyer and takes it all in. Now that he looks at it, there actually have been a few renovations to modernize the place, but nothing essential has changed. It still feels like home.
In all honesty, Yoongi wants to sleep, but he knows he at least has to make sure there’s nothing extreme going on, like an infestation of some sort.
(Although, even if that was to happen, Yoongi doesn’t know what he would do. He absolutely despises rodents and seeing a bug even from twenty feet away makes him want to cry.)
(Some country boy he is. He calls bullshit on himself.)
Plus, he’s not really supposed to just sleep in his copious amounts of free time anymore. A part of his treatment , and all that shit.
Would he actually sacrifice sleep in order to be quote-unquote “productive”...?
Would he try?
Maybe. He’ll think about it again after a nap.
He’s mechanically going through the house: making sure there’s no disposable food in the fridge, checking to make sure the toilet hasn’t somehow overflowed, and going through the bedrooms. Halfway through his search, he gets hungry, so he takes a quick break to find some chips or something in the cupboard.
But the cabinets are bare, and now that he looks closer, there’s residue of crumbs and some type of grease on the counter, which is unusual. His grandparents might not be neat freaks, but they wouldn’t just leave food out like this.
Yoongi makes a note to clean it up when he’s done and call them later.
His stomach growls, and he’s suddenly happy about the impulse decision to put snacks in his suitcase. Scratching at the back of his head, he makes his way to the last room to check: the guest room, formerly known as his bedroom.
The first thing he notices is the smell. It’s not awful , but the room carries the scent that rooms tend to when someone’s spent too much time in one for a few too many days. As he’s walking over to crack open the window, the second thing he notices is the mess. His old clothes are strewn about everywhere and there’s empty bags of crackers and candy crinkling beneath his feet. He scrunches his nose up at this, starting to become seriously concerned with these random irregularities.
He sees the third and most important thing when he’s turning around to go get a trash bag.
He starts to get the feeling that he’s being watched, but he quickly dismisses it as paranoia of the strange situation. Except, when he turns around, he’s not met with a large man wielding a burlap sack or some kid with a gun. No, he’s met with a boy hunched over the ground, with his old Kumamon cover, staring up at him with big, curious eyes through shaggy bangs.
And Yoongi, being the pinnacle of masculinity that he is, shrieks in near whistle tone ranges while promptly falling on his ass with a hiss.
The--the person on his bed jumps and his eyes widen in response.
“Who the hell are you!?” he demands, pointing an accusing finger in the boy’s face. “How did you get in here?”
The person flinches back before quickly crawling over to Yoongi and getting far too deep in his personal space. Yoongi scrambles back, not knowing the boy’s intentions, but the boy just follows, reaching out and tugging on the bottom of Yoongi’s too big white shirt.
Now that Yoongi can get a closer look at him, he looks unkempt and haggard. His clothes are dirty and on the wrong side of too big, his face is lightly streaked with dirt, and his hair is unwashed. This just raises more questions other than the ones he has, like where the hell the boy came from and how he managed to get in Yoongi’s grandparent’s house.
Yoongi pries the boy’s hands off of him and quickly jumps to his feet, not liking how they were eye level. “You have ten seconds to speak, or I’m calling the police,” he threatens.
Not like he isn’t planning on doing that anyway.
The boy gives what he assumes is a shrug.
He really hadn’t come to Daegu expecting much of anything. (He’s pretty sure this counts as ‘anything’.) Just a few weeks to be alone with his thoughts and recuperate before returning to the hustle and bustle of a busy city life. This was supposed to be a stress free vacation.
What Yoongi definitely hadn’t planned on was being possibly attacked by some homeless kid in the middle of a forest.
What’s the best course of action? Run.
He scrambles to his feet and hauls ass back the living room, slamming the door shut and almost kicking the poor person in the face. He tries to think about what he could possibly do in this situation, but he draws a blank. There’s no way this is a thing that’s happening. He has to be imagining it.
“Okay. I’m not crazy, I’m not crazy,” he mumbles to himself. “I’m just tired. There’s no one in there, I’m just tired, and I need a drink.”
He trudges over to where he left his bags and pulls a half-empty bottle of water out of the side pocket of his bookbag and chugs it.
With renewed vigor to get himself together and prove his sanity, he marches back to his old room and throws the door back open with a bang.
And promptly almost faints.
Because no, it wasn’t a fucked up trick of the mind. The person is still there, blinking owlishly at Yoongi. There’s an actual, real stranger in his grandparent’s house, and he has no idea what to do. He left his phone with his bags by the front door, and he has no idea what this person would try if he left to get it.
Despite his disheveled state, Yoongi can still see rigid muscles beneath the rips on the boy’s shirt. The longer he looks, the more he realizes how uneven they are in physique, and he comes to terms with the fact that if this mysterious man-boy wanted to attack him, he could do so with ease.
The boy closes his eyes in a look of concentration, brow twitching.
He could have snuck up on him and killed him and no one would have known.
Oh God .
He can feel his heart start to thud painfully and his breathing become shallow.
The boy's eyes snap open with a gasp at the distressed noise that bubbles from his throat.
He sits up and rubs at his eye. When he opens them, he looks at Yoongi in what he assumes is concern.
“O..kay?” the boy asks, crawling over to grab the cuff of Yoongi’s jeans. Yoongi snaps out of his panicked daze and lightly kicks his hand away.
So he’s not as young as Yoongi originally thought. His voice is still kind of light and airy, but it’s laced with a timbre and rasp that only comes with age.
The boy gestures vaguely to Yoongi and tries again. “Okay?”
The boy shakes his head and repeats himself.
The boy perks up a little at that but shakes his head.
Yoongi gives him a blank stare. “Huh? What are you...nae-ka?”
The boy pokes him insistently. “Oh. You . You mean me.” The boy nods vigorously.
“You...okay?” the boys asks once more, poking his own chest. “H-heart…” he stops. A furrow forms between his brows as he tries to think. “Heart thump-thump. Speed.” He looks around before his eyes land on an empty pack of Shin Ramyun on the floor. He stands up and pinches Yoongi’s cheek while looking at it. “Fac...e? Face--” he holds the empty packet to his face--”this. Face color this.”
“I’m fine,” Yoongi snaps, prying the boy’s slightly greasy fingers from his face. He guesses that’s one mystery down while thinking back to the kitchen countertop. He doesn’t even want to know what that’s about or what’s now on his face. “You just--wait. Wait, wait, wait.”
Yoongi rubs his temples.
In his life, he’s faced many bizarre situations.
Growing up on the countryside, there’s always some rumor or legend going around about some creature lurking in the night. Despite the laughter and taunts, he insists that he saw a mermaid when he went to Jeju that one time. Even in Seoul sometimes there’s no justification for some of the stuff he sees on the street, like dance full on dance offs during rush hour traffic in Kakao bodysuits. A few months ago, there was a city wide water fight. Just last week, he’d seen his rather clumsy friend shatter a glass just by breathing on it.
The point is, Yoongi’s found himself in some pretty unbelievable situations.
Having a stranger break into what’s temporarily his house and make a home in his bed?
This takes the cake.
“Jimin,” the boy suddenly says. He points to himself again. “I...I am? I am Jimin.”
Yoongi really isn’t exactly sure what he’s dealing with here.
There’s what Yoongi assumes to be a homeless person in his place of temporary residence that apparently can’t speak Korean, but can understand. To an extent. Yoongi rubs at his temples again and sinks to the floor with a sigh. He puts his face in his hands and groans.
He feels the floor thump in front of him and the boy’s small hands gently pry at his. “Okay? Are you...you fine?”
Yoongi sighs for the third time.
“Are you going to kill me?” he asks. The boy pulls his hands away and his expression is so baffled that Yoongi can’t help but laugh.
At least he’s not a serial killer.
The boy shakes his head vehemently.
“Okay. Well Jimin, goodnight then.”
Like a zombie, he stands to his feet, bows, and drags his feet to the couch in the living room.
Suddenly, he’s exhausted.
There’s no imminent threat at the moment, so he promises to himself to try to get in touch with his grandparents tomorrow. He flops on the cushions face first, and in less than a minute, he’s asleep.
For a second, he's not sure what wakes him up in the first place but the answer comes abundantly clear when he feels something wet slide down his leg. He jerks, shuddering at the slimy feeling and throws his Kumamon blanket--that he doesn't remember falling asleep with or near, now that he thinks about it--to the floor and gapes at the sight he's met with.
The boy is there, squished awkwardly between his body and the couch, curled around Yoongi's leg with his legs pulled towards his chest.
He has many questions, one being why the fuck Jimin was sleeping with him and how the hell he actually got into the house, but more of the warm wetness on his leg distracts him from shaking the boy awake and demanding answers.
Upon closer scrutiny, he gags at the realization that what's on his leg is drool coming from the boy's mouth.
Yoongi feels the steady thump thump in his chest increase at an alarming rate. Other than the fact that he feels disgusting, both from sweating under his blanket with the body heat of an entire extra person and the worrying amount of drool on his leg, he's terrified.
It didn't really sink in the night before, but there's literally a stranger in his house that he knows nothing about, including how he got here in the first place.
His stomach interrupts his thoughts and Yoongi remembers that the only thing he’s eaten is a pack of shrimp crackers and some milk tea on the train ride over. He tries his best to untangle himself from the boy-- Jimin, he reminds himself--but it’s an impossible feat. The boy has the grip of a bear.
Jimin’s eyes flutter open when Yoongi’s nudges him with his free leg and his sits up slowly. He rubs at his eyes sleepily and yawns, tongue curling and eyes watering.
Yoongi supposes he has to feed Jimin for the time being, but he has no idea how long the other has been without food and he doesn’t think the few bags of chips in his suitcase are going to do much.
When he stands up, he can feel the spit sliding down his leg and he wants to cry. He doesn’t say anything yet, goes to drag his suitcase and bag to the living room and starts sifting through the latter for his phone. When he finds it, he’s happy to see it still has charge. It’s only a little after nine, so he should be able to order takeout just fine.
He looks up the number to a Thai place he remembers enjoying a lot and orders damn near half the menu before hanging up. Jimin is peering at him quizzically and Yoongi is struck again just how dirty the boy is.
“Alright, c’mon,” Yoongi grunts, standing up. “Bath time.”
Jimin squints at him, suspicious. Yoongi rolls his eyes and beckons him once more. He doesn’t really know what his deal is. Normally if he was faced with something even remotely close to this situation Jimin would be behind bars somewhere. He definitely wouldn’t be beckoning the boy and preparing to bathe him like a child. There’s just something about him, this innocence that he can’t quite place. He seems harmless and Yoongi has never been able to be cruel to harmless things. “C’mon. You’re gross.”
Jimin huffs at him, shaggy black hair poofing with his breath. He stands and follows Yoongi into the bathroom. Yoongi explains what nobs control what and pulls out some shampoo and soap from him from underneath the sink.
“I’ll get you some clothes,” Yoongi says. Jimin may be a little shorter than him, but his legs are definitely bigger, so he doubts any of his old jeans would fit him. He ruffles through his suitcase until he finds a black t-shirt and a pair of sweats that are a bit big on him. While he’s alone, he tries to call his grandparents to no avail. He curses as he remembers that they’re somewhere in the Thai countryside right now without any service. He’ll try again in a few days.
He considers calling the police again, but when he thinks about it, Jimin hasn’t done anything aside from breaking and entering (which Yoongi still needs to ask him about). Who knows, maybe the boy was on the brink of starvation before he somehow managed to get in.
When he knocks and opens the door to the bathroom, the sight he’s met with leaves him speechless. Jimin is still in his clothes, soaking wet and covered in so many bubbles Yoongi can hardly see him. The mirror is streaked with something that doesn’t look like soap or shampoo and the nozzle is spraying more water in the air from the floor.
Jimin looks at him with a pitiful look in his eyes and Yoongi rolls his eyes. He leaves the clothes outside and drags the shower bench from the bathroom corner and sits down.
“Strip,” Yoongi says tiredly. Jimin looks confused but complies, peeling off his wet clothes and looking at Yoongi expectantly. Yoongi points to the floor between his legs and instructs him to sit, which he does immediately. He grabs the discarded bottle of shampoo from the ground and pours some into his hand.
“I shouldn’t be doing this. Why am I doing this?” he asks himself. He scrubs Jimin’s hair until the lather runs white instead of brown and dumps some conditioner on it for good measure. While he lets that sit, he gets up to find a washcloth to scrub Jimin’s back with. “Hey,” he says informally out of habit. He apologizes immediately and clears his throat. “Don’t you know how to wash yourself?”
He would usually assume that yes, Jimin should know how to wash himself because it’s the twenty-first century and clearly the boy isn’t dumb, even if he doesn’t talk well. But again, Yoongi gets another weird feeling that tells him that he doesn’t. He has a feeling that Jimin probably doesn’t know how to do a lot of things.
Jimin doesn’t answer. Yoongi sighs and sits back down. He dumps a load of soap onto the cloth and goes to town. He anticipated the amount of dirt that would be on Jimin’s body from the amount of grime in his hair, but nothing could have prepared Yoongi for the sheer amount of filth and dead skin he sees swirl down the drain. He’s glad he chose to get a heavy duty exfoliating cloth instead of a regular one. He scrubs until Jimin’s back is bright red and then goes over it again for good measure. He then moves around him to get to his arms and chest. Yoongi notices a few faded marks and a few fresh ones, but he doesn’t comment.
He doesn’t know Jimin’s circumstance, after all.
When he looks up, he sees the boy breathing softly with his eyes closed. His eyebrows raise to his hairline. “Did he fall asleep?”
Yoongi waves his hand in front of Jimin’s face and gets no response. “This brat actually fell asleep,” Yoongi says in disbelief. How he managed to fall asleep while sitting up, he has no idea, but Yoongi is mildly impressed. He decides not to disturb him, moving onto Jimin’s legs next. He avoids going too far up the spare the boy the embarrassment, but he makes sure to scrub his calves thoroughly.
“He better be grateful I’m so fucking nice,” Yoongi grumbles. When it’s all finished he rinses his hair and goes over him entirely one more time to get rid of any conditioner residue. By the time he’s finished, he’s thoroughly soaked, so he rids himself of his own clothes and makes a mad dash to the laundry room for some towels. He wraps himself in one and goes back to his suitcase to find his face products and a sheet mask for himself.
When he gets back, Jimin is still asleep, slumping over himself. Yoongi clucks his tongue and kneels in front of him, tilting his face up so that he can wash his face. It takes a few washes, but once his face is clean, Yoongi slaps some toner and moisturizer on Jimin’s face and calls it a day. His skin still looks a little dry though, so Yoongi back tracks and gets a moisturizing pack from his stash and sticks that on Jimin’s face too.
Now that he’s clean, Yoongi can see that he was correct in assuming that Jimin was old enough to be out of school, but still young all the same. He’s probably around Yoongi’s age, which only raises more questions about his background. His eyes find the fresh marks on his chest, lips pursing.
“Yo,” Yoongi calls, poking Jimin’s cheek. “Hey, Last-Name-That-I-Don’t-Know Jimin.”
Said Jimin snuffles in his sleep and his ear twitches. Yoongi arches a brow at this.
There’s still no response. Yoongi rolls his eyes when the other nuzzles his cheek into the hand cradling the side of his face. Yoongi slides his palm to Jimin’s chin and squeezes, snorting at how the boy’s lips poke out and his cheeks squish together.
“You look like a bird,” Yoongi comments, tilting his head to and fro. “A duck? Maybe a chicken?”
Jimin mumbles something unintelligible underneath his breath and turns his face away. Yoongi starts to get irritated, so he shakes him awake. Jimin awakes with a start, which Yoongi takes a second to feel bad about, and looks around the bathroom in confusion. When his eyes land on Yoongi, he wrinkles his nose cutely and grabs ahold of the edge of Yoongi’s towel. Face heating up, Yoongi clears his throat and tells him to put on the clothes outside the bathroom and goes to change into something of his own. He washes his own face in the kitchen sink and applies his mask, grabbing his wallet when the doorbell rings. When the food is paid for, Jimin steps into the living room looking shy.
When he spots Yoongi, he pads over and quietly says thanks.
Yoongi’s stomach growls when he opens the containers. He crosses to the kitchen to grab two sets of utensils, and after sitting down, begins eating. After a few minutes, he notices that Jimin isn’t eating. He looks over the find the other staring through his bangs, eyes following the food from the container until it reaches Yoongi’s mouth.
“Are you gonna eat?” Yoongi asks. Jimin startles and looks at him with wide eyes.
“I eat?” he asks, looking at the food. Yoongi nods.
“I can eat,” Yoongi corrects casually. He can feels Jimin’s eyes on him so he explains. “The correct way to say it is ‘I can eat.’ Not ‘I eat.’”
“Oh,” Jimin mumbles. “I can eat?”
“Much better,” Yoongi acknowledges. He pushes the chopsticks and spoon closer to Jimin. “Now here. I can’t finish his by myself.”
Yoongi has been in Daegu for a few days when he decides that he should probably get some work done. He’s already ordered groceries for the week and they’d been delivered the day before. The day before that was spent cleaning and reorganizing his old room with a sheepish Jimin offering to help. Yoongi declined, preferring to just do it himself but he warned Jimin that he’d kill him if he messed it up again. The boy had agreed with wide eyes and Yoongi suppressed the urge to laugh in his face.
Even though he’s supposed to be taking it easy, he doesn’t want to worry about rushing the track when he gets back, so some things have to be compromised.
When he opens his laptop he sees a few well wishing emails from colleagues at the company which make him smile. The onslaught of encouragements and praise help to somewhat ease the bitter feeling that’s been brewing in his chest.
He’s doing fine and well until he gets a call from one of the others. He debates declining because he already knows that as soon as he picks up the phone he’s gonna spill everything he’s been bottling up since arriving and that wouldn’t be very fun for anyone.
But if he declines the call, he doesn’t doubt that they’d somehow accomplish the impossible and have someone out here in an hour, fearing the worst. With a begrudging sigh, he answers. He goes through the motions of greetings and jokes and ‘no of course I don’t miss you’s that he really doesn’t mean at all. Then, comes the annoying bit.
Yoongi doesn’t really understand why he’s here.
Logically, he knows why he’s here, but not why he’s...here?
He just doesn’t understand why he had to travel four hours just to quote-unquote de-stress and heal. If he’s being honest, it kind of feels like he’s being exiled. Yes, he knows he fucked up, but did they really have to ship him off to the middle of nowhere?
Okay he takes that back, he’s had some extremely fond memories in his grandparent’s old house. But he just doesn’t think that diagnosing someone with chronic depression and then sticking them in a remote location is the best plan of action. To each his own, he guesses.
He’s aware that he could’ve said no. He’s an adult perfectly capable of making decisions for himself, but maybe some selfish part of him actually wanted to get away. The only upside to this is that people would be visiting him in a few weeks.
“ Why are you making it sound like someone put you in an asylum somewhere? You can still come back any time ,” Seokjin argues.
Technically that did actually happen, but details.
“Of course I know that, but still,” Yoongi whines, closing his laptop and setting it down on the cushion next to him. He leans back into the old couch in the living room and looks outside. He’s silent for a moment while gathering his thoughts. “I just don’t think this is helping,” he admits quietly. His lips purse involuntarily as he continues. “I got sad, took some pills, got sent somewhere and took more pills and now it’s like I’m being sent off so no one has to deal with me.”
“ That’s not what we meant when we suggested this. You can’t actually think that, ” Seokjin pleads, hurt.
“Can’t help how I feel, hyung.”
“Look. It’s not like you’re some trigger happy psychopath. You just had some...issues. You’re a lot better now, so don’t put yourself down like you’ve made no progress. ”
“Well I guess if things suddenly got bad I could do anything and no one would know, so there’s that.”
“ Don’t joke about that ,” Seokjin scolds tersely. Yoongi mumbles a quick apology and his friend sighs. “ We just want you to get to a place where you’re alright. ”
Yoongi shifts his weight a little and listens to the clanging noise from the other end. Seokjin must be getting ready to make something to eat, he muses.
“You guys keep saying that, but I was fine before.”
“ Fine people don’t try to kill themselves, Yoongi. ”
And he doesn’t really know what to say to that.
He’s fine. I was a little less fine before, but he’s a lot better now. He just wishes that the people around him would believe him when he stresses it.
The silence is on its way to becoming unbearable when Jimin emerges from the hallway. He’s still wearing Yoongi’s clothes and he gives a shy smile when their eyes meet. Yoongi’s eyes follow Jimin as he walks closer and settles on the floor at Yoongi’s feet. He does that a lot.
Yoongi completely forgot that he was temporarily housing a homeless man. Honestly, he’s surprised that he hasn’t had a complete meltdown over it yet. He’s still deciding on what to do with Jimin, if he’s being honest. Does he let him stay? If he does, how long will that work out? His grandparents have to come back sometime. What then?
“ Yoongi? ” Seokjin’s worried voice calls. Yoongi clears his throat.
“Sorry, hyung. Thinking,” is his stilted reply because for some reason his vocabulary fails him. “Listen, I have something to take care of. I’ll call you back later.”
There’s the beginning of a protest forming, but Yoongi hangs up before he can hear it out. He tosses his phone somewhere to his left and he doesn’t hear the crack of it against the floor so he’s satisfied.
“So, Last-Name-That-I-Still-Don’t-Know Jimin. What’s your deal?” Yoongi asks, leaning forward. He props his elbows up on his knees and laces his fingers together, setting his chin on the digits carefully. “Why are you in this house?”
JImin bites his lip at this and Yoongi sighs. He doesn’t appreciate the melancholy look on Jimin’s face, if he’s honest. Yoongi doesn’t owe him anything, but he decides to be nice.
“Too soon? Okay. How old are you?”
Jimin looks stuck, like he wants to answer but he doesn’t know how. Yoongi blindly reaches out for his discarded phone and pulls up the calendar app. He goes to the listings by year and turns the screen so Jimin can see. He crowds in close, nose almost touching the screen.
“Do you know what year?”
Jimin nods hesitantly and taps the screen a few times. When Yoongi inspects it, he sees that Jimin not only chose the year, but the date as well.
“October 13, 1995. I’m your hyung then,” Yoongi muses outloud. Jimin blinks at him. Yoongi nods. “Okay. What’s your last name?”
Jimin blinks again.
Jimin shakes his head.
“Gang?” No. “Yu?” Nope. “Jung? Jeon? Im? Han? Bang?” No, no, no, and no.
Yoongi doesn’t understand why Jimin won’t just tell him his last name. Maybe he has some sordid past that he’s afraid of Yoongi trying to find. Well, even if Yoongi did care enough to do that, Jimin is way too common of a name to go off of.
“Park. I am Park,” Jimin corrects after a good minute of this. Yoongi feels dumb. Of course it would be the most common last name in South Korea. Of course .
The silence stretches on and Jimin fidgets. Yoongi takes note of how the other squirms under his gaze, clearly having something else to say.
“Ask what you want to ask, you’re giving me anxiety from looking at you.”
Jimin fiddles with the hem of Yoongi’s borrowed shirt before speaking.
“Name,” he mumbles after a moment. Yoongi arches a brow. Jimin makes a noise of frustration, lips pursing together. He struggles for a minute, but eventually asks, “I am Jimin. Who...who are you?”
“Yoongi,” Jimin repeats to himself, quiet as if it’s something precious to preserve.
Three days later and Min Yoongi still doesn’t know what to do about a certain Park Jimin. They’ve kind of gotten used to each other, so there’s that. There’s no more suffocating silence most of the time.
Despite that, except for the few things he’d managed to weasel out of the boy, his circumstance is still a mystery. Yoongi doesn’t want to be rude and just outright ask why the boy’s presumably without anywhere to stay. He has some tact.
Yoongi studies Jimin quietly. The boy is settled in his usual place with his head propped in his hands. He hums something underneath his breath and kicks his feet in the air, eye entranced a drama on the TV Yoongi decided to turn on earlier.
Jimin looked like he’d seen sorcery when the picture came to life. He made some sort of high pitched squawking noise and all but threw Yoongi behind him. Yoongi was stunned to say the least, by the sudden movement and by the low... growl coming from Jimin’s throat. Yoongi put two and two together and came to the conclusion that either Jimin had been removed from civilization for quite a long time or that he’d never seen a TV before. He quickly settled on the first, seeing as the second was virtually impossible.
He scrunches his nose up at the memory. Strange.
Jimin is a very strange person indeed, Yoongi has noticed over the past few days of his stay.
He’s generally quiet, but Yoongi has a feeling that it has more to do with his inability to communicate more than his actual personality. He does definitely have a shy streak, if the way he behaves whenever Yoongi addresses him is any indicator.
Jimin also has a particularly strong set of ears. It seems like the faintest of sounds draw his attention. When Yoongi calls, Jimin is always there before he can utter the first syllable of his name. Not like Jimin has to travel particularly far in order to reach him, seeing as he follows him from room to room like a lost puppy. He’s even tried to follow him into the bathroom, which... no .
He sleeps sprawled out on his stomach with his arm drawn close to his face. He also likes to sleep on the floor for some strange reason, and even if they fall asleep in different places, he’ll always wake up with Jimin somewhere almost uncomfortably close to him.
Jimin is helpless to wash himself, cook for himself, and clean up after himself. Whenever Yoongi leaves, even if it’s just to take out the garbage, he always comes back to Jimin loitering by the door. If Yoongi didn’t know any better, he’d think he was taking care of a pet.
He also has a strange attachment to Yoongi’s clothes. He’d dug out some of his older ones, thinking they’d fit Jimin better seeing as his shoulders weren’t as broad when he was younger, but Jimin had just stared at him strangely before tugging a black t-shirt out of his suitcase with a sheepish smile. Yoongi would think maybe Jimin is fascinated with the brand, but Jimin doesn’t strike him as one to be obsessed with expensive things. It’s just like how he insists on using Yoongi’s soap despite it drying out his skin.
Once again, he wonders why he’s basically taking care of a stranger who he knows virtually nothing about. He wonders why he’s allowing Jimin to stay. Yoongi isn’t built for looking after other people. At least not in the literal sense. But there’s just something . Something in the way Jimin seems like he’s seen a lot of shit with the forlorn look he gets sometimes, with the way he’ll tense up in his sleep as if remembering something awful. But at the same time, he has this naivety about him, in the way he perks up at every new thing he sees on the TV, at how he smiles at butterflies through the window of Yoongi’s old bedroom, at how he laughs happily whenever soap bubbles on his skin.
Jimin intrigues Yoongi. Maybe it’s because of their close proximity for the majority of the time, but he can’t seem to shake his fascination. He always finds his thoughts straying to the boy and finds himself dreaming up crazy origin scenarios of how he ended up with Yoongi of all people.
Maybe he notices all of these things because of his career. He writes songs drawn from experience. He observes, records, and transforms. Maybe it’s become a habit to pay attention to every little detail around him. He thinks it’s maybe beyond that, though. He doesn’t know.
Jimin’s eyes widen at a CF for orange Fanta playing, his round eyes darting across the screen to take in every detail of the bright colors and catchy music.
Yes, Yoongi is intrigued. It kind of scares him, because he hasn’t been intrigued in a long time. He’s a little bit scared and a little bit excited to see what’s to come from this. He can’t wait to find out.
Yoongi notices that Jimin crowds awfully close to the TV once he starts paying attention.
“Jimin-ah, come back here. It’s bad for your eyes to sit so close to the screen,” Yoongi calls.
Jimin scoots back with a pout and Yoongi leaves it at that. He doesn’t notice that Jimin’s been steadily creeping closer and closer to the TV again until he looks up from his laptop. He sucks his teeth and tells Jimin to come back again. Jimin turns to him with a thoroughly chastised frown and scoots back once more. It’s not until he looks up from his laptop to see Jimin inches away from the TV screen again that he snaps.
He closes his computer roughly and stomps over to the other boy, taking him by the collar of his Supreme shirt and dragging him backwards towards the couch. Jimin stumbles to his feet in surprise but follows anyway. Belatedly, he realizes that he’s being really fucking extra about this, but he really doesn’t like being ignored and they’re already here and there’s no going back.
“Yah,” he hisses. “Did you hear me? Do I need to turn it off?”
Jimin swallows and bites his lip. He squints at Yoongi, which is another thing he does a lot, and shakes his head no and Yoongi sighs. He lets go of Jimin with a sigh and rubs the back of his neck. He looks like a kicked puppy and Yoongi suddenly feels awful. His entire demeanor went from surprise to dejected in two seconds flat.
“Sorry. I don’t know why I’m so mad. It’s fine, you can go back to what you were doing.”
Jimin looks up at Yoongi with earnest eyes that are slightly unfocused.
“Okay,” he says quietly. Yoongi pats his head with a slightly awkward smile and Jimin closes his eyes at the touch. He really likes it when Yoongi does that.
He reaches out to put a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder but he misses. He looks down at the point of missed contact with a frown. He squints and tries again, making contact and oh . Yoongi gets it.
“Jimin,” Yoongi says. Yoongi hums in the back of his throat and looks at Yoongi again, his slightly unfocused eyes flicking across his face. “Can you...can you see?”
Jimin nods slowly, obviously confused.
“No, I mean can you see me clearly? Can you see my phone?” Yoongi asks, pointing to the kitchen table behind him, where his phone lies.
Jimin squints at his face again and shakes his head no.
And that’s how they find themselves at an optometrist in the city the next day. He had to find a clinic that allowed him to pay out of pocket seeing as Jimin doesn’t know any of his information which was a hassle in and of itself, not to mention the actual cost of the visit. Yoongi wears a face mask just in case he’s recognized and Jimin sits next to him, looking around in wonder. He can’t believe he's going so far out of his way right now.
“Jimin-ah,” Yoongi mumbles. As usual, Jimin was already turning toward him before he was finished saying his name, a questioning look on his face. “Let’s make sure you know what’s going to happen.”
Jimin nods with a small smile and Yoongi would be lying if he said it wasn’t at least a little cute. “Okay. Remember what I said: you’re my cousin and you have a cold, so you lost your voice. He’s gonna put your face in a machine and ask which number is more clear. You remember the symbols, right?”
Jimin dutifully holds up one finger, then two. Yoongi nods. “Good. Let me do the rest of the talking, okay?”
“Okay,” Jimin answers quietly.
Yoongi sighs. He must be losing his mind.
One doctor’s visit and contact prescription later, they find themselves in a salon because Yoongi noticed that Jimin’s hair falls too far into his eyes and he kept having to push it out of the way with his hands.
He tries to reason with himself by saying he has more than enough money to be doing these things. Good Karma, and all that shit. Be he knows that even if he wasn’t himself, this would all be a little strange.
He’s hopelessly endeared when Jimin falls asleep when the stylist runs her fingers through his hair during the consultation.
Yes, Yoongi’s definitely losing his mind.
A day after Jimin gets his contacts, he asks Yoongi to teach him how to write. They’re sat at the small table in the corner of the kitchen, Yoongi jotting down the finishing touches to the lyrics for a new song which Jimin watches him silently.
At first, he’s stunned. He doesn’t know why he assumed that Jimin already knew how to read and write, but he guesses he can see how he wouldn’t be able to. Speaking follows reading and writing follows speaking. Jimin obviously doesn’t speak well. If Yoongi teaches Jimin how to write, he’ll undoubtedly end up teaching him how to read and speak as well. Yoongi doesn’t think he’s the right person to ask for this job, though. Yoongi talks like he’s in a perpetual state of being slightly drunk on a good day.
“Uh,” he says dumbly. Jimin looks at him with bright, expectant eyes and Yoongi hates himself. He always was a sucker for cute things. When he nods, the dazzling smile that takes over Jimin’s face nearly blinds him, and he has to look down so that the other won’t notice the heat creeping up his cheeks.
“Are you okay?” Jimin’s suddenly asking, crowding into Yoongi’s space. His Korean has improved greatly over the last few days, and it makes Yoongi just a tiny bit proud. He’s been pushing Jimin to speak more and--wait.
He blinks and realizes that Jimin literally la unched himself onto the table somehow, his chair having fallen on the ground in his transition. He sits on his haunches on the table’s surface, leaned down to reach Yoongi’s level. His tiny hands grasp Yoongi’s cheeks and bring their faces closer together. The lingering warmth seeping into his cheeks from Jimin’s palms doesn’t really help the flush in them fade.
Jimin’s face is pinched in worry and he crowds closer, inspecting Yoongi closely.
“My heart. It’s beating so fast,” Jimin whispers.
“Your*,” Yoongi corrects just as quietly, a habit at this point.
“Oh. Your heart is fast. Are you okay?”
Yoongi is mortified. He wonders if Jimin can feel his pulse through the contact on his skin. He knows Jimin has good ears. Is he close enough to hear his heartbeat at this proximity? Oh god .
Jimin falters at his lack of answer. “Yoongi?”
Yoongi clears his throat softly and gently leans back, away from Jimin’s touch. “I’m fine. Sorry.”
Jimin studies his face for a few moments longer. He eventually gives in with a small okay, thank you and climbs off the table to go back to his seat.
Yoongi releases a shaky breath.
“ Digeut . You’re putting too much stress on the first part. It’s like a mix of thee and dee. Try again.”
Yoongi shakes his head and explains, “No. You’re using ㅜ instead of ㅡ. * Eu , not oo.”
“ Di-geut? Digeut .”
“Good job, Jimin-ah! You’re really smart, you know?”
He reaches over to tousle Jimin’s hair and then smooth the hairs down. Jimin bites his lip and looks down at his lap. a pink tinged smile taking over his face.
Yoongi has become used to Jimin’s company.
Which is saying a lot because Yoongi isn’t the most tactile person there ever was and Jimin probably proudly holds that title in his little paw like hands. He’s not completely opposed to it, but he’s usually not the one initiating the contact either.
But now he’s come to crave the touch. He often finds himself reaching out for Jimin more than the boy reaches out for him which is--
It’s weird is what it is.
He doesn’t like it. He hates not knowing what the hell is going on in his head.
He doesn’t even know Jimin, not really. he doesn’t know where he’s from or how he likes his gimbap or what his favorite song is. Does Jimin even like music? He better, with how often he hogs the TV to watch dances on music shows.
“Yoongi,” Jimin says. They’re in Yoongi’s old room. He’s curled around a pillow somewhere near the end of the bed while Yoongi is propped on the wall near the top. It’s hot today, so they’re both clad in loose shirts and shorts, Yoongi’s basketball and Jimin’s a pair of oversized boxers that Yoongi got for him when they went out.
Jimin discards his pillow and shuffles closer until he can hook a finger in the cuff of Yoongi’s sock. It tickles so Yoongi kicks lightly at his arm with his other foot to retaliate. “Can we switch shirts?”
Huh. That’s an odd request.
“Why? I gave you a clean one,” Yoongi drawls. His back is starting to hurt from leaning against the wall, so he slides down until he’s on his back and he can look at the ceiling. He hears some shuffling and feels the bed dip repeatedly, but he ignores it. He’ll let Jimin do whatever Jimin does.
A black shadow blocks Yoongi’s view and he quickly sees that it’s just Jimin’s hair. Following that realization, it also comes to his attention that the room feels a few degrees warmer. Something soft and warm brushes against his bare leg. It’s Jimin’s bare leg.
It takes a second, but Yoongi notices that Jimin is shirtless.
“Please?” Jimin begs, and something soft brushes against Yoongi’s cheek. It’s the shirt Jimin was wearing just a minute ago.
Jimin looks away at this, avoiding Yoongi’s gaze.
“Please?” he asks again.
“ Why? ” Yoongi demands. “I just gave you that shirt an hour ago, why do you need mine?”
“That’s how I feel.”
Yoongi furrows his brow in confusion. “How you feel about what?*”
Jimin shakes his head. “No, that’s how I feel. I like this color more.”
Yoongi blinks. “You mean you want this one?”
“Jimin-ah, that’s not an answer,” Yoongi sighs.
“It is, it’s just not one that you want to hear,” Jimin rebuts, and Yoongi is really regretting him watch so much TV. It’s made him snarky.
Yoongi closes his eyes and concedes. Jimin yanks him to sit upright and all but yanks his shirt over his head, which Yoongi only takes a second to feel flustered about, and goes to the corner of the room to change. Yoongi looks away out of courtesy and tugs the shirt Jimin was wearing over his own head.
There’s a strange sound, like someone is breathing hard, and Yoongi looks over to see Jimin with the shirt raised to his nose. Is he... sniffing Yoongi’s shirt? Jimin is so weird . Yoongi knows Jimin is a little different, but he’s just weird sometimes, okay?
If he was going to check to see if it smelled alright, he should have kept the clean shirt, Yoongi thinks to himself. What the hell .
Jimin does whatever it is that Jimins do, Yoongi guesses.
Sometimes Yoongi has bad days. It’s expected, seeing as he’s a fucking loser that can’t keep his head straight long enough to be considered a functioning member of society, but whatever.
He’s kept true to his promise and has called the rest of the guys at least once, so at least he has that to be proud of.
He’d also spent the day writing and managed to write a pretty good song, so there’s that too.
(Jimin spent the entire day hovering over him worriedly, undoubtedly able to sense the shift in his mood. Yoongi just waved him off, though.)
Yoongi’s outside taking a walk because Taehyung’s effective “Stop being gross and go outside!” actually motivated him to get off his ass. Min Yoongi is not gross, thank you very much. Seokjin also said he’s probably so down because of his lack of fresh air and Yoongi’s tired of feeling like shit, so.
The moon is high in the sky and the stars twinkle prettily overhead. Too bad the trees block out most of it. The moon is bright enough that small streaks of light break through the cracks of the canopy, so it’s not too terrible.
He left Jimin at the house, the other having fallen asleep earlier in the day at the kitchen table. Thanks to the absolutely wonderful geography of where his grandparents used to live, his only options are either walking to the nearest city or exploring the forest he’s surrounded by. Yoongi, being the lazy ass that he is, chose the latter. He wonders if Jimin would enjoy going on walks. He seems like the type.
“God, how did they not get sick of this?” Yoongi asks himself after he walks into the third spider web in a row. Well, he supposes they did actually, since they live in the city now.
So far, he’s not impressed. Yoongi doesn’t understand the hype behind nature walks. All that happens is you get sweaty, covered in cobwebs, and eaten alive by bugs no matter how much bug spray you put on. Plus, he’s pretty sure he’s already lost and it’s only been twenty minutes.
That’s what Yoongi gets for going on a sudden walk in the middle of the night.
But Yoongi is a night owl at heart, so did he really have any choice?
He needs a little bit of time to himself sometimes.
Today was just a shitty day. He woke up feeling wrong , like he was two seconds away from screaming and banging his head against a wall. He’s been short with Jimin all day for no reason, almost yelling at the poor kid because his water bottle made noise when he threw it in the trash. He feels terrible, because it’s not Jimin’s fault that he gets like this. He has his high days and his low days, and today is just a low day.
He finds himself thinking about the past. Feelings that he’s worked a long time to suppress bubble to the surface, dragging him under and suffocating him. He doesn’t know why he’s feeling like this now of all times, when he’s in a better place and doing well, but that’s life for you.
Yoongi wants to talk to someone.
He really wants to talk to someone and have them calm him down, but he knows that if he were to take his phone out and dial one of his friends, they’d overreact and assume the worst. He can’t even blame them for expecting so little of him, given his past behavior.
“What are you doing, Min Yoongi?” he whispers into the quiet of the night. At some point, he’d stopped walking, so he’s stuck staring at the tips of his now dirty boots. Yoongi kind of wants to cry. And sleep. Definitely sleep.
He rubs at his eyes with the back of his sleeve and blinks away the tears before they can form. God, what’s wrong with him today?
“Get it together,” he hisses. “You’re a grown man, Min Yoongi. Stop crying, Min Yoongi.”
Leaves rustle to his left, but Yoongi pays them no mind. He’s in a forest and animals exist.
They rustle again, but closer this time. Yoongi takes a deep breath and turns his head. He’s on a trail and there haven’t been any truly threatening species around here for a long time, but Yoongi would prefer to know if he’s about to be attacked by a rabid squirrel.
He can’t see anything, so he takes out his phone and turns on the flashlight just to be safe. When he waves it to the space he was just looking, he sees a flash of something furry scramble further into the woods. Yoongi shrugs and leaves it be. It’s probably a rabbit or something.
“Maybe I should go back,” Yoongi mumbles to himself as he realizes the wood around him look less familiar than they did before. He turns on his heel and begins the trek in what he hopes is the right direction to get back to the house, but more rustling makes him pause.
It’s probably just the same animal it was before, curious at seeing a person in its territory. But every time Yoongi walks, the rustling starts and when he stops, it’s silent. He’s starting to get a little freaked out.
He whips out his phone again and swipes it in a wide arc as soon as he turns the light on. There’s nothing there. But the rustling doesn’t stop, and like when he first arrived in Daegu, there’s a prickling sensation that makes him think he’s being watched. No, he knows he’s being watched.
A shudder works its way from his shoulders to the base of his spine and he can feel his muscles tense, ready to run.
A faint paranoia begins to settle in his veins, making his shoulders tense and his hair stand on end. He's being watched. Something has him in its sights, tracking his every move.
The rustling sounds again and Yoongi starts, dropping his onto the ground and pressing down the urge to shriek.
There's a voice in the back of his head telling him to run, run back into his the house as fast as he can and lock the door tight. But Yoongi doesn’t know where he is and he doesn’t think he can outrun whatever it is if it wants to hurt him.
His anxiety is at an all-time high, heart pounding at a breakneck pace in his chest. His palms are clammy and cold, and the slight breeze doesn't really help much.
Yoongi hardly ever goes outside just for the fun of it, but of course Yoongi would out in the middle of nowhere at ass o'clock in the morning that's absent of any people when he needs them.
He drops to the ground to feel around for his phone, because it fell on the back and the light is covered. When he finds it and jumps to his feet, he falls right back to the ground on his ass.
There’s something there. There’s something there . He can’t see it clearly because the flashlight is pointed at his chin and the light washes out any details he can make out. What he can make out is a large figure looming a few yards away.
His own breath fades when he hears the harsh panting of the other’s.
He can only make a choked off whimper in the back of his throat when it takes a step forward.
Quickly, he flips his phone around so the light hits the animal, and he almost faints.
There, in front of him, is a wolf. A huge wolf, grand and black as the night sky, and much larger than any wolf he’s ever seen at the zoo, with near-frightening focus on Yoongi.
“Oh shit .”
His eyes widen and his voice fizzles out. The wolf regards him curiously, and takes a step forward. Yoongi uses his legs to push him back a few feet, and the wolf stops.
Slowly, Yoongi brings the light further up. It reflects and catches on the wolf’s eyes, making them shine a bright gold, its pupils glowing silver. The wolf looks away at the harsh light, taking a step back, and Yoongi takes the chance.
It’s probably the fastest he’s ever moved in his life, but he jumps up and takes off, away from the wolf and whatever danger it brings. It’s probably a really bad idea to run from a wild animal and whoever hosts Discovery Channel Korea is probably shitting themselves at Yoongi’s stupidity, but he’s kind of really fucking terrified and any rational thought flies out of the window at the prospect of being mauled by an angry wolf.
He can hear the wolf take chase behind him, and shit, no, fuck .
Are there even fucking wolves in Daegu ?
Yoongi comes to terms with the fact that he’s probably gonna die.
Fuck, he’s gonna die in the middle of a forest in Daegu. His grandparents are going to have to find him, ripped to shreds by a wolf.
His legs hurt from the repeated motion of slamming his feet into the ground for so long and he actually can’t breathe, but he doesn’t want to take his chances and test fate right now.
His arm whacks against a tree trunk and he screams at the searing pain, but he keeps running. He has to be careful not to trip over any branched because Yoongi really can’t afford to fall. There’s sweat falling into his eyes and his vision is starting to shake and he still has no fucking idea of where he is, but he has to keep going.
His body is rattled when he slams into something, sending him and it falling backwards. He lands on his back with a worrying smack! and it fucking hurts , god it hurts so much, his back is on fire and he can’t breathe, there’s a heavy weight on his chest and hot breaths hitting his face but he has to get back up--
For a moment, he’s petrified. He worries that the wolf caught up to him and cornered from the front.
He thinks he’s going to die.
But then there are hands on his face and a voice in his ear, Yoongi, Yoongi please, I’m sorry, Yoongi are you okay?
And Yoongi knows that voice, it’s Jimin , which is great because that means he’s close to home.
“Ji--Jimin--” he manages to gasp out. “Shit, c’mon we have to go! It’s coming, it’ll kill us, come on --”
He shoves Jimin away so that he can get to his feet and drag Jimin up with him. They have to hurry, before it catches up with them--
“Yoongi,” Jimin says. He holds firm when Yoongi tugs him and Yoongi turns to him with wild eyes.
“C’mon Jimin, we have to hurry--”
“It’s gone,” Jimin interrupts. “It’s not here anymore.”
Yoongi frowns and looks around, and like Jimin says, there’s no sign of the wolf. He doesn’t see anything. But that doesn’t mean anything, it could be lurking in the shadows, waiting for them to let their guard down before it strikes.
“Yoongi,” Jimin calls again. He steps closer and grabs Yoongi’s face, forces them to make eye contact. Jimin looks disheveled, his clothes are wrinkled and thrown on carelessly and his face is streaked with dirt, his hair sticking up at odd angles. He breathes in, then out, then in, then out. Yoongi finds himself to match the cadence of his breaths, and he sighs softly. “It’s gone. I promise it’s not here anymore.”
“How do you know?” Yoongi asks, voice cracking.
“It’s not here,” Jimin repeats.
“ How do you know? ”
“It’s not here. I’m here,” Jimin soothes. He pulls Yoongi in for a hug, avoiding the shoulder he hit. Yoongi doesn’t know how he knows, but he knows. “I’m sorry. I’m here.”
“Okay,” Yoongi whispers. “I was so scared .” He buries his face into Jimin’s neck and tries not to cry.
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Ji-Jimin,” Yoongi sobs.
“It’s okay. I have crabs.”
Yoongi lets a helpless laugh escape. “ Ne -ga. Not ge-ga.”
“Oops. It’s okay. I have you, please don’t be scared.”
Yoongi’s breath catches on an inhale and he nods. “Okay. How did you find me?”
“You were gone for a long time. Of course I had to find you,” Jimin answers. Yoongi doesn’t question it and nods.
He lets Jimin lead them back to the house, their fingers intertwined.