Actions

Work Header

witchcraft

Work Text:

“But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince



PART I
Winter

 

Yoongi looks into the dark depths of his mug, the liquid inside almost black, thick as tar and so steamy his glasses fog up. It smells like death too, which doesn’t really help him believe it’s supposed to be a healing potion. It looks disgusting.

“It looks disgusting,” Yoongi says, raising his eyebrow when one of the biggest bubbles that formed on the surface pops.

His voice, too low and raspy because of  his stuffy nose and sore throat, sounds funny even to himself. Especially, when his ears feel like someone stuck a good amount of cotton into them. Everything’s muffled, too hot and too gross in general. He doesn’t deserve any of this runny nose, teary eyes and sore muscles nonsense.

“Insult my work again and you can be sure that this is the last time I’m saving your sorry ass.”

Hoseok’s hand touches his forehead and it’s so warm Yoongi wants to push it away. He still can’t figure out the magic running through Hoseok’s veins that makes him so disgustingly warm and cold-resistant. Lucky bastard.

“You still have a fever,” he says, drawing his hand away. He looks at it for a second with mild disgust before wiping it off on his shirt. “And you’re getting even more sweaty. Nice. Drink it all up. I’m not going to lie, it tastes like shit. But you will feel better after like ten minutes. Maybe fifteen.”

“Are you sure you didn’t mess something up like last time?”

“I said sorry, okay? Besides, we both know you looked awesome with that beard. You’re just too shy to admit it.”

“I’ll call you next time I want to grow a tail or something.”

There are a few soap bubble looking thingies with tiny flames inside of them floating around the room. Yoongi still doesn’t know what their purpose is but Hoseok insists on creating them every time he visits. He says they’re cute and lift the mood up. Which is fair. Until you accidentally run into one of them with your face. Definitely less cute.

They light up a little bit brighter when Hoseok laughs.

“I always forget that you’re an asshole when you’re sick,” Hoseok says, putting on his jacket. He probably doesn’t even need it when his body is enough to keep him warm. “Are you sure you’ll be fine? You better be because I don’t want to stay here for the night. Your place is too gloomy during winter.”

“It’s lovely,” Yoongi sniffs. “I’m offended.”

There really is something lovely about his house when you look past dark colors and old, squeaky floors. But the most important element of it is the view that welcomes Yoongi every morning. The forest, with tall trees, now covered with snow, white, sparkling and beautiful. With chirping birds during the day and howling wolves at night. With paths of Yoongi’s steps. Calm, yet buzzing with life all around him.

“Whatever you say. Let me know if you’re feeling better. Or if you grew an extra pair of limbs.” Yoongi catches a glimpse of Hoseok’s grin before it disappears under his scarf.

The wooden floor creaks under Hoseok’s steps when he makes his way out of Yoongi’s bedroom and downstairs. Yoongi finishes his drink in one single and disgusting gulp and sighs. He curls into a small ball of fatigue and grumpiness, deciding it’s high time for a well deserved nap.

There’s the sound of soft paws against the floor and Yoongi feels Cat jumping onto the bed. She takes her time to make herself comfortable, picking a place right next to Yoongi’s stomach and bumps his hand with her head impatiently.

“Okay, okay,” Yoongi mutters as he starts to pet her. “Happy now?”

He takes her purring as yes.

Cat is not exactly Yoongi’s cat. Still, she became a small part of his life, even though he suspects she likes the food and a warm place to sleep more than him. Her fur, black from the tip of nose to the end of tail, would make her a perfect cat for a witch. Except from those two white socks on her front paws. She walks a little bit funny and a scar on her ear feels rough, but it’s nothing compared to the mess of broken bones that she was when Yoongi found her.

Yoongi is almost drifting off when Cat raises her head abruptly. His eyes flutter open.

The lights floating around the room flicker one, two, three times. They change color too, from orange to red to purple and then, the bubbles protecting the lights pop, pop, pop , disappear. Yoongi sits up straight, feeling something dark and uncomfortable twisting in his stomach.

The doors downstairs creaks open loudly.

“You better come here and see this. Quick.”

Hearing Hoseok’s voice, even though it’s shaky, makes Yoongi calm down a bit. He swallows the beginning of panic that had started to crawl up his throat and climbs off the bed.

“Don’t tell me you got scared by the darkness again,” he says as he’s walking down the stairs but seeing Hoseok’s eyes makes him shut up.

Yoongi follows him outside, where the air is so cold he can feel it in his bones. It fills his lungs and he smells winter and ice and blood soaking into freshly fallen snow. There’s something lying on a ground, just a few steps away. Something big, dark and breathing.

“Is that…” Hoseok starts.

“A wolf.”

“They’re extremely rare around my place. I’ve never even seen one. Have you?”

“Heard, yes. First time seeing one, though,” Yoongi answers. He’s already walking towards it, ignoring Hoseok’s frightened babbling.

The outline of its body keeps moving with every shallow breath, up and down, up and down, shaky, painful gasps disturbing the night’s silence. Six white puffs of air escaping its slightly opened mouth before Yoongi is kneeling next to it. It feels his presence and growls then, but it’s too weak to be an actual threat.

Yoongi reaches out, puts his hands on the wound running across its stomach, the skin cut open and fur stuck together by warm blood. He can feel it’s shaking under his fingertips.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he whispers.

He presses both of his hands more firmly to its body and closes his eyes. Takes in a deep breath, holds it in and then lets it out, whispering a spell so quietly, only he can hear it. His hands, tongue and lips move easily, remembering all previous times he’s done it. He feels the familiar sensation of skin closing under his fingers, smells blood drying from its skin, hears its whimpers getting quieter, breath becoming more steady.

The spell is over and Yoongi feels breathless. He opens his eyes, his eyelids heavy and vision blurry. He forces himself to move and manages to stand up, the whole world spinning around him. It feels like his legs may give out, his knees suddenly too weak to hold his weight. He tries to swallow a heavy wave of nausea and stumbles but manages to catches his balance before falling down. Breathes in and out. And once again, in and out, until the cold air clears his mind and sharpen his senses.

“Are you alright?” Hoseok’s voice seems so far away.

“I’m fine,” he calls back, clenching his fists to stop his blood-stained fingers from shaking. “Help me take him inside.”





“Are you sure you’re going be okay?” Hoseok looks over Yoongi’s shoulder at the wolf lying on the floor next to the fireplace. “He’s huge.”

Yoongi snorts. He’s looking through a shelf packed with colorful little bottles, to find a proper potion.

“This overgrown puppy? I’ve dealt with worse things. Besides,” he takes a closer look at one bottle, squinting his eyes to read the name written on a label, “I took care of most of his injuries. I just need to knock him out with something for the night and he’ll be gone by morning.”

Hoseok furrows, his lips pressed together with doubt. “Looks more like a young male thirsty for blood than a puppy to me.”

“You’re too dramatic,” Yoongi laughs. “Go home, Hoseok. Your townspeople are going to miss you.”

“They can survive one day without me.”

Yoongi inspects another bottle, the one he’s been looking for. It’s purple, the liquid inside sparkling like little galaxy. “You sure? Last time didn’t end too well.”

Hoseok sighs. “Fine. Just… take care of yourself.”

“You know I always do.”

“Yeah. That’s why I’m worried.” Hoseok takes one last look at the animal and Yoongi notices hesitation in his eyes.

“Nothing from this forest has ever hurt me,” Yoongi says. “And he won’t either. Go home now.”





Yoongi sits next to the wolf, inspecting him before he reaches out to run a hand through his black, tangled fur. The wolf opens his eyes, just barely but wide enough for Yoongi to see the brown of his irises and gold of fire reflecting into them. His gaze stays unfocused, looking at something in the distance.  

“I want you to drink this,” Yoongi says, opening the bottle. “It’ll help you sleep and you won’t feel pain tomorrow morning.”

He drinks it all up in a few, small, slow gulps. Yoongi keeps petting him until he closes his eyes and his breathing grows deep and steady.  

“Thanks for not being difficult.”

When Yoongi’s sure he’s asleep, he stands up and starts to make his way out of the room.

He stops, though. Turns back. Takes a blanket from a couch and covers the wolf with it. If Yoongi’s suspicions are correct, the blanket will turn out handy in the morning.





The blanket did turn out handy. It works quite well, covering a bare ass belonging to a completely naked man sleeping on Yoongi’s floor.

He seems pretty comfortable, even without any pillow, as he stretches with a small sigh, turning around to lie on his back instead. He’s well built, Yoongi notices, all lean muscles and smooth lines, wide chest and narrow waist. He’s handsome too. A few strands of his black, messy hair cover his eyes. Pink, parted lips and fluttering eyelashes have a very boyish feel about them, almost not fitting with the sharp line of his jaw and his dark, furrowed eyebrows. His skin holds a tan like summertime, faded, but still golden in the early February sun.

And then, there are scars. The biggest, freshest one is on his stomach, starting above his belly button and running up almost to his heart. There are a few more here and there on his arms, older and already healed. Small, white marks are on his thigh, one right next to another, a reminder of the sharp teeth that left them.

Yoongi clears his throat and the naked guy reluctantly opens his eyes. He sits up with another sigh and blinks a few times before he’s conscious enough to register Yoongi leaning against the doorframe.

“Hello,” Yoongi says, amused. He crosses his arms over his chest and waits.

Sleepy eyes meet Yoongi’s and then go wide with realisation. He looks around nervously before looking down on himself and then back at Yoongi. He flushes from his neck to tips of ears and clumsily wraps the blanket tightly around himself. He stands up, tripping over his own feet somewhere in the process.

“Want to eat a breakfast or…” Yoongi teases, as the guy rushes past him to the hall.

There’s still something very animal like in his blown wide pupils and nervous, quick movements. He makes a few awkward circles there, stepping from one foot to another before Yoongi kindly points at the door. He opens it with a loud slam and in less than twenty seconds after waking up, he’s gone.

Yoongi shuffles his feet to the porch, hiding a yawn behind his hand. He collects the blanket the guy left behind and sighs, dusting it off the snow.

From where he stands, he can see the footprints in the snow that suddenly change into paws, leading straight to the forest.

“You’re welcome,” he mutters.

 

***

 

The weeks go by and Yoongi doesn’t see the wolf boy again. He hears howling at night and sometimes he feels like a pair of eyes are staring at him from the darkness but nothing more than that.

Until the day he finds a dead duck on his doormat.

He stares at it for couple of seconds until he notices a familiar paw prints in the snow. He doesn’t need a dead duck. Moreover, he feels bad for it. After considering burial, he decides to leave it in the forest for someone else to find.

After that he finds a pigeon, another duck and a few fishes, all equally dead. Yoongi starts to fear opening his door, too afraid to find another corpse lying there. He puts them all back in the forest, hoping someone else has a better need for them than he does.

After his latest gift, a trout that made heavy eye contact with its dead fish eye (he burns it), he decides to consult with someone. He heads to a creek that flows not so far away from his house in search of some kind of help.

“Jimin?” He hears a familiar giggle but no answer. “Come on. I don’t have a time to play hide and seek with you.”

The water splashes and a head breaks through its surface.

“Hey,” Jimin says, pushing his wet hair away from his forehead.

Jimin, a nymph, delicate and untouchable like water itself. His hair golden and sparkling, his body smooth and somewhat transparent. With so much innocence in his sweet smile distracting from his eyes, dark and always plotting. And with a voice as beautiful as it was fatal for some unfortunate souls.

Jimin swims to the snowy bank and rests his arms there. “Something’s wrong?”

“I need your help.”

Jimin’s eyes narrow. “And what will I get in return?”

Yoongi should have known better. Even if Jimin is lovely, he rarely does things for free. Yoongi clicks his tongue and answers, “Satisfaction that you helped a friend.”

Jimin’s expression turns incredibly bored and he looks ready to dive right back under water. “I’m quite busy right now so…”

“Fine,” Yoongi sighs. He scrunches his nose when he thinks about all of his furniture getting wet but it’s not like he has some other choice. “One day at my place. How about that?”

“Three.”

“The spell is only strong enough to keep you away from water for 24 hours. You know that.”

Jimin raises his eyebrow. “I still think it’s just a very convenient excuse you made up. But okay. Day, night and a nice dinner in between.”

“You don’t eat.”

“I’m good at pretending.”

“Deal. Would you listen to me now?”

He rests his chin on hand and smiles sweetly. “Of course.”

Yoongi squats so he’s closer to Jimin and lowers his voice. “Someone’s leaving dead animals in front of my door.”

Jimin throws his head back in a loud, squeaky laughter and his eyes crinkle so much they almost disappear. “But you don’t even eat meat,” he manages between the giggles.“Do you even know who it is?”

“Yeah. Some werewolf I saved a while ago.”

Jimin whistles. “Look at you. Getting gifts from your wolf boyfriend and not telling me anything sooner.”

Yoongi runs his hands through hair and wonders why he thought this was a good idea. He can already feel the beginning of a headache starting somewhere at the back of his head.

“I don’t even know him. He was bleeding out in front of my house so I took him in. Then he woke up naked on my floor and then ran away without a word.”

“And you’re wondering why I want to spend time at your place? Listen to yourself. You have naked werewolves sleeping on your floor! You know what happens around here? Nothing. All I get is some wolf trying to catch a fi-” Jimin’s eyes go wide and his lips form a perfect O shape, “Ohh…”

“I was about to ask if you saw him.”

“Yeah, like a day ago. If you think a human on ice is funny, you should have seen this. He was brave though, he must have really wanted to give you those fishes.”

Yoongi feels bad for a moment. It’s not like he doesn’t appreciate this form of saying thank you. It’s more that he would prefer something that involves less killing.

“Wait for him one night and tell him you don’t eat meat,” Jimin says after a moment. He makes small snowballs and throws them into the water to occupy himself as he thinks. “Ask for something better in return. You saved him, after all.”

“I don’t want anything in return,” Yoongi mutters. “But thanks.”

“No problem. By the way,” Jimin’s expression turns sly, “was he cute?”

Yoongi stands up and dusts off his clothes. He wraps his scarf a little bit tighter around his neck and shoves hands deep into the pockets of his coat.

“I’ll come back tomorrow so we can go to my place. See you.”

 

***

 

Yoongi catches sight of the werewolf a week later, when he’s just a few steps away from Yoongi’s door. The outline of his back is a faint blue glow in a moonlight. A hood covers his hair and his hands are shoved deep into the pockets of his worn, patched up jacket.

“Naked wolf boy,” Yoongi says.

He jolts then and turns around to face him. He seems irritated, pushes his tongue into cheek and presses his lips together like he’s considering not answering at all. There’s still something fragile about a curve of his lips but he no longer looks vulnerable, all soft features hidden behind a shield of his frown and dark, serious eyes.

He turns his expression into carefully neutral one before answering. “It’s Jungkook, actually.”

Yoongi realises it’s the first time he hears his voice. It’s a pleasant sound, warm, despite how distant Jungkook is.

“I’m Yoongi,” he says, even though he doesn’t know if Jungkook cares.

There’s a small pouch lying on Yoongi’s doormat. Jungkook must have noticed Yoongi’s hesitation because he speaks again.

“It’s not a dead bird, don’t worry. I figured you’re not a fan of those.” He pouts a little.

When Yoongi opens the pouch, he’s hit by a fresh, herbal scent coming from the inside. He looks more carefully there and notices a few green stems with little leaves, neatly tied together with a ribbon.

“Rosemary. Someone told me it’s good for cold,” Jungkook says. His tone still stays indifferent but he allows himself to smile. “It seems like you get sick often.”

He starts to turn around but stops himself at the last second. He tenses up a bit before he decides to speak again, his voice coming out weaker and more unsure than before.    

“Thanks. For the other night, I mean.” He sounds like he has to force the words out of his body, each of them is separated by a short pause. “And um. Sorry for the trouble.”

“No problem. Thanks for your… gifts.”

Jungkook nods and relaxes a bit. Yoongi looks at him for a while as he’s getting further away and the sound of snow crunching under his boots gets more and more distant.

“Jungkook,” Yoongi calls before Jungkook disappears between the tall trees. “What happened to you that night?”

Jungkook shrugs. “Not everyone here likes wolves that much.”

He takes a few more steps until Yoongi can’t see him anymore, his outline lost into the darkness of the forest.

 

***

 

Jungkook doesn’t show up again after that night but there are signs of him in the forest. His paws imprinted into snow, sometimes alone, sometimes right next to some other wolves’ steps. Drops of blood, a red-dotted path leading to the bones, skin and feathers, all that was left from his prey. Sometimes footprints, a sign of heavy boots wandering among the trees that Yoongi doesn’t try to follow.

It’s only by chance that Yoongi sees Jungkook during one of his usual walks. Even from the branch he’s sitting on, wide and low enough to reach easily, he notices that there’s something weird about the way he walks.

“Something wrong with your leg?” Yoongi asks, as soon as he gets closer. Jungkook flinches with surprise, stops and looks around confused before he spots him.

“I’m fine.” He shifts his weight to stand more normally but clenches his teeth with pain. “It’s nothing.”

“So you limp for fun?”

Jungkook crosses his arms across his chest and sighs. He clearly looks reluctant to talk. “I jumped.”

“You jumped?” Yoongi asks, narrowing his eyes.

“And had a shitty landing.”

“I could help you with that,” Yoongi proposes, before he can remind himself it’s none of his business.

Jungkook’s cheeks look pale, all color gone from his face, except from a pink nose. He has tired eyes, like he hasn’t been sleeping too well. His hands hold the sleeves of his jacket so tightly his knuckles go white.

“I told you it was nothing.” Jungkook voice comes out weak and forced and Yoongi decides it’s a good time to drop it.

He gets on the ground and gives Jungkook one last look before he turns around and starts walking away.

“Sure. You know where to find me in case you change your mind.”

Yoongi waits until morning to hear a soft knocking. He opens the door to see an expression of pure defeat on Jungkook’s face.

 

***

 

It’s not like Jungkook visits Yoongi’s place often but he’s there more. And from his occasional visits Yoongi learns two things.

One - Jungkook gets hurt a lot. Yoongi doesn’t know if that’s just being a werewolf thing or a being Jungkook thing. Maybe a combination of both. It’s nothing too serious, sprained ankle, pulled muscles, some cuts here and there. It usually ends up with a headache for Yoongi. Nothing he can’t handle.

And two - something that Yoongi at first read as arrogance, turns out to be just a simple shyness.

With Jungkook things are quite simple. He comes, every time wearing the same reluctant expression on his face, and leaves as soon as Yoongi is done. He answers Yoongi’s questions with polite but mostly single word answers. Or various grunts, he’s good at those. Shaking his head, on especially bad days. But since Yoongi wouldn’t call himself that talkative either, he doesn’t really mind much.

That’s why Yoongi makes a mental note the first time Jungkook says something more to him. Starts a conversation, even.

“How’s your cold?”

It takes Yoongi by surprise, to the point where he stops in the middle of wrapping a bandage around Jungkook’s wrist. His hand stays there, motionless, for couple of seconds before he reminds himself it would be polite to answer.

“Ignoring the fact that I can’t smell or taste anything? Terrific.”

Jungkook hums, in a way that Yoongi learnt means understanding, and goes back to his previous occupation which is staring at the floor.

“Don’t you have here anything that could help you?” Jungkook says again, after something that feels approximately like an hour. “Considering you heal… and all.” He points at the few bottles of colorful potions and ointments lying on the table. “I mean, looking at all that stuff, you should be invincible or something like that.”

Yoongi just snorts. “It’s not that easy.”

Jungkook breaths in, ready to say something more but in the end he just drops it.

They sit in silence after that until Yoongi hears a familiar thud coming from the kitchen. Soon, Cat shows up into the room but she stops and her body turns tense when she spots a stranger.

She approaches Jungkook slowly, leaning in to sniff his leg. Finally, she meows and nuzzles her head against his shin.

Just then Yoongi notices how Jungkook’s unapproachable expression breaks and his face lights up in a bright smile.

“Can I pet it?” he asks.

“Sure.” Yoongi shrugs. “If she lets you.”

Jungkook reaches out but doesn’t dare to touch her until she’s done sniffing his hand. Before he can even make a move, she bumps it with her head, urging him to pet her. Jungkook laughs and Yoongi feels like he’s been missing out on this sound.

“What’s her name?”

Yoongi feels a little bit stupid before he clears his throat and answers, “Cat.”

“Wow.” Jungkook snorts. “How original.”

“And practical.” Yoongi watches how Jungkook’s expression turns into something amazed when Cat lets him pet her under her chin. “I wouldn’t suspect you to get so excited over a cat.”

“It’s because she’s the first one that didn’t run away from me.”  

“Right.” Yoongi says. He hears how Jungkook tries to muffle his giggle when Cat licks his hand. For a second, he forgets about the wolves, about fangs sharp enough to rip him apart, about snow stained with blood, and wonders. Why would anyone want to run away from him? “She’s always been a little bit different.”





Slowly, one word answers turn into short but whole sentences, that become longer and longer, to finally develop into something one could call a dialogue. Mostly focused on the same topic, which is creative ways in which Jungkook gets hurt, but still. A dialogue. Actual conversations between two beings. Never about anything personal, but Yoongi doesn’t mind. It’s surprisingly pleasant anyway.



PART II
Spring



After the ice freezing the earth melts and shy buds show on naked branches, the air starts to smell like spring. Finally, the sunlight starts to feel just a bit warmer and the silence that lasted for months gets disturbed with a chirping of birds.

Yoongi sits on his porch, when he hears a familiar voice.

“Hey.”

A little bit like the flowers that make their way through a frozen earth to bloom, there’s something new and utterly soft breaking through the thick wall that Jungkook built around himself.

The way he smiles, for example. There’s something innocent about his eyes crinkling every time he says hello.

“What’s for today?” Yoongi says, rolling up his sleeves. “Attacked by a bear? Fell from the cliff? Or maybe you tripped on, and I quote, a shitty, fuckin’ root?”

Jungkook laughs, a little bit shy. This too, this laugh of his. Soft. Quite silly as well, but mostly soft.

“No, nothing like that. I wanted to ask you something.”

“If that’s about borrowing my crystal ball then the answer is still no.”

“It’s not that either.”

Yoongi looks at him and squints. “Then what?”

He isn’t sure if he has seen Jungkook with that expression before. Tense and nervous, he knows that. But embarrassed is new.

“Want to go for a walk with me?”

“A walk? With you?”

“The weather is nice. And I’m bored.”

“And I’m supposed to be your distraction?”

“Maybe,” Jungkook shrugs. “If you don’t mind.”

Yoongi doesn’t mind.




Yoongi lets Jungkook lead the way, assuming he knows the forest as well as he does, if not better. He picks easy paths that go next to tall birches and lead to the wide, green fields.

Yoongi quickly notices that walking isn’t enough for Jungkook. He needs to keep his body occupied and constantly moving. He jumps, high enough for his fingertips to brush tree branches, kicks pebbles and climbs on every rock they pass. For Yoongi just walking is good enough, so he watches with amusement.

“So what do you do except from wandering around the forest and getting hurt?”

Jungkook, currently balancing on one leg on a log where Yoongi sits, thinks for a moment. “The usual stuff. Working part time job in the town. Pretending I’m not turning into a wolf from time to time.”

“Getting into the wolf gang fights?”

Jungkook jumps down gracefully and laughs. “Yeah. Something like that.”

The oversized jacket Jungkook wore during the winter is replaced with an equally worn leather one. The material is almost torn in some places and it's obvious Jungkook isn’t its first owner.

“How many other werewolves live here?” Yoongi asks.

“In this forest? Just me and my three brothers. I mean, they’re not my “real” brothers. But they’re family, y’know?.”

Yoongi remembers the other paw prints he saw during the winter, always next or few steps ahead of Jungkook like they were leading a way for him. He was never sure if there were three or four others. He just knew there were more.

Jungkook finally sits next to Yoongi. Even now his leg keep bouncing up and down like he can’t help himself. “What about you? Do you just sit alone in that small house of yours?”

Yoongi shrugs. “Pretty much. Jimin visits from time to time.” He notices Jungkook’s questioning look and adds, “The water nymph. He lives in that creek that flows next to my place.”

“So he’s the one giggling every time I’m there? I thought it was haunted or something.”

“Yeah.” Yoongi laughs. “He can be a little shit sometimes but he’s a good friend.”

“Any more magical friends?”

“Just Hoseok.” Yoongi hesitates if he should mention the other night. “He was the one who saw you first in front of my house.”

It seems like Yoongi’s worries were pointless because Jungkook doesn’t seem too bothered.“I hope he doesn’t mind that I don’t remember him. I was kind of busy bleeding out.” He waits until Yoongi stops laughing and continues, “I remember being cold, though. And then suddenly very warm.”

“That’s thanks to him. And my fireplace. But mostly him.”

“Is he a witch like you?”

“Yeah. He’s from another town so he doesn’t visit that often.”

Yoongi falls silent for a moment, playing with the end of his sleeve. He feels like he’s getting close to the topic he doesn’t particularly like to talk about but he continues, ignoring an uncomfortable, tight feeling in his stomach. “People from the town visit sometimes. At least those who are brave enough to trust I won’t curse their entire families. Which is not that many.”

Yoongi feels Jungkook’s gaze on himself, going from his gray hair to pierced ears and then down, stopping at his hands, covered in bracelets, with tattooed fingers. He knows he doesn’t look trustworthy, he never did. Especially to the people from the town, who believe only in things they know. He got used to that.

“It’s probably because of the tattoos. People don’t trust tattoos. And you’re grumpy as hell sometimes,” Jungkook says with smile in his voice.

Yoongi snorts. He looks down on his hands, each finger with a tattoo of a different rune. “Yeah. Probably.”

“Do you have more?”

Yoongi pulls down the collar of his shirt, low enough to reveal the ink on his skin. He catches Jungkook looking at him with just a bit wider eyes and can’t fight back a

smile. “Two, under each of my collarbones. And one more on my back.”

“Do they help you with healing?”

“Yep. That’s fifty percent why I got them. The other fifty is to make me look cooler.”

Jungkook laughs again, in that that silly and too loud way of his. Yoongi still wonders how someone’s smile can be this warm.

“I like them,” he says, standing up, apparently having enough of being motionless. He reaches out his hand for Yoongi to take. “Come on. Break’s over.”

They walk for another fifteen or twenty minutes, both of them silent. Jungkook seems lost in his thoughts, pulling off the petals of daisies he finds along the way. He gets distracted only when he hears something moving in the distance and his head instinctively follows the sound. Yoongi wonders if it’s some kind of a wolf habit he has.

“With your abilities,” he says finally, not looking up from his hands busy with another flower, “you could help people, right?”

“I could. But I can’t force them if they don’t want my help.”

“Do you try? Helping them, not forcing.”

“I did.” Yoongi answers. For a second, he feels a cold steel of a knife against his neck and his mouth fills with a metallic taste of a blood. He swallows it, pushing the memory away from him. “Kind of lost my enthusiasm along the way.”

He looks at Jungkook. He seems more serious now, a little bit how he used to look when they first met, his eyebrows furrowed and lips pressed together in a thin line. Yoongi almost forgot that he could look intimidating if he tries.

He sets his jaw, nods and Yoongi knows he understands. Probably more than Yoongi expects.

 

***

 

Clack.

Yoongi looks up from his book at the ceiling where the noise is coming from.    

Clack. Rattle, rattle, rattle.

Silence.

He leans back at his chair, enough to look through the window. Nothing. Cat, his main suspect, turns out innocent when he spots her sleeping in a warm patch of sunlight on the windowsill. Yoongi shrugs, blaming some bird instead.

Clack, clack, clack against a slate.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake…”

Yoongi walks to the door, grumbling to himself through the whole time it takes to get there. He squints under the bright sunlight that practically blinds him as soon as he’s outside. After his sight is back, he notices Jungkook standing in some distance from his porch. His arm is raised up and he leans backwards, ready to throw another rock at Yoongi’s house. He stops himself when he sees Yoongi and smiles, like there’s absolutely nothing weird about the situation.

“Want to walk with me?”

 

***

 

“You ready?” Yoongi asks.

Jungkook, sitting cross-legged in front of him, nods excitedly. His eyes stay focused on the fallen flower petals lying on the grass between them. Yoongi moves his hand then. It’s just a slight motion of his wrist and the petals fly above the ground. They dance in the air almost like moved by a wind but slower and more gracefully. They twist and turn and circle around Jungkook until they stop right above his head.

Yoongi grins and repeats the motion again, this time moving his hand down. Jungkook groans irritated, or at least pretending to be, as the small, rosy petals cover his hair and shoulders. He doesn’t manage to pretend for long though and quickly his pout turns into laughter. Loud and so sincere Yoongi feels his own smile growing even bigger.

“I should have expected that,” he says, ruffling his hair. There are still a few petals left there but Yoongi doesn’t feel like letting him know. “Can you do it again?”

“Really, for a guy who turns into a wolf as he pleases, you don’t need much to be impressed.” Yoongi laughs. The petals fly up again but this time Yoongi lets them float around them lazily.

Yoongi leans back so he can rest against the wide trunk of a tree behind him. He breathes in a familiar, sweet smell of blooming flowers and earth, finally waken up from its sleep. The whole forest sounds with birds now, chirping and singing all around him.

Everything seems the same as every other year, except from the sound of a quiet giggling coming from somewhere nearby.

 

***

 

When Hoseok shows up in front of Yoongi’s door, his clothes are dripping with water. He lifts up his wet hair away from eyes, with a irritated but unharmful groan, and shakes his head to get rid of the water that got stuck in his ears.

“I see you visited Jimin first.” Yoongi grins.

“He was charming as always.”

“You know he doesn’t like it when you try to hug him.”

Hoseok runs a hand through his clothes and the material swishes under his touch. After a second they not only look dry but ironed as well.

“But I haven’t seen him since winter!” Hoseok whines. “I missed him.”

He makes his way inside, giving Yoongi a light hug before he settles down on a couch and starts unpacking. He only has a small backpack with him but Yoongi knows it can fit enough stuff even for a three days visit.

“Did you and Jimin talk about me behind my back?” Yoongi asks.

Hoseok rolls his eyes. “Please. We always do. That’s why we get along so well.”

Yoongi observes, amused, at how Hoseok’s clothes fly out of his backpack and land on the floor, all neatly folded. Next are his books, flying in a straight row right under Yoongi’s nose before they land on the table.

“You use tricks for the most trivial shit,” Yoongi says with a smile.

Hoseok smirks and snaps his fingers next to his ear. His wet, ruffled hair is suddenly perfectly styled. “Of course.”





Hoseok’s story about his recent adventures gets disturbed with the sound of the door opening suddenly and quick footsteps through the hall.

“Hey, I was ju-”

Jungkook stops in the middle of his step and freezes. His shoulders tense and his fingers close on the doorframe. His eyes, huge and afraid, look from Hoseok to Yoongi like he’s asking for help.

“Hey, Jungkook,” Yoongi says. “This is Hoseok. I told you about him.”

Hoseok looks amused as he tilts his head and smiles one of his most friendly smiles. He puts away a glass of lemonade he’s been sipping on earlier and reaches his hand out so enthusiastically, the bracelets around his wrist jingle.

“Hello. For some reason Yoongi decided to keep you in secret from me.”

Jungkook looks from Hoseok’s hand to Yoongi and only when Yoongi nods slightly, he reaches out and shakes it awkwardly. Hoseok doesn’t seem too bothered. His voice stays as cheerful and carefree as if Jungkook was already his friend.

“I was talking about this one guy that got stucked in my chimney. Want to join us?”

“I uh,” Jungkook stutters. He brushes the back of his neck with a hand and looks like he’s trying really hard to avoid any kind of eye contact. “I’ll just go now.” He turns around on his heel and is gone as quickly as he showed up.

Hoseok goes back to his drink like nothing even happened. “So that’s your wolf boyfriend?”

“I knew Jimin told you.” Yoongi sighs, hearing Hoseok’s delighted laughter. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”

“Not yet,” Hoseok mumbles under his nose but before Yoongi can say something about it, he continues, “He’s not very sociable, is he?”

“He’s just shy. You need to give him time.”

“He seems weirdly adorable,” Hoseok says. There’s something about his smile that Yoongi doesn’t really like. “Good thing that we found him that night.”

 

***

 

The bird lying on Yoongi’s hands stays motionless. It’s little heart pounding fast in its body and its chest moving with quick breaths are the only signs it’s still alive. Yoongi runs his finger from its head to the end of green tail and feels smooth feathers under his skin. The bird opens its eyes, blinks a few times, and tries to move its wings. It struggles to get free from his hold and when Yoongi opens his hands, it flies away, small enough to slip right through his fingers. It lands on the branch above Yoongi’s head and chirps happily.

Jungkook looks at it with a smile and when it flies away, he goes back to walking through the shallow water of the creek. It reaches only to his shins but he keeps holding the legs of his pulled up pants, like a little boy who is scared to get wet. The light reflecting in crystal clear water flickers on his skin. From time to time, he bends down to pick up a rock or giggles when a fish swims close enough to brush his leg.   

“Tae is scared of fishes. Did I tell you that?”     

“Is Tae the one who nags a lot?”    

“No. Seokjin nags, remember? He’s the oldest, that tells awful but hilarious jokes. Taehyung’s the artistic, extra friendly one. You always confuse them.”    

“I remember Namjoon, though. The smartest and clumsiest guy you have ever known.”    

Jungkook laughs. “Yeah, you got that right.”   

There’s a fondness in his voice, as always as he talks about them. Even if it’s not that often.    

He picks up some rocks from the bottom of the creek, searching only for the small and flat ones that will skip nicely on the water’s surface. When his hand is almost full of them he starts again.“Tae has been my best friend since forever. I don’t even remember not knowing him.”    

Yoongi pulls his knees to his chest and rests his chin on them. It’s not that often that Jungkook gets more personal but Yoongi enjoys every time he does. He’s still unsure about asking things himself, too afraid to push Jungkook somewhere he might not want to go. But from time to time he takes a risk. “What about the others?”   

“We met by accident. I was little so I don’t really remember it that well,” he says with a shrug. The stone he throws skips, one, two, three times, before it drowns. “But sometimes it feels like they were always there with me.”    

“How come you’re the only one who gets hurt so often?” Yoongi grins.    

Jungkook just smiles at him, warm and confident at the same time. “I guess I’m the reckless one.”    

When Jungkook runs out of his stones, he comes out from the water to sit next to Yoongi. He sighs and throws away some algae that got stuck on his foot. “What about Hoseok? How did you two meet?”   

Yoongi’s mind finds the memories from years ago. For a moment he goes back to that one rainy day. The details got kind of smudgy with time and some words are already forgotten. But he still remembers the anxious look on Hoseok’s face when he passed the same street for the third time. And the feeling of worry for the stranger who was too bright in comparison to the grayness of the town.

“Nothing too interesting. He got lost. I helped him. Somehow we stayed friends since then.”    

“What does he do? Does he heal like you?”    

“Rarely. He’s more into everyday tricks that help with annoying shit.”    

“So like… magical life hacks?”    

“Yeah,” Yoongi laughs. “Something like that.”    

There are moments Yoongi gets overwhelmed with a strange feeling of ease when he talks with Jungkook. Almost like the words that are buried deep and meant to be forgotten find their way up to his mouth every time Jungkook’s willing to listen.    

“People from his town adore him.” There’s no bitterness or jealousy in his voice. He knows well that Hoseok deserves all of the love he receives. “And they should. You saw him. He’s just so,” he struggles to find a proper word, “warm.”    

Jungkook stays silent long enough to make Yoongi’s chest feel tight with worry. But before he regrets his words Jungkook says,

“You’re warm, too.” His voice stays quiet, almost like he’s shy to say it. “Just in a different way.”    

Yoongi doesn’t say thank you because he’s not sure if it’s a compliment or not. But all of a sudden, he feels lighter and his heart fills with a relief he didn’t even know he wanted all this time.

 

***

 

“I think you’re going to have a small scar here,” Yoongi says, dabbing Jungkook’s cheek with a piece of gauze to get rid of the blood. “Kind of badass.”   

“Only because I ran into a branch like an idiot.”    

Yoongi laughs. “Slightly less badass. But I can keep a secret.”    

It’s not unusual for Jungkook to show up without knocking. But almost always his entrance is accompanied by his voice. If it’s not words, then it’s something else to let Yoongi know it’s him. Humming, whistling, singing, on rare occasions.

But this time he came in only with a quiet “hey” mumbled under his nose. The silence alone makes Yoongi feel some unexplained uneasiness which gets worse when he notices blood on Jungkook’s face. And when Yoongi sees his eyes, he already knows that “we had a fight” is going to be the only thing he hears about it.      

After Yoongi makes sure that the cut is clean he takes a quick breath and reaches out to touch Jungkook’s skin with his fingers.

“It’s going to sting a little. You ready?”

Jungkook nods and Yoongi moves his fingers, whispering under his breath. It takes just a few seconds before the cut turns into a small, pink line. All it needs now is something to make it heal faster.    

When Yoongi stands up and walks up to the shelf, he feels an uncomfortable pressure in his ears. The floor swims under his feet and everything around him turns blurry. He blinks a few times, takes a couple of deeper breaths and hopes Jungkook doesn’t notice.

Fuck. It shouldn’t affect him like that. Not something this small.    

Yoongi hears Jungkook’s voice but it seems somewhat muffled.

“It still creeps me out, if I have to be honest.”    

He tries his best to sound normal when he answers. “And I thought you are already used to it.”    

“I don’t think I’ll ever be.”    

By the time he goes back to Jungkook, the dizziness stops a bit. He still feels kind of lightheaded but it doesn’t bother him that much anymore. I’ve dealt with worse things , he reminds himself. This is nothing. He feels his chest getting tight. It’s nothing.    

Jungkook looks down on the floor, lost in his thoughts. He doesn’t answer when Yoongi calls his name. Only when Yoongi puts his finger under Jungkook’s chin and lifts it up gently does Jungkook react.    

“Sorry,” he mutters, turning his head so Yoongi can put an ointment on his cheek. He keeps playing with his hands, picking on a band-aid wrapped around his finger. His hunched shoulders make him look smaller, like he suddenly lost a few inches of his height.    

“Are you sure you’re going to be okay?” Yoongi asks.   

“Sure. We fight all the time, it’s nothing.” Jungkook shrugs. “Besides, Seokjin doesn’t let us stay resentful for long. We are probably going to be okay by tomorrow evening.”   

“If you want to talk then feel free.”    

“I don’t.”    

Yoongi nods, touching his skin one last time. “Here. All done. It should look way better after few days. Maybe it won’t be even be visible.”    

Jungkook smiles, but it’s a sad smile, almost like he has to force the corners of his lips to raise. “Thanks.”    

Yoongi gets ready to collect the things he left on the table when Jungkook decides to speak again.   

“Yoongi.” It's not often that he calls his name. Actually, Yoongi doesn't remember if he ever did. But now, said in that hushed voice, it carries a certain kind of intimacy with it. “Can I stay here for the night?”   

His face is so close that when Jungkook looks at him, Yoongi sees the gold around his pupils. His expression is still sad, but now there’s something more hopeful behind it.    

“Sure.” Yoongi sees the anticipation softening into gratitude in Jungkook’s eyes. “Don’t count on sleeping in my bed but I’ll let you sleep on a couch instead of a floor this time.”     

Jungkook smiles and even if it’s a small smile, Yoongi’s glad. It’s always better than nothing.

“Thank you.”





Yoongi can’t sleep. He turns from one side to another, only to end up staring at the ceiling, counting every passing minute. Even if Jungkook doesn’t make a single sound, Yoongi can still feel the difference that his presence makes. Almost like he can’t get rid of the awareness that Jungkook’s there, just a short way down the stairs. It’s not an uncomfortable feeling, just… a new one. Something Yoongi isn’t exactly used to.

After some more time of forcing himself to fall asleep, Yoongi gives up and heads downstairs. He notices soft light coming from the living room. For a moment, he hesitates about whether he should go and check on Jungkook. After all, he might have just forgotten to turn it off before falling asleep. But even in that case, Yoongi may as well go and turn it off.

His fear of waking Jungkook up makes the sound of the squeaky floors seem even louder now. He walks carefully, feeling tense before taking every other step. When he finally reaches the couch, he sees Jungkook and Cat curled up there, next to each other. Jungkook’s hand rests on her back, like he fell asleep while still petting her. The sight of his eyelashes fluttering gently as he’s dreaming of something and his chest moves up and down with every calm breath, giving Yoongi a weird feeling like déjà-vu.

Yoongi picks up the blanket that Jungkook kicked down on the floor and covers him again. He freezes and feels how his heart stops when Jungkook frowns as the material touches his skin. But after a moment, as his expression relaxes, Yoongi lets out a breath he’s been holding.

A few stray strands of hair fall into Jungkook’s eyes when he nuzzles his face against the pillow with a little sigh. Without knowing when or why, Yoongi moves his hand to brush it away from Jungkook’s forehead. It’s just a gentle movement, careful not to wake him up. Yet, Yoongi still notices how soft his hair feels when it slips through his fingers. Jungkook purses his lips a little and Yoongi’s heart fills with a fondness so sudden and so overwhelming that he’s unable to feel anything else.

Yoongi draws back his hand. He looks at Jungkook’s face for the last time, before he turns off the lamp and the whole room drowns in darkness.





Yoongi is woken up by the piercing sound of the water boiling in a kettle and some weird kind of noise coming from downstairs. For a few seconds he feels confused and then he remembers. It’s the first morning in a while that he’s not alone.

He finds Jungkook in the kitchen. His hair is even more messy now, sticking into wild directions, especially on the right side of his head. His hairstyles are always rather… questionable but this bedhead takes the cake, Yoongi thinks.

Yoongi hadn’t realised earlier how well the borrowed shirt fits Jungkook. Maybe a little bit too well. It’s an old thing that Yoongi buried at the bottom of his closet and forgot about, too wide at the shoulders and too long at the bottom to fit him. But Jungkook’s body fills it almost perfectly, the black, soft material fitting nicely in all the right places.

Yoongi’s mouth goes a bit dry but he ignores it.

It looks like Jungkook struggling to pour hot water into the mugs with one hand, holding at least four different flacons and jars in his second hand, and trying to stop Cat from climbing up his leg, all at the same time. Yoongi hesitates, torn between saying something and keeping quiet, just so he can observe what happens next but in the end he asks,

“What are you doing?”

Jungkook, currently done pouring water and trying to put back the jars back into the cabinet in some kind of order, flinches a bit hearing his voice.

“Oh, hi. I’m uh... I’m making coffee.” He squints at one of the jars to read the label on it. “Or at least I think it’s coffee. You have a lot of weird stuff here.”

Judging by the smell that fills the kitchen, Jungkook picked the right thing, after all. Yoongi sits by the table and tries to hide his smile when he looks at Jungkook trying to convince Cat he doesn’t have any food for her. They both fail.

It feels weird. Not in a bad way, no. Just weird.

“Sorry I woke you up. I was trying to be quiet but your kitchen is very,” one jar slips from Jungkook’s hands and falls down but before it can break on the ground it stops and starts to float in the air, few inches above the floor, “confusing.”

Yoongi flicks his hand and the jar flies up and lands on a counter. “You made the coffee so I can forgive you this one time.”

When Jungkook finally manages to close the cabinet, he gives Yoongi his mug and sits on the other side of the table. Yoongi takes a sip and feels Jungkook’s eyes on himself, like he’s waiting for some kind of an opinion.

“It’s good,” Yoongi says, because it is good. A little bit of sugar that Jungkook must have added breaks the bitterness of the coffee in a very subtle way. It’s something Yoongi wouldn’t do but still, it’s good.

Soon, with an extremely pleased expression, Cat curls up on Jungkook’s lap. She’s had some time to grow used to him but Yoongi still wonders if she’s able to sense how much the two of them have in common. She starts to purr, loud enough for Yoongi to hear.

“She looks comfortable there,” he says.

“Are you jealous?”

Jungkook looks like he regrets what he said exactly in the moment he closes his mouth. Yoongi can’t be sure but the tips of Jungkook’s ears look more pink than they were seconds ago.

“Why would I be?” Yoongi asks, tilting his head. “She sleeps on my lap every other day.”

“Right.” Jungkook makes some not convincing coughing sound and takes a sip, even though Yoongi was pretty sure his mug’s already empty. “Of course. That’s what I meant.”

It happens from time to time. There are moments when Jungkook acts in a way Yoongi doesn’t exactly understand. Sometimes Jungkook’s in the middle of a story and falls silent as soon as Yoongi touches him. He still continues talking but it seems like he can’t make the words flow as smoothly when he feels Yoongi’s fingers on his skin. Rarely, but still, Yoongi catches Jungkook looking at him when he’s busy with something. It should be uncomfortable or embarrassing but it isn’t. And maybe this surprises Yoongi the most. That he doesn’t mind.

“Do you want to eat something?” Yoongi asks.

“No, thanks.” Jungkook looks down on Cat and it seems like he feels bad about moving her. Unfortunately for him, she turns into something with consistency of a jello as soon as he tries to pick her up. “I already feel like I stayed for too long.”

“You didn’t,” Yoongi answers with a shrug. “But if you say so.”

Jungkook manages to stand up and heads to the living room to collect his things (which is exactly one flannel shirt) but he stops in the middle of his step. He looks down on himself, tugging gently at the hem of Yoongi’s shirt.

“I should give it back.”

“Keep it,” Yoongi says, before he can even think about it. “It fits you better anyway.”

“Okay,” Jungkook mutters, still feeling the material between his fingers. “Thank you.”

The word “sweet” appears in Yoongi’s mind when he catches a shy smile on Jungkook’s face, but Yoongi pushes it away.

“No problem. Just don’t tear it apart doing your wolf thing.”

“I won’t.” Jungkook laughs and Yoongi’s heart misses a beat. “Promise.”

Sweet.

Yoongi doesn’t try to fight it again.



PART III
Summer

 

Yoongi gets on his tiptoes and reaches his hand as high as he can but it’s still not enough to get those damn apples. He tried jumping earlier but with little effect. He just feels like eating an apple, is that too much to ask for?    

His fingers almost, almost, almost touch the fruit when someone’s arms wrap around his waist and his feet lift above the ground. The apples are suddenly eye level.    

“What the fuck.”    

“Just take them.” Jungkook voice is muffled and coming from somewhere behind Yoongi’s back. “I’m not that comfortable right now.”    

Yoongi does as he’s told. Jungkook puts him back on the ground gently with the biggest grin on his face.    

Yoongi can call Jungkook many things but predictable is not one of them. He comes and goes as be pleases. Shows up twice a day or disappears completely for a week. He’s gone until Yoongi hears rocks hitting the walls of his house. He’s growing used to hear Jungkook’s whistle instead of a doorbell.    

“What the hell are you doing?”    

“Helping a neighbour? Being a decent guy? Ending my own misery? Honestly, it was sad to look at.” Jungkook bites back a laugh, not very successfully, and Yoongi frowns. “Did you suddenly forget about all the magic things you can do?”    

“I didn’t.” Sometimes Yoongi misses shy Jungkook. Shy Jungkook wasn’t a brat.

“I was about to use it, actually, but then you showed up out of nowhere.”

“It was kind of funny for the first minute.”   

Yoongi sighs and even though he isn’t quite sure if Jungkook deserves it, he throws him an apple. Jungkook catches it without a problem and wipes it on his shirt. He’s about to take a bite when he hesitates and stops, with lips already pressed to the red peel. He looks and Yoongi and narrows his eyes.    

“Wait. I won’t fall asleep and be found by seven little guys, right? I don’t want to wait until some dude on a white a horse kisses me.”    

“You really like to offend me with your references, don’t you? Besides, she was the most beautiful person in the world. Don’t flatter yourself.”    

Something about Jungkook’s smile, maybe the confidence in a way he bites his lower lip before he grins, makes Yoongi’s heart stutter. He knows better than that, though and ignores it immediately before he can start thinking too hard about it.    

“Uh huh, keeping thinking that. Anyway, next time you need help I can carry you on my shoulders.”    

Jungkook walks away and Yoongi hears the sound of the apple crunching under his teeth. He stands there, confused and just slightly pissed off.    

What the fuck…

 

***

 

The smoke from his cigarette goes up, up, up and twirls lazily until it disappears below the ceiling. Yoongi lets his head fall back against the pillows and inhales deep enough to feel the biting smoke filling up his lungs.    

It’s way too hot. His shirt sticks uncomfortably to his overheated skin. He can feel drops of sweat running down his neck until they disappear somewhere under his collarbones. He runs a hand through his hair to feel that it’s already damp and lifts his bangs off his forehead with a tired sigh.   

He allows his heavy eyelids to close as he stretches arms above his head and arches his back like a cat, a soft moan escaping his mouth. His limbs feel heavy and his muscles hurt.    

The wood creaks, and Yoongi opens his eyes just barely enough to see Jungkook. He stands by the doorframe, motionless, staring at Yoongi, unaware that Yoongi’s looking back.   

“Hey.”    

Jungkook startles hearing Yoongi’s voice. He looks away quickly and swallows. “I didn’t know you smoked,” he says finally but his voice sounds off. He clears his throat and tries again, this time sounding more like himself. “That’s not very healthy of you.”    

Yoongi laughs quietly. He sits up and crushes the cigarette butt on the ashtray. “Only from time to time. Plus, it’s not that shit from the town. I make them myself.”    

He can feel one sleeve of his shirt sliding down his shoulder as he stands up but he’s too tired to bother. “Good that you’re here. I have something for you.”    

When Yoongi comes back, he’s holding a pendant. It’s a small bottle made of thin glass with a cap decorated with little, silver leaves, hanging on a chain. Because of the liquid inside, it sparkles in the rays of setting sun that shine through the window.    

“I should have given it to you sooner. But the potion takes forever to make.” He stretches out his hand. “Here. For your injuries when I’m not around. It’s not as awesome as I am, obviously, but it should be enough for more minor things.”    

Jungkook takes it from him, wordless. He stares at it for so long Yoongi feels his confidence dropping with each passing second.   

“It looks small but the potion won’t run out that quickly. The glass is hard to break, too, so you don’t have to worry about it.”    

Jungkook keeps his head so low Yoongi can’t even see his expression. His fingers keep turning the bottle around but he still hasn’t made a single sound.    

“You don’t have to wear it if you don’t want to. Just keep it close.”    

“No,” Jungkook responds so quickly it almost catches Yoongi off guard. He puts the pendant around his neck and hides the bottle under his shirt so it’s closely pressed to his chest. “I’m, uh... I’ll wear it.”    

He has a hard time meeting Yoongi’s eyes but when he finally does, Yoongi sees everything Jungkook’s unable to say into them.

Yoongi reaches out to the thin, silver chain around Jungkook’s neck and fixes it with his finger, in a place where it got tangled.    

“Thank you,” the slightest nod of Jungkook’s head says.    

“You’re welcome,” the brush of Yoongi’s fingers against his neck answers.

 

***

 

Their walks are getting longer. There are days, like this one, when they are still in the forest after the sun sets, and the warm, golden light gives its place to the darkness. Yoongi doesn’t exactly know how thirty minutes turned into three hours. Sometimes he doesn’t even notice how late it is, until he sees the first stars start shining in the evening sky.    

Jungkook walks next to him, close enough for his arm to brush Yoongi’s from time to time. Yoongi notices he’s growing more attentive with every minute that brings them closer to the dark. He’s not tense, not yet, but it’s almost like the night forces him to focus more on everything that’s around him.    

The sound of their footsteps gets drowned out by the fluttering leaves and the rhythmic noise of the crickets. And then, among the hum of the wind, Yoongi hears a howl. It’s long, sounding almost lonesome before it’s quickly joined by another one.    

“Someone calling you?”    

“Seokjin and Tae. They get lonely too easily.” Jungkook says with a sigh.    

“Don’t you have to go? Maybe it’s something important.”   

“And let you get lost here?” Jungkook snorts. “How would you even survive with that shitty sight of yours.”    

“Just because I lack your wolf powers doesn’t mean I’m helpless after the dark.”    

Yoongi feels warmth around his hand and soon, Jungkook’s fingers fit between his own.

Jungkook’s hands, arms, that place between his shoulder and neck, his skin in general. They always feel warm under Yoongi’s touch. Almost like his body was a few degrees warmer than everybody’s else.

For a second, Yoongi doesn’t know what to do but he doesn’t take away his hand. Finally, he slowly closes his fingers, realising despite himself that their hands fit together nicely.   

“I’m still better than you, though,” Jungkook says.

He doesn’t look at him, suddenly very interested with the fireflies all around them. He doesn’t talk much on their way back either and Yoongi isn’t sure if he should be the one to stop their silence. After a while, his curiosity wins, after all.    

“I’ve never seen any of you before you showed up. Only heard.”   

“We like privacy,” Jungkook says, finally raising up his head and smiling. “And we don’t like strangers that much.”    

“So I’m some kind of an exception?”    

“Maybe.” Yoongi feels Jungkook’s hold getting tighter. “Besides, you stopped being a stranger a long time ago.”

 

***

 

It’s only a small and shallow cut on Jungkook’s arm, like many others that Yoongi took care of before. And yet, when he’s done and the skin heals under his fingers, he feels weak. He tries to stand up, but the room spins around him so heavily, he has to sit down again. He shuts his eyes tightly but it does little to get rid of the dizziness.    

“Are you alright?” Jungkook asks, worried.    

Yoongi tries to swallow, his mouth suddenly going dry. His fingers start to tremble.

“Yeah.” He leans against the couch and sighs heavily. Pull yourself together, for fuck’s sake. “I’m just old.”    

“You’re 28.”

“Exactly.”   

The heavy feeling overwhelms him, from his tense shoulders to the tips of his shaky fingers. His muscles burn with exhaustion he has no right to feel. Too tired to force his eyes to stay open, he lets his eyelids drop and lies down on his back with head pillowed on Jungkook’s lap.   

“Um…” Yoongi hears from above.    

He clears his throat, fooling himself  that it can make his voice sound normal. “It’s nap time and unfortunately you were in a way.”    

He feels Jungkook shifting under him, like he’s getting ready to stand up.“I’ll go if you’re tired.”    

“Stay.” There’s a hint of need in his voice but Yoongi blames it on the fatigue. He makes sure to keep his voice light when he adds, “You make a good pillow.”

   



Everything’s smudgy when Yoongi wakes up. It takes him a moment to realise it’s because he doesn’t have his glasses on. It takes him another one to understand that Jungkook must have taken them off. The warm thing he feels below his collarbones turns out to be Jungkook’s hand and when he lifts up his head, he notices that Jungkook’s asleep.   

After a moment of hesitation, Yoongi carefully turns on his side, so his nose is just inches away from Jungkook’s belly. Jungkook’s hand kind of slides off Yoongi during the process, but before he closes his eyes, he feels it again, resting at the back of his neck instead. Yoongi doesn’t want to check if Jungkook woke up. Maybe he’s still asleep and doesn’t even know that his fingers keep playing with the ends of Yoongi’s hair.    

It doesn’t take too long for him to drift off to sleep, lulled by the quiet sound of Jungkook’s calm breathing.

 

***

 

Their first awkward conversations are long-forgotten and the time they spend together mostly involves talking now. From the most trivial topics (Jungkook’s shitty customers, Yoongi messing up a spell and setting a small part of his kitchen on fire, a cute dog Jungkook saw in the town) to more serious ones. It’s nice to see how Jungkook opens up to him. And it’s nice to have someone to trust. Jungkook makes it easier, somehow. They don’t always feel the need to fill the space between them with words. Sometimes just being in each other presence is enough.    

Yoongi’s legs hurt from hours of walking, but there’s a strange feeling of satisfaction setting into his bones when he finally sits on the steps to his porch. He stretches out and sighs, breathing in the air of the warm evening. Now, when the summer heat is more bearable, he feels like he could fall asleep right where he sits, on the old, wooden planks and with Jungkook’s arm pressed to his own.  

He feels Jungkook hand taking his own. He looks at it curiously and Yoongi raises his eyebrows in a silent question.    

“I didn’t imagine witch’s hands to look like yours.”    

Yoongi snorts. “The fuck is that supposed to mean?”    

“I don’t know.” Jungkook looks at each of his fingers, touches every of his tattoos and turns Yoongi’s hand in his own. “I would expect something more wrinkled. And with long nails.”    

“So I can check if the children I keep in my gingerbread house are ready to eat?” Yoongi laughs. “You’re hopeless.”

“I didn’t say that.”    

Jungkook doesn’t let go of his hand. Instead, he lines their hands together to check whose one is bigger (Yoongi wins but Jungkook doesn’t mention it) and then intertwines their fingers and rests their linked hands on his knee without saying a word. He doesn’t look at Yoongi either, choosing to stare in the distance instead.    

Yoongi doesn’t stop it, whatever it is. He feels like he should say something, ask what exactly is going on but all the words die in his throat.

Jungkook’s thumb rubs against his own. Yoongi squeezes his hand tighter. He decides he doesn’t mind not knowing for now.    

And then he hears a growl. Low and loud despite how far the wolf is. He sits and observes, big and proud, with his silver fur shining in the last rays of the sun.    

“Oh. Tae’s here.” Jungkook gives Yoongi’s hand one last squeeze before letting go of it. “I need to go now.”    

Yoongi looks at the wolf and sends him a polite smile but it only makes him scrunch his nose and bare his teeth. Even from his place Yoongi sees his sharp fangs. “Isn’t he supposed to be the friendly one?”    

“He is.” Jungkook smirks. “But I didn’t say it’s easy to earn his trust, did I?”    

When Jungkook is next to Taehyung, he pets his head until his expression turns into a more relaxed one. From afar Yoongi catches his quiet voice.    

“It’s okay. You know Yoongi’s a friend.”    

Yoongi looks down on his hand. It feels colder now, empty and somehow not how it’s supposed to feel.     

A friend. Jungkook’s voice echoes in his head. Yoongi’s a friend.

 

***

 

The soft breeze ruffles Yoongi’s hair as he lazily swings his feet into the cold water of the creek.    

“I saw your wolf boyfriend yesterday.”    

Jimin’s eyes shine almost as bright as the water shimmering around him. He focuses on the dragonfly that decided to rest on his finger but there’s still a smile on his face that Yoongi knows way too well. And it never means anything good.    

“His name is Jungkook,” Yoongi says, not looking up from the colorful stones at the bottom of the creek. “And he’s not my boyfriend.”    

“He came to take a bath.” Jimin, apparently not satisfied with the reaction to his breaking news, wiggles his eyebrows and adds, “Naked.”    

“I believe that’s how people usually bath. Without their clothes.”    

Jimin continues, completely ignoring the sarcasm in Yoongi’s voice. “He brought a friend, too,”    

“The one you have a crush on?”    

If Jimin could blush, his cheeks would be in a lovely shade of pink now. But since he can’t, he just makes an offended kind of sound and lowers himself deeper into the water.

“I just think he’s cute. That’s all.”    

“So… like a crush?” Yoongi teases. “Talk to him. Jungkook says he’s friendly.”    

Jimin sinks low enough for the water to cover his mouth now and he mumbles through the bubbles, “But I’m shy.”    

“I’m sure he would like you.”    

Jimin laughs sweetly, nudging Yoongi’s knee. “I didn’t know you’re suddenly such an expert.”

After a moment he falls silent, though. His expression darkens and his eyes turn more serious, losing their previous playful spark. He bites his lips, hesitant, before he decides to speak.    

“He has a lot of scars.” Yoongi just nods. “Do you heal him often?”    

“From time to time.”    

“Yoongi.” He hates that mix of worry and scold in Jimin’s voice. What he hates even more is that it works and manages to make him feel like he did something wrong. “I hope you know what you’re doing.”    

Yoongi remembers the warmth of Jungkook’s hand holding his own and the feeling of Jungkook’s fingers playing with his hair before he fell asleep.    

“Of course I do.”

 

***

 

Jungkook walks a few steps in front of him, his hands swinging carelessly and head raised up, so he can look at the little pieces of the sky in between the green branches. His skin is already getting more tanned from hours he spends outside, always going somewhere, always running. The gentle outline of his shoulderblades shifts with each move of his arms. Every time he reaches a patch of a sunlight on their path, the black, short hair at his nape shines. Yoongi wonders how it would feel to run his fingers through it.    

Jungkook turns around and their eyes meet for just a second before Yoongi looks away.

“Is there something on your mind?” Jungkook asks. He walks backwards now, his hands hidden into back pockets of his jeans, steps light and bouncy on the narrow road.    

“Why do you ask?”    

“I don’t know.” Jungkook shrugs and the corners of his lips raise in a gentle smile. “You seem kind of quiet today.”   

“I’m just sleepy.”    

Jungkook laughs and everything about it is sweeter than ever, somehow. Little wrinkles around his eyes, his cheeks with that one dimple that shows only when he smiles wide enough, even his sunburnt nose scrunching up. “You’re always sleepy.”         

Yoongi pushes his hands deeper into his pockets and clenches them, to stop himself from reaching out. He looks away from Jungkook’s face, hoping to kill that feeling of need before it settles in his heart. “True.”   

“Are you sure you’re fine?” Jungkook asks.    

Yoongi wishes he could stop hearing that hint of worry in Jungkook’s voice. Do something so it wouldn’t sound so warm to his ears. He looks up at the eyebrows pursed with concern and at the questioning eyes. At the bottom lip that Yoongi wants to feel against his own.    

“I’m sure.”

***

 

Jungkook’s hands follow the length of his spine as Yoongi presses kisses up Jungkook’s throat, from between his collarbones to the line of his jaw. Jungkook shivers under him, squirms when Yoongi closes his teeth around his earlobe. His hand reaches Yoongi’s hair and closes there, his breath hot against the side of Yoongi’s face and Yoongi wakes up.    

He stares at the ceiling, feeling how the warmth of Jungkook’s body, smooth skin under Yoongi’s fingers and soft press of lips on Yoongi’s temple dissolve one by one, leaving him alone and empty.    

He presses his face to the pillow so closely it’s hard to breath.    

Fuck.

 

***

 

At some point, Jungkook makes a silent promise, quite unnecessarily, but a sweet one, to walk Yoongi home every time he gets the chance to.

Yoongi stands in front of his door and his hand is about to reach for the doorknob when he hesitates. He knows well what he should do. He should take that last step, walk inside his house and close the door behind him. Not stand in front of the entrance, dwelling on things he wants to do instead.      

He gets the faint feeling of Jungkook looking at him before he turns around. “Do you want to come inside?” he feels at the tip of his tongue. But before it can find its way out of his mouth he stops it, too afraid of the meaning the words may carry.

“It’s late, Jungkook. Go back home,” he says instead.    

Jungkook climbs up one step on the stairs of the porch. It’s weird for Yoongi to look down at him instead of up.

“Don’t tell me you worry about me,” he says, with a smug smile. He takes another step up and their heights are equal now, his eyes in front of Yoongi’s eyes, his lips in front of Yoongi’s lips.    

“Judging by the amount of the times I had to save your ass? Yeah, a little.”    

All Yoongi needs to do is lean in. Close that short distance between them to feel Jungkook’s lips against his own and finally satisfy that desire that has been consuming him for months now. Move forward. That’s all it would take.

But he doesn’t. He stays where he is, looking at Jungkook’s face, searching for something, anything, that would give him the certainty he’s looking for.

It lasts just for second, but he still notices Jungkook’s eyes flickering down to Yoongi’s mouth. Yoongi bites his bottom lip then, without fully realising what he’s doing. Without accepting that sparkle of hope somewhere inside him.

Jungkook draws a breath and Yoongi waits, but no words come out of his mouth. Instead, he just looks down and shakes his head gently, like he realises that whatever he was about to say can wait. Or maybe wasn’t that important in the first place.

“Good night,” Jungkook says finally, as he starts to back away from him.

“Night,” Yoongi answers, feeling how his hope fades away, until there’s nothing of it left.

 

***

 

After that evening, Jungkook kind of disappears. He doesn’t show up in front of Yoongi’s house, doesn’t walk in on Yoongi in the middle of an important spell he can’t mess up, and doesn’t even wander nearby. Yoongi tells himself he doesn’t miss him every day Jungkook’s not around and sometimes he even believes himself. Until one day, after about two weeks of silence, he hears knocking that makes his whole body tingle with an excitement that he can’t hold back.

When Yoongi opens the door, he finds Jungkook standing in front of them but there’s something off about him. He keeps biting his lip, a habit Yoongi knows means nervousness, an action that he hasn’t seen for a while. And he’s holding something. A small bouquet made of wildflowers that grow on the fields not so far from Yoongi’s house. Yoongi narrows his eyes.

Weird.    

“You knocked. That’s new,” he says. He steps back for Jungkook to come in but he doesn’t look like he wants to move. Instead, he stretches out his arm and holds the flowers just few inches in front of Yoongi.    

“Here.”    

“Uh… Thanks?” He takes the flowers and even if there are like five different kinds of them they work together nicely. “What’s this for?”    

“I was just passing by and thought that maybe you’ll need them? I mean, for a potion or something? Or like, maybe you could make something with them, like dry them or burn them and-”  

Yoongi bites his lips to hold back his laughter. Really, just when he thought Jungkook can not get any more adorable. “How about I put them into a vase?”    

“Or you could do that, too. Yeah.”    

They stand there, rather awkwardly, until Jungkook clears his throat and says,

“Someone told me tonight's the night of falling stars.”   

“Was that someone Namjoon?”    

Jungkook laughs and it’s so nervously high pitched that Yoongi worries about him just a little. Why is he so strange all of a sudden?    

“Yeah. He knows stuff like that.” He makes a motion with his foot like he’s kicking some pebble that isn’t even there and continues. “Do you want to go and watch with me?”    

Now that Yoongi thinks about it, Jungkook’s hair looks weirdly styled. Like he actually did something himself instead of letting the wind take care of it. He’s even wearing jeans that don’t have holes into them. Not that Yoongi really minds the ones that do have holes. The realisation slowly hits Yoongi and his heart does a jump so suddenly that he feels it in his throat.

Oh.  

“Are you asking me on a date?”    

Jungkook’s cheeks become even more flushed now, almost like the word “date” said out loud made him realise what he’s doing. He does his best to keep his voice confident, though.    

“Would it be a problem if I were?”    

“Depends.” Everything inside of Yoongi keeps fluttering but he doesn’t allow himself to show it. He leans against the doorframe and plays with a petal of a poppy with a sly smile. “Do I have to wear nice clothes?”   

The corners of Jungkook’s lips twitch with a smile but he fights it. “Considering that we are going to be in the middle of the forest during the night? I think a casual outfit will be more than enough.”  

“Then I don’t have a problem.”    

Jungkook looks like a heavy weight was taken off his shoulders and his whole face lights up in a smile. “I’ll be here after sunset then.”    

Yoongi closes the doors behind him and stands in the hall for good five minutes. He keeps staring at the flowers and only when his cheeks start to hurt does he realise that he’s been smiling the whole time.





“Do you see anything yet?”    

Jungkook lies next to him on the grass, close enough to feel his warmth. Their eyes stay focused on the night sky with bright stars scattered all over it. Waiting.    

“No.”    

Jungkook groans, impatient. “Does it normally take so long?”    

“What, is it your first time stargazing?” Yoongi laughs.    

“Yeah.” Yoongi feels Jungkook’s shoulder move in a shrug. “I mean… I saw stars, obviously. Just never really focused on them for so long.”    

“Well, it takes some time.”    

Yoongi knows Jungkook’s hand is just inches away from his own but he holds back. At least for now. They stay silent and it’s a pleasant kind of silence. But somewhere under it Yoongi feels like they’re both anticipating something more than a falling star. Even if none of them admits it.

“Scary, isn’t it?” Jungkook says after a while.    

“What?”

“Just.. how big everything is. And how small it makes you feel.”

Yoongi hums to himself. “I always thought it’s comforting. Scary as shit, yeah. But comforting.”    

Jungkook turns his head and Yoongi feels his eyes on himself, like he’s waiting for a better explanation. Yoongi isn’t sure if he’s able to give him one but he tries, nevertheless.    

“It’s something like… If everything out there is so huge and you’re just a little dust floating around then maybe things you worry so much about aren’t really worth it.” Yoongi hears Jungkook’s quiet laughter and feels his cheeks getting warmer. He pouts. “I’m trying to sound deep here and you laugh at me.”    

Jungkook manages to stop but he’s still smiling and it shows in his voice. “You just sounded like Namjoon for a second. He gets very philosophical at times.” His eyes focus on the stars again and after a moment he adds, “I would like you to meet them someday. They would like you. Probably already kind of do, since I talk about you so much.”    

“You talk about me?”    

“Duh.”    

Yoongi makes an offended sound but it only makes Jungkook giggle. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, feeling of peace taking over his entire body. “I’d like that, too. Someday.”    

He moves his hand closer, so close his pinky already touches Jungkook’s hand but in that moment Jungkook sits up suddenly. He gasps and points his finger at the one place where a bright line lights up the dark sky and then disappears a second later.    

“Look!” His eyes go wide with wonder. “Make a wish!”    

Yoongi sits up slowly when another star falls across the sky, accompanied by Jungkook’s excited noises.

“I know some things about magic and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that wa-”   

Jungkook kisses him and for a few seconds whole world stops. The forest, all its noises, the sky above their heads and the grass under Yoongi palms. It all narrows to that feeling of warmth and softness pressed to Yoongi’s bottom lip. He doesn’t even have the time to close his eyes before Jungkook draws back. They stare at each other for a moment, without a word. Yoongi blinks a few times like it could somehow make the time flow again. He sees a doubt in Jungkook’s eyes and his chest moving with quick breaths.   

“You wished to kiss me?” Yoongi licks his lips like he could taste Jungkook there but it doesn’t really taste like anything. “You don’t need a magic wish for that, you know?”    

Jungkook leans in again, this time kissing him with more confidence. Yoongi closes his eyes, reaches his hand to touch Jungkook’s cheek and then neck as he kisses him back, feeling Jungkook’s lips moving as he smiles.    

“No,” Jungkook says after they part. There’s no doubt in his eyes, not anymore. Instead, they shine so brightly that Yoongi forgets about the stars all around them.
“I wished for you to shut up for a second.”    

Yoongi’s heart races in his chest, so fast it’s almost hard to breath. He feels so much, all at once, that his body is not enough to hold it anymore. He giggles, once, then twice, until all of his feelings find their way out in his laughter. So he laughs, until there are tears in the corners of his eyes. And when he’s done, he finally feels calm, despite the constant fluttery feeling in his stomach.    

He kisses Jungkook again because now, that he already knows how it feels, it’s so much more difficult to hold himself back. He feels Jungkook’s hand cupping his cheek and it’s so gentle, so tentative like he still didn’t know if he’s allowed to do it. Yoongi wants to let him know that it’s okay. That he wants so much more than that. He pulls Jungkook closer to himself until he feels him relaxing under Yoongi’s touch.

Yoongi draws back reluctantly and reaches for Jungkook’s hand. Takes it in his own to intertwine their fingers together.

“You know they’re meteors, right?”

 

***

 

“I’m going to kill you!” Yoongi yells through the loud sound of the downpour. He already feels the distance they’ve ran, his muscles burning, his chest heaving with rapid breaths.

“Less talking!” Jungkook screams back, pulling harder at Yoongi’s hand and urging him to run even faster. “More running!”

Yoongi should have known it was going to end like this. For the whole day, since the early morning, the air was heavy with upcoming storm. It felt like everything in the forest: animals, trees, even the wind, went still and silent, quietly anticipating what was about to come.

The raindrops get bigger and bigger, to the point it almost hurts when they hit Yoongi’s skin. In the sizzling air he doesn’t even feel the cold of his drenched clothes, only uncomfortable stickiness of it. Somewhere behind, he hears a growling thunder, like it’s been following their steps. Huge puddles, drowning the path, splash under their feet as they finally make it to the threshold of Yoongi’s house.

Inside, Yoongi rests his back against the closed door, lets his head fall back as he struggles to catch his breath. He tries to calm down, but his lungs don’t listen, forcing him to draw yet another shallow breath. He closes his eyes, feels the blood rushing through his veins to his pounding heart that he can hear in his ears. His wet hair stick to his forehead and little drops run down from it to his cheeks and neck, cold and tickling.

Through the loud sound of the rain hitting the windows, he hears Jungkook’s breathing, almost as heavy as his own. He feels how he’s getting closer, until there are just inches separating them. Yoongi opens his eyes then, taking in the blush on Jungkook’s cheeks, hair pushed away from his forehead and outline of his body under the wet shirt. Jungkook brushes Yoongi’s bangs away from his eyes, moves his hand down to rest it on his neck. Yoongi’s whole body turns tense with anticipation.

Jungkook looks at him for few more seconds before he leans in to kiss Yoongi’s cheek, and then the corner of his mouth. But just when Jungkook’s lips finally touch his own and his tongue slips through Yoongi’s parted mouth, the realisation of how much Yoongi wants Jungkook hits him all at once.

So when Jungkook draws back, Yoongi reaches to his hair to pull him back into a kiss and doesn’t stop until both of them are breathless. He tugs at Jungkook’s shirt to move him closer and shivers when Jungkook holds him more firmly against the door.

Jungkook’s hands still tremble against Yoongi’s skin but with each kiss pressed on Yoongi’s neck, his confidence grows. He reaches the neckline of his shirt, tugs the fabric away so he can kiss him further down until he gets to the tattoos below Yoongi’s collarbones. His teeth graze the skin there and even if it’s gentle, Yoongi’s breath still hitches.

“Wait,” Yoongi manages to say. “You don’t bite, right?”

Jungkook’s lips stretch into a smile against Yoongi’s neck.

“Only if you ask me nicely.”

How stupid.

He pulls at the hem of Yoongi’s shirt, lifting it up a bit. “You should probably take that off. I don’t want you to get sick again.”

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

It’s stupid that Yoongi can’t stop smiling even when Jungkook tries to kiss him. It’s stupid how their teeth clack against each other and it’s stupid that when Jungkook giggles, Yoongi’s heart feels like it’s about to burst.

It’s stupid how hopelessly in love Yoongi is.

 

***

 

Jungkook’s fingers trace the lines of his tattoo, slowly following every path of ink on Yoongi’s skin. He draws soft waves on his shoulder blade, goes down right next to the line of Yoongi’s spine.

“I thought you’ve already taken a good look at it,” Yoongi mumbles.

Jungkook’s hand moves up, up, up, until it’s brushing hair at his nape, giving Yoongi goosebumps. His touch turns feathery when he reaches a mark his mouth left on Yoongi’s shoulder earlier.

“Do all people you heal feel this way?” Jungkook finally says, his voice hushed in quiet around them.

“What?”

Jungkook’s touch stays the same, still drawing patterns on Yoongi’s back. Soft and unchanging. “Does your magic draw people closer to you?”

Disappointment clutches Yoongi’s heart, but he forces himself not to show it in his voice, keeping it almost uninterested as he says, “Magic isn’t forcing you to stay with me, if that’s what you’re afraid of.”

Jungkook hums, his fingers pressing to each of Yoongi’s ribs, counting them, until his hand moves smoothly to his hip and stays there, warm and reassuring. “Then I guess it’s just because I like you so much.”

The sheets rustle as Jungkook moves and a warm breath brushes the back of Yoongi’s neck before he feels a press of soft lips there. Yoongi can’t help but smile when a wave of relief rushes past him. “Good. Because I like you quite a lot as well.”

Yoongi listens to Jungkook’s breathing, that steady and calm rhythm he’s already getting used to.

“It’s just,” Jungkook starts after a while. “Even before I started to like you there was something pushing me towards you. Like I could run for hours and then end up in front of your house anyway.”

Another pause. A little bit longer this time.

“Did you feel this way too?”

“No,” Yoongi answers and feels like Jungkook stopped breathing behind him. “Not exactly.”

He turns to see Jungkook looking back at him. He reaches out to caress his face, from the little scar running across his eyebrow, to confused eyes, to blushed cheek, to lips curled with worry, to the feeling of blood pulsing on his neck. He wonders, searches for words to describe that longing he used to feel from the night he met him.

“It was more like I somehow knew that you would show up again after that night.”

He moves closer, nuzzles his face into the crook of Jungkook’s neck and breaths in the scent of skin after a sunny day, green pines and Jungkook. Just Jungkook.

“And sometimes I couldn’t wait until you finally did.”



PART IV
Fall

 

Yoongi closes his eyes tightly and curses under his breath when the bright sunlight shines in his face and wakes him up. With his eyes still closed, he absentmindedly reaches his hand to the other side of the bed, only to feel the cold sheets under his fingers.

He opens his eyes.

Empty.

Cat waits for him at the bottom of the stairs and meows happily when he picks her up and carries to the kitchen with him. Except from an extra plate drying next to the sink there’s no other sign of Jungkook.

Empty.

In the living room, Yoongi settles on a couch, not exactly sure what he should occupy himself with. He snaps his fingers and a little flame dances on his palm. He crushes it, lights up another one and snuffs it out. He repeats it, over and over again, looking at the flame dying in his hand.

Through the fire, he notices Jungkook’s shirt lying on a chair. Yoongi fights the urge to reach for it, to feel the fabric under his fingers.

Jungkook is everything but stability. It’s something Yoongi has always known and something he would never ask him to be.

But even if Yoongi hates to admit it, somewhere along the way, he’s started to dislike waking up alone. Without noticing when, the silence of the lonely days started to bother him.

“Shit!”

Yoongi closes his hand quickly when the flame that he forgot about burns his skin. A little red mark appears in the middle of his palm.

Somewhere along the way he started to hate feeling empty.

 

***

 

The fall comes gently, as chilly gusts of wind and misty mornings. It turns the forest into gold and amber and brings rain too, but it’s still not a lot of it for now, almost like the summer didn’t quite know how to say its last goodbye.

Yoongi rests right next to an old oak, big enough to feel like he could disappear somewhere under its branches. He pats the pockets of his cardigan in search of the cigarettes he knows he should have somewhere. He finds only one, that probably was hidden there for months and doesn’t taste good at all.

He smokes it anyway, even if it doesn’t give him the pleasure he was hoping for. He stares at the smoke for some time before he closes his eyes and focuses on the noises around him. The chirping of all the spring and summer birds is slowly drown out by the croaking of crows and ravens. It’s only a matter of time before the forest falls silent again.

Yoongi feels Jungkook’s presence close to him even before he hears the leaves crunching under his boots. It comes as a warm wave of something familiar, like a pleasant scent you know well, but didn’t get the chance to smell in a while. He lets it surround him, fill him up until he can no longer fight back the anticipation tingling at the tips of his fingers.

Few more crunching steps somewhere behind him and the feeling of the cigarette touching his mouth is replaced by the softness of Jungkook’s lips. Yoongi leans in, tries to chase the warmth of it before it’s gone. And yet, too soon, the feeling disappears.

Jungkook looks at the cigarette he’s holding between his fingers like he’s considering something. In the end, he throws it on the ground instead and stubs with his foot.

“Ew,” he mutters. “I still don’t know why do you like it.”

Yoongi shrugs. “Keeps me occupied.”

“There’s so much better stuff to do than that.”

“Like what?”

Jungkook reaches his hand to help Yoongi stand up. He pulls him closer, wraps his arms around him into a hug and rests his chin on the top of Yoongi’s head.

“Does this work?”

Yoongi nuzzles his face into the crook of Jungkook’s neck, presses his lips there to feel how warm his skin is. The pulse under it beats to the rhythm of the words that Yoongi’s mind can’t stop repeating.

He’s fine. He’s fine. He’s fine.

“I guess.”

They stay like this for a moment before Yoongi hears Jungkook’s voice again. It’s a little bit shy, with an apology hidden in every syllable of his words.

“Sorry I was gone for so long.”

Yoongi wraps his arms tighter around Jungkook’s waist.

“But you’re back now.”






Yoongi starts below Jungkook’s navel, kisses his way up, following the line of the scar running across his stomach, and ends with his lips pressed above his heart. He rests his head there and even if Jungkook’s breathing has already slowed down, Yoongi still hears the quick beats of his heart and focuses on the rhythmic sound of it.

A warm, satisfying feeling of fatigue settles somewhere deep in Yoongi’s muscles and his eyelids grow heavy with sleepiness. Just as he’s slowly drifting off he hears Jungkook’s quiet voice.

“What if I was supposed to die that night?”

Yoongi turns his head, so his chin rests on Jungkook’s chest and he can look at him.

“That’s not a very romantic thing to say. Considering the situation.”

In the dim light of Yoongi’s bedroom, the skin at Jungkook’s neck and temples still glistens with sweat. His hair got longer, Yoongi notices, and fall into his eyes when he throws his head back in laughter. Yoongi feels so much fondness he doesn’t even know how his body can contain all of it.

He missed him.

Jungkook reaches his hand to brush Yoongi’s hair gently and looks at him with sleepy eyes. “Sometimes I just wonder… that maybe you messed with my destiny when you saved me.”

“If your destiny was to die then you would bleed out somewhere in the forest. Or end up in front of somebody else’s house. Not mine.”

Jungkook smiles at him sweetly.“Are you saying you are my fate?”

Yoongi lifts himself up to kiss Jungkook’s lips.

“Like I would ever say something that cliché.”

 

***

 

Yoongi follows the sound of a quiet humming coming from the kitchen. It’s a simple melody, without any words, disturbed from time to time by a hiss of the water or clinking of plates. The warmth of Jungkook’s voice shows even more when he’s singing. Sometimes Yoongi regrets that he only does it when he thinks that nobody is listening.

Hearing all of the little noises that Jungkook makes, from the sound of the floorboards squeaking under his feet to the quiet splashing of water when he’s taking a bath, makes Yoongi feel more secure. Even if he was never afraid of silence, the sound of Jungkook’s presence right next to him brings some kind of comfort with it. With every clink of a glass and every squeak of a chair comes the relief of knowing that Jungkook’s safe.

Yoongi stops in the entrance to the kitchen, quietly leaning against the doorframe so he can watch him for awhile. He indulges himself with the sound of the melody as long as he can without being noticed. At some point, one higher note makes Jungkook’s voice break slightly and Yoongi can’t help but smile.

“What song is it?” Yoongi asks finally.

Jungkook turns around, still holding wet, foamy plate in his hands. He seems just a bit flustered about being caught when he smiles shyly and answers with a shrug. “I was making it up.”

Yoongi sits on the counter, next to the kitchen sink to help Jungkook dry up the dishes. He could use one simple trick if he wanted to, but right now he doesn’t mind spending some more time on it. When Jungkook hands him the last plate, Yoongi remembers the band-aid wrapped around Jungkook’s finger.

“Does it hurt?” Yoongi asks, pointing at it with his chin.

“Huh?” Jungkook looks down on his hand, like he has already forgotten about it. “Oh, that. Not really.”

A smug smile shows on his face and his eyes spark with some idea. He wipes his hands and takes the plate from Yoongi to put it away before he moves closer, in a way that he can stand between Yoongi’s legs.

“But you can still kiss me to make it better,” he murmurs, low and tempting.

Yoongi snorts to hide that little bit of embarrassment that makes his cheeks feel warmer. “It’s not my fault you can’t handle cutting things with knives.”

Jungkook leans in closer. “And it’s not my fault your knives are so sharp.” He tilts his head, curling his lips into a pout and Yoongi already knows he lost this round. “Come on. I deserve this much, don’t you think?”

The kiss is just a quick peck on Jungkook’s lips, nothing more than that. After all, Yoongi doesn’t want to spoil him too much. At least not yet.

“Better?”

It seems like Jungkook tries really hard to look hesitant when he bites his lips and rests his hands on Yoongi’s thighs. “Let’s just say I’m not convinced.”

The thing is, Yoongi could never say no to a challenge and this definitely feels like one. So he grabs Jungkook’s shirt to pull him so close there’s almost no space left between them and kisses him again, this time without holding back.

He tangles his fingers in Jungkook’s hair, tugging at it just slightly. He feels a tiny bit of satisfaction when Jungkook moans softly, twisting the fabric at the back of Yoongi’s shirt. Before Yoongi’s draws back, he allows himself to close his teeth on Jungkook’s bottom lip and doesn’t miss the way Jungkook’s breathing turns uneven.

This should do it for now.

Yoongi’s sure he’ll never get enough of Jungkook looking back at him like this, with his blushed cheeks, messy hair and parted lips. With those dark eyes that stay kind of unfocused before he collects himself enough to speak.

“That was,” Jungkook clears his throat but he still sounds just a bit breathless, “okay.”

Yoongi smiles at him with one of his most sly smiles and asks, “How many times did you use that excuse to make me kiss you?”

“A lot.” Jungkook presses their lips together again, but right now, it’s too quick, too gentle to make Yoongi satisfied. “And it works every single time.”

 

***

 

It’s a rainy evening, with raindrops hitting quietly against the windows, turning everything outside gray and blurry. It feels like, for a moment, whole world limited only to this one room, to the softness of blanket under Yoongi’s skin and warmth of the crackling fire.

Yoongi startles when Jungkook sits behind him and wraps his arms around Yoongi’s waist. He presses his lips to Yoongi’s neck and kisses him in a silent apology.

“I didn’t want to scare you,” he mumbles against Yoongi’s skin.

“It’s okay.” Yoongi feels a shiver running down his back when Jungkook’s hands slips under his shirt. “I just didn’t hear you.”

“Are you busy?”

Yoongi closes the book he’s been reading.

“No.” There’s something wrong with Jungkook’s voice. It seems too serious, almost at the edge of sadness. “Is everything alright?”

No answer, just a nod.

Sometimes Yoongi has a feeling that there’s something that Jungkook wants to say but doesn’t, because he’s not quite ready yet. There are times when he falls silent, engrossed with his thoughts. Yoongi always respects his boundaries and never tries to push him. He knows that whatever it is, Jungkook will tell him, when he’s ready. Yoongi doesn’t mind waiting.

“The room smells funny,” Jungkook says after a while.

Yoongi remembers the joss stick he lit up earlier. The smoke from it swirls up to the ceiling, filling the room with a heavy smell of lavender. Yoongi reaches to it, ready to blow it out since he knows strong scents bother Jungkook more than him. But before he can touch it, Jungkook’s hold tightens.

“Leave it, I like this one,” Jungkook murmurs, nuzzling his face closer to Yoongi’s neck. “It smells kind of like you.”

The old springs of the couch squeak when Jungkook moves closer so his chest is tightly pressed against Yoongi’s back. He starts to cover Yoongi’s skin with soft kisses, from his shoulder, up to his ear. Yoongi closes his eyes, trying not to squirm when hot puffs of Jungkook’s breath tickle against his neck. He hopes Jungkook won’t feel how quick his heart beats, just from something small like this.

“Yoongi.”

No matter how many times Yoongi hears his name coming from Jungkook’s mouth, his heart always misses a beat. There’s something about the way he says it, with a hint of something almost needy underneath it, that makes Yoongi want to hear it over and over again.

He swallows. “Yeah?”

“I...”

One sentence shows up in Yoongi’s mind and his breathing stops. Something, a weird mixture of fear and hope, clutches his chest before he can push it away.

Yoongi thinks about hearing it almost as often as he thinks about saying it to him. Every time he sees Jungkook’s smile and every time he hears his laughter, he feels those words at the tip of his tongue. When Jungkook’s hands touch his skin and when his lips brush against his own, Yoongi gets scared that they will escape his mouth without permission.

But in the end, Yoongi never goes any further than repeating it in his mind, again and again, until there’s not enough space for anything else.

Jungkook’s arms wrap even closer around him, so tight it’s almost hard to breath.

Yoongi doesn’t find out what Jungkook wanted to say. He stays silent until both of them lie down and fall asleep in each other arms.

Yoongi wakes up alone the next morning.

 

***

 

“Someone’s sulking,” Hoseok coos.

He keeps humming under his nose and waving Cat’s paws so her body moves in a little dance. Yoongi’s sure the only reason she still tolerates Hoseok’s nonsense is because of that few extra degrees of his body’s temperature. Otherwise, she would lost her patience long time ago.

“I don’t know what are you talking about.”

“Someone’s sulking because his wolf boyfriend is not around.”

It’s been almost whole day since Hoseok showed up and he didn’t mention Jungkook even once. Yoongi was slowly getting suspicious about the lack of meddling.

“His name is Jungkook.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Hoseok lowers his voice to sound more like Yoongi, except it turns out nothing like him, “and he’s not my boyfriend.”

At least three different answers pop up in Yoongi’s head but he decides to just stay quiet and wait, not bothering to hide his smug smile. The look of realisation on Hoseok’s face, the way his eyes go wide when he covers his mouth with a hand, is worth it.

“No fucking way.” He laughs loud enough to scare Cat. She runs away from his lap, looking offended, as far as cats’ expressions go. “I knew it!”

Hoseok makes a tiny motion with his finger and a collar of Yoongi’s shirt moves, revealing his skin. The living room fills with Hoseok’s euphoric gasp when he notices hickeys fading on Yoongi’s neck. “I knew I saw something there!”

“Fuck off,” Yoongi mutters, covering himself again. He clicks his tongue and tries to sound pissed off but fails, not being able to fight back his smile. “You’re the worst.”

“No, you are the worst for not telling me anything.” Hoseok pouts just for a moment before his excited expression is back. “When will he come back? I still didn’t get the chance to know him better.”

Yoongi’s heart drops in his chest. It’s been just a few days. Jungkook was gone for way more than that before. “I don’t know exactly.”

Hoseok’s expression darkens. “But he will come back, right?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi smiles. “He will.”

He always does.

 

***

 

One, bright orange leaf flutters in the air before it lands on the dark, muddy road, right next to all the other leaves that have already lost their colors and turned into shapeless, gray pulp of dirt and rain. Yoongi walks through the thick mist that makes his skin feel damp and cold. The freezing wind finds its way through his clothes until he can feel it touching his skin, shaking his muscles and hurting somewhere deep into his bones. His hidden into pockets hands clench into fists, closing so tightly his nails dig into the soft skin of his palms.

The line separating the water from the bank seems almost lost now. It’s smudgy, like everything else surrounding the creek. The trunks of the trees, naked branches of the bushes, all melted together until the boundaries between one and another disappear.

Yoongi doesn’t say a word. Just waits until he hears a murmur of the water somewhere in the distance. When Jimin swims close enough for Yoongi to see his eyes, he doesn’t see much into them except from sadness of disappointment. He shakes his head before opening his mouth, his quiet voice still too loud in the silence around them.

“I haven’t seen him. I’m sorry, Yoongi.”   

Yoongi lets out his breath. Nods. Fights back the choking feeling of fear that closes his throat.

He goes back home.  

 

***

 

In the middle of the night, Yoongi’s wide awake. He doesn’t even try to sleep convinced that a constant feeling of uneasiness won’t allow him anyway. He stares at the fire, hoping it can show him something more than flames and ashes. But no matter how long he’s looking, it never does.

Jungkook always comes back, no matter how many days or weeks it takes. He comes back smelling with resin of pines and smoke from the town. With a shy smile and apologetic eyes when he feels like he’s been away for too long. Even when his skin is colored with bruises he tries so hard to hide, he always comes back.

This night is not an exception.

Yoongi notices Cat sitting quietly in the hall, sweeping the floor with her tail. Her ears are standing up attentively and her eyes are focused on the front door. She doesn’t react, even when Yoongi calls her name.

Yoongi doesn’t need more than this and the uncomfortable feeling of restlessness in his heart to know.

When he sees Jungkook standing in front of his door, he notices his lips first, pale and pursed with pain. And then, he looks down at his shirt stained with blood and his hand pressed to the wound on his arm.

An overwhelming feeling of relief tries to turn itself into a panic crushing Yoongi’s chest but he doesn’t allow himself to lose control. He pulls Jungkook inside until both of them end up on the floor of the hall.

“It’s okay,” he murmurs, too afraid that if he tries to speak louder his voice will shake. “I’m here, it’s okay now.”

“I know,” Jungkook answers. Even with his gritted teeth, he still manages to smile and Yoongi feels like something inside him might break.

He pulls up the short sleeve of Jungkook’s shirt and reveals a cut that runs from his elbow almost to his shoulder. He wants to ask what happened and who did this to him but it’s not the time for it now.

“It’s going to hurt,” Yoongi says, already pressing his hands to Jungkook’s skin. “I’m sorry.”

He takes in a deep, shaky breath, feeling how his fingers tremble before he moves them. He closes his eyes, forces himself to calm down before he starts whispering a spell. Almost like through a thick fog, he hears Jungkook hissing with pain. Yoongi knows he’s trying not to scream when his muscles contract under Yoongi’s fingers. But when Yoongi’s says the last words of the spell he feels how Jungkook’s body relaxes just a bit and his heavy breathing slows down.

Yoongi opens his eyes and blinks a few times to make his vision less blurry. It doesn’t help but he manages to see Jungkook’s pale face and his lips curved with a soft, tired smile.

“And it still creeps me out.” Yoongi hears Jungkook’s voice but it’s so, so far away from him.

The panic lets go of Yoongi’s heart slowly but his hands don’t stop shaking. His stomach feels tight and his mouth turns so dry it hurts his throat and he’s unable to answer. He tries to breath because breathing is easy, breathing just happens. In and out, right? Just in and out, over and over again. But right now it’s so difficult, almost like he forgot how it goes.

Yoongi hears some words, something reminding him of “what’s wrong?” but he can’t answer. He has a feeling that Jungkook’s hand touches his cheek but he’s not exactly sure if it’s real or just his imagination. Little, black dots start to dance in front of his eyes and everything turns so hazy he can’t make out things around him anymore.

Somewhere very far away he hears Jungkook calling his name and then he’s falling deep, deep down where everything turns into darkness.





Yoongi feels Jungkook’s fingers brushing his hair. For a moment, he’s reluctant to move, too afraid that if he looks at him, the feeling of his warm hand will disappear. When he opens his eyes wide enough to see Jungkook sitting on the floor beside the couch Yoongi’s lying on, the first thing he notices is the look of relief on Jungkook’s face.

It’s still a bit difficult to speak and Yoongi clears his throat before he mutters, “How long was I unconscious?”

He’s glad Jungkook doesn’t stop petting his hair when he answers, “Long enough to make me start panicking.”

Just then Yoongi realizes that there’s a blanket covering his legs and pillow tucked under his head.

“You carried me here?” Yoongi smiles when Jungkook nods in answer. A soft feeling of warmth mixes with guilt in his chest. “How romantic.”

He looks down on Jungkook’s arm. His skin is still dirty with dried blood but the wound doesn’t look as terrible as it did before.

“How are you feeling?” Jungkook says before Yoongi can ask him the same question.

“It should be my line, you were the one bleeding all over my floor.”

A slight smile breaks the expression of worry on Jungkook’s face.

“I’m fine.” Yoongi says and shrugs, looking up at the ceiling. His muscles hurt and he still feels lightheaded but at this point it’s mostly just tiredness. “How is your arm?”

“It doesn’t really hurt that much anymore.”

Jungkook looks like he wants to say something more but before he can open his mouth, Yoongi sits up. Jungkook touches Yoongi’s shoulder and pushes at it gently.

“You should rest.”

“I told you, I’m fine,” Yoongi says, sending Jungkook a reassuring smile. He doesn’t look convinced but he backs his hand, letting him stand up.

In a bathroom, Yoongi watches how the water colored with Jungkook’s blood swirls down to a drain as he washes his hands. It reminds him of the night he saved Jungkook for the first time. Even back then, as he was taking care of his wounds, he couldn’t help but feel some kind of connection to him. Almost like he already knew that there’s more than just a wounded animal lying on his floor.

Then again, he would never suspect one day he will feel about him the way he does now.

On his way back, Yoongi grabs a clean piece of gauze, one bottle filled with a potion and his sweater that he finds lying on a bed. When he’s back to the living room, he sees Jungkook sitting the same way he left him. Yoongi settles beside him with a little groan.

“Take off your shirt,” he says, opening the bottle and pouring the green liquid on a gauze. “I’ll clean that up.”

Jungkook does as he’s told without saying word. A little grimace of pain shows on his face as Yoongi touches his skin.

“Sorry,” Yoongi murmurs. “It will hurt less after I’m done.”

Somewhere in the distance, Yoongi hears rain hitting gently against the windows and wind howling among the trees. He takes some time to get rid of the blood from Jungkook’s skin and then treat his wound until he’s happy with the result. He’s about to stand up and head for something that would help with the pain when Jungkook’s shaky voice disturbs the silence.

“Why are you acting like this?”

Yoongi doesn’t look up at him. “Like what?”

“Like nothing happened.”

Yoongi gulps. All this time he hoped they would somehow avoid that conversation. But right now, he’s not sure if he can keep it up that way.

“Well, you got me,” he says, forcing himself to fake a smile. “I faint when I see blood.”

“Yoongi.”

Jungkook grabs his wrist. His hold is gentle but it’s enough for Yoongi to turn his attention to Jungkook’s face. His expression is filled with worry and hurt and Yoongi’s chest feels tight.

Yoongi sighs. He removes Jungkook’s hand from his own and tosses him the sweater he took earlier. “Here. It’s cold.”

Jungkook puts it on and waits with his eyes focused on Yoongi. He doesn’t say a word but Yoongi knows he won’t let it go this time. He isn’t sure where he should start.

“I can’t heal without giving something in return,” Yoongi says. He doesn’t even know if he’s making sense but now, after he has already started talking, he knows there’s no way back. “Everything has its price. This too.”

Jungkook furrows, trying to understand. “But it wasn’t like that. You’ve never fainted before.”

“It gets worse when the injury is more serious. And with you it has always been… I don’t know,” Yoongi shrugs, “different.”

“Different?”

Yoongi looks down on his hands. He starts tugging at the end of his sleeve, struggling to find proper words. How can he even explain it, what sentences are there, to describe all of the feelings he has?

“I don’t understand it that well, either. It has never happened before.” Yoongi makes a pause, trying to organize his thoughts somehow but there are too many of them right now. They all overwhelm him until he can do nothing more but smile sadly. “I guess it begin to affect me more after I started caring about you.”

It feels like Jungkook stopped breathing. He looks like he’s trying to accept all of the things he has just heard.

“You have so much different things here maybe there’s something that could help y-”

“My magic doesn’t work on me, it never did,” Yoongi interrupts. He laughs quietly, feeling Jungkook’s surprised eyes on himself. “Ironic, right? A healing witch who can’t even treat his own fucking cold.”

“And there’s nothing you can do about it?”

Yoongi just shakes his head. He looks at Jungkook’s face, trying to read his expression. Judging by the look in his eyes, Yoongi already knows what he’s about to say.

“Then I don’t want you to heal me anymore.” Before Yoongi can even protest he starts talking again, with more force in his voice. “I don’t know if something like this won’t happen again. And I don’t want you to suffer because of me. I wish I could promise you I won’t get hurt anymore. But I can’t.”

Yoongi smiles. He knew it would end like this. Everything he was so afraid of happened exactly how he thought it would.

“That’s why I didn’t want you to know. I couldn’t stand the thought of you bleeding out somewhere because you don’t want to come to me anymore.”

Yoongi reaches out his hand to caress Jungkook’s cheek. He’s not pale anymore and his skin feels warm again. Yoongi’s glad. He wouldn’t exchange that for anything else.

“I know you can’t promise you won’t get hurt from now on. But I can’t promise I won’t try to save you every time you do.”

Yoongi moves closer to him, wraps his arms around Jungkook’s neck and buries his face there. He smells herbs from the potion and familiar smell of his sweater. But now it’s mixed with a scent of Jungkook’s skin, something he missed so much. All at once, he knows he would give up everything, if it meant keeping Jungkook’s like this. Alive and breathing.

“Just… promise you’ll let me help you. I’ll be fine so promise, you’ll come back if you need me.”

Yoongi’s whole body feels tense as he’s waiting for some kind of an answer. He feels Jungkook’s hands, so warm, through Yoongi’s shirt and then hears his voice.

It’s only one word but it’s enough.

“Promise.”





Yoongi keeps petting Jungkook’s hair when they lie curled up on a couch. His warm breaths tickle somewhere below Yoongi’s collarbones but he doesn’t mind.

“You still didn’t tell me what happened to you tonight.”

“I told you long time ago,” Jungkook answers, raising up his head so he can look at Yoongi. “People don’t like us that much.”

He falls silent for a longer moment, playing with the collar of Yoongi’s shirt, like he had to occupy his fingers with something. It’s hard to figure out what is he thinking about. What really hides under the expression he tries so hard to keep neutral.

“They start figuring things out, suspecting something. That’s why we never stay anywhere for too long.”

It gets hard to breath all of a sudden, almost like someone punched Yoongi in the stomach. Even so, he tries to sound normal and hide all of the hints of fear when he asks, “Are you going to move away from here?”

“I don’t know yet. But it doesn’t matter.” Jungkook notices a questioning look on Yoongi’s face, takes Yoongi’s hand in his own to intertwine their fingers together and adds, “I’ll come back to you anyway. So it doesn’t matter where I am.”

He says it just like that, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. The clutching feeling of anxiety melts away bit by bit when Yoongi sees Jungkook’s eyes crinkling with a smile.

As long as Jungkook comes back, it doesn’t matter how long Yoongi will have to wait.

Yoongi presses himself closer to Jungkook’s body. He brings their linked hands to his mouth and brushes Jungkook’s fingers with his lips.

He wants to feel him like this, he wants him to be so close that if he focused enough he could hear Jungkook’s heart pounding in his chest. Yoongi wants to keep repeating this one sentence over and over again.

I love you, I love you, I love y-

“I love you.”

Yoongi’s heart stops when he realizes it was his own voice that he has heard just now. He doesn’t regret it but when he looks up at Jungkook’s eyes he’s prepared to see rejection there.

Except he doesn’t find anything like it. There’s a lot hidden in Jungkook’s expression: surprise, relief, happiness. But there’s something more that combines all of it together, something Yoongi doesn’t dare to name unless Jungkook does it first.

And he does.

“I love you too,” he murmurs. It’s so gentle that Yoongi doesn’t even know what to do with it. “For some time now. If you haven’t noticed.”

A small, helpless laugh escapes Yoongi’s mouth without his permission. He caresses Jungkook’s cheek, before he kisses him, slow and sweet.

If only he could pour all of his feeling into it somehow. If only he could let Jungkook know just how much he means to him with a touch of his lips and with trembling hands pressed closely to Jungkook’s face.

When Yoongi draws back and looks into Jungkook’s eyes, he has a feeling that he understood.



EPILOGUE
Winter
(again)

 

Yoongi feels first cold snowflakes landing on his nose as he’s walking back from the forest. He pulls the hood of his coat to cover his hair and hides behind his scarf to avoid freezing gusts of wind. He didn’t really miss it.

Before he makes it back home, the path of dead leaves hides under a thin blanket of snow. Winter wasn’t hurrying to come this year but it seems like now it has realized it’s late and tries twice as much to let everyone know it’s here. The snowflakes quickly grow bigger and their slow dance turns into something way more fierce. Yoongi curses under his breath, trembling, as they find their way behind his scarf and melt on his skin.

Just few steps away from his house Yoongi notices something imprinted on the freshly fallen snow. Sign of heavy boots he’s been waiting to see for a long time now.

Jungkook waits in front of Yoongi’s door, with his cheeks flushed from the cold air and snow melting on his hair. With the same bright smile that welcomes Yoongi each time he comes back.

“Hey.”

There’s something innocent about his eyes crinkling every time he says hello.