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Of course it’s Jimin’s idea.

The problem with Jimin is that there is no problem, which means no one can ever say no to Jimin.

Which means that when graduation comes around, when Jimin sits down at the lunch table with a loud, Let’s go on a road trip!, everyone who wants to say no doesn’t.

Yoongi tries.

“I get carsick easily,” he says. “It’s why I walk to school instead of having my brother drive me.”

“Don’t worry!” Jimin says, “We’ll make lots of pit stops. Hoseok said he’d drive.”

Namjoon’s still unconvinced. No one is, really. Except for Hoseok. Fuck Hoseok. “He’s not seriously driving us in his mom’s SUV, right? Because I’m not going to step foot in there.”

“Not since prom,” Taehyung says, very helpfully.

“Thank you, Taehyung,” Seokjin tells him, very unthankfully. Seokjin doesn’t look like he really wants to go either, from the way he’s staring at the floor.

Jimin looks like he has this planned out, and that in itself is already worrying. Namjoon doesn’t want to be a part of this. “We’ll use Seokjin hyung’s car! Right, hyung?”

“What?”

“Exactly.”

It’s settled.

They’re going on a road trip to Busan after graduation.

 

The only ones who are actually graduating are Yoongi and Seokjin, but that’s the heart of the problem. They hadn’t even become friends until sophomore year of school, when Namjoon introduced them to each other one rainy day when Seokjin was the only one carrying an umbrella.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how different someone’s personality can be, as long as they can brave the worst together. Seokjin’s blown in umbrella and three boy’s drenched uniforms isn’t the worst, but it was a start.

 

“What are you doing?” Namjoon asks a week later, in the back of the library. Taehyung scrambles to cover his paper until he realizes it’s just Namjoon.

“Song list,” he says as Namjoon sits next to him. “Jungkook told me to make it, ‘cause he said we’d probably fight with the radio the whole time.”

“We would,” Namjoon agrees, and looks at the list. Taehyung looks at him expectantly, and he takes a deep breath.“Taehyung,” he says seriously, “what made you think you think this list was a good idea?”

“What? There’s Block B for Yoongi hyung, Fall Out Boy for Hoseok hyung, Hyuna for Seokjin hyung--”

“Taehyung,” he sighs, “You can’t just go from Nillili Mambo to Bubble Pop.”

“It’s not my fault Seokjin has weird taste.”

Namjoon laughs. Seokjin has the weirdest taste out of anyone he knows. Only he could unironically have Sistar and Kendrick Lamar on the same playlist and try to defend it. “It’s gonna be weird without them,” he sighs.

Taehyung nods solemnly next to him. “Two weeks left.”

Two weeks. Fourteen days. Ten school days. Namjoon hates numbers. “Are you ready?”

“Are you?”

Namjoon watches Taehyung pen down another song name onto the list. I’m Yours - Jason Mraz. “No,” he confesses, just as the bell rings.

 

Graduation flies by in a blur. Seokjin is crying, that fucking idiot, and Yoongi is grinning so wide his eyes disappear into those weird moon things it always does. Yoongi’s mom is a short lady with short bobbed hair and way too much energy for her size. Seokjin’s mom is, well, Seokjin, but female, and probably two decades older.

They usher everyone into a picture. Namjoon gets shoved next to a sobbing Seokjin, and Jungkook manages to shimmy his way onto his other side, and Jimin wraps an arm around Yoongi, who’s on Seokjin’s other side, and Hoseok, stupid Hoseok, slides onto the ground yelling Draw me like one of your french girls! and makes the picture that much more embarrassing. Namjoon learns to love that photo, years later.

 

Hoseok drives him home because Namjoon isn’t old enough to drive yet, and is glad Hoseok doesn’t try to start a conversation. The adrenaline from hugging Yoongi and Seokjin and screaming Congratulations! You’ve made it! in their faces is gone, and all that’s left is the empty banging in his head.

 

Namjoon gets home and at least remembers to say goodbye to Hoseok and thank him for the ride, but as he walks up to his room his chest feels heavy, like he could just face plant onto the staircase and roll down the rest of the steps and that would be completely okay with him. He doesn’t, because his sister’s room is next to the staircase and she’s come out and question him and that’s just annoying. What a wreck, Namjoon. What a wreck.

He half expects to enter his room and find it completely different. Like maybe there’d be a giant banner on his window that reads Yoongi and Seokjin graduated today!, and then confetti would fly out of nowhere and it’d look very fun and Namjoon would be mad because he’s not having any fun at all.

He sits at his desk and spins around in his chair, like that’ll accomplish anything. There’s a picture on his desk he finally spots after the twelfth spin. His head spins as he picks it up, not quite sure is he’s really holding it, until the vertigo dissipates and Namjoon’s left with a picture of him and the rest of the boys. Jungkook, Jimin, and Taehyung still have their middle school uniforms, ugly brown slacks and an off white dress shirt that only Jungkook has tucked in, and the other four, Seokjin, Yoongi, Hoseok, and him with their even uglier khaki pants and navy blue blazers. None of them have their shirts tucked in. Yoongi has the blazer draping off his shoulders, rather than wearing it like a normal person. When the hell was this taken?

The frame comes off easily, except he almost drops the glass cover onto the floor, if not for his knees that catch it before it slides through his legs and shatters. He spends one more minute staring at the picture, now in his hand, and examines everyone individually. For once Hoseok looks like a normal fucking person, with his hands in his pocket and giant grin on his face. His hair is wet. Actually, now that he’s looking, they’re all wet. Seokjin’s dark brown hair is sticking to his face in clumps, and Jimin’s shirt is sticking to his skin. Namjoon himself is completely soaked -- there’s even a few drops of water caught in the picture, forever frozen in midair.

He turns the picture over. September 1, 2010. Someone gave Jungkook water guns for his birthday.

Namjoon laughs. It’s the short, barking kind of laugh. Like he’s relieved. He doesn’t know why.

Now, his anger seems kind of stupid. It’s not like Yoongi and Seokjin are going to disappear forever. Yoongi lives next door to him, for a start, and Seokjin is across the street. They all live next to each other. He’ll see them for the rest of summer. He’ll see them during their breaks. He’ll see them when they come home on the weekends. He’ll see them when Hoseok decides it’s time to raid their dorms and see whose room is messier.

But still. Right now Kim Namjoon is sixteen years old and two of his best friends are graduating and leaving him behind and it feels like nothing will ever be the same again.

 

“Is it true you’re going on a road trip?” Namjoon’s little sister, Kyungmin, asks the next day at breakfast.

“Apparently,” Namjoon mumbles around his breakfast.

“Can I come?”

“No.”

“Please?”

No.”

“But I--”

Namjoon’s father comes to the rescue and cuts in with how she doesn’t want to hang out with boys, they’re dirty, smelly, he would know, he’s a boy, after all. She whines and starts mumbling things, Namjoon thinks he hears but Hoseok oppa! and downs the rest of his water.

It’s no secret that Kyungmin has the world’s biggest crush on Hoseok. Hoseok’s that type of nice, funny guy that charms everyone’s moms and younger siblings. He’s at least nice enough to indulge her a bit, and also gets the satisfaction of annoying Namjoon when he pinches her cheeks.

“When is this road trip happening?” Namjoon’s father asks. He shrugs. He doesn’t know, after all. Jimin mentioned it once, and then somehow everyone knew. He’s pretty sure his mother knows more about it than he does.

His phone rings, and Namjoon’s father sends him a glare, because phones are not to be used at the dinner table, except Namjoon’s finished his food anyway, so he picks it up, tucks it between his ear and shoulder, and brings his empty plate to the kitchen sink.

“Namjoon?” It’s Seokjin.

“Hyung, what’s up?”

There’s some bickering on the other line, then he hears the sound of a door slamming, and then Jin’s voice is in his ears again: “You busy tomorrow?”

“No, why?”

“I’m visiting my college tomorrow to drop some papers off. I remember you said you might apply, so wanna come along and see what the campus is like? I’ll show you my dorm-to-be!”

Namjoon wants to go. “Gotta ask my mom.”

Seokjin laughs. “Where do you think your mom is? She brought it up.”

“That traitor.”

“Keeps your friends close but your enemies closer,” Seokjin says sagely, except that doesn’t make sense, and Namjoon holds back a witty retort in favor for an ugly snort.

“You’re stupid,” he says, and Seokjin snaps back something about stupid honor roll kid that Namjoon ignores. “What time tomorrow then?”

“Probably early. Be ready by nine, I wanna say? I’ll text you.”

“Gotcha.”

“See you then!”

Namjoon hangs up the phone and feels a bit sad.

 

Namjoon’s not sure if he wants to go to college. He’d rather make music and perform music and be surrounded by people who like music just as much as he does. The only person who knows this is Hoseok, who pats him on the back and says something about getting a degree in music composition. Who knows, maybe he will. Seokjin’s university is pretty good for that.

Namjoon’s also not sure if he likes Seokjin or not. This has nothing to do with his university, but maybe the fact that Seokjin’s sitting in driver’s seat, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to Ailee’s new song, and that makes Namjoon feel all fuzzy inside, but also extremely uncomfortable at the same time. Like the fuzzy feeling is also ticklish, and Namjoon’s sure he read somewhere that being ticklish is actually a panic response to unwanted stimuli.

“You okay?” Seokjin asks when they’ve stopped a red light. He turns to him, and Namjoon thinks he might actually look concerned, if he could see past his huge fucking sunglasses.

“Nerves,” he replies quickly. “College and stuff. Y’know. Why aren’t you nervous?”

Seokjin smiles. “I have plenty of time to be nervous. I’m stalling.”

“You can’t stall feelings,” Namjoon insists when the light turns green again. “You’re nervous when you are.”

“Oh, Namjoonie,” Seokjin says, and Seokjin only ever calls him Namjoonie when he’s being patronizing, “you know your feelings don’t control you, right? You make feelings - you can interpret and bend them however you want.”

Namjoon thinks that over for the rest of the ride.

 

“This is where I should be staying, if the whole housing thing works out okay,” Seokjin says, gesturing to the building behind him. It’s a red brick building, three stories high, with a white roof.

“It’s a lot uglier than I pictured,” Namjoon admits.

“Most colleges are,” Seokjin replies. “Wanna see if we can get inside? There’s summer classes, so there should be some kids here.”

Namjoon doesn’t really care, but he nods anyway. The door itself needs a student ID card to unlock, so they wait for a student to walk out of the building.

“Have you guys lost your IDs?” someone behind them asks.

“Yeah,” Seokjin says, with an over exaggerated sigh. “Second time.”

The other student grimaces. “That must be hell to pay. You’re like the third kid I’ve had to key in today.”

“Sorry.”

“Nah,” the kid says, and opens the door. “Not a problem. What’s your name?”

“Kim Seokjin, freshman,” he says. “You?”

“Kim Himchan, to-be-junior. Anyway, here you go. I live on the third floor if you need anything. See you around.”

“He seemed nice,” Namjoon mumbles after Himchan walks up the stairs.

Seokjin nods. “C’mon, let’s go look around.”

Most of the dorms are empty, and there isn’t much to look at anyway, so they end up leaving a grand half hour later.

“Well,” Namjoon says, “we did a lot.”

“Hey, we did hand in the papers I was supposed to, which is technically the main reason we went there.”

Namjoon shrugs. The highway isn’t as crowded as before, even though it’s further in the day. Namjoon wonders what it’s like to drive. Everyone looks cooler when they’re driving. Even Seokjin, with his oversized glasses and hipster band tshirt. “You’re going pretty far away,” he finally says.

“Hm?” Seokjin asks. The car shifts into the next lane, and they into the exit. “It’s only an hour away.”

“An hour away by car,” Namjoon points out, hoping he doesn’t sound as rotten as he feels right now. “Yoongi’s going to college in Seoul.”

“Do you want me to apologize?” Seokjin says, and Namjoon should’ve known he’d see right through Namjoon’s masquerade. “Find a college closer and transfer before I even enter?”

Namjoon laughs, but maybe his voice cracks. Maybe. “Can you do that in two months?”

“I’m sorry I can’t take you with me,” Seokjin says softly, “but I can’t do anything about that.”

Namjoon’s aware of that. Namjoon’s completely aware of that, and that’s why he’s angry, feels ashamed for being angry. Angry and jealous and ashamed and betrayed that his life feels like it’s going to fall apart when it’s obviously not. “Sorry,” he tells the window. “I’m just not ready for this group to break up.” The window understands. Outside, a car cuts them off, and Seokjin hisses a profanity.

“Neither am I,” Seokjin says, almost wistfully, “But this doesn’t mean we’re breaking up. We’re just... testing limits, I guess.”

Namjoon counts the lamp posts as the car turns into their neighborhood. “I guess so.”

 

“Three days,” Jimin says the next day, outside Namjoon’s window.

“Three days what?” Namjoon calls out. Why doesn’t he just knock on the door?

“Road trip!” Jimin shouts. “We’re going to go to Busan and stay at Jungkook’s uncle’s house.”

“It takes like four hours to get to Busan, this doesn’t count as a road trip.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. We’re gonna make a few pit stops. Text you details later, alright?” He runs off before Namjoon can answer, probably to Yoongi’s house to relay the same message.

 

“Name all the people who told you this was a good idea, Jimin-ah,” Yoongi says, “I’m going to hit them all.”

“My mom,” Jimin replies, and throws a water bottle to Taehyung, who’s lying on the hood of Hoseok’s car.

“I’m excited,” Taehyung says, jumping into the back seat, “Except it’d be awesome if we were in one of those convertible cars, instead of an SUV. It’d be like those American movies.”

Hoseok grins from where he’s coming out of the front door of his house, acoustic guitar in hand, “If no one sings Jason Mraz I’m going to be disappointed in you all.”

“We need to make a pit stop and start a campfire,” Taehyung adds, lying on his back, legs sticking awkwardly out of the door, “make smores and sing campfire songs.”

Seokjin laughs and tosses his bag into the trunk. “I think that’s hiking, Taehyungie. Need any help?”

Namjoon shakes his head, dumping in his backpack as well. “When are we heading out?” he asks to no one in particular.

“Whenever you’re ready,” Hoseok sing songs, spinning the keys in his hand. “You guys are gonna be so glad we took my car instead of Seokjin hyung’s.”

“Actually, no one wants to sit your soccer mom SUV. But I still call shotgun,” Yoongi says, climbing into the car. “Hurry up and let’s go.”

Jungkook and Jimin are shoved into the backseat, grumbling about the indecencies of life, while Taehyung, Namjoon, and Seokjin sit in the middle. The car isn’t that small, but Namjoon still ends up pressed against Seokjin’s side, and that makes his face burn bright red, and god dammit, he’d always been pretty good at hiding his emotions, but his face flushes at the smallest things. “Two hours until Carribean Bay,” Taehyung whines, slumping down, giving Namjoon even less space. “Let’s teleport.”

 

The first half hour is spent with Yoongi and Seokjin fighting over the radio. It changes every few seconds from the English rap music station Namjoon didn’t know existed to the mainstream music radio, until Jungkook and Jimin bet on who’s going to snap first and kill the other.

“Didn’t you have that CD?” Namjoon whispers to Taehyung, who’s not even on the seat anymore. Seokjin’s leaning over Namjoon, shirt riding up and exposing his hipbones, not that Namjoon’s looking, to fight Yoongi over controls on the radio, giving Namjoon even less space.

He shrugs. “I left it in my laptop.”

“Useless,” he groans. “Your shirt’s riding up, hyung,” he tells Seokjin.

“You looking?” Seokjin asks, grinning. While he’s distracted, Yoongi changes the radio station and heaves a sigh.

“I’m hungry,” Jimin complains. Jungkook agrees.

“We just left,” Hoseok says. “And you guys both ate, don’t even lie to me.”

While everyone else is distracted, Namjoon tugs Seokjin back down into his seat and hands him an earbud and his ipod. He sticks the other earbud in his own ear. “It’s my ipod, but I’ll let you choose the song.”

Seokjin stares at the earbud for a second, like he’s confused, or maybe like something is going to pop out of the earbud and devour him, but then puts it in his ear anyway and smiles at Namjoon.

And that’s not fair. That’s really not fair -- the way something stupid and trivial like a smile can get Namjoon’s heart pumping more blood than it should, embarrassment and contentment flooding his veins in one go.

"You don't mind, even if I choose all the weird anime songs I know you have on here?"

"No I don't--"

Namjoon groans at the electric pop that floods his ear. "Can we not listen to Madoka songs?"

"It's on your ipod," Seokjin says, grinning. "I didn't know you liked magical girls so much."

"It's my sister's," he replies, and glances back at Seokjin, who sees right through his lie. He doesn’t like that Seokjin does that.

"So, Namjoonie," Seokjin hums, throwing an arm around Namjoon's shoulder, "How many times have you masturbated to anime girls in short skirts?"

Namjoon wants to slam his head into the window. Hoseok's laughter rings from the front seat. "Who's masturbating to anime?"

"You mean aside from the obvious?" Namjoon glowers.

"I am shameless, and my hentai is a temple," he says sagely, and Yoongi snorts next to him.

"You should see his laptop," Jungkook says from behind them.

"You let Jungkookie see your laptop?" Seokjin yells as Hoseok makes a sharp left turn, throwing them all to the right side of the car.

"Who the fuck let you drive?" Namjoon snaps.

Hoseok curses, and then honks at a car that cuts them off. "Where's your license, huh?"

"You're gonna kill us--"

"Hyung, I need to-"

"Jungkook is fourteen!"

"Hyung, Jungkook said he needs to--"

"Will the peanut gallery behind me shut the fuck up," Yoongi shouts, and everyone collectively quiets down. The radio is turned up until Namjoon can feel the bass thumping underneath his feet, and looks towards Seokjin, who's looking past him. He follows his gaze to see Taehyung next to him, body completely slumped down on the seat, head tilting off to his left, asleep.

"How," Seokjin whispers, and Namjoon shrugs.

"Superpowers," he says, and grabs his ipod back when Seokjin's distracted, and plays all his Kanye West songs.

"I'm sleeping," Seokjin says, and Namjoon expects him to give him back his earbud, but instead, he shifts so that he's leaning towards Namjoon and puts his head on his shoulder.

"Hoseok, how much longer do we have to go?" Namjoon asks.

"About an hour," Yoongi answers.

"Cool," he says, and slides down in his seat a little. "I'm joining you then," he tells Seokjin, and leans his head on top of Seokjin's.

He feels Seokjin tense a little beneath him, but then he feels the steady rise and fall of Seokjin's chest, and they both relax.

 

"Hyung!"

Someone is jabbing Namjoon in the side of the head, and that's really fucking annoying. "What the hell do you want?" he asks, grabbing the offender's hand. It's Jimin.

"We're here."

"What?"

"We're here," Jimin repeats. "Caribbean Bay."

Namjoon groans, feeling the knots in his back ache has he stretches his arms out in front of him. He's the only one left in the car. Taehyung and Seokjin are waiting on the side, Yoongi and Jungkook are already wearing their swim trunks, and Hoseok is waiting to lock the car. "Sorry," he mumbles, stumbling out of the van.

"S'cool," Hoseok says, as the car beeps when the door is closed. "We actually got a close parking space, so score. Seokjin hyung got your swim shorts, by the way."

"Seokjin hyung?" Namjoon looks up to see Seokjin walking a few paces in front of him, deep in conversation with Taehyung and Jimin. He makes out the words burgers and ice cream before Hoseok nudges him in the side.

"How is that going?"

"What?"

"Seokjin hyung."

"What about Seokjin hyung?"

Hoseok frowns at him, and Namjoon feels a little guilty before Hoseok rarely frowns. Doesn't like anything that requires him to not be aloof and making people laugh. "Don't play dumb. We're chingu; I know everything about you. And I know despite the fact Taehyung wants to go to Seokjin hyung's university too, he only invited you to go with him."

"Because I'm going to be a senior? Taehyung's only a sophomore -- junior now, I guess."

"That's exactly when everyone looks at colleges, dude. We're supposed to start applying and studying for entrance exams now."

Yoongi, who's been walking a few feet away from them, suddenly comes close. "Are we shit talking Seokjin?"

"No," Hoseok says, "the opposite, actually. We're talking about Namjoon's little crush on him."

"It's not a crush--"

"He's right," Yoongi says, "it's not. He's been infatuated for the past three years."

"Hyung."

Yoongi pets him on the head as they reach the entrance of the theme park and pull out their tickets. The younger two and Seokjin are already inside, waiting by the fountain for them patiently. "You're not obvious, but I look more than you think."

"Also we basically breathe for the days you fuck up," Hoseok adds helpfully.

Namjoon sighs. The last thing he wants to talk about on his last vacation with his closest friends in the boy next door he sorta kinda wants to get with. "Is there a point?"

"It's the last vacation with the whole group," Hoseok says, hitting Yoongi in the stomach when he snaps No it's not in the background. "Use it well. Right, hyung?"

"Whatever," Yoongi mutters. "Go get changed. Everyone else is in their swim suits."

Namjoon wants to make a remark, but Hoseok pulls him in the direction of the bathroom. "Did you really have to grab a white tshirt for me?" he asks incredulously.

Hoseok waggles his eyebrows. "Like it?"

"This is on purpose," he accuses, and Hoseok doesn't deny it. “You said Seokjin hyung got my clothes.”

"Seokjin hyung's got a bag with all of our clothes in it that we're gonna dump in a locker," Hoseok sing songs as he exits. "Hurry up. And I lied."

 

For what it's worth, Caribbean Bay is awesome. They split up into groups, Taehyung and Jimin, Jungkook and Hoseok, and then Seokjin, Yoongi, and himself.

"How do we feel about the really tall water slides?" Namjoon asks, looking up at one that's blue and swirly. It doesn't actually look that tall, but just in case.

"Amazing," Yoongi says. "Let's go."

Seokjin doesn't argue.

 

From up here, actually, it does look quite tall. Looking down was a very bad idea. Namjoon isn't afraid of heights or anything, but Jesus Christ there's no ceiling to the slide.

"Stop looking down," Seokjin says, and Namjoon's head snaps back up to look at the two.

"What?"

"You're looking down," Seokjin explains, like Namjoon didn't know that. "Even if you're not scared of heights, looking down like that would freak anyone out."

"I'm not afraid of heights."

"Are you guys going?" Yoongi cuts them off. "It's your turn."

"You're not coming?" Seokjin asks, looking slightly wounded.

Yoongi snorts. "Two people to a raft. And there's a really cute girl behind us, so shut up and go."

Namjoon laughs, ducking forward to get into the raft. "C'mon hyung," he says as Seokjin clambers in behind him.

"Afraid of heights now?" Seokjin asks, wrapping his arms around Namjoon's waist. His skin burns through his tshirt, and really, all Namjoon wants to do is lean back against Seokjin and breathe in his scent.

"How am I supposed to be with my protective hyung to save me?"

"Yah," Seokjin snaps, "is that sarcasm?"

Namjoon does lean back, head resting on Seokjin's chest. "Maybe."

And on second thought, that's probably a bad position to be in on a really tall water slide. He vaguely hears Yoongi mutter that's gross from behind them before they're pushed forward and holy fuck it's fast. Seokjin is screaming in his ear, and Namjoon laughs as the water tumbles around them before they finally are pushed off the side and into the pool of water under them. Namjoon rolls off the raft first, spluttering, before he grabs the side of it and flips it over so Seokjin yells and joins him in the water.

"That was awesome," Namjoon yells, wading in place. "Right, hyung?"

One of the employees call them to get out of the pool so the next couple can go as Seokjin takes a mouthful of water and sprays it into Namjoon's face.

"That was gross," Namjoon groans as they climb out of the pool. "And I feel like my shorts are going to fall off."

Seokjin takes a bit longer to get out, and when he does, his gaze lingers longer on Namjoon than he thinks it should, eyes slightly hooded, and he tries not to think about what that means.

They're both silent, Seokjin silently watching him, and Namjoon wonders if he should say something, break the atmosphere, but then someone shreiks behind them and they both turn to see Yoongi being thrown off the raft, along with a petite girl with short hair. "That was the most unmanly scream I've heard."

Seokjin laughs. "Yoongi is a lot less scary than everyone thinks he is."

They wait for Yoongi to climb out the pool, watches as he waves goodbye to the girl and walks over to them, shedding his shirt as he goes. "I hate clothes," he announces. Then he looks at Namjoon. "Why the hell are you even wearing that? It's white."

Namjoon thinks about it, because it is really annoying, the white cloth sticking to his skin uncomfortable, but then thinks of Seokjin's gaze like daggers, and says, "Nah, I'll be cold. I'm already cold."

Yoongi shrugs. "Your call. By the way I'm ditching, so have fun."

Apparently Yoongi has a date with the girl he was on the raft with. Seokjin laughs and tells him not to keep his girlfriend waiting, and Namjoon feels a little exposed, suddenly alone with Seokjin and that gaze and his really sticky shirt. Being alone with Seokjin has never felt awkward, but now that he can see the outline of his hipbones through his equally wet and probably sticky shirt, all he wants to do is grab him by the waist and pull him close, breathe in the chlorine of the pool water and taste the droplets trickling down his face.

"So," Namjoon says to the open air in front of him. "Where should we go next?"

Seokjin shrugs from beside him. "I saw a ride on the way here, the one that's on the river. Wanna go there?"

"Sure," Namjoon says, and follows Seokjin quietly.

 

He's able to tolerate the next few rides with Seokjin. The river is slow and boring and mainly for scenery, but Namjoon doesn't really think the scenery behind him is anything to look at, unless that's Seokjin actually looking at him. He pretends to face the other side and marvel at the rocks and waves crashing around them. "Do you think I'd cut myself if I put my hand in the water?" he says, turning to face Seokjin, and ducks his head backwards out of reflex. Seokjin is way too close to him, eyes cutting deep into his, and Namjoon's heart thumps wildly in his chest.

"Yeah, I wouldn't do that if I were you," Seokjin says, but he's still looking at Namjoon with that expression, and then for a split second, so fast Namjoon could swear he imagined it, Seokjin's eyes flit down to his lips, and then back up to his eyes, and the thumping in his chest gets louder, harder, pumping black ooze through his body.

"Right," he says slowly, "bad idea."

The ride ends then, and Namjoon scrambles to get the seat belt and life jacket off as fast as he possibly can.

 

"I'm hungry," Namjoon tells Seokjin after the fifth ride, praying for anything to get rid of this uneasy feeling in his gut. He hopes the other guys can possibly save him. "Let's meet up with the others to go eat."

 

They do and they don't. Hoseok grins wildly and seats them next to each other, Seokjin's damp shorts riding up on his legs, and Namjoon's brain melts at the touch of Seokjin's thigh against his. But at least with the comfort of five other guys, even Yoongi, who says the girl he was with had to leave, things are much more comfortable. He's not constantly giving or receiving attention, and that's nice, to just let his mind wander by itself.

"I'm pretty tired, actually," Jimin says. "We've been walking around all day."

Taehyung agrees. "Do you guys still want to still stay? Because it's already sunset."

"Sleep," Namjoon says, much louder than he intends to, "is a great idea. I'm exhausted."

Yoongi and Hoseok exchange glances. "We could rent a motel room," he says. "Yongin is nearby, we could just go there."

"Sounds like a plan to me," Jimin says brightly, and they all quickly finish the rest of their food and change.

"I call shotgun," Namjoon calls out, and Yoongi shrugs, mainly because this time he's driving, and Hoseok wants to terrorize everyone in the backseat.

On the way to the car, Yoongi tugs on his sleeve, eyes carefully guarded. "Did anything happen?" he asks. "And don't try to play stupid, you know I can see through your bullshit."

"I... don't know," Namjoon says quietly. "Honestly. I don't know."

He doesn't like the look Yoongi gives him, but at least he doesn't say anything back.

 

They find a relatively cheap hotel in the middle of Yongin, just a mere two streets down from the heart of the nightlife there.

Taehyung and Jungkook pass out first, curled up together on one of the two beds. Hoseok wiggles in and throws the comforter over all of them. Jimin's got a bundle of blankets and pillows on the floor, and Yoongi's playing games on his phone on the couch, where Namjoon assumes he'll probably be sleeping.

 

"Hey," Seokjin hisses from the bathroom door, an hour later, and Namjoon pauses brushing his teeth to see what the commotion is.

"What?" Namjoon asks.

Seokjin slides in easily next to Namjoon, jumps onto the counter and gets comfortable. "Have you ever been clubbing before?" he whispers.

"Clubbing?" Namjoon asks, and thinks he knows where this is going. "No, of course not. Why?"

"Wanna?" he asks, and Namjoon gives him a look. Everyone else is sleeping, except for Yoongi who probably wouldn’t give a fuck if they ran through the streets naked or not.

Namjoon's not old enough to drink yet, but Seokjin is, and he wonders if Seokjin's ever done it before, or if this is going to be his first time too. "Yeah," he says, "let’s do it."

 

For someone who can actually get into the club regardless, Seokjin is panicking too much for Namjoon.

“Oh god,” Seokjin says, “They're checking IDs.”

“Shut up,” Namjoon hisses, adjusting his jacket. It’s not even his, technically, it’s Hoseok’s, but what Hoseok doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

The wind is bitingly cold, whipping Seokjin’s gelled hair in a million different directions. He wonders what the state of his own hair looks like right now. So much for trying to look like a Grown Ass Man -- he probably looks like a puppy off it’s leash.

Seokjin though. Granted, Seokjin is old enough to get into the club anyway, but despite his worries for Namjoon, he looks too comfortable. Well enough that Namjoon wants to question if he’s done this before: pushed back his hair, walked through shady hallways and grinded against anonymous girls. Something hot flashes through his veins, bitter and slimy, and for a second Namjoon thinks he might just drown in it. Envy drips in clumps off his body, droplets splashing everywhere like drops of blood when Namjoon grabs Seokjin by the arm quietly and pulls him along. He doesn't actually know what he's doing, but maybe this suddenly anger makes him look older, more confident, because nearly two seconds later they're past the bouncer and walking down dark steps, bass shaking all around them.

"We did it," Seokjin breathes in his ear. "We're in. You're in."

Namjoon laughs, but he can't even hear it in his own ears. He wonders why he can hear Seokjin so clearly. "I bet they would've carded you first before ever thinking about me."

Seokjin rolls his eyes, but ruffles his hair nonethelss as they reach the heart of the club. "Drinks?" he asks, and Namjoon looks over at the bar, a little nervous, a little curious.

"Yeah."

 

Namjoon doesn't know much about drinking; the most he's ever done is brought him his drunk father home from bars and calmed down his angry mom, and sometimes there are sips of wine at Christmas dinners, but this is an entire new ballgame.

Seokjin's leaning on his shoulder, breathe fanning against his neck as he leans back to down another shot. The liquid burns his throat as he it goes down, but he feels really good right now, regardless. "Are you gonna talk another one?" he slurs, and Seokjin shakes his head.

"I think... I think I've reached my limit. And I should probably try to be responsible."

Namjoon laughs. That's ridiculous, Seokjin was the one who brought a minor into the club.

"Hey!" Seokjin snaps, "Fine, do you want me to take another shot?"

"Well," Namjoon says, stumbling forward. "We do have one more left."

Seokjin stares at the little shot glass like the liquid is going to jump out of it and possibly attack him. "Okay," he says. "For my Namjoonie."

"For your Namjoon," he agrees, and why does that sound weird? Your Namjoon... Your Namjoon... Your-- oh, Seokjin tips the glass back and drinks it in one go.

"Now let's dance," Seokjin says, grin wicked.

 

This is how people dance in a club, right? That's what Namjoon's seen in movies, and looking around him, seems pretty accurate. He's never been the best dancer, but since he figures he's drunk right now, he's either doing an awesome job or an awful job.

Seokjin, on the other hand, feels dirty and sinful against him. Do normal friends dance like this together? He doesn't think normal friends dance like this -- Namjoon's fingers splayed across Seokjin's hipbone, shirt riding up, ass pressed onto Namjoon's crotch. Seokjin's head is lolling on his shoulder, tilted towards his neck, and oh, his lips are parted, little puffs of breath tingling against his skin. Namjoon closes his eyes, pushes Seokjin a little further away him, and breathes hard through his nose because fuck he's getting hard, and oh, oh god, Seokjin steps back right into his space, hands sliding over his own and presses them together.

Fuck it, Namjoon thinks, swaying his hips, fuck it. He's drunk and doesn't care and Seokjin feels like fire and intoxication against him.

"Hey," Seokjin says into his ear, "do you wanna leave?"

Alright then. "I... sure," Namjoon says. He doesn't actually know how long they've been here for, and if it's been a long time, then they really should be heading back now.

 

It's freezing outside the club, goosebumps rising on Namjoon's arms, and wasn't he wearing a jacket before? -- but oh, okay, that's Seokjin's tongue flicking against his and he's being pushed against the dirty club wall, cement digging into his back painfully, but Seokjin's hand is gripping his jaw so hard it might bruise as he filthily kisses the breathe out of his lungs.

There's something buzzing in Namjoon's mind, that maybe this is a bad idea? Possibly? But that's stupid, he thinks as his hands find their ways into Seokjin's back pockets, fingers gripping at his ass -- how could this possibly be a bad idea? Seokjin lips feel like adrenaline, hot and white, flames flickering through the pads of fingers on Namjoon's jaw, and they slide to the back of his head to scratch at his nape.

That feels really good, sends a tiny flicker of electricity, sharp and tingling, unlike the smooth burn of lava, and he moans loudly into Seokjin's mouth. Everything feels hazy, like he might just collapse under the tidal wave of lust because he wants, he wants, he wants.

"We gotta go," he grunts, as much as he doesn't want that, but he really has no idea what time it is and they have to head back soon.

Seokjin, surprisingly, peels away from him, stumbling until his hand finds Namjoon's. The first few steps are okay, but then Namjoon trips over his own feet, and realizes just how fucked they are for the rest of the walk.

 

It's a good thing their hotel is so close to the club, and also a bad thing because they're both still very much drunk and Namjoon is hard and when Seokjin pushes him up against their car, he wonders why he ever even thought of relenting.

"Fuck," Seokjin gasps, hips knocking against his own, "you're so hot."

Namjoon moans, leaning forward to capture Seokjin's lips, hands also coming to wrap around his neck. Seokjin's hands come down to cup at his ass though his jeans, making Namjoon hiss through his teeth. They're weirdly silent, except for the little gasps Seokjin lets out, or the little grunts Namjoon presses into Seokjin's mouth to vanish forever. Namjoon didn't expect this silence, or maybe he's just watched too much porn with shitty background music.

Seokjin's lips feel so nice though, so fucking nice, wonders what the rest of him feels like, the skin over his hipbones, or the dip of his pelvis, and his--

He wonders if he dares.

 

Fuck. Fucking fuck. Namjoon's head has never hurt this much before in his life. It's like there's a giant energizer bunny in his brain smashing cymbals together, and he wants it out.

"Get up," Yoongi snaps, pulling at his bedsheets. "Everyone else is already eating breakfast."

"I'm going to die," he complains, rolling over. Yoongi pulls the sheets clean off, and Namjoon shivers, automatically curling into a ball. "My head hurts so much."

"That's what you get for drinking so much you black out," Yoongi says, and Namjoon has to pause for a bit and think about whether he sounds angry or not.

"What happened last night?"

Yoongi glares at him. "How the fuck would I know? Seokjin came in carrying you. Apparently you passed out against the car."

"Are you mad?"

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. "Why would I be mad?"

"I don't know, we were being reckless?"

Yoongi snorts. "At least the alcohol didn't kill all your brain cells. And your brain to mouth filter doesn't work very well in the morning. But no, I'm not mad, but if what I heard last night was accurate, you and Seokjin have some catching up. Do you remember what happened?"

Namjoon tries to think. He remembers getting into the club, taking shots, dancing with Seokjin, then stumbling out of the club. There was... oh god, there was kissing, he knows that, then they were at the car, but he doesn't remember how they got there and-- Oh god. "What did you hear last night?"

Yoongi actually flushes. "Something about leaving Seokjin hard," he mumbles. "Then he went to the bathroom, and I put my earbuds in."

Namjoon wants to roll off this bed and out the building and never come back. Fuck.

"On a one to ten," Yoongi calmly says, "how much do you think you fucked up your relationship with Seokjin?"

"Fifteen," Namjoon mumbles. "I guess there's nothing I can do about it now. How much do you think hyung remembers?"

"Do I look like Seokjin to you? Go talk it out with him, I'm fucking hungry. Hurry up and let's go."

On second thought, Yoongi’s probably just angry he’s the only barrier between him and food right now. Namjoon sighs and makes his way to the shower. "Give me ten minutes."

 

Breakfast is quiet.

Taehyung and Jungkook snicker when Namjoon takes a seat next to Hoseok, and Seokjin doesn't look up once from where he's seated on the other end of the table.

"You look like your hamster just died again," Hoseok says. "Except maybe this time a hamster you actually care about?"

Namjoon glares. "Is that a euphemism or a codename or something?"

"No, but I think you just made it one," Hoseok replies cheerfully, and Seokjin pauses from where he's drinking water, cup hovering precariously in limbo.

Namjoon makes the mistake of looking over, and their eyes lock for a split second before Seokjin tips the glass back and stares up at the ceiling until there's nothing left. He doesn't watch his adam's apple move or anything.

"So who wants to hear about the super hot girl I met yesterday?" Yoongi asks in the least interesting voice he can manage.

"No one," Seokjin snaps, and Jimin and Namjoon share a glance. The table is silent, and Namjoon tries to hold back his forgone sigh to the best of his abilities and gives up, opting to stare at his plate instead. Taehyung slides half of his uneaten pancake onto it and gives him a halfhearted smile.

"Right," Yoongi says, turning his head to glare at Namjoon, "so I'm going to tell everyone about the super hot girl I met yesterday."

Namjoon, albeit thankful for the distraction Yoongi is trying oh-so-hard to give, tunes him out and spends most of breakfast cutting the pancake into smaller sizes rather than eating it.

 

u went 2 a club?!?! without me?!?!, Namjoon's phone reads. He glares at Hoseok.

u'd be embarassing no1 wants 2 go wit u.

rude. at least i wudnt fuk shit up wit hyung.

"Just for that I'm riding shotgun again," he says, and Hoseok groans but doesn't argue. "Yoongi should be glad I'm up here, since we listen to the same shit."

The door to the driver's seat opens, and the blood in Namjoon runs dry as Seokjin climbs in.

"What was that about listening to the same shit?" Yoongi asks, and Namjoon looks in the rear view mirror to get a glimpse of his cocky smirk and inappropriate gesture.

"Wow," Hoseok calls from behind Seokjin, "I can't wait for another three hours of Seokjin driving."

"My driving is not that bad," Seokjin whines, pouting, and Namjoon is almost completely convinced he doesn't know what they really mean.

"Is it safe to have someone with a hangover driving?" Namjoon asks, and ignores the fact his own head is rattling in his skull.

"I didn't black out last night," Seokjin says coldly. "I'm fine."

Namjoon turns back to mouth you're dead at Hoseok as Seokjin starts the engine.

 

The scenery is really ugly.

Namjoon remembers his parents always telling him to look outside the window when he was bored, because nature is beautiful and they should take the time out of their lives to appreciate it, but all he sees here is grey skies and muddy roads.

It rained half an hour after they left Yongin, and even though Seokjin's phone tells them they're still two hours away from Busan, he doesn't see any beaches in sight. Maybe that's a good thing, because muddy beaches don't sound like an ideal vacation.

In the back, Yoongi is listening to his ipod, Hoseok and Jungkook are sprawled on top of each other, asleep, and Jimin and Taehyung are in the far back talking quietly amongst themselves.

He should probably say something. Seokjin seems pretty concentrated on the road, leaning forward every now and then to squint through the fog. What should he talk about, anyway? Are we still good? sounds kind of weird. Hey, I know we got piss drunk last night and made out, but can we just sorta forget that happened? Cool. He opens his mouth. Closes it. Opens it again. Closes.

"Do you have anything to tell me?" Seokjin asks, "Or are you going to keep making faces in my direction?"

"I don't know what to say," Namjoon admits. "Do you?"

Seokjin doesn't say anything, and for a long time, the only sound in the car is the blaring of some English rock song.

"No," Seokjin says. "I don't either."

 

They make a pit stop so Seokjin can rest while Hoseok takes over driving. Taehyung and Jimin buy much more snacks than is necessary, and Namjoon spends the next hour painfully craning his neck back to grab whatever bag of chips they decide to give him.

"Look how nice the weather is here," Seokjin says happily. "The beach is gonna be so nice."

"Yoongi hyung will finally not blend in with the car," Hoseok calls from the driver's seat.

Yoongi snorts in the background, hands coming into Namjoon's lap to grab a chocopie. "I'm going to turn as red a lobster. I burn, not tan."

"Don't you wish you had that girl's number so she could rub sunblock on your back?" Seokjin asks.

"I do have her number," Yoongi snaps, but his eyes are bright, and he even grabs his phone and taps on the screen mindlessly. "Sorry you have no one to rub sunblock onto your back, hyung."

"Jungkookie would do it for me, right?" Seokjin asks, and even though Namjoon can't see his face from the front, Taehyung and Jimin's laughter is enough to tell him what his facial expression is right now.

"Get Namjoon hyung to do it, I don't want to touch your back."

"What?" Namjoon asks, turning in his chair. The seatbelt is digging into his shoulder uncomfortably from this angle. "Why would I do that?"

Taehyung shrugs. "Major 'we-should-touch-dicks' vibes, or something," and ignores everyone's what?

"How did you even go from sunblock to touching dicks?" Namjoon snaps, trying his best to laugh and pass it off, but his face is flushing, so he turns back to face the front, and manages to get a glimpse of Seokjin's face. His lips are set in a thin line, the way it usually gets when he's peeved and doesn't want to show it, but not outright angry.

"Sunblock looks like lube?" Jungkook asks.

Jimin groans. "Why do you know so much about this kind of stuff?"

Jungkook pauses, then turns towards the window. "Wow, look, you can see the ocean!"

Namjoon takes any distraction he can get. "Are we almost there yet?" he asks, turning to Seokjin.

"No," he answers curtly, breaking a little too hard when a car cuts in front of them. He curses under his breath angrily.

Well, Namjoon thinks. He should have definitely let someone else sit shotgun.

 

The next hour passes with Taehyung and Jimin singing along to every Girl's Day and VIXX song that plays on the radio. Seokjin is eerily quiet, and Namjoon tries to pretend that doesn't bother him.

"We're in Busan!" Jimin yells, and Hoseok's falls from where he's leaning against the door.

"What?" he asks blearily, finally waking up.

"Busan!" Jimin repeats excitedly.

"Jungkook," Seokjin calls, "do you know the directions to your uncle's house?"

"Do you wanna trade places?" Namjoon asks, hopeful. Jungkook should sit in the front if he's going to give directions, right?

Jungkook ignores him. "Make a left at the traffic light!" he yells.

Namjoon slumps down in his seat.

 

"Land!" Hoseok cries as they step out of the car. "Beautiful, glorious land. Let's not do road trips anymore."

"We still have to go back to Seoul," Yoongi says.

"No," Hoseok whines. "I'm going to just stay here and dig me a home in the sand."

Yoongi pats him in the head and grabs his backpack out of the trunk. "Okay."

"Do you want me to grab your stuff?" Namjoon asks Seokjin, out of politeness. "Since you drove and all."

Seokjin looks at him curiously, like he's a puzzle that hasn't been quite finished yet. It makes Namjoon's face burn, unpleasant and restless. "Sure," he finally says.

"Okay," Namjoon mumbles, climbing out of the car. The sound of the door shutting behind him feels much farther away from him than it should, and the floor seems much more below his feet than it actually is. Seokjin's stare feels like it's thrown him off of balance, only half in his body. He's pretty sure the brown Airpack backpack is Seokjin's, but just in case. "That one's Seokjin's, right?" he asks.

"Yeah," Taehyung says, dragging his own back out of the car. "Why?"

"No reason," Namjoon replies, grabbing it and his own.

"Dude," Jimin gapes as he toes his shoes off in the foyer, "this house is loaded."

Jungkook beams at them. "It's a new house; my uncle started a publishing company. He said he's not home right now, so just follow me to the guest rooms."

The house feels kind of lonely for one person, Namjoon thinks as they walk up the stairs. Their footsteps echo off the white tiles, empty and hollow.

"Those are the two rooms," Jungkook says, pointing to the end of the hallway. "Pick one."

Namjoon enters the first room and tosses their stuff onto the floor. Yoongi walks in behind him and collapses on the bed, groaning. "Goodnight," he says into the blanket.

"I'm joining hyung," Namjoon says, and flops down next to Yoongi.

He hears voices from outside, voices that vaguely sound like Jimin and someone else.

The door opens. "I'm tired, Jiminnie. I've been driving." It's Seokjin.

"Imagine the beach at sunset!" Jimin whines. "Taehyung and Hoseok are coming too."

Seokjin is quiet for a moment, and Namjoon can practically feel him staring at his back.

"Fine," Seokjin says. "I'll come. But I'm not going in the ocean."

The room shuts behind them, and Namjoon lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "I'm screwed, aren't I, hyung?" Silence. "Hyung?"

Yoongi snores.

 

He dreams.

Namjoon dreams of Seokjin, fingers digging into the collar of his shirt. He's pretty sure this is Seokjin's room, even though it looks nothing like it. It's much bigger, and much more purple, and Seokjin whines as Namjoon grips his ass, rutting against his stomach.

"Namjoon," he whines, turning his head into Namjoon's shoulder, "Namjoon, please, just let me come."

Namjoon's never touched another guy before, but everything about Seokjin seems familiar, from the way he smells, comfortable, the way his fingers trail scorch marks down his torso, and to the way he moans, desperate and wanting. It shouldn't feel familiar at all, but something about the way it's Seokjin just makes him feel entirely like he belongs. "Okay," he says, "Come for me."

Seokjin comes in his pants as Namjoon presses their lips together.

He knows, somewhere in the back of his mind, that this has happened before, but this feels unfamiliar - Seokjin's lips, chapped, and unforgiving as they tug at his own, but he can't bring himself to think of why.

And then there's a hand sliding down his pants, and Namjoon opens his eyes.

 

The lights are off, and the moon shines outside the window. He can see the stars, twinkling much brighter than they do in Seoul.

There's a balcony. There would be, Namjoon thinks to himself as he slides the door open. The cold ocean breeze blows in, sending the curtains flying.

This scenery is not so bad. It's a full moon, and the moonlight shimmers across the water. "You okay?" someone asks, and Namjoon jumps, banging his head on the top of the door frame. It's Taehyung.

"No," Namjoon grumbles, rubbing his head. "I mean, yes. My head - no."

Taehyung laughs, stretching out in the chair he's lying on, legs dangling off the arm. "You're very open when you're tired, hyung."

Namjoon doesn't reply to that. "Aren't you freezing? Why are you awake now?"

Taehyung shrugs. "I'm not tired. You, hyung?"

"Just woke up," Namjoon says, "don't want to go back to sleep. Thinking, and stuff."

"Thinking about?"

"Nothing important," Namjoon mumbles, crossing his arms. It really is cold; Taehyung's only wearing a tanktop and shorts.

"Seokjin hyung isn't anything important?" Taehyung asks. Namjoon frowns. He's pretty sure they weren't that obvious. Then again, Taehyung has always had that four-dimensional sort of knowledge, seeing things that no one else can. "No," Taehyung says, as if reading Namjoon's thoughts, "it was pretty obvious. Everyone knows."

Namjoon takes it all back. Taehyung just sucks. "What time is it?" he asks, intent on changing the topic. He's not going to talk about this with Taehyung. Or anyone.

"Around six thirty," Taehyung says. "The sun's gonna come up in half an hour. Want to watch the sunrise?"

Namjoon turns around to look back into the room. Through the glass, he can see Seokjin sleeping on the floor, arms sprawled over an empty space next to him, where Taehyung was probably lying. "Sure," Namjoon says.

He takes the other chair and leans back so the front legs lift off the ground and his head rests against the door. "So what happened between you two?" Taehyung asks.

Namjoon groans. "I'm going to go back inside," he threatens, hopes he sounds threatening, but Taehyung just laughs.

"You should take my place with Seokjin hyung. See what happens in the morning."

"That's evil," Namjoon says, but he's laughing at the image of Seokjin wide eyed and panicking. But also he kind of really likes the idea of being curled up with Seokjin and watching him wake up tired and droopy-eyed. Shit, now he's not going to be able to get this image out of his head. Taehyung is definitely evil, Namjoon confirms.

"It'll freak him out," Taehyung replies, grinning.

Namjoon laughs, stretching his arms out over his head. Now that he's out in Busan, right by the sea, he realizes that he really should have packed more sweaters. Or even a hoodie.

The sky is a faded blue, moon almost completely out of sight. Comfortable silence drifts over Taehyung and him, something Namjoon is incredibly thankful for. He thinks about the other guys, the ones that aren't graduating. They're still going to be with him. They're not breaking up, Seokjin's voice echoes in his head, they're just testing limits.

They should really talk it out, Namjoon sighs. Or else it's going to keep being awkward and then Seokjin will graduate and they'll still be awkward but then they'll drift apart and it'll be even more awkward and they might not even remember each other's names and crap Namjoon really, really doesn't want that.

Logically, Namjoon knows that's all ridiculous. But still, he's afraid of losing one of his best friends slash crush and that just really sucks.

"You look like you've seen a ghost," Taehyung says.

"I am the ghost," Namjoon frowns. "No, Seokjin hyung is. No, I am."

"No one's a ghost," Taehyung states, cutting him off. "Talk it out. It's not that bad."

"Do you know what happened?"

Taehyung grins at him. "Nope," he replies, and Namjoon can't tell if he's lying or not. He hates that he can't read Taehyung the way he can read Seokjin.

"It's pretty bad," Namjoon mumbles, just as the sun starts to trickle out of the water. It comes up from the right side, over the water, as the moon fades completely out of view, behind a cloud.

"It's not," Taehyung counters, then pauses. "Oops," he mumbles, in the least apologetic way. "Wow, look at the time, I should sleep."

"No, you should stay here and explain," Namjoon snaps, but Taehyung's already out of his chair and closing the balcony door behind him as he walks back into the room.

He's about to get up and follow Taehyung, but there's another figure who's up as well, except Namjoon can't see who it is because of the glare on the window, but he has a pretty bad feeling of who it could be.

He's right. Seokjin opens the glass door, rubbing at his eyes, bottom lip jutted out in a pout, and god dammit, Namjoon wants to kiss him, and there's already a billion reasons for why he shouldn't.

"Hi," he says, and Seokjin jumps, hand banging on the glass.

"Ow," he hisses, "fuck." Then he turns to Namjoon and his eyes widen. "Hi," he mumbles sheepishly.

This is it, Namjoon thinks. Just go for it. "Want to watch the sun rise?" he asks. "It's much more pretty than a sunset, trust me."

Seokjin stares at him blankly, wrapping his cardigan around him. At least someone brought warm clothes.

Quietly, he takes Taehyung's seat and looks out across the water, eyes brightening at the view.

The sun is still slowly climbing into the sky, but there are few shades of red and purple and orange reflecting off of the clouds.

This would be the perfect confession spot, Namjoon suddenly thinks. It hits him in a wave, suddenly thrown over by all these feelings and the idea that he could literally just turn to Seokjin right now, right now, and confess something horribly awful like "You know what's more beautiful than this sunset? You," or maybe just, "I kind of really like you." Something, anything.

He doesn't.

They watch the rest of the sun come out from behind the ocean silently, until it starts to reach it's throne in the sky, and Seokjin mumbles, "It's too bright now. I'm going inside."

"I'm coming too," Namjoon says. "I'm really tired."

"Okay," Seokjin replies, indifferent, and it freezes Namjoon in his place. He watches blankly as Seokjin gets up and slides the door open, trudging back into the room and falling onto the bed next to Yoongi, where Namjoon was sleeping before.

They really need to talk.

Namjoon tries not to look too dejected as he takes Seokjin's spot on the floor, staring at Taehyung's empty spot.

 

He wakes up six hours later, groaning as his cellphone rings. "Hello?" he mumbles.

"It's Jimin. Do you know how long you've been sleeping for, hyung? It's 1PM already! We're down on the beach."

"Coming," Namjoon groans.

The room is completely empty, save for a lump on the bed, which is probably Yoongi, Namjoon thinks as he takes his stuff out of his bag and heads to the bathroom. Yoongi always sleeps in late, even later than all of them combined.

 

Namjoon should've know better.

In his defense, usually he's right. Yoongi's always sleeping. But this time, Namjoon stumbles into Seokjin waking up as he towels his hair dry from the shower he took.

It's the second time he's seen Seokjin wake up today, and it's twice as powerful. Seokjin sits up on the bed, staring blankly at the floor, then looks up when he hears Namjoon stepping into the room, eyes hooded and lazy.

"Hey," Namjoon says, giving a small smile, and Seokjin gives him a sleepy smile back that makes Namjoon's heart beat harder, faster, and he looks away, just in case he's blushing.

"Hey," Seokjin repies, running a hand through his hair. "What time is it?"

"One thirty-ish," Namjoon guesstimates.

"Okay," Seokjin says, then looks Namjoon up and down. "Why would you take a shower when we're going to go to the beach?"

Namjoon shrugs. "I feel gross from the car ride."

Seokjin nods slowly, lethargy still clouding his thoughts. But, all in all, it doesn't seem that bad, Namjoon thinks. He should probably leave before it gets awkward.

"Can we talk?" Seokjin asks, except he yawns, so it sounds more like Can we taaaa--lk? "Sorry."

Namjoon should've known better.

"Sure," he mumbles, sitting on the edge of the bed, towel dropping to his lap. "Talking is-- yeah. We should really talk."

Namjoon doesn't know if it's because he just woke up, but Seokjin is incredibly blunt as he says, "So we got drunk and made out and you might or might not have come in your pants."

Namjoon blinks. He doesn't remember that last part. "I what?"

Seokjin shrugs, looking a little more awake. "Give or take. My memory isn't the best, either."

"Oh," Namjoon frowns. "Well. Yeah, okay. I guess it happened, then."

And then they're silent.

Well, the first step to fixing a problem is to recognize it, and maybe this is them, sitting together silently on this bed with Namjoon's wet hair and Seokjin's sleepy eyes as they bask in their mistakes together. Recognizing.

"Do you regret it?" Seokjin asks suddenly, looking up at Namjoon with these eyes, these eyes with some emotion Namjoon can't describe, almost like hope, but not quite there, almost like hostility and suspicion, but not quite there yet.

"I--"

"Because I don't, honestly," Seokjin says.

"You what?" Namjoon asks.

Now Seokjin's blushing. This is a first. "I'm trying to get this all out of the way as soon as possible," Seokjin says, "because I don't like this avoiding each other and being awkward and kind of hateful towards each other thing. So just. I like you. I've liked you for a while, and looking at it now I've realized it kind of looks like I tried to get you drunk so I could kiss you, but I promise you it wasn't that at all. What happened just kind of... happened. But I liked it."

Namjoon doesn't know what to say. He hadn't even considered the idea of Seokjin trying to get him drunk, because he'd wanted so badly, wanted to kiss Seokjin so badly, long before the club and this road trip and Seokjin's graduation. And-- wow. Seokjin wanted to kiss him back? Wants to kiss him back?

"Me too," Namjoon replies. "I also-- I like you a lot. I don't like you leaving me to go to college, which is why I've been distant. But I like you, and I also really... enjoyed that night, to be honest."

The stare after is the most uncomfortable part, because Namjoon doesn't know what he should be doing, and Seokjin doesn't look like he knows either.

"So," Namjoon says carefully, "Is this the part where I ask you to be my boyfriend?"

Seokjin is still silent.

"Never mind then," Namjoon mumbles. "I take it back."

"No," Seokjin half shouts, eyes wide. "I was just surprised. I'm, yes. Yes, I would. That'd be nice. And stuff."

"Alright," Namjoon says, and they look at each other. He still doesn't know what to do. "So, uh. Cool. I guess. Something."

"Can I kiss you again?" Seokjin blurts.

Namjoon laughs this time. "Yeah, I. Yes."

 

"I can't believe all it took them was a stupid five minute chat," Jungkook groans.

"Don't be stupid like your hyungs," Yoongi says with a long sigh, turning the umbrella so the shade falls on him. "Don't do PDA either, because that's gross. Someone make them stop."

"Hyung," Jungkook whines. "We're going to have to deal with this all the way back to Seoul."

"Fuck."

 

 

"You're going to text me, right?" Seokjin asks as he tosses a bag into the back of his car. "Every day? Multiple times a day?"

"I should be asking you this," Namjoon says, slamming the trunk of the car closed. "You're the one going off to college, not me."

"You have to text me every time you breathe," Seokjin snaps, pointing a finger at Namjoon's face. He tries to bite it.

Namjoon laughs as he jumps onto the trunk and sits there. "The teachers will confiscate my phone."

"Tell them it's an emergency," Seokjin demands, finger now jabbing Namjoon in the chest.

He raises an eyebrow. They didn't even talk that much during school, or even after they started dating. "But if I play dead, will you perform CPR on me?"

Seokjin rolls his eyes, hands balling into his collar. "You're so stupid."

"Wow," Namjoon says, hands coming up to cover Seokjin's own. "I'm so hurt. Now I definitely won't text you."

"I'm going to cheat on you with that sophomore we saw before," Seokjin threatens. "I still remember his name! Kim Himsomething or other."

"That's a great memory," Namjoon says, sarcastic, and pulls Seokjin in close.

Seokjin snorts. "Are we going to breathe the same air, or are you going to kiss me?"

"Isn't that the same thing?" Namjoon asks, but Seokjin groans and leans in to kiss Namjoon, and Namjoon's legs wrap around Seokjin's waist.

He opens up Seokjin's mouth with little nips, laughing when Seokjin moans.

"You have to leave for college in like half an hour," he says. "No hard ons."

Seokjin lets out a sound Namjoon's sure he's heard a dying whale make on the Discovery Channel. "I don't want to leave you," he whines. "Yoongi isn't leaving for another week."

For someone who's spent all of summer angsting over Seokjin's leave for college, the tables have suddenly turned now that it's time for him to actually go. There's some sort of tranquility that Namjoon feels, knowing that everything will be okay. He has Seokjin and Seokjin's got him, even if they can't see each other every day.

There's also the neat idea that Seokjin gets to keep his car with him at college, and Namjoon's going to abuse that privilege as much as he can.

"You ready to go?" Namjoon asks, and Seokjin sighs. "Your mom's been waiting."

"Yeah," he says. "I guess I'll go then. See you?"

"See you," Namjoon replies. "For sure."

Seokjin smiles.

 

I made a friend! Seokjin texts Namjoon excitedly during Calculus.

I'm so sorry for them, Namjoon texts back as discreetly as he can. Who's the poor victim?

Shut the fuck up, we even share a name. He's Jin Hyosang, and a freshman too.

Namjoon makes sure to remember the name Hyosang as he types away a final reply and picks up his pencil. Don't leave him for me!

He reads the reply he gets during lunch, when Jungkook and Taehyung are trying to get Hoseok to talk about the new girl he denies he likes. Don't be stupid, his eyes aren't cute enough. There is only one pair of cutie shaped eyes in the world for me!

That's so gross, Namjoon replies, but he's smiling. Everything's okay, he reminds himself. They'll be okay.